Cidu Bill on Jan 23rd 2014


Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, Frazz, comic strips, comics, humor | 21 responses so far

21 Responses to “Entropy”

  1. billybob Jan 23rd 2014 at 01:33 am 1

    Mallett moves in mysterious ways.

  2. JerrytheMacGuy Jan 23rd 2014 at 02:44 am 2

    According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary:

    Definition of ENTROPY

    1: a measure of the unavailable energy in a closed thermodynamic system that is also usually considered to be a measure of the system’s disorder, that is a property of the system’s state, and that varies directly with any reversible change in heat in the system and inversely with the temperature of the system; broadly : the degree of disorder or uncertainty in a system

    a : the degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of inert uniformity
    b : a process of degradation or running down or a trend to disorder

    3: chaos, disorganization, randomness

    Yep, that’s it. Definition number 3 perfectly describes Jef Mallett’s approach to comic strip humor.

  3. Brent Jan 23rd 2014 at 03:52 am 3

    My guess: Frazz was initially thinking that the school board moving the break from spring to winter was a step backwards… a sign that things decline (entropy), because that makes less “sense”, because when the break was in spring, the weather would be nicer so kids could do more outside. Caulfield has taken it to blasphemy by parodying from the book of Job, with the Lord’s name replaced with Board.

  4. Kilby Jan 23rd 2014 at 04:52 am 4

    Kids aren’t often aware that it doesn’t matter how many vacation days there are, the school year still has the same number of school days in it. When I was in elementary school, our school district added Jewish holidays to the calendar, and all the kids thought this was a fantastic idea (especially us goyim, since we didn’t have to go to Temple, and could enjoy the free break unencumbered). What I didn’t know is that they simply stretched the school year into mid-June, instead of ending in early June. It wasn’t until high school that I learned that the state board of education mandated a minimum of 180 school days per year, and that the county scheduled 185 days, to avoid problems when schools had to be closed because of snow.

  5. Powers Jan 23rd 2014 at 08:14 am 5

    When I was in school, we got two weeks at Easter (though if we used too many snow days, it could be reduced to a week and two days). We also got Washington’s Birthday.

    Now, in my area, schools get one week at Easter and one week for Washington’s Birthday. Not sure why the change. Probably teachers thought kids forgot too much over a two-week break.

  6. Dan W Jan 23rd 2014 at 09:28 am 6

    When I was in school, we got a week in February and a week in April (not necessarily at Easter). They were referred to as “February break” and “spring break”. I have no clue what they do now.

  7. mitch4 Jan 23rd 2014 at 10:08 am 7

    The school system I work for/with used to include Good Friday as a holiday under that designation, usually adjacent to Spring Break the following week. Then they stopped that designation. But soon there was a day off called Teacher Appreciation Day, which one might notice happened to fall on Good Friday.

  8. John Small Berries Jan 23rd 2014 at 10:36 am 8

    Another interpretation of the comic is that, since the ultimate result of entropy will be the heat death of the universe, moving break from spring to winter, thus making it colder, seems more entropic.

  9. fj Jan 23rd 2014 at 11:23 am 9

    The second law of thermodynamics says that the total entropy in a system cannot decrease without increasing the entropy of another system. Similarly, the school days in one month cannot be decreased without increasing the school days in another month.

    It might would work better as a conservation of energy joke…

  10. Morris Keesan Jan 23rd 2014 at 11:28 am 10

    I have no idea what Mallett thinks Frazz thinks “entropy” means.
    But, joining the discussion about school breaks, my son gets exactly the same vacation weeks that I remember getting as a child in two different school systems: about a week at the end of December, one week in February, and one week in April. Called “December vacation”, “February vacation”, and “April vacation”. February vacation always includes the Washington’s Birthday holiday (called “Presidents’ Day” by some), and April vacation always includes Patriot’s Day. These holidays used to be February 22 and April 19, but each is now the 3rd Monday in the month.

  11. Judge Mental Jan 23rd 2014 at 01:13 pm 11

    When Morris Keesan thinks “I have no idea what Mallett thinks Frazz thinks ‘entropy’ means”, I think I agree with him.

    Secondly, it seems readily apparent that the concepts of “spring break” and a “mid-winter break” are not nearly as universal (okay, “national”) as Mallet assumed. FWIW, in my area of the country, we had spring break during the spring (April) when I was a kid. Since my kids have been been in school, “spring break” has occurred near the end of winter (this year March 10-14).

  12. Elyrest Jan 23rd 2014 at 01:39 pm 12

    I went to a parochial school from grades 1-8 and our holiday patterns were different from public schools as they were based mainly around religious holidays and Holy Days of Obligation (HDO). That meant that we had an Easter, not Spring, break and it moved around the same way Easter does. So some years you’d have an early break and others it would be late. The HDOs and feast days were scattered - we always had St. Joseph’s feat day off (March 19) because I went to St. Joseph’s school. And there was a downside to HDOs as we had to go to mass on those days. I did enjoy having a day off from school when all the public school kids didn’t as it felt more forbidden.

