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September 9[edit]

Need to clone Win7 drive[edit]

I have a Windows 7 machine a few years old. I got a window from Windows saying my one and only hard drive on which my C drive lives reported a failure and that I'd better back up. The computer still works fine, for now. This drive is 500 GB. I bought a new 1 TB drive which should arrive in a few days. I want to know if there's anything wrong with my following plan of action. 1) Connect the 1 TB drive and format it, clicking Yes bootable, one partition for the whole thing. 2) Restart the computer booting from Clonezilla on CD. Choose device to device. Of course the 500 GB as source, the 1 TB as destination. 3) Disconnect the 500 GB drive and reconnect the 1 TB where the 500 used to be.

Additional question: Will Windows notice it's on a different drive and phone home next Windows update and shut down on me? (talk) 00:58, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

I did almost exactly this a while ago when I switched to an SSD (I will never look back). Windows 7 didn't even mention that the drive was different, and my system is as it was (but much, much quicker). (talk) 09:13, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Ditto that. I don't remember which software I used, but as far as problems go, I remember it creating a smaller partition on the larger drive (same size as the source drive). That, however, was easy to fix by extending that partition to cover the remaining unpartitioned space. I never had any problems after that (and it's been a couple years).—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); September 9, 2014; 18:25 (UTC)

Is your Windows OEM? Many OEM versions will have a software lock and detect if the hardware was changed. KonveyorBelt 23:52, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Someone on asked a similar question. Relevant part frrom the answer (from a community moderator): "If I buy a Hewlett Packard with OEM Windows 7 pre-installed onto a hard drive and then later REPLACE that hard drive with one that is better, does that invalidate my OEM Windows 7 licence?

No, but you will have to reactivate your installation of Windows 7. " Then another answer on how to actually do that: Start->slui.exe 4, Select country, select phone activation, hold for real person. (talk) 14:38, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

index.html etc.[edit]

Among our perennially popular pages are the index.php and index.html pages, with hit counts presumably fueled by bots instructed to view websites' index.php and index.html pages. A similar page, index.htm, works the same way, but it has far fewer hits, so I'm guessing it's used as a page name by far fewer websites. Why is this true? Or am I incorrect? Nyttend (talk) 02:38, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

When a browser tries to access a web address a request goes to the web site's web server giving the path of the required page. This path may be indicate a directory (folder) rather than a file. In this case the web server software needs to know what to do and it is told this in its configuration file. In the early 1990s on the first web site I set up using NCSA HTTPd the configuration specified a file name to be assumed at the end of the path and the default name happened to be "index.html". When Microsoft came into this game they were still using (requiring?) three-character file name extensions so in IIS they made the default "index.htm". These days web servers are far cleverer (though I am not) and the configuration can be a list of file names to be looked for in order of preference: Apache[1], IIS[2] and Nginx[3] However, the default names of 20 years ago are still lingering on with the name used depending on the original web server software which again depended on the original operating system. Thincat (talk) 11:05, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Couldn't the index.php and index.html articles be very popular among students and learners? Sure, there might be a bot effect, but I also think it's reasonable that those pages are genuinely popular among humans... from the other angle, I think a bot that's looking for index.php files on web servers, and instead loads our article, is a weird situation, and perhaps the mark of a poorly-designed bot. I mean the URL for the article is not actually the file path on the server, right? SemanticMantis (talk) 14:20, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
There is no doubt that "index.htm" comes about from older versions of Windows where the filename extension was limited to three characters. (Hence ".jpg" instead of ".jpeg", etc) That was never a problem for Linux-based servers - but there was a period where some servers could support ".html" filenames. These days, I'd expect very few web sites to need to use ".htm" - but I'm sure there are people who got their brains locked into the shortened form during that period of crappiness who haven't switched over - and perhaps a few old websites that just never got rebuilt - maybe a few old "How to Build a WebSite for Complete Newbs" books that still use ".htm" that are teaching people bad habits.
It's possible that:
  1. People are searching for articles about "index.html" because that's the modern form - and far less often searching for "index.htm".
  2. Search engines work by following links...they wouldn't know about either of our articles unless there were links to them from someplace else. Probably, the number of other pages (both external websites and internal Wikipedia articles) that link to these pages is heavily skewed, resulting in more bot searches finding one than the other.
  3. There are nine WIkipedia pages linking to index.html and only three linking to index.htm...and of course one of those is the link from this very page - so discounting that one, there are four times as may routes to index.html than there are to index.htm. Furthermore, the only other links to index.htm are from the reference desk main page(?!?) and from some dusty old archive of the wikipedia front page talk page. Hardly anyone will click on either of those links. But the eight remaining links to index.html includes one from "Wikipedia:Most read articles in 2008"...which suggests that this was a HUGELY popular fact, it was the fifth most popular page on Wikipedia that year with 4.3 million hits. That's going to ensure that a TON of web pages outside of Wikipedia link to it...which drives traffic, and search engines to that redirect.
  4. That is a mistake...that people are somehow arriving at: - expecting that to be the 'root' of the Wikipedia home page. More interestingly, if you go to, you hit a page with a big 404 warning - which helpfully tells you "Did you mean to type"...then redirects you there 5 seconds later. So anyone who tried to get to Wikipedia's main page using "index.html", "index.php" or "index.htm" gets redirected to the article! So if search engines are spidering for the ".html" extension - or if people are incorrectly pointing their web page links at the "index.html" file instead of using just "" then they'll arrive at the "index.html" article page...which is pretty weird.
SteveBaker (talk) 15:01, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

But why that would alter the spidering behavior of search engines and such.
Because for a vast number of web sites: http://XXXX/index.html (or .php or .htm) takes you to the same page as http://XXXX - so it's quite possible that EITHER a lot of people are typing links to Wikipedia with "/index.htm" on the end - which would drive spidering software to visit and/or count the index.html article a disproportionately large number of times for such an obscure topic...OR...there are poorly written spidering bots out there that search for the "http://XXXX/index.html" page either instead of or as well as the bare "http://XXXX" URL. My bet is that it's a bit of both.
SteveBaker (talk) 15:34, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

I think this is actually an amazingly interesting finding - and quite a worrying one. The fact that the "index.html" page was the second most popular actual article in 2008 (only fractionally less popular than the article about the 2008 Olympics - and significantly more popular than Sarah Palin!) clearly suggests that people were totally confused and got there by mistake. 4.3 MILLION people were confused by this! That's an astounding number. It should be fixed.

To that end, I posted a query at the village pump in an effort to get some eyes on getting this fixed. SteveBaker (talk) 15:37, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Hard maximum for Firefox[edit]

Does Firefox (or Chrome or IE) have a maximum resolution, after which it will no longer work (assuming, of course, that the native resolution of the monitor is not an issue)? I've been playing with it, but every time I get to 8k pixels in a single direction, the whole window turns black, meaning that I can't read or do pretty much anything with said window. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 05:31, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

I could imagine your graphics card running out of memory, or hitting an internal limit on the size of a texture map (for example). These days, both Firefox and Chrome browsers use the graphics "GPU" to speed up image composition - so the internal limits of your GPU would impact their ability to render large windows (I'd be kinda surprised if IE did that - but it's possible). 8k pixels sounds like the right kind of size for hitting a GPU limit with an older (or crappier) graphics system. I know that it's possible to disable 'hardware compositing' in Firefox...if you do that and find that it fixes the problem - then maybe that's the reason. Since monitors that can reach 8k pixels are exceedingly rare and exotic - I'm curious about how you're actually testing could easily be that your test approach is the real culprit here. SteveBaker (talk) 14:36, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm playing around with Infinite Screen. After playing around a bit more, I think the "hard limit" isn't quite 8k (I was at 9.5k at another website). GPU might be it, and this is a (relatively) old card (GeForce GT 630M). As for why I'd want even more pixels... there's more where this came from. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 14:45, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Excellent. Turning off the hardware compositing was enough to stop the window from going all black. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 14:51, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Yeeeeaaaaahhhh!! The GPU-limits theory must be the right one!
The max resolution for various nvidia cards seems to be either 8k or 16k - there are a few older cards still in use with a 4k limit - but in theory, anything that supports DX11 and/or OpenGL 4.1 should be capable of 16k. But it's very possible that 8k is the limit on your 630 hardware. The limit probably only applies to each element that the HTML renderer has to composite - so it's perfectly possible that you have a 9.5k window with an 8k image embedded in it that works OK...but in general, it's going to be tough to get arbitrary windows to work beyond 8k. Graphics cards that support 16k are becoming more and more common - so a graphics card upgrade should get you up to 16k, but it's an ungodly amount of memory - so if you expect I'd expect to be doing this a lot, you'll want to get one with 4Gb of GPU memory and not cheap-out on a 1Gb or 2Gb card. If it has to swap such large textures into and out of the GPU, it's going to be slow. SteveBaker (talk) 16:20, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
  • An ungodly amount of memory is right... no, probably won't need to upgrade just yet. Getting up to 8/9k is already plenty for most needs. Thanks for the feedback! — Crisco 1492 (talk) 16:24, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
On Windows, AFAIK, IE has had some support of significant of GPU composting acceleration enabled by default since Internet Explorer 9 [4] (also check our article), which was publicly released as a stable build on 14 March 2011. This compares to Firefox 4 [5] [6] (also our article again), publicly released as a stable build on 22 March 2011. And I think [7] (bit confused about Chrome's history here though, see e.g. [8] [9] [10] Chrome 11, which was I think publicly released as a stable build on 22 April 2011 [11] (our article isn't very useful for any of the Chrome stuff). IE's support for WebGL (also other graphics related stuff like SVG) was I think fairly late, but this doesn't seem to be what's being discussed. Nil Einne (talk) 01:12, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Choosing a pocket-sized camera to take good photos[edit]

I'd like to learn to take better photos than my phone can manage, and I'm thinking of buying a camera, but I've heard only an SLR would be configurable enough to learn Real Photography. Thing is, the size of even a small SLR puts me off. Compared to my phone, they are some serious luggage. What I really want is something near the size of my phone, but with good build quality, a physical zoom lens even if not a swappable one, and most importantly, no noticeable lag as I turn it on, focus, or take the shot. Do cameras like that exist, and if so how should I choose one? Thank you. (talk) 14:44, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

How are you defining "real photography"? Nimur (talk) 15:18, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
(OP) I was being sarcastic about my own ignorance. At this point I don't know enough about taking pictures to know what is essential vs what's too esoteric to matter much. (talk) 11:26, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
(OP) I have a smartphone, which takes pretty nice pictures and okay videos outdoors in good light of things that won't run away as I get closer, but is a useless waste of time after dark or under strip lights, and has no physical zoom lens. It also has way too much lag, particularly when launching the camera app, so that subjects move away before it's ready to use. Small children love to pose, but not for long... There are too many variables involved in picking a better camera for me to make a good choice with my current level of ignorance, and I'll need to practice with something more configurable in order to learn, but I know I'd lose motivation to work with something that's a hassle to always carry around. Maybe once I know how to use it, I'd be fine with something that needs its own backpack just to hold all the bits, but not right now. Hope that makes more sense. (talk) 11:42, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
If I understand the spirit of your question, you might look at Micro_Four_Thirds_system cameras. Many people seem to think they can strike a nice balance between size, price, and "real" photography (swappable,zoomable lenses, playing with aperture and timing, etc.) See also this overview magazine article [12]. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:32, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
(OP) Thanks! That's the sort of thing I was blindly stumbling towards. Actually though, I just typed "pocket camera" into Google, and the third hit was the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. It looks ideal - designed for video as well as stills, part of a system that I can dabble in as and when I dare, but on its own with no extra lenses, it fits into my jacket and is still configurable. Annoyingly though, I've just missed a half price sale that ended on 31st August. Think I might wait for the next one. (talk) 11:22, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
There are a couple of good articles from NASA (sorry - I can't find the URL right now) about cameras they send to Mars and places like that. They point out that the current push towards higher and higher resolutions is largely pointless - and even though money is no limitation for them, they often go for lower resolution cameras. This is somewhat counter-intuitive. The idea is that higher the resolution of the sensor (4Mpixels versus 2Mpixels...or whatever) the smaller each pixel is on the little electronics chip at the heart of the camera. Smaller pixels mean less light is gathered at each pixel - which means that for a given lens size, the shutter has to stay open longer in order for enough light to be gathered...which means blurrier photos! So going for excessive megapixel numbers isn't necessarily a good idea. What you want to take good pictures is a good lens...a LARGE lens with lots of light gathering capability - and an appropriate resolution for your intended final application. So finding cute, small cameras and cellphone cameras with crazy-high megapixel numbers and a lens that's a quarter inch across is generally a bad idea. You want a physically large lens and a more reasonable megapixel number for the kind of use you're going to be using this camera for.
Cellphone cameras have liitle or no optical zoom capability - so they make up for that by pretending to zoom by cropping the photo! This means that they need a ton of resolution so they can zoom into distant objects. It's better to have an optical zoom lens (or switchable lenses) so that the entire resolution of your sensor is being used all the time.
If you're planning to take portraits in bright light and blow them up to poster size - then you'll need all of those megapixels - and you can put lots of light into the scene with big lights and diffusers - and the subject is sitting pretty still, so you can use long shutter times. If you want a really good photo of a race car zipping past and you're going to put it onto a web page, then you need short shutter times to capture the fast motion, you don't have much control over the lighting - and you really don't need much more than 1 Megapixel because more than that takes too long for most people to download. So a lower resolution camera with a big lens is needed. Sadly, there really isn't a "one-size-fits-all" answer. With old-school film cameras, you could fix this problem using different film speeds - but with digital cameras, you don't have that control. SteveBaker (talk) 16:40, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
User:SemanticMantis has a good point. I would suggest the Olympus Pen line. Although they are SLR cameras, they are fairly small, especially as they lack optical viewfinders. (For me, an optical viewfinder is very important, and as Olympus has ceased making cameras that have them makes me want to switch to a different manufacturer when my Olympus E-620 SLR eventually breaks down, but that is beside the point.) The full E-P cameras cost nearly as much as full-sized SLR cameras, but the E-PL cameras are smaller and cheaper, and the E-PM cameras even more so. For an example, you might consider the Olympus PEN E-PM2. JIP | Talk 18:13, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
User:SteveBaker is certainly right about the tiny cameras with a huge number of pixels. Every one of those that I've seen makes pictures that are horrible compared to my 6MP DSLR. But you can adjust the ISO on digital cameras, at least good ones. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 18:50, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

And speaking of viewfinders[edit]

When I bought a digital camera a few years ago, two of my requirements were (1) a zoom lens and (2) an optical viewfinder, the latter because I didn't want to have to refocus my eyes on the little screen in order to frame the pictures; in addition I later realized that the screen is hard to use in some lighting conditions. However, I found that the optical viewfinder did a poor job in showing exactly where the edges of the photo would be, so if I cared about exactly what was in-frame, I had to use the screen anyway (or postprocess the picture later). In addition, the camera has a capability to zoom digitally beyond what the zoom lens will do, and of course the optical viewfinder does not reflect this; if I want to use the capability I have to use the screen. Also, the zoom lens is powered and goes in discrete steps, when with my old film camera I was used to being able to zoom exactly to the amount I chose by how far I pushed the mechanical lever. On the other hand, the camera is a great deal smaller than the film camera was.

So I'm wondering: are there any cameras these days with a digital viewfinder that you use like an optical one, by holding the camera to your eye and focusing at infinity? (It would have a miniature screen inside, and would show exactly what is in-frame.) And are there any pocket-sized cameras with a mechanically operated zoom lens?

(No, I didn't think so. Why would anyone want anything like that?) -- (talk) 18:33, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Many such cameras exist. While Canon and Nikon are still holding on to optical viewfinders, other companies like Olympus and Sony are moving to digital viewfinders only. The Olympus Pen line I mentioned above has no viewfinders by default, but have digital viewfinders as optional extras. The new Olympus OM-D SLR cameras, which are very much the same as the Pen cameras but larger, with better controls and more expandable, have digital viewfinders as standard. And as far as I've understood, the digital viewfinders on all these SLRs work the same way as in conventional SLRs with optical viewfinders, i.e. what you see in the viewfinder is pretty much exactly what you get in the picture. The framing will be the exact same regardless of whether the viewfinder is optical or digital. What I like about optical viewfinders is that there is no delay or lag whatsoever, and the vision I see through them is continuous with no pixelation or other distortions. On the other hand, digital viewfinders do have the advantage that they can show you exactly how the final picture will be, not just what the camera is actually seeing at the moment. And as all these cameras are SLRs with changeable lenses, you can zoom the lens by hand exactly as much as you want, not electronically in discrete steps. JIP | Talk 18:45, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
I think there's no such thing as an SLR without an optical viewfinder. The only reason for the reflex mirror is to support an optical viewfinder. -- BenRG (talk) 23:17, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
When I wrote "SLR camera", I was actually meaning system camera. It's just that they're commonly called "system cameras" (järjestelmäkamera) in Finnish and SLR cameras in English, although the terms aren't exactly equivalent. Sorry for the confusion. JIP | Talk 04:21, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
One note: The 'digital zoom' feature operates by cropping the image - and (possibly) resampling it to whatever resolution you asked for. If you care about your photography then you'll be using "RAW" image formats and you might as well just turn off the digital zoom and crop the image yourself using GIMP or Photoshop or whatever. That way, you can continue to use the optical viewfinder.
If you can't tell where the edges of the photo will be in the optical viewfinder then (with digital zoom disabled) I suggest you take some test photos. Line up the edges of the viewfinder with some known object (like a row of windows in the wall of a large office building), count the number of windows in the viewfinder, take the photo, then look at what windows came out in the photograph. You'll be able to get a very clear idea of how much of the image was cropped by the viewfinder (or how much you could see in the viewfinder that didn't end up in the photo). Once you have that mental image of what's going to make it into the shot, it's relatively easy to frame your pictures well using the optical viewfinder. SteveBaker (talk) 18:51, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
In the three film SLRs and two DSLRs I've had, the photo is always a little bigger than what you see in the viewfinder, by a few percent. I think that is true for almost all cameras except for some very expensive ones. But with that, if it is in the viewfinder, it is in the final photograph. Then, as someone said, you can crop it a little, if needed. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 19:00, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Half a year ago, having broken my old camera, I was disappointed at the slim pickings among cameras with real viewfinder, so settled for a Nikon Coolpix P520 with EVF. The Electronic viewfinder has entirely satisfied me. The tiny screen makes easy composition in all lighting conditions and also shows extra information. Where lighting allows, the big screen with swivel is handy for holding the camera over my head to get over a fence, commonplace in my Wikiphotography. Pixels? All my pix are for computer screens, which only show a million or two anyway, so the 18 Mpx is overkill. What disappoints me is the difficult holding and operating with one hand while bicycling, but not all photographers work that way. Shop for a tool that will work well your way. If you work different ways, buy different ones. Cameras, bicycles, wrenches, whatever. If you're new, you don't yet know how you'll work, so you're sure to buy wrong tools. No worry; just don't overspend on your early mistakes. The only camera part that consistently ruins my pictures is the part under my helmet, and that's not so easily replaced. Jim.henderson (talk) 19:44, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the responses, folks. Steve: Re digital zoom, yeah I know, I rarely use it. Only for distant objects when I otherwise would have cropped and enlarged the image, but without the magnification in-camera I'm not even sure if the subject is in the picture. Jim: Good point about the part under the helmet! -- (talk) 04:22, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

More hints, relevant to some kinds of photography: Wikipedia:Photograph your hometown Jim.henderson (talk) 05:58, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Ah, Real Photography (so capitalized). But real photography of what? If of individual soccer players (for example), then yes a zoom lens would be very helpful. But you may have noticed that other genres of real photography were doing pretty well in the 1970s and earlier (think of Henri Cartier-Bresson etc etc) and not only did the photographers not use zoom lenses but very often they used a single focal length (usually either 35mm or 50mm) all day. I've never once encountered somebody saying (other than as a joke) that such-and-such a photo by Cartier-Bresson, Capa, Doisneau, Model, Seymour, Ronis, Frank, Erwitt, Leiter, Levitt, etc would have been good if only the edge/corner resolution/contrast had been as high as it would be today with aspherical lenses, etc. If you want a very versatile, "high spec" camera then it will have to be at least moderately expensive and large. But probably you don't need such a camera. (Most photographers whose work is interesting do not.) Decide what you want to do with a camera and then get a camera that will do it. And when you do this, pay more attention to ergonomics etc than to numbers of megapixels. -- Hoary (talk) 13:26, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

September 10[edit]

Editing a TTF file with python[edit]

Hi there,
I would like to know which module do I need to edit TTF titles, and how do I install it on Windows 7.
Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Exx8 (talkcontribs) 19:10, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

FontForge can be run as a library within python. I have no idea if it works in Windows, but I don't see why not. --Mark viking (talk) 19:26, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
well actually I got FontForge and I got Python running on my computer, but how should I install the module? is it on the installed software folder or should I download it from somewhere?Exx8 (talk)
It is probably best to check out the fontforge documentation on this, e.g., [13] and [14]. --Mark viking (talk) 23:39, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I read these lines: is there prepared-compiled binaries the suit windows? I mean I use windows 7 and not linux?Exx8 (talk) 00:10, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

many small files[edit]

Hello. I run a 32-bit virtual linux box with a 7.6G disk. The other day I got "no space left on device" errors when trying to create a small text file. du -h showed that the disk was only 55% full. Deleting a half gigabyte file did not resolve the issue. On the disk were maybe half a million files, each about 100 bytes long. But when I deleted a few thousand of these 100 byte files, I could again create files with no problem. I thought that maybe I was running out of inodes, but this doesn't seem realistic. Or maybe each 100 byte file actually occupied more space on my disk. Can anyone suggest what was going on? thanks, Robinh (talk) 21:27, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Naively, a filesystem will allocate a whole number of blocks for each file; so a file of even one byte will allocate a whole block. Different file systems use different blocks sizes (or can be configured to use different sizes), but 4Kbytes is the most common (e.g. tmpfs and the extfs family). Do a du -h * and you'll likely see something like:
   4.0K    foo
   4.0K    bar
even though foo and bar are a few bytes each. As you've noticed, if you have lots of small files this makes for very inefficient use - and it might be slow too (depending on the access pattern) as reading each file means reading a distinct block (again usually 4K) from the disk. So some filesystems have special small file support, where small files don't get allocated a whole block to their own - they're instead stored together, or appended to the inode that describes them. I think (too late tonight for experiments for me) that filesystems which do something like this include btrfs, zfs, xfs, reiserfs, and ntfs. A side note: it seems the way ecryptfs is set up on many systems (e.g. on Ubuntu) by default it uses 12K blocks. ext4 has a feature called inline-data, which allows small file sup to 60 bytes to be stored after the inode in the same disk block (but my very brief late-night experiment just now suggests the one ext4 volume I have doesn't do this, and I can't find a tune2fs/mkfs.ext4 option to enable it). -- Finlay McWalterTalk 22:43, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
If someone wants to experiment with this while I'm asleep, I wonder if a mkfs.ext4 -T small might implicitly enable inline-data? -- Finlay McWalterTalk 22:46, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, but du should report accurate usage, and you said you were at 55%. So perhaps the block size thing is a red herring, and instead your /tmp (assuming its a tmpfs or is otherwise size limited) was full, and the program you were using to create the file was erroring because it couldn't make a journal file there. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 22:49, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

(OP) Thanks Finlay. I made a mistake above: when I said "du -h reports 55% disk usage", that should have been "df -h" reports 55% disk usage". But if I'm interpreting correctly, a 100 byte file actually occupies 4 kilobytes of disk space, and so most of the 4k is wasted. Robinh (talk) 23:16, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

df reports the wasted space (slack space) as used. Given that df says the disk isn't full, and deleting a few thousand small files (occupying at most a few tens of megabytes) solved the problem while deleting a half-gigabyte file didn't, I think you ran out of inodes. -- BenRG (talk) 00:07, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
So use df -i to check for that. -- (talk) 04:09, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

(OP) I didn't know about df -i. I had run out of inodes. thanks everyone! Robinh (talk) 09:21, 11 September 2014 (UTC)


September 11[edit]

installing a module of 2.7 in 3.4 python[edit]

Hi there,
I'm trying to install a 2.7 module of python on 3.4 environment.
unfortunately I got this error:

C:\Program Files\FontForgeBuilds\lib\python2.7\Tools\scripts>python install
running install
running build
running build_scripts
error: file 'C:\Program Files\FontForgeBuilds\lib\python2.7\Lib\' does not exist

what can I do? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Exx8 (talkcontribs) 02:17, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't think Python 2.x packages will ever work on Python 3.x. Also, I don't think that's a Python package—it's a complete Python distribution bundled with FontForge. If you got this from, it looks like they offer only a 32-bit build with Python 2.7 and a HIGHLY EXPERIMENTAL (caps theirs) 64-bit build with Python 3.4. If you have 32-bit Windows, your best bet may be to write your scripts in Python 2 and use the bundled Python (ffpython.exe), if you can. -- BenRG (talk) 06:47, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
okay I succeed running this script by altering the path of 2 files and installing python 2.7, but now I got new problem. I ran py -2 install, but it doesn't recognize the module:

Python 2.7.8 (default, Jun 30 2014, 16:03:49) [MSC v.1500 32 bit (Intel)] on win 32 Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information. >>> import fontforge; Traceback (most recent call last):

 File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>

ImportError: No module named fontforge Exx8 (talk) 08:30, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

As I said, I don't think this is a package that can be installed. Looking at, it appears to install some random utility scripts, not FontForge. I think's existence is an accidental side effect of the build process. -- BenRG (talk) 23:40, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Pros and cons of networking a printer[edit]

I have a gigabit home network. I just got a printer that can be networked. In the past, I've always hooked the printer up to one of the computers by USB. Which is the best way to go?

Pro network:

  1. computer connected to the printer doesn't have to be on all the time. However, in my case it is, unless it is down for repairs or something.
  2. You can access printer settings over the network with a browser.

Con network:

  1. Slower than USB2? The printer uses USB 2 and 100Mb Ethernet, but isn't USB 2 faster than 100Mb?

Others? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 04:39, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

USB2 is 480Mbit/sec nominal, 240Mbit/sec actual, while 100Mbit is 100Mbit/sec nominal, 50Mbit/sec actual. However, unless you have an ultrahigh speed printer, I doubt that you'll need anywhere near 50Mbit/sec. Connecting it via LAN allows you to connect your PC to your home network wirelessly, and then print. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Csmiller (talkcontribs) 11:57, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
According to List of device bit rates, USB 2.0 runs at around 480 Mbit/s - which is certainly faster than 100 Mbit Ethernet - but slower than 1 Gbit Ethernet. But it hardly matters. There is really no chance that your printer can print faster than a 100Mbits/second of data except in quite contrived you'll hardly ever be slowed significantly by the network. Imagine you're printing a full page photo. If you're printing at 150 dpi - and using an uncompressed ".PNG" file - then you'll need 150x150x8x11 pixels, 24 bits each. That's 47Mbits...which will take half a second to get there via 100Mbit Ethernet. But what printer can print a whole sheet in half a second?! Even at an ungodly 600dpi, it should only take 8 seconds to transmit the data. You have to assume that the printer is only able to use a small fraction of the available bandwidth to make 100Mbit Ethernet be a bottleneck. In practice, we mostly print JPEG files - which are typically 10x to 20x more compact than PNG files.
Some "pro's" that you missed are:
  1. Wireless access means that you can place your printer anywhere in the house. (Most networked printers have WiFi these days).
  2. You can access it from a phone, tablet or from multiple computers.
  3. If you have laptop, tablet or phone, not having to hook up a cable is really convenient.
  4. The printer can access the network directly - by itself. For example, you can tell my printer to automatically order more ink from the manufacturer's website when it's getting low.
  5. You can print from one place (eg your computer) and use another device (eg, your phone) to monitor the print queue. I did this the other day. I set a 40 page print job going in my office, then went downstairs to watch TV, using my phone to see when the printer had gotten finished.
  6. If you have more than one printer - you can easily get to any printer from any computer. (You can do this with printer sharing - but it presumes that the computer that 'belongs' to that printer is turned on, booted up, and has sharing enabled).
SteveBaker (talk) 01:21, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
One possible downside is the possibility of eavesdropping. Of course that's more about securing your network than it is about printing. --Trovatore (talk) 01:27, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I forgot to mention that the new printer is Ethernet only, not wireless. But everything on our home network can use it. Right now we have three printers on our home network and anything on the network can use any of them. And being able to put it anywhere in the house is no advantage to me - right now I can reach the output from my office chair. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 01:35, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm not 100% sure, but i don't think printers "stream" print these days anyway> I believe that typically the print driver will "spool" a job to the printer before printing starts, so unless you are printing pdfs that are hundreds of megabytes, I don't think the "transfer" really contributes a lot to the total print time anyway. Vespine (talk) 02:00, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

A good 3D Environment for Java, for this specific situation[edit]

I would like to have the following type of 3D environment:

Various sphere shapes are suspended in a 3D environment, the user can use the mouse to determine the camera angle, and hold left mouse button (or use 'W' or 'Up Arrow') to move "forward" with the camera. In this manner, the user can "fly around" and examine the arrangement of the spheres, in a way where the spheres are not "solid".... in other words, you can fly through them, they don't stop you.

