1020: Orion Nebula

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Orion Nebula
Also on the agenda: what's with his hips?
Title text: Also on the agenda: what's with his hips?



The Orion nebula is a diffuse nebula situated south of the three stars that compose Orion's Belt in the Orion constellation. In terms of the comic, it is the middle "star" in the sword/dong of Orion. Dong is an American slang word for penis. The star appears fuzzy to sharp-eyed observers, and the nebulosity is obvious through binoculars or a small telescope.

When the speaker says "We are no strangers to controversy" he is probably referring to Pluto's demotion from planet to a dwarf planet/plutoid.

The title text is a quip about how small and off-kilter the hips are in Orion the constellation compared to the rest of its body. Although this is not far off the modern comic-style "Captain Dorito" body type, with a degree of posing in partly side-on perspective.


[Cueball stands behind a lectern decorated with the initials of the International Astronomical Union. There is a banner above him that also says 'International Astronomical Union,' decorated with small stars.]
Cueball: Welcome to IAU Symposium #279.
[Side view of Cueball standing on a podium behind the lectern]
Cueball: We are no strangers to controversy, and we will not shy away from the tough issues.
Cueball: Which brings us to the subject at hand:
[A projection of the Orion constellation appears behind Cueball with a white arrow superimposed on the image pointing at the area between Orion's legs. Symposium attendees are off-screen to the bottom and right of the panel.]
Cueball: It's time to talk about the fact that Orion clearly has a dong.
Attendee #1 (off-screen): It's hard to miss.
Attendee #2 (off-screen): We could keep telling people it's a sword.
Attendee #3 (off-screen): C'mon, no one's buying that anymore.

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Stay classy Randall... -- (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

The funny thing about people expecting us to believe Orion's penis is a sword is that swords weren't yet invented when Orion was named. However, everyone knew what a penis was. This is what we call an open and shut case. 15:29, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

We don't know exactly when Orion was created but, he was mentioned for the first time in the odyssey, about 8th BC. The first swords, the bronze-age swords, are from 17th BC. While Orion is old, is of course not as old as the 17th BC century. So, there were swords when Orion was created. ...But of course, the thing in the constellation is totally a dong. 19:57, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Am I insane, or does Cueball have three arms? I thought one of them was a microphone, but all three lines seem to go to his shoulders.

You do understand, right, that the body has a lower half that needs to be attached to the top somehow? 22:03, 15 August 2020 (UTC) 19:40, 8 May 2019 (UTC)

I think he/she is referring to the 2nd panel. From Cueball's shoulders, yes, there's the torso going straight down to the legs; but I think he/she means the two arms going to the podium plus apparently a third arm gesticulating above the podium. — Yfmcpxpj (talk) 19:05, 13 September 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, there is definitely a third arm. 18:54, 2 October 2020 (UTC)
Definitely a microphone. Not a lot of breadth on a stick-figure, and the throat is pretty well in the same place as the shoulders. 03:28, 1 May 2021 (UTC)
I think that it was meant to be a microphone, but the drawing was a bit sloppy. 42.book.addict (talk) 22:39, 2 February 2024 (UTC)

From the point of view of an Aussie, that is his head, what you think of his legs are his arms, and his arms are what you've got marked as legs. Makes perfect sense, and it's odd to think everyone in the Northern Hemisphere sees Orion upside down.... (: 01:40, 16 December 2020 (UTC)