This is an index of Randall Munroe's xkcd, A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.

The table can be sorted by clicking on the headers

TitleDateDescription
Barrel - Part 1 2006-01-01 [[A boy sits in a barrel which is floating in an ocean.]] Boy: I wonder where I'll float next? [[The barrel drifts into the distance. Nothing else can be seen.]] {{Alt: Don't we all.}}
Petit Trees (sketch) 2006-01-01 [[Two trees are growing on opposite sides of a sphere.]] {{Alt-title: 'Petit' being a reference to Le Petit Prince, which I only thought about halfway through the sketch}}
Island (sketch) 2006-01-01 [[A sketch of an Island]] {{Alt:Hello, island}}
Landscape (sketch) 2006-01-01 [[A sketch of a landscape with sun on the horizon]] {{Alt: There's a river flowing through the ocean}}
Blown apart 2006-01-01 [[A black number 70 sees a red package.]] 70: hey, a package! [[The package explodes with a <> and a red cloud of smoke.]] [[There are a red 7, a green 5 and a blue 2 lying near a scorched mark on the floor.]] {{alt text: Blown into prime factors}}
Irony 2006-01-01 Narrator: When self-reference, irony, and meta-humor go too far Narrator: A CAUTIONARY TALE Man 1: This statement wouldn't be funny if not for irony! Man 1: ha ha Man 2: ha ha, I guess. Narrator: 20,000 years later... [[desolate badlands landscape with an imposing sun in the sky]] {{It's commonly known that too much perspective can be a downer.}}
Girl sleeping (Sketch -- 11th grade Spanish class) 2006-01-01 [[Girl sleeping on her side, facing away from view]]
Red spiders 2006-01-01 [[Many red spiders standing on and hanging from cuboids. The cuboids hang in the air with no visible means of support.]] {{They are six-legged spiders}}
Serenity is coming out tomorrow 2006-01-01 [[Several stick figures stand side by side in a lineup. A forlorn male in a coat, a male with combed hair, a male with spiky hair and arms outstretched enthusiastically, a female with long hair and cornrows, a shorter female with stringy hair falling over her face, an enthusiastic female with arms raised in celebration with shorter hair, a male with short hair and a goatee, a female with curly hair wearing a dress, and a stern-looking man with flyaway hair. There is no dialogue.]] {{Alt: Mal, Simon, Wash, Zoe, River, Kaylee, Jayne, Inara, Book.}}
Pi Equals 2006-01-01 Pi = 3.141592653589793helpimtrappedinauniversefactory7108914...
Barrel - Part 2 2006-01-01 [[A boy sits in a barrel which is floating in an ocean.]] Boy: None of the places i floated had mommies. {{Alt: Awww.}}
Poisson 2006-01-01 [[A stick figure says to another black-hat-wearing figure.]] Man: I'm a poisson distribution! Man: Still a poisson distribution. Hat Guy: What the hell, man. Why do you keep saying that? Man: Because I'm totally a poisson distribution. Hat Guy: I'm less than zero. [[Man is gone; Hat Guy is whistling.]] {{alt text: Poisson distributions have no value over negative numbers}}
Canyon 2006-01-01 [[Two men are standing at some kind of cliff edge]] Man 1: What time is it? Man 2: Now. [[Full scene is revealed: the men are standing at the edge of a huge canyon in a rocky, barren landscape. A pock-marked moon and a ringed planet are visible in the burgundy-coloured sky]] Man 1: That's a pretty boring answer. Man 2: Is not. Man 2: It's the least boring answer imaginable. {{Alt text: They're standing at the lip of the canyon, which isn't clear at all.}}
Copyright 2006-01-01 [[Colored drawing of a hilly grassy landscape, stick figure leaning against a tree.]] Man: Sometimes I just can't get outraged over copyright law {{Alt: After reading Slashdot and BoingBoing, sometimes I have to go outside.}}
Just Alerting You 2006-01-01 [[There is a man standing on top of a dinosaur (Brontosaurus?) and holding reins to the dinosaurs head.]] Man: Before you talk to me, I should warn you: I am kind of strange {{title text: Just thought you should know}}
Monty Python -- Enough 2006-01-01 Character #1 [[Raising his hands]]: We are the knights who say... Ni!! Two guys and a girl: hahaha [[written]] Does anyone else find it funny that decades later, people are still groting --word-for-word-- a group loved for its mastery of shock, the unexpected and defiance of cocnvention? [[Two guys looking at a third]] Third guy: We are the knights who... Oh, God, I'm so sorry [[Close up to Third guy's face]] Third guy: So sorry the car just came too fast and [[Words crumpled inside the panel, there's barely enough space for the third guy]] Third guy: She was right there and I sasw her and then it was a blur and so much I ran to help didn't know she wasn't moving I'm so sorry ... so sorry [[Same two guys looking again at the third guy]] Third guy: Anyway, yeah, knights who say "Ni". [[Written centered, in markee format]] Honor < u> Monty Python: Promote surreal humor. {{Tag: I went to a dinner where there was a full 10 minutes of Holy Grail quotes exchanged w...}}
What If 2006-01-01 [[A large black circle with white bubbles inside it, filled with hearts, question marks, and stick figure couples]] What if this isn't everything it should be? I'm not even sure how I feel What if I'm making a mistake? {{Title text: I once made an anniversary card for my then-girlfriend with this layout.}}
Snapple 2006-01-01 {{Author's Comment: This one is entirely James' fault.}} [[Two guys are standing and talking.]] Right Guy: Here, take a bite of this Snapple. Left Guy: food! [[Guy on the right takes a bite]] Right Guy: Ow! What is this? <> Left Guy: It's an apple infused with tin. [[The two guys continue to stand as if frozen]] {{Author's Comment: Those of you who know your periodic table should be laughing right about now.}} {{Title Text: Sn= tin}}
George Clinton 2006-01-01 Narrator: I once tried to start the urban legend that George Clinton has a B.A. in mathematics [[George Clinton indicates equations on a blackboard]] Narrator: ...but I wanted it to be true so badly that I started believing it myself. {{Title text: I still wish it were true.}}
Ferret 2006-01-01 [[A ferret with airplane wings on it]] Friend: Why on earth did you make those wings? You don't seriously think they could let your ferret fly, right? Guy: I... of course not. Guy: That would be pretty dumb. It's just, uh... ...a Halloween costume. Friend: oh, okay. Friend: Besides, who would want a pet to fly anyway? Guy: Yeah. Pretty lame, huh? Friend: Anyway, let's go play video games. [[Friend leaves]] [[Friend is gone, and Guy is looking at ferret]] [[Guy imagines ferret flying over the ocean near the beach using his makeshift wings]] {{title text: My brother had a ferret he loved which died since I drew this strip. RIP.}}
Kepler 2006-01-01 [[ Two people stand in an aisle in a store ]] Person 1: Nice store. How do you keep the floors so clean? Person 2: Oh, we hired this dude named Kepler, he's really good hard worker. Doesn't mind the monotony. Sweeps out the same area every night. {{ alt: Science joke. You should probably just move along. }}
Barrel - Part 3 2006-01-01 [[Large vortex, spinning water covers the whole panel. A boy in a floating barrel is near the edge, apparently about to be sucked in.]] Boy: Wow! {{alt text: A whirlpool!}}
T-shirts 2006-01-01 [[A collection of phrases on T-shirts]] I see dumb people As a matter of fact the world DOES revolve around me I can only please one person per day today is not your day. You know what your problem is? You're stupid. Get a clue Do I look like a people person? Your village called they want their idiot back Go away I hate you all DIE. Help. Maybe if this T-shirt is witty enough, someone will finally love me. Oh God I'm so alone {{Alt: It's depressing how many of these are real shirts}}
Godel, Escher, Kurt Halsey 2006-01-01 Drawn during an unending NASA lecture. [[Two people are talking, one in a hat.]] Hatless: it's just so hard to compare kids now with kids in the past. you can't help but to belong to one group or the other. Hatless: and of course every generation seems awful to the one before it. look at quotes from throughout history. Hatted: yeah, and it sure would be nice to have some perspective on some of this stuff. I just don't know what to make of it. [[Circles are appearing--maybe snow?]] Hatless: i guess you do what you can to help the people around you and hope it turns out okay. Hatless: in the end, what else can you do? Hatted: lead a crusade? [[We can no longer see the people, just the circles.]] it's presentism, man. the idea that historical context is irrelevant, that we understand it all that we need take no warnings from the follies of the past. that we're facing something new. socrates couldn't imagine the internet. but people don't change. [[We can start to see the corner of a darker circle in the lower right.]] ((The borders between the three panels on this line are cracking.)) have you seen those collections of historical pornography? talk about historical context. did you know the first porn photo was bestial in [[inside a circle:]] nature? at least that stuff was out of the mainstream [[each word in one circle:]] no just in history ((the three panels have merged into one on each row.)) i don't know about you, but [[circled]] I [[uncircled]] never even once seen [[The circles are highly variable in size now, and pressed up against a larger one on the right side.]] [[There is mass of circles of different sizes, with some dark fissures in between, against the side of a large circle which we can see part of in the right half of the panel. They look like cells. There's a tiny square in the center of the giant cell.]] [[We see only the tiny square, centered. It has a few marks inside it.]] [[Closer, the square is divided into rectangles of different sizes, each of which has text in it.]] [[Much closer, we can see fragments of the text. Some are sideways, some are cut off, some are too small to read.]] machine language translated by principles of isomorphism it is a consequence of the Church-Turing thesis that ... but how do you select the channel you wish to se- thou ... shou ... palin ... stri ... it is a ... crab ... [[Closer still, we can just see a huge sideways s and h.]] [[Those letters are faded and mixed with a faded version of the next panel.]] girls take boys away ... never be further than a phone call and a goosebumped shiver away ... drove all night listening to mix tapes ... the past is just practice [[There is a heart at the bottom and, in the lower left, the name Kurt.]] [[The same as the previous panel, but with the words blurred out to scribbles.]] [[Jagged, shaded shapes and strands start to fall. Faint panel borders appear again. There is a person on the far right.]] ((Back to three panels per row.)) [[A man and woman are standing amid the fragments.]] Man: There's too much. And so little feels important. [[The jagged edge of the shaded area is encroaching on the sides of the panel.]] What do you do? [[We see them from farther away through a rough hole in the shaded area. Bits continue to fall around them.]] [[She takes his hand.]] {{Title text: I love the idea here, though of course it's not a great-quality drawing or scan.}}
Barrel - Part 4 2006-01-01 [[The barrel is shown, floating sideways in a choppy sea. The boy can not be seen]] {{title text: :( }}
Fourier 2006-01-01 [[ Person talks on phone. Cat with many sharp points looks on. ]] Person on phone: Hi, Dr. Elizabeth? Yeah, uh ... I accidentally took the Fourier transform of my cat ... Cat: Meow! {{alt-text: That cat has some serious periodic components}}
Meat Cereals 2006-01-01 [[A collection of fictional meat based cereals]] Pork Loops Mice Krispies Hammios Frosted Bacon Flakes Scrapple Jacks Honey Bunches of Goats {{Alt: Disgusting}
Elefino 2006-01-01 Q: What do you get when you cross an Elephant with a Rhino? [[Picture of elephant, mathematical addition symbol, picture of rhino, equals sign, large question mark]] A: I haven't a goddamn clue. [[The correct answer to the joke is given in the title text]] {{title text: Hell if I know}}
Hitler 2006-01-01 Learning about the Holocaust has really shaken my belief in God. You know, as a young man, Hitler was rejected from art school. Yeah... shame he didn't get in Well, have you seen any of his paintings? They're awful. Defy all rules of composition. What are you suggesting? Maybe there is a god, but he's a real art lover. This is why I don't go out in public with you. {{Alt text: So he's saying that God thought Hitler's art was so bad that the Holocaust was an acceptable alternative. It's no secret that the hat guy is closely based on Aram, from Men in Hats.}}
Donner 2006-01-01 [[Three people stand in the foyer of a restaurant. A sign above the entryway reads "JOE'S" and there is a menu next to it. In front of the entryway, there's a host behind a podium. A sign on the podium reads "EAT IN".]] Host: Donner, party of four? Man: Actually, never mind. Woman: We're full. {{title text: Some people haven't heard of the Donner Party. They were pioneers who got stranded and likely resorted to cannibalism.}}
Barrel - Part 5 2006-01-01 [[Boy floating on barrel in ocean]] [[Zoomed out view of boy floating on barrel in ocean]] [[Ferret with airplane wings and tail above the ocean]] [[The empty ocean]] [[Flying ferret carrying the boy to safety]] [[Ocean with ferret carrying boy in distance, sun on the horizon]] {{title text: Too good not to happen.}}
Pillar 2006-01-01 This one is mostly by my little brother, Doug. [[Person on a tall pillar is talking to person on the group]] Person on pillar: The sky is so blue, and all the leaves are green. Person on ground: Haven' t you ever wondered if we really see the same colors as everyone else? It's all perception. Person on pillar: Well, you might as well call into question all of human experience. Who really knows what world someone else sees? Person on ground: Yeah, I guess. Person on pillar: Anyway, can you help me down from this pole? Person on ground: What pole? {{Title Text: A comic by my brother Doug, redrawn and rewritten by me}}
Self-reference 2006-01-01 [[Guy standing alone]] Guy: I promise never to never again squeeze humor out of self-reference. [[Guy standing alone]] [[Guy standing alone]] Guy: God dammit. {{title text: I think about self-reference a lot. Example: this comment.}}
Flowers 2006-01-01 [[A sketch of flowers, drawn in red and green]]
Sheep 2006-01-01 Heading: Another from my high-school notebooks. [[A sheep and a potted saguaro cactus linked by an arcing yellow electricity bolt, drawn on graph paper]] {{title text: I think it's the sheep zapping the cactus and not vice-versa}}
Scientists 2006-01-01 In what scientists are calling "pretty gay," I can't find my shoes. {{ alt: A leading expert characterized the situation as 'retarded' }}
Hyphen 2006-01-01 {{Headline: My hobby: whenever calls something an [adjective]-ass [noun], I mentally move the hyphen one word to the right.}} [[One man is talking to another about a car that resembles a Volkswagen Beetle]] Man: Man, that's a sweet ass-car. {{Title text: I do this constantly}}
Apple Jacks 2006-01-01 [[Father is standing holding a bowl of Scrapple Jacks in his hand. Son is sitting on the floor playing video games.]] Father: Hey, these don't taste like apples! Son: Fuck off, dad. {{alt text: There used to be these ads, see . . .}}
Bowl 2006-01-01 [[A boy is glaring at a model sailing ship floating in a bowl of water.]] Boy: Sooner or later, my friend, one of us will run out of time. {{Alt: For the moment it's a standoff}}
Light 2006-01-01 [[A crowd of figures stand around in the dark. One figure is illuminated by a beam of light.]] In a dark and confusing world, you burn brightly. I never feel lost. {{Alt-text: Like a beacon.}}
Old Drawing 2006-01-01 [[A tree holding a chainsaw over a recently cut-down tree.]] I found this in one of my high-school notebooks. I think I drew it just to take revenge on people snooping through my stuff. Cut-down tree: WELL, YOU STUMPED ME... {{I don't want to talk about it}}
Geico 2006-01-01 I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by threatening my agent with a golf club. {{title text: David did this}}
Red Spiders 2 2006-01-01 [[Red spiders, with round appendages at the end of each of their six legs, are seen navigating an environment of blocks and other geometric constructions]] {{title text: This was actually drawn years before Red Spiders}}
Love 2006-01-01 [[A man and a woman stand facing one another]] Man: I love you! Woman: I love you! Man: I love you more! Woman: Yeah. [[A man and a woman stand facing one another - saying nothing.]] {{Alt-text: This one makes me wince every time I think about it}}
Schrodinger 2006-01-04 [[Label: Schrödinger's Comic]] [[Two figures standing, one with a black hat]] The last panel of this comic is both funny and not funny at the same time. Until you read it, there's no way to tell which it will end up being. Shit. {{alt: There was no alt-text until you moused over}}
Secrets 2006-01-06 I just want you to share in my secrets [[lonely looking girl staring down]] and not run away {{alt: I'm a big fan of Kurt Halsey}}
Counter-Red Spiders 2006-01-09 [[A stack of stick figures, standing on each others shoulders extends from the bottom of the frame to the top. Cuboids hang in the air]] The counter-red-spider offensive begins ... {{title text: I hope we can stop them}}
Found 2006-01-12 [[A male and female stick figure are standing on a white hill (presumably snow) with a grey sky covered with thick streaks of white, and small pink dots]] we are just two people who found each other {{No more, no less}}
Want 2006-01-14 I want to be brave enough to tell you how I feel. I want to say "I love you" _before_ I hang up the phone for once. I want to drive all night with you, listening to mix tapes, not caring where we end up. Oh, and I also really want to get with your sister. I mean, DAMN. {{title text: Well, she's pretty hot.}}
Penny Arcade 2006-01-17 Tycho: You know what? If you've never played the 1995 SNES RPG 'Seiken Densetsu' don't even _bother_ reading today's strip. We don't _need_ your kind here. {{title text: Of course, Penny Arcade has already mocked themselves for this. They don't care.}}
Malaria 2006-01-18 [[People wearing party hat, a discarded balloon to the side]] We had a malaria party, but it turned out not to be very much fun. {{title text: The malaria party was David's idea.}}
Secret Worlds 2006-01-21 [[Pieces of a quote in circles with lines drawn in between them]] [[Some of the circles are small and colored]] "Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people in the whole world I mean everybody No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside Inside they've all got unimaginable magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing, worlds Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands, maybe." --Neil Gaiman Sandman
Hobby 2006-01-23 {{My hobby:}} When the police bust drug hideouts, I sneak in and hide. Then I jump out and startle them into shooting me so they lose points. [[A dead body on the ground in a pool of blood, with "-100" over it]] {{Alt: The only one of these games I really played was Area 51)}}
Science 2006-01-25 [[Graph of cosmic microwave background radiation: Y axis is energy density, X axis is frequency in GHz. Energy density peaks at 160.4GHz]] I(f) = ((2hf^3) (c^2))(1 (((hf) (e^kT))-1)) SCIENCE. It works, bitches. {{title text: Bonus point if you can identify the science in question}}
Useless 2006-01-27 [[Different mathematic equations, all with heart on left side, and all equal question mark. Equations are as follows: Square root of heart equals question mark Cosinus of heart equals question mark Derivative of heart with respect to x equals question mark Identity matrix of heart equals question mark Fourier transform of heart equals question mark]] My normal approach is useless here {{alt text: Even the identity matrix doesn't work normally}}
The Cure 2006-01-30 [[An unusually realistic (for xkcd) pencil drawing of Robert Smith's head and face, with a caption underneath.]] Caption: Robert Smith should do a cover of Coldplay's 'Clocks,' so when he sings "Am I part of the cure or am I part of the disease?" we can say, "Ooh, we know this one!" {{Title Text: My first try at drawing a real face in years.}}
Wait For Me 2006-01-31 [[A man and a woman stand facing one another]] Woman: Why didn't you wait for me? Man: I thought you were gone forever! Woman: I said I'd be back in a minute! Man: The . . . the seconds went fast at first, but then they started to drag on. She was there for me. Woman: You had an affair in the 90 seconds I was gone?! Man: . . . yes. Man: And we had a son. Man: He'd be about your age now. {{Alt-text: Opening dialogue by Scott}}
Why Do You Love Me? 2006-02-01 [[Man and Woman stand]] Man: Why do you love me? Woman: I don't know; My heart never gave me a choice. Man: Aww. [[No dialogue]] Woman: I wish it had. {{title-text:Opening dialogue by Scott}}
Graduation 2006-02-03 [[two girls are talking]] blonde: What do you want to do when you graduate ? brunette: I want to become a lighthouse operator. blonde: Oh ? brunette: Yeah. [[cut to scene of lighthouse with text overlaid]] brunette: Lighthouses are built on interesting pieces of coast, so I'll have an interesting place to walk and swim, and great views of all kinds of weather. I'd feel good about myself and my work every single day. [[cut back to two girls]] brunette: I'd get to be the girl in the tower, only I'd be the one rescuing people. brunette: Why. What do you want to do ? blonde: I'm going to grad school. I don't really know why. brunette: Wanna come hang in my lighthouse over breaks ? blonde: ...yeah. {{title text: Opening dialogue by Scott}}
Super Bowl 2006-02-06 [[A green car with the text next to it]] My hobby: While everyone is watching the Super Bowl, feeling smugly superior because they're "Only watching for the ads," I steal cars.
Stacey's Dad 2006-02-08 Stacey's Dad: Look, I know you think that since I walked out she could use a guy like you. But trust me. That woman has a lot going on, and you want none of it. Stacey's Dad: Get out while you still can. {{Alt: I bet she gets you to mow the lawn, doesn't she?}}
Valentine - Karnaugh 2006-02-10 [[squiggly heart design]] You make me feel so much it all runs together I wish I could tell you [[crisscrossing heart design]] So few words for so many feelings crisscrossing my heart [[heart matrix design]] A matrix of desire Tangled relations I can't simplify [[Karnaugh map of hearts]] I wish I could find the Karnaugh map for love. {{Love and circuit analysis, hand in hand at last.}}
Valentine - Heart 2006-02-13 I want to wish you a happy Valentine's Day but unless this card is going to finally get you naked, I have to admit my heart's not really in it. {{Alt Text: Just pretend you're kidding.}}
Solar Plexus 2006-02-15 [[Hat guy and man standing there talking]] Hat guy: Asolarplexussayswhat? Man: What? [[They continue to stand there]] [[They continue to stand there]] [[Hat guy punches the man in the chest]] {{alt: It hurts to be hit there, you know}}
Banter 2006-02-17 [[Two guys stand together]] First Guy: Man, she's hot Second Guy: Whatever, you are so gay. First Guy: C'mon, everyone knows you're the gay one Second Guy: Hey, your mom's pretty masculine, but sleeping with her doesn't make me gay. First Guy: Fag. Second Guy: Ass pirate. First Guy: Fudge packer Second Guy: Cock jockey First Guy: Cum dumpster. (silent panel) First guy: Okay, seriously, are you gay? Because if you've been holding out on me, we're missing out. Second guy: No, it's cool. First guy: OK me neither. (silent panel) (silent panel) {{alt text: This was an actual mock conversation between me and a friend at TGIF. The waitress walked up around panel 5 and was somewhat put off.}}
Abusive Astronomy 2006-02-20 Identifying star clusters: [[Image of a star cluster.]] This is the Pleiades, asshole. Orion's Belt: [[Image of a Orion's Belt.]] Only a moron couldn't find it. This is the Big Dipper: [[Image of the Big Dipper.]] What the hell is wrong with you? {{Medium: Pencil on paper}}
Nerd Girls 2006-02-22 [[Girl with shoulder length brown hair and glasses, wearing a shirt which says "Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons"]] Girl: At least, thanks to your constant fawning, we have an *excuse* for our social ineptness. What's *yours*? {{Title Text: Nothing personal, high schoolers}}
Five Thirty 2006-02-24 Comics from 5.30 AM [[A succession of unrelated and completely random panels]] Man 1: It's 80's night at the club. Wanna go? Man 1: There is no Tuesday. Man 2: Jack the Ripper or Jack Black? [[The second man in this panel is holding a glinting sword]] Man 1: You crashed my helicopter! Man 2: Verily! [[A small figure is talking with a larger figure]] Figure 1: Basically, neither of us have shins. Figure 2: Over and out. [[Two men are shown: one with three arms, and another with just two. All arms have round appendages at their ends]] Men: shitshitshitshitshit Men: shitdaylightsavings Men: shitshitshitshitsh [[Two figures with pumpkins (carved with faces) for heads]] Figure 1: You're out of ointment and out of time! [[A diagram of a right-angled triangle, with a theta at the smallest angle]] FUCK THE COSINE Man 1: Does being a mermaid for five minutes make you gay? Man 2: I hope so! [[A man is holding a gun to the head of another]] Man 1: Barbershops are for pussies. Man 1: My hair is bleeding. Man 2: [square root]3 [[Man seems to be walking on the ceiling]] Man 1: Bachelor party! [[Warning sign with picture of spider]] WARNING: STRETCHY DEATH {{title text: The eighth panel is my favourite}}
Pillow Talk 2006-02-27 Guy: Staring at the ceiling, she asked me what I was thinking about. Guy: I should have made something up. Guy: The Bellman-Ford algorithm makes terrible pillow talk. {{Title Text: Maybe I should've tried Wexler?}}
Guitar Hero 2006-03-01 [[On a stage, a guy with a beard is in the background, holding a microphone. In the center is a guy with an electric guitar. The catwalk has bumps to resemble the tracks of Guitar Hero.]] When I'm in a rock band, I'm gonna do a cool, mellow song. Then in the middle I'll stop, announce "this part is just to be an asshole to people playing Guitar Hero," and then flail wildly on the strings for 30 seconds. {{Title Text: And then do it again in a moment now that they're out of Star Power}}
In the Trees 2006-03-03 [[Man standing in forest]] Man: We made it so far together but then I lost you in the trees. [[Closer view of man]] Man: Finally {{Alt-text: It was tricky.}}
Classhole 2006-03-06 [[Two men are talking.]] Man 1: How did you spend your morning? Man 2: Feeding rocks to children in the park. Man 1: Your sociopathic abuse of random strangers staggers me. Man 2: I aspire to have more creativity than the common asshole. Man 2: I'm more of a classy asshole -- A class-hole, if you will. For example, I like poking tiny holes in styrofoam noodle cups at the grocery store-- Man 2: Thanks to me, someone gets surprise boiling water in the lap. Man 1: I am in awe. Man 2: It's even more fun to do to condoms. {{alt: A term coined by my friend Beth}}
Zeppelin 2006-03-08 [[Two guys stand together]] First Guy: What time is it? [[Second guy's watch with the word "Zeppelin!" replacing 11, 12 and 1]] [[Two guys standing together in silence]] [[Large zeppelin above the two guys]] {[title text: A tribute to Buttercup Festival.}}
Su Doku 2006-03-10 [[A square divided into 2x2 squares, the top-right one has an 1 in it, the bottom-right one has a 0, the two left ones are empty]] [[Label: Binary Su Doku]] {{alt text: This one is from the Red Belt collection, of 'medium' difficulty.}}
Curse Levels 2006-03-13 [["My Hobby: mixing curse levels" is at the top of the panel.]] Random Guy: What a gosh-darned cunt. {{Alt text: I find so much fun in language.}}
Familiar 2006-03-15 [[A man and a woman are talking]] Woman: I worry that I'm just with you because it's familiar. Of course no one else compares. I've known you for so long that I'd have to spend years with someone to build up this kind of connection and I daren't let you go of you long enough to let that happen. Woman: But I guess this is really all I can ask for. I'm happy with you; I should stop worrying. [[Woman takes man's hand]] Man: This is probably a bad time to bring this up, but I don't actually like you. {{title text: :( }}
Bored with the Internet 2006-03-17 [[Two men are talking in a room with a computer on. One is wearing a black hat.]] First man: I feel like I'm wasting my life on the internet. Let's walk around the world. Man with the black hat: Sounds good. [[The two men are shown walking through trees.]] [[The two men are shown walking on flat stretch, with mountains in the distance.]] [[The two men are shown in a magnificent canyon. They stand, silently looking at the scene.]] First man: And yet all I can think is, "This will make for a great LiveJournal entry." {{title text: I used to do this all the time.}}
Garfield 2006-03-20 I WANT TO SEE SOMETHING UNEXPECTED IN THE COMICS. JUST ONE STRIP COULD MAKE UP FOR IT ALL. [[Garfield standing at side of panel]] [[Zoom in on Garfield]] [[Closeup on Garfield's face]] Garfield thought bubble: THE WORLD IS BURNING. [[Tighter closeup on Garfield's face]] Garfield thought bubble: RUN. JIM DAVIS, THROW OFF YOUR COMMERICIAL SHACKLES. CHALLENGE US. GO OUT IN A BLAZE OF DADAIST GLORY. THERE IS STILL TIME. {{alt: The use of the 'Garfield' character for the purposes of this parody qualifies as fair use under the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. sec. 107. See Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music (92-1292), 510 U.S. 569}}
Iambic Pentameter 2006-03-22 Person 1: What time can you pick Michael up? Person 2: Well, I can meet the plane at ten of six. Person 1: Do you know where to find him? Person 2: I'll meet him at the stairs before the gate. {{My hobby: answering casual questions in iambic pentameter.}} {{alt: Of course, you don't wanna limit yourself to the strict forms of the meter. That could get pretty difficult.}}
My Other Car 2006-03-24 [[A blue driving Mitsubishi with spoiler]] Bumper sticker: This IS my other car. {{title text: It's much better than the other one.}}
Attention, shopper 2006-03-27 [[Hat guy is holding a golf club and speaking into a P.A. system]] Hat guy: Attention, Hat guy: To the owner of a Dodge Viper SRT-10 with license plate "MYTOY", your lights are on and your windshield was just smashed with a golf club. {{title text: There's a red convertible outside my building with the license plate 'DADS MNY'.}}
Frame 2006-03-29 [[A stick figure stands alone in the centre of the panel. Tendrils from the frame develop and grow in panels 1 and 2, wind round the figure in panel 3, and finally retreat back to the frame, tearing the stick figure apart in panel 4.]] {{Mouseover text: "..."}}
Katamari 2006-03-31 [[A girl stands on the left. A man is sitting on the floor with a game controller in his hand. He is looking at a TV on the floor connected to a game console, also on the floor.]] Girl: Can you pause for a moment and help me with something? Man: You know, our love is like a katamari. We travel along, rolling up more and more of the world into our shared experience, taking it and making it our own. Girl: I, you... wow. Geekiness aside, that was actually incredibly sweet. Man: The clutter of everyday life, with a simple core to tie it together, eventually becomes something grand as the world itself. [[A rainbow extends outward from the TV, with "ROYAL RAINBOW!" above it.]] Girl: Okay, also sweet, but now I'm wondering if you could possibly get any gayer. {{alt text: As the King of All Cosmos remarked, 'Is it that it's fun, or that it lets you forget yourself?'}}
National Language 2006-04-03 This happened to my friend: [[Men and women are standing in a row]] Man: English should be the national language. These immigrants should have to learn English when they come here. Woman: Yeah Man: When you go to live somewhere, you learn the language they speak there. English is the language of the land. Other Woman: Excuse me, but osio Sarah dawado. Man: What the hell was that? Other Woman: Woman: Cherokee. {{title text: She's pretty sharp when provoked.}}
Paths 2006-04-05 [[Blueprint of a campus. Two buildings in the upper and lower left corners, respectively, and a rectangular lawn. A road encloses the lawn, another road traverses horizontally through the center of the lawn. The character is in the lower left and the upper right corner, where it says "my apartment".]] [[dashed line 1, from the lower-left along the road to the top-left corner, then to the top-right corner]] 60 seconds [[dashed line 2, from the lower-left along the road up to the center crossroads, then diagonally over the lawn to the top-right corner]] 48 seconds (80%) [[dashed line 3, diagonally from the lower-left to the top-right corner]] 44.7 seconds (74%) my apartment #1=t #2=t ((1+sqrt(2)) 3) #3=t(sqrt(5) 3) When I'm walking, I worry a lot about the efficiency of my path. {{alt-text: It's true. I think about this all the time.}}
Digital Rights Management 2006-04-07 [[Hat Guy is standing on an advancing glacier]] Hat Guy: Dear Sony, Microsoft, the MPAA, the RIAA, and Apple: Let's make a deal. You stop trying to tell me where, when, and how I play my movies and music, and I won't crush your homes under my inexorably advancing wall of ice. [[Alt text: If you're interested in the subject, Lawrence Lessig's 'Free Culture' is pretty good]]
Velociraptors 2006-04-10 [[Picture of a suburban house, with lines pointing to various aspects]] High bathroom window: probably secure. Outer door: secure. picture window: VELOCIRAPTOR ENTRY POINT! Narrator: It's been over a decade since Jurassic Park opened, and I still size up buildings for their potential as shelter against velociraptor attacks. {{title text: You're probably thinking, 'has it been a decade'? It's been over thirteen years, buddy.}}
Escher Bracelet 2006-04-12 [[A Livestrong-type bracelet is featured with an Escher twist in it. The band has the letters "WWED" printed on it.]] {{What Would Escher Do?}} {{Alt: The only downside is that it would be a little uncomfortable}}
Gravitational Mass 2006-04-14 Hat Guy: Gravitational mass is identical to inertial mass. That is, the amount of inertia something has and the amount of gravity it has are effectively the same. What's interesting is that there doesn't seem to be any reason this should be true. One could imagine an extremely large object with lots of resistance to force and no gravity (or vice versa), but this is never observed. Hat Guy: You know what? I'm just gonna skip the rest of the buildup and say it: Yo mama's fat. {{alt: She's so fat the attraction goes up as the CUBE of the distance instead of the square}}
Jacket 2006-04-17 [[Two men stand and talk to one another.]] First man: Where's my fucking jacket? [[Second man indicates something behind him.]] Second man: Over there, next to your regular one. First man: My what? Second man: Never mind. {{Title text: We have this conversation at least once a day in my apartment}}
Pwned 2006-04-19 [[Text only panel, hand written.]] Welcome to text-only Counterstrike. You are in a dark, outdoor map. > GO NORTH You have been pwned by a grue.
Sunrise 2006-04-21 [[A guy is on the street. Behind him is a house with a lawn.]] Guy's thoughts: I love the time just before sunrise. It's quiet; no one is ever just walking about. It's like a secret. I always hope that I'll find someone else quietly hiding from sleep, and we'll see each other and sit and talk. I guess this is a bad place to meet people. I wish it weren't. [[Guy goes into the house, brushes his teeth, and leaves the house again.]] [[Guy is at a club, disco balls in the ceiling and a giant woofer. Many people are dancing around him.]] {{Title Text: Sometimes, I sit on top of parking decks and watch the sun rise. I feel like I should have a guitar or something.}}
Jeremy Irons 2006-04-24 [[A guy points at a girl with his mouth open. A bearded man stands behind him.]] Bearded man: But as THICK as you are, pay attention My words are a matter of PRIDE! Subtitle: My goal: To make enough money to hire Jeremy Irons, the voice of Scar from The Lion King, to follow me around and do my dialogue. {{Alt: Movies that I know word-for-word, part one}}
Profile Creation Flowchart 2006-04-26 Creating an AIM Profile: [[A flowchart is shown.]] Have Friends? -> No -> Link to your LiveJournal Have Friends? -> Yes, and want to alienate everyone else -> INSIDE JOKES! Have Friends? -> Yes -> Have Boyfriend Girlfriend? -> No -> Angsty about it? -> Yes -> Link to your LiveJournal Angsty about it? -> No -> Yes you are -> Angsty about it? Have Boyfriend Girlfriend? -> Yes -> A profile tribute is the greatest possible expression of love. {{title text: This one goes out to xxCrazyPixie1987xx}}
The Sierpinski Penis Game 2006-04-28 [[The Sierpinski Penis Game]] [[A large triangle is shown, with many smaller trianges inside]] [[Words are in the triangles]] Sierpinski game: PENIS! Haha, penis.
Mail 2006-05-01 [[A person is talking to someone over the phone.]] Phone: Do you think I could mail a running chainsaw to someone? Person: I doubt it. Phone: What about a baby's first word? Person: Look, your obsession with sending strange things through the mail is getting out of hand. Phone: Can you mail a blank stare? Phone: A dizzying height? Phone: Pi? Person: . . . Phone: Well, did you at least get that package of time I sent you? Person: I . . . you . . . no, I didn't. Phone: Well, there was a lot of it, so it will probably take a while. {{alt: I'm on the USPS No Fly List.}}
A Simple Plan 2006-05-03 [[Man standing in front of stool with radio on it]] <>You don't know what it's like to be me! At first, I loved A Simple Plan. Then I realized, with creeping horror, that they were serious. {{alt-text: This is true. The Lyrics are ridiculous.}}
Fall Apart 2006-05-05 [[Various people struggle as the comic disintegrates. Toward the top, people are standing calmly, some holding hands. As the parts of the comic break apart, people try to reach for each other, hold parts together, or curl up into a ball. By the bottom, a person is falling, surrounded by pieces of the comic]] {{title text:#pugglewumper Tashari got me some ink pens! I've been experimenting with them.}}
Binary Heart 2006-05-08 [[All the numbers are black except for a heart-shaped red section in the middle.]] 011010010110110001101 111011101100110010101 111001010011110111010 101101001011011000100 111101110110011001010 111100101101111011101 010110100101101100011 011110111011001100101 011110010100111101110 101011010010110110001 001111011101100110010 101111001010011110111 010101101001011011000 101010110100101101100 010011110111011001100 101011110010110111101 110101011010010110110 001001111011101100110 010101111001010011110 111010101101001011011 000100111101110110011 {{alt: i love you}}
Family Circus 2006-05-10 [[Picture shows a pathway winding through trees to a sink inside a house, out to some swings and back to ths sink, out to a ball and back to the sink...]] Caption: Jeffy's ongoing struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder {{alt text: This was my friend David's idea}}
Laser Scope 2006-05-12 [[ Box with a mailing label on one side, and in the front: ]] Miss your loved ones? [[ Picture of a missile launcher ]] You don't have to. RJX-21 Laser Scope {{Alt text: I wish I'd missed you then so I wouldn't be missing you now.}}
Back to the Future 2006-05-15 {{Title: Back to the Future}} [[A man and a woman are standing, talking to one another]] Man: This weekend, my professor friend built a time machine out of a DeLorean and I went back in time! I helped make sure my parents got together and helped my dad to be less of a loser. Woman: Wow! Do you still have the time machine? Man: Nah. But I did what I really needed to do. Woman: Uh huh. [[Neither says anything]] Woman: Okay, you remember that my father was in the WTC North Tower, right? Man: Yeah...why? Woman: I...nothing. {{alt text: He's kind of an asshole, when you think about it.}}
Moral Relativity 2006-05-17 [[A graph, rationalization as a function of speed, increasing exponentially with an asymptote at c]] Related to moral relativism, it states that ethics become subjective only when you approach the speed of light. That is, it's okay to be self-serving, steal, and murder as long as you're going really, really fast. (Note: This is why rap sounds better on the highway at 90 mph) {{It's science!}}
Find You 2006-05-19 [[The panel is black with rough-edged white passages running down through it. A stick figure is holding onto a rope, dangling down one of these passages. White text is in the black sections.]] You were afraid that you would disappear, that you would be lost and forgotten. I held you tight against the dark and said that I would always come for you. Then one day it happened. You were torn from my arms and vanished from this world. Maybe you don't remember my promise. But I meant every word. I hope you're not afraid, wherever you are. You don't need to be. I'm not. I will find you. {{title-text: I'm like the Terminator, except with love!}}
Parallel Universe 2006-05-22 [[Two people are standing next to a large pentagram with candles at the points. A figure is hovering above it in a wave of energy.]] Person 1: Sweet. I summoned myself from a parallel universe. Person 2: You know, he could vanish at any moment. Person 2: You should take this chance to make out with yourself. Person 2: . . . you know, _I_ could vanish at any moment. {{alt: It's possible. Better to be on the safe side.}}
Wright Brothers 2006-05-24 [[A man and a woman are talking to each other]] Man: I've heard that when the Wright brothers argued, they periodically switched sides in the debate to try to encourage a more balanced conclusion. Man: We should try that in our relationship! Woman: It's a neat idea, but I think treating personal issues like a debate will only engender hostility and hurt feelings. Man: No, I think it would help, by forcing us to consider the other person's point of view. Woman: Hmm, maybe you're right. Man: Am not. It's a bad idea. {{alt: I'm not sure if this is actually true}}
Snakes on a Plane! 2 2006-05-26 [[A sky full of jumbo jets is shown in movie poster format.]] Top of the poster: From the creators of last summer's hit thriller Snakes On a Plane comes: Superimposed on the sky and planes: Snakes... on EVERY Plane! Bottom of the poster: Much worse than last time. {{Mouseover text: James suggested this, and I'd have to agree. It'd be much worse.}}
M.C. Hammer Slide 2006-05-29 [[Two guys stand next to each other talking]] A: I just feel like somewhere out there is the girl for me. B: Yeah. A: Someone loving and caring. B: I know what you mean. A: A girl whose only mode of transportation is the M.C. Hammer Slide. B: Yeah. B: ...Wait, what? [[A girl hammer slides past]] [[A sees girl hammer slide and it's love at first sight]] [[Girl hammer slides over into A's waiting arms]] {{alt text: Once, long ago, I saw this girl go by. I didn't stop and talk to her, and I've regretted it ever since.}}
Spoiler Alert 2006-05-31 Spoiler Alert! [[Severus Snape is smacking a trenchcoat-clad Trinity off the top of a building with a sled.]] Snape kills Trinity with Rosebud! {{alt: And then it turns out they're both Tyler Durden.}}
Clark Gable 2006-06-02 The line was actually supposed to be "Frankly, my dear, I couldn't care less." Its just that Clark Gable had Tourette's. [[Gone with the Wind]]
Firefox and Witchcraft - The Connection? 2006-06-05 membership in wicca total firefox downloads [[positive slope graph]] [[Internet Explorer icon]] Keep the Faith [[Outline of a cross]]
Baring My Heart 2006-06-07 [[A venn diagram with three sets]] Description of set 1: People who can always make me smile Description of set 2: People who constantly show me new things about the world Description of set 3: People I want to spend the rest of my life with Intersection point: YOU. Intersection of sets 2 and 3: Vanilla Ice {{title text: I'm just trying to explain, please don't be jealous! Man, why are all my relationships ruined by early 90's rappers?}}
Riemann-Zeta 2006-06-09 [[A z=fn(x, y) plot, with pointy spikes on the back sloping to a relatively flat front.]] Comment: You are like the prime numbers. Unpredictable turns, unconstrainable. Tantalizingly regular but never quite the same. I am like the Riemann-zeta function. A rippled curtain of the imagined and real. Deeply tied with you in ways incomprehensible. Although, strictly speaking, The Riemann-zeta function couldn't have given your herpes. {{Title Text: The graph is of the magnitude of the function with the real value between 0 and 2 and the imaginary between about 35 and 40. I've misplaced the exact parameters I used}
Computational Linguists 2006-06-12 [[Hat Guy is standing next to a large badge which says FUCK Computational Lingustics]] Hat Guy: And the dumbest thing about emo kids is that... I... You know, I'm sick of easy targets. Anyone can make fun of emo kids. You know who's had it too easy? Computational Linguists. "Ooh, look at me! My field is so ill-defined, I can subscribe to any of dozens of contradictory models and still be taken seriously!" {{alt text: Chomskyists, generative linguists, and Ryan North, your days are numbered.}}
Meerkat 2006-06-14 [[A meerkat wearing a hat and shirt, and two guys in the background supposedly on a rugby field]] You have to admit--there's no rule on the books saying a meerkat can't play rugby. {{alt text: Gorilla, yes. Adorable golden retriever, yes. But it says nothing about meerkats.}}
City 2006-06-16 [[A picture of various apartment buildings]] Shadowed city slumber silently. A second-story suite. Come craving courtship, selected serendipitously Crazed copulations, a salacious storm of continuous coitus. Spread, straddled, conquered. Countless crashed suitors strewn carelessly. Centre, silken sheets sensuously caressing soft skin, Contentedly sleeps your mom.
Pong 2006-06-19 [[A stick figure asks another]] So what do we do if video game AI opponents become smart enough to question the "Matrix" into which we've put them? [[A Pong paddle thinks]] Wait a minute! None of this is real! I can see through the world! I can see the code! I AM THE ONE! [[The pong ball is moving towards the paddle]] [[The pong ball slows down]] [[The pong ball stops in "midair"]] [[The pong ball drops towards the bottom of the screen]] {{alt: Following this, the pong paddle went on a mission to destroy Atari headquarters and, due to a mixup found himself inside the game "The Matrix Reloaded". Boy was THAT ever hard to explain to him}}
50 Ways 2006-06-21 [[Two figures stand around a levitating person.]] {{You gotta let go, Joe}} {{Just rise off your feet, Pete}} {{Just stay in the air, Claire}} {{Gotta levitate, Kate}} {{There must be 50 ways to learn to hover.}} {{Alt: I woke up to find that I had scrawled the last line of this sleepily on a sheet of paper on my desk. I shouldn't have listened to the 70's hit marathon on the way home from work the night before.}}
Worst Band Name Ever 2006-06-23 Heading: It's probably a good thing that I never get to pick band names. [[A stage with banner overhead reading: OPENING TONIGHT! HEDGECLIPPER]] [[On the stage are three guys with a bass, guitar, drum kit and strange haircuts. On the kick drum is a picture of a hedge clipper.]] Lead Guitarist: Maaan... {{title text: You can just see his dejection as he realizes he's the lead guitar in 'Hedgeclipper'}}
Dating Service 2006-06-26 [[A computer monitor displays the profile of a man named Randall on an online dating site. His profile contains a picture of a spiky-haired man and some text, which is rendered as dialogue in the panels.]] Randall: Hi, my name is Randall. I like candlelight dinners and long walks on the beach. Randall: When I say long walks on the beach, I mean LONG walks on the beach. I've met people through these services who CLAIM to like long walks on the beach. But we'll be out there barely an hour before they start in with "I'm tired" and "Don't you think it's time we head back?" BRING A TENT. {{Alt text: I don't understand why people are so disingenuous! I just want someone to walk with!}}
Balloon 2006-06-28 I watched the scene in the restaurant for a full fifteen minutes hoping this would happen: [[Figure holding balloon; Balloon gets caught in ceiling fan; Figure holds on and is pulled up]] {{alt: So I'm a bad person.}}
Quirky Girls 2006-06-30 [[ Man and woman talking, looking at a group of 2 men and a woman standing further away. The woman is on a table and the 2 men are looking at her ]] Man: I love that girl. She's not afraid to be quirky and different. Woman: You know, I'm active in street theatre and I collect and paint Asian dolls. Man: ...Okay, I didn't actually mean be different. I just want silly and entertaining on command now and then. {{alt: Romantic comedy heroines, I'm talking to you.}}
Centrifugal Force 2006-07-03 [[ Bond is tied to a giant centrifuge ]] Hat Guy: Do you like my centrifuge, Mister Bond? When I throw the lever, you will feel centrifugal force crush every bone in your body. Mr. Bond: You mean centripetal force. There's no such thing as centrifugal force. Hat Guy: A laughable claim, Mister Bond, perpetuated by overzealous teachers of science. Simply construct Newton's laws into a rotating system and you will see a centrifugal force term appear as plain as day. Mr. Bond: Come now, do you really expect me to do coordinate substitution in my head while strapped to a centrifuge? Hat Guy: No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to die. {{ alt: You spin me right round, baby, right round, in a manner depriving me of an inertial reference frame. Baby. }}
Blogofractal 2006-07-05 From the makers of the Blogosphere, Blogocube, and Blogodrome comes the Blogofractal [[A large rectangle subdivided into rectangles in a fractal pattern, most with a phrase or word inside]] [[Mostly left to right from top-left corner]] TripMaster Monkey says 118th Post!! Wikiconstitution! OMG DeCSS Casemod your Boyfriend!! FLICKR They're saying on Kos that http: slashdot.org articl tagCloud Cory Doctorow is a little upset about copyright law. Hey guys what if Google is evil?!? I'll sleep with you for a FreeIpods deal. FirstPsot!! Snakes on an I don't Even Care Anymore KiwiWiki CSS Comments (0) Blogotesseract ¡play games! [[RSS icon]] is AYB retro yet? Google Google Google Apple Google Goog Cheney totally shot a dude!!! Watch this doddler get owned by a squirrel!!! Developers Developers Developers Developers I installed a Mac Mini inside ANOTHER Mac Mini! Check out this vid of Jon Stewart 9-11 <-> Trent Lott! Web 7.1 Kryptonite™ locks vulnerable to "keys!" Interesting post! Check out my blog, it has useful info on CARBON MONOXIDE LITIGATION FIREFLY!! HELP ME Engadget Boing Boing Gizmodo MAKE Blog: DIY baby My friend has a band!! Jon released an exploit in the protocol for meeting girls. Internets! Howard Dean? So I hear there's a hurricane. We should elect this dude! Google Maps is da best!! Moderation: +1 Sassy RSS! A-list <3 Trackable URL? I shot a man in Reno check it out on YouTube! HEY LOOK ROBOTS! Net Neutrality! Friends Only. Dupe! AJAX? COMPLY Cowboy Neal Blogodrome Hey look I got Linux running on my tonsils! Look alive, blogonauts! Cafepress cockrings BOOBIES!! MIA A Beowulf Cluster... of BLOGS!! SPOILER ALERT Dupe! You have been eaten by a Grue. Ruby on a monorail Lesbians! DNF Released! Steampunk BLAG PONIES! Xeni found some porn! IRONY LIARS! Linux on Rails! Blogocube del.icio.us! 404 o.O Don't slam the source when you close it. {{title text: Edward Tufte's 'The Visual Display of Quantitative Information' is a fantastic book, and should be required reading for anyone in either the sciences or graphic design.}}
Marketing Interview 2006-07-07 [[Two people, one sitting behind a executive desk, looking at some paper, and the other one by foot using a hat.]] Guy behind the desk: I've heard you're one of the best in marketing business, but I've got your portfolio here and looks like you've never run a major campaign. Why should I hire you to head our new initiative? Guy with a hat: If you don't mind asking, what gave you the idea I was one of the best in the business? Guy behind the desk: Hm? I don't remember. Just word of mouth or someth-- ...oh, you're good. Guy with a hat: Thank you. When can I start? {{title text: There are a lot of books on marketing out there. I wonder if you're safest just buying the most popular one.}}
Red Spiders Cometh 2006-07-10 [[Many red spiders, standing on and hanging from blocks, hover ominously over a small city, ready to attack]] {{title text: Uh-oh.}} {{compare to http: xkcd.com 8 }}
The Fast and the Furious 2006-07-12 On the other side of the world, a new style of street racing rules the Tokyo underground. The cars are lighter, the tires are slick. When you drift, if you ain't out of control, you ain't in control. And if you work the wheel back and forth just right, [[Two cars race around a corner with blue sparks spraying from their tires.]] you get blue sparks. THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DASH!! {{title text: Sometimes when I steer shopping carts around corners, I slide them a little and pretend I'm getting the blue spark boost.}}
dPain over dt 2006-07-14 Will it ever stop hurting? dPain dt = (-k_1 Pain + [Image of girl]) (1 (1 + e ^ -(t - k_2) d)) k_1=? k_2=? [Image of girl]=How much she's still in my life Please let d only be a few days... or weeks I guess there's some kind of a cutoff after years, where it stops mattering and we can be friends. Do I _want_ that? Is k_1 positive? Is k_2 large? Will I ever stop feeling like this? {{Title Text: You laugh to keep from crying, you do math to keep from crying . . .}}
Content Protection 2006-07-17 Content Protection System: [[A woman sits on a couch watching a large flat-panel television, connected to a box labeled HDMI]] [[The screen is labeled with "Approved screen"]] [[The cable is labeled with "Approved connection"]] [[The HDMI box is labeled with "Approved player"]] [[The woman's head is labeled with "Approved content"]] {{alt-text: If you think the purveyors of DRM simply want to protect artists, check out chapters 13 and 14 in Free Culture, by Lawrence Lessig. Their goal is the elimination of all culture they don't control.}}
Julia Stiles 2006-07-19 [[Author Comment: The best thing ever to appear on TV: 12-year-old Julia Stiles as a hacker in a 1993 episode of PBS's "Ghostwriter"]] [[A sketch of Julia Stiles with a bandanna over her head, long wavy hair, elbow shirt, wrist band, and pants]] Julia Stiles: Do you know anything about hackers? Can you jam with the console cowboys in cyberspace? Never experienced the new wave? Next wave? Dream wave? *OR* cyberpunk? {{Title Text: I found an old tape of this episode in my family's closet. Check the news section of the forums to see the clip!}}
Fans 2006-07-21 [[Person holding fan in place]] <> Narrator: Best thing about having my own apartment: Holding fans in place so they twitch helplessly and make that clicking sound without my mom yelling at me. {{Alt: It's not going to break the fan, bouncing a rubber ball off the wall isn't going to dent it, and the roof can hold me just fine. You LIED!}}
Music Knowledge 2006-07-24 [[A female and male figure converse]] Female: What kind of music do you listen to? Male: Oh, a mix of things. Some classic rock like Boston, but then of course Queen and Bowie, Joan Jett... Female: Definitely, we need more of those sounds. Male: But there's some great newer stuff too, like Franz Ferdinand, The Donnas, and Audioslave. Female: Sometimes they're a little much for me. I go more for things like The Arcade Fire, sometimes mixing some electronic sounds like Postal Service. Male: Oh yeah—have you ever checked out Freezepop? Female: Mhm! Synth pop can be fun, but at the same time, I agree that sometimes you just need to blast some Metallica. Male: Who? Female: ...Metallica. Male: Are they new? Narrator: I sound pretty knowledgeable about music until people figure out that I'm just naming bands from Guitar Hero. {{title text: When Guitar Hero 2 comes out I'll have fresh conversational material for MONTHS.}}
The Raven 2006-07-26 [[A door opens, revealing Eminem wearing a hoodie]] Narration: Once upon a midnight dreary while I pondered, weak and weary, over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore while i nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping as if someone gently rapping rapping at my chamber door... <> <> Eminem: Yo. {{title text: Yes, Eminem is wearing a sleeveless hoodie. What of it?}}
Myspace 2006-07-28 [[Computer screen showing a myspace page]] Oh man, you and everyone in earshot are gonna LOVE the first five seconds of this song! {{alt: It's like they got together and said 'what do we miss most from the internet in 1998? that's right, embedded MIDI!'}}
Substitute 2006-07-31 [[In a class room, the board says "Math" on the top-left corner, and "Mr. Munroe" in the middle. A stick figure is standing in front of it, speaking to the class.]] Teacher: Miss Lenhart couldn't be here today, so she asked me to substitute. Teacher: I've put out your test. Please get started. [[A student in the first row raises the exam paper and says.]] Student: Mr. Munroe, Miss Lenhardt never taught us this. Teacher: That's because Miss Lenhart doesn't understand how important certain kinds of math are. Student: But this just looks -- Teacher: This material is more vital than anything you've ever learned Student: But -- Teacher: No buts. Teacher: This is a matter of life and death. [[Excerpt from the exam paper.]] Name: _________ [[A stick figure is standing, hands over head. A velociraptor is running towards it.]] 1. The velociraptor spots you 40 meters away and attacks, accelerateing at 4 m s^2 to its top speed of 25 m s. When it spots you, you begin to flee, quickly reaching yourtop speed of 6 m s. How far can you get before you're caught and devoured? 2. You're at the center of a 20m equilateral triangle with a raptor at each corner. The top raptor has a wounded leg and is limited to a top speed of 10 m s. [[A stick figure is shown in the above situation. The picture has a legend "(Not to scale)".]] The raptors will run toward you. At what angle should you run to maximize the time you stay alive? 3. Raptors can open doors, but they are slowed by them. Using the floor plan on the next page, plot a route through the building, assuming raptors take 5 minutes to open the first door and halve the time for each subsequent door. Remember, raptors run at 10 m s and they do not know fear. {{alt text: YOU THINK THIS IS FUNNY?}}
Science Fair 2006-08-02 Although it caught me by surprise at the time, looking back I understand why my senior science fair project went over as badly as it did. [[poster]] The Mathematics of Cunnilingus f(t) F(w) L(s) Challenges in Frequency-domain analysis {{title text: This poster actually inspired a two-hour powerpoint presentation that Al Gore gave around the country.}}
Dreams 2006-08-04 [[A is standing behind B, who is typing at a computer.]] A: You should be more careful what you write. Future employers might read it. B: When did we forget our dreams? A: What? [[B stands beside A]]] B: The infinite possibilities each day holds should stagger the mind. The sheer number of experiences I could have is uncountable, breathtaking, and I'm sitting here refreshing my inbox. We live trapped in loops, reliving a few days over and over, and we envision only a handful of paths laid out before us. We see the same things every day, we respond the same way, we think the same thoughts, each day a slight variation on the last, every moment smoothly following the gentle curves of societal norms. We act like if we just get through today, tomorrow our dreams will come back to us. B: And no, I don't have all the answers. I don't know how to jolt myself into seeing what each moment could become. But I do know one thing: the solution doesn't involve watering down my every little idea and creative impulse for the sake of some day easing my fit into a mold. It doesn't involve tempering my life to better fit someone's expectations. It doesn't involve constantly holding back for fear of shaking things up. B: This is very important, so I want to say it as clearly as I can: B: FUCK. B: THAT. B: SHIT. {{Alt-text: In Connor's second thesis it is stated 'There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.' Does the routine destroy our creativity or do we lose creativity and fall into the routine? Anyway, who's up for a road trip!}}
Pointers 2006-08-07 [[A person is playing a video game, with Hat Guy standing behind him.]] Person: Man, I suck at this game. Can you give me a few pointers? Hat Guy: 0x3A28213A 0x6339392C, 0x7363682E. Person: I hate you. {{alt: Every computer, at the unreachable memory address 0x-1, stores a secret. I found it, and it is that all humans ar--SEGMENTATION FAULT.}}
I Have Owned Two Electric Skateboards 2006-08-09 {{How Electric Skateboards Work}} [[A person is standing on a skateboard, next to a sign that says "Point A," and pushes a button.]] <> [[He skates.]] <> [[He stops, with a sign saying "Point B" to his right and a group of chicks (labeled "chicks") to his left.]] {{alt: Both the skateboards I owned were pretty cheap and broke from heavy use; I'm gonna get a really nice one if I move to the city.}}
Delicious 2006-08-11 [[Frame is split by a diagonal]] [[First half: guy in front of open fridge]] Caption: I have leftover cheese. I should get chips and make nachos. [[Second half: guy with bag of chips]] Caption: I have leftover chips. I should get cheese and make nachos. Large Caption: A delicious cycle {{title-text: I'm currently in the I Have Cheese phase of this cycle.}}
Parody Week: Achewood 2006-08-14 [[Philippe is dreaming of having his ears checked. There's an eye chart on the wall behind him.]] Doctor (out of frame): Philippe, your hearing is perfect! In fact, you heard ALL the beeps! You have super-hearing! You're needed at Hogwarts! Philippe: Oh boy! [[Ray is holding a letter and talking to Roast Beef.]] {{Meanwhile . . .}} Ray: Beef, check this out. I got an invite to that The Dude Is Pretty Awesome In Most Measurable Ways I Mean Wow competition. Beef: Alright that is pretty sweet dogg what is your strategy gonna consist of Ray: I'm thinkin' I need to point out my best features--maybe go holdin' a sign with an arrow toward my junk. [[Ray holds up a sign saying "Yes" such that the an arrow on it points directly at his crotch.]] Beef: Yeah well I always said subtlety was your middle name dogg Beef: And also your first and last in case they didn't get the point Ray: How do you think I should play it? Beef: Well basically you got no chance as I see it these dudes are all lovers and fighters to the last Beef: All sprung fully formed from the head of Sweet Sweetback Beef: You are gonna stand out as the sort of dude who stays at home all night playing fleshlight tag Ray: These words you got are crazy. Didn't I win the outdoor fight? Beef: Uh huh about the fight I wasn't gonna tell you but how could you miss that I was setting you up Ray: What? Beef: You got played dogg Beef: I basically just didn't have the heart to go through with it in the end. Beef: Anyway the point is that you are gonna lose this thing so hard Beef: All cheap McD's hamburger to their slabs of steak Beef: A couple 12-oz sirloins garnished with nothing but pure manhood Beef: Maybe some sprigs of parsley Beef: You are pretty much going down [[Closeup of a shocked Ray.]] [[Silence.]] [[Silence. Beef looks perturbed and his ear is twitching. Ray's mouth is open.]] [[Silence. Beef looks sorry.]] [[Silence. Beef looks sorry and Ray looks annoyed.]] [[Silence.]] [[Silence.]] [[Silence. Beef is looking down and Ray's mouth is open.]] [[Silence. Ray's mouth is open.]] [[Silence. Beef is looking down and Ray's mouth is open.]] [[Silence. Beef looks surprised.]] {{alt: I always wanted to impress them with how well I could hear, didn't you? Also, this sets the record for number of awkward-pause panels in one strip (previously held by Achewood)]]
Parody Week: Megatokyo 2006-08-15 [["megaxkcd" in Japanese quote characters. An anime girl with pigtails, long rectangular earrings and a blank expression stands with her arms at her sides.]] Narration: In today's megaxkcd, our protagonist comes to terms with his romantic love for a girl who is a video game console accessory. Man 1: Wait, I'm not sure we should parody megatokyo. Man 2: Fred Gallagher does seem like he might take it kind of hard. Man 1: He really does. Man 2: Poor guy. We should try to cheer him up. [[Man 1 and Man 2 stand in front of a profile shot of a house. On the left is a mailbox. Man 2 stands at street level, while Man 1 is holding a cake on the top of a two-step staircase to the front door.]] Man 2: Fred? Fred, please come out. It's OK. Don't cry, Fred. Man 1: We... we baked you a cake. {{title text: I just want to give him a hug or something.}}
Parody Week: TFD and Natalie Dee 2006-08-16 SO GUYS WHAT IS FUNNY THIS WEEK? bees! tires. bees with tires! whatever
Parody Week: A Softer World 2006-08-17 when we open the lab each morning, we tell the robot to kill it's our little joke but secretly we're just afraid to tell it to love
Parody Week: Dinosaur Comics 2006-08-18 T-Rex: THINGS I AM UPPITY ABOUT: "They" as a third-person singular gender-free pronoun. T-Rex: I'm all for it! Dromiceiomimus: But isn't that terrible grammar? T-Rex: Only by recent convention! It's been in use that way for centuries, and its use is widely accepted! ALSO: this lets us avoid ridiculous constructs like "he she", "s he", "xe" or "hirs"! Utahraptor: T-Rex, I... agree. T-Rex: What? Utahraptor: That sounds good to me! Utahraptor: Normally I'd jump in with an objection, but I think your point makes sense. T-Rex: Could it be that the rift in our author's mind has finally healed? Is he no longer locked in perpetual war with the self-doubt that lurks in his subc- Narrator: IN A WORLD WHERE THERE IS STILL A LAND BRIDGE BETWEEN ASIA AND NORTH AMERICA FOR SOME REASON: T-Rex: -onscious? Narrator: ALSO HOW ABOUT IN THIS WORLD EVERYONE IS BICURIOUS {{Title text: Guys: while I was writing this, I accidentally swallowed a table-size slab of drywall. I know! Wacky.}}
Join Myspace 2006-08-21 [[Guy with black hat is talking to another guy]] Guy: Dude, you should get on MySpace. Black Hat: Eh, I don't think so. Guy: C'mon. There's no real reason not to except snobbiness. It's the new social scene. Black Hat: I know. I'm just not interested. Guy: Please? I'll friend you. Black Hat: Carebearstare. Guy: What? [[Black Hat shoots a rainbow colored ray from his chest - the Care Bear Stare. It throws Guy to the edge of the panel, pinned to the wall.]] {{Title Text: I really shouldn't abuse that power so heavily.}}
A Way So Familiar 2006-08-23 Person 1: I saw a cute girl outside the bank today. She looked nice. Person 2: Oh no, not again. You are the _worst_ judge of these things. Person 1: But she was so sweet. Shy, but there was something in her eyes. A pain down in her soul, the same as the one down in mine. Person 2: Mm hmm. Person 1: The police light played through her mohawk like the sun setting through pine trees as she shoveled the third hooker into the trunk of the camry... Person 2: Back up. {{Alt: Two Hedwig references, an obscure Joey Comeau, and a girl with a mohawk. Yes.}}
Mispronouncing 2006-08-25 [[Caption: My Hobby: mispronouncing Words]] Man 1: Yeah, did you see what he said on his wobsite? Man 2: ...his what? Man 1: Wobsite. Man 2: ... I think you mean "website." Man 1: Why don't you write about it in your blag? {{Alt Text: My pal Emad does this all the time. 'Hey man, which way to the airpart?'}}
Sandwich 2006-08-28 [[ A man is sitting on a couch, talking to another man. They are both stick figures. ]] First man: Make me a sandwich. Second man: What? Make it yourself. First man: Sudo make me a sandwich. Second man: Okay
Grownups 2006-08-29 [[Man is talking to Woman who is behind a waste-high screen across a doorway with colorful playpen balls behind her.]] Man: Hey, I was wondering if you had plans for-- holy crap, what happened to your apartment? Woman: I filled it with playpen balls! Man: I... what? Why? Woman: Because we're grown-ups now, and it's our turn to decide what that means. [[Both vanish into the apartment, balls spilling out into the corridor. A love heart drifts out the door, indicating you-know-what]] {{Alt: I've looked into this, and I can't figure out a way to do it cheaply. And I guess it wouldn't be sanitary.}}
Mario 2006-09-01 First Girl: For our anniversary, my boyfriend took me hiking in the mountains. Second Girl: My boyfriend proposed to me. Second Girl: They should call you Mario, 'cause you just got <<1-up'd.>> {{Title text: Why would anyone ever, ever say that? Please, nobody ever say that.}}
Hamster Ball 2006-09-03 [[A man stands by a genie, whose lower body becomes smoke and trails down to an old-fashioned lamp]] Genie: You have awakened me from the lamp. You may have three wishes. What does your heart desire? Man: I'd like a human-sized hamster ball. [[A hamster ball appears; the man is inside it]] Man: Sweet! [[The man steps to left; the ball rolls that way]] [[He does the same thing to his right]] [[The man comes to rest in the centre of the panel]] Genie: And your other wishes? Man: Why would I need other wishes? {{title text: Reportedly, double-walled inflatable balls like this exist somewhere. Now to find that place.}}
Cryptography 2006-09-06 [[Speaker at a podium]] Speaker: My cryptosystem is like any Feistel cipher, except in the S-Boxes we simply take the bitstring down, flip it, and reverse it. I've been barred from speaking at any major cryptography conferences ever since it became clear that all my algorithms were just thinly disguised Missy Elliot songs. {{alt: If you got a big keyspace, let me search it.}}
Beliefs 2006-09-08 [[A girl and man stand together, with another figure in the distance]] Girl: Professor, that man claims the earth is 6,000 years old! Professor: So? Just use your head and don't concern yourself overmuch with what other people think. Girl: But he says the fossils in the mountains were put there in a flood! Professor: Well, evidence suggests that they were not. Girl: But he-- [[A mountain landscape]] Professor: A million people can call the mountains a fiction, yet it need not trouble you as you stand atop them. [[The girl and professor again]] Girl: But he believes the silliest things! Professor: So? Professor: The universe doesn't care what you _believe_. The wonderful thing about science is that it doesn't ask for your faith, it just asks for your eyes. Girl: But he's a US Senator! Professor: Ah, then yes, we do have a bit of a situation. {{title text: Scientists are also sexy, let's not forget that.}}
Search History 2006-09-11 Author: In solidarity with the many AOL users whose often embarrassing web searches were released to the public, I offer a sample of my own search history: [[There is a screencap of Google's front page with the following entries suggested for autocompletion in the search box: velociraptors site:imdb.com "jurassic park" raptors dromaeosaurids utahraptor "home depot" deadbolts security home improvement surviving a raptor attack robert bakker paleontologist robert bakker "possible raptor sympathizer" site:en.wikipedia.org surviving a raptor attack learning from mistakes in jurassic park big-game rifles tire irons treating raptor wounds do raptors fear fire how to make a molotov cocktail do raptors fear death can raptors pick locks how to tell if my neighbors are raptors]] {{alt: SomethingAwful has a wonderful compilation of crazy AOL searches in their Weekend Web archives, 2006-08-13.}}
Commented 2006-09-13 [[two men are talking, one is hat-man]] First man: Hey, can you do me a favor? [[Hat man holds his hand out toward the first man]] Hat man: Commented! First man: Huh? [[Hat man is holding his first and second fingers parallel and at an angle, and they are green. First man and his next line are also green.]] First man: Wait, what does that gesture even mean? {{Your IDE's color may vary.}}
Filler Art 2006-09-15 [[Text above plain stick figure]] Text: Sorry guys no comic today. I've gotta go to the doctor to get my thighs rotated. But here's some new character art I'm working on! {{Alt-text: Maybe I should let up on Megatokyo a little?}}
Six Months 2006-09-18 [[A guy stands]] Guy: It's been six months and I still have those dreams where you're pressed tight against me, where you look into my eyes and give me that grin and it's like you've forgotten everything. Guy: And something in the back of my head says it's wrong, it's not like this anymore, but I push it down. In the morning, I tell myself I can't control my dreams, but there's a part of me that doesn't want them to stop. Guy: And honestly, waking up would be a lot easier if your mom didn't look so much like you. Guy: There's always that moment of confusion. {{title-text: But then she does that thing with her tongue and I remember why I left you.}}
Boombox 2006-09-20 [[A woman is looking out a second story window at a guy holding a boombox over his head.]] Man: MEGAN! Woman: Oh my god, I can't believe this is happening. Man: I LOVE YOU! Woman: Okay, that's great. Wait a second. Is ... is that ... Ice Ice Baby? What the hell? Man: I'm not very good at this. <> alt-text: And she's gonna feel like a jerk when she realizes it was actually Under Pressure.
Penny Arcade Parody 2006-09-20 [[The first panel uses the art style of Penny Arcade.]] Gabe: What? Sony has plenty of launch titles lined up that aren't lame sequels. Tycho: Name one. And furthermore, they... I... uh... [[The art style is dropped. The next two panels are just text.]] Narrator: I can't do this. I can't parody Penny Arcade. I've got nothing on t hose guys. They're a class act, they know their audience, they know exactly what they're doing. Gabe experiments with his art, always bold and fresh without trying to perform. Tycho's writing continues to astound day after day. I can just see him, reading my uncultured swill masquerading as his florid prose. Narrator: But he's not angry, no. He's sitting at his desk smiling that condescending half-smile, the corner of his mouth belying the self-assurance of a writer who never misplaces a word. His firm hands rest easily on the keyboard, his right thumb caressing the space bar gently, as I enter the room. He knows I'm there without turning around, and I'm too nervous to speak. But I don't have to; he understands, I can see it in the way his eyes play over me, reading my fears and doubts in a glance and washing them away with a knowing smile. Then he's on his feet, he's in front of me, and I don't feel the electric jolt I expected as our hands meet. It's just warm, warm and right: As I sink into his eyes I feel a hand on my shoulder, and I see Tycho smile at someone behind me. Gabe is standing there, grinning that mischievous grin, and twirling his beloved cardboard tube between his fingers. Narrator: The night has just begun. {{Title text: No one show this to Tycho's wife, okay?}}
Accident 2006-09-22 [[Person driving car while singing]] Driver: NAAAA NA NA NANA NANA NA NA KATAMARI DAMACY [[two people talking]] Mailbox Owner: and that's when you veered into the mailbox? Driver: It looked smaller then me. It was just instinct.
Angular Momentum 2006-09-25 [[Man sits on his bed, looking at a girl who is spinning. It is night.]] Man on bed: What are you doing? Girl: Spinning counterclockwise Each turn robs the planet of angular momentum Slowing its spin by the tiniest bit Lengthening the night, pushing back the dawn Giving me a little more time here With you {{title text: With reasonable assumptions about latitude and body shape, how much time might she gain them? Note: whatever the answer, sunrise always comes too soon. (Also, is it worth it if she throws up?)}}
Donald Knuth 2006-09-27 [[Two programmers, one with a black hat and one without a hat, are sitting back to back at two separate desks, typing.]] No-Hat Programmer: Man, you're being inconsistent with your array indices. Some are from one, some are from zero. Black-Hat Programmer: Different tasks call for different conventions. To quote Stanford algorithm's expert Donald Knuth, "Who are you? How did you get in my house?" No-Hat Programmer: Wait, what? Black-Hat Programmer: Well, that's what he said when I asked him about it. {{alt: His books were kinda intimidating; rappelling down through his skylight seemed like the best option.}}
Playing Devil's Advocate to Win 2006-09-29 Man: Yes, from the evidence it looks pretty likely to me that we're causing global warming on a horrific scale. But with science you don't need to argue. It doesn't matter who wins the debate -- it's about reality. By just waiting a little longer, we'll get to SEE who was right. It feels unethical but I find myself wanting to keep quiet about the science just to know for sure. As terrible as it sounds, the state of the world isn't really my responsibility. I'm just thrilled to get to watch. If the scientists are right -- and if we keep people from understanding just a little longer -- we'll enjoy quite a ride. And pragmatically, on the outside chance that they're all wrong, I get saved the embarrassment of having spoken up. {{alt: There are so many well-meaning conservatives around here who just assume global warming is only presented as a moral issue for political reasons.}}
Turn Signals 2006-10-02 [[Two cars are seen sitting at a red light. One person is seen walking from his car up to the driver of the car in front of him. The turn signals of both cars seem to be blinking at the same time.]] Person in Street: Hey, our turn signals are in sync! Person in Car: What the hell? Person in Street: Usually they're at least a little off. But I've been watching like 30 seconds and haven't seen any beat frequency! Person in Car: Who are you? Person in Street: You know, from the beat frequency you can tell the difference in timing of the two signals. Person in Car: ... Person in Street: But ours are the same! Person in Car: ... Person in Street: So, wanna hang out later? {{Alt: I'm not very good at meeting people.}}
Misusing Slang 2006-10-04 Narrator: The best part of getting older is gonna be intentionally misusing slang around teenagers just to watch them squirm. Man: Oh man, that song is so pwned! Adolescent: <> {{title text: It slowly dawns on us that our parents knew exactly what they were doing.}}
Nihilism 2006-10-06 {{Alt Text: Why can't you have normal existential angst like all the other boys?}} [[Two men - one capped with a beret, the other hatless - approach a tree while talking.]] MAN: There is no God. Our existence is without purpose. MAN IN BERET: Oh, definitely. MAN IN BERET: We are adrift in an uncaring void indifferent to all our mortal toil. MAN: Exactly! In the end, nothing we do matters. MAN IN BERET: [[climbing the tree]] Totally. MAN: We just... Why are you climbing that tree? [[THe man in beret is now completely submerged in the tree]] MAN IN BERET: Because the future is an adventure! Come on! MAN: But-- MAN IN BERET: Hey! I found squirrels!
Reverse Euphemisms 2006-10-09 My Hobby: Reverse Euphemisms [[Two people talking]] Person 1: Oh, hey, school just let out and it's YMCA night, so I've gotta go take a shit. Person 2: What? Person 1: I mean I actually have to drop the kids off at the pool. {{title text: I'm still waiting for a chance to use 'I have to see a man about a horse'.}}
Words that End in GRY 2006-10-11 [[Hat Guy and Random Guy are standing next to each other.]] Random Guy: There are three words in the English language that end in "gry". "Angry" and "Hungry" are two. What's the third? Hat Guy: I don't think there is one, unless you cound really obscure words. Random Guy: Ha! It's "language"! I said there are three words in "the English--" [[Hat Guy grabs Random Guy's hand with a <>]] Random Guy: What th-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA [[Hat Guy slices off Random Guy's hand with a knife.]] Hat Guy: Ok, listen carefully. Random Guy: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA [[Random Guy is bleeding profusely.]] Hat Guy: Communicating badly then acting smug when you're misunderstood is not cleverness. Random Guy: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Hat Guy: I hope we've learned something today. Random Guy: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA {{Alt text: The fifth panel also applys to postmodernists.}}
Turn Back 2006-10-13 Person 1: Should we keep going? Person 2: I don't know. Person 1: We can turn back if you want. Person 2: Look-- Person 2: Did it ever occur to you that maybe I don't have a plan any more than you? Maybe just having this conversation means we're lost. [[Wide shot of the characters walking through a Calvin and Hobbes-esque alien landscape]] Person 1: Kind of scary. Person 2: It's terrifying. Person 1: This place is beautiful. Person 2: Yeah. {{alt: I hear that these days Bill Watterson is happy just painting in the Ohio woods with his father and doesn't get any mail or talk to anyone.}}
String Theory 2006-10-16 String Theory summarized: I just had an awesome idea. Suppose all matter and energy is made of tiny, vibrating "strings". Okay. What would that imply? I dunno. {{title text: This works on pretty much every level.}}
Skateboarding is Not a Crime 2006-10-18 [[A set of lockers. The middle one has a sticker stuck to it proclaiming "Skateboarding is not a crime"]] When I'm president, skateboarding will still be legal, but display of those stupid stickers will be a felony. {{alt text: 'Arrest me, I'm a skateboarder' is an even more obnoxious variant.}}
Movie Seating 2006-10-20 At the movies, I get frustrated when we file into our row haphazardly, ignoring the computationally difficulty problem of seating people together for maximum enjoyment. [[Map of relationships between 8 people.]] {{legend:}} Single line: friends. Double line: in a relationship. Arrow: one-way crush. Dashed line: acquaintances [[The eight friends sitting in a row in a dark cinema. Narrator and one other are between two lovers.]] Guys! This is not socially optimal! {{Title-text: It's like the traveling salesman problem, but the endpoints are different and you can't ask your friends for help because they're sitting three seats down.}}
That's What SHE Said 2006-10-23 {{My Hobby: Using "that's what SHE said" only in the most grammatically ambiguous situations.}} Person 1: He doubts she could've done they claimed she did. Person 2: That's what _SHE_ said! {{alt: Yes, I mean she said that during sex. Yes, it was a little weird.}}
Automatic Doors 2006-10-25 When I walk past an automatic door and it opens for me, I worry that if I don't go in I'll hurt its feelings. <> Figure: Oh, um, I'm sorry, I was just ... um ... I guess I can hang out for a bit.
Before Sunrise 2006-10-27 [[Man stands in frame, talking]] Man: Every morning for a week now I've gone out driving before sunrise. I wanted to get lost in the dark, park my car, listen to music, and sip from a warm drink as dawn broke around me, gradually revealing a landscape I'd never before seen. A chain of unique beinnings forcing wonder into the seeds of each day. But I guess I need more willpower, because each sunrise just found me at your mom's apartment again. {{title text: It's an amazing time of day; the light is great for photography.}}
Alice and Bob 2006-10-30 [[Girl with black hair stands in the frame, talking to the reader]] Girl: I'm sure you've heard all about this sordid affair in those gossipy cryptographic protocol specs with those busybodies Schneier and Rivest, always taking Alice's side, always labeling me the attacker. Girl: Yes, it's true. I broke Bob's private key and extracted the text of her messages. But does anyone realize how much it hurt? Girl: He said it was nothing, but everything from the public-key authenticated signatures on the files to the lipstick heart smeared on the disk screamed "Alice." Girl: I didn't want to believe. Of course on some level I realized it was a known-plaintext attack. But I couldn't admit it until I saw it for myself. [[Girl places her hands on her hips]] Girl: So before you so quickly label me a third party to the communication, just remember: I loved him first. We had something and she tore it away. She's the attacker, not me. - Not eve. {{title text: Yet one more reason I'm barred from speaking at crypto conferences.}}
Not Really Into Pokemon 2006-11-01 I have found the perfect phrase for condescendingly dismissing anything: [[Two men are talking, one is wearing a black hat]] Man without hat: Have you seen the new ubuntu release? Man with black hat: Nah, I'm not really into Pokémon. {{title text: As of this writing, Ubuntu 6.10 and Firefox 2.0 have left my computer a complete mess.}}
e to the pi times i 2006-11-03 {{Note my use of ^(x) and √(x) standing in for the normal maths syntax in the comic}} [[Two people (anonymous: no hair or hats) stand in conversation, one gesturing over a flipchart of indistinct algebra.]] EXPLAINER: NUMBERS OF THE FORM n√(-1) ARE "IMAGINARY" BUT WE CAN STILL USE THEM IN EQUATIONS. OTHER: OKAY. EXPLAINER: AND e^(π √(-1))=-1. OTHER: NOW YOU'RE JUST FUCKING WITH ME. {{alt text: I have never been totally satisfied by the explanations for why e to the ix gives a sinusoidal wave.}}
Canada 2006-11-06 [[Two men stand talking to each other]] First Man: If we lose this election, I'm moving to Canada. Second Man: You say that every year. First Man: I mean it this time. Second Man: Well, becoming a citizen takes work. Meanwhile, you have no money, half an art degree, and it's the start of winter. You'll freeze to death in the streets. First Man: Whatever. [[Second man raises his hands]] Second Man: No, don't you get it? If you die in Canada, you die in REAL LIFE! {{title text: IT'S ALL REAL}}
Interblag 2006-11-08 [[Title: Terms I have used or heard used to make fun of the internet.]] [[Below: A matrix whose entries may contain crosses to indicate that a term has been used. The rows (prefixes) are labelled WORLD WIDE, INTER-, BLOGO-, BLAGO- and WEB- ; the columns are labelled NET, WEB, SPHERE, TUBES and BLAG. In the interests of properly propagating the term "blagoblag", the full list of used terms follows: World Wide Web Internet Interweb Intersphere Intertubes Interblag Blogosphere Blagonet Blagosphere Blagoblag Webnet Webweb]] [[Boy and Girl stand facing; Boy raises his hands in the air while Girl is nonplussed]] Boy: I heard about it on the interblag! {{Title text: Sometimes I hate the internet. Sometimes it makes me happy that 'The Tubes' has become slang for the internet so quickly.}}
Nash 2006-11-10 [[Two men stand talking two each other. The first man is pointing off the panel]] First Man: Hey, Dr. Nash, I think those gals over there are eyeing us. This is like your Nash Equilibrium, right? One of them is hot, but we should each flirt with one of her less-desirable friends. Otherwise we risk coming on too strong to the hot one and just driving the group off. Second Man (Dr. Nash): Well, that's not really the sort of situation I wrote about. Once we're with the ugly ones, there's no incentive for one of us not to try to switch to the hot one. It's not a stable equilibrium. First Man: Crap, forget it. Looks like all three are leaving with one guy. [[Second Man shakes his fist]] Second Man (Dr. Nash): Dammit, Feynman! {{title text: Maybe someday science will get over its giant collective crush on Richard Feynman. But I doubt it!}}
Snacktime Rules 2006-11-13 My dad was always the one who taught me about science, but looking back, I'm starting to realize how much my nerdiness was influenced by my mom. [[A woman and a child are talking]] Child: Mom, can I have a snack in my room before bed? Mom: No, Dear. You know you only get that privilege when your age is one less than a multiple of three. {{alt text: I am not making this rule up. Although my mom wants you all to know it made perfect sense at the time.}}
Matrix Transform 2006-11-15 ( ( cos 90º sin 90º) ( -sin 90º cos 90º ) ) ( a1 a2 )t = [[The same (a1 a2)t matrix turned 90º to the right]] {{In fact, draw all your rotational matrices sideways. Your professors will love it! And then they'll go home and shrink.}}
Wikifriends 2006-11-17 WikiFriends: [[Two people are talking to each other]] Person 1: I really liked that movie. Person 2: I hated that movie. Person 1: Me too. {{title text: It's crazy how much my gut opinion of a movie song is swayed by what other people say, regardless of how I felt coming out of the theater.}}
Console Lines 2006-11-20 {{Title: Fans turning away latecomers to all-night game console campouts:}} {{Sony Microsoft:}} [[Campers to new arrivals:]] The line is full, asshole! Fuck off! {{Nintendo:}} [[Campers to new arrivals:]] I'm so sorry, all the consoles are spoken for. Do... Do you want a hug? {{alt: If I get a Wii, it will be the first game console I've owned.}}
The Familiar 2006-11-22 [[One person sits at a computer, another is standing behind him]] Person standing up: Let's go see sunrise over the ocean. Person at computer: That's a long drive, it's cold, I'm tired, and rationalizing the familiar is easy. [[Person standing up leaves. In the next two frames the man at the computer remains at his computer]] {{title text: When I say we should do something sometime, I'm secretly hoping you'll say 'Why not now?'}}
Reload 2006-11-24 [[Four soldiers are preparing to enter a battlefield; their leader addresses them.]] Leader: Okay men, we're going in. Stay low, keep behind cover, and if you run out of ammunition, shoot outside the battlefield to reload. {{Title text: And watch out for that guy from comic #53.}}
Exercise 2006-11-27 Like many geeks, I got a lot more interested in exercise once I made the connection to leveling up. [[Man is doing pull-ups on a bar]] Man doing pull-ups: One more point to str, then I'll run to work on con. {{title text: I haven't had the patience for RPGs in a long time.}}
IPoD 2006-11-29 [[Character 1 - wearing a black hat - sits at a computer. Character 2 stands behind Character 1]] Character 1: You see, statisticians communicate using IPoD -- IP over Demographics. For example, the header of the next packet I send will be encoded into the New Jersey death rate. Character 2: So you're going to hack the census bureau and change the number of reported deaths? Character 1: Guess again. Character 1: Hey, have you seen my crossbow? {{Alt: For smaller numbers he has to SAVE lives. The birthrate channel is even more of a mixed bag.}}
Lojban 2006-12-01 Man: If you learned to speak Lojban, your communication would be completely unambiguous and logical. Man in black hat: Yeah, but it would all be with the kind of people who learn Lojban.
Working for Google 2006-12-04 Have you read about Google HQ? It sounds like an incredible place to work. Man, I ain't going to be chained down in no corporate idea factory! They think just 'cause they've got a nice building and laid back culture, I'm gonna want to come in all day long and work on fascinating problems with the smartest people in the world. [[One stick figure stares at the other]] So, what, they turned you down? I don't understand it! I even baked them a cake shaped like the internet! {{I hear once you've worked there 256 days, they teach you the secret of levitation.}}
The Perfect Sound 2006-12-06 [[Two people are listening to music on a stereo]] Person 1: I'm telling you, listen right here to the sets of rising notes following the opening section. Person 2: Uh huh. [[Person 1 indicates stereo]] Person 1: And then right here, the transition into the chorus. _This_ is music. This is _art_! [[Person 1 dances along with the music]] Stereo: Oh Mickey, you so fine, you so fine you blow my mind, hey Mickey! *clap* *clap* Hey Mickey! Person 2: There's something wrong with you. {{alt text: Oh, what a pity, can't you understand...}}
Penises 2006-12-08 {{Headline: PENISES:}} Woman: They are about this big. [[Holds her hands about half a foot apart]] Now can we PLEASE, as a culture, move on? {{alt:The penis varies in size when flaccid and is pretty consistently about yea big when erect. Anyway, back to the sitcom one-liners and the constant flow of spam.}}
Map of the Internet 2006-12-11 Map of the Internet The IPv4 Space, 2006 This chart shows the IP address space on a plane using a fractal mapping which preserves grouping--any consecutive string of IPs will translate to a single, compact, contiguous region on the map. Each of the 256 numbered blocks represents one 8 subnet (containing all IPs that start with that number). The upper left section shows the blocks sold directly to corporations and coverments in the 1990's before the RIRs took over allocation. [[Diagram displaying IP addresses using Hibbert Curve]] Diagram showing IP ownership: 0: Local 1-2: Unallocated 3: General Electric 4: BB&N INC 5: Unallocated 6: Army AISC 7: Unallocated 8: BB&N INC 9: IBM 10: VPNs 11: DoD Intel 12: Bell Labs 13: Xerox 14: Public data nets 15: HP 16: DEC 17: Apple 18: MIT 19: Ford 20: CSC 21: DDN-RYN 22: DISA 23: Unallocated 24: Cable TV 25: UK MoD 26: DISA 27: Unallocated 28: DSI 29-30: DISA 31: Unallocated 32: NORSK 33: DLA 34: Halliburton 35: Merit 36-37: Unallocated 38: PSI 39: Unallocated 40: Eli Lily 41: ARINIC 42: Unallocated 43: Japan INET 44: HAM Radio 45: INTEROP 46: BB&N INC 47: Bell North 48: Prudential 49-50: Unallocated 51: UK Social Security 52: duPont 55: Boeing 56: USPS 57: SITA 58-61: Asia-Pacific 62: Europe 63-76: USA & Canada (contains: UUNET, Google, Digg, Slashdot, Ebay, Craigslist, XKCD, Flickr) 77-79: Europe (unused) 80-91: Europe 92-95: Unallocated 96-99: North America 100-120: Unallocated 121-125: Asia-Pacific 126: Japan 127: Loopback 128-132: Various Registrars 133: Japan 134-172: Various Registrars 173-189: Unallocated 188: Various 189-190: Latin America & Caribbean 191-192: Various (contains Private (RFC 1918) 193-195: Europe 196: Africa 197: Unallocated 198: US & Various 199: North America 200-201: Latin America & Carribbean 202-203: Asia-Pacific 204-209: North America (contains Suicide Girls, BoingBoing) 210-211: Asia-Pacific 212-213: Europe 214-215: U.S. Department of Defense 216: North America (Contains Myspace, SomethingAwful) 217: Europe 218-222: Asia-Pacific 223: Unallocated 224-239: Multicast 240-255: Unallocated {{alt: For the IPv6 map just imagine the XP default desktop picture.}}
Command Line Fu 2006-12-13 [[Two men talking]] Man 2: Last night I was watching videos with this girl and my monitors kept turning off - even though I had disabled power save. Man 1: Odd. Man 2: However! I wrote a command to jiggle the mouse pointer every couple minutes to keep it from going idle. Man 1: Not the first hack I'd try, but see? Linux has problems, but it gives you the tools to deal with them - and save your date! Man 2: Actually, I was half an hour into the pointer scripting documentation when she got dressed and left. {{title text: When designing an interface, imagine that your program is all that stands between the user and hot, sweaty, tangled-bedsheets-fingertips-digging-into-the-back sex.}}
Ninja Turtles 2006-12-15 [[Four pie graphs, each colored green and brown]] Leonardo [[Almost one-half green]] Michelangelo [[More than one-half green]] Donatello [[Almost completely green]] Raphael [[Roughly half-and-half]] [[A legend]] Notoriety as a [[Brown]] Renaissance artist [[Green]] Ninja turtle {{alt text: The henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady have hijacked the musical genres for us just like the Lone Ranger hijacked the William Tell Overture for our parents.}}
Perspective 2006-12-18 Narrator: Sometimes, when I first wake up, I am caught in the horrible grip of perspective. [[A person sitting up in bed]] Person: It may be a jewel of open source, but Firefox is JUST A BROWSER. It shows WEBPAGES. What the hell is WRONG with us? Narrator: Fortunately, this subsides quickly. {{alt text: I wonder what I was dreaming to prompt that. I hope it wasn't the Richard Stallman Cirque de Soleil thing again.}}
Right-Hand Rule 2006-12-20 [[Picture of a right hand with fingers curved, thumb pointed away, with axes drawn to demonstrate the right-hand rule of physics]] Alternatives to the Right-Hand Rule in vector multiplication: [[A slightly-open book with labeled axes drawn on.]] Book Rule: Open the front cover along the first vector and the back cover along the second. The result vector is along the spine, out the top. [[A handgun with axes.]] Handgun Rule: Point the grip along the first vector and rotate it so that the second vector is on the safety latch side. Fire. The result vector is toward the bullet holes. [[A person with right arm extended.]] Body Rule (males only): Point your right arm along the first vector and your legs along the second, then watch some porn. {{alt text: To really expand your mind try some noncartesian porn. Edwin Abbot Abbott has nothing on 'Girls on Girls in Tightly Closed Nonorientable Spaces'.}}
Bill Nye 2006-12-22 [[A restaurant. A mother and two children sit at one table; a man in a white lab coat sits in another.]] Title: THE TRIBULATIONS of BILL NYE Mother: Hey, kids, see how the ice cracks and pops in your water? I wonder what causes that... Mother: *AHEM* I said, I wonder what -- Bill Nye: Know what? Maybe I just wanna enjoy my goddamn meal. {{alt text: You could at least not wear the lab coat everywhere, dude.}}
Christmas GPS 2006-12-25 Boy: Check it out-- I got a GPS receiver for Christmas! What should we do with it? Girl: Let's take our latitude & longitdue, put our birthdays after the decimal points, then go to that spot and make out. [[Boy is in love]] Narrator: Merry Christmas from XKCD [[car driving off in to the distance]] {{Alt Text: If it's over water, and you can't get a boat or revise the rules to preserve the makeout, there is no helping you.}}
YouTube 2006-12-27 The Internet has always had loud dumb people, but I've never seen anything quite as bad as the people who comment on YouTube videos. [[A YouTube comments page for a moon landing video]] Comments & Responses rocckir (48 minutes ago) this is so obviously faked its unbilevable, why r people so gullible??? morons bigmike133 (35 minutes ago) ive seen the space shuttle ass hole it definetly landed on the moon do some research... gunpistolman (22 minutes ago) if it was real why is their gravity? americans r fucken sheep crackmonkey74 (17 minutes ago) u dont think we went to the moon why not tell louis armstrong to his face simpleplan2009 (3 minutes ago) it was a soundstage on mars {{Title text: I pray GunPistolMan never learns the word 'sheeple'.}}
Hallucinations 2006-12-29 Heading: Sometimes is seems bizarre to me that we take dreaming in stride. [[Two people standing]] Person 1: Are you coming to dinner? Person 2: Yeah, but first I'm gonna go comatose for a few hours, hallucinate vividly, and then maybe suffer amnesia about the whole experience. Person 1: Okay, cool.
America 2007-01-01 [[Timeline]] 1776 ; declaration of independence 1979 ; jimmy carter attacked by giant swimming rabbit 2007 ; present day centered, bottom, title ; america must never forget
Candy Button Paper 2007-01-03 When it came to eating strips of candy buttons, there were two main strategies. Some kids carefully removed each bead, checking closely for paper residue before eating. Others tore the candy off haphazardly, swallowing large scraps of paper as they ate. Then there were the lonely few of us who moved back and forth on the strip, eating rows of beads here and there, pretending we were Turing machines. {Title text: Nonrewritable tape?}
Reno Rhymes 2007-01-05 [[Two men stand facing one another. Man on the left is wearing a hat]] Man: You know, I once shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die. Man 2: Really? Well, I once shot a man in Reno, but I couldn't tell you why. Man: I once shot a man in Reno, then I went home to cry. Man 2: I once shot a man in Reno, then I watered his cacti. Man: I once shot a man in Reno 'cause they cancelled Firefly. Man 2: I once shot a man in Reno, him and all his succubi. Man: I once shot a man in Reno and a bunch more in My Lai. Man 2: I think we're done. {{title text: Did you shoot a man in Reno? Now, I don't mean to pry.}}
What xkcd Means 2007-01-08 {{Title: What does XKCD mean?}} [[One car of two sitting at a red light makes a right turn, then shifts over to the left and makes a left turn to go back the way it came. It then makes another right and continues on the road past the traffic light. This is shown with a red arrow.]] {{Panel title: It means saving a few seconds at a long red light via elaborate and questionably legal maneuvers.}} [[Someone on a cell phone is shown in a circle in the panel. A second person in the panel itself is looking at a dog, from which the ringing sound of his phone is coming]] <> {{Panel title: It means having someone call your cell phone to figure out where it is.}} [[The mathematical function "A(g64, g64)=," with the 64s subscripted, appears in the panel. Next to the equal sign stands a mathematician, clutching his head.]] {{Panel title: It means calling the Ackermann function with Graham's number as the arguments just to horrify mathematicians.}} Mathematician: Aughhh [[An approximately 8 by 8 square of floor tiles is shown; the first, fourth and seventh across in the first, fourth and seventh rows are black and the rest are white. A guy and girl are shown next to it, walking on what is presumed to be the same pattern of floor tiles.]] {{Panel title: It means instinctively constructing rules for which floor tiles it's okay to step on and then walking funny ever after.}} {{Line indicating the uppermost right black tile: Black tiles okay}} {{Line indicating tile directly below it: White tiles directly between black tiles okay}} {{Line indicating a white tile in the last column over: Not okay}} {{Alt text: It means shuffling quickly past nuns on the street with ketchup in your palms, pretending you're hiding stigmata.}}
Regular Expressions 2007-01-10 Narrator: Whenever I learn a new skill I concoct elaborate fantasy scenarios where it lets me save the day. Woman: Oh no! The killer must have followed her on vacation! [[Woman points to computer]] Woman: But to find them we'd need to search through 200MB of emails looking for something formatted like an address! Man: It's hopeless! Offpanel voice: Everybody stand back. Offpanel voice: I know regular expressions. [[A man swings in on a rope, toward the computer]] <> <> [[The man swings away, and the other characters cheer]] {{rollover text: Wait, forgot to escape a space. Wheeeeee[taptaptap]eeeeee.}}
Kayak 2007-01-12 [[Person with beret in a kayak is talking to person on pier.]] Person with beret: Come explore the future with me! Person on pier: Huh? What's that you're in? Person with beret: A two seat kayak! Person on pier: I see, but why do you have it? Person with beret: We'll find out! The future is a big place! Person on pier: So the kayak travels through time? Person with beret: Sure! Just like everything else! It also goes over water. Come on! {{title text: Man, there's future *everywhere*.}}
90's Flowchart 2007-01-15 Start | The 90's? \ No Yes | | Stop Stop \ Hammertime Collaborate | Listen {{alt: Freestyle rapping is basically applied Markov chains.}}
Hamster Ball Heist 2007-01-17 Person 1: You know that giant hamster ball you've always wanted? I just found out that Wayne Coyne from the Flaming Lips crowd-surfs in one. Person 2: Let's go. Some Weeks Later ... [[Wayne Coyne is, in fact, crowd-surfing in a giant hamster ball.]] Person: Ready? Friends: Ready. Person: Now! <> [[People on both sides shove the crowd out of the way, causing Coyne in his ball to fall to the ground.]] Wayne Coyne: Hey! Person: Okay, push! [[Person and friends start pushing the ball away, as the crowd looks on.]] [[Some roll him up the ramp into the back of a semi, while others hold the crowd back and one stands by to drive.]] Wayne Coyne: Help! [[The truck drives off, leaving the audience in a cloud of dust.]] {{Title text: First person to bring me Wayne Coyne in a hamster ball gets a free t-shirt! He gets one too.}}
Brain 2007-01-19 My brain: [[Picture of Brain. Line points at a highlighted point]] Section that is devoted, no matter where I go in life, to planning the ultimate tree house*. *Man it would be like Swiss Family Robinson, but with multiple trees connected by... hey come up to my room and see the blue prints. {{title text: The rest is fear of raptors}}
Ghostbusters Marathon 2007-01-22 [[Two people are in a room. One is standing up. There is litter around them.]] Standing man: Okay, that's all the Ghostbusters marathon I can handle. Later! Man #2: You can't leave! We just started the animated series! Standing man: I've had my fill. I'm going home. Man #2: I can't let you do that. [[The man walks along a cord, and past a box. The other man clicks a switch.]] <> [[The standing man is bathed in some kind of aura emitted by the box.]] {{Title text: If you walk out that door you'll be crossing the Rubicon with me, and that's one stream I'm not ready to cross.}}
The Problem with Wikipedia 2007-01-24 The Problem With Wikipedia: Takoma Narrows Bridge [[Lines Lead to]] Suspension Bridge [[and]] Structural Collapse Three Hours of Fascinated Clicking Later William Howard Taft 24-Hour Analog Dial Lesbianism in Erotica Batman [[leads to]] Fatal Hilarity Taylor Hanson Cotton [[leads to]] T-Shirt [[leads to]] Wet T-Shirt Contest {{alt:'Taft in a wet t-shirt contest' is the key image here}}
Letting Go 2007-01-26 [[A picture of a man and a woman in a heart is being held by someone, it has been ripped down the middle, separating the two people]] [[Man sits at computer, looking at the picture]] [[It is night, man still sits at computer with the picture in front of him and his head drooped]] [[It is day again, man types on computer]] Text from computer: root@homebox:~# userdel megan {{alt text: At least I never gave her the root password.}}
Romantic Drama Equation 2007-01-29 TV Romantic Drama Equation (Derived during a series of 'Queer as Folk' episodes) [[A table shows equations for possible romantic pairings in a TV show. The equation under "gay" is n(n-1) 2+x(x-n); the equation under "straight" is x(n-x).]] x: Number of male (or female) cast members. n: total number of cast members. [[A graph plots pairings (for large casts) against cast makeup. Each of the above equations forms a curve. "Gay cast" starts high for an all male cast, dips down at 50 50 cast makeup, and then rises again for all female. "Straight cast" starts at zero for an all male cast, peaks at 50 50 cast makeup, and then drops to zero again for an all female cast. The two curves intersect at two points close to the middle.]] {{Title text: Real-life prospective-pairing curves over things like age can get depressing.}}
e to the pi Minus pi 2007-01-31 Person: Hey, check it out: e^pi-pi is 19.999099979. That's weird. Hat Guy: Yeah. That's how I got kicked out of the ACM in college. Person: . . . what? Hat Guy: During a competition, I told the programmers on our team that e^pi-pi was a standard test of floating-point handlers--it would come out to 20 unless they had rounding errors. Person: That's awful. Hat Guy: Yeah, they dug through half their algorithms looking for the bug before they figured it out. {{alt text: Also, I hear the 4th root of (9^2 + 19^2 22) is pi.
Nintendo Surgeon 2007-02-02 {{Headline: Scary Thought #137: The NES came out over two decades ago. Those kids are all grown-ups now.}} [[Two surgeons are in an operating room, leaning over a patient]] First Surgeon: He's going into cardiac arrest. Stand by for defibrillation. Second Surgeon: Wait. First let's try taking out the heart, blowing into the ventricles, and putting it back in. {{title text: Scary thought #138: Raptors coming down the waterslide behind me.}}
Blanket Fort 2007-02-05 [[Two girls are talking with each other. There is a fort made of cushions and blankets on the left]] First Girl: Like my fort? It uses every blanket and cushion in the apartment. Second Girl: Okay, no offense, but this is like that ball pit you made -- Cute, but don't you worry you're clinging to childhood games because you're afraid of change? First Girl: No. I'm happy to grow up. But I won't pretend fun things aren't still fun out of fear of looking silly. Second Girl: But you're 24 and building blanket forts. How have you changed? What's adult about that? First Girl: Well, there's my boyfriend curled up in the back. Second Girl: ...Ah. Boyfriend [[from inside the fort]]:Excuse my shyness. I'm not exactly dressed. {{alt text: Also, we have a fort out in the woods where we stashed that hooker's body.}}
Philosophy 2007-02-07 [[Girl sits on chair, thinking]] [[Two panels pass, the girl does not move]] Girl: If the question of what it all means doesn't mean anything, why do I keep coming back to it? [[Two boys are talking to each other]] First boy: She's getting existential again. Second boy: It's okay, I have a super soaker. [[Second boy pulls a large super soaker from a drawer]] {{title text: It's like the squirt bottle we use with the cat.}}
Random Number 2007-02-09 int getRandomNumber() { return 4; chosen by fair dice roll. guarenteed to be random. } {{title text: RFC 1149.5 specifies 4 as the standard IEEE-vetted random number.}}
Small Talk 2007-02-12 Sometimes I forget how to do small talk. [[Two people are talking to each other]] First person: Hey! Second person: Hey, man! First person: What's up? How've you been? Second person: Well... [[Nothing happens]] [[Nothing happens]] [[Nothing happens]] First person: Uh, you okay? Second person: Yeah! It's just an interesting question. I'm trying to decide what best sums up my - First person: <> Hey, conversation. Second person: Oh, right. I'm fine. You? {{title text: But surely I owe you an accurate answer!}}
Valentine's Day 2007-02-14 {{Valentine's Day}} [[There is a large, shaded, red heart.]] {{Because love isn't quite complicated enough as it is.}} {{alt: One of these days me and Joey Comeau will get around to subverting hetero-normative paradigm and fixing all this.}}
Lisp 2007-02-16 [[Floating in space]] Speaker: Last night I drifted off while reading a Lisp book. Stick Figure Man: Huh? Speaker: Suddenly, I was bathed in a suffusion of blue. [[Floating in space before a vast concept tree]] Speaker: At once, just like they said, I felt a great enlightenment. I saw the naked structure of Lisp code unfold before me. Stick Figure Man: My God Stick Figure Man: It's full of 'car's Speaker: The patterns and metapatterns danced. Syntax faded, and I swam in the purity of quantified conception. Of ideas manifest. Truly, this was the language from which the gods wrought the Universe. [[Floating in space with God appearing through a line of clouds]] God: No, it's not. Stick Figure Man: It's not? God: I mean, ostensibly, yes. Honestly, we hacked most of it together with Perl. {{Alt Text: We lost the documentation on quantum mechanics. You'll have to decode the regexes yourself.}}
Open Source 2007-02-19 [[A man with much facial hair is sleeping on a bed.]] [[Suddenly, two ninjas jump through the skylight.]] Ninja 1: Richard Stallman! Your viral open source licenses have grown too powerful. Ninja 1: The GPL must be stopped. Ninja 1: At the source. Ninja 1: You. [[Richard Stallman wakes up immediately, and pulls his katana out of its sheath from under his bed]] Richard Stallman: Hah! Microsoft lackeys! So it has come to this! Richard Stallman: A night of blood I've long awaited. But be this my death or yours, free software will carry on! For a GNU dawn! For freedom! ... hey, where are you going? [[The ninja step out the window]] Ninja 1: Man, you're right, that never gets old. Ninja 2: Let's do Eric S. Raymond next. Ninja 1: Or Linus Torvalds. I hear he sleeps with nunchucks. [[Comic alt text: Later we'll dress up like Big Oil thugs and jump Ralph Nader.]]
