1075: "Warning"

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DoNotFoldSpindleOrMutilate
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Postby DoNotFoldSpindleOrMutilate » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:42 am UTC

Image did not show in Firefox. Had to right click and "show image".

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby greenguzzi » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:47 am UTC

Also a motorcyclist. Love to see what you can offer us.

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby radtea » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:48 am UTC

danivon wrote:Evolution is not deterministic like that either. If driving is more likely to result in death (particularly among the young before they procreate) then non-drivers will be favoured as much as 'adapted' drivers. Parsominy suggests that if there's a genetic trait that leads to not driving, it will be as likely to succeed as any posited one that makes one able to properly handle the forces involved. And what adaptaions are you thinking of? An exo-skeleton?


Since driving is kills pedestrians too it isn't clear if the differential between drivers and non-drivers would be sufficient to... err... drive selection.

But if it were, maybe automobiles will lead to a speciation event. On the one hand drivers will be selected for arrogance, callousness and fast reflexes, which will allow them to drive fast, cut commuting times, get to the office sooner, earn more money and thus command more resources and support more offspring by their many geographically-separated partners.

Non-drivers will be selected for timidity, spacial intelligence (to judge traffic) and excellent senses. Like prey animals, their eyes will tend toward the sides of their heads to give them 360-degree vision. They will live in small groups in specific geographic locales that they will teach their children to exploit carefully and sustainably. Their only source of meat protein will be the bodies of dead drivers, which they will ritually feast upon when there is an accident...
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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby J Thomas » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:05 pm UTC

EpicanicusStrikes wrote:
Retsam wrote:This was my dad's approach to drivers ed: "Me letting you drive is like me handing you a gun". It's certainly true, but not much for establishing confidence.


I was told almost the exact same thing about puberty.


What alternative did your dad consider? Did he have some method in mind to prevent you from going through puberty?
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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby Incarnal » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:15 pm UTC

This is why I personally cannot wait for driving to be automated. There is simply no doubt in my mind that we're are, on the whole, not good at driving. Driving has killed more people I went to high-school with than the wars or refused health service. It's disturbing to think that the tiniest mistake I make when driving could kill several people, but that's the risk and I know that I'm not above it just like anyone.

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby SerMufasa » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:18 pm UTC

Not quite a GOOMHR moment, but yeah, this is something I've remarked on before. It's really not just the ability to drive a car, it's the reaction times that allow us to do it. I guess there are several hundreds of millenia of lightning-quick react-or-die experiences in our evolution. Also flocking.


Also thanks to VDZ and danivon for pointing out the logic/evolution fails so I didn't have to.
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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby EpicanicusStrikes » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:23 pm UTC

J Thomas wrote:
EpicanicusStrikes wrote:
Retsam wrote:This was my dad's approach to drivers ed: "Me letting you drive is like me handing you a gun". It's certainly true, but not much for establishing confidence.


I was told almost the exact same thing about puberty.


What alternative did your dad consider? Did he have some method in mind to prevent you from going through puberty?


No, just the cage that he kept me in. A wise man, my father.

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:30 pm UTC

My two cents on the people talking about the future: I predict we will never have flying cars as widespread as we now have regular cars. I hardly trust these people to safely move around with heavy metal boxes in two dimensions, why would anyone trust them to safely move around with them in three?

keithl wrote:I'm perched above a 6e24 kg ball of rock and iron hurtling at 30 km/s around a giant thermonuclear reactor. Which passes through a minefield of 300 billion other reactors while circling a gigantic black hole at 220km/s. No steering wheel or brakes. If for some reason I stop moving for even 1 millisecond, I would be surrounded by hard vacuum and boil in my skin, or be deeply embedded in molten rock. If one of those other reactors explodes nearby, or two neutron stars collide as distant as 1e17 km away, I get fried with gamma rays.

Evolution prepared me for that. Makes a 1.5e3 kg vehicle moving at 0.030 km/s seem rather tame.

