1394: Superm*n

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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby chridd » Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:31 pm UTC

EugeneStyles wrote:
phlip wrote:
EugeneStyles wrote:You would think that astronomers of all people would know what "mega" means.

great, large, vast, big, high, tall; mighty, important?


Only in the same way that "theory" means a wild guess with no proof. Mega- is an SI prefix with a specific meaning in scientific terms. Using the less precise layman's meaning to describe a scientific find is just sloppy.
...but Earth isn't a unit there. There doesn't really seem to be any ambiguity.

And are scientists the ones calling these planets mega-Earths, and are they doing so when talking primarily to other scientists? If one is talking to laypeople, and the layman's term will be understood correctly, I don't see any problem in using it.
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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:50 pm UTC

chridd wrote:
EugeneStyles wrote:
phlip wrote:
EugeneStyles wrote:You would think that astronomers of all people would know what "mega" means.

great, large, vast, big, high, tall; mighty, important?


Only in the same way that "theory" means a wild guess with no proof. Mega- is an SI prefix with a specific meaning in scientific terms. Using the less precise layman's meaning to describe a scientific find is just sloppy.
...but Earth isn't a unit there. There doesn't really seem to be any ambiguity.

And are scientists the ones calling these planets mega-Earths, and are they doing so when talking primarily to other scientists? If one is talking to laypeople, and the layman's term will be understood correctly, I don't see any problem in using it.


But then they'll start having giga-Earths when they find something slightly larger...

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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby cellocgw » Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:56 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
chridd wrote:
EugeneStyles wrote:
phlip wrote:
EugeneStyles wrote:You would think that astronomers of all people would know what "mega" means.

great, large, vast, big, high, tall; mighty, important?


Only in the same way that "theory" means a wild guess with no proof. Mega- is an SI prefix with a specific meaning in scientific terms. Using the less precise layman's meaning to describe a scientific find is just sloppy.
...but Earth isn't a unit there. There doesn't really seem to be any ambiguity.

And are scientists the ones calling these planets mega-Earths, and are they doing so when talking primarily to other scientists? If one is talking to laypeople, and the layman's term will be understood correctly, I don't see any problem in using it.


But then they'll start having giga-Earths when they find something slightly larger...

Followed quickly by yo-momma-Earths, I suppose.
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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby orthogon » Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:06 pm UTC

chridd wrote:
EugeneStyles wrote:
phlip wrote:
EugeneStyles wrote:You would think that astronomers of all people would know what "mega" means.

great, large, vast, big, high, tall; mighty, important?


Only in the same way that "theory" means a wild guess with no proof. Mega- is an SI prefix with a specific meaning in scientific terms. Using the less precise layman's meaning to describe a scientific find is just sloppy.
...but Earth isn't a unit there. There doesn't really seem to be any ambiguity.

And are scientists the ones calling these planets mega-Earths, and are they doing so when talking primarily to other scientists? If one is talking to laypeople, and the layman's term will be understood correctly, I don't see any problem in using it.

Also, mega- has been a prefix "forming scientific and technical terms with the sense ‘very large’, ‘comparatively large’, or (esp. in Pathol.) ‘abnormally large’" [OED] for longer than it has been an SI prefix. Amongst the examples in the OED entry are megafustule and megacoccus ; one of my personal favourites is megafauna. I can only hope that not even in the worst case of megacolon has the unfortunate sufferer's intestine hasn't swelled up by a million times.

If you ask me, the mistake was using a Greek word that simply meant "great" to mean "one million". Maybe the SI's authors should have looked a bit harder for the ancient Greek version of "humongous" in the first place. But then, maybe that's what "exa" or "peta" means.

Anyway, astronomers probably think of Mega as a prefix denoting very small things. After all, 1Mm is about 3 light-milliseconds.
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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby ManaUser » Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:29 pm UTC

I was going to suggest that they may have decided using familiar words would make the whole thing catch on better, but now that I think about it, it's really only mega and micro, or the second level in either direction that they did that with. Kind of odd actually, you'd think if anything they would have used the most familiar terms for 1000 and 1/1000, i.e. what they ended up calling kilo and milli instead.

