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### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 7:12 pm UTC
mscha wrote:
Kieryn wrote:A swallow, I say. But european or african?

But what's its airspeed velocity? (In cue/newpix, please.)

Wait. Is there air there? Perhaps they move through vacuum via repulsor units! In which case they would not be swallows at all. In vacuum, too, the flags would not be moving.

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 7:15 pm UTC
mscha wrote:
Kieryn wrote:A swallow, I say. But european or african?

But what's its airspeed velocity? (In cue/newpix, please.)

I don't know about airspeed velocity, but relative to the ground, we have a little 4.1 q.np-1. I think the np has accelerated for a short time there.

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 7:16 pm UTC
edfel wrote:
mscha wrote:
Kieryn wrote:A swallow, I say. But european or african?

But what's its airspeed velocity? (In cue/newpix, please.)

I don't know about airspeed velocity, but relative to the ground, we have a little 4.1 q.np-1. I think the np has accelerated for a short time there.

Hey! Maybe combining that data with this, we could finally get a good estimate for the scale of this world?

Edit: Except we still don't know how to convert T. dern.

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 7:22 pm UTC
mscha wrote:
Kieryn wrote:A swallow, I say. But european or african?

But what's its airspeed velocity? (In cue/newpix, please.)

I was flicking backwards through the book of Aubron to come up with a approximation and there is something unreasonably hilarious about cuegan jumping about in reverse.
In alternative units, its about 4 newpix/frame, or 1 birdflight/birdflight

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 7:23 pm UTC
Kieryn wrote:
Spoiler:
edfel wrote:
mscha wrote:
Kieryn wrote:A swallow, I say. But european or african?

But what's its airspeed velocity? (In cue/newpix, please.)

I don't know about airspeed velocity, but relative to the ground, we have a little 4.1 q.np-1. I think the np has accelerated for a short time there.

Hey! Maybe combining that data with this, we could finally get a good estimate for the scale of this world?

Edit: Except we still don't know how to convert T. dern.

Anyway, that would assume that the np rate was constant. But then the swallow-raptor here would be 3.5 times slower than a Cueball in good form, so Cuegan would be naturally walking at around 35m.s-1. This sounds a slight bit too much...

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 7:30 pm UTC
Sciscitor wrote:And another one, this time weighted by posting count of the user (sorry to bore you with this, but I try to brush up on my matplotlib skillz):
frequency.png

The heavy posters make up in "a" what they lack in "e".

Is the "nickname" actually the username? Plus, no offense, I don't get it.

Montov wrote:You should have used CAPS LOCK more. Well, technically, only once and not shut it off.

I should have? WHY?

TheMinim wrote:*prepares equipment for end of OTC vis-a-vis a previous post*

Fudge, anyone?

Spoiler:

Oh, thanks! *gobbles* MMm, Ths s g'd. Dmnt, nw uh cn't rmbl.

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 7:35 pm UTC
How can we deduce speed, if we don't know the size or distance of the .. pixels.
We can measure it in arcseconds. Or arcmicronewpix.

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 7:42 pm UTC
azule wrote:
Sciscitor wrote:And another one, this time weighted by posting count of the user (sorry to bore you with this, but I try to brush up on my matplotlib skillz):
frequency.png

The heavy posters make up in "a" what they lack in "e".

Is the "nickname" actually the username? Plus, no offense, I don't get it.

Well yes. The forum I manage makes a distinction between a users name (username; e.g. John Doe) and his nickname (sloppyjoe). Since most people here do not use their real name, I tend to refer to the usernames as nicknames. Sorry if I confused you with this terminology.
No problem, it really ain't that interesting stuff at all and its information content is about zero.
Also: Nice new hat, azule!

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 7:54 pm UTC
Thanks. and Thanks!

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 8:09 pm UTC
SKLONG

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 8:10 pm UTC
mscha wrote:
Montov wrote:
buffygirl wrote:I can't believe you people. It's a raptor, sillies!

Raptors and birds share a common ancestor. So it is just a matter of figuring out in which time period this comic is set in.

Some time after the invention of modern English, I'd say, given the dialogue. So, 16th century or later?

But we have evidence that Adam speaks modern English, too: http://xkcd.com/1003

Or if Adam was dubbed, maybe Megan and Cueball are also dubbed. It's hard to see how good the lip-sync is, but there is precedence: the hieroglyphic dialogue in the Asterix and Cleopatra book was dubbed.

