0260: "The Glass Necklace"

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In reality...

Postby spacedman » Fri May 11, 2007 11:50 am UTC

what would actually happen is that lightning would hit the balloon while the guy was still holding it, and the final frame would be the girlfriend being presented with a small urn. And a saving on crematorium fees.
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Postby Patashu » Fri May 11, 2007 11:50 am UTC

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It's only +1, it doesn't matter what it goes to.
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Postby Toeofdoom » Fri May 11, 2007 11:57 am UTC

^^which is why he set up the balloon before the storm >.> watch the weather segment obviously.

I want to see another "Life imitates XKCD" blog about this!
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Postby Iluvatar » Fri May 11, 2007 12:34 pm UTC

I would think that a more practical way of doing this would be to wire the glass around a segment of high-tension wire, then snip the bypassed area of the wire, causing a massive, lightning-bolt-like transfer of electricity (and possible killing the power to a couple of counties).

As with all such suggestion, I encourage you to A - not actually try it and B - take pictures if you do.

Also, I seem to recall seeing something like this in some romantic comedy once; the guy put ~10ft tall metal polls in the ground out in the desert. It being so flat, the lightning would strike them and make cool patterns in the glass at the glass at the ground point of the polls.
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Postby darmago » Fri May 11, 2007 12:43 pm UTC

for all you lazy yet richer-than-I XKCD readers out there. Fulgurite necklace, only 155USD.

I personally am adding this idea to my list of things I should do at some point.

I can totally imagine having a fulgurite farm, in where you have hundreds of these set up, and sell them.
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Postby tkeller » Fri May 11, 2007 12:55 pm UTC

Love it. The sand has to come from the right beach though. Gotta go buy a plane ticket, brb...
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Postby bookishbunny » Fri May 11, 2007 1:19 pm UTC

Iluvatar wrote:Also, I seem to recall seeing something like this in some romantic comedy once; the guy put ~10ft tall metal polls in the ground out in the desert. It being so flat, the lightning would strike them and make cool patterns in the glass at the glass at the ground point of the polls.


That would be "Sweet Home Alabama", starring the adorable Reece Witherspoon.
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Postby Tractor » Fri May 11, 2007 1:19 pm UTC

Hrm, there's a thunderstorm outside right now....

Dammit, I'm at work. I don't think they'd approve of me wandering off to make necklaces.
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Postby bb_vb » Fri May 11, 2007 1:37 pm UTC

To cut right to the technical details, what would be the best material to make the sand canister out of? It would have to withstand the strike, and also minimise sticking to the glass I guess.

Also, reckon you could add something to the sand to produce a colour tint?

PS: Obviously, I found this comic rather inspiring ;)
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Postby Spaz Funbag » Fri May 11, 2007 1:41 pm UTC

Wow.

I just consider this comic cool. Like, the idea.

Well, and then obvoiously the last panel ;-)
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Postby space_raptor » Fri May 11, 2007 2:37 pm UTC

AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

This comic is about romance sometimes! Man, I hope my girlfriend never sees this comic.
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Postby entropomorphic » Fri May 11, 2007 2:46 pm UTC

This comic leads to an interesting question... what other materials would make fulgurite-like formations?

Obviously, in the wild, lightning is by far the most likely to hit silica (sand) than any other fusible particulate. But with artificial construction, other materials could be used. Iron or copper filings? Clay? Carbon? A lightning bolt (~500 megajoules) theoretically has enough energy to melt 50 kg of carbon (atomic mass 12, 120 kJ/mol heat of fusion as graphite) if you could dissipate the entire bolt's energy into the target(you can't). Would diamond form under the right conditions? I don't really know, I'm a wikipedist with a calculator, not a geologist, so I guess this is where I get off.

