User talk:Mike Christie

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Holiday Cheer[edit]

Christmas tree.svg Holiday Cheer
Victuallers talkback is wishing Mike Season's Greetings! This message celebrates the holiday season, promotes WikiLove, and hopefully makes your day a little better. Spread the seasonal good cheer by wishing another user a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, whether it be someone with whom you had disagreements in the past, a good friend, or just some random person. Share the good feelings. - Vic/Roger

-- Signing so this will archive. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 19:53, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

Books & Bytes New Years Double Issue[edit]

Books & Bytes

Eurasian Eagle-Owl Maurice van Bruggen.JPG

Volume 1 Issue 3, December/January 2013

(Sign up for monthly delivery)

Happy New Year, and welcome to a special double issue of Books & Bytes. We've included a retrospective on the changes and progress TWL has seen over the last year, the results of the survey TWL participants completed in December, some of our plans for the future, a second interview with a Wiki Love Libraries coordinator, and more. Here's to 2014 being a year of expansion and innovation for TWL!

The Wikipedia Library completed the first 6 months of its Individual Engagement grant last week. Here's where we are and what we've done:
Increased access to sources: 1500 editors signed up for 3700 free accounts, individually worth over $500,000, with usage increases of 400-600%
Deep networking: Built relationships with Credo, HighBeam, Questia, JSTOR, Cochrane, LexisNexis, EBSCO, New York Times, and OCLC
New pilot projects: Started the Wikipedia Visiting Scholar project to empower university-affiliated Wikipedia researchers
Developed community: Created portal connecting 250 newsletter recipients, 30 library members, 3 volunteer coordinators, and 2 part-time contractors
Tech scoped: Spec'd out a reference tool for linking to full-text sources and established a basis for OAuth integration
Broad outreach: Wrote a feature article for Library Journal's The Digital Shift; presenting at the American Library Association annual meeting
...Read Books & Bytes!

Signing so this will archive. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 13:48, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Radiocarbon dating[edit]

Hi, Mike -- I noticed your recent edits to Radiocarbon dating and saw where you added "scintillation counters". I didn't know what that was, so I just wanted to see if it was explained either in the article or in a linked article. I found it in the first paragraph in Radiocarbon dating#Preparation. The sentence begins:

"For samples in liquid form, for liquid scintillation counters, benzene is used,..."

and there is a link at "liquid scintillation counters". I am not as familiar with the science as I am with working to ensure clarity in articles. I think I have already read the article on radiocarbon dating (probably will read it again one of these days), and will probably read the article about "liquid scintillation counters", too, but something about this sentence is not clear to me. It's a minor issue, but perhaps you wouldn't mind looking at it. It is a bit unusual to have two phrases joined by a comma like that. A phrase enclosed in a pair of commas is often an appositive, but it doesn't appear to be an appositive here. In other words, "liquid scintillation counters" is not an explanation for, or synonym of, "samples in liquid form", is it? So it is unclear why these phrases are joined. Is it "for samples in liquid form and for liquid scintillation counters"? Or what? I'm sure this is all very clear to you, but to the average reader, I don't think it is. Thanks in advance for your time. CorinneSD (talk) 23:25, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

