Search found 336 matches

by Heimhenge
Sat May 18, 2019 10:49 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2150: "XKeyboarCD"
Replies: 39
Views: 2746

Re: 2150: "XKeyboarCD"

lllllllllwith10ls wrote:There's a large arrow pointing up or down


For an icon I would expect that. Quizatzhaderac said "images" which to me implied "photos", but I guess the usage has expanded some:

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/image
by Heimhenge
Sat May 18, 2019 3:42 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2150: "XKeyboarCD"
Replies: 39
Views: 2746

Re: 2150: "XKeyboarCD"

An alternative thing that a XKyboarCD could have is addition is extra key sets for other dimensions, alternate coordinate systems. Forwards/ back Clockwise/counter inward/outward (with "><" and "<>" keys) Port/starboard (dock and wave images) Earlier/later (sunrise and sunset im...
by Heimhenge
Thu May 16, 2019 4:55 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2150: "XKeyboarCD"
Replies: 39
Views: 2746

Re: 2150: "XKeyboarCD"

I like the 15-puzzle-style numberpad. It means you can choose whether you want your numberpad in the calculator configuration (123 at the bottom) or phone style (123 at the top). (Of course, you have to be able to solve the puzzle. If something urgent comes up, you might be left with it in an unort...
by Heimhenge
Fri May 10, 2019 10:50 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2148: "Cubesat Launch"
Replies: 11
Views: 1758

Re: 2148: "Cubesat Launch"

Is it odd that the one detail that stuck out to me in regards to the whole matter is that the "Launch Accident Investigation Board" decided to label the front of their table as if they were judges for a talent show? Yeah, me too. Kinda' Pythonish. You'd think a simple NASA logo would get ...
by Heimhenge
Mon May 06, 2019 5:32 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2146: "Waiting for the But"
Replies: 27
Views: 2905

Re: 2146: "Waiting for the But"

[what she said] ... BUT, I still think the most dramatic way to take out Maduro would be to train a Saint Bernard carrying a flaming Molotov cocktail to jump into his limo during a parade.
by Heimhenge
Sun Apr 28, 2019 6:28 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Is it possible to escape from a black hole using another black hole?
Replies: 56
Views: 3443

Re: Is it possible to escape from a black hole using another black hole?

The stability of two black holes in orbit around each other is short lived ... even if both have the requisite speed for a circular orbit. Emission of gravitational waves causes the system to lose energy, so the death spiral is inevitable. And as I said, the closer they get the faster this happens.
by Heimhenge
Sun Apr 28, 2019 4:21 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Is it possible to escape from a black hole using another black hole?
Replies: 56
Views: 3443

Re: Is it possible to escape from a black hole using another black hole?

What the OP's question suggested to me is two co-orbiting black holes with equal mass, some time before they coalesce, but after the event horizons overlap. If you could manage to aim you ship in along such a path that you remained equidistant from the black holes, could you get through the overlapp...
by Heimhenge
Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:03 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2140: Reinvent the Wheel
Replies: 16
Views: 2301

Re: 2140: Reinvent the Wheel

When I did a Google image search for "wheel" the first hit was a plastic caster. So if that's "pretty good" then Beret Guy's vehicles must be skate boards.
by Heimhenge
Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:38 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: How do Maxwell's equations predict the speed of light?
Replies: 4
Views: 1447

Re: How do Maxwell's equations predict the speed of light?

Importantly, the permeability and permittivity of free space do not depend on your frame of reference, implying the invariance of the speed of light. Good insight, but I'm wondering ... since Maxwell's equations include the permeability and permittivity as a product [ c = (1/με)^0.5 ], might motion...
by Heimhenge
Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:53 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Nitrogen to oxygen
Replies: 11
Views: 1469

Re: Nitrogen to oxygen

I did notice that when Mushroom held the proton out to the atom, more of the electrons moved to that side. Or I guess you could say "are spending more time on that side". Either way, that part of the meme seems valid.
by Heimhenge
Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:34 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Event Horizon Telescope image
Replies: 24
Views: 2051

Re: Event Horizon Telescope image

Yep. I just redid the calculations after re-verifying the numbers. I came up with an apparent angular size ratio of Sag A*/Powehi = 1.4 ... differs from your 1.3 probably because of rounding, which was two sig figs all around. But I now see where most of my confusion came from. Depending on the sour...
by Heimhenge
Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:45 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Event Horizon Telescope image
Replies: 24
Views: 2051

Re: Event Horizon Telescope image

I guess my confusion is whether a particular source is citing the EH diameter or the shadow diameter. Hard to tell from the wording in some cases. Is the shadow diameter always 2.6 times the EH diameter? Or does it scale somehow with mass?
by Heimhenge
Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:45 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Event Horizon Telescope image
Replies: 24
Views: 2051

