Talk:1603: Flashlights

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 09:15, 16 November 2015 by (talk)
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Is that it? I swear there must be more to the joke than this explanation implies. It just describes what's going on in the comic. Enchantedsleeper (talk) 10:29, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

-- Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Pete (talk) 11:19, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

but sometimes there is no spoon 06:03, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
Ceci n'est pas une pipe. Sobsz (talk) 08:27, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

I think that the joke is about subcultures and enthusiasts in general. Much like there are communities dedicated to getting the best performance out of PCs and motor vehicles (to name two examples), this comic imagines a hardcore community of torch users dedicated to “overclocking” torches to operate at extreme levels far beyond their manufactured intent. Regardless of whether or not there is such a subculture, the humour is in the possibility that a common household object could attract such a fervent modding community. Compare 1095: Crazy Straws. 09:15, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

"A typo", uh? Sure, sure, of course it was only a typo, Randall ;) 10:38, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

I also think the type was that he searched on flashlight instead and found the flashlight enthusiast page from that ;-) --Kynde (talk) 14:58, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

I think it's unfair to assume lack of detail in the explanation, the fact that research was obviously done on the meaning of fleshlight an it's association to the comic, is more than I would have original got from the comic by itself. However if you perceive additional meaning please share, the thing I love about 'This' website is for the ability for others to add their interpretations. --Igwarrender (talk) 10:52, 13 November 2015 (UTC)


When Cueball refers to classic Flashlights(torches) as dim and finnicky, this gives reason to assume that the flashlight he is holding is going to be ridiculously overengineered.

I disagree. In the generation of Randall (and me), the flashlights most of us had as kids really did suck and were dim and finnicky. That's not an exaggeration which, as is implied in the explanation, is used to prepare the joke. It's more of an explanation on why he is interested in modern flashlights in the first place. -- 10:58, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

AND they almost always had at least half flat batteries. 11:41, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
Exactly. I never tried xenon, but the difference between old lightbulb based flashlights and modern LED-based ones, even with the same battery, is obvious. -- Hkmaly (talk) 15:40, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

Nope...nothing to do with fleshlights. There are in fact multiple flashlight enthusiast forums that have nothing to to with sex toys. Use your favorites search engine to search "flashlight enthusiasts: 10:50, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

It's funny how "the explanation" has a need to point out that there were no prior knowledge about fleshlights. (according to Wikipedia) 12:44, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

I never leave for work without my trusty Lumapower EDC-LM31 with its Cree XML(U2) LED and its 3.7 volt size 14500 Lithium Ion cell. But I'm not a flashlight geek! Besides, 420 lumens is no where near enough power to set trees on fire. (Personally, I think this comic is an example of Rule 34. Randall was originally thinking about Fleshlights, typo'd into flashlights, and discovered a sort of geeky torch porn sort of thing out there. Also, the flashlight I describe is real, but has nothing on the stuff you'll see in Candlepower Forums.) Co149 (talk) 12:52, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

The 100,000 lumen lamps (X-LED MRK72 or is that MKR72?) have to be water-cooled! That's plenty hot enough for me. 14:07, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
There are videos of flashlights that set things on fire, without lensens etc. One of them is this video of an Magic Scorpion flashlight, a halogen variant. But I've also seen video's of (custom-built) LED flashlight that set things to smolder. 14:56, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
It's not lumen that sets things on fire, it's lux. All you need is a good focus. -- 17:11, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
Also note this flashlight, which is just a bunch of ultra-bright LEDs crammed into a case that resembles an oversized flashlight and on full power drains its battery in about 15 minutes...and lights up a city street like it's day. --NXTangl 21:33, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

It feels to me that "their highest-end models are ALSO capable of setting trees on fire." is some advertisement where the tree is a metaphore for one's organ. as such it is clear that "They're impossible to use without severe burns". which makes it really twisted that "some [people] swear it's worth it" (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I think the burning trees joke comes from this ["...even fry and egg"] thing. --Arturo Jain (talk) 14:26, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Should the explanation contain something about the prevalence of internet forums dedicated to enthusiasts of various activities or hobbies? Smperron (talk) 17:33, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Currently no (albeit indirect) link to or others like 119? Ok, so only going to be an incidental link, but... 17:37, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

it is missimg reference to another comic where randall makes a joke about flashlight and fleshlight. The comic had a star wars setting with death vader and luke skywalker. --anonymous 15:08, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

"Let's" appears to be missing an apostrophe. 20:23, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

Now, see, this is why we Brits call them 'torches'. Less risky with finger trouble. (Hint - don't google 'finger trouble') Jdluk (talk) 21:52, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

could it be referencing ? 17:54, 13 November 2015 (UTC)an internet flashlight enthusiast

Why are there personal opinions like "maybe they're trying to trick you!" in the main body? Weird. 02:26, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

It is not personal. If someone tries to tell you that something is worth trying in spite of promissing you will get a severe burn, it could be to see if they could fool you into doing so. Some people are like that... Either that or they are pretty crazy with their fetishes. But some people are also like that. hence both explanations are OK. -- Kynde (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

"Of course, a flashlight that cannot safely be pointed at things is fairly useless for the traditional purpose of a flashlight". Really now? A flashlight that set targets on fire is pretty useful - you only need to flash something once, and it'll stay illuminated without having to keep the flashlight on! 05:26, 14 November 2015 (UTC) (talk) 12:34, 5 June 2012 (UTC) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Just gonna leave this here 11:31, 14 November 2015 (UTC)


I'm missing too much information and don't really know how to do this myself anyway; Perhaps someone would be willing to do some calculations on how much force Cueball would experience pushing him back due to the momentum of the light being emitted from his flashlight. Relevant factors off the top of my head:
1 - The diameter of the beam at the point of contact with the trees has to be wide enough to encompass multiple trees. The trees do not completely fill the area due to overall shape and gaps between leaves.
2 - The trees are on fire within a few seconds of turning on the flashlight.
3 - The leaves would obviously ignite first. How much energy do they have to absorb to combust?
4 - The trees are still alive and, therefore, wet. In addition to the ignition energy, the beam also has to dry out the leaves first. (right?)
5 - The flashlight is a bright white color and is emitting light across the entire visible spectrum and, maybe, a significant amount to either side of the visible spectrum as well (assuming the light is produced by a heated filament. Less so with an excited gas or white LEDs) What does the absorption spectrum of a leaf look like? The lower the percentage of light absorbed by the leaf, the stronger the flashlight has to be to dump enough energy into it. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)