What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

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cellocgw
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What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby cellocgw » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:23 pm UTC

http://what-if.xkcd.com/84/

Waiting for someone to calculate the layer thickness achievable if we cover the earth with GLR's estimate of all the paint there ever wuz.
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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby jozwa » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:40 pm UTC

I laughed when the wild guesses were getting pretty wild. "Based on my impressions from walking down the aisles, home improvement stores stock about as many light bulbs as cans of paint."

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby vortighast » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:46 pm UTC

How does 4 limbs round to 10? Unless he is including... :oops:

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby brenok » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:49 pm UTC

vortighast wrote:How does 4 limbs round to 10? Unless he is including... :oops:

log(4) ~= 0.6, which is greater than 0.5

That means 4 is closer to 10 than to 1 (100)

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Sir Real
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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby Sir Real » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:51 pm UTC

Presumably a reference to this company logo...
Image
Image

(Yes, it's real; took it myself just up the road from my house.)

So now we know what the Cthulhu-worshippers got up to after the 20's...

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby DireKobold » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:04 pm UTC

Sir Real wrote:Presumably a reference to this company logo...

(Yes, it's real; took it myself just up the road from my house.)

So now we know what the Cthulhu-worshippers got up to after the 20's...


Good catch. Once I saw it I recognized the logo and the truth of your statement, but I never would have made the connection otherwise.

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby vortighast » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:09 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:http://what-if.xkcd.com/84/

Waiting for someone to calculate the layer thickness achievable if we cover the earth with GLR's estimate of all the paint there ever wuz.



About a quarter of a mil. Or the diameter of a red blood cell. Thanks Wolfram.

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby alanbbent » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:19 pm UTC

Fine. I'll ask. What's the movie title that gets rounded to T10N?

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby Moose Anus » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:21 pm UTC

alanbbent wrote:Fine. I'll ask. What's the movie title that gets rounded to T10N?
My guess is Se7en.
Lemonade? ...Aww, ok.

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Sir Real
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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby Sir Real » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:23 pm UTC

DireKobold wrote:
Sir Real wrote:Presumably a reference to this company logo...

(Yes, it's real; took it myself just up the road from my house.)

So now we know what the Cthulhu-worshippers got up to after the 20's...


Good catch. Once I saw it I recognized the logo and the truth of your statement, but I never would have made the connection otherwise.


I love that logo. It's so... evilly mundane? Mundanely evil? The helpful friendly guy behind the counter who mixes your colours should be stroking a fluffy white cat while he works.

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby moody7277 » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:00 pm UTC

I've had my own GOOMHR moment with this one, as I was doing some painting over the weekend.
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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby Djehutynakht » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:01 pm UTC

Sir Real wrote:
I love that logo. It's so... evilly mundane? Mundanely evil? The helpful friendly guy behind the counter who mixes your colours should be stroking a fluffy white cat while he works.


If his job is mixing colors, I'm going to guess that the fluffy white cat he's stroking is no longer white.

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby richP » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:29 pm UTC

Two references to the '08 Senate election in MN, nice!

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby PsiSquared » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:36 pm UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:
Sir Real wrote:
I love that logo. It's so... evilly mundane? Mundanely evil? The helpful friendly guy behind the counter who mixes your colours should be stroking a fluffy white cat while he works.


If his job is mixing colors, I'm going to guess that the fluffy white cat he's stroking is no longer white.


But if you spin that cat fast enough, it will probably look white :)

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby keithl » Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:08 pm UTC

This reminds me of Fermi's Pigment Paradox: If they are out there, what color do they use to paint planets, and why haven't they painted ours?

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby Klear » Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:32 pm UTC

I wonder if the first alt-text is a reference to this, or if both is a reference to an actual director.

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:37 pm UTC

Wait, Star Trek II ?

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby Trickster » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:52 am UTC

I don't follow the Star Trek votey either. I and II and III should all be I, shouldn't they? If not, then why do the others round to X?

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby mathmannix » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:00 pm UTC

Image

Whenever I pass this store, I yell out angrily "Stupid Sherwin Williams, trying to cover the whole earth in paint! That's terrible for the environment!"
I hear velociraptor tastes like chicken.

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby thm » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:02 pm UTC

There's another estimating technique that this What-If illustrates: take the geometric mean of the your high-end and low-end estimates.

In this case, the high-end estimate is the one based on the number of painters, 150×1012 m2 coverage.
The low end estimate is the light bulb real estate valuation: 300×109 m2 coverage.
The geometric mean of these is √(150×1012 × 300×109)=6.7×1012 m2 coverage, which is absurdly close to the 9×1012 m2 coverage derived from industry numbers.

