1515: "Basketball Earth"

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1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby Eutychus » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:20 am UTC

Image
title="How many points do you get for dunking every basketball in existence at once?"

And you think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's...
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keithl
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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby keithl » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:37 am UTC

If the earth were the size of a basketball, its gravity would be way too weak to hold onto air, water, or keep the moon in orbit. If it was the size of a basketball and still weighed 5.97x1024 kg, it would explode like a small supernova (*). If it was the size of a grape (smaller than the 9mm Swartzchild radius), it would implode into a black hole.

Basketball-sized planets can be very dangerous.

(*) added note: that would (very briefly) be a billion times denser than a neutron star - it would be an ultradense quark star, and might explode into a shower of pions. Astrophysicists are still arguing about quark stars, but one possibility is that it would become neutral pions, which decay into gamma rays, near-complete conversion of matter to photons? Sounds like a good what-if.
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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby rhomboidal » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:39 am UTC

I'd love to see the continental drift patterns on an Earth with basketball-seam plate tectonics.

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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby Eutychus » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:52 am UTC

Actually, two further thoughts...

1) isn't this pretty much the ending to Men in Black, among many other things?

2) it might be something to do with Earth Day.
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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby ps.02 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:55 am UTC

So, according to W|A, this object is 39 kg. Not sure I want to meet the cat who can casually bat it around. Would be a challenge to hoist 8 or 9 feet into the air, too, as in the last panel. To say nothing of dunking it.

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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby neoliminal » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:06 am UTC

The answer is 2 points.
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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby Envelope Generator » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:26 am UTC

In the second line: ketchup or mustard? Scientists are divided.
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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:30 am UTC

Definitely mustard. Read the whole of 1190:Time for an explanation.
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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby TheCactusman » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:03 am UTC

The question in the alt-text isn't the right one to be asking, it should be "How many points do you get for the remaining basketballs on Earth after at least the majority have been thrown off due to the force of the dribbling?".

Otherwise, she's throwing from inside the three point line so it's at least 2.

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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby snowyowl » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:27 am UTC

In the first panel, is BHG pushing the Earth closer to the Moon to create ridiculous tides? Or is he just poking the ocean to watch the pretty ripples?
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da Doctah
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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby da Doctah » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:07 am UTC

If the Earth were the size of a basketball, the moon would...

...be taunting it mercilessly for being such a tiny worthless planet with delusions of significance.

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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:10 am UTC

It would also orbit the moon instead of the moon orbiting it.Not withstanding that the path of the moon can be interpreted as orbiting the sun and not the earth.
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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby orthogon » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:28 am UTC

snowyowl wrote:In the first panel, is BHG pushing the Earth closer to the Moon to create ridiculous tides? Or is he just poking the ocean to watch the pretty ripples?

Ah, maybe. It seems like the big wave should really go with the second intervention, which looks like she squirts enough water to submerge all of the land.

I don't really get this. Why don't we get close-ups for the other interventions? Is each character's action supposed to be a comment on their personality type? In that case, why is BHG's act the most benign, and lacking the psychological element he normally exhibits? How is the Earth levitating in mid-air?

Also, are there really no basketballs that aren't on the Earth? Has nobody taken one into space? The Apollo programme really missed a trick there. Maybe that's what the late, great Gil Scott-Heron was really getting at in his Whitey on the Moon. "Y'all spent millions of dollars to go to the moon, with one-sixth gravity, and didn't even pack a basketball?"
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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby ElWanderer » Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:07 am UTC

snowyowl wrote:In the first panel, is BHG pushing the Earth closer to the Moon to create ridiculous tides? Or is he just poking the ocean to watch the pretty ripples?

I took it to mean he'd stopped it rotating with his hand (the water would continue rotating, causing massive flooding)...
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Another thought regarding the alt-text

Postby Irrelephant » Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:25 am UTC

Who says "every basketball in existence" is necessarily still on planet earth?
a quick google-image-search for "space basketball" shows that at some point at least one of them wasn't.
Further research into this topic is needed.

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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby xkokocd » Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:29 am UTC

title="How many points do you get for dunking every basketball in existence at once?"

That definitely leads to a "What if" question: How many basketballs are there on Earth? Actually, if we were to make a single basketball using all the material used in every basketball on Earth, how big would it be? Would it be the size of the Earth?

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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby xkokocd » Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:36 am UTC

title="How many points do you get for dunking every basketball in existence at once?"

This actually leads to a "What if" question: How many basketballs are there on Earth? Actually, what would be the size of a basketball made with all the material of every basketball on Earth? Would it be the size of Earth? If the Earth were the size of a basketball made with all the material of every basketball on Earth...? Now I'm lost.

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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby Copper Bezel » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:47 am UTC

Yeah, he's just stopped it spinning, and we're looking at a west coast of something. I kinda wish the comic had stopped there, honestly. Causing massive destruction with one finger because he can, because of a bizarre hypothetical made real, suits BHG's psychology fairly well. The subsequent variations just water it down. (And raise question of how this scenario is being repeated after each destruction of the Earth.)

