748: Worst-Case Scenario

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search
Worst-Case Scenario
To get serious analyses of hurricanes and oil slicks, see Jeff Masters' blog. To get serious discussions of worst-case scenario thinking, see Bruce Schneier's blog. To get enough Vitamin D, don't read any blogs and go outside instead.
Title text: To get serious analyses of hurricanes and oil slicks, see Jeff Masters' blog. To get serious discussions of worst-case scenario thinking, see Bruce Schneier's blog. To get enough Vitamin D, don't read any blogs and go outside instead.

[edit] Explanation

This comic is a reference to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that happened in the Gulf of Mexico. Top kill is a reference to a procedure used as a means of regaining control over an oil well that is experiencing an uncontrolled eruption of crude oil. Michael Bay is an American film director known for his over the top special effects and plots.

This comic is a commentary on the state of broadcast journalism and how they are always looking for speculation and voyeurism rather than facts. That they ask if Mr. Bay's proposed firestorm will have any effect on the then-upcoming congressional elections just serves to underline how little the journalists actually care about the damage that has actually been caused.

The title text has a reference to Jeff Masters, who is director of meteorology at Weather Underground and Bruce Schneier, who is a world-renowned security expert and has a blog and several books. Vitamin D is a vitamin that the human body can synthesize with the aid of direct sunlight; the joke, "go play outside", is Randall accusing us of all being shut-ins.

[edit] Transcript

[Two reporters, Cueball and Ponytail, point microphones toward a scientist, Megan.]
Ponytail: Dr. Scientist! The "Top Kill" has failed! What's the worse-case scenario for the gulf?
Megan: The worst-case scenario is what's happening now.
Ponytail, out of frame: Yes, but is there any way it could get worse?
Megan: Sure, but there are real disasters happening now, and you're substituting speculation and voyeurism for the investigative journalism we—
Ponytail: Screw this! Let's ask Michael Bay.
[The reporters, now joined by a camerawoman, approach Michael Bay with their microphones.]
Michael Bay: The worst case? A hurricane tracks into the gulf, whipping the surface of the spill into a frothy mix of oil and air.
[An alligator-filled conflagration atop a massive ocean wave approaches land.]
Michael Bay, narrating: As the storm surges through the bayous, sparking power lines ignite the fuel air mixture into a roiling, alligator-filled wall of flame.
[A map of the gulf coast of Louisiana and southwest Mississippi is depicted with the current routes of the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers highlighted. An arrow indicating a new primary flow of the Mississippi's waters into the Atchafalaya points toward southern Louisiana.]
Michael Bay, narrating: Plowing northward, the fire hurricane destroys the Old River Control Structure in Concordia, rerouting the Mississippi westward and sweeping Morgan City and the heart of cajun country out to sea.
Michael Bay: James Carville emerges from the conflagration riding a burning alligator...
Ponytail, out of frame: Will this affect the midterm elections?
Michael Bay: Massively.
comment.png add a comment!

Discussion

"frothy mix" is a reference to Rick Santorum. 75.60.27.102 03:17, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

The comic was published on June 2, 2010. I strongly doubt it was a reference to Santorum. 166.182.3.247 17:36, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
The original "frothy mix" incident occurred in 2003 and came back into the news during Rick Santorum's Presidential primary campaign in 2013. So frothy mix could still be a reference to that incident. Dawfedora (talk) 21:40, 20 July 2013 (UTC)
Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Navigation
Toolbox

It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

Want to advertise with us, or donate to us with Paypal or Bitcoin?