See an Exclusive ‘Self-Portrait’ From the Creator of XKCD
Nolan Feeney @NolanFeeney
Aug. 29, 2014
Munroe has fun with the formulas for angular momentum of a spinning object (top) and centripetal force (bottom).Randall Munroe for TIME
The webcomic's science series, What If?, is now a book
For the past two years, xkcd creator Randall Munroe has been answering fantastical science questions for his popular webcomic’s sister site, What If?. In the new issue of TIME, Munroe talks about turning the project into a book (What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, hitting shelves Sept. 2) and how he conducts his investigations into topics like jetpacks and dinosaur nutrition.
“I try to be entertaining in the way I share them, but my real motivation with each question is that I want to know the answer,” Munroe says. “Once a question gets into my head, it will keep bugging me until I figure out the answer, whether I’m writing an article about it or not.”
Though Munroe says he uses stick-figures for xkcd and What If?because he’s “not very good at drawing,” we asked him to draw a self-portrait anyway — at least, as much of a self-portrait as you can get using only stick-figures. In the exclusive illustration above, also on newsstands now, Munroe has fun with the formulas for angular momentum of a spinning object (top) and centripetal force (bottom).
---A stick figure is a very simple drawing of a person or animal, composed of a few lines, curves, and dots. In a stick figure, the head is represented by a circle, sometimes embellished with details such aseyes, mouth or crudely scratched-out hair. The arms, legs and torso are all represented by straight lines. Details such as hands, feet and a neck may be present or absent, and the simpler stick figures display an ambiguous emotional expression.
A stick figure showing eyes and a mouth.
inviting Imagination Playground
A few years ago, Mr. Rockwell, best known for his festive designs for theatrical sets, hotels and restaurants like Nobu and Emeril’s, decided to create what he considered a more inviting play space in Lower Manhattan, where he lives. In partnership with the Department of Parks and Recreation, he developed plans for a figure-8-shaped playground at Burling Slip that would feature molded foam blocks, ramps, water and sand along with trained “play associates” to look after the parts and help the children interact with them.
Mr. Rockwell called the space Imagination Playground, although, he said recently, his daughter, Lola, 6, thought it should be Peanut Playground, given the shape. (It will be completed in the summer of 2009.)
Pronunciation: /ˈɪnvʌɪt /
An invitation:no one turns down an invite to one of Mickey’s parties
invite (ENCOURAGE) Show phonetics
to act in a way which causes or encourages something to happen or someone to believe or feel something:
Behaving provocatively in class is just inviting trouble.
Such a badly presented exhibition invites criticism.
inviting Show phonetics
1 If someone or something is inviting, they encourage you to feel welcome or attracted:
The room looked cosy and inviting.
an inviting smile
2 attractive in a way that causes unpleasant results:
Companies saddled with high debt have become inviting targets for cash-rich competitors.
invitingly Show phonetics
invitation Show phonetics
noun [C or U]
Leaving your house unlocked is an open (= clear) invitation to burglars.