Search found 3043 matches

by orthogon
Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:27 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1123: "The Universal Label"
Replies: 114
Views: 22498

Re: 1123: "The Universal Label"

Warning: This object attracts every other object in the universe with a force proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the distance between them. (My old high school physics book actually had that warning label on it...) Your school textbook was made out some weird ...
by orthogon
Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:15 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1123: "The Universal Label"
Replies: 114
Views: 22498

Re: 1123: "The Universal Label"

Main article: Big Bang nucleosynthesis During the photon epoch the temperature of the universe falls to the point where atomic nuclei can begin to form. Protons (hydrogen ions) and neutrons begin to combine into atomic nuclei in the process of nuclear fusion. Free neutrons combine with protons to f...
by orthogon
Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:23 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1119: "Undoing"
Replies: 121
Views: 23383

Re: 1119: "Undoing"

So Arstechnica says we could supply the world's energy needs with 300 million turbines: http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/09/taking-wind-power-to-the-extreme-limit/ Looks like an excellent site, but unfortunately as a native speaker of EN-GB I can't take it seriously with a name like that. Is it ...
by orthogon
Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:29 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1118: "Microsoft"
Replies: 134
Views: 37530

Re: 1118: "Microsoft"

[...] and basically cow-tow to MS demands. Anybody else have a mental picture of a bovine hitched to the back of a pickup truck ? Maybe one with bull-bars on the front? Sorry, couldn't resist. "Kowtow" is more properly pronounced with both syllables rhyming with "row" (as in row...
by orthogon
Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:28 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1118: "Microsoft"
Replies: 134
Views: 37530

Re: 1118: "Microsoft"

Salt wrote:[...] and basically cow-tow to MS demands.

Anybody else have a mental picture of a bovine hitched to the back of a pickup truck? Maybe one with bull-bars on the front? Sorry, couldn't resist.
by orthogon
Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:10 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1118: "Microsoft"
Replies: 134
Views: 37530

Re: 1118: "Microsoft"

From a British point of view we have Stirling which handily looks like an upper case e. Hello APPL£, GOOGL£, FAC£BOOK. Thankyou I agree it looks quite like an "E", but strictly speaking it's actually a capital "L" . So you could say GOOG£E and APP£E? Still, there's something abo...
by orthogon
Thu Oct 04, 2012 3:58 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1116: "Traffic Lights"
Replies: 171
Views: 47634

Re: 1116: "Traffic Lights"

Before we continue, can we just clear up something: what colour is the middle light in a set of traffic lights? Surely 99.99% of native English speakers world would describe that colour as "orange" in any other context. And yet for some reason it's always referred to as "amber" ...
by orthogon
Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:49 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1116: "Traffic Lights"
Replies: 171
Views: 47634

Re: 1116: "Traffic Lights"

Before we continue, can we just clear up something: what colour is the middle light in a set of traffic lights? Surely 99.99% of native English speakers world would describe that colour as "orange" in any other context. And yet for some reason it's always referred to as "amber" o...
by orthogon
Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:15 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1115: "Sky"
Replies: 84
Views: 20320

Re: 1115: "Sky"

...from my understanding, this still means that objects inside the shell can have a gravitational field that affects other objects there (but not the shell itself). Is this correct? Yes, that's my understanding. Objects outside can, too - it doesn't screen the field like a Faraday Cage. Thanks for ...
by orthogon
Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:57 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1115: "Sky"
Replies: 84
Views: 20320

Re: 1115: "Sky"

As being mentioned, reversing / turning off gravity would mean the whole planet fell apart. But what if we lived in a very small spherical universe the size of Earth's atmosphere, with the following properties: ⋅  The sphere's borders consist of a (fictional) indistructible, massive mater...
by orthogon
Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:23 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1115: "Sky"
Replies: 84
Views: 20320

Re: 1115: "Sky"

[...] And then it leads me to even greater fantasies where the survivors of this new upside down world must first mount a rescue missions (using helicopters and ropes and stuff like that to rescue people and then bring them into buildings and tunnels, and then gradually establishing our own upside-...
by orthogon
Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:12 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1113: "Killed In Action"
Replies: 78
Views: 19353

Re: 1113: "Killed In Action"

Also a comparatively short cop. Edit: 200 posts. What do I win? The hearty thanks of a grateful nation. Agreed, but which nation should bestow their thanks? The poster's own? Or one chosen at random with a 192-sided die (e.g. a Goldberg 3,2 polyhedron)? Edit: Actually strike that, you have to wait ...
by orthogon
Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:08 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1109: "Refrigerator"
Replies: 135
Views: 34294

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

mathmannix wrote:There once was a man named Stevinus
Who thought that this was a haiku.


I like it. And can't resist.

