1655: "Doomsday Clock"

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1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby Linux0s » Mon Mar 14, 2016 4:36 am UTC

Image

Title Text: After a power outage at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the new Digital Doomsday Clock is flashing 00:00 and mushroom clouds keep appearing and then retracting once a second.

★☆☆☆☆ Clock destroyed planet. Would not buy again.
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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby TheDarkNerd » Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:41 am UTC

I can't be the only one cringing at him adjusting the clock by its hour hand, can I?

Though, with the sudden onset of nuclear winter, do you suppose they'll consider rolling the clock back to compensate?

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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby rhomboidal » Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:02 am UTC

Better apocalypse than inaccuracy.

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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby Tualha » Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:54 am UTC

Given the current ascendancy of unapologetic Trumpism in the largest nuclear power, this one might not be so funny in a few years.

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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby stopmadnessnow » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:14 am UTC

If the time is now eleven hours to doomsday (or twenty three?) how come there are mushroom clouds? The bombs would have to impact as soon as Cueball moves the clock to 12am and then disappear.
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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby Hiferator » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:20 am UTC

TheDarkNerd wrote:I can't be the only one cringing at him adjusting the clock by its hour hand, can I?

You are not. That was my first thought as well. Poor doomsday clock, being mishandled like that.

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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby xtifr » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:41 am UTC

Hiferator wrote:
TheDarkNerd wrote:I can't be the only one cringing at him adjusting the clock by its hour hand, can I?

You are not. That was my first thought as well. Poor doomsday clock, being mishandled like that.

Well, when you're in the middle of destroying the world, trying to avoid damaging some of the mechanisms on that world may not be your top priority. :D

But yeah, I cringed too. Although this may be a sign that we're old. How many kids these days actually know anything about the care and handling of an analog clock. It's surprising enough how many can still read them...
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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby CharlieP » Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:36 am UTC

stopmadnessnow wrote:If the time is now eleven hours to doomsday


Apologies if a joke has gone straight over my head, but I read the clock as showing three minutes to midnight or noon, with either being a metaphor for ZOMGapokalipsday.

Now, if it were a stopwatch rather than a clock...
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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby StClair » Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:07 am UTC

By 0100, most of the weapons would have reached their targets, detonated, and the firestorm(s) would be well under way.

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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby ps.02 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:04 pm UTC

Huh, who knew the Doomsday Clock was in US Eastern time? Does this mean the Clock is properly understood to be at or near 4:57 AM UTC?

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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:17 pm UTC

All I can think is: if it were that easy, some doofus would already have done it, and we wouldn't be here to discuss much of anything.


Guess we had to expect a downer of a strip since it's a Monday.
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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby GulliNL » Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:27 pm UTC

This one had me blowing air out of my nose repeatedly and more -dare I say- vigorous than normal. Most of the comics I read, find them enjoyable and go on with my daily routine, but this one had the physical reaction as mentioned before. Possibly the alt-text made it even better :)
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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby peewee_RotA » Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:40 pm UTC

This one is really funny, but having just watched the exact same joke on You, Me, and the Apocalypse (presented as an unrealistic bit of drama for the episode) sort of makes it a bit less fun.
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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby Eutychus » Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:56 pm UTC

CharlieP wrote:
stopmadnessnow wrote:If the time is now eleven hours to doomsday


Apologies if a joke has gone straight over my head, but I read the clock as showing three minutes to midnight or noon, with either being a metaphor for ZOMGapokalipsday.

Now, if it were a stopwatch rather than a clock...
For the original, see Doomsday Clock.
For the comment referenced, the point is that the later clock face can now be read not only as the Doomsday moment having passed, but also, more contortedly, as putting Doomsday the best part of 12 hours away, i.e. so far away as to be beyond worrying about.
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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby The Moomin » Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:09 pm UTC

And now the Iron Maiden song 'Two minutes to midnight' makes sense.

The nuclear explosions are like lightbulbs going on over my head.
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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Mar 14, 2016 2:32 pm UTC

The Moomin wrote:And now the Iron Maiden song 'Two minutes to midnight' makes sense.

The nuclear explosions are like lightbulbs going on over my head.


