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Author Topic: Another math subtlety  (Read 1356 times)
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JDHannan

Bending Unit
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« on: 03-25-2003 04:24 »

This has been plaguing me since i was a few years into the Simpsons.
Human beings in real life have 10 fingers.
Matt Groening characters (and other cartoon characters) have 8 fingers.
Human beings have a base 10 system (we count to 9 before we get to 2 digits)
This was NOT coincidence.  we use a base 10 system BECAUSE we have 10 fingers (and ten toes (most of us anyway))
The simpsons characters and Futurama characters should use a base 8 (octal) system!
(1,2,3,4,5,6,7,10,11...17,20, etc)
I wonder how this would change things in their world
Nixorbo

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« Reply #1 on: 03-25-2003 05:06 »

<h2>NERD!</h2>
Chanukah Zombie

Bending Unit
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« Reply #2 on: 03-25-2003 05:53 »

James,

The nice people at Rough Draft Korea work as hard and as fast as they can.  When Groening originally told them he wanted all Futurama characters to be drawn with ten fingers, they complained about something called "pencil mileage" in cartooning jargon.  It would have slowed down production too much, so they abandoned that idea.  This does not mean, however, that the characters necessarily have eight fingers.  It simply means they are drawn with eight fingers.  Do you see the conceptual difference?  The characters are also about three inches tall on the average television screen but that does not mean they represent three inch tall people in the show. 

By the way, why are you dressed as Adolf Hitler on your website? 
Gocad

Space Pope
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« Reply #3 on: 03-25-2003 07:05 »
« Last Edit on: 03-25-2003 07:05 »

   
Quote
Originally posted by Nixorbo:
NERD!

Nothing to add.
Well, except for this:

"GET A LIFE!"


I'm watching you. Yes, YOU!
bankrupt

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #4 on: 03-25-2003 12:43 »

Wondering how base 8 math would affect cartoon characters is a little strange, but we're all nerds here.  Nerdy enough to be regular posters on a Futurama message board anyways. Especially those ubernerds with 10,000+ posts   tongue .
Nixorbo

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« Reply #5 on: 03-25-2003 13:12 »
« Last Edit on: 03-25-2003 13:12 »

Ever heard the saying "takes one to know one?"  Yeah, that sounds about right in this situation.

So . . . what's the subtlety?  Is there some kind of joke about this in the series(es), or are you just making an observation?
Gocad

Space Pope
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« Reply #6 on: 03-25-2003 13:56 »

I think one could file this under observation, but not without mentioning, that one should analyse every aspect of the TV show and their relationship to reality.

Question: "How does the warp drive work?"
Answer: "Say "Engage" and off you go..."


I'm watching you. Yes, YOU!
Otis P Jivefunk

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« Reply #7 on: 03-25-2003 14:55 »
« Last Edit on: 03-25-2003 14:55 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Nixorbo:
NERD!

We know you are, now quit boasting   tongue

J/K   wink

aslate

Space Pope
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« Reply #8 on: 03-25-2003 15:05 »

Yea, but the AL Numbering system is done in base 10 units.
JDHannan

Bending Unit
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« Reply #9 on: 03-26-2003 03:26 »

in response:
I may be smart, but i'm not really a nerd.
The 8 fingered cartoon character has been around since long before Korea drew
It was a halloween costume
The subtlety is that everyone knows they have 8 fingers but no one thinks about it.  This was more of a "check" than a subtlety, meaning, did you notice they have 8 fingers but they use a base 10 math system when that would never in a million evolutions work that way?
In the simpsons, when Homer meets God, God has 10 fingers.  Now that is subtle.
JDHannan

Bending Unit
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« Reply #10 on: 03-26-2003 03:28 »

and what is the AL numbering system?
Grim

Professor
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« Reply #11 on: 03-26-2003 04:25 »

U wanna work with Octal, everything I've done in it is a bitch, me, I'll stick to base 10 and hex.

