983: Privacy

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Eventual headline: 'University Researchers Create Life in Lab! Darkness, Faulty Condoms Blamed.'
Title text: Eventual headline: 'University Researchers Create Life in Lab! Darkness, Faulty Condoms Blamed.'


This comic is about Cueball and Megan attempting to find some privacy to "hook up", which is slang for engaging in sexual activity.

They start by going to a dorm. However, the door is locked.

In the second frame, the female roommate of Megan's is currently in a raid, which is a phrase used in World of Warcraft and other Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games or MMORPGs. A Raid is a large gathering of players that work together to defeat a difficult enemy.

The Rare book collection in the library in frame three is usually deserted, so it would be perfect for sexual activity, but instead a tour is going through the area instead. It is unclear if the tour is visiting Nelson Mandela in the rare book section or Nelson Mandela is visiting the school and is getting a tour through the rare book section.

Next they try an accelerator tunnel that is in use and thus locked. This is a normal safety feature in particle accelerators in order to protect researchers from being exposed to potentially dangerous radiation from the particle beam, simply by being near the accelerator while it is in use.

Then they try a beaver lodge. A beaver lodge is usually only accessible from underwater and during winter, the entrances are even further protected by a solid sheet of ice. Note that the final level of the Nintendo 64 game Banjo-Kazooie includes a beaver's living space resembling the one shown. In the game, the lodge is only accessible during the winter phase, when the player must swim from a hole in the ice to the underwater entrance.

With our current understanding of physics, there is neither the possibility of hyperspace existing, nor the possibility of getting there quickly.

The title text indicates that the two found privacy for sex in the lab, but inadvertently got Megan pregnant. This is a pun on news titles about scientists who have created synthetic life in the lab. This eventual headline appears in a few 1037: Umwelt frames as "Scientists Create Life In Lab".

The comic 658: Orbitals is similar.


[An incredibly libidinous, extremely attractive couple try and enter one person's dorm room.]
Other Dorm:
[The same couple in the other person's dorm room, where the roommate is sitting at a computer playing an MMO.]
Roommate: I'll be done Tuesday.
Roommate in raid
Library Rare Book Collection:
[Libidinous couple staring inside the room from outside. Nelson Mandela and other university workers inside the room, looking at some extremely expensive items.]
Occupied by tour for visiting Nelson Mandela
Accelerator Tunnel:
[Couple stares at a heavy, imposing door denying them entry.]
Sealed while beam is in operation.
Beaver Lodge:
[Couple attempting to enter an occupied beaver lodge.]
Frozen over for winter to keep out predators; only accessible via underwater entrance.
[Couple in front of a number of highly advanced physics textbooks.]
Cueball: Are you sure?
Ruled out by current understanding of physics.
College Law #27:
The availability of private space is inversely proportional to the desirability of the hookup.

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If your roommate's in a raid, he's not gonna turn around and notice you shacking up any time soon. World of Warcraft is serious business. Davidy22[talk] 06:55, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

Is the transcript the original one? 21:51, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

No, the name Cueball is never mentioned by Randall. But in general it is close to the original one at all.--Dgbrt (talk) 22:23, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

I don't see how the tour for visiting Nelson Mandela could be interpreted as suggesting that Nelson Mandela was in the rare book collection and the tour was going to visit him - that just seems ridiculous. It's pretty clear that Nelson Mandela's visiting the library. -- 13:38, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

Agreed. I have fixed the entry to reflect the same. It's worth noting that you could have done it first, and explained your edit here. This is, after all, a wiki editable by anyone. Orazor (talk) 09:56, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

Is the fact that the roommate says Tuesday a joke on how long raids can last? That he can reply with a day of the week rather than a time? I think I have seen jokes about the lengths of raids in other places, but I'm not sure. Athang (talk) 21:43, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Well if it's WoW then Tuesday is reset and maintenance shutdown day (usually). -Pennpenn 05:15, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

This is a larger idea, so I didn't want to add it without running it by people: Might it be that the visiting Nelson Mandela is a joke about the stereotypical priorities of college students? I.E. that Megan and Cueball are so engaged with the idea of hooking up that a visit from a notable figure is ignored. -- Xkcdeal (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

At first, I thought the "other dorm" one was showing the roommate setting up a RAID array... Whoop whoop pull up (talk) 19:01, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

This is just applied Murphy's Law, isn't it? 23:31, 13 February 2019 (UTC)

A positive consequence of this law: not desiring hookup provides large (infinite?) amount of private space. 04:10, 9 January 2021 (UTC)