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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Revision as of 11:28, 21 March 2013

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!

We have collaboratively explained 5 xkcd comics, and only 1800 (100%) remain. Add yours while there's a chance!

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Unpublished Discoveries
If you must know, I'm currently researching how to save this emailed tax form as a regular PDF so I can print and sign it. Our work isn't a lock for the Nobel, but we're in the running.
Title text: If you must know, I'm currently researching how to save this emailed tax form as a regular PDF so I can print and sign it. Our work isn't a lock for the Nobel, but we're in the running.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Fine description but not explanation of why this is so and why the comic is funny. Also more on problems with tax forms, and the specific issue mentioned about needing to print and sign something, which was supposed to be easy, but may be difficult purely because it is about tax...

This is one of those comics where the reading of the title text is mandatory for understanding the entire pun -- rather than giving an additional joke -- because it reveals what's on the computer screen.

Ponytail walks up to Megan, and makes the observation that when a scientific discovery is made, it then takes a while to publish it. She then goes on to note that there are probably research teams making "Nobel-Prize-worthy" discoveries that have simply not been published. She is obviously curious if Megan is working on something like this, and tries to see what Megan is working on. When that fails, she asks Megan what she is doing, who tells her that she isn't the one working on a project like this and to "Go bother someone else."

In the title text, Megan reveals that she is trying to convert an emailed tax form to a PDF. She sarcastically states that this is in the running for a Nobel Prize, perhaps because she considers it an incredibly difficult task. That this is so is officially acknowledged by IRS as they themselves notices that saving and printing their Online tax forms could be tricky.

Quote:

Fill-In Tax Forms
The IRS also offers Free Fillable Forms which allow you to save (and print) the information you’ve typed in online. The fill-in tax forms also require Adobe Acrobat Reader software. To save the data you’ve filled in, use the Adobe Reader’s “Save” function (not the web browser’s “Save” function). ...

The months and weeks before April 15th (this comic was released March 1st), is the "tax season" in the US so Americans are in the process of completing their tax forms, which is why this comic is timely.

In 1067: Pressures Ponytail is also interested in what Megan is finding out, although at least in that comic there was a reason to believe Megan could have been on to something...

Transcript

[Ponytail walks up to Megan, who is sitting in an office chair at a desk using her laptop.]
Ponytail: When you make a big scientific discovery, it takes a while to get it published.
Ponytail: Right?
Megan: Mm hmm.
[Zoom-in on Ponytail.]
Ponytail: So there are probably several research teams out there who are sitting on Nobel-Prize-worthy discoveries, but haven't told the rest of us yet.
Megan (off-panel): Makes sense.
[Ponytail leans over the desk, trying to see Megan's laptop screen from behind it.]
[Ponytail leans further. Megan pulls the screen down so Ponytail cannot see it.]
Ponytail: Sooo... What are you working on?
Megan: It isn't me!
Ponytail: I promise I won't tell.
Megan: Shoo! Go bother someone else.


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