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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby PinkShinyRose » Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:58 pm UTC

So you can be too geeky to get xkcd? Most people would probably infer from context that "*" was meant as a wildcard, not as part of a regular expression...
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Great. Another webcomic I have to make units conversion to get the joke.

I get there's a tradition and all that, but at least in the www it should be easier to migrate.

Considering most of the world at least officially migrated from traditional systems to SI or SI like systems before the www, I would say they just do it to annoy people.
EugeneStyles wrote:
phlip wrote:
EugeneStyles wrote:You would think that astronomers of all people would know what "mega" means.

great, large, vast, big, high, tall; mighty, important?


Only in the same way that "theory" means a wild guess with no proof. Mega- is an SI prefix with a specific meaning in scientific terms. Using the less precise layman's meaning to describe a scientific find is just sloppy.

Wait, is moon an SI unit?

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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:59 pm UTC

ManaUser wrote:I was going to suggest that they may have decided using familiar words would make the whole thing catch on better, but now that I think about it, it's really only mega and micro, or the second level in either direction that they did that with. Kind of odd actually, you'd think if anything they would have used the most familiar terms for 1000 and 1/1000, i.e. what they ended up calling kilo and milli instead.


For 1000 and 1/1000 they used existing words too - specifically the Greek and Latin words for a thousand respectively. For more extreme prefixes, they had to resort to words meaning "big" or "really big" and "small" or "really small" because numbers beyond about a thousand didn't exist in classical tongues (I've got a nagging feeling that there was a word for ten thousand).

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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:15 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:numbers beyond about a thousand didn't exist in classical tongues (I've got a nagging feeling that there was a word for ten thousand).

"Myriad" was Greek for 10,000.
"Wan" was Chinese for 10,000.
There's probably others I don't know of, too.

I like having a name for 10,000 because I like the idea of introducing new names on the square of the last new name. Ten squared is a hundred, which squared is a myriad, which squared is a… byriad? Now we start making up names but we can do it like we did with the "-illions", and just use variants of bi-, tri-, quad-, etc, such that a nonyriad would be 10^(2^(1+9)), a one followed by 1024 zeroes.
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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby airdrik » Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:18 pm UTC

ManaUser wrote:I was going to suggest that they may have decided using familiar words would make the whole thing catch on better
I think this really is it
ManaUser wrote:but now that I think about it, it's really only mega and micro, or the second level in either direction that they did that with. Kind of odd actually, you'd think if anything they would have used the most familiar terms for 1000 and 1/1000, i.e. what they ended up calling kilo and milli instead.

Not that odd really, when you consider that Mega and Micro were used to mean something bigger/better and smaller/lesser, respectively before they were turned into SI prefixes (originating in Greek words for big and small), and there are still common references which use them in this form (e.g. Megaman, Megamind, Mega-earth, Micromachines, Microscope, Microcosm). Kilo and Milli come from Greek and Latin words for 1000, respectively, so to use those in any context other than to refer to multiples of 1000 doesn't make sense (and they aren't really used outside of SI in English). Giga also comes from a Greek word meaning giant, and is sometimes used to refer to things which are more giant-like than their basic version, though this is pretty uncommon. The other prefixes either came from more obscure foreign words or were loosely derived from Latin, Greek and/or Danish words for the various numbers used in the exponent for values of such magnitudes, and don't have non-SI meanings in English.

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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby PinkShinyRose » Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:36 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
ManaUser wrote:I was going to suggest that they may have decided using familiar words would make the whole thing catch on better, but now that I think about it, it's really only mega and micro, or the second level in either direction that they did that with. Kind of odd actually, you'd think if anything they would have used the most familiar terms for 1000 and 1/1000, i.e. what they ended up calling kilo and milli instead.


For 1000 and 1/1000 they used existing words too - specifically the Greek and Latin words for a thousand respectively. For more extreme prefixes, they had to resort to words meaning "big" or "really big" and "small" or "really small" because numbers beyond about a thousand didn't exist in classical tongues (I've got a nagging feeling that there was a word for ten thousand).

Does 6th century count as classical? 6th century chinese had words for powers of ten up to 10^14. One problem may be that these same words are now used for powers of 10 000 up to 10^44 but they did exist.

