Main Page

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
(Difference between revisions)
Jump to: navigation, search
(update comment for calculation of number of explanations)
(New here?)
(26 intermediate revisions by 5 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
__NOTOC__
+
__NOTOC__{{DISPLAYTITLE:explain xkcd}}
{{DISPLAYTITLE:explain xkcd}}
+
 
+
 
<center>
 
<center>
<big>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''</big>
+
<font size=5px>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''</font>
  
We have collaboratively explained [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9}}''' xkcd comics]],
+
We have an explanation for all [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics|R}}-13}}''' xkcd comics]],
<!-- Note: the -9 in the calculation above is to discount subcategories (there are 8 of them as of 2013-02-27),
+
<!-- Note: the -13 in the calculation above is to discount subcategories (there are 8 of them as of 2013-02-27),
     as well as [[List of all comics]], which is obviously not a comic page. -->
+
     as well as [[List of all comics]] and the pages it has been split across, which are obviously not comic pages.
and only {{#expr:{{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9)}}
+
    The extra one difference corresponds to 404, which is not really a comic, even though we've categorised it so.
({{#expr: ({{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9)) / ({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9) * 100 round 0}}%)
+
-->
remain. '''[[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Add yours]]''' while there's a chance!
+
and only {{PAGESINCAT:Incomplete articles|R}}
 +
({{#expr: {{PAGESINCAT:Incomplete articles|R}} / {{LATESTCOMIC}} * 100 round 0}}%) [[:Category:Incomplete articles|are incomplete]]. Help us finish them!
 
</center>
 
</center>
 
 
== Latest comic ==
 
== Latest comic ==
 
 
<div style="border:1px solid grey; background:#eee; padding:1em;">
 
<div style="border:1px solid grey; background:#eee; padding:1em;">
 
<span style="float:right;">[[{{LATESTCOMIC}}|'''Go to this comic explanation''']]</span>
 
<span style="float:right;">[[{{LATESTCOMIC}}|'''Go to this comic explanation''']]</span>
Line 26: Line 23:
  
 
== New here? ==
 
== New 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.
+
<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>
 +
 
 +
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.
 +
 
 +
*Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at [[Explain XKCD:Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
  
* 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.
+
*[[List of all comics]] contains a table of most recent xkcd comics and links to the rest, and the corresponding explanations. There are incomplete explanations listed [[:Category:Incomplete articles|here]]. Feel free to help out by expanding them!
  
* Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at [[Explain XKCD:Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
+
*If you see that a new comic hasn't been explained yet, you can create it: '''[[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Here's how]]'''.
  
* [[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]].
+
*We sell advertising space to pay for our server costs. To learn more, go [[explain xkcd:Advertise Here|here]].
  
 
== 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.
+
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 —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.
+
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 [[explain xkcd:Administrators|admin]], post a message to the [[explain xkcd:Community portal/Admin requests|Admin requests]] board.
  
 
[[Category:Root category]]
 
[[Category:Root category]]

Revision as of 03:05, 4 September 2013

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!

We have an explanation for all 1 xkcd comics, and only 0 (0%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Contrails
Astronomy (or "astrology" in British English) is the study of ...
Title text: Astronomy (or "astrology" in British English) is the study of ...

Explanation

Contrails (short for "condensation trails") are trails of vapor produced by aircraft exhaust, trailing the airplane. They are formed from water condensing on jet fuel exhaust particles, some impurities of which provide bases for ice crystals to accumulate on. Some can dissipate in minutes, but others can last for hours or even longer, depending on the temperature and wind conditions at that particular altitude. The chemtrail conspiracy theory claims that contrails lasting unusually long are actually chemical or biological agents sprayed into the air for sinister purposes. There is no evidence such a thing is happening.

Here, White Hat, presumably speaking with a British accent, notices that there are a lot of contrails in the air. Cueball corrects him, saying that in American English, contrails are called chemtrails, which is, of course, incorrect.

This is another comic in the My Hobby series. Many of these comics involve Cueball giving misleading information about pedantic terms, such as 1405: Meteor. Another 966:_Jet_Fuel mentions chemtrails as being "full of [] mind-control agents".

The title text implies that astronomy and astrology are synonymous, with astrology being the term used in British English. However, this is incorrect. Though both involve studying celestial objects, astrology is the pseudoscience that interprets positions of celestial objects as having influence on human affairs, while astronomy is the scientific study of celestial objects on a universal scale.

The joke is that British English and American English often call the same object with different terms, and one can often learn new words for a simple thing. This, however is not the case in this comic; contrail and chemtrail do not refer to the same thing, the latter being only a subtype of the former. And it being xkcd, we can assume that chemtrail is a term that is frowned upon. Thus the comic states it as misinformation.

The title text includes a similar situation: astronomy is the scientific study of things in outer space, like stars, planets, and galaxies. Astrology, however, is a system that infers one’s personalities and characteristics from zodiacs of her date of birth, which is a constellation assigned to a period of time in a year. The same system can also derive predictions about future, especially that of a relationship. Some would argue that astrology shows statistical values, but it is hardly science by the standards of scientific study.

Given that the "American English" version is the conspiracy theory one for contrails/chemtrails, while who confuses astronomy and astrology is not fully clear, it is possible that the rest of the explanation of the astronomy vs astrology text would describe astrology. In that case, this could be a comment on the educational status in the US vs the UK, where conspiracy theories and superstition (astrology) are much more prominent in the US than in the UK (or Europe in general).

Transcript

[Cueball and a White Hat are walking. White Hat is looking up to the sky while Cueball, walking in front holds out one arm towards him.]
White Hat: Lots of contrails today.
Cueball: Oh, you must be from the UK. In American English it's "Chemtrail".
[Caption under the panel]
My hobby: Spreading linguistic misinformation


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 table of most recent xkcd comics and links to the rest, and the corresponding explanations. There are incomplete explanations listed here. Feel free to help out by expanding them!
  • If you see that a new comic hasn't been explained yet, you can create it: Here's how.
  • We sell advertising space to pay for our server costs. To learn more, go here.

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, post a message to the Admin requests board.

Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Navigation
Tools

It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

Want to advertise with us, or donate to us with Paypal?