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  #641  
Old 06-01-2012, 03:26 AM
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http://www.actsofgord.com/Chronicles/chapter36.php

Summary:
A father wants to rent a video game for his son. It must have:

1. No violence.
2. In fact, no conflict. You can't damage another character.
3. You can't even instakill monsters with no visible gore.
4. Your character can't die in any circumstances.
5. No racing or competition of any kind.

PNQ1: Is there a console game besides Tetris that meets these criteria?
PNQ2: With moral standards like this, why does this father let his son have a console at all?
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  #642  
Old 06-26-2012, 02:57 PM
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PNQ1: Why do YouTube viewers keep asking for stuff that's in the description?
PNQ2: Should YouTube force all descriptions to be "expanded" by default until you log in and tick the box that says "I agree to always check the full description before asking a question"? Only then will descriptions be minimized by default.
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Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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  #643  
Old 06-26-2012, 03:14 PM
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YouTube comments are what happen when you take a broad cross-section of society and carefully remove any trace of intelligence, common sense and civility. It cannot be explained, merely shunned.
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  #644  
Old 06-27-2012, 09:18 AM
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*surfaces for a brief appearance* I concur with Sa'ar
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  #645  
Old 06-28-2012, 06:57 AM
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Lexy! Good to see you. Stay a while.
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  #646  
Old 06-28-2012, 02:46 PM
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You may find me lurking :P It's either that, or do some work...
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  #647  
Old 06-29-2012, 02:41 PM
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In listening to the Tom Lehrer song "New Math", I started wondering...

PNQ: Aside from base-10 and base-2, are any other bases actually used by anyone.

I mean of the bases from 2 through 10. Sure, sometimes we use something akin to base-12, but only in an abstract sense. Schoolhouse Rock proposed two new symbols (dek and el) to represent "ten" and "eleven" in a base-12 counting system, but we'd never use them to convert Imperial units or traditional British currency.

So yeah, what point was there in teaching other bases to kids? Even the base-2 calculations we have to do seldom require pencil and paper, we use base-2 for the benefit of the computers, not ourselves.
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mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

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  #648  
Old 06-29-2012, 11:54 PM
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Hex! Programmers use hexadecimal all the time. Its usefulness stems from the fact that it's basically shorthand for binary.

Teaching arbitrary bases is important, just nowhere near as important as the New Math tried to make it. (Same goes for set theory.) Historically, not every civilization has used base ten. The Babylonians used base 60, the Mayans base 20, and so on. It's good to have some introduction to the concept.
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[03:17] FiveMinZeke: Galactica clearly needs the advanced technology of scissors, which get around the whole "yanking on your follicles" problem.
[03:17] IJD: cylons can hack any blades working in conjunction
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  #649  
Old 06-30-2012, 02:05 AM
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Yeah, but there's absolutely no reason to attempt teaching other bases to children before high school.
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mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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  #650  
Old 06-30-2012, 10:03 AM
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I might hold out for junior high, but we basically agree. And it was even sillier at the time New Math was actually developed -- computers were nowhere near as important as they are today, and programming is really the only field where knowing other bases is of practical importance. (Yes, this means that before computers came along, other bases were just a curiosity. That's still true of all bases except 2, thanks to one of the great insights of the last century: if you can represent everything with 1s and 0s, you can do it with open and closed circuits.)

That said, I love mathematical curiosities. There's quality time to be spent at Wikipedia looking up different bases and their obscure applications. Did you know a couple of cultures have used base 8 because they counted by spaces between fingers, not by fingers themselves?
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[03:17] FiveMinZeke: Galactica clearly needs the advanced technology of scissors, which get around the whole "yanking on your follicles" problem.
[03:17] IJD: cylons can hack any blades working in conjunction
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  #651  
Old 06-30-2012, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeke View Post
Did you know a couple of cultures have used base 8 because they counted by spaces between fingers, not by fingers themselves?
That I did not.
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  #652  
Old 07-01-2012, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
That said, I love mathematical curiosities. There's quality time to be spent at Wikipedia looking up different bases and their obscure applications.
Says the math major. :P

Actually, I discovered today that I count music in base 4. Most musical phrases are 4 or 8 bars long, and the melody is usually with the flutes or clarinets or trumpets or saxes or French horns or anywhere except the trombone, so I tend to get a lot of long stretches of rest measured in multiples of 4 bars. I count 4 bars on 4 fingers of my right hand, then increment a finger on my left hand and start over. That gets me to 16, and if the rest goes even longer (I've seen it go up to 40), I'll stick my left thumb out and do everything over again (32 bars).

Sometimes I think composers hate the low brass. Then I switched to stage band, and it was awesome (and freaking *hard*).
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  #653  
Old 07-02-2012, 01:16 AM
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So Jennifer Lopez is starring in a Carmen Sandiego movie...

PNQ: Who would you cast as the greatest fictional thief in modern history?

Elsewhere on the web I saw speculation about Catherine Zeta-Jones, which makes more sense than J.Lo.

The thing to keep in mind when casting Carmen is the fact that you have to balance beauty, cunning, humor, pride, and a bunch of other things. Can Lopez do that?
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mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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  #654  
Old 07-03-2012, 04:07 PM
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Not really a PNQ, just a general request for tech support.

I have a USB keypad that I want to use as a remote control for Windows Media Player. Nothing fancy, just play/pause and previous/next track controls. Does anyone know of a program that would let me do this?
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mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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  #655  
Old 07-03-2012, 10:13 PM
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If you're using WMP 12, there are still keyboard shortcuts, but some of them only work if focus is in a particular pane. If that's not enough, try AutoHotkey. It seems to be the keyboard equivalent of StrokeIt, my beloved (if unfortunately-named) mouse gesture program.

Sa'ar: I'd somehow forgotten you play an instrument. Which one is it?
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[03:17] FiveMinZeke: Galactica clearly needs the advanced technology of scissors, which get around the whole "yanking on your follicles" problem.
[03:17] IJD: cylons can hack any blades working in conjunction
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  #656  
Old 07-03-2012, 11:12 PM
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Sorry, should've specified. Windows Media Player 11 on Windows XP.
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mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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  #657  
Old 07-04-2012, 02:48 AM
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Trombone. I actually didn't play for all the years I was in Ottawa (grad school and tutoring are something of a time-hog), but I went back to the City Band when I moved to Kelowna. I thought I'd be worse than I turned out to be, but I actually remembered what all the little squiggle marks on the page went, and my upper range hadn't atrophied as much as I'd feared.

And then Canada Day was the last concert for the year. Still, six weeks of playing is better than no weeks, especially after 9 years of letting the horn rust.
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  #658  
Old 07-04-2012, 03:32 AM
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The shortcuts in 11 are about the same. Otherwise, try AutoHotkey.
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[03:17] FiveMinZeke: Galactica clearly needs the advanced technology of scissors, which get around the whole "yanking on your follicles" problem.
[03:17] IJD: cylons can hack any blades working in conjunction
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  #659  
Old 07-05-2012, 02:19 PM
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http://www.startribune.com/local/161389685.html

A new development is being built using smaller lots than were originally intended. The claim is that today's homeowners want to spend less time and money on lawn maintenance.

PNQ: If a person wants to buy a house with less lawn maintenance responsibilities, why not buy a townhouse or condo where they don't have to worry about lawn maintenance at all?
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mudshark: Nate's just being...Nate.
Zeke: It comes nateurally to him.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really -- it's just a bad idea.

Sa'ar Chasm on the 5M.net forum: Sit back, relax, and revel in the insanity.

Adam Savage: I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Crow T. Robot: Oh, stop pretending there's a plot. Don't cheapen yourself further.
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  #660  
Old 07-05-2012, 03:48 PM
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Houses have other advantages over apartments and condos. You don't have to take an elevator, you can park your car right there, you don't have to share laundry machines, etc. Maybe the answer for these people is Astroturf.
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[03:17] FiveMinZeke: Galactica clearly needs the advanced technology of scissors, which get around the whole "yanking on your follicles" problem.
[03:17] IJD: cylons can hack any blades working in conjunction
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