XKCD science: earthquakes and Wikipedia first links

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If you thought that the cartoonist of The Far Side was nerdish, well then think again. XKCD‘s Randall Munroe references Wikipedia, computer programming language, computer science, physics, social web sites, …

In circular meta-humor programming languages and computer science now reference XKCD. In the Python programming language you can write “import antigravity“, in the Emacs editor “M-x butterfly“.

Inspired by a note in cartoon number 903, several people (including me) have done “first link” analysis on Wikipedia (though Munroe seems not to have been the first to discover the attractor), see the links on the Get_to_Philosophy Wikipedia page. The newest analysis seems to be by Mat Kelcey.

Most recently Alan Mislove and Sune Lehmann (and two others) were inspired by cartoon number 723 to compare the spread of Twitter messages and earthquake in connection with the 2011 Virginia earthquake happening two days ago. The results are reported on Sune Lehmann’s blog where there is also a video showing the geographical spread of the earthquake and density of Twitter messages as a function of time.


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