Posts Tagged ‘XKCD’

The mind-body problem hotline

December 18, 2016

Source: xkcd: Trapped

A graphic history of global climate change

September 14, 2016

Source: xkcd: Earth Temperature Timeline

How high is up?

June 4, 2016

Source: xkcd: Height

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The hierarchies of knowledge

February 21, 2016

fieldsbypurityXKCD435-650x270

xkcd-purity2-by-sansscience-creativecommons-attribution

I lifted these two cartoons from the Biology vs. Theoretical Physics post on the Sans Science web log, which is now private.

The top cartoon is, of course, from Randall Munroe’s xkcd series.

How should you tell the temperature?

February 16, 2016

xkcd.degrees

Source: xkcd

xkcd: Lakes and oceans

January 19, 2016
Double click to enlarge.

Double click to enlarge.

Source: xkcd

Randall Munroe is not just a witty cartoonist and effective explainer.  He is a master of the visual display of quantitative information.   Look at the Deepwater Horizon well on the display to get an idea of just what that was, for example.

The economic argument against the paranormal

June 16, 2015

Source: xkcd.

Cancer and cell phones

June 15, 2015

Source: XKCD

What’s at stake in global climate change

May 15, 2015

4_5_degreesSource: xkcd.

Science and stamp collecting

May 12, 2015

science and stamp collectingSource: xkcd

The words for winter

February 25, 2015

winterSource: xkcd

We’re not used to really cold winters any more

February 13, 2015

coldSource: xkcd

The complete real estate of the Solar System

July 7, 2014

Randall Munroe shows the surface area of the planets and asteroids in the Solar System that are hard enough to walk on.   Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus don’t count because they don’t have solid surfaces.  If they did, their surfaces would be many times bigger than that whole map.

via xkcd.    Hat tip to kottke.org.

Science and the sense of beauty

February 23, 2014

beauty

Click on xkcd for more Randall Munroe cartoons

I thought I was the only one like this

November 2, 2013

mess

Click on xkcd for more Randall Munroe cartoons.

-10-day weather forecast

August 28, 2013

10_day_forecast.WEDNESDAYpng

Click on xkcd for more Randall Munroe cartoons.

Conditioning

August 17, 2013

conditioning

Click on xkcd for more from Randall Munroe.

The Saturn V rocket explained in common words

August 3, 2013
up_goer_five

Double click to enlarge.

The Saturn V rocket explained in the 1,000 most common words in the English language.

Source: xkcd: Up Goer Five.

If you like this, you might like Short Words to Explain Relativity.

Hat tip for both to kottke.org.

Cases closed

July 11, 2013

settled

Click on xkcd for more Randall Munroe cartoons

Pay no attention to this flow chart

June 14, 2013

flowchart

Click on xkcd for more from Randall Munroe.

A new New Year’s resolution

January 18, 2013

resolutionClick on xkcd for more Randall Munroe cartoons.

Poll watching

November 6, 2012

poll_watching

Click on xkcd for more cartoons.

Hat tip to Unqualified Offerings.

Elections that broke with precedent

October 18, 2012

Double click to enlarge

Click on xkcd for more like this.

Who are the richest billionaires?

September 1, 2012

Randall Munroe, creator of the web comic xkcd, is a great creator of infographics.  The chart above is a section of his new poster about money and its distribution.  The list of billionaires is from last year’s Forbes.  A lot of the names were unfamiliar to me, so I looked them up on Wikipedia.

Carlos Slim made his billions by buying the Mexican government telephone system at a bargain rate and jacking up phone rates.

Bill Gates, as almost everyone knows, is a founder of Microsoft.

Warren Buffett is an extremely successful investor/speculator in the stock market.

Bernard Arnault is a Frenchman who owns Louis Vuittron and other luxury goods companies.

Larry Ellison is founder of the Oracle software company.

Laksimi Mittai is CEO of the world’s largest steel company, which is based in India.

Amancio Ortega is a Spanish merchandiser of luxury clothing.

Eike Batista is a Brazilian mining and oil-and-gas magnate.

Mukesh Ambani is CEO of India’s Reliance Industries, who expanded the family textile business back into polyester fibers and then into the oil and gas industry.

Christy Walton is one of the heirs of Sam Walton, founder of the Wal-mart store chain.

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The future of historical amnesia

August 13, 2012

I’m continually surprised at the number of people who know little and care less about events before they were born.  Since I was 30 or so, I’ve been muttering to myself, “Kids these days!  They think history began with the Kennedy assassination.” “…with Watergate.” “with the Reagan administration.” “…with the Monica Lewinsky scandal.” “…with the 9/11 attacks.”

Historical knowledge gives you a frame of reference for understanding the present, as well as providing a reminder that things weren’t always the way they were today.  Without knowledge of history and culture, I would be at the mercy of the advertising, propaganda and the mass media.  If I didn’t remember the Joe McCarthy era, or have knowledge of the internment of the Japanese during World War Two, Big Red Scare of the 1920s or the Alien and Sedition laws in the early days of the American republic, I might regard our present Homeland Security state as normal

My earliest historical memory is of World War Two.  I don’t remember Pearl Harbor, but I remember patriotically collecting scrap paper and metal, and I do remember how my third grade class was given the day off in honor of V-E Day.  My earliest memory of a political argument was from when I was in the sixth grade, and I argued for re-election of President Harry Truman against the challenger Thomas E. Dewey.

But World War Two didn’t occur merely because Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo were evil people.  It had its roots in World War One and the blood-and-soil nationalism of the 19th century.  Truman and Dewey didn’t come out of nowhere.  They were the political heirs of Franklin Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover, of the Great Depression and New Deal, and of the conflicts of the Populist and Progressive eras around the turn of the previous century.

It wouldn’t be reasonable to expect everyone to be as fascinated with history as I am.  But I continually find people who consider themselves to be highly educated who are ignorant of basic historical facts.  I wonder whether this historical amnesia is distinctively American or whether it is universal in the modern world.

Click on xkcd for cartoons and occasional infographics like the one above.