Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Comic 417: The Man Who Fell Sideways

There was a dude. He was fucked up for some reason. He fell down all the time. One day he fell into a girl and they fell in love in several seconds. Later, she found out that Sir Falls-a-Lot had impregnated her. She found this out when her baby fell away from her, because having fucked up gravity is not only genetic, it's a dominant trait, apparently. The baby falls into the sunset, screaming, and as the end titles come on screen, we wonder - are those final screams the baby as she falls to a life of torture and pain, or from the mother, on losing her child so soon after birth?

Moral of the story: Randall Munroe thinks it only takes like 2 seconds to impregnate someone.

Update: It just occurred to me that Randall missed a great opportunity for a way better pun than "falling for him." In the 21st panel, when the girl says "He knocked me over and tumbled into the distance" what she should have said was "He knocked me over....and up." HA HA HA!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Comic 416: Zealous Autoconfig

Ok guys, I'll be honest here: I have no idea what's happening. I'm sure if you understand the intricacies of connecting to a secure wifi connection then it's TEH H1L4RI0uS but for the rest of us it is like reading a user manual, and I for one already have a bunch of those I haven't read so I don't need more.

Here's my guess for what's happening (a real guess) - He's trying to steal someone's internet, and he can't get the password, so he somehow manages to kidnap their children, I guess to exchange it for the internet. I don't know how he does that without leaving his seat if he has no internet access, but again, I don't know much about wifi. Maybe there is a 'kidnap' function but who knows? I guess I should check the xkcd message board but that's like kissass central so I dunno.

Oh by the way - if there is ever a time when the first say, 10 posts on the xkcd thread for an individual comic say it sucks, my job will be done and I'll end this blog.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Of COURSE we care about your trash, Randall!

Today on the blog: Randall Munroe's trash. Seriously! Looking through his trash, he found a piece of paper with some random words on it...and...he wants us to know. And there have been more than 200 comments about it already (one of which, I will admit, came from me), trying to guess what the random words he wrote down were. Seriously people, if he wants to blog about his trash fine, I mean, I'll make fun of it, but trying to analyze it? Do you have nothing better to do, really?

Fun related note: I once found that I had marked a day on my calender as "Artificial Fish Day." It was clearly my handwriting, but I have no idea when I wrote it or why.

Oh and if I spell "Randall" or "Munroe" wrong in the future, too bad.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Comic 206: Reno Rhymes

No Randall. You do not get to make fun of Johnny Cash. Or more specifically, you do not want to mock Johnny Cash unless you want his badass, guitar toting, dressed-in-black corpse to come straight out of his grave and beat you senseless. Because you are a nerd, and he is a badass. Hell, you talk about going "home to cry" and "watching cacti" right here. Sorry. Folsom Prison Blues is a great song and you do it a hell of a disservice...why? To show you can rhyme stuff with the word "die"? WOW! Guess who else can do that? A computer.

Ok, you do get a point for suggesting that Man-in-hat killed some innocent Vietnamese people during the War, but you lose that point for crying again about how Firefly was canceled. We know! It was a good show! Arrested Development was also canceled! These things happen!

Comic 174: That's What She Said

People don't actually talk like this. Pay attention for it in Real Life: no one uses this many pronouns. And if anyone did, and you responded with "that's what she said", it wouldn't work like this - because in people's minds, they replace the pronouns with the actual noun. It's only grammatically ambiguous if it's taken on its own - like in this comic.

10 best xkcd comics 1-200

This is to show that I really do like a lot of things about xkcd. So here are my 10 favorite comics out of the first 200, in no particular order. As usual, the numbers are links to the comics themselves (no need to clutter the page with images). I'll go through the next 200 comics some night when I don't have to get up early the next day.

30 Update: Alas, it appears this joke is very very close to a joke made in Patch Adams. Apparently Dr. Adams is playing with a skeleton and has it say "Donner, Party of Five?" or some such number. This is a bit better, because there is clearly a person missing and they say they are full, but still. Grr.
155 (this is my favorite of all time)
161 - Update: A commenter points out that basically this comic is the same as the story at the beginning of this 2005 Wired story.

And an honorable mention to Panel 6 of 68, which is here:

And yes, I will do a 10 worst comics post. I will do this in...the future!

Comic 415: Restraining Order

Eh. This feels close to a good comic - sort of like a funny idea but with a few spots missing. Maybe it would be better if there were some funny reason why regular restraining orders didn't work? Or some explanation for why this woman has decided to go to these great lengths in her restraining-order-filing. "Not content" doesn't do it for me.