...Maybe Binary in an enmergency
Gocad

Space Pope
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« Reply #12 on: 03-26-2003 05:22 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Gocad:
I think one could file this under observation, but not without mentioning, that one should analyse every aspect of the TV show and their relationship to reality.

Question: "How does the warp drive work?"
Answer: "Say "Engage" and off you go..."


Did nobody read AND understood this?


I'm watching you. Yes, YOU!
Ricky

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #13 on: 03-26-2003 08:06 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Chanukah Zombie:
James,

The nice people at Rough Draft Korea work as hard and as fast as they can.  When Groening originally told them he wanted all Futurama characters to be drawn with ten fingers, they complained about something called "pencil mileage" in cartooning jargon.  It would have slowed down production too much, so they abandoned that idea.  This does not mean, however, that the characters necessarily have eight fingers.  It simply means they are drawn with eight fingers.  Do you see the conceptual difference?  The characters are also about three inches tall on the average television screen but that does not mean they represent three inch tall people in the show. 
 



So they can draw Melllvar, a transparent green blob with hundreds of blinking spots and constantly shifting form, but not a human with ten fingers?  smile
The irony is that the blob has five fingers when he grabs the ship and pulls it back to the planet (when seen from inside the ship).
Nixorbo

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« Reply #14 on: 03-26-2003 08:40 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Gocad:
Did nobody read AND understood this?

The better question seems to be, "does anyone care?"

I have a thousand years of power.
"NOOOOO HE WAS MY BROTHER!" and then got tired and slept.


"He has the special talent, though, of being able to help people and make them feel utterly stupid all at the same time. ... In short, he's a great moderator, but a terrible human being."
-SlackJawedMoron
winna

Avatar Czar
DOOP Ubersecretary
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« Reply #15 on: 03-26-2003 09:36 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Ricky:
 

So they can draw Melllvar, a transparent green blob with hundreds of blinking spots and constantly shifting form, but not a human with ten fingers?   smile
The irony is that the blob has five fingers when he grabs the ship and pulls it back to the planet (when seen from inside the ship).

Those filthy lazy Korean rough draft slaves....  mad   no no   laff

To those whom I have loved...
Gocad

Space Pope
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« Reply #16 on: 03-26-2003 09:41 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Nixorbo:
 The better question seems to be, "does anyone care?"


True, but the problem remains...


I'm watching you. Yes, YOU!
Teral

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« Reply #17 on: 03-26-2003 14:53 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Gocad:
Question: "How does the warp drive work?"
Answer: "Say "Engage" and off you go..."


You learned Klingon, but is satisfied with this... this... this abomination of an explanation on how the warp drice works?

I need to brush up on a few things, and then I will enlighten you all, heck I'll even throw in how the Romulan Artificial Singularity-engines work just for fun.

Hmmm, maybe not.
DoctorIn

Crustacean
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« Reply #18 on: 03-26-2003 15:09 »
« Last Edit on: 03-26-2003 15:09 »

Just to nerd this up a bit more. I take exception to the premise that they would "have" to use a base-8 number system. The ancient Maya used base-20, for the obvious reason that you have a total of 20 digits. The ancient Sumerians used base-60 for some reason. We currently understand the concept of other base number systems besides base-10. Perhaps in the long history of the Futurama universe, they happened upon base-10 and liked it or one of the invading alien races imposed it on them. Perhaps the second coming of Jesus brought decimal love to the world. Anyhow, I'm arguing that there is nothing determinate about the number of fingers and how you arrange your number system.
Chanukah Zombie

Bending Unit
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« Reply #19 on: 03-26-2003 17:50 »

