Search found 136 matches

by cspirou
Sun Nov 09, 2008 9:33 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Compass and Ruler Alhazen
Replies: 4
Views: 712

Compass and Ruler Alhazen

I have an interest in geometric problems. This problem seems obvious to me but the mathworld site says it's impossible through compass and ruler construction. http://mathworld.wolfram.com/AlhazensBilliardProblem.html Basically you have a circular billiard table and two cue balls. Where is the point ...
by cspirou
Sun Nov 09, 2008 9:12 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: You might be a physics major if...
Replies: 540
Views: 62641

Re: You might be a physics major if...

You might be an astrophysicist if you think being off by an order of magnitude is very accurate.
by cspirou
Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:45 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Tipping people
Replies: 150
Views: 16931

Re: Tipping people

Precisely why a tip is meaningless. If most people do it then doesn't matter. From my point of view if I enjoy my time at a restaurant then I become a repeat customer. That's how it is in any other business. If someone makes a product I like then I don't pay him extra for what I think he deserves. I...
by cspirou
Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:11 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Tipping people
Replies: 150
Views: 16931

Tipping people

I think one of the most controversial subjects I've ever talked about was tipping. Almost everyone I know is for it and I'm against it. They always throw out "well you've never been a waiter then". However that doesn't mean I don't believe in fair compensation. I just think that the price ...
by cspirou
Sun Nov 09, 2008 7:52 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Father 'murdered' by son, aged 8
Replies: 47
Views: 6128

Re: Father 'murdered' by son, aged 8

It's weird how they do stuff. If you murder someone at 16 then you can be tried as an adult. However if a 16 year old has consensual sex with someone that is much older then they are minor because they are not considered mature. So which one is it? It's one or the other. I think this will be a very ...
by cspirou
Sun Nov 09, 2008 7:17 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Homosexual Marriage?
Replies: 394
Views: 35532

Re: Homosexual Marriage?

I don't think anybody arguing in favor of gay marriage actually thinks that churches should be legally forced to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies. It's just another strawman that the homophobes toss up. No one arguing for gay marriage thinks that. But people that argue against it certainly do. ...
by cspirou
Sun Nov 09, 2008 6:32 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Why Are (Economic) Conservatives Still Relevant?
Replies: 75
Views: 6158

Re: Why Are (Economic) Conservatives Still Relevant?

Artificially distorting the market is something that will always lead to economic problems down the road, even more so now that we live in an entirely global economy. Take your gas tax increase to promote fuel-efficient vehicles example: if gas is naturally selling at $2 a gallon and you increase i...
by cspirou
Sun Nov 09, 2008 1:07 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Homosexual Marriage?
Replies: 394
Views: 35532

Re: Homosexual Marriage?

I actually found it very sensible. In many Spanish-speaking countries-- Venezuela, my country of origin-- they use "union civil". It's still interchangeable, since even people who get an "union civil" say "casados" (Spanish for "married"). The problem, though...
by cspirou
Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:43 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Homosexual Marriage?
Replies: 394
Views: 35532

Re: Homosexual Marriage?

Question: What do you think are the social repercussions of having gay people's unions called "civil union", as opposed to straight people's "marriage". How do you think each will be treated and esteemed? NJ already reported that 7/10 of its civil unions face unequal treatment d...
by cspirou
Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:20 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Why Are (Economic) Conservatives Still Relevant?
Replies: 75
Views: 6158

Re: Why Are (Economic) Conservatives Still Relevant?

I've heard that if you want less of something then you should tax it Which certainly makes it odd that the one thing we tax the highest is , you know, being employed... but that's probably for another thread. Anyways, the reason its still relevant is because the things econoconservatives have pushe...
by cspirou
Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:45 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Homosexual Marriage?
Replies: 394
Views: 35532

Re: Homosexual Marriage?

I'm not addressing this specifically at you, but this kind of attitude, that "it doesn't really matter to me" is a large part of the problem. You're not gay, or just not interested in marriage either way, and so you think it doesn't matter to you. That kind of thinking. And really that ki...
by cspirou
Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:31 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Homosexual Marriage?
Replies: 394
Views: 35532

Re: Homosexual Marriage?

I think I found a point of view that I can be 100% behind. From the point of view of the government everything should be called a civil union and not a marriage. Not only that but they should be extended to people of the same sex who aren't homosexual. I could envision a situation where I live perma...
by cspirou
Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:09 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Why Are (Economic) Conservatives Still Relevant?
Replies: 75
Views: 6158

Re: Why Are (Economic) Conservatives Still Relevant?