I have a reasonably intermediate knowledge of java, and would like to be able to make a wrapper around a 3D library such that you can instantiate a scene with the spheres in question... ie: Scene a = new Scene(ArrayList<Sphere>); .... where each sphere knows its location in 3D space as well as its radius (i intend to make the radius fairly small compared to the observers apparent "size".)

I know how to do simpler things like drawing on an image buffer of a sort and either displaying it on screen or flushing to a file, but ive not done anything 3D, and i know its a bit of a jump. I read this tutorial, and although its outdated i feel i understand the info regarding the camera's position, where its looking, and the related vector....

I've asked in other places where would be good to start and i got various answers.

I have tried my luck with JOGL, but the documentation is extremely poor. I had to search for a long time to see what jar files needed to be imported, and then when it comes to examples, there are some i understand really well like the one i listed at "land of kain" but they are outdated. Maybe this is an indication that JOGL is not right for me, either because of the learning curve or because of the almost non-existant clear documentation.

I would just like to know some good directions i could go in to achieve what i listed at the top of this post. Like i said i am moderately good at java, but example source code and things like this really help me to understand a 3rd party library! Any thoughts where i should start on building the wrapper i want? (talk) 14:47, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

I have written extensively in JOGL and some of my code is freely available, licensed with the GPLv3. A few remarks: JOGL is a slim wrapper around OpenGL. OpenGL is a strange language; it requires thinking about the mathematics of your geometry quite extensively. It can be very efficient, because those mathematics translate directly into optimized hardware instructions of nearly every GPU of the last 25 years. JOGL, however, has a poor CPU-to-GPU work sharing scheme so it is easy to write very inefficient OpenGL code in this environment. With some effort, you can make a lot of highly-performant applications without leaving the comfort of Java. Recently JOGL underwent a major API change (for the better): it allows you a little better control over platform-specific capabilities. The documentarion is poor because "it goes without saying" that OpenGL expertise is prerequisite to writing cross-platform, cross-compiled OpenGL.
Let me know if you're interested in getting sample-code from me. I have an Eclipse project with my code, plus JOGL 2 built from source, for Linux, Mac, and Windows. The application-layer may need to be stripped down for distribution, but it evolved out of a scientific visualization utility. It may be suitable for a simple 3D game (e.g. it already supports WASD and mouselook, just like many popular games). It will require a Java 6 or newer compiler, and a C compiler (unless you want to use my JOGL binaries, or those distributed by others).
Regarding others: Java3D has poor support on most operating systems. It is a scene-based library as opposed to a graphics primitives library. I have never used FX but it is the only library that Oracle supports today (JOGL is entirely open-source software supported by a small developer community). I never heard of JMonkey.
Nimur (talk) 15:43, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

I am currently developing for windows only, and do not need another OS for this. I normally use Netbeans though. I would like to take a look at some of your code for guidance, but wont GPL force me to also be GPL? May i use it privately without need for licensing? Sorry i am unfamiliar with this. I have in fact been told about the learning curve of direct OpenGL, and maybe that approach isnt for me. I am not developing a game of any sort. My application is in mathematical research actually.

I feel like i either need assistance from someone who has already done things in 3D or something that's already out there with great documentation. (talk) 16:22, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps you are seeking a more user-friendly 3D programming environment, like VPython or MATLAB? VPython is available at no cost. MATLAB is commercial software and its price varies significantly depending on who you are. If you want to contact me for more information about my work, send me a description of your project.
If you are new to 3D programming, you almost certainly need guidance from an experienced developer. Even the best autodidacts commonly find that their mental efforts are insufficient to grapple with the prior art of computational representations of multidimensional mathematics. Nimur (talk) 17:38, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

At least we agree in what type of help i need! I would prefer to stay within the realm of java, but i will give VPython a look at least. Also, i do not have "Permission" to email you it seems. Edit: I now have a wiki account.

Drifter2015 (talk) 18:08, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

The keys to success[edit]

Did the possibility of professional software programming in the mathematical assembler had been a guarantee of quality consumer and guarantee of consumption possibilities from tablet computers and smartphones?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 16:47, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

This question makes no sense whatsoever. I suggest you find a website where you can ask questions in your own language. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:50, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Wow, the future conditional pluperfect subjunctive; don't see that used very much. OldTimeNESter (talk) 20:21, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Full screen (For real) Webpage screen capture tool?[edit]

I've tried about 3-4 screen capture tools with the description "Full page" capture. In practice, they gave me a screen captrue of the current display itself, and not of the full page (In other words, they didn't cover up all the horizontal scrollable landscape of the screen).

What Firefox or Chrome addition does what I need? Thank your for this blessed recommendation, Ben. Ben-Natan (talk) 17:10, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Fireshot comes to mind, but it is not free...—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); September 11, 2014; 18:13 (UTC)
Something which is also free?, Anyone? Ben-Natan (talk) 01:28, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I've used screengrab before, and it worked. No guarantees if the "fix version" works (the original ceased development because of the awful firefox rapid versioning) (talk) 12:56, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Also (and I realize this may not work for you purposes, but since I don't know why you need this...), have you thought about perhaps simply printing the webpage into a pdf file? This is, for all intents and purposes, the same as having a "full page capture", unless you need to actually work with the result as an image and not as a document...—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); September 12, 2014; 14:25 (UTC)

error while 'making' fontforge[edit]

I've installed cygwin,
and configure successfully fontforge.
but now, when I try to 'make' fontforge I get this code:
collect2: error: ld returned 1 exit status Makefile:91: recipe for target '../' failed make[1]: *** [../] Error 1 make[1]: Leaving directory '/cygdrive/c/cygwin/fontforge-20120731/fontforge' Makefile:28: recipe for target 'fontforge' failed make: *** [fontforge] Error 2
what is the solution for this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:36, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Those lines are just reports from collect2 and make that the linker failed. Hopefully the linker itself printed a more informative error message before it failed, which would appear before the lines you quoted.
Have you considered just using the bundled Python distribution from the ready-made build, as I originally suggested? Yes, it's stupid that so many Windows ports of Unix software bundle huge dependencies like Python instead of letting you use your global install of it. But it'd probably be a lot easier to go with the flow in this case. -- BenRG (talk) 23:49, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I'll be delighted to download a made version of this, but unfortunately, it does not contain the python expansion(module). if you do have an installer to fontforge module for python, please send it to me.
here some more information:
— Preceding unsigned comment added by Exx8 (talkcontribs) 00:11, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I think the "Prerequisite X of target 'fontforge' does not exist" lines are the problem. You need source or prebuilt versions of libgunicode, libgutils, libgdraw, and maybe pos (unless that's just the .po files), as well as whatever dependencies they have.
The bundled Python works for me. I unpacked the 32-bit portable distribution (FontForge-mingw-w64-i686-bf1870-r1.7z), ran bin\ffpython.exe, and typed import fontforge at the prompt, and it succeeded. I haven't tried actually using the module, but the symbols are there. -- BenRG (talk) 01:23, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
wow it works, thank you! just a little question for the end, how do I make it permanent? I mean I want that whenever I'll open python, I want that module will be installed.Exx8 (talk) 08:51, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

What happened here?[edit]

Mingo Junction Central HS horizontal.jpg
Mingo Junction Central HS vertical.jpg
Mingo Junction Central HS vertical.jpg
Mingo Junction Central HS horizontal.jpg

Why is the building so much more vertically inclined in the second image than in the first? They were taken seconds apart with the same camera on the same settings, and as you can tell from the building and the flagpole, the location is virtually identical. Nyttend (talk) 21:59, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Because the camera was tilted clockwise by about 1.7 degrees when the first photo was taken, it looks like. If you apply a rotation to one image and recrop the edges a bit, the differences go away almost completely. -- (talk) 23:09, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Based on the position of the flagpole relative to the windows, the obscuring of the nearest windows, and the alignment of the background trees, I'd guess that the two shots were taken from positions 10 - 15 feet apart - resulting in a noticeable change in perspective. -- Tom N talk/contrib 01:34, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That's obvious, but it doesn't explain the tilt. The camera being tilted does explain the tilt. -- (talk) 05:06, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
The first one was taken at a focal length of 20mm and the second at 23mm on an APC-sized sensor. These are fairly wide-angle shots. And the 15% difference in focal lengths probably makes for some of the difference. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 05:12, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Then there is the Leaning tower illusion. Let's swap the images so the top one goes to the bottom. (talk) 11:07, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That makes a lot of sense. Though other factors listed above may contribute, I think the swap is very good evidence that the illusion is a key driver-- thanks! SemanticMantis (talk) 16:22, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
So the settings weren't quite the same. I've not yet learned to do much more than "Auto" mode on this camera — I take lots of simple pictures of buildings, without a need for artistic precision, and I typically don't have time to get all the settings just right. But I don't understand what you mean about the illusion — I first noticed the difference while viewing them on my computer, one at a time in full resolution, and the whole reason I uploaded them both was to ask here about the different I saw when viewing them one at a time. Many of the windows, and the two protrusions between the three bays, appear quite different at resolutions such as 800px; if I look at the "horizontal.jpg" version for a while and then look at the "vertical.jpg" version, I start feeling like I'm looking at an El Greco painting (example) with its elongated dimensions. Nyttend (talk) 17:13, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I think you're noticing the optical distortion - specifically, transverse barrel distortion, in which a straight line that cuts a chord near the extrema of the image circle appears curved. This occurs because the lens is "imperfect" : its magnification (rather, its focal length) changes with respect to angle. Here's some math from SPIE: Distortion at SPIE's Optipedia. This effect can not be eliminated - a part of the effect is due to imperfection in glass, but most of the effect is a mathematical inevitability of geometric projection onto a flat imaging plane (i.e. the film or digital sensor). In practice, it can be reduced by avoiding wide-angle lenses, or by cropping to show only the center, or by spending lots more money to buy "more perfectly calibrated" glass.
Alternately: if you must have a wide field of view, you can cheat the mathematics that governs image-projection, using strip photography to synthesize a projection geometry from many individual photographs. You can increase distortion, or decrease distortion, depending on how you blend the images. Hugin (software) is free software that can accomplish this, and many people use it to compose or "stitch" panorama shots.
Somewhere on Wikipedia is a quite long panorama whose "effective focal length" is some infinitely huge value... the walls of Stanford University's main quad (some hundreds of meters apart) appear perfectly parallel, a feat of trick photography that is accessible to humankind now that we live in a digital era!
Nimur (talk) 18:05, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

September 12[edit]

SSD IOPS benchmarking for Mac?[edit]

Are there any benchmarking tools for Mac than can measure a drive's input/output operations per second (IOPS) --Navstar (talk) 03:00, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

7 GB project burning?[edit]

I have a multimedia project I'd like to show people, but it runs 1' 41" 58 and is nearly 7 gigabytes, which so far has precluded its leaving my computer. Sometimes my relatives have distributed HD movies to me, two of which were nearly three hours each, via USB. Could that work with this project? Or is something else more advisable? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Theskinnytypist (talkcontribs) 21:05, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Yes, an inexpensive USB flash memory drive should hold that comfortably. If the people you want to see it are distant from you, it's easy enough to post them a flash drive (they weigh next to nothing). Given the size, it's probably not the best idea to try to distribute it over the internet, but if everyone has decent broadband and some patience, you could upload it to a service like Google Drive, Mega, or Dropbox. (talk) 21:32, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That's about the limit that will fit on a 1-sided DVD, too. So, if you have a DVD burner, and want to distribute it to non-computer people, they would probably be better able to play a DVD (especially if it has the autoplay feature, so it just plays when they put it in).
Another option is to find a web site to host it, then everyone can access it there. This could be a lot cheaper than mailing out lots of media. Another advantage is that you can then update it without having to redistribute it (although you would want to send an e-mail telling them about the update so they will take another look). StuRat (talk) 21:52, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
There are also dual layer DVDs, which hold approximately 8.5 GB of data. --Wirbelwind(ヴィルヴェルヴィント) 23:51, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

September 13[edit]

Ranking in Excel[edit]

Let's say there is a competition with 10 people. The names are written once in A2 to A11 (column) and once B1 to K1 (row). The person in A2 wins against C1, thus C2 displays "1" (indicating win) and B3 displays "0" (indicating loss). Since one can't play against himself, B2, C3, D4,... also display "0". The points will be added at the end of the row. So far there's no problem. However the competition system is different. It can be generally said that everyone play against everyone once. The problem with this is that people can have the same amount of points because of this situation: Person A wins against person B, loses against person C, but person B defeats person C. Now everyone has one point and there no final winner. The system doesn't allow rematches and this is solved this way: Person A wins against person B, loses against person C, so person B has already lost against C despite having never played against each other. Now don't question the fairness of the system. I just want "person B has already lost against C" to be somehow indicated after A's games so that no mistakes occur. The cell would automatically display "0" in B's imaginary game against C. It could be something else like color changing or just some other indication. This should be then extended to 10 more people. Is this possible with some VBA? Unfortunately I have absolutely no knowledge of VBA, so I need an explaination to how to alter factors. -- (talk) 00:44, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

It is possible in VBA (although cumbersome). It will be possible also in plain excel with formulas. If you have time you can add to the excel file another spreadsheet with all the formulas that you require that will fill for you the wanted result. For example (in pseudocode, i don't remember the excel syntax now)
[in the cell holding the result]: = <reference to a cell in the second spreadsheet 
                                     that holds the right result>
[in the referenced cell in the second spreadsheet]: IF( C2==0 ; 0 ) 
  //this means, if the cell C2 has zero, return a zero
Anyway in the case of checking several results you will need to be creative with excel formulas. A long work but not impossible. -- (talk) 23:41, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

"Native"ness of resolution[edit]

The article display resolution tells the reader:

most recent screen technologies are fixed at a certain resolution; making the resolution lower on these kinds of screens will greatly decrease sharpness, as an interpolation process is used to "fix" the non-native resolution input into the display's native resolution output

I've experienced this mushiness at lower resolutions, but not on very recent screens (simply because I don't have easy access to very recent screens). Is what this says still true for what's for sale in 2014? (I'd be using Crunchbang, which is like Debian + Openbox, if this is an issue.) I'm pretty sure it would still be true; just hoping against hope. (I'm thinking of getting something marketed for a resolution rather higher than 1920×1080 but then using it for 1920×1080.) -- Hoary (talk) 13:01, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

1) If you never intend to view anything higher than 1980×1080, then it's counter-productive to get a higher resolution screen.
2) If you do sometimes want to view higher res video, then it might still not be worthwhile, depending on the portion of the time that would be. If only 1% of your viewing will be at higher res, then it's still not worth it.
3) If you do want to view higher res frequently, then look for a 4K resolution screen. Since that has an integer multiple of 2 over 1980×1080, that gives you some nice options (assuming they support these):
3a) Blocks of 4 pixels could be used without interpolation, to display 1980×1080 images. That would look sharp, although if it's a large display you may see the pixel blocks and "jaggies".
3b) Do interpolation between the pixels. That will still look a bit fuzzy, but better than a non-integer scale factor interpolation.
3c) Only use 1/4 of the screen (the center, presumably). That should produce a nice sharp pic, without visible pixels or jaggies, but quite small, of course.
Another option is to use a separate display device for your 1980×1080 viewing. If you have a 1980×1080 device that still works, and have room for both, this might be an option, and be the best of both worlds. If you want a display in another room anyway, this might be a good way to get it there. And your new display device should last longer, if you use it less often. (talk) 14:21, 13 September 2014 (UTC)'s advice is more or less OK - but it's dangerous to assume that doubling the resolution *exactly* will cause the screen's firmware to duplicate pixels and thereby give you a sharp image. Some screens have multiple modes - some of which do interpolation to avoid pixellation of TV/video - and others of which may indeed replicate pixels to get you a perfectly sharp image. Others choose to interpolate all the time...yet others are smart about it. But either way, a "4k" display may not be exactly twice even then, you may get interpolation. But 4k displays are horribly expensive - and many graphics cards can't generate an image that big, and when they can, it uses up so much graphics memory, that there may not be enough left to run some games full-screen, or even for the desktop compositor to do it's work. If you do actually want to generate a 4k image sometimes, and you're sure your software and your graphics card can do it - then sure, that's the way to go. But if you just sometimes need 2400 horizontal pixels - then a 4k display is an expensive solution - and buying two lower resolution displays will likely be far cheaper. SteveBaker (talk) 14:37, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
As far as I know, every color display technology in history has had a "native resolution" and been blurry at other resolutions. Color CRTs had a fixed mosaic of pixels too, but it was impossible to aim the electron gun accurately enough to control them individually, so every achievable resolution was blurry.
You didn't explain why you want to use your monitor at a non-native resolution. If it's to watch Full HD video, that's unlikely to look better on a native 1920×1080 screen than on a higher-res screen, because video normally doesn't have sharp pixel-aligned edges that would be visibly blurred by resampling. In fact a lot of 1080p video is really upsampled 720p video, so it's blurry at its "native" resolution and will look just as good at 1366×768. -- BenRG (talk) 17:12, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The funny part to me is that "blurring" and "antialiasing" are, commonly, applications of the exact same kernel: convolution with a star filter gaussian function (at least, this is the simplest realization of the technique). In one case, a marketing team calls this an advantage; in another case, a marketing team calls this a disadvantage.
If you are concerned about pixel-accuracy to the extent that every single bit value of every single pixel should be under your control, you're in for some bad news: in 2014, there are almost zero displays available on the consumer market that will satisfy your requirements. If you are willing to shell out big bucks and mucho engineering time, you can get such equipment: but you'll need a display technologies engineering team, a graphics processing engineering team, and many many hours to make the technology do what you expect, by calibrating its analog behaviors and operating its digital intricacies.
In reality, most people do not actually care about every bit of every pixel, because few humans can see anything remotely close to that level of detail. Most of the time, coarse control is sufficient to satisfy user needs: for example, a lot of professional graphics designers want a white balance knob and a gamma correction curve on their displays. High-level software features can turn image-processing features like antialiasing "on" or "off," (usually with nothing in between). Users expect a software-abstraction of a rectangular frame buffer, with square-shaped pixels, with magically co-situated "Red", "Green," "Blue" sub-pixels, with a one-to-one mapping into hardware - even though modern display pixel hardware is not even remotely arranged in that way. Pixels show up on screen after they are processed at the application layer, at the graphics acceleration layer, and (it's 2014!) at the data link layer. That's right: as your pixel bits are banged into the wire connecting your "computer" to your "display," most modern systems are processing the pixels inside the firmware that runs on the wire. You probably don't know how or why there is firmware inside a "wire" - if you wanted such details, you'd spend your 40-hour-workweek visiting display technology symposia, and you'd spend your nights and weekends learning how to write that kind of firmware! For a start, here's a lengthy 200-page textbook on last year's Intel display technology: Intel Embedded Mobile Graphics User Guide, v1.16.
However, if you tune those parameters, you're intentionally de-calibrating your pixel values - are you sure you're calibrating better than the factory, which presumably had access to optical equipment you can't even dream about?
And when it comes to resolution, don't you really just want a clean software-abstraction? Trust that the hardware will correctly re-sample your software "1920x1080 RGB" array, which you will update n times per second, mapping this idealized representation into hardware, subject to the sampling theorem, mathematically optimized for minimal error in time-, position-, and color- spaces. A "good" display is one for which each stage of this engineering project has been correctly implemented: but this has essentially no correlation to the number of pixels of "native resolution."
Nimur (talk) 17:34, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Generally on modern displays you do have control over each subpixel. On most LCDs the pixels are square and divided into three rectangular subpixels in a pattern that's predictable enough that subpixel rendering works well. The only postprocessing is brightness/contrast/gamma/temperature adjustment which applies independently to each subpixel.
"Blurring" and "antialiasing" are basically the same thing in this context, but the desirability of it is not defined by marketing but by what other options are available. Pixel art can be displayed pixel-for-pixel, nearest-neighbor resampled, or resampled with antialiasing, and pixel-for-pixel is often the best choice. Vector art can't be displayed at its native resolution because the native resolution is infinite. It can be point sampled or sampled with antialiasing, and often the latter is the better choice.
I'm not sure where you got the idea that there's firmware in DVI, DisplayPort, or HDMI cables, if that's what you meant. They are just cables. Of course, you need signal processors at either end that understand the wire protocol. -- BenRG (talk) 19:03, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Thank you all for your informativeness. From above: You didn't explain why you want to use your monitor at a non-native resolution. No I didn't, sorry. I'm thinking of replacing one of my laptops. There are half a dozen or so reasons for wanting to do this. (None of them is compelling on its own but cumulatively they are.) One is that the resolution is 1366×768; although this is sufficient most of the time, often it isn't sufficient and 1920×1080 seems good. Now the (imagined?) problem. Today's screens for 1920×1080 seem hardly larger than mine for 1366×768; larger screens (even putting aside freakishly giant laptops) tend to be for still larger resolutions (e.g. 2880×1620), which aren't of interest to me. I realize that today's technology is likely to increase the pixel density (per square millimetre) for a given degree of legibility (it would have to do so for the fancier kinds of tablet to be usable), but I wonder. -- Hoary (talk) 00:48, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Computer graphics subsystem[edit]

I have a good overview of various parts of the graphics subsystem but I'm not sure what happens behind the scenes.As an example, could you tell me what happens when you compile an opengl program that renders a cube. What does the compiler output? What does the GPU and/or its drivers do with this? -- (talk) 18:53, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

To the compiler, the OpenGL calls are the same as any other external function calls. They are resolved at (static or dynamic) link time to an OpenGL library that is typically provided by the operating system, and is independent of the graphics card. That library normally passes the commands and data to the kernel without much processing, and the kernel gives them to the video driver without much processing. The video driver is video-card-specific and uses some combination of CPU and GPU capabilities to do the rendering. The CPU-GPU interface is proprietary and often undocumented. At a bare minimum, the GPU computes perspective-correct coordinates for each pixel in each polygon, runs a shader program to determine its RGB color given its coordinates, and writes the result to a frame buffer, while independent circuitry reads the frame buffer in raster-scan order and sends it to the monitor. On modern GPUs, if you don't supply your own pixel shader, the driver will most likely use a default shader that implements the traditional lighting model. The shader is compiled by the video driver into the GPU's (proprietary) machine code. DirectX has a video-card-independent shader assembly language and a user-mode compiler from HLSL into that assembly language, which avoids the need for an HLSL compiler in every video driver, but I'm not aware of an analogous intermediate language in OpenGL. ARB assembly language exists but doesn't support all GLSL features. -- BenRG (talk) 19:50, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Programming libraries question[edit]

Take as an example the C programming language. I know that a line such as x = a + b; would be compiled to something that runs on the CPU as such: move a into register 0, move b into register 1, add register 0 and 1 storing result in register 3.... So I can see how it relates to the way the CPU works. But what exactly is happening when you use functions like printf() -- (talk) 19:38, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

printf is usually an ordinary function written in C. You can look at the source code if you want (even Microsoft provides source code for its standard C library), though it's rather complicated. Ultimately it bottoms out at a system call that writes bytes to a file handle (write on Unix, NtWriteFile on Windows). The kernel is also usually implemented in C and is even more complicated. If stdout is a file, the write request will go to a filesystem driver, which will turn it into reads and writes of disk sectors, and the disk driver will turn that into commands to the disk controller, probably using the IN and OUT instructions on x86. If stdout is a pty, the kernel will give the written bytes to the terminal emulator the next time it does a kernel read, and the terminal emulator will use a font rendering library to display the text on the screen, which may be more complicated than everything else put together, at least if outline fonts are involved. Windows doesn't actually have ptys, and communication with console windows uses LPC instead, but the idea is the same. -- BenRG (talk) 20:18, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, exactly. Ultimately, computers have either special registers, special memory locations or special instructions for talking to 'peripherals' like disk drives, your screen, the keyboard and so forth. (We call these "I/O" instructions/locations/registers). In a computer like a PC, which has an operating system, those special things are handled by the operating system software (Linux, Windows, MacOS, Android...whatever). In that case, there is software (written in C or C++ usually) which passes numbers back and forth to the peripheral. So, for a keyboard, there might be a special memory location that you can read that tells you whether a key is being held down - and another memory location that tells you what key that is. The operating system reads that information and stores it so that when some application program tries to read from the keyboard, that information is right there in memory.
So on a computer like that - 'printf' is just C code that ultimately presents a string of ASCII characters to the operating system, which deals with talking to the graphics card to display that string onto the screen. It's crazily complicated to do that because the character has to be decoded, a font has to be selected, the font is probably composed of detailed descriptions of the curves and lines that make up the letters - those have to be broken down into individual pixels, the pixels have to be placed (in the right colors) into the right memory locations within the graphics card in order for them to get onto the screen. Add in the possibility of overlapping windows, magnified views, windows that straddle two or more displays - each (perhaps) with their own graphics card...and the process of turning "printf" into photons of light coming out of the screen is a phenomenally complex process. Almost beyond description. Millions of lines of C/C++ software are dedicated to doing all of that.
But not all computers are PC's - many so-called 'embedded' computers (the ones that run your microwave oven, or your TV remote) are too simple to have operating systems - and in those cases, your program can directly interact with these special I/O locations. If you're a programmer and you are interested in this stuff, you should DEFINITELY splurge $30 to buy an "Arduino" board and play around with programming it. The Arduino is one of the simplest computers you can buy these days. It has NO operating system at all. If you want to send data to flash the LED on the board, you get to write C++ code to directly send 0's and 1's to the special I/O register that controls the LED. If you connect a display to the Arduino, you can write code to directly turn the pixels on and off. It's surprisingly interesting - and there is no substitute for actually doing that to get to some kind of understanding about what's going on "under the hood" on a PC. The Arduino is simple enough to run off a battery, so you can easily write software to make fun gadgets.
SteveBaker (talk) 22:36, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Okay, so taking a simple hello world program compiled for Windows I assume that all that fancy stuff isn't actually defined by printf but rather printf passes the string to Windows which then takes care of everything. If so then this also means that when people write compilers for windows they need to know how to pass data from their application to the OS. How is this accomplished? The special instructions/memeory locations you mentioned? -- (talk) 00:30, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Well, for Windows, I'm not 100% sure - I'll describe what happens in Linux, but probably Windows is similar.
For 'printf', it happens like this:
  1. The 'printf' function is written in C or C++ and built into the standard I/O library. Your program links to that library, which (depending on how you linked your code) might mean that this software is included into your ".exe" file - or it might be that your program links to a ".dll" file as it's loaded for execution.
  2. The code for 'printf' probably uses 'sprintf' to generate a string of characters and sends them to the underlying output using either 'fputs', just as you could do yourself. 'sprintf', 'fputs' are also C/C++ code in the standard I/O library.
  3. The code for 'fputs' will call the 'fwrite' function to send the data to the standard-out file descriptor.
  4. The code for 'fwrite' is also in the standard I/O library. It deals with buffering of the output into convenient sized blocks - but for the standard I/O, it may not bother. Either way, it'll call the 'write' function which does unbuffered I/O.
  5. Now, the 'write' function is probably still written in C/C++ - but it does almost nothing except to make a special call to the operating system kernel. This special call is something you could do yourself via a low level function or an assembly language statement - but I don't think I've ever seen an actual program that did that! In Linux, this transfers control of the CPU over to the operating system.
  6. The operating system does a bunch of complicated things here - one is to park your application while it handles the 'write' call. Each device that can be written to has a 'device driver' - and that handles the low level operations like this another call hands the data over to the device driver. Device drivers may be written in C or C++, but at least some of them are written in low level assembly code.
  7. What happens next depends critically on where your "standard output" is directed right now. If you had it directed to something very simple (like a USB port, for example) then the device driver might write the first byte of your data to the USB port hardware (which exists at a special memory location) - and then returns control to the Linux Kernel.
  8. Since the device driver (and your code) is 'blocked' waiting for the S-L-O-W hardware to write that byte out, it'll probably take the opportunity to run some other program while it's waiting.
  9. When the USB hardware has finished sending your first byte out, it does a special hardware operation called an 'interrupt'. As it's name implies, this operation interrupts the CPU - so no matter what it's doing, it stops doing it and hands control back to the device driver.
  10. The device driver hands the second byte to the USB hardware and gives control back to whatever was running just before the interrupt.
  11. This cycle repeats until all of your message has been sent, then the device driver tells the kernel that your 'write' operation was completed.
  12. The kernel then schedules your program to be allowed to continue when no other programs need to be run...
  13. Then control returns to 'write', which returns to 'fwrite', which returns to 'fputs', which returns to 'printf', which returns to YOUR CODE! Hoorah!
    Now, that's all well and good if the device you're sending the message to is something simple. If you sent the message to the screen though...OMG! It gets *much* more complicated.
  14. If you're writing text to the screen then the device you're writing to is called a 'pseudo-tty' (tty=='teletype'!). The pseudo-tty device driver sends the message off to the windowing system software. In Linux, that's the X-windows system. X is just a regular program that does graphics stuff. So it takes your string, notes which window it's being sent to, figures out which font is being used and at what font size - and where inside the window the text has to be written. Armed with all of that, on older systems, it would use the font description to convert each character of your message into a bunch of pixels (a little picture of that letter) and send it off to more software that crops the letter shape to the boundary of the window - then physically writes it into the memory location in the GPU memory space where those pixels need to be. In more modern systems, X makes calls to OpenGL calls to pass the letter off to a program called a 'shader' inside the GPU that generates a quadrilateral with a texture map representing that letter and places it in the right place in GPU memory. The shader program is probably written in a C++-like language called 'GLSL'. But OpenGL also has to send it's commands to the GPU hardware via kernel calls and device drivers.
It's actually even more complicated than that...but I've spent too long typing this message already!
I've probably messed up quite a few details here - and undoubtedly, Windows does it a bit differently than Linux (sorry, I'm not sufficiently familiar with the inner workings of Windows) - but the broad-brush picture is the same.
But, as I said before - it all depends on the system you're using. If you use 'printf' in an Arduino program, then 'printf' is C code that calls 'putchar' that directly controls the hardware registers to send the data out of the USB port. No operating system kernel, no device drivers, probably not even any interrupts.
The whole beauty of this insanely complex edifice that is our modern programming environment is that we don't need to know all of this stuff. We call 'printf' and it does the same thing no matter which operating system you use and no matter which hardware it's running on. When you consider everything it takes to make that happen, it can get totally mind-bogglingly complex.
SteveBaker (talk) 01:06, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