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby Spectrum » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:07 pm UTC

As Steve Wright is said to have said, "It's a small world but I'd hate to have to paint it."

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby J. Curwen » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:55 pm UTC

Sir Real wrote:So now we know what the Cthulhu-worshippers got up to after the 20's...


Hm, I read pretty much everything by Lovecraft but I don't get the connection. Could anyone enlighten me on this one?

Thanks!
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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby daneyuleb » Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:16 pm UTC

Trickster wrote:I don't follow the Star Trek votey either. I and II and III should all be I, shouldn't they? If not, then why do the others round to X?


II and III's rationale escapes me as well.
Moose Anus wrote:
alanbbent wrote:Fine. I'll ask. What's the movie title that gets rounded to T10N?
My guess is Se7en.


Huh? Se7en? Um... huh?

I was thinking, somehow, Tron, but no idea how ro turns into 10 (or r turns into 1 and o becomes 0). No constants seem to apply.

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby Himself » Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:24 pm UTC

Moose Anus wrote:
alanbbent wrote:Fine. I'll ask. What's the movie title that gets rounded to T10N?
My guess is Se7en.

Shouldn't that be Ii10ii, then?
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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby mathmannix » Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:40 pm UTC

ENRICO FERMI'S FAVORITE MOVIES:

* 100 DALMATIANS
* OCEAN'S TEN
* T10N
* 1000: A SPACE ODYSSEY
* MIRACLE ON 100TH ST
* THE TENTH SENSE
* 10 MILE
* THE 100 YEAR OLD VIRGIN


Don't forget The Naked Gun, The Naked Gun 1, and The Naked Gun 100.
I hear velociraptor tastes like chicken.

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby Flumble » Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:26 pm UTC

Himself wrote:
Moose Anus wrote:
alanbbent wrote:Fine. I'll ask. What's the movie title that gets rounded to T10N?
My guess is Se7en.

Shouldn't that be Ii10ii, then?

Huh?
Se7en is constructed by taking the number 7's text representation and replacing the middle letter with the number's value representation. Likewise you get t10n.

See also: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/ ... 724-FEAR-3

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby Klear » Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:48 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:
Himself wrote:
Moose Anus wrote:
alanbbent wrote:Fine. I'll ask. What's the movie title that gets rounded to T10N?
My guess is Se7en.

Shouldn't that be Ii10ii, then?

Huh?
Se7en is constructed by taking the number 7's text representation and replacing the middle letter with the number's value representation. Likewise you get t10n.

See also: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/ ... 724-FEAR-3


I... still don't get it.

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby brenok » Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:57 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
Flumble wrote:
Himself wrote:
Moose Anus wrote:
alanbbent wrote:Fine. I'll ask. What's the movie title that gets rounded to T10N?
My guess is Se7en.

Shouldn't that be Ii10ii, then?

Huh?
Se7en is constructed by taking the number 7's text representation and replacing the middle letter with the number's value representation. Likewise you get t10n.

See also: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/ ... 724-FEAR-3


I... still don't get it.

Take a number, write it down, and substitute the middle letter by its decimal representation.

Do it with 7 and it becomes Se7en. "Round" it to 10 and it becomes T10n

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby Klear » Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:32 pm UTC

brenok wrote:Do it with 7 and it becomes Se7en. "Round" it to 10 and it becomes T10n


Oh, right. Thanks. I guess I kept getting thrown off by reading "T10n" as "Tron" which somehow froze my reasoning.

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby thevicente » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:47 pm UTC

daneyuleb wrote:
Trickster wrote:I don't follow the Star Trek votey either. I and II and III should all be I, shouldn't they? If not, then why do the others round to X?


II and III's rationale escapes me as well.


The 1979 movie and the 2009 one weren' t titled "Star Trek <number>"

As for the 2013 movie, http://xkcd.com/1167/

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby jpvlsmv » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:04 pm UTC

thevicente wrote:
daneyuleb wrote:
Trickster wrote:I don't follow the Star Trek votey either. I and II and III should all be I, shouldn't they? If not, then why do the others round to X?


II and III's rationale escapes me as well.


The 1979 movie and the 2009 one weren' t titled "Star Trek <number>"

As for the 2013 movie, http://xkcd.com/1167/


If you consider movies titled "Star Trek" (and ignore subtitles) then there have been way more than two[1]-- approximately 10 movies titled "Star Trek", exactly one each with titles Star Trek II through VI, and one with an arguable prepositional phrase.

If you approximate IV, V, and VI to X, then you end up with exactly 3 "Star Trek X" movies, which could be considered a BUNCH, but is still only approximately 1.