Which brings back an ancient memory of a SciFi short story in which a rock group starts playing a song called "The Big Flash." (which is about nukes, more or less). It turns out to be fantastically hyypnotic in the sense that everyone who hears it wants to set off nukes.
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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby CharlieP » Mon Mar 14, 2016 2:37 pm UTC

Eutychus wrote:
CharlieP wrote:
stopmadnessnow wrote:If the time is now eleven hours to doomsday


Apologies if a joke has gone straight over my head, but I read the clock as showing three minutes to midnight or noon, with either being a metaphor for ZOMGapokalipsday.

Now, if it were a stopwatch rather than a clock...
For the original, see Doomsday Clock.
For the comment referenced, the point is that the later clock face can now be read not only as the Doomsday moment having passed, but also, more contortedly, as putting Doomsday the best part of 12 hours away, i.e. so far away as to be beyond worrying about.


Ah, with you now. Yes, I can see how nuclear annihilation might seriously put back our ability to annihilate ourselves with nuclear weapons.
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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby The Devils Engineer » Mon Mar 14, 2016 3:00 pm UTC

This one made me laugh :lol: Nice one Randall, Nice one.
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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:40 pm UTC

The Moomin wrote:And now the Iron Maiden song 'Two minutes to midnight' makes sense.

The nuclear explosions are like lightbulbs going on over my head.


I think I learned about the clock from Watchmen (the good version)

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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby Djehutynakht » Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:55 pm UTC

I like how the comic implies that the Doomsday clock itself causes the nuclear explosions (instead of vice versa), implying that the atomic scientists who control it are taking it upon themselves to destroy the world when it reaches a certain threshold of badness.

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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby speising » Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:02 pm UTC

Hm, this comic is coming two weeks too early…

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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby LockeZ » Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:12 pm UTC

This comic had the unique, almost unprecedented quality of making me look up a bunch of technical details because I had no idea what was going on and needed the joke explained to me, but then somehow still being funny afterwards.

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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:51 pm UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:I like how the comic implies that the Doomsday clock itself causes the nuclear explosions (instead of vice versa), implying that the atomic scientists who control it are taking it upon themselves to destroy the world when it reaches a certain threshold of badness.


This would make the doomsday clock about 10,000 times more awesome.

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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby StClair » Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:33 pm UTC

CharlieP wrote:
Eutychus wrote:
CharlieP wrote:
stopmadnessnow wrote:If the time is now eleven hours to doomsday


Apologies if a joke has gone straight over my head, but I read the clock as showing three minutes to midnight or noon, with either being a metaphor for ZOMGapokalipsday.

Now, if it were a stopwatch rather than a clock...
For the original, see Doomsday Clock.
For the comment referenced, the point is that the later clock face can now be read not only as the Doomsday moment having passed, but also, more contortedly, as putting Doomsday the best part of 12 hours away, i.e. so far away as to be beyond worrying about.


Ah, with you now. Yes, I can see how nuclear annihilation might seriously put back our ability to annihilate ourselves with nuclear weapons.


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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby ps.02 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:56 pm UTC

speising wrote:Hm, this comic is coming two weeks too early…

Not in the US. I think we used to have our DST at the same time as Europe, but about 10 years ago the government changed the rules, so we now change our clocks in March (this past weekend) and November:
Spoiler:

Code: Select all

$ zdump -v America/New_York | grep -e 2006 -e 2007
America/New_York  Sun Apr  2 06:59:59 2006 UT = Sun Apr  2 01:59:59 2006 EST isdst=0 gmtoff=-18000
America/New_York  Sun Apr  2 07:00:00 2006 UT = Sun Apr  2 03:00:00 2006 EDT isdst=1 gmtoff=-14400
America/New_York  Sun Oct 29 05:59:59 2006 UT = Sun Oct 29 01:59:59 2006 EDT isdst=1 gmtoff=-14400
America/New_York  Sun Oct 29 06:00:00 2006 UT = Sun Oct 29 01:00:00 2006 EST isdst=0 gmtoff=-18000
America/New_York  Sun Mar 11 06:59:59 2007 UT = Sun Mar 11 01:59:59 2007 EST isdst=0 gmtoff=-18000
America/New_York  Sun Mar 11 07:00:00 2007 UT = Sun Mar 11 03:00:00 2007 EDT isdst=1 gmtoff=-14400
America/New_York  Sun Nov  4 05:59:59 2007 UT = Sun Nov  4 01:59:59 2007 EDT isdst=1 gmtoff=-14400
America/New_York  Sun Nov  4 06:00:00 2007 UT = Sun Nov  4 01:00:00 2007 EST isdst=0 gmtoff=-18000

This was supposed to be an energy-saving measure. Does it actually save energy? I have no idea. I doubt it changes my energy use significantly.

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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby Solra Bizna » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:07 pm UTC

ps.02 wrote:This was supposed to be an energy-saving measure. Does it actually save energy? I have no idea. I doubt it changes my energy use significantly.


The last time I looked into this, I found a paper that showed that it did far more harm (in the form of disrupted sleep schedules and the like) than good (in the form of ???). I agreed with the paper, so I didn't remember anything else I found.

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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby ps.02 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:41 pm UTC

Solra Bizna wrote:
ps.02 wrote:This was supposed to be an energy-saving measure. Does it actually save energy? I have no idea. I doubt it changes my energy use significantly.

The last time I looked into this, I found a paper that showed that it did far more harm (in the form of disrupted sleep schedules and the like) than good (in the form of ???). I agreed with the paper, so I didn't remember anything else I found.

Well, if you're going to change your clocks at all, obviously there's a cost. But the question was, does moving the boundaries change anything? It seems plausible that it would have some effect, but I have no idea of the magnitude or even the sign of the effect.

For all this comic and this conversation, just a few minutes ago I was surprised to notice that the upcoming AlphaGo match is at 23:00 local time instead of 22:00 like previous games. It took me a moment to figure out the obvious reason for this.

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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby Keyman » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:42 pm UTC

Solra Bizna wrote:
ps.02 wrote:This was supposed to be an energy-saving measure. Does it actually save energy? I have no idea. I doubt it changes my energy use significantly.


The last time I looked into this, I found a paper that showed that it did far more harm (in the form of disrupted sleep schedules and the like) than good (in the form of ???). I agreed with the paper, so I didn't remember anything else I found.

It's getting less and less popular.
From an article on the CBS Sacramento affiliate:
WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE: Some California lawmakers would have voters decide whether to abolish DST. Lawmakers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island would shift their states from Eastern to Atlantic time. Lawmakers in Alaska, Florida, Kansas, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and Wyoming also recently considered changes to DST.

CAN STATES DO THIS? States can exempt themselves from DST — Hawaii and Arizona already do — but changing time zones requires federal approval.

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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby JohnTheWysard » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:48 pm UTC

Enjoy yourselves! Enjoy yourselves! IT'S LATER THAN YOU THINK!

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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:36 pm UTC

ps.02 wrote:This was supposed to be an energy-saving measure. Does it actually save energy? I have no idea. I doubt it changes my energy use significantly.

Saves energy insofar as that as soon as it is practical to darken the mornings a little bit again (by making 'getting up time' happen closer to dawn without poking too much into pre-dawn night) you can lighten the evenings by a whole hour (by bringing forward any nominal hour to the hour before, so that dusk is an hour later) and thus while there are still larks who need lights on in the morning and will also always be owls who need lights on far later on into the evening, the trivial use of energy gets a little bit mitigated by effectively shuffling 'wasted' morning daylight to the end of the working/playing day...


(There's people who who want the UK (normally GMT/UTC+0, give or take) to switch to daylight savings (British Summer Time, BST/UTC+1) as normal, one year and then not go back in the autumn(/fall). Then we'll be in sync with a majority of Europe as we, on Summertime in Wintertime, are now on the same clock as each Wintertime-in-Wintertime UTC+1 bog-standard European (probably a Belgian... already the alternate unit of area that isn't a Wales tends to be a Belgium, so it's practically a simple SI conversion/equivalence!). Then we go into Summertime (Double-Summertime) again, remaining in our new sync with those Belgians, and everyone's happy! Except that it's a load of tosh, IMO. "Most of Europe" might well be centred around Alpha Time, but Britain itself lies between 8°W and 2°E (well within an hour's variation, especially after choosing to state that the arbitrary meridian is at Greenwich), the long-defunct Dublin Mean Time was effectively UTC-0.4225 (i.e. twenty five minutes and twenty one seconds behind Greenwich). Not that it matters, in this world of globalisation, that we're synced with the Sun, especially if we make an exception for the 'summer' months but if we are making any nod towards following the progress of daylight around, it's best to start off by basing our noon off the Local Mean Time and resulting imaginary line that passes through our capital (and isn't too far off either Lowestoft or Truro or Belfast or wherever) rather than the Local Mean Time and resulting imaginary line that barely passes through the extreme eastern edge of modern Germany... I mean, I can adjust myself between GMT/BST and CET/CEST , easily enough... I have perhaps a little extra problem adjusting between UK and US times in this part of the year when I have to try to work out which direction the usual 5-8hrs difference has moved, by an hour... ...or that it's only in the Spring that I have this problem, rather than only in the Autumn (when I actually don't... I think!). Anyway, that's my ill-edited perspective on that whole mess. Don't mind me! And it's currently 23:34, for you to reference with the timestamp on this message, which is either engineered to display in your own local time, or just says "UTC".)

