Difference between revisions of "826: Guest Week: Zach Weiner (SMBC)"

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(The Hall of Misunderstood Science: "proteins"->"nucleotides" (though "nucleobases" might be more accurate))
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| date      = November 26, 2010
| date      = November 26, 2010
| title    = Guest Week: Zach Weiner (SMBC)
| title    = Guest Week: Zach Weiner (SMBC)
| before    = ''Explainxkcd note: Don't try and click on this image to see the exhibits. Visit [http://www.xkcd.com/826/ the actual comic] instead''
| image    = guest week zach weiner smbc.png
| image    = guest week zach weiner smbc.png
| titletext = Guest comic by Zach Weiner of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. When I was stressed out, Zach gave me a talk that was really encouraging and somehow involved nanobots.
| titletext = Guest comic by Zach Weiner of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. When I was stressed out, Zach gave me a talk that was really encouraging and somehow involved nanobots.

Revision as of 19:02, 9 April 2014

Guest Week: Zach Weiner (SMBC)
Explainxkcd note: Don't try and click on this image to see the exhibits. Visit the actual comic instead
Guest comic by Zach Weiner of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. When I was stressed out, Zach gave me a talk that was really encouraging and somehow involved nanobots.
Title text: Guest comic by Zach Weiner of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. When I was stressed out, Zach gave me a talk that was really encouraging and somehow involved nanobots.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Not all sections are explained, maybe a picture for each should be posted here.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

This comic is guest drawn by Zach Weiner, author of the webcomic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. It's interactive, so you'll have to see the original comic.

The entire comic is a hypothetical "Smithsonian Museum of Dad-Trolling, an entire building dedicated to deceiving children for amusement." That explains it pretty well.

The Hall of Misunderstood Science

Each exhibit is a display set up to reinforce the false answers to typical questions that children may ask their fathers about scientific topics. The answers given involve just enough information that the child may be satisfied with the answer and repeat it to others while maintaining the irony for adults that the answers are obviously misleading or false.

File:Hall Of Misunderstood Science 1.png
Top-left: The basilisk is a mythological reptilian monster that was described with the ability to turn other living things to stone with its gaze.
Top-right: The magnet exhibit alludes to a loss of sexual desire in adults that while perceived may not be true.
Bottom-left: Jesus' dandruff as snow refers to a common idiom in English that rain is "god's tears" and proposes a humorous and irreverent extension of the saying.
Bottom-right: The sleep exhibit reinforces common fears by accentuating the aspect of vulnerability associated with sleep.
File:Hall Of Misunderstood Science 2.png
Top-left: Water is less dense as a solid than it is when in liquid state. This is an unusual property as most materials are more dense in solid form. The exhibit falsely explains the phenomenon by linking it to a defense mechanism employed by prey species to deter predators. A rhinoceros, though fierce and territorial, is not a predator.
Top-right: The anti- in anti matter is a prefix in English which means "the opposite of" referring to the fact that antimatter is made up of oppositely charged particles from regular matter. This is a partial homonym to species of insects commonly called ants.
Bottom-left: The letters associated with DNA are related to the nucleotides which make up the chains, they are guanine, adenine, thymine, and cytosine. The commonality of the abbreviation disguises the link to the names of the nucleotides and gives rise questions regarding the letter choices.
Bottom-right: The figure speaking about molecule display is displaying a common trope attributed to elderly men in that they complain about developments that change the way the view or interact with the world. Historically, though it was understood that matter was made up of small particles it was a common misnomer to refer to these particle as atoms.

Regrettable Pranks: An Interactive Experience

This section holds falsehoods that a dad might use to frighten his children. It is an interactive experience, so visitors can try something for themselves, then learn the frightening fact it indicates.

Helium makes your voice high-pitched, which visitors are told is a sign they are about to explode.

Your middle finger is always longer than the others, so this test will always tell visitors they are an alien half-breed.

Cherries are a common ingredient in Jello cups, but the exhibit implies that the cherry is actually a rabbit brain.


