1012: "Wrong Superhero"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Magistrates, Prelates, Moderators General

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby enumerated powers » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:25 pm UTC

sehkzychic wrote:I'm more curious how, in a lab that manages to make bug enormous (ignoring surface area : volume ratio problems with a tracheal breathing system and the cubic increase of mass), they manage not to know that they are, themselves, entomologists not etymologists.


Reminding me of that same point in a science fiction story I read back in the '50s or '60s about shrinking and/or enlarging critters where one of the protagonists answers someone's question "why aren't there giant insects?" with "they would be on the wrong side of the square-cube law".
User avatar
enumerated powers
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:22 pm UTC
Location: Dayton Ohio USA

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby Zylon » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:27 pm UTC

This looks like a job for...

Image

BATMANTIS!
Zylon
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:37 pm UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby chrth » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:32 pm UTC

The Scyphozoa wrote:Really? A callback after only four days?


If it had been after 4 months, you'd be complaining about an obscure self-reference. Part of the joke is his recent appearance.
chrth
 
Posts: 140
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:54 pm UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby jpers36 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:35 pm UTC

Zylon wrote:This looks like a job for...

Image

A mantis dressed like a bat!


FTFY
jpers36
 
Posts: 215
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:47 pm UTC
Location: The 3-manifold described by Red and Blue

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby iesika » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:38 pm UTC

Does he come running to see if someone's making a dubious criticism of the plural form "octopi"?


Based on what we've seen of the character so far, I'd say he comes running whenever someone uses the plural form octopi. 'Octopus' is from the Greek through scientific psuedo-latin, so from a hardcore etymological viewpoint, the plural ought to be "octopodes" - but "octopuses" is the most common and recognized as correct by most usage guides and dictionaries (and I'm making no value judgments here, just summarizing the "controversy.")

There's a whole section on the debate on the wikipedia page for "octopus".
iesika
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 5:05 pm UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby Zylon » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:48 pm UTC

jpers36 wrote:
Zylon wrote:This looks like a job for...A mantis dressed like a bat!
FTFY

No, you made it wrong. You fail.
Zylon
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:37 pm UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby chrth » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:00 pm UTC

Zylon wrote:
jpers36 wrote:
Zylon wrote:This looks like a job for...A mantis dressed like a bat!
FTFY

No, you made it wrong. You fail.


Looks right to me
chrth
 
Posts: 140
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:54 pm UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby meekrab » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:07 pm UTC

Is it strange that I find the idea of foot tall mantids scarier than the 8 foot tall version? :shock:
meekrab
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:59 am UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby iesika » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:22 pm UTC

meekrab wrote:Is it strange that I find the idea of foot tall mantids scarier than the 8 foot tall version? :shock:


I just found reference to an 18-inch long species of mantis in China. That's...really big. And I'm sure they were even bigger back in dinosaur times.

What freaked me out more than reading about that giant one was finding out how closely mantises are related to roaches. Will never look at them the same again!
iesika
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 5:05 pm UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby Falos » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:45 pm UTC

Entomon sounds like a... well y'know.

Just wanted to express appreciation for a monster fight scene, it takes little imagination to enhance the split-second captured.
User avatar
Falos
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:15 am UTC
Location: West USA

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby TalkmasterGIP » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:53 pm UTC

Hi there!

So often have I been this close (you can't see me right now, but my index finger and thumb are really close to each other) to posting but never got around to actually doing it. What better reason to finally start, than the unstoppable urge to be the wise ass. So, this is my first post - be nice. :wink:

There seems to be some confusion as to how the situation depicted in the comic came to be, so let me enlighten you:

It's a slow Thursday afternoon in the lab and Xavier, Kara, Christian and David (coincidentally seen from left to right) are more or less busy conducting the 1.012th run of <insert boring experiment here>. There is nothing much to think of and in between some exchanged stories their minds wander.
David tells about being at a concert yesterday and no two minutes later there is a heated discussion going on - what is the plural of Timpani? Or is that the plural? Then what is singular? And why is there no WiFi in the friggin lab? Only clueless know-it-alls can make such a big deal out of this! Already bats and guns are waved around and soon there will be murder on the lab floor. But then it hits David like a freight train! He knows how to solve this! "Entomology-Man, come and solve our problem!", he yells. His fighting coworkers freeze in mid-sentence and look at him with horror on their faces, "What the f..." bellows Xavier when a sudden high pitched scream cuts the air like a razor and announces the arrival of the giant mantis - unfortunately a super villain.
Some three seconds later, Xavier is about to be beheaded, Kara and Christian fight for their lives (for naught, of course) while David hides white-faced behind the desk, mumbling hero names and sobbing uncontrollably. "Oh god, oh God ... I didn't mean to... sniff I ... I wanted the guy who sniff who explains where words come from.", he blubbers out...
Somewhere, in a gigantic library at the other end of the world, a butler gives a considerate little cough, "Master? ..." he begins, but his Master is already up and atom. No such etymological disaster will be left uncommented while he draws a breath! No half second later he swooshes through a window, lands in front of poor David and...

