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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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<font size=5px>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''</font>
We already have [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-3}}''' comic explanations]]!</big>
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We have an explanation for all [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics|R}}-13}}''' xkcd comics]],
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Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the explain xkcd wiki!  We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between. If it is referenced in an [http://www.xkcd.com xkcd] web comic, it should be here.
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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.
  
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*Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at [[Explain XKCD:Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
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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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== 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.
 
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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!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Message in a Bottle
I tried to send a message back, but I accidentally hit 'reply all' and now the ocean is clogged with message bottles.
Title text: I tried to send a message back, but I accidentally hit 'reply all' and now the ocean is clogged with message bottles.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Second Draft

This comic approaches a message in a bottle as a message in an internet mailing list. The message in the bottle reads "Unsubscribe", as it is done in email newsletters. Little information about the originator of the message is provided. It is possible they are marooned on a desert island and the meaning of "Unsubscribe" is an alternative way of requesting a rescue from their present situation.

The title text suggests that when he replied all, it sent a message in a bottle to everyone on the company's mailing list. This relates to the phenomenon when someone attempts to send a private email (usually about something very secret like being in an intimate relationship) and ending up sending it to many people (almost always leading to the embarrassment of the sender). In some cases, if the mailing list is sufficiently large, amplification effects can completely overwhelm mail servers. For example, an employee send a simple message like "does anyone speak russian?" to the whole company address book. Several people are likely to reply using the "reply all" button by mistake, causing the whole company to receive it. Additionally, automatic "out of office" notifications and people complaining about the flood of e-mails will further worsen the situation.

Frequently unsubscribe requests are sent to the entire mailing list. Ideally they are sent to the mailing list admin, who is either a person or a program that manages the list. If Cueball is the list admin, then he should remove the sender from the list. If he isn't (as is likely), then he, like possibly thousands of other beachcombers, is receiving a pointless message that he can't act on.

Transcript

[Cueball walks along a beach with six seagulls flying behind him over the sea. There is a small surf and in the far distance two mountains.]
[Cueball stops and looks down at a bottle lying in the sand just outside the surf. A letter can be seen inside and there seems to be a stopper at the top.]
[A frame less panel shows Cueball (beach and sea not drawn) as he pulls out the letter from the bottle that he has now picked-up.]
[Cueball holds the bottle behind him in one hand and the letter up in front him with the other hand. The text on the letter is written above him in curvy letters, looking like those often used to depict the writing of a dying or seriously injured man:]
Unsubscribe


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.

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