In contrast, there have been two (or approximately 1) "A Nighmare on Elm Street aproximately 1"s, and the same number of "A Nightmare on Elm Street approximately 10"s.[2]

--Joe
[1] 1979, 2009, and all those from TNG
[2] Based on the titles listed on imdb.

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby chefmonkey » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:36 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
Oh, right. Thanks. I guess I kept getting thrown off by reading "T10n" as "Tron" which somehow froze my reasoning.


Yeah, I read that as a reference to the unpronounceable name that had been given to "Tron 2", which I misremembered as "T2ON" rather than the even less comprehensible "TR2N" (cf. the July 30, 2008 edition of Hijinks Ensue, which the forum will not allow me to link -- Google is your friend). If it had been "T2ON", then a clever recasting of the letter "o" as the number "zero" would get you to 20, which Fermi rounds to 10.

But I had misremembered, and the T10n explanation holds together much better.

I'll also note that, in the same way that "i13n" is used to refer to "internationalization" and "l10n" is used to refer to "localization", t10n could easily be used as an abbreviation for "tessellation".

p.s. What's a seven-letter synonym for "name" that uses the letters e, i, k, m, n, o, and r? Yeah, you can't answer, can you. Anyone know why the forum software blocks that word as spam?

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby brenok » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:52 pm UTC

chefmonkey wrote:p.s. What's a seven-letter synonym for "name" that uses the letters e, i, k, m, n, o, and r? Yeah, you can't answer, can you. Anyone know why the forum software blocks that word as spam?

I think I've never seen that word before, had to use an anagram solver. One more word to the vocabulary.

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby Moose Anus » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:02 pm UTC

chefmonkey wrote:What's a seven-letter synonym for "name" that uses the letters e, i, k, m, n, o, and r? Yeah, you can't answer, can you. Anyone know why the forum software blocks that word as spam?


Moniker?
Lemonade? ...Aww, ok.

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby memetics » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:49 am UTC

"Painting the Earth" is "Measuring Coastlines":
"Coastline_paradox" is in the wiki.
(try to paint the Sahara)

There can never be enough paint produced to cover the entire earth's surface, or landmasses for that matter.
Which seems logical, in a way.

Only if you knew the exact size of the pigments and the stuff they're supposed to cover, you might hazard a guess. If only "cover" wouldn't be somewhat of a concept.
But I'm sure, calculating that, is beyond even Randall's capabilities.

It's a weird question anyway.

What if we mistook time for space and vice versa?

That's an ever weirder question.

Actually.

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby RWLott » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:36 am UTC

brenok wrote:
chefmonkey wrote:p.s. What's a seven-letter synonym for "name" that uses the letters e, i, k, m, n, o, and r? Yeah, you can't answer, can you. Anyone know why the forum software blocks that word as spam?

I think I've never seen that word before, had to use an anagram solver. One more word to the vocabulary.


M0nik3r, m0nik3r, m0nik3r, m0nik3r.

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby helo darqness » Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:15 am UTC

I'm not an engineer, nor am I a computer scientist, and as bad as math as you think someone may be, I promise you I am far worse at it, but what I can tell you is that in todays world, a gallon of interior paint, and most exterior paints are designed to cover 400 square feet on average, not 300. Quality, thickness, aside, if you buy a $9 gallon or a $40 gallon, you'll get roughly the same coverage (of course you'd need more gallons to cover a wall with the cheaper paint, but we haven't defined what coverage would be sufficient)

I don't know how thoroughly Randall was coating everything, but his numbers there are off which do change the final answer.

Not trying to be a stickler or anything, but that adjustment should be accounted for.
Last edited by helo darqness on Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:15 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:23 am UTC

memetics wrote:[stuff]

NO.

We already have an addams here, thank you very much, and one is plenty.
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Baige.

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby CatCube » Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:42 pm UTC

I guess I'm curious why Randall is reading papers about hydrology (which is the discipline you'll most likely find references to acre-feet), and why he doesn't like the unit. It's much more convenient to avoid awkward conversions, and is much more easily grasped intuitively. One inch of precipitation on a 120-acre watershed will produce 10 acre-feet of water to deal with.

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Re: What-If 0084: "Paint the Earth"

Postby Trickster » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:53 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
brenok wrote:Do it with 7 and it becomes Se7en. "Round" it to 10 and it becomes T10n


Oh, right. Thanks. I guess I kept getting thrown off by reading "T10n" as "Tron" which somehow froze my reasoning.


I honestly thought it was Tron 2.0 written as T20N with the 2 as a stylized R. I've seen Se7en but not in the theater so I didn't remember it had a 7 in the title... I'd never have guessed that.


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