Incidentally, this would probably not work with all sand, including from tropical beaches, which are usually calcite (limestone, coral, or seashell) instead of silica. Calcium carbonate has a lower melting point than silica, but I don't think it would fuse solid like sand would.
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Postby oria » Fri May 11, 2007 2:51 pm UTC

Arancaytar wrote:This is one of those situations by which you can recognize your girlfriend as a geek (hopefully). :D


I once grew a salt crystal for someone's birthday...but she wasn't geekish enough to appreciate it properly :(

(this comic urged me to register...after lurkin' around for aeons)
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Postby bookishbunny » Fri May 11, 2007 2:56 pm UTC

oria wrote:
Arancaytar wrote:This is one of those situations by which you can recognize your girlfriend as a geek (hopefully). :D


I once grew a salt crystal for someone's birthday...but she wasn't geekish enough to appreciate it properly :(


So, no sex, huh?
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Postby oria » Fri May 11, 2007 3:03 pm UTC

bookishbunny wrote:
oria wrote:
Arancaytar wrote:This is one of those situations by which you can recognize your girlfriend as a geek (hopefully). :D


I once grew a salt crystal for someone's birthday...but she wasn't geekish enough to appreciate it properly :(


So, no sex, huh?


You homo? I'm not.
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Postby mosc » Fri May 11, 2007 3:06 pm UTC

you guys realize how infeasible any kind of fuse is to stop a bolt of lightning? I do, we use them every day in the power grid. They weight several tons. Also, they don't work immediately, a massive charge would still get through before the circuit was interrupted. Thus we'd have a dead little stick figure.
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Postby bookishbunny » Fri May 11, 2007 3:09 pm UTC

oria wrote:
bookishbunny wrote:
oria wrote:
Arancaytar wrote:This is one of those situations by which you can recognize your girlfriend as a geek (hopefully). :D


I once grew a salt crystal for someone's birthday...but she wasn't geekish enough to appreciate it properly :(


So, no sex, huh?


You homo? I'm not.


Je n'understand pas. Was the salt crystal not a gift born of romantic affection?

I don't know if you are a boy or a girl, but I don't like to assume one's gender or sexual orientation.
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Postby Belial » Fri May 11, 2007 3:10 pm UTC

you guys realize how infeasible any kind of fuse is to stop a bolt of lightning? I do, we use them every day in the power grid. They weight several tons. Also, they don't work immediately, a massive charge would still get through before the circuit was interrupted. Thus we'd have a dead little stick figure.


You'll note he left it tethered to the ground.
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Postby pfargtl » Fri May 11, 2007 3:11 pm UTC

mosc wrote:you guys realize how infeasible any kind of fuse is to stop a bolt of lightning? I do, we use them every day in the power grid. They weight several tons. Also, they don't work immediately, a massive charge would still get through before the circuit was interrupted. Thus we'd have a dead little stick figure.


You realize that XKCD is whimsical, as are many of us?
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Postby bookishbunny » Fri May 11, 2007 3:14 pm UTC

Oh, oh! My turn!

mosc wrote:you guys realize how infeasible any kind of fuse is to stop a bolt of lightning? I do, we use them every day in the power grid. They weight several tons. Also, they don't work immediately, a massive charge would still get through before the circuit was interrupted. Thus we'd have a dead little stick figure.


You realize that's not the point of the comic.
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Postby ZoFreX » Fri May 11, 2007 3:15 pm UTC

mosc wrote:you guys realize how infeasible any kind of fuse is to stop a bolt of lightning? I do, we use them every day in the power grid. They weight several tons. Also, they don't work immediately, a massive charge would still get through before the circuit was interrupted. Thus we'd have a dead little stick figure.

It took me a second read to get it, but it means fuse as in the sand is being fused into glass, not fuse as in stops horrible electric death.
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Postby oria » Fri May 11, 2007 3:15 pm UTC

bookishbunny wrote:Was the salt crystal not a gift born of romantic affection?


Nope. Should have made it clearer, though :)
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Postby voodooKobra » Fri May 11, 2007 3:19 pm UTC

Patashu wrote:
Gelsamel wrote:Hit sucks, I want Atk.


It's only +1, it doesn't matter what it goes to.

I am so putting the +1 in Charisma. No more "social outcast" for THIS geek!
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Postby wes » Fri May 11, 2007 3:25 pm UTC

bookishbunny wrote:
Iluvatar wrote:Also, I seem to recall seeing something like this in some romantic comedy once; the guy put ~10ft tall metal polls in the ground out in the desert. It being so flat, the lightning would strike them and make cool patterns in the glass at the glass at the ground point of the polls.


