User talk:Vsmith

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Please note - rules of the game! I usually answer comments & questions on this page rather than on your talk (unless initiated there) to keep the conversation thread together. I am aware that some wikiers do things differently so let me know if you expect a reply on your page and maybe it'll happen :-)


Radiocarbon dating[edit]

As perhaps you are aware, Radiocarbon dating has been extensively re-written by Mike Christie and is being readied for consideration for Featured Article status. There is a peer review page. I've been watching the article because I had been helping Mike with wording. I have a question about an edit just made to the article. An editor made some "clean-up" edits. In the middle of those edits the editor added a "no-break space" between "14" and the little degree symbol, even though there was no space between them before that. I had never seen that before. Is that "no-break space" needed? Why would the "14" ever separate from the degree symbol at the end of a line? CorinneSD (talk) 20:06, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

A space should exist between a number and its unit (14 and °C), so 14 °C with the hard space is correct.
Oh. O.K. I always thought the degree symbol went right after the number, and then a space before F. or C. At least that's the way I've always written it by hand. But I'm sure you're right. CorinneSD (talk) 22:13, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
See the usage in the Celsius intro for example. Vsmith (talk) 01:53, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
Was just taking a look at the redundancies in the Deferent and epicycle lead. Will give that a go also ... maybe :) Vsmith (talk) 20:38, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

Deferent and epicycle[edit]

In the table in Deferent and epicycle, would it be possible to reduce the size of the font for the part of the heading of each column that is is parentheses? Then the main heading words ("Mean size", "Modern value" and "Radio") would stand out more. (If the part in parentheses is sufficiently reduced in size, the parentheses might not even be needed.) CorinneSD (talk) 15:21, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

Yeah - small 'em. Just applied. Vsmith (talk) 15:30, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
I love that -- "small" as a verb -- looks much better. CorinneSD (talk) 15:46, 5 August 2014 (UTC)


I represent a leading Permaculture research organization, but can't seem to add my organization's info on the Permaculture page - the editor thinks I am spamming or something, but I am simply listing my organization's info - exactly as the other listing organizations shown on the page have done. There is not any difference here in what our organizations do, so I need a higher-level explanation of why my organization is not allowed to be listed, while the others in my field are allowed to be listed on the Permaculture page. I am new at this, so perhaps I'm doing something wrong, but there is no reason why my organization should be barred - it is the same exact type of organization (teaching, research) as the others. Enzo at Permaculture Education (talk) 18:04, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

Please read WP:COI. We are here to write an encyclopedia - not to promote our organization, or other interests. In addition, your username appears to be in conflict with Wikipedia:Username policy#Promotional names. Vsmith (talk) 18:23, 5 August 2014 (UTC)


Dear Vsmith, I have seen that my contribution about basaluminite has been removed and redirected to felsobanyaite. I agree that the mineral should not be called basaluminite but the content in the contribution was valid for felsobanyaite. Apparently there were also copyright problems with my contribution and I do not understand where the violation of copyright was. I cited many references giving proper credit for the sources. In any case, if there was a copyvio, it was not on purpose so, if you could explain it to me, that would be very helpful for future contributions. Thank you in advance Patriace (talk) 17:38, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

The third paragraph was a direct copy/paste of content in the cited reference, the Handbook of Mineralogy. Vsmith (talk) 19:01, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

Dear Vsmith, I do not see the problem with that. That is citation. In any case, I would like to include the content (edited if necessary) in the contribution for felsobanyaite. Can I do it? Thanks Patriace (talk) 07:51, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

Please read Wikipedia:Copy-paste. Vsmith (talk) 09:55, 13 August 2014 (UTC)


Hi Vsmith

I notice that the page for the band 'Anihilated' has been deleted from Wikipedia. Please could you explain why, and provide the opportunity for me to correct any offending content that goes against the rules of Wikipedia.

