Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Original blog post on Building a Smarter Planet:


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Two special A Smarter Planet comics were created by Randal after a special request from IBM's blog A Smarter Planet. They are not part of the regular numbered series of comics for xkcd's home site.

It was once said that America's forests were so dense and continuous that "a squirrel could go from the Atlantic to the Mississippi without touching the ground." As this is no longer true, anyone mentioning this today would use the phrase to highlight the fact that deforestation is such a problem that this once common aphorism is anachronistic. Cueball, however, interprets this literally to mean that squirrel's not being able to travel without touching the ground is a problem - rather than the more general problem the aphorism was meant to illustrate. As a result of his misinterpretation, he invents the Aerial Squirrel Transit Pod, which technically solves the problem of squirrel transportation, but does nothing to solve the problem of deforestation. This is yet another instance of people announcing odd things at conferences, a recurring theme in xkcd.


[Trees, with a squirrel flying in-between.]
They say that 400 years ago a squirrel could go from the Atlantic to the Mississippi without touching the ground.
[Cueball speaking to an audience, under a banner labeled "Conservation Society".]
Cueball: I dream of bringing back those days.
Cueball [pointing to a diagram of a helicopter-like device carrying a squirrel]: Which is why I've developed the aerial squirrel transit pod.
Audience member [Offscreen]: Okay, back up.

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I separated A Smarter Planet into two pages. One for each comic in the series.--17jiangz1 (talk) 12:54, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

Is there a reason for that link in the transcript? -- 15:03, 10 December 2015 (UTC)