Hi, Corinne -- nice to meet you! Thanks for the comment. I agree I didn't phrase it very well. Yes, it's an appositive phrase. The intended meaning is "For samples in liquid form, which is the form that is needed for liquid scintillation counters, ..." The previous sentence describes the production of gas for use in gas counting devices; I probably hoped when I wrote that that the parallel construction would allow me to shorten the second sentence, but I think I went too far. How about "Liquid scintillation counters, which require the sample to be in liquid form, use benzene, ..."? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 00:37, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
I probably should have read the preceding sentences a little more carefully. I see now what you were trying to do. May I suggest the addition of "use in" for the gas counting device so that it reads, "for use in gas counting devices"? Regarding the liquid method, I don't understand the role of benzene. I should think it is either a solvent for the sample or just a liquid for the sample to be suspended in. It's not the sample itself, right? Could a phrase be added after "use benzene" to indicate what the benzene is for? Your suggestion is all right. May I suggest something else?:
Liquid scintillation counters require the sample to be in liquid form. Though other liquids were tried during the early days of the technique, today benzene is used as the solvent for the sample (or whatever it is).
Or, you could add a sentence in between:
Liquid scintillation counters require the sample to be in liquid form. The sample must be dissolved in... / suspended in... a solvent (or whatever it is). Though other liquids were tried during the early days of the technique, today benzene is normally used.
(How does a sample turn into liquid form?) You can see I know almost nothing about radiocarbon dating. I just like things to be clear. CorinneSD (talk) 01:36, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
If it's not clear, it needs to be fixed, so I'm happy to keep working on it. Let me give you a bit more information about the process and then you can tell me where it's missing in the article. Testing a radiocarbon sample requires that the carbon in the sample (e.g. the carbon in the old piece of bone or wood or whatever it is) be extracted from the sample by a chemical process, and converted to a form suitable for use in whatever device is going to test it. Each different device requires the carbon to be in a different form. For the gas counters, the carbon is usually converted to carbon dioxide; for the counters that work with liquids, the carbon has to be converted to a liquid that contains carbon, such as benzene. So the benzene is not a solvent -- it really is the original sample, converted into a new form. Does that clarify things? If so, what would make this clearer in the article? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 02:12, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Thank you so much for explaining all that. I think I really ought to read the article again, too. I think I can help formulate the sentence(s), but right now I'm too tired to do that. Do you mind if I wait until tomorrow? I just have one question (and I know it's getting into more detail than is needed for these sentences). You say that the carbon is converted into benzene. But with different samples, is the amount of carbon in the benzene different from sample to sample, or is it just the amount or percentage of the radioactive carbon that decays (I know it has a number -- is it 14?) that is different from sample to sample? Does that mean that the character of the benzene is different from sample to sample? (I wasn't very good at chemistry, but I do like minerology, and I like to learn.) Maybe all this is explained in the article, which I will read again tomorrow. CorinneSD (talk) 02:22, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Actually I've been working on the article for a while; I had to stop for months because I was moving house and my reference books were in boxes, but I'm ready to start up again, and would like to get it to good article or even featured article status. I'm very glad to have someone else read it and improve it, but I should also tell you that I don't think the article is in what I'd consider a final state -- I am planning quite a bit more work on it, both in adding new material (on calibration, speleothems, and significant uses) and also in organization -- the article is too long, and needs to be trimmed, with some material going into subsidiary articles. I'd be glad of help on any of that, but if your focus is mostly on making sure things read smoothly, perhaps you'd like to wait till I think the article is good enough not to be a waste of your time? If you're interested in doing more, of course I'd be very glad of that too. (And it's late here too (I'm on the east coast of the US) so I won't be posting again till tomorrow, after this.)
To your specific question, it's the amount of carbon-14 that's different. If you have a piece of bone that is 10,000 years old, and another piece that is 20,000 years old, the older piece will have only a quarter as much carbon-14 (relative to the total amount of carbon) that the younger piece will have. So if the 10,000-year-old bone has 12 parts per million of carbon-14, the 20,000-year-old bone will only have about 3 parts per million of carbon-14. By "parts per million" I mean carbon-14 atoms per million carbon-12 atoms -- the "per million" only refers to carbon atoms in the samples.
When you convert a sample to benzene for testing, the ratio of the carbon-14 to carbon-12 doesn't change (or at least it's not supposed to). So the two samples will differ in the amount of radioactive carbon-14, and hence in the number of scintillation flashes detected, and that allows the age of the sample to be calculated. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 02:46, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Thank you so much for the explanation about benzene and carbon-14. I will wait until you have finished working on the article to review it for readability, etc. -- but I'm sure it will be very good because you obviously write well. If you want to, you can just let me know when you're all finished and I'll read it then. CorinneSD (talk) 19:41, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
OK, I'll let you know. Thanks! Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 02:13, 26 June 2014 (UTC)


Do you agree with the recent edits to Wool? I don't know about GHG, etc., but, to me, "carbon footprint" is more recognizable by the average reader than "greenhouse gas footprint". But, of course, accuracy is important. CorinneSD (talk) 01:07, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

I think I would want to be convinced that there should be a carbon footprint section at all -- after all, almost any manufactured product has a carbon footprint, but I don't think that justifies a section in every such article. To the question you asked: yes, "carbon footprint" is more recognizable to me, though perhaps "greenhouse gas footprint" is common in the scholarly sources. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:14, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
I think the section is a little odd. I don't recall seeing such a section in articles about other materials. Do you have an idea how to proceed? Shall we ask some other editors such as Materialscientist, Sminthopsis84, or Vsmith? CorinneSD (talk) 01:20, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
I think it would be a good start to post a note to the talk page of the article, asking if such a section is really warranted. The information is encyclopaedic; it's just a question of where it belongs. I'll watch the talk page, if you would like to post there. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:22, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Radiocarbon dating[edit]

Mike, I noticed that there are two spaces after each period and before the next sentence. In edit mode I see that you have used "no break space", plus a space. I haven't seen that used after periods in other articles. I used to put two spaces after each period because I learned to type on a typewriter, and I asked another editor about that when I first started editing on WP, and it was explained to me that on WP, only one space is normally placed after a period. If you look at other articles, I think you'll see that that is the case. CorinneSD (talk) 01:32, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

See MOS:PUNCTSPACE. This link will bring you to "Spacing". The first sub-section is "Spaces following terminal punctuation". CorinneSD (talk) 01:39, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
I think that must be an artefact of using the Visual Editor; I do habitually use two spaces after a full stop, but I have always understood that this makes no difference, per [Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style#Spaces_following_terminal_punctuation|this MOS section]], which says MediaWiki ignores it. (The link you provided to PUNCTSPACE didn't work for me, by the way; can you give me the full link? I suspect it goes to the same page I just linked to.) I'll raise a question on the VE feedback page about this. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:43, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, I just looked at the article, and I'm confused; where are you seeing the "no break space"? I don't see that when I edit. Do you have some editing gadget enabled that shows you this? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:46, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Maybe another editor added the "no break space" before, and you simply don't see it, but that with a space perhaps creates two spaces whereas two spaces created by hitting the space bar twice would only show up as one space. If you go to "Preferences" (all the way at the top of your talk page), and click on it, then look at a horizontal row of tabs. Click on "Gadgets". Then look for the Editing section. Click on "WikEd" to enable it, and then click the save button. It's fantastic. When you are in Edit Mode, regular text is in black (I believe), tags and hidden notes to editors are in light salmon, references are in gray (I believe), and picture captions are in green. It enables you to read text more easily in Edit Mode because you can skip over the references and tags (or, vice versa, it allows you to focus on the references). You also get more editing tools at the top and the bottom of your edit window. You'll see all the "no break spaces" (looks like "and" symbol N b s p semi-colon) in the text. They might need to be removed. CorinneSD (talk) 02:03, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
I just enabled WikEd and I see what you mean. I'm busy for a couple of hours but later today I'll try some test edits and see if I can figure out what's causing this -- I suspect it's because I'm using the visual editor (which I have to say I prefer to WikEd), but I can't be sure. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 12:44, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
I figured it out -- it's because I pasted in that text from Microsoft Word, where I drafted it. Word preserves two spaces between sentences and pastes the first one as a non-breaking space. I'll delete them this evening. Thanks for spotting that! Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 20:56, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Did you ask Pat Hadley re an expert? Johnbod (talk) 13:58, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, here; he hasn't responded yet. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 14:15, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Hi, Mike -- I'm sorry I haven't finished reading the article. I found it quite difficult for me so I could only read a little at a time. Then I became busy with other things for a while. Do you still want me to read to the end, or do you think it's all right now? CorinneSD (talk) 20:42, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Up to you; there's no obligation, but I'd be glad of any feedback you can give me. It is a fairly technical article, and if you do read it I'd like to know which parts are hard to understand. Thanks. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 21:10, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Boat Race 2012 PR[edit]

Hi Mike, just a quick note to thank you for your review, very much appreciated. I'll go through the comments in due course and then, when I've had enough Dutch courage, will head to FAC. My best, The Rambling Man (talk) 15:31, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

Hi Mike, I've nominated it for FAC but then realised I'd failed to respond to your responses! I'm just out for a few hours but will get to those as soon as I can, so please don't think I was ignoring them! Best, The Rambling Man (talk) 07:57, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
P.S. After a dreadfully hot day of trawling around the shops following my better half and marvellously happy son, I got back to it and hopefully resolved (or attempted to resolve) the issues you noted. Thanks again for your time and energy. The Rambling Man (talk) 18:51, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
No problem; I've updated my comments. Just one fairly minor point left. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 10:25, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Science Fiction (magazine)[edit]

I understand and support the reasons of your page move. However if you will be making this kind of moves in the future, please take care ow wikilinks. For the current case (which was crewed up anyway), I will take care for Polish links. Please figure out the rest. Staszek Lem (talk) 23:00, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Hi -- I apologize if I screwed something up, but I thought I took care of the double redirects. Can you tell me what I missed, so I'll know in future? Also, I see you added Science Fiction Quarterly to Science Fiction (magazine); I don't think that should be included. There are several magazines which are named Science Fiction X, for various different X -- "Digest", "Quarterly", "Adventures", "Monthly". I think only ones that were actually named just Science Fiction should be included. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 01:10, 21 July 2014 (UTC)