935: Missed Connections

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Missed Connections
The Street View van isn't going to find out anything Google won't already know from reading my email.
Title text: The Street View van isn't going to find out anything Google won't already know from reading my email.


Missed Connections is a page on Craigslist in which people who saw each other briefly and want to reconnect attempt to find each other again. In the case of missed connections, one person describes themselves "Me" and describes the other person "You" in order that the second person would recognize themself and try to reconnect.

The first one appears to be a goofy joke, although there have been many Wienermobile incidents in the past. Given the timing of this comic, one can't help but wonder if it might also be a pun referencing the then recent resignation of Rep. Anthony Weiner over tweeting pictures of his, well, wiener with his mobile device.

Oddly enough, the second entry could possibly be a reference to this episode of The Fairly OddParents.

The third one is a reference to networking. UDP stands for User Datagram Protocol. UDP packets don't use handshaking to verify they have contacted the correct host, so they can get lost or confused. The Cisco router location is just a reference to a block of IP addresses. Cisco is a company that makes networking equipment. This is a play on a missed connection for someone who was lost and asked for directions.

The fourth one is a reference to two events in 2011 in which President Barack Obama invited rappers--among other people--to the White House. After each event, right-wing commentators blasted the event as a party unbecoming of the dignity of the White House. Nancy Pelosi is the Democratic Leader of the US House of Representatives. The acronym (D-CA) is a common notation for politicians which notates party (D for Democrat) and state (CA for California). Pelosi would have also been invited to these events, and the missed connections listing is a reference to what the commentators imagined the event would have been like. A "juggalo" is a term referring to a fan of the rap group Insane Clown Posse (which includes rapper Violent J), which is notorious for having wild, misogynistic and violent fanbase.

The fifth is a straightforward joke. One of the two people getting married was so distracted by their phone they have no clue where their spouse is now, or even who they are. Alternatively, it could be that the second party deserted the wedding because they were frustrated by their partner being distracted by their cell phone during the wedding, and the first partner is now hoping to convince them to return.

The sixth is a reference to how the Google Street View car was not only recording photos of the street in 360 degrees, it was also collecting data from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks. The comic takes this to the next level, that the Google Street View van also scans what we have in our pockets and does a retinal scan. In this case, the social security number referenced is the most used SSN of all time. The retinal scan takes this even further, indicating that Google's cameras are collecting fine enough images to identify people by Retinal scan.

The last suggests that Babe Ruth, the American baseball slugger of 1914-1935, is actually a Time Lord. Time Lord is a reference to the popular sci-fi series Doctor Who in which The Doctor, who is a Time Lord, uses a TARDIS, which is a time travel machine. Possibly because he was a baseball player "ahead of his time".

The title text is a reference to privacy concerns surrounding Google Street View, to which Google responded by claiming that the street view camera wouldn't capture anything that someone walking by wouldn't be able to see.


[The page is set up like the missed connections area of Craigslist, with a list of messages from an individual to a person they weren't able to communicate with at the time.]
Personals > Missed Connections
You: Clinging to hood of your stolen wienermobile, trying to reach into engine to unstick throttle
Me: Screaming, diving out of the way
You: Vaguely human silhouette
Me: At bottom of wishing well with harpoon gun
You: Confused UDP packet
Me: Cisco router in 45.170/16 block
You: Baddest fuckin' Juggalo at Violent J's party
Me: Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca)
You: Getting married to me
Me: Also getting married, but distracted by my phone
You: Cute boy on corner of 4th & Main, 5'11, 169lbs, social security number 078-05-1120, pockets contained $2.09 in change, keys, and a condom. Retinal scan attached
Me: Driving street view van
You: George Herman "Babe" Ruth
Me: Fellow Time Lord. Saw your Tardis on third moon of

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A "Juggalo" is a fan of the band Insane Clown Posse, about as diametrically removed from a democratic politician as you could think of. 17:09, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

More specifically, she has a reputation for being stern and somewhat humorless making her an even better contrast to a Juggalo KingDragonlord (talk) 17:30, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

I'm new so I don't want to overstep bounds and just edit the page but I think it would be clearer to just say the TARDIS is a time travel device. Anyone not familiar with the tv series is not going to care what TARDIS is an acronym for. KingDragonlord (talk) 17:27, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

I think having the expansion of TARDIS is fine, but you are correct there should be a mention of what a TARDIS is, and a link to the wikipedia article for the TARDIS. You are fully free, and welcomed to edit any explanation that you think is lacking information. The worst that could happen is someone reverts your edit and leaves a note on your talk page about why. lcarsos_a (talk) 19:22, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

According to Craigslist itself, Missed Connections has never worked. They're still waiting for a testimony for its first success. 18:20, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

The Nancy Pelosi/Juggalo entry was a specific reference to an event at the White House that Republican commentators branded as a wild party even though it was not. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I thought that the second entry was a reference to Plato's cave... Anyone else think that? 18:22, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Apparently not! -Pennpenn 02:11, 15 February 2016 (UTC)