1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

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The Synologist
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1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby The Synologist » Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:44 am UTC

Image
Title="Water/ice has a lot of weird phases. Maybe asking 'where do birds go when it rains' is like asking 'where does Clark Kent go whenever Superman shows up?'"

I'm curious how googling a question could lead to that same question in other languages? Or maybe Randall just google translated the question and re-entered it?

Also, lol'd at the suggestion that rain becomes birds XD
Last edited by Felstaff on Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:52 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: WHY IS THERE A RE: IN THE OP TITLE?? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH HUMANITY? YEESH.

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glasnt
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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby glasnt » Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:49 am UTC

That bird is tweeting -_-

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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby rhomboidal » Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:00 am UTC

Hehe, we may not know where birds go when it rains, but we do know they're all hunt-and-peck typists.

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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby addams » Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:12 am UTC

glasnt wrote:That bird is tweeting -_-

That is so cute.

Birds are, sort of, cute.
I know where some of them go.

The hummingbirds sit on something tall and give me 'The Look'.
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Lazy Tommy
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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby Lazy Tommy » Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:16 am UTC

I don't have the answer to the question, although I have a guess: when it rains, birds look for the driest place they can reach, probably close to the ground, underneath dense shrubs or other vegetation. (Where do humans go when it rains, and "indoors" is not a option? Me, I look for trees with dense foliage.)

This does remind me of another mystery: where do flies come from when you're on open water?
Case in point: I was on a sailboat one time, on a big lake, a couple of miles from shore, when the wind died. There we were, the water turned flat as a mirror, the sails were hanging as limp as wet laundry on a clothesline... And suddenly there were little annoying flies everywhere.
Where did those flies come from? Between the wind dying down and those flies appearing couldn't have been more than one or two minutes. There's no way that they could have flown all the way from shore in that time. And yet there they were.
I still haven't figured that out.

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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby Djehutynakht » Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:17 am UTC

I have, in fact, always wondered that.

Get out of my head, world.


I like this comic.

I also like the tantalizing suggestion that upon there being a rainstorm, all the birds change into rain.

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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby Mikeski » Wed Oct 15, 2014 5:51 am UTC

You could ask The Carpenters. They seem to know something about the sudden appearance of birds, maybe they know about their disappearances as well.

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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby Slothrop » Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:02 am UTC

Wow ... what's up with me today? That hit me right in the feels.

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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby Envelope Generator » Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:07 am UTC

This type of XKCD comic triggers my Shatneric paracusia.
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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby Eternal Density » Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:07 am UTC

The first part was kinda amusing. The collage of webpages was also a little funny. The sad lost bird tapping on a phone was sorta funny and sorta "sad but sweet" in a humourous way. But the title-text killed me :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby orthogon » Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:56 am UTC

Mikeski wrote:You could ask The Carpenters. They seem to know something about the sudden appearance of birds, maybe they know about their disappearances as well.

:-D That song takes on a whole new edge when you realise it was written in the same year (1963) as Hitchcock's The Birds was made.
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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby You, sir, name? » Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:57 am UTC

Why do some birds jump, while others walk?!
I edit my posts a lot and sometimes the words wrong order words appear in sentences get messed up.

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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:01 am UTC

orthogon wrote:
Mikeski wrote:You could ask The Carpenters. They seem to know something about the sudden appearance of birds, maybe they know about their disappearances as well.

:-D That song takes on a whole new edge when you realise it was written in the same year (1963) as Hitchcock's The Birds was made.

Why do birds
Suddenly appear
Every time
You are near?
Just like you
they're trying to
murder me.
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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby sfmans » Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:07 am UTC

Where do birds go when it rains?


Our blackthorn hedge. Every single one of them. The hedge is alive with the sound of birds shuffling around trying to find the driest bit.

Get Out Of My Hedge Randall!

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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby il biggo » Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:40 am UTC

sfmans wrote:Get Out Of My Hedge Randall!

We have a winner. Of everything. Take this, it's yours. And this, and this, and that other thing there.
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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby julo » Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:43 am UTC

Obligatory Emiliana Torrini (Birds):

Lend me your wings and teach me how to fly
Show me when it rains, the place you go to hide
And the curtains draw again and bow, another day ends
The leaves applaud the wind

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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby Jonathan589 » Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:01 am UTC

I'm still missing the joke about birds turning into rain; I thought the joke was all the birds in the world wondering where to go now that it was raining, and all of them posting the question online as well as (of course) tweeting it. That would make a big trend.

