1681: Laser Products

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
(Redirected from 1681)
Jump to: navigation, search
Laser Products
ERRORS: HAIR JAM. COLOR-SAFE CONDITIONER CARTRIDGE RUNNING LOW. LEGAL-SIZE HAIR TRAY EMPTY, USING LETTER-SIZE HAIR ONLY.
Title text: ERRORS: HAIR JAM. COLOR-SAFE CONDITIONER CARTRIDGE RUNNING LOW. LEGAL-SIZE HAIR TRAY EMPTY, USING LETTER-SIZE HAIR ONLY.

Explanation[edit]

This comic takes three laser-based technologies - laser eye surgery, laserjet printers, and laser hair removal - and conflates them, with humorous results. These are illustrated through reviews by users of the resulting combinations. For the original combinations, the reviews are highly positive. For the new combinations, most are negative, because most of these new "technologies" are ill-conceived and possibly harmful.

Laser eye surgery gets a positive review, since it has successfully corrected the reviewer's vision, so that they no longer require glasses. There are a range of laser eye surgeries to correct near- and far-sightedness, as well as various other conditions. LASIK, one of the more common laser eye surgeries, works by using lasers to cut open the cornea and ablate a small amount of the lens.

Laser eye removal would be very painful, and thus the review is negative, stating that the reviewer had read the description incorrectly, likely believing it to be one of the real combinations on the chart. The screams of pain expressed in the review have the humorous implication that the review is being typed directly after the ill-advised procedure, though this may just be an after-the-fact expression of the reviewer's feelings. If they produced the review without aid, this would probably have been made more difficult as a result of the surgery.

Laser eye printer refers to printing on (or possibly of) an eyeball, which only prompts a disgusted "Eww" response.

Laser jet surgery could be performing maintenance on a jet with lasers, which would be potentially dangerous and error-prone[citation needed]. Alternatively, it could mean laser surgery done on a human from a jet aircraft, using a laser mounted to it. The human being operated on could be aboard that aircraft, on another aircraft, or on land: in any case, it does not sound like a safe approach. Another interpretation is that it could refer to surgery using a jet made of lasers, which is even worse, as it would probably cause the entire body to be disintegrated.[citation needed] The ambiguity of the phrase may contribute to the reviewer's concern.

Laser jet removal appears to be the destruction of jets with lasers, which apparently works, but angered the Federal Aviation Administration, and probably resulted in legal consequences for the reviewer. This could be a reference to the real FAA concern of the many incidents of people using laser pointers against aircraft."Laser Jet Removal" actually exists as a military weapon system, though it's primarily meant to be used against jet missiles, rather than jet planes.

LaserJet printer is a popular line of Hewlett Packard laser printers. Laser printing is a technology which uses a laser to electrically charge a drum so that it collects ink in the form of the image to be printed, before transferring it to paper. The printer seems to work well for the reviewer, as it has been given a positive review.

Laser hair surgery turns out to be a fancy name for cutting hair with a laser -- an overengineered, and potentially dangerous, technique for achieving the same results that you could with clippers and scissors. It is rated neutrally, since it did the job, but the reviewer found the name confusing and they disliked the smell of burning hair.

Laser hair removal is the process of destroying hair follicles with bursts of laser light to prevent the growth of unwanted hair. This appears to have been effective for the reviewer.

Laser hair printer appears to be a bizarre printer that uses hair in place of paper, or perhaps as the construction material for a 3D printer. Unsurprisingly, this just creates disgusting messes of hair and keeps jamming the printer, resulting in a negative review. The title text extends this joke, giving some common printer error messages amended for the hair printer. A paper jam is when paper gets stuck in the workings of the printer, usually because it was creased, or more than one sheet fed in at once; in the hair printer this becomes a hair jam. An inkjet printer requires replaceable ink cartridges, and when the ink is used up this will usually result in an ink cartridge running low error; the hair printer appears to require cartridges of hair conditioner. As an additional twist, it uses color-safe conditioner, a product intended to prevent the washing out of dye from the users hair; here, it presumably protects the colour of the printed image or item. Legal and Letter are paper sizes used in North America; apparently, the same terms are used for standard supplies of hair for the hair printer.

Laser eye removal has been mentioned before, see the lower right part of the 1619: Watson Medical Algorithm chart.

Transcript[edit]

[Heading above the table:]
Online Reviews of Laser Products
[A three by three table with one word to the far left, from which three lines split out and goes to three words just left of each of the three rows. Above each column is three other words. Below in the table are nine reviews with star rating on a five star scale. The actual rating is indicated with black stars and also use half filled stars in the rating system. The ratings are written in the table in square brackets.]
...surgery ...removal ...printer
Laser eye... [4 1/2 stars]
"I don't need
glasses anymore!"

[1/2 star]
"Aaaaaaa! Misread
the description!
Aaaaaaaaaaaa!!"
[1 star]
"Eww."


jet... [1 1/2 stars]
"Too nervous
to try it."