September 14[edit]

Twitter location changes for no apparent reason[edit]

Every so often, for no apparent reason, Twitter decides to change my location. There does not seem to be any connexion with where I am, what I am Tweeting about, or anything else which I can think of. Does anyone know why this happens, or have any suggestions as to how I can stop it? DuncanHill (talk) 04:41, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Which Twitter client are you using? The web interface or a mobile app? On a phone, laptop or desktop computer? If your device cannot determine the location from GPS, or doesn't have a GPS chip at all, it may try to use wifi signals to establish a location which may be less accurate. If the suggested location is way out, it may be asking the ISP's server for its location—sometimes this is on the other side of the country or even in a different country. --Canley (talk) 05:48, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
To sort of back up Canley's response: If you're tweeting from work, it may have something to do with how your company's network is set up. When I'm at work in Vermont, things like Google Maps will always locate me in Poughkeepsie, New York, at first. Dismas|(talk) 08:35, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
It seems to happen mainly when I am at home on the desktop, connected wirefully (is wireful the opposite of wireless?) DuncanHill (talk) 14:34, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
'Wired' is the normal antonym for a wireless connection. CS Miller (talk) 14:46, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Mac OS X Upgrade[edit]

I currently run Mac OS X Version 10.5.8 and would like to upgrade to Mavericks but am unsure if my machine has the right hardware requirements, and whether I would need to go through an intermediate version like Mountain Lion or something to get there, or if I can straight from one to the other. Thanks. (talk) 11:46, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

This should help you decide. --TrogWoolley (talk) 17:26, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Based on your current version which is relatively old, I'd guess not. I have an old iMac ("sunflower" model, 2003) running 10.6.8 which is the last OS available for it. I recently upgraded a newer iMac (2010) from 10.7 to 10.9 (Mavericks) successfully skipping 10.8 and so far it doesn't seem sluggish or otherwise compromised. Definitely check the Apple forums, and if you're still not sure then you might check 3rd party sites like macintouch or macrumors which can give details about any reported problems with Mavericks running on older machines. El duderino (abides) 19:51, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Old GPU pipeline vs programmable shaders[edit]

With the development of GPUs from a fixed pipeline to programmable shaders, how is backwards compatibility maintained? i.e. How can old games still be run on newer PCs? -- (talk) 00:23, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Generally, the old functionality is simply implemented with shaders that the graphics library (Direct3D or OpenGL) generates as needed 'behind the scenes'. There are a few old features that have been abandoned however, so very old games may no longer work for one reason or another. Another problem is that some older games may rely on incorrect assumptions that were never strictly legal, but did work on all hardware at the time. One example of that that I've seen is that when you swap the display buffer (glSwapBuffers), the buffer you get has content that is described in the OpenGL API as "undefined" - but in the early days of 3D rendering, in practice, it would reliably contain the previous image that you generated. Some games would rely on this - even though the API specification said that it wasn't safe to do that. Nowadays, that assumption fails nearly 100% of the time. SteveBaker (talk) 00:31, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you mean by implemented behind the scenes. The games code said to do something which would work on the old hardware. How would a newer GPU know what to do with the old code -- (talk) 00:37, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

It's the video driver's job to translate the OpenGL calls into something the GPU will understand. If the GPU only supports programmable shaders, but the client application is using a fixed-function pipeline, the video driver will give the GPU a shader that emulates the fixed-function pipeline of older GPUs. This happens "behind the scenes" (the client application doesn't need to know about it). -- BenRG (talk) 02:25, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Ok so then Openggl (and Directx I assume and even things like CUDA and OpenCL) functions get passed to the driver. But the source for an opengl program will be written in C or whatever with libraries that implement the opengl functions. So how is it compiled. Normal C statements like x = a + b would become assembly that moves data into registers performs an add etc. What exactly does a opengl function compile to? -- (talk) 02:46, 15 September 2014 (UTC)


September 8[edit]

Cladogram, evolutionary tree[edit]

Hi. What kind of evolutionary diagram can be made based on the classifications of an animal? I'm a little confused by the different type of diagrams. I assume that sharing a classification means having a common ancestor. So two "Panthera" species are more closely related than two "Felidae" species. And two species in the same family are more closely related to each other than to something in a different family. etc. What would a diagram based on that be called? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Howunusual (talkcontribs) 02:25, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Take after meal...[edit]

Why is it that some medications have to be taken "with food", or "after food"? Is there just one single reason - or does it vary?

SteveBaker (talk) 05:19, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

I was under the impression that the body doesn't know how to properly synthesize certain drugs/vitamins unless it's taken with real food. ScienceApe (talk) 05:24, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
The UK National Health Service lists six reasons. (talk) 05:27, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
And note that other meds should be taken on an empty stomach, presumably to prevent them from binding with foods. StuRat (talk) 13:52, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
"[And], some foods – such as grapefruit – can increase the level of medication in your blood to potentially dangerous levels." [15] (talk) 17:30, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

What do you call voluntary shaking of the eyes?[edit]

I know the involuntary shaking is called nystagmus, but what do you call it when you shake your eyes really fast, horizontally, on purpose? Does it even have a name?

--XndrK (talk | contribs) 14:52, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Most likely "voluntary nystagmus". See this previous question and answers with refs: [16] Also search the archives (using the box at the top of the page) for "nystagmus" to see some other relevant discussion. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:29, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
I think I call it "impossible". Seriously, can you actually do this? --Trovatore (talk) 02:36, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
(However, see saccade. That I can do. Just not lots of times in quick succession.) --Trovatore (talk) 02:38, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Here is a Youtube video demonstrating the phenomenon, and here is a paper investigating it. I guess you are not one of the 8 percent that can do this. --Mark viking (talk) 02:59, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
8%?! I guess I'll henceforth have to check my privilege. —Tamfang (talk) 08:27, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
I think I call it  "too much time on your hands"; or, to quote Mom:  "Stop doing that!"   — (talk) 17:09, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

September 9[edit]

Seeds that need light to germinate[edit]

WHY do some seeds (gesneriads for example) need light to germinate? Is it a matter of needing to photosynthesize right from the outset of germination? Or is light needed as a trigger for the germination to begin? Or both?

How much light do they need? Bright, moderate, any detectable amount?

And is there a particular wavelength range that is essential? Thanks, C7nel (talk) 04:20, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

This is a very large topic, and I'm not sure that we can easily make general statements. First, yes, some seeds require light both to break dormancy, see Seed_dormancy#Physiological_dormancy. So, light can both act as a necessary trigger, and also be used for early photosynthesis. The idea is that, from a life history perspective, a plant would 'prefer' to wait until conditions are favorable, rather than germinate and die in a bad situation. E.g. a tree seed of a pioneer species in a dense forest might wait until a light gap forms from windthrow. In contrast, late-successional species like oak usually have larger seeds, and are more shade tolerant, and are not likely to use light cues. Anyway, here's a nice book chapter [17], and here are some research papers on the topic [18] [19] [20]. Here are two that specifically talk about the color of light. In short, yes, the amount and wavelength matter, but different species are likely looking for different features, as indicators of a good environment to establish in [21] [22]. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:07, 9 September 2014 (UTC)


How can I tell whether I have a deficient ability to see blue in one eye, or a deficient ability to see red and green in the other eye. How do I know which one is the baseline? For that matter, how do I know that either one is a baseline? What is this condition called, where colour vision differs between the left and right eyes? Plasmic Physics (talk) 08:40, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Answering the first part of your question would go close to our prohibited area of medical advice, but pointing you at Color blindness can only help. HiLo48 (talk) 08:51, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Hardly. Whatever answer I may receive is inconsequential with regard to my decision, either for or against seeking medical assistance. For the record, I am not of the persuasion of seeking such assistance. This is merely enquiry for interest's sake. I have also already read Color blindness prior. Plasmic Physics (talk) 09:52, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
I'd suggest doing a standard colorblindess test with one eye closed, writing down the answers, then redo it with the other eye, perhaps a few days later. Only then, check the answers. But if you have any concerns about your eyes, see an optometrist. ---- CS Miller (talk)
Clearly, doing one-eye colorblindness tests will reveal whether you're perceiving things radically differently with each eye - but (as CS Miller points out), you'll remember what the answers are between one test and the next - which could easily skew the results. I wonder if there are alternative sets of those colored-dot number tests out there? I bet there are because the standard tests use numbers and they probably want to use the tests for people who can't read or don't know their numbers. Maybe you could use the number tests for one eye and some alternative test for the other?
I notice a slight shift in some shades of red between my left and right eyes - but not sufficiently to show up in color blindness tests. I suspect the reason in my case is that I have different degrees of short-sightedness in my two eyes (my glasses prescription reveals this quite clearly) - and we know that light of different colors is focussed at different depths, so it could easily be that red is inherently blurrier than green or blue in one eye...but that doesn't quite explain the very slight color shift. Another possibility would be some kind of filtering of red light in one eye (eg if one had a cataract in one eye) - but I've been tested for that, so that isn't it. What makes this kind of thing difficult to pin down is that brain plasticity will result in us unconsciously 'tuning' our vision to work as well as possible given whatever weirdnesses are going on - and when our eyes change over time, it can take a while for brain adaptation to catch up. So it can be surprisingly hard to tease out these effects. SteveBaker (talk) 14:27, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
I found the Farnsworth-Munsell 100 hue test, that is test for which the correct answer cannot be remembered, as it depends entirely on the hue, there are no defining markings involved. I tried an online version of this test, although I don't know how reliable it is, I got a ratio of 15/27. [23] Plasmic Physics (talk) 23:54, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
You might also be interested in mosaic (genetics) and chimera (genetics) which can easily cause that sort of thing. Dmcq (talk) 10:21, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
If either, I'm most likely a mosaic. Plasmic Physics (talk) 23:54, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Generally inherited color blindness affects both eyes, but acquired color blindness can affect only one eye as a result of disease, head trauma to the occipital lobe, chemical exposure of the eye, etc. --Mark viking (talk) 19:55, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
I think that this is probably congenital, since I've had it for as long as I remember, unless that bout of meningitis did more than just give me a mild case of amelogenesis imperfecta. Plasmic Physics (talk) 23:54, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Does everyone perceive red and blue light in the same way?[edit]

(Splitting this off into a separate question so as not to hijack our OP's original question SteveBaker (talk) 14:15, 9 September 2014 (UTC)) On a related theme, how do I know that what I see as red you don't see as blue, we just use the same terminology to describe things we perceive differently? --Dweller (talk) 11:40, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

See Qualia -- Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 12:33, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
We all agree that light in a particular frequency range is "red" and in another frequency range is "blue". We know that the same groups of cells are activated when we each see "Red" or "Blue". We agree that rooms painted in all red feel "warm" and those painted in blue are "cool"...any comparison you can make come out the same. Differences are things like the fact that I like green and my wife prefers blue - does that hint that we're perceiving them differently in our heads? I don't think this is even a meaningful question. You can only say that what you see as "red" I'm really seeing as "blue" is kinda meaningless because you're using these words that have predefined meanings that attach them to particular ranges of light frequency.
What you're really asking is whether two people's perceptions of anything whatever can be meaningfully compared. We can see that similar areas of the brain are activated when we think similar thoughts - which suggests that we're perceiving things similarly - but we also know that if we put you in a room that's bathed in red light for 10 minutes - then go back to white light and immediately show you red and blue objects, then your own perceptual feeling for what is red and blue have shifted temporarily.
I actually believe this is a meaningless question. SteveBaker (talk) 14:15, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
So meaningless you typed up ~230 words about it? I dunno, I thought this was a standard conversation everybody had at some point. Anyway, the qualia article is probably our best WP ref, but OP might be interested epistemology and ontology, which also come into play if we want to discuss this scientifically. For fun, here's a classic paper on the topic of color perception [24]. Spoiler: psychedelic drugs change how we perceive and discriminate colors. So, If OP is on LSD and I'm not, we probably are not perceiving blue light the same way... SemanticMantis (talk) 14:28, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

OP here. Really interesting. I'd never imagined that drug taking could change colour perception (sheltered life, eh?). That does suggest a totally subjective experience. Thank you. --Dweller (talk) 14:29, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

You may be interested in the field known as behaviorism. It relates pretty closely to your initial question, insofar as it looks at psychology and related fields as only those phenomena which can be directly observed, and ignores (or glazes over) those "purely mental" phenomena as unmeasurable, and therefore outside of the realm of science to answer. SteveBaker's answer is a pretty good Behaviorist response to the question you asked. --Jayron32 14:38, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
We are still biological machines that can in pinciple be described in a precise formal mathematical way. So, at any time whether you have taken drugs or not, you are nothing more than a machine that is running a well defined algorithm. See the Church–Turing–Deutsch principle. So, unless you are sceptical about the idea that physics applies to everything including human beings, we should assume that subjective perceptions should be indentified with computational states of algorithms. Given two slightly different algorithms A and B, you can try to approximately describe B in terms of A by modifying the inputs to A. If you could run B by interchanging red and blue and then feeding that input to A and then in the output also interchange red and blue, then that would mean that B experiences red in the same way as A experiences blue. Count Iblis (talk) 16:35, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Unequivocally not. There are two types of red-green colorblindness; one where red is seen as green, and one where green is seen as red. If a rare person had both types of colorblindness, he wouldn't be "colorblind" he'd be a trichromat whose perception of red and green was swapped. See the famous work of Stephen Palmer at M.I.T. μηδείς (talk) 17:26, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
WHAT?!? That's utter nonsense. There are actually at least eight kinds of red/green color blindness. You can be missing the red sensors, missing the green sensors, (rarely) missing both red and green, you can have a weak red sensor, a weak green sensor, and rarely, both red and green can be weak, red can be weak and green absent or green can be weak and red absent. In none of those cases are red and green "swapped". If you're missing both red and green sensors, then only shades of blue are seen...although in practice it's a little more complex than that because comparing the outputs of the rods and the cones, the person can still get some greatly diminished sense of things that are red/green/yellow/orange rather than blue. But swapped colors would imply that both color sensors exist, but are somehow wired up differently. Such a hypothetical situation would probably result in perfectly normal vision because brain plasticity would kick in and sort it all out so the person would have no problem figuring out what's red and what's green. SteveBaker (talk) 18:31, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
We have an article on color blindness that covers what SteveBaker is talking about. The reason it's called "red-green blindness" is because one can't distinguish between red and green (you're "blind" to the difference between them), not because they're swapped. The most common color blindness (partial red-green color blindness, "deuteranomaly") is caused by the green cones having their response shifted towards red. -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 18:48, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
What, CC would happen if you carried both mutations, red shifted to green and gree shifted to red? I suggest you read palmer, not me nor Baker. μηδείς (talk) 20:50, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
I was specifically talking about what Baker said RE: what color blindness is, in his response to your erroneous statement that color blindness is a swapping of colors, I haven't followed whatever the rest of this conversation is about. If you carried both mutations, as far as I can gather you would suffer the symptoms of each mutation (i.e. your color responses to red and to green would be weakened so that things close to the 'edges' of either would appear darker, and you would have an even more difficult time distinguishing the two colors); both mutations are carried on separate genes [25] and I can't find any information on any shared interactions between them. That would be quite a rare condition, though. -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 02:01, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Steve, if you are not a fool you are a screamer, and I have no interest in your OR or discussing this further than I do suffering through Philosophy 101 again (or Biololgy for that matter. But I will say Palmer's argument and the conclusions it implies might make one gasp. Stephen E. Palmer is the authority on vision, he's written the standard college text, Vision Science, and he's shown that we cannot interchange red green and green red color maps, and that this can be scientifically demonstrated. The following paper is easily found as a pdf at google:
Color, consciousness, and the isomorphism constraint
Stephen E. Palmer
Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-1650
Abstract: The relations among consciousness, brain, behavior, and scientific explanation are explored in the domain of color perception. Current scientific knowledge about color similarity, color composition, dimensional structure, unique colors, and color categories is used to assess Locke’s “inverted spectrum argument” about the undetectability of color transformations. A symmetry analysis of color space shows that the literal interpretation of this argument – reversing the experience of a rainbow – would not work. Three other color-to color transformations might work, however, depending on the relevance of certain color categories. The approach is then generalized to examine behavioral detection of arbitrary differences in color experiences, leading to the formulation of a principled distinction, called the “isomorphism constraint,” between what can and cannot be determined about the nature of color experience by objective behavioral means. Finally, the prospects for achieving a biologically based explanation of color experience below the level of isomorphism are considered in light of the limitations of behavioral methods. Within-subject designs using biological interventions hold the greatest promise for scientific progress on consciousness....
μηδείς (talk) 20:39, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
I think what made SteveBaker incredulous is your claim that some dichromats perceive red as green and others perceive green as red. Is there anything in Palmer's paper that led you to think that? I think that dichromats see only two of the three opponent pairs, which at least for protanopes and deuteranopes would mean that they never experience red or green, only yellow and blue. That's supported at least by the fact that unilateral protanopes and deuteranopes report that they see only yellow and blue in the dichromatic eye. (Source: Color blindness#Dichromacy, which has an external reference.)
As far as Palmer's paper goes, he's merely pointing out that there are no automorphisms of the psychological color space that preserve psychological distance. That doesn't mean that swapping the genes for R and G pigments would measurably swap the perception of red and green. Almost certainly the wiring of the cones is somehow determined dynamically by firing patterns, not by whatever mechanism picks one of the three pigments, meaning that the gene-swapped person would have normal color vision, both experimentally and (presumably) in terms of qualia. -- BenRG (talk) 02:04, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
There are all sorts of colorblindness, but Baker's response seemed about as relevant as saying, in response to hearing that achondroplastic dwarves may find reaching certain objects difficult, that not all dwarves are achondroplastic. What matters is it is possible to carry the genes for what would normally be seen as two types of color blindness, and yet be a trichromat with a different set of qualia from the wild type. Palmer mentions that the people in his example would see cyan as brighter than yellow, and would disagree with wild type humans as to which colors as we name them would be "unique" in the way that there are unique shades of blue, red, yellow and green, something which most trichromats agree on.
If color space were perfectly symmetrical, i.e., if yellows took up as much of the color solid as blues, these people would be indetectable by survey. But color space is not symmetrical. Blues and greens fill far more of it than do reds, and especially yellow. In an RGB space divided into 125 (5x5x5) equally spaced slots, you will get pure yellow and yellow-white as the only unambiguously yellow tones, with mustard and yellow green as well, but they will not be pure yellows. The blues, however will take up a much large number of slots, with maybe ten perceived as darker or lighter shades of blue, but not as purples or greens.
This is whether or not you count cyan as blue.
Such reversed tricrohomats will be rare necessarily just by chance, and they may be acculturated to know that shades which appear close to them in their color space my no appear close to other people, and respond that way. A study would have to involve tens of thousands, and would prefferably have to be done with children who have an unsolidified notion of color or with people whose languages lack more than two or three color terms. In any case e know that the color space is not symmetrical per Locke's assumption and that it is biologically determined at the chemical level. Palmer speaks himself better than I can, so I refer further inquiry to the sources. μηδείς (talk) 18:41, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
To my surprise Palmer does say (p.926, last paragraph) "a persuasive argument can be made that such red-green-reversed perceivers may actually exist", with the argument being just that people with swapped L and M pigment genes ought to exist (though he also says "no one has ever managed to identify such a person"). I don't find this argument persuasive, nor would I expect anyone to, for the reason I gave above: I'd expect the wiring of the color-processing stages to be determined dynamically by the actual pigments (e.g. by cone firing patterns in infancy). You would only get a red-green-reversed perceiver if the pigments were associated with different cone types in such a way that swapping the pigments would leave the containing cone still behaving as though it contained the other pigment in all later stages. I don't know what biological mechanism could achieve that. Karel Kranda says the same thing in his response (p.959): "As there is no chance here of getting red wine in vinho-verde bottles, this 'mutant' should preserve normal colour sensation." Kranda also claims that the natural incidence of such mutants should be less than 1 in 1012. It's not the product of the incidences of protanopia and deuteranopia because they are usually caused by defective genes, not copied genes, as far as I know. -- BenRG (talk) 20:28, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Although it is referenced from the qualia article mentioned above, I'd like to give a more direct pointer to the inverted spectrum article, which is specifically about this problem. Looie496 (talk) 14:04, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
  • "The argument dates back to John Locke.[1] It invites us to imagine that we wake up one morning, and find that for some unknown reason all the colors in the world have been inverted. Furthermore, we discover that no physical changes have occurred in our brains or bodies that would explain this phenomenon. " This violates the laws of physics. Two identically prepared systems, one is the original persion and the other is the same person with inverted color perception (which by the assmuption of this thought experiment can nevertheless can be chosen to be physically identical to the original person) would be distinguishable in an experiment (you can ask if the way they perceive colors is the same as the way they perceived colors yesterday, one person will say yes the other will say no.). Count Iblis (talk) 19:36, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
The scenario as stated requires substance dualism. Looie496 (talk) 12:57, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, the point is that if you pose identical questions to the two people and they consistently give different answers, that's ipso facto a physical difference. The question and answer are encoded physically in sound waves, and there's a causal link between them, and if you want to claim that some part of the causal chain exists outside of physical reality then you have to find some other way of defining "physical reality" than by causal connection, which is rather difficult (as discussed in Physicalism#Definition of physical). -- BenRG (talk) 21:52, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

What about animals?[edit]

Tangential to above topic
Thusfar, the above conversation has been limited to humans. One could say that certain animals perceive biased colors due to a shifted or expanded spectrum. Would a bird that can see ultraviolet perceive what we see as "blue" as being "green" (or at least greenish-blue)? And what about infrared sensing in snakes? They are technically colorblind, but do they somehow merge an overlay of the Mach band infrared image with optical information in order to parse something similar to "color" in their brain? [26], [27], [28], [29], [30], etc.   — (talk) 18:04, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
We have no idea what qualia are. For all we know, different humans with normal color vision have qualia that are totally different in some way we don't understand. Or maybe the colors we all see are the only possible color qualia and are shared by all animals. -- BenRG (talk) 19:38, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Qualia, linked for convenience (interesting article). —[oops- didn't notice Roger (Dodger67)'s link above]— (talk) 20:23, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

What kind of electricity energetic we need?[edit]

We will need a powerful electricity energetic or a small power electricity energetic if the raw energy resources in the World will been end?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 18:02, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

If I understand your question correctly, searching for distributed vs. centralized energy model provides useful results. The closest on Wikipedia seems to be Distributed generation. (talk) 18:15, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Does I understand correctly, that the centralized electricity energetic is always been a powerfully electricity energetic of powerful electric generation?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 08:00, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Click to enlarge
Generally speaking, yes; but not always. Many modern Electrical grids include a mix of power sources (big and small). Typically there are a few large power plants (coal, nuclear, etc.) on the transmission side of the grid, and many small power sources (solar, wind, etc.) on the distribution side of the grid. See diagram→ (talk) 20:11, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
For general reference on resource scarcity, see Hubbert_peak_theory#Hubbert_peaks and links therein. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:56, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Could a diesel electric generator been generate a steady corona discharges?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 09:26, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

If the raw energy resources in the World will been end, no. Because it'll need diesel and we don't have any. We'll have far bigger worries than how to create a corona discharge at that time. How to charge our phones, first and foremost. InedibleHulk (talk) 09:59, September 10, 2014 (UTC)
Could a diesel electric generator been create a mechanical speed acceleration which been required to generate a steady corona discharges?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 12:01, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I think that the mechanical speed accelerations are not been unlimited, especially in diesel electric generators!--Alex Sazonov (talk) 17:13, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
How does to express correctly the physical-mathematical acceleration of speed powerfully rotation?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 17:29, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
What is the maximum electric charge could been create electromagnetic induction in nature, that is, does an electromagnetic induction had a limits in nature?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 17:05, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Does it been possible to reaching a absolute values of the force of the electric charge or the force of dynamics of the electric charge in the space of natural magnetism of the planet Earth?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 10:53, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
This is not a direct answer, but you might be interested in Tesla's Wardenclyffe Tower, which seems to fit what you are describing.  — (talk) 20:20, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I suppose that Nikola Tesla in studying of the properties of electromagnetic induction was first who been create an electro-thermodynamic plasma reaction of unmanaged type. As far as I know, the Russian scientist Pavel Nikolayevich Yablochkov was studied in corona discharges of electric current for been used in the first electric incandescent lamps.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 12:49, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you! I believe that diesel electric generators are not been able to generate a powerfully electric, because diesel electric generators do not had a much-speed rotation, so that diesel electric generators are always been a small power electricity energetic of none power electric generation.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 05:55, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Does been a differences in the generations of an electric charge, or the dynamics of the electric charge by an electromagnetic inductive field and the magnetic inductive field?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 14:55, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Does been a differences between the powerful electric generation and none power electric generation?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 07:28, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
In physics, is always been taken to distinguish all of the electric charges on the powerful (forcing) electric charges and low electric charges!--Alex Sazonov (talk) 03:53, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

What is the potential volume of backward electromagnetic induction are always had a city electric grid and national electric grid?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 06:23, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

What force is been needed to the electric charge or the dynamics of the electric charge (electric current) in order to overcome (to punching) the volume of backward electromagnetic induction of city electric grids and national electric grid?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 08:35, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Note:The work of the electric current is always been considered the work of the backward electromagnetic induction!--Alex Sazonov (talk) 06:32, 11 September 2014 (UTC) Backward electromagnetic induction in conductors with electricity, always been creates by natural magnetism of the planet Earth.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 07:27, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

A commercially available diesel generator can produce up to up to 2,000 kW, and can be linked together with as many units as needed. Inrush current might also be a useful link? I am not understanding the use of "backward" in relation to electromagnetic induction. — (talk) 16:50, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
The force which been resists to an electric current in the conductors also always had been an electromagnetic nature.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 18:48, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Hysteresis? (talk) 19:44, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
In conductors with electric current any doing magnetism always been the property only of backward induction which in conductors with electric current always had been an electromagnetic nature, so that it always been the backward electromagnetic induction.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 06:49, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Are you looking for Lenz's law? Dbfirs 07:07, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Lenz's force and Lorentz force are always had no any magnetism, and I would been argue that the nature of the resisted force is always been identical to the nature of the doing (acting) force.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 08:59, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Charles-Augustin de Coulomb was investigated the force of electric charge, André-Marie Ampère was investigated the force of electric current and force of dynamics of electric current, Hendrik Antoon Lorentz and Heinrich Friedrich Emil Lenz were investigated the force of electric charge and force of electric current - force of dynamics of electric current in general (fully), nuclear physics was investigating the force of dynamics of electric charge.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 11:49, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
All Faraday's Laws are always been right only to electromagnetic induction, but not to magnetic induction! (In during of changing the magnetic volume of the Faraday's inductive coil the Faraday's law is always been right.)--Alex Sazonov (talk) 12:33, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
James Clerk Maxwell was argued that increasing the magnetic volume (inductive volume) of the inductive coil could never been increased the force of electric current and voltage.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 22:17, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Nikola Tesla was right in the statement that all plasma reactions always been proceed in according to the laws of electromagnetic induction.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 03:38, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

"Attempting to gain complete control" - anorexia nervosa, masturbation, etc[edit]

Our article on anorexia nervosa says:

Despite the fact that the physiological cause behind each case of anorexia nervosa is different, the most common theme seen across the board is the element of self-control. The underlying cause behind the disorder is rarely about the food itself; it is about the individual attempting to gain complete control over an aspect of their lives, in order to prove themselves, and distract them from another aspect of their lives they wish they could control. For example, a child with a destructive family life who restricts food intake in order to compensate for the chaos occurring at home.

and this reminded me of a question I'd forgotten to find an answer to. A few years ago, when the subject of anorexia nervosa came up in a discussion, one man said that although he'd never had an eating disorder he had worried so obsessively about masturbation during his early teens that finding ways to avoid thinking about masturbation, counting the days since he had last masturbated, and punishing himself for masturbating were taking over his life. Of course we asked what that had to do with anorexia; he said that his family was breaking up at the time, and there was some emotional abuse and so on, and so obsessing about something else became a distraction. And that's pretty much how the passage above describes a cause of anorexia nervosa.

