Nowadays, TeX and friends are far beyond of just academic usage. I would like to propose the inclusion of a greyscale duck (courtesy of tikzducks) in our background image. This is the current image:


The following image is a concept sketch. Note how graceful the duck is when compared to the other elements.


So, dear community, should we go one step further towards quackiness? :)

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    This is a great way to demonstrate the versatilely of tex! – samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz Nov 28 '17 at 14:52
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    The placement seems like it would get hidden behind the top bar. – Bruno Le Floch Nov 29 '17 at 19:30
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    @samcarter: How does one interpret the two answers? For example, what does an upvote on the "No" answer imply compared to a downvote on the same answer. Similarly for the "Yes" answer. It seems possible to consolidate them into one: Upvote = support; downvote = not. – Werner Nov 29 '17 at 19:46
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    @Werner Well, at the current vote count, do the downvotes really matter? I guess two scenarios are possible a) a user upvotes one of the answers and nothing else b) a user upvotes one of the answers and downvotes the other (I think downvoting without upvoting is not very likely). So probably comparing the upvotes of both answers would be the fairest.... – samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz Nov 29 '17 at 21:24
  • @PauloCereda What is your opinion to @ Werners comment? – samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz Nov 29 '17 at 21:26
  • @samcarter: Here is a related poll done for Winterbash 2016. – Werner Nov 29 '17 at 21:30
  • @Werner Offtopic: do you know if tex.stackexchange will participate in this years bash? – samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz Nov 29 '17 at 21:39
  • @samcarter: I didn't pose the question, but last year's feedback seemed positive. Based on a discussion on The Tavern on Meta it is currently set as an "opt out" option. That is, it is assumed the site is in unless the mods mention otherwise. – Werner Nov 29 '17 at 21:44
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    @Werner Thanks for this information! Back to the topic: I believe comparing the upvotes of both answers should in first order approximation be the same as comparing up/down of a single answer. – samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz Nov 29 '17 at 21:48
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    The No question is really a biased question, since it requires you to vote no on the basis of silliness. But there are certainly other reasons why one might vote no, and so this might discourage no voters. – Alan Munn Nov 30 '17 at 0:31
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    I actually would prefer a marmot instead of the duck, or, even better, a marmot and a duck. ;-) – user121799 Nov 30 '17 at 18:08
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    I agree with @AlanMunn. I don't think the votes will tell you anything much. Especially if you take account of the fact that there are probably a high number of passers-by who will upvote any post with a fun image, regardless of content. Either both answers should have a fun image or neither. And either they should both be reason specific or they should neither be. Anyway, why not witches, donkeys or cats? – cfr Dec 1 '17 at 2:45
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    There is typo in the question. It should be "towards quackiness". – Ulrike Fischer Dec 4 '17 at 17:42
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    I think this is riduckulous!! – Geoff Pointer Dec 10 '17 at 22:13
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    This image shows much better the power of TeX as a graphics program: tex.stackexchange.com/a/114847/56233 – musarithmia Dec 12 '17 at 21:36

Attractive though the addition of a duck is, I am not in favour of this proposal. However, I am not opposed on the grounds that it is 'too silly'. I am opposed on the grounds that it would institutionalise what is essentially an 'in joke' and thereby symbolise a kind of exclusivity which I would not like to see the site embrace.

I realise that, in practice, people are unlikely to even notice the duck. However, I think that the image is a statement about the community and this community's attitude to visitors, including both regular members, newbies and passers-by.

I may not be explaining this objection very well and I do not expect this post to be popular. I post it because, after considerable thought, I concluded that somebody should say it. Unfortunately, nobody else has stepped up, so the somebody happens to be me.

