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    Becoming a meteorologist

    Hi! I was wondering what the best way would be for me to transition into a career in meteorology. I have a minor in earth, atmospheric, and planetary sciences from MIT (and would have probably become a meteorologist had I realized MIT had a degree in it!). My actual degree is in software...
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    Steel bar bisected by event horizon

    Hi! There's got to be something wrong with the following method to take photographs of the area inside a supermassive black hole, but I can't figure it out. 1. Lower your spacecraft to just outside the event horizon. 2. Extend a uniform steel bar with cameras embedded in it through...
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    Superman's Helicopter

    Hi! I'm sure this has been done before, but here goes. Superman is flying through the vacuum of space and stumbles across a rod 100,000 kilometers long. This rod is of nonzero mass and is narrow enough for him to hold in his hand. It is infinitely rigid, with an infinitely high shear...
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    Can dark matter travel FTL?

    Hi! I'm sure this has been done before, but is it possible for dark matter to travel faster than light (at least some candidates for dark matter)? We know that ordinary matter is limited by the speed of light, but what about dark matter? For all we know, dark matter may not use c-limited...
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    Unusually long-lived Painted Lady butterfly

    Hi! I'm not sure whom I should talk to about this, but here goes. My girlfriend and I got a bunch of Painted Lady butterfly caterpillars (second instar at the time) from a conservatory the day after Valentine's Day. According to what I've read on the Internet, the butterflies should live...
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    Expected length of longest winning streak in a 162-game baseball season

    Hi! The Red Sox just finished an 11-game winning streak, which made me wonder. Do most teams experience winning streaks this long over the course of a season? What is the expected value of the length of the longest winning streak for a .500 team over the course of a season? In...
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    Escaping from a black hole

    Hi! What's wrong with the following method of seeing what life is like inside a black hole and escaping? I can't see anything obvious. We'll assume that time scales and tidal forces aren't an issue (it's obviously impractical -- but is it impossible)? 1. Get a spaceship which can...
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    Traffic lane selection problem

    Hi! I've been dealing with a situation like this for a couple of years now and it made me start thinking... A city is populated entirely by infinitely logical drivers (I know, it's hypothetical :) . This city has two major N-lane highways (N > 1) which intersect each other at a...
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    Is it possible to determine if a photon is entangled?

    Hi! This may be a stupid question, but here goes. Is it possible to do a measurement to determine if a photon's waveform is entangled with another photon? You don't need to know who it's entangled with, and it's all right for the measurement to disrupt the entanglement. If this is...
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    New ideas for programming languages?

    Hi! I've got a couple of new ideas for programming languages. I'm curious if anyone has thought about these. 1. I was thinking about AI and it just occurred to me -- is there a programming language which has AI built into it, much as like traditional programming languages have assembly...
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    Unusual object I saw in sky in Boston area

    Hi! I just saw something very unusual in the Boston sky today at 4:00 PM. Yes, in the middle of daylight. It looked a lot like a star and it was almost straight up. It then slowly moved roughly from west to east and went maybe 45 degrees in 5-6 minutes. That would give whatever it is an...
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    Extension of Fermat's theorem?

    Hi! I assume you all know Fermat's last theorem. Well, has anyone considered the following extension to it? Assuming we're just using integers: We know that x1^n + x2^n = y^n has no solution for n > 2. However, what about this? For which values of k does x1^n+x2^n+...+xk^n = z^n...
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    Prime question

    Hi! I was thinking about primes and have a bit of a question. I apologize if this is too easy or obvious -- I haven't thought much about it. Take two relatively prime numbers, P and Q. P < Q, and P is not prime. How many pairs (P,Q) are there so that ALL positive integers which are...
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    $10B international prize to find something which will stop/halt/global warming?

    Hi! I just read that Richard Branson or someone like that offered $25M to someone who was able to do something which would reverse global warming. While that's admirable, it just seems to me that it's too low. It would probably take millions of dollars to simply do the experiments etc. to...
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    Sedna must be a planet (at least for now) according to new definition?

    Hi! I saw the definition of a planet -- basically anything differentiated that has cleared everything in the area and orbits the central star. Pluto doesn't count because it's in the middle of a belt. Ceres doesn't count because it's in the middle of a belt. Sedna -- well...
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    Program to bring together gifted science students and mentors?

    Hi! I recently went to a science fair as a judge, and I started talking to a bunch of other judges. We found that there doesn't seem to be any organization dedicated to bringing together people good at certain fields of science with gifted children to encourage them to explore in science. For...
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    Possible method to escape a black hole?

    What's wrong with the following method of escaping from inside an event horizon (and possibly exploring physics inside it?) 1. A rocket with a very strong engine slips below the event horizon -- just barely. 2. Fire the rocket engine so it would travel at c-epsilon were it not for the...
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    How many possible Sudoku boards are there?

    Hi! I've got a couple of questions about Sudoku. 1. How many possible Sudoku boards are there? That is, a 3x3 square of 3x3 blocks where (a) each block has the numbers 1-9 exactly once, and (b) each row and column of the resulting 9x9 matrix has the numbers 1-9 exactly once? 2. I'm...
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    5-suit Texas Hold 'Em: ace high beats one pair

    This isn't really a brain teaser as much as a game. I have a Five Crowns deck at home. This consists of a deck of 55 cards (well, two decks of cards) with five suits. 3 is lowest and King is highest. You can't do 3-King in a straight. There are jokers, but I'm not using them --...
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    Speed of disentanglement

    Speed of "disentanglement" Hi! If two particles are entangled, A and B, and someone messes with A, have scientists determined the speed at which the "signal" that A has been messed with gets from A to B (so B reacts accordingly)? I read that they currently think it's infinitely fast and is...
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    Experiences of particles moving at relativistic speeds in non-vacuum

    I've probably got something wrong here, but bear with me. An electron is moving through a material faster than the speed of light in that material. I know particles tend to do this from time to time -- we have Cerenkov radiation. If a TV camera were attached to this electron in a way...
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    Four Nines Puzzle

    Hi! I have a puzzle here and was wondering if you guys could solve it. Using exactly four nines each time and no other numbers or letters, find expressions which evaluate to every integer between 0 and 132. You may put parentheses wherever you wish and uses whatever mathematical symbols...
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    Stability of transuranic elements

    I remember hearing somewhere that one of the reasons people are trying to make elements which high atomic numbers is to see if they can be made to have long half-lives, such as uranium. In effect, they're virtually stable. However, I don't see how that can be. Here's why. Suppose element...
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    Conservation laws for intangibles such as value?

    This is probably a complete quack of an idea, but I can't get it out of my mind. I can't tell if it belongs more on an economics board, though. :bugeye: Could conservation laws exist for quantities which are not tangible? We all know there are laws like conservation of momentum...
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