Sunday, June 29, 2008

Comic 442: Singalong time!!

I mostly like this comic. Perhaps it is because of all the criticism my last post got, but I do like it. It's cute. The rhymes work well and mostly refer to previous comics. True, one of the best lines, "I put on my robe and wizard hat" only refers to something even more awesome and hilarious, but I think the line about Taft slash fiction makes up for it. On some level, this comic is just sort of a self congratulatory "I love my webcomic" clip show, but I am feeling nice today. 4 stars (out of 5)!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Comic 441: Too Many Problems To List Them All

I'd like to thank Mr. Randall Munroe, the creator of the ever popular xkcd comic strip, for remind me that he is a relationship with a female who is just as nerdy and quirky and cool as he is! I often forget this, because Mr. Munroe is so clever and funny nerdy that my brain automatically reverts to the belief that there is no woman worthy of him. But then, on those rarest of occasions when through his superhuman mind warping abilities, he detects that I have forgotten this fact - it is in this moment when he says to himself, in his attractive but nerdy voice, "SO BE IT. I must make another comic. A comic to remind people. To remind them of my love. And how quirky it is. I choose not this task; fate has chosen it for me." And then, with a flutter of wind, he retreats to his lair and begins to draw. Such is the life of a webcomic artist. I thank you again for your service.


Seriously, where do I start with this one?
-Ok yeah you are old enough to have kids but you are in your mid-twenties I think. You've been able to have kids for about the past decade. This is nothing new.

-Seriously, when are you going to get sick of the "Ha ha! I'm treating something alive likes it's a machine or vice versa!" joke? Your joke here is nearly identical to comic 218.

-Any part of this joke that isn't exactly like 218 is pretty damn close to 387.

-Lastly: I am not a woman, but I suspect that if I were, and if I had just given birth, I would not use the sentence "Sweet! We made a baby!" I suspect that I would say, "Sweet! I made a baby! You sat and did nothing!"


Update: I went and made a list of all the times we've seen the living thing/machine idea. It's over on the left in the Repeat Offenders column, and right here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Comic 440: Road Rage

It appears that what we have here is a couple, namely Mr. and Ms. Hat, and they are in a Nerdy Relationship. Somehow, they have gone from trying to blow each other up to working together, but no matter. In the last panel we get to see another trademark xkcd example of a hilariously blurred line between humans and computers. The guy thinks that the laptop is a person! Ha!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Comic 439: Thinking Ahead

So maybe this isn't technically "We Have A Quirky Relationship Aren't We AWESOME???" but it comes close - he wants to be in a relationship because she is nerdy. And he fails. But that is another matter.

But repetition aside, how is the comic otherwise? On a scale of 1 to 10 I'd say it's about a 4. It's funny that he's so neurotic, and that he jumps out a window, but other than that, eh. I think the real issue the dude has is whatever it is that's "unresolved with Megan." That seems to be what's really making him confused.

Also I noticed that ohnorobot, the webcomic search engine, claims that it is searching 1,025 xkcd comics. What the heck? Also you guys know that the comic numbers intentionally skipped comic #404? Look for it. I find that fairly amusing.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Comic 438: Internet Argument

Another comic with no words. Another comic that kinda sucks. Life is so...boring. What's the point here? "People fight online, but when they meet in real life they do not fight; they are just awkward and silent for a while." There's just no joke there.

Oh and in case you don't get the point the alt-text spells it out exactly for you. THANKS, ALT-TEXT. I DID NOT GET THE JOKE ON MY OWN.

Also Randall is really good at drawing mountains I think.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Comic 437: SUV

So what's the point here? That he gets a car that gets bad mileage but pretends it's a car that gets good mileage? That he further cements his reputation as a thoroughly inverted individual by insisting that, to the contrary, the hybrid vehicle is the one with poorer gas mileage? So? This doesn't really strike me as very funny. It doesn't make me angry, like some bad comics do, but it's basically "Item A1 has quality B1, while Item A2 has quality B2. However, I pretend that A1 and B2 are paired, and also that A2 and B1 are paired! Is funny joke, no?"

Also the inner hypercapitalist in me says that the owners of an SUV will "go green" precisely when the price of gasoline is so high that it is in their interest to switch; until then they are content to pay the price of gas. Hybrid owners pay in other ways (for example, they can probably drive in fewer off-road or extreme weather conditions). In other words, the owner of a more efficient car should not mock the owner of a less efficient car simply because they each made different choices in the free market, choices which they are presumably both happy with (by virtue of the fact that they have yet to buy new cars.) Don't worry, the inner socialist in me beats up the inner hypercapitalist in me on a regular basis.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Comic 436: How It Happened

This comic of course had to be called "How It Happened" because the title "That's what SHE said" was already taken by a comic about saying "that's what she said" in a hilarious new context. And in case that's not enough, this isn't even the first comic to use "That's what she said" literally: read 366, which even has the added bonus of also being followed by the phrase "Yes. Yes it is."

Combine that with the fact that ironic teenagers have been using "That's what she said" literally almost as long as they've been watching The Office, and there's really nothing new in this comic at all.

PS - Here's my favorite that's what she said moment of all time - I was playing a card game with some people, and made a very stupid move. So to express my disappointment with myself, I said "Oh man, I'm about to get fucked." To which my friend CB replied "That's what SHE said!" This always makes me laugh.

