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What If?

Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
Auteur(s): Randall Munroe
Narrateur(s): Wil Wheaton
Durée: 6 h et 36 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (203 évaluations)

CDN$ 14,95 par mois; les 30 premiers jours sont gratuits. Annulable en tout temps.

Description

From the creator of the wildly popular webcomic xkcd comes this hilarious and informative book of answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask.

Millions of people visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. His stick-figure drawings about science, technology, language, and love have a large and passionate following. Fans of xkcd ask Munroe a lot of strange questions. What if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent of the speed of light? How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live? If there were a robot apocalypse, how long would humanity last?

In pursuit of answers, Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations, and consults with nuclear reactor operators. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity, complemented by signature xkcd comics. They often predict the complete annihilation of humankind, or at least a really big explosion.

The book features new and never-before-answered questions, along with updated and expanded versions of the most popular answers from the xkcd website. What If? will be required listening for xkcd fans and anyone who loves to ponder the hypothetical.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2014 Randall Munroe (P)2014 Blackstone Audiobook

Ce que les membres d'Audible en pensent

Moyenne des évaluations de clients

Au global

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Histoire

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

Strange questions, well thought out answers

I really enjoy this book, enough that I own it but still picked up this well performed version to listen again and to have to listen on the go.

The strangeness of the questions begins to pale compared to how far the answer will push the consequences of what it means. Everyone standing in one place on earth jumping logically does nothing, but now what happens? Can people get home again? The challenges in answering that should change the ending of the movie Home.

1 personnes sur 1 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars

For those curious minds

This was an excellent listen for me, a guy who wonders about weird things. #Audible1

1 personnes sur 1 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

Wheaton + Munroe = Winning Combo

Wheaton delivers the humor and comedic timing with all the impact I imagine Munroe had intended.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

Super Fun, Six Stars!

If you like Science, Math, and Logic this book is for you.
A wonderful laid back listen.
Wil Wheaton is Amazing.
Really keeps you engaged.
Six Stars.

  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars

overdose on silliness

Love xkcd, but this book is harder to enjoy at length. Entertaining in small portions.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

epic stories

the scales of consequences are just epic !!!
he explains consequences to such levels, it's just mind blowing

and even if it sound dumb at fort, you may learn nice stuff about phisics

great narrator !!!

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars

it was a fun listen.

I wonder what this audiobook would sound like on the surface of a neutron star?

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

brilliant writing with the perfect narrator.

for anyone with a science itch or those curious about what would actually happen if your math/physics problems came to life.

this book was fantastically written and if you know will wheaton from his other works, you will quickly see how this genre of books are a perfect fit for him to read to you.

  • Au global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Krg
  • 2019-04-04

Better with illustrations

This adaptation to audio doesn't work well for the way I consume audio books. You need to be able to see the images really and I usually listen while I'm driving.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • PCR
  • 2019-01-20

Fun to listen to (more than once!)

I don't understand all the science, although I am working on that with other audible titles,but Will Wheaton's enthusiastic performance just makes me smile andd sometimes giggle. To the author: I am delighted when your answer is a flat NO.

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  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Neuron
  • 2016-05-08

Humorous but serious answers to crazy hypothetical

What if we only had a single soul mate. What would the odds be that we actually met that person? Most people realize that the answer is some version of “small.” However, in this book, Munroe tries to calculate an answer, after all, assumptions have been spelled out. For this particular question, the first assumption is that your soulmate is alive at the same time as you - which reduced the pool of potential soul mates from 100 billion to ~10 billion. The next assumption is that we will recognize our soul mate when we see him or her. We can then go on and calculate some preliminary odds based on how many people we tend to look at in our lifetime etc. The answer, in the end, is still just that the odds are very, very small that we will run into our soulmate unless external forces are at work.

This above is just one example out of ~100 questions to which this book provides an answer. Other examples include what would happen if the earth suddenly stopped spinning, but the atmosphere kept moving? What would a mole (6 x 10^23) of moles (the animal) look like, and what would happen to it? What would happen if you had a periodic table with blocks that were actually made up of the elements? Which character in the Star Wars movies has the most power (Is it the Emperor? Yoda? or Luke?).

The author does not hide the fact that he has a wicked sense of humor and that he likes it when things burn, or (better) explode. Indeed, a good proportion of the answers in this book involves the death of a few or a lot of people.

For a science nerd like myself, this was an excellent and funny book. As other reviewers have noted, the mathematics can sometimes be difficult to grasp; however, you usually don’t need to understand the underlying mathematics understand the answer to the different questions. The humor and the fact that you learn lots of facts that are perfect conversation starters (especially if you are a scientist), makes this a thoroughly enjoyable read.

39 personnes sur 40 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dan Collins
  • 2016-07-11

lots of science without feeling too scientific

being a science geek I considered this might be an interesting book. What I discovered was that the author is creative and funny enough to keep even a non-scientific person engage. I would highly recommend this book for anybody ages 10 and up. some of the material might go over the head of a younger person but the delivery is ultimately consumable and you will find yourself laughing as much as being surprised.

this book is a science ambush and functions well as an evangelistic tool for science and physics specifically.

