Cueball searches Google to find out where birds go when it rains. He finds that the question is asked worldwide, across different languages and websites, and that everyone wants to know the answer. A variety of screenshots are shown of different websites and forums with users asking where birds go when it rains, with at least five languages shown. The bottom of this panel fades to white, suggesting that the occurance of these questions stretches on and on.
As it starts to rain around the bird in the lower panels, he flies down to a smartphone on the floor, and begins searching the same thing. This seems to imply that even birds don't know where to go when it rains, or that it was birds looking for shelter asking this question on the World Wide Web.
In the title text, the question itself is considered - In the Superman comics Clark Kent *is* Superman so you couldn't observe Clark Kent and Superman at the same time. Although the common states of solid, liquid and gas are widely known, water is observed at multiple phases (low pressure ices, high pressure ices, supercritical gases etc )and Randall is theorizing that one of the hitherto undiscovered states of water is 'bird' which would explain why brids and rains are apparently never seen together.
Hehe, are we suggesting that "bird" may be a phase of dihydrogen monoxide? I like that.
--Stg (talk) 05:11, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
I recommend we keep the answer out of the explain page since it wasn't included in the comic. Birds can google it themselves. 18.104.22.168 06:25, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
- Why are you so mean to poor birds? Do you know how hard is to type with beak? -- Hkmaly (talk) 11:08, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
- It really is a pain. They have to hunt and peck.22.214.171.124 12:25, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
- Especially on a touch screen! 126.96.36.199 13:57, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
- Really, they only have trouble with the newer capacitive touchscreens - the older resistive ones (used in e.g. Palm Pilot) were much easier to use with a beak-- Brettpeirce (talk) 20:08, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
- The iron in pigeon beaks makes it a bit easier for them to use capacitive screens, but not much. --Okofish (talk) 21:07, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
- Just one more thing that makes them man's best friend with rats, I mean wings with friends... umm words with friends... it's a bit too early for me... -- Brettpeirce (talk) 09:36, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I added the thing about catcher in the rye, but now I think that might not be right.Cheeselover724 (talk) 06:28, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
- I haven't read Catcher in the Rye, but I purely read it as Superman & Clark Kent are the same thing, implying that birds and rain are the same thing. --Pudder (talk) 08:34, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
"as Superman & Clark Kent are the same" if you see one you see both not one or the other.
As for birds and rain: In Britain, they all tend to roost facing the approaching weather when fronts form that may bring rain. Similarly when the fronts form that look like the rain is ending they will be roosting in good viewpoints to observe whatever is likely to happen next.
You will see them on trees, wires, chimneys and aerials all watching the weather. Flocks as flocks, families as families and solitary birds as such.Weatherlawyer (talk) 19:35, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
Cueball assumes it's a question common to all of internet-accessed humans, making it seem like a beautiful thing. In the end, it turns out those are actually helpless birds asking this question worldwide, not people. I'd advise you add a On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog reference.
