Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Comic 669: Sucks

more like SEXperimental
Yesterday (a word which I here am using to mean "the last time I posted a comic") I wrote about how I liked a comic a lot of people here hated (this is unusual, because I rarely like comics at all.) Today we seem to have the opposite problem, where lots of people think this comic is pretty great and I think it sucks hard.

First off, this is the second time in four comics that Mr. Hat has made us suspend a crazy amount of disbelief (particularly in the alt-text) while he goes about his crazy scheme. Sure, he can just put that dude in a vacuum, why not!

Hey, here's another occasion where some visual cues would be nice! What if in order to see that he was making a vacuum, you had some stuff (office supplies, paper, text books) also getting sucked out of the dome? As it is vacuum-dome and filled-with-delicious-breathable-air dome look exactly the same, and we have no idea what is happening with that "whoosh" until the end. ALSO we have no idea that guy will turn out to be a physics professor. He looks the same age etc as all the xkcd characters.

The last three words of this comic are typical post-punchline waste (PS if i make a new category page for post-punchline dialog, will you all help me populate it?), and in fact having that girl there at all (is she Mrs. Hat? WE DON'T KNOW because without her hat she looks JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER GIRL randall draws!) is not needed. Why is there a black panel at the beginning? To show that he was blacked out? Going from "all black" to "entirely visible" is not the best way to represent that, visually.

why does the laptop not get sucked out along with the air? there's no friction there so shouldn't it come out with everything else?

Lastly, this whole thing mostly just reminded me of the Magic School Bus episode (HELL YES magic school bus!) where they play baseball in a frictionless stadium, or at least, attempt to and fail miserably and end up learning about the importance of friction. Oh magic school bus. You taught be so much about science.

148 comments:

  1. hell yeah, Magic School Bus was fucking awesome and was one of the first things I thought of as well for demonstrating the importance of friction :D

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  2. i know, there's SO many ways he could illustrate this better...
    THAT GIRL IS SO ANNOYING BECAUSE WE DON"T KNOW WHO SHE IS ARG IT DRIVES ME CRAZY

    and sure, mr hat is smart but isn't a frictionless vacuum basically impossible? for him to build i mean?

    it's sort of a decent joke but badly executed.

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  3. fuck YEAH magic school bus, taught me that smelly socks added to everything that smells good will make it smell EVEN BETTER

    do any of you remember that episode

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  4. hehe, that smell one was weird.

    I think one of my favourites was when Arnold had to present his rock collection but binged on seaweed covered carrot snacks for since it was announced so the karotin changed his skin colour :D

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  5. I remember the frictionless episode. It was taking place in a giant textbook...or actually a normal size textbook but they were shrunk down.

    I loved that show.

    Also, xkcdexplained is great on this one:
    "The joke here is that physics professors commonly use a 'frictionless vacuum' as the environment for problems and experiments given to their students. This is done to greatly simplify the work needed to solve the problem, as one can ignore the forces of friction and air resistance.

    It's also funny that they murdered a person"

    :)

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  6. Hmm, I'm not sure I'm bothered by the suspension of disbelief here. I assume we all agree that its not that hard to create a (near) vacuum so thats not a problem.

    As for the frictionless bit, it doesn't need to be totally frictionless. Something with low enough friction is fine.

    As for getting him in... in classic Mr. Hat style I'd assume he'd get a helicopter, put the guy in from above, and close the dome. The more effort for a minor joke, the better.

    The joke itself was a decent pun. Its a fairly classic xkcd style thing to take a phrase too literally.

    However, as for the art, I agree. It was an attempt to reveal everything at the end for the joke, but the fact that I needed to go back to the previous panels to put it all together is not great.

    The post punchline dialog was unnecessary but why do you think it really detracted from the joke?

    Finally, I assume the girl is this girl: http://xkcd.com/433/

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  7. oh yeah so my thoughts on this comic were that it was pretty badly done but i did like it. the heart wants what it wants i guess.

    i would do away with the girl, tho, or else give her something more to say than PPD

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  8. newest comic however sux

    captcha: polofixi. polo brokee, polo fixi

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  9. hey randall there's only a certain amount of humor you can wring out of riffing on a comedic movie. especially a comedic movie that is much, much funnier than you.

    hur hur, nigel tufnel is dumb? what a fuckin' revelation.

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  10. Amanda: I totally remember that episode and think of it every time someone mentions the Magic School Bus. Am I wrong to think you do the same?

    Cam: I liked that episode a lot! It's how I found out carotene existed!

    I don't really have a favorite episode, but when I used to watch it I think my favorite was when they went into space.

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  11. Who cares if you have to suspend disbelief? Reality isn't critical for a successful story, and a lack thereof doesn't detract. Besides, it is definitely possible to come very close to a frictionless surface, and a perfect vacuum, but that's not the point.

    Also, who cares if the artistic medium does not entirely describe the situation? It's a comic of stick figures, not a hollywood movie. I'm sure if there were more panels, you would have complained about that instead.

    As for the timing, many jokes are only made funny at the end, when the final statement contextualizes and creates humor in the previous statements.

    Your critique of the secondary character is also without merit, because her very presence is what prompts the dialogue in the first place. Their discussion is simply hilarious for anyone who has taken even a basic physics course, due to the unrealistic assumptions made when solving problems (negligible friction and air resistance, uniform density, etc.).

    And no, the laptop would not necessarily be displaced by the creation of the vacuum. Remember that neither a lack of friction nor the absence of air negates the force of gravity.

    Yes, I realize that this comic is not approachable to all readers, and does require some basic knowledge of physics principles, but that does not make it any less valuable. Xkcd has never pretended to appeal to the entire population, but that is no reason to insult it just because you may not be in the targeted audience.

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  12. Their discussion is simply hilarious for anyone who has taken even a basic physics course

    This statement was either made out of ignorance or in bad faith. Even as hyperbole, the exaggerated sentiment--XKCD is funny because it makes reference to something you know "as a nerd"--is retarded.

    Yes, I realize that this comic is not approachable to all readers, and does require some basic knowledge of physics principles, but that does not make it any less valuable. Xkcd has never pretended to appeal to the entire population, but that is no reason to insult it just because you may not be in the targeted audience.

    Ha. Oh. Sorry, didn't realize you were being deliberate about this button-pushing. 2/10, you had me mildly irate for a second there, but the target audience stuff was a dead giveaway.

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  13. miyuki you are totally right hahah. hearing other people talk about it makes me feel like that is the only episode i remember...