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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby ps.02 » Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:51 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
ps.02 wrote:Does it actually save energy? I have no idea. I doubt it changes my energy use significantly.

Saves energy insofar as that as soon as it is practical to darken the mornings a little bit again (by making 'getting up time' happen closer to dawn without poking too much into pre-dawn night) you can lighten the evenings by a whole hour

I know the theory. What I doubt is that effect be really noticeable. I don't feel as though the average American, by which I mean the average couch potato, spends a lot of time outdoors in the evenings, regardless of DST. Maybe in the summer, but not in March or November. I bet it's mostly artificial light after you get home from school/work. Speaking of which, while LED lighting hasn't quite hit its tipping point, CFLs are everywhere, so the impact of that artificial lighting may not be what it used to be.
(normally GMT/UTC+0, give or take)

Give or take? Should be exact. I don't think anyone bases timezones on TAI. Leap seconds happen everywhere, except maybe on Star Trek.
switch to daylight savings (British Summer Time, BST/UTC+1) as normal, one year and then not go back in the autumn(/fall). Then we'll be in sync with a majority of Europe

By which you mean western Europe. Belgium, if you will. Maybe western Europe is a majority of Europe, I don't know. But eastern Europe's not nothing.

Anyway, I'll just say it: it seems pretty weird to me, to be in the one part of the world where it makes the most sense to use UTC, and then talk about moving away from that. I figure BST is just another "oh yes, we do still use Imperial units sometimes."

(Aside: so, Wales really is a standard unit of land area? So when the BBC referred about "a country west of England the size of Wales, called Wales", they really were playing on a common expression? I thought it was a cute joke but I didn't realise it had this extra context.)

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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby armandoalvarez » Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:02 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:Saves energy insofar as that as soon as it is practical to darken the mornings a little bit again (by making 'getting up time' happen closer to dawn without poking too much into pre-dawn night) you can lighten the evenings by a whole hour (by bringing forward any nominal hour to the hour before, so that dusk is an hour later) and thus while there are still larks who need lights on in the morning and will also always be owls who need lights on far later on into the evening, the trivial use of energy gets a little bit mitigated by effectively shuffling 'wasted' morning daylight to the end of the working/playing day...

To me, it's ridiculous that we ever thought of daylight savings time instead of the sensible answer or centering the work day around noon. The prototypical American work day is 9-5. It should be 8-4. Stop setting our clocks ahead one year and then make the work day 8-4.
Now, they say that air conditioning is quickly replacing lighting in terms of energy hogging, so daylight savings time becomes less and less sensible every year.

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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:23 am UTC

ps.02 wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:(normally GMT/UTC+0, give or take)

Give or take? Should be exact. I don't think anyone bases timezones on TAI. Leap seconds happen everywhere, except maybe on Star Trek.

Forgive the humorous hyperbole. And/or that there was a niggling feeling that someone would point out I was strictly wrong, so I decided to cover my arse. ;)

switch to daylight savings (British Summer Time, BST/UTC+1) as normal, one year and then not go back in the autumn(/fall). Then we'll be in sync with a majority of Europe
By which you mean western Europe. Belgium, if you will. Maybe western Europe is a majority of Europe, I don't know. But eastern Europe's not nothing.
Not nothing, but not enough to stop the CET bits being (at a cursory glance, at least) a 'majority'.

