Talk:1173: Steroids

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Does anyone know what that 'something' is? That's what I came here to find out... :/ --NeatNit (talk) 11:57, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

I had a lot of ideas, but I don't know. It might be a molecule, some sort of portal transmitting sound, a star, a future life form.
--Jaap-Jan (talk) 12:13, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
My first instinct was that Megan was talking to the asterisk that gets put next to world records held by athletes who have been suspected of using steroids.
Smperron (talk) 17:08, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
It looks to me like the God from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. Though that God would know all about the steroid scandal, presumably. 00:19, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
It's the crystalline life-form from the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Home Soil". When not killing red shirts, it keeps taunting humans that they're "ugly bags of mostly water".Columbus Admission (talk) 00:28, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

I think the "artificial boundary" isn't so artificial. There is a clear difference between food chemicals, which are healthy for us, vs steroid chemicals, which cause all sorts of health problems. Of course, then Megan would have to explain that we have limited lifespans and we greatly value our quality of life, and these steroids would decrease our quality of life. 13:41, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

So on the one side of this "clear boundary" you'd have something like Big Macs (food, good for us) and on the other you'd have vitamin supplements (non-food chemicals, bad)?
I think the theory is that things that improve athletic performance but hurt the body should not be allowed. That way, athletes who are willing to sacrifice their health in order to win do not have an advantage over those who are not willing to make such a sacrifice. If people want to eat Big Mac's they are welcome to because it doesn't give them any advantage. Basically, you can put bad stuff into yourself all you want, but not if it gives you a competitive advantage. 17:36, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
Which is good theory except that we have hardly any idea what are long-term effect of most chemicals, not speaking about fact that any chemical which is beneficial in reasonable amount (which we often don't know and it may depend on individual or other condition) is dangerous if you take it too much. The L-ascorbic acid is particularly interresting example, as the official recomendation is 90mg per day, but depending on doctor and on situation (like illness or stress level) even 10,000mg may be considered healthy. Another good example is already mentioned testosterone, which IS actually steroid. Oh yes, and then there is the problem of DETECTING that the athlets are getting those "unnatural" chemicals. -- Hkmaly (talk) 09:46, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Like trying to line up all the people in the world and draw a clear line to divide blacks from whites, it's too much of a gradual spectrum to be anything other than arbitrary. 17:27, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
I explained my point very poorly. "Good" performance enhancing chemicals (like healthy foods) tend to also make us more healthy while "bad" performance enhancing chemicals (like steroids) cause all sorts of health problems. Athletes are generally encouraged to take the "good" stuff while avoiding the "bad" stuff. Of course there's a huge grey area in between (including non-performance-enhancing Big Macs), but I think steroids clearly fall outside this grey area. 19:58, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
|Um, you do realize that the human body itself creates "Steroids"? Which are also in found within the plants and animals that we eat. (Especially soybeans.) Testosterone is supposedly one of these "bad" steroids, which cause many problems for humans. 12:28, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
I suppose my point requires further explanation; devil's advocates will never be satisfied. Testosterone isn't intrinsically "bad" for us (as you mentioned, it is an integral part of our chemistry), but taking significant amounts of it from external sources has been shown to damage our bodies' ability to produce it and/or regulate its levels, among other effects. Hence, taking steroids is bad for us. Compare that with healthy food, which is generally accepted to "increase" our athletic performance (compared with unhealthy food, or no food) without any serious avoidable side effects.
However, you do bring up the point of testosterone being present in some things we consider to count as "food". I guess there is a certain amount of testosterone you are allowed to ingest (for these contests) that cause a negligible effect. 13:21, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
So it should be permitted to take non-dangerous levels of steroids? Either way, blood doping is the practice of boosting the number of red blood cells in the bloodstream, seems like a difficult argument to make for that to be bad (unless you have too many, but until that point). 07:11, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Blood doping is not the same as steroid use. -- ‎ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Douglas Adams

Does anyone else feel that the title text has a strong Douglas Adams flavour? And if so, can we make that hard with a quote from one of his books?

It's a biblical reference, Genesis 3:19, "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return", King James version.Jasqm (talk) 14:03, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
D.N.A. has been known to reference the bible:
-"In the beginning, the universe was created. This made a lot of people unhappy and has been widely regarded as a bad move."
-"And then one day, nearly two thousand years after one man was nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be if people were nice to each other for a change..."
Smperron (talk) 17:08, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
You're probably thinking of his quotes that reference digital watches and what a big mistake it was to leave the oceans (combined with the scene from the show where the guy walks back into the ocean).CityZen (talk) 21:30, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Ive said that Douglas Adams write for XKCD for years now...Notice if you change all the letters to their corresponding number (A=1, B=2, etc) and add them, you get 42 ;) 12:49, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, I'm pretty sure we all know that was a coincidence; Randall said so.
I wrote a quick program to check for four-letter combinations and add their value. I'm assuming (hoping) that I coded correctly and got accurate results (I was using a library that I am unfamiliar with). Of the 26^4 possible letter combinations, 8840 (roughly 2%) will result in a total of 42 (order matters). This comes to 449 different sets of letters (in whatever order) that total 42. The numbers change if we assume Randall would only choose a letter once to be in the title. I'd rewrite the program to count up all combinations that total 4 to 104 for comparison (with and without repetition), but it's after 5am now. 10:25, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Not just a Biblical reference, the comic is published on (western christian) Ash Wednesday... Patmiller (talk) 14:58, 13 February 2013 (UTC)