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1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:11 am UTC
by joshumax
Image

Title Text: No, tell the park rangers to calm down, it's fine--I put a screen on the front. I just want to get the birds a little closer.

Aaaaaand my xkcd comic thumbnail generator just segfaulted...

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:18 am UTC
by CardcaptorRLH85
Something tells me that Randall didn't actually intend to put the giant version of the comic on the page.

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:22 am UTC
by Bloopy
Alright, who pointed their vacuum cleaner at their monitor?

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:34 am UTC
by rhomboidal
Gah, comic reading is hard. It's way too big and close-up!

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:41 am UTC
by Jorpho
Is there some ingenious Javascript thing that causes the image to unload as soon as you try to zoom out of the page? Because that's what happens in Firefox. IE11 is immune.

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:56 am UTC
by CharonPDX
When I saw the first couple words (on my 4K display at "100% DPI", then browser zoomed out to 50%) I figured it was going to be related to the premise of the comic. Something about "viewing through binoculars" or something. Nope, not in the main comic. Mouseover text? Nope. WTF?

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:00 am UTC
by madock345
Seems like Randall might have strained his eyes looking for birds, if he needs the comic this big to see it XD

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:10 am UTC
by cyanyoshi
Posting the actual size for posterity. Yowza.

Spoiler:
birdwatching_huge.png
Spoiler:
birdwatching_actual_size.png

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:17 am UTC
by MSTK
Pretty sure this is the start of a huge XKCD ARG. Anyone find any clues?

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:45 am UTC
by OP Tipping
As the actress said to the bishop, is the size part of the joke?

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:17 am UTC
by CharonPDX
Here you go, a screenshot of it at 50% for-pixel size, stretched across a 4K monitor on to the neighboring 1080p monitor.
Spoiler:
5kat50.PNG
big ass-screenshot


And to fit entirely on a 4k display I had to display it at 36% size:
Spoiler:
4kat36.PNG
big-ass screenshot

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:14 am UTC
by Quercus
Turns out that the minimum zoom level in Chrome is 25%... good to know

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:21 am UTC
by cellocgw
"Math Birdwatching is hard!" <-- Birder Barbie.

As a lifelong birder, I have to agree. That's why there's a Facebook group "Shitty Bird Photos."

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:58 am UTC
by DanAxtell
The original size of Comic 1826 was 10,679 × 3,577 pixels.
That’s 38198783 pixels or 10010001101101110111110111 in binary.
In base twenty it’s biegif.
Here’s bie.gif from Wikimedia:
Image
Googling 38198783 brings up a picture of Uma Thurman and Quentin Tarantino that includes the number in the file name.
It’s the number of sheep in the United States in 1896 according to one source.
As a Unix timestamp, it’s the birthday of German Supermodel Nadja Auermann.
I’m beginning to think that maybe the image size was just a mistake.

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:18 pm UTC
by hamjudo
Has anyone found the birds in the image yet?

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:49 pm UTC
by Draco18s
No, but I found a single, solitary, black pixel in the last frame.

It's about stick-figure waist-high, just directly below the sucking air of the vacuum.

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:54 pm UTC
by Keyman
Also Google:
Lux Intelligence tolmukotid - 8 tk (38198783) - Osta.ee
https://osta-ee.postimees.ee › ... › Vacuum cleaners
Translate this page
Jul 11, 2013 - Lux Intelligence tolmukotid - 8 tk in category: Home, Other household items (Item ID 38198783)

https://osta-ee.postimees.ee/en/lux-intelligence-tolmukotid-8-tk-38198783.html
Hmmm...?

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:57 pm UTC
by Soupspoon
Draco18s wrote:No, but I found a single, solitary, black pixel in the last frame.
Does it possibly, given the resolution, have aircraft wings on its avian body? ;)

(Gotta admit, I thought from the title that I'd be getting the reverse of Identification Chart. Either Randall's not that unimaginative, or I am... ;))

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:16 pm UTC
by slackcc
Seems unlikely that this was accidental, if you look in the page source the path to the uploaded image is:

//imgs.xkcd.com/comics/birdwatching_huge.png

it would seem that it was intended to be "huge" for some reason.

