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by orthogon
Sat May 25, 2019 11:27 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1474
Views: 242455

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

... who knows what the pressing issue of the day will be then - maybe it'll be how robots and AI have taken all the jobs anyway... ... And who spent our money on the international science and engineering projects that made that possible, eh? May leaving in June? Yeah, that works. Yeah, except the f...
by orthogon
Sat May 25, 2019 6:36 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2153: "Effects of High Altitude"
Replies: 42
Views: 2516

Re: 2153: "Effects of High Altitude"

The meter, btw, started out as 'One 10 millionth of the distance from the equator to the North Pole, at the longitude of Paris'. Similarly, a mile is one thousandth of the distance that The Proclaimers' Craig Reid would walk just to be the man that walked a thousand miles to fall down at your door....
by orthogon
Fri May 24, 2019 11:55 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2049: "Unfulfilling Toys"
Replies: 52
Views: 7887

Re: 2049: "Unfulfilling Toys"

Long-time reader, new forum user. I've been forced to create an account in these forums in order to take issue with the alt text of this comic. There are not "27 independent blocks" in a Rubik's cube. That is all. that is true, but nobody had claimed there were. in fact, the alt text expl...
by orthogon
Fri May 17, 2019 1:15 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2149: "Alternate Histories"
Replies: 46
Views: 3312

Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

Update: the Wikipedia page on English Determiners lists every other , which is more or less a synonym for alternate in the British usage. So it seems my guess last night had some merit. Interestingly though, every other treats the items individually (like every , requiring a singular noun), whereas ...
by orthogon
Thu May 16, 2019 10:43 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2149: "Alternate Histories"
Replies: 46
Views: 3312

Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

So in a pattern of blue and black stripes, the blue and black are alternate colors, because they alternate. Wouldn't those be alternating ? /English language breaking my brain Yes: something didn't sound quite right about Pfhorrest's example, although the explanation was spot-on. Thank you for poin...
by orthogon
Thu May 16, 2019 3:55 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2149: "Alternate Histories"
Replies: 46
Views: 3312

Re: 2149: "Alternate Histories"

I like that what we (Brits) would, in careful language, call the "alternative histories" are in fact also alternate histories in this case, since the result of WWII alternates between the Allies winning and losing. It's almost too good to be accidental...
by orthogon
Thu May 16, 2019 10:32 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2143: "Disk Usage"
Replies: 26
Views: 2862

Re: 2143: "Disk Usage"

speising wrote:sounds like the problem is you shut down instead of sleep / hibernate.

Well, I hibernate every night but normally shut down at weekends.
by orthogon
Thu May 16, 2019 10:31 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2150: "XKeyboarCD"
Replies: 39
Views: 2776

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 unorth...
by orthogon
Thu May 16, 2019 7:04 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2143: "Disk Usage"
Replies: 26
Views: 2862

Re: 2143: "Disk Usage"

[edit]ninja'd by my doppelganger[/edit] Anyone else keep short-term notes in an unsaved file in Notepad++ or is that just me? Likely not, but not me. I use gedit and atom instead of notepad++. :roll: Also lots of other programs that you can keep open indefinitely with multiple unsaved documents. I'...
by orthogon
Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:38 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2139: "Email Settings"
Replies: 59
Views: 5608

Re: 2139: "Email Settings"

But think about the sentence "three sheep were in the petting zoo for four durations.", one wants to ask, which durations? Years, days, hours? There's no real question of how many sheep three is. Duration is still countable though, in that usage, if we permit it (which I'm not sure about,...
by orthogon
Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:20 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2139: "Email Settings"
Replies: 59
Views: 5608

Re: 2139: "Email Settings"

I prefer to mis-analyse emoji as a Latin plural and backform the singular emojus. The backformed Italian singular emojo has something going for it too, but ought really to be spelled emogio.
by orthogon
Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:47 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2131: “Emojidome”
Replies: 123
Views: 14794

Re: 2131: “Emojidome”

I meant in the comic - I'm painfully aware of the unicorn in the referendum, sadly.
by orthogon
Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:52 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2131: “Emojidome”
Replies: 123
Views: 14794

Re: 2131: “Emojidome”