Also the idea that someone as comically harmless as Randall Munroe could possibly require a restraining order is funny on its own. Remember, this is the man who once drew this picture:
Maybe that's supposed to be the joke? "I needed a restraining order! Ha ha! I'm a freaking computer programmer who worked for NASA! What could possibly be less threatening?"

I mean, he once wrote the words "None of the places I floated had mommies" for christ's sake.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Do I hate XKCD?

You'd think so. I mean, I started a blog with the url "xkcdsucks". But I don't think it really sucks, on the whole. It's just that it's sucking more than it used to and getting worse. I started reading in the summer of 2007 and liked it, but increasingly I've noticed that Randall is just making computer science jokes. Not even jokes - just referring to random programming ideas or patterns and acting like it's a joke. Acting like it's kind of cool to refer to nerdy things in a webcomic. Either that, or he does a "cute nerdy relationship" comic, which are beginning to get very, very irritating.

Luckily, I have been taught to back up claims with empirical evidence, so here you go:
That's a chart of the first 400 xkcd comics, and how frequent certain themes were. Computer jokes have risen dramatically. The x-axis measures comics going forward in time, and the y-axis measures density of joke types (a point at the very top of the graph indicated 80% of the jokes at that time were of that theme, a point at the bottom indicates 0%)

And then of course he occasionally hits you with something like 383 which just comes out of nowhere and smacks you upside the head while yelling "expecting, that, bitch? Didn't think so!" I guess it's his artistic, meaningful side? As you once said, communicating badly and then acting smug when you're misunderstood is not cleverness. And being cryptic and weird and then acting smug (which you know you are when you posted that, it's not like you're sitting there regretting it) is not artistic, nor is it funny.

Anyway, because I do think there is a lot to like about XKCD (two examples: the aforementioned 169 and also 262) do not expect this to be a website where I just complain all the time. If something is good, I'll say so. If something only sucks a little, I won't give it any flack it doesn't deserve. And I will do my best to always link to xkcd.com. Oh and I refer to comics by number, not name. Just easier.

PS - if you are curious as to what I think doesn't suck, head on over to www.qwantz.com for Dinosaur Comics, which are great.

Comic 414: Mistranslations

"I would like you to know that I am a nerd, but I have sex! It is crazy! I run into so many problems, as a nerd having sex! "

See the same concept in previous comics: 335, 355, 364, 387, 400, 403

Update: A commenter adds that 333 should be on this list as well. Damn, Randall, you need some new ideas.

Comic 413: New Pet

Oh Randall. How you love computers. Today you again blurred the line between a living thing and a computer. Ha ha, Randall! You have only done this several times before! See comics 149, 185, 188, 215, 329, 352, 364, 371, 379 and probably a lot more.

So what does he do today. Ok, you put a computer into a ball and made it act like a hampster. Then you gave us another of your schematic diagrams meant to show how seriously you have considered this, and to top it off, finished with another joke about how much you love python. We get it! You like python! It's easy to use! You told us this in comic 353! and 409! And on your blog! It was never all that funny!

Comic 412: Startled

Ok, another in the "Guy in hat meets female version of himself" story. Um. This time he ends up getting shrunken into his hat and "scootching" away. I wouldn't have thought the guy in the hat would be so easily scared. I hope we find out what happens next. Maybe the next installment will feature...words.

Comic 411: Techno

This is somewhat funny. Still falls into the "I know more about computers that you do ha ha ha" category. And of course, anyone who knows enough about computers to loop a 15 second sample into a longer song probably doesn't pay for music from itunes, but other than that...

Also doesn't itunes give you 30 seconds? Maybe it varies.

Comic 410: Math Paper

This is a fairly good comic; I like the idea of revoking a "math license." It reminds me that there do exist happy numbers.

Comic 409: Electric Skateboard

No. You are not nearly a good enough cartoonist to get to use Calvin and Hobbes. In fact, I don't think there are ANY cartoonists who are good enough to co-opt Bill Waterson for their own comic. You give me back my childhood or I'm calling the Universal Press Syndicate, Munroe.

Also, thanks for pointing out in the title that this is a double comic. Because I wouldn't have known by just looking at it.

We know you like electric skateboards, incidentally, you mention it fairly frequently. We also know that you like python, so you can stop mentioning that so often.