1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

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

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
eran_rathan
Mostly Wrong
Posts: 1846
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:36 pm UTC
Location: in your ceiling, judging you

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby eran_rathan » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:02 pm UTC

MonkeyBoy wrote:
thesingingaccountant wrote:The world is going batshit crazy. Has been for some time now.


Yup. About 4.5 billion years or so, I'd say.


"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move."

"There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.There is another theory which states that this has already happened."

Both, naturally, from the Kindle with Wikipedia Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
"Does this smell like chloroform to you?"
"Google tells me you are not unique. You are, however, wrong."
nɒʜƚɒɿ_nɒɿɘ

User avatar
bmonk
Posts: 662
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:14 pm UTC
Location: Schitzoed in the OTT between the 2100s and the late 900s. Hoping for singularity.

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby bmonk » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:17 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
J Thomas wrote:
J L wrote:Small text is small. First time I stopped reading a strip, came back later, and stopped again.


Why not make it bigger?


What if we had more power?


So. It has come to this.
Having become a Wizard on n.p. 2183, the Yellow Piggy retroactively appointed his honorable self a Temporal Wizardly Piggy on n.p.1488, not to be effective until n.p. 2183, thereby avoiding a partial temporal paradox. Since he couldn't afford two philosophical PhDs to rule on the title.

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 5487
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:57 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

Look, I apologized for that inconvenience already, can we let bygones be bygones? It's been a dozen billion years already, forgive and forget!

How 'bout you let me slide on that one and I'll forget about that whole original sin thing, eh?
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
XTCamus
Posts: 176
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:59 pm UTC
Location: "...on that dizzying crest"

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby XTCamus » Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:43 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

Look, I apologized for that inconvenience already, can we let bygones be bygones? It's been a dozen billion years already, forgive and forget!

How 'bout you let me slide on that one and I'll forget about that whole original sin thing, eh?

Deal!

benkc
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:03 am UTC

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby benkc » Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:09 am UTC

I also felt like this was a commentary on the situation in Italy. I was kind of surprised when the the alt-text didn't mention it at all.

I wonder if it was intended to be so, or if it was just a coincidence.

User avatar
Max™
Posts: 1792
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:21 am UTC
Location: mu

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby Max™ » Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:26 am UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:
scalziand wrote:Alt:After exhausting the OED, we started numbering them. When overlapping hurricanes formed at all points on the Earth's surface, and our scheme was foiled by Cantor diagonalization, we just decided to name them all "Steve". Your local forecast tomorrow is "Steve". Good luck.

Oh.

So THIS explains the Pressures thread.

Image
mu

User avatar
thesingingaccountant
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:18 pm UTC
Location: My trusty tablet, most likely

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby thesingingaccountant » Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:43 pm UTC

Shadowman615 wrote:
thesingingaccountant wrote:I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The world is going batshit crazy. Has been for some time now. The psychotic weather is just one aspect of the descent into madness. On the plus side, it's not even slightly boring.


Have you ever read the instructions on a packet of toothpicks?


Negatory. I didn't even know there WERE instructions on a packet of toothpicks. Now I'm inspired to go out and buy some toothpicks, just to see these instructions.

Perhaps Mother Nature is trying to expel us... We have, after all, been ruining this lovely planet.
Never trust a psychic who has to reschedule.

User avatar
bmonk
Posts: 662
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:14 pm UTC
Location: Schitzoed in the OTT between the 2100s and the late 900s. Hoping for singularity.

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby bmonk » Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:56 pm UTC

thesingingaccountant wrote:
Shadowman615 wrote:Have you ever read the instructions on a packet of toothpicks?


Negatory. I didn't even know there WERE instructions on a packet of toothpicks. Now I'm inspired to go out and buy some toothpicks, just to see these instructions.

Perhaps Mother Nature is trying to expel us... We have, after all, been ruining this lovely planet.


While there may not be instructions on toothpicks, there may be warning labels.
WARNING: Sharp Ends! Do not give to babies to chew!
WARNING: Do NOT stick into ear for cleaning.
WARNING: Bridges built of toothpicks are not to be used to cross flooding rivers.
Having become a Wizard on n.p. 2183, the Yellow Piggy retroactively appointed his honorable self a Temporal Wizardly Piggy on n.p.1488, not to be effective until n.p. 2183, thereby avoiding a partial temporal paradox. Since he couldn't afford two philosophical PhDs to rule on the title.

User avatar
Max™
Posts: 1792
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:21 am UTC
Location: mu

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby Max™ » Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:00 pm UTC

Image

Little known fact: no one has ever seen a maid in most hotels which have a room safe, this is because the rooms are cleaned by tiny little people who live inside the mattresses.
mu

EvilJeffy
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:13 pm UTC

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby EvilJeffy » Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:16 pm UTC

There was also a gem in the final hurricane report for Hurricane Vince in that year, may have shown up in the advisories too, but here was the direct quote from the NHC.

