2813: What To Do

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What To Do
FYI: The 'drop, cover, and hold on' advice only applies to earthquakes. If you encounter a mountain lion, you should absolutely not drop to the ground, crawl under it, and hold on to one of its legs.
Title text: FYI: The 'drop, cover, and hold on' advice only applies to earthquakes. If you encounter a mountain lion, you should absolutely not drop to the ground, crawl under it, and hold on to one of its legs.

Explanation[edit]

Similar to 1890: What to Bring, this comic takes four unrelated dangerous situations (mountain lion sighting, nearby lightning, fire alarm, and bleeding), and tries to mix-and-match the solutions. Predictably, mixing up good advice leads to fairly nonsensical behavior, so only the original four matches are marked green as acceptable. This comic is also similar, to a lesser extent, to Appliances.

The title-text introduces another disaster, an earthquake, into the mix-and-match. A common safety precaution during an earthquake is to drop, cover, and hold on, which helps prevent you from being thrown about and/or hit by debris. However, attempting to "drop, cover, and hold on" in response to a mountain lion sighting is more likely to get you into danger than out of it.

Advice
(problem) vs (solution) Stand Up Straight, Speak Firmly, and Slowly Back Away Run Toward a Building or Hard-Topped Vehicle Calmly Exit the Building Apply Firm Pressure
mountain lion This is a common recommendation when encountering a mountain lion (puma, cougar, etc) out in nature. Running away may cause the animal to chase you, and it may consider you as prey. If you safely make it into a building or vehicle, you may be able to hide or drive away from the animal and may be safer than being outdoors with it; however, it is safer to approach said building or vehicle slowly, so as to not provoke the animal. Exiting a building and approaching the animal is not a good idea. If the animal is inside the building, however, it is recommended to combine this advice with (1). Applying "firm pressure" to the (wild) animal is a terrible idea and may result in injury or death. Applying light pressure to a domesticated cat may make it less likely to attack, but wild cats do not respond positively to it.
lightning Yelling at lightning is ineffective. Also, making yourself stand more erect to maximize your apparent height and backing away slowly from a lightning strike will make you more of a target as you will then become more prominent above the surrounding terrain. This is the recommended solution when encountering lightning - to go indoors or inside of a hard-topped vehicle to avoid being struck. Either of these options will function as a rudimentary Faraday cage if lightning does strike your location, taking the brunt of the lightning and directing the charge away from the vulnerable humans inside. (Contrary to popular belief, a car's rubber tires offer no protection from lightning, compared to the body of the car itself) Exiting a building is a poor idea, as the risk of getting struck by lightning is increased, as are the chances of being caught in any associated rainstorm or fulminogenic fire. There is no safe way to "apply firm pressure" to lightning. In the diagram, Cueball applies pressure to the tree, which is just about the worst possible thing to do in a storm, as when lightning strikes the tree the electric charge will pass through Cueball, not to mention the associated risk of the tree exploding or a limb detaching and falling on him.
fire alarm Yelling at a fire alarm is ineffective. [citation needed] When a fire alarm is sounding, it is terrible advice to run towards the sound of the alarm, unless you are a trained fire fighter with suitable tools. If, however, you happen to be the cause of the fire, running towards a vehicle is completely understandable. This is the recommended advice when hearing a fire alarm - to calmly exit the building, and move to a safe location. Applying firm pressure to a fire alarm will not result in stopping the alarm, unless you are able to damage the device, suppress the sound (either by covering the noisemaker or by pressing the alarm's button to temporarily silence it), or block the fire alarm sensors. Regardless, this will not stop the actual fire. Also, there is no safe way to "apply firm pressure" to fire, unless applying firm pressure is interpreted as using a fire blanket.
bleeding Yelling at a bleeding wound is ineffective. Yelling at a bleeding person may make them feel worse. Running toward a building or vehicle is not a typical solution if someone is bleeding. However, there could be medical supplies and/or medically trained people (nurses, doctors, paramedics, etc.) inside the building or vehicle, so this idea is not completely incorrect. Exiting a building is not helpful if someone is bleeding, if either the exiting one is the injured one, or the non-injured one. Although, if someone/something in the building (such as a mountain lion) is the cause of the bleeding, this could be a good idea so that the bleeding or injury does not get worse. This is the recommended solution to stop bleeding - apply firm pressure to staunch the bleeding, using some kind of absorbent material (cloth bandages are the gold standard, but any clean fabric (such as clothing, towels, sheets etc.) will suffice), or, if you are trained in first-aid and the bleeding is particularly heavy, applying a tourniquet around the limb above the wound.

