1477: "Star Wars"

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1477: "Star Wars"

Postby The Moomin » Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:45 am UTC

Star Wars
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Hovertext "A long, long time (plus 40 years) ago, in a galaxy far, far away (plus a corrective factor involving the Hubble constant) ..."

Two score years and a long long time ago, our refuse-to-believe-its-our-fathers left us in a galaxy far far away . . .
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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby da Doctah » Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:52 am UTC

Things nobody noticed on July 11th, 2006: the United States set a new record for the longest period of time with an unchanged number of states.

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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby dp2 » Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:41 pm UTC

I've thought about this since Episode 7's date was announced. A nice almost-but-not-really-symmetry.

I remember in 1999 being in a Taco Bell, which was doing a Phantom Menace promotion, and hearing a person older than I saying, "Oh, I remember those Star Wars movies." To me that was like saying, "Oh, I've heard of this President Clinton guy."

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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby azule » Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:43 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:Things nobody noticed on July 11th, 2006: the United States set a new record for the longest period of time with an unchanged number of states.
I agree, we need to get rid of some states. Flame war would have me mention them by name.
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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby cellocgw » Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:02 pm UTC

azule wrote:
da Doctah wrote:Things nobody noticed on July 11th, 2006: the United States set a new record for the longest period of time with an unchanged number of states.
I agree, we need to get rid of some states. Flame war would have me mention them by name.


Heck, not only get rid of some, but add a few. Puerto Rico, The Philipines, and Saudi Arabia come to mind :twisted:
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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby cellocgw » Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:06 pm UTC

I think my "shock at passage of time" happened when I realized that the Viet Nam War was much farther in the past when my kids were in high school than WWII was when I was in high school. (now you can all calculate my age and theirs :( ) .

It's my considered opinion that the passage of time is logarithmic. That is, the perceived slowness of time as a 10-yr-old child on Xmas Eve made that day take longer than a year or two at my present pre-senile age. All Fear The Asymptote!
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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby leeharveyosmond » Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:20 pm UTC

Things nobody noticed on July 11th, 2006: the United States set a new record for the longest period of time with an unchanged number of states.


Um, what about Area 51? That became a state a few years back. [The exact date remains classified, of course.]

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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby orthogon » Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:22 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:I think my "shock at passage of time" happened when I realized that the Viet Nam War was much farther in the past when my kids were in high school than WWII was when I was in high school. (now you can all calculate my age and theirs :( ) .


"cellocgw is twice as old now as xir children were when the Vietnam war was as far in the past as WWII was when cellocgw was in high school. Given this information, was the Iraq war a costly mistake? Show your working."

cellocgw wrote:It's my considered opinion that the passage of time is logarithmic. That is, the perceived slowness of time as a 10-yr-old child on Xmas Eve made that day take longer than a year or two at my present pre-senile age. All Fear The Asymptote!

That's certainly the overall trend, but there is always Einstein's third theory of relativity: the one about a minute with your hand on the hotplate vs an hour with a beautiful woman.
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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby Coyoty » Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:58 pm UTC

I think the perceived passage of time may be related to the time since a thing happened. Something that takes X time now is perceived as X/10 in ten years, and X/30 after 30 years. Or something like that.

Speaking of predictable things:

Image

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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby alanbbent » Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:12 pm UTC

Nooooo another whole comic used up by a timeghost factoid. Also, what's with the white line through all of the dates?

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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby AdmiralJota » Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:53 pm UTC

I don't buy this as a tipping point. Comparing these arbitrarily chosen dates:

1977 Star Wars: A New Hope
1980 The Empire Strikes Back
* 1983 Return of the Jedi

* 1999 Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
2002 Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
2005 Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

* 2015 Present

...seems pretty meaningless.

On the other hand, comparing the start of each trilogy (A New Hope -> Phantom Menace versus Phantom Menace -> the present) would make sense. Or comparing the time between each trilogy (Return of the Jedi -> Phantom Menace versus Revenge of the Sith -> the present).

Either one of these would put the tipping point at 2021, which seems a lot more reasonable to me.

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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:59 pm UTC

alanbbent wrote:Nooooo another whole comic used up by a timeghost factoid. Also, what's with the white line through all of the dates?


