1. Not much to see here… the guy with all of the dished pointing at him is getting GREAT signal on his phone. The guy on the opposite side of the satellite with no dishes facing him has no signal.

  2. Naturally, the astronaut with all the satellite dishes pointed at him gets great reception, while the one on the other side of the satellite has no reception.

    This is just a sight gag about how the satellite dishes are pointed.

  3. Besides great reception, the astronaut on the right is probably going to get slightly cooked by the microwaves beaming through him.

  4. I don’t think I can find it again, but one I like was a guy getting more and more bars, and smiling more, through the first thee panels. In the 4th, a satellite fell on him.

  5. I remember when one said they were moving to an area with more bars meant they were looking for a better selection of cocktail lounges.

  6. Bad science at work. It seems a goodly number of people think cellular phones work by sending a signal to a satellite that is then sent back down to Earth to connect to the desired target. This is completely not the case. They’re quite terrestrial, connecting to equipment on the ground. It’s usually located on purpose-built towers or tacked-on to existing structures. Building owners can make a decent little bit of change by allowing the equipment to be attached to their property.


    Someone may desperately try to claim that they astronauts have satellite phones, rather than cellular phones, but that’s just being deliberately obtuse.

  7. Thank you, Singapore Bill.

    I would add that ordinary cell phones if they use GPS will be connected to satellites. But not like this . That has nothing to do with the signal strength bars, and requires data from multiple satellites .

  8. Mitch4, I absolve you of any charge of obtuseness. đŸ™‚ We just having a friendly tech chat.

    True GPS will use satellite signals, but in that case:
    1. It is not the cellular phone doing it. It is a separate device built into the same case.
    2. The device is receiving a signal from satellites, not transmitting to satellites.
    3. Many devices will use triangulation with cellular towers to augment satellite info or to determine location when the device cannot get a fix on satellites, such as when indoors.

    It’s all pretty remarkable stuff.

  9. “that’s just being deliberately obtuse.”

    You say that like it’s a BAD thing. I thought it was part of the S.O.P. for humor/homour here.

  10. @me: “I thought it was part of the S.O.P. for humor/homour here.”

    Alas, I guess “failure to proofread” is also part of my stadnad opreatnig proecduer.

  11. “Someone may desperately try to claim that they astronauts have satellite phones, rather than cellular phones, but that’s just being deliberately obtuse.”

    I counter with the obvious. The guy refers to his phone, without doing or saying anything that would suggest it is a cellular phone. YOU are inserting that detail, and then complaining that that detail does not belong there. I suggest, therefore, that insisting that the astronauts have cellular phones rather than satellite phones is being deliberately obtuse.

    An astronaut with a cellular device would have no bars. The astronaut says his device has a large number of bars Therefore, the device in question is not a cellular phone (QED). There’s no cord, so it’s not a wireless landline phone either. By process of elimination, the astronaut has a satphone.

  12. Apparently not, since I *thought* I was just making a mild joke or two which had nothing much to do with the scientific reality of the cartoon. Apologies if I somehow offended by kidding around.

  13. Shrug, no, no offence at all. Just that there is what I’d describe as “mock obtuseness”, where someone may put forth something ridiculous (as I do from time to time), reading too much into a simple joke or pretending to misinterpret something for humourous effect. When I say “deliberately obtuse”, I mean trying to squeeze all the funny out of a response (much like squeezing the life out of a puppy) because one can’t come up with anything amusing to add.

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