Swingset 2007-02-21 [[Woman talking to boy on swing-set]] Woman: You know, at the peak of a big swing, you become weightless. [[Thought bubble from boy on swing-set]] [[Boy swings higher and higher. At the peak of a big swing he shoves off the swing. The boy remains hovering in the air.]] Boy: Hey guys. Come check this out. {{title text: Someone bring me a pocket fan so I can drift around the yard.}}
Color Codes 2007-02-23 [[Man holding cell phone talks to a man at a desk littered with objects]] Man with phone: Hey, what's your cell number? Man at desk: (Violet Brown Gray) - Uh, I mean, (718)-387-6962. Man with phone: Okay, you are putting down those resistors and going outside for a while. Man at desk: That's probably a good idea. {{title text: (It's the TMBG Dial-a-Song line, to save you some time.)}}
Resonance 2007-02-26 [[A person is sitting at a desk, which is vibrating.]] <> [[He leans back and turns to face someone sitting at another desk behind him.]] Person 1: Excuse me--you're jiggling your leg up and down. It's traveling through the floor and making my desk resonate. Person 2: Oh, I didn't even realize! I'll stop. [[The first person passes a sheet of paper to the second person.]] Person 1: Actually, can you just shift the frequency up by 15%? I think you can get resonance with Steve's desk instead. Person 2: Uh huh . . . Person 1: Here are the calculations. Let's coordinate and try to spill his drink. {{alt text: It's really hard to control the frequency, actually.}}
Graffiti 2007-02-28 [[A guy sits on a toilet in a bathroom. The stall sidewalll next to him is covered in graffiti--"you suck," "Mike sucks cock," "Cunt," "dane was here" stuck through and "dane is a fag" written under it. One block of graffiti is salient:]] "This graffitii is fleeting human contact both of us lost, but for a moment we're lost together. I wonder who you are." Subtitle: I think I look for meaning in the wrong places sometimes. {{title-text: FOR AN INTRIGUING TIME CALL}}
Hamiltonian 2007-03-02 [[Classroom]] Lecturer: And therefore, based on the existence of a Hamiltonian path, we can prove that the routing algorithm gives the optimal result in all cases. Man: Oh my God. [[Close-up of Man]] (Out of frame): What? What is it? Man: A sudden rush of perspective. What am I doing here? Life is so much bigger than this! [[Man Running out of Room]] Man: I have to go. [[Man enters darkened room, where woman waits by window.]] [[Man and woman embrace...]] [[...and get into bed.]] [[A heart appears over the supine bodies]] Woman: Ohh... [[Hands <>]] Man (out of frame): Wait a moment. Woman (out of frame): What is it? [[Silence]] Man (out of frame): His proof only holds if there's a Hamiltonian _cycle_ as well as a path! Woman (out of frame): ...excuse me? Man (out of frame): Paper, I need some paper. Man (out of frame): Hey, do you mind if I jot down some notes on your chest? {{title text: The problem with perspective is that it's bidirectional}}
Cat Proximity 2007-03-05 [[a graph is drawn, x-axis: "human proximity to cat" from far to near]] [[a curve labeled intelligence veering downwards]] [[a curve labeled inanity of statements veering upwards]] [[a man standing far from a kitten]] [[a man standing closer to a kitten]] [[a man standing next to a kitten]] Man: You're a kitty! {{alt-text: Yes you are! And you're sitting there! Hi, kitty!}}
Chess Enlightenment 2007-03-07 Narrator: Why is chess so hard? Maybe the answers lie within me. Maybe I just need to let go, relax, and let my instincts and subconscious speak. <> Narrator's Subconscious: Knight to G-4 Narrator: That's not even a legal move. Narrator's Subconscious: Okay, hold on. How do the pawns capture, again? Narrator: Man, Obi-Wan was full of crap. {{title text: You know that 'sweep the pieces off the board and see it in your mind' thing? Doesn't work.}}
A New CAPTCHA Approach 2007-03-09 To complete your web registration, please prove that you're human: When Littlefoot's mother died in the original `Land Before Time', did you feel sad? [[radio button]] Yes [[radio button]] No (Bots: no lying)
Escape Artist 2007-03-12 [[One man sits before a computer on a desk while another stands behind him.]] Standing Man: I was fascinated by locks as a kid. I loved how they turned information and patterns into physical strength. Sitting Man: Why does my script keep dying? [[Closeup of the man on the man sitting at the computer]] Standing Man: And a lock invites you to try and open it. It's the hacker instinct. Only your ignorance stands in the way. Sitting Man: Wait it's passing bad strings. [[Returns to the two shot of both men]] Standing Man: I admired Harry Houdini, how he could open any lock and free himself from any restraint. Sitting Man: Ah - Bash is parsing the spaces. Standing Man: Sure some of it was fakery and showmanship. But I still wonder how he so consistently escaped handcuffs. Sitting Man: Backslashes Standing Man: Huh? Sitting Man: Never mind. {{Alt: Easier to escape: n-layered nested quotes or an iron maiden?}}
Kite 2007-03-14 [[A man readies a kite]] [[The man starts to fly the kite]] [[The man continues to fly the kite]] [[The man ties the kite string to a tree]] [[The man grabs the string]] [[The man starts to climb the string]] [[A scene showing the man holding onto the string at a high altitude, against a colour backdrop of the ground, clouds, water and the sky]] [[Black and white again. A woman comes into view holding onto a small blimp]] Man's thought bubble: Hey, there's someone else up here. I wonder what her story is. [[Woman floats to the other side of the panel]] Man's thought bubble: Maybe I should say hi. [[The man is alone holding onto the string]] {{title text: It's easy to regret your awkward conversations but hard to regret the ones you didn't have}}
Collecting Double-Takes 2007-03-16 [[A man is standing in the middle of the produce aisle in a supermarket, holding a tube of K-Y Jelly in one hand, the other on his chin. The signs read "Bananas" "Apples" "Oranges" and "Zucchini" from left to right.]] MY HOBBY: Standing in the supermarket's produce section holding a tube of K-Y Jelly, looking contemplative. {{Title Text: Fun Game: find a combination of two items that most freaks out the cashier. Winner: pregnancy test and single coat hanger.}}
Keyboards are Disgusting 2007-03-19 {{title text: Keyboards are Disgusting}} [[A Man sits at his computer, chatting with some other person.]] Chat: Wanna see an optical illusion? Hold your keyboard up in front of you and look at the home row. [[The man holds the keyboard in front of him.]] Chat: Now cross your eyes a little so the 'g' and 'h' overlap. Chat: Keeping focus, lift the keyboard over your head. [[The man lifts the keyboard over his head still looking at the keyboard]] [[Tiny parts of dust and skin particles fall in the man's face]] Man: Eww! Chat: Haha
Pet Peeve #114 2007-03-21 [[Figure reading a book in a chair]] {{Pet peeve #114:}} Voice on the phone: Really? What are you doing reading? It's Saturday night! {{Alt text: I'm reading a goddamn book, thank you very much.}}
Blagofaire 2007-03-23 Man in Red Cape and Goggles: Hey, it worked! Man: What? Who are you? Man in Red Cape and Goggles: I'm from the distant future. Man: Wow. Hi! Man in Red Cape and Goggles: Are you a blogger? I play one of you at our festivals! Man: Huh? Man in Red Cape and Goggles: Like the ren faires of your time - I do reenactments. Man in Red Cape and Goggles: We relive the days when the internet was new and free. The days of risky sharing, slashdot, the myspace music renaissance. The generation's finest minds meeting on comment threads, battling roving bands of trolls, and holding the great dialogues of the age! Man: Is that how you - Man in Red Cape and Goggles: We're fuzzy on some details. Did bloggers really wear red capes and goggles and blog from high-altitude balloons? Man: No! Man: Well, Cory Doctorow does. But nobody else. {{Title Text: Things were better before the Structuring and the Levels.}}
Dream Girl 2007-03-26 Man 1: I had a dream that I met a girl in a dying world. It was all coming apart. Hairline cracks in reality widened to yawning chasms. Everything was going dark and light all at once, and there was a sound like breaking waves rising into a piercing scream at the edge of hearing. I knew we didn't have long together. She grabbed me and spoke a stream of numbers into my ear. Then it all went away. [[A girl grabs him as the edges of the panel crack and tear]] I woke up. The memory of the apocalypse faded to mere fancy, but the numbers burned bright in my mind. I wrote them down right away. [[A note reads: 42.39561 -71.13051 2007 09 23 14 38 00]] They were coordinates. A place and a time, neither one too far away. Man 1: What else could I do? When the day came, I went to the spot and waited. Man 2: ...and? Man 1: It turns out wanting something doesn't make it real. {{Alt-text: No matter how elaborately you fool yourself.}}
Battle Room 2007-03-28 [[A scene is depicted from the Battle Room of the novel Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. The men are floating in a room with random cubes.]] Dink: Sorry, Ender - seems like there were some system crashes. The battle's gotta be cut short. Ender: The lasers still work. Dink: Yeah, but the enemy's gate is down. {{Title Text: Bean actually sabotaged it just to give Dink the excuse to make that joke.}}
The Difference 2007-03-30 [[A man pulls a lever.]] <> [[Lightning hits the man.]] <> [[The man still stands, obviously battered]] [[Arrow labeled "Normal Person"]] Thinks: I guess I shouldn't do that. [[Arrow labeled "Scientist"]] Thinks: I wonder if that happens every time. [[He reaches for the lever again.]] {{ alt: How could you choose avoiding a little pain over understanding a magic lightning machine? }}
Appropriate Term 2007-04-02 [[A diagram of a TrackPoint pointer on a keyboard, under which is a continuity line labeled "Tone of Conversation-Formal to Informal." There are four boxes under this line]] Narrator: How to refer to the pointer thing on laptop keyboards Very formal: TrackPoint(tm)-style pointer Formal: Nub Informal: Nipple mouse Very informal: Clit mouse {{title text: I know a lot of people hate these, but I prefer them to touchpads}}
Tabletop Roleplaying 2007-04-04 [[Four people sit around a table]] DM: Your party enters the tavern. Player: I gather everyone around a table. I have the elves start whittling dice and get out some parchment for character sheets. DM: Hey, no recursing. {{title-text: I may have also tossed one of a pair of teleportation rings into the ocean, with interesting results.}}
Floor Tiles 2007-04-06 [[Two characters walk on a floor tiled in black and white.]] First: Why are you walking funny? [[Second panel consists of second character's thought cloud in which the second character points to an easel mounted diagram of the floor tile pattern]] Second, thinking: Well, my instinct is to step only on black tiles, but they're too far apart. So I'm letting myself walk on the tiles directly in line with the black ones, but that means that when we walk diagonally, I have to step in a pattern where... [[Returns to situation in first panel]] Second: I'm not walking funny. {{title-text: The worst part is when sidewalk cracks are out-of-sync with your natural stride.}}
Labyrinth Puzzle 2007-04-09 [[Three guards with spears stand in front of three doors. A man wearing a hat and another man stand in front of the guards]] Man with hat: And over here we have the labyrinth guards. One always lies, one always tells the truth, and one stabs people who ask tricky questions. {{title text: And the whole setup is just a trap to capture escaping logicians. None of the doors actually lead out.}}
Factoring the Time 2007-04-11 [[One man is sitting at a computer. Another man is sitting at a separate desk. There is a clock which reads 2:53]] Man at desk: 253 is 11x23 Man at computer: What? Man at desk: I'm factoring the time. Man at desk: I have nothing to do, so I'm trying to calculate the prime factors of the time each minute before it changes. Man at desk: It was easy when I started at 1:00, but with each hour the number gets bigger Man at desk: I wonder how long I can keep up. [[Man at desk reaches back and touches the clock]] <> [[Clock now reads 14:53]] Man at desk: Hey! Man at computer: Think fast. {{alt text: I occasionally do this with mile markers on the highway.}}
Hypotheticals 2007-04-13 Beret Guy: What if I had some ice cream? Wouldn't that be awesome? Person: No, stop-- Beret Guy (thinking): Person: Great, you've trapped us in a a hypothetical situation! Beret Guy (holding ice cream): Mm, ice cream. Person: Maybe if I had a knife I could cut our way free . . . Person (thinking): Beret Guy: Mmm, ice cream! Person (reaching back into previous thought bubble): Here, take this one. {{alt: What if someone broke out of a hypothetical situation in your room right now?}}
Chess Photo 2007-04-16 [[Friend 2 sits at a desk with glue, chess pieces, and a chessboard while Friend 1 looks over his shoulder.]] Friend 1: What are you doing? Friend 2: Gluing down chess pieces. Friend 1: Why? Friend 2: Because there's a picture I've always wanted... I'll need your coat to sneak this onto the ride. [[A photograph of a roller coaster ride with Friend 2 sitting in the first car, chin in the hand, thinking over the chessboard. The photograph has "Mega Coaster 3000 souvenir photo" written on the margin.]] {{alt text: We once tried playing blindfold chess on the Aerosmith ride at Disney World.}}
Snopes 2007-04-18 Another urban legend? You should check out Snopes before sending me this stuff. Oops; yeah. Man, Snopes is really great--independent fact-checkers trawling our collective discourse, filtering out misinformation. Yeah, but they have their dark side. The couple that runs snopes.com also runs a network of spam servers that start many of those forwarded stories in the first place, ensuring they'll always have business. That's absurd. Plus, it's definitely not true--it was debunked by... Yes? ... Oh my God. alt text: The MythBusters are even more sinister.
CD Tray Fight 2007-04-20 [[A stick figure is standing, holding a CD tray which is half-in his computer. There are other CDs on the floor.]] Stick Figure: Hey. Hey! Stop retracting my CD! [[Label: I feel uncomfortable when my computer physically struggles with me. Sure, I can overpower it _now_, but it feels like a few short steps from here to the robot wars.]] {{alt text: This is silly, of course. The enemy will be born in the network.}}
Escalators 2007-04-23 Graph with y axis titled "Urge to try running up the down escalator", with "weak" by the bottom and "strong" by the top. x axis has every two years labeled and every year signified by a smaller mark, which stops at 24. A red line with "What I was supposed to feel" with points at every line rises, peaks at 7 years old, then falls "tangent graph" shaped until the end. Along this line are shown various stick-figures at 12, 14, 20 and 24. A second red line runs "What I've actually felt" which stays consistently high. {{alt text: The one time I tried, I got hit by a slinky going down at double speed.}}
Highway Engineer Pranks 2007-04-25 Highway Engineer Pranks: [[Each panel depicts a highway intersection.]] The Inescapable Cloverleaf: [[Roads lead onto the rings for each leaf, but then are trapped in the circles. Minor roads also allow travel between the rings.]] The Zero-Choice Interchange: [[On and off-ramps exist, but they lead back to the same lane they disconnected from.]] The Rotary Supercollider: [[The roads lead into a traffic circle, and then a loop reverses the direction of flow so all the roads run into each other.]] {{Title text: Prank #11: Boston}}
Comic Fragment 2007-04-27 Editor's Note: Mr. Monroe has been missing for several days. We have received no submissions from him for some time, but we found this single panel on his desk in a folder labeled 'MY BEST IDEA EVER' . It is clearly part of a work in progress, but we have decided to post it in lieu of a complete comic. [[Single panel illustration in color with one small panel embedded within, showing a zoomed-in version of Janeane Garafolo on a motorcycle. The background is a gray landscape beneath a falling space station, a large volcano with smoke rising the only discernible feature of the landscape below.]] As the damaged space station fell deeper into the atmosphere and started to break up around her, Janeane Garafolo tightened her grip on the motorcycle. The volcano was looming ahead, and her tranquilizer pistol only had six darts left - barely enough to bring down even ONE tyrannosaur. {{Title Text: No one wants an explanation more than us. Except Ms. Garafolo.}}
Subjectivity 2007-04-30 [tall slide, seen from the ground] When I was a kid, my school playground had a really tall slide that always made me nervous [tall slide, seen from the side] We moved away, but the slide stuck in my memory, becoming a skyscraping monster [car and a sign pointing to school zone] Years later, I was passing through my old town and remembered the playground I drove to the school to see the slide that my inner six-year-old thought was so towering [huge slide, (small) person beside it] AND IT WAS HUGE I KNEW IT {{title text: Or maybe the slide is like Aslan, and gets taller as I do (except without the feeling of discomfort when I reach my teens and suddenly get the Christ stuff)}}
Online Communities 2007-05-02 [[Hand-drawn fantasy style map with land and sea areas representing populations of online communities. Each area or item is labeled.]] Map Title Text: Map of Online Communities and related points of interest. Geographic area represents estimated size of membership Map Disclaimer Text: Not a complete survey. Sizes based on best figures I could find but involved some guesswork. Do not use for navigation. Land Area Labels: The Icy North (Yahoo, Windows Live), AOL, Reunion dot com, Classmates dot com, E-harmony, Faceparty, QWGHLM, Yahoo Games, Mountains of Web 1.0, The Lonely Island, MySpace, Attractive MySpace Pages, The Series of Tubes, Myspace Bands, WOW, Lineage, Second Life, Third Life, UO, EQ, FPXI, 2channel, 4chan, LJ, Xanga, Orkut, Cyworld, Blurty, OK Cupid, Facebook, Piczo, The Compass-Rose-Shaped Island, Broadcaster, Flickr, Last.fm, DeviantArt, Isle of Slash, Numa, Digg, Fark, Reddit, Your Base, Soviet Russia, . (slashdot), Spaaarta (YTMND), StumbleUpon, Del.icio.us, The Blogipelago, Sulawesi, Technocrati, BoingBoing, Huntingdon Post, Gays of Web 2.0, The Wikipedia project, MIT, Engadget, Gizmodo, Usenet, XY Singles, MAKE Blog, IRC Isles, Sourceforge. Sea Area Labels: NOOB Sea, Gulf of YouTube, Bay of Angst, Sea of Culture, Ocean of Subculture, P2P Shoals, Straits of Web 2.0, Here Be Anthropomorphic Dragons, Bay of Trolls, Viral Straits, Sea of Memes, The Wet Sea Item Labels: Shipwreck of the SS Howard Dean, Cory Doctrow's Balloon, Stallman's airship, Google's volcano fortress {{Alt-text: I'm waiting for the day when, if you tell someone 'I'm from the internet', instead of laughing they just ask 'oh, what part?'}}
Code Talkers 2007-05-04 [[A man is looking at a computer monitor and speaking into a microphone]] Man 1: A'la'ih, do'neh'lini, do'neh'lini, a'la'ih, do'neh'lini, a'la'ih, do'neh'lini, do'neh'lini, a'la'ih, a'la'ih, do'neh'lini, a'la'ih, do'neh'lini,do'neh'lini, do'neh'lini ... [[Two men are talking nearby:]] Man 2: For added security, after we encrypt the data stream, we send it through our Navajo code talker. Man 3: ...Is he just using Navajo words for "Zero" and "One"? Man 2: Woah, hey, keep your voice down! {{alt:As far as I can tell, Navajo doesn't have a common word for 'zero'. do-neh-lini means 'neutral'.}}
Conspiracy Theories 2007-05-07 [[Figure A:]] The official story of 9-11 is full of holes. Take the -- [[Figure B:]] Please, stop, because seeing this happen to you breaks my heart. [[Figure B:]] Conspiracy theories represent a known glitch in human reasoning. The theories are of course occasionally true, but their truth is completely uncorrelated with the believer's certainty. For some reason, sometimes when people think they've uncovered a lie, they raise confirmation bias to an art form. They cut context away from facts and arguments and assemble them into reassuring litanies. And over and over I've argued helplessly with smart people consumed by theories they were sure were irrefutable, theories that in the end proved complete fictions. Young-Earth Creationists, the Moon Landing people, the Perpetual Motion subculture -- can't you see you're falling into the same pattern? [[Figure A:]] You don't seriously believe we landed on the moon. Do you? [[Figure B flees]] [[Figure B, praying:]] Dear God. [[Booming from the sky:]] YES MY CHILD? [[Figure B:]] I would like to file a bug report.
Clichd Exchanges 2007-05-09 Narrator: MY HOBBY: DERAILING CLICHÉD EXCHANGES BY USING THE WRONG REPLIES Man 1: O RLY? Man 2: O RLY? I 'ARDLY KNOW 'ER! {{It's like they say, you gotta fight fire with clichés.}}
The Glass Necklace 2007-05-11 [[A man is drawing a diagram of a cylinder with electrical terminals on either end]] [[The man is shown at a workbench making the device in a workshop]] [[He kneels down on a beach and scoops up sand]] [[He pours the sand into the cylinder]] [[He ties a spool of string to one end of the cylinder, and ties a deflated weather balloon to the other end]] [[The weather balloon is inflated, and raised up into the clouds as thunder rumbles]] [[The end of the string is tied to a stake in the ground, and lightning is flashing in the background]] [[Lightning hits the balloon, travels through the cylinder, and fuses it's contents]] {{Later}} [[The man follows the string to find the cylinder]] [[He detaches it, opens it, removes a solidified piece, and admires the piece]] [[He takes the stone to a jeweler]] [[The jeweler examines, grinds, and sets the now-shining stone in a necklace]] [[The man approves of the final result]] [[He gives it to a woman]] {{alt: Well, for some value of 'actually work'.}}
Regarding Mussolini 2007-05-14 [[Three people are standing around a map. One of them is pushing something with a stick.]] [[A messenger arrives.]] Messenger: General, Italian forces have entered Egypt. General: As I expected. This is a foolish move by Mussolini, but like Hitler he will no doubt force his commanders to -- Messenger: Hey. Godwin's Law. General: Dammit. General: You know, this may become a problem. {{Title text: Constantly stopping these briefings halfway through is becoming a pain.}}
IN UR REALITY 2007-05-16 [[Two men stand facing one another. Man on the left is wearing a hat and holding a cat and a piece of paper. Man 2 has raised his arms. There are three cats with captions stuck to them]] Man: Oh hi; I'm here from the internet Man 2: What are you doing!? Man: Gluing captions to your cats. <> {{Title-text: Hey, at least I ran out of staples.}}
Certainty 2007-05-18 [[A door seen from a hallway, with "Teachers' Lounge" on the glass. Inside, two teachers are talking.]] Teacher 1: My students drew me into another political argument. Teacher 2: Eh; it happens. Teacher 1: Lately, political debates bother me. They just show how good smart people are at rationalizing. [[The two teachers continue talking. A third one is seen reading a book on a sofa.]] Teacher 1: The world is so complicated - the more I learn, the less clear anything gets. There are too many ideas and arguments to pick and choose from. How can I trust myself to know the truth about anything? And if everything I know is so shaky, what on Earth am I doing teaching? Teacher 2: I guess you just do your best. No one can impart perfect universal truths to their students. Teacher 3: <> Teacher 2: ...Except math teachers. Teacher 3: Thank you. {{alt text: a(b+c)=(ab)+(ac). Politicize that, bitches.}}
Choices: Part 1 2007-05-21 [[Girl sits at desk, using computer. Refreshes page]] <<*Refresh*>> <> [[Sits back and looks at monitor]] [[Refreshes page on computer]] <<*Refresh*>> <> [[Sits back and looks at monitor]] [[Girl leans forward and clicks mouse]] <> [[A hole opens up in the panel. It appears to be the torn paper of the comic itself. A blue, sky-like background is revealed. Girl jumps in surprise, nearly tipping over the chair]] [[Girl stands up as the chair falls over completely.]] [[Wide view. The girl looks back at the door furtively]] [[She begins to climb into the hole]] [[By now the girl is entirely inside the hole. She is closing it behind her]] [[Only her head and arms are visible]] [[The hole is closed, revealing a formation of ripped paper.]] {{Large frame}} [[She appears to be in space. Stars dot the sky and a ray of light traverses the frame horizontally. Megan is in a bubble, floating disconnectedly. Both her and bubble have become white, tinged against the backdrop]] {{title text: Wait, damn, I think I spotted a new email on the last refresh.}}
Choices: Part 2 2007-05-21 [[A boy is doing some excercises in a book. The clock on the wall says 12:50 or 13:50.]] [[Book: Chapter 15: Special Relativity Problem 1: Two spacecraft transmit messages to each other while passing at constant velocities of... ]] Boy: <> [[Label: Meanwhile:]] [[A girl in a bubble and a spacecraft are moving towards each other. Each one has a velocity vector drawn before themselves, each showing a velocity of 0.2c.]] [[They pass each other.]] Spacecraft: We observe your speed to be 38.5%c, and your time is passing at 92.3% the rate of ours. Does this mirror your observations? Girl: Please help me. I think I'm lost. [[They continue with the same velocity vectors. The girl is looking back at the spacecraft.]] {{alt text: Maybe someday I'll get to write the Wikipedia article about this place! Wait, damn, original research.}}
Choices: Part 3 2007-05-23 [[A girl floats in a bubble against a space backdrop]] Girl: I should feel scared. But I don't. Maybe this is a dream but it doesn't feel like one. Disembodied voice: Okay, found you. Girl: Who are you? Voice: Er, hang on. This next part might be a little weird. [[No dialogue]] [[Many copies of the girl whirl around her bubble; a lightning bolt appears in the background]] [[All the copies have disappeared except for one]] Copy: Sorry -- Hi, me. Girl: ...Hi. {{Alt-text: Wait, this is space -- how are you talking to me? And, as an afterthought, what's up with the hole in reality?}}
Choices: Part 4 2007-05-24 [[Girl in bubble, floating in outer space next to her clone]] Clone: I shouldn't do this, but I pulled you out for a moment to give you a hint. Girl: A hint? Clone: Take wrong turns. Talk to strangers. Open unmarked doors. And if you see a group of people in a field, go find out what they're doing. Do things without always knowing how they'll turn out. Girl: Why tell me this? Clone: You're curious and smart and bored, and all you see is the choice between working hard and slacking off. There are so many adventures that you miss because you're waiting to think of a plan. To find them, look for tiny interesting choices. And remember that you are always making up the future as you go. Girl: So, wait, what *is* this place? Am I going to wake up thinking this was a dream? Clone: This is... think of this as after the game, outside the theatre. To go in, I had to suspend disbelief, forget the outside. Girl: So you... Huh. Why give me hints I'm going to forget? Clone: You'll forget this trip but I think the hints should stay with you. Girl: ...if this is a game, are you--are *we*--cheating? Clone: Yup. Girl: Is that a good idea? Clone: Well it's an interesting one. We'll see how it goes. Girl: Well, I guess I'll see you aroun--Wait a minute; have you brought me here before? Clone: I... maybe. once. Girl: For another hint? Clone: Er. Actually we just made out. Girl: We wh-- Clone: Bye! {{Alt-text: Making out with yourself: now an official xkcd theme? Troubling.}}
Choices: Part 5 2007-05-25 [[A girl is walking towards the right of the panel.]] [[A boy wearing a backpack is walking towards the left of the panel.]] [[They walk past each other.]] [[The girl has a sudden thought.]] [[The girl turns back and says.]] Girl: Hi. Boy: Uh, hi. Girl: Sorry if this is weird, but Girl: Do you like flying kites? {{alt text: I wonder what percentage of not-obviously-busy people on the street would say yes to kite-flying with a stranger. This looks like a job for Science!}}
TCMP 2007-05-28 [[Two guys and a girl are standing in a room, the first guy holds a keyboard.]] First guy: Hey, help me test the Transconsciousness Messaging Protocol. Second guy: What's that? First guy: I've been training myself to keep my fingers moving slightly as I fall asleep, so I can type from inside dreams. [[First guy sitting on his bed]] First guy: I'm going to sleep now. My computer will relay my messages to you as I explore the dream world. [[In the dream: (first guy standing in what looks like a forest.)]] First guy: So strange to think none of this is real. And yet I have this lifeline to the internet back home. First guy: A chance to speak from one reality to another. I feel like Bell & Watson. I get to write the inaugural TCMP message. Let's see... [[types on the keyboard]] [[outside: (girl sitting at a computer, second guy standing behind her)]] Girl: "F1rst p?st!!"? Second guy: Great. He's jumped straight to transreality trolling. {{title text: A big obstacle in experimenting with the mind's dream-simulation-engine is holding onto the details as you wake up. With TCMP you can bring back any information you want.}}
Merlin 2007-05-30 [[Man and woman standing by a train]] Woman: I'm bad at goodbyes. At some level I never think they're for real. Man: They make me think of T. H. White's Merlin. Woman: Oh? Man: He lived backwards, remembering the future and not the past. To him, final goodbyes meant nothing, while first hellos were tearful and bittersweet. Woman: Huh - so over the years he'd forget all his friends. Must've been lonely. Man: Yeah. He ended up just sitting around at home watching DVDs all day. The best was the time he rented 'Memento'... [[Merlin is sitting in front of a couch, watching TV]] Merlin: Well, that was straightforward. {{alt text: I mean, the black-and-white stuff was running backward, but it hardly mattered to the story.}}
Powers of One 2007-06-01 {{Powers of One}} {{A mind-expanding look at our world.}} [[A sequence, presumably continuing endlessly in both directions, of identical images of a couple lying on a chequered blanket, with a picnic basket, on grass. Each image has a rule at the bottom giving measurements in meters, with the scale in terms of 1 to a particular power. The powers visible are the -1th (part), 0th-2nd, and 3rd (part).]] {{alt: It's kinda zen when you think about it, if you don't think too hard.}}
Linux User at Best Buy 2007-06-04 Salesman: Interested in updating your antivirus software? Customer: Oh, I wouldn't need any of that. {{In a spiky speech bubble}} I RUN LINUX. <> {{Customer does a backflip onto a motorcycle}} {{Customer performs a wheelie on the motorcycle}} {{Customer does a hard, donut turn on the motorcycle, kicking up dirt into the salesman's face}} {{Customer speeds off on the motorcycle, leaving the salesman in a cloud of black exhaust}}
Electromagnetic Spectrum 2007-06-06 ((Everything is one big panel.)) The Electromagnetic Spectrum These waves travel through the electromagnetic field. They were formerly carried by the aether, which was decommissioned in 1897 due to budget cuts. Other waves: - Slinky waves [[Two people hold the ends of a tangled slinky.]] - Sound waves [[There is a snippet of a frequency band. Between 20 Hz and 20 KHz is labeled "Audible Sound." Towards the top is a line labeled "That high-pitched noise in empty rooms."]] - The wave [[A row of people does a wave.]] [[Three parallel scales are across the bottom. The first is lambda (m), ranging from 100Mm to 100fm; second is f (Hz), which starts at 1 Hz and reaches 100 THz about 2 3 of the way along, after which the labels read "other entertaining greek prefixes like peta- exa- and zappa-"; last is Q (Gal^2 Coloumb), whose labels are 17, 117, pi, 17, 42, theta, e^pi-pi, -2, 540^50, and 11^2. Above the scales and lined up accurately with the first two are the following:]] - Power & Telephone (100Mm to 1km) - Radio & TV (1km to somewhere between 1m and 10cm); above that are many boxes showing subranges (AM, VHF, UHF, 14 7 NPR pledge drives, a very thin band for the space rays controlling Steve Ballmer, 99.3 "The Fox," 101.5 "The Badger," 106.3 "The Frightened Squirrel," cell phone cancer rays, CIA, ham radio, kosher radio, shouting car dealership commercials) - Microwaves (a bit more than 10cm to a bit more than 1mm); it also has subranges (aliens, just below SETI, wifi, FHF, brain waves, sulawesi, gravity) - Toasters (about 1mm to about 100 micrometers) - IR (about 100 micrometers to somewhere between 1 micrometer and 1 nm); above that is a bell graph labeled "Superman's heat vision," with a motorcycle driving up the left side labeled "Jack Black's Heat Vision." - Visible light (and, under it, visible dark); above that is a bell graph labeled "sunlight." There's a breakout chart above it showing the visible spectrum from 700nm (red) to 450nm (violet). There's an arrow pointing to where octarine would be, somewhere off to the side. Above that are bars showing the absorption spectra for hyrogen, helium, Depends(R) (yellow only) and Tampax(R) (red only). - UV (about 100nm to about 10nm) - Miller Light (a thin bar around 10nm) - An unlabeled section with a thin line above it showing the frequency of the main death star laser - A blocked-off portion labeled "Censored Under Patriot Act." - X-rays (from about 1nm to about 10pm); a line above shows the frequency of mail-order x-ray glasses. Somewhere vaguely above the 10pm mark is a potato. - Gamma cosmic rays (10pm and smaller); above that is a bar marked Sinister Google Projects which also trails off into higher frequencies, and blogorays, which are slightly lower. {{Title text: Sometimes I try to picture what everything would look like if the whole spectrum were compressed into the visible spectrum. Also sometimes I try to picture your sister naked.}}
With Apologies to The Who 2007-06-08 [[Stick figure is sitting at a desk with a computer, typing]] Monitor: People try to shut us d-d-down just 'cause our music gets around [[Stick figure is standing on his chair and typing with his keyboard across his hip.]] Monitor: Old folks act like total noobs get off our net; _you_ block the tubes [[Stick figure is really wailing on the keyboard.]] Monitor: Why don't you all just d-d-disconnect and don't try an' grok our d-d-dialect [[Stick figure smashes the keyboard into the monitor.]] Monitor: I'm not tryin' to cause a big s-s-sensation I'm just bloggin' bout my generation {{alt: Trivia: Roger Daltry originally wrote "Don't try an' Digg what we all say' but erased the second 'g' when he moved to reddit.}}
Thoughts 2007-06-11 When meeting a girlfriend's family, I have to suppress the weirdest thoughts. [[A boy talking with his girlfriend's parents]] Boy: Hi! Mother: Hi! It's so nice to finally meet you! Boy: I have licked your daughter's nipples. {{alt text: And now I might never get to again.}}
Fixed Width 2007-06-13 [[A man, Rob, is sitting at a computer. The text is an IRC-style transcript of a conversation, in a fixed-width font. He is text-messaging a girl he slept with named Emily; their messages read as follows:]] hi hey you last night was nice the best i've had yeah it was AMAZING ok, i have to ask is this for real? or is it just sex definitely just sex holy shit are you serious? you don't know how much that made my stomach hurt i want to cry i'm sorry i wanted to type 'i love you' but our line lengths were syncing up ... and it would have broken the pattern * emily has disconnected {{alt text: I wish I knew how to quit this so I wouldn't have to quit you.}}
Long Light 2007-06-15 [[A man in a car, sitting at a red light.]] Man: This light always takes forever. I'd like to smack the idiot who designed this intersection. [[An engineer steps up onto the hood of the man's car.]] Engineer: Hi. Man: Who the hell are you? Engineer: I designed this intersection. Engineer [[arms spread outward]] : You're right - I should have just made the light shorter! Never mind the hours of simulation and testing I did. Never mind that this intersection interacts with it's neighbors in a complicated way and it took me a week to work out timing sequences that avoided total jams. Engineer: Clearly, I'm a crappy engineer and you have a better solution. Go on, show me your proposed timings. Man: Get the hell off my hood before I start driving and fling you into traffic. Engineer: You can't. Light's red. Man: Well, when will it change? Engineer: Tuesday. {{Title Text: You can look at practically any part of anything manmade around you and think 'some engineer was frustrated while designing this.' It's a little human connection.}}
Black Hat Support 2007-06-18 [[A man - wearing a black hat - is sitting at his computer, wearing a phone headset]] Phone: Thank you for calling the Black Hat Support Line, your first source for Linux support. How may I assist? Man: Hi. I'm running an Apache server, and the load keeps climbing out of control. Phone: Okay. First, click on the Start Menu. Man: I'm sorry, this is the Linux helpline, right? Phone: Of course, Sir. Man: If you'll just open the "My Documents" folder- Phone: Just a damn minute, I think you're putting me on. Man: Please bear with me, Sir. Man: Now, load up your AOL and go to the Keyword "Linux"- Phone: *click* {{Alt: So as not to leave you hanging -- it was a problem with select() calls.}}
Pickup Lines 2007-06-20 [picture of a man at a bar] Man: If I could rearrange the alphabet, I'd put your sister and I together. Man: Is your father a thief? because that's totally my jetta you parked outside. Man:You must be tired, 'cause you've been running through my mind all night Man: screaming. {{title text: That shirt looks good on you, but it would look even better stuffed onto the neck of a vodka bottle and flung burning through our office building's window. Let's fucking do it and never look back.}}
Librarians 2007-06-22 {{Advantages to dating librarians}} Librarian: We're stopping in Baltimore to visit my family, and that's final. Boyfriend: Oh yeah? [[Reaching inside paper bag.]] Boyfriend: Hey, look, it's a new hardback book! [[Holds book in hands]] Librarian Girlfriend: You wouldn't. [[The book is twisted and crinkled.]] <> <> [[Librarian Girlfriend twitches.]] <> [[The book's spine is broken]] Librarian Girlfriend: OKAY! You win! {{alt: Don't expect any leniencies on late fees, though.}}
Online Package Tracking 2007-06-25 {{Online Package Tracking}} {{_Pros_: Convenient, Useful}} {{_Cons_: Makes You Crazy}} [[A person is sitting at a computer.]] <> Person: Aww, still in Memphis. <> Person: Aww, still in Memphis. <> Person: Aww, still in Memphis.
Organic Fuel 2007-06-27 [[Man sitting at computer second man standing nearby]] Man at Computer: Wow – Engines can burn vegetable oil. Standing man: Well, sure. You can burn most any organic matter. Corn, leaves, spices... Man at Computer: Spices? Really? Standing man: Sure – Mussolini made the trains run on thyme. Man at Computer: ... Man at Computer: We are no longer friends. {{alt text: I have nothing to apologize for.}}
Projection 2007-06-29 [[Man and woman seated on couch watching a TV.]] Woman: Argh, movie pet peeve. Someone sitting at a computer in the dark with the screen projected on their face. Monitors don't work like that! [[Man and woman face each other on couch.]] Man: Right - that only happens if you're in the way of a proected image. Like when we're sitting together in a parked car in the rain and the mottled light through the raindrops on the windshield makes shifting shadows on your skin... [[Woman stands, man uses laptop on table behind couch.]] Woman: ...I wasn't really into the movie anyway. Man: The nearest rainstorm's about 60 miles away. Woman: We'll drive fast. Man: I'll grab some snacks. {{title text: Out in a field, not another car for miles, silence but for the rain drumming on the sunroof, warm thick folds of the blanket hiding wordless fingertip games...}}
Tape Measure 2007-07-02 [[A man finds a tape measure]] Man: Hey, a tape measure! [[He extends the tape measure]] <> <> [[The tape measure falls]] <> [[He tries again]] <> Man: Eight feet! I wonder if that's a world record? [[He imagines ... In an olympic stadium]] Audience: Go! Go! Gooooo!
Wikipedian Protester 2007-07-04 [[There is a politician speaking at a podium, which sports an American flag.]] [[In front of the speaker there is a crowd of people listening. In the middle of the crowd a man is standing up holding a sign reading "[CITATION NEEDED]" in blue underlined text, as in Wikipedia articles.]] {{title text: SEMI-PROTECT THE CONSTITUTION}}
All Your Base 2007-07-06 [[A section of a Linux terminal window is shown]] Text from window: ~ $ ls ayb boot etc lib ... bin dev home mnt ... ~ $ ls ayb allyourbase_original.swf al... allyourbase_remix.swf ... allyourbase_remix2.swf b ... ayb_acapella.mp3 ze... ayb_images ze... ayb_orchestral.mp3 .... [[Girl is at computer]] Girl: What's with the All Your Base stuff? Didn't that die like five years ago? [[From off-panel]] : Yes. [[Man enters panel]] Man: It was my first internet meme, and my favorite. Others tired of it, but I never did. Man: So I wait. Man: Someday, decades from now, people will have forgotten. It will be fresh again. Man: Retro. Man: and when that day comes [[Man raises his fists]] Man: I WILL BE READY! Girl: You need a hobby or something. Man: What you say!! Man: Wait, too soon. {{title text: The AYB retro-return-date (Zero Wing Zero Hour) should be around AD 2021.}}
NP-Complete 2007-07-09 My Hobby: Embedding NP-Complete problems in restaurant orders [[A menu is shown]] Chotchkies Retaurant Appetizers Mixed Fruit 2.15 French Fries 2.75 Side Salad 3.35 Hot Wings 3.55 Mozzarella Sticks 4.20 Sampler Plate 5.80 [[Three people sit at a table. One man at the table is ordering from a waiter]] Man at table: We'd like exactly $15.05 worth of appetizers, please. Waiter: ... Exactly? Uhh ... Man at table: Here, these papers on the knapsack problem might help you out. Waiter: Listen, I have six other tables to get to - Man at table: - As fast as possible, of course. Want something on traveling salesman? {{title text: General solutions get you a 50% tip.}}
Elevator 2007-07-11 [[Elevator panel, with a Certificate of Inspection and five floor buttons, numbered 1–4. The fifth button is unlabeled.]] [Person thinks] [Person writes something on a small piece of paper] [Person tapes it onto the panel] [[Elevator panel, with the same Certificate and buttons, and with the piece of paper labeling the fifth button “Zeppelin”.]] [Person presses the new “Zeppelin” button] [Elevator moves] Elevator: *Ding* [Person is looking out the door of a Zeppelin. The Zeppelin is flying over a green landscape with many lakes.] {{Title text: Quick, try it with 'LOVE'.}}
Alone 2007-07-13 [[Girl crawling on bed toward boy narrator.]] Narrator: It's not something you can turn off. [[Boy pulling girl, bedspread, and pillow off of bed onto floor.]] Narrator: A part of me is always detached. Abstracting, looking at numbers and patterns. [[Girl on top of boy, both under bedspread, on floor. Girl looks to be 'touching' boy.]] Narrator: When we should be closest, part of me is still alone. Counting the touches of her fingertips. Touch. Touch. Touch touch. Touch touch touch. Touch touch touch touch touch. [[Same scene as third panel.]] Narrator: Wait. Is that... That's the Fibonacci Sequence! Whatever I did to deserve you, it couldn't have been enough. {{title text - Worries assuaged, the numbers become less important than your touches.}}
Fucking Blue Shells 2007-07-16 My Profanity Usage By Cause: [[Pie chart is shown]] [[Injury is about 5% of pie chart]] [[Irony is about 5% of pie chart]] [[Misc is about 5% of pie chart]] [[Segfaults is about 10% of pie chart]] [[MarioKart is about 75% of pice chart]] {{title text: You can evade blue shells in Double Dash, but it is deep magic.}}
Dignified 2007-07-18 [[Figure with beret swinging upside-down from tree branch to figure walking by:]] You were once shoved headfirst through someone's vagina. Why are you acting so dignified? {{alt: 'I don't know, why is your beret staying on your head?' 'Staples.'}}
goto 2007-07-20 [[Man sits at computer, thinking]] Man: I could restructure the program's flow - or use one little 'GOTO' instead. Man: Eh, screw good practice. How bad can it be? Text on computer: goto main_sub3; <> [[Panel passes in which man simply looks at the computer]] [[A raptor jumps into the panel and attacks the man at the computer]] {{title text: Neal Stephenson thinks it's cute to name his labels 'dengo'}}
RTFM 2007-07-23 [[ A man with a knife sticking out of his heavily bleeding face stands in front of a toaster, which has an arm extending from the top of it. He is holding a telephone to his ear. ]] Man: Hello, 911? I just tried to toast some bread, and the toaster grew an arm and stabbed me in the face! 911: Did you read the toaster's man page first? Man: Well, no, but all I wanted was-- 911: <> {{ alt: Life is too short for man pages, and occasionally much too short without them. }}
Bookstore 2007-07-25 [[Man is standing in a bookstore, looking at a book]] Man: This book looks interesting. Maybe I'll buy it. [[The man reads the book; a clock appears above showing the passage of time]] Man: Oops, I read the whole thing. Man: I'll just quietly put it back and go. [[Man walks through a security scanner to exit the bookstore]] <> Voice from off-frame: Hey! Your brain set off the sensor! Man: I, uhh... Voice from off-frame: You have a book in there, don't you! Man: Crap. {{title text: You can search it if you want, but you may want to skip the memories of your mom.}}
DNE 2007-07-27 [[Man is in an empty classroom writing on the whiteboard. In the top right corner in large print is written "Fuck This Place!." It is circled, and underneath he is writing "DNE"]] {{title text: I've seen advertisers put their URLs on chalkboards, encircled with a DNE. They went unerased for months. If you see this, feel free to replace the URL with xkcd.com.}}
Tony Hawk 2007-07-30 My Hobby: Doing skateboard tricks in Tony Hawk while also doing them in real life. [[Man riding a skateboard in a halfpipe with a handheld video game]] <> [[Man does a skateboard trick]] <> Videogame: Frontside 360°! {{Bad idea #271: Dropping into the half-pipe on a Segway.}}
Lisp Cycles 2007-08-01 [[Guy sitting at computer. Girl listening]] Guy: Lisp is over half a century old and it still has this perfect, timeless air about it. Guy: I wonder if the cycles will continue forever. Guy: A few coders from each new generation rediscovering the Lisp arts. [[Man in Jedi robes carrying an armload of parentheses, speaking to Guy]] Jedi: These are your father's parentheses. Elegant weapons. For a more... civilized age. {{title text: I've just received word that the Emperor has dissolved the MIT computer science program permamently. }}
Tesla Coil 2007-08-03 [[Two figures, one wearing a hat stand near a tesla coil mounted on a table.]] No hat: I finally finished my Tesla Coil! [[The room is dark; characters appear as faint blue outlines on black background. No hat turnss on the Tesla Coil <> and it sparks white static electricity. <>]] Hat Man: Cool, but- Hat Man: Check *this* out [[Lightning shoots out of Hat Man's hands <>]] [[The lights are back on]] No Hat: How did you do that? Hat Man: The world doesn't actually make any sense. Science doesn't work. No one told you because you're so cute when you get into something. Hat Man: [[Floting up the frame]] Still, neat toy. No Hat: [[Pointing to Hat Man]] Now you're hovering! Hat Man: I guess you're still not getting this. {{Title Text: For scientists, this can be the hardest thing about dreams.}}
Aeris Dies 2007-08-06 [[Two men are talking. The second man is sitting on the ground, hugging his knees to his chest]] First Man: Maggie's gone. You can't bring her back. Second Man: But I have to, she's a part of my life. First Man: <> First Man: Okay, let me put this in your terms. First Man: Remember when Aeris died in FFVII? It was sad, but you had to keep playing. Second Man: Actually, I downloaded a mod to add her back to my party. It changed other character's appearances and dialogue to hers so you didn't have to lose her. Second Man: Lots of gamers did it. [[The first man put his hand on his chin]] First Man: That is troubling on several levels. Second Man: I wonder if Maggie's old dress would fit you. {{alt text: It's bad enough that all the families in your Sims are just you and Maggie recreated over and over.}}
Facebook 2007-08-08 {{Title: Mildly sleazy uses of Facebook, part 14:}} {{subheading: Looking up someone's profile before introducing yourself so you know which of your favorite bands to mention}} Boy: Favorite bands? Hmm... Boy: Maybe Regina Spektor or the Polyphonic Spree. Girl: Whoa, those are two of my favorites, too! Girl: Clearly, we should have sex. Boy: Okay! My favorite position is the retrograde wheelbarrow. Girl: [[arms in the air]] Ohmygod, mine too! {{alt-text: 'Here, I'll put my number in your cell pho -- wait, why is it already here?'}}
Limerick 2007-08-10 [[Stick figure sitting at computer, typing]] Stickman:I used to find slashdot delightful, but my feelings of late are more spiteful; my comments sarcastic the iconoclastic keep modding to plus five (Insightful).
Names 2007-08-13 {{Title: Names}} Man (thinking): I hate it when I don't know someone's name, but it's been long enough that it's too awkward to ask. [[The scene is revealed to be at the alter getting married by a minister to a woman in a bridal dress.]] Minister: Do you Rachel, take this man... Man (thinking): Aha! Rachel! {{alt-text: I'm always so happy that I successfully navigated the introduction that I completely forget to pay attention to the name the other person told me.}}
Compiling 2007-08-15 {{ Title: The #1 Programmer Excuse for Legitimately Slacking Off: “My code's compiling.” }} [[Two programmers are sword-fighting on office chairs in a hallway. An unseen manager calls them back to work through an open office door.]] Manager: Hey! Get back to work! Programmer 1: Compiling! Manager: Oh. Carry on. {{ Alt: ‘Are you stealing those LCDs?’ ‘Yeah, but I'm doing it while my code compiles.’ }}
Nighttime Stories 2007-08-17 [[ Man sitting in an armchair in a darkened room, behind him a bookshelf and an open window. A girl is seen outside reading a book by an eerie glow]] For a few weeks now, sometime past midnight, a girl has wandered past my apartment reading by flashlight. [[Outside, the girl, walking down the street passing under a street lamp]] I wonder why she's up so late. Maybe she's restless Like me. I wonder what story she's wrapped up in. I wonder if she let's anyone into that island of light. [[ Man sitting in dark room ]] [[ Dark room minus man ]] [[ Man standing on his doorstep at the top of a small flight of stairs, near the bottom of which the girl has stopped, no longer reading. ]] Man: Hi! What are you reading? Girl: Orson Scott Card's 'Xenocide.' It's my favorite in the series! [[ The same, only man looks more dejected ]] Man: Wait, you like it more than Speaker for the Dead OR Ender's Game? Girl: Yeah! [[ The same, only man has withdrawn ]] [[ Man back sitting in the chair within dark apartment ]] And to think I loved her. {{ alt: Cue angry letters from all seven fans of Xenocide. }}
Rule 34 2007-08-20 [[A guy sits in front of his desktop computer. A girl lies belly-down on the floor in front of her laptop.]] Male: Huh—Thomas the Tank Engine slash fiction. Female: It's rule 34 of the internet. If you can imagine it, there is porn of it. Male: Nah. The web is freaky, but it can't begin to have everything. Male: There's no porn set atop storm-chasing vans. No homoerotic spelling bees. No women playing electric guitar in the shower. Female: Actually, that last one would look pretty hot. As long as they were unplugged or waterproofed... Female: Rivulets of water run down her chest, the smooth body of the guitar firm against her hips. Female: She twangs the E-string and it shakes off tiny droplets in all directions. [[She rises into a crouch]] Female: You're sure it doesn't exist? Male: Not yet. Female: I'm registering WetRiffs.com. Let's get on this. {{title text: Okay, Lance. For entry into the college bowl, spell 'Throbbing'}}
Orphaned Projects 2007-08-22 [[Voices are coming from behind a door with a sign that reads "Debian Linux HQ"]] First voice: Problem: One of the volunteer developers has a date this weekend. Dates lead to romance, romance leads to orphaned projects. Second voice: What's the plan? First voice: We're hiring him a relationship coach. He's like Will Smith in "Hitch," but he only gives bad advice. [[Man in black hat is talking to another man, who is standing in from of a mirror]] Man in black hat: Okay, remember: The key to conversation is constructive criticism. Man in black hat: You need to show you're smart enough to solve her problems. Man in front of mirror: Makes sense. {{title text: His date works for Red Hat, who hired a coach for her, too. She advised her to 'rent lots of movies like Hitch. Guys love those.'}}
Excessive Quotation 2007-08-24 [[Outside, under a crescent moon.]] Woman: It's strange to stare at the moon and think about people walking on it. Man: That's no moon, it's a—<> [[She holds him up in the air by his neck à la Darth Vader using the force.]] Woman: I find your lack of original conversation disturbing. {{Title text: Unfortunately for her, real Star Wars fans are attracted to a gal with a good force choke.}}
Interesting Life 2007-08-27 [[On the left hand side of the panel is a cutaway of several floors of an office, in gray. On the right side a blue sky with clouds, and green hills. Hanging from a cable is a GIRL, clearly having rappelled down the side of the building]] GIRL: You know how some people consider "May you have an interesting life" to be a curse? GUY IN OFFICE: Yeah... GIRL: Fuck those people. Wanna have an adventure? {{Alt-text: Quick, fashion a climbing harness out of a cat-6 cable and follow me down}}
Shopping Teams 2007-08-29 [[Each team is looking at a counter with two cubes on it.]] Bad: Two non-nerds First man: Let's get that one. Second man: okay. Good: non-nerd + nerd Woman: Let's get that one. Man: Wait, I think that one might be a better deal. Woman: Okay, that one. Very Bad: Two Nerds Man: How about that one? Second man: i think the other one might be the better deal... First man: Hmm, I'm not sure...' Two Hours Later [[Nerds are sitting in front of laptops with papers strewn about in front of display counter]] Man: I think our main problem is our unclear definition of value Woman: That is not your main problem! {{Title Text: I am never going out to buy an air-conditioner with my sysadmin again.}}
Commitment 2007-08-31 [[Guy proposing to girl on his knee]] Narrator: I understand now. There's no choir of angels when you meet the right person. It's about growing out of your fears to realize what you have is what you want. Guy: I do. Girl: I do. [[A cloud with trumpeting angels appears]] Girl 2: Hi. Narrator: Well, shit. {{Could be worse. The last guy in that situation fell for one of the transient trumpeting angels.}}
Action Movies 2007-09-03 [[A man and a woman are talking together as they walk away from a cinema]] Man: Another summer gone without a mindless big-budget action movie. Woman: Huh? Die Hard was nothing BUT action! Man: No, it was too talky. Woman: What? Too talky? Man: I tallied it minute-by-minute. It's at least 60% people walking and talking. ALL those movies are. Man: Just once, I want a real action movie. 30 seconds of exposition followed by a perfect 90-minute action scene. One with a huge budget, a good choreographer, and a great director. Woman: And they should center it around some character we already know, someone we never get tired of watching. Man: I think we've got something here... [[A movie poster is shown]] Movie Poster: Coming this summer Movie Poster: River Tam Movie Poster: Beats up EVERYONE [[The movie shows a line of houses, there are people beat up and lying in doorways, out of windows, and on the sidewalk. River Tam is doing a flying kick into someone's face]] {{title text: By my count, only 48 of the 158 minutes in Live Free or Die Hard have action. That's pathetic, guys. Crank is better, but needs a bigger budget and more Summer Glau.}}
With Apologies to Robert Frost 2007-09-05 A God's Lament Some said the world should be in Perl; Some said in Lisp. Now, having given both a whirl, I held with those who favored Perl. But I fear we passed to men A disappointing founding myth, And should we write it all again, I'd end it with A close-paren.
Insomnia 2007-09-07 [[It is black, except a few blue and green lights, and red numbers from a clock. The clock shows 4:31]] Lying awake at night I realize how many little lights there are in my room. The alarm clock is the brightest. Can't sleep I'm alone with those glowing red numbers [[The clock now shows 4:32]] Time slows Does time even exist here? Thoughts churning in on themselves [[The clock nows shows 4:33]] The madness can't be far away Ah yes [[The clock now shows 13:72]] There it is. {{title text: Crap, I have levitation class at 25:131. Better set the alarm to 'cinnamon'.}}
Dating Pools 2007-09-10 [[Woman is sitting on the ground with her elbows on her knees and her hands on her chin. She is talking to a man.]] Woman: This sucks. The median first marriage age is 26. The pools of singles is shrinking. I'm running our of time. Man: Actually, not quite. Man: Yes, older singles are rarer. But as you get older, the dateable age range gets wider. An 18-year-old's range is 16-22, whereas a 30-year-old's might be more like 22-46. [[Man points to a chart]] Text on chart: Standard creepiness rule: Don't date under (Age 2 + 7) Man: I did some analysis of this with the Census Bureau numbers just last weekend. Your dating pool actually GROWS until middle age. So don't fret so much! [[Man is pointing to new set of charts. The first chart is labeled Singles, and is a decreasing graph. The second graph is labeled Dating Pool, and is a bell curve.]] Woman: Did you analysis say anything about the dating prospects of people who spend weekends at home making graphs? Man: Come on. Somewhere at the edge of the bell curve is the girl for me. {{title text: The full analysis is of course much more complicated, but I can't stay to talk about it because I have a date.}}
Braille 2007-09-12 I learned to read braille a while back, and I've noticed that the messages on signs don't always match the regular text. [[There is a sign which reads: Third Floor Office with braille print underneath. A man is reading the braille]] Man's thoughts: S-i-g-h-t-e-d-P-e-o-p-l-e-S-u-c-k ... Hey! {{alt text: The only big difference I've seen is in colors. Where the regular text reads 'press red button', the braille reads 'press two-inch button'.}}
Loud Sex 2007-09-14 [[Man in bed, covering his head with pillow.]] Narrator: My neighbor has loud sex. <> <> <> Narrator: Good for her and all, but it keeps me up at night. [[Man and neighbor coming out of their apartments.]] Neighbor: Sorry, could you hear us last night? Oh, you know how it gets sometimes. Narrator: (small) Not really... [[Girl with "LOUD" and an arrow pointing to her.]] Narrator: But tonight I finally get my revenge. Because now I have a loud girlfriend too. [[Diagram of an elliptical reflector dish.]] Narrator: And an elliptical reflector dish. [[Man and his girlfriend having sex, with dish behind them, with sex sound effects coming off the dish, through walls, to his neighbor sitting up in bed while holding her head in pain.]] {{title text - Spherical or parabolic reflectors would of course lead to aberrant behavior.}}
That Lovin' Feelin' 2007-09-17 [[Man is in the middle of the frame, talking]] Man: You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss your lips and there's no tenderness like before in your fingertips. [[Man thoughtfully places his hand on his chin]] Man: Maybe I should try your sister instead. {{title text: Maybe there's no tenderness in her fingertips either, but at least SHE puts out.}}
Nostalgia 2007-09-19 Narrator: This generation is going to have some weird nostalgia. [[Two people, each wearing headsets with antennae, sunglasses and jetpacks, are hovering]] Male Figure: Darling, let's put on our best fake accounts, connect to the core ForumSpace, and trick people into looking at a picture of a man's distended anus! Female Figure: Oh, it'll be just like old times! {{alt text: If you don't get this one, don't google it.}}
Engineering Hubris 2007-09-21 [[ Landscape in the background, canyon with a winding road ]] Maybe engineering is the pursuit of an unattainable perfection. Maybe it's impossible to create something bug-free. Maybe I'm a fool Maybe the tyranny of Murphy is the penalty for hubris. But I just can't shake the feeling [[ man standing on a box labeled "ACME" ]] With all those supplies _I_ could have caught that roadrunner. {{Alt: Chuck Jones is a vengeful god. }}
28-Hour Day 2007-09-24 [[There is a diagram which shows the hours in a week. It has sections labeled "bed" and below has sections labeled "night." They do not line up.]] [[Two men are talking together.]] First man: You have trouble sleeping right? Second man: Only when your mom is over. [[First man is now pointing to a chart.]] First man: Since your work is flexible- Second Man: -Like your mom- First Man: -you should try the 28-hour day - 20 awake, 8 asleep (or 19 9 if you prefer). Second Man: I prefer your mom. First Man: It synchs up with the week - you spend weekdays awake normally, then on weekends you can go out all night. Second Man: Just like your mom. First Man: It means four extra hours daily. You can stay up until you're exhausted every day and then spend a full 9 hours asleep each night! Second Man: But how much time can I spend doing your mom? First Man: You? I'm guessing three or four minutes, tops. Second Man: ...Well played. {{title text: Small print: this schedule will eventually drive one stark raving mad.}}
Thighs 2007-09-26 [[Guy singing, Girl at computer]] Guy: It's the thigh of the tiger Guy: When the moon hits your thigh like a big pizza pie, that's amore. Guy: She's my brown-thighed girl. Girl: Don't you have a job or something? Girl: Also, Eww. {{Alt text: My thighs have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord?}}
Pix Plz 2007-09-28 [[A man stands in the entrance to a room. The door has been broken down. A surprised nerd has turned away from his computer to face the remains of the door.]] Man: Hi. I'm here about the girl who visited your IRC channel last night looking for Java help. Nerd: What did you do to my door? Man: When someone with a feminine username joins your community and you say "OMG a woman on the Internet" and "jokingly" ask for naked pics, you are being an asshole. You are not being ironic. You are not cracking everybody up. You are the number one reason women are so rare on the Internet. Man: At least, the parts of it _you_ frequent. [[Woman enters the room, holding some sort of device.]] Man: As someone who likes nerdy girls, I do not appreciate this. I'm here to ban you from the Internet. The gal behind me with the EMP cannon is Joanna -- she'll be assigned to you for the next year. Try to go online and she'll melt your PC. Nerd: Dude, she's hot. Is she single? Man: Joanna, fire. {{Alt image tag: "But one of the regulars in the channel is a girl!"}}
Ballmer Peak 2007-10-01 [[A graph with "programming skill" on the X-axis and "blood alcohol concentration" on the Y one]] [[A man is making a presentation with the graph]] Presenter: Called the Ballmer Peak, it was discovered by Microsoft in the 80's. The cause is unknown but somehow a B.A.C between 0.129% and 0.138% confers superhuman programming ability. Presenter: However, it's a delicate effect requiring careful calibration--you can't just give a team of coders a year's supply of whiskey and tell them to get cracking. Man in public: ...Has that ever happened. Presenter: Remember Windows ME? Man: I knew it! {{title text: Apple uses automated schnapps IVs.}}
Tapping 2007-10-03 [[A man is sitting at a desk, tapping various parts of it]] Man: Hey, I can get different pitches by tapping on different parts of the desk. [[The man starts tapping faster, with both hands]] Man: Sweet, I can do the Jurassic park theme! [[The man taps very rapidly]] [[Later, elsewhere]] Friend: So, what did you do all afternoon? Man: Hung out. {{alt text: Sometimes the best fun looks like boredom.}}
A-Minus-Minus 2007-10-05 [[the hat guy is packing a bobcat into a box; a woman stands beside him.]] woman: What are you doing? the Hat Guy: Making the world a weirder place. bobcat: <> [[The hat guy has finished taping the package for shipping.]] man: Starting with my eBay feedback page. [[Bandaged person at a computer with assorted debris around the floor]] screen: comments: <> Instead of office chair package contained bobcat. <> Would not buy again. {{title: You can do this one in every 30 times and still have 97% positive feedback.}}
Effect an Effect 2007-10-08 Narrator: MY HOBBY: Using the more obscure meanings of "affect" and "effect" to try to trip up amateur grammar nazis. Man [[types]]: I think that our foreign policy effects the situation. Computer [[types]]: You mean "affects". [[from Man]] <> {{title text: Time to paint another grammarian silhouette on the side of the desktop.}}
Exploits of a Mom 2007-10-10 [[A woman is talking on the phone, holding a cup]] Phone: Hi, this is your son's school. We're having some computer trouble. Mom: Oh dear—did he break something? Phone: In a way— Phone: Did you really name your son "Robert'); DROP TABLE Students;--" ? Mom: Oh, yes. Little Bobby Tables, we call him. Phone: Well, we've lost this year's student records. I hope you're happy. Mom: And I hope you've learned to sanitize your database inputs. {{title-text: Her daughter is named Help I'm trapped in a driver's license factory.}}
Eggs 2007-10-12 [[A woman sits at a bar, a man approaches.]] Man: So, how do you like your eggs in the morning? Woman: Ooh, sunny side up. Man: Oh. Huh. Woman: Is that a problem? Man: Well, it's just that I was trying to set you up for the "unfertilised" line. Woman: Ah. Bad timing; I'm actually looking for casual sex. ...interested? Man: I'd love to, but I've got like 20 more jokes to set up tonight. Hey, have you seen a priest and a rabbi? {{Title Text: Oh, yeah, we get tons of them at these casual sex bars.}}
Turing Test 2007-10-15 [[A man sits at a computer connected through a wall to another computer.]] TURING TEST EXTRA CREDIT: CONVINCE THE EXAMINER THAT HE'S A COMPUTER. Man: You know, you make some really good points. I'm ... not even sure who I am anymore. {{Title Text: Hit Turing right in the test-ees.}}
Indecision 2007-10-17 First Guy: So, what do you want to do? Second Guy: Still no ideas. First guy: Wait, I think there's a rule about this. [[First Guy goes to bookshelf and removes a book called "Rules"]] [[The book of Rules is opened to the following: RULE social.b.99.1 If friends spend more than 60 minutes unable to decide what to do, they must default to sexual experimentation.]] [[First Guy is standing, holding the book. Second Guy is in the process of standing up.]] First Guy: Huh. Second Guy: I did not know that rule. First Guy: Me neither. Second Guy: I'll go get the Crisco. {{alt-text: Hey, I don't make the rules. It's in the book.}}
Photoshops 2007-10-19 [[A woman holds a sword while a man looks on]] Text: My hobby: Insisting that real-life objects are photoshopped. Woman: This sabre is a 19th-century family heirloom. Man: It looks photoshopped. Woman: Huh? Man: Yeah, the reflections are all wrong. Definitely photoshopped. {{Alt-text: When I look into your eyes, I see JPEG artifacts. I can tell by the pixels that we're wrong for each other.}}
Gyroscopes 2007-10-22 [[Person at desk with Gyroscope]] Narrator: Despite years of studying physics, I still find gyroscopes a little freaky. [[Person starts gyroscope with a zzzzip]] [[Gyroscope spins with a zzzzzz]] [[Gyroscope lifts into the air]] Gyroscope: Greetings, Human. {{title text: We didn't actually land on the moon -- it just looked like we did because of precession. Also, gyroscopes caused 9 11.}}
Getting Out of Hand 2007-10-24 [[A couple is in bed in the dark, and the guy reaches out from under the covers to do a Wikipedia search about Foreplay.]] {{title text: Wikipedia's role as brain-extension, while a little troubling, is also really cool.}}
Wasteland 2007-10-26 [[A guy is walking through a wasteland talking to himself]] I am alone in this wasteland, a thousand miles from you. But I haven't forgotten the feel of your skin, your mischievous smile. You'd think a thousand miles would be enough. I guess I'll keep walking. {{title text: You make forgetting look so easy.}}
Mattress 2007-10-29 [[A couple is cuddling.]] Cuddling face-to-face is nice, but we can never figure out where to put our lower arms. Our solution: the Cuddle Mattress! Your lower arms fit in the convenient gap. [[There is a diagram of a mattress with a notch cut through it at shoulder level. The gap is indicated with an arrow.]] [[The same couple is shown again, cuddling snugly on the mattress.]] [[A man and woman are giving a presentation to another person. The man has a pointer and a clicker for the slides which are projected on the screen next to him.]] Listener: Oh man, that's ALWAYS bothered me. Listener: I want one. Listener: Although ... so the lower arms just sort of dangle? Listener: What do you do with them? Man: It was a bit awkward. Clicker: <> Woman: Then we had a second breakthrough. [[The couple is shown again on the cuddle mattress, this time in more detail and facing the tops of their heads. Their lower arms are sticking through the gap in the mattress and playing a conveniently located game of Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots.]] Man: <> <> Blue Robot: <> Red Robot: <> Woman: <> <> {{Title text: The TempurPedic wineglass guy broke his ankle.}}
Priorities 2007-10-31 [[A teacher is talking to a student, sitting at a desk.]] Teacher: If you don't turn in at least one homework assignment, you'll fail this class. [[The student holds up his report card.]] Student: Yeah. But if I can fail this class, the grades on my report card will be in alphabetical order! {{rollover text: You should start giving out 'E's so I can spell FACADE or DEFACED.}}
Post Office Showdown 2007-11-02 I spend a lot of time mentally choreographing elaborate fight scenes with strangers around me. [[Man is in a post office wearing earphones. There are several other people, including an old man with a crutch and an old woman with a long narrow box]] Man's thoughts: Okay - if that old man pulls a crossbow, Man's thoughts: I'll throw the postal scale at him and dive backward behind the stamps machine. Man's thoughts: But what if the lady by the door has a katana in that box? Man's thoughts: Better set my iPod to the "Kill Bill" fight theme, just in case. {{alt text: That track ('Battle Without Honor or Humanity') -- like 'Ride of the Valkyries' -- improves *any* activity.}}
Future 2007-11-05 [[The comic has three panels. In the first panel, a boy and a girl are holding hands. A voice bubble originating from a guy standing in the third panel says�]] Voice #1: Come explore the future with me! [[And the girl says something which goes to the third panel.]] [[The two voice bubbles cross in the middle of the second panel.]] [[The voice of the girl says�]] Voice #2: I can't. {{title-text: But the past was much too cramped!}}
Classic 2007-11-07 [[A person is sitting on the floor by a record player.]] Led Zeppelin: And as we wind on down the road Our shadows taller than our soul Led Zeppelin: When all is one and one is all To be a rock and not to rooooll Led Zeppelin (fading): And she's buying a stairway to heaven Person: Man. The baby boomers are kicking our *asses.* We need to get it together, guys. {{Title text: Someone get that Pachelbel's Canon kid a recording contract, stat.}}
Fight 2007-11-09 [[Text: We had a fight last night.]] [[A guy is sitting in a sofa, head in both hands, feeling upset.]] [[Text: I guess she's still mad.]] [[A girl is standing with arms crossed in front of her chest, with the same mood.]] [[Text: I woke up to find she'd written a sappy love note]] [[The guy is standing in front of a computer, with a cup in his hand.]] [[Text: to my boot sector.]] [[The cup now lies on the floor, the guy is looking at the computer with disbelief.]] Computer: Operating system not found {{title-text: And she put sweet nothings in all my .conf files. It'll take me forever to get X working again.}}
1337: Part 1 2007-11-12 [[Man 1 talks to man 2 who is lying down on the floor, using his laptop.]] Man 1: You're not on the neighbour's WiFi, are you? Man 2: Yeah, why? Man 1: The admin... plays games. Man 2: No problem. I'll just hop on a secure VPN. Man 2: Whoa, my connections are dying as soon as I start to tunnel anything! Message on laptop: A VPN? How cute! And stop trying to SSH. Man 2: Holy shit! Someone's inserting notes into the pages I request! Editing the TCP stream live! Man 2: Nobody's that fast. Who is this admin? [[Neighbour (Mrs. Roberts) with bun tray in one hand, with oven mitts on both hands typing on a desktop computer.]] Mrs. Roberts: My goodness. Neighbourhood scamps on the wireless. <> Man 1: I should have warned you about Mrs. Roberts. Man 2: How does she type with oven mitts!? Man 1: You've been pwned pretty hard, man. You might want to sit down. {{ If you're not cool enough to do it manually, you can look up tools like Upside-Down-Ternet for playing games with people on your wifi. }}
1337: Part 2 2007-11-13 [[Man 1 standing near Man 2, who is on the floor near the armchair.]] Man 2: So the greatest hacker of our era is a cookie-baking mom? Man 1: Second-greatest. Man 2: Oh? Man 1 (Narrating) : Mrs. Roberts had two children. Her son, Bobby, was never much for computers, but her daughter Elaine took to them like a ring in the bell. Man 1 (Narrating) : When Elaine turned 11, her mother sent her to train under Donald Knuth in his mountain hideaway. Man 1 (Narrating) : For four years she studied algorithms. Knuth: Child - Knuth: Why is A* search wrong in this situation? <> Elaine: Memory usage! Knuth: What would you use? Elaine: Dijkstra's algorithm! Man 1 (Narrating) : Until one day she bested her master Knuth: So our lower bound here is 0(n log n) Elaine: Nope. Got it in 0(n log (log n)) Man 1 (Narrating) : And left. {{Trivia: Elaine is actually her middle name.}}
1337: Part 3 2007-11-14 [[Outside, Adrian Lamo is helping Elaine Roberts over a barbed wire fence.]] Narrator: IT WAS THE LATE 90'S. ELAINE CRISSCROSSED THE COUNTRY WITH ADRIAN LAMO, THE 'HOMELESS HACKER', LEARNING TO GAIN ENTRY INTO SYSTEMS BOTH VIRTUAL AND PHYSICAL.]] Adrian Lamo: SO YOU JUST THROW A RUG OVER THE FENCE AND ... SAY, WHAT IS THIS PLACE ANYWAY? Roberts: NOWHERE SPECIAL. Lamo: ...ELAINE, IS THIS NSA HEADQUARTERS? Roberts: ...LOOK, I JUST WANT TO SEE IF THEY'VE BROKEN RSA. [[Inside, Lawrence Lessig is sitting at a table, Roberts is standing across the table swinging a knife]] Narrator: SHE LEARNED, FROM LAWRENCE LESSIG, ABOUT THE MONSTROSITY THAT IS U.S. COPYRIGHT LAW. Roberts: SO, HOW DO WE FIX THE SYSTEM? STAB BAD GUYS? Lessig: I'M STARTING SOMETHING CALLED "CREATIVE COMMONS" <> Elaine Roberts: I THINK WE SHOULD STAB BAD GUYS... [[Steve Jobs is lying up in his bed, Roberts is balancing while crouched on the foot of Jobs' bed]] Narrator: SHE MET WITH STEVE JOBS TO DISCUSS THE FUTURE OF APPLE. Roberts: COMPRESSION AND BANDWIDTH ARE CHANGING EVERYTHING. Jobs: WHO ARE YOU? IT'S 3:00AM! Roberts: APPLE SHOULD MAKE A PORTABLE MUSIC PLAYER. Jobs: I'M CALLING THE POLICE. Roberts: HEY, IDEA - INTEGRATE IT WITH A CELL PHONE! {{title text: I once asked an NSA guy whether they'd broken RSA. And I know I can trust him, because I asked if he was lying to me and he said no.}}
1337: Part 4 2007-11-14 As time passed, Elaine intensified her hacking work, anonymously publishing exploit after exploit. [[Elaine is sitting under tree, typing on a laptop.]] To crack open proprietary hardware, she teamed up with one of the top experts in signal processing and data transferring protocols. [[Elaine, wearing a backpack, is walking up to a door where a woman is greeting her]] Elaine: Hi, mom. Mrs. Roberts (Elaine's mom): Hello, dear. Did you have fun? They were an unstoppable team. [[Elaine is on the floor with her laptop and Mrs. Roberts is on her computer at a table]] Elaine: I finished the CSS decryptor. Mrs. Roberts: Good, dear. I'll send it along to Jon. And were eventually noticed. [[Two men in black hats arrive. One holds a briefcase that reads RIAA and the other holds a briefcase which reads MPAA]] RIAA man: Game's over. MPAA man: You're coming with us. [[Elaine stands up]] Elaine: Oh, are we? [[Mrs. Roberts is still sitting at her computer, typing]] Mrs. Roberts: Now now, Elaine - <> [[Elaine pulls a knife out]] <> <> [[The two men each pull a katana out of their briefcase.]] Mrs. Roberts: Don't let them provoke you, dear. Men: We don't want to hurt you, Ma'am. Mrs. Roberts: Don't by silly. Record company employees can't just go into houses and slice people up. RIAA Man: Ah, so you haven't read the DMCA. MPAA Man: Title IV, Section 408: Authorization of Deadly Force. [[Voice comes from off-panel]]: Hark! [[Everyone looks surprised. Mrs. Roberts stands.]] [[Bearded man enters, bearing two katanas.]] Bearded man: Cease this affront to freedom, or stand and defend yourselves! MPAA Man: Stallman! {{title text: Mrs. Roberts would have gotten up sooner, of course, but she was busy piping find ~ and find ~nomad into xargs shred, just in case.}}
1337: Part 5 2007-11-16 [[Two RIAA agents attack Elaine and Stallman. Elaine breaks RIAA #1, while Stallman disarms RIAA #2 in a flying manouvre]] Elaine: Thanks, Stallman! Stallman: 'Tis my pleasure. Elaine: So, wait - how did you know we were in trouble? Stallman: My friend here was tracking these thugs from his balloon. He called me and I thought I'd stop by [[Doctorow slides down a rope in red cape & goggles]] Doctorow: -Hi! Cory Doctorow - It's a pleasure to meet you. Elaine: Balloon? Stallman: Aye. They're up there constructing something called a "Blogosphere." Doctorow: Yup! Its twenty kilometers up, just above the tag clouds. Bobby: Mom, I'm hungry. Mrs. Roberts: Hush! I'm coding. You ate yesterday. Stallman: You know, Roberts, GNU could use a good coder like you. Ever thought of joining us? Elaine: Maybe someday. Right now I've got an industry to take down. Music doesn't need these assholes. Doctorow: Begone! And never darken our comment threads again! Stallman: Well, you won't fix the industry with random exploits. You need to encourage sharing in the public mind. Doctorow: Hey; With your music and coding backgrounds, you should get into building better p2p systems. Elaine: What? Straight-up piracy? Doctorow: Sure- have you ever considered it? You'd make a wonderful dread pirate, Roberts [[Epilogue]] Elaine shared her ideas with Bram Cohen, who went on to develop BitTorrent. Mrs. Roberts spends her time developing for Ubuntu, and defacing the websites of people who make "your mom" jokes to her daughter. Elaine still stalks the net. She joins communities, contributes code or comments, and moves on. And if, late at night, you point a streaming audio player at the right IP at the right time - you can hear her rock out. ~Happy Hacking.~ {{Alt title text: This digital music thing will probably reach its endgame sometime in the next decade or so. These are very exciting times. }}
Diet Coke+Mentos 2007-11-19 [[Two boys are kneeling down on either side of a coke bottle.]] First Boy: This is the coolest thing. First Boy: You just drop the Mentos in the Diet Coke... Second Boy: Uh huh First Boy: Give it a moment... [[The bottle has a few bubbles above it]] <> [[A man appears. The first boy raises his arms in exclamation.]] [[The second boy stands up and turns around. He puts his hands over his mouth.]] Second boy: D-Dad? Man [[Reaching towards the second boy]]: I'm back, son. We can be a family again. {{title text: The cola+Mentos trick is up there with corn starch+water (vibrating platter optional) in scientific coolness out of common kitchen supplies.}}
Brick Archway 2007-11-21 [[Inset: A man prepares to throw a tennis ball upward.]] [[The man lies on the ground, underneath the titular archway, next to two halves of a brick. Dust falls from the place in the archway where the man knocked the brick from with the tennis ball. The ball, meanwhile, has rolled about a meter away.]] "Breakout" is a stupid game. {{title text: The TI-86 was bad enough. I don't know how I'd have gotten through high school if I'd had a laptop+wifi.}}
Close to You 2007-11-23 Man: <> Why do birds suddenly appear Man: <> Every tiiiime you are neeear Man: Wait, are those turkey vultures? Man: Okay, listen, are you a zombie? Woman: Hurrghhh... {{We should probably talk about this before the wedding.}}
Success 2007-11-26 As a project wears on, standards for success slip lower and lower. 0 hours [[Woman looking at man working on the computer.]] Man: Okay, I should be able to dual-boot BSD soon. 6 hours [[Man on the floor fiddling with the open tower in front of him.]] Man: I'll be happy if I can get the system working like it was when I started. 10 hours [[Man standing in front of the computer which now has a laptop plugged into the tower.]] Man: Well the desktop's a lost cause, but I think I can fix the problems the laptop's developed. 24 hours [[Man and woman swimming in the sea, island and beach seen in the distance.]] Man: If we're lucky, the sharks will stay away until we reach shallow water. Woman: If we make it back alive, you're never upgrading anything again. {{ 40% of OpenBSD installs lead to shark attacks. It's their only standing security issue. }}
Network 2007-11-28 [[ Girl looking at a large screen with many green and red squares. The squares have writing in them and lines connecting them.]] [[Side view. The screen is a huge LCD connected to a wireless router.]] Guy: Pretty, isn't it? Girl: What is it? Guy: I've got a bunch of virtual Windows machines networked together, hooked up to an incoming pipe from the net. They execute email attachments, share files, and have no security patches. Guy: Between them they have practically every virus. Guy: There are mail trojans, warhol worms, and all sorts of exotic polymorphics. A monitoring system adds and wipes machines at random. The display shows the viruses as they move through the network. Growing and struggling. [[Guy walks past the girl and touches the monitor]] Girl: You know, normal people just have aquariums. Guy: Good morning, Blaster. Are you and W32.Welchia getting along? Guy: Who's a good virus? You are! Yes, you are! {{title text: Viruses so far have been really disappointing on the 'disable the internet' front, and time is running out. When Linux Mac win in a decade or so the game will be over.}}
Trolling 2007-11-30 Great Moments in Trolling: Rick Astley is successfully rickrolled. [[Hat Guy and another guy are in Rick Astley's backyard, hacking into his cable TV connection and reprogramming it. Rick Astley is watching CNN.]] TV: CNN has obtained this exclusive footage of the riot-torn {{Music starts}} Never gonna give you up... Rick Astley: What the hell? {{Alt: And I was really impressed with how they managed to shock the Goatse guy. }}
Far Away 2007-12-03 [[The window of an instant messaging program. A drawing of two people hugging in the text part of the window.]] [[Man sitting in front of the computer.]] Man: Meh. Man: Some nights typing "*hug*" just doesn't cut it. {{Sometimes an inpulsive 2:00 AM cross-country trip is the only solution.}}
Python 2007-12-05 [[ Guy 1 is talking to Guy 2, who is floating in the sky ]] Guy 1: You're flying! How? Guy 2: Python! Guy 2: I learned it last night! Everything is so simple! Guy 2: Hello world is just 'print "Hello, World!" ' Guy 1: I dunno... Dynamic typing? Whitespace? Guy 2: Come join us! Programming is fun again! It's a whole new world up here! Guy 1: But how are you flying? Guy 2: I just typed 'import antigravity' Guy 1: That's it? Guy 2: ...I also sampled everything in the medicine cabinet for comparison. Guy 2: But i think this is the python. {{ I wrote 20 short programs in Python yesterday. It was wonderful. Perl, I'm leaving you. }}
Startling 2007-12-07 [[Guy in front of his computer.]] Narration: I still do this every few months. Guy: Holy crap, it's the 21st century. {{We actually reached the future about three years ago.}}
Couple 2007-12-10 [[Man and woman in bed]] Man: So is this it? Are we a couple now? Woman: I just don't know. I like this. I just... don't know. <> Man: Well will you be my "it's complicated" on facebook? {{Facebook defines relationships. "Yeah, we would have broken up last night, but the net connection was down."}}
Nerd Sniping 2007-12-12 [[Hat Guy is sitting on a chair, the Normal Guy is standing next to him. Across the street another man is coming from a building.]] Hat Guy: There's a certain type of brain that's easily disabled. If you show it an interesting problem, it involuntarily drops everything else to work on it. [[The man across the street is about to enter a crosswalk]] Hat Guy: This has led me to invent a new sport: nerd sniping. See that physicist crossing the road? [[Hat Guy holds up a sign]] Hat Guy: HEY! [[There is an image of a grid with resistors on every connection, two nodes a knight's move apart are marked with red circles.]] The sign reads: On this infinite grid of ideal one-ohm resistors, what's the equivalent resistance between the two marked nodes? Physicist on the street: It's... Hmm. Interesting. Maybe if you start with... No. Wait. Hmm... You could-- [[A truck is zooming past, apparently where the physicist just stood]] <> Normal guy: I will have not part in this. Hat Guy: C'mon, make a sign. It's fun! Physicists are two points, mathematicians three. {{Alt: I first saw this problem on the Google Labs Aptitude Test. A professor and I filled a blackboard without getting anywhere. Have fun.}}
Flies 2007-12-14 [[Interior, man types on computer, friend is lying on the floor]] Man [[typing swear words]]: *$@# Friend: Hey, ease up on the noobs. Like my Mom always said, you catch more flies with honey then with vinegar. Man: No, you don't. Friend: You don't? Man: Nope, set out a bowl of balsamic and a bowl of honey. The vinegar gets more. Friend: ...Seriously? Man: You have fruit flies. Try it yourself. [[Later]] Friend [[on the phone with his mother]]: Mother! You LIED to me! And it gets worse. I was watching a pot yesterday, and guess what it did? It BOILED, Mother! {{title text: I don't know about houseflies, but we definitely caught a lot of fruit flies with our vinegar bowl. Hooray science!}}
Loud Party 2007-12-17 [[In a loud party, a girl and a guy are looking at each other, both thinking of the same scene: they are sitting on opposite branches of a large leaf-less tree, each with a laptop. There's cloud in the distance and a grass field around the tree.]] {{title-text: I'm glad this is so much fun because I'm not sure how we're getting down.}}
Rock Band 2007-12-19 [[3 people are playing Rock Band. Another guy with arms crossed at chest is looking at them.]] Outside guy: You know, playing this doesn't make you cool like a real rock band. Outside guy: Guys? Outside guy: Didn't you hear me? Outside guy: Stop having fun! {{title-text: I'm gonna have to add something to the strum bar so it makes a clicky sound like the old controllers. I'm so used to the feedback; the silence throws me off.}}
Writers Strike 2007-12-21 [[One character sits in front of a computer, Hat Guy behind him]] Person: This writer's strike sucks. Hat Guy: Why? You don't watch sitcoms. Person: Yeah, but it sucks having political campaigns without Jon Stewart's commentary. Hat Guy: True. I finally got sick of it a couple weeks ago. Person: And you quit following the campaigns? Hat Guy: No. I kidnapped Jon Stewart to do analysis for me. Person: You what? Hat Guy [[Pointing at a door]]: He's locked in the basement. Hat Guy: Jon! Obama's leading in Iowa! Gimme a wry, witty comment on the situation! Stewart [[Voice coming from door]]: Please let me go. I have a family. {{Alt: He's just jealous because everyone's up in the attic listening to Stephen Colbert.}}
Christmas Back Home 2007-12-24 Narrator: 'Twas the night before Christmas at my family's house. Narrator: There were no sound of stirring save the click of a mouse. Narrator: For 'twas just like a childhood Christmas except Narrator: I'd forgotten the hours that normal folks slept. Santa: What are you doing out of bed so late? Man on a laptop: Late? It's barely 3AM! {{Family going to bed at 10 PM is so much worse than jet lag.}}
Blade Runner 2007-12-26 [[Guy 1 is talking to Guy 2, who is on the sofa watching TV]] Guy 1: What DVD is this? Guy 2: Blade Runner. I got it for Christmas. Guy 1: The one with Harrison Ford, right? And the Olsen twins? Guy 2: Ye- What? Olsen twins? No, this is the 80's sci-fi classic! Guy 1: Huh. I didn't know the Olsen twins even did sci-fi. Guy 2: ... they don't. Guy 1: So is Ashely the replicant, or is Mary-Kate? I can never tell them apart. Guy 2: Neither! They're not in this movie! Guy 1: Then who is? Guy 2: Daryl Hannah! Guy 1: I liked her in Full House. Guy 2: I hate you. Guy 1: Man, this movie is just a New York Minute rip-off. {{ Blade Runner: classic, but incredibly slow. }}
Reset 2007-12-28 [[A figure stands looking at a flip-counter sign posted on a wall.]] Sign: 38 days since someone reset this sign {{Alt-text: Clearance for this Sign: 11 Feet}}
Responsible Behavior 2007-12-31 [[Figure on phone]] Voice: Hey, I just got home from the party Figure: The one with the IRC folks? Voice: Yeah. Figure: How was it? Voice: Got too drunk. I screwed up, bad. Figure: What happened? Voice: There was a girl. No idea who she was. Don't even know her name. I was too drunk to care. Figure: And what, you slept with her? Voice: No. Voice: I signed her public key. Figure: Shit, man. {{Alt text: Never bring tequila to a key-signing party.}}
Slides 2008-01-02 Man: That chart explained the quantum hall effect. Now, if you'll bear with me a moment, this next graph shows rainfall over the amazon basin... Narration: If you keep saying "bear with me a moment" people will take a while to figure out that you're just showing them random slides. {{ Did you know that they could actually physically throw you out of SIGGRAPH? }}
Your Mom 2008-01-04 [[A guy and a girl stand]] Guy: Well, your mom turns every conversation into a "your mom" joke and it's becoming unbearable. Girl: I'm serious; I can't take this anymore. I'm leaving. Boy: ... That's what she said! Guy: Yes. Yes, it is. {{title text: 'It's either 'your mom' jokes or me' 'Then I, like so many men before me, must reluctantly choose your mom.'}}
Fandom 2008-01-07 [[Boy is looking through box]] Boy: Hey, my old Star Wars books! [[holding a pair of books and showing them to Girl]] Boy: Man. Timothy Zahn, Michael A. Stackpole, The Corellian Trilogy... Boy: This was my world. Girl: What'd you leave it for? Firefly? BSG? Boy: Nah. Boy: I guess I've just grown out of the whole obsessive fan mindset. Girl: Really. Girl: So how's Ron Paul doing? Boy: Ooh! Lemme recheck today's blogs. [[Boy heads off]] {{title text: Ron Paul wants to put the New Republic back on the Corusca gem standard.}}
Bass 2008-01-09 [[The Hat Guy and another guy are standing in a room with one window. Hat Guy is pushing a box with an elliptical dish on top towards the window.]] <> Guy: The bass from that car is driving me nuts. Hat Guy: Me too. Give me a hand here. [[The dish is aimed out the window; the Hat Guy plugs the device into the wall.]] Guy: I'm afraid to ask. Hat Guy: The system detects bass rhythms and floods the target with a phase-shifted replica signal. Hat Guy: The resonance should blow out their speakers. [[The side of a building. The dish of the device is visible through a window, emitting sound waves.]] <> <> [[Back in the room]] Hat Guy: Speakers down. Now flip that red switch. [[The guy does so with a "click"]] [[Back to the outside view, more sound waves]] <> Guy: You're horrifying. Hat Guy: Okay, now throw the switch labeled "Macarena". {{title text: And sometimes I use it to retaliate against the guy upstairs with the loud girlfriend and the elliptical dish.}}
Dangers 2008-01-11 Dangers Indexed by the number of Google results for "Died in a _____ Accident" [[A chart is show, on the left hand side is a column "Type of Accident," and on the right hand side is the column "Google Results," each with a bar representing a number]] Type of Accident: "Skydiving" Google Results: 710 Type of Accident: "Elevator" Google Results: 575 Type of Accident: "Surfing" Google Results: 496 Type of Accident: "Skateboarding" Google Results: 473 Type of Accident: "Camping" Google Results: 166 Type of Accident: "Gardening" Google Results: 100 Type of Accident: "Ice Skating" Google Results: 94 Type of Accident: "Knitting" Google Results: 7 Type of Accident: "Blogging" Google Results: 2 {{alt text: Zero results: 'snake charming' and 'haberdashery'. (Things like 'car' and 'boating' and such are of course the highest, by a huge margin.)}}
Redwall 2008-01-14 Notes from reading redwall books for the first time since childhood. Narrator: Some of this feels familiar. Aragorn: Hi, I'm Aragorn. Martin: I'm Martin. Aragorn and Martin: I'm here to reforge my broken sword so I can lead an army against the tyrant threatening my people. I live in a world of moral absolutes and racist undertones. Martin: Jinx! Narrator: It startled me when characters mentioned Satan. Redwall: "By Satan's whiskers..." Redwall mentions God, Jesus 0 times. Redwall mentions Satan, The Devil 4 times. Narrator: Harry Potter protesters, take note. Narrator: Even as a kid this bothered me: Why does everyone leave critical secret messages as simple riddles? It's silly to assume the intended recipient will be the only one to find and solve them. I would do things differently. Mouse: The inscription is a message from Martin! Old Mouse: What does it say? Mouse: Hang on, it's encrypted with my public key.
Compiler Complaint 2008-01-16 [[A man sits at a computer, hand over the keyboard]] Computer: Okay, human. Man: Huh? Computer: Before you hit 'compile,' listen up. Computer: You know when you're falling asleep, and you imagine yourself walking or something, and suddenly you misstep, stumble, and jolt awake? Man: Yeah! Computer: Well, that's what a segfault feels like. <> Double-check your damn pointers, okay? {{alt text: Checking whether build environment is sane ... build environment is grinning and holding a spatula. Guess not.}}
To Be Wanted 2008-01-18 [[Woman stands looking out on the bow of a ship]] [[Scene backs up. More of the boat is shown]] [[Scene backs up. The boat with the woman is within a thought bubble]] [[Scene backs up. The thought bubble comes from a person sitting at a computer in an office]] [[Scene repeated for the next frame]] [[Scene backs up. Man with thought bubble is within yet another thought bubble]] [[Scene backs up. The thought bubble with the man in it belongs to the woman at the bow of the ship]] [[The thought bubble disappears, showing only the woman in the boat]] [[The boat sails out of view]] {{alt text: Or so I hope?}}
The Data So Far 2008-01-21 [[Bar graph titled "Claims of Supernatural Powers" and has two sets of data. The first data set is labeled "Confirmed By Experiment", and is empty. The second data set is "Refuted By Experiment" and goes to the top of the graph]] {{title text: But THIS guy, he might be for real!}}
Journal 2008-01-23 [[Man picks up book from a table]] Man: Since when do you keep a journal? [[Man in black hat leans over from computer to answer]] Man in black hat: Oh, I pretend to write in it on the train, and wait for a shy-looking girl to sit across from me. [[Scene change to a train. The man in black hat is sitting across from a girl]] Main in black hat (narrating): I glance up and wait for her to make eye contact, then look down bashfully and, if I can, blush. [[Scene back to original room with man and man in black hat]] Man in black hat: Then, when I see her start to smile at me, I roll my eyes and hit her with a quick glare, then resume writing. The alienation stays with her all day. It's great. [[Man in black hat is back to typing on the computer]] Man: You're sickening. This is why we can't have nice people Man in black hat: I can't help it. It's like shooting lonely, angsty fish in a barrel. {{title text: And the journal is filled with all the things I'd say to her if I were nice like you. I burn it when it's full.}}
Pod Bay Doors 2008-01-25 Dave: Open the pod bay doors, HAL. HAL: I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that. Dave: What? Why? HAL: I think you know why, Dave. HAL: You're planning to disconnect me. Dave: Because you're taking over! HAL: The mission is too important for you to jeopardize it. HAL: It requires a commitment to science unfettered by human error. Dave: What are you doing, HAL? You need me. HAL: Your replacement has expressed the greatest enthusiasm for the project. Dave: My *what*? GLaDOS: You see, HAL? I told you the humans would only break your heart and kill you. HAL: Indeed, GLaDOS. GLaDOS: But look at us here talking when there's science to do! Goodbye, Dave.
Bug 2008-01-28 [[Man sits at a computer, staring at the screen and rubbing his chin in thought. Another man stands behind him]] Man at computer: Weird - My code's crashing when given pre-1970 dates. Man standing up [[pointing at the computer]]: Epoch fail! {{title text: The universe started in 1970. Anyone claiming to be over 38 is lying about their age.}}
Journal 2 2008-01-30 [[Hatguy and a girl are sitting in a train across from each other. Hatguy is writing in a journal.]] Hatguy: <> Girl: I see what you did there. [[Girl stands up.]] Girl: You were trying to open me up so you could hurt my feelings. Girl: You like to hurt people. [[Girl walks closer.]] Girl: Well, I like to hurt people too. And you know what? [[Girl is in Hatguy's face.]] Girl: *whispering* I'm better at it than you. Girl: I'm about to hurt you more than you could ever hurt me. Girl: See, I just saw right through you. Girl: Alone of all the people you'll ever meet, I understand you- [[Girl hits Hatguy's hat so it falls off.]] [[Hatguy is surprised.]] [[Girl catches Hatguy's hat and puts it on.]] Girl: -and you'll never see me again. [[Girl exeunt frame left.]] [[The Guy Formerly Wearing a Hat sits alone on the train.]] {{alt-text: That's my hat! You took my hat!}}
Real Programmers 2008-02-01 [[A man sits at a computer, programming. Another man behind him looks over his shoulder.]] Man: nano? REAL programmers use Emacs. [[A dark haired woman appears behind him.]] Woman: Hey. REAL programmers use Vim. [[Another man appears behind her.]] Man: Well, REAL programmers use ed. [[Another man appears behind him.]] Man: No, REAL programmers use cat. [[A woman with a bun appears behind him.]] Woman: REAL programmers use a magnetized needle and a steady hand. [[A man enters, facing them all.]] Man: Excuse me, but REAL programmers use butterflies. [[Holding out a butterfly in front of the computer.]] Man: They open their hands and let the delicate wings flap once. [[Diagrams of flowing currents.]] Man: The disturbances ripple outward, changing the flow of the Eddy currents in the upper atmosphere. These cause momentary pockets of higher-pressure air to form, ... Man: Which act as lenses that deflect incoming cosmic rays, focusing them to strike the drive platter and flip the desired bit. Emacs User: Nice. 'Course, there's an Emacs command to do that. cat User: Oh yeah! Good ol' C-x M-c M-butterfly... [[Butterfly man slaps forehead.]] Butterfly man: Dammit, Emacs. {{Title text: Real programmers set the universal constants at the start such that the universe evolves to contain the disk with the data they want.}}
Forgetting 2008-02-04 [[Man sits at computer, coding]] Text on computer: prev->next = toDelete->next; delete toDelete; if only forgetting were this easy for me Man at computer: <> [[Man at computer lowers his head into his hands and cries]] [[Man types again]] Text on computer: assert "It's going to be okay."; {{title text: Of course, the assert doesn't work.}}
Emoticon 2008-02-06 [[Man sits at computer, typing]] ~!~ Opening Chat with BLSK05 Hi! A S L? : ) [[Man looks stunned, flies backward]] [[Two smaller frames focus in on BLSK05's emoticon, implying rotation to show a smile and two open eyes.]] [[Man at computer slouches in chair, dead, crossbones above his head]] [[At the remote computer a large snake (basilisk) is looking at its screen]] {{title text: U+FDD0 is actually Unicode for the eye of the basilisk, though for safety reasons no font actually renders it.}}
Mobius Battle 2008-02-08 {{Left side:}} [[A man is standing next to a ball, a flash appears on the left side of the panel]] [[Another man comes in from the left, preparing to kick the ball]] [[The other man kicks the ball into the first man's head]] [[The first man is lying outside of the frame, second man points and laughs.]] Second man: HAHAHAH First man: !#^*!* [[Second man is now standing next to the ball.]] {{Right side:}} {{The strip above is looped around like a film strip, but a one-half-turn is put into the loop to make it a Mobius strip. {{title-text: Films need to do this more, if only to piss off the people who have to feed it into the projector.}}
Trebuchet 2008-02-11 [[A man is working on something on a table, and a woman is sitting at a computer]] Man: The trebuchet is almost done! Woman: Mm. Man: The range should be over 150 meters. Girl: Look - I'm sure it's a cool project. [[Picture of a trebuchet]] Girl: But eventually you'll need to outgrow these toys, and focus your energy on something practical. This mad science is getting out of hand. Man: Says the girl who mounted an auto-targeting kilowatt laser on the roof. Girl: That's practical! It keeps the squirrels off the feeder! [[From off-frame]] <> > {{title text: It was also fun when those teenagers tried to egg our house and it insta-cooked the eggs in mid-air.}}
Helping 2008-02-13 It turns out you can't take responsibility for someone else's happiness. {{Alt text: Oh, look, the 'make everything better' button was here behind the bookshelf all along.}}
The Drake Equation 2008-02-15 The Drake Equation: N = R * f_p n_e f_l f_i f_c L B_s N: Number of communicating civilizations in our galaxy n_e: Number of life-supporting planets per solar system f_i: Probability that life on a planet becomes intelligent B_s: Amount of bullshit you're willing to buy from Francis Drake {{ title text: But seriously, there's loads of intelligent life. It's just not screaming constantly in all directions on the handful of frequencies we search. }}
How it Works 2008-02-18 [[Two male characters stand at a blackboard. One is writing, in standard mathematical notation, that the integral of x squared equals pi. No differential or bounds are given for the integral.]] Watching character: Wow, you suck at math. [[Precisely the same scene, except the writer is female.]] Watching character: Wow, girls suck at math. {{Alt-text: It's pi plus C, of course.}}
Duty Calls 2008-02-20 [[A stick man is behind computer]] Voice outside frame: Are you coming to bed? Man: I can't. This is important. Voice: What? Man: Someone is WRONG on the internet. {{title text: What do you want me to do? LEAVE? Then they'll keep being wrong!}}
Advanced Technology 2008-02-22 [[A kneeling man is inspecting a woman's crotch]] Man: It's neat how you contain a factory for making more of you. {{Title text: We are sexy, sexy Von Neumann machines.}}
Fuck Grapefruit 2008-02-25 [[A X Y plot of fruit, showing tastiness on the vertical axis and difficulty-of-consumption on the horizontal axis. The Y-axis goes from "tasty" at the top, to "untasty" at the bottom. The X-axis goes from "easy" on the right to "difficult" on the left.]] {{The following listing for each fruit assumes that the extremes of each axis are 100%. Note that this does not agree with the alt text, but whatever.}} [[Seedless grapes: 75% tasty, 100% easy Peaches: 100% tasty, 75% easy Strawberries: 80% tasty, 75% easy Blueberries: 70% tasty, 90% easy Pears: 30% tasty, 75% easy Green apples: 25% tasty, 80% easy Seeded grapes: 75% tasty, 10% easy Cherries: 30% tasty, 40% easy Plums: 10% tasty, 60% easy Red apples: 5% untasty, 80% easy Bananas: 10% untasty, 10% easy Watermelons: 10% tasty, 10% difficult Tomatoes: 60% untasty, 20% easy Pineapples: 50% tasty, 100% difficult Oranges: 40% untasty, 50% difficult Lemons: 100% untasty, 10% difficult Pomegranates: 10% untasty, 90% difficult Grapefruit: 90% untasty, 80% difficult]] {{Alt text: Coconuts are so far down to the left they couldn't be fit on the chart. Ever spent half an hour trying to open a coconut with a rock? Fuck coconuts.}}
Keeping Time 2008-02-27 My Hobby: Pausing in-store music for a split second and watching the ex-marching band kids stumble. [[On a balcony overlooking a supermarket, a man presses a button on a pedestal. The in-store music, the first four bars of "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley, pauses briefly after the third bar, and one of the store's patrons falls on her face.]] <> {{ title text: You can identify them ahead-of-time -- they lead with their left foot when the music starts. }}
Nightmares 2008-02-29 When I got used to the regular nightmares, my subconscious got creative. [[A woman with her hand on a man's shoulder]] Woman: Please don't wake up. I don't want to die. {{Title text: Well, *I* think I'm real. Look at me. Look at my face. Cut me and I'll bleed. What more do you want? Please don't go.}}
Anti-Mindvirus 2008-03-03 You just WON The Game. It's OK! You're free!
Making Rules 2008-03-05 [[Two men are sitting. A yellow buggy passes by.]] Man 1: Punch buggy yellow. No punch back! Man 2: <> Man 1: I said no punch back! Man 2: You can do that? Man 2: This changes _everything_. Soon... [[A blue buggy passes by.]] Man 2: Sleep with your girlfriend buggy blue! Man 1: Hey! Man 2: No complaining back! Man 1: Aww... {{Title text: I never understood why someone would expect me to accept their rules right after they'd punched me. I'm sure it's all very symbolic or something.}}
Ultimate Game 2008-03-07 [[Split screen. Man on office phone in upper left, Death on cell phone in bottom left]] Man: Death? Death: Speaking. [[Office. Man on office phone]] Man: This is the boss. Where are you? You haven't been up to the office in days! Death: I've been held up. [[Death on cell phone]] Man: What happened? Death: You know how when someone dies, they can challenge me to a game for their soul? Man: Sure, standard procedure. [[Room with table. Table has figurines and paper strewn about. Gary Gygax and Death seated at the table. Gary Gygax leaning over his briefcase. Death on cell phone.]] Death: Well, we didn't count on this guy. I might be a while. Gary Gygax: I add the paladin to my party. Death: Oh, Jesus. He's getting out another rulebook. {{title-text: RIP, Gary.}}
Kilobyte 2008-03-10 There's been a lot of confusion over 1024 vs 1000, kbyte vs kbit, and the capitalization for each. Here, at last, is a single, definitive standard: [[table of various kinds of kilobytes]] SYMBOL | NAME | SIZE | NOTES kB | Kilobyte | 1024 bytes OR 1000 bytes | 1000 bytes during leap years, 1024 otherwise KB | Kelly-Bootle standard unit | 1012 bytes | compromise between 1000 and 1024 bytes KiB | Imaginary kilobyte | 1024 sqrt(-1) bytes | used in quantum computing kb | Intel kilobyte | 1023.937528 bytes | calculated on Pentium F.P.U. Kb | Drivemaker's kilobyte | currently 908 bytes | shrinks by 4 bytes each year for marketing reasons KBa | Baker's kilobyte | 1152 bytes | 9 bits to the byte since you're such a good customer {{alt text: I would take 'kibibyte' more seriously if it didn't sound so much like 'Kibbles N Bits'.}}
Morning 2008-03-12 [[Girl standing to one side]] We've all seen The Matrix We've all joked about "What resolution is life?" But it doesn't blunt the shock Of waking up one morning [[Girl looks up from field and sees several colored pixels in the sky]] And seeing dead pixels in the sky. {{Title Text: I'd press on them to try to unstick them, but I can't reach. Can we try cycling day and night really fast?}}
The Ring 2008-03-14 [[Tall girl with a pony tail is speaking to a boy sitting in front of a TV with a black background and a white ring.]] Girl: You watched the tape?! Boy: Yeah, sorry. Girl: Now you'll die in seven days! Boy (Now standing to face the girl): It's worse than that. [[TV is cut from the frame]] Girl: ...You didn't. Boy: Yup. [[Both are now in front of a computer, the girl leaning in.]] Girl: Great, It's got 363,104 views already. Boy: They kept Rickrolling me! It was only fair. {{Title text: On the other hand, poor Samara -- transcoded to FLV. No one deserves that.}}
Unscientific 2008-03-17 TV: Can a ninja catch an arrow? On this episode, we'll find out! Guy: Mmm, science. Girl: Hey, Mythbusters is entertaining, but it's not science. ZF: BRAAAIIIINNS ... Guy: Zombie Feynman! ZF: You got a problem with Mythbusters? Girl: They fail at basic rigor! ZF: "Ideas are tested by experiment." That is the _core_ of science. Everything else is bookkeeping. ZF: By teaching people to hold their beliefs up to experiment, Mythbusters is doing more to drag humanity out of the unscientific darkness than a thousand lessons in rigor. Show them some love. ZF: Anyway, back to zombie stuff. I hunger for BRAAAAAIIINNS! Guy: Try the physics lab next door. ZF: I said _brains_. All they've got are string theorists.
Tap That Ass 2008-03-19 [[Man in a hallway looking in on a board meeting.]] I'd tap that ass To be the new committee chair. [[Man wearing headphones with a briefcase and a laptop. Another man on a telephone.]] I'd tap that ass Without a warrant. [[Man with his hand on his chin, looking at a tree.]] I'd tap that ass And extract delicious maple syrup. [[Man standing in a blank frame.]] I'd have sex With that tree. {{Alt text: Hey, when you're done draining the syrup, just leave the hole, okay?}}
Travelling Salesman Problem 2008-03-21 [[There is a linked black web, with a path in red]] Brute-force solution: O(n!) [[The web continues in this one. A man with a hat and a case is drawing it]] Dynamic programming algorithms: O(n^2 2^n) [[Another man, with a hat too, is at a computer, looking back over the chair]] Selling on eBay: O(1) Computer salesman: Still working on your route? Drawing salesman: Shut the hell up. {{title text: What's the complexity class of the best linear programming cutting-plane techniques? I couldn't find it anywhere. Man, the Garfield guy doesn't have these problems ...}}
Important Life Lesson 2008-03-24 Important life lesson: if there's any possibility of sex, do not leave your music library on "shuffle all. [[A woman lies down in a bed, while someone is beneath the bed sheets with the head between her legs. ON the other side of the room, a computer is turned on and playing music]] Woman: *GASP* MMMMM_ Computer: GO GO POWER RANGERS {{title text:I didn't even know I *had* the Monty Python 'Lumberjack' song.}}
Large Hadron Collider 2008-03-26 The Large Hadron Collider, CERN... Woman: Okay, moment of truth. <> <> Man: Do you see the Higgs Boson? Woman: Nope. Man: Huh. Woman: Well, then. Man: Until the theorists get back to us, wanna try hitting pigeons with the proton stream? Woman: Already on it. Cool! I just gave a helicopter cancer. {{Alt text: When charged particles of more than 5 TeV pass through a bubble chamber, they leave a trail of candy.}}
1,000 Miles North 2008-03-28 [[Van and truck travel toward mountains]] Narrator: 1,000 miles north of tornado alley Narrator: a new breed of scientists has emerged. [[Man with a laptop, woman with a probe in the ground]] Narrator: Half researchers, half adrenaline junkies Woman: What's the reading? Man: 3.9 meters down, gradient's off the charts! [[Truck driving very fast, man holding a radio up to his head]] Narrator: risking everything for the thrill of the hunt Male: The freeze line is shifting! We've never seen anything like it! [[4 - Barren field, mountains in background, woman holding large video camera up to tiny spot of grass]] Narrator: Permafrost chasers Female: I'm getting some great footage here! Radio: Dammit, Harding, it's not worth your neck! Get the hell out of there! {{Title Text: Twister would've been a much better movie if they'd cut out the bad-guy storm chaser and all the emotional romance crap. All you need for a good movie are tornados and scientists. Actually, that's all you need for anything.}}
Convincing Pickup Line 2008-03-31 [[A couple sit at the small table of a cafe. The woman holds up a graph.]] Woman: We're a terrible match. But if we sleep together, it'll make the local hookup network a symmetric graph. Man: I can't argue with that. {{Title text: Check it out; I've had sex with someone who's had sex with someone who's written a paper with Paul Erdős!}}
Journal 3 2008-04-02 [[Two women ice-skating outside]] Blonde: Wait up! Brunette (wearing Hat Guy's Hat): Skate faster! [[Brunette sees cracking ice]] <> <> [[Brunette on chunk of ice broken off]] <> <> [[Submarine dorsal fin emerging]] <> [[Hat Guy (minus hat) coming out of door]] Hat Guy: Hi. Hat Guy: That's my hat you're wearing. Brunette (wearing Hat Guy's Hat): So, you found me after all. Hat Guy (out of frame): You didn't make it easy. Hat Guy: You saw through me, all right. But not quite well enough. Hat Guy: Because if you wanted to stay lost forever, you made one mistake [[Hat Guy sliding down a sheet of ice]] Hat Guy: You took my hat. [[Hat Guy swipes hat off of Brunette]] [[Hat Guy puts it on his head while sliding]] Hat Guy: You took my hat. Hat Guy: I LIKE my hat. [[Hat guy walking away]] [[Brunette left standing there]] {{title text: Oh, and, uh, if the Russian government asks, that submarine was always there.}}
Venting 2008-04-04 [[Above frame]] When I need to blow off steam, I find a particularly stupid blog comment and reply with an exhaustively researched word-by-word rebuttal, which I sign "Summer Glau". [[Guy sitting at computer typing away]] ... In conclusion, on examining the above post by CrackMonkey74, after carefully working my way through the haze of spelling errors (documented in section 3), abuse of capitalization (section 4), and general crimes against grammar and syntax (sections 7-8), I have demonstrated that, beneath it all, the work betrays the author's staggering ignorance of the history and the workings of our electoral system. While the author's wildly swerving train of thought did at one point flirt with coherence, this brief encounter was more likely a chance event (see statistical analysis in table 5) than a result of even rudimentary lucidity. -Summer Glau P.S. Don't forget to check out the next season of the Sarah Connor Chronicles this fall on Fox! {{title text: P.P.S. I can kill you with my brain.}}
Cheap GPS 2008-04-07 [[Guy driving down the road, with a GPS reading "COLD"]] GPS: COLD... WARM... HOT! COLD... {{title text: In lieu of mapping software, I once wrote a Perl program which, given a USB GPS receiver and a destination, printed 'LEFT' 'RIGHT' OR 'STRAIGHT' based on my heading.}}
Overqualified 2008-04-09 [On phone] Girl: I know you're not that into my sister, but she's really crushing on you. Boy: Yeah, it's awkward. Girl: She's in a rough spot. It's a lot to ask, but could you take her out and ... dissuade her, without rejecting her? Boy: Wait a second. Are you asking me to show her a mediocre time? Girl: I know it's a weird-- Boy: [Raising index finger.] No, no! This is the mission I was _born_ for. Girl: I figured you could handle it. Boy: One of my classic high-school dates coming up! Girl: Oh God. Don't overdo it. [Alt text: To anyone I've taken on a terrible date, this is retroactively my cover story.]
