1331: "Frequency"

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SomeoneSomewhere
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1331: "Frequency"

Postby SomeoneSomewhere » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:06 am UTC

Image
Alt Text wrote:This comic shows estimated average frequency. I wanted to include the pitch drop experiment, but it turns out the gif format has some issues with decade-long loops.


What's the 'Sagittarius named Amelia drinks a soda" one?

Also, the single PNG on this page won't flash; the actual one is one image per item.
Last edited by SomeoneSomewhere on Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:09 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby Arancaytar » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:09 am UTC

Re pitch drop: Could have just cheated and set up a cronjob to update it a couple of decades from now. :P
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Carlington
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby Carlington » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:11 am UTC

I think the "Sagittarius named Amelia" one was probably just an exercise in combining the percentage of people who are called Amelia with the percentage of people who are Sagittariuses (Sagitarii?) and the relative frequency of soda-drinking.
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby rhomboidal » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:14 am UTC

It's like watching statistics porn. Nerdily hypnotic.

Tynach
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby Tynach » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:14 am UTC

Carlington wrote:I think the "Sagittarius named Amelia" one was probably just an exercise in combining the percentage of people who are called Amelia with the percentage of people who are Sagittariuses (Sagitarii?) and the relative frequency of soda-drinking.


According to Wikipedia, the proper term is 'Sagittarians'.

SomeoneSomewhere
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby SomeoneSomewhere » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:17 am UTC

Yeah, I don't exactly pay attention to horoscopes... For some reason I thought that a Sagittarius was some extinct creature.

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nthj
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby nthj » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:29 am UTC

This is the kind of comic that originally got me interested in xkcd. Beautiful and ephemeral. Thanks :)

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da Doctah
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby da Doctah » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:34 am UTC

Next to "someone's pet cat kills a mockingbird" should be the much slower-rate "someone's pet cat kills a mockingbird that didn't have it coming".

Oh, wait, you said decades-long loops didn't work.

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DireKobold
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby DireKobold » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:35 am UTC

I think something meta would have been nice. The average hit frequency of the xkcd website would have been interesting. Still that's a minor nit. It's still another incredibly innovative use of the medium. I keep wondering when I'm going to see someone copy some of Randall's envelop-pushing formats.

baf
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby baf » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:37 am UTC

The flashing also wasn't happening when I viewed the image as part of my RSS feed. I was confused until I looked at the rollover text and saw the mention of "gif format".

Psykar
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby Psykar » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:59 am UTC

baf wrote:The flashing also wasn't happening when I viewed the image as part of my RSS feed. I was confused until I looked at the rollover text and saw the mention of "gif format".
Pretty much exactly what I did.
I guess it would be a little hard to embed them all in an RSS properly :\

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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby Eutychus » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:17 am UTC

nthj wrote:This is the kind of comic that originally got me interested in xkcd. Beautiful and ephemeral. Thanks :)


Came in here to say pretty much this.
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby Djehutynakht » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:22 am UTC

This is both beautiful and terrifying.

Dontget
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby Dontget » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:25 am UTC

It would be really cool to assign appropriate sound samples to each of these and create a sort of minimalist piece of music out of the chance coincidences of these events.

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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby westrim » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:26 am UTC

[citations needed]

OlfJodokus
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby OlfJodokus » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:31 am UTC

The number of stolen bicycles seems to be wrong, doesn't it? It blinks once every 20 seconds, but googling for some statistics shows that even in Europe more bikes are stolen than that

Essah
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby Essah » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:37 am UTC

Dontget wrote:It would be really cool to assign appropriate sound samples to each of these and create a sort of minimalist piece of music out of the chance coincidences of these events.


what do you wanna bet that in a page or 2 (or maybe even less) somebody will have done that?

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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby LE4dGOLEM » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:46 am UTC

Can't wait for the poster
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Phoenix?

Postby brazzy » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:00 am UTC

Wait - people in Phoenix buy shoes more often than they use condoms?

