1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

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JJH
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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby JJH » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:09 am UTC

Prior to 2001 September 11 frequently referred to the Chilean coup of 1973 , maybe that explains the elevens.

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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby VanI » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:10 am UTC

onetwothree4 wrote:I think that it's interesting that March 21 (first day of spring) gets some notoriety, but that winter solstice/first day of summer/fall do not.
I guess in cold places, people get really excited over spring.


March 21st is not just an equinox, but a traditional new year's date in a lot of cultures. The vernal equinox is meaningful in ways that the solstices and autumnal equinox are not.
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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby brenok » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:41 am UTC

Appearently, in this graph, the all-time peak of "September 11th" was in 1979. Does anybody has an explanation?

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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby EpicanicusStrikes » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:43 am UTC

Should I feel bad about myself that the first date I looked for was July 31st?

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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby lorb » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:29 pm UTC

brenok wrote:Appearently, in this graph, the all-time peak of "September 11th" was in 1979. Does anybody has an explanation?


For some reason books like this one appear to be wrongly dated to 1979 and actually are a reference to the 9/11 attacks.

Maybe the reason is similar to the spike of "internet" after 1900 which is caused by some machines only storing the last two digits of the year and automatically assuming the first two are 19.
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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:40 pm UTC

brenok wrote:Appearently, in this graph, the all-time peak of "September 11th" was in 1979. Does anybody has an explanation?


perhaps the default date is unix time 10010000000000000000000000000

is it in july by any chance?

we'd also expect some other related terms to peak at the same time.


people seem to have been unusually interested in "September 11th 2001" in 1979

http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?co ... g=0&share=

and in terrorists.

http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?co ... g=0&share=

and Osama Bin Laden

http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?co ... g=0&share=

my conclusion:
that a load of post 9/11 material was scanned in but was given the wrong date, possibly unix time 10010000000000000000000000000


I'm more interested in why there was so much interest in "President Obama" in 1976

http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?co ... g=0&share=
Last edited by HungryHobo on Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:53 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby BlitzGirl » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:41 pm UTC

I'm a little disappointed that this only covers books since 2000. Uh-DUH that September 11 is going to stand out in that sampling.

Not related:
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Dr. Gamera
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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby Dr. Gamera » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:49 pm UTC

Look at that end-of-the-fiscal-year bump on June 30th.

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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby RandomMarius » Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:51 pm UTC

Date aliases needed to be taken into account. Christmas, New Year, etc. Even Thanksgiving, Easter, Black Friday etc. as well. Sure, these are not absolute dates and can vary between cultures, but that too can be taken into account statistically.

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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby RandomMarius » Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:04 pm UTC

VanI wrote:
onetwothree4 wrote:I think that it's interesting that March 21 (first day of spring) gets some notoriety, but that winter solstice/first day of summer/fall do not.
I guess in cold places, people get really excited over spring.


March 21st is not just an equinox, but a traditional new year's date in a lot of cultures. The vernal equinox is meaningful in ways that the solstices and autumnal equinox are not.


There is also the problem that the equinoxes are not always on the same day and can vary even more wildly since it is on different days in different countries in the same year etc.

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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby peewee_RotA » Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:12 pm UTC

I love how star wars day is bigger than Cinco De Mayo

May the 4th be with you!

(Although other geek holidays are not represented like pi day, talk like a pirate day, and mole day)
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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby OK Whatever » Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:25 pm UTC

westrim wrote:I'm not finding the image to be formatted very well. There are only a couple handfuls of dates that I can tell are different from the crowd.


I agree. The scaling by area is a poor way to show small differences. The frequency could have been enhanced by a mathematical function, or the dates could have been formatted to emphasize the differences (like using neater printed numerals, possibly showing the change in area by stretching in only one dimension, so that a factor of two is not shown by being 41% bigger on a side, but twice as tall and equally wide).

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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby I am Jack's username » Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:53 pm UTC

The northern hemisphere's summer dates look to be much more popular than the winter ones.

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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby dp2 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:02 pm UTC

wgrandbois wrote:Apparently, December 7 didn't actually live in infamy.

Looks to me like it's in fourth place after September 11th, July 4th, and all the 1sts.

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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby meh13 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:12 pm UTC

AACCBB wrote:Sept. 11, 1973: a CIA-backed coup assassinates Chilean President Salvador Allende in the Moneda Palace, Santiago.



I wanted to point this out too. Please don't take this as trying to diminish the impact of September 11, 2001, but other things have happened on that date. It's also the National Day of Catalonia. I know the comic looked at English language books, but history of other countries has been written in English too.