Edit: make that a 5e3 kg vehicle. I forgot the 10cm thick lead supernova roof option.

Evolution didn't prepare you for that, it's just kind of hoping none of those things happen.
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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby akacat » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:38 pm UTC

pkcommando wrote:I love to look people in the eye and calmly say to them in a straight face: "When driving, try not to think about the fact that your car is moving because of a series of controlled explosions happening just a few feet away from where you sit." Sadly, it typically results in nothing more than blank stares. One time somebody mostly got it and wanted to know why I was making it sound scary. I answered because it also makes it so much more awesome as well.


I would stare at you blankly because I've known that since I was about eight, when my dad showed me how to replace a spark plug and explained what they did. (And because they aren't particularly impressive explosions.)

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby Elirra » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:43 pm UTC

Now we need one of these for airport runways.

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby Zamite » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:48 pm UTC

If evolution gave us the brains to construct it, the coordination and perception (depth of field) to drive it, I'm fairly sure it made us pretty much ready to drive the box with wheels you mentioned.

If you text while driving / drink and drive / go over the speed limits, you have a higher chance of getting yourself killed. And that's natural selection at work :P You have less fitness, reproduce less, lower the rating of your genes in the gene pool...
In a few millenia ( understatement ) we might have selected the responsible drivers. Though we could speed this up by removing airbags and seatbelts.

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby phillipsjk » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:52 pm UTC

This is why cycling is safer than most motor transportation.
Did you get the number on that truck?

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby Zamite » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:55 pm UTC

phillipsjk wrote:This is why cycling is safer than most motor transportation.


Really depends on where you cycle. And cycling is safer "for other people" (as in: other cars) :P

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby jsumners » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:59 pm UTC

Plasma Mongoose wrote:
MotorToad wrote:I occasionally get this feeling when I'm driving. "Wow, here I am with 3500 lbs. of potential catastrophe." To get an idea of how much we take these things for granted, imagine someone texting with a .357 in his hand. Yeah. Less dangerous.


.357? Is that a police pistol?


The .357 is not necessarily a "police pistol." It is a step up from the .38 and is primarily used as a self-defense weapon[1].

[1] -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.357_Magnum

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby VDZ » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:08 pm UTC

Zamite wrote:If evolution gave us the brains to construct it, the coordination and perception (depth of field) to drive it, I'm fairly sure it made us pretty much ready to drive the box with wheels you mentioned.

Evolution also made us ready to play Russian Roulette.

phillipsjk wrote:This is why cycling is safer than most motor transportation.

As long as other people insist on driving killer metal boxes around, you're actually a lot worse off cycling. Just before I read this comic (an hour or so before) there was an accident here where a car crashed into bicycle. There's a good chance the victim has some form of brain injury right now. Naturally, other than emotional damage (the driver was hysterical), both car and driver were unharmed.

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Postby BrianB » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:18 pm UTC

DoNotFoldSpindleOrMutilate wrote:Image did not show in Firefox. Had to right click and "show image".


Image did show in Firefox without right-clicking.

I fail to see your point.... are you asking us to fix your computer?

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby Miraun » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:19 pm UTC

Several times faster than evolution...

Still pissed when people are driving 60 in the left lane.

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby J Thomas » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:26 pm UTC

Zamite wrote:If evolution gave us the brains to construct it, the coordination and perception (depth of field) to drive it, I'm fairly sure it made us pretty much ready to drive the box with wheels you mentioned.


I was kind of worried about ICBMs until I read this. But if we can make them then we're ready to launch them.
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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby phillipsjk » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:28 pm UTC

VDZ wrote:
phillipsjk wrote:This is why cycling is safer than most motor transportation.

As long as other people insist on driving killer metal boxes around, you're actually a lot worse off cycling.


It is more complicated than that, but I was too lazy to look up current statistics. Because of the low speeds, bicycles look better if you look at injuries per unit time traveled rather than per unit of distance.