Melllvar is one character in one episode and it was the season finale.  That wasn't the problem Rough Draft complained about.  They felt that pencil mileage would only become an issue if every character in every episode got an extra finger on each hand.  At least, every human character, which is most of them.  Besides, I don't think those "hundreds" of blinking spots were drawn by hand at all.  It is more likely they were inserted by computer in post-production at little or no extra cost.  I'm sure this is what was meant by Bender's joke when he said, "Whoa! What a cheesey effect!"  Moreover, it is not possible to have any conversation involving Melllvar without all participanats becoming nerds for the duration.   roll eyes
 
The Mona Lisa was drawn without a pair of legs.  Should we assume, then, that she's an amputee from the waist down?  Of course not.  It wouldn't make any sense to ask, "are all people like that in her world?  How do they get from place to place?"  Those are silly questions.  That's just the way she was drawn.  It was a stylistic choice.  No drawing can capture all of its subject.  Illustration is representative art.  On the other hand, the late Vaughn Bodé drew comics, such as "Deadbone" and "Cheech Wizard," that inspired a generation of graffiti artists in New York City.  He drew characters without lower bodies.  This was deliberate.  They just floated in mid-air and hovered around.  You were supposed to interpret them as legless because that's what they were.  Back in the late Seventies you could see murals up all over the place featuring these top-half people.  His works are today considered classics in their genre.  The observer has to figure out the intention from context -- but it's not that hard. 

"I'm like Vaughn Bodé, I'm a Cheech Wizard... Never quittin'... So won't you listen?"
-The Beastie Boys lyrics from "Sure Shot" off Ill Communication


And.. uh... James... Halloween costume or not there's some stuff you say on your website that tells me maybe it meant a little more to you than that.  Stuff like the "United Negro Pizza Fund" and your friend Guilly the "Gay Homo Fag" and that religion you called "weird" just because it's not your own.  Why do you worship New York City so much if it's full of all these people you don't respect?  When I was a kid I had plenty of friends who saw Halloween as an opportunity to dress up as the men they admired.  If those men were controversial my friends could still get away with it by saying it was "only a joke."  In case you haven't noticed, the world is at war with itself once again and attitudes like yours don't help the situation one bit. 

JDHannan

Bending Unit
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« Reply #20 on: 03-27-2003 01:35 »

Chanukah Zombie.
Don't get me wrong, i do NOT support hitler in any way.  I am a catholic/christian, a very nice person and a democrat.
The person who took the picture used the phrase "united negro pizza fund" as a way to say he wanted to buy some pizza with the money he wanted us to give to him in exchange for taking our picture.
Halloween started as people dressing up to frighten away spirits or something.  Thousands of kids dress up as Devils or Mummies.  That does not mean they admire them.  And i believe the Devil is worse than Hitler or any man. 
Any religion that sends people out in flagrant, voluminous, shiny robes in the middle of the summer and sings songs in a foreign language in the middle of a predominantly english city is weird.  I did not look at them and go "hey, thats not catholicism, THATS WEIRD!"
I do not have an "attitude" I support the freedom of the world, i wish the best of luck to the american troops and hope the iraqi casualties are as limited as possible.  Saddam is a bad guy and the less of him we have the better.  And my webpage is not going to affect the world's situation in regards to the war.
Thank you, complain again.
Gocad

Space Pope
****
« Reply #21 on: 03-27-2003 01:59 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Teral:
 You learned Klingon, but is satisfied with this... this... this abomination of an explanation on how the warp drice works?

I need to brush up on a few things, and then I will enlighten you all, heck I'll even throw in how the Romulan Artificial Singularity-engines work just for fun.

Hmmm, maybe not.

Too bad, since I'm really looking forward for that
  evil laugh


I'm watching you. Yes, YOU!
Chanukah Zombie

Bending Unit
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« Reply #22 on: 03-30-2003 07:18 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by JDHannan:

Thank you, complain again.

