0944: "Hurricane Names"

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scalziand
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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby scalziand » Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:58 am UTC

Did Steve tell you that?
Whats he got to do with it?
What kind of hurricane name is Steve?

Steve.


Spoiler:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbbxA8a_M_s

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bmonk
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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby bmonk » Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:34 am UTC

TaylorP wrote:I think it's becoming very clear what the issue is here. We need to switch to IPv6 for hurricanes. C'mon, you KNOW it'll fix the issue.

If it doesn't, there's always IPv8.
Having become a Wizard on n.p. 2183, the Yellow Piggy retroactively appointed his honorable self a Temporal Wizardly Piggy on n.p.1488, not to be effective until n.p. 2183, thereby avoiding a partial temporal paradox. Since he couldn't afford two philosophical PhDs to rule on the title.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby jpk » Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:34 am UTC

Cervisiae Amatorem wrote:We already solved this problem!

http://www.xkcd.com/936/

If we have 1000 hurricanes per second, we don't double up on Hurricane CorrectHorseBatteryStaple for 550 years. Also, if we start having 1000 hurricanes per second, I don't want to live on this planet anymore.


Of course, that assumes that somewhere in there we have Hurricane CorrectHorseBatterySteple, Hurricane CortectHorseBatteryStaple, Hurricane CorrectHorseButteryStaple, and so forth. I don't know about you, but I'd find it hard to keep track.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby scarletmanuka » Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:47 am UTC

jpk wrote:
Cervisiae Amatorem wrote:We already solved this problem!

http://www.xkcd.com/936/

If we have 1000 hurricanes per second, we don't double up on Hurricane CorrectHorseBatteryStaple for 550 years. Also, if we start having 1000 hurricanes per second, I don't want to live on this planet anymore.


Of course, that assumes that somewhere in there we have Hurricane CorrectHorseBatterySteple, Hurricane CortectHorseBatteryStaple, Hurricane CorrectHorseButteryStaple, and so forth. I don't know about you, but I'd find it hard to keep track.


Better than having Hurricane Tr0ub4dor&3.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby jpk » Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:07 am UTC

scarletmanuka wrote:
jpk wrote:
Cervisiae Amatorem wrote:We already solved this problem!

http://www.xkcd.com/936/

If we have 1000 hurricanes per second, we don't double up on Hurricane CorrectHorseBatteryStaple for 550 years. Also, if we start having 1000 hurricanes per second, I don't want to live on this planet anymore.


Of course, that assumes that somewhere in there we have Hurricane CorrectHorseBatterySteple, Hurricane CortectHorseBatteryStaple, Hurricane CorrectHorseButteryStaple, and so forth. I don't know about you, but I'd find it hard to keep track.


Better than having Hurricane Tr0ub4dor&3.


I don't understand. Why is "Hurricane ***********" funny?

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby Uzh » Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:49 pm UTC

Ephemeron wrote:I'd like to think they would use this Random Name Generator when they start to run out of real names. Then the Atlantic hurricane season for 2057 might look something like this...

<snip>
Hurricane Fukcemie - category 4
<snip>5


Is it my german angst or does anyone else has first read Fukushima? On the other hand, who in 2057 will remember Fukushima (aside of the Fukushima inhabitants)?

Georg
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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby tommy turtle » Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:30 pm UTC

The posit of a hurricane at every point on Earth is impossible. You'd need at *least* two.

Due to Coriolis Effect, all low-pressure systems (which includes all hurricanes, TDs, any low) rotate counter-clockwise if they are north of the Equator, and clockwise if they are south of the Equator. Therefore, no hurricane can cross the Equator, nor be located on it, or very close to it. This is why the North Atlantic's most common track across the Atlantic tends to lie between about 10N and 25N. Certainly some form outside that, even up to Bermuda, but the point is, you're not going to have a band of hurricanes covering the Equator.

Also, hurricanes lose strength rapidly over land, and never form over land. (need the warm sea to supply enough heat and humidity, as water holds more heat per unit than land). So it's virtually impossible to have a genuine hurricane over, say, North Dakota. It would have to cross too much land to get there, and would not longer be of hurricane strength. (Remnants of former hurricanes that move inland can cause quite a bit rain, floods, etc., but they lose their names, and aren't of hurricane strength.)

Cold water is deadly to hurricanes. They rarely last long once they approach, say, 60N (or S), and none have formed, or really, could form, that close to either pole. The famous "Nor-easters" are not hurricanes, which are defined as cyclonic storms of tropical or sub-tropical origination. These others are just the result of strong cold fronts moving south and interacting with warmer air. All cold fronts lie in troughs of low pressure. If a single-centered point of low pressure forms, you have the makings of a powerful storm, but it's not a hurricane, regardless of strength.