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 8:11 pm UTC
moody7277 wrote:
edfel wrote:I've been trying to find out if these were really the right size and shape for sand dunes or not (I heard somewhere that there was a "stable" shape with given angles, etc.). In particular I found them a bit too symmetrical: the slope is the same windward and, er, counter-windward.

Steepest a sand dune can be is called the angle of repose.

So, it it's dry sand, the angle would be 34o. Anybody got a protractor?

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 8:55 pm UTC
Montov wrote:
buffygirl wrote:I can't believe you people. It's a raptor, sillies!

Raptors and birds share a common ancestor. So it is just a matter of figuring out in which time period this comic is set in.

Actually, raptors are birds. You might be thinking of velociraptors.[/pedant]

jjjdavidson wrote:Oh, the irony. A couple of hours after my last contribution to the lengthy discussions about capture scripts and backups, I discovered my own capture script had been sitting in an unwatched window, waiting for a response from me, since 2:02pm local time yesterday. I missed twenty frames. (I've got them now, but out of order.)

I went the entire month of April, I believe, without missing a single frame, and then I do something dumb like that. I missed all the bird frames. Even more ironically, the very first frame I missed was the one where Megan took her tumble - the tumble I predicted. If I'm such a great prophet, you think I'd have seen that coming...

That probably wouldn't have been between 00:00 and 01:00 UTC, would it? That's when mine quit out, but that's unlikely equal to your 14:02/2:02 PM, unless you're in Hawai'i or the far Aleutians.

Kieryn wrote:
edfel wrote:
mscha wrote:
Kieryn wrote:A swallow, I say. But european or african?

But what's its airspeed velocity? (In cue/newpix, please.)

I don't know about airspeed velocity, but relative to the ground, we have a little 4.1 q.np-1. I think the np has accelerated for a short time there.

Hey! Maybe combining that data with this, we could finally get a good estimate for the scale of this world?

Edit: Except we still don't know how to convert T. dern.

So basically, we're looking for the fine-structure constant of the XKCDiverse?

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 9:02 pm UTC

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 9:10 pm UTC
mscha wrote:

I find this acceptable.

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 9:15 pm UTC
With regards to the scale of the world, how about using their height as a benchmark? Most people are somewhere between 5' and 6' tall (there are probably online tables somewhere giving the xth percentile ranges for various countries), so it should be possible to work out reasonable minimum and maximum scales, with the reality likely to fall in between.

Alternatively, since we've already redefined units of time, use their height as the base unit for a new distance measurement system...

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 9:31 pm UTC
mittfh wrote:With regards to the scale of the world, how about using their height as a benchmark? Most people are somewhere between 5' and 6' tall (there are probably online tables somewhere giving the xth percentile ranges for various countries), so it should be possible to work out reasonable minimum and maximum scales, with the reality likely to fall in between.

Alternatively, since we've already redefined units of time, use their height as the base unit for a new distance measurement system...

Already done - hence the unit "the cue", based on cueball's height

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 9:36 pm UTC
mittfh wrote:With regards to the scale of the world, how about using their height as a benchmark? Most people are somewhere between 5' and 6' tall (there are probably online tables somewhere giving the xth percentile ranges for various countries), so it should be possible to work out reasonable minimum and maximum scales, with the reality likely to fall in between.

Alternatively, since we've already redefined units of time, use their height as the base unit for a new distance measurement system...

[ninja'd -- I post for the details:]
That's already what we use : 1q ("Cue") = 1 Cueball height, in most frames it's between 40 and 50 pixels, I've been using 46 as an average (with the "sample 3 frames, and call this a representative sample" method).
Apart from the part where we see them fro behind, and assuming there has been no gap in the panorama, they've traveled for more or less 1,170q until now, which gives a bit more than 2km with a 1m75 Cueball (I don't feel like translating to non-SI).
The mapsig uses cues when available, or an "average distance they move per newpix" unit which is all that we have when they go out of frame.

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 9:41 pm UTC
HES wrote:
SBN wrote:Good morning. Happy Mother's Day. (Please select the greeting of your choice.)
ChronosDragon wrote:Also, take the time to thank your female parental figure of choice for allowing you to Wait For It. They made it all possible, after all

Um... is this one of those holidays you have at a different time across the pond, or do I need to make an apologetic phone call?

American but when I lived in the UK I made sure to hit my kids up for remind my children about BOTH observances. Who doesn't like twice the chocolates??!?

