428: Starwatching

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I always figured the word 'blog' would sound *less* silly as the years went by.
Title text: I always figured the word 'blog' would sound *less* silly as the years went by.


Megan and Cueball are stargazing. In the first two panels, Cueball references a scene in the movie The Lion King, where the protagonist, Simba, remembers how his father, Mufasa, explained the night sky by saying, "The great kings of the past are up there." The quote in last panel is derived from a scene near the climax of the movie, where the spirit of Mufasa appears to Simba in the clouds and speaks to him. Cory Doctorow is a famous blogger who features in several of Randall's comics. A tag cloud is a list of keywords on the sidebar of a blog's layout that helps a reader find posts by hyperlinking to posts associated with that keyword or category. Tags are shown in a proportionally larger typeface if that tag describes more posts than other tags.

Megan interrupts Cueball by saying that she can't decide if Cueball needs to "get out more or less." If she were to say, "get out more," she would be implying that he needs to spend time away from the computer, so he stops seeing links between the real world and Cory Doctorow. If she says, "get out less," she implies that he might scare normal people if he were to do what he does in front of them, or perhaps become more "normal" if he were to stop going outside and not do what he is doing now.

In the title text, Randall mentions that he feels that the word blog, a portmanteau and an elision of "web log," sounds silly, and has not become any less silly over the years, despite entering common usage.


[Cueball and Megan are lying on the ground stargazing.]
Cueball: Just look at those stars.
Cueball: My father once told me that the great bloggers of the past are up there, watching over us.
[Cueball sits up, and then stands up, stretching his arms in the air as if to encompass the whole night sky.]
Cueball: High above the blogosphere, a gap opens in the tag clouds. Cory Doctorow's voice booms forth...
Megan: You need to get out either more or less. I can't decide.

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An interesting interpretation. I thought Cueball was just referencing The Lion King. 00:53, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

My thoughts exactly. "Great kings of the past," "great bloggers of the past"... I don't think there was any intended reference to Christianity. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I think the word "blog" is more an elision than a portmanteau, since it's not a conflation (e.g. mansplain, muppet, or smog) of two words, here "web" and "log," but rather a shortening (or eliding) of the same. 12:55, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

Why is the transcript marked incomplete? Spongebog (talk) 16:26, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Fixed a typo and grammar for tag cloud. It was a little cumbersome before, but I think I wound up using bigger words. The part about "or less" seems a little clunky also, but not quite sure how to fix it. Vorik111 (talk) 18:22, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

There needs to be a running count somewhere on the wiki of how many times the word blogosphere appears in xkcd and how it tracks over time. If Randall reads the wiki perhaps it will induce a spiteful uptick. AzureArmageddon 07:48, 30 September 2023 (UTC)