Search found 85 matches

by hamjudo
Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:09 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1878: "Earth Orbital Diagram"
Replies: 45
Views: 4155

Re: 1878: "Earth Orbital Diagram"

Flumble wrote:Are the distances and sizes to scale on this diagram?


Not even close to scale. In the real world, the sun and moon are the same size. I know, I've been outside and seen them.
by hamjudo
Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:28 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1845: "State Word Map"
Replies: 53
Views: 6516

Re: 1845: "State Word Map"

Challenge: choose a normalization that both makes fun of Florida, and selects a hyphenated word for Michigan, but no other state. Bonus points for something that messes with Texas.
by hamjudo
Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:18 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1826: "Birdwatching"
Replies: 44
Views: 9038

Re: 1826: "Birdwatching"

Has anyone found the birds in the image yet?
by hamjudo
Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:36 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"
Replies: 523
Views: 58659

Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

A "Sisyphus battery," using gravitational potential with solids instead of liquids, seems less practical at scale. But it's not like I've really thought about it. Here is a serious looking proposal to use railroad technology to store hundreds of megawatt hours by moving many railroad car ...
by hamjudo
Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:43 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1733: "Solar Spectrum"
Replies: 16
Views: 4038

Re: 1733: "Solar Spectrum"

I have reverse engineered an insignificant part of the joke. The wikipedia page for Fraunhofer lines https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraunhofer_lines only has labels for the "Major Fraunhofer lines". Our amazing cartoonist has attributed the unlabeled lines to "those giant sunglasses&qu...
by hamjudo
Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:30 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1707: "xkcd Phone 4"
Replies: 39
Views: 6067

Re: 1707: "xkcd Phone 4"

Incidentally, only a few days ago one 'water resistant' phone publicly failed to be so. I remember reading that article and seeing that "The Samsung Galaxy S7 Active stopped working after being put in a tank that simulated the effect of being about 5ft (1.5m) underwater." I was trying to ...
by hamjudo
Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:39 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1693: "Oxidation"
Replies: 46
Views: 6478

Re: 1693: "Oxidation"

I have itchy eyebrows now, and I blame xkcd and its community. Well that, and my extreme suggestibility, which I inherited from my mother. Oddly, my suggestibility only applies to some symptoms. Any time I feel like there is something crawling on my skin, it is because there is something crawling on...
by hamjudo
Wed May 04, 2016 12:17 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1676: "Full-Width Justification"
Replies: 64
Views: 12043

Re: 1676: "Full-Width Justification"

Do we need language specific snakes? Are Klingon snakes particularly warlike? Do Japanese snakes have to be able to travel vertically and horizontally? Would Arabic script snakes have to go backwards (from my point of view), which is forwards for those folks used to Arabic scripts? Is there a justif...
by hamjudo
Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:06 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1660: "Captain Speaking"
Replies: 26
Views: 4313

Re: 1660: "Captain Speaking"

Historically, after a pilot announces the wrong destination airport or otherwise suggests destination confusion, the passengers react badly, and a flight attendant notifies the flight crew. But, there is no humor that way. On the other hand, the flight attendants usually offer free drinks, so it has...
by hamjudo
Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:49 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0146: "Stop Jupiter"
Replies: 60
Views: 13980

Re: What-If 0146: "Stop Jupiter"

I still want to know the answer to the original what if question. Answering that would have been long and boring. He probably just didn't want to dive into the complex math and change the entire content of the article. New Horizons slowed Jupiter by 10 -21 m/s, right? Jupiter is moving at 13.07 km/...
by hamjudo
Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:00 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0146: "Stop Jupiter"
Replies: 60
Views: 13980

Re: What-If 0146: "Stop Jupiter"

I still want to know the answer to the original what if question. Assume that some alien civilisation wants to cause Jupiter to impact our sun. These distant aliens have developed a mass driver that can launch an insane number of payloads that will reach our solar system with a trajectory such that ...
by hamjudo
Thu Oct 15, 2015 4:39 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1590: "The Source"
Replies: 70
Views: 9769

Re: 1590: "The Source"

The amount of power used by a normal house running at 30 KHz? It would have certain advantages: No batteries in the remote anymore, since the power requirements for a remote can easily be picked up out of the air. Same with the smoke alarms and many other battery operated devices. They could just h...
by hamjudo
Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:26 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1578: Squirrelphone
Replies: 38
Views: 7466

Re: 1578: Chipmunk smoke detector

We have chipmunks that live in a tree in the front yard. When they see a cat (or presumably any ground based predator), they make a sound like a smoke alarm with a weak battery. It is just as annoying as a smoke detector. My first thought when being woken up by a chipmunk making that sound is "...
by hamjudo
Mon Sep 07, 2015 2:17 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1574: "Trouble for Science"
Replies: 41
Views: 9298

Re: 1574: "Trouble for Science"