(In Gordon Lightfoot's "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald", I gave him the benefit of the doubt that the phrase "hurricane west wind" was a metaphor for the wind speed, and not taken literally.)

So we're up to at least four now: North Atl, S. Atl,, N. Pacific (typhoons; surely the author knew that, but we'll allow the artistic license), S. Pacific. They'd have to be awfully large to be centered in the North Pacific and affect the Urals, what, 10,000km away? (without looking). Not possible.

Also, mountains wreak havoc on hurricanes. Even crossing the mountainous spines of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, or Cuba weakens them a good bit, though they can restrengthen if they get back over the adjoining warm water. But crossing the Appalachians, Rockies, Andes, Alps, Urals, Mt. Everest, K2 ... you get the picture. Death.

Yes, I have meteorological training (was that not evident? lol), though not a degree, and have some practical experience in the field.

I've parodied "Wreck of Ed Fitz", with the above explanation of Lightfoot's misuse of the term, but also have done a few other versions. Some of them are slightly off-color, but not nearly so much as the strip itself. And not illustrated. Still too noob to be allowed to post links, so If interested, search my name + name of the song. (If it was not permissible to say that, please edit out only the offending portion, so that the "meat" of the message remains. Thanks.)

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby scarletmanuka » Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:41 am UTC

tommy turtle wrote:The posit of a hurricane at every point on Earth is impossible. You'd need at *least* two.

You're completely misunderstanding the posit. Not that the posit is any more possible. :)

The posit is not a single hurricane covering all the earth's surface (otherwise there'd be no name shortage), but for each and every point on the earth's surface to have its own unique hurricane.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby tommy turtle » Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:07 am UTC

scarletmanuka wrote:
tommy turtle wrote:The posit of a hurricane at every point on Earth is impossible. You'd need at *least* two.

You're completely misunderstanding the posit. Not that the posit is any more possible. :)

The posit is not a single hurricane covering all the earth's surface (otherwise there'd be no name shortage), but for each and every point on the earth's surface to have its own unique hurricane.


The statement you quote was to set the stage for the discussion of Coriolis effect, and why there can't be *any* at or near the Equator. Sorry that I didn't make that more clear. Once that's established, we then go to other eliminators, such as large landmasses, mountains, etc. Again, sorry it wasn't clear. I did in fact understand the posit.

The reason for giant ones over the ocean was because, as was later established, none would form, or move into and survive, the large mountainous areas. Hope that makes my previous more clear. Thanks for calling my attention to the lack of clarity.

qoou
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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby qoou » Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:31 pm UTC

project2051 wrote:Not Bruce?

No, Steve.

That's going to cause a little confusion.

Mind if we call them "Bruce" to keep it clear?


Wow, this post made me laugh harder than I have all week. God bless Michael Palin.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby Geekoid » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:04 pm UTC

Out of hurricane names?
Why not Zoidberg?

And now the voice in your head sounds like a Jewish lobster, maybe.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby Geekoid » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:10 pm UTC

tommy turtle wrote:
The statement you quote was to set the stage for the discussion of Coriolis effect, and why there can't be *any* at or near the Equator.


*cough Typhoon Vameicough*

FYI:A typhoon is what a hurricane that forms n the pacific is called.

miraclef
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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby miraclef » Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:29 pm UTC

Please can someone explain the joke in the comic?

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby tommy turtle » Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:59 pm UTC

Geekoid wrote:
tommy turtle wrote:The statement you quote was to set the stage for the discussion of Coriolis effect, and why there can't be *any* at or near the Equator.

*cough Typhoon Vameicough*

I don't know why I get involved in these things. Every time I do, I end up regretting it. And yet....

"Vamei formed and reached tropical storm strength at 1.5º N, only 156 km (97 mi) from the equator.This broke the previous record of Typhoon Sarah in the 1956 Pacific typhoon season, which reached tropical storm strength at 2.2º N. Due to a lack of Coriolis effect near the equator, the formation of Vamei was previously considered impossible. However, a study by the Naval Postgraduate School indicated that the probability for a similar equatorial development was at least once every four centuries."

Which backs up exactly what I said: none can form on, or cross, the Equator, or very close to it. Didn't know the exact dimensions of "very close", but now we have an educated guess: 1.5 degrees N or S. has a one-in-400-years probability. Until one forms closer than that, if it ever does, that's the historical record for closeness.

All of which backs up what I said, and I stand by my previous statement.

FYI:A typhoon is what a hurricane that forms n the pacific is called.

The other problem: those who criticize without reading. Please re-read the *entire* post:
tommy turtle wrote:<snip> So we're up to at least four now: North Atl, S. Atl,, N. Pacific (typhoons; surely the author knew that, but we'll allow the artistic license), <snip>

miraclef wrote:Please can someone explain the joke in the comic?

