xkcd Header text

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 08:21, 8 November 2019 by Kynde (talk | contribs) (2019-11-06 - Audio clip: with link)
Jump to: navigation, search

Contents

Header text

  • The header text is part of the xkcd Header.
  • The header text is often changing when Randall has news to tell.
    • But when this news wears off the page usually returns to the go to header text which is:
      • xkcd updates every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
      • It was last active on 2019-02-05.
        • Due to the How To book, it has no been up for a long time, and still is not on this day: 2019-08-06.

Current header text

  • The current header text will be the top of the list of changes, if this page is kept up to date...
  • Usually the header text is the same for all comics.
    • But for certain comics there may be a reason to change the text permanent and as long as that is active they will not change along with the other.
    • See Unique header text

Unique header text

  • Some comics have their own version of the header text that do not change.
    • Only when the comic is on the front page, will it also be the main header text of xkcd.
    • Put newest comic at the top
    • Here below are examples of that:

Seven Years

  • 1928: Seven Years
    • 2017-12-14
    • It was released as a response to another cancer diagnosis, this is explained in the Header text which has replaced the standard xkcd updates every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The new one is this one, with the active link included:
    • The text (with link):
      • Becky Beaton, sister of fellow cartoonist Kate Beaton, has also been diagnosed with cancer. You can support her treatment here.
    • Kate Beaton is the creator of the web comic Hark! A Vagran.
      • Although this comic is not one on Randall's list of Comics I enjoy, he is clearly much influenced by another cancer diagnosis among someone in his own creative field.below.
    • On 2019-08-17, close to two years later, the message was still there.
      • There was the possibility that it would be removed, when the support page was discontinued...
      • But as that already happened before 2018-11-06 it seems like it will be there to stay.
      • Last archived version was from 2018-03-05.
    • See the comic on xkcd xkcd 1928.
  • Randall has previously done something similar for another friend, Emiliy, but that header was not made permanent.

Meteorite Identification

  • 1723: Meteorite Identification
    • Randall realized that his comic was almost a copy of some other person. And he has since then acknowledged this on the comics specific page see more here.
    • At the time of this post, in the newest saved version on the archive from 2016-10-10 it is still there and says:
      • Note: Jolyon, founder of mindat.org, made a similar chart way before me!
    • See the comic on xkcd xkcd 1723.

Garden

  • 1663: Garden
    • This comic had a header text to help people use the comic when it came out.
    • For some time this text was the main header text, but after a while is disappeared from the main header, but remained as the header for Garden.
    • Today and as of the newest saved version on the archive from 2016-12-31 it is still there and says:
      • Protip: If you don't like how your garden is growing, you can click to prune it.
      • You can copy the URL to share your garden. From other browsers, it will be view-only.
    • See the comic on xkcd xkcd 1663.

Na

  • 851: Na
    • After Randall made this comic, he realized he could have "made it better" and changed the header text to:
      • I can't believe I forgot Hey Jude.
      • I don't get do-overs, but I couldn't resist making a fixed version.
    • See more about it in that comics trivia section.
    • See the comic on xkcd xkcd 851.

House of Pancakes

  • 472: House of Pancakes
    • This comic's header notes its status as a parody:
    • Only on the days this comic was the newest was this header featured on the front page of xkcd for instance as seen here the day after release on 2008-09-06.
      • But it was only on this comic. The commercial for his new t-shirt was on all the other pages, also on 2008-09-06 and presumably returned to the front page with the next comic. But there is a gap in the archive after this comic.
    • See the comic on xkcd xkcd 472.

Changes to the header text

  • The header text changes often.
    • Here these changes can be listed
    • Begin with the date of the web archive link and make the date a link.
    • Link to the comic that was on the front page when the text changed
    • Then describe the changes and put in text if possible
    • Also the comic that was the last to feature a message would be interesting to have below the other data.
    • Put the newest (current) version at the top.

2019-11-06 - Audio clip

  • 2019-11-06.
    • 2224: Software Updates was still up when the header changed, but the first archive version was first from after the next comic came out 2225: Voting Referendum.
    • Still promoting the new How To book, here making the image a link to the How To book on Penguin Random House's audio book, where a audit clip read by Wil Wheaton can be sampled.
      • The links below to order are the same as the previous header.
      • The header consist of an image with text, with a "blue link", above the How To book that is being folded out from closed; to partially open; to opened up on two full pages; this takes three images. The closed book is the black book with a blue readable title, How To, and unreadable white text below this as well as below the unreadable blue author name, which are below the image. The image shows Cueball putting in a light-bulb with drones under each foot while Megan, holding a ladder, and White/Black Hat looking up at him. The partly open book still has this cover partly visible, but unreadable, as well as come unreadable text in the open side. The open book shows two pages with lots of unreadable text and three figures (maybe one is a table). Next to the open book there is an arrow to the right pointing at an audio icon with three audio lines in front. Below the header image are the links as regular text.
    • The text:
    • The entire image is a link to the How To book on Penguin Randaom House page, where the audio clip can he played.
      • As always it is the entire picture that is a link, and not only the blue underlined text that says click here!
    • The link to Target is the same, but now it points to the How To book. So either it has been fixed at Target or there have been browsers where it will fail (for instance for the person editing this section?)
  • It ended on [ 2019-??-??] when [ comic? ] was up.

