0701: "Science Valentine"

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vole-in-hand
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby vole-in-hand » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:32 am UTC

Valentines Day is the most depressing holiday anyway. I'd bet that more people break up on that day than any other.

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Amnesiasoft
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby Amnesiasoft » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:42 am UTC

Larphenflorp wrote:I just don't know the difference. Please enlighten me.

Alt Text is the text that a browser is supposed to show in the event the image can not be display (doesn't exist, images disabled, whatever).
Title Text is the text that is supposed to be shown when you hover over the image.

dabigkid wrote:Probably the best quote I've heard so far this year... nay, it's the best quote I've heard this entire decade!

Still can't match up to Leonard Nemoy quoting Sputnik.

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tastelikecoke
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby tastelikecoke » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:43 am UTC

Valentines Day is the most depressing holiday anyway. I'd bet that more people break up on that day than any other.

It's also a time for those singles feel alone. Divorced fellows get depressed, and scientific introverts feel deserted.

Kubik
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby Kubik » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:13 am UTC

Great strip. Truly scientific.

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Plasma Man
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby Plasma Man » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:13 am UTC

My immediate reaction to this xkcd was "Ouch".
Please note that despite the lovely avatar Sungura gave me, I am not a medical doctor.

Possibly my proudest moment on the fora.

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Lazy Tommy
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby Lazy Tommy » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:38 am UTC

Amnesiasoft wrote:
Larphenflorp wrote:I just don't know the difference. Please enlighten me.

Alt Text is the text that a browser is supposed to show in the event the image can not be display (doesn't exist, images disabled, whatever).
Title Text is the text that is supposed to be shown when you hover over the image.


Also, Internet Explorer will display the alt text when you hover over the image, if there is no title text. Which is probably what caused the widespread alt/title confusion in the first place.

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Lazy Tommy
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby Lazy Tommy » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:43 am UTC

dabigkid wrote:That was really depressing.

Also, the alt text is amazing. Probably the best quote I've heard so far this year... nay, it's the best quote I've heard this entire decade!


This decade, as in the 2010s, is only in its 44th day...

Femaref
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby Femaref » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:45 am UTC

vole-in-hand wrote:Valentines Day is the most depressing holiday anyway. I'd bet that more people break up on that day than any other.


Valentines Day is a commercialized "Holiday" made popular by the industry. I had the following conversation few weeks ago with my gf (been together for 6 weeks now)

she: "so what do you think about valentines day"
me: "well, actually I think it's commercialized and just stupid and loses the gist of it"
she: "well, good we have the same oppinion on that"


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Phoenix112358
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby Phoenix112358 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:23 am UTC

I'm tearing right now ): What a sad comic! I was expecting it to be cute ):

Gero
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby Gero » Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:28 am UTC

Femaref wrote:me: "well, actually I think it's commercialized and just stupid and loses the gist of it"
she: "well, good we have the same opinion on that"

Whao! Quite lucky! I guess your scientific analysis looks significantly different from the comic's? Femaref I hope one day I'm as lucky as you.

It's been ages since I had anything to do with statistics, someone please remind me what the r values are for and how they work!

I dislike Valentines day too. Lost a good relationship when I forgot about it while I was planning for her birthday 2 days later. Narf. I guess had I been doing science, I'd have seen the writing on the wall? I also dislike it because it's so commercialized. And the mother of all non holidays, to quote Dr. Cox. Is pushing heart shaped chocolates and red cards once a year the only way to remain happy with someone? And shouldn't you show the people you love you love them everyday you can? And is commercialism and materialism the only way to do this? I don't think I want to be that cynical.

Contrary to what everyone said, this is not a depressing comic for me. It's very hopeful. Now he's using science he's going to get right. I like that. Finally something I learnt in college I can actually use! Science! Yay!

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sanguine
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby sanguine » Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:59 am UTC

Lazy Tommy wrote:
dabigkid wrote:That was really depressing.

Also, the alt text is amazing. Probably the best quote I've heard so far this year... nay, it's the best quote I've heard this entire decade!


This decade, as in the 2010s, is only in its 44th day...


That depends on the definition. I'm in the camp pf those saying it's over with the 31.12.10, with the next one starting at 01.01.11.
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Steroid
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby Steroid » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:02 pm UTC

"I can't prove there's no global warming, but there's definitely no heartwarming."

