Search found 3030 matches

by Eebster the Great
Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:04 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Hardest alphabetical spellings
Replies: 7
Views: 1400

Re: Hardest alphabetical spellings

For French, I'm imagining something like keu -> queu -> queue, with the eu representing the same vowel as in bleu, the first u being mandatory after the q, and the final silent e as an FU. The English then probably couldn't resist the excessively French spelling and promptly forgot that they already...
by Eebster the Great
Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:42 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: A dragon confronts the Terasem movement
Replies: 50
Views: 3331

Re: A dragon confronts the Terasem movement

It's efficient except in the sense that everybody dies, which is arguably inefficient.
by Eebster the Great
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:41 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: a simple disproof of the abc conjecture
Replies: 10
Views: 714

Re: a simple disproof of the abc conjecture

The quality is log(c)/log(rad(abc)) = log(9 n )/log(rad(9 2n -9 n )). The denominator might feel like it ought to approach log(rad(9 2n -9 n +¼)) = log(rad((9 n -½) 2 )) = log(rad(9 n -½)), but that's not really how the rad function works, and also, I think this isn't quite going where you wanted an...
by Eebster the Great
Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:46 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: a simple disproof of the abc conjecture
Replies: 10
Views: 714

Re: a simple disproof of the abc conjecture

I mean, I guess a = 1, b = 9 n -1, and c = 9 n . Then rad(abc) = rad(9 n (9 n -1)) = 3 rad(9 n -1) ≥ 6. The last inequality holds because 9 n -1 is divisible by 8 = 2 3 . Of course, if n > 1, it must have other prime factors as well, since 9 n -1 is never a power of 2 unless n = 1, and since none of...
by Eebster the Great
Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:35 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: a simple disproof of the abc conjecture
Replies: 10
Views: 714

Re: a simple disproof of the abc conjecture

I don't know, but I'll give some background in case you or someone else looking at the thread wants it. He is referencing the "abc conjecture," an open problem in number theory. The conjecture deals with the radical function rad(n), which returns the product of distinct prime factors of n....
by Eebster the Great
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:09 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Hardest alphabetical spellings
Replies: 7
Views: 1400

Re: Hardest alphabetical spellings

French for sure has a ton of words whose spelling is not at all obvious, which is why they have Dictées . But even just in that direction (spelling a word from hearing alone), I'm not sure French is really as bad as English. I'm not sure a French spelling bee in the same tradition as the English spe...
by Eebster the Great
Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:28 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: A dragon confronts the Terasem movement
Replies: 50
Views: 3331

Re: A dragon confronts the Terasem movement

Even with no technological progress at all, storage capacity should increase at least linearly with physical resources (and energy production), given the high degree of automation and near-instantaneous transport. Since the galaxy is very large, even if there are millions of civilizations in the sec...
by Eebster the Great
Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:26 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Hardest alphabetical spellings
Replies: 7
Views: 1400

Hardest alphabetical spellings

The hardest languages to write are sometimes considered to be those with logographic writing systems, especially Japanese. But among languages with alphabets, which ones have the most irregular or confusing spellings for native speakers? English is an obvious contender, but what else sits next to it?
by Eebster the Great
Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:05 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: A dragon confronts the Terasem movement
Replies: 50
Views: 3331

Re: A dragon confronts the Terasem movement

Also, given the potentially unconstrained growth of the Federation's resources, it seems like over the centuries the show spans, people should eventually have made plenty of memory storage. The size of a person doesn't increase, but the amount of stuff the Federation can have built over time could i...
by Eebster the Great
Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:59 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!
Replies: 5
Views: 565

Re: Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!

I had always heard the -ah vowel, but I had never connected it to the word "brah" until recently.
by Eebster the Great
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:30 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2039: "Begging the Question"
Replies: 145
Views: 7883

Re: 2039: "Begging the Question"

The AHD never struck me as prescriptivist, but then the one I had growing up was probably a later edition (likely late 80s or early 90s). There was a lengthy explanation in the front matter about how at least in the case of pronunciations, no complete list was possible, and the first pronunciation l...
by Eebster the Great
Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:11 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2039: "Begging the Question"
Replies: 145
Views: 7883

Re: 2039: "Begging the Question"

Dictionaries are not rulebooks; they just document actual usage. But of course it is true that formal English is much more restrictive than informal English, and a construction that makes sense in conversation might be inappropriate or even incomprehensible in a formal context.
by Eebster the Great
Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:30 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!
Replies: 5
Views: 565

Re: Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!

I'm aware, but the actual expression, as I understand it, was just "Ob-la-di, ob-la-da."

