## Search found 76 matches

Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:12 pm UTC
Topic: 1643: "Degrees"
Replies: 147
Views: 25331

### Re: 1643: "Degrees"

What about natural units? In the contest to be more scientifically pure, you can't ignore this option. The obvious interpretation is to measure everything in fractions of the Planck temperature. Although at 1.417×10^32 K, this wins the award for being the worst unit for rounding of all units. Catego...
Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:25 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0140: "Proton Earth, Electron Moon"
Replies: 50
Views: 41863

### Re: What-If 0140: Proton Earth, Electron Moon

How does destroying the known universe "obviously changes nothing for the Earth"? The universe is destroyed in the same way regardless of whether you convert its mass into packed protons or just remove the electrons. "Convert the rest mass of all constituent particles into protons&qu...
Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:49 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0140: "Proton Earth, Electron Moon"
Replies: 50
Views: 41863

### Re: What-If 0140: Proton Earth, Electron Moon

How does destroying the known universe "obviously changes nothing for the Earth"? Where did anyone get this idea that the moon had more deleterious effects than the Earth? RM started off talking about the moon, but he states that the moon is less destructive. The scientific question about ...
Mon Sep 21, 2015 1:32 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0140: "Proton Earth, Electron Moon"
Replies: 50
Views: 41863

### Re: What-If 0140: Proton Earth, Electron Moon

I think you are calculating the amount of protons and electrons differently than I and Randall do. The way we calculate it the moon has approximately 10 times the amount of electrons the earth has protons and they are in a smaller volume. Thus the proton earth has less energy. I just took the mass ...
Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:32 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0140: "Proton Earth, Electron Moon"
Replies: 50
Views: 41863

### Re: What-If 0140: Proton Earth, Electron Moon

This means that the mass equivalence is relatively close to each other. The earth has less mass-energy both to having about a tenth of the particles and having a bigger diameter (the protons aren't as close to each other so they need less energy to get that close) The additional mass-energy means t...
Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:45 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0140: "Proton Earth, Electron Moon"
Replies: 50
Views: 41863

### Re: What-If 0140: Proton Earth, Electron Moon

I notice that he totally ignores the 'proton earth' part of the question. I'm sure he's right in regard to an isolated electron moon, but together? Presumably the earth becomes another black hole, but positively charged. We already know of galactic core BHs larger than out solar system, so the two ...
Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:19 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0116: "No-Rules NASCAR"
Replies: 60
Views: 20392

### Re: What-If 0116: "No-Rules NASCAR"

As for the ear drums, they're surrounded by bone which is still enough, and the air small enough, that its not likely to cause any issue (solid structures like the temporal bone are highly unlikely to deform on their own without killing the patient, and at the g's necessary to deform the temporal b...
Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:19 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0116: "No-Rules NASCAR"
Replies: 60
Views: 20392

### Re: What-If 0116: "No-Rules NASCAR"

What if you decide to submerse the driver in a fluid, to negate the effects of the acceleration? We could even go so far as liquid-breathing if you're worried, though I favor the approach of just using high-pressure vessels and pressurizing the air enough to counteract the density. (Yes, decompress...
Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:40 pm UTC
Topic: 1431: "Marriage"
Replies: 442
Views: 72391

### Re: 1431: Marriage

You might color me skeptical on this one. What did "approval" mean to the people who were answering these polls? Did they see it as a personal opinion, like "I approve of those people getting married", or did they see it as a policy question of "if those two people ask for a...
Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:58 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"
Replies: 31
Views: 9723

### Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

I think that the best solution is a compromise between the two ideas. Have a minimally buoyant balloon, but also an upward sloped surface to catch the wind as the car drives. This will hopefully avoid the deadly red lights while also maintaining a good view. An airship, if you will.
Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:43 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0109: "Into the Blue"
Replies: 74
Views: 20731

### Re: What-If 0109: "Into the Blue"

The convexity is an interesting argument. You might do best to model the Earth as a sphere with some granularity on the surface. Then, the solid angle of the sky would depend both on the height of these mountains/waves as well as their frequency. Even if there's a tall mountain, if it's sufficiently...
Fri Aug 22, 2014 2:34 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0109: "Into the Blue"
Replies: 74
Views: 20731

### Re: What-If 0109: "Into the Blue"

And wouldn't every point in this laser become a black hole? Maybe, kind of. Any air particles in the path of the laser would become a black hole to us, unless the frequency produces a speed limit. More than likely, the frequency does pose a speed limit. At some point, the light is so heavily redshi...
Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:26 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0109: "Into the Blue"
Replies: 74
Views: 20731

### Re: What-If 0109: "Into the Blue"

And wouldn't every point in this laser become a black hole? Maybe, kind of. Any air particles in the path of the laser would become a black hole to us, unless the frequency produces a speed limit. More than likely, the frequency does pose a speed limit. At some point, the light is so heavily redshi...
Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:26 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0109: "Into the Blue"
Replies: 74
Views: 20731

### Re: What-If 0109: "Into the Blue"

An infinitely strong laser pointer would deliver an infinite amount of energy to the air in its path, which would in turn radiate an infinite amount of energy in all directions, which would destroy everything. Hmmm . isn't there actually a theoretical upper-limit on how much energy air molecules ca...
Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:50 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-if 0105: "Cannibalism"
Replies: 41
Views: 12961

### Re: What-if 0105: "Cannibalism"

I was honestly surprised to not see a continuum solution. Isn't this effectively the same problem as the rocket equation? The "1 month" approximation certainly contains the relevant information about the rate at which we eat ourselves. The only units you need for the time constants are tim...
Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:12 pm UTC
Topic: 1389: "Surface Area"
Replies: 125
Views: 36826

### Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Eventually a gigantic cloud of space stations is going to surround the Sun and dim it out, capable of containing many trillions and quadrillions of people. This, by the way, was the actual notion of a Dyson Sphere. Not a single, rigid, monolithic construct, but a swarm of smaller orbiting bodies co...
Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:33 pm UTC
Topic: 1389: "Surface Area"
Replies: 125
Views: 36826

### Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

Venus's atmosphere is nearly a hundred times thicker than Earth's, and because it's 96% Carbon Dioxide, the planet has a massive greenhouse effect. Can you think of a way to get rid of most of a planet's atmosphere to reduce the temperature enough so water stays liquid? Then there's the other 4% of...
Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:05 pm UTC
Topic: 1389: "Surface Area"
Replies: 125
Views: 36826

### Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

I took this comic and measured the relative sizes of the Earth to the two asteroid blocks. This is done by coloring a region in one uniform color in paint. Then I use a histogram tool to count the number of pixels with that color. This gives me a count of pixels in all those regions. Let me share my...
Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:07 pm UTC
Topic: 1377: "Fish"
Replies: 288
Views: 40455

### Re: 1377: "Fish"

I really like this one because it made me think as I followed up the last few panels. Interesting to think about some of these analogies. I heard one from I think Neil DeGrasse-Tyson that goes(Paraphrasing): What do you think when you see a bug on the ground? You pass it by because it means nothing...
Wed May 21, 2014 5:08 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0097:" Burning Pollen"
Replies: 39
Views: 13169

### Re: What-If 0097: Burning Pollen

rhomboidal wrote:A nuclear pollen bomb really puts a historically ironic spin on associating "flower power" with the peace movement.

First thing that comes to my mind is the flower Mario eats to get the fire ball spitting ability.
Mon May 19, 2014 9:10 pm UTC
Topic: 1370: "President"
Replies: 68
Views: 17615

### Re: 1370: "President"

At least for my cohort, I don't think very much bad stuff ever got left out there publicly. Livejournal was a bit of a close call at times. Out of my friends, it didn't take us long to realize that sites exist that cache public posts, and a greater degree of self-censorship followed. Then there were...
Mon May 19, 2014 5:31 pm UTC
Topic: 1370: "President"
Replies: 68
Views: 17615

### Re: 1370: "President"

I really just don't know if I can ever bring myself to vote for someone who's ever posted a duck-faced selfie. I really just don't know... But what about some obscure 80s or 70s fad right now? After the fad has passed, the pictures are no longer as objectionable. Gawdy and embarrassing, yes. But it...
Tue Apr 22, 2014 1:48 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Energy requirements to launch to LEO (from vacuum zeppelin)
Replies: 46
Views: 36533

### Re: Energy requirements to launch to LEO (from vacuum zeppel

I've been answering this type of question other places, and I want to add some detail here. I'm not sure if anyone has pointed this out, but the graph that shows that 68 MJ of the launch energy goes to drag is not correct at all. The energy required is much greater than the orbital energy kinetic en...
Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:52 pm UTC
Topic: 1352: "Cosmologist on a Tire Swing"
Replies: 87
Views: 24539

### Re: 1352: "Cosmologist on a Tire Swing"

Physics is just peeling back layers of the onion. Even if we completely nail string theory, and figure out the compactification that describes our universe, we still won't be close to the center. But people often assume that cosmology is existentialist. It's probably not. With every new layer of the...
Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:49 pm UTC
Topic: 1350: "Lorenz"
Replies: 178
Views: 84927

### Re: 1350: Lorenz

This is truly incredible. However, it just stopped working for me. I got to the point where the guy asks if there should be a crossroad there. Then I realized that the panels are largely white space. Made me think it was turning into this: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0298482/ Are the scenarios being...
Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:18 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0089: "Tungsten Countertop"
Replies: 77
Views: 23100

### Re: What-If 0089: "Tungsten Countertop"

Radon is a serious issue in many homes. Saying that it's radioactive do it justice. It leaks radioactive gas into the air which can decay in your lungs. That's heavy charged particle radiation within sensitive tissue. Also, there's no safe dose (if you're using the same standards as the nuclear indu...
Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:44 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0089: "Tungsten Countertop"
Replies: 77
Views: 23100