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  14. This statement was either made out of ignorance or in bad faith. Even as hyperbole, the exaggerated sentiment--XKCD is funny because it makes reference to something you know "as a nerd"--is retarded.

    I don't mean to imply that I like xkcd because it references things I understand. I am simply baffled by all the people who criticize this comic because they don't understand the references. Combine that with a dislike of the artwork, and you have the content of a majority of the posts on this site.

    I will admit that I don't always understand every reference made in xkcd, but that holds true for many other works. That doesn't make them bad.

    I certainly meant no offense in my previous statements. I don't think that people who enjoy math or science are better than those who do not, but I do believe that people with different interests are more likely to find humor in different situations.

    My point was to question why people who don't care about math or science are so concerned about a comic largely based around such topics.

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  15. Helpful to realize: we get the references--nearly all of them. We are geeks. We are mostly math and science people. We get it. They just aren't funny.

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  16. i think most of us here are extremely into math/science/computers/etc. i myself am a math major, and have generally disliked xkcd's math jokes though i have understood them.

    so don't spout that target audience crap, that's in the FAQ already and Mal was calling you on it and you still didn't get it.

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  17. I will happily admit that I am not a math/science person and I still get most of the references.

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  18. I'm working on a Masters in Theatre and I still get the references.

    Saying "Smurfs was awesome" may be true but it doesn't make you awesome for saying it. At best it makes me want to go watch some Smurfs and at worse it make me question why you are stating the obvious.

    Captcha: ouchian: It hurts to swim in the ouchin

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  19. OMGAAAAH Magic School Bus!!!! Get Out Of My Head Carl!

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  20. Newest comic did suck, even after I looked up the reference it only made it a little less poor.

    Carl, I'm just gonna say why you're wrong by paragraph on this one.

    1) I have more trouble with the frictionless than the vacuum part, but seriously suspension of disbelief just isn't that bad here. It actually lends to the joke because of how ridiculous the prank is here.

    2) We do have visual cues to show that he's making a vacuum. That's what the FWOOSH along with the text getting progressively smaller until it's gone is.

    3) I agree.

    4) Depends on where the air is sucked out of. If it's the top, then the only pull is up, side to side net force is 0. Either way, small problem for an otherwise well delivered set up and punch line.

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  21. Kevin, I imagined your captcha being read by Mitch Hedburg and it made me laugh. Then I remembered he was dead and it made me sad. Thanks a lot, Kevin >:C

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  22. @The_P

    I'll accept being compared to Mitch Hedberg any day. Even if it makes you sad. There's a man who knew how to tell a joke with an actual punchline.

    Look at how I brought this back on topic!

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  23. Preferring the math/science jokes over the "did yall see that movie too ok well here's my version" jokes.

    Didn't Randall state before that he runs his jokes by his buddies as his screening process? Did they really ok the latest comic?
    "What if the guy hearing about '11' was an engineer?"
    "WHOA you're on a roll, man! I loved Spinal Tap!"

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  24. The running comics by his buddies thing is an incredibly bad idea and I can't see how he doesn't realise that. Of course your friends are going to say they like something, they don't want to hurt your feelings. This is how TGI Friday's gets into comics, dammit.

    Also: this is like that GLaDOS comic. "Hey guys, do you remember GLaDOS? THAT WAS AWESOME!" The only difference here is that he didn't try to mash Spinal Tap up with, say, The Pick of Destiny, or something like that.

    Also, what's this thing about putting socks in nice smelling things? I never saw that show, but it sounds amazing.

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  25. OMG, 11 doesn't have any units! So THAT's why that Spinal Tap joke was funny! Thank you, Randall, thank you very much.

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  26. fred you never saw the magic school bus? i feel sorry for you =(

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  27. Despite the cries of disappointment, I for one welcomed the Spinal Tap joke.

    No I don't get why the "no-units" bit is supposed to be funny.

    The real punchline however, is.

    As for 669 that was rather funny too (maybe my tastes just got desperate), in the spirit of jokes like "assume a spherical frictionless cow"- classic math-phys humour.

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  28. Your first sentence reminded me a lot of Lemony Snicket fyi

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  29. One of the lamest XKCD comics of these last months.

    At first I didn't understand anything. As Carl points out : this seriously needs other details.

    And we really have enough of this Mr. Hat cynical plots... He doesn't look evil or dangerous or decadent, he just look like an ass.

    That is not funny. At all.

    Randall, sincerely, one must stop when he's at the top. You're just looking at yourself going down and down deeper into lameness. You need to move to something else, another webcomic, another kind of narration, another graphic style. XKCD was good. WAS.

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  30. My problem with the comic is not really with the execution or the suspension of disbelief, but with the actual joke. Ooh, the hat guy enjoys killing people for freaky reasons? Gee, WOW, why not make another joke about how you're afraid of raptors, Randall? Or, hey! hey! I know, another joke about how you enjoy ball pits! That's CERTAINLY news to all of us. The hat guy gimmick is already old news. Is it really worth that much more beating?

    Spinal Tap strip: so! it seems Randall realised a "smart engineer" could make money out of Tufnel's dumbness, and decided to make a joke out of it? But in order for that to work, he had to create two other completely bland, unfunny "scenarios" for us to make a comparison!... y'know, I'm starting to like the science strip a little bit now...

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  31. Boy, is it just me, or are most of the folks on the comic thread completely LOST on the joke, as if they never heard of This Is Spinal (sic) Tap before? Maybe that film is not GEEKY ENOUGH?

    MAN, those folks are thick.

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  32. ALSO we have no idea that guy will turn out to be a physics professor. He looks the same age etc as all the xkcd characters.

    Yeah, and that's so wrong! Everybody know physics professors hang watermelons from their necks.

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  33. Yeah, Carl, the reason Randall didn't draw stuff getting sucked out or whatever was because that would telegraph the punchline. Which is a much worse Comedy Foul than... most things, really, except explaining the joke (which the PPD doesn't do here! yay!) Agree that Mrs. Hat needs to not be in this comic, though, or if she does she just needs to be there to give Mr. Hat someone to talk to.

    670, though, looks like one we can all hate. Someone needs to tell Randy (and, well, all webcomics writers ever except probably Ryan North and Unwinder, and maybe the Wonderella guy) that referencing a funny thing is not the same as making a joke. (Actually, though, I guess this one sort of has a "joke," and I probably would have chuckled in my xkcd-gets-points-for-being-xkcd days. Still, though.)

