2190: Serena Versus the Drones
Another comic which is a promotion of Randall's up coming book How To, to be released less than 3 weeks after this comic's release, on September 3, 2019. And this time permanent - as opposed to Disappearing Sunday Update from about two weeks before. It stars Serena Williams, an American professional tennis player and former world No. 1.
Most book advertisements feature laudatory quotes from famous people or reviewers, but here, Serena Williams is quoted as saying "It's a pretty bad idea" about Randall's idea of her attacking drones as given by the title of the comic. That idea is one of the chapters in the book and Serena Williams actually agreed to go and shoot tennis balls after an old drone with a broken camera. This can be read in the Blag post that is linked at the bottom of the comic: Serena Versus the Drones. Unlike other books, "It's a pretty bad idea" is a pretty good quote for his "How To" book given that many of Randall's humorous explorations of scientific methods of doing usual and unusual things are pretty bad ideas.
As usual with Randall there is no need to click on the link, as the entire image is a link to the blog post. This was mentioned in 1572: xkcd Survey, and even earlier in the banner for his book tour for the what if? book.
The title text says that Serena Williams said that if she wanted to defend herself against drones and if she had to use sports equipment, she would use a tennis racket and ball. Notably, according to the Blag post, this would be ineffective compared to throwing.
- [A panel at the top of the comic has a quote and to the right of the quote is a picture of Randall's new book. It is black with large blue text and smaller white text. On the book cover, in white drawings, are seen Megan with a ladder and either Black or White Hat (hard to say on black background). Both are looking up on Cueball who is floating in the air with a quadcopter drone beneath either leg, trying to plug in an electric light bulb in a naked lamp hanging down near him. It seems he has already removed the broken light bulb, as he has one in both hands. And now he tries to put in the new one. The blue text stating title and author can be read.]
- "It's a pretty bad idea."
- —Serena Williams
- on my idea
- —Serena Williams
- Book: How To
- Book: Randall Munroe
- [Caption below this panel above another set of panel:]
- Which types of sports equipment would be most effective at bringing down a rogue photography drone? My new book features a real-world test by Serena Williams.
- [A large panel shows Serena Williams, with curly hair and a very large ponytail, swinging her tennis racket to smash a tennis ball towards, and hitting, a quadcopter drone flying towards her. As the ball hits a small explosion seems to happen with the drone which is stopped in mid air. Above the drone are two other drones flying towards her, with one more below. There is a broken drone on the ground in front of her. Three tennis balls lie behind her.]
- [Three smaller panels are beneath the large panel. The first panel is smaller than the other two and a bit higher up than they are and is overlaying the second panel. It shows Serena jumping with the racket held high. No drones are shown, but her shadow can be seen beneath her.]
- [In the next panel she is seen smashing her racket into one of the drones, breaking a rotor off, she is still hanging in the air, her shadow beneath her and her legs partly behind the previous panel, which is covering most of the left part of this panel. Another drone is flying above her.]
- [In the final panel she is seen standing again, turning around facing the other way, taking another swing at two drones that try to evade her. The ground is now filled with debris from several smashed drones.]
- [Caption beneath the panels, with the "here" in link blue color... The entire image is a link, so no need to click on the here though.]
- To read an excerpt about Serena's drone battle, click here or go to blog.xkcd.com
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