Talk:2177: Gastroenterology

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I hope they are not eating italian, you never know what might happen if pasta and antipasta meet. Arachrah (talk) 16:23, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

Yea I figure this is a matter / anti-matter joke. Cgrimes85 (talk) 16:55, 17 July 2019 (UTC)
This antimatter explanation lacks the usual "punch" that I would expect from XKCD on a science joke. It's unsatisfying because the comic lacks any (other) reference to physics or space. My best guess is that it's a pun based on an alternate interpretation of the word "gastroenterology." Could some part of the word be re-used (or commonly used) in another, more explosive context? Could the explosion refer to methane production by the body? Or is it somehow a joke about a movie, or the general movie trope of making scientists into action heros? Jpaugh (talk) 14:41, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
It's playing on the general idea that mixing opposites often results in a violent reaction. Acid/Alkali or Matter/Antimatter. In a sense, probiotics and antibiotics are opposites - and in the (evidently very boring) world of gastroenterology - this is about as exciting at it gets. Obviously, the actual reaction between such things would be very slow and exceedingly un-exciting. SteveBaker (talk) 13:58, 19 July 2019 (UTC)

Current transcript says "Cueball" is the second character in the first and fifth panels. I don't think that's usually how it's done for a character wearing a hat, so I was thinking he should instead be named something like "Beanie Guy" or similar. Ianrbibtitlht (talk) 17:21, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

I think the hat looks like a surgical scrub cap[1]. Rtanenbaum (talk) 22:45, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

Saying the final panel is a lie is just one possibility. The 5th panel below can potentially mean the "reality", as opposed to the 4 panels above that's a fantasy/joke. Almost all jobs have this "what people think I do" and "what I really do" gap. Another possibility: I thought I saw in old cop/secret agent movies a common joke is when a character gets into a lot of action - and thus cause a lot of trouble - that person will need to write a lot of paperwork for the damage caused. Then the character will say "this job is boring. Lots of paperwork." Sorry I can't find an example right now but I seemed to remember seeing the joke multiple times.

It's hard to appreciate gastroenterology jokes if you've ever had a colonoscopy.Barmar (talk) 17:44, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

I disagree, & I'm holding back a bunch of bad puns about it. ProphetZarquon (talk) 18:02, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

I see a thematic connection with the comic about appendicitis treatment, although this could be about an unrelated ailment. 18:01, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

Current explanation says 'over-coughing'. What's that? a kid one table over, coughed. 10:22, 18 July 2019 (UTC)

Fixed! (Did you know they just hand out logins?) Jpaugh (talk) 14:53, 18 July 2019 (UTC)

"Another possibility is that the sequence refers to a reaction between an acid and a base," WHAT? No. They're specifically labeled! Where did "acid and base" even come from? Why not "Yin and Yang" or "White meat and dark meat"?? 10:46, 18 July 2019 (UTC)

I think the editor meant that the sequence is comically pretending that the mixing of probiotics and antibiotics gives a similar explosive effect to an acid/base reaction (or a matter/antimatter reaction) - they're not saying that that's literally what's happening. They're explaining the possible inspiration behind the cartoon logic. Hawthorn (talk)
And now the explanation covers that nicely. Well done. 09:49, 19 July 2019 (UTC)

It seems possible that the fantasy as a whole is a reference to a scene in the series Breaking Bad, in which Walter White substitutes fulminate of mercury for crystal meth, then uses it to cause a(n unrealistically large) explosion in the office of a rival. However, similar scenes can be found in earlier shows and films (e.g., the show MacGyver has several instance of such), so it may not be a reference to this specific one. 17:29, 18 July 2019 (UTC)

Any take on the meaning of the abundance of white space in the lower left part of the comic? Spongebob (talk) 15:17, 18 July 2019 (UTC)

My take is that it's a narrative device: the white space in which nothing is happening represents the two people just quietly eating, in stark contrast to the action-packed scene above. Hawthorn (talk) 19:46, 18 July 2019 (UTC)
It's almost as if the first row of frames is in a "think balloon" within the last frame. SteveBaker (talk) 13:58, 19 July 2019 (UTC)

My preferred interpretation is that Ponytail is to Gastroenterology what Indiana Jones is to Archeology... A usually boring field but Ponytail's / Indiana's versions are secretly more exciting. :) And Ponytail is keeping the exciting part to herself, just sharing the standard part. (Actually, now that I write that, I wonder if that's what Randall was going for) NiceGuy1 (talk) 05:43, 20 July 2019 (UTC)

In a sealed container prebiotics and probiotics would generate CO2 and explode, although it would take a while and likely not be a large explosion. As said antibiotics would likely just kill the probiotics.BlakeFelix (talk) 13:45, 22 July 2019 (UTC)

I think you'll find Gastroenterology is the study of the words used to describe the high quality food found in a moth's stomach :-) --OliReading (talk) 12:28, 30 July 2019 (UTC)