0878: "Model Rail"

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RedNifre
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby RedNifre » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:53 am UTC

I planned to build a world map of our minecraft server in the basement of my castle (limit=1 I guess), but someone else just wrote a program that converts the world to Google Maps data...

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ritvax
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby ritvax » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:19 am UTC

atomfullerene wrote:so what do you guys think? HO or H0? To sum up the arguments, HO is by far the most common American spelling and useage, but H0 is the original form, meaning half-zero-with zero being another track style. Common useage or historical accuracy?



Oh man, this is what it's like when worlds collide! XKCD meets my hobby of model railroading!

I will tell you that in America, the common usage is "HO" in reference to "half-O scale." The usage in America is also to refer to 1:48 as O scale, not 0. I think the notation had its origins overseas in the 1920s as 0 scale, but I'm not even sure that's common usage abroad any more...

What's more, I have known some model railroaders who indeed have included scale models of model railroads in their models. Not to the point illustrated in the comic, but I know folks who have figured out that if you use N scale trains in a G scale scene, the N scale trains almost become G scale-scale trains themselves! Confused yet?

This is the model railroad club I started when I was in school: http://www.ritmrc.org/photos/main.php

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ModestMouse
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby ModestMouse » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:31 am UTC

I like N Scale. It is only a matter of time before N Scale catches up to HO. And, being American, I refer to it as HO. If you go to eBay and type HO, some trains and small scale stuff pops up. If you type in H0, an October 2001 Issue 39 hot Asian nudie girls magazine comes up before anything related to small scale trains. You can buy the nudie magazine, use a copy machine to reduce the images, and create a small scale gentleman's club.

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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby halcyon1234 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:32 pm UTC

tophu wrote:I knew nothing of train scales until this comic. I read about the H0 scale and immediately formed a strong opinion myself. What was the opinion of the author?


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BentFranklin
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby BentFranklin » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:11 pm UTC

Whoops! All the way to page 2 before someone noticed 18 miles is not 18 meters. Otherwise that's a pretty small town.

EDIT: Er, um, I see, the first one is in their basement. Well, one mile is still a pretty small space to fit all that town and mountain into.

philip1201
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby philip1201 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:32 pm UTC

BentFranklin wrote:Whoops! All the way to page 2 before someone noticed 18 miles is not 18 meters. Otherwise that's a pretty small town.

EDIT: Er, um, I see, the first one is in their basement. Well, one mile is still a pretty small space to fit all that town and mountain into.


That's not a mountain, it's a hill. You can actually see the houses in the town. No way that's over one mile.

wumpus
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby wumpus » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:41 pm UTC

The model train layout is 18m long (the stick figures are to scale).
The first nested model is 21cm long (1/87 of 18m).

18m is pretty hardcore for a HO layout. I think by that time he would have a few more rules imposed on by any remaining friends and family as to what to speak about.

drewmcd621
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby drewmcd621 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:42 pm UTC

If Wikipedia says it is H + the number zero it is wrong. The scale is called HO because it is Half of O scale (7mm:1 ft). Calling something half of 0 doesn't make sense.

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Diadem
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby Diadem » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:52 pm UTC

One interesting comment on wikipedia said something along the lines of "This is the English wikipedia, it should follow the conventions of English speaking countries".

I found myself disagreeing with that. I've always thought as the English-language wikipedia as the international wikipedia. I personally never use the Dutch one, most Dutch people never do, except for very specific subjects that I know are only relevant in The Netherlands (but even for those the English wikipedia often has more information). I know plenty of people from all over Europe do the same.

So, question: English wikipedia, or International wikipedia?
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twistees
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby twistees » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:06 pm UTC

I was expecting a reference to Borges's map:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Exactitude_in_Science

arkoenig
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby arkoenig » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:15 pm UTC

Haven't seen Inception yet, but...

Edward Albee's play Tiny Alice takes place inside a mansion, in a room that contains a model of the mansion. Early in the play, one character asks about the model and is told that it is indeed a model of the building in which they are standing.

The second character refers to the model as a replica, and the first replies that is it not a replica, it's a model. He goes on to say that "This (sweeping his arms to refer to the mansion itself) is the replica."

Aubri
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby Aubri » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:35 pm UTC

drewmcd621 wrote:If Wikipedia says it is H + the number zero it is wrong. The scale is called HO because it is Half of O scale (7mm:1 ft). Calling something half of 0 doesn't make sense.

And O scale is actually 0 scale, because it was smaller than 1 scale, which was smaller than 2 scale, which was smaller than 3 scale. H0 is "half" the size of "0" scale, therefore H0 must be the correct usage.

