XKCD is coming to America's science textbooks

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XKCD is teaching our children? This, plus everyone now carries a tiny computer around that they’re addicted to 24/7?

The geeks have won so utterly, it still kinda blows my mind.


Not yet, I’m afraid. The fight back is on, in the form of Daesh, the Republican Party, the European Right, and numerous others.
Didn’t P J O’Rourke describe the South Koreans as a country of people who all stayed in on Friday evening to do their homework? I guess he missed the American equivalents because he was too busy dismissing them as “pinkos”.


Heart didn’t make the list? What is wrong with us?


This is going to be great for all those school kids if they end up in careers where they’re paid by the word.

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This is the most purely positive story to come out of America in a while!

Thanks Boing!!! <3


Nah. There are notable exceptions, of course. But for the most part, those who used to bully the geeks have now learned to monetize them.


Heart looks like it is in the list of allowed words so I’m not sure why he didn’t use it.

It’s surprising how much you can say if you try. When that first came out I wrote several paragraphs about Batman where the only words not on the list were names (Batman, Bruce, Wayne, Alfred, Gordon, Joker, Robin, and Arkham.) It took a little while to think of a simple way to explain “asylum” – “hospital for people with minds that are not well” was what I came up with.

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I’m not sure that’s the case. By his account, during his own pinko (specifically Maoist) phase, he was far too busy smoking weed, participating in self-righteous occupations of the campus administration block over points of trivia, and hitting on pretty Maoist girls to do anything as bourgeois as homework.


I expect he used “blood pusher” over “heart” because Explainer. If your goal is what it does, what it’s called is immaterial and/or unhelpful/distracting. Proper names is something someone else can fill in later.

I think it’s a fine learning/teaching mode, start with concept, then terminology when often it goes the other way or at best in conjunction.


Honestly, these diagrams are pretty confusing for me with neither the names nor the correct positioning to guide me. I guess maybe that’s the point — clearly I don’t remember my digestive system as well as I thought!

I assume that the “Part Breaker” is the liver, but, if so, what’s the Blood Cleaner? That also seems like a reasonable name for the liver. But the Part Breaker’s description matches the liver.

The stomach is the Food Bag in the diagram below, The Water For Rich Food is the gall bladder (maybe?) and the Special Water Maker is the pancreas (maybe?), both in the next diagram as well.

So we’ve got the stomach, liver, gall bladder, pancreas… what’s the Blood Cleaner?

Kidneys in the next picture

Yes that’s the liver, the blood cleaner is your spleen. I haven’t seen the image for the kidney, but at a guess I wouldn’t be surprised if it weren’t “blood filter” or somesuch

Nope, kidneys are in the next picture, as you say, but the Blood Cleaner is something else in the first picture.

Ah, that makes sense. But not surprising that I forgot: only one of Google Images first 20 results for “Digestive System” show the spleen. And some of them are fairly detailed:

… so my point is that I hope these diagrams don’t cause more confusion, rather than less. But I haven’t seen them in situ. Maybe they work really well.

d’oh yep and yeah spleen. been too long since i had biology classes.

Maoist != pinko.
Also, I went to a progessive school in the UK; most of the staff had been in WW2, many of them were socialists and at least two were members of the CPGB.
And they were all fanatically pro-education, because it was by education that the proletariat would become conscious of the class struggle and acquire power. The most communist of the lot eventually became head of art education for the Greater London Council. He was the one who told us you needed to have read Plato and Aristotle by the age of 18 because you might be too busy later.


Neat. Comics/graphics make everything better. My junior high geometry text book was filled with B.C. cartoons.


Oh, I’m not disputing the importance of education to socialists: I’m just saying that PJ O’Rourke, looking back at his own somewhat dilettante flirtation with left-wing politics, may not necessarily make that connection

Really? Obviously most people who get called pinkos aren’t Maoist, but I wouldn’t have thought that someone prone to using the term would balk at applying it to followers of the Chairman.

(Some people just can’t handle labels.)

                                    "I’m not a pinko!          "I’m not a Maoist!
                                          I’m Mao!"                      I’m Pink!"


I’m not certain this is a good idea…not if this fellow is involved: