1010: "Etymology-Man"

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby AvatarIII » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:45 pm UTC

DragonHawk wrote:Like the T-shirt: "I'm on the bomb squad. If you see me running, try to keep up."


or not, what if he's running to a bomb? :|

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby Crosshair » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:52 pm UTC

popman wrote:what kind of electronics room?
it seems kind of strange there would be no backup lighting in an area with an inert gas fire system.

It was the electronics room in a jail. I was working on the telephone equipment and the other guy worked for the company that serviced the video matrix switcher. It also had the main electrical service into the building.

Most of the newer jails I service have inert gas fire systems in the electronics rooms and none of them have backup lighting.

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:06 pm UTC

How these two could have solved this (replace the dialogue in panel 1):
"The ground is shaking!"
"We should get to higher ground -- there could be a fuckton of water here soon."
(and, because I can't help myself)
"Would that be an Imperial fuckton or a Metric fuckton?"
"It's easy to forget what a sin is in the middle of a battlefield." "Opposite over hypotenuse, dipshit."

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby jonadab » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:02 pm UTC

Just because it's called a "tidal wave" doesn't mean it's necessarily caused by tides. Spanish moss isn't from Spain. Mangoes aren't exclusively for men. Ruby text doesn't have to be red.

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby OtherRob » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:02 pm UTC

When I was a kid, I thought Aquaman was great. 'Course, I always wanted to live underwater so that probably had something to do with it.

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby jonadab » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:11 pm UTC

I must say that as members of a linguistic area suffering from a severe case of over-prescriptiveness, we really envy English speakers for their ability to make up words as they go along and call things whatever they like.


You can actually do it in any language, provided your main goal is for people to understand what you're saying.

Granted, if you're writing school papers and trying to get good grades, or something along those lines, then you might have to give in and do whatever the prescriptivists say. (We have that phenomenon in English as well, but it mostly manifests in grammar, rather than vocabulary.)

I mean, you guys didn't even have a spelling reform in centuries. How cool is that?


The downside to that is, you can't spell anything in English unless you know its etymology (or just plain memorize every single word individually). On the other hand, there's also a corresponding advantage: if you see a word you don't know in print, an educated person can often figure out the etymology and a significant chunk of the meaning, based on the spelling. I guess it makes writing harder and reading easier. (There could be a disk cache, hashing, or RAID mirroring analogy in there somewhere...)

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby condor216 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:15 pm UTC

I resent the title text from today's comic. My grandfather fought next to Aquaman in the war and he deserves your respect.

Good day to you sir!

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby Diadem » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:46 pm UTC

popman wrote:just as terribly thought out as carrying liquid nitrogen in an elevator. (if it spills it will evaporate, push all the oxygen to the top of the lift and kill everyone inside due to it being 270,000 times compressible and heavier than air.)

It takes several minutes to lose consciousness without oxygen, and much longer before you die. An elevator ride takes what, 30 seconds? At most? Probably significantly less.

Also, since when is Nitrogen (Elemental weight 14.0067(2) heavier than Oxygen (Elemental weight: 15.9994(3))?

So I call bullshit on this.
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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby Bankinus » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:01 pm UTC

myoilu wrote:Obviously etymology man can fly, as evidenced by the fact that he has an upward curving trajectory, only possible through flight.


Wouldn't that also be possible if there is sufficiently strong wind against his horizontal flying trajectory? One that is so strong, that is more powerfull than the gravity pulling him down.

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby Tophe » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:25 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:
popman wrote:just as terribly thought out as carrying liquid nitrogen in an elevator. (if it spills it will evaporate, push all the oxygen to the top of the lift and kill everyone inside due to it being 270,000 times compressible and heavier than air.)

It takes several minutes to lose consciousness without oxygen, and much longer before you die. An elevator ride takes what, 30 seconds? At most? Probably significantly less.

Also, since when is Nitrogen (Elemental weight 14.0067(2) heavier than Oxygen (Elemental weight: 15.9994(3))?

So I call bullshit on this.


