Search found 591 matches

by ThirdParty
Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:56 pm UTC
Forum: Logic Puzzles
Topic: Neighbours
Replies: 1
Views: 415

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: 61
Views: 2603

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: 61
Views: 2603

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: 2513

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: 552

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: 398

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: 2033

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: 2513

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: 2513

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: 2513

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: 442

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: 4287

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: 8
Views: 2750

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: 4287

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: 3159

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: 135
Views: 34749

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: Thoughts for ships
Replies: 90055
Views: 8191940

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: 135
Views: 34749

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: 1695

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: 4342

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...
by ThirdParty
Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:40 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: A brief diversion for astronomers
Replies: 6
Views: 1695

Re: A brief diversion for astronomers

I agree that it's French in both language and appearance. The illustration seems reminiscent of (but not identical to) the star maps created by Ignace-Gaston Pardies in the late 17th century.
by ThirdParty
Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:49 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: A brief diversion for astronomers
Replies: 6
Views: 1695

Re: A brief diversion for astronomers

I don't know much about astronomy, but decided to give it a try anyway. The stars seem to be about 2.5° to 3° off from the coordinates they had in 2000. (For example, I think the bright star at 17° on the ecliptic is Zeta Piscium , whose celestial longitude in 2000 was about 19.9°.) Since it takes a...
by ThirdParty
Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:27 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Miscellaneous language questions
Replies: 570
Views: 92188

Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Yeah, but since the trick only works on nouns, /ɛɹz/ only ends up scoring about 10, compared to the 20 or so I got out of /siz/.
by ThirdParty
Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:59 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Miscellaneous language questions
Replies: 570
Views: 92188

Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Can anyone come up with anything as good or better? How about /siz/? ⋅ sees (perceives visually) ⋅ sees (cathedral sites) ⋅ seas (bodies of water) ⋅ seize (grab) ⋅ seise (take possession, in a legal context) [same etymology as "seize"] &sd...
by ThirdParty
Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:28 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Language fleeting thoughts
Replies: 135
Views: 34749

Re: Language fleeting thoughts

Dear prescriptivists: don't ask who the bell tolls for; its for y'all.
by ThirdParty
Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:37 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 2032: "Word Puzzles"
Replies: 47
Views: 6756

Re: 2032: "Word Puzzles"

I had been led to believe that the cryptic crossword as featured in UK broadsheets was a uniquely British thing and unknown in the US, which suggests that Randall must be thinking of a slightly different type of "word game". Well, crosswords here in the U.S. do frequently have puns. To gi...
by ThirdParty
Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:21 pm UTC
Forum: Food
Topic: Today I Made:
Replies: 4535
Views: 837071

Re: Today I Made:

I think of American cuisine as boring and bland, and so mostly eat "ethnic" foods, but just now I decided to make a perfectly normal American snack: a hot dog with ketchup, mustard, and pickle relish, on a bun. ... Well, I'm vegan, so the "hot dog" wasn't technically a hot dog; m...
by ThirdParty
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:41 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: "Cactus plant"
Replies: 20
Views: 4544

Re: "Cactus plant"

The OED defines "plant" as "A small plant, as distinct from a shrub or a tree", and that's the way I would tend to use it here. A "cactus plant" is a cactus that won't die if you keep it in a flowerpot.
by ThirdParty
Wed May 30, 2018 4:05 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: How much is 1e340 j of energy?
Replies: 19
Views: 3401

Re: How much is 1e340 j of energy?

So if you did bring 1e340J into being somehow, how would you describe the predicted effects? Is it a large small enough number that "collapse to a singularity" or "complete destruction of the universe" are reasonable choices? Or is the number so large as to make even those simpl...
by ThirdParty
Mon May 28, 2018 1:05 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: How much is 1e340 j of energy?
Replies: 19
Views: 3401

Re: How much is 1e340 j of energy?

How much comparatively is 1e+340 joules of energy? Just wondering. Okay, no problem. We just need some big numbers. Here is a page with some big numbers on it. Let's see... The total amount of energy in the universe--if we liberated all of it in a giant matter-antimatter reaction--is about 1e70 jou...
by ThirdParty
Fri May 11, 2018 1:32 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Lunch reciept Money Laundering?
Replies: 10
Views: 3162

Re: Lunch reciept Money Laundering?

Almost certainly just a typo. The "4" and "1" keys are adjacent to one another on a standard keypad. If the receipt says you paid $40 and got $33 in change, and the reality is that you paid $10 and got $3 in change, that's a net payment of $7 either way. Unless they're hoping to ...
by ThirdParty
Wed May 09, 2018 4:51 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Name of Rounded Triangle
Replies: 8
Views: 3741

Re: Name of Rounded Triangle

jewish_scientist wrote:Anyway, the first link provides a citation, so at least I know where to go. Thank you.
It's not a terribly useful citation; I followed it before I posted. It went to a math book whose author said "Two readers independently sent me this method for drawing an egg."
by ThirdParty
Sun May 06, 2018 1:30 pm UTC
Forum: Forum Games
Topic: xkcd Skyscraper
Replies: 1255
Views: 85593

Re: xkcd Skyscraper

Floor 1242 would be "Floor 1234 (approximately)", if only we used Base 10.023273 instead of Base 10. But so far it hasn't had any luck convincing people to switch to this new number system.
by ThirdParty
Fri May 04, 2018 5:01 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Name of Rounded Triangle
Replies: 8
Views: 3741

Re: Name of Rounded Triangle

Googled this a bit. Didn't find the answer. I found a page by Robert Dickau, demonstrating the construction in question with a bunch of very nice gifs. Unfortunately he just calls it "an oval or egg shape". I found a Wikipedia page on something called a " tri-oval ", which includ...
by ThirdParty
Thu May 03, 2018 1:59 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: ITT: We make xkcd slightly worse.
Replies: 8652
Views: 1646443

Re: ITT: We make xkcd slightly worse.

Here's a cropped version of 445 with some dialogue added. See also 222 and 1961.

445.png
by ThirdParty
Tue May 01, 2018 12:47 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: How fast could a new language be translated?
Replies: 6
Views: 2628

Re: How fast could a new language be translated?

Trade doesn't really require words, does it? Each side shows what they're offering, indicates how much they want for it out of what the other side is offering, and then either agrees or doesn't agree. A fifteen-second cartoon would be enough to establish a workable protocol. There could be problems ...
by ThirdParty
Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:09 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 941
Views: 248253

Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Funny: usually when a letter in a French-derived word is silent on one side of the pond but not the other (e.g. the "t" in "buffet"), I feel like it's the Americans who don't pronounce it and the Brits who do; I'm surprised to find one that apparently runs the other direction. &...
by ThirdParty
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:22 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 941
Views: 248253

Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

honestly I can't say if I've ever had to use tableau in the plural. What do you call the stacks of not-yet-played cards in solitaire games such as Klondike or FreeCell? I have found some serious problems in the Collins dictionary's listings before. Check out their entry for "dice." What's...
by ThirdParty
Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:19 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 941
Views: 248253

Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Huh. How about other "-eau" words? Like, do y'all pronounce the /z/ at the end of the plurals of "bureau" and "plateau"? (I do, but I also spell them with an "s", which I why I didn't use them as my example. Meanwhile, I could see leaving the "x" sil...
by ThirdParty
Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:26 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 941
Views: 248253

Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

And "tableaux" is pronounced exactly the same as "tableau." It's just the plural form, and the final x is silent. Huh. I've always pronounced "tableaux" with a /z/ on the end... Okay, I just looked up "tableaux" in a couple of dictionaries, and neither Merria...

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