Great one-liners from PF members

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Sometimes I see a line (or maybe a brief multiline) post or part of a post in the Physics Forums that I think is pithy, witty, and maybe acerbically funny. I invite other members to post accordingly. I'll start with a few recent ones:
Well, the 3rd law is a bit problematic in relativity. @vanhees71
Crayons have their limitations. @fresh_42
I'm puzzled that you're puzzled that @vanhees71 is puzzled. @etotheipi

I hope that this will be fun.
 
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  • #2
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Thinking outside the box only works well when you first understand what's IN the box.
 
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  • #3
phinds
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The thread it's in (here) no longer allows quotes, but one of mine is @PAllen's
Note, we are not called the 'idle speculation without understanding or knowledge forums'
 
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  • #4
phinds
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Another is @Nugatory (here) on wave particle duality

Pillows are fuzzy, and tables have four legs, but when you encounter a sheep (which is fuzzy like a pillow and has four legs like a table) you aren't going to find the concept of "table/pillow duality" very helpful.
 
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  • #5
phinds
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Another is from Marcus (who has since, sadly, left us for that big physics conference in the sky)

In science the really interesting questions are often surrounded by people confidently asserting conflicting ideas.
 
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  • #6
phinds
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Not from PF, but this (by John Wheeler) just has to get in:

Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once and space is what keeps it all from happening to me.
 
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  • #7
phinds
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And another, I'm pretty sure from PF but I can't find the thread:
we build concepts to describe the universe. When our concepts break down, it is not the universe's problem.
 
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  • #8
pinball1970
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Once I was confused that why ordered motion is not included in internal energy and then I posted it here and then I got very advanced level answers and due to which I thought it is not of my level so I have to remember it but then vanadium gave this answer
Vanadium 50 said:
Because wind and heat are different things.
And it clicked.
 
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Vanadium 50
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  • #12
pinball1970
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I like this description of Homeopathy from @russ_watters in a man made verses 'natural' medicine discussion.

'The ultimate example is homeopathy, which is perfectly safe because it contains nothing at all and therefore does nothing; good or bad.'
 
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I like this description of Homeopathy from @russ_watters in a man made verses 'natural' medicine discussion.

'The ultimate example is homeopathy, which is perfectly safe because it contains nothing at all and therefore does nothing; good or bad.'
Oh but just a moment please, in homeopathy, isn't an elixir purported to do more if it contains less but not zero active ingredient? ##-## e.g. XXX (ten times more dilute than XX) is 'stronger' (presumedly because it more acutely stimulates sympathicomimetic response) than XX is? I think that such accountings were mainly from sellers who were pushing products that had low alcohol content. :wink:
 
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Vanadium 50
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Hear about the guy who overdosed on his homeopathic medication?
He forgot to take it.
 
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  • #15
phinds
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Oh but just a moment please, in homeopathy, isn't an elixir purported to do more if it contains less but not zero active ingredient? ##-## e.g. XXX (ten times more dilute than XX) is 'stronger' (presumedly because it more acutely stimulates sympathicomimetic response) than XX is? I think that such accountings were mainly from sellers who were pushing products that had low alcohol content. :wink:
Your error is the "not zero". True homeopatic medicines contain none of the original medication. (*)

* EDIT: ok, actually, I think the real statistic is that something like 1 our of 100 doses actually will contain one molecule of the original medicine so "absolutely none" is only true 99 times out of 100, but the one molecule doesn't DO anything in any case.
 
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  • #16
etotheipi
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Your error is the "not zero". True homeopatic medicines contain none of the original medication. (*)

* EDIT: ok, actually, I think the real statistic is that something like 1 our of 100 doses actually will contain one molecule of the original medicine so "absolutely none" is only true 99 times out of 100, but the one molecule doesn't DO anything in any case.
I remember we once had an exam question about the homeopathic solution Arsenic album, which was said to be usually sold at 30D (i.e. stock diluted by 1 in 10, repeated 30 times). In order to consume a fatal dose of just 0.1g of ##\text{As}_2 \text{O}_3##, you would need to drink a volume of liquid about... 4500 times the volume of the Earth ?:)

And to obtain just one arsenic atom, you would need to buy 285 million one ounce bottles!
 
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  • #17
phinds
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Hear about the guy who overdosed on his homeopathic medication?
He forgot to take it.
There's also the fact that anyone prescribing homeopathic medicine should be required to accept homeopathic payment which of course is an empty envelope that used to have money in it.
 
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  • #18
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NOOO, Not the RED Button .... Don't push the red button !! @davenn

1596730525589.png

Yet the backup of the backup is still a bunch of analog recorders and simple analog devices, wired to remote analog sensors scattered around the region, and wired back to the center with dedicated analog copper wires.
photo courtesy of argental...

That's a good combination - a robust analog system with a sophisticated computer to monitor and troubleshoot it . Our analog equipment outlasted four generations of computers.

I repaired computers long enough to appreciate their failure modes. Hence my signature.

old jim

"Never trust a computer with anything important."
 
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  • #19
OmCheeto
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I'm not sure why I found this exchange as funny as I did:

Pidge; "I was wondering if anybody knew any thin material that was relatively light weight, cheap, and as strong as wood."​
Vanadium 50; "Wood is relatively light weight, cheap, and exactly as strong as wood."​

ref
 
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  • #20
Vanadium 50
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Vanadium 50: Wood is relatively light weight, cheap, and exactly as strong as wood
He's not wrong.
 
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Yes. Probabilities greater than 1 or less than 0 are not meaningful. @Dale
 
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  • #23
pinball1970
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How are you guys searching for these? By poster? Subject? I am trying to narrow it down.
One algorithm
Cosmology, no more than 10 replies, a much asked question. This gives time for questions, misconception, one liners, thread closed.
Longer threads indicate a meaningful discussion which is less likely to end in a slam dunk.

@phinds helped this guy out of his misconception below.
Trailblzn said:
Is the Universe bigger than we think?
It would be REALLY REALLY hard for that to be the case since the current consensus (not an established fact) is that the universe is infinite in extent. You can't GET bigger than that.
 
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  • #24
pinball1970
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Another from @russ_watters

'What are the other processes that can be done to tell time?'
russ_watters 'Any process that takes a known amount of time can be used to tell time.'
 
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  • #25
pinball1970
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This was an odd one, some guy smacked his head on his own car door and wanted to know how many Gs he hit his head with. Having first established he had seen a Dr I tried to estimate it with a few calculations but was messing it up, missing stuff out so I posted below. Phinds helped out.


pinball1970 said:
I have a feeling the smart guys are having fun watching me fumble around with this a little.
@phinds 'I don't know about the smart guys but us dumb guys are beginning to wonder why the OP has this obsession with g forces to his head. @Tozos are you thinking of applying for a job as a crash dummy?'
 
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