Search found 92 matches

by niky
Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:38 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Effect of hydrogen cars on the environment. (hypothetical)
Replies: 19
Views: 3426

Re: Effect of hydrogen cars on the environment. (hypothetica

Well.. we could always power our civilization, or what's left of it, off of the radiation from evaporating black holes...
by niky
Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:32 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Effect of hydrogen cars on the environment. (hypothetical)
Replies: 19
Views: 3426

Re: Effect of hydrogen cars on the environment. (hypothetica

Well, everything is, technically, "renewable", if you can wait long enough for more of it to form. :mrgreen:
by niky
Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:24 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Effect of hydrogen cars on the environment. (hypothetical)
Replies: 19
Views: 3426

Re: Effect of hydrogen cars on the environment. (hypothetica

Going by global oil consumption, estimated at 89.94 million barrels per day, and that each barrel makes about 19.5 gallons of gas, each of which is equivalent to 0.997 kilograms of hydrogen, which takes about 8.9 kilograms of water to make... you're looking at a yearly requirement of 5.7 billion ton...
by niky
Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:06 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0021: "Machine Gun Jetpack"
Replies: 93
Views: 46735

Re: What-If 0021: Machine Gun Jetpack

If you have the technology to block the lasers, why not build an entire suite using that, making the laser completely useless. If you were having trouble seeing through them, you may as well leave only the eyes exposed so the enemy has to get a perfect shot at your eyes. Although the idea of blindf...
by niky
Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:16 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: (All) Possible Methods of FTL
Replies: 19
Views: 8570

Re: (All) Possible Methods of FTL

Niven, Rainbow Mars. There were plans to send a spacecraft back in time, have it slowboat to Alpha Centuari, and make it there in "present" time. Unfortunately, the "time machines" didn't have the ability to send a load that large that far back in time.
by niky
Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:32 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold book
Replies: 489
Views: 41787

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Open-source textbooks would be nice. But good luck finding enough people willing to give away knowledge and concepts that they spent decades and hundreds of thousands of dollars to acquire. Surely a few years ago you could have made the same argument: "An open-source encyclopedia would be nice...
by niky
Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:30 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1135: "Arachnoneurology"
Replies: 107
Views: 25666

Re: 1135: "Arachnoneurology"

The 21st edition, really? Chapter 17 reprints several of the popular myths about the famous Liocranid sac spider experiments, and chapter 94 only briefly mentions the emerging field of neuroarachnoarachnology. It's not worth your money, you really should stick with the 20th, and given the recent de...
by niky
Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:34 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1135: "Arachnoneurology"
Replies: 107
Views: 25666

Re: 1135: "Arachnoneurology"

I'm pretty sure you want that to be a rotating framework to get good coverage.

Easier to make socks. Just not toe socks.
by niky
Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:58 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold book
Replies: 489
Views: 41787

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

The big problem with shipping books cross-border is not just that you are taking money from the publisher, it's that you are disincentivizing the sale of products which carry socialized pricing... priced lower in markets where customers can't afford them. $50 for a textbook in the US is painful. $50...
by niky
Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:26 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold book
Replies: 489
Views: 41787

Re: Wiley sues student for infringing copyright on resold bo

Fictional works, for entertainment, the copyright should be for at least the life time of the creator(s). These are not things that would necessarily otherwise have been developed and are not crucial to the health of people or the economy. Although I would be amenable to a "use it or lose it&q...
by niky
Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:36 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0017: "Green cows"
Replies: 87
Views: 30508

Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

We could definitely feed more people on grain than cows... which are very expensive to raise (commercially) versus other animals. You could lower the costs of farming beef by not force-feeding them grain, but then you wouldn't get a lot of beef, which sort of defeats the purpose. How about only gro...
by niky
Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:44 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: "New" Information in the Universe
Replies: 59
Views: 12799

Re: "New" Information in the Universe

Rather than describing human brains as the most complex things in the universe, maybe it'd be more precise to describe them as the most intricate things in the universe. They don't have more detail than anything else their size, but their details are more significant. (Possibly they're at lower ent...
by niky
Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:09 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0017: "Green cows"
Replies: 87
Views: 30508

Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

We could definitely feed more people on grain than cows... which are very expensive to raise (commercially) versus other animals. You could lower the costs of farming beef by not force-feeding them grain, but then you wouldn't get a lot of beef, which sort of defeats the purpose. Still, imagine food...
by niky
Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:01 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0017: "Green cows"
Replies: 87
Views: 30508

Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

They'd still need a digestive system (though maybe a lower-power one) since the cow has to be made out of something , and photosynthesis doesn't convert directly to matter, it just lets the organism build stuff out of the the water and nutrients it gets from "digesting" its environment (r...
by niky
Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:49 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0017: "Green cows"
Replies: 87
Views: 30508

Re: What-if 0017: Green cows

Raising gators for food is terribly energy inefficient, as they eat a crapload of chicken to grow to size. The price of gator meat is enough to shock you into instant vegetarianism. Instead of sails, my cows would be inflatable. All that methane build up is stored in sacs under the skin. At night, t...
by niky
Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:39 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: (All) Possible Methods of FTL
Replies: 19
Views: 8570

Re: (All) Possible Methods of FTL

L. Neil Smith (I think) had a tongue-in-cheek drive powered by the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle. since you could never know both how fast you were going and where you were, calculate your position to a great degree and your speed becomes VERY uncertain. The aliens who used this, however, becalme...
by niky
Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:35 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Would dragons be stable in flight?
Replies: 28
Views: 17255

Re: Would dragons be stable in flight?

"The Last Hero" had dragons used as a propulsion source. (Chemical) They also discovered moon dragons that basically got around in the same manner as Errol.
by niky
Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:36 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: What alternatives to Creation VS Evolution are there?
Replies: 59
Views: 17028

Re: What alternatives to Creation VS Evolution are there?

Xanthir wrote:Given the number of people with bestiality fetishes *already*, I suspect that a significant fraction of us humans would gladly have sex with human-intelligent animals of multiple stripes.


Somehow, your log-in name seems particularly apt. Piers Anthony was such a perv. :mrgreen:
by niky
Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:29 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Would dragons be stable in flight?
Replies: 28
Views: 17255

Re: Would dragons be stable in flight?

I don't think our atmosphere has ever been that thick. Hot-air balloons? That is just silly. Hydrogen balloons, while still silly would be a bit more realistic. (More lift per volume, normal temperatures, hydrogen produced by metabolic processes also used to breathe fire.) A dragon balloon would sti...
by niky
Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:31 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: What alternatives to Creation VS Evolution are there?
Replies: 59
Views: 17028

Re: What alternatives to Creation VS Evolution are there?

Darwin's Radio? Could you be thinking of that? Interesting book. Brings to mind a related story, "The Locusts" (Larry Niven & Steven Barnes), in which H.Sapiens Sapiens is merely a form of Australopithecus that has mutated due to environmental stress. Once humans have conquered the pl...
by niky
Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:35 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Visible precursors to Earth?
Replies: 8
Views: 4719

Re: Visible precursors to Earth?

You could do as the protagonsts in Piers Anthony's Macroscope did... take a magical* spaceship outside the galaxy and point a magical* telescope back at it and view Earth's distant past.

*magical in the sense that any sufficiently advanced science-fictional gibberish is basically magic.
by niky
Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:30 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Would dragons be stable in flight?
Replies: 28
Views: 17255

Re: Would dragons be stable in flight?

Suggested research: The Flight of Dragons http://www.amazon.com/The-Flight-Dragons-Victor-Buono/dp/B002VA5A0C While the movie isn't strictly about dragon aeronautics, the main character proposes a mechanism by which dragons can fly. Basically, they're glorified hot air balloons (through the metaboli...
by niky
Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:20 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1121: "Identity"
Replies: 63
Views: 14897

Re: 1121: "Identity"

Gave me a chuckle. I could see this happening in real life.
by niky
Sat Oct 13, 2012 5:11 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1120: "Blurring the Line"
Replies: 74
Views: 20743

Re: 1120 : "Blurring the Line"

I quite like Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. And better, it was about Hamlet. Which was a play in which there was a play... The Last Action Hero is a terribly under-rated movie. Granted, it wasn't very good... but still quite enjoyable. Liar, Liar comes to mind as a (bad) movie about making a...
by niky
Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:43 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1120: "Blurring the Line"
Replies: 74
Views: 20743

Re: 1120 : "Blurring the Line"

Image
by niky
Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:12 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0015: "Mariana Trench Explosion"
Replies: 55
Views: 18064

Re: What-if 0015: Mariana Trench Explosion

You kind of figure that a nuclear bomb isn't going to do much that deep under. Heck, that's the standard trope for any runaway nuclear explosion: "Fly/drop/throw it into the ocean!" Next week: "What if we tried to launch a spaceship using carbonated beverages?" I'm pretty sure th...
by niky
Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:07 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1117: "My Sky"
Replies: 58
Views: 16145

Re: 1117: "My Sky"

Pfhorrest wrote:
VectorZero wrote:Women don't exist in Tolkien's world.

