Search found 5597 matches

by Xanthir
Thu Jan 17, 2008 1:48 am UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Braindead Code
Replies: 98
Views: 9982

Re: Braindead Code

Just to jump back a bit to the boolean discussion, the entirety of the lisp family works differently than C. There, *everything* evaluates to true, except for the special false value (varies between languages, but it's nil in Lisp and #f in Scheme). Luckily the Lisp family is loosely typed, so you d...
by Xanthir
Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:40 pm UTC
Forum: The Help Desk
Topic: Consistently displaying a webpage in Firefox and IE
Replies: 2
Views: 1135

Consistently displaying a webpage in Firefox and IE

Okay, okay, I know it's an impossible goal. But I'm redesigning my company website at the moment, and I'm doing the actual redesign in FF as it knows what the fuck it's doing. But the majority (more than the normal percentage of the internet, I think) of our users are IE users, and some of the CSS f...
by Xanthir
Sat Dec 22, 2007 11:56 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: String theory question
Replies: 33
Views: 2912

Re: String theory question

Not a physicist, but I heard something intriguing out on the interlands one day. Essentially, space is 3-dimensional because knots only exist in three dimensions. In 2d and lower things can't move under each other, so there are no tangles, let alone knots. In 4d and higher there are too many degrees...
by Xanthir
Sat Dec 22, 2007 11:09 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Crazy big bang idea
Replies: 8
Views: 1663

Re: Crazy big bang idea

You start with an incorrect assumption. It takes an infinite amount of energy to accelerate a mass to c from a lower velocity. Photons don't have to mess with this, because they *always* travel at c. Also, photons have no (rest) mass, so even if they *were* to be travelling at a speed less than c, t...
by Xanthir
Sat Dec 22, 2007 8:18 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Amusing answers to tests
Replies: 393
Views: 57761

Re: Amusing answers to tests

I've got two examples from my own work. First, in my second taking of Linear Algebra (I failed the first simply because I never went to class, even to take tests) I knew the subject so well that I could finish all my tests in well under half the allotted time. I'd usually just turn the paper in earl...
by Xanthir
Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:25 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Words that are fun to mispronounce
Replies: 169
Views: 26182

Re: Words that are fun to mispronounce

Not entirely sure of why, but I pronounce people as pee-oh-pull. I think I started it so I could remember the correct spelling.

Well, I don't do it all the time, but I do when I'm feeling a bit silly. It is fun!
by Xanthir
Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:10 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Lower Case
Replies: 63
Views: 8735

Re: Lower Case

well I read by looking at the profile of the words for distinctive letter junctions and others, but I don't read concecutivly, the words pop into my head as I reconize them ususaly I look for commen patterns of speach so that I can make a guess about the identity of the next word without haveing to...
by Xanthir
Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:01 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: The English Spoken Language: RIP (Examples)
Replies: 154
Views: 19977

Re: The English Spoken Language: RIP (Examples)

Dingbats: Thank you so much. You are a shining example of all that is right with the world.
by Xanthir
Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:33 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Can I say string theory has a "simple premise"?
Replies: 49
Views: 5466

Re: Can I say string theory has a "simple premise"?

*You* get a world (or solar system) spanning particle accelerator up and running which can generate a couple of TeVs, and we'll talk.

Brains : theory :: funding : experiments.
by Xanthir
Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Mathematical explanations for things that aren't math
Replies: 29
Views: 5950

Re: Mathematical explanations for things that aren't math

So, you have a whole heck of a lot of nothing. What if, just for a moment, you divided out a little piece of that nothing, and you said "Here. Here, I shall make an atom of Hydrogen." You just divided by zero. You created. You have 'the nothingness that is that hydrogen atom', and 'the no...
by Xanthir
Fri Sep 28, 2007 4:39 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: I support the simpul spelling movement.
Replies: 221
Views: 39546

Re: I support the simpul spelling movement.

I agree 100% with the handful of people who note that when you phoneticize English, you have to decide which dialect you're using. No matter what you do, your spelling will be wrong for a lot of people. Hell, I still can't decide whether I pronounce "coupon" with a "koo" or a &qu...
by Xanthir
Fri Sep 28, 2007 4:09 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Passive voice
Replies: 42
Views: 8773

Re: Passive voice

Nothing is wrong with the passive voice in itself. However, in political rhetoric and common nonsense, passive voice is often used to sweep the subject under a rug--to hide it for an added authenticity. "Studies have shown that ..." sounds very impressive. But it doesn't tell you which st...
by Xanthir
Fri Sep 28, 2007 4:06 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: E-Prime
Replies: 24
Views: 5368

Re: E-Prime

E-prime does have merits for helping to avoid the passive voice. However, I think it would be interesting to see a variant on English that introduces another voice (middle voice, anyone?). I thought I was going to say more with that, but no, I'm done for now. I'm always curious about this. Why avoi...
by Xanthir
Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:44 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Does SAE need a second person plural?
Replies: 64
Views: 7178

Re: Does SAE need a second person plural?

