Search found 319 matches

by McHell
Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:44 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1338: "Land Mammals"
Replies: 168
Views: 49119

Re: 1338: "Land Mammals"

Most of this comic is still correct 4years later --- only the subtitle is probably wrong: "Bacteria outweigh us thousands to one". There's just now a landmark study on biomass distribution (spoiler: It's mostly plants, and they're mostly on land; animals are mostly in the sea; and bacteria...
by McHell
Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:26 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1784: "Bad Map Projection: Liquid Resize"
Replies: 58
Views: 10771

Re: 1784: "Bad Map Projection: Liquid Resize"

LockeZ wrote:No one could fight about Kosovo. Just thinking about it makes you start singing relaxing songs.

The Serbs and Kosovars disagree on this. That nineties shitstorm isn't completely over.

Actually, that was Saturday; yesterday Serbia has reformulated it as a military threat towards Kosovo.
by McHell
Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:45 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1487 "Tornado"
Replies: 19
Views: 5342

Re: 1487 "Tornado"

I re-read the text three times, because the first two times I read that the tornado "douched town" --- a graphic description of destruction, but not 100% grammatically sane. .. Is there a specific treatment that I can follow? Other than the obvious coffee which is equally obviously not wor...
by McHell
Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:43 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1298: "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!"
Replies: 71
Views: 16608

Re: 1298: "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!"

If Euclidean distance on the comic scales linearly with Euclidean distance in space, then there's something wrong -- things should be denser towards the corner, as there's x^3/2 more space for larger x (the volume of a lightyear thick 'peel' of a sphere centered around the earth scales by third powe...
by McHell
Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:59 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0963: "X11"
Replies: 103
Views: 26193

Re: 0963: "X11"

[The constitution] has been edited 18 times in 224 years, so, we change it pretty often by Jefferson's standards. Which is exactly the opposite of what Jefferson wanted: it's the fiddling which adds to the crud, inconsistence, etc; his quote says to go for a tabula rasa, throwing out everything and...
by McHell
Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:50 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0923: "Strunk and White"
Replies: 94
Views: 23339

Re: 0923: "Strunk and White"

Well-written? I doubt it. Yes, technically flawless, but probably bloodless and unreadable; like the inverse of a JK Rowling thing.

There won't be any split infinitives, but /why/ not --- just because Shakespeare abhorred them, a lot of people now claim it's a crime to use them?
by McHell
Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:22 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0916: Unpickable
Replies: 110
Views: 27805

Re: 0916: Unpickable

You need a second safe, inside the shoebox, to protect against regular burglars.
by McHell
Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:09 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0908: "The Cloud"
Replies: 69
Views: 21489

Re: 0908: "The Cloud"

Excellent comic... I've always had a creeping feeling like that. Amazon's cloud seems to be like that, going for a liedown in one block. "Huge, amorphous network of servers" would be more menacing as a "huge, amphibious network of servers" or worrying as a "huge, amorous net...
by McHell
Fri May 27, 2011 9:03 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0904: "Sports"
Replies: 128
Views: 27010

Re: 904: "Sports"

A++ comic. Would read again.

Also, so very true --- watching lottery results or sports on screen are equally tedious affairs. They should show scatter diagrams from CERN instead.
by McHell
Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:00 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0805: "Paradise City"
Replies: 144
Views: 38317

Re: 0805: Paradise City

It brought the point home that just like everybody has their private hell, everybody may have their personal paradise. Hadn't thought of that; hell is so much more tangible. At least, that's how I read the comic; not a dude corrupting lyrics out of boredom, but a series of parallel guys (the same gu...
by McHell
Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:25 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0734: "Outbreak"
Replies: 126
Views: 26329

Re: "Outbreak" Discussion

So after two pages of discussion (mostly duplicate "I'd totally see that") the one question posed in the discussion is still not answered? Why are they numbering their patients starting at zero? It's a commonly used term for the origin of new diseases or disease outbreaks. Yes, that's the ...
by McHell
Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:14 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0665: "Prudence"
Replies: 123
Views: 33266

Re: "Prudence" Discussion

This approach would have mercifully spared us from most of "the house of leaves."
by McHell
Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:57 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Theorems named after the wrong people
Replies: 21
Views: 8191

Re: Theorems named after the wrong people

Ach, what is wrong? You give a name to something because it needs naming. And it needs naming only for brevity, for name-dropping is faster than spelling out the argument with requirements plus sources. So often enough the inventor names it after someone or something else, to not seem to self-center...
by McHell
Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:07 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Recommended reading for science newbie, please?
Replies: 29
Views: 3107

Re: Recommended reading for science newbie, please?

I doubt it very much. I've only read a few "dummies" guides to computing/languages/whatever, but (a) I'm not and hope you're not a dummy, and (b) they were bad. Especially those in smaller languages (which is kind of fatal if you try to learn say italian from the dutch book --- that's just...
by McHell
Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:09 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Recommended reading for science newbie, please?
Replies: 29
Views: 3107

Re: Recommended reading for science newbie, please?

Zamfir wrote: Karl Zimmer 'Evolution: triumph of an idea'

I loved his "on the water's edge", haven't read that one. "Triumph of the Embryo" by Wolpert is also good in that corner. Just stay away from any Dennett and Dawkins... "nothing to see, just move on folks!".
by McHell
Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:49 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Stream Seperation
Replies: 9
Views: 1495

Re: Stream Seperation

Well, guys pee sounds different, period. =) There are experiments published to show urinary tract problems noninvasively, by monitoring the sound(frequency) generated by a man peeing: if I remember correctly, the narrowing of the urethra as happens with prostate problems will make the tone significa...
by McHell
Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:14 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: What size is your pinky?!?
Replies: 29
Views: 8177

Re: What size is your pinky?!?

Now I know this sounds awfully obscure, but I came across this strange phenomenon in maths today. Are you sure it's during maths you came across this? Because it's a well-known issue probably dependent on testosterone exposure during your development, and the big stick of the Fluctuating Asymmetry ...
by McHell
Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:12 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: The Big Spanker
Replies: 33
Views: 3687

Re: The Big Spanker

Tidal energy was indeed first that came to mind, with wholly feasible ways to extract energy [though maybe not cost effective --- some of the first devices sunk 2y ago I remember]. Slightly less effective: the high altitude jet streams (and a lot of the wind in general) are also caused by earth's ro...
by McHell
Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:05 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: exoskeltons [like iron man's/MC]
Replies: 23
Views: 3010

Re: exoskeltons [like iron man's/MC]

Actually, insects could be quite a bit bigger if they had a more efficient respritory system. Back in pre-dinosaur times when oxygen levels were higher dragonflies were the size of birds and there was a millipede-like thing that was ten feet long. Except for adding oxigen-canisters to lab-bred supe...
by McHell
Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:15 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Home experiment with aerogel
Replies: 11
Views: 5082

Re: Home experiment with aerogel

Once you have the gel finished, what to do with it? My vote: make an ant-farm! They sell these regular gel(+little colour)filled pots, so you get to see them tunnel happily etc... You'd have to put some sugar in that agar as a nutrient. <Edit: -40C freezing is around if DNA is --- our lab's freezers...
by McHell
Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:09 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: crystal meth
Replies: 3
Views: 1401

Re: crystal meth

I'd say wikipedia exists, so check out there. Famous are the very bad teeth of the addicts too, it was thought for a while that it was something specific that caused it --- but as with the sores, it's self-inflicted: if you very forcefully grind your teeth... then they crumble after a short while. E...
by McHell
Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:04 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: exoskeltons [like iron man's/MC]
Replies: 23
Views: 3010

Re: exoskeltons [like iron man's/MC]

I'd go with the cable-device for power, but then you need another exoskeleton-wearer to protect your cable (and gently steer it) about every 5meter/16feet. But those protector's cables have to be protected as well. So! How far can we get? ... N(i) = Number of exoskeleton wearers to get to yardstick ...
by McHell
Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:31 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: evolution: hard to fathom instances
Replies: 219
Views: 34441

Re: evolution: hard to fathom instances

About the fixed number of vertebrae for mammals, it is not very difficult to understand.[...snip...] As pointed out, other vertebrates have no problem switching these numbers in a relatively short time, and over and over again (even within snake families you get different numbers). So why do mammal...
by McHell
Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:28 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0464: "RBA"
Replies: 118
Views: 56328

Re: "RBA" discussion

I have no idea what the non-reverse Bel-air is. I've heard of the show, but never seen it. For TRUE EXPERTS of Bel-Air though I challenge the COVERT BEL-AIR. Well, read that way both the bible and most of Bill Shakey's works are CBA's --- as long as they contain most of the words in the correct ord...
by McHell
Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:47 am UTC
Forum: The Help Desk
Topic: LINUX HELLLPP???
Replies: 7
Views: 2855

Re: LINUX HELLLPP???

As suggested, go to ubuntuforums.org --- sooo much more ubuntu-setup-knowledge, a lot of hands and minds to think along, and on the offchance that you have a new problem, then others will be helped by reading the solution to your problem!
by McHell
Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:45 am UTC
Forum: The Help Desk
Topic: Opinions - Linux vs. OS X?
Replies: 14
Views: 1928

Re: Opinions - Linux vs. OS X?

But what is the ultimate point of trying to add a linux that you beat into looking like OSX? I find that the magical part of OSX is not this one or other killer feature, but the nonadditive effects --- all the little small things that work just that fraction better and then let you do things without...
by McHell
Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:29 am UTC
Forum: The Help Desk
Topic: Problem copying and Pasting
Replies: 7
Views: 2063

Re: Problem copying and Pasting

Maybe edit the first post in this topic, because:

this malware has been covered in the tech news today, for example http://www.theregister.co.uk who wrote
NO, your macs are not immune. And by that I'd consider this issue solved: it's a big thing, not something XKCD can really add knowledge to.
by McHell
Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:25 am UTC
Forum: The Help Desk
Topic: Someone to help me install Linux?
Replies: 27
Views: 2841

Re: Someone to help me install Linux?

For beginners you want to go with Ubuntu or OpenSUSE or indeed Redhat. Slackware or Gentoo is of course ubercool, but you'll just piss off all your linux literate friends with your niggling self-created problems ("can't do this printer install: why?", "hm... wifi would be cool, with t...
by McHell
Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:12 am UTC
Forum: The Help Desk
Topic: Something on a USB Drive to annoy a thief
Replies: 38
Views: 4346

Re: Something on a USB Drive to annoy a thief

Maybe I'm out of touch with what most people are like these days, but whenever I find a lost or forgotten USB, I try and return it to the owner. Indeed: when my camera boots up it gives my contact details, and the chip explicitely asks in a file "if found, here are the details..; if stolen: pl...
by McHell
Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:00 am UTC
Forum: The Help Desk
Topic: Can the citizens of xkcd provide better help?
Replies: 4
Views: 1374

Re: Can the citizens of xkcd provide better help?

You could also try (for short minutes!) to change the security settings, from WPA to WEP to nothing: if it suddenly works, you have an idea to build on. [I got caught out that my old Wifi-B card, as all of em, cannot handle WPA but can handle WEP. And with my netgear router (I know, other end of the...
by McHell
Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:35 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Water into Ice!!
Replies: 17
Views: 2324

Re: Water into Ice!!

Supercooled liquid water still has a density similar to room-temperature water, or at least only incrementally different. Since the water isn't freezing, the water doesn't expand like it would when it turns to ice, and doesn't break the bottle. This I don't really understand, as it seems to be a ci...
by McHell
Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:16 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Voltages (International Differences, and Dangers Therein)
Replies: 34
Views: 3087

Re: Volatges (International Differences, and Dangers Therein)

By the time Europe started seriously building up its grid, filaments that could tolerate higher voltages had been developed and it was economical to upgrade the equipment of the 110V customers and move everything to 220V. Yes, and by the time the UK came to the party they said in their usual insula...
by McHell
Sat Aug 09, 2008 5:44 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: evolution: hard to fathom instances
Replies: 219
Views: 34441

Re: evolution: hard to fathom instances

Another anatomical feature I've never fully understood, the whole neck arrangement. I guess I can see some advantages in range of vision and such, but putting all the thinking* (seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting) matter in one place, and that place being the far end of the body connected by only t...
by McHell
Sat Aug 09, 2008 5:34 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: evolution: hard to fathom instances
Replies: 219
Views: 34441

Re: evolution: hard to fathom instances

i've always been curious about the evolution of fangs that inject venom. i'm not sure how the mechanism for delivering poison through the teeth could have been beneficial before it was fully operational or how the modified teeth and glands developed in a coordinated fashion. First, you start to pro...
by McHell
Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:35 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Can a Biologist Fix a Radio?
Replies: 32
Views: 4916

Re: Can a Biologist Fix a Radio?

It's not all that groundbreaking, as there's a lot of projects on this the last few years. It's a very active topic, yes, but essentially the idea is not new. You'd call the types of knowledge gathered by this correct labeling "ontologies". Specifically, there are several databases (geneba...
by McHell
Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:57 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Prove chemistry is the same on Mars
Replies: 21
Views: 2785

Re: Prove chemistry is the same on Mars

To add to this: one of the foundations of science is Occam's Razor, which basically says "don't assume things are more complicated than they need to be". Philosophers of science would heartily disagree with you, as Occam is quite recent compared to the foundations, and you're opening the ...
by McHell
Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:37 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Doctors cure skin cancer patient.
Replies: 8
Views: 1399

Re: Doctors cure skin cancer patient.

I don't see what this has to do with the (ethical) debate of cloning (TS mentioned), which involves creating lifeforms, not separate cells. Similarly, the problem with stem cell research is if you use human embryos (obsolete from fertility treatments), there is no problem with stem cell research an ...
by McHell
Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:32 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Bernard's Lolly
Replies: 18
Views: 3107

Re: Bernard's Lolly

I'd try a light white wine with not too much alcohol... There shouldn't be a problem. The fact that there's groups on the internet failing in the freezing of water by having a decent freezer doesn't surprise me --- there's no other cluster of incompetence as wide and varied than the net. If worried ...
by McHell
Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:13 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.
Replies: 32
Views: 2856

Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

I'm impressed how such a long list with all kinds of minor deities in them can be made, and then you leave out Charles Darwin. Obviously you mean by "science" actually "physics". My vote for famous tragic scientist goes to WNP Barbellion, he's like Rosalind F. but without actuall...
by McHell
Mon May 19, 2008 6:53 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: so maths is useful for what now?
Replies: 31
Views: 3275

Re: so maths is useful for what now?

Math education (below university level, plus as minor in university education) is mostly used as a social sieve. This is pretty sad, but true. Getting a "good" high school degree, implies being functional in "the system" to a certain degree, and also gives a strong indication abo...

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