Questions you've always wanted answered

Discuss anything interesting but not remotely Countdown-related here.

Moderator: Jon O'Neill

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 9927
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:34 pm

Why isn't wearing helmets in cars a thing like it is on bikes (pedal and motor)? The risk of head injury might not be as high, and it would be annoying, but the risk still exists. Literally no-one ever talks about this.

User avatar
Marc Meakin
Lord of the Post
Posts: 4016
Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 3:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Marc Meakin » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:37 pm

Maybe if you drive a convertible
GR MSL GNDT MSS NGVWL SRND NNLYC NNCT

User avatar
Mark James
Kiloposter
Posts: 1321
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:21 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Mark James » Sat Apr 18, 2020 1:45 am

Why are some football transfer fees undisclosed? What's the big secret? Do you reckon it's because the fee was less than or more than you'd expect, or could it be either depending on the player? What could possibly be the harm in disclosing any fee other than the disgust at the obscenity of transfer fees these days?

User avatar
Marc Meakin
Lord of the Post
Posts: 4016
Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 3:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Marc Meakin » Sat Apr 18, 2020 9:03 am

Mark James wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 1:45 am
Why are some football transfer fees undisclosed? What's the big secret? Do you reckon it's because the fee was less than or more than you'd expect, or could it be either depending on the player? What could possibly be the harm in disclosing any fee other than the disgust at the obscenity of transfer fees these days?
I've always assumed the transfer fee has a number of add one and conditions that need to be met also buy back options that the club's may not want to disclose.
Which can make the fee quite fluid.

Or more likely , disclosure could lead to embarrassment
GR MSL GNDT MSS NGVWL SRND NNLYC NNCT

Conor
Series 54 Champion
Posts: 509
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:29 am
Location: Luton - UK

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Conor » Sat Apr 18, 2020 5:55 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:34 pm
Why isn't wearing helmets in cars a thing like it is on bikes (pedal and motor)? The risk of head injury might not be as high, and it would be annoying, but the risk still exists. Literally no-one ever talks about this.
Rally drivers wear helmets. But presumably the marginal benefit is so low that it's not worth the annoyance. And for 'normal driving' it could increase the chance of having an accident due to a loss in peripheral vision or the awkwardness of turning your head, and this isn't enough to offset the reduce in risk of serious injury conditional on having an accident. Also, cars already have airbags.

Conor
Series 54 Champion
Posts: 509
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:29 am
Location: Luton - UK

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Conor » Sat Apr 18, 2020 6:12 pm

Mark James wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 1:45 am
Why are some football transfer fees undisclosed? What's the big secret? Do you reckon it's because the fee was less than or more than you'd expect, or could it be either depending on the player? What could possibly be the harm in disclosing any fee other than the disgust at the obscenity of transfer fees these days?
If the transfer fee is surprisingly 'wide of the mark' (either high or low) then there's some good reasons not to disclose it. If it's surprisingly low, the buying club may not want to draw attention to getting such a good deal so they can buy more players from that club later on. Or if there's a quid pro quo relationship between the two clubs they don't want to draw attention to that (I don't know if that actually happens in practice). And if it's very high, the selling club might not want everyone to know they're suddenly flush with cash. Like when Barcelona sold Neymar and ended up overpaying for Coutinho and Dembele as their next two big buys.

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 9927
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Apr 19, 2020 7:14 pm

Conor wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 5:55 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:34 pm
Why isn't wearing helmets in cars a thing like it is on bikes (pedal and motor)? The risk of head injury might not be as high, and it would be annoying, but the risk still exists. Literally no-one ever talks about this.
Rally drivers wear helmets. But presumably the marginal benefit is so low that it's not worth the annoyance. And for 'normal driving' it could increase the chance of having an accident due to a loss in peripheral vision or the awkwardness of turning your head, and this isn't enough to offset the reduce in risk of serious injury conditional on having an accident. Also, cars already have airbags.
Rally drivers and racing drivers in general of course. There are also passengers to consider. They don't need to worry about peripheral vision so maybe they should still wear helmets! Airbags can help but presumably you can also hit your head on a side window, if e.g. the car rolls. And the roof might get dented in in a serious enough crash. I wonder how common head injuries are in car accidents compared to other injuries. I'm just surprised I've never seen this come up in a discussion about how you could reduce car accident injuries, even if to dismiss it. And it could be something light like a bicycle helmet. (And I've never worried about peripheral vision when cycling in one of them.)

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 9927
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Apr 19, 2020 7:15 pm

If every human above a certain age were to die instantaneously, what is the minimum age that could be for the human race to still survive into the future in some form?

Fiona T
Enthusiast
Posts: 401
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:54 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Fiona T » Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:13 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 7:14 pm
Conor wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 5:55 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:34 pm
Why isn't wearing helmets in cars a thing like it is on bikes (pedal and motor)? The risk of head injury might not be as high, and it would be annoying, but the risk still exists. Literally no-one ever talks about this.
Rally drivers wear helmets. But presumably the marginal benefit is so low that it's not worth the annoyance. And for 'normal driving' it could increase the chance of having an accident due to a loss in peripheral vision or the awkwardness of turning your head, and this isn't enough to offset the reduce in risk of serious injury conditional on having an accident. Also, cars already have airbags.
Rally drivers and racing drivers in general of course. There are also passengers to consider. They don't need to worry about peripheral vision so maybe they should still wear helmets! Airbags can help but presumably you can also hit your head on a side window, if e.g. the car rolls. And the roof might get dented in in a serious enough crash. I wonder how common head injuries are in car accidents compared to other injuries. I'm just surprised I've never seen this come up in a discussion about how you could reduce car accident injuries, even if to dismiss it. And it could be something light like a bicycle helmet. (And I've never worried about peripheral vision when cycling in one of them.)
Bicycle helmets are only really useful for slow speed impacts. Cars move considerably more quickly.

