User talk:Heron

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

2002 archive - 2003 archive - 2004H1 archive - 2004H2 archive - 2005H1 archive - 2005H2 archive - 2006H1 archive - 2006H2 archive - 2007 archive - 2008 archive - 2009 archive - 2010 archive - 2011 archive

MSU Interview[edit]

Dear Heron,

My name is Jonathan Obar user:Jaobar, I'm a professor in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University and a Teaching Fellow with the Wikimedia Foundation's Education Program. This semester I've been running a little experiment at MSU, a class where we teach students about becoming Wikipedia administrators. Not a lot is known about your community, and our students (who are fascinated by wiki-culture by the way!) want to learn how you do what you do, and why you do it. A while back I proposed this idea (the class) to the community HERE, were it was met mainly with positive feedback. Anyhow, I'd like my students to speak with a few administrators to get a sense of admin experiences, training, motivations, likes, dislikes, etc. We were wondering if you'd be interested in speaking with one of our students.

So a few things about the interviews:

  • Interviews will last between 15 and 30 minutes.
  • Interviews can be conducted over skype (preferred), IRC or email. (You choose the form of communication based upon your comfort level, time, etc.)
  • All interviews will be completely anonymous, meaning that you (real name and/or pseudonym) will never be identified in any of our materials, unless you give the interviewer permission to do so.
  • All interviews will be completely voluntary. You are under no obligation to say yes to an interview, and can say no and stop or leave the interview at any time.
  • The entire interview process is being overseen by MSU's institutional review board (ethics review). This means that all questions have been approved by the university and all students have been trained how to conduct interviews ethically and properly.

Bottom line is that we really need your help, and would really appreciate the opportunity to speak with you. If interested, please send me an email at (to maintain anonymity) and I will add your name to my offline contact list. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can post your name HERE instead.

If you have questions or concerns at any time, feel free to email me at I will be more than happy to speak with you.

Thanks in advance for your help. We have a lot to learn from you.


Jonathan Obar --Jaobar (talk) 01:16, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

"Refers to"[edit]

Hello, Heron. I noticed you changing "refers to" in various articles, such as this one. This came up before regarding the above linked article (Sexual intercourse), and I changed it back to "commonly refers to" due to sexual intercourse sometimes referring to anal or oral sex, or even non-penetrative sex. But that first time, it was simply changed to "is" instead of "is usually," and so I appreciate you adding "usually." But now the wording somehow seems more POV-ish instead of a simple statement of fact. So I'm going to change it to "is typically defined as."

