Search found 111 matches

by hamjudo
Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:38 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1549: "XKCD Phone 3"
Replies: 40
Views: 9225

Re: 1549: "XKCD Phone 3"

Someone should make a mechanical puzzle that looks like an oversized USB A port and connector. In the unsolved state, when you attempt to insert the connector right side up it is blocked by a lever. Each time that lever is pushed, it does something to the locking mechanism. Likewise, when you put th...
by hamjudo
Sat Jun 27, 2015 6:19 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1543: "Team Effort"
Replies: 23
Views: 6413

Re: 1543: "Team Effort"

The count in this study described in this article was 37.2 trillion human cells (of course the error bars are huge, the authors solicited refinements): http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2013/10/23/how-many-cells-are-in-your-body/ This was for a 70kg human. If we assume that the average human c...
by hamjudo
Fri May 08, 2015 4:09 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1521: “Sword in the Stone”
Replies: 96
Views: 20840

Re: 1521: “Sword in the Stone”

Modern English Royalty are not portrayed favorably in a lot of American media, including those media elements that claim to provide "news". If I believed any of that was remotely accurate, I would not want to be English Royalty.
by hamjudo
Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:15 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1501: Mysteries
Replies: 94
Views: 26506

Re: 1501: Mysteries

Maybe Mythbusters will get a ten year contract so they can do long term experiments to simulate the Salish Sea Feet. It seems that some types of shoes resist decay in the oceans, while remaining buoyant, and keeping their contents from being consumed. Mythbusters will need to get a bunch of cadavers...
by hamjudo
Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:00 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1490: "Atoms"
Replies: 92
Views: 20140

Re: 1490: "Atoms"

On the other hand, there is at least one case of someone still using an RTG pacemaker in the 21st century. Plus, as PinkShinyRose says, it looks like White Beret Guy's mother is now dead, so she may well have been alive early enough to be one of the people who had an RTG pacemaker. Thanks, I learne...
by hamjudo
Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:56 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1490: "Atoms"
Replies: 92
Views: 20140

Re: 1490: "Atoms"

I was thinking a pacemaker. There are still a few people living who have pacemakers implanted in the 1970s which are powered by an RTG using plutonium-238. The rated life for the electronics in a pacemaker in the early 1970s was only 5 years. Research on radioactive batteries for medical use stoppe...
by hamjudo
Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:52 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0130: "Snow Removal"
Replies: 51
Views: 22162

Re: What-If 0130: "Snow Removal"

I calculate that it would take at least 4.7 gigawatts of heat energy to remove a foot of snow 9 feet wide at 55 MPH. The 335 J/gram only applies when the vehicle is going slow enough that it can melt all of the ice without vaporizing any of it. In the real world, snow is a very good insulator. A lit...
by hamjudo
Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:43 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1476: Ceres
Replies: 54
Views: 18632

Re: 1476: Ceres

The question is, "Who is Number One?" Wilson Greatbatch was inspector number one. I worked at his pacemaker battery factory in 1978 and 1979. It is now diversified and trades under the symbol WGL on the NYSE. Back then it was a much smaller company. I was a high school student. My first s...
by hamjudo
Thu Dec 04, 2014 12:15 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1455: "Trolley Problem"
Replies: 172
Views: 51245

Re: 1455: "Trolley Problem"

In real life, I would almost certainly do nothing, because it is unlikely that I would understand the equipment well enough to really know what was going on. In my experience, when I've thought something horrible was going to happen, it was just that I didn't see the bend in the track or totally mis...
by hamjudo
Sat Nov 29, 2014 6:22 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1453: "fMRI"
Replies: 28
Views: 9832

Re: 1453: "fMRI"

I worked on a research project in the early 1980s in the period between NMR and MRI. It was just an MR imager. We referred to it as "mister imager" when the medical doctors weren't around. I know doctors with a sense of humor now. Those particular research doctors had no sense of humor. Ba...
by hamjudo
Fri Sep 26, 2014 9:13 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1426: "Reduce your payment"
Replies: 35
Views: 13952

Re: 1426: "Reduce your payment"

If the goal is to shrink a mortgage payment, try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanforization. At least it works on cotton and wool.
by hamjudo
Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:10 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"
Replies: 31
Views: 10222

Re: What-If 0112: "Balloon Car"

Most powered lighter than air craft are shaped like blimps, not spheres. It allows a higher buoyancy to wind resistance ratio. They all have control surfaces near the tail. Some also have control surfaces near the center of gravity. Likewise, permanently moored high flying advertising balloons are a...
by hamjudo
Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:11 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1422: "My Phone is Dying"
Replies: 32
Views: 8261

Re: 1422: "My Phone is Dying"

Quick, pair this phone with a neutron phone and form a tight binary phone system. The neutron phone can strip off the outer layers of the expanding phone to prevent it from exploding.

Note that a significant amount of energy will be released in the form of deadly xray radiation.
by hamjudo
Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:48 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"
Replies: 91
Views: 22814

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Okay folks, we've got 13 or 14 years to work on controlled hydroplaning . Let's get busy. Many boats are designed to hydroplane, and they are well controlled, so that can't be it. I'm guessing we need to come up with techniques for controlled hydroplane maneuvers in land vehicle such as a bicycles, ...
by hamjudo
Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:14 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1406: "Universal Converter Box"
Replies: 162
Views: 42289

Re: 1406: "Universal Converter Box"

What? No IBM 360/370 Bus and Tag channel cables? I managed a bunch of computers in 1987 that shared a computer room with an IBM 360/370. That is to say, it was a 9370 baby mainframe with peripherals from a variety of eras going back to the 360 era. The machine was used for developing and testing so...
by hamjudo
Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:51 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1384: Krypton
Replies: 118
Views: 23298

Re: 1384: Krypton

Whoa, things are getting a little tense here. Let's all calm down by singing a little lullaby. I suggest we sing Rock-a-Bye Baby. A relaxing song about dropping babies from trees. Here is the oldest version shown on wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock-a-bye_Baby The first printed version fr...
by hamjudo
Fri May 23, 2014 12:42 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1372: "Smartwatches"
Replies: 41
Views: 17831

Re: 1372: "Smartwatches"

I replaced the screen in my Nexus 5 yesterday. So I just was staring at its guts. There are several flexible cables that run through the center of the phone, the display, and the battery. With a different battery, and a couple of smart watches as displays, the Nexus 5 could be a functional flip phon...
by hamjudo
Mon May 05, 2014 5:53 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1364 - "Like I'm Five"
Replies: 59
Views: 22055

Re: 1364 - "Like I'm Five"

If your goal is to be able to explain your thesis to a five year old, then you should keep that in mind while choosing a thesis topic. Some topics are much better suited than others. Five year old children don't have a whole lot of life experience to draw on. My sister's PhD dissertation probably wi...
by hamjudo
Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:03 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1358: "NRO"
Replies: 34
Views: 9720

Re: 1358: "NRO"

Engineers at the NRO almost certainly coordinate imaging tests of simulated intelligence targets with other reconnaissance organizations. This includes entities within our own government, and those of our allies. I live near Ann Arbor Michigan, which had (and may still have) some companies that did ...
by hamjudo
Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:10 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0089: "Tungsten Countertop"
Replies: 77
Views: 24130

Re: What-If 0089: "Tungsten Countertop"

The story about the soldier drinking wine doesn't make much sense. Rifle barrels are typically exposed to copper and lead, not tungsten. Yes, there are tungsten rounds, but they're fully jacketed, fewer they scrape away at the softer steel of the barrel with every shot. Maybe the full paper explain...
by hamjudo
Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:01 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1340: "Unique Date"
Replies: 140
Views: 33280

Re: 1340: "Unique Date"

Under the system foist upon me, 2014-03-09 02:34 AM never happened at all.
2014-11-02 02:02 AM will happen twice.
I hate it.
by hamjudo
Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:34 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1328: "Update"
Replies: 54
Views: 13913

Re: 1328: "Update"

Say you need to apply an update and it changes some libraries or executables or other super-important OS-level stuff. In Unix (he said Linux, but he meant anything in the Unix tradition, Linux being a johnny-come-lately here), you typically can't directly overwrite these system libraries if they're...
by hamjudo
Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:06 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-if 0081: "Catch"
Replies: 54
Views: 15146

Re: What-if 0081: "Catch"

I figured it out. Learn how to pack your own cartridges. Use a special powder load when packing your own bullets. A powder load so small that the bullet only travels 6 feet, when traveling straight up. Practice with that load until you know the issues and risks. Lower the gun, or raise the catcher, ...
by hamjudo
Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:28 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0080: "Pile of Viruses"
Replies: 95
Views: 24645

Re: What-If 0080: "Pile of Viruses"

If humans went 20 years without any viruses, the next virus to come along would wipe out about 95% of the population.
by hamjudo
Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:59 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1312: "Haskell"
Replies: 70
Views: 21827

Re: 1312: "Haskell"

The first language I learned with lazy evaluation was "make", with its incredibly crufty Makefile syntax. I use that style of lazy processing in other languages. That is, I create objects which have the rules necessary to generate the result, but it doesn't use those rules, unless and unti...
by hamjudo
Tue Dec 31, 2013 5:52 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-if 0077: "Growth Rate"
Replies: 26
Views: 10936

Re: What-if 0077: "Growth Rate"

My son was born when WorldCom was still around and growing exponentially. My son was a few weeks early and had to spend some time in the special care nursery. Thus there was a chart showing his mass each day in kilograms. In the WorldCom style, I cherry picked a couple dates. Using the masses record...
by hamjudo
Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:17 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0071: "Stirring Tea"
Replies: 71
Views: 40340

