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__NOTOC__{{DISPLAYTITLE:explain xkcd}}
 
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<font size=5px>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''</font>
 
  
We have collaboratively explained [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9}}''' xkcd comics]],
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<font size=5px>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''</font><br>
<!-- Note: the -9 in the calculation above is to discount subcategories (there are 8 of them as of 2013-02-27),
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We have an explanation for all [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics|R}}-13}}''' xkcd comics]],
     as well as [[List of all comics]], which is obviously not a comic page. -->
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<!-- Note: the -13 in the calculation above is to discount subcategories (there are 8 of them as of 2013-02-27),
and only {{#expr:{{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9)}}
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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.
({{#expr: ({{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9)) / {{LATESTCOMIC}} * 100 round 0}}%)
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    The extra one difference corresponds to 404, which is not really a comic, even though we've categorised it so.
remain. '''[[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Add yours]]''' while there's a chance!
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-->
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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 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]]'''.
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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.
+
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]].
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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 01:59, 30 October 2013

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!
We have an explanation for all 1450 xkcd comics, and only 0 (0%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Background Screens
No way, we gotta rewind and cross-reference this map with the list of coordinates we saw on the other screen. This Greenland thing could be big.
Title text: No way, we gotta rewind and cross-reference this map with the list of coordinates we saw on the other screen. This Greenland thing could be big.

Explanation

Plot and characters are generally the parts a movie that most people presumably pay attention to, as the plot (the story and its purpose) and the characters (the emotional connection and character development) are generally the things most people find enjoyable about particular films.

Cueball, however, pays particular attention to what's on the computer screens shown briefly in the background. Generally speaking, these screens are shown to the audience for a short period of time, and at a low-level of detail, just to dress a set and make a scene feel more realistic or high-tech. They may contain endless columns of gibberish or miscellaneous data flashing by in an eyeblink (only visible by freeze-framing), or crosshairs zipping across maps. Often the contents of the computer screens are so unimportant or hard-to-read that the filmmakers do not bother to spend much time (if any at all) ensuring that what is shown on the screen is accurate or even relevant to the film. They may be designed by artists not fully aware of the details of the plot, and as a result, their content (where it is intelligible, such as in a map) can have little to no connection to the dialog or other story events going on in front of them. They sometimes even contain jokes. It is rare, if ever, that important information would be communicated to the viewer through background computer screens. Hence, Cueball's spending most of his time watching the screens seems counter-intuitive to understanding and enjoying the film.

Greenland, a large island east of Canada, is 80% covered in ice up to several kilometers in depth, and has a population of less than 100,000 people. It is an unlikely place for aliens to land, especially movie aliens, who generally prefer more densely-populated locations. In the title text, Cueball suggests investigating how a list of coordinates from another background screen relates to the location of the alien craft in Greenland, suggesting that Cueball thinks the filmmakers may have intended the viewers to record the information early in the film and analyze the data to learn relevant plot information - something that is very unlikely. Most of the time, filmmakers take efforts to ensure the audience can easily follow plot points by making them more obvious than they might be in reality.

There are a number of websites which specialize in documenting computer screens as seen in movies, including: (partial list - please expand/improve)

Transcript

What I pay attention to in movies:
[A pie chart with a small piece (5%) in the upper right part labeled:]
Plot, characters
[The rest of the chart (95%) is labeled:]
Computer screens shown briefly in the background
[Below the chart Cueball, sitting on the floor, and Hairy, sitting in an armchair, are watching a movie on the TV. Cueball points the remote at the TV.]
Cueball: Hang on– That blurry map behind the general shows one of the alien ships is in Greenland! Why Greenland?!
Hairy [quietly]: Can we please just watch the movie?

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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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