Randall Munroe and Ryan North talk Thing Explainer

Last December, Randall Munroe of xkcd had a book signing for his latest, Thing Explainer, a book that tells you how things work in the simplest way possible (by using only his list of 1,000 words). Along with Munroe, Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics was there to introduce and interview. Some takeaways:
  1. 1.
    Randall Munroe wrote a tool using Emacs to check if he used a word that was not in his list of ten hundred words [that people use most].
  2. 2.
    There are 118 elements and 4 are named after Ytterby in Sweden; so basically 3% of all reality is named after a Scandinavian town.
  3. 3.
    Ryan North’s hack to speak the ten hundred words list is to use 1-beat (syllable) words; note: this will also make you sound like a robot.
  4. 4.
    We’re all just machines that make clothes smell worse.
  5. 5.
    Randall Munroe was banned from the Library of Congress website; fact: he had never been kicked out of a library before.
  6. 6.
    Let go of your anxiety of trying to not look or sound stupid; allow yourself to be stupid and let people help you!