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  34. Oh, damn, Magic School Bus... I remember a lot of episodes. That sound one was cool, and the one about molecules... well, my brother could never get over how they'd be breathing when the air molecules would never be able to fit their noses. Not that I cared at the time...

    Anyway: Carl, I supposed the air was being sucked from the top, so the laptop wouldn't move. In fact, that laptop is even more useless than the supposed Mrs. Hat. And I do think Randall's way of showing the vacuum was being formed was subtle, which is good. Finally, I still think it's terrifying...

    Now, for the newest comic: okay, I got the joke, and it's not very good. The execution is lazy as heck, and this sounds as Randall trying to do stand-up once again("hey, guys, ever notice how amplifiers have 11 levels of volume? Why not just 10? Hahahaha..."), which is not good at all. I'm not sure if the punchline is original, though. I sure haven't seen it before.

    All in all, pretty awful. I hope Friday will come with something marginally good.

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  35. Exactly, referencing is not enough. You ought to be creative. Parodies are creative. This is not a parody. This is just referencing.

    And I think the only reason why Mrs Hat is here (even if we don't recognize her, indeed) is to point out that she and Mr Hat are going along perfectly, they have a happy relationship, and Randall would love to be in such a commitment. We all know how Randall miss a perfect mate - he claims it all the time. And this is his view of perfect love : such a perfect mate that you can do murders with her. Mr Hat is what Randall wish he were - an extremely violent and cynical character, violent & cynical to the point that he seems extremely pretentious. Just the opposite of a sad, lonely, nerdy teenager. We all fantasized about such a life when we were, say, 13 or 14.

    I said, when we WERE 13 or 14. You need to grow up, dude. Sincerely.

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  36. Hey guys, did you know that as I walked into Calc 3 today, I saw XKCD on a projector screen. It was the significant other one, which I always thought was pretty decent. So I wasn't enraged as I could have been. Thought you guys should know.

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  37. "and this sounds as Randall trying to do stand-up once again("hey, guys, ever notice how amplifiers have 11 levels of volume? Why not just 10? Hahahaha...")"

    I think you're REALLY off the mark, there. The "amplifier that goes to 11" is a joke from This Is Spinal Tap, and the joke is that most amplifiers only go up to 10, so the band member in question thought that an amp that goes to 11 is louder than the others. The actual scene from the movie is a riot, and MUCH better than the strip makes it look. It's probably somewhere in YouTube.

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  38. The key to understanding many of his comics lies in panel 2 of the spinal tap comic. Yes, this is how Randall thinks 'normal people' think.

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  39. Okay, I confess I never seen it. I mostly just heard the "up to eleven" somewhere else.

    It's still pretty awful. Especially because all the panels are the same fucking scene with no background and the equipment doesn't even touch each other! This is just so close to being the most hateful xkcd in my book... but "Scary" is still worse.

    Also, what the heck is with the dialogue in the second panel? I know what he was supposed to mean, but it makes little sense...

    And now, YouTube to the rescue! o/

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  40. Dialogue in second panel is awkward. Dialogue in third panel is incomprehensible. I write shit that makes more sense when I am having an Ambien psychosis.

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  41. Isn't the second panel straight from the movie?

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  42. physics ranting.

    vacuums don't suck, because a vacuum is the absence of matter, there is nothing there to 'suck'. material rushes towards a vacuum to even out the differences in pressure. this is like how heat will leave your hand and go into something colder, like ice, if your hand is touching it. the cold is not doing anything because the cold is the absence of thermal energy.

    as already mentioned, lack of friction is not lack of gravity. to get the laptop, which is fairly heavy, to overcome the force of gravity and lift up would require a huge rate of depressurization not implied by the comic.

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  43. At first I thought the voice was coming out of the laptop.

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  44. @Timiofei:

    The actual quote is "Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?"

    So Randall attempted to condense that line, I guess, and ended up with extremely awkward phrasing.

    The original quote in the movie is a little weird, too, but in the context of the scene it works. Randall could have just said "Why not just make 10 louder" and still kept the general sentiment, but I guess he was trying to keep the feel of that scene. He didn't, though.

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  45. Glad to know I'm not the only one who looked at this strip and thought, "Magic School Bus did it first."

    Maybe this was pointed out earlier (I haven't read the whole blog yet) but my biggest problem is the implied consequences of Mr. Hat's actions. We're supposed to laugh about the fact that he's doing a rather stupid word play on a phrase people sometimes say while the implication is that he's murdering a man to do it.

    Normally slapstick, over-the-top violence is more acceptable to me in comics, like when an anvil randomly drops on someone's head or ninjas come out and assassinate someone in a supermarket, because it's completely by surprise and if it were real, would be fairly quick and painless.

    This is a comic about two people standing there making snarky comments while a man lies there and asphyxiates. And their comments even aren't all that witty.

    I'd feel more placated if a team of superheroes banded together to put a stop to Mr. Hat's schemes. He's clearly some kind of mad scientist supervillian by this point.

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  46. WTF Anon@8:11?

    The whole point of the simplified environment used in physics problems is that it's PERFECTLY frictionless, and a COMPLETE vacuum. We can't achieve this; hence the suspension of disbelief. Near frictionless and almost complete vacuum don't cut it.

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  47. I am simply baffled by all the people who criticize this comic because they don't understand the references. Combine that with a dislike of the artwork, and you have the content of a majority of the posts on this site.

    Once again, you're either outrageously unperceptive or brazenly lying.

    Plus I can't imagine anyone who actually does like the artwork. Even his "good" drawings--the portraits, the mountains, the leaves, the apocalypse stuff--are the sort of thing that look like they were done by a high schooler during class. A fairly competent high schooler, but still a person who is just randomly wanking about. For a guy who has spent the last...four years making a webcomic, where drawing is more-or-less half his job, it's kind of pathetic that even on his good days he still hasn't progressed at all.

    If someone clamors in with "Oh but the POINT is that his drawings are bad!" then I will have to ask them what point, specifically, Randall is making here. If the point is that Randall is a shitty artist who can't be arsed to connect heads to torsos or remember what a chair looks like from one panel to the next, then shut up.

    Randall might as well publish his stuff in scriptfic format.

    NIGEL TUFNEL (standing next to an amp labelled "Spinal Tap"): These amps go to eleven.

    MARTY DiBERGI: Is that louder?

    NT: It's one louder.

    ====

    NORMAL PERSON: Why not just make them go up to 10, and make 10 louder?

