1142: "Coverage"

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1142: "Coverage"

Postby Quicksilver » Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:04 am UTC

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http://xkcd.com/1142/
Alt Text:"My resonant tunneling diode phone has limited range but a short enough wavelength to penetrate even the densest cages. This gives me a major combat advantage, hopefully."
I suspect the comic assumes Faraday doesn't realise he's in a cagematch. Michael Faraday? hmmm.... Nope, I got nothing.
Last edited by Quicksilver on Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:10 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby rhomboidal » Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:07 am UTC

Ultimate Wi-Fighting?

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby glasnt » Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:18 am UTC

Um.. cage match, (faraday) cage match.. lacking of coverage...

Yeah. Not quite sure if there's something else on top.

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby Abecedarius » Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:35 am UTC

Here's some info on Faraday cages from Wikipedia:
"A Faraday cage or Faraday shield is an enclosure formed by conducting material or by a mesh of such material. Such an enclosure blocks external static and non-static electric fields."

I don't get the pun myself, though I can see there's supposed to be one there. No reception = Faraday cage = cage match. I'm just missing the humor part.

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby PHDrillSergeant » Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:39 am UTC

It's a pun based on a Faraday Cage (which blocks signals) and a cage match. It's a before-and-after pun. Not a complex joke, but nonetheless very funny.

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby Miscellane0us » Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:43 am UTC

Good one... Not sure everyone will understand this though.

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:44 am UTC

This is absolutely hilarious! One of the better ones, for sure.
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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby San Fran Sam » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:09 am UTC

jeez! I'm not a scientist. Nor do I play one on TV. And even I got this one.

Guess it must have been my wasted youth spent reading science fiction. Or something.

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby da Doctah » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:23 am UTC

Miscellane0us wrote:Good one... Not sure everyone will understand this though.
Oh, I understood it all right, but I'm still giving it two meh's down.

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby bmonk » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:44 am UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:This is absolutely hilarious! One of the better ones, for sure.

certainly one of the nerdier ones.

Wondering what Faraday's first law of fight club is?
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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby obarey » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:57 am UTC

bmonk wrote:Wondering what Faraday's first law of fight club is?


You are not supposed to talk about it.

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby J L » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:05 am UTC

PHDrillSergeant wrote:It's a pun based on a Faraday Cage (which blocks signals) and a cage match. It's a before-and-after pun. Not a complex joke, but nonetheless very funny.


Before and after? You mean there are only two people in this strip? That might explain my confusion. I thought the little panel was kind of a window behind which the actual Faraday cage was.

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby fx3_hdrive » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:47 am UTC

What the hell is a "resonant tunneling diode" ?
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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby Carlington » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:56 am UTC

fx3_hdrive wrote:What the hell is a "resonant tunneling diode" ?

Look, as much as I hate to do this: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=resonant+tunneling+diode
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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby Istaro » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:04 am UTC

J L wrote:
PHDrillSergeant wrote:It's a pun based on a Faraday Cage (which blocks signals) and a cage match. It's a before-and-after pun. Not a complex joke, but nonetheless very funny.


Before and after? You mean there are only two people in this strip? That might explain my confusion. I thought the little panel was kind of a window behind which the actual Faraday cage was.


Before and after as in a humorous phrase comprising three parts, where parts 1 and 2 together form a real thing, parts 2 and 3 together form a real thing (with part 2 thus being shared between them), and all parts together form not a real thing but something that may be amusing to imagine.

Like the Wheel of Fortune category, basically.

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby BAReFOOt » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:11 am UTC

People will be laughing at this Faraday.
Then ponder it Faraday, cause they didn’t actually get it.
Then the next one comes out.
Last edited by BAReFOOt on Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:14 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby BAReFOOt » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:14 am UTC

glasnt wrote:Um.. cage match, (faraday) cage match.. lacking of coverage...
Yeah. Not quite sure if there's something else on top.


There isn’t. Don’t let the ones who say they “got it” distract you. They are the ones who got it the least. (Old rule. Related to the Streisand Effect.) ^^

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby ijuin » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:16 am UTC

bmonk wrote:
cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:This is absolutely hilarious! One of the better ones, for sure.

certainly one of the nerdier ones.

Wondering what Faraday's first law of fight club is?


The induced electromotive force in any closed circuit is equal to the negative of the time rate of change of the magnetic flux through the circuit.

(i.e. the faster the magnetic flux changes, the greater the induced electrical force. This is the fundamental principle behind the operation of mageto or dynamo electrical generators.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday%27 ... _induction

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby Magnanimous » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:21 am UTC

J L wrote:Before and after? You mean there are only two people in this strip? That might explain my confusion. I thought the little panel was kind of a window behind which the actual Faraday cage was.

The little panels work better in comics with actual backgrounds. With only stick figures and no shading it's a little ambiguous...