Scanner artifact?

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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby orthogon » Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:03 pm UTC

alanbbent wrote:Also, what's with the white line through all of the dates?

What white line? It looks fine to me. Maybe your timeline is fading - have you been messing with space-time continuum again?
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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby The Devils Engineer » Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:12 pm UTC

Coyoty wrote:I think the perceived passage of time may be related to the time since a thing happened. Something that takes X time now is perceived as X/10 in ten years, and X/30 after 30 years. Or something like that.

Speaking of predictable things:

Image


Darn...beat me to it. The Time Ghost comic is one of my personal favorites from Randall. It's funny, informative, and thought provoking. I'd like to see more of him and would have preferred the Time Ghost giving us the info on this comic. Maybe we can start a "more Time Ghost" movement and have him become a permanent character?

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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby Heimhenge » Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:54 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
alanbbent wrote:Nooooo another whole comic used up by a timeghost factoid. Also, what's with the white line through all of the dates?


Scanner artifact?

Yeah, I noticed that too. Tried refreshing - still there. Tried zooming in - still there. Tried DLing the image and pulled it into PhotoPaint - still there. Can't for the life of me see what the point might be, but it was obviously intentional. Doubt it's a scanner glitch, since it only extends across the middle frame.

Does anyone know for sure if Randall draws this stuff on paper, and then scans, or creates it directly in some digital drawing app, maybe using a graphics tablet?

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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby azule » Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:33 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:Heck, not only get rid of some, but add a few. Puerto Rico (yes), The Philipines (oh...maybe), and Saudi Arabia (what?! no! why? explain! is it joke?) come to mind :twisted:
Reply in parantheses above ^^.

orthogon wrote:Einstein's third theory of relativity: the one about a minute with your hand on the hotplate vs an hour with a beautiful woman.
Does the meaning of the statement change at all if "on the hotplate" is removed? To me that sounds like the exact time difference, but it's not relative, it's reality.

rmsgrey wrote:
alanbbent wrote:Also, what's with the white line through all of the dates?


Scanner artifact?
Damnit. I saw that, then ignored it. Why GLR no perfect lately? *sigh*

It could be scanner; could be guideline (in photo editing software).
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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:40 pm UTC

Coyoty wrote:I think the perceived passage of time may be related to the time since a thing happened. Something that takes X time now is perceived as X/10 in ten years, and X/30 after 30 years. Or something like that.


My theory has long been that each newly-passing duration is judged to be subjectively long by comparison to all the time that has already passed before. To maybe illustrate: "the latter half of my life thus far" should always feel about the same, no matter how old you are (and thus how many years half of your life thus far actually is). So when you were two, the past year was HALF of your ENTIRE LIFE, whereas when you're twenty it's just meh 5% of it whatever, but TEN YEARS, man that's forever. When you're forty, the past twenty years feels like the past ten had when you were twenty. And so on. Logarithmically, like someone said earlier. You could divide your life up into periods that feel of equal length: 5-10, 10-20, 20-40, 40-80…

I suspect the real psychological reason for this, which would make it less cleanly formulaic than this in reality, is that we judge the passage of time by remarkable events, which usually means novel events. Looking forward through time in the present, a denser stream of remarkable events makes it feel like time if flying by (hence "time flies when you're having fun"), because more "time-markers" are passing you more quickly, whereas when things are boring time seems to really drag on; and conversely, while looking back, a period with a lot of remarkable events feels like a really long period of time, while a period where nothing happened seems like a flash, and you'll be surprised when you realize that so many years passed by in that flash. So, to get to my point, when you're brand new and absolutely everything is a novel experience, it feels like you're rushing into the future and when you look back over your brief life it seems huge and so full; but when you get older and have seen more and everything just becomes more of the same, that feeling of rushing into the future fades away, but then you look back and feel like "holy shit how was that decades ago that JUST HAPPENED", because so comparatively little of note occurred in between to mark that passage of time. But of course lives aren't all completely routine like this, getting continually and gradually more boring as they go on; there are boring periods and periods of exciting change. So the actual effect is rough and bumpy depending on each person's life. But the overall trend is still that as you get old, nothing is new anymore, so time seems to drag on as you march forward through it, but looks like it has flown by when you look back over it.
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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby azule » Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:11 pm UTC

Finally, a use for logarithms. Love this look on time. Things happen, it's just that it's old hat to us as we get older.
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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby Klear » Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:42 pm UTC

I thought this *exact* factoid has been used in a comic before, but I guess I confused it with the ghost comic. It still feels quite like a rehash, I do not approve =/

BTW, I've lived the same amount of time before 9/11 as after it. That is weird.