Most of the dewars used for carrying small amounts of liquid nitrogen are not pressurized, so it's constantly evaporating and if spilled it will just evaporate faster. Unlike carbon dioxode, which is heavier than air, nitrogen will not force the oxygen up, but it will dilute the oxygen concentration. A short elevator ride should be safe, but being trapped in the elevator with the nitrogen (due to a power failure, for example) could be deadly.

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby jpers36 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:30 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:
popman wrote:just as terribly thought out as carrying liquid nitrogen in an elevator. (if it spills it will evaporate, push all the oxygen to the top of the lift and kill everyone inside due to it being 270,000 times compressible and heavier than air.)

It takes several minutes to lose consciousness without oxygen, and much longer before you die. An elevator ride takes what, 30 seconds? At most? Probably significantly less.

Also, since when is Nitrogen (Elemental weight 14.0067(2) heavier than Oxygen (Elemental weight: 15.9994(3))?

So I call bullshit on this.


Wiki it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen_asphyxiation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_nitrogen

The OP's science isn't exactly right, but neither is yours. Rapidly evaporating liquid nitrogen can reduce the oxygen ratio in the air enough to cause asphyxiation. It's not because it's "heavier than air", though: since air is >70% nitrogen already, it's basically the same weight. Also, in the case of nitrogen asphyxiation, (1) unconsciousness can be expected to occur within 40 seconds, and (2) the brain does not receive the normal asphyxiation signals, leaving less time for the victim to become aware and react to the situation.

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby Red Hal » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:31 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:
popman wrote:just as terribly thought out as carrying liquid nitrogen in an elevator. (if it spills it will evaporate, push all the oxygen to the top of the lift and kill everyone inside due to it being 270,000 times compressible and heavier than air.)

It takes several minutes to lose consciousness without oxygen, and much longer before you die. An elevator ride takes what, 30 seconds? At most? Probably significantly less.

Also, since when is Nitrogen (Elemental weight 14.0067(2) heavier than Oxygen (Elemental weight: 15.9994(3))?

So I call bullshit on this.


Fifteen seconds in a vacuum, for what it's worth, and for anyone who isn't a free-diver pumped up on pre-breathed pure oxygen you can expect to lose consciousness within a couple of minutes or so. And that liquid nitrogen is going to boil off giving you a gas at 77K (initially) so it will be much denser (1.532kg m-3 @ 1atm -50 Celsius) than air at ambient temperature (1.204kg m-3).
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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby KShrike » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:45 pm UTC

Somehow I knew that the tsunami was gonna come during the Etymology man's speech. :D
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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby MotorToad » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:52 pm UTC

I suppose it's because I saw TMBG Friday night, but I'm hearing the comic title in John Linnell's voice. I think Etymology Man might be the one to finally take it to Triangle Man (I've always hated that guy).
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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby Red Hal » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:53 pm UTC

Etymology Man is obviously the alter-ego of Michael Quinion.
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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby Shay Guy » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:12 pm UTC

Possibly a job for ANTONIO SMITH, FORENSIC LINGUIST?

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby cream wobbly » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:01 pm UTC

OED 1st Ed wrote:Tidal wave : the high water wave caused by the movement of the tide : = tide-wave


Also:

Daily News 13 June, 1899 via OED 1st Ed wrote:The tidal wave sweeps round the earth twice in the twenty-four hours; the great wave produced by an earthquake, erroneously described sometimes as a ‘tidal wave’, has nothing tidal about it, and it is called by scientific men ‘a free wave’.


But note: tide itself has connotations of time; which implies that 津波 is the better of two poor terms. Free wave is much better, and describes its action, if not its cause.

I can't believe Etymology Man doesn't have a full set of the OED with him at all times.

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby Diadem » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:17 pm UTC

jpers36 wrote:
Diadem wrote:
popman wrote:just as terribly thought out as carrying liquid nitrogen in an elevator. (if it spills it will evaporate, push all the oxygen to the top of the lift and kill everyone inside due to it being 270,000 times compressible and heavier than air.)

It takes several minutes to lose consciousness without oxygen, and much longer before you die. An elevator ride takes what, 30 seconds? At most? Probably significantly less.

Also, since when is Nitrogen (Elemental weight 14.0067(2) heavier than Oxygen (Elemental weight: 15.9994(3))?

So I call bullshit on this.


Wiki it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrogen_asphyxiation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_nitrogen

The OP's science isn't exactly right, but neither is yours. Rapidly evaporating liquid nitrogen can reduce the oxygen ratio in the air enough to cause asphyxiation. It's not because it's "heavier than air", though: since air is >70% nitrogen already, it's basically the same weight. Also, in the case of nitrogen asphyxiation, (1) unconsciousness can be expected to occur within 40 seconds, and (2) the brain does not receive the normal asphyxiation signals, leaving less time for the victim to become aware and react to the situation.

I'm not denying the existence of Nitrogen Asphyxiation. I'm just saying there is no way it will happen fast enough to be a serious danger during elevator rides.

Unless of course, if the elevator gets stuck. True.


cream wobbly wrote:
OED 1st Ed wrote:Tidal wave : the high water wave caused by the movement of the tide : = tide-wave

Also:
Daily News 13 June, 1899 via OED 1st Ed wrote:The tidal wave sweeps round the earth twice in the twenty-four hours; the great wave produced by an earthquake, erroneously described sometimes as a ‘tidal wave’, has nothing tidal about it, and it is called by scientific men ‘a free wave’.

But note: tide itself has connotations of time; which implies that 津波 is the better of two poor terms. Free wave is much better, and describes its action, if not its cause.

I can't believe Etymology Man doesn't have a full set of the OED with him at all times.

Dictionaries are descriptive, not proscriptive. Plus, they are often wrong.

And when someone tells you "The idea is that X because of Y is is a common misconception, which you can see if you look at A, B and C" replying with "But the dictionary says X because of Y" is an extremely poor argument.
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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby San Fran Sam » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:24 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:This is probably my first real "GOOMHR", as over in another subforum here we've been debating the validity of these kinds of etymological arguments for the past few days now.

Regardless of the truth of Etymology-Man's claims, should they make any difference as to what Stick Guy and Stick Girl call large influxes water caused by earthquakes? A surprising number of people around here seem to think the answer is "no".

Also: of course he can fly. He has a cape. People with capes can fly. Don't you watch TV?


Since when can Batman and Robin fly? And, no, swinging on a rope doesn't count.

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby San Fran Sam » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:26 pm UTC

mikekearn wrote:The evil-mad-villain side of me kind of wants to rig some sort of contraption into an elevator to release liquid nitrogen during use, testing the hypothesis that it will indeed kill everyone inside.

The less-evil-but-still-quite-mad-villain side of me wants to scale back the test and use rats in boxes, because why spend the time and money on full scale if it won't even work?

Neither side of me has an opinion on tsunamis or tidal waves.


This is a job for ... wait for it ... The Mythbusters!!!! Bwah-ha-ha!!!

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby scalziand » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:47 pm UTC

Alsadius wrote:That is a surprisingly good point.

(Also, why do you assume he can fly? I just figured he jumped through a conveniently placed window)



I just figured that he was breaking through the frame of the panel in a 4th wall breaking manner.

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby NiteClerk » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:58 pm UTC

xorsyst wrote:
pbnjstowell wrote:Also also, liquid nitrogen being taken to a different floor in the science building for a class demonstration?


Yep - the local university Physics building has a sign explicitly saying not to travel in the elevator with liquid nitrogen, but to send it up alone. They don't say why though - now I know!

Also - if the room is that dark, use your cell as a torch!


I'm sure this works well. While you are sending the nitro up by itself from the 1st to the 8th floor some student calls the elevator from the 3rd floor. Elevator stops. Student gets on. Sees tank of nitro riding by itself. Either the tank disappears or a lawsuit ensures.

I know :!: You could put a sign on the nitro tank saying "Warning. Liquid Nitrogen. Do not open tank and play with this." Yeah. That would work.