No, I'm not gonna complain again.  You made it clear that you don't have that ideology.  It's enough to hear you denounce it.  I'm satisfied.  I hope you can understand why I would be freaked out, though.  I lost a lot of family to that scumbag's insanity.  So, how would you expect me to react on first sight?  Of course I'm gonna shoot first and ask questions later.  Wouldn't you?  And I wasn't trying to censor your website either.  I'm an American and I believe that everyone is entitled to have their say, even folk who genuinely do believe in that nonsense.  At the same time, I was exercising my own right to free speech by voicing my concerns.  I was trying to have fun here by chatting about my favorite cartoon show and when I saw those disturbing photos it kind of ruined my day.  I only clicked on the link out of idle curiosity.  Presumably, you put it on your profile because you wanted people to take a look.  Needless to say, my hair stood on end when I saw what I did.  Surely you can see why.  I didn't think I could or should keep quiet about it.  But so long as everyone is pretty much agreed now, let's drop it and move on.  By the way, I don't think New York is a predominately English-speaking city anymore, believe it or not.  I wish it were otherwise but there you go. 

To keep this vaguely on topic, and since no one asked, the Vaughn Bode / Beastie Boys connection is this: King Ad Rock used to write graffiti around Brooklyn, ancestral home of Phillip J. Fry, under the tag (pseudonym) of "Slop" together with his partner "Haze."  I think a lot of the creative minds behind all these art forms (MG, B-Boys, Bode, etc.) are essentially likeminded individuals so it's not too surprising that we would find connections behind the scenes loosely tying them all together. 

Also, while the message of "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" is basically not to take your fandom too seriously, we have to remember that the Trek people who starred in it were just the actors.  In the case of Walter Koenig, it is hinted that he doesn't even like Star Trek.  For him it seems it was more of a job than anything else.  If Gene Roddenberry were alive today he might have a different opinion.  Most writers of science fiction are themselves nerds whereas most actors are not.  Shatner is a hybrid but I'm not convinced he didn't have a ghost-writer behind Tek.  Roddenberry might have actually encouraged his fans to go overboard in their adulation.  We'll never know.  Myself, I was never terribly enthused about the show or its spinoffs, but I'm careful not to say that around battleth-wielding "Klingons" at Trekkie conventions.  roll eyes  Like it or not, the popularity of Star Trek made it possible for many other sci-fi productions to reach audiences.  So, as I said in another thread, I'm content to honor this ancestor of the stuff I do like. 

Gocad

Space Pope
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« Reply #23 on: 03-30-2003 11:47 »
« Last Edit on: 03-30-2003 11:47 »

Tagline of 4ACV04:

Futurama - soon to be a major religion

Too bad that FOX messed with the production schedule...

 
Quote
Originally posted by Chanukah Zombie
:

Myself, I was never terribly enthused about the show or its spinoffs, but I'm careful not to say that around battleth-wielding "Klingons" at Trekkie conventions.

That's wise!
 evil laugh


I'm watching you. Yes, YOU!
Yorokobi

Bending Unit
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« Reply #24 on: 03-30-2003 15:00 »

FWIW Walter Koneig (chekov) has publicly stated that he lothes Trek.

Of course so did Shatner at one time, now I think he's sucking up for the cash.

I don't think Nimoy had an issue with Trek per se, but he did have an issue with Spock (vis a ve "I am not Spock" ) and being type cast.
Just Chris

Urban Legend
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« Reply #25 on: 03-30-2003 18:22 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by JDHannan:
in response:
I may be smart, but i'm not really a nerd.
The 8 fingered cartoon character has been around since long before Korea drew
It was a halloween costume
The subtlety is that everyone knows they have 8 fingers but no one thinks about it.  This was more of a "check" than a subtlety, meaning, did you notice they have 8 fingers but they use a base 10 math system when that would never in a million evolutions work that way?

I thought the point of making 8 fingers on cartoon characters was cuz it was a lot easier for the animators. And making 8 fingers doesn't sacrifice much in the way of expressing hand gestures or motor skills. It WOULD be more economical if humans had 8 fingers instead of 10, but we're stuck with what we have.

