Search found 79 matches

by jonadab
Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:14 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1145: "Sky Color"
Replies: 211
Views: 69870

Re: 1145: "Sky Color"

Technically, all that stuff about scattering is true, but it completely misses the point, and ignores the fact that a nitrogen atmosphere would not be blue... But why is there a sudden drop at those frequencies? Answer: because oxygen is blue! You are aware, of course, that the atmosphere has almos...
by jonadab
Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:24 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1145: "Sky Color"
Replies: 211
Views: 69870

Re: 1145: "Sky Color"

A related one, it's clear the sun's output peaks in the green, so why isn't the Sun green? Green has a medium wavelength, between yellow and blue, so it gets scattered more than the yellow but less than the blue. If the light that's more scattered is dominant (e.g., when looking at the sky away fro...
by jonadab
Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:46 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1145: "Sky Color"
Replies: 211
Views: 69870

Re: 1145: "Sky Color"

(From the Feynman video): What keeps the train on the track? Well, duh. Engineers. No, I don't mean railroad drivers, I mean railroad _designers_. They specifically engineered both the train and the track in such a way that the train would stay on the track. Specific details vary depending on exactl...
by jonadab
Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:15 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1145: "Sky Color"
Replies: 211
Views: 69870

Re: 1145: "Sky Color"

The sky is blue because of a WWII-era Pepsi advertising campaign. See here: http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.int-fiction/browse_thread/thread/d1d2bbb448ed018e/697f0e3c13d6221?q=why+is+the+sky+blue+den+of+iniquity+pepsi+war+paint#0697f0e3c13d6221 Alternately, the sky on the side away from the ...
by jonadab
Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:22 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1133: "Up Goer Five"
Replies: 228
Views: 92920

Re: 1133: "Up Goer Five"

Liters... what an ugly spelling, litres is much nicer The plural is largely unattested in American English. We just use the singular form. This may be because well more than 99% of all uses of the word are in the phrase "two-liter bottle" or "two-liter bottles", or sometimes thi...
by jonadab
Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:51 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1133: "Up Goer Five"
Replies: 228
Views: 92920

Re: 1133: "Up Goer Five"

Well, then it's top 1000 roots, strictly speaking, not words This isn't always obvious to native English speakers who have not studied other languages (because, English is just about as lightly inflected as any language I can name), but there's a difference between putting standard inflectional end...
by jonadab
Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:20 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1133: "Up Goer Five"
Replies: 228
Views: 92920

Re: 1133: "Up Goer Five"

Oh, and I was quite surprised to discover that the word "moon" isn't in the top thousand words, while "computer" is. "Computer" only surprised me until I thought about it for a minute (almost all of the English-speaking world is developed to the point of having multipl...
by jonadab
Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:28 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1124: "Law of Drama"
Replies: 67
Views: 18705

Re: 1124: "Law of Drama"

I tend to be oblivious to drama. Objectively, I experience all the same events as the people around me, but my perception doesn't always fill me in on the overworked interpretations and baroque implications other people are mentally assigning to those events.
by jonadab
Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:42 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1107: "Sports Cheat Sheet"
Replies: 178
Views: 36538

Re: 1107: "Sports Cheat Sheet"

Totally agree, if someone tries talking sport to me, I tell them I have no idea what they are on about. I've taken to saying, "Sorry, I don't really follow [name of random sport]." I make no attempt to name the same specific sport they were attempting to discuss with me. The way I figure ...
by jonadab
Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:00 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1107: "Sports Cheat Sheet"
Replies: 178
Views: 36538

Re: 1107: "Sports Cheat Sheet"

Living in central Ohio, I have come to the conclusion that it's just always football season, no matter what time of year it is. The three big popular sports here are college football (most important by far), high school football, and professional football. By the time all the sports fans finally sto...
by jonadab
Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:22 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1103: "Nine"
Replies: 138
Views: 33755

Re: 1103: "Nine"

Just one spin of the dial for me regardless of duration, analog for the win! Yes, and I'm amazed everyone in here has buttons. I can't remember when I last saw a microwave with buttons. Even the modern high-tech microwave at my parents' has a dial (with a digital display showing the time). Same her...
by jonadab
Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:05 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1101: "Sketchiness"
Replies: 168
Views: 29609

Re: 1101: "Sketchiness"

I think the thing that makes the sentence creepy is not the word filling the blank


That was my assessment.
by jonadab
Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:37 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1101: "Sketchiness"
Replies: 168
Views: 29609

Re: 1101: "Sketchiness"

"Company", "camp", "commode", "couch", "cradle", "curtain", "cousins". I think at least a quarter of the words in the English language make this sentence creepy.
by jonadab
Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:32 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1101: "Sketchiness"
Replies: 168
Views: 29609

Re: 1101: "Sketchiness"

