0930: "Days of the Week"

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Fixblor
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby Fixblor » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:12 am UTC

So it's fine art now?

Very well ...

The days of the week cycle repeatedly like the spokes of a wheel. The mundane tasks of our lives run together in a putrid mess of colors and barely readable words. It is only when we take a closer look do we realize the monotonous details that continually rob us of our mortality, just as it is only when we step back from the screen do we realize the beauty in splendor that is data as art. Truly a juxtaposition of vomit and headache.

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lly
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby lly » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:21 am UTC

mschmidt62 wrote:Who died and made Edward Tufte God? I like the comic as is. I like having to look carefully.


It's a webcomic whose intention--as near as I can tell for this strip--is the presentation of vaguely interesting google results over time. It is not a hidden object game.

It's about words and the words are there and the words change as they traverse the days.


Yes, they do, but does this particular feature add or subtract?

Drawing a line with a legend would eliminate that.


It would also make it less headache inducing.

Too many colors? People can't distinguish colors? So the wuck fhat. They should get glasses


I wasn't aware that glasses could add cone cells.

and just follow the individual lines around regardless of color.


Is the goal to be able to functionally piece the graph together by zooming in and tracing paths manually, or to grok it quickly at a glance and then focus the rest of your energy on seeing underlying structures made clear by the graph?

Randall's not making a powerpoint presentation for men in khakis.


Good graphs can be stunning in their own right and certainly don't need to be made for "men in khakis."

If you violate general rules of design, you should get something out of it. Similar to in photography, where there are rules that you can sometimes bend, sometimes break outright (and some people make careers out of breaking those "rules"), but a lot of it involves knowing (at least retroactively) when to break them. Sometimes it can work out wonderfully to do so.

Sometimes, as in this case, it really, really doesn't.

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby Lucia » Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:46 am UTC

When did it become decided that Wednesday is "ladies night"? Since when is that even a thing?
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby donquibeats » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:00 am UTC

This is a lovely graphic idea and looks very pretty. I don't find it hard to distinguish what's what and it hasn't offended any of my aesthetic sensibilities because I don't have any aesthetic sensibilities. It's fascinating both as a picture (the colourful weekly cycle of life) and as a way to highlight some trends.

That said, I wish there was a web app where you could put in a list of different words or phrases and get a graphic of the weekly distribution. Maybe there's a better and more time-rich programmer than me who could take that on?..

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby donquibeats » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:02 am UTC

Lucia wrote:When did it become decided that Wednesday is "ladies night"? Since when is that even a thing?


It was a thing in 1979 when Kool and the Gang wrote a popular song about it. I believe it's a thing now, though it's not a thing I really feel that as a man I'm missing out on. Though I know now that if I want to liven up my Wednesdays, I'll get a sex change.

Noah1989
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby Noah1989 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:09 am UTC

well.. a lot of the "we broke up on friday" search results is stuff like "blimey when do you go back. we broke up on friday but some schools round here don't finish until wednesday"

that explains everything.

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby snowyowl » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:20 am UTC

I rather like how "<DAY> sucked" spikes on Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby pigslookfunny » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:23 am UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:Can we only talk about Black's new song because it is actually worth one ironic listen and another to realize just how much better it is than "Friday"? For the record, the Stephen Colbert version is excellent.


It's "better" in the sense that it is not hilariously terrible, but I find it to be incredibly boring and not enjoyable to listen to. With Friday, you could at least have fun listening to it and making fun of it, but this one just sounds like any other generic pop song.

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dotancohen
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby dotancohen » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:30 am UTC

davidhbrown wrote:Fair enough... but perhaps you're missing (what I see as) the point of this sort of effort in xkcd... to create art out of mildly interesting information. Part of what makes it interesting is the challenge figuring out how to access the data. I can think of probably 5 ways of presenting the data quickly, clearly, unambiguously... but I don't know that any would be as visually striking.


Exactly. The point of this graph is not to convey information, but rather to express the art and beauty behind curiosity.

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby feyayeruka » Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:52 am UTC

oh, is that what it was? I thought I was looking at a rorschach test.

