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Thread: Really trivial stuff that amuses you...

  1. #6871
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    Today's XKCD, comparing the disadvantages of refractor and reflector telescopes.
    If you don't want to click,
    Refractor:
    More Expensive
    Less Compact
    Chromatic Aberration
    Reduced Light Gathering

    Reflector:
    Can't see space vampires.

    Cute, except (stuff that bugs me part): The refractor is drawn with a right angle eyepiece adaptor. Which has a mirror in it. At least it looks like a mirror, but even if it's a prism, it's still a reflection. Can you see vampires reflected in a prism? Can you see vampires with binoculars, for instance? Enquiring minds want to know!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  2. #6872
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Today's XKCD, comparing the disadvantages of refractor and reflector telescopes.
    If you don't want to click,
    Refractor:
    More Expensive
    Less Compact
    Chromatic Aberration
    Reduced Light Gathering

    Reflector:
    Can't see space vampires.

    Cute, except (stuff that bugs me part): The refractor is drawn with a right angle eyepiece adaptor. Which has a mirror in it. At least it looks like a mirror, but even if it's a prism, it's still a reflection. Can you see vampires reflected in a prism? Can you see vampires with binoculars, for instance? Enquiring minds want to know!
    I always thought it was the silver of the mirror that gave the non reflection of vampires so a prism should work, shouldn't it? Then there is the question of it being dark when vampires are active, and they don't give off light, at least at visible frequencies. Or do the eyes show up as red? How can we find out?
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  3. #6873
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Today's XKCD, comparing the disadvantages of refractor and reflector telescopes.
    If you don't want to click,
    Refractor:
    More Expensive
    Less Compact
    Chromatic Aberration
    Reduced Light Gathering

    Reflector:
    Can't see space vampires.

    Cute, except (stuff that bugs me part): The refractor is drawn with a right angle eyepiece adaptor. Which has a mirror in it. At least it looks like a mirror, but even if it's a prism, it's still a reflection. Can you see vampires reflected in a prism? Can you see vampires with binoculars, for instance? Enquiring minds want to know!
    If lenses don't interfere with our ability to see vampires, could we snipe them all from far away with silver bullets?

  4. #6874
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    ...with silver bullets?
    No, no, that's for werewolves.
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

  5. #6875
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey View Post
    No, no, that's for werewolves.
    They're used as general anti-supernatural ammunition in several settings, including Marvel comics, I think. Bless and etch with crosses and they should do the job anyway.

  6. #6876
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    If lenses don't interfere with our ability to see vampires, could we snipe them all from far away with silver bullets?
    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    They're used as general anti-supernatural ammunition in several settings, including Marvel comics, I think. Bless and etch with crosses and they should do the job anyway.
    Wooden bullets for vampires, I'd think.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  7. #6877
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post

    Cute, except (stuff that bugs me part): The refractor is drawn with a right angle eyepiece adaptor. Which has a mirror in it. At least it looks like a mirror, but even if it's a prism, it's still a reflection. Can you see vampires reflected in a prism? Can you see vampires with binoculars, for instance? Enquiring minds want to know!
    The picture has been changed to show a straight-thru eyepiece. I figured I wouldn't be the only one to notice that!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  8. #6878
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    I generally listen to the hourly NPR newscast on my phone while preparing for bed. It lasts about 4 minutes, and is a recording of the news from the top of the most recent hour.

    Last night, it consisted of several minutes of time announcements along the lines of "At the tone, 4 hours, 23 minutes, 10 seconds Universal time".


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    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  9. #6879
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    I generally listen to the hourly NPR newscast on my phone while preparing for bed. It lasts about 4 minutes, and is a recording of the news from the top of the most recent hour.

    Last night, it consisted of several minutes of time announcements along the lines of "At the tone, 4 hours, 23 minutes, 10 seconds Universal time".
    I guess there had been no news the past hour!

