Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Title text: "Grandpa, what was it like in the Before time?" "It was hell. People went around saying glass was a slow-flowing liquid. You folks these days don't know how good you have it."
List of common misconceptions
This is a reference to the situation people often find themselves where they think they know something about a subject but then they are asked to provide deeper insight and find themselves faced with a lack of explanation. Also see logical fallacy ad populum.
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- [Miss Lenhart is standing in front of a board, holding a laptop computer and elocuting.]
- Miss Lenhart: Okay, middle school students, it's the first Tuesday in February.
- Miss Lenhart: This means that by law and custom, we must spend the morning reading through the Wikipedia article List of Common Misconceptions, so you can spend the rest of your lives being a little less wrong.
- Miss Lenhart: The guests at every party you'll ever attend thank us in advance.
- Note: The xkcd forums contain a great discussion of this comic.
When I took Calculus-based Physics in college (2003), my professor taught us that glass was an "extremely viscous fluid." When was glass reclassified as an amorphous solid?
Your professor was simply incorrect. Glass never was, and has never been, an "extremely viscous fluid". Molten glass is a "molecular liquid" where the viscosity depends on temperature. 188.8.131.52 22:14, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
"Extremely viscous fluid" is just another way to describe an amorphous solid (as opposed to the crystallic solid). There is no sharp cut-off between these states. Just at some point it starts feeling solid enough, so it gets called a solid. See the Pitch Drop Experiment  for an example (though glass is obviously harder than pitch). 184.108.40.206 19:21, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
I had a chemistry professor in 2011 tell me that glass flowed, even citing old buildings with thicker glass on the bottom. I tried to argue against it, but I was interrupting a lecture. I discussed it with some students later, though. 220.127.116.11
00:49, 1 February 2014 (UTC)