1190: "Time"

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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby imhungry » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:12 pm UTC

How many times have I wished that the frequency of updating be increased per week! This was definitely not how I expected it to come true.


I hope this does not end on April 1st.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby mojacardave » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:13 pm UTC

peewee_RotA wrote:
daef wrote:"animated shorts"


Image


Those shorts are decidedly animationless.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby daef » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:14 pm UTC

mojacardave wrote:I guess it depends on whether you measure art in terms of length or content.

as i love information-theory i tend to measure content/entropy...
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby daef » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:14 pm UTC

mojacardave wrote:
peewee_RotA wrote:
daef wrote:"animated shorts"


Image


Those shorts are decidedly animationless.


nevertheless they made my day ;)
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby Thavox » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:15 pm UTC

I'm just waiting for the tides...
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby Scott Auld » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:15 pm UTC

Aubron wrote:I just added keyboard controls for frame step and play/pause.

xkcd.aubronwood.com


Massive kudos to you, Aubron. :arrow: :arrow: :mrgreen:
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby mojacardave » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:17 pm UTC

daef wrote:
mojacardave wrote:I guess it depends on whether you measure art in terms of length or content.

as i love information-theory i tend to measure content/entropy...


I would sort of agree with you there, but it poses some interesting theoretical problems when you consider the extremes. Do we consider "The Hobbit" to be worth 6 hours-worth of regular film-making, because it was screened at 50fps?

I guess you'd have to reduce the comic to its real-time action sequence. So far we're probably on about 1 hours worth of storyline, maybe a bit more. Does complexity of plot come into it?
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby daef » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:20 pm UTC

mojacardave wrote:
daef wrote:
mojacardave wrote:I guess it depends on whether you measure art in terms of length or content.

as i love information-theory i tend to measure content/entropy...


I would sort of agree with you there, but it poses some interesting theoretical problems when you consider the extremes. Do we consider "The Hobbit" to be worth 6 hours-worth of regular film-making, because it was screened at 50fps?


you've got a point there...

maybe the time inbetween the frames (which gives you time for more interpretation) rises the sensation of information (sorry if that's not really an english sentence, but as you might already have guessed i'm not native ;) )
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby Corrado » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:21 pm UTC

...about 36 days before the Primus GIF play-time (with current timing) exceeds the XKCD image refresh rate...
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby peewee_RotA » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:23 pm UTC

mojacardave wrote:
peewee_RotA wrote:
daef wrote:"animated shorts"


Image


Those shorts are decidedly animationless.

As with the inappropriateness of ugmhemhe's signature, I was worried about searching "Dancing Shorts" at work. Google image search had at least 1 scantily clad underwear model in search for "animated shorts".

But had I waited till work was over I would have lost the original post in about 4 more pages of posts. This is one of those.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby patzer » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:30 pm UTC

Image
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby BJ Nemeth » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:33 pm UTC

Long-time lurker, first-time poster.

Like many of you, I've been thinking a lot about possible outcomes, deeper meanings, and yes, even sad realities. That doesn't make us creepy; that makes us human.

Right now we are in a unique position, where we are watching this comic unfold at its own speed, with absolutely no way to skip ahead -- just like Life. (And Time.) When this comic is eventually completed, future viewers might find it to be somewhat simplistic. They'll be able to search for a gif and quickly see the entire sequence. Instant gratification.

But not us. All we can do is wait. And ponder.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby CF259 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:33 pm UTC

lol sandcastles
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby mojacardave » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:33 pm UTC

I think I'd quite like the (inevitable?) destruction of the sandcastle to be at the hands of a Lilliputian armada. I can see builder girl being attacked by tiny bows and arrows/trebuchets.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby SWuh » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:35 pm UTC

mojacardave wrote:I think I'd quite like the (inevitable?) destruction of the sandcastle to be at the hands of a Lilliputian armada. I can see builder girl being attacked by tiny bows and arrows/trebuchets.

Awww yeah!! This must happen!! I love that idea... maybe even boy can come to her rescue?
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:37 pm UTC

daef wrote:
mojacardave wrote:
daef wrote:
mojacardave wrote:I guess it depends on whether you measure art in terms of length or content.

as i love information-theory i tend to measure content/entropy...