Re: Event Horizon Telescope image

Are you doing this in miles? That site gives the correct EH diameter (38bn km), and the shadow is 2.6 times that. Shit. Indeed I was. Read the wrong number. Did the same for Sag A*. Corrected calculations should be: Powehi: θ = tan-1[(3.5×10^10 km)/(5.2×10^20 km)] = 3.8×10^-9 degrees Sag A*: θ = ta...
by Heimhenge
Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:41 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Event Horizon Telescope image
Replies: 24
Views: 2051

Re: Event Horizon Telescope image

I don't know where that 28 billion number is from. The event horizon is more like 40 billion across and the shadow 100 billion. Well I was just trying to get a better idea of what the media meant by "Sag A* and Powehi are of comparable angular size", so I just searched for the relevant nu...
by Heimhenge
Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:37 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Event Horizon Telescope image
Replies: 24
Views: 2051

Re: Event Horizon Telescope image

I get what you're saying about Powehi ... the translation of the name makes no sense to me either.
by Heimhenge
Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:52 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Event Horizon Telescope image
Replies: 24
Views: 2051

Re: Event Horizon Telescope image

Specifically, M87* is about 1600 times bigger than Sag A*, but only about 2000 times further away, so it's about 80% the size in the sky. So yeah, the much clearer image we get from not having to look thru our galactic disc is very worthwhile. The other factor is the variability of Sag A* (compared...
by Heimhenge
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:06 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2137: "Text Entry"
Replies: 34
Views: 4105

Re: 2137: "Text Entry"

Our DirecTV remote is configured the same way, with letters under each of the digits. But if we want to search for programming we have to navigate a matrix of letters (with a special "space" character) using the arrow keys to enter text. I have to say at least their autocomplete is fairly ...
by Heimhenge
Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:47 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2022: "Sports Champions"
Replies: 46
Views: 10580

Re: 2022: "Sports Champions"

Well, it ain't "sports" ... but I was just reading and article about the nuclear waste repository proposed in New Mexico, and of course you get all the typical NIMBY responses from the locals. One of those protestors is a florist by the name of Rose Gardner. No shit: https://www.npr.org/20...
by Heimhenge
Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:48 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2135: M87 Black Hole Size Comparison
Replies: 42
Views: 6006

Re: 2135: M87 Black Hole Size Comparison

What's the possibility of using the same VLBI technique to image exoplanets or nearby stars? VLBI basically constructs a virtual telescope with a functional diameter as wide as the two furthest components, so could we do something similar with non-radio parts of the EM spectrum? Could this be used ...
by Heimhenge
Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:41 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2132: "Percentage Styles"
Replies: 39
Views: 4148

Re: 2132: "Percentage Styles"

Randall's spread looks similar to what I got from Ngram: https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=%25%2Cpercent%2Cper+cent%2CNOUN_%28-%29_NOUN%25%2Cper%C2%A2&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2C%25%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cpercent%3B%2...
by Heimhenge
Sun Mar 31, 2019 4:14 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2130: "Industry Nicknames"
Replies: 28
Views: 3895

Re: 2130: "Industry Nicknames"

Well, it ain't so much funny or clever, but apparently Big Salt is was real:

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/20 ... goes-quiet
by Heimhenge
Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:42 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2130: "Industry Nicknames"
Replies: 28
Views: 3895

Re: 2130: "Industry Nicknames"

Growing up in Wisconsin I was well aware of the influence wielded by Big Cheese.
by Heimhenge
Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:00 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2128: "New Robot"
Replies: 40
Views: 5543

Re: 2128: "New Robot"

So, to the point of the topic, if you had a nonconducting flexible bag, and you shot a cathode ray into it, could you inflate the bag with an electron plasma? And would that electron plasma inflating the bag be less dense than the hydrogen or helium that you might otherwise fill the bag with, since...
by Heimhenge
Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:32 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2128: "New Robot"
Replies: 40
Views: 5543

Re: 2128: "New Robot"

Can there be such a thing as an all-electron plasma? Like could you fire a cathode ray into a container and somehow fill it up with just a cloud of electrons? Or would they all bind to the atoms of the container and then discharge elsewhere as soon as they got the chance? That's a really interestin...
by Heimhenge
Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:16 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Verifying physics at home
Replies: 15
Views: 2098

Re: Verifying physics at home

Really the big problem is, how does one verify that a laser works? I'm not aware of any method to produce a laser at home. Not really a laser, but a bright source of white light (say, an arc lamp), a prism, a small aperture, a collimating lens, and you've got a monochromatic enough source of light....
by Heimhenge
Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:59 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2128: "New Robot"
Replies: 40
Views: 5543

Re: 2128: "New Robot"

Is it even possible to build a rigid helium-filled sphere that floats in air? Helium balloons are usually rather large and made out of some flimsy, ultra-light-weight material. How thin would a metal sphere have to be? ... Apparently so: https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/92727/can-we-make...
by Heimhenge
Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:23 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Verifying physics at home
Replies: 15
Views: 2098

