0576: "Packages"

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tejaswiyvs
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Re: Packages

Postby tejaswiyvs » Fri May 01, 2009 6:13 am UTC

I simply HAD to logon and and post the same thing over again. This was one of the best comics (and ideas) that I've read on this site!

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Re: Packages (Typo!)

Postby aasmith » Fri May 01, 2009 6:21 am UTC

"et al." is spelled with only one period. It's an abbreviation for et alii (and others), and only the second word is abbreviated.

Sorry...it's the scientist in me poking through. :)

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Glenn Magus Harvey
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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby Glenn Magus Harvey » Fri May 01, 2009 6:54 am UTC

(In a deep Mortal Kombat announcer voice:)

ALT TEXT WINS.

FEEDBACK.

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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby Screature » Fri May 01, 2009 7:19 am UTC

Glenn Magus Harvey wrote:(In a deep Mortal Kombat announcer voice:)

ALT TEXT WINS.

FEEDBACK.


Toastieeeeeeee!
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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby markfiend » Fri May 01, 2009 7:44 am UTC

That alt text is just made of win 8)
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Re: Packages (Typo!)

Postby xdaemanix » Fri May 01, 2009 7:47 am UTC

aasmith wrote:"et al." is spelled with only one period. It's an abbreviation for et alii (and others), and only the second word is abbreviated.

Sorry...it's the scientist in me poking through. :)



Don't worry... I immediately thought the same thing. Someone said something about it usually being used for names and not things, but that's not true... it can be a list of anything and be correct. The extra period is just an ink blot. ^.^

...and it doesn't change the fact that this comic is genius. I *adore* it.
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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby Gentlelady » Fri May 01, 2009 7:53 am UTC

Ebay here I come.
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atimholt
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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby atimholt » Fri May 01, 2009 7:56 am UTC

Well, I was gonna say 'alt text = win,' because it does, but everyone else already has. :wink:
So I'll add something else to the conversation:
alitheiapsis wrote:http://xkcd.com/281/ came to mind.

Yeah. I just ordered an airsoft gun (a jg g3 ras, a type of fully automatic assault rifle replica, a real roarer). In class, I kept hitting refresh on the UPS tracking page, and thought of that comic. It's in, and I'll be picking it up 'tomorrow' (today: it's past midnight.). You see, I'm not really supposed to be spending money right now, so I had it delivered to a friends house :wink:.
Anyways. Um... Yes. Awesome comic. I laughed out loud at the alt text, and truly it is one of webcomicdom's great alt-texts.
Man, that would make a really awesome discussion thread (webcomicdom's great alt-texts). I'd start it, but I seem to jinx the threads I start.
Totally random totally awesome SF quote:
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StClair
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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby StClair » Fri May 01, 2009 8:04 am UTC

Took me a minute to remember where "bobcat" was from, but then I laughed so hard.

phodd
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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby phodd » Fri May 01, 2009 8:04 am UTC

By sheer coincidence, I won my very first eBay auction yesterday; Obviously it hasn't arrived yet.

If I receive any kind of angry feline, I'm mailing it to Randall.

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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby xdaemanix » Fri May 01, 2009 8:07 am UTC

phodd wrote:If I receive any kind of angry feline, I'm mailing it to Randall.



Bahah. Agreed.

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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby Rich » Fri May 01, 2009 8:17 am UTC

The thing that weirds me out a bit about this strip is the sense of personification I get of the script.

Just this line: "I gave it $365, so each day it can buy me something random"
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MrNerdHair
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Re: Packages

Postby MrNerdHair » Fri May 01, 2009 8:33 am UTC

dennisw wrote:I'm going to write a script that games this script. Anybody know how much osmium or iridium cost?

You see, the USPS has a flat-rate shipping box that's 5-3/8" x 8-5/8" x 3-5/8" (about the size of a large paperback book). The postage is only $4.95 for any destination in the US. You can mail up to 70 lbs (31.75 kg) in this little box per postal regulations (did they really think that through?). Neither osmium nor iridium would max it out.


Not sure where you're getting that info.. according to Wikipedia, osmium has a density of 22.61 g/cm^3, which would total to just over 137 pounds.

dennisw wrote:Lead would be cheaper, but would only weigh about 30 lbs (it would still cause some surprised looks).


11.34 g/cm^3, so it comes in at just under 70 lbs.

Raineer
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Re: Packages

Postby Raineer » Fri May 01, 2009 8:43 am UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:Best. Alt text. EVER.

I registered here just to post the exact same thing.

Best alt text to date.

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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby NMcCoy » Fri May 01, 2009 9:02 am UTC

The physics teachers at a school I went to have a pair of tungsten bricks - each a bit larger than your standard red brick, each weighing about 50 pounds.

They use them as epic paperweights. I'm sure they're quite valuable, but how would you go about stealing one?
Image

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Freiberg
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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby Freiberg » Fri May 01, 2009 9:17 am UTC

I have to say, along with everyone else, that I love the alt text.

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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby vviipp » Fri May 01, 2009 10:14 am UTC

That's clever. Who doesn't want $365 worth of random crap?

