December 7, 2019

XKCD Web Comic #1072: Seventies (described)

A web comic of romance,
sarcasm, math, and language.

Panel One: Drawing of a stick figure, standing and looking off-panel to the right.

Person 1: Nice jacket. Hey — the Seventies called.

Person 2 (off-panel): Oh? What’d they want?

Panel Two: Person 1 looking at phone.

Person 1: I don’t know. They didn’t leave a message. Person 2 (off-panel): Weird.

Panel Three:

Caption
1974:

A stick 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″.

Hover text: Hey, man, the 1670s called. They were like “Wherefore this demonic instrument? By what sorcery does it produce such sounds?

 

Warning: This comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

XKCD Web Comic #1071: Exoplanets (described)

A web comic of romance,
sarcasm, math, and language.

Scene: A large circle made up of colored dots of various sizes. The smallest are about the size of a period and the largest are about the size of the end of a pencil eraser. The largest are red, with the sizes ranging down through brown, gold, blue, green, and then gray. Near the top of the circle, amongst the dots,  it says “All 786 Known Planets (as of June 2012) to Scale (some planet sizes estimated based on mass.)” Beneath the words, a box is drawn around one set of the dots–two gold dots, two blue dots, three green and one gray. The box is labeled “This is our solar system.” Beneath that it says, “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 abut what’s on any of them. With better telescopes, that would change. This Is An Exciting Time.”

Hover 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.

 

Warning: This comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

XKCD Web Comic #1070: Words for Small Sets (described)

A web comic of romance,
sarcasm, math, and language.

 

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)

Hover 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.

 

Warning: This comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

XKCD Web Comic #1069: Alphabet (described)

A web comic of romance,
sarcasm, math, and language.

 

 Scene: Drawing of a stick figure talking to another stick figure with blonde hair who is seated at a bar and holding a drink.

Person 1: Baby, if I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d forget about you in a heartbeat. – I’m not going to waste my one chance to help fix the mess that is English Orthography.

Hover 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*!

 

Warning: This comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

XKCD Web Comic #1068: Swiftkey (described)

A web comic of romance,
sarcasm, math, and language.

 

Panel One: Drawing of two stick figures talking. The one on the left is holding up a cell phone. The one on the right has shoulder-length dark hair.

Person 1: Have you tried Swift Key? It’s got the first decent language model I’ve seen. – It learns from your SMS/e-mail archives what words you use together most often.

Panel Two: Same as Panel One, except now the other figure is holding the phone.

Person 1: Space bar 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?

Panel Three: Close up on the second figure looking at the cell phone.

Person 1 (off-panel): 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 (off-panel): Uh–

Panel Four through Eleven: Close up on the second figure looking at the cell phone and pressing the space bar.

Cell phone: I

Cell phone: Am

Cell phone: So

Cell phone: Sorry–

Cell phone: That’s

Cell phone: Never

Cell phone: Happened

Cell phone: Before.

Hover 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.

 

Warning: This comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

XKCD Web Comic #1067: Pressures (described)

A web comic of romance,
sarcasm, math, and language.

 

Scene: Drawing of a stick figure with shoulder-length dark hair, sitting at a desk with a computer monitor and a pile of papers and holding a paper in each hand. A stick figure with a blonde ponytail is standing behind and looking over the first stick figure’s shoulder.

Pony-tailed Figure: So…what’ve you been up to?

Dark Haired Figure: Handling patent applications.

Pony-tailed Figure: Yeah, but…besides that.

Dark Haired Figure: That’s about it.

Pony-tailed Figure: You’re not, like, thinking abut any cool stuff? — Just curious.

Caption

For the last hundred yeas, Swiss patent clerks have been under some weird pressures.

Hover 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.

 

Warning: This comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

XKCD Web Comic #1066: Laundry (described)

A web comic of romance,
sarcasm, math, and language.

 

Title: College Laundry Habits

Panel One: First Week:

Drawing of a cycle showing the flow of clothing between points labeled “Dresser & Closet,” “On Body,” “Hamper,” “Washer & Dryer,” and “Folding Area.” The center area of the cycle is labeled [Floor].