2019-10-02 - Horse vs football team

  • 2019-10-02.
    • 2210: College Athletes was up when the header changed.
    • Still promoting the new How To book, but seeing this is no longer close to the release day the focus has changed. This time the image seems to be from one of the How To explanations in the book.
      • The links below to order are the same as the previous header.
      • But new text is added after the links to promote two events with Randall in New York the two days after this header came up.
        • These links disappeared after a week leaving only the picture and the link to buy the book. See below.
      • The header consist of an image with Cueball riding bareback on a horse. He comes from the left holding an American football. Running towards him from the right are eight American football players with helmets with three stars on the back of the helmet. Two of the players at the back are almost hidden by players in front of them. Beneath them is a line of text that belongs to the image, the period at the end of the sentence hangs in height with the center line of the last letter E... Then below the image follows the link and promotion of the NY events, these are written in regular.
    • The text:
    • The image is a link to the How To book page on xkcd.
      • The link to Target still seems to go the main page rather than to their How To book page... Probably a still undiscovered error on Randall's part?
  • This header changed, but so slightly that the changes will only be mentioned here rather than in a new section:
    • The first link was last active on 2019-10-04
    • Then the day after only the second link remained from 2019-10-05. 2211: Hours Before Departure came out when it changed.
      • But the text of this link changed as it had been a continues text from one to the other link. Also it was not entirely on it's own line, thus not as with the first link whose text was directly connected to the line with the links to buy the book.
      • The new text of that link was:
        • Zach Weinersmith and I will be hosting an event Friday night at Caveat NYC!
        • The last link was the same, but now it only covered two words not the entire end of the sentence.
      • This other link was last active on 2019-10-07.
    • And then the last link was gone by 2019-10-08, when 2212: Cell Phone Functions came out.
  • It ended on 2019-11-05 when 2224: Software Updates was up.

2019-09-30 - Tons of fun

  • 2019-09-30.
    • 2209: Fresh Pears was up when the header changed.
    • Still promoting the new How To book, but seeing this is no longer close to the release day the focus has changed to how much fun it was for Randall to write it and how proud he is of the result. Randall, as Cueball, is saying this in the new header image.
      • The links below to order are the same, except a new has been added at the end.
      • The header consist of an image with Cueball standing to the left of the book, shown as tall as he is. The book is opened up on two pages with lots of unreadable text as well as three drawings, only one of these, with a circle diagram, can clearly be seen. Cueball is speaking, and the text is above him and the book. Two words are blue with a line under as if they where a link. But as always the entire image is a link. Beneath the image is the links on where to order the book.
    • The text:
    • The image is a link to the How To book page on xkcd.
      • The new link to Target seems to go the main page rather than to their How To book page... Probably an error on Randall's part.
  • It ended on October 2nd while 2210: College Athletes where up. But there is no archived versions from the 1st of October and the one from the 2nd is with the next version. But the editor of this was making changes the the explanation of College Athletes before the next header change came along.

2019-09-11 - How To available

  • 2019-09-11.
    • 2200: Unreachable State was still up when the header changed.
    • The release day part of the promotion was changed to telling that the new How To book was available. With teasers about what is in the book below the heading. On either side of the text a picture of the book is still shown. Also the links below changed, adding three new and removing one old.
      • The header consist of an image with the book shown both left and right of some text. Both books have blue title and author name, and white unreadable title and white drawing of Cueball flying on two quadcopters to put in a light-bulb in a ceiling lamp, while White/Black? Hat is watching together with Megan, who is holding a ladder. Beneath the image is the links on where to order it.
      • Between the two books are two sections of text above each other, the lover with smaller font.
    • The text:
      • How To is available now!
      • Learn how to open bottles with nuclear weapons and how to be on time for meetings by altering the Earths rotation. The book also features advice from real-life experts including Chris Hadfield and Serena Williams.
      • Order: Amazon, B&N, B&N Exclusive Edition, IndieBound,Apple, Audible
    • The image is a link to the How To book page on xkcd.
    • Serena Williams is a famous tennis player who was also featured in one of the promotion comics for How To: 2190: Serena Versus the Drones
    • Chris Hadfield is a Canadian retired astronaut, engineer, and former Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot. The first Canadian to walk in space, Hadfield has flown two Space Shuttle missions and served as commander of the International Space Station.
      • The new link to audible probably needs the user to be signed up, else it will go the the front page and ask yo to sign up. But from the archive the page can be seen here.
  • Up till 2019-09-22 it looked like this.
  • It ended on 2019-09-29 when 2208: Drone Fishing was up.

