1979: "History"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
Jorpho
Posts: 6194
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:31 am UTC
Location: Canada

1979: "History"

Postby Jorpho » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:01 am UTC

Image
Title text: "HISTORIANS: We've decided to trim the past down to make things more manageable. Using BCE/CE, would you rather we lose the odd-numbered or even-numbered years?"

So, are Americans typically familiar with Garfield at all? I could barely tell you anything about him.

Mikeski
Posts: 1000
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 7:24 am UTC
Location: Minnesota, USA

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby Mikeski » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:25 am UTC

It's hard to keep up with history. Every day there's more of it!

User avatar
pogrmman
Posts: 514
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:53 pm UTC
Location: Probably outside

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby pogrmman » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:51 am UTC

Wow, this one came early.

I don’t know much about Garfield, beyond the fact that he was assassinated.

History is really big — that’s what makes it fun and interesting. It’s cool how much stuff there is.

User avatar
rhomboidal
Posts: 784
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:25 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby rhomboidal » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:06 am UTC

May we always remember the present moment of future antiquarians.

synp
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:43 am UTC

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby synp » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:35 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:So, are Americans typically familiar with Garfield at all? I could barely tell you anything about him.

Garfield... Garfield... Was he the lazy, orange one who eats junk food?

User avatar
zjxs
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:04 am UTC
Location: The Cloud

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby zjxs » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:44 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:
So, are Americans typically familiar with Garfield at all? I could barely tell you anything about him.


The United States was briefly ruled by a cat. That's so awesome. And man history is *weird*.

<serious> Former historian here.

History is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a lot going on just on your Facebook feed, but that's just peanuts to history. Mostly historians look at the shiny and interesting bits and ignore everything else. Except for the historians who think that everything else is shiny and interesting, and find a little tiny section or idea to focus on and polish up.
</serious>

User avatar
jonhaug
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:44 pm UTC

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby jonhaug » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:56 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:So, are Americans typically familiar with Garfield at all? I could barely tell you anything about him.


Two facts I, not an American, know:
  • He succeeded Rutherford Hayes and preceded Chester Arthur (a prez without a proper last name).
  • He is one of the Jameses, the most common first name of the presidents I presume.

Good to know on pub quiz nights.

User avatar
Durandal_1707
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:30 am UTC

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby Durandal_1707 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:03 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:So, are Americans typically familiar with Garfield at all? I could barely tell you anything about him.

They should be. The story of Garfield—and not just the assassination, but the whole political situation leading up to it, as well as the aftermath—has got to be one of the most utterly bizarre series of events in American history, through and through. It's a fascinating, tragic, and just utterly weird slow-motion train wreck that you can't tear your eyes away from once you start reading about it. Or at least, that's the way I feel about it.

I'd write up a punchy little narrative about it sensationalizing all the crazy bits, but I'm really tired and I need to get up in the morning, so sadly I haven't got time right now. Maybe I'll do it tomorrow if I end up having some free time. ;)

User avatar
jonhaug
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:44 pm UTC

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby jonhaug » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:10 am UTC

By the way, I guess being an American president is one of the most dangerous occupations you can have. (I have crossed it out of my list.)

jackal
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:16 am UTC

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby jackal » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:28 am UTC

Durandal_1707 wrote:I'd write up a punchy little narrative about it sensationalizing all the crazy bits, but I'm really tired and I need to get up in the morning, so sadly I haven't got time right now. Maybe I'll do it tomorrow if I end up having some free time. ;)

Please do! I finding interestingly-written historical anecdotes and analyses endlessly fascinating. If my history books in school were written like some of the Quora answers I’ve enjoyed reading, I probably would have cared about history a little more...

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 4686
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:47 am UTC

Yes, far too often the "story" part of history is neglected in the teaching, boiling it down to a boring series of dates and trivia nobody will remember after the test is over.

What started to get me interested in history was the fictional histories of worlds like J.R.R. Tolkien's Ea, and how one story set in the distant past of another story is important and relevant to the later story. Realizing that real history works like that too turned it from my least favorite subject from school into one of the most fascinating things I peruse just for fun.

Also, in college I had to take a Native American History class taught by a professor who was part Native American herself and delivered in an entertaining way that I could imagine resembles how oral histories were passed down in her culture before they had writing, really conveying the emotion and humanity of the people involved. That helped a lot too.
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

PKM
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:57 am UTC

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby PKM » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:45 am UTC

Token Brit here. If I were trying to invent a hokey name for a fictional 19th century American I'd immediately dismiss "Roscoe Conkling" as too on the nose. That is all.

