1947: Night Sky

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Night Sky
There's a mountain lion nearby, but it didn't notice you because it's reading Facebook.
Title text: There's a mountain lion nearby, but it didn't notice you because it's reading Facebook.


With the increasing ubiquity of connected devices in people's lives have come concerns about the social and mental effects this is having. A common trend in lifestyle advice is the idea of "unplugging" and getting away from technology, with the idea that this can improve one's sense of well-being, and allow a focus on the important things in life, such as asking the "big" existential questions.

Cueball and Megan are taking one such activity: a nighttime walk without their phones. However, rather than being grandiose, the questions they ask are increasingly immediate to their current situation. Far from finding the experience liberating, they find it first frustrating, as they no longer have access to useful features of their phones, such as mapping with GPS, which would help them find their way, and a flashlight, which would let them see where they were going, and then unsettling, as without their devices to distract them they begin to imagine dangers, such as mountain lions, lurking in the darkness.

The fact that Megan enthusiastically affirms that those really are the "big questions" of life reveals that they are sarcastically teasing each other about their regrettable decision.

The reference to mountain lions might be related to the declaration that eastern cougars were officially declared extinct the day before this comic was published.

The title text claims that technology is so omnipresent that even the threatening mountain lion has a phone and is reading Facebook (and, therefore, is not so threatening, since it now can not notice them). Alternatively, either Cueball or Megan might be teasing the other.


[Cueball and Megan are walking under the night sky.]
Megan: The internet is so overwhelming for me these days. It feels like everyone I know is yelling all the time.
[Frame is zoomed out. Stars are visible in the sky.]
Megan: That's why it's so nice to unplug. Leave the phones at home, go for a walk, and look up at the stars.
Megan: It helps you focus on what really matters.
[Frame is zoomed in again.]
Cueball: Like "Where the hell are we?"
Megan: And "Why did I leave my phone at home? It has my map and flashlight."
Cueball: "Are there mountain lions around here? Did you hear a twig break?"
Megan: Yeah, the big questions!

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The attempt on Nordberg's life left me shaken and disturbed, and all the questions kept coming up over and over again, like bubbles in a case of club soda. Who was this character in the hospital? And why was he trying to kill Nordberg? And for whom? Did Ludwig lie to me? I didn't have any proof, but somehow, I didn't entirely trust him either. Why was the 'I Luv You' not listed in Ludwig's records? And if it was, did he know about it? And if he didn't, who did? And where the hell was I? 17:43, 26 January 2018 (UTC)

I don't think this is relevant. Are you a bot?--Obscure xkcd reference (talk) 18:24, 6 November 2021 (UTC)
Looks like the cows have come home to roost. ProphetZarquon (talk) 20:05, 26 January 2018 (UTC)

Ironically, the mountain lion's Macbook is running Snow Leopard. ProphetZarquon (talk) 20:08, 26 January 2018 (UTC)

I feel the Mountain Lion question is to point out that if they had their phones they could look up the answer to this question, find out if they should be on the lookout for them. NiceGuy1 (talk) 04:54, 30 January 2018 (UTC)