Search found 67 matches

by Mental Mouse
Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:39 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"
Replies: 33
Views: 6043

Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Q.v. Australia's Great Emu War, aka fighting a battle against the wildlife and losing.

Or just get a close look at, say, a heron or falcon.
by Mental Mouse
Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:37 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2085: "arXiv"
Replies: 16
Views: 5103

Re: 2085: "arXiv"

Yeah, you folks have basically got my point. I'll add that for "normal" companies, the company has intake streams too, and it has some control over those -- e.g., if costs go up, the company can raise prices or do something else to get more money and make a profit. Remember that the origin...
by Mental Mouse
Sun Dec 16, 2018 4:36 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2085: "arXiv"
Replies: 16
Views: 5103

Re: 2085: "arXiv"

The way such collaborative projects work is by bringing together people who share a common goal or interest. Relatedly, the fastest way to kill such a collaborative project, is to demand that it make a profit. That's not just because "making a profit" is a completely separate purpose, but ...
by Mental Mouse
Thu Sep 06, 2018 5:31 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2042: "Rolle's Theorem"
Replies: 86
Views: 14478

Re: 2042: "Rolle's Theorem"

Am I a clueless art person if I look at the "Orange, Red, Yellow" painting and genuinely believe my kid could make that? Well, you're at least uninitiated, but no fault in that. The thing is, Western art, especially in the last few centuries of travel and communication, has been in part a...
by Mental Mouse
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:53 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2042: "Rolle's Theorem"
Replies: 86
Views: 14478

Re: 2042: "Rolle's Theorem"

As far as his complaint, I'd guess that's a mathematical case of "Hamlet is Cliched".
by Mental Mouse
Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:53 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2033: "Repair or Replace"
Replies: 36
Views: 6673

Re: 2033: "Repair or Replace"

I've basically been sticking with Linux since Win3.11 went away, and almost never regretting it. I've been setting up my systems for dual-boot, but in practice I never have to boot Windows, and at this point I'd need an insane amount of time to catch up on patches. Assuming the system didn't get inf...
by Mental Mouse
Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:16 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2033: "Repair or Replace"
Replies: 36
Views: 6673

Re: 2033: "Repair or Replace"

This is just the current crest of a long-term trend. As soon as we got into mass production, it rapidly became more expensive to repair ordinary goods than to replace them with new factory-made stuff. When was the last time you darned a sock, or re-tinned a pot? How often do you repair a small house...
by Mental Mouse
Mon May 21, 2018 1:18 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0325: "A-Minus-Minus"
Replies: 130
Views: 66048

Re: 0325: "A-Minus-Minus"

So, I stumbled on to an interesting site: "How Much Is It?"

In the end, if it’s legal and you have the means to raise one, plan on budgeting anywhere from $900 to $2,500 for the bobcat alone.

The $900 end is for a kitten from a breeder. Shipping not included. :D
by Mental Mouse
Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:44 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1870: "Emoji Movie Reviews"
Replies: 53
Views: 10114

Re: 1870: "Emoji Movie Reviews"

Let me point out that Patrick Stewart has a sense of humor too. Also, for the day's GOOMHR, I have actually used the eggplant emoji.
by Mental Mouse
Sat Aug 27, 2016 1:35 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0151: "Sun Bug"
Replies: 43
Views: 25642

Re: What-If 0151: "Sun Bug"

Aside from destroying the universe, Randall seems to be getting into a slight rut with cosmic-scale masses of organic matter. In that vein, it might work best to simply let a largish mass of fireflies collapse into an actual star -- it would be carbon- and oxygen-rich, so effectively further along i...
by Mental Mouse
Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:01 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1716: "Time Travel Thesis"
Replies: 119
Views: 20195

Re: 1716: "Time Travel Thesis"

Is it supposed to be part of the joke that the girl he is talking to seems autistic? Or is that a running gag with her or what? I mean.. I assume that's obvious here. She was unable to form even a basic conversational connection with someone or execute a theory of mind. (i.e. she was incapable of c...
by Mental Mouse
Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:09 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1720: "Horses"
Replies: 55
Views: 11651

Re: 1720: "Horses"

I suspect Randall is idealizing horses a little too much. Yes, horses can balk at conditions they see as unsafe, but they still have their limits, including that they are domesticated, and trained to obey human orders. An unwise human rider can certainly ride a horses into unsafe terrain, urge them ...
by Mental Mouse
Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:24 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0148: "Eat the Sun"
Replies: 40
Views: 26950

Re: What-If 0148: "Eat the Sun"

Also: I understand the point behind his comparing solar plasma to reptile bodiles, but holy cow is that a garden-path analogy. The reptile is producing the heat by metabolizing stuff it ate, which it then throws away. The plasma is fusing an infinitsmal fraction of its own mass....
by Mental Mouse
Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:12 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0148: "Eat the Sun"
Replies: 40
Views: 26950

Re: What-If 0148: "Eat the Sun"

King Cakes? There's got to be a few cases where this is ignored. I'm pretty sure the classic King cake would be flat-out illegal as a commercial product. Doing it at a private party, with advance notice to the guests would probably be legal but might still leave you liable to a later lawsuit. I wou...
by Mental Mouse
Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:39 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1637: "Salt Mine"
Replies: 57
Views: 12183

Re: 1637: "Salt Mine"

This would be me and my whole mother's side of the family -- heavy enough salt intake that "do we have enough salt shakers" was only half a joke at family gatherings. Also, anomalously low blood pressure -- I'm not the only one in the family who's been turned down to donate blood because m...
by Mental Mouse
Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:11 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1626: "Judgment Day"
Replies: 63
Views: 11947

Re: 1626: "Judgment Day"

Amen to wasteful -- power plants and CO2 crackers!
by Mental Mouse
Mon Nov 16, 2015 11:54 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1604: "Snakes"
Replies: 66
Views: 13220

Re: 1604: "Snakes"

This is another one where I assumed I understood the cartoon, then came here and realised I'd missed half the point. Living as I do in a realm where we only have one type of venomous snake which isn't a threat to human life, I didn't know about the rhyme/practical spotting guide, and just assumed i...
by Mental Mouse
Fri Nov 13, 2015 12:01 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1603: "Flashlights"
Replies: 64
Views: 18946

Re: 1603: "Flashlights"

Confusion wrote:I guess Randall just discovered http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/forum.php


I note that they've already put up a post for this comic.
by Mental Mouse
Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:04 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1594: "Human Subjects"
Replies: 33
Views: 6968

Re: 1594: "Human Subjects"

First thought: This is the problem with doing experiments on prisoners. Especially prisoners at the Max-Security Facility for The Criminally Insane.....

Second thought: Are you sure those are actually human subjects?
by Mental Mouse
Sat Oct 17, 2015 3:05 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1591: "Bell's Theorem"
Replies: 46
Views: 9917

Re: 1591: "Bell's Theorem"

doogly wrote:It is actually startling just how piss poor people's intuition for classical mechanics is.


Yeah, what we've actually got in wetware is an approximation from a more-or-less trained neural network. Often rather less than more.
by Mental Mouse
Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:50 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: ZME Science: They Did the Math
Replies: 1
Views: 3141

ZME Science: They Did the Math

A collection of entertaining calculations from the Internet (textually NSFW in parts).

Apologies if everyone else has been mainlining ZME for years, but I just discovered this site, and like it a lot. Also: 200 calories of various foods, Fantastic Fungi FPhotos.
by Mental Mouse
Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:52 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1538: "Lyrics"
Replies: 112
Views: 26229

Re: 1538: "Lyrics"

Oh, yeah, it's another "Randall, get out of my head" here too. (Hearing-impaired since birth, and it's slowly getting worse with age.) And that's a great visual expression of what it sounds like! This is why I usually favor balladeers, but even that doesn't always help. Especially when the...
by Mental Mouse
Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:06 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1513: "Code Quality"
Replies: 81
Views: 19595

Re: 1513: "Code Quality"

hovertext: "I honestly didn't think you could even USE emoji in variable names. Or that there were so many different crying ones." No, those were inserted by the IDE. TECO: That was actually an editor . IIRC, "vi" was developed to be more comprehensible and less modal. There used...
by Mental Mouse
Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:23 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1494: “Insurance”
Replies: 81
Views: 17377

Re: 1494: “Insurance”

Regarding the comic's actual topic, this is the joke I grew up with -- probably a bit elderly, since these days "rural" is still pretty plugged in, at least in America. The insurance company was extending their business into a rural farming area, and so the agent was selling a farmer his v...
by Mental Mouse
Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:03 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1497: "New Products"
Replies: 53
Views: 9303

Re: 1497: "New Products"

If it weren't for the hazards of winter driving, I wouldn't even have a cell phone at all. Now that I live in California, I might actually go back to a land line, so that I can have everybody act like I'm the asshole for not being immediately available to them anywhere at any time. Or you could do ...
by Mental Mouse
Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:23 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1495: "Hard Reboot"
Replies: 56
Views: 12709

Re: 1495: "Hard Reboot"

Be careful using this technique - you may need to get a license from IBM :) patent 6629266 (google it - I'm not allowed to include links) describes system rejuvenation - a euphemism for proactive reboots to avoid trouble. As far as I know, this was actually deployed to keep software running. ISTR t...
by Mental Mouse
Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:57 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1495: "Hard Reboot"
Replies: 56
Views: 12709

Re: 1495: "Hard Reboot"

Very few people have commented on the tagline. Why would this kludgy fix be the reason why everything Randall has is broken? Because the quick kludge is almost always faster "up front" than fixing it for real. This being an everpresent tempation, he probably has a lot of stuff limping alo...
by Mental Mouse
Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:18 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1481: "API"
Replies: 19
Views: 5285