I happen to think that people have the wrong definition of capitalism. A lot of people seem to think that capitalism and a free market are the same thing. I believe that capitalism is not about being free but about maximizing competition and choice. It trips people up because they think freedom and ...
by cspirou
Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:45 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Homosexual Marriage?
Replies: 394
Views: 35532

Re: Secular Case Against Gay Marriage

I think I mucked this up by mentioning my views on this. What I want to know is that regardless if you are for or against gay marriage I would like to know what are the possible reasons against it? Even if it means they don't have the same rights. Once again the only thing I can think of is the biol...
by cspirou
Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:33 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Homosexual Marriage?
Replies: 394
Views: 35532

Re: Secular Case Against Gay Marriage

I'm not sure what you are saying here... gay people shouldn't marry because it's unusual, and can't procreate with one another? What about abstinent / infertile couples? If you are just playing devil's advocate, then I'll just say I am not aware of any good reason to deny gay people marriage rights...
by cspirou
Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:39 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Homosexual Marriage?
Replies: 394
Views: 35532

Secular Case Against Gay Marriage

What is the non-religious case against gay marriage? I'm going to play devil's advocate on this. I believe that any religious or traditionalist argument for a ban on gay marriage is doomed to failure. Neither are supported by the constitution. The only one I can think of is because gay people can ha...
by cspirou
Sat Oct 11, 2008 3:27 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: High temperature output heat pump
Replies: 6
Views: 2083

Re: High temperature output heat pump

I would think that the highest temperature you could use is the temperature of the geothermal source.
by cspirou
Sat Oct 11, 2008 3:23 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Physics vs. Comp Sci -- Help
Replies: 15
Views: 2029

Re: Physics vs. Comp Sci -- Help

I know that physics has some very intensive computing problems. Computational physics is relatively new. Sure people use computers for physics all the time. But the tools are already made a lot of the time. Using computers as a primary tool for investigation is something that is starting to take roo...
by cspirou
Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:52 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Obama releases science plan, endorsed by 61 Nobel Laureates
Replies: 64
Views: 5890

Re: Obama releases science plan, endorsed by 61 Nobel Laureates

About this discussion on calculus in high school. In my high school it wasn't required. It was an honors math class and only people who knew they were going to do science or engineering went into it. In which case I would find it irresponsible to remove it because the people taking it are not the on...
by cspirou
Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:58 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: unknown quote
Replies: 5
Views: 880

Re: unknown quote

Delbin wrote:This one's close at least.

In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite.
Paul Dirac (1902 - 1984)



I think that's probably it. Thanks Delbin.
by cspirou
Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:37 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: To Physics Majors - What did you do after graduating?
Replies: 18
Views: 2915

Re: To Physics Majors - What did you do after graduating?

Gone to graduate school studying biophysics. After I get my Ph.D I would like to go into academia but at least my degree gives me some flexibility to continue the same work in the private sector.
by cspirou
Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:22 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: unknown quote
Replies: 5
Views: 880

Re: unknown quote

Quadropus wrote:You?


Sorry, no help hither...



That's why I said I'm paraphrasing.
by cspirou
Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:59 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: unknown quote
Replies: 5
Views: 880

unknown quote

Can someone help me with the source of this quote? I'm paraphrasing it but the basic gist is there

"Science makes difficult things simple to understand. Philosophy makes simple things hard to understand."
by cspirou
Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:56 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Math undergrad
Replies: 10
Views: 2047

Re: Math undergrad

Unless your school is truly terrible it really doesn't matter where you do your undergrad. They all essentially cover the same material. Students don't learn more from lecture with a tougher curriculum. Sure they have to learn it, but they also put in a lot of work to learn that stuff. Why do you th...
by cspirou
Fri Sep 19, 2008 1:24 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: mystery of floating
Replies: 23
Views: 1809

Re: mystery of floating

@ThomasS Here's my problem. Your argument amounts to pressure at the bottom is higher then the top of the object just 'because'. I'm trying to figure things out from first principals and using only forces because it should be adequate to explain. Now a few minutes I ago I realized my original argume...
by cspirou
Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:19 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: mystery of floating
Replies: 23
Views: 1809

Re: mystery of floating

It is a little dangerous to say that the pressure depends on the height of the water changing, because, well, it doesn't. A marble sinking in a small beaker feels the same forces as a marble sinking in a lake. However there is no significant change in the depth of the lake. You were the one that sa...
by cspirou
Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:50 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: mystery of floating
Replies: 23
Views: 1809