Of course Bunsen burners make things colder, it's called the nozzle effect. If you want a Bunsen burner to heat something, you have to take the additional step of lighting it. I assume the controlled study did not include that step. They must have had good ventilation. It is hard to write up a study...
by hamjudo
Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:38 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1549: "XKCD Phone 3"
Replies: 40
Views: 6297

Re: 1549: "XKCD Phone 3"

Someone should make a mechanical puzzle that looks like an oversized USB A port and connector. In the unsolved state, when you attempt to insert the connector right side up it is blocked by a lever. Each time that lever is pushed, it does something to the locking mechanism. Likewise, when you put th...
by hamjudo
Sat Jun 27, 2015 6:19 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1543: "Team Effort"
Replies: 23
Views: 4837

Re: 1543: "Team Effort"

The count in this study described in this article was 37.2 trillion human cells (of course the error bars are huge, the authors solicited refinements): http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2013/10/23/how-many-cells-are-in-your-body/ This was for a 70kg human. If we assume that the average human c...
by hamjudo
Fri May 08, 2015 4:09 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1521: “Sword in the Stone”
Replies: 96
Views: 15436

Re: 1521: “Sword in the Stone”

Modern English Royalty are not portrayed favorably in a lot of American media, including those media elements that claim to provide "news". If I believed any of that was remotely accurate, I would not want to be English Royalty.
by hamjudo
Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:15 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1501: Mysteries
Replies: 94
Views: 21144

Re: 1501: Mysteries

Maybe Mythbusters will get a ten year contract so they can do long term experiments to simulate the Salish Sea Feet. It seems that some types of shoes resist decay in the oceans, while remaining buoyant, and keeping their contents from being consumed. Mythbusters will need to get a bunch of cadavers...
by hamjudo
Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:00 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1490: "Atoms"
Replies: 92
Views: 15670

Re: 1490: "Atoms"

On the other hand, there is at least one case of someone still using an RTG pacemaker in the 21st century. Plus, as PinkShinyRose says, it looks like White Beret Guy's mother is now dead, so she may well have been alive early enough to be one of the people who had an RTG pacemaker. Thanks, I learne...
by hamjudo
Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:56 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1490: "Atoms"
Replies: 92
Views: 15670

Re: 1490: "Atoms"

I was thinking a pacemaker. There are still a few people living who have pacemakers implanted in the 1970s which are powered by an RTG using plutonium-238. The rated life for the electronics in a pacemaker in the early 1970s was only 5 years. Research on radioactive batteries for medical use stoppe...
by hamjudo
Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:52 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0130: "Snow Removal"
Replies: 51
Views: 17156

Re: What-If 0130: "Snow Removal"

I calculate that it would take at least 4.7 gigawatts of heat energy to remove a foot of snow 9 feet wide at 55 MPH. The 335 J/gram only applies when the vehicle is going slow enough that it can melt all of the ice without vaporizing any of it. In the real world, snow is a very good insulator. A lit...
by hamjudo
Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:43 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1476: Ceres
Replies: 54
Views: 12911

Re: 1476: Ceres

The question is, "Who is Number One?" Wilson Greatbatch was inspector number one. I worked at his pacemaker battery factory in 1978 and 1979. It is now diversified and trades under the symbol WGL on the NYSE. Back then it was a much smaller company. I was a high school student. My first s...
by hamjudo
Thu Dec 04, 2014 12:15 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1455: "Trolley Problem"
Replies: 171
Views: 26225

Re: 1455: "Trolley Problem"

In real life, I would almost certainly do nothing, because it is unlikely that I would understand the equipment well enough to really know what was going on. In my experience, when I've thought something horrible was going to happen, it was just that I didn't see the bend in the track or totally mis...
by hamjudo
Sat Nov 29, 2014 6:22 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1453: "fMRI"
Replies: 28
Views: 7791

Re: 1453: "fMRI"

I worked on a research project in the early 1980s in the period between NMR and MRI. It was just an MR imager. We referred to it as "mister imager" when the medical doctors weren't around. I know doctors with a sense of humor now. Those particular research doctors had no sense of humor. Ba...
by hamjudo
Fri Sep 26, 2014 9:13 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1426: "Reduce your payment"
Replies: 35
Views: 11109

Re: 1426: "Reduce your payment"

If the goal is to shrink a mortgage payment, try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanforization. At least it works on cotton and wool.
by hamjudo
Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:10 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"
Replies: 31
Views: 7405

Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Most powered lighter than air craft are shaped like blimps, not spheres. It allows a higher buoyancy to wind resistance ratio. They all have control surfaces near the tail. Some also have control surfaces near the center of gravity. Likewise, permanently moored high flying advertising balloons are a...
by hamjudo
Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:11 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1422: "My Phone is Dying"
Replies: 32
Views: 6224

Re: 1422: "My Phone is Dying"

Quick, pair this phone with a neutron phone and form a tight binary phone system. The neutron phone can strip off the outer layers of the expanding phone to prevent it from exploding.

Note that a significant amount of energy will be released in the form of deadly xray radiation.
by hamjudo
Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:48 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"
Replies: 91
Views: 18025

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Okay folks, we've got 13 or 14 years to work on controlled hydroplaning . Let's get busy. Many boats are designed to hydroplane, and they are well controlled, so that can't be it. I'm guessing we need to come up with techniques for controlled hydroplane maneuvers in land vehicle such as a bicycles, ...
by hamjudo
Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:14 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1406: "Universal Converter Box"
Replies: 162
Views: 30966

Re: 1406: "Universal Converter Box"

What? No IBM 360/370 Bus and Tag channel cables? I managed a bunch of computers in 1987 that shared a computer room with an IBM 360/370. That is to say, it was a 9370 baby mainframe with peripherals from a variety of eras going back to the 360 era. The machine was used for developing and testing so...
by hamjudo
Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:51 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1384: Krypton
Replies: 118
Views: 18927

Re: 1384: Krypton

Whoa, things are getting a little tense here. Let's all calm down by singing a little lullaby. I suggest we sing Rock-a-Bye Baby. A relaxing song about dropping babies from trees. Here is the oldest version shown on wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock-a-bye_Baby The first printed version fr...
by hamjudo
Fri May 23, 2014 12:42 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1372: "Smartwatches"
Replies: 41
Views: 14161

Re: 1372: "Smartwatches"

I replaced the screen in my Nexus 5 yesterday. So I just was staring at its guts. There are several flexible cables that run through the center of the phone, the display, and the battery. With a different battery, and a couple of smart watches as displays, the Nexus 5 could be a functional flip phon...
by hamjudo
Mon May 05, 2014 5:53 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1364 - "Like I'm Five"
Replies: 59
Views: 18383

Re: 1364 - "Like I'm Five"

If your goal is to be able to explain your thesis to a five year old, then you should keep that in mind while choosing a thesis topic. Some topics are much better suited than others. Five year old children don't have a whole lot of life experience to draw on. My sister's PhD dissertation probably wi...
by hamjudo
Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:03 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1358: "NRO"
Replies: 34
Views: 8605

Re: 1358: "NRO"

Engineers at the NRO almost certainly coordinate imaging tests of simulated intelligence targets with other reconnaissance organizations. This includes entities within our own government, and those of our allies. I live near Ann Arbor Michigan, which had (and may still have) some companies that did ...
by hamjudo
Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:10 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0089: "Tungsten Countertop"
Replies: 77
Views: 17773

Re: What-If 0089: "Tungsten Countertop"

The story about the soldier drinking wine doesn't make much sense. Rifle barrels are typically exposed to copper and lead, not tungsten. Yes, there are tungsten rounds, but they're fully jacketed, fewer they scrape away at the softer steel of the barrel with every shot. Maybe the full paper explain...
by hamjudo
Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:01 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1340: "Unique Date"
Replies: 140
Views: 26619

Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Under the system foist upon me, 2014-03-09 02:34 AM never happened at all.
2014-11-02 02:02 AM will happen twice.
I hate it.
by hamjudo
Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:34 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1328: "Update"
Replies: 54
Views: 11434

Re: 1328: "Update"

Say you need to apply an update and it changes some libraries or executables or other super-important OS-level stuff. In Unix (he said Linux, but he meant anything in the Unix tradition, Linux being a johnny-come-lately here), you typically can't directly overwrite these system libraries if they're...
by hamjudo
Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:06 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-if 0081: "Catch"
Replies: 54
Views: 11538

Re: What-if 0081: "Catch"

I figured it out. Learn how to pack your own cartridges. Use a special powder load when packing your own bullets. A powder load so small that the bullet only travels 6 feet, when traveling straight up. Practice with that load until you know the issues and risks. Lower the gun, or raise the catcher, ...
by hamjudo
Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:28 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0080: "Pile of Viruses"
Replies: 95
Views: 17555

Re: What-If 0080: "Pile of Viruses"

If humans went 20 years without any viruses, the next virus to come along would wipe out about 95% of the population.
by hamjudo
Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:59 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1312: "Haskell"
Replies: 70
Views: 17407

Re: 1312: "Haskell"

The first language I learned with lazy evaluation was "make", with its incredibly crufty Makefile syntax. I use that style of lazy processing in other languages. That is, I create objects which have the rules necessary to generate the result, but it doesn't use those rules, unless and unti...
by hamjudo
Tue Dec 31, 2013 5:52 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-if 0077: "Growth Rate"
Replies: 26
Views: 7622

Re: What-if 0077: "Growth Rate"

My son was born when WorldCom was still around and growing exponentially. My son was a few weeks early and had to spend some time in the special care nursery. Thus there was a chart showing his mass each day in kilograms. In the WorldCom style, I cherry picked a couple dates. Using the masses record...

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