1079: United Shapes
[Click comic to enlarge]
Title text: That eggplant is in something of a flaccid state.
The large version is here: http://xkcd.com/1079/large/
In this comic, each state of the United States of America has been filled-in with an object of similar shape. Due to the size range of the states, some states are too small to clearly make-out in the normal size image. Click here to see the large version, which makes every state perfectly clear.
Very few, if any, of the shapes used are stereotypes of the state; they are merely objects that look like the state. Some of the objects are those which the states are widely known to resemble. For example, Michigan is represented by a mitten or glove, and a pot with handle takes the place of Oklahoma (with the panhandle region of the state filled with a literal handle). Others, however, are more creative. Few would have likely pictured Texas as a dog or Alaska as a bear with a jet pack and laser gun. There are several incredibly simple objects filling some states. Kentucky is filled by a cloud, which conceivably could have been used for any state, and Wyoming, one of the square states, is simply an envelope. There are three pairs of states that are related. Georgia and Missouri each contain an image of the other, drawing attention to their similar shapes, North and South Dakota are the top and bottom halves of an amp, and Alabama and Mississippi are moai facing in opposite directions.
Colorado contains what looks like a Wikipedia article. A close-up of the fake article is provided . The following references are made in the Colorado article:
- The pronunciation is not that for Colorado, but for Eyjafjallajökull, a volcano in Iceland that erupted in April 2010.
- The way it has a demilitarized zone towards Wyoming resembles North Korea and South Korea. As the two US states are both almost square and borders each other in a way similar to Korea this makes sense. Although here it is the southern part (Colorado) that sound like North Korea.
- Eleven dimensions refers to string theory.
- A wormhole is a theoretical relative of the black hole. This is a reference to the television series Stargate SG-1 where a device capable of creating wormholes is located in the Cheyenne Mountain nuclear bunker in Colorado.
- A Horcrux is a type of magical object in the world of Harry Potter.
- The radiation zones around Longmont are caused by radioactive contamination from the Rocky Flats Plant.
The title text makes fun of Florida which is sometimes called "The penis of America". Obviously, this penis is somewhat flaccid (not erect). The use of the word "state" is a pun, as it means some particular condition (flaccid state) as well as a political entity (The State of Florida).
- The United Shapes
- A map of things states are shaped like
- [Each state has some item wedged to stay inside its borders]
- Alabama: A Moai head facing east.
- Alaska: Winnie the Pooh with a jetpack and a ray gun.
- Arizona: A refrigerated shelf containing milk, bread, and pastries.
- Arkansas: A measuring cup.
- California: A vacuum.
- Colorado: The wiki article on Colorado.
- Connecticut: A train conductor's hat.
- Delaware: A meerkat.
- Florida: An eggplant.
- Georgia: Missouri.
- Hawaii: A snowball.
- Idaho: A garden gnome, sitting down.
- Illinois: A gangster with a guitar case, upside down.
- Indiana: The brush of a paintbrush.
- Iowa: A tomato, lettuce, cold cut and cheese sandwich.
- Kansas: A stand-up piano.
- Kentucky: A cloud.
- Louisiana: A boot with some gum stuck to the bottom of it.
- Maine: A Vulcan salute.
- Maryland: A wolf howling to the moon, upside down.
- Massachusetts: An elephant, being ridden by a man, carrying tea.
- Michigan: A mitten for the lower portion, an eagle for the UP.
- Minnesota: $160 in $20 USD bills.
- Mississippi: A moai head facing west.
- Missouri: Georgia.
- Montana: One half of a muffin.
- Nebraska: A blue VW type 2 with mattresses sticking out the back.
- Nevada: A clothes iron.
- New Hampshire: A tall brick factory building.
- New Jersey: A bent-over old person.
- New Mexico: A liquid container labeled for something of unusual and silly danger.
- New York: A hybrid transmission with standard manual-style gears and a torque converter sliced in half.
- North Carolina: A bouquet of flowers.
- North Dakota: The top half of an amp.
- Ohio: Underwear (Briefs).
- Oklahoma: A covered pot, dripping with boil-over.
- Oregon: A locomotive.
- Pennsylvania: A very thick book with a bookmark.
- Rhode Island: The bow half of a boat's hull.
- South Carolina: A slice of pizza.
- South Dakota: The bottom half of an amp.
- Tennessee: A number of children's books, placed in a slightly askew pile.
- Texas: A dog sitting in a bowl.
- Utah: An oven.
- Vermont: A microscope, upside down.
- Virginia: A stegosaurus.
- Washington: A whale.
- West Virginia: A frog.
- Wisconsin: A skull.
- Wyoming: An envelope.