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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby bachaddict » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:01 am UTC

LE4dGOLEM wrote:Can't wait for the poster

I wanted to make my own one right away, but the the printout won't flash :(
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby keithl » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:06 am UTC

"Someone in the US gets a tattoo" is always bold on my computer. Perhaps some people find tattoos so painful they seem to go on forever. I've never had a tattoo, but I imagine it is similar to "Someone in the US waits in line at the DMV".

"Earthquake (Magnitude 4)" should blink two or three times per hour ( geometric mean of 130,000 per year for 3-3.9 and 13,000 per year for 4-4.9 according to the USGS. Someone please verify - I'm going to bed!

PsiSquared
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby PsiSquared » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:12 am UTC

keithl wrote:"Earthquake (Magnitude 4)" should blink two or three times per hour ( geometric mean of 130,000 per year for 3-3.9 and 13,000 per year for 4-4.9 according to the USGS. Someone please verify - I'm going to bed!


It blinks once every 2420+/-10 seconds, which indeed corresponds to about 13,000 a year.
Last edited by PsiSquared on Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:37 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

sotanaht
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby sotanaht » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:17 am UTC

This would be a LOT more impressive as a single .gif. The length would have to be the lowest common denominator of all of them, and with the 91 minute timer on old faithful that would probably require several days of gif frames.
Last edited by sotanaht on Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:22 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.

JDGA
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby JDGA » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:18 am UTC

The turn signals. Thank god I'm not the only one who gets eternally frustrated by that. Why can't they ever be in sync?

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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby CharlieP » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:27 am UTC

SomeoneSomewhere wrote:Yeah, I don't exactly pay attention to horoscopes... For some reason I thought that a Sagittarius was some extinct creature.


Coincidentally, last night I was trying to remember what kind of creature Pegasus was - is there an actual proper description other than just "winged horse"?
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Joolee
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby Joolee » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:30 am UTC

I don't think the frequency for stealing bikes is correct. In Holland, about 2200 bikes a day were stolen in 2002[1]. The financial crisis will probably only have increased this amount. This means about 1.5 bikes are stolen every minute, or, one every 40 seconds. The gif loops every 25 seconds so that means more than 50% of the bikes stolen world wide are stolen in Holland. I know we have a lot of bikes here (about 1.1 per resident) but it is only a small country...

[1] Can't post any urls so no sources today

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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby Djehutynakht » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:45 am UTC

JDGA wrote:The turn signals. Thank god I'm not the only one who gets eternally frustrated by that. Why can't they ever be in sync?


http://xkcd.com/165/

Showsni
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby Showsni » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:05 am UTC

OlfJodokus wrote:The number of stolen bicycles seems to be wrong, doesn't it? It blinks once every 20 seconds, but googling for some statistics shows that even in Europe more bikes are stolen than that


According to http://stats.stolen-bikes.co.uk/stats.php there are about 550,000 bikes stolen per year in the UK alone. The 20 second rate would mean that about a third of all bikes stolen in the world are in the UK; which does seem remarkably high!

Maybe the frequency is jsut referring to one particularly proficient bike thief. ;)

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stib
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby stib » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:29 am UTC

nthj wrote:This is the kind of comic that originally got me interested in xkcd. Beautiful and ephemeral. Thanks :)

I'd say they're the opposite of ephemeral. Beautiful and timeless.

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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby mrspoon » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:29 am UTC

Every time someone edit wikipedia, they die.

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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby orthogon » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:37 am UTC

stib wrote:
nthj wrote:This is the kind of comic that originally got me interested in xkcd. Beautiful and ephemeral. Thanks :)

I'd say they're the opposite of ephemeral. Beautiful and timeless.

Beautiful, yes. Timeless? Well, frequency is the reciprocal of time. Does that mean that 1331 is the reciprocal of 1190?
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby veit » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:48 am UTC

Dontget wrote:It would be really cool to assign appropriate sound samples to each of these and create a sort of minimalist piece of music out of the chance coincidences of these events.


Yes! The first thing I thought of was a Steve Reich or Terry Riley piece.

