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Posts posted by dstebbins

  1. Actually... most crimes are commuted because of greed, not for thrill. While is is true that, say, teens may get a thrill from shoplifting I have never read any research that suggests that is the primary motivation for most crimes.


    Adrenaline doesn't know the difference. Our body makes it when we are scared, in danger and in several situations - it's goal is to help us better deal with dangerous or unexpected situations, regardless of whether the person caused the situation or not.


    Most people who commit acts of violence without motivation are merely seeking a thrill, aka an adrenaline rush.



  2. War

    City riots

    Video games


    martial arts


    Since the beginning of recorded history (and maybe before that; we don't know), mankind has craved violence. Television and video games show that violence doesn't need a motive, that people are naturally motivated to commit, or spectate, acts of violence, not out of the dreams of power, money, or territory, but simply by nature of the violence itself.


    This is likely because of adrenaline. However, adrenaline is supposed to be a survival hormone. If it's designed to help you survive, then how come it feels so good that people will hurle themselves into life-threatening situations, or initiate violence against someone or something else, just to experience adrenaline? Shouldn't adrenaline be an unpleasurable sensation, like that of pain? Shouldn't it be one where you'd want to get out of the danger as quickly as possible just so the adrenaline would stop? Why does adrenaline feel so good?


    For example, sex feels good because that's how we reproduce, which is necessary for the survival of the human race.

    Pain feels bad because it's designed to tell you that something is wrong, and that you need to correct it.

    Thirst and hunger are unpleasurable sensations that are designed to tell you that you're dehydrated and/or lacking nutrition.

    Why is adrenaline the only sensation that seems to do the exact opposite of what it's designed for?


    Instead of investing taxpayer money trying to find out why most rats' eyes are black, maybe we should invest our scientific research money into finding out the cause of mankind's lust for bloodshed, so that maybe, just maybe, we can treat the problem at its source, and THEN, we'll have peace on earth!


    Any thoughts?

  3. Ok, let me try and get this straight.


    In Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time," he mentions one theory that the reason the universe is expanding and not collapsing is because, after a while, the force of gravity stops being one of attraction and starts being one of repulsion.


    So, are you suggesting that, since gravity decreases and increases exponentially with distance, that, after a while, the force of gravity will become so weak that it is overpowered by the expansion forces, which increase linearly with distance?


    Is that the gist of it?

  4. The diameter of the known universe is about 89 billion light years. That's about 44.5 billion light years in radius. However, the universe is only about 13 billion years old.


    This seems to negate the law that the speed of light can never be reached or exceeded, which means that the universe should be less than 13 billion light years in radius, not 44.5 billion.


    Scientists (notably, Albert Einstein and his Theory of Relativity) have supposedly solved this dilemna by suggesting that the universe (not the matter and energy inside it, but spacetime itself) is expanding, and the rate at which it expands has no intrinsic limit.


    This essentially means that the universe is expanding at over twice the rate of which the matter and energy inside it is moving apart from each other.


    But if this is the case, how come we can't see this with the naked eye? If this is true, then, if I leave my TV and DVD player alone, to gather dust, for a year, the two should be significantly further apart after said year than they were at the beginning, yet they are always in the same location relative to each other unless I actually MOVE one of them! The same goes for my keyboard and monitor, or my car and my garage.


    Sure, the universe is expanding at an astronomical level, but by scale, this seems to be something we should be able to detect with the naked senses in a manner I just described. So, why isn't it?

  5. It is now considered by physicists that other universes besides our own could exist in a grand multiverse. One thing led to another, and scientists have hypothesized that universes can be created by collisions of the membranes of other universes, causing explosions, which, ultimately, means that we can, one day, create custom universes in a lab, and that custom universe will, in pectoseconds, seperate itself from our universe. It will grow to astronomical sizes, but never take up any space or time in our universe.


    However, the Big Bang is "big" relevant to what? Of course it's relevent to us, but that rhetorical question was designed to lead to this statement: Anything can be considered "big," as long as the reference point is small enough. If you step on a roach, I'm pretty sure tha roach doesn't consider itself small; it considers you big. This is the same with humans and African elephants. We consider them big, because bigger than us, but they probably consider us very very small.


    As long as the reference point is small enough, a simple clap on the hands could be considered a "big bang." A mere party-popper can sound like a gunshot from God, if your small enough to think so.


    Could it be possible that we are creating universes all the time? Clap, and you've caused a Big Bang, and a new universe is created and seperates itself from our universe faster than the eye can see. Stomp your foot, and you've done it again?