Well there we are.
At least this is how I depicted the story leading up to the comic.

Anyways, I liked this one a lot! Kudos to the author. :)
TalkmasterGIP
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:05 pm UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby PolakoVoador » Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:07 pm UTC

iesika wrote:
meekrab wrote:Is it strange that I find the idea of foot tall mantids scarier than the 8 foot tall version? :shock:


I just found reference to an 18-inch long species of mantis in China. That's...really big. And I'm sure they were even bigger back in dinosaur times.


What is the species of this particularly monstrous mantis? I'm quite curious about it
keithl wrote:As a rule of thumb, it is imprudent to pass over speed bumps faster than orbital velocity.



(he/him/his)
User avatar
PolakoVoador
 
Posts: 858
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:11 pm UTC
Location: Brazil

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby Electrk » Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:53 pm UTC

I hope etymology-man becomes a regular! :D
Electrk
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:52 pm UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby addams » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:22 pm UTC



This comic is so fun. Danger everywhere in a Lab. I Love a good Lab.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.
addams
 
Posts: 7168
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby Zylon » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:41 pm UTC

chrth wrote:Looks right to me

Oh, that. Unfunny XKCDs don't go in the memory bank.
Zylon
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:37 pm UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby myrcutio » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:53 pm UTC

the first time I heard etiology was in a classics course in reference to creation myths. with all the biology and linguistics in this thread, someone needs to stand up for the classics!
"Lightning must have hit it, and now it won't work in anything but Windows 95."

Faustus runs afoul of Microsoft.
myrcutio
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:28 pm UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:26 pm UTC

I think the title-text refers to "cremation man" instead of "creation man".
User avatar
CorruptUser
 
Posts: 6932
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby Belgand » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:04 am UTC

iesika wrote:
Does he come running to see if someone's making a dubious criticism of the plural form "octopi"?


Based on what we've seen of the character so far, I'd say he comes running whenever someone uses the plural form octopi.


This sounds like a job for Anthropology Man! But it might take a bit of time, he's currently busy with Androgyny ... well, you can see the problem here already.
User avatar
Belgand
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:51 am UTC
Location: San Francisco

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby eculc » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:07 am UTC

wait...I thought the scientist (the one with the baseball bat) had a shotgun.
Um, this post feels devoid of content. Good luck?
For comparison, that means that if the cabbage guy from Avatar: The Last Airbender filled up his cart with lettuce instead, it would be about a quarter of a lethal dose.
User avatar
eculc
Wet Peanut Butter
 
Posts: 451
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:25 am UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby neoliminal » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:23 am UTC

The throw back joke on this made me laugh. btw.

Captain Tautology IS Captain Tautology.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0073YYXRC
Read My Book. Cost less than coffee. Will probably keep you awake longer.
[hint, scary!]
User avatar
neoliminal
 
Posts: 617
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:39 pm UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby cptjeff » Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:18 am UTC

Belgand wrote:
iesika wrote:
Does he come running to see if someone's making a dubious criticism of the plural form "octopi"?


Based on what we've seen of the character so far, I'd say he comes running whenever someone uses the plural form octopi.


This sounds like a job for Anthropology Man! But it might take a bit of time, he's currently busy with Androgyny ... well, you can see the problem here already.


In his defense, Androgyny Women is rather attractive in an unconventional sort of way. I would have no objection to being busy with her.
cptjeff
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:42 am UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby The Scyphozoa » Sat Feb 04, 2012 5:26 am UTC

chrth wrote:
The Scyphozoa wrote:Really? A callback after only four days?


If it had been after 4 months, you'd be complaining about an obscure self-reference. Part of the joke is his recent appearance.

No, I'd be loving it. Actually I am loving it, it's just that obscure self-references seem more Randall's style, and it feels like he planned to do one with Etymology-Man but was impatient and just wanted to get it out the same week.
Image
3rdtry wrote:If there ever is another World War, I hope they at least have the decency to call it "World War 2: Episode One"

doogly wrote:murder is a subset of being mean
User avatar
The Scyphozoa
 
Posts: 2869
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 6:33 pm UTC
Location: Sector 5

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby webdude » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:43 am UTC

Unprodigy wrote:
webdude wrote:If that insect is, in fact, an alien species, would the scientists trying to study it be ETologists?

