Randall Munroe - Thing Explainer - Hodder & Stoughton

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781473620926
    • Publication date:24 Nov 2015
  • Paperback £14.99
    More information
    • ISBN:9781473637313
    • Publication date:05 Oct 2017

Thing Explainer

Complicated Stuff in Simple Words

By Randall Munroe

  • Hardback
  • £16.99

From the No. 1 bestselling author of What If? - the man who created xkcd and explained the laws of science with cartoons - comes a series of brilliantly simple diagrams ('blueprints' if you want to be complicated about it) that show how important things work: from the nuclear bomb to the biro.

From the No. 1 bestselling author of What If? - the man who created xkcd and explained the laws of science with cartoons - comes a series of brilliantly simple diagrams ('blueprints' if you want to be complicated about it) that show how important things work: from the nuclear bomb to the biro.

It's good to know what the parts of a thing are called, but it's much more interesting to know what they do. Richard Feynman once said that if you can't explain something to a first-year student, you don't really get it. In Thing Explainer, Randall Munroe takes a quantum leap past this: he explains things using only drawings and a vocabulary of just our 1,000 (or the ten hundred) most common words.

Many of the things we use every day - like our food-heating radio boxes ('microwaves'), our very tall roads ('bridges'), and our computer rooms ('datacentres') - are strange to us. So are the other worlds around our sun (the solar system), the big flat rocks we live on (tectonic plates), and even the stuff inside us (cells). Where do these things come from? How do they work? What do they look like if you open them up? And what would happen if we heated them up, cooled them down, pointed them in a different direction, or pressed this button?

In Thing Explainer, Munroe gives us the answers to these questions and many, many more. Funny, interesting, and always understandable, this book is for anyone -- age 5 to 105 -- who has ever wondered how things work, and why.

Biographical Notes

Randall Munroe is the creator of the webcomic xkcd and author of xkcd: Volume 0. Randall was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, and grew up outside Richmond, Virginia. After studying physics at Christopher Newport University, he got a job building robots at NASA Langley Research Center. In 2006 he left NASA to draw comics on the internet full time, and has since been nominated for a Hugo Award three times. The International Astronomical Union recently named an asteroid after him: asteroid 4942 Munroe is big enough to cause mass extinction if it ever hits a planet like Earth.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781473620919
  • Publication date: 24 Nov 2015
  • Page count: 64
  • Imprint: John Murray
A brilliant concept. If you can't explain something simply, you don't really understand it. And Randall Munroe is the perfect guy to take on a project like this . . . If you know Munroe's previous work, it will come as no surprise that parts of Thing Explainer are laugh-out-loud funny . . . filled with cool basic knowledge about how the world works. If one of Munroe's drawings inspires you to go learn more about a subject - including a few extra terms - then he will have done his job. He has written a wonderful guide for curious minds — BILL GATES
Wonderful — Neil Gaiman
In the crowded field of trivia, nothing beats Thing Explainer by Randall Munroe, the physicist-turned-comic-artist, a sequel to What If ? . . . It is very funny and has something quite serious to say about our misplaced faith in long words — Daily Telegraph
Thing Explainer gets to the real essence of things — New Scientist
Like any good work of science writing, [Thing Explainer] is equal parts lucid, funny, and startling — NewYorker.com
In just over a decade Randall Munroe has become firmly established and it's safe to say adored as the author of xkcd. Now, Munroe has produced a book - and Thing Explainer isn't just any book. It's beautiful, packed with facts, figures and richly and simply presented diagrams — Register
Reliably amusing and often enlightening — The Times, Books of the Year
Yellow Kite

The Wonder Down Under

Nina Brochmann, Ellen Stokken Dahl
Authors:
Nina Brochmann, Ellen Stokken Dahl

The Wonder Down Under explains everything you ever wanted to know about the vagina but didn't dare ask. Learn the truth about the clitoris' inner life, the menstrual hormone dance and whether the vaginal orgasm really exists. The book helps you understand how different types of contraception work in the body, what a "normal" vulva looks like and how wearing socks can change your sex life.Medical students and sex educators Nina Brochmann and Ellen Støkken Dahl draw on their medical expertise to bring vagina enlightenment to the world. Their no-nonsense approach, written with great humour, makes this a must-read for women (and men!) of all ages.Say goodbye to the myths and misconceptions surrounding female anatomy, this is a timely and empowering book that will inspire women to make informed choices about their sexual health.

Coronet

The Science of Prayer

Rupert Sheldrake
Authors:
Rupert Sheldrake
John Murray Learning

Disrupt!

James Bidwell
Authors:
James Bidwell
John Murray Learning

Machines That Think

Sometime in the future the intelligence of machines will exceed that of human brain power. So are we on the edge of an AI-pocalypse, with superintelligent devices superseding humanity, as predicted by Stephen Hawking? Or will this herald a kind of Utopia, with machines doing a far better job at complex tasks than us? You might not realise it, but you interact with AIs every day. They route your phone calls, approve your credit card transactions and help your doctor interpret results. Driverless cars will soon be on the roads with a decision-making computer in charge. But how do machines actually think and learn? In Machines That Think, AI experts and New Scientist explore how artificial intelligence helps us understand human intelligence, machines that compose music and write stories - and ask if AI is really a threat.ABOUT THE SERIESNew Scientist Instant Expert books are definitive and accessible entry points to the most important subjects in science; subjects that challenge, attract debate, invite controversy and engage the most enquiring minds. Designed for curious readers who want to know how things work and why, the Instant Expert series explores the topics that really matter and their impact on individuals, society, and the planet, translating the scientific complexities around us into language that's open to everyone, and putting new ideas and discoveries into perspective and context.

