Search found 304 matches

by DanD
Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:17 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2042: "Rolle's Theorem"
Replies: 86
Views: 5314

Re: 2042: "Rolle's Theorem"

erejnion wrote:So Randall just has to pay several people to start citing something as "Munroe's theorem". Maybe high-profile professors, so that there's a higher chance for adoption.


He already has an effect. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaped_charge#Munroe
by DanD
Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:40 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2035: "Dark Matter Candidates"
Replies: 55
Views: 4567

Re: 2035: "Dark Matter Candidates"

But you don't need to defeat thermodynamics. After all, you have a ton of energy for refrigeration and such. No, you don't, unless you're letting the energy out through a gradient to make it do work. Highly efficient mirror over the majority of wavelengths on the interior surface. This essentially ...
by DanD
Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:54 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2035: "Dark Matter Candidates"
Replies: 55
Views: 4567

Re: 2035: "Dark Matter Candidates"

Dyson spheres would emit black body radiation of the average temperature of themselves and their contents, and so glow detectably and not be dark. So we think. Anyone advanced enough to actually build a Dyson Sphere though might have technology that effectively "cloaks" them if you can de...
by DanD
Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:27 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2033: "Repair or Replace"
Replies: 36
Views: 3442

Re: 2033: "Repair or Replace"

I don't think he's talking about retail usage. In large scale data centers, it's very rare that anyone would repair a computer. The standard approach is to simply pop in a new one and reload from backup/RAID.
by DanD
Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:50 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2027: "Lightning Distance"
Replies: 44
Views: 4272

Re: 2027: "Lightning Distance"

Ohm y God. Okay, fine. Let's amp up the puns. Current puns? Mmmm... Another thing everybody knows about lightning is that it doesn't strike twice in the same place. So that helps a bit by telling you where it isn't . (Actually I think we're back to the nonblack nonravens, aren't we?) Between the &q...
by DanD
Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:12 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2026: Heat Index
Replies: 30
Views: 2839

Re: 2026: Heat Index

Considering the whole point of the weather report is to know how to prepare for the day, this makes it rather significant. And it's easier to understand when they say it's above freezing but feels like way below than if they just say what the temperature is and then two minutes later they tell you ...
by DanD
Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:35 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2014: "JWST Delays"
Replies: 21
Views: 3013

Re: 2014: "JWST Delays"

Sandman81 wrote:Completion of George RR Martin's Winds of Winter would take a similar trajectory.


No, that's a step wise function. Every time a fan asks him when it's going to be out, he pushes it off a week. Expected release is in 2451 at present.
by DanD
Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:11 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2023: "Y-Axis"
Replies: 24
Views: 3652

Re: 2023: "Y-Axis"

I could actually see the semi-semi log graph, adequately labeled, as being useful for some things, where you're tracking something that's exponential over time, but you need more detail in the present. Of course, you could also just add a second graph.
by DanD
Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:28 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"
Replies: 80
Views: 6456

Re: 2019: "An Apple for a Dollar"

Yes, the idea that in the US the price on the shelf isn't what you pay is still really weird to me. If you don't have much money on you, it must be hard to work out if you have enough. I think when this has come up before, the reason has been that there are a few different levels (county, state, fe...
by DanD
Mon May 14, 2018 2:28 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1990: "Driving Cars"
Replies: 86
Views: 9427

Re: 1990: "Driving Cars"

Having vehicles on the same road going significantly different speeds is a really bad idea. Everything is about relative speeds. Your low slung car going 120, hitting a tractor-trailer going 60 is not meaningfully different from your low slung car hitting a brick wall at 60. The fact that slower dr...
by DanD
Tue May 08, 2018 7:12 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1990: "Driving Cars"
Replies: 86
Views: 9427

Re: 1990: "Driving Cars"

We could also raise many road speeds to quite significant numbers. Most any road could be raised at least 5mph from where they are if we switched to automated drivers. Those limits aren't because of limits of the vehicles: It's the people that are the problem. It's also possible to take the vehicle...
by DanD
Tue May 08, 2018 5:28 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1990: "Driving Cars"
Replies: 86
Views: 9427

Re: 1990: "Driving Cars"

Some thoughts: Do ultralights still not require a license (and thus age)? The first death in my high school class (@16) died this way... Pierre Currie died in a horse carriage accident. Presumably these were not unknown. Then there was chariot racing that was presumably entertainment similar to gla...
by DanD
Tue May 08, 2018 3:57 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1990: "Driving Cars"
Replies: 86
Views: 9427

Re: 1990: "Driving Cars"

I do suspect that if at the time cars were first invented everybody knew how many injuries and fatalities they would cause, they'd never have been allowed. Somehow it all came upon everybody slowly enough that it's considered acceptable risk to drive now, and of course cars have been getting safer ...
by DanD
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:45 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1986: "River Border"
Replies: 69
Views: 9715