Re: mystery of floating

You know what? I just found an answer that I can live with. Tell me if there's any holes in my argument. You have an object underwater. The force on top of the object is the mass of the water above it pushing down. Below the object the water is being subject to the weight of the object and the wate...
by cspirou
Thu Sep 18, 2008 9:38 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: mystery of floating
Replies: 23
Views: 1809

Re: mystery of floating

You know what? I just found an answer that I can live with. Tell me if there's any holes in my argument. You have an object underwater. The force on top of the object is the mass of the water above it pushing down. Below the object the water is being subject to the weight of the object and the water...
by cspirou
Thu Sep 18, 2008 9:27 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: mystery of floating
Replies: 23
Views: 1809

Re: mystery of floating

Fill a large balloon with helium. Dig a hole in sand. Put balloon in the hole. Put sand on top of the balloon. If you don't pile *too* much sand on the balloon, it will indeed float right out of the sand. The only reason it can't float out of a large amount of sand is because, as I mentioned before...
by cspirou
Thu Sep 18, 2008 9:07 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: mystery of floating
Replies: 23
Views: 1809

Re: mystery of floating

There's nothing different about a liquid intrinsically . An object in a bucket of sand experiences the exact same buoyant forces that it would underwater (well, adjusted for sand density vs water density). However, sand can't flow *nearly* so well. Place a very light object under not-too-much sand,...
by cspirou
Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:52 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: mystery of floating
Replies: 23
Views: 1809

Re: mystery of floating

They yield the same force, but the force of weight (m*g) is much less for the ping pong ball so the buoyant force can overcome it. Also, as a restatement of the previous point: it displaces water and the displaced water goes up, therefore by the third law of motion, an equal force must occur on the...
by cspirou
Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:51 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: mystery of floating
Replies: 23
Views: 1809

Re: mystery of floating

I've managed to break the problem down a little further. The buoyant force ultimately comes from the fact the the pressure at the bottom of the object is greater then the pressure at the top of it. The pressure on top I get. It comes from the weight of water above it pushing down. But what is causin...
by cspirou
Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:42 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: mystery of floating
Replies: 23
Views: 1809

Re: mystery of floating

Probably to easiest way to think about it is to imagine dropping a glass marble into a beaker of liquid. What happens to the liquid? As the marble went from out of the liquid to below the liquid, a similar volume of liquid rose. It takes some force and energy to do that. If you try the same thing w...
by cspirou
Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:27 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: mystery of floating
Replies: 23
Views: 1809

mystery of floating

I was wondering if someone could explain how the buoyant force comes about? It's something I've thought of for awhile but I can't come with a satisfactory explanation. I know that it only exist due to gravity but analyzing it further then that gets tricky.
by cspirou
Wed Aug 13, 2008 8:18 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: evolution: hard to fathom instances
Replies: 219
Views: 42585

Re: evolution: hard to fathom instances

The one I'm wondering about is electric eels. How the hell does the ability to produce a large electric field come about? Muscles and nerves naturally produce small electric fields, and many organisms (sharks, rays) can passively sense electric fields. There are fishes, like the Elephant nose fish,...
by cspirou
Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:54 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: evolution: hard to fathom instances
Replies: 219
Views: 42585

Re: evolution: hard to fathom instances

The one I'm wondering about is electric eels. How the hell does the ability to produce a large electric field come about?
by cspirou
Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:17 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Why capitalism sucks...I think...
Replies: 196
Views: 18289

Re: Why capitalism sucks...I think...

On to Universal Healthcare: 1. We all can agree that private insurance companies take some profit from customers, and that the government doesn't care about profits. 2. We all can also agree that government bureaucrats tend to have less motivation for efficiency than private industries do (they get...
by cspirou
Sat Aug 09, 2008 12:09 pm UTC
Forum: School
Topic: Student Demographics
Replies: 2
Views: 789

Re: Student Demographics

I guess I'm biased against old people. Although I do believe the "Retired" category would be the least used. "None of the above" will have to do
by cspirou
Sat Aug 09, 2008 12:04 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Why capitalism sucks...I think...
Replies: 196
Views: 18289

Re: Why capitalism sucks...I think...

. However then we have LEDs which are more efficient and don't require maintenance for at least 20 years! LED's are currently an 'up and coming technology'. You don't have lots of companies pushing them because there are still issues to be worked out, and factories to be re-tooled to produce them. ...
by cspirou
Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:56 am UTC
Forum: School
Topic: Student Demographics
Replies: 2
Views: 789

Student Demographics

I was curious about the type of people that are on this forum.

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