201: Christmas GPS

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Christmas GPS
If it's over water, and you can't get a boat or revise the rules to preserve the makeout, there is no helping you.
Title text: If it's over water, and you can't get a boat or revise the rules to preserve the makeout, there is no helping you.


In the comic, Cueball has gotten a GPS device and asks Megan what to do with it. She suggest that they take their current coordinates and modify the latitude and longitude with a simple function based on their birthdays, thereby pointing to an arbitrary, non-random location. For example, if Cueball was born on, let's say, April 1, 1986 and Megan on August 12, 1988 and they are somewhere in New York (40.768062,-73.98468), the coordinate they type could make (40.040186, -73.081288) (assuming US date format), or (40.860401, -73.880812) (assuming following ISO 8601). The good thing about keeping the number before the decimal point is that the distance is still realistic to get to by car. Megan suggests to make out in this place. This procedure is somewhat of a precursor to Geohashing.

The title text suggests that if the location you make for yourselves is over water (which the example above happens to be), you either need to find a boat or find some rule that you can change to preserve the promise of making out, and if you can't do either, then there is no way you'd get to make out.

From xkcd: volume 0:

We tried this and ended up on the grounds of the only particle accelerator for a hundred miles.


Cueball: Check it out - I got a GPS receiver for Christmas! What should we do with it?
Megan: Let's take our latitude & longitude, put our birthdays after the decimal points, then go to that spot and make out.
[Cueball is in love.]
Merry Christmas from XKCD[sic]
[Car driving off in to the distance.]

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Why the car is on the left side? Did Randall move to UK? Over water? Still so many questions.--Dgbrt (talk) 21:59, 31 July 2013 (UTC)

It is a valid line of inquiry, but there are many more gaping, unexplained things in xkcd to worry about. I'd guess the car was easier to draw that way, or something. --Quicksilver (talk) 04:57, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
He might be driving on the wrong side because he is drunk. With a bit of work we could eliminate some of the possible birthdays for these characters(assuming they ended up at a plausible place). Through elimination via clues in various comics we might one day figure out the birthdays(assuming Randall is track this information and leaving clues, which he most likely is(everything he does has some sort of code or secret(seriously... everything))). 02:07, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
I think he's just driving in the left lane of a divided highway. They're quite common in parts of the US with wide open spaces (like this appears to be). The dashed lines in the center seem to support this. If it was the divider between opposing traffic streams, it would be a solid yellow line, not dashed. 19:38, 7 December 2018 (UTC)
Divided highway? No. There are no lanes to the left for a vast distance. And in places where passing in the oncoming lane is allowed (e.g. straight flat section with perfect visibility to the horizon) the center line is dashed (yellow), not solid. Perhaps our eager protagonists have simply passed some slower traffic out of frame behind them? 19:27, 30 April 2024 (UTC)

Your use of parentheses pleases me. ~Benjamin Benjaminikuta (talk) 08:15, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

The simplest explanation is that the GPS coordinates corresponded to the left side of the road, and given that the road seems remote or secluded, it was probably easier to just pull over to the left rather than make a legal U-turn. Zowayix (talk) 16:23, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

I agree: the lines behind the car seem to be tire tracks and brake lights. P.S I'm a big fan of your ruby WLP (assuming you're the same person), keep up the good work! 06:15, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

It seems the title text could be referring to someone who is so obsessive compulsive about following the arbritrary rules set up for the game that they will not change them despite ruining their chance to 'make out'. There is no helping this type of person. --Mister Pold (talk) 12:27, 28 July 2014 (UTC)