xkcd is a Creative Commons webcomic that focuses on technical issues (Open Source, Perl, etc.). The author is Randall Munroe, an engineer with a background in physics. The series is interesting in various respects, one of which is that it's inspired a few real-life stunts.
Some favorite xkcd strips are posted below with comments added in some cases. These strips are distributed under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 2.5.
In response to the preceding cartoon, two xkcd fans purchased a katana for Richard Stallman:
String Theory is a branch of physics that's controversial because it can't be tested. From one point of view, this means that the theory isn't science. It's actually philosophy or magic.
Lisp is a respected programming language. It's elegant and focused. However, in practice, many engineers would prefer to use Perl. Perl is messy, but it's much easier to do things in this language.
Cory Doctorow is a blogger and author who's involved with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Creative Commons. He won the 2007 EFF Pioneer Award and the presenters provided him with xkcd-inspired attire, complete with balloon. You can read one of his stories at this link.
“Backslashes” are a programming feature. They can be used to turn ordinary characters into special characters and vice versa. When you use a backslash to turn a special character into an ordinary character, you're “escaping” the character.
In Spring 2007, xkcd ran the following strip:
The numbers shown in the strip include the latitude and longitude of a park in Cambridge, Virginia plus the date September 23, 2007. Not too surprisingly, a lot of people showed up at the park on the indicated date:
A chess-related stunt from the same year (2007):
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