Mutex
Posts: 1324
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:32 pm UTC

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby Mutex » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:16 am UTC

I only know about Garfield because I read a book about psychopaths, and the man who assassinated him was just about the most perfect textbook example of a psychopath you can get.

User avatar
cellocgw
Posts: 1897
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:40 pm UTC

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:18 am UTC

I fear that just removing the even or the odd years is insufficient. I propose further simplifying things by removing all non-Leap Years (notice how I carefully kept my birth year in the 'retained' list). And since we all know how screwed up Time-Date functions are, add further exceptions that we will include any Leap Year in which either the BoSox or the Cubbies won the Series.

Hmmmm....
We all know about 'those who cannot remember history are condemned to repeat it" or words to that effect. What about parts of history which never happened? Do those get repeated?
https://app.box.com/witthoftresume
Former OTTer
Vote cellocgw for President 2020. #ScienceintheWhiteHouse http://cellocgw.wordpress.com
"The Planck length is 3.81779e-33 picas." -- keithl
" Earth weighs almost exactly π milliJupiters" -- what-if #146, note 7

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 3377
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:47 am UTC

Keep only years that are both in the Fibonacci sequence and integer powers of primes.
(Yes, let's have two year 1s, while we're at it, both sides of the CE/BCE divide.)

User avatar
Freiberg
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:09 am UTC

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby Freiberg » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:05 pm UTC

I got some major Read The Flesh Between The Lines vibes from this comic.

Were there eight kings of the name of Henry in England, or were there eighty? Never mind; someday it will be recorded that there was only one, and the attributes of all of them will be combined into his compressed and consensus story.


But it makes sense that history is so big; with nearly twenty million years of subjective experience per day, trying to cram everything into twenty-four hours of history is bound to cause problems somewhere.

User avatar
GlassHouses
Posts: 115
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:41 pm UTC

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby GlassHouses » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:07 pm UTC

jonhaug wrote:By the way, I guess being an American president is one of the most dangerous occupations you can have. (I have crossed it out of my list.)

I once read somewhere that, up until then (early 1980s if I remember correctly), all the U.S. presidents who had been elected in years ending in 0 had died while in office. If true, that would imply a mortality rate of 20%, which is indeed grim, although not as bad as certain wartime occupations (like being on German submarines in WWII).

That pattern did not hold, though. Ronald Reagan, first elected in 1980, was shot but survived the assassination attempt, and George Bush jr., first elected in 2000, was never in danger of dying in office, unless you count the choking-on-a-pretzel incident.

User avatar
The Snide Sniper
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:25 pm UTC
Location: UTC-6:00

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby The Snide Sniper » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:09 pm UTC

I'd rather go without the odd years, which don't have elections.
Also known as "RamenChef" on various other fora.
Me on: Drawception | Explain xkcd | NationStates | The Sluggite Zone | Stack Overflow

DanAxtell
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 9:59 am UTC
Location: USA (Vermont)

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby DanAxtell » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:31 pm UTC

Please, let's eliminate the even years in the BCE/CE scheme. We've already lost the year Zero--something that bothers me more and more as I stumble along the timeline of history.

As a bonus, losing 1660 would be a small comfort to me. That was the year my namesake "hanged with his face looking towards the Banqueting-house at Whitehall, (the place where our late Sovereign of eternal memory was sacrificed) being half dead, he was cut down by the common Executioner, his Privy Members cut off before his eyes, his Bowels burned, his Head severed from his Body, and his Body divided into Quarters, which were returned back to Newgate upon the same Hurdle that carried it. His Head is since set on a Pole on the top of the South-East end of Westminster-Hall, looking towards London. The Quarters of his Body are in like manner exposed upon some of the City Gates."

So, I think it would be fine to edit history and leave some of this creepy, gratuitous violence on the cutting room floor.

User avatar
da Doctah
Posts: 877
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:27 am UTC

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby da Doctah » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:36 pm UTC

GlassHouses wrote:I once read somewhere that, up until then (early 1980s if I remember correctly), all the U.S. presidents who had been elected in years ending in 0 had died while in office. If true, that would imply a mortality rate of 20%, which is indeed grim, although not as bad as certain wartime occupations (like being on German submarines in WWII).


