382: Trebuchet

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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It was also fun when those teenagers tried to egg our house and it insta-cooked the eggs in mid-air.
Title text: It was also fun when those teenagers tried to egg our house and it insta-cooked the eggs in mid-air.


Straightforward comic playing on Megan's contradictory stance on Cueball's historical trebuchet project and her own auto-targeting kilowatt laser.

She explains her stance with the fact that her invention helps keep the squirrels off the feeder. That it actually works is backed up by the fact that we hear a squirrel squeaking as it gets zapped by the very powerful laser. But getting hold of such a laser and programming the auto-targeting so it only zaps squirrels and not the birds is a very complicated process - and there are probably many other ways to keep the squirrels off the feeder. So Megan is of course no better than Cueball here.

The title text refers to egging, throwing eggs at houses, other objects, or even people. While this is illegal it's still a famous form of protest; more often it's simple random vandalism or pranking, most common on Halloween in the US. Generally targets are chosen at random, with little specific malicious intent towards the victim, although it's not unusual for people to seek out and target the property of those who they dislike.

Trebuchets are referred to in later comics: 1160: Drop Those Pounds and 1190: Time. They are also mentioned in the title text of 1378: Turbine.


[Cueball is working on something on a table, and Megan is sitting at a computer.]
Cueball: The trebuchet is almost done!
Megan: Mm.
Cueball: The range should be over 150 meters.
Megan: Look - I'm sure it's a cool project.
[Picture of a trebuchet.]
Megan: But eventually you'll need to outgrow these toys, and focus your energy on something practical. This mad science is getting out of hand.
Cueball: Says the girl who mounted an auto-targeting kilowatt laser on the roof.
Megan: That's practical! It keeps the squirrels off the feeder!
[From off-frame.]

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It should probably be noted that a 1 kW laser is ludicrously powerful, as in, enough to vaporise stone in a localised area for etching 04:31, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZT Nafedalbi (talk) 19:04, 15 April 2022 (UTC)Nafedalbi