    ====

    ENGINEER: Why not just make them go up to 10, and make 10 louder?

    ====

    SMART ENGINEER: For $2000, I'll build you an amp that goes up to 12.


    Is anything lost for having this be text-only? Not really. He might even get some gains, since then he wouldn't try to constrain his dialogue to the squares. (One of several issues with Order of the Stick is that the panels and dialogue balloons are somewhat too small for the amount of text Burlew puts in there. Probably a relic from its earlier, less text-heavy days.)

    Obviously we would criticize Randall for being a lazy sod if he switched to this text-only format. OH MY GOSH WE'RE SO BIASED WE ONLY EVER SAY MEAN THINGS MYEEEEH. Well, that's because if Randall sticks with shitty lazy art he's a lazy sod, and if he switches to text only he's a lazier sod. It wouldn't kill him to actually improve.

    Okay anyway I would like to state that if it seems like we complain about Randall making references and Randall drawing shittily, it's because Randall makes tons of shitty references and draws tons of shitty art. It may be repetitive, but it's still true.

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  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  49. Yanno, complaining that people only say mean things about xkcd on a blog devoted to saying mean things about xkcd strikes me as rather daft. It's like going to a lobster shanty and complaining that they only serve seafood.

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  50. "I'd feel more placated if a team of superheroes banded together to put a stop to Mr. Hat's schemes. He's clearly some kind of mad scientist supervillian by this point."

    I see him more as an superasshole who kills people for pointless reasons. He doesn't have that snap of exaggeration that makes this kind of character funny.

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  51. @ Fernie
    sooooo he's a dumbed down version of the Joker? Or of Carnage? Both supervillains that kill for the sake of killing and are both so fucked up that psychologists would cry just looking in their eyes?

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  52. He is a superasshole indeed, and that makes him neither funny nor especially frightening.

    Mr Hat looks like all these guys at school, y'know, there's always one in every school, the guy that says creepy things and enjoys death and says everybody must die and laughs when the History teacher says how many people died in one war or another.

    The kind of teenager that found an easy way to feel like a grown-up with a full-sized penis : hey, I'm not a child anymore, because I'm into violence while children are into Winnie-the-Pooh and stuff, and by the way, look, I just took a red pencil and added blood to this Winnie-the-Pooh book ! How cool I am !

    This is what Mr Hat is : a vain attempt at being cool. He's a poser. Not even a bad guy.

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  53. WTF, yo, Randall be biting on my ideas.

    I mentioned like a month ago in #xkcd-sucks that I wanted to do a sort of a "hark a vagrant" with just serial killers.

    I still want to do this, mind you (anyone wanna help??,) but it turns out that making murder funny is a bit tricky. Randall certainly hasn't achieved it, because xkcd's tone is way too whimsical for something dark like "yeah we killed a physicist by vacuum just to watch him die."

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  54. Also, Mr. Hat reminds me of the kind of guy who just read/watched Fight Club and thinks that being all violent and anti-society is revolutionary and cool. Oh, look at me! I like to destroy stuff and fuck with people! I'm so edgy and different! But I am not a beautiful or unique snowflake, nosiree. I'm the same decaying organic matter as everything else. But I'm still better than you because I "get it" and you don't!

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  55. aloria, what you have just described is what we call an "xkcd fan".

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  56. fantasio is my new favorite commenter. there is something oddly compelling about his english-as-a-second-language phrasing, particularly "And this is his view of perfect love : such a perfect mate that you can do murders with her." i actually feel like that gets at some of this stuff better than anything I could write.

    Also, when i said vacuums suck i was making a BRILLIANT JOKE because "vacuum" can also mean "vacuum cleaner" which sucks up dirt from the floor but CLEARLY the joke went over your lowly plebian heads, which means you are not the target audience, which means you are dumb so get the hell out.

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  57. I think the worst part of 670 is the "smart engineer" bit. I think it would be better with B.A., M.Eng., and M.B.A., turning it into one of those Chemist/Physicist/Mathematician style jokes.

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  58. YEAH MAN, WE ENGINEERS GONNA RULE THE WORLD, $2,000 AT A TIME

    AREN'T WE THE COOLEST

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  59. Also I am now reading fantasio's comments in the voice of Viktor Navorski (Tom Hank's character in The Terminal). These comments have made my day, and will no doubt make several more of my days.

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  60. @ Aloria

    The joke wasn't about killing people, it was about physics problems.

    @ Femalethoth

    Good artwork doens't mean good comics. Bad artwork doesn't mean bad comics. Do you only read picture books?

    @ Everyone

    Your like of disliking xkcd makes me laugh. You want more of the same just as much as the xkcd fans. If it changed, it wouldn't be xkcd, and you wouldn't have this site anymore. Ponder that!

    @ Friend who just linked me to this site

    *glare*

    *closes window*

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  61. @ Aloria

    The joke wasn't about killing people, it was about physics problems.

    NO WAY! HOLY SHIT I DIDN'T REALIZE THAT!

    The point is that using killing someone as a vehicle to make a joke is tricky. I am amazed that someone with your incredible level of insight missed that.

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  62. Bad artwork doesn't mean bad comics, but if you can seriously tell me that Watchmen or Kingdom Come would be just as compelling if it was drawn entirely with stick figures and no backgrounds, then you're an idiot.

    The point that's being made is Randall is making no effort to improve his art. He is being lazy. Nobody starts off as a master artist but if you've been doing the same thing for four years and show zero improvement then something is wrong. I mean seriously he can't even draw the heads connected to the bodies of the stick figures half the time. There's no excuse for that except laziness.

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  63. "If it changed, it wouldn't be xkcd, and you wouldn't have this site anymore. Ponder that!"

    I'm not sure what exactly you are trying to say here, but if your point is that if XKCD became better we'd have gained an awesome webcomic and lost a crappy one, then I'm not sure if you're warning us or encouraging us.

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  64. "@ Friend who just linked me to this site

    *glare*

    *closes window*"

    Geoffrey, why did you terminate our conversation? I KNOW that this site is utterly APALLING but that is NO reason to lack decorum in our encounters! I even share your opinion of this site!

    You have erred. I have forgiven you, but have not forgotten. For today I am feeling merciful.
    Another time? Perhaps not.
    HEED THIS. AND BEWARE.

    -William Monty Hughes, esq
    IQ 224
    "Cogito Ergo Sum"

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  65. "Your like of disliking xkcd makes me laugh. You want more of the same just as much as the xkcd fans. If it changed, it wouldn't be xkcd, and you wouldn't have this site anymore. Ponder that!"

