Revision as of 14:57, 12 January 2018
Title text: And to you, I leave my life-sized ice sculpture replica of the Pietà which was blessed by the Pope. You must never let it melt! Now, remember, all gifts must be removed from my estate within 24 hours.
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In some cultures it is customary to give some or all of your possessions to people close to you, usually in written form called a will, after your death. Sometimes a person will start this process before death. In some cases, the items are unwanted or unusable by the person receiving them, and are either sold or put in storage.
The joke here is that if you didn't want that to happen, you would give them something large and perhaps unmovable. In this case the old dying man gives his Foucault pendulum to one from his family. It is a large device for demonstrating the rotation of the Earth, usually found in museums. The item may also be difficult to maintain according to the dying person's instructions, especially for someone with little experience with that type of item.
The Pietà is a Renaissance sculpture by Florentine artist Michelangelo, depicting the body of Jesus Christ on the lap of his mother, Mary, in the aftermath of his Crucifixion. It is widely considered one of the masterpieces of sculpture. While replicas of Pietà do exist, there are none known to have been made of ice, let alone made of ice and blessed by the Pope. While the gift could potentially be very valuable, the insistence that it be "removed from my estate within 24 hours" drastically increases the probability that it will be destroyed by melting.
- [An old man (wrinkled and deformed head with a bit of hair left) is lying in his bead, head on a pillow, body beneath a blanket. He points to one of the three people standing along the side of the bed, Ponytail, Cueball, and a kid with spiky hair.]
- Old man: And to you...
- Old man: I leave the 30-foot Foucault Pendulum from the main hall.
- Old man: It has been swinging for fifty years. As long as you remember me, you must never let it stop!
- [Caption below the panel:]
- A fun prank: as you're dying, leave people gift's that will be as difficult as possible to put into storage.
Pendulums have previously been referenced in 755: Interdisciplinary and 1670: Laws of Physics.
Michelangelo was previously referenced in 197: Ninja Turtles.
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Wikipedia has a list of most Foucault pendulums in the world, if anyone wants to try to guess what museum he worked for :) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Foucault_pendulums Hawthorn (talk) 12:11, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
- I assumed that his Foucault pendulum was in his own home, rather than in some public place. 184.108.40.206 15:41, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
- Yeah, he does say "Main hall" DPS2004'); DROP TABLE users;-- (talk) 17:19, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
- Hmmm, I take your point :) I made the assumption that the pendulum is in a museum because I'm most familiar with seeing them in museums (and museums have halls), but the comic doesn't actually say that. It would be unusual for a man to personally own a large hall with a Foucault pendulum, but the title text does suggest that the guy is rich, so it's possible. Hawthorn (talk) 17:33, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
- I feel this pendulum is unquestionably in this guy's private home. If it were in a museum, firstly it's unlikely to be his to bequeath. Secondly, even if it was, there'd be no difficulty here, the recipient could just leave it with the museum. However, his words not only imply that this bed is in the same building as the pendulum, but the title text saying it must be removed I feel cements the idea that the pendulum is in his home. Even if he is the ultimate dictator of the museum, he'd hardly be any position to insist on any removal after he dies, whoever takes charge after - or likely already now with him on his deathbed - would likely want the pendulum to stay. I believe the whole idea is that this is a weird and unwieldy item to personally own and even more so to have in one's home, so it lends to the absurdity of the comic. NiceGuy1 (talk) 06:44, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
- It is possible that he owns the pendulum, not the hall. As the first commenter suggested, there is only one Foucault pendulum in the word that is exactly 30ft (according to wiki), I don't want to spoil it but the semi-real nature of the series could mean this pendulum is in THAT museum. 220.127.116.11 18:15, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
- So in that case, if we want to know what museum he worked for, we need a list of those that used to have Foucault pendulums...18.104.22.168 09:14, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
I am working on a fan project related to xkcd and I am hoping to release it on the 2000th comic. How much longer do I have? DPS2004'); DROP TABLE users;-- (talk) 16:33, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
- Assuming they come out three times a week as normal, until about the end of May.22.214.171.124 16:46, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
- If the comics continue as normal, #2000 would come out on May 30th, 2018. 126.96.36.199 22:49, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
- Thanks! DPS2004'); DROP TABLE users;-- (talk) 17:17, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
- But why on such an arbitrary number? If you wait until #2048 at least it would be a nice round one :D 188.8.131.52 12:59, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
- Only here could someone suggest that 2000 is an arbitrary number, 2048 is round, and not to worry about anyone wondering what you're talking about. :) I love it. LOL! Though I'd also put forward 2018, as it'll be the one and only comic to appear in it's namesake year (with every single other year's number also appearing this year). NiceGuy1 (talk) 06:44, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
There is a superstition that the stopping of a clock's pendulum will cause (or will be caused by) the death of the clock's owner. A less superstitious version is that a clock's pendulum must be kept swinging as a token of rememberance. Therefore it is actually quite realistic that a dying person might instruct the inheritor of a pendulum clock to never let it stop. However, Randall turns the situation absurd by replacing the pendulum clock with a Foucault pendulum, not only because of the difficulty of moving the pendulum while it's swinging, but also because there's no such superstition associated with Foucault pendulums (that I could find, at least). 184.108.40.206 17:51, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
The possibility that the old man's requests will be ignored are in direct proportion to the possibility of him being capable of exacting revenge from beyond the grave.--These Are Not The Comments You Are Looking For (talk) 01:16, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
- So if he's certain to be able to take revenge, they're certain to ignore his requests? Weird. 220.127.116.11 09:38, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
- It's 'in direct' not 'indirect', if it had been 'indirect' then 'inversely' would have been a better description for likelyhood. And if your just making a pun, well sorry.18.104.22.168 14:34, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
- If it's in direct proportion, then the greater the chance of revenge, the greater the chance of it being ignored. If it's indirect proportion, that... well, that would be meaningless. It would be be more logical for it to be in inverse proportion (the greater the chance of revenge, the lower the chance it will be ignored). Except, of course, that wills aren't (generally) respected due to fear of revenge; they're respected due to legal mandate and social convention.22.214.171.124 16:33, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
- Ol' Mr./Ms. 76.16 is right, These Are... should have said "in indirect relation", or "in inverse relation". The more likely there will be paranormal revenge, the less likely his requests will be ignored. If I KNOW he'll come back to haunt me, I KNOW I won't be ignoring his requests, I'm doing everything I can to fulfill them. :) NiceGuy1 (talk) 06:59, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
- I guess that I did not word my post clearly. What I tried to get across was: the more likely that the Old Man CAN conduct revenge from the Grave, the more likely that his wishes WON'T be ignored.These Are Not The Comments You Are Looking For (talk) 01:10, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
- Ah, I see. If your original comment had said "WON'T be ignored", then it would have come across that way. And yes, you're right. LOL! NiceGuy1 (talk) 04:34, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
Should be mentioned: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LastRequest 126.96.36.199 08:20, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
Theres's a loophole with pieta ice sculpture rules. You can break it into pieces, which makes it much easier to transport within 24 hours without melting. Then just bring the pieces to someone with a vaccum chamber and let all the ice sublimate. Done :) 188.8.131.52 13:10, 23 August 2018 (UTC)