2349: Rabbit Introduction

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Rabbit Introduction
Washington state is seeing great success with reintroducing the Columbia River Basin subpopulation. We cannot allow them to further widen the interstate bun gap.
Title text: Washington state is seeing great success with reintroducing the Columbia River Basin subpopulation. We cannot allow them to further widen the interstate bun gap.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a RABBIT RESEARCH GRANT COMMITTEE. More needed on the title text. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.
Cueball is giving a presentation on the pygmy rabbit to a group of panelists whom Cueball tries to convince to give a grant so they can be introduced into the east (as the eastern part of the US). The head of the panel, Blondie, asks if they are native there, since he did not say re-introduce the rabbits. But they are not... Then she asks if they might help control some invasive pest. But that is not something Cueball knows anything about.

So she then asks why he wish this grant. Cueball cannot understand why they have any second thoughts about this, now that he has shown how small and cute they are.

Once Blondie has this confirmation, that Cueball only wants to introduce the species to a new area for because he finds it adorable, Blondie moves to deny his grant requests (probably recalling another episode of history where the reintroduction of rabbits was a VERY BAD IDEA). However, at this point, the other three panelists White Hat, Megan and Hairy have been swayed by this unconventional argument. Megan even has to pull he hair with both hands, as she finds their small feet so adorable, and Hairy instantly moves to vote for funding Cueball's rabbit introduction.

Thematically, this comic continues the argument from 1682: Bun that the tinier a rabbit is, the greater its esteem.

See this article: After Nearly Going Extinct, Washington’s Pygmy Rabbits Need Room to Grow. They are native to Washington, but were nearly extinct.

The title text mentions the effort to reintroduce the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit back into their native area of Columbia River drainage basin. And makes a pun on bun.


[Cueball is standing in front of a screen and pointing at it with a stick. On the screen is a rabbit shown next to a smartphone, some keys on a key-chain, and two coins The phone is lager than the rabbit.]
Cueball: The US's smallest rabbit species is the Pygmy Rabbit from Great Basin area.
Cueball: We're seeking a grant to introduce them into the east.
[Blondie, White Hat, Megan and Hairy sits behind a long table. Blondie leans both her arms on the table. Hairy has one arm on the table. The other two have their arms down. Cueball replies to Blondie's question from off-panel.]
Blondie: Are they native here?
Cueball (off-panel): No.
Blondie: Will they control some invasive pest?
Cueball (off-panel): Dunno!
Blondie: Then...Why would you do this?
[In a frame-less panel Cueball is seen in front of the screen, which is seen from the side. He points to something on the screen with the pointer, while looking over his shoulder.]
Cueball: I don't understand.
Cueball: Did you see how small they are?
Cueball: They're so round!
Cueball: Those tiny ears.
[Back to the four people behind the desk. Blondie and White Hat in the same positions but Megan has both her hands up into her hair, and Hairy has one arm on the table, and the other is held up high with a finger pointing up.]
Blondie: I see. I'm afraid we'll by denying your grant.
White Hat: Hang on. He is right about their ears...
Megan: The little feet!
Hairy: I vote we fund them!

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Comic posted shortly after this made national news in the USA: https://www.newsweek.com/why-hundreds-millions-genetically-engineered-mosquitoes-will-soon-released-florida-1526375 05:06, 21 August 2020 (UTC)

This comic was posted incredibly early compared to the other recent comics 07:22, 21 August 2020 (UTC)

Yeah wtf it's so early 07:50, 21 August 2020 (UTC)

There's a twitter thread at @xkcd, one word every few days, from 2020-05-15 until 2020-06-01, reading "How's it going I saw a small bun (picture)", continuing the sentence until 2020-06-25, "and an airplane crossing the moon (picture)" Chrullrich (talk) 07:53, 21 August 2020 (UTC)

I recognise that 'bun-gap' looks like a pun, but what's it punning about? 10:14, 21 August 2020 (UTC)

I don't think it's really a pun, just an instance of the general X-gap pattern, meaning a significant difference in the amount or rate of X between two entities (e.g. the "wealth gap" between countries). Barmar (talk) 17:47, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
Bun-gap having nothing to do with thigh-gap in this case.
ProphetZarquon (talk) 21:04, 21 August 2020 (UTC)

Could the "bun gap" be a reference to the "basselope gap"? https://img.fireden.net/co/image/1481/09/1481091884617.png mwburden (talk) 22:44, 12 October 2020 (UTC)

Former POTUS Jimmy Carter is unapologetically completely oppposed to the spread of any species of bunny. Cellocgw (talk) 12:33, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
For those that don't remember the 1970's: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Carter_rabbit_incident mwburden (talk) 22:44, 12 October 2020 (UTC)

The explanation should probably distinguish between the pygmy rabbit which is not at all endangered and the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit which is an isolated population that the US government (but not the IUCN) treats as endangered independently from the species as a whole. Shamino (talk) 12:57, 21 August 2020 (UTC)

So would it be impossible to introduce an isolated population into another location and have it count as the same population? Which would make this proposal impossible in addition to silly... I feel like that increases the humor, although I'm not sure if there's any specific term for why 14:12, 24 August 2020 (UTC)

Captain Video, if you can cull speculation here, then shouldn't you be culling a lot of speculation in 1417? 22:53, 23 August 2020 (UTC)

Note how carefully (brilliantly) Randall uses objective wording in panel #3, consistent with a scientific discussion or proposal, when the meaning is clearly "but it's so CUTE!". 15:10, 25 August 2020 (UTC)

Category:Buns sent me down the bun hole. Promethean (talk) 00:42, 26 August 2020 (UTC)