Conservatory of Poorly Remembered History

Rotunda of Uncomfortable Topics

The "naked wrestling" appears to be sex.

The "big tummies before babies come" obviously refers to pregnancy.

Sidestepping around the death of a loved one is common with young children to spare them the sorrow of death; this takes it a step further by saying that the child's grandmother went to Saturn.


The Bathrooms have 3 doors. Clicking reveals that there is one for each gender of humans, and one for "Korgmen & Spangs".


In the spirit of xkcd I present a proposal for a new Smithsonian museum:
The Smithsonian Museum Of Dad-Trolling
An entire building dedicated to deceiving children for amusement
(Click to view exhibits!)
The top left room is 'The Hall of Misunderstood Science'. It contains six exhibits.
Exhibit: A giant basilisk looms over children.
Exhibit label: BASILISKS: Real, deadly, under your bed.
Exhibit: Four magnets hang from a square arch. A child is touching two of them together.
Text on the arch: Magnets only leap at each other when they're teenagers. Later, they lose interest.
Exhibit: A child on his dad's shoulders looks up at a looming statue of Jesus behind a lectern. There are flakes falling from Jesus onto them both.
Exhibit label: Snow is Jesus' dandruff. His scalp gets dry when it's cold.
Exhibit: A child lies asleep, while hands and a scary face reach up around the bed toward him.
Exhibit label: Sleep: Now you're vulnerable to the boogie man!
Exhibit: An ice block sits on a stand in front of pictures of a wolf and rhinoceros looking frightened.
Exhibit label: Freezing water: Expands to frighten predators.
Exhibit: An insect on a stick is orbited by a small sphere.
Exhibit label: Anti-matter: Matter that is more than 50% ants.
Exhibit: A DNA strand with the letters T, A, C, and G hanging around it.
Exhibit label: DNA only has four letters because the alphabet was smaller back then.
Dad, to child: Told you so.
Exhibit: A bunch of molecules hang from the ceiling.
Exhibit label: Molecules? In my day, we only had atoms!
The top right room is 'Regrettable Pranks: An Interactive Experience'. There are four exhibits.
Exhibit: Five balloons float tethered to a table. A child is holding a sixth balloon. The Dad looks alarmed.
Sign on exhibit: If this helium makes your voice go higher, it's because you're ten seconds from exploding.
Exhibit: An alien face is shown above an outline of several hands next to a ruler. A child holds his hand up to it.
Sign on exhibit: Measure your middle finger. If it's longer than the others, you're an alien halfbreed.
Exhibit: Three cups are on a table. A child is walking away with a fourth cup, the dad's arm around the child's shoulder.
Exhibit label: Has anyone seen my rabbit brain? It looks like a cherry, and I dropped it in a Jello cup.
Exhibit: A monstrous set of jaws open upward around a bed.
Sign on exhibit: Make your bed or monsters will know a kid lives there.
The center right room is 'Concessions'. There are three booths.
Booth: A concession stand is labeled 'KFP', and displays a KFC-style bucket. A dad and child are eating.
Dad: The "P" is for "phoenix".
Booth: A concession stand.
Sign on stand: Ground beef: Beef we found on the ground.
Dad, to child: Told you.
Booth: A stand shaped like a giant eye.
Booth label: EYES CREAM
Subtitle: How did you think it was spelled?
Sign on booth: Now with more of the goo in your eyes. Same as every other creamery.
The lower left room is 'Conservatory of Poorly Remembered History'. There are five exhibits.
Exhibit: A man is riding a dragon.
Exhibit label: Genghis Khan: victory through dragons.
Exhibit: A criminal in front of some windows.
Exhibit label: The Crimean War: The first war against crime.
Exhibit: A castle with flags hanging on it.
Exhibit label: The Renaissance
Subtitle: Long story short, the wizards were in control.
Exhibit:A man in Jedi-style robes with a fake beard.
Exhibit label: Star Wars is a documentary. No, seriously.
Dad, to children: Kids, this man is a veteran.
The lower right room is 'Rotunda of Uncomfortable Topics'. There are five exhibits.
Exhibit: A wrestling ring, with a man and woman mostly obscured by the exhibit label.
Exhibit label: Naked wrestling: perfectly normal. NEVER DO IT.
Exhibit: a figure sits at a booth in front of a bowl of food. The dad is holding a bottle.
Exhibit label: Alcohol is poison. I drink to save you from it.
Dad: You're welcome.
Exhibit: A large bird.
Exhibit label: Mommies get big tummies before babies come because the stork likes chubby girls.
Exhibit: A rocket ship.
Sign on exhibit: Grandma's not dead. She just returned to Saturn. For REVENGE.
In the areas outside the rooms, there are two more exhibits and restrooms, all clickable.
Exhibit: A dinosaur skeleton.
Exhibit label: That's right. Dinosaurs were made entirely of BONES.
Dad, to kid: If you think about it, it makes sense.
Exhibit: A large image hangs on the wall. It is a dense squiggly jumble of lines.
Dad, to kids: You gotta squint juuust right.
Sign on exhibit: Magic eye trick that doesn't actually work.
Restrooms: There are three doors, each with a sign.
First door (male logo): Men & Boys
Second door (female logo): Women & Girls
Third door (unrecognizable logo): Korgmen & Spangs