2019-09-04 - Happy Release Day - bookstore

  • 2019-09-04.
    • 2198: Throw was already up when the header changed slightly, as the text below Happy release day changed.
  • Most of the header stayed the same as the day before, but the reference to the Gregorian/Julian calender was changed.
    • The header consist of an image with the book shown both left and right of some text.Both books have blue title and author name, and white unreadable title and white drawing of Cueball flowing on two quadcopters to put in a light-bulb in a ceiling lamp, while White/Black? Hat is watching together with Megan comes who is holding a ladder. Beneath the image is the link on where to order it, now the preorder has been changed to order.
      • Between the two books are two sections of text above each other, the lover with smaller font and in brackets.
    • The text:
      • Happy How To release day!
      • Available wherever books are sold.
      • (Mostly bookstores, I assume but you can always try your luck at Wendy's.)
    • See below for any other details.
  • It ended on 2019-09-09 when 2200: Unreachable State was up.

2019-09-03 - Happy Release Day - calendar

  • 2019-09-03
    • 2197: Game Show was still up when the header changed, but it was for sure to coincide with 2198: Throw which came out later on the release day while it still looked like in this version.
    • Randall celebrated the release day of How To, coming out the day the header changed.
      • The comic is also a reference to a chapter in the book on how to throw things. A very complicated interactive comic where different persons or other living things can be chosen to throw dead or living things. The trow will then be shown below with distance measured in two units, normal and special. That is if the thrower can actually manage to throw the thing.
    • The header consist of an image with the book shown both left and right of some text. The two black books have red stars around them, five on the outer side of the image and 6 on the inner, the stars are mirrored around left and right book. Both books have blue title and author name, and white unreadable title and white drawing of Cueball flying on two quadcopters to put in a light-bulb in a ceiling lamp, while White/Black? Hat is watching together with Megan, who is holding a ladder. Beneath the image is the link on where to order it, now the preorder has been changed to order.
      • Between the two books are two sections of text above each other, the lover with smaller font and in brackets.
    • The text:
    • The image is a link to the How To book page on xkcd.
    • Most of the world uses the Gregorian calendar, but before it was taken into use, the Julian calendar was in use.
      • The Julian calendar does not take into account that every 100 years a leap year should be passed as in the Gregorian calendar, and thus it is at the moment 13 days behind, as it has has this many February 29th too many. Since there should actually be a leap year every 400 year, and the last of those was 2000, then it has been 13 days since 1900, and will stay like this until 2100 when it will become 14 days.
      • The image is a link to the How To book page on xkcd.
    • Already the next day the part of the header below happy release day about the Gregorian calender changed. See above.

2019-08-27 - Out in a week

  • 2019-08-27.
    • 2194: How to Send a File was up when the header changed.
    • Randall continues to promote his new book, How To, coming out a week from this header.
      • It is only three lines of text
    • The text:
    • Later on the same day, (and here for the next day 2019-08-27 for the front page), more text and links where added, plus the order of the text was changed.
    • The later text was:
    • The link to the book tour also include the winner of the contest to get Randall to add "your" city to his book tour.
  • It ended on the release day 2019-09-03, so this was last on the page on 2019-09-02.

2019-08-06 - Win a sketch

  • 2019-08-06.
    • 2185: Cumulonimbus was up when the header changed.
      • Most likely the header changed when that comic came out on 2019-08-05. But the previous header was also out during that day.
    • Randall continues to promote his new book, How To, now making a competition where you can win a stick figure sketch of yourself. (Although only for US residents!)
      • The image shows Hairy, with a cat at his feet and Megan (or Danish?) with a samurai sword. They are standing with their backs towards each other, the cat on the left, Megan facing right with the sword towards the words.
      • Below the drawing are links to places to preorder the book.
    • The text:
      • Want to win a sketch of yourself as a stick figure? Click here to find out how!
      • [Four links in gray blue are given with the first words in black:] Preorder How To: Amazon,Barnes & Noble,IndieBound,Apple Books
        • The entire picture is a link to a Blag post: Win an xkcd sketch
        • That is even though only the click here part of the text is in blue, like a link.
        • Cause as he often has written: I still haven't figured out HTML imagemaps, most recently in the 2019-07-09 header.
  • The header stayed like this until 2019-08-26 when 2193: Well-Ordering Principle was up.

