Talk:1490: Atoms

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 14:32, 25 February 2015 by (talk)
Jump to: navigation, search

"My dad FORM the dog"? Typo in the actual comic or just the wiki? 05:47, 23 February 2015 (UTC)Anonymous

The actual comment, the wiki just grabs what the website has listed.-- 05:56, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Generally in cases like this, it's customary to add [sic] to indicate any typoes [sic] or grammarization [sic] mistakes in the original techs. [sic]. KieferSkunk (talk) 19:55, 23 February 2015 (UTC) [sic]

plutonium = radiation exposure, or pacemaker?

Radiation exposure wouldn't give you plutonium, maybe the byproducts of its fission. I'm thinking that, whatever it is, it mutated Beret Guy in the womb, hence why he has this strange superpower.--Druid816 (talk) 06:52, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Referencing Pink Floyd's 1970 album 'Atom Heart Mother' I think.-- 07:25, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

this guy sees by which elements are contained, not by which visible light? -- 06:14, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Are the elements actually representing their atomic symbols? Be, O, S, Z? Not sure what the metal-in-the-face comment is about.

-- 07:47, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

A deliberate BeOS reference? 14:12, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Metal in the face might be a comment on braces, and how uncomfortable people are about having noticable ones. -- 08:37, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Are there braces that aren't very noticeable? I can see adults being a little uncomfortable, but they're ocmmon enough on kids that kids aren't going to be uncomfortable with them. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
(Dental) fillings are explicitly mentioned as a possible source of metal. -- 09:26, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Makeup and powers may contain a variety of metals and rare earths Spongebog (talk) 18:16, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Perhaps the plutonium is coming from his mother smoking? 08:51, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Possibly a reference to Silkwood? DaveHowe (talk) 20:36, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

I like the Karen Silkwood explanation i.e. she worked at an enrichment plant and stole plutonium pellets by swallowing them. The other read I had was that of The Stepford Wives -- I.e. she is a plutonium powered robot. Spongebog (talk) 18:27, 24 February 2015 (UTC) Andries (talk) 09:02, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

I read it as both his mother and him beeing a robot or cyborg, which she never told him. 09:30, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I rather thought it might be a Terminator 2 reference (based on the scene in which the T-1000 replaces John Connor's mother.) 14:12, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
The first thing I thought was Terminator, but in looking at their wiki there's no plutonium reference for their fuel cells, as far as I can tell ( (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
I also assumed it was a reference to some kind of nuclear powered cyborg. Being partially composed of electronic parts could also account for his unusually high levels of Zinc and could explain why he sees people as a list of their constituent particles. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

-- did the radiation give him those superpowers? 11:05, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

He can't distinguish Dad and Dog, so he wasn't a genious back then. So what if the Plutonium wasn't a super complex mysterium, just one of the most important things for an infant, her breasts (in this case maby big ons). 11:44, 23 February 2015 (UTC) Pietro

Seen as purely clumps of chemicals (which it appears that White Hat has been restricted to, at least whilst growing up) mammals (if not animals in general or even wider!) look pretty much the same. A whole lot of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, calcium, phospohorous, some iron, etc, and if WH sees predominately in "amounts of chemicals", it won't just be fine facial features that might get lost in amongst all this irregular information but species as well. The dog could about the same mass as the father and mother (if that was ever a distinguishing factor, rather than just ratios), and it took a while to learn a method other than that of the 'obvious' presence of plutonium in the mother to differentiate his father from all other humans/creatures/hogroasts... (I suspect he's learnt the trick of differentiating individuals, since then, but his abnormal primary sense of 'elements' could very well be the source of some of his other otherworldy 'powers', how he has become rich, why he has somehow found it necessary to contrive a 'soup-dispensing socket', etc. Kind of like a Dr Manhattan like omniscience and unusual understanding of everyday physics. Maybe or maybe not in the various other ways, though.) 10:04, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

I agree with Beret Guy is answering Megan's question about what is wrong with him, not being arrogant. Arrogant would be out of character for Beret Guy, but giving an unusual answer to a rhetorical question would be true to character. mwburden (talk) 12:42, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Perhaps too oddball a theory, but maybe his mom was actually a spacecraft powered by plutonium (e.g. Galileo(spacecraft)), making his father a planet and the dog a moon. 12:43, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Wouldn't the dog need to be a dwarf planet? :) 12:54, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
What would that make him? Mikemk (talk) 21:48, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Pluto! 13:57, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

When I read the alt text the first time around, I read it as platinum and figured Randall meant an IUD... perhaps that was a typo on his part as well (much like the "form" typo mentioned above)? Can't figured out another reasonable plutonium explanation. --Canned Soul (talk) 14:28, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

If you Google "plutonium in IUDs" you get some interesting results.  Perhaps early copper IUDs contained a small amount of incidental plutonium? 19:26, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

I like the plutonium experiments reverence, but are strongly against the suggestion in the explanation that Pu is not found in nature: Do NOT diss Oklo! Oklo is badass! Tier666 (talk) 15:23, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Putting in my own two bits, my first thought reading the title text was that she had a pacemaker. The fact that there were plutoniu pacemakers and the fact he mentioned that they were "in her middle" make me think "pacemaker". But I digress. As far as the "too much zinc", ??? 02:20, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Not sure if it's an inspiration, but this is an example of people not knowing what common human experiences they are missing (see: Also, "or she was the victim of unethical medical experimentation. Thus the probable reason for his abnormality." is ridiculous - no amount of medical experimentation will cause this. The probable reason for his abnormality is magic. 15:35, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Agree: I removed "Thus the probable reason for his abnormality." (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I believe that the "Too Much Zinc?" - is an answer to what might be wrong with him, not a retort to Megan's tone. In fact, zinc is linked to eyesight, see for instance and other sources, and this "zinc overdose" might be believed by white beret guy to relate to his "super-human" eyesight?

Can this be added to the explanation? Djbrasier (talk) 21:58, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

The link to the UPPU club (You Pee Pu) appears to be broken. EDIT: fixed now, thanks whoever fixed it. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Did anyone else notice that this is the second comic in a row about elementary particles? I suspect a series coming up. Mikemk (talk) 21:48, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Pacemakers are usually implanted round the clavicle, so I'm not satisfied with the theory that the plutonium is from a pacemaker. 08:40, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

The "form"/"from" mistake was corrected in the original strip, I applied the changes to the article. -- guest (talk) 17:40, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Can someone elaborate on this: "The presence of plutonium in his mother may be an explanation or source of his own differences."? How does plutonium in the mother explain him having elemental eyesight (or vacuum energy harnessing or soup-from-an-outlet, etc.) abilities? Djbrasier (talk) 22:01, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

I would say, quite simply, that radiation or radioactive chemistry is typically offered as a means of activating/creating abnormal powers (Hulk, Spiderman, Daredevil, etc, etc) in the appropriate fictional genres. And whilst it might have inexplicably failed to create any obvious illness in either mother or child (as would normally happen outside of comic-book franchises) it could have "activated his X-gene" or whatever was required to produce this particularly strange person. 10:04, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

I read bits of a book my mother has, written by a woman who worked for a few years at a plutonium enrichment plant near Denver. It seems the safety and containment systems were faulty, and she has "smokers patches" in her lungs, caused by minute specks of plutonium she inhaled while there. A little late, I know, but I really figured someone else would mention this before the day was up. 14:32, 25 February 2015 (UTC)