Central European Time at one limit includes Spain, whose eastern edge is barely eastward (by ~3 degrees, i.e. 1/5th of a Time-Zone, and not even near going over the 'half-way between hourly meridians' point) of the UK. But never mind, it shares a time-zone with neighbour France (but yet not with UTC+0 neighbour Portugal, which, like the (mainland) western edge of Spain, is firmly within what would normally be considered the UTC-1 'stripe'). At its other limit CET's range includes Poland, Sweden, Norway and those various countries that are currently much in the news but that I am ashamed to say I can't confidently recognise just by their shapes/positions on the map I'm looking at; but at least they, mostly, seem to be in the 'correct' time-stripe. And that's even with my own bias towards Europe (its political history, overwhelmingly) meaning I tend to balk at calling Poland 'Western (But Apparently Not As Western As The UK or Portugal) Europe', yet it is 'western' enough to be CET, so good for them.

EET/UTC+2 countries are definitely Eastern Europe (and/or Scandinavia, and/or various former Soviet states, and/or the mostly/wholly non-European (by geography and/or culture) countries such as Turkey, before you complain at my 'definitely' being too over-broad). But, for better or for worse (and certainly as far as EU membership was concerned, at least until very recently), there's plenty of reasons to consider a significant majority of unequivocal Europe (culturally, demographically, especially) to be represented overwhelmingly by the rather greedily-sprawling swathe of CET.

Geologically, of course, the Urals lie roughly at the meridian of UTC+4, so if Western Russians are Europeans and we ignore boundaries of politics and social convention, then Europeans indeed spread across six un-rejigged time-stripes (before considering various offshore, and possibly Arctic, extremities). And I'm more than willing to be convinced that there's more!

Anyway, I'll just say it: it seems pretty weird to me, to be in the one part of the world where it makes the most sense to use UTC, and then talk about moving away from that.
Yeah, that's a pretty big objection, and I've yet to see any actual good arguments for permanent Summer/Double-Summering. But when our Martian Overlords return (having had their flu shots, this time round!) we may well all have to start working towards some variant of MTC, instead, so the whole point could be moot.

(Aside: so, Wales really is a standard unit of land area? So when the BBC referred about "a country west of England the size of Wales, called Wales", they really were playing on a common expression? I thought it was a cute joke but I didn't realise it had this extra context.)

It's a 'joke' that has been used both seriously and satirically for as long as I can remember, for areas within perhaps an order or two of Wales's actual area, e.g. amounts of rainforest that are under threat. It starts to go into definitely-silly territory when the "microWales" and "kiloWales" units are used, of course. (I think a football (soccer) pitch - another common semi-precise unit of area - is supposed to be about three microWaleses in size. Or three pitches are one microWales, perhaps, I forget which.)

And Belgium is about 1.5 Waleses, IIRC. Which makes area unit conversion (in either direction) only marginally awkward, in your head, but not completely straightforward either. (By population, though, Belgium is about four Waleses... from memory, so YMMV, as might Wikipedia/CIA Factbook/whatever.)

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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby da Doctah » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:55 am UTC

ps.02 wrote:so, Wales really is a standard unit of land area? So when the BBC referred about "a country west of England the size of Wales, called Wales", they really were playing on a common expression? I thought it was a cute joke but I didn't realise it had this extra context.


That's only in the UK. The standard unit of land area in the US is the New Jersey, as featured in the Robert Klein comedy monologue "Approximately the Size of New Jersey" (that's when we need an area larger than the football field, also a unit of length). Likewise, the standard unit of volume, courtesy of Steve Allen, is the breadbox.

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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby RogueCynic » Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:07 am UTC

Tualha wrote:Given the current ascendancy of unapologetic Trumpism in the largest nuclear power, this one might not be so funny in a few years.


Relax. The Demoncrats will NOT go along with Trump on anything and he has pissed off enough Repubicans so they will not back him either.
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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby All_¥our_Bass » Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:44 am UTC

CharlieP wrote:
Eutychus wrote:
CharlieP wrote:
stopmadnessnow wrote:If the time is now eleven hours to doomsday


Apologies if a joke has gone straight over my head, but I read the clock as showing three minutes to midnight or noon, with either being a metaphor for ZOMGapokalipsday.