Re: 1986: River Border

The Potomac river is the border of Maryland and Virginia, with the curious property that the entire river is part of Maryland. As far as I know, the only real difference is that you could have a building on the Virginia shore that sold VA lottery tickets, and also have a cash register on a floating...
by DanD
Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:45 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1978: "Congressional Testimony"
Replies: 21
Views: 4320

Re: 1978: "Congressional Testimony"

If what you're not getting is the title text: In our timeline, there was no Terminator 3 by James Cameron. There was a Terminator 3, but it was directed by Jonathan Mastow. The title text is insinuating that in the original timeline, James Cameron did direct Terminator 3, but it was so prophetic (a...
by DanD
Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:11 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1971: "Personal Data"
Replies: 82
Views: 11357

Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

64% of occupied dwellings are occupied by an owner. That's not the same thing. If you have a better estimate, then I'd be happy to hear it and will start to use that number instead. If you don't have a better estimate then I'd be very interested to hear how you feel this fact contributes in any way...
by DanD
Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:57 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1972: "Autogyros"
Replies: 30
Views: 5281

Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Mikeski wrote:This is why I had to go into electrical engineering. Y'all mechanical engineers just can't keep yourselves from breaking the rules. Like Newton's Third.


As opposed to electrical, where the first thing you learn is that everything is backwards, and it gets more confusing from there. :wink:
by DanD
Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:19 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1971: "Personal Data"
Replies: 82
Views: 11357

Re: 1971: "Personal Data"

"If stocks go up, should I leave more money in my mailbox or less?" Depend. Do you own any stocks? Fun fact: the economic term 'stocks' comes from the biological term 'stocks'. People would take a stock of wood and cut markings around it to represent a debt. The more cuts, the more money ...
by DanD
Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:11 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1964: "Spatial Orientation"
Replies: 77
Views: 10216

Re: 1964: "Spatial Orientation"

There's a highway that runs through my hometown from the ocean to the mountains, and also over the mountains. I once long got lost on a foggy moonless night on the other side of the mountains on that highway, and figured one of two things would soon happen if I continued driving along it: I would e...
by DanD
Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:07 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1964: "Spatial Orientation"
Replies: 77
Views: 10216

Re: 1964: "Spatial Orientation"

When someone asks me for directions the first thing I assess is whether I should use "turn left" or "turn north" (or whatever direction). [...] Compass directions are less ambiguous, so that's how I prefer to give directions. As long as you start with a travel direction, i.e. &q...
by DanD
Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:02 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1964: "Spatial Orientation"
Replies: 77
Views: 10216

Re: 1964: "Spatial Orientation"

Considering that roads around here usually don't go in the direction they say they do (ie "west" on a certain highway might in fact be more north or south), and that I don't have a compass unless I wanted to rely on my cell phone (in which case I would be using GPS anyway), compass direct...
by DanD
Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:55 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1958: "Self-Driving Issues"
Replies: 147
Views: 21612

Re: 1958: "Self-Driving Issues"

]...and this information is not very interesting. I have no problems with AI doing this, and even sharing it to make them drive better. But they also pick up the other patterns around them... which car tends to be in front of which house at what times... who is crossing the road (and later, down th...
by DanD
Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:01 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1958: "Self-Driving Issues"
Replies: 147
Views: 21612

Re: 1958: "Self-Driving Issues"

What gets me is... ...None of these 'what ifs' do humans handle safely. Handwritten signs? Most should stop. Do Humans? An AI would. Bad lane markings. You probably should stop. An AI would. Do humans? Bad direction in a construction zone. You're supposed to stop. An AI would. So why do we care if ...
by DanD
Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:05 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1952: "Backpack Decisions"
Replies: 38
Views: 6857

Re: 1952: "Backpack Decisions"

I'd say this is a logical conseuquence of the relative weighting of irrelevant factors. With a car or a computer, most people go in with a decent idea of the make and model they want. Or at least have a couple of major factors that will sharply limit their choices (carrying capacity, fuel economy, c...
by DanD
Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:21 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1950: "Chicken Pox and Name Statistics"
Replies: 56
Views: 7002

Re: 1950: "Chicken Pox and Name Statistics"

Proof that if all children were called Logan, chickenpox would be eliminated from the globe. I wonder if we can do the same for Malaria, and what the optimum name would be? More funding for research! Malaria is more difficult, because it has a fairly widespread environmental reservoir, and isn't de...
by DanD
Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:08 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1950: "Chicken Pox and Name Statistics"
Replies: 56
Views: 7002

Re: 1950: "Chicken Pox and Name Statistics"

speising wrote:but vampires still have teeth, even rather prominent ones.


