Talk:731: Desert Island

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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There's a shark, a manta ray, giant jellyfish, and a giant squid in the water. It's totally safe. And what the heck are those worms at the ocean bed? Davidy22[talk] 13:27, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

Those worms are extremophiles feeding off of the nutrients emitted by the volcanic column... and from what I understand, they're completely harmless. Their entire ecology centers around the extreme heat and alternative chemical sources of energy provided by the center of the earth (vs sun-based photosynthetic life.) Oh, and I think Randall left off the "not to scale" attribute of the map, otherwise the ocean floor would only be a few hundred feet deep... -- IronyChef (talk) 15:50, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

The title text seems to be alluding to a song. No idea what it could be. --Qwach (talk) 18:27, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

In my mind, I hear the alt-text as lyrics to the Can-Can song, "Infernal Gallop". See if you agree! (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I'm pretty sure it's meant to go with the Major-General's song from the Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan. The meter and rhyme works out, and Randall based comic 1052 (Every Major's Terrible) on it, showing that he knows and likes the song. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Also the title text is a poem since no one mentions it:
Telescopes and bathyscapes
and sonar probes of Scottish lakes,
Tacoma Narrows bridge collapse
explained with abstract phase-space maps,
some x-ray slides, a music score,
Minard's Napoleonic war:
the most exciting new frontier
is charting what's already here.
--7buergen (talk) 09:32, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

I think the point of the commentary is "there's more than meets the eye". 13:47, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

It's to the tune of "We Didn't Start the Fire"... (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I agree. It lines up perfectly, arguably better than Major General. 05:34, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

If "We Didn't Start the Fire" had been the original intended tune, then the "some" and "a" in line 5 should not be there; they are superfluous and do not fit the rhythm of "We Didn't Start the Fire". The most plausible conclusion is that those words were added or retained to make the text fit the meter of a different song. To my ear, "Infernal Gallop", as noted above, seems quite plausible, although it doesn't exactly account for "some". Being (to my shame) unfamiliar with Gilbert and Sullivan, I can't comment on the Modern Major-General theory. --5parrowhawk (talk) 10:18, 8 March 2016 (UTC) Feels like it has something to do with those I Spy books idk (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

The white/blue colored things on the left could be scrap metal from the game subnautica162.158.134.184 06:19, 16 July 2019 (UTC)

...which was released mere 8 years after this comic... --Lupo (talk) 07:09, 16 July 2019 (UTC)

The title text can be sung to the tune of Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start The Fire". I found this out because someone pointed it out here

When I read the title text I immediately heard the Gilbert & Sullivan music from Pirates of Penzance in my head. I'm voting for that rather than Billy Joel. -- The Cat Lady (talk) 14:38, 19 August 2021 (UTC)

The poem is in iambic tetrameter, a quite-common meter in English poetry and music. Examples include Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud", Marlowe's "The Passionate Shepherd to His Love", Byron's "She Walks in Beauty", and Tolkien's "Song of Eärendil". "We Didn't Start the Fire" doesn't fit (its feet are trochees, not iambs - long-short vs. short-long - and every fourth line leaves the last trochee blank); "Infernal Gallop" and "Modern Major-General" come very close to fitting, but there are subtle differences in each (for example, "Modern Major-General"'s first line starts with a full iamb (coincidentally, "I am") while Randall's skips the initial short beat of the first iamb). Of these, I think "Major-General" is the most likely match; Randall's poem has the same meter and flow, and matches G&S's rhyme scheme (where "Infernal Gallop" doesn't have lyrics to rhyme!). Noëlle (talk) 19:01, 13 November 2021 (UTC)