0506: "Theft of the Magi"

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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby vviipp » Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:14 pm UTC

I think my first post for a comic, but it's still pretty hilarious, but with Randall Munroe, I'm not surprised. Thanks to you guys, about 80% of the comic has been explained to me...
{1 minuite later...}
Oh, so that's what a Roomba is! Pretty awesome use for a dueling harness, even if it's not mentioned in Section 4.

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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby Bartimaeus » Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:23 pm UTC

If we call the black hat guy the "Classhole", maybe she's Ms. Classhole or something, did anyone search the comic to see what Randall labeled her as?

Edit: BTW, it hasn't been added to the search yet, I tried searching it and nothing came up

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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby tricky77puzzle » Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:51 pm UTC

What's a dueling harness? Do people use Roombas for battlebots or something...?

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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby Aelfyre » Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:06 pm UTC

bentir wrote:this was the most obscure comic I've ever read. I did not know what was a roomba, a harness, an Xbox, Left 4 Dead and Craig's List. And to make things worse, I also misread craig's list as craigsust, due to Randall's poor handwrighting skills. Only after coming to the forum I understand the title. This is a hard one for a foreigner.



you didnt knwo what an Xbox was? what's your home nation Europa?
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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby Eternal Density » Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:09 pm UTC

gormster wrote:60 pennies, a quarter and a 2c piece? not terribly familiar with the US denominations but you have 1 2 5 10 25, right?

(we have 5 10 20 50, fyi)

Actually, I have an Australian 1 cent in my wallet (not sure how it got there). Also a threepence from England.
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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby tricky77puzzle » Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:39 pm UTC

gormster wrote:60 pennies, a quarter and a 2c piece? not terribly familiar with the US denominations but you have 1 2 5 10 25, right?


No 2c piece.

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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby JennyWren » Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:06 pm UTC

Kitsusyn wrote:OK, so two things need explaining:

1. What is a dueling harness for a Roomba,

and

2. In the original story, WTF WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO BUY SOMEONE ELSE'S HAIR!?


People still buy and sell hair. Long, non-coloured hair in good condition can sell for several hundred dollars.
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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby Amarantha » Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:09 pm UTC

Sheol sold his hair to wig makers in the mid-90's. They told him they'd normally have given him up to $200 for it, but they'd just had a big shipment of brown hair from like Romania or somewhere, so they could only offer him $80 or so. Even that was like a week's living expenses for the penniless student he was at the time.

Also, this was one of my favourite comics so far. I'm not even sure why. I think the weird-relationship-that-works-for-those-involved is part of it (awww), and the Roomba duelling harness is just the best thing ever. The comic could have just been a pic of the harness and I still would have loved it :P

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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby tricky77puzzle » Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:42 pm UTC

Argh, nobody's explained what a dueling harness is for a Roomba yet! Despite quite a few requests. Is it some inside joke?
Last edited by tricky77puzzle on Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:24 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby ErrantMind » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:11 am UTC

tricky77puzzle wrote:Argh, [i]nobody's explained what a dueling harness is for a Roomba yet![i] Despite quite a few requests. Is it some inside joke?


Think of it as cockfighting spurs for robotic vacuum cleaners. Roombas are round and would have a very hard time damaging each other. Whereas if you strap spikes to them it becomes entertaining. Or something like that.

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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby brodieboy255 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:39 am UTC

rwald wrote:"Classholette" is a mouthful; I suggest we go with the system whereby a ' (prime) symbol is used to designate someone's significant other. Thus, she is BHG' (pronounced "bee-aich-gee-prime").

(The ' symbol can be used for any significant others, of any gender; the one whose name gets used is just whomever the speaker is most familiar with, not necessarily the male.)


I've just been calling her Eve, after http://www.xkcd.com/177/

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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby utsuprainfra » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:44 am UTC

I love O. Henry. Brilliant. Whoever you are that draws these comics, it feels like we're from the same vine.

Thanks again,

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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby tricky77puzzle » Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:25 am UTC

ErrantMind wrote:
tricky77puzzle wrote:Argh, [i]nobody's explained what a dueling harness is for a Roomba yet![i] Despite quite a few requests. Is it some inside joke?


Think of it as cockfighting spurs for robotic vacuum cleaners. Roombas are round and would have a very hard time damaging each other. Whereas if you strap spikes to them it becomes entertaining. Or something like that.


Oh, you use them to cockfight Roombas! That's what I thought originally, but okay...

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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby EugeneSlipped » Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:48 am UTC

I have to say... I didn't know what a Roomba was before now (I love that I put a wikipedia search bar in my firefox, eet helps me make of the learnings)...

Now I want one so bad.

