By Shamus Posted Friday Jun 1, 2007

Filed under: Movies 10 comments

It’s six-thirty a.m. I check on today’s XKCD comic, as is my custom. It’s a parody of the powers of ten movie:

Link (YouTube)

(If anyone knows where I can find the original without the non-English voiceover please let me know in the comments. YouTube doesn’t seem to have it.)

So I go to the Wiki entry for powers of ten, and at the bottom under “Related works and references in pop culture” it reads:

The webcomic xkcd made a parody called “Powers of One” on Friday, June 1, 2007.

Wow. That was quick.


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10 thoughts on “XKCD Wiki PDQ

  1. DrDiamond says:

    I was watching a reality TV show whilst having Wikipedia set to the page about the same TV show. It was updating within 10 seconds of each new contestant being announced – perhaps its the new equivalent of ‘first post’.

  2. jhunterj says:

    I guess webcomic-fan Wikipedians are less numerous than reality-show Wikipedians. The Wiki article was updated 11 minutes after the comic went live.

  3. Alex says:

    I think that this is still my favorite xkcd. Makes me chuckle every time I see it.

  4. Niles says:

    This is a bit tangental, but my fiancee works at a science museum (Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich VT) that had a Powers of Ten exhibit built over twenty years ago. They were looking to sell it, and it found its way back to the Eames estate. It’s a nice little story:

    “So here’s the deal (literally) with the Universe. After some discussion and head shaking, the decision was finally made to pull the plug on the powers of ten exhibit. The details of the debate are to numerous to enumerate now, suffice it to say we all love the exhibit in principle, but feel (like what is it, relatives and fish?) it has overstayed its welcome at the museum.

    So for lack of any other obvious way to find a new home for it (hindsight now suggests some options that might seem obvious, but that’s hindsight for you), we decided to try listing it for sale on ebay. Bob wrote some text describing the exhibit and the issues with it and the museum’s requirements for removing it. You can see the now completed auction at :


    The auction started slowly, but heated up after we promoted it to various groups we thought might be interested. Eventually several museums bid on it including the Ithaca Science Center. One early bidder seemed a little random and I assumed he would drop out once the institutions started bidding and the price rose. To appearances he was a local (Barre) model train buff who was presumably interested in the piece as an example of model making rather than as an exhibit. But he hung in there and eventually won the bid at $2501 at the last second.

    I spoke to him that day to discuss the details and he revealed that he was bidding as a representative of the heirs of Charles and Ray Eames, the designers who created the original Powers of Ten movie on which the exhibit is based. They apparently knew of the exhibit and loved it and when they heard (who knows how?) that it was for sale they jumped on it. They bid through a proxy to keep their names out of it in case their interest brought attention to the auction and raised the price.

    At any rate, they want to refurbish the thing and display it in their Gallery/Store in Santa Monica. You can check out the Foundation and store at :


    A few days later, Ric, the bidder, came to the museum to take some pictures and think about the logistics of moving the thing (not trivial as you can imagine) and I took him to meet [museum director] David Goudy. Turns out David knew Charles Eames back in the day. So it all comes together in a nice way and I think we can all feel a little relieved to know that the exhibit will be in good hands, loved and displayed as it should be. Also at a nice safe remove for those of us a little tired of changing ‘grain of wheat’ light bulbs (that means you Mr. Harris!).”

  5. Joe says:

    What I find strange is that the group of friends that got me hooked on xkcd are completely separate from the group of friends that got me hooked on DMotR, and thus this site. Seeing the cross-reference gave me pause… And, of course the wiki article also referenced spore, which I was telling my wife about yesterday…

    ln -s sudo /usr/bin/simon_says

  6. rflrob says:

    I found it online at:

    The quality isn’t great, but it works.

  7. Basilios says:

    Sorry to sound negative, but I got to say this: some people really have WAY too much time on their hands!

  8. Oliver says:

    Actually, the non-English voiceover is both good and bad for me… I need more exposure to more serious (non-Shounen Anime dialog) Japanese. But the fact that I can of course understand English, and understand the Japanese poorly makes it a little confusing. If I didn’t understand the Japanese at all, I could just zone it out.

    Shamus, awesome to hear you follow XKCD as well! Sometimes I forget that famous intertubeweb bigshots like you (making hit parody strips and being featured on podcasts and all) follow other webcomics just as we humble people, nameless faceless people do… heh.

  9. You know, that would make a great horror movie for the 21st century:

    A Wikipedia article appears, describing a murder…

    That hasn’t happened yet!


  10. Thad says:

    Unfortunately the Youtube video has now been removed. The fugly link still works.

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