Title text: Everyone's caught by surprise when a theory of quantum gravity is developed by a sound technician wearing patent leather shoes while editing Clerks II.
This comic is a reference to revolutionary physicist Albert Einstein, who got his first big ideas about physics while he was working as a Swiss patent clerk. Hence, Randall jokes that there is pressure on other Swiss patent clerks to come up with genius ideas while they are working there. The Zen Pencil comic "Albert Einstein: Life is a mystery" gives some background about Einstein's choice to work at the Swiss patent office. The fact that he was turned down by several universities was beneficial to the science of physics, as the duties as a patent clerk were not challenging to him, paid enough, and allowed him to work on his theories without any pressures.
The title text refers to quantum gravity, a highly anticipated theory that would unify quantum mechanics with the current model of gravity, general relativity. Such a theory would be very useful to understanding how space behaves at high energies and high densities, such as black holes and the very early universe. The joke is that instead of a patent clerk making this theory, as everyone is supposedly expecting, it's instead made by someone wearing "patent" leather shoes and working on a movie called "Clerks" II, thereby suggesting that anytime something called a "patent" crosses with anything called a "clerk", radical breakthroughs in physics result. Clerks II is the second movie in the Clerks series by Kevin Smith, widely regarded as not nearly as good as the first — which could be said about most sequels, but you get the point.
- [Ponytail walks up to Megan examining documents]
- Ponytail: So... what've you been up to?
- Megan: Handling patent applications.
- Ponytail: Yeah, but... besides that?
- Megan: That's about it.
- Ponytail: You're not, like, thinking about any cool stuff? Just curious.
- For the last hundred years, Swiss patent clerks have been under some weird pressures.
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