Illinois Science Council is thrilled to host Randall Munroe, creator of XKCD, discussing his latest book, "Thing Explainer." From Munroe's blog:
A while ago, I posted the comic Up Goer Five, an annotated blueprint of the Saturn V rocket with all the parts described using only the thousand most common English words.
Today, I’m excited to announce that I’m publishing a collection of large-format (9″x13″) Up Goer Five-style blueprints. The book is full of detailed diagrams of interesting objects, along with explanations of what all the parts are and how they work.
The titles, labels, and descriptions are all written using only the thousand most common English words. Since this book explains things, I’ve called it Thing Explainer.
The diagrams in Thing Explainer cover all kinds of neat stuff—including computer buildings (datacenters), the flat rocks we live on (tectonic plates), the stuff you use to steer a plane (airliner cockpit controls), and the little bags of water you’re made of (cells).
Thing Explainer will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on November 24th. You can preorder it now; click here for links to more information and options.
Or, in the spirit of the book:
I had a good time drawing Up Goer Five, so I decided to draw more pictures like that and make a book of them. The book explains things, so it’s called Thing Explainer.
You can’t have Thing Explainer yet, but if you want, you can order it now, and you’ll get it about a month before the end of the year.
Touch these blue words to learn how to get Thing Explainer.
Can I get my book signed by Randall?
Yes, Randall will sign your copy at the event. When you check in you will receive one copy of the book along with a numbered ticket which will determine the order for the author to sign copies after the program.
Can I get more than one copy of the book?
You will receive one copy with your ticket. Additional copies of "Thing Explainer" (and some of his past books as well) will be available for purchase that evening at 1871 from Seminary Co-Op Bookstore. If you want additional copies before Dec. 10th, order them online.
What are my transport/parking options for this event?
The Brown Line CTA stops at the Merchandise Mart on the second floor. Exit through turnstiles and go towards stairs to the left of the ATM machines. (Pro tip: there is no down escalator on that end of the Mart.) Walk to the main elevator bank in the middle of the building and go to the 12th floor. Turn right from the elevator bank and go down the hall to the large 1871 neon sign.
The #176 LaSalle bus stops 1 block east of the Mart. For other options, check TransitChicago.com.
There is a DIVVY bike stand on the west side of the Merchandise Mart on Orleans St., says the Divvy Map.
Meter parking is limited on the street, but garages (although not cheap) are plentiful. Closest garage to Merchandise Mart is at corner of Kinzie & Wells. Sorry, we cannot offer parking discounts.
Is there an age limit for the event?
ISC events are typically geared towards adults but are open to all ages. However, no one under age 21 will be allowed alcohol beverages whenever such is allowed at any event. Any minor doing so will be arrested and, even worse, banned from ISC events for life.
What is the refund policy? Is my registration/ticket transferrable?
Your ticket (ahem, your registration because we don't do paper tickets) is not refundable. If you find you can't make it, you can give your registration to another. To do so you must email info@IllinoisScience.org, by 6:00pm Wed., Dec. 9, the name and email of the original registration and the name and email of the person it's being transferred to. If you do not show up and do not notify us in advance who will take your place, we cannot guarantee you will get your book. All unclaimed books after one week will be donated to libraries.
Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
No, please don't. We won't take it or even look at it. We don't believe in wasting paper/trees when electrons in a computer will do.
Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?
Really? We missed something? Okay, just email us at info@IllinoisScience.org. If your question is answered somewhere on the site, we may be slow to respond.
Illinois Science Council ("ISC") is an independent 501c3 organization that engages, educates, and entertains the adult public about science, technology, engineering and math in our everyday lives. We showcase the scientists and research of those Chicago-area institutions and companies that make Chicago our nation's true "City of Science." ISC serves as the science & tech complement to the region's arts & culture offerings.
We are inspired and motivated by this Carl Sagan quote: “The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous." Sagan also observed, "We live in a society that is exquisitely dependent upon science and technology in which hardly anyone understands anything about science and technology." ISC is certainly working to change that.
ISC explores all areas of science and technology and we do it with a fun, non-stuffy approach. We don't care what's been forgotten since school (or never learned in the first place). It's simply about continuing to exercise our inexhaustible human sense of curiosity. We create engaging programs open to the public (aimed at adults and accessible to teens) such as hands on chemistry (Chemistry of... Beer, Chocolate, Coffee, Honey, etc), panel discussions on science subjects in the news (Your Brain on Happiness, on Creativity, on Addiction, on Exercise, etc.), author talks, film screenings ("The Atom Smashers"), and more.
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