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What’s the fastest way to get a human being around a racetrack, if we ignore all the rules of racing? How many pages would you have to read to absorb all of the government laws that apply to you? It’s hard to imagine a better person to tackle these kinds of slightly-askew questions than Randall Munroe, creator of the xkcd webcomic. He collected some answers in his book What If?, and has released a sequel, What If? 2. We dive into how one goes about choosing the right questions and answering them, and how to make it funny along the way.
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Randall Munroe received a degree in physics from Christopher Newport University, before working for a while at NASA’s Langley Research Center. He is now the creator of xkcd and the author of several books. What If? and What If? 2 are based on a regular feature in which he tackles questions asked by readers.