Randall Munroe cares. That's the crux of the matter. At least, he cares enough to find out the answer(s), no heed paid to how unlikely the scenario under scrutiny.
He's not like those scientists who roll their eyes, snicker, then fob you off with a 'that would never happen, coz no-one would attempt such a thing' or 'that breaks the Laws of Physics'.
Randall doesn't underestimate humanity's propensity to run with the ridiculous and embrace the absurd. He lives online, where the internet proves endlessly that if it can be conceived, some idiot somewhere will attempt it.
And if the hypothesis posed breaks the Laws of Physics, he'll say so, then work out the nearest equivalent to whatever was imagined that doesn't involve breaking the known universe.
Which is why we ask him our scientific 'What If?' questions. Falling over ourselves in a bid to out-do any of our peers in coming up with the most outlandish possible hypothetical situation to ever tax a logical mind. Then sitting back in gleeful anticipation, knowing that the answer will be hilarious and strangely informative.
Now Randall has collected together some of the highlights - and added a whole lot more, with over half being brand new content, never before published on the internet. Is it any wonder that his book shot right to the top of the Amazon best-seller list as soon as it was launched?
A classic before it even left the print shop.