1649: "Pipelines"

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby Wee Red Bird » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:44 am UTC

eviloatmeal wrote:
Wee Red Bird wrote:It does say 'consumed'.

'Produced or consumed' is what it says.


Silly me, so it does. Just a bird brained moment.

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby Echo244 » Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:25 am UTC

OK, I claim first go on the vanilla and maple syrup pipes.

I'm surprised by the high relative size of the tea pipeline compared to the coffee one. And... where's the chocolate pipeline?
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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby poof312 » Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:26 am UTC

We use that damn many Hydrochlorofluorocarbons? I'm surprised...

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby poof312 » Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:35 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:How can there be so much more peanut butter than olive oil?


It's not *that* much more, assuming everything is to scale. 50% more tops.

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby CharlieP » Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:40 am UTC

My car's fuel consumption seems to average out at around 6.6 litres/100 km (42.8 miles per UK gallon or 35.6 miles per US gallon). Unless I've messed up my powers somewhere that's like being fuelled by a pipeline 0.3 mm in diameter.
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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby CharlieP » Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:42 am UTC

Oh, wait, Randall already did this.

https://what-if.xkcd.com/11/
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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:34 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:How can there be so much more peanut butter than olive oil?

(Didn't see this, first time round.)

How popular are Olive Oil and (so-called) Jelly sandwiches, then, that side of the pond?

(Speaking of which, where's the jam-pipe?)

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby eviloatmeal » Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:59 am UTC

Echo244 wrote:OK, I claim first go on the vanilla and maple syrup pipes.

Maple syrup I understand - that stuff is delicious right out of the bottle.

But the vanilla pipeline? (Liquid) vanilla usually comes in a solution of like 30% ethanol (in fact, in the US, it has to, for some reason), it's not very nice on its own.

Soupspoon wrote:How popular are Olive Oil and (so-called) Jelly sandwiches, then, that side of the pond?

Don't know about you, but I quite enjoy a good olive-oil-and-garlic sandwich from time to time. Nobody around me enjoys the aftermath, of course.
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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:16 pm UTC

eviloatmeal wrote:Don't know about you, but I quite enjoy a good olive-oil-and-garlic sandwich from time to time. Nobody around me enjoys the aftermath, of course.
It is not unknown to pour a carefully-judged amount of (EV) olive oil on toast, as an alternative to butter/margarine, then slosh it as evenly to the corners as the edges, with any handy piece of cutlery that I have at hand. But I don't think I'd ever do that and then add jam.

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby orthogon » Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:20 pm UTC

Echo244 wrote:I'm surprised by the high relative size of the tea pipeline compared to the coffee one.

I noticed that, too. Boston Tea Party, Schmoston Schmea Schmarty.

How about semen? Clearly far more is produced than consumed...
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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby cryptoengineer » Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:29 pm UTC

poof312 wrote:We use that damn many Hydrochlorofluorocarbons? I'm surprised...


I'm pretty sure HFCS == High Fructose Corn Syrup

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:53 pm UTC

Seraph wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:
ayryq wrote:The flow rate assumption seems like an awfully big one.

Could someone clarify: Is the upper chart "actual size" or the lower one?


Unless your computer screen is very large, or you are very small, the person in the lower chart is not anything like "actual size"...

Some quick work with a ruler suggests that my screen the top box is about 5.75" tall, and that the person in the 2nd box is about 12.5x taller then the mini-first box.
That makes the person in the 2nd box 6 feet tall, which doesn't seem like an unreasonable height to me.


I have no complaints about the person being to scale (or not) with the scaled-down "actual size" box - my point was that the person in the second box is nowhere near 6' on my screen - rather, their height appears to be about the length of my thumb..

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby ijuin » Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:20 pm UTC

I find it interesting that Americans seem to consume about twice as much cow milk as we do coffee, tea, or soda. A whole lot of that must be going to cheese and other processed foods, because I know very few adults who drink twice as much milk than they do of coffee/tea/soda.

