explainxkcd highlights

Beret Guy has developed (or spontaneously implemented) a "business plan" whereby he lures seagulls to an area of a beach utilizing breadcrumbs. Once the gulls converge on the area, he sets up a sign reading "GULLS FOR SALE" with a jar for money. Though Beret Guy probably expects to profit, the confused reactions of other people in the last panel indicate nobody is buying, and the limited number of gulls, four, is low enough that their sale might not even finance the breadcrumbs. In real life, there is no market for seagulls, nor will there ever be.
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  • explainxkcd is the Wikipedia humor of xkcd
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    The second part of the comic starts out normal. For the lamp Cueball think is pretty Megan finds lots of negative reviews which implies the product really isn't good after all, and it was even that specific brand of lamps in general that was to be avoided. But then the proceeds to get more and more absurd all the way to the title text. Cueball is for instance looking at a lamp that someone thinks looks like a uterus. As normal people do not really know what a uterus looks like, and if Cueball did not find this so himself, he should ignore one persons comment. On the other hand reading such a statement will maybe make you think of a uterus every time you see the lamp. So now it may be best not to buy it, but had he not read the comment it might have been a fine lamp for him.

  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States of America, was not an entity composed wholly of nanobots that attempted to consume the entire nation to then be imprisoned within the Lincoln Memorial.
  • Deep Opal said:

    Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States of America, was not an entity composed wholly of nanobots that attempted to consume the entire nation to then be imprisoned within the Lincoln Memorial.
    This is what you were protecting, Mega Man?
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    According to the title text, the month of April would become unnamed on odd-numbered years. Although this may have no impact on the mathematics of timekeeping, it would impede ability to refer to the month in writing or conversation. Notably, April Fools' Day could be restricted to the even-numbered years, else observants would be exclaiming the word "Fools!" without the usual informative "April" prefix.
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    No confirmation has yet been found that any of these words are references to something from former US President James Garfield or to Garfield the cartoon cat who are the two speech writers mentioned in the title text.
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    Because the ability to travel in a box on wheels at high speeds was not selected for in the evolution of human, if anything happens to said box on wheels, such as crashing into a wall, the humans inside may be badly injured, if not killed. Had they evolved something like exoskeletons, for example, this may not have been the case.
  • “Alice is like Princess Kaguya, except instead of being found in a stalk of bamboo and sending suitors on impossible quests, she was found in a toy store and eats all the candy.” – Fossilmaiden
    The title text mentions the musician Billy Joel being detained briefly as a suspect for the fire. But he was quickly released, likely because he didn't start the fire, which is a reference to his song "We Didn't Start the Fire". In other words, Billy Joel's claim that he is not responsible for the fire at the alarm factory has been taken seriously enough for him to be released.
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.

    Interestingly enough, just pouring Jello powder into a pool would not solidify the water into Jello. The water would have to be boiled, then quickly chilled, for the Jello to set correctly. As Randall is a scientist, he should have known this; therefore, it's possible that he purposefully ignored this fact in favor of the humor.

    The title text mentions the musician Billy Joel being detained briefly as a suspect for the fire. But he was quickly released, likely because he didn't start the fire, which is a reference to his song "We Didn't Start the Fire". In other words, Billy Joel's claim that he is not responsible for the fire at the alarm factory has been taken seriously enough for him to be released.
    thank you for your contributions, Alice :]
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    A certain similarity could be drawn between this and the US Army's problematic policy of only having combat troops serve for a single year in combat during the Vietnam war (unlike during WWII, when combat units were put into the front line and left there until the war was over, with losses being made up with a constant flow of individual replacements, which was even more problematic).
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    The joke is that Black Hat will likely get glass in his feet as long as he refuses to clean it, and thus the broken mirror will have a lasting impact.
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    The rejection of the idea that good things happen to good people, and therefore the rejections of concepts like karma, is one of the primary tenets of the Abrahamic faiths. The argument goes that if people deserve what happens to them, then they don't deserve help. This, and the pursuit of justice (fairness, and truth) are the core beliefs that prescribe that each person has an individual responsibility to help others, so that justice can be achieved.
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    The human condition is essentially terrifying. Try to keep up appearances.

  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    It should be obvious how perpetual motion doesn't work.
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    Black Hat, never one to hesitate over bringing someone down, replies that he is also random. He then proves this by pouring forth a torrential stream of truly random numbers that overcomes poor Hairy. Black Hat then resumes his posture at the computer, as if nothing has happened.