Panel Two: Second Week

Same as Panel One except that now the cycle no longer includes “Folding Area.”

Panel Three:  Third Week

Same as Panel Two except that now the cycle no longer includes “Folding Area” and “Dresser & Closet.”

Panel Four: Second Month

Same as Panel Three except the cycle no longer includes “Folding Area,” “Dresser & Closet” and “Hamper.”

Panel Five: End of Semester

The cycle now only includes “On Body” and [Floor].

Hover text: During the second semester, the path is briefly routed through the dishwasher.

 

Warning: This comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

XKCD Web Comic #1065: Shoes (described)

A web comic of romance,
sarcasm, math, and language.

 

Panel One: Drawing of a stick figure with a bruised face, holding a large sword. The stick figure is leaning back in surprise and looking at a box that seems to be floating in air in a beam of light. A voice from off panel emanates from above the figure’s head.

Voice: For saving my kingdom, I give you a gift of great power.

Panel Two: Similar to Panel One, but the figure has set the sword aside and is reaching toward the box. The lid has come off the box.

Voice: These magic shoes enable the wearer to outrun Death itself.

Panel Three: Close up of the stick figure examining the shoes, which look very like Vibram Five Finger toe shoes.

Stick Figure Person: Whoa, wait. They have those creepy individual toes.

Panel Four: Similar to Panel Two, but the stick figure has one hand to the face in a thinking pose. The shoes are back in the box with the toe tips sticking out over the edge.

Voice: But they make you immortal.

Stick Figure Person: . . .I have to think about this.

Hover text: I *do* hear that they’re the most comfortable thing to wear on your feet since sliced bread.

 

Warning: This comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

XKCD Web Comic #1064: Front Door (described)

A web comic of romance,
sarcasm, math, and language.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scene:

Line graph–Walking Back to My Front Door at Night:

The Y-axis is not labeled.  The X-axis is labeled “Yard” at a little left of center, with an arrow pointing to the left. Right about center is labeled “Steps”, then “Door,” then “Inside” with an arrow pointing to the right. A gray line labeled “Forward Speed” starts about a quarter of the way up the Y-axis. A blue line labeled “Fear That There’s Something Behind Me” starts close to the bottom, just above a red line labeled “Embarrasment” running close to the X-axis. The gray and red line run along at a steady height but the blue line climbs steadily toward the gray line until just before reaching the “Steps” marking, where it jumps up sharply. The gray line echoes the blue, and they both reach a point about three-fourths of the way up the Y-axis, then plunge sharply back down as they reach “Door,” leveling back out with the blue line close to the X-axis and the gray slightly higher. The red “Embarrasment” line angles up sharply at “Door” and levels off at an even higher point than the other two reached.

Hover 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!

Warning: This comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

XKCD Web Comic #1063: Kill Hitler (described)

A web comic of romance,
sarcasm, math, and language.

 

Panel One: Drawing of two stick figures standing in front of a time machine. The figure on the left is wearing a black hat.

Black Hat Guy: I finished my time machine, but it’s one-use-only.

Other Guy: You gotta kill Hitler.

Panel Two: Close up on Black Hat Guy.

Black Hat Guy: Why are you so obsessed with this Hitler guy? We have all of time we could explore!

Panel Three: Close up on the other guy.

Other Guy: He’s evil incarnate! He murdered millions and sparked global war! Everyone agreesIf you get a time machine, you kill Hitler.

Panel Four: Black Hat Guy enters the time machine as the other guy watches.

Black Hat Guy: Fine, fine, I get it! Calm down.—BRB, killing Hitler.

Panel Five: Black Hat Guy comes out of the time machine as the other guy watches.

Black Hat Guy: There. Done. Are you happy?

Other Guy: Thank you.

Black Hat Guy: He was in some kind of bunker. 1945 was loud!

Other Guy: NO!

Hover text: Revised directive: It is forbidden for you to interfere with human history until you’ve at least taken a class on it.

 

Warning: This comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).