Michael of Lucan
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby Michael of Lucan » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:11 pm UTC

vole-in-hand wrote:Valentines Day is the most depressing holiday anyway.

As you know, Valentine's Day is just a Hallmark day - invented to sell cards and other SODs* to people who would not buy them otherwise.

My brother-in-law owns a restaurant, and says Valentine's Day is the most depressing of the year. They do good business, but tables are filled by couples with little in common. The boy is trying to impress a girl with a romantic evening. When they sit together, with no-one else to talk to, they realise that they have nothing to say, nothing in common. The staff hate the awful tension - and the sadness.
----------------------

* SOD = Small Objects of Desire. The useless stuff in gift shops that you never buy for yourself, but you buy as a gift for someone else. It's the human version of the mathom in Lord of the Rings.**
-----------------------

** Yes, dear, that happens if you rely on a movie to tell you a story. You miss the amazing detail in books. In the LOTR books, you find that hobbits gave each other mathoms - useless items which were passed on from person to person as gifts.

brucejtaylor
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Yeah, Science can be a real bitch...

Postby brucejtaylor » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:17 pm UTC

Luckily, Love doesn't play by the same rules ... or any rules, really.

So graph, schmaph, be my Valentine.

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SirMustapha
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby SirMustapha » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:22 pm UTC

Today's comic shows that somebody got rejected yesterday.

Pxtl
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby Pxtl » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:47 pm UTC

Anybody else see the word "charts and graphs" in this context and think of The Postal Service's "Nothing Better"?

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EmilyR
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby EmilyR » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:55 pm UTC

The guy in the comic has it easy, only one partner, I'm poly, my graphs are waaayyyy messier! :)

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littlelj
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby littlelj » Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:11 pm UTC

OrangeAipom wrote:I dislike that Dating - Engaged is less than Engaged. This bothers me, but I don't know if it should as I haven't been engaged before.


Just before Engaged starts there is a big dip, which lifts as Engaged starts. This is VERY true of life.

"This relationship is a bit meh. I know, let's get engaged/married/tattooed and see if that helps."
*time passes*
"Dammit."

Femaref wrote:I had the following conversation few weeks ago with my gf (been together for 6 weeks now)

she: "so what do you think about valentines day"
me: "well, actually I think it's commercialized and just stupid and loses the gist of it"
she: "well, good we have the same oppinion on that"


May I translate from her perspective?

She: "so what do you think about valentines day" = "I am reminding you about Valentine's Day because I wish you to shower me with gifts to prove that we are actually in a proper relationship and not just hanging out. I have already bought you a nice big gift and a soppy card."

You: "well, actually I think it's commercialized and just stupid and loses the gist of it" = "I'm just not that into you."

She: "well, good we have the same oppinion on that" = "Hmm. Hope I kept the receipt. Alternatively, that guy at the bar is HOT - wonder if he's free on Sunday night?"

:twisted: Hope I'm wrong. Just be aware that girls - and particularly girlfriends - don't say what they mean, or mean what they say. Ever.

Edit to add: Randall, thanks for the reminder that I need to get a V Day card today for my HUSBAND.
Last edited by littlelj on Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:14 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Chiffre
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby Chiffre » Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:13 pm UTC

vole-in-hand wrote:Valentines Day is the most depressing holiday anyway. I'd bet that more people break up on that day than any other.

Pls provide statistics. :D

You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right.

Put it into the collection, next to Galilei.
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fresh
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby fresh » Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:29 pm UTC

will some young, attractive female please fall in love with randall monroe and provide comfort and support while also being a source of inspiration? his comics have been way too depressing lately.

zarkinfrood
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby zarkinfrood » Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:36 pm UTC

"In science you can't publish results you know are wrong...and you can't withhold them because they're not the ones you wanted"

LOL - Based on my scientific observations of science, I find this hypothesis to be unsubstantiated

Random832
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby Random832 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:47 pm UTC

Lazy Tommy wrote:Also, Internet Explorer will display the alt text when you hover over the image, if there is no title text. Which is probably what caused the widespread alt/title confusion in the first place.


Don't put this on IE. Netscape came up with that, before title text even existed as a concept. IE simply chose not to break hundreds of existing websites.

kfetzer
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby kfetzer » Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:54 pm UTC

fresh wrote:will some young, attractive female please fall in love with randall monroe and provide comfort and support while also being a source of inspiration? his comics have been way too depressing lately.


