260: The Glass Necklace

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 02:26, 7 November 2013 by 173.245.53.145 (talk) (Added explanation of title text)
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The Glass Necklace
Well, for some value of 'actually work'.
Title text: Well, for some value of 'actually work'.

Explanation

The heat from a lightning strike can fuse sand into glass. When this occurs in nature hollow tubes called fulgurites are formed. Cueball uses this knowledge and a spark of handiness and ingenuity to create an entirely home made glass necklace for Megan. Here is some inspiration to do it yourself.

The title text is a pun on the phrase "for some value of x", used frequently in mathematics when it's not necessary (nor easy, maybe not even possible) to calculate the exact value of x. Think, for example, that x is the exact total number of mosquitoes on Earth. Now, "for some value of x", that condition holds, however nobody is willing to calculate that exact value.

In quite the same fashion, the title text states that this method of creating a fulgurite actually works, but that's "for some value of 'actually works'". This somehow implies that the phrase "actually works" has to be taken in some weirdly bizarrely obscure interpretation which Randall is not willing to describe exactly. Any sensible person would take this to mean "doesn't actually work".

Transcript

[Cueball draws a diagram of a cylinder with electrical terminals on either end.]
[Cueball is shown at a workbench making the device in a workshop.]
[Cueball kneels down on a beach and scoops up sand.]
[Cueball pours the sand into the cylinder.]
[Cueball ties a spool of string to one end of the cylinder, and ties a deflated weather balloon to the other end.]
[The weather balloon is inflated, and raised up into the clouds as thunder rumbles.]
[The end of the string is tied to a stake in the ground, and lightning is flashing in the background.]
[Lightning hits the balloon, travels through the cylinder, and fuses it's contents.]
Later
[Cueball follows the string to find the cylinder.]
[Cueball detaches it, opens it, removes a solidified piece, and admires the piece.]
[Cueball takes the stone to a jeweller.]
[White Hat examines, grinds, and sets the now-shining stone in a necklace.]
[Cueball approves of the final result.]
[Cueball gives it to Megan.]


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Discussion

All I gave my girl was a pearl necklace... 184.66.160.91 04:37, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

I believe the supposed "number 7565" may actually be a sound effect with poor kerning: "TSSS", the crackling of the electricity traveling down the line. Worth considering, I think. --108.162.237.100 04:12, 8 January 2018 (UTC)

It is "TSSS". Why a bolt of lightning would make the sound ”7565" is beyond me. But I've added a trivia section. Herobrine (talk) 12:26, 5 March 2018 (UTC)