Search found 657 matches

by keithl
Sat May 11, 2019 6:40 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2148: "Cubesat Launch"
Replies: 11
Views: 2005

Re: 2148: "Cubesat Launch"

Laughing my ass off, but ... Two people lifted at rocket launch acceleration (3 gees?) by a fishing line? Do they make 1000 pound test fishing line? Wouldn't it simply cut Cueball and Megan(?) to ribbons? . That's the thing about stick people-- their stick bodies are incredibly strong. Probably mad...
by keithl
Fri May 10, 2019 3:40 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2148: "Cubesat Launch"
Replies: 11
Views: 2005

2148: "Cubesat Launch"

https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/cubesat_launch.png Title text: "Luckily, the damages were partly offset by the prize money we got from accidentally winning the nearby water skiing championship tournament." Laughing my ass off, but ... Two people lifted at rocket launch acceleration (3 gees?)...
by keithl
Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:59 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2127: "Panama Canal"
Replies: 20
Views: 3823

Re: 2127: "Panama Canal"

Of course, another Panama Canal could ascend a spiral through millions of locks all the way up to geostationary orbit. The "space ship elevator" could deliver comsats to orbit without the pesky rockets or unobtainium carbon nanotubes.
by keithl
Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:32 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2127: "Panama Canal"
Replies: 20
Views: 3823

2127: "Panama Canal"

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/panama_canal.png title text: "Once they selected the other proposal, we could have kept shopping ours around, but we would had to modify it include an aqueduct over their canal, which would be totally unreasonable." They also rejected my proposal, for a tunnel ...
by keithl
Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:15 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2124: "Space Mission Hearing"
Replies: 22
Views: 4690

Re: 2123: "Space Mission Hearing"

The Mars 2020 mission launches in July 2020, for a landing on 18 February 2021. Its stated purpose is to explore Mars, but its real purpose will be to deliver a pdf of the upcoming "How To" book to the Martians, as part of the on-board firmware. The misinformation is sure to make their nex...
by keithl
Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:56 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2121:"Light Pollution"
Replies: 41
Views: 6929

Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

The new LED street lamps are good, but they’re an issue for both people and astronomy. They use loads less electricity and have better shielding, but they have a much wider spectral output that’s hard to filter and they have much more blue light, which disrupts sleep cycles. LED "white" l...
by keithl
Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:04 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2121:"Light Pollution"
Replies: 41
Views: 6929

Re: 2121:"Light Pollution"

It's not light pollution if we're getting rid of those cluttering bright stars corrupting the beautiful black void in the sky. :twisted: I grew up in the Boötes void; zoning laws did not allow stars. I had a cold hydrogen sphere for a pet. When I wasn't looking, my pet mated with the neighbor's pet...
by keithl
Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:48 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2118: "Normal Distribution"
Replies: 15
Views: 4124

Re: 2118: "Normal Distribution"

Either that, or the lines indicate where the lost airplane is presumed to have crashed into the mountain, and where to send the search parties first. Good news! A search party found the airplane! All the passengers survived, except for the three who were eaten. The passengers also ate the search pa...
by keithl
Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:20 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2118: "Normal Distribution"
Replies: 15
Views: 4124

Re: 2118: "Normal Distribution"

Any input as to what about this, exactly, would this annoy statisticians? As a non-statistician, it confuses me because I don't know what someone would be trying to demonstrate by highlighting the given region. Statisticians sometimes highlight the "50%" center of the distribution with ve...
by keithl
Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:43 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2118: "Normal Distribution"
Replies: 15
Views: 4124

2118: "Normal Distribution"

https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/normal_distribution.png title text: "It's the NORMAL distribution, not the TANGENT distribution" 50%? No way. Much fewer than 50% of the pixels are gray, and more than 80% are white. Very few are black. The pixel production department is running out of of whit...
by keithl
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:49 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2098: "Magnetic Pole"
Replies: 21
Views: 5333

2098: "Magnetic Pole"

https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/magnetic_pole.png Alt Text: People keep trying to come up with reasons that we should worry about the magnetic field collapsing or reversing, but honestly I think it's fine. Whatever minor problems it causes will be made up for by the mid-latitude auroras. I worry that ...
by keithl
Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:09 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2097: "Thor Tools"
Replies: 39
Views: 8395

Re: 2097: "Thor Tools"

My niece does marketing for Black & Decker. This cartoon may threaten their lucrative Dustbuster infantry weapons contract with the US Army. She may be demoted to the Stanley Blunt Instrument division.
by keithl
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:59 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2095: "Marsiforming"
Replies: 31
Views: 6369

Re: 2095: "Marsiforming"

Reducing Earth's surface gravity to match Mars requires a 90% mass reduction, some very tall stilts, or making the Earth much fluffier, like sponge cake. On the other hand, making Mars and Earth match exactly only requires smacking them together into one combined planet. Life on the molten Mearsth w...
by keithl
Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:02 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2088: "Schwarzschild's Cat"
Replies: 36
Views: 7680

