Search found 310 matches

by Aiwendil
Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:27 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Could string theory and linguistics be related?
Replies: 6
Views: 3668

Re: Could string theory and linguistics be related?

Cows cannot speak English. Cow also do not know string theory. There may be a connection.


You know, I think you're on to something here - another example of beings who neither speak English nor know string theory comes readily to mind: string theorists.
by Aiwendil
Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:09 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable
Replies: 166
Views: 43432

Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

I don't know, things like 'ten items or less' really do sound wrong to me on a fairly basic level, in a way that those other baselessly proscribed constructions don't. Now, it's quite possible that this is because the 'rule' has been so well drilled into my head that I've thoroughly assimilated it. ...
by Aiwendil
Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:47 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Net linear momentum from rotating bodies
Replies: 14
Views: 2321

Re: Net linear momentum from rotating bodies

The picture is not very clear, and I could be completely wrong in my interpretation, but what I think AvatarIII is trying to communicate is two hypothetical scenarios: A. The larger disc rotates clockwise while the smaller disc (in which the mass is embedded) rotates counterclockwise. In this case, ...
by Aiwendil
Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:28 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable
Replies: 166
Views: 43432

Re: Grammatical errors you think should be acceptable

I'll admit that I'm fairly uptight about a lot of grammatical things. The less/fewer thing, for example, is one that bothers me a bit. On the other hand, while I tend to say 'That's he' and 'It is I', as grammatical 'errors' go, I find the failure to use the predicate nominative pretty innocuous. (T...
by Aiwendil
Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:09 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Conditional Probability Question
Replies: 16
Views: 4075

Re: Conditional Probability Question

So you need to find P(Happy). Try expressing P(Happy) in terms of P(Happy | Dinner) and P(Happy | No Dinner).
by Aiwendil
Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:56 am UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: xkcd's favourite 100 books - vote now!
Replies: 226
Views: 179848

Re: xkcd's favourite 100 books - vote now!

Updated. 1 Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series ( Douglas Adams) -- 37 2 The Lord of the Rings ( J.R.R. Tolkien ) -- 24 3 Ender's Game ( Orson Scott Card ) -– 22 4 1984 ( George Orwell ) -- 21 5 Harry Potter ( series; J.K. Rowling ) –- 19 6 Discworl...
by Aiwendil
Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:21 am UTC
Forum: Music
Topic: POST YOUR MUSIC HERE and actually Listen too! (Rules in OP)
Replies: 396
Views: 167060

Re: Post YOUR music here (Merged : The Rainbow Correction)

Edit: Sorry, failed to follow rules. Carry on.
by Aiwendil
Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:55 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Entertaining Yourself in Your Head
Replies: 77
Views: 12481

Re: Entertaining Yourself in Your Head

I imagine I'm being interviewed about my life and my non-existent accomplishments and come up with answers to questions. I realize it makes me seem very pretentious and egotistical, but that's just what I do. Huh, I do this too. I guess both of us are pretentious and egotistical. Sometimes I also p...
by Aiwendil
Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:12 pm UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: Ye olde booke thread. e.
Replies: 31
Views: 8187

Re: Ye olde booke thread. e.

If we're counting works read in translation, then, other than parts of the Bible, the oldest things I've read would be the Iliad and the Odyssey . I've read a bunch of Plato, Artistotle, etc. for school, but after Homer, I suppose the next oldest thing I read for pleasure was the Aeneid , then Beowu...
by Aiwendil
Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:20 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Idea: Meaning In Music website. (Now up!)
Replies: 12
Views: 2343

Re: Idea: Meaning In Music website. (Now up!)

This is a really neat idea. As a (very amateur) composer, I rather like the idea of trying to write some very short pieces to represent various specific meanings. I'll see if I can come up with any contributions.
by Aiwendil
Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:18 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: KA's Q&A. This week: What exactly is a "dimension?"
Replies: 99
Views: 15529

Re: KA's Q&A. This week: E = mc^2 where m = 0?

