Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now

Hot answers tagged

156

Yes, it is absolutely a real Unix system, it was a Silicon Graphics workstation (using IRIX, the SGI System V based Unix) running a three dimensional file system browser. Silicon Graphics were early developers of hardware acceleration for 3D graphics, so it makes complete sense that even in 1993 they had Unix workstations capable of a 3D file system viewer. ...


147

Those are actual stock trading computers used in the 1980s. The manufacturer is Quotron - whose name is on the keypad in the second image. Quotron started providing a computer interface for reporting on and then trading in stocks back in the 1960s, and had 60% of the market in 1980s. The "funny looking" keypads are due to the fact that they were designed ...


131

TL;DR: Because the space around Io is full of large amounts of ionized sulfur produced by Io's many volcanoes. There are an absurd number of volcanoes on Io, and they spew out an enormous amount of sulfur. The low gravity and thin atmosphere allows the ejecta to escape Io's atmosphere and reach space. As a result, Io's orbital path is like a donut-shaped ...


68

Yes. A few points. Real, better cars get destroyed all the time (for instance). The DeLorean has always been known as a fairly weak car. Its construction and crash survivability is pretty low. It had a Fiberglass chassis when most cars were still fully metal. Remember in the previous movie, Marty wanted the Doc to block ...


68

It is difficult to answer this without the “opinion” sin, but Star Wars was very dear to Lucas. It was a story he had worked out in his head for a long time and written several drafts for. It's also based on many things from the past. The Force is loosely based on ancient religions and martial arts. “Energy is in all things, let it flow ...


67

The application is fsn (pronounced Fusion). There's more information available on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fsn_(file_manager) and there's an open-source clone available called FSV: http://fsv.sourceforge.net/


67

TL;DR: It is possible, but not very easy to pull off. Real life examples: One bullet, two deer killed: A few years ago, a 10 year old boy on his first hunting trip killed two deer with one round. One bullet, two men killed: In 2009, a British sniper in Afghanistan killed two suspected insurgents who were fleeing on a motorcycle; the bullet passed ...


64

The cartoon mouse holes are just rounded out versions of the real thing. Mice are rodents who are capable of gnawing through walls to make a cozy home within them. Here are a few real mouse holes:


60

Because they fail test screenings. The general movie audience does not respond well to realistic depictions of explosions or cannons at a distance. From the other SE, a partial excerpt of a great answer (that you should upvote as well): Most film is art, not life/reality. Sound designers have to match the visual art on screen with the sonic art of their ...


54

There was a follow up tweet about this: The IP address equivalent of 555 phone numbers is actually well documented in RFC5737. e.g. 203.0.113.11 is TV safe. http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5737#section-3 Which links to Documentation Address Blocks The blocks 192.0.2.0/24 (TEST-NET-1), 198.51.100.0/24 (TEST-NET-2), and 203.0.113.0/24 (TEST-...


54

Normally, no, you could not grow plants in Martian soil... but adding nutrients to the soil makes it perfectly usable. There's a great article about it on Modern Farmer: And, yes, it is possible to grow plants on Mars—kind of. Alone, Martian soil doesn’t have the necessary elements for plant life. “The main thing that’s not in Martian soil is a bunch of ...


53

Caveat: Janitor says paycheck and paid much more. He does not say paid more per hour. Both are likely salaried and the p/h below is for comparison of their biweekly paycheck. Consider that Sacred Heart is a Teaching Hospital, and JD is a resident at the time, a non-licensed medical student whom the hospital is basically investing in. He's not paid a regular ...


53

The device appears to be called (or is similar to) a Launchpad, and is not just something made for the movie. https://global.novationmusic.com/launch/launchpad# They've been around for some time. One was used in a popular YouTube video from 2011 to create a mashup of several songs. This isn't to pinpoint exactly how long devices like this have been around, ...


52

Disclaimer: Violence is stupid and dangerous. A blow to the skull is often fatal. I wouldn't say it's easy, but there are several sweet spots on the skull that, when hit with sufficient force, is almost guaranteed to cause unconsciousness. I would suggest the upper part of the jaw bone or the temple. Both places are connected to the brain stem through ...


51

Unlike Galactica, many of the civilian ships were not equipped with effective water recycling system. Quote from your source: Many of the ships like the Virgon Express were not made for long-term voyages - >and will have to tank off of us periodically. This, possibly coupled with the sabotage disrupting (or stopping completely) the recycling process (see ...


