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<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}}-10}}''' xkcd comics]],
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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),
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     as well as [[List of all comics]] and [[List of unexplained comics]], which are obviously not comic pages. -->
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     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)}}
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    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 2}}%)
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[[List of unexplained comics|remain]]. '''[[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Add yours]]''' while there's a chance — or [[:Category:Incomplete articles|extend incomplete descriptions]]!
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and only {{PAGESINCAT:Incomplete articles|R}}
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({{#expr: {{PAGESINCAT:Incomplete articles|R}} / {{LATESTCOMIC}} * 100 round 0}}%) [[:Category:Incomplete articles|are incomplete]]. Help us finish them!
 
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== Latest comic ==
 
== Latest comic ==
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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>
 
<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.
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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.
  
* 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.
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*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 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]]'''.
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*[[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!
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*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]]'''.
 +
 
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*We sell advertising space to pay for our server costs. To learn more, go [[explain xkcd:Advertise Here|here]].
  
 
== Rules ==
 
== Rules ==
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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.
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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 [[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 1 xkcd comics, and only 0 (0%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Barge
My life goal is to launch a barge into the air and have it land on one of Elon Musk's rockets.
Title text: My life goal is to launch a barge into the air and have it land on one of Elon Musk's rockets.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Links to video of successful landing in barge and maybe also failed to show what this hobby may result in. Also if there are videos of this newest success

This is another one of the "My Hobby" series, where Randall tells about a strange hobby. With three drawings he shows the idea about the idea, which is explained in details in the caption.

The launch company SpaceX is currently testing a reusable rocket system, where the first rocket stage is capable of landing back on an autonomous spaceport drone ship after launch. The rockets guide themselves in to land by aiming towards a giant launch pad with the "X" from the SpaceX logo painted on it. Randall imagines creating a similar-looking barge and placing it near the intended landing site, except his barge's platform would be hollow in the middle with only a sheet of paper supporting the part where the rocket would land.

Since the paper is painted to look just like the real SpaceX it is presumably the goal of this setup to trick a returning first stage rocket into falling into the sea, similar to the old trapping pit. If a rocket attempts to land on Randall's barge, it will quickly burn through the paper and fall into the sea.

This Hobby is probably the most destructive one so far, as it would result in the loss of the nine space rocket engines at the bottom of the first rocket stage. It would also likely be the most expensive even disregarding the costs to others, due to the costs associated with buying and damaging a barge specifically for a prank (though it could potentially be reused if it did not get destroyed by the exploding rocket).

This hobby seems more appropriate for Black Hat, considering that he is a real classhole, showing that Black Hat is as much part of Randall as Cueball.

The title text plays on the incredible difficulty of successfully landing a rocket on a barge, which Elon Musk was the first (and so far only) to do successfully with his company.  Such a feat has only recently become possible, some 60 years after the launch of the first satellite Sputnik 1. In the title text Randall thus imagines an even more implausible idea of reversing Elon Musk's idea by launching an entire barge into the air and then have it land on one of Elon Musk's rockets. Launching a barge in the first place would be tremendously difficult - they are big, heavy and not very aerodynamic. Maneuvering it through the air precisely enough to one come down on top of a rocket would be much more difficult, but if it worked it would certainly destroy the rocket. Randall though thinks the irony of reversing the feat of landing a rocket on a barge is so funny he has made it into one of his life goals.

This comic was published on the week following SpaceX's Iridium 1 mission, where the first stage of the rocket which delivered 10 satellites into orbit successfully landed on a barge near California. It marked the seventh time SpaceX successfully landed and recovered its booster on a commercial mission.

Transcript

[There is one panel in this comic with the main drawing at the bottom. Two smaller drawings are inserted above this drawing to explain the idea.]
[The first insert shows a barge with no center and a large piece of paper with the SpaceX logo above the barge.]
[The second insert shows the paper stretched over the hole.]
[The main drawing at the bottom shows a cross-section of the barge in water, showing there is only water below the paper. Above the paper the large first stage, without the top part with the payload, of a reusable rocket is attempting to land on the paper on the SapceX logo (not visible in this view). It is still so high above the fake barge that the exhaust fire below the rocket is nowhere near the paper.]
[Caption below the panels:]
My hobby: Hollowing out the center of a barge, stretching paper over the hole painted with the SpaceX logo, and leaving it floating offshore near launch sites.


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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!
  • 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.

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