What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:59 am UTC

Wait, are we talking worldwide spiders or treatment plant spiders, because my math was worldwide spiders.
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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby rhomboidal » Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:19 am UTC

I've heard that most astronomers now believe that there is terrified life throughout the known spiderverse.

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby Hampswitch » Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:00 am UTC

I worked out that you are about as attracted to a 7800m radius sphere of rock 1 meter away as you are to the sun. Depending on how close you got, you could probably be more attracted to an ocean than the sun, but most other things on earth are gonna be less attractive than the sun.

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby Jackpot777 » Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:33 pm UTC

Neil_Boekend wrote:Note: there are no dangerous native spiders in my country, although sometimes an accidentally imported black widow survives until the first decent winter. For the native spiders something akin to a wasp's sting is the worst you'll get.


You know where you want to visit...

Image

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:44 pm UTC

Jackpot777 wrote:
Neil_Boekend wrote:Note: there are no dangerous native spiders in my country, although sometimes an accidentally imported black widow survives until the first decent winter. For the native spiders something akin to a wasp's sting is the worst you'll get.


You know where you want to visit...

Image

Yes I want to go there one day. Even though the wildlife isn't quite as pettable as at home.
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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby OP Tipping » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:10 pm UTC

That spider appears to have five legs on one side (and presumably ten altogether).

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby Flumble » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:26 pm UTC

OP Tipping wrote:That spider appears to have five legs on one side (and presumably ten altogether).

You mean its eight legs and two palps? Palps aren't legs, they're their equivalent of a nose and tongue
...and their semen dispenser (for males) or recepticle (for females). I kid you not.

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby multimotyl » Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:24 pm UTC

Wherever on Earth you are, you are allways 1 AU away from a spider.

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby mathmannix » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:45 pm UTC

multimotyl wrote:Wherever on Earth you are, you are allways 1 AU away from a spider.

Umm, false.
(Unless you meant "at most 1 AU")
I hear velociraptor tastes like chicken.

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:46 pm UTC

Image
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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby Mikeski » Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:29 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:(the spider-sun picture)

I'm assuming this is in response to the 8-10-12 legs discussion.

"A tarantula has four pairs of legs and two additional pairs of appendages. [...] The fifth pair are the pedipalps which aid in feeling, gripping prey, and mating in the case of a mature male. The sixth pair of appendages are the chelicerae and their attached fangs."

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby Whizbang » Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:31 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:(the spider-sun picture)

I'm assuming this is in response to the 8-10-12 legs discussion.

"A tarantula has four pairs of legs and two additional pairs of appendages. [...] The fifth pair are the pedipalps which aid in feeling, gripping prey, and mating in the case of a mature male. The sixth pair of appendages are the chelicerae and their attached fangs."


I am assuming it is in response to mathmannix's "Ummm, false" claim. gmal was clearly trying to indicate the Sun is a giant spider and spiders are small stars. Ergo, you are always 1AU away from a spider.

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby Mikeski » Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:36 pm UTC

Ah, right. I should not post with a migraine while my think isn't correctly braining.

(I hate it when I try to sleep off a migraine, but wake up and still have it. Body says "That's enough sleep, we go do things now", and brain says "Anything we do is going to be searingly painful. Take that, body.")

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Apr 23, 2015 8:44 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:(the spider-sun picture)

I'm assuming this is in response to the 8-10-12 legs discussion.

"A tarantula has four pairs of legs and two additional pairs of appendages. [...] The fifth pair are the pedipalps which aid in feeling, gripping prey, and mating in the case of a mature male. The sixth pair of appendages are the chelicerae and their attached fangs."


I suddenly understand why Lovecraft had a concept of knowledge that men should not know.

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby Flumble » Fri Apr 24, 2015 6:15 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Mikeski wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:(the spider-sun picture)

I'm assuming this is in response to the 8-10-12 legs discussion.

"A tarantula has four pairs of legs and two additional pairs of appendages. [...] The fifth pair are the pedipalps which aid in feeling, gripping prey, and mating in the case of a mature male. The sixth pair of appendages are the chelicerae and their attached fangs."


I suddenly understand why Lovecraft had a concept of knowledge that men should not know.

If your tribe ever faces an army of giant spiders, you know what to do for the continued existence of the tribe: strike the pedipalps so they cannot reproduce. Yes, there is a good reason you learned about the appendages of spiders.

In the case of giant lizard-spiders... I guess you're just fucked. The only thing we have about them is some artist impression, which probably isn't even accurate.

