29 Comments

  1. I dunno. Maybe if you traced the path of the dot as a connected figure in one square, it would be a scalene triangle. Or if we think of the outline of a face-on sitting cat as approximately an isosceles triangle, these guys are disturbed by their dot-following activities enough to become scalene triangles instead.

  2. I’m thinking it has something to do with the dots being connected by a scalene triangle since there are three cats/vertices, but it’s not exactly clear. And are these supposed to be laser pointer dots? If so, they are not rendered well…

    (In another topic, has one of the weekend’s posts vanished?)

  3. I suppose that there is a breed of cats or a term used with cats that sounds like “scalene” so that this is a pun on that. But I have no idea what it may be. (Or the pun could be on the word “cats” or both words together.)

  4. I wonder if you come up with a scalene triangle by rearranging the squares. Beyond my skill set/

  5. It is a triangle. Ball is going up to the left at a slant. White cat hits in straight down (first angle). Black cat hits it straight across (second angle). Orange cat hits it back up to the left at a slant (third angle). Back to the white cat to complete the triangle.

  6. The trajectory of the ball looks like a right triangle to me.
    The three cats are different, though, so can they be deemed “scalene”, since a “scalene” triangle has three unequal (i.e. different) sides?

  7. Being an engineer, I had to paste the image into a paint program, cut out out the panels, and paste them into a drawing program so I could move them around. You can get a rough right triangle, with the Siamese at the upper left vertex, the black cat at the lower left, and the yellow cat at the lower right.

    One problem is that the diagonal lines are a different angles depending on the panel. The two panels with cats in them are different, although close to each other. This leads to the “hypotenuse” bending up at the upper left and down at the lower right.

    The panels don’t align with each other well even when rearranged as if still a comic. You have to move them out of alignment to get the triangle.

  8. Andréa, Brooke McEldowney doesn’t allow comments on his comics. Way back when, I think he got upset over all the trolls, but for whatever reason he had GoComics turn comments off.
    Arthur, sometimes there’s no joke in the Sunday comic, just what I would call an experiment in drawing, which might be insulting to him. If there’s a joke in this one, I don’t understand it either.

  9. Don’t overthink it, it’s not supposed to be a big laugh. It’s just three different cats tracing out a triangle with three different sides (which happens to have an irrelevant right angle).

  10. Right triangles can be scalene.

    Correct, and this one is, at least as I assembled it. You need the sides to be of different lengths.

  11. Oh, what is ArcaMax??
    Interesting that there are comments for this, will he nill he.
    Hey one of the comments says they are sending it to CIDU Bill!
    Have to agree with the comments that say better this than more letters to the womb.

  12. I wish I knew what ArcaMax’s issue is with me. I can read today’s comic, but when I click the link to go to a previous one, or try Andréa’s link above, it gives me the error, “This site can’t be reached

    thefunnies’s server IP address could not be found.”

  13. Could the joke be a pun? Are they are “scalene” cats, forming a triangle rather than “scaling” cats, as they normally are…you know, up curtains or furniture?

    A stretch, I know, but man, I’m having a lot of trouble seeing what the cartoonist was going for here.

  14. “Nill” is an old form, the negative of “will”. And indeed “will he nill he” was a common enough expression, which got altered into “willy nilly”.
    The meaning was “whether he wishes it or not” — which I think is still one sense of “willy nilly” today, though other meanings are common such as “any which way, somewhat disordered”.
    Thanks for asking!

  15. How is it possible for a ball traveling in any direction but up or down to go in a straight line?

  16. Good point. No force on Earth, however great, can pull a string, however fine, into a horizontal line that is absolutely straight.

  17. They wouldn’t, but for short distances at relatively high speed the difference would not be significant to human perception.

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