## Dictionary of Numbers

I don’t like large numbers without context. Phrases like “they called for a \$21 billion budget cut” or “the probe will travel 60 billion miles” or “a 150,000-ton ship ran aground” don’t mean very much to me on their own. Is that a large ship? Does 60 billion miles take you outside the Solar System? …

## 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.

## A morbid Python script

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 …

## Groundhog Day correction

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’m visiting CNU on April 4th

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 …

## Geohashing

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, …

## Tsunami photos and videos

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 …