Gocad

Space Pope
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« Reply #26 on: 03-31-2003 03:57 »
« Last Edit on: 03-31-2003 03:57 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Yorokobi:
FWIW Walter Koneig (chekov) has publicly stated that he lothes Trek.

Of course so did Shatner at one time, now I think he's sucking up for the cash.

I don't think Nimoy had an issue with Trek per se, but he did have an issue with Spock (vis a ve "I am not Spock" ) and being type cast.

And a few years later he wrote "I am Spock!"

   evil laugh


I'm watching you. Yes, YOU!
Kryten

Space Pope
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« Reply #27 on: 03-31-2003 21:56 »

And then, even later, he wrote "I Am Also Scotty".  laff  laff
Teral

Helpy McHelphelp
DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #28 on: 04-01-2003 05:03 »

With Scotty's stature in the later movies I wouldn't be surprised if he ate Spock on accident.
JDHannan

Bending Unit
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« Reply #29 on: 04-01-2003 05:25 »

As little as i want to make light of the Jewish people's situation in regards to Hitler, i do think you need to let it go (personally, not as a society).  Again, thousands of people dress up as the Devil and no one's hair stands on end when they see pictures of people dressed up as Satan.  And i do believe Satan is "worse" than hitler.

anyway, on whatever topic this is now, Leonard Nimoy claims to never have intended to imply that he disliked Star Trek.  He just wanted people to know that he was more than just Spock (book: I am not Spock)  I own the book I am Spock, and he clearly loved being Spock.
I did some thinking and watching the Disney Channel and i figured out the REAL reason why cartoon characters have 8 fingers.  It has nothing to do with laziness or simplicity or math. 
The entire reason characters have 8 fingers is so Mickey Mouse could use his hands as little men.
the two middle fingers would be the man's legs and the 2 outer fingers are his arms.  50% of all mickey mouse cartoons have him using his hands as little men in one fashion or another. 
Now, Mickey Mouse is clearly the most recognizable cartoon character in the world, everyone wanted to copy that style of animation.
If you look at the Simpsons season 1, the DVD contains part of an episode where the animation came back terrible, and it looked just like Disney animation. 
anyway, case and point, thats why the characters have 8 fingers.  I still think it would be hilarious (to me) if on futurama they made some mention of using the octal system.
Gocad

Space Pope
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« Reply #30 on: 04-01-2003 05:28 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Teral:
With Scotty's stature in the later movies I wouldn't be surprised if he ate Spock on accident.

Good thing that Spock had another guy.


I'm watching you. Yes, YOU!
Teral

Helpy McHelphelp
DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #31 on: 04-01-2003 05:32 »
« Last Edit on: 04-01-2003 05:32 »

Yup, but did they have to make that melodramatic STIII to show us?


Nimoy wrote "I Am Not Spock" at a time where Star Trek:TOS was shooting for the stars in syndication, and was fast achieving cult status. He was very worried that, despite the role itself was a minor part of his filmography, he would forever be typecast as "alien", and thus not recieve other roles. His book was not anti-Spock in the "I hate him and all you Trekkie-losers"-kinda way, more an attempt to highlight other parts of his career.

Much like Nimoy in "Where No Fan Has Gone Before", where he tries to tell Fry that his career was so much more than one, memorable role.

Later, when the fear proved to be unfounded, he wrote "I Am Spock" to show his appreciation for the character and the impact it have had on his life. He is fond of Spock, and values the character and the ideals it represents.
Gocad

Space Pope
****
« Reply #32 on: 04-01-2003 05:39 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Teral:
Yup, but did they have to make that horribly, melodramatic STIII to show us?


Nimoy wrote "I Am Not Spock" at a time where Star Trek:TOS was shooting for the stars in syndication, and was fast achieving cult status. He was very worried that, despite the role itself was a minor part of his filmography, he would forever be typecast as "alien", and thus not recieve other roles. His book was not anti-Spock in the "I hate him and all you Trekkie-losers"-kinda way, more an attempt to highlight other parts of his career.