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:41 pm UTC
by DennyMo
I thought the third frame showed bird poop landing on his head, which would at least help you know where the birds *were* just a few seconds ago...

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:50 pm UTC
by Soupspoon
DennyMo wrote:I thought the third frame showed bird poop landing on his head, which would at least help you know where the birds *were* just a few seconds ago...

I think that's cartoony "grizzling", the visualisation of angry frustration.

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:01 pm UTC
by Copper Bezel
slackcc wrote:Seems unlikely that this was accidental, if you look in the page source the path to the uploaded image is:

//imgs.xkcd.com/comics/birdwatching_huge.png

it would seem that it was intended to be "huge" for some reason.

Yeah, explainxkcd's theory seems right that it's meant to resemble looking at the comic through a pair of binoculars. Perhaps it's funny to someone who's recently been birdwatching and experienced the corresponding disorientation.

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:11 pm UTC
by DanAxtell
Soupspoon wrote:
Draco18s wrote:No, but I found a single, solitary, black pixel in the last frame.
Does it possibly, given the resolution, have aircraft wings on its avian body? ;)

Here's a screenshot of the pixel at position 9725, 2655 magnified 1200% to bring out the detail.
Image
I was unable to find any hidden meaning to the numbers 9725 and 2655, but I note that the Hex Color Code for the pixel is 000000. As a Unix Timestamp, that's Jan. 1, 1970. Googling that date, I find that it's the very beginning of the Unix Epoch, so I think my numerological sleuthing is bearing fruit (or maybe it's nuts).

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:26 pm UTC
by Flumble
That's a weird pixel. It has a black square inside of it and it's 6 5/6th by 6 1/12th.

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:06 pm UTC
by Zowayix
I usually read xkcd in the morning on my phone, and it seems like most mobile browsers (tried Firefox and Safari) will just outright refuse to load in any way an image that's too large. You only get the two [|<][Prev][Random][Next][>|] button rows on top of each other. Maybe that's part of the reason why Randall resized it.

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:16 pm UTC
by Unclevertitle
cyanyoshi wrote:Posting the actual size for posterity. Yowza.

Spoiler:
Image
Spoiler:
Image


Now properly labeled for Actual Size.

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:11 pm UTC
by Copper Bezel
...

Well done, sir or madam XD

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:05 pm UTC
by Jorpho
It's back to normal. We now have birdwatching.png instead of birdwatching_huge.png . How mysterious. (birdwatching_huge.png is still on the server, but is normal size.)

It only just occurred to me that there was no April Fool's gag this year.

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:18 pm UTC
by Heimhenge
Jorpho wrote:It's back to normal. We now have birdwatching.png instead of birdwatching_huge.png . How mysterious. (birdwatching_huge.png is still on the server, but is normal size.)

It only just occurred to me that there was no April Fool's gag this year.


Well if this was it, that was a pretty lame joke. Way below XKCD norms. I think it was a play on magnified sizes that backfired.

And speaking of magnified ... at the angle Cueball is holding his camera, if the bird is "a mile up" then it's gotta be like 2-3 miles away. And that doesn't look like a telephoto lens. No way you could see a hawk at that distance. Randall usually gets that stuff right. Unless maybe that was part of the joke?

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:36 pm UTC
by cyanyoshi
Unclevertitle wrote:
cyanyoshi wrote:Posting the actual size for posterity. Yowza.

Spoiler:
Image
Spoiler:
Image


Now properly labeled for Actual Size.

Perfect! :lol:

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:07 pm UTC
by Copper Bezel
Heimhenge wrote:Well if this was it, that was a pretty lame joke. Way below XKCD norms. I think it was a play on magnified sizes that backfired.

And speaking of magnified ... at the angle Cueball is holding his camera, if the bird is "a mile up" then it's gotta be like 2-3 miles away. And that doesn't look like a telephoto lens. No way you could see a hawk at that distance. Randall usually gets that stuff right. Unless maybe that was part of the joke?

I like that what was probably a technical glitch has us ready to accept that nearly anything is a part of the joke in a hidden way. The strip is surprisingly normal and even pedestrian now that it's about a vacuum cleaner.