"Office", "gulag", "closet", "carousel", "dugout", "cellar", "freezer", "pavilion", "site", "hut", "store". This is too easy.
by jonadab
Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:28 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1101: "Sketchiness"
Replies: 168
Views: 29609

Re: 1101: "Sketchiness"

Other words that should not be in this sentence include "chamber", "temple", "gallows", "coffin", "furnace", "mortuary", "crucible", "rack", and "nursery". Actually, come to think of it, there are not terribly ...
by jonadab
Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:10 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1073: "Weekend"
Replies: 53
Views: 17753

Re: 1073: "Weekend"

We theoretically could make every day Saturday, sure, but it is equally true we could eliminate Saturdays altogether in favor of having two Mondays in each week. Sunday, Monday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and back to Sunday. One advantage of this scheme is that many employers woul...
by jonadab
Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:07 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1072: " Seventies"
Replies: 117
Views: 29824

Re: 1072: " Seventies"

The Bell System breakup happened in 1982 not 1972. Best I recall, the breakup wasn't until about 1980 -- or at least that was when phones started being available for sale. In the eighties, you could go to K-mart and buy an inexpensive phone that was neither black nor beige. In the seventies, howeve...
by jonadab
Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:07 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1072: " Seventies"
Replies: 117
Views: 29824

Re: 1072: " Seventies"

Why did the change the shape of the letter depending on where it was? That ſeems needlessly confusing. It is needlessly confusing, Now, sure. Originally, it reduced confusion. but lots of languages do it anyway. Indeed, because... I think it goes back to handwriting ease Handwriting ease didn't bec...
by jonadab
Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:09 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1069: "Alphabet"
Replies: 166
Views: 39410

Re: 1069: "Alphabet"

In what dialect is "dog" pronounced with a diphthong instead of a short 'o' as in "hot"? Roughly speaking, this difference occurs everywhere south and west of about Philadelphia Upon further consideration, I would like to amend my statement. Pretend I said this: Roughly speaking...
by jonadab
Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:00 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1069: "Alphabet"
Replies: 166
Views: 39410

Re: 1069: "Alphabet"

In what dialect is "dog" pronounced with a diphthong instead of a short 'o' as in "hot"? Roughly speaking, this difference occurs everywhere south and west of about Philadelphia and in most non-American dialects (with a couple of notable exceptions). It's slightly more complicat...
by jonadab
Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:13 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1069: "Alphabet"
Replies: 166
Views: 39410

Re: 1069: "Alphabet"

The consonants aren't really the problem. Okay, they could use a little cleanup, but it's not a very big deal. The vowels are where the real problems lie... Vowels are stupid. We should just get consonant/vowel combinations Oh, my word, that would be horrific beyond the bounds of all reason. English...
by jonadab
Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:08 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1067: "Pressures"
Replies: 75
Views: 166420

Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Is this [free energy] stuff true? I can imagine the first thing working maybe, but not the second. It's not entirely made up out of whole cloth, but it's not presented in a way that gives you a realistic idea of its practicality, either. So no, it's not possible to build a single magic tower in you...
by jonadab
Wed May 30, 2012 11:38 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1062: "Budget News"
Replies: 36
Views: 14090

Re: 1062: "Budget News"

Apparently birds have something to do with ... deficits in America. *shrugs* Or perhaps hawks specifically have something to do with politics in general? Neither. However, certain birds of prey are known for their excellent eyesight. From this we get two figures of speech. I'll talk about the other...
by jonadab
Wed May 16, 2012 12:40 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1056: "Felidae"
Replies: 170
Views: 45784

Re: 1056: Felidae

Smilodon is a Latin form? really? Superficially, that one looks like it could be a Greek form (second declension neuter, omicron stem vowel with the -n ending in the nominative singular). However, I don't think it's that simple. There's a larger -odon pattern also seen e.g. in "mastodon" ...
by jonadab
Wed May 16, 2012 12:25 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1056: "Felidae"
Replies: 170
Views: 45784

Re: 1056: Felidae

Well, it's better than Vista. Anything is better than Vista. Based on this statement, I assume you must have been born some time after the release of Windows XP Service Pack 1. Just for example, Windows For Workgroups 3.11 was so horrific, it makes Vista look like LCARS. (On many fora I would feel ...
by jonadab
Fri May 11, 2012 12:20 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1054: "The Bacon"
Replies: 55
Views: 26735

Re: 1054: "The Bacon"

If you have to explain a joke, there is no joke. That's why I like to preemptively bring up the Hutterites in casual conversation, and explain the history behind the movement, who they are, and their general worldview and convictions. That way later people can "get it" when I tell my Jabb...
by jonadab
Mon May 07, 2012 11:20 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”
Replies: 240
Views: 65005

Re: 1052: “Every Major’s Terrible”

