Search found 26 matches

by paddyfool
Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:20 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0140: "Proton Earth, Electron Moon"
Replies: 50
Views: 42969

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

Maybe a better interpretation of the question would be one where the rest-mass of the Earth and Moon was each converted into an equivalent energy of protons or electrons -- that is, if it's going to take extra energy to pack two electrons close to each other like that, then you have less energy to ...
by paddyfool
Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:21 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0054: "Drain the Oceans: Part II"
Replies: 60
Views: 48397

Re: What-If 0054: "Drain the Oceans: Part II"

Further subquestion: if earth's water was to be portalled onto Mars in this way, and to have the kinetic energy that it would usually do due to earth's orbit and rotation around the sun, would the additional mass and differing velocities affect Mars' orbit in any tangible way, and to what extent wou...
by paddyfool
Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:56 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1179: "ISO 8601"
Replies: 379
Views: 98849

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

YYYYMMDD certainly makes the most sense for a file name. DD mmm YYYY (e.g. 27 FEB 2013) is a handy format for shorthand dates in shared notes, to avoid confusion if there's a chance those notes might be picked up by either an American or a somebody else. It's also closer to how we talk about dates (...
by paddyfool
Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:45 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-if 0027: "Death Rates"
Replies: 64
Views: 19200

Re: What-if 0027: Death Rates

Pet suggestion on this topic: Pull up a clock or stopwatch which displays seconds ticking by, such as this one . Tap a finger of your left hand on the desk with each passing second. That's the death rate we're talking about. Now double that speed. That's the current death rate* (2 per second). Also ...
by paddyfool
Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:53 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1114: "Metallurgy"
Replies: 138
Views: 30125

Re: 1114: "Metallurgy"

A nickel iron meteorite represents a decent lump of iron in a relatively concentrated and pure form. Of course its far from what we would consider good iron or steel currently. It is, however, considerably purer than most terrestrial iron ores. If you're just starting to work iron, you're going to ...
by paddyfool
Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:46 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0977: "Map Projections"
Replies: 353
Views: 137107

Re: 0977: "Map Projections"

I like Mollweide, Robinson, Winkel-Tripel and Kavreyskiy; generally the best straightforward maps. I do see the navigational use of the equirectangular, or even (bleurgh), the Mercator, but dislike the degree of distortion that's introduced. If I was ever to get very drunk and get a tattoo of a worl...
by paddyfool
Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:07 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0881: "Probability"
Replies: 326
Views: 106128

Re: 0881: "Probability"

Incidentally, about 10 years ago, I read an opinion piece by one statistician with cancer who said that he found comfort in the statistics - partly, in being able to decipher the statistics of what factors might actually make a difference to his survival chances. Unfortunately, I've been unable to f...
by paddyfool
Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:10 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Pakistan Floods Affect 2.5 Million People
Replies: 19
Views: 2721

Re: Pakistan Floods Affect 2.5 Million People

Good point, Hawknc. I'm sorry I got dragged into this sidetrack.
by paddyfool
Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:57 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Pakistan Floods Affect 2.5 Million People
Replies: 19
Views: 2721

Re: Pakistan Floods Affect 2.5 Million People

The US handing out 10 million dollars in donation doesn't cause that money to have less of an effect because it is a richer country. Or because it has more people. How much a country donates per capita, or per GDP doesn't really matter at all unless you believe that rich countries have a moral obli...
by paddyfool
Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:06 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: barriers to entry for manned space travel
Replies: 133
Views: 16111

Re: barriers to entry for manned space travel

Reasons to go to space: Short term (years): - Prestige of countries concerned - Pushing the limits of what we can do - Enhancing our understanding of the universe (Hubble etc.) Medium term (decades): - Asteroid mining (the Earth's crust is metal-poor, because all of the iron-loving elements were pul...
by paddyfool
Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:05 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Discovery Channel held hostage by human-hating animal lover
Replies: 75
Views: 8129

Re: Discovery Channel held hostage by human-hating animal lo

Given the responsibility Al Gore bears for the internet, I'd say he's guilty of a good deal more... :P
by paddyfool
Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:37 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Discovery Channel held hostage by human-hating animal lover
Replies: 75
Views: 8129

Re: Discovery Channel held hostage by human-hating animal lo

The old rule of "say nothing about the dead, unless good" is largely, as I understand it, out of politeness to the grieving relatives and other loved ones.

