260: The Glass Necklace

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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The Glass Necklace
Well, for some value of 'actually work'.
Title text: Well, for some value of 'actually work'.


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 represents an answer to the logical question prompted by this comic, which is "Would this actually work?". The implied answer is "Yes", but only "for some value of 'actually work'".

This is a play on the phrase "for some value of x", used frequently in physics or mathematics when it's not necessary (nor easy, maybe not even possible) to calculate a suitable value of x. For example, if you supply energy to a Flux Capacitor, could it turn a DeLorean into a time machine? The answer is yes, if you have sufficient energy (the 'x', in this case).

Any sensible person would take Randall's response to mean it most likely "doesn't actually work".


[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.]
[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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All I gave my girl was a pearl necklace... 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. -- 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)