That would be "Sweet Home Alabama", starring the adorable Reece Witherspoon.


I was going to mention that movie as well, and then the song, and then link to Sweet Home Tarn Vedra.
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Postby Tractor » Fri May 11, 2007 3:37 pm UTC

entropomorphic wrote: I'm a wikipedist with a calculator, not a geologist, so I guess this is where I get off.


That is one of the funniest/best things I've heard all day.
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Postby Iluvatar » Fri May 11, 2007 3:54 pm UTC

you guys realize how infeasible any kind of fuse is to stop a bolt of lightning? I do, we use them every day in the power grid. They weight several tons. Also, they don't work immediately, a massive charge would still get through before the circuit was interrupted. Thus we'd have a dead little stick figure.
I would advise you to look closer at the comic. It shows that the stick figure man tied the balloon string to a stake, rather than hold it himself.

Edit: Bugger, I totally forgot that this window had been open for an hour or so. Looks like this was already responded to.
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Postby bookishbunny » Fri May 11, 2007 3:59 pm UTC

Iluvatar wrote:
you guys realize how infeasible any kind of fuse is to stop a bolt of lightning? I do, we use them every day in the power grid. They weight several tons. Also, they don't work immediately, a massive charge would still get through before the circuit was interrupted. Thus we'd have a dead little stick figure.
I would advise you to look closer at the comic. It shows that the stick figure man tied the balloon string to a stake, rather than hold it himself.

Edit: Bugger, I totally forgot that this window had been open for an hour or so. Looks like this was already responded to.


And yet it's still fun to point it out to the techie-smart guy! :lol: (just ribbing you, techie-smart guy.)
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Postby suso » Fri May 11, 2007 3:59 pm UTC

I showed this comic to my wife and asked her if she wanted one of those for her next birthday.

She simply said "It is almost like installing Gentoo" I love her so much. :-D
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Postby LE4dGOLEM » Fri May 11, 2007 4:12 pm UTC

suso wrote:She simply said "It is almost like installing Gentoo" I love her so much. :-D


That.. doesn't quite answer the question... some people aren't too fond of gentoo...
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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Fri May 11, 2007 4:14 pm UTC

My wife just said to make sure that it was cooled off before I gave it to her.
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Postby Hammer » Fri May 11, 2007 4:46 pm UTC

lyworm wrote:
Introitus wrote:I'd love to see someone do this IRL.

And for the life of me, I can't help but think, "Awwwww" when I see the outcome.


Me too. I'm melting :P


Me three. Very romantic...
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Postby Sprocket » Fri May 11, 2007 5:44 pm UTC

Any girl who would turn up her nose at this doesn't deserve cuddlies.

I'm just wondering what material the tube must be made out of that the glass doesn't melt to/fuse with it.

You think he got it appraised to see if it was "real" fulgurite?
Or was the jewler just putting it into a setting for him?
Or was Randall trying to make something a bit more precious? (and I use the term classically, it's very precious either way ;-)
Also, I thought fulgurite was extreemly fragile (I thought that's what the peice in the Boston science museum suggested)...not something you could wear around your neck, so I'm betting it's more just "cool melted glass thingy"

Should I feel lame calling him Randall? Is that like back in 1996 when everyone would talk about going to see "Dave" as if they were Dave Matthews very close friend, and the two of them were going to play bongos in his living room and drink hot cocoa?
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Postby Hammer » Fri May 11, 2007 6:40 pm UTC

CatProximity wrote:Should I feel lame calling him Randall? Is that like back in 1996 when everyone would talk about going to see "Dave" as if they were Dave Matthews very close friend, and the two of them were going to play bongos in his living room and drink hot cocoa?


You didn't get to have cocoa with Dave?
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Postby PatrickRsGhost » Fri May 11, 2007 6:55 pm UTC

Hammer wrote:
CatProximity wrote:Should I feel lame calling him Randall? Is that like back in 1996 when everyone would talk about going to see "Dave" as if they were Dave Matthews very close friend, and the two of them were going to play bongos in his living room and drink hot cocoa?


