1. Yes, we can see where the dish part has been removed from one of the units. It would have been clearer if the scientists had been drawn halfway down the hill with arms in the air.

  2. I think it’s a radio telescope. They come in many different sizes, large and small. It isn’t an unrealistic size. And anyway, it’s a cartoon, not a scientific diagram. You can expect some inaccuracies.


  3. Per Tom’s comment, notice that the dish is missing from the tower on the far right, and has been relocated atop the snow-capped hill on the left Also note that the “saucer sled” has motion lines to the right where they are beginning their descent.

  4. Thanks, everyone. I’ll buy the “going for a fun slide” explanation, which actually didn’t occur to me at all.

    The disconnected dish reminds me sadly to look for any recent news from Arecibo. I’ve heard some ambitious restoration / adaptation plans, but as proposals and not anything adopted and actually planned. Anybody know more concretely?

  5. Artist should have cut down on the sky (it takes up half the strip!), which would have allowed room to use long motion lines and better show that the dish is being used to slide down the hill.

  6. Not everybody would recognize the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, but how many would think it would make a heck of a skateboard park?

  7. Billy, Carpe Diem is one of those strips which is offered to papers as either a square panel or a horizontal strip. So sometimes a composition which looks good one way may suffer from the alternative.

  8. In general, don’t post Google links. Go to the actual site that Google found for you. You get more reasonable links.

  9. I imagine that made drawing this strip difficult, then. More indication of motion really would help sell the dish as a sled, though.

  10. A related matter that I sometimes have trouble explaining is to avoid passing along the detailed customization or personalization info of a link that comes to you from any sort of membership list. Like a “campaign” identifier, or in the case of web browsing some code to tell their developers where on the page you clicked. (Seriously.) When somebody passes it along, people who use it as-is will end up counting as the first person (in some sense) when they take the survey or view the product.

    Maybe it’s hard to explain because there isn’t one absolutely reliable recipe for correcting / editing the URL, though we can get roughly there by saying erase most of the equal-sign attributes to the right of the question mark.

    It’s not just mailing lists. When I visit Amazon in a web browser, I am probably logged in as me, and a URL copied from the location bar has more to it than what is needed to locate the book or product. When I look up “Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge” and copy the full URL from the location bar, it is this monster:

    But all it takes to get you to that book I’m recommending is up thru the DP number,


    (and I also trimmed the “smile” from the beginning.)

  11. Mitch4: you actually only need the dp/B01K3NP1W0 (the ASIN).

    When forwarding URLs, I always “back them up”–remove as much of the query string (the part after the ?) as I can, until it doesn’t work. Of course sites using REST like Amazon make it even trickier.

    But yes, it’s good hygiene to clean off the tracking stuff! the Urchin Tracking Module–all those “utm_xxxx=” items–can always go.

    Note that this isn’t just good hygiene, but also makes it easier for your recipients to grok what you’re sending. When it’s a long URL like the one Pete sent, it’s harder for folks to divine where they’re being sent. No reflection on you, Pete–you didn’t do anything “wrong”. Just something to learn from for future.

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