2019-08-03 - First look inside

  • 2019-08-03.
    • 2184: Unpopular Opinions was up when the header changed.
    • Randall continues to promote his new book, How To, now stating that it comes out next month.
      • Set to be released on September 3rd 2019, this update was made exactly one month before.
      • The image shows text to the left of three drawings of the book: First the closed book showing the black front cover with blue and white text and white drawings, then the book is partly opened, and finally it lays opened up showing two pages, with a readable heading on the right page.
      • Below the drawing are links to places to preorder the book.
    • The text:
      • My new book comes out next month. Click here for a first look inside!
      • [On the books front cover only two thins can be read:]
        • How To
        • Randal Munroe.
      • [These two words can also partly be read on the opening book.]
      • [Only the large heading can be read on the right page of the open book:]
        • How to Dig a Hole.
      • [These two pages also became part of a special comic relased during the weekend when this header was up: Disappearing Sunday Update.]
      • [The transcript of that comic describes the images in the open book.]
      • [Four links in gray blue are given with the first word in black:] Preorder:Amazon,Barnes & Noble,IndieBound,Apple Books
        • The entire picture is a link to a Blag post: How To: Chapter list and introduction.
  • It stayed up like this while the special Disappearing Sunday Update came out on Sunday 2019-08-04, and was there still on Monday [ http://web.archive.org/web/20190805050812/https://www.xkcd.com/ 2019-08-05], at least during the time that the Sudan Update was still up.
    • When the next comic came out late that Monday, it probably disappeared along with the Disappearing comic, but the first update with the next header is from Tuesday 2019-08-06, but the Monday comic 2185: Cumulonimbus was still on the front page at that time,.

2019-07-23 - Back to previous header

2019-07-15 - ComiCon

  • 2019-07-15.
  • Randall tels that he will be at ComicCon and links to his plans there.
    • The text:
      • Going to San Diego Comic Con this week? I'll see you there!
        • The link is to a Blag post about his plans for the ComicCon
    • Randall appeared in a couple of panels, and gave a talk.
    • Finally he also handed out signed copies of his new How To book more than a month before official release.
      • So still promoting the book, also in this header...
  • It stayed up until 2019-07-22 the day after the ComiCon ended, while 2178: Expiration Date High Score was up.
    • Then it returned to the previous header from before the ComicCon announcement when 2179: NWS Warnings came out.

2019-07-10 - Adding links

2019-07-09 - Drawings from How To

  • 2019-07-09.
    • 2173: Trained a Neural Net was up when the header changed.
    • Randall continues to promote his new book, How To.
      • The image shows a small picture of his book with text on either side.
      • Below are what appears to be three drawings from the book. Ponytail pole vaultig with three baloons in one hand, then text, then a truck with a house behind it speeding fast up a hill then text and finally Cueball somersaulting towards an explosion.
      • To the right there is a big blue button to click for preorder, with text below.
    • The text:
      • New book [Arrow points to book. Title can be read: How To]
      • How To: Absurd Scientific Answers to Common Real-world Problems
      • It's a guide to bad ways to do things...
      • ...And what would happen if you tried them.
      • Boom
      • Click here to preorder
      • Or click anywhere. I still haven't figured out HTML imagemaps.
  • It stayed up like this only for a day, then an extra line of links was added the day after while the same comic was still up, see 2019-07-10.
    • But the general header stayed up first for five days, and then it returned again for 10 more days after a break to announce a ComiCon visit.
    • So a total of 16 days with this drawing.

2019-06-25 - People with books

  • 2019-06-25.
    • 2167: Motivated Reasoning Olympics was up when the header changed.
    • Randall continues to promote his new book, How To, and his book tour.
      • The image now shows 15 people standing side by side each holding a book up in front of them with unreadable titles.
      • From left: Megan, Cueball, a man with blonde hair, Science Girl, Blondie, Hairy, another Hairy, White Hat, a kid with curly hair, Hairbun, another Cueball, another Megan, a guy with a knit cap, Ponytail and Beret Guy.
      • Above them is a text message.
    • The text:
      • Want to bring me to your town for my How To book tour? Click to find out how to enter the challenge!
        • The entire picture is a link to the official book tour announcement posted on the Blag, with all cities and dates listed with details.
        • In the link it is explained how to enter a competition on how to bring Randall to your city.
        • Make a story using only book titles and get the books used to be held up by different individuals.
        • A longer sentence will improve your chances.
          • This is indeed what this header picture shows.
  • The header stayed like this until 2019-07-08 when 2172: Lunar Cycles was up. When it changed the day after 2173: Trained a Neural Net was up.

