This surprised me so much (because it seems like the sort of thing everyone I follow on Twitter would already have shared) that I searched on Twitter to find the mentions of it that I must have missed. I didn't find anything for that talk but discovered that he's doing another one on the 6th of November - possibly there are more to be found.
5 November - Ri - Royal Institution
6 November - Union Chapel / Intelligence Squared
What if? Serious scientific answers to absurd hypothetical questions
Wednesday November 5, 2014 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm | Royal Institution
21 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, London W1S 4BS
020 7409 2992 / firstname.lastname@example.org
What would happen if the Earth’s rotation were sped up until a day only lasted one second? How far would a tungsten countertop descend if I dropped it into the Sun? Has humanity produced enough paint to cover the entire land area of the Earth?
Randall Munroe has been answering absurd questions with serious scientific answers on his website and now is bringing the best together in this talk.
His book ‘What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions’ will be published 2 September. Get your book and ticket to the event for the special price of £20.
Randall Munroe on Answering the Unanswerable
Thursday November 6 2014 @ 7pm | Union Chapel, Islington
Union Chapel, Compton Avenue, London, N1 2XD
What would happen if you hit a baseball moving at 90% of the speed of light?
How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live?
If there was a robot apocalypse, how long would humanity last?
These are the kind of questions that people ask Randall Munroe. A former NASA roboticist, Munroe is the creator of the webcomic phenomenon XKCD. Tens of millions of followers visit XKCD every week to view Munroe’s cartoons of stick-like figures musing on science, technology, language, and love. The website was chosen by Wired as one of the 20 key influences of the last 20 years alongside Steve Jobs and online dating.
Munroe attempts to answer his fans’ many questions on his What If? blog using computer simulations, declassified military research memos, differential equations, nuclear reactor operators – and cartoons. His answers are masterpieces of clarity and wit, and often predict the complete annihilation of humankind, or at least a really big explosion.
Munroe has now published a book, What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, which contains new never-before-answered questions, along with updated versions of the most popular answers from the XKCD website. The book has just been launched in the US and the UK where it soared straight to number 1 on the bestseller lists, selling nearly twice as many copies as its nearest rival.
On November 6th, on a rare flying visit to London, Munroe will be appearing on the Intelligence Squared stage where he will answer the questions you probably never thought to ask.
Don’t miss your chance to hear him and get a copy of the book signed by the XKCD creator in person.