Not quite. The "zero factor" didn't begin until 1840, supposedly a result of a curse placed on that year's winner, William Henry Harrison by the Injuns he had done bad white-people things to. Presidents Jefferson (elected in 1800) and Monroe (re-elected virtually unopposed in 1820) weren't subject to it.

User avatar
Jorpho
Posts: 6194
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:31 am UTC
Location: Canada

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby Jorpho » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:20 pm UTC

synp wrote:
Jorpho wrote:So, are Americans typically familiar with Garfield at all? I could barely tell you anything about him.

Garfield... Garfield... Was he the lazy, orange one who eats junk food?

Image

sonar1313
Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:29 am UTC

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby sonar1313 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:24 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:[url=https://xkcd.com/1979]So, are Americans typically familiar with Garfield at all? I could barely tell you anything about him.


Even to Americans with a pretty good sense of the presidential timeline, Garfield is part of a murky era of presidential history where not many people can tell you who followed whom or in what years. Lincoln is the Civil War president, that's easy, and he was followed by Andrew Johnson who was famous only for being impeached, and then Grant, which begins a stretch of about 30-some years between Grant and Teddy Roosevelt where even in AP History class we learned them as the Do-Nothing presidents.

I would say Garfield's legacy was probably hurt by serving only a few months, but then Arthur and Harrison had full terms or close to it and nobody can tell you anything they did.

sonar1313
Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:29 am UTC

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby sonar1313 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:40 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:What started to get me interested in history was the fictional histories of worlds like J.R.R. Tolkien's Ea, and how one story set in the distant past of another story is important and relevant to the later story. Realizing that real history works like that too turned it from my least favorite subject from school into one of the most fascinating things I peruse just for fun.


Whenever I watch the LOTR trilogy and they show some ancient place like Osgiliath, or Amon Hen, I have the exact same feeling as when I stand in places like the Roman Forum: I'm constantly wishing I could see the place as it was in the past and the goings-on of the time. The big important historical things as well as the mundane. The past is amazing. Mind-blowing, even. We have ancient things that were ancient to people who built other ancient things. Layers upon layers of history. You see these ruins, with things like ancient ceramic tiles still on them and quite intact, and you realize people lived their whole lives here, had things and people and beliefs and memories that were very very important to them just as we do, and it just whacks you with a perspective brick. The past is so much more interesting than the future, even fictional pasts of fictional worlds. The future is coming, whether we like it or not - I've never seen the purpose in trying to rush it. The past is what's always at risk - the more of it we lose, the more of the richness of humanity's collective experience that disappears.

DanAxtell
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 9:59 am UTC
Location: USA (Vermont)

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby DanAxtell » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:03 pm UTC

sonar1313 wrote:... a stretch of about 30-some years between Grant and Teddy Roosevelt where even in AP History class we learned them as the Do-Nothing presidents.

You describe, essentially, the full-facial-hair era of the U.S. presidency, when it was acceptable to sprout both beard and mustache, 1869-1893. Executive hirsuteness started in 1861 with a beard-no-mustache and ended in 1913 with a mustache-no-beard, but it was clearly that middle period, when it was acceptable to do no shaving at all, that correlates strongly to the the Do-Nothing era.

jozwa
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:16 pm UTC
Location: Finland

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby jozwa » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:35 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Yes, far too often the "story" part of history is neglected in the teaching, boiling it down to a boring series of dates and trivia nobody will remember after the test is over.


You nailed it. When we were learning about the world wars in middle school I really couldn't have cared less and I hated memorizing dates. But actually the situations of different countries and what events transpired is all really fascinating and I've realized that later in life.

jackal
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:16 am UTC

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby jackal » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:14 pm UTC

DanAxtell wrote:
sonar1313 wrote:... a stretch of about 30-some years between Grant and Teddy Roosevelt where even in AP History class we learned them as the Do-Nothing presidents.

You describe, essentially, the full-facial-hair era of the U.S. presidency, when it was acceptable to sprout both beard and mustache, 1869-1893. Executive hirsuteness started in 1861 with a beard-no-mustache and ended in 1913 with a mustache-no-beard, but it was clearly that middle period, when it was acceptable to do no shaving at all, that correlates strongly to the the Do-Nothing era.

As a bearded person, I'm depressed to learn that I'll amount to nothing. :(

User avatar
Old Bruce
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:27 pm UTC

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby Old Bruce » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:42 pm UTC

jackal wrote:
DanAxtell wrote:
sonar1313 wrote:... a stretch of about 30-some years between Grant and Teddy Roosevelt where even in AP History class we learned them as the Do-Nothing presidents.