And the idea of a dueling harness, it brings up all sorts of wonderful, vivid images of two Roombas battling it out gladiator style in my loungeroom.

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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby fishyfish777 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:34 am UTC

I already have the tendency to trip on my active roomba, I don't need to cut my leg every time I wake up and trip on my happily chugging along roomba.
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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby dean.menezes » Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:16 am UTC

I don't like the fact that he used "eBay" as a verb. Verbing weirds language.

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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby BwaHaHa » Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:12 am UTC

dean.menezes wrote:Verbing weirds language.


I especially like that you "verbed" two words.

Sadly, I was confused by the sentence until for a few moments until I realized that "to verb" is not a generally accepted action.

I did get "weirds" though. I'm not as stupid as I sometimes appear. :)
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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby scarletmanuka » Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:36 am UTC

MGSchmahl wrote:A previous poster suggested that we use ' (prime) to denote "girlfriend or boyfriend of". If BHG' = Classholette and Classholette' = BHG, this implies that BHG = a sinh x + b cosh x and Classholette = a cosh x + b sinh x. Considering how outlandish their adventures are, "hyperbolic" seems an apt description.


And the use of a cosh or two seems entirely appropriate as well. :lol:

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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby Fuzzy OneThree » Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:46 am UTC

Get out of my head, Randall! One of my classes just went over the story on Monday!

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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby linguistic » Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:51 am UTC

dean.menezes wrote:I don't like the fact that he used "eBay" as a verb. Verbing weirds language.

Viva la Watterson!
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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby GooglyBoogly » Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:01 am UTC

fishyfish777 wrote:I already have the tendency to trip on my active roomba, I don't need to cut my leg every time I wake up and trip on my happily chugging along roomba.


Yes.... Yes you do. :evil:
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ALL HAIL THE DUELING RHOOMBA! : :twisted:
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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby cheese_nabber » Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:06 am UTC

Why would you buy Left 4 Dead for the Xbox? PC is infinitely better.
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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby rockym93 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 12:35 pm UTC

Eternal Density wrote:Actually, I have an Australian 1 cent in my wallet (not sure how it got there).


They don't make those any more! That could be worth some money... More than one cent, I mean.

Also, I am in favour of classholette. BHG'''''''' or whatever is too hard.
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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby Devilot » Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:22 pm UTC

RJFerret wrote:(google "roomba cat tomato" for a fun story).


I was very, very disappointed to discover the site is named "Tomato Nation", and a tomato does not, in fact, figure into the story anywhere. It does manage to feature an avocado, though.

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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby Seraph » Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:25 pm UTC

0xentropy wrote:I followed the link on wikipedia to The Gift of the Magi.

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies.


Does anyone else see a problem with this?

Not really. To me it simply suggests that the story is set somewhere in the post civil war period were US currency had a lot different coins out there (eg. the three-cent nickle).

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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby Chalnoth » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:10 pm UTC

My question: was that a "Awww, that's so sweet" aww, or was it a, "Aww, man, that sucks!" aww?

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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby Gyvulys624 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:15 pm UTC

hilarious concept, to be sure, but it's not exactly the same.

There is dramatic irony in both "The Gift of the Magi" and this comic because they sell their possession for which their partner bought an accessory for (hair comb - hair, pocket watch chain - watch; Left 4 Dead - Xbox, Battle Harness - Roomba). That all checks out.

However, this is double irony in The Gift of the Magi.

Her hair will grow back and she will be able to use the comb... he will never get his watch back.

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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby Last Face » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:15 pm UTC

I fear playing with the black hat guy in L4D.

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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby Paranoid__Android » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:52 pm UTC

I havn't read the thread so someone has probably already said this but why the heck would you want a harness for a roomba??
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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby Deciheximal » Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:42 am UTC

Heh. Classic joke. I remember a version of it in some cartoon, can't remember which, maybe Ren & Stimpy or Spongebob. Anyway, one guy sells his records to buys the other a golden cheese cutter for his cheese collection, and the other guy sells his cheese collection to buy the first a golden record player for his records.
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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby MarkGyver » Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:52 am UTC

linguistic wrote:
dean.menezes wrote:I don't like the fact that he used "eBay" as a verb. Verbing weirds language.

Viva la Watterson!

You just referred to him with the feminine definite article! I get annoyed when people mixing languages just copy phrases without taking the time to properly understand the little bit that they use. (nothing personal)

Paranoid Android wrote:I havn't read the thread so someone has probably already said this but why the heck would you want a harness for a roomba??
Because it would be cool and random!
This quote is a good example of a random use:
EugeneSlipped wrote:I have to say... I didn't know what a Roomba was before now (I love that I put a wikipedia search bar in my firefox, eet helps me make of the learnings)...