Man named Stevinus
Played with weights on inclined plane
Meanwhile, milk went sour
by orthogon
Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:07 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1109: "Refrigerator"
Replies: 135
Views: 34294

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

I'm stunned that the Epitaph of Stevinus isn't an actual epitaph that starts out "There once was a man named Stevinus..." Who thought that he was a gen-i-us Using some rope He hung weights on a slope (Or it could be that Randall's deceivin' us) Bravo sir! Well played. Agreed... but boy is...
by orthogon
Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:44 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1109: "Refrigerator"
Replies: 135
Views: 34294

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

AvatarIII wrote:The only parameters he cares about are the fact it is Earl Grey and hot, anything else he is happy with it being "standard" that being one cup, brewed in water, and I guess black.


In any civilised society, "hot" would be the default for tea so would not need to be specified.
by orthogon
Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:40 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1109: "Refrigerator"
Replies: 135
Views: 34294

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

I'm not one to complain (apparently, I am) But wouldn't a better system be 3 months to 1 month -> <- 1 month to 1 week 1 week to past due -> | dev/null | Perhaps have a railing system to kind of cushion the fall on the end. This way your glass jars don't have to go down as far once they go from 3 m...
by orthogon
Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:21 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1109: "Refrigerator"
Replies: 135
Views: 34294

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

San Fran Sam wrote:
CZeke wrote:I'm stunned that the Epitaph of Stevinus isn't an actual epitaph that starts out "There once was a man named Stevinus..."


Who thought that he was a gen-i-us


Using some rope
He hung weights on a slope
(Or it could be that Randall's deceivin' us)
by orthogon
Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:47 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"
Replies: 155
Views: 29053

Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

SerMufasa wrote:
xtifr wrote: "literally" displays polysemy


I don't know what polysemy means, [...]


In that case, you need to read Steven Pinker's The Stuff of Thought.
by orthogon
Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:52 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"
Replies: 155
Views: 29053

Re: 1108: "Cautionary Ghost"

I used gimp and the "Difference" mode to make sure that they were really the same, and found that the two futures were literally half a pixel offset from each other. OK, I can't resist walking right into this. Half a pixel vertically? Surely they're like a few hundred pixels offset horizo...
by orthogon
Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:54 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1107: "Sports Cheat Sheet"
Replies: 178
Views: 35455

Re: 1107: "Sports Cheat Sheet"

Is Wheelchair Rugby a type of football? Is it a type of rugby? Show your working. Are you referring to "wheelchair rugby league" or "wheelchair rugby?" The former is a derivative of rugby league designed to accomodate the relevant disability, hence the name, the latter is neithe...
by orthogon
Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:45 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1107: "Sports Cheat Sheet"
Replies: 178
Views: 35455

Re: 1107: "Sports Cheat Sheet"

Yes, I will bring this topic forward: And I will cut it short: it's called football because it's a ball game played on foot, not because your feet do something with the ball. Therefore all games played on foot with some kind of ball are some variety of football, and none of them gets special priori...
by orthogon
Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:07 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1091: "Curiosity"
Replies: 70
Views: 18743

Re: 1091: "Curiosity"

IANAL, but before this thread makes its eagerly anticipated descent into Rule 34 territory, please remember these robots are underage, and they crossed state lines on their way to Mars. Bah. What goes on Mars, stays on Mars. Ahem: Cool! The site that picture came from is truly fascinating. So in pr...
by orthogon
Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:15 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1091: "Curiosity"
Replies: 70
Views: 18743

Re: 1091: "Curiosity"

keithl wrote:IANAL, but before this thread makes its eagerly anticipated descent into Rule 34 territory, please remember these robots are underage, and they crossed state lines on their way to Mars.

Bah. What goes on Mars, stays on Mars.
by orthogon
Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:32 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1091: "Curiosity"
Replies: 70
Views: 18743

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 orthogon
Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:26 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1088: "Five Years"
Replies: 23
Views: 8047

Re: 1088: "Five Years"

It's a trick question. There is no right or wrong answer. They just use it as an excuse to not hire you. Just like the "what's your biggest weakness" one. Oh man, somebody actually asked me that in an internal interview. I was totally taken aback, having remembered my dad telling me about...
by orthogon
Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:58 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1080: "Visual Field"
Replies: 129
Views: 30064

Re: 1080: "Visual Field"

Pressing my palms against my closed eyelids seems to amplify the effect. I noticed the other day that if I push my palms against my closed eyelids I see something that looks remarkably like a tinned pineapple slice, in the right colour yellow and complete with a jaggedy hole in the middle. I spent ...
by orthogon
Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:31 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1080: "Visual Field"
Replies: 129
Views: 30064