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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby AvatarIII » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:45 pm UTC

Transgenic_Squid wrote:I think using only the name of dates and not names of events/holidays like "Bali bombings," or "Christmas" was actually intentional. The whole point of the infographic is to show how unusual it is to refer to most events/holidays by date, and how much of an outlier Sept 11 is in comparison to all other dates.


Yes but September 11th IS the name of the day, no one calls it anything else. if people called named days by their dates instead, they would have a high count too. So all this calendar is showing is how many important dates are known by their date rather than another name, and is therefore biased. although strictly speaking Christmas isn't a day.

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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby Moose Anus » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:51 pm UTC

peewee_RotA wrote:I love how star wars day is bigger than Cinco De Mayo

May the 4th be with you!

(Although other geek holidays are not represented like pi day, talk like a pirate day, and mole day)
I wonder if Cinco de Mayo was included since it's not written in English and he specified English language books.
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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:57 pm UTC

scotty2haughty wrote:You'd think February 29 would get more press.

Only among D'oyly Carte fans, I fear.
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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:59 pm UTC

wgrandbois wrote:Apparently, December 7 didn't actually live in infamy.

Well, he did limit his search to publications in this century. The number of new WWII books is small even if the total number looking back 70 yrs is large.
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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby Luge » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:13 pm UTC

I'm a little surprised at this. Randall should know that in most of the English-speaking world, the date is said before the month i.e. 11th September. It's only in the U.S. that it's done the other way around.

For 11th September, Compare:

http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?co ... g=0&share=

with:

http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?co ... g=0&share=

The graphs look very different if you correct it for international English.

L.

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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:25 pm UTC

Luge wrote:I'm a little surprised at this. Randall should know that in most of the English-speaking world, the date is said before the month i.e. 11th September. It's only in the U.S. that it's done the other way around.

For 11th September, Compare:

http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?co ... g=0&share=

with:

http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?co ... g=0&share=

The graphs look very different if you correct it for international English.

L.


Nice job there. Just goes to show the difference in reaction to the 11 Sept 2001 attacks has been inside the USA and in the rest of the English-speaking world.
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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby YaleBreaker » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:28 pm UTC

This one is a pretty good example of the reason I've registered to comment. Lately I'm finding the forums a lot more mind-expanding than the comics themselves.

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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby Someguy945 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:30 pm UTC

Transgenic_Squid wrote:I think using only the name of dates and not names of events/holidays like "Bali bombings," or "Christmas" was actually intentional. The whole point of the infographic is to show how unusual it is to refer to most events/holidays by date, and how much of an outlier Sept 11 is in comparison to all other dates.


This was my thought. Even the Pearl Harbor attack is usually not called "December 7th"

How do people decide what to call things? Why is September 11th just called September 11th? Why is the "fiscal cliff" called that? Do execs in the media consciously decide to push for certain terms or does it just sort of happen?

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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby Klear » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:40 pm UTC

Someguy945 wrote:
Transgenic_Squid wrote:I think using only the name of dates and not names of events/holidays like "Bali bombings," or "Christmas" was actually intentional. The whole point of the infographic is to show how unusual it is to refer to most events/holidays by date, and how much of an outlier Sept 11 is in comparison to all other dates.


This was my thought. Even the Pearl Harbor attack is usually not called "December 7th"

How do people decide what to call things? Why is September 11th just called September 11th? Why is the "fiscal cliff" called that? Do execs in the media consciously decide to push for certain terms or does it just sort of happen?


I think these memes mostly just happen. Some people are in a position to try to coin the term, and some of these are successful, but there's a huge role or random chance.

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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby Luge » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:42 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:Nice job there. Just goes to show the difference in reaction to the 11 Sept 2001 attacks has been inside the USA and in the rest of the English-speaking world.


When it first happened, I think non-Americans generally referred to it as "11th September bombings" or similar. However, over time as the term, "September 11th" stuck, the international press and English speakers were converted to use that term instead. Hence the spike of "11th September" but continual use of "September 11th".

I was surprised that 4th July wasn't bigger in the comic. Outside the U.S., it's still known as "4th of July" (even when we celebrate it with our American friends living in Europe).

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Last edited by Luge on Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:12 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby AvatarIII » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:46 pm UTC

Someguy945 wrote:
Transgenic_Squid wrote:I think using only the name of dates and not names of events/holidays like "Bali bombings," or "Christmas" was actually intentional. The whole point of the infographic is to show how unusual it is to refer to most events/holidays by date, and how much of an outlier Sept 11 is in comparison to all other dates.


This was my thought. Even the Pearl Harbor attack is usually not called "December 7th"

How do people decide what to call things? Why is September 11th just called September 11th? Why is the "fiscal cliff" called that? Do execs in the media consciously decide to push for certain terms or does it just sort of happen?


