Odd Temporal Milestones

The first Star Trek episode aired closer in time to the ratification of the 19th Amendment—guaranteeing women in the US the right to vote—than to today.

377 thoughts on “Odd Temporal Milestones

  1. As a former resident and frequent visitor to the SF Bay Area, I feel duty-bound to correct your subway map: It’s Sunnyvale, not Sunnydale. Thanks for the entertaining map.

  2. @Bobbi: Bay Area native here, and I suspect Sunnydale was a nod at the Whedonverse/Buffy locale, and only coincidentally shares our Sunnyvale’s coordinates. That Mr Munroe might have erred is inconceivable.

  3. You should write the perfect comic to put on a tip jar! (Unless you already have then you should point me in that direction). Thanks for all the amazing comics!

  4. Just something I happened upon- since the posting of “Dangers”, the Google results for dying in a blogging accident has increased to 5,150,000

  5. On Tuesday the 9th, the topic of the What If was the danger of pressure cookers.
    Only one week later, the 16th of April, the Boston Marathon is interrupted by an exploding pressure cooker filled with metal.

    Is that ironic or anything?

  6. But then again, not so unnerving. The laws of physics exist without us, and when discovered/understood, can be used for the forces of good (modern urban plumbing; xkcd on the outcome of 7 billion folks jumping up-and-down at once in Rhode Island) as well as the forces of hate. Sad to say, the recent events in Boston just prove the inversion of “My normal approach is useless here” http://xkcd.com/55/ (for the hearts in the equation, substitute . . . idk [seriously; what's an appropriate icon for "evil"?]). Sigh.

  7. In that ”What if’ was also a standing hat boy with gloves, table and girl sitting on a char. Is that ironic, lead, coincidence or what?

  8. 2Octavian:

    Calm down. It is a question; I did not say it was ironic; and I asked, is it ironic or something similar? And just call me an idiot if that’s what you think I am…

  9. the wordings of the last three posts and the corresponding names made this small gathering of posts a slightly confusing read.

    Also, @Octavian:
    Air is warm
    Laying down enjoying
    The serenity of the day
    Listening to sounds passing
    Wondering what they are

    Breeze passes over me
    A touch so light
    A tickle on a babies skin
    Playing with the leaves
    Creating the lazy feel

    Look up at the sky
    So blue and unchanging
    Lost in its vastness
    Wishing time would stop

    Breathing oh so lightly
    Chest hardly moves
    Not a care in the world

    - Alison Smith

  10. @Autobot248:

    Like us all.
    And no offence but I think that the story of this –
    http://xkcd.com/398/ comic totally describes you.

    If someone is really sick and want to kill innocents then that fanatic will always find the most efficient way to do it. eot

  11. The most efficient way to do it would be guns… your country has such poor legislation when it comes to rifles it would be easy for them to get armed and kill more people…

  12. And I just innocently asked a question, how am I behaving like the guy in comic 398?

  13. Steve, you summarized what my thoughts should be beautifully. I’m glad our city is able to breathe a collective sigh of relief and begin picking up the pieces.

  14. @Steve SInger:
    The correct icon for evil is a silhouette of Dr. Heinz Doofenschmirtz.

    our definitions of efficient must be very different.

    You spend too much time listening to CNN. Our laws on gun control are succinct and take only 22 words. Vide U.S. Constitution, Amendment II. All the rest are violations and infringements of that clause. We are not your country, your country is not America. However, you’d do well to research some statistics: more damage per attack is attributed to edged weapons than guns, world wide as well as in America. The highest gun-deaths are in the countries with considerably more regulation and ‘control’ than America.

    Finding an excuse to beat the liberal gun-grab drum in the terrorist attack on Boston is very bad form. Please try to pretend to live in a civilized society.

  15. I have never watched CNN and never will. And I do live in a civilized society, seeing as I do not live in the U.S.A (which incidentally can also refer to the United Mexican States, which are also in the Americas and which are also a united states), which practically guaranteees I live in a civilized and cultured country.

  16. @Autobot248:
    I’m not an american citizen, not even English speaker. By ‘efficient way’ I’m meant ‘most efficient way with resources what they had’. Ok? If they were observing by FBI earlier then probably they couldn’t buy guns that easy. Further if they had planed repeat attacks then again the form of ied would be the best for their sick plans. Finally find me, easy available and not suspicious, metal package that would be like bomb shell.
    And I kindly answer to your innocently asked question: literally.

    @William Brohinsky:
    “efficient – performing or functioning in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort; satisfactory and economical to use” that term is wildly used with connection to weapons

  17. The OP reads:

    The first Star Trek episode aired closer in time to the ratification of the 19th Amendment—guaranteeing women in the US the right to vote—than to today.

    … way back in September. It’s nigh on morbidly fascinating to look at how the comment thread has “progressed” since then. Damned if I’m not starting to expect that this whole thread + lack of Blag posts turns out to be some crazy social experiment. I love this wobsite.