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby jaimepapier » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:28 am UTC

I got this one thanks to Doctor Who.

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby Daft Rucks » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:11 am UTC

The guy in the insert panel is complaining about bad coverage, which is exactly what you'd expect if he was standing in a Faraday cage.
The next moment he’s struck across the face and the shot widens to show that he is indeed in a Faraday cage - A Faraday cage fight!

The alt text contemplates that if you can get good reception in a Faraday cage, then that might give you an edge in a Faraday cage fight.
That bit is just a throw away though. This is about amusingly combining two things (Faraday cage and cage fight) into one and suggesting what it would look like.

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby Vroomfundel » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:15 am UTC

Carlington wrote:
fx3_hdrive wrote:What the hell is a "resonant tunneling diode" ?

Look, as much as I hate to do this: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=resonant+tunneling+diode


I think in this case it's a bit too condescending - mere googling, even by someone quite knowledgeable in physics, is not enough to explain why a phone based on resonant-tunneling diodes would be able to penetrate even the densest of Faraday cages. I would guess that in order to get this, one needs to understand two pieces of information:
- The effect of Faraday cages, and in particular - the relation between their effectiveness and denseness, probably have something to do with wavelength of what we are shield from
- Resonant-tunneling diodes probably generate some ultra high-frequency waves. This probably has something to do with the quantum mechanical tunneling effects that take place there

So yes, I believe it's an overreaction to accuse fx3_hdrive of laziness, this is more of an opportunity for some physics geek to shine with an eloquent explanation
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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby orthogon » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:42 pm UTC

We have a screened room (Faraday cage) in the lab. It's been dismantled, moved and reassembled three times now. Our suspicions that it might not have retained its original radio-frequency properties were aroused when we discovered that you can make a perfectly acceptable GSM900 phone call from inside with the door closed. If anything, the signal is better inside. It does seem to screen the 1800MHz networks, though.

It has not to my knowledge ever been used for cage fights.
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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby Zamite » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:11 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:It has not to my knowledge ever been used for cage fights.


Or has it?

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby jay35 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:19 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:
Miscellane0us wrote:Good one... Not sure everyone will understand this though.
Oh, I understood it all right, but I'm still giving it two meh's down.

Ditto. Anyone trying to act like it's some high-brow humor we're not getting is simply incorrect.

I know what a faraday cage is.
I understand what it would do to cell signal.
I know what a cage match is.
Yet the concept of the one fellow smacking the other based on his comment seems forced and odd.
Ah well, they can't all be winners.

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby Moose Anus » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:30 pm UTC

jay35 wrote:
da Doctah wrote:
Miscellane0us wrote:Good one... Not sure everyone will understand this though.
Oh, I understood it all right, but I'm still giving it two meh's down.

Ditto. Anyone trying to act like it's some high-brow humor we're not getting is simply incorrect.

I know what a faraday cage is.
I understand what it would do to cell signal.
I know what a cage match is.
Yet the concept of the one fellow smacking the other based on his comment seems forced and odd.
Ah well, they can't all be winners.
The one fellow isn't smacking because of a comment, he's smacking because it's a cage match. The guy with the phone is using his phone to gain a combat advantage, hopefully.
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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:36 pm UTC

I think I see the chain of thought behind the comic:

1) "Faraday cage" and "cage match" overlap on the word "cage".
2) "Faraday cage match" sounds like a good idea for a comic.
3) How do I show a Faraday cage? I know - no cell phone reception!
4) How do I show a cage match? I know - one guy hitting another!
5) Do the two ideas match up at all? Oh well, let's do it anyway.

I can't help thinking there must be a better way to illustrate the caption - and that this strip should have been held back until one was found...

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby Klear » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:57 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:I think I see the chain of thought behind the comic:

1) "Faraday cage" and "cage match" overlap on the word "cage".
2) "Faraday cage match" sounds like a good idea for a comic.
3) How do I show a Faraday cage? I know - no cell phone reception!
4) How do I show a cage match? I know - one guy hitting another!
5) Do the two ideas match up at all? Oh well, let's do it anyway.

I can't help thinking there must be a better way to illustrate the caption - and that this strip should have been held back until one was found...


Frame 1: TV announcer: "And now we return to the live coverage from the Faraday cage match!"
Frame 2: TV filled with static.

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby Reecer6 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:02 pm UTC

You have to wonder why somebody looking for reception wanders into 1, a Faraday cage (Understabdable, he might've only known it was related to electrolysis), and 2, a CAGE MATCH (Which is presumably BEING BROADCASTED).
@rmsgrey: I dunno, I thought that part was just as funny as the pun. Which is, a little. I prefer Klear's reimagining still though.

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:15 pm UTC

obarey wrote:
bmonk wrote:Wondering what Faraday's first law of fight club is?


