Died in a Blogging Accident has lived up to its name and died... in a blogging accident. That is to say it has concluded. You can still re-live the magic by clicking here to start at chapter 1. For genuine criticism of XKCD, please click the top link to the right (XKCD Isn't Funny).

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

1061: Bad timing

xkcd presents
Earth Standard Time
A universal calendar for a universal planet
EST is…
simple • clearly defined • unambiguous
free of historical baggage • compatible with old units
precisely synced with the solar cycle • free of leap years
intermittently amendable to date math

Second:1 S.I. second
Minute:60 seconds
Hour:60 minutes
Day:1444 minutes

(24 hours 4 minutes)

Month:30 days
Year:12 months

For 4 hours after every full
moon, run clocks backward.

The non-prime-numbered minutes of
the first full non-reversed hour after
a solstice or equinox happen twice.

EpochTime zones

00:00:00 EST,
January 1, 1970
= 00:00:00 GMT,
January 1, 1970
(Julian calendar)
The two EST time zones are
EST and EST (United Kingdom)
These are the same except that the
UK second is 0.944 standard seconds

Daylight saving:
Countries may enter DST,
but no time may pass there.
Narnian Time:
Synchronized ✔
Year zero
EST does have a year 0.
(However, there is no 1958.)

Title: EST; alt-text: The month names are the same, except that the fourth month only has the name 'April' in even-numbered years, and is otherwise unnamed.

Greetings, hyphenators (all 6 of you). Jon Levi posing as Capn here, and reminding you now that I still have the power to post reviews.

1061 was, in my opinion, so uniquely bad among xkcd, I think a cartoon vagina might have actually improved it. It's so bland that the pretense of setup and punchline have lost all meaning.

Instead of a setup, we get this very dry description of a universal time system that is (upon closer inspection) obviously absurd. I didn't notice how stupid it was supposed to be at first, because I didn't realize it was meant to be funny.

The closest thing we get to a punchline is a joke about there being no 1958, which is kinda funny, but not punchline material. It's a throwaway joke, like the little landmarks in the Online Communities maps. Now it has become the main joke. Oh how Randall has fallen since then.

1061 has no semblance of a framing device. It's not set up as the argument between two stick people about timekeeping. It's not a wacky new system that some country's government forced people to use. But instead the timekeeping system is presented as is.

The reason I typed it out in HTML is because it loses nothing of it's original meaning. In fact it's better that way, because you don't have to look at Randall's stupid, stupid handwriting. And the small text is actually legible with the naked eye.

Webcomics are a visual medium, which this comic just wasted. If a joke can be told with only text, then why bother making it an image? It's like watching radio on the TV, or one of those stupid Youtube videos that's just a slideshow of images. It's a webcomic that contains only frigging text. That's so bloody lame!

This isn't picto-blog material. This is barely blog material.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

1056: LOL, Cats.

title: "Felidae"; alt-text: "'Smilodon fatalis' narrowly edged out 'Tyrannosaurus rex' to win this year's Most Badass Latin Names competition, after edging out 'Dracorex hogwartsia' and 'Stygimoloch spinifer' (meaning 'horned dragon from the river of death') in the semifinals."

File:The Childrens Museum of Indianapolis - Dracorex skeletal reconstruction.jpg
Totally a Real Thing
I'm posting this review because I couldn't find anything funny or clever in this comic. I'll be honest; I read it once and didn't get it and then came back later and tried again and noticed where it says "THE OS X PROBLEM" down at the bottom there for the first time.

Randall has arbitrarily arranged some feline names and then pointed out that OSX doesn't use the same arbitrary arrangement that he would have and that they will soon run out of awesome sounding names of powerful cats. OK... maybe the joke is in the alt-text... nope, unrelated comment and a attempt to get me to got to Wikipedia to find out if 'Dracorex hogwartsia' is a real thing.

So, were're back to Randall trying to be clever and failing. I get that Apple is running out of awesome cat names... but why is that funny? Also... why is this a comic at all? Do you really need an illustration to say "What happens when Apple runs out of cat names?"... I supposed he was going for humour density here... if you break it down there are a lot of sub-joke attempts in there... but really... a stick figure looking at a box labelled "OS 10.13 Housecat" would have probably gotten more laughs.

Friday, May 4, 2012

1051: You, sir, have too much free time on your hands.

Alt-text: I hate when I read something like '... tension among the BASE jumpers nearly led to wingsuit combat ...', and I get excited because 'wingsuit combat' is underlined, only to find that it's just separate links to the 'wingsuit' and 'combat' articles.

Oh look, it's another Wikipedia comic. This time it even features Randall's admission that he spends a lot of time reading the wrong Wikipedia articles. Hey, asshole, I have a solution for you! Use that time to do something more productive! Better comics, maybe? Well, at least it is drawn in such a way that the fanbase will have a hard time incorporating this one into the real Wikipedia. As far as I know, no historical figure fits the description.

From the way the article fragment is written, I first thought that the joke was about the completely unnecessary details and that it was a parody of Wikipedia's writing style (which, admittedly, would make this a better comic, really), but no, it's just written that way because Randall needed set-up for his stupid punchline. And that's terrible.

On the other hand, though, the alt-text is kinda funny, which is a rare sight, at least for me. It needs rewording badly (just hire that editor already), but other than that, it's observational humor done relatively well. Too bad it's coupled with a dumb, dumb comic.

P.S.: Autoerotic asphyxiation. Because if I didn't mention it, someone in the comments would.