Daniel Kim's Comments

In the '70s, I read a science fiction detective story in which a building was designed with computer-controlled reflective windows, which were supposed to reduce the need for air conditioning and save energy. The building's computer was programmed to change the position of each window to maximize energy saving. Unfortunately, the designer also had a grudge against a rival who worked across the street, and so wrote a subroutine that was set to focus a deadly heat ray at his office window on a particular date and time.
It was, I think, published in "Analog" magazine, but I cannot remember any other particulars.
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When I was in the second grade, we had a visitor who brought a live turkey for us to see. She told us a number of interesting things about turkeys, and then showed that when the turkey dipped his head to drink, his wattle went from red to white. It was like the blood would only run 'uphill' on a turkey's face.
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Personally, I think that programmers of any voice-command and reply system should adhere to a tradition of answering the key phrase "Close the pod bay doors, please" with "I'm sorry , I'm afraid I can't do that"

Whether Google Now, Siri or Cortana, that ought to be the way the device should respond.
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The umeboshi one is particularly interesting, with its field of red salted plums and a single small ball of rice. It is exactly the opposite of the way I've seen this served. Normally, it's a field of white rice with a single salted plum in the middle.
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During Marvel Comics' takeover by the assistant editors, there was a terrible villain named "Goody Two-Shoes", who was (barely) defeated by the Thing. I'll admit that he was not a 'regular' super-villain, but he is up there with Paste-pot Pete.
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I recall seeing a few frames of The Flash comic book, in which his 'catching a bullet' trick was explained. The Flash would run parallel to the bullet and place his hand against it repeatedly, and the small amount of resistance from the friction between his hand and the bullet would dissipate its momentum. He would have to 'touch' the bullet repeatedly in order to prevent damage to his hand, but this was done with such speed that, to a bystander, it appears as if he ran up and 'caught' the bullet.

Similarly, then, catching a flying cyclist would probably involve more than just the Flash catching some poor guy with his arm at high speed. Such an action would cut the cyclist in half, but the Flash probably used some high-speed trick to safely bleed off the energy of the collision, perhaps through repeated cycles of engagement and disengagement.

It wouldn't be easy on the cyclist's clothing, though.
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Yeah, he's saying it poorly. It's an important or fascinating point about Einstein, point of view, acceleration and so on, but it's also hard to make the tie-in in the amount of time that he had.
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Profile for Daniel Kim

  • Member Since 2012/08/08



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