Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Introducing WTF

For a while now, the XKCD Web comic has had a regular feature called “What If …” Each week, the cartoonist selects one or more questions submitted by readers, and answers them with scientific accuracy (or at least, wild speculation), humor and elan.

Here at The Tech Curmudgeon, we’re not smart enough to do a feature like that, but we like the idea enough to steal it, with one important variation. If we can’t answer the submitted question, we’ll try to distract you so you won’t notice. In any case, we’ll focus on the humor, at the expense of scientific accuracy or elan. So, to get our new feature rolling, please submit your questions to

(Please note that the address ends in “.info” instead of “.com”, ‘cause we’re too lazy to figure that out.)

Since no one’s asked anything yet, let’s consider this hypothetical question.

Question: Will Republicans retake the Senate in the 2014 election?

Answer: We have no idea. But we do know that a ton of Republicans weighs the same as a ton of Democrats.

And what they weigh is what the policy on Ebola should be. On one hand, the best immunological evidence we have indicates that Ebola can only be transmitted by direct physical contact with bodily fluids of an infected, symptomatic patient. There is some possibility that these fluids, and hence infection, can be projected through the air via coughs and sneezes. (Ewwww!) Therefore, if you see someone with serious diarrhea or vomiting, try to avoid letting them cough or sneeze on you.

But on the other hand, it’s an election year, so politicians can’t afford to appear thoughtful and intelligent on the subject of something that’s scaring the crap out of people.

So get out and vote. But wear protective clothing.

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