### Re: What-If 0089: "Tungsten Countertop"

Who the hell uses GRANITE for counter tops? Do you know how heavy granite is? Do you know what the cupboard carcases that will be attempting to stop that worktop plummeting through the kitchen floor and into the ground are made of? Chipboard. That's sawdust held together with glue. Where the hell h...
Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:47 pm UTC
Topic: 1342: "Ancient Stars"
Replies: 76
Views: 17021

### Re: 1342: "Ancient Stars"

Interesting. Those are higher magnitude cutoffs than what I had expected. I thought that starless nights were fairly common in cities, but I guess that was just due to lack of education on it. I took the brightness-weighted average of distance. This would be by converting the apparent magnitude into...
Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:38 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0086: "Far-Traveling Objects"
Replies: 45
Views: 12970

### Re: What-If 0086: "Far-Traveling Objects"

Intermediate numbers in a calculation should not be truncated. Best to leave the output as-is because I'm sure that other users will produce derivative works of great importance. So why did you truncate your intermediate numbers to 9sf? Personally, given data to 2sf, I'd truncate intermediate value...
Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:48 pm UTC
Topic: 1342: "Ancient Stars"
Replies: 76
Views: 17021

### Re: 1342: "Ancient Stars"

I made this graph from Wikipedia because I knew people would be arguing over this: http://i.imgur.com/VULXNSR.png You could say that most stars are within 100 light-years of Earth. But that would only be true for a sky that isn't sufficiently dark, or with vision that isn't sufficiently good. Estim...
Sat Mar 15, 2014 4:17 pm UTC
Topic: 1342: "Ancient Stars"
Replies: 76
Views: 17021

### Re: 1342: "Ancient Stars"

I made this graph from Wikipedia because I knew people would be arguing over this: http://i.imgur.com/VULXNSR.png You could say that most stars are within 100 light-years of Earth. But that would only be true for a sky that isn't sufficiently dark, or with vision that isn't sufficiently good. Estima...
Sat Mar 15, 2014 3:34 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0086: "Far-Traveling Objects"
Replies: 45
Views: 12970

### Re: What-If 0086: "Far-Traveling Objects"

Intermediate numbers in a calculation should not be truncated. Best to leave the output as-is because I'm sure that other users will produce derivative works of great importance.
Sat Mar 15, 2014 3:27 pm UTC
Topic: 1342: "Ancient Stars"
Replies: 76
Views: 17021

### Re: 1342: "Ancient Stars"

I made this graph from Wikipedia because I knew people would be arguing over this: http://i.imgur.com/dM5w7ec.png You could say that most stars are within 100 light-years of Earth. But that would only be true for a sky that isn't sufficiently dark, or with vision that isn't sufficiently good. Estima...
Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:51 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0086: "Far-Traveling Objects"
Replies: 45
Views: 12970

### Re: What-If 0086: "Far-Traveling Objects"

How far would typical protons in the Large Hadron Collider have traveled for their duration in there? http://www.lhc-closer.es/1/4/17/0 It looks like a ballpark figure may be 80 hours . This would surpass the Voyager craft. However, it is surprisingly close to a certain manhole cover which may or m...
Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:16 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0086: "Far-Traveling Objects"
Replies: 45
Views: 12970

### Re: What-If 0086: "Far-Traveling Objects"

What about particle accelerators? If any of them have ran for a long time without colliding, that would mean the particles they shoot around in a circle have likely traveled a very long distance. At relativistic speeds, they'll only need to run for a day or so to match (and beat) the distance that V...
Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:19 pm UTC
Topic: 1316: "Inexplicable"
Replies: 99
Views: 17601

### Re: 1316: "Inexplicable"

Until this comic, it never occurred to me that doing genealogy research might be increasing my computer's risk of infection. The sites aren't on the usual lists of suspicious and/or dangerous sites, but they have a huge vulnerability to exploits from the undead. Then again, they might also be the so...
Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:16 pm UTC
Topic: 1294: "Telescope Names"
Replies: 89
Views: 22652

### Re: 1294: "Telescope Names"

It's kind of funny, because in a cosmic sense none of the telescopes we have today are really that large. If we ever become relatively effective at use of space resources, then the standard will be telescopes as large as the Earth, or larger. At least that will be true for the area over which the mi...
Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:31 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0071: "Stirring Tea"
Replies: 71
Views: 39266

### Re: What-If 0071: "Stirring Tea"

I have a problem with my fire trucks boiling the water in the pump if we are not actually using water out of the hoses. One truck has a 20hp motor that boils about 10 litres in ten minutes(rough guess), so we open a bypass valve to run it back into the tank. Our new truck has a 200hp engine that bo...
Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:31 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0071: "Stirring Tea"
Replies: 71
Views: 39266

### Re: What-If 0071: "Stirring Tea"

Of course insulating the system would cause the temperature to rise. The core concept of this What-If claim is that stirring increases the heat transfer to the environment faster than it deposits heat itself. That means that in a differential sense you won't increase the temperature - you'll only lo...
Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:39 pm UTC
Forum: What If?