Search found 632 matches

by keithl
Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:02 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1539: "Planning"
Replies: 56
Views: 11502

Re: 1539: "Planning"

commodorejohn wrote:
Flumble wrote:For all we know, google and facebook aren't even after world domination.
We don't know that they're not, either.
I googled that, and was assured they are not.
by keithl
Mon May 18, 2015 7:15 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1526: "Placebo Blocker"
Replies: 47
Views: 10157

Re: 1526: "Placebo Blocker"

Two years ago, a friend graduated from medical school. As a graduation gift, I prepared a website for him, sidfx.com. Sidfx is a pharmaceutical far worse than placebo, to be fed to the control group in clinical trials. Compared to Sidfx, any trial drug will have better statistics. Imagine pill dispe...
by keithl
Sat May 09, 2015 12:06 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"
Replies: 89
Views: 40874

Re: What-If 0136: "Spiders vs. the Sun"

I cannot wait until July - my what-if glands will wither and die. So I set up what-if.wikia.com , and seeded it with an incomplete "what-if" of my own, 001-EarthBasketball , inspired by Basketball Earth : What if the Earth was compressed to the size of a basketball? If released suddenly, w...
by keithl
Fri May 08, 2015 7:33 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1522: "Astronomy"
Replies: 31
Views: 6449

Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Neil_Boekend wrote:So that's why the awesome observatories are on mountaintops! Not because astronomers like hiking to work!

The astronomers are just trying to get away from all the idiots who can't figure out what the Beatle's song 'Fool on the Hill" was about.
by keithl
Fri May 08, 2015 7:29 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1522: "Astronomy"
Replies: 31
Views: 6449

Re: 1522: "Astronomy"

Astrobiology, microscopes, and ladders? Nah.
I gave a scanning tunnelling microscope to a squirrel on a flagpole, and it immediately spotted extraterrestrial life. Around a distant star, another flagpole with a squirrel and STM on it.
by keithl
Mon May 04, 2015 4:42 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1520: Degree-Off
Replies: 110
Views: 27163

Re: 1520: Degree-Off

As an engineer I can state that my field is also Neutral ⋅ Civil engineers create the targets. ⋅ Electrical engineers locate the targets. ⋅ Chemical engineers make bombs to destroy the targets. ⋅ Mechanical engineers deliver the bombs to the targets. Also, ci...
by keithl
Mon May 04, 2015 4:22 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1520: Degree-Off
Replies: 110
Views: 27163

Re: 1520: Degree-Off

Most deaths from "biological warfare" occured before biology developed as a science. Columbus initiated the greatest mass extinction of human beings the planet has ever seen, bringing diseases that wiped out hundreds of millions of people across the western hemisphere before 1650 CE. Scie...
by keithl
Mon May 04, 2015 3:52 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1520: Degree-Off
Replies: 110
Views: 27163

Re: 1520: Degree-Off

And how come math isn't up there on the stage? The truths of mathematics are eternal, and will long outlive humanity, and in a sense, perhaps even the universe itself. Biology and physics may have created apocalyptic horrors, but mathematics is immortal . Beat that, chemistry! Math is up on the sta...
by keithl
Mon May 04, 2015 2:27 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1520: Degree-Off
Replies: 110
Views: 27163

Re: 1520: Degree-Off

Most deaths from "biological warfare" occured before biology developed as a science. Columbus initiated the greatest mass extinction of human beings the planet has ever seen, bringing diseases that wiped out hundreds of millions of people across the western hemisphere before 1650 CE. Scien...
by keithl
Mon May 04, 2015 7:11 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1520: Degree-Off
Replies: 110
Views: 27163

Re: 1520: Degree-Off

In principle, they also slew Famine Nah, population follows food supply. The best you can do vs famine is to make the food supply as steady as possible, and that's basically the opposite of what agriculture does. So few words, so many differences from actual fact - at least for the last century. &s...
by keithl
Fri May 01, 2015 6:54 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1519: “Venus”
Replies: 39
Views: 7149

Re: 1519: “Venus”

At least two complicated blackboard or projected images is a lot of work for someone who doesn't care. To help lazy retiring teachers, we must create projectable images for them. But I am too lazy, also. BTW, I also deny there is a "greenhouse effect". There is, however the fact that CO 2 ...
by keithl
Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:06 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1515: "Basketball Earth"
Replies: 48
Views: 10787

Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

Envelope Generator wrote:In the second line: ketchup or mustard? Scientists are divided.
That stepped cylinder shape is a bicycle water bottle. Megan squirted a thin layer of extra water on basketball earth - enough to cover all the continents up to the mountaintops - which show as a few gray pixels around the edges.
by keithl
Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:37 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1515: "Basketball Earth"
Replies: 48
Views: 10787

Re: 1515: "Basketball Earth"