2019-06-15 - Adding dates

  • 2019-06-15
    • 2163: Chernobyl was up when the header changed.
    • Randall only made a small change to the one that had been up for four days at this time.
    • The text only changed by adding a line below the first line:
      • Announcing the How To book tour:
      • [Click here for dates and tickets]
        • The rest of the header is exactly the same as on 2019-06-11, except everything is a bit smaller to make room in the same place for the extra line.
        • The link is not located on the blue part of the text and it was already there before this update.
        • Best guess is that not many clicked through and Randall then made it obvious that there was a link.
        • The entire picture is a link to the official book tour announcement posted on the Blag, with all cities and dates listed with details.
        • Randall has previously made it clear, in 1572: xkcd Survey, that he knows how to make an image a link, but not how to put the link only where he says to click. But it is easier to make a place for people to click than tell them this...
  • The header stayed like this until 2019-06-25, when it changed while 2167: Motivated Reasoning Olympics was up. But this one was still up when that comic came out the day before 2019-06-24.

2019-06-11 - Book tour

  • 2019-06-11
    • 2161: An Apple a Day was up when the header changed.
      • Note when this change happened two new links was added to the xkcd links section of xkcd.
    • Randall changed the header text to announce the official book tour for his newest book How To to be released 3 months later.
    • The text:
      • Announcing the How To book tour:
      • [Below this header is a map of the mainland USA with 14 labeled black dots indicates the 14 cities that the book tour will take Randall to. One red dot with five red question marks above is located beneath the map to the left, indicating a 15th city to be chosen in a contest. Above the map to the right is a small picture of the book with the blue title on the black cover. Above the book is the release date and with an arrow pointing down to the book.]
      • September 3rd
      • How to
      • Seattle
      • Portland
      • San Francisco
      • Santa Cruz
      • Los Angeles
      • Salt Lake City
      • Kansas City
      • Ann Arbor
      • Cincinnati
      • Louisville
      • Cambridge
      • New York
      • D.C.
      • Raleigh
      • ????? (Chosen by readers)
      • [The entire picture is a link to the official book tour announcement posted on the Blag, with all cities and dates listed with details.]
        • In the link it is explained how to enter a competition on how to bring Randall to your city.
        • Make a story using only book titles and get the books used to be held up by different individuals.
        • Only US cities can apply.
    • The header only stayed exactly like this for three days, and was still up on 2019-06-14 when 2162: Literary Opinions was on the front page.
      • Then it changed slightly to indicate that the picture was a link which was not clear before. See above.

2019-05-17 - Back to previous header

  • 2019-05-17:
  • It changed back to the exact same heading as before the one with Google reader here below.
    • See 2019-02-06 below for all details.
    • It stayed up for more than three weeks and was still up on 2019-06-10, while 2160: Ken Burns Theory was still up on the day the next comic 2161: An Apple a Day was to be released (where the new header could be found at least the next day, but maybe from the release of that comic?). Then it changed to announce the book tour for his new book.

2019-04-23 - Google Reader

  • 2019-04-23:
    • 2140: Reinvent the Wheel came out when it changed, ending a more than two and half month long promotion of Randall's new book How To.
    • Randall changed the header text to ask if the reader still mourned the loss of Google Reader which closed on 2013-07-01, almost 6 years before this comic..
      • He offers the possibility to sign up to receive the newest comic by e-mail.
    • The comic may have relation to this, as some where using Google reader for different purposes when they closed it, without any chance of getting your data out.
      • The comic "Reinvent the Wheel" mentions that using external dependencies carry risks, such as Google closing down a feature. given the fact that the comic came out as the header changed it is probably not a coincidence.
    • The text:
      • Still mourning the demise of Google Reader? You can sign up to get new comics delivered by email here.
    • The link is to https://xkcd.com/newsletter, where it is possible to submit your e-mail address and press a subscribe button.
      • the following text is written above it:
      • To receive the comic and news postings in your inbox, subscribe here.
    • It stayed up for more than three weeks and was still up on 2019-05-16, when 2150: XKeyboarCD was up. Then it changed back to the promotion of his new book.

2019-02-06 - How to book

  • 2019-02-06:
    • 2107: Launch Risk was up at the time when it changed, having been up since Monday the 4th of February.
      • Here it can be seen being on the front of xkcd on 2019-02-05, without the new text. This was also the last time the standard header text was used in several months.
      • 2108: Carbonated Beverage Language Map came up later on the day the header changed.
    • Randall changed the header text to promote his newest book How To to be released 7 months later.
      • He added an image of the book with large text next to it regarding the release and links on how to preorder it.
      • There was no direct relation to the comics released at the time, except of course that he kind of launched his new book with all the risk it involves, while having a comic called launch risk up. It was though a very different and more real type of launch risk (of a human carrying space rocket) in the comic.
    • The text:
      • [The book is shown to the left as a black rectangle with large blue text and smaller gray text. On the book cover, in white drawings, are seen Megan with a ladder and either Black or White Hat (hard to say on black background). Both are looking up on Cueball who is floating in the air with a quadcopter beneath either leg, trying to plug in an electric light bulb in a naked lamp hanging down near him. It seems he has already removed the broken light bulb, as he has one in both hands. And now he tries to put in the new one. He could have let Megan use the ladder...]
      • [The header in blue above it all:] How To.
      • [Sub header in gray to the left of Cueball:] Absurd Scientific Answers to Common Real-world Problems
      • [Author name in blue below the drawing:] Randall Munroe
      • [Sub header to this below in gray:] Creator of xkcd
      • [Sub header to this below in gray:] Author of what if? and Thing Explainer
      • [Next to this book image are the following text:]
      • [Large heading:] HOW TO
      • [Normal size sub header:] Absurd Scientific Answers to Common Real-world Problems
      • [In smaller gray font below:] Available September 3, 2019.
      • [Four links in gray blue are given with the first word still in gray:] Preorder:Amazon,Barnes & Noble,IndieBound,Apple Books
    • It stayed up for more than two and a half month and was still up on 2019-04-22, when 2139: Email Settings was up. Then it finally changed to a new header without going back to the standard.

2018-11-07 - Back to standard text

2018-11-06 - Election Day

  • 2018-11-06:
    • 2068: Election Night (on election day the day after this comic was released).
      • It added a larger comic above the two links from the previous header. Those links of the previous header text was still up the day before 2018-11-05, when 2067: Challengers was still up.
    • Randall changed the xkcd header once more to try to make more people vote, and in this case help others to vote.
      • Once again directly related to the new comic about election night.
    • The text:
      • [A line of altering blue and red stars, blue first and last of two rows of nine starts around of the heading:]
      • Election Day!
      • [Below Black Hat and Ponytail to the left and Megan to the right of Cueball is checking their smart phones. Cueball is addressing the reader:]
      • Cueball: The biggest thing you can do th help is to check in with friends and family and make sure they know when and where they're voting.
      • [Below these four characters there is the following text with two arrows pointing left and right. Both are turning up to text/links on either side of the four:]
      • Use these links to answer questions
      • [To the left:] Where and how to vote: Vote-org
      • [To the right:] What's on your ballot: BallotReady.org
      • [Below was the two links from the previous header:]
      • Find out where to vote: vote.org.
      • See what's on your ballot: BallotReady.org
    • It was only up one day and thus on ended the day after 2018-11-07 when the next comic 2069: Wishlist came out.
      • The text then returned to the standard xkcd header: xkcd updates every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

2018-11-02 - Where to vote

  • 2018-11-02:
    • 2067: Challengers (on the Friday, it was released).
      • It added another link to the previous header text. That text was still up the day before on Thursday 2018-11-01.
      • That was while comic 2066: Ballot Selfies was still up.
    • Randall changed the xkcd header to let people know who is on their voting ballot, and as before there is also a link on how to register for voting.
      • This is also directly related to the new comic that came out that day, about helping people to decide who to vote for, i.e. who is on their ballot.
    • The text:
    • This was done at this moment because the United States midterm election was held on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, four days after the release of this comic.
    • It was still up the day before the election day, 2018-11-05, and then it changed with the next comic.

2018-10-22 - Register for voting

2018-09-13 - NY votes today

  • 2018-09-13
    • 2045: Social Media Announcement (the day after the release of the comic.)
      • It was not up when the comic was released on 2018-09-12.
    • It was a short lived reminder that NY votes today below the usual standard text.
    • The text:
      • xkcd updates every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
      • NY votes today! Find your polling place here. (Zephyr Teachout for AG!)
    • It ended with 2046: Trum-, the very next comic, on 2018-09-14, returning to the standard text.

