Title text: Sailor Moon's head exploded once' and 'Some men have explosive orgasms' both work for the Great Lakes from west to east (Paddle-to-the-Sea order).
Here we have six different science mnemonics. A mnemonic is (thanks Wikipedia!) any learning technique that aids memory. Mnemonics rely on associations between easy-to-remember constructs which can be related back to the data that are to be remembered. This is based on the observation that the human mind much more easily remembers spatial, personal, surprising, physical, sexual or humorous or otherwise meaningful information, as compared to retrieving arbitrary sequences. To improve long term memory, mnemonic systems are used to make memorization easier.
The category is listed at the top of the box, the members are listed below that. Then there is the traditional mnemonic that children are usually taught in school to help them remember. Below the comic is one or two options for new mnemonics suggested by Randall. The top one is illustrated in the frame.
- SI Prefixes are the prefixes for the systems of units from large to small and since there are so many, the mnemonic needs two lines. Karl Marx, as he is seen in the comic, was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. Microsoft's Zune was a failed mp3 player that Microsoft brought to market and never "caught on".
- Taxonomy is the science of identifying and naming species. Katy Perry is an America pop music singer, who's popular songs are ones like "Fireworks" or "I Kissed A Girl". And that is the stick figure of her in the illustration.
- In the geologic periods frame, the illustration is of a month's worth of "the pill" a common contraceptive.
- In Resistor Color Codes, Glenn Beck is in the illustration. Beck is a far-right conservative commentator in the US, who used to have a show on the Fox News Network.
- The sign Glenn Beck is holding is a reference to 966: Jet Fuel
- In the Planets frame, the illustration is of Mary and Joseph, who in the story of the Birth of Jesus in the Bible, were mother and father to Jesus. However, Mary's conception of Jesus was from God and Mary was still considered a virgin. This mnemonic shows Joseph not really believing that story. Ironically the upstairs neighbour could have multiple meanings as you can't get more upstairs than heaven and thus God. Given the stance most xkcd comics take on religion, it is likely a corporeal neighbor that is being suspected, but it is curious that a neighbor of the upstairs variety is specifically referenced especially given the lack of urban density in the time of Christ.
- Most traditional Planets mnemonics include Pluto, which was "officially" considered a planet before 2006.
XKCD Presents: Some New Science Mnemonics
Contents of frame
Order of Operations
Parentheses, Exponents, Division & Multiplication, Addition & Subtraction
Traditional: Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally
[Person having a shark delivered to his laptop]
Please Email My Dad A Shark
People Expect More Drugs And Sex
Big: Kilo, Mega, Giga, Tera, Peta, Exa, Zetta, Yotta
Milli, Micro, Nano, Pico, Femto, Atto, Zepto, Yocto
(Graph of the declining profits of the Zune)
[Karl Marx delivering a number of zeppelins to a bunch of confused proletariats]
Big: Karl Marx Gave The Proletariat Eleven Zeppelins, Yo
Small: Microsoft Made No Profit From Anyone's Zunes, Yo
Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species
Traditional: King Philip Came Over For Good Sex
Katy Perry: I'm not sure who doubts this, really.
Katy Perry Claims Orgasms Feel Good Sometimes
Kernel Panics Crash Our Family Game System.
(Precambrian), Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, Paleogene, Neogene
Traditional: [I never learned one]
[A month's set of birth control pills]
PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome Does Cause Problems That Judicious Contraceptives Partially Negate
Resistor Color Codes
Black, Brown, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet, Gray, White
Traditional: [none I care for]
[Glenn Beck holding the traditional "Nanobot Vaccine Chemtrail 9 11" sign]
"Big Brother Reptilian Overlords", yelled Glenn, "Brainwashing Via Ground water!!"
Be Bold, Respect Others; You'll Gradually Become Versatile, Great Wikipedians!
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Traditional: My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nachos
[A pregnant Mary attempting to explain things to an incredulous Joseph]
Mary's "Virgin" Explanation Made Joseph Suspect Upstairs Neighbor.
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