If the earth were the size of a basketball, its gravity would be way too weak to hold onto air, water, or keep the moon in orbit. If it was the size of a basketball and still weighed 5.97x10 24 kg, it would explode like a small supernova (*). If it was the size of a grape (smaller than the 9mm Swart...
by keithl
Fri Apr 10, 2015 2:03 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1510: "Napoleon"
Replies: 28
Views: 9686

Re: 1510: "Napoleon"

In the 1927 silent film "Napoléon vu par Abel Gance", I vaguely recall Napoleon standing on a rock overlooking the crashing surf, and a cue card with "my friend the ocean". So we know his friend the ocean brought Napoleon back from St. Helena and Antarctica; how friendly is vacuum?
by keithl
Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:46 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1509: "Scenery Cheat Sheet"
Replies: 77
Views: 13402

Re: 1509: "Scenery Cheat Sheet"

Just about any setting in the world you could possibly want (NB "just about"), there's somewhere in California that looks like that, which is a big part of why Hollywood is there. Actually, southern California attracted filmmakers evading Thomas Edison's movie cartel in the northeast. Edi...
by keithl
Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:24 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1509: "Scenery Cheat Sheet"
Replies: 77
Views: 13402

Re: 1509: "Scenery Cheat Sheet"

What does "Anything by Mark Twain" have to do with movie backgrounds? So far as we're aware, Mark Twain never made any movies; and we highly doubt that every movie adaptation of his books were all filmed in the same place. Not all of Twain's stories were set on the Mississippi, but many w...
by keithl
Mon Apr 06, 2015 1:35 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0135: "Digging Downward"
Replies: 18
Views: 12891

Re: What-If 135: Digging Downward

I was thinking a something similar a few days ago. Not a foot per second with a shovel, but a machine-made vertical tunnel with strongest-available structural lining and water cooling. I did not know where to find the measured "ambient" temperature profile ... now I do. Rock is a pretty go...
by keithl
Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:53 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0134: "Space Burial"
Replies: 16
Views: 10631

Re: What-If 134: "Space Burial"

I study this stuff because I am designing a new kind of "solid-state" satellite swarm . Lower orbits, not geostationary, but long term stability imposes constraints on orbits and operation. You're cooling space-based computers by radiation? :shock: OK, I mean, you don't have a choice. You...
by keithl
Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:42 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0134: "Space Burial"
Replies: 16
Views: 10631

Re: What-If 134: "Space Burial"

The " are stable " link points to a paper by Freisen/Jackson/Zook/Kessler which talks about geo synchronous orbits (24 hour periods) and not geo stationary orbits (fixed position overhead) like comsats use. I will get the full article the next time I visit a good university library and may...
by keithl
Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:03 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1504: "Opportunity"
Replies: 49
Views: 10822

Re: 1504: "Opportunity"

Pfhorrest wrote:it does raise the question of what all those foundations rest on.

Four elephants on a turtle, of course. Don't they teach kids any cosmology these days?
Image
by keithl
Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:39 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1504: "Opportunity"
Replies: 49
Views: 10822

Re: 1504: "Opportunity"

I had forgotten the Mars connection. The chemtrails are meant to re-form the Earth's atmosphere and surface to allow the Martians to colonize the planet. What few humans survive will be farmed for food or kept as pets and slaves for menial labor. Reality TV is meant to keep us distracted while the ...
by keithl
Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:29 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1504: "Opportunity"
Replies: 49
Views: 10822

Re: 1504: "Opportunity"

NO, didn't you know? The government concocted the sound stage faked landing theory to hide the fact we have a permanent moon-base built by the lizard-men and used to spy on the brain-waves of americans in a secret plot to steal the world's oil. That is why they used the moon laser to ignite Chem-tr...
by keithl
Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:50 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1500: Upside-Down Map
Replies: 128
Views: 21144

Re: 1500: Upside-Down Map

The world will lose most space assets and communication links. Most telescopes, and many tracking dishes, are on equatorial mounts, and the pivots will point the wrong way. It will be difficult to control low inclination satellites from dishes near the poles. Kennedy Space Center is now far to the n...
by keithl
Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:48 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1500: Upside-Down Map
Replies: 128
Views: 21144

Re: 1500: Upside-Down Map

I would ---- HATE ---- to be on Aruba right now ... Aruba has a lot of beaches on the SW side, so to keep the sharks away from the people, they established a "Shark Feed" on the NE side; that is, they dump garbage and chum and stuff there, and the sharks go there when they get hungry. But...
by keithl
Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:20 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1500: Upside-Down Map
Replies: 128
Views: 21144

Re: 1500: Upside-Down Map

If you do not rotate your continents every 100 million years, they wear unevenly, and skid on the mantle during ice ages.
by keithl
Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:04 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1498: "Terry Pratchett"
Replies: 43
Views: 12608

Re: 1498: "Terry Pratchett"

Concerning Alzheimer's Disease - I've read hundreds of medical journal articles about this "disease", which is defined as "dementia followed by amyloid plaques in the autopsied brain". The scare quotes around "disease" means the boundaries of the definition change as ol...
by keithl
Fri Mar 13, 2015 2:28 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1498: "Terry Pratchett"
Replies: 43
Views: 12608

