Search found 657 matches

by keithl
Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:47 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-if 0007: "Everybody Out"
Replies: 350
Views: 63472

Re: What-if 0007: Everybody Out

Arguments about Randall, plausibility, etc. Hey folks, we are pretty much on the same team here. We want to go right now. We can't pay for it. Let's not take out our frustrations on each other. Option 1: Get very rich, earn lots of discretionary dollars, create space systems a la Elon Musk or just b...
by keithl
Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:14 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-if 0007: "Everybody Out"
Replies: 350
Views: 63472

Re: What-if 0007: Everybody Out

Wouldn't it make more sense to compare rocket vs launch loops or fountains or even skytrams? Once you get a loop established, correct me if I'm wrong keithl, you just need to counteract the losses incurred due to holding it up/launching payloads, but that is still quite a bit less than what is requ...
by keithl
Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:29 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-if 0007: "Everybody Out"
Replies: 350
Views: 63472

Re: What-if 0007: Everybody Out

My immediate impression is that building a circular ring rail around the Earth that was lower than geosynchronous, AND rotated slower than the Earth itself, would tear the ring apart pretty quickly. Not to mention, I believe, the center of gravity issue, that the ring wouldn't be held up off the su...
by keithl
Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:12 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-if 0007: "Everybody Out"
Replies: 350
Views: 63472

Re: What-if 0007: Everybody Out

I don't know why, but there is a very effective space launch method which is not mentioned in this "what-if". And, IMO, it's easier than nuclear propulsion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Launch_loop I've been found out. Yeah, the guy eating the dessicant packs also wrote articles and paper...
by keithl
Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:48 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-if 0006: "Glass Half Empty"
Replies: 94
Views: 44310

Re: What-if 0006: Glass Half Empty

If the table and the glass bottom have a smooth surface, the glass will NOT lift very much - maybe a few millimeters. Nothing will hit the ceiling, and the observers probably won't be hurt, perhaps dusted by some small fragments. There is very little air between the glass and the table. If the avera...
by keithl
Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:47 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1091: "Curiosity"
Replies: 70
Views: 18918

Re: 1091: "Curiosity"

When the two bots meet up, they'll have been away for years without meeting another soul. Millions of miles from home, under big skies, beholding views nobody has seen before, only each other (i.e. the plutonium battery) for warmth... Maybe they'll make love, not war. (Maybe it's just that I can't ...
by keithl
Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:25 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1091: "Curiosity"
Replies: 70
Views: 18918

Re: 1091: "Curiosity"

A thought: If bacteria (or something like bacteria) were found on Mars (or any planet) that would be taken as proof that simple lifeforms had spontaneously arisen there (or had been sent there from somewhere else they spontaneously arose). Not so for Mars. Gigatons of material have been knocked loo...
by keithl
Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:46 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1091: "Curiosity"
Replies: 70
Views: 18918

Re: 1091: "Curiosity"

I was sure this would be Randall's excuse for being late. And besides, this is going to end badly . Spirit abandoned? No - Curiosity is a nuclear powered autonomous robot armed with a laser and a high speed drill. Curiosity travels at 4 cm/second, or 3.5km per earth day. The two Rovers are 2300km a...
by keithl
Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:57 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1091: "Curiosity"
Replies: 70
Views: 18918

Re: 1091: "Curiosity"

I'm still watching, 1255PDT. I watched the landing coverage on the NASA channel at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry - we had more than 1000 people show up. When JPL mission control was shouting and hugging, we were too. Forgot to bring peanuts to share - next time!
by keithl
Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:39 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0004: "A Mole of Moles"
Replies: 89
Views: 91631

Re: What-If 0004: A Mole of Moles

ISS is shown in the earth-mole-crust scenario. Earth's gravity just increased by 0.76%, so at the same initial orbital velocity, the circular orbit becomes elliptical, with apogee radius staying the same, perigee radius dropping about 100 km, and the atmosphere rising about 80 km. This will increase...
by keithl
Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:51 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1080: "Visual Field"
Replies: 129
Views: 30494

Re: 1080: "Visual Field"

Can't you just put a bit of suitably colored plastic in front of the clock and make it red to prevent the green/blue wakefulness issue? I mean, sure, rewiring it is geeky fun... but a bit excessive. The clock rewiring is for dimness, and yes, a suitable attenuating filter will do that too, but I ha...
by keithl
Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:19 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1080: "Visual Field"
Replies: 129
Views: 30494

Re: 1080: "Visual Field"

brilliant comic, but it still hasn't addressed a strange visual phenomenon that I experience - if you stare at an LED clock, and 'crunch' on something (causing jaw, and i guess one's whole head to move), the glowing numbers 'jump' around independently. does anyone else have this experience? It's pr...
by keithl
Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:50 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1078: "Knights"
Replies: 164
Views: 54589

Re: 1078: "Knights"

... Henry V, the English king, didn't have a queen at that time. ... So, the chessboard is inaccurate, not because the black queen is on white, but because there was no black queen at the time of Agincourt. Henry's future queen, Catherine of Valois, was 13 years old, and the daughter of of the whit...
by keithl
Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:18 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1075: "Warning"
Replies: 112
Views: 30035

Re: 1075: "Warning"

These events are not the usual cycling scenario. Most cyclists are significantly slower, and with more distance in between. Hills. Curbs. The western US contains many of the former, and high downhill speeds can result. I had one "intentional" bike accident when rounding a turn in the moun...
by keithl
Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:00 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1075: "Warning"
Replies: 112
Views: 30035

Re: 1075: "Warning"

... If one of those other reactors explodes nearby, or two neutron stars collide as distant as 1e17 km away, I get fried with gamma rays. Evolution prepared me for that . Makes a 1.5e3 kg vehicle moving at 0.030 km/s seem rather tame. .... Evolution prepared you for nearby novas by persuading you t...
by keithl
Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:14 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1075: "Warning"
Replies: 112
Views: 30035

Re: 1075: "Warning"

I'm perched above a 6e24 kg ball of rock and iron hurtling at 30 km/s around a giant thermonuclear reactor. Which passes through a minefield of 300 billion other reactors while circling a gigantic black hole at 220km/s. No steering wheel or brakes. If for some reason I stop moving for even 1 millise...
by keithl
Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:10 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1074: "Moon Landing"
Replies: 164
Views: 35816

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

Humans will return to the moon, and on to the planets, but they will be preceded by millions of tons of machines, discovering resources and creating a habitable niche from them. Nah. Humans will never move beyond the Earth, except maybe for brief and/or deadly visits. We're too frail. We're not evo...
by keithl
Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:28 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1074: "Moon Landing"
Replies: 164
Views: 35816

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

There's actually a better moon landing conspiracy. One of the most disciplined acts of any of the moon crews was Apollo 10 - Stafford and Cernan orbited the moon in a fully capable LEM that they could have landed - but they left that for Armstrong and Aldrin. So what if they actually did (briefly) l...
by keithl
Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:25 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1074: "Moon Landing"
Replies: 164
Views: 35816

Re: 1074: "Moon Landing"

If we can put men on the moon, why can't we put brains in the landing denier's heads? The original von Braun plan was two dozen astronauts to Mars, huge numbers of launches, and (though he wasn't very good at cost accounting) multi-trillion dollar expenses. As it was, the moon landing probably came ...
by keithl
Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:59 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1070: "Words for Small Sets"
Replies: 238
Views: 49491

Re: 1070: "Words for Small Sets"

A "couple of minutes" on Google suggested "couple" came from the words meaning "Tie", or "Bond", ... Electrical engineers - are there cases where this word does not refer to something connecting two [and only two] objects? Coupling (as in connecting) usually ...
by keithl
Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:04 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1067: "Pressures"
Replies: 75
Views: 166211

Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Ah, yes. The fellow who shared the patent with Leo Szilard for the absorption refrigerator. It operated at constant pressure. Herr Einstein also patented a hearing aid with Rudolf Goldschmidt, as well as a gyrocompass and a camera. I can imagine that would set a high standard for other inventive pa...
by keithl
Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:30 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1067: "Pressures"
Replies: 75
Views: 166211

Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Ah, yes. The fellow who shared the patent with Leo Szilard for the absorption refrigerator. It operated at constant pressure. Herr Einstein also patented a hearing aid with Rudolf Goldschmidt, as well as a gyrocompass and a camera. I can imagine that would set a high standard for other inventive pat...
by keithl
Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:34 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1063: "Kill Hitler"
Replies: 278
Views: 68784

Re: 1063: "Kill Hitler"

This cartoon was amusing, but a waste of a perfectly good time travel paradox. Randall has decent website skills; after first viewing the cartoon, describing a successful mission to assassinate Hitler in 1934, the cartoon should be replaced with another almost identical cartoon with BHG instead goin...
by keithl
Wed May 16, 2012 7:05 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1056: "Felidae"
Replies: 170
Views: 45152

Re: 1056: Felidae

Two words: Genetic Engineering!
by keithl
Wed May 09, 2012 4:18 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1053: “Ten Thousand”
Replies: 127
Views: 40670

Re: 1053: “Ten Thousand”

Today, I will learn dozens of ideas and facts, from observation, calculation, experiment, journal papers, books, friends, and strangers. I will pass on many other ideas and facts to others, through conversation and writing and creating. About 20 times a year, some idea comes along that rocks my worl...
by keithl
Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:29 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1049: "Bookshelf"
Replies: 867
Views: 131078

Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

The great thing about "Atlas Shrugged" is that it is so long. The people who read books looking for excuses to be assholes are delayed by days before inflicting themselves on the rest of us. Even better, many of the Randroids inspired by Atlas Shrugged inflict themselves on other Randroids...
by keithl
Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:00 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1048: "Emotion"
Replies: 252
Views: 57086

Re: 1048: "Emotion"

And in case it would help anyone, my thoughts on baldness during treatments: http://kauthfamily.blogspot.com/2011/09/on-being-bald.html Asimov once had a fellow sci-fi author comment on a short story of his, where one of the characters secretly represented Isaac himself, that he was "making mo...
by keithl
Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:05 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1048: "Emotion"
Replies: 252
Views: 57086

Re: 1048: "Emotion"

On October 10, 2010, my friend Julie Martin died of breast cancer. She started her Pity The Cancer! blog a month after her diagnosis on July 30, 2007, to be continued by her husband Brian after August 2010. Perhaps in 10 or 20 or 50 years, uncured malignancies will be a thing of the past, and blogs ...
by keithl
Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:33 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1047: "Approximations"
Replies: 159
Views: 68257

Re: 1047: "Approximations"

There is a phone number in New Jersey whose digits (including 1 for the area code) are the starting digits of (9!)! , that is, the factorial of (9 factorial) or 362880! . I invented a puzzler for Clive Maxfield ( http://tinyurl.com/6qc44jv ) involving this calculation. There is a brute force way usi...
by keithl
Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:18 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1042: "Never"
Replies: 82
Views: 32376

Re: #1042: "Never"

The stick figure is looking at his own reflection while saying these things. Is this about a paired relationship, or the end of narcissism?
by keithl
Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:28 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1040: "Lakes and Oceans"
Replies: 166
Views: 79701

Re: 1040: "Lakes and Oceans"

As Randall stated in a talk at... some university, the Ballmer peak lies between 0.129 and 0.138% BAC. These are rounded values, the actual peak lies at a BAC of 0.1337%. The unmarked line in today's comic lies at a depth at exactly approximately 1,337m depth. I didn't want to spoil the sur...
by keithl
Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:17 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1040: "Lakes and Oceans"
Replies: 166
Views: 79701

Re: 1040: "Lakes and Oceans"

Another Fun Fact: At pressures greater than 70 atmospheres (a depth of 700 meters in seawater), at the temperature of deep seawater (about 4C), CO2 is a liquid. At pressures greater than 300 atmospheres, compressible CO2 liquid is denser than seawater. If you filled a balloon with CO2, and released...
by keithl
Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:46 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1037: "Umwelt"
Replies: 478
Views: 310597

Re: 1037(?): Umwelt

Just wanted to add something that has not been mentioned so far - at least to my knowledge: The german comic "Charilift" states June 1948: In response to the soviet blockade of east germany, the western allies construct the berlin chairlift. I don't know if this is a joke but the Soviets ...
by keithl
Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:20 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1029: "Drawing Stars"
Replies: 135
Views: 39428

Re: 1029: "Drawing Stars"

I do not understand these so called star pictures. My star pictures are tiny little yellow-white dots on black paper. Except when they are tiny little red dots like Betelgeuse or blue dots like Sirius. Or go supernova, and the paper catches fire.
by keithl
Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:48 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"
Replies: 119
Views: 42658

Re: 1012: "Wrong Superhero"

As we learned from XKCD 394, KB is the Kelly-Bootle unit, 1012 bytes. Stan Kelly-Bootle is the author of the Devil's DP Dictionary and its second edition, The Computer Contradictionary . So, while seemingly a mild mannered musician, computer scientist, and lexicographer, Mr. Kelly-Bootle's secret id...
by keithl
Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:01 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1016: "Valentine Dilemma"
Replies: 99
Views: 27146

Re: 1016: "Valentine Dilemma"

I'm getting my sweetie a 32GB USB flash drive filled with "I love you". I'm also hiding all the staplers.
by keithl
Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:33 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1015: "Kerning"
Replies: 163
Views: 67040

Re: 1015: "Kerning"

Three pages of posts on the xkcd forum thread about typesetting and I'm surprised that no one's mentioned TeX yet! GOOMHNetsnipe. I was just about to post a bad joke about a wickedly evil computer virus that attacks TeX, disabling sysadmins who recognize bad kerning. BTW, has anyone developed an xk...
by keithl
Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:03 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1008: “Suckville”
Replies: 99
Views: 40162

Re: 1008: “Suckville”

SirMustapha wrote: Holy shit. "Motion blur"? Christ, if that's indeed what Randall intended, then I have seriously underestimated his capacity of being a terrible artist. Randall is not an artist at all. These are his photographs of an alternate universe inhabited by beings who look like ...
by keithl
Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:09 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1004: "Batman"
Replies: 81
Views: 21541

Re: 1004: "Batman"

And I have this creepy vision of a bat dressed like a man. Rather hard to make an xkcd comic out of it. How would you tell?
by keithl
Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:49 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1003: "Hitler and Eve"
Replies: 447
Views: 90936

Re: 1003: "Adam and Eve"

If all men were brothers, would you let one marry your sister?
--- Robert Silverberg

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