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.
Comics #493 and #893 involve actuarial tables, which are tables for calculating the probability that someone of a given age will die within a given amount of time. One evening, when I was feeling morbid, I wrote a Python script to calculate death probabilities for any collection of people: actuary.py (.txt). It takes a list of ages […]
A number of people have mentioned an issue with today’s comic—in the movie Groundhog Day, it’s actually implied that Phil, Bill Murray’s character, didn’t have sex with Rita. He took her home to his room, but they woke up in the same clothes they fell asleep in. I haven’t seen the movie in a number of years, but […]
I’ll be in Newport News, Virginia this April 4th to give a talk at my old school, Christopher Newport University. I’m really looking forward to it! The chaos of the past year and a half didn’t leave me with much time or energy for travel or events, so it’ll be fun to get out and […]
Almost four years ago, I posted a comic laying out the Geohashing algorithm. The algorithm generated a set of random latitudes and longitudes each day, spread out across the globe so there was generally always one within a few dozen miles of every location. I figured they could be used for hiking destinations, sightseeing, meetups, […]
In xkcd.com/1010 (I have a hard time not reading that as “ten”) I said that before 2004, there weren’t really any photos or videos of tsunamis. This isn’t quite true—there were a handful of photos and at least one video. When I was a kid, I was had an irrationally powerful fear of tsunamis (Etymology-Man […]
xkcd.com is registered with GoDaddy. This is an artifact of my registering my own domains nearly ten years ago, back when I was completely new to making websites. I’ve always been a little uneasy about having all my domains with them, since they’ve got a long history of screwing over domain owners, but never got […]
I had a huge amount of fun putting the money chart together. It was the first time in a long time that my life’s been stable enough that I’ve been able to really disappear into a project—I’d almost forgotten how enjoyable it can be. I’ve corrected a bunch of typos and other minor errors, most […]
After a rough year, it’s nice to have something happy to share. We got married!
Selections from lost NHC discussion bulletins: HURRICANE HUMBERTO DISCUSSION NUMBER 5 NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL 500 AM EDT THU SEP 13 2007 THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER HAS DETERMINED…BASED ON RECON AND MODEL GUIDANCE…THAT “HUMBERTO” IS A RIDICULOUS NAME FOR A HURRICANE. THIS WILL BE THE LAST ADVISORY ISSUED CONCERNING THIS STORM…UNTIL A MORE SERIOUS NAME […]