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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby bachaddict » Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:09 am UTC

You, sir, name? wrote:Why do some birds jump, while others walk?!

Hopping is quick for short distances, especially over small obstacles, but larger or ground-dwelling birds walk to save energy.
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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby teelo » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:05 am UTC

glasnt wrote:That bird is tweeting -_-

I see what you did there.

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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby J L » Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:10 am UTC

Google autocomplete suggestions for "Where do birds go when":

- it rains
- they die
- it rains hard
- they leave the nest

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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby brenok » Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:28 am UTC

Jonathan589 wrote:I'm still missing the joke about birds turning into rain; I thought the joke was all the birds in the world wondering where to go now that it was raining, and all of them posting the question online as well as (of course) tweeting it. That would make a big trend.

That's on the title text.

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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:17 am UTC

Lazy Tommy wrote:
This does remind me of another mystery: where do flies come from when you're on open water?
Case in point: I was on a sailboat one time, on a big lake, a couple of miles from shore, when the wind died. There we were, the water turned flat as a mirror, the sails were hanging as limp as wet laundry on a clothesline... And suddenly there were little annoying flies everywhere.
Where did those flies come from? Between the wind dying down and those flies appearing couldn't have been more than one or two minutes. There's no way that they could have flown all the way from shore in that time. And yet there they were.
I still haven't figured that out.


It should be obvious: spontaneous generation. :P . Same thing that makes your boss show up just as you open xkcd.com...
Speaking of open water -- where do all the shorebirds go when the whole flock of sandpipers&sanderlings flutter away down the beach?

BTW, I must compliment Randall on his "topper" of tossing in the bird sequence at the very end. Just when you thought it was a purely philosophical & epidemiological comic,.. WHAM!
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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:19 am UTC

sfmans wrote:
Where do birds go when it rains?


Our blackthorn hedge. Every single one of them. The hedge is alive with the sound of birds shuffling around trying to find the driest bit.

Get Out Of My Hedge Randall!


That's What She Said

I'm soooo sorry :cry: :oops:
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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:17 pm UTC

Lazy Tommy wrote:This does remind me of another mystery: where do flies come from when you're on open water?
Case in point: I was on a sailboat one time, on a big lake, a couple of miles from shore, when the wind died. There we were, the water turned flat as a mirror, the sails were hanging as limp as wet laundry on a clothesline... And suddenly there were little annoying flies everywhere.
Where did those flies come from? Between the wind dying down and those flies appearing couldn't have been more than one or two minutes. There's no way that they could have flown all the way from shore in that time. And yet there they were.
I still haven't figured that out.


I can think of a number of possible explanations:

They were already there, but on the water rather than in the air
They were on the boat
They descended from above
There was still air closer than you thought

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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby oauitam » Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:44 pm UTC

bachaddict wrote:
You, sir, name? wrote:Why do some birds jump, while others walk?!

Hopping is quick for short distances, especially over small obstacles, but larger or ground-dwelling birds walk to save energy.

Hopefully a little helpful link;
http://www.rspb.org.uk/makeahomeforwildlife/advice/expert/previous/hop_or_run.aspx

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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby addams » Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:49 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
Lazy Tommy wrote:This does remind me of another mystery: where do flies come from when you're on open water?
Case in point: I was on a sailboat one time, on a big lake, a couple of miles from shore, when the wind died. There we were, the water turned flat as a mirror, the sails were hanging as limp as wet laundry on a clothesline... And suddenly there were little annoying flies everywhere.
Where did those flies come from? Between the wind dying down and those flies appearing couldn't have been more than one or two minutes. There's no way that they could have flown all the way from shore in that time. And yet there they were.
I still haven't figured that out.


I can think of a number of possible explanations:

They were already there, but on the water rather than in the air
They were on the boat
They descended from above
There was still air closer than you thought

eeewww. They were on the boat.
That guy sails a Maggots in a Boat Suit. (eww.)

Each to his own, I suppose.
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Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby ThemePark » Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:38 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:You could ask The Carpenters. They seem to know something about the sudden appearance of birds, maybe they know about their disappearances as well.


Get out of my head, Mikeski!

cellocgw wrote:
sfmans wrote:
Where do birds go when it rains?


Our blackthorn hedge. Every single one of them. The hedge is alive with the sound of birds shuffling around trying to find the driest bit.