Xbehave
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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby Xbehave » Fri May 01, 2009 10:44 am UTC

I cant search for everything on ebay :( , i suppose you could search by a random letter in by letter and just pick random letters, unfortunatly my simple script falls down when i need to filter through the html received by wget. I need to get the data between <div class="divider g-nav"> and <div id="v4-90"></div> that fits a certain pattern, if only somebody knew regex...
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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby eviloatmeal » Fri May 01, 2009 11:06 am UTC

I cackled madly at the alt today! :lol: It would have made a much more dramatic last panel!
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pietertje
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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby pietertje » Fri May 01, 2009 12:12 pm UTC

Xbehave wrote:I cant search for everything on ebay :( , i suppose you could search by a random letter in by letter and just pick random letters, unfortunatly my simple script falls down when i need to filter through the html received by wget. I need to get the data between <div class="divider g-nav"> and <div id="v4-90"></div> that fits a certain pattern, if only somebody knew regex...

Code: Select all

/\<div class\=\"divider g-nav\"\>(.*?)\<div id\=\"v4-90\"\>/
or

Code: Select all

/\<div class\=\"divider g-nav\"\>([\w])\<div id\=\"v4-90\"\>/
if it only contains alpha-numeric characters. Good luck with your script good sir!

P.S I self-thought my self regex I have no idea if this is a good regular expression, but it should work.

epsy
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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby epsy » Fri May 01, 2009 12:19 pm UTC


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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby jeremyjw » Fri May 01, 2009 1:07 pm UTC

Day 8: Bea Arthur's ashes

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dennisw
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Re: Packages

Postby dennisw » Fri May 01, 2009 1:16 pm UTC

MrNerdHair wrote:
dennisw wrote:I'm going to write a script that games this script. Anybody know how much osmium or iridium cost?

You see, the USPS has a flat-rate shipping box that's 5-3/8" x 8-5/8" x 3-5/8" (about the size of a large paperback book). The postage is only $4.95 for any destination in the US. You can mail up to 70 lbs (31.75 kg) in this little box per postal regulations (did they really think that through?). Neither osmium nor iridium would max it out.


Not sure where you're getting that info.. according to Wikipedia, osmium has a density of 22.61 g/cm^3, which would total to just over 137 pounds.

dennisw wrote:Lead would be cheaper, but would only weigh about 30 lbs (it would still cause some surprised looks).


11.34 g/cm^3, so it comes in at just under 70 lbs.


You're right. I fumble-fingered the volume calculation. I'm editing my original post to reflect the correction.

Edit: Nope, sorry, I had the volume and density (and thus the weight of 30 lbs) correct. Upon further checking, I found that I typo'd the dimensions (only in the post). It should be 5-3/8" x 8-5/8" x 1-5/8". Off to re-edit the original post.
Last edited by dennisw on Fri May 01, 2009 9:07 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby Duban » Fri May 01, 2009 1:24 pm UTC

The "Bobcat" reference made the comic go from funny to beyond words. It was just awesome.

Also, as for the 70 pound package, wouldn't it be even funnier if you marked it as "fragile". Imagine them trying to move it around without banging it. Even funnier if you use U238 so that it's mildly, but harmlessly, radioactive. Might also screw up any X-rays they take of it.
Last edited by Duban on Fri May 01, 2009 2:08 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby abstractpotato » Fri May 01, 2009 2:01 pm UTC

Great comic, but you might not get a package a day if you lost the auction, and you'd be limited to things with free shipping.

Rich wrote:The thing that weirds me out a bit about this strip is the sense of personification I get of the script.

Just this line: "I gave it $365, so each day it can buy me something random"

What, are you an anti-scriptist? Scripts are people too!

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quadmaster
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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby quadmaster » Fri May 01, 2009 2:06 pm UTC

that cat comic is terrible!
:cry: :cry:
horrendously clever, but terrible.
I... I didn't do it.
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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby grapefruit1 » Fri May 01, 2009 2:16 pm UTC

Oh my god. I don't usually laugh out loud at these comics, even when they're absolutely hilarious, but the alt text was too perfect. :lol:

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alias.exe
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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby alias.exe » Fri May 01, 2009 2:32 pm UTC

Alt text is full of win! As is the comic as a whole :)

iqag
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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby iqag » Fri May 01, 2009 2:41 pm UTC

Xbehave wrote:unfortunatly my simple script falls down when i need to filter through the html received by wget.


No need to scrape the html. Ebay has an API - developer-dot-ebay-dot-com. Let the automated bobcat acquisition commence.

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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby creidieki » Fri May 01, 2009 2:57 pm UTC

I don't understand the intention here well enough to implement this. Buy-it-now items which cost $1 with free shipping seem to all be coins, collectible-card-game cards, and quilt patterns. But each $1 bid you place in an auction yields, on average, some p<1 completed sales. Should I be bidding on 1/p items per day, and hoping I get an average of one item sent per day? (We should be able to experimentally find a decent value for p; I have very little ebay experience; perhaps 0.2?)

Or maybe I'm overthinking this. We only bid on items which are going to close in the next ten minutes, and switch to a new item each time we get outbid.