14 personnes sur 14 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne P Martin
  • 2014-09-23

Just two words needed.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Only two words needed for this review, MORE PLEASE. If you are a fan of "Myth Busters" or "The Straight Dope" you will love this book. My only possible complaint would be it wasn't long enough, I want more.

What does Wil Wheaton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I love Wil's reading style he was able to inject just the right amount of sarcasm into the book.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

35 personnes sur 37 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joel D Offenberg
  • 2015-02-14

Loved It

If you like playing around with over-the-top thought experiments and truly strange ideas, with realistic science, this a great book for you.

The best comparison I have is Mary Roach...if you like her works, then you will truly enjoy "What if?"

Wil Wheaton is a great narrator for this book, he captures the geeky science and Randall's wry humor exceedingly well. And I always give kudos to narrators of scienc-y works when they don't stumble over or mispronounce obscure technical words...and he handled it extremely well.

12 personnes sur 13 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Rod
  • 2014-09-13

Hope You got an A in Math and Physics...

First of all it's read by Wil Wheaton, awesome! If you're not familiar with who that is then you're probably expecting a completely different book than anything written by Munroe.

As a fan of XKCD I'm all to comfortable with playing along as if I understood the highly mathematical joke I just read. After you hear the whiz of jokes flying over your head enough you kind of go with it. Now imagine a few hours of that and you'll kind of get what this books is like listening to it. While Munroe does an excellent and accurate job (I think it's accurate, if not at least well described) of explaining the "what if" scenarios, the mathematical explanations are lengthy and unless you're accustomed to graduate level physics lectures stands a very good chance of inducing a "zone out" until the scenario returns to a narrative laymen description.

Don't let this deter you from giving it a shot! You'll get the idea of every one of the "what if" scenarios I promise you.

54 personnes sur 62 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sean M
  • 2014-12-16

One of my all-time favorite audio books!

Would you consider the audio edition of What If? to be better than the print version?

This book has now made the short list as one of my all-time favorite audio books. It was informative, hilarious, and just downright fun. My wife and I listened to it while on a road trip, and it kept us entertained as if it were a classic novel. Wil Wheaton's narration is absolutely perfect, and actually inspired us to go out and buy the print version of the book (which I also highly recommend).

If you love science, humor, Wil Wheaton, XKCD, and/or the Netherlands -- This is the book for you!

Who was your favorite character and why?

The Netherlands... you'll have to listen and find out :)

What does Wil Wheaton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Wil Wheaton's narration, in addition to giving it the "nerd cred" it deserves, narrates the book absolutely perfectly. It's the little subtleties like the way he changes his tone for footnotes, or gets excited about blowing up the moon with a super laser. It really brings a book, which otherwise has no characters, to life.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

We listened to this while driving. We actually had to stop, and pull over at one point from laughing so hard.

27 personnes sur 32 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • 2019-07-02

Serious Scientific Answers to ...

... Absurd Hypothetical Questions. This book is fun and educational. I look forward to the release of
How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems on September 3. Actor Wil Wheaton does not do a lot of audio book narration, but he does a wonderful job with What If.

This is a non-fiction book that is sure to be enjoyed by everyone.

8 personnes sur 9 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Andy
  • 2014-09-25

be ready to laugh!

Great prep for an interview at Google. This book poses a wide range of questions, most of which can only be answered in a conceptual fashion using equations few of us are very familiar with. The fun part is when Randall Munroe attaches equations to help the listener understand how to approach an answer. My favorite question: What is the probability of calling someone, saying gesundheit when they said hello, and discovering that they just sneezed. Super narration too.

12 personnes sur 14 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • K
  • 2014-09-27

My only complaint: It wasn't longer

Oh, I loved this audiobook... a great combination of interesting (and sometimes strange) science facts and xkcd-flavored humor. My only complaint: It ended too soon. Highly recommended.

11 personnes sur 13 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • literate rose
  • 2018-08-06

Science + Hilarity = Fabulousness Ensues!

I'd been a fan of xkcd for years, but had somehow missed that Munroe had a "serious (sort of) answers to silly science questions" blog... until I saw this book. Read by Wil Wheaton almost sold me without knowing anything else (I'm not sure I would have liked Ready Player One as much if not for Wil's rendition, and his performances of John Scalzi's books, especially Redshirts, made me a permanent super-fan). Plus I love science stuff, absurd stuff, absurd science stuff, and xkcd. How could I possibly go wrong?

The first listen, I walked around laughing out loud to the point I began annoying my housemates. Until I played them the "what if we pointed a laser at the moon..." segment and then they were just jealous when I had the book on headphones. The second listen was in snippets while I needed energy to get through an interstate move. And the third was on a road trip with my son, nine or so hours of driving ahead of us. We're both avid audiobook consumers, though my library's bigger than his, so I started looking for something we'd both like that would keep us awake and engaged. He prefers non-fiction in audio, and as I scrolled down and hit What If?, it was an aha! moment. Luckily (for him!) my son hadn't heard it yet, so on it went, and we listened to whole thing, pausing to discuss and exclaim and chortle and guffaw, as needed.

Easily one of my top 10 most entertaining books, especially in audio form, ever. Anyone who thinks science can't be both fascinating and laugh-out-loud hilarious needs to listen to this. I just don't recommend having anything you really need to do for the next six or so hours.

2 personnes sur 2 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente