755: Interdisciplinary

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Replace the pendulums with history students and you'll qualify for a grant!
Title text: Replace the pendulums with history students and you'll qualify for a grant!

[edit] Explanation

An "interdisciplinary program" is a program at a school or university that involves students from multiple disciplines, or fields of study. Here, this comics lampoons the concept by envisioning an oddball exercise involving physics students and psychology students. Strictly speaking, this could be categorized as an interdisciplinary program. Further, the study of pendulums is common in physics courses, and the concept of fear arises in psychology, thus the joint effort can be supposedly said to unify both subjects. In addition, the pendulum-like motion of objects (such as a gold pocketwatch on a chain) is stereotypically used in portals of psychology as a device for hypnotism.

The ripping of Psychology, History, and English majors is a common theme in various xkcd comics.

The image text suggests that replacing the pendulums with history students would guarantee funding of a grant, perhaps because of the increased number of disciplines involved. In reality it of course serves to increase injuries among students in majors that the author does not approve of. Interestingly, this is apparently being said by the grant funders rather than the professor.

[edit] Transcript

[In the foreground, 2 men and 1 woman are standing.]
Cueball: This is an interdisciplinary program in which Physics students try to hit Psychology students with pendulums.
Megan: Promising!
[In the background, a woman stands on a platform and releases a pendulum hanging from the ceiling that swings toward a man who is running away.]
Psychology student: AAAAAAA!
My professors had an ongoing competition to get the weirdest thing taken seriously under the label "interdisciplinary program".

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It all came apart when the biology department's killer cuttlefish murdered the committee. -Pennpenn 00:12, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
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