xkcd: What If?

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Re: xkcd: What If? #140

Postby Beyond » Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:01 am

Gamma rays? Isn't that how the Hulk got started? Wouldn't have to worry too much about Aliens taking over with a planet population of Big green humans. :mrgreen:
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xkcd: Possible Undiscovered Planets

Postby neufer » Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:53 pm

http://xkcd.com/1633/ wrote:
[

xkcd: Possible Undiscovered Planets
Randall Munroe
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xkcd: What If? #142 - Space Jetta

Postby bystander » Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:04 pm

Space Jetta

    What if I tried to re-enter the atmosphere in my car? (a 2000 VW Jetta TDI).
    Would it do more environmental damage than it is already apparently doing?
    — Casey Berg
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
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xkcd: What If? #143 - Europa Water Siphon

Postby bystander » Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:06 pm

Europa Water Siphon

    What if you built a siphon from the oceans on Europa to Earth? Would it flow once it's set up?
    (We have an idea for selling bottled Europa water.)
    — A group of Google Search SREs
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
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xkcd: What If? #144 - Saliva Pool

Postby bystander » Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:42 pm

Saliva Pool

    How long would it take for a single person to fill up an entire swimming pool with their own saliva? — Mary Griffin, 9th grade
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
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Re: xkcd: What If? #144

Postby Ron-Astro Pharmacist » Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:03 pm

What if Mary and Jane (not so sure about a kid being their best bet – they haven't met my dad these days) had a bad case of xerostomia? Would they be inclined do be "digging"? :no:

Maybe dad could benefit from time travel too so he'd think more along the lines of "cotton mouth" production :?: Definitely :no:
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Re: xkcd: What If? #144

Postby neufer » Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:34 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spittoon wrote:
<<The United States Senate has spittoons spread across the Senate Chamber as they are considered a Senate tradition. Similarly, each Justice on the United States Supreme Court has a spittoon next to his or her seat in the courtroom. However, the spittoons function merely as wastebaskets; the last time the spittoon was used for its customary purpose was in the early 20th century.>>

    The Taming of the Shrew: III, i
LUCENTIO: Spit in the hole, man, and tune again.
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Re: xkcd: What If? #144

Postby Beyond » Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:57 am

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
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xkcd: What If? #145 - Fire From Moonlight

Postby bystander » Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:11 pm

Fire From Moonlight

    Can you use a magnifying glass and moonlight to light a fire? — Rogier Spoor
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
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xkcd: What If? #146 - Stop Jupiter

Postby bystander » Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:17 pm

Stop Jupiter

    I understand that the New Horizons craft used gravity assist from Jupiter
    to increase its speed on the way to Pluto. I also understand that by doing
    this, Jupiter slowed down very slightly. How many flyby runs would it take
    to stop Jupiter completely?
    — Dillon
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Re: xkcd: What If? #147 - Niagara Straw

Postby bystander » Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:19 pm

Niagara Straw

    What would happen if one tried to funnel Niagara Falls through a straw? — David Gwizdala
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Re: xkcd: What If? #148 - Eat the Sun

Postby bystander » Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:23 pm

Eat the Sun

    What percentage of the Sun's heat (per day) does the population of Earth
    eat in calories per year? What changes could be made to our diets for the
    amount of calories to equal the energy of the Sun?
    — James Mitchell
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
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Re: xkcd: What If? #149 - Pizza Bird

Postby bystander » Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:25 pm

Pizza Bird

    My boyfriend recently took a flight on a plane with wifi, and while he was up there,
    wistfully asked if I could send him a pizza. I jokingly sent him a photo of a parrot
    holding a pizza slice in its beak. Obviously, my boyfriend had to go without pizza
    until he landed at JFK. But this raised the question: could a bird deliver a standard
    20" New York-style cheese pizza in a box? And if so, what kind of bird would it take?
    — Tina Nguyen
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Re: xkcd: What If? #150 - Tatooine Rainbow

Postby bystander » Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:27 pm

Tatooine Rainbow

    Since rainbows are caused by the refraction of the sunlight by tiny droplets of rainwater,
    what would rainbow look like on Earth if we had two suns like Tatooine?
    — Raga
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
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xkcd: What If? #151 - Sun Bug

Postby bystander » Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:04 pm

Sun Bug

    How many fireflies would it take to match the brightness of the Sun? — Luke Doty
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
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xkcd: What If? #152 - Flood Death Valley

Postby bystander » Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:34 pm

Flood Death Valley

    Since Death Valley is below sea level could we dig a hole to the ocean and fill it up with water? — Nick Traeden
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
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xkcd: What If? #153 - Hide the Atmosphere

Postby bystander » Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:12 pm

Hide the Atmosphere

    Earth’s atmosphere is really thin compared to the radius of the Earth.
    How big a hole do I need to dig before people suffocate?
    — Sam Burke
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
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xkcd: What If? #154 - Coast-to-Coast Coasting

Postby bystander » Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:17 pm

Coast-to-Coast Coasting

    What if the entire continental US was on a decreasing slope from West to East.
    How steep would the slope have to be to sustain the momentum needed to ride
    a bicycle the entire distance without pedaling?
    — Brandon Rooks
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
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xkcd: What If? #155 - Toaster vs. Freezer

Postby bystander » Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:02 pm

Toaster vs. Freezer

Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

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Re: xkcd: What If? #155 - Toaster vs. Freezer

Postby neufer » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:19 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.

bystander wrote:
Toaster vs. Freezer

:arrow: Hopefully the freezer is
not badly in need of a defrost.
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Re: xkcd: What If? #155 - Toaster vs. Freezer

Postby rstevenson » Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:16 am

bystander wrote:Toaster vs. Freezer


The piece ends with a character thinking "At least I'm not in Winnipeg." Having lived for 2 years in the mid-80s in what my wife and I have ever since referred to as "the W place", not wanting to speak its full name, I can heartily endorse that sentiment.

Rob

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xkcd: What If? #156 - Electrofishing for Whales

Postby bystander » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:29 pm

Electrofishing for Whales

    I used to work on a fisheries crew where we would use an electro-fisher backpack to momentarily stun small fish (30 - 100 mm length) so we could scoop them up with nets to identify and measure them. The larger fish tended to be stunned for slightly longer because of their larger surface area but I don't imagine this relationship would be maintained for very large animals. Could you electrofish for a blue whale? At what voltage would you have have to set the e-fisher? — Madeline Cooper
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
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— Garrison Keillor

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Re: xkcd: What If? #156 - Electrofishing for Whales

Postby neufer » Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:29 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
bystander wrote:Electrofishing for Whales

    I used to work on a fisheries crew where we would use an electro-fisher backpack to momentarily stun small fish (30 - 100 mm length) so we could scoop them up with nets to identify and measure them. The larger fish tended to be stunned for slightly longer because of their larger surface area but I don't imagine this relationship would be maintained for very large animals. Could you electrofish for a blue whale? At what voltage would you have have to set the e-fisher? — Madeline Cooper
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Re: xkcd: What If? #156

Postby BDanielMayfield » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:45 pm

But all ol Chaptain Nemo did was tic the squid off. They still had to surface and fight it off with whaling harpoons.

This electrofish for whales tale reminded me of an old Doonsbury cartoon. Jerry Brown is late for a campaign rally. As they wait his supporters are chanting things like "Save the Whales!" and "No more Nukes!", but with waning enthusiasm. Finally after Jerry's a no show someone shouts, "Nuke the Whales!"
"Happy are the peaceable ... "

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Re: xkcd: What If? #156

Postby neufer » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:38 am

BDanielMayfield wrote:
But all ol Chaptain Nemo did was tic the squid off. They still had to surface and fight it off with whaling harpoons.

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