Well, my main problem was that E=mc^2 says that energy and mass are equivalent. My thinking was that, something with energy should thus have some sort of "effective mass," even if - like a photon - it has no literal mass. Is this way of looking at it valid? Can we say in some way that lig...
by Aiwendil
Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:41 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: KA's Q&A. This week: What exactly is a "dimension?"
Replies: 99
Views: 15529

Re: KA's Q&A. This week: E = mc^2 where m = 0?

To explicate what Qaanol said, the energy of a photon, which, as yurell points out, is the same as the photon's momentum times the speed of light, is also equal to the frequency of the photon, f, times Planck's constant. That is, E = pc = hf. So a photon of blue light (f ~ 600 THz), for example, has...
by Aiwendil
Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:26 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Wait, WHY don't heavier objects fall faster?
Replies: 76
Views: 14996

Re: Wait, WHY don't heavier objects fall faster?

But wouldn't you isolate F=mA by changing it to (1/m)F = A? Not (1/m)F = (1/m)A? I think you misinterpreted something - what you say is exactly what D.B. did. To review: - From Newton's law of motion, we have F = ma. (This tells you how an object moves when a force F is applied to it). - We can re-...
by Aiwendil
Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:08 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Examples of *good* hard science fiction?
Replies: 13
Views: 5639

Re: Examples of *good* hard science fiction?

Some of Asimov's non-series stuff is fairly 'hard' and very good. The Gods Themselves does involve multiple universes, but they are treated in a far, far more credible way than you'll find most anywhere else. Nemesis is similarly what you might describe as kind of hard, with a few slightly softer sp...
by Aiwendil
Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:01 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Show the world your desktop! [Mommy, what's 56K?]
Replies: 2356
Views: 435453

Re: Show the world your desktop! [Mommy, what's 56K?]

Image from Wikimedia Commons. It's an aerial shot of Commonwealth Ave in Boston taken with a tilt-shift lens. I love how it looks like a miniature. You know, if that photograph were panned right about 120 degrees, I could see the building I'm sitting in right now. Which must mean that I'm working i...
by Aiwendil
Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:25 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: A gravity question
Replies: 12
Views: 2500

Re: A gravity question

Wouldn't the gravitational attraction of the two balls exactly cancel out? Yes, in that the net force on the Earth due to the two balls is zero. However, there is a tidal force due to the fact that the parts of the Earth nearest the balls are being attracted every so slightly more than the parts th...
by Aiwendil
Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:03 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Composite Fermions
Replies: 5
Views: 1012

Re: Composite Fermions

With respect to fractional charges -- It's possible simply because they aren't real particles. Well, that rather depends on what one means by "real". When quarks, which have fractional electric charges, were first proposed, most people thought of them as useful fictions for keeping track ...
by Aiwendil
Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:45 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: False cognates within a single language
Replies: 14
Views: 3651

Re: False cognates within a single language

I disbelieve this assertion. On etymonline.com we see weave (as on a loom) derives from proto-Indo-European webh-, as does wave (move back and forth) in which entry the base webh- is listed as meaning “to move to and fro” and followed by “see weave”. The OED also gives IE webh- as the source of the...
by Aiwendil
Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:01 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: False cognates within a single language
Replies: 14
Views: 3651

Re: False cognates within a single language

Weave (to fashion a fabric on a loom) and weave (to move from side to side) are unrelated. In fact, the latter is a weak verb, and ought to be conjugated weaved in the past tense, while the former of course has past tense wove and past participle woven . Island and isle are unrelated, although the ...
by Aiwendil
Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:22 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Stupid Math/Physics word problem, need help
Replies: 14
Views: 2905

Re: Stupid Math/Physics word problem, need help

While everyone posting is going about it the right way, I would just choose v = 0 and a = 0....


But that's not a solution.
by Aiwendil
Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:09 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Which Hilbert space in QM?
Replies: 7
Views: 1385

Re: Which Hilbert space in QM?

