Sunday Funnies - LOL, December 3, 2017

Cidu Bill on Dec 3rd 2017

cornered-bank-robber.JPG bang.jpgpinata.GIF


Kilby: Instead of “L0L”, in Fahrenheit it would be “L32L”, or in Felcius “L16L”

Filed in Bill Bickel, Bizarro, Comics That Made Us Laugh Out Loud, Cornered, Gahan Wilson, John Deering, Mike Baldwin, Strange Brew, comic strips, comics, humor, lol, pinatas, xkcd | 47 responses so far

47 Responses to “Sunday Funnies - LOL, December 3, 2017”

  1. Rammy M Dec 3rd 2017 at 12:16 am 1

    I like the pinata surgeon’s blindfold

  2. mitch4 Dec 3rd 2017 at 12:50 am 2

    Oh yeah, I missed that, Rammy!

    Hey,m it’s always interesting to watch the tympanist. Especially when they have to quietly do a little tuning.

  3. mitch4 Dec 3rd 2017 at 12:56 am 3

    Overthinking dept.: I thought Kilby’s remark would turn out based on reading LOL as lol as 101, and struggled with conversions that didnt make any sense. Then I guessed it would be cleared up by the XKCD hover comment , and sought that out, but no help. Only after all that did I see it was just about conversion on zero, with L as bookends in all versions.

  4. Ted from Ft. Laud Dec 3rd 2017 at 01:10 am 4

    I have to say that I am continuously impressed at the sheer amount of detail and extra jokes that Piraro includes in a panel - especially Sundays, but even dailies.

  5. Cidu Bill Dec 3rd 2017 at 01:12 am 5

    For the record, having two piñata comics was total coincidence.

  6. Kilby Dec 3rd 2017 at 06:21 am 6

    @mitch4 (3) - I did consider converting the 0 from Fahrenheit to Celcius, but instead of the “-18″ that I was expecting (the standard “freezer temp” for German refrigerators), it produced an inconvenient fraction, so I skipped it. However, I did replace the “O” in the “LOL” with a zero, and since Bill cut and pasted the comment, it showed up that way above.

    P.S. The comment that Bill did not paste in mentioned that this XKCD is the first comic that I can remember audibly laughing at in several months.

  7. Powers Dec 3rd 2017 at 10:46 am 7

    I’m confused; the XKCD is interesting, but I don’t understand the source of laugh-out-loud humor.

  8. Brent Dec 3rd 2017 at 11:15 am 8

    Maybe it’s funny because it surmises a world where the Celsius vs Fahrenheit debate isn’t practically resolved? Who uses Fahrenheit any more… Belize, some small islands, and a group of states that hasn’t even come up with a name yet (so how important can they really be?). Even the name “Felsius” is almost entirely Celsius now. (I probably would have gotten a bigger kick out of the comic if it used a weighted average. But it’s kind of fitting to have two unequal sides presented with equivalent weight for debate purposes.)

    I think the tympanist is probably confused because he clearly has the wrong sheet music. Tympani are “don” drums, not “bang” ones.

  9. padraig Dec 3rd 2017 at 12:01 pm 9

    The robbery cartoon reminds me of the joke about the older woman coming up to a counter and saying, “I need to see the eye doctor.” The woman behind the counter replies, “You sure do, honey, this is a hardware store.”

  10. Kilby Dec 3rd 2017 at 01:31 pm 10

    @ Powers (7) - I think it depends on having regular contact with both systems. People like Brent @8 (those living outside the USA) think of Celcius being the only rational system, whereas the vast majority of Americans see Celcius for the first and last time in high school science classes, and have never used it again in their normal lives. Even if the rest of the civilized world does use Celcius, this is happening (from an American perspective) on the other side of the border, and therefore does not count.

    Living in Germany, I’ve grown so used to Celcius that I find it more “normal” for weather and room temperatures than Fahrenheit, but I still resort to the latter system for cooking and baking. It’s precisely this “sitting on the edge” that made the dichotomy so funny (at least for me).

