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Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words

From the creator of the webcomic xkcd and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller What If?, a series of brilliantly—and simply!—annotated blueprints that explain everything from nuclear bombs to ballpoint pens Have you ever tried to read up on some incredible part of the world, only to find yourself faced with incomprehensible terminology and jargon? It’s nice to know what the parts of a thing are called, but it’s even more interesting to know what they do. What if you had something that could clearly explain it all using simple words? Thing Explainer, by Randall Munroe, does just that. Using line drawings and only the thousand (or, rather, “ten hundred”) most common words, he provides simple explanations for some of the world’s most interesting things: our food-heating radio boxes (microwaves), our very tall roads (bridges), and our computer buildings (datacenters). He also explains the other worlds around our sun (the solar system), the big flat rocks we live on (tectonic plates), and even the stuff inside us (cells). Where do these things come from? How do they work? What do they look like if you open them up? What would life be like without them? And what would happen if we heated them up, cooled them down, pointed them in a different direction, or pressed this button? In Thing Explainer, Munroe gives us the answers to these questions and so many more. Funny, interesting, and always understandable, this book is for anyone—age 5 to 105—who has ever wondered how things work, and why.