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It's turtles all the way down
September 3, 2014 9:30 AM   Subscribe


 
Well, not ALL the way down.
posted by Obscure Reference at 9:32 AM on September 3


I confess to being irritated every time something which is white at one level of zoom, at the next level of zoom turns out to have substantial black/empty "pixels".

I demand pixel fidelity!
posted by aramaic at 9:35 AM on September 3 [9 favorites]


It's not white. It's very light gray.
posted by Etrigan at 9:36 AM on September 3 [2 favorites]


No! Insufficient! Unsocial!

That white block faded out to be composed of four black spaces!

Unsocial! Insufficient! Non-communitarian!
posted by aramaic at 9:38 AM on September 3 [2 favorites]


I came here to say just what aramaic said, and to point out that the only way to ensure pixel fidelity would be to have asymptotically decreasing contrast levels as you zoom in.

Some might say that this complaint makes us bad fans of xkcd, but I think it makes us perfect fans of xkcd.
posted by roystgnr at 9:38 AM on September 3 [31 favorites]


i really like this! This is a self-advertisement, but its advertising what is essentially itself so effectively in terms of its very self that the self that is advertized to could never object unless they didn't enjoy it anyway in which case they aren't really the target of this type of humor in the first place, are they?

Question tho, I had a difficult time getting things to scroll. Is there a more traditional means of reading the embedded comics?
posted by rebent at 9:40 AM on September 3


I enjoyed this! I keep trying to explain that while most people are made of cells or whatever at a molecular level I am actually constituted entirely out of kitties and puppies so I feel a kinship with this comic and how it is different than expected when you look really closely.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:44 AM on September 3


xkcd blue!
posted by chavenet at 9:44 AM on September 3 [2 favorites]


I wanted more turtles.
posted by shothotbot at 9:50 AM on September 3 [10 favorites]


Question tho, I had a difficult time getting things to scroll. Is there a more traditional means of reading the embedded comics?

Page Up and Page Down works much better than my scroll wheel. Also up and down arrow keys. On win 7 and Firefox.
posted by jjj606 at 9:50 AM on September 3


Wow, how did he draw those pictures so small?!?!?!
posted by blue_beetle at 9:53 AM on September 3 [6 favorites]


I felt it could have used more struts.
posted by Mister_A at 9:55 AM on September 3


Music to accompany your viewing pleasure:

Sturgill Simpson's Turtles All the Way Down
posted by priested at 9:58 AM on September 3 [3 favorites]


Wow, how did he draw those pictures so small?!?!?!

The real question is how did he draw them so big.
posted by Etrigan at 10:01 AM on September 3 [2 favorites]


To be fair, what else would you expect to come out of a "fire hydrant"?
posted by graymouser at 10:03 AM on September 3 [1 favorite]




There's even a Rolling Stone article about him! What kind of world are we living in these days?
posted by kimota at 10:19 AM on September 3 [2 favorites]


To be fair, what else would you expect to come out of a "fire hydrant"?

A common source of confusion, to be sure.
posted by teraflop at 10:19 AM on September 3 [6 favorites]


This would have been more impressive if it hadn't choked my computer everytime a new layer of pixels spawned.
posted by maryr at 10:20 AM on September 3 [3 favorites]


He who zoomed.
posted by Naberius at 10:30 AM on September 3 [1 favorite]


"Enhance!"
posted by schmod at 10:31 AM on September 3 [3 favorites]


I'd say we live in the kind of world where Randall Munroe or his publisher has hired a public relations firm.
posted by Yowser at 10:34 AM on September 3 [6 favorites]


Doesn't work at all on iPad + Chrome.
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:47 AM on September 3 [1 favorite]


I had to stop when the chrome tab memory usage grew to over 3GB and my entire computer ground to a halt while it swapped to disk...
posted by inparticularity at 10:49 AM on September 3


After a while I stopped trying to figure out which of my privacy and security plugins were preventing it from working and just used Safari. Which is the only reason I ever use Safari.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:57 AM on September 3


That's not a cartoon. That's a DoS attack in graphical form.
posted by Devonian at 11:00 AM on September 3 [2 favorites]


> I had a difficult time getting things to scroll. Is there a more traditional means of reading the embedded comics?

