Search found 285 matches

by KarenRei
Sat Aug 08, 2015 1:17 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1559: "Driving"
Replies: 142
Views: 21669

Re: 1559: "Driving"

To make it simple: for countries to be willing to sign onto such a process, the nav system would have to be something like this: 1) You can navigate to anywhere you want in your current country (and any other countries that don't have border controls with it). 2) You can navigate direct to *controll...
by KarenRei
Sat Aug 08, 2015 1:04 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1559: "Driving"
Replies: 142
Views: 21669

Re: 1559: "Driving"

We're not talking about in "everyday life". We're talking "You want to go into our country without having to go through customs? Fine, but here's what you're going to have to agree to. Is that acceptable to you? If not, then you're going to have to go through customs" Do you thin...
by KarenRei
Sat Aug 08, 2015 1:35 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1559: "Driving"
Replies: 142
Views: 21669

Re: 1559: "Driving"

...but only on the condition that the vehicle works together with the local police. Having our own robots become minions of the police is a dangerous precedent. Unless you're black-hat guy and you're with the police. Which itself would be a dangerous precedent. Jose So you think self-driving cars s...
by KarenRei
Fri Aug 07, 2015 4:42 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1559: "Driving"
Replies: 142
Views: 21669

Re: 1559: "Driving"

That's Not all! Goods don't have passports. A driverless car is goods. It would be, of course, subject to customs inspection, and may (depending on the situation) require accompanying customs permits or payment of taxes/fees to be allowed to proceed, depending on the country (although if it's able ...
by KarenRei
Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:30 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1559: "Driving"
Replies: 142
Views: 21669

Re: 1559: "Driving"

I think the biggest problem will be convincing border controls to allow self-driving cars through without a responsible human present to violate the rights of extort bribes from check the passport of*. The technical problems of automated refuelling and (dis)embarcation (given gas stations and ferri...
by KarenRei
Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:49 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1559: "Driving"
Replies: 142
Views: 21669

Re: 1559: "Driving"

Hmm, two new ones: (In mid to late May, if the vehicle can refuel itself): "Point Thomson, Alaska" (it's connected by an ice road across Prudhoe Bay, which generally melts around the end of May and doesn't reopen until late in the year). An even worse one might be "Jericho Diamond Mi...
by KarenRei
Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:47 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1559: "Driving"
Replies: 142
Views: 21669

Re: 1559: "Driving"

Hmm, two new ones: (In mid to late May, if the vehicle can refuel itself): "Point Thomson, Alaska" (it's connected by an ice road across Prudhoe Bay, which generally melts around the end of May and doesn't reopen until late in the year). An even worse one might be "Jericho Diamond Min...
by KarenRei
Tue Aug 04, 2015 2:03 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1559: "Driving"
Replies: 142
Views: 21669

Re: 1559: "Driving"

Am I the only one who found Anchorage a rather tame destination? At least send the car to Bahia Lapataia, Argentina - preferably after it learns to fuel itself. If the car would learn to take ferries, that might open up some interesting possibilities (though unfortunately there's no car ferries to *...
by KarenRei
Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:58 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1543: "Team Effort"
Replies: 23
Views: 6257

Re: 1543: "Team Effort"

Summer Glau wins an oscar.
by KarenRei
Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:52 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1536: "The Martian"
Replies: 128
Views: 40498

Re: 1536: "The Martian"

I went ahead and looked up some of the details from the book and now I'm hitting my head even more. Apparently his power source was 200 square meters of solar panels and was used to grow about 100 square meters of potatoes. So we're to take it that he converted Mars' 44%-intensity sunlight, with at...
by KarenRei
Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:23 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1536: "The Martian"
Replies: 128
Views: 40498

Re: 1536: "The Martian"

What I don't understand is why he doesn't use the solar panels stacked on top of the rovers, instead of wasting all his energy spreading them out. When they are stacked up like that, the light can bounce around between the solar panels, so you're literally re-using the photons. This should easily i...
by KarenRei
Mon Jun 15, 2015 12:46 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1536: "The Martian"
Replies: 128
Views: 40498

Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Is the thing causing confusion the 'flowering bodies' part? Weir is describing the same process of mounding. I.e., once a potato plant begins to flower, he replants it deeper, resulting in more tubers Except that he writes when the flowering bodies breach the surface . As if he thinks that everythi...
by KarenRei
Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:11 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1536: "The Martian"
Replies: 128
Views: 40498

Re: 1536: "The Martian"

They literally do, and now we now know that still, when someone provides sources showing how wrong you are about a thing, you don't even click on said source. First off, youtube "references" are incredibly annoying, and seldom accurate. But fine, to please you I watched it. And it was eve...
by KarenRei
Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:25 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1536: "The Martian"
Replies: 128
Views: 40498

Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Also, as their flowering bodies breach the surface, I can replant them deeper, then plant younger plants above them. by raising the soil around a growing potato plant (not burying it entirely!) , you increase the length of the underground, tuber-bearing portion of the vine, and increase your yeild ...
by KarenRei
Sat Jun 13, 2015 2:50 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1536: "The Martian"
Replies: 128
Views: 40498

Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Okay, I found the book online. Ugh, ugh, ugh. First off, it's terribly written. Most of it takes the form of a blog by a scientist. To me it reads like the blog of a scientist. Really? How many martian scientists do you know that don't know the word "regolith" and are obsessed with the wo...
by KarenRei
Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:47 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1536: "The Martian"
Replies: 128
Views: 40498

Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Most plants don't grow in poop. Nope**. But they grow superbly in a blend of manure and inorganic material. The limitation on how much manure you can use depends on how old it is - the younger it is, the less you can use. I do precisely what one would need to do on Mars when planting on my melur te...
by KarenRei
Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:24 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1536: "The Martian"
Replies: 128
Views: 40498

Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Lots of good stuff to chew on here, but I'll pick a nit. Yes, he does need the soil bacteria. He doesn't have the nutrients to create a soil-free hydroponic system. He has to create soil containing plant nutrients, and the only way he can do so is by composting any organic material he can find. Com...
by KarenRei
Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:22 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1536: "The Martian"
Replies: 128
Views: 40498

Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Okay, I found the book online. Ugh, ugh, ugh. First off, it's terribly written. It's like something a teenager would write. Sorry, fans. Seriously, how stuff like "My asshole is doing as much to keep me alive as my brain" can you stand to read? He doesn't even talk like an adult, let alone...
by KarenRei
Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:40 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1536: "The Martian"
Replies: 128
Views: 40498

Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Holy fucking shit, why didn't you just start with that statement :wink: ? Maybe someone else who's read the book and isn't high on cold medicine (it's not lost on me that I have a cold in the summer ) can address this. Watney (BTW, since you haven't read the book, that's the main character) goes ov...
by KarenRei
Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:02 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1536: "The Martian"
Replies: 128
Views: 40498

Re: 1536: "The Martian"

... slightly handy botanist ... In the book the character mentions that he has a degree in mechanical engineering. If I recall correctly, he trained as a botanist for the mission, because someone had to. ...He grew his potatoes under the internal lights of the Hab but used agriculture statistics ba...
by KarenRei
Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:23 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1536: "The Martian"
Replies: 128
Views: 40498

Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Neil_Boekend wrote:
richP wrote:alt text sums up the explanation for why there are no reality shows about engineers.

Mythbusters is the closest I can think of.


Speaking of "Mythbusters" and "The Martian"...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXmhMygDGwA

Quite funny, in a somewhat postmodernist sort of way ;)
by KarenRei
Sat May 09, 2015 12:24 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: If the earth was made of TNT...
Replies: 18
Views: 3901

Re: If the earth was made of TNT...

Hmm, thought. Would not the huge pressure wave associated with the explosion and tremendous heat influx trigger enhanced fission and fusion? I mean, there's already speculation that a fraction (up to 11%) of Earth's internal heat could be coming from fission chain reactions. But here you have to tak...
by KarenRei
Fri May 08, 2015 10:43 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Neutron economy and lithium reactors
Replies: 2
Views: 2005

Re: Neutron economy and lithium reactors

Hmm, no comments here? I figured there'd be more interest in atomic physics here! Also, related question: does anyone know of a good paper describing the typical spallation fragments left over from bombardment in different conditions (including how many fragments are created per collision and the ty...
by KarenRei
Wed May 06, 2015 3:39 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Molten salt reactors
Replies: 19
Views: 9736

Re: Molten salt reactors

In my opinion, the removal of the fision products and Protactinium online is the way to get rid of many design issues. By achieving online removal of fission products the fuel salt is less corrosive, the fertile to fisile conversion ratio increase, the reactivity of the fuel stabilizes, the radioac...
by KarenRei
Tue May 05, 2015 7:39 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Deadlifter
Replies: 17
Views: 4381

Re: Deadlifter

I would have thought a mass driver/rail gun would be the way to go, electrically powered, few moving parts. Then the expendable fuel work is done in space. Costly set up at first, but you wouldn't have waste for them would you? few moving parts, no/little fuel on the transport. I wonder if there is...
by KarenRei
Mon May 04, 2015 12:59 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Let's terraform Jupiter!
Replies: 26
Views: 9059

Re: Let's terraform Jupiter!

My long-term future view for Jupiter actually sees it more as an antimatter factory. ;) As it stands, it's a natural particle accelerator, the biggest in the solar system. One could further magnetically funnel the ions it accelerates to even higher speeds and collide them against targets for capture...
by KarenRei
Mon May 04, 2015 12:53 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Let's terraform Jupiter!
Replies: 26
Views: 9059

Re: Let's terraform Jupiter!

I had a concept for terraforming Venus which should work for any planet with too thick of an atmosphere (and indirectly, those with too thin of one): floating solar chimneys (similar to solar chimney proposals for generating power on Earth, but for a very different purpose). Picture, if you will, a ...
by KarenRei
Mon May 04, 2015 10:39 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Molten salt reactors
Replies: 19
Views: 9736

Re: Molten salt reactors

I aksed around a bit with colleagues with more experience, they say that the most obvious downside of any liquid fuel reactor is that the primary circuit becomes heavily radioactive. So you need to construct it from materials that can withstand a weirder environment than usual, and maintenenace and...
by KarenRei
Mon May 04, 2015 10:24 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Deadlifter
Replies: 17
Views: 4381

Re: Deadlifter

This idea is called a "Big Dumb Booster." Check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_dumb_booster and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Dragon_%28rocket%29 Indeed. The concept was that the bigger you make your booster, the cheaper costs get per kilogram. Honestly I have skepticism that su...
by KarenRei
Mon May 04, 2015 10:16 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Deadlifter
Replies: 17
Views: 4381

Re: Deadlifter

I remember that the inside of the Mars rovers were painter/lined with gold or platinum. This is because those metals have unique chemical and thermal properties. I don't remember NASA's website giving more explanation than that. They're good IR reflectors. Insulation in a vacuum (or near vacuum) do...
by KarenRei
Mon May 04, 2015 10:12 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Deadlifter
Replies: 17
Views: 4381

Re: Deadlifter

This reminds me of an idea I had once, for transporting valuable metals back from the Moon. Make the rocket itself of out of your cargo! In this case, design the upper stages of your Big Dumb Booster with the express goal of being disassembled in space and recycled into new structures--girders, tan...
by KarenRei
Mon May 04, 2015 10:02 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Getting Energy from the Moon's Extreme Temperatures
Replies: 11
Views: 2879

Re: Getting Energy from the Moon's Extreme Temperatures

Every power-plant on Earth basically works like this: 1) stuff 2) make steam 3) put steam through a turbine that has a magnet attached to it 4) repeat. Every steam-driven thermal plant does, but not every power plant. Solar cells don't do this, wind turbines don't do this, hydroelectric plants don'...
by KarenRei
Mon May 04, 2015 8:12 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Neutron economy and lithium reactors
Replies: 2
Views: 2005

Neutron economy and lithium reactors

Hey all - just something I've been thinking about recently (it was suggested to me that I ask here): How realistic is it that the energy cost of spallation (or other non-fissile) neutron sources can be brought down? My current understanding is that the best spallation neutron sources require about 2...
by KarenRei
Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:52 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1513: "Code Quality"
Replies: 81
Views: 20506

Re: 1513: "Code Quality"

I had a supervisor who was very upset that my code WASN'T a glimpse into the mind of Cthulhu. He demanded I drop the tidy programming and turn my programs into Goto Hell. I think gotos were his hatchet. During an extensive code cleanup task, I recently added a comment into some old code that relied...
by KarenRei
Fri Apr 17, 2015 3:10 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1513: "Code Quality"
Replies: 81
Views: 20506

Re: 1513: "Code Quality"

Interestingly, I hadn't heard or read the word emoji until perhaps a month ago, but now suddenly everyone is using it as though they'd always known it. I presume it was coined in Japanese some time ago - when and why did it suddenly make the leap into English? Google ngrams finds no instances at al...
by KarenRei
Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:39 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1513: "Code Quality"
Replies: 81
Views: 20506

Re: 1513: "Code Quality"

I'm actually really intrigued by the last panel. Anyone feel like solving that problem? For an arbitrary "transcript" of bytes of length N, if you repeatedly change a random byte and recompile, how many attempts will you expect it to take before it runs? I guess you can get the worst case...
by KarenRei
Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:34 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1513: "Code Quality"
Replies: 81
Views: 20506

Re: 1513: "Code Quality"

It's just a consequence of allowing Unicode. In that example, they were just saying "yes, you can actually use any unicode symbol"! Allowing Unicode in variable names is a sensible decision: lots of languages do it . I'm surprised to see so many people complaining about that: it's not lik...
by KarenRei
Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:51 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1511: "Spice Girl
Replies: 70
Views: 15825

Re: 1511: "Spice Girl

Okay, this is starting to sound a bit like what songmeanings.net is like for songs with simple or meaningless lyrics ;) For example:

http://songmeanings.com/songs/view/70237/

;)
by KarenRei
Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:25 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1511: "Spice Girl
Replies: 70
Views: 15825

Re: 1511: "Spice Girl

I once took the 'Which Tori Amos Song Are You?' quiz. The questions were geared somewhat more towards women than men, but I got Hey Jupiter on it, so --- cool! In the context of this comic, may I warn you, if you're in a post-apocalyptic world caused by Tori Amos songs come to life, and "Me An...
by KarenRei
Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:29 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1511: "Spice Girl
Replies: 70
Views: 15825

Re: 1511: "Spice Girl

The top 10 google hits for "What * are you", excluding duplicates false positives, are: * What type of pentagram are you? * What creature are you? * What crystal are you? * What animal are you? * What Pokemon are you? * Which of the Seven Deadly Sins are you? (strange, it's a "which&q...

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