John Murray

How to be Human

What is it that makes us human? Is it language, imagination, morality, or is it that we cook and wear shoes? Or perhaps we are less human than we think (Neanderthal and Denisovan genes can be found within all of us!).Once again, New Scientist have all of the fascinating and unexpected answers, and - just as they did for the universe in The Origin of (almost) Everything - in How to be Human they take us on a tour around the human body and brain, taking in everything from evolution to email, from the Stone Age to Spotify.How do languages change the way our brains are wired? What can evolutionary theory tell us about who we are attracted to? How does your voice give away clues about your political views, your sexual allure and even your salary? Why is gossip the human version of a gorilla picking fleas from its mate? And how can you live to 100?From the body to language , through emotions and possessions, to the most tricky questions about life and death, New Scientist's witty essays sit alongside enlightening illustrations that range from how your brain creates the illusion of 'self' to the allure of body odour.

Coronet

Beta: Quiet Girls Can Run the World

Rebecca Holman
Authors:
Rebecca Holman
Teach Yourself

Mobile Marketing In A Week

Nick Smith
Authors:
Nick Smith
John Murray

In Pursuit of Memory

Joseph Jebelli
Authors:
Joseph Jebelli
John Murray

We Have No Idea

Jorge Cham, Daniel Whiteson
Authors:
Jorge Cham, Daniel Whiteson

'This witty book reveals the humbling vastness of our ignorance about the universe, along with charming insights into what we actually do understand' Carlo Rovelli, author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and Reality Is Not What It SeemsIn our small corner of the universe, we know how some matter behaves most of the time and what even less of it looks like, and we have some good guesses about where it all came from. But we really have no clue what's going on. In fact, we don't know what about 95% of the universe is made of. So what happens when a cartoonist and a physicist walk into this strange, mostly unknown universe? Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson gleefully explore the biggest unknowns, why these things are still mysteries, and what a lot of smart people are doing to figure out the answers (or at least ask the right questions). While they're at it, they helpfully demystify many complicated things we do know about, from quarks and neutrinos to gravitational waves and exploding black holes. With equal doses of humour and delight, they invite us to see the universe as a vast expanse of mostly uncharted territory that's still ours to explore. This is a book for fans of Brian Cox and What If. This highly entertaining highly illustrated book is perfect for anyone who's curious about all the great mysteries physicists are going to solve next.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Great Mystery

Alister McGrath
Authors:
Alister McGrath
John Murray Learning

The Quantum World

John Murray

Bad Choices

Ali Almossawi
Authors:
Ali Almossawi
John Murray Learning

How Your Brain Works

John Murray Learning

Where the Universe Came From

John Murray

How Long is Now?

John Murray

New Scientist: The Origin of (almost) Everything

Graham Lawton, Stephen Hawking, Jennifer Daniel
Contributors:
Graham Lawton, Stephen Hawking, Jennifer Daniel

Introduction by Professor Stephen Hawking.From what actually happened in the Big Bang to the accidental discovery of post-it notes, science is packed with surprising discoveries. Did you know, for instance, that if you were to get too close to a black hole it would suck you up like a noodle (it's called spaghettification), why your keyboard is laid out in QWERTY (it's not to make it easier to type) or whether the invention of the wheel was less important to civilisation than the bag (think about it). New Scientist does. And now they and illustrator Jennifer Daniel want to take you on a whistlestop journey from the start of our universe (through the history of stars, galaxies, meteorites, the Moon and dark energy) to our planet (through oceans and weather to oil) and life (through dinosaurs to emotions and sex) to civilisation (from cities to alcohol and cooking), knowledge (from alphabets to alchemy) ending up with technology (computers to rocket science). Witty essays explore the concepts alongside enlightening infographics that zoom from how many people have ever lived to showing you how a left-wing brain differs from a right-wing one.

John Murray

Question Everything

John Murray

Nothing

Zero, zip, nada, zilch. It's all too easy to ignore the fascinating possibilities of emptiness and non-existence, and we may well wonder what there is to say about nothing. But scientists have known for centuries that nothing is the key to understanding absolutely everything, from why particles have mass to the expansion of the universe; without nothing we'd be precisely nowhere. With chapters by 22 science writers, including top names such as Ian Stewart, Marcus Chown, Helen Pilcher, Nigel Henbest, Michael Brooks, Linda Geddes, Paul Davies, Jo Marchant and David Fisher, this fascinating and intriguing book revels in a subject that has tantalised the finest minds for centuries, and shows there's more to nothing than meets the eye.

John Murray

Will We Ever Speak Dolphin?

Why do birds sing at dawn? What's the slowest a plane can fly without stalling and falling out of the sky? And how long can you keep a tiger cub as a pet? Will We Ever Speak Dolphin? has the answers to these questions and many more. By 2012, over two million copies of the New Scientist 'Last Word' series had been sold.

John Murray

Farmer Buckley's Exploding Trousers

In August 1931, New Zealand farmer Richard Buckley hit the local headlines - or rather his trousers did. One minute they were drying in front of the fire; the next there was a huge blast and a ball of flames. Farmer Buckley's trousers had exploded. The culprit? A popular pesticide of the day, which when combined with clothing fibres unexpectedly formed a highly combustible compound. This incendiary story is a striking example of how scientific advances meant to improve people's lives can sometimes backfire. Contrary to the widespread belief that science and technology move steadily on from one discovery to the next, the fascinating stories in this entertaining collection present some of the unfamiliar characters and events that litter the path of scientific progress. Based on the New Scientist's weekly 'Histories' column, Farmer Buckley's Exploding Trousers shows how setbacks and mishaps are the norm, and breakthroughs are the exception.