0950: "Mystery Solved"

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0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby jpk » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:00 am UTC

Image

Alt text: "The Roanoke Lost Colonists founded Roanoke, the Franklin Expedition reached the Pacific in 2009 when the Northwest Passage opened, and Jimmy Hoffa currently heads the Teamsters Union--he just started going by 'James'."

I actually think Amelia Earhart was proably smart enough that she'd have come up with a cover story. Something involving time warps and sunspots and, hey, let's develop these pictures I got when I was flying over the Martian Canals..."

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby glasnt » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:08 am UTC

Saw the plane in panel 1, assumed a 9/11 reference. I was wrong \o/

I think there's a Torchwood episode on this kind of event as well <_<

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby LSK » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:10 am UTC

The circumference of Earth is around 24500 miles. It's been 74 years since Amelia Earhart vanished, so that's approximately 331 miles per year, or 0.906 miles per day - a stunning 0.0377 miles per hour. Now, I don't have the physics background to say for certain whether that's enough to generate lift, but gut check says it probably isn't.

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby geirskogul » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:14 am UTC

I...don't get it?

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby MiB24601 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:15 am UTC

LSK wrote:The circumference of Earth is around 24500 miles. It's been 74 years since Amelia Earhart vanished, so that's approximately 331 miles per year, or 0.906 miles per day - a stunning 0.0377 miles per hour. Now, I don't have the physics background to say for certain whether that's enough to generate lift, but gut check says it probably isn't.


How long would it take if she flew over every single square foot of the Earth? Not just circumnavigating the globe, but flying over ever single part of it? That should explain what took so long.
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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby Username4242 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:18 am UTC

I think that when she says she was 'flying around the world' she means it in the same way one might say that they're 'walking around town', if their town were a geoid.

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby Tulicloure » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:22 am UTC

Username4242 wrote:I think that when she says she was 'flying around the world' she means it in the same way one might say that they're 'walking around town', if their town were a geoid.


Was just going to say that. O.o
I can imagine that: "What I want now is to fly around the world."

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby pigslookfunny » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:26 am UTC

Surely she would have run out of fuel before then.

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby jpk » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:39 am UTC

pigslookfunny wrote:Surely she would have run out of fuel before then.


Right, because obviously there's never been a way to put more fuel into an airplane.

(someone should come up with that... they could re-use the planes, probably save a lot of money that way)

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby onionparadise » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:44 am UTC

What if she was travelling at relativistic speeds? If she was going around the earth more than once, then the time-dilation could explain the apparent time jump, and also, you wouldn't really be able to see an object moving at near light speed at the altitude she was likely flying at, thus explaining why no one could find her. Also, her radio signal would have shifted far away from the wavelength it was set to transmit, explaining why they lost radio contact with her.

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby Kranerian » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:51 am UTC

Took a pause from my physics homework on special relativity to check the webcomics. Naturally, it was the first explanation that I thought of. If only I had gotten here about 10 minutes earlier.

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby Fire Tock » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:52 am UTC

onionparadise wrote:What if she was travelling at relativistic speeds? If she was going around the earth more than once, then the time-dilation could explain the apparent time jump, and also, you wouldn't really be able to see an object moving at near light speed at the altitude she was likely flying at, thus explaining why no one could find her. Also, her radio signal would have shifted far away from the wavelength it was set to transmit, explaining why they lost radio contact with her.



Did this guy ^ just solve this whole mess?

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby A_of_s_t » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:54 am UTC

glasnt wrote:Saw the plane in panel 1, assumed a 9/11 reference. I was wrong \o/


That never crossed my mind...

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby Tirian » Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:01 am UTC

I figure what happened is that she decided that, to truly fly around the world, she had to spend at least some time flying through the 3/4 of the world that is underwater.

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby Gamtrex » Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:03 am UTC

In regards to the mouseover

i joked to my friend who attends union meetings that James Hoffa was secretly Jimmy hoffa in disguise

...
...
...

well played mind readers...well played

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby serrath » Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:05 am UTC

Aaaaaaaand the writers of Eureka now have to re-write an episode that has yet to air.

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby Eternal Density » Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:44 am UTC

onionparadise wrote:What if she was travelling at relativistic speeds? If she was going around the earth more than once, then the time-dilation could explain the apparent time jump, and also, you wouldn't really be able to see an object moving at near light speed at the altitude she was likely flying at, thus explaining why no one could find her. Also, her radio signal would have shifted far away from the wavelength it was set to transmit, explaining why they lost radio contact with her.
Good thing she wasn't going around the other way, or she'd have gone into the past, or something. Stupid superman.
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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby Sean Quixote » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:16 am UTC

glasnt wrote:Saw the plane in panel 1, assumed a 9/11 reference. I was wrong \o/

Surely coincidental... :P

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby arthi » Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:33 am UTC

Is it really coincidence, that i watched this episode http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0708976/ yesterday?