There's nothing funny at all about it. Aside from being impossible, which even this writer's critics have conceded, I can only guess that the author is an extreme global-warming fanatic. Not going to go there, don't want to debate it, won't reply, but will say this: Of *course* Global Warming is an ongoing phenomenon throughout Earth's history, as is Global Cooling. One wouldn't expect zero fluctuation over time. Last Ice Age = extreme global cooling. Thaw, probably accounting for the story of Noah's Flood = global warming. Mini-ice age in the 1600s or so led to Salem Witch Trials. (look it up yourself). Warming in the 1930s produced some of the worst hurricanes ever (see Miami, 1935, e. g.,) and the Oklahoma (US) Dust Bowl - drought, ruining farmland and forcing vast migrations to California. This was before central air conditioning; you were lucky to have a single Model T Ford or whatever, and before Al Gore's private jet (or anyone else's). IOW, long before all the things that are being blamed for the current rise.

Then Global Cooling set in, so severely that in the 1970s, NASA was considering missions to gather all possible data to see whether there was anything we could do to prevent the apparently-approaching Ice Age.

The author committed the error he himself mocks: http://xkcd.com/605/.

For the record, I am against pollution for lots of other reasons, in favor of efficient use of energy and development o various new sources, etc. But not willing to turn dictatorial powers over to some tyrant or tyrannical agency fueled by hysteria with a strong political agendum behind it.

As said. don't want to debate this or hijack the thread; and won't reply to arguments. But "miracle" asked what was funny about it, so the answer is: nothing, and the reason is extrapolation fallacy. (If that was the point, why make the same joke twice? - rhetorical question.) Cheers all.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby bigjeff5 » Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:19 pm UTC

tommy turtle wrote:
miraclef wrote:Please can someone explain the joke in the comic?

There's nothing funny at all about it. Aside from being impossible, which even this writer's critics have conceded, I can only guess that the author is an extreme global-warming fanatic.

-snip-

The author committed the error he himself mocks: http://xkcd.com/605/.

-snip-

As said. don't want to debate this or hijack the thread; and won't reply to arguments. But "miracle" asked what was funny about it, so the answer is: nothing, and the reason is extrapolation fallacy. (If that was the point, why make the same joke twice? - rhetorical question.) Cheers all.


The joke is that there are a lot of hurricanes this season. The comic is funny because it's obviously hyperbole.

Jesus H. Effin Christ, no need to get so damn defensive about it.

And just FYI, the author's name is Randal Munroe. We like to pretend like we know him, but I doubt anybody on the forum actually does (well, a mod or two probably do, and probably some members have met him at conventions and whatnot). Still, it sounds a lot less pretentious to say "Randal is obviously a..." rather than "The author is obviously a...".

There was also absolutely nothing at all in the comic to suggest that Randal believes this season's high (but not ridiculously so) hurricane rate is caused by global warming, so that's a pretty huge and rather presumptuous assumption to make. I'm not really sure why you would assume that, but it does not exist in the comic. For all I know Randal believes the hurricanes were sent here by a secret race of ancient underground martians as the first wave in an attempt to take over the earth. I don't know, the comic doesn't say one way or another.

Say it with me one more time: hyperbole.

It's funny. Look it up.

Edited to add:

jpk wrote:I don't understand. Why is "Hurricane ***********" funny?


I almost didn't get your joke, and almost replied with a haughty explanation of the password comic.

Props to you sir, props to you.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby miraclef » Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:42 am UTC

Hyperbole is funny when done right. I really don't see how this works.

Also, what's funny about all the people in this thread tacking random words onto "Hurricane"? I really don't get it...

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby Anachrome » Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:34 pm UTC

If we define a hurricane to be a set of particles with certain specific attributes (speed, direction, specific molecules in question (e.g. H2O etc), etc), couldn't we say that every hurricane contains, if not infinite, a *big* quantity of hurricanes withing itself, simply by taking different sets of particles (say, subtract one particle from the set and <new hurricane get!>).

If we define one of the attributes defining a hurricane to be the direction and speed of the particles, then every fluctuation in these result in a new hurricane. Therefore, every hurricane (id est, collection of hurricanes) is really cycling through infinitely many different hurricanes. And this is just a single hurricane.

This problem can of course be solved easily by rounding infinity to one. Not only are all hurricanes named Steve, but, (with reasonable error margin) all hurricanes are in fact the *same* Steve.

*Disclaim: I know next to nothing about Hurricanes, and this is all just liberal application of trologic.

