Title text: Funding was quickly restored to the NHC and the APA was taken back off hurricane forecast duty.
The reference to Piaget Stage 5 in the comic is a reference to Piaget's Stages of Development in which stage 5 is where (to quote Wikipedia and Gruber, H.E.; Voneche, J.J.. eds. The essential Piaget.)
- "Infants become intrigued by the many properties of objects and by the many things they can make happen to objects; they experiment with new behavior." This stage is associated primarily with the discovery of new means to meet goals. Piaget describes the child at this juncture as the "young scientist," conducting pseudo-experiments to discover new methods of meeting challenges."
Which is exactly what the comic is describing in sustained interest in objects and their properties and the handy "?"s around the picture behind the newscaster in this comic.
So, with all that out of the way, this comic is a pun on the use of the word "development" to classify hurricanes which also uses categories from 1 to 5 (Piaget's Stages go from 1-6). The comic is making a joke that if the APA were on hurricane forecast duty instead of the NHC, that the hurricanes would be classified with Piaget's stages instead of categories.
- [Cueball is a news anchor at desk reporting. Behind him to the left is a black screen showing a white icon of a hurricane moving over the black ocean towards a thin sliver of white land in the top left corner. There are three white question-marks around the hurricane.]
- Cueball: Fear turned to confusion today as Hurricane Rina developed to Piaget stage 5, with sustained interests in objects and their properties.
- Hurricane: ? ? ?
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