2017-11-26 - Christmas gifts

2017-09-22 - Visiting the UK

2017-07-31 - Thank you

2017-07-25 - Vote against health care bill

  • 2017-07-25:
    • 1867: Physics Confession (2nd day after release of the comic, it was not up on the first day: 2017-07-24).
    • Randall modified the xkcd header to ask readers to support voting against Donald Trump's new health care bill.
      • The header was replaced with an image which is available in an archived version here.
      • The image is also a link (and you can click anywhere on it to go the the link that is mentioned).
        • The link goes to TrumpCare Ten (here in an archived version).
        • Randall has previously made it clear, in 1572: xkcd Survey, that he knows how to make an image a link, but not how to put the link only where he says to click.
      • Transcript of the image:
        • [Megan is holding hand with Cueball next to three lines of large text, the same height as they are:]
        • Please tell your senators to vote against this health care bill. It will hurt people.
        • [After these three lines there is a phone number in a very large bold font with a line of text below:]
        • 202-224-3121
        • Or click here for more info
        • [Below the above is a gray line which is split in the middle with gray text, and below that four state names in white text inside black boxes:]
        • Know anyone in these states? Ask them to call, too.
        • Alaska Maine Nevada Ohio West Virginia
    • Ended while 1869: Positive and Negative Reviews was up on 2017-07-31, when it was replaced by a Thank you.

2017-01-21 - Update on previous

2016-11-28 - Christmas sale

Changes not documented yet 3

  • Before the above was
  • More changes could be here between this and the one below.
    • Definitely some thing explainer changes here below.
  • 2015-10-22 changed the header below.

2015-09-23 - Book trip and tool

  • 2015-09-23:
    • 1580: Travel Ghost was up when the header changed.
      • Announcing the book trip for the Thing Explainer book as well as linking to a Thing Explainer word checker tool! Two lines of text with links.
    • The text:
      • News: Announcing my Thing Explainer book trip. Come say hi!
      • Other news: Announcing the Thing Explainer word checker tool!
        • Both links are to the Blag, the first a schedule for his book trip, and the second telling about Randall's new Simple Writer that could help you Write Like Up Goer Five and Thing Explainer.
    • Was there until 1593: Play-By-Play was up on 2015-10-21.

2015-09-06 - New links

2015-08-09 - Back to previous header

2015-06-06 - Other news

2015-05-15 - Thing Explainer details

  • 2015-05-15
    • 1525: Emojic 8 Ball
    • This was a more detailed promotion for Randall's new book: Thing Explainer to be published in November 2015, more than half a year after the announcement, compared to the previous change which was just a line and a link.
    • The text:
      • A picture of the open book is shown with diagrams of a human cell on the left page and suspension bridges on the right. All held in blue nuances. And arrow goes from the first word of the text to the right to the book on the left. The text is also blue except the title of the book which is in red:
        • New book: Thing Explainer
        • Up Goer Five-style diagrams of things (explained in the then hundred most common words)
      • Below this image is a line of text with the first word in black and the other are four links to where to preorder the book:
      • The image above the preorder line is a link to the Blag post New book: Thing Explainer.
    • Changed while 1534: Beerl was up on 2015-06-05, but only to add other information. The main promotion of the book stayed the same.

2015-05-14 - New book Thing Explainer

  • 2015-05-14
  • The promotion of the book stayed up with some changes for the rest of the year...
    • The first came already the day after so this short announcement was only up on this day and ended with the next comic. See above.
    • See more details on the promotion of the book on the Thing Explainer page here.

2015-02-11 - Back to standard text

2015-02-04 - Valentine cards only

2015-02-02 - Last day shirt

  • 2015-02-02
    • 1481: API came out as it changed.
      • Just letting people know it is the last chance to order the binary t-shirt.
      • There was just a line of text:
    • The text was:
      • Today is the last day to order the limited-run binary heart shirt!
      • The last words is link to the shirt in the shop.
    • Ended before the next comic was up, but still the day after, when it was too late to order: 2015-02-03.

2015-01-29 - Valentine cards and shirt

  • 2015-01-29
    • 1479: Troubleshooting was up when it changed.
      • It was to tell about both the two previous updates in the same header- Both about the collaboration to make science themed Valentine's Day cards and his new Valentine t-shirt.
      • There where two pictures, with a promotion of the two products and a link to them in the shop.
      • On the left was text about the cards with a small drawing to the right of the text showing the four cards.
        • An ant talking to an aphids; Earth rotating about the sun but locked so one side melts; an ant with a fungus growing from it's head with a heart, and a Velociraptor skeleton where the last bit of the tail is put on by a person. The text on the cards are unreadable, but they can be seen via the link.
      • The text (in three lines) was:
        • Webcomic science Valentine card collaboration
        • The link to the cards from the picture.
      • The picture on the left shows binary numbers 0 and 1 in white on a black background. The middle of the three lines of those have message in red text.
      • The text:
        • 0 1 0 1 0 Binary heart 1 1 1
        • 1 1 1 Valentine shirt 0 1
        • 0 0 0 1 [limited run] 0 0 1
        • The link to the shirt from the picture.
    • Ended while 1480: Super Bowl was up on 2015-02-01.

