This comic remarks on how obsessively some scientific papers investigate some insignificant, obscure things. It gives the example of an investigation into whether an earthquake in 1811 caused church bells 600 miles away to ring, which, although mildly interesting, is not of any scientific importance today.
This paper even goes as far as to include genetics as a factor in this equation, despite the fact that this has close to nothing to do with the main question (or, at least, it is too unsubstantial to warrant any searching).
The title text is a continuation of this paper, which researches into the bells' shapes, and then goes on to provide the entire interview in another section.
I started the explanation. Things that need investigation: Is this an actual scientific paper somewhere? Can anyone find the original source? If not, perhaps still based on real events? PotatoGod (talk) 18:06, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
- The earthquake was a real event: https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/events/1811-1812newmadrid/summary.php & https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-great-midwest-earthquake-of-1811-46342/ (this one mentions the church bells) 220.127.116.11 18:15, 27 June 2018 (UTC)david0mp
- A quick search of Google scholar doesn't turn up anything close to this paper. Tried various combinations of New Madrid Earthquake, Bell, Church, etc. Cgrimes85 (talk) 19:47, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
Maybe its ‘cause I’m dumb, but I originally interpreted the caption as meaning that these papers investigated minor details *about* the thoroughness of the 9/11 commission’s report. As in, the 9/11 commission mentioned this bell tower somewhere, and this report is debunking it. The explanation on here should probably make clear what the intended meaning is. 18.104.22.168 19:08, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
It looks like this paper covers the earthquake and church bells (https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1029/2000JB900110), but the church bell mentioned is in Georgia and not South Carolina. Close enough I guess? 22.214.171.124 19:34, 27 June 2018 (UTC)
- It does also mention the church bell in Charleston, South Carolina, and that the effects of the earthquake there were stronger than in cities in comparable distance. 126.96.36.199 09:18, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
Wikipedia quotes the John Reynolds account suggesting a church bell was heard to ring in Cahokia, Illinois.
Interestingly New Madrid is in the Kentucky Bend exclave - which I assume would have been simplified when the border was straightened to fix survey errors. Unsigned
My favorite genre of [website] are exhaustive -page [wikis] that [explain] some minor [webcomic] with the obsessive thoroughness of the 9/11 commission report.
Is Randall trolling you guys? 188.8.131.52 12:40, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
- I don't know, but it's a good one. DanB (talk) 14:12, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
Any utility in mentioning that while Charleston, SC is not in the New Madrid seismic zone, it had its own 7.0-ish earthquake in 1886? 184.108.40.206 16:26, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
I find it amusing that the explanation of this comic (including the stuff about who could comment on the bell structure) is a good example of exactly the phenomenon the comic is talking about - over-detailed research (not that in this case it's a bad thing) --220.127.116.11 09:42, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
- I think a that comparison with this website should be included in the comic explanation.--Pere prlpz (talk) 10:23, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
- This topic may be the meta obsessive through analysis singularity...GODZILLA (talk) 16:32, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
- Comparing this website with the topic of the comic is a bit unfair -- this isn't a scientific journal. Websites obsessing over pop culture phenomena have been with us practically since the web was formed. I once found a fan website for an obscure B-movie actress who I only was interested in because we went to the same junior high school and she was a friend of my sister. Barmar (talk) 17:46, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
- The bell-ringing stuff wasn't the result of extensive research; I happen to ring church bells in and around London, so the stuff about the Tower just struck me as obviously incongruous, and I was able to comment on it from existing knowledge (backed up with a couple of quick searches). --18.104.22.168 20:19, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
The explanation currently states "...the McShane Bell Foundry in Maryland is likely to offer far more relevant expertise...", but the company's web site www.mcshanebell.com/history/ourhistory.html states they were founded at least 44 years after the 1811 earthquake.GODZILLA (talk) 16:47, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
- "...certainly than the Tower of London", which likely has next to none. --22.214.171.124 20:19, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
I'm guessing when Randall said "Tower of London" in the title text, he was thinking of the bell know a Big Ben, in the Elizabeth Tower (formally known as the Clock Tower) of the Palace of Westminster (AKA the Houses of Parliament) in London. And note the title text says "...consultation with several bellringing experts...", not "bell making experts". Doing my part to bring about the meta obsessive through analysis singularity, GODZILLA (talk) 21:01, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
- The Palace of Westminster doesn't have much of a claim to "bellringing experts" either: the bells (including Big Ben) are automatically chimed by the clock, not by bell ringers. St Margaret's church opposite would be a better place to look than the PoW, but still nowhere near as good as the foundries mentioned if what we're interested in is the technical characteristics of the bells. --126.96.36.199 20:19, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
What's the point of the comment about Missouri not becoming a state until after the earthquake? The town was already in Missouri at the time of the earthquake, Missouri Territory. 188.8.131.52 23:08, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
- The "point" is stated at the beginning of the sentence. (And the Missouri Territory did not exist until June 4, 1812, after the earthquake in question.)GODZILLA (talk) 23:53, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
The comma missing after 'Missouri' bothers me so much. jameslucas (" " / +) 02:44, 1 July 2018 (UTC)