Re: 1498: "Terry Pratchett"

My "problem" with Terry's fiction is that it is too detail-laden and thought-provoking for light reading. If you give the books your full attention, and dive below the surface into the deep thoughts that inform them, you won't have much brain bandwidth remaining for other tasks, like your ...
by keithl
Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:59 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0132: "Hotter than Average"
Replies: 25
Views: 16170

Re: What-If 0132: "Hotter than Average"

The questioner asked about water at the Earth's surface, not in the depths. If the subject was "all water", the vast majority of water is between stars, with an average temperature of approximately 3K (Kelvin, not Celsius). The ocean surface also approximates atmospheric temperature, a lit...
by keithl
Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:19 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1494: “Insurance”
Replies: 81
Views: 15843

Re: 1494: “Insurance”

I presume that baggage areas have security cameras feeding video recorders. If a bag is reported missing, they can review the recordings and get a description of the person who left with it, and presumably look at other recordings (terminal, security checkpoint, dropoff area, parking lot) to find ou...
by keithl
Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:01 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1493: “Meeting”
Replies: 29
Views: 9684

Re: 1493: “Meeting”

IF YOU'RE READING THIS, THE WEB SERVER WAS INSTALLED CORRECTLY. TM is not an actual trademark ... yet. The USPTO filing fee is approximately $300. No, but if you want to see where he got the joke, http://whois.radixregistry.com currently returns: The radixregistry page (and countless others) are wh...
by keithl
Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:48 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1493: “Meeting”
Replies: 29
Views: 9684

Re: 1493: “Meeting”

IF YOU'RE READING THIS, THE WEB SERVER WAS INSTALLED CORRECTLY.TM is not an actual trademark ... yet. The USPTO filing fee is approximately $300.
by keithl
Sat Feb 28, 2015 4:02 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0131: "Microwaves"
Replies: 61
Views: 20864

Re: What-If 0131: "Microwaves"

You're telling me microwave ovens are for food? I thought they were for pranks. In ages past, I would regularly receive CDs from AOL, an early form of spam transmitted through the post office. Besides using the disks to annoy squirrels , they were also good for punishing the parents of brat kids. In...
by keithl
Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:23 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1492: "Dress color"
Replies: 362
Views: 53234

Re: 1492: "Dress color"

What an embarassment. You show up for the Beltane revels, and the woman painted in woad is wearing the same dress you are.
by keithl
Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:38 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1490: "Atoms"
Replies: 92
Views: 17487

Re: 1490: "Atoms"

Andries wrote:There are significant quantities of indium in that cartoon. Tin, also.
Your avatar tickles my europium.
by keithl
Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:32 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0130: "Snow Removal"
Replies: 51
Views: 19665

Re: What-If 0130: "Snow Removal"

Melting seems Energy Expensive. What about MOVING? California is in what Bostonians might call "A Wicked Drought". Would it be more energy efficient to send the Snow or Ice to California? As a bonus, the snow would surely melt on the way there! It's the whole "most efficient way of t...
by keithl
Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:12 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0130: "Snow Removal"
Replies: 51
Views: 19665

Re: What-If 0130: "Snow Removal"

What about a giant fusion reactor in space that emits massive amounts of electromagnetic radiation that will warm not just our planet but the entire planetary system? Here you go: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1a/Solar_power_satellite_sandwich_or_abascus_concept.jpg/617px-S...
by keithl
Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:40 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1488: "Flowcharts"
Replies: 91
Views: 20550

Re: 1488: "Flowcharts"

Non-electronics folk may not notice the diodes are all connected anode to cathode; this ring shorts out (with a 1 to 2 volt voltage drop) all the connections to it. Fortunately, the battery/watertank is connected by only one line, or it would explode. A rectifier bridge would have all the diodes poi...
by keithl
Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:45 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1486: "Vacuum"
Replies: 44
Views: 9404

Re: 1486: "Vacuum"

My escape velocity (according to calctool.org, because I'm lazy) is apparently around 100μm/second. This still seems surprisingly high. That may be high enough to attract nearby pastry, form an accretion disk, and turn you into an oblate spheroid, further increasing your laziness. Good luck with th...
by keithl
Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:48 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1485: "Friendship"
Replies: 78
Views: 15130

Re: 1485: "Friendship"

This comic was a really bad idea. Expect retaliation against the xkcd website by a subset of angry wikipedia fans with equally poor impulse control. My apologies, wikipedians, we are not all vandals here.
by keithl
Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:00 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0128: "Zippo Phone"
Replies: 24
Views: 10957

Re: What-If 0128: "Zippo Phone"

The big problem with batteries is that for some strange reason we recharge them within the device that uses them. This is silly. Imagine a "smart battery changing cradle" - you insert your portable device into it, and a quick motor-driven kachunk-kachunk later, the depleted battery has bee...

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