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby rhhardin » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:04 pm UTC

You don't have to outrun the wave, you only have to outrun the other guy.

Wait a minute, that's bears.

Tides are waves that go at the speed of earth rotation, which they can do because phase velocity increases with wavelength; they steepen and shorten when the water gets shallower and momentum has to be conserved, and all that energy gets dumped on the coast.

Tsunamis aren't any different, except their initial condition localizes them a little.

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby awr7126 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:11 pm UTC

There was actually an earthquake near Peru this morning. I don't know when this comic was written, but I bet it was before the earthquake occurred.

...So I think Randell predicted an earthquake. That's an XKCD first.

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby AutoHawk » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:48 pm UTC

awr7126 wrote:There was actually an earthquake near Peru this morning. I don't know when this comic was written, but I bet it was before the earthquake occurred.

...So I think Randell predicted an earthquake. That's an XKCD first.


So if I say that roadkill doesn't always occur on roads, but often streets, highways, boulevards, parking lots, etc, and squirrel gets hit by a car in the next little while anywhere in the world, will I have succesfully predicted roadkill?

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby hg00000 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:55 pm UTC

AutoHawk wrote:So if I say that roadkill doesn't always occur on roads, but often streets, highways, boulevards, parking lots, etc, and squirrel gets hit by a car in the next little while anywhere in the world, will I have succesfully predicted roadkill?


No, Pedantics man says you'll have predicted streetkill, highwaykill, boulevardkill, parkinglotkill, etc. Your prediction specifically excludes roadkill.

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby Kit. » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:55 pm UTC

Tophe wrote:Most of the dewars used for carrying small amounts of liquid nitrogen are not pressurized, so it's constantly evaporating and if spilled it will just evaporate faster. Unlike carbon dioxode, which is heavier than air, nitrogen will not force the oxygen up, but it will dilute the oxygen concentration. A short elevator ride should be safe, but being trapped in the elevator with the nitrogen (due to a power failure, for example) could be deadly.

And without the nitrogen?

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby AutoHawk » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:06 pm UTC

hg00000 wrote:
AutoHawk wrote:So if I say that roadkill doesn't always occur on roads, but often streets, highways, boulevards, parking lots, etc, and squirrel gets hit by a car in the next little while anywhere in the world, will I have succesfully predicted roadkill?


No, Pedantics man says you'll have predicted streetkill, highwaykill, boulevardkill, parkinglotkill, etc. Your prediction specifically excludes roadkill.


Many thanks, Pedantics Man. The world would be a much more confusing place without you.

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby VaebnKehn » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:10 pm UTC

http://i1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee4 ... y/2xvb.gif

Finally an answer to Big Bang Theory's claim!

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby jc » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:43 pm UTC

rhhardin wrote:Tsunamis aren't any different, except their initial condition localizes them a little.


Well, that tsunami that devastated coastal Honshu had a visible impact on the US's west coast about 7 hours later. The damage was mild, but there was damage. And, in agreement with the traditional "tidal wave" name, it pretty much looked like an incoming tide. It was at the wrong time in most of the area, though. There are some videos of it online. The ones I've seen don't look like much, actually. The damage was mostly limited to a few harbors where boats were knocked around much more than the typical incoming tide, and a few piers and on-shore buildings were flooded.

You can see one of the more serious US impacts at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CHBak0W19I which was in Oregon. The damage was caused by both the speed of the incoming water and the unusual height that it reached.

Anyway, I wouldn't exactly call this "localized". ;-)

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby awr7126 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:18 pm UTC

So if I say that roadkill doesn't always occur on roads, but often streets, highways, boulevards, parking lots, etc, and squirrel gets hit by a car in the next little while anywhere in the world, will I have succesfully predicted roadkill?


Yeah, that's what I meant.

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby thyristor » Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:22 am UTC

Hooray for Lisbon!

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby Eleni » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:46 am UTC

Tidal bores are indeed waves caused by tides, but not all waves caused by tides are tidal bores. There are other forms they take. Just wanted to set the record straight on that.

