I actually learned in school that there were six, but since then they’ve dropped it down to four ‘fundamental states’ and continued adding as ‘non-classical states’. Including those, there’s actually, like, thirty-ish states of matter. Man, I wish I’d learned that before writing the comic. It could have been even funnier.
Thing is, brain still automatically wants to count Fermionic and Bose-Einstein condensates as “regular” states of matter. I tell myself that it’s because they’re achieved by temperature change, like the fundamental ones – but there’s the high-energy states which technically are as well, and my brain doesn’t “count” those. The real answer is because it’s what I learned while younger. It’s the same idiocy that drove people to complaining about Pluto being reclassified. I fully realise the irony of this given the content of the comic, and I refuse to allow it. Update yourself, my brain.
That’s the character-Martin’s dad in the comic, incidentally; not my own. My dad does indeed have a moustache, but he doesn’t look or act like that. It does shed some light on why Martin is the way he is, though.
This comic isn’t just based on true events, it is true events. Peeko started to throw a fit while Robert and I were writing Ephemeris, and he was only happy once I took him through to the other room. Then he ruffled up and sat contentedly, so I just left him there by himself, totally happy until I came back after writing.
Birds are weird. They have the affection of dogs, the aloofness of cats, the logic of toddlers and the sheer determination of all those things combined.