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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby Djehutynakht » Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:23 pm UTC

CapCouillon wrote:What would the earths maps look like if the moon was in a geostationary orbit?
Ocean front property in Kenya?



Well...

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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:30 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I like having a name for 10,000 because I like the idea of introducing new names on the square of the last new name. Ten squared is a hundred, which squared is a myriad, which squared is a… byriad? Now we start making up names but we can do it like we did with the "-illions", and just use variants of bi-, tri-, quad-, etc, such that a nonyriad would be 10^(2^(1+9)), a one followed by 1024 zeroes.

Knuth adapted classical Chinese notation for a superdecimal system which included the word "myriad". So 1:2345,6789 would be "one myllion twenty-three hundred forty-five myriad sixty-seven hundred eighty-nine."

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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:53 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:I like having a name for 10,000 because I like the idea of introducing new names on the square of the last new name. Ten squared is a hundred, which squared is a myriad, which squared is a… byriad? Now we start making up names but we can do it like we did with the "-illions", and just use variants of bi-, tri-, quad-, etc, such that a nonyriad would be 10^(2^(1+9)), a one followed by 1024 zeroes.

Knuth adapted classical Chinese notation for a superdecimal system which included the word "myriad". So 1:2345,6789 would be "one myllion twenty-three hundred forty-five myriad sixty-seven hundred eighty-nine."

Is there a name for that system? I'd like to read more about it.
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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:57 pm UTC

Wikipedia just calls it -yllion.

I guess I should have used a semicolon rather than a colon in my last post. The colon is for byllions.

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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby Xanthir » Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:29 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:numbers beyond about a thousand didn't exist in classical tongues (I've got a nagging feeling that there was a word for ten thousand).

"Myriad" was Greek for 10,000.
"Wan" was Chinese for 10,000.
There's probably others I don't know of, too.

I like having a name for 10,000 because I like the idea of introducing new names on the square of the last new name. Ten squared is a hundred, which squared is a myriad, which squared is a… byriad? Now we start making up names but we can do it like we did with the "-illions", and just use variants of bi-, tri-, quad-, etc, such that a nonyriad would be 10^(2^(1+9)), a one followed by 1024 zeroes.

Knuth did that: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Knuth_numeric_system

He uses the place names ten, hundred, myriad, myllion, byllion, etc - just take the existing number names, replace the i with a y, and apply them to the correct power.
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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby xtifr » Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:47 pm UTC

pscottdv wrote:
Neil_Boekend wrote:So it should have been "Superm?+n" ?


I'm afraid that is not a valid RE


No, but it's a valid glob, like the original "Superm*n". However, it doesn't match "Superman", because "+" is not a special character. So it would match "Superma+n" or "Supermo+n". But not "Supermoo+n", because the "?" only matches a single character; it's equivalent to "." in a RE.

You can have character sets in globs ("Superm[ao]n" or "Superm[:alnum:]n"), but you can't combine that with repetition, so you can't construct a glob that would only match "Superman" and "Supermoon" and nothing else. The closest you can come is indeed "Superm*n".

Of course, the biggest difference between glob and RE is that glob always hits the file system. It has no string-to-search argument, so it will only find Superman or Supermoon if they are hiding out in your current working directory. :)
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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby ilduri » Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:50 am UTC

Xanthir wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:numbers beyond about a thousand didn't exist in classical tongues (I've got a nagging feeling that there was a word for ten thousand).

"Myriad" was Greek for 10,000.
"Wan" was Chinese for 10,000.
There's probably others I don't know of, too.


Archimedes came up with a pretty cool system for naming arbitrarily large numbers, but it never really caught on. (Ever cooler is that fact that he invented it so he could answer the question "how many grains of sand could be contained by the sphere of the fixed stars?")
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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby Sprocket » Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:54 am UTC

Where did Cory Doctorow leave his goggles!?
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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:07 am UTC

ilduri wrote:
Xanthir wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:numbers beyond about a thousand didn't exist in classical tongues (I've got a nagging feeling that there was a word for ten thousand).

"Myriad" was Greek for 10,000.
"Wan" was Chinese for 10,000.
There's probably others I don't know of, too.


