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XKCD.com: A brainy webcomic

Lacey Mason, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – As we approach the holidays and a contentious election, we can be on information overload. So, this week’s website is for everyone who just needs a break.

XKCD describes itself as “a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.” With simple stick figures, the comic pokes fun at the idiosyncrasies of “nerd culture” and carries an air of disdain for pop culture.

While XKCD would be described as a “smart” comic, it doesn’t necessarily take a genius to get a giggle. For example, even I got this football joke. And this one uses census data for a bittersweet reflection most of us can relate to – at least for now. (Note: You also can see these in the gallery at right.)

Fair warning, the comics often discuss adult topics and may contain strong language or advanced math which the site says “may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors.”

All images on the site are available under a creative commons license, which means they can be reprinted and shared, as long as they aren’t used for commercial purposes.

If you do find yourself seeking a little more cranial stimulation, XKCD has a blog, too. “What if?” aims to answer hypothetical questions once a week on Tuesdays. Questions can be submitted to whatif@xkcd.com

And for those wondering what the heck XKCD stands for – it doesn’t stand for anything. It’s a word that doesn’t have a phonetic pronunciation. The site says it means a “treasured and carefully-guarded point in the space of four-character strings.”

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, climb into the comforts of XKCD and take a break.

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