Main Page

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
(Difference between revisions)
Jump to: navigation, search
(Include List of unexplained comics in remaining calculation)
(New here?)
(12 intermediate revisions by 5 users not shown)
Line 3: Line 3:
 
<font size=5px>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''</font>
 
<font size=5px>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''</font>
  
We have collaboratively explained [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics|R}}-9}}''' xkcd comics]],
+
We have an explanation for all [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics|R}}-13}}''' xkcd comics]],
<!-- Note: the -10 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]] and [[List of unexplained 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|R}}-10)}}
+
    The extra one difference corresponds to 404, which is not really a comic, even though we've categorised it so.
({{#expr: ({{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics|R}}-10)) / {{LATESTCOMIC}} * 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 ==
Line 24: Line 25:
 
<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>
 
<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.
+
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¢!
+
*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 missing explanations are listed [[List of unexplained comics|here]]. Feel free to help out by creating them! '''[[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Here's how]]'''.
+
*[[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!
 +
 
 +
*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]]'''.
 +
 
 +
*We sell advertising space to pay for our server costs. To learn more, go [[explain xkcd:Advertise Here|here]].
  
 
== Rules ==
 
== Rules ==
Line 37: Line 42:
 
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 [[explain xkcd:Administrators|admin]], post a message to the [[explain xkcd:Community portal/Admin requests|Admin requests]] board.
 
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 1492 xkcd comics, and only 0 (0%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Dress Color
This white-balance illusion hit so hard because it felt like someone had been playing through the Monty Hall scenario and opened their chosen door, only to find there was unexpectedly disagreement over whether the thing they'd revealed was a goat or a car.
Title text: This white-balance illusion hit so hard because it felt like someone had been playing through the Monty Hall scenario and opened their chosen door, only to find there was unexpectedly disagreement over whether the thing they'd revealed was a goat or a car.

Explanation

This comic shows two drawings of Megan wearing the same dress, but with different background colors. The two drawings are split with a narrow vertical portion of an image from the web.

The comic strip refers to a dress whose image went viral on Tumblr only hours before the strip was posted and soon showed up also on Reddit, Twitter, Wired and on The New York Times.

Due to the dress's particular color scheme and the exposure of the photo, it forms an optical illusion causing viewers to disagree on what color the dress actually seems to be. The xkcd strip sandwiches a cropped segment of the photographed dress between two drawings which use the colors from the image against different backgrounds, leading the eye to interpret the white balance differently, demonstrating how the dress can appear different colors depending on context and the viewer's previous experiences.

Both dresses have exactly the same colors actually:

  • RGB 113, 94, 58 (orange)
  • RGB 135, 154, 189 (blue)

Below is an illustration demonstrating that the "colors" of the dresses are the same by connecting them with two lines with the above mentioned colors (all the way!):

dress.png

Similar types of illusions can be seen at Wikipedia's optical illusion page and for instance here at echalk (the latter page requires Flash®player).

This image has sparked surprisingly heated debate in many internet communities. A select few individuals may have prior experience with optical illusions of this ilk, but because this particular image went viral -- it got heavy exposure over such a short amount of time -- it reached millions of people who aren't so familiar with these sorts of mind tricks. To the uninitiated, the color of the dress seems immediately obvious; when others cannot see it their way, it can be a surreal (even uncomfortable) experience.

The title text refers to the game show Let's Make a Deal, hosted by Monty Hall, which was famous for having contestants pick among several doors which either had a real prize (for example, a car) or a joke prize (for example, a goat). Randall states that people find the dress color issue just as baffling as if upon opening the chosen door no one can agree if the item behind the door is a car or a goat. This is a reference to what has become known as the "Monty Hall problem:" if there are two goats and a prize behind three doors, the contestant has chosen a door, and one of the unchosen doors is opened to reveal a goat, should the contestant change his/her choice? Statistically, the answer is yes, but many people find this counterintuitive; discussion of this problem in Parade magazine touched off public outrage similar to the viral dress image.

Randall is presumably pointing out how ridiculous it is for people who don't understand the underlying science to become so adamant in defending their beliefs. A spoof of the "Monty Hall problem" previously appeared in 1282: Monty Hall, where Beret Guy decides to take the goat.

Transcript

[Two images of Megan in a dress on each side of an image of a close up of a real dress with the same colors. On the left, she is coloured blue on a dark blue background, while on the right, she is yellow against a buttercup background. Her dress is the same colour in each panel - the same as the real one in-between.]

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 or Bitcoin?