  13. Boise Ed Jan 23rd 2014 at 02:13 pm 13

    Back when I was a kid, we had two weeks off at Yuletide, then a couple more weeks or school before the end of the semester. I think there were a few days before the second semester. Spring break (which ought to be called spring-fever break) was around Easter, and there were various single days off, including some teacher workshop days.

  14. Hoobit Jan 23rd 2014 at 02:25 pm 14

    I thought the reference was meant to be to conservation of energy - that, like energy, school break time can neither be created nor destroyed, only moved around. That’s the first law of thermodynamics, and the second law (very roughly) says that when you move energy around, entropy can only increase, that is things get more disordered and the energy becomes less available. That has little to do with the comic, so far as I can tell - unless, as Brent has it, the winter break is less useful than the spring break. But that’s quite a stretch.

  15. James Pollock Jan 23rd 2014 at 04:31 pm 15

    Of course, it’s not as simple as what Malett thinks Frazz thinks about entropy.

    It’s about what Malett thinks Frazz thinks Caulfield can understand about entropy.

  16. fj Jan 23rd 2014 at 11:58 pm 16

    >>Secondly, it seems readily apparent that the concepts of “spring break” and a “mid-winter break” are not nearly as universal (okay, “national”) as Mallet assumed.

    I’m not sure it is a matter of what he assumes, or if he really doesn’t care that much. “Frazz” often contains little bits that make more sense to someone who lives in Michigan.

    So for all you non-Michiganders… The mid-winter break was introduced in Michigan (and many other northern states) to reduce heating bills: you close the schools for a week in February and can turn the heat way down. You can then hold class for an extra five days in August/June when heating the school is unnecessary. In Michigan, most school districts decided to start school the week before labor day to compensate for the additional break. However, a few years ago, the state legislature decided to pass a law requiring public schools not to open before labor day, claiming that this would some how generate millions of dollars of additional revenue for the state’s tourism industry. As a result, it has become difficult for school calendars to accommodate both the mid-winter and spring breaks.

    I think my #9 entry, above, is a reasonable way of applying entropy in this joke. I still think it would work better as a conservation of energy joke, but there is a certain political disorder to the situation that makes me kind of like the entropy angle.

  17. Kilby Jan 24th 2014 at 10:11 am 17

    @ Elyrest (12) - One major advantage that teachers have in Catholic schools is that they don’t have to work on Nov. 1st (All Saints’ Day), and thus do not have to deal with 25 hyperactive kids who have all been speedballing their Halloween loot the previous evening.

  18. Morris Keesan Jan 24th 2014 at 10:33 am 18

    Our public school system traditionally schedules a teachers’ “Professional Development Day” every year on November 1.

  19. Elyrest Jan 24th 2014 at 12:49 pm 19

    Kilby - Nov 1st was one of the days I always enjoyed having off. You had the hoard of candy from the night before and all day to contemplate eating it. I’m feeling a little queasy right now just thinking about it.

  20. Meryl A Jan 29th 2014 at 02:42 am 20

    Around here school usually starts the Wed after Labor Day, except in NYC where it starts the Monday after (they don’t have the 3 snow days the suburbs do as it is extremely rare NYC give snow days - more common lately) as kids are much closer to school than elsewhere unless they are in magnet type schools) and some parochial schools start different. In the past few years school actually started before Labor day once. School went to late June (H.S. graduation was last Sunday in June then). There was Christmas vacation (starting either at the end of day Dec 23 or before if weekend occurred - sister never had anyone at her birthday parties held on birthday the 23rd as everyone had gone away for the holiday) and Easter vacation. During the Jimmy Carter “save energy” years they added the Washington/Winter holiday break (which my aunt, a teacher’s aide swore was so that they would not have to pay her for that week).

    We always thought everyone had the same time off (well, okay we knew that down south schools did not close for Lincoln’s birthday and our parents told us the wonders of schools not closing for Jewish holidays elsewhere). Husband and I about a decade ago found out that in some states school starts in August. One can get easily reservations in Lancaster during the week school is closed in February as no one seems to have the week off.

    Husband was director of a mental health program for children that was also a school program. He had to do the schedule. It was a nightmare sometimes. The Easter break (which moved through the season to match the holiday) also had to deal with the days needed off for Passover. Now I know that I went to school commonly on the day leading to the first Passover sedar as it is a hard lunch for moms to send to school, no bread and no matzah allowed - usually ended up with hardboiled eggs - but when husband wanted to be open that day he was told by staff he could not. One year the week was split so that both holidays, which did not occur as close as usual that year, could be accommodated.

    A secret about Teachers’ Conference days - these days count toward the 180 days needed even though kids are not in school. In NYS 3 days are allowed. One year when there was excess snow, the day was converted into a Teacher’s conference day with the teachers being given home work to do for the education for them that was suppose to take place that day so they did not lose the day from the 180 days.

    If children are in school for any part of the day it counts as a full day. This is why there is late arrival and early dismissal days. One school lost its furnace and as the buses pulled in with the kids, they took attendance on the bus and sent the kids home so the day would count as a school day.

  21. feuerstein Feb 4th 2014 at 04:40 pm 21

    billybob @ 1: you mean, “Mallett moveth in mysterious ways.”
    : )

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