Search found 614 matches

by firechicago
Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:53 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: A Question I Don't Even Know How to Describe
Replies: 5
Views: 876

Re: A Question I Don't Even Know How to Describe

Carlington (The Aussie) wrote:So then, it doesn't ever simplify back down? Also, why does any number from 991-999 trigger this sequence?

Because 99x (x between 1-9) causes the first digits of the next iteration to be 181(x-1). And any number beginning with 181(x-1) causes the next generation to begin with 99x.
by firechicago
Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:36 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Violent orbital reentry
Replies: 12
Views: 2112

Re: Violent orbital reentry

Any chance of slowing down slightly by: A) Jumping the opposite way to the ship B) Using one of those packs with thrusters C) Using the rapid decompression blast caused by opening the casual D) Fire extinguishers and O2 Bottles? You could always attempt to Jimmy rig the craft's own parachutes... bu...
by firechicago
Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:17 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Who/Whom?
Replies: 34
Views: 5212

Re: Who/Whom?

The instrumental is of course a little different, but even then there is almost no situation in which an instrumental would have been used where a participial phrase is not now used instead (usually with the participle "with" or "by"). Don't you mean the prepositions "with&...
by firechicago
Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:33 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Blender + Soup
Replies: 32
Views: 3935

Re: Blender + Soup

I'm no expert, but I suspect the mechanism has to do with hot soup mixing with cold air. The action of the blender is going to mix a lot of air bubbles into the soup. If the soup is still hot, it will cause the air to expand rapidly. It doesn't seem like to far a stretch that the force of the expand...
by firechicago
Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:33 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Dreaming as an evolutionary advantage
Replies: 31
Views: 3836

Re: Dreaming as an evolutionary advantage

Energy conservation can't possibly be the only reason for sleep to exist. If that were the case, it would be possible to stay up forever as long as you kept eating enough. I suspect the necessity of ~8 hours of downtime a day has a lot more to do with the body performing "routine maintenance&qu...
by firechicago
Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:57 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Mistranslations...
Replies: 26
Views: 4341

Re: Mistranslations...

My favorite is this story. Short version: all road signage in Wales has to be bilingual (English and Welsh) but relatively few people actually speak or read Welsh. So when the Swansea city council sent a sign text to their translator and got back an e-mail in Welsh they just put it on the sign. Unfo...
by firechicago
Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:58 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Etymologists, I have an unusual request for you.
Replies: 6
Views: 1630

Re: Etymologists, I have an unusual request for you.

A language which didn't have a way to talk about our basic bodily functions wouldn't be much of a language. And since for so much of English's history the oldest and most direct terms for these things (shit, fuck, cunt etc.) have been tabooed, it's not at all surprising that people came up with all ...
by firechicago
Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:20 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Etymologists, I have an unusual request for you.
Replies: 6
Views: 1630

Re: Etymologists, I have an unusual request for you.

Cock - from the Old French coc (modern french coq). There are attestations of it meaning "penis" from the 1610's, but one source I have (Rawson's Wicked Words ) suggests that the meaning is much older, citing various woodcuts and manuscript illustrations from the 15th century which visuall...
by firechicago
Sun May 23, 2010 1:13 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Why Sex?
Replies: 13
Views: 2506

Re: Why Sex?

I sure others can give a longer and more complete answer but the short version is that sex improves the chances of an individual's genes' surviving by giving their progeny an opportunity to acquire new adaptive traits. Similarly, it improves the chances of survival for a species by allowing individu...
by firechicago
Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:49 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: What Slang Do You Use At Work?
Replies: 20
Views: 6319

Re: What Slang Do You Use At Work?

From my days working for a college theater: The things that emit the radiation that makes the actors visible are called "instruments" or occasionally "lighting instruments." "Light" is a term reserved exclusively for the radiation that comes out of the business end. Thi...
by firechicago
Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:05 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: An 18 word contextual language
Replies: 134
Views: 19125

Re: An 18 word contextual language

li pupani li nunilu I'll reveal my intended meaning in 72 hours or after ten people have offered a translation, whichever comes first. I'm renovating the atheist community center. (Improvework nospiritplace) Y'know there might be a fun parlor game here, translating famous quotes and then guessing a...
by firechicago
Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:19 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Rolling to the top of a hill
Replies: 30
Views: 3651

Re: Rolling to the top of a hill

It's worth noting that the ball only takes an infinite amount of time to arrive if we assume that the top of the hill has a convex slope. (I.e. a slope defined by a curve with a negative second derivative.) If the net force on the ball from gravity isn't approaching zero as the ball reaches the top,...
by firechicago
Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:03 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Gay: Full of hate or just another swear?
Replies: 163
Views: 21173

Re: Gay: Full of hate or just another swear?

I think bastard is a very illustrative example of a similar situation. Both bastard and gay are pejoratives derived from the "normal" descriptor of a traditionally marginalized group. However you feel bastard is today (and that may be that it's innocuous or that it's unacceptably offensiv...
by firechicago
Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:18 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: The purpose of manners and properness
Replies: 18
Views: 3066

Re: The purpose of manners and properness

Hello, For the past several days I have been thinking about the purpose of being proper and the invention of manners and properness. It seems to me that manners only create a way to separate classes of people, which is to say, those who have manners and are prim and proper, and those who are not. N...

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