Search found 113 matches

by Vroomfundel
Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:07 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0050: "Extreme Boating"
Replies: 110
Views: 29084

Re: What-If 0050: "Extreme Boating"

Why all this negativity towards liquid nitrogen - after all, it's being used to treat skin diseases! On a second thought, it might be because 'treat' is used in its broader meaning and is actually closer to 'burn the shit out of' So yeah, it's contact with the skin is definitely unpleasant - ask my ...
by Vroomfundel
Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:21 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0050: "Extreme Boating"
Replies: 110
Views: 29084

Re: What-If 0050: "Extreme Boating"

I just saw that there is an entirely different Thread for What-Ifs. Is there a way for a Moderator to join them, or would other people just keep making What-Ifs in the Individual thread? If by other people you mean me, who happenened to create them the last two times, then no - I won't be creating ...
by Vroomfundel
Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:23 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0050: "Extreme Boating"
Replies: 110
Views: 29084

Re: What-If 0050: "Extreme Boating"

As I said in the wrong subforum, why not row a boat on gas?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PJTq2xQiQ0
by Vroomfundel
Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:17 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0050: "Extreme Boating"
Replies: 110
Views: 29084

Re: What-If 0050: "Extreme Boating"

Haha, I've been wondering for a while why no one posts it for so long :-) lat time, AFAIR, no one pointed this out
by Vroomfundel
Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:59 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0050: "Extreme Boating"
Replies: 110
Views: 29084

What-If 0050: "Extreme Boating"

What would it be like to navigate a rowboat through a lake of mercury? What about bromine? Liquid gallium? Liquid tungsten? Liquid nitrogen? Liquid helium?

Image

And what about gas?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PJTq2xQiQ0
by Vroomfundel
Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:09 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0049: "Sunless Earth"
Replies: 69
Views: 23011

Re: What-If 0049: "Sunless Earth"

Agreed, the upsides are funny but there is ample room for speculation on ways humanity can survive, at least for a while - geothermal vents, nuclear-heated domed cities, fast-track research into nuclear fusion, ultra-intensive prayer...
by Vroomfundel
Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:03 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0049: "Sunless Earth"
Replies: 69
Views: 23011

What-If 0049: "Sunless Earth"

What would happen to the Earth if the Sun suddenly switched off?

Image

Apart from the doom of humanity, some pretty good things too, as it turns out
by Vroomfundel
Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:30 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0043: "Train Loop"
Replies: 38
Views: 12634

What-If 0043: "Train Loop"

Could a high-speed train run through a vertical loop, like a rollercoaster, with the passengers staying comfortable? http://what-if.xkcd.com/imgs/a/43/train_loop_comparison.png Good thing the makers of the first rollercoaster hadn't read this - would have been a shame if they got dissuaded!
by Vroomfundel
Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:30 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0042: "Longest Sunset"
Replies: 48
Views: 15964

Re: What-If 0042: "Longest Sunset"

Those pictures of Svalbard are awesome! I love google for actually shipping a streetview car all the way over there. They actually have google streetview bikes for remote regions and off the road - http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/wiltshire/hi/people_and_places/newsid_8399000/8399655.stm It could well h...
by Vroomfundel
Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:15 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0042: "Longest Sunset"
Replies: 48
Views: 15964

Re: What-If 0042: "Longest Sunset"

Quite a fun one this week. Too bad you're too busy driving to appreciate the sunset. Well, you can treat your girlfriend to a nice long sunset while you drive ;-) Additionally, you can do something like "honey, how about you blow me for just the duration of the sunset". I'm pretty sure sh...
by Vroomfundel
Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:23 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1201: "Integration by parts"
Replies: 81
Views: 24763

Re: 1201: "Integration by parts"

... That log of the cube root of e equals 1/3 is closer to linguistics than to mathematics. It plops directly from the semantical meaning of the words. :-D well said, sir, well said For me personally, I don't know if it was a good or bad fortune that I was never fully exposed to integrals - I studi...
by Vroomfundel
Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:36 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1197: "All Adobe Updates"
Replies: 86
Views: 24997

Re: "All Adobe Updates"

Steam installing at least DirectX at "first time launch" is due to how DirectX handles version checking. You can not ensure you have the correct version of DirectX unless you attempt to install it. Presumably, the .NET framework works in a similiar way. Offtopic, but no - it doesn't. The ...
by Vroomfundel
Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:45 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1197: "All Adobe Updates"
Replies: 86
Views: 24997

Re: 1197: "All Adobe Updates"

My pet peeve is the Adobe Reader update - it's a bloody PDF reader, why does it need updating so often? It's not like the PDF format changes so much or that it's a major security threat
by Vroomfundel
Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:36 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1196: "Subways"
Replies: 147
Views: 60319

Re: 1196: "Subways"

Is this saying that it is possible to go from NYC to LA entirely by subway? If so, how? If not, what am I not getting? Probably what Randall defines as subway is not what you imagine - I'm not familiar with the north american systems, however Europe's ICE would fit in the definition and it's a high...
by Vroomfundel
Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:24 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1194: "Stratigraphic Record"
Replies: 53
Views: 11716

Re: 1194: "Stratigraphic Record"

I have also heard a theory stipulating that there might have been a separate tree of life before some events extinguished it and a new one emerged after that. Of course records of that have now been lost... Said catastrophic event may have something to do with a speeding Mars-sized object that brief...
by Vroomfundel
Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:33 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0039: "Hockey Puck"
Replies: 36
Views: 17099

Re: What-If 0039: "Hockey Puck"

Indeed, I was also expecting more details on the distance - it makes a big difference. I was imagining the shot to be taken from a close distance, about the same distance from the goal that players shoot. If it's from the far end of the field it will have more time to soften. In any case, I also don...
by Vroomfundel
Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:44 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1189: "Voyager 1"
Replies: 119
Views: 50760

Re: 1189: "Voyager 1"

by Vroomfundel
Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:53 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1189: "Voyager 1"
Replies: 119
Views: 50760

Re: 1189: "Voyager 1"

What I find amazing is that a machine built on a US Federal Government contract with 1970s technology is still functioning after forty-five years of 24/7/365 service with zero maintenance or refueling, and is expected to continue for up to a decade more. It was built for the old NASA, whose startin...
by Vroomfundel
Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:17 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0038: "Voyager"
Replies: 39
Views: 15210

Re: What-If 0038: "Voyager"

I suppose an unmanned Orion could bring Voyager back with relative ease? Depends on the supply of nukes, though the minimum size requirements for an Orion mean you might as well go for it and send out a manned one... Generally, it's not going to be much more efficient, especially considering the pu...
by Vroomfundel
Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:42 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0036: "Cornstarch"
Replies: 36
Views: 16238

Re: What-If 0036: "Cornstarch"

Am I the only one that cringes at the sight of the ruined speaker :-\ I guess there aren't many bassheads around
by Vroomfundel
Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:01 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-if 0034: "Twitter"
Replies: 74
Views: 38655

Re: What-if 0034: Twitter

Ah, ninja'd...

This illustrate how complex language and grammar are and why we still don't have good automated translation although we're capable of calculating all kinds of minute details about the distant parts of the universe
by Vroomfundel
Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:13 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1176: "Those Not Present"
Replies: 139
Views: 25145

Re: 1176: "Those Not Present"

Oh, shit, did I just insult my friends behind their backs :-) are they identifiable enough?
by Vroomfundel
Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:08 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1176: "Those Not Present"
Replies: 139
Views: 25145

Re: 1176: "Those Not Present"

I personally hate gossiping, especially in the workplace, where people would usually gossip about personal details about coworkers, for which there is simply no justification. I once worked at a small company where everyone except one chap was gossiping. We developed a good personal bond and working...
by Vroomfundel
Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:21 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0033: "Ships"
Replies: 43
Views: 13919

Re: What-If 0033: Ships

Must admit that the image title makes me want to ask the question of whether, if one took all the sponges in the sea and loaded them onto ships, the sea-level would rise or sink? It won't change - again, a consequence of the Archimedes principle. Similar rule helps make ship elevators easier - a vo...
by Vroomfundel
Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:46 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1174: "App"
Replies: 56
Views: 16345

Re: 1174: "App"

I have two pet peeves in this area: 1. Apps that are not only incomplete and can't zoom but also don't detect tilting and only present themselves in portrait layout. Especially annoying when you have a phone with slide-out qwerty keyboard that slides to the side - good luck with typing on it with yo...
by Vroomfundel
Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:32 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1170: "Bridge"
Replies: 135
Views: 28116

Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Parents/teachers use the same but opposite (of bridge) argument to get kids to comply and do or try things they want them to do. "Look, your sisters are eating their vegetables." I also discovered at a very young age that using logic to show your parents were wrong OR that they were not b...
by Vroomfundel
Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:05 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0028: "Steak Drop"
Replies: 82
Views: 52155

Re: What-If 28: Steak Drop

Searing the outside so that you don't overdo the center? Apparently in Nathan Myhrvold's world, the outer layers are SUPPOSED to be more heavily cooked than the center. In the world I was raised in, the goal is usually to cook meat as evenly as possible. Yuck. You a Brit or something? You, sir, hav...
by Vroomfundel
Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:49 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1158: "Rubber Sheet"
Replies: 50
Views: 12522

Re: 1158: "Rubber Sheet"

