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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!

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Go to this comic explanation

Evangelism
The wars between the "OTHER PRIMATES OPEN THEM FROM THE SMALL END" faction versus the "BUT THE LITTLE BIT OF BANANA AT THE SMALL END IS GROSS" faction consumed Europe for generations.
Title text: The wars between the "OTHER PRIMATES OPEN THEM FROM THE SMALL END" faction versus the "BUT THE LITTLE BIT OF BANANA AT THE SMALL END IS GROSS" faction consumed Europe for generations.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a 2 METER FAHRENHEIT LOVER - Please change this comment when editing this page. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.

Evangelism, in Christianity, is the commitment to or act of publicly preaching of the Gospel with the intention of spreading the message and teachings of Jesus Christ. Many people are frustrated with door to door evangelism like Jehovah's Witnesses, for whom evangelism is a big part of their religion, but the frustration goes in general to all kind of missionaries.

But in this comic evangelism is redefined as any zealous advocacy for a cause, religious or not. So in this comic Randall presents a line plot where causes are listed in order from advocates who are least intense to most intense going left to right, and the joke is that the Religious proselytizers are much less intense than those that advocate for opening bananas from the other end...

Religious proselytizers

Proselytism are, of the groups on this list, most known for intense evangelism in popular culture, yet Randall contrasts them in this strip with four other groups which he finds to be even more intense in their "evangelism".

People who want the US to switch to metric

Unlike most of the world, the US uses US customary units instead of metric units. Some people wish for this to change.

People who want the US to switch to metric but keep Fahrenheit

Pro-metric people who wish to keep the Fahrenheit scale rather than change to Celsius are ranked as slightly more evangelic. A common argument for keeping the Fahrenheit scale is due to 0°F equating to "really cold" and 100°F to "really hot" when talking about weather.

Randall made a conversion chart for helping US people with the confusing metric units: 526: Converting to Metric

People who threw away their socks and bought all one kind

The reason to do so, is that any two socks in your drawer will match, and you will never end up with an unmatched sock, or a hole stack of them in your drawer. This is a problem that science has researched.

But it is also quite boring to always wear the same color socks/clothing. But those that do, recommend it to all their friends, according to Randall. These kind of people are thus listed as even more evangelic than the pro metric people.

Randall previously used this in the xkcd survey (see 1572: xkcd Survey) from September 2015. It included this question:

Have you ever thrown out all your different pairs of socks/underwear, bought a bunch of replacements that were all one kind, and then told all your friends how great it was and how they should do it too?
People who open bananas from the other end

Some people prefer to open bananas from the bottom (small end) instead of the top (stem end). This is the way primates in the wild have been observed to open bananas. Less force is required to open a banana at the bottom than at the stem, causing less bruising of the fruit & generally making it easier to open. However, if not done carefully, this can result in the fruit getting squished and making a mess on the person's fingers. Opening bananas from the stem end offers no practical advantage, yet appears to be the predominant habit of most banana-eating humans in Randall's sample. One explanation is that opening using the stem as a lever makes for greater ease of opening and thus less damage in practice. (Bananas grow with the stem at the bottom: Banana farm Chinawal.jpg)

The title text is a fictional argument that apparently somehow tore apart Europe. It is about how bananas are supposed to be opened, so it is absurd for this to have actually happened. The supposed argument stems[ Pun Intended ] from a disagreement over the suggested ease of opening a banana from the bottom, versus the idea that the small bit at the base of a banana is unappetizing. This also appears to be a reference to the wars between the Blefuscudians who opened their eggs at the big end, and the Lilliputians who broke their eggs at the small end, as documented in Jonathan Swift's epic novel Gulliver's Travels.

Transcript

Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
[A single frame is shown. The header reads:]
People by intensity of evangelism
[An arrow points from left to right. The text above:]
More intense
[A line is drawn from left to right with five markers on it.]
[Marker on the left:]
Religious proselytizers
[Marker in the middle:]
People who want the US to switch to metric
[Marker slightly right of the middle:]
People who want the US to switch to metric but keep Fahrenheit
[Marker at the beginning of the last quarter:]
People who threw away their socks and bought all one kind
[Marker at the right:]
People who open bananas from the other end



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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!
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