Re: 2088: "Schwarzschild's Cat"

I disproved this with a cat and a band saw. On the right side, my graph shows a sharp discontinuity.
by keithl
Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:00 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2087: "Rocket Launch"
Replies: 14
Views: 4229

Re: 2087: "Rocket Launch"

The seeming explosion is actually the spontaneous creation of an anti-booster travelling backwards in time. This is only a partial Feynman diagram of a complete launch, because it does not include quantum entanglement between KSC and LHC.
by keithl
Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:32 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2085: "arXiv"
Replies: 16
Views: 5481

Re: 2085: "arXiv"

They're a member of the American Library Association, and they're partnered with the Smithsonian, which, I believe, provides most of their funding. Which is why they can operate at the scale they do. Brewster Kahle sold a few successful dot.com startups. Internet Archive is what he did with his wea...
by keithl
Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:16 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2085: "arXiv"
Replies: 16
Views: 5481

Re: 2085: "arXiv"

Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic often link to useful papers in publicly accessible places, such as the author's own personal website, especially academics at the more enlightened universities. Some less enlightened universities forbid paper sharing - a couple of years ago, Penn State made Jame...
by keithl
Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:27 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2082: "Mercator Projection"
Replies: 29
Views: 6446

Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

When you die, if you are bad at geometry and geography, you go to Mercatory.
by keithl
Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:55 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2082: "Mercator Projection"
Replies: 29
Views: 6446

Re: 2082: "Mercator Projection"

Of course, Alaska is just a county in Montana, magnified by the Mercator projection. The so-called "north slope oil" is extracted from a pile of discarded oil filters behind Fred's Diner and Motorcycle Repair in Skagway, Montana. Fortunately, the Mercator projection increased the volume of...
by keithl
Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:38 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2068: "Election Night"
Replies: 28
Views: 6335

Re: 2068: "Election Night"

I tend to vote for minor parties on the ballot. I often don't see those tabulations for a month.

But then, if elections could fundamentally change the world (rather than assign blame and swap labels for the plunge into the abyss), they wouldn't let people like me vote anyway.
by keithl
Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:49 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2053: "Incoming Calls"
Replies: 43
Views: 9958

Re: 2053: "Incoming Calls"

My default telco Frontier was awful, getting worse and increasing rates about a percent per month. Frontier does not provide "simultaneous ring" to connect to a phone-spam filter service. That is one way to filter out spammers; a good option for better local telephone service providers. Th...
by keithl
Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:27 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2035: "Dark Matter Candidates"
Replies: 55
Views: 10495

Re: 2035: "Dark Matter Candidates"

So, if dark matter exists, why isn't there a significant amount in our solar system? Compared to the vacuum between stars, and the much more tenuous vacuum between galaxies, the solar system is VERY dense. The dark matter needed to explain galactic rotation is the mass of a few atoms per cubic mete...
by keithl
Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:05 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2035: "Dark Matter Candidates"
Replies: 55
Views: 10495

Re: 2035: "Dark Matter Candidates"

Warm hot filaments between galaxies account for at least 30% of dark matter: arXiv:1806.0839 "Observations of the MIssing Baryons in the warm-hot intergalactic medium", for example. Line mass through the rotation axis of a galaxy allows the outer regions of a galaxy to rotate at the same v...
by keithl
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:11 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2033: "Repair or Replace"
Replies: 36
Views: 7349

Re: 2033: "Repair or Replace"

The purpose of new computers is to reprogram their hapless "users" to purchase the next new computer. They stopped being a solution to pre-existing needs years ago.
by keithl
Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:59 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2025: "Peer Review"
Replies: 13
Views: 4182

Re: 2025: "Peer Review"

I've always been a little confused at the existence of for profit journals.You'd think that universities themselves would have cornered that market, what with having direct access to most every researcher alive. Status. If you publish in the first rank journals, your status is higher. You get more ...
by keithl
Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:36 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2014: "JWST Delays"
Replies: 21
Views: 4909

Re: 2014: "JWST Delays"

I am more hopeful for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, nearing completion on Cerro Pachón ridge in Chile. LSST is a point and shoot: fast slewin and stabilizing, then collecting two images in ten seconds with an 8.4 meter primary mirror and a 3.2 gigapixel imager the size of an SUV. It will gene...
by keithl
Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:54 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2014: "JWST Delays"
Replies: 21
Views: 4909

Re: 2014: "JWST Delays"

Late 2026? I'll be fifty ... or dead ... or both. I'm a generation older than you - and don't plan on being dead. Suspended animation, maybe. If the world survives that long ... I hope a competent data jockey will get a copy of the existing raw data from the Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WIS...
by keithl
Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:04 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2012: "Thorough Analysis"
Replies: 15
Views: 3630

Re: 2012: "Thorough Analysis"

A mere 100 page treatise? The "Time" thread is much longer than that. This thread can be hijacked, expanded, and turned into that treatise. Get researching, folks, and sign your work; 15 pages merely to list all the author's names. Then we find a suitable ejournal for the result. And if on...
by keithl
Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:36 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2006: "Customer Rewards"
Replies: 40
Views: 9912

Re: 2006: "Customer Rewards"

Is there a reason this thread title is incorrect? Title from the last comic bleeding into this one, or something? Now where are my rewards?? Second time I've miscopied the title. Is there an easier way to do this right than opening four windows, (page, page source, example template, post reply wind...
by keithl
Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:29 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2003: "Presidential Succession"
Replies: 72
Views: 16486

Re: 2003: "Presidential Succession"

My father-in-law Charlie Phelps is a pretty sharp guy. He turns 100 this month. He should be on the list, and everyone under 100 taken off it. OTOH, if we raise the age requirement to 110, we will probably get our first female president. Probably lots of them in quick succession, because they die li...
by keithl
Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:01 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2002: "LeBron James and Stephen Curry"
Replies: 43
Views: 8931

Re: 2002: "LeBron James and Stephen Curry"

There is clearly no comparison. Stephen Curry, professor of structural biology at Imperial College, has 11435 citations, according to Google Scholar. LeBron James has one, for a television appearance. James will never get tenure at this rate.
by keithl
Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:46 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0157: "Earth-Moon Fire Pole"
Replies: 30
Views: 18540

Re: What-If 0157: "Earth-Moon Fire Pole"

Given a safety factor of three, a Xylon Phobos tether to Mars upper atmosphere would need to mass about 640 times as much as the payload/elevator car. ... An interesting pair of tethers would be a ~940 km ascending from Phobos and a ~2940 km tether descending from Deimos. Interesting blog! Sadly, X...
by keithl
Thu May 24, 2018 2:18 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0157: "Earth-Moon Fire Pole"
Replies: 30
Views: 18540

Re: What-If 0157: "Earth-Moon Fire Pole"

If you ever do find yourself descending a long pole/tether/rope to the Earth. I suggest you use some apparatus in addition to your spacesuit: a couple of wheels clamped around the pole, a generator, a high power tungsten-filament searchlight, and a compact "greenhouse tank" of very fast gr...
by keithl
Tue May 22, 2018 1:57 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0157: "Earth-Moon Fire Pole"
Replies: 30
Views: 18540

What-If 0157: "Earth-Moon Fire Pole"

Earth-Moon FIre Pole WOW! A new What-If! And it's about something I pretend to understand! Randall posits a space elevator ("fire pole") hanging to the Earth from our Moon, and describes many things that can go wrong (even with an unobtainium "pole"). However, there's a fix for ...
by keithl
Wed May 16, 2018 5:08 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1994: "Repairs"
Replies: 29
Views: 9384

Re: 1994: "Repairs"

For the truly obsessed (like me), the Y axis goes much further down . It involves: buying repair parts, and breaking those too buying some wrong repair parts, and failing to resell those on ebay breaking tools ruining carpets and floors filling house with toxic smoke serious injury killing pets jail...
by keithl
Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:34 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1969: "Not Available"
Replies: 38
Views: 8558

Re: 1969: "Not Available"

Please help. I'm from Canada. I tried opening the comic with an US Proxy, and it still shows "This content is not available in this country". Try a proxy in Kazakhstan. The content is available there. The proxies there are DNS poisoned to go to a malware host instead. You need to use eith...
by keithl
Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:12 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1969: "Not Available"
Replies: 38
Views: 8558

Re: 1969: "Not Available"

jeanrenaud wrote:Please help. I'm from Canada. I tried opening the comic with an US Proxy, and it still shows "This content is not available in this country".

Try a proxy in Kazakhstan. The content is available there.
by keithl
Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:51 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1969: "Not Available"
Replies: 38
Views: 8558

Re: 1969: "Not Available"

I just wasted 10 minutes relearning how to put an ErrorDocument stanza in /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf on my server. http://keithl.com/x ... where x => any of a semi-infinite number of pages that I have not implemented. The downside is that the webspiders will hammer my site with requests for every po...
by keithl
Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:25 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1962: “Generations”
Replies: 31
Views: 8274

Re: 1962: “Generations”

Sigh. I was looking forward to "... to 1865, Spontaneous Generation".
by keithl
Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:08 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1953: "The History of Unicode"
Replies: 60
Views: 14558

Re: 1953: "The History of Unicode"

In June 2017: 136,755 unicode symbols, up from 128,237 in 2016. At a linear rate of expansion, there will be more than 8 trillion unicode symbols a billion years from now, as the Sun heats the Earth beyond survivability. In that same time, the round-trip speed-of-light communication sphere will have...

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