  11. Kilby Dec 3rd 2017 at 01:35 pm 11

    P.S. @ Bill (5) - Your careful attention to detail in including the “~” over the “ñ” has been unraveled entirely by the “D” for “T” typo. Oops.

  12. Cidu Bill Dec 3rd 2017 at 02:46 pm 12

    Kilby, every honest editor will tell you the same thing: we can spot somebody else’s typo with our eyes closed, but we’re blind to our own.

  13. BeckoningChasm Dec 3rd 2017 at 02:59 pm 13

    Why are Gary Larson and The Far Side tagged? And Gahan Wilson isn’t tagged? I’d really like to know if I’m so blind I missed a comic.

  14. Cidu Bill Dec 3rd 2017 at 03:12 pm 14

    Because of a last-minute substitution. Whoops.

  15. Brian in STL Dec 3rd 2017 at 04:29 pm 15

    As a Physicist and Engineer, I know that Celsius is a better system for doing technical work. I’m not so convinced that it’s better for weather and such. The nice thing about temps in F is that 100F is a high number that’s at least approached in most parts of the country at various time, as opposed to 100C.

    On the other end, 0F is a low that’s also somewhat approachable and 0C is eh, cold but not that cold. So when the temps are near 100F or 0F you have a good feel for how extreme the weather is.

    Admittedly, to a large extent it will be what you’re used to.

  16. Brent Dec 3rd 2017 at 04:41 pm 16

    @Kilby (10): I live in Canada, I realize how “rational” measuring systems are… I deal with number in both all the time (and am just old enough to remember when Celsius was brought in so I got versed on both young). I don’t a choice on my oven, it’s only got a simple knob with Fahrenheit markings you have to learn how to trust (it’s easy to convert for baking with it, 160°C is exactly 320°F, so doubling is typically correct for the baking range and the error is well within the accuracy I can get with such an oven).

    Canadians typically give height in feet and inches (and weight in pounds)… feet and inches can be said to be better that job in some senses, it’s not a number that you’re typically converting into other units (unless you’re doing something like smoots) and it’s more efficient informationally (in metric, almost everybody’s height starts with 1, giving you almost no bits of information is the most significant digit). Inches are also easier to eyeball… judging how tall someone is in cm, you’d probably go with things like 180, 185, between 180 and 185. You’re simply not going to be able to judge 180 from 181… even if you did make such a call, different footwear and compression of the spine over the day mean that small measurements like cm are more prone to error.

    I also know that the conversion in Celsius isn’t as easy as they say or think… in elementary school, we took multiplying and dividing by 10s in grade 5 and again in grade 7. Both times, most of the class failed horribly on the exam to the point where the next week was teaching the same material a second time (in grade 7, the six of us that passed were allowed to do self study and go ahead, I was done with math that year a couple weeks later which allowed me to use the new Commodore Pet during the time). And so I never count that as a real pro for Celsius… because I’m sure that many people out there can be relied on to get it wrong, thanks to Murphy’s Law (two ways to move the decimal, the wrong will be favoured when its catastrophic). They’d probably have been better off multiplying and dividing by the arbitrary factors of Imperial, since the number completely changes they’d probably think more about what they were doing… moving the decimal is much easier to do mindlessly.

    It’s this exact sort of duality (and Canada is a hotbed for it) that kind of makes this xkcd fall a bit flat for me. When I call up my dad, who now lives in the border city of Sault St. Marie, and we talk weather, he gives the temperature typically in Fahrenheit because that’s what he sees on the news he gets from the US. I give Celsius, because that’s what I see locally. Sometimes one of us gives numbers in the other unit. But we never bother to actually name the units of any of the numbers, and we’ve never had any trouble understanding each other. We both have instincts for both systems… we don’t need a third intermediate system, we can just give the number we have and it works. Now if Randall had gone for an average weighted based on looking up population data with a web converter to keep it up to date over time, that would have been much more interesting to me… you’d be able to check periodically and see which way the freezing point of water was shifting (much the same way that occasionally I check the “Neutral Response” video on youtube to make sure the Universe is still in balance). It just seems a bit half-cooked for xkcd.