You forgot to add "quirky and different" to his taste in girls:
http://xkcd.com/122/

Peter Galbavy
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby Peter Galbavy » Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:56 pm UTC

I might just go a try to collect more data for analysis.

antaine
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby antaine » Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:04 pm UTC

"In science, you can't publish results you know are wrong...and you can't withhold them because they're not the ones you wanted..."

Recent events have proven this to be true...but apparently it only holds unless you're a climatologist with the Hadley CRU, Penn State, NASA GISS, or on the IPCC.

I mean, he could have done both those things, manufactured a "hockey stick" graph and lived happily ever after, no?

bensafrickingenius
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby bensafrickingenius » Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:32 pm UTC

SvenV wrote:
You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right.

Quick, someone tell the CRU!

:wink:



Thank you for seeing this! I thought I'd be the only one... I am certain the entire motivation for this comic was to slam CRU and the IPCC.

MrGuy
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby MrGuy » Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:34 pm UTC

This comic is actually about procrastination.

He's been collecting all this data over months-to-years, and only now is getting around to analyzing it and being surprised by the results. If he'd bothered to look at the dataset earlier, think of all the money and time wasted on dates he'd have saved! He could have learned a foreign language, climbed the alps, learned to play a musical instrument, gone back to school. Or, y'know, gotten REALLY good at Halo 3.

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radtea
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby radtea » Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:44 pm UTC

Someone wrote:

loving the r values


Why?

r is a terrible statistic, used only by undergraduates and and the ignorant. But I repeat myself. :D

The problem is that the notion of r being "close to unity" has no objective meaning in terms of p-value. Depending on the underlying distributions "close to unity" can mean 0.5 or 0.995. I once worked with a dataset where r = 0.995 was "close to unity" and 0.98 was not (I was developing an algorithm that required a correlation measure in one step, and threw every measure of correlation at the data I could find, even ones I normally wouldn't touch with a stick. r came dead last, because true to form there was simply no way of knowing what a "good" r-value was vs a bad one.)

Maybe at p < 0.05 r = -0.83 is no big deal for data on love and happiness. That seems intuitively unlikely, but it seems intuitively unlikely that the Earth moves around the sun... science is precisely about favouring objective analysis over our intuition, and just because our intuition happens to be about a number doesn't make it any more scientific.

All that said: despite my quibbling about the statistic used, which I confess is a bit of a hobby-horse, this is a great comic, and the alt text is a wonderful aphorism on the nature of science.
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FolsomMike
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby FolsomMike » Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:49 pm UTC

So twist the data into the shape of a hockey stick, truncate the trace showing your dislike of nagging and hide the endpoint behind the trace showing the pleasure of waking up next to someone every morning. Works every time.

Czhorat
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby Czhorat » Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:52 pm UTC

The conclusion reminded me of a 1950s short story by Robert Sheckley called "Tha Language of Love". A man learned about an extinct civilization that had perfected an analysis and language to describe love more accurately than any other before or since. As a sort of ultimate romantic gesture, he seeks out their homeworld and studies their long dead language so he could tell his lover - really tell her with the depth that she deserved - how he felt about her. He's warned by a fellow linguist that he's making a big mistake, but continues regardless. And,
Spoiler:
when all is said and done he applies their science of love to his relationship and tells her, "I'm rather fond of you". It turns out that, in rational analysis, that was all he'd ever had and it ended the relationship.

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tzvibish
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby tzvibish » Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:55 pm UTC

The engaged thing is creepily true. You always hear about it, and you're like "That'll never happen to us. We're too in love", etc. And then you get engaged, and through some quirk of metaphysical irony, that's usually about the time when the infatuation gets pulled out from beneath you, and you start to understand why relationships are hard.

Infatuation is an important and necessary part of a relationship, but most people believe that will last until death do you part. I don't care how much you love each other, relationships (and marriage in particular) is one of the most challenging things in the world. It's well worth the effort, but things won't always be perfect.

I hope Randall isn't throwing away something special because he expects this to be easy.
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endolith
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby endolith » Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:02 pm UTC

scikidus wrote:I'd personally like to know what algorithm he used to quantify happiness.


I've been meaning to analyze my chat logs and measure the ratio of ":)" to ":(" as a function of time, and see if there is a correlation to other life events. Certainly this has flaws, though...