Get Out Of My Hedge Randall!


That's What She Said

I'm soooo sorry :cry: :oops:


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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby chronoshag » Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:49 pm UTC

For whatever reason, the image took a minute to load, so I opened up another tab in chrome to continue looking at my daily webcomics before I have to jet off to work here. I think that since I have a new account I can't actually show the image - since it keeps flagging it as a spam attempt - but the answer is "Into the sun", the tab title for the current What-If. So there goes my semi-visual gag.

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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby Geekoid » Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:10 pm UTC

Today's comic made me happy. Thank you, I needed that.

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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby Introbulus » Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:43 pm UTC

As somoene who lived in a forest for 22 years of his life (By the way, trees falling are hella loud), birds typically go back to their nests where the leaf coverage is usually quite adequate to keep them dry. When they're further away, they tend to rush to any coverage with an underhang they can find. Bushes are a big favorite for birds, but they'll take man-made cover just as well. This is why they like to build nests underneath the edge of roofs - it stays relatively dry, safe, and far away from predators.

Waterfowl have it a little more rough - they tend to seek shelter at the edge of a pond in the reeds. You might think they'd just stay in the lake the whole time, but rain is actually terrible for them, as it ruins the sealant around their feathers that allows them to float and swim so easily, so they tend to wait rain out in a sheltered area near the shore.

And walking birds tend to just seek out any covered area they can find.

For every person wondering where the birds go, now you know.
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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby Kay.meleon » Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:41 pm UTC

Personally, I subscribe to the theory in Joel Champetier's short story, Soluble Fish

I don't want to ruin a good story for you. But Randall's pretty close with his "birds are a phase of water" guess.

translatedsf dot thierstein dot net / tiki-index dot php?page=Joel+Champetier

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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby mooncow » Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:49 pm UTC

I like the idea of a bird googling to find out: where IS it that we go when it rains??

Who's up for creating a wikipedia article "Where birds go when it rains", putting a particular place into it ("Underneath the third arch of the Manhattan Bridge", say), then going along to see how many birds turn up there next time it rains....?

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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby trpmb6 » Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:33 pm UTC

So I instinctively began searching the internet for where do birds go when it rains.. and I love what I found. Not only did I find satisfactory answers by complete strangers who probably have no degree in anything remotely close to what is needed to make the claims they are.. but I also found many posts of "Where does Clark Kent go when Superman shows up?" Everywhere. I love you xkcd fans.. You make the internet a better place.
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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby da Doctah » Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:42 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:You could ask The Carpenters. They seem to know something about the sudden appearance of birds, maybe they know about their disappearances as well.


When I read the title, I keep hearing Missing Persons' "What Are Words For".

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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby armatil » Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:19 pm UTC

"where do birds go when it rains?"
"42."

...not the ultimate question, then.

feels like we're closing in, though.

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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby mojo12 » Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:53 pm UTC

I'm currently reading A Dance With Dragons, so the title makes me think of "Where do whores go"

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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby Showsni » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:42 pm UTC

You, sir, name? wrote:Why do some birds jump, while others walk?!


Long ago, not sure if I heard it or read it somewhere, I was told that the reason for this was more intelligent birds had two halves of the brain, each controlling the opposite leg, as in humans, whereas less intelligent ones had a single brain controlling both legs at the same time and thus had to hop. Perhaps it was April Fool's Day?

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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby addams » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:53 pm UTC

sfmans wrote:
Where do birds go when it rains?


Our blackthorn hedge. Every single one of them. The hedge is alive with the sound of birds shuffling around trying to find the driest bit.

Get Out Of My Hedge Randall!

The birds are in Your Hedge.
The mice are it My Drawers.

The Birds use Twitter to find Your Hedge.
I suspect the Mice of giving directions on their little Mousy FaceBooks.

I'd trade your Birds in a Hedge for my Mice in a Drawer.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby Cauchy » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:57 pm UTC

But where does water come from when it rains? It's a difficult question, because water is impossible to describe. One might ask the same about birds. Where do birds go when it rains? We just don't know.
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Re: 1434: "Where Do Birds Go"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:58 pm UTC

Cauchy wrote:But where does water come from when it rains? It's a difficult question, because water is impossible to describe. One might ask the same about birds. Where do birds go when it rains? We just don't know.

Water goes up, water comes down. You can't explain that.
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