Now I want one so bad.

And the idea of a dueling harness, it brings up all sorts of wonderful, vivid images of two Roombas battling it out gladiator style in my loungeroom.
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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby Devilot » Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:12 am UTC

MarkGyver wrote:
linguistic wrote:
dean.menezes wrote:I don't like the fact that he used "eBay" as a verb. Verbing weirds language.

Viva la Watterson!

You just referred to him with the feminine definite article! I get annoyed when people mixing languages just copy phrases without taking the time to properly understand the little bit that they use. (nothing personal)


No, no, you misunderstand. Since he used the feminine, he was obviously referring to the obscure poet Elizabeta Q. Watterson, who famously wrote "How large is my leech--OH GOD IT'S SUCKING MY EAR GET IT OFF GET IT OFF!"

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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby neurosci_queen » Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:33 am UTC

wizzfizz wrote:"gift of the Magi" ? please explain...


Really sorry if someone already replied to you (haven't gotten to all of them yet, but the Gift of the Magi is a story by O. Henry, about a a very poor couple. The woman has very long beautiful hair and the man has a wonderful watch, and it is the only good thing they own. Christmas is coming and they don't have the money to buy for presents, though the guy wants to get the girl a beautiful set of combs for her lusty hair, and the girl wants to get a watch holder-string thingy for it (watch chain?) for his wonderful watch. As you can guess, it ends with the girl chopping off her beautiful hair to buy the watch-chain, and the guy selling is wonderful watch to buy the combs, and both of them laughing about it and thinking how much they both must love each other.

Though IMO the girl kid of wins, because her hair will grow back, and then she can use the combs again!

Anyway, you can probably see the correlation between the Theft of the Magi and the Gift of the Magi.

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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby neurosci_queen » Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:46 am UTC

Gracenotes wrote:
TV4Fun wrote:
rwald wrote:"Classholette" is a mouthful; I suggest we go with the system whereby a ' (prime) symbol is used to designate someone's significant other. Thus, she is BHG' (pronounced "bee-aich-gee-prime").

(The ' symbol can be used for any significant others, of any gender; the one whose name gets used is just whomever the speaker is most familiar with, not necessarily the male.)

So does that mean BHG'' = BHG?

It could be the Black Hat Girl's secret lesbian lover.

Hypothetically.


Yes, but who would be able to keep up with Black Hat Girl? I honestly can't think of anyone. CAn you?
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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby Gruntaloob » Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:58 am UTC

wizzfizz wrote:"gift of the Magi" ? please explain...

It's a short story where a guy sells his watch for a hair thingy for his wife, and his wife cuts off her hair to sell it for a chain for his watch, but then they realize that the true gift that they gave was love.

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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby Fougare » Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:08 am UTC

A literature joke!

Us English majors are very pleased...


Hm, well, now you can say your degree was actually useful (hides)

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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby neurosci_queen » Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:28 pm UTC

Fougare wrote:
A literature joke!

Us English majors are very pleased...


Hm, well, now you can say your degree was actually useful (hides)


Yeah, you'd BETTER hide! English is not a useful major. Unless you want to starve as a profession.

Philosophy non-pre-law works for that profession too. :-)
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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby Chai Kovsky » Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:32 am UTC

neurosci_queen wrote:
Fougare wrote:
A literature joke!

Us English majors are very pleased...


Hm, well, now you can say your degree was actually useful (hides)


Yeah, you'd BETTER hide! English is not a useful major. Unless you want to starve as a profession.

Philosophy non-pre-law works for that profession too. :-)

English trains you to write. Philosophy trains you to think. What majors could be more useful?
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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby neurosci_queen » Sat Nov 22, 2008 6:11 am UTC

Chai Kovsky wrote:
neurosci_queen wrote:
Fougare wrote:
A literature joke!

Us English majors are very pleased...


Hm, well, now you can say your degree was actually useful (hides)


Yeah, you'd BETTER hide! English is not a useful major. Unless you want to starve as a profession.

Philosophy non-pre-law works for that profession too. :-)

English trains you to write. Philosophy trains you to think. What majors could be more useful?


One where you can make money and live, Chai.
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Re: "Theft of the Magi" Discussion

Postby Chai Kovsky » Sat Nov 22, 2008 6:15 am UTC

Find me jobs where writing isn't useful. Jobs that pay.

Just because one major directly segues into a career does not mean the other is useless; only that the latter is more broadly applicable. Besides, if you're in dire straits, you can always sell an xbox. Maybe a roomba.

(Edited for clarity)
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