I guess because there is too much information about 9/11 to fit into a short phrase, there isn't a short hand way of saying "aeroplanes being hijacked and crashed into buildings" and there were several attacks in multiple cities. At best you could probably call it "The Terrorist Attacks in America" but that's kind of vague.

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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby Himself » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:50 pm UTC

scotty2haughty wrote:You'd think February 29 would get more press.

Much mention of a specific date probably comes from specific events that fall on that date. Since February 29 is the only date that doesn't come around every year, not as many events will happen then.
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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby AvatarIII » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:54 pm UTC

Himself wrote:
scotty2haughty wrote:You'd think February 29 would get more press.

Much mention of a specific date probably comes from specific events that fall on that date. Since February 29 is the only date that doesn't come around every year, not as many events will happen then.


In that case, the result for Feb 29th should be multiplied by 4 to remove that handicap.

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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby Fire Brns » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:03 pm UTC

No June 31?

Also

"May 1"
"May I"
coincidence?
Yes, because no one uses proper grammar anymore


Also

September 11th probably has some additional press thanks to the attack on the embassy.
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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby Luge » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:08 pm UTC

AvatarIII wrote:In that case, the result for Feb 29th should be multiplied by 4 to remove that handicap.


Survival of the fittest. Eventually 29th February will die out and be just another footnote in the calendar of history.

ngrams is seriously flawed, anyway. It must be mostly technical textbooks and journals, because First of Octember doesn't get any hits at all!

L.

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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby Erimore » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:23 pm UTC

Well, the first reason that comes to mind on why 9/11 would be common for longer than expected....

9-1-1 -- The Emergency Call number in most of the US.

This would assume a lot of typos and/or bad search engine processing....neither of which would surprise me. :lol:

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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby Jeltz » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:36 pm UTC

Fire Brns wrote:Also

"May 1"
"May I"
coincidence?
Yes, because no one uses proper grammar anymore


I suspect mostly coicidence. May 1 happens to be the International Workers' Day and is often referred to by the date rather than the name of the day.

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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby TimXCampbell » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:55 pm UTC

jpk wrote:I guess everyone gets an off day. Probably the least interesting xkcd ever.

It's too early to tell if it's among the least interesting, but if you return to this forum in two weeks and count the number of comments about each cartoon since #1 you can make a nice bar graph to convince us you were right.

If the graph shows you were wrong I assume you'll publish that result, too. Wait, what am I saying? This is the internet!

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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby Frankula » Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:19 pm UTC

I feel like May 5th should be larger. Did you not count "Cinco de Mayo"? Because that is just 5th of may in spanish, and is a pretty big holiday even in parts of the US.

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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby Klear » Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:22 pm UTC

TimXCampbell wrote:
jpk wrote:I guess everyone gets an off day. Probably the least interesting xkcd ever.

It's too early to tell if it's among the least interesting, but if you return to this forum in two weeks and count the number of comments about each cartoon since #1 you can make a nice bar graph to convince us you were right.

If the graph shows you were wrong I assume you'll publish that result, too. Wait, what am I saying? This is the internet!


In that case the most interesting XKCD ever was 1067: "Pressures"

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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby candybrie4zo » Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:30 pm UTC

Luge wrote:
cellocgw wrote:Nice job there. Just goes to show the difference in reaction to the 11 Sept 2001 attacks has been inside the USA and in the rest of the English-speaking world.


When it first happened, I think non-Americans generally referred to it as "11th September bombings" or similar. However, over time as the term, "September 11th" stuck, the international press and English speakers were converted to use that term instead. Hence the spike of "11th September" but continual use of "September 11th".

I was surprised that 4th July wasn't bigger in the comic. Outside the U.S., it's still known as "4th of July" (even when we celebrate it with our American friends living in Europe).

L.


That's because we still refer to it as the 4th of July instead of July 4th, which was the format he was looking at.

Luge
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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby Luge » Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:36 pm UTC

candybrie4zo wrote:That's because we still refer to it as the 4th of July instead of July 4th, which was the format he was looking at.


Ah, yes. You're right - I think what I meant to say was, "4th of July should be a lot bigger, and I'm surprised that no one picked up on this".

L.

