Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 22:44, 11 November 2021 by (talk) (Explanation: remove, not an actual topic)
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Tomorrow's sessions will be entirely devoted to sewing machine rotary hooks.
Title text: Tomorrow's sessions will be entirely devoted to sewing machine rotary hooks.


Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by an EXCESSIVELY LONG ACRONYM THAT SEEMS LIKE IT SHOULD WORK BUT DOESN'T. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.
Cueball is standing at a lectern on a podium, addressing a large crowd. He is describing the program of some event, listing the different topics that will be covered. These appear to be random, but the caption gives the punchline: it is a conference on things that seem like they shouldn't work but do.

By "things that seem like they shouldn't work", it means things that you wouldn't expect to be able to function at all. TTSLTSWBD in the title and the banner is the abbreviation for "Things That Seem Like They Shouldn't Work, But Do".

Organ transplantation, where a functioning organ is pulled from a (possibly deceased) person and put into another person where it will continue to operate, is not a simple process, and a lot of things could go wrong and make it not work. Nevertheless, humanity’s medical knowledge is advanced enough that organ transplantation is a widely accepted and largely effective life-saving procedure.

Airships, or dirigibles, are big,[citation needed] and look pretty heavy [1], but are able to be held aloft by the lighter than air gas inside.

Gyroscopes, where a spinning disk will tend to keep its orientation in space despite the movement of the structure around it, can be counterintuitive even to those who understand the physical principles. This weirdness has been previously referenced in 332: Gyroscopes.

Butterflies fly with an unusual fluttering behaviour, which works in part due to the notoriously complex principles of fluid dynamics that may look like uncontrolled fluttering but yet somehow allows the creature to land directly on specific flowerheads to feed. This is not as intuitively understandable as the flight of larger creatures such as birds.

The title text refers to rotary hooks on sewing machines, which are a complicated (and complicated looking) mechanism whose purpose is to feed one thread in a loop around a whole spool of another thread, to the extent that the conference feels they need a whole day to cover them.


Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
[Cueball stands at a lectern gesturing with one hand held out, speaking to an audience. A banner hangs on the wall with the acronym "TTSLTSWBD" displayed in large text, with illegible smaller text under it.]
Cueball: Next we have a session on organ transplants and another on airships.
Cueball: Then lunch, then we'll have one on gyroscopes and one on butterflies.
[Caption below panel:]
The first annual conference on Things That Seem Like They Shouldn't Work But Do

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XKCD 332 should be referenced here. Gyroscopes are not only directly referenced but also the similar observation that they should not work. I am being careful not to edit this page at the moment since it's probably very active. 04:46, 11 November 2021 (UTC)

Done! :D Esogalt (talk) 06:10, 11 November 2021 (UTC)

"FIRST ANNUAL"?? How does one know that it will be an annual event until the second one takes place??? <PET PEEVE> 10:14, 11 November 2021 (UTC)

Planning is a thing? Esogalt (talk) 10:33, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
It immediately followed the long-running 363-day conference on Things That Seem Like They Should Work But Don’t, so naturally there’ll be another one every year. They didn’t even have to change the banner. 10:47, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
There may never be a second, especially in Randallworld. As a roundworld example, this very year we had the "31st First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony". ;) 12:35, 11 November 2021 (UTC) I once was in a "First Annual Iron Man" competition that wasn't held the following year, so . . . . 13:50, 11 November 2021 (UTC)

Uh...I legit want to go to this conference. 13:58, 11 November 2021 (UTC)

It's actually entirely possible to plan conferences yourself, so maybe if you know some place where it could be held you could organize it? shitpoocrapfeces 15:11, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
Hey, that's a good idea, thanks shitpoo...crap...maybe I shouldn't take unsolicited advice from strangers on the internet... 15:38, 11 November 2021 (UTC)

I don't think that lunch is listed as if it were a topic. It's normal to say that lunch takes place between sessions. The session topics are described as "on <something>", but lunch isn't. And why isn't there a [citation needed] after saying that many humans eat lunch? That's clearly more sarcastically appropriate than the ones about airships being big and heavy. Barmar (talk) 15:33, 11 November 2021 (UTC)

Agreed, I wasn't sure whether to be annoyed or amused at that entry. I was... "anused" (presumably pronounced "ann-YOOZED"). --mezimm 15:17, 12 November 2021 (UTC)

I feel like the conference itself seems like it should not work, but apparently the conference did work. 19:51, 11 November 2021 (UTC)

Bumblebees! 20:39, 11 November 2021 (UTC)

Due to the n’t shortening, the banner looks like it could mean “Things That Seem Like They Should Work But Don’t”{unsigned)

I would dispute lunch being there for the displacement of dinner. In some parts, dinner is still firmly in the middle of the day, if it is eaten at all. The evening meal is teatime and may be more or less important ("high tea" might happen, if ritualisticly social, but that's leaning firmly towards finger-food) depending on what/if dinner was eaten. 'Lunch' is merely a foreignish term for a dinnertime-'lite' (or more informal, like desk-eating or al-fresco sarnis in a manner that isn't a full-on picnic, where a full dinner is not eaten and tea (or a more formal "evening meal") is the major meal), with 'elevenses' being any mid-morning break (ideally within wishful range of 11AM, but can be early!) with at least a choice of biscuits accompanying some work-appropriate drink (maybe less filling than the fabled "brunch", but that's not necessary if you have a good fortifying breakfast first thing) sometimes termed a "mid-morning/pre-dinner lunch" in gatherings where there's also to be a cooked buffet at or soon after midday. If you want to (but apparently it's not good for overnight blood-sugar or sleep-patterns) there's also "Supper" to be partaken of before bed. Liquid-lunch (or liquid-supper) is a drinks only repaste, of an alcoholic variety, often in pints and/or short-measures, and very rarely does this apply to other suffixed versions (rather, it could just be continual between the two, but not considered healthy). Of course, I don't speak for everyone, especially hobbits, but there can be much cultural confusion so I'd normally suggest not trying to tie mealtimes down too much. (In dialects of English. The German Abendessen and Mittagessen, etc, seem obvious enough!) 16:36, 12 November 2021 (UTC)

Other Possible Conference Topics

Vinyl records, anyone? 23:25, 14 May 2022 (UTC)