That would be a job for Professor Exobiology!


I was supposing that due to the main mantis' much greater size than the others, it might be sentient. I propose the following definitions:

Exobiologist - a person or AI* who studies extraterrestrial life

ETologist - " " " studies sentient ET life

XO biologist - either an executive officer in a military lab, or
a person or AI who studies attack and defense strategies used by animals, or
a person or AI who studies hugs and kisses - that would be a sweet job!

* I'm thinking ahead w/my definitions. It won't be long now before the lab rats (grad students, not actual rats) are replaced by AIs. Unlike grad students, rats might retain their usefulness.
webdude
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:11 am UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby Euler » Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:08 am UTC

It's fairly obvious to me that the third superhero is Adamology.
Sounds very similar to Etymology to me, and it would literally be the study of Adam, the first man created in Genesis.
Image
"Six by nine. Forty two."
"That's it. That's all there is."
"I always thought something was fundamentally wrong with the universe"
User avatar
Euler
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:01 am UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby Pfhorrest » Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:10 am UTC

webdude wrote:a person or AI

Not mutually exclusive categories.

I think you meant "human or...", unless you would use a phrase like "a mammal or dog" too.
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)
User avatar
Pfhorrest
 
Posts: 2474
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby Colin OOOD » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:34 pm UTC

Late arrival, possibly shite:

Alexander and Ann Shulgin and two of their friends come up hard after the first test-ingestion of a new compound, and attempt to call on Entheology Man.
Colin OOOD
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:42 am UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby Lode » Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:11 pm UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:Ah, so he returns. And after only a 1-comic intermission too. Gee, either he's popular or Randall is in a phase...


A GOOD phase that is! Hopefully this phase lasts a while, I loved all etymology man occurances so far!
User avatar
Lode
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 5:16 pm UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby webdude » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:03 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
webdude wrote:a person or AI

Not mutually exclusive categories.

I think you meant "human or...", unless you would use a phrase like "a mammal or dog" too.


Dogs are a subset of mammals. Are you saying AIs are a subset of people?

By using "person" I was, of course, being a bit simplistic. I purposely ignored GE people (Genetically Engineered, not General Electric folks), human-something hybrids, etc. When is a human not a person?
webdude
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:11 am UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby Pfhorrest » Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:37 am UTC

webdude wrote:Are you saying AIs are a subset of people?

Strong AI like you're talking about, yeah; that was my point.

When is a human not a person?

That's the wrong question (though it is perhaps an interesting one, which is asked; when does something genetically and biologically human begin to be a person and cease to be a person?). The one I was driving at is "when is a person not a human?" Might great apes or dolphins be people? If it turns out there is intelligent extraterrestrial life, might they be people? If we created artificial intelligences, would they be people?
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)
User avatar
Pfhorrest
 
Posts: 2474
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby SHISHKABOB » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:03 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
webdude wrote:a person or AI

Not mutually exclusive categories.

I think you meant "human or...", unless you would use a phrase like "a mammal or dog" too.


at the moment, yes they are
SHISHKABOB
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:14 pm UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby minetruly » Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:11 pm UTC

You know, in our fantasies I bet we all like to imagine we're the guy with the gun or the scientist with the goggles and bat, but really, in that situation, most of us would be Etymology Man.
minetruly
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:38 pm UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby PolakoVoador » Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:14 pm UTC

minetruly wrote:You know, in our fantasies I bet we all like to imagine we're the guy with the gun or the scientist with the goggles and bat, but really, in that situation, most of us would be Etymology Man.


Or, even more likely, the guy crying in fetal position behind the table/counter/whatever.
keithl wrote:As a rule of thumb, it is imprudent to pass over speed bumps faster than orbital velocity.



(he/him/his)
User avatar
PolakoVoador
 
Posts: 858
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:11 pm UTC
Location: Brazil

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby Fire Brns » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:01 pm UTC

PolakoVoador wrote:
minetruly wrote:You know, in our fantasies I bet we all like to imagine we're the guy with the gun or the scientist with the goggles and bat, but really, in that situation, most of us would be Etymology Man.


Or, even more likely, the guy crying in fetal position behind the table/counter/whatever.

Most likely the guy being held upside down by the mantis. Why does it need his lunch money anyway? It could just eat..OH...
Pfhorrest wrote:As someone who is not easily offended, I don't really mind anything in this conversation.
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:It was the Renaissance. Everyone was Italian.
Fire Brns
 
Posts: 1114
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:25 pm UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby Cronos51101 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:04 am UTC

aldonius wrote:
Cronos51101 wrote:This is why I firmly believe that every scientific laboratory should have no less than a .357 in one of those "In case of emergency, break the glass" cases. I'm pretty sure that guy has nothing more than a 9mm. We can clearly see it lacks the necessary stopping power to take down your average killer mantis. Lab managers, take this to heart. Demand more adequate safety equipment in the work place. It just makes sense.