[2 1/2 stars]
"Effective, but
the FAA got
really mad."
[4 stars]
"Prints great!"


hair... [2 1/2 stars]
"Confusing term
for haircut.
Burning smell."
[4 stars]
"Great results!"


[1/2 star]
"Disgusting, won't
turn off, jams
constantly."


comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!

Discussion

Laser jet surgery might be a reference to rocket surgery? 141.101.80.25 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

What is a laser eye printer and why is it eww ? 173.245.54.29 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

It prints eyes... that should be self explanatory. 141.101.98.42 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Could also mean printing on the eye with a laser. Sounds possible but odd. 173.245.54.28 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
People buy colored and patterned contact lenses today, I think a laser eye printer would be used to print those patterns directly onto the eyeball. -boB (talk) 15:53, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
Laser eye printer sounds like the type of thing edgy people want. Imagine printing a pentagram on your pupil or sclera 162.158.26.140 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Some people have their sclera or cornea tattooed. The right kind of laser could burn an attractive pattern onto the surface less invasively. Wrong kinds of lasers will perform retinal tattooing. .42 (talk) 07:07, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

The first laser was fired 56 years ago, on 16 May 1960 by Theodore Harold Maiman. Maybe this comic is a reference? 188.114.109.103 15:45, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

You don't need to describe how any of these work in detail, just provide a quick description and link them to wikipedia. Lackadaisical (talk) 16:50, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

Laserjet is a trademarked brand of printers from HP. Does it have any meaning beyond the trademark. I know "Inkjet" is a type of printer that sprays a jet of ink onto the paper, but normally one would just say "laser printer" if one isn't referring to an Epson model Zeimusu (talk) 19:15, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

"Laser-mounted jet aircraft"... surely you meant jet aircraft-mounted laser? I'll leave this how it is for a day or two in case I'm missing something. Xseo (talk) 19:58, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

I found this comic to be funnier than it was intended to be, especially "laser jet removal" because I'm an astronomy nerd and we (at least everyone I've stargazed with) always talk about how we shouldn't point the laser pointers at the bright, moving, blinking stars because that would be very bad and turn it into a shooting star.

On a side note, I wonder if Arctic Blues are powerful enough to be spotted by people on the ISS, and theoretically how much power and how focused a laser would have to be to blind someone in the cupola. Also how powerful it would need to be to burn a hole through its outside, assuming you had an ultra stable tracking mount. I need to know by Tuesday.

(Hi NSA, I know I'm on your watchlists for being the atheistic daughter of "Hassan" Muslim immigrants, a communist, and a tinkerer of really dangerous science, but this is xkcd and I am sure this is the least sketchy "what if" that has ever been asked on this site.) International Space Station (talk) 10:30, 18 May 2016 (UTC)

The first part of that question was tested in 2012. http://www.universetoday.com/93987/amateur-astronomers-flash-the-space-station/. The article mentions that the 800 million lumen (dubious) searchlights came in brighter than magnitude 0 but the 1 MW blue laser was "also visible". From the picture it looks to be about magnitude 2 or 3. To match the sun's brightness (for blinding purposes) you'd need to get that up to about -26.5. Making up a 29 magnitude difference means you'd need to make your laser about 400 billion times brighter, or about 400 petawatts. You can probably bring that power draw down significantly by focusing the beam more, but since the Earth's power consumption is only about 2.5 petawatts (per Randall), you're already pretty far outside the realm of possibility. 108.162.237.220 13:41, 18 May 2016 (UTC)
When I say blind, I mean "blind" in the same sense of "I accidentally flashed my green laser pointer in my eye via my mirror." So that would be just 35mW at 20ft. Couldn't you develop an ultra-focused laser (atmospheric distortion aside) that was able to focus all that energy onto an astronaut's eye from the ground? International Space Station (talk) 05:53, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Laser guide stars are impressively bright at a quarter of the distance to your orbit. 5 kW laser brooms have been proposed for laser satellite removal. The main problem with laser astronaut surgery is probably your huge relative velocity; they won't be visible through your windows long enough to be targeted. You might be more successful powering a laser cannon from your solar array and trying to strike Baikonur. .42 (talk) 06:43, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

An inkjet printer is very definitely not xerographic printing, which refers to a dry printing process. A better term would be "raster" rather than "xerographic" although the former still does not imply converting the image to pixels, which appears to be the point the sentence is trying to make. At least "raster" means the image is converted to scan lines...108.162.241.123 02:31, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

I think that it means that you are strapping jets oflasers to your eyeballs and using them to peform surgery.108.162.221.97 21:22, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

"PC LOAD HAIR"? What the fuck does that mean? Jevicci (talk) 22:20, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

Based on PC LOAD LETTER, an error message in some old printers. 162.158.92.58 15:09, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

I think Laser Eyes Printer could refer to current technology of 3D printing, which is processes used to create a three-dimensional object in which material is joined or solidified under computer control to create an object, with material being added together (such as liquid molecules or powder grains being fused together). Albeit that it uses laser to print out the 3D representation of the eyes.Boeing-787lover 07:03, 9 December 2017 (UTC)