Main Page

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 19:52, 25 November 2012 by Waldir (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search


Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki! We already have Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character ",". comic explanations!

(But there are still Expression error: Unrecognised punctuation character ",". to go. Come and add yours!)

Latest comic

Go to this comic

Houston
'Oh, hey Mom. No, nothing important, just at work.'
Title text: 'Oh, hey Mom. No, nothing important, just at work.'

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Incomplete. Why is NASA unengaged in the issue? What is the relevance of prioritizing a call from mom over an exploding manned space ship? Why is the anachronistic monitor present: is NASA less responsive now?
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

Apollo 13 was intended to be the third manned landing on the moon. On its way there, however, during a routine stirring of the hydrogen and oxygen tanks, an explosion occurred that resulted in a frantic effort by Christopher C. Kraft Jr. Mission Control Center (located in Houston), that resulted in the safe return of all three astronauts. A memorable understatement was astronaut James Lovell's transmission to Mission Control: "Houston, we've had a problem".

These are the same events, except with much less help from Misson Control (and somewhat anachronistic technology). In reality, Mission Control had to figure out thousands of little problems that popped out due to the explosion, from how to get the astronauts back, to how the astronauts can jury-rig CO2 removal equipment (intended for the command module) to work with the lunar module (to which the astronauts had evacuated).

At first glance, this comic appears to be an "alternate reality" view at what might have happened next, had the Houston ground crew not been as vigilant as they were. It is meant to contrast history with Cueball's (lack of) action. It leaves implicit the consequences of this inaction, for greater shock. However, Cueball's desk has a flat screen monitor, which had not been invented at the time of Apollo 13, when the screen would have been a CRT. This may be an error by Randall or it may indicate that the comic is depicting what would have happened if the incident happened today.

Transcript

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Name for capsule? Also, descriptions need work.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.
[The lunar lander and module shown with debris near by in foreground, in space with the Earth in the background.]
Lovell: Houston, we have a problem
[Cueball sitting In front of two monitors wearing a headset.]
Cueball: Cool.
Lovell: ...What? Houston, we stirred our O2 tank and it exploded!
Cueball: Sounds like you suck at stirring.
[Capsule shown from a greater distance, with Earth beside it.]
Lovell: ...Houston? Are you-
Cueball: Listen, I've got another call.
Cueball: Good luck landing your airplane or whatever.
*click*

New 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 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!

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 posting such are at risk of being blocked.

If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is here.

Explain xkcd logo courtesy of User:Alek2407.

Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Navigation
Tools

It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

Want to advertise with us, or donate to us with Paypal or Bitcoin?