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  #21  
Old 13 February 2007, 10:55 AM
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The one I was told was that if you sat next to the Great Wall of China and kept bouncing a tennis ball off of it repeatedly (in the style of Steve McQueen in The Great Escape) eventually all the molecules in the wall would move apart at the same time, allowing the ball to pass through.

Tisiphone, by all means try it with a table, but I would not recommend repeatedly hitting a window with your hand.
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  #22  
Old 13 February 2007, 01:43 PM
Doug4.7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
The one I was told was that if you sat next to the Great Wall of China and kept bouncing a tennis ball off of it repeatedly (in the style of Steve McQueen in The Great Escape) eventually all the molecules in the wall would move apart at the same time, allowing the ball to pass through.
Using quantum theory, that is possible, just not very probable.
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  #23  
Old 13 February 2007, 03:44 PM
FullMetal FullMetal is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
The one I was told was that if you sat next to the Great Wall of China and kept bouncing a tennis ball off of it repeatedly (in the style of Steve McQueen in The Great Escape) eventually all the molecules in the wall would move apart at the same time, allowing the ball to pass through.
I think you'd cause a hole to be made in the wall through basic erosion before all the molecules would move apart at the same time. If the wall is still standing in the thousands of years it would take to drill a hole in stone with a tennis ball.
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  #24  
Old 13 February 2007, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by FullMetal View Post
I think you'd cause a hole to be made in the wall through basic erosion before all the molecules would move apart at the same time. If the wall is still standing in the thousands of years it would take to drill a hole in stone with a tennis ball.
Might need a spare tennis ball or two as well.

Eddy "New balls please" Lizard
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  #25  
Old 13 February 2007, 06:14 PM
Victoria J
 
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Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
Doesn't Earth have two moons though, plus a possible third one under dispute?

Cruithne
Are you a QI fan ?

(I know there are plenty of other ways to come by this information but that episode always sticks in my mind. Another step towards a nervous breakdown for Alan Davies as he discovers everything he thinks he knows is wrong...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tisiphone View Post
I remember Aule's brother talking about this, saying that since particles are always moving then technically if you kept hitting the table with your hand eventually your hand would pass through it. Of course in reality this would never happen, but if you're bored and near a table or a window...
That has to be added straight on the list of things to tell small children you don't like.

Victoria J
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  #26  
Old 13 February 2007, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Victoria J View Post
Are you a QI fan ?

(I know there are plenty of other ways to come by this information but that episode always sticks in my mind. Another step towards a nervous breakdown for Alan Davies as he discovers everything he thinks he knows is wrong...)
Yes. I am so busted.

I think it is as with most panel shows 'fixed'. Alan Davies plays the stupid one and is doomed to lose. Anyone understand the scoring system on that show.

Still amusing and moderately educational.
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  #27  
Old 13 February 2007, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Comment: I heard that we could easily (more or less) stop global warming
the same way the ice age(s) came about centuries ago when volcanos
erupted. I'm no scientist but wouldn't spewing dust or something like
volcanno smoke "cool" the earth down like it did before?
This sounds a lot like the final episode of Dinosaurs.
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  #28  
Old 15 February 2007, 09:28 PM
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Comment: NASA scientists discovered a "missing" day in time

I am a religious Jew. although I have not always been.
Prior to becoming religious I remember watching a PBS special on
astronomy. The focus of the show was the 3 lights that jesus saw
(remembering that this was recorded by peter over 500 years later).

using what was known about planetary movement a computer was created to
put all the orbits backwards - to see if any any time 3 'lights' woudl
have been able to be seen in the sky.

in fact they did find a time when 3 planets would have been in teh same
orbit close enough to earth - problem was that it was 7 years after jc's
claimed birth. they agreed that this was TOO large of an error for the 1st
century priests. and they did not that these wodl have been the 3 lights.

scientists then set the computers to continue backwards to see if there
was any other time inthistory when this could have occured.

at one point the computers stopped.

they found that if they kept going at the current rate - two planets woudl
have collided - which we know did not happen since the planets exist
today.

they checked various sources from various cultures to see if anything
lines up with this date.

According to the Jewish bible (ie Torah) the date was the day that the sun
stood still (JOSHUA).

In order to restart the program they had to physically swap the position
of the two planets to make them not crash into one another.

by the way - no other such incident was found.

and no other time other than when the 3 planets lined up.

conclusion - Jewish Bible was a source for astronomical info which
scientist have not had.

1st century priests changed the date of jc birth to line up with a natural
event in order to gain more pagans to their religion.
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  #29  
Old 15 February 2007, 11:54 PM
claudia
 
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He believes that planets that appear close to each other really are close to each other?
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  #30  
Old 16 February 2007, 12:15 AM
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If I had created a computer model of the solar system to trace it's history I think that 2 planets hitting each other would be a sign of one of two things: Some kind of impact happened and the result is the two planets in the orbits we observe them in, or, far more likely, I need more programming lessons.
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  #31  
Old 16 February 2007, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
The focus of the show was the 3 lights that jesus saw
(remembering that this was recorded by peter over 500 years later).
And I thought all the really-long-lived guys were all in the Old Testament!
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  #32  
Old 16 February 2007, 03:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claudia View Post
He believes that planets that appear close to each other really are close to each other?
I guess that in theory it is possible to conceive Pluto and Neptune colliding, as their orbits intersect (or do they - certainly pluto is sometimes inside neptune's orbit, but from memory the orbits aren't quite co-planar either), but then there is the small point that the author of the fantasy is obviously talking about naked eye observations, which from memory rules out either of thos objects. I don't think either are observable to the naked eye.

me
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  #33  
Old 16 February 2007, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elbe View Post
If I had created a computer model of the solar system to trace it's history I think that 2 planets hitting each other would be a sign of one of two things: Some kind of impact happened and the result is the two planets in the orbits we observe them in, or, far more likely, I need more programming lessons.
Or that pi is NOT 3.14 (exactly)
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  #34  
Old 16 February 2007, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug4.7 View Post
Or that pi is NOT 3.14 (exactly)
Doesn't it say in the bible somewhere that Pi is 3?
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  #35  
Old 16 February 2007, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarquin Farquart View Post
Doesn't it say in the bible somewhere that Pi is 3?
The Alabama state legislature "says" so, too.
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  #36  
Old 16 February 2007, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Comment: I heard years ago that a baby fell through a second or third
story window without breaking the glass and the "reason" for this is that
glass like all solids is made of molecules moving very quickly, and that
sometimes all those molecules will line up to make it so that other solids
can pass through them, but only temoprarily. How true is this? i don't
even remmber where I heard it, but it seems like maybe 20 years ago.
More than you ever wanted to know about the thermodynamic properties of glass

Quote:
There is no clear answer to the question "Is glass solid or liquid?". In terms of molecular dynamics and thermodynamics it is possible to justify various different views that it is a highly viscous liquid, an amorphous solid, or simply that glass is another state of matter which is neither liquid nor solid.
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  #37  
Old 16 February 2007, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarquin Farquart View Post
Doesn't it say in the bible somewhere that Pi is 3?
No, the Bible doesn't say anything about pi . What it does have is a description of a table, I forget who's. The table is described as being some measure across, and half that measure times 3 around. (I also forget the numbers used, and I am too lazy to google it.) For some literalists it is inconceivable that it could just be an approximation for ease, so they argue that pi must be three, in defiance of fairly easily testable reality. Of course, I suppose it is always possible that pi used to be 3, but that God decided we were getting lazy at math and needed more of a challenge.
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  #38  
Old 18 February 2007, 01:41 PM
Victoria J
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
Yes. I am so busted.

I think it is as with most panel shows 'fixed'. Alan Davies plays the stupid one and is doomed to lose. Anyone understand the scoring system on that show.

Still amusing and moderately educational.
I understood that the reason the scores make NO sense (and you often see people with negative scores when you haven't seen them get a penalty) is because they record for twice as long as the program and cut it - but leave the scores intact.

I know that Alan Davies is there to fall into the traps - but still I sympathise with him. I used to dislike him but after QI I can't. He comes across as someone who is interested in the world and has genuine enthusiasim, but never quite knows enough. He knows he is going to be told the answer is wrong when he buzzes but he appears compelled to answer anyway. It may be playing a role to an extent, but his anger at the world being more complex than he was told does seem genuine at least some of the time.

[/QI hijack]

Victoria J
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  #39  
Old 18 February 2007, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Comment: I heard that we could easily (more or less) stop global warming
the same way the ice age(s) came about centuries ago when volcanos
erupted. I'm no scientist but wouldn't spewing dust or something like
volcanno smoke "cool" the earth down like it did before?
I did hear on CBC a few weeks ago that some scientists are looking at a solution something like this. They're trying to figure out a substance that could be released into the upper atmosphere, that would act much like the thinning ozone layer.
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  #40  
Old 18 February 2007, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug4.7 View Post
Using quantum theory, that is possible, just not very probable.
Is it possible, though? I know that atoms and molecules are always moving, but that movement is miniscule. They are vibrating, but they're not actually moving any great distance, otherwise the wall/window/other solid wouldn't be solid in the first place. I think if you tried to calculate the probability of individual particles in two different solid objects, of different densities, vibrating at just the right frequency to pass next to each other, the probability would be 0.
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