Title text: You were on the internet before I was born? Well, so was I.
In this comic the man with the beard thinks he is Leet and tries to show this to his conversations partner by calling her noob (see also n00b). He claims that he has been on the internet since the BBS days, and thus long before his conversation partner was even born.
A Bulletin Board System, or BBS, is an online service based on microcomputers running appropriate software. They were the precursors to modern day online forums.
However, he is up against Science Girl who tells him he is wrong. She explains that her parents took samples of their sperm and egg and sequenced the DNA. The resulting genome was then e-mailed to the Venter Institute where they synthesized the genome and used this to create the egg and sperm that became Science Girl.
The J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) is a non-profit genomics research institute founded by J. Craig Venter, Ph.D. in October 2006. Although what Science Girl is describing may be possible this comic must take place in the future as this has not yet been used to create human beings.
Her point though is, that the man is wrong when he says that he has been on the internet. When you are "on-line" you are really just looking on the screen where the results found "on" the internet is displayed. So he has been looking at the internet. The girl's genome (which is basically the closest you can come to the data a computer would need to create you) has been sent on-line in an e-mail. So in her words, she has actually been there.
Objectively, the Science Girl is just as bad as her adult conversational partner; simply being the most significant advancement in test tube babies in over two decades doesn't prove anything about your personal knowledge or experience. Subjectively, however, her reputation alone is more than enough to stun and thus "defeat" anyone who actually understands her special heritage, as well as of course her pun and correction regarding being and looking on the internet. It is also worth noting that it was technically her parents' sex cells, not her, which traversed the internet.
The title text is another common retort from "old timers" that they have been doing X since before the younger person was born. In this case, Science Girl accepts that the old timer was "on the Internet" before she was born, but so was she... At least in the form of her genetic information.
- [A man with black hair and a neck beard types away at his computer screen.]
- Man (typing): Whatever, noob. I've been on the internet since the BBS days.
- Screen (reply from the noob): Wrong.
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- [The noob turns out to be Science Girl, with two hair buns, who kneels on her chair, typing at a laptop on a table in this frame-less panel.]
- Science Girl (typing): Before I was born, a lab took egg and sperm samples from my parents and sequenced the DNA.
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- [The man sits at his desk, reading his screen.]
- Screen (Science Girls writing): They emailed the genome to the Venter Institute, where they synthesized the genome and implanted it into sperm and eggs which became me.
- [Science Girl still typing on the laptop.]
- Science Girl (typing): So, no.
- Science Girl (typing): You've looked at the internet.
- Science Girl (typing): I've been there.
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