I managed to walk away from a collision with a vehicle many times my size: I was protected by my helmet, back-pack, unusually strong rear wheel, and skill (probably luck too). I agree that the heavier vehicle generally wins. However, many collisions are single-vehicle collisions. Even if you are only concerned about collisions with another vehicle, there will always be somebody with bigger vehicle, unless you drive a truck for a living.

PS: that is what my sig refers to (it was actually a grey minivan).
Did you get the number on that truck?

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby cellocgw » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:50 pm UTC

radtea wrote:
EpicanicusStrikes wrote:
Retsam wrote:This was my dad's approach to drivers ed: "Me letting you drive is like me handing you a gun". It's certainly true, but not much for establishing confidence.


I was told almost the exact same thing about puberty.


Accidents with guns cause death. Accidents with puberty cause life.

intentional hostility with guns cause death. Intentional aggression with puberty cause life. FTFY.
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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby cellocgw » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:52 pm UTC

akacat wrote:
pkcommando wrote:I love to look people in the eye and calmly say to them in a straight face: "When driving, try not to think about the fact that your car is moving because of a series of controlled explosions happening just a few feet away from where you sit." Sadly, it typically results in nothing more than blank stares. One time somebody mostly got it and wanted to know why I was making it sound scary. I answered because it also makes it so much more awesome as well.


I would stare at you blankly because I've known that since I was about eight, when my dad showed me how to replace a spark plug and explained what they did. (And because they aren't particularly impressive explosions.)


These days, almost as likely to get "I drive an electric car. What explosions?" response :D
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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby Biliboy » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:12 pm UTC

radtea wrote:
danivon wrote:Evolution is not deterministic like that either. If driving is more likely to result in death (particularly among the young before they procreate) then non-drivers will be favoured as much as 'adapted' drivers. Parsominy suggests that if there's a genetic trait that leads to not driving, it will be as likely to succeed as any posited one that makes one able to properly handle the forces involved. And what adaptaions are you thinking of? An exo-skeleton?


Since driving is kills pedestrians too it isn't clear if the differential between drivers and non-drivers would be sufficient to... err... drive selection.

But if it were, maybe automobiles will lead to a speciation event. On the one hand drivers will be selected for arrogance, callousness and fast reflexes, which will allow them to drive fast, cut commuting times, get to the office sooner, earn more money and thus command more resources and support more offspring by their many geographically-separated partners.

Non-drivers will be selected for timidity, spacial intelligence (to judge traffic) and excellent senses. Like prey animals, their eyes will tend toward the sides of their heads to give them 360-degree vision. They will live in small groups in specific geographic locales that they will teach their children to exploit carefully and sustainably. Their only source of meat protein will be the bodies of dead drivers, which they will ritually feast upon when there is an accident...



I'm remembering a sci-fi story I read in an anthology somewhere, where 'Drivers' and 'Walkers' were two seperate social classes, with rules of behavior governing their mutual hostility. Drivers couldn't go onto the sidewalk but any walker in the street was fair game. At one point in the story a little ol' granny crosses the street in front of this car which proceeds to run her down, as the car approaches she pulls out a handgun and fires through the windshield killing a passenger. All of this was perfectly legal.

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby AvatarIII » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:44 pm UTC

SpringLoaded12 wrote:My two cents on the people talking about the future: I predict we will never have flying cars as widespread as we now have regular cars. I hardly trust these people to safely move around with heavy metal boxes in two dimensions, why would anyone trust them to safely move around with them in three?


Unless, of course, the act of piloting those flying cars is performed by computers rather than people.

but then there's the consideration that at the moment cars and pedestrians/cyclists are all bound to the same 2 dimensions, and cars are bound to roads. with flying cars, if there were the same amount of flying cars as there are regular cars now, those cars would be spread out on countless 2 dimensional planes with no binding roads, even if humans were in control to exactly the same degree as they are with ground cars, and computers taking on similar roles as ABS, cruise control, power steering, traction control etc, I actually predict it would be safer statistically, much like flying is the safest way to travel, however in the same way, when there ARE accidents, they will be more fatal to all those involved.