So my questions are: is there a name for the general pattern where it is about the individual attempting to gain complete control over an aspect of their lives, in order to prove themselves, and distract them from another aspect of their lives they wish they could control? And is there a particular name for, or any references about, this particular instance of the pattern with sexuality (possibly particularly adolescent sexuality)? If so, it could make for a useful/interesting article for WP:SEX. The Wednesday Island (talk) 21:44, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Maybe Displacement (psychology)? --Jayron32 01:52, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

September 10[edit]

dispose of sulfuric acid?[edit]

How can you safely dispose of about liter of concentrated sulfuric acid? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 01:25, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

About 2-3 pounds of baking soda; added slowly and carefully. Or anything mentioned here. Though the baking soda is probably a bit more fun. --Jayron32 01:48, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
A hazardous waste depot? -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 01:51, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Both the above make sense. If you want to neutralise it with minimum drama I'd think about slowly adding it to water first, then adding the reagent. This all depends on how concentrated it is, of course. Greglocock (talk) 02:13, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Think about it, but don't do it! Adding concentrated acid to water may cause an exothermic reaction resulting in a very bad day. (talk) 02:30, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I was always taught "you're doin' whatcha otter when you add the acid to the water". But I offer no warranty on that bit of wisdom. --Trovatore (talk) 02:35, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
That's why I said " slowly adding it to water". "If the acid or base is highly concentrated, it is prudent to first dilute it with cold water (adding the acid or base to the water) to a concentration below 10%. ". You were wise to edit anonymously, 71.20.. Greglocock (talk) 03:26, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Mixing sulfuric acid and water generates heat, and mixing it with baking soda makes copious bubbles. I would mix baking soda with water in a large bucket that is impervious to sulfuric acid, fill it no more than halfway. Then slowly pour the sulfuric acid into it waiting for the bubbles to go down each time. You may wish to have a stirring stick available to speed up the process. A defoaming agent would be good but I don't know which are safe with sulfuric acid. (If you notice it stops making bubbles be concerned that you may have used up all the baking soda.)
Alternately get some dilute sodium hydroxide and mix with that instead, no bubbles. Ariel. (talk) 18:47, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
It would be safer to dilute the acid first and then add an aqueous solution of baking powder slowly. Greglocock (talk) 23:18, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
How is that safer? You are making acidic bubbles if you do that. Plus any acid caught the bubble might not be neutralized since bubbles doen't mix well. Ariel. (talk) 23:54, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
The idea behind adding the acid to water (and never water into acid) is that when the reaction gets going, there is a lot of heat generated and there may be splashing and bubbling. When that happens, you'd rather it was slightly acidic water that was boiling and splattering and not concentrated acid. The mnemonic I was taught was to use the direction of the alphabet A=>W and not W=>A. Personally, visualizing the consequences of getting it wrong is the best way to remember!
Acid + Alkali makes Salt + Water - so if you can add just enough alkali to your acid to neutralize the pH, then you can toss it down the drain. However adding acid to alkali - or the other way around - is exceedingly dangerous, you want to add those ingredients into a LARGE amount of water to dilute the reactants and diffuse the heat.
I would start with a large bucket of water and add acid and alkali alternately in small quantities, mixing carefully and checking the pH each time around.
SteveBaker (talk) 01:18, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I make no warranty that this is safe or legal, but what I'm thinking is that if you must get rid of the sulfuric acid (do you really need to?) then its eventual destination is probably the sewer. (The alternative is pouring it on the ground somewhere you don't care about -- this may seem like a harsh idea but the coal power plants have been doing it to us on a grand scale for so many years we don't even expect fish in the streams any more) So any means of getting rid of it should involve a sink with the tap on full. You can slowly pour the acid down the hole, and if you're worried about the overall acidity, introduce any manner of neutralizing agent (baking soda, lime, lye... there are things they sell for you to pour down your sink which are not much less corrosive than the sulfuric acid) at frequent intervals. Most importantly, leave the water running for a while after you're done. The main risk I suppose is if the acid finds concrete (which is lime, and neutralizes it...) somewhere that a sewer problem due to its degradation would be your financial responsibility instead of someone else's. :) But I'd expect if you neutralize the acid 100:1 or more with water that it shouldn't be a major threat. Wnt (talk) 15:27, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Well, I called the local state Environmental Protection Division and they didn't know what to do with it, but they gave me the number of a waste disposal service. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 05:04, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Last number on Earth I would have called... I would think an auto shop would have ideas, since they have to get rid of lead-laced battery acid. Wnt (talk) 12:06, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

What is "Elongation in 4D"?[edit]

Hi, everyone,

I am processing data from a uni-axial tensile test to determine mechanical properties of a material. The specimen is dog bone with circular cross-section. I am stuck with the term "Elongation in 4D", what does this mean and how to calculate it? Thank you very much. SongJie@NTU (talk) 03:34, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

4 x specimen diameter explained here. Mikenorton (talk) 07:13, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Many thanks. So this 4D is also the gauge length to measure strain, right?SongJie@NTU (talk) 08:21, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
That's what the reference says, mentioning that it's the standard way of reporting elongations, but I've never done one of those tests myself. Mikenorton (talk) 08:40, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
OK. Thanks a lot :) SongJie@NTU (talk) 09:03, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Species ID[edit]

Hello all!


Can some one please identify both the species?

Thanks in advance. Nikhil (talk) 05:38, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Scadoxus multiflorus (Blood lily) and the common myna? Abecedare (talk) 06:29, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Yep, no idea about the flower, but the bird's a flying rat (as some affectionately describe those mynas here in Australia). HiLo48 (talk) 08:53, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
This is the Canadian flying rat, I think. And the American. InedibleHulk (talk) 10:07, September 10, 2014 (UTC)
I thought this was the Candian flying rat? μηδείς (talk) 18:01, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
That's a rat in the same way the Hippety Hopper is a mouse. We may not always see eye to eye with them, figuratively, but the kids who've literally done it generally grow up with a fearful sort of respect. A noble nuisance, like a beaver or moose. InedibleHulk (talk) 15:44, September 12, 2014 (UTC)
The plant looks like some sort of onion or chive to me. DuncanHill (talk) 13:56, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Just add, the file description calls it a mayflower, but it doesn't look like any of the mayflowers. DuncanHill (talk) 13:59, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Concur with the allium family. --TammyMoet (talk) 17:37, 10 September 2014 (UTC)


Traditionally, caviar is served with a mother of pearl caviar spoon, and people are advised not to serve it with anything metal because apparently this can alter the taste. However, every store I've been to that sells it, does so in a metal tin. Is there a reason why we should use caviar spoons? --Andrew 13:44, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

It seems unlikely that we're going to do better than the sourced discussion at caviar spoon, which directly addresses this issue. John M Baker (talk) 14:23, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Cans are often coated to prevent reactions with the food. You can see this even with things like canned tomatoes. They often have a thin coating of a polymer or less-reactive metal. [31] suggests that is indeed the case with caviar. Mr.Z-man 20:31, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't think the problem is so much with metals per se, as it is that most metals are reactive enough to react with the food mess with the taste. Off the cuff I'd be surprised if gold caviar spoons would alter the taste, but silver probably could. Double sharp (talk) 15:56, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Pfft, I only eat caviar with platinum spoons. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 03:13, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Equal night after equinox[edit]

Here, it's not until 27 September that the night becomes longer than the day, and on the actual equinoctial date, day is nine minutes longer than night. Why? Is this because the Sun is a disc, not just a pinpoint? Nyttend backup (talk) 16:05, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

See Equinox#Length_of_equinoctial_day_and_night. --Jayron32 16:28, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't think our article does justice to the full difficulty here!
There is never going to be a day when the amount of daylight and night are EXACTLY the same total duration within a particular calendar day - that's only an approximation to the truth that was convenient for our ancestors to know when the seasons were falling. They didn't need much precision! Now that we have clocks and very precise ways of measuring, we can see the reality of the astronomical alignments going on here.
"Equinox" is really the point in the earth's orbit where the orientation of the tilt of the planet points along the orbital path. This situation only happens for a literal instant, twice a year. A microsecond earlier and the axis is very slightly pointing away from the sun and a microsecond later, very slightly towards the sun.
The 24 hour day in which this instantaneous event occurs is the day which is the closest to having exactly the same daylight and night durations - but for those durations to be perfectly identical, the precise instant of orbital alignment would have to be exactly at noon...and I mean *exactly* not "within a second" - not "within a nanosecond"...exactly. (Or at least as exactly as you measure your daylight/night durations). Since the rotation of the earth (the roughly 24 hour period) and the orbit of the earth (the roughly 356.2525 day period) are not perfectly in sync - and there are always slight wobbles in the orbit due to other planets passing by and variations in the precise length of a day due to internal processes in the core and the phase of the moon and such, that perfection of daylight/night equality is impossible.
However, if you choose to measure those durations accurate to within a second (for example), then statistically, you'll only see that degree of precision once every few hundred years or maybe every few thousand years (it's hard to do the math - so I'm guessing!). If you need it to be identical to within a second, then maybe you should expect that to happen once every 100,000 years. But if you only need it to be accurate to within 10 minutes...then most years are going to be good enough to meet that demand.
But in truth, with perfect measurement precision - then on one day there is more daylight than night - and on the next day, more night than day...and the exact amounts will vary from one year to the next - and we arbitrarily pick one of those two days to be called "the equinox" even though there is not precisely "equal nox".
It does get a little bit more complicated than that. Depending on which time-zone you live in, the 24 hour "day" starts at a different moment in the degree of "equinoxial perfection" depends on your longitude (how far east or west you are) because that alters what time during the 24 hour day that the instant of axial/orbital alignment happened. So at points along some meridian (a north/south line) - that moment of alignment happened exactly when the sun was highest in the sky - and for people living along that exact line, the amount of daylight and the amount of darkness during that 24 hour interval surrounding the sun-at-highest-point would indeed be identical.
Unfortunately - it's not quite that simple. We have time zones...a man-made jumping of the clock by whole numbers of hours. So if that line of perfection happens not to be bang in the middle of the time zone, then when our clocks say "noon" can easily be 30 minutes or even an entire hour away from the moment when the sun was at it's highest point - and you'll find that the daylight/night durations are slightly wrong again. If you happened to be lucky enough to be at the right longitude that axial/orbital alignment moment happened precisely when the sun was at it's highest point - it wouldn't be "noon" because your time zone says that it's only 11:45am or whatever.
So you'd have to be both on that exact north-south line where you get the axial/orbital alignment happening when the sun is exactly overhead...AND you'd have to be bang in the middle of the time zone so that your clock says it's exactly 12 noon when that happens. And now we're back down to something that happens only statistically within some close approximation to a true equinox.
So, no - the day and night durations are never perfectly the same - never - can't happen. They are only the same to within some measurement error - and that error can easily be as long as 9 minutes for some places on the earth, and probably as short as a few seconds every few thousand years for people on some exact north/south line that goes through the middle of a time zone and happens to line up just right that year.
It's probably best not to stress out about it!  :-)
SteveBaker (talk) 14:29, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Just to correct one thing "The 24 hour day in which this instantaneous event occurs is the day which is the closest to having exactly the same daylight and night durations" actually not true. Read the article. The day when we have the closest to equal time of day and night occurs a few days after said equinox. But otherwise, you're spot on. --Jayron32 14:42, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Ooohhhh - yes. That means I'm actually wrong - but for a MUCH more complicated reason.
Because "day" and "night" aren't defined as starting and ending as the center of the sun's disk crossses the horizon - but rather as the time from when the entire sun disappears below the horizon. That bias makes days longer than nights by the amount of time it takes for the sun to cross the horizon line - which (of course) varies depending on how far north or south you are...which complicates matters still further! It's also complicated by the refractive index of the atmosphere and a bunch of other ikky stuff.
When you're at the equator, the 'twilight' period when the sun crosses the horizon line is shorter than toward the if "daylight" is defined to include the dawn and dusk twilight periods when the sun is only partially covered by the horizon - and "night" excludes those periods - then the day when the two durations are equal is shifted depending on your latitude. But this is a matter of linguistics, not science. I bet there are some cultures where 'twilight' isn't linguistically included in whatever word they use for "daylight". Heck, it's messy enough that English uses "day" to mean both 24 hours and "the interval during which a part of the sun's disk is visible". (In these posts, I've been careful to use "daylight" when I mean the latter!)
So at any given latitiude, the 24 hour period that's closest to equal daylight/night durations is shifted from the day of closest axial/orbital alignment. But (as you say), that doesn't really alter the problem because on that day when the two periods are closest to being equal, you still have the problem that the beginning and end of the day are defined by messy human conventions - and the moment of axial/orbital alignment isn't going to be perfectly at noon.
But doesn't this mean that I can in fact get a perfect equinox if I pick the perfect latitude AND longitude? If the spot where I'm standing is going to get one second more night than day - then can't I just walk a little towards the nearest pole, and staying within the same timezone and with the same noon-time axial/orbital alignment, get a longer twilight period and thereby adjust my personal day length to achieve perfection? So long as I'm not already at the equator, I can go toward the equator and reduce the daylight duration and increase the length of the night.
So I think I need to change my previous answer!
If you're at the right longitude/time-zone to get a pretty decent approximation to perfectly equal day/night durations - then moving south or north should allow you to adjust those times to absolute perfection...which leads me to believe that at any point along some complicated arc that jumps at every time zone boundary there is a perfect equinoxial balance. That would be an interesting curve to plot!
The trickiness here is that the mathematical/astronomical ideals are completely screwed up by weird human definitions of things like timezones and when "day" and "night" are considered to commence.
SteveBaker (talk) 15:42, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Steve Baker, you're going to confuse everybody who knows astronomy if you use twilight for "the time when the answer to the question 'has the Sun set?' is 'what part?'". The only time I've ever seen twilight mean when a nano-iota of Sun is visible is the very uncommon solar twilight, which is the Sun being less than 6° high but at least a speck is showing, I think.
I know of this, and it still intuitively feels incorrect. It's still "day", though different, and should be called peri-daylight. Maybe others have thought this too and that term has Google hits?
I believe length of daylight (or is it "visible daylight"?) sometimes means when the Sun is above -6° no refraction (or 5°10' after the sunset). This is because you can't read or play sports or drive without lights after that when there's no Moon. Well you can still read but not newsprint or normal-sized book type. As opposed to length of day which doesn't include this extra hour of baseball-playing time.
Also, I believe it's daytime until the Sun passes behind the geoid as seen from your eyes. The geoid as you might know is just the shape of "0 m above sea level". So technically, you can only see the Sun set over land from a few places like near the Caspian Sea, but not on the Caspian Sea, unless you're above the 8th floor. Almost all ocean horizons go over a week between viewable sunsets at least once a month, even if cloud never blocked one. Places with weak tides see sunsets only when waves are unusually small and it's a near-supermoon level low tide. It's impossible to see the Sun set from orbit if it'll happen over a high tide area. But you can peek your nose above the roof of a 9 story Caspian shore building and see it. If you did, you could see the Sun for a whole ~30 seconds after it sets. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 03:09, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

September 11[edit]

Fuse voltage rating.[edit]

I have a power supply with a 5A/240v fuse that recently blew.

The power supply is available in 110v and 240v versions - mine is the 110v version, but I know that the only difference between the two versions is a jumper position, so I strongly suspect (without proof) that both versions have the same 5A/240v fuse.

The only fuses I have to hand are 125v rated - but at a bunch of different amperage ratings.

I think I can replace the 5A/240v fuse with a 5A/125v fuse - but some people are telling me that I need a 10A/125v (or so) replacement. My gut feel is that they are incorrect - but I'm at a loss to explain why.

My reading of Fuse_(electrical) is that the voltage number is the "rated voltage" which is the maximum voltage at which the fuse will reliably blow without arcing and conductive plasma keeping the circuit open. Since I'm running the unit at 110v, the 125v rated fuse should be OK.

So who is right...and (most importantly) why? I need the answer in simple terms (eh...simpler than that) so that the people involved in the original debate can be convinced one way or the other.

SteveBaker (talk) 01:07, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

""I need a 10A/125v" Utterly completely and dangerously wrong, you are trying to limit the current in the system, not the power. I'd use a 5A 125 V fuse of the same type - fuses come in different types and some will blow more quickly than others. Greglocock ([[User talk:Greglocock|talk]]) 01:28, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

That's what I think too...but a solid explanation is needed here. The Devil's advocate argument is that the circuit you're protecting has constant resistance - so it'll be handling different amounts of current with the two input voltages - so it'll need a different fuse in those two circumstances. I don't know how to counter that argument. SteveBaker (talk) 02:01, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
The fuse depends on the thickness of the wires inside the power supply, not the amount of power the supply is generating right now. Changing the voltage to the power supply does not change the thickness of the wires, so the Amp rating of the fuse does not change, it doesn't matter what you do to the voltage.
For voltage rating on the fuse on the other hand you just need a fuse rated for what you are using, not what the power supply is capable of.
I hope that's enough to convince them. Remind them the fuse is based on the physical size of the wires in the supply, not how the supply is being used. Ariel. (talk) 03:50, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
We need to know the specifications of the power supply to be sure that we are giving the correct answer. It is possible (but unlikely?) that your power supply actually draws a maximum of 1.2 kW regardless of the voltage of the source (within a stated range). In these circumstances, the required fuse would be 5A/240v when connected to 240v but 10A/120v when connected to 120v and this would explain why your fuse blew. I agree with the analysis given by Greglocock and Ariel for all normal power supplies, and you should not use a ten amp fuse unless the manufacturer recommends it. Dbfirs 06:18, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Sadly, this is a made-in-China power supply - we have no schematics, no specification and no user-manual of any kind. The *only* guide as to what fuse it needs is the old. blown fuse I removed from it...which has some chinese squiggles, then a 5 and a 240...which we're merely assuming is the amperage and voltage rating. The fuse is the same size and shape as every other 5A/240v fuse you've ever seen - so we're presuming it's nothing especially exotic.
If it helps to know, this beast is generating just 25mA at around 40,000 20,000 volts(!) for our laser cutter. It's scary as all hell because it's allegedly capable of generating two inch long arcs that are more than able to kill you...and it has big capacitors inside so it can still zap you hours after you've unplugged it from the wall. This makes the simple act of changing the fuse way more exciting than you'd ordinarily expect! We don't know why the fuse burned out in the first place...but with the 5A/125v slow-blow that's in there now, there have been no further incidents and everything seems to be working OK. The ordinary shock risks or fire concerns that you might have from an overly-large fuse are really nothing compared to the potential lethality of the device when it's working just fine and the fire risk from the CO2 laser it's powering! SteveBaker (talk) 20:58, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Even in that case the fuse would be 10A in both situations. A fuse is designed to protect against excessive current, not excessive power. (SteveBaker: Don't assume from this that we are recommending a 10A fuse.) Ariel. (talk) 20:41, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Both the fuse and the wires behave as simple, fixed resistors (until the fuse blows). The heat load on a resistor is equal to the square of the current divided by the resistance, independent of voltage. The wires in the device will melt at some current greater than 5 A. You need a fuse that blows at 5 A to protect those wires. Voltage is irrelevant here.--Srleffler (talk) 16:36, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Many thanks everyone! That clarifies things beautifully. I will now go and do battle with those who oppose me and crush them without mercy using the weapons you have provided!  :-)
SteveBaker (talk) 20:44, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Err - 25mA at 40000 V is 1kW, so you _do_ need the 10A fuse - it's over 9A at 110V. The 5A fuse will probably blow again before long, but it doesn't indicate a fault in the device. Tevildo (talk) 22:45, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
You're sure it's not 25uA and/or 4000V? That's some serious EHT if your figures are right. Does it produce X-rays (which I hope are shielded) as well as the laser output? Tevildo (talk) 22:51, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Oops! My bad...20,000 volts, not 40,000...which means that the 5A fuse is *really* marginal. No wonder it's blowing whenever there is a voltage spike. I'm starting to think that I should be going with at least a 6A fuse. SteveBaker (talk) 00:35, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
The slow-blow 5-amp fuse should cope with any normal voltage spikes, and at the same time protect against faults. Dbfirs 08:31, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Suspension cells in tissue culture: congregation in middle of well[edit]

Is it usual for suspension cells to congregate in the middle of a well? Does it have something to do with water-tension and the meniscus? Figure of eight swirling works well enough for adherent cells but not my PGCs. I don't seem to have the problem when culturing in a flask. -- (talk) 11:22, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Yes, I see that all the time with my NSCs, only in small wells though (24/96 well or chamber slides). More medium may help. Fgf10 (talk) 11:58, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
If you stirred a liquid culture, and left it rotating, that would force particles either to the edges or center, depending on if they are lighter or heavier than the culture. StuRat (talk) 02:01, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

September 12[edit]

Better than a human at combined swim/run part of triathlon?[edit]

Excluding the Bicycle, (which I'm not sure *any* animal could do better than a human), is there an animal which could complete the combined swimming/running parts of the Olympic Triathlon (1.5km swim followed by a 40km run (approx 1 mile/25 miles)) faster than a human. I know there are a lot of animals (dolphin, etc) that could finish the swim first and some animals, I think could beat a human in in the run (antelope?), but any that would get to the end of the race ahead of us?Naraht (talk) 00:06, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

I can't think of any. Before we get too cocky about that, though — which species made up the rules? --Trovatore (talk) 00:29, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Best comment of the week award goes to Trovatore! SteveBaker (talk) 00:31, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Interesting question. Since the running portion is much longer than the swimming portion, a creature that is a fast runner and an "okay" swimmer might win. The pronghorn antelope can run at 56 km/h for 6 km (according to our article). This speed is useful to outrun lions and other predators. There is no mention of its time over a 40 km course. I think they can swim fairly well. CBHA (talk) 00:46, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
See Man versus Horse Marathon for something akin to a real-life example. It's 22 miles cross-country (not on a level track), with no swimming - the current stats are 32-2 to the horses. Over a shorter distance on the level, the horse would definitely win every time, although I'm not sure about the swimming. Tevildo (talk) 00:55, 12 September 2014 (UTC) Irrelevant portion stricken out. Tevildo (talk) 00:58, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
The man versus horse marathon is significant here. A man doesn't stand a hope in hell against a horse over 1 mile - but over 22 miles, it's actually possible to win...but as the distance gets longer, it becomes more and more possible for a human to outrun almost anything. We've evolved to hunt animals like antelopes. We don't do it by out-sprinting them like a cheetah - but by having more stamina over the long haul. So I think it would be a relatively close thing between a fit human and almost any land animal. The issue is how fast land animals can move through the water. List of successful English Channel swimmers shows that fit humans can manage between 1 and 3mph over 20 miles. It's hard to find date about how fast land animals can swim - this video [32] of a horse swimming makes it look like it can swim about as fast as it can walk...which could be around 4mph. So if the horse could keep up that pace, maybe a horse is in with a chance. But it's back to the stamina thing. If humans are just beginning to out-stamina horses after a 40km race - the horse is going to be slowing down a lot for the swimming. I've seen data on polar bears who have the stamina to swim for days. They also seem to be managing 3 to 4mph over long distances...but it's not clear how fast they are over long distances over land. They can probably out-sprint a human, but I doubt they could keep up a winning pace over miles.
I think it would be close for a typical human and a typical horse or polar bear - but it's all about stamina, not raw speed. SteveBaker (talk) 02:56, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Note that in the man-versus-horse marathon, the horse has a human riding on it. I think it is nearly certain that a good horse could beat the best humans in a one mile swim followed by a 25 mile run. Looie496 (talk) 17:47, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps this animal? Count Iblis (talk) 01:11, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Maybe a polar bear ? They are excellent swimmers and fast runners, but that distance might be too long of a run for them. StuRat (talk) 01:58, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Dogs are also very good at doing long distance running, it is a bit far for them but I think they could manage 40km at about the same pace as a human. Kangaroos also are a possibility. I'd have thought elephants would heat up too much but I've heard of them walking long distances without stop at about 10 kilometers an hour. Dmcq (talk) 07:52, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
OK - so where is the video of the kangaroo swimming? I'd really like to see that! SteveBaker (talk) 15:17, 12 September 2014 (UTC) Judging from that they'd find 1.5km a bit of a struggle.Dmcq (talk) 15:42, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
plus apparently there's a dog out there named norman who knows how to ride a bicycle haha ~Helicopter Llama~ 11:25, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
If the race started in the water, I think a tiger would win easily. It would handily swim to the shore and then eat the human, finishing the run at a leisurely pace. Come to think of it, if you start in the water, a tiger shark has a greater chance of making it to the finish line first. Matt Deres (talk) 15:51, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
The other way round if pitted against Jaws (James Bond) ;-) Dmcq (talk) 16:40, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Not quite an answer, but this site is sort of cool. Lets you compare animal speeds in land, sea and air, both in real speed and if they were scaled to your height (or whoever's). Not exactly practical info...yet. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:01, September 12, 2014 (UTC)
Why would any animal bother doing it? HiLo48 (talk) 16:10, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Glory, I suppose. Maybe food. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:37, September 13, 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps a Hippopotamus? "Adult hippos move at speeds up to 8 km/h (5 mph) in water" (Wikipedia article) and "30 km/h (On Land, Running)" [33], which would be times of 11.25 minutes (1.5 km swim) and 20 min (10 km run), assuming they maintain the quoted speed. Compare this with the times for men's triathlon Triathlon at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Men's, where the winner had a 17 minute swim and a 29 minute run. I don't know what the endurance of a hippo is like, though, and if they would be able to maintain those speeds over those distances. -- (talk) 17:45, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Clearly polar bear. Was already mentioned. I am shure many other species, probably not a cow but very likely a horse, are also capable of winning such a race. Most would likely fall back in the swim section but many can run long distances multiple times faster than humans. --Kharon (talk) 21:10, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Actually, not so much on the horse. Horses, over marathon length distances, run only marginally better than humans. See Man versus Horse Marathon, already mentioned above, so I'm not sure why you missed it. The horse usually wins. But not always, and not by enough to say it would be a shoe in. Indeed, given the swimming advantage of humans, I'm pretty sure top triathletes could take beat the horse often enough. --Jayron32 00:21, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
This article claims that humans are "the right honorable kings and queens of the planet when it comes to long-distance running", but I'm not convinced. Maybe in a cold climate the European moose or elk would be the winner: "They have very long legs, which make them appear ungainly while standing but very elegant when trotting. Designed for speed and endurance, they can gallop at up to 60km per hour and are also excellent swimmers. This comes in useful when they need to escape predators such as wolves, lynx and brown bear. (source). Difficult to find hard data on distance... In a hot climate many species would be at a disadvantage, see Persistence hunting. Ssscienccce (talk) 21:13, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
A lynx's snowshoe-like paws would tune us if we were running in boots. But if we were racing in the north, the swimming part would kill us anyway. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:43, September 13, 2014 (UTC)