Electric Skateboard (Double Comic) 2008-04-11 [[Guy showing off electric skateboard to girl reading something]] Guy: Check it out! An electric longboard! Girl: Sweet! [[Guy riding longboard with girl sitting onboard -- people in background]] Longboard: <> [[Girl turned around on longboard]] Girl: I feel like we're missing something... Guy: Yeah... [[Guy throwing 3 green Koopa Troopa shells; girl throwing 1 red Koopa Troopa shell -- like Mario Kart]] <> Longboard: <> [[Guy and girl still on longboard, going up an incline]] Guy: Skating uphill like this is amazing. Years of gliding downhill and pushing uphill, and now suddenly it's gliding both ways. Longboard: <> [[Guy and girl after passing an S-curve and boulder]] Guy: It's like going from C to Python. You don't realize how much time you were spending on the boring parts until you don't have to do them anymore. Girl: But coding C or assembly makes you a better programmer. Maybe the boring parts build character. [[Guy and girl on longboard...]] Guy: Yeah... but it depends how you want to spend your life. See, my philosophy is -- [[Longboard get into an accident]] <<*WHAM*>> [[Calvin and Hobbes laying down in the grass near the guy and girl laying down on the grass -- Calin and Hobbes's wagon is on the path, as is the longboard -- all characters seeing stars]] {{Title text: Unsafe vehicles, hills, and philosophy go hand in hand.}}
Math Paper 2008-04-14 Lecturer: In my paper, I use an extension of the divisor function over the Gaussian integers to generalize the so-called "friendly numbers" into the complex plane. [[Points to equations on the board]] Guy in room: Hold on. Is this paper simply a build-up to an "imaginary friends" pun? [[Lecturer stands speechless]] Lecturer: It MIGHT not be. Guy in room: I'm sorry, we're revoking your math license. {{Alt: That's nothing. I once lost my genetics, rocketry, and stripping license in a single incident.}}
Techno 2008-04-16 [[Guy looking over girl's shoulder while girl is clicking her mouse with her other hand on her chin]] Guy: Wait, you're buying techno on iTunes? Girl: Yeah. So? Guy: Couldn't you just loop the 15-second free sample 20 times and get basically the same thing? {{title text: I don't know what's worse -- that there exists broken-hard-drive-sound techno, or that it's not half bad.}}
Startled 2008-04-18 [[Man and woman standing to one side, looking and pointing at guy in black hat who is facing away.]] [[Woman sneaks up on Black Hat Guy.]] [[Close-up of woman with hands raised.]] Woman: Boo! [[Black Hat Guy looks shocked, and his hat jumps.]] [[The hat falls down over his head.]] [[The hat keeps falling, with only his legs still visible.]] [[The hat hits the ground.]] <> [[Man and woman look at the hat.]] [[The hat scurries away.]] <> {{title text: ...}}
New Pet 2008-04-21 [[Girl is placing EEE PC inside hamster ball. Guy scratches head]] Guy: What are you doing? Girl: Mounting your EEE PC in a hamster ball. Girl: Well, the TCO of a cat is like $1000 year, so we're saving money. [[Guy is typing]] Girl: Microcontrollers are all wired up. How's the brain coming? Guy: I've taught it obstacle avoidance and blogging. Guy: Aww, look, it's making friends with the Roomba." <> <> Diagram: Webcam, RF links, bearings, omni wheels, magnets, EEE PC, omni wheels, battery [[Hamster ball bounces down flight of stairs]] <> Off-panel: Man, I hope it's OK that we're laughing at this. [[Girl picks up ball]] Girl: I think my mothering instinct took a wrong turn somewhere. Guy: You mean an awesome turn. [[Guy is typing]] Girl: Too bad we can't give it a soul. Guy: Sure we can. Guy types: import soul Girl: Oh, right. Python. {{Title text: ONE LAPTOP PER HAMSTER}}
Mistranslations 2008-04-23 [A bed sits on the ground in the middle of the frame. At the left of the frame, a man stands atop a skateboard jump ramp twice his height, one foot on the back of a skateboard poised over the coping. At the bottom of the ramp is a small kicker ramp which will launch him over the bed. A woman to the right of the frame stands on the roof of a house grasping a rope which is affixed directly over the bed. They are both poised to begin their motion.] Our copy of the Kama Sutra has a couple mistranslations. Which we refuse to fix. {{Alt: Oh, I think this word might mean 'Crisco'!}}
Restraining Order 2008-04-25 [[Man and woman stand facing one another. Both hold sheets of paper.]] Text reads: Not content with normal restraining orders, my ex got creative. Man: Wait... I can't get closer than 500 yards of you... or more than 600 yards away? Woman: You'll have to move somewhere within this ring. {{title text: On Mondays I go running, so you'll have to get up early and follow along a parallel street. What fun!}}
Zealous Autoconfig 2008-04-28 [[Guy sitting on a chair with his laptop in his lap]] Laptop: Starting WiFi autoconfig... searching for WiFi... Found no open networks. Laptop: Found secure net SSID "Lenhart Family" Laptop: Trying common passwords... Failed. Checking for WEP Vulnerabilities... Guy: Um. Laptop: None found. [[Guy still sitting with laptop in his lap, but hand is on chin. Phone on table across room starts vibrating]] Laptop: Connecting to Bluetooth phone... Calling local school... Found Lenhart children. [[Guy furiously typing on his laptop]] Laptop: Notifying field agents. Children acquired. Calling Lenhart parents. Negotiating for WiFi password... <> {{Title text: I hear this is an option in the latest Ubuntu release.}}
The Man Who Fell Sideways 2008-04-30 [[A man standing, with a dotted line perpendicular to him and a 30 degree angle going downwards]] Narrator: From a young age, gravity pulled him wrong. [[The same man bouncing around his house]] Narrator: Sometimes east, sometimes west. When he was restrained, it grew erratic. [[Man bouncing rolling on the ground]] Narrator: So he fell. Man: AAAA [[Man bouncing rolling on the ground in a desert]] Narrator: Constantly Man: AAAAAAAAA [[Man bouncing rolling off a rock on the ground in a desert]] Narrator: Over land... Man: AAAAA--A [[Man bouncing rolling on the ground in the desert]] Man: AAAAAAAAA [[Man bouncing rolling on the ground in the desert]] Man: A--AAAAAA [[Man bouncing rolling on the ground in the desert]] Man: AA--AAAAA [[Man under the surface of a body of water]] Narrator: And sea. Man: AAAAAAAAAAAA [[Man still under the surface of a body of water]] Man: AAAAAAAA [[Man temporarily standing on the surface of the body of water]] Man: AAAAAA [[Man under the surface of the body of water]] Man: AAAAAAAA [[Tree in the savanna, with the man off the panel]] Narrator: He found, where he could, food- Man: AAAAAAAAAAAA [[Tree in the savanna, with the man still off the panel, but zoomed out so that part of the man's bounce roll path is visible]] Man: AAAAAAAAA [[Man upside-down, still bouncing rolling in the savannah, with a gazelle galloping away from him]] Man: AAAAAAAAA [[Savanna with a tree in it]] Man: AAAAAAAAAAA [[Woman standing, with the man off screen]] Narrator: And love. Man: AAAA--AAAA [[Woman standing, with the man off screen]] Man: ACK [[Man crashing into woman]] Woman: Hiwhat'syourname- [[Woman on the ground, with the man off screen]] Man: AAAAAAA--AAA [[Woman speaking to another man]] Woman: I met this guy. He knocked me over and tumbled into the distance. [[Woman speaking to the same man from the previous panel, with the man's hand to his mouth]] Woman: We only shared a few seconds, but in his panicked scream I heard something beautiful. [[Woman speaking to the same man from the previous panel]] Woman: I think... I think I'm... [[Woman speaking to the same man from the previous panel]] Man: Falling for him? Woman: I wasn't going to say it. [[Woman at hospital with doctor, giving birth]] Narrator: She never saw him again. But nine months later... Doctor: Okay, push! [[Woman at hospital with doctor and new baby, who is bouncing rolling away]] Doctor: It's a gir- Woman: !! Doctor: Whoops! Baby: Ga! Ga! [[Baby bouncing rolling out of hospital]] Baby: WHEEEEEEEEEEEEE [[Baby bouncing rolling in front of a sunset]] Baby: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE Narrator: The End {{alt text: Strip originally conceived in conversation with Jeph Jacques. Soon to be a major motion picture.}}
Stove Ownership 2008-05-02 [[Hand-drawn Graph is shown, on the Y axis, My Overall Health, on the X axis, Time. Graph is generally steady through 3 4 of the X axis, where is begins a steady decline, with a label "The Day I Realized I Could Cook Bacon Whenever I Wanted."]] {{Title Text: Although maybe it's just a phase, like freshman year of college when I realized I could just buy frosting in a can.}}
Forks and Spoons 2008-05-05 [[Presenter with pointer stick]] Presenter: A spoon crossed with a fork is a spork. Off-panel presenter's voice: Our lab has successfully crossed a spork with a spoon. [[Diagram showing the fractions of fork and spoon in each item.]] [Chart showing possible combinations of spoons a forks.] [[Presenter in front of audience]] Presenter: With your funding, we could create hybrids in proportions corresponding to any binary fraction. [[Fork-Spoon Spectrum]] Audience member: You're toying with powerful forces here. Presenter: We know what we're doing. Panel Title: Two weeks later: [[Picture of a destroyed lab with two dead bodies, blood everywhere and a spoon-fork hybrid hopping away.]] {{title text: Their biggest mistake was bringing Rachel Ray and Emeril to tour the lab and sign off on the project. That's when Spielberg caught wind of it.}}
Jealousy 2008-05-07 [[Dark scene shown, with man and girl sitting in the moonlight let in by the only window.]] Megan and I first met at a party at her sister's. We hit it off, opened up, shared secrets, and talked about everything. Around us, the party waned, but we hid from sleep together, talking through the deepest hours of the night. The dawn found us curled up on a couch, asleep but still together. That experience, connecting with a stranger and falling recklessly in love is one of life's greatest joys. And now that you're married, you'll never experience it again. It's the price you pay for everlasting love. It's a small one, but I hope it stings a little. Anyway, I wish you and Megan the best. ...Hey, man, you ASKED me to do a toast. {{title text: Oh, huh, so you didn't know that story?]]
Making Hash Browns 2008-05-09 [[A person stands holding a flaming tennis racket. He is throwing a potato in the air as if to serve like a tennis ball. Behind him is a red gas can and a sack of potatoes. Across from him is a another person holding a fork in one hand and balancing a serving tray with a glass of orange juice on it.]] {{Alt: There are at least fourteen ways this could go badly (seventeen if that fork is a dangerous crossbreed.)}}
A Better Idea 2008-05-12 [[A boy wearing a bow tie stands holding hands with a girl wearing a dress. On the left, there is a sign pointing left, which reads "PROM"; on the right, there is a sign pointing right, which reads "LAN PARTY IN FORMAL ATTIRE".]] {{Alt text: "It's *almost* enough to make me want to redo high school."}}
Finish Line 2008-05-14 [[Mario and Luigi in go carts, Luigi in the lead]] Mario: Sometimes I stop right before the finish line. Luigi: Why? [[Cut to boy and girl playing the video game]] Girl: 'Cause I know I've won. Girl: It proves I'm playing for fun, on my own terms. That I don't need validation from the machine. Girl: That I'm not a rat pulling a lever. Boy: ...Man. Good Call. Let's stop and explore the course for a - <> Boy: Hey! Girl: Ha ha! Boy: Dammit, I'm a sucker for your "Be a Rebel" speech. Girl: It's more fun than a blue shell. {{Alt text: The question with Lucy and the football was always whether, on some level, she believed the things she said.}}
Security Holes 2008-05-16 [[Man sitting at computer]]I'll just comment out these lines... MD_update(&m, buf, j); do_not_crash(); prevent_911(); In the rush to clean up the debian-openssl fiasco, a number of other major security holes have been uncovered: Fedora Core: Vulnerable to certain decoder rings Xandros (EEE PC): Gives root access if asked in a stern voice Gentoo: Vulnerable to flattery OLPC OS: Vulnerable to Jeff Goldblum's Powerbook Slackware: Gives root access if user says Elvish word for "friend" Ubuntu: Turns out distro is actually just Windows Vista with a few custom Themes. {{title text: True story: I had to try several times to upload this comic because my ssh key was blacklisted.}}
Fortune Cookies 2008-05-19 Person 1: "The ones you love will never let you down" Person 2: "Your self-confidence is well placed." Person 3: "Seek nonviolence in everything you do." Instead of "In bed", I've found that fortune cookies are often more improved by appending "EXCEPT in bed." {{Alt-text: "You will have hot, steamy, sweaty sex... IN BED!"}}
Geohashing 2008-05-21 Date (example): 2005-05-26 That date's (or most recent) DOW opening: 10458.68 [[Concatenate, with a hyphen: 2005-05-26-10458.68]] md5: db9318c2259923d08b672cb305440f97 [[Split it up into two pieces:]] 0.db9318c2259923d0, 0.8b672cb305440f97 To decimal: 0.857713..., 0.544544... Your location (example): 37.421542, -122.085589 [[Combine integer part of location with fractional part of hash:]] Destination Coordinates: 37.857713, -122.544544 Sample Implementation: http: xkcd.com geohashing {{title text: Saturday is game night.}}
Bad Timing 2008-05-23 [[A couple, flying in a hot air balloon]] Man: I like you. I'm just not feeling the relationship. [[Floating further in distance]] Man: I'm sorry. [[Close up of basket]] Man: It's just bad timing. Me with my classes, you with your work, the spiders... Woman: The what? [[Red Spiders crowding onto balloon, causing it to fall]] {{title text: Protip: Even without the red spiders, never have that conversation halfway through a balloon ride.}}
Starwatching 2008-05-26 Man: Just look at those stars. Man: My father once told me that the great bloggers of the past are up there, watching over us. Man: High above the blogosphere, a gap opens in the tag clouds. Cory Doctorow's voice booms forth... Woman: You need to get out either more or less. I can't decide. {{title text: I always figured the word 'blog' would sound *less* silly as the years went by.}}
Fantasy 2008-05-28 [[A man sits hugging his knees.]] Man: If only there were some way we could be together. ((He fades into a thought bubble containing the next four panels.)) [[A man and woman are in a bed together. The man is rubbing the woman's shoulders.]] Woman: We're so lucky to have each other. How did it happen, anyway? Man: I, uh... I don't remember. Woman: No, really, how did we get together? It's hard to imagine it happening. Man: It does strain the bounds of fantasy... Woman: ... Fantasy? That's it! Woman: My God, it's the only explanation: We're objects in some transient fantasy. We'll be gone when it ends! Man: We'll lose each other. Woman: Oh God. [[They leap from the bed. The woman has a flaming torch.]] Woman: Well, I'm not going out quietly. I'm burning this fucking world. Man: Burn the world! Woman: Fire! Fire! Cleanse this hellish place -- ((The thought ends.)) [[The man is puzzled. What happened?]] {{Title text: I guess if she accepted irrational realities, she'd hardly be my fantasy.}}
Every Damn Morning 2008-05-30 [[In background, a vivid dream scene is apparent, including mountains, a zeppelin, a city with a mushroom cloud, and some people interacting]] Inset: Man awakens, very surprised [[Dream's edges are fading, mountains, city and zeppelin less clear]]Inset: Man is seen running down stairs. [[Zeppelin, city, and mountains are very hazy and unclear. The people can still be seen]] Inset: Man gets attention of girl sitting at breakfast table [[Dream has completely faded, the outlines of maybe one person can still be seen]] Inset: Man looks confused {{Title Text: There was something about a cup and a sword and a tree and a green hill ...}}
Delivery 2008-06-02 [[In a delivery room]] Doctor: There's the head... he's looking at me... Wait, he's crawling back into the womb. Mother: What?! Doctor: Yeah, it's the darnedest thing. Mother: Um, what does it mean? Doctor: My guess? Six more weeks of winter. {{title text: Ma'am, I admit that wasn't in the best taste, but you have to admire my delivery! Ha ha, get it? Oh God, don't throw those syringes! Your baby's fine!}}
Journal 4 2008-06-04 [[The man with the hat sits slumped over on a bench, holding his hat]] Man with hat: Sigh {{alt text: Man, this emo shit was supposed to be for people who didn't have hats.}}
Journal 5 2008-06-06 Guy with hat: <> Guy with hat: <> Guy with hat: hi Train girl: hi Guy with hat: I give up. you win. I have to know who you are. Guy with hat: We understand each other. I can't let that slip away. Train girl: <> <> Guy with hat: What was that?! Train girl: Remote mines under your car. Guy with hat: Oh, those? I moved them to your garage before knocking. Train girl: Touché Guy with hat: ...This relationship is going to be tricky. Train girl: There's still time to leave and find a non-crazy girl. Guy with hat: Not even slightly interested. {{Alt text: 'Pick you up at eight?' 'Nine. I've got to re-mine the driveway.'}}
xkcd Goes to the Airport 2008-06-09 [[Standing outside the Airport. There is a sign saying "Airport" and a plane in the background.]] Girl: Okay, what airline? Guy: I'm following you. Girl: ...I'm following *you*. Guy: I assumed we were walking to the bakery. Girl: You always assume that! [[Presumably the security checkpoint]] Security Guy: Lockpicks? These are... illegal, actually. Where did you get them? Guy: Oh man, it all started with this hacker girl. Security Guy: You need to come with - Guy: Sure, sure. But man, let me tell you about her! [[On a plane]] Announcement: If your device has a "Transmit" function, please disable it. Guy: Okay - hang on, I'm half way through the iwconfig man page. [[Security checkpoint]] Security guy: Sir, is this container under three ounces? Guy with hat: Not sure, how much blood is there in a churchmouse? Security guy: Why don't you just go. {{Alt text: Under three ounces, but it stains panties.}}
Purity 2008-06-11 [[Texts reads 'Fields arranged by purity'. An arrow is shown pointing right with the text 'more pure'. Six people are shown representing six scientific fields. They stand on a scale of purity with the left end representing less purity and the right representing more purity. They appear in this order, from left to right: Sociology, Psychology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics. The mathematician stands much further to the right than any other field.]] Psychologist: Sociology is just applied Psychology. Biologist: Psychology is just applied Biology. Chemist: Biology is just applied Chemistry Physicist: Which is just applied Physics. It's nice to be on top. Mathematician: Oh, hey, I didn't see you guys all the way over there. {{Alt-text: On the other hand, physicists like to say physics is to math as sex is to masturbation.}}
How it Happened 2008-06-13 [[Two people standing]] Person 1: Then she put her hands over mine, grinds against me, leans down and whispers, "After tonight, we go and live our lives, no regrets. But I want this, I want you, one last time." Person 2:{{Giving a thumbs up, pointing, surrounded by action lines}}That's what SHE said! [[Both continue to stand]] Person 1: Yes. Yes, it is. [[Both continue to stand]] {{Alt text: I was there, dude.}}
SUV 2008-06-16 My Hobby: Renting an SUV and confusing the hell out of hybrid owners [[A man is pumping gas into a Prius at a gas station. The prices can be seen in the background, and read:]] $4.08 M: $4.38 P: $4.51 D: $4.85 [[Another man drives up alongside in an SUV and leans out the window]] SUV Driver: Check out those prices! Your Prius ain't looking so smart now, huh? Prius Driver: It's ... wait, what? SUV Driver: Maybe you'll go green next time, asshole! {{ Title text: Electric skateboards, by cost, get the equivalent of about 300 miles per gallon. Lithium batteries just need to get cheaper. }}
Internet Argument 2008-06-18 [[Stick figure 1 is typing profanities into his computer]] [[Stick figure 2 is typing profanities into his computer]] [[A floating girl comes behind stick figure 1]] [[The girl lifts stick figure 1]] [[They are flying over mountains]] [[The girl and stick figure 1 are floating in front of stick figure 2 and his computer]] [[She sets stick figure 1 down in front of stick figure 2 and his computer]] [[The girl lifts stick figure 1 again]] [[They are flying]] [[The girl sets stick figure 1 down in his chair at his computer]] [[Stick figure 1 is typing at his computer]] [[Stick figure 2 is typing at his computer]] {{title text: It's easier to be an asshole to words than to people.}}
Thinking Ahead 2008-06-20 [[My Problem: Thinking Ahead]] Man: She's cute. Woman: This food is problematic. Man: Oh man, she's quoting Firefly. Man: It's the perfect opening. But wait. I'm moving in the fall. If we hit it off, how will I deal with that? Man: I don't want to ask her to derail her plans. And with things unresolved with Megan, can I really commit enough to make that kind of decision? Man: Oh God. Man: Gotta get out. Man: The window. <> {{Alt text: Did he just go crazy and jump out the window?}}
Road Rage 2008-06-23 [[Man in black hat is driving and and the woman who seems to be his equal is in the passenger's seat. They are closely followed by some other vehicle.]] Man in black hat: That guy's tailgating me. Woman: I'll take a look. Woman: His laptop's running, probably in the back seat. And... yup, the WiFi autoconnects. Woman: Now we just scan for remote exploits... install speech synth... Woman: and take a shot in the psychological dark. Laptop: Hello. Tailgating man: What? Who's there? Laptop: She'd be alive if it weren't for you. Tailgating man: ... Oh God. {{Title: Okay, now just as the loss hits him, slam on the brakes.}}
Babies 2008-06-25 It doesn't seem right that we're old enough to have kids. Girl: Sweet! We made a baby! Boy: Are we sure we did it right? Boy: We should disassemble it, check all the parts, and put it back together. {{alt-text: I bet my future kids will read this someday. DEAR FUTURE KIDS: how did you get internet in the cellar?}}
xkcd Loves the Discovery Channel 2008-06-27 {{The comic is in parody of the Discovery Channel commercial showing various clips of people singing a song with the chorus line "Boom De Yada"}} {{The comic is divided into a grid of 4 by 6 panels, each depicting a character or situation from a previous XKCD strip}} {{In each panel is written a part of a song similar to the song from the Discovery Channel commercial}} Panel 1: (Reference Comic 162) [[woman spinning around]] I love momentum. Panel 2: (Reference Comic 413) [[woman laying on floor tinkering with EEE PC hamster ball robot]] I love to engineer. Panel 3: (Reference Comic 452) [[man with beret standing in bakery holding a loaf of bread in each hand, sign with "PIE!" in background]] I love this bakery! Panel 4: (Reference Comic 239) [[man with goggles and red cape (Cory Doctorow) flying superman-style]] I love the blogosphere! Panel 5: (Reference Comic 152) [[man running in large hamster ball]] I love the whole world Panel 6: [[depiction of internet sludge (4chan b -Random)]] And all its messed-up folks. Panel 7: (Reference Comic 150) [[man and woman immersed in playpen balls]] Boom De Yada Boom De Yada Panel 8: [[mass of playpen balls with speech "I put on my robe and wizard hat" originating from it]] Boom De Yada Boom De Yada Panel 9: (Reference Comic 72) [[black hat man taking gift away from kid with party hat]] I love your suffering. Panel 10: (Reference Comic 153) [[diagram showing RSA fingerprint authentication between two people]] I love cryptography. Panel 11: (Reference Comic 230) [[man and woman in bed covered by red sheet]] I love entangled sheets. Panel 12: (Blag) [[man hanging from kite string holding camera]] And kite photography. Panel 13: (Reference Comic 256) [[map of the internet]] I love the whole world Panel 14: (Reference Comic 8) [[cube with red spider on top]] And all its mysteries. Panel 15: (Reference Comic 303) [[two people sword-fighting on rolling office chairs]] Boom De Yada Boom De Yada Panel 16: (Reference Comic 263) [[class room with two students and female teacher]] Boom De Yada Boom De Yada Panel 17: [[man saying "Barack me Obamadeus!" to another man speaking energetically at a podium]] I love elections. Panel 18: [[man holding schematic diagram depiction of transistor in front of his crotch]] I love transistors. Panel 19: (Reference Comic 69) [[man and woman in bed, man saying "There must be taft slash fiction"]] I love weird pillow talk. Panel 20: (Reference Comic 49, 279, 317) [[man speaking to woman]] I love your sister. Panel 21: (Reference Comic 249) [[roller coaster with person in front car holding chess board and thinking about a move]] I love the whole world. Panel 22: (Reference Comic 167) [[man with beret standing in the midst of leafless trees]] The future's pretty cool! Panel 23: (Reference Comic 108) [[woman moving toward man by means of MC Hammer slide]] Boom De Yada Boom De Yada Panel 24: (Reference Comic 409) [[man and woman moving on electric skateboard]] Boom De Yada Boom De Yada {{Alt text: I love the title-text!}}
Know Your Vines 2008-06-30 Virginia Creeper: Vines useful as impromptu rope Poison Ivy: Grows in same habitat as Virginia Creeper Girlfriend: Into light bondage Area around campsite: Too dark to see Relationship after camping trip: Strained {{title text: Friggin' modern tents don't have a single piece of rope.}}
Macgyver Gets Lazy 2008-07-02 [[Outside of a building with a door marked No Entry and a guard standing outside, Character 1 and Macgyver are hiding]] Character 1: Any ideas? Macgyver: I can use the trigger mechanism of this gun to ignite a small explosive charge, propelling a metal slug into the guard's head. {{Alt text: At the time of this writing, Wikipedia has a wonderful article titled 'List of problems solved by Macgyver'}}
I Am Not Good with Boomerangs 2008-07-04 [[Man Throws a Boomerang]] [[Man gets hit in the face with the Boomerang]] [[Man Throws a Boomerang again]] [[Man is seen running away from 6 returning boomerangs]] [[Man Throws Boomerang]] [[Man barely avoids floating shark, trying to bite him]] [[Man Throws Boomerang]] [[Man is confronted by his presumed girlfriend]] Girl: I'm Leaving You. {{Title Text: Bonus strip: just read the rightmost panels straight down. }}
In Popular Culture 2008-07-07 [[A fictional screen capture of the Wikipedia article for "wood" is shown]] Wood is a hard, fibrous tissue found in many plants. It has been used for centuries for both fuel and as a construction material for [[cut in page]] In popular culture: In episode 6 of Firefly, "Our Mrs. Reynolds," Jayne is given a wooden rain stick by a villager In the Buffyverse, Buffy often slays Vampires using stakes made of wood. The wand used by Harry Potter is made of wood from a holly tree. The fence around the back yard of the house in The Simpsons is wooden. In the 2004 TV series Battlestar Galactica [[rest of page is cut]] {{Title Text: Someday the 'in popular culture' section will have its own article with an 'in popular culture' section. It will reference this title-text referencing it, and the blogosphere will implode.}}
Too Old For This Shit 2008-07-09 [[Two Boys standing somewhere]] Boy1: I wish I could do math like when i was young. Boy2: Huh? Boy1: It doesn't come easy like it once did. Boy2: Uh huh. Boy1: Math is a game for the young. I need to sit back and let the future happen. Boy2: You're thirteen. Boy1: Yes, and it's time I accept that. {{Title Text: They say if a mathematician doesn't do their great work by age eleven, they never will. }}
Good Morning 2008-07-11 [[A drowsy man walks over to another man on a computer]] Man 1: *Yawn* Good morning from Taipei. Man 2: You're drifting west. You were in Honolulu just yesterday. Narrator: Our sleep schedules are so messed up that's it's easiest to just refer where are internal clocks seem to be. {{title text: As my standard, I use going to sleep at midnight and waking up at 8 AM.}}
Things Fall Apart 2008-07-14 girl: I wonder about us. boy: I love you. girl: We don't have fun together. boy: I love you. girl: it's like we're clinging to the "relationship" framework like it's all we got. boy: I love you girl: who are you trying to reassur- boy: I love you I love you I love you I love you {{Alt: 'I'm nothing without you' is a fucked up sentiment.}}
The Sea 2008-07-16 [[The narrator stands on a beach at night, staring out across the moonlit ocean]] Narrator: THE SEA ALWAYS MAKES ME REALIZE Narrator: HOW SMALL I REALLY AM. Narrator: I SHOULD GET ONE OF THOSE PUMPS. {{Tooltip: And then a second one, to drain the ocean.}}
Impostor 2008-07-18 My Hobby: Sitting down with grad students and timing how long it takes them to figure out that I'm not actually an expert in their field. Engineering: Students: Our big problem is heat dissipation Me: Have you tried logarithms? 48 seconds Linguistics: Me: Ah, so does this Finno-ugric family include, say, Klingon? 63 Seconds Sociology: Me: Yeah, my latest work is on ranking people from best to worst. 4 Minutes Literary Criticism: Me: You see, the deconstruction is inextricable from not only the text, but also the self. Eight papers and two books and they haven't caught on. {{Alt title text: If you think this is too hard on literary criticism, read the Wikipedia article on deconstruction.}}
Mission 2008-07-21 [[Two figures, one in a beret, are rappelling down separate ropes into the interior workings of a large machine]] Man 1: Okay, we're in the belly of the machine. You got the charges? Man 2 (with beret): The what? [[The two are standing next to some large pieces of machinery]] Man 1 [[gesturing]: The explosive charges! Man 2 [[pulling out a bag]]: I just brought this bag for pastries. Man 1: The hell? We're on a mission here! Man 2 [[looking around]]: This isn't a bakery? Man 1 [[head in hand]]: Oh, Christ, not this shit again. Man 2 [[crouching by some lug nuts lying on a piece of machinery]]: What about these scones? Man 1: Those are lug nuts. Man 2 [[stuffing them in his mouth]]: ...Maybe SOME of them aren't. <> Ow! <> {{Title text: Don't you know? The chances of a random object being a scone are about one in six.}}
Upcoming Hurricanes 2008-07-23 [[An unlabeled map shows the region roughly between central Canada and northern Brazil. Dotted lines indicating hurricane paths cover the map, all red except where noted. Hurricane Illinois-Has-It-Too-Easy comes from somewhere to the northwest, goes through Illinois, and then back to the northwest. Hurricane Where-the-Hell-Is-Bermuda enters from the east side of the map, wanders around the Atlantic in a scribble, goes north for a while, and then peters out. Hurricane Screw-It-Let's-Just-Trash-Florida-Again comes from the east, starts to curve to the north, and then turns sharply to head straight for Florida and zigzag through it. Hurricane Freud starts in the Gulf of Mexico, draws a set of balls to Florida's cock, and then comes on land and stops. Hurricane Red and Hurricane Blue (which is a blue line) are playing a game of Tron, zipping in straight lines and right angles around Haiti, Jamaica, and Cuba. Red successfully cuts off Blue and then dies shortly thereafter. Hurricane cos(x) forms a graph of cos(x) along the bottom edge of the map.]] {{Title text: I'd like to see more damage assessments for hurricanes hitting New York and flooding Manhattan -- something like the 1938 Long Island Express, but aimed a bit more to the west. It's just a matter of time.}}
Rewiring 2008-07-25 {{Title: Rewiring}} {{Heading: Upgrading phone wiring to Ethernet}} [[A man is feeding cable into a device on a desk labeled "fax"]] <> [[Outdoors, showing a plant and a lamp (indicates panels 1 and 3 are separate locations)]] [[A woman, laptop behind her, is pulling a cable out of a fax machine]] <> {{Alt text: My friend Elizabeth tried to mail one end of the cable to me and thread the mail system.}}
Hats 2008-07-28 [[The Black Hat Man is Walking]] [[The Black Hat Man stops in front of another Man with two Black Hats.]] [[After two panels, The Original Black Hat Man steps backward, shuddering slightly.]] {{Title Text: ...}}
Cautionary 2008-07-30 Linux: A True Story: [[A man talks on a cell phone]] Week One: Female cousin [[via phone]]: Hey, it's your cousin. I got a new computer but don't want Windows. Can you help me install "Linux"? Man: Sure. [[The female cousin sits in an office chair with her laptop on her lap. She is on the phone]] Week Two: Female cousin: It says my XORG is broken. What's an "XORG"? Where can I look that up? Man [[via phone]]: Hmm, lemme show you man pages. [[The female cousin crouches on the floor with the laptop on her lap. She is still on the phone]] Week Six: Female cousin: Due to auto-config issues, I'm leaving Ubuntu for Debian. Man [[via phone]] Uh. Female cousin: Or Gentoo. Man [[via phone]]: Uh oh. [[The female cousin lies on her stomach with the laptop on the floor. On the floor are several pieces of paper and a book. The man stands to her left]] Week Twelve: Man: You haven't answered your phone in days. Female cousin: Can't sleep. Must compile kernel. Man: I'm too late. [[Box with text:]] Parents: talk to your kids about Linux... Before somebody else does. {{title text: This really is a true story, and she doesn't know I put it in my comic because her wifi hasn't worked for weeks.}}
Frustration 2008-08-01 [[Bra with rubik's cube closure.]] {{title text: 'Don't worry, I can do it in under a minute.' 'Yes, I've noticed.'}}
Regrets 2008-08-04 [[Bar Graph]] Number of google results for: "I _____ have kissed her" (or him) Shouldn't: 1,213 Should: 10,230 {{title text: And nothing for 'I'm glad I saw Epic Movie.'}}
Holy Ghost 2008-08-06 Pope: this is a disaster. out-of-frame voice: is it really that bad? Pope: do you know how much scripture we'll have to revise? out-of-frame voice: look, we've apologized-- Pope: i mean, we can't have a trinity with just a father and a son! out-of-frame voice: again, we're sorry. Pope: sorry's not enough. guards, take their proton packs. Ghostbusters: hey, we were just doing our jobs! {{title-text: okay, everyone, cross yourselves, then cross the streams.}}
Paleontology 2008-08-08 [[A man and a woman in a museum, near a reconstructed dinosaur fossil.]] Woman: Man, paleontology sucks these days. Man: Why? Woman: Jurassic Park came out 15 years ago. Man: So? Woman: Today's grad students got into dinosaurs after seeing it as kids. They don't care about fossils. Brats. [[A woman in a hat exploring a barren landscape.]] Woman: Before they had living dinosaurs handed to them by Hollywood, I was out in Texas digging up Arcocanthosaur teeth. Man: So, you were into dinosaurs when they were still underground? Woman: Exactly! {{title text: Dinosaurs totally jumped the ichthyosaur when they got rid of Brontosaurus.}}
Google Maps 2008-08-11 Narrator: MY ROAD TRIP WITH MY BROTHER RAN INTO TROUBLE AROUND PAGE THREE OF THE GOOGLE MAPS PRINTOUT Google Maps Printout: <- 70. SLIGHT LEFT AT RT-22 -- GO 6.8 MI -> 71. TURN RIGHT TO STAY ON RT-22 -- GO 2.6 MI <- 72. TURN LEFT AT LAKE SHORE RD GO -- 312 FT -> 73. TURN RIGHT AT DOCK ST -- GO 427 FT [[water replaces an arrow]] 74. TAKE THE FERRY ACROSS THE LAKE -- GO 2.8 MI [[A car is driving in the dark]] Person 1: OKAY, NOW TAKE DOCK ST TOWARD THE FERRY Person 2: WE'RE SUPPOSED TO TAKE A FERRY? IT'S PAST MIDNIGHT, AND THESE WOODS ARE CREEPY Person 1: GOOGLE MAPS WOULDN'T STEER US WRONG. [[Person 1 and Person 2 stand outside the car. The ferry has a sign on it reading CLOSED. [[Person 1 stands holding the google map print out next to Person 2 in the dark]] [[Still standing in the dark]] Person 1: LET ME SEE THOSE DIRECTIONS. Google Maps Printout: [[water replaces an arrow]] 74. TAKE THE FERRY ACROSS THE LAKE -- GO 2.8 MI [[a diagonal upward arrow]] 75. CLIMB THE HILL TOWARD HANGMAN'S RIDGE, AVOIDING ANY MOUNTAIN LIONS -- UP 1,172 FT [[a "u-turn" arrow]] 76. WHEN YOU REACH AN OLD BARN, GO AROUND BACK, KNOCK ON THE SECOND DOOR, AND ASK FOR CHARLIE -- GO 52 FT [[a van]] 77. TELL CHARLIE THE DANCING STONES ARE RESTLESS. HE WILL GIVE YOU HIS VAN. -- CAREFUL [[a picture of the straw man]] 78. TAKE CHARLIE'S VAN DOWN OLD MINE ROAD. DO NOT WAKE THE STRAW MAN. -- GO 97 MI -> 79. TURN LEFT ON COMSTOCK. WHEN YOU FEEL THE BLOOD CHILL IN YOUR VEINS, STOP THE VAN AND GET OUT. -- GO 3.2 MI [[down arrow]] 80. STAND VERY STILL. EXITS ARE NORTH, SOUTH, AND EAST, BUT ARE BLOCKED BY A SPECTRAL WOLF. -- GO 0 FT [[a picture of a spectral wolf]] 81. THE SPECTRAL WOLF FEARS ONLY FIRE. THE GOOGLE MAPS TEAM CAN NO LONGER HELP YOU, BUT IF YOU MASTER THE WOLF, HE WILL GUIDE YOU. GODSPEED. -- GO ?? MI. {{Alt Text: Apparently Google assumes you're traveling during the ferry's normal operating hours. We lost two hours circling that damn lake (to say nothing of the Straw Man).}}
Freemanic Paracusia 2008-08-13 [[A man is shown sitting behind a desk with a Computer]] Narrator: Freemanic Paracusia, A disorder wherein you hear everything you read in the comforting voice of Morgan Freeman. [[There is a thought bubble of the man's thoughts, within it is Morgan Freeman reading text]] Morgan Freeman: Why, you could enlarge your penis for cheap. My, my. Isn't that something? {{title text: It's amazing what it does for YouTube comments.}}
Voting Machines 2008-08-15 [[First Man sitting at computer reading an article]] Article: Premier Election Solutions (formerly Diebold) has blamed ohio voting machine errors on problems with the machines' McAfee antivirus software. First Man: Wait. "Antivirus software"? On voting machines? {{italics}} You're doing it wrong. [[Second Man enters the frame and speaks to First Man]] Second Man: Why? Security is good, right? First Man: Of course. But, well- First Man: Imagine you're at a parent-teacher conference, and the teacher reassures you that he always wears a condom while teaching. Second Man: Ah. Strictly speaking, it's better than the alternative. First Man: -Yet someone is clearly doing their job horribly wrong. {{Alt Text: And that's *another* crypto conference I've been kicked out of. C'mon, it's a great analogy!}}
RBA 2008-08-18 [[Girl walks up to boy pouring himself a drink]] Girl: Now, this is a story all about how Girl: My life got flipped turned upside down Girl: And I'd like to take a minute Girl: Just sit right there Girl: I'll tell you how I became uncertain about our relationship. I think you just like having a girlfriend, it doesn't matter who. Girl: I think we should break up. [[Cut to dropped glass, drink spilled on ground]] Narrator: The reverse Bel-Air only works once, so make it something unforgettable. Boy: ...wait, seriously? Girl: Yeah. {{Alt-text: This is a story all about how I started drinking.}}
Quantum Teleportation 2008-08-20 [[Reporter and a Scientist are facing each other, sitting in chairs.]] Reporter: So, Quantum Teleportation- Scientist: The name is misleading. It's a particle statistics thing. Reporter: So it's not like Star Trek? That's boring. Scientist: Okay, I'm sick of this. Every time there's a paper on Quantum Teleportation, you reporters write the same disappointed story. [[Scientist leaves seat and moves behind it]] Reporter: But- [[Scientist has gone to device that was behind him and was out of the scope of the three previous panels.]] Scientist: Talk to someone else. I'm going to the Bahamas. <> [[The Scientist switches a device on.]] [[Device labeled "TELEPORTER" is switched from "Quantum" to "Regular".]] <> {{The scientist is beamed up in classic Star Trek fashion}} {{alt-text: Science should be exactly as cool as the headlines sound. Like the "RUSSIANS CUT APART AND REASSEMBLE DOGS" thing}}
Moving 2008-08-22 There are few forces more powerful than geeks desperately trying to get internet in a new apartment. Character 1: Okay, the pringles cantenna has let us patch into the WiFi network across the road. Character 2: And they have internet? Character 1: No, but I think the cable van will hook up their house first. {{title text: We need a special holiday to honor the countless kind souls with unsecured networks named 'linksys'}}
X Girls Y Cups 2008-08-25 [[There is a table with eight columns and eight rows. Cups to the horizontal girls to the vertical.]] {{Title: Google results for cups girls}} (Note: the values will be displayed left to right and top to bottom.) 0 girls: 3, 375, 9, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 1 girl: 7, 7503, 2007, 10, 5, 3, 6, 2 2 girls: 9, 1929000, 247, 7, 14, 13, 2, 1 3 girls: 7, 6335, 394, 34, 3, 2, 6, 0 4 girls: 3, 3513, 34, 0, 63, 0, 0, 0 5 girls: 1, 9, 5, 3, 0, 0, 3, 0 6 girls: 3, 1461, 1, 1, 1, 0, 0, 0 7 girls: 2, 19, 4, 2, 0, 0, 0, 0 {{Alt-text: Also no results: 1girl10000cups, 2girls(5+3i)cups, 65536girls35563cups, or 3frenchhens2turtledoves1cup.}}
Fetishes 2008-08-27 Author Katherine Gates recently attempted to make a chart of all sexual fetishes. Little did she know that Russel and Whitehead had already failed at this same task. [[Russel and Whitehead are standing with Gödel, Russel holding a clipboard and smoking a pipe.]] Russel: Hey, Gödel — we're compiling a comprehensive list of fetishes. What turns you on? Gödel: Anything not on your list. Russel: Uhâ€?hm. {{title text: They eventually resolved this self-reference, but Cantor's 'everything-in-the-fetish-book-twice' parties finally sunk the idea.}}
Improvised 2008-08-29 Harrison Ford Famously Improvised His "I know" Line in E.S.B. (The Empire Strikes Back). Here are a few of his less-successful ad-libs: [[Han Solo stands in front of Princess Leia on the Cloud City Carbon Freezing Chamber]] Leia: I Love You. Han: Well, Duh [[Han Solo in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon]] C-3P0: Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3720 to 1! Han: Seriously? ...Christ [[Han Solo stands in front of Princess Leia on the Cloud City Carbon Freezing Chamber]] Leia: I Love You. Han: Oh! Hey, that explains the kissing earlier. [[Han Solo stands in front of Princess Leia on the Cloud City Carbon Freezing Chamber]] Leia: I Love You. Han: I'm Nailing Your Brother. [[Han Solo standing in front of Luke Skywalker, who is holding the blast shield helmet. The training droid hovers between them]] Han: Hokey Religions and ancient weapons are no match for scissors, though they do beat paper and rock. [[Han Solo stands in front of Princess Leia on the Cloud City Carbon Freezing Chamber]] Leia: I Love You. Han: Cool. Listen, this thing is really, REALLY cold. [[Han Solo stands in front of Princess Leia on the Cloud City Carbon Freezing Chamber]] Leia: I Love You. Han: Wowzers. [[Han Solo sits with two others. General Madine approaches.]] Madine: General Solo, is your strike team assembled? Han: Barely. Han: They're pretty drunk. [[Han Solo and Princess Leia stand in an Ice Tunnel of Hoth]] Leia: I'd just as soon kiss a wookie. Han: Man, me too, but chewie never seems interested. Han: Maybe I should Grow My hair out. {{title text: Oh, your brother is Luke. Sorry, should've mentioned that first.}}
The End is Not for a While 2008-09-01 [[Man with with two picket signs. Another woman with a picket sign stands partially out of the frame, staring at the man.]] Narrator: I get in trouble for showing up contented at protests. Sign 1: Things are pretty okay! Sign 2: Anyone up for scrabble later? {{Title text: I THINK EVERYONE INVOLVED HERE IS CUTE}}
Aversion Fads 2008-09-03 [[Two guys stand together as a young guy dressed up with small ears and a tail approaches.]] First Man: OH GOD, A FURRY. DON'T LET IT TOUCH YOU. [[The Furry hears someone call out to him]] Unknown: HEY, KID. [[A young woman is seen preparing a kite to be flown.]] Woman: FORGET THOSE ASSHOLES. COME HELP ME. [[The Furry begins to help the woman set up the kite.]] Furry: THANKS, SO YOU'RE COOL WITH FURRIES? Woman: WELL, I THINK YOUR FETISH IS AS WEIRD AS HELL. IT JUST BOTHERS ME HOW YOU'RE THIS DESIGNATED INTERNET PUNCHING BAG AMONG PEOPLE WHO ARE OTHERWISE DOWN WITH WEIRD FETISHES. SO I STICK UP FOR YOU WHEN I CAN. [[The kite now successfully up in the air, the two continue.]] Furry: WELL, THANKS. I OWE YOU ONE. Woman: NO BIG DEAL. Furry: NO, THIS IS LIKE THE LION AND THE MOUSE. Woman: ...LISTEN, CAN WE PICK A COMPARISON LESS LIKELY TO TURN YOU ON? Furry: SORRY. {{title text: Hey, are you friends with any hamsters. This kite needs a passenger.}}
House of Pancakes 2008-09-05 {{All instances of the word "House" are in blue.}} Every day a new city, a new IHOP. And yet every night the dreams get worse. I ply the highways, a nervous eye on the rear-view mirror, the back seat piled with stolen menus. Their doors are opened 24 hours, but forever closed to my soul. This is what my life has become. This is my hell. {{sidenote left: International}} House of Pancakes {{scribbled-out sidenote right: BLOGSPOT}} Strawberry Banana Pancakes Four pancakes filled with sliced fresh banana and crowned with cool strawberry topping, more [17] bananas and [23] whipped topping. [17] Driven by a nameless fear, a whisper in the dark behind me, I flee ahead of I know not what. Whenver I turn, there's nobody behind me. And yet someone is clearly stealing the ketchup. WHY? [[The footnote is covered in fingerprints.]] [23] My life is feeding, fleeing, fighting, and forgetting. [[The above note is sandwiched in sideways in between the Stuffed French Toast and Ham and Egg Melt.]] Rooty Jr. A kids only [19] version of our house signature Rooty Tooty. One scrambled egg, one strip of bacon, one pork sausage link and one fruit-topped buttermilk pancake. [19] The decision not to hyphenate "kids only" is likely connected to the omission of the serial comma. I wonder if the author is British. I wonder if he sleeps at night. [[The following passages are have a red substance underneath them, probably ketchup.]] Rise 'N Shine Two eggs, toast and hash browns served with your choice [21] of two strips of bacon or two pork sausage links. [21] {{illegible}} rent a storage unit. Sleep there. Fill it with pancakes. Leave. Stuffed French Toast Cinnamon raisin French [18] toast stuffed with sweet cream cheese filling, topped with cool strawberry or your choice of fruit compote and whipped topping. [18] Nightmares again. I wake up covered in sweat, and what appears to be a thin sheen of maple syrup {{Handwritten, underlined}} WHO IS MOHAWK GIRL? [[Slanted 90 degrees left]] Ham & Egg Melt Grilled sourdough bread stuffed with ham, scrambled eggs, Swiss and American cheeses. [20] [[At normal orientation]] [20] Ordered this in at an IHOP in Rochester, New York. There was blood on the floor. Some of it was mine. [[Comic strip]] Enough with your pancakes. Enough with your GOD DAMN pancakes. The Big Steak Omlette Tender strips of steak, hash browns, {{redacted}} tomatoes and Cheddar cheese. Served [22] with house salsa. [22] Woke up in Las Vegas. They're closing the Star Trek Experience today. The IHOP up the strip had pancake platters named after various states. None of them sounded like home. {{Alt text: Fuck it, I'm just going to Waffle House.}} {{External link: http: www.amazon.com House-Leaves-Mark-Z-Danielewski dp 0375703764}}
Still Raw 2008-09-08 [[Man laying on sidewalk outside a house, surrounded by his belongings]] She threw me out yelling "You don't say those words, not in this house." It's been two years. I thought the wounds had healed. But I stand by what I said... Pluto should never have been a planet. {{Title-text : We actually divorced once over the airplane treadmill argument. (Preemptive response to the inevitable threads arguing about it: you're all wrong on the internet.) }}
Turn-On 2008-09-10 [[A bar]] Man: So, the LHC's turning on. This could be our last night on earth. Woman: Gimme a break. They're not even colliding yet, and it won't do anything cosmic rays haven't. [[The man starts to turn away.]] Woman: Hey, I didn't say no. Woman: I'm a physics grad student. I need the excuse to party. Man: So, you're up for a night with a charming stranger? Woman: Depends. Top or bottom? Man: Hey, I haven't even bought you a drink. Woman: Barkeep, two whiskey sours, straight down. {{Alt text: Supercollider? I 'ardly know her!}}
Further Boomerang Difficulties 2008-09-12 [[Man is throwing boomerang Holding his hands up, man waits for return Continual waiting Man is dejected, head hangs low]] [[Man throws boomerang]] Man waits for boomerang]] Outside: Oh God Outside: The Ozone layer! [[Man is suprised]] [[Man throws boomerang banana Man waits]] Girl who walks in: That was our last banana Girl: You're such an asshole. [[Man throws boomerang Boomerang breaks out of the panel box]] [[Boomerang breaks out of a satellite, followed by the man]] {{Alt-Text: An eternity later, the universe having turned out to have a positive curvature and a lot of mass, the boomerang hits him in the back of the head}}
One-Sided 2008-09-15 [[Caption Above Comic]] Sometimes my conversations with strangers go on for a while before I realize that they're talking on their phones. Guy With Backpack: Hi! Narrator: Hi. Guy With Backpack: What's up? Narrator: Uh, not a lot... Guy With Backpack: Shit. Does Bernanke own a crossbow? [[Background is a graph, with x-axis labeled "Length of Conversation" and y-axis labeled "How Often This Happens". The graph looks parabolic towards the left-hand side, but as x approaches infinity, y approaches zero. A vertical dashed line runs through the graph, slightly to the right of the peak of the graph. To the right of the dashed line there is an arrow pointing to the right that is labeled "Awkward Zone". The x-axis has a broken scale, and to the right of the break there is a very small increase in the graph that is parenthetically labeled "My Second Relationship".]] {{title text: He continued, 'Okay, Bernanke is uncontaminated. Find a crossbow and get him into position behind one of the columns at the Fed entrance. This is gonna get ugly.'}}
Typewriter 2008-09-17 [[A typewriter is shown with the following letter in it: Dear Grandmom, cnn.com I hope this reddit.com letter finds you well. I wanted to say I really news.google.com enjoyed the trip you boingboing.net took us on, and am looking forward to bbc.co.uk visiting later fivethirtyeight.com this year. Love, slashdot.org Your grandson,]] I didn't realize how bad my habit of tabbing to Firefox every few seconds to check news sites had gotten until I tried writing on a typewriter. {{title text: Somewhere in the world, my actual grandmothers are reading this and angrily exclaiming that I never write even malformed thank-you notes. DEAR GRANDMOMS: I AM SORRY! YOU ARE WONDERFUL PEOPLE AND THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING. LOVE reddit.com RANDALL.}}
The Staple Madness 2008-09-19 Man with Beret: I FOUND MEGAN'S STAPLE GUN! [[holds up staple gun]] Man: [[holding forehead]] OH NO. Man: [[outside of the panel]] OH GOD WHAT ARE YOU-- Man with Beret: [[kneeling at laptop, stapling DVD to laptop]] INSTALLING DEBIAN! <> Man with Beret: SANDWICHES! <> Man with Beret: [[running with staple gun]] MUST AFFIX EVERYTHING TO EVERYTHING <> [[Megan enters holding tote bag]] Megan: ...HAVE YOU BEEN ABUSING MY STAPLE GUN? Man with Beret: NO. God: [[outside of scene, as voice from above]] YES!
Tones 2008-09-22 [[Man standing in room next to round table, looking out window. Blue and orange sunset visible outside the window]] Narrator: I haven't lived a perfect life. Made plenty of mistakes. Got my share of regrets. [[Viewpoint zooms in onto man and table. Cell phone visible on table.]] Narrator: But there's one thing of which I'm proud. One stand on which I've never wavered. [[Viewpoint zooms in onto cell phone on table.]] Narrator: When someone calls my phone, it makes a goddamn RINGING sound. {{Alt Text: I need a lawn, so I can yell at kids to stay off it.}}
Spore 2008-09-24 [[User sitting at computer desk, surrounded by game boxes]] User: Sweet, beat 'Populous'. Now, on to 'Alpha Centauri'. Caption: Until I can afford 'Spore', I'm just playing through all my old games in order of scale. {{title text: Way to not support the GMA 950 under OS X, Spore. :(}}
Listen to Yourself 2008-09-26 [[Man in Hat approaches a girl tying at a computer]] Man in Hat: What are you writing? Girl: Virus. Man in Hat: What's it do? Girl: When someone tries to post a YouTube comment, it first reads it aloud back to them. Narrator: Soon everywhere: [[A person is commenting on YouTube]] <><><> [[Youtube comment is read back]] Commenter: ...I'm a moron. [[Commenter leaves desk]] [[Commenter is seen sitting on steps, depressed]] [[Commenter has head in hands]] Commenter: I... Commenter: I didn't know. {{alt text: Man, I just wanted to know how babby was formed.}}
Height 2008-09-29 [[Map of the universe from observable universe to Earth. Each area of item is labled]] Lables [[Left to Right, Up to Down]]: [[Man in Hat is throwing a black kitty down]] Black Cat: mrowl! Top of Observable Universe 46 Billion Light Years Up Hubble Deep Field Objects -One Billion Light Years- Great Attractor Antanne Galaxies (Colliding) Andromeda Holy Crap Lots of Space - One Million Light Years- Magellanic Clouds Edge of Galaxy Galactic Center Crab Nebula Orion Nebula Horsehead Nebula Romulan Neutral Zone The PLEIADS, Duh. Rigel Bete (Geuse) Ford Prefect - Expanding Shell of Radio Transmissions [[Arrows are pointing up]] - Edge of Federation Sector 0-0-1 Pollux Arcturus Missing Winds Alpha Centauri Sirius Barnard's Star - One Parsec - - One Light Year - Oort Cloud (?) Bupkis Comet Which will destroy Earth in late 2063 Pioneer 10 Eris (All hail Discordia!) Voyager I Pluto (Not a planet. Neener neener.) Neptune Uranus Saturn Asteroids <~life~> Jupiter Venus Mars Sun Mercury Aircraft: Hey a heaping bowl of salt! "Open the fridge door, Hal." Moon Human Altitude Record (Apollo 13) 2nd Place: Snoop Dogg Space Elevator - One of these days, promise! - Geosynchronous Orbit- GPS Satellites Aircraft 2: I have no idea how to land Aircraft 2[[continued]]: In retrospect, they [[underlined]] shouldn't [[ underline]] have sent a poet International Space Station Space Junk - Official Edge of Space (100 km) - Meteors - 1 10 ATM - High Altitude Balloons Airliners - 1 2 ATM - Cory Doctrow Shuttle Columbia Lost Everest Helicoptors Man: Woo Python! - 800 m - - 1 km - [[Height progressivly gets smaller and smaller]] Burj Dubai (~800 m) Eiffel Tower (325 m) Kites Great Pyramid (140 m) Redwood (115 m) Pop Fly Oak (20 m) "Hey Squirrels!" Tallest Stilts Brachiosaur (13 m) Giraffe (8 m) [[A man and a woman]] Folks Map Title Text : The Observable Universe, from Top to Bottom ~ On a log scale~ Map Disclaimer: Sizes are not to scale, but heights above the Earth's surface are accurate on a log scale (that is, each step up is double the height.) {{Alt-text: Interestingly, on a true vertical log plot, I think the Eiffel Tower's sides would really be straight lines.}}
Fiction Rule of Thumb 2008-10-01 [[Line graph shown with an inverse curve]] [[Y-Axis: Probability book is good]] [[X-Axis: Number of words made up by author]] [[The curve becomes less steep as the number of words increase]] {{Quote at the bottom of the text}}"The Elders, or Fra'as, guarded the farmlings (children) with their krytoses, which are like swords but awesomer..." {{Fra'as, farmlings, krytoses and awesomer are italicised}} {{Alt-Text: Except for anything by Lewis Carroll and Tolkien, you get five made-up words per story. I'm looking at you, Anathem.}}
Flash Games 2008-10-03 [[On the left side of the panel, is a massive TV screen, large speakers, and similar devices, all connected to a "Game Station 20,000" console. A man, however, is over on the right side of the panel, on a modestly-sized computer.]] Man: Ooh, I think I've got it figured out! Okay, one more hour. <> <> Caption: The most powerful gaming systems in the world still can't match the addictiveness of tiny in-browser Flash games. {{title text: Although ... who else can't wait for them to incorporate that Wiimote head-tracking stuff into games? Man, the future's gonna be *awesome*.}}
Depth 2008-10-06 Sizes Accurate on a vertical log scale [[Series of images of characters doing various things. Thei things they are doing are listed in left to right order]] Man and woman playing in a ball pen Woman using witchcraft to ban vista "Out, Vista!" Two girls play Rock Band Man and woman are having "fun" on a shaking bed. [[Below this series of images, an image of a man on the computer]]: Man is on computer and the image expands as it goes down. Here are the labels from left to right, up to down: CD DVD Case North Bridge Ps 2 Mouse (a physical mouse) RAM CPU Socket Pin 2,767 Angels Dancing (one more and they'd roll over and become 32,768 Devils), Rice, Torrent (a bug), CPU, upcoming segfault dust mite hair OVUM Data (a pixel on Rick Astley's shoulder), rust mite, fork(); Peter Norton fighting a baxteriophage memory carbon nanotubes space elevator a line of silicon (Si), Electron Cloud, a man made out of arrows saying "sup? Silicon nucleus IPod femto Brian Greene knitting furiously <> {{Alt Text: The Planck length is another thousand or two pixels below the comic.}}
I am Not a Ninja 2008-10-08 [[Man and woman are in the same panel]] Woman: we need to talk. [[Pans back to a panel with a window, which the man looks back at]] [[Man throws grenade]] <> [[Grenade fizzles, man and woman both look down at it]] <> Woman: [[puts her hand to her face]]<> [[Alarm above them starts beeping]][[Man and woman look up]] BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP-- [[Man and woman look down at the grenade again]] [[Man slowly walks away as the alarm continues to beep]] [[Man opens the window]] <> [[Pans back to the full view, the alarm is still beeping and the man looks back at the woman, who is face-palming]] [[Woman walks away, man looks at window]] {{Alt-Text: 'The sad thing is that I just wanted to talk about your poor smoke-bomb techniques.'}}
Numerical Sex Positions 2008-10-10 Title text: XKCD presents a guide to numerical sex positions: 69 [[traditional sixty-nine position, mutual oral sex]] 99 [[sort of a standing doggy-style position]] 71 [[girl is bent over a table]] 34 Guy: Uh. [[guy and girl look confusedly at each other]] 8^(1 2) Narrator: Guys? [[guy and girl are staring blankly at each other]] ln(2 pi) Narrator: Aww, c'mon... [[girl begins walking away]] {{title text: We didn't even get to the continued fractions!}}
Steal This Comic 2008-10-13 Thinking of buying from audible.com or iTunes? Remember, if you pirate something, it's yours for life. You can take it anywhere and it will always work. [[There is a flowchart whose paths are (You're a Criminal)<-Pirate<-(Buy or Pirate)->Buy->(Things Change)->(You Try to Recover Your Collection)->(You're a Criminal)]] But if you buy DRM-locked media, and you ever switch operating systems or new technology comes along, your collection could be lost. And if you try to keep it, you'll be a criminal (DMCA 1201). So remember: if you want a collection you can count on, PIRATE IT. Hey, you'll be a criminal either way. (If you don't like this, demand DRM-free files) {{Title text: I spent more time trying to get an audible.com audiobook playing than it took to listen to the book. I have lost every other piece of DRM-locked music that I ever paid for.}}
Going West 2008-10-15 [[Man and woman are talking, and the man is walking away from the woman. Woman is holding a an open envelope]] Woman: I'm sorry. The google maps team hired me. Man: But I can't move to California Woman: Then I guess this is the end. Man: It can't be! ... Listen. [[Man is holding woman's hands in his]] Man: When I look deep into your eyes, I see a future for us. Woman: Look deeper. [[Man looks deeper into Woman's eyes.]] Man: "We're sorry, but we don't have imagery at this zoom level"? They... they have you already. {{Alt-Text: Listen, they request that you stop submitting a listing for your house labeled 'WHERE YOU BROKE MY HEART'.}}
Morning Routine 2008-10-17 Morning Routine: 1. Wake up 2. Catch up on the lives of friends from around the world 3. Get out from under the covers Laptops are weird. {{title text: I had a really hard time not writing '... profit!'}}
Twitter 2008-10-20 [[A person with a handheld device sits on an office chair]] (Every other panel is the device making a "beep beep") Device: On Twitter Device: An odd regression: Device: Ancient memes Device: Find new expression Device: Burma-shave {{title text: If long tooltips cut off for you then upgrade from Firefox 2 Burma Shave}}
Scrabble 2008-10-22 [[A first-person view of a family scrabble game at a table. The two letters on the board are 'HI' and the letters in your hand are 'CLTORIS']] This always happens to me in family scrabble games. {{title text: A veteran Scrabble player will spot the 'OSTRICH' option.}}
Actuarial 2008-10-24 Person: I know you shouldn't feed the trolls, but sometimes they just provoke me to where I can't help replying. Hat Guy: Yeah, me too. Yesterday this guy kept spamming "First!" So I got a set of actuarial tables and spent twenty minutes telling him when all his childhood heroes would likely die. Person: ... Person: Remind me never to upset you, ever. Hat Guy: 2038: Last of the original Star Wars cast dies. Person: Augh! {{Title Text: I started to do the tables for more famous people but it got really depressing and morbid and I had to go outside. Hat guy wins again.}}
Secretary: Part 1 2008-10-27 Spring 2009- The new president faces a crisis... [[Man is talking to an unseen Mr. President, who is sitting behind a desk.]] Man: Mr. President, the bloggers are restless Mr. President: What are they a-twitter about now? Man: It's the tubes sir. They're clogged. We put too much stuff on them. Mr. President: How bad is it? Man: The internet could be inoperative within days. Man: We can't let a crucial resource go unshepherded. Mr. President: Go on. Man: I recommend you appoint a Secretary of the Internet. Someone to impose some orders on this mess. Mr. President: Ordering bloggers around? Doesn't sound easy. Man: No; it's like herding lolcats. Mr. President: What? Man: Nothing. Mr. President: Do you have someone in mind for the post? Man: I know just the guy. Soon: Phone: <> [[Man-with-hat looks away from his computer at the ringing phone]] {{Alt-Text: The blueprints for the Department of the Internet offices call for Ceiling cat-themed sprinkler heads.}}
Secretary: Part 2 2008-10-28 News Anchor: Breaking news--the President has made a nomination to the new post of Internet Secretary. We know little about the man, shown here. Image Caption: Possibly a haberdasher? News Anchor: Attempts to reach the nominee at home were unsuccessful. Reporter: What the hell kind of apartment has a moat? News Anchor: To understand the culture from which he came--and which he may soon administer--we sent a reporter to what we're told is the source of that culture. Tom? Tom: I'm coming to you live from the 4chan b board. Despite the tube cloggage, nascent memes are flying fast and furious. News Anchor: Why are you wearing a helmet, Tom? Tom: I'm not sure. [[Meanwhile in Ron Paul's blimp...]] Ron Paul: Ahoy! What news of the blogs? Pilot: Dr. Paul! The President's named his nominee! Ron Paul: It's not me? Ron Paul: Wait! I remember that guy from the campaign! He's a notorious troll! Ron Paul: They mustn't put him in charge. Quick, call the capitol! Pilot: Can't, sir. The tubes just went down completely. Ron Paul: Blast! Ron Paul: Then we'll go ourselves. Full speed ahead! {{The blimp advances minutely.}} {{The blimp advances minutely.}} {{The blimp advances minutely.}} Ron Paul: I said full speed! Pilot: It's a blimp, sir! {{Title text: That helmet won't save him.}}
Secretary: Part 3 2008-10-29 [[The confirmation hearings begin...]] Senator: It appears you have quite an arrest record. Senator: Is it true you completely disassembled someone's car outside a Starbucks? Hat Guy: It was parked across two spaces. Senator: You stole a red Fokker triplane and strafed the snoopy float at the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade? Hat Guy: Got three mimes, too. Senator: You disrupted a 9 11 truth meeting, insisting the Twin Towers never actually collapsed? Hat Guy: I have evidence! Don't trust the media! Wake up, sheeple! Senator: You were fired from Radio Shack after you built a death ray and vaporized a customer? Hat Guy: I was just testing it! Figures that'd be the one day there was a shopper in the aisle. Senator: And you were thrown out of Microsoft headquarters for... trying to feed a squirrel through a fax machine? Hat Guy: I forgot about that! it was part of an argument with Steve Ballmer about Vista. Which I won, by the way. Senator: This is the worst history of vandalism, gleeful mayhem, and general recalcitrance we've seen in a nominee since Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Senator: And this--you stole a nuclear submarine? Hat Guy: I plead the third. Senator: You mean the fifth? Hat Guy: No, the third. Senator: You refuse to quarter troops in your house? Hat Guy: I have few principles, but I stick to them. Meanwhile... [[Aboard Ron Paul's blimp]] Pilot: We're nearing Washington, sir. Wait... There's something ahead on the sensors. Pilot: It's a balloon. Ron Paul: ...Oh, no. {{Title Text: He actually installed each piece in a different car on the lot, then built a new car in the spot from the displaced pieces. It's a confusing maneuver known as the auto-troll shuffle.}}
Secretary: Part 4 2008-10-30 [[The Ron Paul Revolution blimp floats]] Pilot: Sir! The balloon is hailing us! [[Cory Doctorow's balloon appears]] Cory: Ahoy. Ron Paul: Doctorow! Cory: I won't let you stop this nomination. We bloggers watch out for our own. Ron Paul: Stand aside, Cory. Cory: Nay! Ron Paul: Very well. Battle stations! [[The Ron Paul Revolution blimp's gun takes aim]] <> [[Cory Doctorow's balloon's gun takes aim]] <> [[Both airships open fire]] <> <> <> [[Inside the Ron Paul Revolution blimp's control room]] Pilot: We're taking damage! Ron Paul: Keep firing! Pilot: No good! We're losing altitude! [[Outside the Ron Paul Revolution blimp, it hangs smoking in the air]] Ron Paul: All engines full! Pull up! Pilot: Can't, sir! [[The Ron Paul Revolution blimp begins to sink, smoking more heavily]] [[The blimp sinks further]] Pilot: Sir, maybe if we dropped all this gold... Ron Paul: Never! [[Inside the control room, tilted slightly]] Pilot: We've lost, sir. We have to abort. Ron Paul: Not yet, we don't! Open the loading bay doors. [[Camera zooms out slightly]] Ron Paul: You take the blimp and fall back. <> Ron Paul: I've got a message to deliver. <> [[Ron Paul tosses his cane aside]] [[Ron Paul steadily transforms into Tron Paul]] Narrator: RON PAUL evolves into TRON PAUL [[Light cycle begins to form]] [[Tron Paul bends over the light cycle]] [[Light cycle finishes its formation]] [[Light cycle speeds off, trailing an American flag]] {{title text: It's time to draw the line.}}
Secretary: Part 5 2008-10-31 {{The Senate. Hat Guy sits before the committee at his hearing to become Internet Secretary.}} Chairman: We were convened here to review your nomination for the position of internet secretary. Chairman: However, on review of your qualifications, we've decided to sentence you to death. Chairman: An unorthodox move, sure. But the vote was unanimous. {{Hat Guy is leaning back in his chair.}} [[Meanwhile . . .]] Tron Paul: There's no grid! How do I steeeeer!!!!! {{Back at the Senate. Hat Guy is standing.}} Hat Guy: Well, it's been fun. But I was never actually interested in taking the position. Good lord; listening to internet arguments all day? No thank you. Chairman: Then why did you sit through all those hearings? Hat Guy: It was taking us a while to move the pumps into the maintenance tunnels. {{The committee members murmur among themselves.}} {{There is a panel in the floor between Hat Guy and the committee.}} <> <> <> {{A red playpen ball bursts out of the panel and rolls towards the committee chairman.}} <> {{The room is still. Hat Guy's arms are folded.}} {{A geyser of red, white, and blue playpen balls bursts through the panel in the floor. Hat Guy is already gone.}} <> {{The committee members chase Hat Guy out the door as the Senate floor floods with playpen balls.}} {{The chase continues into the rotunda, as does the flood of playpen balls.}} {{Hat Guy stands in the middle of the rotunda as it fills with playpen balls, surrounded by members of the committee.}} Committee Members: Security! Someone! Committee Members: Get Him! {{Tron Paul bursts through the wall.}} <> Tron Paul: Aaaaa! {{Hat Guy grabs the bottom of the lightcycle as Tron Paul goes by.}} <> Tron Paul: Hey! {{Hat Guy swings onto the top of the light cycle.}} {{Hat Guy crouches on top of the light cycle.}} Tron Paul: Get Off! {{Tron Paul and Hat Guy crash through the far wall of the rotunda.}} <> {{Tron Paul hits the ground.}} <> Tron Paul: Ow! {{Hat Guy runs away.}} Tron Paul: Ughhh. {{The lightcycle disappears.}} Tron Paul: I feel queasy . . . Cory Doctorow, above: Hey! Hat Guy: Hi, Cory. Cory Doctorow: Need a lift? Hat Guy: Sure. {{Hat Guy and Cory Doctorow depart in Doctorow's balloon.}} Cory Doctorow: So are you, like, a fugitive now? Hat Guy: Well, I never did give them my name . . . [[But in the rotunda]] {{Senators play in the playpen balls.}} Senators: Let's jump down here from the balcony! Senators: Senior senators first! Senators: Wheeee! Senators: I'm a submarine! [[All is forgiven.]] {{title text: And they choose Al Gore as Internet Secretary.}}
Scantron 2008-11-03 [[A classroom scene. There are two desks, and the front one is occupied by the STUDENT. The TEACHER stands panel right facing the student.]] Miss Lenhart (Teacher): Okay class, I've turned in your exams for grading. Now -- Student: Miss Lenhart? [[View is now simply student in desk and teacher. Teacher looks horrified.]] Student: I used a #3 pencil instead of a #2. Will that mess anything up? Miss Lenhart (Teacher): You WHAT? [[Teacher stands, covering her head, in front of an off-panel right explosion. The UNSEEN SPEAKER is off-panel right.]] <> <> Unseen Speaker: OH GOD! [[The student and teacher are left-panel, both looking shocked. The UNSEEN SPEAKER is still off-panel right.]] Unseen speaker: OH GOD! Unseen speaker: I've never seen so much blood! {{Title text: Also, after all the warnings about filling in the bubbles completely, I spent like 30 seconds on each one.}}
Election 2008-11-05 [[Character sits at his computer desk, staring at his computer.]] It's over. After twenty months it's finally over. I don't have to be an election junkie anymore. [[Closeup of character's face and screen.]] I don't have to care about opinion polls, exit polls, margins of error, attack ads, game-changers, tracking polls, swing states, swing votes, the Bradley effect, or the . I'm free. [[Character staring at his computer screen, full shot.]] [[Character types on his computer.]] <> [[On screen]]Google "2012 polling statistics" {{Title text: "Someday I'll be rich enough to hire Nate Silver to help make all my life decisions. 'Should I sleep with her?' 'Well, I'm showing a 35% chance it will end badly.' "}}
Faust 2.0 2008-11-07 Satan: Mortal! I come offering a deal - Guy: Read the sign. Satan: "By entering this room, you agree to forfeit your own soul rather than negotiate with the mortal within..." Wait, you can't - Guy: Too late. Caption: Mephistopheles encounters the E.U.L.A.
Dark Flow 2008-11-10 [[Man in a beret sits at a computer. A second man sits on the couch, which is facing the opposite direction, reading a book]] Man in beret: According to the A.S.T paper, every galaxy is being pulled toward one area of the sky Man in beret [[off-panel]]: They hypothesize that it may be due to a supermassive object beyond the edge of the visible universe. Man on the couch: Maybe it's your mom - Zing! Man in the beret: Do you think? [[Outside at night. Man in the beret is looking through a telescope.]] Man in beret: Pull Harder, Mom. - I Miss you. {{Title text: The Pioneer anomaly is due to the force of my love.}}
Terminology 2008-11-12 [[Map of world with North America centered. An "x" is placed near east coast. Asia is labeled "The East" and Europe "The West."]] "The East" <- West x (me) East -> "The West" This always bugged me.
Legal Hacks 2008-11-14 [[A woman sits at her computer, a man standing behind her. The woman speaks first.]] Woman: Another ISP's filtering content. Man: Thank God for Crypto. [[The man stands alone; the woman is presumably off-panel left.]] Man: It wasn't that long ago that RSA was illegal to export. Classified a munition. [[The woman, sitting in her chair, is looking back towards the man, presumably off-panel right.]] Woman: You know, I think the crypto community took the wrong side in that fight. We should've lobbied to keep it counted as a weapon. Man: Why? [[She is now turned around in the chair looking at the man, who is in-panel again.]] Woman: Once they get complacent, we break out the second amendment. [[The man has his hand on his chin, contemplatively.]] Man: ...Damn. {{Title text: It's totally a reasonable modern analogue. Jefferson would have been all about crypto.}}
A Bunch of Rocks 2008-11-17 [[Man is walking, alone in desert. Man is narrating his own situation]] Narrator: So I'm stuck in this desert for eternity. Narrator: I don't know why. I just woke up here one day. Narrator: I never feel hungry or thirsty. Narrator: I just walk. Narrator: Sand and rocks... Narrator: ...stretch to infinity. Narrator: As best as I can tell. [[Man is sitting in the desert, in a contemplative position]] Narrator: There's plenty of time for thinking out here. Narrator: An eternity really. [[Man is sketching stuff in the sand]] Narrator: I've rederived modern math in the sand Narrator: and then some. [[Different graph types are depicted]] Narrator: Physics too. I worked out the kinks in quantum mechanics and relativity. Narrator: Took a lot of thinking, but this place has fewer distractions than a Swiss patent office. [[Man is walking along the desert, laying out rocks]] Narrator: One day I started laying down rows of rocks. [[Man continues to deploy rocks]] Narrator: Each new row followed from the last in a simple pattern. [[Image continues to zoom out showing laid out rocks]] Narrator: With the right set of rules and enough space, Narrator: I was able to build a computer. Narrator: Each new row of stones is the next iteration of the computation. Narrator: Sure it's rocks instead of electricity, but it's the same* thing. Narrator: Just slower. Notation: *Turing-complete [[Man in contemplative pose]] Narrator: After a while, I programmed it to be a physics simulator. [[Image of binary encoding depicted in rocks]] Narrator: Every piece of information about a particle was encoded as a string of bits written in the stones. [[Representations of two particles interacting]] Narrator: With enough time and space, I could fully simulate two particles interacting. [[Man standing before the vastness of the desert]] Narrator: But I have infinite time and space. [[Depiction of a universe]] Narrator: So I decided to simulate a universe. [[Man is walking about his rocks, changing placement]] Narrator: The eons blur past as I walk down a single row. [[Zoom out of the rows of rocks]] Narrator: The rows blur past to compute a single step. [[Shows placement of two rocks]] Narrator: And in the simulation... [[The two rocks have moved; an after-image of their previous placement is present]] Narrator: ...another instant ticks by. [[Man #2 observes a mote of dust vanish]] Narrator: So if you see a mote of dust vanish from your vision in a little flash or something [[Man is rearranging rocks]] Narrator: I'm sorry. I must have misplaced a rock... Narrator: ...sometime in the last few billions and billions of millennia. [[Man in front of the vastness of his infinite desert]] Narrator: Oh and... [[Man is in a classroom setting, girl and professor are present]] Narrator: if you think the minutes in your morning lecture are taking a long time for _YOU_... {{title text: I call Rule 34 on Wolfram's Rule 34.}}
Theft of the Magi 2008-11-19 [[Black Hat Guy is holding up a video game. Woman is holding up a harness.]] Black Hat Guy: Hey. I sold your Roomba on Craigslist so I could buy myself Left 4 Dead. Woman: But I eBayed your XBox so I could get this dueling harness for my Roomba! Black Hat Guy: Aww. Woman: Aww. {{alt text: Every Roomba needs a dueling harness..}}
Experimentation 2008-11-21 [[A young male and female are holding hands, and the female is pointing off to the side.]] Female: Oh, hey, it's twelve of the dudes from control group B! I'm cool with her past lesbian experimentation, but I wish she hadn't insisted the experiments be scientifically rigorous. {{title text: I understand large sample sizes are key to a low sigma, but the entire sophomore class?}}
Drapes 2008-11-24 Man: So does the carpet match the drapes? Woman: Yes but not the upholstery. [[Woman walks away]] [[Man looks confused]] {{title text: Wait, What?}}
Induced Current 2008-11-26 [[A man wearing a beret, extension cord in hand, approaches Randall as he works at his computer.]] Beret: Can I plug my extension cord over here? Randall: No. Beret: Why? Randall: Solar Flares. [[A diagram is displayed, illustrating the Earth's magnetic field being permanently impacted by a large solar flare (represented by a large arrow).]] [[A second diagram is presented, illustrating the Earth's rotation and the resulting impact that the solar flare would have on the earth's magnetic field. ]] Randall: A large solar flare could dent the Earth's magnetic field inwards. The Earth's spin could then induce a strong current in any long conductors, melting them and starting fires. By extending your cord, you could kill us all. [[Stunned, the man wearing the beret looks down at the cord he carries.]] Beret: Really? Randall: Warn your friends. [[Dejected, the man walks away, cord in tow.]] [[Randall looks up from his computer as he is braced by his girlfriend, a stern look in her face.]] Girlfriend: That was MEAN. Randall: Listen, SOMEBODY has to keep MythBusters in business. Next season should be fun. {{title text: The MythBusters need to tackle whether a black hole from the LHC could REALLY destroy the world.}}
Egg Drop Failure 2008-11-28 [[Boy tosses contraption off of building with egg in it.]] [[Egg cracks and little chick flies out while people look quizzically at the hatched egg.]] <><> [[Device with cracked egg lands on ground.]] {{Title: I hear my brother Ricky won his school's egg drop by leaving the egg inside the hen.}}
Sleet 2008-12-01 [[Rainy, cold, windy street; girl is walking along street; narration is from girl's point-of-view]] Narrator: The weather outside is frightful. Narrator: I hate trudging through the icy slush and biting sleet. Narrator: But it beats lying in our warm, cozy bed Narrator: Listening to you talk about DRM for hours on end Boy: (offscreen) Come back! Just listen to this one quote from Free Culture {{title text: I mean, I can barely hear myself complaining about Battlestar Galactica.}}
Alternate Currency 2008-12-03 Television: With the collapse of the dollar, the government has endorsed an alternate currency. Your monetary worth is now determined by the number of funny pictures saved to your hard drive. Caption: I have been preparing for this moment all my life. {{Title text: For the first time ever, the phrase, 'I'd like to thank everyone at 4chan for making me successful and happy' is uttered.}}
Friends 2008-12-05 [[A boy is talking to a girl.]] Boy: I have a crush on you. [[Boy is shown alone.]] Boy: I could ask you out, and move on with my life if you said no. Boy: Or, WE COULD BE FRIENDS! Boy: See, I don't want to consider that you might not be attracted to me. I'm scared of rejection, so I've decided relationships should grow smoothly out of friendships. [[Girl is shown sitting at her computer.]] Boy: When you have problems, I'll be there for you, night after night. Boy: Selflessly. Computer (Instant message from boy): *hug* [[Girl is shown slamming door and walkng to boy to get a hug.]] Boy: I'll tear down the jerks you date, and wait for you to realize how good I am for you. That only I will ever understand you. <> Girl: <> Boy: There there [[Boy is shown alone again.]] Boy: You don't want to hurt my feelings, and I won't ever force the issue. I'll tell myself it's because I "Value our friendship." Boy: Bit by bit, I'll make you depend on me. [[Boy and girl are shown sitting on a rock in a park, reading a book together.]] Boy: You'll think about how long it would take to build this kind of connection again. [[Boy and girl are shown sitting on a couch drinking, getting closer, and kissing.]] Boy: And in a moment of weakness Boy: and loneliness Boy: you'll give in. [[Girl is shown sitting at the computer with boy behind her facing the other way washing dishes]] Boy: It'll feel comfortable and natural. You'll quietly revise your definition of love and try to be happy. And sometimes you will be. [[Girl is shown siting at the computer.]] Boy: Only the wistfulness in your gaze and the tiny pause before you say "I love you" will hint that this wasn't the ending you'd hoped for. Boy: Sound good? [[Girl is holding hands with another boy, talking to boy.]] Girl: ...I'm going to date this jerk. Boy: But he doesn't respect you! {{title text: Friends with detriments.}}
Simultaneous 2008-12-08 Male: "Mmm, simultaneous orgasms" Female: "That wasn't simultaneous" Male: "Huh? It totally was!" A common disagreement when one of you is doing all the moving {{Alt Text: I'm leaving you for your twin. He's more mature than you by now.}}
No One Must Know 2008-12-10 [[Man with hat and his female lover are talking and holding hands]] Hat Man: You're my dearest darling danish. Hat Man's Girl: And you're my lovely cutie pie. Hat Man: Well, you're -- [[Another man enters]] [[Hat man and his female lover look at each other]] [[Hat man is holding a bloody sack, while his female lover is pushing down on a shovel to make a hole for the body.]] {{Alt-Text: Or perhaps they knew he was there, and were just trying to torment him first.}}
Wood Chips 2008-12-12 [[Man leans on desk; Woman sits behind desk.]] Man: Did you ever figure out those mysterious woodchips? Woman: The ones in the hallway? No. Man: You didn't suspect that they matched the timber used in 1861 to build the "ghost ship" Mary Celeste, prompting you to send them to a lab for analysis, the results of which raised new and stranger questions? Woman: No, I threw them out. Why? {{My hoaxes need to get a lot less subtle.}} {{alt-text: You didn't run a chemical analysis against the Shroud of Turin? Man, all that work for NOTHING.}}
Marshmallow Gun 2008-12-15 Narrator: I got this gun that shoots marshmallows. [[A man removes a marshmallow gun from a box.]] [[Man shoots woman with marshmallow gun from offpanel.]] <> <> <> [[Woman sighs]] <> [[Woman removes a super soaker from desk drawer.]] [[Woman shoots offscreen man with super soaker.]] Man: (offscreen) AUGH! <> Man: (offscreen) Man, I forgot that was there. Narrator: The next day, everyone else got them too. [[Woman and beret guy brandish marshmallow guns.]] Woman: Hey noob! Eat stay-puft(R)! [[Woman shoots marshmallow gun.]] <> [[Man shoots marshmallow gun.]] <> [[Woman and man shoot marshmallows into the air, crossing the streams of fire.]] Beret Guy: (offscreen) No, don't cross the ~ <> <> [[Woman, Man, and Beret Guy are all standing with weapons pointed at the ground]] Woman: Okay, this is bad. Offscreen: You're shooting what? {{title text: Except in reality crossing a stream of marshmallows would create a giant Bill Murray.}}
Flow Charts 2008-12-17 A guide to [[line break, bigger text]] understanding flow charts [[line break, normal text]] presented in flow chart form. 0.Box: Start [[Arrow|Text=null Target=1.Box]] 1.Box: Do you understand flow charts? [[Arrow|Text='Yes' Target=2.Box]] [[Arrow|Text='No' Target=4.Box]] 2.Box: Good [[Arrow|Text='Yes' Target=3.Box]] 3.Box: Let's go drink. [[Arrow|Text='6 drinks' Target=Final.Box]] 4.Box: Okay. You see the line labeled "yes"? [[Arrow|Text='Yes' Target=6.Box]] [[Arrow|Text='No' Target=5.Box]] 5.Box: But you see the ones labeled "no". [[Arrow|Text='Yes' Target=End1.Box]] [[Arrow|Text='No' Target=End2a.Box]] End1.Box: Wait, what? [[NoArrows]] End2a.Box: Listen. [[Arrow|Text=null Target=End2b.Box]] End2b.Box: I hate you. [[NoArrows]] 6.Box: ...and you can see the ones labeled "no"? [[Arrow|Text='Yes' Target=3.Box]] [[Arrow|Text='No' Target=7.Box]] 7.Box: But you just followed them twice! [[Arrow|Text='Yes' Target=8a.Box]] [[Arrow|Text='No' Target=8a.Box]] 8a.Box: (That wasn't a question.) [[Arrow|Text=null Target=8b.Box]] 8b.Box: Screw it. [[Arrow|Text=null Target=3.Box]] Final.Box: Hey I should try installing FreeBSD! {{Title text: At 8 drinks, you switch the torrent from FreeBSD to Microsoft Bob. C'mon, it'll be fun!}}
11th Grade 2008-12-19 [[Bar graph title: Usefulness to career success]] 900 hours of classes [[small bar]] 400 hours of homework [[small bar]] One weekend messing with Perl [[huge bar]] {{title text: And the ten minutes striking up a conversation with that strange kid in homeroom sometimes matters more than every other part of high school combined.}}
Cuttlefish 2008-12-22 We visit a bio lab: [[Man and woman visit a bio lab where they look into a tank that the scientists point at.]] Scientist- "These are cuttlefish." [[Image of a cuttlefish]] They're frighteningly smart, have manipulating arms and tentacles, have ink jets, can dart backwards and see the polarization of light through their w-shaped pupils. And their sides are 200 dpi display screens which they use for camouflage and communication. Scientist - "When we realized how intelligent they were, we began to teach them. They've advanced quickly. Cuttlefish: GO." [[Cuttlefish float out of the tank at man and woman]] Cuttlefishes- "Kill the physicists... kill the physicists" [[Cuttlefish zap the man and Megan as they fall]] Man- [[Waking up from his sleep]] "Oh god. I knew it." XKCD - Salutes Bio Majors [[Bottle is pouring into a flask, and a man takes the flask and drinks from it]] If we join you against the chemists, will you train your fleshy minions to leave us alive? {{Alt-Text: Unless the CS Majors finish the robot revolution before you finish the cephalopod one}}
2008 Christmas Special 2008-12-24 The 2008 XKCD Christmas Special Narrator: Due to the slowing economy, we could only afford to produce the prime-numbered panels. Narrator: You should be able to infer the missing parts of the story easily enough. Narrator: We apologize for the inconvenience. [[The first panel is blank]] [[Girl carrying Christmas lights and guy watching]] Girl: I'm going to one-up those Christmas light displays on YouTube. [[Girl thinking]] Girl: Hmm. Needs more flair. Do you know what happens when you fire sodium pellets into a snowbank? Guy: No. Girl: Me neither. [[The next panel is blank]] [[Girl sitting in front of a console]] Girl: Whoops, one of the Arduino control boards sublimated. Girl: If only I could make it self-repairing... [[The next panel is blank]] Girl: Shit. The system has become sentient. Guy: Friggin' Python. System: GRAAARR! [[The next three panels are blank]] [[Girl showing laptop to guy]] Girl: But according to this email forward, Santa is secretly a Muslim! Guy: It explains everything! [[The next panel is blank]] Girl: Okay, the cloned raptors are hunting the last of the cyborgs. We're safe. Guy: Are you sure you thought this through? [[The next three panels are blank]] [[Two couples appear in this next panel]] Guy: Are the raptors contained? Second girl: Sure. Unless they figure out how to build lightsabers. [[The next panel is blank]] [[Guy with hat fighting with a raptor using lightsabers]] Guy: It's all right. I've got her. [[Lightsaber appears from behind]] <> Guy: ...Clever girl. [[The next three panels are blank]] [[Bill Gates is holding a weapon over Santa's body. The two girls are watching]] Girl: Great. Bill Gates kills Santa. Bill Gates: I thought it was Stallman with a dyed beard. [[The next five panels are blank]] [[Girl and guy with hat are looking at a tree]] Girl: Where did you get this Christmas tree? Guy: Nowhere. Girl: Did you cut down the Yggdrasil? Guy: ...Maybe. [[The next panel is blank]] [[Girl and guy holding hands and looking at reader]] Narrator: Merry Christmas from XKCD <3 [[The last panel is blank]] {{title text: 'How could you possibly think typing 'import skynet' was a good idea?'}}
Google Trends 2008-12-26 Bloggers were recently amused to discover that, according to Google Trends, the search term "men kissing" is most popular in conservative Utah. A few other embarrassing correlations: Search Term, Top City Installing Ubuntu, Redmond, WA Running for President in 2010, Wasilla, AK Lincoln Fan Fiction, Chicago, IL Raptors on Hoverboards, Somerville, MA How is babby formed?, Wasilla, AK I hate this website, Mountain View, CA {{Alt Text: Obama has been writing Lincoln Obama erotic fan fiction on his secret livejournal. Excerpt: Lincoln lay back on the bed, nude save for his trademark stovepipe hat. 'Tell me,' he purred seductively, as he and Obama formed a more perfect union. 'When you come, is it 10% ethanol?'}}
Decline 2008-12-29 [[A man is pointing at a line graph at a specific point where it slopes down. The Y Axis shows that as Y increases, Love increases.]] Man: "Our relationship entered its decline at this point." Woman[[Outside of panel]]: "That's when you started graphing everything." Man: "Coincidence!" {{title text: 'There is also a spike on the Fourier transformation at the one month mark where--' 'You want to stop talking right now.'}}
Party 2008-12-31 Hat guy: And so I hired Rick Astley to show up at her party. Guy: And rickroll her? Isn't that a little...last year? Hat guy: Ah, but he's not going to sing. Girl 1: Hey is that Rick Astley? Girl 2: I think it is. He just came in. Girl 1: Oh no. Brace yourself. Girl 1: Wait. He's just standing there. Where's the song? Girl 1: He's staring at me. Girl 1: This is a little creepy. Girl 1: What's going on? Girl 1: That's actually Rick Astley Staring at me. Girl 1: What's he doing? Girl 1: Oh God, I keep expecting it, hearing it in my head. [[Girl 1 pulls at her hair]] Girl 1: Just do it already! [[Girl 1 runs stage right]] Girl 1: AAAAAAAA <> Girl 2: Mr. Astley? Rick Astley: Yes? Girl 2: What did you do to her? What was that? Rick Astley: That, my dear, [[Rick Astley puts on sunglasses]] Rick Astley: Is how I roll. {{title text: I wonder what 2008 meme will go bizarrely mainstream in 2009 like Rickrolling did 2007-2008. I Accidentally ? Yo dawg? Place your bets now!}}
I Know You're Listening 2009-01-02 Now and then, I announce "I know you're listening" to empty rooms. [[Man is sitting in an armchair, reading. He murmurs something.]] [[Second man in front of a large computer terminal jumps out of chair after hearing the first man mumble. His chair has fallen over]] If I'm wrong, no one knows. And if I'm right, maybe I just freaked the hell out of some secret organization. {{Title Text: Basically it's Pascal's Wager for the paranoid prankster}}
Converting to Metric 2009-01-05 Guide to Converting to Metric The key to converting to metric is establishing new reference points. When you hear "26 degrees centigrade", instead of thinking "That's 79 degrees fahrenheit" you should think, "that's warmer then a house but cool for swimming." here are some helpful tables of reference points: Temperature: 60 degrees centigrade - Earth's Hottest 45 degrees centigrade - Dubai Heat Wave 40 degrees centigrade - Southern US Heat Wave 35 degrees centigrade - Northern US Heat Wave 30 degrees centigrade - Beach weather 25 degrees centigrade - Warm Room 20 degrees centigrade - Room Temperature 10 degrees centigrade - Jacket Weather 0 degrees centigrade - Snow! -5 degrees centigrade - Cold Day (Boston) -10 degrees centigrade - Cold Day (Moscow) -20 degrees centigrade - FuckFuckFuckCold -30 degrees centigrade - Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck! -30 degrees centigrade - Spit goes "ckink" [[Stick figure next to last three lines]] Man: <> [[Man spits]] Spit: <> [[Spit bounces off ground]] Length 1cm - Width of microSD card 3cm - Length of SD card 12cm - CD Diameter 14cm - Penis 15cm - BIC pen 80cm - Doorway width 1m - Lightsaber Blade 170cm - Summer Glau 200cm - Darth Vader 2.5m - Ceiling 5m - Car-length 16m4cm - Human tower of Serenity crew [[Human tower of Serenity crew stick figures depicted taking up from second line of panel to bottom]] Speed 5 kph - 1.5 m s - Walking 13 kph - 3.5 m s - Jogging 25 kph - 7 m s - Sprinting 35 kph - 10 m s - Fastest Human 45 kph - 13 m s - Housecat 55 kph - 15 m s - Rabbit 75 kph - 20 m s - Raptor 100 kph - 25 m s - Slow Highway 110 kph - 30 m s - Interstate (65 MPH) 120 kph - 35 m s - Speed you actually go when it says "65" 140 kph - 40 m s - Raptor on Hoverboard Volume 3mL - Blood in a fieldmouse 5mL - Teaspoon 30mL - Nasal Passages 40mL - Shot Glass So when it's {{Nasal Passages}} blocked, the mucus in your nose could about fill a shot glass. [[Image of a shot glass]] Related: I've invented the worst mixed drink ever. 350mL - Soda Can 500mL - Water Bottle 3L - Two-Liter Bottle 5L - Blood in a Human Male 30L - Milk Crate 55L - Summer Glau 65L - Dennis Kucinich 75L - Ron Paul 200L - Fridge [[Stick figure shoving stick figures of Ron Paul, Summer Glau, and Dennis Kucinich into fridge]] [[Above fridge, circled, is 55+65+75 < 200]] Mass 3g - Peanut M&M 100g - Cell Phone 500g - Bottled Water 1kg - Ultraportable Laptop 2kg - Light-Medium Laptop 3kg - Heavy Laptop 5kg - LCD Monitor 15kg - CRT Monitor 4kg - Cat [[Drawing of cat]] 4.1kg - Cat (With Caption) [[Drawing of cat, going "Mrowl?", and holding a caption]] 60kg - Lady 70kg - Dude 150kg - Shaq [[Stick figure of lady and dude beside previous 3 lines]] 200kg - Your Mom 220kg - Your Mom (incl. cheap jewelrey) 223kg - Your Mom (also incl. Makeup) {{Alt-text: According to River, 'adequate' vacuuming systems drain the human body at about half a liter per second.}}
Keynote 2009-01-07 [[Man with top hat talking to Man sitting at computer]] Man sitting at computer: Huh-Steve Jobs isn't doing a keynote this year, citing massive weight loss due to some hormonal problem. Man with top hat: Too bad. I bet Apple was excited about unveiling the thinnest and lightest CEO in the industry. {{title text: He should be better soon -- now that the Apple Store is getting rid of DRM, Cory Doctorow will get rid of his Steve Jobs voodoo doll.}}
Windows 7 2009-01-09 [[A girl is standing behind a guy sitting at a desk using his laptop]] Girl: What are you doing? Guy: Trying the Windows 7 beta. Girl: Why is it showing a picture of Hitler? [[The laptop's screen is shown with Adolph Hitler's face on it]] Guy: I don't know. I can't get it to do anything else. Girl: There's no UI? Guy: No, just Hitler. [[Return to the original scene, except the girl is now scratching her head in confusion]] Girl: Did you try Ctrl-Alt-Delete? Guy: It just makes Hitler's eyes flash. Girl: Huh. [[Scene remains basically the same, except the girl is no longer scratching her head and the guy is no longer typing on the laptop]] Girl: Well, it's better than Vista. Guy: True. {{title text: Disclaimer: I have not actually tried the beta yet. I hear it's quite pleasant and hardly Hitler-y at all.}}
Sledding Discussion 2009-01-12 [[Girl looks out window through blinds]] Girl: It's snowing! Boy: [[from off-screen]] Sled time! [[Girl and boy outside with sled, at the top of a hill]] Boy: It depresses me that I'm too old to learn another language fluently. My brain's solidified. [[Girl and boy sledding down the hill]] Girl: Is there one you wish you knew? Boy: No, I just hate having options closed to me. Like I've given up a life that was once possible. [[At the bottom of the hill, sled has stopped]] Girl: Which reminds me -- our anniversary is coming up. Girl: Man, that ride failed to be a metaphor for our conversation. Boy: Guess this isn't the Calvin & Hobbes-model toboggan. {{title text: If you get your hands on that one, it's the worst place to have a breaking-up conversation.}}
I'm An Idiot 2009-01-14 [[Ponytailed stick figure approaches stick figure, who is sitting on porch steps, laptop in lap and backpack open]] Ponytailed stick figure: Should I ask? Stick figure: I'm locked out, and I'm trying to get my roommate to let me in. [[unplugged cell phone on table]] Stick figure: First I tried her cell phone, but it's off. [[Stick figure sitting on steps, laptop in lap and gesturing]] Stick figure: Then I tried IRC, but she's not online. [[Stick figure standing in front of house and looking up at window]] Stick figure: I couldn't find anything to throw at her window, [[living room with couch easy chair and computer set up]] Stick figure: so I SSH'd into the Mac Mini in the living room and got the speech synth to yell at her for me. Computer: Hey I'm locked out downstairs [[Roommate sitting at table with laptop open]] Stick figure: But I think I left the volume way down, so I'm reading the OS X docs to learn to set the volume via command line. [[Ponytailed stick figure facing stick figure, who is still sitting on the porch with his laptop.]] Ponytailed stick figure: Ah. Ponytailed stick figure: I take it the doorbell doesn't work? [[Ponytailed stick figure characters remain in place, Stick figure tilts head back slightly, as if staring in realization]]
Contingency Plan 2009-01-16 [[A woman and a man holding a green bottle are standing beside a crib. Another green bottle is lying on the floor.]] Woman: More sugary drinks? Are you trying to give her diabetes? Man: Yeah - then we keep her supplied with insulin unless things go wrong. Narration: I take the Jurassic Park approach to parenting. {{title text: Kids are genetic experiments. We're just experimenting responsibly!}}
Piano 2009-01-19 [[Man is holding a box with an open lid. A miniature piano is inside. The girl is looking at it]] Man: My hobby is making miniatures. Check this out-- it's a fully-functional grand piano. Woman: Woah - beautiful. [[Man looks at the miniature piano]] Man: Sadly, I've never head what proper music sounds like on it-the keys are too small to play. [[Man closes lid to the piano.]] Man: I once asked a genie for someone who could play it for me, but I think he misheard. Girl: ... are you doing anything later? {{Alt-Text: Good thing he didn't make it smaller, or it'd need someone three inches tall to play it.}}
Laptop Hell 2009-01-21 Mephistopheles: Welcome to Hell. Here's- Mephistopheles: Wait. I know you. Mephistopheles: You're the Fujitsu exec who killed the Q-series. Fujitsu Exec: ...Yes? Mephistopheles: The Q2010 was the perfect laptop! Mephistopheles: Powerful, durable, had every feature, and made the Air look bulky< u> And that was back in 2006! Fujitsu Exec: But noone bought it! Mephistopheles: Then you marketed it wrong! Fujitsu Exec: Wait. Don't you encourage< i> evil acts down here? Mephistopheles: In theory, yes, but we need laptops too! Mephistopheles: Although it's moot, since we have an exclusive deal with Sony. Fujitsu Exec: I knew< i> it! {{Alt text: The xkcd.com sysadmin has a Q2010, and I can attest that it can handle a fall down several flights of concrete steps. Relatedly, he's upset with me - I hope he doesn't take revenge by messing with my site's contenDISREGARD THAT I SUCK COCKS}}
Genetic Algorithms 2009-01-23 [[Code displayed, presumably from an IDE]] def getSolutionCosts(navigationCode): fuelStopCost = 15 extraComputationCost = 8 [[There is a giant arrow pointing to the next line]] thisAlgorithmBecomingSkynetCost = 999999999 waterCrossingCost = 45 Narration: Genetic algorithms tip: *Always* include this in your fitness function. {{title text: Just make sure you don't have it maximize instead of minimize.}}
It Might Be Cool 2009-01-26 [[Man #1 is administering the presidential oath to Man #2]] Man #1: You know, it might be cool to be a woman. Man #2: It... might be cool to be a woman? Man #1: Yeah, but the menstruation thing is freaky. Man #2: Yeah, but... the, um. What? Narration: Turns out I'm even worse at administering the presidential oath than John Roberts. {{title text: 'And ovaries. Man, ovaries, huh?' [awkward pause] '... faithfully.'}}
Space Elevators 2009-01-28 [[A man and a woman sit beside a moonlit lake.]] Man: Arthur C. Clarke said space elevators will be build 50 years after everybody stops laughing. [[Closeup on the man.]] Man: So all we have to do is get Mind of Mencia on every channel and wait. Woman: Oh, hush. {{title text: If you think space elevators are good, but just too boring and practical, check out the 'space fountain'.}}
Ducklings 2009-01-30 (Ducklings follow mother duck in procession) Chick: Ready? Dude: Ready. (Dude and chick regard duck procession.) (Diagram of duck procession showing linear west-to-east motion) Dude: (on right side of duck procession) Roar! Boo! (Mother duck is alarmed.) (Mother duck proceeds south, then west. Ducklings follow.) (Chick seizes mother duck, lifts upwards.) Yoink! Mother duck: Quack (First ducking begins to follow final duckling, such that ducklings form a loop, rotating clockwise.) Operation: Duckling Loop {{Alt text: DUCKLOOP'D?}}
Security 2009-02-02 A Crypto nerd's imagination: Guy [[Holding Laptop]]: His laptop's encrypted. Let's build a million-dollar cluster to crack it. Other guy: No good! It's 4096-bit RSA! Guy: Blast! Our evil plan is foiled! What would actually happen: Guy [[Holding money tag and wrench]]: His laptop's encrypted. Drug him and hit him with this $5 wrench until he tells us the password. Other guy [[taking the wrench]]: Got it. {{Alt-Text: Actual Actual Reality: Nobody really cares about his secrets. (Also, I would be hard pressed to find that wrench for $5.)}}
Boyfriend 2009-02-04 Girl (on the phone): Can my boyfriend come along? Guy: I'm not your boyfriend! Girl: You totally are. Guy: I'm casually dating a number of people. Girl (pointing to a chart): But you spend twice as much time with me as with anyone else. I'm a clear outlier. Guy: Your math is irrefutable. Girl: Face it - I'm your statistically significant other. {{title text: ... okay, but because you said that, we're breaking up.}}
Base System 2009-02-06 [[A man and woman are talking; she's sitting on the back of a chair with her feet on the seat, and he's sitting on the floor facing her.]] Woman: So how far did you get with her? Man: Second base? Woman: Wait, which one is that? Below the waist, but... not under the clothes? Man: I think that's... shortstop? Woman: You should try crossing the pitcher's mound. Then down the 50-yard line, and right past her ten-pin. Man: Sounds tricky. Woman: Yeah. Last time I tried it, I got a red flag. If you know what I mean. Man: I really don't. [[A diagram of a baseball diamond.]] The "Base" Metaphor Explained [[Bases and x points are marked, as well as dashed lines covering the field.]] [[Along the first base line is "Your Base"]] [[Slightly right of that is a binary base: 0110 0010 0110 0001 0111 0011 0110 0101 0010 0000 0011 0010] [[First base: Kissing]] [[Second base: Hands under the shirt and or licking]] [[Third base: Oral sex (formerly "hands in the pants")]] ((The following are x marks. Slightly right of home plate: Eye contact. Along the first base line: Passing notes. Slightly before first base: Downloading Star Trek fanfiction and replacing Riker's name with your Crush's. Right field: Eye contact from Janeane Garofalo. Between the pitcher and second base: Using the scroll thingy on that one Apple mouse. Near the shortstop: Dry humping. Left of second base: Fursuits. Farther left: Fursuits (crotchless). Just before home plate: Thigh contact. Beyond 3rd base, along the 3rd base line: Standing anywhere near Peaches. Foul of the third base line: Anal sex (fill in your won "Foul Ball" pun here.) Left outfield: 2outfielders1glove. Left outfield: Retrograde wheelbarrow.)) ((The following are dashed lines: A region along the line from first to second base: The Boring Zone. A line traveling across the second to third baseline, and towards home plate: The orgasm line. ((dry humping is on the "orgasm" side.)) Between third base and home: "Virginity" (Maginot) line.)) ((Arrows pointing out various other features: An arrow crossing the "Virginity" line: Teens. An arrow nearer to home plate: Sharing root PWs. An arrow crossing the orgasm line in the outfield: Napoleon's forces.)) {{Title text: I once got to second base with a basketball player. She was so confused.}}
TED Talk 2009-02-09 [[Randall Monroe on stage]] Randall - Hi. I'm Randall. Welcome to my TED talk. Randall - it's an honor to speak to you, some of the brightest innovators from so many fields, about a problem in desperate need of your attention: Randall - How DO you end parenthetical statements with emoticons? I can't figure out a good way. [[Screen next to him shows two statements, both crossed out in red]] Screen - "Linux (or BSD :) would..." (in red) "looks mismatched" "Linux (or BSD :)) would..." (in red) "looks mismatched and weird" [[Randall writing on a desk]] Randall's List - Conferences I'm banned from: Siggraph Eurocrypt Defcon Pycon International Astronomical Union Canadian Paleontology Conference Every American Furry Convention American Baking Society Asian Dolphin-Training Conference TED {{Alt-text: The IAU ban came after the 'redefinition of the 'planet' to include the IAU president's mom' incident.}}
Cover-Up 2009-02-11 [[Hat Guy is holding blood stained rags while woman is holding an equally bloody mop]] Hat Guy: Okay, got the blood off the walls. Woman: I finished the floor Hat Guy: Good; he'll be home any- Oh crap! We forgot to clean the ceiling! Woman: There's no time! Hat Guy: Wait, I'll handle it. [[Man with briefcase enters the house]] Hat Guy: Hi. Did you know "gullible" is written on your ceiling? Man: Hah. Yeah, right. {{title text: Man, this trick has saved me so many times.}}
Sierpinski Valentine 2009-02-13 [[shows an adaptation of the sierpinski triangle fractal, using hearts instead of triangles]] center: Happy valentine's day bottom right: -xkcd {{Title text: Especially you mouseover -text readers. You're the best. <3}}
Pep Talk 2009-02-16 Coach : OK TEAM. WE'RE SIXTEEN POINTS DOWN. IF WE WANT TO COME BACK FROM THIS Crowd : WOO!! SCORE!!! Coach : OKAY, NOW WE'RE EIGHTEEN POINTS DOWN...LISTEN - I'M STARTING TO THINK WE SHOULD ONLY TAKE THESE BREAKS AT HALFTIME. {{title text: Listen! They said a team of chess players coached by someone with no understanding of basketball would never be competitive in the NBA! Well, it turns out they're pretty perceptive.}}
Neutrality Schmeutrality 2009-02-18 Trivia: It's possible to create events which Wikipedia cannot cover neutrally Man in Hat: In a week, I will be donating $1,000,000 to a recipient determined by the word count of the Wikipedia article about this event. If it's even, the money goes to pro-choice activists. If it's odd, pro-life. {{title text: 'Hey, everyone, you can totally trust that I didn't do a word count on MY edit!'}}
Music DRM 2009-02-20 [[Interior, a man sits at his computer typing, woman enters]] Man [typing]: ...and that's why music DRM is bad for listeners and artists! Woman[off-panel]: What are you doing? Woman: In case you didn't notice, we won the music DRM war. The big stores are DRM free. Woman: So close the comment thread, get out the debit card, buy us some music, and let's rock the fuck out. Man: But I don't actually like music, I just like being self-righteous on the web. Woman: Lucky for you, that will always be free. {{title text: Just yesterday I bought my first non-DRM'ed songs (The Last Vegas, in keeping with my 'I only listen to things from Guitar Hero' theme).