I still don't feel too shy about saying this guy was nucking futz, however.
by paddyfool
Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:40 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend
Replies: 136
Views: 11171

Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

First off, this whole question is strictly academic - until the current financial, local political and geopolitical situation changes significantly, I strongly suspect there'll be no more foreign military adventures for the armed forces of rich nations in anything but the most extreme situations. We...
by paddyfool
Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:11 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend
Replies: 136
Views: 11171

Re: Rwandan rebels (FDLR) gang-raped 150 women one weekend

The current situation is actuallya lot better than ten years ago, when Rwanda did exactly what you describe, move in, take over, install their own government and start the plunder. At first, it even looked better than mobutu, but in a few years all countries in the region jumped in to get their pie...
by paddyfool
Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:36 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Grönd zero musque ox
Replies: 396
Views: 42763

Re: Ground zero "mosque"

Fair comment.

After the July 2007 attacks in London, a few mosques got vandalised, or even firebombed... along with one Sikh temple. :roll:

There hasn't been any general proscription on mosques in the UK, though, beyond our generally very restrictive planning laws.
by paddyfool
Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:57 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Hep-E vaccine
Replies: 5
Views: 1147

Re: Hep-E vaccine

True enough. Given the general characteristics of Hep E cases, which are either (a) sporadic single cases, largely in developing countries or (b) waterborne outbreaks, almost entirely in developing countries, some countries and/or intergovernmental agencies might find it rather useful to maintain a ...
by paddyfool
Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:31 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Hep-E vaccine
Replies: 5
Views: 1147

Re: Hep-E vaccine

It's not just the denominator, it's the numerator. There were only 15 cases in the control group (who received placebo). As you can see from the abstract, that leaves a fairly wide confidence interval around the true protective effect: Efficacy and safety of a recombinant hepatitis E vaccine in heal...
by paddyfool
Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:41 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Northwest Passage opening up
Replies: 20
Views: 2674

Re: Northwest Passage opening up

Well, using the handy ruler tool on Google Earth, there is at least one area on the Northern Route where there would only be a few miles of clearance (around the south of Cornwallis Island). Also, couldn't the Canadian government just build a semi-permenant platform halfway between, claim it for Ca...
by paddyfool
Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:44 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Northwest Passage opening up
Replies: 20
Views: 2674

Re: Northwest Passage opening up

What I find funny is how the Canadian gvt renamed those waters the "Canadian Internal Waters" just to get their point across... The 'blow up of main picture' route is pretty clearly Canadian, but if you look at the article itself you will see some routes where its not so clear. Actually, t...
by paddyfool
Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:21 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Pakistan floods
Replies: 6
Views: 1417

Re: Pakistan floods

Unfortunately, while this might hold true for, say, earthquakes in California, it doesn't mean that undeveloped parts of the world aren't facing a serious crisis. Yes, there are a number of factors that make this disaster worse because it is Pakistan (lots of people living in poverty or near-povert...
by paddyfool
Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:34 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Northwest Passage opening up
Replies: 20
Views: 2674

Re: Northwest Passage opening up

Heh. What's also funny about all this was that I heard the Canadian Navy are looking to invest in having quite a few more ice-strengthened ships to help with the a anticipated jockeying over resources. I'm also a tad concerned I could be overhyping this slightly. Although the waters in question are ...
by paddyfool
Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:41 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Pakistan floods
Replies: 6
Views: 1417

Pakistan floods

So, as part of the same unusual weather that's given us forest fires across Russia and mudslides in China, there've been 20 million people displaced by flooding in Pakistan, over 4m homeless, hundreds of thousands sick with diarrhoeal diseases, the loss of hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, o...
by paddyfool
Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:12 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Northwest Passage opening up
Replies: 20
Views: 2674

Northwest Passage opening up

So, it looks like the Northwest passage is opening up early and wide this year (half-way down ; blow up of main picture here . It could be a very valuable route for cargo, e.g. cutting 5000 miles off the trip via Panama between East Asia and Europe, but there's a big legal battle pending visavis wha...
by paddyfool
Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:10 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: birth defects: lets get specific
Replies: 59
Views: 9461

Re: birth defects: lets get specific

It seems unlikely that as soon as we developed technology evolution just stops selection of certain traits. I am not saying we are evolving a reliance on machines and institutions, just that those machines and institutions are probably nudging evolution one way or the other. I would say that at the...
by paddyfool
Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:35 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: birth defects: lets get specific
Replies: 59
Views: 9461

Re: birth defects: lets get specific

"Defect", noun: Shortcoming, fault, imperfection or flaw. Therefore, by calling homosexuality a birth defect, you are effectively calling homosexuals flawed from birth. It is derogatory, whether or not you intend it as such. We really need a different word for people who are different from...

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