25 Comments

  1. @ Stan – The “post-wood” only means that wooden pointers have gone out of style, not “wood” in general.

  2. It’s certainly some kind of word-play, whether or not narrowly a pun. Wayno mentions it at his blog for last week http://waynocartoons.blogspot.com/2020/10/where-gastropods-and-arthropods-play.html :

    “Wednesday’s surreal western cartoon gave some readers pause. The gag was a simple play on the idea that a millipede is a long creature and that snails leave trails.”

    He also shared the horizontal-strip version:

    And said: “I took advantage of the strip’s width to draw some additional segments on the millipede. If I were to reprint this one, I’d consider changing the second cowpoke’s line to ‘Happy trail.’ “

  3. The Blazek is more of a LOL for me. Wooden pointers have never gone completely out of style: in most of the conference rooms I use, there’s a stick kept in a strategic location. At least half the people prefer to use it rather than find a laser.
    Incidentally, there actually was an intermediate technology only slightly less awkward than the spray hose: the incandescent pointer. It was the size of an old D-cell flashlight, with a lens on front and a trailing power cord. But it did project a nice, crisp image of a little arrow. Some of them even had different cut-out shapes you could swap.

  4. @ Stan – The “post-wood” only means that wooden pointers have gone out of style, not “wood” in general.

    Yea, I can see that, but then why move away from a tool that functions perfectly well to one that’s utterly not fit for purpose? I couldn’t really think of any specific incidents where this has happened to make this joke work for me. Maybe attempts to make an existing product better, and then it fails. Is that the joke?

    I dunno’. I thought it was a stretch.

  5. “but then why move away from a tool that functions perfectly well to one that’s utterly not fit for purpose?”

    That’s the joke.

    It’s not much, but that’s it. The comic imagines an interregnum with a completely useless solution.

  6. @Folly: back in the day, I attended a seminar by a very distinguished scientist who concluded his talk by lighting up a cigarette. He then blew smoke in the faces of the front-row questioners. This was in the mid-90s, when public smoking was already getting restricted, so the incident was quite memorable.

  7. “That’s the joke. It’s not much, but that’s it.”

    Yea, I guess that’s why I was confused. It’s like saying the post-cereal-pre-pancake era and eating a bowl of spiders. I don’t see the joke. Thanks for the explanation.

  8. “but then why move away from a tool that functions perfectly well to one that’s utterly not fit for purpose?”

    Seems to me that is how tech, especially UX design, has been working lately…

  9. Stan: “It’s like saying the post-cereal-pre-pancake era and eating a bowl of spiders.”

    Now I sort of want to see that comic.

  10. There are telescoping metal pointers, such as the ones favored by the “food scientists” in the Epicurious “4 Levels” videos.

  11. The link I put in above had a start time, but that didn’t seem to work properly. If you don’t want to view the entire thing, skip to about 8:50.

  12. Yeah, links to YouTube videos with time links work OK as urls, but when they get embedded in a comment, the time info always gets lost.

  13. Laser pointers are used as anything other than cat toys? I don’t think I’ve ever seen one used in my office.

  14. I think pretty much every presentation I’ve seen in the last decade has been given from a laptop, and if the speaker needs to point to something, they just use the mouse.

  15. Peter Schickele told a story about his days as a college teacher. One class was taught in a basement classroom with little windows up near the ceiling. Sometimes kids passing by would toss things through the window, and one day Peter decided to bring in a water pistol to get back at them. The students knew about the things that came through the window but didn’t know about the teacher’s plan.

    So there was Peter Schickele the teacher lecturing at the front of the room with a loaded water pistol in his jacket pocket. When he said to the class, “Now I have just one question for you,” and the student in the middle of the front row said “Shoot!” …

    He did. He couldn’t resist the setup. Not as much fun as a water hose, but with the element of surprise.

  16. “I don’t see a podium in the comic. I do see a lectern.”

    I think the two words are used interchangeably, correctly or otherwise. Punch in ‘Tr…um…p at podium’ into Google images to see what I mean.

  17. Well, when I put the book I want to read from on the podium (from the Greek word for feet) I have to sit down on the floor to read from it and nobody can hear me. And when I stand on the lectern (from the French word for reading) I slip and fall off.

  18. Yeah, podium meaning lectern is one of those things where everyone knows what the speaker means, and the debate is just a very pure descriptivist vs. prescriptivist one.

  19. He did. He couldn’t resist the setup. Not as much fun as a water hose, but with the element of surprise.

    Must have reacted Pretty Damn Quick

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