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby Jakell » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:34 am UTC

I'm kinda sad that the week progresses in a clock-wise fashion, while in polar graphs theta increases in a counter-clockwise fashion...
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby Bartimaeus46 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:49 am UTC

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6012/5980451613_6b26ce0d80_b.jpg

A little edit i made. Uses coloured lines and a legend. Tbh, i prefer the original.

deltaplan
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby deltaplan » Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:58 am UTC

Problem is :

Tuesday is the new Wednesday !!

http://www.explosm.net/comics/2092/

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby ellbur » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:27 am UTC

Jakell wrote:I'm kinda sad that the week progresses in a clock-wise fashion, while in polar graphs theta increases in a counter-clockwise fashion...


You know I don't know what's the reason but in my head, the week definitely goes counter-clockwise. And the weekend is oriented at the top. I wonder if Randall's mental week goes like he drew it?

Edit: Or maybe he's looking from the other side of the screen.

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They all kinda do honestly.
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby Laeraren » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:45 am UTC

Possibly the most ill-designed graph i did ever see.

Although i have to applaud how bold it was for Mr. Randall to include the concept "ladies night", what with him being a notorious crusader for the notion of social gender and other rubbish.

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby intruder313 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:59 am UTC

Difficult to read but fun, except to see sad confirmation that people seemingly still go to Church in large numbers. Or at least comment that they do.

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby willdude » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:26 am UTC

I'm surprised the Stone Temple Pilots effect didn't sway the Tuesday results for Church.

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby arthurd006_5 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:26 am UTC

It's only the relative frequencies on Randall's view of Google, because of the filter bubble.

I'm told that scroogle.org suppresses this problem, but I don't know how.

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby Kisama » Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:41 am UTC

cherub_daemon wrote:1) You mention that they're normalized to have the same number of total hits. Did you do this by forcing all of the curves to bound the same area, or preserve the total length of the curve, or what?

2) Somewhat related, but give your description, you're working off of 7 data points per curve. Did you use any kind of rigorous interpolation method for the inside points, or was it mostly going by what looked good/added "drama"?
1) Divide each data point (Sunday, Monday, ..., Saturday) by the total hits for its series (Sunday + Monday + ... + Saturday). Now each data point is a fraction between 0 and 1, which is, in my experience, what normalised usually means. Then Randall just had to choose a scale to map those fractions to a distance from the center.
2) Since the independent variable holds only discrete values the idea of doing interpolation would not have occurred to me :) Randall probably just joined the points by hand (or used a flexicurve), but I'm sure there's software that could fit a good-looking curve to a set of arbitrary points in a cylindrical co-ordinate system.

feyayeruka wrote:oh, is that what it was? I thought I was looking at a rorschach test.
:lol: Seeing a rorschach test in an unrelated image - beautifully appropriate.

My 5 cents: I don't find the graph headache- or vomit-inducing but, if we're being fussy, I would prefer an interactive version that would let me choose individual curves (or combinations thereof) to display at a time.
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby cherub_daemon » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:28 pm UTC

Kisama wrote:1) Divide each data point (Sunday, Monday, ..., Saturday) by the total hits for its series (Sunday + Monday + ... + Saturday). Now each data point is a fraction between 0 and 1, which is, in my experience, what normalised usually means. Then Randall just had to choose a scale to map those fractions to a distance from the center.


You're right, of course--I feel dumb now. Each curve should therefore have the same area as long as the interpolation between points is robust, since we're looking at a PDF in polar coordinates.

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby cellocgw » Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:40 pm UTC

I'd like to know if Randall used some software to generate the graph, as opposed to drawing it by hand?
I think I'll treat this as a challenge to see what tools in R http://cran.r-project.org could draw similar graphs.
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby Game_boy » Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:18 pm UTC

I can't see the image in any form.
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby jalonker » Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:22 pm UTC

anyone else, uhhh....notice a giant penis in this one? the green part being the shaft and then the lower blue and red testicles.

probably just my own sick mind doing these things, but...

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby J L » Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:24 pm UTC

Makes for a nice week:

Tuesday: company meeting
Wednesday: ladies night
Thursday: just sucks
Friday: break-up with bf/gf
Saturday: get wasted (and laid, with some luck)
Sunday: church
Monday: work is due ...

... and another meeting on Tuesday. Is this the reality in Google-land?