You describe, essentially, the full-facial-hair era of the U.S. presidency, when it was acceptable to sprout both beard and mustache, 1869-1893. Executive hirsuteness started in 1861 with a beard-no-mustache and ended in 1913 with a mustache-no-beard, but it was clearly that middle period, when it was acceptable to do no shaving at all, that correlates strongly to the the Do-Nothing era.

As a bearded person, I'm depressed to learn that I'll amount to nothing. :(

You could shave. Me, I am quite happy being anonymous.

jgh
Posts: 106
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:04 pm UTC

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby jgh » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:17 pm UTC

As a Brit I remember the US presidents from that jaunty Simpsons ditty. Surely that's all they had? :)

User avatar
edo
Posts: 424
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:05 pm UTC
Location: ~TrApPeD iN mY PhOnE~

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby edo » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:15 pm UTC

The solution posed in the title text is ridiculous.

Clearly each historian should roll 4D10 (i.e. a 10000-sided die) and study the events from WXYZ y.a.
Co-proprietor of a Mome and Pope Shope

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 3377
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:08 pm UTC

edo wrote:The solution posed in the title text is ridiculous.

Clearly each historian should roll 4D10 (i.e. a 10000-sided die) and study the events from WXYZ y.a.


Plus maybe four distinct D6 rolls (or three and a dedicated D3) and two different D10s to narrow down the geographical epicentre?

Hmm, 1, 1, 5, 4(=2) in D6s and 4, 10 in D10s… That's 3°W (by my system, of 0(*60) ,0(*10),3(*1), no need to wrap around) and 49°N (ditto, 4(*30),1(*10),9(*1), all offset -90). So, I'm obviously studying the English Channel for the year… (2018-2225) = 218 BCE. Actually, for a genuinely random pick1, that year sounds interesting, as it looks like I'd be looking at the general pan-celtic response to Hannibal's victories over the Roman Empire, if the Gallic bush-telegraph sends enough news of the meeting on the Rhone.

1 With statistical bias towards upper latitudes, compared with surface area, due to more density of result. A better radomiser would be to establish an equipotent three-axis approach, manually cull/reroll any combined coordinated that lies radially further away from the centre point than a purely single-orthagonal displacement would, and convert that into theta,phi (lat/lon) position without further regard to r.

User avatar
orthogon
Posts: 2901
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 7:52 am UTC
Location: The Airy 1830 ellipsoid

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby orthogon » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:49 pm UTC

jonhaug wrote:[He succeeded Rutherford Hayes and preceded Chester Arthur (a prez without a proper last name).
.

Well, Rutherford Hayes didn't have a proper first name, so I suppose they averaged out.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 4686
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:11 pm UTC

I'm not used to hearing either of those presidents (Hayes or Arthur) referred to without their middle initials (B and A respectively). It sounds weird without them.
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

User avatar
pogrmman
Posts: 514
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:53 pm UTC
Location: Probably outside

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby pogrmman » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:26 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I'm not used to hearing either of those presidents (Hayes or Arthur) referred to without their middle initials (B and A respectively). It sounds weird without them.


Me neither. Plus, just saying “Hayes” or “Arthur” doesn’t make me think “president”. I need the full “Chester A. Arthur” or “Rutherford B. Hayes” before I realize it...

Now that I think about it, I tend to associate quite a few presidents with middle names or initials: “Ulysses S. Grant”, “Lyndon B(aines) Johnson”, “John F. Kennedy”, “George (H.) W. Bush”, “Franklin D(elano) Roosevelt”, “Dwight D. Eisenhauer”, “Harry S. Truman”, etc...

User avatar
da Doctah
Posts: 877
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:27 am UTC

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby da Doctah » Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:50 am UTC

pogrmman wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:I'm not used to hearing either of those presidents (Hayes or Arthur) referred to without their middle initials (B and A respectively). It sounds weird without them.


Me neither. Plus, just saying “Hayes” or “Arthur” doesn’t make me think “president”. I need the full “Chester A. Arthur” or “Rutherford B. Hayes” before I realize it...

Now that I think about it, I tend to associate quite a few presidents with middle names or initials: “Ulysses S. Grant”, “Lyndon B(aines) Johnson”, “John F. Kennedy”, “George (H.) W. Bush”, “Franklin D(elano) Roosevelt”, “Dwight D. Eisenhauer”, “Harry S. Truman”, etc...


