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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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<font size=5px>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''</font>
 
  
We have an explanation for all [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics|R}}-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 {{PAGESINCAT:Incomplete articles|R}}
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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: {{PAGESINCAT:Incomplete articles|R}} / {{LATESTCOMIC}} * 100 round 0}}%) [[:Category:Incomplete articles|are incomplete]]. Help us finish them!
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    The extra one difference corresponds to 404, which is not really a comic, even though we've categorised it so.
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and only {{PAGESINCAT:Incomplete explanations|R}}
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({{#expr: {{PAGESINCAT:Incomplete explanations|R}} / {{LATESTCOMIC}} * 100 round 0}}%) [[:Category:Incomplete explanations|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¢!
+
*Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at the [[explain xkcd:Community portal|Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
  
* [[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!
+
*[[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 explanations|here]]. Feel free to help out by expanding them!
  
* We've actually now created pages for all xkcd comics but if you've arrived here early and a new comic hasn't been explained, 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 ==

Revision as of 17:59, 4 March 2014

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!
We have an explanation for all 1401 xkcd comics, and only 47 (3%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Harpoons
To motivate it to fire its harpoons hard enough, Rosetta's Philae lander has been programmed to believe it is trying to kill the comet.
Title text: To motivate it to fire its harpoons hard enough, Rosetta's Philae lander has been programmed to believe it is trying to kill the comet.

Explanation

The latter peak on this graph refers to the Rosetta unmanned spacecraft. As part of its mission, it's carrying two tethers to anchor itself to the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

The first peak is probably a joke. Officially, Apollo 12 carried neither harpoons nor rum. However, Randall may have heard many insider-stories while working at NASA. He may know more about space-shenanigans than the general public. This is also a pun based off of the Harpoon brand of Jamaican Rum.

The caption implies that the spacecraft is sentient, and believes that its mission is to kill the comet. This is obviously a parody of Moby Dick, where Captain Ahab hunts a sperm whale named Moby Dick on his ship, named Pequod. Also, it is impossible to create sentient spacecraft with today's technology and no point in doing so.

Transcript

Number of harpoons in space
by year
[A chart with a red graph is drawn below]
[The y-axis]
0 1 2 3
[The x-axis]
1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020
[The graph is at zero until a sharp peak to 1 in 1970. The peak is labeled]
Apollo 12 rum incident
[The graph then stays at 0 until 2004. Then it rises to 2 and stays there until today, continuing as a dotted line after 2014. The rise is labeled]
Rosetta comet mission launched carrying lander with harpoon tethers



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New here?

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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.

  • Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at the Community portal. Share your 2¢!
  • 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!
  • 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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