Archimedes came up with a pretty cool system for naming arbitrarily large numbers, but it never really caught on. (Ever cooler is that fact that he invented so he could answer the question "how many grains of sand could be contained by the sphere of the fixed stars?")

The funny thing is that Archimedes' estimate of the number of grains of sand to fill the fixed sphere of stars (which he believed to be on the order of what we now call the Solar System) of 10^63 actually does correspond reasonably well to the number of grains of sand required to fill the entire observable universe by modern estimates. That's just a coincidence of course (Archimedes intentionally overestimated the requisite number in order to make a point, and at the same time made many assumptions we would now consider ridiculous like that the Sun was no more than 30 times larger than the Moon), but it is kind of amusing.

Of course, Archimedes not only considered numbers up to 10^63, but in fact all the way up to 10^(8*10^16), again to make a point. He was trying to prove that it was in fact easy to define a number large enough to count the number of grains of sand that would fill the entire celestial sphere, and indeed far larger numbers.

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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby eviloatmeal » Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:33 am UTC

cellocgw wrote:Dunno, I think it has more of a je ne l'aime pas :oops:

I mean, really, did you ever see someone write "I think you somethingy the verb" ? :mrgreen:

You might be confusing somethingy (adj.) with somethingly (adv.), as in "you verb that object rather somethingly".
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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby orthogon » Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:46 am UTC

In the Indian / South Asian numbering system, there's lakh (105) and crore (107). You hear these used a lot in Indian English, especially to refer to amounts of money. The wiki page includes names for much bigger numbers, including padm (1016)and shankh (1017), though I've never heard those. The subcontinent has always been into maths and numbers, of course. Hindu cosmology is, I believe, unique in actually managing to overestimate the age of the universe by some four orders of magnitude.
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xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:02 am UTC

The name of this thread keeps making me think it's about Supermon, the hero of Jamaica.
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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby Eshru » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:32 am UTC

eviloatmeal wrote:
keithl wrote:I'm even thinking about buying and extra "Y" tile for my Scrabble game, so I can place the Z of syzygy on a double letter score and the final Y of syzygy on a triple word score.

Heck, play SYZYGIES onto two triple words and you're all set. I believe that's 284 points if you bingo.
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I don't think SOMETHINGY is a word, just use your imagination to figure out how you might end up over there in a real game.

Or, use a blank tile for one of the Y that aren't on a multiplier.

Edit: or super scrabble bingo onto a quadruple and triple word score, along with a double letter on a Y, iirc. Win.
Edit2: also the S (being on the quad) pluralizes another word, breaking all manner of decency.
Edit3: and I've spent quite some time on a red eye bus reading about massive scrabble (and super scrabble) plays.

Reboot topic:
Reboot of The Flash where it's just Usain Bolt.

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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby eviloatmeal » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:30 am UTC

Eshru wrote:Reboot of The Flash where it's just Jonathan Gay.

FTFY

Man, I miss the days when Scrabble was all analogue and paper dictionaries and stuff. It's just not the same when you can systematically try all the combinations of your tiles until you find one that happens to be a word that fits into the spot you want to use and is accepted by the software.
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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:46 am UTC

eviloatmeal wrote:
Eshru wrote:Reboot of The Flash where it's just Jonathan Gay.

FTFY

Man, I miss the days when Scrabble was all analogue and paper dictionaries and stuff. It's just not the same when you can systematically try all the combinations of your tiles until you find one that happens to be a word that fits into the spot you want to use and is accepted by the software.

Despite this, I don't think anybody has yet found the definitively highest possible score from a single turn. There are a number of ways to get over 1700 points using three triple word scores.

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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby shokoshu » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:09 am UTC

San Fran Sam wrote:Wow. 33 replies and not a single other reboot.

Okay, I'll start.....

Green Lantern reboot he uses a laser pointer to distract criminals until the police arrive. and he uses rechargeable batteries.


A burglar comes into the house of Shadow Lass. When he tries to attack her, she cleverly switches off the lamp. The burglar stumbles over the carpet and knocks himself out.
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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby eviloatmeal » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:49 am UTC

shokoshu wrote:A burglar comes into the house of Shadow Lass. When he tries to attack her, she cleverly switches off the lamp. The burglar stumbles over the carpet and knocks himself out.
(Fair Warning: Don't make me do a Vampirella reboot.)