That said, I flat don't understand the squirt bottle thing.
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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:29 am UTC

Envelope Generator wrote:In the second line: ketchup or mustard? Scientists are divided.


In half? :D :D

I'm sure I know which (ketchup or mustard) the OTTers would pick.

Personally I suspect it's whipped cream. Hmmm... if the earth were the size of a scoop of ice cream...
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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby fluffysheap » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:30 am UTC

My interpretation of the squirt bottle is that she sprayed enough water onto the Earth that the ocean level rose and covered all the land, so now it's featureless. Although an Earth with no land would have some pretty gnarly waves.

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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby scharb » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:34 am UTC

ps.02 wrote:So, according to W|A, this object is 39 kg.

Oh, right. It is mostly iron and other metals.

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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby Mikeski » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:50 am UTC

neoliminal wrote:The answer is 2 points.

Or zero. I assume the refs are supposed to stop play if there are that many balls on the court at once. Or if one of them is a hypothetical planet and not a regulation basketball.

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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:53 am UTC

What I want to know is what would the Moon be?

Assume that the Moon is reduced by the same scale factor as the Earth, without any direct effects on either so long as no-one touches them.

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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby spoonifur » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:49 pm UTC

Glad I looked at this on my computer later. This morning I checked the comic on my phone and could only see the left hand side of comics and it made no sense whatsoever.

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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby orthogon » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:56 pm UTC

Basketball diameter [NBA rules]: 24.1cm-25.0cm
Earth diameter: 12,742km
Moon diameter: 3,475km
Scaled Moon diameter = [24.1,25.0] x 3475/12742 = [6.57, 6.81]
Tennis ball diameter [ITF rules]= 6.54cm–6.86cm

Interestingly the tolerance on the official tennis ball diameter is greater than that on the basketball, so any legal basketball would produce a Moon that was a legal tennis ball (in size, anyway).
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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby vodka.cobra » Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:45 pm UTC

Isn't the character standing on the Earth, while holding the Earth? Something something self-similar fractal reality...
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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby jonat » Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:48 pm UTC

"Basketball is a peaceful planet!"

https://youtu.be/0ymFxkFfIhU?t=405

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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby alanbbent » Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:25 pm UTC

And the bonus comic is found by reading all the rightmost panels going down.

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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby mathmannix » Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:28 pm UTC

If the earth were the size of a basketball, the moon would be a tennis ball, about 24 feet away. The sun would have a diameter of about 29 yards (or 26 meters), and be 1.75 miles (or 2.8 km) away.

If my calculations are correct, it would take 4.14 ounces (or 123 mL) of water to cover Mount Everest.
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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby Soup » Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:31 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:
Envelope Generator wrote:In the second line: ketchup or mustard? Scientists are divided.


In half? :D :D

I'm sure I know which (ketchup or mustard) the OTTers would pick.

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Waiting for it...

Go username5243, musthavebeenmykarma, Rakhal, thunk!!

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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby keithl » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:06 pm UTC

Envelope Generator wrote:In the second line: ketchup or mustard? Scientists are divided.
That stepped cylinder shape is a bicycle water bottle. Megan squirted a thin layer of extra water on basketball earth - enough to cover all the continents up to the mountaintops - which show as a few gray pixels around the edges.
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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby mathmannix » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:47 pm UTC

What's the matter, Cueball? Cat got your planet?
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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby orthogon » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:54 pm UTC

keithl wrote:
Envelope Generator wrote:In the second line: ketchup or mustard? Scientists are divided.
That stepped cylinder shape is a bicycle water bottle. Megan squirted a thin layer of extra water on basketball earth - enough to cover all the continents up to the mountaintops - which show as a few gray pixels around the edges.

Hey, can you enhance that? </csi>
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby trpmb6 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:08 pm UTC

Does anyone else see the extra pixels that appear to be special characters in frame (1,4) (wave panel)? Looking in the bottom left quadrant.

I like Randall's use of this comic. It provides a subtle psychological look at a few of his characters. I agree with a few of the others: I wish he had provided a close up on the last 3 rows.

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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby speising » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:17 pm UTC

trpmb6 wrote:Does anyone else see the extra pixels that appear to be special characters in frame (1,4) (wave panel)? Looking in the bottom left quadrant.

You mean the city?

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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:34 pm UTC

alanbbent wrote:And the bonus comic is found by reading all the rightmost panels going down.


I prefer column 3

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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby a9s » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:06 pm UTC

According to Quantum Conundrum, Sputnik was replaced with a basketball, so there would still be one basketball left undunked.

trpmb6 wrote:Does anyone else see the extra pixels that appear to be special characters in frame (1,4) (wave panel)? Looking in the bottom left quadrant.


That's a city.

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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby pierreb » Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:17 pm UTC

Last panel: She lay up us the all of it.

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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby bachaddict » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:49 pm UTC

"The moon would, uh, start orbiting me?"

pierreb wrote:Last panel: She lay up us the all of it.

Yeah, probably.
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Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Postby 5th Earth » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:30 pm UTC

Thanks to what-if, we know that if the earth were the size of a basketball, it would make a poor bowling ball because it would be too rough.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.


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