Search found 37 matches

by CatCube
Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:39 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2014: "JWST Delays"
Replies: 21
Views: 3044

Re: 2014: "JWST Delays"

It reminds me of this graph, showing the predicted and actual release-to-manufacturing date of Windows 95 (23 years ago this month!): https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20150824-00/?p=91751/ “Management fairly consistently underestimated the number of days until RTM by a factor of 2.3.” E...
by CatCube
Wed May 09, 2018 9:11 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1971: "Personal Data"
Replies: 82
Views: 11384

Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

For short-term use my system collapses to something basically indistinguishable from what we have already. You start paying for the unit in small rent-like payments that, if you continued them, would eventually end up with you owning the unit outright, but you don't necessarily have to continue the...
by CatCube
Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:04 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Blistering blue barnacles
Replies: 28495
Views: 3062648

Re: Blistering blue barnacles

Me: *boots up computer* Windows 10: "Oh hi there, you look like you're trying to do something! Could you go ahead any maybe not do that for about 15 minutes so I can install updates? Cheers!" Me: [15 minutes later] "About damn time, let me run this two-hour video capture now." W...
by CatCube
Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:10 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1946: "Hawaii"
Replies: 28
Views: 4741

Re: 1946: "Hawaii"

People panicked, which is the incorrect response to situation. Panic can be prevented by providing preemptive information. f that is not possible then the state could just send instructions with the message. I am not sure what those instructions would be, but the result would probably be better tha...
by CatCube
Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:18 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1791: "Telescopes: Refractor vs Reflector"
Replies: 99
Views: 14592

Re: 1791: "Telescopes: Refractor vs Reflector"

Mutex wrote:It also introduces a problem with another part of the lore. If light passes through them, why does sunlight kill them?


In Bram Stoker's original novel sunlight didn't kill vampires, merely robbed them of many of their powers until nightfall.
by CatCube
Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:06 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1741: "Work"
Replies: 53
Views: 11241

Re: 1741: "Work"

I often have thoughts like this about food, and about the unbelievable increase in purchasing power of even the poorest resident of a modern developed country vs basically every other human being who ever lived throughout all of history. Say you go to your favorite cheapest fast food restaurant and...
by CatCube
Sat May 21, 2016 2:45 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1683: "Digital Data"
Replies: 122
Views: 20743

Re: 1683: "Digital Data"

The problem with "big enough monitors" is that almost everybody in our office needs to read drawings at some point or another. I personally wouldn't want a big enough monitor to read them on my desk, because I've got other things I want to have on the desktop. I don't know, if my desk was...
by CatCube
Sat May 21, 2016 3:47 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1683: "Digital Data"
Replies: 122
Views: 20743

Re: 1683: "Digital Data"

Before considering your (quite valid) data retention argument, has your office considered the workflow? All-digital needs to be more than just buying a big-ass scanner to slurp in old documents. You also need: * big enough monitors to work with the necessary data. * Big monitors and heavy-duty work...
by CatCube
Fri May 20, 2016 4:55 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1683: "Digital Data"
Replies: 122
Views: 20743

Re: 1683: "Digital Data"

This speaks to me, because there's a drive on to go all-digital in our office. Leaving aside that trying to read construction drawings on a screen makes me want to stab somebody in the eye with a pencil, we're giving up a lot of robustness. Will we be able to read the PDF copies in 100 years? Or the...
by CatCube
Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:53 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1643: "Degrees"
Replies: 147
Views: 23172

Re: 1643: "Degrees"

It's not surprising that a traditional unit would be slightly more useful over human-scale measurements. After all, they generally evolved prior to a deep understanding of how units might be interrelated, so the pressure was for them to be useful for practical problems. Compared to the metric system...
by CatCube
Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:15 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1599: "Water Delivery"
Replies: 82
Views: 13645

Re: 1599: "Water Delivery"

I think this is the third time I've seen XKCD treat the Hyperloop concept as some sort of joke or punchline. What exactly does Randall have against it? Given his clearly-expressed pro-science, pro-progress biases, I'd have thought he'd be enthusiastically in favor of it... The proposal as delivered...
by CatCube
Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:11 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"
Replies: 47
Views: 17296

Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

I guess I'm curious why Randall is reading papers about hydrology (which is the discipline you'll most likely find references to acre-feet), and why he doesn't like the unit. It's much more convenient to avoid awkward conversions, and is much more easily grasped intuitively. One inch of precipitati...
by CatCube
Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:42 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"
Replies: 47
Views: 17296

Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

I guess I'm curious why Randall is reading papers about hydrology (which is the discipline you'll most likely find references to acre-feet), and why he doesn't like the unit. It's much more convenient to avoid awkward conversions, and is much more easily grasped intuitively. One inch of precipitatio...
by CatCube
Wed Dec 25, 2013 5:36 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1308: "Christmas Lights"
Replies: 42
Views: 18682

Re: 1308: "Christmas Lights"

This was clever as hell. It took me a few minutes to figure out the large spectrum was from a fire, but I laughed when I got it.
by CatCube
Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:16 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1179: "ISO 8601"
Replies: 379
Views: 89125

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

When I was in the US Army, I noticed that there was confusion about the "official" way to write dates. It was my understanding that the official policy was to use a system like the one in this comic, but without hyphens. 20130227 for example. Still, there were many people in the organizat...
by CatCube
Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:51 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1179: "ISO 8601"
Replies: 379
Views: 89125

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

All of you are crazy. The best date format is military Date-Time Group (DTG), where the DTG of this post is 270951RFEB13. Hell, this is the format used for the METAR in aviation, too, which has been passing information worldwide every hour since they were using telegraphs for that.
by CatCube
Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:30 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1116: "Traffic Lights"
Replies: 171
Views: 44851

Re: 1116: "Traffic Lights"

On another note, you know those narrow 2-lane roads where the speed limit is about 50mph and everyone goes 60? You ever think about how close you are to the opposite lane? Its like 3 feet! A 120mph crash is 3 feet away from you! Youre 3ft from death! And when youre a pedestrian, thats like a foot a...
by CatCube
Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:11 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1116: "Traffic Lights"
Replies: 171
Views: 44851

Re: 1116: "Traffic Lights"

Can anyone tell me if the pedestrian buttons at traffic lights actually do anything? When I press the button does it make the traffic lights go red any quicker, stopping the traffic and allowing me to cross the road? And - I'm in Britain - are these pedestrian buttons similarly effective or ineffec...
by CatCube
Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:16 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1036: "Reviews"
Replies: 74
Views: 18586

Re: 1036: "Reviews"

I admit, this one made me chuckle. The alt-text made me outright laugh. Maybe it's because it's late, but this is a favorite. Especially since I've just made a major purchase and had to sort out the genuine problems from the bitter bitching in online reviews.
by CatCube
Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:52 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0984: "Space Launch System"
Replies: 94
Views: 22913

Re: 0984: "Space Launch System"

My High School history teacher once told us a story. He was visiting this town in the middle of nowhere, Russia, and every building he encountered seemed about to fall over; stairs were crooked, no floor was level, no wall was plumb. In the middle of town there stood a stone opera house, a small ar...
by CatCube
Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:58 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0966: "Jet Fuel"
Replies: 168
Views: 36306

Re: 0966: "Jet Fuel"

addams wrote:It was flawless. I was not there. I was trained to watch buildings come down. The tops could have rolled. That is what I would have expected from structural failure.

You?


No. Draw a free-body diagram. What would cause it to roll?
by CatCube
Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:22 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0966: "Jet Fuel"
Replies: 168
Views: 36306

Re: 0966: "Jet Fuel"

First off, I'd like to apologize to everybody else for the late response to this, but I didn't see it before. I realize that Dyno is a lost cause, but there are too many people that find this carnival of nonsense faintly plausible, and I've found that leaving stuff like this up unrebutted leads to m...
by CatCube
Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:15 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0977: "Map Projections"
Replies: 353
Views: 128782

Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Ok, in looking at the Transverse some more ... and taking the picture and rotating/re-orienting it to my expectations ... I think that is what I'm talking about. It's just kind of hard to process because of the whole South America thing - I wouldn't expect that what is on a north-south line now wou...
by CatCube
Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:49 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0977: "Map Projections"
Replies: 353
Views: 128782

Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

I don't think so. I would expect the projection I'm thinking of would have the same characteristics of the Mercator, namely the distance between each degree growing greater as you head towards the "poles". It would just be the longitudinal degree distance that is growing greater, not the ...
by CatCube
Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:04 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0977: "Map Projections"
Replies: 353
Views: 128782

Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

Actually, I have one last projection question. The Mercator projection uses the equator as the, um, focus? -- not really sure what the cartographic term is. Couldn't you use the Prime Meridian (or any other longitude) and do a similar projection? Maybe I'm wrong, but are you thinking of the Transve...
by CatCube
Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:24 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0974: "The General Problem"
Replies: 113
Views: 35358

Re: 0974: "The General Problem"