Etymology-Man makes a fair point, but then it would be better to call them "tide-like waves". The "-al" ending seems to imply an actual relationship beyond resemblance.

In any case, I like the comic.
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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby Djehutynakht » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:56 am UTC

Richard. wrote:
rhomboidal wrote:Personally, I'm more impressed by Etymology-Man's esoteric reference expertise than his humdrum ability to fly.

He doesn't fly. He has no ability to fly. He just falls elegantly.

Also, is this the first xkcd character to have a "full" body structure, like more than just a line?



I think he's a stick figure too. I think the extra lines are just shadowing the inside of his cape.

Also, the first full-form XKCD character appeared in http://xkcd.com/1/

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby hifi » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:39 am UTC

Had to laugh at this one - I could see the ending coming a mile off but it was still funny when I got there.

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby Sharon_Gaughan » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:38 pm UTC

Randall said that when he was a kid, he "had an irrationally powerful fear of tsunamis (Etymology-Man would suggest cymophobia)".

The dictionary definition of cymophobia is "a fear of waves, sea swells", from the French cyme (top, summit). On the other hand, cynophobia is "an irrational fear of dogs", from the Greek (dog, fear). and, of course, ailurophobia is the persistent, irrational fear of cats, from the Greek (cat, fear).

So, Etymologically Speaking, the ultimate danger arrives when it rains cats and dogs.

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby addams » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:03 pm UTC

Brilliant! Who ever it is that does this comic never fails.

'Got' me. So, funny.

Water in the house, up to your knees, is no laughing matter, at the time.
Water is heavy. Water can cause so much damage so quickly.

But; We need water. We have to have it. Can't outlaw water.

Such good Nerds.
Discussing the root of the word while the 'thing, in of its self' is taking over the known world.
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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby whateveries » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:34 pm UTC

Bankinus wrote:
myoilu wrote:Obviously etymology man can fly, as evidenced by the fact that he has an upward curving trajectory, only possible through flight.


Wouldn't that also be possible if there is sufficiently strong wind against his horizontal flying trajectory? One that is so strong, that is more powerfull than the gravity pulling him down.


wait. let me get this right, it seems that quite a few people are having some problems with their suspension of disbelief faltering at etymology-man being able to fly? For me the least feasable part of this is that stick people have no room for lungs that would be large enough for them to speak at such length without pausing for...oh, wait, it's a comic. right. (their lungs are in their heads, obviously, all of their organs are in their heads, except maybe the sexy ones)
it's fine.

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby Jamaican Castle » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:44 pm UTC

Re: nitrogen in elevators: does it matter at all if the elevator isn't airtight? (I can't imagine most are, what with doors and fixtures and so forth.) It seems like a small amount of nitrogen would be cycled out of the car. A large breach in a pressurized nitrogen container, meanwhile, would be a much more direct problem in terms of flying bits.

Also, I'm at a loss as to how Aquaman could save anyone from a tidal wave or tsunami or whatever else you want to call it. He doesn't have any control over the water itself. I guess he could stop sharks from eating you afterwards. He could, of course, physically carry you out, but most superheroes can, and while we're wishing you might as well get someone who can fly to boot.

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Re: 1010: "Etymology-Man"

Postby Ocker3 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:01 am UTC

musashi1600 wrote:
gormster wrote:
icefest wrote:
Remember that until 2004, there weren't any clear photos or videos of tsunamis


Is that really true? It seems like such a short time ago...


Not of them actually happening. Remember, you have almost no forewarning of a tsunami, and before 2004 not everyone was walking around with a camcorder in their pocket. And even still, it has to happen in a reasonably affluent area where lots of people have expensive cell phones.


Until 2004, the only video images of an incoming tsunami were those included in this video, of the 1946 Aleutian Islands tsunami that destroyed most of Hilo, Hawaii. (Disregard the music.)


Except for, oh, I dunno, this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2tcW-5esXM&feature=related showing a Tsunami hitting a part of Russia. It was in the list of related videos for the one you posted.
"why change something that's broken in a way that you know it's broken" - Brett McGrath


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