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby Karilyn » Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:57 pm UTC

Echo244 wrote:I'm surprised by the high relative size of the tea pipeline compared to the coffee one.

I think you can probably blame Southerners, their tea consumption seems huge compared to the rest of the country. I think the average Southerner drinks a similar amount of iced sweet tea per day, as the average American drinks soda. I wanted to check that, and while I was able to find stats for soda, I couldn't find a good statistic for Tea. The first Google claim I can find, states that Americans consume an average of 44 Gallons of soda per year, or 15.4 ounces per day. Unfortunately for tea, the best I could find was a dubious claim stating that 80% of tea consumed in the US is consumed in the South. With the average American consuming 3.26 ounces of tea per day, as best as I can tell. 37% of the US population lives in the South and.... So 7oz per day. Not even close.

I'm a little skeptical on the 15.4oz of soda per day, but mostly because reading it made me vomit a little in my mouth at the thought. Meh but I drink 16ozs of hot tea a day, so I'm that one random American that goes against the flow, and isn't drinking coffee, soda, or iced tea.

The one which throws me REALLY badly is ketchup. It feels like that's insanely low compared to the actual consumption rate of ketchup that I observe in the US. Hell just on mustard alone, I usually see ketchup consumed at roughly 10 times the rate as mustard.

rmsgrey wrote:Some quick work with a ruler suggests that my screen the top box is about 5.75" tall, and that the person in the 2nd box is about 12.5x taller then the mini-first box. That makes the person in the 2nd box 6 feet tall, which doesn't seem like an unreasonable height to me.

I get about 4 inches for the top box, which make the second person only around 4' tall, which would make them spanking short. I guess my resolution is unusually high for my screen size.
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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:09 pm UTC

Karilyn wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:Some quick work with a ruler suggests that my screen the top box is about 5.75" tall, and that the person in the 2nd box is about 12.5x taller then the mini-first box. That makes the person in the 2nd box 6 feet tall, which doesn't seem like an unreasonable height to me.

I get about 4 inches for the top box, which make the second person only around 4' tall, which would make them spanking short. I guess my resolution is unusually high for my screen size.

That quote was from Seraph, not myself :)

And I don't believe I'm familiar with the idiom "spanking short" - any idea of the etymology there?

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby Kit. » Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:29 pm UTC

Silly putty? Through that pipe? At 4 m/s?

I wonder what it would look like.

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby SuicideJunkie » Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:42 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:Speaking of which, where's the jam-pipe?

That particular pipe never flowed consistently; it keeps becoming ajar.

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby Cervisiae Amatorem » Tue Mar 01, 2016 7:30 pm UTC

Does the pipe for honey looks too big by a couple orders of magnitude? Everything else seems reasonable. It must be counting honey used by bees as well, or my household uses waaay under the average. I needed some honey for a new recipe over the weekend actually and asked my wife if we had any, and the expiration date on the little bear was 4 years ago.

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby ayryq » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:25 pm UTC

Actually talking about honey makes me think, some of these are both produced and consumed in the United States. So which is it? Petroleum seemed like an easy one to look up:

Production (2014) 3,178,555 Thousand Barrels.
Exports (2014) 1,524,170 Thousand Barrels (Note these include products like Kerosene and Wax and Asphalt)
Imports (2014) 3,372,904 Thousand Barrels
Consumption (2014) 6.97 billion barrels = 6,970,000 Thousand Barrels

All from http://www.eia.gov/

These numbers don't add up like you'd maybe expect (i.e. imports + production - exports ≠ consumption). So it's hard to guess what Randall used.

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby ayryq » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:28 pm UTC

It just occurred to me to contemplate what I'd have to use the title-text smoothie for if it were to replace all the constituent components in my daily life. Bathe with it, use as a condiment, etc.

Also, I wonder what my daily allotment would cost?

