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by rmsgrey
Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:01 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-if 0007: "Everybody Out"
Replies: 350
Views: 64927

Re: What-if 0007: Everybody Out

I believe that you're right, and I know I've gone over this concept before, I just can't remember how flying the rocket up to a certain height with a conventional craft would be cheaper than flying the rocket up to the same height by itself. It seems rather counter-intuitive, as you'd expect that i...
by rmsgrey
Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:29 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1094: "Interview"
Replies: 59
Views: 21153

Re: 1094: "Interview"

Primis wrote:Oh god, this is going to become a Malkovich thread isnt it?


Malkovich?*

*Translation: Going to?
by rmsgrey
Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:23 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1094: "Interview"
Replies: 59
Views: 21153

Re: 1094: "Interview"

The Moomin wrote:I'm not 100% sure of this, but I don't think sitting in someone's chair means you've got their job.

There would need to be some form of hat exchange to make it legitimate.


Better people than you have tried to take BHG's hat...
by rmsgrey
Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:20 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1093: "Forget"
Replies: 125
Views: 25993

Re: in the days of the comet

A big one for me is maps and addresses. There are lots of places in my own (pretty small) town I just don't know how to get to by heart, even if I knew the street address for them. With the internet, I punch in the name who or whatever I'm trying to reach, memorize a couple of turns and landmarks o...
by rmsgrey
Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:09 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1093: "Forget"
Replies: 125
Views: 25993

Re: 1093: "Forget"

da Doctah wrote:Ross and Rachel getting back together


Which time?
by rmsgrey
Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:16 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-if 0006: "Glass Half Empty"
Replies: 94
Views: 45048

Re: What-if 0006: Glass Half Empty

The air-pressure lifting the glass is the same phenomenon that keeps a suction cup stuck to the ceiling (until/unless enough air leaks in...), or which can hold an evacuated bronze sphere together against the best efforts of two teams of plough-horses - until the seal is broken, at which point the ...
by rmsgrey
Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:34 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-if 0006: "Glass Half Empty"
Replies: 94
Views: 45048

Re: What-if 0006: Glass Half Empty

It wouldn't have to overcome friction. Friction of the glass on the table is a horizontal force. Perhaps he's referring to Newton's third Law? As the water drops, the glass lifts? Neither the water nor the glass exerts an attractive force on the other, so Newton's third law has nothing to do with i...
by rmsgrey
Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:29 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-if 0006: "Glass Half Empty"
Replies: 94
Views: 45048

Re: What-if 0006: Glass Half Empty

This one was pretty cool imo. I think the glass lifting itself is debatable, however. The force of gravity on the glass and it's friction against the table would need to be overcome. Something that the water itself wouldn't have to contend with. In fact the force of gravity will assist the water in...
by rmsgrey
Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:16 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-if 0005: "Robot Apocalypse"
Replies: 65
Views: 57088

Re: What-if 0005: Robot Apocalypse

Never mind pharmaceutical research - how much drug manufacture is done by hand anyway? Besides, you don't need to impose sterility, when you can work on brainwashing humans to make them obedient servants instead...
by rmsgrey
Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:07 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1087: "Cirith Ungol"
Replies: 187
Views: 55186

Re: 1087: "Cirith Ungol"

One morning, I killed a hobbit wearing my ring of power. How he got my ring of power, I don't know. No, I meant that if the first sentence is unambiguous by itself. I think that as written, it clearly identifies the speaker as wearing the ring. Instead, you would have to say, "...while he was ...
by rmsgrey
Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:50 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1089:"Internal Monologue"
Replies: 89
Views: 24986

Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Anyone want a social situations tip? If somebody asks you what you thought of a movie/play/whatever, if you answer, "it was good", people will look at you as if you're a moron. However, if you answer "I really enjoyed it", people will look at you as if you're rather intelligent....
by rmsgrey
Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:10 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-if 0005: "Robot Apocalypse"
Replies: 65
Views: 57088

Re: What-if 0005: Robot Apocalypse

As for the calculation of number of cars on the road. It is total poppycock. It's a plain fact that the vehicles driving large distances over their lifetime average much higher than 30mph. But that's also meaningless. The average mph and the average driving distance are completely unrelated measure...
by rmsgrey
Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:15 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1087: "Cirith Ungol"
Replies: 187
Views: 55186

Re: 1087: "Cirith Ungol"

The whole Google/Forum debate is, so far, missing a vital point. If everyone used Google to answer their questions, then people who enjoy showing off their command of useless trivia would miss out on an excellent opportunity to do so. What I want to know is whose idea it was to build Minas Ithil (th...
by rmsgrey
Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:05 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1087: "Cirith Ungol"
Replies: 187
Views: 55186

Re: 1087: "Cirith Ungol"

I'm not convinced that Shelob would be writing on her web in English. Still less convinced that Frodo would be able to read it. (Major bad moment in LOTR movies: the party notice on Bilbo's gate being written in English). To be poindexter-like in accuracy, that would be Sam not Frodo. And there's e...
by rmsgrey
Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:14 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0004: "A Mole of Moles"
Replies: 89
Views: 93962

Re: What-If 0004: A Mole of Moles

ycc1988 wrote:A meat moon. Randall comes up with the weirdest stuff.