You didn't get to have cocoa with Dave?


Yeah...Dave didn't invite you to his house for cocoa, Oreos, and a jam session? Dang. I thought everyone got the invite.

Anyhoo...

I think it's a sweet gesture. A little dangerous, but still.

I know coal can change into diamond when under enough heat and pressure. I wonder....

As far as what the jeweler was doing, he was probably looking at the fulgurite and its container to see whether or not he could set it, and what would be best to set it in so it will stay put. A lot of jewelers get requests to mount or set some of the oddest things, and they have to determine the best way to set it. I took a Sacajawea dollar coin into one of those el cheapo jewelers at the mall one time, and the thing broke within 2 months. I had it set so I could use it as a keychain, and the chain loop for it got bent and broken from being in my pocketses for two or three months. I finally unscrewed the frame and popped the coin out, and tossed it into my piggy bank.
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Postby Sprocket » Fri May 11, 2007 7:55 pm UTC

Hammer wrote:
CatProximity wrote:Should I feel lame calling him Randall? Is that like back in 1996 when everyone would talk about going to see "Dave" as if they were Dave Matthews very close friend, and the two of them were going to play bongos in his living room and drink hot cocoa?


You didn't get to have cocoa with Dave?


LOL

No...he rejected me for my cuter and more marajuana friendly peers! WAAAAAHHH! WHY didn't I do drugs GOD WHY! :wink:

PatrickRsGhost wrote:
Hammer wrote:
CatProximity wrote:Should I feel lame calling him Randall? Is that like back in 1996 when everyone would talk about going to see "Dave" as if they were Dave Matthews very close friend, and the two of them were going to play bongos in his living room and drink hot cocoa?


You didn't get to have cocoa with Dave?


Yeah...Dave didn't invite you to his house for cocoa, Oreos, and a jam session? Dang. I thought everyone got the invite.


MAN! No wonder I have self eseteem issues...and still do. Am I the only one who didn't get cocoa!?

Well, I've got it now, and it's organic and EVERYTHING, I can even make in with SOY milk if I want. But I've opted for SKIM at this precise moment. Take that, Matthews! (just kiddin' Dave, ha, we're still cool, right man...right?)
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Postby Belial » Fri May 11, 2007 9:12 pm UTC

catproximity wrote:Should I feel lame calling him Randall? Is that like back in 1996 when everyone would talk about going to see "Dave" as if they were Dave Matthews very close friend, and the two of them were going to play bongos in his living room and drink hot cocoa?


These bloody forums have me calling him Randall now....normally, I call him Randy.
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Postby Hammer » Fri May 11, 2007 10:33 pm UTC

CatProximity wrote:Should I feel lame calling him Randall?


Anyway, what would you call him that was somehow less lame?
Mr. Munroe, sir?
Randmeister?
"The Artist"?
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Postby lukkucairi » Fri May 11, 2007 10:50 pm UTC

Minerva wrote:Natural Fulgerite, of course, is extremely rare, so i can understand why you might want to make it yourself. But Trinitite isn't as rare, it's far more interesting, and prettier, too.


hehe...

"why dear, what a nice festering lesion that radioactive necklace I gave you is creating on your pretty collarbone!"

I'm not bothered enough to actually look this up, but I'd have to say that logically even though fulgurite is pretty damn rare, trinitite has to be technically rarer, since it has only been formed a few times and requires a nuclear explosion to do so.

fulgurite just needs a lucky lightning strike, and we've been having those for about 4 billion years :)

edit: apparently the term "trinitite" can only properly be used to describe fused glass from the trinity site. so in fact it's only been made the one time.
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Postby Phob0s » Sat May 12, 2007 12:06 am UTC

What would be great is if someone could figure out a way to mass produce obsidian. Although it really isn't necessary, because the stuff is so abundant, I still think it would be neat to make a pane of glass out of lava.
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Postby ikefalcon » Sat May 12, 2007 1:01 am UTC

Once again, I find my similarity to Randall striking. I've never done anything quite that elaborate, but I have definetly done some elaborate things for the love of a woman.

I've always said: Men are capable of incredible things when they are in pursuit of a woman's heart.
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