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby jgh » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:37 pm UTC

Err... gasoline /is/ petroleum.

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby Showsni » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:56 pm UTC

So, it says produced or consumed at the top... But which is it? Or is it both?

Take the cow milk pipe, for instance; is that all the milk produced by cows in America? Or all the cow milk consumed in America? Or some confusing combination of the two? (If consumed, does that include milk consumed by calves?)

This entire chart is ambiguous!

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:04 pm UTC

Cervisiae Amatorem wrote:I needed some honey for a new recipe over the weekend actually and asked my wife if we had any, and the expiration date on the little bear was 4 years ago.
I've a part-used jar of honey in the cupboard with Best Before (not technically the same) on the lid saying Nov 2010. ;) Whether or not it was originally clear-honey, it's opaque at the moment, and more "sugar crystal-like" on the surface that it ever would have been beforehand. I still keep occasionally digging into it for a small spoon, every now and then, to add 'a little sweetener' to certain rarely cooked meals.

(There are also a handful of little 'hotel breakfast table' pots, doubtless pilfered opportunistically obtained from the breakfast tables of such establishments, during some historic stay or other. They're unopened and remain 'clear and runny' in consistency, but with no apparent surviving date info anywhere on top, the side or the bottom. I think some of them may be older, still, but I'm not sure.)


jgh wrote:Err... gasoline /is/ petroleum.

I rather assumed (corroborated by the respective colourations) that petroleum was intended to be all unrefined oil while gasoline was one or more subsets of the lighter/fractionated fuel oils (maybe from aviation through to diesel, maybe less).

I know we call non-diesel car-fuel 'petrol' (petroleum) over here, but Randall's on t'other side of the pond, where there's really odd ideas about words (whilst they also imagine, wrongly, that we have the odd spellings...)

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby ayryq » Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:09 am UTC

jgh wrote:Err... gasoline /is/ petroleum.


Here's a chart which shows all the different things the US government counts as "petroleum"

http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/pet_cons_ps ... mbbl_a.htm

And the last line is "Misc" which includes 31 million barrels per year.

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby ayryq » Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:15 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:no apparent surviving date info anywhere on top, the side or the bottom. I think some of them may be older, still, but I'm not sure.)


I'm sure it's not true but I've heard the trivia tidbit that "honey is the only food that never spoils." In any case Smithsonian reported that archeologists have found honey over 1000 years old to be unspoiled.

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby Mikeski » Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:52 am UTC

ayryq wrote:It just occurred to me to contemplate what I'd have to use the title-text smoothie for if it were to replace all the constituent components in my daily life. Bathe with it, use as a condiment, etc.

It is both a floor wax and a dessert topping...

jgh wrote:Err... gasoline /is/ petroleum.

Thus the note "many pipelines would overlap" on the comic.

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:52 am UTC

Karilyn wrote:I'm a little skeptical on the 15.4oz of soda per day, but mostly because reading it made me vomit a little in my mouth at the thought. Meh but I drink 16ozs of hot tea a day, so I'm that one random American that goes against the flow, and isn't drinking coffee, soda, or iced tea.

One can of soda is 12 oz, so 15 oz/day doesn't seem like an unreasonable average. That means on a typical day you drink one can of soda, and there are slightly more days in which you drink two cans than days in which you drink no cans.

I guess if you find all soda disgusting that won't appeal to you, but I'm not sure why it would make you vomit.

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby Waldo » Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:41 am UTC

There isn't enough alcohol in all the alcohol-containing pipelines combined to erase the mental image of a meter-wide pipeline of human saliva from my mind. That is all.
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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:45 am UTC

Waldo wrote:a meter-wide pipeline of human saliva from my mind.

See a doctor. This shouldn't be happening...

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby Dave Rogers » Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:48 am UTC

Karilyn wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:Some quick work with a ruler suggests that my screen the top box is about 5.75" tall, and that the person in the 2nd box is about 12.5x taller then the mini-first box. That makes the person in the 2nd box 6 feet tall, which doesn't seem like an unreasonable height to me.