Now, if it were a stopwatch rather than a clock...
For the original, see Doomsday Clock.
For the comment referenced, the point is that the later clock face can now be read not only as the Doomsday moment having passed, but also, more contortedly, as putting Doomsday the best part of 12 hours away, i.e. so far away as to be beyond worrying about.


Ah, with you now. Yes, I can see how nuclear annihilation might seriously put back our ability to annihilate ourselves with nuclear weapons.

We would then have no choice but to use sticks.

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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby Flumble » Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:18 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:Geologically, of course, the Urals lie roughly at the meridian of UTC+4, so if Western Russians are Europeans and we ignore boundaries of politics and social convention, then Europeans indeed spread across six un-rejigged time-stripes (before considering various offshore, and possibly Arctic, extremities). And I'm more than willing to be convinced that there's more!

Don't forget the overseas territories! The inhabitants of those areas are EU citizens and EU citizens are of course Europeans, so we basically cover the majority of the Earth's timezones. :D

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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby CharlieP » Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:23 am UTC

da Doctah wrote:
ps.02 wrote:so, Wales really is a standard unit of land area? So when the BBC referred about "a country west of England the size of Wales, called Wales", they really were playing on a common expression? I thought it was a cute joke but I didn't realise it had this extra context.


That's only in the UK. The standard unit of land area in the US is the New Jersey, as featured in the Robert Klein comedy monologue "Approximately the Size of New Jersey" (that's when we need an area larger than the football field, also a unit of length). Likewise, the standard unit of volume, courtesy of Steve Allen, is the breadbox.


So what do you use for smaller units of length and/or height? I can't imagine your readers being overly familiar with a double-decker bus...
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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby CharlieP » Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:37 am UTC

Soupspoon wrote:(There's people who who want the UK (normally GMT/UTC+0, give or take) to switch to daylight savings (British Summer Time, BST/UTC+1) as normal, one year and then not go back in the autumn(/fall). Then we'll be in sync with a majority of Europe as we, on Summertime in Wintertime, are now on the same clock as each Wintertime-in-Wintertime UTC+1 bog-standard European (probably a Belgian... already the alternate unit of area that isn't a Wales tends to be a Belgium, so it's practically a simple SI conversion/equivalence!). Then we go into Summertime (Double-Summertime) again, remaining in our new sync with those Belgians, and everyone's happy! Except that it's a load of tosh, IMO.


In mine too. Aside from the practical consideration that it wouldn't be light until 09:23 (where I live) in December, the idea of being an hour off solar time all year round just fills me with mental panic. If you don't like DST, just get rid of it. If the sun sets too early for your liking, do things earlier. DST "works" because it shifts the summer bulge in the graph of sunlight right an hour to stop it getting wasted, but apart from that neat hack we should be working to the clock, not the other way around.
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Re: 1655: "Doomsday Clock"

Postby orthogon » Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:38 am UTC

armandoalvarez wrote:To me, it's ridiculous that we ever thought of daylight savings time instead of the sensible answer or centering the work day around noon. The prototypical American work day is 9-5. It should be 8-4. Stop setting our clocks ahead one year and then make the work day 8-4.

That doesn't solve the problem that Daylight Saving attempts to address: how to make best use of daylight in the summer without having to travel to work/school in the dark in the winter. To do that, you'd have to have different working hours in the summer and winter. That could work, but people would expect shops, restaurants, car parks, public transport and so on to adjust their times accordingly. By far the easiest way to achieve that is to redefine the time and have everything carry on as usual.

You could question why we prefer this asymmetry in our daily lives: why not get up at 4am and go to bed at 8pm solar time every day? Various reasons I suppose: it's better to go to work first and relax afterwards (particularly if relaxing involves alcohol), and many jobs are better done in daylight, so it's better to have the daylight at the beginning of the day. Similarly the darker hours are more conducive to relaxing, socialising etc. And in the end, human beings, even most larks, naturally prefer to get up after dawn rather than before, whereas we're fairly happy to stay up after dark. Basically it's natural to want to get up earlier in summer and later in winter; having a civil timekeeping system that's uncompromisingly locked to solar noon (as opposed to sunrise) goes against our nature, and daylight saving is a concession towards the monkeys that we really are.
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