Math and science-themed webcomic xkcd isn’t just entertaining, it’s educational.
And while cartoonist Randall Munroe may illustrate his strips with crudely drawn stick figures, nobody will deny the former NASA roboticist’s scientific expertise.
Still, there’s only so much one can explain in a short comic strip. That’s the reason sites like explainxkcd exist—to add context to his more complex jokes. So on Tuesday, Munroe expanded his repertoire to include an explanatory blog for science questions. He wrote:
“People get in debates with their friends—stuff like ‘what would happen if someone threw a baseball at nearly the speed of light?’ or ‘how many velociraptors would it take to kill <fictional creature>’—and for whatever reason, they decide to email me about it. Puzzling over these questions is a lot of fun, and so I've decided to set up a blog to collect and try to answer them.”
As of the announcement, Munroe had already tackled two reader questions: What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light? and What if everyone who took the SAT guessed on every multiple-choice question?
This is not the first time Munroe has drawn on his knowledge as a scientist for more than telling jokes. He’s toured the lecture circuit, even stopping by the Googleplex at Mountain View. Some of his more serious infographics, including one that explained nuclear radiation exposure, have been reprinted in the Guardian and the New York Times.
Munroe said the blog will be updated each Tuesday. Readers are welcome to submit questions by clicking a button at the bottom of the page.
Illustration via Randall Munroe