1. He was trying to hack Hell’s website: not only was he unable to get through their innumerable firewalls, he also attracted Hell’s webmaster’s attention.

  2. He’s looking very corporate for a hacker. Doesn’t match the media shorthand for such a character. I also wonder if they’re referring to popup ads that sketchy sites use a lot of, but had to make it “firewall” so they could make some lame joke about Hell because fire. Spend more than two seconds thinking about this one and it falls apart.

  3. I think the drawing could have been part of a funny cartoon, and the caption could have been part of a funny cartoon, but together they just don’t work for me.

  4. Kilby– my immediate reaction also was that it was a Dante’s Inferno reference, but as you say, the number of circles does not fit.

  5. @ ja – There’s always the possibility of confusion with mystical numbers. Instead of being on “cloud nine”, Germans refer to “auf Wolke sieben” (cloud seven), which in turn recalls the English phrase “seventh Heaven”. Perhaps the cartoonist just goofed (it’s not like anyone has actually read Dante’s books; I sure haven’t).
    P.S. There is a similar disagreement about the proverbial lives of cats: in English, cats have nine lives, but in German they need to be a little more careful, since they only have seven.

  6. @Kilby: “it’s not like anyone has actually read Dante’s books”

    I’ve read INFERNO twice, PURGATORIO once, and PARADISO not at all, so on average I’ve read THE DIVINE COMEDY once. . .

  7. I didn’t read Dante’s Inferno, but I did read Niven & Pournelle’s. Only one of them was written in English, which remains the only language I can read.

  8. @ Shrug – “…so on average I’ve read…
    There’s nothing at all “average” about that accomplishment, but I’m curious: I assume (hope) you read an English translation, or did you dig up the original Italian?

  9. English. I can struggle with a little French, but otherwise am monolingual.

    According to long-ago grad school examiners, I once could read enough Italian to pass an open-book test, but I’m still amazed that I did, and I then promptly forgot all but about three words of it. (It was a doctoral program with a major in Elizabethan drama, and two foreign languages were required. And no, they wouldn’t accept Esperanto and Klingon, not that I wouldn’t have had to study up on those also. And no, I dropped out of the program anyway. But I’d read the INFERNO for pleasure years before that — I was a weird kid.)

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