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by Eebster the Great
Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:58 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"
Replies: 49
Views: 3119

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

Right, exactly. If today a newspaper reported that the price of corn in 1600 was ten pence a pound, people will assume they mean maize, even if in the 1600s, that's not what corn meant.
by Eebster the Great
Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:29 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Miscellaneous Science Questions
Replies: 2927
Views: 692967

Re: Miscellaneous Science Questions

Stack exchange has a great answer. Interleaving digits works in the following way: First you need to exclude terminating representations, so ½ = 0.4999..., not ½ = 0.5000.... Next, instead of interleaving individual digits, you interleave chunks of digits. For every number in R, you separate it int...
by Eebster the Great
Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:03 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Is linguistics a real science?
Replies: 52
Views: 2546

Re: Is linguistics a real science?

As I said, it's only extraordinary if we assume all letters should be equally common at the start of words and that words are formed completely at random, both of which are obviously not true. So your data sort of demonstrate that fact, but nothing more.
by Eebster the Great
Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:02 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"
Replies: 49
Views: 3119

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

"Corn" could well have referred to a variety of cereals to the people writing the alleged documents in the dusty archive, but it would not have meant that to readers of the Kansas City Sun in 1921. I suspect that what it might or might not have meant to people who wouldn't be born for sev...
by Eebster the Great
Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:22 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Miscellaneous Science Questions
Replies: 2927
Views: 692967

Re: Miscellaneous Science Questions

That's true, it suffices to prove there is a surjection, but it doesn't explicitly construct a bijection.
by Eebster the Great
Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:21 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Miscellaneous Science Questions
Replies: 2927
Views: 692967

Re: Miscellaneous Science Questions

Pfhorrest wrote:Yeah, the mapping of complex numbers to R2 was taken as obvious in my post; the mapping of R to R2 is what I was unsure about.

That would be the space-filling curve you mentioned.
by Eebster the Great
Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:24 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Is linguistics a real science?
Replies: 52
Views: 2546

Re: Is linguistics a real science?

Well, the mainstream linguistics considers the river name "Karašica" to be related to the obsolete Croatian word "karaš", for "goldfish", but there are no goldfishes there (and there is, as far as I know, no evidence that there have ever been), and neither is that the ...
by Eebster the Great
Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:09 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Miscellaneous Science Questions
Replies: 2927
Views: 692967

Re: Miscellaneous Science Questions

A space-filling curve maps R to R 2 or R 3 or larger and can be constructed for any finite dimension n using existing techniques. The complex numbers are trivially identified with R 2 by z ↦ (Re[z],Im[z]), or vice-versa: (x,y) ↦ x + yi. So if you just compose that with any curve that fills the plane...
by Eebster the Great
Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:01 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Is linguistics a real science?
Replies: 52
Views: 2546

Re: Is linguistics a real science?

Right, but "I can't see it" is not a scientific argument. You should search the literature to see how much is already known about the etymologies of these river names and of other river names. You should see whether the k-r pattern is specific to rivers or if it also shows up in other voca...
by Eebster the Great
Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:05 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"
Replies: 49
Views: 3119

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

I wonder if it's just a one-off, or if "Really Not Important" was a recurring (humorous) bit in that paper. Maybe they just found they had a few inches to fill that day? The world may never know.
by Eebster the Great
Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:27 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Verifying physics at home
Replies: 15
Views: 996

Re: Verifying physics at home

Filter paper is also cheap and produces fairly monochrome light. But even with the laser, you can confirm with your eyes that the light is red, and that's a source of red light you might already have around. The idea is to look at things of known color with the spectrometer to verify that its result...
by Eebster the Great
Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:25 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"
Replies: 49
Views: 3119

Re: 2129: "1921 Fact Checker"

"Corn" could well have referred to a variety of cereals to the people writing the alleged documents in the dusty archive, but it would not have meant that to readers of the Kansas City Sun in 1921. I also don't know why you would call it "cornmeal" instead of "flour" if...
by Eebster the Great
Wed Mar 27, 2019 3:50 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Is linguistics a real science?
Replies: 52
Views: 2546

Re: Is linguistics a real science?

The first error is in assuming that there are approximately 400 roughly equally likely word-initial consonant pairs in Croatian. You acknowledge that some combinations don't occur but massively underestimate the number. Most combinations that are valid will have an R or L at the second position or a...
by Eebster the Great
Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:33 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Is linguistics a real science?
Replies: 52
Views: 2546

Re: Is linguistics a real science?

"Amount of math" isn't an actual metric. But I do like the idea of being quantitative when you can.