    Hey, weirder stuff has happened in physics before (like parallel universes in the first place), so let's keep an open mind. What do you think?

  6. I'm a big fan of Equate Pain Reliever PMs (that's basically a cheaper equivalent to Tylenol PM; it helps me sleep), but on a chemical scale, how do these drugs work? Is it that they require so much energy to break down and digest that the loss of energy is what leaves you sleepy? How do they work?

  7. well... technically there's nothing stopping you wearing a bra...

    Except my manhood.


    i'm a bit skeptical to its operation. it sounds like it could be triggered by almost anything. (nearly being hit by a car, a roller coaster, a scary movie etc.) seems to me like there is an extreme potential for false alarm.

    Well, I hope this inventor has considered this kind of thing.

  8. I'm about to take a vacation to another country, and I'm worried about getting mugged and robbed. I've been hearing recently about a rather new piece of technology that is designed for just this sort of thing. It's called the Technobra, and it notices a jolt in your heart rate and uses GPS and wi-fi technology to alert the authorities of your name and location, so that they can find you anywhere in the world.


    The problem is: I'm a guy. Is there any kind of this technology that I can use on my vacation?

  9. If you really want to get into understanding the hardware side of computers I totally recommend Scott Mueller's " Upgrading and Repairing Computers". It is fantastically well presented but you need a big appetite for the amount of information it contains...no stone is left unturned! I've had 3 editions. It is a technician level manual that requires minimal prior knowledge of computers since it explains everything from scratch. Scott's the nuts. :cool:

    Are you talking about this?



  10. Why is it that we always feel groggy after we take a flight to another time zone, most commonly known as "jet lag?" I mean, if I'm in Los Angelas, and I take a four-hour flight to the Bahamas, which is four time zones ahead of LA, then the time should only increase by eight hours, meaning if my plane takes off at 9am, it should only be 5pm.


    So, why is that, despite the fact that I'm spending 8 hours playing my DS and text messaging on my phone, I still feel as tired and groggy as if I had spent 8 hours in a factory?


    EDIT: Btw, I've never been on a plane before in my life, so if I'm confused about something I wouldn't be if I had ever flown before, forgive me.

  11. Not sure, but I get about 50-55 mpg on my Honda, and it's a 600cc.


    I thought this was a science forum; can't you predict anything? Like, can't you give me some kind of hypothesis?


    Like, here's my logic for why the bike should give me at least 120mpg.


    My current car has 20mpg, and it weighs 2725lb. Combined with my body weight and the junk I have in the passenger seat, it comes to about 3000lb.


    192lb for this bike, and 240lb for my body weight, coupled with about 20lb for a backpack carrying either a week's supply of groceries (about 2lb per day, or 14lb per week) or my textbooks for college (about 10lb total, plus about 5lb for the backpack itself) brings me to about 451lb, so it's less than a sixth of the weight of my current car, so I can expect at least six times the fuel efficiency. Not only that, but a motorcycle has less parts banging against each other, which means less friction, so the fuel efficiency should go even higher.


    Would you agree with my logic?

  12. I've been thinking about switching to a motorcycle because of the fact that they're so much cheaper (both to buy and to maintain) than cars. Well, I've found a nice one here.




    I know it doesn't exactly look "macho," but that's the last thing on my mind.


    Judging from those specs, what do you estimate the fuel efficiency for a 240lb driver would be?

  13. Then that sounds right. It wasn't very clear what the situation was -- I was thinking of a fixed list that gets rearranged, but doesn't re-sample with replacement. All of these conditions (and how to use the mathematical terminology to explain it better) should be covered by such a class.


    You've obviously never watched a randomized Youtube playlist. I often do that with playlists from Whose Line is it Anyway, watching games like Hoedown and Scenes from a Hat. Often, I think to myself "Wait, didn't I just watch this one?"

  14. No, you aren't using the conditions right.


    Going with 20 again. To start, assuming a uniform distribution, it is indeed a 1 in 20 chance that the 1st video is the oldest.


    But, now you need to use that condition that the 1st video is already the oldest. That leaves 19 more to be distributed uniformly again. So, the chance that the second video is the second oldest is now 1 in 19.


    And so on.


    You end up with 1 in 20! chance, not 20^20.


    I don't think you understand the problem.


    See, when you click "randomize" on a Youtube playlist, whenever it's done with one video, it goes to a different random one, but after that one, it could go to any video in the playlist other than the one it just finished. You could, theoretically, end up watching the same two videos over and over again, if randomness decides so.


    Let me try a different situation. Suppose you have a sack full of twenty numbered balls, with the numbers 1 through 20 on them. You pull out one ball and record its number. If you pull out the #1 ball, you check the box that says "success?" and draw another ball, but immediately after you draw the second ball (and this is very important), you put the ball from Stage 1 back into the sack.


    Stages 3 through 20 are the same as stage 2 (draw another ball and discard the previous ball immediately afterwards), so all the stages except 1 have a 1 in 19 chance.


    So, in that case, would my chances of it being in perfect numerical order be (1/20)*(1/19)^19?

  15. It is a problem based on conditional probabilities.


    First, you calculate the odds that the 1st video in the playlist is the earliest chronologically (assuming some distribution of the random variables, probably uniform). Then, with the condition that the 1st video is the earliest, what is the probability that the 2nd video in the playlist is 2nd earliest. Then with the condition of both the 1st and the 2nd video are in the right order, what is the probability that the 3rd is also in order, etc. etc.


    If you know how to calculate those probabilities -- this is probably one of the many topics the class will cover -- it isn't hard. A lot of times the trickiest part of a probability question is to make sure you are answering the question as asked. The recent raffle thread in the other math sub-forum is a good example. I didn't read the question exactly right and wasn't answering it exactly right.


    Well, needless to say, the probability that the first one in the playlist is the earliest is one in x. So, I guess, if that were the case (the one in x chance happened), then y would be returned 1. If it didn't happen, then y would return 0.


    I can figure that, no problem, but that would only work if every trial was independent of every other trial. I can also figure out (with relative ease) the odds of inter-dependent trials like card-counting at the casinos, but this is sort of a mixture between the two.


    How would I figure the probability that all the y's would return 1, and not one y would return 0?

    Merged post follows:

    Consecutive posts merged

    Wait, something just came to me.


    Let's pretend that there are 20 videos in the playlist. If the first one (chosen completely at random) is video 1, then that's a one in twenty chance of y = 1.


    If y = 1 the first time, then the chances of y = 1 the second time would be one twentieth of the original chance, or one in four hundred.


    Therefore, the chance that we'd have twenty y = 1 would be one in 20^20, or 1.048576e+026 (copied and pasted from my Graph Calc program).


    Is that the jist of it?

  16. Well, I just took this course as an elective, and I don't have to answer this particular problem; it's just designed to give me an idea of what I'm getting myself into if I don't drop the class.


    My question is, am I panicking over nothing? How is this problem worked, and I can decide for myself if I'm ready for this class.

  17. I'm taking a summer semester right now, with a REALLY tough math class. Here's an example of the kind of stuff I've got.


    Your watching a movie on a Youtube playlist with x videos. On the first video, you click the random button and click "play next" once to take you away from the first video, and click "play next" a second time to take you to another video that could be any one of the x number of videos, including the first one. After that, you watch x videos in a row without touching the keyboard or mouse. What are the odds that the entire movie will be played in perfect chronological order?


    Needless to say, my instructor is a big computer nerd.


    This is the first week of the class (block 2 of Summer Semester), and he wanted to give us a taste, so if we didn't know beforehand what we were getting ourselves into, it's best if we drop the class if it's not needed for our degrees (which, for me, it's not). Is this problem easier to solve than I think it is, or should I drop? HELP!

  18. Playing the video game Assassin's Creed made me wonder this.


    Hybernation, reproduction, all those things that are attributed to "animal instinct," things that the animals somehow know, absent the requisite first-hand experience (also, if these things are "instinct," then how come humans, who are just as much animals as dogs and cats, have to be taught how to reproduce or sleep and eat?).


    I don't doubt for one minute that "instinct" is what the phenomenon is called, but what causes instinct? The guy in Assassin's Creed explained this the way most people explain it: Instinct exists because it just does. But, for scientists, since when was "just because" a suitable answer?


    Honestly, has there ever even been any research on this, much less conclusive results? If there is, how come I haven't seen it. Such an unexplained phenomenon finally being explored should be front page material.

  19. Your reality is skewed and you're sounding a bit like Hitler did with the Jews. Easier to understand now?


    How am I like a Nazi? Hitler wanted to make new crimes; notably, he wanted to simply making the state of being a Jew a crime.


    I'm merely suggesting we increase the punishments for already established crimes.


    There IS a difference.

  20. Methinks you've watched too many movies? Most cops killed in the line of duty in the U.S. die in traffic accidents. Also, your bloodlust and implied separation into "us" and "them" is very unnerving. You little [Godwin] you.


    Okay, can you try using proper English?

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