Psst. Hey you. It's Thursday. Which means it's almost Friday. Which means it's almost the weekend. We both know you've done more than enough work and no one is going to know or care if you spend the rest of the day surfing the internet. Come with me down this dark alleyway of the internet. I got something I think you'll want to see........
When the stupid burns brightly and the wonder of science seems ever-dimming in the eyes of the world, there's not much else to do but laugh. To that end I'd like to highlight a couple of my favorite web comics that share my passion for science, philosophy, and the occasional blatantly disgusting and inappropriate humor. If you haven't already guessed, some of the following is NSFW.
Randall Munroe was a NASA roboticist in 2005 when he started posting his doodles under the name xkcd. His simple stick figure drawings showcase a nuanced understanding of math,computer sciences, and various other areas both in and out of science. I appreciate that some of his comics completely go over my head and I find myself often googling terms and doing more research than I'd like to admit just to get the joke.
My favorite xkcd comics though are Munroe's large scale comics such as "Up Goer Five" where he labels the parts of the Saturn V launch vehicle using only the ten hundred words people use most often. Or "Lakes and Oceans" with the relative depths of differing bodies of water shown. Some of these comics are sold in the xkcd online store in poster form along with t-shirts and Munroe's new book, "What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Question". I haven't read it yet but I have no doubt that it's as entertaining and engaging as everything else he's produced. And Hannukah is coming up.........
Another regular web comic perusal for when I want to avoid work is Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (SMBC) by Zach Weiner. I have Don to thank for this incredible time-suck. Being a joyfully perverse former philosophy major with a wide interest in science, sometimes it's like Zach is speaking directly to my soul.
Some of the most common topics for SMBC are physics,biology, and space-related themes although much to my delight he often makes comics involving Venn Diagrams and graphs. And maybe it's not science, but if you get a hearty chortle out nihilism or zinging the works of Immanuel Kant then you may lose hours of your life to this web comic.
So there you have it. I've shown you mine, now you show me yours. What web comics are your go-to when it's time to hold the world at bay? Let us know below in the comments!