By [imath]\phi(x)[/imath] you mean the position operator? In that case, |x> is an eigenstate of the [imath]\phi[/imath] for all x, so [imath]\phi(x)[/imath]|x> is just a number. The integral is just an ordinary integral over all space in R3. But maybe I've misunderstood the question.
by Aiwendil
Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:44 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Energy Question
Replies: 8
Views: 948

Re: Energy Question

by potential force I mean the force generated by applying all the potential energy an object contains. That's not a well-defined quantity; there is no such thing as "potential force". Apart from that, I'm still not sure I quite understand your question. Why would you expect potential ener...
by Aiwendil
Tue May 31, 2011 12:50 am UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: xkcd's favourite 100 books - vote now!
Replies: 226
Views: 179848

Re: xkcd's favourite 100 books - vote now!

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell. (also a lot of others, but I went for one I haven't seen here). It does actually have one vote already (from me, I think), but yeah, it definitely deserves more. Updated list: 1 Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series ( Douglas Adams) -- 31 2 The Lord ...
by Aiwendil
Tue May 31, 2011 12:31 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Kinda dumb cosmic expansion question
Replies: 11
Views: 1992

Re: Kinda dumb cosmic expansion question

QFT


But GR is a classical field theory!
by Aiwendil
Sat May 28, 2011 2:04 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: An experiment, if you don't mind.
Replies: 28
Views: 5845

Re: An experiment, if you don't mind.

Done.
by Aiwendil
Fri May 27, 2011 4:18 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Reading test for 6 year olds to include non-words
Replies: 49
Views: 8780

Re: Reading test for 6 year olds to include non-words

Not that I intend to defend the whole word approach to teaching, but to be fair, I think its proponents would say that they do intend children to learn how to sound out unfamiliar words, but they want to achieve that by letting them intuitively develop an understanding of letter-sound correspondence...
by Aiwendil
Fri May 27, 2011 12:56 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Could time be measured in meters?
Replies: 83
Views: 11396

Re: Could time be measured in meters?

And we can say distance and time are the same because of space-time being a thing. I think there is some metaphysical baggage in that statement, but maybe I'm reading too much into it. But leaving that aside - space-time may be a thing, but space and time are still different from one another. Measu...
by Aiwendil
Thu May 26, 2011 6:34 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Could time be measured in meters?
Replies: 83
Views: 11396

Re: Could time be measured in meters?

Of course, if you set c, G, and h-bar all equal to one, then everything has the same units. (Well, everything except conserved quantities that arise from symmetry laws, like charge, or lepton number, etc.)
by Aiwendil
Thu May 26, 2011 3:18 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Could time be measured in meters?
Replies: 83
Views: 11396

Re: Could time be measured in meters?

There are books out there on general relativity (and other topics mind you) that use a different naming and notation convention than in typical introductory textbooks on physics. I have a very hard time believing that any physics textbook would treat distance and time in the same units using any co...
by Aiwendil
Thu May 26, 2011 1:54 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: A statistics question about propagation of random errors
Replies: 10
Views: 2513

Re: A statistics question about propagation of random errors

Not really. It's very common for the SD across multiple experiments to be noticeably larger than the SD within a single experiment. There are lots of relevant variables that might be essentially constant during the course of replicate measurements in a single experiment, but vary significantly from...
by Aiwendil
Wed May 25, 2011 10:25 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: A statistics question about propagation of random errors
Replies: 10
Views: 2513

Re: A statistics question about propagation of random errors

I calculate P and the standard error of P for each trial I do according to my original question. This gives me a bunch of Ps and P-errors that I would like to combine. So I take the average P and then... what do I do with the errors? Presumably, the standard deviation of your results for P should b...
by Aiwendil
Wed May 25, 2011 7:02 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Reading test for 6 year olds to include non-words
Replies: 49
Views: 8780

Re: Reading test for 6 year olds to include non-words

Obviously initially some phonics needs to be used, otherwise all children would be stuck with only the words hop, on, pop, spot, see, Jane, run, etc. The thing is, this is unfortunately not obvious to everyone designing curricula. I was taught phonics, but a few years after me the school embraced '...
by Aiwendil
Tue May 24, 2011 8:30 pm UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: xkcd's favourite 100 books - vote now!
Replies: 226
Views: 179848

Re: xkcd's favourite 100 books - vote now!