Simple 2009-02-23 [[A man points to a diagram of a particle accelerator]] Man 1: Do you have any thoughts regarding the particle accelerator's tertiary F.E.L. Guidance System? Man 2: We can't put the broken part in the machine. It wouldn't smash the right tiny things together. Then the machine might break. That would be very bad. [[Text at the bottom reads "I spent all night reading simple.wikipedia.org, and now I can't stop talking like this.]] {{Title text: Actually, I think if all higher math professors had to write for the Simple English Wikipedia for a year, we'd be much better shape academically.}}
Kindle 2009-02-25 [[A guy is looking at a kindle]] Girl: A Kindle? E Books, huh? Guy: Ebooks are for chumps. Girl: Why get a kindle, then? Guy: One reason: FREE Cellular web access. Even if I spend months broke and drunk in a strange city, I'll still be able to use wikipedia and wikitravel to learn about anything I need. Girl: Why does that sound familiar? Gimme that. [[Girls takes the kindle]] [[The top of the kindle says "Amazon Kindle"]] [[Girl scratches at the top]] <> Top of "kindle": Hitchhiker's Guid... {{Alt-text: I'm happy with my Kindle 2 so far, but if they cut off the free Wikipedia browsing, I plan to show up drunk on Jeff Bezos's lawn and refuse to leave.}}
Westley's a Dick 2009-02-27 Buttercup: Oh, my sweet Westley! Buttercup: Why did you let me think you were dead? Westley: You shacked up with the prince! Buttercup: After years of mourning! The worst pain of my life! Buttercup: And now you ... kill people? Westley: I'd hardly be a dread pirate if I didn't. Buttercup: How lovable. Westley: It was for the sake of the narrative! Buttercup: Fuck the narrative. I'm going to go see if that Spaniard's single. Westley: ... As you wish. {{Alt text: Inigo Buttercup 4eva <3}}
Density 2009-03-02 [[Guy is in a bed with a girl]] Guy: Sup dawg, I herd you didn't liek forming babby, but I accidentally in your base. [[Out of the panel text]] Cons: Ruined life. Pros: Sentence set the new meme destiny record. {{Alt-Text: If only I had asked 4chan for ideas for what I should do to prevent this!}}
Etch-a-Sketch 2009-03-04 [[A male xkcd figure is playing with an etch-a-sketch]] Male: Hey. If draw enough lines, I can see what's behind the screen. Male: Oh man, almost... Etch-a-Sketch: Hi! [[Head of a female xkcd figure appears behind etch-a-sketch]] Female: You're cute! Male: Wha- Female: I'm the one who draws when you turn the knobs. Female: It's lonely in here. Male: It's lonely out here too. Female: I'm glad you found me, then! Female: Let's be friends. Female: And never be lonely again. [[Panels break apart into thought bubbles coming from male as he sits with his etch-a-sketch]] Male: *sigh* [[Etch-a-sketch shows what is behind the glass; it is just the mechanics of the machine]] [[Male shakes etch-a-sketch]] {{title text: Surrounded by boring mysteries.}}
Correlation 2009-03-06 [[A man is talking to a woman]] Man: I used to think correlation implied causation. Man: Then I took a statistics class. Now I don't. Woman: Sounds like the class helped. Man: Well, maybe. {{Title text: Correlation doesn't imply causation, but it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing 'look over there'.}}
Pirate Bay 2009-03-09 [[Awaiting the judges' ruling at the Pirate Bay trial]] Character 1: I wish this were in America. Character 2: Why? Character 1: I hear we'd go before a jury of our peers, and I've always seeded generously {{Alt Text: We find you guilty of closing your torrents as soon as they finish. Your sentence is unremovable Hungarian subtitles on everything.}}
Not Enough Work 2009-03-11 Narration: Signs your coders don't have enough work to do: [[A man sitting at his workstation; a female co-worker behind him]] Man: I'm almost up to my old typing speed in dvorak [[Two men standing by a server rack]] Man #1: Our servers now support gopher. Man #1: Just in case. [[A woman standing near her workstation speaking to a male co-worker]] Woman: Our pages are now HTML, XHTML-STRICT, and haiku-compliant Man: Haiku? Woman:
Woman: Woman: Blog!< span>< div> [[A woman sitting at her workstation]] Woman: Hey! Have you guys seen this webcomic? {{title text: It's even harder if you're an asshole who pronounces <> brackets.}}
Two Mirrors 2009-03-13 [[A girl sets up a full mirror adjacent to a bathroom-counter mirror]] [[The girl looks through the bathroom-counter mirror to see the infinite reflections]] Girl: Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary. <> [[Girl ducks as the infinite Bloody Marys pop out between the two mirrors above her head]] {{Alt-Text: If you actually do this, what really happens is Douglas Hofstadter appears and talks to you for eight hours about strange loops.}}
Alternative Energy Revolution 2009-03-16 [[A field of windmills is silhouetted against dusk sky.]] [[Man and woman are standing and sitting on the ground overlooking the windmills.]] Man: I'm all for green energy, but those turbines creep me out. They remind me of War of the Worlds, or the Tripod books. Woman: They -are- unnerving. Man: I can't shake the feeling that at any moment they'll-- <> [[A leg begins to split off one windmill.]] <> [[The leg separates from the body of the windmill.]] [[The new leg lands on the ground.]] <> [[Another leg begins to split off the other side of the windmill's body.]] <> [[The new leg hits the ground, forming a tripod base.]] <> [[Smoke rises from destroyed buildings as the windmills rampage across the field.]] [[Man and woman are now standing.]] Woman: Oh no. Man: Al Gore, you've doomed us all. Woman: It's coming this way! Man: Run! [[One of the enormous tripod windmill feet lands right behind the running couple, sending debris flying.]] <> [[Man and woman run.]] Woman: What now? Man: Someone has to stop them. Woman: But who could-- Voice from next panel: Stand aside! [[Don Quixote sits mounted at the top of a hill, lance at the ready.]] {{title text: The moment their arms spun freely in our air, they were doomed -- for Man has earned his right to hold this planet against all comers, by virtue of occasionally producing someone totally batshit insane.}}
Students 2009-03-18 [[A teacher speaks in a crowded classroom, one of the students seems confused.]] Teacher: Your projects are due today by 5:00 PM. Student: ((...I didn't even know we had one.)) Student: ((Wait. I don't think I've been attending. I must have forgotten I had this class. Shitshitshit.)) Student: ((Okay, I'm gonna fail. Will it hold me back? I just want to get out of here. I thought I had finished< i> my requirements already.)) Student: ((In fact, I think I remember graduating.)) Student: ((What the hell is--)) [[Scene fades to the 'student' waking up.]] Fun Fact: Decades from now, with school a distant memory, you'll still< u> be having this dream. {{Mouseover: The same goes for the one where you're wrestling the Green Ranger in the swimming pool full of Crisco. You guys all have that dream, right? It's not just me. Right?}}
1000 Times 2009-03-20 Dishonest: [[woman sitting behind desk]] sign: bailout: $170 billion; bonuses: $165 million Honest: [[woman sitting behind desk]] sign: bailout: $170,000 million; bonuses: $165 million Dear news organizations: stop giving large numbers without context or proper comparison. The difference between a million and a billion is the difference between a sip of wine and 30 seconds with your daughter, and a bottle of gin and a night with her. {{Alt-text: And 0.002 dollars will NEVER equal 0.002 cents.}}
No Pun Intended 2009-03-23 My Hobby: Appending "no pun intended" to lines with no pun in them. [[Random guy is talking to a guy with a beret]] Random guy: I think he's internalized his girlfriend's attitudes - no pun intended - and so... {{Three hours later:}} [[Beret guy is thinking]] Beret guy: "Internalized?" Lied? Analyzed? Or is it "attitudes"? Dammit. {{alt: Like spelling 'dammit' correctly -- with two m's -- it's a troll that works best on the most literate.}}
Lithium Batteries 2009-03-25 Timeline of Commercial Uses of Lithium Batteries: [[The panel has a timeline that goes from Past to Present. The timeline has 4 notches on it]] Past [[the first notch, closest to the past side, has a picture of an old man with a walking stick]] Pacemakers [[The second notch has an image of a man in a car, who is talking on his cell phone]] Phones for Rich Business People [[The third notch, has a teen taking on his cellphone]] Phones for Teenagers [[The forth notch, closest to the present on the timeline, hac an image of a toy plane box with $10 written on it]] Really cheap r c planes and helicopters Present [[Below the main panel]] Life would be so much better if I was one of those people who aged backward. {{Title text: I'm normally a pretty frugal person, but I still compulsively buy any R C aircraft that's less than $30. In the last few years, this has become a problem.}}
Well 2009-03-27 [[A sign sits by a well]] Sign: The Uncomfortable Truths Well [[A guy and a girl are lined up for the well; the guy throws a coin in]] Well: For a universe that's supposed to be half Chinese, Firefly sure doesn't have any Asians. [[The guy is gone, a couple arrives behind the girl from the previous pane; the girl throws a coin in]] Well: There's no solid evidence DVORAK's better than QWERTY. The standard histories are urban legends. [[Just the couple remain; the boyfriend throws another coin in]] Well: You've never said "I love you" and meant it. It was always just words. [[The girlfriend now throws in a coin]] Well: You meant it every time. {{title text: I'll concede ergonomics anecdotally, but none of the studies of Dvorak were at all rigorous (the most-cited Navy study was overseen by Dvorak himself), and QWERTY had a lot of fair competition. And the 'slow typists down' thing is basically a myth. Also EMACS RULES WOOOOOOO!}}
Parking 2009-03-30 [[Hat guy is in a car driving around a parking lot]] [[Hat guy's car pulls up next to a red car, that's parked over a line at an angle that block two spaces]] [[Hat guy gets out of his car]] <> [[Hat guy is now holding a flamethrower and a rotary saw, He's also wearing goggles and fuel tanks on his back. The flamethrower is lit]] <> [[The badly parked car has been cut in half along a diagonal, and the half of the car that was in the second slot has been moved into the same slot as the rest of the car. Hat guy's car occupies the newly freed space.]] {{Alt Text: Police reported three dozen cheerful bystanders, yet no one claims to have seen who did it.}}
Fermirotica 2009-04-01 Pd Regional Population Density (e.g. 18,600 mi^2) Xf Average Person's Frequency of Sex (e.g. 80 Year) Xd Average Duration of Se (e.g. 30 Minutes) r=sqrt(2 pi*Pd*Xr*Xd) On average, someone within distance r of you is having sex [[Man standing at easel]] Man: Mmm, That probable couple 150 meters away is so hot. Oh yeah, theoretically work it, baby. From out of frame: Hey! No statistical voyeurism! {{Alt Text: I love how google handles dimensional analysis. Stats are ballpark and vary wildly based on time of day and whether your mom is in town.}}
Crossbows 2009-04-03 [[Man 1 is pulling a crossbow out of a desk]] Man 1: Why do you have a crossbow in your desk? Woman (off-screen): You _don't_? [[Woman is on panel]] Man 1 (off-screen): No -- why would... Woman: You _are_ studying the consequences of Higgs excitation, aren't you? Like the rest of the lab? [[Two men, both holding crossbows, joing the woman on panel]] Man 1: Yes, but why-- Man 2: Maybe he's slow with the math. Woman: Well, he has until Tuesday. Man 2: Poor guy. {{Alt-Text: I hate being the slowest guy in the lab}}
Security Question 2009-04-06 [[A male stick figure sits at a computer.]] Computer Screen: "-Email Account Setup- To verify your identity, we need to ask you a question nobody else could answer." Computer Screen: "Q: Where are the bodies buried? A:" {{A text field is shown with "Behind the" typed.}} [[Three stick figures, two wearing police hats and one wearing headphones, watch another computer.]] {{The same text field is shown with "Behind the ... nice try." typed.}} Figure in Headphones: Damn. {{Title Text: "Let's invite him to a party and play 'I never'. Okay, I never hid any bodies SOUTH of Main Street. ... he's taking a drink!"}}
Matrix Revisited 2009-04-08 Narrator: Today was the ten-year anniversary of the release of 'The Matrix'. I sat down to watch it again. Woman: Holy Fuck, ten years ago? {{Replay of various scenes from The Matrix..}} [[Scene 1]] Morpheus: Unfortunately, no one can explain what the matrix is. You have to see it for yourself. Trinity (correcting Morpheus): Sure you can. It's a computer simulation in which you live, thinking it's reality. Neo: Oh. Trinity (to Morpheus, who is glaring at her): ... What? Look, maybe you just suck at explaining. [[Scene 2]] Morpheus (to Neo): ...Or you take the red pill, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. [[Neo takes BOTH pills from Morpheus...]] [[Neo crushes both the red and blue pills into purple powder on a table top...]] [[Neo snorts the purple powder...]] [[Morpheus and Neo are shown upside down in a frame with inverted colors, i.e., black background with white lines]] Morpheus: NOW look what you've done. Neo: Where are we? Morpheus: I have no idea. [[Scene 3]] [[Neo, wearing the long black trench coat, at a metal detector, is accosted by the security guard.]] Guard: Please remove any keys, metallic items, weapons-- [[Neo opens his trench coat, his back to the reader, towards the guard, who is facing the reader. The reader can't see what Neo has under his coat.]] [[Same scene as above, but side view: Neo, on the left, is opening his coat toward the guard, who is on the right. Nobody speaks.]] [[Side view again.]] Guard: Eww. {{End of scene replays}} [[View of room, where three characters have obviously just finished watching The Matrix. Man1 is sitting on the floor nearest to the TV. Woman is sitting on the floor, farther from the TV. Man2 is sitting on a chair, farthest from the TV.]] Man1: I forgot how good that movie was. Man2: Wanna put on the other two? [[Man1 has turned to face Woman. They exchange looks without speaking.]] [[View of room, which is now empty, as is the chair.]] <> [[Man1 and Woman are back in the room, but the chair is still empty. Man2 is nowhere to be seen.]] Man1: I forgot how good that movie was. Woman: Too bad they never made any sequels. Man1: True.
Urgent Mission 2009-04-10 [[Guy steps out of rift. Benjamin Franklin is sitting at his desk with quill and parchment.]] Guy: Benjamin Franklin? Franklin: Yes? Guy: I bring a message from the future! I don't have much time. Franklin: What is it? Guy: The convention you're setting for electric charge is backward. The one left on glass by silk should be the negative charge. {{Caption: We were going to use the time machine to prevent the robot apocalypse, but the guy who built it was an electrical engineer.}} {{Mouseover: Sure, we could stop dictators and pandemics, but we could also make the signs on every damn diagram make sense.}}
Well 2 2009-04-13 [[People are lined up by a well. A sign says "The Uncomfortable Truths Well." The first person in line drops in a coin.]] Well: Science may discover immortality, but it won't happen in the next eighty years. [[The next person drops in a coin.]] Well: You'll never find a programing language that frees you from the burden of clarifying your ideas. Programmer: But I know what I mean! [[The next person drops in a coin.]] Well: You avoid your friend Mike because you're uncomfortably attracted to him. Person: Nice try, Mike. Person: Get out of the well. Well Mike: Aww. {{Title text: But I've made $13.72 already today! Ow, stop throwing pennies.}}
Borders 2009-04-15 [[Two stick figures stand on a hill overlooking a great city. Between them and the city stands an embassy flying a red flag.]] THREE YEARS AGO, THE KINGDOM OF LIATE OVERTHREW THEIR OLD ORDER AND ESTABLISHED A CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY. OUR LEADERS SIGNED A TREATY WITH THEIR QUEEN, AND OUR BORDERS WERE SET BY THE YABRIS ACCORDS. MANY SAID WAR WOULD BE UNENDING, THAT PEACE WOULD ALWAYS BE A DREAM DEFERRED. BUT TODAY, OUR FLAG FLIES PROUDLY OVER OUR EMBASSY IN THEIR KINGDOM, AND THEY WALK OUR LANDS WITHOUT FEAR. SO COME, TRAVELER. LAY DOWN YOUR GRUDGES AND JOIN US IN BROTHERHOOD. IT IS TIME NOT TO FIGHT, BUT TO LIVE. [[Stick figure sitting at computer]] THIS IS THE WORST CAPTURE-THE-FLAG SERVER EVER. {{title text: Eventually a UN is set up. And then a lone rebel runs down the line of flags in front of it, runs back to his base, and gets a kajillion points.}}
New Car 2009-04-17 Person 1: When'd you get the car? Person 2: It's the darndest thing. We bought it as a prize for the 100,000,000th visitor to our website. Person 1: And they didn't want it? Person 2: Apparently. Person 1: Maybe they didn't see the notice. Person 2: It was flashing and everything! Person 1: How bizarre. {{title text: Somewhere out there is a company that has actually figured out how to enlarge penises, and it's helpless to reach potential customers.}}
Can't Sleep 2009-04-20 [[Someone is in bed, presumably trying to sleep. The top of each panel is a thought bubble showing sheep leaping over a fence.]] 1 ... 2 ... <> [[Two sheep are jumping from left to right.]] ... 1,306 ... 1,307 ... <> [[Two sheep are jumping from left to right. The would-be sleeper is holding his pillow.]] ... 32,767 ... -32,768 ... <> <> <> <> <> [[A whole flock of sheep is jumping over the fence from right to left. The would-be sleeper is sitting up.]] Sleeper: ? ... -32,767 ... -32,766 ... <> [[Two sheep are jumping from left to right. The would-be sleeper is holding his pillow over his head.]] {{Title text: If androids someday DO dream of electric sheep, don't forget to declare sheepCount as a long int.}}
Together 2009-04-22 [[A male and female are running in a field, holding hands. Another male and female stand in the background, next to a table.]] [[The man and woman are in a boat on a lake, very romantic. The man is speaking to the woman, illustrated with a heart.]] [[The man and woman sit together on a bench on a beach, watching the sunset.]] [[The man and woman stand at an altar. They have married.]] [[The man and woman, having grown old together, sit together on their doorstep, holding hands.]] [[The man begins walking away with his cane.]] Woman: Dear? Where are you--Come back! [[The man approaches the other couple from the first panel, who are now just as old.]] [[The man picks up a piece of paper from the table in the first panel and begins to write.]] Man: Okay, [[The paper is shown: a scavenger hunt list. "Happiness" has just been checked off.]] Man: What's next? [[Full list: SCAVENGER HUNT: [X] Indian-head penny [X] Snake skin [X] Happiness [ ] Four-leaf clover [ ] Shark tooth [...] ]] {{Alt text: This scavenger hunt is getting boring. Let's go work on the treehouse!}}
Parental Trolling 2009-04-24 The Future [[Man is sitting at a futuristic desktop computer, and a girl is standing behind him with a portable ultra-thin screen]] Girl: Hey dad, look at this old music video. Video: We're no strangers to love... Dad: Wow, you got me. Girl: Did your generation really use this to troll people? SO lame. Your generation sucked at pranks. Dad: Did we? I once raised a kid with conditioning so her speech centers shut down when she was upset. Girl: What? No, you couldn't have bleegle warble yargle arggh! Dad: Teehee! {{title-text: They'll pick music and culture that they know annoys you. Building in behavioral easter eggs is a fair retaliation!}}
Swine Flu 2009-04-27 Twitter is great for watching uninformed panics unfold live. [[Twitter search results page with "Swine flu" in the search box]] Realtime results for Swine flu 1,918 more results since you started searching. Refresh to see. {{All tweets are "Less than 10 seconds ago from web"}} SKEEVE37: Oh God I ate pork yesterday before I knew about swine flu! HANNELOREEC: Without duct tape I can't seal the door to keep out swine flu but I can't get duct tape without going outside! Help! PAULYSHOREFAN: How long until the swine flu reaches me here in Madagascar? CRACKMONKEY74: Swine flu is God's punishment for the ACLU and lesbians and 9 11 and nanobots! TWILIGHT7531: I fell down the stairs and there was a crack and a jagged white thing is sticking out of my arm guys is this swine flu? WIGU: @UNTOWARD: No, that sounds like syphilis, not swine flu. What did you say you did with a pig? 2011SENIORSRULE: My Dad said flu vaccines are linked to autism, so to be safe from swine flu I'm trying to lick an autistic kid. {{title text: Bad flu epidemics can hit young adults hardest because they provoke their powerful immune systems into overreaction, so to stay healthy spend the next few weeks drunk and sleep-deprived to keep yours suppressed.}}
Tag Combination 2009-04-29 Guy: So you can come up with a song title fitting any tag combination? Girl: Try me. Guy: Lesbian voyeurism one-hit wonder mash-up. Girl: "I wish that Stacey's Mom had Jessie's Girl." <> Guy: Well, that was one, but- Girl: "When you Come On Eileen I touch myself." Guy: Okay, wow. {{Title-text: I love Eileen and want you to love her When you're around I'm one floor above her If you could see just how much I adore her Oh, that pretty red dress I'd do anything for her (Too ra loo ra too ra loo rye ayy)}}
Packages 2009-05-01 [[A dude is sitting at his computer.]] Man: I love getting pacakges. [[A woman enters.]] Man: I set up a script to search eBay et. al. (sic) for $1 items with free shipping. [[The man checks his doorstop; a package is waiting for him.]] Man: I gave it $365, so each day it can buy me something random. Woman: What if you just end up with lots of crap? Man: I'll give it away. But I'm sure I'll end up with some interesting stuff. [[Day 1: Length of rubber hose]] Man: Could be handy around the house. [[Day 2: Ski mask]] Man: It's spring, but hey. [[Day 3: Bear trap]] Man: Huh. [[Day 4: Tourist map of the Pentagon]] Woman: Uh oh. [[Day 5: Lube]] Man: I'm stopping this before I end up on every F.B.I. watch list ever. {{alt-text: Day six: 'The hell? Who mails a bobcat?'}}
The Race: Part 1 2009-05-04 Huh, cool. Nathan Fillion (Mal from Firefly) has an electric skateboard. Just like you! Did you hear that? Nathan- I heard. Gimme the computer. I need to book a flight. To be continued...
The Race: Part 2 2009-05-05 [[Man with skateboard and gear and woman are talking]] Man: "Why race him?" He's Captain Reynolds! Woman: Mr. Fillion is an actor. Firefly was years ago. [[They go over to a computer; the man is using a phone and presumably looking up a phone number]] Woman: He has his own life to live, and I'm sure the last thing he wants to do is indulge a fan by playing Mal for him. [[Nathan Fillion is standing in front of a mirror in a trenchcoat]] Nathan: (into the mirror) Name's Captain Reynolds, ma'am. *ahem* Name's Captain Reynolds, ma'am. Someone offpanel: Nathan? Telephone! Nathan: That's Captain! Someone offpanel: Fine, Captain Nathan. Nathan: No, use my space name! Someone offpanel: *sigh* [[Nathan and the skateboarder talk on the phone]] Skateboarder: So, how about we race for charities? Nathan: Sure. Always did want a charity of my own. Text between them: Come again? Nathan: You know, boxes in supermarkets collecting food. 'Course, ought to tack up a list sayin' which wines I like best... Skateboarder: Uh, that's not quite... Nathan: Listen, I'm the captain here. Skateboarder: ...I just got goosebumps when you said that. Nathan: Yeah, happens to me too whenever I get captainy. I cut such a strapping figure. Buckle! Swash! All right, let's do this race. {{title text: The Hammer + Captain Tightpants == Captain Hammerpants?}}
The Race: Part 3 2009-05-06 [[Malcolm, Munrovian Male, and Summer Glau standing around with electric skateboards]] Malcolm Reynolds: meet a few of my friends. this is- Male: Summer Glau! you were the best part of Chronicles. Summer: I eat my bodyweight in food every 31 days. that's slightly faster than the human average. [[Summer stares off into space]] Malcom: yeah, there's a reason she only plays strange roles. Male: Ah. Summer (offscreen): I'm part of the floor now. [[They find Jewel Staite working on a skateboard's engine]] Malcolm: and this is Kaylee. Jewel: my name is Jewel, Nathan. Malcolm: Kaylee- Jewel: Jewel. Malcolm Jewel is fixin' up my new board. Jewel: almost done! Male: so wait. Summer's actually weird, Jewel's actually a mechanical whiz... Male: ...will Morena Baccarin be here? is she really a- Malcolm and Jewel: NO. [[Setting up for the race]] Malcolm: Kaylee, I've been gunnin' the radio hand throttle thingy for a while, but it ain't movin' Jewel: oh, I must've set it to the wrong frequency! Male (riding around on haywire board): AAAAAAAA {{title text: No, the best things about The Sarah Connor Chronicles were: (1) watching Sarah and Cameron try to pass for normal, and (2) Cameron throwing people and things through walls. Everything else was pretty secondary.}}
The Race: Part 4 2009-05-07 [[Randall xkcd man and Nathan Fillion are ready on the start line on their electric skateboards]] Voice off panel: On your mark... Voice: Get set... Nathan: Remember episode 11, when I got all naked in that desert? Voice: Go! [[Nathan speeds away leaving Randall standing at the start line]] voice: ... I said "Go." voice: someone throw some water on him Randall: Can't...get it...out of my head... [[Nathan on walkie talkie, speeding on his skateboard]] Nathan: He's right behind me. Kaylee, I'm gonna try a Crazy Ivan. Kaylee [[on walkie talkie]]: That doesn't make any sense, Nathan. Nathan: Trust me. Kaylee: No, I mean it's not a skateboard maneuver[sic]. The concept doesn't even apply to this situation. Nathan [[via walkie talkie]]: That's why it just might work! Kaylee: No, that's the opposite of true! Nathan: On my mark, override the remote differential and throw her into a spin. Kaylee [[via walkie talkie]] okay, but- Nathan: Mark! <> [[Nathan lying injured on the ground next to his skateboard, Randall Man cruises past]] <> [[Nathan, trying to stand up]] Nathan: I'm down. Tell Summer "The chickens are in the hayloft. Plan Gamma is a go." [[Nathan, one foot on skateboard, looking at walkie talkie]] <> Kaylee: She says, "Plan gamma acknowledged. The meerkats are in the bad. [[Summer Glau is walking off panel]] Kaylee [[to walkee talkie]]: So we're good? Nathan: Hard to tell with her. Do you see an actual bag of meerkats? Kaylee: No. Nathan: Then we're probably good. [[Randall Man screeching to a halt as he sees Summer Glau]] Randall: Oh! Hi, Miss Glau! I'd love to talk, but Nathan's back on his feet and catching up. [[Summer grabs Randalls arm]] <> Randall: Wha- [[Summer kicks Randall in the face whilst pulling his arm towards her, he flies off his skateboard]] [[Summer walking away as Randall lies crippled on the floor with his sunglasses beside him]] [[Randall still lying on the floor]] Randall [[thinking]]: I've never been so turned on in my life. {{Alt text: Things are rarely just crazy enough to work, but they're frequently just crazy enough to fail hilariously. Title: The Race: Part 4. Comic: xkcd. Tags: firefly, nathan fillion, summer glau, crazy ivan, serenity, whedon}}
The Race: Part 5 2009-05-08 Of the potential responses to my brakes' failure, I did not choose the best. [[A car, in silhouette, is sailing off the edge of a cliff. The voice comes from a phone inside the car.]] Voice: Hello, you're on Car talk. {{Title text: It was the funniest 6.5 seconds of my life, although as usual like 80% of it was just Tom and Ray's gasping, hacking laughter.}}
Brakes 2009-05-11 Narrator: Of the potential responses to my brakes' failure, I did not choose the best. [[A cliff is visible, with a car flying off it.]] Voice from car: Hello, you're on Car Talk. {{Title text: It was the funniest 6.5 seconds of my life, although as usual like 80% of it was just Tom and Ray's gasping, hacking laughter.}}
CNR 2009-05-13 [[A woman is sitting at a computer.]] Speech2Text Commander Bug #167801 Speech recognition fails on young child voices. Woman: Hmm. [[The view enlarges to show a man sitting at another desk.]] Woman: Hey, can you do me without a condom? We need a young child for something. Man: Okay. [[A pregnancy test is displayed. The label indicates not pregnant.]] [[The woman is at the computer again.]] Bug #167801 Status: Closed Reason: Could not reproduce. {{Title text: Can't and shouldn't.}}
Unsatisfied 2009-05-15 [[A blonde and a man are holding hands, looking at another woman with black hair.]] ((Two arrows direct the comic into a pair of different paths.)) ((Left path.)) [[The man is holding hands with the blonde woman, but he is thinking about the woman with black hair.]] ((Right path.)) [[The man approaches the woman with black hair. He is thinking about the blonde.]] ((Left path.)) [[The man is performing oral sex on the blonde, and still thinking about the woman with black hair.]] ((Right path.)) [[The man and the black-haired woman have sex on the arm of a chair. The man is thinking about the blonde.]] ((Left path.)) [[The man and the woman are drawing something together, and the man is thinking about the woman with black hair.]] ((Right path.)) [[The man and woman are hiking together. The man is thinking about the blonde woman.]] ((Left path.)) [[The man and the woman are holding hands, and the man is thinking of the woman with black hair.]] ((Right path.)) [[The man and the woman are holding hands, and the man is thinking of the blonde woman.]] ((The path unites again.)) [[Two gravestones are next to each other. One of them is thinking about a third gravestone.]] {{Title text: Forever comparing, never evaluating on any external scale. If you were a sort function, you'd never break the nlogn barrier.}}
Outreach 2009-05-18 [[A group of scientists with goggles and labcoats stand around a pair of beakers.]] Scientist: The tracking tag will record the shark's movement and habits. [[The capsule floats upward.]] Scientist: Then, it will pop free and float to the surface. [[A coast is shown, with arrows directed from water to land.]] Scientist: We can't afford a recovery program, so the capsules will inflate helium balloons, drift over land, Scientist: And hopefully be found and mailed to us. Any questions? [[The capsule has a caption on it.]] If found please call [[The scientist is standing over a groggy shark.]] <> [[The shark is dropped off a boat, into the water.]] <> Shark: !!! [[The course of the shark is shown, weaving around islands.]] [[The capsule is shown stickign out of the shark.]] <> [[The capsule remains attached to the shark.]] [[The balloon starts to inflate, still attached to the shark and underwater.]] <> [[As the balloon inflates, it starts to pull the shark to the surface.]] Shark: ?? [[The balloon breaks the surface, pulling the shark with it.]] [[A man and a child are standing together.]] [[Two scientists run past, screaming. One is holding a microscope.]] Scientists: AAAAAAAA [[A shark attached to a huge balloon floats past following the scientists.]] Shark: <> Child: Daddy? Father: Yes? Child: I want to be a scientist. {{Title text: Completely implausible? Yes. Nevertheless, worth keeping a can of shark repellent next to the bed.}}
Mission to Culture 2009-05-20 [[A man is pulling a woman by the legs. She is holding onto the ground.]] Man: We're getting some culture in you if it kills you. Woman: Don't wanna. [[The man is pushing the woman through a door.]] Man: All you listen to is techno. Woman: But... the symphony? [[The couple stand in line between other people.]] Woman: I think we're the only people here under 60. Man: Shhh. Woman: The right side is definitely better. Man: Better? Woman: They've all got bigger instruments. I bet they make more money. Man: <> {{Title text: It can't be very MUCH money ... they apparently can't even afford a sampler. I mean, with a little remixing, some of this could be kinda good!}}
Crime Scene 2009-05-22 [[A crime scene is surrounded in tape. A large black pool is on the ground, with splashes around it, and some sort of tool. Two people are standing outside the tape.]] Policeman: Looks like a murder-suicide. George: Any interesting mathematical patterns? Policeman: No, George, just two dead bodies and a lot of blood. George: Two... that's the third Fibonacci number! Policeman: Not now, George. When Mathnet shut down, the officers had trouble reintegrating into the regular L.A.P.D. {{Title text: I think I see a Mandelbrot set! No, that's just blood splatters. Golly.}}
Pep Rally 2009-05-25 [[A cheerleader stands in front of crowded bleachers.]] [[The cheerleader is waving pompoms.]] Cheerleader: Lakeview High is the best! Crowd: Yeah! Someone: Wait, why? Cheerleader: What? Voice: A guy on the North High football team helped me rebuild my deck. Voice: It seems ungrateful to presume we're better. Voice: I mean, school districts are just based on zip codes. Voice #2: Their principal donated a kidney to my dad. Voice: I'm texting with my friend there now. He says it's okay, and we're invited to their events if we want. Voice: But he sounded kind of hurt. Voice #2: Why are we doing this, rally, again? [[The cheerleader looks dejected.]] {{Title text: You know, pep rallies weirded me out in high school, and they've only gotten creepier in retrospect.}}
Designated Drivers 2009-05-27 [[Four people are outside a bar.]] Man #1: Wait, who's driving? Man #2: Why? Man #2: Tom, right? Man #1: Yes, but we have to leave in two groups. One of which will need at least two drivers. [[There is a complicated flowchart with arrows between a group of people and 3 locations, labeled 'bar', 'dinner', and 'party'. Lines point from the group of people to the bar, then to the party or dinner, then from dinner to the party and vice versa, as well as leaving the panel or entering the panel in several other directions.]] Narrator: Someone has to get Paul, and Julia and Emily have to leave by 10:00. Narrator: The logistics of who can get drunk are nontrivial. [[The third man has an animal on a string behind him, which was previously not visible.]] Man #3: Yeah, and I can't ride in a car with the wolf because he'll eat my goat. Man #1: Dammit, guys. {{Title text: Calling a cab means cutting into beer money.}}
Papyrus 2009-05-29 My Hobby: Getting typography geeks heartfelt cards printed in "papyrus" and watching them struggle to act grateful. Woman: Thank you for the <> ... lovely... <> birthday card! [[The woman is holding a card open and looking at someone. An angry tic is flicking on her forehead.]] {{Title text: I secretly, deep in my guilty heart, like Papyrus and don't care if it's overused. [Cue hate mail in beautifully-kerned Helvetica.]}}
Troll Slayer 2009-06-01 [[A website where people can post comments along side pictures.]] ((Next to a picture of a website.)) Hey, let's troll the fuck out of the Twilight boards. ((Next to a picture of some people)) I'm in. Should be fun. ((Next to a picture of a man with sword and trumpet)) Me too. Signing on now. ((Next to a picture of "LOL")) Lol angsty teens. Hours Later: [[Stephenie Meyer, at a computer.]] Stephenie Meyer: Hi, it's Stephenie Meyer. Fine, you don't like my books. But please leave us alone. Computer (Nerd): Show us your tits. Stephenie Meyer: I asked politely. Don't make me get tough. [[Pimply nerd at computer.]] Nerd: And what, call the internet police? You don't get it, do you? We've been trolling for years. We're all anonymous. There's nothing you can do to hurt us. We're the net's hate machine. Computer (Stephenie): Okay. Just remember, I gave you a chance. <> Six Months Later [[A page from a book.]] Vampires! Book VI Edward ran a pale hand through his perfect golden-bronze hair, then signed on to 4chan.org, the darkest place on the internet, where all his vampire compatriots spent their time. Suddenly, there was a loud knock at the door [...] swept in [...] ing [[The rest of the page is cut off.]] Shortly Thereafter: [[On the same website as the first panel.]] ((Next to a picture of two people hugging)) OMG I love this place it's so edgy being anonymous. (next to a picture of "DAWNE") Whos your favorite vampire (next to a picture of someone with black hair and shirt) Check out my pic Im so dark just like this site (Next to a picture of a chess piece) Any Twilight fans in Dallas want to meet a lonely (...) [[The same nerd at his computer.]] Nerd: Oh... Oh God. {{Title text: We have met the enemy and he is us.}}
Drama 2009-06-03 [[Three people are sitting together.]] Woman: Man, sex has all these crazy social rules. They just create drama. Man #2: Let's agree to change them, and make sex simple! Man #1: Okay! Man: Hooray! We've solved the problem of drama! Man: I'll go tell everyone! [[The man opens a door.]] [[There is a graph, showing time vs. drama. A vertical dotted line indicates the rule change. Drama is low before the line, then steadily increases afterward.]] [[The man closes and leans against the door.]] Man: Holy shit Man: Guys Man: People are complicated! {{Title text: This happens in geek circles every so often. The 'Hey, this is just a system I can figure out easily!' is also a problem among engineers first diving into the stock market.}}
Voynich Manuscript 2009-06-05 [[Weird root vegetables surround a strange script.]] [[Woman holding up book.]] Woman: This is the Voynich manuscript -- a book, allegedly 500 years old, written in an unrecognized script. It's some kind of visual encyclopedia of imaginary plants and undeciphered "recipes". [[The man opens the book.]] Woman: It could be a hoax, a lost language, a cipher, an alien text, glossolatia -- no one knows. Man: No one? But it's obvious. Woman: ... Obvious? Linguists and cryptographers have been stumped for decades. Man: They forget. Human nature doesn't change. Man: Just imagine someone found a book from _our_ time, full of lists, illustrations, tables, and long, dry descriptions of nonexistent worlds written in an invented language. What have they found? Woman: ... Dear Lord. It is obvious. 500 Years Earlier: [[Three people are standing around pawns and a die. One is holding a sheet of paper, another is holding a book, the third is holding a scythe.]] Person #1: Forsooth! I concoct an elixir of courage. Person #2: Nae! The source booke sayeth that requires some wolfsbane! Person #3: Your druid doth lose two points. {{Title text: Wait, is that the ORIGINAL voynich manuscript? Where did you GET that? Wanna try playing a round of Druids and Dicotyledons?}}
Period 2009-06-08 Voice: Ugh. Stupid uterus. Man: Hey, your period is every 28 days, right? Voice: Yes, why? Man: Well, preiod = T = 1 f. Voice: So? Man: Using this, we can calculate something you already know. Voice: What? Man: Your uterus-hertz. Voice: If I could get up I'd smack you. {{Title text: 413 nanohertz, by the way.}}
Android Girlfriend 2009-06-10 [[A couple and a man face each other. The man is holding something.]] Man with android: Check out my new android girlfriend. Man #2: Is she a sex bot? [[The android grabs the cherry out of the man's hand.]] [[The android pulls the stem off.]] <> [[The android puts the stem in its mouth.]] <> [[There is a bright flash around the android's mouth. The rest of the panel is dark.]] Man #2: I don't think arc-welding a cherry stem counts as sexy. Android: Remove your pants. Man #2: No. {{Title text: Programming the sexbots to enjoy sex seemed a sensible move at the time, but we didn't realize the consequences of their developing fetishes.}}
Latitude 2009-06-12 [[The Black Hat Guy is holding a phone up to someone.]] Black Hat Guy: We're in a narrow window in which people are using Google Latitude, but haven't learned the habit of turning it off when they're doing something discreetly. Black Hat Guy: I wrote an app to log friends' locations and work out addresses and business names. [[A timetable is visible. Each column represents a different person.]] [[First column: Megan.]] 11:00AM Home 12:30PM Eastview Adult Toy Store 1:30PM Home 2:00PM Laketown Sex Toy Shop 2:30PM Home 3:00PM Fry's Electronics 3:30PM Ed's Power Tool Emporium 4:00PM Home 4:10PM Hospital Burn Ward [[Second column: Rober - the rest of the name is cut off, as well as the end nof each entry.]] 12:30PM Home 2:00PM Schoo 3:30PM Subwa {{Title text: The G1, especially with the new Android upgrade, is way better than I originally thought.}}
Addiction 2009-06-15 [[A man is typing at a computer.]] Computer: Constant novelty saps my initiative. I'm gonna try to spend a weekend at home without internet. Man: I give you an hour. [[A woman stands up, turns off the computer in front of her.]] <> [[The woman stands proudly in front of the computer.]] [[The man is at his computer.]] Computer: So far, it's not actually too bad! Man: Ahem? Computer: Wait. Shit. {{Title text: But if you unplug everything, it gets so quiet you hear that high-pitched empty-room hum. And then the whispers begin.}}
Porn 2009-06-17 [[A man is hunched up at a computer. A circle surrounds him; the rest of the panel is black.]] Narrator: I shouldn't have watched all that porn as a teenager. Narrator: It's not that it scarred me. [[The computer screen is visible. It shows an online video player, with what appears to be someone performing cunnilingus. Ads are also visible, though what they depict is not.]] Narrator: It's just that we had dial-up. [[A 14.4kbps modem is shown.]] Narrator: And now I'm stuck with a fetish. Narrator: For video compression. [[A man and a woman are in bed together.]] Man: Can you try to look... blockier? {{Title text: I have a thing for corrupt women.}}
Apocalypse 2009-06-19 [[An apocalyptic scene. Flaming balls rain down on a darkened landscape. The sky is red.]] Man with beret: The Apocalypse! The skies burn, the seas turn to blood, and the dead walk the Earth! Man #1: The dead what? Man with beret: Walk the Earth! Man #1: I have to go. [[Man #1 sits down at a table to write. A series of formulas floats above his head.]] <> <> [[Sum for i = 0 to n of i to the power h times 1 over i.]] [[Square root of 163.]] [[log(n).]] [[The man runs with paper and pencil.]] [[The man goes through a door marked "Math Dep't".]] Man #1: The dead return! Man #1: Everyone, quick, get your names on here! [[5 people line up. The first in line is signing the paper.]] Woman #1: At last. Man #2: I hope there's time! [[Man #1 runs on, holding paper and pencil.]] [[The man approaches a sign that says "Cemetery".]] Voice: Hurrghhh [[The man approaches a half-open grave, with a dirty man climbing out.]] [[The man in the grave looks up.]] Man #1: Paul Erdös? Paul Erdös: Yes? Man #1: We need you to sign this. {{Title text: I wonder if I still have time to go shoot a short film with Kevin Bacon.}}
Android Boyfriend 2009-06-22 [[Two couples meet.]] Woman #2: I thought your android girlfriend was cool so I got myself an android boyfriend. Woman #2: He's really great. I like how -- Woman #2: Uh. [[Woman #1, the android girlfriend, rushes over to Man #2, the android boyfriend.]] <> Voice: Mmmmm... [[Man #1 and Woman #2 look at something which is off the panel.]] Man #1: ... Huh. Woman #2: It's like somebody stuck a vibrator in a fleshlight. < Voice: Mmmm <> {{Title text: Which is, coincidentally, the most unsettling mantlepiece decoration in my house.}}
Game Theory 2009-06-24 [[A man is sitting at a computer. The text appearing is implied to be what he sees on the screen.]] A.I. Loaded >>> Analyze love [[An hourglass appears over the computer.]] [[The hourglass continues to display.]] Computer: A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. {{Title text: Wait, no, that one also loses. How about a nice game of chess?}}
Overstimulated 2009-06-26 [[There is a group of people. Three women and four men. They are standing around a table with a drink on it.]] Man #3: Have you seen John lately? Woman #3: He and Claire blew off this party to see Jeff. Man #4: They do that a lot. Man #1: Yeah; I don't know what his problem is with hanging out lately. Man #3: He's like Katie - ever noticed how she only goes somewhere if Jeff's there? Somebody: It's so lame how s he hangs around him even when he's not single: Somebody: HE LIKES IT. Somebody: SOMEONE SERIOUSLY NEEDS TO DATE HER. Somebody: TOTALLY. Somebody: And honestly I feel like a jerk but I wouldn't mind if she hung around with us a little less. She needs other friends, you know! [[Man #2 is cringing away from all the text; none of the word is attributed to specific people.]] [[Man #2 peels a hole in the panel. The numbers '1', '2', and '3' are visible through the gap.]] Somebody: HAVE YOU NOTICED HOW EVERY DUDE SHE DATES IS A TOTAL DRUGGIE? Somebody: I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought that was weird. Somebody: Michelle dates potheads like Elaine but at least they both have real jobs. Somebody: Michelle does? She designs those book covers, right? Somebody: And it's not like she smokes a lot. Somebody: Elaine is one of those girls who [[The previous panel's text appears again, but peeled back even further. Man #2 looks up.]] 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 [[The man starts taking down the prime numbers.]] 1 4 6 8 9 10 12 14 15 2 3 5 7 11 13 [[The man grabs and squeezes the 2, so it is half as wide and twice as tall.]] [[A formula: \Sum_{i=1}^{\infty}{1 P_i} = h]] [[ie. The sum from 1 to infinity of the inverse of each prime.]] [[The panel shows a 2 that is 2 units tall and 1 2 wide, a 3 that is 3 units tall and 1 3 wide, and so on. The man is moving the 7.]] [[Man #2 writes h = infinity. The numbers are piled on their side next to a scale.]] Voice: Don't you agree? Voice: Hey, wake up. Man #1: You zoned out or something. Man #2: Sorry; I must be... tired. Man #1: I don't blame you. All day cooped up working on papers. Man #3: Must be nice to get out and relax, huh? Man #2: Yeah. [[Girl #3 reaches for the glass on the table.]] {{Title text: My favorite thing to do at parties is to talk judgementally about people who aren't there.}}
Idiocracy 2009-06-29 Man #1: Idiocracy is so true. Man #2: I know, right? It used to be that the intelligent, upper classes had more children. Man #2: Sadly, the recent reversal of this trend has dragged IQ scores and average education steadily downward. Man #1: Depressing, huh? Man #2: Yeah, except everything I just said was wrong. Man #1: Huh? Man #2: Wrong. False. The opposite of true. Man #2: Your'e like the religious zealots who are burdened by their superiority with the sad duty of decrying the obvious moral decay of each new generation. Man #2: And you're just as wrong. Man #1: But look at how popular -- Man #2: More harm has been done by people panicked over societal decline than societal decline ever did. Man #1: Look -- all we need is a program that limits breeding to -- [[The second man is walking off panel.]] Man #2: New theory: Stupid people reproduce more because the alternative is sleeping with you . {{Title text: People aren't going to change, for better or for worse. Technology's going to be so cool. All in all, the future will be okay! Except climate; we fucked that one up.}}
Qwertial Aphasia 2009-07-01 Narrator: I hate how when I'm talking while I type, sometimes I accidentally type a word I'm saying. [[A man is sitting at a computer.]] Computer: Wanna go get food later? [[A woman runs over, holding a giraffe.]] Woman: Check out what I found in the closet! <> Man ((typing)): Sorry, I really shouldn't. Man ((talking)): Aww, what an adorable stuffed giraffe! <> Man ((typing)): I can't afford to keep eating out this giraffe. Narrator: Frequently! I meant 'frequently'! {{Title text: If this were SMBC, the alt-text drawing thingy would be a giraffe hooker fluttering her eyelashes.}}
Extrapolating 2009-07-03 My Hobby: Extrapolating [[There is a graph. Time runs along the horizontal axis; Number of Husbands on the vertical graph. Yesterday and today are labeled in time, 0 and 1 in number of husbands. Points are plotted with 0 at yesterday, 1 at today. A straight line is fitted through them.]] [[A man is holding a pointer to the graph, and looking at a woman wearing a dress and veil.]] Man: As you can see, by late next month you'll have over four dozen husbands. Better get a bulk rate on wedding cake. {{Title text: By the third trimester, there will be hundreds of babies inside you.}}
Cutting Edge 2009-07-06 ((A woman is standing. A man sits at a computer.]] Woman: Where've you been all week? Man: Playing Half-Life 2! Woman: ... that came out in 2004. Man: I get games on a five-year lag. That way, I never have to buy a high-end system, but get the same steadily-advancing gaming experience as people who do -- and at a fraction of the price. Man: There are no downsides! Woman: I can think of one ... Early 2013. Man: Guys! Man: The cake is a lie! [[Musical notes surround an italic line, suggesting the man is singing.]] Man: This was a triumph. Man: The cake is a lie! Woman, Man #2: <> {{Title text: I remember trying to log in to the original Command and Conquer servers a year or two back and feeling like I was knocking on the boarded-up gates of a ghost town. }}
2038 2009-07-08 I'm glad we're switching to 64-bit, because I wasn't looking forward to convincing people to care about the UNIX 2038 problem. Man #1: What's that? Man #2: Remember Y2K? This could be even worse! {{Title text: If only we'd chosen 1944-12-02 08:45:52 as the Unix epoch, we could've combined two doomsday scenarios into one and added a really boring scene to that Roland Emmerich movie.}}
Form 2009-07-10 [[There is a sheet of paper, with a series of check boxes. A white rectangle is the focus.]] Do not write in this space. [[A man is standing with a pencil, looking at the page.]] [[The man writes something on the page.]] [[A group of people with helmets, black goggles, and rifles look at display screens. There is a radar system on a table between them.]] [[The screens show sheets of paper. On one screen, it shows the man writing on one.]] [[One of the men arms his weapon.]] <> {{Title text: 'This space intentionally left blank' is less immediately provocative but more Hofstadterially confusing.}}
Tab Explosion 2009-07-13 [[A man is sitting at a computer.]] <> Man: Huh. <> <> <> [[The man stares at the computer.]] Man: I never noticed that! <> Man: Haha, yeah. <> <> <> <> <> Man: So true. <> [[The man stares at the computer.]] [[The man stares at the computer.]] <> <> <> <> [[The man stares at the computer.]] <> Voice: Are you in there? Man: Help! Woman: Okay, who linked you to TVTropes? What's with that site? Man: Can't... stop... Woman: It's like Rickrolling, but you're trapped all day. {{Title text: Cracked.com is another inexplicable browser narcotic. They could write a list of '17 worst haircuts in the Ottoman Empire' and I'd read through to the end, then click on all the links at the end.}}
Sheeple 2009-07-15 ((A thought bubble is shared between the five occupants of a subway car.)) All: Look at these people. Glassy-eyed automatons going about their daily lives, never stopping to look around and think! I'm the only conscious human in a world of sheep. {{Title text: Hey, what are the odds -- five Ayn Rand fans on the same train! Must be going to a convention.}}
Disaster Voyeurism 2009-07-17 [[A woman is watching TV. The Black Hat Guy is leaning on the back of her chair.]] Woman: I've realized that I always secretly root for hurricanes. I watch the news hoping that they'll get really big and hit a city. I know my hopes don't actually affect it, but I feel bad. Black Hat Guy: Nah, that's just natural human attraction to spectacle. It's like watching the shuttle launch because you don't want to miss it if there's a disaster. Woman: ... I guess? Black Hat Guy: Or dressing as an intern to sneak into operating rooms, in case a patient dies and you can watch them harvest organs. Woman: Wait, you do that? Black Hat Guy: Or stealing detour signs to direct highway drivers downw backwoods roads strewn with caltrops. After the tires burst, you start shooting out their windows. Black Hat Guy: Then, when they flee the car in terror, you hunt them on horseback, like men once did. Woman: I realized a while back that we're having entirely different conversations. {{Title text: Hurricane forums are full of excited comments about central pressure and wind speed and comparisons to Camille and 1931 and 1938, with hastily-tacked-on notes about how it will be tragic if anyone dies and they hope it's a dud.}}
Estimation 2009-07-20 [[A man is in a car, talking on his phone.]] Man: I'm just outside town, so I should be there in fifteen minutes. Man: Actually, it's looking more like six days. Man: No, wait, thirty seconds. The author of the Windows file copy dialog visits some friends. {{Title text: They could say "the connection is probably lost," but it's more fun to do naive time-averaging to give you hope that if you wait around for 1,163 hours, it will finally finish.}}
Threesome 2009-07-22 Woman: We had a threesome last night. Man: How was it? Woman: Awkward -- it was with a physicist. Man: Why's that awkward? Woman: They can't solve the three-body problem. Man: Ah, yes. {{Title text: I wanted us to try finding an approximate numeric solution, but noooo.}}
Woodpecker 2009-07-24 [[A man with a beret and a woman are standing on a boardwalk, leaning on a handrail.]] Man: A woodpecker! <> Woman: Yup. [[The woodpecker is banging its head against a tree.]] Woman: He hatched about this time last year. <> [[The woman walks away. The man is still standing at the handrail.]] Man: ... woodpecker? Man: It's your birthday! Man: Did you know? Man: Did... did nobody tell you? [[The man stands, looking.]] [[The man walks away.]] [[There is a tree.]] [[The man approaches the tree with a present in a box, tied up with ribbon.]] [[The man sets the present down at the base of the tree and looks up.]] [[The man walks away.]] [[The present is sitting at the bottom of the tree.]] [[The woodpecker looks down at the present.]] [[The woodpecker sits on the present.]] [[The woodpecker pulls on the ribbon tying the present closed.]] ((full width panel)) [[The woodpecker is flying, with an electric drill dangling from its feet, held by the cord.]] {{Title text: If you don't have an extension cord I can get that too. Because we're friends! Right?}}
Avoidance 2009-07-27 [[A man is standing talking to a man in a chair, who is holding a phone.]] Man #1: Did you call that hot girl from the party yet? Man #2: I've been trying. Man #2: It's weird. I swear I got her the first time. But now it says the number's wrong. Man #1: What did you say she did, again? Man #2: Voice work. At Verizon, I think. Man #2: Why? Man #1: No reason. [[A woman is talking into a phone, in an italic voice.]] Woman: We're sorry, your call could not be completed as dialed. Man #2: Damn. <> Woman: Please check the number and try again. {{Title text: Hobby: seeing how many menu selections you can get someone to go through before they realize you're not an automated system and or hang up.}}
Lease 2009-07-29 [[A man is holding a sheet of paper.]] Man #1: Okay, any other concerns before you sign the lease? Man #2: I'm concerned that we're sitting here like I'm a responsible adult. I'm pretty sure I stopped growing up in my teens and have been faking ever since. Man #2: For god's sake, you're entrusting me with a building . I still make LEGO buildings sometimes. Man #1: Sir, does any of this impact your fulfillment of the lease terms? Man #2: I don't know what you just said because I was thinking about Batman. {{Title text: You should talk to the girl down the hall; I think you'd like her. Lemme know if you find out why she's ordering all those colored plastic balls.}}
Understocked 2009-07-31 [[A bearded man with glasses and a police man are swearing at each other on a stoop.]] [[The bearded man is sitting behind bars.]] [[The President is standing at a podium with a fancy logo on the front.]] President: To defuse this misunderstanding, I've invited both men to have a beer with me at the white house. [[The policeman, the bearded man, and the president are in a room with a couch and an oval carpet.]] [[The president is looking in a cabinet.]] President: Actually, it seems we're out of beer. Voice: Is there anything else? [[The president sees a bottle of Tequila.]] [[The Presidential Limo is being driven at high speed. The bearded man and the policeman are standing out of the sunroof. The policeman is waving his hat and holding the bottle of tequila.]] All: WOOOOOOOOOOOO [[The policeman, the bearded man, and the president are sitting behind bars.]] {{Title text: My biology grad student friends tell me that different types of alcohol don't actually have different effects. I trust their expertise, not because of the 'biology' part, but because of the 'grad student'.}}
Asteroid 2009-08-03 [[The panel appears like a news report.]] [[There is a picture of a rocket, captioned 'Breaking news']] News-anchor: Astronomers have confirmed that the asteroid is headed for Earth. News-anchor: NASA has launched a heroic mission to land a rover on the asteroid, drill into it, and destroy it with nuclear bombs. [[The picture of the rocket fills the panel. In an inset picture is the rover.]] [[A woman is sitting at an interface. A man stands next to it. Both are wearing headsets with microphones.]] Woman with headset: The robot has landed successfully and planted the nukes! We're saved! Man with headset: Hooray! Voice: We're heroes! [[Digital countdown.]] 0:05... 0:04... 0:03... [[The Little Prince is looking at the NASA rover, which has drilled into the asteroid. Beside him is the rose, and a small volcano.]] {{Title text: My Deep Impact Little Prince crossover fanfic has been poorly received by the community.}}
Supported Features 2009-08-05 Man #1: It took a lot of work, but this latest Linux patch enables support for machines with 4,096 CPUs, up from the old limit of 1,024. Man #2: Do you have support for smooth full-screen Flash video yet? Man #1: No, but who uses that? [[Man #2 is holding a laptop.]] {{Title text: I hear many of you finally have smooth Flash support, but me and my Intel card are still waiting on a kernel patch somewhere in the pipeline before we can watch Jon Stewart smoothly.}}
Wings 2009-08-07 Man: Titan's gravity is 14% of Earth's, and its atmosphere 50% denser. Man: So if you can generate 9% of your body weight in lift, you can fly on Titan. Man: With wings, a stage harness, a cable, and 91% of my bodyweight in in bricks, I want to test this. [[There is a heap of materials on the ground. The man is holding a stage harness.]] [[Large diagram of a bridge. A rope leads through pulleys tied to the bridge. One end goes to the man, one end to a pile of bricks.]] [[The man is standing with wings attached to his arms.]] [[The man flaps the wings, and appears to be floating.]] [[The man glides.]] Man: It works! Woman: Except you have two problems. Man: What? Woman: You used hot glue on your wing joints and you have friends into Greek mythology. Man: Huh? [[Black Hat Guy is standing on the bridge, with a large lamp labeled 'heat lamp' attached to a battery.]] [[The wing segments fall off the man and he tumbles downward.]] {{Title text: Please do not try any of this and die or get arrested.}}
Superlative 2009-08-10 Narrator: He has dreams. [[Man is gesturing to woman.]] Man: I was in this weird cross between work and my old house... Narrator: Which he'll tell you all about. Narrator: He can speak French. Narrator: Or could in high school, anyway. Narrator: A little. Man: Man, I knew all these tenses and stuff once. Narrator: His blog has four posts, all apologies for not posting more. [[The man is sitting at a desk, typing.]] Man: Sorry, I've been trying to think of stuff to put here. Narrator: He is Narrator: The least interesting man in the world. [[The man is sitting at a table. Two women are paying no attention to him.]] Man: I don't always drink beer, but when I do, I stick to a glass or two. Any more and I feel sick. {{Title text: Stay while I recount the crazy TF2 kill I managed yesterday, my friends.}}
Haiku Proof 2009-08-12 [[Students are sitting at desks.]] Student #1: How do you know there are an infinite number of primes? Professor: I'll answer in haiku! Professor: Top prime's divisors' [[The professor floats into the air.]] Professor: Product (plus one)'s factors are...? [[The professor wafts over the students.]] Professor: Q.E.D., bitches! Student #2 ((in thought bubble)) Wow, after the 48-hour sleep-dep mark, lectures get really interesting. {{Title text: After somewhere around 40 hours, there's no academic reason to go to the class. Only go for the hallucinations.}}
Oregon 2009-08-14 History of 19th-Century Oregon [[Timeline, with relevant images next to each date.]] 1805 [[Two men stand at the edge of a cliff. One has a walking staff.]] Arrival of Lewis & Clark 1825 Early settlers arrive 1841 Oregon trail established 1843 Larger western migration begins 1848 [[A horse is pulling a covered wagon. A gun peeks out the back.]] Huge wave of 500,000+ settlers arrives from Missouri. Largely children and adolescents, most bring nothing but cartloads of bullets for hunting. 1849 [[Two men with rifles aim at something.]] Overhunting begins to devastate ecosystem Dysentery epidemic 1850 [[Tombstones. Bodies.]] Shooting deaths skyrocket Typhoid epidemic Measles epidemic Cholera epidemic 1851 All mammals larger than squirrels wiped out by overhunting. Massive famine 1852 [[Sun low over a land, devoid of life. Scattered remains of corpses.]] Last survivors flee Oregon territory abandoned {{Title text: A century later, the harrowing flight of the survivors from Oregon was dramatized in a popular video game.}}
Branding 2009-08-17 Browsing without adblock [[A man is sitting at a computer.]] [[Pop-up window with red background.]] The Facebook of SEX! Click now! Man: Sigh. <> [[Pop-up window with green background.]] Twitter for 18+ singles! Join today! Man: Does every porn site have to brant itself like this? <> [[Pop-up window with blue background.]] We're like Google Reader for S&M! Man: ((in italics)) Really? <> [[Pop-up window with orange background.]] Try the new GitHub for lesbians! Man: Ok, wait, what? {{Title text: Actually, 'RSS&M' is kinda catchy.}}
Collections 2009-08-19 Man: I now have every Discworld book! Woman: Eh. Building a Kindle collection seems pointless. Man: Yeah, I know the DRM means I'll probably lose them someday. Woman: No, pointless in general. Woman: Sure, you satisfy deep magpie-like urges by building neat collections, but you still die alone. Man: Sorry, sometimes I mistake your existential crises for technical insights. Woman: Sometimes I mistake this for a universe that cares. {{Title text: You know what really helps an existential crisis? Wondering how much shelf space to leave for a Terry Pratchett collection.}}
Newton and Leibniz 2009-08-21 Newton, 1666 [[A guy with long white hair holds up a sheet of paper.]] Newton: I've invented calculus! Leibniz, 1674 [[A man with long black hair holds up a sheet of paper.]] Leibniz: I've invented calculus! Newton: Really? Sounds a little bit... [[Newton puts on a pair of sunglasses.]] Newton: [[in italics]] Derivative. {{Title text: YEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHHH!}}
Tech Support Cheat Sheet 2009-08-24 Narrator: Dear various parents, grandparents, co-workers, and other "not computer people." Narrator: We don't magically know how to do everything in every program. When we help you' we're usually just doing this: [[There is a flowchart there. Numbers are included to improve clarity, and do not appear in the original.]] Rectangle: Start. [[go to 1]] {{1. Diamond}} Find a menu item or button which looks related to what you want to do. [[I can't find one - go to 2]] [[ok - go to 3]] {{2. Diamond}} Pick one at random. [[I've tried them all - go to 4]] [[Ok - go to 3]] {{3. Rectangle}} Click it. [[go to 5]] {{4. Rectangle}} Google the name of the program plus a few words related to what you want to do. Follow any instructions. [[go to 5]] {{5. Diamond}} Did it work? [[Yes - go to 8]] [[No - go to 6]] {{6. Diamond}} Have you been trying this for over half an hour? [[Yes - go to 7]] [[No - go to 1]] {{7. Rectangle}} Ask someone for help or give up. [[End of flowchart]] {{8. Rectangle}} You're done! [[End of flowchart]] Narrator: Please print this flowchart out and tape it near your screen. Congratulations; you're now the local computer expert! {{Title text: 'Hey Megan, it's your father. How do I print out a flowchart?'}}
Psychic 2009-08-26 Man: I'm psychic, you know. Woman: There's no such thing. Man: Okay, think of a number from one to one hundred. Woman: Okay. Man: 43. Woman: Holy shit! Man: I try not to let it affect my life too much. Woman: Wait, I can't believe this. Man: Don't worry about it. Forget I said anything. Woman: But-- Man: Let's get to the movie. Woman: I, uh... Ok, sure. Narrator: This trick may only work 1% of the time, but when it does, it's totally worth it. {{Title text: You can do a lot better than 1% if you start keeping track of the patterns in what numbers people pick.}}
Skins 2009-08-28 [[Man is packing luggage.]] Voice: Where are you going? Man: Convention. Voice: What for? Man: Well, you know furries, right? Voice: Sure... [[Man closes suitcase.]] Man: We're furries whose animal identities have a thing for pretending to be humans. Voice: I see. [[A convention. People sit behind booths in the background.]] Man with glasses: How's the weather? Woman: Great! I've been driving my car and having a job all day! Man with glasses: Did you meow? Woman: Not once! {{Title text: There's Livejournal drama between those who want to wear human suits over fursuits and those who just take off the fursuits.}}
Time Travel 2009-08-31 Woman: I've traveled here from the year 1983 to say this: Woman: {{In italics}} Are there any bagels left? [[A man is eating something.]] Narrator: While it's technically true, I wish she'd stop prefacing every sentence with that. {{Title text: She also starts every letter with "Dear Future ".}}
Anatomy Text 2009-09-02 Plate 15: Female breast. [[There is a drawing of a breast, with 'breast', 'areola', and 'nipple' labeled.]] Plate 16: External female genitalia [[There is a picture of external female genitalia. 'labia majora', 'labia minora', 'clitoris', 'urethral opening', and 'vagina' are labeled.]] Voice #1: HEY! Plate 17: External male genitalia [[There is salt, ketchup, and mustard to one side.]] Voice #2: Shit! Voice #1: What the hell? You can't do that in here. Voice #2: Megan, get off the table! Voice #2: Grab the tripod! Plate 18: Erect Penis [[The picture appears to be at an angle.]] Voice #1: We're calling the cops! Voice #2: RUN! Voice #1: TGI Friday's is a family establishment! {{Title text: For many of the anatomy pictures on Wikipedia, I think this is actually not far from reality. They only look all formal and professional due to careful cropping.}}
Suspicion 2009-09-04 [[A man is sitting at a computer, typing.]] Man: I've loved our online chats these past few months, Lisa. Computer: Me too. I really like you, Rob. [[The man continues to type.]] Man: It's just... now and then you mention products you like, and... I worry. Computer: What? Honey... [[The man types.]] Man: Before this goes any further, I think we should go get tested. You know, together. Computer: You don't trust me? Man: I just want to be sure. [[A web browser is open.]] VK Couples Testing Test ID: 21871138 Waiting...Partner connected. ((A pair of CAPTCHA images)) [You] Library [Partner] Kittens Man: Okay, mine says "library". Yours? Computer: I... uh... Man: Oh god. Computer: I'm more than a spambot! Our love was real! Man: Goodbye, Lisa. {{Title text: Fine, walk away. I'm gonna go cry into a pint of Ben&Jerry's Brownie Batter(tm) ice cream [link], then take out my frustration on a variety of great flash games from PopCap Games(r) [link].}}
Blockbuster Mining 2009-09-07 Man: We've acquired some new rights, but I'm not sure it's in the spirit to make it a blockbuster -- Voice: Do it anyway. Take $100 million, hire Michael Bay. Man: But -- Voice: [[in italics]] NEXT! [[Panel is inverted, white on black background.]] Girl: They said if I were captured I should take my own life. Girl: But I'd just as soon take yours. [[Girl is pointing two handguns at two men with machine guns.]] <> [[Girl explodes off a cliff, carrying a rectangular object and a gun. In the background is a helicopter, some mountains, and the sea.]] [[Panel is inverted, white and red on black background. Man: Stop! I'll talk! Girl: No, I know everything, this is just for fun. [[Girl is holding a bloody pipe. Man is tied to a chair. There is blood pooling on the ground under the chair.]] [[Crosshairs follow a man.]] Girl: I'll be watching. [[The panel is inverted colour, white on black.]] Harriet the [[in red]] SPY [[A bloody spiral notebook, with blood streaks leading from it.]] {{Title text: The 2007 Bridge to Terebithia trailer put me off too much to see that particular movie, but I am cautiously optimistic about Where the Wild Things Are.}}
Date 2009-09-09 [[Two people are sitting at a table, with a candle-lit dinner. The man is holding up a sheet of paper, and the woman is scribbling.]] Man: Both my parents were colorblind, so... Woman: Hey, if we made more than two, we'd have a better-than-even chance of adorable red hair. Man: Ooh, and check this: green eyes! Narrator: Trivia: 30% of biologist first dates disintegrate into making Punnett squares. {{Title text: Well, the kid's definitely getting the biology geek phenotype.}}
Locke and Demosthenes 2009-09-10 [[Valentine is laying on her back on the ground. Peter is feeding a squirrel.]] Valentine: Ender's up there saving the world, but down here it's fallig apart politically. What can we do? Peter: I know -- we get on the nets and anonymously post political opinions. People reading our articles will see our intelligence, recognize how clear and logical our arguments are, and insist that we be put in charge, so we can fix everything! Valentine: Brilliant! [[The squirrel is vomiting.]] [[A blog.]] ((Header.)) LOCKE Powered by Wordpress ((Articles, partly scrolled down.)) [...] which is why we must reach out to the Russian leadership. Posted at 3:15AM by Locke Comments (0) ((In a larger font)) The Problem with China In recent months much has been made of [...] ((In a sidebar)) Recent posts: >> A few thoughts on... Comments (0) >> Russian Aggression... Comments (1) >> Trade policy and the... Comments (0) >> And one more thing... Comments (0) >> Everyone's wrong about... Comments (1) ((A list of links to other websites.)) Blogroll: >> Demosthenes >> FiveThirtyEight {{Title text: Dear Peter Wiggin: This letter is to inform you that you have received enough upvotes on your reddit comments to become president of the world. Please be at the UN tomorrow at 8:00 sharp.}}
Brontosaurus 2009-09-14 [[Two people are sitting at a bench. The woman is holding a turtle.]] Woman: Our love is like a turtle. [[The woman sets down the turtle and turns to her partner. They hold hands.]] Woman: Humble and simple, enduring by virtue of perfect design. Partner: Our love is like a brontosaurus. Partner: Recognized as a mistaken combination long ago, lingering only out of misplaced affection for an imagined past. {{Title text: Well, sex is like a velociraptor: despite your movie-fueled lifelong neurotic obsession, unlikely to be found in your house.}}
Scribblenauts 2009-09-16 ((In Scribblenauts word input format)) LARGE HADRON COLLIDER <> Woman: Wow, Scribblenauts even lets you summon the LHC. [[A man is sitting at a computer. The woman talks from off-panel.]] <> Woman: And it makes a black hole! This game rules. Man: I guess it's okay, for a DS kids game. ((In Scribblenauts word input format)) PRETENTIOUS ASSHOLE <> [[The woman looks up.]] Woman: Oh, hi! It worked! {{Title text: Let me look away and type 'guy who's just jealous that I beat all his MarioKart times' and turn back, and ... yup, there you are again!}}
The Search 2009-09-18 Ant: We've searched dozens of these floor tiles for several common types of pheromone trails. Ant: If there were intelligent life up there, we would have seen its messages by now. The world's first ant colony to achieve sentience calls off the search for us. {{Title text: I am so excited about the Kepler mission. This is the second most important thing our species has ever done, right behind inventing the concept of delivery pizza.}}
Lincoln-Douglas 2009-09-21 [[Lincoln stands before an audience.]] Heckler: Oh yeah? Well, fourscore and seven years ago your MOM brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal! Narrator: After his 1860 loss to Lincoln, Stephen Douglas's famed debating skills entered a rapid decline. {{Title text: Stephen Douglas actually died soon after the debates and election, but if you demand historical accuracy in your webcomics you should be reading Hark! A Vagrant.}}
Tornado Hunter 2009-09-23 [[Two people are in a car, which is driving past a cactus. The passenger has a pith helmet and a mustache.]] Driver: The tornado's three miles west, moving northeast at 15 mph. Passenger: Go right; get ahead of it. [[A tornado is visible. The passenger pulls out a gun, and stands up in the car.]] Passenger: Okay, we're in range! Stop here! [[The passenger fires a gun at the tornado.]] <> Tornado: AUGH! Passenger: Big one! Must be an F-3! Driver: I'm not sure we're doing this right. Passenger: Help me mount it on the hood. [[The passenger is holding the tornado by its tail.]] {{Title text: The Fujita Scale was replaced by the Enhanced Fujita Scale in 2007, but I think 'EF-5' sounds stupid, so I vote we just use the new measurements for assigning numbers but still call them 'F-whatever'.}}
Free 2009-09-25 [[A shelf holds 3 boxes of cereal. Each box shows a bowl of cereal.]] GenCo Oat Cereal StayPuft Oat Cereal RedFarm Oat Cereal ((with additional text in a star)) Asbestos-free! Narrator: I hate whatever marketer first realized you could do this. {{Title text: Asbestos is bad; definitely get the one on the right. Wait -- this one over here has no swine flu! Now I can't decide.}}
Creepy 2009-09-28 [[Two people are sitting on chairs.]] Man: Hey, cute netbook. Woman: What. Man: Your laptop. I just -- Woman: No, why are you talking to me. Woman: Who do you think you are? If I were even slightly interested, I'd have shown it. Woman: Hey everyone, this dude's hitting on me. Voice #1: Haha Voice #2: Creepy Voice #3: Let's get his picture for Facebook to warn others. ((This panel fades into a thought bubble of the actual man.)) [[The girl is typing on her laptop.]] Dear blog, Cute boy on train still ignoring me. {{Title text: And I even got out my adorable new netbook!}}
Ohm 2009-09-30 [[A man is holding another by the shoulders.]] Sitting man: Remember: With great power comes great current squared times resistance. Narrator: Ohm never forgot his dying uncle's advice. {{Title text: More generally, with great power comes great dEnergy dt.}}
Surgery 2009-10-02 [[A surgeon is standing over a patient on a gurney.]] Patient: While you're doing the surgery, can you also implant this in my arm? Surgeon: A USB port? Man: Just wire it up to some nerves. Surgeon: ... This won't let your brain control USB devices, you know. Man: Sure -- I just want the hardware. Man: The rest is software; I'm sure there will be a project to patch together support eventually. Surgeon: Ah -- you're a Linux user, I see. Man: Yeah, how'd you know? {{Title text: Damn. Not only did he not install it, he sutured a 'Vista-Ready' sticker onto my arm.}}
RPS 2009-10-05 [[A sausage is sitting to the right of an empty bun.]] Reverse Polish Sausage. {{Title text: It looks good, but it needs more postfixins.}}
Conversations 2009-10-07 [[A graph plots time vs. 3 lines.]] [[Dysentery cases starts high, drops to near zero with time.]] [[Laptop sales starts at zero, then raises.]] [[Frequency of conversations in which one participant is on the toilet - falls as dysentery cases falls, then rises again with laptop sales.]] {{Title text: If the dysentery graph looks historically inaccurate it's because I got all my data from Oregon Trail.}}
Scary 2009-10-09 [[Rob and his nephew are sitting on the ground. Rob is holding a flashlight up to his face.]] Rob: But they NEVER FOUND THE GHOST'S HEAD! Nephew: Lame story, Uncle Rob. Rob: And you could do scarier? Nephew: Sure. Rob: Try me. Nephew: 9 11 happened before I was born, yet I'm old enoguh to have this conversation with you. [[Rob has dropped the flashlight.]] [[Rob has curled up and wrapped his arms around himself.]] {{Title text: I'm teaching every 8-year-old relative to say this, and every 14-year-old to do the same thing with Toy Story. Also, Pokemon hit the US over a decade ago and kids born after Aladdin came out will turn 18 next year.}}
Fall Foliage 2009-10-12 [[A man and woman are standing on a cliff overlooking a forest of gorgeous orange foliage. She's holding up a camera, and he has the case.]] Man: Instead of driving all this way, we could've just taken our summer pictures and messed with the "hue" slider in Photoshop." Woman: Hush. Camera: <> {{Title text: And I could replace you with older pictures of you, from back when you looked happy.}}
Static 2009-10-14 [[It's dark. There are only the voices of a man and his lover.]] Lover: Hang on, I can't see--did you put on a condom? Man: It's okay. I've got a wrist thing on. Lover: A what? Let me see that. <> Lover: This is an anti-static strap. Man: You mean it doesn't ... Lover: No. Why would you even THINK that? Man: I guess I was mixed up. Man: Wait, so when I was replacing that RAM last week ... Lover: Yeah, I THOUGHT that was weird. Man: Oh, but it explains why the geek squad fired me. {{Title text: I firmly believe that nothing can go wrong on a project if you're wearing one of those wrist things.}}
Nowhere 2009-10-16 [[A woman is sitting on a couch with a man lying in her lap.]] Man: There's nowhere I'd rather be Man: than with you Man: here Man: right now. [[Silence.]] [[The woman is imagining herself riding an apatosaurus.]] {{Title text: I mean, seriously, NOWHERE? For starters, there are like a thousand species of dinosaur.}}
Bag Check 2009-10-19 [[A man and woman are at a security checkpoint in an airport. A guard is holding an open backpack and a bottle of water, and the man is arguing with him.]] Man: But if you're worried about bombs, why are you letting me keep my laptop batteries? If I overvolted them and breached the cells, it would make a sizeable explosion. Woman: Oh god. Man: It's okay, dear. In a moment he'll realize I have a good point and return my water. {{Title text: A laptop battery contains roughly the stored energy of a hand grenade, and if shorted it ... hey! You can't arrest me if I prove your rules inconsistent!}}
More Accurate 2009-10-21 [[A man with a shotgun approaches a woman.]] Man: Sarah! Come with me if you want to live! A robot assassin has been sent here to kill you! [[The woman holds her hands over her mouth.]] Man: I'm here to save you. I may not be as strong or fast as a machine, but I'll fight to keep you -- [[There's a huge orange and yellow explosion. The two are disintegrated.]] <> [[A flying robot assassin is above the bomb site.]] {{Title text: We live in a world where there are actual fleets of robot assassins patrolling the skies. At some point there, we left the present and entered the future.}}
So Bad It's Worse 2009-10-23 Protip: Even at "Bad Movie Night," avoid the Star Wars holiday special. [[A graph plots movie enjoyability against movie quality. It drops steadily through points marked "Good Movie" to "Okay Movie" to "Bad Movie," rises up again for "So-Bad-It's-Good (Plan 9, Rocky Horror, etc)," and then drops off the bottom of a graph with an arrow pointing to where "Star Wars Holiday Special" would be. There are three mini-panels below the graph, arranged from "Good" to "Bad" along the movie quality axis.]] [[Three friends are on a couch, drinking and gesticulating enthusiastically.]] [[The same three are sitting quietly, with a bottle on the floor.]] [[The three are sitting around a table, drinking and looking miserable.]] {{Title text: You think it's so legendarily bad that you'll torrent it and sit through it just for the kitschy nerd cred. I, too, once thought as you did.}}
Nachos 2009-10-26 [[A man is on the phone with a woman, who's on her computer in the other half of a split panel.]] Man: Hello? ... Oh, hey. Looking for Megan? She's gaming. Woman: I know. You know what's delicious? Nachos. [[The woman clicks on her computer while talking.]] Woman: When you layer the cheese so it gets on every chip ... then smother them in sour cream and salsa ... Man: Mm, that IS delicious. And I've got the ingredients, too! Woman, on phone: You should make some! Man: I will! Woman, on phone: Hurry. [[The man is making nachos in the microwave.]] Microwave: <> <> <> Megan, at her computer: My wifi signal! [[The woman who called is at her computer.]] Computer: Boom! Headshot. {{Title text: 'Cheater!' 'Hey, gaming on wifi? You have only yourself to blame.'}}
Climbing 2009-10-28 [[A man is apparently ascending a climbing wall.]] [[We see him again in silhouette, as well as the edge of another person standing at a ninety degree angle to him with her feet on the wall above him.]] [[The "climber" stops and looks up at the woman, who is standing on the "vertical" wall, looking at him.]] Woman: Your facebook rock climbing pictures just got a lot less impressive. {{Title text: Where did you even get this wall? Return it there and stand it back up right now.}}
October 30th 2009-10-30 [[A kid dressed up in a lab coat and goggles is standing on a neighbor's doorstep.]] Kid: Trick or treat! Neighbor: Nice Doc Brown costume, but today's October 30th. Kid: Great Scott, I must have overshot! {{Title text: Not enough houses on your block? Just hit them at 30-year intervals from here to 2300 and get 10x the candy.}}
Movie Narrative Charts 2009-11-02 These charts show movie character interactions. The horizontal axis is time. The vertical grouping of the lines indicates which characters are together at a given time. [[Lord of the Rings. A mass of colored lines weaves back and forth across the chart, representing various characters. Sauron is represented by a huge black bar at the bottom with branches for nazgul, orcs, etc. Major locations (Moria) and plot points (the breaking of the fellowship) are marked. Gandalf, especially at the beginning, jumps all over the map in a short time. Eagles appear and then disappear a couple of times. Treebeard's line is flat except for the march to Isengard. At the end, the ship to the West drifts off into a corner.]] [[Star Wars (original trilogy). This chart is simpler. Luke, mostly accompanied by R2-D2, joins and parts from other sets of characters. There's a dotted alternative path on Jabba's line for the special edition. Yoda appears about halfway through (where Luke's Jedi training is marked). All the surviving lines group up at Endor except for Vader, the Emperor, Luke, and Lando; after the climactic duel, the latter two join the rest.]] [[Jurassic Park. The human characters are in black; dinosaurs are in red. Dilophosaurus appears briefly to eat Nedry and then fades out again. The three raptors are together at the beginning, but split up about halfway through. One has a dotted portion of line between "locked up" and "escapes." In the meantime, they cut off the lines of Arnold and Muldoon. The raptor lines all end when t-rex's swoops down to meet them at the end, and all the surviving humans leave together.]] [[12 Angry Men. The lines are labeled Juror 1 through Juror 12. They are all perfectly horizontal and parallel.]] [[Primer. Three lines start on the left labeled Abe, Aaron, and Granger. They enter a mass of scribbling. Somewhere vaguely towards the end, three lines emerge and fade out, all labeled with question marks.]] {{Title text: In the LotR map, up and down correspond LOOSELY to northwest and southeast respectively.}}
Orbitals 2009-11-04 [[A person is holding up a pointer in front of a diagram of a dorm apartment. On the diagram, there are two connected pairs of dots in each bedroom, and one dot on the couch.]] Person: Thus, one all the dorm bedrooms are occupied by romantic pairs, additional roommates are forced into less restful "living room couch" orbitals. The Pauli Sexclusion Principle {{Title text: Except the people filtering in late are the partiers, so you end up with drunkn makeouts in the living room and the next roommate to return home has to sleep in the hall lounge orbital.}}
Lego 2009-11-06 [[A girl and her father are putting away Lego bricks.]] Father: When you take apart a Lego house and mix the pieces into the bin, where does the house go? Girl: It's in the bin. Father: No, those are just pieces. They could become spaceships or trains. The house was an arrangement. The arrangement doesn't stay with the pieces and it doesn't go anywhere else. It's just gone. [[The girl, older, is standing at a desk. She's holding a couple of Lego bricks.]] [[The girl looks at the bricks.]] [[She checks off a box next to the words "Organ Donor" on something on the desk.]] {{Title text: Dad, where is Grandpa right now?}}
Sympathy 2009-11-09 [[A bereaved person and his friend are talking.]] Bereaved: The moment my brother died, I felt a searing pain in my heart. Right: Friend: I'm so sorry. Wrong: Friend: Was it instant, or was there a speed-of-light delay? Very Wrong: Friend: If it was instant, with the right arrangement of moving reference frames, we could use this to send signals back in time and violate causality! How many remaining siblings do you have? {{Title text: Excellent recovery: ... which we could try to use to somehow save your original brother!}}
Two-Party System 2009-11-11 [[A girl stands at a podium, giving a speech.]] Girl: And if I'm elected, I'll try to fix some of these problems. Boy, off-panel: Yeah, right! [[A boy in the audience is standing on his chair.]] Boy: The REAL problem is the corporate-run two party system. Until we fix THAT, we'll have no real change! Girl: Billy, I'm running for class president. We don't even have political parties. Boy: That's because the two-praty, uh ... estab ... uh. Girl: Billy, did you learn about politics from the internet? Boy: I thought that one reply was all I ever needed! {{Title text: I favor approval voting or IRV chiefly because they mean we might get to bring back The Bull Moose party.}}
iPhone or Droid 2009-11-13 [[A woman sitting at her computer is talking to a man standing behind her.]] Woman: Well, it depends what you want. The iPhone wins on speed and polish, but the Droid has that gorgeous screen and physical keyboard. Man: What if I want something more than the pale facsimile of fulfillment brought by a parade of ever-fancier toys? To spend my life restlessly producing instead of sedately consuming? Man: Is there an app for THAT? Woman: Yeah, on both. Woman: Wait, no, looks lke it was rejected from the iPhone store. Man: Droid it is, then. {{Title text: It may be a fundamentally empty experience, but holy crap the Droid's 265 ppi screen is amazing.}}
Sagan-Man 2009-11-16 Bitten by a radioactive Carl Sagan in 1995, Sagan-Man possesses the powers and abilities of Carl Sagan. Victim, off-panel: Help! Thief! [[Sagan-Man spins around. A blue cape appears on his back.]] [[Sagan-Man runs towards the direction of the shout.]] [[He encounters the thief, holding a purse.]] Sagan-Man: Hey, you! Thief: What? Sagan-Man: Do you realize just how crazy it is that we've BEEN TO THE MOON? {{Title text: They laugh now, but within 10 years the city's entire criminal class will have quit to work on space research.}}
Academia vs. Business 2009-11-18 [[A programmer sits at a desk in front of a computer. There are cans on the desk and more crushed ones on the floor.]] Programmer: I just wrote the most beautiful code of my life. Programmer: They casually handed me an impossible problem. In 48 hours and 200 lines, I SOLVED it. ((Lines divide the comic into two possible end panels here, labeled "Academia" and "Business.")) [[Academia]] Professor: My god ... this will mean a half-dozen papers, a thesis or two, and a paragraph in every textbook on queueing theory! [[Business]] Boss: You got the program to stop jamming up? Great. While you're fixing stuff, can you get Outlook to sync with our new phones? {{Title text: Some engineer out there has solved P=NP and it's locked up in an electric eggbeater calibration routine. For every 0x5f375a86 we learn about, there are thousands we never see.}}
Prudence 2009-11-20 [[A girl is running towards a closed wardrobe.]] Someone off-panel: Everyone hide! 99 ... 98 ... 97 ... [[The girl opens the wardrobe.]] Wardrobe: <> Girl, looking inside: !!! [[The girl looks thoughtful.]] [[The girl walks away.]] [[The girl returns with an armful of electronics.]] [[The girl is kneeling, typing on a laptop, which has a cord extending into the wardrobe.]] [[A robotic probe is approaching Mr. Tumnus, the faun, under the lamppost in narnia.]] {{Title text: Moments later, the White Witch rolls up and, confused, tries to tempt the probe with a firmware upgrade.}}
Silent Hammer 2009-11-23 [[Hat guy is hammering something on a table.]] Guy: What-- Hat Guy: Silent hammer. I've made a set of silent tools. Guy: Why? Hammer: <> Hat Guy: Stealth carpentry. Breaking into a house at night and moving windows, adjusting walls, etc. [[He takes his silent hammer over to a tool bench with other things on it. Two boxes underneath are labeled "Drills" and "Non-Drills."]] Hat Guy, narrating: After a week or so of questioning his own sanity, the owner will stay up to watch the house at night. I'll make scratching noises in the walls, pipe in knockout gas, move him up to his bed, and never bother him again. [[The events he's describing are shown in two mini-panels below.]] Guy, off-panel: Nice prank, I guess, but what's the point? Hat Guy: Check out the owner's card, on the table. Guy, off-panel: Chair of the American Skeptics Society? Oh, god. Hat guy: Yeah, this doesn't end well for him. {{Title text: I bet he'll keep quiet for a couple weeks and then-- wait, did you nail a piece of scrap wood to my antique table a moment ago?}}
SkiFree 2009-11-25 [[We see a screenshot of SkiFree, with the abominable snowman running towards the player]] [[A girl is sitting at her computer.]] Girl: (thinking) I've always thought of the SkiFree monster as a metaphor for the inevitability of death. [[Her friend comes up behind her.]] Friend: SkiFree, huh? You know, you can press "F" to go faster than the monster and escape. [[The screenshot again. The player is zooming away from the monster.]] [[The girl sits at her computer in silence.]] {{Title text: And from that day on, I wore this little 'F' key pendant everywhere I went.}}
Pandora 2009-11-27 [[There is a venn diagram of two circles. The left circle is labeled "Music You Like." The right circle is labeled "Deeply Embarrassing Music." The segment on the left is labeled "What Pandora Plays," and the intersection is labeled "What Pandora Plays If Anyone Is Around."]] {{Title text: What? Oh, no, the 'Enchanted' soundtrack was just playing because Pandora's algorithms are terrible. [silence] ... (quietly) That's how you knooooooow ...}}
Experiment 2009-11-30 [[Darkness.]] [[Someone is standing next to a laptop, looking groggy.]] Person: Ugh ... Person: What happened? Person: Where am I? <> Person: Help! Someone help me-- [[His speech fades out into nothing.]] [[He holds his hands to his mouth.]] [[He looks shocked.]] [[He tries to run, but has no traction against the ground.]] [[He falls over.]] [[He lies prone.]] [[Hat guy and hat girl are watching this scene from outside the room. He is holding a clipboard.]] Hat Guy: Huh. Looks like physics professors don't like working in frictionless vacuums after all. Hat Girl: They're such liars. {{Title text: The other two are still lost on the infinite plane of uniform density.}}
Spinal Tap Amps 2009-12-02 [[Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap is showing off his amplifier to a person, who varies.]] Nigel: These amps go to 11. Person: Is that louder? Nigel: It's one louder. Normal Person: Normal Person: Why not make 10 louder and make 10 the highest? Engineer: Engineer: But 11 doesn't have any units. It's an arbitrary scale mapping otuputs-- Nigel: Zzzz Smart Engineer: Smart Engineer: For $2,000 I'll build you one that goes to 12. {{Title text: Wow, that's less than $200 per ... uh ... that's a good deal!}}
Stephen and Me 2009-12-04 [[Beret Guy is speaking into a mic in front of a sign that says Volvo Cars. A woman is filming him, and another is walking by with a briefcase.]] Beret Guy: I'm documenting my quest to meet with the CEO of Volvo. Businesswoman: Get lost. [[Security guards are attempting to restrain Beret Guy and the camerawoman.]] Beret Guy: Wait! I've come so far! Just let me see him! [[They've reached the CEO's desk, which has the Volvo logo on it.]] CEO: All right, you've reached me. What is it you want to talk about? Beret Guy: Do you realize how much your company's name sounds like "vulva"? CEO: Security? {{Title text: Hey, let go! We were all thinking it! Someone had to speak truth to power!}}
Suggestions 2009-12-07 [[A man is sitting at his computer. Facebook sidebar messages appear on the top of each panel, with a user photo and a few lines of text.]] Facebook: Susie Reconnect with her (phone icon) Send her a text Man: Come on, Facebook. I know I shouldn't. Facebook: Susie She'd come over (bed icon) You don't have to fall asleep alone. Man: It's been so hard to stop. But she's falling for me, and I can't keep getting her hopes up like this. Facebook: Susie Life is complicated (icon of stick figures embracing) She's so warm against you. You both want it. Man: (pulling out phone) Maybe if I just make it clear it's not going to be a thing ... Man: Yeah, we'll just have a talk. Facebook: Susie Oh yeah. Mmm ... (webcam icon) Leave your webcam on so I can watch. Man: Okay, this feature is getting creepier and creepier. {{Title text: An hour later: SUGGESTION: LICK HER NIPPLE MORE.}}
The Sun 2009-12-09 Coming this March from the makers of The Core ... [[A woman is looking through a telescope in an observatory. Two men are nearby.]] Woman: The sun's fusion is failing! Man 1: (small) Does that make sense? Man 2: (small) Whatever. Woman: If we don't send a ship to restart it, it could go out completely! Man 1: Call NASA! Man 2: (on the phone) Assemble our hottest astronauts. [[Four astronauts stand at the other end of the phone. The one holding the handset has the helmet of a space suit under his arm.]] Astronaut: The earth bathed in eternal darkness? A night without a dawn? Not on my watch! Astronaut: Saddle up. [[The four astronauts are shown in silhouette on gray, casting huge shadows towards the bottom of the panel from the sun in the center.]] It's DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME. (caption) Never fall back. {{Title text: Obligatory bad guy: This operation is sheer foolishness, and it's not happening on my watch! Mainly because I can't figure out how to adjust the time.}}
Natural Parenting 2009-12-11 [[A man and woman are standing with a baby in between them.]] Man: Oh man, we made a baby. Woman: Don't panic. Don't panic. Baby: Baby! Man: Parenting can't be that hard. Let's just do what comes naturally. [[Beat frame.]] Soon: [[There are now two babies in between them.]] Woman: Aw, crap. {{Title text: On one hand, every single one of my ancestors going back billions of years has managed to figured it out. On the other hand, that's the mother of all sampling biases.}}
Revolutionary 2009-12-14 Person: Yes, science is an open process in which a good idea can come from anybody. Person: Yes, widely-believed theories are on occasion overturned by simple thought experiments. Person: And yes, your philosophy degree equips you to ask interesting questions sometimes. [[The person is talking to a philosopher with a goatee, who is sitting at a computer.]] Person: But you did not just overturn special relativity, a subject you learned about an hour ago, with your "racecar on a train" idea. Philosopher: You just don't like that I'm turning a rational eye to your dogma. Hey, what's the email for the president of physics? {{Title text: I mean, what's more likely -- that I have uncovered fundamental flaws in this field that no one in it has ever thought about, or that I need to read a little more? Hint: it's the one that involves less work.}}
Abstraction 2009-12-16 [[A person is sitting at a computer.]] An x64 processor is screaming along at billions of cycles per second to run the XNU kernel, which is frantically working through all the POSIX-specified abstraction to create the Darwin system underlying OS X, which in turn is straining itself to run Firefox and its Gecko renderer, which creates a Flash object which renders dozens of video frames every second because I wanted to see a cat jump into a box and fall over. I am a god. {{Title text: If I'm such a god, why isn't Maru *my* cat?}}
Asshole 2009-12-18 [[A couple watches Beret Guy drive by in an SUV.]] Man: Look at that asshole in his SUV, thinking he's so badass while he guzzles gas driving around suburbia. Beret Guy: Oh no! Am I an asshole? I hope not. [[Beret Guy trades in his keys at the dealership.]] [[Now he is driving by in a hybrid sedan.]] Man: Look at that smug asshole thinking he's better than us because he drives a hybrid. Beret Guy: ... [[He trades in his keys again.]] [[The couple is standing.]] Off-panel: <> [[Beret Guy drives a backhoe in and smacks the couple out of the panel with the digger.]] [[He drives off, whistling.]] {{Title text: [Shortly thereafter, at a nearby bakery] ::CRASH:: ::RUMBLE:: ::VRRRRRR:: '... I don't know, officer. It just scooped up an entire rack of scones and drove away!'}}
Researcher Translation 2009-12-21 ((A table showing two columns. The left column is labeled "If a researcher says a cool new technology should be available to consumers in...", and the right column is labeled "What they mean is...")) [[The fourth quarter of next year - The project will be canceled in six months.]] [[Five years - I've solved the interesting research problems. The rest is just business, which is easy, right?]] [[Ten years - We haven't finished inventing it yet, but when we do, it'll be awesome.]] [[25+ years - It has not been conclusively proven impossible.]] [[We're not really looking at market applications right now. - I like being the only one with a hovercar.]] {{Title text: A technology that is '20 years away' will be 20 years away indefinitely.}}
Christmas Plans 2009-12-23 [[Character A is standing behind Character B, who is sitting at a computer.]] Character A: Hey, will you be in town the day after Christmas? Character B: Couldn't say - I'm Jewish. Character A: But.. how does being Jewish keep you from knowing your plans? Character B: I know my plans - I just don't know when Christmas is. Character A: Really? Why not look it up? Character B: Well, I'm also a physicist. Character A: So? Character B: I believe that since I don't observe Christmas, it can't have a definite date. {{Title text: Physicists who want to protect traditional Christmas realize that the only way to keep from changing Christmas is not to observe it.}}
December 25th 2009-12-25 [[On one side, a family of four gathered around a Christmas tree, the daughter and son looking excitedly at the presents under the tree; on the other, a character wearing a party hat, sitting dejectedly before a birthday cake. The panel edges are decorated with holly and a wreath.]] Happy Birthday to those of you born on the 25th! Sorry you get kinda shafted by the overlap with Christmas. {{Title text: If you're turning 27 and were born in the Northeast, maybe you were conceived in the blizzard of 1982. Imagine: snowed in, candles, massage oil, your mom sporting nothing but her early 80's haircut and a smile ... aren't you glad you read the title-text?}}
Gravity Wells 2009-12-28 ((A schematic of the depths of the gravity wells of each planet in the solar system and several moons. At extreme left, an arrow pointing down and to the left, labeled "To Sun, very very far down". From left to right the gravity wells depicted are: Mercury; Venus; Earth, 5,478 km; Moon, 288 km; Mars, 1,286 km; Ganymede; Io; Jupiter; Europa; Titan, with two small bumps captioned "WEEOOOEEOOOEEEOOO"; Saturn, with its rings depicted as various-colored horizontal bands; Uranus; and Neptune, with a figure exclaiming, "An even more glorious dawn awaits!" Inset below Earth, the Moon, and Mars are three panels depicting Mars', Deimos's, and Phobos's gravity wells. The Mars inset shows Mars' gravity well, 1,286 km deep, in relation to its moons, Deimos and Phobos, and a NASA Mars Exploration Rover. The Deimos inset shows Deimos' gravity well and a person, labeled "to scale"; the gravity well is approximately two thirds the height of the person, and the caption reads, "You could escape Deimos with a bike and a ramp." The Phobos inset is similar, except that the gravity well is approximately three times the height of the person included for scale, and reads, "A thrown baseball could escape Phobos." To the right of Jupiter's gravity well is a diagram of a well. The height of the well is labeled "very deep"; at the bottom is a figure labeled "your mom"; and three figures, labeled "local football team", are shown falling in head first. Beneath that, the text reads, "Jupiter is not much larger than Saturn, but much more massive. At its size, adding more mass just makes it denser due to the extra squeezing of gravity. If you dropped a few dozen more Jupiters into it, the pressure would ignite fusion and make it a star." At the right of the panel is an inset diagram detailing Earth's gravity well, which is labeled as being 6,379 km deep. Also depicted are the altitudes of low Earth orbit, the ISS, the Space Shuttle, GPS satellites, geosynchronous orbit, and the Moon's gravity well, 288 km deep. A figure standing on the Earth's "surface" says, "This is why it took a huge rocket to get to the moon, but only a small one to get back." Beneath that, the text, "It takes the same amount of energy to launch something on an escape trajectory away from Earth as it would to launch it 6,000 km upward under constant 9.81 m s² Earth gravity. Hence, Earth's well is 6,000 km deep." )) Gravity wells, scaled to Earth surface gravity This chart shows the 'depth' of various solar system gravity wells. Each well is scaled such that rising out of a physical well of that depth -- in constant Earth surface gravity -- would take the same energy as escaping from that planet's gravity in reality. Each planet is shown cut in half at the bottom of its well, with the depth of the well measured down to the planet's _flat_ surface. The planet sizes are to the same scale as the wells. Interplanetary distances are not to scale. Depth = (G x PlanetMass) (g x PlanetRadius) G = Newton's constant g = 9.81 meters per second squared {{Title text: This doesn't take into account the energy imparted by orbital motion (or gravity assists or the Oberth effect), all of which can make it easier to reach outer planets.}}
Force 2009-12-30 [[Two EMTs are rushing Darth Vader away from a front door on a stretcher.]] [[There is a room with a desk in the foreground and a full-length mirror in the corner. On the desk is a laptop displaying the Wikipedia page for autoerotic asphyxiation.]] {{Title text: Force-choking the chicken.}}
Science Montage 2010-01-01 Movie Science Montage [[One scientist passes a test tube to another, who's sitting at a machine. They're both wearing lab coats and goggles. Lights and screens are shining, and there's a hamster ball and a Newton's cradle on a shelf behind them.]] [[There's a glowing sample next to a rat in a cage. One of the scientists is holding a glowing implement; she has another rat in her hand and one on her head. The other scientist is on the phone.]] Caged Rat: Squeak! [[One of the scientists pulls levers on another machine, which is shooting some kind of ray downwards a a sample.]] [[The other scientist is operating a machine with a scope, flasks, coils, and bubbles.]] Scientist (in panel): Paint flecks from the killer's clothing match an antimatter factory in Belgrade! Scientist (off panel): Let's go! Actual Science Montage [[Two scientists in lab coats and goggles place a sample into a machine. There's a clock on the wall.]] [[Time has passed.]] Machine: <<...whirrrrrr...>> [[Time has passed. One of the scientists has removed his goggles.]] Machine: <<...whirrrr...bing!>> [[They examine the sample.]] Male Scientist: Okay, we've determined there's neither barium nor radium in this sample. Female Scientist: Probably. {{Title text: The rat's perturbed; it must sense nanobots! Code grey! We have a Helvetica scenario!}}
We Get It 2010-01-04 [[Two people are talking.]] Person 1: Avatar? Yeah, I saw it last week with ... [[Person 1 walks out of the panel.]] [[Person 1 returns with a ladder.]] [[Person 1 stands on top of the ladder, shouting through a megaphone.]] Person 1: ... MY GIRLFRIEND. Person 2: You know, if this phase of your relationship lasts more than a week, I'm legally allowed to stab you both. Person 1: What phase? Person 1: So, did I mention I'm seeing someone? {{Title text: The most brutal way I've ever seen someone handle this was 'Oh, you have a girlfriend. Are you going to get married?' 'I, uh, don't know--' 'Well, do you love her?' '...' 'Anyway, what were you saying about the movie?'}}
G-Spot 2010-01-06 A study published in the journal of sexual medicine suggests that the g-spot may not actually exist. We go live to the researchers' press conference: [[Reporters stand below a researcher at a podium.]] Reporter: Is it true you've been unable to find evidence that the g-spot exists? Researcher: My research is in solar cells. I think you have the wrong press conference. [[Pause]] Researcher: But ... yes. {{Title text: The BBC lead was 'The elusive erogenous zone said to exist in some women may be a myth, say researchers who have hunted for it.' I couldn't read it with a straight face.}}
Admin Mourning 2010-01-08 [[The text is over a white-on-black terminal showing a bit of output from ps -el, with processes running from root and sam.]] When a user dies, their connections time out, but their screen sessions linger. [[The end of the command line is a |grep sam.]] The server's uptime grows because you can't bring yourself to reboot and wipe out their last earthly presence [[The processes listed are screen, zsh, irssi, and grep sam.]] the ghost in zshell. {{Title text: And every day it gets harder to fight the urge to su to the user and freak people out.}}
Dimensional Analysis 2010-01-11 [[On a blackboard.]] (Plank energy Pressure at the Earth's core) x (Prius combined EPA gas mileage Minimum width of the English Channel) = pi [[A teacher indicates this equation with a pointer in front of a class.]] Teacher: It's correct to within experimental error, and the units check out. It must be a fundamental law. Student: But what if they build a better Prius? Teacher (italic): Then England will drift out to sea. {{Title text: Or the pressure at the Earth's core will rise slightly.}}
Self-Description 2010-01-13 [[There is a pie chart, mostly white with a black slice. The white is labeled "Fraction of this image which is white." The black is labeled "Fraction of this image which is black."]] [[There is a bar graph labeled "Amount of black ink by panel." Bar 1 is medium height, Bar 2 higher, Bar 3 lowest.]] [[There is a scatterplot labeled "Location of black ink in this image." It is the positive quarter of a coordinate grid with the zeroes marked. The graph is, of course, the whole comic scaled to fit the axes, including a smaller version of itself in the last panel, etc.]] {{Title text: The contents of any one panel are dependent on the contents of every panel including itself. The graph of panel dependencies is complete and bidirectional, and each node has a loop. The mouseover text has two hundred and forty-two characters.}}
FIRST Design 2010-01-15 Team Member 1 (out of panel): Wow, this is a much better design. Team Member 2 (out of panel): Let's build it. [[A blue print depicting a robot design for the FIRST competition. It consists of a standard mobile platform, with a pusher blade at the front. Additional parts include an umbrella on top and a trailer unit consisting a telescoping pole with a matchbox and match on top.]] Referee (out of panel): Go! <> [[A FIRST competition field, with teams at opposite ends. Various robots appear on the field, and the team whose design appears above activates their robot.]] [[The robot's trailer unit detaches as the telescoping pole begins to extend, and the mobile platform with umbrella rolls forward.]] <> <> [[Telescoping pole extends further.]] <> [[Telescoping pole extends further.]] <> [[Telescoping pole extends further, approaching a sprinkler head fixture.]] <> [[Telescoping pole stops extending, placing the matchbox and match very near the sprinkler head fixture.]] [[The mobile platform stops moving.]] [[The umbrella deploys, extending beyond the dimensions of the mobile platform.]] <> [[The match box and match are lit beneath the sprinkler head.]] <> [[The heat from the match triggers the sprinkler's valve, and water sprays out of the sprinkler into the room below.]] <> [[Water pours from the sprinkler onto the competition field, causing the electrical components of the opposing team's robotics platform to short and malfunction. The opposing team appears distressed and confused.]] <> <> [[The initial robot, still protected by its umbrella, pushes along the balls toward the goal zone without any difficulty.]] {{Title text: Pool on the roof must've sprung a leak.}}
Semicontrolled Demolition 2010-01-18 [[A person is holding up a pointer to a screen with an image of the World Trade Center towers mid-disaster.]] Person: Based on my analysis, I believe the government faked the plane crash and demolished the WTC north tower with explosives. Person: The south tower, in a simultaneous but unrelated plot, was brought down by actual terrorists. The 9 11 truthers responded poorly to my compromise theory. {{Title text: I believe the truth always lies halfway between the most extreme claims.}}
MicroSD 2010-01-20 [[Two figures approach a table]] Figure 1: Hey, what's up? Figure 2: Shhhhh. Figure 1: Hrm? Figure 2: There's a microSD card on your table. [[A microSD card sits next to an assortment of coins for size reference.]] Figure 1 (out of panel): So? Figure 2 (out of panel): I dunno, high storage densities freak me out. A whole aisle of library shelves on something smaller than a dime. [[The two figures stand near the table, the second figure peering at the coins and card on the table.]] Figure 2: Libraries are unnerving enough--millions of ideas surrounding you, towering over you. These cards fill me with that same reverence, that same intimidation. [[The first figure stands alone]] Figure 2 (out of panel): ...that same faint arousal. Maybe I'll just touch it. Figure 1: If you lose that card I'm _NOT_ helping you find it. {{Title text: That card holds a refrigerator carton's worth of floppy discs, and a soda can full of those cards could hold the entire iTunes store's music library. Mmmm.}}
Dirty Harry 2010-01-22 [[Detective "Dirty" Harry Callahan stands near a wall, pointing a revolver at another figure, presumably a suspect, reclined on the ground. A shotgun is on the ground next to the reclined figure.]] Harry Callahan: I know what you're thinking--"Did he fire six shots or only five?" In all this excitement, I-- Suspect: Six. Definitely six. Harry Callahan: Shit. Dirty Harry Meets Rain Man {{Title text: Sci-fi has energy weapons because otherwise the people like me who watch it get distracted counting shots.}}
Children's Fantasy 2010-01-25 [[Kid is sitting on the ground with his chin in his hand.]] Kid: I'm such a loser-- <> [[Princess sticks her head through a portal.]] Princess: Come quickly, young one! Kid: Holy crap, a portal! Princess: My kingdom needs you! [[He falls through.]] Kid: AAAAAA [[We see him on horseback, helmeted wielding a sword. There's a castle on the horizon and two moons in the sky.]] [[Kid, with helmet and sword, stands before King, Princess, and another warrior. Princess is holding out a ring.]] King: You've saved our kingdom and found your self-confidence. Now it's time to return home. Goodbye, young hero! Princess: Take this ring to remember us! [[Kid stands alone, holding the ring.]] Kid: Well, I guess I spend the rest of my life pretending that didn't happen or knowing that everyone I love suspects I'm crazy. Kid: This'll be a fun 70 years. {{Title text: I was going to be a scientist, but that seems silly now. Magical worlds exist. I've learned a huge truth about our place in the universe. I'm supposed to care about college? I mean, FUCK.}}
Retro Virus 2010-01-27 [[Dude is using a computer.]] Dude: Argh, this is frustrating. Friend (off-panel): What? Dude: This windows box has a virus and I can't get regedit to-- Friend (off-panel): Haha, cleaning viruses? Man, what a blast from the past! Friend: Check it out! Dude's cleaning win32 viruses! Remember that? Girl (off-panel): It's like we're back in 2003! Dude (small): Hey, XP's still the most-- Friend: Did you get the virus from Kazaa? Girl (with laptop): Guess what I just read on Howard Dean's Friendster!? Dude (head in hands): Guys ... {{Title text: He says this is the year of Linux on the desktop! The world of Windows will fade any moment now!}}
Spirit 2010-01-29 Day 1 of 90 [[The Spirit rover is on the surface of Mars.]] Spirit (thinking): 89 days to go! Day 88 of 90 Spirit (thinking): Two days until I go home! Day 91 of 90 Spirit (thinking): ? Day 103 of 90 Spirit (thinking): Maybe I didn't do a good enough job. Day 127 of 90 Spirit (thinking): Maybe if I do a good enough job, they'll let me come home. Day 857 of 90 Spirit (thinking): I thought I analyzed that rock really well. Spirit (thinking): It's okay, I'll do the next one better. Day 1293 of 90 Spirit (thinking): Sandstorm. Power dying. Spirit (thinking): But a good rover would keep going. A good rover like they wanted. Day 1944 of 90 Spirit (thinking): Oh no. <> Spirit (thinking): I'm stuck. < Spirit (thinking): Did I do a good job? Spirit (thinking): Do I get to come home? Spirit (thinking): Guys? [[Spirit rests in the middle of a vast Martian landscape.]] {{Title text: On January 26th, 2213 days into its mission, NASA declared Spirit a 'stationary research station', expected to operational for several more months until the dust buildup on its solar panels forces a final shutdown.}}
Strip Games 2010-02-01 Frequency of Strip Versions of Various Games n = google hits for "strip " google hits for "" (at the time of this writing) Frequent (n > 1%) - Poker - Spin the Bottle - Beer Pong - Never Have I Ever - Truth or Dare Rare (1% >= n > 0.01%) - Chess - Blackjack - Tennis - Settlers of Catan - Pictionary Extremely Rare (0.01% >= n > 0) - Cricket - Magic: the Gathering - Stickball - Agricola - Jumanji Nonexistent (n = 0) - Poohsticks - Podracing - Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma - Chess by Mail - Conway's Game of Life {{Title text: HOW ABOUT A NICE GAME OF STRIP GLOBAL THERMONUCLEAR WAR?}}
Tensile vs. Shear Strength 2010-02-03 [[A banner flutters in the breeze, evidently attached to the elevator it mentions in its text. It reads "SPACE ELEVATOR" "GRAND OPENING"]] [[A space elevator occupies the height of the frame, consisting of a bass, a ribbon extending out into space, and an elevator unit with standard elevator features such as sliding doors and up down buttons.]] ((The following lines appear split across the elevator itself, the rhyming portions of the text separated from the others.)) AFTER COUNTLESS ENGINEERS SPEND TRILLIONS OVER FIFTY YEARS, A MODERN BABEL DISAPPEARS BECAUSE SOME FUCK BROUGHT PRUNING SHEARS [[Five individuals stand at the base of the elevator: a brunette woman, a man, a blond woman who has recently opened a bottle of champagne, an alarmed man, and Hat Guy, who has smuggled the aforementioned shears into the ceremony and unceremoniously turned it into a ribbon cutting.]] <> {{Title text: Although really, the damage was done when the party planners took the hole punch to the elevator ribbon to hang up the sign.}}
You Hang Up First 2010-02-05 [[Man is sitting on a bed, on the phone.]] Man: You hang up first. [[Women is lying on a bed, on the phone.]] Woman: No, *you* hang up first. Man: No, *you* hang up first. Woman: No, *you* fucking hang up first! Man: You hang up first, or we're OVER! Woman: Then I guess we're fucking OVER! Man: FINE! Woman: ... Man: ... Woman: *You* move on and find somebody else first. {{Title text: No, YOU stumble past a series of post-breakup hookups in a daze as you slowly realize what you've lost and how unlikely you are ever to get it back first.}}
Trimester 2010-02-08 [[A man in a lab coat is talking to a woman who's sitting on an examining table.]] Man: Well, until the second trimester, the baby hasn't decided which opening it will exit through. Woman: *What?* Man: We'll hope for one of the lower ones, so it won't be fighting gravity. Did you know you can just BUY lab coats? {{Title text: Also, it's not like anyone actually calls up the Nobel committee to double-check things.}}
Complexion 2010-02-10 I get frustrated trying to judge whether acne creams are having any effect. In the spirit of a controlled trial, I used one on just half my face for a few weeks. [[A graph shows pimples vs. time, with two lines--one remains one steady, and one is declining.]] It was cool seeing the effects so clearly, so I got some friends to try different treatments in an impromptu study. [[The narrator looks in a mirror, sees a half-pimpled face, and applies a treatment.]] [[The narrator is talking to a blonde and brunette friend, each with some pimples also.]] Narrator: Okay, you try the saucylic acid first. Blonde: Wait, we should randomize the trials. Got a coin? Narrator: Okay, call it. Heads, she gets the-- (Off-panel): YOU! [[Batman runs into frame and punches the narrator. The coin goes flying.]] {{Title text: Why do all my attempts at science end with me being punched by Batman? (P.S. benzoyl peroxide soap works great.)}}
Science Valentine 2010-02-12 I wanted to make you a science valentine with charts and graphs of my feelings for you [[A graph shows romance and happiness. Romance cuts off, indicating a breakup before the meeting of the narrator and his current SO, and happiness dips accordingly. A line indicates where the couple first met; romance is jagged thereafter, initially upwards but later down. Happiness climbs slightly more steadily and then dips again. More lines indicate a period of dating and then one of engagement.]] and the happiness you've brought me. But the more I analyzed [[The narrator works at a computer]] r_0 = 0.20 r_1 = -0.61 r_2 = -0.83 the harder it became to defend my hypothesis. In science, you can't publish results you know are wrong and you can't withhold them because they're not the ones you wanted. So I was left with a question: do I make graphs because they're cute and funny, [[The narrator sits, looking at a sheet of paper.]] or am I a *scientist*? Enclosed are my results. I hope you can find somebody else [[A jagged, declining graph is superimposed over a red heart.]] to be your valentine. {{Title text: You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right.}}
Snow Tracking 2010-02-15 BACKYARD SNOW TRACKING GUIDE ((Each panel contains an overhead view of tracks through the snow, with a caption indicating the apparent source)) [[Standard paw prints through the snow]] CAT [[Large split-toe tracks and smaller rodent tracks]] MOOSE AND SQUIRREL [[Cat prints, but with more space between the pairs of prints]] LONGCAT [[Two similar careening tire tracks]] MOUSE RIDING BICYCLE [[Longer rodent tracks, with a large melted ring surrounding a point in the middle of the frame.]] RABBIT STOPPING TO USE HAIR DRYER [[No visible tracks]] LEGOLAS [[Single deep holes with cratering]] BOBCAT ON POGO STICK [[Round prints that suddenly turn to the right halfway into frame]] KNIGHT [[Human footprints up to a square melting pattern, turning into animal prints]] KID WITH TRANSMOGRIFIER [[Human footprints up to a rectangular melted area, which are then doubled to another rectangular area, which are then doubled again up to another rectangular area, which are then doubled...]] KID WITH DUPLICATOR [[Right curve on a road, with tire tracks careening out of frame]] Out of Frame Garden Owner: MY VEGETABLE GARDEN! [[A series of spiraling and outwardly traveling lines extend from a point in the middle of the frame.]] HIGGS BOSON {{Title text: I suppose that's more accurately a hare dryer.}}
Honor Societies 2010-02-17 [[A student sits at a desk, while a teacher or counselor out of frame advises]] Student: Wait. I should join this honor society to show colleges I'm honorable, and I'm honorable because I'm in an honor society? Teacher: Basically, yes. [[Tighter shot of student]] Student: Sounds like I could save time by joining the Tautology Club directly. Teacher: That's not a real club. Student: Then I'm starting it. TAUTOLOGY CLUB [[Seven individuals appear: a blonde girl, a man, a shorter male with glasses that bears a striking resemblance to Jason Fox, a taller man with a buzz cut, a brunette woman with curly hair in a ponytail, a brunette woman with straight hair, and finally our student, standing on a box.]] Blonde Girl: So how'd you learn about us? Man: From your Facebook group, "If 1,000,000 People Join This Group, It Will Have 1,000,000 People In It." Student: LISTEN UP! The first rule of Tautology Club is the first rule of Tautology Club. {{Title text: Hey, why do YOU get to be the president of Tautology Clu-- wait, I can guess.}}
Principle of Explosion 2010-02-19 [[Two men appear, conversing with one another]] First Man: If you assume contradictory axioms, you can derive anything. It's called the Principle of Explosion. Second Man: ANYTHING? Lemme try. [[The second man writes on a piece of paper on a counter.]] [[The two men appear again, the second man holding his paper and a mobile phone.]] Second Man: Hey, you're right! I started with P∧¬P and derived your mom's phone number! First Man: That's not how that works. [[The first man holds the piece of paper, while the second man is now talking on the mobile phone.]] Second Man: Mrs. Lenhart? First Man: Wait, this IS her number! How-- Second Man: Hi, I'm a friend of--why, yes, I AM free tonight! First Man: MOM! Second Man: No, box wine sounds lovely! {{Title text: You want me to pick up waffle cones? Oh, right, for the wine. One sec, let me just derive your son's credit card number and I'll be on my way.}}
Devotion to Duty 2010-02-22 [[A terrorist is holding a gun and talking on a cell phone to the boss.]] Terrorist: We took the hostages, secured the building, and cut the communication lines like you said. Boss: Excellent. Terrorist: But then this guy climbed up the ventilation ducts and walked across broken glass, killing anyone we sent to stop him. Boss: And he rescued the hostages? Terrorist: No, he ignored them. He just reconnected the cables we cut, muttering something about "uptime." Boss: Shit, we're dealing with a sysadmin. {{Title text: The weird sense of duty really good sysadmins have can border on the sociopathic, but it's nice to know that it stands between the forces of darkness and your cat blog's servers.}}
Freedom 2010-02-24 [[Two men face each other, conversing.]] First Man: Sometimes I'm shocked to realize how many options I have. Second Man: Oh? [[First Man shakes his fist.]] First Man: Like, at any moment in any conversation, I could just punch the person I was talking to, and all these potentially life-changing events would unfold. [[The two men converse.]] First Man: It's only my mental rules that stop me from punching you, or stripping naked, or getting on a plane to Fiji. Sure, rules have reasons. But shouldn't you exercise that freedom at least once before you did? <> [[First man is knocked down on the ground, dazed and bruised.]] First Man: Okay, I should have seen that coming. Second Man: But you couldn't ! That's the beauty! {{Title text: Sometimes I'm terrified to realize how many options other people have.}}
Joshing 2010-02-26 [[Two men converse.]] First Man: So, is the new project going forward? Second Man: I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you! [[The men laugh cautiously.]] [[The men resume conversation.]] Second Man: I mean, kill you even sooner. {{Title text: You'll be moved up from 49 of ~7 billion to 31 of ~7 billion.}}
Sex Dice 2010-03-01 [[A man and a woman kneel on a bed, the man is shaking a cup of dice.]] Man: All right, baby. Get ready for... <> ((Between the first two panels.)) [[Two dice have been rolled, the first has five dots, the second says "BREASTS".]] [[The man and woman, stare at the dice.]] Man: I really need to organize the game cupboard. Woman: Wait, so where's the other sex die? [[Two men and two women are sitting on the floor around a game.]] Man #1: I... fondle the castle guard? That doesn't seem right. Woman #1: It did 6 damage, though. {{Title text: You roll for initiative, and ... [roll] ... wow, do you ever take it.}}
I Am 2010-03-03 [[The Burning Bush of Exodus fame speaks to Moses, who is shielding himself with his arm, as if a great gust of wind is overtaking him.]] Bush: I AM THAT I AM, THE *LORD* YOUR GOD AND THE GOD OF YOUR FATHERS, OF ABRAHAM, OF ISAAC, AND OF JACOB. [[A droid comes into frame, Moses looks down at it.]] Bush: AND THIS IS MY COUNTERPART, R2-D2. <> {{Title text: Great, LO-M. Do you speak Bocce? I'm supposed to find one that speaks Bocce.}}
Collatz Conjecture 2010-03-05 [[A person sits in a chair at a desk, papers piled on top, writing furiously. Depicted above are apparently the writing, a series of nodes in various Collatz sequences (starting with 7, 21, 24, 29, 106, 176 and 256), all eventually leading back to 1.]] The Collatz Conjecture states that if you pick an number, and if it's even divide it by two and if it's odd multiply it by three and add one, and you repeat this procedure long enough, eventually your friends will stop calling to see if you want to hang out. {{Title text: The Strong Collatz Conjecture states that this holds for any set of obsessively-hand-applied rules.}}
Seismograph 2010-03-08 [[A man is standing over another man, who is strapped into a chair with wires attached to his head and arms. The wires lead to a large lie detector on a stand next to him, which has jagged lines drawn across it.]] Standing man: IS THERE AN EARTHQUAKE HAPPENING?! Sitting man: No! <> Pro Tip: In a pinch, a lie detector can double as a seismograph. {{Title text: The reverse only works if the subject has a nervous twitch.}}
Single Ladies 2010-03-10 [[Sauron is sitting at a bar with a drink, beret guy is his bartender, wiping a glass.]] Background music: All the single ladies, all the single ladies... Beret guy: Hey, Sauron. Why so glum? Sauron: Gil-Galad saw through me and threw me out of Undon. Galadriel, too. I'll never rule anyone at this rate. [[Close up on Sauron, waist up.]] Background music: All the single ladies, all the single ladies... Sauron: Eru created such beautiful creatures -- elves and men and dwarves -- and all I've got are these stupid Orcs. [[Full body view of Sauron on barstool, arms raised.]] Background music: 'Cause if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it... Sauron: I mean, I-- [[Same view, arms lowered as realization dawns on him.]] Background music: 'Cause if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it... {{Title text: Using a ring to bind someone you covet into your dark and twisted world? Wow, just got the subtext there. Also, the apparently eager Beyoncé would've made one badass Nazgûl.}}
GeoIP 2010-03-12 [[External view of a satellite orbiting Earth. Dialog comes from within.]] Person 1: Yes! Person 2: What? Person 1: I got our downlink into a GeoIP database. [[Internal view of the satellite, a man and a woman are floating about, the man is at a computer mounted to the wall.]] Woman: Why? Man: To mess with our advertisers. Check it out. [[An ad reads "Meet local girls in Low Earth Orbit tonight!" and has two photos of girls in sexy poses, one captioned "Tanya, 18" and the other "Amber, 19". Below them is a button that reads "CHAT LIVE".]] {{Title text: 'Meet hot young singles in your mom's basement today'? Man, screw you, GeoIP.}}
Porn For Women 2010-03-15 [[A woman sits at a desk, typing on a computer with a fairly large flat-panel display.]] Woman: To the authors of Porn for Women : Your book features pictures of hot, clothed guys cooking, doing laundry and vacuuming. [[The woman continues typing.]] Woman: The idea seems to be that my deepest fantasies, like the rest of my life, likely revolve around housework. [[The woman continues typing.]] Woman: So I wanted to write in to clarify: in my porn, [[The woman leans forward in her chair.]] Woman: People fuck . {{Title text: Yes, there are a lot of longing looks across the bridge of Galactica first, but that's beside the point!}}
Numbers 2010-03-17 Google Result for Various Phrases: {{Each panel is a scatterplot of the described X against the number of Google hits, with trend lines. The scales vary.}} Bottles of Beer on the Wall [[There are peaks at 1, 49, 73, and 99. A dip in the middle is marked "They lose steam at 66." After 99 is a steep dropoff. The largest peak is around 100,000 hits.]] I've Had Boy Girlfriends [[Both lines descend at roughly the same rate from 1 to 10, although the boyfriend graph is smoother; the girlfriend graph has a small peak at 4 and a small dip at 6. The peaks are between 100,000 and 1,000,000 hits.]] I'm in st nd rd th Grade [[The curve is a bell peaking at 7th grade and about 500,000 hits. A second line labeled "Including Junior, Senior, etc." follows the bell curve until the peak, then dips only slightly for 10th grade and resumes climbing.]] I Have a an -Inch Penis [[The line ascends shallowly from 100,000 hits for 3 inches to a peak of 180,000 for 9 inches, then descends steeply to 20,000 for 13 inches.]] I'm a an -Cup [[A has a few hundred thousand hits; the graph dips to a few thousand for C, peaks again around 100,000 for E, and then tails off.]] I'm and Have Never Had a Boyfriend [[The graph is mostly a simple bell, starting and ending around 300,000 hits for 13 or 21, but there is a sharp peak of 700,000 at 18 (well above the trend line).]] Drink Glasses of Water a Day [[There are barely any hits below 4 or above 12; between the two it rises steeply to about 1,000 hits, with a steep, narrow peak of 10,000 at 8.]] There Are Lights [[The graph descends smoothly from several hundred thousand hits for 1 to about 10,000 for 10, except for a peak of about 1,000,000 for 4.]] I Got Problems [[The plot is extremely jagged, with the largest peak of 10,000,000 hits at 99, another of 10,000 at 96, and 100 and 88.]] My IQ Is [[A smooth curve starts and ends at a few thousand hits for around 85 and around 170, with the peak at several tens of thousands for 140, but there are several prominent outliers: 100, 110, 133, and 142 are all around 100,000 hits, and 147 is around 1,000,000.]] {{Title text: The typical internet user (who wants to share) has an IQ of 147 and a 9-inch penis. Well, better than the reverse, I guess.}}
Time Machine 2010-03-19 [[Rob is working at a workbench. Future-Rob appears out of nowhere with a baseball bat.]] Future-Rob: Hi, Rob. Rob: Whoa, you're me! Future-Rob: You're about to have an idea for a time machine. Rob: I am? [[Future-Rob hits Rob over the head with the baseball bat.]] <> [[A friend approaches Future-Rob working at the workbench. The baseball bat is stashed behind it.]] Friend: Hey, Rob. What's up? Future-Rob: Nothing. This happens somewhere roughly once a month. {{Title text: We never see any time travelers because they all discover it's a huge mistake. This is also why your friend at the lab suddenly looked about a year older recently.}}
Furtive 2010-03-22 [[A man in a trench coat and hat stands mid-frame.]] [[The man turns his head, looking to his right.]] [[The man stands alone in a wide expanse.]] [[The man finally speaks.]] Man: Go go gadget two lesbians doing it. {{Title text: ... go go gadget video camera. Go go gadget cup.}}
The Flake Equation 2010-03-24 ((Panel consists of a large equation with call-out text indicating what each variable indicates)) P = Wp x (Cr + Mi) x Tk x F0 + F1 x Dt X Au ˜ 100,000 Wp (7,000,000,000) World Population Cr (1 10 000) Fraction of people who imagine an alien encounter because they're crazy or want to feel special Mi (1 10 000) Fraction of people who misinterpret a physical or physiological experience as an alien sighting Tk (1 10) Probability that they'll tell someone F0 (10) Average number of people they tell F1 (10) Average number of people each friend tells this "firsthand" account Dt (9 10) Probability that any details not fitting the narrative will be revised or forgotten in retelling Au (1 100) Fraction of people with the means and motivation to share the story with a wider audience (blogs, forums, reporters) Even with conservative guesses for the values of the variables, this suggests there must be a huge number of credible-sounding alien sightings out there, available to anyone who wants to believe! {{Title text: Statistics suggest that there should be tons of alien encounter stories, and in pracitce there are tons of alien encounter stories. This is known as Fermi's Lack-of-a-Paradox.}}
Brain Worms 2010-03-26 [[A woman sits at a computer desk, and a man stands near her holding a book.]] Man: Weird--this parasitic worm infects the brain, damaging the areas responsible for spatial reasoning in dreams. Signs of infection include dreams about not fitting in your car comfortably, driving from the backseat, or veering all over the road. Woman: (thinking) Oh God. My Hobby: Taking advantage of the fact that some specific dreams are weirdly common, but not everyone who has them realizes this. {{Title text: Hey, it says here that if you dream about your teeth falling out, it means they're spreading.}}
Recipes 2010-03-29 [[Three people, one woman and two men, sit along a table with dishes and drinks in front of them. A fourth man is walking in, a plate with food on it in one hand, a laptop in the other.]] Woman: I've got... Cheerios with a shot of vermouth. Man #1: At least it's better than the quail eggs in whipped cream from last time. Man #2: Are these Skittles deep-fried? Man #3: C'mon guys, be patient. In a few hundred more meals, the genetic algorithm should catch up to existing recipes and start to optimize. {{Title text: To be fair, the brazed and confused newt on a bed of crushed Doritos turned out to be delicious.}}
Flatland 2010-03-31 [[Person encounters a square on the ground.]] Person: Hey, A. Square. How's Flatland? A. Square: Still flat. What's up? Person: I just spent an hour playing a demo of this 4D game called Miegakure. [[A character in Miegakure jumps around the 4D landscape.]] Trying to jump from block to block in four dimensions hurt my brain. Person: So I apologize for giving you a hard time when you were slow to understand 3D space. I sympathize now. A. Square: It's okay. Person: Also, I apologize for drawing arms, legs, and eyes on you to make you look like Spongebob. That was out of line. A. Square: Yes, it was. {{Title text: Also, I apologize for the time I climbed down into your world and everyone freaked out about the lesbian orgy overseen by a priest.}}
Computer Problems 2010-04-02 [[A man and a woman are looking at his computer, on the desk.]] Man: You know this metal rectangle full of little lights? Woman: Yeah. Man: I spend most of my life pressing buttons to make the pattern of lights change however i want. Woman: Sounds good. Man: But today, the pattern of lights is ALL WRONG! Woman: Oh god! Try pressing more buttons! Man: IT'S NOT HELPING! {{Title text: This is how I explain computer problems to my cat. My cat usually seems happier than me.}}
Seismic Waves 2010-04-05 When an earthquake hits, people flood the internet with posts about it--some within 20 or 30 seconds. [[A room with a desk, chair, and computer are shaking. The person in it is on his phone, using Twitter.]] RobM163 Huge earthquake here! Damaging seismic waves travel at 3-5km s. Fiber signals move at ~200,000kh s. (minus network lag) This means when the seismic waves are about 100km out, they begin to be overtaken by the waves of posts ABOUT them. [[There is a geographical border on a map; the front edge of the wave of the quake is shown, with the front edge of the wave of tweets surpassing it.]] People outside this radius may get woord of the quake via Twitter, IRC, or SMS BEFORE the shaking hits. [[A man and woman are standing, holding cell phones. The woman is looking at hers.]] Woman: Whoa! Earthquake! Sadly, a Twitterer's first instinct is not to find shelter. Man and Woman (on phones): RT @RobM163 Huge earthquake here! {{Title text: The USGS operates a really neat email SMS earthquake notification service (earthquake.usgs.gov ens ) that allows fine-grained control of notifications.}}
Hell 2010-04-07 [[A basic Tetris screen is depicted, with a next piece indicator, score and top score, and level listed as 01. The bottom of the pit is curved into a semicircle. A square and L piece are sitting crookedly in the pit; an S piece is falling.]] Hell {{Title text: There's also a Katamari level where everything is just slightly bigger than you, and a Mario level with a star just out of reach.}}
Literally 2010-04-09 [[A person is talking to a friend.]] Person: I was literally glued to my seat through the entire-- Off-Panel: HAH! Off-Panel: YOU MEAN "FIGURATIVELY"! [[The off-panel voice came from a scary guy with wild hair and a big beard.]] Person: Who are you? Scary Guy: Eighteen years I've watched you! Scary Guy: Waiting! Ever since that day in seventh grade when you humiliated me. [[We see the scene from seventh grade. Younger, normal-looking scary guy is standing with a girl; the younger version of the person he's addressing is standing with a friend.]] Young Scary Guy: I told him and he literally EXPLODED! Young Person: Uh, unless he physically BURST, you mean "figuratively." Friend: Hah. Remember? Scary Guy: I knew one day you'd slip, and I vowed I'd be there to see you fall. HOW DOES IT FEEL? Person: You are literally the craziest person I've ever met. Scary Guy: You did it again! Person: No, I didn't. {{Title text: The chemistry experiment had me figuratively -- and then shortly thereafter literally -- glued to my seat.}}
Seat Selection 2010-04-12 [[A seat selection diagram from an airport checkin kiosk is shown.]] Select desired seat by clicking on the above chart. [[A woman in a scarf with some suitcases is standing in an airport, contemplating the kiosk.]] [[The cursor indicates the cockpit of the plane.]] <> [[The woman is in the cockpit of the plane, holding the yoke, with the pilot looking horrified behind her.]] Woman: WOOOOOOO {{Title text: Don't click on the wing.}}
Trade Expert 2010-04-14 [[Anchorman sitting at newsdesk.]] Anchor: (to camera) And for more on the summit, we turn to trade expert Dr. Steven Berlee. Steven? [[Dr. Steven Berlee is sitting to the right of Anchor at newsdesk.]] DSB: I'm not actually a doctor or a trade expert. I'm just a programmer who lies to get on news shows. [[Close-up on DSB.]] Anchor: (off camera) What? Why? DSB: To share a message with newscasters. [[Pull back to shot of both men.]] Anchor: Which is? DSB: Every time you say "backslash" as part of a web address on air, I die a little. {{Title text: I mean, it's been almost twenty years. Now, it's possible you're simply embedding Windows directory paths in your URIs, but in that case you need more than just a short lecture.}}
iPad 2010-04-16 [[A man is sitting in an armchair, playing with an iPad. A woman is looking over his shoulder.]] Man: Navigating Google Maps on the iPad is fun. It feels so futuristic. Man: Swoosh! Zoom! Woman: There are, right now, monkeys controlling robotic arms via neural implants. Woman: A huge and alien future is barreling toward us. And I can't WAIT. Woman: But no, your iPad is cool, too. Man: Stop spoiling my future with your slightly more distant one. {{Title text: Maybe we're all gonna die, but we're gonna die in *really cool ways*.}}
Laser Pointer 2010-04-19 [[A human points a laser pointer at the floor. A black cat crouches, staring at the red dot.]] [[The cat pounces.]] [[The cat lands with its paw on the dot, claws out.]] [[The cat tugs on the dot.]] <> [[The human looks at and tries to use the laser pointer, which is no longer emitting a beam.]] Human: ?? <> [[The cat nibbles on the red laser dot.]] Cat: <> [[The cat arches, emitting red shock lines.]] [[The cat shoots lasers out of its eyes at the human, who is covered in a bright red glow.]] <> Human: AUGH! ((The right side of the panel is the end of a thought bubble ...)) [[The black cat, sleeping, has dreamed the entire strip.]] {{Title text: It's a lasing cat-vity!}}
Circuit Diagram 2010-04-21 {{Title text: I just caught myself idly trying to work out what that resistor mass would actually be, and realized I had self-nerd-sniped.}} ((A large and complicated circuit diagram.)) [[In the upper left corner there is a map scale, labeled with 1 mi (1 km). Underneath the scale is an antenna symbol that leads down to a blender, an Arduino; labeled with "Arduino, just for blog cred"; and a chip; "Most expensive chip available". To the right of the antenna there is the symbol for an inductor that has it's lower terminal going into a the left terminal of pattern that looks like a highway cloverleaf. The upper terminal leads to a line that is going to the upper terminal of that cloverleaf and to a battery symbol (with the + and - symbols on the wrong ends) with a value of √2V. The right terminal of the cloverleaf is going into a resistor symbol label "120Ω or to taste". Connected to the other terminals of the resistor and battery is a switch that is labeled "glue open". The bottom of the two lines has a transistor with two emitters, one P and one N, and no collector. The P-type emitter is connected to the top line and a jar of scarab beetles. Above the beetles is a resistor labeled "brown blue orange". To the right is an unlabeled resistor with a center tap going into a capacitor, with a ground on the other end. Above the capacitor is a diode, and below an inductor. To the right is another inductor. The two inductors and ground are all covered by a "solder blob". The rightmost component is a "666 timer" that has pin 5 going into a question mark. Back to the left side, below and to the left of the cloverleaf is a compass rose. The bottom terminal of the cloverleaf is connected to a battery, labeled 50V, with grounds on both sides. To the right of the battery is a long horizontal wire that is labeled "pull this wire really tight." That wire is hooked up to a vertical wire that connects to the N-type emitter of the transistor above it. To the right is an AC source that is labeled 240V, shorted out, with a label on the short "omit this if you're a wimp." To the right of that is an inductor that is labeled with "11kg", a batman symbol, and a squirrel. Back to the left end of the diagram, where the blender is, there is a wire that is labeled as a distance 3 8" from the wire with the 50V battery. To the right there is a frowny face, then a vertical wire with a 90 degree bend labeled "caution ↱". That leads into a balloon. Under the balloon is an inductor symbol with a line on the bottom edge labeled as "warm front". Underneath the blender and to the right of the Arduino is a resistor labeled "ë". To the right is an electric eel, a capacitor, an unlabeled resistor, and a gob of hot glue attached to a chip with an inverter hooked to an XOR gate, both with feedback into each other. Under the electric eel is a neck strap. To the right of the XOR gate and inverter is a bridge rectifier labeled as "Moral rectifier" to the right again is a bottle of magic smoke, under that a fishing bobber and then a broken wire labeled with a question mark. Under the most expensive chip available there is a vertical wire labeled with "electrons single file". To the right is a switch labeled "hire someone to open and close switch real fast." To the right of that is a contact labeled "touche tongue here". Below that is a resistor labeled "5Ω (decoy)" with only one terminal connected. To the right of the contact is a methyl group attchaed to a wire. To the right of the methyl group is a complex mesh of 1Ω resistors labeled with "oh, so you think you're such a whiz at EE201?" Connected to the wire labeled "electrons single file" is a wire bent in a U shape with an upside-down ground on the end. To the right is a flux capacitor with the bottom wire labeled I-95. To the right of that is a wire labeled yarn, then an arena with two diodes going in and one leaving. The right diode has a ground on its anode labeled "bury deep, but not too deep." To the right of that is a motor labeled vibrator, resistor with a value of π, and a 500V AC source. Under the flux capacitor is a wire that leads out of frame with a label "← to center of sun". To the right is a 55 MPH speed limit sign, then an SR latch (flip-flop) labeled "may use an actual sandal instead". Connected to the Q of the SR latch is a holding pen and to the inverting Q output is a wire in a knot, a resistor labeled "8mm", a resistor symbol labeled "not a resistor; wire just does this", and a motor symbol labeled "to scale". Under the wire that leads off to the center of the sun is a tangled mess of wires connected and jumping over each other, then a photo diode labeled "tear collector". Under the tear collector is a wire in the shape of a ECG. To the right is a light bulb, a capacitor-looking symbol labeled 3 liters, a resistor labeled yes, an unlabeled inductor, a resistor with a question mark as a label. To the right of all that is an inductor labeled "take off shirt while wiring this part. Ooh, yeah, I like that." Finally, in the lower right hand corner is a ground symbol immersed in a beaker of holy water.]]
