Questions you've always wanted answered

Discuss anything interesting but not remotely Countdown-related here.

Moderator: Jon O'Neill

User avatar
Ian Volante
Postmaster General
Posts: 3220
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:15 pm
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Ian Volante » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:00 am

Johnny Canuck wrote:At exactly what (faster-than-light) speed would you have to travel in order to escape a black hole?
Depends on the mass of the black hole. The formula is (2GM/R)^1/2. A simple definition of a black hole is that the escape velocity is greater than c (the speed of light), or at the event horizon, it equals c, so in a sense it doesn't matter how great M is, as long as you travel at any speed greater than c perpendicular to the centre of mass, you'll escape. The heavier the black hole is, the larger the event horizon will be, and the more energy it'll take you to escape though.

Shame that faster-than-light travel is impossible!
meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles

Dave Preece
Devotee
Posts: 616
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:50 pm
Location: Crewe, Cheshire

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Dave Preece » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:58 pm

Surely there isn't ever any specific speed, for any size of black hole, as whatever speed you come up with, the speed can infinitely be slowed fractionally, bit by bit forever; I'd say it's an impossible question to answer (as specific speed that is)?

I'm probably wrong though?

Anyway what's the answer to my iPhone question BOFFS???

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 7711
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:21 pm

Ian Volante wrote:
Johnny Canuck wrote:At exactly what (faster-than-light) speed would you have to travel in order to escape a black hole?
Depends on the mass of the black hole. The formula is (2GM/R)^1/2. A simple definition of a black hole is that the escape velocity is greater than c (the speed of light), or at the event horizon, it equals c, so in a sense it doesn't matter how great M is, as long as you travel at any speed greater than c perpendicular to the centre of mass, you'll escape. The heavier the black hole is, the larger the event horizon will be, and the more energy it'll take you to escape though.

Shame that faster-than-light travel is impossible!
I'm glad that this has come up actually, because it's been puzzling me why it's impossible to escape from beyond the event horizon.

You don't need to actually travel at escape velocity to escape from a body's gravitational pull. For example, the escape velocity from the surface of the Earth is about 11.2 km/s (from Wikipedia), but that just means that if an object at the surface of the Earth is sent upwards at that speed and then ignored, it will carry on upwards forever (ignoring resistance from the atmosphere etc.) However, if you carry on applying a force to it, it can go at any speed you want and not stop. Look at your hand moving upwards from the table. That's hardly going at 11.2 km/s, and it's only going to get easier to maintain that the further you get away from the Earth.

So can't you escape from beyond an event horizon in the same way?

OK, I'm guessing that once the escape velocity is greater than the speed of light then it takes an infinite amount of energy to move against gravity, so it might be that rather than faster-than-light travel that stops you.

According to Wikipedia:
One of the best-known examples of an event horizon derives from general relativity's description of a black hole, a celestial object so massive that no nearby matter or radiation can escape its gravitational field. Often, this is described as the boundary within which the black hole's escape velocity is greater than the speed of light. However, a more accurate description is that within this horizon, all lightlike paths (paths that light could take) and hence all paths in the forward light cones of particles within the horizon, are warped so as to fall farther into the hole. Once a particle is inside the horizon, moving into the hole is as inevitable as moving forward in time, and can actually be thought of as equivalent to doing so, depending on the spacetime coordinate system used.

User avatar
Ian Volante
Postmaster General
Posts: 3220
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:15 pm
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Ian Volante » Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:28 pm

Dave Preece wrote:Surely there isn't ever any specific speed, for any size of black hole, as whatever speed you come up with, the speed can infinitely be slowed fractionally, bit by bit forever; I'd say it's an impossible question to answer (as specific speed that is)?

I'm probably wrong though?
Sounds something like Zeno's paradox I think. Charlie knows more about such things.
meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles

User avatar
Ian Volante
Postmaster General
Posts: 3220
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:15 pm
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Ian Volante » Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:29 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Ian Volante wrote:
Johnny Canuck wrote:At exactly what (faster-than-light) speed would you have to travel in order to escape a black hole?
Depends on the mass of the black hole. The formula is (2GM/R)^1/2. A simple definition of a black hole is that the escape velocity is greater than c (the speed of light), or at the event horizon, it equals c, so in a sense it doesn't matter how great M is, as long as you travel at any speed greater than c perpendicular to the centre of mass, you'll escape. The heavier the black hole is, the larger the event horizon will be, and the more energy it'll take you to escape though.

Shame that faster-than-light travel is impossible!
I'm glad that this has come up actually, because it's been puzzling me why it's impossible to escape from beyond the event horizon.

You don't need to actually travel at escape velocity to escape from a body's gravitational pull. For example, the escape velocity from the surface of the Earth is about 11.2 km/s (from Wikipedia), but that just means that if an object at the surface of the Earth is sent upwards at that speed and then ignored, it will carry on upwards forever (ignoring resistance from the atmosphere etc.) However, if you carry on applying a force to it, it can go at any speed you want and not stop. Look at your hand moving upwards from the table. That's hardly going at 11.2 km/s, and it's only going to get easier to maintain that the further you get away from the Earth.

So can't you escape from beyond an event horizon in the same way?

OK, I'm guessing that once the escape velocity is greater than the speed of light then it takes an infinite amount of energy to move against gravity, so it might be that rather than faster-than-light travel that stops you.

According to Wikipedia:
One of the best-known examples of an event horizon derives from general relativity's description of a black hole, a celestial object so massive that no nearby matter or radiation can escape its gravitational field. Often, this is described as the boundary within which the black hole's escape velocity is greater than the speed of light. However, a more accurate description is that within this horizon, all lightlike paths (paths that light could take) and hence all paths in the forward light cones of particles within the horizon, are warped so as to fall farther into the hole. Once a particle is inside the horizon, moving into the hole is as inevitable as moving forward in time, and can actually be thought of as equivalent to doing so, depending on the spacetime coordinate system used.
Yes - this sort of description invokes the consequences of general relativity, which is beyond most, including me. I like the simpler description, even though it's GCSE-level...
meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 7711
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:14 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:Why are longitude and latitude the wrong way round?
I'm bumping this because I had a conversation with someone about this and they didn't seem to get what I was on about. Latitude is a sideways thing and longitude is an up/down thing, so latitude should measure east/west and longitude should measure north/south.

But it's the other way round. The "explanation" is that lines of equal latitude go east/west and lines of equal longitude go north/south. But that's such a perverse way of doing it. Height is an up/down thing, so if I'm as tall as someone else, I'd say we're the same height. I wouldn't say "Ah but if you draw a line from the top of my head to the top of your head the line goes sideways, so we're actually the same width." It's complete bollocks.

Similarly by the longitude/latitude logic, you'd rename the x and y axes. The x axis goes up the page because lines of equal x go upwards.

User avatar
Mark James
Kiloposter
Posts: 1054
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:21 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Mark James » Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:06 am

I was trying out some googlewhacks the other night and tried squinancywort gharanas and got 1 result however it didn't actually lead me to a page but some kind of soundcloud downloadable thing which I couldn't get to work in any way. I was wondering if it counted as an actual googlewhack?

Fred Mumford
Acolyte
Posts: 249
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:32 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Fred Mumford » Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:13 am

Not any more.

User avatar
Mark James
Kiloposter
Posts: 1054
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:21 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Mark James » Sat Aug 23, 2014 3:15 am

Wasn't sure where to put this question so I stuck it here but does anyone know why recently I'm having to log in all the time despite choosing the always log me on option when I do log in?

User avatar
Matt Morrison
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 7189
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:27 pm
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Matt Morrison » Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:13 pm

Yeah, it's an old one. "c4countdown.co.uk" is no good, always make sure you have "www." prefixed at the front, the www version works fine for saving login details.
If you're like me and you start by typing "c4" into your browser and pressing down to pick from your history, you have to watch out you get the right one.

User avatar
Rosemary Roberts
Devotee
Posts: 548
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:36 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Rosemary Roberts » Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:31 pm

I almost invariably come to c4countdown by clicking on a link in a notification e-mail (which has the full link starting with http://www.c4countdown...) and for months I have always had to log on afresh. Until Mark posted his question and you your answer: both times the links brought me here straightaway.

User avatar
Charlie Reams
Site Admin
Posts: 9366
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:33 pm
Location: Cambridge
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Charlie Reams » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:55 pm

Coming a bit late to this party but I'll do my best...
Johnny Canuck wrote:At exactly what (faster-than-light) speed would you have to travel in order to escape a black hole?
There's no speed fast enough, it's just not possible in the geometry of the universe. A very closely equivalent question, which is much easier to visualize, is something like "Where can I go that is further north than the north pole?". Clearly there's no such place, because no matter what you do, you're still bound by the fact that the Earth's surface is a sphere and the north pole is as far north as you can get. Likewise as you travel around the 3-dimensional space of the universe, you're bound by other geometrical rules which (among other things) make it logically impossible to go faster than the speed of light. It's hard to imagine because, at the sort of speeds we're used to dealing with, it seems like you can just go as fast as you like, but at high speeds that's not the case. (All of the above assumes general relativity, which is our current best guess of how the universe works at large scales.)
Ian Volante wrote:Depends on the mass of the black hole. The formula is (2GM/R)^1/2.
That's the classical formula, it doesn't apply in the general relativistic case. The speeds and masses involved in black holes are so large that the classical formula doesn't apply. (In fact, a black hole doesn't even make sense in the classical model, and you need general relativity to describe them.)
Ian Volante wrote:The heavier the black hole is, the larger the event horizon will be, and the more energy it'll take you to escape though.
I think this is a misunderstanding of escape velocity. The escape velocity is the initial speed you need to set off at to escape; you don't need to spend more energy as you go. If you do expend more energy then your initial speed can be much lower, which is how e.g. a satellite can escape without being flung off the Earth at 11 km/s. (I think Gevin made the same point already but I didn't fully understand his post.)
Dave Preece wrote:Surely there isn't ever any specific speed, for any size of black hole, as whatever speed you come up with, the speed can infinitely be slowed fractionally, bit by bit forever; I'd say it's an impossible question to answer (as specific speed that is)? I'm probably wrong though?
It's not really a problem. Say the escape velocity of the Earth was exactly 11 km/s. If you set off at any speed less than 11 km/h, even 10.9999999, you would be able to get a certain distance but no further; the gravity of the Earth would force you to stop or turn back. If you set off at 11 km/h or faster, you'll be able to go as far as you like. The escape velocity is the lowest speed at which you'll be able to travel as far from the surface as you like. So it's quite precisely defined. (PS: beware.)

User avatar
Mark James
Kiloposter
Posts: 1054
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:21 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Mark James » Sat Oct 04, 2014 3:03 am

Without wanting to seem like a mad stalker, how would I find out who the girl in the Divine Comedy's video for the song "Bad Ambassador" is? Google isn't helping.

User avatar
Mark Deeks
Kiloposter
Posts: 1647
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:15 am

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Mark Deeks » Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:01 am

Eoin Monaghan wrote:
He may not be liked on here, but you have to give some credit to Mark

User avatar
Mark James
Kiloposter
Posts: 1054
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:21 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Mark James » Sat Oct 04, 2014 7:34 pm

Sweet. Cheers. I can't believe I never recognised her from all the other stuff she's done.

User avatar
Matt Morrison
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 7189
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:27 pm
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Matt Morrison » Sat Oct 04, 2014 7:44 pm

This post was one of those "accidentally read from the bottom up" joys. When I saw nothing but a URL and noticed the domain was just a woman's name, I thought this was your excellently succinct way of asking "would you?".
Make of this what you will, but my absolutely immediate response was (honestly) to assume it was a chick with a dick.

George Pryn
Acolyte
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:55 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by George Pryn » Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:18 pm

Why does 0!=1!

User avatar
Graeme Cole
Series 65 Champion
Posts: 1460
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:59 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Graeme Cole » Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:06 pm

George Pryn wrote:Why does 0!=1!
Because it's a lot neater that way.

One reason is that it means the rule:

n! = (n+1)!/(n+1)

works for all n >= 0.

See also Numberphile.

User avatar
Mark Deeks
Kiloposter
Posts: 1647
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:15 am

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Mark Deeks » Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:23 pm

Matt Morrison wrote:my absolutely immediate response was (honestly) to assume it was a chick with a dick.
Graeme Cole wrote:n! = (n+1)!/(n+1)

works for all n >= 0.
Not many forums can make that leap within two posts. Good work team.
Eoin Monaghan wrote:
He may not be liked on here, but you have to give some credit to Mark

JackHurst
Series 63 Champion
Posts: 1283
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:40 pm
Location: Leics

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by JackHurst » Sun Oct 05, 2014 8:13 pm

Graeme Cole wrote:
George Pryn wrote:Why does 0!=1!
Because it's a lot neater that way.

One reason is that it means the rule:

n! = (n+1)!/(n+1)

works for all n >= 0.

See also Numberphile.
n! is the product of the first n natural numbers. From this, it makes sense to say 0! is the product of nothing, which is defined to be 1. This is exactly same as the idea that x^0=1 for all x, which I am sure you have come across before at school.

User avatar
Matt Morrison
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 7189
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:27 pm
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Matt Morrison » Sun Oct 05, 2014 8:23 pm

JackHurst wrote:This is exactly same as the idea that x^0=1 for all x, which I am sure you have come across before at school.
This is like the bit where I got told off for saying CAFETIERE was a pretty common word when it came up as a conundrum.

George Pryn
Acolyte
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:55 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by George Pryn » Sun Oct 05, 2014 8:59 pm

JackHurst wrote:From this, it makes sense to say 0! is the product of nothing, which is defined to be 1.
If someone asked me what the product of nothing is, my first instinct would be 0, so that doesn't really make sense to me... Especially since Gevin had already offered a much neater and more well-delivered explanation. But thanks for trying.

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 7711
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Oct 05, 2014 11:18 pm

George Pryn wrote:
JackHurst wrote:From this, it makes sense to say 0! is the product of nothing, which is defined to be 1.
If someone asked me what the product of nothing is, my first instinct would be 0, so that doesn't really make sense to me... Especially since Gevin had already offered a much neater and more well-delivered explanation. But thanks for trying.
Do you mean Graeme? But yeah, I'll take the credit.

User avatar
Mark James
Kiloposter
Posts: 1054
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:21 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Mark James » Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:30 am

Matt Morrison wrote:
This post was one of those "accidentally read from the bottom up" joys. When I saw nothing but a URL and noticed the domain was just a woman's name, I thought this was your excellently succinct way of asking "would you?".
Make of this what you will, but my absolutely immediate response was (honestly) to assume it was a chick with a dick.
Which may very well explain my initial attraction to her. Seriuosly though, I've been attracted to her three times without realising it was the same person.

User avatar
Mark James
Kiloposter
Posts: 1054
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:21 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Mark James » Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:51 pm

Matt Morrison wrote:Yeah, it's an old one. "c4countdown.co.uk" is no good, always make sure you have "www." prefixed at the front, the www version works fine for saving login details.
If you're like me and you start by typing "c4" into your browser and pressing down to pick from your history, you have to watch out you get the right one.
It's still happening every now and then even with the www at the front.

User avatar
Mark James
Kiloposter
Posts: 1054
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:21 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Mark James » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:29 pm

How come Microsoft Word knows "thta" is supposed to be "that" and automatically corrects it whereas it doesn't realize "teh" is supposed to be "the"?

Callum P
Newbie
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:35 am

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Callum P » Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:14 am

As a percentage, how many people cry everytim at the poptart tragedy?

Zarte Siempre
Kiloposter
Posts: 1011
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:56 pm
Location: Dadford, Buckinghamshire

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Zarte Siempre » Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:48 am

Mark James wrote:How come Microsoft Word knows "thta" is supposed to be "that" and automatically corrects it whereas it doesn't realize "teh" is supposed to be "the"?
Because it knows you're Irish and thinks that "teh" is a valid possibility.
Possibly the first contestant to accelerate with a mic clipped...

User avatar
Ian Volante
Postmaster General
Posts: 3220
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:15 pm
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Ian Volante » Thu Dec 11, 2014 10:05 am

Callum P wrote:As a percentage, how many people cry everytim at the poptart tragedy?
Is this a pop (aha) culture reference I'm missing?
meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles

Callum P
Newbie
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:35 am

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Callum P » Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:27 am

Ian Volante wrote:
Callum P wrote:As a percentage, how many people cry everytim at the poptart tragedy?
Is this a pop (aha) culture reference I'm missing?
Type it into youtube.

User avatar
Ian Volante
Postmaster General
Posts: 3220
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:15 pm
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Ian Volante » Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:24 am

Callum P wrote:
Ian Volante wrote:
Callum P wrote:As a percentage, how many people cry everytim at the poptart tragedy?
Is this a pop (aha) culture reference I'm missing?
Type it into youtube.
Hmm, better things to do with my time.
meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles

Callum P
Newbie
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:35 am

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Callum P » Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:14 am

Really though? You go on apterous...

That said, I can't imagine it being something you'd find amusing, from not particularly knowing you well.

User avatar
Ian Volante
Postmaster General
Posts: 3220
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:15 pm
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Ian Volante » Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:00 am

Callum P wrote:Really though? You go on apterous...

That said, I can't imagine it being something you'd find amusing, from not particularly knowing you well.
Apterous is challenging, and makes me use my brain. Youtube, not so much.

And I've looked it up now, you're probably right :)
meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles

User avatar
Mark James
Kiloposter
Posts: 1054
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:21 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Mark James » Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:54 pm

Mark James wrote:
Matt Morrison wrote:Yeah, it's an old one. "c4countdown.co.uk" is no good, always make sure you have "www." prefixed at the front, the www version works fine for saving login details.
If you're like me and you start by typing "c4" into your browser and pressing down to pick from your history, you have to watch out you get the right one.
It's still happening every now and then even with the www at the front.
Still happening but when I was on the page it says I was one of the registered users online yet I still had to log in.

User avatar
JimBentley
Legend
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:39 pm
Location: Redcar, UK
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by JimBentley » Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:30 am

Genuine question: Why are well-established, cash-rich pharmaceutical companies still allowed to charge absurdly inflated prices for their newly-developed products? The reason given is always (broadly speaking) that these drugs or treatments have to be expensive because they cost the drug company a lot of money to research, develop, test and so on and these costs need to be recouped, but I can't think of another business that's allowed to follow this model.

Conventially I would have it going:

- invent some thing, service, process, idea, whatever, that people want;
- somehow make money out of it;
- use that money to fund research into new things, probably other services, processes, ideas or physical products that may or may not repeat your previous success, make more money;
- hope to repeat, ad infinitum

It's a silly analogy I suppose, but say a long-established shop - let's call it "P" - decided to expand and offer twice as many products, but the capital outlay of doing so would effectively wipe out their mean profit for the entire year. Based on projected sales, they could recoup the entire capital outlay in one year by raising all their prices by 75%. But they can't, because all the other shops - like "G" and "K" - would suddenly be a lot cheaper and nobody would shop at "P" any more. "P" would promptly go bust.

I know the answer I suppose, it's different rules for different sectors and obviously pharmaceutical companies in particular really have us over a barrel every which way, but it still annoys me. But companies making a regular £10 billion+ profit a year, still charging £10K or £20K for a course of drug treatment that effectively costs them less than a fraction of a penny to produce, is just wrong. It's an extreme example; most aren't approved by NICE anyway on grounds of cost (now there's an acronym dripping with irony) but there are still many long-established regimes - for all sorts of things (generally the relief of symptoms of a chronic disease) - that are costly for no real reason.

Imagine how much money the NHS could save if it could buy drugs at cost?

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 7711
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:43 pm

New Scientist often complain about "Big Pharma", but it's a tricky one. I mean, what about banning patents on these things? I can't imagine that would completely wipe out the economic viability for these companies. Or if countries nationalised this type of thing. Although I suppose telling that to America might be hard.

User avatar
JimBentley
Legend
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:39 pm
Location: Redcar, UK
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by JimBentley » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:17 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:New Scientist often complain about "Big Pharma", but it's a tricky one. I mean, what about banning patents on these things? I can't imagine that would completely wipe out the economic viability for these companies. Or if countries nationalised this type of thing. Although I suppose telling that to America might be hard.
Oh god if I got started with everything I think that's wrong with drug patents, I'd fall asleep before getting through typing it all. Putting it broadly, I do recognise the necessity of the patent system, but I think the pharmaceutical industry is allowed to abuse it.

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 7711
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:56 am

Maybe if a publicly funded international body was set up to develop drugs with countries contributing a certain percentage of GDP we could simply fuck off these private pharmaceutical companies.

User avatar
JimBentley
Legend
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:39 pm
Location: Redcar, UK
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by JimBentley » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:48 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:Maybe if a publicly funded international body was set up to develop drugs with countries contributing a certain percentage of GDP we could simply fuck off these private pharmaceutical companies.
I have had - at various points over the last couple of weeks - replies to this lined up but have never submitted them for one reason or another (generally because they've been rambling and incoherent). I wrote some of them under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Anyway, I didn't post any of them, but I need to post some sort of reply, because I've got another question (but that's for another post).

I like your idea of an international body to develop drugs, but we both know it couldn't happen. Even if it started out as a rigorously independent body, big pharmaceutical companies have so much money and influence now that they'd find it easy to bribe, infiltrate or discredit it in one way or another.

My other thing I wanted to post in relation to this was that if - in 1947 or 1948 or whenever the actual NHS became a thing - the government had bought Beechams to run alongside as a drug development arm, purely to research and manufacture drugs for NHS use. The timing would have been impeccable.

User avatar
Marc Meakin
Fanatic
Posts: 2786
Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 3:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Marc Meakin » Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:38 pm

Who clears up guide dog's shit?
GR MSL GNDT MSS NGVWL SRND NNLYC NNCT

User avatar
JimBentley
Legend
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:39 pm
Location: Redcar, UK
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by JimBentley » Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:50 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:Who clears up guide dog's shit?
Who do you think does it? I'm being straight, I'm not setting some sort of trap, I am genuinely interested in your response (actually, more its tone).

User avatar
Marc Meakin
Fanatic
Posts: 2786
Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 3:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Marc Meakin » Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:56 pm

Well, it was just a bit of levity, really.
I have never actually seen a guide dog taking a shit, so I assume its trained to only poop at home
GR MSL GNDT MSS NGVWL SRND NNLYC NNCT

User avatar
JimBentley
Legend
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:39 pm
Location: Redcar, UK
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by JimBentley » Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:12 am

Marc Meakin wrote:Well, it was just a bit of levity, really.
I have never actually seen a guide dog taking a shit, so I assume its trained to only poop at home
Aw, that's nice, I wasn't expecting that response (I wasn't exactly expecting a response at all, never mind a reasonable and considered one). Have you experienced a moment of clarity whilst you've been away? Or have you been replaced by an advanced simulacrum? That said, your signature still betrays a chip on a shoulder or two.

Welcome back, anyway! To paraphrase Dick Emery, "oooh you are awful...but I LIKE you!"

User avatar
Marc Meakin
Fanatic
Posts: 2786
Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 3:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Marc Meakin » Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:25 am

Oh I forgot about the signature at the bottom.

I will change it as soon as I am able to post new topics.
You could say I have been in a bad place until recently (Margate)
I am on the mend now though.

BTW I think I'm well balanced, I've got a chip on both shoulders
GR MSL GNDT MSS NGVWL SRND NNLYC NNCT

User avatar
Ian Volante
Postmaster General
Posts: 3220
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:15 pm
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Ian Volante » Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:34 am

Marc Meakin wrote:Who clears up guide dog's shit?
Going by the one that lives near me, nobody.
meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles

User avatar
Mark James
Kiloposter
Posts: 1054
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:21 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Mark James » Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:43 pm

I'm probably missing something really obvious but, you know the circles on the threads of the forum that indicate when someone's made a new post and you haven't read it. Why does the text in the middle move on some and not on others?

User avatar
Matt Morrison
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 7189
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:27 pm
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Matt Morrison » Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:55 pm

I think I have wondered this in the past, but I know for sure I've never bothered to look into it. Your question inspired me to do so.
I guess the easiest way is to simply show you the graphics and the filenames:

Image topic_unread_hot_mine
Image topic_unread_hot

Image topic_unread_mine
Image topic_unread

Image topic_read_mine
Image topic_read

Image topic_read_hot_mine
Image topic_read_hot

So there we go:
  • red = unread
  • black = read
  • moving = hot
  • static = not hot
  • star = mine
  • no star = not mine
the only thing I have to add is that "mine" does not mean "a thread I started" but I believe just "a thread I have participated in". I think.

Oh and of course I have not looked into the actual algorithm that phpBB uses to ascertain what is "hot" and what is not, or even whether this is universal or site-dynamic.

Possibly a joke about "read hot" in there if someone wants to try one.

User avatar
Innis Carson
Devotee
Posts: 879
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 3:24 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Innis Carson » Sat Oct 10, 2015 1:23 pm

Looks to me like 'hot' threads are simply those with at least 14 replies.

User avatar
Mark Deeks
Kiloposter
Posts: 1647
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:15 am

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Mark Deeks » Sat Oct 10, 2015 6:23 pm

What's the correct number of rings to allow to ring unanswered when you're making a call? I tend to go for 4 at work (because they're either at the desk or they aren't, so there's no point hanging on), 6 on personal calls, about 20 for customer service calls, and about 400 for doctor's appointments.
Eoin Monaghan wrote:
He may not be liked on here, but you have to give some credit to Mark

User avatar
Matt Morrison
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 7189
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:27 pm
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Matt Morrison » Sat Oct 10, 2015 8:35 pm

Amount you need to talk to them x Confidence you have in talking to them x Amount you hate them

User avatar
JimBentley
Legend
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:39 pm
Location: Redcar, UK
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by JimBentley » Sun Oct 11, 2015 12:32 am

Mark Deeks wrote:What's the correct number of rings to allow to ring unanswered when you're making a call? I tend to go for 4 at work (because they're either at the desk or they aren't, so there's no point hanging on), 6 on personal calls, about 20 for customer service calls, and about 400 for doctor's appointments.
What if there's an answering machine though? That's a whole other complication.

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 7711
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:32 pm

Why do we have both coins and notes? Everywhere seems to be the same. Coins for lower amounts and notes for higher amounts. But is there any particular reason for this?

User avatar
Ian Volante
Postmaster General
Posts: 3220
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:15 pm
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Ian Volante » Sun Oct 11, 2015 10:15 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:Why do we have both coins and notes? Everywhere seems to be the same. Coins for lower amounts and notes for higher amounts. But is there any particular reason for this?
Lots of coins weigh a lot.
meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles

Gavin Chipper
Post-apocalypse
Posts: 7711
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:37 pm

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Oct 11, 2015 11:58 pm

Ian Volante wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:Why do we have both coins and notes? Everywhere seems to be the same. Coins for lower amounts and notes for higher amounts. But is there any particular reason for this?
Lots of coins weigh a lot.
So why not just have notes?

User avatar
Mark Deeks
Kiloposter
Posts: 1647
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:15 am

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Mark Deeks » Mon Oct 12, 2015 6:52 am

Notes aren't very durable so you wouldn't want to have them for more frequent usage. Also, you can't throw notes into wishing wells really.
Eoin Monaghan wrote:
He may not be liked on here, but you have to give some credit to Mark

User avatar
Ian Volante
Postmaster General
Posts: 3220
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:15 pm
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Ian Volante » Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:31 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Ian Volante wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:Why do we have both coins and notes? Everywhere seems to be the same. Coins for lower amounts and notes for higher amounts. But is there any particular reason for this?
Lots of coins weigh a lot.
So why not just have notes?
Notes have only become technologically possible in the last millennium or so, and only of acceptable quality for mass-usage in the last century or so. Coins have a tradition of millennia due to their relative ease of production and durability.
meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles

User avatar
JimBentley
Legend
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:39 pm
Location: Redcar, UK
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by JimBentley » Sat Oct 24, 2015 9:18 pm

Ian Volante wrote:Notes have only become technologically possible in the last millennium or so, and only of acceptable quality for mass-usage in the last century or so. Coins have a tradition of millennia due to their relative ease of production and durability.
Aren't we getting plastic (or plasticised) notes soon, like Australia? I want some RIGHT NOW anyway.

Something interesting (i.e. not interesting at all) that I found out is that some of the new 5p and 10p coins are magnetic (previously it was only 1p and 2p pieces) but not all of them, and you can't necessarily go by date, either. So why's that?

Incidentally, this has nothing to do with the giant Halbach array that I happen to be building and anyone who says it is must be lying. It is pure coincidence.

User avatar
Ian Volante
Postmaster General
Posts: 3220
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:15 pm
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Ian Volante » Sat Oct 24, 2015 10:55 pm

Amount of nickel in them?

We have plastic notes now, at least two of the seven (or is that eight?) UK banks that issue sterling have them. Very nice they are :)
meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles

User avatar
JimBentley
Legend
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:39 pm
Location: Redcar, UK
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by JimBentley » Sat Oct 24, 2015 11:09 pm

Ian Volante wrote:Amount of nickel in them?

We have plastic notes now, at least two of the seven (or is that eight?) UK banks that issue sterling have them. Very nice they are :)
This sounds suspicious. Send all your money to my address so that I can independently verify them.

User avatar
Ian Volante
Postmaster General
Posts: 3220
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:15 pm
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: Questions you've always wanted answered

Post by Ian Volante » Sat Oct 24, 2015 11:33 pm

JimBentley wrote:
Ian Volante wrote:Amount of nickel in them?

We have plastic notes now, at least two of the seven (or is that eight?) UK banks that issue sterling have them. Very nice they are :)
This sounds suspicious. Send all your money to my address so that I can independently verify them.
I've just chucked one in the canal by my house. I've no doubt it'll make its way up the Tees in no time. Couldn't be bothered trying to find any closer destination waterway.
meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles meles

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest