Search found 3017 matches

by orthogon
Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:55 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2035: "Dark Matter Candidates"
Replies: 55
Views: 8234

Re: 2035: "Dark Matter Candidates"

It's made up of various things: biros, Allen keys, M3 nuts, car keys, Mrs orthogon's missing passport, flashdrives, F-to-BNC adapters and Amelia Earhart's plane.
by orthogon
Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:07 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2033: "Repair or Replace"
Replies: 36
Views: 5779

Re: 2033: "Repair or Replace"

And the new devices would have completely new 'unfixable' problems that I'd have to get used to, even if they stopped the old stuff from happening in the newer iterations.) This. I'm seriously thinking of giving up on my current phone, on which I can't pull down the notifications bar any more, on w...
by orthogon
Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:42 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2032: "Word Puzzles"
Replies: 47
Views: 7673

Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

Y'all's discussion reminds me of something I call the "penicillin effect": just as Fleming saw a region on his Petri dish where there were no bacteria, sometimes you see a word in a partially completed crossword grid that's surrounded by a suspicious amount of white, when the rest of the g...
by orthogon
Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:53 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2032: "Word Puzzles"
Replies: 47
Views: 7673

Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

The advantage of "straight" crossword clues is that they're direct and to the point, but it's often ambiguous whether you've got the intended answer until you've got sufficient cross-checks in place, and if you don't know the answer, there's nothing you can do about it except look it up s...
by orthogon
Tue Aug 14, 2018 2:23 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2032: "Word Puzzles"
Replies: 47
Views: 7673

Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

On discarding the prize, or claiming the one at the end, the host would rip through the cryptic clue at speed, making it almost impossible to follow, and the prize would be something almost unrelated to the first read through of the clue. The thing is, cryptic crosswords can be solved. The steps in...
by orthogon
Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:20 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2032: "Word Puzzles"
Replies: 47
Views: 7673

Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

... ... a singularly unsatisfying way to vent one's ire Now there is a clue for the ages. Let's see ... "way" could be "ST" (street) ... "one's" is probably "IS" ... "singularly" ought to indicate a word that's in the singular rather than the plural...
by orthogon
Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:51 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: In other news... (humorous news items)
Replies: 15072
Views: 2484511

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

CorruptUser wrote:XKCD comic in news

Interesting that they interpret it as Randall taking a side in the debate. I see it more as the self-deprecating opinion of his characters.
by orthogon
Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:13 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1296
Views: 206649

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

"Will of the People", etc, etc, yada yada yada… Complete mess. Exactly. It's a horrible train-wreck of a political situation. It's the kind of mess I was exploring with my "green/yellow, high/low" scenario here and here . In general though, people didn't want to discuss it witho...
by orthogon
Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:21 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1296
Views: 206649

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Hey, looks like the referendum, run again today might still be 52:48 split . (But the other way!) As a result, the UK is divided into the under-45s who, on balance, favour staying in the EU, and the over-45s, who want to leave. This black-and-white reporting is starting to really bug me. The UK is ...
by orthogon
Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:24 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8366
Views: 701468

Re: Trump presidency

Another large factor is that asbestos deaths often come with a significant delay. At some point later in your life, bam, your lungs are shit. Not a lot anyone can do to fix it. So, yeah, you can get some time in which the numbers look great before the health bill comes due. I was assuming that 2004...
by orthogon
Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:34 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2030: "Voting Software"
Replies: 45
Views: 11468

Re: 2030: "Voting Software"

Do I take it that the pairs-programming paradigm also extends to press interviews?
by orthogon
Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:29 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8366
Views: 701468

Re: Trump presidency

As an aside, I thought I'd read somewhere that asbestos was a net benefit overall, i.e. it has been responsible for more lives saved in fires than lives lost from asbestos-related diseases. I can't remember where I read it, and can't find any statement like it on the Intertubes. From what I have fou...
by orthogon
Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:16 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Where Aren't They Now (Obituaries)
Replies: 309
Views: 83438

Re: Where Aren't They Now (Obituaries)

Something from that article I didn't know: Two older brothers, Jimmy and Brian, also formed a double-act, the Patton Brothers, and have appeared on ChuckleVision Gee I wonder why the "Patton Brothers" were less successful than the Chuckle Brothers. Patton vision, Patton vision *tank crash...
by orthogon
Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:45 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2028: "Complex Numbers"
Replies: 48
Views: 7364

Re: 2028: "Complex Numbers"

