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From the bestselling author of What If? – the man who created xkcd and explained the laws of science with cartoons – comes a series of brilliantly simple diagrams that show how important things work: from the nuclear bomb to the biro. In Thing Explainer, Randall Munroe explains things using only drawings and a vocabulary of just our 1,000 (or the ten hundred) most common words.Many of the things we use every day – like our food-heating radio boxes (‘microwaves’), our very tall roads (‘bridges’), and our computer rooms (‘datacentres’) – are strange to us. So are 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? And what would happen if we heated them up, cooled them down, pointed them in a different direction, or pressed this button? Funny, interesting, and always understandable, this book is for anyone – age 5 to 105 – who has ever wondered how things work, and why. Randall is on a rare visit to the UK and we are over the moon to welcome him to Ely.