Search found 3001 matches

by orthogon
Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:51 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2027: "Lightning Distance"
Replies: 44
Views: 5283

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: 99768

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: 5283

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: 3213

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: 3213

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: 4828

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: 5263

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: 6778

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: 7931

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: 7931

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: 2509

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: 6690

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: 6778

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: 5915

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: 3387

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: 8624

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: 7443

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: 8624

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: 8624

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: 8624

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: 276
Views: 69468

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: 14997
Views: 2390455

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: 276
Views: 69468

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: 276
Views: 69468

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 ...
by orthogon
Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:28 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2005: "Attention Span"
Replies: 78
Views: 8624

Re: 2005: "Attention Span"

I never encounter that "the reason being is" construction, and I really don't see why anyone would use it when they could just leave the "is" out and have something grammatically correct and shorter. E.g. "Unlike most people around here, Alice goes shopping every single day...
by orthogon
Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:19 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: News in brief
Replies: 276
Views: 69468

Re: News in brief

When we had a referendum for alternative vote (which appears to be the same thing as ranked voting), people complained it was too complicated. I genuinely couldn't see what was complicated about putting the numbers 1-5 next to candidates in the order of preference. Sure, it's more complicated than ...
by orthogon
Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:25 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 7989
Views: 614774

Re: Trump presidency

That would of course assume we had the capacity to take those liberties with said species. If they were to come say tomorrow with technology that casually gets around the limitations we still struggle to understand in our own scientific understanding odds would be they'd be asking how humans taste ...
by orthogon
Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:17 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: News in brief
Replies: 276
Views: 69468

Re: News in brief

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/maine-is-trying-out-a-new-way-to-run-elections-but-will-it-survive-the-night/ Turns out that white room voting ideas like ranked voting decreases turnout, doesn't stop negative campaigning and favors educated whites. I couldn't find the words "educated"...
by orthogon
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:56 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: In other news... (humorous news items)
Replies: 14997
Views: 2390455

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

The Republic Formerly Known as Macedonia is to be renamed Republic of North Macedonia. Istanbul, not Constantinople, long time ago, was Contantinople... Don't you mean "the republic formerly known as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"? At one point didn't the trope-namer change hi...
by orthogon
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:04 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2005: "Attention Span"
Replies: 78
Views: 8624

Re: 2005: "Attention Span"

Indeed. In my experience, it's more a spoken thing than something you see in writing, and may well be a peculiarly British affliction. It's the kind of pompous verbosity that people come out with to try to sound formal and educated, but has the reverse effect when they get it wrong. I get the impres...
by orthogon
Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:32 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 7989
Views: 614774

Re: Trump presidency

The new 'head' of the OSTP has a degree in -- I believe it's 'Political Science'? Yeah. Not "Political Science" as in the eponymous Randy Newman song, I hope... ETA: just going over the lyrics of that song in my head, I realise to my horror that every single line could be a Trump tweet or...
by orthogon
Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:19 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2005: "Attention Span"
Replies: 78
Views: 8624

Re: 2005: "Attention Span"

I like that in this comic, the phrase "just saying" is followed by an actual statement. Although it makes me a bit meta-sad that this makes me happy, sort of like when I see "as far as" and there actually is an "is concerned" or at least "goes" at the end of ...
by orthogon
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:34 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2005: "Attention Span"
Replies: 78
Views: 8624

Re: 2005: "Attention Span"

RogueCynic wrote:... and Ringo's part in this scheme is?

Well, no conspiracy theory is complete without a dollop of antisemitism, so ...

(Did I just Godwin the thread?)
by orthogon
Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:36 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2005: "Attention Span"
Replies: 78
Views: 8624

Re: 2005: "Attention Span"

The caste system is very rigid. There is one diesel engine, a black train known just as “Diesel,” who struggles to prove that he’s as useful as the steam trains. Less useful than Diesel are the female passenger coaches named Annie and Clarabel, who are awarded to Thomas as prizes after he helps wit...
by orthogon
Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:06 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 7989
Views: 614774

Re: Trump presidency

Tyndmyr wrote:[... ] they have massive breeches
Spoiler:
Image

Carry on...
by orthogon
Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:35 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2002: "LeBron James and Stephen Curry"
Replies: 43
Views: 6277

Re: 2002: "LeBron James and Stephen Curry"

Ok, it's going to take me a while to work out what this is all about, but are people's social security numbers in the public domain?
by orthogon
Thu May 31, 2018 11:56 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2000: "xkcd Phone 2000"
Replies: 27
Views: 6471

Re: 2000: "xkcd Phone 2000"

cephalopod9 wrote:
pkcommando wrote:I have to admit, I would enjoy the coin purse squeeze feature.
same. Has that been done?

I don't know ... it looks a bit like a sideways* ... er ... violin plot.

* No, I'm not going there.
by orthogon
Tue May 29, 2018 11:20 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1999: "Selection Effect"
Replies: 11
Views: 3441

Re: 1999: "Selection Effect"

We shouldn't be too hard on Ponytail. She herself was an unwitting participant in a study on the effectiveness of ethics committees. It's not her fault she was assigned to the placebo committee.
by orthogon
Fri May 25, 2018 5:15 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1997: "Business Update"
Replies: 21
Views: 4369

Re: 1997: Business Update

Jorpho wrote:
jpers36 wrote:Uhhh ... Is this thing on? Wasn't expecting to start a new thread a 1:52 in the afternoon Eastern.
Perhaps the delay in postings as of late are indicative of something big being planned for the big 2K.

It must be big then: there's about 17 weeks to go...
by orthogon
Tue May 22, 2018 3:25 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Judea Pearl's Critism of Machine Learning
Replies: 17
Views: 5127

Re: Judea Pearl's Critism of Machine Learning

We reason about causality... Yes, we certainly think we do. But what is "reason" anyway? That's the underlying question. The story we tell ourselves is that we "figure something out", but how? Which neuron had the idea? The neurons are most certainly not "reasoning", a...

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