Talk:2013: Rock

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search

Wow, 3 paragraphs and still created by a “BOT”. Good self control today, explainers! 😂. If someone does change it, may I humbly suggest it be created by a “rock”? PotatoGod (talk) 19:40, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

Note: this explanation was written by someone who's not very good at skipping stones, if they think 1-2 skips is typical. A single skip is about the same as just throwing a rock in the water! (Just kidding around because it's Friday) Ianrbibtitlht (talk) 20:39, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

Actually, just throwing a rock in the water would be zero skips by Randall's reckoning. The five skips in this comic are followed by a "plunk", indicating Randall does not count the rock's final entry into the water as a skip. Though you did say "ABOUT the same", so technically you're still right. 8-) Redbelly98 (talk) 02:23, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

Anyone know if there could even be a rock that came from a volcano near the south pole when the world was frozen over before multicellular life began, and if so, when would that have occurred? Ianrbibtitlht (talk) 20:40, 29 June 2018 (UTC)

Looking at Geologic temperature record, I suspect even the "world was frozen over before multicellular life began" is pretty bold statement not supported by actual evidence. Existence of specific volcano is likely even less supported. On the other hand, we can't disprove it either. -- Hkmaly (talk) 22:21, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
Likely, she is holding some sort of igneous rock found at one of the locations mentioned above. How she knows the age of the rock is the real mystery. Did she pick it up just now and she is guessing? Was it catalogued in a geoarchaeologic dig site? 03:48, 2 July 2018 (UTC)
Perhaps she knows which formation it is from through colouration / texture / present-day context, and has read about the formation. 23:30, 5 January 2021 (UTC)

"philosophical perspective". Does mean that this is the philosophers' stone?

Only outside the US. These Are Not The Comments You Are Looking For (talk) 12:46, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

I don't think the assertion that the stone travelled from North Europe or South Africa is correct. I read it as Megan is at one of those locations, the stone's journey was from its birth at the south pole to meet her millions of years later and thousands of miles away. 16:58, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

It's also unclear if she means where the south pole is now (that is, the land now called Antarctica, formerly existing at lower latitudes) or where it was then (now existing at lower latitudes). But yeah, the means of mass transport aren't elucidated, where plate tectonics, surface flow such as erosion or orogeny, or human activity like sample shipping -- but it's probably all of the above. All we know is what's happening to the stone at the moments the comic depicts, which is definitely a short-range motion. 23:30, 5 January 2021 (UTC)

He had seen things people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. He watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like skip, skip, skip, skip, skip, plunk! Time to die.

So it's a replicant stone! 10:40, 3 July 2018 (UTC)
Or a finity stone. 23:30, 5 January 2021 (UTC)

Very similar to an old Peanuts cartoon. (deadlink)

How can a stone remain buried until it erodes away? Remaining buried until the Earth is swallowed by the Sun is at least theoretically possible, though highly unlikely given my probably-flawed understanding of geological and astronomical time scales, and remaining buried until it melts down into the mantle seems plausible. But if the stone erodes away, won’t it need to be unburied first? 11:52, 28 November 2018 (UTC)

I think the operative commonality between the three of the possible fates mentioned is that the rock has lost identity as an individual stone -- instead, it is merely part of a sedimentary composite. Now, I suspect a volcanic (or metamorphic if the rock was significantly altered since eruption, which seems likely given the time scales) stone would be harder than the matrix in which it is embedded, and so erosion around it would tend to reveal it before it is eroded away itself; but if it was, for the sake of supposition, about as hard -- then part of it may be surfaced, but the whole stone will not be exposed until the last bits of it have worn to sediment. That is, it would never again be picked up and held or indeed skipped by a creature analogous to Megan. Of course, that's likely for reasons unrelated to spans of time, also -- consider the mass of all biota over the course of geologic time compared to the overall mass of the crust, let alone mantle material! Most rock material is never touched by life, which I think adds to the marvel of how the planet has been transformed by life. 23:30, 5 January 2021 (UTC)