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  1. - Top - End - #481
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ClericGirl

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    Jun 2018
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    Maupertuis

    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Yeah, the author seems to be having a lot of fun subverting our expectations of what a traditionalist should be, without making his characterization contrived.

  2. - Top - End - #482
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Gregor continues to be incredibly chill.

  3. - Top - End - #483
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Gregor continues to be incredibly chill.
    And I think he just made a joke. Kind of reminds me of Raymond Holt actually.
    In a war it doesn't matter who's right, only who's left.

  4. - Top - End - #484
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Rockphed's Avatar

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    Nov 2006
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    Near Giant Graffiti.
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarchic Fox View Post
    Yeah, the author seems to be having a lot of fun subverting our expectations of what a traditionalist should be, without making his characterization contrived.
    He is very cautious about he things, but he doesn't reject them out of hand.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wardog View Post
    Rockphed said it well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Starfall
    When your pants are full of crickets, you don't need mnemonics.
    Dragontar by Serpentine.

    Now offering unsolicited advice.

  5. - Top - End - #485
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Florence is punny.

  6. - Top - End - #486
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ClericGirl

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    Jun 2018
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    Maupertuis

    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    That's a fantastic pun, if overexplained a little. I'm saving it for possible future use.

  7. - Top - End - #487
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Feb 2013
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    USA
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Awww that's a great pun, but it's sadly wrong. Microscopic cross-sections are measured in barns and independent of the total number of atoms. Macroscopic cross-sections are dependent on the number of atoms but are measured in inverse centimeters since the cm^2 of the cross-section cancels with cm^-3 of the atom density.

  8. - Top - End - #488
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ClericGirl

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    Jun 2018
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    Maupertuis

    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    ...Oops. I'm embarrassed I didn't know that.

    I've wondered before whether "barn" itself is wordplay, and Wikipedia says it is:

    During Manhattan Project research on the atomic bomb during World War II, American physicists at Purdue University needed a secretive unit to describe the approximate cross-sectional area presented by the typical nucleus (10−28 m2) and decided on "barn". They considered this a large target for particle accelerators that needed to have direct strikes on nuclei, and the American idiom "couldn't hit the broad side of a barn" refers to someone whose aim is very bad.[2] Initially they hoped the name would obscure any reference to the study of nuclear structure; eventually, the word became a standard unit in nuclear and particle physics.

  9. - Top - End - #489
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    So kind of like how the process of generating a nuclear explosion takes three shakes, as in three shakes of a lamb's tail.

  10. - Top - End - #490
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Chimera

    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Cardew View Post
    Awww that's a great pun, but it's sadly wrong. Microscopic cross-sections are measured in barns and independent of the total number of atoms. Macroscopic cross-sections are dependent on the number of atoms but are measured in inverse centimeters since the cm^2 of the cross-section cancels with cm^-3 of the atom density.
    Wait, Stanley got a physics thing wrong? I thought he was a physicist or nuclear engineer or something like that. He certainly doesn't get his other science right (social, ecological, etc.).

  11. - Top - End - #491
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    He was stretching for a pun. Puns are generally completely wrong.

  12. - Top - End - #492
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Chimera

    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Ah. Okay. I've certainly stretched to force a joke before in my days, so I can't criticize.

  13. - Top - End - #493
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Fyraltari's Avatar

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    Aug 2017
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    France
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    He certainly doesn't get his other science right (social, ecological, etc.).
    Doesn't he?
    "Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced."
    Gehm's corollary to Clarke's Third Law



    Forum Wisdom

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

  14. - Top - End - #494
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Feb 2015

    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    If I remember my units correctly, a barn yard atmosphere is a very small unit of energy.

  15. - Top - End - #495
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Feb 2013
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    USA
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    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidSh View Post
    If I remember my units correctly, a barn yard atmosphere is a very small unit of energy.
    Yup, 10^-24 cm^2 *10^2 cm * 10^11 J cm^-3 so about 10^-11 J. So about 10 times bigger than the rest mass of proton.

  16. - Top - End - #496
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ClericGirl

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    Jun 2018
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    Maupertuis

    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    Wait, Stanley got a physics thing wrong? I thought he was a physicist or nuclear engineer or something like that. He certainly doesn't get his other science right (social, ecological, etc.).
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Doesn't he?
    Speaking as a physicist (hence my embarrassment), I don't see many scientific errors in Freefall, disregarding the sci-fi stuff like AI and warp drives. The most recent one I remember was him giving the wrong value of the average density of matter in deep space; as far as I can tell, he used its value in the solar system instead. This was the comic where Florence talked about using the matter in deep space to assemble new suns.

    However, there's one glaring exception: his dismissal of climate science. These jokes all occurred in the first half of the comic, so as far as I know Stanley has come around on the topic, but it's the single biggest reservation I have about the comic. I also remember one rather obnoxious comic based on pop evolutionary psychology, the one where Florence talks about women preferring men who cheat on them, but I think that was an isolated incident.

    ...The size of this comic sure does make it hard to find the specific comics I have in mind.
    Last edited by Anarchic Fox; 2021-01-16 at 03:40 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #497
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarchic Fox View Post
    ...The size of this comic sure does make it hard to find the specific comics I have in mind.
    Freefall has a very convenient search function (located to the right of the archive button). The strip you were looking for is here.
    In a war it doesn't matter who's right, only who's left.

  18. - Top - End - #498
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ClericGirl

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    Jun 2018
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    Maupertuis

    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by Radar View Post
    Freefall has a very convenient search function (located to the right of the archive button). The strip you were looking for is here.
    Thanks, that's very handy! Yes, that was the strip I had in mind. The other strip I was thinking about was this one. The density quoted there is way too high. If you look at Table 1 on this Wikipedia page, the density she quotes is that of molecular clouds, which make up <1% of deep space. If you use the predominant "warm ionized medium" instead, the correct number would be on the order of 10^-20 kg per cubic meter, giving 0.004 suns per cubic light year... less impressive.

    As a handy tip, if someone gives three or more significant digits in their answer when doing a back-of-the-envelope calculation, be dubious.
    Last edited by Anarchic Fox; 2021-01-16 at 04:24 AM.

  19. - Top - End - #499
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Yes Florence, I think we all prefer to work in a warm place with a breathable atmosphere.

  20. - Top - End - #500
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: Freefall 3: Death Ray Byproducts

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Yes Florence, I think we all prefer to work in a warm place with a breathable atmosphere.
    Indeed. Even as a physicist I just cannot work properly in a frictionless vacuum.
    In a war it doesn't matter who's right, only who's left.

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