    That is some zen shit. If you will excuse me I will go ponder it now. I will likely be pondering it for several years.

    That is how zen your shit is.

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  66. We're not supposed to to know that it's a vacuum or that he's a professor until the end. The humor is in the revelation as much as the concept.

    Also, the laptop shouldn't move. Gravity exists regardless of friction.

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  67. The laptop _should_ move because without friction, the rushing of the air would be able to push it around the floor. It just wouldn't fly in to the air or anything. Moving air exerts pressure people. It's called WIND. LOOK IT UP.

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  68. Yo, Mike... no air in a vacuum. Hence no wind.

    Vibrations from the HDD/other moving parts might push it around, though.

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  69. Perhaps Mike meant the rushing air accounting for the "FWOOOOOOSH" when the vacuum was being established.

    Also, if you stood on a frictionless surface with your feet apart, shouldn't you slip and fall immediately since your center of mass is no longer in line with your feet, and your feet can't grip?

    Should be a Webcomic of Romance, Sarcasm, Math and Factual Inaccuracies.

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  70. Randall "I can pull a horse with an electric skateboard" Munroe

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  71. Assuming the room was frictionless before the vacuum was established, then yeah, the laptop would be sliding around and the dude would fall on his ass immediately.

    So a more accurate scenario would be this (done in 5 mins in paint:)

    http://i46.tinypic.com/ehhdg6.jpg

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  72. Ehehe, I'm glad you enjoyed my comments, guys. You'll have plenty of those in the future days.

    I'm disappointed that I sound so English-as-a-foreign-language, thought. I admit that I'm better at speaking English than writing it, oddly, but I'm said to be a native bilingual.

    Oh and, for this Anon guy who thinks this blog is pointless : xkcd is a webcomic, nothing serious, just something to have fun, and I don't blame Munroe for trying. Munroe, if you read me, you're a nice guy because you give humour for free, and I respect that. However, you also have to accept the idea that it's no more serious to laugh at bad comics. It's the nature of the beast. We laugh when xkcd is funny, and when it's not funny we just find another way to have fun with it. That's all xkcdsucks is about.

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  73. Good artwork doens't mean good comics. Bad artwork doesn't mean bad comics. Do you only read picture books?

    Good artwork is better than bad artwork. Does this fucking shock you? We have a preference for good artwork. In general, we have a preference for quality over lazy shit. To somehow think that this is problematic requires a very, very deliberately narrow way of thinking.

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  74. Heh. "Bad artwork doesn't mean bad comics." Here is some advice for you, free of charge.

    Comics are a blend of the written word and visual art. That's not quite a definition--other things can blend the written word and visual art--but that is a defining characteristic. It tends to be in about equal parts. That is to say, if either the written aspect or the visual aspect falters, the whole thing suffers as a result. Both comprise an integral part of the whole.

    This is not to say it is impossible for a good comic to have a strong point. Sometimes the visuals are an effective medium to convey the text but are nothing stellar--they get the job done, but nothing more. Sometimes the visuals are extraordinary and the writing merely solid. And you could argue that either of these hypothetical comics are good.

    But it is absolutely critical that a comic not have a weak point. If the art is less than adequate, less than effective, then it makes the comic as a whole bad. No amount of beautiful writing can save you from weak art in a comic. If the art is bad then the art must needs be excised or reduced in function, to the point where it is no longer a comic and thus no longer relies on the visual medium to tell a story.

    So, you are correct in that good artwork doesn't mean good comics--the writing can still suck. But you are utterly incorrect in thinking that bad artwork doesn't mean bad comics. And now you know why!

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  75. I seriously do not understand Carl's dislike of post-punchline dialogue. If there's too much of it that's bad, but I do not see why having a sentence after a punchline is a bad thing. I like having a small amount of trailing dialogue. De gustibus &c, I suppose.

    With regards to artwork in comics, "good" or "bad" primarily means whether it serves the story, and aesthetics is second place. Very pretty art can be bad art comics-wise, and stick figures can be "good" art.

    But there needs to be some reason to turn up and read the comic - stick figures plus decent writing, or very pretty pictures plus passable writing. If it's just stick figures and lame writing, why turn up? (Except to mock, as people do here.)

    That said I also like the amp comic. It amuses me. The physics professor one is... passable, I guess? I might find it funnier if I'd ever heard a physics professor talking about frictionless vacua, but as it happens I'm a chemist.

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  76. Post-punchline dialogue is helpful when it adds to a story, to the characters, when it works to the "whole" of a webcomic. Firstly, there's no "whole" in xkcd, so the post-punchline talk only serves to the strip as an isolated gag. And the way xkcd does it, it looks like Randall nudging us and going "huh? Huh? Did I amuse you? Did I make you laugh? Huh?". Not just xkcd does that -- there are other offenders as well.

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  77. "Your like of disliking xkcd makes me laugh. You want more of the same just as much as the xkcd fans. If it changed, it wouldn't be xkcd, and you wouldn't have this site anymore. Ponder that!"

    I don't like disliking xkcd, my man. In fact, I'd love to come to xkcd and say "Lo, there is a very quality webcomic, indeed! One that does not fill me with hate and anger when its author decides being lazy is a form of art!" You, my friend, are a twisted person, and I know that because you like xkcd and thinks of yourself as somewhat superior. Yes, close that window and keep it closed, I'm getting tired of stupid comments with the same cliche responses to criticism.
    -------------

    Fantasio, the problem is exactly when I feel Randall isn't even trying. That's why I hate "Scary" so much. Heck, even 631 looks like it has some sort of effort compared to that.

    You did come up with a nice speech, though, I really like the ending of your comment. =)
    -------------

    CAPTCHA: exoriv. The exoriveness of some cuddlefish sincerely annoy me.

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  78. Who cares what you think about xkcd?

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  79. We do, together, collectively.

    Also, Randall Munroe. Have you heard of him? He makes this webcomic called xkcd.

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  80. OK here's something I don't get: you guys make fun of XKCD for it's art but you jerk off to Dinasaur Comics, which copy-and-pastes pretty much every comic. That's some epic hipocrisy right there.

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  81. Yeah, cause we're all a hive mind who have the exact same likes and opinions.

    I, personally, don't really dig Dinosaur Comics.

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  82. http://lonelydino.com/archives.php

    is the only form of Dinosaur Comics worth reading.

    captcha: vagisl ...