Of course, another is the idea of negative numbers. Once you have negative numbers, complex numbers are a fairly small step... Yeah ... negative numbers have to be introduced in order for all linear equations to have solutions. Complex numbers are needed for quadratics to have solutions, but weirdl...
by orthogon
Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:46 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2028: "Complex Numbers"
Replies: 48
Views: 7364

Re: 2028: "Complex Numbers"

Seems like some people in this thread aren't quite familiar with the idea of a "structured set". Statements like "the multiplication operation means that complex numbers are not vectors" are somewhat missing the point. The complex numbers are R² with a multiplication operator de...
by orthogon
Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:17 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2028: "Complex Numbers"
Replies: 48
Views: 7364

Re: 2028: "Complex Numbers"

If I'm not mistaken, the multiplication operation means that complex numbers are not vectors. The product of two complex numbers has an angle which is the sum of the angles of the the two original numbers relative to a fixed frame of reference . Rotating the reference frame gives a different result....
by orthogon
Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:51 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2027: "Lightning Distance"
Replies: 44
Views: 6106

Re: 2027: "Lightning Distance"

Ohm y God. Okay, fine. Let's amp up the puns. Current puns? Mmmm... Another thing everybody knows about lightning is that it doesn't strike twice in the same place. So that helps a bit by telling you where it isn't . (Actually I think we're back to the nonblack nonravens, aren't we?) Between the &q...
by orthogon
Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:16 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0327: "Exploits of a Mom"
Replies: 210
Views: 103011

Re: 0327: "Exploits of a Mom"

These are all reasons why the UK doesn't allow you to just make up a registration. Instead they issue the plates in a strict sequence (currently two letters for location + two digits for the year and half-year + three letters). You can have a "personalised number plate" but it's just one t...
by orthogon
Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:39 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2027: "Lightning Distance"
Replies: 44
Views: 6106

Re: 2027: "Lightning Distance"

Sableagle wrote:Ohm y God. Okay, fine. Let's amp up the puns.

Current puns? Mmmm...

Another thing everybody knows about lightning is that it doesn't strike twice in the same place. So that helps a bit by telling you where it isn't. (Actually I think we're back to the nonblack nonravens, aren't we?)
by orthogon
Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:35 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2024: "Light Hacks"
Replies: 18
Views: 3637

Re: 2024: "Light Hacks"

Is he suggesting they have small Dyson spheres at Ikea, or just describing reflective lampshades? I don't know about Dyson Spheres (I didn't see any, on my first visit to one, just a couple of weeks ago), but they've definitely got a Hilbert Curve! You were probably looking in the Lighting section ...
by orthogon
Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:20 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2024: "Light Hacks"
Replies: 18
Views: 3637

Re: 2024: "Light Hacks"

The Viz has been publishing lifehacks for decades, known as "Top Tips". One of my all-time favourites was "Don't waste money on expensive binoculars. Simply stand closer to the object you wish to view!"
by orthogon
Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:43 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2023: "Y-Axis"
Replies: 24
Views: 5474

Re: 2023: "Y-Axis"

I could actually see the semi-semi log graph, adequately labeled, as being useful for some things, where you're tracking something that's exponential over time, but you need more detail in the present. Of course, you could also just add a second graph. It's perfectly OK to have split scales: for ex...
by orthogon
Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:16 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2022: "Sports Champions"
Replies: 44
Views: 5868

Re: 2022: "Sports Champions"

In rugby union, there's Neil Back, who actually played as a forward.

ETA: James Hook, conversely, is a back (not a hooker).
by orthogon
Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:31 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Worldwide CO2 shortage
Replies: 44
Views: 9651

Re: Worldwide CO2 shortage

Too complicated, so more Guinness. Mathematician here, Guinness is our patron company due to William Gossett, aka "Student" of "Student's T". Yeah, I'm always going on about the important contribution Guinness made to modern statistics, although they presumably weren't all that ...
by orthogon
Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:11 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"
Replies: 80
Views: 9152

Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

(ninja'd by orthogon on this part but leaving it in as mine's a bit more detailed) Ever noticed how they count when they return the change? When I hand out a 10 note for a 5.25 bill It goes like this: - counts 3 quarters, mumbling 5.50, 5.75, 6 - counts 4 dollars, mumbling 7, 8, 9, 10 Basically, th...
by orthogon
Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:33 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"
Replies: 80
Views: 9152

Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Who's "deliberately making life more difficult for shop workers"? We're talking about literally doing the opposite. EDIT: Well, giving change that makes the money back simpler is helpful, obviously waiting until they've rung up is unhelpful. But I think the point was that handling that ki...
by orthogon
Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:36 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2020: "Negative Results"
Replies: 15
Views: 2848