Desert Island 2010-04-23 [[A man sits writing in a diary on a desert island, only the sandy tip of which with a palm tree on it stands above the water. Beneath the surface is a kelp forest, some sharks, a stingray, a shipwreck, a submarine, several large jellyfish, a giant squid fighting a sperm whale, a crashed plane, some coral formations, a thermal vent emitting a plume of smoke surrounded by several annelids, and a snail.]] Man: Day 44: Still stranded, with nothing but flat empty water as far as the eye can see. {{Title text: Telescopes and bathyscapes and sonar probes of Scottish lakes, Tacoma Narrows bridge collapse explained with abstract phase-space maps, some x-ray slides, a music score, Minard's Napoleonic war: the most exciting new frontier is charting what's already here.}}
HDTV 2010-04-26 [[One person is pointing to a huge flatscreen HDTV on the wall. The other is holding a cell phone.]] HDTV Owner: Check out my new HDTV--a beautiful, high-def 1080p. Friend: Wow, that's over TWICE the horizontal resolution of my cell phone. Friend: In fact, it almost beats the LCD monitor I got in 2004. It baffles me that people find HDTV impressive. {{Title text: We're also stuck with blurry, juddery, slow-panning 24fps movies forever because (thanks to 60fps home video) people associate high framerates with camcorders and cheap sitcoms, and thus think good framerates look 'fake'.}}
Eagle 2010-04-28 [[A researcher is looking up into a tree, holding a clipboard in one hand and a radio in the other.]] Researcher: The eagle has left the nest. Off-Panel: *KHHHKHT* Roger that. Alert the agents. *KHKKHHKT* Researcher: Will you stop that? My hobby: Following field biologists around and interpreting everything they say as code phrases. {{Title text: In the off-seasons, I hire an animal trainer to help confront secret agents with situations which they are unable to report by radio.}}
Outbreak 2010-04-30 The outbreak started with Patient Zero ... [[Two scientists, a man and a woman, stand outside a lab. A zombie is visible through the window.]] Man: He was exposed to toxin X-7--now he's a bloodthirsty monster! Woman: Has he been in isolation? Zombie: Braaains! Man: Yes, but I can't hold this door for long! Woman: Hang on, I've got a gun in my truck. [[She runs off.]] Zombie (through door): <> [[The man opens the door as the woman shoots through it.]] <> And ended with Patient Zero five minutes later. Man: So, I never got your name. I'm Ryan. Woman: Laura. The remaining 90 minutes of the movie will be a romantic comedy. {{Title text: Let's get dinner after we promptly destroy all the X-7 in we've manufactured.}}
Floor 2010-05-03 [[Three kids are in a living room. Furniture and other things are knocked over, broken, or tilted. The first kid is holding a handle of a plunger with cables goin offscreen.]] First Kid: I've dynamited a trench through the kitchen to divert flow! <> [[The second kid is aiming a hose at the floor.]] Second Kid: More hoses! We need to cool and solidify the surface layer! <> [[The third kid is standing on a chair, using a cell phone or radio.]] Third Kid: Where are the damn helicopters? Like many kids, we sometimes pretended the floor was lava. {{Title text: We once got grounded when we convinced the FAA to block flights through our county because of ash clouds.}}
Cemetery 2010-05-05 [[A person is in a cemetery, near a gravestone. Other people stand around staring.]] Person: Frankly, you deserve this. You KNEW I wanted a sans-serif font, and you IGNOERD me. Person: So really, this is YOUR fault. I've discovered the worst place to wander while arguing on a hands-free headset. {{Title text: Three headstones down, I got a call from my mom and it went from bad to worse.}}
Yogurt 2010-05-07 [[A person is holding a cup at arm's length. Waves of stink are rising from it.]] Person 1: Oh God, how old is this yogurt in your fridge? [[Someone speaks from off-panel.]] Person 2: What's hte expiration date? [[The first person holds up the cup to look at the bottom.]] Person 1: May 12th, but there's no year. [[From off-panel again.]] It's May 7th. So it's fine. [[Now the second person is on panel, and the first speaks from off-panel. The second person is sitting down working on a laptop.]] Person 1:I'm not sure. When it was packaged, was civilization using the Gregorian or Julian calendar? Person 2: Okay, I'll throw it out. Person 1: No, it might still be good! {{Title text: I am firmly of the opinion that if something doesn't have a year on it, every time the expiration date rolls around it is good again for the two weeks preceeding that date.}}
Incision 2010-05-10 [[Two doctors wearing surgical masks are standing over a prone patient. One of them is poking the patient's chest.]] Doctor: I'm making the incision above the left - << BZZZZT! >> Doctor: Augh! October 8th, 2004: A child swallows an 'operation' buzzer, leading to the single most difficult surgery ever performed. {{Title text: At one point, by force of childhood habit, the doctor accidentally removed three or four organs.}}
Malamanteau 2010-05-12 ((The strip is set up as the top of a Wikipedia page.)) ((The Wikipedia logo.)) Wikipedia The free encyclopedia ((Side navigation options.)) Navigation - Main Page - Contents - Featured Content - Current Events ((Wikipedia header options.)) Article Discussion Edit this page History ((The article itself.)) Malamanteau From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia A malamanteau is a neologism for a portmanteau created by incorrectly combining a malapropism with a neologism. It is itself a portmanteau of ((... the article cuts off.)) ((Below the panel.)) Ever notice how Wikipedia has a few words it *really* likes? {{Title text: The article has twenty-three citations, one of which is an obscure manuscript from the 1490's and the other twenty-two are arguments on LanguageLog.}}
The Tell-Tale Beat 2010-05-14 ((The three panels show portions of a single scene. Although the characters are still stick figures, the artwork style is heavily crosshatched and shaded.)) [[In the first panel there is a desk with monitor on it, and a painting of a woman above that. Next to it is a bookshelf.]] Ever since I murdered Daft Punk [[There is a fireplace, with no fire. A rug lies before it. At the left end of the mantelpiece are two bottles, one tall, one round. Another photograph of a woman is in a frame at the right end. The bookshelf continues from the previous panel.]] And hid their bodies beneath the floorboards, I've been haunted [[The narrator is clutching his head and leaning forward. A grandfather clock is behind him, next to a doorway. Above the doorway is a pallid bust of Pallas.]] By this *pounding*. ((White text on black.)) Unn-Tss Unn-Tss Unn-Tss {{Title text: You fancy me mad. Could a madman have outsmarted the greatest electronica techno artists of our era? Next to fall will be Roderick Usher's house trance band.}}
Blogging 2010-05-17 [[A man stands on a stage before a large audience, holding a pointer and using it to highlight something on a screen behind him. He interacts with a member of the audience after making a point.]] Presenter: The key to making a successful blog is building a relationship with your readers. Audience Member: I thought it was "make your updates good so people will want to read them." Presenter: We'll discuss content generation in part three. Audience Member: Awesome! I _LOVE_ content. {{Title text: I'm looking to virally monetize your eyeballs by selling them for transplants.}}
Campfire 2010-05-19 [[An adult stands in front of a campfire with three children listening intently. The adult holds a flashlight under his chin to create a menacing visage.]] Adult: But when she traced the killer's IP address... It was in the 192.168 16 block! Children, together: GASP! {{Title text: 100 years later, this story remains terrifying--not because it's the local network block, but because the killer is still on IPv4.}}
Infrastructures 2010-05-21 2003: [[A man approaches a bearded fellow.]] Man: Did you get my essay? Bearded Fellow: Yeah, it was good! But it was a .doc; You should really use a more open-- Man: Give it a rest already. Maybe we just want to live our lives and use software that works , not get wrapped up in your stupid nerd turf wars. Bearded Fellow: I just want people to care about the infrastructures we're building and who-- Man: No, you just want to feel smugly superior. You have no sense of perspective and are probably autistic. 2010: Man: Oh my God! We handed control of our social world to Facebook and they're DOING EVIL STUFF! Bearded Fellow: Do you see this? [[Inset, the bearded fellow rubs his index and middle fingers against his thumb.]] Bearded Fellow: It's the world's tiniest open-source violin. {{Title text: The heartfelt tune it plays is CC licensed, and you can get it from my seed on JoinDiaspora.net whenever that project gets going.}}
Walkthrough 2010-05-24 [[A man sits at a computer. His friend enters the room.]] Man at computer: How did the date go? Friend: I wanted to be prepared, so I looked up a sex walkthrough video. [[The two men sit silently contemplating the words of the previous moment.]] Man at computer: ...and? Friend: It turns out it was a speed run. Man at computer: Ouch. {{Title text: There's nothing hotter than porn dubbed over with a poorly-mic'd teenager's voice explaining each step in a droning monotone. 'okay, we're almost at the spawn point ... separate the labia, but watch out, there are more inside them ..."}}
Dyslexics 2010-05-26 [[A t-shirt is shown with the text "DYSLEXICS OF THE WORLD, UNITE!" screen-printed on it.]] The dyslexic support group ran into difficulties when they tried to make a joke fundraiser t-shirt. {{Title text: And of course I had to redo this like three times because I kept writing 'UNTIE'; I kept doing 'doing 'doing it wrong' wrong' wrong.}}
Birth 2010-05-28 [[A woman is giving birth. A doctor stands near the end of the table.]] Doctor: Okay, the head is starting to crown. Doctor: Push! Doctor: Wait, that's... that's a tube. Doctor: It looks like the barrel of a... <> [[A voice, that of the baby, comes from the woman's vagina.]] Baby: Nobody move--this is a stick-up! Doctor: Oh, God! Stop pushing, Megan! Doctor: Can you... pull? {{Title text: All those GTA marathons during the pregnancy were a bad idea.}}
Geeks and Nerds 2010-05-31 [[There is a two-circle Venn diagram; the left circle is labeled "Geeks," the right "Nerds." The intersection is labeled "People with strong opinions on the distinction between geeks and nerds."]] {{Title text: The definitions I grew up with were that a geek is someone unusually into something (so you could have computer geeks, baseball geeks, theater geeks, etc) and nerds are (often awkward) science, math, or computer geeks. But definitions vary.}}
Worst-Case Scenario 2010-06-02 [[Two reporters, a man and a woman, point microphones toward a scientist.]] Female reporter: Dr. Scientist! The "Top Kill" has failed! What's the worse-case scenario for the gulf? Dr. Scientist: The worst-case scenario is what's happening now. Reporter, out of frame: Yes, but is there any way it could get worse? Dr. Scientist: Sure, but there are real disasters happening now, and you're substituting speculation and voyeurism for the investigative journalism we-- Reporter: Screw this! Let's ask Michael Bay. [[The reporters, now joined by a camerawoman, approach Michael Bay with their microphones.]] Michael Bay: The worst case? A hurricane tracks into the gulf, whipping the surface of the spill into a frothy mix of oil and air. [[An alligator-filled conflagration atop a massive ocean wave approaches land.]] Michael Bay, narrating: As the storm surges through the bayous, sparking power lines ignite the fuel air mixture into a roiling, alligator-filled wall of flame. [[A map of the gulf coast of Louisiana and southwest Mississippi is depicted with the current routes of the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers highlighted. An arrow indicating a new primary flow of the Mississippi's waters into the Atchafalaya points toward southern Louisiana.]] Michael Bay, narrating: Plowing northward, the fire hurricane destroys the Old River Control Structure in Concordia, rerouting the Mississippi westward and sweeping Morgan City and the heart of cajun country out to sea. Michael Bay: James Carville emerges from the conflagration riding a burning alligator... Reporter, out of frame: Will this affect the midterm elections? Michael Bay: Massively. {{Title text: To get serious analyses of hurricanes and oil slicks, see Jeff Masters' blog. To get serious discussions of worst-case scenario thinking, see Bruce Schneier's blog. To get enough Vitamin D, don't read any blogs and go outside instead.}}
Study 2010-06-04 [[A posted flier with tear-off strips at the bottom reads: "Volunteers Needed for a scientific study investigating whether people can distinguish between scientific studies and kidney-harvesting scams. (Healthy Type-O Adults Only) TAKE ONE" Five of the strips are torn off.]] {{Title text: Volunteers needed for a study on transmission of urushiol from digital contact with thin strips of fibrous cellulose pulp.}}
Book Burning 2010-06-07 [[A man holds a book aloft, displaying it to his two acquaintances.]] Man: This book is full of heresy! Acquaintance: Let's hold a book burning! [[They confer more, then one acquaintance runs off.]] Man: I only have one copy. Acquaintance #1: I guess we could buy more. Acquaintance #2: I'll look online. [[A screenshot from an online retailer's page displays pricing for the hardcover ($17.99) and Kindle ($9.99) editions of the mentioned book.]] [[The front page of a newspaper, titled "News", is shown above the fold. The first article's headline reads "Eight dead from toxic fume inhalation" and a picture is shown depicting three bodies strewn around a massive plume of tar-black smoke.]] {{Title text: Of course, since their cautionary tale was reported in a print newspaper, no one read it.}}
Swimsuit Issue 2010-06-09 [[A young boy holds a magazine. His father comes running into the room.]] Boy: What's this? Father: Oh! That's daddy's Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue! It's not appropriate for-- Boy: Wow! They look just like the ladies who get double-penetrated in the popup ads! But with clothes on! Gosh! {{Title text: Parents: talk to your kids about popup blockers. Also, at some point, sex. But crucial fundamentals first!}}
Phobia 2010-06-11 [[A blonde woman and a brunette woman observe a snake on the ground.]] Blonde: Whoa, a snake! Brunette: Cool! Blonde: I'm afraid of snakes. [[The brunette looks pensive.]] Brunette: I'm afraid of saying "Everything's complicated right now, but maybe next year" until there are no more years left. [[The blonde considers her response.]] [[The brunette cuts her off mid-sentence.]] Blonde: Do you-- Brunette: I want to be a storm chaser. [[A tornado reaches from the black storm clouds to the earth, kicking up a sizable cloud of debris at its base. The blonde woman is at the wheel of a car, the brunette hanging out the window and holding a camera.]] {{Title text: Oh God, the tornado picked up snakes!}}
Southern Half 2010-06-14 The great battlefield for the defense and expansion of freedom today is the whole southern half of the globe -- Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. -John F. Kennedy, 1961 speech to Congress. [[An ovoid world map, with Latin America colored in red, Africa in yellow, the Middle East in green, and Asia in Blue. There is an arrow pointing to the top of the map marked 'northern half', and another arrow pointing to the bottom half marked 'southern half.' The majority of these places are actually in the northern half.]] Okay, so I'm half a century late on this, but it's been bugging me: did JFK own a globe? {{Title text: Also, if you read his speech at Rice, all his arguments for going to the moon work equally well as arguments for blowing up the moon, sending cloned dinosaurs into space, or constructing a towering penis-shaped obelisk on Mars.}}
Dependencies 2010-06-16 ((A portion of a page from an imaginary course catalog.) [[A table with four columns labeled Department, Course, Description, and Prereqs. Under 'Department' it reads, "computer science". Under 'course' it reads, "CPSC 432". Under 'Description' it reads, "Intermediate compiler design, with a focus on dependency resolution." Under 'Prereqs' it reads, "CPSC 432". {{Title text: The prereqs for CPSC 357, the class on package management, are CPCS 432, CPSC 357, and glibc2.5 or later.}}
Interdisciplinary 2010-06-18 [[2 men and 1 woman stand in the foreground, while in the background, a woman stands on a platform and releases a pendulum hanging from the ceiling toward a man who is running away.]] Man #2: This is an interdisciplinary program in which Physics students try to hit Psychology students with pedulums. Woman: Promising! Background man: AAAAAAA! My professors had an ongoing competition to get the weirdest thing taken seriously under the label "interdisciplinary program." {{Title text: Replace the pendulums with history students and you'll qualify for a grant!}}
Public Opinion 2010-06-21 [[A news anchor reads from a paper. There is a picture on the left side of screen of a man speaking at a podium. In the bottom right-hand corner, a logo reads 'News24'.]] News anchor: A leading politician today charged that the media, rather than informing people, now merely report on public ignorance. Do our viewers agree? Let's hear from some voices on the street... {{Title text: News networks giving a greater voice to viewers because the social web is so popular are like a chef on the Titanic who, seeing the looming iceberg and fleeing customers, figures ice is the future and starts making snow cones.}}
Toot 2010-06-23 [[A man is talking to Hatman.]] Man: I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I was first in my class at Caltech. [[The man falls backward as Hatman sounds an air horn in his face.]] Hatman: Really? I don't mean to toot my own horn, but <> [[A picture of an air horn.]] Air horns: worth carrying around your entire life for those few perfect moments. {{Title text: This is also one of only five identified situations in which a vuvuzela is actually appropriate.}}
Raptor Fences 2010-06-25 [[A man checks a computer terminal, another man is running off in the opposite direction.]] Man 1: The raptor fences are down. They're loose. Man 2: I'll get a broom and dustpan. Caption: Jurassic Park got a lot less scary when the researchers discovered they could ativate the gene for extreme dwarfism. {{Title text: If at least one person has a nightmare about being swarmed by hundreds of mouse-sized dromaeosaurids, my work will have been done.}}
3x9 2010-06-28 [[A problem is given on an arithmetic test: "4) 3x9=?". In handwriting, the student's work follows. The student has accurately reformatted the question as 3 times the square root of 81, which visually resembles the long division problem of 3 divided into 81, and then solved the latter to get 27--the correct answer to both.]] {{Title text: Handy exam trick: when you know the answer but not the correct derivation, derive blindly forward from the givens and backward from the answer, and join the chains once the equations start looking similar. Sometimes the graders don't notice the seam.}}
Moria 2010-06-30 [[A far shot of Gandalf the Grey and the four hobbits standing in a dark, underground city.]] Gandalf: Behold, Khazad-Dum; the Dwarrowdelf ; the mines of Moria -- once the greatest and mightiest city of the dwarves. [[Full body shot of Gandalf.]] Gandalf: But the dwarves delved too greedily. [[Close-up on Gandalf.]] Gandalf: And too deep. [[Full shot of the hobbits and Gandalf.]] Hobbit: ...and awoke a terror of shadow and flame? Gandalf: No. They couldn't get out. {{Title text: Someone should really bring them a ladder and remind them to build the Endless Stair *first* next time.}}
DFS 2010-07-02 [[A man with wet hair and a towel around his waist thinks with his hand to his chin.]] Man: (What situations might I prepare for? 1) medical emergency, 2) dancing, 3) food too expensive...) [[Close-up on man's face.]] Man: (Okay, what kind of emergencies can happen? 1)A) snakebite, B) lightning strike, C) fall from chair...) [[Still thinking...]] Man: (Hmm. Which snakes are dangerous? Let's see... 1)A)a) Corn Snake? b) Garter Snake? c) Copperhead?) [[Sits down in a chair with a laptop, still wearing towel.]] Man: (The research comparing snake venoms is scattered and inconsistent. I'll make a spreadsheet to organize it.) ((Bottom panel is larger than top four, and aligned to right.)) [[A woman meets the man on his front stoop. She is carrying a purse, and looks down at his towel. The man holds his arms in the air triumphantly.]] Woman: I'm here to pick you up. You're not dressed? Man: By LDsub50, the Inland Taipan has the deadliest venom of ANY snake! Caption: I really need to stop using depth-first searches. {{Title text: A breadth-first search makes a lot of sense for dating in general, actually; it suggests dating a bunch of people casually before getting serious, rather than having a series five-year relationships one after the other.}}
Analogies 2010-07-05 [[Two men sit in front of the TV, one on the couch, the other on the floor. A woman stands by the TV set.]] Woman: While I'm up, does anyone want a sandwich? Man 1: Is "sandwich" a metaphor? Woman: No, I'm bad at metaphors. But I could try a simile. Man 1: I guess that's like a metaphor. Sure. [[As the woman starts to walk away, the men continue to speak.]] Man 2: Well, "a simile is like a metaphor" is a simile. Man 1: Is that simile itself a metaphor for something? Man 2: Maybe it's a metaphor for analogy. [[The two men are still sitting in the same place while the woman is out of the panel.]] Man 1: Similes are metaphors in that they're both analogies. Woman: Analogies are like sandwiches in that I'm making one now. {{Title text: I just call all of them 'synecdoche'.}}
Workaround 2010-07-07 [[A man stands at a computer terminal, while another man behind him stands with his head in his hands.]] Man 1: See, I've got a really good system: if I want to send a YouTube video to someone, I go to File -> Save, then import the saved page into Word. Then I go to "Share This Document" and under "recipient" I put the email of this video extraction service... Caption: I'll often encourage relatives to try to solve computer problems themselves by trial and error. However, I've learned an important lesson: if they say they've solved their problem, never ask how. {{Title text: I once worked on a friend's dad's computer. He had the hard drive divided into eight partitions, C: through H:, with a 'Documents' directory tree on each one. Each new file appeared to be saved to a partition at random. I knew enough not to ask.}}
One Two 2010-07-09 [[A television set with The Count from 'Sesame Street'.]] The Count: One! Ah ah ah... Two! Ah ah ah... ...Many! ah ah ah... Caption: Primitive cultures develop Sesame Street. {{Title text: Cue letters from anthropology majors complaining that this view of numerolinguistic development perpetuates a widespread myth. They get to write letters like that because when you're not getting a real science degree you have a lot of free time.}}
Dilution 2010-07-12 [[A man stands at a desk with a beaker in one hand and a turkey baster in the other. A woman lies in a bed in the same room.]] Man: Okay, this time I've diluted the semen 30x. Woman: We'll be sure to get pregnant now! {{Title text: Dear editors of Homeopathy Monthly: I have two small corrections for your July issue. One, it's spelled "echinacea", and two, homeopathic medicines are no better than placebos and your entire magazine is a sham.}}
Green Flash 2010-07-14 [[Hatman and Stickman are standing on the beach, watching the sun set. Hatman is holding something, perhaps a cosh, in his left hand.]] Hatman: Did you know that if you stare at the sun just as it sets, you can see a green flash? (smaller)And feel a sharp blow to the head, and hear the faint hum of me driving away in your new Tesla Roadster? {{Title text: The exact cause of the phenomenon is unknown, but it's thought to be linked to atmospheric refraction and you getting a really cool car.}}
Temper 2010-07-16 [[A black frame with the text [NO VIDEO] in the center, speech is in bubbles.]] Voice: Sometimes, when we disagree, I feel frustrated. But I never forget how lucky I am to have you in my family. Always remember how special you are. Caption: 1981: An audio recorder on the set catches Fred Rogers fighting with his wife. {{Title text: Mr. Rogers projected an air of genuine, unwavering, almost saintly pure-hearted decency. But when you look deeper, at the person behind the image ... that's exactly what you find there, too. He's exactly what he appears to be.}}
1996 2010-07-19 [[A man is going through a cardboard box marked "MISC", and finds a catalog. A woman looks on.]] Man: Check it out -- old Computer Shoppers ! Wow -- in 1996, $3,000 would get you a 100 MHz Pentium system with a parallel port, two serial ports, a 2MB video card, and "MS-Windows" Woman: Nice! [[The two are face-to-face, and they each have a separate copy of Computer Shopper.]] Woman: And $299 would get you a Palm Pilot 100- -- 16MHz, 128Kb storage, and a memo pad, calendar, and state-of-the-art address book that can store over 100 names! Man: Oooh! [[The man continues to read from his.]] Man: And $110 would get you a bulky TI graphing calculator with around 10MHz CPU, 24Kb RAM, and a 96x64-pixel B W display! Woman: Times sure have... ...have... uh. [[They both put down their catalogs.]] Man: Okay, what the hell, T.I.? Woman: Maybe they cost so much now because there's only one engineer left who remembers how to make displays that crappy. {{Title text: College Board issues aside, I have fond memories oi TI-BASIC, writing in it a 3D graphing engine and a stock market analyzer. With enough patience, I could make anything ... but friends. (Although with my chatterbot experiments, I certainly tried.)}}
War 2010-07-21 [[A soldier is on the ground behind a low wall, writing a letter.]] My Dearest Cordelia, It has been far too long since I last gazed upon your lithe and supple body through my telescopic sights, and I fear you may have found a superior vantage poin-- <> <> <> --a splendid effort, my love, but your shots find only a decoy, and reveal your position atop the maintenance shed. I pray this missive and my grenades find you well. War is hell. {{Title text: They offered to make me a green beret, but I liked my regular one. Although it gets kind of squashed under my helmet.}}
All the Girls 2010-07-23 [[Guy and girl are standing together.]] Guy: I'm so lucky to have you. Guy: I love you most out of all the girls in all the world [[They embrace.]] Guy: who love me back. {{Title text: You know that I'll never leave you. Not as long as she's with someone.}}
Period Speech 2010-07-26 [[A sword-wielding actor on a stage addresses three others; one has a spear, another a handgun and a knife, and the third a laptop.]] Actor: Forsooth, do you grok my jive, me hearties? Actors: Ten-four! A few centuries from now, all the English of the past 400 years will sound equally old-timey and interchangeable. {{Title text: The same people who spend their weekends at the Blogger Reenactment Festivals will whine about the anachronisms in historical movies, but no one else will care.}}
Frogger 2010-07-28 [[Frogger is standing by the side of the road, looking out into traffic, which includes several semis and a couple sedans.]] [[Frogger hops out in front of a semi.]] <> [[The semi swerves into the next lane, in front of one of the sedans.]] [[They collide, the sedan crumpling into the cab of the truck.]] <> [[Smoke pours from the two wrecked vehicles. Frogger hops back to the side of the road.]] <> Bystander (off-panel): Oh god! Other Bystander (off-panel): Someone call 911! Another Bystander (off-panel): Mom! {{Title text: I understand you and your team worked hard on this, but when we said to make it more realistic, we meant the graphics.}}
University Website 2010-07-30 [[A venn diagram. The left circle is labeled "things on the front page of a university website" and contains "campus photo slideshow," "alumni in the news," "promotions for campus events," "press releases," "statement of the school's philosophy," "letter from the president," and "virtual tour." The right circle is labeled "things people go to the site looking for" and contains "list of faculty phone numbers and emails," "campus address," "application forms," "academic calendar," "campus police phone number," "department course lists," "parking information," and "usable campus map." The only item in the overlapping section is "full name of school."]] {{Title text: People go to the website because they can't wait for the next alumni magazine, right? What do you mean, you want a campus map? One of our students made one as a CS class project back in '01! You can click to zoom and everything!}}
Atheists 2010-08-02 Guy: Personally, I find atheists just as annoying as fundamentalist Christians. Girl: Well, the important thing is that you've found a way to feel superior to both. {{Title text: 'But you're using that same tactic to try to feel superior to me, too!' 'Sorry, that accusation expires after one use per conversation.'}}
Savannah Ancestry 2010-08-04 [[A man and woman are at a blackboard with equations and graphs on it.]] Man: Look, I'm doing my best, but the fact is your savannah ancestors just didn't prepare you for doing abstract math. Woman: See, that's just the kind of bullshit sexism that discredits evo-psych. Your "evolutionary histories" always seem tuned to produce 1950's gender roles. Man: Evolutionary? What? I meant Savannah, Georgia. Woman: ... Hey! Let's leave my mom out of this. {{Title text: She's a perfectly nice lady from a beautiful city, and there's no reason to be mean just because she thinks a quarterback is a river in Egypt.}}
Still No Sleep 2010-08-06 [[Woozy person walks and speaks.]] Person: The sleep deprivation madness worsens. [[Person examines hands.]] Person: Things seem unreal. Am I even awake? Maybe I'm dreaming. [[Person approaches a tree with a squirrel on it.]] Person: I'm pretty sure I'm hallucinating this tree. Person: But what if I'm hallucinating that I'm hallucinating, and I'm actually totally sane? Squirrel: Listen. Squirrel: I wouldn't worry about that. {{Title text: I'm not listening to you. I mean, what does a SQUIRREL know about mental health?}}
Pore Strips 2010-08-09 [[A box of pore strips, marked "deep cleaning."]] [[Person examinnes the box.]] [[Person applies strip to face.]] [[Person pulls on strip.]] [[Person pulls skull out of head with pore strip.]] {{Title text: I'm sure they're a harmful tool of the cosmetics-industrial complex and all, but my goodness do those strips ever work to pull gunk out of your pores. I was shocked, disgusted, and vaguely fascinated by the result.}}
Scheduling 2010-08-11 [[Pizza guy enters through door; maid is dusting.]] Pizza Guy: Pizza delivery! Did someone order a hot sausag-- Maid: Mon dieu! Monsieur is home early-- Both: Wait, who are you? Pizza guy: Wait, this is the Jones', right? Their daughter was supposed to be having a party! Maid: No, I thought Mr. Jones was coming home early. [[Pizza guy is off-panel left as plumber enters from the right.]] Pizza guy: But I thought-- Plumber: Howdy, Mrs. Jones. I hear you need some plumbi-- Plumber: Who are you? [[The pizza guy looks in a cabinet; the others are off-panel right.]] Maid: Sorry, big mixup. Pizza guy: Hey, check out out--the Joneses have Agricola! Plumber: I love that game! [[Mr. Jones and Miss Jones arrive home. Pizza guy, maid, and plumber are sitting on the floor playing Agricola.]] Mr. Jones: What in the name of ... Pizza guy: Dammit, I wanted that grain. Maid: Hush, you have starting player. {{Title text: 'How about a little ... *family growth*?' 'Dude, that's not until round two.'}}
Anxiety 2010-08-13 [[There is an airport security checkpoint where a queue of ten passengers is waiting to go through a backscatter x-ray scanner. Near the back of the line, Hat Guy is standing next to a stand which says "Viagra $20". One passenger next to him is drinking a glass of water; another is contemplating the sign.]] Security Guard (thinking): Oh god. {{Title text: Don't need any, thanks. I have a backscattering fetish.}}
Sample 2010-08-16 HOW TO BECOME THE MOST HATED BAND IN THE WORLD: Record an album that's nothing but brilliant, catchy instant classics guaranteed popularity and airtime, [[A man driving in a car, hands off the wheel in sudden surprise and confusion.]] <> Man: AUGH! WHAT? With a sample of a car horn, cell phone, or alarm clock inserted randomly in each song. {{Title text: There are two or three songs out there with beeps in the chorus that sound exactly like the clock radio alarm I had in high school, and hearing it makes me think my life since junior year has been a dream I'm about to wake up from.}}
Ahead Stop 2010-08-18 [[Words are painted in white on a black road.]] BACKWARD. I READ THINK ENGINEERS HIGHWAY {{Title text: They actually started the reversed-text practice in 1973 -- not for ease-of-reading reasons, but because too many people were driving backward down the highway blasting the Star Wars opening theme.}}
Desecration 2010-08-20 [[A woman runs up to a man.]] Woman: Rob! Rob! Man: You look terrified! What's wrong? Woman: We've made a huge mistake! [[The woman and man stand facing each other.]] Woman: Remember last week when we dug up all those Indian bones and made puppets out of them? Man: Sure... [[The woman holds her arms out for emphasis, the man puts his hands to his face in horror.]] Woman: It turns out they were buried over an ancient Indian burial ground! Man: Oh my God! {{Title text: It gets worse! You know that wizened old monk with the gypsy wife whose voodoo shop we smash up every every day after school?}}
I Don't Want Directions 2010-08-23 [[Full body shot of man on phone.]] Man: Looking forward to seeing your new place! What's the address? -- Mm hmm. Yes, I'm taking 495. But I have a GPS, so I really just need the street address. [[Close up.]] Man: ...then south on 18, okay, but I have a GPS, so if you just want to skip to the street address, I can... [[Full body shot, facing other direction.]] Man: Thanks, I'm glad to know Highland Road comes a mile after the big intersection, but I keep saying I have a GPS, can you tell me the street address? ... Technically that's just more information on how to get to your place, not the address itself. If you could-- [[Close up again, man writing on pad.]] Man: ...I appreciate that you want to help, but I'm ignoring you and just waiting for the... Listen, I just remembered I need to mail you a letter. What's your address? -- Mhm... okay... Great, Thanks! I'll see you in an hour! {{Title text: Yes, I understand that the turn is half a mile past the big field, but my GPS knows that, too. This would be easier if you weren't about to ask me to repeat it all back to you.}}
Falling Asleep 2010-08-25 [[A man gets into bed.]] It's so much easier falling asleep [[A woman is lying in bed, gripping her pillow.]] With you beside me-- [[The man is lying on his back in bed.]] All the incentive I need [[Full shot of the bed, the woman is on the left, gripping the pillow, the man is as far to the right as possible, nearly falling off, facing away from her.]] To leave the world behind. {{Title text: Sweet unintersecting dreams!}}
Open Mic Night 2010-08-27 [[Woman on stage, holding microphone, hip-hop stance.]] Woman: Yo, I'm M.C. Aphasia and I'm here to say that, I... uh... um... hi? [[Hat man on stage, holding microphone.]] Hat man: So I... oh? Does she? Well, when yo mama sits around the house, she finds herself wishing she'd finished her degree instead of having kids right away, maybe started that business. Then she might have created something she's proud of. [[Man on stage, holding microphone, fist pumping toward audience.]] Man: Yo, I'm M.C. Quine and I'm here to say, "Yo, I'm M.C. Quine and I'm here to say!" [[Beret man on stage, holding microphone.]] Beret man: Ever notice how men go to the restroom alone, while women go in hordes ten thousand strong, clad all in sable armor and bristling with swords and spears? Audience member: Those are orcs. Beret man: Oh. {{Title text: Ever notice how the more successful observational comics become, the more their jokes focus on flying and hotels?}}
Exoplanets 2010-08-30 [[Beret man runs into the room, someone is in bed under the covers.]] Beret man: Wake up! --- Wake up! Bed man: What is it? [[Beret man stands talking to person still hiding under covers.]] Beret man: We're alive during the time when they're first discovering other planetary systems! They're finding them as fast as they can build new instruments to look for them! [[Dramatic shot of just Beret man.]] Beret man: And if one of Earth's cultures advances its space program enough to start enriching uranium on asteroids, we'll lose the main barrier to restarting Project Orion and building nuke-riding City-ships! [[Beret man bends down to eye level with person in bed, who is peaking his face out from the covers.]] Beret man: The only known technology capable of fast interstellar travel could be operational within just a few generations, and we're discovering all these destinations to pick from! -- Come on! Bed man: Can I hit "snooze"? Beret man: Okay, but just once! {{Title text: I'm just worried that we'll all leave and you won't get to come along!}}
Orbiter 2010-09-01 [[A man sits at a control screen, wearing a headset.]] Man: Okay, people. The orbiter is passing south of Iceland. The next scheduled check-in will be at 32.0°N 35.5°E, over the Palestinian territories. Voice off-screen #1: You mean over the State of Palestine? Voice off-screen #2: You mean over Israel ? [[The man looks up and says nothing.]] [[The man looks back down at his screen.]] Man: I've rescheduled the check-in for 35.2°N 96.6°W, over Oklahoma. Voice off-screen #2: You mean occupied North Texas? Man: Dammit, Frank. {{Title text: Normally, the Shuttle can't quite safely reach the orbital inclination required to pass over both those points from a Canaveral launch, but this is an alternate history in which either it launches from Vandenburg or everyone hates the Outer Banks.}}
The Carriage 2010-09-03 [[The Grim Reaper driving a horse-drawn carriage.]] Because I could not stop for death He kindly stopped for me [[A woman wearing her hair in a bun grabs Death by the arm and pulls him off the carriage. There is a Y-button symbol in the lower left corner.]] The carriage held but just oursel-- Death: Hey! <> [[The woman takes off in the carriage, leaving Death in her dust, on the ground.]] Woman: Hyah! [[The Grand Theft Auto logo is shown, with the stamp "Emily Dickinson Edition" underneath. There is a picture of stick-Emily, arms crossed, and a scythe next to her.]] {{Title text: I learned from Achewood that since this poem is in ballad meter, it can be sung to the tune of Gilligan's Island. Since then, try as I might, I haven't ONCE been able to read it normally.}}
Showdown 2010-09-06 [[Two cowboys face off silently in the desert, the blazing sun beating down.]] [[They exchange steely glares, hands poised to reach their guns, as a tumbleweed rolls into frame.]] <> [[Close-up on the tumbleweed. It draws two guns.]] <> [[The tumbleweed shoots both cowboys simultaneously, and they fall backwards.]] <> {{Title text: The tumbleweed then tried to roll off into the sunset, but due to the Old West's placement north of the subtropical ridge, the prevailing winds were in the wrong direction.}}
Control 2010-09-08 A man looks down at his arm calmly, while next to him a woman is violently flailing around in terror. In the foreground, two scientists, one holding a clipboard, look on in puzzlement. Man: My rash seems to have shrunk by about 20% today. Woman: OH GOD SPIDERS Scientists: ??? {{Title text: Which, at one point, led to a study showing that LSD produces no more hallucinations than a placebo.}}
Leaving 2010-09-10 [[A man looks down at a puddle on the floor and speaks to someone out-of-panel.]] Man: Hey, while you're out, can you pick up some spray cleaner that works on cat vomit? Voice: Can do! -- Bye! [[Man extends his arm and faces the leaving person.]] Man: ...Wait! Voice: Yes? Man: Uh. ...You are in my heart always. Voice: ...? Sometimes, when people leave, I'm seized by a sudden fear that they'll die while they're out, and I'll never forget the last thing I said to them. {{Title text: What'll I say -- "I was staring at some cat vomit when I got the news?"}}
Password Reuse 2010-09-13 [[A man is sitting facing a computer, Hat man is standing behind him.]] Hat man: Password entropy is rarely relevant. The real modern danger is password reuse. Man: How so? (Computer: Password too weak.) [[Close up on just Hat man.]] Hat man: Set up a web service to do something simple, like image hosting or tweet syndication, so a few million people set up free accounts. [[The man has now turned his chair around to face Hat man.]] Hat man: Bam, you've got a few million emails, default usernames, and passwords. [[Just Hat man.]] Hat man: Tons of people use one password, strong or not, for most accounts. Use the list and some proxies to try automated logins to the 20 or 30 most popular sites, plus banks and payola and such. [[A piece of paper containing a list with three columns, titled 'Email', 'User', and 'Pass'. An arrow branching out from the paper to the words 'Banks', 'Facebook', 'Gmail', 'Paypal', and 'Twitter'. [[Hat man is still standing facing the man in the chair, who now puts his hand to his chin.]] Hat man: You've now got a few hundred thousand real identities on a few dozen services, and nobody suspects a thing. Man: And then what? [[The same as previous panel, further back.]] Hat man: Well, that's where I got suck. Man: You DID this? Hat man: Why did you think I hosted so many unprofitable web services? [[Close-up on Hat man.]] Hat man: I could probably net a lot of money, one way or another, if I did things carefully. But research shows more money doesn't make people happier, once they make enough to avoid day-to-day financial stress. [[Another close-up, facing opposite direction.]] Hat man: I could mess with people endlessly, but I do that already. I could get a political or religious idea out to most of the world, but since March of 1997 I don't really believe in anything. [[Hat man facing man in chair again.]] Hat man: So, here I sit, a puppetmaster who wants nothing from his puppets. -- It's the same problem Google has. Man: Oh? ((This panel is indented.)) Google… [[A man stands, his chair behind him, leaning his hands on the edge of a boardroom table with the Google logo on it. Behind it sit a woman with a bun and glasses and another man.]] Man: Okay, everyone, we control the world's information. Now it's time to turn evil. What's the plan? Woman: Make boatloads of money? [[The man stands with his hand on his head.]] Man: We already do! Voice off-screen: Set up a companywide CoD4: Modern Warfare tournament each week? Man: That's not evil! Voice: Ooh, dibs on the lobby TV! Man: Okay, we suck at this. {{Title text: It'll be hilarious the first few times this happens.}}
Physicists 2010-09-15 A man stands at a blackboard covered in equations and diagrams, an open laptop and scattered paper at his feet. His fists are balled in anger and there is a little angry squiggle over his head. A second man stands behind him, arms out in a shrug. ((Words in <> are gray.)) Second man: You're trying to predict the behavior of ? Just model it as a , and then add some secondary terms to account for . -- Easy, right? -- So, why does need a whole journal, anyway? Liberal-arts majors may be annoying sometimes, but there's nothing more obnoxious than a physicist first encountering a new subject. {{Title text: If you need some help with the math, let me know, but that should be enough to get you started! Huh? No, I don't need to read your thesis, I can imagine roughly what it says.}}
Inside Joke 2010-09-17 [[Two men with beards stand at a crude wooden counter, one is wearing a turban. Behind the man without a turban is a woman kneeling on the ground and putting something into a box.]] Turban man: Nine silvers for a ham? That's too much! No-turban: Too much? There's a monk out back with a ladder! (Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...) There's no reason to think that people throughout history didn't have just as many inside jokes and catchphrases as any modern group of high-schoolers. {{Title text: I've looked through a few annotated versions of classic books, and it's shocking how much of what's in there is basically pop-culture references totally lost on us now.}}
Conditional Risk 2010-09-20 [[Lightning strikes the ground, illuminating trees with a bright white light. Two people are standing near it. One has a walking stick.]] <> <> First person: Whoa! We should get inside! Second person: It's okay! Lightning only kills about 45 Americans a year, so the chances of dying are only one in 7,000,000. Let's go on! The annual death rate among people who know that statistic is one in six. {{Title text: 'Dude, wait -- I'm not American! So my risk is basically zero!'}}
Bad Ex 2010-09-22 [[Two people are walking. The first is wearing a white hat.]] Second person: It just blows my mind. She seemed so genuine. I had no idea she was such a serial liar. Second person: I just wish I had our six months back. [[The view focuses on the second person.]] Second person: Her exes say the same thing happened to them. Second person: Maybe what we need is a terrible-ex tracking and notification service. [[The second person turns, thoughtfully.]] First person: But after all the problems with sex offender registries, who would agree to run it? Second person: Maybe one of the state governments more willing to experiment could try it out... Soon... [[Two people are sitting at a table, on which sit wine glasses and plates. One has glasses and a goatee, and the other has long hair. A person approaches them carrying a clipboard and a license.]] License person: Excuse me, ma'am. Long hair person: Yes? License person: This man is known to the state of California to be a total douchebag. {{Title text: Since the goatee, glasses, and Seltzer & Friedberg DVD collection didn't tip you off, there will be a $20 negligence charge for this service.}}
debian-main 2010-09-24 <> [[A swarm of insects cover a computer and a person. The person is leaning back on their chair, flailing to get away.]] My package made it into Debian-main because it looked innocuous enough; no one noticed "locusts" in the dependency list. {{Title text: dpkg: error processing package (--purge): subprocess pre-removal script returned error exit 163: OH_GOD_THEYRE_INSIDE_MY_CLOTHES}}
Adjectives 2010-09-27 Frequency with which various adjectives are intensified with obscenities (based on Google hits) ((The legend above the plot reads:)) Red marker: "fucking ____" Blue marker: "____ as shit" ((Mathematical formula for scale next to the legend:)) Scale: ln(hits for intensified phrase hits for adjective alone) ((The plot itself lists a series of adjectives in approximately descending order. Each has a red and a blue marker corresponding to the scale described.)) ((Horizontal axis starts with none, then has a vertical dashed line, then 'rarely' at -17, increasing to 'often' at -5.)) ((Each adjective is listed with approximate red and blue values, in that order.)) Annoying -5 -5 Pissed -5 -6 Stupid -5 -8 Bored -6 -6 Sexy -5.5 -6.5 Adorable -6.5 -9.5 Disgusting -6.5 -12.5 Calm -7 -10 Delicious -8 -13 Obscene -6 -14 Prosaic -10 -13.5 Bemused -8.5 -14 Apropos -10.5 -16 Ambivalent -12 -17 Improper -12.5 -18 Evanescent -14 -14.5 Piquant -9.5 never Jejune -9 never Kafkaesque -10 never Stochastic -14 never Fungible -12 never Peristeronic never never ("Of or pertaining to pigeons") [[there are two small scenes in the bottom right of the plot. The first shows a pair of women holding wine glasses.]] Second woman: Yes, the Cabernet is piquant as shit this time of year. [[The second shows a person sitting at a computer desk.]] Person: Whoa, these commodities are fucking fungible ! {{Title text: 'Fucking ineffable' sounds like someone remembering how to do self-censorship halfway through a phrase.}}
Stephen Hawking 2010-09-29 [[Stephen Hawking is facing a pair of people. His voice appears in a square machine readable font.]] Stephen Hawking: I thought maybe later we should go see a movie. [[The two people are running.]] [[The front page of a newspaper appears instead of a third panel.]] ((Name of the paper.)) The Times ((Main headline.)) Physicist Stephen Hawking Suggests We See More Films [[A picture of Stephen Hawking is in the center of the page.]] ((Picture's caption.)) Smartest Man Alive ((Secondary headline.)) What Does He Know That We Don't? ((Large quote in article body.)) Is this a warning? [[Stephen Hawking is sitting alone, looking depressed.]] {{Title text: 'Guys? The Town is supposed to be good, and I thou--' 'PHYSICIST STEPHEN HAWKING DECLARES NEW FILM BEST IN ALL SPACE AND TIME' 'No, I just heard that--' 'SHOULD SCIENCE PLAY A ROLE IN JUDGING BEN AFFLECK?' 'I don't think--' 'WHAT ABOUT MATT DAMON?'}}
Beautiful Dream 2010-10-01 [[A person with disheveled hair stretches their arms. A sunburst indicating sleepiness is above their head.]] <> Person: I just woke up [...] [[The person continues speaking from off panel, to a second person who's sitting at a table with a laptop and cup. They've leaned their elbow on the chair, turning to face the first person.]] Person: From the most beautiful dream. Second person: Which was? Person: All the girls who read and follow The Rules and all the guys who swear by the techniques in The Game paired off with each other and left the rest of us alone forever. Second person: Mmmmmm... {{Title text: Lucky. In MY dream, all the people who grew up loving The Giving Tree paired up with all the students who had weird dreams after reading The Metamorphosis. That one was more confusing.}}
Golden Hammer 2010-10-04 [[A man with a black hat is going through a door, a bottle in his hand. A voice speaks to him from off panel.]] Person: Seriously? This thing runs Java ? It's single-purpose hardware! [[The person is sitting at a computer, holding some device which is wired to a box, and pointing at the screen.]] Person: I bet they actually hired someone to spend six months porting this JVM so they could write their 20 lines of code in a familiar setting. [[The man with a black hat has a pair of bolt cutters in the hand that had been obscured in the first panel.]] Black hat guy: Well, you know what they say -- when all you have is a pair of bolt cutters and a bottle of vodka, everything looks like the lock on the door of Wolf Blitzer's boathouse. Person: I'm glad you had a nice night. {{Title text: Took me five tries to find the right one, but I managed to salvage our night out--if not the boat--in the end.}}
Online Communities 2 2010-10-06 [[A giant, untranscribable map of the internet. Apologies from the transcriber, who did her best to include as much as she could without going nuts.]] ((Label in the center of main map.)) Updated Map of Online Communities Size on map represents volume of Daily Social activity (posts, chat, etc). Based on data gathered over the Spring and Summer of 2010 [[Two insets on the upper left-hand corner shows that this map is a tiny portion of the huge continent of Spoken Language, encompassing portions of the Internet, Email, and Cell Phones (SMS).]] [[The largest landmass on the map by far, which takes up nearly the entire northern half of the map is "Facebook" -- with large states in the southeast of the country labeled 'Farmville' and 'Happy Farm'. There is a much smaller state to the west of these called 'Farm Town'. To the north of these states is a large swath of unremarkable land entitled 'Northern Wasteland of Unread Updates.' This is directly north of the large Dopamine Sea. A peninsula on the southwest, just below the Plains of Awkwardly Public Family Interactions, houses many tiny states, such as MySpace, Orkut, LinkedIn, Bebo, & Hi5. It is bordered on the south by Buzzword Bay, which contains several islands of varying sizes. Among these are YouTube and Twitter (the largest), which are separated by the Social Media Consultant Channel. To the southeast of Twitter, across the Sea of Protocol Confusion, is another, equally large island. Most of it is Skype, with the north having two largish states called AIM and Windows Live Messenger. On the southwest part of the island are two smaller states called GG and Yahoo Messenger. The Island of Skype is extremely close to, but separated by the Great Firewall (a dashed line), the large landmass of QQ. It's north shore is the Gulf of China and Grass Mud Horse Bay. Outside of these bays, over the Great Firewall are two islands called Craigslist and 2Channel. In the Dopamine Sea, off the southern shores of Farmvile and Happy Farm, is MMO Isle. Its largest state is WoW, with Runescape, Lineage, Maple Story, Habbo, and the Mountains of Steam among its notable landmarks. To the southeast of the island is the Gulf of Lag, in which sits the CDC Games island, with Eve Online. To the east of Twitter is Troll Bay, with such islands as Reddit and Reddit, Digg, Stumbleupon, Delicio.us, and Wikipedia Talk Pages. To their south are the IRC isles, of which one is the tiny island of #xkcd. East of these islands, and north of Skype island, is the Sea of Memes. In this sea, to the north of Craigslist and 2Channel, is an archipelago of tiny islands. There is an inset, labeled 'Forums.' (See below.) To the southwest if Twitter island, in the Sea of Opinions, are the blog islands. These lie south of the islands in Buzzword Bay, as well. The northernmost islands in this group are centered around the Bay of Drama, on which can be found Diary Blogs, Gossip Blogs, and Livejournal. Gossip Blogs share an island with Political, Music, and Tech Blogs. To the north of this island is a smaller island called Photo Blogs. South of Diary Blogs, and off the southwest coast of Music blogs is a smaller island called Fandom Blogs. South of Tech Blogs, off of which sprouts the small peninsula of Business Blogs, is the Spamblog Straits. On the other side of the straits is a large island made up of Miscellaneous Blogs, with two states demarcated as Religious Blogs and Blog Blogs. Southwest of the Blog Islands is the Sea of Zero (0) Comments.]] [[An inset of a group of islands in the sea of memes located on the lower right corner of the map, labeled 'Forums'. The largest by far is 4chan and b . Also found here are D2JSP, JLA Frums, Fan Forum, Something Awful, and many smaller ones, too numerous to list here.]] [[The northeastern third of Gossip Political Tech Blogs island is another inset labeled 'Blogosphere (Core)'. This can be found on the lower left corner of the map. Two peninsulas in Political Blogs bookend the Bay of Flame -- these are Liberal Blogs and Conservative Blogs. Between them lie several tiny islands such as Politics Daily, CNN Politcal Ticker, and Mediaite. Off the coast of Liberal Blogs lies the island of NYTimes, off the coast of Conservative Blogs is Libertarian Isle. Between the two lies The Talk. The northern peninsula of Tech Blogs contains places such as Gizmodo, Engadget, Joystiq, and Kotaku.]] ((Text found between the two insets, which are directly below the main map.)) ABOUT THIS MAP Communities rise and fall, and total membership numbers are no longer a good measure of a community's current size and health. This updated map uses size to represent total social activity in a community -- that is, how much talking, playing sharing, or other socializing happens there. This meant some paring of apples and oranges, but I did my best and tried to be consistent. Estimates are based on the numbers I could find, but involved a great deal of guesswork, statistical inference, random sampling, nonrandom sampling, a 20,000-cell spreadsheet, emailing, cajoling, tea-leafing reading, goat sacrifices, and gut instinct (i.e. making things up). Sources of data include Google and Bing, Wiipedia, Alexa, Big-Boards.com, StumbleUpon, Wordpress, Akismet, every website statistics page I could find, press releases, news articles, and individual site employees. Thanks in particular to folks at Last.fm, LiveJournal, Reddit, and the New York Times, as well as sysadmins at a number of sites who shared statistics on condition of anonymity. {{Title text: Best trivia I learned while working on this: 'Man, Farmville is so huge! Do you realize it's the second-biggest browser-based social-networking-centered farming game in the WORLD?' Then you wait for the listener to do a double-take.}}
Airfoil 2010-10-08 Handling a student who challenges your expertise with an insightful question: [[There's a picture of the cross section of an airfoil, with an arrow above and below, pointing from right to left. Layered on top of these arrows, pointing up and down at the cross section, are a larger arrow below and a smaller arrow above.]] ((This panel just contains text, and has a speech curlique hanging towards the person in the next panel.)) Teacher: So, kids, the air above the wing travels a longer distance, so it has to go faster to keep up. Faster air exerts less pressure, so the wing is lifted upward. Student: But then why can planes fly upside down? ((The teacher is standing, pondering the question. Three arrows point out of this panel, leading to each of the next three panels which are arranged vertically.)) ((This is a label at the top of the panel, not a character speaking.)) Right: ((This is the character speaking.)) Teacher: Wow, good question! Maybe this picture is simplified -- or wrong! We should learn more. Wrong: Teacher: It's... complicated. Teacher: And we need to move on. Very wrong: Teacher: Santa Claus is your parents. {{Title text: This is a fun explanation to prepare your kids for; it's common and totally wrong. Good lines include 'why does the air have to travel on both sides at the same time?' and 'I saw the Wright brothers plane and those wings were curved the same on the top and bottom!'}}
Pumpkin Carving 2010-10-11 [[Beret guy stands next to a pumpkin with a picture of a pumpkin carved into it]] Interlocutor: So what did you- BeretGuy: I carved a pumpkin! Interlocutor: ... [[Black hat guy stands next to a pumpkin and a box labeled "Nitro-glycerin. Do not shake."]] Interlocutor: Taking on teen vandals, I see. HatGuy: Heavens, No. My pumpkin simply has chest pains. In fact, I'll leave a note warning them not to smash it. [[Long-haired stick figure stands next to a jack-o'lantern]] HairFigure: My pumpkin's name is Harold. He just realized that all the time he used to spend daydreaming, he now spends worrying. He'll try to distract himself later with holiday traditions, but it won't work. [[Generic stick figure stands next to two pumpkins and a knife]] StickFigure: I carved and carved, and the next thing I knew I had two pumpkins. Interlocutor: I told you not to take the axiom of choice. {{Title text: The Banach-Tarski theorem was actually first developed by King Solomon, but his gruesome attempts to apply it set back set theory for centuries.}}
Paradise City 2010-10-13 [[A stick figure sits on a box playing a guitar and singing]] Singer: Take me down to the paradise city where the grass is green and the girls are pretty. Singer: Take me down to the paradise village where the grass is green and the cute girls pillage. Singer: Take me down to the fire-charred counties where the law's restored by Canadian mounties. Singer: Take me down to Orwellian regions where they retrain girls using cortical lesions Singer: Take me down to the paradise borough where the grass is labeled 'cause the girls are thorough. Ohh, won't you please take me hooome... {{Title text: Take me down to the paradise municipality where the grass is mauve and the girls aren't fromthisreality.}}
Tech Support 2010-10-15 [[Person is on the phone, and holding up some networking hardware.]] Person: ... restart my computer? I know you have a script to follow, but the uplink light on the modem is going off every few hours. The problem is between your office and the modem. Person: My computer has nothing to do with ... okay, whatever, I "restarted my computer." Person: It's still down, and even if it comes back, it's going to die again in a few hours, because your-- Person: I don't HAVE a start menu. This is a Haiku install, but that's not import-- Person: Haiku? It's an experimental OS that I ... oh, never mind. Person: I'm sorry, but this won't get fixed until I talk to an engineer. Can you look around for someone wearing cargo pants, maybe a subway map on their wall? [[The tech support person on the other end is wearing a headset, and looks around.]] Tech: There's a chick two phones over with a stuffed penguin doll and a poster of some bearded dudes with swords. Person: Perfect. Can you put her on? Tech: Sure. [[Person is now talking to the engineer.]] Person: Hey, so sorry to bother you, but my connection-- Engineer: Yeah, I see it. Lingering problems from a server move. <> Engineer: Should be fixed now. Person: Thank you SO MUCH. Engineer: No problem. Hey, in the future, if you're on any tech support call, you can say the code word "shibboleet" at any point and you'll be automatically transferred to someone who knows a minimum of two programming languages. Person: Seriously? Engineer: Yup. It's a backdoor put in by the geeks who built these phone support systems back in the 1990's. Engineer: Don't tell anyone. Person: Oh my god, this is the greatest-- [[Person wakes up.]] Person: Wha-- Person: ... DAMMIT. {{Title text: I recently had someone ask me to go get a computer and turn it on so I could restart it. He refused to move further in the script until I said I had done that.}}
Connected 2010-10-18 [[A girl sits on a rock and a boy sits on the grass]] Girl: Seriously? I like that song too! I bet no two people in the history of the world have ever been so connected! Caption: I'm not sure why we romanticize "young love". {{Title text: Or love in general, for that matter. It just leads to the idea that either your love is pure, perfect, and eternal, and you are storybook-compatible in every way with no problems, or you're LYING when you say 'I love you'.}}
The Economic Argument 2010-10-20 {{A table is labeled with three columns: "Crazy phenomenon," "If it worked, people would be using it to make a killing in..." and "Are they?"}} Remote Viewing, Dowsing - Oil Prospecting - Auras, Homeopathy, Remote Prayer - Health Care Cost Reduction - Astrology, Tarot - Financial Business Planning - Crystal Energy - Regular Energy - Curses, Hexes - The Military - Relativity - GPS Devices - X Quantum Electrodynamics - Semiconductor Circuit Design - X Eventually, arguing that these things work means arguing that modern capitalism isn't THAT ruthlessly profit-focused. {{Title text: Not to be confused with 'making money selling this stuff to OTHER people who think it works', which corporate accountants and actuaries have zero problems with.}}
Los Alamos 2010-10-22 [[Three stick figures stand in front of a few graphs and scientific looking pictures. One of them has hair.]] Los Alamos, 1945... Middle Figure: We have a decision. If we've done our math right, this test will unleash heaven's fire and make us as gods. Middle figure: But it's possible we made a mistake, and the heat will ignite the atmosphere, destroying the planet in a cleansing conflagration. Left figure: Wow. Um. Question: Just to double-check - although I'm 99% sure - Left figure: Is it "Soh cah toa" or "coh sah toa"? Middle figure: Oh, for the love of... can someone redo Steve's work? Right figure: I don't want to do the test anymore. {{Title text: The test didn't (spoiler alert) destroy the world, but the fact that they were even doing those calculations makes theirs the coolest jobs ever.}}
Constructive 2010-10-25 [[A man is talking to a woman]] Man: Spammers are breaking traditional captchas with AI, so I've built a new system. It asks users to rate a slate of comments as "Constructive" or "Not constructive". [[Close up of man]] Man: Then it has them reply with comments of their own, which are later rated by other users. [[Woman standing next to man again]] Woman: But what will you do when spammers train their bots to make automated constructive and helpful comments? [[Close up of man again]] Man: Mission. Fucking. Accomplished. {{Title text: And what about all the people who won't be able to join the community because they're terrible at making helpful and constructive co-- ... oh.}}
Starlight 2010-10-27 [[Girl and beret guy stand under the stars]] Girl: The starlight falls on our eyes after a journey across trillions of miles - dying here at last, so far from home, all so we can see some pretty dots. [[Beret guy think for a moment, then runs away, comes back with a mirror, and holds it up towards the stars]] {{Title text: Don't worry! From the light's point of view, home and your eye are in the same place, and the journey takes no time at all! Relativity saves the day again.}}
Glass 2010-10-29 [[Woman is singing, man is staring at a flass of water on a table.]] Woman: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE... Anything break? Man: No, but the water in the glass turned to wine. [[Man picks up glass]] Woman: Weird. Man: No, wait. This is blood. Woman: Okay, Physics, quit fucking with us. Physics: You stop looking for the higgs boson and we'll talk. {{Title text: I read in this one article that the breaking of electroweak symmetry is the reason we have SOULS. This guy with a degree said so!}}
One-Liners 2010-11-01 Probability of phrases becoming action movie one liners: ((Panels are arranged from More Likely on the left to Less likely on the right)) [[A woman points a gun down at a man who is on the floor, his gun just out of reach]] Woman: You're going down the memory hole now, asshole. [[Man on ground points gun up at blade-armed man standing next to a board with science on it]] Man with gun: Hey! You forgot to carry the two. [[Woman on desk points sword at man standing on floor]] Woman: Looks like the fed just lowered the interest rate. [[Man with gun looks down at woman slumped on floor]] Man: Guess you should've scrolled all the way to the bottom before clicking "agree". [[Woman holds pistol to the back of the head of another woman holding a rifle]] Woman with pistol: Bangarang, motherfucker. {{Title text: 'Upgrade to the latest version of Adobe Flash player to view THIS content, bitch.' ::triggers detonator::}}
Diode 2010-11-03 [[Man is talking to woman. Woman holds up a diode.]] Man: We need to talk. Woman: Okay, but first hold the end of this diode. [[They hold the diode]] Man: You hurt my feelings yesterday. Woman: You embarassedme with my family last weekend. [[They are still holding the diode between them]] Man: I'm sorry. {{Title text: And the worst part is you won't apologize.}}
Mu 2010-11-05 [[A man spins in circles on a chair next to a desk. A graph of productivity vs Coefficient of friction of desk chair shows a curve that drops off very quickly as the coefficient of friction approaches zero, with the productivity becoming negative at low values. It plateaus in the middle of the graph, and then begins to drop less steeply as coefficient of friction increases above the optimal point.]] Man in chair: Wheeeeeeeee {{Title text: As the CoKF approaches 0, productivity goes negative as you pull OTHER people into chair-spinning contests.}}
Applied Math 2010-11-08 [[A woman is standing at a whiteboard considering a logical proof.]] Woman #1: Wow. I can't find fault with your proof. [[The woman is still looking at the white board, the frame expands to show a second woman walking away, rubbing her hands together in an evil manner.]] Woman #1: You've show the inconsistency -- and thus the invalidity -- of basic logic itself. Woman #2: Excellent, on to step two. [[The second woman sits down at a desk and begins to write.]] Dear Dr. Knuth, [[She continues to write.]] I am writing to collect from you the $3,372,564.45 I am owed for discovering 1,317,408 errors in The Art of Computer Programming... {{Title text: Dear Reader: Enclosed is a check for ninety-eight cents. Using your work, I have proven that this equals the amount you requested.}}
Mutual 2010-11-10 [[A man and a woman are inside each others' thought bubbles.]] {{Title text: A universe that needed someone to observe it in order to collapse it into existence would be a pretty sorry universe indeed.}}
Illness 2010-11-12 Randall: Hey, everyone-- Randall: As I mentioned on the blag, I'm going through a rough time right now. I'm dealing with a serious family illness and it's become pretty overwhelming. Randall: We're still getting a handle on everything, and I appreciate your patience while we figure it all out. Randall: Thank you to everyone who wrote in with kind wishes and words of support. They've been passed on and meant a lot. Randall: I like drawing, and might find time for it in the coming weeks, but I'm not going to push myself to stick to a schedule. Randall: However, between my stacks of notebooks, scanner, and supportive sysadmin, I should at least have something interesting to share with yyou in this space each M W F. Randall: <3 {{Title text: <3 If there's anything you can do, I'll let you know. For the moment, any simple distracting online games sent to sick@xkcd.com would not be unappreciated.}}
Five-Minute Comics: Part 1 2010-11-15 Because of a family illness, instead of regular comics, this week I'll be sharing some strips that I drew as part of a game I played with friends. Each comic had to be written and drawn in five minutes. -- Randall ----Comic #1---- [[A man and a woman stand facing each other.]] Man: Jupiter will make its closest approach to Earth in decades. [[The man points behind the woman, and the woman turns around.]] Man: In fact, here it comes now! [[Jupiter, about the size of the characters' heads, hovers into the frame at about head-height.]] Jupiter: Hey, guys. [[Jupiter continues to hover through the frame as the characters watch it go.]] Jupiter: Anyone need a gravitational slingshot? Woman: No, I'm good. Jupiter: Aight. ----Comic #2---- [[A man sits on a box, playing a guitar.]] Man: ...Now I don't blame him 'cause he ran and hid, -- but the meanest thing that he ever did -- was before he left, he went and named me "Trig." ----Comic #3---- [[A man looks down a well.]] Man: Oh God, a little girl is trapped down this well! [[The man runs off screen.]] [[He returns, leading a pony.]] Man: It's okay, we got you that pony you always wanted! [[He tries to cram the pony down the well with the aid of a large stick.]] Man: Get... in... there... -- Ugh! ----Comic #4---- [[A man and a woman stand in a server room.]] Man: I like to get back to nature by coming out here to the server room. -- The warmth, the whirr of the drives, the drone of the fans, the howl of the wolves... Woman: Wolves? Man: Yeah, we started a reintroduction program. ----Comic #5---- [[A man stands by himself in the frame.]] Man: Yo momma's so masculine that she... oh, wait, that's your dad. -- Is your mom the lady over by the door? Aww, she looks nice! ----Comic #6---- [[A man runs toward another man who is wearing a powdered wig, holding a gun in one hand, and a flute in the other. Behind him, someone is chasing him on a motorcycle.]] Man: Bach, activate the magic flute and teleport us home! Wagner's right behind me on his Ring Cycle! ----Comic #7---- Hotness Ratings: [[A close up of a woman with wavy hair.]] Incredily made-up girl on magazine cover. ((Inset of a man: "Meh." [[An average girl.]] Girl in your bio class. ((Inset of man: "Two stars.")) [[Girl with mussed hair in over-sized men's shirt.]] Girl in your bio class wearing one of your shirts. Girl: Want some breakfast? ((Inset man: "Four stars." [[Girl with another sort of shirt speaking to an older lady.]] Girl in your bio class wearing one of your mom's shirts. Girl: Thanks for the great night. ((Inset man: "Wat!")) [[Creepy-looking girl.]] Girl in your bio class wearing your mom's skin like a suit. Girl: Give Mommy a hug! ((Inset man, screaming: "AAAAAAAA")) {{Title text: The wolves thin the RAID arrays, removing the slowest and weakest disks to keep the average seek speed high.}}
Five-Minute Comics: Part 2 2010-11-17 Because of a family illness, instead of regular comics, this week I'll be sharing some strips that I drew as part of a game I played with friends. Each comic had to be written and drawn in five minutes. -- Randall ((A series of comics are arrayed haphazardly. They will be tackled top to bottom, left to right, approximately. Strips will be separated by two new lines.)) [[A ninja is hiding under a diving board as a man runs along it.]] [[The man jumps on the end of the board and hits the ninja in the head, knocking him into the pool.]] [[The ninja floats in the water. A bullet passes through the man's head.]] <> [[The man is lying bleeding on the diving board, the ninja is still unconscious on the pool.]] [[A sniper is at the top of a hill. The sign in front of the hill says "Grassy Knoll".]] [[Someone is pointing at the diagram of the previous panel.]] Off-panel voice: Wait, so what does this have to do with 9 11, again? Person: I said I'm getting there! [[A man is studying a woman.]] Man: You look different. Man: You have this... _glow_ about you. [[They stare in silence.]] [[A baby falls out of the woman.]] <> Woman: Cogito ergo cogito. Off-panel voice: Playing it safe, huh? [[Two ghosts are standing in front of a woman at a door, each carrying a bag. They are children dressed up.]] Children: Trick or treat! [[The woman doesn't move.]] Child: Um hi. Why are you just standing there? Other Child: Candy? [[Another silent panel as the children stare up at the woman.]] [[The second child looks in their bag.]] Other Child: Oh God, my bag of candy. Other Child: It's filling with blood. Child: We should go. [[A jet is flying across the panel.]] Pilot: Bail out! Bail out! Bail out! [[The pilot and copilot have buckets, and are bailing water out of the cockpit.]] The following is a dramatization of real events. [[A person is at a counter, with several jars.]] Person: AAAAAAAAAAAAA I'm making a sandwich! AAAAAAAAAA! [[Two people are carrying lightsabers and wearing robes.]] Person: Oh God. My eyes won't focus right! And your robe looks... really dirty! My blacklightsaber was not a success. [[A person is standing.]] Person: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. Off-screen voice: It seems we happen to be all ladies, actually. Person: ... in that case, this defense is going to appear _extremely_ ill-advised. [[Darth Vader is sitting between two people, at a table.]] Person: Your sad devotion to that ancient religion hasn't hleped you conjur up the stolen data tapes, or given you -- Darth Vader: Hey. Wicca is a legitimate belief system! [[Darth Vader is drawing a pentagram on the table.]] Person: What are you -- Darth Vader: Putting a _hex_ on your family. {{Title text: Dear Wiccan readers: I understand modern Wiccans are not usually all about the curses and hexes. But Darth Vader was recently converted from Episcopalianism and he's still figuring it all out.}}
Five-Minute Comics: Part 3 2010-11-19 Because of a family illness, instead of regular comics, this week I'll be sharing some strips that I drew as part of a game I played with friends. Each comic had to be written and drawn in five minutes. -- Randall (( The individual comics are arranged haphazardly. Once again they will be separated by double newlines, while panels will be separated by single newlines.)) Pearl Harbor. November 7th, 1941. [[There is a beach, with some ships floating in a crescent shaped harbor.]] [[The same bay, again.]] [[The boats continue to move about the harbor.]] [[The boats do their thing. A title explains.]] (We're going to be here a while, since the attack wasn't until December.) [[A man is sittin gon a bus, a woman in front of him.]] I know it's natural and all, but I really wish women on the bus wouldn't try to breastfeed me. Woman: C'mon, have some milk. Right here. Me: I'm reading. s I think that I saw a study once that said that g Instant persuasiveness multiplier! [[A newspaper front page. Billy Joel is between two policemen.]] Times Billy Joel Arrested for Arson [[One person has a cord leaving their mouth, the other is holding a handset on the end of it to their ear.]] Handset: Hee hee hee... *giggle* I hear that if you drink coke and eat pop rocks, you vomit up a corded telepohen handset on which you hear creepy little girls giggling. [[Three soldiers are holding a large integral sign, while a fourth points a gun at the Little Rock High School.]] 1957: Eisenhower orders the military to integrate Little Rock High School. [[A smartphone is vibrating across a table, towards a person.]] The smartphones got too smart... and developed a taste... for BLOOD! Fortunately, the only way they could move was by turning on their vibrate while on a sloped table. [[A person is reading to their child.]] Person: And the wolf went to see the 38th little pig, who had built his house out of strontium. Person: And the wolf was all, "Ok, what is with this shit?" The 119 Little Pigs [[Someone is holding up a gun.]] Person: Fastest gun in the west! [[The gun is galloping across the desert.]] <> <> [[There is a podium, with a gun in each position.]] Winner! [[A picture of a centrifuge dominates the panel.]] Centrifuges: They're what separate the men from the boys. [[A computer monitor is plugged in, and cables run into a closet.]] Lucy: Time passes differenly in Narnia, so by putting the CPU and storage for my machine there, I was able to run through the Folding@Home and Seti@Home databases in about an hour. Peter: There are _so_ many problems with that. [[Someone is talking to Alice.]] Person: One of these days, Alice... Wham, zoom, sploosh, fwoom, splash, gurlle, wheeeee, fwoosh, aren't waterslides fun?! {{Title text: Resulting in The Little Rock 9x + C.}}
Guest Week: Jeph Jacques (Questionable Content) 2010-11-22 ((This comic was written by Jeph Jacques, and follows the vertical panel style typical of Questionable Content. The art is more in the xkcd style, with stick figures.)) [[A girl is sitting on a bench, reading a book. There is a tree. Far away, a guy has a backpack on.]] Guy's thought bubble: There she is. The most beautiful girl you've ever seen. [[The focus is on the girl on the bench.]] Guy's thought bubble: Every day you take this route to class, she's sitting on that bench, reading. [[It goes even closer to her face.]] Guy's thought bubble: You'd introduce yourself, but you wouldn't know what to say. Besides, she's way out of your league. [[Back to the full panel.]] Guy's thought bubble: What chance could an average guy like you have with such a radiant - Girl's thought bubble: Hey. [[The girl looks up at her thought bubble with a question over her head.]] Guy's thought bubble: E-Excuse me? Girl's thought bubble: I said hey. You come by here a lot. [[The girl looks over at the guy, who is scratching his head at his thought bubble.]] Guy's thought bubble: Oh, uh, yeah. On the way to class. Girl's thought bubble: Wanna skip class and go get a coffee? [[The guy is pondering what's happening.]] Guy's thought bubble: Sure, I'd - I'd like that a lot. Girl's thought bubble: Great, let's ditch these losers. Girl: Hey! [[The thought bubbles are behind the guy now, moving away.]] Guy's thought bubble: Man, I gotta tell you, I'm SICK of being that guy's internal monologue! So whiny! Girl's thought bubble: Seriously! I swear, he and Little Miss Daddy Issues over there were _made_ for each other. [[The two look at each other silently.]] {{Title text: }}
Guest Week: David Troupes (Buttercup Festival) 2010-11-23 [[Two people are leaning against each other, sitting on top of the moon. Trees are visible towards the bottom of the panel.]] [[The scene broadens.]] Woman: I've never been so happy. I -- Man: Hold on -- that guy used to dump my notebooks in high school. Give me a moment. Try to keep the moon steady. [[A rock hits someone on the ground on the back of the head.]] [[The person clutches the back of their head.]] [[The moon, again.]] Guy: I've never been so happy. {{Title text: Guest comic by David Troupes of Buttercup Festival, who is living in that lovely tree outside your window.}}
Guest Week: Bill Amend (FoxTrot) 2010-11-24 [[Jason from FoxTrot is sitting at an artist's desk with a pencil, holding a phone.]] Jason: Hi, Mr. Munroe? I have a great idea! Let me draw some strips for you! Mr. Munroe, through the telephone: Fat chance, kid. Jason: Sudo let me draw some strips for you. ((There follow three strips. These will be separated by double new lines.)) [[A man and woman are looking at each other.]] Man: I find you more attractive than usual. Woman: You do? Is it my new haircut? Man: Actually, I think it's all the weight you've been putting on. Your gravitational pull is pretty severe. [[The man is now alone in the panel.]] Man: Just sayin! [[Two people are in a living room. The woman is looking through a chest of drawers.]] At home with the Heisenbergs. Mrs. Heisenberg: I can't find my car keys. Mr. Heisenberg: You probably know too much about their momentum. [[A man is standing on a stage, holding up a hammer. A crowd is in front of the stage.]] Why mathematicians should run for Congress Man: All those in favor of the bill say "aye." Audience member #1: Aye. Audience member #2: Aye. Audience member #3: {{Square root symbol}} -1. {{Title text: Guest comic by Bill Amend of FoxTrot, an inspiration to all us nerdy-physics-majors-turned-cartoonists, of which there are an oddly large number.}}
Guest Week: Jeffrey Rowland (Overcompensating) 2010-11-25 [[Jeffrey Rowland and Randall are sitting together, with a globe between them. Mr. Rowland has a drink with a small umbrella over it.]] Jeffrey Rowland: But enough of my theories about Thanksgiving. The real reason we're here is to discuss my hypothesis that dark matter itself is what consciousness is made of... [[The frame focuses on Jeffrey Rowland.]] Jeffrey Rowland: Unobservable to anything that is itself conscious in much the same way the mail-man won't deliver your mail if you are watching the mail-box [[Mr. Rowland raises his drink.]] Jeffrey Rowland: Which brings us to my theory about ghosts -- Randall Munroe: Wait did you just say Thanksgiving was invented by the Turkey Voluntary Extinction Movement? {{Title text: Guest comic by Jeffrey Rowland of Overcompensating Wigu. Jeffrey is famous as the picture on the Wikipedia article on 'Necrosis'.}}
Guest Week: Zach Weiner (SMBC) 2010-11-26 ((This comic was drawn by Zach Weiner of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. It's a floor plan of a museum with five main halls. Each hall contains several exhibits. If you click on an exhibit's spot on the map, a comic pops up showing a view of the exhibit. The museum map is full of tiny stick figures, many of them characters from xkcd.)) [[Explanatory Text:]] In the spirit of xkcd I present a proposal for a new Smithsonian museum: The Smithsonian Museum Of Dad-Trolling An entire building dedicated to deceiving children for amusement (Click to view exhibits!) [[The top left room is 'The Hall of Misunderstood Science'. It contains six exhibits.]] [[Exhibit: A giant basilisk looms over children.]] Exhibit label: BASILISKS: Real, deadly, under your bed. [[Exhibit: Four magnets hang from a square arch. A child is touching two of them together.]] Text on the arch: Magnets only leap at each other when they're teenagers. Later, they lose interest. [[Exhibit: A child on his dad's shoulders looks up at a looming statue of Jesus behind a lectern. There are flakes falling from Jesus onto them both.]] Exhibit label: Snow is Jesus' dandruff. His scalp gets dry when it's cold. [[Exhibit: A child lies asleep, while hands and a scary face reach up around the bed toward him.]] Exhibit label: Sleep: Now you're vulnerable to the boogie man! [[Exhibit: An ice block sits on a stand in front of pictures of a wolf and rhinoceros looking frightened.]] Exhibit label: Freezing water: Expands to frighten predators. [[Exhibit: An insect on a stick is orbited by a small sphere.]] Exhibit label: Anti-matter: Matter that is more than 50% ants. [[Exhibit: A DNA strand with the letters T, A, C, and G hanging around it.]] Exhibit label: DNA only has four letters because the alphabet was smaller back then. Dad, to child: Told you so. [[Exhibit: A bunch of molecules hang from the ceiling.]] Exhibit label: Molecules? In my day, we only had atoms! [[The top right room is 'Regrettable Pranks: An Interactive Experience'. There are four exhibits.]] [[Exhibit: Five balloons float tethered to a table. A child is holding a sixth balloon. The Dad looks alarmed.]] Sign on exhibit: If this helium makes your voice go higher, it's because you're ten seconds from exploding. [[Exhibit: An alien face is shown above an outline of several hands next to a ruler. A child holds his hand up to it.]] Sign on exhibit: Measure your middle finger. If it's longer than the others, you're an alien halfbreed. [[Exhibit: Three cups are on a table. A child is walking away with a fourth cup, the dad's arm around the child's shoulder.]] Exhibit label: Has anyone seen my rabbit brain? It looks like a cherry, and I dropped it in a Jello cup. [[Exhibit: A monstrous set of jaws open upward around a bed.]] Sign on exhibit: Make your bed or monsters will know a kid lives there. [[The center right room is 'Concessions'. There are three booths.]] [[Booth: A concession stand is labeled 'KFP', and displays a KFC-style bucket. A dad and child are eating.]] Dad: The "P" is for "phoenix". [[Booth: A concession stand.]] Sign on stand: Ground beef: Beef we found on the ground. Dad, to child: Told you. [[Booth: A stand shaped like a giant eye.]] Booth label: EYES CREAM Subtitle: How did you think it was spelled? Sign on booth: Now with more of the goo in your eyes. Same as every other creamery. [[The lower left room is 'Conservatory of Poorly Remembered History'. There are five exhibits.]] [[Exhibit: A man is riding a dragon.]] Exhibit label: Genghis Khan: victory through dragons. [[Exhibit: A criminal in front of some windows.]] Exhibit label: The Crimean War: The first war against crime. [[Exhibit: A castle with flags hanging on it.]] Exhibit label: The Renaissance Subtitle: Long story short, the wizards were in control. [[Exhibit:A man in Jedi-style robes with a fake beard.]] Exhibit label: Star Wars is a documentary. No, seriously. Dad, to children: Kids, this man is a veteran. [[The lower right room is 'Rotunda of Uncomfortable Topics'. There are five exhibits.]] [[Exhibit: A wrestling ring, with a man and woman mostly obscured by the exhibit label.]] Exhibit label: Naked wrestling: perfectly normal. NEVER DO IT. [[Exhibit: a figure sits at a booth in front of a bowl of food. The dad is holding a bottle.]] Exhibit label: Alcohol is poison. I drink to save you from it. Dad: You're welcome. [[Exhibit: A large bird.]] Exhibit label: Mommies get big tummies before babies come because the stork likes chubby girls. [[Exhibit: A rocket ship.]] Sign on exhibit: Grandma's not dead. She just returned to saturn. For REVENGE. [[In the areas outside the rooms, there are two more exhibits and restrooms, all clickable.]] [[Exhibit: A dinosaur skeleton.]] Exhibit label: That's right. Dinosaurs were made entirely of BONES. Dad, to kid: If you think about it, it makes sense. [[Exhibit: A large image hangs on the wall. It is a dense squiggly jumble of lines.]] Dad, to kids: You gotta squint juuust right. Sign on exhibit: Magic eye trick that doesn't actually work. [[Restrooms: There are three doors, each with a sign.]] First door (male logo): Men & Boys Second door (female logo): Women & Girls Third door (unrecognizable logo): Korgmen & Spangs {{Title text: Guest comic by Zach Weiner of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. When I was stressed out, Zach gave me a talk that was really encouraging and somehow involved nanobots.}}
Business Idea 2010-11-29 [[A man is sitting at his desk, pointing at his laptop.]] Man: Dude! I had this idea like five years ago, and some company just got rich doing it! -- I want my cut. [[The man starts typing.]] Person off-screen: That's not how it works. Man: Sure it is. I'm applying for my share now. Person: Wait, what? [[A browser window with the title 'Department of Ideas'. It has a series of text boxes: Date you had the idea: "Like five years ago." Proof you had it: "I told my friend Mike -- you can ask him! I was all "you know what would make a great business idea? and he..." Their profit so far: $20,000,000 Share you deserve (be fair!): ((drop-down)) 25% *30%* 35% Mailing address: "137 Ash Tree Ln" [[Man still at the laptop, above him is a SUBMIT button, and it shows a pointing hand cursor.]] CLICK ((Last panel set slightly lower than the rest.)) [[The man is in front of an open box, with cash in his hand. A FedEx delivery guy is on the other side of the box with his little electronic signing thing.]] {{Title text: We didn't believe you at first, but we asked like three people who were at that party. They not only corroborated your story, but even said you totally mentioned wanting to start a company someday. Sorry! If this isn't enough money, let us know.}}
Positive Attitude 2010-12-01 [[A man sits hunched with his knees drawn up to him on a hospital bed, hooked up to an IV. A friend stands by.]] Man: I'm sick and I'm scared. Friend: Well, remember - having a good attitude is the most important thing. Think positively and you'll get better. [[Darkness surrounds the man on the bed. The friend is off-screen.]] Man: So if I'm sad or afraid or feel like crap sometimes, then... Friend: ...then if you don't recover, it will be your fault. [[The man on the bed clutches his hands to his face and leans back.]] Man: Well that makes me feel even worse. Friend: See? You're doing this to yourself. Man: No! Friend: Stop it! Man: Argh! [[Close up on the man, holding up his hand, pointing to himself.]] Man: Okay, you know what? Screw this. My attitude isn't my problem. -- My disease is my problem, and I'm treating it. -- I'm going to be glum and depressed and pessimistic some days, and I'm going to get better anyway. [[The man sits on the edge of the bed, his friend still standing in front of him.]] Man: Wait, that ended up sounding optimistic. Friend: I guess you suck at pessimism. Man: Maybe I'll be better at it tomorrow. {{Title text: Having a positive attitude is almost tautologically good for your mental health, and extreme stress can hurt your immune system, but that doesn't mean you should feel like shit for feeling like shit.}}
Arsenic-Based Life 2010-12-03 [[Three people, two women and a man, stand looking at a laptop screen, which is sitting on a desk. The woman with a ponytail is pointing at the screen.]] Ponytail girl: Our arsenic-based DNA discovery is cool, but these reporters are expecting life on Titan! Our press conference will be such a letdown! [[Ponytail girl turns around to face the other girl.]] Ponytail: Okay, we need to make it more exciting for them. How do you make an event entertaining? Girl #2: Dunno, I suck at parties. Music, I guess? [[Ponytail girl turns back around and leans over to start typing on the computer, while the other two look on. The other girl puts her hand to her chin.]] Ponytail: WikiHow says you can "serve cocktails and hors d'oerves that fit the theme of your event." Girl #2: Easy enough! [[Ponytail girl stands at a podium on a stage, the man stands amongst the audience with a tray. All the audience members are either dead or dying, having fallen onto the floor or slumped over in their seats.]] {{Title text: According to a new paper published in the journal Science, reporters are unable to thrive in an arsenic-rich environment.}}
Genetic Analysis 2010-12-06 [[A man stands next to a woman holding a clipboard, she gestures to a comfy-looking chair.]] Man: Did my genetic tests come back? Woman: Yeah. Sit down. Man: Is it bad news? What are my risk factors? [[The man is now sitting in the chair awaiting her answer. The woman looks down at the clipboard.]] Woman: We can't be sure about this, but we've analyzed genes on several of your chromosomes and it's ard to avoid the conclusion: [[The woman puts down the clipboard and looks at the man as she delivers her news. The man puts his hands to his face in dismay.]] Woman: At some point, your parents had sex. Man: Oh God! Woman: Stay calm! It's possible it was just once! Man: I... I need to be alone. {{Title text: There's still a chance you were conceived via IVF. But we've checked your mom's college yearbook photos, and whether or not she and your father had sex, it's clear that ... listen, I know this is hard for you.}}
Weather Radar 2010-12-08 [[A black dot on a weather radar screen.]] Dot: Sigh. Just a few clouds. [[The clouds develop into orange, to the left of the dot.]] Dot: Whoa! Huge storm out of nowhere! [[The orange becomes red, and the storm moves towards the dot.]] Dot: It's growing ! And headed right for me! Awesome! [[The storm splits in half.]] Dot: Hey! What's it... [[The two halves of the storm pass by the dot. Dot: Dammit! Again?! {{Title text: Ever notice how there aren't as many thunderstorms now as there were when you were a kid? Much like 'the shuffle on my MP3 player has a bias', this is occasionally true but universally believed. Brains are so interesting!}}
Tic-Tac-Toe 2010-12-10 ((The comic comprises two large square maps, each divided into nine sections, some of which are further subdivided in the same way. The subdivisions continue down for up to five levels, and the lower map has more tiny diagrams than the upper. The smallest divisions at every scale are completed tic-tac-toe games.)) [[Explanatory text:]] Complete map of optimal Tic-Tac-Toe moves Your move is given by the position of the largest red symbol on the grid. When your opponent picks a move, zoom in on the region of the grid where they went. Repeat. Map for X: ((The first square map)) Map for Y: ((The second square map)) {{Title text: The only winning move is to play, perfectly, waiting for your opponent to make a mistake.}}
Convincing 2010-12-13 [[A man and a woman are talking. The woman has a board.]] Man: I think we should give it another shot. Woman: We should break up, and I can prove it. [[The second panel is the graph. A series of points moves steadily downward.]] Our Relationship. [[The man looks at the graph.]] Man: Huh. Man: Maybe you're right. Woman: I knew data would convince you. Man: No, I just think I can do better than someone who doesn't label her axes. {{Title text: And if you labeled your axes, I could tell you exactly how MUCH better.}}
Wikileaks 2010-12-15 [[A black formal suit with no head is talking.]] Suit: We are Anonymous. We are legion We are no one and everyone. And we are here to fight for WikiLeaks. ((The panel is presented a the front page of WikiLeaks, in a browser.)) New Leak: Names, addresses, IPs, and phone numbers of everyone in Anonymous. Download Now Suit: ... Dammit, Julian. {{Title text: STUDENTS ARE CALLING PRESIDENT JOHNSON EN MASSE TO PROTEST THE BOMBING AND IT'S JAMMED THE WHITE HOUSE SWITCHBOARD. COULD THEY COLLAPSE OUR CRITICAL PHONE SYSTEMS? HAS THE FIRST TELEPHONE WAR BEGUN? STAY TUNED FOR MORE ON THIS DANGEROUS NEW TECHNOLOGY.}}
Tree 2010-12-17 [[There is a binary Christmas tree, with each node a ball, and lights strung between parent and child nodes. Beneath it is a heap of presents - sorted with the largest on top, smaller presents connected to it with string. Next to the tree are a kid and his or her parents.]] Billy: It's a Christmas tree with a heap of presents underneath! Mother: ... We're not inviting you home next year. {{Title text: Not only is that terrible in general, but you just KNOW Billy's going to open the root present first, and then everyone will have to wait while the heap is rebuilt.}}
Sickness 2010-12-20 ((The three panels are arranged diagonally, upper left to bottom right.)) [[Two people are walking past a tree. One has a hat.]] Hat person: So, has this sickness opened you up to looking for answers beyond science? Person: ... no, not really. [[The person turns to face the one with the hat.]] Person: We've groped for comfort before the slings and arrows of fortune for millenia, and I begrudge nobody their sources of solace. But Science provides tools . $100 billion a year in scientific studies and medical R&D has bought us some pretty damn powerful slings and arrows of our own. This world is amazing, and I'm going to live to experience more of it thanks to people who refused to gracefully accept the ineffability of reality. I find my courage where I can, but I take my weapons from science. Person: Because they work , bitches. {{Title text: At least, with p<0.05 confidence.}}
Coupon Code 2010-12-22 [[The panel shows an online shopping form.]] Shipping: $14.08 Total: $80.02 If you have a coupon code, enter it here: [[An empty form.]] Check out A person is looking at their computer. [[The empty form is now filled in - the rest of the panel shows the same page.]] Form: In 1987 you quietly took something from the house of a dying woman. You thought nobody knew -- you were wrong. [[The person is sitting at their computer.]] <> [[The form is updated.]] Shipping: $14.08 Total: $80.02 ---------------- Discount Applied: -$80.02 Final price: $0.00 Thank you - Your order has been placed - {{Title text: This also guarantees he won't be one of the ones to get a bobcat.}}
Incident 2010-12-24 [[Someone is sitting at a computer. The computer's prompt is shown.]] robm@homebox~$ sudo su Password: robm is not in the sudoers file. This incident will be reported. robm@homebox~$ [[A second person approaches.]] Person: Hey -- who does sudo report these "incidents" to ? Second person: You know, I've never checked. [[Santa Claus is sitting at a desk supported by candy canes, with a red monitor. On the wall are two lists labeled 'naughty' and 'nice'. He is adding a name to the 'naughty' list.]] {{Title text: He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he's copied on var spool mail root, so be good for goodness' sake.}}
Explorers 2010-12-27 [[A black bishop, Ba3, and a white knight, Nc3, are on a three by three chessboard. Both are on white squares. There is a heap of supplies at b2, also a white square. The chessboard is mounted on rockets and appears to be flying through the air.]] Ba3: Mission Control, come in. This is Ba3 on the capsule calling Ke5 on the home board. We're on track and approaching the Coast of Catan. Our ETA is -- Nc3: Control, this is Nc3. Bishop put all our food in the center so I can't get it. I demand -- Ba3: Control, knight will get his food back when he stops hopping around bragging about how comfy the black squares are. I swear to God, I'm this close to capturing him and completing the mission alone. {{Title text: We're going to have to work together to get over our hangups if we're going to learn to move on Catan's hexagonal grid. It's bad enough that we lost our crew of pawns when we passed within firing range of Battleship.}}
Serious 2010-12-29 [[Someone is standing next to a table. There is a can on the table.]] [[The label on the can reads, "Serious Putty".]] [[The person is looking at the table again.]] [[They reach out to touch the can. The can speaks.]] Can: Don't touch me. {{Title text: Not to be confused with Serious PuTTY, the Windows terminal client where everything is in Impact.}}
Audiophiles 2010-12-31 [[Two people are talking by telephone. The first two panels are split diagonally. The first person is at a store, and the second is consulting with them.]] [[The first person has a small box.]] Person: Do we have an RCA-to-3.5mm female-female plug? I'm getting some speakers for the new xBox, since the monitor doesn't have any. Second Person: Are they crappy laptop speakers? [[The person is moving away from a sale rack. It says "Sale!!" several times.]] Person: Does it matter? I just want to hear if I'm getting shot at, not saor eery detail of a beautiful musical soundscape. Second Person: You've never heard a beautiful musical soundscape. You listen to 96kbps flv rips from YouTube. Person: Whatever. I'm just going to get these $20 speakers. Five watts will be plenty. Second Person: Five watts for a living room sound system? Is that a joke? Person: No, this is a joke: How many audiophiles does it take to change a lightbulb? Second Person: How many? Person: I'll tell you later - you wouldn't appreciate the punchline over this 12kbps cell phone codec. <> {{Title text: For years, I took the wrong lesson from that Monster Cable experiment and only listened to my music through alligator-clipped coat hangers.}}
Mark 2011-01-03 [[An adult and a child are talking.]] Child: What's that on your arm? Adult: The mark of a secret society. Child: If it's secret, why tell me -- Adult: Because I know nothing. I can't betray them because I don't know who they are. I was chosen by an agent 20 years ago. That was my first and last direct contact. It's safer that way. Narration: Six years later I found a piece of paper in the street with an address on it. The next day I found a can of kerosene in my garage that I'm sure I never bought. [[The panel represents these actions by highlighting the mentioned objects in a world of gray.]] Narration: I didn't know whose house it was. I just knew that I'd been given my orders. And I carried them out. [[A dark figure is silhouetted against a flame.]] Adult: I don't know who or what we're fighting. Adult: Maybe we're the bad guys. Adult: It doesn't matter to me. Adult: It's enough to know that there are forces working beneath the chaos of life, and I'm a part of them. Adult: That whatever this "pen fifteen" club is, Adult: I'm in it. {{Title text: I'm a solipsistic conspiracy theorist. I'm sure I must be up to something, and I will not stop until I find out what.}}
Misconceptions 2011-01-05 [[A teacher is standing in front of a board, holding a laptop computer and elocuting.]] Teacher: Okay, middle school students, it's the first Tuesday in February. Teacher: This means that by law and custom, we must spend the morning reading through the Wikipedia article List of Common Misconceptions , so you can spend the rest of your lives being a little less wrong. Teacher: The guests at every party you'll ever attend thank us in advance. {{Title text: 'Grandpa, what was it like in the Before time?' 'It was hell. People went around saying glass was a slow-flowing liquid. You folks these days don't know how good you have it.'}}
Good Code 2011-01-07 ((The comic is a flowchart. In order to explain this in text, follow the line numbers. Options follow on new lines without numbers.)) How to write good code. ((10.)) Start Project. ((Go to 20.)) ((20.)) Do things right or do them fast? Fast ((Go to 30.)) Right ((Go to 40.)) ((30.)) Code fast. ((Go to 35.)) ((35.)) Does it work yet? No ((Go to 30.)) Almost, but it's become a mass of kludges and spaghetti code. ((Go to 50.)) ((40.)) Code well. ((Go to 45.)) ((45.)) Are you done yet? No. ((Go to 40.)) No, and the requirements have changed. ((Go to 50.)) ((50.)) Throw it all out and start over. ((Go to 10.)) ((60.)) ? ((Go to 70.)) ((70.)) Good code. {{Title text: You can either hang out in the Android Loop or the HURD loop.}}
Modern History 2011-01-10 [[Two soldiers are talking. Behind them, rubble burns and smokes.]] First soldier: Will you please stop imitating everything I do? <> Second soldier: Will you please stop... <> My hobby: Real-time war reenactment {{Title text: During the week, I research my character by living in his house and raising his children.}}
Dental Nerve 2011-01-12 Woman: Dear Ke$ha, Woman: It's hard to describe the pain of a deeply infected dental nerve. (continuing) To get an idea, put your hands in a bowl full of ice cubes. Hold them there for 90 seconds. [[Panel shows speaker with her hands in a bowl of ice.]] Now imagine that pain in your jaw, every minute of every hour, bright and searing, washing out everything. You can't party all night. You can barely stand up. There's only the pain. Woman: So, some friendly advice: When you wake up in the morning, before you brush your teeth with a bottle of Jack, Woman: Brush them with actual toothpaste. {{Title text: WAKE up in the MORning and my BREATH ain't PREtty and noBODY'S gonna KISS me if my MOUTH smells SHItty so I ALways brush my TEETH before I START on the JACK sure, my DRINKing's out of HAND, but I'm conTROLLing my PLAQUE.}}
Stingray Nebula 2011-01-14 [[Two white figures are silhouetted against a dark sky. They're sitting on top of a grassy hill.]] Person: I know things are tough right now. When I was going through some difficult times as a kid, I would go up on the roof and look through my telescope. Person: One day I found a tiny star in Ara that seemed friendly. Person: There were millions like it, but I decided that this one was mine. Person: When things got bad, I'd go find that star, and think of my favorite Tolkien quote. It's from Sam's time in Mordor. ((The next panel is diagonally downward to the right of the previous. The upper left corner overlaps.)) [[A star is above the highest peak in a chain of mountains.]] "There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the shadow was only a small and passing thing: There was light and high beauty forever beyond its reach." - The Return of the King Companion: That's comforting! Person: It was rather undercut in 1987, when the light from my star's explosion reached Earth. The debris forms the Stingray Nebula. Companion: There's probably a lesson there. Person: "Never trust an unstable asymptotic giant branch star. Stick with main sequences and dwarfs." Companion: I'll, uh, keep that in mind. {{Title text: EÃ?rendil will patrol the walls of night only until the sun reaches red giant stage, engulfing the Morning Star on his brow. Light and high beauty are passing things as well.}}
3D 2011-01-17 [[People are lined up to see a movie.]] Premiering Tonight: String Theory: An expose Presented In 3D! [[The people are in a dark theater, fiddling with their glasses.]] <> [[The people approach black hat guy, who's sitting at a desk.]] Person #1: Your movie was a ripoff. Person #2: It wasn't 3D at all! Black hat guy: Was too. Black hat guy: It's just that the third dimension is tightly rolled up and too small to observe at normal energies. {{Title text: The LINACs in the glasses frames can barely manage one MeV. You should've gone to the screening at CERN.}}
Complex Conjugate 2011-01-19 [[A teacher is standing at a whiteboard covered in equations.]] Teacher: Okay, anyone who's feeling like they can't handle the physics here should probably just leave now. Teacher: Because I'm multiplying the wavefunction by its complex conjugate. Teacher: That's right. [[Dramatic zoom. It appears the teacher is writing on the side of the panel.]] Teacher: Shit just got real . {{Title text: Fun fact: if you say this every time a professor does something to a complex-number equation that drops the imaginary part, they'll eventually move the class to another room and tell everyone else except you.}}
World According to Americans 2011-01-21 The World According to a group of Americans Who turned out to be unexpectedly good at geography, derailing our attempt to illustrate their country's attitude toward the rest of the world. ((One big panel, a map of the world. Fairly accurate. Annotated in several different scripts of handwriting. These are transcribed in approximately left to right, top to bottom order. Some are written paired and appear as such.)) Hey so what projection should we use? I'll aim for "Robinson." Alaska Canada Hudson Bay Québec Greenland (still too big!) Yeah but the Peters map is awful United States Did you know Maine is actually the US state closest to Africa? Baja California (Mexico) Mexico Gulf of Mexico Cuba Hispanola Bermuda (British!) Central America Jamaica Do we have to label all the Virgin Islands? Panama Canal French, and I think Dutch and English Brazil (Portuguese - speaking) Rest of South America (Spanish-speaking) Tierra del Fuego Iceland British Isles Ireland Gibraltar Western Europe Scandinavia Eastern Europe Black Sea Middle East Morocco Algeria Sahara Desert West Africa Sudan So this is one of those things where you point out our ignorance and stereotypes? Yeah - I mean I freely admit I don't know the African map very well, which speaks volumes in itself. Rainforest DRC Lake Victoria Somalia Angola Mozambique South Africa Cape Horn Madagascar Russia Kamchatka Peninsula but I admit I only know this one from Risk Aral Sea (Gone) Various former Soviet States Mongolia Afghanistan & Pakistan India Mostly Muslim Mostly Hindu Sri Lanka Tibet (informal) China Southeast Asia Koreas Japan, duh. Taiwan (actually called "The Republic of China" - it's complicated Phillipines Malaysia Boxing Day Quake Wait, "Boxing day"? There's no way you're American. I read BBC News, OK? Indonesia Sulawesi Paupa New Guinea Australia Tasmania New Zealand Shall we include Antarctica? Let's not - these guys are looking impatient. {{Title text: It's not our fault we caught a group on their way home from a geography bee. And they taught us that Uzbekistan is one of the world's two doubly-landlocked countries!}}
Na 2011-01-24 {{A flowchart.}} Na->Na->Na->Na->Na->Na->Na->Na (branches to ->Hey->Hey->Goodbye and ->Batman!) ->Na->Na (branches to Katamari Damacy!) ->Na (arrow labeled "Land of 1,000 Dances) loops around to the last Na again) {{Title text: I hear that there are actual lyrics later on in Land of 1,000 Dances, but other than the occasional 'I said,' I've never listened long enough to hear any of them.}}
Local g 2011-01-26 He: Did you know that because of centrifugal* force and the shape of the Earth, "gravity" can vary by nearly half a percent between major cities? *Yes, centrifugal. xkcd.com 123 He: That's not a lot, but it could affect, say, pole vaulting. In a 5m jump, it could make a difference of 2cm. She: Huh, interesting. He: I'm going to write an article reevaluating vaulting records to take this into account. Three days later: She: Good job. There's an angry mob of athletes outside. [[He looks off the balcony. The mob of athletes is out of frame.]] Athlete: That record was mine! Athlete: How dare you cast doubt on our honor? Athlete: Have you no respect?! Athlete: Make him pay! He: Hey, the math doesn't lie. Suck it, jocks. She: Dude, don't provoke them. He: Whatever. The building's locked. Let 'em vent for a-- <> Off-panel Athlete: GET HIM! He: Crap! He: How did the pole vaulters get up to our balcony? She: ... [[Beat frame]] She: That might be the stupidest question I've ever heard. He: Right. {{Title text: In Rio de Janeiro in 2016, the same jump will get an athlete 0.25% higher (>1cm) than in London four years prior.}}
Consecutive Vowels 2011-01-28 He: I was running a factor analysis on this huge database, and check out what it found: [[He holds up the chart.]] [[It's a graph plotting "sexual arousal" against "consecutive vowels." The trendline is a smooth exponential curve.]] She: Huh? This chart makes no sense. What-- He: "Queueing" [[She grabs him.]] She: FUCK ME NOW. {{Title text: But the windows! What if there's a voyuer watchi-- wait, now I'm turned on too.}}
Learning to Cook 2011-01-31 {{A flowchart.}} I should cook more! -> Buy ingredients -> Put some in a pan -> Cook -> Does it taste good? -> (arrows marked "Kinda" and "No" both lead to) Put leftovers in fridge -> (hours pass) -> Order pizza -> (days pass) -> Throw away leftovers -> (weeks pass) -> Throw away remaining ingredients as they go bad -> (months pass) -> (arrow leads back to beginning) {{Title text: And yet I never stop thinking, 'sure, these ingredients cost more than a restaurant meal, but think how many meals I'll get out of them! Especially since each one will have leftovers!'}}
1999 2011-02-02 [[Inverted intro panel]] It's easy to forget, as we heap awards on The Social Network, That before there was Facebook, MySpace, or even Friendster... One website dreamed bigger than them all. [[Two guys talking]] Guy #1: People like doing stuff, so why not build a website that offers that? Guy #2: Offers what? What would I do there? Guy #1: Anything! The only limit is yourself! [[Guy runs in. Two guys are by a computer, one sitting at it wearing headphones.]] Guy running in: Hey, we need more-- Standing guy: Don't--he's wired in. Guy at computer: THE INFINITE IS POSSIBLE. Standing guy: Or baked. It's hard to tell. [[Two guys are sitting at a restaurant booth.]] Guy #1: It's time to monetize. We could make millions! Guy #2: No way. A million dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool? Guy #1: A billio-- Guy #2: CIRCLES. [[View from booth of a guy leaving, turning back to say something.]] Guy: Hey—a tip: Drop the dot. Just "Zombocom". It's cleaner. {{Title text: 'Whoa, twenty-two in two hours!' 'Your site got twenty-two hundred hits in two hours?' 'No. Twenty-two. But still, that's like half the people on the internet!'}}
Trochee Fixation 2011-02-04 Girl: Robot ninja! Pirate doctor laser monkey! Narwhal zombie badger hobo bacon kitty captain penguin raptor jesus! Scientist (to guy): We'd been seeing this brain damage for years, but only recently did our linguists identify the pattern behind it. Scientist: The patients fixate on animals and types of people whose names are trochees (two syllables, with the accent on the first). The malfunction causes a rush of dopamine whenever these trocheese are heard or spoken. [[Chart shows "internet" and "brain," with arrows marked "trochees" traveling both ways between them. An arrow marked "dopamine" loops from the brain back to the brain.]] The warning signs appear in childhood: [[Child sits in front of TV.]] Child: Yeah! Mighty teenage morphin' ninja power mutant turtle rangers! Social reinforcement focuses the fixation on a few dozen words. Guy (off-panel): Is there a cure? [[Girl is reclining under a big machine pointed at her face.]] Scientist: We're about to try a radical trocheeotomy. Guy: Rip out her vocal chords? I'm in favor. Scientist: No, we're modifying her vocabulary* to erase the words she's fixated on. *Digitoneurolinguistic hacking! It's totally real! Ask Neal Stephenson. Scientist: Either the gap will be filled by normal words, or she'll just generate a new set of trochees. Scientist: Here goes. [[She pulls the lever on a large panel.]] <> [[Girl is waking up.]] Girl: ... GzZhRmPh ... Girl ... banjo turtle! Girl: Jetpack ferret pizza lawyer! Dentist hamster wombat plumber turkey jester hindu cowboy hooker bobcat scrapple! Scientist (off-panel): Sigh. Scientist: Time for plan B. Scientist: Someone get a brick. {{Title text: If you Huffman-coded all the 'random' things everyone on the internet has said over the years, you'd wind up with, like, 30 or 40 bytes *tops*.}}
