Search found 274 matches

by Heimhenge
Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:55 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2115: "Plutonium"
Replies: 34
Views: 7102

Re: 2115: "Plutonium"

Hatless wrote:Had me thinking they were talking about the sun for a moment.


Had me thinking they had renamed RTG, or (more likely) that "power orb" was an inside-NASA slang term for RTG.
by Heimhenge
Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:51 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: What if the second law was breakable?
Replies: 73
Views: 7453

Re: What if the second law was breakable?

Yeah, you can set up a system of particles to evolve into a lower entropy state. So if all possible initial conditions are real, then in some of them, entropy decreases. Like I said, it's a statistical law. But it is difficult to overstate just how unlikely this is, requiring the double exponential...
by Heimhenge
Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:44 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: What if the second law was breakable?
Replies: 73
Views: 7453

Re: What if the second law was breakable?

Well, since you said "make up" I'll feel free to speculate. Although it's true, as ETG notes, that the 2nd Law is purely statistical, that might still leave room for a Maxwell's Demon type device based on as-yet-undiscovered method of atomic manipulation (as opposed to Maxwell's "mech...
by Heimhenge
Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:34 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2114: "Launch Conditions"
Replies: 12
Views: 3962

Re: 2114: "Launch Conditions"

The humidifier will need a place for dry ice or something else for cooling so the humid air will form a fog that hugs the floor, or other "launch" surface. If you use some sort of refrigeration system, you can even dump the excess heat into the water reservoir to make it evaporate more ea...
by Heimhenge
Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:02 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Favorite home experiments
Replies: 590
Views: 476256

Re: Favorite home experiments

I see what you mean, yeah. You're focusing to a "point" and I'm focusing to a "volume". Never calculated a 2D f-ratio before so I had to kinda wing it to even get a number ... probably not meaningful in my case, but I wanted to convey an impression of the extreme aperture / focal...
by Heimhenge
Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:05 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Favorite home experiments
Replies: 590
Views: 476256

Re: Favorite home experiments

Visit your local dollar store and see if they have any cheap vanity mirrors. Drop $5-$20 and you can make yourself a nice solar array. If you use thin wood such as from a carton of oranges, it will burst into flame quite easily. http://imagemodserver.duckdns.org/nick/tempstuff/16-fire.jpg Bonus: dr...
by Heimhenge
Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:53 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2112: "Night Shift"
Replies: 33
Views: 5788

Re: 2112: "Night Shift"

I once gazed south from a cruise ship docking at Anchorage, Alaska, and pondered just how far south from there the Pacific extended before again reaching land. Had to check Google Maps to know for sure, but it was like half the frikkin' circumference of Earth from there to Antarctica. Some 20k km. T...
by Heimhenge
Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:13 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2111: "Opportunity Rover"
Replies: 15
Views: 4325

Re: 2111: "Opportunity Rover"

dtilque wrote:
TimSheahan wrote:Wow, right in the feels.

Next to the classic Spirit of course.

But it was a much more positive feels. That Spirit one should have been titled "How to Make an Engineer Cry".


I am, and it did.
by Heimhenge
Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:19 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2110: "Error Bars"
Replies: 14
Views: 3685

Re: 2110: "Error Bars"

The first thing that comes to mind is that this is a type of fractal, though I don't think Randall implied the error-error would be iterated to infinity. But yeah, it could be convergent either way. Do a search for convergent fractal and you'll find plenty of examples. EDIT: Just noticed the ellipsi...
by Heimhenge
Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:36 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2109: "Invisible Formatting"
Replies: 44
Views: 10015

Re: 2109: "Invisible Formatting"

My most common glitch is not realizing, when I'm trying to select and delete a single word, that a slight movement of the cursor or inadvertent click of the mouse button has selected way more than I intended to delete. Easy enough to Ctrl-Z back, but it's still a pain in the ass.
by Heimhenge
Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:15 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2103: "Midcontinent Rift System"
Replies: 28
Views: 5811

Re: 2103: "Midcontinent Rift System"

Are the Great Lakes the main visible mark of that failed rift? Only indirectly. The lakes are glacial formations. Much of the geology around and under the lakes, especially Superior, comes from the rift formation, and the exact shapes carved out by the glaciers are at least somewhat controlled by t...
by Heimhenge
Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:51 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2101: Technical Analysis
Replies: 31
Views: 6180

Re: 2101: Technical Analysis

I'm no financial analyst, but I really can't see AI discovering useful trends from a single stock's graph. Looking for correlations across multiple markets and indicators ... yeah, there could be something there that would take AI to spot. And I suspect it would find correlations across a spectrum o...
by Heimhenge
Sun Jan 20, 2019 4:38 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2098: "Magnetic Pole"
Replies: 21
Views: 5335

Re: 2098: "Magnetic Pole"