  17. fleabane Dec 3rd 2017 at 06:22 pm 17

    I think the thing that is confusing about XCKD is comment “Since the Fahrenheit vs. Celsius debate has proven surprisingly hard to resolve” is that no it hasn’t. There really isn’t much of a debate. Some countries are regions use one and others use another and everyone seems to understand which one to use is arbitrary and no-one claims one is better than the other or is more natural, and any preference individuals may have are known and recognized for the familiarity that they are.

    Maybe if I met people who adamantly argued fahrenheit was more “natural”, this would make sense.

    It is cute. But… it’s actually got some good things going for it.

  18. Joshua K. Dec 3rd 2017 at 09:41 pm 18

    It’s not like you can do normal physics calculations with Celsius degrees. You have to use Kelvin instead.

  19. Kilby Dec 4th 2017 at 04:45 am 19

    @ Joshua (18) - That’s perfectly true for properties that are proportional with regard to absolute zero, but there’s a fair amount of heat transfer and other “caloric” calculations that depend on the difference between two temperatures. Delta-T can be figured on either scale.

  20. Brent Dec 4th 2017 at 10:03 am 20

    Just remember that if you want to convert your Celsius delta-T into Fahrenheit, you want to ask Google for “K to R” not “C to F”.

  21. Arthur Dec 4th 2017 at 06:54 pm 21

    Speaking of delta-T, I found this a while back:

    Computer models project that on Thursday, three days before
    Christmas, the temperature near the North Pole will be an
    astronomical 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit (4-10C) warmer-than-normal
    - Jason Samenow in

    I still don’t know if it was really that huge difference (F) or
    the merely large difference (C) because so many news articles
    get their news from other reporters who might have gotten things
    wrong (and might convert and reconvert).

  22. turquoisecow Dec 4th 2017 at 11:08 pm 22

    I’m confused - why does Felcius have an € (like the Euro symbol) if it starts with a F? (Or is that not really the Euro symbol?)

  23. Arthur Dec 4th 2017 at 11:36 pm 23

    I don’t know how well this will display, but the title text is:
    “The symbol for degrees Felsius is an average of the Euro symbol
    (€) and the Greek lunate epsilon (ϵ).”

    He didn’t explain *why* that’s the symbol.

  24. Meryl A Dec 5th 2017 at 03:51 am 24

    I am on a old yahoo group with 4 other women - two of whom live in the UK (and the other two rarely post). We translate for each other. It is much easier to say that the weather is in, say, the 30Fs than to come up with the much smaller range in the Celsius to explain what the weather is here with an estimate of the temperature - and what if some temperature translates to, say, 15.777C - do I give the temperature that way or round up or down. (But then again, trying to describe sprinkles/jimmies… - a photo was needed.) Money is much easier to translate.

  25. Kilby Dec 5th 2017 at 07:15 am 25

    @ Brent (15&16) - Besides avoiding negative numbers (which was one major reason for the way it was originally designed), one supposed “advantage” of Fahrenheit scale is that it is more “precise”, since a Fahrenheit “degree” is just over half the size of a Celcius degree (ignoring decimals, of course). This argument doesn’t hold up at all for cooking or baking, of course, but even when we’re talking about the weather, it really doesn’t matter which system you use, since the imprecision of any forecast is much larger than the size of either degree.

    P.S. @ Arthur (21) - That translation goof is really hilarious. It’s pretty clear that the scientists reported “4-10 C”), and some idiotic reporter converted that to Fahrenheit, without realizing that it was a “delta”, and not a scalar value.

