How to Justify Investing in Quality Merchandise

Hey, have I mentioned that the new Basic Instruction paid Android app, which has all of the comics and some cool extra features, is now available?


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Reader Comments (48)

"I'm not qualified to use a ruler" Priceless!

April 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKris L

"Accidentally. The edges are sharp."
Yeah, that brings back memories.

April 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRock Ripsnort

Yeah, but can you make a pencil-ruler helicopter out of it? Huh? Huh?

April 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermisterfweem

I love how everyone has a different favourite part every time. Mine is: "make sure it's stainless steel, 'cause there will be blood."

April 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAviatrix

Milliscorns? What is it in imperial?

April 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMatchstickman

Hmmm, that must be why my computer is stainless steel. you, sir, are a very funny person with a powerful insight into the human psyche.

April 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdeimos

10,000 milliscorns would only be 10 scorns (perhaps not enough to measure her disapproval).

April 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarlM

Married 35 years this June. Everything I buy is stainless steel.

April 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterboojum

I wonder what the benchmark is for a "scorn". Is one scorn the amount of scorn shown by a female when her partner buys 1 item below $50 which she considers to be pointless? Is there a specific woman to which they calibrate measuring devices around the world, like the standard 1kg lump of platinum-iridium Alloy which is kept in a vault somewhere in France?
Do they keep this woman there?
How much scorn does she show the people who keep her there?

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter9squirrels

you had me at milliscorns

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpc

Don't diss the steel ruler. I have 2 (not sure why) and was using one yesterday. They are great if you want to tear a sheet of paper in half. Lay the ruler on the paper and then..tear the paper in half.

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMike B.

Great comic Scott! Thanx!

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterReader

Milliscorns are approximately 2.7 per derision.

A full scorn is also equal to just over 12 disdains (a unit almost completely neglected nowadays)

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKibi

'cause there will be blood. Brilliant! Thankyou!

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlucylastic

The last two rulers I've actually gone out and bought (rather than finding them in random places) were stainless steel....

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSamm

I must say I enjoyed every panel of this one!

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAC

All your strips make me smile and laugh on the inside up here at work (sshhh), but the funny in every frame of this one had me holding back, and then in the final frame I could hold it no longer. I laughed out loud in my cubicle.

My favorite of yours in quite some time. Maybe ever.

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMark

Brings back childhood memories of rulers and construction paper!

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWalter

@ MikeB - no one's dissing stainless, but in tearing paper in half, MEASURE the paper first and divide the figure by two if you want equal halves.

my last SS ruler was 1 meter long (or maybe it was 36 inches; i only use it as a straight-edge, never for measuring). Fantastic tool for craft work in the house (even fabric) and for carpentry in the garage/outdoors. SS does clean up easily!

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertheprisoner

I'm going to get the best Basic Instructions merchandise in the world

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrorschak

Ahhh, good stuff. It's actually good advice too.

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

I thinkit goes like this:
10,000 milliscorns= 10 scorns= 1 disdain
10 disdains= 1 contempt

the English/metric conversions are still being caulculated. We need a better benchmark.

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjames yeamans

Of course miliscorns are imperial. Europeans definitely invented scorn.

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDan

I love that the device is only as useful as the operator is competent. Make sure you plug your stainless steel computer in before complaining that it won't start :-)

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNathan

I like that she wasn't surprised to learn that the paper was shorter than it should be, and she was equally unsurprised that you failed to use the ruler correctly.

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJason


If the ruler is as accurate as suggested then holding it crookedly across the paper would lead to a measurement that is greater than the actual width of the paper.


other than that - and the 10,000 rather than, say, 10 which would make it a much smaller level of scorn - brilliant.

so therefore apart from two mistekes, i loved it.

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDan

We need a Basic Instruction's ruler in the store that measures scorns. You know you'd want one.

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHuginn

I recently lost my Space Pen, and I didn't realize how much I miss it until I read this comic... off to buy a new, really small, kinda-uncomfortable-to-use, overly expensive, could-use-a-pencil-for-the-same-thing Space Pen!

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBonzoGal

OMG not only one of the best instructions of late but also some of the best comments!

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBI Fan

You're in the market for the best computer? An Xserve linked up to sixty MacMinis and a MacPro running on Snow Leopard Server in a Beowulf configuration - practically your own distributed super computer - running it on solar energy panels and a micro-windmill configuration. You can hook multiple HD MONITORS, track satellites while playing World of Warcraft, while searching the skies for UFOs while discovering a cure for cancer while searching for the next highest prime number while writing a crank e-mail to Steve Jobs' iPad while surfing Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. TRY putting THAT in your super junk drawer - probably need to put it in your super cooled junk basement and the solar panels and micro-windmill turbines on your super-sized junky roof.

So many gems I don't know where to start. But most importantly, when will we be able to purchase the Basic Instructions stainless steel ruler?

April 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermoojen

you cant buy the best computer. Transmeta is basically out of buisness and that airplane crash in California killed off the GCU computer. A real shame.

April 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterisiah

Fantastic! loved it!! Can it measure my disapproval? hehe :)

April 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercheryl

re: Dan the Pedant

"so therefore apart from two mistekes, i loved it." = UNINTENTIONAL COMEDY WIN

+10 for both the concept of milliscorns and the resulting clarification of the measurement units in the comments.

April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDan's Biggest Fan

Guys, disdains are imperial. Scorns are metric.

10 milliscorns = 1 centiscorn.
10 centiscorns = 1 deciscorn
10 deciscorns = 1 scorn
10 scorns = 1 decatiscorn.
10 decatiscorns, or 100 scorns, = 1 hectoscorn
10 hectoscorns = 1 kiloscorn

Buying the best computer in the world produce approximately 100 kiloscorns, or 1 carcass.

April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTSED

I'm surprised, nay shocked! that you didn't get a titanium ruler to match the spork.

April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris

There are 1.2 Imperial scorns in a metric scorn. Under the Imperial system, there are 8 scoffs in a scorn, and 4 scorns to a despisal, and 5 despisals equal a drubbing. Of course a drubbing isn't all that useful anymore, you really need an active nobility for that much to be necessary.

April 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMantar

The last panel is simply hilarious. Keep up the amazing work

April 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNikhil Singh

Brings back childhood memories of rulers and construction paper! vinç kiralama

April 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commentervinç kiralama
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