  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    Attraction comes in many forms: physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, among others. Some people will lie about what they like about you to get something from you (money, sex, etc.), but most are genuine. It is not possible to assert definitively why one person may like another person, and that is something that needs to be discussed openly and honestly with them and nobody else.
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the world's first artificial satellite. A nip slip is when a woman unintentionally exposes all or part of one or both of her nipples; in the context of the internet, it generally refers to a photograph capturing such a moment.
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    The strip finishes with Beret Guy plugging a cord into an electrical outlet clumsily labeled "Soup," which then, implausibly, actually starts dispensing soup. Most electrical outlets do not function like this.
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    Anyone with the kind of power to stop a solar eclipse from happening would be god-like compared to humanity.
  • Most electrical outlets do not function like this.

    but some do, apparently
  • “Alice is like Princess Kaguya, except instead of being found in a stalk of bamboo and sending suitors on impossible quests, she was found in a toy store and eats all the candy.” – Fossilmaiden
    Deep Opal said:

    Anyone with the kind of power to stop a solar eclipse from happening would be god-like compared to humanity.
    challenge accepted!
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    This was likely due to a mistake on Randall's part, as the comic suggests the universe is contained inside a Spalding basketball.
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    For me, it just sucks that Randall chose to end the week on a lame pun. On Mondays/Wednesdays, the "suckiness" of something like this would be offset by a good "what-if?" on Tuesday.
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    "There usually is an added stipulation" ... really? Most time I read about genies, it's about someone using some clever way to overcome the limit on number of wishes, if there IS any limit to start with - but what I read may not be representative. This may require more research ... what is the most "traditional" genie story?
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    On the other hand, old programmers argued that calculated GOTO was a sexy way of programming.

  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    Using a swear word on packaging of a food designed for kids is usually not a good idea.
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    This states that nobody is wise to begin with, and it takes time to become wise. However it now states that Gnome Ann is wise to begin with, suggesting she is not part of the order of things within time.
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    In 1971, a man referred to by the media as D. B. Cooper hijacked a Boeing 727 and escaped with $200,000 in ransom money (equivalent to $1,250,000 in 2020). Although $5,800 of that money was recovered in 1980, the only thing known about him are a police composite drawing (shown at the right) and the name "Dan Cooper" with which he had purchased his airline ticket. The name D. B. Cooper came about as a result of a miscommunication with the media. While the FBI maintains that Cooper was most likely killed when he parachuted from the plane, they have never determined his identity, and the investigation was called off in 2016, making it the United States' only unsolved plane hijacking.

  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    50 cc would be cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc cc
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    "Pirates vs Ninjas" refers to a longstanding internet meme, popular in roughly the years shown on the chart, that held that ninjas and Caribbean pirates were arch-enemies.

  • specifically Caribbean
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    The mushroom might have growled because it was planning on killing Cueball in a sort of "kill the witnesses" action.
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    It is at this point in the project that I should point out: while most people who use explainxkcd are probably totally normal people, most people who comment on explainxkcd seem to really, really want you to think that they're way smarter than everyone else. Up to and including smarter than Randall Munroe.
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    Despite the many unfortunate events that happened in 2020, sentient firework-armed drones overthrowing humans was not one of them.

  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    Cueball is trying to settle the teapot argument by actually launching a teapot into space via a crowdfunding campaign. This misses the point of Russell's argument, which is about unfalsifiable claims in rhetoric and not a literal teapot.

  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    Yes. Bringing a gun to a knife fight will leave your opponent at a perilous disadvantage. (You may be accused of "not playing fair", but only if you leave survivors.)
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    Unless humans volunteer to get in costume, this sport is unlikely to have any successes, due to the nonexistence of mermaids.
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    For a non-magical being or object, a vertical leap of 14 miles (~23 km), ignoring air resistance would require an initial launch velocity of slightly more than 2180 feet per second (665 m/s), somewhat over twice the speed of sound. Achieving this velocity by means of bending then straightening the legs would require an acceleration of roughly 25,000 G, placing extraordinarily high demands on the strength of the legs. As Santa does not have a particularly aerodynamic shape, air resistance would increase the launch velocity and launch acceleration requirements substantially. Santa may be able to overcome these problems due to his magical nature; however, there is clearly still a limit to what this can achieve, as there is a maximum to his leaping ability.
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    Impersonating the site owner can get you the trust of users.
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    The harsh difference between being able to buy an apple for a dollar at this quaint store, and having to deal with arbitrary decimals and numbers in the rest of life could be touching on Megan's life experience of the world not being what she was prepared for, resulting in her intense response. Regardless if that is true or not, it seems the cashier is unable to figure out how to handle it (or does not want to), and raises the price to an arbitrary non-rounded value, which has the intended effect of halting Megan's outburst. The unexpected resolution of the rising tension is a source of humor in this strip.

  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    Unless undetected aliens have discovered billiards and become addicted to it, 8-balls are found only on Earth and are, hence, unlikely dark matter candidates.
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    It is not known if the universe of Star Wars is expanding, contracting, or steady-state, although prior to Lucasfilm's acquisition by Disney, the officially-published non-film Star Wars media were collectively known as the "Star Wars Expanded Universe".
  • There are more things on heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.
    Virus or not, it is not common for people to lick anyone's eyeballs at meetings.
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