The rain in Spain was mainly less than 2 inches, although 3.30 inches fell in the plain at Cordoba.

They were obviously losing their minds for a while that year, thankfully they all survived.

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/2005atlan.shtml

Mikeski
Posts: 1113
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 7:24 am UTC
Location: Minnesota, USA

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby Mikeski » Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:22 am UTC

Max™ wrote:(picture tiny hotel-room safe with "suffocation danger" sticker)

Doesn't mean human suffocation danger. Smaller things breathe, and I'm sure there are people stupid enough to lock up the family pet in one of these.

So the sticker does require legendary amounts of stupidity, but not fairy maids.

ijuin
Posts: 1151
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:02 pm UTC

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby ijuin » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:29 am UTC

AvatarIII wrote:what happened to that guy between the 8th and 30th of December? Why would he stop shaving and combing his hair when there are no storms? hibernation? living on the streets?
If he managed to keep himself tidy during Epsilon why was he not able to tidy himself up during Zeta?


I thought that it was trying to imply that the crazy hurricane season was keeping him SO busy that he never had time to rest, like those medical interns who have to work sixty hours at a stretch.

Ardee
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2011 6:28 am UTC

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby Ardee » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:17 pm UTC

My favorite unexpected editorializing in an otherwise dry technical context is the last bit of this dictionary's usage note on "flammable":

Usage Note: Historically, flammable and inflammable mean the same thing. However, the presence of the prefix in- has misled many people into assuming that inflammable means "not flammable" or "noncombustible." In the circumstances, it is therefore advisable to use only flammable in contexts imparting warnings or on product labels, where a misinterpretation might have more serious consequences for the reader than an etymological mistake would deserve.

Excerpted from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition © 1996 by Houghton Mifflin Company.


...deserve?

bilkie
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:29 pm UTC

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby bilkie » Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:14 pm UTC

thesingingaccountant wrote:
Shadowman615 wrote:
thesingingaccountant wrote:I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The world is going batshit crazy. Has been for some time now. The psychotic weather is just one aspect of the descent into madness. On the plus side, it's not even slightly boring.


Have you ever read the instructions on a packet of toothpicks?


Negatory. I didn't even know there WERE instructions on a packet of toothpicks. Now I'm inspired to go out and buy some toothpicks, just to see these instructions.

Perhaps Mother Nature is trying to expel us... We have, after all, been ruining this lovely planet.


I assumed everyone realized the toothpick instructions is a Hitchhikers Guide reference. Wonko the Sane if I remember correctly. I was waiting for someone to award Shadowman points.

User avatar
da Doctah
Posts: 997
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:27 am UTC

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby da Doctah » Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:28 pm UTC

bilkie wrote:I assumed everyone realized the toothpick instructions is a Hitchhikers Guide reference. Wonko the Sane if I remember correctly. I was waiting for someone to award Shadowman points.


I've read the entire trilogy, and absorbed HHGG in most of its other-media forms, and I didn't remember the toothpick thing either. In fact, having once owned an Apple™ joystick that came with instructions, I figured it was only a matter of time before someone did the same for toothpicks.

(Living where I do, safe from the ravages of ocean-generated storms, my only interest in Sandy is that I'd kind of like to see Felix Baumgartner jump into the middle of it.)

User avatar
CZeke
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 9:45 am UTC
Location: Waterloo, Canada
Contact:

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby CZeke » Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:36 am UTC

Oh, for #$@%'s sake...

Look, Randall, the stick figures are one thing. I think it's pretty dubious to call yourself a cartoonist when that's all you draw, but whatever, I can't do faces either. But you didn't even WRITE this one!
FiveMinute.net: Because stuff is long and life is short

User avatar
Yubtzock
Posts: 148
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:37 pm UTC
Location: Breslau/Wrocław

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby Yubtzock » Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:26 am UTC

CZeke wrote:Oh, for #$@%'s sake...

Look, Randall, the stick figures are one thing. I think it's pretty dubious to call yourself a cartoonist when that's all you draw, but whatever, I can't do faces either. But you didn't even WRITE this one!

I don't know if you are serious, but do you really think every creator makes up all his stories? Like... no one writes down what happened to them or someone else in real life and puts some other characters/names in it? And xkcd isn't hiding that, clearly giving the source. Or do you think it's somehow lower quality writing to adapt real life events into it's own stories? Even if you are joking, some writers might rage at such a suggestion. edit:Unless you are trolling in which case - well played.

And there is writing! Like... the last panel. Too little? Press <Prev few times, last three comics have had the same amount or less of Randall-written text.

