Best Selling Books in Humor - Science & Scientists

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release date: Sep 02, 2014
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What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

From the creator of the wildly popular webcomic xkcd, hilarious and informative 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 the speed of light? How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live? If there was 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 reading for xkcd fans and anyone who loves to ponder the hypothetical.

release date: Nov 24, 2015
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Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words
In Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words, things are explained in the style of Up Goer Five, using only drawings and a vocabulary of the 1,000 (or "ten hundred") most common words. Explore computer buildings (datacenters), the flat rocks we live on (tectonic plates), the things you use to steer a plane (airliner cockpit controls), and the little bags of water you're made of (cells).
release date: May 09, 2017
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We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe
Prepare to learn everything we still don’t know about our strange and mysterious universe.

Humanity's understanding of the physical world is full of gaps. Not tiny little gaps you can safely ignore —there are huge yawning voids in our basic notions of how the world works. PHD Comics creator Jorge Cham and particle physicist Daniel Whiteson have teamed up to explore everything we don't know about the universe: the enormous holes in our knowledge of the cosmos. Armed with their popular infographics, cartoons, and unusually entertaining and lucid explanations of science, they give us the best answers currently available for a lot of questions that are still perplexing scientists, including:

* Why does the universe have a speed limit?
* Why aren't we all made of antimatter?
* What (or who) is attacking Earth with tiny, superfast particles?
* What is dark matter, and why does it keep ignoring us?

It turns out the universe is full of weird things that don't make any sense. But Cham and Whiteson make a compelling case that the questions we can't answer are as interesting as the ones we can.

This fully illustrated introduction to the biggest mysteries in physics also helpfully demystifies many complicated things we do know about, from quarks and neutrinos to gravitational waves and exploding black holes. With equal doses of humor and delight, Cham and Whiteson invite us to see the universe as a possibly boundless expanse of uncharted territory that's still ours to explore.
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release date: Apr 17, 1997
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Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character)

A New York Times bestseller―the outrageous exploits of one of this century's greatest scientific minds and a legendary American original.

Richard Feynman, winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, thrived on outrageous adventures. Here he recounts in his inimitable voice his experience trading ideas on atomic physics with Einstein and Bohr and ideas on gambling with Nick the Greek; cracking the uncrackable safes guarding the most deeply held nuclear secrets; accompanying a ballet on his bongo drums; painting a naked female toreador. In short, here is Feynman's life in all its eccentric―a combustible mixture of high intelligence, unlimited curiosity, and raging chutzpah.

Black-and-white photographs throughout
release date: Sep 11, 2012
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That's Gross!: Icky Facts That Will Test Your Gross-Out Factor (National Geographic Kids)
Tired of having to contain your hidden urge to fart and finger-pick? Can't get enough of foul food and flies? Get ready to gross out all of your friends with these hysterically nauseating facts about all things gross and gruesome. Bringing together the slimiest, smelliest, and stickiest topics imaginable, That's Gross, is chock-full of foul facts that are guaranteed to make your stomach churn. Each chapter is packed with icky information, wacky and colorful pictures, and sickening sidebarsthat will make you say "That's Gross!" Hold on to your stomach while we explore the world of barf, bugs, boogers, and other things your parents won't like.

With lively and humorous prose, high-interest subjects, and truly disgusting photos, this book will have kids glued to the page while they learn the facts, history and scientific details of "eww". Kids will be so captivated by the gross-out factor that they won't even realize how much they're learning. They might even discover that these skin-crawling truths are just a part of everyday life!

Chapters include:
 • The History of Grossness
 • Your Abominable Body
 • Gross Animals
 • Gross Bugs
 • Dead Things
 • Gross Around the World
 • Gross Pop Culture
 • Everyday Grossness
 • Gross Fun
 • Glossary of Gross

Other elements include the "Happy Place," featuring adorable baby animals just in case the grossness is too overwhelming; a "Gag Gauge" to rank the level of grossness of each topic; plus gross experiments, games, and more.

