Book review 12) Thing Explainer

Hi,

Cover of the book Thing Explainer

Randall Munroe is a great guy. Creator of XKCD (totally free nerd comics) and the author of What If which you can also read on the internet maybe only some parts… Now one day about two weeks ago I noticed in our school library that they bought his “new” book Thing Explainer. I wanted to buy it earlier but I found out that it costs like almost two new books and was quite discouraged (and I did not have the money anyway). So for some reason the people in the library bought it and I have read it in few days.


Book: Thing Explainer

Author: Randall Munroe

Genre: Science

Pages: dunno

Rating: 10/10


Thing Explainer is a book that explaines complicated stuff in simple words, simple means ten hundred most used words. Great idea I admit. Randall says that when he was younger he purposefully used complicated words so that nobody thought about him, that he did not know them, but in this book he does not need to care about it.

Inside you can find explanations of: Saturn V (Up Goer Five), Keyhole (Shape Checker), Periodic table, Sun, Washing maschine, Car and many many more. There are I think two or three double pages which extend the books already giantic size to double and the page about Skyscraper (Sky toucher) is of the format A2

1000 words is not much. Most technical terms do not exist and even if you know them IRL (in real life) you may find yourself wondering what some things mean. “Fire water” took me some time indeed. Or helium is “kind of air that makes your voice funny”.

Basically there is no objection from me, hopefully the author will write 2nd part since there is lot of stuff outhere that still needs to be covered!


Here is in the same style Einstein and Theory of Relativit explained.
Here is Up Goer Five.

This video is from Minute Physics about getting to space:

Dragallur

XKCD

Hi,
again, it is kind of late so today I will only share with you some cool XKCD pictures and next post will probably be about our asteroid exploration which has 2 major news.


Meteorite Identification

Not the best one but surely up-to-date.

Superzoom

Yeah cameras are great 😉

Pyramid Honey

Thats how conspiracy is created.

To everyone who responds to everything by saying they've 'lost their faith in humanity': Thanks--I'll let humanity know. I'm sure they'll be crushed.

Dragallur

All comics are from XKCD site, thanks Randall

Tug of war: How to kill yourself!

Hi,
today we had some program with whole school. It involved costumes on specific themes and also contests. One of the contests was tug of war.


Our school is fairly small compared to ones in USA, we have only 360 people. Some were not there of course so we can speak about three teams each with 100 people. There were even very small kids (10 years old) so the force was not so great, but then again.. 100 people on each side we could excert force of about 500 kilograms I would guess. At first I though the rope would snap immediately, but it was climbing rope and after I searched at home, the rope would probably survive force ten time great.. uff, we are lucky that they chose such rope!

So it did not snap.. in the first match we lost but we did not hear that it ended and thought the second team was just growing weaker so we pushed harder. At the point they were not holding it tightly at the end (it was long rope). The rope accelerated a lot and it burned their hands.. the same thing happened to us for the second time. I have little white one finger, but it is ok. When I came home I decided to search something about tug of war..


 

When two large teams pull the rope, it stores tremendous amount of energy. When one team just let the rope hang not very tightly the other team will burn their skin off their hands. And they are actually very lucky!

Why? Well the rope can snap, and this does very bad things because this energy is released at the same time.

Let me give you some examples how dangerous tug of war may be with lot of people:

In 1997 in Taipei there was some celebration of 52nd anniversary. Of course they had to take over 1,600 people into that game. So many people excerted force of 80,000 kilograms while the 5 centimeter nylon rope was able to withstand only 26,000 kilograms! Guess what! The rope snapped!

When snapped, the energy was released in what is called: sheer rebounding force. It tore off whole arm of two closest man. Seriously.

In 1995, first time one man wrapped the rope around his hand, it tore his hand off again. In the same year, 650 people participated in match with nylon rope. Again but worse this time, as the rope whipped back, it instantly killed 9 year old kid..


Just for you to know when someone decides to create huge tug of war match, stop him!

Dragallur

Check out these pages for more info: 1) 2) 3)