Listen to The Ezra Klein Show episodes free, on demand. I’m not usually a fanboy on this podcast, but this episode is the exception.I love the web-comic XKCD. I’ve had prints of it hanging in my house for years. It’s nerdy and humane, curious and kind. And every so often, it’s explosively, crazily creative, in ways that leave me floored. Like the Hugo-award winning “Time,” a 3,099 frame animation that unspooled every hour for over four months. Or the book Thing Explainer, which used only the 1,000 most common words in the English language to explain some of the hardest ideas in the world.XKCD is the work of one person, Randall Munroe, and I’ve wanted to talk with him for years. Now he’s out with a new book, How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems, and I got my chance. The episode covers:- The simple places Munroe draws inspiration for his ideas- The fact that scientists still don’t know how lightning works or why ice is slippery- How pedantry kills creativity- Why aliens probably build suspension bridges like we do- The superpower of refusing to be embarrassed by what you don’t know- How to retain a sense of wonder as you age- Whether the water of Niagra Falls can fit through a straw- How to dig a hole- How a priest in 1590 intuited dozens of scientific discoveries centuries before they were officially discovered- And, most importantly, the best book recommendations I think I’ve ever heard on the showThis one was a pleasure.References: Jimmy Carter’s Voyager letter Book recommendations: Natural and Moral History of the Indies by José de AcostaBecause Internet by Gretchen McCulloch Murmurs of Earth: The Voyager Interstellar Record by Carl Sagan (and others) Want to contact the show? Reach out at email@example.comNews comes at you fast. Join us at the end of your day to understand it. Subscribe to Today, ExplainedLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices. The easiest way to listen to podcasts on your iPhone, iPad, Android, PC, smart speaker – and even in your car. For free. Bonus and ad-free content available with Stitcher Premium.