Releases simultaneously in Reinforced Library Binding: 978-1-4263-1066-9 , $12.95/$14.95 Can
release date: May 03, 2005
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The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry

If you have ever suspected that "heavy water" is the title of a bootleg Pink Floyd album, believed that surface tension is an anxiety disorder, or imagined that a noble gas is the result of a heavy meal at Buckingham Palace, then you need The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry to set you on the road to chemical literacy.

You don't need to be a scientist to grasp these and many other complex ideas, because The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry explains them all: the history and basics of chemistry, atomic theory, combustion, solubility, reaction stoichiometry, the mole, entropy, and much more—all explained in simple, clear, and yes, funny illustrations. Chemistry will never be the same!

release date: Sep 21, 2007
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The Complete Manual of Things That Might Kill You: A Guide to Self-Diagnosis for Hypochondriacs
Hypochondriacs have long had to satisfy their needs for self-diagnosis with medical reference materials written for the masses, but this revolutionary book is dedicated entirely to the hypochondriac's unique perspective on health. With over 300 deadly diseases profiled, conveniently organized by symptom (real or imagined), even the mildest hypochondriac's fantasy life will be ignited. We're all going to die of something why not choose an ailment that's rare and hard to pronounce?
  • Perfect for friends who complain a lot
  • Includes fascinating spotlights on terrifying medical phenomena
  • Hardcover; 8 x 10 inches; 192 pages; full-color throughout
release date: Sep 09, 2013
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1,227 Quite Interesting Facts to Blow Your Socks Off

A New York Times Bestseller

From the creators of the hugely popular BBC quiz show QI and the best-selling Book of General Ignorance: 1,227 mind-bending facts.

Did you know?

• Cows moo in regional accents.

• The international dialing code for Russia is 007.

• The water in the mouth of a blue whale weighs more than its body.

• Pants are responsible for twice as many accidents as chain saws.

• Saddam Hussein's bunker was designed by the grandson of the woman who built Hitler's bunker.

• Heroin was originally sold as cough medicine.

1,227 Quite Interesting Facts to Blow Your Socks Off is a trove of the strangest, funniest, and most improbable tidbits of knowledge―all painstakingly researched and distilled to a brilliant and shocking clarity.

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release date: Oct 25, 2016
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The Science of Game of Thrones: From the genetics of royal incest to the chemistry of death by molten gold - sifting fact from fantasy in the Seven Kingdoms
A myth-busting, jaw-dropping, fun-filled tour through the science of your favorite fantastical world.

Award-winning comedian and popular-science writer Helen Keen uncovers the astounding science behind the mystical, blood-soaked world of Game of Thrones, answering questions like: Is it possible to crush a person's head with your bare hands? What really happens when royal families interbreed? Does Cersei have Borderline Personality Disorder? What curious medical disorder does Hodor suffer from? And more.

Join Keen as she investigates wildfire, ice walls, face transplants, and every wild feature of Westeros and beyond, revealing a magical world that may be closer to our own than we think. The Science of Game of Thrones is the ultimate guide to the epic series as well as the perfect gift for science-lovers and fans. So pour yourself a bowl of brown, climb on your beast of burden, and prepare yourself to see the Seven Kingdoms as you have never seen them before.



release date: Nov 03, 2009
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The Physics of Superheroes: More Heroes! More Villains! More Science! Spectacular Second Edition
A complete update to the hit book on the real physics at work in comic books, featuring more heroes, more villains, and more science 

Since 2001, James Kakalios has taught "Everything I Needed to Know About Physics I Learned from Reading Comic Books," a hugely popular university course that generated coast-to-coast media attention for its unique method of explaining complex physics concepts through comics. With The Physics of Superheroes, named one of the best science books of 2005 by Discover, he introduced his colorful approach to an even wider audience. Now Kakalios presents a totally updated, expanded edition that features even more superheroes and findings from the cutting edge of science. With three new chapters and completely revised throughout with a splashy, redesigned package, the book that explains why Spider-Man's webbing failed his girlfriend, the probable cause of Krypton's explosion, and the Newtonian physics at work in Gotham City is electrifying from cover to cover.
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