Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
This comic is based on the situation that when someone's eyelash falls out, that person can make a wish on it. This comic appears to be a page from the fictitious Wish Bureau in charge of granting said wishes. And of course the Wisher is Black Hat and he has quite a few wishes, most of them based on the previous wish. A common trope in fiction is that wishing for more wishes is prohibited and for many of his wishes Black Hat attempts to circumvent that.
February 12's wish seems to be a reference to the unlimited breadsticks offered at Olive Garden.
February 27's wish relates to a common practice especially in tweets or other short length mediums where full length specific HTML addresses such as wwww.somewhere.com/articles/specificdate/the page.htm would not be feasible. So a more compressed but often less sensical string of seemingly random characters is used which links to a link of the full text address. This creates some problems for people who are security or privacy conscious and prefer to be informed before hand where they will be traveling on the Internet. It is analogous to a twisting set of watersides. Some water parks label where they end up and what style of ride it is (the doom tunnel vs the kiddy kicker). Imagine however your wanting a nice ride ending in shallow water. You could not wily predict the unlabelled ride as it twists out of sight if the label is gibberish. You might end up thinking your attempt to go down the Bay Watch slide might end you up in Pamella's porn pool, which could be well over your head.
March 7's wish is a reference to Nate Silver, who is a former writer for Baseball Prospectus working on predicting baseball players' stats and now writes for Five Thirty Eight in which he predicts the outcome of elections based on polling data.
And April 22's wish is a reference to the cartoon and video game, Pokémon. A Pokéball can be thrown at a Pokémon (or in this case, an annoying pet) to capture it and seal it indefinitely.
|Eyelash Wish Log
||Whish bureau ID#:
||That wishing on eyelashes worked
||Revocation of rules prohibiting unlimited wishes
||A finite but arbitrarily large number of wishes
||The power to dictate the rules governing wishes
||That wish-granting entities be required to interpret wishes in|
accordance with the intent of the wisher
||That wish-granting entities be incapable of impatience
||Veto power over others' wishes
||Veto power over others' wishes and all congressional legislation
||The power to override any veto
||The power to see where any shortened URL goes without clicking
||The power to control the direction news anchors are looking while they talk
||The power to introduce arbitrary error into Nate Silver's predictions
||A house of stairs
||A universe which is a replica of this one sans rules against meta-wishes
||Free transportation to and from that universe
||A clear explanation of how wish rules are structured and enforced
||The power to banish people into the TV show they're talking about
||Veto power over clocks
||A Pokéball that works on strangers' pets
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This is one of my favorite xkcd comics ever. I can't stop laughing. #TEBOWTIME 17:14, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
- i know right?? feb. 27th is by far the best... Douglasadams472 (talk) 03:12, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
- It seems to me that February 6th's wish implies that, as a result of the previous day's wish, he now has an absurdly large number of eyelashes. Opinions? Bobidou23 (talk) 02:58, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
- i thought they were absurdly long eyelashes, like his wings in infinite wings (sry cant make links) 126.96.36.199 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
- I thought of Black Hat having a crazy number of eyelashes, but not attached to him, so he can't pull them for a wish. They're just in a pile on the floor or something. 188.8.131.52 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
I feel that each wish should be thoroughly explained, or at least briefly mentioned. 184.108.40.206 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
- +1, Marking this 'incomplete' Spongebog (talk) 20:09, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
March 15 may reference a painting of M.C. Escher so named "House of Stairs" 220.127.116.11 08:19, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
- "Revocation of rules" and especially "meta-wishes" must be references to "Typeless Wish" scene in Göedel, Escher, Bach. "banish people into the TV show they're talking about" might(?) also reference the plot there where Achiles and Tortoise enter Escher's Convex and Concave painting after discussing it. Surpsingly to me, that episode's only Escher illustrations are Concave and Convex & Reptiles; House of Stairs does not appear anywhere in the book. Cben (talk) 00:48, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
What did "zero wishes" mean? 18.104.22.168 18:16, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
- Often when configuring software (especially regarding limits) 0 is taken to mean infinite, for example in a mail server's config file there may be an entry that looks like "Max number of connections: (enter 0 for unlimited)" 22.214.171.124 19:24, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
- My take on "zero wishes", is that it is a bit of black hattery. He wants to abuse any system he finds, by asking for zero wishes he wants to cause the eyelash wish system to crash in some way. Its not an attempt to gain more wishes, its an attempt to bring the wish system down.126.96.36.199 21:16, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
My take on the title text was that Black Hat wanted to alter friction for his own amusement, rather than to affect the outcome of a sporting event as the current explanation seems to lean towards.--Pudder (talk) 12:32, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. It is very in-characcter for Black Hat to simply want to mess with people, and would be very out of place to care about such trivialities as points. Ima change the mouseover description now.188.8.131.52 16:18, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
I took the April 22 wish to mean that Black Hat would have a Pokeball that works in real life, allowing him to steal the pets of random strangers on the street.184.108.40.206 23:34, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
- "Hey! No stealing another Trainer's Pokémon!". Also, talk of changing friction coefficients reminds me of the GTA "Carmageddon" videos, where the wheel friction on all the cars was set to -1, leading to most of the game being filled with cars flying through the air and exploding. -Pennpenn 220.127.116.11 23:30, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
- I may have used my Masterball trying to catch another trainer's Pokemon. I cracked up after it failed, but now I have no Masterball. :( 18.104.22.168 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
The first wish is an example of bootstrapping. I love it. 22.214.171.124 23:31, 14 February 2016 (UTC)
I think the title text is a reference to the comics where he talks about Pole vaul's record involving that some records where obtain because they were nearest of equators126.96.36.199 11:22, 20 September 2016 (UTC)