Now Available: The Hilarious ‘How To’ Book by Randall Munroe of xkcd

A couple weeks ago, xkcd creator Randall Munroe released his much-anticipated third book, How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems, following his previous bestsellers What If? and Thing Explainer.

In this one, he explores ways to do seemingly simple tasks in the most excessively complicated and entertaining ways, employing plenty of infographics and his signature stick-figure illustrations to show just how Rube Goldbergian (though quite scientifically based) his suggestions really are.

For example, here are some of the, uh, “solutions” — read: really bad advice, just super inadvisable — you’ll find within:

  • How to predict the weather by analyzing the pixels of your Facebook photos
  • How to cross a river by removing/boiling all the water
  • How to tell if you’re a baby boomer or a ’90s kid by measuring the radioactivity of your teeth
  • The many uses for lava around the home
  • Using a telescope to take selfies
  • How to use experimental military research to ensure that your friends will never again ask you to help them move
  • How to get to your appointments on time by destroying the Moon

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.

This is obviously a fantastic read for xkcd fans and science nerds alike, though it should be said that anyone in the right frame of mind will get a kick out of it. You’ll even learn a thing or two by the time you’re done!

Get the book in these formats: