Monday, January 05, 2015

A Thousand What Ifs

Went book shopping with the BFF. I had to resist all urges to buy everything interesting. There's still that never-diminishing pile of unread books at home. Plus I did buy a few titles from Barnes and Noble in the US. The BFF went off on her dive trip accompanied by Randall Munroe's 'What If'. (Reviews here, here and here.)

We're huge fans of xkcd. I want it too! But she called dibs. It'd rather silly to buy another hard copy. Since I won't see her till late January, an e-copy was bought. Kekekeke. Will steal her copy to flip through later. Clearly, this sort of book isn't good for someone with my kind of tendencies. Like sleeping in jeans if I don't feel secure enough in a hotel room. I love logistics because I don't just consider Plan B or C. I go all the way to H. So this book probably fans all paranoia. Hahahaha.

It's full of acience and fun. Questions are fairly cool and sometimes silly. The answers are hilarious and serious. Heh. There are Questions about "How much physical space does the Internet take up?", "What if you strapped C4 to a boomerang? Could this be an effective weapon, or would it be as stupid as it sounds?", "What temperature would a chainsaw (or other cutting implement) need to be at to instantly cauterize any injuries inflicted with it?", "How much Force power can Yoda output?", etc. Each Question or two makes a chapter. What an absolutely fun read that I didn't have to finish in one sitting and could just flip it in between completing other books.

On the chapter titled 'Spent Fuel Pool', Jonathan Bastien-Filiatrault asks, "What if I took a swim in a typical spent nuclear fuel pool? Would I need to dive to actually experience a fatal amount of radiation? How long could I stay safely at the surface?" Apparently, it's okay to swim around a pool but not dive to the bottom or pick up anything. Love how the chapter ended in typical xkcd style.

But just to be sure, I got in touch with a friend of mine who works at a research reactor, and asked him what he thought would happen to someone who tried to swim in their radiation containment pool. 
"In our reactor?" He thought about it for a moment. "You'd die pretty quickly, before reaching the water, from gunshot wounds."


D said...

Happy New Year to you!

Sounds like a fun book that I'd enjoy too!

imp said...

Have a good one this year too, you three! Kinda geeky, kinda crazy funny. Go read it!