200: Bill Nye

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Bill Nye
You could at least not wear the lab coat everywhere, dude.
Title text: You could at least not wear the lab coat everywhere, dude.


Bill Nye is an educator well known in the United States for his science-focused television show targeted to elementary school children (website).

A mother, Blondie, is sitting at a table in a restaurant with her two children, asking them a science-related question about the ice cubes in their drinks. She is hoping to prompt Bill Nye, sitting at the next table, to join the conversation and perhaps inspire her kids. Thinking he has not heard, the mother then coughs slightly and starts to repeat the question. His then immediate and abrupt dismissal of her is antithetical to his television persona, where he is consistently enthusiastic about science and keen to take any opportunity to teach the viewer.

The use of the word "tribulation" implies that being recognized and accosted in public is a cause of much suffering and misery to Mr. Nye.

The title text contains another joke. He eats a meal in public where he does not want to be recognized or harassed with questions; however, he wears a lab coat. Regardless of Bill Nye's otherwise iconic and recognizable appearance, wearing a lab coat in public will probably draw the gazes and curiosity of others, no matter who is wearing it.

Ice pops and cracks when dropped in a glass of water because of thermal stress. The much warmer water causes the outer part of the ice to expand, relative to the still-cold interior. (The part of the ice that melts decreases in volume as it does so.) This results in audible internal fractures in the brittle structure. The effect decreases quickly as the ice cools the water in its immediate environment, so the temperature differential decreases. This is why the first one or two ice cubes added to a glass are more likely to fracture than subsequent cubes are.


[A restaurant. Blondie is with two small Cueballs at a table; Bill Nye with black hair in a white lab coat sits at the next table with his back turned towards them. Two other tables can be seen at the edge of the panel at either side. A caption is written above them:]
The tribulations of Bill Nye:
Blondie: Hey, kids, see how the ice cracks and pops in your water? I wonder what causes that...
Blondie: *Ahem* I said, I wonder what—
Bill Nye: Know what? Maybe I just wanna enjoy my goddamn meal.

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Seems to be complete to me. David.windsor (talk) 20:47, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Same for me, it's not incomplete any more unless someone does find new issues.--Dgbrt (talk) 21:08, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
isn't "PS" a bit weird in a wiki? 19:15, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Fixed. --Dgbrt (talk) 22:15, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Is the mother Miss Lenhart? 0100011101100001011011010110010101011010011011110110111001100101 (talk page) 00:31, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Nope, Randall would have mentioned her.--Dgbrt (talk) 21:01, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
Now she is Blondie. Miss Lenhart is a teacher, which is not give here, although she does teach her chilcren --Kynde (talk) 14:12, 10 September 2016 (UTC)

Bill Nye isn't a scientist. He's a mechanical engineer, comedian, and educator. Rhmcoff (talk) 23:07, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

Even Wikipedia agrees he is not a scientist, I would edit but at work and forgot login may check this more when I get home. 12:43, 3 July 2017 (UTC)