Search found 31 matches

by wayne
Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:03 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1893: "Thread"
Replies: 34
Views: 9047

Re: 1893: "Thread"

It's from an Anne McCaffrey book https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pern The threads fell from space, and would begin eating anything they landed on. If allowed to spread, they would devastate large areas. The only way they had to fight it was to ride dragons to burn them as they fell, hopefully before r...
by wayne
Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:06 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1816: "Mispronunciation"
Replies: 155
Views: 31202

Re: 1816: "Mispronunciation"

Quick reference: If it's a noun, it's usually stressed on the first syllable. If it's a verb, it's stressed on the second. (Unless it's a one-syllable noun and its gerund. That would just sound weird.)

Not always reliable, but nothing ever is, with English.
by wayne
Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:34 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1814: "Color Pattern"
Replies: 62
Views: 20301

Re: 1814: "Color Pattern"

A New Zealander man
With tattoos and a tan...

That's a Maori...
by wayne
Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:06 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1744: "Metabolism"
Replies: 28
Views: 7278

Re: 1744: "Metabolism"

Isn't that category "edible, but only once"?


Pretty much anything is only edible once.

Although some people...

... Sorry. Just blew a fuse. Some places my brain just won't allow me to go.
by wayne
Sat Oct 08, 2016 12:43 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1743: "Coffee"
Replies: 77
Views: 16483

Re: 1743: "Coffee"

I've liked coffee and beer since before I could even talk. My father used to drink both (not at the same time; he wasn't that strange) and I suppose that I just wanted to be like him. But I was the only one in any of my primary schools who brought coffee to school in my lunch. (I didn't bring beer. ...
by wayne
Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:28 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"
Replies: 540
Views: 134245

Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

A couple of quick unrelated observations: One, CO2's absorption spectrum overlaps water's by quite a large amount. Considering that there is far more water in the atmosphere than CO2, even a minor fluctuation in overall humidity will have a greater effect than a huge fluctuation in CO2. Note that ar...
by wayne
Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:21 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"
Replies: 540
Views: 134245

Re: 1732: "Earth Temperature Timeline"

Considering that the Earth has a slightly eccentric orbit and a variable axial tilt, what effect do these have on weather and climate? The eccentricity and axial tilt both vary, both by precession and angle, and most of our land mass is in the northern hemisphere. These factors all combine to make w...
by wayne
Sat Jul 23, 2016 10:57 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1708: "Dehydration"
Replies: 109
Views: 17428

Re: 1708: "Dehydration"

At low latitudes, using the minute ticks on a chart can be a reasonably good approximation of distance in (nautical) miles for short flights. At higher latitudes or for longer flights, no so much. (Pre-flight planning by hand, of course, requires either a measuring tool, or finding coordinates and ...
by wayne
Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:11 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1709: "Inflection"
Replies: 32
Views: 6924

Re: 1709: "Inflection"

...while English does "borrow" words from other languages... Borrow? Actually, someone (I forget who) put it well when he said that English doesn't so much "borrow" from other languages as it follows them down dark alleys, knocks them over the head, and rifles through their pock...
by wayne
Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:58 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1708: "Dehydration"
Replies: 109
Views: 17428

Re: 1708: "Dehydration"

Other adjectives can also modify units, like "nautical mile," "troy ounce," and "long ton," with somewhat (or significantly) more obscure and convoluted logic. The logic of a nautical mile is actually much clearer (to me anyway) than the logic of the statute mile. It's...
by wayne
Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:33 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1672: "Women on 20s"
Replies: 218
Views: 39785

Re: 1672: "Women on 20s"

Why not redesign all of the bills? We have traditions of hunting and fishing, so start with this on the one: http://www.offthegridnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/deer-psuDOTedu-400x369.jpg And maybe this on the five? http://www.animalhousecharters.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Sail-Fish-4.png S...
by wayne
Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:36 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0146: "Stop Jupiter"
Replies: 60
Views: 32381

Re: What-If 0146: "Stop Jupiter"

Let's tone the speed down a little from world record service speeds and call it 150mph, and assume the truck's saving fuel by doing 50mph, so the maths get easier and the ball simple has to weigh one third as much as the truck. Actually, energy goes up by the square of the speed. At 1/3 the weight ...
by wayne
Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:59 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0145: "Fire From Moonlight"
Replies: 157
Views: 79116

Re: What-If 0145: "Fire From Moonlight"

the Sun couldn't get rid of all its energy any more, and its nuclear fusion reaction would begin to heat it up. Which would lead to it expanding or probably ending up even hotter. Except that as a star expands, fusion slows and it starts to lose more energy than it produces. If it heats up from its...
by wayne
Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:08 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1605: "DNA"
Replies: 68
Views: 16248

Re: 1605: "DNA"

About half of my comments are written before I ever write a line of code. I usually write what I want to happen, then code around that, and add comments as I go. Some of those comments explain things that I've tried that didn't work, so I remember what not to do if I go back to it later with a brill...
by wayne
Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:52 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"
Replies: 86
Views: 17985

Re: 1582: "Picture a Grassy Field"

(Practice not visualizing, practice not thinking about in detail. Thinking of thoughts without thinking the thoughts (or at least, without being aware of thinking the thoughts), etc.)