Also, do you mind me asking why you object to "refers to"? Is it really bad grammar? Flyer22 (talk) 18:18, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Hello, Flyer22. I appreciate your contacting me rather than just reverting. In a lot of cases it is straightforward to change 'refers to' to 'is', but when there is ambiguity or uncertainty about the definition then one has to be more careful. I'm happy to discuss each case on its merits. I think the problem here is that by putting 'typically' or 'usually' in the first line, we leave the reader wondering what the other possibilities might be. The initial definition ought to encompass all possibilities, with the more specific cases given later.
'Refers to' is not bad grammar, but in my opinion it is bad style. The problem is that there are hundreds, probably thousands, of WP articles that begin 'A refers to B'. The overall impression is that the writers are lazily copying a formula and can't be bothered to put the headword into a proper sentence. Apologies if that sounds insulting -- it may be just my interpretation, not your intention. 'Refers to' is often misused to mean 'has something to do with'. It doesn't tell us whether the headword is a noun, an adjective or some other part of speech, and so the article loses one of its functions: telling the reader how to use the word. This has already been written about: see Wikipedia:Use_of_'refers_to'#Use_of_.22refers_to.22. --Heron (talk) 18:50, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for replying, Heron. As for what you state about using "usually" or "typically".... Well, the reader isn't left "wondering what the other possibilities might be" for long, considering that the other definitions are mentioned immediately after that. And I feel that the most common definition should come first, as is the case for various articles on Wikipedia (such as Serial killer). The fact is..."penile-vaginal intercourse" is the most common definition of sexual intercourse. I know this from having extensively studied sexual topics. Refer to the first two sources in the lead, technical virginity, or this source, for what I mean. As I stated on the talk page, where this was extensively debated in February of this year, researchers usually, or rather very often, define "loss of virginity" as only penile-vaginal sex, as mentioned in the section about technical virginity in the Virginity article. "Intercourse" usually means penile-vaginal penetration, like in this source. When the scholars are referring to other sexual acts, they usually say "anal sex," "oral sex," "digital penetration," and so on. And by "scholars," I mean researchers. Penile-vaginal intercourse is also the traditional definition, as this source, which is used in the lead, states. Sexual intercourse usually meaning penile-vaginal intercourse is also what various other sources in the article show. But, anyway, my main point is that we should go by the most common definition first, like we do for the Anal sex article, and then go into the alternate definitions. Of course, the Anal sex article also no longer states "typically refers to" or "commonly refers to," but I believe that it should, even though the other definitions are listed right after it. I understand your point about not using "typically" or "usually" (I of course noted how "usually" sounds), but that is why I stuck with "commonly." And, finally, "coitus" very rarely ever means anything outside of the "Sexual union between a male and a female involving insertion of the penis into the vagina. "Copulation" also usually means penile-vaginal intercourse. I am open to not using "commonly refers to," but the most common definition, in my opinion, should come first. Flyer22 (talk) 19:27, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Also, since the article is not only about humans, I'm against the first line clearly being about humans (i.e. using the words "heterosexual" and "homosexual," which aren't used in reference to non-human animals as much as they are used in reference to humans). How do you feel about "is commonly defined as"? Flyer22 (talk) 19:47, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm happy to defer to the experts, not being one myself. I checked in my dictionary (Chambers) for the differences between SI, coitus and copulation, and it said that they were synonymous. That was my reason for leaving them all together at the beginning and giving the most general definition. However, perhaps others use the terms differently. Before consulting the dictionary I would have said that first term was more general and the other two were specifically penis-related. I'm also happy to avoid restricting the definition to humans. "Commonly defined as" will do, I suppose, as long as we supply references that back up that claim. At least I get my way by removing 'refers to' :-) --Heron (talk) 20:15, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, they are generally used synonymously, but also generally in relation to penile-vaginal intercourse. For example, see the extensive debate about whether or not we should have a Copulation article at Talk:Copulation. Like "sexual intercourse," scholars usually use "copulation" when referring to male-female mating ("mating" as in penis-in-vagina intercourse, or whatever way a male/female may mate to reproduce) and since copulation is covered in the first line of the Sexual intercourse article, as well as in its general body, and among other articles that deal with non-human sexual intercourse, it doesn't make sense to have a Copulation article. And like I stated, "coitus" very rarely means anything other than penile-vaginal sex. I can't even remember the last time I saw it refer to sexual acts in general. But, anyway, after having read scholarly text after scholarly about sexual activities, there is a clear preference among scholars with regard to how they use the term "intercourse" when referring to sexual activity -- penile-vaginal sex. It's no doubt that way because that's how society, no matter where, usually defines sexual intercourse. That's certainly why "technical virginity" came about. And, LOL, about getting your way. I of course understand that. Flyer22 (talk) 21:01, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I'll try to remember all this for the next time I edit a sex-related article. Thanks for making me think about it, and good luck with the Talk:Copulation debate. My feeling, after reading most of that talk page, is that the two terms overlap enough to make a single article sufficient, even if they have slightly different connotations. Perhaps lumping together the three terms at the beginning is part of the problem. I don't like articles that can't decide what their own headword is - they make me suspect an unfinished merge. --Heron (talk) 21:19, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
LOL, the copulation debate has been over since 2011, although I see that an IP weighed in this year. I obviously agree about the terms overlapping enough that they should be covered in the same article. The terms usually mean the same thing. So as for alternate headings, they should typically be mentioned in the first sentence or paragraph, per Wikipedia:Alternative titles#Treatment of alternative names. This way, if a person types in "coitus" or "copulation," and ends up at the Sexual intercourse article, as they surely will, they will know that they have found the correct article. Flyer22 (talk) 21:26, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
The intro reads perfectly well to me now. Thanks for the discussion. --Heron (talk) 18:06, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

"Refers to" II[edit]

Hi, Heron. I've reverted your change of "refers to" --> "is" with an explanatory edit summary. Compare also discussion here. P.S., please avoid marking edits like the one you made as "minor". Bishonen | talk 19:34, 26 June 2012 (UTC).

Hi. I understand the reason for your reversion, but I don't accept that the previous wording was any better. If you want to express the mainstream opinion (which I have no reason to doubt) that telepathy doesn't exist, then 'refers to' is the wrong way to do it. Please take a look at an article like Unicorn. It uses 'is', not 'refers to', while still making it plain that the subject is fictional. 'Refers to' is wrong because telepathy doesn't refer to anything, it is something, even if that thing is imaginary. This distinction is explained in WP:REFERS. I'm going to try a different edit - not because I want to start an edit war, but because I want to find a wording that I hope will be acceptable to you while respecting the WP:REFER policy. Also, I stand by my use of the 'minor' label for corrections of this type: in general the removal of 'refers to' makes the meaning closer to what was intended. It is only when the subject is controversial (however mildly) or badly defined that a problem arises, in which case the sentence has other issues that need to be fixed. --Heron (talk) 21:14, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
WP:REFERS isn't really a policy or an official guideline. It's an essay. (talk) 22:42, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
I stand corrected: WP:REFERS is not a policy, it is advice. However, it is there for a reason. If you want real policy, please see the manual of style/Lead section, specifically WP:BEGINNING, in which all the examples show the headword used and not mentioned. There is not a single 'refers to' in any of those examples. In fact every example uses the verb 'to be' in some form. --Heron (talk) 07:30, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