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby 907Code-G » Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:23 am UTC

So check me on this if I"m wrong, but if she reached an appropriate altitude she could conserve a huge amount of fuel by orbiting downward right? what's the speed necessary to reach to have an orbit long enough for her to be flying for 74 years? I'll see if I can do the math...

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby Plasma Man » Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:31 am UTC

Well, Halley's Comet comes round every 75 years or so. Maybe she followed that?
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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby feyayeruka » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:48 am UTC

Oh haha! I *love* Amelia Earhart. Well, except that she hasn't been replying to my letters in a while... but she's so damn HOT!

And I wanted to say: props to Randal for not mentioning anything about 9/11... but then glasnt went and spoiled it for me.
glasnt wrote:Saw the plane in panel 1, assumed a 9/11 reference. I was wrong \o/

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby libra » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:49 am UTC

jpk wrote:I actually think Amelia Earhart was probably smart enough that she'd have come up with a cover story. Something involving time warps and sunspots and, hey, let's develop these pictures I got when I was flying over the Martian Canals..."


"I got abducted by aliens who took me to this colony on the other side of the galaxy, where I was thawed out by a kindly bunch of stranded astronauts from the 24th century. I built a flux capacitor out of spare parts they left me and time travelled back here. It's been a long flight. Where's the nearest ladies' bathroom?"

Seems legit.

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby RogerB » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:06 pm UTC

glasnt wrote:I think there's a Torchwood episode on this kind of event as well <_<


That would be this one. You would think there would be something about this on the Torchwood part of the BBC website but it seems not, this is all you get.

According to the Wikipedia article Amelia Earhart gets a mention in the episode, maybe she disappeared because she flew through a space-time rift.

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby jc » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:24 pm UTC

MiB24601 wrote:[How long would it take if she flew over every single square foot of the Earth? Not just circumnavigating the globe, but flying over ever single part of it? That should explain what took so long.


Yet another reason for Americans to "go metric". If she only has to fly over every square meter of the Earth, it'd take only about 1/10 as long. :lol:

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby dexeron » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:28 pm UTC

glasnt wrote:I think there's a Torchwood episode on this kind of event as well <_<


I'm glad I'm not the only person who thought of that!
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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby martin878 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:44 pm UTC

MiB24601 wrote:How long would it take if she flew over every single square foot of the Earth? Not just circumnavigating the globe, but flying over ever single part of it? That should explain what took so long.


Wing span = 16.8 m
Cruise = 306 km/h
Earth surface = 510,000,000 km2
=============================
Time required = 11,319 years

So, er...!

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby MrRubix » Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:00 pm UTC

Common sense (I hate using that term, though) explanation for the comic:

The alt-text talks about people who suddenly went missing, like Amelia Earhart (come on, no DB Cooper reference?), but just talking about them in present-tense as if they were still around, impossibly so.

I don't think this is a relativity joke (even though it's the first thing that sprang to mind after reading it) -- it's just a "mystery solved" minus any real explanation. You're not supposed to figure out a realistic solution (Earhart was born in 1897, the Roanoke Colony refers to a disappearing group back in the late sixteenth century, Franklin's Expedition was in 1845, and Hoffa went missing in 1975, etc).
Last edited by MrRubix on Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:05 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby Aelfyre » Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:03 pm UTC

Fire Tock wrote:
onionparadise wrote:What if she was travelling at relativistic speeds? If she was going around the earth more than once, then the time-dilation could explain the apparent time jump, and also, you wouldn't really be able to see an object moving at near light speed at the altitude she was likely flying at, thus explaining why no one could find her. Also, her radio signal would have shifted far away from the wavelength it was set to transmit, explaining why they lost radio contact with her.



Did this guy ^ just solve this whole mess?


maybe.. except for the whole "planes only generate lift in an atmosphere" thing so the friction alone would generate ridiculous amounts of heat. :)


MrRubix wrote:Common sense explanation for the comic:

The alt-text talks about people who suddenly went missing, like Amelia Earhart (come on, no DB Cooper reference?), but just talking about them in present-tense as if they were still around, impossibly so.

I don't think this is a relativity joke (even though it's the first thing that sprang to mind after reading it) -- it's just a "mystery solved" minus any real explanation. You're not supposed to figure out a realistic solution (Earhart was born in 1897, the Roanoke Colony refers to a disappearing group back in the late sixteenth century, Franklin's Expedition was in 1845, and Hoffa went missing in 1975, etc).


the real mystery is how did Jimmy Hoffa end up buried under the Roanoke colony :)
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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby MrRubix » Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:06 pm UTC

Aelfyre wrote:the real mystery is how did Jimmy Hoffa end up buried under the Roanoke colony :)


I think it was probably Obama's fault after he came to power in the 1300's.

