Search found 63 matches

by 5th Earth
Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:29 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1724: "Proofs"
Replies: 44
Views: 10859

Re: 1724: "Proofs"

Reminds me of the quantum bogosort.
by 5th Earth
Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:04 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0151: "Sun Bug"
Replies: 43
Views: 19813

Re: What-If 0151: "Sun Bug"

For some reason when I first loaded this article, all the numbers in scientific notation were rendered as "[Math Execution Error]" or something like that. I can't remember exactly because it fixed itself on reloading. I actually like the bugged version better; the juxtaposition of claiming...
by 5th Earth
Wed Jun 24, 2015 7:18 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1541: "Voice"
Replies: 54
Views: 12501

Re: 1541: "Voice"

ucim wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:I think I've heard of that theory as well... [...] I don't remember who the author behind that idea was, do you?
Sounds like Julian Jaynes: The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.



Also, the inspiration for Neal Stephenson's first book, The Big U.
by 5th Earth
Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:22 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1533: "Antique Factory"
Replies: 24
Views: 5465

Re: 1533: "Antique Factory"

WARNING: This item was aged by the same inexorable passage of time that also produces nuts. Processes nuts, not "produces" nuts. Our universe contains nuts. Everything in the universe is a result of the physical contents and properties of our universe, interacting as a result of the passa...
by 5th Earth
Fri May 22, 2015 10:59 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1528: "Vodka"
Replies: 29
Views: 6791

Re: 1528: "Vodka"

Personally, I think ethanol has a flavor. Certainly an odor anyway, which is the same thing really. Which is why I find "good" vodkas to be really weird - what are they doing that's masking the ethanol taste? Or maybe I just like cheap vodka? I don't have a lot of experience but I know I p...
by 5th Earth
Fri May 15, 2015 1:53 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1524: "Dimensions"
Replies: 79
Views: 12872

Re: 1524: "Dimensions"

For those of you who don't like the distinction between space-like and time-like dimensions, I recommend the Orthogonal Trilogy by Greg Egan, which takes place in a universe with only space-like dimensions. All the physics (and the odd results) are worked out in great detail, plus it's a good story....
by 5th Earth
Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:30 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1515: "Basketball Earth"
Replies: 48
Views: 10896

Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Thanks to what-if, we know that if the earth were the size of a basketball, it would make a poor bowling ball because it would be too rough.
by 5th Earth
Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:26 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1492: "Dress color"
Replies: 362
Views: 53692

Re: 1492: "Dress color"

What I want to know is, what camera is that, so I can never, ever buy it? The whole debate is a result of incredibly shitty picture quality. To my eye, my first instinct is to say white and gold, probably because in the natural world, we are used to white things looking blue-ish when shadowed, but b...
by 5th Earth
Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:54 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Matter or Antimatter--or does it matter?
Replies: 26
Views: 5112

Re: Matter or Antimatter--or does it matter?

I am not a physicist--as recent posts I've made have demonstrated--but I don't think anything out of the ordinary will happen. Ordinary for a black hole, of course. There's no net charges or anything involved, and if any sort of mutual annihilation happens below the event horizon, by definition none...
by 5th Earth
Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:46 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Water tunnels and dynamic similitude (help!)
Replies: 7
Views: 2195

Re: Water tunnels and dynamic similitude (help!)

Good to know. I suppose it was just a demonstration after all. In any case, it's not like I'm trying to design an airplane that I'm going to actually fly, it's just for fun and general insight. Thanks again for taking the time to help. If the project ever becomes reality, you're definitely getting c...
by 5th Earth
Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:48 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Water tunnels and dynamic similitude (help!)
Replies: 7
Views: 2195

Re: Water tunnels and dynamic similitude (help!)

Okay, that's extremely helpful. Obviously I had been assuming that total similitude was the goal, but knowing that 1: it isn't, and 2: it doesn't have to be, everything makes sense. From what you are saying, it sounds like just getting things within a couple orders of magnitude should be good enough...
by 5th Earth
Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:14 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Water tunnels and dynamic similitude (help!)
Replies: 7
Views: 2195

Re: Water tunnels and dynamic similitude (help!)

First of all, thank you for your help. That said, not that I doubt your math or knowledge, but... If what you are saying is true, why do products like http://www.rollinghillsresearch.com/Water_Tunnels/Model_0710.html even exist? If the velocities (and forces) required for similitude at small scale a...
by 5th Earth
Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:37 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Water tunnels and dynamic similitude (help!)
Replies: 7
Views: 2195

Water tunnels and dynamic similitude (help!)

