Search found 611 matches

by ThirdParty
Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:52 pm UTC
Forum: Forum Games
Topic: Take a penny leave a penny.
Replies: 2229
Views: 347226

Re: Take a penny leave a penny.

I rearrange a little. I don't know any more why Clarence is beating two great people who really care; Mission Control is calling for teen friendship. A bored polecat has repeatedly danced and bobbed on the loose. A possessed bowcaster is sternly whistling for Queen Somebody's solo on the penny bridg...
by ThirdParty
Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:04 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Hifaleetin' thoughts
Replies: 90225
Views: 9383382

Re: Hifaleetin' thoughts

So, right, ducks, yes. Well, that doesn't mean that there's been reality slippage. I'm vegetarian and almost never go out to restaurants, so I don't really have much opportunity to think about what animals people eat; I was just trying to pick something that sounded silly. Though I guess there were ...
by ThirdParty
Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:19 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Hifaleetin' thoughts
Replies: 90225
Views: 9383382

Re: Hifaleetin' thoughts

I've recently (I think it happened a couple months ago) fallen into an alternate universe, à la xkcd 1268 . What changed is the manhole covers and other similar hatches in the streets and sidewalks. They used to have etched into them the name of the city I'm in and/or the name of the foundry that pr...
by ThirdParty
Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:02 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Language fleeting thoughts
Replies: 169
Views: 55591

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

That's very interesting. I didn't know the vowel had shifted in French. "Risque" was actually borrowed even later than "niche." It's not that the vowel shifted, exactly. It's always been /i/. It's just that /i/ isn't pronounced as tensely in languages that don't have an /ɪ/ soun...
by ThirdParty
Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:44 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Language fleeting thoughts
Replies: 169
Views: 55591

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Moreover, /nɪtʃ/ is apparently the older pronunciation in English by centuries. But it comes from French, and surely the French word would have been pronounced closer to /ni:ʃ/. The shift toward /ni:ʃ/ makes sense as a form of correction or hypercorrection to the French pronunciation, but why was i...
by ThirdParty
Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:28 am UTC
Forum: Forum Games
Topic: xkcd Skyscraper
Replies: 1319
Views: 133307

Re: xkcd Skyscraper

The next floor contains a sign and a table. The sign reads "Floor 1310 [/] reservation required". It also has a little BGFNS logo in the corner. The table is set for a romantic candlelit dinner ... for three. Including three plates. The song "Triad", by CSNY, is playing softly in...
by ThirdParty
Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:54 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Language fleeting thoughts
Replies: 169
Views: 55591

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

I'm curious about what people would call a specific kind of waterway. Behind my house, in the bottom of a steep valley maybe 60' deep with some short cliffs on both sides there's a little waterway that only flows after it rains. Sounds exactly like what we called an "arroyo" back when I l...
by ThirdParty
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:42 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Language fleeting thoughts
Replies: 169
Views: 55591

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

If I hire, say, a plumber, I expect him to be better at fixing pipes than an average person (e.g. myself) would be. If not, what the heck am I paying him for? But if he were average for a plumber , that would be good enough, no? I would expect that your average plumber is good enough at plumbing, e...
by ThirdParty
Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:09 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Language fleeting thoughts
Replies: 169
Views: 55591

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Rather than a genuine belief that truly average isn't good enough, there's a feeling that "average" terms are often used euphemistically to refer to things that are actually pretty bad In many contexts, average genuinely isn't good enough. If I hire, say, a plumber, I expect him to be bet...
by ThirdParty
Thu May 23, 2019 1:34 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2153: "Effects of High Altitude"
Replies: 56
Views: 7706

Re: 2153: "Effects of High Altitude"

I like Fahrenheit because the 0-100 perfectly measures the range of reasonably livable temperatures. 0 is very cold and 100 is very hot, and anything outside of that range is extremely notable. In Celsius, 0 is kind of cold and 100 is very lethal. That 0 and 100 are both arbitrary relative to water...
by ThirdParty
Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:50 pm UTC
Forum: Forum Games
Topic: xkcd Skyscraper
Replies: 1319
Views: 133307

Re: xkcd Skyscraper

Floor 1292 is windowless, which makes it difficult to determine from the inside whether it's located within a gravity field or is continuously accelerating upward with a nuclear fireball on its heels. Further contributing to the ambiguity is the fact that in the stairwell, a barrier has been erected...
by ThirdParty
Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:11 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Miscellaneous language questions
Replies: 590
Views: 127805

Re: Miscellaneous language questions

I tried Googling it a bit. Here's what I've got: rocket science, aerospace engineering, etc.: Spanish: "no es ciencia espacial". Danish: "det er ikke raketvidenskab". Finnish: "se ei ole rakettitiede". particle physics, quantum mechanics, etc.: German: "ist keine a...
by ThirdParty
Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:06 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: ITT: We make xkcd slightly worse.
Replies: 8673
Views: 1864530

Re: ITT: We make xkcd slightly worse.