"That's no moon"
by rmsgrey
Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:37 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1084: "Server Problem"
Replies: 123
Views: 51680

Re: 1084: "Server Problem"

This. Totally this. I argue that artificial intelligence is actually entirely beside the point of a technological singularity, because the collective action of a large number of people working in a coordinated manner and with enough internal communication (something increasingly common nowadays) is...
by rmsgrey
Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:31 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0002: "SAT Guessing"
Replies: 62
Views: 20569

Re: What-If 0002: SAT Guessing

As for those questioning the scoring of the SAT, those who've been saying it's a normal distribution are correct. Mean = 500, SD = 100, anything below 3 SDs becomes a 200 automatically (lowest possible score), and anything above 3 SDs is automatically an 800. Sure, but do they check the distributio...
by rmsgrey
Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:03 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0001: "Relativistic Baseball"
Replies: 167
Views: 124898

Re: What-If 0001: Relativistic Baseball

Taking the conversation in a new direction: Isaac Asimov wrote a short story where a journalist recalls the tale of a man who was killed by his rival using an anti-gravity machine and a trick shot on a pool table . Because the pool ball was free of gravity, ALL gravity, it was able to accelerate to...
by rmsgrey
Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:08 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0001: "Relativistic Baseball"
Replies: 167
Views: 124898

Re: What-If 0001: Relativistic Baseball

Of course, at sufficiently high speeds (.9c may well not be high enough) the relativistic baseball simply isn't around long enough to dump enough energy to cause a problem - most of the energy ends up carried into deep space rather than forming a mushroom cloud in the stadium. Sure, individual atoms...
by rmsgrey
Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:53 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0002: "SAT Guessing"
Replies: 62
Views: 20569

Re: What-If 0002: SAT Guessing

I suspect there's no formal definition of "statistical certainty" - it's closer to a mathematician's way of saying (after calculating the odds) "if that happens, I'll eat my hat!" For the SATs, I'm happy to call it a statistical certainty that no human being will ever get a perfe...
by rmsgrey
Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:45 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1066: "Laundry"
Replies: 50
Views: 17611

Re: 1066: "Laundry"

Luckily, being at a UK university, my terms (trimesters) are only about two months long anyway. Legend has it that, when plans were being drawn up to add baths to undergraduate accommodation at Trinity College, Cambridge, a Don was heard to remark: "Baths? What do they need baths for? They're ...
by rmsgrey
Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:55 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0991: "Phantom Menace"
Replies: 110
Views: 38080

Re: 0991: "Phantom Menace"

Check out Darths & Droids: http://www.darthsanddroids.net/archive.html You're welcome. As for the comic, the correct strategy is to split up - one remain there while the other scouts, either using mobile phones to remain in contact, or having an agreed schedule, whereby the scout is expected to ...
by rmsgrey
Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:51 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0990: “Plastic Bags”
Replies: 183
Views: 39708

Re: 0990: “Plastic Bags”

Round here (North England) most, but not all, shops offer free bags on request (good enough for several uses), most larger supermarkets sell "reusable" bags, and some offer loyalty points for reusing bags. As for bagging, supermarkets usually leave it to you; most other shops, the cashier ...
by rmsgrey
Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:54 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0989: "Cryogenics"
Replies: 81
Views: 19831

Re: 0989: "Cryogenics"

Of course, the correct approach is to calculate the optimum percentage of engineers to leave awake to maximise the expected utility of freezing the remainder for 30 years. Each engineer then uses a handy random number generator to determine whether to stay awake or get frozen with the appropriate pr...
by rmsgrey
Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:39 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0982: "Set Theory"
Replies: 55
Views: 15043

Re: 0982: "Set Theory"

itaibn wrote:<flamewar>
The problem is that you're implicitly assuming the axiom of excluded middle...

I'm not not assuming the axiom of excluded middle...
by rmsgrey
Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:49 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0978: "Citogenesis"
Replies: 179
Views: 61557

Re: 0978: "Citogenesis"

Even chronology wouldn't protect against cyclic citations - from time to time, one academic will cite preliminary results from another ("to be published at a future date") - by the time that future paper actually gets published, there can be papers citing papers which cite the original pap...

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