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 9:48 pm UTC
htom wrote:"It's not backed up until it's been restored from the backup!" has since been a theme of mine.

Blessed are the pessimists, for they have made backups. (And checked them.) My worst experience with non-backups was with tar. We had an upgrade to do, and someone decided it should be done over the July 4th holiday, so the downtime wouldn't be a problem. (The upgrade team not getting the holiday wasn't considered a problem.) The software directory was tarred up, the upgrade was done, and the un-tar was done. Then it was my turn, only when I went to run the software something was amiss. Specifically, whoever ran the tar had only done the directory, not the files within. So I had to start calling people who thought they were entitled to the holiday, and get the problem fixed. We did, eventually, though I've forgotten now how we did it.

My daughter also learned a good lesson just before finals last term. Her hard drive died. Papers and assignments were backed up nicely. Class notes, not at all. Hard to study from nothing. Thankfully, the University computer lab had people and tools that knew how to pull the files off the hard drive. It took two tries, and then a lot of emailing of files for conversion, since the computers in the school library didn't have OneNote, her preferred note-taking software, and she basically lived in the library for a week, but the lesson was learned less painfully than it might have been. Now items for her own use are backed up with as much zeal as items to be turned in to others.

BlitzGirl wrote:Some causes for the OTT slowdown might include the confluence of special Outside occasions these xips (at least in the U.S.) including Mother's Day, high school proms, and graduations followed by parties of all shapes and sizes. These threw me so far out of my normal stride that I ended up in Moscow, Idaho, so I would not be surprised if similar catastrophe has struck many of our fellow thread-dwellers.

Indeed, I'm several states north of home at the moment, as the school year has ended for my daughter and she and her stuff need a ride home.

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 9:57 pm UTC
Davidy wrote:
moody7277 wrote:
edfel wrote:I've been trying to find out if these were really the right size and shape for sand dunes or not (I heard somewhere that there was a "stable" shape with given angles, etc.). In particular I found them a bit too symmetrical: the slope is the same windward and, er, counter-windward.

Steepest a sand dune can be is called the angle of repose.

So, it it's dry sand, the angle would be 34o. Anybody got a protractor?

Well, dunes aren't just piles of sand. They often have some partially-loose soil in them as well (hence their ability to hold grass occasionally), and that would allow them to have steeper slopes (I know for a fact that I've climbed dunes steeper than 34o.

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 9:59 pm UTC
vvn wrote:Might be a crosspost, but it's slow.
The previously mentioned random book had reviews on Amazon....

Spoiler:

J. M. Powers creates an enthalling story in which she brings to life her characters, her plot and her setting. ”
princess | 53 reviewers made a similar statement

Once you've read it from start to finish, you can go back and read it in a different order, and it will make just as much sense as your original read! ”
Bob The Frog | 47 reviewers made a similar statement

The book is too hard to follow, the author randomly shifts from one number to another without any prior warning. ”
pontifex | 10 reviewers made a similar statement

Thought it worth sharing, since we have had lots of discussions of hash and random...

Add:: And "Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed" includes Uranium Ore (low rads) and Canned Unicorn Meat.
... We aren't the strangest people on the internet.....

Blind post during a ketchup (back from my trip) the book reviews were terrific, and I also loved:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer by Hutzler
3.7 out of 5 stars (4,102)
\$3.59

What would YOU buy after viewing a book of random numbers?

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 10:00 pm UTC

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 10:10 pm UTC
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Besides my own mother, my gf will be having my baby soon. I guess I should be nice to her, too. See ya guys later, then. heh.

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 10:16 pm UTC
azule wrote:HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Besides my own mother, my gf will be having my baby soon. I guess I should be nice to her, too. See ya guys later, then. heh.

Congratulations!

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 10:18 pm UTC
HAL9000 wrote:Well, dunes aren't just piles of sand. They often have some partially-loose soil in them as well (hence their ability to hold grass occasionally), and that would allow them to have steeper slopes (I know for a fact that I've climbed dunes steeper than 34o.

)

argh.

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 10:18 pm UTC
For slinches.

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 10:26 pm UTC
buffygirl wrote:For slinches.

