Sunday, July 24, 2011

Comic 928: Mimic Humor

[Title was generously suggested to me by mysterious reader Tubbs "Andrew" McGee. The post remains my own. Lucky you. -Ed.]

mimic octopus

Nothing really to say about this one. Randy apparently recently read about the mimic octopus and decided that it made a pretty good punchline for a comic, I guess? Or maybe the punchline is the bit where he is like "TWO mimic octopuses. DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING, DID YOU?"

Alt text sounds mostly like GOOMH-bait. But I'm okay with this one, since he mostly is just using it as a "speaking of the plural form of octopus" aside. I just wish he'd pick something and stick to it.

929, though. Oh man.


  1. RE 929: What is this shit?

  2. You just didn't get the octopus joke. It's a math joke- with two variables and a constant you can determine the variables so if you have two mimic octopuses you can discern the octopus. It's funny if you like equations, which most xkcd readers do.

    I concede that 929 is not very good. Whatever happened to the classhole's fiendishness? Puncturing a ball is a child's trick.

  3. 9:58 is completely delusional and sucks at basic algebra

  4. desperation and delusion often look the same

  5. i might have been intrigued by the universal adoption conversation if i cared about google plus. or, for that matter, about facebook.

  6. 929 roughly follows the format of character-based humor, but it falls a bit flat given that xkcd does not have characters

  7. Although actually I wonder if he was going for something along the lines of pointing out that playing basketball requires "universal adoption" of the rules (or at least the basic premise) of basketball? Meh.

  8. I am best in my class at both math and science, 10:16, I think I know xkcd very well. You're just one of those who want to complain about anything even when you find out you're wrong.

    Remember it's better to listen than make insults. People who go through life being so jealous of those who know better can never learn better themself.

  9. Why oh why did I tell Ann Apolis to write for XKCD SUCKS this week? Now I can't make a post without stealing her thunder. =/

    Key points concerning 929:
    1) Why does the guy want everyone to join Google+? I was under the impression that a large part of the appeal was that everyone and their mother WASN'T on Google+...
    2) I don't understand the logic in panel 2. The reason the guy's social life doesn't happen on AOL is that it's NOT A SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE. If "everyone" stays on Facebook, then yes, your social life DOES have to happen there. (Also, it's worth noting that we've apparently precluded "being social" and "having a life" as necessary components of a social life.)
    3) WHY IS MR. HAT THERE? Those last two panels could be the ending to literally any setup.

    "So, did you hear about that new Linux distro? I'm thinking about switching." "Yeah, well, -" THUNK
    "What's the deal with airplane food, right guys? It's like -" THUNK
    "Because of a family illness, instead of regular comics, this week I'll -" THUNK

    Actually, that last one might be good.

    The point is that Randall has not told a joke. The punchline is completely and totally disconnected from the setup, and therefore neither is contributes to the strip. As a result, 929 is garbage.

  10. 10:31 sounds right, but it's hard to believe that Randall would make anyone think and connect ideas, not generally the forte of asspies, to get why the punchline makes sense.

  11. guys guys you're thinking about 929 ALL WRONG

    look, aplarsen has it covered

    sheesh it's so OBVIOUS (and so hilarious but that's so trivially true i don't feel the need to point it out)

  12. "I am best in my class at both math and science, 10:16, I think I know xkcd very well. You're just one of those who want to complain about anything even when you find out you're wrong."

    ehh, 4/10.

  13. It's not Randy per se who made me move out of the mathematics field, but the sort of people who are enabled by him.

    Randall scares away people who like science/math by sparking people who substitute cult of personality for acutal science/math.

  14. 929 is one of the worst I've seen in a while. It contains zero humour.

  15. The joke in 929 is that people shouldn't be wasting their time playing basketball (a negro activity), instead they should be finding the cure for breast cancer.

  16. Cancer is easy to deal with: screen regularly and remove cancerous tissue. The problem is that there's way more profit in waiting until every illness has progressed enough that the patient is subjected to a long treatment process - this even applies under nationalised healthcare systems where employees, contractors and management still demand clients.

  17. But 3:59, how will Randy love her if they hack off her milk tanks? It's not as simple as the perfect world you paint.
    The reality is, if she lost both of her ample bapples to cancer, Randy would leave her cold and alone on the streets of Gotham.
    The rumors would spread, and the taint of his love would leave her unwanted.

  18. Your concern is honourable, 4:21, but it is quite possible that Megan has not been touched by Randy except through the pulling of hair and suckling of teat. Since the cancer will result in all stained parts falling off, she becomes pure again.

    This may have been her intention.

  19. 4:28, you have blown my mind.
    I had never even considered that she did not like Randy's loving touch.
    It all seems so /OBVIOUS/ now.
    He comes home from a stressful day of drawing sticks, maybe he has had a few too many to drink.
    He holds her arms, trying to force her hands from defending her ample bosom.
    "It's got long sleeves" he says to himself "The bruises will hardly show". In his drunken rage he forces her to the ground, bestial; he pinches and rubs his icy hands over her nipples. As if by magic they begin to perk, her shrill voice screams "No, Rand, No! For God's sake NO!" but by this point he is more animal than man. His tightly pursed lips latch on to her nipple, and Megan's anger is released as pressured milk streams.

  20. As a native Southeast Asian, I wholly endorse this clade of mimics.

  21. Anders Behring Breivik sure is easy on the eyes, innit?

    It is probably fortuitous that Americans always score lower in maths and science testing versus the 'Arian' Norskis. Otherwise the American Mass Murderers would be as methodical and efficient as those Fjord Feckers appear to be.


  22. catching a ball is a rather trivial act

  23. To catch a baseball, the player should position the glove according to the flight of the ball. If the ball is below the waist, the fingers and the palm of the glove hand should be pointed down with the mitt fully open. If the ball is chest high, the fingers and the palm of the glove should be pointing out, with the thumbs pointing to the sky. If the ball is above the chest, the fingers point toward the sky.In all catching attempts, a player should :

    1. Keep eyes on the ball
    2. Have both hands ready, with arms relaxed and extended towards the ball
    3. Bend the elbows to absorb the force of the throw
    4. Watch the ball into the glove and squeeze it.
    5. After the catch, the player should immediately grip the ball with the throwing hand in the correct overhand throwing technique.

    Trivial? My tight arse!

  24. Do XKCD characters always pull crossbows out of their asses? And, what the fuck; is black hat examining a pile of shit? What is meant by "it was hard enough getting them on Facebook"? As if these characters (or the author) had anything to do with widespread use?

    Maybe I'm a bit naive about this whole social networking thing (because I have never used a social network), but is online interaction now considered "social" (panel 2). Or am I mistaken?

  25. Anonymous @ 7:47 said:

    "....Maybe I'm a bit naive about this whole social networking thing (because I have never used a social network)...."

    Perhaps if you 'used' more personal hygiene products and abstained from the improper use of brackets when writing social networks would more readily embrace your inclusion?

  26. Dear Aquarians,

    You are turning into a Grammar Nazi who has appalling grammar. Please go back to your old ways. I feel you are not even trying any more.


  27. Dearest Anon,

    What are/were my old ways?

    I 'try' only for those who remunerate me - at my Pay Site for instance. You cunts get my 'Beta' versions.

    Did I use the word 'Beta' correctly there?

  28. No, Aquarians, using more personal hygiene products does not mask the underlying problem of not washing correctly.

    Now we know why you have no friends.

  29. I must admit I do exude a redolent olfactory assault on the unwary but, my lack of friends is incumbent mostly upon my personality and lolling tongue.

  30. There's also my alphabet's worth of Hep infections to consider as well.

  31. don't forget your numerous physical disfigurements! they make you look repulsive!

  32. ALTF, would you please take the comma in 9:04 and put it in 8:01. You write like scholarship candidate at prep school destined only for a minor exhibition.

  33. You forgot the question mark, 10:21. Unforgivable!

  34. I pixelate like a person who is learning English as her fourth language. My mother tongue does not use punctuation - as you would define it - and my second and third languages, though Romance, have different punctuation rules.

    I will translocate the comma, as per your request, if you insert the necessary indefinite article in 10:21.

    Scholarship candidate?
    You silver-tongued bounder!

    Anonymous 10:27,

    A question mark is not needed. 10:21 is making a declarative statement - I think.

  35. Actually 10:21, the definite article would suffice as well.


  36. Now your quip is relevant 10:27.
    Can you please forgive though?

  37. Which of your Romance languages are you claiming to have confused English with? I'd hazard a guess that Spanish is one you're up on but that wouldn't explain your error. Neither would French. And Latin, of course, would just laugh. Perhaps Portuguese has some oddities...? (It's easy for a Hispanophone to read but sounds worse than Catalan!)

    captcha: mongshid. And so ALTF was cast out from the Mongshid tribe, forced onto a canoe and floated into the Pacific. Bumping into the Andes several weeks later, she subsisted on potatoes and bad grammar until a Canadian diplomat selected her for his harem.