Updated. 1 Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series ( Douglas Adams) -- 31 2 The Lord of the Rings (J.R.R. Tolkien) -- 20 Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card) – 20 3 1984 (George Orwell) -- 16 Discworld ( Terry Prachet ) -- 16 Harry Potter series ( J.K. ...
by Aiwendil
Tue May 24, 2011 7:30 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Reading test for 6 year olds to include non-words
Replies: 49
Views: 8780

Re: Reading test for 6 year olds to include non-words

E.g. the rules predict everything about bachelor except the loss of the middle vowel.


Huh, the middle vowel of 'bachelor' is not dropped in my pronunciation, and the OED appears to agree with me (/ˈbætʃələ(r)/). Or by 'loss' does he mean 'reduction' (i.e. to a schwa)?
by Aiwendil
Mon May 23, 2011 3:59 pm UTC
Forum: School
Topic: Standing for the flag + clubs
Replies: 46
Views: 6898

Re: Standing for the flag + clubs

A citizen is one who receives all the various rights and privileges given to him by his national and state government in exchange for his loyalty to them. With no disrespect intended toward your eighth grade teacher, what makes this and only this the valid definition of citizen? This actually strik...
by Aiwendil
Mon May 23, 2011 3:29 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: There is/are a lot of --- A grammatical conundrum
Replies: 12
Views: 6664

Re: There is/are a lot of --- A grammatical conundrum

And yet most speakers would still say "a bunch of people are" and "two bunches of people are", meaning that the verb doesn't depend on how many bunches there are, but on how many people. But I'd be willing to bet that while in the former case the speaker is using the plural verb...
by Aiwendil
Mon May 23, 2011 2:49 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0902: "Darmok and Jalad"
Replies: 125
Views: 35320

Re: 0902: "Darmok and Jalad"

Because it's cheaper to have the actors read one set of lines in English (or the dub language of your region). Yeah, I think everyone knows that. But the fact that there's a real world, pragmatic production reason for something surely doesn't make it off-limits to consider the logic of that thing, ...
by Aiwendil
Sun May 22, 2011 1:16 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Reading test for 6 year olds to include non-words
Replies: 49
Views: 8780

Re: Reading test for 6 year olds to include non-words

If you write the rule so as to capture "appreciation", "appreciate" and "alopecia", you end up with a rule that is only there for "precious". That's a bit of a joke of a rule, isn't it? Good point. I made up that rule and just kind of assumed it works in most...
by Aiwendil
Fri May 20, 2011 10:05 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Reading test for 6 year olds to include non-words
Replies: 49
Views: 8780

Re: Reading test for 6 year olds to include non-words

Long and short E, actually. That's what I meant - don't know why I typed 'i'. Thanks. For instance, people pronouncing precious with /i/ for the <e>. Interesting - I haven't noticed this kind of mistake being particularly prevalent among non-native speakers, but again, my experience is limited. Whe...
by Aiwendil
Fri May 20, 2011 6:11 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Reading test for 6 year olds to include non-words
Replies: 49
Views: 8780

Re: Reading test for 6 year olds to include non-words

I haven't read that page in full, but just from glancing at it, doesn't he count /i/ ~ /ɛ/ as a pair of short and long vowels, not /i/ ~ /e/? The former are the conventional English "short" and "long" i sounds, whereas /e/ is the "long a " sound of English (well, plus o...

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