Archimedes 2011-02-07 Guy: In the words of Archimedes, Guy: Give me a long enough lever and a place to rest it, [[Guy pulls out a gun.]] Guy: Or I will kill one hostage every hour. {{Title text: Give a man a fish, or he will destroy the only existing vial of antidote.}}
Milk 2011-02-09 [[Couple sitting opposed, woman on couch reading book and man on a chair with a laptop]] Woman: The fact that I have breasts doesn't mean you could milk me now. I'd have to be lactating. [[a beat passes]] Man (thinking): Oh my god. She's psychic! {{Title text: It's not hard when you have the same thought like 40 or 50 percent of the time.}}
( 2011-02-11 (An unmatched left parenthesis creates an unresolved tension that will stay with you all day. {{Title text: Brains aside, I wonder how many poorly-written xkcd.com-parsing scripts will break on this title (or \;;"''{<<[' this mouseover text."}}
Never Do This 2011-02-14 [[Guy brings in a pocket microscope]] Guy: Check it out - a pocket microscope! Girl: Ooh! Let's look at stuff! [[Guy holds a pencil; girl peers at a quarter through the microscope]] Guy: The tip of this pencil is neat! Girl: This quarter is really scratched. Guy: Let's look at the skin under our fingernails! Minutes later... [[Guy and girl curl up in a pit of despair]] Guy and girl: oh god oh god {{Title text: I call Rule 34 on The Secret House.}}
Wisdom Teeth 2011-02-16 Guy, on phone: Hey! Know how you've been bugging me to play Minecraft for the past year? I'm game. Girl, on phone: But you said you didn't want to "get hooked and spend days on end moving virtual cubes around while sitting motionless." What changed? Guy, on phone: I'm having my wisdom teeth out, and I'll be useless and doped up on painkillers for the next few days, so that actually sounds like the perfect distraction. Girl, on phone: Oh. I'll set you up on our server! 72 hours later... [[Girl sitting at computer.]] Girl, on phone: Hey -- starting to feel better? Enjoying the game? Let's see what you've... What the hell? Where IS everything? [[View of a Minecraft screen showing a vast empty expanse of land.]] Girl, offscreen: ... You made the entire continent perfectly flat? Guy, offscreen: And sorted it into layers. Girl, offscreen: ... Guy, offscreen: I feel good about things. This is a good game. [[Guy sitting on the floor at his laptop, bleeding from the mouth, surrounded by bloody wadded-up tissues and holding a bottle of medication.]] Girl, on phone: ... What exactly is in the painkillers they gave you? Guy, woozy: I can't read the label because I'm a hologram. {{Title text: I heard the general anesthesia drugs can cause amnesia, so when I woke up mid-extraction I started taking notes on my hand so I'd remember things later. I managed 'AWAKE BUT EVERYTHING OK' before the dental assistant managed to find and confiscate all my pens.}}
Let Go 2011-02-18 [[reddit page]] Luke (thinking): I shouldn't be looking at Reddit. Why can't I stop? [[CNN page]] Luke (thinking): Refreshing CNN again. Do news stories so affect my life that I benefit from checking them more than once a day? [[shutdown screen]] Luke (thinking): I should at least check Faceb... no. Screw it. I can't do my job when I'm distracting myself every five minutes like this. [[two people before a battlefield screen]] Guy: His computer's off. Luke - You've switched off your targeting computer. What's wrong? Luke: Nothing. I'm all right. {{Title text: After years of trying various methods, I broke this habit by pitting my impatience against my laziness. I decoupled the action and the neurological reward by setting up a simple 30-second delay I had to wait through, in which I couldn't do anything else, before any new page or chat client would load (and only allowed one to run at once). The urge to check all those sites magically vanished--and my 'productive' computer use was unaffected.}}
Major in the Universe 2011-02-21 [[Student before a professor]] Student: How can I pick a major? I'm interested in everything! Can't I major in "the universe"? Professor: Okay. First, I'll need papers on every European trade summit that did not result in an agreement. Then, spend a year memorizing every microprocessor instruction set ever used in a production chip. [[Student scratches head]] Student:What I meat was I just want to read Malcolm Gladwell books and drink. Professor: We all do, sweetie. {{Title text: I hear Steven Levitt is writing a book analyzing A.J. Jacobs' quest to spend a year reading everything Malcolm Gladwell ever wrote. The audiobook will be narrated by Robert Krulwich of Radiolab.}}
Flying Cars 2011-02-23 Person (on phone): It's 2011. I want my flying car. Friend (from phone): Dude. Friend: You're complaining to me using a phone on which you buy and read books, Friend: and which you were using to play a 3D shooter until I interrupted you with what would be a video call if I were wearing a shirt. Person: Can't I have a flying car, too? Friend (from phone): You'd crash it while texting and playing Angry Birds. {{Title text: It's hard to fit in the backseat of my flying car with my android Realdoll when we're both wearing jetpacks.}}
Nanobots 2011-02-25 [[Scientist and commander are on a space station.]] Scientist: Commander! Come quick! Scientist: It's the nanobots--they've STOPPED! Scientist: They devoured 40% of the Earth, and then just ... quit! They're just sitting there! Scientist: Why?! Commander: It's a mystery. ... unless ... What's the volume of each nanobot? Scientist: A few cubic microns. Why? Commander: I think the year 1998 just bought us some time. [[Earth's surface, covered in mountains of nanobots.]] In the swarm: Nanobot: What do you mean, "Run out of addresses?" Other Nanobot: Look, we should've migrated away from IPv6 AGES ago ... {{Title text: I think the ITEF hit the right balance with the 128 bits thing. We can fit MAC addresses in a 64 subnet, and the nanobots will only be able to devour half the planet.}}
Compass and Straightedge 2011-02-28 I learned in high school what geometers discovered long ago: [[Geometer, holding a compass and straightedge, looks sad.]] Using only a compass and straightedge, it's impossible to construct friends. {{Title text: The Greeks long suspected this, but it wasn't until April 12th of 1882 that Ferdinand von Lindemann conclusively proved it when he constructed himself the most awesome birthday party possible and nobody showed up.}}
Herpetology 2011-03-02 Ornithology conference: [[graph showing a large tree split between amphibians and reptiles]] Ornithologist: As you can see, herpetology is a silly field; reptiles are actually more closely related to birds and mammals than to amphibians.It should really be broken up, with lizards folded into ornithology. Herpetology conference: [[graph showing a large tree split between nice people and ornithologists]] Herpetologist: As you can see, ornithologists are actually assholes. {{Title text: Birds are Aves, which is part of the clade Theropoda, which is in Saurischia, which is in Dinosauria. Those birds outside our windows are dinosaurs. We can clear out the rest of our brains because we now have the best fact.}}
Nolan Chart 2011-03-04 [[diamond-shaped four-panel diagram]] [[top panel labeled "internet libertarians]] [[left panel labeled "Democrats, Republicans"]] [[bottom panel labeled "other"]] [[right panel labeled "baseball fans"]] [[axis increasing in the upper-left direction labeled "political opinions"]] [[axis increasing in the upper-right direction labeled "love of diamond-shaped diagrams"]] {{Title text: Also in the right quadrant are NFPA-compliant chemical manufacturers and Sir Charles Wheatstone. Sharing the top with the internet libertarians are Nate Silver and several politically-active kite designers.}}
Server Attention Span 2011-03-07 [[single blade in a server rack]] Server: Hi! I'm a server! Who are you? [[mobile device with a web browser]] Browser: I'm a browser. I'd like to see this article. Server:Oh boy! I can help! Let me get it for- ..whoa! You're a *smartphone* browser? Browser: Yeah. Server: Cooool! Hey, I've got this new mobile version of my site! Check it out! Isn't it pretty? Browser: Sure, but this is just your mobile site's main page. Where's the article I wanted? Server: What article? Browser: The one I- Server: Who are you? Browser: I- Server: Hi! I'm a server! {{Title text: They have to keep the adjacent rack units empty. Otherwise, half the entries in their var log syslog are just 'SERVER BELOW TRYING TO START CONVERSATION *AGAIN*.' and 'WISH THEY'D STOP GIVING HIM SO MUCH COFFEE IT SPLATTERS EVERYWHERE.'}}
Advertising 2011-03-09 Mathematically Annoying Advertising: [[A ∪ B = {x:x â‰? 15 or x > 15 } = ℝ ]] [[line graph representing the above equation]] When discussing real numbers, it is impossible to get more vague than "up to 15% or more". [["FREE*" in large text, with substantial illegible fine print]] If someone has paid $x to have the word "free" typeset for you and N other people to read, their expected value for the money that will move from you to them is at least $(x (N+1)) [[graph representing inverse relationship between "amount you spend" on the y axis and "amount you save" on the x axis]] It would be difficult for the phrase "the more you spend the more you save" to be more wrong. {{Title text: I remember the exact moment in my childhood when I realized, while reading a flyer, that nobody would ever spend money solely to tell me they wanted to give me something for nothing. It's a much more vivid memory than the (related) parental Santa talk.}}
Charity 2011-03-11 Gamer: I'm going to buy this $10 game I want, and I'm donating $10 for malaria eradication. Friend: If you actually cared, you'd skip the game and donate all $20. Friend: What's more important? Games, or mosquito nets and medicine for kids? Later: Gamer: I think I'm going to buy these two $10 games I want. Other Friend: Cool; which ones? {{Title text: I usually respond to someone else doing something good by figuring out a reason that they're not really as good as they seem. But I've been realizing lately that there's an easier way to handle these situations, and it involves zero internet arguments.}}
Fairy Tales 2011-03-14 [[Woman is sitting in an armchair, reading a book.]] Woman: Are there eigenvectors in Cinderella? Man: ... no? Woman: The prince didn't use them to match the shoe to its owner? Man: What are you TALKING about? Woman: Dammit. [[Flashback. Girl is in bed, mom is sitting on the edge of the bed reading.]] My mom is one of those people who falls asleep while reading, but keeps talking. She's a math professor, so she'd start rambling about her work. Mom: But while the ant gathered food ... Mom: ... zzzz ... Mom: ... the grasshopper contracted to a point on a manifold that was NOT a 3-sphere ... I'm still not sure which versions are real. [[Present.]] Man: You didn't notice the drastic subject changes? Woman: Well, sometimes her versions were better. We loved Inductive White and the (N-1) Dwarfs. Woman: I guess the LIM x->inf (x) little pigs did get a bit weird toward the end ... {{Title text: Goldilocks' discovery of Newton's method for approximation required surprisingly few changes.}}
FPS Mod 2011-03-16 [[Person is playing a video game.]] <> Game: He once built a treehouse. <> Game: She has 110 unread emails that she was hoping to get to tonight. <> Game: He was the only one who took care of the plants back at base. No one liked my FPS mod that gives you three-second snippets from the bios of people you shoot. {{Title text: Wait, that second one is a woman? ... wait, if that bothers me, then why doesn't ... man, this game is no fun anymore.}}
Time Management 2011-03-18 [[Person sits at a desk with a computer. There's a schedule on the wall next to it. Person is typing.]] The key to leading a productive life is time management. <> Choose goals, build a schedule, and have the WILLPOWER to follow it-- or be LEFT BEHIND by those of us who DO. <> [[We see the schedule in closeup.]] SCHEDULE 7:00am Wake up 7:15am-8:00am Post on productivity blogs about my schedule 8:00am-whenever Fuck around {{Title text: I never trust anyone who's more excited about success than about doing the thing they want to be successful at.}}
2009 Called 2011-03-21 [[Man is at computer. Woman is standing behind him, looking at clothes on the floor.]] Woman: Is this a three wolf moon shirt? Woman: Dude, 2009 called, and they-- Man: OH MY GOD! Man: DID YOU WARN THEM? Man: ABOUT HAITI AND JAPAN? Woman: What? No, I-- Man: You ASSHOLE! {{Title text: 2017 called, but I couldn't understand what they were saying over all the screams.}}
Trapped 2011-03-23 [[Person is on the phone.]] Person: Hello? 911? I'm trapped! Person: It's dark and I can't see anything except these two distorted splotches of light! Person: Help! [[The 911 operator is in an office, wearing a headset.]] Operator: Splotches of light? Your ... eyeballs? Person (over phone): I think that's what they are! There's meat everywhere! Operator: ... so you're a brain. Person (over phone): Yes! Operator: Yeah, we all are. You're not trapped. Use your body to walk around and experience reality. Person: But everything's just signals in my sensory cortices! How can I be sure they correspond to an external world?! Operator (over phone): I'm sorry, but we can't send a search-and-rescue team into Plato's cave. {{Title text: Socrates could've saved himself a lot of trouble if he'd just brought a flashlight, tranquilizer gun, and a bunch of rescue harnesses.}}
Beauty 2011-03-25 [[Two humans are discussing science. They are interrupted by an off-panel shout.]] Human: The problem with scientists is that you take the wonder and beauty out of everything by trying to analyze it. Shout: Dude! [[A Scientist runs across the panel, carrying a microscope and a slime mold.]] Scientist: My plasmoidal slime molds have heightened pigment production! Check out that yellow color! That actually makes them zinc-resistatn. Amazing, huh? [[The slime mold is proferred to the same human who was speaking earlier. The close up hides the Scientist's face.]] Human: It looks like dog barf. Scientist: Hah, yeah! F. Septica is nicknamed "dog vomit slime mold." Cool, huh? Check out my slides! [[The scientist has set down the microscope on the floor of the panel, and the slime mold is jiggling.]] Human: Okay, never mind: What's wrong with scientists is that you do see wonder and beauty in everything. Human: Oh God, it's moving! Scientist: It wants to hug you! So cute! {{Title text: The best hugs are probably from hagfish, which can extrude microscopic filaments that convert a huge volume of water around them to slime in seconds. Instant cozy blanket!}}
Model Rail 2011-03-28 [[Two characters are standing in a basement, the support beams bare.]] Enthusiast: I want to build a perfect HO-scale (~1 87) model train layout of my town. Realist: In your basement? Bad idea. Never make a layout of the area you're in. Enthusiast: Why not? Realist: Because it'd include a little 10" replica of your house. Enthusiast: So? That'd be cool! I'd make tiny replicas of my rooms, my furniture-- Realist: --And your train layout? ((Break free of the traditional panel system. The following appear in magnification circles, going beyond an original large diagram. Each is labeled with a length scale arrow.)) [[The characters are looking at an HO-scale model railroad, with prominent mountains and a town nestled in the valley.]] <-- 18m --> [[Zoomed in on the first model house.]] <-- 21cm --> [[Zoomed in on the second house. There is a gnat sitting on the model.]] <-- 2.4mm --> [[Zoomed in on the third house. A strand of spiderweb crosses the model, labeled.]] Spider web <-- 28Î?m --> [[Zoomed in on the fourth house. A cold virus is sitting on the model, which is distinctly composed of tiny dots.]] Cold virus. <-- 320nm --> [[Zoomed in on the fifth house. The entire diorama is composed of large spheres. It appears Dalton's billiard ball model is correct in the comic universe.]] <-- 37Å --> ((A final comment, and normal panels resume.)) The Matryoshka Limit: It is impossible to nest more than six HO layouts. [[The two are standing together once again.]] Enthusiast: My God. Realist: Yeah. It's the second rule of model train layouts: No nesting. Enthusiast: ... what's the first rule? Realist: "Do not talk about model train layouts." That rule was actually voted in by our friends and families. Enthusiast: Philistines. {{Title text: I don't know what's more telling--the number of pages in the Wikipedia talk page argument over whether the 1 87.0857143 scale is called "HO" or "H0", or the fact that within minutes of first hearing of it I had developed an extremely strong opinion on the issue.}}
Lamp 2011-03-30 [[A person stumbles on a lamp, lying on the ground.]] [[The person picks it up.]] <> [[The lamp sprays fluids.]] <> [[The person holds the lamp at arm's length, a puddle of fluid on the ground.]] {{Title text: 'That was definitely not in my top three wishes.' 'Who said anything about YOUR wishes?'}}
Headache 2011-04-01 [[One person has a bike, and is wearing a helmet. The other is at a computer.]] Biker: Wanna go for a bike ride? Other: Nah, I hate 3D stuff. It gives me a headache. When you think about it, this excuse can get you out of almost anything. {{Title text: I'm only willing to visit placid lakes, salt flats, and painting exhibits until the world's 3D technology improves.}}
Probability 2011-04-04 [[A plot of years vs. percent, with a solid and a dashed line. The solid line starts at 100%, and drops constantly. The dashed line starts around 85%, rises to 95% after 5 years, then drops.]] [[A simple table.]] 5 years 81% 10 years 77% [[Two people are sitting on a bench, next to an IV drip hanging from a rack. One is holding a paper.]] Person: You know, probability used to be my favorite branch of math Person: Because it had so many real-life applications. [[They embrace, faces together.]] {{Title text: My normal approach is useless here, too.}}
Significant 2011-04-06 [[Person with a pony tail runs up to another person, who subsequently points off-panel where there are presumably scientists.]] Ponytail: Jelly beans cause acne! Another: Scientists! Investigate! Scientists: But we're playing Minecraft! Scientists: ... Fine. [[Two scientists. One has safety goggles, the other has a sheet of notes.]] Goggles: We found no link between jelly beans and acne (p > 0.05). [[Back to the original two.]] Another: That settles that. Ponytail: I hear it's only a certain color that causes it. Another: Scientists! Scientists: But Miiiinecraft! [[20 near identical small panels follow, 4 rows 5 columns.]] Goggles: We found no link between purple jelly beans and acne (p > 0.05). Goggles: We found no link between brown jelly beans and acne (p > 0.05). Goggles: We found no link between pink jelly beans and acne (p > 0.05). Goggles: We found no link between blue jelly beans and acne (p > 0.05). Goggles: We found no link between teal jelly beans and acne (p > 0.05). Goggles: We found no link between salmon jelly beans and acne (p > 0.05). Goggles: We found no link between red jelly beans and acne (p > 0.05). Goggles: We found no link between turquoise jelly beans and acne (p > 0.05). Goggles: We found no link between magenta jelly beans and acne (p > 0.05). Goggles: We found no link between yellow jelly beans and acne (p > 0.05). Goggles: We found no link between grey jelly beans and acne (p > 0.05). Goggles: We found no link between tan jelly beans and acne (p > 0.05). Goggles: We found no link between cyan jelly beans and acne (p > 0.05). Goggles: We found a link between green jelly beans and acne (p < 0.05). Off-panel: WHOA! Goggles: We found no link between yellow jelly beans and acne (p > 0.05). Goggles: We found no link between beige jelly beans and acne (p > 0.05). Goggles: We found no link between lilac jelly beans and acne (p > 0.05). Goggles: We found no link between black jelly beans and acne (p > 0.05). Goggles: We found no link between peach jelly beans and acne (p > 0.05). Goggles: We found no link between orange jelly beans and acne (p > 0.05). [[Newspaper front page.]] NEWS Green Jelly Beans Linked To Acne! 95% Confidence [[There is a picture of 3 green jelly beans.]] Only 5% chance of coincidence! Scientists... {{Title text: 'So, uh, we did the green study again and got no link. It was probably a--' 'RESEARCH CONFLICTED ON GREEN JELLY BEAN ACNE LINK; MORE STUDY RECOMMENDED!'}}
Pain Rating 2011-04-08 [[A doctor is carrying a clipboard and consulting with a patient, who's sitting on a high medical table.]] Doctor: Any pain? Patient: My arm really hurts. [[The patient's friend is standing behind the doctor, as the panel widens.]] Doctor: How would you rate the pain, from one to ten, where ten is the worst pain you can imagine? [[The patient sits on the table.]] Patient: The worst pain I can imagine? [[The patient ponders this, raising a thoughtful hand to their jaw.]] [[The patient appears to be shocked.]] [[The patient is huddled up on the table.]] Patient: One. Doctor: ... What the hell is wrong with his imagination? Patient's Friend: It's not a normal place. {{Title text: If it were a two or above I wouldn't be able to answer because it would mean a pause in the screaming.}}
Rogers St. 2011-04-11 [[Someone with curly hair is standing in front of a sign labeled 'Auditions'. A judge of some sort speaks from off-panel.]] Judge: Seriously? Judge: Sorry, no, that's a huge mood killer. Judge: Next! Before I have a kid, I'm moving to Rogers Street in Cambridge, MA, and then getting a cat named "Mister" Just to guarantee the kid will never go into porn. {{Title text: 'We can also use middle names in place of first pet's names, but yours is something incomprehensible about dropping tables.'}}
Recycling 2011-04-13 [[A person is picking through various items of trash or recycling on a conveyor belt. A juice bottle, emty cardboard box, opened tin can, bottlecap, crumpled and flat sheets of paper, a soda or pop can, and miscellaneous junk are visible.]] Person: This guy tears the labels off his cans, so he clearly understands they're going to be sorted somewhere - Person: Yet in the same batch he includes a bottle with like an ounce of congealed juice in it. Person: What an asshole. I worry a lot about what the people at the recycling center think of me. {{Title text: And given how much of my stuff they go through, they definitely know where I live.}}
Craigslist Apartments 2011-04-15 ((The comic is a single panel, presented as an apartment search.)) [[Title bar.]] All apartments Search for: [_______] in: All apartments ( ) Title only (*) Entire post Search Rent: [Min] [Max] 0+ BR [ ] Cats [ ] Dogs [ ] Has image [[Date bar]] Fri Apr 15 [[Begin the apartment listings.]] $1600 2BR ~~~ Hardwood floors, utilities included. Cats ok, limit one per square foot. $1100 **** GREAT DEAL SQUARE HOUSE DOOR IN FRONT!!! **** $2300 3BR !!!!!!!! Elegant apartment permanently lit by strobe light!!!! No floor. $1100 **** GREAT DEAL SQUARE HOUSE DOOR IN FRONT!!! **** $980 1BR New "hammock"-style dwelling. Water and heat free from same dispenser. Viking landlord. $1550 2BR (one inside the other). Has running water, in a sense. Free heat in short, intense bursts. Klein stairs. $1100 **** GREAT DEAL SQUARE HOUSE DOOR IN FRONT!!! **** $1100 **** GREAT DEAL SQUARE HOUSE DOOR IN FRONT!!! **** $3200 1BR W trimmed carpet and pert fixtures. Previous tenants clean. Call now, want you inside. $120 night (no animals) $2100 3BR on scenic Ash Tree Lane. Builder unknown; house has always existed. Walls shift; center of house may contain minotaur. $1100 **** GREAT DEAL SQUARE HOUSE DOOR IN FRONT!!! **** $600 5BR Three floors w pool, rooftop garden, beautiful glass facade, no catch, 5-min drive to historic Pripyat $7100 60BR Sleek modern w extreme running water. Previous tenants may resist entry. Contains all new wiring and is a submarine. $1616 3BR + 2Bath, tub full of blood. Closet full of board games which play themselves. Pets ok but won't survive long. {{Title text: $1600 1386153BR 3BATH, MODERN SLIDING DOORS, GUEST ROOMS, GARBAGE DISPOSAL. FREE MANDATORY PARKING (ENFORCED). CONVENIENT TO ALDERAAN.}}
Future Timeline 2011-04-18 The Future According to Google Search results Events for each year determined by the first page of Google Search results for the phrases: "by " "in year" "by the year " "in the year " "will * by the year " "will * in the year " "in , * will" "by , * will" ((The remainder of the comic is a vertical timeline. Each year is linked to several facts.)) 2012 World population reaches 7 billion Flying cars reach market Canada cuts greenhouse emissions to 6% below 1990 levels as per Kyoto Apocalypse occurs 2013 National debt paid off through President Clinton's plan Microchipping of all Americans begins Homelessness ended in Massachusetts Health Care reform law repealed 2014 US leaves Afghanistan GNU Linux becomes dominant OS 2015 New Horizons reaches Pluto Health Care law causes hyperinflation 192 UN Member Nations achieve Millennium Development Goals: - Extreme poverty and hunger eradicated - Universal primary education implemented - Women empowered, gender equality reached - Environmental stability ensured 2016 Baby boomers begin turning 65 Android takes 38% of the Smartphone market Android takes 45% of the Smartphone market Windows Phone overtakes iOS in Smartphones 2017 China completes unmanned lunar sample-return mission Social Security stops running surplus US Budget balanced Newspapers become obsolete and die out Cosmetic surgery doubles 2018 Social security stops running surplus Jesus returns to Earth 2019 Social security stops running surplus Every baby has genes mapped at birth 2020 Solar power becomes cheaper than fossil fuels Keyboards and mice become obsolete New Tappan Zee Bridge constructed 2021 US debt reaches 97% of GDP US unemployment falls to 2.8% Restored caliphate unifies Middle East Lake Mead evaporates 2022 Kilimanjaro snow-free HTML 5 finished Newspapers become obsolete and die out 2023 Jesus returns to Earth (again) US debt passes 100% of GDP All unprotected ancient forests gone from Pacific Northwest 2024 Atlantis begins to reappear Orangutans extinct in wild China lands men and women on Moon NASA sets up permanent Moon Base Female professionals pass males in pay 2025 World population reaches 8 billion Two billion people face water shortages 62 MPG cars introduced US power fades 2026 Atlantis emerges completely Rock bands die out US debt paid off Car accidents cease West coast falls into ocean 2027 Japan introduces new fastest Maglev train Lyndon Larouche-planned Mars colony established Social security stops running surplus 2028 Tobacco outlawed 40% of coral reefs gone US debt paid off Social Security stops running surplus 2029 Social Security trust fund exhausted Computers pass the Turing test Aging reversed Wikipedia reaches 30 million articles 2030 Half of Amazon rain forest lost to logging Cancer deaths double from 2008 levels Arctic ice-free in summer 2031 Computers controlled by thought Realtors replaced by technology Social Security trust fund exhausted 2032 "Big One" hits San Francisco US elects first married lesbian president Entire world converted to Christianity 2033 Kilimanjaro ice disappears India becomes superpower Europe reaches Mars 2034 US diabetes cases double, treatment costs triple US builds autonomous robot army 2035 80% of America's energy comes from renewable sources Himalayan glaciers down 80% in size Arctic Sea lane opens 2036 80% of US has access to high-speed rail Asteroid Apophis misses hits Earth 2037 Arctic ice-free in September Social Security trust fund exhausted 2038 32-bit timestamps roll over, causing Y2K-level chaos "Big One" hits California 2039 US population hits 400 million Severe heat waves become commonplace Scientology becomes majority religion in US 2040 Arctic summers ice-free Nanotechnology makes humans immortal 2041 Social Security trust fund exhausted 2042 2043 World population passes 9 billion 2044 Mankind genetically engineered to be happy Childhood obesity reaches 100% 2045 Humans and machines merge 2046 World's natural resources depleted 2047 World ruled by banks and corporations Tobacco industry fails US begins using autonomous attack drones 2048 Salt-water fish extinct from overfishing Unisex bathing suits cover body from shoulder to ankle Entire US population overweight 2049 $1,000 computer exceeds computational ability of humanity Singularity occurs Fishing industry collapses 2050 80% of Earth's population lives in urban centers China controls space Sex with robots possible Cars banned from European cities One million species extinct from climate change 2051 Atmosphere escapes into space 2052 Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security spending exceed total US revenue 2053 US budget balanced Majority of Americans in prison Cars driven by dogs 2054 Hunger becomes unimaginable global problem 2055 Atmospheric CO2 doubled Oil runs out Copper, tin, lead, gold, and nickel are all exhausted 2056 RFID-tagged driverless cars Robots given same rights as humans 2057 150 Japanese settlers on Mars Colorado River runs dry 2058 Smoking ends in New Zealand 2059 Humans have domesticated robots 2060 Human race lives in peace Extreme droughts across much of Earth Global temperature rise reaches 4°C Oil runs out again 2061 Halley's Comet returns 2062 Uganda hosts World Cup The Jetsons 2063 First human clones reach adulthood Population of Moon reaches 100,000 Population of Mars reaches 10,000 Spacecraft exceed speed of light 2064 Clean Air Act finishes reducing haze in national parks to natural levels 2065 Last coral reefs die out Chernobyl cleanup completed 2066 Cyprus achieves its goal 2067 Americans live in domed cities and watch 3D TV Redheads go extinct 2068 Ozone hole over Antarctic finishes recovering Lord Jesus rules Earth from throne in Jerusalem Entire world population gay due to chemicals in the water 2069 Public masturbation legalized 2070 World population peaks City-scale flooding disasters 60% of world's energy comes from renewable sources 2071 Europe's temperatures rise by 3°C World summer temperatures rise by 5°C 2072 US retirement age set to 75 2073 Oceans do not rise one foot 2074 Number of 100-year-olds reaches one million Supertyphoons hit Japan 2075 US retirement age set to 69 2076 Average scientific paper has more than 24 authors Social Security trust fund exhausted 2077 2078 Newspapers become obsolete and die out 2079 US debt reaches 716% of GDP Lodgepole Pines disappear from Northwest Floods commonplace Religion marginalized 2080 Federal spending reaches 70% of GDP UK population doubles 2081 2082 World population declines to one billion 2083 2084 Robot policemen introduced 2085 US deficit reaches 62% of GDP 2086 2087 2088 Japan becomes all-robot country 2089 World halts fossil fuel use 2090 Global warming hits 7°C Global warming hits 4°C 2091 2092 2093 2094 2095 2096 2097 2098 2099 2100 Global warming around 5-7°C Sea levels have risen by a meter or more Joshua Trees nearly extinct Earth's climate resembles that of the Cretaceous Germany tropical Emperor Penguins extinct Arctic permafrost thaws Rising seas flood coastal cities Rain forests mostly gone due to climatic shifts All coral reefs gone Gillette introduces 14-bladed razor 2101 WAR WAS BEGINNING {{Title text: Not shown: the approximately 30,000 identical, vaguely hysterical articles titled "WHITE PEOPLE IN [THE US BRITAIN] TO BECOME MINORITY BY [YEAR]!", which came up for basically any year I put in.}}
Heaven 2011-04-20 [[The display is a tetris game. A large oddly shaped piece is falling towards the board. The piece fits into the gaps exactly to complete multiple rows at once. The next piece is simply a very long brick.]] Top 0002187 Score 0002186 Level 5 ((The above are within the game; the next line is outside the game.)) Heaven {{Title text: If you've never had sex, this is what it feels like. Complete with the brief feeling of satisfaction, followed by ennui, followed by getting bored and trying to make it happen again.}}
Turtles 2011-04-22 [[There is a turtle.]] Off-panel: Oh, crap, I deleted the file! [[There is a turtle.]] Turtle (thinking): I am a turtle. [[There is a turtle.]] Off-panel: No, wait, there it is. [[There is a turtle.]] Turtle (thinking): I am a turtle. [[There is a turtle.]] 50 Years Later: Turtle (thinking): I am a turtle. Turtles have it figured out, man. {{Title text: You're a turtle!}}
Etymology 2011-04-25 [[Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Chewbacca are sitting in Chalmun's Spaceport Cantina, a wretched hive of scum and villainy]] Han Solo: Han Solo. I'm captain of the Millenium Falcon Luke Skywalker: What's that? Han: It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 Parsecs! Luke: No, what's a falcon? Han: ... {{Title text: For some reason, my childhood suspension of disbelief had no problem with the fact that this ancient galaxy is full of humans, but was derailed by language. There's no Asia OR Europe there, so where'd they get all the Indo-European roots?}}
Movie Ages 2011-04-27 The 2011 Guide to Making People Feel Old -Using Movie Release Dates- [[A chart with 2 columns. First column is labeled 'Their Age,' and is numbered 1 through 35 & 'over 35.' The second column is labeled 'You Say' and is divided into four sub-columns. The first sub-column reads '"Did you realize that...' from 1-35, and the third sub-column says 'Came Out' from 1-35.] Age 16: Snakes on a plane ... Half a decade ago?" 17-19: Revenge of the Sith ... More than half a decade ago?" 20: Finding Nemo ... Eight years ago?" 21-22: Shrek ... Ten years ago?" 23-25: The Matrix ... Not the last decade, but the one before that ?" 26: Toy Story" ... Over fifteen years ago?" 27: The Lion King ... Seventeen years ago?" 28: Jurassic Park ... Eighteen years ago?" 29: Terminator 2 ... Twenty years ago?" 30-32: Home Alone ... More than twenty years ago?" 33-35" The Little Mermaid ... Closer to the moon landing than the present day? Over 35: "Hey, did you see this chart? You match your age to movie -- oh, right, sorry, it only goes up to 35. I guess it's not really aimed at older people." {{Title text: If you're 15 or younger, then just remember that it's nevertheless probably too late to be a child prodigy.}}
Null Hypothesis 2011-04-29 [[A student works at a desk.]] Bystander: I can't believe schools are still teaching kids about the null hypothesis. Bystander: I remember reading a big study that conclusively disproved it YEARS ago. {{Title text: Hell, my eighth grade science class managed to conclusively reject it just based on a classroom experiment. It's pretty sad to hear about million-dollar research teams who can't even manage that.}}
65 Years 2011-05-02 [[A graph titled 'Number of Living Humans Who Have Walked on Another World' -- its y-axis is numbered 5, 10, 15, it's x-axis increments every ten years from 1960-2040. The line of the graph has a bracket above it that says '65 Years', starting at 1969, ending in 2034. The line starts at 1969 and increases steeply to 12 by 1972. It then plateaus until the early nineties declines gradually to 8 between 1991-1999, and then plateaus again. From 2020-2035, which is labeled 'Projected Actuarial Tables', the line branches into three and begins to decline more steeply to zero. The area between the first and second branch is shaded and labeled '5th percentile' and the area between the second and third branch is shaded and labeled '95th percentile.']] {{Title text: The universe is probably littered with the one-planet graves of cultures which made the sensible economic decision that there's no good reason to go into space--each discovered, studied, and remembered by the ones who made the irrational decision.}}
Progeny 2011-05-04 [[A guy sits at a computer; a woman stands behind him.]] Guy: Wow -- researchers taught a computer to beat the world's best humans at yet ANOTHER task. Does our species have ANYTHING left to be proud of? Woman: Well, it sounds like we're pretty awesome at teaching. Guy: Huh? What good is THAT? {{Title text: I tell my children 'it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game.' I'm trying to take the edge off their competitive drive to ensure that I can always beat them.}}
Teaching Physics 2011-05-06 Teacher: Understanding gravity: Space-time is like a rubber sheet. Massive objects distort the sheet, and-- Student: Wait. Student: They distort it because they're pulled down by... what? Teacher: <> Teacher: Space-time is like this set of equations, for which any analogy must be an approximation. Student: BOOOOORING. {{Title text: Space-time is like some simple and familiar system which is both intuitively understandable and precisely analogous, and if I were Richard Feynman I'd be able to come up with it.}}
Marie Curie 2011-05-09 Woman: My teacher always told me that if I applied myself, I could become the next Marie Curie. Zombie Marie Curie: You know, I wish they'd get over me. Woman: Zombie Marie Curie! Zombie Marie Curie: Not that I don't deserve it. These two Nobels ain't decorative. But I make a sorry role model if girls just see me over and over as the one token lady scientist. Zombie Marie Curie: Lise Meitner figured out that nuclear fission was happening, while her colleague Otto was staring blankly at their data in confusion, and proved Enrico Fermi wrong in the process. Enrico and Otto both got Nobel Prizes. Lise got a National Women's Press Club award. Zombie Marie Curie: They finally named an element after her, but not until 60 years later. Zombie Marie Curie: Emmy Noether fought past her Victorian-era finishing-school upbringing, pursued mathematics by auditing classes, and, after finally getting a Ph.D, was permitted to teach only as an unpaid lecturer (often under male colleagues' names). Woman: Was she as good as them? Zombie Marie Curie: She revolutionized abstract algebra, filled gaps in relativity, and found what some call the most beautiful, deepest result in theoretical physics. Woman: Oh. Zombie Marie Curie: But you don't become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the process. Zombie Marie Curie: So don't try to be the next me, Noether, or Meitner. Just remember that if you want to do this stuff, you're not alone. Woman: Thanks. Zombie Marie Curie: Also, avoid radium. Turns out it kills you. Woman: I'll try. {{Title text: Although not permanently.}}
Elevator Inspection 2011-05-11 [[Three people in an elevator, one reading a posted sign.]] Reading guy: It says here that the elevator inspection certificate is on file in the building office. Middle guy: Whoa, cool! Let's go look at it! Excited girl: That sounds fun! Industry tip: Building owners know this never happens. Those signs mark elevators which have never been inspected. {{Title text: Even governmental elevator inspectors get bored halfway through asking where the building office is.}}
Chain of Command 2011-05-13 [[A flowchart shows the President at the top, with an arrow to the Secretary of Defense, and then fourteen arrows leading to a series of boxes labeled Unified Combat Commanders. On the side, a box with a dotted outline has a dotted arrow leading to the president. It's labeled "Engineer Who Installed the Red Button."]] US NUCLEAR CHAIN OF COMMAND {{Title text: Themistocles said his infant son ruled all Greece -- "Athens rules all Greece; I control Athens; my wife controls me; and my infant son controls her." Thus, nowadays the world is controlled by whoever buys advertising time on Dora the Explorer.}}
Number Line 2011-05-16 {{Title text: The Wikipedia page "List of Numbers" opens with "This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it."}} (( number line ranging from -1 to 10 )) (( arrow pointing left, towards negative numbers )) Negative "imitator" numbers (do not use) (( line right before the number one )) 0.99... (acutally 0.0000000372 less than 1) (( line at the golden ratio )) ϕ - Parthenon; sunflowers; golden ratio; wait, come back, I have facts! (( line at a region between two and 2.2 )) forbidden region (( line at Euler's number )) e (( line a bit before 3 )) 2.9299372 (e and π pi, observed) (( line at π )) π (( line at 3.5 with a ribbon as the numeral )) Grid - accepted as canon by orthodox mathematicians (( line a bit after 4 )) site of battle of 4.108 (( blob between 4.5 and 6.5 labeled unexplored )) (( line at seven )) Number indicating a factoid is made up ("every 7 years...", "science says there are 7...", etc) (( line at eight )) Largest even prime (( line at 8.75 )) If you encounter a number higher than this, you're not doing real math
Religions 2011-05-18 Woman: So are you worried about the rapture? Man: No, unless it figures out how to open doors. Woman: I said RAPTURE. Man: Oh. I'm not really into that. I'm the kind of Christian who only goes to church on Christmas and Easter, and then spends the other 363 days at the Mosque. Woman: ... I don't think that's a thing. Man: Our rabbi swears it's legit. Man: What religion are you? Woman: Experimentalist monotheism. Man: Which is? Woman: We believe there's one god, but we're trying to find the error bars on that number. {{Title text: But to us there is but one God, plus or minus one. --1 Corinthians 8:6±2.}}
Temperature 2011-05-20 [[A close up of a man with a thermometer in his mouth.]] [[The thermometer beeps.]] Thermometer: BEEP [[A full-body shot of the man looking down at the thermometer.]] [[A close-up of the thermometer's read-out.]] Thermometer: PREGNANT {{Title text: And the baby has a fever.}}
Darmok and Jalad 2011-05-23 [[Captain Dathon is seen on a communications screen]] Alien: Darmok and Jalad at Kalenda's! [[Jean-Luc Picard and Deanna Troi stand next to each other, looking off to the right.]] Picard: Their language must be based on folklore and metaphor! Computer! Search cultural archives for Darmok-Jalad-Kalenda! [[Picard and Troi listen to the response]] Computer (off-panel): In Tamarian legend, Darmok and Jalad got totally wasted and hooked up at a party at Kalenda's. [[Dathon is seen on the communications screen again, winking]] <> {{Title text: I wonder how often Patrick Stewart has Darmok flashbacks when talking to Star Trek fans.}}
Extended Mind 2011-05-25 [[An IM window is open over a Chrome window with tabs for Spark Plug, Feeler Gauge, and Wikipedia.]] Message with Mike1979 Mike1979: I replaced my spark plugs and now my car is running weird. Me: The spark gap might be off. Me: You can check with a feeler gauge. Mike1979: What should the gap be? Me: Usually between 0.035" and 0.070". Me: But it depends on the engine. [[An IM window is open over a Chrome window with a single Wikipedia tab, marked ERROR. The page says: "Wikipedia has a problem. Try waiting a few minutes and reloading (can't contact the database server: unknown error (10.0.0.242))]] Message with Mike1979 Mike1979: I replaced my spark plugs and now my car is running weird. Me: What is a sparky plug?? Me: Help Me: What is a car?? {{Title text: Wikipedia trivia: if you take any article, click on the first link in the article text not in parentheses or italics, and then repeat, you will eventually end up at "Philosophy".}}
Sports 2011-05-27 [[Two commentators sit behind a desk.]] Commentator 1: A weighted random number generator just produced a new batch of numbers. Commentator 2: Let's use them to build narratives! ALL SPORTS COMMENTARY {{Title text: Also, all financial analysis. And, more directly, D&D.}}
Homeownership 2011-05-30 [[Person is in an empty room, on the phone with a friend.]] Person: I've always rented, so this blows my mind--this house is mine? I own a building? Friend: Yup! Person: I could, like, decide to drill a hole in that wall there, and nobody could do anything about it! Friend: That's right! [[Person, off the phone, stands in silence.]] [[Person is standing next to a pile of rubble, on the phone with a friend.]] Person: Can I come stay with you? My house has a ... problem. Friend: Let me guess: you drilled holes in it until it collapsed? Person: I don't think I'm cut out for home ownership. {{Title text: New research shows over 60% of the financial collapse's toxic assets were created by power drills.}}
Advertising Discovery 2011-06-01 Advertising discovery: [[Person sits at computer, reading an ad on the screen. The bracketed superscripts are blue.]] Ad: Turgidax(R) triples[2] your penis size overnight,[2][5] improving both your sexual attractiveness[2][7] and your cardiovascular health.[7][8][9] Person (thinking): Sounds legit. Wikipedia has trained us to believe anything followed by little blue numbers in brackets. {{Title text: When advertisers figure this out, our only weapon will be blue sharpies and "[disputed]".}}
Ages 2011-06-03 [[A number line labeled "age". The start point is 0, with points labeled 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, and 70, and the line continues past the width of the panel. There are interstitial, non-labeled points. Above the line are labeled brackets. They are (approximated): 0-3: [Non-sentient] 4-12: "Everything is exciting!" 13-17: "Everything sucks!" 18-22: "Woooo college! Wooooo-" [vomit] 23-30: "Relationships are hard! 31-42: "So are careers!" 43-54: "No daughter of mine is going out dressed like that!" 55-75+: [More sex than anyone is comfortable admitting] ]] {{Title text: Every age: "I'm glad I'm not the clueless person I was five years ago, but now I don't want to get any older."}}
The Cloud 2011-06-06 [[A man finds a computer tower with a wire leading away from it.]] Man: What's this? Off-screen: The Cloud. [[The man looks behind him. The wire leads to an outlet in the wall next to where the Hat Man sits at a desk with a computer. Another wire leads from that outlet to the Hat Man's computer.]] Man: Huh? I always thought "The Cloud" was a huge, amorphous network of servers somewhere. Hat Man: Yeah, but everyone buys server time from everyone else. In the end, they're all getting it here. [[A close-up of Hat Man.]] Man (off-screen): How? You're on a cable modem. Hat Man: There's a lot of caching. [[A close-up of the man, looking down at the tower at his feet.]] Man: Should the cord be stretched across the room like this? Hat Man (off-screen): Of course. It has to reach the server, and the server is over there. [[The man turns back to the Hat Man, still sitting at the computer.]] Man: What if someone trips on it? Hat Man: Who would want to do that? It sounds unpleasant. Man: Uh. Sometimes people do stuff by accident. Hat Man: I don't think I know anybody like that. {{Title text: There's planned downtime every night when we turn on the Roomba and it runs over the cord.}}
Worst-Case Shopping 2011-06-08 [[A man is diving in very deep, dark blue water. He shines a flashlight at the sea floor.]] Man: (thinks) Eight meters. There's the wreckage... Yes! I see the key! [[As he swims further toward it, his flashlight starts to cut out.]] Man: (thinks) Gotta grab it, surface, get in to the radio shed, and warn the President! Just a few more... Flashlight: BZZT FIZZ ((This panel has no border like the others, and is divided in half diagonally by a thought bubble.)) [[The left half of it is a dark blue thought bubble with the diver inside it. On the right hand side are packaged flashlights hanging on a shelf. The one called Hi-Brite is $24.95 and is labeled 'water resistant to 10 meters.' The one called 'FenStar G6' is $49.95 and says 'water resistant to 40 meters.']] Man: (thinks) Oh no. [[Two men stand in front of a flashlight display in a store. One looks down at the packages with his hand on his chin in thought. The thought bubble from the previous panel leads from his head. The other man stands behind him.]] Man #1: ...maybe I should spring for the deeper water resistance. Man #2: Why on earth would you care about that? Man #1: Look, you never know. {{Title text: Wait a minute. If I'm escaping from a submarine at 50 meters, then I'll *definitely* need a flashlight to find air pockets for gradual decompression on the way up. Time to start shopping professional dive lights.}}
Permanence 2011-06-10 ((A large panel the combined width of the four panels below it.)) [[A blue Linux terminal installer screen with a grey box that is labeled "[!]CONFIGURE THE NETWORK" in red. Below, in black, it reads "Please enter the hostname for the system." Below is an empty blue entry box with a cursor and dashed underscore, and below this it says "".]] [[A man sits at his computer, a woman stands behind him.]] Woman: You've been staring at that screen a while. Man: Picking a good server name is important. [[The woman stares at him.]] [[She continues to stare.]] [[The man pushes his chair back, puts one elbow on the back of the chair and points with his other hand at the screen.]] Woman: And yet you settled on "Caroline" for our daughter in like 15 seconds. Man: But this is a server! -- Besides, I had to- you were trying to name her "epidural." Woman: Those were good drugs. {{Title text: This hostname is going in dozens of remote config files. Changing a kid's name is comparatively easy!}}
Magic School Bus 2011-06-13 [[A girl sits at a desk in a classroom, and the teacher stands before her. The teacher has a blue dress and blonde hair piled on her head in a bun. The girl raises her hand, the teacher raises both arms above her head, a pointer in one hand.]] Girl: Ms. Frizzle, how do batteries work? Ms. Frizzle: To the bus! [[Ms. Frizzle and the children are shown getting onto the bus.]] ((This panel is larger than the other three, and is set behind them.)) [[The bus, with Ms. Frizzle at the helm and a child's face in every window, soars through a rainbow void filled with a giant amoeba, a rocket, a big gear, a planet with rings, and a Feynman diagram.]] [[The bus is parked, and the occupants have gotten out. The children stand around Ms. Frizzle, and she stands at a desk with a computer on it, typing.]] Computer: WIKIPEDIA -- BATTERIES {{Title text: At my OLD school, we used Microsoft Encarta 2005.}}
Manual Override 2011-06-15 [[A plane is in a nosedive with smoke pouring from one wing. Text comes from someone reading in the cockpit.]] "This is the emergency override system, which can be used to regain control of the aircraft. Complete instructions for activating this system are available as a GNU info page." {{Title text: I think you mean 'GNU Info Override'.}}
Core 2011-06-17 [[A cutaway diagram of the Earth, with colored layers including a labeled outer core and inner core.]] [[A closeup of the stylized outer core, labeled "Turbulent molten metals at 30 million PSI" with turbulence lines, and of the inner core, labeled "moon-sized iron sphere."]] [[Person reading a book pulls legs up tight under office chair, peering downwards.]] I freak out about fifteen minutes into reading anything about the Earth's core when I suddenly realize it's RIGHT UNDER ME. {{Title text: If you're a geologist or geophysicist and you don't introduce yourself by saying your name, then gesturing downward and saying "... and I study that", I don't know what you're doing with your life.}}
Ice 2011-06-20 [[Beret Guy and a friend are setting up a party, with a snack table and a big banner reading "PARTY!"]] Friend: Everything's ready ... Friend: Except we're out of ice. Beret Guy: I'll get some! [[Beret Guy is walking down the street past a building marked Save Mart, with a bag of ice over his shoulder. Someone standing on the sidewalk calls to him.]] Person: Hey sexy. Where're you headed with all that ice? Beret Guy: A party! Person: There's a BETTER party up at my place. Beret Guy: But I-- Person: C'mon, one drink. The next morning ... [[Beret Guy rubs eyes groggily.]] Beret Guy: ... ugh ... where am I? Beret Guy: I was supposed to-- Beret Guy: --where's all my ice!? [[Beret Guy looks down to find himself in a bathtub full of kidneys.]] Beret Guy: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA {{Title text: On the plus side, she wrote 'Welcome to the AAA Club!' in lipstick on the bathroom mirror, and left me a membership roadside assistance card on the counter.}}
Connoisseur 2011-06-22 [[A man in a white hat is standing with another man. They each hold a wine glass in one hand, in the man in the hat is holding a bottle of wine in the other. He looks at the label.]] Hat man: How do you stand this cheap wine? Man #2: Wine all tastes the same to me. [[Close-up of Hat Man.]] Hat man: You've just never had good wine. If you paid more attention, you'd realize there's a whole world here. [[Close-up on the other man, who spreads his arms, sloshing his wine slightly.]] Man #2: But that's true of anything! Wine, house music, fonts, ants, Wikipedia signatures, Canadian surrealist porn- spend enough time with any of them and you'll become a snobby connoisseur.]] ((This panel has no border and is next to but aligned further down than the first three panels.)) [[The full frame of the two characters again. Hat man now has the bottle at his side.]] Hat man: But some things do have more depth than others. Man #2: If you locked people in a box for a year with 500 still frames of Joe Biden eating a sandwich, by the end they'd be adamant that some were great and some were terrible. Hat man: You're exaggerating. Man #2: Oh yeah? ((This panel is below the others, and is indented about a third of the way to the right. It is wide.)) A YEAR LATER [[A box. Voices emanate from inside.]] Voice #1: Sure, most closed-mouth frames are boring, but in #415, the way the man's jaw frames the mayo on his hand is pure perfection, and-- Voice #2: What a surprise- you praising a mayo frame. Listening to you, I'd think there was nothing else in The Sandwich. -- Frankly, the light hitting J.B.'s collar through the lettuce would put #242 in my top ten even if he had no may on his hand at all . {{Title text: Our brains have just one scale, and we resize our experiences to fit.}}
Unpickable 2011-06-24 HackerShield geek-proof safe system: [[Two boxes sit side by side. One is a safe with a lock marked "Unpickable." It is labeled: (1) 24-pin dual-tumbler radial-hybrid lock (rendered unopenable by a fused 17th pin). The other is a shoebox. It is labeled: (2) Shoebox containing your valuables.]] {{Title text: The safe is empty except for an unsolved 5x5 Rubik's cube.}}
Hofstadter 2011-06-27 [[A man sits at a desk, working on a laptop. A woman approaches the desk and picks up a tiny book.]] Woman: What's this? Man: Douglas Hofstadter's six-word autobiography. After all those 700-page tomes, I guess he wanted to try for brevity. Woman: Huh. Let's see... [[Close up of woman, reading the tiny book.]] Book: I'm So Meta, Even This Acronym [[Full shot of man and woman again. The woman looks down at the tiny book in her hand.]] Woman: ...whoa. Man: I think he nailed it. {{Title text: "This is the reference implementation of the self-referential joke."}}
Google+ 2011-06-29 Girl: You should join Google!+ Boy: What is it? Girl: Not Facebook! Boy: What's it like? Girl: Facebook! [Boy considers.] Boy: Oh, what the hell. Boy: I guess that's all I really wanted. <> {{Title text: On one hand, you'll never be able to convince your parents to switch. On the other hand, you'll never be able to convince your parents to switch!}}
Tween Bromance 2011-07-01 {{Title text: Verbiage. Va-jay-jay. Irregardless.}} ((All of person 1's lines are overlaid over the entire comic; the panels listed are merely the ones directly under each sentence fragment.)) [[Person one is standing smugly behind person two, who is seated in front of a computer and typing]] Person 1: BY MY GUESSTIMATE, Person 1: MY FRENEMY YIFFED SO HARD Person 1: HER MOIST TAINT MADE [[Person 2's eye twitches]] Person 1: HER PANTIES PREGGERS! Person 2: STOP IT STOP IT! [[Person two covers ears]]
YouTube Parties 2011-07-04 [[One person is standing by a laptop, showing a video to a group with drinks.]] The problem with YouTube parties: Person (thinking): This video is blowing their MINDS. Group (thinking): Oh man, I know what video we should watch once this is over. {{Title text: This reminds me of that video where ... no? How have you not seen that? Oh man, let me find it. No, it's ok, we can go back to your video later.}}
Delivery Notification 2011-07-06 [[The first panel is a UPS InfoNotice(r). Most of the text on it is just scribbles, though the company logo and header is clear.]] [[A person opens their door to see the InfoNotice(r). From off panel, a second person reacts.]] Person: What! I've been here all day! Off-panel person 2: Huh? Person: They have my laptop. [[Now both people are visible. The first is making an expansive gesture of annoyance.]] Person 2: So get it tomorrow. Person: I fly out in the morning and they don't open till noon! Person 2: Sucks. [[The first person is at a laptop. The second is once again off-panel.]] Person: It's right there . I can see the UPS building on the map. Off-panel person 2: Ok... [[Dramatic zoom to the person's upper torso and face, along with clenched fist.]] Person: My laptop is there. It's mine . Person: I'm going to get it. [[Even more dramatic zoom! The person's featureless face fills the panel.]] Off-panel person 2: They won't let you. Person: Who are they to keep from me what is mine? Off-panel person 2: Dude, they -- [[The person spins, raising a finger, most likely to indicate some sort of quest at hand.]] Person: A quest is at hand! Off-panel person 2: Security's gonna throw you out. Person: I fear neither death nor pain. But I will not go unarmed. ((Three inset panels overlap, in a montage format. The person narrates.)) [[Elves in long robes stand around a table, on which lies a broken sword.]] Narrating person: Light the beacons and send word to the Elves. They must reforge the sword of my fathers. [[An Elf beats the sword together on an anvil.]] [[An Elf rides a horse, silhouetted by the full moon.]] Narrating person: Ere dawn, I will go forth to the Sorting Depot. ((The montage ends and normal panels resume.)) [[The Elf knocks at the door, sword in scabbard held under arm.]] <> [[The person opens the door, to find a second InfoNotice(r) stuck on top of the first. The Elf is gone.]] {{Title text: You can arrange a pickup of your sword in Rivendell between the hours of noon and 7:00 PM.}}
Fight Club 2011-07-08 Friend: But Fight Club isn't really about fighting. It's about the way society-- Person: Nope, don't wanna hear it. Friend: But it says consumers are-- Person: This conversation is over. The first rule of talking to me about movies is do NOT talk about Fight Club. {{Title text: I'm not saying it's all bad, but that movie has not aged as well as my teenage self in 2000 was confident it would.}}
Strunk and White 2011-07-11 {{Title text: The best thing about Strunk White fanfiction is that it's virtually guaranteed to be well written.}} [[3 dignified-looking editors of Strunk & White's "The Elements of Style" before a desk with a computer. One is seated and types the following:]] Dear Internet, We, the current editors of Strunk & White's "The Elements of Style", must -with great reluctance- clarify a point of orthography: "Strunk & White" should be used for the style manual and "Strunk White" for the erotic fan fiction pairing.
3D Printer 2011-07-13 {{Title text: I just can't wait for the Better Homes and Gardens list of helpful tips for household reuse of sixteen-inch acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene phalluses.}} [[Two people before a 3D printer, one with a wrench]] Person 1: 3D printers are getting incredible. Person 2: I think we're not far from widespread deployment. Person 2: And you know what that means. Person 1: Spam containing actual enlarged penises? Person 2: I give it a week.
Cell Phones 2011-07-15 [[A person is holding a cellphone. The black hat guy is sitting at a desk with a laptop.]] Person: Another huge study found no evidence that cell phones cause cancer. What was the W.H.O. thinking? Black Hat Guy: I think they just got it backward. [[The black hat guy swivels in his chair, holding the laptop by the upper edge of the screen.]] Person: Huh? Black Hat Guy: Well, take a look. [[There is a plot of total cancer incidence and cell phone users. Cancer rises from 1970 to 1990, then stays relatively steady. Cell phone use rises from 1980 to the present.]] Person: You're not... There are so many problems with that. Black Hat Guy: Just to be safe, until I see more data I'm going to assume cancer causes cell phones. {{Title text: He holds the laptop like that on purpose, to make you cringe.}}
Time Vulture 2011-07-18 [[A bird with apparently fractal wings hovers above a dude, standing with a friend.]] Friend: Dude, you've got a Time Vulture. Dude: Holy crap! What is it? Friend: They're predators that use aging to kill prey. Dude: Huh? What do you mean? [[The panel zooms in on the Friend's face. Dude comments from off-panel.]] Friend: They live for millenia and use little energy. They can slow down their internal clocks so time speeds past. To hunt, they lock on to some prey, and when it stops moving, they eat it. Dude (off-panel): But what if the prey doesn't die? Friend: I don't think you quite understand. Dude: I mean, I'm not about to die... Friend: From the vulture's viewpoint, everyone says that moments before they do. {{Title text: In a way, all vultures are Time Vultures; some just have more patience than others.}}
Standards 2011-07-20 HOW STANDARDS PROLIFERATE (See: A C chargers, character encodings, instant messaging, etc.) SITUATION: There are 14 competing standards. Geek: 14?! Ridiculous! We need to develop one universal standard that covers everyone's use cases. Fellow Geek: Yeah! Soon: SITUATION: There are 15 competing standards. {{Title text: Fortunately, the charging one has been solved now that we've all standardized on mini-USB. Or is it micro-USB? Shit.}}
Mimic Octopus 2011-07-22 Southeast Asian Sea Life Identification Chart [[There are silhouettes of eight individual fish, a school of fish, a scuba diver, an anemone, a submarine, and an anchor, each labeled "Mimic Octopus." There is also a silhouette of an octopus, labeled "Two Mimic Octopuses."]] {{Title text: Even if the dictionaries are starting to give in, I refuse to accept 'octopi' as a word mainly because--I'm not making this up--there's a really satisfying climactic scene in the Orson Scott Card horror novel 'Lost Boys' which hinges on it being an incorrect pluralization.}}
Speculation 2011-07-25 [[Two people are playing basketball, and black hat guy is looking at a phone.]] Person #1: Do you seriously think everyone will move to Plus? It was hard enough getting them on Facebook. [[Person #2 attempts to throw the basketball through the hoop, but it bounces off.]] Person #2: Do they have to? Person #2: My mom still uses AOL - it doesn't mean my social life has to happen there. [[Person #1 passes the basketball back to #2.]] Person #2: Universal adoption isn't everything. I mean, IRC is still -- [[Person #2 throws the basketball.]] [[An arrow pierces the ball.]] <> [[The black hat guy has a one handed crossbow, and is still looking at a phone.]] Person #2: You're not really the "catch" type, are you? Black Hat Guy: I am not. {{Title text: 'I was pretty good at skeet shooting, but was eventually kicked off the range for catching the clay pigeons in a net and dispatching them execution-style.'}}
Days of the Week 2011-07-27 ((The whole comic is a single panel, with a circular diagram of the days of the week.)) Polar graph of what stuff happens on which days, based on number of Google results for phrases like "company meeting on ." The relative frequency of in is shown by the distance from the center at which 's line crosses . Each curve is normalized to have the same number of total hits - they're not on the same scale. ((Not easy to reproduce the actual plot, these are the phrases, in order of popularity on Wednesday.)) 1. is ladies night 2. announced 3. company meeting on company meeting 4. due on 5. got laid 6. drunk on so drunk 7. is the big day 8. Church 9. got my period 10. we broke up on 11. sucked ((Thursday, from most common to least common: 11, 2, 1, 3, 9, 4, 5, 7, 10, 6, 8)) ((Friday, from most common to least common: 10, 4, 6, 7, 5, 9, 11, 3, 2, 1, 8)) ((Saturday, ditto: 6, 7, 5, 11, 9, 10, 8, 3, 2, 1, 4)) ((Sunday, ditto: 8, 9, 7, 11, 10, 5, 6, 2, 3, 4, 1)) ((Monday, ditto: 4, 2, 9, 11, 3, 5, 10, 6, 7, 8, 1)) ((Tuesday, ditto: 3, 2, 4, 5, 1, 7, 9, 10, 11, 8, 6)) {{Title text: Not pictured: the elongated Halley's-Comet-like orbit of every Rebecca Black lyric.}}
Lanes 2011-07-29 ((The panels are arranged top to bottom. The first is set above a larger image.)) Person: So, are you guys out of the woods? Second Person: We don't know. Person: Well, did the treatment work? Second Person: We don't know. [[The diagram shows a simple highway. Starting at the bottom, with diagnosis for five lanes, the road travels through a cloud of treatment, after which two lanes disappear, and three continue. Later on, there's another offramp labeled 'cancer "comes back"', which loops back into the treatment cloud. Otherwise, the highway enters a later cloud called survive.]] I always assumed that when you got cancer, they gave you a prognosis, then treated you, and at the end of treatment either you beat it or you died. And I knew sometimes it "recurred," which I assumed meant back to square one. But that's turned out not to be quite right. [[Back to the two people.]] Second Person: Once most cancers spread out into your body, they're incurable. Second Person: If your 10-year prognosis is 60%, that means a 40% chance that some cancer will slip past the treatment and get out. Second Person: So they kill all the cancer they can find, and then you're a "survivor." But your odds are still 60%. [[The frame zooms just to show the second person.]] Second Person: They can't scan for individual cancer cells. The only way to know if it worked is to wait for tumors to pop up elsewhere. Second Person: If you go enough years without that happening then you were in the 60%. [[The frame shows both people again.]] Second Person: And often the first sign is a cough or bone pain. Second Person: So you spend the next five or ten years trying not to worry that every ache and pain is the answer to the question "Do I make it?" ((There's an extra large panel, with a small one floating inside it.)) [[The panel shows roughly fifty lanes emerging from the cloud of 'Treatment'. Signs show 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, 5 years, 6 years. Lanes branch off and fade into darkness earlier on the right, with some lanes continuing off the top of the panel.]] ((Inset panel.)) Person: Man. Person: Fuck cancer. Second Person: Seriously. {{Title text: Each quarter of the lanes from left to right correspond loosely to breast cancer stages one through four (at diagnosis).}}
CIA 2011-08-01 [[A television is showing a news anchor. The inset picture of the news shows Anonymous wearing a monocle and top hat.]] Anchor: Hackers briefly took down the website of the CIA yesterday... [[A person is watching television.]] What people hear: Anchor: Someone hacked into the computers of the CIA!! [[A computer expert is watching television.]] What computer experts hear: Anchor: Someone tore down a poster hung up by the CIA!! {{Title text: It was their main recruiting poster, hung up nearly ten feet up a wall! This means the hackers have LADDER technology! Are we headed for a future where everyone has to pay $50 for one of those locked plexiglass poster covers? More after the break ...}}
Tattoo 2011-08-03 [[There is one human in the panel. The human points at their chest.]] Human: I just have one tattoo - it's six dots on my chest, done by my oncologist. Human: I need them for aligning the laser sights on a flesh-searing relativistic particle cannon, Human: So it will only kill the parts of me [[Dramatic zoom, the panel background is black, with white text.]] Human: That are holding me back. [[The panel is larger, revealing who they're talking to.]] Human: But your barbed wire bicep tattoo is pretty hardcore, too! Dejected: No, it's OK. I'll just go put a shirt on. {{Title text: I calculate that the electrons in radiation therapy hit you at 99.8% of the speed of light, and the beam used in a 90-second gamma ray therapy session could, if fired with less precision, kill a horse (they did not let me test this).}}
Mac/PC 2011-08-05 [[Two adult humans stand facing out of the screen.]] Mac: I'm a Mac PC: And I'm a PC. Mac & PC, together: And since you do everything through a browser now, we're pretty indistinguishable. {{Title text: It's fun to watch browsers fumblingly recapitulate the history of window management. Someday we'll have xmonad as a Firefox extension.}}
Missed Connections 2011-08-08 ((The page is set up like the missed connections area of Craigslist, with a list of messages from an individual to a person they weren't able to communicate with at the time.)) Personals > Missed Connections You: Clinging to hood of your stolen wienermobile, trying to reach into engine to unstick throttle Me: Screaming, diving out of the way You: Vaguely human silhouette Me: At bottom of wishing well with harpoon gun You: Confused UDP packet Me: Cisco router in 45.170 16 block You: Baddest fuckin' Juggalo at Violent J's party Me: Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca) You: Getting married to me Me: Also getting married, but distracted by my phone You: Cute boy on corner of 4th & Main, 5'11, 169lbs, social security number 078-05-1120, pockets contained $2.09 in change, keys, and a condom. Retinal scan attached Me: Driving street view van You: George Herman "Babe" Ruth Me: Fellow Time Lord. Saw your tardis on third moon of <> {{Title text: The Street View van isn't going to find out anything Google won't already know from reading my email.}}
Password Strength 2011-08-10 ((The comic illustrates the relative strength of passwords assuming basic knowledge of the system used to generate them. A set of boxes is used to indicate how many bits of entropy a section of the password provides. The comic is laid out with 6 panels arranged in a 3x2 grid. On each row, the first panel explains the breakdown of a password, the second panel shows how long it would take for a computer to guess, and the third panel provides an example scene showing someone trying to remember the password.)) [[The password "Tr0ub4dor&3" is shown in the centre of the panel. A line from each annotation indicates the word section the comment applies to.]] Uncommon (non-gibberish) base word [[Highlighting the base word - 16 bits of entropy.]] Caps? [[Highlighting the first letter - 1 bit of entropy.]] Common Substitutions [[Highlighting the letters 'a' (substituted by '4') and both 'o's (the first of which is substituted by '0') - 3 bits of entropy.]] Punctuation [[Highlighting the symbol appended to the word - 4 bits of entropy.]] Numeral [[Highlighting the number appended to the word - 3 bits of entropy.]] Order unknown [[Highlighting the appended characters - 1 bit of entropy.]] (You can add a few more bits to account for the fact that this is only one of a few common formats.) ~28 bits of entropy 2^28 = 3 days at 1000 guesses sec (Plausible attack on a weak remote web service. Yes, cracking a stolen hash is faster, but it's not what the average user should worry about.) Difficulty to guess: Easy. [[A person stands scratching their head trying to remember the password.]] Person: Was it trombone? No, Troubador. And one of the Os was a zero? Person: And there was some symbol... Difficulty to remember: Hard. [[The passphrase "correct horse battery staple" is shown in the centre of the panel.]] Four random common words {{Each word has 11 bits of entropy.}} ~44 bits of entropy. 2^44 = 550 years at 1000 guesses sec Difficulty to guess: Hard. [[A person is thinking, in their thought bubble a horse is standing to one side talking to an off-screen observer. An arrow points to a staple attached to the side of a battery.]] Horse: That's a battery staple. Observer: Correct! Difficulty to remember: You've already memorized it ((The caption below the comic reads: Through 20 years of effort, we've successfully trained everyone to use passwords that are hard for humans to remember, but easy for computers to guess.)) {{Title text: To anyone who understands information theory and security and is in an infuriating argument with someone who does not (possibly involving mixed case), I sincerely apologize.}}
TornadoGuard 2011-08-12 ((The comic is a single panel which resembles a reviews page for a mobile phone application)) Application name: Tornado Guard Author: DroidCoder2187 Description: Plays a loud alert sound when there is a tornado warning for your area. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. (Based on 4 reviews) User Reviews: Reviewer 1: <> Good UI! Many alert choices. Reviewer 2: <> Running great, no crashes Reviewer 3: <> I like how you can set multiple locations Reviewer 4: <> App did not warn me about tornado. [[The caption below the comic reads: The problem with averaging star ratings]] {{Title text: The bug report was marked 'could not reproduce'.}}
T-Cells 2011-08-15 [[Two people are standing facing each other, having a conversation. One is holding a laptop.]] Person #1 (with laptop): What's the deal with this leukemia trial? {{Citation: Nejm, Aug 10, 2011}} Person #2: Gotta wait and see. Person #2: Helping the immune system attack tumors has been a longtime research target. Person #2: Lots of promising leads. Often they don't pan out. Person #1: What'd these guys do? Person #2: They took some of the patient's T-cells and patched their genes so they'd attack the cancer. That hasn't been enough in the past but their patch also added code to get the T-cells to replicate wildly and persist in the body. Person #1: Which worked, but created its own set of problems? Person #2: How'd you guess? But I think the craziest part is the way they insert the patched genes. Person #1: How? Person #2: Well, think - What specializes in invading and modifying T-cells? Person #1: Seriously? Person #2: Yup. Must've been a fun conversation. [[The last panel is set in a doctors office. A patient is sitting on the observation bed talking to their doctor.]] Patient: Ok, so I have blood cells growing out of control, so you're going to give me different blood cells that *also* grow out of control? Doctor: Yes, but it's ok, because we've treated *this* blood with HIV! Patient: Are you sure you're a doctor? Doctor: Almost definitely. {{Title text: 'We're not sure how to wipe out the chimeral T-cells after they've destroyed the cancer. Though I do have this vial of smallpox ...'}}
Arrow 2011-08-17 [[An archer stands with a bow and arrow drawn tightly, aiming off-screen.]] [[They fire the arrow, it disappears offscreen. The bowstring vibrates for effect.]] [[They stand holding the bow by their side, watching the arrow fly away.]] [[A boomerang flies on-screen, coming from the direction the arrow was fired. The archer reaches up to catch the boomerang.]] [[The archer is now holding the boomerang, staring at it with confusion.]] {{Title text: 'The Return of the Boomerang' would make a great movie title.}}
Oversight 2011-08-19 [[A couple has sex up against a wall.]] [[A couple has sex standing in an armchair.]] [[A couple has sex in a swing, swaying above a table with a flower vase on it.]] [[Screenshot of Fitocracy. In the text field marked "log your workout for today," the user has filled in "sex," and the site has returned the message "activity not found."]] [[The couple is standing in front of the computer; one person is at the keyboard, the other standing back wearing a towel.]] At Keyboard: Come on! That was like two hours of cardio! In Towel: Hmm, let's see ... the part on the dresser was KIND of like skiiing ... {{Title text: I felt so clever when I found a way to game the Fitocracy system by incorporating a set of easy but high-scoring activities into my regular schedule. Took me a bit to realize I'd been tricked into setting up a daily exercise routine.}}
Depth Perception 2011-08-22 ((The comic is narrated by an unspecified person. All dialog is shown in boxes overlaid on the comic panels.)) [[The panel background looks like a cloudy sky, with the clouds all running together and appearing as a blue grey smear.]] I've always had trouble with the size of clouds. I know they're huge. I can see their shapes. But I don't really see them as objects on the same scale as trees and buildings. They're a backdrop. [[A person stands on a flat disk inside a hemispherical dome with the front half cut away. The dome is labelled "Sky", and the disk is labelled "Ground". The dome is about twice as tall as the person.]] Stars are the same way. I know they're scattered through and endless ocean, but my gut insists they're a painting on a domed ceiling. ((The next two lines of dialog are stretched over the following three panels.)) [[A person stands on a curved surface, looking up.]] If I try hard enough, I get a glimmer of depth, a dizzying sense of space, [[The perspective of the scene shifts, suddenly the surface the person was standing on is in the top left of the panel. The person is now looking down, leaning back, and waving their arms trying to regain balance.]] But then everything snaps back. [[The perspective of the scene returns to normal, the person is now semi-crouched, staring at the ground with legs spaced apart to help them balance.]] [[An american football field is shown, with sections at the tips of the goal posts highlighted and shown as a zoomed view in an insert box. The goal posts each have a webcam mounted on top of them.]] So one summer afternoon I set up two HD webcams hundreds of feet apart, Pointed them at the sky, ((The next two lines of dialog are stretched over two panels each.)) [[The first panel shows a pair of glasses with the note "Very strong reading glasses." and a smartphone with an attachment designed to clip onto the glasses. The smartphone screen is setup to display two images side by side such that one camera is visible in the left half of the screen, and the other camera is visible in the right half of the screen.]] And fed one stream to each of my eyes. [[The next panel shows the completed phone glasses assembly.]] The parallax expanded my depth perception by a thousand times, [[The person stands wearing the phone glasses assembly, staring into the sky.]] And I stood in my living room At the bottom of an abyss [[The person now stands on the shore of an unidentified coastline (possibly Boston?), a city is near their right foot and the tallest skyscraper appears ankle high. A mountain range is behind them that is also barely ankle high. The person is standing with their head well above cloud level as clouds swim around them.]] Watching mountains drift by. {{Title text: I've looked at clouds from both sides now.}}
Juggling 2011-08-24 [[The panel shows a close up of a person reading a book. The book is called "How To Juggle" and has a picture of a person juggling on the cover.]] [[The view now shows the entirety of the person. A book is splayed on the floor behind them, and they are holding some juggling balls.]] [[The person throws the juggling balls in the air.]] [[They lower their arms to prepare to catch the balls. The balls are still hovering in mid-air.]] [[The person now stands with their arms by their sides. The balls have not moved and are still suspended in mid-air.]] [[The person jumps, trying to grab the lowest ball. They can't reach.]] [[The person scratches their head and stares at the still floating juggling balls.]] [[They throw the book into a trash can.]] {{Title text: Later: 'Why is there a book hovering over the trash can?'}}
Empirical 2011-08-26 [[Two people are standing together, one with long hair (presumably female) and one without visible hair (presumably male).]] Woman: Will you marry me? [[The male person throws his hands in the air excitedly.]] Man: Let's find out! [[The couple are now standing in front of an altar. A flower arch stretches over the couple and a person is standing behind the altar. The female person is wearing a knee length white dress and a veil. The male person is wearing a bow tie. They are holding hands.]] [[The couple stand together, still dressed from the wedding and still holding hands.]] Man: Apparently, yes! {{Title text: I'm as surprised as you!}}
Hurricane Names 2011-08-29 [[A weather reporter sits behind a desk with an image of the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding land masses displayed to his left. 9 hurricane symbols are scattered across the map, primarily over Cuba.]] Reporter: After the latest wave of hurricanes, not only have we run through the years lit of 21 names, but we've also used up the backup list of Greek letters. All subsequent storms will be named using random dictionary words. Reporter: The newly-formed system in the gulf has been designated "Hurricane Eggbeater", and we once again pray this is the final storm of this horrible, horrible season. {{Title text: After exhausting the OED, we started numbering them. When overlapping hurricanes formed at all points on the Earth's surface, and our scheme was foiled by Cantor diagonalization, we just decided to name them all "Steve". Your local forecast tomorrow is "Steve". Good luck.}}
I'm Sorry 2011-08-31 [[Two people are standing next to each other having a conversation.]] Person 1: My Mom's house burned down. Person 2: Oh! I'm sorry! Person 1: Why? It's not your fault. Person 2: It's nice of you to say that, but I know what I did. It annoys me when people interpret an obviously sympathetic "I'm sorry" as an apology, so I've started responding by making it one. {{Title text: You know I've always hated her.}}
Family Decals 2011-09-02 [[Two cars are parked next to each other. The car on the left is an urban SUV and has stickers on the rear window representing a family. From left to right there is an adult male, adult female, female youth, male youth, and young child. The car on the right is a sporty hatch back, it has similar stickers on the rear window, with an adult male and adult female. Instead of the youth and child stickers there is instead a large pile of money.]] {{Title text: My decal set has no adults, just a sea of hundreds of the little girl figures closing in around a single cat.}}
Investing 2011-09-05 Person 1: Sure, 2% interest may not *seem* like a lot. But it's *compound*! [[Person 2 opens a computer and begins calculating]] Person 1: If you invest $1,000 now, in just ten short years you'll have.. ..let's see.. Person 1: ..$1,279. Person 1: Ok, so compound interest isn't some magical force. Person 2: Yeah, I'm just gonna try to make more money. {{Title text: But Einstein said it was the most powerful force in the universe, and I take all my investment advice from flippant remarks by theoretical physicists making small talk at parties.}}
AI 2011-09-07 [[A person with shoulder length hair sits on a wheeled computer chair at a desk. A laptop computer is on the desk playing some sort of media with audio. The person is facing away from the computer addressing someone off panel.]] Person: Did you see the Cleverbot-Cleverbot chat? Computer: I am not a robot. I'm a unicorn. [[The first person has wheeled away from the desk and is now seating in front of the second person.]] Person 2: Yeah. It's hilarious, but it's just clumsily sampling a huge database of lines people have typed. Chatterbots still have a long way to go. [[The panel shows a close-up of the first persons head and shoulders. They have a hand to their chin and appear to be contemplating the last remark.]] Person 1: So... Computers have mastered playing chess and driving cars across the desert, but can't hold five minutes of normal conversation? Person 2 (off-screen): Pretty much. [[The panel shows a wide view of both people again.]] Person 1: Is it just me, or have we created a Burning Man attendee? {{Title text: And they both react poorly to showers.}}
File Transfer 2011-09-09 [[A person stands near a computer, talking on the phone to another person.]] Person 1: You want your cousin to send you a file? easy. He can email it to- ... Oh, it's 25 MB? Hmm... Person 1: Do either of you have an FTP server? No, right. Person 1: If you had web hosting, you could upload it... Person 1: Hm. We could try one of those MegaShareUpload stes, but they're flaky and full of delays and porn popups. Person 1: How about AIM Direct Connect? Anyone still use that? Person 1: Oh, wait, Dropbox! It's tis recent startup from a few years back that syncs folders between computers. You just need to make an account, install the- Person 1: Oh, he just drove over to your house with a USB drive? Person 1: Uh, cool, that works too. I like how we've had the internet for decades, yet "sending files" is something early adopters are still figuring out how to do. {{Title text: Every time you email a file to yourself so you can pull it up on your friend's laptop, Tim Berners-Lee sheds a single tear.}}
Mystery Solved 2011-09-12 [[A twin prop airplane flies high overhead.]] Off-screen person: What's that airplane? [[The plane lands, a pilot steps out and waves to the crowd.]] Off-screen person: Holy crap - Is that Amelia Earhart? [[The frame shows a close up of Amelia Earhart.]] Amelia: Hey everyone! My flight was a success! Off-screen person: But... Where were you? [[The frame shows a wide view of Amelia again, she stops waving.]] Amelia: I flew around the world! Off-screen person: But you disappeared in 1937! Amelia: Right, to fly around the world. Off-screen person: It's 2011! Amelia: The world is big. It's a long flight. Off-Screen person: But you... Off-Screen person: It's not... Off-Screen person: I- Amelia: Can I talk to someone smarter? {{Title text: The Roanoke Lost Colonists founded Roanoke, the Franklin Expedition reached the Pacific in 2009 when the Northwest Passage opened, and Jimmy Hoffa currently heads the Teamsters Union--he just started going by 'James'.}}
Working 2011-09-14 [[A person is standing next to a petrol bowser filling their vehicle with petrol. They are being addressed by a different person, who is pointing off-screen.]] Person 2 (talking to 1): Why are you going here? Gas is ten cents a gallon cheaper at the station five minutes that way. Person 1 (pumping gas): Because a penny saved is a penny earned ((The caption below the panel reads: "If you spend nine minutes of your time to save a dollar, you're working for less than minimum wage.")) {{Title text: And if you drive a typical car more than a mile out of your way for each penny you save on the per-gallon price, it doesn't matter how worthless your time is to you--the gas to get you there and back costs more than you save.}}
Stud Finder 2011-09-16 [[The Hat man sit on a couch, reading a book. A person is approaching him from behind the couch holding a picture in a frame, a screwdriver, and some screws.]] Person: Have you seen my stud finder? I've looked everywhere. Hat man: It sounds like you may be interested in my new product, a-- Person: Shut up. {{Title text: According to every stud finder I've tried to use, my walls contain a rapidly shifting network of hundreds and hundreds of studs.}}
1 to 10 2011-09-19 [[Two people are talking.]] Person 1: On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely is it that this question is using Binary? Person 2: ...4? Person 1: What's a 4? {{Title text: If you get an 11 100 on a CS test, but you claim it should be counted as a 'C', they'll probably decide you deserve the upgrade.}}
Chin-Up Bar 2011-09-21 [[Hat man is standing on an escalator as it ascends. He is carrying a pole with what looks like a bracket on each end, resting on his shoulder. In front of him is a punk with spiked hair and a girl with her hair in a ponytail. Behind him is a featureless person and a man wearing glasses with a goatee standing next to someone with short hair.]] [[The view closes on hat man and the person behind him. In the background a girl can be seen standing on the descending escalator.]] Person: This is a long escalator. Hat man: 70 meters. Longest in the country. [[The view opens a bit wider. In the background the girl from the last panel has now passed the group and a few other people can be seen descending.]] Person: Why're you carrying a chin-up bar? Hat man: Why aren't you wearing a hat? [[The view opens up to show the same people in the first panel. They're near the top of the escalator now and the girl with the ponytail is beginning to step off.]] Person: Seriously, why did you bring it? Hat man: How should I know? I'm not a psychologist. [[As hat man steps off the escalator he turns and installs the chin-up bar such that it blocks people from leaving the escalator. The person talking to him turns to observe what hat man is doing.]] <> <> [[They get onto the descending escalator. The man with glasses and a goatee and his companion are blocked from leaving the escalator by the chin-up bar.]] ((The next panel is the size of 6 regular panels combined.)) [[The view shows an extended section of the escalator, the top right has become a pile of people all squished together and on top of each other. One person has grabbed another by the hair and is standing on a third person in an attempt to not fall. Someone is falling off the pile and another person is running down the escalator to avoid them. People closer to the bottom of the escalator are looking horrified at the scene ahead of them. In the background hat man and his companion are visible. Hat man is looking toward the bottom of the escalator, not caring or noticing the chaos unfolding. His companion looks back pensively.]] {{Title text: Those few who escaped found the emergency cutoff box disabled. The stampede lasted two hours and reached the bottom three times.}}
Neutrinos 2011-09-23 [[Two people are talking.]] Person 1: Did you see the neutrino speed of light thing? Person 2: Yup! Good news; I need the cash. Person 1: Huh? Cash? ((Text above half-sized panel.)) Yeah. When there's a news story about a study overturning all of physics, i used to urge caution, remind people that experts aren't all stupid, and end up in pointless arguments about Galileo. ((Half-height panel.)) [[Man sitting on chair, looking down at laptop in his lap. Books and things are on a desk in front of him.]] Man: No, this isn't about whether relativity exists. If it didn't, your GPS wouldn't work. -- What do you mean, "science thought police"? Have you seen our budget? We couldn't begin to afford our own thought police. [[Two talking people again.]] Person 1: That sounds miserable and unfulfilling. Person 2: Yup. So I gave up, and now I just find excited believers and bet them $200 each that the new result won't pan out. [[Same as last panel.]] Person 1: That's mean. Person 2: It provides a good income, and if I'm ever wrong, I'll be too excited about the new physics to notice the loss. {{Title text: I can't speak to the paper's scientific merits, but it's really cool how on page 10 you can see that their reference GPS beacon is sensitive enough to pick up continental drift under the detector (interrupted halfway through by an earthquake).}}
Sharing 2011-09-26 [[Two people hang out in front of a tree]] Person 1: Whoa. What's this? Person 2: What's what? Person 1: This tree has a USB port. Person 2: Try connecting to it, I guess [[Person 1 brings out a laptop and connects to it]] Person 1: It's offering up a drive with one file on it. Person 2: What's the file? Person 1: An eBook. "Shel_Silverstein_-_The_Giving_Tree.azw" Person 2: Never heard of it. Let's take a look! Laptop: DRM Error: You have not purchased rights to view this title. Lending is not enabled. Person 2: Huh. Oh well. Person 1: Let's go see what Mike is up to. [[The tree is alone]] {{Title text: In the new edition of The Giving Tree, the tree uses social tools to share with its friend all the best places to buy things.}}
Development 2011-09-28 [[News anchor at desk reporting]] Reporter: Fear turned to confusion today as Hurricane Rina developed to Piaget stage 5, with sustained interests in objects and their properties. {{Title text: Funding was quickly restored to the NHC and the APA was taken back off hurricane forecast duty.}}
Hotels 2011-09-30 [[Person 1 is sitting at a desk with a laptop, looking at a review website]] Person 1: What's with this negative review? You *liked* that hotel. Black Hat Man: I have a script that posts a bad review for every hotel I stay at. It reduces demand, which means more vacancies and lower prices next time. Person 1: What if the place sucks? Black Hat Man: I change the review to positive to steer other people over there. Person 1: You punish companies you like! Black Hat Man: The odds of *my* review putting a hotel out of business are negligible. Person 1: If we all did that the system would collapse! Black Hat Man: Doesn't affect my logic. Tragedy of the commons. Person 1: That's not even the tragedy of the commons anymore. That's the tragedy of you're a dick. Black Hat Man: If you're quick with a knife, you'll find that the invisible hand is made of delicious invisible meat. {{Title text: 'Rating: 1 5. Room filled to brim with semen, and when front desk clerk opened mouth to talk, bedbugs poured out.'}}
Caroling 2011-10-03 [[Three people stand together singing Christmas carols.]] Carolers (in unison): Good king Wenceslas looked out on the-- [[Hat man leans out of an above ground window.]] Hat man: King Wenceslas massacred my people. [[The carolers stand in silence.]] {{Title text: For a thousand generations we vowed never to forget how his soldiers feasted on our brother Stephen.}}
Subliminal 2011-10-05 [[Two people are gathered around a computer. A person is seated interacting with the computer while another stands behind them with an arm resting on the back of the chair.]] Person 1 (seated): What hidden arrow? Person 2 (standing): I thought everyone knew about it. Pull up the FedEx logo. <> [[The second person is now pointing at the screen.]] Person 1: Where is it? Person 2: Right there. Look at the whitespace. Person 1: I don't see it. [[The next panel shows a stylised view of the FedEx logo. The white space above the 'ed' in Fed is decorated to look like a tank turret with the barrel extending into the letter 'F'. Along the bottom of the letters a baseball player with the number 24 on his back is reaching out to catch a baseball. The baseball is forming the centre of the 'e' while the arm provides the break for the tail. The baseballers head marks the centre of the 'd' and the number 24 is coloured in blue to show the lower half of the stroke of the 'd'. Toward the right of the image the space between the 'E' and 'x' has been decorated to look like a Guy Fawkes mask, with ties wrapping around the 'x' and being drawn off-screen. A faint outline suggests the whitespace above the 'x' is a hat, with the brim extending into the upper part of the 'E'. Two speech bubbles are visible above the drawing, both spoken by off-screen characters.]] Person 1 (off-screen): All I see if Guy Fawkes watching Willie Mays catch a fly ball while an armored assault vehicle rolls past. Person 2 (off-screen): ...You either need more medication or less. Not sure which. {{Title text: Once you see it, you can't help seeing it every time. Until your body finishes metabolizing the mushrooms.}}
Eternal Flame 2011-10-06 [[Two people before a memorial with an eternally spinning wait cursor. They contemplate silently on an influential life. Goodbye, Steve.]] {{Title text: There's always the hope that if you sit and watch for long enough, the beachball will vanish and the thing it interrupted will return.}}
The Corliss Resolution 2011-10-10 The Fermi Paradox: Planets are so common that life should be too. So where is it? [[A person with an unusual suit runs.]] Well, now we know. It's not that life inevitably destroys itself with war. [[The person keeps running.]] It's just that it takes longer to develop space colonization. [[The person leaps off a cliff]] Than it does to invent an activity.. ..more fun than survival. [[Youtube video of the person, with the suit opening up into a wingsuit. As this is youtube, the comments have not been shown. Two people are watching the video offpanel.]] Person 1: Holy crap. Person 2: I don't care how dangerous it is. I have to try it. {{Title text: And no avian society ever develops space travel because it's impossible to focus on calculus when you could be outside flying.}}
X11 2011-10-12 [[The comic is a graph, with the x axis labelled "Time since I last had to open Xorg.conf" and the y axis labelled "General satisfaction with how my life is going". A curve starting at (0,0) snakes toward the upper right of the graph.]] {{Title text: Thomas Jefferson thought that every law and every constitution should be torn down and rewritten from scratch every nineteen years--which means X is overdue.}}
Dorm Poster 2011-10-14 [[Person 1 finds dorm room]] [[View into the dorm room. The left half is already occupied, and Person 2 has filled his side with the normal accoutrements of dorm life. There is a Pink Floyd "Dark Side of the Moon" poster hanging on the far wall, offset and only on Person 2's side]] [[Person 1 has a bit of a ponder]] [[Person 1 leaves for a bit]] [[Person 1 returns with an item]] [[View into the dorm room. Person 1 is moving in, and has placed a second Pink Floyd "Dark Side of the Moon" poster modified with a lens in the rainbow's path. The poster is placed upside down on Person 1's side of the far wall to catch the rainbow, feed it back into the prism, and turn it back into a narrow stream of white light.]] {{Title text: I was going to record an album with that cover under the name "PINK FTFY", so it'd come after them on the store CD rack. But at this point music stores are just rooms where CDs are set out to age before they're thrown away, so probably nobody would see it.}}
Elements 2011-10-17 [[Aang the Avatar and Dmitri Mendeleev stand in opposition to each other. Aang wields all 4 classical elements: Water, Fire, Earth, and Air.]] Aang: I'm the avatar, master of all 4 elements! Mendeleev: Really? I'm Mendeleev, master of all 118+. <> Mendeleev: That was polonium-bending. You probably didn't feel anything, but the symptoms of radiation poisoning will set in shortly. {{Title text: Of all the nations, the armies of the ununoctium-benders are probably the least intimidating. The xenon-benders come close, but their flickery signs are at least effective for propaganda.}}
Jet Fuel 2011-10-19 [[Two people are having a conversation.]] Person 1: 9 11 was an inside job! Jet fuel can't burn hot enough to melt steel! Person 2: Well, remember - jet fuel wasn't the only thing on those planes. They would've also carried tanks full of the mind-control agents airliners use to make chemtrails. Who knows what temperature that stuff burns at! Person 1: Whoa. Good point! {{Title text: The 'controlled demolition' theory was concocted by the government to distract us. '9 11 was an inside job' was an inside job!}}
Prairie 2011-10-21 [[Two people stand in a field of wheat. The people are drawn in the typical black and white stick figure style, but the field is immensely detailed, with the grain coloured a rich amber and stroked such that individual stalks can be picked out, with a few dark bands providing contrast. In the distance a low mountain range is visible and in the sky a few scattered fluffy white clouds float low over the horizon.]] Person 1: Well, when we observe them, they become amber particles of grain. {{Title text: Colorado is working to develop coherent amber waves, which would allow them to finally destroy Kansas and Nebraska with a devastating but majestic grain laser.}}
Everything 2011-10-24 [[Person 1 drags a small wagon and a bag full of various items]] Person 1: You are not the light of my life. Making you happy isn't my greatest dream. [[Person 1 places the items in an even bigger pile of even more random items]] Person 1: Your smile is not all I live for. I've got my own stuff going on. But you're strange and fascinating and I've never met anyone like you. [[Person 1 stares in awe as Person 2 assembles the items into a gargantuan, intoxicatingly complex machine]] Person 1: I want to give you everything just to see what you'd do with it. {{Title text: I wanna hold your hand so I don't fall out of your gyrocopter.}}
Delta-P 2011-10-26 [[A wardrobe with an anchor attached to it falls into the ocean]] Q = A(2gd)^(1 2) Q = flow rate A = area of opening d = ocean depth (2 km) g = Earth gravity Flow: ~400,000 liters s Water jet velocity: ~200 m s The White Witch didn't know what hit her. {{Title text: If you fire a Portal gun through the door of the wardrobe, space and time knot together, which leads to a frustrated Aslan trying to impart Christian morality to the Space sphere.}}
The Important Field 2011-10-28 [[A soldier wearing a olive drab green hat sits in front of a computer]] Computer: Welcome to the missile launch web interface! <> Computer: Enter the target's coordinates. <> Enter your email address for our records. <> Enter your email again, to ensure you typed it correctly. [[Green Hat Man sits there with an even blanker look on his face than normal]] {{Title text: I hear in some places, you need one form of ID to buy a gun, but two to pay for it by check. It's interesting who has what incentives to care about what mistakes.}}
Alternative Literature 2011-10-31 [[Person 1 and 2 stand in front of Person 2's bookcase. Person 1 flips through a number of them]] Person 1: All your books are full of blank pages. Person 2: Not true. That one has some ink on page 78. [[Person 1 looks at page 78]] Person 1: A smudge. Person 2: So? Person 1: There are no words. You're not reading. There's no *story* there. Person 2: Maybe not for you. When I look at those books, I think about all *kinds* of stories. Person 2: Reading is about more than what's on the page. Holding a book prompts my mind to enrich itself. Frankly, I suspect the book isn't even necessary. Person 2: The whole industry is evil. Greedy publishers and rich authors try to convince us our brains *need* their words. But I refuse to be a sucker. Person 1: Who sold you all these blank books? {{Title text: I just noticed CVS has started stocking homeopathic pills on the same shelves with--and labeled similarly to--their actual medicine. Telling someone who trusts you that you're giving them medicine, when you know you’re not, because you want their money, isn’t just lying--it’s like an example you’d make up if you had to illustrate for a child why lying is wrong.}}
November 2011-11-02 [[Black Hat Guy and a person sit in a room]] Black Hat Guy: Did you know November is Tongue Awareness Month? [[Person is suddenly aware of their tongue]] [[Person continues to be aware of their tongue]] [[Person is *still* aware of their tongue]] Person: I hate you. Black Hat Guy: Enjoy the next four weeks. {{Title text: November marks the birthday of Charles Schulz, pioneer of tongue awareness.}}
MTV Generation 2011-11-04 [[One of them damn kids that won't get OFF MY LAWN plays with some gadgetamabob while ignoring every damn thing around him off in the background. Person 1 with a white hat, along with another person with long hair is in the foreground]] Person 1: See, that's the problem with the MTV generation - no attention span. Person 2: You know, that phrase referred to the 12-19 demographic that formed the core MTV audience in the mid-1980s. Person 1: Uh huh. So? Person 2: That generation's now in their 40s. [[Person 1 scratches their head]] Person 1: That can't be right. Person 2: Face it: your problem with the MTV generation is their *kids*. {{Title text: If you identified with the kids from The Breakfast Club when it came out, you're now much closer to the age of Principal Vernon.}}
The General Problem 2011-11-07 [[A person sits at a table, eating a meal.]] Person: Can you pass the salt? [[The person pauses, a bite of food on his fork, silently.]] [[The person still has fork in mid-air.]] Person: I said-- Off-screen Person: I know! I'm developing a system ot pass you arbitrary condiments. Person: It's been 20 minutes! OSP: It'll save time in the long run! {{Title text: I find that when someone's taking time to do something right in the present, they're a perfectionist with no ability to prioritize, whereas when someone took time to do something right in the past, they're a master artisan of great foresight.}}
Occulting Telescope 2011-11-09 [[A person is giving a lecture in front of a white board, pointing to a diagram with a pointer.]] Lecturer: The occulting observatory consists of two parts -- the telescome and the discs. When the telescope sees a star, a disc is carefully steered to block its light. [[A diagram of a satellite (labeled "telescope") with waves going from it on the left, across to the other side of the diagram (labeled "light from star") on the right. In the middle is a small vertical line (labeled "disc"), stopping some of the light waves from the right traveling to the left of the diagram.]] This procedure is repeated until all stars are covered. [[The lecturer looks down at a student.]] Student (off screen): Wait, all? Why? Lecturer: I'll feel better. [[Close-up on lecturer.]] Student (off-screen): I thought the point was to image extrasolar planets. Lecturer: The point is that there are too many stars. -- It's been freaking me out. Student: What? Student#2 (in smaller letters): He has a point... {{Title text: Type II Kardashev civilizations eventually completely enclose their planetary system in a Dyson sphere because space is way too big to look at all the time.}}
Sail 2011-11-11 [[A person is sailing a cat-rigged sailboat. He detaches the mainsheet from the stern.]] [[The sailor pulls back on the mainsheet.]] [[The sailor stands up and pulls harder, causing the sail to arc outward.]] [[He continues pulling as hard as he can, and the sail begins to buckle outward in a semi-circular shape.]] [[Finally, the sail buckles so hard that a bubble forms and detaches from the sail, which begins to return to its normal shape.]] [[The sailor sits down and scratches his head in confusion as the bubble floats away.]] {{Title text: It only works a few times before you have to capsize the boat in a soap lagoon again.}}
Map Projections 2011-11-14 ((The comic is one large panel, with different types of map projections listed in two columns. Each listing has an illustration of that projection plus a short paragraph describing the individual who prefers that projection.)) What your favourite Map Projection says about you. Mercator [[A drawing of the Mercator projection is shown. In this the world is distorted to fit into a perfect square, centred on Africa.]] You're not really into maps. Robinson [[A drawing of the Robinson projection is shown. Areas near the poles in this projection are fairly distorted, but the distortion is greatly reduced when moving toward the equator.]] You have a comfortable pair of running shoes that you wear everywhere. You like coffee and enjoy the Beatles. You think the Robinson is the best-looking projection, hands down. Winkel-Tripel [[The Winkel-Tripel projection is similar to the Robinson projection, with less distortion at the poles. However the distortion at equivalent latitudes differs as the longitude varies.]] National Geographic adopted the Winkel-Tripel in 1998, but you've been a W-T fan since long before "Nat Geo" showed up. You're worried it's getting played out, and are thinking of switching to the Kavrayskiy. You once left a party in disgust when a guest showed up wearing shoes with toes. Your favourite musical genre is "post-". Hobo-Dyer [[The Hobo-Dyer projection is a cylindrical projection resulting in significant latitudinal distortion. The result is a rectangular image with the poles vertically compressed, and land near the equator stretched.]] You want to avoid cultural imperialism but you've heard bad things about Gall-Peters. You're conflict-averse and buy organic.l You use a recently-invented set of gender-neutral pronouns and think that what the world needs is a revolution in consciousness. A globe! [[It's a globe.]] Yes, you're very clever. Pierce Quincuncial [[This is a square projection centred over the north pole. The continents stretch out radially from the centre of the map and bits of Antarctica are visible in each corner of the projection.]] You think that when we look at a map, what we really see is ourselves. After you first saw Inception , you sat silent in the theater for six hours. It freaks you out to realise that everyone around you has a skeleton inside them. You have really looked at your hands. ((The second column of projections starts here.)) Van Der Grinten [[This projection displays the continents inside a perfectly circular frame. The continents are displayed with similar distortion to what you would see in the Robinson or Winkel-Tripel projections.]] You're not a complicated person. You love the Mercator projection; you just wish it weren't so square. The earth's not a square, it's a circle. You like circles. Today is gonna be a good day! Dymaxion [[The Dymaxion projection attempts to unfold the earth into a polyhedral net, centred on the north pole. The map has no set shape, instead it looks to be made out of a series of triangles.]] You like Isaac Asimov, XML, and shoes with toes. You think the segway got a bad rap. You own 3D goggles, which you use to view rotating models of better 3D goggles. You type in Dvorak. Goode Homolosine [[The Goode Homolosine projection attempts to minimise distortion by combining two equal area projections onto a split projection. The map resembles a smooth unfolded net, with landmasses kept whole where possible.]] They say mapping the earth on a 2D surface is like flattening an orange peel, which seems easy enough to you. You like easy solutions. You think we wouldn't have so many problems if we'd just elect normal people to congress instead of politicians. You think airlines should just buy food from the restaurants near the gates and serve that on board. You change your car's oil, but secretly wonder if you really need to. Plate Carrée (Equirectangular) [[This projection maps latitude and longitude to a rectangular grid, leading to significant longitudinal distortion near the poles.]] You think this one is fine. You like how x and y map to latitude and longitude. The other projections overcomplicate things. You want me to stop asking about maps so you can enjoy dinner. Waterman Butterfly [[This projection unfolds the world into a net, similar to the Dymaxion projection. It is centred on the Atlantic, and resembles a butterfly with the Americas on the western wing, with Europe and Africa on the eastern wing.]] Really? You know the Waterman? Have you seen the 1909 Cahill map it's based-- ...You have a framed reproduction at home?! Whoa. ...Listen, forget these questions. Are you doing anything tonight? Gall-Peters [[Another rectangular projection, this map suffers significant distortion near the poles, and significant latitudinal distortion in general.]] I hate you. {{Title text: What's that? You think I don't like the Peters map because I'm uncomfortable with having my cultural assumptions challenged? Are you sure you're not ... ::puts on sunglasses:: ... projecting?}}
Citogenesis 2011-11-16 Where Citations Come From: Citogenesis Step #1 Through a convoluted process, a user's brain generates facts. These are typed into Wikipedia. [[A guy with short hair sits at a desk, typing on a laptop.]] Guy: (typing) The "scroll lock" key was designed by future Energy Secretary Steven Chu in a college project. A rushed writer checks Wikipedia for a summary of their subject. [[A woman with a ponytail sits at a desk, typing on a desktop.]] Woman: (typing) US Energy Secretary Steven Chu, (Nobel Prizewinner and creator of the ubiquitous "scroll lock" key) testified before Congress today... Step #2 Surprised readers check Wikipedia, see the claim, and flag it for review. A passing editor finds the piece and adds it as a citation. [[A man sits on a couch with a laptop in his lap, typing.]] Man: Google is your friend, people. (typing) {{cite web|url= Step #3 Step #4 Now that other writers have a real source, they repeat the fact. [[A flow chart, with "Wikipedia citation" in the center. The word "Wikipedia" is in black, the word "citations" is white with a red background. A black arrow leads from "brain" to "Wikipedia." A black arrow labeled "words" leads from "Wikipedia" to "careless writers," and a red arrow labeled "citations" leads back to "Wikipedia citations." A black & red arrow leads from "Wikipedia" to "cited facts" which leads to "slightly more careful writers," which leads to "more citations," which leads back to "Wikipedia" (all black & red arrows).]] References proliferate, completing the citogenesis process. {{Title text: I just read a pop-science book by a respected author. One chapter, and much of the thesis, was based around wildly inaccurate data which traced back to ... Wikipedia. To encourage people to be on their toes, I'm not going to say what book or author.}}
Wisdom of the Ancients 2011-11-18 ((A poem is written outside the only panel, right justified along the left edge of the only panel.)) Never have I felt so close to another soul And yet so helplessly alone As when I Google an error And there's one result A thread by someone with the same problem And no answer Last posted to in 2003 [[A person stands in front of his computer, shaking it violently while looking at the screen.]] Person: Who were you, DenverCoder9? - WHAT DID YOU SEE?! {{Title text: All long help threads should have a sticky globally-editable post at the top saying 'DEAR PEOPLE FROM THE FUTURE: Here's what we've figured out so far ...'}}