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby Tigerrrrr » Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:32 pm UTC

Come on guys, the analysis is taking the fun out of today's comic. It's supposed to be entertaining. It's a cross between data representation and something artsy and fun - and it doesn't have *all* the characteristics of either... just enjoy, and if you don't, well, not everything is for everyone. See what Friday brings. If you don't like that either, break up with your significant other and get drunk while listening to Rebecca Black or something.

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SirMustapha
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby SirMustapha » Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:56 pm UTC

Tigerrrrr wrote:It's a cross between data representation and something artsy and fun - and it doesn't have *all* the characteristics of either... just enjoy


But just how is one supposed to enjoy a chart comic without being able to understand well what it represents? Just because it's "artsy" doesn't meant it doesn't need to be readable, unless you're one of those who think that True Are is Incomprehensible. In my very honest opinion, if you're advocating that one should "enjoy" a chart comic without understanding it, you're just being a fanboy, because it's perfectly possible to be artsy and fully understandable -- one just needs to pull his head out of the "my fans love me and I am awesome" land and start putting a little more care and effort into his work. Did Randall seriously stop, take a long, cold look at his comic and then thought "yes, this is exactly what I want? And if a comic like THIS is up to Randall's standards, why suddenly go all "artsy" today? To sell posters, I guess.

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby developerdave » Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:58 pm UTC

brandon309 wrote:I really like "due on..." because it is such a regular shape.

I didn't expect Wednesday to be such a popular ladies night!

And this would make a really interesting app - you start the sentence, it searches and graphs the results.


Am i the only one seeing lots of little flying saucers!?

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby jqavins » Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:01 pm UTC

cherub_daemon wrote:
Kisama wrote:1) Divide each data point (Sunday, Monday, ..., Saturday) by the total hits for its series (Sunday + Monday + ... + Saturday). Now each data point is a fraction between 0 and 1, which is, in my experience, what normalised usually means. Then Randall just had to choose a scale to map those fractions to a distance from the center.


You're right, of course--I feel dumb now. Each curve should therefore have the same area as long as the interpolation between points is robust, since we're looking at a PDF in polar coordinates.

For some meaning or "robust." Interpolating (in math) is basically a way of estimating gaps in data, such as, in the classic example, estimating the log of some number bsaed on the log table entries that bracket it. Since there is no missing data for, say, break-ups on Tuesday-and-a-half, the graph doesn't really employ interpolation at all. What it employs is some form or other of curve smooting. There may be some way of smoothing the curves such that each has the same enclosed area, but it would probably have to be much skinnier around large lobes like "Church on Sunday," so I dount that that is what we have here. It's likely either a hand sketch or a trace over a cubic spline.
intruder313 wrote:[snip] sad confirmation that people seemingly still go to Church in large numbers. Or at least comment that they do.

Not really. Since the data are normalized, the large Sunday lobe does not indicate a great volume of Sunday church-goers, but only that they are a large fraction of all church-goers. If the search had been "[Went to church | Went to Shul | Attended the mosque | ...] on _____" the results might have been somewhat different. Or maybe that actually was the search; God only knows. (Well, OK, Randall knows too.)

What I'd like to see added is a reference line at the average value, i.e. a circle of radius 1/7.
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wolfticket
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Re: 0930: "Days of the Week"

Postby wolfticket » Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:23 pm UTC

The font isn't very legible either. How about changing it to Garamond? :roll:

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby LolPenguins » Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:29 pm UTC

ks_physicist wrote:Fun concept, but tl;dr.

Idt you get the concept of the comic. Each color represents a phrase (i.e. due on <day>) and that phrase is used for each day of the week. Due on Monday, Due on Tuesday, etc. and the farther away from the center point it is, the more hits Google came up with...(btw this is my first post on the site so idk if the img will show up and idk what the policy is on how to directly reply to people)

Future cheers to any suggestions! :D

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Shiyiya
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby Shiyiya » Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:52 pm UTC

Bartimaeus46 wrote:http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6012/5980451613_6b26ce0d80_b.jpg

A little edit i made. Uses coloured lines and a legend. Tbh, i prefer the original.


Sweet, I can actually tell what the represented data is in that.
Image

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby TaylorP » Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:53 pm UTC

LolPenguins wrote:
ks_physicist wrote:Fun concept, but tl;dr.

