Talk:2902: Ice Core

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search

Akin to 2729: Planet Killer Comet Margarita, which perhaps needs mentioning in the upcoming Explanation... 23:04, 4 March 2024 (UTC)

Added a short explanation, but it'll definitely need more work. 23:11, 4 March 2024 (UTC)

The title text raises a lot of questions. It's a play on the mixed drink Long Island Iced (or Ice) Tea of course. But why the underscore? Why does the T look funny (tau?)? Why isn't tea spelled out? 23:44, 4 March 2024 (UTC)Pat

Yes, Randall did use tau in the title text. I recently made mention of that in my most recent edit. I'm not sure why he used it but maybe instead of a "Gone Island Ice Tea", it's a "Gone Island Ice Tau"? OmniDoom (talk) 23:58, 4 March 2024 (UTC)

Tau is tortuosity in a lot of equations involving porous material (including ice), and also represents time in some engineering disciplines. It's written as "Ice_τ", and I have no idea what the oddly specific underscore is. Maybe it's "I x c x e" from some equation that involves τ? And somehow could be relevant to a sunken island? 00:05, 5 March 2024 (UTC)

It could be the case that the underscore before the tau is indicating a subscript and that, as you said, the "Ice" could be "I * c * e_τ" but I have no way of being sure. (Quick aside: I originally read the "I x c x e" expression as though it were "Ixcxe" and took it for a word or an acronym or something. Humanity really needs to agree on a universal form of multiplication sign for typing.)OmniDoom (talk) 00:28, 5 March 2024 (UTC)
Aside cont.: We already have a character specifically for this: × (U+00D7 MULTIPLICATION SIGN). How to type that is an exercise left to the reader. 01:01, 5 March 2024 (UTC)

I've heard recently (possibly reheard, as (amongst other things) I've been relistening to The Infinite Monkey Cage broadcasts/podcasts but can't immediately pin down the remembered context) about ice-core samplings having been used as drink-ice. But this is thousands-of-years-old ice, with thousands-of-years-old atmosphere trapped in it, as bubbles that get released as it melts. It was supposed to be special, given that (with a bit of poetic licence) you could technically breath in the ancient atmosphere with a good sniff at the glass. Though, as might not be surprising, the taste was described as "like drilling fluid". 02:24, 5 March 2024 (UTC)

Is it really possible to date ice layers to specific years? I assume dating precision is millenia, maybe at best centuries. The explanation should mention how impossible it is to date to a specific birth year, unless there happened to be a specific climatologic event that year (like a big eruption). Barmar (talk) 02:54, 5 March 2024 (UTC)

If compressed (centuries or more of snow atop), it might be more difficult, but this is going to be maybe a handful of decades of layers. Depending upon the local buildup method (still snows a bit during the long (ant)arctic night, then (ant)arctic day gentle crisps the surface snow), it might be fairly obvious under visual inspection. Even without key marker deposits from atmospheric dust/soot/etc. But would depend upon both weather and climate patterns. 04:39, 5 March 2024 (UTC)

" ice (usually sourced locally).[citation needed]" Up until just about a hundred years ago, most ice in the eastern US came from Maine. In winter the Mainers sawed-up the ponds, stored ice in sawdust-filled ice-houses, then in summer shipped it as far south as Cuba. --PRR (talk) 05:23, 5 March 2024 (UTC)

While the ending pun on the name of actor/rapper "Ice Cube" is funny (as would be a more elaborate pun also involving Ice-T), I think it detracts from the explanation, actually making things more confusing. Mathmannix (talk) 11:54, 5 March 2024 (UTC)

Can anyone identify the specific geological event Randall refers to? When did a Volcano destroy a tea plant producing island? 11:57, 5 March 2024 (UTC)

I think I have answered my own question... This is the google search results:

Has a volcano ever destroyed an island? The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa (Indonesian: Letusan Krakatau 1883) in the Sunda Strait occurred from 20 May until 21 October 1883, peaking in the late morning hours of 27 August when over 70% of the island of Krakatoa and its surrounding archipelago were destroyed as it collapsed into a caldera. 12:00, 5 March 2024 (UTC)

An aside: Though I don't know if it was intentional on Randall's part, there is an additional pun to Ice_τ: In German 'Tau' is not just the Greek letter, but also the word for 'melt' - which does fit the comic's theme. 13:59, 5 March 2024 (UTC)

About the _τ, some times programs (like Desmos) use underscores to portray subscripts, which may be the intent here -- 19:47, 6 March 2024 (UTC)

I think this is a clear reference to the weel known anecdote in the paleoclimatologist community. Claude Lorius was drinking a glass of Whisky on an Antarctic base when he noticed that air bubles trapped in the ice could provide key information on fomer climatic conditions. After a quick search, here is a reference citing this anecdote [1]. Sapin (talk) 21:51, 6 March 2024 (UTC)

It would not surprise me if Rat from 'Pearls Before Swine" was on his way over with a baseball bat to have a "word" with Randal about puns. These Are Not The Comments You Are Looking For (talk) 01:24, 12 March 2024 (UTC)