Update: So I often sulk around the xkcd forums / fora (Randall is inconsistent on this one) to see how other people are reacting to certain comics. Obviously the forums/fora are full of shiteating idiots who want nothing more than to clean Randall's shoes with their tongues, but still, sometimes you can see when the average rating of a comic is 5 stars and when it's closer to 4.5. Generally I think the ones I like less other people like less as well, so that's reassuring. In any case, occasionally something useful pops up. Forum hamtaro links us to some Cyanide and Happiness comics. I will cite one:

Obviously this is a "your mom" joke and not a "that's what she said" joke but, of course, if you simply replace "your mom" with the pronoun "she" then you've got some pretty close similarities, especially the "Yes. Yes it is." Isn't that how Randall phrased this joke twice? Yes. Yes it is. Anyway this one is better because it has both "your mom" and "last night" worked into it. And let me tell you, that's not the only thing your mom got worked into...

If you are curious, and you are, my opinion on C&H is that about 10% of them are funny. I had seen a lot of good ones quoted around this old interweb of ours, and so I started reading it, but was usually dissapointed. I think their shirts are awesome.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Comic 435: Math People Are Better than You

sorry I've been late with these recently by the way...

Here we learn that Mr. Munroe apparently has a thing for math. Specifically, he finds math the "purest" field, though of course that brings up the question of how "purity of field" is measured. I suppose he means that personally biases are less likely to creep into math, but I'm not sure that's true. In any case, the whole thing is highly reminiscent of a joke which I have heard attributed to Steve Martin, that "When you really study science, you learn that everything in psychology is really just all about biology, and if you study biology it's all chemistry. Once you learn chemistry you learn that chemistry is really just physics, and when you get into it physics is really just math. Math is just philosophy, and philosophy is bullshit." Oh and the other thing it's highly reminiscent of is comic 263.

Oh also the characters in this comic are not being accurate. To choose one example, biology is not applied chemistry. At the molecular level it is indeed very much chemical, though it is of course the study of chemistry in living things. In any case, much of biology is about evolution, populations, etc, which is really not chemical at all. You know what is applied chemistry? Applied chemistry.

astoundingly late update: A sociologist reader retorts with this:



Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Comic 434: xkcd goes to the airport

First off I am very happy that Mr. Hat is back in all his sarcastic, only-mildly-evil goodness. Hurrah for Panel 4.

I don't quite know why Panel 1 has to be an airport it seems like besides the word "airline," which could be anything, and of course the clearly marked "AIRPORT" sign, it could be anywhere. Nonetheless, I like the idea that a character always assumes they are going to a bakery. This is funny, because it is such a specific assumption and is no doubt nearly always wrong, but he still holds it.

Panel 2 is clearly false; I accidentally took a set of lock-picks on a plane recently with no consequence.

Panel 3, eh, I would complain but the 1 and 4 are good enough that I don't have the heart for it. (note: In a comment below, I speculate that "manpage" is a typo for "mainpage." I have since been informed that I am an idiot, and "manpage" is correct.)

Good work today, Randall. Don't fuck it up.

update: I was on a plane today and accidentally left my phone on THE WHOLE TIME. The plane did not crash! What the heck, airline industry? Why do we have to turn off our "mobile devices"?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Comic 433: The Saga Continues

Ok. I have mixed feelings on this one. On the one hand, it's nice that Randall is actually finishing the story he began. This is nice. And it makes yesterday's comic a little less pathetic. Of course, it also makes yesterday's comic completely unneeded - it would have worked fine as the first panel of this one.

I have a question: If you parked in front of someone's house, perhaps wearing an iconic black hat, and noticed mines all around the car, and you picked them up and moved them to the garage, and then you went inside, and then there was an explosion, would you really ask "what was that?!" Or would you, you know, know what the explosion was? Because you just put mines in a garage?

Lastly, I found this comic extremely reminiscent of the old Mad Magazine Spy vs. Spy comics:

Also - when did Mr. Hat go from being lovably sarcastic to blowing up people's garages? He's kind of a terrorist now.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I am the only non indian on Blogger

Or so it would seem. Every time I blog something new here, I am greeting with this message:
One day I am really going to have to take them up on that offer. I wonder what percentage of their users use this feature? Seriously - it's not like this message is one of several that Blogger scrolls through; it's there every frickin time.

Update: I decided to try it. It is very frustrating. It tried to turn all my words into Tamil (the language I chose - take that, Hindi, Kannada, Mayalayam and Telugu!) and is hard to turn off. Here's what it looks like:

ஒத் மண், இ கேன்'த பெளிஎவே ஹொவ் மச் க்ஸ்க்ச்து ஹாஸ் பீன் சுக்கிங் ரேசென்த்லி. குட் கோட் ரன்டல், இப் யு'ரே அவுட் ஒப் இதேஅஸ் ஜஸ்ட் அட்மிட் இட்.


Comic 432: Sucks Ass



(I'm also proud to say that I have put more effort into today's post than Randall put into today's "comic")

Monday, June 2, 2008

Comic 431: Delivery

OK, even curmudgeony old me will admit that this was pretty funny. Not amazing, but I like it more than I dislike it. And the alt-text is good as well. Hooray.

I guess liking comics makes it a lot harder to have fun with this blog...well, hopefully it isn't a trend.

Anyone else think the doctor's head looks really weird? Like a stormtrooper or something.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Comic 430: Every Damn Morning

Here we have another comic with no words. I wonder what's up with that. In any case, this isn't so bad. I like the visual representation of forgetting dreams as the morning goes on (it looks like someone just learning how to use various levels of opacity on photoshop...). But the joke is a little lame. I mean, what's the joke? People forget their dreams gradually. It's true, usually, but in the end I dunno.