Re: 1481: "API"

Well, the comic was OK -- obfuscated descriptions of common routines have been done before, but the pacing on this one was good. But the alt-text, that had me LOLing.
by Mental Mouse
Fri Jan 02, 2015 1:47 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0116: "No-Rules NASCAR"
Replies: 60
Views: 20392

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

Hey, that diagram of maximum G-forces only shows four cardinal directions! Inquiring minds want to know, what are the maximum G-force tolerances for sidewise acceleration?
by Mental Mouse
Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:29 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0123: "Fairy Demographics"
Replies: 25
Views: 11398

Re: What-If 0123: "Fairy Demographics"

If fairies weigh about as much as us, they'd presumably be consuming a similar share of food and water. Uh, no. If the fairies "eat like a bird" and weigh 35 grams, they consume about 100kJ = 12 "food calories" a day, and 1728 of them would consume 20,000 food calories per day, ...
by Mental Mouse
Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:09 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1457:"Feedback"
Replies: 23
Views: 8278

Re: 1457:"Feedback"

This is a classic example of the dire effects of random reinforcement: In B.F. Skinner's classic experiments with operant conditioning, he noted that animals (in the classic experiment, pigeons), could also be "conditioned" by an arbitrarily presented stimulus . Rereading the article (it's...
by Mental Mouse
Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:28 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1420: "Watches"
Replies: 88
Views: 19900

Re: 1420: "Watches"

I don't wear a wristwatch since mine was stolen :( Come to think of it, i can't have been wearing it at that time either... Sure you can, that's like Pickpocketing 203. (That is, an advanced class, but a good pickpocket really can do that.) For myself, I got carpal tunnel 20 years ago. Since then, ...
by Mental Mouse
Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:45 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1414: "Writing Skills"
Replies: 86
Views: 19911

Re: 1414: "Writing Skills"

And why would we want to write Ulysses , again? ;-) But yeah, constant practice with text. He doesn't mention the effect of autocorrect, but jokes aside, autocorrect not only shows you the right spelling of words while you're typing them, it gives mini-quizzes: "is this the proper word?" S...
by Mental Mouse
Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:04 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1377: "Fish"
Replies: 288
Views: 40456

Re: 1377: "Fish"

Well, first of all, the original strip proposal is scary... but on further examination, it doesn't pan out, because that's not how evolution actually works -- the strip is talking about "differential selection", but completely blowing off "reproducing after its own kind, with variatio...
by Mental Mouse
Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:15 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1345: "Answers"
Replies: 61
Views: 16651

Re: 1345: Answers

Sometimes there aren't answers. It's not like we haven't been studying sleep since the Pharoahs were hiring dream-interpreters, but so far, what it looks like is more complicated than any one "because". Evolution tends to do that.... Nearly everything on the planet seems to have a diurnal ...
by Mental Mouse
Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:33 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1316: "Inexplicable"
Replies: 99
Views: 17602

Re: 1316: "Inexplicable"

Pfhorrest: Computer is fixed because... I touched it, apparently. I have literally walked over to someone's desk, when asked for help, and as a joke placed my hands on their monitor and done my best tent revival minster impression and said "you're healed!"... and the problem goes away. Or...
by Mental Mouse
Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:04 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1316: "Inexplicable"
Replies: 99
Views: 17602

Re: 1316: "Inexplicable"

It also raises a more basic question, which is, what would it take to get you to believe that yep, there's a ghost in there? For me, there's at least two components there: ⋅ It would first need to pass a Turing test, indicating that it was sapient (or for some models of ghost, at least est...
by Mental Mouse
Fri May 17, 2013 10:08 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1213: "Combination Vision Test"
Replies: 159
Views: 64312

Colorblind Synaesthetes

Actually, I seem to recall reading (in Oliver Sacks?) that colorblind synaesthetes often see text auras in colors that they can' t see with their "real" vision. One of them was quoted as using the phrase "Martian colors".... Mild synaesthete here, but no projection or auras, just...
by Mental Mouse
Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:53 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0968: "Everything"
Replies: 100
Views: 33445

Re: 0968: "Everything"

Well, it's not unusual to be slow to recognize love in oneself -- indeed, it's the stuff of a thousand romances, rom-coms, and so forth. The thing is, it's not just a binary, "love"/"not love". There can be degrees of strength, and degrees of ability to do anything about it.
by Mental Mouse
Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:44 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0968: "Everything"
Replies: 100
Views: 33445

Re: 0968: "Everything"

Thank you for your detailed response, Mental Mouse. So, would you say that love isn't something you feel, but a way you act? Are there feelings that characterize it, or can you only judge whether you're in love by your actions? If I'm hoping to find someone that makes me feel that way again, am I l...

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