  26. Wendy Dec 5th 2017 at 01:25 pm 26

    Kilby is surely right abut Arthur’s article. The reporters should have noted that 1 degree of C is approximately 1.8 degrees F (As determined by converting 1 C to F =33.8, subtract 32.) Therefore, the difference should have been 7-18 degrees F warmer than usual, but as he said, someone just converted 4 C and 10 C. Big mistake, but I can easily see that happening here, where only scientists use Celsius, and many people don’t really understand it at all, despite high school science. I know enough to know I should always double check my conversions, as the only values in C that mean anything to me are 0, 100, 37 (body temp), and -40 (since that’s where both scales are equal).

  27. James Pollock Dec 5th 2017 at 02:58 pm 27

    Metric measurements are better because of the unification of large and small measurements.

    Kilometers are related to meters, whereas furlongs are not related to inches. You get a similar advantage in measurement of volume… historical measurements of distances and volumes had different, non-related units of measurement, and metric measurement unified the old measurement units.

    Temperatures didn’t have disjointed units. There was just degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, switching to Celsius doesn’t have the same advantages (in science and engineering and in “real life”) In fact, the only place where different units of temperature measurement show up is in the metric system, where there are two different definitions of “calorie”.

    This means that the costs of conversion from being standardized on degrees F to degrees C are significant for most people, while the advantages of doing so are slight (no matter which way the conversion is going)

    Americans are largely standardized on Fahrenheit scale, and familiarity due to repetition outweighs the mental effort needed to think in terms of Centigrade scale. As noted above, weather observations in the US tend to largely range from 0 to 100 (YMMV) and this is the range we’re most interested in, rather than the physical properties of hydrogen hydroxide under 1 atmosphere of pressure, which is what the Centigrade scale is calibrated to.

    Scientific purposes are standardized on Centigrade, whether Celsius or Kelvin. It doesn’t seem to bother the American scientists much to have to switch back and forth from metric measurements at work from whatever they use at home.

  28. Brian in STL Dec 5th 2017 at 03:13 pm 28

    Neither type of calorie is a temperature measurement, rather these are units of energy. One, frequently written “Calorie”, is kilogram-based, and the other usually “calorie”, is gram-based. Both are in reference to Celsius.

  29. James Pollock Dec 5th 2017 at 04:58 pm 29

    “Neither type of calorie is a temperature measurement, rather these are units of energy”

    Temperature is a measurement of energy, too.

  30. Brian in STL Dec 5th 2017 at 05:40 pm 30

    “Temperature is a measurement of energy, too.”

    Yes, but of one type of energy, kinetic energy. Calories, although defined in terms of delta-T, are not units of temperature.

  31. jajizi Dec 5th 2017 at 05:51 pm 31

    Kilby @25

    It’s pretty clear that the scientists reported “4-10 C”), and some idiotic reporter converted that to Fahrenheit, without realizing that it was a “delta”, and not a scalar value.

    Actually, the error was the other way around. The temperature anomaly really was 40-50 °F. If you look at the map in the Tweet from Climatehawk1, the temerature anomaly in the Arctic goes up to about 30 °Celsius, i.e. over 50°F.

    The error was by an editor at the Independent. The article is reprinted from The Washington Post, where the temperatures are given only in Fahrenheit.

    Also, note that Jason Samenow is a trained meteorologist.

  32. Grawlix Dec 6th 2017 at 08:16 pm 32

    You folks might be surprised how heated and political the metric debate is in the US.
    Some folk consider metrics to be un-American.

    I think there have been two national attempts to completely switch the US to the metric system since the ’70s. While certain aspects of life have seamlessly gone metric, there’s still some cultural resistance.

  33. Cidu Bill Dec 6th 2017 at 09:04 pm 33

    Well, pretty much by definition it IS un-American, innit?

  34. Brian in STL Dec 6th 2017 at 09:21 pm 34

    Syndicated columnist Bob Greene of the Chicago Tribune founded a satiric organization, WAM! (We Ain’t Metric!).

  35. Mark in Boston Dec 6th 2017 at 09:47 pm 35

    Not just metric, but US “generally accepted accounting principles” will never conform to IFIPS, the international accounting standard. For one thing, U.S. companies that use LIFO costing will never voluntarily give it up.