DanAxtell did it best, though!

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:10 pm UTC
by ggh
Heimhenge wrote:And speaking of magnified ... at the angle Cueball is holding his camera, if the bird is "a mile up" then it's gotta be like 2-3 miles away. And that doesn't look like a telephoto lens. No way you could see a hawk at that distance. Randall usually gets that stuff right. Unless that was part of the joke?
It's this camera, no?


Whether the huge size was part of the joke or not, it's neat to get a glimpse of Randall's drawings close up. Those little slivers - like in Cueball's armpit in the last frame - do they imply some cut-repo-paste going on? And in the first frame, it looks like the small gap between the head and body was deliberately added.

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:30 pm UTC
by Fungo4
Yeah, crazy size glitch aside, I don't really get the "joke" here. The vacuum cleaner is so absurd that it crosses the line between "joke" and "what". Like if he just pulled out a lasso I'd at least get it but the vacuum just... eh...

The second guy in the strip, who contributes nothing, only seems to make it more clear how nonsensical it is.

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:35 pm UTC
by Soupspoon
BTW, "a mile up" might be the hypotenuse of the slope, not the riser, being described. Upwardsly pitching. A mile up thus being simply "a mile away" (still not near) without trigonometric conversion. Until you want its actual altitude and ground-distance, at least.

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:36 am UTC
by keldor
Soupspoon wrote:BTW, "a mile up" might be the hypotenuse of the slope, not the riser, being described. Upwardsly pitching. A mile up thus being simply "a mile away" (still not near) without trigonometric conversion. Until you want its actual altitude and ground-distance, at least.


I don't think I've ever heard of "a mile up" being anything other than the altitude (from the ground, not sea level). This would let you say "a mile up" when referring to an airplane a mile away just about to touch down on the runway, maybe 30 feet from the ground. No matter how far away from the observer, I do not believe this qualifies as "a mile up".

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:15 am UTC
by Copper Bezel
Fungo4 wrote:The second guy in the strip, who contributes nothing,

He has a cute hat!

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:35 am UTC
by ysth
Powerful shop vac. Pulled the middle right out of the — in the title text.

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:30 am UTC
by da Doctah
Fungo4 wrote:The vacuum cleaner is so absurd that it crosses the line between "joke" and "what". Like if he just pulled out a lasso I'd at least get it but the vacuum just... eh...


How would you feel about a big honkin' U-shaped magnet?

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:45 am UTC
by Morgan Wick

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:24 am UTC
by Soupspoon
keldor wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:BTW, "a mile up" might be the hypotenuse of the slope, not the riser, being described. Upwardsly pitching. A mile up thus being simply "a mile away" (still not near) without trigonometric conversion. Until you want its actual altitude and ground-distance, at least.


I don't think I've ever heard of "a mile up" being anything other than the altitude (from the ground, not sea level). This would let you say "a mile up" when referring to an airplane a mile away just about to touch down on the runway, maybe 30 feet from the ground. No matter how far away from the observer, I do not believe this qualifies as "a mile up".


It'd be an imprecise contraction of "It's a mile away, and up there", sure, and you probably need to have an angle measured in tens of degrees (more than a half radian?) to make the "up (there)" more significant than "away (there)", but getting someone to visually (aided or unaided by lens-based apparatus) focus in on a spec in the air, often getting your eyes/binoculars/zoom lens primed for "mile away" focussing is the big part of the battle when trying to discern even a noisy aircraft against a big blue sky.

The azimuth and (angular) altitude coming from your binaural sensing directly (or by your companion gesturing or frustratingly adding "three o'clock.... See the church steeple, then the two trees, and the small gap in the hill on the horizon..? Just right of that, and upwards by four hands or so... Got it yet? It's now drifted to the left a bit... Why can't you see it yet?!?"), the trickiest assessment to accurately convey is the one where a rough depth-of-field is needed, and how many of us even can sight (or, indeed, cite) a range to a mid-air target, within a factor of two either way.?

Naw, never mind. It's gone down behind that clump of trees now. But I'll tell you if it pops up again...