It was quite obvious to me that it was specifically the Milky Way, from the representation, but it seems that's something people just don't even know about these days. As to what the "what we were voting for", I took it as "which of these two do you think deseeves your vote?", w...
by orthogon
Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:20 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1474
Views: 242455

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

The next stage (if May doesn't get her deal through on Friday) is apparently going to be some form of preferential voting amongst the more popular options. I hope that happens, because presumably they'll publish all the raw data and geeks like us can do so kinds of stuff with it: looking for a Condo...
by orthogon
Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:05 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1474
Views: 242455

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

John Bercow has ruled out another vote on the government's previously rejected Brexit agreement if the motion remains "substantially the same". Maybe some or more of the players are all being extremely clever here, but I can't help fearing that it's one of those movie-climax fights on the...
by orthogon
Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:34 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2122: "Size Venn Diagram"
Replies: 37
Views: 5049

Re: 2122: "Size Venn Diagram"

(IMHO, "little end" is plausible enough that "end" should be with moved to the area where "world" and "one" currently are. Maybe not "end", but, given the readership demographic, "endian" should have featured. One of my favourite bands fro...
by orthogon
Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:39 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2120: "Brain Hemispheres"
Replies: 16
Views: 4186

2120: "Brain Hemispheres"

Image
Title text: Neurologically speaking, the LEFT hand is actually the one at the end of the RIGHT arm.

This is why playing drums is so difficult.
by orthogon
Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:17 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2108: "Carbonated Beverage Language Map"
Replies: 56
Views: 10349

Re: 2108: "Carbonated Beverage Language Map"

"Feed" in that sense is an established usage, although usually used referring to animals. See https://www.dictionary.com/browse/feed sense #11. Also, it (commonly) requires an object, whereas "to food" is self contained. I'd be in favor of using the new usage ("to food"...
by orthogon
Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:33 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2108: "Carbonated Beverage Language Map"
Replies: 56
Views: 10349

Re: 2108: "Carbonated Beverage Language Map"

Hmm - thanks for the replies. I still feel there's a difference in usage, because I see beverage used in the US in contexts that it wouldn't in the UK, but I clearly haven't quite put my finger on what the difference is. Perhaps it's kind of formal in the US, so can be used humourously in informal c...
by orthogon
Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:56 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2108: "Carbonated Beverage Language Map"
Replies: 56
Views: 10349

Re: 2108: "Carbonated Beverage Language Map"

I've meant to point out for a while that the use of the word beverage in the US seems weird to a Brit. For us, it's just a posh word for drink , generally employed only for the sake of sesquipedalian loquaciousness, usually for comic effect. Its veneer of formal Latinate respectability also leads to...
by orthogon
Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:05 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8644
Views: 845752

Re: Trump presidency

LaserGuy wrote:Or some future Democratic president declaring global warming a national emergency, say.

You say that as though Global Warming isn't a national emergency. (I suppose that, strictly, it's an international emergency, but still.)
by orthogon
Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:07 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8644
Views: 845752

Re: Trump presidency


Maybe I don't need to worry about Brexit after all.
by orthogon
Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:20 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8644
Views: 845752

Re: Trump presidency

Zohar wrote:This is not new, his surveys are always terrible.

Fake news. He has great surveys. The best surveys.
by orthogon
Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:41 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2106: "Sharing Options"
Replies: 22
Views: 4469

Re: 2106: "Sharing Options"

In case the last panel has left you curious, there are some examples here.
by orthogon
Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:46 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8644
Views: 845752

Re: Trump presidency

Did he pass up on the other seven (or more) opportunities to celebrate the same thing during 2018?
by orthogon
Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:03 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1474
Views: 242455

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

@elasto I don't think I'm really disagreeing with you about how we got here or about representative democracy - I'm a big fan of the latter concept and have (I think) posted that effect on these here forums in the past. I'm mainly saying that the apparent indecisiveness of the UK is inevitable given...
by orthogon
Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:39 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1474
Views: 242455

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Also, we have to remember that it's Parliament that is taking these decisions on the UK side, and Parliament is 600-odd individuals ... When the EU throws up its hands because the UK "doesn't know what it wants", it's really complaining about democracy itself. And yet the EU manages to &q...
by orthogon
Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:12 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1474
Views: 242455