(Actually there's a lot of contradictory evidence about cycle helmets, hence why the CTC (now CyclingUK) don't recommend them, and frequently show cyclists of all ages without them. FTAOD I do wear one most of the time (when cycling!))
8-) <-2m-> 8-)

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 9927
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Apr 19, 2020 9:12 pm

Fiona T wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:13 pm
Bicycle helmets are only really useful for slow speed impacts. Cars move considerably more quickly.

(Actually there's a lot of contradictory evidence about cycle helmets, hence why the CTC (now CyclingUK) don't recommend them, and frequently show cyclists of all ages without them. FTAOD I do wear one most of the time (when cycling!))
Cars move more quickly, but the accident won't necessarily be any more severe. By the time you've braked and swerved and gone into the ditch, you're probably not actually going that fast but when you whack your head on the window it might still do you some damage, which the helmet might save you from.

I had no idea that not everyone recommends cycle helmets now! I can't see how they would be a disadvantage really though. There's always the argument that it might start to make people feel more invincible so they are more likely to be reckless. But that would vary from person to person, and if that was the reason (it might not be as I'm just speculating), the advice should really be more about your attitude when riding!

I think I've heard people say that the best safety feature in cars would be to have a spike on the steering wheel!

User avatar
Ian Volante
Postmaster General
Posts: 3562
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:15 pm
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Ian Volante » Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:52 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 9:12 pm
Fiona T wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:13 pm
Bicycle helmets are only really useful for slow speed impacts. Cars move considerably more quickly.

(Actually there's a lot of contradictory evidence about cycle helmets, hence why the CTC (now CyclingUK) don't recommend them, and frequently show cyclists of all ages without them. FTAOD I do wear one most of the time (when cycling!))
Cars move more quickly, but the accident won't necessarily be any more severe. By the time you've braked and swerved and gone into the ditch, you're probably not actually going that fast but when you whack your head on the window it might still do you some damage, which the helmet might save you from.

I had no idea that not everyone recommends cycle helmets now! I can't see how they would be a disadvantage really though. There's always the argument that it might start to make people feel more invincible so they are more likely to be reckless. But that would vary from person to person, and if that was the reason (it might not be as I'm just speculating), the advice should really be more about your attitude when riding!

I think I've heard people say that the best safety feature in cars would be to have a spike on the steering wheel!
There's anecdotal (at least) evidence that drivers are more reckless around cyclists who are wearing helmets.
meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles

User avatar
Ian Volante
Postmaster General
Posts: 3562
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:15 pm
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Ian Volante » Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:53 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 7:15 pm
If every human above a certain age were to die instantaneously, what is the minimum age that could be for the human race to still survive into the future in some form?
I think it would struggle below about 4 or 5.
meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles

Fiona T
Enthusiast
Posts: 401
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:54 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Fiona T » Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:48 am

Ian Volante wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:52 am
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 9:12 pm
Fiona T wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:13 pm
Bicycle helmets are only really useful for slow speed impacts. Cars move considerably more quickly.

(Actually there's a lot of contradictory evidence about cycle helmets, hence why the CTC (now CyclingUK) don't recommend them, and frequently show cyclists of all ages without them. FTAOD I do wear one most of the time (when cycling!))
Cars move more quickly, but the accident won't necessarily be any more severe. By the time you've braked and swerved and gone into the ditch, you're probably not actually going that fast but when you whack your head on the window it might still do you some damage, which the helmet might save you from.

I had no idea that not everyone recommends cycle helmets now! I can't see how they would be a disadvantage really though. There's always the argument that it might start to make people feel more invincible so they are more likely to be reckless. But that would vary from person to person, and if that was the reason (it might not be as I'm just speculating), the advice should really be more about your attitude when riding!

I think I've heard people say that the best safety feature in cars would be to have a spike on the steering wheel!
There's anecdotal (at least) evidence that drivers are more reckless around cyclists who are wearing helmets.
CyclingUK's position is here

https://www.cyclinguk.org/campaigning/v ... le-helmets

As Ian said, there were some studies that showed car drivers gave riders without helmets a wider berth than those wearing them, and possibly donning a female wig would protect you better than a helmet!

http://drianwalker.com/overtaking/

There have also, as you suggest, been studies that illustrate helmets increase risk taking, although I believe the results of both these have been questioned.

Edit - the cyclingUK evidence leaflet is worth a read https://www.cyclinguk.org/sites/default ... _brf_0.pdf
8-) <-2m-> 8-)

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 9927
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:05 am

That is all quite interesting and I might have a look in more detail later, but my immediate thought is "Who is CyclingUK"? It's not at all uncommon for a pressure group to give themselves a neutral sounding name perhaps with UK in the title to give themselves an air of legitimacy. Not that they necessarily are just an anti-helmet pressure group, but I'll investigate...

Fiona T
Enthusiast
Posts: 401
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:54 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Fiona T » Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:17 am

They used to be the CTC (Cycling Touring Club) - rebranded a few years ago and became a charity.

They're not anti-helmet - they're anti mandatory helmets. It's certainly just a minor part of who they are- they are about promoting cycling and cycle friendly policies. There are lots of local groups who mainly go out for social rides - typically retirees who want a long ride with cake and lunch stops! I've been a member on and off for years.

My own "helmet" experience - I never used to wear one, but most of my friends did.

When training for my LeJog in 2010, I thought perhaps I should start wearing one, so got one and wore it for some rides.

During one of those rides, two of us had quite a nasty crash - must have been oil or something in the road, my mate came off, I braked to avoid hitting her and joined her on the floor. I hit my head hard on the ground and the helmet broke. I was very slightly concussed, but nothing major. They do say that a broken helmet has "failed", but at the very least it saved me from a nasty surface wound, if not worse concussion or more, so I was fairly convinced it had provided at least some benefit. Since then I've mostly worn a helmet, but I certainly don't get hung up about it.
8-) <-2m-> 8-)

User avatar
Phil Reynolds
Postmaster General
Posts: 3320
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 3:43 pm
Location: Leamington Spa, UK
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Phil Reynolds » Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:20 am

Ian Volante wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:53 am
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 7:15 pm
If every human above a certain age were to die instantaneously, what is the minimum age that could be for the human race to still survive into the future in some form?
I think it would struggle below about 4 or 5.
Besides the obvious examples in fiction, there are numerous documented cases of children younger than that being raised by animals.

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 9927
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Apr 20, 2020 1:24 pm

Fiona T wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:17 am
They used to be the CTC (Cycling Touring Club) - rebranded a few years ago and became a charity.

They're not anti-helmet - they're anti mandatory helmets. It's certainly just a minor part of who they are- they are about promoting cycling and cycle friendly policies. There are lots of local groups who mainly go out for social rides - typically retirees who want a long ride with cake and lunch stops! I've been a member on and off for years.

My own "helmet" experience - I never used to wear one, but most of my friends did.

When training for my LeJog in 2010, I thought perhaps I should start wearing one, so got one and wore it for some rides.

During one of those rides, two of us had quite a nasty crash - must have been oil or something in the road, my mate came off, I braked to avoid hitting her and joined her on the floor. I hit my head hard on the ground and the helmet broke. I was very slightly concussed, but nothing major. They do say that a broken helmet has "failed", but at the very least it saved me from a nasty surface wound, if not worse concussion or more, so I was fairly convinced it had provided at least some benefit. Since then I've mostly worn a helmet, but I certainly don't get hung up about it.
I would say that a broken helmet and an unbroken head suggests that the helmet broke protecting your head! Obviously in an ideal world it wouldn't break, but it's there to take the impact for you, and it's bound to get damaged. (And they always say you should chuck away your helmet after an accident with it because damage is inevitable.) So I'm going to say it was probably a good thing that you were wearing that helmet.

I always wear a helmet when riding a bike (not that I ride that often) and I think as your accident shows, it's not just about cars and drivers' attitudes. You're still riding a potentially very quick vehicle and could have an accident and hit your head without any cars being involved.

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 9927
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Apr 20, 2020 1:25 pm

Phil Reynolds wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:20 am
Ian Volante wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:53 am
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 7:15 pm
If every human above a certain age were to die instantaneously, what is the minimum age that could be for the human race to still survive into the future in some form?
I think it would struggle below about 4 or 5.
Besides the obvious examples in fiction, there are numerous documented cases of children younger than that being raised by animals.
It would be interesting to see if enough of that would happen to save the human race.

User avatar
Marc Meakin
Lord of the Post
Posts: 4016
Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 3:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Marc Meakin » Mon Apr 20, 2020 2:06 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 1:25 pm
Phil Reynolds wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:20 am
Ian Volante wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:53 am


I think it would struggle below about 4 or 5.
Besides the obvious examples in fiction, there are numerous documented cases of children younger than that being raised by animals.
It would be interesting to see if enough of that would happen to save the human race.
I bet someone somewhere can run a a simulation on a computer to see if it would work.

Although god botherers will already tell you it's happened already 😔
GR MSL GNDT MSS NGVWL SRND NNLYC NNCT

User avatar
Adam Gillard
Kiloposter
Posts: 1646
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:42 pm
Location: About 45 minutes south-east of Thibodaux, Louisiana

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Adam Gillard » Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:59 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:55 am
Fiona T wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 9:51 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 7:29 pm

*Do you make an "r" sound in the middle of this word? And in words like "drawing"? I think most people do, right?
No, I don't make an "r" sound, because there isn't one.
Controversial! There is actually some discussion about it on the internet.

The gist of it seems to be that British people stopped pronouncing the r at the end of words but carried on doing so if there is a vowel sound next (like adding ing, or if the next word begins with a vowel). And then because a word like "draw" is pronounced like "dror" it then got dragged into it. Americans on the other hand still pronounce the r at the end, so they don't see "draw" as the same at all.

I think that's not the whole story though. I think it's all partly because the r sound is just really easy to fit in at that point. If the word "poo" was spelt with a silent r at the end, I don't think we'd be pronouncing the r when sticking ing on the end. In fact, thinking about it, it's more natural (for me anyway) to make a slight w sound in "pooing" and "going" and a y sound in "seeing". So I think it's probably partly to do with how you make certain sounds with your mouth and how you transition from one sound to another, rather than purely because of this historical r.
My phonetics professor's surname was Ashby; he and his wife were careful when naming their daughter not to pick a name ending in a vowel sound, in order to avoid the linking 'r' leading to an abomination like 'Laura Rashby'. The 'y' and 'w' are indeed to do with the position of the tongue / lips. There are lots of other examples like this where sounds assimilate with neighbouring sounds. Look up 'phonotactics' if you're interested in more. For example, most people probably end the word 'Countdown' with an 'm' sound because it's easier when your lips are already close together from the neighbouring 'w'. In a phrase like 'Countdown conundrum' or 'Countdown teapot' it will be an 'n' sound (the latter with your teeth a bit more involved) because of the following sounds being in a similar part of the mouth. However, in 'Countdown winner' the 'm' will come back for most people.
Mike Brown: "Round 12: T N R S A E I G U

C1: SIGNATURE (18) ["9; not written down"]
C2: SEATING (7)
Score: 108–16 (max 113)

Another niner for Adam and yet another century. Well done, that man."

User avatar
Adam Gillard
Kiloposter
Posts: 1646
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:42 pm
Location: About 45 minutes south-east of Thibodaux, Louisiana

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Adam Gillard » Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:18 pm

Ian Volante wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:01 pm
Fiona T wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:08 pm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhoticity_in_English

It appears my Scottish heritage is the differentiator here.

"Many non-rhotic speakers also insert an epenthetic /r/ between vowels when the first vowel is one that can occur before syllable-final r (drawring for drawing). "
Yep, and as a Yorkshireman, I have no truck with rhoticity, and my vowel sounds are pancake-like. Floor and flaw sound identical from me, unless there's a following word.
I was once asked in a phonology lecture to pronounce "Paul", "pool", and "pull", which all came out the same, to the astonishment of my coursemates who weren't from Essex.
Mike Brown: "Round 12: T N R S A E I G U

C1: SIGNATURE (18) ["9; not written down"]
C2: SEATING (7)
Score: 108–16 (max 113)

Another niner for Adam and yet another century. Well done, that man."

User avatar
Ian Volante
Postmaster General
Posts: 3562
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:15 pm
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Ian Volante » Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:32 pm

Adam Gillard wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:18 pm
Ian Volante wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:01 pm
Fiona T wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:08 pm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhoticity_in_English

It appears my Scottish heritage is the differentiator here.

"Many non-rhotic speakers also insert an epenthetic /r/ between vowels when the first vowel is one that can occur before syllable-final r (drawring for drawing). "
Yep, and as a Yorkshireman, I have no truck with rhoticity, and my vowel sounds are pancake-like. Floor and flaw sound identical from me, unless there's a following word.
I was once asked in a phonology lecture to pronounce "Paul", "pool", and "pull", which all came out the same, to the astonishment of my coursemates who weren't from Essex.
I can't imagine how!
meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 9927
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Apr 21, 2020 1:05 pm

I'm from Essex. "Pull" is a shorter syllable than the other two.

User avatar
Adam Gillard
Kiloposter
Posts: 1646
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:42 pm
Location: About 45 minutes south-east of Thibodaux, Louisiana

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Adam Gillard » Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:52 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 1:05 pm
I'm from Essex. "Pull" is a shorter syllable than the other two.
The vowel sound is the same though - at least for some people; that was the point the lecturer wanted to make.
Mike Brown: "Round 12: T N R S A E I G U

C1: SIGNATURE (18) ["9; not written down"]
C2: SEATING (7)
Score: 108–16 (max 113)

Another niner for Adam and yet another century. Well done, that man."

Conor
Series 54 Champion
Posts: 509
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:29 am
Location: Luton - UK

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Conor » Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:49 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 7:15 pm
If every human above a certain age were to die instantaneously, what is the minimum age that could be for the human race to still survive into the future in some form?
I think it'd be somewhere under 1 year old. As Phil mentioned, there have been cases of children being raised by wild animals. There's around 100 million children under 1 year old alive, it seems an almost certainty that one group containing a female and male survives to adolescence and can procreate. It's more interesting (I think) to wonder what form society would take in such a case. Would we rediscover old languages (since all the media would have survived) or create new ones. The same with how we'd use technology.

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 9927
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:29 pm

Conor wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:49 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 7:15 pm
If every human above a certain age were to die instantaneously, what is the minimum age that could be for the human race to still survive into the future in some form?
I think it'd be somewhere under 1 year old. As Phil mentioned, there have been cases of children being raised by wild animals. There's around 100 million children under 1 year old alive, it seems an almost certainty that one group containing a female and male survives to adolescence and can procreate. It's more interesting (I think) to wonder what form society would take in such a case. Would we rediscover old languages (since all the media would have survived) or create new ones. The same with how we'd use technology.
Would one of each be enough? I know I didn't define what it means for the human race to survive (as in for how long), but getting through one more generation won't be enough to satisfy anyone considering this. And when animals are endangered they often talk about the number of breeding pairs needed for survival of the species, and it's generally more than one. So even if a few pockets of people survive over the world, it won't necessarily be enough if they can't join forces. And I wonder how many <1-year-olds are in a position where wild animals are waiting to take over if their parents suddenly die.

But yes, the sort of society is very interesting. There will also be lots of potential dangers, like unattended nuclear power plants, although these are unlikely to be an existential risk. You could end up with people in hunter and gatherer tribes starting their own languages with absolutely no idea how to tap into the wealth of knowledge that's been acquired over the years. There could be all this stuff that's useless to them. This could also depend on the age. If it is 4 or 5, then they will have already acquired language to a decent level, and will understand some of how people use the world and the stuff in it. But <1-year-olds will be learning pretty much from scratch. Will they be able to work out what stuff is for and be able to use it? Stuff that requires constant maintenance (like mains electricity presumably) will likely be lost to these people, until they get it back again centuries or millennia later.

Conor
Series 54 Champion
Posts: 509
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:29 am
Location: Luton - UK

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Conor » Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:28 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:29 pm
Would one of each be enough? I know I didn't define what it means for the human race to survive (as in for how long), but getting through one more generation won't be enough to satisfy anyone considering this. And when animals are endangered they often talk about the number of breeding pairs needed for survival of the species, and it's generally more than one. So even if a few pockets of people survive over the world, it won't necessarily be enough if they can't join forces. And I wonder how many <1-year-olds are in a position where wild animals are waiting to take over if their parents suddenly die.

But yes, the sort of society is very interesting. There will also be lots of potential dangers, like unattended nuclear power plants, although these are unlikely to be an existential risk. You could end up with people in hunter and gatherer tribes starting their own languages with absolutely no idea how to tap into the wealth of knowledge that's been acquired over the years. There could be all this stuff that's useless to them. This could also depend on the age. If it is 4 or 5, then they will have already acquired language to a decent level, and will understand some of how people use the world and the stuff in it. But <1-year-olds will be learning pretty much from scratch. Will they be able to work out what stuff is for and be able to use it? Stuff that requires constant maintenance (like mains electricity presumably) will likely be lost to these people, until they get it back again centuries or millennia later.
With endangered animals presumably the number needed for survival is higher because the existential threats to their extinction are still present, whereas here I'm assuming all the instantaneous deaths were a one-off. But one is still not a guarantee of being enough - but I think there'd comfortably be enough. The animals might not need to be wild - maybe pets could take care of them.

And yep, I think there's already a big difference between 4 or 5 and <1. The former will remember just enough about the world to deliberately search for these things and that's a lot of the battle. Re-emergence of wild animals with all the humans dead could be a potential threat. And lack of vaccination plus an ignorance of sanitation another. My 'gut' feeling is that if there's at least a reasonable cohort of people surviving (say 20 in a group), things would be rediscovered surprisingly fast.

User avatar
Marc Meakin
Lord of the Post
Posts: 4016
Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 3:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Marc Meakin » Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:33 am

When grading work at school , why is there no E grade.
I am a member of several movie groups and in one we was reviewing Fantasy Island , a truly awful film and one guy said he gave the film a D- rather than an F and it occurred to me , why no E grade
GR MSL GNDT MSS NGVWL SRND NNLYC NNCT

User avatar
Callum Todd
Series 69 Champion
Posts: 499
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:38 pm
Location: Leeds

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Callum Todd » Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:03 am

Could be wrong, but I think it's because F isn't grade, it means Fail (so no grade at all). This is probably why there is no E, as it would make F look like the next grade along, but it isn't a grade at all.

When I was at school there were no Fs anymore, you got a U (Ungraded). This move was possibly made to further allay the confusion.

Nowadays I think grades are all numbers rather than letters anyway.
Mark Deeks wrote:Callum Todd looks like a young Ted Bundy.

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 9927
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:24 am

A, B, C, D, F is an American thing. Has no basis over here. But yeah, F for fail presumably.

User avatar
Ian Volante
Postmaster General
Posts: 3562
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:15 pm
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Ian Volante » Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:04 pm

GCSEs in my day went from A-G - it's not that long since they changed to numbers.
meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 9927
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:17 pm

Ian Volante wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 5:04 pm
GCSEs in my day went from A-G - it's not that long since they changed to numbers.
And A-levels went from A to E and then N and U for fail.

User avatar
Marc Meakin
Lord of the Post
Posts: 4016
Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 3:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Marc Meakin » Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:13 am

There are lots of scales of measurement like. Richter for Earthquakes , MOH for hardness and Beaufort for wind but is there any scale for smell pungency ?
GR MSL GNDT MSS NGVWL SRND NNLYC NNCT

User avatar
Rhys Benjamin
Fanatic
Posts: 2181
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:28 pm
Location: Down in the tube station at midnight
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:35 am

GCSEs and A Levels “in my day” (which was only 4-6 years ago) were A-D (or possibly A-E), then U.
The forum's resident JAILBAKER, who has SPONDERED several times...

User avatar
Mark James
Kiloposter
Posts: 1321
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:21 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Mark James » Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:40 pm

Why are mini guns called mini guns. They're fecking huge.

User avatar
Mark James
Kiloposter
Posts: 1321
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:21 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Mark James » Fri May 01, 2020 10:43 am

Do you think it would be better if we got rid of time zones and just had one global time. Countries would still do the same things just at different times. Why does everyone (obviously not everyone but you know what I mean) have to work 9am-5pm. Why can't Londoners do that and New Yorkers work 2pm-10pm?

Conor
Series 54 Champion
Posts: 509
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:29 am
Location: Luton - UK

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Conor » Fri May 01, 2020 11:42 am

How do they actually go about asking 100 people for Pointless. Like what if the topic is 'Masters Winners in the last 40 years' and they ask a golf trivia expert and they just rattle off all of them. What do they do? Ignore that guy, scrap the round, allow an impossible round to go through (I doubt that, but what if he misses a couple - do you have a much much harder round than normal?). Maybe they ask more people, say one thousand, and just divide by ten and round the points. Or what I think probably happens is they don't ask anyone at all and the production team just makes the numbers up.

User avatar
Jon Corby
Moral Hero
Posts: 7971
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:36 am

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Jon Corby » Fri May 01, 2020 11:44 am

Conor wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 11:42 am
How do they actually go about asking 100 people for Pointless. Like what if the topic is 'Masters Winners in the last 40 years' and they ask a golf trivia expert and they just rattle off all of them. What do they do? Ignore that guy, scrap the round, allow an impossible round to go through (I doubt that, but what if he misses a couple - do you have a much much harder round than normal?). Maybe they ask more people, say one thousand, and just divide by ten and round the points. Or what I think probably happens is they don't ask anyone at all and the production team just makes the numbers up.
I would also like to know exactly how this works, but I'm more interested in the constraints on their answer. If somebody gives a wrong answer, do they throw all their answers away (but they still count as 1 of the 100)? This is what should happen, but it feels unlikely.

User avatar
Marc Meakin
Lord of the Post
Posts: 4016
Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 3:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Marc Meakin » Fri May 01, 2020 11:47 am

Conor wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 11:42 am
How do they actually go about asking 100 people for Pointless. Like what if the topic is 'Masters Winners in the last 40 years' and they ask a golf trivia expert and they just rattle off all of them. What do they do? Ignore that guy, scrap the round, allow an impossible round to go through (I doubt that, but what if he misses a couple - do you have a much much harder round than normal?). Maybe they ask more people, say one thousand, and just divide by ten and round the points. Or what I think probably happens is they don't ask anyone at all and the production team just makes the numbers up.
Good question.
Is it the same 100 people each series ?
Also as people are so aware of the programme people must deliberately pick obscure answers , rather than list what comes into your head
GR MSL GNDT MSS NGVWL SRND NNLYC NNCT

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 9927
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri May 01, 2020 12:05 pm

Mark James wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 10:43 am
Do you think it would be better if we got rid of time zones and just had one global time. Countries would still do the same things just at different times. Why does everyone (obviously not everyone but you know what I mean) have to work 9am-5pm. Why can't Londoners do that and New Yorkers work 2pm-10pm?
It would upset people's definition of "morning", afternoon" etc. The day would change in the middle of the day for some people etc. But over time perhaps people would get used to it. I mean, people would be born into the system and it would just be normal for them.

The less extreme version of your question is why do we change the clocks twice a year? All this crap about having extra daylight in the mornings/evenings - why not just have things at the right time to take advantage of the daylight? This letter to New Scientist from 2014 is also interesting!

Fiona T
Enthusiast
Posts: 401
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:54 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Fiona T » Fri May 01, 2020 12:14 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 12:05 pm
Mark James wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 10:43 am
Do you think it would be better if we got rid of time zones and just had one global time. Countries would still do the same things just at different times. Why does everyone (obviously not everyone but you know what I mean) have to work 9am-5pm. Why can't Londoners do that and New Yorkers work 2pm-10pm?
It would upset people's definition of "morning", afternoon" etc. The day would change in the middle of the day for some people etc. But over time perhaps people would get used to it. I mean, people would be born into the system and it would just be normal for them.

The less extreme version of your question is why do we change the clocks twice a year? All this crap about having extra daylight in the mornings/evenings - why not just have things at the right time to take advantage of the daylight? This letter to New Scientist from 2014 is also interesting!
I went to primary school in Cape Town, and that was what they did there - the school day (don't know about adult's working day?) shifted in winter. School was 8-2 in summer and 8:30-2:30 in winter. Which also meant school kids had a nice long summer afternoon!
8-) <-2m-> 8-)

Conor
Series 54 Champion
Posts: 509
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:29 am
Location: Luton - UK

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Conor » Fri May 01, 2020 2:38 pm

Jon Corby wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 11:44 am
Conor wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 11:42 am
How do they actually go about asking 100 people for Pointless. Like what if the topic is 'Masters Winners in the last 40 years' and they ask a golf trivia expert and they just rattle off all of them. What do they do? Ignore that guy, scrap the round, allow an impossible round to go through (I doubt that, but what if he misses a couple - do you have a much much harder round than normal?). Maybe they ask more people, say one thousand, and just divide by ten and round the points. Or what I think probably happens is they don't ask anyone at all and the production team just makes the numbers up.
I would also like to know exactly how this works, but I'm more interested in the constraints on their answer. If somebody gives a wrong answer, do they throw all their answers away (but they still count as 1 of the 100)? This is what should happen, but it feels unlikely.
Wouldn't they just throw away the wrong answers? And if they only have wrong answers, they should still count as 1 of the 100.

Also, was there any sort of 'verification' on Family Fortunes? If the responses clearly didn't fit the description would they just have to go with it.

User avatar
Jon Corby
Moral Hero
Posts: 7971
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:36 am

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Jon Corby » Fri May 01, 2020 3:33 pm

Conor wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 2:38 pm
Jon Corby wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 11:44 am
Conor wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 11:42 am
How do they actually go about asking 100 people for Pointless. Like what if the topic is 'Masters Winners in the last 40 years' and they ask a golf trivia expert and they just rattle off all of them. What do they do? Ignore that guy, scrap the round, allow an impossible round to go through (I doubt that, but what if he misses a couple - do you have a much much harder round than normal?). Maybe they ask more people, say one thousand, and just divide by ten and round the points. Or what I think probably happens is they don't ask anyone at all and the production team just makes the numbers up.
I would also like to know exactly how this works, but I'm more interested in the constraints on their answer. If somebody gives a wrong answer, do they throw all their answers away (but they still count as 1 of the 100)? This is what should happen, but it feels unlikely.
Wouldn't they just throw away the wrong answers? And if they only have wrong answers, they should still count as 1 of the 100.

Also, was there any sort of 'verification' on Family Fortunes? If the responses clearly didn't fit the description would they just have to go with it.
Well no, that's the point. If you just throw away wrong answers, I can just list off every possible 'answer' to a question, regardless of whether it actually fits the specifics of what is being asked. For example, if the question is "name a European country with [unusual attribute]", I can just ream off European countries irrespective of my knowledge of [unusual attribute]. The results get horribly skewed. [n] people of the 100 didn't know that France was a European country with [unusual attribute], they just all said France anyway, because why not.

Family Fortunes worked much better - they asked 100 people something fairly simple, and they gave a single answer only. If somebody says something daft or plain incorrect, it almost certainly won't make the top answers on the board.

Family Fortunes >>> Pointless

Conor
Series 54 Champion
Posts: 509
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:29 am
Location: Luton - UK

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Conor » Fri May 01, 2020 3:56 pm

Jon Corby wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 3:33 pm

Well no, that's the point. If you just throw away wrong answers, I can just list off every possible 'answer' to a question, regardless of whether it actually fits the specifics of what is being asked. For example, if the question is "name a European country with [unusual attribute]", I can just ream off European countries irrespective of my knowledge of [unusual attribute]. The results get horribly skewed. [n] people of the 100 didn't know that France was a European country with [unusual attribute], they just all said France anyway, because why not.

Family Fortunes worked much better - they asked 100 people something fairly simple, and they gave a single answer only. If somebody says something daft or plain incorrect, it almost certainly won't make the top answers on the board.

Family Fortunes >>> Pointless
A solution to this is just to have a sensible allowable number of incorrect guesses before you're then frozen out of giving more answers. I've not watched Pointless in years so I did try and see how often this happens where you have [unusual attribute] of [easily enumerable category] here: http://pointlessarchive.blogspot.com/
It occasionally happens, and only seems to be with countries. But take this:
EUROPEAN COUNTRIES WITH A MONARCH
Any country in Europe with a King or Queen currently.

Sweeden- 30
Norway- 31
Spain- 61
United Kingdom- 90
Litchenstein- 2
Andora- 2
Luxemburg- 12
Belgium- 12
Netherlands- 31
Denmark- 32
Monaco- 41
If one wrong answer disqualified all of them (and still counted as 1 person) I'd expect the UK to score lower than 90, and scores on Pointless would be lower in general.

User avatar
Jon Corby
Moral Hero
Posts: 7971
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:36 am

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Jon Corby » Fri May 01, 2020 4:05 pm

Conor wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 3:56 pm
Jon Corby wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 3:33 pm

Well no, that's the point. If you just throw away wrong answers, I can just list off every possible 'answer' to a question, regardless of whether it actually fits the specifics of what is being asked. For example, if the question is "name a European country with [unusual attribute]", I can just ream off European countries irrespective of my knowledge of [unusual attribute]. The results get horribly skewed. [n] people of the 100 didn't know that France was a European country with [unusual attribute], they just all said France anyway, because why not.

Family Fortunes worked much better - they asked 100 people something fairly simple, and they gave a single answer only. If somebody says something daft or plain incorrect, it almost certainly won't make the top answers on the board.

Family Fortunes >>> Pointless
A solution to this is just to have a sensible allowable number of incorrect guesses before you're then frozen out of giving more answers. I've not watched Pointless in years so I did try and see how often this happens where you have [unusual attribute] of [easily enumerable category] here: http://pointlessarchive.blogspot.com/
It occasionally happens, and only seems to be with countries. But take this:
EUROPEAN COUNTRIES WITH A MONARCH
Any country in Europe with a King or Queen currently.

Sweeden- 30
Norway- 31
Spain- 61
United Kingdom- 90
Litchenstein- 2
Andora- 2
Luxemburg- 12
Belgium- 12
Netherlands- 31
Denmark- 32
Monaco- 41
If one wrong answer disqualified all of them (and still counted as 1 person) I'd expect the UK to score lower than 90, and scores on Pointless would be lower in general.
Yep, I agree, I don't really watch Pointless, but based on the scores I don't think they do what they should do, which is only allow count sets of correct answers and the rest are thrown away. I remember a question about naming one of the 'top ten of spoken languages' or something, fucking ridiculous. Everyone could name the top few, but once you start getting down to the lower end of the list, who the fuck knows that a language is in the top ten but definitely not 11 or 12? It's easy for people to give obscure answers if they don't even need to know that those answers are actually correct.

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 9927
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri May 01, 2020 5:51 pm

Another thing you could do is discard people who get one wrong and replace them with someone else. So it's out of 100 people who didn't get any wrong.

Or pay people to not get any wrong. Or threaten to kill their families if they do, which might be slightly cheaper.

Fiona T
Enthusiast
Posts: 401
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:54 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Fiona T » Fri May 01, 2020 5:55 pm

Perhaps accept all answers until the first wrong answer.
8-) <-2m-> 8-)

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 9927
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri May 01, 2020 6:00 pm

Fiona T wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 5:55 pm
Perhaps accept all answers until the first wrong answer.
That seems quite sensible.

Elliott Mellor
Devotee
Posts: 683
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:42 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Elliott Mellor » Fri May 01, 2020 7:40 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 11:47 am
Conor wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 11:42 am
How do they actually go about asking 100 people for Pointless. Like what if the topic is 'Masters Winners in the last 40 years' and they ask a golf trivia expert and they just rattle off all of them. What do they do? Ignore that guy, scrap the round, allow an impossible round to go through (I doubt that, but what if he misses a couple - do you have a much much harder round than normal?). Maybe they ask more people, say one thousand, and just divide by ten and round the points. Or what I think probably happens is they don't ask anyone at all and the production team just makes the numbers up.
Good question.
Is it the same 100 people each series ?
Also as people are so aware of the programme people must deliberately pick obscure answers , rather than list what comes into your head
I'm fairly certain that the people surveyed don't actually know they're being asked for Pointless, which would deal with this point. I can't cite my source, but I'm fairly certain I've heard this before.

With regards to people just reaming random answers, I'd imagine they might scrutinise the results a bit to try and separate out the people who clearly just gave completely random answers - though perhaps they just count up the number of each correct answer given for simplicity, which is a rather bad way of doing it because of points already raised.

Elliott Mellor
Devotee
Posts: 683
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:42 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Elliott Mellor » Fri May 01, 2020 7:59 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 5:51 pm
Another thing you could do is discard people who get one wrong and replace them with someone else. So it's out of 100 people who didn't get any wrong.
I don't think this would be a very feasible way of doing it, unless you've got a huge budget. This article https://www.denofgeek.com/culture/point ... questions/ says that the people are paid for doing the survey (and also that they aren't told it is for Pointless, which supports the point in my last post). Assuming that this article is correct, you'd probably rack up quite a large expenditure if you discarded responses with even a single wrong answer. If you're only allowing people who have significant knowledge to be the surveyees, you're going to have far less Pointless answers/one or two point answers and this might not make for ideal television. Allowing all surveyee responses to be included, even if the responses are entirely guesswork might be in the production team's interests - your costs are down, you don't generally have abnormally high scores for answers (which you probably would have if you only allowed 100% correct responses) and it's easy to do because you just need to weed out any incorrect answers. For instance, if your topic is "men's singles number one tennis players since 1990" you'd probably get a lot of people saying Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic etc and maybe that one tennis whizz who includes Marcelo Rios. If you're just counting wholly correct responses, you're probably going to have responses that have a tennis fanatic skew and you might then end up with a score of 15 for Marcelo Rios, which isn't really representative of the wider public.
Last edited by Elliott Mellor on Fri May 01, 2020 8:29 pm, edited 5 times in total.

Fred Mumford
Enthusiast
Posts: 328
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:32 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Fred Mumford » Fri May 01, 2020 7:59 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Fri May 01, 2020 12:05 pm
The less extreme version of your question is why do we change the clocks twice a year?
Do you know that 1968 was only 22 hours longer than 1971? Don't mess with this shit.

As for Family Fortunes, I never met anyone who had ever been asked to participate as one of the hundred, so I conclude that they didn't really ask anybody. Another possibility is that I did meet people who were surveyed, but that they didn't consider the anecdote sufficiently interesting to mention. However, I was most of the way through this post before considering that as a reason.

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 9927
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue May 12, 2020 10:18 pm

A locked wheel sliding along has less kinetic energy than one rolling along at the same speed - to do with kinetic energy being 0.5mv^2. It's proportional to the square of the velocity so the rolling wheel might have the same average speed as the locked one but the faster moving parts above the mid-point on the rolling wheel give it more kinetic energy overall. E.g. the point in contact with the ground is stationary so has zero kinetic energy but the point at the top is moving at twice the speed of the locked wheel so has not 2 but 4 times the kinetic energy.

Anyway my question is: if you're driving along at a constant speed, hit a patch of ice (with literally zero resistance) and you lock the brakes, would the car actually speed up? Because to maintain the same kinetic energy it would need to.

User avatar
Graeme Cole
Series 65 Champion
Posts: 1722
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:59 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Graeme Cole » Tue May 12, 2020 11:46 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 10:18 pm
A locked wheel sliding along has less kinetic energy than one rolling along at the same speed - to do with kinetic energy being 0.5mv^2. It's proportional to the square of the velocity so the rolling wheel might have the same average speed as the locked one but the faster moving parts above the mid-point on the rolling wheel give it more kinetic energy overall. E.g. the point in contact with the ground is stationary so has zero kinetic energy but the point at the top is moving at twice the speed of the locked wheel so has not 2 but 4 times the kinetic energy.

Anyway my question is: if you're driving along at a constant speed, hit a patch of ice (with literally zero resistance) and you lock the brakes, would the car actually speed up? Because to maintain the same kinetic energy it would need to.
Assuming that last "it" refers to the car and the wheels together, it doesn't maintain the same amount of kinetic energy. When you locked the wheels, the kinetic energy the wheels had in rotating (as opposed to the kinetic energy the whole system had in going forwards) all got converted into heat through the brakes. The only kinetic energy that was lost was the energy in the wheel spinning round, not the energy in the car's forward motion.

The zero-friction ice means that the car itself doesn't change speed, for the same reason that telling someone in the back to stop whirling their arms around doesn't change the car's speed.

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 9927
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed May 13, 2020 7:50 am

OK thanks. I did think about heat but is there some sort of "ideal" scenario where heat isn't a thing?

User avatar
Graeme Cole
Series 65 Champion
Posts: 1722
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:59 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Graeme Cole » Wed May 13, 2020 8:29 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 7:50 am
OK thanks. I did think about heat but is there some sort of "ideal" scenario where heat isn't a thing?
With your ideal zero-friction ice, there would be no heat generated between the wheels and the road, but there would have to be friction, and therefore heat, between the brake pads and the wheels. Unless of course the brake pads were frictionless as well, in which case they wouldn't be able to stop the wheels.

User avatar
Marc Meakin
Lord of the Post
Posts: 4016
Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 3:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Marc Meakin » Sat May 16, 2020 2:55 pm

What would happen to earth should the moon be knocked out of its orbit ala Space 1999 (you may need to Google that ) ?
Would life as we know it still exist with the problems caused by tides etc.
GR MSL GNDT MSS NGVWL SRND NNLYC NNCT

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 9927
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat May 16, 2020 3:29 pm

Graeme Cole wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 8:29 am
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 7:50 am
OK thanks. I did think about heat but is there some sort of "ideal" scenario where heat isn't a thing?
With your ideal zero-friction ice, there would be no heat generated between the wheels and the road, but there would have to be friction, and therefore heat, between the brake pads and the wheels. Unless of course the brake pads were frictionless as well, in which case they wouldn't be able to stop the wheels.
I suppose I've always thought of friction as a scraping thing rather than a sudden grab with no slip. But there must be heat anyway when you consider other stuff like angular momentum.

User avatar
Marc Meakin
Lord of the Post
Posts: 4016
Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 3:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Marc Meakin » Tue May 19, 2020 12:27 pm

Visually , on a computer or phone , is there a difference between an upper case I and a lower case l ?
GR MSL GNDT MSS NGVWL SRND NNLYC NNCT

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 9927
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue May 19, 2020 12:40 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 12:27 pm
Visually , on a computer or phone , is there a difference between an upper case I and a lower case l ?
It might depend on the font. But anyway that's why I call Linkedln Linkedln. Linked natural logarithm. IlIlIl. Yeah, they're different here. The ell is taller.

User avatar
Phil Reynolds
Postmaster General
Posts: 3320
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 3:43 pm
Location: Leamington Spa, UK
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Phil Reynolds » Tue May 19, 2020 1:56 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 12:40 pm
Marc Meakin wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 12:27 pm
Visually , on a computer or phone , is there a difference between an upper case I and a lower case l ?
It might depend on the font. But anyway that's why I call Linkedln Linkedln. Linked natural logarithm. IlIlIl. Yeah, they're different here. The ell is taller.
Also, in the Trebuchet font that c4c uses, the base of the l has a little curve to the right that isn't there on the I. In many other fonts they're identical.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests