The world’s funniest former NASA roboticist will take your questions

Michael Cavna in The Washington Post:

Several decades ago, it took a stand-up comedian like Steven Wright to work in shades of the brilliantly surreal when he deadpanned: “It’s a small world. But I wouldn’t want to paint it.” Today, it takes a humorous NASA roboticist turned popular cartoonist to finally tackle the question: But what if you did want to paint it?

Imagining such a hypothetical sparks the ever-curious mind of Randall Munroe, the brain behind the webcomic “xkcd” — beloved by math and science geeks the unpainted globe over — who also answers readers’ bizarre and quirky queries on his blog. His replies yielded the best-selling 2014 book “What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions.” This week, the Massachusetts-based author follows that up with the equally entertaining “What If? 2: Additional Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions,” which combines Munroe’s true research and truly funny prose with his signature stick-figure illustrations.

More here.