957: Development

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search
Funding was quickly restored to the NHC and the APA was taken back off hurricane forecast duty.
Title text: Funding was quickly restored to the NHC and the APA was taken back off hurricane forecast duty.


Cueball is a news anchor reporting on a hurricane.

NHC is the National Hurricane Center and the APA is the American Psychological Association.

The reference to Piaget Stage 5 in the comic is a reference to Piaget's Stages of Development in which stage 5 is where (to quote Wikipedia and Gruber, H.E.; Voneche, J.J.. eds. The essential Piaget.)

"'Infants become intrigued by the many properties of objects and by the many things they can make happen to objects; they experiment with new behavior.' This stage is associated primarily with the discovery of new means to meet goals. Piaget describes the child at this juncture as the 'young scientist,' conducting pseudo-experiments to discover new methods of meeting challenges."

This is exactly what the comic is describing in sustained interest in objects and their properties and the handy "?"s around the picture behind the newscaster in this comic.

With that out of the way, this comic is a pun on the use of the word "development" to classify hurricanes which also uses categories from 1 to 5 as defined by the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale (Piaget's Stages go from 1-6). The comic is making a joke that if the APA were on hurricane forecast duty instead of the NHC, that the hurricanes would be classified with Piaget's stages instead of categories.


[Cueball is a news anchor at desk reporting. Behind him to the left is a black screen showing a white icon of a hurricane moving over the black ocean towards a thin sliver of white land in the top left corner. There are three white question-marks around the hurricane.]
Cueball: Fear turned to confusion today as Hurricane Rina developed to Piaget stage 5, with sustained interests in objects and their properties.
Hurricane: ? ? ?

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


Awwww, it's a baaaaby! A psychotic baby that's wrecking New Orleans! Davidy²²[talk] 08:40, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

Eh, it's New Orleans. Wouldn't be the first time a giant baby wrecked the city, won't be the last. -Pennpenn 02:58, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

Pun? I used Google News BEFORE it was clickbait (talk) 10:46, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

While the explanation *works*, starting with 'first some definitions' is a sure sign that it isn't written particularly *well*. It should probably be rewritten for more logical xkcdplaining. Hppavilion1 (talk) 06:28, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

Piaget has only 4 stages, though. This refers to the 5th substage of the first stage. 00:22, 22 April 2022 (UTC)