There's only one way to solve this: we have to start lobbying the CIPM for a worldwide SI standard.

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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby maurovanetti » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:39 pm UTC

We're not supposed to discuss "HO vs H0" here! There's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:H0_scale for that.
However, in case you are dying to know my opinion, this is what I wrote there:
The title of an entry must reflect the most accurate and "official" naming of the thing the article's talking about. You call it People's Republic of China, not just China. (Yes, I wrote this because I have read today's xkcd comic @ http://xkcd.com/878/. In case you were wondering why all these folks landed on here today. LOL)

Closed loop.

kurkosdr
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby kurkosdr » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:53 pm UTC

Yeah, but each model is a subsampled version of the previous (a model train has less detail that a real train, and a model of the model train has less detail than the model train etc), so at one point, the entire train layout will be just one pixel errr... just one dot of the brush.

I actually tried this when I was an 8 year old. I connected a Handycam to the tv card of my dad's PC, and then pointed the Handycam at the PC's screen and watched the "infinite" screens that were formed. Then I used the zoom function, to see how far I could go, and I was pretty dissapointed when, at one point, the screen was just one blurry dot, and couldn't zoom in further.

Yeah I didn't know about resolutions and detail back then...

hsemken
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail" one level is good!

Postby hsemken » Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:16 pm UTC

http://www.miniatur-wunderland.com/
proves that one level of nesting is perfectly ok.

Miniaturwunderland btw. is the most amazing model railroad installation I can imagine.
It is humongous in size and has mindboggling detail; remove all the trains and there is still days worth of stuff to watch.

The model is located in Hamburg in the famous Speicherstadt at the old harbour. It is in one of the historic buildings.
The model includes a stylized version of Hamburg - like some landmarks in the model, to scale but not in the actual position - including some of the Speicherstadt buildings. One complete with railroad model and waiting queue in front of the building...

So obviously "no nesting" is tthe wrong rule, "use a proper condition to terminate the recursive function call" is better.

hase

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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby arkoenig » Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:27 pm UTC

In 2009 I got invited to crawl around the stage during an electronic-music concert and hold a video camera that, after suitable real-time image mangling, got projected on a huge screen behind the performers. I quickly learned that if I included a portion of the screen in the camera's view, that screen would contain its own image of the screen and so on.

But what made it particularly interesting was that the camera and associated signal processing had a few tens of milliseconds of lag. This meant that when I moved the camera while the images were on screen, each image would take its own time about moving, and each movement, when it happened would include the sum of the previous movements.

It felt like cracking a very long, slow-moving whip.

Gamer_2k4
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby Gamer_2k4 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:42 pm UTC

So, Randy can draw. Who knew?

As a side note, mosquitoes are larger than 1mm.

Ichapp
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby Ichapp » Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:58 pm UTC

ModestMouse wrote:I like N Scale. It is only a matter of time before N Scale catches up to HO. And, being American, I refer to it as HO. If you go to eBay and type HO, some trains and small scale stuff pops up. If you type in H0, an October 2001 Issue 39 hot Asian nudie girls magazine comes up before anything related to small scale trains. You can buy the nudie magazine, use a copy machine to reduce the images, and create a small scale gentleman's club.


It really depends which eBay you use: eBay.ca

Anyway, it sounds like you're one of the common usage proponents. Though I would appreciate the small scale gentleman's club.

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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby bmonk » Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:00 pm UTC

You need a larger scale, like say 1:8 live steam, with a model of that in S (1:64) scale, with a model in 1:512 scale, and then...

In short, you could nearly double the number of nested models.
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby A_of_s_t » Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:02 pm UTC

Sadly, the only funny part was the alt-text.
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cellocgw
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:10 pm UTC

beet31425 wrote:Great comic!

By the way, if you did build a layout of your town in your basement, the Brouwer Fixed Point Theorem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brouwer_fi ... nt_theorem) implies that there would be a point in your layout that lies directly over the point in the town it corresponds to.

Similarly: If you're in the US, place a map of the US on the floor. There exists a point on the map lying directly over the point in the US it corresponds to.


Oh yeah! What if I turn the map upside down? What then, huh?
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby Ghandi 2 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:44 pm UTC

A Fight Club punchline? Goodness, it's like traveling back in time a decade.

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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby ARandomDude » Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:49 pm UTC

Due to my screen size, the comic ended right on the white space between the first three frames and the diagram. As a result, I thought it was pretty meh because I thought it would be better if he drew out what that would mean, and indicate that it ended at a molecular level. Then I saw this on the thread that he did that when I came to post that I thought it was meh on this thread.

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Klear
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby Klear » Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:07 pm UTC

Ghandi 2 wrote:A Fight Club punchline? Goodness, it's like traveling back in time a decade.


Quick! Warn people about 9/11!

BTW, holy shit... 9/11 was almost a decade ago already. I hate it when I realize this stuff.

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neoliminal
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby neoliminal » Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:26 pm UTC

I did this backwards. I started on the lowest level and built up from there.

Unfortunately my town now looks like a bunch of giant atoms. But it sure was easier.
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martythemaniak
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby martythemaniak » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:10 pm UTC

Does anyone else pronounce that as "ho-scale"?

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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby Jonathan589 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:15 pm UTC

Departing--on Track 49--from the whole HO/H0 thing, we've been presented with a mise-en-abyme, that idea of standing between two mirrors and watching yourself go off to infinity. Hamlet's play within a play and fractal self-similarity and the Inception film's dreams within dreams have it too. (I used to think of it as mice on a beam but Wikipedia has just spelled it correctly for me, although less picturesquely.)

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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby BrianB » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:18 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:Oh yeah! What if I turn the map upside down? What then, huh?


Assuming the map is oriented in a plane that is parallel to the earth's surface at that point, then in two dimensional space, it still works. Rotation of the map doesn't matter.

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ritvax
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby ritvax » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:27 pm UTC

martythemaniak wrote:Does anyone else pronounce that as "ho-scale"?



We get that a lot. You're supposed to say each letter. H-O. It's not Ho scale. Though you can buy HO scale prostitutes and naked ladies.

NSFW: http://www.osbornsmodels.com/ekmps/shop ... 6103-p.jpg

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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby dreamcontrol » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:58 pm UTC

Now he just needs to get a friend (also in the same area) to build another identical scale model in his basement as well. The branching factor means they would each have to build 63 models of various sizes in order to compensate for each other.

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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby Griffon26 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:19 pm UTC

Is it just me or is that an exceptionally small mosquito?

Wlerin
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby Wlerin » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:57 pm UTC

So, basically, the question is whether the "oh" in the "eitch-oh" stands for the letter O or the number 0? We use "oh" all the time to describe zeroes in telephone numbers and addresses, so therefore it is properly H-zero, pronounced H-Oh for convenience.

da3v
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby da3v » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:18 pm UTC

If I'm reading it right, it looks like this guy made a working Z scale version of an N scale layout to go in the store window of his "H-whatever" scale layout.

http://jamesriverbranch.net/detail_16.htm

Fortunately, the H-whatever scale layout won't fit in the window of the real store, if there is one, so we are safe from recursive implosion for the moment.

slightlydead
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby slightlydead » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:27 pm UTC

Is it bad that the first thing that popped into my mind is: "All aboard the ho train"?

epiktistes
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby epiktistes » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:11 pm UTC

For a fine example of breaking the rule, there's a model village in Bourton on the Water which contains at least two levels inside itself:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/henrybloomfield/3008229847/

The models are 1/9 scale, and each is at ninety degrees to the previous one.

Dark Avorian
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby Dark Avorian » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:15 pm UTC

Actually the thing would work no matter how much you distorted the map. If you inscribed on the map the cross section of the area that it inhabits, then the area of the world that that cross section inhabits, etc...the limit of these cross sections of cross sections as you approach infinity would be a point that would correspond exactly to itself. KABOOM!
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udqbpn
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby udqbpn » Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:53 am UTC

Wait no, if you lived on a Neutron Star, like the Cheela in Dragon's Egg by Robert Forward, you could make a model entirely out of neutrons, or maybe you could even make one out of quarks or strings, down to the Plank length. And nobody really knows what happens below the Plank length, am I right?

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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby JustDoug » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:14 am UTC

Speicus wrote:Isn't this about the old argument against the existence of self-replicating machines? They would need to contain a building plan (that specifies how to construct a new machine), but then they'd also need also a building plan for that building plan, et cetera.


I dunno... I guess DNA is just a way of a map making more copies of the map.

Of course, every now and then, the surveyor screws up and you get a map of a platypus.

Mind, that does go a way towards explaining San Francisco.

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hofmic
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby hofmic » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:38 am UTC

I must be insane for reading that entire wikipedia talk page... More disturbing than your average horror movie (and nail me up for support in the H0 format).

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Maxpm
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Re: 0878: "Model Rail"

Postby Maxpm » Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:59 am UTC

This was a good one. I especially liked the title-text.

I often scare myself at how strong my opinions about stupid things are.


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