I would sort of agree with you there, but it poses some interesting theoretical problems when you consider the extremes. Do we consider "The Hobbit" to be worth 6 hours-worth of regular film-making, because it was screened at 50fps?


you've got a point there...

maybe the time inbetween the frames (which gives you time for more interpretation) rises the sensation of information (sorry if that's not really an english sentence, but as you might already have guessed i'm not native ;) )


The information content of an individual frame of The Hobbit in context is much lower than that of an individual frame of a 25fps movie in context - the error from just interpolating the two neighbouring frames will be pretty small most of the time; taking account of the frames further away in sequence to get a better idea of acceleration, etc will refine it further - it's only at cuts that you couldn't reliably guess the content of the frame.

You'd want to consider the file size of an efficiently encoded version of The Hobbit if you really wanted to compare its information content with that of a conventional movie.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:37 pm UTC

peewee_RotA wrote:
mojacardave wrote:
peewee_RotA wrote:
daef wrote:"animated shorts"


Image


Those shorts are decidedly animationless.

As with the inappropriateness of ugmhemhe's signature, I was worried about searching "Dancing Shorts" at work. Google image search had at least 1 scantily clad underwear model in search for "animated shorts".

But had I waited till work was over I would have lost the original post in about 4 more pages of posts. This is one of those.

Image


Completely unrelated, there are 7 people in this thread who did not read the rules and as such, made complaints in the thread that specifically prove they did not take the minute or two necessary to read the rules and their explanations.

This angers me slightly. But it's okay, as I rarely come here anyway, so my opinion is irrelevant.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby mojacardave » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:38 pm UTC

SWuh wrote:
mojacardave wrote:I think I'd quite like the (inevitable?) destruction of the sandcastle to be at the hands of a Lilliputian armada. I can see builder girl being attacked by tiny bows and arrows/trebuchets.

Awww yeah!! This must happen!! I love that idea... maybe even boy can come to her rescue?


The only thing is, I'm not sure the resolution of the image is really high enough for people that small, unless there's a zoom, which would probably spoil the concept of this comic.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby nobrainer440 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:40 pm UTC

Do we think the time scaling is a constant? If so, is it a particular convenient value?

To me, it seems like each frame is about one minute in comic time, giving a time scale of 30 (minutes real time per minute comic time).

Another convenient time scale would be 24, meaning 1 day of real time would be 1 hour of comic time.

I wonder if when the comic is finally completed, it might be viewable in real time (time scale = 1).
Last edited by nobrainer440 on Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:43 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby belliott4488 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:40 pm UTC

I hope he gets back with the sandwiches soon ... she'll be getting hungry.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby CarlLaMagouille » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:42 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:You'd want to consider the file size of an efficiently encoded version of The Hobbit if you really wanted to compare its information content with that of a conventional movie.


One could considere the original book as a an efficiently encoded version of The Hobbit.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby SWuh » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:42 pm UTC

Aubron wrote:Wow. Okay so the auto updater survived the night flawlessly. Everything went better than expected. I just added keyboard controls for frame step and play/pause.

xkcd.aubronwood.com

Just noticed your little music note button <3 - love it (it has calmed my anger about the annoyingly slow development of this comic)
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby YellowYeti » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:44 pm UTC

peewee_RotA wrote:
mojacardave wrote:
peewee_RotA wrote:
daef wrote:"animated shorts"


Image


Those shorts are decidedly animationless.

As with the inappropriateness of ugmhemhe's signature, I was worried about searching "Dancing Shorts" at work. Google image search had at least 1 scantily clad underwear model in search for "animated shorts".

But had I waited till work was over I would have lost the original post in about 4 more pages of posts. This is one of those.


I hesitate to use the phrase 'quick and dirty' in relation to animated shorts

Image
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby SWuh » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:45 pm UTC

mojacardave wrote:The only thing is, I'm not sure the resolution of the image is really high enough for people that small, unless there's a zoom, which would probably spoil the concept of this comic.

Fair point, but we can dream. Also I don't think zoom would really and completely ruin it, I just don't think it would happen. There has to be some significance to the boy at the beginning (and the fact he left, but didn't say 'goodbye')
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby mojacardave » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:45 pm UTC

nobrainer440 wrote:Do we think the time scaling is a constant? If so, is it a particular convenient value?

To me, it seems like each frame is about one minute in comic time, giving a time scale of 30 (minutes real time per minute comic time).

Another convenient time scale would be 24, meaning 1 day of real time would be 1 hour of comic time.