Click and drag.
posted by ardgedee at 11:00 AM on September 3


Man, I can't get it to show in IE or Firefox. The previous comment (Spiderman) works fine, but this one just very briefly appears, then blank. I've tried turning off everything I could think of.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:05 AM on September 3


It's turtles a reminder that his book is on sale today all the way down

xkcd blue, indeed.

Man, I can't get it to show in IE or Firefox. The previous comment (Spiderman) works fine, but this one just very briefly appears, then blank. I've tried turning off everything I could think of.

You're not missing much, beyond a cute proof of concept: endless "layers" of detail, by way of a zooming mechanism that loops when you get down to a certain level.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:08 AM on September 3 [2 favorites]


That's no turtle, that's a (memory) hog.
posted by arcticseal at 11:11 AM on September 3


The Tarquin Engine.
(Previously)
posted by 0rison at 11:39 AM on September 3 [1 favorite]


Is there something besides just looping tiles? I'm not seeing anything besides the same stars or "Book Launch" over and over.
posted by anazgnos at 11:54 AM on September 3


filthy light thief? more like filthy buzzkill amirite.

jk jk
posted by mysticreferee at 11:56 AM on September 3


Huh, that Rolling Stone interview is awesome, thanks for posting the link, kimota.

This quote makes me want to post an AskMe about how best to prep for one of these things, particularly with everyone wanting me to move my stuff to the cloud:

"A big solar flare knocking out all our communications equipment is high on the list of things that are more probable than most people think. I give it a one in three chance that we'll have a huge global catastrophe from a solar flare."
posted by longdaysjourney at 11:56 AM on September 3 [1 favorite]


It's a reminder that his book is on sale today all the way down

Meanwhile, MeFi's Own jscalzi sits in a hotel room between bookstore signings wishing he'd thought of THAT for his latest book launch. (Easier than 21 cities in 25 days)
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:13 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


The Tarquin Engine.

Keen, thanks!

filthy light thief? more like filthy buzzkill amirite.

I'm not knocking your post, I was just sad that Randal spent any effort on this, just to embed endless Book Launch globe images. It kind of feels like trolling. "Maybe if I zoom into the right Book Launch globe, I'll see something new! Nope, just more Book Launch globes. Ooh, maybe this one? Nope, wrong again."

Maybe there's nowhere to go after drawing a slowly updating animation of more than 3,000 individual panels, but I'm sure he could do something else. Maybe it's time to find a new hobby.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:14 PM on September 3


I admire the idea quite a bit, but I am really worried there's no punchline and my scrolling is one of the earth's most precious resources.
posted by SharkParty at 12:21 PM on September 3


Maybe there's nowhere to go after drawing a slowly updating animation of more than 3,000 individual panels, but I'm sure he could do something else. Maybe it's time to find a new hobby.

This is not his hobby, it's his job, and it sounds like it's a pretty good job. This guy who used to build robots at NASA who now makes (what I assume) is a pretty good living drawing stick figure comics just released a book, is in Rolling Stone and on Colbert. I think we can allow him this day to say "Yay, me!" and promote himself through his comic. He does not need a new hobby. Perhaps you do.
posted by bondcliff at 12:31 PM on September 3 [8 favorites]


I pre-ordered the book as a birthday gift and Amazon delivered yesterday to the lucky recipient. Now I feel like I should get a copy for myself too... Sigh.

As an side, scrolling works fine for me with Firefox on OS X; space bar, arrow keys, and PgUp/PgDn work too.
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:41 PM on September 3


This also seems a most appropriate time and place to announce that, in recognition of distinguished service to the people and to the crown, we elevate Languagehat to the nobility and do therefore formally introduce him to the House of Nobility and, herewith and by letters of patent, install him to the Barony of 5-Cent Huguenot Walloon Tercentenary from this day forward with all rights and privileges of his station, including the perpetual inheritability of this title and estates.

He is henceforth entitled to style himself as Languagehat, (The Rt. Hon.) The Lord 5-Cent Huguenot Walloon Tercentenary, and to be addressed as Lord Huguenot Walloon Tercentenary in informal situations.

Let this be proclaimed throughout the land and known to be our will.

- - King Janis Joplin Forever I, by the Grace of God, of the United States and his other Realms and Territories, Protector of the Weak, Postal King of Arms, Fons Honorum, Fidei Defensor.
posted by Naberius at 12:54 PM on September 3 [4 favorites]


Is there something besides just looping tiles? I'm not seeing anything besides the same stars or "Book Launch" over and over.