Buffygirl, I don't know how you keep topping yourself!
"topping" yourself? get it? ahaha ahah ha ha whew that one was a real knee-slapper

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 10:30 pm UTC
BlitzGirl wrote:
Spoiler:

List of those I included:
snip

Because of the angle of my monitor, I completely failed to notice the fade and thought you'd left a blank panel for some reason
(also, I wasn't around to say at the time, but this is beyond awesome )

(Thanks to Buffygirl for reminding me by sigging the link)

EDITONG

Almost fell to newpixbot. Where is everyone?

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 11:09 pm UTC
1. I missed page 600
2. I'm hungry for fudge right now
3. Looks like there's been lots of fun jumpong, slidong, and fallong.
4. totally relevant:

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 11:16 pm UTC
speising wrote:
HAL9000 wrote:Well, dunes aren't just piles of sand. They often have some partially-loose soil in them as well (hence their ability to hold grass occasionally), and that would allow them to have steeper slopes (I know for a fact that I've climbed dunes steeper than 34o.

)

argh.

Oh, sorry. (don't worry, I usually catch that sort of thing

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 11:17 pm UTC
)
What a gorgeous ceremony, ucim! Very fitting, or not at all, but gorgeous either way.

pelrigg wrote:
BlitzGirl wrote:Some causes for the OTT slowdown might include the confluence of special Outside occasions these xips (at least in the U.S.) including Mother's Day, high school proms, and graduations followed by parties of all shapes and sizes. These threw me so far out of my normal stride that I ended up in Moscow, Idaho, so I would not be surprised if similar catastrophe has struck many of our fellow thread-dwellers.

Partying so hard you ended up in Moscow, Idaho? That's way to party, girl.

That's how all the best parties end.
(Cousin's bridal shower, with a "stock the bar" theme. Alcohol galore!)

HES wrote:
BlitzGirl wrote:List of those I included:
snip

Because of the angle of my monitor, I completely failed to notice the fade and thought you'd left a blank panel for some reason
(also, I wasn't around to say at the time, but this is beyond awesome )

(Thanks to Buffygirl for reminding me by sigging the link)

Thanks! The Fade is quite ninja-like

buffygirl wrote:I can't believe you people. It's a raptor, sillies!

I won't be convinced until it swoops down on an oblivious Cueball and carries him away, with LaPetite glancing up from her work on the Sandcastle to ponder where those distant screams are coming from...

TheMinim wrote:
Arthur James Balfour wrote:“He has only half learned the art of reading who has not added to it the more refined art of skipping and skimming.”

Although it is probably a quick ketchup rather than blitzing, I guess, it's just I was reminded of that quote suddenly.

A skipping trebuchet-rock does not truly understand the beauty of the semencoffeebaconbabies Sea1 until it sinks beneath the surface...

1Big, especially in the dimension of depth.

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 11:24 pm UTC
HES wrote:EDITONG

Better to not do this and just double post. Now it looks like this [outside]hour[/outside]'s newpix hasn't been posted yet.

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 11:28 pm UTC
mscha wrote:
HES wrote:EDITONG

Better to not do this and just double post. Now it looks like this [outside]hour[/outside]'s newpix hasn't been posted yet.

Hadn't considered that, was sticking to the forum rules

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 11:29 pm UTC
Just to avoid confusion:

mscha wrote:
HES wrote:EDITONG

Better to not do this and just double post. Now it looks like this [outside]hour[/outside]'s newpix hasn't been posted yet.

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 11:44 pm UTC
DINOSAUNG...

(Yes, it's a fake.)

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 11:45 pm UTC
mscha wrote:Discussion of algorithm...
Spoiler:
htom wrote:
vvn wrote:
mscha wrote:
vvn wrote:Since we are talking algorithms...
The general quality and reliability of the newpixbot has made me assume you have handled pretty much all eventualities. However, I am curious what is does in certain situations.
- ONG is not on time. (Specifically, more than 10 mins late.)

It will probably be caught. I check at :00, :05, :15, :25, :35, :45 and :55. (But only if no newpix has been downloaded yet this hour¹.)
vvn wrote: - ONG is over an hour late.

It will catch that newpix, but perhaps not the next one, see ...
vvn wrote: - There are multiple ONG's in an hour1, so the OTC can Ketchup.

Won't be caught, since the bot will be happy as soon as a newpix has been downloaded in that hour.
vvn wrote: - Or, multiple ONG's, just because.

Won't be caught.
vvn wrote: - Is there any trigger that makes the bot wake you to witness the weirdness?