On top of that xkcd is pumping out comics regularly 3 times a week (with really small hiccups), where other webcomics take a week at best and sometimes go on half year hiatus (Erfworld), update only 3-4 times a year (dresden codac) if they want to be of higher quality, or while updating regularly, still have a few people behind them, or continuous story to tell.

xkcd fills the niche between funny picture aggregators updated daily and other, weekly webstuffs for me just fine.


The strip itself: reading all this stuff about hurricanes always reminds me that I'm really happy not having to live in hurricane-ridden place on the Earth. Floods though...

david_h
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 12:00 pm UTC

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby david_h » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:10 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:I've read the entire trilogy... and I didn't remember the toothpick thing either.


There's your problem. It was in book four ;)

User avatar
Klear
Posts: 1965
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:43 am UTC
Location: Prague

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby Klear » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:04 pm UTC

david_h wrote:
da Doctah wrote:I've read the entire trilogy... and I didn't remember the toothpick thing either.


There's your problem. It was in book four ;)


Book four in a trilogy of five. So what?

User avatar
CZeke
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 9:45 am UTC
Location: Waterloo, Canada
Contact:

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby CZeke » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:20 pm UTC

I'm not trolling, though I'm not surprised you thought so; I did overreact a bit. This strip just came as a (forgive me) perfect storm of what's wrong with xkcd. What Randall tried to do here is something that almost any other comic could get away with: a "dramatization" of something funny that really happened. As long as this sort of thing is the exception, it's fine. Now, it's less of an exception for xkcd, which tends to rely heavily on interesting science stuff and provide less of the humour itself, but that alone isn't the problem.

No, the problem is that Randall didn't dramatize it. He drew what he always draws: stick figures with no faces. It's vacuously true to say that all the expressions shown are identical. In fact, almost all the panels are. He added nothing to the text except a gag at the end (itself not very original). It's one of those "you had ONE JOB" situations.

But people still love it, still pass it around. And from now on, whenever someone wants to share these interesting NHC advisories, they'll link to the brilliant work of Randall Monroe instead of the actual source.

It doesn't sit right with me. A while ago I commented on an "artist" who frames mathematical formulas and sells them for $40 apiece. This strip feels similar. It's not art, it's not creativity, it's just... there.
Last edited by CZeke on Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:29 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
FiveMinute.net: Because stuff is long and life is short

User avatar
Red Hal
Magically Delicious
Posts: 1445
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:42 pm UTC

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby Red Hal » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:42 pm UTC

CZeke wrote:Oh, for #$@%'s sake...

Look, Randall, the stick figures are one thing. I think it's pretty dubious to call yourself a cartoonist when that's all you draw, but whatever, I can't do faces either. But you didn't even WRITE this one!
Don't get me started! I watched that Apollo 13 movie the other day and I swear half the dialogue was just lifted wholesale from mission transcripts! How lazy is that?
Lost Greatest Silent Baby X Y Z. "There is no one who loves pain itself, who seeks after it and wants to have it, simply because it is pain..."

User avatar
bmonk
Posts: 662
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:14 pm UTC
Location: Schitzoed in the OTT between the 2100s and the late 900s. Hoping for singularity.

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby bmonk » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:17 am UTC

Klear wrote:
david_h wrote:
da Doctah wrote:I've read the entire trilogy... and I didn't remember the toothpick thing either.


There's your problem. It was in book four ;)


Book four in a trilogy of five. So what?

I thought the last count was 5 1/3.
Having become a Wizard on n.p. 2183, the Yellow Piggy retroactively appointed his honorable self a Temporal Wizardly Piggy on n.p.1488, not to be effective until n.p. 2183, thereby avoiding a partial temporal paradox. Since he couldn't afford two philosophical PhDs to rule on the title.

User avatar
Quicksilver
Posts: 437
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:21 am UTC

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby Quicksilver » Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:00 am UTC

There's more after Mostly Harmless?

User avatar
CZeke
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2007 9:45 am UTC
Location: Waterloo, Canada
Contact:

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby CZeke » Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:39 am UTC

Red Hal wrote:Don't get me started! I watched that Apollo 13 movie the other day and I swear half the dialogue was just lifted wholesale from mission transcripts! How lazy is that?


Cute, but point-missing. Apollo 13 was an actual dramatization with actors doing their best to show us what it was like for the people involved. It added something you couldn't get from the transcripts.

This strip? It actually had less personality than the advisories by themselves. You can hear the scientific version of screaming panic in some of these messages, but they're all illustrated with the same non-expressions.
FiveMinute.net: Because stuff is long and life is short

ijuin
Posts: 1151
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:02 pm UTC

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby ijuin » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:28 am UTC

Quicksilver wrote:There's more after Mostly Harmless?

After Adams died, a sixth book was made based on his notes, titled "And Another Thing".