What should they keep on hand for those fork-spoon hybrids?


Honestly I'm not too sure. They are small, quick, and deadly so I might recommend the use of something like an AA-12. However, more advanced FS (Fork-Spoon) Hybrids may employ advanced materials that may render the 12 Gauge rounds (regardless of type) less effective than desired. In that case, something on the level of a M-249, or even a full on Milkor MGL (Multiple Grenade Launcher [40mm]) may be required. To be honest though, in the event of containment failure for such a dangerous utensil, laboratories should be prepared for the worst. Such tests should only be held in underground bunkers anyway. In the event of a containment breach, all blast doors should close immediately followed by the detonation of several pounds of C-4 located in every room and space large enough to house such a charge. If that isn't enough to destroy such a monstrosity, it should at least bury it long enough to allow for the coordination of a thermonuclear strike. I don't want to lie to you, they're toying with powerful forces here.
"It's hot... like REALLY hot..."
Cronos51101
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:12 am UTC
Location: PA, USA

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby BlitzGirl » Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:26 am UTC

If you remove everything from the guy with the gun rightward, there's a bizarre pinata game taking place.

(The little mantises are eager to reap the rewards.)
Knight Temporal of the One True Comic
BlitzGirl the Pink, Mopey Molpy Mome
Spoiler:
Image
Image
Image<-Blog
~.Image~.FAQ->Image
Hoping to see you at the European OTT meetup this February!
User avatar
BlitzGirl
 
Posts: 7502
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:48 am UTC
Location: In the 2100s. (Ketchup required 1522-32, 1633-50, 1879-86, 2116-32.)

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby bigby » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:04 pm UTC

I'm not saying Randall stole anything, but I have to say this is a similar joke to theWAREHOUSE comic #716 "Something's Been Bugging Me". I believe it came out less than a week before XKCD's publication. Love them both! ;D

Edit: Forgot to mention, this could be in retaliation to TheWAREHOUSE using the word etymology as the crux of a pun.
bigby
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:32 am UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby jawshoeaw » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:46 pm UTC

I read somewhere a suggestion that the alt text mean "ontology" man. I think yahoo answers. I have to say, if that is correct, it is the first useful and/or usable piece of information ever gleaned from yahoo, especially yahoo answers.

apologies if this is repost.
jawshoeaw
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:46 pm UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby Vertices » Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:32 pm UTC

For a moment I though the comic's alt text was referring to Bible-man.
Vertices
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:35 pm UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby keithl » Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:48 pm UTC

As we learned from XKCD 394, KB is the Kelly-Bootle unit, 1012 bytes. Stan Kelly-Bootle is the author of the Devil's DP Dictionary and its second edition, The Computer Contradictionary . So, while seemingly a mild mannered musician, computer scientist, and lexicographer, Mr. Kelly-Bootle's secret identity may actually be ETYMOLOGY MAN.

Etymology being the study of words, and a word on my computer comprising 8 bytes, it is natural to wonder about 126.5 (words), which is 1012 bytes. XKCD 126, on July 10, 2006: Red Spiders. XKCD 127 on July 12, 2006: The Fast and The Furious (with blue sparks). On July 11, 2006 was a horrific series of train bombings in Mumbai, perpetrated by student terrorists claiming to be Muslims.

The connections are clear. If only Etymology Man had explained to these misguided youth that Muslim derives from the Arabic for "one who submits to Allah" rather than "one who kills people on trains", this horrible tragedy would have been averted. Perhaps Etymology Man can explain that Christian comes from the Greek "follower of Christ", not "remote operator of robot attack drones". Etymology Man could save more lives than Superman ever did. Please save us, Mr. Kelly-Bootle!

I must go, the nursing aide says I must take my medicine NOW.
Philosophy is the culmination of mankind's quest to prove there is nothing worth thinking about.
User avatar
keithl
 
Posts: 422
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:46 pm UTC

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

Postby DougDean » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:24 pm UTC

Red Hal wrote:
DougDean wrote:
rhomboidal wrote:Etymology-Man returns! Who says superhero sequels are never as good as the original?
...or maybe Malapropism Man...?
Malapropism man's battle cry: "To Infinity, and behind!"
LOL
User avatar
DougDean
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:11 pm UTC

Previous

Return to Individual XKCD Comic Threads

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 22 guests