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? Yep, I'...
by orthogon
Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:23 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1080: "Visual Field"
Replies: 129
Views: 30064

Re: 1080: "Visual Field"

The woman came in while I was trying to detect polarization... she just kinda looked at me, saw it was xkcd, and walked away. Can anyone see that effect? I have a suspicion that the polarisation thing is trolling. Randall just liked the idea of thousands of geeks wobbling their monitors (or heads) ...
by orthogon
Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:45 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1079: "United Shapes"
Replies: 169
Views: 43548

Re: 1079: "United Shapes"

Well, my walls are rectangular. If his walls are cubical, he's apparently living in four-dimensional space. Unless you're living in a college dorm or Japan, walls do have thickness. Conceivably a wall could be built as a cubical, however, that seems like a waste of space. Oh now this is interesting...
by orthogon
Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:11 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1079: "United Shapes"
Replies: 169
Views: 43548

Re: 1079: "United Shapes"

orthogon wrote:The fourth wall is presumably thinner.

Come to think of it, the fourth wall is traditionally of zero thickness.
by orthogon
Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:07 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1079: "United Shapes"
Replies: 169
Views: 43548

Re: 1079: "United Shapes"

Great comic. My home state does look like a whale. Will probably print this one out and pin it to one of my three cubical walls. What shape is your other wall? I guess the three cubical walls are extremely thick - they must be at least as thick as scotty2haughty is tall - and so it would be hard to...
by orthogon
Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:08 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1070: "Words for Small Sets"
Replies: 238
Views: 48736

Re: 1070: "Words for Small Sets"

⋅ "Just a few" is the same as the enumerative meaning of "few" alone. However, "Just a few!" means "Quite a few" Only when used sarcasticly. If "just a few" didn't mean the small end of the "a few" range then "Just a few!&qu...
by orthogon
Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:41 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1070: "Words for Small Sets"
Replies: 238
Views: 48736

Re: 1070: "Words for Small Sets"

⋅ "Just a few" is the same as the enumerative meaning of "few" alone. However, "Just a few!" means "Quite a few" "A couple of <something>" and "a couple <something> are different. I always thought that was an EN-US vs EN-GB thing. I'v...
by orthogon
Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:17 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1070: "Words for Small Sets"
Replies: 238
Views: 48736

Re: 1070: "Words for Small Sets"

I read something interesting last night regarding handfuls. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Greek_coinage The central denomination to the Ancient Greek monetary system was the drachm. The word drachm(a) means "a handful", literally "a grasp". Drachmae were divided into six ...
by orthogon
Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:28 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1070: "Words for Small Sets"
Replies: 238
Views: 48736

Re: 1070: "Words for Small Sets"

kalvdans wrote:So, by his definition, a few = √10 = 3.1623.


but [imath]\sqrt{10}\approx\pi[/imath]
Hence a few [imath]\approx \pi[/imath]. Didn't somebody say that on page 1?
by orthogon
Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:21 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1070: "Words for Small Sets"
Replies: 238
Views: 48736

Re: 1070: "Words for Small Sets"

So how many is a "pair" of scissors, then? "Pair" was itself used for comic effect in Withnail & I thus: "Two quadruple whiskies and a pair of pints". Now I think about it, I think it's funny because "pair" can only really be used for things that actually...
by orthogon
Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:40 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1070: "Words for Small Sets"
Replies: 238
Views: 48736

Re: 1070: "Words for Small Sets"

DSDM wrote:Then there's also the question of when "here" becomes "there".

See also languages that divide space into three regions, e.g. aquí / ahí / allí in Spanish and koko/soko/asoko in Japanese.
by orthogon
Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:01 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1070: "Words for Small Sets"
Replies: 238
Views: 48736

Re: 1070: "Words for Small Sets"

It is important to point out the difference between a few and quite a few. Quite a few clearly denominates any number larger than a few, several, a couple and a handful combined. Good point. In fact I would distinguish three phrases: Few: Not very many A few: Between some and quite a lot Quite a fe...
by orthogon
Thu May 31, 2012 1:12 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1061: "EST"
Replies: 128
Views: 44299

Re: 1061: "EST"

funny how we have a 7 day week, in honor of the bible The 7 day week predates the bible and the material that was cribbed from by quite a chunk. Incidentally the chinese calender has 7 days, the last of which translates quite literally to Sunday. It's Interesting that (according to Google Translate...
by orthogon
Mon May 28, 2012 4:23 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1061: "EST"
Replies: 128
Views: 44299

Re: 1061: "EST"

We should start putting this into all of our space probes so that if a potentially hostile alien race discovers it, they'll see how we track time and decide to stay the hell away from us in case our race's stupidity is contagious. No need. We've been broadcasting our existing calendar into space fo...

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