Nope. But so far, I've always been around in times of trouble (no need for Mother Megan to come to me and whisper words of wisdom)².
If something very unexpected does happen while I'm acoma, hopefully someone is around to at least keep track of image URLs, so I can complete the collection by hand the next day.
vvn wrote:Edit: Based on your previous answer I am assuming that if the OTT is down, you just wait for it.

Well, I first download the image, so I've got that, no matter what's up with the forum. After a successful download, I wait until :10 if necessary, then try to post. In case of forum problems, that might time out or hang for a long time, but that doesn't matter for my collection.
vvn wrote:1Outside units used for relativistic clarity. (Bob's timeframe. (Not TimeFrame. (Well, maybe TimeFrame.))) NVM

¹: see 1.
²: somebody needs to write this song, but not me (right now): coma time.

Thank you for satisfying my curiosity. Sounds like you handle all likely situations. And, since some of the less likely scenarios would require us to crash some servers just to test the bot....I guess we can let it go.
And again, nice work.

The part of me that doesn't trust backups until they've been used to do restores wants newpixbot to look for a newpix every fifteen or twenty minutes after finding a newpix ... but that's approaching paranoia. Excellent work, mscha.

Actually, after posting the above, I wasn't happy myself with some of the answers above, so I changed things a bit.
My script now actually checks for a new image URL/hash every 10 minutes. It it's a hash it has never seen yet, it will download, and if necessary post¹ the image.
It's a bit heavier on the poor old c.xkcd.com servers – if all is well, I now hit them six times instead of once per hour – but it shouldn't be a problem, all I'm doing is checking what image on imgs.xkcd.com it redirects to, that should be lightweight.² (In any case, the script is no worse, in fact a bit better, than a real person who hits F5 every 10 minutes.)
All cases which I said “won't be caught”, should now be caught in pretty much all cases. (Certainly all known cases in past Time, like the one time, about half a kilonewpix ago I believe, where we got no newpix for two ongs, then the two missing newpix arrived at, I believe, about :30 and :45 past ong.)

¹: still not until :10, of course. But if, say, the :35 check finds a new newpix, it'll immediately post it to the OTT.
²: it isn't really lightweight, though; a request for c.xkcd.com/redirect/comic/time typically takes more than a second. No idea why, that should be really easy to optimise to a few milliseconds at most.

Sounds like we can all safely coma. Good work.
While I am against server abuse, and I am glad you are concerned about such things... Each time I go to http://xkcd.aubronwood.com/ the server has to cough up about 1300 images. I think you are a long way from having to feel guilty.
So, should we plan a ddos? All in the name of science of course. Just a quick debug run for the newpixbot. (It's buffygirl's fault, she gave me the black hat!!)

mscha wrote:
vvn wrote:P.S. I'd probably want to hit the server every so often to check for changed images. <paranoia> Then diff and image compare to identify header/compression/image changes. </paranoia> This is of course with infinite Time/resources to fiddle with scripts, lex, yacc, etc., and nothing to do but amuse myself.

Not on a scheduled basis, but I run it every few days (or when there's a reason to think something's changed). The “difference” column in my list is based on the results.
The last few times I ran it, nothing was changed. If and when something does change, the OTT will hear about it, of course.

Bonus points!

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sun May 12, 2013 11:47 pm UTC
the comic is going slow, and thus the thread is going slow. Its interesting how much the amount of time between each frame varies. Sometimes they barely move at all, and in others minutes could have passed. That means the amount of time per newpix is not constantly consistent (or consistently constant?) with the time Megan and Cueball experience.

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Mon May 13, 2013 12:00 am UTC
THE PLANTS ARE BACK (DONG)

just one though.also does anyone mind if I bump up my last idea?
It got stuck at the bottom of a page:
the comic is going slow, and thus the thread is going slow. Its interesting how much the amount of time between each frame varies. Sometimes they barely move at all, and in others minutes could have passed. That means the amount of time per newpix is not constantly consistent (or consistently constant?) with the time Megan and Cueball experience.

edited, because that was just silly. The thread is not as permanent as we like to believe, and like the crust of the Earth, is shifting around. Popes become goats, goats become popes.

anyway, I'll make this a blitz-checkpoint instead. You're doing great, all who pass! Keep signposting, we love those, and keep enjoying the glory that is the past.
have some cake:

### Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Mon May 13, 2013 12:01 am UTC
ergman wrote:THE PLANTS ARE BACK (DONG)

Not much of a plant...

(Huh? How did Cueball get back on the ground?)