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby NealCruco » Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:55 pm UTC

I think it's safe to say that what-if is dead. This latest one was supposed to be published on April 7, according to the original "every Tuesday" schedule. It is now April 26. Since this one was actually published on the 12th, there has been no what-if for 2 weeks. I'm going to assume it is dead unless I hear about Randall saying something to the contrary.

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby Mikeski » Sun Apr 26, 2015 10:41 pm UTC

NealCruco wrote:I think it's safe to say that what-if is dead.

And I think it's safe to say you're wrong. WI? has existed for 143 weeks, and there have been only 136 postings. If a missed week or two was all it took, it would have ended many times before.

Randall is one man. He gets vacation time like the rest of us. We also had a recent "complicated" comic (requiring coding and not just drawing), and the wonderful USAan tax season (which is enough hell when you work for a corporation; I don't want to know how many forms Randall has to deal with.)

I'm going to assume it is dead unless I hear about Randall saying something to the contrary.

Any day, now. Perhaps he's out of interesting questions to answer? Send one in!

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby ps.02 » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:24 am UTC

Mikeski wrote:Randall is one man.[Citation needed] He gets vacation time like the rest of us.

Also, his update schedule is not all that important anymore, his having trained a whole host of fans to Wait for it.

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:44 am UTC

NealCruco wrote:I think it's safe to say that what-if is dead. This latest one was supposed to be published on April 7, according to the original "every Tuesday" schedule. It is now April 26. Since this one was actually published on the 12th, there has been no what-if for 2 weeks. I'm going to assume it is dead unless I hear about Randall saying something to the contrary.
This is not the first gap of that length, and it probably won't be the last.

Unfortunately, it's also neither the first nor the last time someone will confidently predict the thing is dead.

Do you also assume TV shows are canceled if there isn't a new episode for a couple of weeks at a time?
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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby ubikuberalles » Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:54 pm UTC

Perhaps there is a delay because my What-If question requires a great deal of computation time on the servers in order to solve. Randall can't turn his attention on less intensive questions because my question has now become a life-long obsession for Randall. He MUST solve the problem! Normally, I would post the question here but I'm afraid I might break the Internet. ;)
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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby ps.02 » Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:24 pm UTC

ubikuberalles wrote:my question has now become a life-long obsession for Randall.
[...]
I'm afraid I might break the Internet. ;)

I'm just glad you're keeping perspective and humility through it all.

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:47 pm UTC

ubikuberalles wrote:Perhaps there is a delay because my What-If question requires a great deal of computation time on the servers in order to solve. Randall can't turn his attention on less intensive questions because my question has now become a life-long obsession for Randall. He MUST solve the problem! Normally, I would post the question here but I'm afraid I might break the Internet. ;)

Given how willing he is to make extremely approximate order-of-magnitude estimates, I guarantee you haven't asked him anything that would require supercomputing capabilities to answer to the standards expected in a what-if.
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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby NealCruco » Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:41 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:
NealCruco wrote:I think it's safe to say that what-if is dead.

And I think it's safe to say you're wrong. WI? has existed for 143 weeks, and there have been only 136 postings. If a missed week or two was all it took, it would have ended many times before.

Randall is one man. He gets vacation time like the rest of us. We also had a recent "complicated" comic (requiring coding and not just drawing), and the wonderful USAan tax season (which is enough hell when you work for a corporation; I don't want to know how many forms Randall has to deal with.)

It's not just the missed week. It's the constantly slipping schedule. I mentioned this back in December.
NealCruco wrote:I'm thinking that Randall is losing interest in what-if, especially since publishing his book. Last year each installment appeared as promptly as each new comic, every Tuesday morning. Some months ago, the "every Tuesday" tagline was removed. Now new entries have slid from Tuesday to Wednesday, Thursday, and even Friday. It's no longer something that I look forward to- I enjoy each article when they come out, but I have no confidence that there will be another.

I still think this. New what-if articles got posted later and later until finally they stopped being posted at all. Tomorrow will be the third week in a row without a what-if.
And I know what-if hasn't been posted every single week. But every time that happened, Randall would post a notice at the top of the page saying that there would be no what-if and explaining why. That hasn't happened in months.

I'm going to assume it is dead unless I hear about Randall saying something to the contrary.

Any day, now. Perhaps he's out of interesting questions to answer? Send one in!

Ok. I will.