  18. @ Idiot:
    …Because two people walking around with pressure cookers at a marathon is not suspicious? Of course not, they were just going to cook some food. SO logical

  19. @Autobot248:
    Yes. Because obtaining bomb shell is easier and less suspicious than pressure cooker? If their bags woulds be searched then it wouldn’t matter what ied looks like. Calm down. It’s not place for such a pointless talk.
    Or maybe it’s like ‘That Guy What Stole the Bacon’ suggested. :)

  20. I am calm, and pressure cookers full of metal aren’t exactly inconspicuous.
    Plus, you can’t say they were using primitive, home-made items — they had guns. And idiot says that they couldn’t obtain guns that easy. Well, there’s one idiot who needs to check the news from time to time.
    The first brother was shot for no reason, eh? The policemen just shot him on sight? Sorry, but not even the US justice is so rotten as to allow that.

  21. @Autobot248:
    Ok, I missed that they had guns and were shooting to police. But in that point of view it just proof theirs determination to remain undetected or at least free. If they were freely shoot at marathoners, probably would be quickly get killed. Assuming that all, ied is still best match and efficient for theirs plans.

    And I don’t like that what is going in that country too. Government gives out guns everyone and then media are getting surprised by regular massacres in schools. That attack is bad example but I have in mind that sick tendention to relativize responsibility for that what is going in country. As I said earlier I’m not us citizen.

    @William Brohinsky:
    What statistics?

  22. From 1204, I think this one of the funniest things you have ever wrote :

    2031: Google defends the swiveling roof-mounted scanning electron microscopes on its Street View cars, saying they ‘don’t reveal anything that couldn’t be seen by any pedestrian scanning your house with an electron microscope.’

  23. re: # 1205: Is it worth the time?
    Rule of thumb: If you have to ask, the answer is no.

  24. 1206: Einstein
    Einstein apparently did a napkin sketch suggesting that the Bernoulli Effect was the cause of lift on an airplane wing because air over the wing had farther to go than air under the wing, so it has to go faster, lowering the air pressure. He was, while still brilliant about many things, completely wrong about this one. The path over the wing isn’t very much longer than the path under — not nearly enough to explain lift, and airplanes can fly upside down, which would be impossible if he were right. And it ignores angle of attack entirely, which, along with air speed, are THE factors that modify lift. But you’ve already addressed this in an earlier comic (#803), though you didn’t attribute the error to Einstein, where it belonged. It was 100% exclusively Einstein’s idea. Late in life, he was trying to come up with a second big idea after Relativity, which he came up with in his 20s. This, and “gravitons”, which is probably exactly as wrong as Bernoulli-lift, but we can’t prove it either way.

    The ONLY reason they still taught that crap about Bernoulli lift when I was in high school, and probably still teach it now, is because Einstein said so, and he was really smart, so he couldn’t have been wrong (even though he was).

    Hey, even I’m wrong sometimes. Just the other day, I thought I made a mistake, but I was wrong…

  25. Screw it, I’m starting a new thread. The social experiment posited above continues:

    AirWare (1207) is a BRILLIANT money-making venture, and is actually one possible end-game of current consumer obsession with e-connectivity/updates; i.e., at some point the ubiquity and relentless, soul-crushing nature of our electronic ‘minders’ will lead folks to PAY for a respite (not make them go away, of course – we will assimilate [hell, we already pretty much have] – but just a little break, every once in a while . . . please . . .).

    This of course presupposes some tipping point after which we no longer have the will to turn-off or unplug or otherwise escape . . . .

  26. @Bobbi, there actually is a Sunnydale rail stop in San Francisco.

    I took a photo of the map on the wall at another station one time I was in town, amused and assuming it was a typo for Sunnyvale. My brother, a current resident of the city, informed me that the stop name is correct, and refers to the name of the street where the T line ends.

    Photo here: http://www.hyperborea.org/journal/2008/04/california-craziness/

  27. I like the idea from 1207 very much. But it could be more efficient with some kind of real physical input to user. A current with few hundreds kV voltage for example, like from long range teasers. Something like this: youtu.be/-9AN7N4S3tI would be ideal.

  28. Today’s “What If?” with the giraffe diagrams was interesting. I wasn’t sure why you chose the giraffe at first, but the structures of stacked giraffes was so Mandelbrotian, or perhaps the word should be Giraffedelbrot. Giraffe is one of my favorite words in the Kiswahili language: “twiga”

  29. Odd Temporal Milestone: The time from Stegosaurus to T-Rex is longer than the time from T-Rex to Humans.

  30. Ryan North (“Dinosaur Comics”) said what about you? This . . . this is an OUTRAGE, an act of naked aggression that cannot stand!

    Surely it demands a new Blag-post in retaliation.

  31. Like most national legislation of the time it didn’t really mean much, women had been voting for decades in most states — at the time, the Federal government was only around 3-4% of GDP, and most powers still resided with the states.

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  37. Kako ono rece sinoc u “spektru” Ante Nobilo:Zalosno je sta HDZ Bosne i Hercegovine uopce nije promjenio politiku i namjere u svezi odcjepljenja…….Pretpostavljam da taj dragan covic radi za UDBU,jer do 1991. se je pisao jugoslavenom i potpisivao cirilicom.Hocu reci nije vjerovati ovim sta stalno isticu svoje hrvatstvo,jer mi to jako smrdi na spijune,kukavice,provokatore i placenike stranih obavjestajnih sluzbi.Hm,mozda grijesim,ali uvijek su tu sa svojim komentarima i udaraju u iste bubnjeve….hm

  38. Having followed the ‘Time’ series from inception to end, I have missed many ‘episodes’ because of a different time zone. Any chance of puttng it up as a frame-by-frame video?

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