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby rjsteg » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:07 pm UTC

The styling reminds me of Dr. Fun, who retired about six years ago.

Here's a good sampling from his archive: http://www.ibiblio.org/Dave/ar00517.htm.

Like XKCD, it's kinda techy and nerdy, with a bit of simply weird.

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby sarysa » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:25 pm UTC

If you think about breathing, you'll notice it and start worrying about it.

If you think about your back, as many workplace HR presentations make you do, you'll start thinking your back is messed up.

If you think existentially, you start to question your existence.

If you think about your heart, you'll probably give yourself a heart attack.

If GlaDOS thinks about her own paradox, her potato will explode.

And if you think about the subject matter of this comic, you'll be too paralyzed to drive.

Evolution has prepared us for driving: Something in us allows us to take most things for granted, despite our higher level of self awareness.
We probably would've starved to death if we let the knowledge of predators' existence keep us from searching for food...

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby Max™ » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:46 pm UTC

Amen, PREACH IT BROTHA RANDALL!

keithl wrote:I'm perched above a 6e24 kg ball of rock and iron hurtling at 30 km/s around a giant thermonuclear reactor. Which passes through a minefield of 300 billion other reactors while circling a gigantic black hole at 220km/s. No steering wheel or brakes. If for some reason I stop moving for even 1 millisecond, I would be surrounded by hard vacuum and boil in my skin, or be deeply embedded in molten rock. If one of those other reactors explodes nearby, or two neutron stars collide as distant as 1e17 km away, I get fried with gamma rays.

Evolution prepared me for that. Makes a 1.5e3 kg vehicle moving at 0.030 km/s seem rather tame.

Edit: make that a 5e3 kg vehicle. I forgot the 10cm thick lead supernova roof option.



One can say with certainty that nothing alive today will be alive after a surprisingly short period of time.

Additionally, even if something alive today does have offspring which are alive after an impressive period of time, they will not longer be anything like anything walking around today... unless they're turtles.

All glory to the turtle.

Evolution prepared them for anything, we're just silly apes that got surprisingly good at eating everything else, that has nothing to do with handling a car, and no, there are not good odds that anyone on the road with you is qualified to operate one.

It's unlikely that most of us are, know why I can say this?

While it isn't impossible, I'm pretty sure Stefan Rosen doesn't post here, and we're all shit compared to folks that do this for a living.

I drive because I have to, and I love cars, but I would prefer it be on a track than anywhere with other random drivers around.

I don't consider 1 in 10,000 odds to be very good, and keep in mind that traffic fatalities have been decreasing for a while.
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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby climb » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:56 pm UTC

Elirra wrote:Now we need one of these for airport runways.


You are well adapted to handle the forces normally encountered in air travel.

To get the number of fatalities per mile traveled as you get on the roads in the US we would have to have about 2 airliners crash killing all on board per month. The scariest thing about flying is the drive to the airport.

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby MotorToad » Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:01 pm UTC

keithl wrote:I'm perched above a 6e24 kg ball of rock and iron hurtling at 30 km/s around a giant thermonuclear reactor. Which passes through a minefield of 300 billion other reactors while circling a gigantic black hole at 220km/s. No steering wheel or brakes. If for some reason I stop moving for even 1 millisecond, I would be surrounded by hard vacuum and boil in my skin, or be deeply embedded in molten rock. If one of those other reactors explodes nearby, or two neutron stars collide as distant as 1e17 km away, I get fried with gamma rays.

Evolution prepared me for that. Makes a 1.5e3 kg vehicle moving at 0.030 km/s seem rather tame.
I wager that if you put yourself in a frame of reference where you notice that 30 km/s you'll think differently. :)
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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby Just a Geologist » Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:27 pm UTC

I put the pedal to the metal. Is that what the sign means? :D

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby willaaaaaa » Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:55 pm UTC

Theoretically, this sign should improve traffic safety by appealing to our instinctive fears and desire for self-preservation. In practice, people would probably crash trying to read all 23 words on the sign as they pass by.
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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby Just a Geologist » Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:05 pm UTC

willaaaaaa wrote:Theoretically, this sign should improve traffic safety by appealing to our instinctive fears and desire for self-preservation. In practice, people would probably crash trying to read all 23 words on the sign as they pass by.

