1798: Box Plot

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Box Plot
You have to be careful doing this. Sometimes, when you push the whisker down, dynamite explodes.
Title text: You have to be careful doing this. Sometimes, when you push the whisker down, dynamite explodes.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: stub, maybe dynamite detonators like this are still in use?
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.

This comic refers to box plots. The joke arises from how when depicted in the orientation shown, the plot can look like it can be pumped up. One could say that the "data" in this comic was "inflated."

The title text refers to how dynamite, an explosive, often used to have detonators which also looked similar to this. These detonators were most commonly used for mining, with long wires leading to the explosives.


Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.

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No Valentine's comic this year? (Or could it be later this week?) 16:27, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

Trump killed Valentine's Day for Randall. 17:54, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
I would agree with that, but it could just as well be next comic. However, Randall doesn't usually make Valentines comics, so... --Kynde (talk) 20:59, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
Just checked and the last he did was 1016: Valentine Dilemma. He has made six Valentines comics and now it is five years ago he made one last. He seems to not like Valentine by the way! --Kynde (talk) 19:48, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

I thought this may also be similar to a bycicle pump because it doesn't explode it just enlarges. Wasn't there a comic similar to this where someone blows into a laptop power cord and it blows up like a balloon.XFez (talk) 18:54, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

Yes: https://xkcd.com/1395/ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Good call 1395: Power Cord should be mentioned. --Kynde (talk) 21:01, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

I’m surprised this was Cueball, not Beret Guy. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

It could be that inflating/manipulating data is not supernatural. 19:37, 13 February 2017 (UTC)
Yes many people do this all the time, sadly. Often referenced in xkcd... --Kynde (talk) 21:01, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

There's also a blasting machine in Floor, /735 22:11, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

Could whoever writes the transcripts, please keep them more concise? I am visually impaired and rely on transcripts to "get" the comics, but I find that detailed descriptions of how things are drawn make the joke harder, not easier, to understand. Most transcripts are great, with just the information needed to get it, but some are way too detailed—and this one is pushing it to the extreme. Does anyone really want to know the exact size of each box, or how many lines are drawn around Cueball's shoulders to indicate movement? I'd be much happier with something like "Cueball climbs on top of the second box and pushes the whisker as if it were a pump. The box inflates as if air had been pumped into it." I don't want to know precisely how this information is conveyed, I just want to laugh like you guys with a good joke without getting lost in details. That said, many many thanks to those who write the transcripts! Zetfr 23:11, 13 February 2017 (UTC)

That is one very detailed transcript. Cardboardmech (talk) 14:00, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
I have taken matters into my own hands and rewrote the transscript. This is my first contribution to this wiki, so feel free to revert this commit it if it does not fit explainxkcd's style. 19:57, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
Maybe this wiki could benefit from having both "basic transcripts" and "super-detailed transcripts" as separate sections. Asdf (talk) 00:15, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
To me, this new transcript is perfect. Those "basic transcripts" are really useful. I hope all future transcripts will be made in the same spirit! If others want "super-detailed transcripts" in addition, fine, but for what purpose?
Zetfr 09:06, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
I have started a discussion on this topic here: User_talk:Kynde#Transcript_TLDR.3B. Maybe we can define a Transcript-Guide. --Dgbrt (talk) 11:48, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
@Zetfr. Thanks for the input and sorry about the inconvenience. I was really trying to do my best, and also thanks for using our transcripts. But great to have a debate. As Dgbrt wrote above there is now a discussion on my page. Cool if more than him and me (and one more so far) joined in. I think my observations in the transcript is valid information, but yes maybe they should go into a trivia below the transcript. And great with the already changed transcript by the user who took it into his own hand. --Kynde (talk) 14:16, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
However, the deleted "data" shows how much the points change, and that could be interesting. So I have added it again in a collapsed section, only shown for those with interest. --Kynde (talk) 19:36, 18 February 2017 (UTC)
You've edited the transscript again to add irrelevant details? For the joke it is completely irrelevant if the box bulges at the bottom or the top; it is equally irrelevant that Randall has drawn the motion of pumping with shaded versions of Cueball in the 4th tile (That's what the transscript is for: describing _what_ happens, not _how_ it is displayed). (This goes for all these additions, but I won't bother with listing them all). 00:41, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
I took the liberty of trimming the main transcript. The extra details can still be found in the collapsible section, so I think both types of description are covered. Asdf (talk) 04:10, 19 February 2017 (UTC)

Its not mentioned in the explanation (and i dont feel confident enough to add it), but these plots are occasionally referred to by statistical types as "dynamite plots" (as some statistical folk dont like them), which is what i believe the title text may be a reference to. --Takigama (talk) 02:08, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

Box plots also resemble candle stick plots that are widely used in stock trading charts. It could be a reference to inflated stock prices172.68.62.22 05:57, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

If so Cueball did a pretty bad job. The open, close, and low are all at the same value and the high is lower. I think you’re reaching a bit too far with that. --
probably but i can't help seeing something like this CandleVolume [ChartSchool] - StockCharts.com . Once you see it, you can't help seeing it every time. Until your body finishes metabolizing the mushrooms. 00:27, 18 February 2017 (UTC) 06:14, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

I just had an funny thought: What if this comic is Randall's response to the recent "trend" of trying to see a connection to Trumps's election to his comics? (@Kynde: That comment is not meant to be that serious ;) ) Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 14:13, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

Yes for sure it is about Trump... :-) I don't see anything Trump like here though, and it has "only" been five comics (out of about 40) I think is related to these issues since the election. But Im sure it is statistically valid, and I will make a box plot for you soooooooon, which you can blow up :p --Kynde (talk) 14:22, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

Pretty sure there is an Indiana Jones comic about data and artifacts we should maybe include that.XFez (talk) 14:59, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

This feels like one of the most detailed explanations on explainxkcd I've seen for a normal-size comic. 15:33, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

Anyone else notice the new What-If article that went up a few days ago? 03:47, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

No I did not thanks for alerting us: The what if? Coast-to-Coast Coasting came out February 8th, at the same time as 1796. This time there seems to be no connection with it and the comics released. Only 10 days after the previous instead of 15 weeks. Maybe Randall will begin writing them more regularly again, one could hope. It has been a week today, but no new article is up yet. So maybe not down to weekly releases yet... --Kynde (talk) 14:22, 15 February 2017 (UTC)