Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Web Comic the Size of a House?

One of my favorite web comics is XKCD. It is usually over my head, and sometime vulgar, but occasionally it is just plain brilliant. This weeks comic had a bottom panel that you could click and drag to move around. It contained some hidden cultural gems sprinkled here and there. Try it out here before I tell you more about it.
I was a bit late to work as I was clicking and dragging. It became clear the underlying image was far larger than could be explored in a short sitting.

Not wanting to miss any gems, I dug in to the html, found the javscript serving the images, and wrote a Python script to probe the server for the needed image files. What emerged, if printed at 300 dpi, was the equivalent of 16 feet by 40 feet, or enough to cover the side of a house!
This is just a thumbnail of about a third of it. The Apollo rocket is top center. At the very far right was an interesting homage to his very first comic!

The other thing that struck me was how similar the layout was to the illustrations of a book I had read recently about a two dimensional world called Planiverse by A.K. Dewdney. Here is the main character's home:
The novel had a similar concept as Flatland by Edwin Abbot. Both deal with what life would be like living in two dimensions. Just what you need for being prepared to be trapped in an XKCD cartoon for a day!

1 comment:

Eldon and Janeil Olsen said...

Ken, You and chuck are getting way too cerebral for us old timers born in the slide rule era. Dad