Buh?

Eowen, Luthien, Galadrial, Melian, et al would like beg to differ...

(Arwen would too, if she existed anywhere outside the appendices).


About as real as "women" in a kabuki production... :mrgreen:
by niky
Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:45 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1117: "My Sky"
Replies: 58
Views: 16145

Re: 1117: "My Sky"

With regard to computer cloud storage, my issue with it is that if the host servers are taken down, you lose your files, perhaps permanently. Note what happened when Megaupload was shut down for encouraging piracy--anybody who had legitimate non-piracy stuff on there lost access to their data and w...
by niky
Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:40 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1115: "Sky"
Replies: 84
Views: 20550

Re: 1115: "Sky"

A donut with chocolate filling on the inside of the hole. Yum. Went a little further than I was going to, I was going to make a joke about how nematodes or something... Reminds me of a short... Where a man flies throughg the center of a giant space worm and comes out alive at the other end. Not nec...
by niky
Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:52 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1115: "Sky"
Replies: 84
Views: 20550

Re: 1115: "Sky"

A donut with chocolate filling on the inside of the hole.


Yum.
by niky
Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:29 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1115: "Sky"
Replies: 84
Views: 20550

Re: 1115: "Sky"

In the Vacuum Diampgrams story, I was under the impression, at first, that it was just one planet,folded in on itself. Might be interesting to construct it that was, actually... Just to find out what happens at the equator,,, What bothered me is how a completely sealed hypersphere like that managed ...
by niky
Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:14 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1115: "Sky"
Replies: 84
Views: 20550

Re: 1115: "Sky"

If gravity cancels out everywhere, after a few minutes, we'd be too busy worrying about the sun to care about our exploding planet.
by niky
Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:54 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0013: "Laser Pointer"
Replies: 76
Views: 58031

Re: What-if 0013: Laser Pointer

I only read Baxter whenever I want to feel inadequate about myself.

Of course, these What-Ifs are more Niven-ish. Though Niven did once try to blow up Pluto with frozen hydrogen and oxygen that turned out, in the end, to not be there.
by niky
Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:48 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0013: "Laser Pointer"
Replies: 76
Views: 58031

Re: What-if 0013: Laser Pointer

A gleefully glib what-if. I found myself reasing each "More power!" line in Jamie Hyneman's voice.

Why did people have to start talking about Xeelee? Now I'm going to have to go back and read all one trillion pages of the Xeelee Sequence... again.
by niky
Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:07 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0012: "Raindrop"
Replies: 91
Views: 24845

Re: What-if 0012: Raindrop

JJH wrote:
niky wrote:It's a very small singularity.


:?


Are you suggesting there are big ones? :D
by niky
Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:49 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0012: "Raindrop"
Replies: 91
Views: 24845

Re: What-if 0012: Raindrop

Which begs the question, if you pour water on a singularity, would the intense heat, pressure and radiation electrolyze the water and make the components catch fire? If you are close enough to a singularity to consider pouring water on it directly and it doesn't have an event horizon, things have a...
by niky
Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:09 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0012: "Raindrop"
Replies: 91
Views: 24845

Re: What-if 0012: Raindrop

Which begs the question, if you pour water on a singularity, would the intense heat, pressure and radiation electrolyze the water and make the components catch fire?
by niky
Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:21 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0012: "Raindrop"
Replies: 91
Views: 24845

Re: What-if 0012: Raindrop

But... But... Water is incompressible! That's why we use it to put out singularities!




...and fires.
by niky
Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:32 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0012: "Raindrop"
Replies: 91
Views: 24845

Re: What-if 0012: Raindrop

Jamaican Castle wrote:It worries me a little how many What-Ifs end in a gigantic explosion of some form or another.


There's a term for that. They call it the "Mythbusters Effect."
by niky
Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:20 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-if 0008: "Everybody Jump"
Replies: 155
Views: 49233

Re: apocalyptic anarchic violence?

Dear Randall and readers, In the last "what if" entrance (http://what-if.xkcd.com/8/) , Randall sadly fell in a very common sociologic cliche. After a series of clever and perfectly plausible consecuencies of the situation proposed, near the end, he lightly slip "Violence is common&q...

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