Um ... so what happens to this single crystal permanent magnet when the Earth's magnetic field changes polarity? Does the whole inner core flip over? Does it flip polarity without physically moving? As far as I know the Earth's magnetic field has equal strength in both polarity modes. The (second) ...
by Heimhenge
Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:16 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2099: "Missal of Silos"
Replies: 26
Views: 6524

Re: 2099: "Missal of Silos"

Fuzzy string matching? I knew Google did shit like that from experience, but didn't know programmers had an official name for it. Try a search for "missal silos" (and spell it that way) and watch what comes up. I hadn't heard the term "fuzzy string matching" until this comic. &qu...
by Heimhenge
Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:50 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2098: "Magnetic Pole"
Replies: 21
Views: 5335

Re: 2098: "Magnetic Pole"

Even during a field reversal there might be a residual field from the inner core that gives us some protection. This article a NatGeo speculates that core could be a "permanent magnet" of sorts ... like one giant crystal lattice with all the magnetic domains aligned: https://www.nationalg...
by Heimhenge
Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:07 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2098: "Magnetic Pole"
Replies: 21
Views: 5335

Re: 2098: "Magnetic Pole"

Even during a field reversal there might be a residual field from the inner core that gives us some protection. This article a NatGeo speculates that core could be a "permanent magnet" of sorts ... like one giant crystal lattice with all the magnetic domains aligned: https://www.nationalg...
by Heimhenge
Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:13 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2098: "Magnetic Pole"
Replies: 21
Views: 5335

Re: 2098: "Magnetic Pole"

Even during a field reversal there might be a residual field from the inner core that gives us some protection. This article a NatGeo speculates that core could be a "permanent magnet" of sorts ... like one giant crystal lattice with all the magnetic domains aligned: https://www.nationalge...
by Heimhenge
Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:37 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Stars in background of deep-sky photos are in foreground
Replies: 21
Views: 4592

Re: Stars in background of deep-sky photos are in foreground

Also, given Luna’s slow rotation rate, the primary reason for an equatorial launch/landing site (free discount on delta-v needed to land or launch) is not a significant factor. I get that. But it seems like a polar landing would also be more difficult because of the trajectory change required. Equa...
by Heimhenge
Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:25 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2095: "Marsiforming"
Replies: 31
Views: 6374

Re: 2095: "Marsiforming"

speising wrote:
zjxs wrote:Mixing Martian into English is an even worse idea.


I don't grok that.


Even though I wasn't directly quoted, probably a reference to my earlier suggestion of "Barsoomiforming".
by Heimhenge
Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:29 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Stars in background of deep-sky photos are in foreground
Replies: 21
Views: 4592

Re: Stars in background of deep-sky photos are in foreground

Another "wow" thing that I heard recently was that if you are on the moon, the earth is always in the same place in the sky. It doesnt move. I cant remember where I read this, but since the moon is tidally locked to earth, this makes sense, although it does wobble, so I expect that the ea...
by Heimhenge
Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:27 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Stars in background of deep-sky photos are in foreground
Replies: 21
Views: 4592

Re: Stars in background of deep-sky photos are in foreground

Unlikely distant galaxies would be visible through a beginner's scope. You need 8-10" aperture to even start seeing distant galaxy cores as fuzzy points of light ... and that's only under good seeing conditions. I'd feel safe to say ALL those other points of light are foreground stars. There's ...
by Heimhenge
Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:50 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2095: "Marsiforming"
Replies: 31
Views: 6374

Re: 2095: "Marsiforming"

I believe the correct term would be "barsoomiforming".
by Heimhenge
Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:02 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1335: "Now"
Replies: 131
Views: 62209

Re: 1335: "Now"

Sorry to resurrect such an old thread, but I followed the link to this post in a comment by Flumble in thread 2092 (Consensus New Year) and discovered, as others no doubt have also, that the file https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/now.png is not loading. Getting a "cannot find server" message. B...
by Heimhenge
Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:55 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2091: "Million, Billion, Trillion"
Replies: 31
Views: 6352

Re: 2091: "Million, Billion, Trillion"

Pfhorrest wrote:Do billiards as in thousand-billions have anything to do with the game played with hard balls on a felt-covered table?