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The third door has a logo of a Korgman. Duh. --Dangerkeith3000 (talk) 16:33, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

What the hell is "Korgmen & Spangs"? I think it belongs to some user profiles (YouTube, etc.). Can someone explain this? --Dgbrt (talk) 21:08, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

There is the red cape man in the hallway between Misunderstood Science and Pranks. A few other character seem to be present such as double black hat. -- 19:25, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

HELIUM IS *NOT* FLAMMABLE! Like, not even a little. -- 11:55, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

"Your middle finger is always longer than the others, so this test will always tell visitors they are an alien half-breed." is incorrect. If you are female, the ring finger is longer.Seebert (talk) 21:09, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Your middle finger is always longer, index and ring fingers lengths change a bit by gender. 23:49, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

I feel like a lot of this explanation entirely misses the point. It constantly goes "Regrettably, this might cause children to believe..." or "they might think this because..." The entire museum is intentionally lying to children. It's supposed to fool them into believing non-truths! And yes, I'm too lazy to change it. Also, maybe we should point out the people in the main image? (Cory Doctorow, Sauron, Gandalf, the flying ferret, and the usual cast) 19:32, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

Also: This page is tagged "Comics featuring Beret Guy". I have not seen him anywhere in here. Am I blind? Should I change it? (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Yes; in the conservatory near the bottom right. 04:20, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

I have also looked through this three times, I could not see Black Hat anywhere. I have removed him from this list. Please revert if you see him, and kindly explain where he is. (as well as Beret Guy.) Dontknow (talk) 04:24, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
Black Hat is in the Rotunda of Uncomfortable Topics, the third person to the right of the stork. Beret Guy is in the Conservatory of Poorly Remembered History, the third person up from the south entrance. Blondie is in the center of the Hall of Misunderstood Science, White Hat is between the two left sections, Ponytail is next to the skeleton, and Megan is by the Regrettable Pranks entrance. Also, Two Black Hats of 455: Hats is next to the Restrooms third gender entrance, and Cory Doctorow is between the top two sections, the third person down in the main hallway. Those are the characters I recognized. -- 08:44, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

Ms. Frizzle can be seen at the bottom right corner of the museum with two children. What this field trip was about, I don't want to know.Catnerd8695 (talk) 22:41, 13 December 2018 (UTC)

Basilisks exist, several species. Gazing at them when they run could leave you petrified in awe as it is quite a sight. Especially if they perform the Jesus water stunt (no dandruff). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_basilisk. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

What is it with their squared shoulders??? 21:51, 28 September 2016 (UTC)