Search found 179 matches

by Sandor
Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:56 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Famous genetic sequences?
Replies: 5
Views: 1762

Re: Famous genetic sequences?

I guess GATTACA is a bit too short.
by Sandor
Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:34 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Planet size
Replies: 7
Views: 2085

Re: Planet size

I am not a scientist, so take this with a pinch of salt. The density of a planet's atmosphere is somewhat arbitrary, and depends on how it was formed. Earth could have ended up with almost no atmosphere, or one many times denser than it actually is (think Venus) What is important is that it is cool ...
by Sandor
Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:35 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: How would you go about solving this ????
Replies: 9
Views: 3783

Re: How would you go about solving this ????

Now I have the solution (it came with the puzzle) and according to the solution, there is only one possible arrangement of the tiles. ... EDIT - actually, just thinking about it - the image has rotational symmetry. How does this affect things, 'cos my brain is starting to hurt now ...... It also ha...
by Sandor
Wed May 23, 2012 2:54 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Electricity from beta decay?
Replies: 24
Views: 7314

Re: Electricity from beta decay?

Some of this discussion reminds me of the idea for direct conversion of energy to electricty with aneutronic fusion. Unfotunately, I know nothing more about it than what appears in the Wiki article.
by Sandor
Wed May 09, 2012 7:56 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1053: “Ten Thousand”
Replies: 127
Views: 40988

Re: 1053: “Ten Thousand”

I feel dumb: How, mathematically, does 10,000 come in? It's just the number of births per day in the US (rounded down a bit from 4,000,000 per year / 365). The time period of 30 years is irrelevant to the calculation. You get the same result for whatever you assume to be the age by which everybody ...
by Sandor
Wed May 09, 2012 4:41 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: ####: "Ten Thousand"
Replies: 41
Views: 17312

Re: ####: "Ten Thousand"

My :? was over the adult = 30. But I guess adult = 18 or 21 wouldn't have generated a power of 10. The age you pick doesn't matter in the calculation - the 10,000 is just the approximate number of births per day in the US. Also, I see this comic is now up as 1053, so someone needs to fix the thread...
by Sandor
Mon May 07, 2012 5:58 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”
Replies: 240
Views: 64959

Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

I managed to sync it up properly in my head, although in Tom Lehrer's voice. I'm glad I'm not the only one. I managed to have Tom Lehrer sing the entire thing through. Although I am willing to donate one whole internet to whoever actually posts it to youtube first. It's not Tom Lehrer, but there is...
by Sandor
Fri May 04, 2012 11:53 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Puzzle
Replies: 7
Views: 3341

Re: Puzzle

I'm not sure what BlueSox is driving at, but I took out a little of the donkey work Replacing 0-4 with ".", and 5-9 with 'X' gives this: X.X.X.X.X .X.X.X.X. X..X.X..X .X.XXX.X. X.X...X.X .X.XXX.X. X.X...X.X .X.X.X.X. X...X...X .XXX.XXX. X..X.X..X .XXX.XXX. X...X...X .X.X.X.X. X..X....
by Sandor
Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:29 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1046: "Skynet"
Replies: 86
Views: 28028

Re: 1046: Skynet

I hadn't heard of the "you are now breathing manually" meme, so I ending up going here for an explanation. I was also confused because I think of manually as meaning "with your hands", and wondered how you breath with your hands :?
by Sandor
Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:41 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Biotechnology for zerg, Na'vi etc types: tough sans titanium
Replies: 68
Views: 21390

Re: Biotechnology for zerg, Na'vi etc types: tough sans tita

If you want your fire breathing dragons to stand a chance against a prepared human military, they're going to have to take on jet fighters. Which is why you need supersonic dragons . And flapping your wings is only going to get you so far. I recommend that you have two types of dragons (perhaps dif...
by Sandor
Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:55 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Magic Squares
Replies: 5
Views: 2047

Re: Magic Squares

For creating magic squares, there are algorithms to make odd and doubly even (divisible by 4) squares. However, there are no know methods of making a singly even magic square without going through all of the permutations. I'm not sure about that. This page appears to disagree with you: http://www.g...
by Sandor
Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:11 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: "these ones"
Replies: 35
Views: 8713

Re: "these ones"

I hope you wouldn't object to "where are you to?", because that's what I grew up with in the South West (of England). Interesting! I'm originally from the west coast of Canada, and "where are you to?" is not in my dialect, but I have heard Newfoundlanders say it. And supposedly ...
by Sandor
Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:20 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: "less" vs "fewer"
Replies: 11
Views: 5535

Re: "less" vs "fewer"

I particularly have problems when someone corrects my usage of "less" rather than "fewer" in cases where the amount in question is nowhere near "few" in the context . For example, I will never accept the use of "fewer" in any context where the number could be...
by Sandor
Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:59 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: "these ones"
Replies: 35
Views: 8713

Re: "these ones"

is due to some sense of frugality, like the prescription for "where are you?" over "where are you at?") I don't think that's an example of a pro-frugality prescription but rather a dialectical difference where the prescriptivists have said one is "right" because, in my...
by Sandor
Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:48 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1040: "Lakes and Oceans"
Replies: 166
Views: 80593

Re: 1040: "Lakes and Oceans"

I don't believe that's a cross-section of the Marianas Trench, but instead shows its length compared to its depth. When you look at videos like these, the sides seem rather steep indeed: Google: marianas trench fly through Nah. From the description of one of those videos: The Mariana Trench may be ...
by Sandor
Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:22 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Imposter Puzzle
Replies: 69
Views: 19580

Re: Imposter Puzzle

Hmm, actually, we need stronger physical commitment to make the system secure. The Thurns can set up a perfect real world MITM attack, and any security system has to take this into account. So you're going to need end-to-end encryption as well as authentication. You all are just trying to re-implem...
by Sandor
Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:03 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1033: "Formal Logic"
Replies: 132
Views: 40492

Re: 1033: "Formal Logic"

orangedragonfire wrote:The problem here would be that people who love formal logic would have to honk all the time. Forever.

I suspect they would grow to hate formal logic after a while, for what it's done to their quality of life. Problem solved.
by Sandor
Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:55 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Words you choose to mispronounce
Replies: 242
Views: 92140

Re: Words you choose to mispronounce

I heard a suggestion somewhere (I think on QI), to pronounce "Rhinoceros" as if it were a dinosaur, spelt "Rhinosaurous". Unfortunately there aren't many roaming aroung where I live, so I have little cause to use the word.
by Sandor
Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:32 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Unsigned int to ascii in C
Replies: 53
Views: 14289

Re: Unsigned int to ascii in C

It's a Good Idea to include headers for any library functions that your program uses. You're using printf(), so you should include <stdio.h>, otherwise the compiler will have to guess what the argument types of printf() are. Luckily, automatic promotion makes everything work properly in this instan...
by Sandor
Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:08 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Show me your data!
Replies: 15
Views: 2757

Re: Show me your data!

brötchen wrote:Am i the only one that gets thrilled when a data-set turns out nicely?

No you're not the only one. People got quite excited about this one:

Image
by Sandor
Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:45 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0992: "Mnemonics"
Replies: 278
Views: 66096

Re: 0992: "Mnemonics"

I was taught Soh-Cah-Toa as: S illy O ld H itler C an't A dvance H is T anks O ver A merica. This was in a UK school in the late 70s. One I haven't seen mentioned is for clockwise compass points: N ever E at S hredded W heat. I could never see the point of that (ha), as it is easy enough to remember.
by Sandor
Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:16 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Parallel Universes
Replies: 29
Views: 11162

Re: Parallel Universes

For a toy example, start with a 1 dimensional binary finite automata with a diameter 3 evolution rule. This can easily generate time-like behavior in the y direction (with entropy and such). Such systems are easily made Turing complete, and (presuming something analogous to the Church-Turing thesis...
by Sandor
Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:17 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Is this real?
Replies: 25
Views: 5628

Re: Is this real?

You can do some similar tricks at home... IE, strong magnets and diamagnetic "levitation". http://youtu.be/raT13OFAqZc Water is somewhat diamagnetic, and the effect has been used to levitate live frogs and mice. You need a ferociously strong magnetic field, so it's not exactly a home expe...
by Sandor
Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:42 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Spacky Woonerisms
Replies: 41
Views: 16961

Re: Spacky Woonerisms

There was a racehorse called Mary Hinge. It's a game to try to get rude names approved for racehorses in the UK, and that one made it past the censors. According to Wikipedia, one of Kenny Everett's characters was going to be called Mary Hinge. That was vetoed by the BBC, so he went with Cupid Stun...
by Sandor
Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:27 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: 1-D Kinematics Problem
Replies: 19
Views: 2787

Re: 1-D Kinematics Problem

There's a short cut, assuming the top ball starts at 0m/s: Both balls have the same acceleration, and both accelerate for the same amount of time before they collide. One starts at 0m/s and one ends at 0m/s. From symmetry, both will travel the same distance, so they'll collide at the half way ma...
by Sandor
Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:35 pm UTC
Forum: Forum Games
Topic: Solve this Mathematical Puzzle
Replies: 36
Views: 4751

Re: Solve this Mathematical Puzzle

Dason wrote:Yay. Same way as me but you took the time to write up a nicer explanation.

