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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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<big>''Welcome to the '''explain xkcd''' wiki!''
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<font size=5px>''Welcome to the '''explain [[xkcd]]''' wiki!''</font>
We already have [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-3}}''' comic explanations]]!</big>
 
  
(But there are still {{#expr:{{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-3)}} to go. Come and [[List of all comics|add yours]]!)
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We have collaboratively explained [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9}}''' xkcd comics]],
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    as well as [[List of all comics]], which is obviously not a comic page. -->
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and only {{#expr:{{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9)}}
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({{#expr: ({{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-9)) / {{LATESTCOMIC}} * 100 round 0}}%)
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remain. '''[[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Add yours]]''' while there's a chance!
 
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== Latest comic ==
 
== Latest comic ==
 
 
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<span style="float:right;">[[{{LATESTCOMIC}}|'''Go to this comic''']]</span>
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<span style="float:right;">[[{{LATESTCOMIC}}|'''Go to this comic explanation''']]</span>
 
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== New here? ==
 
== New here? ==
Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the explain xkcd wiki!  We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between.  If it is referenced in an [http://www.xkcd.com xkcd] web comic, it should be here.
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<div style="float:right; margin: 0 0 1em 1em">{{Special:ContributionScores/10/7/nosort,notools}}<div style="font-size:0.85em; width:25em; font-style:italic">[[Special:ContributionScores|Lots of people]] contribute to make this wiki a success. Many of the recent contributors, listed above, have just joined. You can do it too! Create your account [[Special:UserLogin/signup|here]].</div></div>
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You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at [[explain xkcd]]. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki!  We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between.  If it is referenced in an [[xkcd]] web comic, it should be here.
  
 
* If you're new to wikis like this, take a look at these help pages describing [[mw:Help:Navigation|how to navigate]] the wiki, and [[mw:Help:Editing pages|how to edit]] pages.
 
* If you're new to wikis like this, take a look at these help pages describing [[mw:Help:Navigation|how to navigate]] the wiki, and [[mw:Help:Editing pages|how to edit]] pages.
  
* Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at [[Explain XKCD:Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
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* Discussion about various parts of the wiki is going on at [[Explain XKCD:Community portal]]. Share your 2¢!
  
* [[List of all comics]] contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links ([[like this]]) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them!
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* [[List of all comics]] contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links ([[like this]]) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them! '''[[Help:How to add a new comic explanation|Here's how]]'''.
  
 
== Rules ==
 
== Rules ==
Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations, feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.
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Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.
  
 
If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.
 
If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.
  
Please only submit material directly related to&mdash;and helping everyone better understand&mdash;xkcd... and of course ''only'' submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.)  Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users posting such are at risk of being blocked.
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Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course ''only'' submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.)  Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.
  
 
If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is [[Special:ListUsers/sysop|here]].
 
If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is [[Special:ListUsers/sysop|here]].
 
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Revision as of 21:16, 24 March 2013

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!

We have collaboratively explained 6 xkcd comics, and only 2093 (100%) remain. Add yours while there's a chance!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

Missal of Silos
Welcome to Wyoming, motto "We'd like to clarify that Cheyenne Mountain is in Colorado."
Title text: Welcome to Wyoming, motto "We'd like to clarify that Cheyenne Mountain is in Colorado."

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Cremated by a BOB. Please mention here why this explanation isn't complete. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.

Fuzzy, or approximate, string matching is a technique used for searching text for specified "strings" of characters. Normal string matching would only find results that fit the search exactly (searching for "missile" would find only occurrences of "missile"). Fuzzy string matching instead finds results that are "close enough" by some metric (searching for "missile" would find "missile" but also close variants like "missal" or "missel"). This is often used in search engines, as typos, misspellings, and inexact searches are commonplace.

Missile silos are often thought to be the first targeting priority in event of a nuclear strike, in hopes of preventing retaliation from the target. If a list of potential nuclear missile targets were stored, and a fuzzy search was looking for "missile silos", the Missal of Silos would most likely be returned as a result and could be made a target.

In Christianity, a missal is a priest's book of instructions, texts and music for the proper celebration of Mass. The Missal of Silos is an 11th-century missal from the Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos in northern Spain; it is famous for being the oldest known paper document in Europe, written at a time when the usual writing material was parchment.

Cheyenne Mountain is a mountain in Colorado, which houses an underground compound (aptly named the Cheyenne Mountain Complex) designed to withstand a nuclear strike and host to the North American Aerospace Defense Command. Cheyenne, Wyoming, on the other hand, is the capital of Wyoming. The residents of Cheyenne, Wyoming would prefer their town not to be the target of a nuclear attack because of confusion with Cheyenne Mountain[citation needed]. However, Cheyenne, Wyoming is likely a listed target due to the nearby 90th Operations Group at Francis E. Warren Air Force Base operating Minuteman III ICBMs from missile silos.

There have been several comics with nuclear weapons as a part of the plot. See for instance 1655: Doomsday Clock, where several other comics are mentioned in the explanation.

Transcript

[A passage from the Wikipedia page for Missal of Silos is shown, with underlined heading and with links in the text in blue font. The last line is partly cut off by the comics panel, but can be read.]
Missal of Silos
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Missal of Silos is the oldest known paper document created in the Christian West; it is 11th century in date.[1]
The missal is held in the library of the Monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos near Burgos, Spain. It is one of a number of liturgical manuscripts...
[Caption below the panel:]
Spain would like to remind everyone not to use fuzzy string matching in their nuclear strike target lists.

Trivia

  • The transcript of the Wikipedia article shown on the comic is accurate to the revision made on 2 September 2018.
    • This is because a spurt of editing took place on Wikipedia on the day of the comic, since xkcd and Wikipedia editing have similar target demographics.
    • This "xkcd-Wikipedia effect" has happened before.
      • One example of this revolved around 878: Model Rail, in which the alt-text mentioned that the debate over the title of the HO/H0 system was disturbingly long, and "coincidentally", the talk page debate got a little longer on that very day.
      • And most famously, the comic 1485: Friendship, caused at least four Wikipedia pages to be vandalized, so these pages had to be semi protected.


Is this out of date? Clicking here will fix that.

New here?

Last 7 days (Top 10)

Lots of people contribute to make this wiki a success. Many of the recent contributors, listed above, have just joined. You can do it too! Create your account here.

You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at explain xkcd. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki! We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between. If it is referenced in an xkcd web comic, it should be here.

  • List of all comics contains a complete table of all xkcd comics so far and the corresponding explanations. The red links (like this) are missing explanations. Feel free to help out by creating them! Here's how.

Rules

Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.

If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.

Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course only submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited.) Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.

If you need assistance from an admin, feel free to leave a message on their personal discussion page. The list of admins is here.