How to Build a Lava Moat (with xkcd)

From Minute Physics.

Where to Buy "How To" by Randall Munroe:
· Amazon:
· Barnes and Noble:
· IndieBound:
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· Apple Books:

The world’s most entertaining and useless self-help guide, from the brilliant mind behind the wildly popular webcomic xkcd and the #1 New York Times bestsellers What If? and Thing Explainer

For any task you might want to do, there’s a right way, a wrong way, and a way so monumentally complex, excessive, and inadvisable that no one would ever try it. How To is a guide to the third kind of approach. It’s full of highly impractical advice for everything from landing a plane to digging a hole.

Bestselling author and cartoonist Randall Munroe explains how to predict the weather by analyzing the pixels of your Facebook photos. He teaches you how to tell if you’re a baby boomer or a 90’s kid by measuring the radioactivity of your teeth. He offers tips for taking a selfie with a telescope, crossing a river by boiling it, and powering your house by destroying the fabric of space-time. And if you want to get rid of the book once you’re done with it, he walks you through your options for proper disposal, including dissolving it in the ocean, converting it to a vapor, using tectonic plates to subduct it into the Earth’s mantle, or launching it into the Sun.

By exploring the most complicated ways to do simple tasks, Munroe doesn’t just make things difficult for himself and his readers. As he did so brilliantly in What If?, Munroe invites us to explore the most absurd reaches of the possible. Full of clever infographics and amusing illustrations, How To is a delightfully mind-bending way to better understand the science and technology underlying the things we do every day.


How To (Randall Munroe) – see above for links!

Rock melting points

Syracuse University Researchers Make Lava Using Keweenawan Basalt


Electric Furnace

Large Geothermal Power Plants

Coal Power Plant Capacity

The size of an A19 or A21 Lightbulb

Low melting point Vanadate glass

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Minute Physics provides an energetic and entertaining view of old and new problems in physics — all in a minute!

Created by Henry Reich