Here's a slightly stroopier take on 2132:

2132.png
by ThirdParty
Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:19 pm UTC
Forum: Forum Games
Topic: xkcd Skyscraper
Replies: 1319
Views: 133307

Re: xkcd Skyscraper

Floor 1287 contains millions of battery-powered smoke detectors, covering pretty much every square inch of the walls and ceiling. (Except for a small poster near the exit, reading "Never again!") Unfortunately, changing the batteries in millions of smoke detectors is even harder than remov...
by ThirdParty
Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:30 am UTC
Forum: Forum Games
Topic: xkcd Skyscraper
Replies: 1319
Views: 133307

Re: xkcd Skyscraper

Floor 1280 contains several dozen supercomputers, each of which is running a detailed simulation of the xkcd Skyscraper. The simulations are detailed enough that the inhabitants live lives about as rich as ours are, and are unaware that they are living in a simulation. The simulations are not at all...
by ThirdParty
Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:03 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Fractions help.
Replies: 13
Views: 3766

Re: Fractions help.

I think Jaap and Eebster are right to encourage you to think of multiplication and division as happening in two dimensions rather than one. That'll be necessary when you start multiplying and dividing things that aren't numbers: meters, grams, unknown variables, etc. But you asked how to visualize i...
by ThirdParty
Thu Jan 24, 2019 6:57 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Miscellaneous language questions
Replies: 590
Views: 127805

Re: Miscellaneous language questions

I think I sometimes pronounce "bull" with no vowel but the "l" too, now that I think about it, if I'm speaking quick and casually and not trying to articulate. If I had to articulate a vowel in "pull", I do think it would more likely be like "put" than like &...
by ThirdParty
Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:25 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Miscellaneous language questions
Replies: 590
Views: 127805

Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Now that you mention that /ʊ/ sound, I'm not sure if that /ʌ/ is really how I say "pull" either, though /ʊ/ doesn't sound right to me either. I think I don't actually pronounce any vowel at all, the p just blends seamlessly into the l, the latter functioning like a vowel. I doubt it. Some...
by ThirdParty
Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:44 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Miscellaneous language questions
Replies: 590
Views: 127805

Re: Miscellaneous language questions

For example, I think "pull" is a homophone of "pole" and "poll", while she thinks "pull" is a homophone of "pool", and I think she's nuts. You're both nuts. There's a third sound that's not like "pole"/"poll" or "pool"....
by ThirdParty
Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:43 am UTC
Forum: Forum Games
Topic: xkcd Skyscraper
Replies: 1319
Views: 133307

Re: xkcd Skyscraper

Floor 1255 contains a food court. The food court includes an unremarkable burrito joint, an overpriced pizza parlor, and an excellent doughnut shop. Truly excellent. Maybe the best doughnuts in the world. People come from all over the Skyscraper to buy doughnuts. There may be a minor spacetime anoma...
by ThirdParty
Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:56 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Neighbours
Replies: 2
Views: 3488

Re: Neighbours

Assuming that all five houses are in a row and that "to the left of" means " immediately to the left of": Start with clues 5, 14, and 18. Follow with 3, 11, 20, and 22. (Fill in fifth name.) Next 1+15, 7+17, 10, and 16. Next 9 and 21. (Fill in fifth car.) Then 12 ...
by ThirdParty
Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:58 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Circle of Life as Political Philosophy
Replies: 64
Views: 18984

Re: Circle of Life as Political Philosophy

Thesh wrote:They could use other forms of population control, like having the females spayed, and then live off of carrion.
Isn't spaying kind of a delicate operation for animals without hands to try to perform?
by ThirdParty
Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:30 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Circle of Life as Political Philosophy
Replies: 64
Views: 18984

Re: Circle of Life as Political Philosophy

There has to be an alternative way to view the Circle of Life that I am not seeing. I'm not sure I understand your question, but have you considered the fact that if the carnivores stopped keeping the herbivore population in check, the herbivores would eat all the plants and the system would crash?...
by ThirdParty
Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:46 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2074: Airplanes and Spaceships
Replies: 40
Views: 8521

Re: 2074: Airplanes and Spaceships

On current form, more likely they'll just decide [Uranus] isn't a planet at all, because of reasons. It's failed to clear its neighborhood of large objects such as Chiron and Chariklo. I've had a bit of fun pointing out in various forums that Earth is, by the current definition, not a proper "...
by ThirdParty
Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:42 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Car
Replies: 3
Views: 2402

Re: Car

Here's one way to do it with 3 cars. Not maximally efficient or anything (probably this could be done without ever using any of the three cars' full tank capacity), but since I'm confident that it can't be done with 2 cars, this solution is good enough. t0: A is at 0° with 100% fuel, B is at 0° with...
by ThirdParty
Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:40 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Tube
Replies: 2
Views: 2096

Re: Tube

13 seconds, I should think. My reasoning: Think of each bead as having an arrow on it representing its direction. When beads collide, they swap arrows, but when arrows collide, all they do is swap beads and continue on their merry way. So collisions are irrelevant: each arrow takes at most 13 second...
by ThirdParty
Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:04 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2075: "Update Your Address"
Replies: 25
Views: 6223

Re: 2075: "Update Your Address"

