If you get an invitation from Randall Munroe to go to Rhode Island, say “No, Thank You” and start hoarding food and water*. It’s not that he’s trying to end the world, probably, but he has imagined a scenario that would bring about the end of civilization as we know it. Why would he do that? Because he created one of the most dangerous things in the world – a question box, and he attempts to answer questions with science and math. The answers are so smart, thought provoking and funny, I can only conclude he has some sort of nefarious purpose**.
The simple answers to a lot of the questions are in the No/Nothing/Not Possible spectrum of answers. Those are boring answers though, so Munroe goes several steps beyond – what are the consequences? What if the power were increased, or decreased? What would have to happen for there to be a noticeable result? And herein lies the joy of What If? The answers vary from information you will never need to information upon which your life may depend. In addition to his delightful illustrations, Munroe also has fun with the footnotes. Sure some of the footnotes give you his source, but a footnote in What If? is more likely to tell you Texas has become a Mad Max-esque wasteland***. More importantly, he lets you know where there is room for science and comedy to grow with his  notation.
It doesn’t matter if you have ever wondered whether it’s possible to hit a hockey puck hard enough to throw the goalie into the net (it isn’t) or how much power Yoda puts out (Munroe ignores the prequels for this answer, confirming that he is ONE OF US). What matters is, after reading this I can talk to my bff’s super smart genius children and stump them for a couple more years.
*Rhode Island is nice and some of my favorite people live there. You should visit if someone else invites you.
**Munroe admits he is more interested in explosions and destruction than your personal safety. That said – he will tell you what will kill you, and how horribly you will die.
***Mostly true, but we have tacos, so everything is ok.