Laser energy greater than nuclear explosion[edit]

Over here ,Laser#Examples_by_power it lists some of the most powerful lasers, 700 TW and 1.3 PW. A watt is 1 joule/sec. So these lasers presumably pulse in a fraction of a second, but even so the total energy output of those lasers should exceed some nuclear weapons. But yet, when those lasers are fired, the resulting explosion created isn't comparable to a nuclear explosion. But yet according to those energy levels, they should be. Why the discrepancy? ScienceApe (talk) 06:19, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Isn't the answer given in the section to which you linked? The peak power quoted is many orders of magnitude greater than the average power. Average power output of most powerful lasers is just a few kilowatts (perhaps a bit more for the really big and most deadly lasers). It is fair to say, though, that if the pulsed power is concentrated in a small area, then the effect is comparable to that at the core of a nuclear explosion, just not so widespread. Dbfirs 06:44, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps someone is failing to distinguish between energy and power. Jim.henderson (talk) 13:19, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Not only do those exceedingly high power lasers fire for only a very small amount of time - they also only strike a very small target.
Since I actually own a couple of 100 watt lasers - I can add more light onto this subject.  :-)
On the face of it, my 100 watt lasers don't sound all that impressive...the amount of light energy they produce is more or less the same as a 100 watt light bulb. The difference is that a 100 watt light bulb spreads that energy out over perhaps 100 square centimeters of surface area. It gets hot enough to hurt if you touch it - but it's not really going to cause significant destruction. My lasers are focussed to a spot that's about 1/30th of a millimeter across - so those hundred watts are dumped into an area 9,000,000 times smaller than the lightbulb. The energy delivered per unit area is about 9 million times greater - which means that whatever you point the laser at pretty much "goes away" - this machine can happily slice through a half inch of wood at a speed that's only a little slower than a table-saw.
To wreak destruction, delivering a peta-watt (1015 watts) for a nanosecond (10-9 seconds) has about as much effect as pointing one of my 100 watt lasers (102 watts) at a target for 104 seconds...about 2.5 hours. My lasers are capable of producing 100 watts continuously - and I routinely cut up bits of plywood (to make little model buildings - as it happens) by running my two lasers for 12 hours - which is 10 times as much light energy as the petawatt/nanosecond device. So far, there has been no giant smoking crater anywhere near my house!
Put another way, the total energy from a peta-watt for a nano-sec is about the same as leaving your bedroom light on overnight - but it's enough to (briefly - and in a very, very tiny space) create the same conditions as are found on the surface of the sun!
It's all about how the energy is concentrated - both in time and in space.
SteveBaker (talk) 15:11, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
But then by extension if you were to make the beam more diffuse (less concentrated), it should produce an explosion comparable to a nuke. ScienceApe (talk) 15:58, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
No! That's the opposite of what I'm saying. Spread out that peta-watt laser both in time (from a nano-second to a few hours) and in space (from a tiny spot to the surface of a light bulb) - and you have something with enough energy to run an easy-bake oven...not flatten a city. SteveBaker (talk) 16:30, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Well then that means the energy released by the laser in that nano-second should equal the energy to run an easy-bake oven, not a nuke. But if it did equal a nuke's energy, then it should produce an explosion comparable to a nuke. ScienceApe (talk) 17:02, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes...although whether expending all of that energy would produce an explosion or not depends on what you do with the energy. If you dumped that much energy into the ground, you'd get an impressive explosion - but if you fired the laser up through the atmosphere and out into space, then the energy would gradually dissipate and there wouldn't be that much disruption. Also, again, it's dependent on how fast you release the energy. The distinction between a 'high explosive' and (say) gunpowder is that even when the exact same amount of energy is released, it matters how fast it's released. So I'd be nervous about comparing the two explosions - even when the raw energy and power numbers could be meaningfully compared. A single lightning bolt produces about 109Joules - which is about the same as a quarter ton of TNT, but a lighting bolt can be safely dispersed using a simple lightning conductor where a large car-bomb with the same amount of energy could bring down a large building and leave a decent sized crater. SteveBaker (talk) 17:59, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps someone failed to read what I said. "A watt is 1 joule/sec. So these lasers presumably pulse in a fraction of a second, but even so the total energy output of those lasers should exceed some nuclear weapons." ScienceApe (talk) 15:18, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
No, I'm pretty sure we all understood what you said.
1 joule per second, is a rate of energy production - so one joule-per-second running for a nanosecond (which I believe is the typical pulse duration of one of these things) is 0.000000001 joules. A petawatt is 1015 watts which means that over one nanosecond, the total energy it delivers is 1015J/s x 10-9s...which is 106J ...a million joules...which is the exact same amount of energy (Joules) produced by a 100 watt light bulb (102J/s x 104s) in a few hours (104s = 166 minutes).
Google says that 1 megatonne TNT is 4.18400 × 1015 joules. So a one megatonne nuke produces 4x1015 joules of total energy, spread over however long it takes to explode...which is 109 times as much energy as the petawatt laser produces in a nanosecond. So this laser is a BILLION times less energetic than the bomb. The amount of power that the bomb is generating depends on how long the explosion takes...which is kinda fuzzy...and really bears no relevance to it's destructive capability.
Now, admittedly, if the laser could be left running, continuously, for four second - then it would hypothetically produce a megatonne of energy and it could level entire cities. But it can't run for a second - it's only able to produce that number of watts for a billionth of a the total energy is only as much a leaving your bedroom light on all night.
As an earlier respondent pointed out - you're getting confused between energy and power. SteveBaker (talk) 16:30, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Well no I wasn't confused about energy and power, I just wasn't aware the total amount of energy the petawatt laser actually produces. I knew it was a fraction of a second, but I didn't know it was only a nanosecond. According to the boom table, 1 million joules however is equal to 239 grams of TNT, so it should still produce an explosion equal to that much TNT detonated at once. ScienceApe (talk) 17:07, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
The Petawatt laser at the University of Texas, here in Austin [34] produces a petawatt - but the total energy output is just 190 it must be firing for considerably less than a nanosecond...more like the femto-second range, probably. SteveBaker (talk) 18:05, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Also these Lasers only work for a tiny fraction of a second at peak so you have to brake it down as "Joule" is "watt * second". The 1.3×10^15 W Laser in Livermore only works 400 femtoseconds aka 400×10^-15 seconds so formaly its only 520 Joule really if i calced it right. --Kharon (talk) 21:33, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
The generation time in a fission explosion is about 0.01 microsecond, and 99.9% of total energy is released during the last seven generations. (source) A 100 kiloton explosion releases 0.4184 PJ (see TNT equivalent), so the average power during the last seven generations is 0.4184 * 0.999 / (7*10-8) or 5.97*106 PW. That's 4 million times more power than the most powerful laser mentioned. If my calculations are correct... Ssscienccce (talk) 21:41, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Something I don't see mentioned in this discussion is that, in fact, the function of the laser at the National Ignition Facility is to ignite very small thermonuclear explosions. They use tests on this system to improve nuclear weapon designs, and also for research on inertial confinement fusion for civilian use.--Srleffler (talk) 01:36, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

pearl index and decrement table[edit]

What is the first year failure rate of Mirena IUD according to life table method not pearl index— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:40, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

See IUD with progestogen. According to Bayer's datasheet here, the first-year failure rate is 0.21%. Tevildo (talk) 08:04, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
NOTE: Our article includes a short video of the device being removed. I wouldn't call it _erotic_, but it's probably NSFW. Tevildo (talk) 08:10, 12 September 2014 (UTC).

According to life table method not pearl index199.7.159.62 (talk) 09:07, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Skin lesion and std transmission research[edit]

Has there been any research done to suggest that skin lesions and fissures as a result of skin conditions such as psorasis or eczema increases the chances of skin to skin transmission of stds such as syphillis or herpes? (talk) 09:50, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Not sure it makes sense to test every combination of skin condition with every disease that can be transmitted through the skin. Obviously having skin damage makes transmission more likely, but knowing exactly how much more likely is of limited value. Perhaps testing remediation methods might be of value, like whether bandages prevent infections. Nurses with skin problems could then act accordingly, and either tend patients when they have bandages on, or avoid working until their skin heals. StuRat (talk) 16:15, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Energy extraction from would-be tornadoes[edit]

I heard that some tornadoes form in the US because hot air becomes trapped below cold air. What about building towers that bridge the gap with turbines in between to harness the energy? This might then also reduce the occurrence and severity of tornadoes in those areas (as well as other wacky changes in weather patterns). -- (talk) 14:01, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

It's a good idea except for having to come and replace said towers every time a tornado tears them out of the ground and scatters them around the landscape. Also, very unreliable, and you have the problem with having LONG lulls of no wind energy, giving you a worthless tall thing, and then a very short burst of very intense energy. The system doesn't deal well with that, the electric grid works best with a constant flow of reliable energy, not short bursts. So yeah, basically your idea is just fine, except for all of it. --Jayron32 14:44, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
We get quite a lot of ideas like this - capturing the energy from lightning strikes, to pick another example. The root problem with all of these ideas is that building a gigantic, expensive machine to capture this energy is likely to leave you with a multi-million dollar investment that sits there for decades doing nothing until it *FINALLY* gets struck by lightning or hit by a tornado - or whatever it's designed to use. Then it generates a reasonable amount of energy - and then it's sitting there waiting for more decades.
Just think about that. How often does a tornado strike the exact same place twice? Sure, it happens - but it's always an astounding coincidence - and nobody can predict where that place is. But for your machine to earn money (or even to generate any energy at all before it rusts into oblivion) - it has to be exceedingly lucky.
You might (I suppose) be able to capture energy from temperature inversions in the atmosphere and other high energy weather events that happen a little more predictably. The conditions for tornado formation probably happen a dozen times a year in some parts of "tornado alley" here in the USA. I've been living in that region for the last 20 years - and I've only once been within 10 miles of a tornado touch-down...but probably had at least a couple of "tornado watch" alerts over my house each year. So if you had built your machine where my house is and given it a 20 year operational life - it would never have generated an erg of energy from an actual tornado - and it would only have generated a few bursts of energy per year if it operated under "tornadic conditions".
What you're REALLY talking about is windmill farms. Those operate in any windy conditions - and windy conditions happen during temperature inversions and such. So those machines (which exist in LARGE numbers around my area) do exactly what you want - but they are also capable of capturing energy from mere light breezes as well as from more violent storms. That's a more practical kind of machine for the job...and because of that, people have built them.
But even so, one of the biggest criticisms of wind farms is that they don't produce energy reliably. When it's dead calm - the energy to run nearby cities has to come from someplace else. A hypothetical tornado-energy-machine would have that problem about a million times worse!
So, no - sadly, this idea is a non-starter.
SteveBaker (talk) 14:48, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Tornado Alley.gif
Well, if we forget about generating power, the idea that large structures could decrease incidence of tornadoes is basically sound, see e.g. here [35]. (btw Steve, I don't think Austin is firmly in the tornado alley, see also here [36]. As a recent immigrant to Austin, I'm just glad we get any storms at all, even if they are far less common and violent than the other areas I've lived :) SemanticMantis (talk) 15:38, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but I'm relatively new to Austin - for most of the last 20 years, I've lived in Cedar Hill (near) Dallas - which (I believe) is solidly inside the orange bits of Tornado Alley - at least according to our map at right. The only tornado I got close to touched down to the west of me on Joe Pool Lake - it was heading east across the length of the lake while I was driving south across the width of it - along the two mile-long bridges with a very open stretch of road between them. When I heard on my car radio that the tornado had touched down - I was on the then-deserted section of land between the two bridges and faced with the "go-on/go-back/sit-still" decision. Since the car I was driving was possibly the worst imaginable for riding out a tornado in (a race-tuned MINI Cooper'S convertible!) - but had a pretty good turn of speed, I made the decision to go on - and basically floored it. As it turns out, I was basically racing the tornado, to the far end of the bridge - and I was hitting 130mph as I got out of the way. There was inch-sized hail pounding the car - and although I was concerned about the toughness of the cloth on the roof - having a convertible turned out to be a good thing because I only took hail dings on the hood of the car. As I arrived home (on the south shore of the lake) - I had to slalom between tree limbs to get down the 300' driveway into my garage. Quite an exciting ride home! SteveBaker (talk) 16:02, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Ah, my mistake. Sounds like a fun adventure! SemanticMantis (talk) 16:07, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

You misread my suggestion. I wasn't suggesting you hardness tornadoes. I was suggesting you hardness the power of what would otherwise become a tornado. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:39, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

It doesn't matter. Either way, if you design it to harness the most extreme conditions, then your equipment will be idle for far too large a percentage of the time. You need to make it harness less energetic - but more frequent events - and that's precisely what a wind farm does. SteveBaker (talk) 17:44, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
So you mean this layering of air only occurs some of the time? I thought it was constant. (talk) 18:16, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I think what he means is that this tower would extract energy that would otherwise go into generating a tornado in the first place so the tornado, in theory, is never produced at all. Presumably, the towers would allow hot air trapped under the cold air cap to travel up through the tower, spin turbines and generate power. Thus preventing tornadoes and producing electricity. The tornadoes never have to be formed in order to produce power, the power is produced from trapped hot air. I have no idea if this is possible or not, but that's what I got out of his posts thus far. ScienceApe (talk) 19:53, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Sounds like a Vortex engine --Digrpat (talk) 20:29, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
You would need a aproximately 5,000 ft high tower that builds a very huge tube. It would cost probably 20-30 Billion to build given the highest Building Burj Khalifa at 2,722 ft is just a short needle compared that already cost 1.5 Billion to build. But it has to withstand storms tho its not a needle but a wall. I doubt such a structure could be build with current technology and expertise. --Kharon (talk) 22:00, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
  • The energy that drives a tornado comes ultimately from convection: when moist air is lifted to a higher altitude, the drop in pressure causes some of the moisture to condense, which releases energy. Tornadoes typically occur when the convective available potential energy is very high. However, there are lots of situations where the potential energy is high but no tornado occurs. In principle that energy could be tapped, but at a technical level it seems very difficult. The basic problem, as Steve has been saying, is that the energy is hard to get to, and even though there is a lot of it, its density is not very great. Looie496 (talk) 14:06, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Yep, exactly. The diagram at right shows the total number of tornadoes per 2400 square miles between 1950 and 2006. The peak numbers are around 15. So that's one tornado every 3.5 years in 2,400 square miles. If you built some kind of a machine that would pull energy from a tornado within (say) a square mile around the machine - then the odds of it producing any energy is something like 1 in 8400 every year. If you built 8400 of these contraptions across the countryside - then every year, ONE of them would produce energy for an hour or two - then nothing. Windmills, placed in moderately windy places, can produce electricity at a cost of about $40 per megawatt-hour. A 2 MegaWatt windmill costs around $2,000,000. You can't come remotely close to that payback with a machine that's operating so rarely. SteveBaker (talk) 22:17, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
To be exact, the diagram at right shows the number of F3-F5 tornadoes over that period. I've witnessed about a dozen, or their effects, from teh 70's til present, (.e.g., one blew my shed about 1000ft into the bay), but they were the much more common F0 to F1. μηδείς (talk) 17:28, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, convective energy -- the energy that drives tornadoes -- is present during any thunderstorm, or even whenever you see cumulus clouds. In principle it could be tapped simply by creating a horizontal windmill. The problem is that the altitude at which strong convective winds occur is highly variable, and usually thousands of feet above the ground. The comparison isn't quite as extreme as the passage above makes it look, but still wouldn't come close to the overall efficiency of an ordinary windmill in a windy spot. Looie496 (talk) 14:11, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

The evaporation of water (which in turn happens due to solar energy) accounts for a large part of the energy here, despite the fact that it actually costs energy to evaporate water. The energy itself is irrelevant, what matters is how much useful work you can generate from the process in the given environment. Processes that require energy to run can yield useful work if more than the required energy can be extracted free of charge from the environment, this is the case for evaporating water. So, the relevant question here is to ask how much work could you in theory extract from your 1 litre bottle of water on your desk using only local processes (so the machine that is going to do this is assumed to only work onder the local ambient conditions, otherwise the sky would be the limit). The maximum amount of work is less than or equal to the drop in the Gibbs free energy when the water is changed to water vapor and dumped in the environment. Because the water can exist in equilibrium with saturated water vapor at the ambient temperature, the Gibbs free energy of the water is equal to that of saturated water vapor. So, we only need to calculate the drop in the Gibbs free energy for saturated water vapor and the water vapor at the partial pressure the ambient vater vapor is at. If we treat water vapor as an ideal gas, then it's an easy computation to obtain the result

W = -N k_B T \log(r)

where W is the maximum amount of work that can be obtained, N is the number of molecules, and r is the relative humidity. The maximum amount of work that can be extracted from my 1 litre water bottle here where the temperature is 20 C and the relative humidity is 60% is thus approximately 69100 Joules. Count Iblis (talk) 02:14, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Will putting toilet unclogger make it worse?[edit]

Toilet paper is blocking my toilet. I put at least 3/4ths of a half gallon bottle of drain cleaner in (the rest to speed up a slow sink), turns out it's just water, soap and "grease cutting oil". Which I guess might be their term for "third hot press oil that hasn't had enough hexane removed to meet Chinese FDA standards" (to cut the soap with). This brand worked before (maybe cause paper wasn't blocking that one and only the huge dump, maybe it still had some alkali then (the bottle was smaller). If I put in a bottle of actual toilet unblocker — one with lye, will it turn the ton of oil into soap and block it more? At best the oil will just use up some of the reactant. My small bathroom lacks a fan, vent or window, how much should I put to ensure that I only have to open that door once? Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 15:32, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

I would avoid using chemicals entirely. They are expensive, toxic, can damage the pipes, and, in my experience, rarely work. Plumbers want nothing to do with them.
Use a toilet plunger instead. Note that a toilet plunger is distinct from a sink plunger, in that it's larger and has an extra bit of rubber at the bottom that goes into the hole in the bottom of the toilet bowl (see pic at link). Make sure that part isn't stuck up inside. If you only have a sink plunger, you can try that, but they are less effective on toilets. Push the plunger up and down slowly, at first, to get the air out. This will prevent splashing. Then, once it's full of water, give it some good thrusts and pulls to unclog the toilet. Then flush a couple times to clear any residual paper. Plungers cost about $5, so you can afford to have one by every toilet. The lack of a plunger can cause severe damage if the toilet overflows because you can't plunge it out in time.
If a toilet plunger doesn't work, a plumber's snake is the next thing to try, but those tend to make a lot of mess and require more skill to use and are more expensive, so you might consider calling a plumber. StuRat (talk) 16:03, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Straighten a wire coathanger, bend a small (1cm) hook shape at the bottom, and use that instead of a snake. Most home plumbing sites I've seen say it's more sanitary and quicker to use that and rinse after than to use a plunger. SamuelRiv (talk) 17:56, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That's how Hulk rolls, but only after one try with the plunger. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:48, September 13, 2014 (UTC)
Agree. Those chemicals don't work. I've used them before and never even once have they worked for me. How bad is the clog? Does the water slowly go down, or does it not move at all? If the water goes down slowly, and you REALLY don't want to use a plunger and if you can afford to wait a few days, then: Even every time the water is all the way down flush it once (remove the tank lid and be ready to put the flapper back down if it looks like it's about to overflow). Over time and many many flushes, you will dissolve the paper and solids and it will eventually clear. Otherwise, just plunge it. If it happens a lot you should consider a new toilet, you can get a good one for $200 (not including installation). Ariel. (talk) 18:06, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
A new toilet is more likely to be a low-flow toilet, and hence clog more easily. StuRat (talk) 22:41, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That is a common myth and completely incorrect. A low flow toilet has a larger tube at the bottom, and a more intelligent design. Most common is a siphon which can suck the entire contents of the toilet out with very little water. I personally can attest that I went from weekly clogs with an old 4 gallon flush to 1 clog in a year with a 1.8 gallon flush. The old toilet was simply poorly designed. Ariel. (talk) 03:17, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
That's a bit like denying that larger cars are inherently safer. Yes, you can poorly design a large car in such a way as to make it more dangerous than a small car, and you can poorly design a regular toilet so it will clog often, but given competent designers, the large car should be safer and the regular flow toilet should flush better. StuRat (talk) 16:08, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
No, that's not true. Once the toilet is well designed adding extra water does not help it. Either it will go down or it won't. More water doesn't do anything except overflow and spill everywhere. If more water helped then flushing a second time should do something when there is a clog, but flushing again does nothing. On top of that, the available regular flow toilets are all poorly designed. So your statement "and hence clog more easily" is factually incorrect for the actual toilets in use and is therefor bad advice. Ariel. (talk) 16:50, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree with the suggestion above to use a plunger. I can't imagine why anyone would try clearing a plugged toilet with chemicals. Be careful though, about plunging a toilet that is full of caustic chemicals. You may splash them.--Srleffler (talk) 01:50, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

See also here. Count Iblis (talk) 19:42, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

I find caustic soda is effective, and cheap. Make a bucketful and pour it in. Leave it to work. DuncanHill (talk) 22:45, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

If you don't have a toilet plunger a twine mop usually works well as a plunger. Richerman (talk) 14:17, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

I used something with water,bleach and NaOH that worked, with a hiccup. That's a 2-0 record for the Drano-type products and a tens-2 record for the plunger with one cancelled contest. Plunging are filthy, can take many minutes of hard pushing to work, if not more (see the 2 failures), this was some especially stinky feces and this toilet splashes even more than my previous one so I did not try the plunger. (My habit of flushing until either it works or there's no other option contributes, by stuffing the clog deeper and compacting it) Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 18:32, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Using conventional explosives to initiate nuclear fusion[edit]

This is somewhat related to the previous question I had about lasers and nuclear explosions. It appears the lasers used to initiate inertial confinement fusion only release energy around 1 million joules. That's actually not that much, it's actually only a little more powerful than a hand grenade. I was wondering why is it impossible to initiate inertial confinement fusion with shaped conventional explosives? Obviously I understand that shaped explosives are not as precise as lasers are, but intuition would say that a large enough conventional explosion should do it at a certain point correct? ScienceApe (talk) 21:39, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Thermonuclear fusion needs some billion Kelvin hot Plasma to start. The main problem is not to initiate it. This has been done in 1952 with the first hydrogen bomb. The main problem is to contain a some billion Kelvin hot Plasma which can under laws of physics only be done with help of a "vacuum wall" or in fusion reactor terms a "vacuum vessel" for the plasma. You can not build or cause that thermodynamic isolated cage with conventional explosives. --Kharon (talk) 22:24, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
To get efficient fusion you need high temperature, and a high product of density and time. (Details: see Lawson criterion). Magnetic confinement fusion uses lower density for long times. Inertial confinement fusion such as laser fusion uses higher densities for very short times. In the latter approach, containment is not really a problem. The reaction is over long before the plasma reaches the walls of its container.--Srleffler (talk) 02:10, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The initiation problem really does require the focus of a laser. Even a shaped charge explosive can't concentrate the available energy sufficiently. A typical shaped-charge cut makes a 10mm wide cut in thick steel. A 1000 watt laser makes a slot that's a fraction of a millimeter wide using a fraction of the energy of a shaped charge. SteveBaker (talk) 00:37, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Precision matters. If you're trying to ignite a fusion reaction by compression, the compression has to happen over an extremely short time, and has to be extremely uniform. If the compression isn't uniform, the plasma doesn't reach the required densities. Note, however, that General Fusion is working on a fusion reactor where the reaction is created by using giant pistons, so your idea is not completely impossible.--Srleffler (talk) 02:10, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

September 13[edit]

Cellular coverage on the London Underground[edit]

Is there a technical reason the London Underground is still one of the only major metro systems in the world to have no cellular coverage underground? (talk) 00:18, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

They haven't installed it yet. --Jayron32 00:19, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Apparently, this "national disgrace" has something to do with Huawei and China’s Red Army (according to that link from GoMobile News).   — (talk) 02:05, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
According to one blogger, who offers no evidence in favor of that theory and acknowledges that it's contradicted by statements from the companies involved. The blog comments by Neil McGrath and Jeremy Andrews, listing technical obstacles, are also unsourced but sound a lot more plausible on their face. -- BenRG (talk) 04:06, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The New York subway system has Wi-Fi, at least on some lines. Or maybe it's only guaranteed in the stations (i.e. no antennas in the tunnels), though I've seen it work over a tenth of a mile past the tunnel-mouth. Typical station separation is half a mile, station length is a tenth of a mile, so that's up to 75% coverage when not crossing a river, and more by time.
Complete, cellular, coverage is coming in a few years, which means that you can then talk like an asshole for your entire commute. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 03:38, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
WiFi and Mobile Phone coverage are two different systems (at least in the UK). Dbfirs 08:17, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
For what it's worth, a Transportation for London spokesman said in early 2013 that "Given the financial pressures on TfL’s budgets, any solution would have to have been funded through mobile operators, with no cost to fare- or tax-payers. The parties were not able to agree a viable proposal and the project is not being progressed at this time." ([37]). -- BenRG (talk) 04:06, 13 September 2014 (UTC
So is Wifi and cellular the same thing in the us? (talk) 10:23, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
No. WiFi and cellular mobile are completely different systems.--Phil Holmes (talk) 14:41, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't remember, but maybe the speech data will use Wi-Fi technology until it gets outside. This seems to be better, as you don't need several sets of antennas (up to 4 for 4 companies?) in a tight space. To tell the truth, I don't remember to what degree antennas in tunnels is planned. Most lines become elevated railways as close as a half mile from CBDs, so the longer your commute is the more likely you'll be able to use Internet. (London doesn't have as many non-underground portions (I think)) Nonetheless, if the OP didn't already know it, New York is probably one of his few others, which shows that the two great English-speaking peoples suck. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 18:06, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
So if I use the underground I don't have to listen to someone shouting "I'm on a train" down their mobile - what's not to like? Richerman (talk) 19:08, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The problem is mostly extroverts, not coverage. Their insensitive brains unwind with.. loud parties, lol and trying to get the attention of one with sub-vacuum cleaner loudness is like throwing a baby dust mite eye at a monkey. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 01:26, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I've been told in New York it's the same project. Wi-Fi and 4G are being installed side by side. However, I've been in places where I got Wi-Fi but no Gees, umm bars. In most underground parts, even in the majority of stations, nothing. When the F train climbs to Smith–Ninth Streets (IND Culver Line) scads of phones come out for a few minutes to say, "Meet me at the station in x minutes". Jim.henderson (talk) 19:24, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The first batch of Wi-Fi had stations on 6th and 7th Avenue lines south of Midtown. I don't know how far below 14th Street the first batch reached (if at all). It was extended northwards, the western L line was added, the Broadway line was added (I think, that line shares many stations with the previous three). Anything else? IDK. That explains your experience. I think the 1 might've gotten it all the way up in Harlem/Washington Heights a year ago, lol. Before Grand Central Station? Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 01:26, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Not really my subject, but apparently Virgin Media has a workaround system that operates at 100 Underground stations.[38] Alansplodge (talk) 12:42, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

4g speeds[edit]

This is similar but a different question to the above so thought if start it as a new question. Why is it that 4g speeds are so much faster in places like Tokyo or Seoul. I could swear that in these cities, the 4g connection is faster than a home fibre optic connection in the uk even indoors or on the metro. And also, how do they even install 3G/4g coverage on a moving train underground? Are there masts at intervals inside the tunnel or is it cabled to the train? (talk) 10:23, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Cabled to a moving train ? How could that possibly work ? I'd say they have antennas on the train and masts at intervals along the tracks. From inside the train they could then have you plug in or use a wireless method. They could also have you use the masts directly, but then they couldn't bill individual users as easily as if you must plug in, and would need closer masts, since the antenna on your device will be much smaller than one on the train. Also, if they are anything like US companies, they want to nickel and dime you to death any way they can, like charging you to plug in. StuRat (talk) 12:04, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Well it could use track circuitry. But I suppose track circuitry wouldn't have enough bandwidth for 3G, let alone 4g. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:49, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The problem with "4G" is that it's not one single standard - or even one single specification for speed. When the service providers tried to agree on the next thing after 3G, they basically didn't agree - so everyone went off and labelled any small improvement that they could think of as "4G" - and the gullible public just assumed it would be some massive technological leap over 3G. So in some places, 4G is no faster than 3G and in others it's dramatically faster. Basically the term carries no meaning other than "Something made after the 3G standard". SteveBaker (talk) 14:47, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
What technology is it that gives Tokyo or Seoul it's 100mbps 4g then? It can't be lte can it? Uk lte only seems to get about 10mpbs at most. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:02, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
LTE-Advanced.[39] Nanonic (talk) 21:13, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Why might some NSaids cause "Sudden Weight gain" for some Human individuals?[edit]