Actually, majoring in history does NOT prepare you for a job teaching history. If you want to get a job teaching history (or math, or any other subject), you have to major in education. You only take a couple of classes in the actual subject you're going to teach. Yes, really. All your teachers in j...
by jonadab
Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:56 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1041: "Whites of Their Eyes"
Replies: 68
Views: 20530

Re: 1041: "Whites of Their Eyes"

I could be wrong (I'm not exactly a weapons expert), but I *think* the weapons themselves in the comic are shaped wrong to be flint-lock muskets from the American Revolution era. So yeah, it's probably a (weird) re-enactment group we're seeing here, not the original battle. Also: "Don't fire un...
by jonadab
Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:30 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0919: "Tween Bromance"
Replies: 147
Views: 53070

Re: 0919: "Tween Bromance"

I only have problems with words that are wrong, like irregardless. Irregardless isn't a real word. Unfortunately that isn't what it's taken to mean, being illogically considered synonymous with regardless. I think you're all missing something: the etymology. Irregardless is a type of construction k...
by jonadab
Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:14 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1018: "Good Cop, Dadaist Cop"
Replies: 135
Views: 38247

Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

[quote]I find it ironic. Wikipedia says "In addition to being anti-war, dada was also anti-bourgeois and anarchist in nature." I always find it hard to reconcile anti-war and anarchisim.[/quote] Every anarchist I know is anti-war. You do not understand anarchism. It would be more accurate...
by jonadab
Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:33 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1018: "Good Cop, Dadaist Cop"
Replies: 135
Views: 38247

Re: 1018: Good Cop, Dadaist Cop

DEBATE: Is an impossible-to-translate language even possible? She of course meant "impossible for us to translate". But if you mean "impossible for anyone to translate, including someone who knows the language", then no, it's not strictly possible -- although there are *pairs* o...
by jonadab
Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:48 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1015: "Kerning"
Replies: 163
Views: 67631

Re: 1015: "Kerning"

I'm just taking it as proof that my right hemisphere isn't entirely dormant... (or would this still be more of a left brain activity?) It is certainly possible to do very effective kerning using a purely logical/rote approach with no intuition. (Proof: a computer can be programmed to do it.) Howeve...
by jonadab
Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:43 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1014: "Car Problems"
Replies: 104
Views: 26885

Re: 1014: "Car Problems"

Chromatic aberration doesn't necessarily mean that the camera is crap. It usually means a crap lens. When the camera (and specifically the sensor) is junk, you get a weird mottled effect wherein red, green, and blue are each significantly over-reported in small, adjacent regions of 30-50 pixels (on...
by jonadab
Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:11 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1010: "Etymology-Man"
Replies: 84
Views: 30981

Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

I must say that as members of a linguistic area suffering from a severe case of over-prescriptiveness, we really envy English speakers for their ability to make up words as they go along and call things whatever they like. You can actually do it in any language, provided your main goal is for peopl...
by jonadab
Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:02 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1010: "Etymology-Man"
Replies: 84
Views: 30981

Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Just because it's called a "tidal wave" doesn't mean it's necessarily caused by tides. Spanish moss isn't from Spain. Mangoes aren't exclusively for men. Ruby text doesn't have to be red.
by jonadab
Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:11 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1008: “Suckville”
Replies: 99
Views: 40526

Re: 1008: “Suckville”

Poor Detroit. Always getting a bad reputation, despite having, umm...


The most notable thing about Detroit, to my way of thinking, is that it's the setting for the movie Robocop.

Okay, so it's an imaginary future version of the city and was somewhat cleaned up compared to reality.
by jonadab
Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:45 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1002: "Game AIs"
Replies: 251
Views: 109395

Re: 1002: "Game AIs"

Uh, what, exactly, would stop a future computer from performing at just as well as a human at any of the bottom items? Calvinball is completely impossible, because the primary skill required is creative thought. Most humans are not creative enough to play it well. Calvinball is also a particularly ...
by jonadab
Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:03 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0993: "Brand Awareness"
Replies: 232
Views: 69096

Re: 0993: "Brand Awareness"

Is it possible that there are people in the world so young and so poorly informed that they are not familiar with the standard black-on-white packaging that used to be the decidedly lackluster de facto standard for all generics, before branded and advertised store-chain brands became common? It's on...
by jonadab
Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:47 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0992: "Mnemonics"
Replies: 278
Views: 66300

Re: 0992: "Mnemonics"

What mnemonics do you have in English for pi? See, I have a rhyme, assisting my feeble brain, its tasks ofttimes resisting. There's also one for e: My hamster I exploded by grenades; I exploded it brutally, with anger, willfully. The thing is, almost all of these mnemonics are actually harder to me...
by jonadab
Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:12 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0990: “Plastic Bags”
Replies: 183
Views: 39709

Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

(I hope they also let you do it yourself if you want to avoid stuff like this?) Some stores do have a self-checkout (e.g., Meijer), but it takes about twice as long to check out that way, because you are not the cashier and don't spend forty hours a week running items across a scanner and tucking t...

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