Re: Verifying physics at home

I would add the Foucault Pendulum as a great demo of Earth rotation. With a massive enough bob, and a long enough string, you can easily make one that oscillates long enough to show rotation. Did it myself as a science project in a high school gym with an old bowling ball we drilled for an eye hook....
by Heimhenge
Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:21 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2128: "New Robot"
Replies: 40
Views: 5543

Re: 2128: "New Robot"

OK, suppose this floating robot could maintain a strong electrical charge on its surface. Maybe by using a power source to produce a constant source of ions. But if it ain't grounded, that's hardly enough charge to attract lightning. The induced charge in a tall metal structure has to be orders of m...
by Heimhenge
Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:10 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2125: "Luna 2"
Replies: 9
Views: 2701

Re: 2125: "Luna 2"

We'll be sending better stuff soon ...

https://interestingengineering.com/nonp ... on-by-2020
by Heimhenge
Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:39 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Is linguistics a real science?
Replies: 60
Views: 5531

Re: Is linguistics a real science?

Yes, but it's always flagged as a "southern US regional" thing. I think what the article was talking about was putting it in the same class as "you're" or "they'll" or "I'm " as an established and accepted contraction.
by Heimhenge
Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:50 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Is linguistics a real science?
Replies: 60
Views: 5531

Re: Is linguistics a real science?

Yeah, I'd put it in the category of "social science" because it's not a data-intensive as the hard sciences. But it's still definitely "science" in the sense that it asks and answers questions, uses hypotheses and models, and can make predictions. If you don't buy the "predi...
by Heimhenge
Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:10 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2124: "Space Mission Hearing"
Replies: 22
Views: 4445

Re: 2123: "Space Mission Hearing"

I vaguely recall some sci-fi show explaining that the "space noises" heard therein are artificially generated by one's own ship so as to provide auditory information about one's surroundings. The ship is just scanning stuff with light, but it can tell how that stuff is vibrating through t...
by Heimhenge
Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:43 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2124: "Space Mission Hearing"
Replies: 22
Views: 4445

Re: 2123: "Space Mission Hearing"

Or Robert Wilson's defense of pure science ... " It only has to do with the respect with which we regard one another, the dignity of men, our love of culture. It has to do with those things. It has to do with, are we good painters, good sculptors, great poets? I mean all the things that we real...
by Heimhenge
Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:10 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2124: "Space Mission Hearing"
Replies: 22
Views: 4445

Re: 2123: "Space Mission Hearing"

xtifr wrote:Isn't "spaceship noises" close to being an oxymoron?


Well of course. I recall reading somewhere that Spielberg's scientific advisors told him you wouldn't hear all those sound effects in space, except for your own ship being hit. He chose to overrule them for obvious reasons.
by Heimhenge
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:55 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: A Universe that's just two massive balls... fnar
Replies: 24
Views: 2124

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

I know they scanned Oumuamua for radio emissions, but haven't read about any Doppler speed measurements. And you'd need the velocity vector relative to Earth to interpret any Doppler shift. OK, I'm learning some good shit here. So when they get the 3-4 (?) data points of its location on the celestia...
by Heimhenge
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:32 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2121:"Light Pollution"
Replies: 41
Views: 6743

Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

We've got a particularly nasty species of cactus here in AZ called cholla. Its spines easily pierce soft shoes and leather gloves, and the spines have barbed ends that make them very difficult to remove without getting a chunk of flesh with it. It's really a beautiful plant. People use the "ted...
by Heimhenge
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:20 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: A Universe that's just two massive balls... fnar
Replies: 24
Views: 2124

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

I realize either one implies the other. What I don't know is if they directly measured its speed, or got enough data points to approximate its trajectory. But now that I think about it, that would probably also be the same thing. You get one you get the other, right?
by Heimhenge
Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:56 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: A Universe that's just two massive balls... fnar
Replies: 24
Views: 2124

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

Pretty sure that's how they knew Oumuamua came from outside the solar system. When it zipped by it had more speed than anything that could be bound to the Sun. Or did they actually get enough data to establish the trajectory was hyperbolic?
by Heimhenge
Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:53 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: paper clip in a power outlet
Replies: 65
Views: 18466

Re: paper clip in a power outlet

I don't know who resurrected this old thread, but I see it was started before I found this forum. Interesting discussion. When I was like 2nd grade or thereabouts I had my first encounter with an electric fence (US farm version). I knew not to touch it because there were warning signs on the posts. ...
by Heimhenge
Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:48 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2122: "Size Venn Diagram"
Replies: 37
Views: 5027

Re:

But what about "grand"? I thought the same thing (being an Arizonan). Then I thought if we add a sixth set, we start down a long road. What about "tiny" or "colossal" or "jumbo" or probably many others but those come first to mind. I'm sure Randall considered...

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