23:46, 24 May 2014 Vsmith (talk | contribs) deleted page Anihilated (G11: Unambiguous advertising or promotion) 18:59, 24 May 2014 RHaworth (talk | contribs) deleted page Anihilated (A7: Article about a band, singer, musician, or musical ensemble, which does not indicate the importance or significance of the subject)

Many thanks Todd Manning Anihilated (talk) 09:52, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

Quite simple: we don't use Wikipedia to promote our own stuff. Any article about a band must have WP:reliable sources which indicate or support the WP:notability of the subject. Vsmith (talk) 10:04, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

Ok, thanks for the response. So can the page be reactivated so we can review/rewrite the existing content to remove any promotional language and provide references to reliable sources? The purpose of the article should be to provide facts about the importance of the band in the early development of the UK thrash metal scene in the 80's. I understand one of the band members edited it recently, so it sounds like they adjusted it too much to flag it for deletion. (talk) 11:24, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

As the deleted page was purely promotional with no reliable sources it won't be "reactvated". However, you are welcome to establish an account and write a new article based on solid sources. Vsmith (talk) 12:11, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

COI removal[edit]

Hi Vsmith,

You removed my edit on the "colloidal gold" entry, which was an external link to lab protocols. I have no financial etc conflicts of interest. The link was to my own website, where I'm compiling laboratory methods that are useful for other labs. I'm a scientist at Harvard and don't see how posting point-by-point methods for synthesis is a COI, unless I'm charging, have a patent (I don't), etc. Could you please clarify for me the nature of the COI, and undo your removal if it's not appropriate?

Many thanks,

Steve — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sdperrault (talkcontribs) 17:28, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

I did look at the website and understand that there is no commercial interests there. However, the website fails WP:reliable sources and linking to it has the appearance of promotion as it is your own work. Rather than linking to your own work why not link to the sources you used to compile the website? Please review the policy links I've provided. We base our editing on published reliable sources, not on our own compilations. You could suggest a link to your website as an external link (in an external links section at the end of the article) on the article talk page and see if others there deem it necessary. Vsmith (talk) 17:56, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

Hi Vsmith - My website contains the original, peer-reviewed published articles along with the point-by-point methods I re-wrote for ease of use. The website also includes a spreadsheet tool for those doing synthesis to use. The method files themselves contain appropriate citations. So I would disagree with the WP:reliable sources decision. These methods would be quite useful for other researchers to find, so it may be "self-promotional" (this seems like a subjective decision without much basis), but as a scientist I'm trying to disseminate knowledge on something I have expertise in. I won't re-post but it seems unfortunate that these methods aren't linked to the article. Would it be appropriate to create a new methods wikipedia page to link to?Sdperrault (talk) 00:59, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

The original, peer-reviewed published articles would be reliable sources. A methods page would also require WP:reliable sources. You could add a link in the External links section of the article without the in text promotion that you added previously. Please also see Wikipedia:Not how-to. Vsmith (talk) 01:17, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll add an external link. Sdperrault (talk) 01:25, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

RE: Richard Dawkins.[edit]

Just wanted to point out that I genuinely believe that your decision to ignore the argumentum ad hominem in HiLo48's response was very poor taste indeed, especially coming from an administrator.   «l| Promethean ™|l»  (talk) 09:01, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

I routinely "ignore" a lot of crap around here, but the guffaw factor there ... anyway, keep on truckin'. Vsmith (talk) 11:38, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Hello my name is Iulia Cirstea

i made a mistake creating my user the correct one has to be Iulia Cirstea ... instead of Iuliacirstea i want it to be Iulia Cirstea ...

i saw u deleted my account ... i didnt know i cannot write my own page...can u help me write it ? i am a working model and actress i have an imdb account and i can provide you with links from all my agencies and all fashion magazines

thank you Iulia — Preceding unsigned comment added by Iuliacirstea (talkcontribs) 15:45, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

As noted on your talk page Wikipedia is not for self promotion. Writing about yourself is problematic as you have a WP:COI, it's rather difficult to write about yourself in a neutral and non-promotional manner. Assuming you are notable, then someone else will or should write the article based on WP:reliable sources. Vsmith (talk) 19:05, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Mu Cephei[edit]

Vsmith, I'd like to ask you about something regarding Mu Cephei. I had posted a comment on the article's talk page at Talk:Mu Cephei#Properties regarding 6", which I had seen in the last paragraph of the section Mu Cephei#Properties. Another editor replied, suggesting adding a wiki-link. That editor had mentioned "arc second", so I put that into the search box. It led directly to an article entitled Minute of arc. I read that article and found the explanation for single and double quotation marks following a number as the abbreviations for "prime" and "double prime", respectively. So, I linked 6" in the article to the article Minute of arc. However, that editor then changed the link to lead directly to one section in that article, the one that contains the table that explains single and double prime. I just wonder whether a wiki-link should go directly to a section in an article or to the entire article. CorinneSD (talk) 16:38, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

As 6" is 6 arcseconds either link would work, but the link to the section which defines the term would be better. As far as I know linking to a specific section is no problem and gives a more direct link to relevant info. Only problematic if the section name is changed, in which case the link leads to the article lead by default. Vsmith (talk) 18:55, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
O.K. Thanks. CorinneSD (talk) 14:30, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

nordlicht bit[edit]

Glad to see you removed that 'nordlicht irrelevance. RAL2014 (talk) 09:05, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Yes, that tidbit of info wasn't needed. If anywhere, it would go on a disambig page. The user struggles with English ... perhaps on they do things differently. Vsmith (talk) 11:53, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Nebular hypothesis[edit]

Just wondered if you agreed with User:WolfmanSF in the edit summary accompanying the edit at 00:31 of 5 September 2014 in today's featured article Nebular hypothesis. Normally, I agree that unnecessary capital letters should be changed to lower-case, but I'm not sure in this case. CorinneSD (talk) 21:59, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Let me explain my position. It is common when first introducing an acronym in an article to capitalize the letters in the term used in the acronym, to show how the acronym was generated. This may be useful in cases where the origin of the acronym might not otherwise be obvious. There is no need for this practice, however, when the origin of the acronym is obvious anyway (i.e. when it simply consists of the first letter of each word of the term). The practice actually has a major drawback, however, in that some readers gain the impression that a term that has an acronym needs to be treated like a proper noun, and always be capitalized. This simply isn't true. WolfmanSF (talk) 22:14, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
O.K. Thanks for the explanation. CorinneSD (talk) 22:18, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
As an example of a case where the acronym might not be obvious, NASA's MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging mission is MESSENGER. WolfmanSF (talk) 22:24, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Thank You For The Intervention[edit]

Thank you for the page protection at Hell Creek Formation. From my previous experiences with that anonymous editor, it changes its IP from time to time. It may also have a seldom-used account, as well.--Mr Fink (talk) 00:14, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

It's only for 3 days - but thought a short break was in order and didn't want to hand out 3rr blocks - use caution there. I see the ip has been active on various vertibrate paleo pages - you might want to check those as well. Vsmith (talk) 01:39, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Those articles need to be cleaned up and de-crufted, too.--Mr Fink (talk) 04:07, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
And he's back to business as usual.--Mr Fink (talk) 16:15, 12 September 2014 (UTC)


User:Sabazius01 has just evaded his block with this new account[1] . Bladesmulti (talk) 09:49, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Once more [2] Bladesmulti (talk) 09:58, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Seems to have been blocked and the page semi'd before I got me mornin' coffee. Vsmith (talk) 12:29, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Sar-i Sang flickr quote?[edit]

So, are you OK with using the St. John quote & cite? I think it adds value to the little article, but don't have the energy (or interest) to hunt down something more formal. Best, Pete Tillman (talk) 19:00, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

I've no objections to the citation; however I would be quite against a pure copy/paste. Could do it as a quotation - but why not reword? Vsmith (talk) 22:42, 9 September 2014 (UTC)[edit]