Much like Nimoy in "Where No Fan Has Gone Before", where he tries to tell Fry that his career was so much more than one, memorable role.

Later, when the fear proved to be unfounded, he wrote "I Am Spock" to show his appreciation for the character and the impact it have had on his life. He is fond of Spock, and values the character and the ideals it represents.

Wisdom comes with age. Or was it the money?


I'm watching you. Yes, YOU!
JDHannan

Bending Unit
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« Reply #33 on: 04-02-2003 03:14 »

Gocad:
wow, if you came up with that off the top of your head, thats amazingly hilarious
alexvilagosh

Goose Patrol
Space Pope
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« Reply #34 on: 04-05-2003 05:58 »

interesting thought JDHannan... pretty clever actually NOT nerdy as those nerd baggers are saying. it makes sense for them to have an 8 system.
JDHannan

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #35 on: 04-10-2003 02:47 »

YAY!!!!!!!!!!
and who says it cant be both?
payn
Bending Unit
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« Reply #36 on: 05-01-2003 22:30 »

If anyone wants to understand Rough Draft Studio, go watch the first-aired episode of the Clerks cartoon (pc004, "A Dissertation on the American Justice System by People Who Have Never Been Inside a Courtroom, Let Alone Know Anything About the Law, But Have Seen Way Too Many Legal Thrillers" ).

Meanwhile, my favorite Walter Koenig story:

At a Trek convention, Koenig told the fans, "Name any episode, and I can recite one of my lines from that episode." People called out episode titles, and he replied, "Warp factor one, kepten," "Warp factor two, kepten," "Warp factor three, kepten."

Someone called out "Space Seed" and he replied "Warp factor four, kepten." The fan then said, "Ha, you weren't in that episode!" Koenig left the stage.

Talking to Koenig later, he told me, "After Wrath of Khan I got hundreds of angry letters telling me I wasn't in that one--although I still have no idea why. I didn't write it, did I? So I already knew. But it's just easier to let them have their superior laughs than to care."
JDHannan

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #37 on: 05-04-2003 03:07 »

i absolutely can not believe for a second that you have any written proof from Rough Draft that says they didn't want to draw 10 fingers and would only draw 8.
i restate that the only reason cartoon characters have 8 fingers is that Mickey Mouse had 8 fingers so that he could make a little man with his hands, and every other cartoon since then copied it and Futurama did too.  In the DVD commentary they said they originally wanted Futurama to be made like real-life and the simpsons was fiction, and they would have 10 fingers, but after looking at it, it looked too weird.
payn
Bending Unit
***
« Reply #38 on: 05-04-2003 04:23 »

The truth is this:

There's a genetic abnormality called octodactylia. The most obvious symptom is having only 8 fingers--which makes their hands less massive. Therefore, it takes them less energy to draw at the relativistic speeds demanded by today's cartoon industry, which is why so much cartooning is done by octodactyliacs. And of course they draw what they know.

Extreme cases of octodactylia often have side-effects such as oddly-colored skin, the inability to perceive background details during fight scenes, breasts that defy the laws of physics, mouths that open  half-way around the head, and the ability to hover frozen in mid-air as long as dramatic music is playing.

Sadly, most octodactyliacs age badly, generally turning into shriveled midgets who can move only by shuffling sideways, although sometimes they get superpowers and/or superlibido to compensate.

This abnormality is rare even among the Koreans and Japanese, but is almost nonexistent in the rest of the world.

However, other ethnic groups have their own cartooning-related abnormalities, such as constructionpaperosis, which afflicts some anglo-Americans. Sufferers are completely two-dimensional, with other side effects such as anal obsessions, and sometimes (primarily among Canadians) heads that are disconnected at the mouth.
JDHannan

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #39 on: 05-06-2003 14:36 »

payn is my favorite poster besides myself!
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