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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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<big>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''
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We already have [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9}}''' comic explanations]]!</big>
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(But there are still {{#expr:{{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9)}} to go. Come and [[List of all comics|add yours]]!)
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We have collaboratively explained [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9}}''' xkcd comics]],
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and only {{#expr:{{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9)}}
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({{#expr: ({{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9)) / {{LATESTCOMIC}} * 100 round 0}}%)
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remain. '''[[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Add yours]]''' while there's a chance!
 
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<span style="float:right;">[[{{LATESTCOMIC}}|'''Go to this comic explanation''']]</span>
 
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<div style="float:right; margin: 0 0 1em 1em">{{Special:ContributionScores/10/7/nosort,notools}}<div style="font-size:0.85em; width:25em; font-style:italic">[[Special:ContributionScores|Lots of people]] contribute to make this wiki a success. Many of the recent contributors, listed above, have just joined. You can do it too! Create your account [[Special:UserLogin/signup|here]].</div></div>
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You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at [[explain xkcd]]. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki!  We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between.  If it is referenced in an [[xkcd]] web comic, it should be here.
 
You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at [[explain xkcd]]. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki!  We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between.  If it is referenced in an [[xkcd]] web comic, it should be here.
  
 
* If you're new to wikis like this, take a look at these help pages describing [[mw:Help:Navigation|how to navigate]] the wiki, and [[mw:Help:Editing pages|how to edit]] pages.
 
* If you're new to wikis like this, take a look at these help pages describing [[mw:Help:Navigation|how to navigate]] the wiki, and [[mw:Help:Editing pages|how to edit]] pages.
  
* Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at [[Explain XKCD:Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
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* Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at [[Explain XKCD:Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
  
* [[List of all comics]] contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links ([[like this]]) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them!
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* [[List of all comics]] contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links ([[like this]]) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them! '''[[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Here's how]]'''.
  
 
== Rules ==
 
== Rules ==
Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations, feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.
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Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.
  
 
If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.
 
If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.
  
Please only submit material directly related to&mdash;and helping everyone better understand&mdash;xkcd... and of course ''only'' submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.)  Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users posting such are at risk of being blocked.
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Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course ''only'' submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.)  Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.
  
 
If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is [[Special:ListUsers/sysop|here]].
 
If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is [[Special:ListUsers/sysop|here]].
 
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Revision as of 21:16, 24 March 2013

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!

We have collaboratively explained Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character ",". xkcd comics, and only Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character ",". (Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character ",".%) remain. Add yours while there's a chance!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Orb Hammer
Ok, but make sure to get lots of pieces of rock, because later we'll decide to stay in a room on our regular orb and watch hammers hold themselves and hit rocks for us, and they won't bring us very many rocks.
Title text: Ok, but make sure to get lots of pieces of rock, because later we'll decide to stay in a room on our regular orb and watch hammers hold themselves and hit rocks for us, and they won't bring us very many rocks.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Added title text explain first draft.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

This conversation suggests doing something that sounds absurd and not useful at all for the daily activities of a regular human. Yet it refers in simple English words to the Apollo human spaceflight program which sent people to the Moon to bring geological samples back to Earth to study them. The use of such simple language contributes to the effect of the suggestion sounding absurd, even though the numerous side-products of the effort to realize the project have in fact had many benefits for regular people.

No person has been on the Moon since the final Apollo mission, Apollo 17, in 1972. Occasional lunar rocks can still be collected on Earth. They are formed when a celestial body impacts the Moon's surface, forming a crater and launching small rocks into the space. Some of them will eventually reach Earth, see lunar meteorites.

The title text refers to the current Mars missions (Pathfinder, Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity) where, instead of traveling to Mars ourselves, we stay on Earth ("our regular orb") and control rovers by remote. The rovers collect geological samples and test them for life, but have no way to send the samples back to Earth.

The idea of using simple language in highly technical fields began with 547: Simple and was revisited in 722: Computer Problems and 1133: Up Goer Five. It should be noted however, that in this case Randall didn't use the 1000 most basic words in the English language, because that list does not contain the words "glowing" or "orb," but does contain "moon," "earth," "bright," and "ball."

The idea of using simple language to create humour highlighting the absurdity of normal activities has previously been explored with 203: Hallucinations.

Transcript

Person 1: You know that glowing orb in the night sky?

Person 2: Yeah?

Person 1: Let's go hit it with a hammer until little pieces break off, then bring the pieces back and lock them in a closet.

Person 2: Sounds good!

Text under panel: The Apollo program was weird.



Is this out of date? Clicking here will fix that.

New here?

Last 7 days (Top 10)

Lots of people contribute to make this wiki a success. Many of the recent contributors, listed above, have just joined. You can do it too! Create your account here.

You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at explain xkcd. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki! We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between. If it is referenced in an xkcd web comic, it should be here.

  • List of all comics contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links (like this) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them! Here's how.

Rules

Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.

If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.

Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course only submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.) Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.

If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is here.

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