332: Gyroscopes

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We didn't actually land on the moon -- it just looked like we did because of precession. Also, gyroscopes caused 9/11.
Title text: We didn't actually land on the moon -- it just looked like we did because of precession. Also, gyroscopes caused 9/11.


Cueball is playing with a gyroscope. Even though he has studied them and intellectually understands their behaviour, they still seem somewhat mysterious. At the end of the comic, the gyroscope is revealed to have the power of levitation and to apparently be a sentient lifeform (it talks to him).

In the title text, Randall is mocking the Moon landing conspiracy theories and refers to the lunar precession in process. Gyroscopes and the lunar orbit both exhibit precession, a physical concept that non-scientists can find hard to grasp. Thus, it is a perfect subject for a lunar conspiracy theory. He goes on to claim that gyroscopes (which form part of the navigation system of every commercial airplane) were directly responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


[Cueball sits at a desk with a gyroscope in his hands. Text on top of the frame:]
Despite years of studying physics, I still find gyroscopes a little freaky.
[Cueball starts the gyroscope.]
Gyroscope: zzzzip
[The gyroscope spins.]
Gyroscope: zzzzzz
[Frameless panel, the gyroscope lifts into the air.]
[The gyroscope moves away from Cueball, still spinning.]

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"At the title text Randall is claiming mankind did not land on the moon because of lack of precession." should perhaps be more "...mankind did not land on the moon, but that (the existence of) precession mad it look like we did." At least, that's how I read that. 09:13, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

I also think whoever wrote that bit about the gyroscopes helping the planes hit their targets is completely missing the humor Randall was shooting for. He wasn't being serious, much as he wasn't with the moon line. He was implying, as a conspiracy theory, that gyroscopes are sentient, and it was at their bidding that the attacks happened. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Lunar precession must be one of the oldest significant "stubs" to still be in a bad place. It didn't even have the article name at the beginning and bold. —Kazvorpal (talk) 15:48, 9 November 2019 (UTC)