Now don't think about an elephant
by wayne
Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:30 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1575: "Footprints"
Replies: 89
Views: 16867

Re: 1575: "Footprints"

I don't really see what makes Footprints a poem, other than the way it's laid out with short lines grouped into "stanzas". Wait. Isn't that what poetry is? That's all poetry appears to be to me. Hmm. I presume we're not talking about poetry that rhymes, or doesn't rhyme but has a regular ...
by wayne
Mon Sep 07, 2015 2:41 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1574: "Trouble for Science"
Replies: 41
Views: 11338

Re: 1574: "Trouble for Science"

Maybe these are all mnemonics?
But for what....?
by wayne
Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:52 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1550: "Episode VII"
Replies: 60
Views: 11421

Re: 1550: "Episode VII"

**twitch**
**twitch**

parsecs

**twitch**

used as a measure of time

**twitch**

like light-years

**twitch**
by wayne
Tue Jul 07, 2015 8:32 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1547: "Solar System Questions"
Replies: 98
Views: 19323

Re: 1547: "Solar System Questions"

We wouldn't be able to use buoyant city-balloons in a hydrogen atmosphere, unless we heated it significantly. Or the bubbles somehow held vacuum instead of gas. (Weird concept, "holding" vacuum...) A helium atmosphere might be able to support a hydrogen balloon, but it would have to be hug...
by wayne
Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:03 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1546: "Tamagotchi Hive"
Replies: 19
Views: 8283

Re: 1546: "Tamagotchi Hive"

neopets.com used to be a good one, back in 2001. (My neopet was created 2 days before Sept. 11)
But as with all good things, it got sold to someone who had more passion for the money than for the concept.
by wayne
Sat Jun 27, 2015 9:27 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1543: "Team Effort"
Replies: 23
Views: 6265

Re: 1543: "Team Effort"

Don't forget that some cells build matrices around them. Bones and connective tissues, for example, will be relatively widely spaced, and they are surrounded by non-living support structures which they build and maintain. Nerve cells are long and thin; some axons can be a meter long.
by wayne
Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:30 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1535: "Words for Pets"
Replies: 40
Views: 13041

Re: 1535: "Words for Pets"

or some tender strokes for throwing the purring switch) All "tender strokes" seem to do with my tabby is deploy the bear-trap protocol. Except that this bear trap doesn't just close on the unfortunate extremity; It also rakes the extremity with razor knives. And pulling out of the trap is...
by wayne
Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:39 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1529: "Bracket"
Replies: 191
Views: 51281

Re: 1529: "Bracket"

I love it too (even when I'm "complaining" about it for the sake of amusement), and tend to use a liberal mix of British and American English in casual conversation. That does make it rather tricky when I need to use exclusively one or the other in formal writing though. I do this, as wel...
by wayne
Mon May 25, 2015 4:00 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1529: "Bracket"
Replies: 191
Views: 51281

Re: 1529: "Bracket"

The winner of the final round is obvious.

Image
by wayne
Fri May 15, 2015 11:52 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1525: “Emojic 8 Ball”
Replies: 125
Views: 29711

Re: 1525: “Emojic 8 Ball”

Wow. This thing is for real!

Image

Image
by wayne
Fri May 15, 2015 11:45 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1525: “Emojic 8 Ball”
Replies: 125
Views: 29711

Re: 1525: “Emojic 8 Ball”

Image

I didn't even get a chance to push the button...
by wayne
Wed May 13, 2015 2:10 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1524: "Dimensions"
Replies: 79
Views: 15055

Re: 1524: "Dimensions"

(Veering off-topic) Several years ago I tried "inventing" a variant on noughts-and-crosses, played in four dimensions. From (hazy) memory it had a 3x3 grid of the usual 3x3 grid, so "lines" could be completed horizontally, vertically or diagonally on a single grid, by using the ...
by wayne
Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:02 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1485: "Friendship"
Replies: 78
Views: 17753

Re: 1485: "Friendship"

XKCD threads are a bit different in that a thread about Hitler will eventually devolve into an argument about operating systems or some such. BTW, this quote is amazing and I guess I was just kind of hoping it'd happen sooner. Sorry about that :oops: Something very similar is quoted in signature of...
by wayne
Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:06 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1485: "Friendship"
Replies: 78
Views: 17753

Re: 1485: "Friendship"

It's a point about politics. ...and thus the thread was lost forever. Well it was fun while it lasted. Have fun exploding with the politics of a completely unrelated subject. I wouldn't worry too much. I've heard it observed that (under normal circumstances) The longer a forum thread is active, no ...
by wayne
Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:22 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1461: "Payloads"
Replies: 64
Views: 18237

Re: 1461: "Payloads"

If we make an elevator from graphene (nanotube) cable, we could use the cable itself for power, couldn't we? It conducts electricity. Parallel cables separated by an insulator to lift building materials, at first, and then eventually, a nice big cable with electromagnetic propulsion, so the lift cap...
by wayne
Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:20 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1201: "Integration by parts"
Replies: 81
Views: 25860

Re: 1201: "Integration by parts"

As a linguist, I flunked out of Calculus in my first year of college, barring me forever from my long-dreamed-of medical career. But linguistics is not all bad. I can conjugate verbs in half a dozen languages faster than I'll ever understand integration, but this formula I will never forget: A ling...

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