Idt you get the concept of the comic. Each color represents a phrase (i.e. due on <day>) and that phrase is used for each day of the week. Due on Monday, Due on Tuesday, etc. and the farther away from the center point it is, the more hits Google came up with...(btw this is my first post on the site so idk if the img will show up and idk what the policy is on how to directly reply to people)

Future cheers to any suggestions! :D


Welcome! I think you need 5 posts before you can use image tags. :wink:


With regards to the comic, it is a little bit hard to read. If there were any more phrase loops I'd probably suggest a legend, but the way it's presented now is a bit more creative after all.

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby jedi » Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:17 pm UTC

donquibeats wrote:
Lucia wrote:When did it become decided that Wednesday is "ladies night"? Since when is that even a thing?


It was a thing in 1979 when Kool and the Gang wrote a popular song about it. I believe it's a thing now, though it's not a thing I really feel that as a man I'm missing out on. Though I know now that if I want to liven up my Wednesdays, I'll get a sex change.


Of course, you should also note that "so drunk on <day>" peaks also on Wednesdays... interesting correlation, no? And, "got laid <day>" also has a peak on Wednesday relative to Tues and Thurs. So, perhaps a sex change is _not_ in order for Wednesdays (unless, of course, you're either not looking for "ladies", or are interested in looking for women in bars that likely don't have "ladies' nights" anyway).

Just pointing out the occasional interesting things that can come of examining periodic correlations on the web....

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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby ericgrau » Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:27 pm UTC

J L wrote:Makes for a nice week:

Tuesday: company meeting
Wednesday: ladies night
Thursday: just sucks
Friday: break-up with bf/gf
Saturday: get wasted (and laid, with some luck)
Sunday: church
Monday: work is due ...

... and another meeting on Tuesday. Is this the reality in Google-land?


They're talking about you on wednesday. Solution: send flowers wednesday, prevent friday, saturday and possibly sunday. Heck maybe get laid instead. Now you have 3 less worrisome days to get your work done.

Tub
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Re: 930: Days of the Week

Postby Tub » Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:33 pm UTC

Bellerophon wrote:I need a version I can rotate with my mouse around the centre. Someone! Internet magic me this thing!

Done!

http://www.authmann.de/xkcd930/

(yeah, newly registered, can't linkify URLs yet)

ferrettt55
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Re: 0930: "Days of the Week"

Postby ferrettt55 » Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:37 pm UTC

So almost nobody gets drunk on Tuesday. I wonder if we can drastically change these results to make whatever shape we want.

Sappharos
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Re: 0930: "Days of the Week"

Postby Sappharos » Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:49 pm UTC

So, Mr. Munroe punctually arrives with another of his works. The connoisseurs gather round.

"he has violated general rules of design"

"too many colors"

"possibly the most ill-designed graph i did ever see"

Not only this, but it appears that this ill-fated graph has been fashioned to go round in the wrong direction, too; it turns clockwise, not counter-clockwise! Shock! Horror! Well, I try to appreciate the comic for what it was meant to be. It's intelligent, and true to form. I like this one. =)

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Re: 0930: "Days of the Week"

Postby Eärendil » Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:59 pm UTC

The first thing I though of when I saw this was "Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!"

Sunday Sunday Sunday 393000 4%
Monday Monday Monday 204000 2%
Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday 2160000 23%
Wednesday Wednesday Wednesday 1720000 18%
Thursday Thursday Thursday 4320000 46%
Friday Friday Friday 481000 5%
Saturday Saturday Saturday 133000 1%

I would have thought that the monster truck rallies would have dominated, but it looks like Thursday finally gets its due!

Also, as a brand new forum member, I was very pleased to, for the first time ever, have an equation for my captcha (Tz=x) and was happy to see that the email came from "fora@xkcd.com" which I've always held to be the correct pluralization.

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Re: 0930: "Days of the Week"

Postby meat.paste » Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:23 pm UTC

I wonder if Tuesday being a bad day to get laid is related to the spike in menses onset on Sunday :)
Perhaps the correlation should be going to church causes bleeding.
Huh? What?

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unus vox
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Re: 0930: "Days of the Week"

Postby unus vox » Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:07 pm UTC

The comic was interesting to read in itself, but the real joy here is reading responses by pedants, giving 50 reasons why a graph is done poorly.
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