That said, maybe they were just fitting the rhyme.
by Eebster the Great
Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:22 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!
Replies: 5
Views: 565

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!

I heard this song again recently, and it struck me that I had always associated the pronunciation "brah" with fraternities in American universities, or more generally, with other male-dominated American cultures like surfing. It's hard to find references to this pronunciation existing in E...
by Eebster the Great
Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:52 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Laser recoil, relativistic momentum and whether mass counts
Replies: 4
Views: 592

Re: Laser recoil, relativistic momentum and whether mass counts

F = dpdt still works, right? One out of three laws isn't so bad, Newton. (Of course, the F = ma form does not hold.)
by Eebster the Great
Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:45 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2039: "Begging the Question"
Replies: 145
Views: 7883

Re: 2039: "Begging the Question"

"Assuming the consequent" is a formal fallacy. It is a syllogism of the form "If A then B, B, therefore A" or "All A are B, P is B, therefore P is A." That's not what's going on in the informal fallacy of begging the question. When begging the question, you make an argu...
by Eebster the Great
Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:22 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2042: "Rolle's Theorem"
Replies: 86
Views: 5480

Re: 2042: "Rolle's Theorem"

I don't know much about painting or modern art and I've never seen the painting in person, but when I look at high quality scans of "Orange, Red, Yellow," I don't get it at all. I guess my strongest reaction is that it looks uncomfortable, basically just ugly, and it makes me want to look ...
by Eebster the Great
Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:18 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2039: "Begging the Question"
Replies: 145
Views: 7883

Re: 2039: "Begging the Question"

Yeah the article is a mess, and it isn't clear to me why it needs to be set apart from the article on the genetic fallacy, but it is clear to me that the "etymological fallacy" as described is definitely a genetic fallacy. What a word means to a population of speakers is a matter of fact, ...
by Eebster the Great
Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:10 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Half full or half empty?
Replies: 41
Views: 1853

Re: Half full or half empty?

Black holes contain the maximum mass per surface area, but that doesn't mean they are in any sense "full". They divide spacetime into two noninteracting parts, but they still have a density that varies with their radius; it's not like at some scale everything is just filled to the brim and...
by Eebster the Great
Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:44 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Half full or half empty?
Replies: 41
Views: 1853

Re: Half full or half empty?

The claim that atomic matter is "mostly empty space" always perplexed me. In what sense is it "mostly empty"? If we look at the 95% confidence for electron density, most of atomic matter actually is filled, at least in a majority of states, though clearly not all. In this electro...
by Eebster the Great
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:45 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2042: "Rolle's Theorem"
Replies: 86
Views: 5480

Re: 2042: "Rolle's Theorem"

A far more egregious example of this is DeMorgan's Laws. Not only are these obvious, they are trivial to prove and have been known forever. It's like naming the exponent property (ab)c = abc "Eebster's Law."
by Eebster the Great
Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:28 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: A brief diversion for astronomers
Replies: 6
Views: 805

Re: A brief diversion for astronomers

Interesting that it has both French and Latin. It looks very well crafted for the time, which I would guess is 18th century. I don't know what it is about Andromeda, but somehow her line drawing looks French to me too.
by Eebster the Great
Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:33 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2039: "Begging the Question"
Replies: 145
Views: 7883

Re: 2039: "Begging the Question"

The Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition offers a decent definition of "nausea" (actually its second definition): 2. a nursing diagnosis accepted by the North American Nursi For medical contexts, sure. Colloquial contexts are di...
by Eebster the Great
Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:23 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2039: "Begging the Question"
Replies: 145
Views: 7883

Re: 2039: "Begging the Question"

In the context of a class on informal logic, where it makes sense to draw these sorts of distinctions, an argumentum ad hominem is a fallacy that consists of attacking the character of the person making an argument as a justification for rejecting the argument itself. In an election, you aren't voti...
by Eebster the Great
Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:04 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2039: "Begging the Question"
Replies: 145
Views: 7883

Re: 2039: "Begging the Question"

Actually, the obsession with named logical fallacies is way more troubling than any particular linguistic pet peeve. I see some arguments online consist solely of trying to name the fallacies used by the opponent and suggesting they "look it up."
by Eebster the Great
Sun Sep 02, 2018 8:38 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2039: "Begging the Question"
Replies: 145
Views: 7883

Re: 2039: "Begging the Question"

The Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition offers a decent definition of "nausea" (actually its second definition): 2. a nursing diagnosis accepted by the North American Nursing Diagnosis Association, defined as an unpleasant, wave...
by Eebster the Great
Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:37 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2039: "Begging the Question"
Replies: 145
Views: 7883