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  83. Dinosaur Comics copy-pastes literally every comic. Literally every comic has the exact same panels.

    This is very different from bad art, which is what Randall Munroe offers. Indeed, much as a comic without words comments on the nature of comics, Dinosaur Comics is as near as it gets to a comic without art--and the resulting comment is interesting indeed.

    This is not to say it has bad art. Indeed, quite the opposite: the art of Dinosaur Comics effectively conveys and informs what is going on in each of the comics. The rigid structure, the actions in each of the panels, informs the ongoing conversations in different ways, depending on the context.

    Deprived of its art, Dinosaur Comics would be severely lacking. The art holds it up.

    In contrast, in XKCD, the art is mostly just distracting and confusing, which does nothing but detract.

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  84. Yeah, no art at all IS different from bad art. The difference is it's even worse, being as comics are a visual medium. The cognitive dissenance you're showing here is quite impressive.

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  85. Post-punchline dialogue is really great when you have established characters, and their interaction is really funny. Randall doesn't have any characters, and their interaction is at best painfully stilted.

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  86. As Joan Crawford once said to her maid before she fired her for not moving the plant when she polished the floor:

    "If you can't do something right, don't do it at all."

    I'd rather have no art (hence changing the medium from comic to something else,) than have to look at something shitty.

    Also, "I'm not mad at you, I'm mad at the dirt."

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  87. That's not what cognitive dissonance is.

    See, what you're doing here is making what is known as a value judgement. You are also demonstrating a lack of understanding of what is intended by the phrase "bad art," and a lack of basic reading comprehension.

    Dinosaur Comics is purely visual. As I said before, if you take the art away it does not stand up. It is entirely your prerogative to dislike the choices Ryan North makes w/r/t his art, but those of us with a thoughtful bent find it to be an interesting commentary on the nature of comics as a medium.

    Randall Munroe provides no such thing. He simply provides bad art. It isn't bad in an interesting way--it's not challenging the conventions of comics as a medium, or even a particular genre of comics. It's just bad and ineffective.

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  88. Also anon, you should probably invest in a spellchecker.

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  89. wait. just HOW in the flying fuck is dinosaur comics visual? it looks the same every day, and the art isn't even good. looks like it was done in just a few minutes in ms paint.

    which is absolutely fine; it's that type of strip. isn't its appeal in what the dinosaurs are actually saying?

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  90. "Cognitive dissenance"

    It's always priceless when people try to work a fancy expression into a conversation, but are unable to even spell it correctly.

    Yes, we really believe that "cognitive dissenance" is part of your everyday mental toolbox, that it is a concept you are easy and familiar with, not something you learned just the other day on the internet.

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  91. "just HOW in the flying fuck is dinosaur comics visual?"

    Jesus freaking christ. Rob explained it twice in the last few posts. TAKING AWAY THE ART DETRACTS NOTICEABLY FROM THE COMIC.

    Also, the fact that the art is the same every day doesn't mean it's not communicative. The expressions of all the characters are instantly recognizable. The fact that they are recurring characters helps.

    The wonder is how Ryan North manages to write lines that perfectly fit the static expressions in each panel, EVERY DAY, and most of it extremely funny.

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  92. Originally, the art in XKCD was good because it was minimalistic, kind of like a Japanese flower arrangement. Now it is just crap that my 10 year old could do on a bad day in the dark with his eyes closed (actually it might look better). WTF is up with the laptop? Have the physicist type out his final words in an email or play the latest MMORPG so that RanDULL can show everyone how current he is. Why in the last panel does the dome look like it's being sucked into an alternate dimension? And the lines when the physicist is falling? It reminded me of the Futurama episode where the news added the sound effects to make the penguins falling more funny.

    At the rate RanDULL is going, around comic 680 we are going to have Mr. Hat screwing with some raptors while Megan has sex and the the punchline something like "That's so dy/dx" followed up by a throwaway line of "Leibnitz would be so proud of you".

    You see, dy/dx is the derivative so what they're saying is . . . aww nevermind. If you didn't like the joke that must mean you don't get it.

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  93. @el duderino:

    yeah ... except not. t.rex's expressions are nearly the exact same in every panel; same with the orange dinosaur. the art rarely adds anything at all to dinosaur comics; it's just a backdrop. so yes, it's necessary in that otherwise it wouldn't be a comic, but to say the art is vital is missing the point entirely.

    but like i said, that's not a bad thing. dinosaur comics isn't about the visuals. it's about the conversations, which apparently a lot of people find very funny (i don't personally enjoy dinosaur comics).

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  94. I think Rob's points still stand even if you don't think the art more than rarely adds to the dialog. I happen to disagree, I believe the art in panels 2 and 6 often offer cues for how to read it, or else sharply contrast what is being said (or not said at all, as the case may be, in which case you get a stunned looking T-Rex). As for XKCD, I wish the art was the only thing there was to complain about...

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  95. Fixed.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v80/vandergraaf/experiment.png

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  96. If you think Dinosaur Comics would be the same if he didn't have the art, you are entirely missing the point of the comic.

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  97. It's a fine comic that you have analyzed to death. Just like every other XKCD. You clearly can't tell that he's a physics professor. That's why it's blatantly stated at the end. It's a similar pattern to many other XKCD's. A confusing set up, clarified in a (objectively) funny punch-line.

    At this point you're just as washed up and pointless as you claim Randall is. You take cheap shots at otherwise funny and completely innocent web comics because apparently you get your kicks from convincing everyone you can that you're right and Randall is some sort of comic writing anti-Christ.

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  98. It's a fine blog post that you have analyzed to death. Just like every other XKCD Sucks post. You clearly can't tell that he's a Magic School bus fan. That's why it's blatantly stated at the end. It's a similar pattern to many other XKCD Sucks post's. A confusing set up, clarified in a (objectively) funny punch-line.

    At this point you're just as washed up and pointless as you claim Carl is. You take cheap shots at otherwise funny and completely innocent web comic blogs because apparently you get your kicks from convincing everyone you can that you're right and Carl is some sort of blog writing anti-Christ.

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  99. Hey, people who are criticizing the dialogue in panel 2: It's been a while since I've seen it, but I'm pretty sure it's lifted straight from the movie. Where it's pretty much golden, although taken out of context like this it's kind of shit. So you're pretty much just criticizing it 'cause you think Randall wrote it, so...

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  100. There is a difference between a confusing set-up and one that gets the physics of the situation wrong. For someone whose bread and butter is science jokes and nerd pedantry, Randall could at least get his facts straight before diving in.