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby Lockheed_Tvr » Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:43 pm UTC

I just popped in to say that that is a very nicely drawn Lockheed Electra.

At first I thought that it was a Beech 18 which looks similar, but I immediately caught my mistake and by the time I read "Amelia" I knew that xkcd's attention to detail saved the day again!

It really does capture the Electra's specific look. Quite amazing.

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:59 pm UTC

pigslookfunny wrote:Surely she would have run out of fuel before then.

Thank you. I always thought it was funny how xkcd readers tend to look for scientific/mathematical/whatever-fitting-field explanations for absurd things that happen in the comic (I am among these people, as I'm going to demonstrate in a moment), yet we tend to ignore other factors that would shut down our theories. All I could think as I read the thread was "she would have died by now anyway, even if she somehow was equipped with enough food and other necessities to last 74 years and with the supplies and means to repair the plane as it flew (as it would fall apart within a year otherwise), old age still would have gotten her a few years back."
Oh well, back to arguing about the science of the flight itself...

LSK wrote:The circumference of Earth is around 24500 miles. It's been 74 years since Amelia Earhart vanished, so that's approximately 331 miles per year, or 0.906 miles per day - a stunning 0.0377 miles per hour. Now, I don't have the physics background to say for certain whether that's enough to generate lift, but gut check says it probably isn't.

All this assumes that she traced the equator as she flew, and went around the globe exactly one time, stopping at the same place she started, and with no altitude change whatsoever (but the latter is not a big factor).
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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby Captain Chaos » Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:09 pm UTC

SpringLoaded12 wrote:All this assumes that she traced the equator as she flew, and went around the globe exactly one time, stopping at the same place she started, and with no altitude change whatsoever (but the latter is not a big factor).

Except that the Earth is (roughly) a sphere, so the circumference is actually the same wherever you start and in whichever direction you fly... ;)

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby Felstaff » Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:12 pm UTC

Lockheed_Tvr wrote:It really does capture the Electra's specific look.

Two wings, a tail, and propellers?
Lockheed_Tvr wrote:At first I thought that it was a Beech 18

Look, Here is a good drawing of a Beech 18.
And Here is a good painting of a Lockheed Electra.

This:
Image
...is just a simple doodle that can be done with the following prerequisites:
  • Eyes (working)
  • Pen (working)
  • Paper (blank)
  • Once looked at a picture of Amelia Earhart's aeroplane
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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby jpk » Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:24 pm UTC

RogerB wrote:You would think there would be something about this on the Torchwood part of the BBC website but it seems not, this is all you get.


That's because not even the BBC gives a flaming watusi about Torchwood.

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:17 pm UTC

Username4242 wrote:I think that when she says she was 'flying around the world' she means it in the same way one might say that they're 'walking around town', if their town were a geoid.

"When Amelia Earhart flies around the world, she flies around the world!"
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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby ModestMouse » Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:27 pm UTC

the real mystery is how did Jimmy Hoffa end up buried under the Roanoke colony :)


Actually, Hoffa is buried right here in Detroit under Home Plate at old Tiger Stadium. I know this because I knew a guy who knew a guy who knew the guys who burried the body.

By the way, Obama did not come to power in the 1300's. He was elected by popular vote around 1442, so he was well under 18 years old in the 1300's which would have made him ineligible.

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby Mattman » Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:42 pm UTC

LSK wrote:The circumference of Earth is around 24500 miles. It's been 74 years since Amelia Earhart vanished, so that's approximately 331 miles per year, or 0.906 miles per day - a stunning 0.0377 miles per hour. Now, I don't have the physics background to say for certain whether that's enough to generate lift, but gut check says it probably isn't.


Of course it's enough to generate lift. How much lift? Probably not enough to get a paper airplane airborne. But still some!

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby MrRubix » Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:58 pm UTC

ModestMouse wrote:
the real mystery is how did Jimmy Hoffa end up buried under the Roanoke colony :)


Actually, Hoffa is buried right here in Detroit under Home Plate at old Tiger Stadium. I know this because I knew a guy who knew a guy who knew the guys who burried the body.

By the way, Obama did not come to power in the 1300's. He was elected by popular vote around 1442, so he was well under 18 years old in the 1300's which would have made him ineligible.


Ahh, right you are -- my mistake.

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Re: 0950: "Mystery Solved"

Postby Lode » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:13 pm UTC

jpk wrote:
pigslookfunny wrote:Surely she would have run out of fuel before then.


Right, because obviously there's never been a way to put more fuel into an airplane.

(someone should come up with that... they could re-use the planes, probably save a lot of money that way)


That doesn't explain why she dissappeared obviously she didn't land anywhere near people, where fuel would be.

Also what would her age be now, 90, 100? EDIT: Checked wikipedia, it would be around 114.


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