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Possibly A Sign Of The End Times

That is to say, it’s Tuesday, and Randall Munroe updated xkcd today. Not only that, but it’s an interactive strip, where you click and things happen — I think of these strips as toys — all of which is not because it’s the End Times, but because Munroe’s How To releases today, and said toy is an illustration of an approximation from the book.

Namely, and approximation of how far you can throw things. The astute reader will recognize that depending on the value of you and things, the answer is going to vary widely. To deal with this uncertainty, you (actual, physical you, not throwing you) get to decide on the thrower (George Washington, a squirrel, Carly Rae Jepsen, etc) and the thrown object (a microwave oven, a car, Thor’s hammer, etc). You (actual, physical you) also have to option to include you (throwing you) in the simulation, provided you fill in some basic physical parameters.

Because Munroe is Munroe, the results are shown in both meters, and some other, more useless unit of measure (ranging from attoparsecs to furlongs, depending on the object thrown and distance involved). I agree with some of Munroe’s assessments (eg: I could not throw George Washington, or a car) and vehemently disagree with others (only Thor, God Of Thunder can throw Thor’s hammer¹). It’ll keep even the most easily bored person occupied for a good half hour-forty five minutes as they mess with all the permutations. I shudder to think how many people will create similar toys based on other points of discussion in the book. And by shudder, I of course mean look forward to with great anticipation,

Spam of the day:

Breaking: Startup shocks the TV industry with free HD TV receiver

It’s called an antenna. A conductor, on the order of 0.1x to 10x the wavelength of a given signal, will naturally receive that signal. Put an appropriately-sized plug on one end, put the rest up high with clear sightlines, and you’ve got a receiver. It helps if you put your amplifier closer to the antenna, and not on the other end of signal cable, because you don’t want to amplify the noise that the cable picks up. There, I just saved you from whatever the scammers were going to ask for.

¹ Anybody with a lick of sense knows that while Chris Hemsworth probably cannot throw Thor’s hammer, Carly Rae Jepsen² is surely worthy. Also, if the squirrel is an associate of Squirrel Girl, the worthiness is surely self-evident. Also, why is Thor able to chuck me (actual, physical me) a full 28 meters further than a microwave oven and nearly twice the distance of a basketball? Because I assure you, when I get flung in that manner, I will be flailing and increasing air resistance like a muthascratcher.

² Carly Rae Jepsen is modeled such that her throwing ability is somewhere between Extremely High and Champion Athlete.

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