And got beaten to the punch :(
by Sandor
Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:26 pm UTC
Forum: Forum Games
Topic: Solve this Mathematical Puzzle
Replies: 36
Views: 4751

Re: Solve this Mathematical Puzzle

One way to do it: If you assume the solution is like his: f(a,b,c) = Xa + Yb + Zc Then you get three simultaneous equations : 5X + 3Y + 2Z = 15 4X + 2Y + 1Z = 8 2X + 7Y + 4Z = 56 Which, when solved gives: f(a,b,c) = (-25a + 86b + 16c)/11 But I'm sure that's not the intended s...
by Sandor
Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:13 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0955: "Neutrinos"
Replies: 159
Views: 44288

Re: 0955: "Neutrinos"

A link to the actual paper: http://arxiv.org/abs/1109.4897 The alt text was being literal. From page 10: The high-accuracy time-transfer GPS receiver allows to continuously monitor tiny movements of the Earth’s crust, such as continental drift that shows up as a smooth variation of less than 1 cm/ye...
by Sandor
Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:14 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Idioms that don't make sense
Replies: 60
Views: 17907

Re: Idioms that don't make sense

Another one that rolls off the tongue is "they go together like Chalk and Cheese" in what way exactly do Chalk and Cheese not go together? I've never heard "chalk and cheese" used with "go together". I would say "they are like chalk and cheese" meaning two th...
by Sandor
Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:50 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Neologisms
Replies: 20
Views: 6257

Re: Neologisms

I don't agree with all those. Two that should have been on the 'no' list: Telethon is from 1949, but the -athon/-thon morpheme (denoting prolonged activity) predates that: walkathon (1931), skatathon (1933); talkathon (1948). So the morpheme already existed when "Telethon" was coined. Like...
by Sandor
Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:01 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Infinite train track
Replies: 22
Views: 5407

Re: Infinite train track

First variety: There are only countably many stations where the train could start, and only countably many velocities at which it might be moving. The start station and the velocity completely determine the behaviour of the train. So there are only countably many possible behaviours. I begin by com...
by Sandor
Sat Jul 30, 2011 2:43 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Logikion, the new Sudoku?
Replies: 21
Views: 6742

Re: Logikion, the new Sudoku?

Here's a 7x7 that I designed by hand a while ago, which should be nice and pleasant to solve if you find the first few opening tricks. Although there might be other good ways to open it up. Your 7x7 puzzle has one area of 6 squares, and one of 8. Is that how it's supposed to be? squigglysudoku2_ist...
by Sandor
Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:23 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: easy solitaire game, hard puzzle
Replies: 4
Views: 3067

Re: easy solitaire game, hard puzzle

I left the code running for a full deck of 52 cards. It took 59 days CPU time, but that's what we have all those spare CPU cores for, right. What I found was:
Spoiler:
No solutions
by Sandor
Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:56 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: easy solitaire game, hard puzzle
Replies: 4
Views: 3067

Re: easy solitaire game, hard puzzle

You said you wanted people who know how to solve puzzles without using brute force, but I brute forced it anyway. There aren't many solutions and it gets slow quite quickly (at least the way I did it, same as you suggested). My code stopped after finding a solution for any given scenario. Here's wha...
by Sandor
Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:37 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Railguns in space!
Replies: 28
Views: 12861

Re: Railguns in space!

As your friend pointed out, Newton's 3rd law bites you. For getting around the solar system gravity assists can do much the same thing as permanent magnets in orbit would be able to. Cheap ways of getting lots of mass to orbit would make solar system exploration using current technology much easier.
by Sandor
Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:26 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Use of commas in sentence list.
Replies: 21
Views: 4490

Re: Use of commas in sentence list.

For the specific example of colored blocks at the start of this thread, I would use “black-and-white” with hyphens. I would use serial commas and both "and" and ampersands: "red, yellow, black & white, blue & purple, and green". With most of my writing I care more about ...
by Sandor
Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:13 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Railguns in space!
Replies: 28
Views: 12861

Re: Railguns in space!

That doesn't sound like a railgun, more like a coilgun or linear motor (except using permanent magnets). Have a look at wikipedia under mass driver and launch loop .
by Sandor
Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:41 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong
Replies: 553
Views: 62575

Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

I doubt current ion engines would be light enough to lift themselves, even with external energy. I cannot find information on this. Not for current satellites, nowhere near. I seem to remember GOCE's (or maybe SMART-1's) ion engine thrust being compared to the weight of a sheet of A4 paper. You run...
by Sandor
Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:25 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Favourite faster than light technology
Replies: 92
Views: 20793

Re: Favourite faster than light technology

In other words, even if FTL travel was possible, it would still present the "objects that exceed the speed of light travel backward in time" problem. Any suggestions on how to get around that, guys? I'm up for an answer to this too. Need a "gated", "wormhole" or "...
by Sandor
Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:30 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: I'm sorry if this is a dumb post, I'm new to this ingenuity
Replies: 13
Views: 1717

Re: I'm sorry if this is a dumb post, I'm new to this ingenu

Disclaimer: I might not have a clue what I'm talking about. My knowledge of relativity comes from reading popular science books. There are serious snags with FTL travel and fiction. Because we want FTL travel in fiction, but all the physics says no. And it is all the physics. Even if you use worm ho...

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