But they aren't required to grind food. And could be replaced by claw or proboscis.
by DanD
Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:55 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1950: "Chicken Pox and Name Statistics"
Replies: 56
Views: 7002

Re: 1950: "Chicken Pox and Name Statistics"

Evolution had to find a way to grind up food. The choices were teeth, bony plates (similar to teeth), or gizzards. I think it would be weirder if we had gizzards. External digestion, as in starfish or spiders. Slow digestion of intact food, as in snakes. External grinding, as in flour (yeah, I don'...
by DanD
Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:21 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1948: "Campaign Fundraising Emails"
Replies: 34
Views: 5405

Re: 1948: "Campaign Fundraising Emails"

pkcommando wrote:Only a quitter stops when the election is over. Are you a quitter? .


In a lot of cases, campaigns actually end up in debt. And it's easier to say "we'll continue to fight" than to say "Welp, we lost, help us pay for it anyway".
by DanD
Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:35 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1945:"Scientific Paper Graph Quality"
Replies: 21
Views: 4278

Re: 1945:"Scientific Paper Graph Quality"

Reka wrote:I don't get where MSPaint enters into this: surely anyone who's using Powerpoint would have Excel available to them, and would use Excel to generate the charts?


You're assuming A)competence. And B) actual data.
by DanD
Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:34 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"
Replies: 48
Views: 6935

Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

TIL there is actual gold inside the sun. Until now I assumed it was all just hydrogen and helium. But I guess if it's hot enough for fusion to happen, there's probably every element in there, including ones with super-high atomic numbers that we still haven't synthesized yet. It's not due to the Su...
by DanD
Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:17 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1943: "Universal Dreams"
Replies: 39
Views: 4964

Re: 1943: "Universal Dreams"

Or a dream where you see yourself standing in sort of sun-god robes on a pyramid with a thousand naked women screaming and throwing little pickles at you. You beat me to it. Ironically, because I was actually asleep (dreaming about I know not what) when you posted it. I came here to post this one i...
by DanD
Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:20 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1939: "2016 Election Map"
Replies: 56
Views: 10351

Re: 1939: "2016 Election Map"

This does help answer the "but more states voted for" argument in a fairly visible way. At least to me, it manages it on a more visceral level than the ones that have the county sizes weighted by population or the like.
by DanD
Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:42 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1777: "Dear Diary"
Replies: 10
Views: 4317

Re: Dear Diary

qvxb wrote:What cabinet post will BHG hold in the Trump administration?


None. BHG is competently evil.
by DanD
Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:00 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1931: "Virtual Assistant"
Replies: 27
Views: 4746

Re: 1931: "Virtual Assistant"

"Ok, Google-"
Sound of gunshot and body hitting the floor.
In voice of Alexa or Siri: "What can she do for you that I can't?"

Yes, my mind took that somewhere dark.
by DanD
Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:57 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1902: "State Borders"
Replies: 61
Views: 9793

Re: 1902: "State Borders"

And, on top of that, the federal government owns about half of the land in the western half of the country . It's easier to farm and ranch when Washington D.C. isn't telling you exactly how to do it... or when to stop doing it. Not exactly. Federal grazing leases are cheaper and less volatile than ...
by DanD
Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:40 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1924: "Solar Panels"
Replies: 60
Views: 6490

Re: 1924: "Solar Panels"

It's easier to install panels off the road than on them. That's not the critical question though. The critical question is: "Is it easier to build the road AND install panels off the road than it is to build the road with the panels on them?" While the answer is likely no, spending a litt...
by DanD
Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:22 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1924: "Solar Panels"
Replies: 60
Views: 6490

Re: 1924: "Solar Panels"

I don't really see the purpose of the "When running, is it hot to the touch?" query. Do solar panels have some inherent problem when heated? I assumed that was an energy requirements versus energy provided filter. If something runs cool to the touch, it's energy demand is probably somewha...
by DanD
Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:57 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1921: "The Moon and the Great Wall"
Replies: 8
Views: 2426

Re: 1921: "The Moon and the Great Wall"

Lake Nasser is visible from the moon (in an earthrise photo taken by the LRO). I would presume multiple other man made lakes are, as well. Cities, as a unit, are visible on the night side.
by DanD
Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:43 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1920: "Emoji Sports"
Replies: 23
Views: 5295

Re: 1920: "Emoji Sports"

"Hell Escape" sounds like sounds like escape rooms as done by the organizers of Spartan races. Or vice-versa.
by DanD
Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:08 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1910: Sky Spotters
Replies: 21
Views: 3523

Re: 1910: Sky Spotters

Title text: Where I live, one of the most common categories of sky object without a weird obsessive spotting community is "lost birthday party balloons," so that might be a good choice—although you risk angering the marine wildlife people, and they have sharks. You could try disguising th...

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