Difference between revisions of "1378: Turbine"

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==Explanation==
 
==Explanation==
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''A {{w|wind turbine}} uses wind to rotate its blades in order to generate electricity''. It is visually very similar to an (electric) {{w|Mechanical fan|fan}} which however does the exact opposite: it ''uses electricity to rotate its blades in order to generate wind''. This opposition was previously highlighted in [[1119: Undoing]].
  
In this comic, Megan is speaking to a {{w|wind turbine}} (which has the unrealistic ability to respond to her).
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The punchline of this comic is a {{w|pun}} on the other meaning of the word "{{Wiktionary|fan}}" which qualifies someone as liking or supporting something (here, an idea). [[Megan]] suggests to have the turbine blow air at her so she could lift off with a kite, something which would be conceivable with a huge fan, but is impossible here precisely because the turbine is not a fan and therefore can't generate wind. So the ({{w|Anthropomorphism|anthropomorphically}}-speaking) turbine's response is twofold: 1) it's a turbine and not a huge fan, which makes the idea impossible, and 2) for this very reason it doesn't like the idea - i.e. it is not a fan of the idea.
  
A wind turbine is a mechnanical device that generates power via kinetic energy produced from the turning of its blades by the wind, and converts it into electricity. A wind turbine is visually very similar to a {{w|mechanical fan|fan}}, whose fan blades spin via electrical (or other) power in order to move air (i.e. create wind) to provide a cooling effect. In this way, a fan is essentially the opposite of a wind turbine.
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The title text alternatively suggests building a makeshift {{w|trebuchet}}. The idea is that when the kite's string gets tangled in the turbine's blades, the kite will be spun around and it will fling the attached rock (this setup is more similar to a {{w|Trebuchet#Traction trebuchet|traction trebuchet}} than to the more common counterweight trebuchet).
 
 
The punchline of this comic is a {{w|pun}} which plays on a second meaning of the word "{{w|Fan (person)|fan}}" as a colloquial short form for "fanatic" - someone who is a fanatic about something (e.g. a football team, a band, etc.).
 
 
 
Megan suggests that the wind turbine blow air at her so that she can use a kite to lift off the ground. When Megan asks what the turbine thinks of the idea, the turbine's response is both literal (it is a turbine, not a fan and therefore can't blow air) and colloquial (saying "I'm not a fan" of an idea that one does not like or support the idea).
 
 
 
Wind turbines has been used in earlier comics:
 
:In [[556: Alternative Energy Revolution] the Turbine is also alive but somewhat more dangerous than just being ironic...
 
:In [[1119: Undoing]] Cueball understood the difference between them and a fan...
 
 
 
The title text contains an alternative suggestion to build a makeshift {{w|trebuchet}}. A trebuchet is a type of catapult. The [http://youtu.be/MTWsmZta6AE setup described] would not resemble the widely known counterweight trebuchet, as the energy rotating the arm and flinging the rock would not be from a raised counterweight. It would rather be more similar to a traction trebuchet.
 
 
 
Trebuchets has been the subject of these two comics as well: [[382: Trebuchet]] and [[1160: Drop Those Pounds]].
 
  
 
==Transcript==
 
==Transcript==
:[Megan is talking to a giant wind turbine.]
+
:[Megan is talking to a wind turbine.]
 
:Megan: I'll hold up a big kite, and you blow air at me until I lift off!
 
:Megan: I'll hold up a big kite, and you blow air at me until I lift off!
 
:Megan: What do you think of that idea?
 
:Megan: What do you think of that idea?
 
:Wind turbine: I'm not a huge fan.
 
:Wind turbine: I'm not a huge fan.
 +
 +
==Trivia==
 +
*In [[556: Alternative Energy Revolution]] the wind turbines are also alive, but somewhat more dangerous than just being ironic.
 +
*In [[1119: Undoing]], Cueball highlights the differences between a wind turbine and a fan.
 +
*Trebuchets has been the subject of the comics [[382: Trebuchet]] and [[1160: Drop Those Pounds]], and they were also part of the story in [[1190: Time]].
  