I get about 4 inches for the top box, which make the second person only around 4' tall, which would make them spanking short. I guess my resolution is unusually high for my screen size.


I would assume the figure is supposed to be 5'6" tall, unless for some odd reason it isn't Summer Glau.

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby HES » Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:34 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:(whilst they also imagine, wrongly, that we have the odd spellings...)

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby peteispo » Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:15 pm UTC

It's a bit disappointing that the "Donated Blood" pipe is not much bigger than an large artery...
I wonder how the same diagram would work for the UK. I suspect that the Tea pipe would need to be larger...

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby Showsni » Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:13 pm UTC

peteispo wrote:It's a bit disappointing that the "Donated Blood" pipe is not much bigger than an large artery...
I wonder how the same diagram would work for the UK. I suspect that the Tea pipe would need to be larger...


There are a lot more people in America, though.

27 oz times 64.6 million people = 1744200000 oz tea per year
12 oz times 318.9 million people = 3826800000 oz tea per year

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby tonado » Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:59 pm UTC

What color would come out of the nail polish pipeline, and how would they keep the glitter from clogging it?

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:07 pm UTC

Showsni wrote:
peteispo wrote:It's a bit disappointing that the "Donated Blood" pipe is not much bigger than an large artery...
I wonder how the same diagram would work for the UK. I suspect that the Tea pipe would need to be larger...


The Blood and Transplant Service in the UK might help with the redder pipe.

Donations1 are 470ml each (originally a pint, a.k.a. "very nearly an armful!"), with the situation being more complicated for platelet donors, but a quick glance doesn't show an enumeration of number of donations or final amounts. It's getting less than it used to be, though... Which is a shame.

Oh, wait! At the bottom of that article, I found: "NHSBT collects 1.7 million units of blood each year from over 23,000 blood donation sessions in more than 3,000 venues". Just as I'd given up finding any explicit figures like that. You can do the maths.

Anyway, the Tea pipe would partly feed back into the people who have just fed into the blood pipe. (Although I prefer a lemon cordial, with my biccy, personally.) Just so long as they keep the plumbing straight, eh? ;)


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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby Nicksaerian » Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:44 pm UTC

Long time reader, first time forum poster. I apologize in advance if this is the wrong place for this question and would ask clemency and guidance.

Where may one obtain a high quality version of the comic image suitable for creating a full size poster out of? This one would be great to hang on my office wall.

Thank you

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby Jackpot777 » Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:37 pm UTC

Cygnwulf wrote:Maybe I'm wierd


You are with THAT spelling. I before E? What kind of weird freaky arrangement do you call that?!?

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby The Moomin » Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:42 am UTC

ijuin wrote:I find it interesting that Americans seem to consume about twice as much cow milk as we do coffee, tea, or soda. A whole lot of that must be going to cheese and other processed foods, because I know very few adults who drink twice as much milk than they do of coffee/tea/soda.


I assume a lot of the milk is used for cereals and milkshakes.

My milkshake brings all the boys to the pipe.
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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby ubi » Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:49 am UTC

Now I want to see the pipelines of other countries. That maple syrup line has to be bigger in Canada, and mustard must be up in Germany and France...salsa in Mexico?

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Re: 1649: "Pipelines"

Postby cptjeff » Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:27 am UTC

puppysized wrote:I read "Meat (mostly solid)" as "Meat (mostly squid)". Why have I not heard of these squid farms before?!


Now I'm wondering how large the squid pipeline would be. Can't be very large, some searching shows that we consume about 45,000 tons of squid a year, back of the napkin math puts that at about a quarter pound per capita. Don't know where that puts it on the chart, maybe somebody else can do that math.

I do an 8 oz tin or two of squid preserved in ink a year, so that sounds about right. Try tossing some into a paella. Or just serve with cheese on crackers.


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