July 2012 Study of authors of health-related Wikipedia pages[edit]

Dear Author/Heron

My name is Nuša Farič and I am a Health Psychology MSc student at University College London (UCL). I am currently running a quantitative study entitled Who edits health-related Wikipedia pages and why? I am interested in the editorial experience of people who edit health-related Wikipedia pages. I am interested to learn more about the authors of health-related pages on Wikipedia and what motivations they have for doing so. I am currently contacting the authors of randomly selected articles and I noticed that someone at this address recently edited an article on Pancreatic Cancer. I would like to ask you a few questions about you and your experience of editing the above mentioned article. If you would like more information about the project, please visit my user page and if interested, please visit my Talk page or e-mail me on Also, others interested in the study may contact me! If I do not hear back from you I will not contact this account again. Thank you very much in advance. Hydra Rain (talk) 11:25, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

Characteristic impedance[edit]

More eyes are needed on this article. See this edit. SpinningSpark 22:18, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

I think it's OK now that Zolot's error has been reverted, but I'll keep an eye on it. I'm a bit suspicious of the 'single pair of waves' terminology in the intro, as I haven't seen it expressed this way before. IMO a wave is a single electromagnetic event, not a pair of events. I'll see if I can think of a more conventional way of expressing it. --Heron (talk) 13:06, 17 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I agree the "pair" terminology is an odd way of stating it. Voltage and current are a "pair" of characteristics of the same wave, not a pair of waves per se. SpinningSpark 15:12, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

The notoriuos wiki troll ( Iaaasi) returned[edit]


The well known chauvinist romanian wiki-troll User:Iaaasi returned (with a new croatian fake identity) He is now active alias user: Irji2012 He is often active in Hungarian-related aricles, he enjoy edit-warring deleting good sources and sentences from important articles, and he like to break the rules of wiki even 3 revert rule. Can you arrange about this notorious wiki-troll? Thank you! Peter. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:55, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

Invitation to WikiProject Brands[edit]

Fredmeyer edit 1.jpg
Hello, Heron.

You are invited to join WikiProject Brands, a WikiProject and resource dedicated to improving Wikipedia's coverage of brands and brand-related topics.
To join the project, just add your name to the member list. Northamerica1000(talk) 09:01, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Tech comm[edit]

I noticed that you're a member of the ISTC. Would you be interested in helping to provide reliable sources for articles related to technical communication? MezzoMezzo (talk) 20:29, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Sure, I'll have a go. I don't have a library of Tech Comms textbooks, but I could perhaps find some information on Google Books. Do you have a list of unsourced articles? --Heron (talk) 11:55, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Invitation to WikiProject Breakfast[edit]

Hello, Heron.

You are invited to join WikiProject Breakfast, a WikiProject and resource dedicated to improving Wikipedia's coverage of breakfast-related topics.
To join the project, just add your name to the member list. Northamerica1000(talk) 21:57, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Malpasset dam and ‎ Malpasset Dam[edit]

Why was that a cut'n'paste content move to reverse the redirect rather than a real page-move/rename? DMacks (talk) 14:19, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

I did it that way because most of the article's history was under Malpasset Dam, as a result of an earlier move by someone else. If I had done another page move, Malpasset Dam would have been deleted and I presume that its history would have disappeared too. (I might be wrong about this. Perhaps the wiki would have preserved the history, but I didn't want to risk it.) Heron (talk) 15:06, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
The only actual content I see in capital-D is [1], after which it became a redirect and that scant info was merged into lowercase-d. Doesn't seem like useful history unless I'm not seeing some piece of the history. On the other hand, now that I look at the refs and ideas here, I'm not sure capital-D is correct--it's the dam at Malpasset, with "dam" just the description? I can't find a MOS about this sort of thing:( DMacks (talk) 16:04, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
The history that I wanted to preserve is here, but I'm open to correction if I've gone about it the wrong way. As for capitalisation, there isn't a specific rule for dams but I believe they come under 'proper nouns' and therefore the policy WP:NAMECAPS applies. Our article is in Category:Arch_dams. If you check that category, you will see that all the dams except Malpasset have a capital D.--Heron (talk) 18:48, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
I think we might be talking past each other. Moving a page exactly does preserve the history of the page being moved (all the lowercase-d history is transfered when the lowercase-d article is renamed to capital-D), whereas cut'n'pasting the current content of an article to another one completely loses the edit-history of that content (no link from its new location back to the changes to it at its former location). If it's the proper name, I agree that capital-D is correct, but I couldn't find evidence of it being the proper name; I left a note at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (geographic names) asking for guidance. DMacks (talk) 19:27, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I was wrong about M.D.: its history is trivial. So I'd be happy about using a page move instead of my cut-and-paste method. I'll wait for the outcome of your enquiry on naming conventions before doing anything else. --Heron (talk) 20:17, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Love history & culture? Get involved in WikiProject World Digital Library![edit]

