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
James Delingpole is an invective-hurling anti-climate science columnist who has candidly admitted that he doesn’t bother to read scientific papers, calling himself a “an interpreter of interpretations.”
Kratom (previously) is a widely used herb that has been very effective in treating opioid withdrawal and other chronic, hard-to-treat conditions — it also became very controversial this year because the DEA decided, without evidence, to class it as a dangerous drug, and then changed its mind (unprecedented!) after a mass-scale petition that included interventions […]
In a curious study, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles showed that transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) — altering brain activity by zapping specific regions with magnetic pulses — can apparently increase people’s libido, at least briefly. Neuroscientist Nicole Prause and her colleagues targeted the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (at the left temple), a […]
Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited […]
The ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripod is a smartphone tripod that is designed with flexible legs to rest on virtually any type of surface. Other tripods have proved useless unless I conveniently have a flat surface in front of me, which is why this particular tripod was appealing enough to try out. The ARMOR-X is compact and easy […]
You don’t need to get an advanced degree and take out massive loans to become a coder. This bundle of 10 courses was designed to teach anyone to code at home for less than it costs to go out for dinner. I was particularly impressed with this new 2017 bundle because it includes courses on […]