Search found 423 matches

by chenille
Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:26 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Why does dry ice sublimate?
Replies: 12
Views: 430

Re: Why does dry ice sublimate?

CO 2 is nonpolar. You are of course right; I was thinking of the individual bonds. A C=O double bond does have some notable polarity to it, as seen in for instance acetone. Maybe not going to be much compared to water, but still a lot more than something like a hydrocarbon, which is what I was thin...
by chenille
Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:00 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Why does dry ice sublimate?
Replies: 12
Views: 430

Re: Why does dry ice sublimate?

As to why CO2 behaves differently in that regard than, say, water, my guess is that the bonds between CO2 molecules are much weaker than those between water molecules (water molecules being neat little magnets that love to stick together and all that), so it takes a lot more pressure to get them to...
by chenille
Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:08 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2059: "Modified Bayes' Theorem"
Replies: 19
Views: 1099

Re: 2059: "Modified Bayes' Theorem"

Now suppose I make the observations one at a time. First, P(H|X1) = P(H)*(1+P(C)*(P(X1|H)/P(X1)-1)) = 0.25*(1+0.5*(1/0.5-1)) = 0.375. Then, P(H|X2) = P(H)*(1+P(C)*(P(X2|H)/P(X2)-1)) = 0.375*(1+0.5*(1/0.5-1)) = 0.5625. Oops! But is it unreasonable that it would be lower? By running separate observat...
by chenille
Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:55 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2051: "Bad Opinions"
Replies: 46
Views: 2468

Re: 2051: "Bad Opinions"

So if scale is the problem, it should for instance it should be possible to simultaneously give good health care to everyone on the west coast of the USA, to everyone on the east coast of the USA, and to everyone living in between. But it is impossible to give good health care to everyone in the who...
by chenille
Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:36 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2051: "Bad Opinions"
Replies: 46
Views: 2468

Re: 2051: "Bad Opinions"

This entire post boils down to "it's OK because the private sector does it worse." If you like, you could rephrase it as "Absurd inefficiency compared to what? Because the private sector doesn't manage better, so maybe some things are just hard." But in truth, I think GlassHouse...
by chenille
Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:09 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2051: "Bad Opinions"
Replies: 46
Views: 2468

Re: 2051: "Bad Opinions"

Maybe just a straw argument, since there was no attempt to shape it like an actual man.
by chenille
Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:23 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Laser recoil, relativistic momentum and whether mass counts
Replies: 4
Views: 584

Re: Laser recoil, relativistic momentum and whether mass counts

E 2 = (m v) 2 c 2 + m 2 c 4 This formula is wrong. It looks like you are supposing p = mv? But that's only the non-relativistic approximation and won't work here. Instead momentum is part of a 4-vector together with energy. An object with mass will have its own reference frame, where it has p = 0 a...
by chenille
Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:30 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2039: "Begging the Question"
Replies: 145
Views: 7794

Re: 2039: "Begging the Question"

ucim wrote:and arguably, "butterfly" (which used to be "flutterby").

Metathesis is nothing new and gave us words like bird, but while people sometimes assume this is an example, Old English butorflēoge doesn't seem to play so well with the idea.
by chenille
Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:15 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2039: "Begging the Question"
Replies: 145
Views: 7794

Re: 2039: "Begging the Question"

If someone promulgated a sarcastic or ironically reversed usage of a term commonly used in health and safety, they'd be rightly pilloried for it, and possibly arrested for endangering others if it somehow caught on. I knew that club shouldn't have had a sick DJ perform. What bothers me is that when...
by chenille
Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:06 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2039: "Begging the Question"
Replies: 145
Views: 7794

Re: 2039: "Begging the Question"

Really? My experience is almost the opposite. Many people, without pretension, casually use "begs the question" for what it sounds like, a question the situation is begging to have asked. Mockery then comes from others trying to show off that they know the prescribed meaning, however inapp...
by chenille
Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:47 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2039: "Begging the Question"
Replies: 145
Views: 7794

Re: 2039: "Begging the Question"

Pfhorrest wrote:E.g. "I could care less", said one clueless moron some ages ago

Sure, "I could care less" was definitely a conceptual error. Because someone being dismissive would never say the opposite of what they really meant. Can you imagine if such a thing became part of language?
by chenille
Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:40 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2035: "Dark Matter Candidates"
Replies: 55
Views: 4660

Re: 2035: "Dark Matter Candidates"

I presume "space cows" because we think terrestrial cows would be unable to survive away from the earth; "bees" without such qualification because we think they may be the same, given our bees' penchant for recognizing galactic royalty. But I wonder about "no-see-ums".
by chenille
Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:50 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2029: "Disaster Movie"
Replies: 21
Views: 2471

Re: 2029: "Disaster Movie"

Speaking of funnel clouds, if you really want a Hollywood disaster movie that is all about rushing to collect data, that was Twister.
by chenille
Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:18 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2028: "Complex Numbers"
Replies: 48
Views: 4964

Re: 2028: "Complex Numbers"

If I'm not mistaken, the multiplication operation means that complex numbers are not vectors. To be a vector space over a field like R, there needs to be a form of scalar multiplication. This definitely applies to the complex numbers; you can multiply by a real number, and it works exactly like R 2...
by chenille
Sat May 26, 2018 5:19 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1998: "GDPR"
Replies: 61
Views: 8199

Re: 1998: "GDPR"

My mind spent half an hour just trying to guess what "GDPR" stood for. And failed. Just in case you are actually interested, it's General Data Protection Regulation, as passed by the EU. Hey, where's those sex scenes we were promised? Just in case you are actually interested, xkcd has at ...
by chenille
Fri May 18, 2018 3:08 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1995: "MC Hammer Age"
Replies: 29
Views: 4720

Re: 1995: MC Hammer Age

What is the title text talking about? Jaden Smith is only 19.
by chenille
Thu May 10, 2018 6:54 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1991: "Research Areas by Size and Countedness"
Replies: 30
Views: 4052

Re: 1991: "Research Areas by Size and Countedness"

No time to read the comments right now, but has anyone pointed out Randall has misspelled and likely misplaced entypology, the study of all things printed (έντυπος)?
by chenille
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:44 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Ester Naming Conventions
Replies: 4
Views: 2156

Re: Ester Naming Conventions

If you make an ester from ethanoic acid and propanol, you get ethyl propanoate. No, that would be from ethanol and propanoic acid, since the -ate is always from the acid just as if you were naming a salt. So your combination would give you propyl ethanoate (or propyl acetate), and likewise propan-2...
by chenille
Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:14 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1980: "Turkish Delight"
Replies: 95
Views: 14898

Re: 1980: "Turkish Delight"

On the other hand, if Turkish delight is the best thing anyone has ever shared with you, maybe your older siblings deserve betrayal.
by chenille
Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:23 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1958: "Self-Driving Issues"
Replies: 147
Views: 21721

Re: 1958: "Self-Driving Issues"

In which case, they'll be isolated enough to not have the opportunity to murder (they may not have started isolated, but they ended that way...) So "self-correcting" in the same sense that the heat-death of the universe would be self-correcting: everything you care about might be gone, bu...
by chenille
Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:34 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1958: "Self-Driving Issues"
Replies: 147
Views: 21721

Re: 1958: "Self-Driving Issues"

Far more lives will be lost to homelessness and starvation as AI serves only its (and the world's) owners, who no longer have any use for anyone else. I'll second that the biggest problems with AI are not likely to be technical, but how it is used in system that doesn't really care about people. As...
by chenille
Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:08 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1955: "Robots"
Replies: 25
Views: 3997

Re: 1955: "Robots"

Seeing someone invent a robot to open doors and assuming we're in mortal peril is definitely overreacting. Seeing someone invent a robot to open doors as part of DARPA...well, you know, this one might be for carrying soldiers' gear, but finding new ways to kill people isn't exactly outside their int...
by chenille
Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:15 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1950: "Chicken Pox and Name Statistics"
Replies: 56
Views: 7037

Re: 1950: "Chicken Pox and Name Statistics"

The original workaround was having constantly replaced teeth. It seems like that only works out when they are all fairly similar, though, and mammals gave that up in favor of having very specialized teeth. The two sets are guessed to be another specialization for nursing; you can imagine what it mig...
by chenille
Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:36 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1950: "Chicken Pox and Name Statistics"
Replies: 56
Views: 7037

Re: 1950: "Chicken Pox and Name Statistics"

Evolution had to find a way to grind up food. The choices were teeth, bony plates (similar to teeth), or gizzards. I think it would be weirder if we had gizzards. But then, you've spent a long time getting used to having teeth. For an alternate perspective you can see how babies feel about them, wh...
by chenille
Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:09 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1935: "2018"
Replies: 66
Views: 8007

Re: 1935: "2018"

I think... teaching basic math would be easier. I would say that is basic math. You know all multiples of 100 are divisible by 4, so to tell if a number is divisible by 4 you just need to check if the number formed by the last two digits is. Brian is only writing out what happens with those. Wait, ...
by chenille
Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:00 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1919: Interstellar Asteroid
Replies: 36
Views: 4420

Re: 1919: Interstellar Asteroid

My guess is a couple of Rama cylinders glued end-to-end.
by chenille
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:55 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1914: "Twitter Verification"
Replies: 61
Views: 9505

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

"Takes Ideas From" != "They're the same" No, they're not. But when the explanation of one belief after another has reason to bring up commonality with Nazis, actually noticing the center of the Venn diagram is not much hyperbole, certainly not the sort that would make " Is ...
by chenille
Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:28 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1914: "Twitter Verification"
Replies: 61
Views: 9505