I'm of the opinion that it already has one, in the form of "y'all". I have voted appropriately. Of course, I'm Houston born and raised, so I don't have y'all's yankee stigmas against it. ^_^ Also, "all y'all" is perfectly appropriate. It's for when you *really* mean everyone, suc...
by Xanthir
Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:54 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Stupid, stupid question
Replies: 10
Views: 1931

Example:
e^(x^2)
Derivate!
e^(x^2) * (2x) * 2
T_T
by Xanthir
Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:34 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Stupid, stupid question
Replies: 10
Views: 1931

Danke. I didn't trust myself, because I've gotten wrapped up in taking the chain rule too far.

Can you tell it's been a while since I last used calculus?
by Xanthir
Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:19 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Stupid, stupid question
Replies: 10
Views: 1931

Stupid, stupid question

I'm having a major brainfart here.

Derivative of log(1+e^x). Is it 1/(1+e^x) or e^x/(1+e^x)?
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:01 am UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: Computer Science in High School
Replies: 78
Views: 12059

My high school's changed significantly. When I started we had Comp Sci 1 and 2, both in C++. After I finished those, there was enough interest that we created a Special Projects course in Java, because the AP test was moving to Java. My little brother's following in my steps going through high schoo...
by Xanthir
Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:47 pm UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: AP comp sci in highschool
Replies: 14
Views: 4630

I took three years of Comp Sci in high school - two of C++ and one of Java. The teacher was learning the languages along side us. ^_^ (She was Fortran-focused.) I, like several others here, spent most of the time goofing off on my own projects (or finding new and inventive ways to get onto the inter...
by Xanthir
Wed Aug 22, 2007 12:53 am UTC
Forum: The Help Desk
Topic: Can you write a formula in excel that does this...
Replies: 23
Views: 4762

You clearly do not appreciate the wonders of needlessly complex math. Plus, I can now do lagrange interpolation on an arbitrary number of arbitrary points! That's a win!
by Xanthir
Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:58 pm UTC
Forum: The Help Desk
Topic: Can you write a formula in excel that does this...
Replies: 23
Views: 4762

I decided to hack together a quick lisp program to produce an answer to this via Lagrange interpolation. Here's the result: = -1/1863435974400*$A$1^19 + 2677/25009272288000*$A$1^18 + -263/26464838400*$A$1^17 + 25423/44579808000*$A$1^16 + -211/9313920*$A$1^15 + 162107507/245188944000*$A$1^14 + -71997...
by Xanthir
Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:31 pm UTC
Forum: Gaming
Topic: D&D 4th Edition [and other..oh, who are we kidding. 4th Ed!]
Replies: 777
Views: 58214

Really, from all I've heard, 4e seems to be mostly a combo of the concepts developed in Saga and Iron Heroes, mixed together with D&D's unique flavor. Yah, everyone's feelings will vary, but like I said, I'm excited about this. IH is my favorite game in the entire world, and I've liked everythin...
by Xanthir
Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:28 pm UTC
Forum: Gaming
Topic: Is your favourite FF also the one you played first?
Replies: 56
Views: 8081

Yah, 7 was my very first game for my PS. I started playing before I even realized there was a such thing as a memory card, so I had to convince my parents to let me keep it on overnight until we could go out and buy one the next day. ^_^ ...What? I was 11! However, Tactics is still very close to my ...
by Xanthir
Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:18 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Effects of currents and landmasses and thing on temperatures
Replies: 11
Views: 2307

England would be a frozen wasteland if not for the wonderful warm ocean current s flowing around it.