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neremanth
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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby neremanth » Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:03 pm UTC

I also would be interested to see results for "[number][st/nd/rd/th] of [month]"*. I don't think omitting that format creates bias in itself, because I'm assuming that as a US comic author who's already stated he's limited his search to things published in English, I'm assuming his intent was to find the dates that are meaningful to those in the US, rather than the whole world (or whole English-speaking world). (Yes, that is an assumption that is not fully supported by evidence). I do agree though that there will be indirect bias from omitting those dates because of the way those in e.g. the UK usually refer to the events of 11th September 2001 as September 11th, which we don't do with any other date. I think, if he was indeed going for "significant to those in the US", he should have restricted his search to US materials. I also agree that there is bias from not including names of days like Christmas; it could be that as others have suggested his point was "isn't it strange how we refer to the events of that day by the name of the day while most other events get a different name?", but I think that's really not a very interesting point, particularly because there is a simple explanation for this
AvatarIII wrote:I guess because there is too much information about 9/11 to fit into a short phrase, there isn't a short hand way of saying "aeroplanes being hijacked and crashed into buildings" and there were several attacks in multiple cities. At best you could probably call it "The Terrorist Attacks in America" but that's kind of vague.
(My best attempt at a short name would be "the Twin Towers Attacks" which trips the tongue a bit with the two plurals next to each other. Also it sort of makes me think vaguely of the Lord of the Rings).


I'd also be interested to see the formats '[month] the [number][st/nd/rd/th]', 'the [number][st/nd/rd/th] of [month]', and '[number]/[number](/[number])', although in the last case you'd have to search separately according to country of origin so as not to conflate for example the 6/7s that refer to the 6th of July and the 6/7s that refer to July the 7th. I actually think that a comparison of all these formats could be more interesting that what he actually did - it might show country-to-country differences in what dates are important, and differences in what kind of context we use each format.

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OK Whatever wrote:
westrim wrote:I'm not finding the image to be formatted very well. There are only a couple handfuls of dates that I can tell are different from the crowd.


I agree. The scaling by area is a poor way to show small differences. The frequency could have been enhanced by a mathematical function, or the dates could have been formatted to emphasize the differences (like using neater printed numerals, possibly showing the change in area by stretching in only one dimension, so that a factor of two is not shown by being 41% bigger on a side, but twice as tall and equally wide).

I also find it quite hard to make sense of the information as presented. (For example, I think after staring at it for at bit that there is less difference between the 21st of March and the 21sts of June, September and December than first appears - the 21st of March seems bigger than it is because it is next to smaller numbers). My suggestion would be that as well as making different numbers different sizes, they should be colour coded - either using say a few different color coded categories, or even relating size to hue or luminosity continuously.

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I do have something to add besides tons of criticism...

What struck me (besides the giant 11 in September, which made sense when I saw it because it's my brother's birthday, so well, obviously) was that the ends of the months weren't larger. I would have expected lots of end-of-the-month dates to appear in deadlines for things. I guess it depends where the corpus being searched comes from.
Luge wrote:It must be mostly technical textbooks and journals
That could explain it - I'd expect those not to have so many deadlines, and more publication-date-on-every-page-or-at-least-the-title-page-of-articles, which could also explain all those 1sts, which I'd initially been thinking were maybe what people preferred over the last day of the previous month as deadlines. (Why yes, I am reading too much into this...)

*Although not interested to carry out all 365 searches myself...

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Klear wrote:
TimXCampbell wrote: It's too early to tell if it's among the least interesting, but if you return to this forum in two weeks and count the number of comments about each cartoon since #1 you can make a nice bar graph to convince us you were right.

If the graph shows you were wrong I assume you'll publish that result, too. Wait, what am I saying? This is the internet!

In that case the most interesting XKCD ever was 1067: "Pressures"

Until a few weeks ago when it suddenly became dramatically less interesting! Which is really wierd. How can a comic just lose its fascination, just like that?
Last edited by neremanth on Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:06 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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peewee_RotA
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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby peewee_RotA » Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:05 pm UTC

Klear wrote:In that case the most interesting XKCD ever was 1067: "Pressures"


Will it be on the top ten list of the most interesting xkcd comics? Whether or not the pressure's on... the pressure's on.
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Re: 1140: "Calendar of Meaningful Dates"

Postby mathmannix » Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:56 pm UTC

Quicksilver wrote: What about October 12th? Or was that not big news outside of Indonesia/Australia?


Am I the only person that thought "Columbus Day" when I saw this?

Klear wrote:
TimXCampbell wrote:
jpk wrote:I guess everyone gets an off day. Probably the least interesting xkcd ever.

It's too early to tell if it's among the least interesting, but if you return to this forum in two weeks and count the number of comments about each cartoon since #1 you can make a nice bar graph to convince us you were right.

If the graph shows you were wrong I assume you'll publish that result, too. Wait, what am I saying? This is the internet!


In that case the most interesting XKCD ever was 1067: "Pressures"


I think that a better feel for the popularity would be the number of different people who posted. There's no way I'm going to count through the 123 pages of the correctly split-off Pressures thread, but I bet at least 95% of the posts were made by the same three to five people.

As far as highest number of different posters (including, probably obviously, a high number of first posts), I would have to guess "Click and Drag" is up there among most interesting...
I hear velociraptor tastes like chicken.


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