Only if you're playing the game with a billiard balls.

https://www.etymonline.com/word/billiards
by Heimhenge
Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:36 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"
Replies: 33
Views: 6743

Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Heck, I'm apprehensive about geese, and mockingbirds. They may not be as big as dinosaurs, but I don't think they realize that. There's a bit in one of the Spider-Man movies where the Lizard says he's an unstoppable foe because reptiles have no natural enemies. Apparently this guy never took a good...
by Heimhenge
Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:34 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2088: "Schwarzschild's Cat"
Replies: 36
Views: 7683

Re: 2088: "Schwarzschild's Cat"

The Cheshire Cat shows very little red shift.
by Heimhenge
Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:19 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2087: "Rocket Launch"
Replies: 14
Views: 4232

Re: 2087: "Rocket Launch"

Tried to follow the dotted line trajectories and saw he had visually "merged" the two on the last loop of the dogfight. That way the ? ? ? winner is indeed indeterminate. Nice artistic touch.
by Heimhenge
Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:56 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2083: "Laptop Issues"
Replies: 27
Views: 6461

Re: 2083: "Laptop Issues"

I has a Fujitsu laptop I needed to keep running while I worked on my desktop. Took a few weeks. When it came time to shut down the laptop I discovered its heat had "bubbled" the laminate surface of my office desk. Wasn't using a wedge or other thermal break. Surface is still flat enough to...
by Heimhenge
Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:38 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2082: "Mercator Projection"
Replies: 29
Views: 6448

Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Is it just me or is "everyone's been brain-washed by Mercator" thing really just the assumption that other people don't know about map projections? I was taught about map projections in primary school, and hasn't everyone looked at a globe at least once? ... When I was growing up we had t...
by Heimhenge
Mon Nov 26, 2018 5:58 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2077: "Heist"
Replies: 40
Views: 7409

Re: 2077: "Heist"

Shit, if he really was "from the building" he should have all the keys he needs. Maybe even a master key. I wouldn't trust him.
by Heimhenge
Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:17 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2075: "Update Your Address"
Replies: 25
Views: 5510

Re: 2075: "Update Your Address"

Well this is probably pretty rare, but as an example of not moving and still having your address change ... We get our mail through a rented post office box in a small, privately-owned USPS licensed establishment that had been renting space in a small strip small. It was either rent a box or go with...
by Heimhenge
Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:29 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"
Replies: 35
Views: 7223

Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

Well this isn't a view from the interior of a tornado, but it does show a view of the interior. Very cool. Probably looks much the same if you're actually inside the thing. Unless the lenses of your eyes are too distended from low pressure.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAJRBc7-yeY
by Heimhenge
Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:04 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"
Replies: 35
Views: 7223

Re: 2072: "Evaluating Tech Things"

I thought that, near the bottom of a tornado, things get drawn IN rather than blown away. Granted there might be some stability issues in the strong wind speed gradient, but I think a suitably massive drone with a good head of speed could punch through. I wonder what it would look like inside?
by Heimhenge
Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:25 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2071: "Indirect Detection"
Replies: 29
Views: 8437

Re: 2071: "Indirect Detection"

Didn't catch it on first read, but now see what he did with shade replacing shadow. Point Munroe.
by Heimhenge
Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:30 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2070: "Trig Identities"
Replies: 18
Views: 5165

Re: 2070: "Trig Identities"

Personally I'm more disturbed by upper indices that aren't exponentiation. Would be okay with Einstein index notation x b a if it was being used to represent the Vandermonde matrix ? Ha! Maybe, although no doubt the dimension with the increasing powers turns out to correspond to the lower index... ...
by Heimhenge
Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:48 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2070: "Trig Identities"
Replies: 18
Views: 5165

Re: 2070: "Trig Identities"

Feynman complains in his book about the trig notation for exactly this reason: i.e. that it looks like multiplication. He invented his own notation for sin (a kind of sigma with a long top bit iirc). Personally I'm more disturbed by upper indices that aren't exponentiation. I've always been a littl...
by Heimhenge
Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:27 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2066: "Ballot Selfies"
Replies: 110
Views: 18791

Re: 2066: "Ballot Selfies"

I always thought Escher missed an opportunity for infinite regression in that work. There should be a drawing of the mirror globe on the sheet of paper. And that drawn globe would show ...
by Heimhenge
Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:32 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2061: "Tectonics Game"
Replies: 69
Views: 15498

Re: 2061: "Tectonics Game"

Reading through this thread makes me feel like I'm in a game of D&D. So many instructions and restrictions for the explorers. I think the one assumption that distinguishes proposed solutions is whether society 10,000 years from now is post-Apocalypse, or an extrapolation from where we are now to...
by Heimhenge
Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:50 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2061: "Tectonics Game"
Replies: 69
Views: 15498

Re: 2061: "Tectonics Game"

.. but in this case, there's an extra layer to that problem. That symbology is primarily directed at deterring people who don't know about nuclear waste, away from it. If the civilization 3000 years from now is perfectly equipped with radiation-shielding gear or robots, they might happily wander in...
by Heimhenge
Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:35 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2060: "Hygrometer"
Replies: 35
Views: 6316

Re: 2060: "Hygrometer"

I have a large collection of nanometers I'd be willing to share. I bet they go off the charts in an elderly home. :) Seriously, though, a micrometer is a thing (for measuring in the micrometre range), so why shouldn't there be a nanometer? (I guess British English is unusual in having distinct spel...

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