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Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Only two words needed for this review, MORE PLEASE. If you are a fan of "Myth Busters" or "The Straight Dope" you will love this book. My only possible complaint would be it wasn't long enough, I want more.
What does Wil Wheaton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
I love Wil's reading style he was able to inject just the right amount of sarcasm into the book.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
17 of 18 people found this review helpful
What if we only had a single soul mate. What would the odds be that we actually met that person? Most people realize that the answer is some version of “small.” However, in this book, Munroe tries to calculate an answer, after all, assumptions have been spelled out. For this particular question, the first assumption is that your soulmate is alive at the same time as you - which reduced the pool of potential soul mates from 100 billion to ~10 billion. The next assumption is that we will recognize our soul mate when we see him or her. We can then go on and calculate some preliminary odds based on how many people we tend to look at in our lifetime etc. The answer, in the end, is still just that the odds are very, very small that we will run into our soulmate unless external forces are at work.
This above is just one example out of ~100 questions to which this book provides an answer. Other examples include what would happen if the earth suddenly stopped spinning, but the atmosphere kept moving? What would a mole (6 x 10^23) of moles (the animal) look like, and what would happen to it? What would happen if you had a periodic table with blocks that were actually made up of the elements? Which character in the Star Wars movies has the most power (Is it the Emperor? Yoda? or Luke?).
The author does not hide the fact that he has a wicked sense of humor and that he likes it when things burn, or (better) explode. Indeed, a good proportion of the answers in this book involves the death of a few or a lot of people.
For a science nerd like myself, this was an excellent and funny book. As other reviewers have noted, the mathematics can sometimes be difficult to grasp; however, you usually don’t need to understand the underlying mathematics understand the answer to the different questions. The humor and the fact that you learn lots of facts that are perfect conversation starters (especially if you are a scientist), makes this a thoroughly enjoyable read.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful