WoB Talk

August 16, 2010

August 9 – 21 (technically)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kari Maaren @ 9:30 am




  1. I’d love to help, but don’t know how.

    Comment by Stefan — August 16, 2010 @ 3:57 pm

  2. Start doing poi (didn’t even know what that was til I look it up, I thought it was Point Of Interest)? Even more better if you could somehow use poi to speed up your marking. On a more practical note, maybe take a break from the comic, it is such a good cliff hanger to leave it on at the moment.

    Comment by SunshineRain — August 17, 2010 @ 1:41 am

  3. I’ve done a bit of poi, but I tend to hit myself in the head a lot. I suspect Barbara does too. I don’t want to take a break because there are some rather specific things that need to happen before the start of next term. Besides, even when I do have to work on it in the wee hours, the comic keeps me relatively sane because IT IS NOT MARKING.

    Comment by Kari — August 17, 2010 @ 2:06 am

  4. When I need to smash, I work out. I don’t know how well that would work for you, but it helps me feel better. Channel that old flight-or-fight response to do something productive.

    Alternatively, you could make sure that you’re relatively alone and let out a good roar. This also helps me, and is one of the reasons I like to go to sporting events.

    Comment by erwaro — August 17, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

  5. I usually work out my fury through music. Unfortunately, my hands have been hurting a lot lately, so thumping away on the piano just makes me grumpier. Working at the flute and the whistle has been helping somewhat, however.

    I do the screaming thing as well. It is probably not a good thing that I occasionally do it at 3:00 a.m.

    Comment by Kari — August 17, 2010 @ 4:34 pm

  6. Fezzes ARE cool. The Doctor should absolutely wear one next season. But I guess it’s not going to happen…

    Comment by Stefan — August 24, 2010 @ 3:42 am

  7. Nope. Did you see the little interview where Mr. Moffat talked about his cunning plan to kill the fez before Matt Smith got too fond of it?

    Comment by Kari — August 24, 2010 @ 3:43 am

  8. When do classes start for you? I assume that my uni is unusual, fall classes start in late September, I don’t have to worry about them for quite a while yet.

    Comment by erwaro — August 24, 2010 @ 5:06 am

  9. Fezzes are cool.

    Comment by Jeff — August 24, 2010 @ 7:37 am

  10. No, I haven’t seen that interview. And in looking for it I realize that the Doctor says “Goodbye, Fez,” not “I could buy a fez” in that Tardis scene. I guess that’s the end, then.

    Maybe for the best:

    Comment by Stefan — August 24, 2010 @ 12:49 pm

  11. Whoa, your blog understands YouTube! I just pasted a link, honest!

    Comment by Stefan — August 24, 2010 @ 12:50 pm

  12. Whoa. Clearly, fezzes ARE cool, as they appear to provoke a lot of comments.

    1) My first class is on Friday, September 10th, but I should probably write the syllabus at some point before that. I haven’t, er, done that yet.

    2) The interview with Moffat in which he talks about fezzes can be seen in the Doctor Who Confidential that aired after the season finale. I don’t usually watch Doctor Who Confidential, but I think I was procrastinating at the time. It’s quite a funny little segment.

    3) I’m pretty sure the Doctor says, “I can buy a fez,” not, “Goodbye, fez.” However, judging by the interview, it doesn’t mean he will buy a fez; it’s just there because of the Rule of Funny.

    Comment by Kari — August 24, 2010 @ 1:38 pm

  13. *Gasp* Rahim can see dead people! Which means that Weird Beard is Bruce Willis (W.B backward is B.W), this explain everything.

    Comment by SunshineRain — August 25, 2010 @ 1:41 am

  14. I wonder why people are so fascinated by the prospect of life in another world when there are billions (trillions if counting non-human) of life right here that they haven’t yet met.

    Comment by SunshineRain — August 26, 2010 @ 1:58 pm

  15. …Because we’ve always been fascinated by the unknown? Those billions of other humans are humans, so even if we haven’t specifically met them all yet, we do, to a certain extent, “know” them; they can surprise us on a personal level, but they can’t, say, suddenly turn green and take flight. We used to tell stories of lands populated entirely by monsters. Now we tell stories of aliens. Some people are frightened less at the thought that there may be aliens than at the thought that there may not be any at all.

    Comment by Kari — August 26, 2010 @ 2:03 pm

  16. Hmmm then I guess I should stop telling people that they are only just figment dreamt up by the imagination of a child-like mind.

    Comment by SunshineRain — August 26, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

  17. Nice Hitch-hikers’ (hitch-hiker’s?) reference, by the way!

    Comment by Stefan — August 26, 2010 @ 2:54 pm

  18. Yeah, one of my relatively recent things now is “Well, wondering how we’re going to deal with discovering other intelligent life in the universe is wonderful and all, but honestly, the odds are much better of finding it on earth.” Already got stuff set up for it. And how do we define intelligent life? How much of what we recognize as human intelligence is social, or socially programed, rather than genetic? How many species out there just need to spend more time banging rocks together?

    That being said, I don’t think we’re alone. Supposing an infinite universe, I feel that there certainly is/will be intelligent life out there. I think the odds are decent even if it isn’t infinite.

    Comment by erwaro — August 26, 2010 @ 3:16 pm

  19. Erwaro: check out the Fermi Paradox.

    I believe I can, in retrospect, blame that particular comic on Sherlock Holmes. No, I am not insane. Behold:

    1) I taught a short unit on the Holmes stories this summer.
    2) One of the stories we examined was actually not by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle but by Robert J. Sawyer: “You See But You Do Not Observe.”
    3) It involves Holmes being dragged into the future to solve the Fermi Paradox (which he does, with many references to Mr. Schrödinger and his much-discussed cat).
    4) The whole idea of the missing aliens seems to have rather captured my imagination.
    5) Thus, today’s comic is Sherlock Holmes’s fault.

    (As Stefan notes, there may also be a tiny debt to The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

    Comment by Kari — August 26, 2010 @ 3:30 pm

  20. It’s also a (basically unexplored) idea in Asimov’s Foundation series, where the intelligent aliens are actually missing, at least from this galaxy.

    Comment by Stefan — August 26, 2010 @ 8:05 pm

  21. Regarding the Hitch Hiker’s Guide reference: I have belatedly realised that this particular comic is #742.

    Comment by wobtalk — August 26, 2010 @ 10:50 pm

  22. Up to this point I had no idea that cruller is what it is call, then again I have only seen them at Krispy Kreme.
    15 seconds? Dum-dum duuuuum! (or whatever that cliff-hanger sound effect is)

    Comment by SunshineRain — August 27, 2010 @ 2:50 pm

  23. I believe crullers are less common in the States, thanks mostly to the laziness of Dunkin’ Donuts, which at one point decided they were too much trouble to make. They’re quite popular in Canada. I have been known to choose a honey cruller over a chocolate doughnut. You have no idea how astounding that is.

    Comment by Kari — August 27, 2010 @ 2:54 pm

  24. See, my gut feeling is basically that there is no solution to the lightspeed problem. An infinite universe coupled with nonzero odds of intelligent life means that not only is there intelligent life, but an infinite amount of it. That does not, however, say anything at all about how proximate it is to us. It could be dozens, or hundreds, or millions, or trillions of lightyears away, rendering interaction nearly impossible, and completely impossible in any meaningful way.

    Comment by erwaro — August 27, 2010 @ 7:34 pm

  25. Here’s a brilliant comic illustrating erwaro’s point. Which will go completely unnoticed since a new comment thread has opened.


    Comment by Stefan — August 28, 2010 @ 9:26 pm

  26. Naw, I noticed it. Makes a nice point about interstellar communication, too. How does it affect things when the first signs of other civilizations are things like that?

    And what sort of equipment would you need to actually pick up those broadcasts? Hell, how far away could we pick up our own broadcasts?

    And I was just thinking about how it seems to be assumed that species would spread out. But why? We’re used to Earth, we can get the basics pretty much anywhere. Anywhere else, and you’ve got to lug it with you. I think that colonizing would be, at best, an insanely slow process, terraforming a few worlds in your system, probably without ideal results, because you’d have issues with more than one world occupying that band where life does really well. I can imagine the species as a whole giving up on major exploration projects after thousands of years of terraforming with iffy results, and without hearing from other life. I think that when/if we find other intelligence, it will be very, very settled. So we might learn things from them.

    Comment by erwaro — August 29, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

  27. Well, a lot of the sci-fi works featuring species (including humans) bent on colonising space posit some sort of planet-wide cataclysm that makes colonisation a necessity for survival. It doesn’t matter whether or not we’re used to our planet if there aren’t enough resources for it to sustain us all…or if our sun is in crisis…or if a giant meteorite hits…et cetera, et cetera. It’s not difficult to dream up dozens of possibilities. Even if they probably won’t happen, they could, and thus the stories are born. On the other hand, you have the idea that we’re just that adventurous…or just that interested in the resources of other worlds or the technological advances of other civilisations.

    Now, if only we could find a convenient wormhole or two…

    Comment by Kari — August 29, 2010 @ 5:30 pm

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