The "That's my childhood home. How is that even in your system?" thing totally happened to me the other day. The address in question was twenty years obsolete, and the business in question was one that I definitely didn't start doing business with until years after I began living on my own...
by ThirdParty
Wed Nov 21, 2018 5:28 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2074: Airplanes and Spaceships
Replies: 40
Views: 8521

Re: 2074: Airplanes and Spaceships

On current form, more likely they'll just decide [Uranus] isn't a planet at all, because of reasons. To spell out those reasons: 1. It's failed to clear its neighborhood of large objects such as Chiron and Chariklo. (Note that these objects are probably dwarf planets in their own right, in the sens...
by ThirdParty
Wed Nov 21, 2018 2:02 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2074: Airplanes and Spaceships
Replies: 40
Views: 8521

Re: 2074: Airplanes and Spaceships

eugen wrote:airliner design has not changed significantly since 1954.
Wasn't the Concorde a major development? It seems to me that "we advanced and then fell back" is not the same as "nothing changed".
by ThirdParty
Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:01 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2074: Airplanes and Spaceships
Replies: 40
Views: 8521

Re: 2074: Airplanes and Spaceships

December 17, 1903 - first human airplane flight July 20, 1969 - first people on the moon December 14, 1972 - last people on the moon So, assuming the decline of human civilization takes place at the same rate as its ascension did, we can expect the last human airplane flight to take place on July 1...
by ThirdParty
Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:21 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Pirates
Replies: 1
Views: 2075

Re: Pirates

If I'm reading it correctly, this is a straightforward arithmetic problem. Blackbeard's ships make progress at 4 ft/s. (The length of a leg of a right triangle in vector space, whose other leg is the 3 ft/s river and whose hypotenuse is the 5 ft/s ship speed.) So their time to travel 100...
by ThirdParty
Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:17 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Sacrifice
Replies: 8
Views: 6769

Re: Sacrifice

Then the optimal solution is: Use all N chickens that are available... I like your optimal strategy for reasons you didn't fully explain: While your numbering scheme still requires a minimum of 7 chickens to be able to identify 101 cans (same as the first solution in this thread), the more ...
by ThirdParty
Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:31 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Hardest alphabetical spellings
Replies: 9
Views: 5944

Re: Hardest alphabetical spellings

Just browsing Wikipedia, it looks to me like Modern Greek is a bit of a mess, at least in the sound-to-spelling direction: /i/ can be spelled η, ι, υ, ει, οι, or υι ... correct orthography requires mastery of formal grammar, e.g. η καλή /i kaˈli/ 'the good one (fem. sing.)' vs. οι καλοί /i kaˈli/ 't...
by ThirdParty
Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:45 am UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Sacrifice
Replies: 8
Views: 6769

Re: Sacrifice

Assuming our goals are: 1. Identify all of the safe cans in the shortest possible time. (i.e. We're in "Regular Solution" territory rather than "Smartass Solution" territory.) 2. Kill as few chickens as possible while still achieving objective 1. Then the optimal solution is: Use...
by ThirdParty
Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:01 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2059: "Modified Bayes' Theorem"
Replies: 23
Views: 8209

Re: 2059: "Modified Bayes' Theorem"

I couldn't decide how plausible it was by just eyeballing it, so decided to run some numbers to check it out. Let's say that X1 has a 50% prior probability of being true, X2 (which is independent of X1) also has a 50% prior probability of being true, H has a 25% prior probability of being true, I be...
by ThirdParty
Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:19 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Language fleeting thoughts
Replies: 169
Views: 55591

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Isogram "Iso" means same, so shouldn't a word with all different letters be called something like "heterogram"? No, no, a "heterogram" is any word that does not describe its own written form. So "palindrome" is a heterogram, but "isogram" is not a h...
by ThirdParty
Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:56 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Hifaleetin' thoughts
Replies: 90225
Views: 9383382

Re: Thoughts for ships

Today I typed "problem exists between" into Google, and the top autocomplete option was "... leopard and chair".
by ThirdParty
Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:16 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Language fleeting thoughts
Replies: 169
Views: 55591

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Faced with the need to count down "Five… four… three… two… one…" many times (for reasons unnecessary to delve into) If you're the person whose job it is to bleep out celebrities when they use curse words on "live" broadcasts, that's fascinating and totally necessary to delve int...
by ThirdParty
Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:42 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: A brief diversion for astronomers
Replies: 6
Views: 3968

Re: A brief diversion for astronomers

Might it be worth noting that the Greenwich meridian was adopted as the prime meridian in 1884, and the paris meridian (which would have been popular on french cartography before this) was about 2 degrees east of the greenwich meridian? The line I'm taking for 0° is labeled "Colure des Equinox...
by ThirdParty
Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:45 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Vegetarianism
Replies: 45
Views: 16004

Re: Vegetarianism

I've been a vegetarian for almost 25 years, and am happy with that choice. Vegetarianism is healthier, is better for the environment, and causes less suffering than a standard American diet. But obviously some non-vegetarians have lifestyles that are just as healthy, sustainable, and compassionate a...

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