  38. ALTF here to fuck everything up again it seems.

  39. 929 : Social networks, my mom, AOL sucks, old social networks, black hat guy is mean and nasty.


  40. The word 'canoe' is of Arawak/Carib origin via Spanish and French - we've no canoes in the Motherland! I escaped on a traditional Myanmar teak boat down the Ayeyarwaddy river to the Andaman Sea; Straight of Malacca; Java, Banda and Arfura Seas until traversing the Torres Straight and reaching the Pacific.
    I earned a few bob fellating Brit expats in Phi Phi and Singapore on the way.

    I do like a bit of Pomme de Terre though.
    BP a Canadian Diplomat?

    Anonymous @ 11:23,

    As per your request!

  41. Does anyone actually use Facebook for anything serious? I always assumed that it was just a way of dicking around under random personas, like this blog or pretty much anywhere on the general Internet.

    This said, how the hell does Facebook make money? Put another way, who is stupid enough to buy marketing data from people who are behaving as above?

  42. 9:58

    If I didn't think you were trolling I'd say you were a complete fucking idiot. And there's a part of me that is terrified that you're serious. There's no reason to interpret this comic as a math joke; just because you can find a way two things are ever so slightly connected doesn't mean that the connection was an intentional decision of the author.

    Also, you're just wrong. If the mimic octopi (suck it Randall!) are meant to be "variables", whether you have one or two or a million is irrelevant without additional information. On their own, 'X' and 'X+N' are equally meaningless.

  43. With which of my Romance languages am I confusing English? (Notice I do not end my sentences with prepositions like some people do!)
    I am learning English which is Germanic - there is no confusion with French or Spanish.

  44. No canoes in Burma? What are you smoking?

  45. Anonymous @ 11:46 said:

    "...This said, how the hell does Facebook make money?...."

    No understanding of commerce, eh?
    When the Facebook IPO manifests, in early 2012 I reckon, many new multi-billionaires will be created - instantly!

    @ Anonymous 11:57,

    They are not called canoes you ignaorant cunt!

  46. ALTF, you said: "I pixelate like a person who is learning English as her fourth language. My mother tongue does not use punctuation - as you would define it - and my second and third languages, though Romance, have different punctuation rules."

    If this were one of those inane aptitude tests, the multiple choice answer to the question, "Why did ALTF comment that her second and third languages have different punctuation rules?" would be something like, "As a poor excuse for getting English punctuation wrong."

    While I'm here, the linguist's counterargument to, "Don't end English sentences with prepositions!" is, of course, to point out that English is Germanic. Bravo.

  47. They are canoes thus properly called canoes. You're not about to go all French and claim that it's not champagne unless it was made in Champagne, are you? Fairly sure the Arawak haven't made that claim.

    As to the IPO creating new multi-billionaires... what? The paper valuation of the major owners is already in the billions, figures which will remain as meaningful after the IPO pump.

  48. Niggers will be niggers, July 25, 2011 12:11 PM.

    There is nothing you can do about it.

  49. @ Anonymous 12:03 said:

    "...."As a poor excuse for getting English punctuation wrong."...."

    It wasn't that poor. I thought it contained a certain pseudo-intellectual sleight-of-hand or legerdemain if you will sufficient to keep the natives in awe.

    " point out that English is Germanic. Bravo....."

    You picked up on that! Good for you.
    And as I am female, I should think one would say 'Brava'.


  50. @ Anonymous 12:11,

    About the canoes
    Sometimes a canoe is just a canoe.

    ".....You're not about to go all French and claim that it's not champagne unless it was made in Champagne, are you?...."

    Would you like me to? I've a cute French Maid's outfit ideal for just such occasions.
    Frilly knickers and everything!

  51. I prefer plain and subtle, but thanks for offering.

  52. @12:36 Nope. "Bravo" is qualifying the act, not the person.

  53. Plain and subtle?

    Do you ask them to take a very, very cold shower first and then request that they repose on the bed and remain very, very still until you're finished?

    That's gotta be dead boring.


  54. Nah, RealDoll[tm]s are a pain to clean. The ladies at the local library, on the other hand...

  55. So the act of stating English is Germanic, which allows for terminal preposition placement, and then chastising folks for placing these horrid prepositions in the terminal position when writing in English and then not recognising the contradiction inherrent in holding these two mutually exclusive beliefs at the same time is Bravo?
    And I am not Brava?
    Fie I say!
    A most heinous disapprobation!

  56. The intentionality (in the Husserlian sense) of the juxtaposition was bravo.

    My next sentence was going to involve the phrase "ridden like a small Italian car" - in undeference to Randall I'll just put tasteless filler around it.

  57. This comment has been removed by the author.

  58. Oooops
    And one big fucking Oooops!
    Read "@ Anonymous 12:55" above.

  59. @11:15
    A north minnesotan diplomat. If such a thing exists.

  60. But it is an anagram of "refence nude", about the only time you should put something on, and very hard not to type as "reference nude", undoubtedly the thought of Caine's character in Educating Rita at the fresh start of each new year to keep him attentive for at least the first few weeks. Fucking brilliant film, that. Not to be confused with Rita, Sue and Bob Too which should be searched for using Youtube to give the completion "film car scene", referring to the clumsy underage sex scene and reminding us what a sordid place the Internet really is (and how good Google is at indexing it).

  61. Had a problem there.
    I made a few buboes.

    Shit Minnesota Slim is back.

  62. I liked Caine in "The Man Who Would Be King".
    Educating Rita is good too! Great similarity with Fucking Aquarians and me.
    When I met her 6 years ago, she could barely articulate crude grunts and "Me want Snoo snoo" was the extent of her verbiage in English.

  63. No one ever heard me utter the phrase, "Him do good snoo snoo" in reference to you did they?

  64. Not another anaesthesiologist, I hope? You'd think they'd need to read some English as part of their training...

  65. @ Anonympous 1:21 PM

    "....reminding us what a sordid place the Internet really is...."

    As sordid places go, it's one of the best though.

    I am not a gas-passer my friend. The only English I really need to know is "You pay. Now!"

  66. At prep school I had a crush on an Indian girl. She ended up training as a gas passer.

    At sixth form I had a crush on a German girl. She ended up training as a gas passer. (Now off on a voluntary mission which let her see the first sunrise on South Sudan - enough Internet detective work'll allow you to work out who she is and who I am.)

  67. "....At sixth form I had a crush on a German girl. She ended up being a gas passer...."

    Was it Zyklon B? You know, her being German and all.

    Tell her to avoid the cunts at MSF in future volunteer missions. Going rogue she'll be far more useful to the locals.
    I know of what I speak.

  68. She was quite friendly with the daughters of Abraham our school was (for reorganisational reasons - I guess they're not all accountants?) Gift-ed with at the time.

    Perhaps she was fitting in the experimentation before a discovered indiscretion would affect her career prospects.

    MSF likes to draw its own F.

  69. "MSF likes to draw its own F"


    BP's accountant is a Scot - go figure? I do not need one - yet.

  70. I think I would spend a little longer on Skye were it not full of bored drunks and City refugees. Quite different from First World Britain.

  71. "....Perhaps she was fitting in the experimentation before a discovered indiscretion would affect her career prospects...."

    Funny guy!
    Though I reckon she'd have an easy time of it in Nordic countries - especially if her indiscretions are discovered.

    First World Britain?
    Are you having a laugh?

  72. Are you having a laugh?
    In British English, the most clearly phrased statement is the least sincere.

  73. Well the guest posts ruined the blog and now ALTF has ruined the comment threads, I guess I'll just go back to seething about xkcd on my own now.

  74. Anon302, who are you kidding? This blog was ruined the moment it was conceived.

  75. Anon 3:02, if you're looking for an alternative, there's always the XKCD SUCKS blog (run by yours truly).

  76. "Anon 3:02, if you're looking for an alternative, there's always the XKCD SUCKS blog (run by yours truly)."

    It's true! That blog is like this one, only without the sense of irony, the humor, the understanding, or Rob's 'like I give a fuck' attitude. Also, the posts there are twice as long as the ones here, which means they are twice as good.

  77. that's what i just said dude stop cribbing my style

  78. Oh, THAT kind of OP.

    I guess I'm used to forums where everything is this "comments," so the OP is just the first "commenter."

    That'll teach me.

  79. maybe if you were less fat

  80. Gamer's neckbeard has reached a higher, more psychedelic plane, resdistributing his weight.

  81. Yeah, Rob, get it right. YOU'RE that fat one; I'M the one with the neckbeard.


  82. neck beard avec lice

  83. you don't get it. the joke is not "oh, didn't see that one coming, did you?" More specifically, it's funny because all the other pictures were obviously something else, but then labeled as "mimic octopuses" since they take the shape of anything. Then, in the last one, you see what is obviously an octopus, and is it an octupus? Nope. It's /two/ mimic octopuses/pode/pi

  84. @11:54: Search "US AIR FORCE AIRCRAFT IDENTIFICATION CHART" about, oh, a decade or so ago. That is the joke.