[2014-12-12] Stellar radiation doesn't work that way!

Blame Quintushalls for this.

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[2014-12-12] Stellar radiation doesn't work that way!

Postby HumaneIntent » Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:20 pm

http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=3571

Obviously it's not the intrinsic properties of the particle, but the frequency and/or intensity of the light! HAH, beat you at your own game NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

*runs around block*

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRDDDDDDDDDDDD
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Re: [2014-12-12] Stellar radiation doesn't work that way!

Postby Guest » Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:22 am

True, there are few, if any, light sources that would mimic the intensity and spectrum of sunlight, so it's not all that ridiculous. I like this though anyway. He doesn't say why the conclusion is wrong. We can assume either that there's a fault in the physical reason or just that magic, not physics, applies to trolls. It's better unexplained, because it's not key to the joke.
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Re: [2014-12-12] Stellar radiation doesn't work that way!

Postby Nathanyel » Sat Dec 13, 2014 8:30 am

I remember discussions about this with vampires as the subjects, it's usually decided that it's not the visible light, but the ultraviolet radiation - most likely the UV-B wavelength. Also see: sunburn, Xeroderma pigmentosum.

However, even if the UV-B triggers a chain reaction in the trolls' skin, I'm not sure whether they turn to stone all the way through. It may just be the skin altering itself to provide protection - quite similar to a tan. So, eventually, after a new layer of skin has formed, assuming they don't starve, the trolls could "shrug off" their protective rock layer - and would be very mad at the person who cost them a significant amount of their time.
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Re: [2014-12-12] Stellar radiation doesn't work that way!

Postby HumaneIntent » Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:09 pm

Guest wrote:True, there are few, if any, light sources that would mimic the intensity and spectrum of sunlight, so it's not all that ridiculous. I like this though anyway. He doesn't say why the conclusion is wrong. We can assume either that there's a fault in the physical reason or just that magic, not physics, applies to trolls. It's better unexplained, because it's not key to the joke.

Yeah, the final panel pretty much spells out Ms. Physics was tricking the troll with an explanation that sounds plausible in the context of real-world physics, but which wasn't valid in the world of the comic and she knew that very well.

I was joking about that favorite trope of nerd artists, trying to explain the science behind fictional entity [X] and exposing its supposed silliness. My beef isn't so much that it reinforces the stereotype about our subculture(s) being a bunch of anal-retentive, joyless analysis robots and more that it nurtures scientism.

The abuse of the authority of science is bad enough on its own (as much as we love spaceships and vibrating dongs, it's just that the methodologies and assumptions of the natural, "hard" sciences are not universally applicable in the fields of gaining knowledge and fail us here and there and elsewhere), but it gets 100% murderous here in meatspace if the proponent gets it wrong, delves headlong into pseudo- and junk science.

After all, the US government enacted eugenics laws to breed human beings like dogs Because Science Says So... even though it fucking didn't. You know, the same eugenics culture that inspired the Nazi's race theory and industrialized "population engineering"...

Aaaaaand why did you feel the need to venture dangerously close to Godwin territory in a thread about a comic on fairy tales, you ask? I thought it's an idea of merit, something to keep in mind everytime a figure of nerd interest steps way outside their area of expertise, be it an SF author who was an avionics engineer or accountant writing about how humans are "evolutionarily hardwired" towards absolute monarchism (not kidding) or Michio Kaku making evolution sound like intelligent design, and brings us nearer to an atrocity-filled world.

Also, I've got a massive chip on my shoulder about all that stuff. Visit my Tumblr! :]
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