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0766: "Green Flash"

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:48 am UTC
by Litof
Image

Alt-Text: The exact cause of the phenomenon is unknown, but it's thought to be linked to atmospheric refraction and you getting a really cool car.

Personally, I find the colors in this comic to paint a really beautiful picture: the blacks mixed in with the sunset of deep oranges and reds, all topped off with the silhouettes of the two watching on. Though, one question: is that a weapon or a shovel in black hat's hand?

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:51 am UTC
by Duo Nox Sol
This truly is a beautiful comic. At this hour, sadly, (and, perhaps, intriguingly,) I can't look at the brighter colors directly without some adverse effects. The detail Munroe put into this is absolutely amazing, and at a slight angle, the colors seem to take on a dancing, if indefinable, light of their own. Good job, and it's one of the best so far.

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:52 am UTC
by manmantong2000
Rarely a XKCD comic with the graphic more impressive than the content, in comparison with the rest of XKCD comic of course. I liked the content too (I never know that green flash thing actually, is good to know).

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:52 am UTC
by Lucia
I don't think th Black Hat Guy does hand to hand much. Too simple. Too little scope for bloodshed.

...also, did you just imply that BHG can't use a shovel as a weapon?

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:54 am UTC
by BytEfLUSh
Looks like a bottle to me :)

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:57 am UTC
by Litof
Lucia wrote:I don't think th Black Hat Guy does hand to hand much. Too simple. Too little scope for bloodshed.

...also, did you just imply that BHG can't use a shovel as a weapon?


Last I checked, most of his tools were of the silent, perception-altering variety. :P

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:58 am UTC
by LesZedD4
I think i want a poster of this one for my bedroom, just without the text.

XKCD Sunset. perfect last thing to see at night, and first thing to see in the morning.

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:04 am UTC
by sonia
BytEfLUSh wrote:Looks like a bottle to me :)


and to me. I thought that was the reason behind the green flash pun- a flash of a green beer bottle before the person gets knocked out. :P

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:05 am UTC
by sars vs bird flu
Did you know that if you stare at the sun, you get retinal damage?

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:06 am UTC
by Linux0s
In many years of taking pictures at sunset I've seen the green flash once. The name is misleading though, it wasn't green like you imagine but a weird greenish yellow. And it wasn't a flash either, lasting probably a minute.

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:08 am UTC
by Stay_Puft_marshmallows
I'm prepared to cite the use of color and perspective and declare today's comic the shark-jumping point for XKCD, if for no other reason than to be a ridiculous contrarian.

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:14 am UTC
by BlueNight
The next time someone calls out xkcd for being "just a lame stick-figure comic for PhD wannabes", this is the comic to cite.

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:14 am UTC
by wr3cktangle
As a kid, I used to lay upside down on the slide and stare at the sun.
Today, I wear glasses.

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:18 am UTC
by Sartorius
Teslas are the only cars that have made me go "Damn, that's sexy car." I'd love to own one.

Beautiful comic.

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:21 am UTC
by rog
For a text-free poster version...
http://a.imageshack.us/img30/7571/xkcd.jpg

Edited, upscaled, sharpened slightly and attributed

It's not perfect, but there ya go :)

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:39 am UTC
by GyRo567
BytEfLUSh wrote:Looks like a bottle to me :)

Bottle?! Then hittin' him's self-defense, idn' it?


EDIT: Also, I totally thought Pirates of the Caribbean just made that up about a green flash at sunrise/set. Physics just gets cooler & cooler. :]

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:46 am UTC
by ARandomDude
rog wrote:For a text-free poster version...
http://a.imageshack.us/img30/7571/xkcd.jpg

Edited, upscaled, sharpened slightly and attributed

It's not perfect, but there ya go :)



I love it!
Also, if thats whats-her-name-that-I-forget, there's no way he's going to have an easy fight.

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 5:10 am UTC
by SomeRandomPyro
Okay, for some reason my quote buttons aren't working, and I'm a lazy sob, so here goes:

In many years of taking pictures at sunset I've seen the green flash once. The name is misleading though, it wasn't green like you imagine but a weird greenish yellow. And it wasn't a flash either, lasting probably a minute.


The length of the green flash varies greatly. It can last up to 14 minutes, somewhere in the Arctic Circle— 7 minutes at sunset, then 7 more at sunrise, directly after. I've read before exactly why it does this, but can't remember.

And Litof, he's been known to use some fairly bloody weapons, too. Check 515. (Preemptive yeah-but-we-didn't-see-who-dismembered-the-witness.)

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:02 am UTC
by MR.Mic
Here is a large version with as much upscale-artifact removal that I could manage in 20 minutes.
http://a.imageshack.us/img43/1545/bigkcd.jpg

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:03 am UTC
by mc-kreef
there is also a cross reference as TESLA is actually a green-car (climate friendlier)
another one, the black sea, doesn't refer to the bp-gulf-oil?
Americans fought 2 gulf wars for oil, and now finally it comes ;)

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:24 am UTC
by cr101
GOOMHR! I watched Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End like two days ago.

Also, beautiful. I can tell he spent a lot of time on this one, and it was definitely worth it. I like how the stick figures (for some reason, they are two-dimensional in my head) have real shading and silhouettes.

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:30 am UTC
by superdansilverman
Of course I love the comic, but I do find it an unusual departure to find such a nice visual comic in a series that is always so dialogue-focused. It seems the opposite of what we expect: the text is a weak play on hat guy's antisocial tendencies. (almost every other xkcd dialouge is awesome. I'm not sure why this one is so bad). But here, the visuals are stunning (for randall. our graphical expectations here are pretty low.). Just saying, this one's kind of backwards.

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:38 am UTC
by londonanimal
I don't fully recall the facts / theory / terminology. Also I've been awake 18 hours, so bare with me :?

The light emitted by the sun is white, which we know is made up from the colours of the visible spectrum. The particles in the atmosphere diffract the light like a prism, hence the yellowish appearance of the sun, and the blue of the sky.

As the sun approaches the horizon the light travelling to our eyes has to travel through even more atmosphere, getting further diffracted, which gives the sun a red colour.

So the green flash must occur when all other light wavelengths have been defused by particles in the atmosphere. Which is strange, as I'm sure green light has a wavelength between red and blue, so surely it would also be dispersed by the atmosphere?

Maybe someone with their head more screwed on can enlighten me? :P

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:52 am UTC
by Noslo
To quote wikipedia, "the reason for a green flash lies in the refraction of light in the atmosphere: light moves more slowly in the lower, denser air than the thinner air above, so sunlight rays follow paths that curve slightly, in the same direction as the curvature of the earth. Higher frequency light curves more than lower frequency light, so green/blue rays from the upper limb of the setting sun remain visible after the red rays are obstrructed by the curvature of the earth."

So basically, the earth's curvature blocks the red light and allows the green light to be seen.

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:40 am UTC
by sPOiDar
Unfortunately, upon waking up, the victim would find you sitting five meters from where you stole the Tesla, having run out of battery power.

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:04 am UTC
by dawolf
LesZedD4 wrote:I think i want a poster of this one for my bedroom, just without the text.

XKCD Sunset. perfect last thing to see at night, and first thing to see in the morning.


aye

interesting the two versions that have been cleaned up look quite different...

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:54 am UTC
by Auliya
Get out of my head, Randall!

I've just learnt about the green flash by watching the fourth season of "Cuéntame cómo pasó".

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:54 am UTC
by RogerB
sPOiDar wrote:Unfortunately, upon waking up, the victim would find you sitting five meters from where you stole the Tesla, having run out of battery power.

a) The only information I have about the Tesla's range is from its review on Top Gear. If this is your source then it's probably wrong. Don't believe anything Jeremy Clarkson tells you.
b) Things move on. These guys have built an electric car and driven it twice round the M25 (London's orbital motorway) on one charge, a distance of 250 miles. It also looks pretty cool. They're currently on an expedition to drive it down the whole of the Pan-American highway, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, to demonstrate it's potential.

And no, neither of those puns were deliberate.

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:05 am UTC
by Hawknc
244 miles or 393 km, according to the EPA, according to Wikipedia. (Minus whatever the protagonist would have used to drive to a point where they could see the sunset.)

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:10 am UTC
by SirMustapha
I knew about the Green Flash because I watched the Eric Rohmer film Le Rayon Vert about an year ago. And now I see this comic! You know what that means?... YES!

Randall... get...s his ideas from Wikipedia, and I get them from interesting films.

Also, you can see better artwork if you browse Deviant Art for about 10 minutes. And yes, I know that place is filled to the brim with garbage.




Joke? What joke?

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:12 am UTC
by JPatten
I have never seen the "Green flash". Though where I live I rarely get to see the sun set all the way to the horizon.

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:21 am UTC
by E0000B6FAF25838
Great visuals in this comic. I hope we don't see anymore of these in the future, though. I would think it would take up a lot of time and leave little room to think of actual content.

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:45 am UTC
by sPOiDar
RogerB wrote:a) The only information I have about the Tesla's range is from its review on Top Gear. If this is your source then it's probably wrong. Don't believe anything Jeremy Clarkson tells you.
b) Things move on. These guys have built an electric car and driven it twice round the M25 (London's orbital motorway) on one charge, a distance of 250 miles. It also looks pretty cool. They're currently on an expedition to drive it down the whole of the Pan-American highway, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, to demonstrate it's potential.

It was a tongue-in-cheek comment - I actually live in Oz where the Internode guys set the distance record in a Roadster last year. It is still rather impractical when you're looking at multiples of that distance on petrol, and a 5-minute 'recharge' vs 5 hours or whatever the Tesla takes. And it's the recharge time that's key - the Roadster's certainly a fun toy if you have oodles of cash lying around, but that's all it is. Better batteries are holding back swathes of technical items that will alter the way we live, electric cars being but one.

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:13 pm UTC
by scottgoblue314
Well if no one else is saying it, I will: "Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba, Sithi uhm ingonyama."

That's three moments in three days for me. Time to go watch The Lion King.

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:23 pm UTC
by Moose Hole
The text is white, which offends me and makes me think the comic is not funny.

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:29 pm UTC
by BioTube
sPOiDar wrote:Better batteries are holding back swathes of technical items that will alter the way we live, electric cars being but one.
The lifespan issues of lithium-ion batteries are probably the most serious matter; few vehicles need that sort of maintenance cost over their entire lifespans. Of course, the things won't become popular until they have competitive truck and SUV models.

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:32 pm UTC
by jacog
I'm offended that they named the car "Tesla".

If Nikola Tesla had built it, it would not need wheels, would go twice around the planet on a single charge, and come equipped with a particle cannon to vaporise offensive motorists.

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:35 pm UTC
by Mo6eB
LesZedD4 wrote:I think i want a poster of this one for my bedroom, just without the text.

XKCD Sunset. perfect last thing to see at night, and first thing to see in the morning.


Came here to say this. I would also like a text-free poster of this comic.

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:58 pm UTC
by Cloud Walker
I also think it's a green wine bottle, making BHG's "green flash" ambiguous.

And yay! A pretty comic for my birthday.

Re: "Green Flash" Discussion

Posted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:30 pm UTC
by ysth
londonanimal wrote:Also I've been awake 18 hours, so bare with me :?

If it's all the same to you...

No.