Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Title text: If I developed a hue-shifting metamaterial, I would photobomb people's Instagram pics with a sheet of material that precisely undid the filter they were using.
Metamaterials, artificially-created structures typically made from several materials in a microscopic checkerboard pattern, are famous for allowing bizarre optical properties, such as invisibility cloaks. This comic imagines that metamaterials can change the color of light passing through them.
In the real world a metamaterial can alter the spatial distribution of light and also its frequency, like done in Fluorescent lamps — but this would not resemble the entire picture in a different color. In photography many filters are used to enhance the quality and appearance of the image. These filters do not alter colors but block some of them, so the result is shown in a different color than the original. Nevertheless, no application like this is able to switch a single color to another as it can be done by most modern computer photo programs.
Megan uses a box made of her metamaterial to switch the colors of the cliché Valentine's Day poem, "Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet and so are you."
The title text references this with Randall pondering making a metamaterial that reverses the effect of instagram filters, likely by placing the material between the camera and the subject just before the picture is taken without the photographer noticing - a so-called photobombing. Instagram is a photo application that applies one of a variety of filters like hue-shift or contrast adjustments meant to simulate the look of old photographs. These filters may be able to interchange blue and red - as they are not real material filters.
- Megan (off-screen): Violets are red.
- Megan (off-screen): And roses are blue.
- Megan: When metamaterials
- Megan: Alter their hue.
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You should also note the reference to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roses_are_red - which should be quite obvious though.
--188.8.131.52 06:34, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
- See also http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roses_are_red Sebastian :--184.108.40.206 06:28, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Is there any guidelines for making a transcript? In my opinion any explanation of the comic should stop at a note of who deliver the line. Only when it is not clear in which order a text should be read or for special comics should there be anything else than written text from the comic. Kynde (talk) 11:50, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
- Take a look here. It was a (short) discussion about transcripts. greptalk12:20, 04 April 2014 (UTC)
- Thanks - from that I would say loose the explanation of what is in each image, and just write Megan or Megan off screen. I will. Change to that.Kynde (talk) 10:13, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
If I'm not terrible mistaken, this is not how metamaterials work. Can anybody link me a work about wavelength-shifting metamaterials?
220.127.116.11 16:35, 4 April 2014 (UTC) (whoever put this on grep's talk page... it's supposed to go here)
- I have a feeling this cartoon would be funnier if it was how metamaterials work. But what do I know about metamaterials? The reference to Instagram was pretty funny, though. Why people want to wreck fine photos is beyond me. 18.104.22.168 05:08, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
For red to turn into blue, you still need a nonlinear medium and a lot of red. Or maybe a temporally modulated medium with a modulation similiar to the frequency of visible light...?
(This needs to go in the discussion. Not the explanation. FTFY. You are welcome. ;) 22.214.171.124 20:25, 4 April 2014 (UTC)BK201
- The title text
I understood it as a filter that go online into peoples instagram pictures and turning them back to the original version. That is also a kind of a meta material - ie. not a real material. Of course(?) Randall will not apply a filter in front of every users camera when the picture is taken and before people use a filter on this "meta filtered" picture when they post it on instagram...? The reason I wish someone else to make the change is that I do not use instagram or filters and hope someone else who can do this better than me now dare to change this wrong explanation :-) Kynde (talk) 10:09, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
- I really think it's a sheet that Megan holds in front of the flowers, and not a box. And I think that Randall does indeed mean to hold a sheet in front of peoples cameras when they take a picture. The phrase photobombing is used for the act of intruding into the camera view when someone is taking a photo in order to disturb the picture (for example jumping out in front of a group photo, obscuring the group). 126.96.36.199 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
- Well good thing I didn't correct then :-) But then the explanation is not good enough for someone not using these things. Is it so that you apply the filter before you take the photo directly into instagram - so you never see the real photo. Then the title would make some sence! Kynde (talk) 20:25, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
It's a box. If you look closely you can see the side in panel 3 and the bottom in panel 4. 188.8.131.52 05:35, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
- Linking to Photonic Metamaterial for the Physics or Engineering-inclined
This article explains the challenges and the current approaches for metamaterials that operate at the frequencies of light.
07:00, 10 April 2014 (UTC)