  36. Dave in Boston Dec 7th 2017 at 03:07 am 36

    Temperature is a measurement of energy the same way velocity is. Which is to say, it isn’t. Give it up, James :-)

  37. James Pollock Dec 7th 2017 at 06:41 am 37

    “Temperature is a measurement of energy the same way velocity is.”

    “Which is to say, it isn’t.”

  38. Brent Dec 7th 2017 at 07:12 am 38

    @Meryl A (24): We aren’t so much different on the range calling in metric. US weather doesn’t always just say “30s”, they say things like “around 30″, “low 30s”, “mid 30s”, “high 30s”… and that’s just used much more often on metric forecasts, which focuses things down to 2-4°C (4-7°F). People adapt to arbitrary numbers pretty quickly to make meaningful things from them.

    @Kilby (25): Yeah, I love when people try to point out that Fahrenheit is more exact saying that the human body temperature is 98.6 instead of the “rounded” 37. At which point I have to ask, “Do you know where 98.6 comes from?” Because it was a direct conversion from the Celsius… so it can’t have more precision.

    @James Pollock (27): Food calories are called kcal when you get into contexts beyond food packaging for the general public. But if wer’re going to take heat (which is very different, if related, to temperature… I mean, the ocean isn’t what people would call “hot”, but it has an insane amount of heat), then BTUs aren’t less screwy, with their various scaled versions like therms and quads, or the fact that BTU is often used for BTU/h. And calories aren’t even really a central unit in metric… heat is energy, and the real unit for that is joules, so special heat measurements are odd to begin with.

  39. Kilby Dec 8th 2017 at 06:12 am 39

    Getting back to humorous thermometry: check out the bonus panel (a.k.a. “votey”) in today’s SMBC (click on the red button at the lower right corner of the comic).

  40. larK Dec 8th 2017 at 01:51 pm 40

    Kilby (39): I don’t get it — a) it’s not particularly hard to convert from ˚C to ˚K, b) I don’t see that I’d need to use any temperature in emailing a complaint, and c) I just fail to see how it’s funny… Am I missing something?

    But aside from that, this is the second time this week the Universe has pointed out gallium to me and how I really need to buy myself some! It’s non-toxic, it’s a metal, and it melts in you hand! Fun like mercury, only not as deadly!

  41. Grawlix Dec 8th 2017 at 06:48 pm 41

    Bill @33 And were feet and inches invented in America?


  42. Kilby Dec 9th 2017 at 03:06 am 42

    @ larK (40) - I just thought it was amusing how Zach was tweaking any potential “temperature purists”. He probably gets dozens (if not hundreds) of e-mails every time he touches on any halfway controversial scientific point.

    P.S. The reference I read said that gallium was not as toxic as mercury. In addition, it will “wet” your skin when it melts, so I think you’d want to be careful handling it. It also wets glass, which is one of the reasons it is normally packaged (for sale) in plastic bags. It can be used to make thermometers, but the inside of the glass tube has to be coated with gallium oxide (to prevent it from sticking to the glass).

  43. Arthur Dec 9th 2017 at 04:14 am 43

    This suggests to me that gallium is dangerous only for eye
    contact or ingestion:

  44. Arthur Dec 9th 2017 at 04:18 am 44

    I forgot to mention that there are some good videos on YouTube
    showing gallium destroying aluminum objects (such as bats).

  45. larK Dec 9th 2017 at 01:47 pm 45

    Check out the pictures on Amazon — doesn’t look like there’s much problem melting it in your hand… The only warning I’ve heard is that it reacts poorly with aluminum, as Arthur mentions, so don’t put it on anything aluminum you don’t want ruined.

  46. Dave in Boston Dec 9th 2017 at 10:35 pm 46

    …and don’t carry it on a plane…

  47. Kilby Dec 11th 2017 at 07:25 am 47

    One reference said that gallium expands when it solidifies (just like water), so it should be kept in a flexible container. If you melt it in a glass test tube, it may break the glass when it re-freezes.

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