Talk:1052: Every Major's Terrible

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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The video link 404's - here is a working archive link: -- 17:32, 7 March 2024 (UTC)

I think Iambic Octameter has a stressed-unstressed pattern, not the other way around as this explanation says. 02:56, 10 April 2017 (UTC)

No, the explanation is correct, I misread the Wikipedia article. 13:41, 16 April 2017 (UTC)

Panel 1's cueball is in the same pose as Rodin's "The Thinker"

Panel 4 background is the periodic table of elements.

Panel 5, Fowler's Toad emits a noxious secretion that irritates skin and mucous membranes (it was previously thought to cause warts)

Panel 6, Psychology = a serial killer with a chainsaw, Sociology = hobo; Social Psych = hobo serial killer with chainsaw.

Panel 15, LISP, Scheme, and other computer languages with an excess of parentheses.

Panel 16, biohazard symbol

Panel 19, bongos were played by Richard Feynman

Panel 27, fear of snakes, study of reptiles

Panel 28, a picture of a stomach, pun on "stomach" being slang for "tolerate"

Panel 30, words in all lowercase like e.e.cummings

-- 22:04, 7 December 2012‎

Hobo serial killer with chainsaw? Social psych sounds awesome! 22:42, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

In panel 22 (History), what's the theme connecting the years 1935, 1969, and 1991? Wwoods (talk) 15:40, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

1935 is certainly related to some event that lead to the WWII (a quick look at the Wikipedia page for 1935 show that was the year Hitler rearmed Germany), which paved the way to the Cold War. 1969 was Apollo 11, a high moment of the Cold War, as the USA essentially won the race to the Moon. And 1991 was the year that the USSR dissolved, officially ending the Cold War. Sir labreck (talk) 18:37, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
1935, Harlem race riot; 1969, race riot in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 1991, Rodney King race riots... 2014-2016??? 03:33, 13 December 2015 (UTC)
Although the race riot dates match, I think war related is more likely. 1935 (WWII), 1969 (Vietnam), 1991 (Gulf War) I'm not sure what the common thread is, though, and 'war' is too broad 20:37, 30 September 2018 (UTC)
WWII began in 1939. The Vietnam War was 1955-1975 and Gulf War is ambiguous. Just sayin... --Dgbrt (talk) 20:34, 1 October 2018 (UTC)

This explanation is very small for that big comic. I am starting to add the transcript and after that I will do more investigations to that opera. This should be the key to explain all the panels.--Dgbrt (talk) 19:13, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

The answer won't lie in the song, trust me. Pirates of Penzance is probably my favorite comic opera out there. Plus Randall gives that the lie in saying you can use the tune from the elements song (a well-known parody) or even Marry Poppins (similar tune, but not exactly the same). I think each panel is just a reference to the words, I don't think that Randall is actually involving The Pirates of Penzance in any way other than the tune. 20:53, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Feynman was also known for being a ladies' man, so the two girls in panel 19 are significant IMHO. -- 13:51, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Needs explanation what does it mean to choose a major, and what major is in this context. Note every reader is from U.S.A.; different countries have different higher education systems. --JakubNarebski (talk) 10:56, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

True that. 'Graduation' in Brazil means 'Undergraduation' in the US. 03:51, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

"Math's just physics unconstrained by precepts of reality" - that isn't a binary tree, its a bifurcation diagram from chaos theory. And, sorry, it has nothing to do with the Banach–Tarski paradox - that's just mindless name-dropping. Davidbak (talk) 20:54, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Are you sure it is not just an illustration of Banach-Tarski, arguably the most famous example where mathematical reality and (physical) intuition diverge? Why would the verse be illustrated by a bifurcation diagram (which I think, and I might be a bit ignorant here, is a concept pretty much only found in the "applied side" of mathematics, which is constrained by precepts of reality)? And even if it were a bifurcation diagram, why would the mass of the balls change? (again, I am perhaps showcasing my ignorance; if so, please be gentle) Finally, i would deem the bifurcation explanation a bit too obscure to be the real deal - a panel which is only understood by somewhat specialized mathematicians seems strange to me, especially given that all other frames contain understandable references. 13:38, 9 October 2015 (UTC) (talk) 18:59, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

That is distinctly a bifurcation diagram. Banach Tarski doesn't factor into this at all. Disagree-P 15:39, 20 Nov, 2020

Panel 30: possibly iambic septameter141.101.104.154

--- I think that the reason for not getting hugs in panel 16 is more to do with the fact that as a virus researcher you would be aware of how easy it is to get a virus/disease and so you would keep away from people and be worried about hugs because of that. (Sorry if I've done something wrong this is my first comment!) Yxquillio (talk) 08:24, 3 January 2016 (UTC)

Another song I guess could provide a good match is "Can You Stop the Calvary?" by Jona Lewie (or "Where's the Modding API" if you're a YOGSCAST fan like me. :)) --JayRulesXKCD (talk) 11:50, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

"End of the first verse where Cueball tells his academic advisor that he is undecided as every major's terrible. He even throws away his study guide." Are you sure it's not a course catalog? 10:33, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

I think I should add that Pratchett used that quote to prove that geography was not a boring science, as it is physics, which is exciting, with some trees on it. Just a thought.MrBookBoy (talk) 01:30, 22 May 2018 (UTC)

Hey, the cs parens are missing a close paren. Like literally. Lol. Sarah the Pie(yes, the food) (talk) 15:00, 22 May 2021 (UTC)

It should be noted that in panel 35, they're referring to "Sophie's Choice." A movie in which the protagonist has to decide which of her two children to save, and which one to kill. -- 16:36, 11 October 2021 (UTC)

Is "Undecided" related to the alignment chart? 22:58, 24 April 2023 (UTC)

Panel 31. While epidemiology may well involve the study of causes and trends and whatnot, so does history. Epidemiology is the study of diseases.

The thing for panel 14 is wrong. You can't use that argument to argue for the existence of a greatest possible vacuum cleaner or greatest possible pizza because those things imply limitations like limited size, limited age, able to be broken (for the pizza), etc. If it didn't have these or any limitations it wouldn't be a vacuum cleaner/pizza; it would just be God. "basically, if your pizza gets infinitely great it will turn into God" - Redeemed Zoomer 03:47, 21 March 2024 (UTC)