The time scale is somewhere in that region, but I don't think it's very consistent. Some of the sandcastles seem to go up pretty quickly, whereas the early sunbathing seemed a little slower. Mind you, maybe they were just having a relaxing day at the beach. Even taking into account the big jumps in the early image grabs that people have done, a 1 minute per frame timescale could work...
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby higgs-boson » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:54 pm UTC

... Anyone logging forum activity (access, numbers, first-time-posters, topics {technical, philosophical [like this post], serious, raptors, meta, whatsoeverother})? Just in case someone needs a topic and raw data for a Ph.D. thesis. :wink:

May be at some point the castle can be recognized as a famous one (e.g. like Edinburgh castle, or Bamburgh - which both do not match)? It looks like something Normans or Romans would build (hard to tell from the outlines only, but surely not Gondorian, I'd rule out Minas Tirith).
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby slinches » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:54 pm UTC

Has anyone else noticed that uni.xkcd doesn't work with this comic? It just shows the first image on my browser and doesn't update.

Also, I can confirm that there has been no evidence of a tide up through time50. I was attempting to calculate how long it will be until the castle is washed away, but the water level has stayed at ~82 pixels from the bottom throughout.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:55 pm UTC

CarlLaMagouille wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:You'd want to consider the file size of an efficiently encoded version of The Hobbit if you really wanted to compare its information content with that of a conventional movie.


One could considere the original book as a an efficiently encoded version of The Hobbit.


It's very lossy though - even more so than just throwing every second frame away.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby Jack_Ian » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:55 pm UTC

I'm just glad the first pane didn't look like this:
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby patzer » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:00 pm UTC

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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby fiveofoh » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:02 pm UTC

So I've skimmed all 20 pages thus far and know the basics of the Javascript have been explained, and ternarybit's pastebin is a little annotated, but I haven't seen any breakdowns that fully explain what the script is doing. I posted a gist with the code de-minified and de-obfuscated with functions renamed and things, according to my interpretation. Here's my summary:

The bulk of it appears to be the EventListener utility object - the bottom part is the interesting code. And it's pretty simple - it sets itself up listening to a stream of events from xkcd's server, which is why some browsers show a perpetual loading indicator: it's holding open a connection to xkcd's server, waiting for instructions. When it receives instructions, it takes action accordingly. In this case, there are two main instructions: "change the image" and "reload the page". The former's purpose is obvious, the latter is likely in case Randall needs to further update the Javascript or such. The "change the image" event has a new image URL, which the script then dutifully updates the image with, then goes back to waiting for further instruction. As of yet, xkcd's servers seem to be sending events every half hour, but that's entirely up to xkcd's servers, and could change at any time. Similarly, we have no way of speeding up the process or get updates early. Additionally, this comic could theoretically continue changing forever - anything can happen as long as those event streams are still up (or come back up after going offline for a while).

There are also a few loadbalancing mechanisms, so that the impact is spread across xkcd's servers and across time. There are (currently) 7 servers sending event streams, and the script randomly picks one to listen to. Both the image update events and page-reload events are delayed by a random amount after receiving the event, in order to spread the impact out over time - a full minute in the case of reload. The maximum delay (spread time) for image updates is specified along with the new image in the event data; the one I saw was under 10 seconds. It appears that the script went through an initial period of deploy, debug, revise (hence the errors early on) but has settled at version 7. The script also pings back to xkcd's servers with errors and diagnostics, which I'm sure helped with the debugging/fixing. The updates are facilitated (for the more recent and any future ones, at least) by the "reload page" event that the script listens for and can execute.

TL;DR: The script listens for instructions from xkcd's servers and then follows them - currently, it can "change image" and "reload the page". The latter updates the Javascript if needbe. There are also some nifty load-balancing/mitigation features so we don't all smoke Randall's servers.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby mojacardave » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:04 pm UTC

The disappearance of stick guy seems to have reduced the number of morbid interpretations of this comic at least. For now, it's just an elaborate sandcastle. I'm sure once something more interesting happens, the doom-predictors will be back...
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby Goggalor » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:11 pm UTC

That's really interesting. I would think that the disappearance of one of the characters would incite even more doom and gloom theories. I've learned to ignore theories and attempts to crack codes and just sit back and enjoy the story unfold, but this comic is still ruining my productivity. I can't get anything done.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby mojacardave » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:16 pm UTC

Goggalor wrote:That's really interesting. I would think that the disappearance of one of the characters would incite even more doom and gloom theories. I've learned to ignore theories and attempts to crack codes and just sit back and enjoy the story unfold, but this comic is still ruining my productivity. I can't get anything done.