Getting back to the comic: As a programmer whose first computer language was Fortran, I got a kick out of this. It amazes me the hoops through which one must jump to do the simplest things in C++ or in Microsoft's latest perversion of Basic. Example: Below is the ENTIRE Fortran code for a program t...
by CatCube
Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:14 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0969: "Delta-P"
Replies: 181
Views: 48944

Re: 0969: "Delta-P"

How big are those doors? 400000/(sqrt(2*10*2000)) = 2000m^2 which means that those doors are about 44.7m by 44.7m Watch your units. The comic says 400,000 liters per second. You have to divide by 1000 to get m^3/s, which matches the 2000 m and 9.81 m/s (≈10 m/s) that you've used elsewhere. It works...
by CatCube
Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:20 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0969: "Delta-P"
Replies: 181
Views: 48944

Re: 0969: "Delta-P"

This was good for a chuckle. Leaving aside the time differentials (which I think have been beaten to death), the equation leaves out the effects of head loss. Normally, for a relatively large, short pipe, you could probably get away with that, but since frictional losses are proportional to the squa...
by CatCube
Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:26 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0966: "Jet Fuel"
Replies: 168
Views: 36306

Re: 0966: "Jet Fuel"

WTC7 bothers me, too. Fires leading to pancaking buildings have been observed only three times in history, which is a bit odd. Now, just pulling some numbers out of my ass and doing some rough estimations, but based on the size of the hole through the buildings, i would conservatively estimate that...
by CatCube
Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:46 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0966: "Jet Fuel"
Replies: 168
Views: 36306

Re: 0966: "Jet Fuel"

"What's my prize?" There is no need for snark, it was a simple rhetorical question with a simple answer. Your prize is a (rhetorical) thumbs up from me. Congratulations! Okay so you mentioned WTC7, what about WTC 1& 2? I'll give the answer this time: Pull in forces generated by saggin...
by CatCube
Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:36 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0966: "Jet Fuel"
Replies: 168
Views: 36306

Re: 0966: "Jet Fuel"

I always find it highly amusing that everybody who believes that the buildings (all three) fell because the fire softened the steel apparently are not aware that they do not believe the government authorized version of events. There are actually fairly sound ideas why NIST saw it fit to drop both t...
by CatCube
Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:43 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0966: "Jet Fuel"
Replies: 168
Views: 36306

Re: 0966: "Jet Fuel"

Jet-A1, as well as any other fuel, can burn at effectively any temperature you like if you create a furnace-like environment. A high-riser makes a fantastic furnace. There are some limitations, but they are so far beyond evaporation point of any known material that it won't be your limiting factor....
by CatCube
Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:53 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0966: "Jet Fuel"
Replies: 168
Views: 36306

Re: 0966: "Jet Fuel"

There's also the recent hypothesis from Christian Simensen at SINTEF that more or less agrees with the general consensus, but quibbles on some details: arguing that the building acted like a kiln, and that the alumin(i)um melted, ran down through the floor and interacted with water in the fire supp...
by CatCube
Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:12 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0966: "Jet Fuel"
Replies: 168
Views: 36306

Re: 0966: "Jet Fuel"

Yeah, conspiracy theories are so popular because, historically, so many have succeeded. It also helps to ignore facts, like the fact that jet fuel does burn at more than the melting point of carbon steel. Or that the thickness of the insulating cladding on the steel beams probably didn't matter a w...
by CatCube
Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:00 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0966: "Jet Fuel"
Replies: 168
Views: 36306

Re: 0966: "Jet Fuel"

What bugs me the most about the conspiracy theory is that the fuel doesn't have to be hot enough to MELT the steel. it just needs to be hot enough to significantly reduce its yield strength and modulus -A Structural Engineer. Amen, brother. A temperature of 1000°F--well within the believable temper...
by CatCube
Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:05 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0963: "X11"
Replies: 103
Views: 26264

Re: 0963: "X11"

This reminds me of the time I tried to get Linux to work. It was about 11 years ago now, when I was in my sophomore year in college. I decided, "Hey, I like to fuck around with computers, and this OS is for people who like to fuck around with computers! Besides, everyone says it's more stable t...
by CatCube
Wed Sep 21, 2011 5:51 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"
Replies: 285
Views: 56553

Re: 0954: "Chin-Up Bar"

I'll admit I chuckled at the comic, but it was mostly interesting thinking about the dynamics of a crowd in that situation. Once a crowd gets above a certain density, its members lose most of their autonomy and can only react to what the people around them do. One of the danger signs if you're in a ...

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