The ice/catcher in the rye connection is far fetched. Judging by the Clark/Superman comparison, Randall suggests that birds turn into the rain as part of the water/ice phases and not hide from it. Because Clark doesn't go when Superman arrives, he turns into Superman. Dulcis (talk) 08:01, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
- Actually, I think Clark will end up on bottom of the phone booth. Superman must assume that noone will steal his disguise while he will do the rescuing ... meanwhile, there is lot of water in birds, but also lot of other molecules, so the transformation wouldn't work. -- Hkmaly (talk) 11:08, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
- In older continuity, "Clark" (or at least his clothing) would get folded up, compressed and tucked into a pocket on the underside of the cape.... 188.8.131.52 16:36, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
the google query 184.108.40.206 08:14, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Birds can use the internet? Before we know it, they will start tweeting. Diszy (talk) 11:58, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
- ICY what you did there -- Brettpeirce (talk) 12:41, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
- And then they'll move on to Facebeak, 220.127.116.11 15:11, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
How do we know that is a pokedex? It looks more like a tablet to me. 18.104.22.168 12:05, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
So for the transcript, I'm thinking until the full text in every screen snippet is transcribed and each source result website is identified, it will be technically incomplete - any commentary on this (?) -- Brettpeirce (talk) 12:43, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
- While maybe technically incomplete, surely we have to be sensible, and take the decision to omit text which isn't really relevant to the comic. Take the top right screenshot as an exampe, I would argue that the following should be omitted: Top left word??, Search Replies, Previous Page, Next Page, social media share/like text, Username, Text in geen, UserID: 520655, United States.. --Pudder (talk) 14:19, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
- Agreed, as I believe I did when creating what is there right now, and as I summarized below at the same time you were writing your reply -- Brettpeirce (talk) 14:31, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
- Alright, well, I did for the first 20 screen snippets what I think would be good to do for the remaining ones (find the source site and page, then quote what seems to be the pertinent question and answer text that is visible in the snippet, disregarding usernames, dates, categories and similar meta data). It could probably also be done for at least ten more with a bit more effort, but I don't wanna waste my time if the community just says "WAYY TOO MUCH! DELETE!!") -- Brettpeirce (talk) 14:29, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
I also kind of think that the transcript should have the links to the source sites (since they are screen snippets), while the explanation should have the translations for any non-english text and any needed explanation for differences in cultural context. Regardless, having links to the source sites seems unnecessary to have in BOTH places, but they're links, so... they don't take up any more room, I suppose... -- Brettpeirce (talk) 14:40, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
- Great job on the transcript. Personally I like the link to original source as you've done, though perhaps other would disagree. I'm tempted to say it should also be in the explanation, as that is where I assume others would expect that type of information to be. I'm actually quite impressed at what a quality page this is after only a matter of hours, especially given that it isn't the simplest comic. Images, tables, translations, original sources... Beautiful! --Pudder (talk) 15:42, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
- welp, I've done all I think I can do - there's one more under the Japanese one that is almost definitely from a Yahoo! Answers site, but I can't make out enough of it to identify it positively, so, its identity might be lost to Randall's archive forever *sniffle* -- Brettpeirce (talk) 11:34, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
- I could help out with the Dutch translation, and I could make a stub for the German one (It'd probably be wise to have a *real* German check that one though) 22.214.171.124 16:00, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
I love how this comic will inevitably increase the internet searches and queries for "Where do birds go when it rains." If this weren't the question that united us before, it certainly is now. XKCD making a difference!126.96.36.199 18:24, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
- Not only will it increase the searches, but since it has a transcription of all of the other searches, it's the top result on Google today, too! -- Brettpeirce (talk) 11:34, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
The pale posting near the bottom that begins "Burung Dapat Bertahan...Hujan ?" is either Malay or Indonesian and means something like "Can birds survive...rain?" Taibhse (talk) 23:23, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
- So here is the link: https://id.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20101215231444AAAVxSM Taibhse (talk) 00:22, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
This search phrase will get a sky high Pigeon Rank 188.8.131.52 23:41, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
- Well, there's the explanation! -- Brettpeirce (talk) 09:38, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
The non-capitalization of the German nouns in the given example is perhaps caused by the input device. I can never write proper German on my Nokia cell phone, for example, as it only capitalizes after a period/full stop. Gearoid (talk) 10:57, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
- Usually there is a shift-key type function somewhere - is this a smart phone? -- Brettpeirce (talk) 11:34, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
- - and are you a smart user? 184.108.40.206 13:41, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
- On some phones it is indeed a pain in the ass to capitalize mid-sentence words (as on mine), but I'm not aware of any where it's impossible to do so. Based upon that assumption it has to be classified as "laziness", I think. And as Gearoid said: "it" capitalizes. I'm quite sure you could do it manually by yourself in some way or another.220.127.116.11 12:17, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't know whether birds use Google, but they certainly . ;-) 18.104.22.168 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
One of the screenshots is from Fairfax Underground? I live in Fairfax County! (Not underground though.) :) Flarn2006 (talk) 23:12, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
This is all wrong! We know where we go when it rains, we just want to know where people think we go... 22.214.171.124 01:41, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Has anyone seen a bird in rain? Show pic please! -- SilverMagpie (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)