Friday, January 27, 2012


Many people have notebooks filled with random doodles and obscure thoughts they have scribbled down during lectures and free time.  The wonder of the Internet is that someone could post these random pieces of whimsy and someday make a living off of them.  Many wish for such a dream.  Randall Monroe of fame made it happen. 

Monroe, a former NASA employee and self-proclaimed math geek, started scanning his journal pages and posting them online in 2005.  His original intent was just to send it to some friend for laughs, but one things led to another, and as can happen on the Net, his site exploded with popularity.  He quit his job at NASA and now lives entirely off the webcomic, which is pretty cool considering the site itself doesn't have advertising.    It does, however, have an online store, which is where I found out there was a book collection.  Even though Monroe tells you straight out in the introduction it's a book full of stuff you can get online for free, it's fun to have on the shelf to randomly flip through. is "a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language." It is, admittedly, not always appropriate, and I sometimes don't appreciate the humor.  It is also at times over my head due to the programming, math and science references - but the ones I do get make me feel so much smarter!  Mostly it's a quirky way of looking at the world, and I love the stick figure vehicle.  It clears away rubble to make way for the sake of simple humor.  I love Monroe's sideways view of the world, even if I don't always agree with his point or his morals.   It's a fun comic to check in on throughout the week, and it's fun to have his book on the shelf to flip through when I need a smile.

xkcd is not for everyone, and it should be read with caution and some screening.  But it's still a fun romp through interesting ideas and quirky truths.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
What's up next: Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge
Top Five TBR:
1. The Confessions of Catherine Medici by C.W. Gortner 
2. To Defy a King by Elizabeth Chadwick
3. Israel: A History by Martin Gilbert
4. Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff
5. Erasing Hell by Francis Chan 

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