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Djehutynakht
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby Djehutynakht » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:54 am UTC

stib wrote:
nthj wrote:This is the kind of comic that originally got me interested in xkcd. Beautiful and ephemeral. Thanks :)

I'd say they're the opposite of ephemeral. Beautiful and timeless.


Not necessarily. The death rate could go up or (hopefully) down. Dog bites could go up or down. We could massively slow the rate at which we produce plastic bottles, and I'm sure one day iPhones will fall and thus the frequency of their screens breaking will decline.

It is timeless in that this comic shall forever capture now, sort of like how the Internet Community maps captured the internets of their day. But times will change, frequencies will alter, and a new comic will be in order.

It is timeless in representing now, and ephemeral in the flow of time.


I can only help but cheer on all those European Union residents experiencing their own kiss.

Or shelter adoptions, for that matter. Many things.

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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby Carnildo » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:19 am UTC

I don't see why a decade-long loop in an animated GIF wouldn't work. The GIF spec permits an inter-frame delay of up to 655 seconds, and there doesn't appear to be a limit on the number of frames.

hadrian
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby hadrian » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:27 am UTC

Am I the only one who finds its quite interesting that “someone buys a vibrator” and “earthquake magnitude 1” happen at almost the same frequency?

Jonathan589
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby Jonathan589 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:38 am UTC

hadrian wrote:Am I the only one who finds its quite interesting that “someone buys a vibrator” and “earthquake magnitude 1” happen at almost the same frequency?

Cause and effect: vibrator sales lead to the earth moving for someone.

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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby RogueCynic » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:41 am UTC

Has anyone seen the "someone in North Dakota has sex" square blink?
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby orthogon » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:51 am UTC

Jonathan589 wrote:
hadrian wrote:Am I the only one who finds its quite interesting that “someone buys a vibrator” and “earthquake magnitude 1” happen at almost the same frequency?

Cause and effect: vibrator sales lead to the earth moving for someone.

:) I have first-person experience neither of the female orgasm nor of an earthquake. Can somebody familiar with both tell me how the two phenomena compare?
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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby sonar1313 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:00 pm UTC

I suppose at some point the nitpicking was going to begin, so I might as well help it along. First, I wonder whether "The US builds a car" means the Big 3 automakers, or plants located in the US. I'll guess the latter. The frequency given is once every nine seconds.

The Big 3 have a combined 24 assembly plants in the US. (Leaving out the two that make the Dodge Viper and the Ford F-650 and Econoline; the Viper plant might spit out a car a day and the Ford vehicles aren't really intended for individual passenger use.) Ford's Rouge plant produces an F-150 once every 60 seconds, 24 hours a day. Not every plant is a full three shifts, though, so let's say half are two (producing a car every 90 seconds, on average) and half are three (every 60 seconds.) The three-shift plants are producing a car once every five seconds and the two-shift plants are producing one every 7.5 seconds. On average that's one every 6.25 seconds.

Maybe not every plant is once every 60 seconds - maybe some are more like once every 75 (at most). Downtime here and there might also get that up to every nine seconds. However, I haven't even counted all the VW, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, etc. plants in the country, which almost doubles the number of assembly plants.

Looked at another way, there are 31,531,600 seconds in a year - divided by nine you get 3.5 million. That's about the US output of just one large automaker such as Ford or GM, maybe less than the full output. I'm pressed for time, but later I can look up the sales numbers for every car sold in the US and compare them to which were actually assembled in the US and come up with a better number.

In short, that particular stat ought to blink a hell of a lot faster. I'd roughly guess about three times as fast.

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Re: 1331: "Frequency"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:19 pm UTC

Dontget wrote:It would be really cool to assign appropriate sound samples to each of these and create a sort of minimalist piece of music out of the chance coincidences of these events.


Well, what are you waiting for? Go for it :D .

If all else fails, there are several hardcord OTTers who likely would love to take on the task of orchestration.

Meanwhile, I think this is a cue for all of us to generate our own personal "life-frequency gif," events which matter to ourselves. //runs off to estimate how often someone listens to a Miles Davis Quintet track.
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