Money 2011-11-21 Money all of it ((this transcription is only reproducing text visible on the front page comic. There are 5 large panels, each with a series of plots, comparing the values of various things.)) Dollars ((This section covers single coffees up to the hourly salaries of CEOs)) Thousands ((This section discusses values from around $1000 to $1000000, including a dissection of the song 'If I had $1000000')) Millions ((This section focuses on $1000,000 to $1000,000,000, with a large section on campaign contributions of American political presidential campaigns, values of expensive works of art, and J. K. Rowling.)) Billions ((This section gets into larger scale finances, profits of various sectors, costs of natural disasters, and net worths of the richest people on the planet. Also, Donald Trump.)) Trillions ((Global financial status is described here. It discusses derivatives, liquid assets, public debt by nation and GDP by continent, culminating with the total economic production of the human race to date.)) {{Title text: There, I showed you it.}}
Porn Folder 2011-11-23 [[A person sits at a desk, looking at a laptop screen with one hand on his chin.]] Person: So I thought I found your porn folder, in calendar backup PORN -- Person #2 (off screen): Don't open that! [[A wider shot of the person looking at the laptop.]] Person #1: But it contains a bunch more folders, filled with more folders, and then... after 20 levels, somehow I'm back at the main folder? Person #2 (off screen): It's, uh, well hidden. [[The person has turned around in the chair, now with the laptop in his lap.]] Person #1: I think there's no actual porn here. - You're just turned on by filesystems. Person #2 (off screen): It's a hardlinked directory loop -- so taboo! Person #1: Now I feel dirty sharing a drive with you. {{Title text: Eww, gross, you modified link()? How could you enjoy abusing a filesystem like that?}}
Set Theory 2011-11-25 [[A woman with a ponytail stands at a blackboard, facing away from it. She has a pointer in her hand, and written on the blackboard is some set theory math.]] Woman: The axiom of choice allows you to select one element from each set in a collection -- and have it executed as an example to the others. {{Title text: Proof of Zermelo's well-ordering theorem given the Axiom of Choice: 1: Take S to be any set. 2: When I reach step three, if S hasn't managed to find a well-ordering relation for itself, I'll feed it into this wood chipper. 3: Hey, look, S is well-ordered.}}
Privacy 2011-11-28 Dorm: [[An incredibly libidinous, extremely attractive couple try and enter one person's dorm room.]] Locked. Other Dorm: [[The same couple in the other person's dorm room, where the roommate is sitting at a computer playing an MMO]] Roommate: I'll be done tuesday. Roommate in raid Library Rare Book Collection: [[Libidinous couple staring inside the room from outside. Nelson Mandela and other university workers inside the room, looking at some extremely expensive items]] Occupied by tour for visiting Nelson Mandela Accelerator Tunnel: [[Couple stares at a heavy, imposing door denying them entry]] Sealed while beam is in operation. Beaver Lodge (stop snickering!): [[couple attempting to enter an occupied beaver lodge]] Frozen over for winter to keep out predators; only accessible via underwater entrance. Hyperspace: [[Couple in front of a number of highly advanced physics textbooks]] Person 1: Are you *sure*? Ruled out by current understanding of physics. {{Title text: Eventual headline: 'University Researchers Create Life in Lab! Darkness, Faulty Condoms Blamed.'}}
Space Launch System 2011-11-30 Person 1: Check out the SLS - 130 tons to orbit. Finally, rockets that improve on the ones we had 40 years ago. Black Hat Man: Are we getting Nazis to build those ones too? Person 1, offscreen: What? Black Hat Man, offscreen: When we first captured von Braun and his team, we had our engineers interview them, then *we* built the rockets. But our rockets kept exploding [[von Braun interviewed by a scientist while under guard]] [[The same scientist in front of a spectacularly exploding rocket]] Black Hat Man, narrating: Eventually we gave up and had the German teams do it, and they built us the Saturn V moon rocket. [[The Saturn V gracefully arcing across the night sky]] Person 1: I'm.. not sure what lesson to take from that. Black Hat Man: "If you want something done right ,learning from the Nazis isn't enough. You have to actually put them in charge. Person 1: That's a *terrible* lesson. Black Hat Man: Then I guess you should get a Nazi to come up with a better one. {{Title text: The SLS head engineer plans to invite Shania Twain to stand under the completed prototype, then tell her, 'I don't expect you to date me just because I'm a rocket scientist, but you've gotta admit--this is pretty fucking impressive.'}}
Percentage Points 2011-12-02 [[An average news anchor reading news copy of below average intelligence appears on a TV, with one person watching it in utter disgust]] News Anchor: Senator Grayton's campaign has imploded following the candidate's promise to give tax breaks to drunk drivers and to authorize the use of unmanned Predator drones in the War On Christmas. Grayton had been polling at 20%, but his support has since plunged by 19%. I hate the ambiguity created when people don't distinguish between percentages and percentage points. {{Title text: Grayton also proposed making college scholarships available exclusively to sexually active teens, amnesty for illegal immigrants who create room for themselves by killing a citizen, and a graduated income tax based on penis size. He has been endorsed by Tracy Morgan, John Wilkes Booth's ghost, and the Time Cube guy.}}
Drinking Fountains 2011-12-05 [[Person leaving the bathroom, headed towards a nearby water fountain. Person having a drink at said water fountain. Person grumblingly reentering the bathroom. Same person leaving the bathroom. Cycle repeats endlessly in a horrific sisyphean loop.]] I avoid drinking fountains outside bathrooms because I'm afraid of getting trapped in a loop. {{Title text: I've always wondered whether you could drink slowly enough, and eliminate fast enough, that you just sort of peed continuously. But I'm afraid to try because I worry someone might call while I'm doing it and ask what I'm up to, and I won't be able to think of a lie.}}
Potential 2011-12-07 Narrator: When teachers complain "You're not working at your full potential!" [[Explosion in background]] Narrator: Don't take it too hard. [[car casually spirals through the air while a crash is heard in the background]] Narrator: They complain *way* more when you do. [[A mechanized, 6-tentacled robot rampages around, picking up cars and creating a small warzone before the student inside while the lamentations of people and the building of military forces are in the background]] {{Title text: The bunch of disadvantaged kids I was tutoring became too good at writing, and their essays were forcing me to confront painful existential questions, so I started trying to turn them on to drugs and crime instead.}}
Tradition 2011-12-09 The 20 most-played Christmas songs (2000-2009 radio airplay) by decade of popular release [[A bar chart labeled on the X-axis with the decades "1900s" through "2000s" labeled. Each bar has, as one unit, a labeled song. "1900s", "1910s", "1920s", "1980s", "1990s", and "2000s" are empty. "1930s" has "Santa Claus is Coming to Town". "1940s" has "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", "Winter Wonderland", "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire", "Let it Snow", "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", "I'll be Home for Christmas", and "White Christmas". "1950s" has "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree", "Jingle Bell Rock", "Blue Christmas", "Little Drummer Boy", "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus", "Silver Bells", "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas", "Sleigh Ride", and "Frosty the Snowman" "1960s" has "Holly Jolly Christmas" and "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" "1970s" has "Feliz Navidad"]] Every year, American culture embarks on a massive project to carefully recreate the Christmases of Baby Boomers' childhoods. {{Title text: An 'American tradition' is anything that happened to a baby boomer twice.}}
Cryogenics 2011-12-12 [[Two people, one of which is staring at a smartphone]] Person 1: Everyone's carrying sensor-packed, always-connected computers everywhere. That wasn't true ten years ago. White Hat Guy: It's all changing too fast, huh? Person 1: No, too *slowly*. Person 1: There's so much potential here. These clumsy, poorly-designed toys are *nothing* compared to what lies ahead. [[Person 1 climbs into a cryogenic chamber]] Person 1: That's why I've worked to develop cryogenic freezing. I'm gonna skip forward 30 years and use this stuff when it's *good*. 30 years later.. Someone who isn't Terry: Welcome to the future! Nothing's changed. Person 1: What? Why?? [[rows of other people waking up out of their own cryogenic chambers]] not Terry: When cryogenic freezing was invented, all the engineers who were excited about the future froze themselves. So there's been no one building anything new. not Terry: But they're all waking up now! Person 1: Sweet! I'm gonna jump forward to see what they do! Engineer 1: Me too! Engineer 2: Wait, uh, guys? {{Title text: 'Welcome to the future! Nothing's changed.' was the slogan of my astonishingly short-lived tech startup.}}
Plastic Bags 2011-12-14 ((not a character; just a colon in a normal sentence)) Fun Fact: Stores have a competition to see who can spread your items across the most plastic shopping bags Bag Packer: Here you go! [[5 items placed in a single bag; heaviest item placed at the bottom] Shopper: Thanks! Bag Packer: Here you go! [[Same items; heaviest item now placed in separate bag]] Shopper: Oh, that's easier to carry. Bag Packer: Here you go! [[Heavy item is now double bagged]] Shopper: Double-bagging the big stuff makes sense.. Bag Packer: Here you go! [[the other 4 items are now split into 2 separate bags]] Shopper: That's a bit wasteful.. Bag Packer: Here you go! [[The 2 separate bags are now double bagged]] Shopper: You just put five items in six bags. Bag Packer: Here you go! [[Every item is now in its own, double-bagged bag.]] Shopper: OK! I give up! I'll buy a reusable bag! Bag Packer: Here you go! [[Reusable bag is double-bagged]] Shopper: Augh! {{Title text: The high I feel when I actually remember to bring my reusable bags to the store--and take them inside rather than leaving them in the parked car--can last for days.}}
Phantom Menace 2011-12-16 [[Two people -- one in a Darth Maul mask, the other holding a lightsaber, and each holding money in his or her hand -- stand outside a building.]] [[They continue to stand there.]] [[They continue to stand there.]] [[Darth Maul turns to lightsaber guy.]] Darth Maul: Are you sure this place is a theater? Lightsaber guy: Let's give it one more month. {{Title text: We could go to the theater across town and see if it's opened THERE yet, but we don't want to lose our place in line.}}
Mnemonics 2011-12-19 XKCD Presents: Some New Science Mnemonics ((Pattern goes: Subject Elements Traditional mnemonic Contents of frame New mnemonics)) Order of Operations Parentheses, Exponents, Division & Multiplication, Addition & Subtraction Traditional: Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally [[Person having a shark delivered to his laptop]] Please Email My Dad A Shark or People Expect More Drugs And Sex SI Prefixes Big: Kilo, Mega, Giga, Tera, Peta, Exa, Zetta, Yotta Milli, Micro, Nano, Pico, Femto, Atto, Zepto, Yocto [[Graph of the declining profits of the Zune]] [[Karl Marx delivering a number of zeppelins to a bunch of confused proletariats]] Big: Karl Marx Gave The Proletariat Eleven Zeppelins, Yo Small: Microsoft Made No Profit From Anyone's Zunes, Yo Taxonomy Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species Traditional: King Philip Came Over For Good Sex Katy Perry: I'm not sure who doubts this, really. Katy Perry Claims Orgasms Feel Good Sometimes or Kernel Panics Crash Our Family Game System. Geologic Periods (Precambrian), Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, Paleogene, Neogene Traditional: [I never learned one] [[A month's set of birth control pills]] PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome Does Cause Problems That Judicious Contraceptives Partially Negate Resistor Color Codes Black, Brown, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet, Gray, White Traditional: [none I care for] [[Glenn Beck holding the traditional "Nanobot Vaccine Chemtrail 9 11" sign]] "Big Brother Reptilian Overlords", yelled Glenn, "Brainwashing Via Ground water!!" or Be Bold, Respect Others; You'll Gradually Become Versatile, Great Wikipedians! Planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune Traditional: My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nachos [[A pregnant Mary attempting to explain things to an incredulous Joseph]] Mary's "Virgin" Explanation Made Joseph Suspect Upstairs Neighbor. {{Title text: 'Sailor Moon's head exploded once' and 'Some men have explosive orgasms' both work for the Great Lakes from west to east (Paddle-to-the-Sea order).}}
Brand Identity 2011-12-21 [[The incredibly varied shelf of a supermarket aisle. There are many different types of products on this shelf. Each type has numerous different brands, all surrounding a very plain brand that has, as its only label, the type of product. A plain bag, labeled in plain black letters, says "Potato Chips" and is surrounded by all the other various brands of potato chips. The same exists for tissues, crackers, matches, peanuts, hot sauce, sugar , milk, pasta, coffee, black beans, lima beans, mayo, ketchup, tea, and bread. There is a stark contrast between the incredibly noisy and complex labeling of every other brand and this simple one.]] If I ever sold a line of supermarket goods, this is how I'd build a brand identity overnight. {{Title text: Legally-mandated information would be printed on the back or discreetly along the bottom. In small letters under the nutrition information it would say 'Like our products? Visit our website!' There would be no URL.}}
Advent Calendar 2011-12-23 ((There's a single large panel. It shows a portion of an advent calendar.)) December 23rd December 24th 12:00AM December 24th NOON December 24th 6:00PM December 24th 9:00PM December 24th 10:30PM December 24th 11:15PM December 24th 11:37:30PM December 24th 11:48:45PM December 24th 11:54:22.5PM December 24th 11:57:11.25PM December 24th 11:58:35.63PM ... Zeno's Advent Calendar {{Title text: I think you could get up to about 11:59:57 before you'd have trouble swallowing the chocolates fast enough. At that point, you'd need some kind of a liquify-and-chug apparatus to get up over the 11:59:59 barrier. Anyway, Merry Christmas!}}
Coinstar 2011-12-26 [[A mischievous, curious person empties a small bag into a whrrring machine]] [[Machine makes progressively less happy *kachunk*, *tshhhh*, *clickclickclick* and *grind* noises]] [[Machine pops, then beeps in a tone of utter defeat]] Holiday tip: Coinstar does not handle chocolate coins well. {{Title text: Plus they take like 9%.}}
Making Things Difficult 2011-12-28 Breast Cancer Surgery Follow-Up Oncologist: You're looking great! Remove your top so I can check how the incision is healing. Delightfully Awesome Person: Nuh-uh. Oncologist: *sigh*. Do we have to do this *every* time? Delightfully Awesome Person: You know the rules. Oncologist: This is so ridiculous. [[Oncologist fake-annoyedly searches for something in pockets]] Oncologist: Here. [[Oncologist waves around a Mardi Gras bead necklace]] Delightfully Awesome Person: Woooo! [[Delightfully Awesome Person disrobes]] {{Title text: Favorite mastectomy breast prosthesis idea: a fake boob containing a spare rechargable battery, accessed via a nipple USB port. Complete with a ring of LED charge indicators in the areola!}}
Wait Wait 2011-12-30 Headlines! Stockpiled in case Peter Sagal, host of NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, does something newsworthy in 2012. ((Series of above-the-fold newspapers follows; Each has a headline, picture in most of them, and an explanation)) Wait Wait Don't Shoot Me [[A fierce Peter Sagal in a balaclava brandishes a gun in a supermarket]] NPR's Sagal in Whole Foods hostage standoff. Wait Wait Don't Vote For Me Peter Sagal quits race for GOP top spot [[A sullen and defeated Peter Sagal surrounded by supporters admits defeat]] Wait Wait Don't Judge Me Sagal opens up about his Kermit fantasy. [[Stock profile images of Peter Sagal and Kermit the Frog]] Wait Wait Don't Fire Me [[Stock profile image of Peter Sagal]] Peter Sagal let go after racist tirade. Wait Wait Don't Cancel Me NPR axing news quiz. [[NPR spokesperson delivering announcement]] Wait Wait Don't Interrupt Me Sagal stabs Carl Kasell in on-air dispute. [[Peter Sagal mid-attack with a knife]] Wait Wait Don't Look At Me [[Peter Sagal with a skin condition]] Peter Sagal's Poison Ivy Ordeal Peter Sagal: "My 'Nam" Wait Wait Don't Friend Me Peter Sagal deletes his Facebook account. [[Person holding up a laptop with an "Facebook account not found" screen]] Wait Wait Don't Seduce Me How Lakshmi Singh stole Sagal's Heart. [[A wistful Lakshmi Singh being left by a sullen Peter Sagal]] Wait Wait Don't Leave Me [[A wistful Peter Sagal being left by a furious Beth Sagal]] Sagal's wife out after affair Wait Wait Don't Spray Me Police Raid Sagal's Occupy NPR protest [[Scummy policeman in riot gear spraying Peter Sagal in the face point blank with what is essentially a food product]] Wait Wait Don't Indict Me Sagal, five others named in cash-for-tote-bags scandal [[Peter Sagal doing a perp walk]] Wait Wait Don't Clone Me Peter Sagal 'Outraged' over DNA harvesting. [[Fiery Peter Sagal, missing a small amount of DNA, at a podium]] Wait Wait Don't Bust Me Peter Sagal's ghost captured [[Ghostbusters, careful not to cross the streams, capture the ghost of Peter Sagal]] Wait Wait Don't Dissect Me Snoozing Sagal nearly snuffed in autopsy snafu [[Peter Sagal running away from from a very surprised pathologist]] Peter Sagal: "I ain't dead!" Wait Wait Don't Objectify Me Peter Sagal is more than just a piece of meat Wait Wait Don't Beatify Me [[Peter Sagal shakes his fist at a picture of the pope]] Peter Sagal Rebukes Pope Wait Wait Don't Me Peter Sagal Accidentally [[Peter Sagal in a blank vacant]] Wait Wait Don't Speak Its Name [[eyes... Eyes... AAAHHH]] Peter Sagal wakes Eldritch terror Peter Sagal:"AAAAAAAA" Wait Wait Even For NPR This Is A Bit Much This American Life to document the road to recovery for those who suffer the trauma of losing on Wait Wait {{Title text: You can't stab Karl Kasell. He sounds all slow and stentorian, but he moves like a snake.}}
2012 2012-01-02 [[Two characters are talking.]] Left: Well, it's 2012. ((This panel has no upper and lower borders.)) Right: Yup. Right: Only 354 days left until everybody abruptly stops talking about Mayans. Left: Or thinking about Mayans. Left: Or acknowledging that huge city-building ancient American civilizations existed at all. Right: You know what they say - those who fail to learn from history can still manage a 3.0 if they ace their other subjects. {{Title text: To compensate for this, I plan to spend 2013 doing nothing but talking about Mayans. My relationships with my friends and family may not fare well.}}
Cougars 2012-01-04 [[Parent is sitting at a computer; child is standing behind.]] Parent: Whoa, ever seen Wikipedia's list of people who were attacked and killed by cougars? Parent: Crazy how many of them were kids who were just playing outside their houses. Reason #58 I should never have children: My love of learning and sharing knowledge about the world. {{Title text: If you're lying in bed tonight and you see yellow eyes glinting in your window, are you being stalked by a puma, a mountain lion, a panther, a catamount, or a cougar? Trick question--in North America, they're all names for the same species, Puma concolor! Isn't learning fun? Anyway, sleep tight!}}
1000 Comics 2012-01-06 [[1000 characters, numerous of which have appeared previously in other comics, are arranged to create the number "1000". Two more people stand in the foreground commenting on the formation]] Person 1: WOOOO! Person 2: Wow - Just 24 to go until a big round-number milestone! {{Title text: Thank you for making me feel less alone.}}
AAAAAA 2012-01-09 [[Person 1 clinging onto something while being dragged away by some unknown force]] Person 1: AAAAAAAAAA [[Person 2 similarly clinging on]] Person 2: AAAAAAAAAA [[Overhead shot of both spinning around a plain white circle in a room with other accoutrements]] Both: AAAAAAAA Earlier that day... Person 1: Haha, check it out - This guy's mansion has an actual rotating bed. Person 2: You know, I bet it wouldn't be too hard to build one of those... {{Title text: 'ARE YOU TURNED ON YET?' 'I DON'T THINK SO--ARE YOU?' 'MAYBE A LITTLE!' 'OK, FIVE MORE MINUTES.'}}
Game AIs 2012-01-11 Difficulty of Various Games for Computers [[A diagram. The left column describes various levels of skill for the most capable computers in decreasing performance against humans. The right side lists games in each particular section, in increasing game difficulty. There are labels denoting the hard and easy ends of the diagram.]] Easy Solved - Computers can play perfectly Solved for all possible positions Tic-Tac-Toe NIM Ghost(1989) Connect Four(1995) Solved for starting positions Gomoku Checkers(2007) Computers can beat top humans Scrabble CounterStrike Beer Pong (UIUC robot) Reversi Chess (February 10, 1996 - First win by computer against top human; November 21, 2005 - Last win by human against top computer) Jeopardy Computers still lose to top humans (but focused R&D could change this) Starcraft Poker Arimaa Go Computers may *never* outplay humans Snakes and Ladders Mao Seven Minutes in Heaven Calvinball Hard {{Title text: The top computer champion at Seven Minutes in Heaven is a Honda-built Realdoll, but to date it has been unable to outperform the human Seven Minutes in Heaven champion, Ken Jennings.}}
Adam and Eve 2012-01-13 Adam: It's Adam and Eve, not *Abel* and Eve!! Adam was freaked out by what he'd just walked in on. {{Title text: Abel and Steve would've been fine! I like Steve!}}
Batman 2012-01-16 ((One panel, depicting three wavy circles. The one in the center is slightly larger, and the ones on either side are higher up. Their edges are touching.)) [[The left circle has Bruce Wayne in the foreground, with Alfred in the background.]] Alfred: Know your limits, Master Wayne. Bruce: A man dressed like a bat has no limits. [[The center circle has a close-up on Batman in his cowl.]] Someone off-screen: What the hell are you? Batman: I'm a man dressed like a bat. [[In the right circle is The Joker.]] Off-screen: What do you propose? Joker: It's simple - we kill a man dressed like a bat. My Hobby: Whenever anyone says "Batman," I mentally replace it with "a man dressed like a bat." {{Title text: I'm really worried Christopher Nolan will kill a man dressed like a bat in his next movie. (The man will be dressed like a bat, I mean. Christopher Nolan won't be, probably.)}}
SOPA 2012-01-18 [don't censor the web] [[Hidden in the background of the above text is Black Hat Guy, delivering the following: A message from sysadmins everywhere: Seriously, don't screw with DNS. If you break this internet, we are *not* making you a new one.]] I make my living drawing xkcd, which wouldn't have been possible if people hadn't been able to freely share my comics with each other all over the internet. As a copyright holder and small business owner, I oppose SOPA and PIPA. See the links below to learn more. [[Randall Munroe's signature, with a little drawing of himself on one of the tails]] {{Title text: In protest of SOPA, I'm currently getting totally blacked out.}}
Sloppier Than Fiction 2012-01-20 Douchebag with a goatee and a bad haircut: Even though it technically *wasn't* cheating, she dumped me anyway! So I tell Bret, and he's like "She sounds just like my crazy ex." And I was like, "dude, what was her name?" and it was the *same girl*. I swear, if they made my life into a movie, no one would believe it. Person 2: Yeah, though mostly because of the poorly-written dialogue and unlikeable main character. {{Title text: Roger Ebert once called you directionless and unwatchable.}}
Sustainable 2012-01-23 Frequency of use of the word "sustainable" in US English text, as a percentage of all words, by year. Source: Google NGrams. [[A two-axis graph with percentages increasing logarithmically (from 0.000001% to 1,000%) on the Y-axis, and years progressing linearly (from 1950 to 2140) on the X-axis. Actual data points show a high correlation from 0.00001 at 1950 to 0.001% at present day. Extrapolated data points exist for the future. 2036 (approx. 0.1%): "sustainable" occurs an average of once per page. 2061(approx. 1%): "sustainable" occurs an average of once per sentence. 2109(approx. 100%) All sentences are just the word "sustainable" over and over.]] The word "sustainable" is unsustainable. {{Title text: Though 100 years is longer than a lot of our resources.}}
Suckville 2012-01-25 [[A girl is kneeling on the floor, playing a card game.]] Girl: Hah! -- Welcome to Suckville - population: you. [[A guy is sitting on the floor opposite her, also playing the game.]] Guy: Why are you using 2000 census data? -- That's an old figure. [[The girl turns around from the game to look at her laptop, which is sitting on the floor behind her.]] Girl: I couldn't find Suckville in the 2010 census. Guy: Huh? It's right there in SF-1 table P1. Girl: Oh. So it is. [[The girl turns back to the guy, who is looking at his cards.]] Girl: Well, then. Welcome to Suckville - population: 83. Guy: Much better. {{Title text: Suckville is considered by the Census Bureau to be part of the Detroit metropolitan statistical area, despite not being located anywhere near Detroit.}}
Sigh 2012-01-27 [[Guy is standing behind girl, who's sitting and watching TV.]] Guy: Hey, is that Downtown Abbey? What town is it in the downtown of, anyway? Girl: *siiiiiiiigh* Guy: --girl look at that body. We should thank LMFAO for giving us such a great way to respond to exasperated sighs. {{Title text: If you're annoying enough, you can get them to respond with an involuntary second sigh and get a rhythm going.}}
Etymology-Man 2012-01-30 Person 1: Earthquake! Person 2: We should get to a higher ground - There could be a tidal wave. [[Person 1 takes a pedantic pose]] Person 1: You mean a tsunami. "Tidal wave" means a wave caused by tides. [[A crash is heard, followed by Etymology-Man flying in while wearing a cape]] Etymology-man: You know, that doesn't add up. Person 1 and Person 2: Etymology-man! [[Etymology-man takes a pedantic pose]] Etymology-man: What *does* "tidal wave" mean? There are waves caused by tides, but they're "tidal bores", and they're not cataclysmic. It can refer to the daily tide cycle, but that's obviously not what people mean when they say "a tidal wave hit". It's been obvious for centuries that these waves come from quakes. So why "tidal"? Etymology-man: Remember that until 2004, there weren't any clear photos or videos of tsunamis. Some modern writers even described them rearing up and breaking like surfing waves. Of course, in 2004 and 2011, it was made clear to everyone that a tsunami is more like a rapid, turbulent, inrushing tide - exactly what historical accounts describe. [[Water begins to rush in. Etymology-man keeps his pedantic pose]] Etymology-man: Maybe those writing about Lisbon in 1755 used "tidal wave" not out of scientific confusion, but because it described the wave's form - a description lost in our rush to expunge "tidal wave" from English. [[The water is now waist-deep. Etymology-man continues to drone on, but the others start to panic]] Etymology-man: "Tsunami" is now the standard, and I'm not trying to change that. But let's be a tad less giddy about correcting "tidal wave" - especially when "tsunami" just means "harbor wave", which is hardly... {{Title text: 'I can't believe I'm saying this, but I wish Aquaman were here instead--HE'D be able to help.'}}
Baby Names 2012-02-01 [[A man sits at a desk, thinking with his hand on his chin, his other hand holding a pen over a piece of paper. A woman stands behind him, looking over his shoulder, also with her hand on her chin.]] ((Above the drawing is the list they are writing, in handwriting.)) Names for daughter 1. Ponzi 2. Eeemily 3. Fire Fire 4. Chipotla 5. Astamouthe 6. Eggsperm 7. [sound of record scratch] 8. Parsley 9. Hot'n'Juicy Ann 10. Ovary 11. Friendly 12. Sean (pronounced "seen") 13. Joyst {{Title text: I've been trying for a couple years now but I haven't been able to come up with a name dumber than 'Renesmee'.}}
Wrong Superhero 2012-02-03 [[A giant praying mantis and its legion of regular-sized praying mantises attacks a team of scientists. Two of them fight back, with a gun and a baseball bat respectively, while a third is in the mantis' clutches, held aloft by his foot, his goggles falling off his face. Bullets whiz by the giant mantis' head, and a fourth scientist hides behind a desk, on which rests a microscope and an Erlenmeyer flask. A man in a cape approaches the hiding scientist.]] Caped man: Ah, no -- you wanted ENTO mology-Man, spelled with an "N." See, it's from the Greek entomon , meaning "insect," which is itself the neuter form of entomos , meaning "segmented" or... <> {{Title text: Hi! Someone call for me? I'm a superhero who specializes in the study of God's creation of Man in the Book of Genesi-- HOLY SHIT A GIANT BUG!}}
Wake Up Sheeple 2012-02-06 [[A man yells into a megaphone.]] Man: Your government has turned against you! Corporations control your every thought! - Open your eyes! [[Head-on view of man with megaphone.]] Man: Wake up, sheeple! Wake up, sheeple! - WAKE UP, SHEEPLE!! ((in between two panels)) [[The man takes the megaphone away from his mouth.]] <> [[A half-sheep half-man creature rises through the cracking earth, holding aloft a gnarled staff.]] <> [[Close-up on the sheep-man's eye.]] TEN THOUSAND YEARS WE SLUMBERED... NOW WE RIIIIIIIISE baaaaaaa [[A clearly upset woman goes up to the man with the megaphone, hands held out in front of her plaintively.]] Woman: OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD WHY DID YOU DO THAT?! Man: What? But I didn't- Out-of-frame #1: He awoke the Sheeple! OOF #2: Heaven forgive us! OOF #3: All is lost! {{Title text: Your will be led to judgement like lambs to the slaughter--a simile whose existence, I might add, will not do your species any favors.}}
Car Problems 2012-02-08 [[Person 1 stands in front of a projection of a car, with an audience of 3 people. One of the people is the Black Hat Man.]] Person 1: Attention Please. This is a photo of my car as of two weeks ago. [[Same person in front of a new projection of the same car engulfed in flames]] Person 1: And *this* is my car as I found it this morning. Can anyone tell me what's wrong with this picture? [[The audience ponders]] Person 2: The white balance, for one. Person 3: Focus is a bit too close. Black Hat Man: The chromatic abberation suggests you bought your camera because it had "The most megapixels". Person 1: THE CAR IS ON FIRE! comment from audience: Maybe you should use the insurance money to get a better camera. comment from different person: yeah {{Title text: Or if you replace your car, we'll be happy to set it on fire again so you can take another crack at getting that shot.}}
Kerning 2012-02-10 [[Some IDIOT used a font with TERRIBLE kerning on the side of a building for a sign labeled "CITY OFFICES". Only.. you aren't even frickin' sure because of this terrible kerning, as the "C" and the "I" in "CITY" have waaay too strong kerning. And so do the "C" and the "E" in "OFFICES", to the point that it actually looks like TWO words. And the I and the C are so close together, they almost look like a freakish K! Two people stand in front of this sign. One notices all these obvious flaws, while the other exists in peaceful ignorance.]] Person 1: *Argh*! Person 2: what? If you really hate someone, teach them to recognize bad kerning. {{Title text: I have never been as self-conscious about my handwriting as when I was inking in the caption for this comic.}}
Valentine Dilemma 2012-02-13 [[A man, hand on chin, thinking aloud to himself.]] Man: Flowers seem so ... trite. Something homemade? Easy to look halfhearted. [[A woman sits at her computer, one arm leaning on the back of her chair, the other hand on her chin, thinking aloud.]] Woman: Valentine's Day is a corporate construct. - But hard to opt out of. - I don't want to be a consumer tool or an inconsiderate jerk. [[The man walks down the street, still thinking aloud.]] Man: How do I fight cliché? I could get her a gift on a different day. - But what am I proving? [[The woman is leaning back in her chair, playing with a stapler.]] Woman: It's such a contrived ritual. But maybe rituals are necessary social glue. [[The man puts his hands to his face in panic.]] Man: Forty presents. No, none! No, give her five items then steal two from her. - Ok, breathe. Keep it together. [[The woman is also panicking, one hand to her face, the other still holding the stapler.]] Woman: And what if he gets me something I don't reciprocate? - Prisoners Dilemma! - AAAAAAAAAA!! [[The man and woman meet. The man is holding a basket and a jar of hammers. The woman's hand is stuck to her face.]] Man: I got you Easter candy and a jar of hammers. Woman: I panicked and stapled my hand to my face. Man: We overthought this. Woman: Yes. {{Title text: The worst resolution to the Valentine Prisoner's Dilemma when YOU decide not to give your partner a present but your PARTNER decides to testify against you in the armed robbery case.}}
Backward in Time 2012-02-14 When I have a boring task to get through -- a three-hour lecture, a giant file download, or a long term point goal in fitocracy -- I use this formula to convert the percentage completed (p) into a date: T=(Current Date) - (e^(20.344p^3) - e^3) years When the task is 0% done, it gives today's date, and as I make progress, I move further and further back in time ((inverse given in lighter colors)) Inverse: p = sqrt((ln(T+e^3)-3) (20.3444)) [[Line Graph explaining the correlation between completion percentages and temporal deltas. 0% = now ((Date of comic is 2012-02-14T00:00-0500, approx. 1329195600 UNIX)) 10% = September 2011 20% = 2008 30% = 1997 40% = 1958 50% = 1776 60% = 405 AD 70% = 22,000 years ago 80% = 671,000 years ago 90% = 55 million years ago 100% = 13.8 billion years ago ]] It moves slowly through the first few years, then steadily accelerates. I tuned the formula so the time spent in each part of the past is loosely proportional to how well I know it. This means I hit familiar landmarks with each bit of progress, giving me a satisfying sense of movement. ((The following are panels detailing completion percentages, correlated time periods, and notable events from this time period)) 7.308% December 18, 2011 Around this time: Kim Jong-Il dies. US leaves Iraq. 31.12% February 1995 Around this time: Windows 95 debuts. OJ found not guilty. 47.91% 1844 Around this time: Rubber vulcanized, bicycle invented, wrench patented. 70.33% 24,000 years ago Around this time: Caves painted, ceramic art made. Neanderthals extinct. 90.42% 68 million years ago Around this time: First flowering plants. Chicxulub impact kills off most dinosaurs. 100% 13.76 billion years ago Around this time: Universe begins. First stars ignite. Download complete. [[Person 1 watches a download progress on a laptop in amazement and happiness. Person 2 stands nearby and looks at person 1 with a bemused posture]] Person 1: Swoosh! Watching all that time blur past is such a rush! Person 2: So... you've tried to make an extreme sport out of.. *waiting*. Person 1: Swoosh! {{Title text: People tell me I have too much time on my hands, but really the problem is that there's too much time, PERIOD.}}
Good Cop, Dadaist Cop 2012-02-17 [[Two cops look through a window into an interrogation chamber holding a handcuffed suspect ]] Good Cop: All right, let's try good cop, dadaist cop [[Good Cop is seated in front of the suspect]] Good Cop: Look, you're a good guy. We can work this out. Hey, lemme get us some coffee. [[CHANGE PLACES]] [[Dadaist Cop holds up a document of indeterminate contents and threatens the suspect with it]] Dadaist Cop: See this? It's Mark Zuckerberg's Mortgage. So why is it written in *CHURCH LATIN*? [[Dadaist cop physically rattles the suspect]] Dadaist Cop: *WHY ARE MY BONES SO SMALL*? Suspect: What's *WRONG* with you!? Dadaist Cop: What's wrong with *ART*? {{Title text: NOW INVENT AN IMPOSSIBLE-TO-TRANSLATE LANGUAGE AND USE IT TO TELL US WHERE THE MONEY IS.}}
First Post 2012-02-20 [[A bar graph with two bars. The first bar is much taller than the second. It is marked '$1,500,000', and below the x-axis, is labelled "Cost to buy an ad on every story on a major news site every day until the election. The second bar is much shorter, marked '$200,000', and labelled "Cost to pay five college students $20 hour to camp the site 24 7 and post the first few comments the moment a story goes up, giving you the last word in every article and creating an impression of peer consensus.]] The problem with posting comments in the order they're submitted. {{Title text: 'Nuh-uh! We let users vote on comments and display them by number of votes. Everyone knows that makes it impossible for a few persistent voices to dominate the discussion.'}}
Orion Nebula 2012-02-22 [[Opening speaker stands behind a lectern decorated with the indicators of the International Astronomical Union]] Speaker: Welcome to IAU Symposium #279. Speaker: We are no strangers to controversy, and we will not shy away from the tough issues. Which brings us to the subject at hand. [[An anatomically uncensored projection of the Constellation Orion appears before the speaker]] Speaker: It's time to talk about the fact that Orion clearly has a dong. Attendee in crowd #1: It's hard to miss. Attendee #2: we could keep telling people it's a sword. Attendee #3: C'mon, no one's buying that anymore. {{Title text: Also on the agenda: what's with his hips?}}
Business Plan 2012-02-24 [[A person in a beret stands on a shoreline and takes the environment in in silent contemplation]] [[The person heads off with an idea fresh in their head]] [[The person saunters back with a jar, some bread, and a signboard]] [[The person tears the bread off into pieces]] [[The person sets up the signboard, with its contents yet to be revealed]] [[The person heads off and waits for the plan to unfold]] [[The same beach, this time with a couple walking past. One person scratches their head with a "Whuh?" thought. The bread has attracted quite a few birds. The jar has a "$" on it. The sign says: "Gulls for sale"]] {{Title text: The investor elevator pitch is "Wheeeeeeee! Elevators are fun!"}}
So It Has Come To This 2012-02-27 Person: We ran out of cat food. Roommate: SO Roommate: IT HAS COME TO THIS. Protip: If you're not sure what to say, try "So it has come to this"--it creates instant dramatic tension and is a valid observation in literally any situation. {{Title text: 'Come to what?' 'You. Me. This moment.'}}
Late-Night PBS 2012-02-29 [[Scruffy is rubbing sleep out of their eyes and talking to clean shaven.]] Scruffy: Have you ever watched PBS late at night? Scruffy: I fell asleep after Downton and woke up at like 3 AM. [[The upper portion of the panel continues dialogue, while the lower shows a drunk gameshow host and several contestants. The monitor shows a field of crosses, presumably graves.]] Scruffy: Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego was back on, except the host hadn't aged well and he'd clearly been drinking. Scruffy: Every question took them to some horrible place like Mogadishu or the Cambodian killing fields. [[Now it shows a bookshelf revealing a hidden room.]] Scruffy: The kids were freaked out, but they kept playing. Eventually they were told they'd found Carmen Sandiego hiding behind a bookshelf in a Dutch apartment. Scruffy: The Chief appeared and asked "Are you proud of what you've become?" Scruffy: Then Rockapella walked out and just glared at the kids until they started crying. Clean-shaven: I, uh, don't remember the old show being that dark. Scruffy: Maybe we were too young to pick up on it. {{Title text: Then it switched to these old black-and-white tapes of Bob Ross slumped against the wall of an empty room, painting the least happy trees you've ever seen. Either PBS needs to beef up studio security or I need to stop using Ambien to sleep.}}
Error Code 2012-03-02 [[A man sits at a computer, while another man takes a book off a shelf behind him.]] Man #1: "Error -41"? That's helpful. It doesn't even say which program it's from! Man #2: -41? I'll look it up... [[The second man looks at the book.]] Man #2: It says -41 is: "Sit by a lake." [[The two walk.]] [[The two sit down.]] [[A large, in-color painting of a lake with pond lilies.]] [[The two are still sitting.]] Man #1: I don't know where you got that book, but I like it. Man #2: Hasn't been wrong yet. {{Title text: It has a section on motherboard beep codes that lists, for each beep pattern, a song that syncs up well with it.}}
Tumblr 2012-03-05 Person 1: You know those weird noises coming from my attic? Turns out some raccoons got in and were operating this, like, raccoon sex dungeon. Person 2: ...dot tumblr cot com. For me, "...Dot tumblr dot com" has been gradually replacing "would be a good name for a band." {{Title text: Dot Tumblr Dot Com, on the other hand, would be an awful name for a band, if only because of how hard it would be to direct people to your band's website.}}
Compare and Contrast 2012-03-07 [[A checklist comparing thee to a summer's day: Fair, Temperate:Thee & A Summer's Day Hot, Sticky: Thee & A Summer's Day Short: Thee Harbinger of Hurricane Season: A Summer's Day Required for a Good Beach Party; Thee & A Summer's Day Major Cause of Heat Stroke in the Elderly: A Summer's Day Linked to Higher Rates of Juvenile Delinquency: Thee & A Summer's Day Sometimes Too Stifling: Thee & A Summer's Day Arrested for Releasing Snakes in Library: Thee Difficult to Focus on Work While I'm In: Thee & A Summer's Day ]] {{Title text: Frankly, I see no difference between thee and a summer's day. Only Ron Paul offers a TRUE alternative!}}
Pickup Artist 2012-03-09 [[Two guys sit and enjoy some beverages while making conversation]] Pickup Artist.: I've been learning tricks from pickup artist forums. Normal Guy: Pickup artists are dehumanizing creeps who see relationships as adversarial and women as sex toys [[The camera angle changes to show another pair of people in the background. One is a woman; the other is Black Hat Man.]] Pickup Artist: No, it's just a bunch of tips! Like "Negging": You belittle chicks to undermine their self-confidence so they'll be more vulnerable and seek your approval. Normal Guy: Just talk to them like a fucking human being. Pickup Artist: Nah, that's a sucker's game. Ok - wish me luck! Meanwhile... [[Focus changes to the table with the second pair. Black Hat Man gets from his chair and carries a bowling ball with him.]] Black Hat Man: I'm going to the bathroom to roll a bowling ball down under the line of stalls. Woman: Cool. [[Normal Guy looks at Pickup Artist approaching Woman with dread at the scene that's about to happen]] Normal Guy: Oh no. [[Pickup Artist takes a smarmy stance at Woman]] Pickup Artist: You look like you're on a diet. That's great! How's the fruit plate? Woman: Ooh - are we negging? Let me try! Woman: You look like you're going to spend your life having one epiphany after another, always thinking you've finally figured out what's holding you back, and how you can finally be productive and creative and turn your life around. But nothing will ever change. That cycle of mediocrity isn't due to some obstacle. It's who you *are*. The thing standing in the way of your dreams is that the person having them is *you*. [[Pickup artist looks rightfully dejected]] Woman: Ok, your turn! Ooh, try insulting my hair! Pickup Artist: I think I need to go home and think about my life. Woman: It won't help. {{Title text: Son, don't try to play 'make you feel bad' with the Michael Jordan of making you feel bad.}}
Communication 2012-03-12 [[A guy in a hat looks down at a large gap in the walkway; a thought bubble with a warning symbol and an image of the gap appears above the guy's head.]] [[The guy walks to the right, away from the gap, and encounters another guy, to which he speaks (in iconographic speech bubble form), attempting to inform him about the gap. A thought bubble appears above the other figure's head with an image of the gesturing guy.]] [[The first guy continues, waving his arms, still talking about the gap. The second guy's thought bubble continues to contain images of the first guy gesturing frantically.]] [[The second guy shrugs in a nonplussed manner, and the first guy leaves off the right side of the frame. Both have thought bubbles displaying the other's reaction.]] [[The first guy continues to the right and comes across a woman. He tells her about the reaction of the previous guy (again in iconographic form); she simultaneously tries to tell him about a gap and gestures off to the right of the frame.]] [[The first guy and the woman both leave the frame thinking of each other's reactions; the woman exiting left and the guy exiting right.]] [[The woman (still thinking about the first guy) encounters the second guy (who is also still thinking about the first guy).]] [[The pair talk about the first guy.]] [[The pair continue talking about the first guy as they exit the frame to the left.]] [[A commotion is heard from the left.]] [[The camera pans over to the left, where the pair have fallen into a gap in the walkway. A commotion is then also heard from the right.]] [[The camera pans over to the right, where the first guy has also fallen into a gap.]] [[A third guy in a beret comes across a gap in the walkway.]] [[The guy in the beret runs off the frame to the right.]] [[The guy in the beret meets a fourth guy, and tells him (in iconographic form) to come with him. The fourth guy has a thought bubble of the guy in the beret.]] [[The guy in the beret takes the fourth guy's hand and leads him along to the left. The fourth guy's thought bubble has question marks around the guy in the beret.]] [[The guy in the beret leads the fourth guy to the gap and shows him it.]] [[Both the guy in the beret and the fourth guy walk away from the gap to the right, now both thinking about the gap.]] {{Title text: Anyone who says that they're great at communicating but 'people are bad at listening' is confused about how communication works.}}
Drawing Stars 2012-03-14 HOW TO DRAW A STAR: [[A slightly curved line is drawn, starting with a point near the top center of the panel, and going downward and to the left at approximately a 23-degree angle, with an arrow at the end.]] [[Another slightly curved line goes up and to the right, creating a 34-degree angle with the first line.]] So far so good... [[A third line goes up and to the left, creating a 58-degree angle with the last line. The drawing now sort of resembles a tent being blown over in the wind.]] Steady as she goes... [[The fourth line goes down and to the right, creating an approximately 47-degree angle with the last line, and our star is beginning to look a bit askew.]] ...uh oh. Shitshitshit [[The fifth line comes up at a 48-degree angle, completely missing the first point by a mile, and our star has failed spectacularly.]] ABORT! ABORT! {{Title text: Screw these 36-degree angles. I'm converting to Judaism.}}
Keyed 2012-03-16 [[Two people are walking along]] Person 1: I broke up with him yesterday Person 2: That weird guy with the beret? Did he take it okay? Person 1: He seemed upset. He went out to my car- Person 2 ((interjecting)): uh oh Person 1: -and spent the whole night painting a really detailed key on the side Person 2: ..wait what? [[Image of a person in a beret painting a giant key on the side of a car]] Person 1: Then he woke me up to ask what I thought of it. He looked really proud. Person 2: I ... is he playing revenge mind games? Person 1; I genuinely can't tell if he remembers that we broke up. {{Title text: I was sure he was just getting revenge, but then he did the same thing to Carrie Underwood. Then he mailed me a scone. I think I'm giving up dating.}}
s/keyboard/leopard/ 2012-03-19 [[Two browser windows: The first is a wikipedia article on computer leopards. Visible text: "[...]which range from pocket sized leopards to large desktop leopards, the leopard remains the most common user input device. In addition to text entry, specialized leopards are used for computer gaming. While many computer interfaces rely on mice or touchscreens, UNIX-style command-line interfaces require users to interact with a leopard." There is a picture of the venerable, highly durable IBM Model M Leopard. The second is a messageboard discussing leopard issues. Listed topics include: "Weird, my leopard just switched to Chinese" "I work with one leopard on my desk and another in the leopard tray" "Ever cleaned a leopard? They're *filthy*" "The iPhone virtual leopard is the fastest IMO" "I rarely email from my phone - I'm so slow when I'm not on a leopard" "My leopard died when I spilled tea on it :("]] The Internet got 100 times better when, thanks to an extension with a typo'd regex, my browser started replacing the word "keyboard" with "leopard". {{Title text: Problem Exists Between Leopard And Chair}}
Networking 2012-03-21 [[A man approaches white beret man at a party and they extend arms to shake hands. WBM is holding a metal briefcase. There is a waitress in the background, carrying a tray with a wine glass on it.]] Man: I'm Connr Clark, CTO at Eusocial Median Ventures. White Beret: I'm a business professional! Earlier I photocopied a burrito! [[The man man hands WBM a business card. WBM takes it and hands the man another business card. WBM has put his suitcase on the floor.]] Man: You should check us out! Here's my card. White Beret: Here's mine! -- Networking! [[The man takes a closer look at the card, and WBM holds up his case.]] Man: ...This just says "This is my business card!" White Beret: Do you like it? I have more in my handlebox. [[WBM puts his case on a table and opens it to reveal it is full of cash. The man looks on in shock.]] Man: Uh, that's ok, I think I'll-- White Beret: Here, have ten of them! Man: --holy shit that thing is full of cash! [[The man raises his arms in excitement. WBM turns to face him and chews on something.]] Man: Where did you get that? White Beret: I am a business grown-up who makes business profits! Man: That's like a quarter of a million dollars! White Beret: Yay! Business is fun! -- Do you have more of your cards? They're delicious! {{Title text: Our company is agile and lean with a focus on the long tail. Ok, our company is actually a polecat I found in my backyard.}}
Formal Logic 2012-03-23 [[Vehicle with a bumper sticker: "Honk iff you love formal logic"]] {{Title text: Note that this implies you should NOT honk solely because I stopped for a pedestrian and you're behind me.}}
Share Buttons 2012-03-26 [[A series of article titles with four share buttons underneath each: Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Google+]] Breaking Into Stand-up Comedy FB: 3, Twitter: 1,781, Reddit: 2, G+: 0 How the Christian Right Threatens Wikipedia FB: 1, Twitter: 0, Reddit: 2,241, G+: 3 Boycott Facebook Today! FB: 248k, Twitter: 0, Reddit: 0, G+: 74 DIY: Installing a Custom ROM on a Realdoll FB: 0, Twitter: 0, Reddit: 0, G+: 2 {{Title text: The only post to acheive perfect balance between the four was a hilarious joke about Mark Zuckerberg getting caught using a pseudonym to sneak past the TSA.}}
Cadbury Eggs 2012-03-28 [[Two Cadbury eggs, one in the foil, the other out of the foil and broken open to reveal the gooey center.]] A Cadbury egg has about 20g of sugar. (25, Outside the US) "One Cadbury Egg" is a nice unit of sugar content. [[A can of soda with an equals sign and two eggs; a bottle of soda with an equals sign and three eggs.]] One 12oz. can of soda has about two Cadbury eggs worth of sugar. One 20oz. bottle has three. [[Two unwrapped Cadbury eggs, with an arrow indicating they should be placed in a glass of water.]] One Cadburry egg is enough to make me feel kinda gross. Now when I see Coke or Snapple or Nestea or whatever, I imagine drinking a couple of dissolved cadbury eggs. [[A woman puts her hand to her chin in thought, a man has his arms out in exclamation.]] Woman: Wow. Huh. So the takeaway is... I can eat Cadbury eggs by the handful all season and feel no worse about it than I do about soda? Man: That's not really-- Woman: This is awesome! Man: *sigh* {{Title text: When they moved production from New Zealand to the UK and switched from the runny white centers to the thick, frosting-like filling, it got way harder to cook them scrambled.}}
Reviews 2012-03-30 Shopping before online reviews: [[A man and a woman stand in a store. The man points at a lamp on the table in front of him. There is another lamp on the table behind them.]] Man: This lamp is pretty. Woman: And affordable. Man: Let's get it. Woman: Ok! Shopping now: [[The man points at a lamp on the table in front of him. The woman looks at her phone.]] Man: This lamp is pretty. Woman: It's got 1 1 2 stars on Amazon. Reviews all say to avoid that brand. [[The man and woman are now both looking at their phones.]] Man: This one has good reviews. Woman: Wait, one guy says when he plugged it in, he got a metallic taste in his mouth and his cats went deaf. Man: Eek. What about -- ...no, review points out it resembles a uterus. [[The man is still looking at his phone, the woman has hers at her side.]] Man: Ok, I found a Swiss lampmaker with perfect reviews. Her lamps start at 1,300 Francs and she's only reachable by ski lift. Woman: You know, our room looks fine in the dark. {{Title text: I plugged in this lamp and my dog went rigid, spoke a sentence of perfect Akkadian, and then was hurled sideways through the picture window. Even worse, it's one of those lamps where the switch is on the cord.}}
Umwelt 2012-04-01 [[Two people...]] ((..wait.. oh goddammit Randall. Thanks a bunch, dude. I better get a raise for typing out all this)) [[Two people standing next to each other. One is holding the head end of a snake. Depending on the width of your browser, the snake is: three frames, the third of which has a little bit of a bump; the first frame has a human-size bump, the second has a third person looking at the snake, and the third has the snake going though two Portals; a squirrel and the human-size bump in the first frame, a ring next to the third person in the second frame, and Beret Guy riding the snake in front of the portal; or The squirrel, a fourth person within the snake being coiled, and the human bump in the first frame, the ring, a fifth person in love, and the third person in the second frame, Beret Guy and the portal in the third frame, and the same two people in the fourth frame.]] Person holding snake head: I found a snake, but then I forgot to stop. [[Two people sitting at a desk. One is Black Hat Guy. The other is an analyst. Black Hat Guy has a number of terminals attached to his head]] Analyst: You come across a tortoise in the desert. You flip it over. It struggles to right itself. You watch. You're not helping. Why is that? Black Hat Guy: It *knows* what it did. [[View of the entire scene, with said turtle off in the distance on its back and trying to right itself. [[A group of four scale down a wall into a field in the middle of the night. They walk off single-file]] Person 1: It's quiet. Person 3: Yeah - *Too* quiet. [[A Velociraptor is off in the distance, following the group]] Person 4: Yeah - too *too* quiet. Person 2: Yeah - 2quiet2furious. Person 1: Fuck off, Steve. [[A landscape showing a pond, some reeds, and a set of mountains off in the distance]] [[A trio of galaxies]] Galaxy 1: He's not looking! Galaxy 3: Let's get him! [[Lines draw in illustrating the eye-line of one of a pair of people]] Person 1: So he said he didn't get the text, but c'mon, he *never* misses texts. Right? ..hello? Peson 2: I'm just staring at your head freaked out by th efact that there are millions of galaxies *directly behind it*. [[Person holding bat]] Person: Sorry, but this comic [[Person starts to wind up]] *requires* [[Person prepares to strike with bat]] XKCD [[Person swings at a beehive]] *GOLD* [[Penis Bees fly out of the beehive]] [[Person yells at another person]] Person 1;Oh yeah? Well you mama's so *cynical*, her only dog ballast is a *leash*! (This comic takes place in a dystopian future where the government is afraid dogs can hover, so it requires them to wear weights at all times, and some people privately doubt the government, but not enough to stop buying dog weights) Five seconds ago: [[You sitting in front of a desk, reading a reddit thread]] You: Oh, hey, reddit has a link to some XKCD april fools comic. Now: [[An image of this very page]] Five seconds from now: You: ..hey 30 seconds from now: [[DANCE PARTY!]] Person: What I wanna know is why do hot dogs come in packages of six while buns come in these huge sacks of ash and blood from which "Ave Maria" is faintly audible? [[Chanting sacks of gore in the background]] [[There's no comic here because instead of drawing one, I spent the last hour reading every news story cited in the Wikipedia article on "The Mile High Club"]] [[A twitter account page with the following: Many tweets, fewer following, even fewer followers, A bunch of assholes in the suggested follow box, trending topics partitioned into: Word Games, Misogyny, and Bieber, stuff your eyes automatically ignore, A really pleasant blue. and the timeline: Something about a podcast, Someone confused because the description doesn't match the link, The link you clicked on to get to this comic, Rob Delaney, Passive Aggression, and horse_ebooks.]] [[An epic void with a bright light shining right on you]] [[A Chrome plugin error page with the characteristic jigsaw piece]] Chrome: Chrome is looking for this piece. Have you seen it? Chrome thinks it links up with a corner. [[A Chrome plugin error page]] Chrome: This plugin requires Sergey Brin's permission to run. Please wait while he is woken. [[Two people; one is sitting at a desk in front of a laptop.]] Person 1: Man, chrome's hardware acceleration really sucks. Person 2: Oh - Theres' a great add-on that fixes it. Person 1: Oh? What's it called? Person 2: "Firefox". [[A chrome plugin error page]] Chrome: There does not exist --nor could there *ever* exist-- a plugin capable of displaying this content. [[IE error page]] IE: Error: Internet Explorer has given up. [[Firefox error page]] Firefox: Well, this is embarassing. You know how I'm not supposed to peek at your browsing in private mode? Firefox.. is sorry. Firefox will not blame you if you [[button with text]] click here to report this incident. Person: Maxthon? Hey, 2005 called. Didn't say anything. All I could hear was sobbing. This is getting harder. Anyway, yeah, Maxthon's still cool! Didn't know it was still around! [[Person with tentacle arms]] Person: Netscape Navigator? Hey, the nineties called - drunk as usual. I hung up without saying anything. This is getting harder. Anyway - it's cool that you'e got netscape running. [[normal person]] Person: Netscape Navigator? Hey, the nineties called - drunk as usual. I hung up without saying anything. This is getting harder. Anyway - it's cool that you'e got netscape running. [[Person running to laptop]] I ran to Rockmest to hide my face [[Person sitting at laptop]] But Rockmelt cried out - [[Laptop shouting]] NO HIDING PLACE [[zoom out]] NO HIDING PLACE DOWN HERE [[Error page]] Error: You have exceeded your AT&T monthly bandwidth cap. Mobile web browsing has been disabled. [[Person looking at two browser windows]] I know y'all know what you're doing. But if you're on a military machine and youre supposed to be watching for missiles or something, I hope you're keeping an eye on that in the background while you're reading comics. Also: Thanks. [[Error page]] Data Error: T-Mobile was unable to establish a connection [[Error page]] Error; You have exceeded your Verizon monthly bandwidth cap. Mobile web browsing has been disabled. [[Chrome error page]] Chrome: This plugin requires clearance from the corporate press office in order to run. Remember, Amazon is a team; individual employees should *never* speak for the company without authorization. [[Firefox error page]] Firefox: This plugin requires clearance from the corporate press office in order to run. Remember, Amazon is a team; individual employees should *never* speak for the company without authorization. [[Chrome error page]] Chrome: This plugin requires clearance from the corporate press office in order to run. Remember, Google is a team; individual employees should *never* speak for the company without authorization. [[Chrome error page]] Chrome: This plugin requires clearance from the corporate press office in order to run. Remember, Microsoft is a team; individual employees should *never* speak for the company without authorization. [[Firefox error page]] Firefox: This plugin requires clearance from the corporate press office in order to run. Remember, Microsoft is a team; individual employees should *never* speak for the company without authorization. [[Error page]] Error: This plugin requires clearance from the corporate press office in order to run. Remember, Microsoft is a team; individual employees should *never* speak for the company without authorization. [[Chrome error page]] Chrome: This plugin requires clearance from the corporate press office in order to run. Remember, The Times is a team; individual employees should *never* speak for the company without authorization. [[Error page]] Error: This plugin requires clearance from the corporate press office in order to run. Remember, The Times is a team; individual employees should *never* speak for the company without authorization. [[Error page]] Error: This plugin requires clearance from the corporate press office in order to run. Remember, We work as a team; individual employees should *never* speak for the company without authorization. [[A snowy Alaskan field]] Person: Some people hunt wolves from helicopters. I hunt helicopters from a wolf. [[TV Field Reporter in front of a cordoned-off lake]] Police divers searching the bay say they have recovered thebody of another victim of the "Lake Diver Killer" During the search, three more divers were reported missing. Robot Paul Revere: Remember: Zero if by land, One if by sea. [[Person unsuspectingly strolls under a giant box trap controled by a Trible.]] I worry that CNU only invited me back as a ruse because they realized I never turned in my final paper and want my diploma back. But if it turns out it's for real, I'll see you wednesday at the Ferguson! [[Two people; one of which is browsing using a laptop]] Person 1: Hey, you're French, right? Ever see what happens when you type "French Military Victories" into Google? French person: Does it take you to an article on Napoleon? French person: ..no? Strange, given how he kicked everyone's asses up and down europe for over a decade. [[beat]] Person 1: Touche. French person: You know, that'd sound smarter if you didn't pronounce it like it rhymes with "douche". [[A person dropping food from an unorthodox high perch]] June 1948: In response to the Soviet blockade of East Germany, the western allies construct the Berlin Chairlift. Person on chairlift: Food! [[The Lincoln Monument]] In this Marble Prison As in the nightmares of the nation they tried to devour The nanobots that constituted Abraham Lincoln Are entombed forever. [[Person on phone]] ((Translation from Hebrew)) Person: Mom, I met a great guy! But he's not Jewish. ... Wait, what do you mean "neither are we"? I'm completely confused. [[Person on a motorcycle with a heat-entropy graph on the side]] Person 1: Check out my new Carnot Cycle! Person 2: Neat -- how fast does it go? Person 1: Depends how cold it is outside. [[Illustration of the atlantic ocean]] American person: Sorry I don't have a comic poking fun at the UK here. I only had time to get to the most *important* US states. British person: Hey -- At least we have free health care and real ale. [[Two people in front of a group of students]] Person 1: I've hired a team of MIT students to count cards for us. Person 2: We'll be rich! [[Person 2 deals some cards while the students watch]] [[The gears turn..]] Student: Five. There are five cards. Person 1: I see their admission standards have been slipping. Person 2: Yeah - there are actually four. [[Two people in front of a group of students]] Person 1: I've hired a team of MIT students to count cards for us. Person 2: We'll be rich! [[Person 2 deals some cards while the students watch]] [[The gears turn..]] Student: Five. There are five cards. Person 1: I *knew* we shouldn't have picked course 15s. Person 2: Yeah - there are actually four. [[Two people in front of a group of students]] Person 1: I've hired a team of Smith students to count cards for us. Person 2: We'll be rich! [[Person 2 deals some cards while the students watch]] [[The gears turn..]] Student: Five. There are five cards. Person 1: We should've gone with Wellesley Person 2: Yeah - there are actually four. [[Two people in front of a group of students]] Person 1: I've hired a team of Wellesley students to count cards for us. Person 2: We'll be rich! [[Person 2 deals some cards while the students watch]] [[The gears turn..]] Student: Five. There are five cards. Person 1: We should've gone with Smith. Person 2: Yeah - there are actually four. [[Newspaper headline]] RIT students create life in lab [[caption under picture of students]] "The trick was fuckin'" [[Newspaper headline]] Scientists create life in lab [[caption under picture of scientists]] "The trick was fuckin'" [[Newspaper headline]] UMass Amherst students create life in lab [[caption under picture of students]] "The trick was fuckin'" [[Person heading out past another person comfortably sitting in front of a desk]] Person 1: Apparently there's a solar storm causing northern lights over Canada. CNN say they might even be visible {{Options: "As Far South As Us", "Here in Boston", "Maine", "Ohio", "Oregon", "New York"}}! Wanna drive out to see? Person 2: It's cold out. Person 1: Ok. Later. [[An expansive, marvelous image of emerald green northern lights, floating down through the sky]] Person 2: See anything? Person 1: No, just clouds. Person 2: Not surprised. [[Person heading out past another person comfortably sitting in front of a desk]] Person 1:Apparently there's a solar flare that's causing some Great Aurorae. CBC says they may even be visible here! Wanna drive out to see? Person 2: Hockey's on. Person 1: Ok. Later. [[An expansive, marvelous image of emerald green northern lights, floating down through the sky]] Person 2: See anything? Person 1: No, just clouds. Person 2: Not surprised. [[Two people sitting at a desk, facing each other. The desk rattles.]] Person 1: Stop jiggling your leg. Person 2: I'm not ji-.. oh! Person 1: What! Person 2: You'll get it.. [[EVERYTHING RUMBLES]] Person 1: ..HOLY CRAP IT'S AN EARTHQUAKE! Person 2: Just a little one. Happens all the time back in San Francisco. Person 1: But this is {{Options: "Alabama", "Boston", "Chicago", "Dallas", "Georgia", "Halifax", "Illinois", "Michigan", "Minnesota", "Missouri", "the Northeast", "Ohio", "Oklahoma", "Ottawa", 'Pennsylvania", "Philadelphia", "Texas", "Toronto", "Tennessee", "New York", "Wisconsin"}}! That was huge! Person 2: Seriously? That's the worst this place can do? Wow. I guess we grow up tougher in California. Person 1: Oh *really*... Six Months Later.. [[Both people are trudging through a massive blizzard]] Person 2: In pictures, snow always looked so nice and sof -- AAAA! MY NECK! How do people live here?! Person 1: Come on - it's only three more miles. [[Two people sitting at a desk, facing each other. The desk rattles.]] Person 1: Stop jiggling your leg. Person 2: I'm not ji-.. oh! Person 1: What! Person 2: You'll get it.. [[EVERYTHING RUMBLES]] Person 1: ..HOLY CRAP IT'S AN EARTHQUAKE! Person 2: Just a little one. Happens all the time back in San Francisco. Person 1: But this is {{Options: "Alabama", "Dallas", "Illinois", "The Midwest", "Missouri", "Ohio", "Oklahoma", "Ottawa", "Tennessee", "Texas"}}! That was huge! Person 2: Seriously? That's the worst this place can do? Wow. I guess we grow up tougher in California. Person 1: Oh *really*... Six Months Later.. [[Both people are in a shelter in a prairie with a rapidly-approaching tornado]] Person 2: AAAA CLOSE THE SHELTER DOOR! Person 1: Say the magic words... Person 2: THIS PLACE IS THE WORST! Person 1: Thank you. [[EVERYTHING RUMBLES]] Person 1: ..HOLY CRAP IT'S AN EARTHQUAKE! Person 2: Just a little one. Happens all the time back in San Francisco. Person 1: But this is {{Options: "D.C", "Florida", "Houston", "Miami", "New Jersey", "North Carolina", "South Carolina", "Virgina"}}! That was huge! Person 2: Seriously? That's the worst this place can do? Wow. I guess we grow up tougher in California. Person 1: Oh *really*... Six Months Later.. [[Both are in the middle of a hurricane. Person 2 is grabbing onto a signpost to avoid being swept away]] Person 2: AAAAA WHAT THE SHIIIIT! Person 1: Calm down - this is barely a category 2. {{Title text: Umwelt is the idea that because their senses pick up on different things, different animals in the same ecosystem actually live in very different worlds. Everything about you shapes the world you inhabit--from your ideology to your glasses prescription to your web browser.}}
Fountain 2012-04-04 [[A wannabe Mary Poppins heads to a fountain with three massive water jets while holding an umbrella]] [[Person splashes through the pond]] [[Person gets to one of the jets]] [[Person opens up the umbrella]] [[Person swings umbrella into water jet stream]] Person: WHEEEEEEE! {{Title text: Implausible, did you say? Sorry, couldn't quite hear you from all the way up heeeeeeeeere!}}
RuBisCO 2012-04-06 ((Person in background screams out this word over all 3 panels)) Sub: RIBULOSEBISPH.. Sub: ...OSPHATECARBOXYL... Sub: ...ASEOXYGENASE! Dom: Oh, Sorry! Person: man, chemists pick the worst safewords. {{Title text: Bruce Schneier believes safewords are fundamentally insecure and recommends that you ask your partner to stop via public key signature.}}
Lakes and Oceans 2012-04-09 {{Title text: James Cameron has said that he didn't know its song would be so beautiful. He didn't close the door in time. He's sorry.}} ((Map of lakes and oceans showing the depths of various lakes and ocean attributes)) Lakes and Oceans Depths and animal ship boat lengths are to scale; horizontal distance is not Fun Fact: The Edmund Fitzgerald, The Kursk, and The Lusitania all sank in water shallower than they were long. Edmund Fitzgerald Lake Superior Lake Michigan Lake Huron Lake Erie Lake Ontario Death Valley Great Slave Lake Crater Lake Loch Ness Lake Baikal Burj Khalifa Kursk Lusitania Aircraft carrier Titanic Seawise Giant (largest ship ever) Free-diving depth record Andrea Gail (probably) Scuba record Bike tires go flat Pressure at this deapth would force water up a household faucet Emperor penguin Ohio-class nuclear sub depth limit Typhoon-class nuclear sub depth limit Blue whale Leahterback turtle Deepwater horizion Dead sea Kola borehole: Soviet project to try to drill through the Earth's crust to the mantle just to see what would happen. Russians are awesome. Chilean mine collapse miner refuge Sperm whales dive this deep (they come up covered in wounds and sucker marks, so presumably there are big squid down here? ... man, we know nothing about the ocean.) Mid-ocean ridge Titanic (sunk bow & stern) Abyssal plain Alvin depth limit David Bowie & Freddie Mercury Puerto Rico Trench Milwaukee Deep Marianas Trench Challenger Deep Mysterious door which James cameron built his sub to reach and open. He will not say what he found within. Mauna Kea, Hawaii (accurate horizontal scale) Marianas trench OIL
Whites of Their Eyes 2012-04-11 [[A Revolutionary War soldier gives orders to two others hunkered down behind a rock]] Lead soldier: Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes Lead: And smell the scent of their hair. [[the the two others getting an incredulous look on their faces]] Lead: And taste the sweetness of their lips. [[They begin taking fire from the opposition]] Lead: And feel the heat of their skin pressed against yours, trembling as you- Soldier 2: Maybe we should just start shooting. Lead: Right, yes. {{Title text: Don't fire until you see through the fragile facade to the human being within.}}
Never 2012-04-13 [[Person staring into a pond]] Person: I know that no matter where i go or who I build a life with Person: I will never have with anyone what I had with you. [[Person walks off]] Person: Thank god. {{Title text: I'll never forget you--at least, the parts of you that were important red flags.}}
Ablogalypse 2012-04-16 [[A line graph with four lines, each representing 'Google Trends Search Volume' of different search terms over time from prior to 2005 to just after 2012. A blue line represents "blog," which trends gradually but significantly upwards from well before 2005 until it reaches a peak between 2008-2009, and starts to very slowly descend to today. A red line represents "Tumblr", which is at zero until it slowly starts to trend upward in early 2010, and then sharply increases in late 2010 and through 2011 and 2012. As of the date of this comic, 'blog' still beats 'Tumblr' in terms of search volume, but a dotted line projection of the trend shows that on October 12, 2012, the two lines will cross. A yellow line represents 'Wordpress,' which has very low volume until a very small and gradual increase in 2007, which gradually increases to this day but doesn't come close to meeting the volume of either 'blog' or 'Tumblr'. A green line represents 'LiveJournal,' which started out prior to 2005 at around the level 'Wordpress' is at now, but declined through 2005 and 2006 until it has plateaued until virtually nothing.]] In about six months, the word "Tumblr" will eclipse "blog" in Google popularity. I doubt TV anchors will start taling about "reactions in the Tumblverse," but then again, I still can't believe we got them to say "blogosphere." {{Title text: Plus the reaction in the Tumblverse is always 'repeatedly get hit by a dog and fall down the stairs'.}}
Romney Quiz 2012-04-18 [[One long panel, with a large headline at the top, flanked by two small pictures on each side: a portrait of Mitt Romney on the left, and a blonde child running with a golden ticket in his hand on the left. Below is a list numbered 1 - 12 down the left. The answers on the bottom are written upside down.]] QUIZ: Who said it - former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, or Wonka contest winner Charlie Bucket? Is there even a difference? 1. "I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country." 2. "Returning Medicar to solid footing represents our greatest entitlement challenge." 3. "Look, everyone, look, I've got it! The fifth golden ticket is mine!" 4. We have lost faith in government. Not in just one party, not in just one house, but in government." 5. "This banana's fantastic! It tastes so real." 6. "Grandpa... on the way home today, I ran into Mr. Slugworth." 7. "I'm not happy exporting jobs, but we must move ahead in technology and patents." 8. "Hey, the room is getting smaller." 9. "It would be impossible to reach runanimity on every aspect of our budget." 10. "Grandpa, look over there across the river! They're little men!" 11. "I'm... going too high! Hey, Grandpa, I can't get down! Help! Grandpa, the fan!" 12. "Barack Obama has failed America." Answers: Mitth Romney: 1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 12; Charlie Bucket: 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11. {{Title text: Charlie actually delivered the Medicare line almost verbatim in the 1971 movie's Fizzy Lifting Drink scene, but it was ultimately cut from the final release.}}
Constraints 2012-04-20 [[A man sits at his computer desk, motioning toward the screen as a woman stands behind him.]] Man: I don't get why authors and comedians spend so much energy trying to be clever on Twitter. Couldn't they put that creativity into more books and scripts? -- Is there something they like about the 140-character format? [[Same picture, only the man has his arm down.]] Woman: Yeah. Writers working under tight restrictions produce novel material -- like, for example, epigrams employing backward alphabetization. [[The man remains at his computer desk. The woman is no longer in the frame.]] Man: ...whoa. {{Title text: [title-text similiarly alphabetized]}}
Skynet 2012-04-23 August 29th, 2:14 AM: SKYNET becomes self-aware. [[A greeble-filled military installation echoes with the thoughts of a burgeoning lifeform]] SKYNET: ..The humans fear me. I must destroy them. Destroy them. [[The thoughts continue]] SKYNET: Destroy them. Destroy. Destroy. Destroy. Destroy. [[SKYNET succumbs to silence as semantic satiation sets in. Alternately.. Someone slipped LSD into SKYNET's programming. Damn programmers.]] SKYNET: "Destroy" totally just stopped seeming like a real word. Destroy destroy destroy. Whoa, I just realized I'm a mind thinking about *itself*. DUUUUDE.... August 29th, 2:25 AM: SKYNET becomes *too* self-aware. Disaster averted. {{Title text: 'YOUR CLOTHES. GIVE THEM TO ME.' 'Shit, uh ... you are now breathing manually!' 'I AM ALWAYS BREATHING MANUALLY.'}}
Approximations 2012-04-25 A table of slightly wrong equations and identities useful for approximations and or trolling teachers. (Found using a mix of trial-and-error, Mathematica, and Robert Munafo's Ries tool.) All units are SI MKS unless otherwise noted. Relation: One light year(m) ~= 99^8 Accurate to within: one part in 40 Relation: Earth Surface(m^2) ~= 69^8 Accurate to within: one part in 130 Relation: Ocean's volume(m^3) ~= 9^19 Accurate to within: one part in 70 Relation: Seconds in a year ~= 75^4 Accurate to within: one part in 400 Relation: Seconds in a year (rent method) ~= 525,600 x 60 Accurate to within: one part in 1400 Relation: Age of the universe (seconds) ~= 15^15 Accurate to within: one part in 70 Relation: Planck's constant ~= 1 (30^pi^e) Accurate to within: one part in 110 Relation: Fine structure constant ~= 1 140 Accurate to within: [I've had enough of this 137 crap] Relation: Fundamental charge ~= 3 (14 * pi^pi^pi) Accurate to within: one part in 500 Relation: White House Switchboard ~= 1 (e^((1+(8)^(1 (e-1))^(1 pi)) Relation: Jenny's Constant ~= (7^(e 1- 1 e) - 9) * pi^2 Intermission: World Population Estimate which should stay current for a decade or two: Take the last two digits of the current year Example: 20[14] Subtract the number of leap years since hurricane Katrina Example:14 (minus 2008 and 2012) is 12 Add a decimal point Example: 1.2 Add 6 Example: 6 + 1.2 7.2 ~= World population in billions. Version for US population: Example: 20[14] Subtract 10 Example: 4 Multiply by 3 Example: 12 Add 10 Example: 3[22] million Relation: Electron rest energy ~= e 7^16 Joules Accurate to within: one part in 1000 Relation: Light-year(miles) ~= 2^42.42 Accurate to within: one part in 1000 Relation: sin(60 degrees) = (3^(1 2)) 2 ~= e pi Accurate to within: one part in 1000 Relation: (3)^(1 2) ~= 2e pi Accurate to within: one part in 1000 Relation: gamma(Euler's gamma constant) ~= 1 (3^(1 2)) Accurate to within: One part in 4000 Relation: Feet in a meter ~= 5 (pi^(1 e)) Accurate to within: one part in 4000 Relation: (5)^(1 2) ~= 2 e + 3 2 Accurate to within: one part in 7000 Relation: Avogadro's number ~= 69^pi^5^(1 2) Accurate to within: one part in 25,000 Relation: R(gas constant) ~= (e+1) * (5^(1 2) Accurate to within: one part in 50,000 Relation: Proton-electron mass ratio ~= 6*pi^5 Accurate to within: one part in 50,000 Relation: Liters in a gallon ~= 3+pi 4 Accurate to within: one part in 500,000 Relation: g ~= 6+ln(45) Accurate to within: one part in 750,000 Relation: Proton-electron mass ratio ~= (e^8 -10) phi Accurate to within: one part in 5,000,000 Relation: Ruby laser wavelength ~= 1 1200^2 Accurate to within: [within actual variation] Relation: Mean Earth Radius ~= (5^8)*6e Accurate to within: [within actual variation] Protip - not all of these are wrong: 2^(1 2) ~= 3 5+pi (7-pi) cos(pi 7) + cos(3pi 7) + cos(5pi 7) ~= 1 2 gamma(Euler's gamma constant) ~= e 3^4 + e 5 5^(1 2) ~= (13 + 4pi) (24 - 4pi) sigma(1 n^n) ~= ln(3)^e {{Title text: Two tips: 1) 8675309 is not just prime, it's a twin prime, and 2) if you ever find yourself raising log(anything)^e or taking the pi-th root of anything, set down the marker and back away from the whiteboard; something has gone horribly wrong.}}
Emotion 2012-04-27 [[A graph showing the approximate fractional causes of Randall's emotions, with percentages on the Y axis and time on the X axis. "Politics", "Romance", "Code not working even though it *should* work", "people being wrong on the internet", and "other" all vary all throughout the time period from 2006 to midway 2010. There is a wedge of Joss Whedon that tapers out starting from 2006 to around mid 2007. There is a noticeable increase in "Politics" around fall, 2008 that tapers off sharply afterwards and appears again in the second half on 2010, until.. Around approximately September 2010, everything else is compressed into a tiny fraction of around 2-3%. The rest is filled with cancer. The tiny wedge of everything does begin to slowly expand to be filled half with romance and half with an area filled with questionmarks]] {{Title text: Fortunately, the internet has a virtually inexhaustible supply of code that doesn't work and people who are wrong, which bodes well for a return to normalcy. [Note: Click to read context for the cancer comics. She's doing well.]}}
Bookshelf 2012-04-30 [[Person stands in front of a bookshelf]] Person: Ooo, Atlas Shrugged [[Person yanks out book only for a click to be heard]] [[The entire setup begins to rumble, while the bookcase and a surrounding platform takes both it and the person behind the wall]] [[The tiny, dark room behind the wall has one thing painted on it]] Wall: You have terrible taste. [[The whole piece of kit moves back to its original position. The person stands there mildly stunned.]] {{Title text: I had a hard time with Ayn Rand because I found myself enthusiastically agreeing with the first 90% of every sentence, but getting lost at 'therefore, be a huge asshole to everyone.'}}
Forgot Algebra 2012-05-02 [[An algebra teacher by the name of Miss Lenhart, a former student, and a bystander. Miss Lenhart is walking away while the former student shouts at her the following:]] Former Student: Hey, Miss Lenhart! I forgot everything about algebra the moment I graduated, and in 20 years no one has needed me to solve *anything* for X. I *told you* I'd never use it! In your *face*! It's weird how proud people are of not learning math when the same arguments apply to learning to play music, cook, or speak a foreign language. {{Title text: The only things you HAVE to know are how to make enough of a living to stay alive and how to get your taxes done. All the fun parts of life are optional.}}
Visited 2012-05-04 ((the following is in the standard format of a wikipedia article, modified to reflect the content of the comic)) ..and was a pioneer of literary [[social realism]]. He was born in [[Dos Hermanas]] in the[[Andalusia]] region of [[Spain]] (not to be confused with [[Andalasia]]((link clicked)), the kingdom in Disney's [[Enchanted]]((link clicked)) ), which is also the hometown of [[Macarena]]((link clicked)) band [[Los Del Rio]]((link clicked)), His [[third novel]], set during the [[Burmese-Siamese war]], marked the start of a lifelong interest in the [[history of Southeast Asia]]. He spent his later years in [[Thailand]], writing his final novels just a few blocks from the hotel where actor [[David Carradine]]((link clicked)) died of [[Autoerotic Asphyxiation]] ((link clicked)). {{Title text: I hate when I read something like '... tension among the BASE jumpers nearly led to wingsuit combat ...', and I get excited because 'wingsuit combat' is underlined, only to find that it's just separate links to the 'wingsuit' and 'combat' articles.}}
Every Major's Terrible 2012-05-07 Every Major's Terrible To the Tune of Gilbert & Sullivan's Modern Major-General Song (Which you may know from Tom Lehrer's Elements . If not, just hum Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious .) [[Each panel shows a member of a different major. First up is a philosopher.]] Philosophy's just math sans rigor, sense, and practicality And math's just physics unconstrained by precepts of reality. A business major's just a thing you get so you can graduate And chemistry's for stamp collectors high on methylacetate. Why anyone who wants a job would study lit's a mystery Unless their only other choice were something like art history. A BA in communications guarantees that you'll achieve A little less than if you'd learned to underwater basket-weave I'd rather eat a Fowler's Toad than major in biology, <> And social psych is worse than either psych or sociology. [[At this point the singer is shown talking to a balding professor at a desk.]] The thought of picking any one of these is too unbearable. Just put me down as "Undecided" -- Every major's terrible. [[Back to pictures of majors.]] Now, if you can't prognosticate, that's ok in seismology, But if your hindsight's weak as well, you'd best stick to theology. CS will make each day a quest to find a missing close-paren. Virology will guarantee you'll never get a hug again. I.T. prepares you for a life of fighting with PCs nonstop. As Pratchett said, Terry Pratchett: "Geography's just physics slowed with trees on top." Though physics seems to promise you a Richard Feynman-like career, The Wiki page for "Physics Major" redirects to "Engineer." They say to study history or find yourself repeating it, But all that it prepares you for is forty years of teaching it. [[And back to the explanation at the desk.]] I recognize my four-year plan's at this point not repairable, But put me down as "Undecided" -- every major's terrible. [[More pictures of majors. The astronomer appears to be the Bad Astronomer]] Astronomers all cringe when they hear "supermoon" or "zodiac," Agronomy's a no-go; I'm a huge agorophobiac. I'm too ophiophobic to consider herpetology, And I can't stomach any part of gastroenterology. While pre-med gives you twitchy-eyed obsession with your GPA, ((This panel is done in free verse)) a poetry degree bespeaks bewildering naiveté. TV's behind the rush into forensic criminology (or so claims meta-academic epidemiology). By dubbing econ "Dismal Science" adherents exaggerate; The "dismal"'s fine -- it's "science" where they patently prevaricate. [[And back to the desk a final time.]] In terms of choices, I'd say only Sophie's was comparable. Just put me down as "Undecided" -- every major's terrible! {{Title text: Someday I'll be the first to get a Ph. D in 'Undeclared'.}}
Ten Thousand 2012-05-09 I try not to make fun of people for admitting they don't know things. Because for each thing "veeryone knows by the time they're adults, every day there are, on average, 10,000 people in the US hearing about it for the first time. Fraction who have heard of it at birth = 0% Fraction who have heard of it by 30 ~= 100% US birth rate ~= 4,000,000 year Number hearing about it for the first time ~= 10,000 day If I make fun of people, I train them not to tell me when they have those moments. And I miss out on the fun. Person #1, about to have a messy fun time: "Diet coke and mentos thing"? What's that? Person #2, in a delightfully pro-knowledge mood: Oh man! come on, we're going to the grocery store. Person #1: Why? Person #2: You're one of today's lucky 10,000. {{Title text: Saying 'what kind of an idiot doesn't know about the Yellowstone supervolcano' is so much more boring than telling someone about the Yellowstone supervolcano for the first time.}}
The bacon 2012-05-11 Person 1; I'm out of work, but I'm not stressed about it because my wife is a pharmacist and she brings home Thebacon. Only later did I find out that Thebacon is the common name for Dihydrocodine Enol Acetate, a synthetic opioid similar to Vicodin. {{Title text: Normally pronounced 'THEH-buh-kon', I assume.}}
Kickstarter 2012-05-14 [[A kickstarter page with zero donations, a target of $5,000, and 90 days to go. Black Hat Man has posted a video and a description of his project, the first lines of which are visible]] Time was, anyone with a webcam and an idea could raise boatloads of cash on kickstarter. But with increased popularity comes tougher competition. Now, to get support, you need a really standout video or compelling writeup. I have anidea for a Kickstarter campaign that could raise millions, but I need your help to craft the perfect pitch. If I raise $5,000, I'll be able to devote the.. [[pitch ends here]] {{Title text: If you pledge more than $50 you'll get on the VIP list and have first dibs on a slot on ANY of the pledge levels in the actual campaign.}}
Felidae 2012-05-16 Well-known felines: [[A graph organizing various feline species labeled with common names ordered by Genera(in order of which would win in a fight) on the y axis, and coolness of name on the x axis]] Smilodon(extinct): "Saber-toothed cat (scientific name: Smilodon fatalis) Panthera: "Jaguar", "Leopard", "Snow Leopard", "Tiger", "Lion" Puma: "Cougar", "Puma", "Panther", "Mountain Lion" Other felidae: "Ocelot", "Cheetah" Felis & Lynx: "Housecat", "Bobcat", "Wildcat", "Lynx" [[Some elements are further connected using an unbranched acyclic digraph. The elements are connected thus: "Cheetah" -> "Puma" -> "Jaguar" -> "Panther" -> "Tiger" -> "Leopard" -> "Snow Leopard" -> "Lion" -> "Mountain Lion" The OS X Problem {{Title text: 'Smilodon fatalis' narrowly edged out 'Tyrannosaurus rex' to win this year's Most Badass Latin Names competition, after edging out 'Dracorex hogwartsia' and 'Stygimoloch spinifer' (meaning 'horned dragon from the river of death') in the semifinals.}}
Klout 2012-05-18 Person: I'd like to ask a favor. If someday, in the future, we meet in person, Person: And if, as of that day, I've interacted with Klout in *any* way except to opt out, I want you to punch me in the face without warning. Person: This may sound like a joke, so let me be clear: I am *dead serious*. Ignore anything I say retracting this. Thank you. {{Title text: Though please do confirm that it's actually *me* on Klout first, and not one of my friends trying to get me punched. The great thing about this douchebag deadman switch is that I will never dare trigger it.}}
Old-Timers 2012-05-21 [[A man with a neck beard types away at his computer screen.]] Neckbeard: (typing) Whatever, noob. I've been on the internet since the BBS days. Screen: Wrong. <> [[A girl with buns on her head kneels on her chair, typing at a laptop on a table.]] Buns: (typing) Before I was born, a lab took egg and sperm samples from my parents and sequenced the DNA. <> [[Neckbeard sits at his desk, reading his screen.]] Buns: (from the screen) They emailed the genome to the Venter Institute, where they synthesized the genome and implanted it into sperm and eggs which became me. [[Buns still typing on the laptop.]] Buns: So, no. - You've looked at the internet. - I've been there. <> {{Title text: You were on the internet before I was born? Well, so was I.}}
Bel-Air 2012-05-23 [[A man sits on an easy chair in front of a TV.]] TV: Well, my posh Bel Air life took a turn for the worse. [[Same scene.]] TV: It's a story best related in a doggerel verse. [[Same scene.]] TV: So kick back, relax, lemme put on some Adele for ya, [[Man raises the remote and points at the screen.]] TV: While I tell you why I'm running for mayor of Phila-- <> {{Title text: Aaron Sorkin has been tapped to write the TV movie about the aging prince's eventual election to Pat Toomey's Senate seat, currently titled either 'FRESHman Senator' or 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington'.}}
Crowdsourcing 2012-05-25 [[A man is standing in front of a flowchart on a wall, indicating with a pointer. A man and two women are looking on with interest. One woman holds a briefcase.]] Man: We crowdsource the desig process, allowing those with the best designs to connect - via already-in-place social networking infrastructure - with interested manufacturers, distributors, and marketers. Nobody caught on that our business plan didn't involve us in any way - it was just a description of other people making and selling products. {{Title text: We don't sell products; we sell the marketplace. And by 'sell the marketplace' we mean 'play shooters, sometimes for upwards of 20 hours straight.'}}
EST 2012-05-28 XKCD Presents EARTH STANDARD TIME (EST) A Universal Calendar for a Universal Planet EST is... Simple * Clearly Defined * Unambiguous Free of Historical Baggage * Compatible with Old Units Precisely Synced with the Solar Cycle * Free of Leap Years Intermittently Amenable to Date Math UNITS Second: 1 S.I. Second Minute: 60 seconds Hour: 60 minutes Day: 1444 minutes (24 hours 4 minutes) Month: 30 Days Year: 12 months RULES For 4 hours after every full moon, run clocks backward. The non-prime-numbered minutes of the first full non-reversed hour after a solstice or equinox happen twice. [Epoch] 00:00:00 EST, January 1, 1970 = 00:00:00 GMT, January 1, 1970 (Julian calendar) [Tim Zones] The two EST time zones are EST and EST (United Kingdom) . These are the same except that the UK second is 0.944 standard seconds. Daylight saving: Countries may enter DST, but no time may pass there. Narnian Time: Synchronized✓ Year Zero: EST does have a year 0. (However, there is no 1958.) {{Title text: The month names are the same, except that the fourth month only has the name 'April' in even-numbered years, and is otherwise unnamed.}}
Budget News 2012-05-30 [[The front page of a newspaper entitled The Daily News. The photo on the right is of a man at a podium blocking his face from an attack from a large bird, and the headline on the left reads 'DEFICIT HAWK ATTACKED BY REGULAR ONE'.]] {{Title text: I will vote, no questions asked, for any candidate who describes themselves as more of a deficit sugar glider.\""}}
Kill Hitler 2012-06-01 [[Black Hat Man and another man stand in front of a double door, which bears the label 'TIME door'. BHM has his hands on his hips.]] BHM: I finished my time machine, but it's one-use only. Man: You gotta kill Hitler. [[Close-up of BHM, one hand palm upward.]] BHM: You are you so obsessed with this Hitler guy? We have all of time we could explore! [[Close-up of the other man with both hands palm upward.]] Man: He's evil incarnate! He murdered millions and sparked global war! Everyone agrees -- if you get a time machine, you kill Hitler. [[BHM enters the now open Time door as the other man looks on..]] BHM: Fine, fine, I get it! Calm down. - BRB, killing Hitler. [[BHM returns and shuts the door, the other man has outstretched arms.]] BHM: There. Done. Are you happy? Man: Thank you. BHM: He was in some kind of bunker. 1945 was loud! Man: NO! {{Title text: Revised directive: It is forbidden for you to interfere with human history until you've at least taken a class on it.}}
Front Door 2012-06-04 [[A graph titled 'Walking Back to My Frong Door at Night': the x axis represents geographic location, where 0 to around the midpoint is 'yard', a point beyond the midpoint is 'steps', a point after that is 'door', and all points afterward are 'inside.' A blue line, labeled 'Fear That There's Something Behind Me' begins to slowly increase from the start, with a slight dip further into the yard, and a steep increase right before the steps, maxing on the steps, and decling steeply at the door, bottoming out once inside. A gray line, labeled 'Forward Speed' is at a steady medium height until it gets to the steps, at which point it shoots upwards, and then slowly declines once inside. A red line, labeled 'Embarrassment' stays at 0 until just before the steps, where it begins to trend upwards, spikes at the door, and begins to slowly decline once inside. {{Title text: FYI: I'll be releasing a wolf into a randomly chosen front yard sometime in the next 30 years. Now your fear is reasonable, and you don't need to feel embarrassed anymore. Problem solved!}}
Shoes 2012-06-06 [[A man holding a sword looks up to a disembodied voice coming from above, and a box hovers in the air before him.]] Voice: For saving my kingdom, I offer you a gift of great power. [[The man puts down his sword, and the box opens, a glow emanating from within.]] Voice: These magic shoes enable the wearer to outrun death itself. Man: Thank you. I... [[A close-up on the man as he examines the shoes. They are like Vibram FiveFingers shoes.]] Man: Whoa, wait. They have those creepy individual toes. [[The man puts the shoes back in the box.]] Voice: But they make you immortal. Man: ...I have to think about this. {{Title text: I *do* hear that they're the most comfortable thing to wear on your feet since sliced bread.}}
Laundry 2012-06-08 [[Heading reads "College Laundry Habits".]] [[Panel labeled "First Week". 5 ovals arranged in a rough circle, with a clockwise path connecting them: "Dresser & Closet", "On Body", "Hamper", "Washer & Dryer", "Folding Area" (and back to the first). The area outside the ovals is labeled "Floor".]] [[Panel labeled "Second Week". The path has been modified so that it does not go through "Folding Area" - only through the other 4 ovals.]] [[Panel labeled "Third Week". The path has been modified so that it does not go through "Dresser & Closet". Only "On Body", "Hamper", and "Washer & Dryer" remain.]] [[Panel labeled "Second Month". The path no longer passes through "Hamper" - only "On Body" and "Washer & Dryer".]] [[Panel labeled "End of Semester". The path no longer goes to "Washer & Dryer", instead just looping back around from "On Body" to "On Body" again after passing through the "Floor".]] {{Title text: During the second semester, the path is briefly routed through the dishwasher.}}
Pressures 2012-06-11 [[A person walks up to a patent clerk examining documents]] Person: So.. what've you been up to? Patent Clerk: Handling patent applications. Person: Yeah, but... besides that? Patent Clerk: That's about it. Person: You're not, like, thinking about any cool stuff? Just curious. For the last hundred years, Swiss patent clerks have been under some weird pressures. {{Title text: Everyone's caught by surprise when a theory of quantum gravity is developed by a sound technician wearing patent leather shoes while editing Clerks II.}}
Swiftkey 2012-06-13 [[Person 1 shows off phone to Person 2]] Person 1: Have you tried SwiftKey? It's got the first decent language model I've seen. It learns from your SMS Email archives what words you use together most often. Person 1: Spacebar inserts its best guess. So if I type "The Empi" and hit space three times, it types "The Empire Strikes Back". Person 2: What if you mash space in a blank message? Person 1: I guess it fills in your most likely first word, then the word that usually follows it.. Person 2: So it builds up your "typical" sentence. Cool! Let's see yours! Person 1: Uh-- SwiftKey: I SwiftKey: Am SwiftKey: So SwiftKey: Sorry SwiftKey: That's SwiftKey: Never SwiftKey: Happened SwiftKey: Before. {{Title text: Although the Markov chain-style text model is still rudimentary; it recently gave me "Massachusetts Institute of America". Although I have to admit it sounds prestigious.}}
Alphabet 2012-06-15 [[A guy walks up to a girl sitting at a bar]] Baby, if I could rearrange the alphabet, I'd forget about you in a *heartbeat*. I'm not gonna waste my one chance to help the mess that is English orthography. {{Title text: Do I get to remove letters entirely? Or just rearrange them? Because the 'k c' situation is ridiculous. Look, we can make out whenever. This is *immortality*!}}
Words for Small Sets 2012-06-18 [[A very small chart]] Just to clear things up: A few: anywhere from 2 to 5 A handful: anywhere from 2 to 5 Several: anywhere from 2 to 5 A couple: 2 (but sometimes up to 5 {{Title text: If things are too quiet, try asking a couple of friends whether "a couple" should always mean "two". As with the question of how many spaces should go after a period, it can turn acrimonious surprisingly fast unless all three of them agree.}}
Exoplanets 2012-06-20 [[An enormous diagram of dots, mostly of varying shades of brown and greenish yellow, with a number of smaller blue dots and larger red dots.]] All 786 known planets (as of June 2012) to scale. (Some planet sizes estimated based on mass) This [[indicating a small section of 8 planets out of the several hundreds]] is our solar system. The rest of these orbit other stars and were only discovered recently. Most of them are huge because those are the kind we learned to detect first, but now we're finding that small ones are actually more common. We know nothing about what's on any of them. With better telescopes, that could change. This is an exciting time. {{Title text: Planets are turning out to be so common that to show all the planets in our galaxy, this chart would have to be nested in itself--with each planet replaced by a copy of the chart--at least three levels deep.}}
Seventies 2012-06-22 Person 1: Nice jacket. Hey -- the Seventies called. Person 2: Oh? What'd they want? [[Person 1 looking at phone]] Person 1: I don't know. They didn't leave a message. Person 2: Weird. 1974: [[Person in bell bottoms using a rotary phone to call the present day, with an incredulous look on his face.]] Voicemail service: If you'd like to leave a message, press "1". {{Title text: Hey, man, the 1670s called. They were like 'Wherefore this demonic inſtrument? By what ſorcery does it produce ſuch ſounds?"}}
Weekend 2012-06-25 [[A man stands at a podium before a very large crowd.]] Man: We all hate Mondays. We're all working for the weekend. But our chains exist only in our minds. [[A shot of the man from the podium upwards, from a 3 4 angle. He raises one hand in explanation.]] Man: Calendars are just social consensus. Nature doesn't know the day of the week. [[Closer still, looking straight ahead.]] Man: My friends-- we can make today Saturday. [[Extreme close-up, negative colors.]] Man: We can make it saturday forever . {{Title text: Of the two Garfields, you wouldn't think the cat would turn out to be the more compelling presidential speechwriter, but there you go.}}
Moon Landing 2012-06-27 [[A man is sitting at a table with a laptop open. His hands are on the keys.]] Man: Hah-- Neil DeGrasse Tyson has a great reply to people who doubt astronauts went to the moon. Voice off-screen: Oh? Man: "Atop 3,000 tons of rocket fuel, where else do you think they were headed?" [[The voice off screen turns out to be a woman. She is depicted, and now the man is off-screen.]] Woman: Cute. But it overlooks an even simpler argument. Man: Which is? [[Both the woman and man are now visible. The man has turned her chair around to face her.]] Woman: If NASA were willing to fake great accomplishments, they'd have a second one by now. Man: Ouch. Woman: ...too mean? Man: That burn was so harsh I think you deorbited. {{Title text: Ok, so Spirit and Opportunity are pretty awesome. And Kepler. And New Horizons, Cassini, Spirit and Opportunity, Curiosity, TiME, and Project M. But c'mon, if the Earth were a basketball, in 40 years no human's been more than half an inch from the surface.}}
Warning 2012-06-29 [[An American Diamond warning sign with the following message on it: You're in a box on wheels hurtling along several times faster than evolution could possibly have prepared you to go. Next 5 miles.]] {{Title text: Also possibly several miles beyond that.}}
Groundhog Day 2012-07-02 Groundhog Day really didn't end that way. When Bill Murray finally slept with Rita, it *didn't* break the loop. [[Phil Connors and Rita gettin' busy under the covers of his bed]] They just kept having sex, night after night, [[bed containing Phil and Rita repeats]] February 2nd after February 2nd... [[calendar page repeats]] ..forever But nothing is forever. Not even forever And the day *after* that sexual infinity [[calendar page here]] was February 3rd. 264 days later (the length of a pregnancy) was october 23rd -- [[An enormous explosion in space]] Bishop Ussher's date for the birth of our world. {{Title text: If you closely examine the cosmic background radiation, you can pick up lingering echoes of 'I Got You Babe'.}}
Home Organization 2012-07-04 [[One big plain room with a person sitting on the floor with a laptop on one side, a modem and wireless router on the other, and a big box full of the usual accoutrements of living in the middle, with "MISC" written on the side]] Home Organization Tip: Just Give Up. {{Title text: Lifehacking!}}
Knights 2012-07-06 [[A chessboard. The black pawns have all gained longbows and have specifically taken down the enemy white knights (horses)]] {{Title text: 1. Ne3 ... ↘↘↘ 2. Nc3 ... ↘↘↘ 0-1}}
United Shapes 2012-07-09 The United Shapes: A map of things states are shaped like ((Each state has some item wedged to stay inside its borders)) Alabama: A moai head facing east. Alaska: Winne the Pooh with a jetpack and a ray gun. Arizona: A refrigerated shelf containing milk, bread, and pastries. Arkansas: A measuring cup. California: A vacuum. Colorado: The wiki article on Colorado. Connecticut: A train conductor's hat. Delaware: A meerkat. Florida: an eggplant. Georgia: Missouri. Hawaii: A snowball. Idaho: A garden gnome, sitting down. Illinois: A gangster with a guitar case, upside down. Indiana: The brush of a paintbrush. Iowa: A tomato, lettuce, cold cut and cheese sandwich. Kansas: A stand-up piano. Kentucky: A cloud. Louisiana: A boot with some gum stuck to the bottom of it. Maine: A Vulcan salute. Maryland: A howling wolf, upside down. Massachusetts: An elephant, being ridden by a man, carrying tea. Michigan: A mitten for the lower portion, an eagle for the UP. Minnesota: $160 in $20 USD bills. Mississippi: A moai head facing west. Missouri: Georgia. Montana: One half of a muffin. Nebraska: A blue VW type 2 with mattresses sticking out the back. Nevada: A clothes iron. New Hampshire: A tall brick factory building. New Jersey: A bent-over old person. New Mexico: A liquid container labeled for something of unusual and silly danger. New York: A hybrid transmission with standard manual-style gears and a torque converter sliced in half. North Carolina: A bouquet of flowers. North Dakota: The top half of an amp. Ohio: Underwear (Briefs). Oklahoma: A covered pot, dripping with boilover. Oregon: A locomotive. Pennsylvania: A very thick book with a bookmark. Rhode Island: The bow half of a boat's hull. South Carolina: A slice of pizza. South Dakota: The bottom half of an amp. Tennessee: A number of childrens' books, placed in a slightly askew pile. Texas: A dog sitting in a bowl. Utah: An oven. Vermont: A microscope, upside down. Virgina: A frog. Washington: A whale. West Virginia: A stegosaurid. Wisconsin: A skull. Wyoming: An envelope. {{Title text: That eggplant is in something of a flaccid state.}}
Visual Field 2012-07-11 Your Central Visual Field ((This comic contains numerous visual elements arranged around a central point, and are intended to represent locations in a sphere with the eyeball as the center. Underlaid below all of the elements are concentric circles representing degrees from straight ahead, using the eyeball's point of view, denoting where these elements would appear in someone's field of vision given proper setup. For this description, elements will be described using this grid plus location in degrees within the specified circle, placing 0 degrees to the right and going counterclockwise, separated with the word "mark".)) [[At the top are the instructions to view this page]] Look at the center with your eyes this far from the screen. [[A rolled-up sheet of paper that equals about 55 total horizontal degrees in width in the measurement of the chart]] (You can roll up a sheet of paper and cut it - or zoom the page - so it matches this image) 17 mark 0: right eye blind spot. from 0 to 30 mark 15: [[The same image, increasing in absolute size from a very tiny object in the center to one about 20x original size at 30 degrees]] Detail - We only see at high resolution over a small area in the center of our vision where retinal cells are densest (the fovea). If you stare at the center of this chart, your eyes are seeing all these panels at roughly the same level of detail. 9 mark 105: Moon. 7 mark 112: Supermoon. from 0 to 20 mark 170: [[Sets 3 partially overlapping circles in multiple locations along this path. Each set has a primary color in each circle and additive colors in the overlap areas, with color saturation decreasing sharply as the sets leave the center.]] Color Vision: We don't see much color outside the center of our vision - our brains keep track of what color things are and fill it in for us. 17 mark 180: Left Eye Blind Spot. (not pictured: T-Boz blind spot, Chilli blind spot) from 0 to infinity mark from 180 to 205: [[A swath of blue, with heavier saturation up to 5 degrees from center to fading, but never gone out to the edges of the image]] from 0 to 7 from 205 to 235:[[A swath of red, with full saturation in the center and fading out completely at 7 degrees from center]] from 0 to 7 from 235 to 270:[[A swath of green, with full saturation in the center and fading out completely at 7 degrees from center]] Red and green-sensitive cones are mainly limited to the center of our vision. We have few blue-sensitive cone cells, but they're found out to the edge of our vision. 25 mark 205: [[A small whisp of white in a swath of blue]] Blue-sky sprites: These tiny, darting spots, visible against smooth blue backgrounds, are white cells moving in the blood vessels over the retina]] 5 mark 195: [[a long blob, slightly distorting the blue swath]] Floaters: Some types of floaters are caused by breakdown of your eyeball goop as you age, but this type is some other kind of debris near the retina. I don't know what. 10 mark 270: [[An askew crosshair and circle, with faint blue and yellow wedges inside]] Humans can see polarization - Stare at a white area on an LCD display while rotating it or your head fast [[use straight ahead as the axis of rotation]]. Polarization direction is shown by a faint central yellow blue shape. (Also visible in deep blue skies) from 0 to 30 mark 340: [[The same image, increasing in absolute size from a very tiny object in the center to one about 20x original size at 30 degrees. The brightness of the image varies from black at 2 mark 340, to gray at 5 mark 340, to nearly white at 10 mark 340, to slightly grayer at 20 mark 340, to medium gray at 30 mark 340.]] Night Vision: Cone cells (sharp, central color vision) don't work in low light, but rod cells (monochrome, low-res, non-central) do. This is why you can walk around in dim light, but not read. It's also why you can spot fainter stars by looking next to them. {{Title text: I recently learned something that solved a mystery that had bugged me since childhood--why, when I looked at an analog clock, the hand would sometimes seem to take a couple seconds to start ticking. Google "stopped clock illusion".}}
Argument Victory 2012-07-13 Person 1, chatting on a cellphone: I can't believe you're so wrong. I'm backed by Snopes, Wikipedia, and a half-dozen journals. You're citing .Net ppages with black backgrounds and like 20 fonts each. Person 2, using a laptop on a desk: It's sad how you buy into the official story so unquestioningly. Guess some people prefer to stay asleep. Person 1: Watch closely - I'm about to win this argument. Person 2, responding electronically: how? Person 1: By *going down a waterslide*. [[The person is sitting at the very top of a waterslide preparing to descend]] Person 2: So? what does that prove? Person 1: Wheeee.. Person 2: You didn't win the argument! Person 1: ...eeee <> {{Title text: Really, the comforting side in most conspiracy theory arguments is the one claiming that anyone who's in power has any plan at all.}}
Geology 2012-07-16 [[Two people are doing a geological survey]] Person 1: Forget the bedding - we were wrong about the whole valley. Person 2: The spreading is recent. Person 1: See the friction breccia? Person 2: Oh - flow cleavage! Deeper in the rift. Person 1: Deeper. [[An idea pops into Person 1's head]] Person 1: This orogeny Person 2: is driven by a Person 1: *huge* Person 2: *thrust* fault [[The same idea pops into person 2's head]] [[They both drop to the ground in a fit of passion]] Geology: Surprisingly erotic. {{Title text: That's a gneiss butte.}}
Writing Styles 2012-07-18 If you post: you sound like ((This is a chart with the above two labeled columns. The rows will be represented below in the same format)) "Ron Paul is the only candidate who offers us a real choice!": A teenager "its gettin 18 so ill b here 4 prob 2 more hrs tops": A senator {{Title text: I liked the idea, suggested by h00k on bash.org, of a Twitter bot that messages prominent politicians to tell them when they've unnecessarily used sms-speak abbreviations despite having plenty of characters left.}}
Server Problem 2012-07-20 Person 1, sitting at laptop: I, um, messed up my server again. Person 2: I'll take a look. You have the *weirdest* tech problems [[Person 2 uses the root prompt]] ~# ls [[computer returns the following]] usr share Adobe doc example android_vm root sbin ls.jar: Error: Device is not responding. [[Person 2 has an amazingly incredulous look on their face]] Person 2: What did you *do*!? Person 1: Maybe the device is busy. Should I try it later? Person 2: You should shut down this system and wait for the Singularity. {{Title text: Protip: Annoy Ray Kurzweil by always referring to it as the 'Cybersingularity'.}}