I guess I'll set up a bank account for the script (so that a coding error doesn't drain my checking account). Actually, I'm pretty sure that you're vulnerable to complicated gotcha-fees from debit cards, not just credit cards, so maybe I should get a VISA gift card or something. Then give the script an email account.

At some level I'm a bit future-shocked by the idea of writing a program, giving it an email account and a bank account, and empowering it to make financial decisions for me. This is delicious.

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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby Pixel » Fri May 01, 2009 3:04 pm UTC

I'm attempting to get ebay's search function to cough up something like the script in this strip. Thus far I have managed to get a list, but am still refining it to weed out the crap/scams.

http://shop.ebay.com/ebayadvsearch/
Right now I have:
search: shipping (items & descriptions
exclude: download mpg(excludes ebaymotors scam chips) coupon terminal(lots of free credit car terminals) yugioh quilt manual
prices: $.98-$1
Buy it now only
paypal accepted
free shipping
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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby Sceptre » Fri May 01, 2009 3:05 pm UTC

I know it's already been said...

but alt-text=WIN

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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby darkspork » Fri May 01, 2009 4:01 pm UTC

iqag wrote:
Xbehave wrote:unfortunatly my simple script falls down when i need to filter through the html received by wget.


No need to scrape the html. Ebay has an API - developer-dot-ebay-dot-com. Let the automated bobcat acquisition commence.

Awesome. I wonder what they would think of such a thing. It seems that the eBay API only lets you make 5,000 calls to it per day, but that should be plenty for personal use.
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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby kaycie » Fri May 01, 2009 4:09 pm UTC

I created an account just to say

best. alt text. ever.

I literally choked on a mouthful of pizza when I read it.

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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby mathrec » Fri May 01, 2009 4:24 pm UTC

Duban wrote:The "Bobcat" reference made the comic go from funny to beyond words. It was just awesome.

Randall does self-reference so very, very well. I'm glad he breaks his promise regularly---not that he ever meant to keep it.

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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Fri May 01, 2009 5:13 pm UTC

Day 8: Coat hanger
Day 9: cucumber
Day 10: 20 oz. bottle Diet Coke
Day 11: roll of Mentos
Day 12: kite
Day 13: Zeppelin!
Day 14: ninja costume
Day 15: katana
Day 16: beard
...
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Almost in register
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Re: Packages

Postby Almost in register » Fri May 01, 2009 5:16 pm UTC

xdaemanix wrote:
aasmith wrote:"et al." is spelled with only one period. It's an abbreviation for et alii (and others), and only the second word is abbreviated.

Sorry...it's the scientist in me poking through. :)



Don't worry... I immediately thought the same thing. Someone said something about it usually being used for names and not things, but that's not true... it can be a list of anything and be correct. The extra period is just an ink blot. ^.^

...and it doesn't change the fact that this comic is genius. I *adore* it.

Et al. is reserved for other people. Etc. is for other things. I don't think that the character would actually say either one, since in conversation you'd be more likely to say "and so on" or "and other sites like it".

I am half tempted to try this. Too bad that between varying delivery distances and companies' not delivering on weekends, you wouldn't get a package every day.

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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby L33tsaber » Fri May 01, 2009 5:21 pm UTC

The bobcat reference in the alt text reminds me of an old joke (or rather, a set of jokes) involving a brick.

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Re: Packages

Postby jcidiot » Fri May 01, 2009 5:42 pm UTC

GuitarFreak wrote:
dennisw wrote:I'm going to write a script that games this script. Anybody know how much osmium or iridium cost?

You see, the USPS has a flat-rate shipping box that's 5-3/8" x 8-5/8" x 3-5/8" (about the size of a large paperback book). The postage is only $4.95 for any destination in the US. You can mail up to 70 lbs (31.75 kg) in this little box per postal regulations (did they really think that through?). Neither osmium nor iridium would max it out.

I can just imagine the looks on all the faces of the postal workers, the postal inspectors, the recipient, the FBI agents...

Lead would be cheaper, but would only weigh about 30 lbs (it would still cause some surprised looks). There are larger flat rate boxes. One is 12 x 12 x 5.5 (smaller than a box for a pair of boots) and would hold over 320 lbs of lead. It costs $13.95 to mail. In the description the phrase "regardless of weight" is used. :¡This cheese is burning me!:

plin25 wrote:Well, it sort of builds up.

Think of a person wearing a ski mask taking a bear trap and rubber hose into the Pentagon, and he has lube.

And a bobcat. And a really really heavy box. That's impervious to xray.


Osmium is really expensive. Using tungsten, it would cost almost $200000 to get enough to fill the large box. Osmium would be in the millions.



try making a steel box, dump mercury into it, and then wield the top closed. rinse off all mercury left outside, and send. this should be around 80 90lbs, and costs a lot less than tungsten for a heavier weight than lead. though could violate federal no toxic substances laws...

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Re: "Packages" Duscussion

Postby Traz » Fri May 01, 2009 5:54 pm UTC

wouldn't packages not arrive at all on some days and multiple packages arriving on other days because of different shipping distances?


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