But What About Pluto?

Damn you Neil deGrasse Tyson (but not really though)!

Because, you know, he advocated for de-planet-fying Pluto back in the oughts.

Which I mention because of this post from xkcd, which corrects common images of planets in the solar system accounting for their population.

Still, though, no Pluto?

Credit for the piece goes to Randall Munroe.

The Mars Rovers

Perseverance landed on Mars on 18 February, almost a month ago. The video and photography the rover has already sent back has been stunning. We all know she is the most capable rover yet landed on the Red Planet, but what we all want to know is how cute is Perseverance compared to her predecessors?

Thankfully for that we have xkcd.

Still a big fan of Spirit and Opportunity. Designed to last 3 months, it trekked on for over 14 years.

Credit for the piece goes to Randall Munroe.

No, Your Vaccine Is Now Fully Operational

Another week is over, and for the past few years I’ve often said we all made it to the end of the week. When in reality, for the last few months, thousands of people were not. We’ve started using Monday to sort of recap the state of the pandemic in a select region of the country. And then we moved straight into how the New York Times addressed the US reaching the grim milestone of 500,000 deaths.

So I want to end this week with a little story told over at xkcd that tries to explain these new mRNA vaccines. Who doesn’t love science, science fiction, and humour woven together into a narrative? True, this isn’t really data visualisation, but it dovetails nicely into the work we’ve been doing and reviewing of late. Plus, levity. We all need levity.

These are not the cells you’re looking for.

You’ll want to click through to read it all.

Credit for the piece goes to Randall Munroe.

Appliance Matrix

Well, it’s Friday. And in the Northeast that means another snowstorm. In normal times, that would mean a nice half-hour walk to the office wherein my overcoat would likely become covered in snow and my trousers soaked in disgusting, salty, slush water. In other words, I’d need to wash and dry my clothes. But what household appliances should I use?

Thankfully, over at xkcd, Randall Munroe tackled that very problem with this helpful matrix.

Of course my aforementioned scenario is entirely moot, because like so many of you, I haven’t seen my office nor really left my flat in 11 months now. But here’s looking at you vaccines.

Credit for the piece goes to Randall Munroe.

The Earth Is a Bit Bumpy

Last Friday I shared an xkcd post about the relative smoothness of the Earth. This week he posted an illustration but a slightly different scale. You can see more of Earth’s jagged edges.

Gotta love the Star Trek reference. I’m betting he used the length of the Kelvin timeline Enterprise, which I personally dislike, as it’s significantly larger than the prime timeline Enterprise of Shatner and Nimoy.

Anyway, Happy Friday, all.

Credit for the piece goes to Randall Munroe.

The Earth Is Actually Quite Smooth

At scale. Not quite as smooth as a billiards ball, as is often claimed. But still, with the majority of the Earth’s surface covered by water, the highest mountains of Everest and K2 make for mere fractions of differences in height relative to the Earth’s size.

But that did not stop xkcd from making a scale model of Earth.

Credit for the piece goes to Randall Munroe.

2020 Election Results…

Via xkcd.

It’s Friday and we’ve made it all to the end of the week. A little while back xkcd posted about the 2020 US election, showing where the votes for both candidates are approximately located.

This isn’t quite funny like I normally might post on a Friday, but it felt appropriate after this week we had with the impeachment.

Lot of blue in the Northeast

Credit for the piece goes to Randall Munroe.

But What About New Zealand?

It’s time for another Friday just for fun posting. I once worked with a guy who could draw a map of the United States or the world on a whiteboard incredibly accurately. He then left it in the break room for the office to try and label correctly.

This is kind of that, but in reverse, from xkcd. Good luck.

Which states are missing?

Credit for the piece goes to Randall Munroe.

You Have Mail

Who remembers when AOL used to announce that to you? Old millennials, am I right?

Anyway, your humble author is using up some more holiday time the next several days and will be on holiday for Thanksgiving. Not that I will be travelling anywhere to see anybody. And for my American audience, you really shouldn’t be travelling either.

But that’s for a Covid-19 post. This is about e-mail. Because even though today is a Wednesday, it’s more like a Friday. So thanks to xkcd we have this post on how everything eventually becomes like e-mail.

Subj: RE:RE:RE:RE:Did you get that memo I sent you?

For the record, I’m at 999+ on my personal account and at 1200+ at work. So yeah, one of these days maybe I’ll clean it out.

And if you have a thought about this, just send me an e-mail. I’ll read it eventually.

Credit for the piece goes to Randall Munroe.