    Let me spell it out: sucking the air out of a bubble wouldn't instantly make it frictionless. Mr Hat would have to prepare a frictionless environment ahead of time. If he had, the guy would start slipping around in the first panel. The laptop would also be sliding around since the fan would be blowing before the air got sucked out. Lots of people have pointed this out earlier in the thread.

    xkcd used to be enjoyable precisely because the jokes used to not only be nerdy references, but because they used to be WELL-EXECUTED nerd references. Any idiot can take something he semi-remembers from college and make a comic around it (see: brightly wound.) What distinguishes something excellent from amateur hour is being well-executed. Considering xkcd is Randall's entire fucking career, he could make the effort to get shit right. But hey, he can do a half-assed job and still have the teeming masses eat it up, so why bother, right?

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  101. It's a fine comic that you have analyzed to death. Just like every other XKCD. You clearly can't tell that he's a physics professor. That's why it's blatantly stated at the end. It's a similar pattern to many other XKCD's. A confusing set up, clarified in a (objectively) funny punch-line.

    You think these punchlines are objectively funny? Are you retarded? Man, we're not like, being insincere here. We aren't like "Dohoho, what EEEEEEEEVIL can we committ today? I know! Let's slander INNOCENT WEBCOMICS har har har har har ::twiddles mustache::" We honestly think XKCD these days is a giant pile of shit, and are amazed at how dumb its fans have become in order to think that it's still worth a damn.

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  102. fantasio wins the prize, that is a great edit.

    Jay: thank you for reminding me. Maybe I can do it next week. man i have so many random posts i want to write....still have to review the dinosaur comics book, also. I warn you though, the reason I don't like the site isn't really on comedy grounds the way I usually dislike things. anyway. you will learn all...eventually!

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  103. Hey, people who are criticizing the dialogue in panel 2: It's been a while since I've seen it, but I'm pretty sure it's lifted straight from the movie. Where it's pretty much golden, although taken out of context like this it's kind of shit. So you're pretty much just criticizing it 'cause you think Randall wrote it, so...


    It wasn't taken straight from the movie. The movie version was longer, and Randall cut it down.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088258/quotes
    Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and...
    Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?
    Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.
    Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it's louder? Is it any louder?
    Nigel Tufnel: Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?
    Marty DiBergi: I don't know.
    Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?
    Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.
    Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.
    Marty DiBergi: Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?
    Nigel Tufnel: [pause] These go to eleven.


    So, no, we aren't ignorantly criticizing DiBergi/Guest dialogue. We're criticizing Randall's shitty rewrite of DiBergi/Guest dialogue.

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  104. Okay, fair enough. I thought it was the first thing DiBergi said after "The numbers all go to eleven." I still don't think it's even the same fuckin' sport as, like, "Do me without a condom," but we'll agree to disagree I guess.

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  105. It's not as bad as "Do me without a condom" but it's still not very good.

    671!

    I think the answer to "How much does Volvo sound like vulva?" is "Not very much, really."

    And then I wonder why Randall thinks that pointing out obscene homophones is worth doing after the age of, like, twelve.

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  106. guys did you know that "seamen" sounds a lot like "semen"

    It's worth a very, very brief thought of "that's kind of humourous I guess in an immature sort of way" but you certainly couldn't write a webcomic about it.

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  107. You could definitely make a few riffs on it in a South Park episode, though.

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  108. @671

    What the hell..

    The joke wouldn't be funny even if Volvo did sound like Vulva.

    I'm not sure how you pronounce your o's, but they don't sound like u's or a's.

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  109. hmm, I think the PPD for 671 is actually appropriate this time

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  110. *headdesk*

    I don't know what's worse. The comic itself, or the fact that "GOOMH RANDALL" is guaranteed to show up on the forums.

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  111. Anon 9:41,
    Actually, Volv and Vulv sound identical in those words.

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  112. Also, I'm pretty sure this is in response to that couple that snuck into the Whitehouse dinner completely uninvited and took pictures with Vice President Biden and uploaded it to facebok as they did it. It makes it so the joke is about those people, not volvo vs. vulva. Though seriously, everyone else did the same joke.

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  113. @basileus:
    +10 parochiality points for thinking your accent is "the way people talk."

    But at least we know that for some people this comic makes some sense.

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  114. Volv and Vulv are not pronounced the same in Volvo and Vulva. You are pronouncing one of them wrong if they sound the same.

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  115. If Volvo sounds like vulva, then...

    ...Torso sounds like tursa
    ...Combo sounds like cumba
    ...Roscoe sounds like rusca
    ...Angelo is Angela
    ...Poke is puke
    ...Munroe sounds like Monra
    ...Randall sounds like Rondoll

    And so on.

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  116. @basileus: How is it a reference to the Salahis? It's clearly a reference to Michael Moore and 'Roger and Me'.

    And it's a complete failure of a comic. It's not even remotely true, and even if it were, it's not even remotely funny. People have been talking about how lately Randall seems to have been reaching back to high school science for his jokes, but now he's gone all the way back to the primary school playground.

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  117. Found this on the forums whilst looking for "GET OUT OF MY HEAD RANDALL" as per Nate's comment and found this:

    "Randall, I didn't think I could love you any more, but then you had to go make a cheap shot at one of the most loathsome people in modern political discourse. Well done."

    The scary part is I think he was dead serious.

    (p.s. the GOOMH comment was found in the very first post, before any replies)

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  118. Normally, I'm a fan of these comics...and I tend to disagree with most of the stuff you guys criticize...but this Volvo/Vulva one is...well...a steaming pile of crap...I don't understand how he could write that and actually think it's good?

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  119. Guys I kind of liked 671. I mean, it's really, retardedly stupid, but it has all the basic ingredients of a joke, and the inner 12-year-old the comic was appealing to did laugh, a little. What I'm saying is, it's better than any David Spade movie after Chris Farley died. Which is... y'know, it's something.

    "And then I wonder why Randall thinks that pointing out obscene homophones is worth doing after the age of, like, twelve."

    Tobias: "I should call the Hot Cops and tell them to dress up as something more nautically themed. Hot sailors, maybe. Or better yet, hot sea..."
    Michael: "I like hot sailors."
    Tobias: "Mmmm. Me too."

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  120. ALSO!

    Michael: "And this is not a VolVO."
    Lindsay: "Oh, that’s from sitting on the copier."

