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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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(404 can arguably be considered a comic (if unorthodox) plus it does have an explanation here. OTOH, another subcategory was added to Category:Comics, so the total is still 10.)
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<big>''Welcome to the '''explain xkcd''' wiki!''
 
<big>''Welcome to the '''explain xkcd''' wiki!''
 
We already have [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-10}}''' comic explanations]]!</big>
 
We already have [[:Category:Comics|'''{{#expr:{{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-10}}''' comic explanations]]!</big>
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     non-comic pages (2 as of same date: [[List of all comics]] and [[Exoplanet]])
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    and the comic 404, which was deliberately not posted. Thus 7 + 2 + 1 = 10 -->
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(But there are still {{#expr:{{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-10)}} to go. Come and [[List of all comics|add yours]]!)
 
(But there are still {{#expr:{{LATESTCOMIC}}-({{PAGESINCAT:Comics}}-10)}} to go. Come and [[List of all comics|add yours]]!)

Revision as of 18:20, 22 November 2012


Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki! We already have 4 comic explanations!

(But there are still 1981 to go. Come and add yours!)

Latest comic

Go to this comic

Meteorologist
Hi, I'm your new meteorologist and a former software developer. Hey, when we say 12pm, does that mean the hour from 12pm to 1pm, or the hour centered on 12pm? Or is it a snapshot at 12:00 exactly? Because our 24-hour forecast has midnight at both ends, and I'm worried we have an off-by-one error.
Title text: Hi, I'm your new meteorologist and a former software developer. Hey, when we say 12pm, does that mean the hour from 12pm to 1pm, or the hour centered on 12pm? Or is it a snapshot at 12:00 exactly? Because our 24-hour forecast has midnight at both ends, and I'm worried we have an off-by-one error.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by an OVERLY ANALYTICAL METEOROLOGIST - Please change this comment when editing this page. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.

Although we’re constantly exposed to them, many (most?) people don’t understand the details of how to properly interpret weather forecasts. This comic takes this to the ridiculous extreme of the weather reporters themselves not understanding, and asking questions about it while on-air. It shows questions asked by three different people with different backgrounds: mathematics, linguistics, and software development.

[Incomplete] The meteorologist with a background in math had a background in probability. This is shown when he asks if each hour is independent or correlated. If each hour were independent, there would have been a 67.232% chance to rain at least once. However, if the hours had been correlated, the chance would be less, since if it didn't rain in the first hour, it would decrease the chance of rain in the next hours. However, it would make it more likely of raining in all 5 hours, as it would be a .032% chance if it wasn't correlated. But if it was correlated, rain in the first hour would make it more likely to rain in the subsequent hours.

Transcript

[Cueball is presenting a weather forecast while seated with his arms resting on a table. The graphic to the left of Cueball shows five hours from 12pm to 4pm, each with a rainy cloud icon and the figure 20%. The "News 4 Weather" logo is shown on the bottom left.]
Cueball: Our forecast says there's a 20% chance of rain for each of the next five hours.
Cueball: How likely is it to rain this afternoon? It's a simple question, but I don't know the answer. Is each hour independent? Correlated? Or is rain guaranteed and we're just unsure of the timing?
Cueball: It says "scattered showers." Is this the chance of rain somewhere in your area? How big is your area? What if you have two locations you're worried about?
Cueball: I've asked management, but they've stopped answering my emails, so—hang on, the security guy is coming over.
[A black screen is shown with white text:]
Technical Difficulties
We apologize for hiring a meteorologist with a pure math background.
We'll be back on the air shortly.
News 4
[Cueball is replaced with Blondie.]
Blondie: Sorry about that. Hi, I'm your new meteorologist.
Off-panel voice: And you're not a mathematician, right?
Blondie: No. I do have a linguistics degree.
Off-panel voice: That's fine.
Blondie: It might rain this afternoon.
Blondie: But what is "it" here? Is it a true dummy pronoun, as in the phrase "It's too bad?" Or is the weather an entity?
Blondie: Also, what if I say, "It's hot out, and getting bigger?"
Off-panel voice: Security!


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