User avatar
Klear
Posts: 1965
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:43 am UTC
Location: Prague

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby Klear » Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:50 am UTC

ijuin wrote:
Quicksilver wrote:There's more after Mostly Harmless?

After Adams died, a sixth book was made based on his notes, titled "And Another Thing".


I was never brave to pick that up. Is it any good? Now that I think of it, I didn't like Mostly Harmless much either. I guess I'll just stick to the trilogy of four.

I read the Salmon of Doubt and it was depressing... =(

User avatar
bmonk
Posts: 662
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:14 pm UTC
Location: Schitzoed in the OTT between the 2100s and the late 900s. Hoping for singularity.

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby bmonk » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:34 pm UTC

Quicksilver wrote:There's more after Mostly Harmless?

"Young Zaphod Plays It Safe" is included in some volumes of the complete Hitchhiker.
Having become a Wizard on n.p. 2183, the Yellow Piggy retroactively appointed his honorable self a Temporal Wizardly Piggy on n.p.1488, not to be effective until n.p. 2183, thereby avoiding a partial temporal paradox. Since he couldn't afford two philosophical PhDs to rule on the title.

totoro
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:54 am UTC

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby totoro » Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:56 am UTC

They're at it again:

...ROSA PARKS ITSELF WELL SOUTHWEST OF MEXICO...

User avatar
mathmannix
Posts: 1453
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:12 pm UTC
Location: Washington, DC

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby mathmannix » Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:43 pm UTC

totoro wrote:They're at it again:

...ROSA PARKS ITSELF WELL SOUTHWEST OF MEXICO...


Nice. Can we aware +1 internets to the NHC? (link)
I hear velociraptor tastes like chicken.

fiveofoh
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:23 pm UTC

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby fiveofoh » Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:40 am UTC

Thought it might be worth reviving this old thread to point out this relevant story about a recent NWS advisory:

Code: Select all

.ANALYSIS AND UPPER LEVELS...
PRESSURES AT THE CENTER OF THE WESTERN GULF SURFACE LOW CONTINUE TO
LEVEL AS DYNAMIC SUPPORT HAS ONCE AGAIN RUN OUT. THE UPPER TROUGH
EASES SLOWLY EASTWARD IN THE GULF WITH THE REMAINING SURFACE LOW
AMALGAMATING INTO A BROAD COMPLEX CENTER UNDER THE UPPER LOW. WIND
SPEEDS IN THE JET STREAK DOWNSTREAM OF THE LONG-WAVE APPROACH 140 KT.
ENTERING THE BACKSIDE OF THE TROUGH...A WEAKER JET STREAK CONTINUES
PUSHING THE PROGRESSIVE PATTERN. RAIN SHOWERS PERSIST IN THE GULF...
ALTHOUGH THE FRONT IS RAPIDLY WEAKENING EARLY THIS MORNING.
YESTERDAY`S COASTAL JET HAS WOUND DOWN WITH THE ENERGY SHIFTING
UNDERNEATH THE BACKSIDE JET BEHIND THE LOW BRINGING THE STRONGEST
SUSTAINED WINDS FROM BRISTOL BAY THROUGH THE SOUTHERN GULF.


It seems someone at the Weather Service is a bit fed up with the shutdown:

Spoiler:
.ANALYSIS AND UPPER LEVELS...
PRESSURES AT THE CENTER OF THE WESTERN GULF SURFACE LOW CONTINUE TO
LEVEL AS DYNAMIC SUPPORT HAS ONCE AGAIN RUN OUT. THE UPPER TROUGH
EASES SLOWLY EASTWARD IN THE GULF WITH THE REMAINING SURFACE LOW
AMALGAMATING INTO A BROAD COMPLEX CENTER UNDER THE UPPER LOW. WIND
SPEEDS IN THE JET STREAK DOWNSTREAM OF THE LONG-WAVE APPROACH 140 KT.
ENTERING THE BACKSIDE OF THE TROUGH...A WEAKER JET STREAK CONTINUES
PUSHING THE PROGRESSIVE PATTERN. RAIN SHOWERS PERSIST IN THE GULF...
ALTHOUGH THE FRONT IS RAPIDLY WEAKENING EARLY THIS MORNING.
YESTERDAY`S COASTAL JET HAS WOUND DOWN WITH THE ENERGY SHIFTING
UNDERNEATH THE BACKSIDE JET BEHIND THE LOW BRINGING THE STRONGEST
SUSTAINED WINDS FROM BRISTOL BAY THROUGH THE SOUTHERN GULF.

westrim
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:51 am UTC

Re: 1126: "Epsilon and Zeta"

Postby westrim » Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:15 am UTC

fiveofoh wrote:Thought it might be worth reviving this old thread to point out this relevant story about a recent NWS advisory:

This comic was the first thing I thought of when that story broke.


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: mscha, Raidri and 107 guests