You'd think the disappearance of a character might be gloom-worthy, but he left cheerfully: it was decidedly un-ominous. Now he's not around, people can't really read things into the comic about Randall's interactions with an ill (or otherwise newsworthy) significant other.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby Angelastic » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:22 pm UTC

mojacardave wrote:Now he's not around, people can't really read things into the comic about Randall's interactions with an ill (or otherwise newsworthy) significant other.

Oh, he's not around, eh? Well, that's no fun. New hypothesis: Randall has had a gender reassignment, or *gasp* grown his hair a bit longer! That's him making sand castles! And the comic will eventually reveal that he drowned last Friday. :cry:

Then on April 1, it will be revealed that he didn't grow his hair after all.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby belliott4488 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:24 pm UTC

fiveofoh wrote:So I've skimmed all 20 pages thus far and know the basics of the Javascript have been explained, ... Here's my summary:

<snip>

Thanks!! I'm not an expert, but I was curious, so the summary for simpletons was very much appreciated!
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby Incognito357 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:24 pm UTC

Going back and figuring out when the comic would finish if there were 1190 frames, my calculations (if i did them right) say it would be 3.5 weeks to finish.
Also, if this were to lead to an april fool's joke, there would be 336 frames (if it were to complete at the same time it started), 384 if it continued throughout that day (if these calculations are right too, and also assuming the time between frames stays at 30 minutes, I had a hunch earlier that maybe the next day it would update more often than 30 minutes, but this doesn't seem to be the case... yet...)
Assuming Randall can draw a frame in about 5 minutes (ignoring putting them on the server, he can put a bunch of frames on at once, which means the time to do so is negligible), it would take about 28 hours to draw a week's worth of frames. Spread across time, this is completely feasible (and maybe probable) that he has many frames stockpiled. I'm not sure how long he could go for if he didn't stock-pile them, and was actually just drawing them as he went (though he could still make at least 5 new frames in the time between just two displayed), but i doubt he's doing that.
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby mojacardave » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:31 pm UTC

Incognito357 wrote:Going back and figuring out when the comic would finish if there were 1190 frames, my calculations (if i did them right) say it would be 3.5 weeks to finish.
Also, if this were to lead to an april fool's joke, there would be 336 frames (if it were to complete at the same time it started), 384 if it continued throughout that day (if these calculations are right too, and also assuming the time between frames stays at 30 minutes, I had a hunch earlier that maybe the next day it would update more often than 30 minutes, but this doesn't seem to be the case... yet...)
Assuming Randall can draw a frame in about 5 minutes (ignoring putting them on the server, he can put a bunch of frames on at once, which means the time to do so is negligible), it would take about 28 hours to draw a week's worth of frames. Spread across time, this is completely feasible (and maybe probable) that he has many frames stockpiled. I'm not sure how long he could go for if he didn't stock-pile them, and was actually just drawing them as he went (though he could still make at least 5 new frames in the time between just two displayed), but i doubt he's doing that.


It could be, but I don't think that this is the April Fool's joke. It's got too much of a lead in and people analyse Randall's comics too deeply for him to get away with that, and still have people surprised.

If it lasts as long as April 1st, there may be a joke within the comic on that day, but I doubt it'll be the main xkcd April Fool. Maybe he'll April Fool us that we've reached the end, and halt the updates for a while, before continuing...
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby mojacardave » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:32 pm UTC

fdbd747655fc15d13f161e3e9f8d33d7a482d36395293b26f00a598069857d9c.png
fdbd747655fc15d13f161e3e9f8d33d7a482d36395293b26f00a598069857d9c.png (4.52 KiB) Viewed 10515 times


This construction is frustratingly slow!
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Re: 1190: "Time"

Postby IllustriousElJefe » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:33 pm UTC

You guys, clearly Randall is a good friend of George R.R. Martin, and this is a wonderfully cleaver way to announce the next book in the Game of Thrones series is finished and will be going on sale in a few days/weeks. Or Randall's personal way of celebrating the new season on TV.

... because xkcd has GoT jokes SO VERY OFTEN.
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