2015-01-27 - Valentine's Day cards

2015-01-24 - Get shirts in store

2014-12-22 - Get shirts in store

  • 2014-12-22
    • 1463: Altitude came out as it changed.
      • After the Christmas sale deadline there was still merchandise in the xkcd store.
      • There was just a line of text:
    • The text was:
      • You can get xkcd shirts, prints, and posters in the store!
    • The word store was a link to the shop.
    • Ended while 1476: Ceres was up 2015-01-23.

2014-12-19 - Back to previous header

2014-12-18 - Order now

  • 2014-12-18
    • 1461: Payloads was still up when it changed.
      • It was to alert that the deadline for shipping before Christmas from the xkcd store was Friday and that it was rapidly approaching. This was a follow up on the Wednesdays announcement the day before.
      • The image was just four lines of text with several red and blue words.
    • The text was:
      • The xkcd store Christmas shipping deadline is Friday!
      • Once it passes, there is no going back. The arrow of time drags us all
      • Inexorably forward toward decay and disorder. toward the end of all things.
      • Towards the empty silence of the grave. Order now!
    • The entire drawing was a link to the xkcd store, not just the blue text.
    • Ended a day later while 1461: Payloads was still up 2014-12-16.

2014-12-17 - Christmas deadline

  • 2014-12-17
    • 1461: Payloads came out as it changed.
      • It was to alert that the deadline for shipping before Christmas from the xkcd store was Friday. This was announced Wednesday two days before the deadline.
      • The image was just text with the last word in each line in red and the xkcd store blue as a link.
    • The text was:
      • Looking for a gift?
      • xkcd store Christmas shipping deadline is Friday!
    • The entire drawing was a link to the xkcd store, not just the blue text
    • Ended a day later while 1461: Payloads was still up!

2014-12-03 - Christmas shopping

  • 2014-12-03
    • 1455: Trolley Problem came out as it changed.
      • It was to announce the start of the Christmas shopping on the xkcd store
      • Four boxes with shipping details are shown. Two green and two red, alternating from green. Between them are three text messages in two, two and three lines.
    • The text was:
      • xkcd store
      • Christmas shopping
      • I will probably not ship you a bobcat.
    • The entire drawing was a link to the xkcd store.
    • The bobcat is a reference to 325: A-Minus-Minus.
    • Ended while 1460: SMFW was up 2014-12-16.

2014-11-29 - Thanks - Emily

  • 2014-11-29
    • 1453: fMRI was still up when it changed.
      • It was to thanks for all the help his friend Emily with cancer got through among other his previous header text Help Emily.
      • That only needed to be up two days before the goal was met.
    • The text was:
      • Thank you for helping my friend Emily.
      • It means so much.
    • Ended three days later while 1454: Done was up 2014-12-02.

2014-11-27 - Help Emily

  • 2014-11-27
    • 1452: Jurassic World came out as it changed.
      • It was to help a friend who got cancer by raising money for her.
    • The text was:
      • Hey all. My friend Emily—the economist who helped
      • me with my money chart—has been fighting cancer. She's
      • having a rough time and could use some help. Thank you.
    • There are two links, one to the 980: Money comic she helped Randall create, and one for her Go Fund Me page to raise money for her cancer cure.
      • The help link above is to the archived version from that time, but the link was still active in August 2019: Helping Emily Fight Cancer.
    • Ended while 1453: fMRI was up 2014-11-28.
      • She did thus not get a permanent header as did Becky on the Seven Years comic.

2014-10-02 - what if? bestseller

2014-09-04 - what if? book out

2014-09-02 - what if? book out today

2014-07-23 - what if? book tour

  • 2014-07-23
    • 1398: Snake Facts
    • This was a promotion of his book tour for the what if? book made by Cueball standing to the left of the text with arms raised. Several parts of the text was underlined and blue to indicate links.
    • The text was:
      • I'm going on a book tour! click here for a list of stops.
      • Or click anywhere-this whole image is one link because I've never gotten the hang of HTML imagemaps.
    • The entire image was a link to the Blag post: What If book tour!.
    • Ended while 1415: Ballooning was still up 2014-09-01.

2014-03-13 - what if? announced

Changes not documented yet 1

  • Before the above was up till 2014-03-12:
    • xkcd updates every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
  • More changes could be earlier than this.