Watchmen remake were even Dr. Manhattan is just a crazy old coot, running around the streets wearing nothing but a thin layer of blue body paint.
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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby peregrine_crow » Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:06 pm UTC

A reboot of Etymology-Man were he is just a guy that knows a lot about words... nevermind.
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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby pkcommando » Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:43 pm UTC

peregrine_crow wrote:A reboot of Etymology-Man were he is just a guy that knows a lot about words... nevermind.

How about a reboot of Sagan-Man that's just episodes of the original Cosmos w/ a blue cartoon cape digitally added to Carl Sagan?

Actually, that wouldn't be half bad.

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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby mathmannix » Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:38 pm UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:Wait, is moon an SI unit?


No, I believe it's a faux-Native American unit of time measurement. One megamoon is approximately 80.85 millennia.
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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:21 pm UTC

I thought this was Moon Unit:

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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby Lazy Tommy » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:32 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:If you ask me, the mistake was using a Greek word that simply meant "great" to mean "one million". Maybe the SI's authors should have looked a bit harder for the ancient Greek version of "humongous" in the first place. But then, maybe that's what "exa" or "peta" means.


Actually, after mega, giga, and tera (from the Greek for large, giant, and monster, respectively), their creativity ran out, and/or they decided to name the next few prefixes a bit more systematically. Peta, exa, zetta, and yotta, are derived from the Greek pente and hexa, Latin septem, and Latin or Greek (either works) okto/octo -- meaning, five, six, seven, and eight, respectively, and corresponding to the multipliers 10005, 10006, 10007, and 10008.

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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:54 pm UTC

The negative exponents are named in an even more peculiar manner. Milli- comes from Latin mille meaning "thousand," micro- comes from Greek mikros meaning "small," and nano- comes from Greek nanos meaning "dwarf." Pico- however comes from the Spanish pico meaning "bit," which I find strange. Then femto- comes from the Danish femten meaning "fifteen" (as in 10-15), atto- comes from the Danish atten meaning "eighteen," zepto- comes form the Latin septem meaning "seven" (similar to zetta-), and yocto- comes from the Latin octo meaning "eight" (similar to yotta-).

There isn't really any consistency, but since these are supposed to be words in their own right, I guess it doesn't matter.

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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby mathmannix » Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:10 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:I thought this was Moon Unit:

[img]


Are you in Moon Unit Alpha, or Moon Unit Zappa?
I hear velociraptor tastes like chicken.

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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:50 pm UTC

Can someone explain why images sometimes mysteriously disappear from this forum?

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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby phlip » Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:11 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:Can someone explain why images sometimes mysteriously disappear from this forum?

Because the site you grabbed the image from doesn't allow it to be viewed hotlinked from other websites.

It probably worked for you the first time because you had it cached, but to anyone who doesn't have it cached, all they get from the server is an error message.

Code: Select all

enum ಠ_ಠ {°□°╰=1, °Д°╰, ಠ益ಠ╰};
void ┻━┻︵​╰(ಠ_ಠ ⚠) {exit((int)⚠);}
[he/him/his]

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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:09 am UTC

I see. mathmannix seemed to get the joke though.

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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby orthogon » Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:07 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:I see. mathmannix seemed to get the joke though.

Well, you don't need to see the picture to get the joke: Moon Unit is well enough known as the name of Zappa's daughter, so I kind of assumed that the picture was of her (and that my phone was misbehaving). (Also, you can copy the URL and open it in another tab.)
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby Crissa » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:07 pm UTC

But compared to the population deviation, isn't a 'supermoon' being 5% larger than the average moon more outstanding than for a human to be 5%? 5% taller than the average is like 3" but heights vary much more than that; but moon size doesn't vary as much so 5% is more notable?

We'd have to compare the curves or something.

-Crissa

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Re: 1394: Superm*n

Postby azule » Sat Jul 19, 2014 4:05 am UTC

I found this comic to be very funny. No offense, but others aren't always funny.

So, do we need an intermediate word that means less than super but more than normal? I know of mega- and ultra- and the like.
Image

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