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    +1 I agree exactly with this sentiment. – Alan Munn Dec 7 '17 at 21:28
  • Clearly my responses don't help, so I'll delete them. Maybe @AlanMunn can explain it better. – cfr Dec 7 '17 at 23:36
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    @CarLaTeX I share cfr's views on this, because it adds a particular element related primarily to a particular person created by a particular package. I am one of many who counts Paulo as a good friend but I think that this addition has the potential to be perceived differently by people who are not among the usual residents of the chat, which are a very small minority of the users of the site. – Alan Munn Dec 8 '17 at 0:44
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    Thanks for sharing this insightful view, I agree with you. :) I think this is a strong and definitive case. Thanks for being the voice of reason amongst we wacky people. :) – Paulo Cereda Dec 8 '17 at 9:07
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    The current background shows mathematics, the inscription of the ring, something chemical and a sphere (no quite sure what it represents). Imho some graphic fits well. I also think that something which is a bit of a joke fits well. Such internal jokes glue a society together. They are in carneval, in the ig nobel prize, in the winterbash and in lots of other traditions around the world. – Ulrike Fischer Dec 8 '17 at 9:15
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    @PauloCereda Thank you for understanding. I love the ducks and I like the 'in jokes', too. I agree with Ulrike that such traditions bind communities. I just feel that the official image of the site needs to reflect our community's attitude to everyone and not contain elements designed to speak specifically to existing members. I'm not sure I did a good job explaining this, but I'm glad that you understood, as the OP. :-) – cfr Dec 8 '17 at 17:05
  • @PauloCereda I hope I'm not altogether un-wacky, too! – cfr Dec 8 '17 at 17:06
  • @cfr: A merry quack to you from the resident hwyaden! :) – Paulo Cereda Dec 8 '17 at 17:43
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    Hm. I wonder if "One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them," really reflects out community's attitude to everyone. It is a rather unfriendly text. – Ulrike Fischer Dec 8 '17 at 18:10
  • @UlrikeFischer If that seems relevant, I've clearly not explained very well. See Alan Munn's attempt above. I deleted my earlier follow-up comments attempting to explain further, because they clearly didn't help at all. – cfr Dec 9 '17 at 2:04
  • @cfr I was more musing to myself if one should suggest to remove the text. But beside this I think it is relevant but too long for a comment. If you are really interested in discussing this you could open a chat room. – Ulrike Fischer Dec 9 '17 at 14:32
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    @AlanMunn, cfr, what musarithmia wrote in her/his comment to the question could be a valid alternative – CarLaTeX Dec 13 '17 at 6:46

Yes, definitely!

enter image description here


Everybody can decide for themselves

Luckily there are browser addons which can exchange the default background image by a version including the duck, so every user can decide if he/she wants to use one of these addons to have a duck in the background image.

Addons capable to do the image exchange are for example stylish or from the greasemonky/Tampermonkey family.

Please feel free to add instructions for more browser/addon combinations!

Instructions for firefox with greasemonkey

  1. Install greasemonkey addon: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/greasemonkey/

  2. add a new user script via tools->greasmonkey->New User Script... enter image description here

  3. In the following dialogue, choose a name of your choice and add


    to the Included Pages field.

  4. Now click on Edit this User Script and copy & paste the following code:

    // ==UserScript==
    // @name _TeX SE, Swap header background
    // @match *://tex.stackexchange.com/*
    // @grant GM_addStyle
    // @run-at document-start
    // ==/UserScript==
    GM_addStyle ( `
    #header {
    background: transparent url('https://i.stack.imgur.com/LVfSC.png') no-repeat 50% -25px !important;
    ` );
  5. Save, close and consider upvoting https://stackoverflow.com/a/19392142/2777074 as this answer made the above script possible

  6. enjoy the duck

enter image description here

Instructions for Opera with Custom Style Script

(from the comment by Ulrike Fischer)

  1. Install the Custom Style Script addon: https://addons.opera.com/de/extensions/details/custom-style-script/?display=en

  2. add

    #header {
    background: transparent url('https://i.stack.imgur.com/LVfSC.png') no-repeat 50% -25px !important;

    as a css rule


No way, this is far too silly!

  • 4
    Is it allowed to down vote here? – Sigur Nov 28 '17 at 22:14
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    @Sigur 3 people have already done it (+4-3=+1). – CarLaTeX Nov 29 '17 at 4:54
  • @CarLaTeX, nice. Since I like the idea, I dislike the No way answer. So, -1! – Sigur Nov 29 '17 at 10:57
  • @Sigur Paulo will be happy :):):) – CarLaTeX Nov 29 '17 at 10:58

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