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby trpmb6 » Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:35 pm UTC

I too am somewhat disappointed in the increasing frequency of delayed what-if's but I tend to be more forgiving. I know he has plenty of decent questions to still work, I've sent several that I personally feel are worthy of investigation. (perhaps Randall doesn't though.. :oops: )

I tend to think that he's actually doing a social experiment to see how many webhits he gets on a website that used to have a regular posting, which then enters a chaotic and unpredictable set of updates, with no warning. Ie. how loyal are his followers? Will they (myself included) continue to type in whatif.xkcd.com every day until it's updated again?

Truth be told, he probably makes more money on webhits this way. I know I type in whatif.xkcd.com more often now than i used to when there were regular updates. From a profit standpoint delaying whatifs is far more profitable.

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:04 am UTC

Yeah, What-If just used to be a weekly schedule, and now it's an updates-whenever schedule. That's been the case for a while. There may someday be a last What-If, and we may not then know....
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:38 am UTC

Not everyone likes working under the pressure of a schedule. I just love the What-If's I get, even if they are a week or so late.
Then again, I am experienced in Waiting for it.
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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby Copper Bezel » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:17 am UTC

Yeah, I'm not sure if I can say that I strictly prefer not getting them every week, but I'd prefer it to getting them strictly once a month.
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby SPACKlick » Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:17 pm UTC

I'd kind of prefer a best of both approach. Where he has a wide schedule for what-ifs, say every 20 days and so he can get ahead and post them and doesn't have people feeling he's let them down by missing an arbitrary deadline.

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby Mikeski » Fri May 01, 2015 2:43 am UTC

I look at it this way... every time he skips a week, I get a 100% refund. No questions asked.

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby gmalivuk » Fri May 01, 2015 2:55 am UTC

You should have held out for more. I get double my money back!
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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby ubikuberalles » Fri May 01, 2015 2:58 pm UTC

ps.02 wrote:
ubikuberalles wrote:my question has now become a life-long obsession for Randall.
[...]
I'm afraid I might break the Internet. ;)

I'm just glad you're keeping perspective and humility through it all.


I try but it's very difficult.
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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby Eutychus » Sat May 02, 2015 7:41 pm UTC

the gravitational force is proportional to the square of the distance


Did Marina Fleming, the asker, go to the same school as the girl in Friday's xkcd?

I'm pretty sure the last time I looked, gravitational force was inversely proportional to the square of the distance... although a world in which it was directly proportional might be interesting...
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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby Copper Bezel » Sat May 02, 2015 10:02 pm UTC

The fact that you say "directly proportional" indicates that there is ambiguity, else you would simply say "proportional," which indicates that both readings are possible and can probably be interpreted from context, precisely as is done here.
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby Olaf Klischat » Sun May 03, 2015 3:31 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:
NealCruco wrote:I think it's safe to say that what-if is dead.

And I think it's safe to say you're wrong. WI? has existed for 143 weeks, and there have been only 136 postings.


As per the the doomsday argument[1], that would suggest that there will be at most another 136*21=2856 postings, and what-if will die 2856*143weeks/136=60 years from now, at the latest.

[1]
https://what-if.xkcd.com/65/

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby mathmannix » Mon May 04, 2015 2:30 pm UTC

Image
Take that, causality!
I hear velociraptor tastes like chicken.

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby squall_line » Mon May 04, 2015 2:53 pm UTC

Just saw that myself.

Quoted for prosperity (because it will likely change, and who knows how long the posted screenshot will last): "Note: What If updates are temporarily on hold,
and will resume on July 14th, 2014 at 7:49:59 AM EST."


I therefore expect a new What-if to be posted in, um, wait... 10 months ago? Really?

I mean, to be that passive-aggressively and pedantically specific, but then to put in 2014 as the year?

At least I can stop checking for new postings. Maybe I should open the book and read it already?

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby kolie » Mon May 04, 2015 3:11 pm UTC

New Horizons' closest approach to Pluto will be at 7:49:59 a.m. EDT (11:49:59 UTC) on July 14, 2015.

Coincedence?

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby Whizbang » Mon May 04, 2015 3:23 pm UTC

I think that notice was put in place when he was doing the book tour. I don't think it is valid anymore.

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby mathmannix » Mon May 04, 2015 3:30 pm UTC

But it just appeared. (Sometime between two hours ago and one hour ago.)
I hear velociraptor tastes like chicken.

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Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

Postby speising » Mon May 04, 2015 5:57 pm UTC

Note also the "news" about the book...


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