Re: 2020: "Negative Results"

He's not doing that. However, he's also not confirming negative results as being negative as no test was made to end up negative, which is also 'useful' information (if people aren't reporting negative results, are they not reporting them or were they not even looking). And the more we know that pe...
by orthogon
Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:25 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2016: "OEIS Submissions"
Replies: 31
Views: 7399

Re: 2016: "OEIS Submissions"

speising wrote:
Yerushalmi wrote:One of the sequences was approved: https://oeis.org/A316599

and when reading the description, we now know why randall's submissions get rejected: not because they're dumb, but because they're not precisely enough defined.

Loving how one of the key details is related to keming.
by orthogon
Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:34 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Worldwide CO2 shortage
Replies: 44
Views: 9651

Re: Worldwide CO2 shortage

How's that worldwide helium shortage these days? A few years back there was a serious threat to party balloons and people speaking in high-pitched, amusing voices caused by inconsiderate medics squandering all our resources on frivolous NMR scans and the like.

ETA: Gasworld to the rescue again!
by orthogon
Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:05 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2009: "Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram"
Replies: 35
Views: 6554

Re: 2009: "Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram"

why is a Blue Whale more luminous than an astronomer? Because blue whales can't turn a light-switch off when it wants to whale, but an astronomer often does when wanting to astron? A whale has a greater surface area so he emits more radiation. And light switches would be far more fiddly. I think th...
by orthogon
Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:06 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2008: "Irony Definition"
Replies: 18
Views: 3837

Re: 2008: "Irony Definition"

Situational irony is like situational Anal Panama: you either know it when you see it, or you don't. Eebster knows it when they see it.
by orthogon
Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:24 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2005: "Attention Span"
Replies: 78
Views: 10190

Re: 2005: "Attention Span"

It's the difference 'twixt "coodn't uhv" and "coodn't'v", roughly. In (some of the many) British accents, the word "of" is clearly pronounced as "ov" with a far opener vowel, or however you'd describe it, in both correct and incorrect situations. This suggest...
by orthogon
Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:14 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2006: "Customer Rewards"
Replies: 40
Views: 8226

Re: 2006: "Customer Rewards"

Soupspoon wrote:post it into the true thread.

> implying that there can be more than one true thread (i.e. one per comic). I fear the comfy seats await you...
by orthogon
Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:15 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2005: "Attention Span"
Replies: 78
Views: 10190

Re: 2005: "Attention Span"

heuristically_alone wrote:Can something be pure if it doesn't exist?

You are René Descartes and I claim my 5 francs.
by orthogon
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:07 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2005: "Attention Span"
Replies: 78
Views: 10190

Re: 2005: "Attention Span"

My girlfriend has told me a story about a language teacher, either French or German or Japanese since those are the languages she's studied but I don't remember which it was, who told her that a verb in that language translated into English as "to must". Could be German. According to The ...
by orthogon
Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:03 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2005: "Attention Span"
Replies: 78
Views: 10190

Re: 2005: "Attention Span"

To go farther down the rabbit hole... An old boss of mine would often say "What you might could do is..." That's a Texan construction, called a "double modal", and it sounds really weird to my ear, but I really have no reason to complain because I'd gladly use "could maybe&...
by orthogon
Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:44 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: News in brief
Replies: 302
Views: 81344

Re: News in brief

Idea for a voting that just occurred to me, and probably either has an official name or a terrible flaw that I've not spotted. Voters vote for the candidates in the AV way, ranking them from best to worst. Each vote is worth a number of points to the candidate, the higher the rank the more the poin...
by orthogon
Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:00 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: In other news... (humorous news items)
Replies: 15072
Views: 2484511

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Soupspoon wrote: I've [...] decided that "Single Use Plastic" is definitely the wrong term.

We used to say "disposable".
by orthogon
Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:58 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: News in brief
Replies: 302
Views: 81344

Re: News in brief

I don't really see ranked preferences as challenging to understand, but eh...if everyone else does, I suppose my opinion isn't the most important. I do wonder if some of the disadvantages seen will fade with time. I can see comprehension being easier once something is accepted as normal, for instan...
by orthogon
Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:00 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: News in brief
Replies: 302
Views: 81344

Re: News in brief

The French use what's basically "instant runoff" without the instant in their presidential elections - after the first round, the top two are voted for in a second round. This is obviously more expensive, but I guess you get the benefits of AV without it being difficult to understand how ...

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