## Search found 580 matches

Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:17 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Sacrifice
Replies: 8
Views: 3705

### Re: Sacrifice

Then the optimal solution is: Use all N chickens that are available... I like your optimal strategy for reasons you didn't fully explain: While your numbering scheme still requires a minimum of 7 chickens to be able to identify 101 cans (same as the first solution in this thread), the more ...
Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:31 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Hardest alphabetical spellings
Replies: 8
Views: 2088

### Re: Hardest alphabetical spellings

Just browsing Wikipedia, it looks to me like Modern Greek is a bit of a mess, at least in the sound-to-spelling direction: /i/ can be spelled η, ι, υ, ει, οι, or υι ... correct orthography requires mastery of formal grammar, e.g. η καλή /i kaˈli/ 'the good one (fem. sing.)' vs. οι καλοί /i kaˈli/ 't...
Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:45 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Sacrifice
Replies: 8
Views: 3705

### Re: Sacrifice

Assuming our goals are: 1. Identify all of the safe cans in the shortest possible time. (i.e. We're in "Regular Solution" territory rather than "Smartass Solution" territory.) 2. Kill as few chickens as possible while still achieving objective 1. Then the optimal solution is: Use...
Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:01 pm UTC
Topic: 2059: "Modified Bayes' Theorem"
Replies: 20
Views: 2098

### Re: 2059: "Modified Bayes' Theorem"

I couldn't decide how plausible it was by just eyeballing it, so decided to run some numbers to check it out. Let's say that X1 has a 50% prior probability of being true, X2 (which is independent of X1) also has a 50% prior probability of being true, H has a 25% prior probability of being true, I be...
Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:19 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Language fleeting thoughts
Replies: 135
Views: 32052

### Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Isogram "Iso" means same, so shouldn't a word with all different letters be called something like "heterogram"? No, no, a "heterogram" is any word that does not describe its own written form. So "palindrome" is a heterogram, but "isogram" is not a h...
Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:56 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Thoughts for ships
Replies: 90038
Views: 8014703

### Re: Thoughts for ships

Today I typed "problem exists between" into Google, and the top autocomplete option was "... leopard and chair".
Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:16 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Language fleeting thoughts
Replies: 135
Views: 32052

### Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Faced with the need to count down "Five… four… three… two… one…" many times (for reasons unnecessary to delve into) If you're the person whose job it is to bleep out celebrities when they use curse words on "live" broadcasts, that's fascinating and totally necessary to delve int...
Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:42 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: A brief diversion for astronomers
Replies: 6
Views: 1178

### Re: A brief diversion for astronomers

Might it be worth noting that the Greenwich meridian was adopted as the prime meridian in 1884, and the paris meridian (which would have been popular on french cartography before this) was about 2 degrees east of the greenwich meridian? The line I'm taking for 0° is labeled "Colure des Equinox...
Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:45 am UTC
Topic: Vegetarianism
Replies: 45
Views: 2810

### Re: Vegetarianism

I've been a vegetarian for almost 25 years, and am happy with that choice. Vegetarianism is healthier, is better for the environment, and causes less suffering than a standard American diet. But obviously some non-vegetarians have lifestyles that are just as healthy, sustainable, and compassionate a...
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:40 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: A brief diversion for astronomers
Replies: 6
Views: 1178

### Re: A brief diversion for astronomers

I agree that it's French in both language and appearance. The illustration seems reminiscent of (but not identical to) the star maps created by Ignace-Gaston Pardies in the late 17th century.
Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:49 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: A brief diversion for astronomers
Replies: 6
Views: 1178

### Re: A brief diversion for astronomers

I don't know much about astronomy, but decided to give it a try anyway. The stars seem to be about 2.5° to 3° off from the coordinates they had in 2000. (For example, I think the bright star at 17° on the ecliptic is Zeta Piscium , whose celestial longitude in 2000 was about 19.9°.) Since it takes a...
Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:27 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Miscellaneous language questions
Replies: 570
Views: 87065

### Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Yeah, but since the trick only works on nouns, /ɛɹz/ only ends up scoring about 10, compared to the 20 or so I got out of /siz/.
Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:59 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Miscellaneous language questions
Replies: 570
Views: 87065

### Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Can anyone come up with anything as good or better? How about /siz/? ⋅ sees (perceives visually) ⋅ sees (cathedral sites) ⋅ seas (bodies of water) ⋅ seize (grab) ⋅ seise (take possession, in a legal context) [same etymology as "seize"] &sd...
Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:28 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Language fleeting thoughts
Replies: 135
Views: 32052

### Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Dear prescriptivists: don't ask who the bell tolls for; its for y'all.
Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:37 pm UTC
Topic: 2032: "Word Puzzles"
Replies: 47
Views: 6033

### Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

I had been led to believe that the cryptic crossword as featured in UK broadsheets was a uniquely British thing and unknown in the US, which suggests that Randall must be thinking of a slightly different type of "word game". Well, crosswords here in the U.S. do frequently have puns. To gi...
Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:21 pm UTC
Forum: Food
Replies: 4514
Views: 819273

I think of American cuisine as boring and bland, and so mostly eat "ethnic" foods, but just now I decided to make a perfectly normal American snack: a hot dog with ketchup, mustard, and pickle relish, on a bun. ... Well, I'm vegan, so the "hot dog" wasn't technically a hot dog; m...
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:41 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: "Cactus plant"
Replies: 20
Views: 3928

### Re: "Cactus plant"

The OED defines "plant" as "A small plant, as distinct from a shrub or a tree", and that's the way I would tend to use it here. A "cactus plant" is a cactus that won't die if you keep it in a flowerpot.
Wed May 30, 2018 4:05 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: How much is 1e340 j of energy?
Replies: 19
Views: 2761

### Re: How much is 1e340 j of energy?

So if you did bring 1e340J into being somehow, how would you describe the predicted effects? Is it a large small enough number that "collapse to a singularity" or "complete destruction of the universe" are reasonable choices? Or is the number so large as to make even those simpl...
Mon May 28, 2018 1:05 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: How much is 1e340 j of energy?
Replies: 19
Views: 2761

### Re: How much is 1e340 j of energy?

How much comparatively is 1e+340 joules of energy? Just wondering. Okay, no problem. We just need some big numbers. Here is a page with some big numbers on it. Let's see... The total amount of energy in the universe--if we liberated all of it in a giant matter-antimatter reaction--is about 1e70 jou...
Fri May 11, 2018 1:32 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Lunch reciept Money Laundering?
Replies: 10
Views: 2599

### Re: Lunch reciept Money Laundering?

Almost certainly just a typo. The "4" and "1" keys are adjacent to one another on a standard keypad. If the receipt says you paid \$40 and got \$33 in change, and the reality is that you paid \$10 and got \$3 in change, that's a net payment of \$7 either way. Unless they're hoping to ...
Wed May 09, 2018 4:51 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Name of Rounded Triangle
Replies: 8
Views: 3227

### Re: Name of Rounded Triangle

jewish_scientist wrote:Anyway, the first link provides a citation, so at least I know where to go. Thank you.
It's not a terribly useful citation; I followed it before I posted. It went to a math book whose author said "Two readers independently sent me this method for drawing an egg."
Sun May 06, 2018 1:30 pm UTC
Forum: Forum Games
Topic: xkcd Skyscraper
Replies: 1249
Views: 80327

### Re: xkcd Skyscraper

Floor 1242 would be "Floor 1234 (approximately)", if only we used Base 10.023273 instead of Base 10. But so far it hasn't had any luck convincing people to switch to this new number system.
Fri May 04, 2018 5:01 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Name of Rounded Triangle
Replies: 8
Views: 3227

### Re: Name of Rounded Triangle

Googled this a bit. Didn't find the answer. I found a page by Robert Dickau, demonstrating the construction in question with a bunch of very nice gifs. Unfortunately he just calls it "an oval or egg shape". I found a Wikipedia page on something called a " tri-oval ", which includ...
Thu May 03, 2018 1:59 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: ITT: We make xkcd slightly worse.
Replies: 8651
Views: 1618248

### Re: ITT: We make xkcd slightly worse.

Tue May 01, 2018 12:47 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: How fast could a new language be translated?
Replies: 6
Views: 2218

### Re: How fast could a new language be translated?

Trade doesn't really require words, does it? Each side shows what they're offering, indicates how much they want for it out of what the other side is offering, and then either agrees or doesn't agree. A fifteen-second cartoon would be enough to establish a workable protocol. There could be problems ...
Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:09 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 941
Views: 241185

### Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Funny: usually when a letter in a French-derived word is silent on one side of the pond but not the other (e.g. the "t" in "buffet"), I feel like it's the Americans who don't pronounce it and the Brits who do; I'm surprised to find one that apparently runs the other direction. &...
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:22 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 941
Views: 241185

### Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

honestly I can't say if I've ever had to use tableau in the plural. What do you call the stacks of not-yet-played cards in solitaire games such as Klondike or FreeCell? I have found some serious problems in the Collins dictionary's listings before. Check out their entry for "dice." What's...
Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:19 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 941
Views: 241185

### Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Huh. How about other "-eau" words? Like, do y'all pronounce the /z/ at the end of the plurals of "bureau" and "plateau"? (I do, but I also spell them with an "s", which I why I didn't use them as my example. Meanwhile, I could see leaving the "x" sil...
Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:26 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 941
Views: 241185

### Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

And "tableaux" is pronounced exactly the same as "tableau." It's just the plural form, and the final x is silent. Huh. I've always pronounced "tableaux" with a /z/ on the end... Okay, I just looked up "tableaux" in a couple of dictionaries, and neither Merria...
Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:32 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 941
Views: 241185

### Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

I'm not sure I even know what a "xylem" is. I wonder why they didn't pick a less obscure word for their list, such as "xylophone" or "tableaux". Also, I pronounce "luxurious" with /gzh/ and not /ksh/. "Crucifixion" would have been a more unambiguous ...
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:42 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 941
Views: 241185

### Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

what about "catch"? Do you pronounce it /kæt͡ʃ/ (rhyming with "match") or /kɛt͡ʃ/ (rhyming with "fetch")? For instance, the poem Jabberwocky rhymes "claws that catch" with "Bandersnatch," which wouldn't happen in my dialect. Huh, interesting questio...
Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:28 pm UTC
Topic: 1975: "Right Click"
Replies: 42
Views: 13730

### Re: 1975: "Right Click"

I'm not entirely 100% certain that I found quite all of the locations in Mornington Crescent, but this is a sort of map I threw together Or you could Google "London Underground Map". (Are you one of today's lucky ten thousand people who will be seeing it for the first time?) The game enco...
Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:08 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Miscellaneous language questions
Replies: 570
Views: 87065

### Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Freaking, fricking, frigging, or effing? Which of these do you use in situations where you don't use "fucking"? Well, it's not really part of my normal speaking vocabulary, so pretty much every situation is one where I don't use it. But in terms of what I use in positions where it could h...
Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:53 pm UTC
Forum: Forum Games
Topic: Take a penny leave a penny.
Replies: 2227
Views: 310136

### Re: Take a penny leave a penny.

I identify the tune.

Pile calling Mission Control. We have a loose polecat--repeat, a loose polecat--on board. Queen Elizabeth II is whistling "Dixie" on the stern bridge and is in possession of our bow. Over.
Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:38 am UTC
Topic: Census Dickery
Replies: 59
Views: 11744

### Re: Census Dickery

Since illegal immigrants are "persons", are not "Indians not taxed", and are not "citizens", it appears to me that they are supposed to be represented. The 14th Amendment clearly contemplates representation of state inhabitants who lack voting rights: for example, women...
Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:09 am UTC
Forum: Forum Games
Topic: Take a penny leave a penny.
Replies: 2227
Views: 310136

### Re: Take a penny leave a penny.

I take the pirate and replace him with an astronaut who may not be going to space today. Pile calling Mission Control. We have a loose polecat--repeat, a loose polecat--on board. We are hearing a whistling noise and have lost interior lighting on the stern bridge. Please advise location of our bow. ...
Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:10 am UTC
Topic: 1536: "The Martian"
Replies: 128
Views: 36245

### Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Bumping this thread because I spotted Artemis on the new-books shelf at the library today, remembered liking The Martian (the book, that is), so checked it out.

And then accidentally read it in a single sitting. Weir is a good author.

Think they'll make this one a movie too?
Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:06 am UTC
Forum: Forum Games
Topic: Take a penny leave a penny.
Replies: 2227
Views: 310136

### Re: Take a penny leave a penny.

Cthulhu wanders off, taking his vending machine with him. I'm sure it's fine; how much harm could one cosmic entity do? And as one would probably discover if one read through the history of this thread, nothing bad ever comes out of vending machines. Yep, it's all fine. Arrrrr matey *sqwuak!*, thar ...
Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:02 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 941
Views: 241185

### Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Pfhorrest wrote:Literally just "may" + "or"
No, it isn't. It rhymes with "player".
Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:54 am UTC