I've heard this in relation to Etodolac. Why is it? Ben. Ben-Natan (talk) 12:01, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

I could think of some possible mechanisms:
1) Water retention. If this was the method, I'd expect them to say so explicitly.
2) Increased appetite.
3) Decreased metabolic rate. This could either be decreased basal metabolic rate, or a decrease in activity level, say if the med causes drowsiness. StuRat (talk) 12:08, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
I would have thought that "sudden" weight gain would pretty much have to be water retention. You have to increase your calorie intake, or decrease your activity level really drastically to put on weight rapidly...but water retention can happen very quickly. Fortunately, if it's the latter, then the additional weight is relatively easy to lose again. Of course a lot depends on what they mean by "sudden". SteveBaker (talk) 14:42, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Can dog sense electrocuted water?[edit]

A recent news is being discussed in several Indian newspapers— dog sacrifices life to save passengers ALT1). Undoubtedly, it is a surprising news. We know about Dog intelligence, but is Dog so intelligent that it can sense electrocuted water a) of course she did not jump there before, b) the passengers did not notice the wire? --TitoDutta 16:47, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Comprehension of impending death aside, electricity does have a distinct smell and buzz. Dogs smell and hear better than humans do. It might have bothered her. Though just from reading that, it seems she didn't so much make an altruistic decision to let actions speak louder than words, rather was shooed into it by the group of busy people. In near-death experiences, humans tend to look for deeper meaning as to why they lived, and confuse correlation with causation in their rush. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:08, September 13, 2014 (UTC)
  • That is an excellent point. Thank you. --TitoDutta 17:20, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
InedibleHunk is wrong. Electricity is the movement of electrons - it doesn't have a smell. What electricity does to the medium it flows through might create a smell. So when you pass electricity through the air, it can cause the formation of ozone which has a very distinctive smell which people associate with electricity because small sparks smell of ozone. However, unless the water is unbelievably pure (which it clearly wasn't here), it's a much better conductor of electricity than the air. So if there is electricity passing through water, it won't be passing through the air - so no ozone smell. The only effect electricity has on water is (possibly) to electrolize it into hydrogen and oxygen - or to boil it into steam. Oxygen is already present in the air we breath all day long, so it doesn't smell. Hydrogen is ordorless (at least to humans), so it seems unlikely that the dog would have smelled anything whatever, steam would have condensed back into water vapor before it ever reached the dog. So I doubt there were any distinctive smells for the dog to pick up on - I don't see how it could have known that there was an electrocution hazard here.
But even if it did smell something - how would it know that there is danger involved with electricity in water? It couldn't possibly have learned it from anything it had seen in the past - and for sure it wouldn't have some kind of evolved 'instinct' to see danger in this situation.
I just don't buy this story. Dog barks surprise there...dogs do that. Dog stupidly jumps into the water, not realizing the danger and surprise there either. By pure luck (for the humans), this happens before the people get into the water. I don't think the dog deserves any particular credit here. SteveBaker (talk) 21:58, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
I'd figured someone would point out my too-general use of the word "electricity". Thanks for clarifying. And yeah, you're right that water doesn't spark. Overlooked that, somehow. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:58, September 14, 2014 (UTC)
Incidentally, the correct term is "electrified" water, not "electrocuted". StuRat (talk) 22:12, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The water is dead, ain't it? —Tamfang (talk) 03:56, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I realize you're joking, but this is the science desk - no, the water is not dead; it's non-living. Matt Deres (talk) 14:15, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Of course, even though the water itself is nonliving, it contains many living micro-organisms, or perhaps dead organisms, depending on the electrical charge. I would guess that such life forms are rather resilient against electrocution, however. StuRat (talk) 16:02, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Not sure if puddle animals are more resilient, but there's allegedly a man who is. As luck would have it, he's also Indian. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:03, September 14, 2014 (UTC)

Species id[edit]


Can some one identify the species? Thanks in advance. Nikhil (talk) 16:56, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

From the leaves I'd say gardenia but I can't say the flower is typical.--TammyMoet (talk) 20:06, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The are 140 species of Gardenia, not to mention varieties. I agree with TammyMoet. μηδείς (talk) 22:36, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Please help me in balancing the following redox reaction[edit]

Please help me in balancing the following redox reaction:

Cu + HNO3 --> Cu(NO3)2 + NO + NO2 + H2O

(By the way, this question has been asked in PMT 1994) What are the coefficients of Cu and HNO3 respectively? Options:

A) 2, 3 B) 2, 6 C) 1, 3 D) 3, 8

I tried to balance this redox by half reaction method, but after solving it half, the nitrogen atoms remain (or become) unbalanced. So, I cannot solve this at all.

I thought that the coefficient of HNO3 must divisible by 2, as it gives 2NO3-, NO and NO2. So the answer must be (2,6) or (3,8), but after doing that I could do nothing but put options into the reaction, which yields that (2, 6) is the correct answer. I just want to solve this by proper (step-by-step) method.

Important note: When I tried to get balanced this equation with Wolfram-alpha (click here), it gave the answer as below.

5Cu + 16HNO3 --> 5Cu(NO3)2 + 2NO + 4NO2 + 8H2O

Yours faithfully,

Ravishankar Joshi — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ravijoshi99 (talkcontribs) 18:30, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

After looking at this reaction for some time I balanced it the following way:
2Cu + 6HNO3 --> 2Cu(NO3)2 + NO + NO2 + 3H2O
so, the correct answer is B. The step by step: every Cu requires two HNO3 to produce one Copper(II)_nitrate and also produces one H2. On the other hand NO+NO2 requires two HNO3, which also gives three O atoms, which require three H2 to produce three molecules of water. So, we need two Cu and total 6 HNO3. Ruslik_Zero 19:22, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
You can use the algebraic method:
a Cu + b HNO3 --> c Cu(NO3)2 + d NO + e NO2 + f H2O
Cu: a=c (1)
H: b=2f (2)
N: b=2c+d+e (3)
O: 3b=6c+d+2e+f (4)
to simplify the last one you can replace b in (4) by (3): 6c+3d+3e=6c+d+2e+f or 2d+e=f
you have 6 unknowns, 4 equations, meaning there are an infinite number of solutions. Then the best way to start is probably looking for the smallest coefficients and assign them values. b=2f so b>f and f=2d+e so f>d and f>e. so d and e are smaller than the rest.
Give d and e the smallest value: d=1, e=1; then f=3, b=6, c=2 and a=2; all numbers are integers, so it fits: 2Cu + 6HNO3 --> 2Cu(NO3)2 + NO + NO2 + 3H2O
if you try d=1 e=2 you get c=2.5, so double the values: d=2, e=4 f=8, b=16, c=5, a=5: 5Cu + 16HNO3 --> 5Cu(NO3)2 + 2NO + 4NO2 + 8H2O
if you try d=1 e=3: f=5, b=10, c=3, a=3: 3Cu + 10HNO3 --> 3Cu(NO3)2 + NO + 3NO2 + 5H2O
d=3 e=1: f=7, b=14, c=5, a=5: 5Cu + 14HNO3 --> 5Cu(NO3)2 + 3NO + NO2 + 7H2O
and so on... Ssscienccce (talk) 22:38, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

September 14[edit]

Linea nigra[edit]

I've read our articles on linea nigra and melanocyte-stimulating hormone. Neither of them, or the references that I've read, explain why that particular line of skin is colored/darkened. So, what makes that particular line of skin so susceptible to the discoloration?

Note: I'm male. I'm not pregnant. I don't plan on becoming pregnant. I don't have any close contact with any pregnant people. This is not a request for medical advice. This is asked out of my own curiosity. Please don't close or blank this thread. Thank you. Dismas|(talk) 01:31, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

The line is normally (in non-pregnant people) referred to as the linea alba and is a line of fibrous tissue giving attachment to the muscles of the wall of the stomach [40], so it is different to the areas of skin around it, but precisely how or why it becomes pigmented doesn't appear to be clear. Mikenorton (talk) 14:30, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

The nature of electromagnetic induction[edit]

Does the nature of electromagnetic induction is always been created the nature of magnetic induction or nature of magnetic induction is always been created the nature of electromagnetic induction?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 05:44, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

How can proved that the nature of the magnetic induction is always electromagnetical, using for this experiment of Faraday?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 05:44, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

During of changing the polarity of the electric current in the inductive coil (in changing of polarity inductance), this inductive coil never changed its properties.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 07:15, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
We covered this before in an earlier question. Magnetic induction is just a special case of electromagnetic induction, where a conductor is present. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 08:59, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
It is not easy to change a current in an inductive coil. It is even harder the change the polarity. You can only change the current over a period of time, The faster you want to change the current, the higher the voltage that you need to reverse the current. Energy is stored in the inductor, and reversing hte current means that you will take out that energy and then put in energy corresponding to the new current. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 08:59, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I have not answered the second part of question 1 or question 2 (about proof). Graeme Bartlett (talk) 08:59, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I been suppose that, the electromagnetic inductive volume of all inductive coils is always been constant, so that the electromagnetism of all inductive coils always is been a constant, its proved that the inductive magnetism did not made the work of the electric current. Therefore, the nature of the electric current is always been electromagnetical but not magnetical.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 09:22, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Graeme Bartlett, I would be argue that inductive volume of all electrical appliances (electrical devices) is always been a constant this been proved that the work in any electric gird (electric circuit) is always been doing only by an electric current, and more by than anything (by nothing another).--Alex Sazonov (talk) 14:47, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Graeme Bartlett, Only the inductive contours of the magnetic volume (not electromagnetic volume) always been create a variable work of electric current, so they always been create a variable electromagnetic induction, that is, the work in such contours always been made by the variable electromagnetic induction but not by electric current.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 16:44, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
If the magnet which is been inserted into the inductive coil as well as magnets had different force of magnetism which are been inserted into the inductive coil would been changed the force of electric current in an electrical circuit everything would be nice!--Alex Sazonov (talk) 18:02, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Obviously, that the principal construction of all inductive contours is always been the equally (equal type).--Alex Sazonov (talk) 19:31, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Inductors have different value of inductances, and that depends on the volume enclosed by the coil, and by the permeability of the material, which may be ferrite or laminated iron plates to boost the inductance. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 20:30, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Do people clean out the anus before engaging in anal sex?[edit]

I was googling "sexual slang terms" and found a couple that described some pretty unsanitary sex positions. Do people clean out the anus before engaging in anal sex? Does the anus have a self-cleaning function? (talk) 18:55, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Your questions are fairly unclear.
For your first question, obviously some people do (particularly professional porn actors before a shoot [41] particularly I suspect any scene when the penis goes somewhere else after anal sex has begun) and some people do not Enema#Recreational usage [42] [43] [44] [45] Rule 34 (sort of). Are you asking for statistics on averages or something?
For your second question, I assume you know what Defecation is. Maybe the stuff discussed in the links and also others like [46] [47] which explain why there there often isn't much fecal matter in the lower bowel for someone with a decent diet who has recently defecated (but you shouldn't expect none) will answer your second question, but I'm not sure.
Nil Einne (talk) 19:38, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
The last time I went down that alley was in a bathtub, so pretty clean. But after a minute or so, she called a time out because she got the urge to "self clean". Killed the mood, at least for an hour or so. She swore she didn't have to go beforehand, blamed my end of the deal. She's usually right. Probably some "switch" nerves in there. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:00, September 14, 2014 (UTC)


Why is it that some diarrhea only lasts for a few hours, which seems to be the case mostly after you've eaten something bad, while others such as those caused by stomach bugs can last up to a week. Aren't they both caused by bacteria or virus? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:11, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Diarrhea is usually caused by the poisons that the bacteria have produced. Even if all the bacteria have been killed by cooking, the poison will still be in the food and you will get ill. Diarrhea that lasts only a few hours or less can also be caused by other effects like indigestion that leads to a lot of gas and some exess fluids in your intestines. If bacteria are the problem, then you can get ill a long time after eating the infected meal. The bacteria then get into the itnestines and multiply there possibly after being dormant for a while. In case of Listeria infection, you can get ill several months after eating an infected product. Count Iblis (talk) 22:19, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
(ec) Diarrhea caused by a food that chemically irritates the colon or a chemical irritant like magnesium citrate is self limiting because the colon allows the food or chemical to pass too quickly to spend several hours reabsorbing the water content. Diarrhea from an infection is likely due to a bacteria or virus higher in the digestive tract shedding irritants that carry its reproductive vector out of the body over a more extended period, without themselves getting washed away. μηδείς (talk) 22:28, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Why would Magnesium Citrate be in food? And is that why the short diarrhea lasting a few hours or less normally don't have any the symptoms such as fever, vomiting etc normally associated with an infection? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:34, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Magnesium citrate is sometimes added to food to adjust its acidity. Short diarrhea lasting just a few hours is the result of food borne toxins, and so wouldn't be expected to have the same symptoms as infection, even if those toxins are the product of microorganisms (present in the food, and not necessarily in the patient). - Nunh-huh 03:41, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

can you carry your own weight? (briefly, e.g. on your back)[edit]

A US Marine carrying an injured Afghan after an IED blast, 2011. (talk) 00:30, 15 September 2014 (UTC)


I was wondering if an average man of 150 pounds could carry 150 pounds on his back briefly (e.g. 100 meters / 109 yards). or is that too hard? (talk) 23:59, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Well, I can think of a couple of 'data points' that say "yes". Soldiers in Iraq were carrying 65lb backpacks, plus (at the outset) 5 gallons of water (50lb) plus weapon, bulletproof vest, helmet and ammo (easily another 50lb) - and they would march many kilometers while loaded to that degree. So it's certainly possible if you're moderately fit and if the weight is well distributed and positioned appropriately. A second data point it that there are plenty of people out there who started off weighing 150lb and through poor diet and exercise ended up weighing 300lb or more - and can still get around fairly easily. SteveBaker (talk) 00:17, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I would argue that neither a soldier in iraq, nor a 300lbs person are "average man". However I agree that an average man would quite easily be able to "piggy back" another average man for 100m. I very much doubt however that an "average man" could piggy back another average man for "many kilometers". The answer lies somewhere in between.. Vespine (talk) 00:57, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
How much do you suppose an average person can easily carry? (e.g. for kilometers) Online I saw "1/3 of body weight" thrown around - does this seem right? ) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:00, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I weigh about 80kg, 1/3 would be 26kg, I might not be terribly average, I'm not overweight (I'm 183cm tall) but i don't really exercise, so I can't imagine "easily" carrying 26kg for a few kilometers, I'm pretty sure I could do it, but it sounds like a considerable work out to me. Even if the weight was being carried in a decent backpack. If I had to carry it in my arms or over my shoulder, like a sack of potatoes, then no, I don't believe it would be easy at all. it's a tough question, it really depends on what you mean by easy.. Like, if I was stuck in the desert and had only 26L of water then yes I'd be carrying it :) Vespine (talk) 01:11, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
My wife can carry a 15 kg pack (25% of body weight) for days at a time when walking and camping. I can carry 22 kg (21%) for days at a time and I doubt I'd be regarded as fit. So 25% is easy enough. Now, if she stuffs her back, I get to carry both packs. That is possible, on the flat, but in any significant terrain it is much faster and more comfortable for me to ferry the packs individually. Although I am walking 3 times as far, once is unladen, and once is lightly loaded. I can do that for 10 km in a day (ie 30 km actually walked) but the next day wouldn't be much fun.Greglocock (talk) 01:44, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
A good quality back back that fits properly should allow you to carry your own body weight for a while quite easily. If you are reasonably fit and can run for 30 minutes without gasping for air, you should be able to walk for half an hour with a such a backpack. You do have to get used to it for a while, because you may feel that this is way too heavy, but that's simply because your brain makes an assesment based on the exertion required to stand up and get moving with that thing compared to the speed. You will tolerate a heart rate of 150 bpm much easier when you are actully running fast, compared to when you are just walking. This is all a psychological issue that you have to learn to tolerate. Count Iblis (talk) 03:27, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
"average man" "can run for 30 minutes without gasping for air" hahahaha good joke, game over Greglocock (talk) 03:39, 15 September 2014 (UTC)


September 7[edit]

Denumerable sets of trigonometric polynomials[edit]

Hi! I've been puzzled by a problem for some time now:

1. A real number is algebraic if it is a root of a polynomial, integer coefficients etc. 2. How is it provable that the set of roots for trigonometric polynomials is countable? It seems any proof I can imagine depends on the definition of hyperbolic trig. functions. But, I feel like there must be a possibility of proving this that does not rely on that.

```` — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:59, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure why you brought up the definition of algebraic real. Perhaps you meant to ask a second question?
As far as roots of trigonometric polynomials, trigonometric polynomials are analytic, and in fact any analytic non-zero function must have only countably many zeros. The reasoning is as follows: since the real line (and indeed the complex plane) is second-countable, any uncountable set contains an accumulation point. By unique analytic continuation, only the identically zero function can have a zero-set that contains an accumulation point.-- (talk) 07:53, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

What's the full pi number[edit]

With all the numbers (talk) 20:18, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

See Pi. The numbers never come to an end. Never. They've worked out the first 12 trillion digits, literally, and they haven't even scratched the surface. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:28, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
You're thinking too decimal. I can satisfy the request very easily. The full pi number is pi. That's all the numbers in pi. Hope this helps. --Trovatore (talk) 20:43, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
10, in base pi. Double sharp (talk) 06:51, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
For what it's worth, you can download the 12-trillion-digit approximation here (split into 120000 zip files), though you need some serious storage space for the whole thing (12 terabytes for the ASCII form, natch).--Link (tcm) 21:20, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
Even better than that are the clever spigot algorithms for pi that allow you to compute any digit of pi in a reasonable amount of time. If you want every digit of pi, you will need to run a calculation that will continue for an infinite amount of time. But if you want any specific digit, no matter how far "down the line" it is, it can be calculated with such an algorithm. Nimur (talk) 16:25, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
But keep in mind that such spigot algorithms aren't available for every base. The ones given for pi are typically in binary or hexadecimal or some similar power-of-two base. I'm unaware of a spigot algorithm for pi which can be done in decimal, and attempting to convert from binary (or hexadecimal) to decimal requires you know all of the preceding digits, effectively "unspigotting" your algorithm. -- (talk) 17:21, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Not an issue with pi.
The pi algorithm I know is pi = 2 + (1/3) (2 + (2/5) (2 + (3/7) (2 + (4/9) ( ... )), and that can be evaluated using a quite short array of integers, of which all except the first are small:
 1 |1/3 2/5 3/7 4/9
 2 | 2 | 2 | 2 | 2
Multiply by 10 (you can multiply by 2 or 8 for a binary approximation here):
20 |20 |20 |20 |20
Resolve carries
20 |20 |20 |28 | 2 (9 in the last place equals 4 in the second-to-last; we do this twice)
20 |20 |32 | 0 | 2 (7 in the 4th column become 3 in the 3rd, etc)
20 |32 | 2 | 0 | 2
30 | 2 | 2 | 0 | 2
Multiply by 10 again:
300|20 |20 | 0 |20
Resolve carries
300|20 |20 | 8 | 2
300|20 |23 | 1 | 2
300|28 | 3 | 1 | 2
309| 1 | 3 | 1 | 2
So, 309 is our approximation to 100 pi. This sucks, but only because the array is so short. Another entry will about halve the truncation error. 10 more entries mean about 3 more decimals.
There can be unresolved carries in the leftmost column (for example, the initial return was pi > 2 and the next step returned 10pi > 30) but they are quite low (usually 0 or 1); it's an approximation to a true spigot algorithm. - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 08:47, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

64 digits of Pi is all you ever need for home renovation. (talk) 01:59, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

\pi = 4\times\left[1-\frac{1}{3} + \frac{1}{5} - \frac{1}{7} + \frac{1}{9}-\frac{1}{11}+\cdots\right]

Count Iblis (talk) 17:26, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Which is infamous for extremely slow convergence. - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 08:47, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

For a tongue-in-cheek answer, see Feynman point. Sławomir Biały (talk) 16:13, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Does the Witch of Agnesi really have a well-defined centroid?[edit]

Although the first moment with respect to y is well defined, the one with respect to x is not (where R is the entire region between the x-axis and the curve):

M_y = \iint_R y dy dx = \int_{-\infty}^{+\infty}\int_0^{\frac{8a^3}{x^2+4a^2}} y dy dx = \int_{-\infty}^{+\infty} \frac{1}{2} y^2 \vert_0^{\frac{8a^3}{x^2+4a^2}} dx = \int_{-\infty}^{+\infty} \frac{(8a^3)^2}{2(x^2+4a^2)^2} dx = 2a^3(\frac{2ax}{4a^2+x^2}+\arctan\frac{x}{2a})\vert_{-\infty}^{+\infty} = 2\pi a^3

M_x = \iint_R x dy dx = \int_{-\infty}^{+\infty} \int_0^{\frac{8a^3}{x^2+4a^2}} x dy dx = \int_{-\infty}^{+\infty} \frac{8a^3x}{x^2+4a^2} dx = 4a^3\ln{(x^2+4a^2)}\vert_{-\infty}^{+\infty} = \text{undefined}

Reversing the order of integration does not help either, since \int_0^{2a} \int_{-\sqrt{\frac{8a^3}{y} - 4a^2}}^{+\sqrt{\frac{8a^3}{y} - 4a^2}} x dx dy also is ill-defined.

Why then does the article say that the centroid's x coordinate is located at x=0? This is the Cauchy principal value of the improper integral but I feel like it should be better-defined than this.--Jasper Deng (talk) 00:24, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Your reasoning looks correct. Is there any objection to deleting the statement? --RDBury (talk) 16:16, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Why can't you just apply symmetry? As the curve is symmetrical about x=0, the centroid must lie on x=0. --Salix alba (talk): 17:04, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, if there is a centroid, then the symmetry argument is fine. The question is whether there is one, given that the integral defining the moment apparently does not converge. --Trovatore (talk) 17:15, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Symmetry basically is the Cauchy principle value of the moment. It's basically the same reason why the Cauchy distribution has ill-defined moments (the integrals are almost exactly the same).
The centroid article says that the centroid is the arithmetic mean of all the coordinates in R, but that mean is ill-defined unless we take it to be the Cauchy principle value.--Jasper Deng (talk) 17:49, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
What's wrong with using the Cauchy principal value? This is how integrals like this are evaluated and the symmetry argument Salix alba mentioned makes the zero x component an elegant derivation. --Mark viking (talk) 18:09, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
(ec) Well, what's wrong with the Cauchy p.v. in general is that it's generally not as well-behaved as convergent integrals are. If the value of an integral is fully well-defined, then you should be able to chop it up however you like and still get the same answer — for example, evaluate integral on the positive x-values first, and then the negative, or from positive n2 to positive (n+1)2 followed by the integral from −n−1 to −n, and then continue through all n, or any other such scheme. If all you have is a Cauchy p.v., you can't do that.
Cauchy p.v.'s are closely analogous to conditionally convergent series, which is a very second-class sort of convergence.
As to whether these considerations should bar us from using the Cauchy p.v. in the specific context of the centroid, that's another question. Conceptually, the idea of the centroid does seem to jibe fairly well with the Cauchy-p.v. technique of expanding the domain of integration out in all directions at the same "speed". --Trovatore (talk) 19:27, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
The definition of a centroid in the article is rather weak, but I take it to mean a well-defined arithmetic mean, which I take as requiring a well-behaved integral rather than just the Cauchy principal value. Also, one would expect to be able to compute the centroid using the centroids of subregions of R of whatever partitioning scheme. Here it obviously does depend on how we divide R.--Jasper Deng (talk) 19:25, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Related is the fact that the Cauchy distribution lacks a well-defined mean. Sławomir Biały (talk) 18:15, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

(One note: Those with sharp eyes might notice that the second order of integration appears to actually come out to 0. But I still consider the double integral itself is ill-defined, since rather obviously Fubini's theorem does not give consistent results, and the second order of integration is not equal to \int_0^{2a} \int_{-\sqrt{\frac{8a^3}{y} - 4a^2}}^{c} x dx dy + \int_0^{2a} \int_{c}^{+\sqrt{\frac{8a^3}{y} - 4a^2}} x dx dy for any real number c, since both integrals diverge).--Jasper Deng (talk) 19:25, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

I agree removing the bit about the centroid is best. It is simply not defined for the shape. There's nothing wrong with that - it is infinite in length and infinity is where things happen in maths that don't in the real world. Dmcq (talk) 21:23, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree that it should be removed. However, it is somewhat of a puzzle that there is an obvious "correct" answer, despite a lack of compelling formalism leading to it. What makes the Cauchy principal value the "right" thing to compute? (Symmetry is a red herring I think, since we can perturb the distribution just a little to break the symmetry.) Sławomir Biały (talk) 22:49, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
The Cauchy p.v. is what you get when you expand the domain of integration out "isotropically", without favoring one direction over another. Centroids intuitively seem to be that sort of thing. --Trovatore (talk) 22:57, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Hmm... interesting. I was thinking that it wasn't translationally invariant, but I was wrong in that thought. That does make the p.v. look rather canonical here. Sławomir Biały (talk) 17:00, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

@Trovatore, Dmcq, Slawekb, Salix alba, Mark viking: (sorry for the mass ping) Do any of you think it would be a good idea to replace the statement about the centroid with a sentence pointing to the Cauchy distribution article's section on undefined moments? I think that would be best for our readers.--Jasper Deng (talk) 16:52, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Sounds fine to me. Dmcq (talk) 16:57, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
No objection here. Sławomir Biały (talk) 17:00, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Ideally I'd like to see a citation. I had a very brief look for suitable citation and I didn't find anything discussing the centroid of the Witch of Agnesi. The Cauchy distribution moments section is also lacking citation so everything counts as OR at the moment. --Salix alba (talk): 17:27, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. I agree a citation would be good, too. --Mark viking (talk) 17:54, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

I've gone ahead with some changes based on a source I found. Unfortunately the source doesn't discuss how to consider it in terms of Lebesgue integration, which I don't have much of an idea of how to do, but at least it's a source, as @Salix alba: wanted.--Jasper Deng (talk) 19:50, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Greatest common divisor[edit]

Greatest common divisor discusses the gcd of two numbers. Some articles (eg Achilles number) refer to the gcd of a list of numbers ( gcd(a,b,c,d) etc). What is the definition of gcd for several numbers, and what is the best way to determine it? -- SGBailey (talk) 08:53, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

The natural numbers (including 0) form a lattice under the order of divisibility. (Note: every natural number divides 0, including 0. You should be aware that there are different conventions, but any other convention is, frankly, stupid.)
So the gcd of any finite set of integers is simply its infimum in this lattice. (I think you could do infinite sets too but I don't want to bother to check ATM.)
The best algorithm is probably Euclid's algorithm, iterated, but if someone comes up with a better one, I won't be too shocked. --Trovatore (talk) 09:25, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Greatest common divisor starts: "In mathematics, the greatest common divisor (gcd), also known as the greatest common factor (gcf), highest common factor (hcf), or greatest common measure (gcm), of two or more integers (at least one of which is not zero), is the largest positive integer that divides the numbers without a remainder."
Note it said "or more" so the gcd has to divide each number. For example, gcd(12, 20, 30) = 2. gcd(12, 20) = 4, gcd(12, 30) = 6, gcd(20, 30) = 10, but none of those divide the third number. Greatest common divisor#Properties says: "The gcd of three numbers can be computed as gcd(a, b, c) = gcd(gcd(a, b), c), or in some different way by applying commutativity and associativity. This can be extended to any number of numbers." PrimeHunter (talk) 10:20, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
The "not zero" bit is unnecessary — gcd(0,0)=0. In fact gcd(0,n)=n for every n, including 0. As I said, there are other conventions, but none that aren't stupid.
The only thing is, "greatest" needs to be understood in the order of divisibility, not the usual order. Zero is the greatest element as measured by divisibility. --Trovatore (talk) 10:36, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
@PH - Thanks, I'd missed that line. -- SGBailey (talk) 10:37, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
It's incorrect and needs to be changed. --Trovatore (talk) 10:40, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
What's written is not incorrect. It is true that the greatest common divisor of two or more integers, at least one of which is not zero, is the largest positive integer that divides them. This may not be complete as a definition, but it is not a false statement. Although in principle I agree that the arithmetic partial order on the integers is the relevant ordering rather than the standard one, I think that bringing this up in the lead of that article is likely to confuse most of the readers of the article (which may include school children, for instance). A proper "Definition" section in which to discuss such nuances seems to be lacking. Sławomir Biały (talk) 12:47, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
You're right about the statement being literally true, of course. --Trovatore (talk) 17:14, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

The Lenstra–Lenstra–Lovász lattice basis reduction algorithm can be interpreted as a generalization of Euclid's algorithm, although it then won't output a GCD, rather it is the analogue of using Euclid's algorithm to do rational reconstruction. Count Iblis (talk) 16:26, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Friends meeting at the park[edit]

Three people come and meet at the park each day. Each comes 7 out of 10 days. What is the chance of all three coming? Only two? Only one? None? Thanks. I'm stumped. Please try to answer in a way that a complete idiot (me) will understand. Actually, the reason isn't so imporant. It is the actual % chance that I'm after. Many many thanks. :) Anna Frodesiak (talk) 03:32, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

We'd have to start with the assumption that each person showing up is an independent event. This probably isn't correct, as they may all avoid rainy days, or all show up when they planned to meet. But, if we assume each has an independent chance of showing up 70% of the time, then the chances of all or none showing up are:
Zero: 0.33 = 0.027
Three: 0.73 = 0.343
Now the chances of 1 or 2 showing up are complicated by the fact that a different one or two might show up, so we have to account for all the ways that can happen. In this case there are 3 ways 1 person can show up (A, B or C) and 3 ways 2 people can show up (AB, AC, or BC):
One: 3(0.320.71) = 0.189
Two: 3(0.310.72) = 0.441
To check our work, add them all up and you should get 1.0, or, if we multiply all the numbers by 100, we get percentages: 2.7% + 34.3% + 18.9% + 44.1% = 100%. StuRat (talk) 04:42, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Wow! You are a super-genius. I am very impressed. I sort of figured out the zero and three part, but got stuck on the one and two. A thousand thanks for your help. :) :) :) Yay StuRat! And yay refdesk. The best kept secret on the Internet. :) Anna Frodesiak (talk) 07:37, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
You're quite welcome. Here it is, presented in the tree diagram format mentioned below (or as close as I can get using ASCII text):
                            I N D E P E N D E N T   E V E N T S
    Person A: |     P R E S E N T   ( 0 . 7 )     |      A B S E N T   ( 0 . 3 )      |
    Person B: |  Present (0.7)  |   Absent (0.3)  |  Present (0.7)  |   Absent (0.3)  |
    Person C: | P (0.7)| A (0.3)| P (0.7)| A (0.3)| P (0.7)| A (0.3)| P (0.7)| A (0.3)|
            / |.7×.7×.7|.7×.7×.3|.7×.3×.7|.7×.3×.3|.3×.7×.7|.3×.7×.3|.3×.3×.7|.3×.3×.3|
Probability   +--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
            \ | 0.343  | 0.147  | 0.147  | 0.063  | 0.147  | 0.063  | 0.063  | 0.027  |
   # Present: |    3   |    2   |    2   |    1   |    2   |    1   |    1   |    0   |
 3 present = 0.343                         = 34.3%
 2 present = 0.147 + 0.147 + 0.147 = 0.441 = 44.1%
 1 present = 0.063 + 0.063 + 0.063 = 0.189 = 18.9% 
 0 present = 0.027                         =  2.7%
Note that tree diagrams are only practical for a small number of events, with a small number of possible outcomes for each event. Here we have 3 events, with two outcomes each (3 people who can be present or absent), making for 23 or 8 possible outcomes. If we had 10 events with 2 outcomes each, that would give us 1024 possible outcomes, or if we had 3 events with 10 possible outcomes each, that would give us 1000 possible outcomes. Either would be way too big to draw as a tree. But, if you can draw a tree, it can help to visualize dependencies on events, as well as if all events are independent. For example, let's say person A and B are a couple, and always are present (0.7) or absent (0.3) at the same time. The presence of person C (0.7) remains an independent event:
                                D E P E N D E N T   E V E N T S   ( A = B )
    Person A: |     P R E S E N T   ( 0 . 7 )     |      A B S E N T   ( 0 . 3 )      |
    Person B: |  Present (1.0)  |   Absent (0.0)  |  Present (0.0)  |   Absent (1.0)  |
    Person C: | P (0.7)| A (0.3)| P (0.7)| A (0.3)| P (0.7)| A (0.3)| P (0.7)| A (0.3)|
            / |.7×1×.7 |.7×1×.3 |.7×0×.7 |.7×0×.3 |.3×0×.7 |.3×0×.3 |.3×1×.7 |.3×1×.3 |
Probability   +--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
            \ |  0.49  |  0.21  |    0   |    0   |    0   |    0   |  0.21  |  0.09  |
   # Present: |    3   |    2   |    2   |    1   |    2   |    1   |    1   |    0   |
 3 present = 0.49             = 49%
 2 present = 0.21 + 0 + 0     = 21%
 1 present = 0    + 0 + 0.21  = 21% 
 0 present = 0.09             =  9%
StuRat (talk) 13:58, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
You should also take a look at Binomial distribution. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 09:05, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
You mean me? That page could be upside down and scrambled and would make as much sense to me. Thank you, though. :) Anna Frodesiak (talk) 09:16, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I've noticed that page isn't very newbie-friendly. But it describes the general way to solve problems like the one you've presented. If there are n different things which can either happen or not, each with probability p, and they are independent, then the probability that exactly k of them will happen is \frac{n!}{k!(n-k)!}p^k(1-p)^{n-k}, where n! is the factorial. In your case, the things that happen are each person showing up, n=3 and p=0.7. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 12:49, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
A good way to understand this sort of thing "visually" is with a tree diagram. That article is just a stub, but the linked BBC page has some good examples. If you take their 3-coin-tosses example, and replace the 3 tosses with the arrival or non-arrival of each of the 3 people (and change the 0.5 probabilities of heads and tails to 0.7 and 0.3) then you should end up with the same answers as above. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 13:22, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Holy moly. I'm actually understanding this. I sort of lost it half way through, but was getting it. I will read it again tomorrow after a big coffee. This is very nice. I never understand stuff like this. I have the IQ of lichen. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 14:47, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Awesome, glad we could help. StuRat (talk) 16:57, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

is any of Spinoza's Ethics mathematically rigorous? (to the standard of published proofs.)[edit]


Spinoza's Ethics takes the form of extreme mathematical rigor. I was wondering if any of it were rigorous enough to be published as a mathematical proof, or, on the contrary, does it just take this form with all the real convincing 'power' couched in the terms and language themselves, which are left undefined?

I hope you see my question. If indeed it contains real (rigorous) proofs, is there any chance that you can quote (or produce) me a small 'lemma'-like (or even smaller!) rigorous argument from that work, to show how we can translate it into mathematics and treat it as such?

What I mean is that clearly it takes the form of proofs with premises, logical steps, and conclusions - but are these vacuous? Could we translate any of htis into a proof in a computer language, for example?

I've only just glanced at it but for me it seems that there is no logic or rigor used at all, and in fact the form is highly misleading, as it makes it seem as though there are definitions that are being applied, whereas there are no such definitions and instead we are left with undefined terms like perfection and God that are useless in a formal context. however this is just my impression!!! I've had the same, mistaken, impression, of highly rigorous works that could be understood well and translated directly into code.

Therefore I would like your opinion about whether Spinoza's Ethics is of this kind of work, and, if so, I wonder if you could produce for me either a quotation or your own synthesis of a very short (perhaps trivial) but rigorous "proof" from it.

Thank you kindly! -- (talk) 01:42, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

One can look at the logical structure and try to formalize it; see for instance [48]. But as a review of that paper states [49], there is more to Spinoza's Ethics than logical inference. --Mark viking (talk) 02:43, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, of course there is more as it is a religious text, not a proof. But it takes the form of a proof. The question is: is that form rigorous? Is there anything interesting or good about what it proves rigorously? For example, I could write a whole treatise on color coordination in interior decorating, what colors go together and what don't, what needs to match with what, I can define premises and conclusions, such as the maximum number of colors that can be in touch with each other without dissonance, etc. It will all be absolutely meaningless gibberish! Color simply isn't the kind of thing that is amenable to reasoning about rigorously. Period. I could also write the same thing about physics. But in this case it would be highly meaningful. Physics is the kind of thing you can reason about. Now what about Spinoza's Ethics (the work) - is it like an axiomatic treatment of interior decorating (i.e. meaningless gibberish) or like an axiomatic treatment of quantum mechanics (fully meaningful and formalizable)? Given that in a sense you could say Spinoza's Ethics (the work) is a work of physics, if we treat it as such does it (in parts) attain modern standards of rigor? Could you produce kind of an extract of one, or a synthesis of one? Thanks. (talk) 02:50, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
An axiomatic treatment of interior decorating can be absolutely rigorous, as far as the math, in which case, those who accept that the axioms truthfully correspond to decorating will also be compelled, rationally, to accept that any theorems apply equally as much. Axiomatic systems of physics work pretty much the same (though, physics isn't axiomatized, or, at least, it is not done from axioms). I don't much about the specific case of Spinoza, but you are essentially asking if he makes any logical errors, if taken at face value. It sounds, more so, like you are asking if his theories are correct, or have correspondence, in the way that physics does - that question has nothing to do with axiomatics and logical structure, however, and, really, is just asking if his premises are sound, which is not a mathematics question at all; and, as for physics, it does not correspond to reality because its structure is mathematical (nor is that a defining aspect of what physics is, to be honest).Phoenixia1177 (talk) 03:40, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Right, but my point is there is not a single axiom in interior decorating that anyone would accept, or even so much as entertain, for even a second. Any axiom can be false under certain conditions - i.e. leads "logically" to a conclusion that you would, however, not accept. So, obviously a system of axioms which is the null set does not make for a very interesting axiomatic system. But is theology the same way? Or, in the case of Spinoza, does he use axioms that are in some sense interesting and perhaps have correspondence, and then does he reason from them in a logically sound way? Or, is it just pseudomathematical/logical? (Following the form, but without any chance of correspondence.) (talk) 04:01, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
You're not asking about mathematics, though, you're either asking if Spinoza had true axioms or if those axioms were interesting, neither has anything to do with mathematics and logic, it has everything to do with philosophy and ethics and the world. Even if nobody believed some set of axioms for "interior design" those axioms would be every bit as legit as the axioms of ZFC, or any other system. A set of axioms is a system, that is it, the content of those axioms and what they mean is not the purview of mathematics, as a subject. This is especially so when you are talking about axioms for something philosophical. I don't know, personally, if his reasoning is logically sound, but you might have better luck trying at the humanities desk as this is really a philosophy question - or just try googling criticisms of Spinoza's work, you're sure to find something far more salient.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 06:47, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
You've hit at the crux of my question by stating, "A set of axioms is a system...the content of those axioms and what they mean is not the purview of mathematics". That might be true for a real set of axioms, but not everything that is labelled that way is an axiomatic system. Here is an example. I've prepared a farcical "axiomatic system" and some proofs, below. They're just the first few sentences of our Color article. What do you think?

What do you think of the above?

What you SHOULD think is that it's total nonesense, it doesn't even try to look like an axiomatic system. It's just borrowing the form, like gibberish or gobbledegoock or Lorem ipsem. It only might look like an axiomatic system at a brief glance.

It's obviously NOT actually an axiomatic system!

So, my problem/question is that to me, Spinoza's Ethics seems the same way (at a first impresssion). I was wondering if it actually was that way - or if, on the contrary, it really is an axiomatic system and some proofs within it.

So, which is it? Is it like my farcical example? Or is it more? Does it meet logical/mathematical rigor, is it nonesense (from a mathematical point of view), much as my sentences above are. Note that my sentences aren't actual total nonesense - they're quoted from the Wikipedia color article after all. (talk) 09:18, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

If you rearranged the "axioms" above so that they were all sentences, they would be axioms, just pointless ones as far as that goes. As for the propositions, if the terms all traced back (that's not even that necessary, really), that would work too. The only issue is the logic of your proofs wouldn't be standard logic (I'm sure you could concoct some goofy deduction rules too, if you really wanted, why not?). That's kind of the problem with your whole question, any set of sentences can be "axioms", as long as they are some form of declarative essentially. So, when you ask if Spinoza's are nonsense, do you, literally, mean to ask if they satisfy being declarative sentences relating terms and if he was capable of following basic logic? Most philosophical work is going to be logically valid (as a general rule), the debate is over soundness. I'm not trying to be a jerk, but as far as mathematical requirements go, the answer should be immediately obvious upon reading it, the terms can be complete nonsense, the relationships all bullshit, as long as axioms aren't of the form "Is it good to steal, ever?" or "Stop!", I'm sure someone can whip something up in symbols. For example:
  1. All lines love at least 3 distinct circles.
  2. Some circle loves a line.
  3. Every circle is loved by some line.
  4. If puppy A loves puppy B loves puppy C, puppy A loves puppy C.
  5. Every circle is a puppy.
  6. Every line is a puppy.
Is a system of axioms. And we can deduce that there is some line that loves some other line, and that there are at least 3 circles if there is a line. That's all perfectly valid and fine, mathematically - of course, it's all meaningless gibberish as far as humans go (I imagine, but who knows? Maybe it has a neat model - I doubt it).Phoenixia1177 (talk) 09:47, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
One thing to keep in mind here is that the standards of rigor have changed significantly since Spinoza's time. There was a time when you wouldn't be considered an educated person unless you could recite the 47th proposition of Euclid upon demand, and The Elements where hugely influential a result. Spinoza modeled Ethics on it in an attempt to bring the same sense of certainty to his conclusions as was perceived in be in the propositions of Euclid. But much has happened since then and The Elements would not stand up to modern standards of rigor. For on thing Euclid's geometry was trying describe the universe as it actually exists, at least in some idealized Platonic sense. The general theory of relativity says the universe doesn't behave as described. Also, modern analysis has found many hidden assumptions in the Elements and a truly rigorous axiomatization (see Hilbert's axioms e.g.) requires many more axioms than Euclid gave. Finally, the whole viewpoint of mathematics changed from a description of the world to a purely logical construct. People of Spinoza's time would not be familiar with the concept of symbolic logic, but today's standards of rigor require that mathematical reasoning can, at least in theory, be stated in symbolic form. Euclid and Spinoza basically start by saying "here is a bunch of things we can all agree about what they are, and here is a list of things we can all agree are true about them, now let's see what conclusions we can draw." The definitions used are not definitions in a rigorous sense but descriptions that enable the reader and author to agree on what things are being talked about. An example of this type of definition might be "A cat is a small fuzzy creature that sometimes lives in people's houses." But mathematically this definition is nonsense, just as the definitions of point and line given in Euclid are more or less nonsense by modern standards. A mathematician would say "Small relative to what? What does it mean for a thing to be fuzzy? What is a house? etc." At some point people realized that in order to avoid circularity a mathematical theory would have to include undefined concepts, from which other terms could be defined. But Spinoza doesn't take that approach, instead starting out with definitions involving things like "essence", "nature", "conceivable" which the reader is supposed to already understand. So, the short answer to the original question is no, at least by modern standards, it's not mathematically rigorous, but then it's hard to see how someone from the 17th century could produce something of the kind that would be. Whether it was rigorous by 17th century standards is something you'd have to get from contemporaries. Leibniz was a philosopher in his spare time so perhaps he had something relevant to say about it. --RDBury (talk) 11:49, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for the responses! There is a lot to read there. Let me ask some basic background questions. 1) As a mathematician, do you find Spinoza's Ethics any more convincing than the "some circles love a line" axiomatic system and proofs? Or is it equally gobbledegook. 2) Although it's not formally rigorous by today's standards, is Euclid convincing to modern mathematicians, i.e. can they follow and rely on those proofs, within the system that Euclid set up? (Despite its being insufficiently formal). 3) A clarification on your analogy. Is this still an equally valid axiomatic system:

  1. All lines love at least 3 distinct circles.
  2. [+] There is at least 1 line.
  3. [+] No lines love at least 3 distinct circles.
  4. Some circle loves a line.
  5. [+] No circle loves a line.
  6. Every circle is loved by some line.
  7. [+] No circle is loved loved by some line.
  8. [+] There is at least 1 circle
  9. If puppy A loves puppy B loves puppy C, puppy A loves puppy C.
  10. Every circle is a puppy.
  11. [+] Every circle is NOT a puppy.
  12. [+] There is at least 1 circle
  13. Every line is a puppy.

And for good measure:

  1. [+] No line exists
  2. [+] There is no circle

Are we still good? Even though I've now added literal contradictions, just the same sentences with a "not" in them, as axioms?

Does at least this make the axiomatic system nonsensical? (talk) 10:14, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

If you're using classical inference rules, a formal system that has both P and ¬P as axioms for some proposition P is uninteresting since you can trivially prove anything in it (ex falso quodlibet), but it is still a formal system. Its proofs are valid, though boring. There are paraconsistent logics with weaker inference rules that allow for nontrivial, potentially interesting formal systems in which classically contradictory propositions are provable, but I'm not sure that's relevant here.
Spinoza's Ethics is clearly not formally rigorous (i.e., mechanically checkable), but very few published mathematical proofs are either. They can only be checked by specialists who understand the concepts well enough to fill in the gaps. I have an intuition for plane geometry that enables me to follow Euclid's proofs, though they aren't always entirely convincing since it's not always obvious that the constructions work in the general case (see e.g. Euclid's Elements#Criticism). Spinoza's "proofs" look like gobbledegook to me, but it may be that someone else understands them. The very first reply to your question linked to a paper ("The Logical Structure of Spinoza's Ethics, Part I" by Charles Jarrett) that actually attempts to encode Spinoza's proofs in a formal system, so apparently Jarrett understands them, or thinks he does. -- BenRG (talk) 00:27, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
(Neither) Euclid, nor Spinoza, is perfectly laid out in a modern sense, but I think it would certainly be possible to do so, if one were inclined. For Spinoza it might take a little more effort since the intended content is not mathematical, but it would, really, just be a matter of organizing terms to reflect how they are being used by him. The better question is if it would be worth it; personally, all it would do is codify and make explicit the reasoning, but the real question is if the results actually mean anything or have any worthwhile philosophical content - and I don't know if they do, but if they do, formalizing them isn't going to make that any more apparent, probably less. As for your add on axioms: yes, that is a formal system, having a contradiction does not mean that the system is not axiomatic, or somehow not allowed (just as being meaningless doesn't make it not a formal system). Indeed, the axioms of set theory may contradict each other, and we have no way of proving that they do not, so if contradictions are not allowed, then for many common systems we would have to say that we aren't sure if they actually are formal systems; obviously, this wouldn't be a good position to take. When a system has a contradiction, it is called inconsistent.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 04:31, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Statistical statement[edit]

Message from a "stop smoking" campaign: "Stop smoking for 28 days and you're 5 times more likely to stop for good."

It seems to me that this statement is nonsensical. Am I missing anything? (talk) 03:15, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

I think it means that people who stop for 28 days are 5 times more likely to quit for good, compared to the ones that don't make it 28 days. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 03:35, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
There's probably a better, more formal way to say it. Suppose that, as seems likely, the probability of a relapse strictly decreases with length of abstinence. Say P(n) is the probability of never smoking again after not smoking for n days. Clearly P(0) is near zero, and P(28) is greater than that, but five times what? What is q such that P(28) = 5 P(q) ? —Tamfang (talk) 03:59, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I take the meaning to be q = 0. That is, it's comparing to the probability before you even try. Another issue is whether "5 times more" implies a factor of 5, as Tamfang assumed, or a factor of 6. -- (talk) 04:19, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree it's nonsensical. It's like a "Live long!" campaign that says, "Live to the age of 80 and you're 30 times more likely to live to the age of 85." Well, great. That helps someone live to 85 how? The hard part of smoking is probably quitting smoking for 28 days. In fact, it sounds like it's 80% of the hard part." (talk) 08:11, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Hmmm, it seems that no one else saw quite the same fundamental illogicality as me, so let me explain the way I see it. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that if you stop smoking for 28 days you have a 50% chance of stopping for good. The statement then implies that if you DON'T stop smoking for 28 days you have a 10% chance of stopping for good. To me, this obviously cannot be correct. If you don't stop smoking for 28 days then you have NO chance of stopping for good. In order to give up for good, you HAVE to stop for 28 days. Any further thoughts? (talk) 11:00, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I think it's trying to convey a statement about conditional probability-- \mathbb{P}(\mathrm{stop for good (i.e. day X+1 \to \infty) }|\geq 28 \mathrm{days \; smoke \; free  \; on\; day \;X)} \approx 5 \cdot  \mathbb{P}(\mathrm{stop for good}| < 28 \mathrm{days \; smoke \; free  \; on\; day \;X}) . While the English phrasing might be awkward, I sincerely doubt that the stat isn't drawn from some fairly legit study. They're just struggling to get it into a snappy ad campaign. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:03, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Wouldn't that calculation depend on X, though? Let's take a concrete example. Say ten people try to stop smoking, and the number of days they last is {1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 40, 60, permanently, permanently, permanently}, then how would you do that calculation? Where the original statement has "5 times", what factor would this data yield? (talk) 19:20, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
No, I was just specifying it for clarity, thinking of X as a calendar date when they did the survey. Mark viking seems to (mostly) share my interpretation below. The difference is, I'm lumping everything less than 28 days together, rather than comparing to zero-days-stopped. This would be an easy way to "cherry pick" the data to find a nice statistic, just keep dividing the pool into two groups based on Y days stopped, until you get the multiplier that you want. SemanticMantis (talk) 23:09, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I interpret this as the conditional probability of quitting forever given that you stopped for 28 days is five times the probability of quitting given no such 28 day stoppage, i.e, the probability of quitting after 0 days of stoppage, right at the start. It makes sense to me, as after 28 days, most of the the physical withdrawal effects are probably gone and the psychological habit may be broken, too. It looks to be part of the Stoptober campaign, but I could not find a source for the statistic. --Mark viking (talk) 19:54, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps the missing or unclear information, then, is "5 times more likely than what?"? I read it as "5 times more likely than if you don't stop for 28 days". In your interpretation, I suppose it would be "5 times more likely than when you start out". Is that right? (talk) 20:38, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Presumably it means that if you picked two persons at random from a group of recently quit smokers, one of whom had just quit that day and the other had quit 28 days ago, the person who had quit 28 days ago would be five times more likely to quit for good than the person who had just quit. Doctors are not known for any Bayesian subtlety when they make statements like this. Sławomir Biały (talk) 20:46, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Why compare to the 0 day quitter? pooling all days-quit<28 as I did above makes more sense to me... SemanticMantis (talk) 23:09, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Because the statement will certainly be false if you do that. Why should the 28th day be so much more important than the 27th? Dbfirs 09:57, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Confusion Over Open Problem's Meaning[edit]

On the article linked in the subject line, it asks "Is there a logic satisfying the interpolation theorem which is compact?", I'm assuming the reference is to Craig interpolation, but FO is compact and satisfies it, so I'm not sure what it is asking. I don't have access to the source, unfortunately.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 10:27, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

