Talk:1242: Scary Names

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Zero Halliburton

What is "A Zero Halliburton briefcase"? 13:24, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Zero Halliburton is a luggage brand name, with a line of aluminum attache cases. Not connected to the big company Halliburton, associated with former US Vice President Cheney and the war in Iraq. Wrybred (talk) 13:57, 24 July 2013 (UTC)wrybred
The history of Zero Halliburton luggage does intersect with the founder of Halliburton Company, Erle P. Halliburton. He needed rugged cases, so he started a company to produce them. He sold it to Zero Corporation. [1]. tbc (talk) 14:26, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Also of note, Halliburton isn't just "known for" its association with Cheney and the war in Iraq. It's an oil and gas services (i.e. drilling and well managment, inter alia) company. Orazor (talk) 10:50, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Military Aide/Secret Service Agent

Isn't the nuclear football carried by a military aide, not a Secret Service agent? 14:18, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Probably. I don't really know what I'm talking about. If you think you can improve on what I wrote, go for it! RouterIncident (talk) 14:24, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Yes. "Cheney noted that the president is accompanied at all times by a military aide carrying a 'football' that contains launch codes for nuclear weapons. [2] tbc (talk) 14:26, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
I assume it's called 'football' because in the USA footballs are usually carried by hand. --Chtz (talk) 15:16, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Early plans for nuclear war against the Soviets were codenamed "Dropkick". 16:23, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Helvetica Scenario

I think the "Helvetica Scenario" explanation is wrong, but I don't know enough about it to feel comfortable editing. Here's an article I found that makes more sense. (I didn't watch the Youtube clip since I'm at work, so maybe that's what the clip refers to. It should be explained in the article instead.) Trek7553 (talk) 14:45, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

To the best of my knowledge, the page you linked to is a work of fiction on a role-playing wiki. The references to calcium imply that it is based off of the Look Around You segment, but with its own added elements for the sake of role-playing. RouterIncident (talk) 14:53, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
I changed this section. The video is correct, but the horror scene is just showing a possible result of the Helvetica experiment.--Dgbrt (talk) 16:19, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
That sounds much better now. RouterIncident (talk) 18:06, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
I know what you mean but I like the statement "...the page you linked to is a work of fiction..." - the Helvetica Scenario is a work of fiction! But yes, that is a derivative work, the original source being Look Around You.
Having just looked at the edits, Dgbrt is getting seriously confused. The Helvetica Scenario is not real, and is completely made up by the TV program Look Around You. Urban dictionary is entirely based on the original invention by L.A.Y. It is not a real thing!
Arbitrary Scariness Formatting

I have a slight issue with the artificial percentage scale given for entries in the chart. First of all it assumes a linear chart that is measured in percentages. Secondly, it assumes Flesh-eating Bacteria is 100% scariest thing and scariest-sounding thing existant. Just because it's the highest on the chart doesn't make it "100%" (again, percentage seems like an arbitrary scale to assign) TheHYPO (talk) 16:22, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

I disagree on your second point. The explanation expresses the scariness of something as a percentage of Flesh-eating Bacteria BECAUSE it is an arbitrary scale. It doesn't imply that the bacteria is the scariest possible thing. I think this is the best way; it's better than saying "Grey goo isn't as scary sounding, but is scarier than..." for all possible combinations of every item.
Also on your first point, it doesn't assume the chart is measured in percentages (although it does assume linearity). 12:30, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
How about we just give the pixel coordinates and point out that the scale is arbitrary (or not defined by the comic). Percentage would suggest that the scale is in some way linear, which you actually cannot conclude from the graph. --Chtz (talk) 13:08, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Initially I had written out "Not very scary", "Somewhat scary", "Fairly scary", etc. but it seemed simpler and much easier to read and sort to simply use arbitrary percentages. RouterIncident (talk) 14:55, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
As there are no values or units listed, Randall's dots are fairly arbitrary, probably plotted relative to each other and to a roughly-equal apparent-to-actual-scariness line. So isn't it a little silly to argue about the listing of an arbitrary scale for these arbitrary values? 15:57, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
In my opinion the percentages are over interpreting the comic. But since it is here it should be explained as position on the graph relative to zero.--Dgbrt (talk) 16:19, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
The percentages are perfectly fine. They just need to be interpreted as what they are: percentages of scary, relative to flesh eating bacteria. Flesh eating bacteria = 1 unit of scary. In this situation 110% isn't just a metaphor. If the bacteria was the scariest thing nothing would be off the chart. db (talk) 06:11, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Really I think the point of the comic is how superficial perception and reality fail to correlate. That's what is so notable about flesh eating bacteria. It lives up to it's name. A rare thing indeed. db (talk) 06:11, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

What is missing about the transcript? It describes the comic panel perfectly. there is no dialogue to include. could you please be more specific about what you feel is missing from the transcript? @dgbrt Mrarch (talk) 00:37, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

A transcript should not contain a sentence like: "Items within the scatter plot are listed in the table above." --Dgbrt (talk) 11:02, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
I think that the transcript should not contain anything except for the text in the comic. They should be used for searching, not for reconstructing comics completely in text form. --Bob 13:00, 3 April 2014
What about kassler with mustard?

Some items are strangely placed on the Y axis, aren't they? "Mustard gas" sounds more horrifying to Randall than "Criticality incident"? "Kessler syndrome" more than "Demon core"? Both sound like food to me. Mumiemonstret (talk) 11:36, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

Elephant's Foot should have a place here 04:31, 7 January 2016 (UTC)

also exploding head syndrome. 21:10, 19 November 2023 (UTC)

A version of this chart appears in the What If? book, in the section about losing all of your DNA.

I have to consider "Flesh Eating Bacteria" to be misplaced. As I understand it, these bacteria are actually common skin bacteria. They are the reason that puncture wounds should be cleaned and encouraged to bleed. Divad27182 (talk) 21:13, 15 March 2022 (UTC)

Sort of. Streptomyces are indeed common skin bacteria, but with puncture wounds you're more worried about tetanus than strep. Nitpicking (talk) 22:26, 15 March 2022 (UTC)


A variant of this comic was used in What If? in which the name “Destroying Angel” was placed far out, mainly above the graph and circled.

Geologic column[edit]

OK, someone is very determined that the cause of all stratification in the Earth's crust is liquefaction. It isn't. I don't want an edit war. Anyone else want to step in? Nitpicking (talk) 03:26, 2 February 2024 (UTC)

Would you like me to cite my source? 03:36, 2 February 2024 (UTC)
Well, yes. Nitpicking (talk) 11:28, 2 February 2024 (UTC)
Okay, I cited my source. Please see my edit to the article. 04:35, 8 February 2024 (UTC)
In case anyone didn't bother checking: he cited a creationist tract. That would explain why us science nerds were confused. Nitpicking (talk) 05:25, 8 February 2024 (UTC)
Yes, it is a creationist book, written by a processor and scientist with a Ph.D. 06:26, 8 February 2024 (UTC)
I edited to provide context to the claims. The <ref>fed info wasn't really useful on its own, save as a "someone once said..." claim, but is more fully expounded under the author's Wiki page (with additional contextual info). Bear in mind the criticisms (scientific and religious), that you can find alongside the Amazon sales pages/etc in any search, which remain conspiciously unrebutted by the author in any meaningful way. But it is perhaps an analysis of curiosity, to mention as an aside to the idea of liquefaction. 11:22, 8 February 2024 (UTC)