By ETHAN SIBBETT
Xkcd was meant to be a name without meaning.
Developed as a screen name, Randall Munroe didn’t actually use it but repurposed it as the domain of his comic website http://www.xkcd.com. Beginning as just a daily gag, his comic developed characters, and he has frequently broken from the norm to discuss profound insights or reveal very detailed infographics he has created.
He releases a new comic every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Munroe worked in robotics for NASA during college. Shortly after graduation, NASA didn’t renew his contract, so he started working on his comics full-time. The comic developed popularity rapidly, finding its niche among scientists and physics-lovers.
Munroe grew to support himself on income from xkcd merchandise. He also developed a blog on which he answers absurd scientific questions.
For example, “What if we drained the oceans and dropped the water on Mars?”
Answer: The Netherlands would take over Mars.
Munroe later published a collection of many of these questions and some additional content in a book titled “What If?” that brought him much of his recognition. He has moved on to publish “Thing Explainer,” in which he explained concepts like how rockets (thing-goer-uppers) work using only the most common 1000 words. Munroe has also worked on several side open-source programming projects, like Robot9000 that prevents repetition in chats.
A hilarious, insightful and creative look at life, Munroe’s work is perfect for science lovers, philosophers and anyone who appreciates unique perspectives. 11 stars out of five!