You are not supposed to talk about it.

More likely that you are not supposed to transmit it.
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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby DonJaime » Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:14 pm UTC

"Coverage" is a property of radio transmitters, not of a region of space. The author-alter-ego figure is so enraged by the other character's misuse of the term in the small frame that he is provoked to violence in the scene in the large frame. The caption provides humorous commentary on this "human, all too human" outbreak of pedantry.

Obviously.
I don't think 'pedant' is really the right word.

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby paulrowe » Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:26 pm UTC

bmonk wrote:Wondering what Faraday's first law of fight club is?

The First Law of Faraday Cage-Fighting is: "You do not tweet about Faraday Cage-Fighting."

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby cmac0351 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:52 pm UTC

The one fellow isn't smacking because of a comment, he's smacking because it's a cage match. The guy with the phone is using his phone to gain a combat advantage, hopefully.


This isn't how I understand it. I think the one one the right (doing the striking, because it is a cage fight) is the owner of the resonant tunneling diode phone. Any of his opponents in the cage match will be so distracted by their terrible cell coverage that he has an advantage in the fight. No?

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby Rotherian » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:00 pm UTC

Vroomfundel wrote:
Carlington wrote:
fx3_hdrive wrote:What the hell is a "resonant tunneling diode" ?

Look, as much as I hate to do this: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=resonant+tunneling+diode


I think in this case it's a bit too condescending - mere googling, even by someone quite knowledgeable in physics, is not enough to explain why a phone based on resonant-tunneling diodes would be able to penetrate even the densest of Faraday cages. I would guess that in order to get this, one needs to understand two pieces of information:
- The effect of Faraday cages, and in particular - the relation between their effectiveness and denseness, probably have something to do with wavelength of what we are shield from
- Resonant-tunneling diodes probably generate some ultra high-frequency waves. This probably has something to do with the quantum mechanical tunneling effects that take place there

So yes, I believe it's an overreaction to accuse fx3_hdrive of laziness, this is more of an opportunity for some physics geek to shine with an eloquent explanation


You are, of course, entitled to your own opinion. However, no person on this forum is required to sate another's curiosity. Many often do so, but there is no requirement.

As far as fx3_hdrive's query is concerned, it would probably have gone over better if he/she had posted something to the effect of: "I read the article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resonant-tunneling_diode, but how does that relate to a cage match?" This shows a willingness, on the part of the querent, to at least attempt to use the available tools to answer his/her question.

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby webgrunt » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:08 pm UTC

Resident tattling draino? what??

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby Reecer6 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:54 pm UTC

webgrunt wrote:Resident tattling draino? what??

My favorite Resident Evil spinoff.

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby Taiyoki » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:24 pm UTC

bmonk wrote:
cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:This is absolutely hilarious! One of the better ones, for sure.

certainly one of the nerdier ones.

Wondering what Faraday's first law of fight club is?


what happens in the cage, stays in the cage...

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby keithl » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:57 pm UTC

Alt Text:"My resonant tunneling diode phone has limited range but a short enough wavelength to penetrate even the densest cages.


Short wavelength penetration of dense cages? A chicken-wire cage, maybe, if the holes were smaller than the wavelength. Not solid walls, like a "dense" cage.

Back in grad school, working with superconductors, we had a 8x8 foot shielded room, intended to exclude not just radio energy but magnetic fields. Big metal door, like a commercial refrigerator, with brass spring contacts around it. Nice satisfying scrunch when the door was closed. Because it was intended to hold electronic test equipment, it had an air conditioner with RF-attenuating (?) baffles. The room didn't work very well at DC - perhaps it got magnetized. So a couple of grad students re-purposed it as an air-conditioned office.

The walls were many layers of aluminum sheet and mu metal. Given skin effect in metals, the walls would have attenuated 60Hz power fields by more than 100dB, and radio/microwave/light way more than that. About the only way short wavelength stuff could penetrate those walls was by melting them. What if we tried more power?

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby cantab314 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:46 pm UTC

Yeah, I don't get this one. I know what a Faraday cage is, I know what a cage match is, and I know that not all xkcd comics are meant to be funny. But this one just leaves me feeling "What?"

Now a John Cage match would be more interesting. The good news is each round lasts just over four and a half minutes, the bad news is the bell is inaudible.

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Re: 1142: "Coverage"

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:38 pm UTC

cantab314 wrote:Yeah, I don't get this one. I know what a Faraday cage is, I know what a cage match is, and I know that not all xkcd comics are meant to be funny. But this one just leaves me feeling "What?"

Now a John Cage match would be more interesting. The good news is each round lasts just over four and a half minutes, the bad news is the bell is inaudible.

John Cage broadcasts live commentary on a cage match from within a Faraday cage... and everybody can hear it just fine.
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