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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby project2051 » Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:48 pm UTC

Next year they can update the Gettysburg Address to nice even "12 score years ago"

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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby Eternal Density » Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:48 pm UTC

It seems weird that a comic about the passage of time gets this title, given that there have ben other comics about Star Wars.
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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby da Doctah » Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:56 pm UTC

project2051 wrote:Next year they can update the Gettysburg Address to nice even "12 score years ago"

They'll be too busy dealing with "Super Bowl L? What the hell does the L stand for?"

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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby azule » Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:33 pm UTC

Eternal Density wrote:It seems weird that a comic about the passage of time gets this title, given that there have ben other comics about Star Wars.
Fair point. But maybe titles are an important aspect of the comic. In this case it must be pointing out what our longing for SW actually is in real time. It's not just another Time Ghost comic as it's really about the upcoming new SW. /Rationalization Theatre
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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:42 pm UTC

Can someone who is better at math than me help calculate, assuming this theory of logarithmic time is true, at what age will someone with an average life expectancy be at their subjective mid-life? Like, say life expectancy is 80, so objective mid-life is 40, but 40 feels like the midpoint between 20 and 80, and only a third of the way back between 10 and 80 (so there's twice as much subjective time between 10 and 40 as there is between 40 and 80), and a quarter of the way back between 5 and 80… so if we're only looking at life between 5 and 80, then 20 would be the subjective midpoint? But as we keep pushing back... if there's as much subjective time between 2.5 and 5, and 1.25 and 2.5, then the subjective midpoint between 1.25 and 80 would be 10 then? And the midpoint between 0.3125 and 80 would only be 5? It doesn't seem to work out right but I can't figure out where I'm mathing wrong.

Maybe work it the other way around, so that time starts with a finite rate (instead of the infinite that the above reasoning suggests) that then logarithmically drops off? So the first two years feel like 1.5 original years, the first three only feel like 1.75... but then your whole life, if infinite, would only feel like two of your original years, and that still doesn't seem right. Also, it seems like the rate changes based on what time period you pick to be the one that sets the base rate (a year vs a month), and as you pick smaller and smaller periods you end up with time speeding up infinitely fast, so that your whole life just feels like twice the first infinitesimal period, so effectively nothing at all, and that can't be right either.

(If anyone can help with this, I'll serve you and an infinite number of your friends drinks, but each friend only gets half as much as the last, 'cause I've only got two pints to go around, and you mathematicians don't know your limits anyway).
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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby Keyman » Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:30 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:
project2051 wrote:Next year they can update the Gettysburg Address to nice even "12 score years ago"

They'll be too busy dealing with "Super Bowl L? What the hell does the L stand for?"

NFL has officially given up the (time)ghost on that one. It'll be SB50. They are dropping the Roman numeral...for one year. Then back to LI... and LII will be just six blocks from my house.
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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby Eternal Density » Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:45 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Can someone who is better at math than me help calculate, assuming this theory of logarithmic time is true, at what age will someone with an average life expectancy be at their subjective mid-life? Like, say life expectancy is 80, so objective mid-life is 40, but 40 feels like the midpoint between 20 and 80, and only a third of the way back between 10 and 80 (so there's twice as much subjective time between 10 and 40 as there is between 40 and 80), and a quarter of the way back between 5 and 80… so if we're only looking at life between 5 and 80, then 20 would be the subjective midpoint? But as we keep pushing back... if there's as much subjective time between 2.5 and 5, and 1.25 and 2.5, then the subjective midpoint between 1.25 and 80 would be 10 then? And the midpoint between 0.3125 and 80 would only be 5? It doesn't seem to work out right but I can't figure out where I'm mathing wrong.

Maybe work it the other way around, so that time starts with a finite rate (instead of the infinite that the above reasoning suggests) that then logarithmically drops off? So the first two years feel like 1.5 original years, the first three only feel like 1.75... but then your whole life, if infinite, would only feel like two of your original years, and that still doesn't seem right. Also, it seems like the rate changes based on what time period you pick to be the one that sets the base rate (a year vs a month), and as you pick smaller and smaller periods you end up with time speeding up infinitely fast, so that your whole life just feels like twice the first infinitesimal period, so effectively nothing at all, and that can't be right either.

(If anyone can help with this, I'll serve you and an infinite number of your friends drinks, but each friend only gets half as much as the last, 'cause I've only got two pints to go around, and you mathematicians don't know your limits anyway).

I just have to say that this post was a great read from start to finish :D
But it took longer to read that I expected. Though it doesn't feel as long now.
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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:57 pm UTC

It may be worth pointing out that if you take subjective time from your earliest memories rather than from your moment of birth, the start of time gradually creeps later over your lifetime, reducing the rate at which time appears to accelerate...

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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby orthogon » Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:27 pm UTC

You're right, Pfhorrest. But there's someone on here who says "if something looks exponential, it's probably the first part of a sigmoid".
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby pmw57 » Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:14 am UTC

Heimhenge wrote:Yeah, I noticed that too. Tried refreshing - still there. Tried zooming in - still there. Tried DLing the image and pulled it into PhotoPaint - still there. Can't for the life of me see what the point might be, but it was obviously intentional. Doubt it's a scanner glitch, since it only extends across the middle frame.


Maybe it's supposed to be there. Maybe, it's supposed to be, *removes sunglasses* a time line! YEEEAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby Bossi » Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:44 am UTC

"A long time ago, plus four score and seven years ago, in a galaxy far, far away. It is a period of civil war. Rebel seaships, striking from a hidden cove, have won their first victory against the [insert Basically Decent adjective here] Federal Union."

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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby BlitzGirl » Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:12 am UTC

Eternal Density wrote:It seems weird that a comic about the passage of time gets this title, given that there have ben other comics about Star Wars.

Well, he couldn't call it "Time" again or we might end up with another 2200-page thread.
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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby Klear » Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:08 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:It may be worth pointing out that if you take subjective time from your earliest memories rather than from your moment of birth, the start of time gradually creeps later over your lifetime, reducing the rate at which time appears to accelerate...


Well, as far as my 9/11 post is concerned:

Klear wrote:BTW, I've lived the same amount of time before 9/11 as after it. That is weird.


...I remember some stuff from when I was less than a year old, plus 9/11 was coincidentally about the time when I really started to drink a lot, so I'd say I rememberer about the same from both of those times, really.

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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby RogueCynic » Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:26 am UTC

cellocgw wrote:
azule wrote:
da Doctah wrote:Things nobody noticed on July 11th, 2006: the United States set a new record for the longest period of time with an unchanged number of states.
I agree, we need to get rid of some states. Flame war would have me mention them by name.


Heck, not only get rid of some, but add a few. Puerto Rico, The Philipines, and Saudi Arabia come to mind :twisted:


King Abdullah died recently so Saudi Arabia needs a leader. I'll give Michigan to anyone who will take it. AdmiralJota: Star Wars 1977 is Star Wars, not Star Wars:A New Hope. It never will be. How long is the Star Wars timeline in parsecs? Finally, screw you spellcheck.
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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby Kit. » Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:39 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Can someone who is better at math than me help calculate, assuming this theory of logarithmic time is true, at what age will someone with an average life expectancy be at their subjective mid-life?

At birth (or conception), and your math is right. Antiderivative of ln(x) is x*ln(x) - x + c, and it has a singularity at 0.

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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby Znirk » Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:19 pm UTC

AdmiralJota wrote:I don't buy this as a tipping point. Comparing these arbitrarily chosen dates:

1977 Star Wars: A New Hope
1980 The Empire Strikes Back
* 1983 Return of the Jedi

* 1999 Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
2002 Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
2005 Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

* 2015 Present

...seems pretty meaningless.