Recently I've been toying with the idea of building a water tunnel (aka a wind tunnel but with water instead of air) to play with aerodynamics. I know the theory is that by using water, the speed can be decreased, allowing easier observations on models without compromising accuracy. The problem is, ...
by 5th Earth
Wed Dec 03, 2014 9:15 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0108: "Expensive Shoebox"
Replies: 151
Views: 82563

Re: What-If 0108: "Expensive Shoebox"

For my money, I'd go with nuclear isomers. Precise values are hard to find but one rough estimate is 1 billion dollars per gram of hafnium 178m2. Although, many people think that if anyone wanted it in mass quantities this could probably be dropped by a few orders of magnitude, once you did the rese...
by 5th Earth
Mon Nov 24, 2014 3:46 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1450: "AI-Box Experiment"
Replies: 200
Views: 59097

Re: 1450: "AI-Box Experiment"

I believe that perception creates reality; that what I (or anyone) perceive to be real is by definition real. This seems to imply that if you go on an acid trip and see your friends turn into lizards, that in fact your friends will have turned into lizards? When you and your friends compare notes l...
by 5th Earth
Mon Nov 24, 2014 4:03 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1450: "AI-Box Experiment"
Replies: 200
Views: 59097

Re: 1450: "AI-Box Experiment"

As mentioned before, I too believe the solution tot he potential problem is to refuse to be blackmailed. Since the entire scenario is predicated on an AI that is totally rational, it will not attempt to torture anyone who will not respond to such treatment. Instead, the rational approach is to take ...
by 5th Earth
Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:47 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1430: "Proteins"
Replies: 81
Views: 15561

Re: 1430: Proteins

I think the comic overstates the difficulty a little. Since animals are assemblies of proteins, aren't they by definition more complicated than any of their constituent parts examined in isolation?
by 5th Earth
Wed Oct 01, 2014 7:07 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1426: "Reduce your payment"
Replies: 35
Views: 12433

Re: 1426: "Reduce your payment"

An old chemistry teacher of mine showed us this one:

Bun - O - ny

An ether bunny.
by 5th Earth
Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:58 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1380: "Manual for Civilization"
Replies: 107
Views: 18356

Re: 1380: "Manual for Civilization"

I have the peculiar distinction of having been involved on a (nominally) Animorphs-themed roleplaying site, but never read any of the books. Everything I know about the series I got from weird genre mashup RPs. I've had http://animorphsforum.com/ bookmarked for a while but haven't done anything ther...
by 5th Earth
Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:20 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1376: "Jump"
Replies: 62
Views: 12079

1376: "Jump"

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/jump.png Title text: "I hope I'm at least following the curve of the Earth around to land ..." I have this dream too. I generally can't fly freely, but I can sort of glide over the surface. With a little effort i can sort of "bounce" over obstacles to...
by 5th Earth
Thu May 29, 2014 2:01 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"
Replies: 70
Views: 18666

Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

I'm surprised nobody has pointed out the other reason you couldn't drink 14 glasses of blood--assuming standard 16 ounce American glasses, that's over 6 liters of fluid, well above the typical maximum human stomach capacity.
by 5th Earth
Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:01 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1333: First Date
Replies: 117
Views: 25686

Re: 1333: First Date

It's a little like wikipedia--it only works at all because more people want it to work than want to destroy it.
by 5th Earth
Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:41 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1324:"Weather"
Replies: 76
Views: 17063

Re: 1324:"Weather"

I live in California and want to send 150mb of weather to a friend in the midwest. That's too big for an email attachment and I'm not about to set up an FTP server just so he can have a little sun. Any suggestions?
by 5th Earth
Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:23 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1318: "Actually"
Replies: 76
Views: 14162

Re: 1318: "Actually"

My wife has standing orders to give me a dope slap any time I start a sentence with the word "actually". In the grand scheme of things, correcting people over minor details rarely matters and it just makes people hate you.
by 5th Earth
Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:12 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"
Replies: 89
Views: 59600

Re: 1305: "Undocumented Feature"

Anyone remember Insidetheweb forums? It was a sad day in the circles I ran in when those things shut down. But it serves them right for apparently funding themselves entirely on Punch the Monkey ads. Once upon a time I hung out at a place called Kimmeree's Anichat, espcially a subsection of it calle...
by 5th Earth
Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:08 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0073: "Lethal Neutrinos"
Replies: 128
Views: 52325

Re: What-If 0073: "Lethal Neutrinos"

I find the unit "hydrogen bomb" frustratingly vague. Although I suppose with the scales we're dealing with, choosing from the largest or smallest of the range of available thermonuclear ordinance doesn't much matter. A black hole would make a good shield for neutrinos. A neutron star might...
by 5th Earth
Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:44 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0071: "Stirring Tea"
Replies: 71
Views: 36974

Re: What-If 0071: "Stirring Tea"

A thought on simplifying the various sealed container mixing apparatuses. Instead of using a device inside the container to do the stirring, requiring some sort of means of transferring power into the sealed vessel, use the vessel itself to do the stirring. Construct a vessel with, for example, padd...
by 5th Earth
Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:30 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1265: "Juicer"
Replies: 35
Views: 12530

Re: 1265: "Juicer"

RogueCynic wrote:Speaking of juices; If apple juice comes from squeezing apples, and prunes are made from dehydrating plums, where does prune juice come from?


Ocelots.
by 5th Earth
Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:34 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-if 0061: "Speed Bump"
Replies: 72
Views: 16153

Re: What-if 0061: "Speed Bump"

I would like to add, in the interest of pedantry, that not all cars are drag-limited. Some are limited by their gearing--they hit the redline in their top gear before atmospheric drag prevents further acceleration. It's uncommon, since these days most cars have tall gearing for fuel efficiency reaso...
by 5th Earth
Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:42 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1256: "Questions"
Replies: 215
Views: 38867

Re: 1256: "Questions"

Actually, she was a half-elf (well part-elf), like her farther and uncle, Elrond and Elros. Like them she got to choose whether to be counted as a human or an elf (Elrond chose elf, Elros chose human and was the first of the dunedain). Because of Aragorn she chose the mortal life so that she could ...
by 5th Earth
Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:08 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0048: "Sunset on the British Empire"
Replies: 75
Views: 26282

Re: What-If 0048: "Sunset on the British Empire"

Just thought I should mention that Pitcairn island's main source of income is selling stamps to stamp collectors. The British postal service takes great pride in the fact that you can send and receive mail from Pitcairn Island, though delivery time is pretty variable as you basically have to ask a c...
by 5th Earth
Wed May 22, 2013 6:55 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1214: "Geoguessr"
Replies: 102
Views: 30364

Re: 1214: "Geoguessr"

So I just played for the first time and one of the locations was a gas station that I've personally been to on a road trip through Nevada. It was a particularly memorable place because it's possibly the windiest location I have ever been to in my life.

Anyone else get a hit to a place they've been?
by 5th Earth
Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:50 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0043: "Train Loop"
Replies: 38
Views: 12012

Re: What-If 0043: "Train Loop"

Also, he didn't even bother to name the geometry of the classic roller coaster loop--the clothoid.
by 5th Earth
Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:07 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1199: "Silence"
Replies: 107
Views: 16519

Re: 1199: "Silence"

I've always wanted to make a collection of people failing to play 4'33''. Like, a video of a person sitting quietly at a piano for two minutes, abruptly playing the first bar of the 1812 overture, then swearing profusely.
by 5th Earth
Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:41 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0040: "Pressure Cooker"
Replies: 117
Views: 54537

Re: What-If 0040: "Pressure Cooker"

Gee Willikers. Holy Shit! You, just, walk around is a room full of that shit. And! A bunch of other dangerous stuff? H2O2 at 68% is unstable. Noise. I hear noise will set it off. Edit: 30% 30% requires a Permit. I have never seen anything more concentrated than 30%. Yeah, we use H2O2 too, though no...
by 5th Earth
Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:40 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0040: "Pressure Cooker"
Replies: 117
Views: 54537

Re: What-If 0040: "Pressure Cooker"

Reading this thread and the other "Have you ever worked with hydrofluoric acid?" thread really makes me wonder about the differences in the way HF is handled in a lab and in an industrial setting. In the wafer fab where I work, we received no special training on HF at all, other than some ...
by 5th Earth
Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:47 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0040: "Pressure Cooker"
Replies: 117
Views: 54537

Re: What-If 0040: "Pressure Cooker"

If you're going to be pumping fluorine into your pressure cooker (or other container), which you definitely shouldn't try, remember that the container has to be specially lined so the fluorine won't react with it. Teflon is good; otherwise, a nickel alloy — you get a thin layer of nickel fluoride w...
by 5th Earth
Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:50 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"
Replies: 92
Views: 18941

Re: 1187: "Aspect Ratio"

I'm reminded of a friend who was ripping the DVDs of a TV show onto his computer. He couldn't get the conversion from interlaced to progressive scan to come out right no matter what he did. Eventually, he figured out that the show had been deinterlaced in the incorrect order, rescaled, and then rein...
by 5th Earth
Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:00 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1185: "Ineffective Sorts"
Replies: 180
Views: 57314

Re: 1185: "Ineffective Sorts"

I had a lecturer who once suggested generating a random array, checking if it was sorted and then checking if the data was the same as the array to be sorted. I was so entertained by this that I had to write an implementation. This might not be the most efficient way to do it, but it's been a while...
by 5th Earth
Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:14 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"
Replies: 100
Views: 30327

Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

Heating a gas while keeping the volume and the number of moles present fixed increases the pressure of the gas. If the temperature inside the box gets high enough, then you start getting fusion taking place. Higher still, and you get a quark-gluon soup. Higher still and you break known physics... A...

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