02 November 2009

Randall Munroe is a Genius

In the mountain range of comic brilliance, XKCD regularly leaps from pinnacle to pinnacle, but I think today's a particularly dazzling summit. The Lord of the Rings diagram is particularly clever, with up and down loosely corresponding to northwest and southeast, and there are a couple of nice touches with the Star Wars one, with the dotted line to represent the Special Edition, and with Luke's time with Yoda rightly summed up as 'Luke's Entire Jedi Training'. I mentioned this to my housemates the other day, saying Yoda's presumably spent the last twenty years in his swamp figuring out how to concentrate a couple of decades of Jedi training into just a couple of days.*

Anyway, I think Edward Tufte would approve of this, and wonder how Randall would cope trying to map out Bleak House or The Count of Monte Cristo.
* Or a month. Or a few weeks. Or half an hour. It's basically impossible to tell how long Luke spent with Yoda, and attempts to correlate it in a terrifyingly nerdy way with how long it'd have taken Han and Leia to reach Bespin from Hoth without the Millennium Falcon's hyperdrive are surely not the way to go. Star Wars is a fairy tale, after all.

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