True. What's supposed to be 'tipping' here? Why is The Phantom Menace the fulcrum? Whyi is Return of the Jedi the centre of gravity for the first batch of films?

... seriously though, is there something about those two films themselves that makes them more important than the rest in a fan's mind? Myself, I've never understood the love for Star Wars. I've seen the first three twice each, and left it at "meh".

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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby orthogon » Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:58 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I suspect the real psychological reason for this, which would make it less cleanly formulaic than this in reality, is that we judge the passage of time by remarkable events, which usually means novel events. Looking forward through time in the present, a denser stream of remarkable events makes it feel like time if flying by (hence "time flies when you're having fun"), because more "time-markers" are passing you more quickly, whereas when things are boring time seems to really drag on; and conversely, while looking back, a period with a lot of remarkable events feels like a really long period of time, while a period where nothing happened seems like a flash, and you'll be surprised when you realize that so many years passed by in that flash.

I like this, and I think it would be amenable to an Information Theoretic formalisation. You could define the novelty in an experienced event as the conditional entropy of the event given your state of knowledge prior to the event: H(E|P). As each new experience occurs, having its own conditional entropy, it contributes to your state of knowledge, reducing the conditional entropy of future similar events. The total rate of arrival of entropy would be measured in bits per second. As you get older, observed events get more predictable and therefore contain little information of their own: Pr(E|P)~1 => H(E|P)~0.

When you're very young, i.e. less than 4 years old, there appears to be a kind of bootstrapping problem. Everything is new, and apparently random and inexplicable; hence it contains a lot of entropy, but most of this cannot be used to enhance your state of knowledge. (It's like snow on an untuned TV: information theory says it contains a maximum amount of entropy, and yet its real information content is virtually zero). I'm not sure how to account for this phenomenon. It seems that it's not the bits per second that you experience that matters, but rather the bits per second that you're able to incorporate into your model of the world.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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moody7277
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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby moody7277 » Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:13 pm UTC

Keyman wrote:
da Doctah wrote:
project2051 wrote:Next year they can update the Gettysburg Address to nice even "12 score years ago"

They'll be too busy dealing with "Super Bowl L? What the hell does the L stand for?"

NFL has officially given up the (time)ghost on that one. It'll be SB50. They are dropping the Roman numeral...for one year. Then back to LI... and LII will be just six blocks from my house.


I guess after Super Bowl XL in 2006, they didn't want one that was just L.
The story of my life in xkcdmafia:

Tigerlion wrote:Well, I imagine as the game progresses, various people will be getting moody.


BoomFrog wrote:I still have no idea what town moody really looks like.

Wulfolme
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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby Wulfolme » Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:38 pm UTC

AdmiralJota wrote:I don't buy this as a tipping point. Comparing these arbitrarily chosen dates:

1977 Star Wars: A New Hope
1980 The Empire Strikes Back
* 1983 Return of the Jedi

* 1999 Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
2002 Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
2005 Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

* 2015 Present

...seems pretty meaningless.

On the other hand, comparing the start of each trilogy (A New Hope -> Phantom Menace versus Phantom Menace -> the present) would make sense. Or comparing the time between each trilogy (Return of the Jedi -> Phantom Menace versus Revenge of the Sith -> the present).

Either one of these would put the tipping point at 2021, which seems a lot more reasonable to me.


It will mark the point where the long wait for another Star Wars movie that's actually good will overtake the first long wait for another Star Wars movie.
I find it monumentally dismaying that millions, MILLIONS, will gleefully suspend their distrust for authority simply because they were told what everyone knew they wanted to hear.

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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby HES » Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:32 pm UTC

Znirk wrote:I've seen the first three twice each, and left it at "meh".

Which first three?
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Hennerson
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Re: 1477: "Star Wars"

Postby Hennerson » Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:44 pm UTC

No no no...

I keep telling people that the prequals never happened...

They are just a disturbingly persistent case of cinematic mass hallucination caused by cosmic emanations (I call them Baysian Rays)

After all what kind of rational mind would create something like JarJar Binks or turn one of the most iconic film villains ever created into a short, sulky emo teenager?


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