xkcd Animates The Philae Comet Landing—And It's Adorable

Today, we celebrated a monumental achievement in human history: For the first time, we landed an object on a comet. And xkcd creator Randall Munroe celebrated by creating this cartoon flipbook starting three hours before Philae's separation from Rosetta and ending with the landing. » 11/12/14 7:40pm 11/12/14 7:40pm

What If We Tried to Fly On Alien Worlds?

Could we fly on far-away worlds, or will it forever be a tantalizing fantasy? Randall Munroe of xkcd tackled the practicalities of flight on the 32 largest stars, planets and moons of our solar system as part of his What if? series. » 9/03/14 7:31pm 9/03/14 7:31pm

XKCD Reveals Which Wikipedia Titles You Can Sing To The TMNT Theme Song

This is essential information we never realized we needed to know. Which Wikipedia article titles have the proper syllable count and stress pattern to sing to the tune of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? xkcd has the answer. » 8/25/14 2:40pm 8/25/14 2:40pm

XKCD's Creator Explains What Would Happen If Earth Stopped Spinning

XKCD's Randall Munroe is publishing a book of science explainers! What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions is due out September 2. To celebrate its imminent arrival, here's the first chapter from the book – an explainer about global devastation. Fun! » 8/21/14 1:40pm 8/21/14 1:40pm

A Map Showing All The Solar System's Solid Surfaces Stitched Together

Via XKCD comes this awesome map of of the solar system's terrestrial surfaces pieced together as if it were a massive jigsaw puzzle. The illustration reveals the surprising scarcity of solid land in the solar system. » 7/02/14 6:20am 7/02/14 6:20am

Could You Get Drunk By Drinking The Blood Of A Drunk Person?

There's a common trope in vampire stories where a vampire gets drunk by drinking the blood of someone who is wasted. But could a real human being get drunk in the same way? » 5/28/14 8:40am 5/28/14 8:40am

13 Webcomics That Will Make You Smarter

While some webcomics deliver a quick joke or the latest installment in a long-form story, many comics floating around the Internet have something to teach us about the world. Here are some of our favorite comics that delve into science, history, philosophy, and more. » 4/09/14 10:30am 4/09/14 10:30am

XKCD's Randall Munroe is publishing a book of science explainers!

XKCD's Randall Munroe is turning What If? – his fantastic series of "serious scientific answers to absurd hypothetical questions" –into a book, to be published this September by Houghton Mifflin. » 3/12/14 5:30pm 3/12/14 5:30pm

Hypnotic xkcd animation compares the frequency of various events

Here's a mesmerizing piece of data porn that is sure to keep you staring at your screen. Randall Munroe of xkcd uses a series of GIFs to compare the frequencies of events from births, deaths, and heartbeats to the eruption of Old Faithful to someone in Denver ordering a pizza. » 2/17/14 1:20pm 2/17/14 1:20pm

Google Maps Now Comes with Climate Data

Well this is convenient. The University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit has made its global temperature data available for Google Maps. Dubbed "CRUTEM4," the data allows Google Maps users to monitor how surface temperatures have changed over time, both globally and locally. » 2/04/14 1:20pm 2/04/14 1:20pm

Why it took forever to allow public input on naming planets

Last week, the International Astronomical Union – the sanctioning body that oversees the naming of planets, among other thingsreversed its official stance on 1) whether to bother naming extrasolar planets and 2) whether the public should be included in the naming process. XKCD's take on the announcement is easily… » 8/19/13 2:36pm 8/19/13 2:36pm

Every subway system in North America, connected

Here with your daily dose of infrastructure porn is XKCD's Randall Munroe, who's gone and rounded up all of North America's various subway systems and combined them into one big interconnected map. » 4/08/13 8:20am 4/08/13 8:20am

The solar system is doomed and so are you

XKCD's Randall Munroe on the inexorable march toward complete and total solar devastation. Best to just hunker down and wait for our star to turn us into crispy bits, right? Granted, our fiery fate is still a ways off, but in situations such as these it's always a good idea to resign to one's demise well ahead of… » 9/26/12 1:30pm 9/26/12 1:30pm

This is how a real robot uprising would play out

XKCD's Randall Munroe has a pretty serious background in robotics. As a kid he designed underwater ROVs and programmed battlebots. As a college grad, he worked on robots for a little organization called NASA. Maybe you've heard of it. » 8/02/12 12:38pm 8/02/12 12:38pm

All 786 confirmed planets in one handy infographic

Leave it to XKCD to whip up an awesome exoplanet infographic [click to embiggen]. I'd petition for Randall Munroe to have it made into a purchasable poster, but at the rate NASA's Kepler Mission is discovering planets beyond our solar system, it wouldn't be long before he had to update it — with way, way more planets. » 6/20/12 1:40pm 6/20/12 1:40pm

Behold xkcd's massive infographic comparing the depths of Earth's lakes…

Presumably prompted by James Cameron's journey to the Mariana Trench's Challenger Deep, xkcd cartoonist Randall Munroe has plotted out the varying depths of Earth's bodies of water to scale. You can see the full version of this map by clicking the lower-right corner of the above image or clicking here. » 4/09/12 3:45pm 4/09/12 3:45pm

How much radiation do you absorb doing everyday tasks? This helpful…

Randall Munroe of xkcd fame has drafted this handy chart that puts in perspective how much radiation humans receive from commonplace activites (such as eating a banana) and less ordinary situations (spending one hour outside of Chernobyl, for example). » 3/20/11 9:15am 3/20/11 9:15am

Five webcomics to read while xkcd is on hiatus

Due to a family illness, Randall Munroe announced that we won't be seeing regular installments of his popular webcomic xkcd. We wish Munroe and his family the best, but in the meantime, what's a math-loving webcomic reader to do? » 11/20/10 9:00am 11/20/10 9:00am

Gravity Well Chart Helps You Plan Your Planetary Escape

Need to figure out how much energy you'll need to escape the gravitational pull of the solar system's planets and moons? This chart compares the gravity wells of our neighboring celestial bodies. [xkcd] » 12/28/09 10:30am 12/28/09 10:30am

Epic Movie Narratives, Conveniently Charted

Today's xkcd takes an unusual approach to explaining epic movies: diagraming the interactions between the characters. He charts out Jurassic Park, Lord of the Rings, and the original Star Wars trilogy, and takes an amusing crack at Primer. » 11/02/09 10:30am 11/02/09 10:30am