 
{{comic discussion}}
 
{{comic discussion}}
 
[[Category:Comics featuring Megan]]
 
[[Category:Comics featuring Megan]]
 
[[Category:Trebuchet]]
 
[[Category:Trebuchet]]
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[[Category:Wind turbine]]
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[[Category:Puns]]
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[[Category:Kites]]

Revision as of 18:11, 30 April 2018

Turbine
Ok, plan B: Fly a kite into the blades, with a rock in a sling dangling below it, and create the world's largest trebuchet.
Title text: Ok, plan B: Fly a kite into the blades, with a rock in a sling dangling below it, and create the world's largest trebuchet.

Explanation

A wind turbine uses wind to rotate its blades in order to generate electricity. It is visually very similar to an (electric) fan which however does the exact opposite: it uses electricity to rotate its blades in order to generate wind. This opposition was previously highlighted in 1119: Undoing.

The punchline of this comic is a pun on the other meaning of the word "fan" which qualifies someone as liking or supporting something (here, an idea). Megan suggests to have the turbine blow air at her so she could lift off with a kite, something which would be conceivable with a huge fan, but is impossible here precisely because the turbine is not a fan and therefore can't generate wind. So the (anthropomorphically-speaking) turbine's response is twofold: 1) it's a turbine and not a huge fan, which makes the idea impossible, and 2) for this very reason it doesn't like the idea - i.e. it is not a fan of the idea.

The title text alternatively suggests building a makeshift trebuchet. The idea is that when the kite's string gets tangled in the turbine's blades, the kite will be spun around and it will fling the attached rock (this setup is more similar to a traction trebuchet than to the more common counterweight trebuchet).

Transcript

[Megan is talking to a wind turbine.]
Megan: I'll hold up a big kite, and you blow air at me until I lift off!
Megan: What do you think of that idea?
Wind turbine: I'm not a huge fan.

Trivia


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Discussion

Why is it "horrible, horrible"? Do you really, really not like it? It's not like it's a shaggy dog cartoon which you wasted several minutes on... Oh, wait... 108.162.208.9 05:51, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

For me, it just sucks that Randall chose to end the week on a lame pun. On Mondays/Wednesdays, the "suckiness" of something like this would be offset by a good "what-if?" on Tuesday. 103.22.201.225 06:00, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

From what I've seen, Friday comics tend to be more "wacky" than the rest. 108.162.238.134 23:22, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

While I agree it isn't the best xkcd could be, let's try and keep these pages objective, and leave the opinions in the comments. Mrmakeit (talk) 06:22, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

"I'm not a huge fan" is a catchphrase of Elon Musk, his opinion on patents, which was in the news a couple of days ago. Lift-off alludes to Musk's SpaceX. Wind turbine alludes to Musk's renewable energy company Solarcity. Tww (talk) 07:36, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

What's funny to me is that a turbine really is a giant fan. You'd just have to pump a whole ton of power (at the right voltage and sync rate) into it and possibly give it a kickstart of some kind to get it to turn. You could say the same about pretty much anything that generates power from rotational motion; it's a generator, but in the opposite direction, it's also a motor. 173.245.50.67 11:25, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

I laughed at this comic, I thought it was great. As for the explanation, though, should it really be marked "complete" already? It reads like a first draft to me, and the comic is about a wind turbine, not a windmill. I'm gonna go fix that now. Enchantedsleeper (talk) 11:28, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

I also liked this one. Great pun. As Enchantedsleeper may have found out windmill is the old mills for grain. But in some languages a wind turbine is called the same as a windmill! Kynde (talk) 17:57, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

'apostrophe' is more of an oratorical device, for the benefit of an audience. In this case Megan is treating the turbine as if it were human - anthropomorphism - but this isn't really a central part of the comic, and doesn't need much explanation - Seanybabes (talk) 08:59, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

I just got the punchline today. My punnery organs evidently need a workout. --Okofish (talk) 22:01, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY????????????? SilverMagpie (talk) 21:52, 13 June 2017 (UTC)