## Search found 565 matches

Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:21 pm UTC
Forum: Food
Replies: 4438
Views: 791959

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...
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:41 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: "Cactus plant"
Replies: 20
Views: 3054

### 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.
Wed May 30, 2018 4:05 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: How much is 1e340 j of energy?
Replies: 19
Views: 1874

### 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...
Mon May 28, 2018 1:05 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: How much is 1e340 j of energy?
Replies: 19
Views: 1874

### 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...
Fri May 11, 2018 1:32 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Lunch reciept Money Laundering?
Replies: 10
Views: 1803

### 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 ...
Wed May 09, 2018 4:51 pm UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Name of Rounded Triangle
Replies: 8
Views: 2501

### 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."
Sun May 06, 2018 1:30 pm UTC
Forum: Forum Games
Topic: xkcd Skyscraper
Replies: 1246
Views: 76826

### 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.
Fri May 04, 2018 5:01 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Name of Rounded Triangle
Replies: 8
Views: 2501

### 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...
Thu May 03, 2018 1:59 am UTC
Forum: General
Topic: ITT: We make xkcd slightly worse.
Replies: 8641
Views: 1586676

### Re: ITT: We make xkcd slightly worse.

Tue May 01, 2018 12:47 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: How fast could a new language be translated?
Replies: 6
Views: 1568

### 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 ...
Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:09 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 941
Views: 234163

### 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. &...
Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:22 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 941
Views: 234163

### 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...
Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:19 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 941
Views: 234163

### 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...
Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:26 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 941
Views: 234163

### 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...
Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:32 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 941
Views: 234163

### Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

I'm not sure I even know what a "xylem" is. I wonder why they didn't pick a less obscure word for their list, such as "xylophone" or "tableaux". Also, I pronounce "luxurious" with /gzh/ and not /ksh/. "Crucifixion" would have been a more unambiguous ...
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:42 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 941
Views: 234163

### Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

what about "catch"? Do you pronounce it /kæt͡ʃ/ (rhyming with "match") or /kɛt͡ʃ/ (rhyming with "fetch")? For instance, the poem Jabberwocky rhymes "claws that catch" with "Bandersnatch," which wouldn't happen in my dialect. Huh, interesting questio...
Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:28 pm UTC
Topic: 1975: "Right Click"
Replies: 42
Views: 12748

### Re: 1975: "Right Click"

I'm not entirely 100% certain that I found quite all of the locations in Mornington Crescent, but this is a sort of map I threw together Or you could Google "London Underground Map". (Are you one of today's lucky ten thousand people who will be seeing it for the first time?) The game enco...
Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:08 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Miscellaneous language questions
Replies: 570
Views: 81735

### Re: Miscellaneous language questions

Freaking, fricking, frigging, or effing? Which of these do you use in situations where you don't use "fucking"? Well, it's not really part of my normal speaking vocabulary, so pretty much every situation is one where I don't use it. But in terms of what I use in positions where it could h...
Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:53 pm UTC
Forum: Forum Games
Topic: Take a penny leave a penny.
Replies: 2224
Views: 303115

### Re: Take a penny leave a penny.

I identify the tune.

Pile calling Mission Control. We have a loose polecat--repeat, a loose polecat--on board. Queen Elizabeth II is whistling "Dixie" on the stern bridge and is in possession of our bow. Over.
Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:38 am UTC
Topic: Census Dickery
Replies: 59
Views: 9460

### Re: Census Dickery

Since illegal immigrants are "persons", are not "Indians not taxed", and are not "citizens", it appears to me that they are supposed to be represented. The 14th Amendment clearly contemplates representation of state inhabitants who lack voting rights: for example, women...
Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:09 am UTC
Forum: Forum Games
Topic: Take a penny leave a penny.
Replies: 2224
Views: 303115

### Re: Take a penny leave a penny.

I take the pirate and replace him with an astronaut who may not be going to space today. Pile calling Mission Control. We have a loose polecat--repeat, a loose polecat--on board. We are hearing a whistling noise and have lost interior lighting on the stern bridge. Please advise location of our bow. ...
Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:10 am UTC
Topic: 1536: "The Martian"
Replies: 128
Views: 35735

### Re: 1536: "The Martian"

Bumping this thread because I spotted Artemis on the new-books shelf at the library today, remembered liking The Martian (the book, that is), so checked it out.

And then accidentally read it in a single sitting. Weir is a good author.

Think they'll make this one a movie too?
Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:06 am UTC
Forum: Forum Games
Topic: Take a penny leave a penny.
Replies: 2224
Views: 303115

### Re: Take a penny leave a penny.

Cthulhu wanders off, taking his vending machine with him. I'm sure it's fine; how much harm could one cosmic entity do? And as one would probably discover if one read through the history of this thread, nothing bad ever comes out of vending machines. Yep, it's all fine. Arrrrr matey *sqwuak!*, thar ...
Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:02 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 941
Views: 234163

### Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Pfhorrest wrote:Literally just "may" + "or"
No, it isn't. It rhymes with "player".
Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:54 am UTC
Topic: More efficient airplane boarding protocols
Replies: 66
Views: 7733

### Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

I mean, your protocol is basically the Steffen protocol, with some different assumptions about how much space people need while fooling with overhead bins. That probably is the best that can be done given assigned seating and perfectly-compliant passengers. But it should be possible to do better wit...
Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:32 am UTC
Topic: More efficient airplane boarding protocols
Replies: 66
Views: 7733

### Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

Except if you board back to front, anyone who's stuck delaying a row is going to be further back in the plane. Maybe I didn't explain myself properly. If the door is at the front of the plane and the passengers in row 40 are taking forever to get into their seat, the passengers in row 39 don't give...
Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:32 am UTC
Topic: More efficient airplane boarding protocols
Replies: 66
Views: 7733

### Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

otherwise it should definitely just go back-to-front. Why in the world would anyone load a plane back-to-front? I mean, I guess it's marginally better than front-to-back, but it's still substantially worse than just boarding in random order. (Passengers tend to block the aisle temporarily while get...
Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:50 am UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)
Replies: 941
Views: 234163

### Re: Regional Dialect and Idiolect Oddities (pronunciation)

Okay, I think this is how I want to represent the back vowels in my (American) dialect: "ooh" = /u/, "cool" = /kul/, "GOOSE" = /gus/, "pool" = /pul/ "could" = /kʊd/, "FOOT" = /fʊt/, "pull" = /pʊl/, "wolf" = /wʊlf/, "...
Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:56 am UTC
Topic: More efficient airplane boarding protocols
Replies: 66
Views: 7733

### Re: More efficient airplane boarding protocols

I'm pretty sure that the passenger cabin cycle (deplaning + cleaning + boarding) is not the main bottleneck to airplane turnaround time. Certainly it wouldn't be if any reasonably-efficient boarding protocol were used. This has a number of important implications, most notably: ⋅ Consistenc...
Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:50 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Should I get Scientific America?
Replies: 6
Views: 2968

### Re: Should I get Scientific America?

It's not hard to figure out which echo chamber told you it was biased. There are several possibilities though. Climate change is probably the scientific topic that people complain about the most, but it could just as easily be a group of Creationists complaining about the "bias" they see ...
Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:14 am UTC
Forum: Forum Games
Topic: xkcd Skyscraper
Replies: 1246
Views: 76826

### Re: xkcd Skyscraper

Floor 1226 is empty. Maybe the description intended by the Builders of the skyscraper is something like "Floor 1226 contains wax busts of everyone who has ever won an Olympic medal while representing Tannu Tuva". But if so, there's not really any way for anyone to figure out what the inten...
Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:29 pm UTC
Forum: Forum Games
Topic: xkcd Skyscraper
Replies: 1246
Views: 76826

### Re: xkcd Skyscraper

Floor 1222 contains a working (if very primitive) ansible. Both ends of it, unfortunately; they're bulky and have to be kept at a temperature near absolute zero, so can't be moved from Floor 1222. And the bandwidth is 0.5 baud. But still: if you want to communicate a very short message to someone st...
Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:46 pm UTC
Forum: Forum Games
Topic: xkcd Skyscraper
Replies: 1246
Views: 76826

### Re: xkcd Skyscraper

Floor 1217 contains a real-life version of Life , the cellular automaton. If you've got fewer than two or more than three people standing next to you, you pop out of existence. If there's an empty space with exactly three people next to it, a new person pops into existence, complete with memories th...
Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:33 pm UTC
Topic: Ideal immigration policy
Replies: 112
Views: 12844

### Re: Ideal immigration policy

It seems like we ought to be able to enforce our immigration laws more effectively than we do. I've never quite understood the Libertarian objection to issuing a photo ID to all citizens and legal residents and requiring them to keep it with them and display it on request. (Bonus: it would make it ...
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:59 am UTC
Topic: Ideal immigration policy
Replies: 112
Views: 12844

### Re: Ideal immigration policy

I don't think there's going to be a perfect solution, but here are some thoughts. 1. I'm not willing to accept a permanent underclass. That's the exact opposite of what America is meant to be. So anybody who's been here long enough, regardless of how they got here, should be able to become a full ci...
Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:34 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: How did a discontinued foreign coin end up in my car?
Replies: 42
Views: 6283

### Re: How did a discontinued foreign coin end up in my car?

I've seen the kind of shopping carts you're describing, here in the US. Except here they take quarters (25¢-pieces) rather than euros. ... But I've only seen them at Aldi, which I think is a German supermarket chain trying to expand to the US. (Or rather, one that has succeeded in expanding to the U...
Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:57 am UTC
Forum: Religious Wars
Topic: stop walking on the escalators
Replies: 104
Views: 32718

### Re: stop walking on the escalators

The whole idea of an escalator is for people not to have to walk up/down stairs on their own. If you're not into that, use the emergency stairs. The main place I encounter escalators is in airports, and I feel like usually there aren't stairs available as alternatives, or at least not without havin...
Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:23 pm UTC
Forum: Forum Games
Topic: xkcd Skyscraper
Replies: 1246
Views: 76826

### Re: xkcd Skyscraper

Floor 1213 is an abacus repair and refurbishment shop, set up by a deserter from the first Floor 1210 and getting most of its clients from Floor 1205.
Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:02 pm UTC
Forum: Religious Wars
Topic: stop walking on the escalators
Replies: 104
Views: 32718

### Re: stop walking on the escalators

You've left a very important item out of the algorithm: - If there is no traffic in front of you, proceed forward at the maximum speed that you can safely travel. Without this addition, your algorithm would allow people to park on the highway and cause severe traffic jams. True for traffic, not sur...
Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:05 am UTC
Forum: Religious Wars
Topic: stop walking on the escalators
Replies: 104
Views: 32718

### Re: stop walking on the escalators

The obvious solution to this conundrum is just to apply the usual traffic rule "keep right unless passing" correctly . Algorithmically, that rule means: - If there is no traffic to your right, move right, unless there's nowhere right to move. - If there is slower traffic in front of you, ...