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-   -   Persistent, Niggling Questions (http://www.fiveminute.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1410)

Katy Jane 08-31-2007 09:06 PM

he's not arguing it, he's just stating a scientific fact. ;)

Nate the Great 09-01-2007 03:00 AM

Darnit Jim, I'm an engineer, not a doctor!

Nate the Great 09-01-2007 05:11 AM

Where did the chicken/road joke come from in the first place?

How did man come up with the idea of milking cows? If you take a step back, it's a bit of an icky concept, right?

Will Paramount ever license and distribute New Voyages and other "professional" fanfilms?

Why is Starfleet Command in San Francisco?

Did humpback whales go extinct again because of an insufficiently diverse gene pool?

United Earth Space Probe Agency? Who would come up with that name?

KillerGodMan 09-06-2007 10:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 74605)
Why is Starfleet Command in San Francisco?

Um... because it was Xindi'd when it was in Florda?

Why do hotdogs come in packages of ten, but hotdog buns come in packages of eight?

Nate the Great 09-07-2007 01:14 AM

Thank you! The hot dog conundrum is undoubtedly one reason why I lay awake some nights wondering at the general weirdness in the world.

Nate the Great 09-08-2007 12:06 PM

This is one dead horse that I'm still beating, but I still get ticked off every single time I see "Coca-Cola Classic" on a can or bottle. Why? Everything else is "Coke." Vanilla Coke, Cherry Coke, Diet Coke, etc. Why not a product just labeled "Coke?"

How did artifical raspberry flavor get associated with the color blue? Yeah, yeah, cherry has a monopoly on red and there are blue raspberries, but most raspberries are, in fact, red.

Wouldn't it be a smart idea to have an "Unnecessary 'E' Tax," as posited by Dave Barry?

Katy Jane 09-08-2007 03:40 PM

the reason they put coca-cola classic on the can is because at one point they changed the flavor of coke and called it "new coke" nobody liked it so they changed it back and started labeling it "coca-cola" classic. Everything else leaves off the classic, because its not "coca-cola" classic. ;)

Nate the Great 09-08-2007 08:06 PM

Yes, but there's no such thing as "New Coke" anymore. In those few places where people actually drink it, it's "Coke 2." Ergo, just "Coke" is open and available. It should be used because no one says "Waiter, I'd like a Coca-Cola Classic." Ever.

In fact, the whole thing smacks of paranoia. It's as if the Coke company is afraid that people might confuse normal Coke with New Coke/Coke 2, buy it, and then sue Coca-Cola for selling the wrong product.

Nate the Great 09-08-2007 09:10 PM

Okay, I'd like someone to debunk a theory for me.

I've often thought about the "impossibility" of constructing a perpetual motion machine. Now of course you can't build one that you can actually get energy out of, but what about something that will just go on forever and not stop?

Step One:

Build a sphere out of artificial diamond. Pure diamond, no defects, absolutely uniform crystal lattice in all directions.

Step Two:

Go out into space and find a location where gravitational and electromagnetic effects from all locations are absolutely uniform. It'll probably be midway between two galaxies.

Step Three:

Plant your diamond in that location and give it a nudge to spin it. There you go, a moving object with nothing to stop it. Certainly not a USEFUL machine, but perpetual motion.

catalina_marina 09-08-2007 11:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Katy Jane (Post 74649)
the reason they put coca-cola classic on the can is because at one point they changed the flavor of coke and called it "new coke" nobody liked it so they changed it back and started labeling it "coca-cola" classic. Everything else leaves off the classic, because its not "coca-cola" classic. ;)

Because it might be confusing? I don't know...

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 74651)
Okay, I'd like someone to debunk a theory for me.

I've often thought about the "impossibility" of constructing a perpetual motion machine. Now of course you can't build one that you can actually get energy out of, but what about something that will just go on forever and not stop?

Step One:

Build a sphere out of artificial diamond. Pure diamond, no defects, absolutely uniform crystal lattice in all directions.

Step Two:

Go out into space and find a location where gravitational and electromagnetic effects from all locations are absolutely uniform. It'll probably be midway between two galaxies.

Step Three:

Plant your diamond in that location and give it a nudge to spin it. There you go, a moving object with nothing to stop it. Certainly not a USEFUL machine, but perpetual motion.

We have these things. They're called stars, planets, moons, comets, asteroids, interstellar dusts...

Nate the Great 09-09-2007 12:57 AM

Uh-huh. If that logic made any sense at all, ordering a Cherry Coke would result in cherry-flavored charcoal, or cherry-flavored cocaine. Yeah, right.

Astronomical bodies are not man-made machines, and they do have finite lifespans, by the way.

AKAArzosah 09-09-2007 06:15 AM

A spinning diamond doesn't eactly qualify as a machine either. A machine has to have working parts, and that's why it's impossible.

catalina_marina 09-09-2007 04:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 74655)
Uh-huh. If that logic made any sense at all, ordering a Cherry Coke would result in cherry-flavored charcoal, or cherry-flavored cocaine. Yeah, right.

Which is why I would think they're only being weird with the original, as that would just be "Coke".

Oh you want it to be man-made? How about those satelites we sent into space then? Not only do they (presumably) revolve around their own axis, they even revolve around the Earth! And sure, they have a finite lifespan. Even if they were meant to stay up forever, the sun would eventually explode into the Earth. But if you really want them to "live" forever, it's probably going to be pretty hard to find a spot, or speed and direction, if you want, so that they never collapse into anything. But yes, theoretically, it's possible. And if they revolve at first, they'll keep revolving until something stops them. It's basically Newton's first law of mechanics.

Nate the Great 09-09-2007 07:53 PM

I thought that Sol was too small to outright explode. I thought it was just going to fizzle out into a brown dwarf.

All manmade Earth satellites will eventually grind slower and slower thanks to tidal effects and burn up upon reentry. Not perpetual.

AKAArzosah 09-11-2007 11:21 AM

When did the USA just become 'America' and why? Just laziness?

How is it that US Citizens call themselves 'Americans' to mean their nationality?

Or are both of these things just an Australian misconception and I should just shut up now?

Chancellor Valium 09-11-2007 09:48 PM

Quote:

Why is Starfleet Command in San Francisco?
Bah! That's just a front.

It's actually in Llanberis.

Nate the Great 09-11-2007 10:42 PM

No, we USAns are, in fact, that incredibly arrogant. Blame the rest of the world for perpetuating our egotism, though, not us.

catalina_marina 09-13-2007 03:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AKAArzosah (Post 74669)
When did the USA just become 'America' and why? Just laziness?

I don't know about the when... I would say even before it was founded.

I suppose it happened much in the same way as the United Kingdom became "England" and the Netherlands became "Holland". Yes, laziness.

Chancellor Valium 09-13-2007 03:26 PM

That always bugs me.

England is one nation, not three-and-a-bit, dammit.

On a more ponderous note, why do people assume our civilisation is more 'advanced' than previous ones? Popular culture in the ancient world consisted of races and killing each people and animals in a ring. Now it consists of races and watching people who barely qualify for the term, and do so solely for the purposes of political correctness sit about and wonder which one of the 19-or-so other definitely-not-sub-human(s) they should screw. Less blood, but at least gladiatorial matches don't make your brains want to dribble out of your ears.

?

catalina_marina 09-13-2007 09:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chancellor Valium (Post 74701)
That always bugs me.

England is one nation, not three-and-a-bit, dammit.

I like the way you think.

I wish the Netherlands were just the 7 provinces they started with. At least then people would never say I'm from Holland.

Chancellor Valium 09-13-2007 09:29 PM

I thought there were originally 17?

Nate the Great 09-14-2007 02:10 AM

Chandler: Holland. That's near the Netherlands, isn't it?
Joey: Yeah, right. You're not going to catch me like that. The Netherlands are this make-believe place where Peter Pan and Tinker Bell live.
Margha: Oh my.
Ross: Enough with Geography For The Insane, okay?

catalina_marina 09-22-2007 08:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chancellor Valium (Post 74711)
I thought there were originally 17?

:rolleyes:

Sa'ar Chasm 09-23-2007 01:53 AM

Quote:

I thought that Sol was too small to outright explode. I thought it was just going to fizzle out into a brown dwarf.
It will swell up into a red giant once it exhausts its hydrogen fuel, and then it will fade to a white dwarf after it exhausts its helium fuel. It's not massive enough to undergo any other type of fusion. Brown dwarfs are stars without enough mass to start hydrogen fusion.

Nate the Great 09-23-2007 11:31 PM

Darnit Jim, I'm an engineer, not an astronomer!

Nate the Great 09-24-2007 09:58 AM

Why do so many gas stations have three grades of gas? I've even seen FOUR grade stations. I can understand the mentality behind having a higher grade gas for certain vehicles and situations, but anything between basic and premium seems ludicrous, almost as though it was deliberately supposed to be confusing.

Why are men's and women's bicycles still in different structural styles? I doubt that there are that many women who bike in skirts anymore, and a straight bicycle bar really is stronger structurally, so what's up?

A perpetual scab. Totally unsolvable. Why can't the government just tax the retailers a flat five percent (or whatever) of their total sales, so the retailer can charge flat dollar amounts? Wouldn't it make transactions so much simpler? Even if it has to be tweaked a bit to allow for twenty-five cent intervals to start out with, it'd still save EVERYBODY involved a lot of bother. I've heard two major theorys for the "something bucks and 99 cents" phenomenon. 1. Customers will be fooled that the one cent discount is larger than it really is, perhaps even think that the item really does cost a dollar less. Ludicrous. 2. Having change be required in the operation forces the cashier to open and close the cash drawer for each transaction to get the change, thus removing the option of the cashier simply pocketing the money. Seems a bit odd, as I have a solution to this problem. Scanning the item will generate a receipt. However, if the cash drawer isn't opened and closed within a certain time period, not only will the receipt not print out, a switch could be set up to trigger an alarm. Smart, huh?

Nate the Great 09-24-2007 08:06 PM

Would it really be that much bother to get the entire world onto one voltage and electric outlet type? I suppose the only reason why not to is that eventually we're going to have a united power grid and everyone's going to have to be retrofitted anyway, but still...

Why do so many people hate gift cards? I understand the "it does the same thing currency can, only less efficiently" argument, but for me, that's precisely the point. The inefficiency forces me to buy myself a GIFT, not just food and gas.

Why do some areas split into different geographic areas for new area codes, and others just overlap area codes in the same area? Isn't that a bit of a double standard?

Nate the Great 09-25-2007 11:41 AM

Here's a few from a wonderful book called The Little Book of Stupid Questions by David Borgenicht, 1999, Sourcebooks, Inc.

1. Would the world be a better place if skipping were more common than walking?

2. Which cartoon ability would you rather have:
a. The ability to paint a hole in the ground or a door in a solid wall and go through it;
b. The ability to be run over by a steamroller and shake yourself back to normal, or
c. The ability to fall hundreds of feet off a cliff to your doom and be back in the very next scene?

3. Is life more like the game of Life, Sorry, or Monopoly?

4. What breakfast cereal most describes your personality?

5. If your life story were made into a movie, who would play you?

6. Which of the Seven Dwarves do you most relate to? If you were the eighth dwarf, what would your name be?

7. If you could bring one character to life from your favorite book, who would it be?

8. If you had a theme song, what song would you pick? What if the song were played every time you entered a room or walked down the street? Would this change your choice?

9. What would you say as your last words if you were about to be executed?

NAHTMMM 09-28-2007 03:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 74773)
9. What would you say as your last words if you were about to be executed?

"Beam me up, Scotty!" It always works for everyone else . . . ;)

Nate the Great 09-28-2007 12:09 PM

1. Yes.
2. a.
3. Life.
4. Honey Nut Toasted Oats. (I'm nutty, but still good for you!)
5. Daniel Radcliffe. Seriously.
6. Doc. Whacky.
7. Anne Shirley.
8. General theme song, Linus and Lucy. Room entering theme song, The Entertainer.
9. "Shazam!"

Nate the Great 09-30-2007 10:37 PM

(Inspired by Zeke's characterization of "five" as a transitive verb) How would a Schoolhouse Rock song based on transitive verbs go?

Do any other schools use inaccurate anthropomorphic mascots? (My alma mater's mascot Goldy the Gopher actually has very little resemblance to an actual gopher, most consider him a ground squirrel in disguise)

Conrad Birdie? What kind of nutjob would name their child that and/or what kind of nutjob would choose that as a stage name?

How old were you when you figured out that the name Back to the Future was supposed to be a paradox gag? I thought it was pretty self-explanatory: Marty wants to get BACK to the FUTURE.

How creeped out would the average person be if everyone around them suddenly burst into song?

What's the most ridiculous James Bond gadget? There are SO MANY contenders.

Nate the Great 09-30-2007 10:38 PM

How long is it going to be before someone is actually curious enough about the HB=C,A,I! in my sig to ask about it?

AKAArzosah 10-02-2007 06:00 AM

I have a question that someone can answer. It's been bugging me for days.

What side of the road do Canadians drive on?

Nate the Great 10-02-2007 08:57 AM

The right side, as far as I know. I just went there on vacation not two months ago, remember.

Nate the Great 10-03-2007 01:30 AM

Don't worry, the HB=C, A, & I!!!! is gone, I replaced it with yet another wonderful mudshark quote. I think it's a classic. :)

Chancellor Valium 10-07-2007 03:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zeke
It comes naturally to him.

...Who are you, and what have you done with Zeke?

Nate the Great 10-08-2007 01:12 AM

No, that's a real Zeke quote, based on a real mudshark quote! Honestly, Trekkie's honor!

Nate the Great 10-08-2007 04:29 AM

http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mcredit.html

I'm not sure whether this belongs in the link dump thread or here, but it is a niggling question, so here goes...

To me, safety or not, just putting "Ask for Photo ID" on a card is just asking for trouble. Even if it's "technically safer," I am REALLY not in the mood to explain the logic EVERY SINGLE STINKIN' TIME! And I would have to. "How come you don't have a signature on this?" "Well, I was told that it wasn't safe..." "I'll have to summon my manager." "No, honest, this is my driver's license! I swear! Why didn't I sign the card? Well..." No, thank you.

Chancellor Valium 10-08-2007 04:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nate the Great (Post 74830)
No, that's a real Zeke quote, based on a real mudshark quote! Honestly, Trekkie's honor!


Zeke miss a punning opportunity like that? I'm not that easy to dupe. :p

Nate the Great 10-08-2007 10:34 PM

Would it be alright if I just went mad now?


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