48

NO Military Grade explosives are incredibly safe and are designed to only explode when required. Take C4 (or Composition-4 to give it its correct name) - Wikipedia C-4 is very stable and insensitive to most physical shocks. C-4 cannot be detonated by a gunshot or by dropping it onto a hard surface. It does not explode when set on fire or exposed to ...


45

While I am not a gun expert, it would be safe to say that while normal rifle cannot be modified to shoot bullet backward, it is possible to modify the rifle to make it hurt the shooter. All you'd need is an obstructed barrel and powerful enough bullet: This is the photo from a real life accident - the shooter wasn't killed but seriously wounded.


44

IMDb explains this for a scene in Mission: Impossible II: The scene where Tom Cruise "peels off his face" to reveal Dougray Scott was achieved in one shot by shooting both actors against a green screen. Cruise, not wearing a mask, was simply told to place his hand in a pre-arranged position under his chin then pull his hand across his face. ...


44

Yes. To quote from The Independent about the source of mind palaces: As it turns out, memory palaces like Holmes’ are a real thing, and have been for thousands of years. It all began with a lucky escape from a collapsing banquet hall by the Ancient Greek poet Simonides, who realised that by visualizing the room where the accident happened, he ...


44

From orkin.com Garden Scorpions While deserts are often the best spots to look for scorpions, these arachnids can sometimes visit gardens in their search for food. In rural and suburban areas, scorpions can often wander into yards and homes. They can be found under rocks, inside burrows and under logs. Scorpions in the garden can sometimes cause ...


42

Recycling effects is a very common tactic in post-production. Once you have an effect that works great, it's simply cheaper and faster to reuse it than to reinvent the wheel over and over again, especially when 99% of the viewers won't notice it. You are one of the few people who noticed that this particular sound was recycled, but there are hundreds of ...


42

The Helicopters There are basically two models of helicopter in this image. Sikorsky CH-54 Tarhe and CH-47 Chinook The Sikorsky CH-54 is capable of carrying a payload of 20,000 pounds i.e 9000 Kg while a CH-47 Chinook can carry up to 10,000 pounds i.e 4500 Kg. The Giants Now guessing from size of those giants they might vary from 3000 to 6000 kg. ...


39

The story of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids takes place in Fresno, California. In that area of the state, scorpions are rare, but not totally unheard of. No scorpion native to central California is considered dangerous to humans (this does not take into account shrunken children). The appearance of the scorpion appears to be that of an Indian Red Scorpion, but ...


38

The appearance of the black hole in Interstellar was not created arbitrarily. It was actually modeled using the real relativistic equations describing the path of light in the gravitational field of a super-massive black hole spinning at near the speed of light. As a result, it may be the most accurate depiction we have to date of what such an object might ...


38

Modifying a rifle to catastrophically fail is easy compared to the precision of manufacture and maintenance needed for it to work properly. Excerpt of firearm malfunctions that pose immediate danger and that can be intentionally facilitated : In extreme cases [of mechanical malfunctions], an overloaded round, blocked barrel, poor design and/or severely ...


38

Yes there were. These were known as Safety Coffins. The coffins contained a string attached to a bell and usually a breathing tube that could be opened by someone buried alive. Before modern medicine many of the ways used to confirm death were fairly subjective. Pricking someone with a pin, holding a mirror or other small shiny object under their nose to ...


37

Yes, but no. It's feasible. But not likely. Consider it only shattered two skulls and deflected off the third. In fact, this bit seems to mirror a Mythbusters segment: A bullet from a .50 caliber Desert Eagle pistol cannot penetrate 25 watermelons. Tory and Kari set up a line of melons, but Kari's shot only penetrated the first three. They noted ...


36

Yes, it's possible. In theory, it's possible to produce a 100% pure sample of any substance; if you isolated and removed any molecules that were not those of your target chemical. The trick is that it's usually very impractical to do so, for various reasons. The cost of purifying chemicals rises sharply as the purity goes up, because you need more expensive ...


36

I worked for the DoD on a project in Iraq and saw some interactions between Special Forces groups. Spent a lot of time with Rangers from Hunter AAF in Georgia. I think this scene employs a bit of artistic license to help set up story points later in the film. To the heart of your question, I'd think a Delta Sergeant would pull him aside and have him flip ...


35

Why would a ship able to recycle all water consumed have trouble running out of water? Well, it surely takes time to recycle the water. And you would need water for all necessities over that time. If you don't have enough water, how you are supposed to survive, given that water is the most important necessity for human and other living things. Borrowed ...


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