Breadpig Publishing were kind enough to send me a review copy of xkcd: volume 0, the first-ever collection of strips from Randall Munroe's fantastic, unrepentantly geeky webcomic XKCD: A webcomic of romance,
sarcasm, math, and language.
I've been a fan of XKCD since I happened upon his Help! I'm Trapped in a Universe Factory strip, and Randall was kind enough to write a fictionalized version of me into later toons. We got to meet last summer at a science fiction convention in Springfield, Mass, and hit it off like a house on fire.
So I was delighted to find myself holding an actual book -- cover price $18, portion of profits goes to building schools in Laos through the Room to Read charity -- and turning the pages. Randall once told me that he'd rejected earlier book offers because his older strips were only available at a very low resolution, and it seems like many of these were included on the basis that they're funny and interesting enough to overlook the lower-quality reproductions. The tool-tips -- hidden punchlines that show up if you hover your mouse over the XKCD strips -- are included as small-caps print tucked among the frames, and this is nearly as good as the screen experience.
The book is full of eastereggs; the pages appear to be numbered in ternary. There is a cryptographic puzzle hidden in the margins, along with many small, Sergio-Argones-like doodles and gags. More than anything, xkcd: volume 0 feels like it is a part of the XKCD continuum, a mix of blog, webcomic, doodle and tweet, handsomely presented and long overdue.
xkcd: volume 0
A better understanding how a sperm swims its way toward an egg could help inform new treatments for male infertility. Researchers from the University of York have now come up with a mathematical formula to model how large numbers of moving sperm interact with fluid they’re swimming through. From the University: By analysing the head […]
Dr Gale Ridge is a public entomologist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, where an average of 23 people a day call, write or visit; an increasing proportion of them aren’t inquiring about actual insects, they’re suffering from delusional parasitosis, and they’re desperate and even suicidal.
Biologist Nipam Patel and his team at UC Berkeley study how butterflies develop wing shape and color by performing surgery on caterpillars, creating translucent windows in their cocoons.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]
Custom coffee vessels are the perfect piece of office flair, but it’s just a matter of time before your VOTE FOR PEDRO mug will start to lose its relevant wit. Why not have a new one every day, with whatever silly nonsense you want sticking off the sides? You can save big on your novelty […]
The Lightning port has thus far resisted the cruel fate that befell the headphone jack, and despite rumors that it may be disappearing come iPhone 8, for the present and foreseeable future, Lightning cables are a hot commodity for iPhone users. As such, we must make do in this strange time in which long, glorified […]