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby Giant Speck » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:27 am UTC

Shouldn't this strip have been made in late 2005? The joke would have been a lot more relevant then.
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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby prosfilaes » Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:32 pm UTC

Giant Speck wrote:Shouldn't this strip have been made in late 2005? The joke would have been a lot more relevant then.


We're in the middle of the second fastest developing hurricane season on record; we just developed a 14th tropical storm earlier than any time but 2005. Was 2005 the only time in the 20th or 21st centuries this joke (lame as it is) could be made?

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby Giant Speck » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:34 am UTC

prosfilaes wrote:
Giant Speck wrote:Shouldn't this strip have been made in late 2005? The joke would have been a lot more relevant then.


We're in the middle of the second fastest developing hurricane season on record; we just developed a 14th tropical storm earlier than any time but 2005. Was 2005 the only time in the 20th or 21st centuries this joke (lame as it is) could be made?

The 2005 Hurricane Season was the first time we actually had hurricanes with Greek-letter names, three of which actually affected land. I didn't say that 2005 was the only time the joke could be made; I just said the joke might have been more relevant (and I suppose a tiny bit funnier) in 2005.
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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby Coyne » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:08 am UTC

Cosmologicon wrote:
Coyne wrote:See, I don't agree with the conclusion in the tool tip. Cantor diagonalization ensured that they would always have a new number for the next hurricane. Just reorder (one iteration of bogosort should do) the currently assigned numbers and diagonalize again.

Implicit in your statement is the assumption that there *is* a "next" hurricane. Suppose an uncountable number of hurricanes appear at the same time. Which one is the next one? And more to the point, how can you get through all of them by repeatedly taking the "next" one?

As people have pointed out, Cantor's argument doesn't prove that you can't give them all numbers. It just proves that you can't give them all sequential (or finite-length) numbers.


But we were talking about a real system here. At the very extreme, the number of hurricanes could not exceed the number of atoms in the atmosphere; or maybe more properly, the number of atoms that exist at the "surface" of the Earth. Whichever, the number might never be counted, but it is not uncountable (as mathematics defines uncountable).

That being the case, assigning a new unique number for each hurricane becomes:

1. If the set of "hurricanes not identified so far" is empty, stop.
2. Take a hurricane from the set of "hurricanes not identified so far".
3. Reorder all the numbers assigned so far and diagonalize again.
4. Assign the new diagonal number to the previously unidentified hurricane.
5. Repeat from one.

Notice the absence of "next", because "next hurricane" isn't relevant to the algorithm. Not only that, but so long as the set of "hurricanes not identified so far" is finite, the algorithm will stop. (Yes, we might all be a stellar nebula by then.)
In all fairness...

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Re: 0944: "Hurricane Names"

Postby scarletmanuka » Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:56 am UTC

Coyne wrote:But we were talking about a real system here. At the very extreme, the number of hurricanes could not exceed the number of atoms in the atmosphere; or maybe more properly, the number of atoms that exist at the "surface" of the Earth. Whichever, the number might never be counted, but it is not uncountable (as mathematics defines uncountable).

You have made an implicit assumption that a given atom could only be part of a single hurricane, which is unlikely to be true in the course of a whole season but may be somewhat justified at a given instant of time. Even then, what happens when two hurricanes meet? I think it's likely that you'd tag some atoms in the border regions as belonging to both hurricanes (and indeed the comic refers to "overlapping hurricanes"). Still, you could replace the set of atoms in the atmosphere with its power set (i.e. the set of every possible combination of atoms). This would give you a stronger argument, though still not cast iron (two hurricanes might be affecting the same set of atoms now, but different sets five seconds from now; this could work provided they exhibit constructive and destructive interference similarly to wave phenomena).

Coyne wrote:Notice the absence of "next", because "next hurricane" isn't relevant to the algorithm.

Actually, your step 2 is defining a "next" hurricane. You just haven't used the word "next" in your description of it. As you note, this procedure only works because you're assuming a finite number of hurricanes.

But if you're making the assumption of finiteness, then your procedure is far too elaborate. If you have a finite number N, simply enumerate them 1 through N. The only point in using diagonalisation arguments is when you're trying to distinguish between a countable infinite set and an uncountable infinite set. For the joke in the comic to work, it really does have to be an uncountably infinite set (if it's countably infinite you could still assign each hurricane a natural number; that's what being countably infinite means).

So yes, it's not realistic to have an uncountably infinite number of hurricanes springing into existence. But so what? It's not realistic to have a large finite number of them either. In fact it's not realistic to have more than a quite small number (say, 1,000) in a single season. If your objection is "it's not realistic" then you don't need to start talking about the number of atoms in the atmosphere. But that objection also misses the point of the entire comic and, indeed, most of the comics in xkcd's history.


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