Really? One bad edit, being the first edit at all in several months, no prior blocks, and this gets a one year block? Granted I didn't look at the prior edits, but what am I missing here? When are we going to actually get some form of standards for dealing with school IPs? I still feel like the admin community has quietly (without discussion) decided that school IP users must create accounts; if that's going to be the norm, my position still stands that it needs to be discussed with the community at large and there needs to be a policy set in stone. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 18:13, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

hmm... Granted I didn't look at the prior edits seems to be what you are missing here. How do you deal with school vandalism in your work as an admin on that other 'pedia site? Vsmith (talk) 19:01, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Since you must bring that up... Karajou actually unblocked one when I pointed out that it was blocked by a sysop lite and was a shared IP (which had no reason to be blocked in the first place). TK was the one that notoriously mass rangeblocked half of the planet, and Andy Schlafly decided he didn't like that after TK passed. It doesn't really matter, you're still going to do what you're going to do and it's not going to change. I just think if this is the way we're going to do things it should be made policy. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 19:28, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps it doesn't really matter but did you check the ip's contribution history? I worked as a high school science teacher for 25 years and for a good part of that time after my school got connected, I worked as a computer lab supervisor before school and during lunchtime. I know what bored teenagers like to do :) After I discovered wikipedia ten years ago, I saw it as a way for my students to apply their talents and encouraged them to edit to improve or start articles. After my school got blocked from editing - I encouraged those interested to get an account and edit - a few did and were successful ... most just didn't want to bother.
If you want to change the system (and free the bored students to vandalize WP), then posting here really isn't going to achieve much - take it elsewhere. Vsmith (talk) 20:03, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm not an idiot, I'm not saying you're an idiot either. In fact, I think you're right that students will vandalize if they have the opportunity (they still do though, in this age of wireless technology); I was a student not so long ago, and CCPS had Wikipedia blocked in those days because for various reasons, and long story short, I knew a way around it (via the secured server), the person in charge of the webfilter knew I had away, and because I didn't do anything I shouldn't on Wikipedia (vandalize, look up porn stars, look up the list of suicide methods article, etc), they didn't seem to mind me going on the site. Well, I showed someone else how to get on there, and that person showed someone else how to, someone decided to play vandal and the IP got blocked, then it got blocked again for three months because I listed it as a possible sockpuppet of an LTA user (going back to 2006, and this was in 2008), summer vaction came, never saw anymore vandalism from there until CCPS unblocked Wikipedia in 2012.
Where we differ in opinion isn't that "bored teenagers" are going to do ridiculous things. Where I'm different is that I think it's more of a reason to assume good faith; I would say a school IP is pretty much guaranteed to have idiots, but is also potentially where some great editors might make their first edit, but won't go out of their way to make that first edit if that IP is softblocked (and since you used to be a science teacher, you're probably fully aware that students or even support staff such as cafeteria workers may not be able to access email from school to request the creation of an account). What I've seen is that a lot of these school IPs that have been being blocked long term haven't had an unmanageable amount of vandalism coming from them (especially in this age of edit filters, anti-vandal bots, Twinkle users, and rollbackers); in fact, a lot of these IPs which I've seen blocked long term only occasionally made malicious edits, sometimes with weeks or even months in between, yet at least two which I saw get blocked long term had several good faith edits in addition to the vandalism (an IP belonging to Gulf Coast High School and an IP belonging to Charlotte County Public Schools) My position stems from my belief in Wikipedia being "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit," as is proudly declared on our home page. To me, blocks are to stop a specific trouble maker from causing mayhem, not try and prevent bored teenagers from ever vandalizing/editing. In my opinion, one bad edit roughly every two weeks, or even an occasional vandalism spree that could be settled with a 48 hour block, does not constitute persistent vandalism, especially if there are good faith edits mixed in between. My position on this matter is similar to my libertarian/constitutional conservative views on government issues.
That said, I don't really expect to change your opinion on the matter, I would just like to see some sort of policy on this rather than what we have now, which is a handful of admins deciding they don't like schools editing and long-term blocking them. I proposed this once at Village Pump, another admin who is pro-school block really like the idea of a policy on the matter (my proposal was to either start softblocking them on site like we hardblock open proxies (another language Wikipedia does this) or set up a guideline for assuming good faith, where these IPs would no longer be blocked for long periods of time as a "repeat vandal" unless there were an established pattern of long term abuse such as User:Grawp or User:Mmbabies, because face it, assuming it's not faculty writing "john doe is a faggot" or "JANE DOE IS THE AWESOMEST CHEERLEADER EVER <<<<<3", if someone is so obsessed with vandalizing Wikipedia from their school that they break into their former high school the day five year block is over and go on a vandalism spree they have serious problems, and if it's not the same person, then it's no more a "repeat vandal" then someone test editing from a dynamic CenturyLink IP address that was blocked five years years prior for vandalism.) Unfortunately, the village pump thread didn't get much attention, so we're stuck with more of the status quo. Under the status quo, the closest thing we have to a policy on this is WP:AGF, and the shared templates even say to assume good faith and not assume that every edit is coming from the same person, which is why I'm always complaining about the schoolblocks. Anyway, agree or not, that's my two cents. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 02:24, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
As to why I didn't look at the edits from a few months ago, if it's not the same person doing it that did the most recent edit, what's the difference? PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 02:28, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
If it's not the same person doing the vandalism from an IP that has an extensive history of vandalism edits, it would be pragmatic to restrict the ability of users of that IP from editing Wikipedia, given as how most users of that IP are vandals, thereby saving other editors' time from needing to deal with all the messes being made from that IP to begin with. Assuming Good Faith is worthless if it's obviously being wasted by those who are looking to make trouble.--Mr Fink (talk) 02:35, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Which is pretty much the same logic behind TK's controversial massive rangeblocks at Conservapedia; the heck with any collateral damage, the majority of edits to Conservapedia coming from British Telecom, Bell Canada, the University of Florida, Microsoft's headquarters, and Sarasota County Public Schools were vandalism so he rangeblocked them. I'll just agree to disagree, no use arguing about it. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages) 03:51, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Investigated your edit by on site inspection 2014_0913.[edit]