Re: What-If 0071: "Stirring Tea"

Randall forgot to ramp it up. Try an insulated teacup, with lid, and a magnetic stirrer. Wait. If still too much heat loss, upgrade to a vacuum thermos. You'll need a vacuum thermos that is transparent to the magnetic field, so you may have to have the chemlab's glassmaker make one for you. You can ...
by hamjudo
Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:16 am UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0070: "The Constant Groundskeeper"
Replies: 26
Views: 8686

Re: What-If 0070: "The Constant Groundskeeper"

Which is the best grazing species, or mix of grazing species, to keep the grass at a reasonable height in an adult male cougar's territory? Why use fossil fuels to mow grass, when there are grass powered mowers available? Not only will you not need to buy fuel for the mowers, you won't need to buy c...
by hamjudo
Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:30 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1281: "Minifigs"
Replies: 108
Views: 22130

Re: 1281: "Minifigs"

The Lego carnage at my house is terrible. At best, only one in ten minifigs is intact. Lots and lots of heads without torsos, torsos without legs or heads. Hands just loose in the bins. Most tragically, there are some torsos without arms. The arms aren't supposed to come off.
by hamjudo
Sat Sep 14, 2013 7:19 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1264: "Slideshow"
Replies: 79
Views: 24113

Re: 1264: "Slideshow"

These examples just zoom and pan. On Thursday at work, I learned how to make ones that zoom, pan, and rotate . Not only can these annoy, for the right people, they can actually induce vomiting. It will get worse. Full 3d support is coming. Soon the marketroids will be able to populate a 3d space wit...
by hamjudo
Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:30 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1263: "Reassuring"
Replies: 152
Views: 32377

Re: 1263: "Reassuring"

In 20 years computers will be able to create comics as good as xkcd.
by hamjudo
Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:12 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-if 0060: "Signs of Life"
Replies: 71
Views: 40844

Re: What-if 0060: "Signs of Life"

There's an image without title text? THE END IS NEAR!!! AHHHH!!! The nature of the image requires that we invent an elaborate conspiracy theory to explain the suppression of the title text which finally told the truth about chemtrails. Wait, maybe the empty title text contains all of the truth ther...
by hamjudo
Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:53 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1251: "Anti-Glass"
Replies: 147
Views: 29780

Re: 1251: "Anti-Glass"

Is Raspberry Pi a camera? I thought it was a computer board. Cameras on my phones give faint, but very directional red (or is it magenta?) beams back to my LED flashlight in their field of view. My P&S camera (while turned on and having me in focus) gives a quite bright directional white beam c...
by hamjudo
Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:20 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1251: "Anti-Glass"
Replies: 147
Views: 29780

Re: 1251: "Anti-Glass"

It's how real camera detectors work. ... Second, it doesn't matter how the camera is pointed. If your point source is observed by it and is inside the camera's depth of field (i.e. appears sharp on the image taken by the camera) and the sensor has any amount of diffuse reflections (i.e. is not comp...
by hamjudo
Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:45 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1251: "Anti-Glass"
Replies: 147
Views: 29780

Re: 1251: "Anti-Glass"

No need to shoot a laser to detect a camera. Any point source of light will do. Basically. the principle of detecting cameras is about the same as the principle of detecting cats. You shine the area with a point source and then look for reflected light beams directed straight back to your point sou...
by hamjudo
Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:04 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1190: "Time"
Replies: 107484
Views: 53321354

Re: 1190: "Time"

"The end" and "..." do not go together well. I will cling to the "..." which implies there is more to come.
by hamjudo
Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:43 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1190: "Time"
Replies: 107484
Views: 53321354

Re: 1190: "Time"

Shouting "Land" repeatedly lets groggy cueganites realize that they've run aground. Otherwise, they may think it is a giant mulpyraptor attack, or whatever it is they were just dreaming about. If I were asleep on the weak raft cluster, I would assume that any major change in motion was the...
by hamjudo
Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:51 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1190: "Time"
Replies: 107484
Views: 53321354

Re: 1190: "Time"

The Great and Powerful Randall is a fan of technology, like the surveying technique and the trebuchets. Cuegan has to communicate or travel over a great distance in a short amount of time. I don't know which technology they will stumble across or have provided by the Beanies, but I am optimistic tha...
by hamjudo
Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:53 am UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1190: "Time"
Replies: 107484
Views: 53321354

Re: 1190: "Time"

cuegan is shouting and coming towards Beanie with a stick. Beanie will think he is about to be hit. Then Cuegan is going to use it as a writing implement.
by hamjudo
Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:01 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1190: "Time"
Replies: 107484
Views: 53321354

Re: 1190: "Time"

5 million years ago, the Mediterranean was disconnected from the Atlantic ocean and mostly evaporated. When the Straits of Gibraltar broke open, the Mediterranean mostly refilled over only 2 years. Away from the Straits, that would look amount to a sustained, and quite confusing sea level rise. Yes...

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