Transcript[edit]

Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
[The comic is laid out like a grid, with situations down the left-hand side (mountain lion / lightning / fire alarm / bleeding) and the solutions across the top (stand up straight, speak firmly, and slowly back away / run toward a building or hard-topped vehicle / calmly exit the building / apply firm pressure ). The grid illustrates the "match-ups", with a green square denoting a "correct" match-up and a red square denoting a bad idea.]
[From the top left corner, going from left to right, top to bottom, with each first item being on its own line in the grid, the squares are as follows:]
[Green square, a mountain lion (drawn as a large cat) sits on the left, on a perch. Cueball and Megan have their arms raised and are speaking to it. Lines in front of them indicate they are backing up.]
Cueball: HEY. STOP.
Megan: SHOO.
  • stand up straight, speak firmly, and slowly back away -> mountain lion
[Red square, Cueball and Megan are being chased by a mountain lion, and are running towards a building to their right.]
  • run toward a building or hard-topped vehicle -> mountain lion
[Red square, Cueball and Megan exit a building and approach a mountain lion.]
Megan: Hello.
  • calmly exit the building -> mountain lion
[Red square, Cueball is putting his hands firmly on a mountain lion.]
  • apply firm pressure -> mountain lion
[Red square, lightning strikes a tree. Cueball is standing outside, with his arms raised, yelling at the lightning. Lines in front of him indicate he is backing up.]
BOOM
Cueball: NO!
  • stand up straight, speak firmly, and slowly back away -> lightning
[Green square, lightning strikes a tree. Cueball and Megan run toward a building to their right.]
BOOM
  • run toward a building or hard-topped vehicle -> lightning
[Red square, lightning strikes a tree. Cueball and Megan exit a building and approach the lightning-struck tree.]
BOOM
  • calmly exit the building -> lightning
[Red square, lightning strikes a tree. Cueball pushes on the lightning-struck tree.]
BOOM
  • apply firm pressure -> lightning
[Red square, a fire alarm is beeping. Cueball yells at the alarm, with his arms raised. Lines in front of him indicates he is backing up.]
BEEP BEEP BEEP
Cueball: HEY.
  • stand up straight, speak firmly, and slowly back away -> fire alarm
[Red square, a fire alarm is beeping next to a building with flames on its roof. Cueball and Megan run toward the burning building.]
BEEP BEEP BEEP
  • run toward a building or hard-topped vehicle -> fire alarm
[Green square, a fire alarm is beeping next to a house with flames on its roof. Cueball and Megan are exiting the burning building.]
BEEP BEEP BEEP
  • calmly exit the building -> fire alarm
[Red square, a fire alarm is beeping, and Cueball is trying to "suppress" the beeping sound. Behind him are flames.]
BEEP BEEP BE-eep eep eep eep eep
  • apply firm pressure -> fire alarm
[Red square, Cueball is bleeding from his right arm, and holds it. Megan to his right yells at him with her arms raised. Lines in front of her indicates she is backing up.]
Megan: HEY!
Megan: STOP IT!
  • stand up straight, speak firmly, and slowly back away -> bleeding
[Red square, Megan, holding a first aid kit in one hand and a bandage in the other, runs with a bleeding Cueball towards a building to their right.]
  • run toward a building or hard-topped vehicle -> bleeding
[Red square, Megan holds a bandage, and to the ground in front of her is a first aid kit. Cueball is walking to the right of the panel, with an injured and bloody left arm raised.]
Cueball: Bye!
  • calmly exit the building -> bleeding
[Green square, Cueball sits in a chair and Megan is treating him by putting her hands on his injured limb. Behind her on the ground is a first aid kit.]
  • apply firm pressure -> bleeding