Re: 1914: "Twitter Verification"

Looking at Jason Kessler's Wikipedia page, I see him described as a white nationalist, an alt-right activist, a prominent organizer of the Unite the Right rally... And following those first three links it says that white nationalism takes "ideas from social Darwinism and Nazism"; that alt...
by chenille
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:24 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1915: "Nightmare Email Feature"
Replies: 20
Views: 3795

Re: 1915: "Nightmare Email Feature"

There is an answer: copy, new message, paste. Let sit what seems a socially appropriate amount of time, as determined by looking anxiously back and forth between your message and the clock and wondering where your life went so horribly wrong.
by chenille
Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:39 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1903: "Bun Trend"
Replies: 24
Views: 3985

Re: 1903: "Bun Trend"

I don't understand. Are we supposing there's no real reason an elected official would need Bun alerts? What happened to "America must never forget"?
by chenille
Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:31 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1870: "Emoji Movie Reviews"
Replies: 53
Views: 8073

Re: 1870: "Emoji Movie Reviews"

Woman = 女 That one makes perfect sense to me. It's just like one of our stick figures, except it has a body, wider at the top. Horse = 馬 Very stylized, but you can see where it came from. The horse is the bottom part, with four legs on the left and the head hanging down on the right. It's carrying ...
by chenille
Fri May 05, 2017 10:37 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1818: "Rayleigh Scattering"
Replies: 99
Views: 22371

Re: 1818: "Rayleigh Scattering"

Peel the photonic crystal layer off a black-pigmented bluejay feather, and paste it on a white feather instead, and the feather appears white. The split blue and orange rays were recombined. For bluejays to "be blue," the black background is required, it absorbs the transmitted orange lig...
by chenille
Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:47 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Smallest animal
Replies: 18
Views: 5931

Re: Smallest animal

At some point the Wikipedia article on Stygotantulus was updated to reference this article about newly discovered species of crustaceans in the Tantulacus genus, with adult Tantulacus dieteri apparently only 85 μm long. That's surprisingly tiny, but the article ( researchgate pdf ) looks like it gi...
by chenille
Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:59 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: So water is blue. Why?
Replies: 10
Views: 3697

Re: So water is blue. Why?

Well, air is special; it's not simply one color like water or an apple, as the same material that makes the daytime sky look blue makes the sunrise look red. The thread for that comic already has lots of discussion on the ways "air is blue" is misleading, which I won't repeat here. What I ...
by chenille
Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:24 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: So water is blue. Why?
Replies: 10
Views: 3697

Re: So water is blue. Why?

Water is blue because that's the color of water. Same as (red) apples are red because that's their color. Yes and no. Yes, water is blue as a material, but it's legitimate to ask why and the answer isn't quite the same as why the flavonoids in apples are red. Lots of substances get their visible ab...
by chenille
Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:02 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1818: "Rayleigh Scattering"
Replies: 99
Views: 22371

Re: 1818: "Rayleigh Scattering"

I think this is the problem. Some people would indeed say that white powder in red light is red, that a CD is commonly silver (shiny grey?) but sometimes other several other colors and in that sense air is blue. But this is exactly where people normally distinguish the colors of particular instance...
by chenille
Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:11 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1818: "Rayleigh Scattering"
Replies: 99
Views: 22371

Re: 1818: "Rayleigh Scattering"

Except that there have been lots of explanations that chlorophyll itself isn't green. A water solution of pure chlorophyll actually has a faint maroonish color, a mixture of the blue and red ends of the visible spectrum. This was mentioned in passing by someone above ... lessee ... It was chenille....
by chenille
Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:11 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1818: "Rayleigh Scattering"
Replies: 99
Views: 22371

Re: 1818: "Rayleigh Scattering"

So, while I sympathize with the point Randall is trying to make, I actually disagree with it. The blue sky isn't just like any other color. Thanks! This is the point I was trying to make, and I think you did more concisely. Rayleigh scattering might often be quoted without much real understanding o...
by chenille
Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:26 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1818: "Rayleigh Scattering"
Replies: 99
Views: 22371

Re: 1818: "Rayleigh Scattering"

often and misleadingly to the exclusion of saying that "air is blue", as if that weren't a true statement Is it a true statement, though? Like I noted, when the sun shines through more atmosphere it doesn't color it blue, it colors it red. It's relatively easy ( e.g. first web hit ) to ma...
by chenille
Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:19 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1818: "Rayleigh Scattering"
Replies: 99
Views: 22371

Re: 1818: "Rayleigh Scattering"

I still don't get the people who don't want anything past "air is blue". The one time we actually go on to say something interesting, that actually tells you a bit about how the world works, and somehow it's no good. ⋅ It feels like answering "why does that car change colors...

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