824: Guest Week: Bill Amend (FoxTrot)
|Guest Week: Bill Amend (FoxTrot)|
Title text: Guest comic by Bill Amend of FoxTrot, an inspiration to all us nerdy-physics-majors-turned-cartoonists, of which there are an oddly large number.
Bill Amend, author of the newspaper comic FoxTrot, draws for Randall in this special 'Guest Week' edition of xkcd. In it, Jason Fox, a geeky 10-year-old from Amend's strip, asks to draw comics for Randall. When Randall refuses, he uses the sudo command, used in POSIX systems to perform an action as an administrator/super user. This forces Randall to agree. This is a reference to the very popular comic 149: Sandwich, which has now become a geek culture catch-phrase.
In the first comic, Cueball is making a pun on the word attractive. In the first context it means a person is "good looking" or "beautiful" which the (presumably) female character attributes to her hair. In Cueball's context, it means that he is feeling an increased gravitational pull from the woman, due to her increase in mass (see Gravitation). This setup is also very typical of the Jason Fox character, who, ostensibly ten, is supposed to be too young to like girls.
Werner Heisenberg postulated in 1927, his eponymous Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, which roughly states that in quantum mechanics one cannot know both the position and momentum of a particle. The joke is that (presumably) Elisabeth Heisenberg does not know the position of her keys, because she knows too much about their (the keys') momentum. (This is also the subject of 1473: Location Sharing.)
In many parliamentary and congressional halls it is customary, when calling an issue to vote to have the people who want the issue at hand to be passed to say out loud that they agree. The customary response to this is to say "aye." The dissenters are then asked. Their response would be "nay" or "no". Then the volume (by rough decibels) of the assenters and dissenters are weighed. If it is close, a more formal vote may be called. "Aye" is pronounced as "I" and "i" is the mathematical value of the square root of negative one, which can be used to represent an imaginary number.
- [Jason from FoxTrot is sitting at an artist's desk with a pencil, holding a phone.]
- Jason: Hi, Mr. Munroe? I have a great idea! Let me draw some strips for you!
- Mr. Munroe, through the telephone: Fat chance, kid.
- [Zoom in to Jason.]
- Jason: Sudo let me draw some strips for you.
- [There follow three strips. These will be separated by double new lines.]
- [Cueball and Ponytail are looking at each other.]
- Cueball: I find you more attractive than usual.
- Ponytail: You do? Is it my new haircut?
- [Zoom in to Cueball.]
- Cueball: Actually, I think it's all the weight you've been putting on. Your gravitational pull is pretty severe.
- [Cueball is now alone in the panel.]
- Cueball: Just sayin'.
- [Two people are in a living room. The woman is looking through a chest of drawers.]
- At home with the Heisenbergs
- Mrs. Heisenberg: I can't find my car keys.
- Mr. Heisenberg: You probably know too much about their momentum.
- [Cueball is standing on a stage, holding up a hammer. A crowd is in front of the stage.]
- Why mathematicians should run for Congress
- Cueball: All those in favor of the bill say "aye."
- Congressman #1: Aye.
- Congresswoman #2: Aye.
- Congress–Mathematician: √-1