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Discussion

Top right kinda reminds me of https://piped.video/watch?v=5jKZ9KGtee0 Beanie talk 22:06, 9 August 2023 (UTC)

I was thinking that that kind of thing usually works for the likes of Mick Dundee.172.70.86.178 11:10, 14 August 2023 (UTC)

We don't need a dang [citation needed] on every single joke in the first column. Less is more. 172.70.135.149 04:55, 10 August 2023 (UTC)

Citation needed. 172.70.127.132 05:13, 10 August 2023 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly disagree, every one is funny Tiln (talk) 07:36, 10 August 2023 (UTC)

https://tiermaker.com/create/2813-xkcd-what-to-do-16046434 <- I made a tierlist for all the panels you can fill out! idk why thought it was funny Mushrooms (talk) 11:51, 10 August 2023 (UTC)

Yeah! Finally another good/bad matrix! I love the pictures more than the selection of situations and reactions. Anyone else too? --172.70.247.125 17:00, 16 August 2023 (UTC)

Add background color to table?[edit]

Should we indicate the comic's table's red/green background colors in the description table? This could either be by changing the cells' background colors to match the comic, or adding "(Red background)" or "(Green background)" to the text. -- Dtgriscom (talk) 15:07, 10 August 2023 (UTC)

I don't know whether that's typical, but I think it's a good idea.
ProphetZarquon (talk) 15:50, 10 August 2023 (UTC)
For a moment I thought you meant the Transcript, to which I would have said it was inadvisable to place a colour, seeing as in my experience the Transcript is mainly for blind people using a reader program, and I'm not sure the reader program would mention the colour of text, definitely not the background. But in the description, I would agree, and I think changing the colour is more visually informative. NiceGuy1 (talk) 05:02, 12 August 2023 (UTC)
I'd match the #RGBs of the comic (rather than #F00/#0F0). Or perhaps even tone back to half saturation. We want it to be faithful in hue but not everly distracting. 162.158.74.63 20:03, 12 August 2023 (UTC)
The green in the original comic is #A4E6A1; reducing its sat by half gives #C5E6C3. The original pink is #E6A1A1, reducing its sat by half gives #E6C3C3. BunsenH (talk) 20:45, 12 August 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, looked good. For what my opinion i worth on the matter, a decent choice. 162.158.74.47 23:34, 12 August 2023 (UTC)

Yelling at lightning[edit]

If we really need a citation about the futility of yelling at lightning, there's King Lear, Act 3, scene 2. BunsenH (talk) 23:13, 12 August 2023 (UTC)

Fire Alarms[edit]

I recently found out other peoples fire alarms can't be turned off. Mine turns off if you apply firm pressure to the test button when it is ringing (there wasn't a fire, just a lot of steam, and it was confused). Do other fire alarms not have a pressure-activated "off" button? Thisfox (talk) 07:52, 17 August 2023 (UTC)

I suspect it's going to be a case of reading the manual. Different fire-(smoke-?)alarms having subtly different designs to them. I think one of the ones I last installed had a 'silence' button (separate from the 'test' one), but I've never felt/had the need to 'snooze' it (though I have tested it, even if not as frequently as I should have). Others may not even consider the need (if it goes 'wrong', and it isn't entirely your fault for burning some toast, you'd ideally be ripping it out and replacing it with a non-false-alarm one ASAP) so taking the battery out or disconnecting various key wires might be your default option. 141.101.98.43 09:21, 17 August 2023 (UTC)

Creating lightning[edit]

The last couple of edits have used "fulgogenic" and "fulminogenic", which I take to mean "creating lightning". I'm not confident that either is a real word, from the on-line searching I've done. While the meaning can be inferred, given enough background knowledge, is there a word with that meaning that's actually used? BunsenH (talk) 16:07, 21 August 2023 (UTC)

Mountain lions[edit]

[1] shows that encountering a mountain lion is not always a dangerous situation. That particular mountain lion is unlikely to do anything to people applying any of the solutions. It went to obedience school.