They're not giving presidents interesting middle names these days like they used to. When was the last time you met someone with a name like Burchard, Milhous, or Gamaliel?

DeGuerre
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:41 am UTC

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby DeGuerre » Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:27 am UTC

Think about how much has been written about World War II. How many volumes of text, how many hours of documentary and fictionalised history, how many photographs, how much oral history...

Then remember: That was six years of history. In case you've forgotten just how little time six years is, it's this long ago.

Admittedly, this could be the most written-about six years in world history ever, but it isn't exhausted yet. My point is, this is an indication of how much could be written.

synp
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:43 am UTC

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby synp » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:02 am UTC

da Doctah wrote:They're not giving presidents interesting middle names these days like they used to. When was the last time you met someone with a name like Burchard, Milhous, or Gamaliel?


I agree that "John" is a little disappointing, but what's wrong with Hussein, Walker or Jefferson?

Still, giving a kid a weird middle name is lazy. Republicans have traditionally been better at having weird first names like Newt, Mitt, Rand, Condoleezza, or Spiro. But Barack is pretty much out there too.

Leovan
Posts: 70
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:31 pm UTC

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby Leovan » Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:49 am UTC

jozwa wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:Yes, far too often the "story" part of history is neglected in the teaching, boiling it down to a boring series of dates and trivia nobody will remember after the test is over.


You nailed it. When we were learning about the world wars in middle school I really couldn't have cared less and I hated memorizing dates. But actually the situations of different countries and what events transpired is all really fascinating and I've realized that later in life.


My love for history came from my Dad (a history major turned MBA) who would tell history as a bedtime story, or just talk about it over dinner. I learned it more as a study of how people during oldentimes thought and why they acted as they did rather than just what happened. The why is always more interesting than the what to me... It's also why I like physics. I don't just want to know that the light turns on when I flick the switch, I want to know what makes it happen. History can be explained the same way.
It helped that after history class I'd discuss the current topic with my Dad and get my fix of 'why' after learning the 'what' in school.

User avatar
Jorpho
Posts: 6194
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:31 am UTC
Location: Canada

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby Jorpho » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:41 pm UTC

DeGuerre wrote:Think about how much has been written about World War II. How many volumes of text, how many hours of documentary and fictionalised history, how many photographs, how much oral history...

Then remember: That was six years of history. In case you've forgotten just how little time six years is, it's this long ago.

Admittedly, this could be the most written-about six years in world history ever, but it isn't exhausted yet. My point is, this is an indication of how much could be written.

There was a thing about that.
https://what-if.xkcd.com/100/

sonar1313
Posts: 133
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:29 am UTC

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby sonar1313 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:07 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:
pogrmman wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:I'm not used to hearing either of those presidents (Hayes or Arthur) referred to without their middle initials (B and A respectively). It sounds weird without them.


Me neither. Plus, just saying “Hayes” or “Arthur” doesn’t make me think “president”. I need the full “Chester A. Arthur” or “Rutherford B. Hayes” before I realize it...

Now that I think about it, I tend to associate quite a few presidents with middle names or initials: “Ulysses S. Grant”, “Lyndon B(aines) Johnson”, “John F. Kennedy”, “George (H.) W. Bush”, “Franklin D(elano) Roosevelt”, “Dwight D. Eisenhauer”, “Harry S. Truman”, etc...


They're not giving presidents interesting middle names these days like they used to. When was the last time you met someone with a name like Burchard, Milhous, or Gamaliel?


When's the last time you met someone with just one letter for a middle name? "S" might just top them all.

User avatar
ObsessoMom
Nespresso Bomb
Posts: 726
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:28 pm UTC

Re: 1979: "History"

Postby ObsessoMom » Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:45 pm UTC

sonar1313 wrote:When's the last time you met someone with just one letter for a middle name? "S" might just top them all.

Granted.

I highly recommend the hilarious Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell, probably best known here as the voice of Invisi-Girl in Disney's The Incredibles. As you can see in the link, the audiobook has an unbelievably all-star cast.

Oooh, there's an audio clip at the NPR site, with Jon Stewart voicing Garfield:

https://www.npr.org/templates/story/sto ... Id=4646283

Unimpressed? Okay, here's Johnny Cash singing his Garfield assassination ballad.


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 32 guests