Re: 2039: "Begging the Question"

Pedants are bringing a storm of trifling up onus.
by Eebster the Great
Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:00 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2039: "Begging the Question"
Replies: 145
Views: 7883

Re: 2039: "Begging the Question"

It's the English everyone in the universe speaks, of course.
by Eebster the Great
Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:11 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2039: "Begging the Question"
Replies: 145
Views: 7883

Re: 2039: "Begging the Question"

I would also like to know when Corporate Buzzwordish and Ebonics collided. Using "ask" as a synonym for "request": "My ask is that you reach out to the customer by Friday." That's not Ebonics. I've never heard someone in the inner city use "ask" as a noun, an...
by Eebster the Great
Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:36 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2039: "Begging the Question"
Replies: 145
Views: 7883

Re: 2039: "Begging the Question"

I don't think there is (or necessarily needs to be) any single word that can, regardless of any circumstance, express that you are being serious and precise. It is the tone that makes speech sarcastic, ironic, hyperbolic, figurative, or whatever, not just the words used. I can sort of understand the...
by Eebster the Great
Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:30 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: "Generalized" polygons?
Replies: 10
Views: 688

Re: "Generalized" polygons?

They describe exactly how the generalization works. You just take the general formula for n-gonal numbers and plug in negative values. For instance, the very first link is called "Generalized pentagonal numbers: m*(3*m-1)/2, m=0, +-1, +-2, +-3, .... ."
by Eebster the Great
Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:28 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Favorite home experiments
Replies: 585
Views: 442109

Re: Favorite home experiments

All acid-base reactions are going to be exothermic, so there's nothing special about acetic acid and magnesium hydroxide.
by Eebster the Great
Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:42 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2039: "Begging the Question"
Replies: 145
Views: 7883

Re: 2039: "Begging the Question"

Has it never occurred to anyone that the reason people object to incorrect usages is because it doesn't correctly communicate the intended message? It's not so much that it hasn't occurred to me as that it is very obviously not the case. Sure, all of the examples that you're probably thinking of ri...
by Eebster the Great
Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:20 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2039: "Begging the Question"
Replies: 145
Views: 7883

Re: 2039: "Begging the Question"

Languages are inherently not static. If people understand the way a term is used, if it correctly communicates the intended message, then it is being used correctly. Obviously there is value in explaining misused or misunderstood words, but if it's an actual, clear usage that everyone understands, t...
by Eebster the Great
Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:03 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Miscellaneous language questions
Replies: 570
Views: 84640

Re: Miscellaneous language questions

To me, "cook" sounds nothing like "kook" or "cuck." "Kook" has the same vowel as "food" (/u/), "cook" has the same vowel as "foot" (/ʊ/), and "cuck" has the same vowel as "truck" (/ʌ/). I've never heard anyone ...
by Eebster the Great
Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:36 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Miscellaneous language questions
Replies: 570
Views: 84640

Re: Miscellaneous language questions

"Pa" and "Paw" are not homophones for me. "Paw" rhymes with "saw," while "pa" rhymes with "ma," "ha," and "la."
by Eebster the Great
Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:56 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2037: "Supreme Court Bracket
Replies: 15
Views: 2192

2037: "Supreme Court Bracket

https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/supreme_court_bracket.png Title: My bracket was busted in the first round; I had Massachusetts v. Connecticut in the final, probably in a case over who gets to annex Rhode Island. I know the comic is just fun, but does anyone else feel like politics always gets this way...
by Eebster the Great
Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:57 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Science fleeting thoughts
Replies: 91
Views: 16118

Re: Science fleeting thoughts

Well 2*arctan(1/120) = arctan(1/60) = 1/60, to within about a microradian, or 0.2 seconds of arc. Good enough for me.
by Eebster the Great
Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:06 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Consequences of climate change
Replies: 80
Views: 13070

Re: Consequences of climate change

To be fair, it is certainly true that science reporting is overall pretty bad, and I don't think climate reporting is exempt from that. I just don't think that Gore is somehow especially bad, and in my experience, climate science reporting from left-leaning sources is often better than reporting on ...
by Eebster the Great
Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:02 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Science fleeting thoughts
Replies: 91
Views: 16118

Re: Science fleeting thoughts

A 50 cm bullseye at 20 m subtends an angle of about 0.025 rad (thank you, small angle approximation), so if the stone is moving at 4.25 rotations per second = 26.7 rad/s, that gives you about a 0.94 ms release window. Since you obviously don't get the bullseye every time, your actual timing is not q...

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