Literati Bookstore is thrilled to welcome Randall Munroe to Rackham Auditorium in downtown Ann Arbor in support of his latest book, How to: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems. The program will feature a presentation, conversation, and Q&A. A book signing will follow. Detailed instructions for the book signing to come.
Tickets are general admission and include a hardcover copy of How to, to be picked up at the venue the evening of the event. Literati will have additional copies of Randall Munroe’s previous titles available for purchase. Parking in downtown Ann Arbor on Friday evenings can be difficult. Surface spots are sparse, but a detailed map of available (and walkable) parking structures can be found here.
For any task you might want to do, there’s a right way, a wrong way, and a way so monumentally complex, excessive, and inadvisable that no one would ever try it. How To is a guide to the third kind of approach. It’s full of highly impractical advice for everything from landing a plane to digging a hole.
Bestselling author and cartoonist Randall Munroe explains how to predict the weather by analyzing the pixels of your Facebook photos. He teaches you how to tell if you’re a baby boomer or a 90’s kid by measuring the radioactivity of your teeth. He offers tips for taking a selfie with a telescope, crossing a river by boiling it, and powering your house by destroying the fabric of space-time. And if you want to get rid of the book once you’re done with it, he walks you through your options for proper disposal, including dissolving it in the ocean, converting it to a vapor, using tectonic plates to subduct it into the Earth’s mantle, or launching it into the Sun.
By exploring the most complicated ways to do simple tasks, Munroe doesn’t just make things difficult for himself and his readers. As he did so brilliantly in What If?, Munroe invites us to explore the most absurd reaches of the possible. Full of clever infographics and amusing illustrations, How To is a delightfully mind-bending way to better understand the science and technology underlying the things we do every day.
Randall Munroe is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers What If? and Thing Explainer, the science question-and-answer blog What If, and the popular webcomic xkcd. A former NASA roboticist, he left the agency in 2006 to draw comics on the internet full-time. He lives in Massachusetts.
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