Well, maybe not a wasteland per se, but to a Texan, Newfoundland is pretty much a wasteland of ice (Newfoundland and England occupy the same latitude range, approx.).
by Xanthir
Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:06 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: What level of mathematics do people know on this forum?
Replies: 63
Views: 9030

You got that about right in my experience, Nimz. Calc 1 is derivatives and basic integrals, Calc 2 is advanced everything, and Calc 3 is multivariable.
by Xanthir
Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:04 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Simple geometry question
Replies: 17
Views: 6332

In every finite step, you are only moving horiz and vert. In the limit case, though, you are moving diagonally. It's analogous to the Hilbert Curve. At every finite step it's isomorphic to the unit line. In the limit, though, it's isomorphic to the unit square (in fact, it *is* the unit square). Tho...
by Xanthir
Mon Aug 20, 2007 10:02 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Browser features
Replies: 28
Views: 4277

Well, I've discovered my preferred setup. I call it "the zone of pure internet". It's a combination of Hide Tab Bar, Hide Menu Bar, Tiny Menu, Mouse Gestures, and a couple of random tiny UI tweaks. It removes *everything* on the screen except for the webpage I'm viewing, but it's all still...
by Xanthir
Mon Aug 20, 2007 9:59 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: First Real Language
Replies: 5
Views: 2166

Or hell, standard lisp with the appropriate package. Asdf-install is trivial to use to install and start using new stuff.
by Xanthir
Mon Aug 20, 2007 9:47 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Simple geometry question
Replies: 17
Views: 6332

Um, no. When dx = 0, you go nowhere. But in the limit case as dx -> 0, you start moving diagonally.
by Xanthir
Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:02 pm UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: Stupid NP problems
Replies: 38
Views: 8752

Crap. After thinking about it a bit more, I realized that my original formulation wouldn't work anyway. It'll ensure that you never have an artist with two back-to-back songs (if possible), but that's it. Think, think...
by Xanthir
Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:37 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Keyboard tomfoolery
Replies: 6
Views: 2004

You should really read the comments for that blog post. ^_^ AutoHotKey is what you want. It's extremely simple to use, but really powerful. Zach in the comment thread has been putting it to extremely good use in implementing Randall's suggestions. He started just by remapping keys when you hold Caps...
by Xanthir
Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:26 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: What does IQ measure?
Replies: 69
Views: 11173

IQ is a measure of a relatively specific kind of intelligence (just exactly what this is varies a bit between tests). Different ethnic groups and cultures perform differently on the IQ test because it is not built toward them. Your IQ is not stable over your lifetime. Those who say that IQ tests mea...
by Xanthir
Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:22 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Immortality
Replies: 79
Views: 8868

ohh, agreed, the mind is not a quantum computer, perse. quantum mind theory is full of holes. i was speaking more of the electrical and magnetic functioning. for example, tms, and the way if effects the workings of the brain certainly works at a quantum level (As anything having to do with the inte...
by Xanthir
Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:19 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Calculus and discreate measures of distance
Replies: 21
Views: 3185

Here's a bit of a side question. Do negative numbers "exist"? How about something similar to complex numbers, in the sense that you have something represented by a+bi, where and a and b are rational numbers? Numbers are, like all the rest of math, an abstraction meant to model how the wor...
by Xanthir
Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:14 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Disproving young Earth creationism through astrophysics
Replies: 59
Views: 10424

I like the ones that argue the earth was created 6000 or so years ago, but the universe itself is billions of years old. Then they'll come back with "But the Bible states that the heavens and earth were made in the same day." And yeah, it does say that... Anyways, I just read this book ca...
by Xanthir
Sat Aug 18, 2007 2:33 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Necktie paradox
Replies: 28
Views: 8436

Re: Necktie paradox

I came across this quetion when browsing http://www.futilitycloset.com/ and I wanted to see what fellow xkcdians thought about it. You and I are having an argument. Our wives have given us new neckties, and we're arguing over which is more expensive. Finally we agree to a wager. We'll ask our wives...
by Xanthir
Sat Aug 18, 2007 12:21 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 0304: "Nighttime Stories"
Replies: 211
Views: 51002

I once walked home from dropping off my car at the repair shop while taking stat notes from my textbook.

So yeah, I read while walking.
by Xanthir
Sat Aug 18, 2007 12:19 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Disproving young Earth creationism through astrophysics
Replies: 59
Views: 10424

The correct answer to #3 is "Show me the math." They can't, because there isn't any. If they come up with anything, it's handwavey bullshit that anyone with a modicum of knowledge and a rational viewpoint can call bs on. We're not talking "show me math that shows the speed of light ma...
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 17, 2007 11:15 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Best language ever!!!11
Replies: 35
Views: 9951

No. It doesn't offer up anything new except some funny syntax.
by Xanthir
Fri Aug 17, 2007 11:14 pm UTC
Forum: Coding
Topic: Where do I go now?
Replies: 17
Views: 3111

Learning other languages is an eye-opening experience. It opens you up to other paradigms, other ways of doing that only the rare genius could have conceived of otherwise. It helps when the rare genius has already written a language for you. ^_^ Learning how to program in other languages *will* make...

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