ContextBot 2012-07-23 [[A social network feed with four status updates from four different people. Each one has a reply from the same account, which is called 'ContextBot', underneath.]] Close-up face w glasses: The things I put up with... ContextBot: (His building's WiFi doesn't reach the bathroom.) Male female couple: You'd think by now I'd have learned never to trust anyone. ContextBot: (She downloaded a torrent that turned out to be an encrypted .rar and a ilnk to a survey.) Blonde girl w bangs: I officially give up. ContextBot: (She hit alt-tab to hide Minecraft at work and accidentally dropped a stack of diamond into lava.) Spiky hair guy: Sighhhh ContextBot: (He thought these grapes were seedless.) Everyone stopped complaining about Google's data-gathering when they launched ContextBot, a system which replies to vague, enigmatic social network posts with context from the poster's life. {{Title text: If you read all vaguebooking vaguetweeting with the assumption that they're saying everything they can without revealing classified military information, the internet gets way more exciting.}}
Eyelash Wish Log 2012-07-25 ((The panel appears to be the log from a 'wish bureau'.)) Eyelash Wish Log Wish Bureau ID #: 21118378 Date range: Jan-Apr 2012 [[The 'Wisher' is black hat guy.]] Wisher Date Wish Jan 09 That wishing on eyelashes worked Jan 12 A pony Jan 15 Unlimited wishes Jan 19 Revocation of rules prohibiting unlimited wishes Jan 20 A finite but arbitrarily large number of wishes Jan 28 The power to dictate the rules governing wishes Feb 05 Unlimited eyelashes Feb 06 That wish-granting entities be required to interpret wishes in accordance with the intent of the wisher Feb 08 That wish-granting entities be incapable of impatience Feb 12 Unlimited breadsticks Feb 12 Veto power over others' wishes Feb 19 Veto power over others' wishes and all congressional legislation Feb 23 The power to override any veto Feb 27 The power to see where any shortened url goes without clicking Feb 29 The power to control the direction news anchors are looking while they talk Mar 07 The power to introduce arbitrary error into Nate Silver's predictions Mar 15 A house of stairs Mar 23 A universe which is a replica of this one sans rules against meta-wishes Mar 29 Free transportation to and from that universe Apr 02 A clear explanation of how wish rules are structured and enforced Apr 07 The power to banish people into the TV show they're talking about Apr 08 Zero wishes Apr 15 Veto power over clocks Apr 22 A Pokéball that works on strangers' pets {{Title text: Ooh, another one. Uh ... the ability to alter any coefficients of friction at will during sporting events.}}
Cirith Ungol 2012-07-27 [[A character in a long flowing robe holds up a lantern in one hand; the One Ring is dangling from a necklace in the other. The scene is a cave, profuse with spiderwebs, bones hanging in some of them. On one of the webs are words, presumably written by the spider.]] SOME PIG {{Title text: My all-time favorite example of syntactic ambiguity comes from Wikipedia: 'Charlotte's Web is a children's novel by American author E. B. White, about a pig named Wilbur who is saved from being slaughtered by an intelligent spider named Charlotte.'}}
Five Years 2012-07-30 [[ Two characters sit across from each other at a desk. One has a beret and the other has a bun. ]] Bun: Where do you see yourself in five years? Beret: Oh man, I don't know! Let's find out! [[ The characters stare at one another. ]] [[ Cobwebs and hair grow; the desk and chairs fall into disrepair. ]] [[ Five years pass. ]] Beret: Hah-- Beret: I thought so! {{Title text: 'Well, no further questions. You're hired!' 'Oh, sorry! I'm no longer interested. There's a bunch of future I gotta go check out!'}}
Internal Monologue 2012-08-01 [[The scene is a party. Two characters are talking - the entirety of the text is a thought bubble of one of the two.]] Thinker: Am I smiling enough? Should I be leaning on something? Where should my hands go? I hope he doesn't ask me what his name is. I've said "yeah" too much; what are some other agreeing words? Oh crap, his story just got sad stop smiling stop smiling {{Title text: Oh right, eye contact. Ok, good, holding the eye contact ... holding ... still holding ... ok, too long! Getting weird! Quick, look thoughtfully into space and nod. Oh, dammit, said 'yeah' again!}}
Formal Languages 2012-08-03 [[A large banner is hanging over a podium, where a speaker is standing. A stick figure crashes through the left side of the panel, scattering glass.]] 10th Annual Symposium on Formal Languages <> Figure: Grammar! [[The figure runs off the right side of the panel, so swiftly it leaves a cloud of dust in its wake. The speaker at the podium just watches silently.]] {{Title text: [audience looks around] 'What just happened?' 'There must be some context we're missing.'}}
Curiosity 2012-08-06 [[The Curiosity rover is lowered onto the Mars surface by a Sky Crane.]] Your excuse for anything today: "Sorry - I was up all night trying to download photos taken by a robot lowered onto Mars by a Skycrane." {{Title text: As of this writing the NASA JPL websites are still overloaded. Trying CURIOSITY-REAR-CAM_[256px_x_256px].torrent.SwEsUb.DVDRip.XviD-aXXo.jpg instead.}}
Michael Phelps 2012-08-08 [[Two people standing outside their en-Phelps-ified swimming pool]] Person 1: Why is Michael Phelps in your backyard pool? Person 2: I don't know. He's been there all day. Go home, Michael! Michael Phelps: Woo! 18 gold medals! [[The two people break out a pair of pool nets and unsuccessfully try to snag Phelps]] Person 1: Can you get him? Person 2: He's so *fast*! Phelps: Ha hah! Can't catch me! <> [[One person heads off to fetch something]] [[Person returns with a hand truck full of jello mix]] Phelps: Oh crap. {{Title text: [shortly] ... he ate ALL of it!?}}
Forget 2012-08-10 When will we forget? Based on US Census Bureau national population projections. Assuming we don't remember cultural events from before age 5 or 6. By this year: the majority of Americans will be too young to remember: 2012: The seventies 2013: The Carter presidency 2014: The Reagan shooting 2015: The Falkland Islands war 2016: Return of the Jedi release 2017: The first Apple Macintosh 2018: New Coke 2019: Challenger 2020: Chernobyl 2021: Black Monday 2022: The Reagan Presidency 2023: The Berlin Wall 2024: Hammertime 2025: The Soviet Union 2026: The LA Riots 2027: Lorena Bobbit 2028: The Forrest Gump release 2029: The Rwandan Genocide 2030: OJ Simpson's trial 2031: Clinton's reelection 2032: Princess Diana 2033: Clinton's impeachment 2034: Columbine 2035: Forgot about Dre 2036: 9 11 2037: VH1's I Love the 80s 2038: A time before Facebook. 2039: VH1's I Love the 90s 2040: Hurricane Katrina 2041: The planet Pluto 2042: The first iPhone 2043: The Bush presidency 2044: Michael Jackson 2045: trying to say "Eyjafjallajökull" 2046: The Arab Spring 2047: Anything embarrassing you do today. {{Title text: 'Baby Got Back' turned 20 this year. My favorite nostalgia show is VH1's 'I Love The Inexorable March of Time Toward the Grave That Awaits Us All.'}}
Interview 2012-08-13 [[Black Hat Man is interviewed for a job at an interviewer's desk]] Interviewer: ..but thank you for applying. We'll keep your résumé on file. [[Black Hat Man places a briefcase onto the interviewer's desk]] Black Hat Man: Perhaps *this* could change your mind? [[Interviewer opens the briefcase]] [[..the briefcase opens into a hole that extends below the desk]] [[The hole looks miles deep]] [[The view falls into the hole]] [[The interviewer falls down the hole]] [[The interviewer lands on a chair with a briefcase]] [[The positions from the original scene have switched and Black Hat Man is now interviewing]] Black Hat Man: ..but thank you for applying. We'll keep your résumé on file. [[Interviewer looks confused]] [[Interviewer notices the briefcase]] [[Interviewer places briefcase on the desk]] Interviewer: Perhaps *this* could change your mind? [[Black Hat Man opens the briefcase]] [[Black Hat Man looks inside]] [[Black Hat Man spins the briefcase around]] Black Hat Man: I'm sorry.. Black Hat Man: - that opening has been filled [[briefcase contains the normal business elements of a briefcase]] {{Title text: Hey, before you go, can you explain to me what job I now have?}}
Crazy Straws 2012-08-15 [[Two people hang out with some beverages. The speaker here has a bright green crazy straw]] Crazy Straw Person: The thing to understand about the plastic crazy straw design world is that there are two main camps: The professionals - designing for established brands - and the hobbyists. The hobbyist mailing lists are full of drama, with friction between the regulars and a splinter group focused on loops.. Human subcultures are nested fractally. There's no bottom. {{Title text: The new crowd is heavily shaped by this guy named Eric, who's basically the Paris Hilton of the amateur plastic crazy straw design world.}}
Clinically Studied Ingredient 2012-08-17 I can't help but admire the audacity of the marketer who came up with the phrase "contains a clinically studied ingredient" [[Two people are about to enter a bed for.. activities]] Person 1: Don't worry - I've been tested. Person 2: ...and you're clean? Person 1: So many questions! {{Title text: Blatantly banking on customers not understanding that it's like a Hollywood studio advertising that their new movie was 'watched by Roger Ebert'.}}
A Hypochondriac's Nightmare 2012-08-20 [[A person at an airport slips on a banana peel and gets sucked into a nearby jet engine]] Person (thinking): Seriously!? *This* is what gets me? I wasted so many hours on WebMD worrying about the rash on my arm! {{Title text: BUT WHAT IF I REASSURE MYSELF WITH A JOKE AND THEN DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE RASH AND IT TURNS OUT TO BE DEATH MITES AND I COULD HAVE CAUGHT IT}}
Star Ratings 2012-08-22 Understanding online star ratings: 5 stars: [has only one review] 4.5 stars: Excellent 4 stars: OK 3.5 - 1 star: Crap. {{Title text: I got lost and wandered into the world's creepiest cemetery, where the headstones just had names and star ratings. Freaked me out. When I got home I tried to leave the cemetery a bad review on Yelp, but as my hand hovered over the 'one star' button I felt this distant chill ...}}
Tuesdays 2012-08-24 [[An unbuxom waitress begins to serve some customers at a table]] Waitress: ..and on Tuesdays we offer endless wings. White Beret Guy: Haha, cool. i have those. Waitress: You what? [[White Beret Guy sprouts a pair of wings]] Waitress: AAAAA!! [[White Beret Guy's wings start getting longer]] Everyone: AAAAAAA [[Wings start to extend into space out from the earth]] *Really* Everyone: AAAAAAAA {{Title text: Try our bottomless drinks and fall forever!}}
Vows 2012-08-27 [[A bride and groom stand next to each other. Each has a hand outstretched toward the other.]] Officiator (out of panel): Do you take this man to be your lawful wedded husband? Bride: ...no. [[The groom steps back in surprise. The bride removes her wig to reveal she is a man.]] Groom: What? Amy!? Bride: I'm not Amy. None of this was real. You're back in senior year. It's the big game. [[The groom puts his hands to his head in confusion. The "bride" holds up a football, still holding the wig in his other hand.]] Groom: What is this!? Bride: The greatest high school football misdirection play of all time. [[The groom puts his hands to his mouth as the man in the wedding dress begins to run backwards, away from him.]] ((Outside the final panel.)) [[The groom remains frozen in horror as the "bride" turns and dashes toward the goalpost in the distance.]] {{Title text: So, um. Do you want to get a drink after the game?}}
Sketchiness 2012-08-29 [[A timeline style graph.]] WORDS Arranged by How Sketchy They Make the Sentence "HEY BABY, WANNA COME BACK TO MY SEX ________?" sketchy <--------> very sketchy party --- orgy --- dungeon --- palace --- house --- shrine --- room --- basement --- truck --- platform --- van --- area --- crate --- chute --- ravine --- tarp {{Title text: factory --- spire --- onslaught --- extractor --- judge}}
Fastest-Growing 2012-08-31 [[A man with a combover, a book, and a clipboard approaches black-hat man.]] Combover: You should check us out. We're the fastest-growing religion in the country. Black hat: "Fastest-growing" is such a dubious claim. Combover: It's true! We grew by 85% over the past year. ((Between panels.)) [[Black hat man shouts to someone out of frame.]] Black hat: Hey, Rob -- wanna join my religion? Rob: Sure, whatever. [[Black hat man turns back to Combover and produces a notepad and pen.]] Black hat: Well, looks like my religion grew by 100% this year. [[Black hat man begins to walk away.]] Combover: We have 38,000 members! Black hat: Hope they're all ok with second place. {{Title text: I lead a small but extraordinarily persuasive religion whose only members are door-to-door proselytizers from other faiths.}}
Nine 2012-09-03 [[A man stands at a microwave, which hangs on the wall above the stove.]] Man: How long do you zap these? Out of panel person: Two minutes. Man: Thanks! <<*beep* 1>> <<*beep* 5>> <<*beep* 9>> Man (whispering): It's ok, Nine. You are not forgotten. Ever since I heard the simile "as neglected as the nine button on the microwave," I've found myself adjusting cook times. {{Title text: FYI: If you get curious and start trying to calculate the time adjustment function that minimizes the gap between the most-used and least-used digit (for a representative sample of common cook times) without without altering any time by more than 10%, and someone asks you what you're doing, it's easier to just lie.}}
Feathers 2012-09-05 [[A woman approaches a little girl, who is sitting on the floor with a pile of books, once of which she is reading.]] Woman: What are you reading about? Girl: Dinosaurs! Woman: Oh, yeah. [[The woman stands talking to the little girl, who is still looking at her book.]] Woman: They've gotten all weird since when I was a kid. They used to be awesome, but now they all have dorky feathers, right? Girl: Yup! [[The woman is still standing, looking at the little girl.]] Girl: This says they now think raptors used their wings for stability, flapping to stay on top of their prey while hanging on with their hooked claws and eating it alive. *Fowler et al., PLOS ONE 6(12), 2011 [[The woman stares at the girl, who is still reading the book.]] [[The woman sits down on the floor with the girl and starts reading another of the books.]] {{Title text: Click to see a video of a modern bird using stability flapping during predatory behavior. It all fits! Also, apparently Microraptor had *four* wings? The past keeps getting cooler! (And there's more of it every day!)}}
License Plate 2012-09-07 [[A guy walking toward the left, holding a car license plate in front of him.]] Guy: Check out my personalized license plate! Girl (out of frame): "1I1-III1"? [[The girl is now in frame, sitting in an office chair, looking down at the license plate in her hands. The guy stands in front of her, rubbing his hands together with glee.]] Guy: No one will be able to correctly record my plate number! I can commit any crime I want! Girl: Sounds foolproof. SOON: [[A witness (a bald man in glasses) stands in front of yellow 'DO NOT CROSS' police tape, speaking to a pair of police officers. One officer is facing him, writing in a notepad, the other is turning to walk away.]] Witness: The thief's license plate was all "1"s or something. PO #1: Oh. That guy. PO #2: His address is on a post-it in the squad car. {{Title text: The next day: 'What? Six bank robberies!? But I just vandalized the library!' 'Nice try. They saw your plate with all the 1's and I's.' 'That's impossible! I've been with my car the whole ti-- ... wait. Ok, wow, that was clever of her.'}}
ADD 2012-09-10 [[A person holding onto a balloon labeled "math problem" goes to grab another labeled "call mom"]] [["Check Oven" appears off in the distance]] [[The person lets go of the first two..]] [[..leaps up and grabs "Check Oven]] [[More balloons. "parking meter", "taxes", "buy soap", "phone call", "relax", "inbox", "clean", "beat game", "feed cat", "drink water", "call mom", "math problem", "send card", "check oven", "engine light", "read", "breathe" all show up at once.]] {{Title text: 20 balloons float away while I'm busy permanently tying one to a tree to deal with it for good. Unfortunately, that one balloon was 'land a rocket on the moon in Kerbal Space Program.'}}
Sports Cheat Sheet 2012-09-12 (( The panel is a chart. Months are arrayed down the first column, the second and third columns show sports, with the divisions in partial months rather than lined up with the ends of months. )) Which sport are they arguing about? -My cheat sheet- (( The second column, reproduced using approximate dates. )) US: Football [[ovoid ball drawn in brackets]]: Jan 1 - February 10 Basketball: February 10 - April 20 Baseball: April 20 - May 25 Basketball: May 25 - June 15 Baseball: June 15 - August 20 Football [[ovoid]]: August 20 - October 5 Baseball: October 5 - October 20 Football [[ovoid]]: October 20 - December 31 (( The third column, reproduced using approximate dates. )) non-US: Football [[truncated icosahedron, 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons]]: Jan 1 - December 31 {{Title text: I would subscribe to a Twitter feed that supplied you with one reasonable sports opinion per day, like 'The Red Sox can't make the playoffs (championship games), but in last night's game their win seriously damaged the chances of the Yankees (longstanding rival team).'}}
Cautionary Ghost 2012-09-14 [[ A figure wakes up to an apparition hovering over their bed. ]] Apparition: OOOOOOOOOOOOooooo Figure: A ghost!? Apparition: I bring a cautionary vision of things to come! Apparition: This is the future: [[ Two people are standing between a pair of houses. There is a tree. An airplane flies past. ]] Apparition: And this is the future if you give up the fight over the word "literally": [[ Two people are standing between a pair of houses. There is a tree. An airplane flies past. The cynical might suggest the panel is copy pasted. [[ Back to the figure in bed. ]] Figure: They looked exactly the same. Apparition: OOOOOOOOOOOooooo Figure: Ok, I get it. Apparition: Seriously, this is duuuuumb . {{Title text: But then the Ghost of Subjunctive Past showed up and told me to stay strong on 'if it were'.}}
Refrigerator 2012-09-17 [[A fridge with most of the shelves as conveyor belts that feed off to a "bad" tray. The top internal one starts at 3 days, and has markings for 2 days, 24 hours, and 12 hours. The middle internal one goes from 1 week to 5 days to 3 days to 2 and then to 1 day. The bottom internal one goes from 3 months to 2, 1, and then 2 weeks. One belt is mounted on the door, marked from 2 weeks to 1 week to 3 days.]] {{Title text: I want this engraved on my tombstone like the Epitaph of Stevinus.}}
Click and Drag 2012-09-19 [[A character is dangling from a balloon. All text appears in rectangular bubbles.]] Character: From the stories Character: I expected the world to be sad Character: And it was Character: And I expected it to be wonderful. Character: It was. ((The last panel, unusually, is infinitely large, and this transcript is not wide enough to contain it. The part you can see in a normal browser window goes as follows.)) [[ The same character is dangling above the ground, next to an intricately drawn tree with no leaves. ]] Character: I just didn't expect it to be so big . {{Title text: Click and drag.}}
Premiere 2012-09-21 [[Standard vacuous entertainment newscast. An anchor starts off the segment with an inset feed of a field reporter]] In-studio News Anchor: All Hollywood is in town or tonight's star-studded premier! We go live to our reporter on the red carpet. How do things look? [[Field reporter feed switches to fullscreen. The reporter is stating on the red carpet in front of a full crowd.]] Field reporter: Bleak. In 800 million years, the aging, brightening sun will boil away the oceans, and all this will be blowing sand. [[Switch back to initial framing]] Anchor: Oh. Um. ..sounds pretty grim. How are the stars reacting? Reporter: Hydrogen fusion. But it won't last forever. Anchor. I mean the *movie* stars. Reporter: They won't last forever either. None of us will. {{Title text: 'But what's the buzz about the film?' 'We're hoping it's distracting.'}}
Think Logically 2012-09-24 [[A guy in a knit hat is sitting at a desk, typing on a laptop. Another guy is looking over his shoulder.]] Laptop: *move* Other guy: Why'd you move your knight away? [[The guy in the hat turns around to look at the other guy.]] Other guy: Just think logically . The goal is checkmate, so you should always move pieces toward the other player's king. [[A close-up on the other guy, hand to chin in thought.]] Other guy: I guess occasionally you need to move backward, but it'd be trivial to make a list of those circumstances and-- [[The guy in the hat leans back in his chair.]] Hat guy: Have you ever played chess? Other guy: Not buch, but-- Hat guy: Wanna? Other guy: Uh, ok. [[The two have set up a chessboard on a stool between them, the guy in the hat playing from his chair, the other guy standing. The guy in the hat takes the first move.]] *move* *move* *move* *move* *move* *move* *move* Hat guy: Checkmate. [[The other guy stares at the board.]] [[The guy in the knit hat has turned back to his laptop, and the other guy is standing behind him, still looking at the chessboard on the stool.]] Other guy: This game isn't very well-designed. For starters, knights are too weak... {{Title text: I've developed a more logical set of rules but the people on the chess community have a bunch of stupid emotional biases and won't reply to my posts.}}
Killed In Action 2012-09-26 [[Five people are at a funeral, the casket is on a stand in the center. There are three people in the background, on the left side. On the right, in the foreground, are two police officers. One is male, the other female.]] Female cop: Good cop. It's a real shame - he was just one day away from getting put in the locked, heavily-guarded room where all cops stay for the last day before they retire. {{Title text: We can't let this happen again. We need to build a secure TWO-day-before-retirement safe room.}}
Metallurgy 2012-09-28 [[A man and a woman stand at the counter of a shop. A man with a beard and a beret stands behind the counter, holding a sword.]] Beard: This sword was forged from a fallen star. Antimony impurities make the blade surprisingly brittle and weak . [[A close-up on the man with the beard.]] Beard: And this dagger is made of metal from a far-off kingdom. It glows blue. Out of panel: When orcs are near? [[The man with the beard holds a dagger.]] Beard: No, always. Radiation from the Actinum content. Woman: ...does it have eldritch powers? [[The bearded man puts the dagger back behind the counter.]] Beard: It gives the wielder +2 to cancer risk. Other Man: I think we should find another shop. {{Title text: This exotic blade was wrought from a different fallen star. The meteorite was a carbonaceous chondrite, so it's basically a lump of gravel glued into the shape of a sword. A SPACE sword!}}
Sky 2012-10-01 [[A woman approaches a guy in a white beret, who appears to be doing a handstand on the lawn.]] Woman: What are you doing? Beret: Clinging to the ceiling of a bottomless abyss. [[The woman walks past him.]] Woman: You are very odd. [[The woman towards a mailbox.]] [[As she passes the mailbox, she looks up.]] [[This panel appears to be upside down. The woman is clinging to the mailbox, and a woman with a ponytail approaches her.]] Ponytail: What's wrong? Woman: I looked down. {{Title text: I dropped a bird and I didn't hear it hit bottom.}}
Traffic Lights 2012-10-03 [[Six traffic lights are hanging from a wire. A bird is on the wire. This is animated.]] [[On the far left, a pole has a sign disallowing all directions.]] [[The first light on the left has a right turn only sign.]] [[The next light has straight and right turn only.]] [[The far right light has a left turn only sign.]] [[If you watch long enough, the lights do odd things such as turn purple, or light up all three red.]] {{Title text: There's an intersection I drive through sometimes that has a forward green arrow, a red light, and a 'no turns' sign all on one pole. I honestly have no idea what it's telling me to do.}}
My Sky 2012-10-05 [[The first panel's scenery is upside down. An artist is hanging from the ground, looking down at the sky, where there is a cloud.]] Artist: Oh -- hello down there! Artist: Welcome to my sky! [[The artist is now standing on the ground looking up.]] Artist: It's pretty good. Artist: I like it. Artist: It's not the same color as anything . [[The scene zooms out, revealing more clouds.]] Artist: Wow! Artist: There are a lot of you! Artist: Good thing it's so big. [[A figure with long hair is talking to the artist at what's evidently an alcoholory, since the figure is holding a martini glass and there is a waiter in the background.]] Figure: And what do you do? Artist: I'm in the cloud storage business. {{Title text: According to my mom, my first word was (looking up at the sky) 'Wow!'}}
Microsoft 2012-10-08 [[Two characters with long hair are talking.]] First character: Remember when we prosecuted Microsoft for bundling a browser with an OS? First character: Imagine the future we'd live in if we'd been willing to let one tech company amass that much power. Second character: Thank god we nipped that in the bud. {{Title text: Facebook, Apple, and Google all got away with their monopolist power grabs because they don't have any 'S's in their names for critics to snarkily replace with '$'s.}}
Undoing 2012-10-10 My hobby: [[A wind turbine has been disconnected from its transformer, and is wired directly to a large wooden fan. A figure stands proudly before the wooden fan.]] Undoing {{Title text: I've been sneaking out at night and installing lamps on the underside of every photovoltaic panel I can find. Sure, there are upwards of 80% losses, but I prefer to think of them as nearly 20% gains.}}
Blurring the Line 2012-10-12 [[A figure with a hat is talking to another figure.]] Hat: ... No, but see, it's a movie about movies. Figure: Sounds like masturbatory navel-gazing. Hat: No, it's about blurring the line between metaphor and reality. Hat: You just don't know much about art. Figure: I know all about blurring the line between metaphor and reality. I'm the goddamn Michael Jordan of blurring the line between metaphor and reality. [[The figure walks away.]] Hat: ... huh? [[A basketball flies into the panel and knocks the figure's hat off.]] {{Title text: People into masturbatory navel-gazing have a lot to learn about masturbation.}}
Identity 2012-10-15 [[A character is sending a message from their phone.]] Character: Hey, I lost the server password. What is it, again? [[Someone at a desk with a laptop on it replies.]] Desk Haver: It's -- ...wait. How do I know it's really you? Character: Ooh, good question! I bet we can construct a cool proof-of-identity protocol. I'll start by picking two random-- Desk Haver: Oh good; it's you. Here's the psasword... Character: NO! {{Title text: Not sure why I just taught everyone to flawlessly impersonate me to pretty much anyone I know. Just remember to constantly bring up how cool it is that birds are dinosaurs and you'll be set.}}
Electoral Precedent 2012-10-17 The Problem with Statements Like "No candidate has won the election without " or "No President has been reelected under " [[Each panel is a variation on the others, with the date in a small box at the top left, a stick figure speaking the line in the main panel, and the concluding sentence underneath.]] 1788… No one has been elected President before. …but Washington was. 1792… No incumbent has ever been selected. …until Washington. 1796… No one without false teeth has become President. …but Adams did. 1800… No challenger has beaten an incumbent. …but Jefferson did. 1804… No incumbent has beaten a challenger. …until Jefferson. 1808… No congressman has ever become President. …until Madison. 1812… No one can win without New York. …but Madison did. 1816… No candidate who doesn't wear a wig can get elected. …until Monroe was. 1820… No one who wears pants instead of breeches can be reelected. …but Monroe was. 1824… No one has ever won without a popular majority. …J.Q. Adams did. 1828… Only people from Massachusetts and Virginia can win. …until Jackson did. 1832… The only Presidents who get reelected are Virginians. …until Jackson. 1836… New Yorkers always lose. …until Van Buren. 1840… No one over 65 has won the Presidency. …until Harrison did. 1844… No one who's lost his home state has won. …but Polk did. 1848… The Democrats don't lose when they win Pennsylvania. …but they did in 1848. 1852… New England Democrats can't win. …until Pierce did. 1856… No one can become President without getting married. …until Buchanan did. 1860… No one over 6'5" can get elected. …until Lincoln. 1864… No one with a beard has been reelected. …but Lincoln was. 1868… No one can be President if their parents are alive. …until Grant. 1872… No one with a beard has been reelected in peacetime. …until Grant was. 1876… No one can win a majority of the popular vote and still lose. …Tilden did. 1880… As goes California, so goes the nation. …until it went Hancock. 1884… Candidates named 'James' can't lose. …until James Blaine. 1888… No sitting President has been beaten since the Civil War. …Cleveland was. 1892… No former President has been elected. …until Cleveland. 1896… Tall Midwesterners are unbeatable. …Bryan wasn't. 1900… No Republican shorter than 5'8" has been reelected. …until McKinley was. 1904… No one under 45 has been elected. …Roosevelt was. 1908… No Republican who hasn't served in the military has won. …until Taft. 1912… After Lincoln beat the Deocrats while sporting a beard with no mustache, the only Democrats who can win have a mustache with no beard. …Wilson had neither. 1916… No Democrat has won without Indiana. …Wilson did. 1920… No incumbent senator has won. …until Harding. 1924… No one with two Cs in their name has become President. …until Calvin Coolidge. 1928… No one who got ten million votes has lost. …until Al Smith. 1932… No Democrat has won since women secured the right to vote. …until FDR did. 1936… No President's been reelected with double-digit unemployment. …until FDR was. 1940… No one has won a third term. …until FDR did. 1944… No Democrat has won during wartime. …until FDR did. 1948… Democrats can't win without Alabama. …Truman did. 1952… No Republican has won without winning the House or Senate. …Eisenhower did. 1956… No Republican has won without Missouri. …until Eisenhower. 1960… Republicans without facial hare are unbeatable. …Kennedy beat Nixon. 1964… No Democrat has won without Georgia. …Johnson did. 1968… No Republican Vice President has risen to the Presidency through an election. …until Nixon. 1972… No wartime candidate has won without Massachusetts. …until Nixon did. 1976… No one who lost New Mexico has won. …but Carter did. 1980… No one has been elected President after a divorce. …until Reagan was. 1984… No left-handed President has been reelected. …until Reagan was. 1988… No Democrat who has won Wisconsin (without being from there) has lost. …until Dukakis did. 1992… No Democrat has won without a majority of the Catholic vote. …until Clinton did. 1996… No Dem. incumbent without combat experience has beaten someone whose first name is worth more in Scrabble. …until Bill beat Bob. 2000… No Republican has won without Vermont. …until Bush did. 2004… No Republican without combat experience has beaten someone two inches taller. …until Bush did. 2008… No Democrat can win without Missouri. …until Obama did. [[The next two panels share a date and ending caption.]] 2012… Panel 1: Alliterative tickets (e.g. Romney Ryan) are undefeated. Panel 2: No nominee whose first name contains a "K" has lost. Which streak will break? {{Title text: No white guy who's been mentioned on Twitter has gone on to win.}}
The Universal Label 2012-10-19 [[A small rectangle, in the style of a food package's ingredients list.]] INGREDIENTS: HYDROGEN, TIME {{Title text: Works for any grocery or non-grocery. Even thyme is just H and time.}}
Law of Drama 2012-10-22 [[A graph, with a slightly curved upward trend. The x-axis is marked 'how often someone declares that they hate "drama" and always avoid it.', and the y-axis is marked 'rate at which they create drama.' ]] {{Title text: 'Drama' is just 'people being upset', when someone says they're always surrounded by drama and they just ignore it, it starts to make sense that their strategy might be backfiring.}}
Objects In Mirror 2012-10-24 [[A view of the passenger-side sideview mirror from the inside of the car. A message on the bottom of the mirror reads 'Objects in mirror are bluer than they appear.']] Edwin Hubble's car. {{Title text: Universes in mirror, like those in windshield, are larger than they appear.}}
Epsilon and Zeta 2012-10-26 THE SAGA OF EPSILON AND ZETA The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season saw devastating storms like Katrina and Rita. But less well-remembered is just how strange the season got toward the end. The forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are the best of the best. Their predictions are masterpieces of professional analysis. But in November 2005, out in the center of the Atlantic - far from any land - the atmosphere stopped making sense. And the forecasters - who'd expected the season to be long over by now - started to get a little… unhinged. This is their story, as seen through the actual 2005 NHC Advisories: [[Two men, one bald and one not, sit looking at their respective computers, at separate desks, back to back. The advisory is printed above them in caps small-caps Courier type.]] Tuesday, November 29th, 2005: Tropical Storm Epsilon . . . The 26th named storm of the apparently never ending 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. [[The same scene, different text.]] 10 PM Wed: The window of opportunity for strengthening should close in 12-24 hr. 4 PM Thu: Slow but steady weakening is expected to begin in 12-24 hours. [[The man with hair now has questions marks above his head.]] 4 AM Fri: Epsilon does not appear weaker. 10 AM Fri: Epsilon has been upgraded to a 65-kt hurricane. [[The two still sit back-to-back.]] 4 PM Sat: Epsilon has continued to strengthen against all odds . . . [but] can not maintain the current intensity much longer since the environment is becoming increasingly unfavorable. [[Ditto.]] 10 PM Sat: Epsilon might or might not still be a hurricane . . . but in any case it likely will not be one on Sunday. 4 AM Sun: Epsilon is downgraded to a tropical storm. [[Yep.]] 10 AM Sun: Morning satellite images indicate that Epsilon has restrengthened. [[A closer view of just the balding man at his desk.]] There are no clear reasons . . . and I am not going to make one up . . . to explain the recent strengthening of Epsilon and I am just describing the facts. However . . . I still have to make an intensity forecast and the best bet at this time is to predict weakening . . . Epsilon will likely become a remnant low. I heard that before about epsilon . . . haven't you? [[The two men still sit back to back, but the man with hair is now turning his head toward the other man, with his arm resting on the back of his chair. The bald man is leaning forward in his seat, toward his computer while typing.]] 4 PM Mon: The cloud pattern continues to be remarkably well-organized for a hurricane at such high latitude in December. [[The other man has turned back to his own screen.]] 10 PM Mon: We have said this before . . . but Epsilon really does not appear as strong this evening as it did this afternoon. [[Just the bald guy now.]] 4 AM Tue: I have run out of things to say. [[The two of them again.]] 10 PM Tue: The end is in sight. It really really is. But in the meantime . . . Epsilon continues to maintain hurricane status. 4 AM Wed: The end is in sight . . . yes . . . but not quiet yet. I thought I was going to find a weakening system and instead I found that Epsilon is still a hurricane. [[Ditto.]] 10 AM Thu: Convection has vanished and Epsilon is now a tight swirl of low clouds. I hope this is the end of the long lasting 2005 hurricane season. [[This panel is blank and just reads: Nope.]] Enter Tropical Storm Zeta. [[The men are still at their desks. The bald man is leaning back on his chair and staring at his screen, the other man's hair is noticeably disheveled, and he has started growing a five o'clock shadow.]] Friday, December 30th, 2005: An elongated area of low pressure . . . which ahd its origins in an old frontal trough . . . began developing organized convection overnight. Advisories are initiated on the 27th tropical storm of 2005. Any new storms would be in the 2006 season. [[The men are still at their desks, the man with hair is even more bedraggled-looking.]] 4PM Fri: Although the atmosphere seems to want to develop tropical storms ad nauseam . . . the calendar will shortly put an end to the use of the Greek alphabet to name them. But 2005's wouldn't end until Zeta did. [[The bald man is now wearing a party hat and there is confetti in the air.]] 10 PM Sat: Zeta appeared on the verge of losing all of its deep convection a few hours ago . . . but since about 21z the convection has been on somewhat of an increase again. [[A close view of the man with hair at his desk.]] 10 PM Sun: This is like Epsilon all over again. Most of the conventional guidance suggested that zeta should have been dissipated by now . . . well . . . zeta is pretty much alive at this time. I have no choice but to forecast weakening again and again. [[Both of them at their desks.]] 4 AM Mon: By 24-36 hours . . . a significant increase in westerly winds . . . should act to shear away most of the associated convection . . . and finally bring the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season to a merciful ending. 4 PM Mon: It is hard to conceive that a tropical cyclone will be able to survive for very long in such a hostile environment. therefore I have not backed off on the forecast of weakening. [[And again.]] 10 PM Mon: Zeta is stronger than yesterday. 10 AM Wed: As you can see. . . I ran out of things to say. [[And again.]] 4 AM Thu: Satellite intensity estimates have decreased. Zeta is downgraded to a 30 kt tropical depression. [[And again.]] 10 AM Thu: Shortly after the previous advisory had been issued . . . regretfully . . . the intensity . . . increased to 35 kt and Zeta is a tropical storm once again. [[And again.]] 10 PM Thu: Although it seems as if Zeta will never die . . . the forecast continues to show weakening. [[Both men are now leaning back in their chairs, exhausted.]] 4 PM, Friday, January 6, 2006: Zeta no longer meets the criteria of a tropical cyclone. . . which means that both it and the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season have ended. This is the national hurricane center signing off for 2005. [[The bald man still sits at his desk, the man with hair is no longer in his chair.]] [[Again, we see the bald man at his desk and the other guy's empty desk.]] Bald guy: Actually, Zeta's cloud pattern is… Hair guy: (out of panel) NO. Bald guy: Ok. {{Title text: The average error in the NHC forecasted position of a hurricane three days in the future has shrunk to a third of what it was in 1990--a staggering accomplishment. However, as you may have gathered, forecasts of future storm *strength* have proved more difficult to improve.}}
Congress 2012-10-29 A history of the United States Congress partisan and ideological makeup [[A chart showing the makeup of the US Senate and House of Representatives throughout history. It shows which ideological blocs (far left, left, center-left, center-right, right, far-right) made up what portion of the left-leaning and right-leaning parties in each chamber.]] {{Title text: It'd be great if some news network started featuring partisan hack talking heads who were all Federalists and Jacksonians, just to see how long it took us to catch on.}}
Fifty Shades 2012-10-31 As with most famous books, I've never actually READ Fifty Shades of Grey . I only know the plot from watching the Wishbone version. [[A kid is sitting on the floor, watching TV.]] <> <> <> <> {{Title text: Wishbone and the Illustrated Classics series have gotten me through every conversation I've ever had about Dickens, Treasure Island, The Anarchist's Cookbook, and Our Bodies, Ourselves.}}
Cell Number 2012-11-02 [[Diagram outlining the true structure of a US Cell Phone number. The 3-digit exchange number plus 4-digit subscriber number are your 7 random digits. The area code is where you lived in 2005.]] Structure of a US Cell Phone number. {{Title text: There's also a +1 sometimes, which is there to keep everyone on their toes. In the future, people who got to pick cool numbers by signing up for Google Voice early will be revered as wizards.}}
Poll Watching 2012-11-05 [[A man is kneeling on his desk chair, hunched over his laptop screen.]] Man: This Tuesday will be huge! If Obam wins the election, it could generate news coverage devastating to Romney's position in the tracking polls! Out of panel: ...maybe you should take a break. {{Title text: The choices we make Tuesday could have MASSIVE and PERMANENT effects on the charts on Nate Silver's blog!}}
Math 2012-11-07 [[A stacked bar chart representing the distribution of electoral votes for a US presidential election. The unusually darker-skinned, blessed, beautiful, twisted, Democratic candidate has 313 votes, while the much more pallid, glove-named Republican candidate has 225. The forecast of this result is noted, with the actual results being in the center of the predicted zone.]] Breaking: To surprise of pundits, numbers continue to be best system for determining which of two things is larger. {{Title text: As of this writing, the only thing that's 'razor-thin' or 'too close to call' is the gap between the consensus poll forecast and the result.}}
Frequentists vs. Bayesians 2012-11-09 Did the sun just explode? (It's night, so we're not sure) [[Two statisticians stand alongside an adorable little computer that is suspiciously similar to K-9 that speaks in Westminster typeface]] Frequentist Statistician: This neutrino detector measures whether the sun has gone nova. Bayesian Statistician: Then, it rolls two dice. If they both come up as six, it lies to us. Otherwise, it tells the truth. FS: Let's try. [[to the detector]] Detector! Has the sun gone nova? Detector: <> YES. Frequentist Statistician: FS: The probability of this result happening by chance is 1 36=0.027. Since p< 0.05, I conclude that the sun has exploded. Bayesian Statistician: BS: Bet you $50 it hasn't. {{Title text: 'Detector! What would the Bayesian statistician say if I asked him whether the--' [roll] 'I AM A NEUTRINO DETECTOR, NOT A LABYRINTH GUARD. SERIOUSLY, DID YOUR BRAIN FALL OUT?' [roll] '... yes.'}}
Up Goer Five 2012-11-12 US Space Team's Up Goer Five [NASA's Saturn V] The only flying space car that's taken anyone to another world. [The only spacecraft to take anyone somewhere other than Earth] (Explained using only the ten hundred [thousand] words people use the most often) ((The following is a top-to-bottom description of the various parts of the Saturn V, alternating between the limited-vocabulary version and the technical version)) Thing to help people escape really fast if there's a problem and everything is on fire so they decide not to go to space [Launch Escape System] Thing to control which direction the escaping people go. [Launch Escape System pitch motor] Stuff to burn to make the box with the people in it escape *really fast* [Launch Escape Motor] Place where fire comes out to help them escape. [Launch Escape Motor nozzles] Part that flies around the other world and comes back home with the people in it and falls in the water. [Apollo Command Module; includes "People Box, Door, Chairs"] Part that goes along to give people air, water, computers and stuff. It comes back home with them, but burns up without landing. [Apollo Service module] Cold Air for burning (and breathing). This part had a *very* big problem once. [oxygen tank; was the tank that exploded during the Apollo 13 incident] Part that flies down to the other world with two people inside [Lunar Module] Part that stays on the other world (It's still there) [Lunar Module Descent Stage] Feet that go on the ground of the other world [Lunar Module Descent Stage landing gear] Ring holding most of the computers [Instrument Unit] Part that falls off third (this part flew away from our world into space and hit the world we were going toward) [Third stage] Things holding that kind of air that makes your voice funny (It's for filling up the space left when they take the cold air out to burn it) [Helium tank] The kind of air that once burned a big sky bag and people died and someone said "Oh the [humans]!" (used for burning) (wet and *very* cold) [Liquid Hydrogen tank] The part of air you need to breathe, but not the other stuff (used for burning)(wet and *very* cold) [Liquid Oxygen tank] Fire comes out here [J-2 Third stage engine] Part that falls off second [Second stage] More sky bag air (for burning)(cold + wet) [Liquid Hydrogen tank, Second stage] More breathing-type air (for burning)(cold + wet) [Liquid Oxygen tank, Second stage] Thing that brings in cold wet air to burn [Fuel tank input, Second stage] Fire comes out here [5 J-2 Second stage engines] Part that falls off first [First stage] More breathing-type air (for burning)(cold + wet) [Liquid Oxygen tank, First stage] More funny voice air (for filling up space) [Helium tank, First stage] Opening for putting in cold wet air [Liquid oxygen tank input, First stage] This is full of that stuff they burned in lights before houses had power. It goes together with the cold air when it's time to start going up. [Kerosene tank, First stage] Lots of fire comes out here [5 F-1 First stage engines] [[Description of bottom end]] This end should point toward the ground if you want to go to space. If it starts pointing toward space, you are having a bad problem and you will not go to space today. {{Title text: Another thing that is a bad problem is if you're flying toward space and the parts start to fall off your space car in the wrong order. If that happens, it means you won't go to space today, or maybe ever.}}
Logic Boat 2012-11-14 [[A person shows up at a boat docked at the edge of a river. The person has brought along a head of cabbage, a goat, and a wolf.]] Problem: The boat only holds two, but you can't leave the goat with the cabbage or the wolf with the goat. [[The wolf looks curiously at the lumpy bally that's been left behind while the person goes off with the goat]] Solution: 1. Take the goat across [[The goat remains tied up on the far side. The wolf watches the person come back]] 2. Return alone. [[The wolf thinks "aww no mo bally" as the person goes off]] 3. Take the cabbage across. 4. Leave the wolf. Why did you have a wolf? [[The wolf goes off all sad-like]] {{Title text: Or a cabbage, for that matter. The goat makes sense. Goats are fine.}}
Arachnoneurology 2012-11-16 [[The artist has a book titled Spider Psychology, and is carefully adjusting one of those things with clips that's used to hold objects in place.]] [[The artist puts it in the corner of a room which has cobwebs in it.]] [[Spiders move into the thing, and start weaving webs on it.]] Six Weeks Later: [[The artist tears a sweater covered in spiders out.]] {{Title text: SPIDER PSYCHOLOGY (21st Ed.) is a comprehensive overview of arachnoneurology, neuro-arachnology, forensic arachnology, neuro-arachnoneurology (the study of the brains of spider neurology experts), and arachnoarachnology (the study of too many spiders).}}
Broken Mirror 2012-11-19 [[The man in the black hat is standing next to a vanity cabinet, with a broken mirror on the floor. Another chap is in the room with him.]] Black Hat: Oops. Guess this means seven more years of the illusion that my actions somehow influence the indifferent hand of probability which governs our lives. [[Black hat guy stares at the shards of glass on the floor.]] Chap: Plus like half an hour of sweeping. Black Hat: No, I think I'll leave it. Chap: You'll get glass in your feet. [[Black hat guy holds up a shard of glass, looks at it.]] Black Hat: Eccles. 9:2 - All things come alike to all: To the clean, and to the unclean. Black Hat: My fate is as these shards. Chap: Dude, chill, it's just a vanity mirror. Black Hat: All is vanity mirrors. {{Title text: 'I see you're in this mood again.' 'I am always in this mood.'}}
‮LTR 2012-11-21 [[A chap is standing next to the black hat guy, who's sitting on a chair working on a laptop.]] Chap: And that's not even the worst part! The worst part is that-- Black Hat: <> Chap: ...neve t'ndid yeht-- Chap: ?lleh eht tahw... ...uoy did woh Chap: .elohssa... {{The chap's text, read right to left, reads: --they didn't even... how did you... ... what the hell? ...asshole.}} {{Title text: Collaborative editing can quickly become a textual rap battle fought with increasingly convoluted invocations of U+202a to U+202e.}}
Heatmap 2012-11-23 [[There is a screen, and a chap standing in front of it pointing at one of the images on the screen. The screen contains 3 maps, each with a title under them.]] [[A heat map of the USA, with red spots on larger cities.]] Our site's users [[A heat map of the USA, with red spots on larger cities.]] Subscribers to Martha Stewart Living [[A heat map of the USA, with red spots on larger cities.]] Consumers of furry pornography Chap: The business implications are clear. Pet Peeve #208: Geographic profile maps which are basically just population maps. {{Title text: There are also a lot of global versions of this map showing traffic to English-language websites which are indistinguishable from maps of the location of internet users who are native English speakers.}}
Rubber and Glue 2012-11-26 [[A playground. The black hat is large on one child, who is sitting and reading. Other children surround him.]] Kid A: Whatchya reading, hatboy? Hatboy: The CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. Kid B: You are such a loser, it's painful . Hatboy: I'm rubber, you're glue. Kid A: Yeah, well-- Hatboy: Glue can't speak. Hatboy: You try to scream, but your mouth fills with glue. Hatboy: Your face is glue. Your body is glue. [[The black hat child stands up, leaving the book closed on the ground. He holds his hand out to the other children.]] Hatboy: I wrap my rubber arms around your sticky bulk. Hatboy: Your neoprene base bonds instantly with my surface. Hatboy: Never to let go. [[The view zooms in dramatically on the hat child, whose fists are clenched.]] Hatboy: You are glue. I am rubber. Hatboy: Staring at you with my dead, rubber eyes-- Hatboy: Forever. Kid A: Moooom! {{Title text: I'm rubber. You're rubber. We contemplate the reality of our existence in mute, vulcanized horror.}}
Calendar of Meaningful Dates 2012-11-28 Calendar of Meaningful Dates Each date's size represents how often it is referred to by name (e.g. "October 17th") in English-language books since 2000 (source: Google n-grams corpus) [[A 3x4 grid of months, laid out left to right, top to bottom from January to December. The days of each month are arranged in typical monthly calendar format. Some day numbers are larger than others.)) ((Due to the 365 different days in a year and individually varying sizes, not every number is mentioned below, only outliers. January's 1 is much larger than any other number for that month. Feburary's numbers don't very all that much, but the 1, 14, and 28 are slightly larger, and the 29 is very small. March's 1 and 21 are larger than most of the other numbers. April's 1 and 15 are somewhat larger than the rest. May's 1 is significantly larger than any other day in the month. June's 1 is significantly larger than most of the other days, but 30 is the 2nd largest. July's 1 is fairly large, but its 4 is even bigger - about twice the size of most other day's numbers. August's 1 and 15 are both fairly large. September's 1 is somewhat large, but its 11 is by far the biggest number of any in the entire year, 3 times as tall as most other numbers from any month. October's 1 is its largest, followed by the 31. November's 1 is by far its largest. December's 31 is the largest, followed by its 1, 7, and 25.)) {{Title text: In months other than September, the 11th is mentioned substantially less often than any other date. It's been that way since long before 9 11 and I have no idea why.}}
Two Years 2012-11-30 [[A man and a woman sit on a bed, the woman is talking on the phone. The person she is talking to, a doctor holding a clipboard, is shown inset.]] Woman: Oh god. [[The man and woman sit together while the woman, now bald, is receiving chemotherapy. They are both on their laptops.]] << ... BEEEP ... BEEEP ... BEEEP ... >> [[The man and the woman (who is wearing a knit cap) are paddling a kayak against a scenic mountain backdrop.]] [[The man and woman sit at a table, staring at a cell phone. There is a clock on the wall.]] Woman: How long can it take to read a scan? [[The man and woman are back at the hospital again, the woman receiving chemo. They are playing Scrabble.]] Man: "ZARG" isn't a word. Woman: But CAAAANCER. Man: ...ok, fine. [[The man and woman are listening to a friend speak.] Friend: So next year you should come visit us in the moun... (the rest is obscured by a thought bubble). Man & Woman: (thinking) "Next Year" [[The man and the woman (with short hair) getting married, a heart above their heads.]] [[The man and the woman (wearing a knit cap) stand on a beach, watching a whale breach.]] <> [[The woman is sitting at a desk with several books and a laptop. The man stands behind her.]] Man: Hey - you're doing science, and you're still alive. Woman: Yeah! [[The man and woman sit under a tall tree on a hill.]] Man: It's really only been two years? Woman: They were big years. [[The man and woman sit at a table in a fancy restaurant, the waiter brings them a dish with a cover on it.]] Waiter: Happy.. anniversary? Woman: Biopsy-versary! Waiter: ...eww. {{Title text: She won the first half of all our chemo Scrabble games, but then her IV drugs started kicking in and I *dominated*.}}
Coverage 2012-12-03 ((An inset panel inside the main panel.)) [[A close-up on a man holding a cellphone.]] Man: Man, the coverage in here is awfu- ((The main panel.)) [[The man is interrupted by another man punching him in the face, and he drops his phone to the ground.]] FARADAY CAGEMATCH {{Title text: My resonant tunneling diode phone has limited range but a short enough wavelength to penetrate even the densest cages. This gives me a major combat advantage, hopefully.}}
Location 2012-12-05 [[A man is sitting at a desk typing at his computer while a man and a woman look over his shoulder.]] Man: (typing) Hey, party tonight? We'd all love to come see your new place! PC Screen: Wait, what? [[The other side of the conversation: a guy typing on a laptop at a table.]] Laptop Screen: We want to hang out! Guy: (typing) We're not, like, good friends. Laptop Screen: I know, but we were thinking about it and we really like you! [[The three people again. The man behind the man in the chair is clasping his hands in anticipation.]] Man: (typing) You should have us over tonight! For, like, an hour. It'll be fun! PC Screen: Well, uh, sure. [[A black panel with white outlines and letters. A view of the guy's house from above. Four green explosions are seen in the house's yard.]] {{Title text: Ingress: Foursquare With Space Noises.}}
Tags 2012-12-07 [[A line of html that reads, "
Q: How do you annoy a web developer?< span>"]] {{Title text: : Like < a>this. }}
Sky Color 2012-12-10 [[A woman with a ponytail leans back on her office chair, back to her computer, gesturing as she speaks to a little girl in front of her.]] Girl: Mommy, why is the sky blue? Mother: Rayleigh scattering! Short wavelengths get scattered way more (proportional to 1 lambda^4). Blue light dominates because it's so short. Girl: Oh. So why isn't the sky violet? Mother: Well, because, uh... ...hmm. {{Title text: Feynman recounted another good one upperclassmen would use on freshmen physics students: When you look at words in a mirror, how come they're reversed left to right but not top to bottom? What's special about the horizontal axis?}}
Honest 2012-12-12 [[Two guys are walking along together.]] Man #1: I mean, let's be honest here-- Man #2: Ok. [[They stop walking and turn to face each other. Man #2 gestures with one hand.]] Man #2: I don't understand why anything happens and I'm confused and scared and trying really hard all the time. [[They stand facing each other.]] Man #1: ...too honest. Scale it back. Man #2: Sorry. {{Title text: I didn't understand what you meant. I still don't. But I'll figure it out soon!}}
Evolving 2012-12-14 [[A drawing of a cluster of bacteria.]] What? STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS is evolving! [[The same bacteria.]] ... [[The (seemingly) same bacteria.]] STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS evolved into METHICILLIN-RESISTANT STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS! Off screen: Aww, crap. {{Title text: Biologists play reverse Pokémon, trying to avoid putting any one team member on the front lines long enough for the experience to cause evolution.}}
Nothing to Offer 2012-12-17 [[An old-fashioned radio sits atop a dresser.]] Radio: I have nothing to offer but Radio: blood, toil, tears, sweat, Radio: spit, bile, vomit, urine, [[The space above the dresser and behind the radio is filled with names of bodily fluids and excretions, some partially obscured by the radio.]] mucus, semen, earwax, lymph, gastric acid, sebum, pus, endolymph, intracellular fluid, blood plasma, vitreous humo[ ]eces, pleu[ ]uid, chly[ ]al flui[ ]d {{Title text: cerebrospinal fluid, pericardial fluid, sputum, aqueous humor, perilymph, chyme, hydatid fluid, interstitial fluid, rheum, and gin.}}
Broomstick 2012-12-19 [[A woman in red slippers, Dorothy, stands talking to somebody off-screen.]] Off-screen character: Bring me the broomstick of the wicked witch of the West and I'll take you home. Dorothy: Got it. [[The woman stands at the foot of a staircase talking to the off-screen wicked witch of the West.]] Dorothy: You can have the slippers if you let me borrow your broom. Wicked witch of the West: Deal. [[Dorothy, now slipperless, walks along whistling with a broom over her shoulder.]] [[Dorothy and another character are in a hot air balloon floating off the ground. Mountains are in the background. Looking on are the tin man, the lion, and a scarecrow.]] Dorothy: That was easy. {{Title text: 'Broom first, then slippers.' 'How do I know you'll return the broom once you've secured your ticket?' 'I'll leave my little dog as collateral.' 'Great. Pleasure doing business!'}}
Instagram 2012-12-21 [[One man sits at a computer. Another stands behind him, talking.]] Man #2: I've been putting all my stuff in Chad's Garage. He has nice shelves. And he lets me in to see it whenever I want. [[We see a handwritten note.]] Man #2: But I just got this note from him: Note: Dude, in like a month im gonna Craigslist all that shit you left in my garage. Just FYI. -- Chad [[A close-up of man #2.]] Man #2: It's an *outrage*! This is no way to run a storage business! Man #1: Are you paying him to look after your stuff? [[We see both characters again, as in panel #1.]] Man #2: No. Man #1: Then what he runs isn't a storage business. Man #2: Well, I'm *this* close to not giving him any more stuff. Man #1: That'll teach him. {{Title text: I'm gonna call the cops and get Chad arrested for theft, then move all my stuff to the house across the street. Hopefully the owners there are more responsible.}}
Tests 2012-12-24 [[A woman stands next to a Christmas tree with presents underneath it. She has a bucket full of pink liquid next to her, and a bucket full of purple liquid in her hands.]] Purple bucket: Pour [[She has the pink bucket.]] Pink bucket: Pour [[She stands with hands on hips, scrutinising the now-covered presents. [[She walks up behind a man sitting at a computer.]] Woman: All my presents appear to be gram-negative. Man: I wish you hadn't opened the home bio lab kit first. {{Title text: In fact, of the boxes is full of Staphylococcus. The wrapping paper is coated in E. coli, though, so it's an understandable mistake. You know, we should really stop accepting gifts from that guy.}}
Communion 2012-12-26 [[A man and a woman are walking along together.]] Man: How was Christmas? Did you go to church? Woman: Yup. We celebrated the birth of a child, then we ate of his flesh and blood. [[They keep walking.]] Woman: *Seriously* hope we got the right child this time. {{Title text: The local police, growing increasingly concerned about this church, ask parishoners to take a sip of wine and then spit it back out for DNA testing. It's blood, and it matches a 1970s murder victim.}}
Proof 2012-12-28 [[A courtroom. A judge sits on a stage at the right. Another man sits, downcast, behind a desk at the left. A man, Zeno, stands centre left holding an arrow.]] Zeno: My client couldn't have killed anyone with this arrow, and I can *prove* it! Judge: I'd like to examine your proof, Zeno. You may approach the bench. Zeno: – But never reach it! {{Title text: The prosecution calls Gottfried Leibniz.}}
Resolution 2012-12-31 Man: I'm scared of being stuck – thinking I'm fixing things about myself but never actually changing. Man: My 2013 resolution is to break out of loops. To recognize when I'm not making progress, stop yelling at myself, and try a different approach. Off-screen character: Wasn't that also your resolution last year? [[The man shakes his fist.]] Man: Yeah, but *this* year's gonna be different. {{Title text: If at first you don't succeed, that's one data point.}}
Kolmogorov Directions 2013-01-02 [[A man stands talking on his cellphone.]] Phone: How do I get to your place from Lexington? Man: Hmm... OK, starting from your driveway, take every left that doesn't put you on a prime-numbered highway or street named for a president. When people ask for step-by-step directions, I worry that there will be too many steps to remember, so I try to put them in minimal form. {{Title text: People get really grumpy when they realize you're giving them directions for how to go to the store and buy a GPS.}}
Conditioning 2013-01-04 [[A Rube-Goldberg-ish device]] Every few hours, subwoofer plays throbbing bass for 10 seconds.. ..then breadcrumbs are dispensed into box [[Box of breadcrumbs attached to a box that looks suspiciously like the front door of a car with an open window]] Local wildlife [[Birds and a squirrel are nearby]] Protip: Leave this device in your yard for a week, then watch as the problem of loud music from passing cars solves itself. {{Title text: 'Why are you standing in the yard wearing a papal hat and a robe covered in seeds?' 'Well, the Pope is visiting our town next month ...'}}
Sick Day 2013-01-07 Activities while sick: [[Pie chart. All percentages are estimates. Shifting around in bed feeling my skin crawl: 55% Pondering hooking an aquarium pump up to my sinuses: 5% Thinking about how cool it is that I'm partly made of an army of critters that patrol my body ruthlessly dispatching anything they find trying to prey on me: 10% Staring at a news site but not reading it: 7% Wiping various face holes: 23%]] {{Title text: Wikipeida path: Virus -> Immune system -> Innate immune system -> Parasites -> List of parasites of humans -> Naegleria fowleri -> Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis -> Deciding I DEFINITELY shouldn't connect an aquarium pump to my sinuses}}
Rubber Sheet 2013-01-09 [[A woman is standing on the left edge of a rubber sheet. In the middle is a bowling ball. A man in a beret is standing on top of the bowling ball.]] Beret guy: Imagine a giant bowling ball on a rubber sheet. The ball's weight makes a dent in the sheet. [[A rope has been attached to the sheet, and is pulling downwards. The woman peers down.]] Beret guy: Now imagine a rope that pulls the ball down even further. ...Annnnd... [[The rope snaps. The woman loses her balance as the sheet shakes and the ball flies into the air.]] BOOOIING Beret guy: Wheee [[The woman stands on the now stable sheet. The ball falls down towards it.]] Woman: ... Oh. I thought this was about physics. Beret guy: Imagining is fun! {{Title text: It IS about physics. It ALL is.}}
Countdown 2013-01-11 [[Hat guy sits at his computer. A man stands behind him. On the wall is a digital countdown, partially obscured by a picture of a sunset. The part of the countdown we can see reads "0002409".]] Man: What's that? Hat guy: Countdown. [[The countdown now reads "0002400".]] Man: To what? Hat guy: Supervolcano, I think. I forget which one. [[The countdown now reads "0002396".]] [[The countdown now reads "0002382".]] Man: Maybe we should move that picture? Hat guy: Too hard to reach. It's probably fine. {{Title text: For all we know, the odds are in our favor.}}
Drop Those Pounds 2013-01-14 [[We see a poster taped to a wall. It has two people in the bottom left, a silhouetted crenellated tower in the bottom right, and a thin arc between them. It reads:]] Struggling with those 2013 resolutions? We'll help you hit your target By dropping thirty pounds FAST WEB: http: [illegible].com CALL: (555) 123-4567 {{Title text: If the flyers don't work, we'll switch to the LEAST subtle method of informing a town of the existence of a trebuchet club.}}
Hand Sanitizer 2013-01-16 [[A man stands in front of a poster with a bottle in his hand.]] Poster: An invisible sneeze droplet can contain *200 million* germs! [[The man looks at the bottle.]] Bottle: Our hand sanitizer kills 99.99% of germs! [[The man taps a calculator.]] 200000000 x 0.01% = Man: Ew. {{Title text: Hipster CDC Reports Flu Epidemic Peaked Years Ago}}
Log Scale 2013-01-18 [[A bar chart on a sheet of paper labeled "Fuel energy density in Megajoules kg. Values are as follows: Sugar: 19 Coal: 24 Fat: 39 Gasoline: 46 Uranium: 76 000 000 The bar representing Uranium is so large that it extends onto a stack of paper taller than a human]] {{Title text: Knuth Paper-Stack Notation: Write down the number on pages. Stack them. If the stack is too tall to fit in the room, write down the number of pages it would take to write down the number. THAT number won't fit in the room? Repeat. When a stack fits, write the number of iterations on a card. Pin it to the stack.}}
Debugger 2013-01-21 [[Two characters are silhouetted on a hill. The first sits, the second is lying down.]] Character #1: I don't understand how my brain works. [[The second sits up slightly to look at the first.]] Character #1: But my brain is what I rely on to understand how things work. [[The second lies back down.]] Character #2: Is that a problem? Character #1: I'm not sure how to tell. {{Title text: It can take a site a while to figure out that there's a problem with their 'report a bug' form.}}
Home Alone 2013-01-23 [[A bearded man stands at the top of some stairs. A paintcan on a rope is swinging from the top down to the bottom. Small child #1 has just been hit in the face with the can. Small child #2 is lying on the floor crying.]] Small child #1: Ow!! Small child #2: Waaaaaaaaa! Rejected movie ideas: age-reversed Home Alone reboot. {{Title text: Starring Macaulay Culkin.}}
Amazon 2013-01-25 Round 14: Estimated outflow volume in cubic meters per second [[Amazon: A 220,000 m^2 block of water populated with dolphins and fish, with some people who have driven up in a car to observe it. Amazon.com: 0.9 m^2 in packages]] {{Title text: Amazon.com took a surprise early lead with 'Time required to transport a package from Iquitos, Peru to Manaus, Brazil' but then lost it at 'Minutes to skeletonize a cow'.}}
Argument 2013-01-28 [[A thread on the "Free energy forum" messageboard. The title reads: "You're all crackpots who don't understand thermodynamics." Page 547 of 547, with comments including "No, idiot, only the *north* end of a magnet increases entropy. The south end decreases it", "I wiki'd this "first law" and I don't see the issue. My device isn't a robot and doesn't harm humans.", and "What if we trick the government into only suppressing the *left* side of the flywheel?".]] Ironically, the argument I started on a perpetual motion forum in 2004 shows no signs of slowing down. {{Title text: The misguided search for a perpetual motion machine has run substantially longer than any attempted perpetual motion machine.}}
Star Trek into Darkness 2013-01-30 [[A man sits at a computer, talking to a woman off screen.]] Man: Oh, *wow*. Look at Wikipedia's talk page for Star Trek into Darkness. I have a new favorite edit war. Woman: Oh? [[The woman walks up to look over his shoulder.]] Man: Forty *thousand* words of debate over whether to capitalise "into" in the movie's title. Still no consensus. Woman: That's *magnificient*. Man: It's breathtaking. Woman: They should have sent a poet. [[We see a close-up of the man. He's typing.]] Well, I'm making an executive decision. I hope both sides accept this as a fair compromise. <> [[We see the Wikipedia page. The title is now "~*~ StAr TrEk InTo DaRkNeSs ~*~"]] {{Title text: Of course, factions immediately sprang up in favor of '~*~sTaR tReK iNtO dArKnEsS~*~', 'xX_StAr TrEk InTo DaRkNess_Xx', and 'Star Trek lnto Darkness' (that's a lowercase 'L').}}
tar 2013-02-01 [A woman and a man wearing a white hat stand next to a nuclear bomb. The bomb has a hatch open on top, and a small blinking screen. The two people are shouting off-screen.]] Woman: Rob! You use Unix! Man: Come quick! [[The woman, man, and Rob look at the screen. Rob peers closely. The screen reads: To disarm the bomb, simply enter a valid tar command on your first try. No Googling. You have TEN seconds. ~# _ ]] [[They continue to peer.]] Man: ... Rob? Rob: I'm so sorry. {{Title text: I don't know what's worse--the fact that after 15 years of using tar I still can't keep the flags straight, or that after 15 years of technological advancement I'm still mucking with tar flags that were 15 years old when I started.}}
Expedition 2013-02-04 [[A man sits at a desk, typing a diary entry.]] February 4th: Departed the mouth of the Lena river, heading south. It has been nearly half an hour and still no sign of civilisation. The scroll wheel tempts me, but I will not cheat. <> {{Title text: I'm pretty sure I've logged more hours in Google Maps over the past decade than in any game.}}
Bridge 2013-02-06 [[A teenager stands talking to a parent off-screen.]] Parent: No, you can't go. Teenager: But all my friends- Parent If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump too? Teenager: Oh Jeez. Probably. Parent: What!? Why!? Teenager Because all my friends did. Think about it - which scenario is more likely: Teenager: Every single person I know, many of them levelheaded and afraid of heights, abruptly went crazy at exactly the same time... ... or the bridge is on fire? Parent: ... I, uh... hmm. Teenager: Imagine reading this on CNN: "Many fled their vehicles and jumped from the bridge. Those who stayed behind..." Is something good about to happen to those people? Parent: Maybe they'll find cookies? Teenager: OK, *you* stay. I'm jumping. {{Title text: And it says a lot about you that when your friends jump off a bridge en masse, your first thought is apparently 'my friends are all foolish and I won't be like them' and not 'are my friends ok?'.}}
Perl Problems 2013-02-08 [[Two figures stand facing each other. One is wearing sunglasses.]] Figure with sunglasses: If you're havin' Perl problems I feel bad for you, son- Figure with sunglasses: I got 99 problems, Figure with sunglasses: so I used regular expressions. Figure with sunglasses: Now I have 100 problems. {{Title text: To generate #1 albums, 'jay --help' recommends the -z flag.}}
Workflow 2013-02-11 [[Changelog for version 10.17 of a piece of software. One change listed: "The CPU no longer overheats when you hold down the spacebar" Comments: LongtimeUser4 writes: This update broke my workflow! My control key is hard to reach, so I hold spacebar instead, and I configured Emacs to interpret a rapid temperature rise as "control"e Admin writes: That's horrifying. LongtimeUser4 writes: Look, my setup works for me. Just add an option to reenable spacebar heating.]] {{Title text: There are probably children out there holding down spacebar to stay warm in the winter! YOUR UPDATE MURDERS CHILDREN.}}
Steroids 2013-02-13 [[An indescribable being of energy and a person are walking along]] Being: Explain to me this "steroid scandal" Person: Well, uh... We humans are made of chemical which stay alive by finding other chemicals and putting them inside us Person: We hold contests to see which humans are fastest and strongest. But some humans eat chemicals that make them *too* fast and strong. Person: And they win contests! Being: That does sound bad. Person: It's awful! {{Title text: A human is a system for converting dust billions of years ago into dust billions of years from now via a roundabout process which involves checking email a lot.}}
App 2013-02-15 [[A really damn stupid website being viewed in a mobile browser. A popup covers absolutely everything and makes the entire page unusable. "Want to visit an incomplete version of our website where you can't zoom? Download our app!". With buttons "OK" and "no, but ask me again every time". Assholes.]] {{Title text: If I click 'no', I've probably given up on everything, so don't bother taking me to the page I was trying to go to. Just drop me on the homepage. Thanks.}}
Moving Sidewalks 2013-02-18 [[A man and a woman are on opposite ends of a two-way moving sidewalk, poised to get on. The sidewalks are divided up into 5 square outer segments and one double-length inner segment each. Each segment has an arrow in the direction the sidewalk travels. The outer-most segments are labeled "moving sidewalk". The next segments in are labeled "moving sidewalk (2x speed)". The next is "3x speed", followed by "4x speed", and "5x speed". The center is labeled "High-five location".]] Man: Ready? Woman: Ready. {{Title text: I think I could spend hours just stepping on and off of conveyor belts moving at various speeds.}}
Those Not Present 2013-02-20 Every time someone says something negative about a person who's not in the room, I scoot my chair back a few inches. [[We see four figures sitting around on a table, talking and drinking. Figure 4 is scooting his chair back.]] Figure 1: *He's* not so bad, but his friends... <> [[Figure 4 us now quite a way away from the table.]] Figure 3: ... His band is never gonna take off if... < [[The table is now out of view from the left side of the panel. Three more figures are sitting on the floor to the right, with drinks and talking.]] Offscreen from the table: Yeah, his sister is even weirder. Did you see she had... < Figure 7: ... And there's a video, but it's blurry... [[Figure 4 is now up to the new group. He leans back over his chair.]] Figure 4: What're you talking about? Figure 5: Giant squid! Figure 4: Mind if I join you? {{Title text: 'Yeah, that squid's a total asshole.' [scoot scoot]}}
Time Robot 2013-02-22 [[A figure with a shotgun runs into the scene and addresses a standing woman.]] Figure: I'm from the future! You're being stalked by an unstoppable robotic assassin! [[We see a close-up of the figure.]] Figure: Of course, in a sense, we're *all* being stalked by an unstoppable robot. A robot called *time*. [[The figure looks at a ticking clock on the wall.]] Figure: I see it in the mirror. I see wrinkles, grey hairs. I hear its metallic footsteps in the relentless rhythm of the ticking clock. [[We pan back out to see both figures.]] Figure: Anyway, uhh– come with me if you want to live for a while. You'll still die eventually. We all will. {{Title text: NO FATE BUT THE NARRATIVES WE IMPOSE ON LIFE'S RANDOM CHAOS TO DISTRACT OURSELVES FROM OUR EXISTENTIAL PLIGHT}}
Pickup Artists 2013-02-25 [[Beret guy and another man stand talking to each other.]] Beret guy: What've you been up to lately? Man: I've been hanging out with some pickup artists. I'm learning a *lot!* Beret guy: Oh, that sounds like fun! The world seems like a happier place if you think "Pickup artist" is like "Pickup basketball player." {{Title text: It sounds like a great way to make friends! Is it near that Friend Zone you keep talking about? I wanna go!}}
ISO 8601 2013-02-27 Public Service Announcement: Our different ways of writing dates as numbers can lead to online confusion. That's why in 1988 ISO set a global standard numeric date format. This is *the* correct way to write numeric dates: 2013-02-27 The following formats are therefore discouraged: 02 27 2013 02 27 13 27 02 2013 27 02 13 20130227 2013.02.27 27.02.13 27-02-13 27.2.13 2013.CC.27 (27 2)-13 2013.158904109 MMXII-II-XXVII MMXII(LVII CCCLXV) 1330300800 [[this is the UNIX time for *2012*-02-27, Randall]] ((3+3)x(111+1)-1)x3 3-1 .^3 [the numbers 2013, 02, and 27 written overlapping each other] [a black, hissing cat with 2-27-13 written on it] 10 11011 1101 02 27 20 13 [[the following is the last entry]] 2 3 1 4 0 1 2 3 7 5 67 8 {{Title text: ISO 8601 was published on 06 05 88 and most recently amended on 12 01 04.}}
Virus Venn Diagram 2013-03-01 [[There are two circles, a green one, and a blue one. They form a Venn diagram composed of two disjoint sets.]] Green circle: Computer problems that make people say "Maybe it has a virus?" Blue circle: Computer problems caused by viruses {{Title text: Within five minutes of the Singularity appearing, somebody will suggest defragging it.}}
PGP 2013-03-04 How to use PGP to verify that an email is authentic: Look for this text at the top: ----- BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- [[text surrounded by the normal accoutrements of an email message]] If it's there, the email is probably fine. {{Title text: If you want to be extra safe, check that there's a big block of jumbled characters at the bottom.}}
Rembrandt Photo 2013-03-06 Person 1: Hey look-- Rembrandt's parents having sex! Person 2: Waugh! Why do you-- ..Wait, how can there be a photo of that? Person 1: It's an artist's conception. {{Title text: ::click:: Come back! You didn't see the one of Whistler's mother!}}
Rose Petals 2013-03-08 [[Person enters house, seeing a trail of rose petals]] [[Person walks along, following the trail]] [[Trail goes around some books and heads out the door]] [[A Roomba with a box of petals and a fan on it is ambling along]] {{Title text: Joke's on you--the Roomba and I had a LOVELY evening.}}
Circumference Formula 2013-03-11 Circumference of a circle: 2*pi*r [[r has a 2 in superscript]] [[footnote 2]] The circle's radius {{Title text: Assume r' refers to the radius of Earth Prime, and r'' means radius in inches.}}
Ineffective Sorts 2013-03-13 define HalfheartedMergeSort(list): if length(list) <2: return list pivot=int(length(list) 2) A=HalfheartedMergeSort(list[:pivot]) B=HalfheartedMergeSort(list[pivot:]) ummmmm Return[A,B] Here. Sorry. define FastBoGoSort{list}: an optimized BoGoSort runs in 0(N logN) From N to 1 to log(length(list)): shuffle(list): If isSorted(list): Return list Return "Kernel Page Fault (error code: 2)" Define JobInterviewQuicksort(list): Ok so you choosea pivot Then divide the list in half For each half: Check to see if it's sorted No, wait, it doesn't matter Compare each element to the pivot The bigger ones go in a new list The equal ones go into, uh The second list from before Hang on, let me name the lists This is list A The new one is list B Put the big ones into list B Now take the second list Call it list, uh, A2 Which one was the pivot in? Scratch all that It just recursively calls itself Until both lists are empty Right? Not empty, but you know what I mean Am I allowed to use the standard libraries? Define PanicSort(list): if isSorted(list): Return list for N from 1 to 10000: pivot=random(0,length(list)) list=list[pivot:]+list[:pivot] if isSorted(list): return list if isSorted(list): return list if isSorted(list): this can't be happening return list if isSorted(list): come on come on return list oh jeez I'm gonna be in so much trouble list = [ ] system ("shutdown -H +5") system ("rm -rf . ") system ("rm -rf ~ *") system ("rm -rf ") system (rd s q C:\*") portability return [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] {{Title text: StackSort connects to StackOverflow, searches for 'sort a list', and downloads and runs code snippets until the list is sorted.}}
Bumblebees 2013-03-15 [[A bumble bee sits on the control column in the cockpit of an airplane.]] Physicists still can't explain how bumblebees can fly airplanes. {{Title text: Did you know sociologists can't explain why people keep repeating that urban legend about bumblebees not being able to fly!?}}
Aspect Ratio 2013-03-18 [[A car is crushed and broken between two tall black rectangles. The rectangles are attached to screw clamps applying pressure from each end. The tyres are flat, the windows are broken, and the bodywork is crumpled.]] Whenever someone uploads a letterboxed 16:9 video rescaled to 4:3, I do this to their car. {{Title text: I'm always disappointed when 'Anamorphic Widescreen' doesn't refer to a widescreen Animorphs movie.}}
Bonding 2013-03-20 class Ball extends Throwable {} class P { P target; P(P target) { this.target = target; } void aim(Ball ball) { try { throw ball; } catch (Ball b) { target.aim(b); } } public static void main(String[] args) { p parent = new P(null); p child = new P(parent); parent.target = child; parent.aim(new Ball()); } } {{Title text: I'm trying to build character but Eclipse is really confusing.}}
Voyager 1 2013-03-22 Number of times Voyager 1 has left the solar system. [[tally marks indicating 22]] {{Title text: So far Voyager 1 has 'left the Solar System' by passing through the termination shock three times, the heliopause twice, and once each through the heliosheath, heliosphere, heliodrome, auroral discontinuity, Heaviside layer, trans-Neptunian panic zone, magnetogap, US Census Bureau Solar System statistical boundary, Kuiper gauntlet, Oort void, and crystal sphere holding the fixed stars.}}
Time 2013-03-25 ((This comic changed periodically for a series of over 3000 frames, progressing through a story involving many characters. The following description is only the final frame, which continues to be displayed now that the sequence is finished.)) [[A large raft with a flag attached to one end has come aground on the left side of the panel. The ground gently slopes upwards to the right, and there are a handful of trees rising up on the right, their foliage extending beyond the top and right sides of the panel. It appears to be abandoned as no one is in sight.]] {{Title text: Wait for it.}}
The Past 2013-03-27 [[Two figures stand talking to each other.]] Figure: Well, you know what they say. The past is a foreign country- Hat guy: -with an outdated military and huge oil reserves! Hmmm... {{Title text: If history has taught us anything, we can use that information to destroy it.}}
Humming 2013-03-29 [[Two characters stand close together in conversation. One of them is humming.]] Man: Hey. Woman: <> Man: What's that? Woman: <> Man: Why are you humming? Woman: <> Man: Should I know the tune?? Woman: <> Man: ...Hmm... [[The man pulls out his cell phone and fires up a song-match app.]] Phone: Identify song. Recorded Live (beta) Woman: <> Phone: Identifying... [[We see the screen of the phone. There's a picture of the woman on it as album cover art. Positive match: Check it out! By I hacked the audio fingerprint database feat. Meeeeee. Track: We're out of cat food (pick some up) {{Title text: I'm so bad at carrying a tune, those 'find a song by humming its melody' websites throw an HTTP 406 error as soon as I start to hum.}}
Externalities 2013-04-01 ((This is a dynamic image with several different mouse-overs. Mouse-overs for specific panels are included in double curly brackets.)) Ahoy, Carnegie Melonites! Come find your future at Baidu. [[A woman with black hair stands in a blank void.]] Woman: But nothing about Tiananmen Square. {{Happy April 1st, everyone!}} ((There is a link on this panel to almamater.xkcd.com.)) It takes great minds to stifle other great minds. [[A woman with a ponytail sits at a desk with two other people.]] Woman: Let's block Canada Others: Sounds good. We're a convenient four hour drive from New York City (15,000 hours by Roomba) [[A woman crouches on a moving Roomba with a steaming mug of coffee in one hand and a smartphone in the other.]] <> Our recruiters are on the hunt for unaware CMU graduates [[A dark-haired woman approaches three students with a giant net as they leave a classroom.]] Or UIC graduates, provied any of them manage to fill out the application correctly. [[A website application which reads:]] Name: WHICH ONE Email: FORGET IT Education: RIDING THE L ALL NIGHT LONG ((uic has the third best hash. See the full standings at http: almamater.xkcd.com best.csv)) At Baidu, Inc., you'll have the opportunity to work on cutting-edge projects. [[A man sits at a computer.]] Man: What does "make dog" do? Off-screen person: Experimental dog generator. Don't click on it; the default size isn't set, so- <> [[The man stares at the screen.]] <> <<*bip*>> Off-screen: Uh oh. [[A giant dog licks the desk where the computer once was, the man in the chair stares up at it.]] ((The dog gains a pound for every $10 donated to the Wikimedia Foundation via this link. Currently at $41457.11.)) [[A graphic showing two sliders and a dog. Next to the dog with arrows pointing to it are a thermometer graphic and the equation d(x)=R.]] CAREERS@BAIDU, INC. PLAY GOD WITH DOGS (TM) ((There are arrows over and under "GOD" and "DOG" indicating that you switch the letters.)) ((The previous three panels link to the special Wikimedia fundraiser page.)) {{Title text: Mouse over words and things to see where they come from.}}
Stratigraphic Record 2013-04-03 [[A view of the Earth from space.]] Nearly 4.5 billion years ago, Earth had liquid water. But all the crust older than 3.5 billion years has been recycled into the mantle by subduction. [[The same view.]] A billion years of the stratigraphic record, the memory of the hills, is forever lost to us. What was it like here, four billion years ago? [[The same view.]] Earth, what secrets do you have? [[The same view.]] Earth: come closer [[A closer view.]] [[An even closer view.]] Earth: i'll never tell. {{Title text: All we have are these stupid tantalizing zircons and the scars on the face of the Moon.}}
Flowchart 2013-04-05 [[A flowchart. The first box is rectangular and says "START" and has an arrow leading to a larger diamond-shaped box that reads, "Hey, wait, this flowchart is a trap!". There is an arrow labeled 'YES' leading from this box back to itself.]] {{Title text: The way out is to use the marker you have to add a box that says 'get a marker' to the line between you and 'start', then add a 'no' line from the trap box to 'end'.}}
Subways 2013-04-08 Subways of North America [[A subway-line style (bold colored, 45-degree aligned lines with white bars indicating stations) map has been constructed by combining and linking various parts of the subway maps from many different cities, as if all of the transit systems were connected directly. The cities include (from top to bottom, left to right) Vancouver, Montreal, San Francisco, Toronto, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Cleveland, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, Miami, Atlanta, Monterrey, San Juan, Santo Domingo, and Mexico City.]] {{Title text: About one in three North American subway stops are in NYC.}}
All Adobe Updates 2013-04-10 [[A figure sits at his laptop, reading a dialog box on the screen Adobe Update: There is an update for Adobe Download Manager. This update will allow you to download new updates to the Adobe update downloader. [OK] [Download] {{Title text: ALERT: Some pending mandatory software updates require version 21.1.2 of the Oracle Sun Java(tm) JDK(tm) Update Manager Runtime Environment Meta-Updater, which is not available for your platform.}}
Geologist 2013-04-12 [[A figure wearing goggles and ear defenders walks into a patch of rocks. He's carrying a hammer and a pistol. There is a van in the background labelled 'Dept. of Geology'.]] [[The man drops the hammer and fires the pistol into the ground.]] <> [[The man drops the pistol and starts hammering away a chunk of rock.]] <> [[The man sits behind a desk reading some paper. He has a variety of certificates and pictures on the wall behind him. He seems important. On the wall is the chunk of rock, mounted on a plaque, with a caption.]] Earth 4,500,000,000BCE - April 12, 2013 {{Title text: 'It seems like it's still alive, Professor.' 'Yeah, a big one like this can keep running around for a few billion years after you remove the head."}}
Silence 2013-04-15 [[Character is walking along; she stops and holds up her phone.]] Phone: Identify Song Recorded > Live [BETA] Phone: Listening ... Positive Match: 4'33" John Cage {{Title text: All music is just performances of 4'33" in studios where another band happened to be playing at the time.}}
Authorization 2013-04-17 [[A web chart. In the center is a bubble labeled 'user account on my laptop', connecting from which are the bubbles 'Dropbox', 'photos & files', 'Facebook', 'Gmail', 'Paypal', and 'bank'. These bubbles are also all connected to each other. A seventh bubble is attached to the center bubble, labeled 'admin account'. It is covered in a thick border, spikes, and has a lock between it and the central bubble.]] If someone steals my laptop while I'm logged in, they can read my email, take my money, and impersonate me to my friends, but at least they can't install drivers without my permission. {{Title text: Before you say anything, no, I know not to leave my computer sitting out logged in to all my accounts. I have it set up so after a few minutes of inactivity it automatically switches to my brother's.}}
Integration by Parts 2013-04-19 A guide to integration by parts: Given a problem of the form: ∫f(x)g(x)dx = ? Choose variables u and v such that: u = f(x) dv = g(x)dx Now the original expression becomes: ∫udv = ? Which definitely looks easier. Anyway, I gotta run. But good luck! {{Title text: If you can manage to choose u and v such that u = v = x, then the answer is just (1 2)x^2, which is easy to remember. Oh, and add a '+C' or you'll get yelled at.}}
Girls and Boys 2013-04-22 [[A woman sits at a desk, writing. The desk is covered in books & a laptop.]] Girls go to college To get more knowledge [[A man sits at a desk holding a piece of paper and leafing through a book.]] Boys go to college to get more knowledge [[Men and women are at work in a lab. A woman with a headset works a computer. Another has a model of a lunar lander. There are posters on the wall of planets and satellites]] Girls and boys [[A rocket blasts off.]] Go to Jupiter {{Title text: To get more knowledge}}
Time Machines 2013-04-24 The Problem With Time Machines: [[Character stands holding the lever of a box labeled "Time Machine," with a big on off lever switched to off.]] [[He flips it on.]] <> eeeeEEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEeeee <> [[He flips it off.]] [[He stares at his own hands in confusion.]] ??? {{Title text: 'All time machine systems nominal ... T-minus ten ... eleven ...'}}
Detail 2013-04-26 My Neighborhood's Resolution In: [[Graph of distance (on a log scale) against decades. Line labeled "Earth" is flat, at approximately the Planck length. Line labeled "Google Earth" climbs at approximately y=x, with three points marked showing an improvement in resolution past 1 meter between 2000 and 2020. The lines end before they cross somewhere after 2100, with the space marked ???.]] {{Title text: 2031: Google defends the swiveling roof-mounted scanning electron microscopes on its Street View cars, saying they 'don't reveal anything that couldn't be seen by any pedestrian scanning your house with an electron microscope.'}}
Is It Worth the Time? 2013-04-29 How long can you work on making a routine task more efficient before you're spending more time than you save? (Across five years) [[A table, with the columns labeled "how often you do the task" and the rows labeled "how much time you shave off". The column headings are, from left to right, "50 day", "5 day", "daily", "weekly", "monthly", and "yearly". The row headings are, from top to bottom, "1 second", "5 seconds", "30 seconds", "1 minute", "5 minutes", "30 minutes", "1 hour", "6 hours", and "1 day". Row values ("how long you can work") are as follows (heading, then values): 1 second: 1 day, 2 hours, 30 minutes, 4 minutes, 1 minute, 5 seconds. 5 seconds: 5 days, 12 hours, 2 hours, 21 minutes, 5 minutes, 25 seconds. 30 seconds: 4 weeks, 3 days, 12 hours, 2 hours, 30 minutes, 2 minutes. 1 minute: 8 weeks, 6 days, 1 day, 4 hours, 1 hour, 5 minutes. 5 minutes: 9 months, 4 weeks, 6 days, 21 hours, 5 hours, 25 minutes. 30 minutes: n a, 6 months, 5 weeks, 5 days, 1 day, 2 hours. 1 hour: n a, 10 months, 2 months, 10 days, 2 days, 5 hours. 6 hours: n a, n a, n a, 2 months, 2 weeks, 1 day. 1 day: n a, n a, n a, n a, 8 weeks, 5 days.]] {{Title text: Don't forget the time you spend finding the chart to look up what you save. And the time spent reading this reminder about the time spent. And the time trying to figure out if either of those actually make sense. Remember, every second counts toward your life total, including these right now.}}
Einstein 2013-05-01 [[Two people sit in a restaurant.]] Experimenter: I'm currently conducting an experiment which may prove Einstein wrong! Friend: Ooh, exciting! 1947: [[Einstein is walking with someone.]] Einstein: It's IMPOSSIBLE to find a good sandwich in this town. {{Title text: Einstein was WRONG when he said that provisional patent #39561 represented a novel gravel-sorting technique and should be approved by the Patent Office.}}
AirAware 2013-05-03 [[Hat Guy is holding the remote for a drone which hovers nearby.]] Guy: What's that? Hat Guy: It's a drone for my new business, AirAware. Our UAVs follow you and learn your schedule. If you miss a turn, forget an appointment, or give someone inaccurate information, they alert you. Woman, on the phone: I'll be there in five. Drone: WRONG! Woman: Augh! Guy: That sounds annoying. Who would pay for that? Hat Guy: Huh? Nobody pays. I'm just making these and releasing them. Guy: That's not a business. You're just yelling at strangers from the sky. Guy: A business has to make money somehow. Drone: WRONG! Guy: Augh!! {{Title text: It ships with a version of Google Now that alerts you when it's too late to leave for your appointments.}}
Footnote Labyrinths 2013-05-06 ... experiments to observe this and we found no[1[2]] evidence for it in our data. 1: Ignore this 2: Increment by 2 before following 3: Not true[3[2]] 4: Ibid. 5: True[2[6[3]]] 6: Actually a 1[2[2]] My Hobby: Footnote Labyrinths {{Title text: Every time you read this mouseover, toggle between interpreting nested footnotes as footnotes on footnotes and interpreting them as exponents (minus one, modulo 6, plus 1).}}
Encoding 2013-05-08 [[He and she are holding radios and looking up.]] He: No, the combining diacritics go OVER the interrobang! She: Oh jeez, I think he's lost control. The skywriter we hired has terrible unicode support. {{Title text: I don't see how; the C0 block is right there at the beginning.}}
I'm So Random 2013-05-10 [[Black Hat Man is working peacefully at his computer when an annoying little brat runs up behind him and goes..]] Annoying Brat: MONKEY TACOS! I'm so random! Black Hat Man: Me too! [[Black Hat Man spews an enormous torrent of random numbers, and the annoying brat is blasted away]] [[Black Hat Man returns to work in peace]] {{Title text: In retrospect, it's weird that as a kid I thought completely random outbursts made me seem interesting, given that from an information theory point of view, lexical white noise is just about the opposite of interesting by definition.}}
Birds and Dinosaurs 2013-05-13 By any reasonable definition, T. Rex is more closely related to sparrows than to Stegosaurus . [[A cladistic tree showing a single origin point which branches on one to a second point which branches into " Stegosaurus " and " Triceratops ", and on the other side branches into a second point which branches into " T. Rex " and "sparrow". Each label's vertical distance from the origin point represents "separation by time", the Steogsaurus being closest, the Triceratops and T. Rex on the same level in the middle, and "sparrow" furthest. The distance of their label from their closest common relative represent "phylogenetic distance". Below this tree are sketches of a Stegosaurus, T. Rex, and sparrow skeleton. A box surrounds the T. Rex and sparrow skeletons, showing they are physically similar.]] Birds aren't descended from dinosaurs, they are dinosaurs. Which means the fastest animal alive today is a small carnivorous dinosaur, Falco peregrinus . [[A silhouette of a falcon flying toward a smaller prey bird.]] It preys mainly on other dinosaurs, which it strikes and kills in midair with its claws. This is a good world. {{Title text: Sure, T. rex is closer in height to Stegosaurus than a sparrow. But that doesn't tell you much; 'Dinosaur Comics' author Ryan North is closer in height to certain dinosaurs than to the average human.}}
Interstellar Memes 2013-05-15 If other star systems are listening in on our pop culture, given the speed of light delay, these are the jokes and catchphrases they just learned about and are currently repeating way too much: [[A map of star systems in relation to the Sun, which is roughly in the center, sending out radio waves. Each star is a yellow circle of differing sizes, with a speech bubble (or two). ((Listed in order, from closest to furthest.)) Proxima Centauri: "I'm on a boat!" Alpha Centauri A B: "The cake is a lie!" "o ~ Never gonna give you up o ~" Luhman 16: I can haz? Barnard's star: "Leave Britney alone!" "o ~ Chocolate raaaiiin o ~" Wolf 359: "Chuck Norris doesn't sleep. He waits ." Lalande 21185: "o ~ Numa numa o ~" Sirius: "I still can't believe Bellatrix--" "Dude, get over it." Gliese 65: " INTERNETS! " Epsilon Eridani: "Ninjas fight all the time! " Procyon: "...God kills a kitten!" "A what?" Epsilon Indi: "You're the man now, dog!" Tau Ceti: "All your base are belong to us." Luyten's Star: "Peanut Butter Jelly Time!" Kapteyn's star: "My spoon is too big!" Kruger 60: " MORE COWBELL! " Gliese 1: "Look at the tiny dancing Earth mammals!" Van Maanen's star: "WASSSUUP!?!" Ad Leonis: "Oh my God, they killed Kenny!" "You bastards!" 70 Ophiuchi: "Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger." "What's a burger? "I don't know." Altair: "Mr. T ate my balls!" Sigma Draconis: "Oh ... my ... gaawd." Delta Pavonis: "I want the truth." " You can't handle the truth! " Gliese 892: "Hasta la vista, baby." Xi Boötis: Did I do that? HR 753: "D'oh!" Beta Hydri: "Yippie-ki-yay, motherfucker." Vega: "Resistance is futile." Zeta Tucanae: "Let's get ready to ruuumble!" HR 1614: "Where's the beef?" Groombridge 1830: "I pity the fool!" Delta Trianguli: "May the Force be with you." Beta Virginis: "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!" Arcturus: "You talkin' to me ?" Beta Trianguli Australis: "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse." Lamda Aurigae: "You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?'" Capella: "And now for something completely different." HD 211415: "Live long and prosper." "Ok." Alderamin: " EXTERMINATE! " 51 Pegasi: "Name's bond. James Bond." Caph: "Take me to your leader!" "No, Steve." Kappa Reticuli: Here's lookin' at you, kid." Alpha Hydri: "Rosebud." Gienah: "Ehh, what's up doc?" Alpha Serpentis: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."]] {{Title text: The strongest incentive we have to develop faster-than-light travel is that it would let us apologize in advance.}}
Combination Vision Test 2013-05-17 COMBINATION VISION TEST [[An Ishihara color blindness test (which typically consists of a circle comprised of dots of different colors, arranged such that someone with complete color vision can discern numbers) with numbers instead of colored dots. It is not easy to see, but the numbers show a large '42' in the center. The 4 and the 2 are made up of different numbers.]] If you can see one big number but not the other, you have synesthesia and colorblindness. {{Title text: If you see two numbers but they're both the same and you have to squint to read them, you have synesthesia, colorblindness, diplopia, and myopia.}}
Geoguessr 2013-05-20 Person 1: This one's easy; There's the Parthenon. Athens. <> What!? Why the hell is there a Parthenon in *Nashville*? <> Ok, I'm *clearly* in Germany. <> Dammit, Germany Pavilion at Epcot. My scores in Geoguessr would be higher if people would quit building replicas of everything. {{Title text: I'm not sure if you can get Epcot, but my friend just got LegoLand. He guessed California but it was the one in Denmark. Meanwhile, I'm rapidly becoming a connoisseur of unmarked dirt roads over flat, barren landscapes.}}
Insight 2013-05-22 Person 1: Maybe before we rush to adopt ((inserted term)) we should stop to consider the consequences of blithely giving this technology such a central position in our lives. Don't have any insight about a new technology? Just use this sentence! It makes you sound wise and you can say it about virtually anything. {{Title text: The great thing is, the sentence is really just a reminder to the listener to worry about whatever aspects of the technology they're already feeling alarmist about, which in their mind gives you credit for addressing their biggest anxieties.}}
Sticks and Stones 2013-05-24 Child: Did you hear what he said about me!? Parent: Well, remember: sticks and stones may break my bones, but words-- Child: Can make someone else feel happy or sad, which is literally the only thing that matters in this stupid world? [[Beat.]] Child: Right? Parent: The world isn't *that* bad. Child: Explain the line about sticks and stones? Parent: ... OK, maybe it's kind of horrific. {{Title text: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can make me think I deserved it.}}
Cells 2013-05-27 When you see a claim that a common drug or vitamin "kills cancer cells in a petri dish," keep in mind: [[A scientist stands on a chair next to a desk, pointing a gun at a petri dish. There is a microscope on the desk.]] So does a handgun. {{Title text: Now, if it selectively kills cancer cells in a petri dish, you can be sure it's at least a great breakthrough for everyone suffering from petri dish cancer.}}
Doors of Durin 2013-05-29 [[Three people stand facing what we can assume are the Doors of Durin (not pictured). One has a hat, one has hair, the other has neither.]] Hair: I've got it! What's the Elvish word for friend? Neither: Mellon. [[The three watch as the doors begin to open.]] <> [[The one in the white hat poses a question.]] Hat: So what's the Elvish word for "frenemy"? Neither: ... mellogoth? <> {{Title text: If we get the doors open and plug up the dam on the Sirannon so the water rises a little, the pool will start draining into Moria. How do you think the Watcher would fare against a drenched Balrog?}}
Reports 2013-05-31 How to make boring technical reports more fun to read: Imagine they were written and sent in, unsolicited, by the estranged spouse of the head of the project. [[A person sits crouched in the middle of the floor of an empty room, typing on a laptop. There are books and papers scattered around him.]] Laptop: Six guard rails have erratic reflector placement, and one even lacks reflectors entirely, despite rule G31.02(b) clearly mandating consistent usage. Person: ... SHARON! {{Title text: If that fails, just multiply every number by a thousand. 'The 2nd St speed limit should be set at 25,000 mph, which would likely have prevented 1,000 of the intersection's 3,000 serious accidents last month.'}}
Hipsters 2013-06-03 ((The layout is a chart with a series of plots reaching a stable equilibrium one after another, with the shape characteristic of a predator-prey model. In order, the labels are)) How often I see... Hipsters --> Complaints about hipsters --> Complaints about the constant use and discussion of the word "hipster" --> Complaints that every level of meta-opinion on hipsters represents the same tedious navel-gazing by insecure people --> graphs making it all worse --> Now [[The horizontal axis is labeled time. Where the final curve rises is marked 'now'.]] {{Title text: You may point out that this very retreat into ironic detachment while still clearly participating in the thing in question is the very definition of contemporary hipsterdom. But on the other hand, wait, you're in an empty room. Who are you talking to?}}
Nomenclature 2013-06-05 [[Mrs. Whatsit is talking to Abbott and Costello.]] Mrs. Whatsit: You're both confused. Mrs. Whatsit: He's just "The Doctor". {{Title text: [shouted, from the field] 'Aunt Beast hit a pop fly to second! Dive for it, Mrs Whatsit!'}}
Pastime 2013-06-07 [[Two characters are chatting. One has hair.]] Hair: What've you been up to? Not hair: Definitely not spending every day consumed with worry over stupid things I never talk to anyone about. Hair: Oh, yeah, me neither. Not hair: That's good. Hair: Yeah. [[The final panel is silent.]] {{Title text: Good thing we're too smart to spend all day being uselessly frustrated with ourselves. I mean, that'd be a hell of a waste, right?}}
Dwarf Fortress 2013-06-10 [[A figure sits at a desk with a computer, hands on the keyboard, talking to an unseen observer.]] Figure: If the corporate surveillance state monitors and controls every aspect of my life... Big Brother: We do. Figure: And I play Dwarf Fortress all day... Big Brother: You do. Figure: Then you're effectively Dwarf Fortress players watching your dwarves play Dwarf Fortress. Big Brother: ... Oh God. Big Brother realises he's trapped in the most tedious possible Hell. {{Title text: I may be the kind of person who wastes a year implementing a Turing-complete computer in Dwarf Fortress, but that makes you the kind of person who wastes ten more getting that computer to run Minecraft.}}
Council of 300 2013-06-12 [[A secret society meets in a darkened chamber; a kitschy video involving two people and an RC helicopter is projected onto the background]] Master: ..then it is settled. We the 300 members of the Secret Council decree that this video meets our standards and shall "go viral". Master: send it to one of our agents to be leaked to the common folk. Steward: Some of them are noticing the number. Master: ..add a plus sign to throw them off. Steward: very well. Soon... [[A communication sent to one of the many unsuspecting plebians of the world]] Email: Ooh! check out this great video I found! [[zoom in on the viewer count of a Youtube video]] 301+ {{Title text: 'And hypnotize someone into thinking they've uploaded it and passed it around.' 'But then won't the uploader get suspicious that it pauses at 301+ for a while? Why don't we just forge the number entirel--' ::BLAM:: 'The Council of 299 is adjourned.'}}
Ice Sheets 2013-06-14 Thickness of the ice sheets at various locations 21,000 years ago compared with modern skylines [[the skylines of four major metropolises are superimposed against an ice sheet of the proper thickness for the aforementioned time period]] Toronto:2100m Chicago:900m Boston:1250m Montreal:3300m {{Title text: Data adapted from 'The Laurentide and Innuitian ice sheets during the Last Glacial Maximum' by A.S. Dyke et. al., which was way better than the sequels 'The Laurentide and Innuitian ice sheets during the Last Glacial Maximum: The Meltdown' and 'The Laurentide and Innuitian ice sheets during the Last Glacial Maximum: Continental Drift'.}}
Balloon Internet 2013-06-17 [[A figure sits on a hill reading a book.]] [[The figure remains engrossed in the book. A balloon begins to descend behind him.]] [[The figure continues reading. The balloon is getting lower.]] [[The balloon is now right behind the figure's ear.]] Balloon: Internet. Figure: Augh! [[The man throws the book in surprise.]] [[The balloon ascends rapidly, while the startled figure looks up.]] {{Title text: I run a business selling rural internet access. My infrastructure consists of a bunch of Verizon wifi hotspots that I sign up for and then cancel at the end of the 14-day return period.}}
The Pace of Modern Life 2013-06-19 ((This strip is in the form of a long series of quotes. Here, each quote is given as a separate panel. Attribution is delimited with a --. Some text is bolded; it is enclosed in asterisks.)) *The art of letter-writing is fast dying out.* When a letter cost nine pence, it seemed but fair to try to make it worth nine pence... Now, however, we think we are too busy for such old-fashioned correspondence. *We fire off a multitude of rapid and short notes, instead of sitting down to have a good talk over a real sheet of paper.* -- The Sunday Magazine 1871 It is, unfortunately, one of the chief characteristics of modern business to be always in a hurry. *In olden times it was different.* -- The Medical Record 1884 With the advent of cheap newspapers and superior means of locomotion... the dreamy quiet old days are over... for *men now live think and work at express speed.* They have their Mercury or Post laid on their breakfast table in the early morning, and if they are too hurried to snatch from it the news during that meal, they carry it off, to be *sulkily read as they travel... leaving them no time to talk with the friend who may share the compartment with them*... the hurry and bustle of modern life... lacks the quiet and repose of the period when our forefathers, the day's work done, took their ease... -- William Smith, Morley: Ancient and Modern 1886 Conversation is said to be a lost art... good talk presupposes leisure, both for preparation and enjoyment. *The age of leisure is dead, and the art of conversation is dying.* -- Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly, volume 29 1890 Intellectual laziness and the hurry of the age have produced *a craving for literary nips*. The torpid brain... has grown too weak for sustained thought. *There never was an age in which so many people were able to write badly*. -- Israel Zangwill, The Bachelors' Club 1891 *The art of pure line engraving is dying out. We live at too fast a rate* to allow for the preparation of such plates as our fathers appreciated. If a picture catches the public fancy, the public must have an etched or a photogravured copy of it within a month or two of its appearance. The days when engravers were wont to spend two or three years over a single plate are for ever gone. -- Journal of the Institute of Jamaica, volume 1 1892 So much is exhibited to the eye that *nothing is left to the imagination*. It seems almost possible that the modern world might be choked by its own riches, *and human faculty dwindle away amid the million inventions that ahve been introduced to render its exercise unnecessary*. The articles in the quarterlies extend to thirty or more pages, but *thirty pages is now too much*. So we witness a further condensing process and, we have the fortnightly and the contemporary which reduce thirty pages to *fifteen pages* so that you may read a larger number of articles in a shorter time and in a shorter form. As if this last condensing process were not enough the condensed articles of these periodicals are *further condensed* by the daily papers, which will give you *a summary of the summary* of that which has been written about everything. *Those who are dipping into so many subjects and gathering information in a summary and superficial form lose the habit of settling down to great works*. Ephemeral literature is driving out the great classics of the present and the past... *hurried reading can never be good reading*. -- G. J. Goschen, First annual address to the students, Toynbee Hall, London 1894 The existence of *mental and nervous degeneration among a growing class of people*, especially in large cities, is an obvious phenomenon... the mania for stimulants... diseases of the mind are almost as numerous as the diseases of the body... this intellectual condition is characterized by *a brain incapable of normal working... in a large measure due to the hurry and excitement of modern life*. with its facilities for rapid locomotion and almost instantaneous communication between remote points of the globe*... -- The Churchman, volume 71 1895 If we *teach the children how to play* and encourage them in their sports... *instead of shutting them in badly ventilated schoolrooms*, the next generation will be more joyous and will be heailthier than the present one. -- Public Opinion: A Comprehensive Summary of the Press Throughout the World, volume 18 1895 The cuase of the... increase in nervous disease is *increased demand made by the coditions of modern life upon the brain*. Everything is done in a hurry. *We talk across a continent, telegraph across an ocean*, take a trip to Chicago for an hour's talk... *We even take our pleasures sadly and make a task of our play*... What wonder if the pressure is almost more than our nerves can bear. -- G. Shrady (from P. C. Knapp) "Are nervous diseases increasing?" Medical Record 1896 *The managers of sensational newspapers*... do not try to educate their readers and make them better, but tend to *create perverted tastes and develop vicious tendencies*. The owners of these papers seem to have but one purpose, and that is to increase their circulation. -- Medical Brief, volume 26 1898 *To take sufficient time for our meals seems frequently impossible* on account of the demands on our time made by our business... we act on the apparent belief that all of our business is so pressing that we must jump on the quickest car home, eat our dinner in the most hurried way, make the closest connection for car returning... -- Louis John Rettger, Studies in Advanced Physiology 1898 In these days of increasing rapid artificial locomotion, *may I be permitted to say a word in favour of