Irregular Webcomic! #1882 Rerun

Comic #1882

The Wikipedia article on traffic lights is surprisingly comprehensive and interesting.

Yeah, I just wasted 10 minutes reading it in preparation for writing this annotation.

I'd write more on the subject, but it turns out I already have.

2018-11-07 Rerun commentary: It's a well known cultural trait (or perhaps stereotype?) that Germans habitually wait for the pedestrian light to go green before crossing the road, even if there is no traffic and it's perfectly safe to cross against the red light. By the way, I'm not implying that this trait comes from the Nazis. You'll note that Haken is the one who impatiently wants to cross, and Erwin - who is not your regulation Nazi by any stretch - is the one who insists they wait. The street, by the way, has a weird crack in it because the street plate comes from the LEGO Studios Steven Spielberg Movie Maker set, in which it is designed to come apart during some sort of disaster or monster attack to reveal red hot glowing lava beneath. Since as we all know, our roads are built right over molten lava.

Irregular Webcomic! #1881 Rerun

Comic #1881

I just want to say that that map piece is one of my favourite individual Lego pieces of all time.

A reader writes, pointing out that this sort of pistol can only fire a single shot before reloading, and that Wendy has already fired it once. He suggests Wendy's line here should be:
Wendy: I know what you're thinking - did I fire one shot, or just none. In all the confusion, I'm not so sure myself. Bearing in mind this is the most powerful muzzle-loading pistol in the world, and could blow your head clean off you gotta ask - do you feel lucky, punk?

2018-11-06 Rerun commentary: Notice how I cleverly hid the pistol in panels 1-3? You can just see a tiny bit of it in panel 3 by Wendy's side, but you'd never notice it if you weren't looking specifically for it. Those are some short palm trees.

Irregular Webcomic! #1880 Rerun

Comic #1880


Of course, if the monk could shoe horses and the blacksmith could copy and illuminate holy texts, they'd also be co-muting.

2018-11-05 Rerun commentary: The blacksmith and the monk also work as the village judges, the blacksmith is the judge for Footcrag, while the monk judges cases in Cragfoot. For particularly heinous crimes, or ones that cross jurisdiction between the villages, both the blacksmith and the monk sit on the bench and try to reach a unanimous decision between the two of them. The last time this happened was when a villager was accused of murder and found guilty. The maximum sentence was execution, but they co-muted it to permanent exile from the villages.

Irregular Webcomic! #1879 Rerun

Comic #1879

There have been very few Star Wars strips since I began work on Darths & Droids. Mostly because my head is full of Star Wars anyway, so I don't want to do it so much here. But this one has been sitting in my ideas file for some time, and there was no chance it would ever get turned into a D&D strip, so here it is.

2018-11-04 Rerun commentary: It's slightly odd that Qui-Gon appears younger than Obi-Wan, when he was significantly older than Obi-Wan when they were alive. But Obi-Wan had a longer life, so his Force ghost is presumably older than Qui-Gon's. Things like this make me wonder how afterlifes are supposed to work. Imagine a young couple, very much in love, but one of them dies at 25 and the other lives to be 90 or something, and remarries twice along the way. Is there now a 25-year-old + 90-year-old couple in the afterlife? And what about the other two spouses? Does it become a polyamorous family? What if 25-year-old doesn't want to spend eternity with a 90-year-old partner? Or if 90-year-old becomes a rejuvenated 20-something in the afterlife, what happens to 90-year-old third spouse? Or do people just not care about any of their previous relationships any more (which would be pretty awful and miserable if this was supposed to be one of those "eternal happiness" afterlifes)? Perhaps Darths & Droids' more "scientific" take on Force ghosts is more philosophically plausible than how they are represented in the original Star Wars.

Irregular Webcomic! #1878 Rerun

Comic #1878

Taken geometrically, a sector really is a silly shape for splitting up a thing as large as a galaxy into administrational or navigational sub-units. You can get three or four sectors which make convenient sub-units, but each one would have bazillions (yes, that's a technical term) of stars and be of marginal utility beyond considering the galaxy as a whole. What you really want is cubical sections roughly tens to maybe hundreds of parsecs across, so each one contains a workable number of stars. You could fit about a million to 10 million such sections into a typical galaxy.

This is taking it literally of course. "Sector" has effectively been neutered of its geometrical meaning in science fiction.

2018-11-03 Rerun commentary: Strictly speaking, what Iki Piki is defining is a sector of a circle. This makes sense for a three dimensional structure like a galaxy that is a very flat disc, as you can consider it be essentially a circle with a little bit of height. Cutting sectors of a galaxy is like cutting slices of cake. But in 3D you can also have sectors of spheres, which are conical volumes with a spherical end cap, the centre of the sphere being at the point of the cone. Unfortunately these are even worse shapes for carving up a galaxy, as the cake analogy doesn't apply and there's no sensible way whatsoever to divide a galaxy into a number of spherical sectors. Even if our galaxy was not a spiral galaxy but was a more spherical object (which elliptical galaxies are), spherical sectors are no good, because they don't fit together to fill space - there will always be gaps between them. It's like cutting a rolled sheet of pastry into circles.

Irregular Webcomic! #1877 Rerun

Comic #1877

When you're dealing with a supernatural entity in the afterlife, you really need a credit card that's widely accepted.

And I mean widely.

2018-11-02 Rerun commentary: You can tell Charon isn't Japanese, or he'd also take JCB[1] and Suica[2] cards. [1] JCB is a Japanese credit card company. This is the sort of thing you may be expecting. [2] Suica cards are the cards originally designed as stored value cards for use on Japan Rail (JR) trains in the greater Tokyo area. You add some cash to the card at various machines located at train stations, you tap the card when you enter a station, and again when you leave, and it deducts the correct fare. So far, so good. But Suica cards are also accepted by many vending machines, and increasingly as a tap-to-pay system at convenience stores and other shops. It has expanded in use so much that it's now essentially a de facto electronic cash system in Japan. You could pretty much make a deposit on a home loan using a Suica card.