You were correct. Thanks for correction and taking opportunity to update Wikipedia article. Gary Bollinger. Abraham Bartolommeo (talk) 01:43, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Confederate States of America[edit]

The purpose of full protection is to allow editors to reach consensus on the discussion page. However, in this case, one editor (Texasreb) wants to add material that three editors (me, Rjensen, and TheVirginiaHistorian) object to. Both sides have stated their reasons but for over a month Texasreb continues to add the material back although four different editors have reverted him. He has been blocked once during this time, but a second effort to have him blocked was not acted on at all (see [3]); the only action was a statement by an administrator who said, "In my opinion, this is a repeat of the same violation for which I issued a block a couple of days ago. It looks like he will keep going indefinitely unless a further block is issued."

None of the dispute resolution scenarios apply when a single editor simply choses to ignore consensus. The wikipedia system is not working in this case. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 01:33, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Hello Vsmith. I would welcome any interest in this case by other admins. I refrained from a follow-up block only because I thought Some Other Admin should do it. (I didn't want to act twice in a row as the sole closer). My proposal at AN3 for a second block got no response. If you think Tom has a valid point here, you might discuss with Texasreb whether he has any intention of accepting consensus. There's a lengthy discussion on the article talk page but no actual RfC. The edit history shows nobody else supporting Texasreb's versions. So far in September Texasreb has reverted about 11 times though the other side has reverted as well. Texasreb thinks that being right justifies him continuing to revert: "Consensus is fine if it doesn't involve censorship of relevant info".
Here are the pagelinks and userlinks:
The 3RR complaints were:
Thanks, EdJohnston (talk) 02:07, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the input here. I acted to stop an edit war. On further investigation I became more aware of the problems pointed out above - perhaps should have looked deeper prior to acting ... Should the user return to edit warring against consensus after the protection ends, then a lengthy block will be in order. Vsmith (talk) 02:36, 18 September 2014 (UTC)


Vandalism? Consistently? Really. Do you think the name of a book is really PraryErth? I changed it back to Prairie Earth! Only once, NOT consistently. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Happyned (talkcontribs) 19:17, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Check it out - search for ISBN 0-395-48602-5 on Amazon or elsewhere. Vsmith (talk) 19:36, 19 September 2014 (UTC)