    (MAD magazine once did a piece on how a newspaper would look if a day went by with absolutely nothing noteworthy occurring. TODAY IS MONDAY read the headline.)

  10. #6880
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    I guess there had been no news the past hour!

    (MAD magazine once did a piece on how a newspaper would look if a day went by with absolutely nothing noteworthy occurring. TODAY IS MONDAY read the headline.)
    When that happens they just change the noteworthy threshold.

    Nowadays the news consists mostly of sound bites, pundits' opinions and interviews with random people on the street for their opinions. They'll never run out of that. Sadly.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  11. #6881
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    They'd probably headline "AMAZING NEWS-FREE DAY BAFFLES EXPERTS -- Read Lots About it Here."

  12. #6882
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    Orlando is excited about hosting the annual NFL Pro Bowl Game today.

    This is the silliest of all the usually silly "All-Star" games. The players on the Super Bowl teams are exempt from participation, and lots of other stars use doctors' excuses to avoid playing, so you've got the third- and fourth- best players at most positions. The payout to the players looks generous by layman's standards, but most players probably leave tips that big. The difference between the winners' and losers' shares isn't much, and nobody wants to get injured, so it's rather like a touch football game. We're told "they're back to the classic NFC vs AFC format" (they drafted pick-up teams for awhile there), but they don't have kickoffs because those are too dangerous.

    Back when the players weren't all millionaires, they really did play for pride. I remember watching a Pro Bowl game in the early 1960s with my father and uncles. "Watch Jim Brown there: he's the best" I was told. I saw Brown get tackled around the ankles on a run, yet he hopped a few more yards before they dragged him down. It was a close game with a great finish.

    So I continued to watch the annual game down through the years, but slowly realized that the appeal was fading. Lately, it's been a farce. I noted that tickets started at $71. In don't think I'd tune in the broadcast if they paid me $71 to do so.

  13. #6883
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    They'd probably headline "AMAZING NEWS-FREE DAY BAFFLES EXPERTS -- Read Lots About it Here."
    There was some Apple fan site that once had a parody "No Apple News Today" article, but I can't find it now.

  14. #6884
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    They'd probably headline "AMAZING NEWS-FREE DAY BAFFLES EXPERTS -- Read Lots About it Here."
    I mean, let's face it--a day where nothing noteworthy happened would be noteworthy. Shocking, even.
    _____________________________________________
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    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

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  15. #6885
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I mean, let's face it--a day where nothing noteworthy happened would be noteworthy. Shocking, even.
    The Most Boring Day of the 20th Century.

  16. #6886
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    Some wise old fellow stated that nineteen out of twenty people are interesting, and the twentieth is interesting for being the exception.



    I'm sure that all of know some 20s. Maybe even a 21.

  17. #6887
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    That's an old puzzler. Split the entire population into two groups: Interesting and Not Interesting. Then rank the two groups from Most Interesting to Least Interesting. At the bottom of the Not Interesting group is the Least Interesting Person in the World. But that fact alone makes that person Interesting, so he or she gets moved to the Interesting group. That makes a new person the Least Interesting Person in the Not Interesting group, which then makes him or her Interesting.

    Eventually, the entire group of Not Interesting people will get moved to the Interesting group, bringing us back to where we started.

  18. #6888
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesabrown View Post
    That's an old puzzler. Split the entire population into two groups: Interesting and Not Interesting. Then rank the two groups from Most Interesting to Least Interesting. At the bottom of the Not Interesting group is the Least Interesting Person in the World. But that fact alone makes that person Interesting, so he or she gets moved to the Interesting group. That makes a new person the Least Interesting Person in the Not Interesting group, which then makes him or her Interesting.

    Eventually, the entire group of Not Interesting people will get moved to the Interesting group, bringing us back to where we started.
    Doesn't that assume that being the Least Interesting Person is interesting. Maybe being the Least Interesting Person isn't interesting. It may be unique, but just because something is unique doesn't make it interesting. Every snowflake is unique, but that doesn't mean any particular snowflake is interesting.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  19. #6889
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    I don't always drimk beer, but when I'm in a Mexican restaurant I drink Dos Equis. I am ... the least interesting man in the world.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  20. #6890
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Doesn't that assume that being the Least Interesting Person is interesting. Maybe being the Least Interesting Person isn't interesting.
    Aren't you interested in someone who is the Least Interesting Person in the world? They have zero hobbies, no interests, have never traveled anywhere, have no friends, no enemies, no thoughts about anything?

    To me, such an oddity is fascinating. Not as in, "I'd love to spend the rest of my life plumbing the depths of that person," but I would definitely be intrigued.

    Show me the world's most boring snowflake, and I'll take a look or two for no other reason than because it seems a given that any and all snowflakes are beautiful.

  21. #6891
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesabrown View Post
    Aren't you interested in someone who is the Least Interesting Person in the world? They have zero hobbies, no interests, have never traveled anywhere, have no friends, no enemies, no thoughts about anything?
    No, I don't find them interesting.

    And how do you quantify interesting? Why, for example, does a lack of hobbies make you less interesting? Maybe have no hobbies is more interesting than having a hobby of lint collecting?
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  22. #6892
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    Problem is, if they're fascinating they're not the least interesting person in the world. The least interesting person in the world has to be, by definition, not fascinating. So the old saw about progressively shifting all the uninteresting people (or numbers, in the version I read) to the "interesting" group breaks down at the first hurdle, by merely demonstrating that "interesting" is not a well-defined concept.
    It's like the one about whether an omnipotent entity can make a rock so heavy she can't lift it - we either have to declare "omnipotent" to be ill-defined, or say that omnipotence includes the ability to contain an infinite logical regression (which some theologians have done).

    Grant Hutchison

  23. #6893
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    Okay, I surrender.

  24. #6894
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    Thanks to the wonders of Cracked.com, I have now learned that paternosters are a thing. A horrifying thing to be sure, but a thing.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  25. #6895
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Thanks to the wonders of Cracked.com, I have now learned that paternosters are a thing. A horrifying thing to be sure, but a thing.
    I see that they claim that the name comes from the resemblance of the continuous chain to a string of rosary beads, but it seems more like it's that you should be praying that you don't get injured when you step on or off one of these.
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

  26. #6896
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Thanks to the wonders of Cracked.com, I have now learned that paternosters are a thing. A horrifying thing to be sure, but a thing.
    Well no more terrifying than a moving staircase. I remember one in a supermarket. A modern example would be the ski lift, yes people fall off those but actually walking into a moving cubicle is easier than sitting astride a saddle thing.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  27. #6897
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Well no more terrifying than a moving staircase. I remember one in a supermarket. A modern example would be the ski lift, yes people fall off those but actually walking into a moving cubicle is easier than sitting astride a saddle thing.
    I haven't yet seen an escalator that will take your head off if you do it wrong. And I'm feeling a very strange desire to ride on a paternoster!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  28. #6898
    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I haven't yet seen an escalator that will take your head off if you do it wrong. And I'm feeling a very strange desire to ride on a paternoster!
    With your history of falling off stuff I don't think that is a good idea.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
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  29. #6899
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    Quote Originally Posted by astrotimer View Post
    With your history of falling off stuff I don't think that is a good idea.
    A very valid point!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  30. #6900
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Thanks to the wonders of Cracked.com, I have now learned that paternosters are a thing. A horrifying thing to be sure, but a thing.
    In The Omen (1976 version), at a hospital in Rome, Gregory Peck and David Warner are questioning this nun/nurse about the strange child's origin. She gracefully hops onto this constantly moving excuse for an elevator and is carried up out of the scene while making her final statement.

    The unfamiliar device adds a few things to the scene: her symbolic ascent away from the dark business, the finality of the interview (no holding this elevator), and just a touch of strangeness.

    In the commentary, Richard Donner, the director, says that he loved riding on that thing and just had to include it in the film!

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