Using serious math to answer weird questions: Randall Munroe at TED2014

Originally posted on TED Blog:

Randall Munroe. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Randall Munroe. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Cartoonist (and former NASA roboticist) Randall Munroe illustrates the questions that keep you (or at least him) up at night. Whether that’s “What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light?” or “How much of the Earth’s currently-existing water has ever been turned into a soft drink at some point in its history?” he’s got you covered.

On the TED2014 stage, the mind behind the webcomic xkcd — which might be the only comic with a haiku made of code, the sub-title “drawn during an endless NASA lecture,” the directive “What Would Escher Do?”, or (finally!) the extra-credit question for the Turing test — explains the one question from a reader that really stumped him.

“If all digital data were stored on punch cards, how big would Google’s data warehouse be?”…

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