There are speed readers out there.

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby squall_line » Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:09 pm UTC

biguana wrote:People often warn that cycling can be dangerous, but actually cycling in the absence of motor vehicles is incredibly safe (unless you're pulling wheelies on a cliff or something). So cars are dangerous, but often they're most dangerous to the people who don't even get the advantage of being in them. Cars and drivers are the cause of the danger. So is cycling dangerous, or is driving dangerous?


I might agree with this assertion if so many people didn't get injured every year, and occasionally die, in events like the Tour de France and RAGBRAI. Cycling in the absence of motorists doesn't remove the dangers from gravel, potholes, tar snakes, deer, and various other things out on the cycling surface that can cause significant issues for all those involved, and cycling in large groups can lead to the same multi-person accidents that motoring in large groups can lead to.

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby willaaaaaa » Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:11 pm UTC

The common denominator between car accidents and bike accidents? Either WHEELS or PEOPLE. Can't decide which one I want to petition to ban first.
"If you can't control your peanut butter, you can't expect to control your life." - Bill Watterson

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby Just a Geologist » Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:16 pm UTC

willaaaaaa wrote:The common denominator between car accidents and bike accidents? Either WHEELS or PEOPLE. Can't decide which one I want to petition to ban first.


How about stupidity? That plan will not work due to lawyers.

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby darkwombat » Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:21 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:
radtea wrote:
Accidents with guns cause death. Accidents with puberty cause life.

intentional hostility with guns cause death. Intentional aggression with puberty cause life. FTFY.


I get what you are trying to say, but considering that my dear friend has been dead for several years now due to a firearms incident that involved no intentional hostility, and had no one even directly touching the firearm at the time of discharge, I'd have to say from personal experience that "accidents with guns cause death" is a valid statement. :(

As for puberty . . . I am pretty sure we should ban it. It just causes nothing but trouble. :D

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby Max™ » Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:39 pm UTC

Well, gun accidents are awful, but I'm torn on car fatalities... on the one hand my dad saved me the trouble of dealing with the potential legal issues that would arise when I killed him by offing himself (in a tuned up Camaro doing 150 into a railroad trestle, fucking pussy), on the other hand I lost the closest thing I had to a brother last year because either he or the guy he was with wrecked into a ditch while drunk, and if it was Chris them I'm even madder because I don't get to beat his head in for driving drunk... but it still hits me now and then, I'll never get stoned with Chris and talk about the universe, run around through the woods because we were bored, watch the talented little motherfucker jam on his guitar, or see him play with his son.

T.T
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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby cah » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:00 pm UTC

The thing is: evolution has prepared humans to be prepared to anything.

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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby Brace » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:14 pm UTC

Hah! Jokes on you sign, I'm not in a box with wheels, I'm wrapped around an oversized motor with a seat and two wheels!
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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby Max™ » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:22 pm UTC

cah wrote:The thing is: evolution has prepared humans to be prepared to anything.

Except cancer, bears, sub-prime derivative bubbles, resource wars, religious conflicts, aids, cancer again, lightning, and finally the most deadly threat of all:

Cancerous Electrobear Bankers on a Holy Crusade to spread HIV!
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Re: 1075: "Warning"

Postby PolakoVoador » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:32 pm UTC

cah wrote:The thing is: evolution has prepared humans to be prepared to anything.


I think is more on the lines of: "evolution has prepared humans to adapt to anything". For example, our puny human body is not prepared to live in environments like Antarctica, the depths of the ocean or orbiting the Earth, but we can darn well build cozy homes for ourselves there and live (reasonably) confortable lifes.


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