XKCD: Garden

On April 5th, Randall Munroe posted his interactive April Fool’s comic that unfortunately had technical issues when originally released on the first. The comic starts with a barren landscape with a lamp. The reader can interact with the comic by adding up to three lights, which are adjustable and by pruning (deleting) growth you don’t want. If you are interested, the details on how this works can be found at the Explain XKCD wiki.

Below is my first attempt at a garden, started when I had no idea how it the interaction worked or what was going to happen. As a result I initially “pruned” a few deer, because I was afraid they would eat the plants. Fortunately a deer did return, in an unusual spot. I also really like the board with the potted plant that was added to the tree. After I read about how the lights could be adjusted I rearranged things to have as many types of light color as possible. However, the garden was well established at that point and the change, to the lights, hasn’t had much effect as yet. If you leave these garden comics up for a while, you will be able to see them “grow”.  Note: sorry to say that Mr. Munroe has turned off the “garden” server; so the links below now point to xkcd. Unfortunately I didn’t have the presence of mind to grab some screen shots; as some of the results were pretty odd. Wait – the garden server is accessible again (perhaps he read of my disappointment; that’s how I choose to think of it). I’ll take this opportunity to post some screen shots.




In the second garden, I wanted to have a big patch of ground, covered by a fully color blended light. Notice how the kittens really enjoy the patch of pure white light.




In my next garden, I want to try not using all the colors. I elected to just use blue and yellow. I also clustered the lights close together. With the lights arranged this way it looks a bit like a trail of a rocket taking off. The resulting garden seems to not be doing too well. I assume the light is likely too strong/hot. [I like the toy boats floating next to the shark fins with a the fish jumping out of the water. You can’t see that behind the large balloon, except when the wind is strong, the second cue ball has a balloon growing out of his hand.]




For my last garden I thought, why not experiment with the light source not being directly overhead. The result illustrates how blue light tends to encourage  the growth of octopus. Notice how a majority of red light seems attract bird baths. Over time I lowed the lights closer to the ground, to cover more area. I’m not sure if close proximity of the lights will inhibit growth or not. [I have to believe that wearing the double headed turtle hat while standing on stilts is fairly rare. Note the ducks sitting on the cuttle of octopuses. I made up that group term; apparently there is no name for a group of octopus, as they are very solitary creatures.]



BTW –xkcd is a great comic published three times a week.