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  121. I agree, there's nothing wrong with pointing out obscene homophones, but at the least it has to be done by someone with a shred of some actual comedic talent. Like, say, the writers of Arrested Development.

    I can just imagine the scenario that went on earlier this week:

    "Hey best friend, what do you think of this comic?"
    "Heh, it'd be awesome if someone went through all that trouble."
    "Alright another winner!"

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  122. Also I have to disagree with CAM, the PPD is awful. All it does is kill the joke even further by showing how unfazed the guy is by this hilarious prank they just pulled on him.

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  123. harrison: The nice part about those is that the joke isn't spelled out. The Obvious Homophone is suggested but never actually directly stated.

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  124. Yeah, I don't want anyone to get the impression that I'm holding Randy up as a shining beacon of humor, I just think that these last few comics are a noticeable improvement on where xkcd was, say, six months ago.

    @Fred: Another thing about the Arrested Development examples is that they were both throwaway gags, and another joke came along five seconds later. Which makes me wonder -- are comics really the best medium for Randy? I mean, 671 is pretty damn bad, 665 and 663 were just stupid, 661's last panel made me want to strangle Randall and then sign him up for a writing class, 656 was silly but not actually that funny, and 652 was a decent concept ruined by lazy execution and Sarah Connor's mustache. But I can see all of them being tweaked to work pretty damn well in a show like Arrested Development, or even better something like Robot Chicken, where if one gag doesn't work there's another right there to replace it.

    I mean, think about it -- how many of us fell in love with this comic because we spent an hour going through the archives way back when? xkcd's way better when you don't have time to deconstruct the flaws in every comic. Maybe Randy should do something longer-form.

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  125. @Fred: Really? My impression (and presumably CAM's) was that he was FREAKED THE FUCK OUT because these people were in his office, and were apparently batshit insane. I dunno, maybe it would help if Randall DREW SOME FUCKING FACES.

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  126. Randall Munroe's humor is conversational. This is why he does PPD--he wants it to read like a conversation. This is also why the setup tends to be so bad--you can tell that the conversation was engineered just for the pun. He is perfectly at home making quips and comments in conversation. He is evidently pretty terrible at setting up a joke and then delivering a punchline.

    Part of the reason we argue for Randall switching xkcd to an Illustrated Picto-Blog is that it would take the weight off the jokes. They could go from The Entire Reason For The Site Exists to Some Cute Drawings On The Side.

    I think his biggest problem is he needs to do the setup in essentially every joke. He is terrible at setup. His most successful comics have always been Black Hat Guy, and I think that's because he doesn't really need to do any setup. When a joke is coming from or even about a character, it's a little bit more than the sum of its parts.

    Basically he'd be better off if it were a long-run comic instead of each one being single-shot. Unfortunately to do that he'll need to actually draw something more than Fucking Stick Figures.

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  127. Rob, I think your points about how he has to force set up into every comic are really good. VERY WELL. you may remain on my website, for a short time.

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  128. yeah harrison and I are on the same wavelength here. The setup in itself is bad, what Rob was saying is true, Randy likes these to read out like a conversation, so given the shit the documentary people did just to get to the CEO and ask a retarded question like that, it seems appropriate in the situation to end with something like "security?".

    Granted, a good joke this does not make and the scenario was screwed to begin with, which is why what I really meant was that the PPD does not detract from the joke, because the joke was kind of gone to begin with

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  129. Well that's a good point. You can't really kill what's already dead.

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  130. I, uh... don't have a defense for this one. I do like that commentary, though.

    "It's also funny that they murdered a person."

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  131. OH ROB YOU'RE JUST TOO DAMN WITTY FOR ME. Surely changing what I said to match your own opinions is both clever and hilarious!

    No, this isn't the best XKCD of all time. Nor is it some sort of abomination of humor. It's a fine joke you may or may not find funny.

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  132. Keep telling yourself that.

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  133. I find it funny how much you complain about the drawing of XKCD yet say how much you love dinosaur comics, a comic that is literally a different joke to an identical (or nearly identical) background. A background which appears to have been assembled in a few minutes with MS paint. Especially considering that details important to the joke are always explained. Does it really matter who specifically that girl is? Or that it's the same guy in the hat? It's the same joke regardless. Maybe if you didn't hate every XKCD before you even go on the website to read it you could enjoy a few of them. Probably not because your profession and enjoyment seem to come from sucking the humor out of everything Randall draws.

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  134. WHAT IS THIS REPEAT THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AGAIN DAY? WE'VE BEEN OVER THIS GOD DAMN

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  135. Gotta love how everyone on here is criticizing the comic so much, yet is completely unable to come up with a comic that would get anywhere near the same reader base? Seriously, not every comic he writes is going to be the best of all time, and not everyone is going to like all the comics. Just appreciate that he's still writing and drawing them for the people who actually enjoy them, and are not jealous of what he's accomplished.

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  136. Um. Like, do you seriously, legitimately believe that success on the internet has a correlation with talent or quality? Really? You're not a joke? You actually think that?

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  137. Have you looked at most of your forums full of people "improving" XKCD comics? they're little more than cheap, unfunny shots at Randall. You think you can do better? Prove it.

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  138. I submit everything I have ever written as evidence.

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  139. "Have you looked at most of your forums full of people "improving" XKCD comics? they're little more than cheap, unfunny shots at Randall. You think you can do better? Prove it."

    Those people don't even post here.

    captcha: VOKING

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  140. Actually, you can tell the girl from the other xkcd girls because her hair is longer.

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  141. Um. Like, do you seriously, legitimately believe that success on the internet has a correlation with talent or quality? Really? You're not a joke? You actually think that?

    Of course. It's really simple. Someone has a talent to make things that people like. They make those things, and people become interested in them. If the author didn't have the talent to make interesting things, people wouldn't be interested in them. It's in the definition. Considering that Alexa's traffic rank for xkcd.com is 1,401, I'd say that indicates that Randall does a good job at making things that interest people.

    I don't see any problems with this comic that keep it from being funny and entertaining.

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  142. clearly people like xkcd. I'm just saying they're wrong.

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  143. I think this comic was kinda decent, perhaps because it brings back memories of the endless discussions in physics class about why we could make the approximation that there were no air or friction. Besides, I don't think the laptop would be sucked out from the chamber because of its weight...

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  144. Not reading the rest of the comments.

    However... moron.
    The origin of the joke is that physics, chemistry, and biology professors often would mention the Ideal Gas Law, or the Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium, and other such laws that were just used to proof... even though they were impossible.

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