Gero wrote:I dislike Valentines day too. Lost a good relationship when I forgot about it while I was planning for her birthday 2 days later.


Sounds like you're better off to me.

Malvoss
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby Malvoss » Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:15 pm UTC

littlelj wrote:
Femaref wrote:I had the following conversation few weeks ago with my gf (been together for 6 weeks now)

she: "so what do you think about valentines day"
me: "well, actually I think it's commercialized and just stupid and loses the gist of it"
she: "well, good we have the same oppinion on that"


May I translate from her perspective?

She: "so what do you think about valentines day" = "I am reminding you about Valentine's Day because I wish you to shower me with gifts to prove that we are actually in a proper relationship and not just hanging out. I have already bought you a nice big gift and a soppy card."

You: "well, actually I think it's commercialized and just stupid and loses the gist of it" = "I'm just not that into you."

She: "well, good we have the same oppinion on that" = "Hmm. Hope I kept the receipt. Alternatively, that guy at the bar is HOT - wonder if he's free on Sunday night?"

:twisted: Hope I'm wrong. Just be aware that girls - and particularly girlfriends - don't say what they mean, or mean what they say. Ever.

Edit to add: Randall, thanks for the reminder that I need to get a V Day card today for my HUSBAND.


Ha, I can tell you this is true, for the last 9 years my girlfriend/fiancee has agreed with me that Valentine's Day is too commercialized so the two of us would just have a nice dinner at home without any presents or cards or anything. We got married last September so this is our first married V-day and I thought nothing would change...until yesterday she says "I got you something for Valentine's Day, did you get anything for me?"

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jasonkoller
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby jasonkoller » Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:58 pm UTC

That was so sad.
I just might cry.

Snagglepuss
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby Snagglepuss » Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:17 pm UTC

after reading this comic i stumbled upon a statistical highly unlikely event: i looked at two random comics, and interestingly enough, both of them were valentine comics (the sierpinski one and another one). since there are about 5 of 701 comics about valentine's, this event would occur with a chance of 5/701*5/701 (unless there is somekind of randomizing algorithm i don't know about) which is equal to a chance of 0.0050875%.

i thought this might be a good reason to register on this board.... cheers

DrBob
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby DrBob » Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:55 pm UTC

Referee's report:

The analysis appears to be using uncorrected correlation coefficients on data that is likely to be strongly serially autocorrelated. This may result in spuriously low p-values and unwarranted rejection of the SO. We suggest that this manuscript be withdrawn and a dozen roses submitted in its place.

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squall_line
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby squall_line » Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:20 pm UTC

fresh wrote:will some young, attractive female please fall in love with randall monroe and provide comfort and support while also being a source of inspiration? his comics have been way too depressing lately.


NO!!!

As Patton Oswalt once said, the worst comedy for your dollar is comedy from someone who is deeply "in love". And I believe that the same goes for this strip. If Randall fell for a girl who was comforting and supportive, we'd have comic strips about teddy bears climing on rainbows, not about woodpeckers with electric drills.

Not that I'm against anyone being happy, but, honestly, more people identify with the comic BECAUSE it's got a somewhat unique outlook and different viewpoint about love and relationships, not because it's cute and cuddly.

Besides, would you REALLY want to read "get out of my head, Randall" posts from people about cute cuddly puppies and kittens and such? Don't those kinds of people really kinda grate on your nerves? Or is it just me?

Mo-velocipede
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby Mo-velocipede » Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:23 pm UTC

Uh-oh. I don't have an significant other, but I think I may be infatuated with my puppy. I thought this love would never die! Luckily, puppies don't ask for valentines day presents... in fact, they tend to be really happy to just get fed. It's not a very high-maintenance relationship...

Marty200
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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby Marty200 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:45 pm UTC

Wait till he sees the control data that says that everyone else is even more miserable.

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Re: "Science Valentine" Discussion

Postby XbHW_TestEngr » Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:45 pm UTC

tastelikecoke wrote:
Valentines Day is the most depressing holiday anyway. I'd bet that more people break up on that day than any other.

It's also a time for those singles feel alone. Divorced fellows get depressed, and scientific introverts feel deserted.


The answer is to celebrate
Singleness
Awareness
Day
... and there will be cake.

I have traveled from 1960 to be a member of the unofficial Council of Elders. Phear M3

benbald72 wrote:I feel connected to the author and therefore appreciate the comic, regardless of whether or not I understand the joke ....


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