I saw: sun, moon, "stars" (the default black w/ dots), earth (book soon), saturn (in half-relief), the word "mu", and a small turtle.

zoom to different pictures and different areas of pictures. I probably missed others, just gave up.
posted by k5.user at 1:01 PM on September 3


Perhaps you do.

* eye roll *
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 1:04 PM on September 3


I eventually got a bunch of comic panels that didn't seem to be related.
posted by charred husk at 1:19 PM on September 3


Wait, if you keep scrolling on the same comic "series" it progresses the comic after each iteration.
posted by charred husk at 1:21 PM on September 3


Comic works fine in Chromium on Debian Wheezy for this decade-old laptop. It is a memory hog though. Maybe this bit in the comic:
~S du -hs video/
A lot.
should read instead:
~$ ps -o %mem -C chrome
A lot.

posted by [expletive deleted] at 1:44 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


at a molecular level I am actually constituted entirely out of kitties and puppies

At a molecular level you are truly constituted as much of kitties and puppies as they themselves are.
posted by hat_eater at 2:15 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


This gallery shows many of the images in sequence.
posted by isthmus at 2:16 PM on September 3 [3 favorites]


Hey, it reminded me the book was finally available to buy, so it served its purpose.
posted by tavella at 2:24 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


I think from the quality of this strip why his contract wasn't renewed as a programmer at NASA. He should stick to the funny.
posted by Yowser at 2:41 PM on September 3


MU
posted by psoas at 3:09 PM on September 3


TurtlesDown.prototype.render = function() {
// there is no elegance here. only sleep deprivation and regret.


I have that disclaimer set up as a keyboard shortcut.
posted by ImsoAeriginal at 3:48 PM on September 3 [3 favorites]


I think from the quality of this strip why his contract wasn't renewed as a programmer at NASA.

I think that's a bit harsh.
posted by citizenoftheworld at 3:48 PM on September 3


"Be sure to drink your Ovaltine"? Son of a bitch!
posted by infinitelives at 3:49 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]


// there is no elegance here. only sleep deprivation and regret.

ImsoAeriginal, you beat me to posting that.

Whoever wrote that code (http://chromakode.com), you are a Real Programmer. We who are about to pull a coding all-nighter salute you!
posted by Zimboe Metamonkey at 4:29 PM on September 3


Is this something you need an actual good computer to work? Cause I don't have one of those.
posted by zardoz at 4:58 PM on September 3


>> I think from the quality of this strip why his contract wasn't renewed as a programmer at NASA.

> I think that's a bit harsh.

Maybe NASA somehow knew that not renewing his contract would cause him to one day draw a strip of this quality?

Difficult to say if that's harsh or not. Time-travelling etiquette is tricky.
posted by nickzoic at 5:00 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


This gallery shows many of the images in sequence.

Explainxkcd also has an image of the directed graph that connects them (I had to click through to the full sized image to see the graph).
posted by Gary at 5:12 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


> just released a book, is in Rolling Stone and on Colbert

... and just won a Hugo.
posted by one weird trick at 5:42 PM on September 3


Seeing that he'd included a shoutout to the HOLISM/REDUCTIONISM gag from GEB:EGB made me unreasonably happy.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:13 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


That was cool.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:31 PM on September 3


I'm not knocking your post, I was just sad that Randal spent any effort on this, just to embed endless Book Launch globe images. It kind of feels like trolling. "Maybe if I zoom into the right Book Launch globe, I'll see something new! Nope, just more Book Launch globes. Ooh, maybe this one? Nope, wrong again."


Uhhh those disappeared after two levels for me. If you zoom in on the blank and white spaces you start to see other images and storylines.
posted by edbles at 7:06 AM on September 4


This thread is excellent for sorting between those who like Randall Munroe's work, and those who are wrong.

Also, HIS BOOK WAS WAITING FOR ME WHEN I CAME HOME TONIGHT!
posted by IAmBroom at 8:14 PM on September 4


teraflop: "To be fair, what else would you expect to come out of a "fire hydrant"?

A common source of confusion, to be sure.
"

Oh man, you've just found me my new Favourite Thing. I must learn more of the adventures of this wonderful sphynxy griffiny lady. That is just fantastic. Thanks!
posted by Philby at 2:32 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


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