This hypothetical always perplexed me, it's using the our ability to imagine the effects of gravity to describe how masses affect "space-time" to create gravity. so you need an understanding of one to comprehend the other. How would you describe gravity fields to someone that was born, an...
by Vroomfundel
Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:19 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1153: "Proof"
Replies: 64
Views: 18195

Re: 1153: "Proof"

if a particle is moving at the plank speed (c), then one plank time later, it should have moved the plank length, but if the particle is moving at less than c, then how far does it move is one plank time? so if both time and space are quantized in the plank length and the plank time, that to me it ...
by Vroomfundel
Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:15 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0025: "Three Wise Men"
Replies: 90
Views: 28216

Re: What-If 0025: Three Wise Men

All your talk about omnipresence got me thinking: What if God occupies the whole universe. Or even better: What if the universe and god are identical. That would also solve the problem with the omniscience. Of course the universe 'knows' 'everything' (all that ever was or ever will be is embedded i...
by Vroomfundel
Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:35 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0025: "Three Wise Men"
Replies: 90
Views: 28216

Re: What-If 0025: Three Wise Men

In Christian theology God is considered omnipotent, so he would have got it right the first time. Honestly, I don't know why this (not so) small minority of religious people insist on keeping their position so indefensible. I mean, omnipotency leads to so many paradoxes and contradictions, especiall...
by Vroomfundel
Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:07 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0025: "Three Wise Men"
Replies: 90
Views: 28216

Re: What-If 0025: Three Wise Men

Indeed, the life of biblical literalists is not an easy one - surrounded with both tons of ingenious mockery lack this one and also rock-solid scientific evidence, I imagine it takes a lot of effort to either ignore all this completely or to follow some contrived interpretation of the bible that loo...
by Vroomfundel
Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:32 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1142: "Coverage"
Replies: 62
Views: 18013

Re: 1142: "Coverage"

What the hell is a "resonant tunneling diode" ? Look, as much as I hate to do this: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=resonant+tunneling+diode The first thing that pops up is a wikipedia entry that says, "A Resonant-tunneling diode (RTD) is a diode with a resonant-tunneling structure.." So, ...
by Vroomfundel
Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:15 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1142: "Coverage"
Replies: 62
Views: 18013

Re: 1142: "Coverage"

What the hell is a "resonant tunneling diode" ? Look, as much as I hate to do this: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=resonant+tunneling+diode I think in this case it's a bit too condescending - mere googling, even by someone quite knowledgeable in physics, is not enough to explain why a phone based o...
by Vroomfundel
Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:30 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0021: "Machine Gun Jetpack"
Replies: 93
Views: 45942

Re: What-If 0021: Machine Gun Jetpack

The bit that intrigues me is the fact that the GAU-8 mounted on an A-10 produces so much recoil. What I'd like to know is how much this can slow the plane down while it's flying. I'm guessing that the plane already lowers it's speed for a strafing run, but if the gun was fired in a sufficiently lon...
by Vroomfundel
Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:21 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0020: "Diamond"
Replies: 75
Views: 29503

Re: What-If 0020: Diamond

A baseball traveling at 0.9c fuses with air molecules. A 100 foot wide diamond traveling at 0.99c has no bonds and the particles are moving to fast to fuse with air molecules. I honestly don't care enough to research this any further. I'm just saying that they seem to be contradictory. I think he l...
by Vroomfundel
Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:37 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1133: "Up Goer Five"
Replies: 228
Views: 90663

Re: 1133: "Up Goer Five"

I'm surprised "goer" is on the top 1000 words but "sun" and "god" aren't. I say sun and god all the time, but never say goer. I imagine that "go" is on the list, but he judged it was ok to use different word endings as long as people who only had a 1000-word ...
by Vroomfundel
Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:49 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0019: "Tie Vote"
Replies: 57
Views: 27930

Re: What-If 0019: Tie vote

I had some rough idea on how an electoral college tie is handled, including about the ridiculous scenario when the president is combined with his opponent's running mate (as one gets chosen by representatives, the other - by the Senate) (I'm not American - how many internets do I win?) This of cours...
by Vroomfundel
Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:32 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1125: "Objects In Mirror"
Replies: 70
Views: 24875

Re: 1125: "Objects In Mirror"

Well, I didn't get tired of checking - I was actually this close to writing a script to notify me by email when it's done but I felt bad wasting taxpayer money on doing this at work. If only governments were that conscientious! So yeah, the delay in the thread was caused by the delay in the comic - ...
by Vroomfundel
Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:48 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0017: "Green cows"
Replies: 87
Views: 25502

Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Wait, cows use 50 megajoules per day? Don't humans only use, like, 8 or 9 (2000 kcal, and 1 cal = a little more than 4 J)? What do cows do that uses so much more energy than humans? probably digesting all that cellulose, a moot point when they don't need a digestive system any more. ... and produci...

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