World Digital Library Wikipedia Partnership - We need you!
Hi Heron! I'm the Wikipedian In Residence at the World Digital Library, a project of the Library of Congress and UNESCO. I'm recruiting Wikipedians who are passionate about history & culture to participate in improving Wikipedia using the WDL's vast free online resources. Participants can earn our awesome WDL barnstar and help to disseminate free knowledge from over 100 libraries in 7 different languages. Multilingual editors are welcome! (But being multilingual is not a requirement.) Please sign up to participate here. Thanks for editing Wikipedia and I look forward to working with you! SarahStierch (talk) 21:10, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Invitation to join the Ten Year Society[edit]

Ten Year Society.svg

Dear Heron,

I'd like to extend a cordial invitation to you to join the Ten Year Society, an informal group for editors who've been participating in the Wikipedia project for ten years or more.

Best regards, — Scott talk 18:42, 1 June 2013 (UTC)

That's very kind of you, Scott. I shall proudly display the logo on my user page. --Heron (talk) 10:10, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Articles deletion[edit]

Dear Heron,

I apologize for the inconvenience, but have no other way than appealing for administrators’ help recover a deleted article.

I published a film article entitled Drits (Derivas), a film by Portuguese director Ricardo Costa. It is the second film from an autobiographic trilogy, Faraways. The article was kept untouched by several months. To my surprise, it was recently eliminated and redirected to the director’s page with no discussion. I undid the redirection, but saw the article was proposed to deletion. Reason: independent, verifiable, secondary resources. I argued that the article couldn’t have but primary sources (the producer’s ones) as it is an upcoming film, like many others listed at upcoming films. A film that has not yet been premiered or distributed may not be commented. Besides, none of the films so listed has ever been deleted or even contested.

At last, in discussion, user User:reddogsix proposed that the article should be renamed to Drifts (film) or similar, and at the same time put at the disambiguation page of Dritf this reference «Drifs, unreleased film by Ricardo Costa (filmmaker). I created a new page for the same article entitled Drifts (Portuguese film). As the semantic root “drift” seemed to be the problem, I replaced the article name to Derivas (Drifts) and published it once more with some improvements. As a result, the article was fast deleted and I blocked for three days.

In the meantime, a new article about the trilogy was published: Faraways, which was proposed to fast deletion as well by the same user, User:reddogsix.

Although unreleased, although having no reliable secondary sources, Drifts is unquestionably an outstanding film for its uniqueness and characteristics: autobiography, comedy, docufiction, metafiction in one. I guess that “outstanding” may be a synonym for “notable” in such cases and that articles like this shouldn’t be deleted without previous cared analyses: important information may be lost.

This sequence of interventions is clearly a personal attack by User:reddogsix, supported by two or three user friend. It has no other explanation. It contributes in nothing to improve articles quality. Mists article, which I created on 10 September 2010, is the latest example. The article structure was unreasonably modified, loosing clarity and useful content.

NOTE: sent to 30 administrators.

Thanks for your attention, User:Tertulius 21:41, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

File:Generator-model.png listed for deletion[edit]

A file that you uploaded or altered, File:Generator-model.png, has been listed at Wikipedia:Files for deletion. Please see the discussion to see why it has been listed (you may have to search for the title of the image to find its entry). Feel free to add your opinion on the matter below the nomination. Thank you. Sfan00 IMG (talk) 20:50, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Single-dot matrix printer[edit]

I've added a comment [2] to your (archived) question in WP:RD/C. --CiaPan (talk) 08:18, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, CiaPan. As you will see, I got to the dot matrix printer page before you did. :) --Heron (talk) 20:22, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

MfD nomination of Wikipedia:TLAs from AAA to DZZ[edit]

Wikipedia:TLAs from AAA to DZZ, a page you substantially contributed to, has been nominated for deletion. Your opinions on the matter are welcome; please participate in the discussion by adding your comments at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:TLAs from AAA to DZZ and please be sure to sign your comments with four tildes (~~~~). You are free to edit the content of Wikipedia:TLAs from AAA to DZZ during the discussion but should not remove the miscellany for deletion template from the top of the page; such a removal will not end the deletion discussion. Thank you. Quest for Truth (talk) 20:51, 18 January 2014 (UTC)