Dinosaurs Join the Boiled Frog Wars

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

For background on why no one should use the “like a frog in a pot of slowly warming water” metaphor ever again, check out the collection here. Two perfectly fine variations: 1) say it’s a mythical metaphor, as Ezra Klein does here. Or 2) specify that you’re talking about frogs whose brains have been removed, as Michael Jones does here.

Now Ryan North, creator of the wonderful Dinosaur Comics, grapples with the question of how to get across the boiled-frog idea without resorting to this the (unscientific) boiled-frog cliche.

Today’s Dinosaur Comics, by Ryan North

Personally I think there is potential in the “going nose-blind” concept introduced by Febreze. Thanks to them and Ryan North.

Clarification If you go to the original site, you’ll see an effect I can’t easily replicate here. By hovering over the picture for a second or two you’ll get a pop-up balloon that adds to the meaning of the cartoon. This is an effect familiar from XKCD over the years. The screenshot below gives you an imperfect idea — worth checking out at the original site.