Your website is not well formatted for prolonged reading and is difficult to navigate. Can you summarize your argument or paste a summary here?
by Eebster the Great
Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:15 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Is linguistics a real science?
Replies: 52
Views: 2546

Re: Is linguistics a real science?

I don't know about whatever argument you were having, but linguistics being a real science doesn't mean that p-values determine what is true.
by Eebster the Great
Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:03 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Verifying physics at home
Replies: 15
Views: 996

Re: Verifying physics at home

Right, you don't need to personally construct a spectrometer to verify that it works, just shine a bunch of different lights of it with known spectra. For instance, if you shine a red laser on it, you hope the spectrometer only reports receiving monochromatic red light, or something is up.
by Eebster the Great
Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:50 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Miscellaneous Science Questions
Replies: 2927
Views: 692967

Re: Miscellaneous Science Questions

The main reason is the comparatively thick atmosphere of the Earth, which absorbs infrared radiation at night and circulates air. Mars has a thin atmosphere and much more dramatic temperature changes, from about -125 C to 25 C. On the Moon, with no atmosphere, it's even worse (-173 to 127 C). On Mer...
by Eebster the Great
Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:12 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Verifying physics at home
Replies: 15
Views: 996

Re: Verifying physics at home

I don't know how expensive spectroscopic equipment is, but you can learn a lot from that about chemistry and thermodynamics. In particular, if you can see deep UV, you can experimentally corroborate Planck's Law. If you can analyze gases cryogenically, for instance if you can afford liquid helium, t...
by Eebster the Great
Sat Mar 23, 2019 2:34 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2119: Video Orientation
Replies: 43
Views: 4732

Re: 2119: Video Orientation

The TV people have already standardised on the "how do we show portrait-orientation photos on our landscape-orientated-medium?" issue. Instead of black background that gives vertical letterbox-bars that are increasingly annoying as the portrait and landscape ratios each head well away fro...
by Eebster the Great
Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:56 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2126: "Google Trends Maps"
Replies: 18
Views: 2090

Re: 2126: "Google Trends Maps"

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but this is due to the fact that the states aren't independent of each other? If they were there'd only be a 0.3% = (18432/18432)^50 chance of states matching? No. There are 18,432 different possible combinations of responses, but they are not equally likely, since ...
by Eebster the Great
Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:33 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: roulette question
Replies: 3
Views: 409

Re: roulette question

phillip1882 wrote:a

Did you accidentally the OP?
by Eebster the Great
Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:46 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Longest word with only 3 letters
Replies: 39
Views: 26621

Re: Longest word with only 3 letters

Or for that matter, the prepepperer, who peppers before either the pepperer or the repepperer.
by Eebster the Great
Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:35 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Is linguistics a real science?
Replies: 52
Views: 2546

Re: Is linguistics a real science?

How about "yous guys"?
by Eebster the Great
Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:36 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Least human organism susceptible to cancer?
Replies: 11
Views: 805

Re: Least human organism susceptible to cancer?

It describes it as "gonadal cancer" and points out that they can transform other cells into cancer in mice. I am sure they don't get cancer "just like humans," but they do get malignant neoplasms. I'm not fully understanding the distinction you're trying to draw. Some organisms v...
by Eebster the Great
Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:17 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Miscellaneous Science Questions
Replies: 2927
Views: 692967

Re: Miscellaneous Science Questions

The Bekenstein bound is an upper bound, not a lower bound. To reach the bound you need to form a black hole. For constant energy density (E ∝ V ∝ R 3 ), it gives S max ∝ R 4 , which is not particularly intuitive. Given a vacuum energy of 10 -9 J/m 3 , the formula is approximately S max = 10 18 m -4 ...
by Eebster the Great
Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:35 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Least human organism susceptible to cancer?
Replies: 11
Views: 805

Re: Least human organism susceptible to cancer?

Fine, but evidence of cancer in mollusks is not controversial to my knowledge. Here's another study of cancer in claims. It may be due to an environmental contaminant of human origin, but if a chemical pollutant can induce cancer in clams, it can probably happen naturally. Mussels are apparently use...
by Eebster the Great
Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:36 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Math: Fleeting Thoughts
Replies: 427
Views: 143113

Re: Math: Fleeting Thoughts

Please don't tell me that "globalist" is now used to mean "someone who believes the world is a globe". I mean, if that's actually true then please tell me, but please don't tell me. No, the term is "globist." The globalists are the Illuminati reptoids that are trying t...
by Eebster the Great
Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:10 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Least human organism susceptible to cancer?
Replies: 11
Views: 805

Re: Least human organism susceptible to cancer?