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Yes, but there's something about the Game Theory of this that makes it all rather complicated. May needed to get her deal through Parliament, but the EU knew that. And May knew that the EU knew that. It was always likely that Parliament might demand concessions, so an astute negotiator on the EU sid...
by orthogon
Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:56 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2100: "Models of the Atom"
Replies: 34
Views: 6101

Re: 2100: "Models of the Atom"

Part of the problem is that, whatever it's describing, it's not describing it very well. The vagueness, the repetition, and the multiple words for the same thing don't help. Shorter sentences, some headings, and a few bullet points wouldn't go amiss; nor would a diagram or two: I made foundation of ...
by orthogon
Thu Jan 24, 2019 6:20 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1474
Views: 242455

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Vo2max wrote:[...] there's not much of a democratic mechanism for coalescing around least worst.

Well, there are mechanisms, but as you point out, instant runoff probably isn't one of them in this case. May's deal might conceivably be the Condorcet winner if the other two options are Remain and No Deal.
by orthogon
Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:50 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2102: "Internet Archive"
Replies: 17
Views: 3815

Re: 2102: "Internet Archive"

When I first learned about the "+" string operator in Sinclair BASIC, I thought that the other operators ought to exist, too. In particular you should be able to say LET x$= "foo"*4 to get "foofoofoofoo". Pseudo-edit: Ruby has exactly this , but I thought of it a couple...
by orthogon
Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:56 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1474
Views: 242455

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

HES wrote:
Quercus wrote:It's a bit of a problem.

Quite so.

It's the kind of pickle that would previously have been resolved by a Civil War.
by orthogon
Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:38 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1474
Views: 242455

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

** - As both Labour and the Conservatives were pro-Brexit at their head (in Corbyn's head, May not so much but nailing her colours to thatmast anyway) the other favourite comparison was to say that voters in 2017 voted overwhelmingly for pro-Brexit parties. Except that many constituency battlegroun...
by orthogon
Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:02 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1474
Views: 242455

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Similar votes in Switzerland would usually present the options in an either/or manner, so: Should we leave or remain? If the above is leave, should we give the government one additional year to negotiate? If no additional time is granted, should we take the current deal or leave without a deal? Tha...
by orthogon
Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:13 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1474
Views: 242455

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Hopefully, this time the referendum won't be coded as something like "Do your prefer Cameron or Johnson?". Which it basically was for some people. That's another point - the options ought to be fully defined options: May's deal, or membership under current terms, or the exact same status ...
by orthogon
Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:14 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]
Replies: 1474
Views: 242455

Re: British EU referendum in June [update: Leave wins 52% - 48%, politics ensue]

Now that the deal is defeated and assuming tonight's vote doesn't lead to a General Election, what other option is there but a referendum? There is growing cross party support and even the hardliners might support it for their own reasons - the argument would be about the question, including remain...
by orthogon
Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:02 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8644
Views: 845752

Re: Trump presidency

A stone wall is subject to acid. A steel wall can be cut through with a saw. Why not an imaginary wall? It's impossible to damage it. Much cheaper. Congress would approve of it. It's see through just as requested. Never rusts. Construction time is very short. No issues with land property rights. It...
by orthogon
Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:43 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Trump presidency
Replies: 8644
Views: 845752

Re: Trump presidency

And you would trust anything that came out of Obama's, Bush's, Clinton's, Bush's, or Reagan's mouths at face value? Probably not, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were telling the truth, or at least had a grasp of nuance in how they answer the question. Trump's been notable for the ... blitherin...
by orthogon
Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:26 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2094: "Short Selling"
Replies: 44
Views: 9446

Re: 2094: "Short Selling"

My favorite description of short selling is inverted Wimpy - "I will gladly pay you today for a hamburger on Thursday". Huh? I thought I knew pretty much what short-selling was, but I'm having a lot of trouble understanding how this describes the same thing. It sounds more like a futures ...
by orthogon
Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:31 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2095: "Marsiforming"
Replies: 31
Views: 6235

Re: 2095: "Marsiforming"

I may have mentioned this before, but this comic has randomly reminded me of one of my favourite words: infundibuliform.

That is all; please carry on.

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