If you aren't doing something to induce cancer in an invertebrate, then you're going to be waiting around a long time. But if it can be induced, then it can occur. EDIT: Here are examples of malignant cells in marine invertebrates: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022098111002929 .
by Eebster the Great
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:32 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Math: Fleeting Thoughts
Replies: 427
Views: 143113

Re: Math: Fleeting Thoughts

doogly wrote:
Flumble wrote:Does anyone have a good explanation for why the volume (or surface) of an n-ball is the way it is?

You mean, better than integrals?

Integrals are the way hyperglobists lie about the shape of the flat hyperearth.
by Eebster the Great
Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:17 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Is linguistics a real science?
Replies: 52
Views: 2546

Re: Is linguistics a real science?

"Y'all" is surely already in every general English dictionary worth its salt.
by Eebster the Great
Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:44 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Is linguistics a real science?
Replies: 52
Views: 2546

Re: Is linguistics a real science?

Linguistics is multidisciplinary. Most linguists don't have a background in science, but some do. Since it focuses on the details of human culture, it is more of a social science (like archaeology) than a natural science (like chemistry). It's still "real".
by Eebster the Great
Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:35 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: A Universe that's just two massive balls... fnar
Replies: 24
Views: 1186

Re: A Universe that's just two massive balls... fnar

For what it's worth, if the spheres are the mass and radius of Earth, the final relative velocity will be 15.8 km/s. If the Sun, 874 km/s. If solar mass white dwarf stars, 8,710 km/s. As gmal said, you only really run into relativity for more compact objects, though I think it first becomes signific...
by Eebster the Great
Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:41 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: A Universe that's just two massive balls... fnar
Replies: 24
Views: 1186

Re: A Universe that's just two massive balls... fnar

"Suppose two identical, uniformly dense, rigid balls of mass M and radius R are initially at rest in a vacuum separated by a distance r . If they interact only gravitationally and relativistic effects are negligible, at what speed v will they collide?" I think the answer is v = √( G M (...
by Eebster the Great
Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:11 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Least human organism susceptible to cancer?
Replies: 11
Views: 805

Re: Least human organism sucetable to cancer?

What organism most distantly related to human is capable of getting cancer? Or conversely, what is the creature that is most closely related to humans that can't get cancer? Is this what you meant? There's specifically a myth that sharks don't get cancer, and a such someone has bothered to document...
by Eebster the Great
Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:16 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Miscellaneous Science Questions
Replies: 2927
Views: 692967

Re: Miscellaneous Science Questions

Looking back on the earlier parts of this discussion about "year omega" raises a math question that I guess might belong here: Can you not do subtraction on transfinite ordinals? "Omega minus one" seems like something that couldn't exist, because omega is by definition the first...
by Eebster the Great
Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:23 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Miscellaneous Science Questions
Replies: 2927
Views: 692967

Re: Miscellaneous Science Questions

Yeah, I'm basically saying that, in either direction, the universe is either infinite or it isn't. If the universe has a beginning or end, that beginning or end must be some finite time in the past or future. So if the universe is infinitely old (has no finite age), then it has no beginning, and as ...
by Eebster the Great
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:09 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: The frog riddle
Replies: 23
Views: 3544

Re: The frog riddle

In that case you can't trust the info; the traveler came from a future where you didn't flip two tails, but the travel will influence the results this time. Although with enough experimentation with more sensitive quantum effects, you could be reasonably confident whether or not the universe ensure...
by Eebster the Great
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:04 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Math: Fleeting Thoughts
Replies: 427
Views: 143113

Re: Math: Fleeting Thoughts

But now we have a factor of 2! Sometimes! Surely that's worth getting upset about. Now let me grab my calendar reform proposal and collection of infographics showing how dumb MDY dates are.
by Eebster the Great
Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:46 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: The frog riddle
Replies: 23
Views: 3544

Re: The frog riddle

SuicideJunkie wrote:The difference between knowing after the flips, or before the flips. :)

You missed the super obvious context that I knew I wouldn't flip two tails because of information I got from a time traveler from the future.
by Eebster the Great
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:00 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: What if the second law was breakable?
Replies: 71
Views: 3944

Re: What if the second law was breakable?

It sounds as though you could get a nice SF story about intelligent races struggling to extract enough energy to keep going at the end of the universe, seeking out the boundaries and resources, and scavenging each other. Not a million miles, I suppose, from the end of the cities in flight stories. ...

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