The statement in the WP article is not correct. From the chapter referenced, the open problem is Is there a logic L which satisfies both the Beth property and Δ-interpolation, is compact but does not satisfy the interpolation property? The interpolation here looks like Craig interpolation, but I have little knowledge of this field, so don't trust me on that. --Mark viking (talk) 21:57, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Is this a case for WP:SOFIXIT then? SemanticMantis (talk) 23:10, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Phoenixia1177 just did. --Mark viking (talk) 23:34, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for the response:-)Phoenixia1177 (talk) 03:15, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

puzzle from game question...[edit]

In this game there is a puzzle as follows. There are 16 items, four each of four colors and four each of different types of shells. Call the colors A-D and the shell types 1-4. They are placed in a 4x4grid at random and the game is won if the top row is A1-A4 in order, second row B1-B4 in order and so on. Legal moves are as follows: Two items may be switched if and only if the cells border each other vertically, horizontally or diagonally *and* the two items share a characteristic (color or type of shell). Can it be won from any starting position? (If moves are only allowed Horizontally and Vertically, then the Order 4 Graeco-Latin square would be a losing starting position) If the puzzle can be won from any position, is there anything like a strategy to win it in as few moves as possible?Naraht (talk) 12:59, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

I had a go at solving it starting from a random position and thought it made a nice puzzle. It's similar to but slightly harder than the 15 puzzle, much easier than Rubik's cube. I think this starting position
A1 B2 C1 D2
C3 D4 A3 B4
A2 B1 C2 D1
C4 D3 A4 B3
leaves you with no moves allowed, which would mean it's not always possible to win from any starting position, but it looks like such configurations are very rare. Anyway, I'm sensing commercial possiblities, maybe a cell-phone app? --RDBury (talk) 11:23, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree that that starting position has no moves. (and rotating the columns/rows and/or rotating the numbers/letters also would give a no move position, so a few more than just that one). It is a (small) part of a game that my wife downloaded a few days ago, I'll try to find the name. Any ideas for solution strategy?11:55, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Somehow I thought this was a game you made, my mistake. I don't know about as few moves as possible, but the way I solved it was a lot like the 15-puzzle. First get all the 1's in the top row. Getting 3 out of 4 isn't too hard to do ad hoc so the tricky part is the 4th. To make things a bit easier, do the corners first so you have something B1, C1, *, A1 in the first row. You need to get D1 where the * is, but let's say you have B4 there instead. Work D4 into one of the three squares below and diagonal from the * (again using whatever ad hoc moves will work, then swap it in to get B1, C1, D4, A1. Now work D1 into a position where you can swap it with D4 and do so to get B1, C1, D1, A1. Once all the 1's are in the top row you can swap them around to get them in the right order. With the top row done do the same with the first column using more or less the same method. Continue with the second row and second column and you're down a 2 by 2 square in the lower right. But 2 by 2 is easy so you're done. The trick is that when you have three out of four in the first row, it does no good at all to try to move the fourth one into position before getting a square in that you can swap with it. Not a very specific method I know but it would be a lot of work to write out and verify a detailed algorithm. I'm guessing that for finding the minimum number of moves it would be hard to improve upon brute force enumeration of possible moves, but 16! is very large so it may not be possible. You could probably get some good upper bounds with a clever algorithm though. Just for a ballpark value I did another randomly generated on and it took about 55 moves, but that's probably not optimal. --RDBury (talk) 18:04, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

3rd and 4th degree Bézier curve[edit]

the computer's fonts use Bézier curve to represent glyphs.
The creator of the font divide the complex curve to sub-curve, which he then describe with Bézier curve technique.
My question is whether there is a technique that can take 4-th degree collection of Bézier curve, and create 3-rd degree collection of Bézier curve that looks the same.Exx8 (talk) 01:10, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

You can't in general turn a 4th degree Bézier into exact 3rd degree ones. So your 'looks the same' needs to be some sort of approximation. They do lend themselves to mathematical reasoning - for instance you can always subdivide a Bézier curve exactly into smaller ones of the same degree and your rule may lend itself to checking easily if the sub curve can be approximated closely enough. A computing solution might be to simply generate lots of points close to each other and then approximate them with cubic Bézier curves with smoothing just like one would for freehand drawing. There could easily be a computer package already written to do this. Dmcq (talk) 06:27, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
TrueType fonts just use quadratic Bézier curves and OpenType fonts uses cubic Bézier curves. You should be able to get a good enough approximation to your curves for use with fonts. I would suspect most font designers would do this by eye adjusting control points to get the look they want rather than use an deterministic algorithm. A good discussion of Bezier curves is A Primer on Bézier Curves sections 29 and 30 near the end might help.--Salix alba (talk): 08:18, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
My naïve suggestion: Cut up your original curve so that there is a control point wherever the tangent angle is a multiple of π/4, and wherever the curvature reaches an extreme or crosses zero; these are the points most important to the appearance of the glyph. On each segment of the arc, make the derivatives of the cubic match (in angle and magnitude) those of the original curve at the control points. —Tamfang (talk) 02:05, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Verifying that the cts dual space is subspace of the algebraic dual space[edit]


It's mentioned on the page for dual spaces that if a vector space is topological, the continuous dual space is a linear subspace of the algebraic dual space.

I tried to verify this directly from the subspace axioms:

Let V be a topological v.s over F. Assume f\in Hom(V,F) is cts, and let k\in F. Then

(kf)(x)=k(f(x))=(\phi\circ f)(x)

(where \phi is multiplication by k), by the definition of scalar multiplication on Hom(V,F)

Since scalar multiplication on a topological field is cts, as is the composition of cts functions, it follows that kf is continuous.

But I can't seem to show closure under addition. Have I overlooked something, or is there a better approach?

Neuroxic (talk) 06:28, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps I'm missing something, this isn't really my area, but by definition of a topological field, addition is continuous, so if f and g are V->k, then f + g is continuous. Clearly, f + g is a linear functional, so the continuous dual is closed under addition. That the continuous dual is a subset of the algebraic dual is immediate, so it is a linear subspace. Again, I apologize if there is something that I am glossing over, I haven't touched any of this stuff in a year, or two.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 06:36, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
"by definition of a topological field, addition is continuous, so if f and g are V->k, then f + g is continuous" this is the bit I'm having trouble with. Would you be able to expand on this more precisely?
Neuroxic (talk) 10:15, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The definition of a topological field k includes that the basic field operations are continuous. For any topological space X and continuous f,g:X -> k, f + g is continuous because it is composition of functions; explicitly: +(f, g). Continuous linear functionals are linear maps V -> k that are continuous. Thus, pointwise addition will yield, another, continuous map. It is obvious that the sum of any two linear functionals is a linear functional, thus, the sum of two continuous linear functionals is another one. Hence, closure under addition. --Essentially, functions add using pointwise addition, since addition is continuous, addition of functions outputs continuous functions.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 10:28, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
"For any topological space X and continuous f,g:X -> k, f + g is continuous because it is composition of functions; explicitly: +(f, g)."
This part doesn't make sense to me, and was one of the reasons I was stuck. I tried to use the idea of composing cts functions to preserve continuity (that worked to show closure under scalar multiplication) but wasn't able to do it. I thought I couldn't write (f+g)(x)=(\tilde f \circ g)(x) for some \tilde f because \tilde f depends on g(x), not on x. How do you write f(x)+g(x) as a composition of two cts functions?
Neuroxic (talk) 12:24, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The function +:k x k -> k is continuous, so f + g is +(f, g), it is a continuous function of two variables composed with f and g. Since all the operations are continuous, the end result is. As a more basic example, consider continuous f,g from a topological space into the reals, their sum is continuous for the same reason - it's the continuity of addition that gives this result. The same principle applies here, just X replaced with the dual space and the reals with a topofield.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 12:32, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Epic fail. I forgot that a function (f,g) is cts if f,g are cts. I know the proof now. Thanks.
Neuroxic (talk) 12:37, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Star angle[edit]

Imagine pointed stars made to match the notation used at .

For example the pentagram is {5,2}.

How do I determine the angle within the points from this pair of numbers? How do I determine the exterior angle where lines from two points meet?

Thanks -- SGBailey (talk) 19:53, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

I think the notation for the pentagram is actually (5/2). The angle for the star polygon with symbol (n/k) is π(1-2k/n) radians. So for example the angle for the pentagram is π(1-4/5)=π/5=36°. --RDBury (talk) 00:53, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
And the sum of internal angles for a star polygon with symbol {n/k} is 2 π (n - 1). From this and the convex internal angles it is easy to see that the concave internal angles are π (1 + 2 (k-1)/n), or equivalently, the corresponding external angles are π (1 - 2 (k-1)/n). Icek (talk) 01:09, 15 September 2014 (UTC)


September 9[edit]

Meaning of the saying "The irish pray on their knees; the scots prey on their neighbors."[edit]

What does "the irish pray on their knees; the scots prey on their neighbors" mean? WinterWall (talk) 02:55, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

See pray vs prey. It'd be just as meaningful to say it the other way around, depending whether you were joking with an Irishman or a Scot. Or a Welshman. There's no absolute truth to it or anything. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:19, September 9, 2014 (UTC)
Yes, which you say absolutely? μηδείς (talk) 05:06, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
I've seen several Scots pray on their knees. Though, no, I'm not sure they all weren't just pretending to pray, while they plotted to turn their neighbours into haggis to circumvent the US import ban on sheep lungs. Didn't think to ask them, or consider whether I'm always dreaming. Not absolute. InedibleHulk (talk) 09:09, September 9, 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) :Note that pray and prey are homophones; they sound the same, but have different meanings. This quote is intended to be a humorous word play insult, suggesting that Irish people are pious and engage in prayer while the Scottish people are immoral and engage in predatory behavior (commonly understood as thievery, thuggery, etc.).   — (talk) 03:30, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm trying to find the reference but I recall there being a Protestant/Catholic thing in there too; as in, Irish Catholics "pray" while their Scottish Protestant neighbours "prey". Works the same the other way around as pointed out above and in contexts other than just Irish/Scottish. Stlwart111 05:03, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Possibly a mangled form of "There are four kinds of people in the British Isles. First are the Scots, who keep the Sabbath and anything else they can get their hands on. Next are the Welsh, who pray on their knees and on their neighbours. Then there are the Irish, who don't know what they want, but they'll fight anyone for it. and last are the English, who consider themselves self made men, which relieves the Almighty of a terrible responsibility." Fiddlersmouth (talk) 09:22, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
"Brothers and sisters are natural enemies! Like Englishmen and Scots! Or Welshmen and Scots! Or Japanese and Scots! Or Scots and other Scots! Damn Scots! They ruined Scotland!" InedibleHulk (talk) 09:28, September 9, 2014 (UTC)

Why Christians don't want Jerusalem?[edit]

I recently watched National Geographic: Secrets of Jerusalem's Holiest Sites (2006), and I didn't understand why the Christians didn't really do anything in the conflict between the Jews and the Arab Muslims. The documentary did say that Christians did fight for Jerusalem, but now they don't seem to be very interested in it except running the church that now stands on the tomb where Jesus was buried and resurrected. Also, the documentary said that Jews consider Abraham to be the father of the Jewish people through his son, Isaac, while Arab Muslims consider Abraham to be the father of the Arabs, through his son Ishmael. So, what about Arab Christians or non-Arabic Muslims? (talk) 03:33, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

The unpleasant experience of the crusades might play a role, in a historical sense.  — (talk) 03:56, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Nothing in Christianity requires the possession of Jerusalem for individual salvation, and Jesus wasn't very fond of the place, nor did his followers see the temple or animal sacrifice as necessary. A Church you can build anywhere. Of course certain sects disagree but none of them is mainline or orthodox. The Crusades has nothing to do with this, they mostly had to do with the rise of the hostile Seljuk Turks who abused Christians and their ancient privileges.μηδείς (talk) 05:02, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
  • μηδείς is right. And don't underestimate the value of holy relics from the Holy Land during the time of the Crusades. The was a genuine desire on the part of (some) medieval European Christians to possess Jerusalem. Stlwart111 05:54, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
    • (μηδείς is mainly right, but see Matthew 23:37 (or Luke 13:34) where Jesus seems to weep, or perhaps despair, over Jerusalem. ) Also see Luke 23: 28-31 for Jesus's prophecy about the future of Jerusalem. Arab Christians trace their Abrahamic roots genetically through Ishmael and spiritually through Isaac. Dbfirs 17:14, 10 September 2014 (UTC) -- Christians do want very much for their holy places and memorial churches to be respected and be open to pilgrimage, and under the 1947 United Nations partition plan, Jerusalem-Bethlehem would have been a quasi-internationalized city (see Corpus separatum (Jerusalem) -- the Vatican was very strongly insistent on neutralizing or internationalizing Jerusalem until at least the late 1970s). However, that doesn't require sovereign domination, and the experiences of Christian sovereign domination over the area in the last thousand years (Crusades and British Mandate) did not end too well, as alluded to... AnonMoos (talk) 06:47, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

P.S. According the Tabula Gentium in Genesis chapter 10, the South Arabians are the descendants of Joktan son of Eber son of Shem... AnonMoos (talk) 06:58, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Known in the day as happy Arabians. InedibleHulk (talk) 09:19, September 9, 2014 (UTC)
This might be useful. I don't know. There's a lot to read. InedibleHulk (talk) 09:21, September 9, 2014 (UTC)
There's also the idea of the Heavenly Jerusalem, which does not necessarily have to be the actual Jerusalem. As for the Crusades, there was a certain amount of fervour about hastening the End Times once the Christians conquered it, but even back then they realized how unimportant the actual city of Jerusalem was. Adam Bishop (talk) 12:18, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Another theory is that the dominant churches for most of history, the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox, might not have wanted Jerusalem, since it served as a reminder that they totally changed Christianity from it's origins at the time of Christ, when it was relatively democratic and pacifist, somewhat like the Quakers remain today, to rather authoritarian organizations. The difficulty in actually holding it would also play a role in deciding if it was a worthy goal (much like the proverbial Sour Grapes, if they couldn't have it, then they decided they didn't want it). StuRat (talk) 12:33, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Citation needed on that one please. Alansplodge (talk) 12:59, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Yeah that seems unlikely. The idea that Catholicism/Orthodoxy "totally changed Christianity" is a fringe conspiracy theory invented by those Protestant upstarts. And as we all know, Protestantism is just a passing fad. Adam Bishop (talk) 14:11, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
... and some of the "Protestant upstarts" have turned into "rather authoritarian organizations"! Dbfirs 17:14, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

In more recent times General Allenby entered Jerusalem on 11 December 1917 during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign in World War I, having forced the Turkish army to retire. He and his staff entered the gate of the Jerusalem on foot in a show of respect. His subsequent announcement to the population said; "...since your city is regarded with affection by the adherents of three of the great religions of mankind and its soil has been consecrated by the prayers and pilgrimages of multitudes of devout people of these three religions for many centuries, therefore, do I make it known to you that every sacred building, monument, holy spot, shrine, traditional site, endowment, pious bequest, or customary place of prayer of whatsoever form of the three religions will be maintained and protected according to the existing customs and beliefs of those to whose faith they are sacred." Jerusalem remained in British hands as part of Mandatory Palestine, during which time the British attempted in a very heavy-handed way, to balance the aspirations of both Jews and Muslims, but ended up antagonising everybody. Alansplodge (talk) 12:59, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Allenby's entry into Jerusalem is seen by some as the fulfilment of Biblical prophesies. See The Deliverance of Old Jerusalem - An Awe-Inspiring Fulfilment of Scriptural Prophecy. Alansplodge (talk) 13:06, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
There was also a cartoon, in Punch I think, of Allenby as Richard the Lionheart, saying "at last my dream fulfilled". Adam Bishop (talk) 14:11, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
This is it. It's not clear that the figure is supposed to be Allenby, I read it as being the ghost of Richard I of England, but the message of the cartoon is the same however you interpret it. Alansplodge (talk) 20:42, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

spinoza's ethics[edit]

what's the point of this book? I am lost as to why it was written. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:19, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

  • The mathematical form is meant to provide certainty to his conclusions, what he wishes to demonstrate is that God is Natura Naturans, and that as part of God (God being nature) we will find happiness if we act in accordance with nature. I am unaware of any good commentary on him, I did take a 400 level class on him. Rebecca Goldstein's Betraying Spinoza is a hugely enjoyable popular book that's a blended confessional by her and biography of him but doesn't go into the ethics deeply. One problem with the work is that he assumes determinism is true, ten set's about offering advice. I suppose that would make him an automaton-prophet. He is largely a "classical" liberal from the modern perspective, and a stoic from the ancient one. If you read Epictetus first, Descartes (in relation to whom he stands as Aristotle to Plato), and the Maxims of Epicurus you might get a head start.μηδείς (talk) 04:51, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) :"Why" it was written requires quite a bit of context. The biography section of the Baruch Spinoza article provides a good background. In order to understand the "point of the book", it is important to realize that he lived in the 17th century, before the (18th century) Enlightenment, and his writings are considered to be an important influence for the Enlightenment, especially Ethics, Demonstrated in Geometrical Order[which needs to be a redirect]Ethics (book). Hopefully one of the friendly and helpful reference desk helpers has the time to provide a concise explanation in 30 words or less; I'm going to bed. Or you could find a copy of:  Curley, Edwin (1988). Behind the Geometrical Method : a reading of Spinoza's Ethics. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. ISBN 069102037X.  — It's not very long, and relatively easy to understand.   —Eric the Read: (talk) 05:57, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Okay, I'll give it another try...
Ethics, the nature of reality and Man's role in it, were considered important in classical antiquity. However, beginning with the Dark Ages freedom of thought, and the expression thereof, were taboo. Spinoza's background includes severe religious oppression, both for his Jewish heritage and his synthesis of rational thought from antiquity. —I've already exceeded 30 words, so shall sign off: ~E: (talk) 16:52, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Hi. Thanks for the information - but who said thirty words! You didn't get to the point of the book. what's the point? why was it written? :) I appreciate everyone's references to literature, above, however I was hoping for your own brief summary, not so much as to the minute contents of the book as the overall point, i.e. why it was written. (talk) 20:49, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

The book was written for the purpose of explaining the nature of creation and how man can achieve happiness in it based on what Spinoza believed was a logically certain argument fro his premises. μηδείς (talk) 21:02, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
In case you're asking about the odd final part: In A Study of Spinoza's Ethics (CUP Archive, 1984, p372-375) Jonathan Bennett wonders why Spinoza wrote the "last three doctrines" (mind's eternity, intuitive knowledge, intellectual love of God) which are deemed worthless and beyond salvation.
"Clearly he [Spinoza] wants this final trio of doctrines. Why?" Bennett dismisses explanations of Spinoza merely "trying to capture in his own terms the doctrines of others —e.g., Aristotle's views about immortality" as not credible.
He wonders whether Spinoza was perhaps "terrified of extinction, and convinced himself —through a scatter of perverse arguments and hunger for the conclusion —that he earned immortality."
Another possible explanation refers to C. D. Broad: "These doctrines, I am convinced, are the philosophic expression of certain religious and mystical experiences which Spinoza and many others have enjoyed and which seem supremely important to those who have had them. As such they belong to Spinoza's philosophy of religion rather than to his ethics in [...] the ordinary sense". Five Types of Ethical Theory.
Anyway, I probably just added to the confusion. But these "why" questions often lead to confusing answers. (and sorry about adding more book references :-) ---Sluzzelin talk 22:09, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Durdane Series - Age of The Land of Shant[edit]

Its been a while since I've last read the series but in Jack Vance's Durdane Series was it mentioned roughly how long Humans have been on the planet Durdane and/ or how old the land of Shant is ? Scotius (talk) 13:48, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Unfortunately, long before I get around to rereading it, this question will have rotated away. —Tamfang (talk) 23:27, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

How is American Lutheranism different from German Lutheranism theologically?[edit]

How are the two Lutheranisms different theologically? (talk) 16:36, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

There are many more kinds of Lutheranism. In the U.S. some are in Category:Lutheran denominations in North America. For Germany Category:Lutheranism in Germany.

September 10[edit]

The Indonesian Tree of Life[edit]

Tree of life ("levensboom") This specific one is used in Wayang to mark the beginning, end or the break of a Wayang play. The Tree of life is called Dewadaru. It stands for gift of the gods. The tree grows on the Karimunjawa Islands north of Java. The inhabitants believe the wood of the tree has heeling power and is used as an charm for protection.
Fine weaving representing a large stylized bird ‘pregnant’ with a smaller bird, surrounded by various creatures and humans stacked in a configuration resembling the mythological tree-of-life’. Birds in the Indonesian archipelago often are associated with creation myths, with omens for good and evil, and with concepts of death and resurrection. In this rendering, the bird is a reddish brown figure on a natural color cotton base.
Very good and interesting tampan-ceremonial textile- from Indonesia (Lampung-Sumatra), 19th century, size 68 x 76 cm/ 27 x 31 inches. a boat with a large bird and tree of life with on top a frog or toad (rare!). Several other stylized animals.

These "Tree of Life" textiles with birds and many other animals were produced by Indonesians of the 19th century. I think today's Indonesians are mostly muslims. Did the use of clothes with animal decorations in a ceremony constitute some kind of idolatry in Islam? -- Toytoy (talk) 03:48, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

  • I can't speak for the 18th century (other than to note that Raden Saleh was Muslim and painted portraits). I can, however, note that a) Indonesian Islam (particularly Javanese) has historically featured an amalgamation of Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic symbolism (Syncretism, such as in abangan Islam) and b) in modern Indonesia, many Muslims have no problem with depicting animals or humans... just so long as its not a/the p(P)rophet (see, for instance, the many "Pop Islam" films such as Ayat-Ayat Cinta). — Crisco 1492 (talk) 03:54, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Japanese art/ Chinese history question[edit]

I was browsing reproductions of Japanese woodblock prints on ebay and noticed one that seemed to portray Yue Fei. My reasoning is that the character has the same tattoo that the Song general was known for. However, a cursory Google search hasn't turned up any information on Japanese reverence for Yue Fei. Is it possible that this could just be a representation of a Chinese literary hero who paid homage to the general by tattooing themself? I can't make out any of the characters in the top of the picture and no larger versions are available. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 05:08, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Sughauli treaty[edit]

Question moved from RD/L Tevildo (talk) 08:06, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

when its effect are going to end? -- (talk) 06:20, 10 September 2014 (UTC)azic

We have an article - Sugauli Treaty about the treaty. DuncanHill (talk) 09:06, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
It would appear to have been superseded by the 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship which "cancels all previous Treaties, agreements, and engagements entered into on behalf of India between the British Government and the Government of Nepal". DuncanHill (talk) 09:10, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

was Spinoza an atheist, i.e. pseudo- theist (by analogy with 'pseudorandom', i.e. not at all random)[edit]


Based on the arguments in The Ethics of Spinoza, is he really a total atheist, i.e. pseudotheist? I mean by analogy with a pseudorandom number generator: it's just not random at all, it's just an algorithm. Likewise, if you remove all choice from God, and say he has no choice but to follow Nature, then isn't it just a 'pseudo-theist' in perfect analogy with a pseudorandom number generator and, in fact, you are a perfect atheist?

I would like a high-level meta-analysis here, and if you don't understand my analogy with pseudorandom numbers, I still welcome your opinion about whether he's really an atheist, based on the fact that he thinks nature is deterministic. a third-party web site says, "The difference [between leibniz and spenoza] goes back to that simple-sounding question: Does God have a choice? Spinoza says no; Leibniz says yes. Spinoza says that God has only one world to choose from, namely, the one that follows ineluctably from its own Nature." Well, okay, so then how is there a "God". It sounds logically equivalent to me saying that I control all cloud formations with the power of my mind, but with the caveat that I can - and must - make them move only, and in the exact way, that follows from meteorology and the laws of Nature. But I totally control them yo.

So in this sense is Spinoza literally an atheist or a pseudo-theist (believes God exists, much as a pseudorandom number is random; i.e. not at all.)

thanks for clarification on this. (talk) 15:32, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

For Spinoza's atheism (or not), see Baruch_Spinoza#Pantheist.2C_panentheist.2C_or_atheist.3F and the dozen or so references therein.
For your analogy, I think it's unhelpful. Random has different meanings in different contexts. That is why we have the word "stochastic," so that in technical writing we can distinguish things like dice rolls from deterministic chaos, and other phenomenon that could be grouped into the catch-all term 'random'. It is true that pseudorandom number generators are not stochastic processes, but the whole point of the term is that pseudorandom numbers are 'sort-of-random', even 'nearly indistinguishable from random'. Saying pseudorandom numbers are not at all random is an almost willfully obstinate abuse of terminology. You can phrase your idea however you want, but I'd challenge you to look at a stream of a few thousand digits, and reliably decide if it came from the Mersenne_twister or from measurements of radioactive decay. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:50, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
But what I mean is suppose that you use "random" to mean "stochastic". Then a pseudorandom process is not at all random. For example, a program that uses an unseeded pseudo RNG. That may have a single deterministic output, not at all random. In formal terms, we might not know what that output is, for example perhaps the program has a very long running time, and we do not know the output unless someone calculates it through some short-cut. In one sense, then, the output might be "random", as it has not been calculated. In another sense, however, it is not at all random, it is totally fixed. Calling the program "random" (stochastic) is then totally false. Likewise, saying there is an intelligent, omnipotent God "ruling over" the Universe, when in fact "the God" is indistinguishable from one that does not exist, might be "totally false" (He is not intelligent, not omnipotent, and does not actually rule over anything. In fact He is nulpotent, having no ability to do anything whatsoever". In other words, my analogy comes from this: a stochastic random process might have entropy of 1 bit per 1 bit of output. The program I mentioned instead has 0 bits of entropy per bit of output: non whatsoever, it is totally fixed. Likewise, an omnipotent God might have 1 unit of "power" to affect the Universe. A nulpotent God has 0 units of power to affect anything. I feel the analogy is quite useful (and not just a matter of terminology) so if my analogy is still unclear I would be interested in expounding it further. Have I made my question more clearer this way? (I still don't know to what extent the analogy applies to Spinoza's philosophy - i.e. as a determinist - and quoted a third-party summary of his view; therefore I am interested in to what extent what I've written, and quoted, actually applies to spinoza in your opinion.)
"For Spinoza's atheism (or not), see Baruch_Spinoza#Pantheist.2C_panentheist.2C_or_atheist.3F and the dozen or so references therein." Thank you for that! When I read "It is a widespread belief that Spinoza equated God with the material universe. He has therefore been called the "prophet"[92] and "prince"[93] and most eminent expounder of pantheism." For me, specifically when you add determinism, it seems that this now fulfills the definition of Atheism. If a program ignores 100% of my keyboard inputs and then exits [in all cases and under all conditions, not on one particular run!], it is proper to call it a non-interactive (batch) program, regardless of my wishes. Likewise, if the universe ignores 100% of God's "input" (He has no control over anything today), it fits my definition of atheism. My only question is whether Spinoza in fact believed this to be the case. (talk) 16:15, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Our article on Atheism defines it as "the rejection of belief in the existence of deities," or "specifically the position that there are no deities." It does not include affirming the existence of a God who lacks free will. Gravity has no free will, but it exists nonetheless.
Our article on Baruch Spinoza discusses him as a pantheist (from a simple perspective), or (from a more nuanced perspective) a sort of transcendent panentheist. Connections with atheism appear mostly from detractors (and Shelley, but he's an overglorified hack, Ozymandias excluded, especially compared to Keats). This seems as applicable as claims that Socrates, Jews, and Christians are "atheists" for rejecting the state gods of Greece and Rome despite a rather firm belief in some sort of God.
The Spinoza article, in the section on beliefs regarding God, notes that he did not think that God was an aspect of Nature, but rather Nature an aspect of the transcendent God. It also says that "Spinoza meant God was Natura naturans not Natura naturata." In other words, God is not bound by determinism, God binds determinism. How, why, or in what way God binds determinism is not what defines God, it is that It binds it that matters.
For the record, I'm definitely more in the Indeterminism camp (such that I cannot personally reconcile Calvin and Christ), but I'm not seeing the conflict here between God being deterministic and God being omnipotent. To reverse the argument that God without free-will is not God: God with free-will makes His own choices, and so creates His will (which is at most a part of Him). If God does what God chooses to do, He is ruled by something He created rather than Himself.[citation needed] (I'm not affirming that that's correct, either, since I stick to the cop-out that humanly-contrived concepts of fate or free-will, while relevant to theodicy, are irrelevant to trying to understand the ultimate source of those human thinking).
Ian.thomson (talk) 16:37, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

American astronauts' fluency in Russian[edit]

Runglish contains the quote: "We say jokingly that we communicate in 'Runglish,' a mixture of Russian and English languages, so that when we are short of words in one language we can use the other, because all the crew members speak both languages well." Are American astronauts really fluent in Russian? Or is the above quote a mistranslation or something? WinterWall (talk) 20:27, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Speaking Russian is a requirement for all new astronauts.[50][51][52] Nanonic (talk) 20:40, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! That's completely new information for me. Does this apply to just NASA or do the other national space agencies (of non-English speaking counties) have similar requirements? Or does learning both English and Russian present too much of a burden?WinterWall (talk) 20:53, 10 September 2014 (UTC)


Are degrees worth it considering the fact that most graduates go onto jobs that didn't require them to go to college? What advantage if any does the degree give them? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:51, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Only if you like money. See This article as of June 2014 as to the value of a college degree in the United States. Even factoring in the exorbitant fees and crippling debt most college graduates end up with in the U.S., the investment still pays off hugely over the average person's working life. Such statistics don't excuse the debt burden (after all, if one could reduce or remove the debt burden, the education would be worth THAT MUCH MORE), but clearly, employers still value the degree itself. If a college degree were merely about job training, we'd all just go through vocational education. The college degree is still an expression of the value of the liberal arts education; and regardless of what you or I think about it, or arguments we could make in either direction, employers and the marketplace still value it. That you have reasons you could invent as to why the market shouldn't value such an education is mostly irrelevant. The market does, so explanations which say it shouldn't are dead ends. --Jayron32 23:19, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Employers who value graduates over non-graduates speak of them having learnt how to think. HiLo48 (talk) 23:22, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, that is something of the value of the liberal arts education (speaking extemporaneously and VERY OR/personal view here), the real value of education is not learning how to do specific tasks, like skills or knowledge specific to any one job, it's learning how to learn; really it's all those skills that make you good at any job. I've never heard of any employer who doesn't expect to have to train you on the job; no one expects a new hire to understand how to do anything at the company. Instead, what employers want isn't necessarily "The specific skills to do this specific job" what they want is that when they teach you something, it stays learnt. People who have demonstrated the perseverance to learn anything and to do well at it no matter what it is, regardless of whether they find it "relevant" to themselves, are highly valuable. Does knowing how to write an essay about Hamlet's soliloquy get you a job as an Engineer? Specifically, no. The fact that you were willing to persevere and learn how to do that task because you had to, and did a good job at it even if you wouldn't have chosen to do it yourself, however, IS an employable skill. The liberal arts education also teaches the sort of soft skills that translate well to any job: the ability to reason, use logic, write and speak well, organize your thinking, come up with novel solutions to problems, collaborate with others, etc. That sort of stuff are things employers don't have the time to teach you. They can teach you what they need you to do for your specific job you are hired for, and are expecting to anyways. They don't want to deal with someone who needs to be badgered to complete simple tasks, or can't figure out how to solve a novel problem on their own. --Jayron32 23:40, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Worth noting there are some who think there is a higher education bubble which may soon burst, thanks to higher education expanding too quickly, the costs of getting a degree increasing, the value of a degree in terms of future employment decreasing because so many more people have one, and the loan system threatened by defaults. --Nicknack009 (talk) 07:39, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
A lot of jobs which used not to need a degree now need one. The jobs haven't got harder, but there's been a lot of "pulling up the ladder" by people anxious to maintain their status and money. DuncanHill (talk) 16:01, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Some economists say the value of a college degree is more as a positional good than in anything learned. —Tamfang (talk) 20:44, 12 September 2014 (UTC)


The Who's Who entry for the novelist Joseph Keating (1871-1934; no enwp article) is one of those odd gems clearly written by the subject - it has a detailed digression on his career as a child labourer in a Welsh coal-mine:

...earning six shillings and ninepence per week as a door-boy; at thirteen he fancied he would like to be an oliver-boy; after twelve months at the oliver-fires he decided that the coal pit was more attractive... he was a collier boy; later he worked as a pit-labourer [and so on]

Most of these are fairly clear (a door-boy, as I recall, worked doors inside the mine itself to let trucks of coal through) but I'm baffled by oliver-boy/oliver-fires. Any idea what this might have been? Andrew Gray (talk) 23:16, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

That is a delightful entry - especially enjoyed at eighteen became a pit haulier, a delightful profession in which a horse does the work and the haulier draws the pay. Anyway, an oliver is "A tilt hammer having the arm or handle attached to an axle, worked with the foot by a treadle which brings the hammer down, and with a spring which raises it, used esp. in the shaping of nails, bolts, or links of chains." (OED) There are (or were) also steam olivers, presumably powered by the oliver-fires. DuncanHill (talk) 00:27, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
You can see a picture of a steam-oliver here. I did, for a moment, entertain the thought that he might have stoked the fires which bake another sort of Oliver, but discarded it as unhelpful. DuncanHill (talk) 00:58, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
There's probably a good article to be written just on quixotic entries alone. (Tony Benn's has had some wonderful evolutions over time).
Thanks for the pointer - I'd assume id was some kind of machinery and -fires definitely suggests steam-driven. Andrew Gray (talk) 16:07, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Most police officers killed by one person[edit]

All I've found is the "Lakewood, Washington police officer shooting" which was apparently the highest amount of police officers killed by one person at one time. What about most police officers killed by one person all together(Excluding bombings or use of weapons of mass destruction)? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Radioactivemutant (talkcontribs) 23:53, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

I couldn't find more than 4 officers killed at any one time. There was the Lakewood, Washington police officer shooting that you mentioned, the 2009 shootings of Oakland police officers and the Mayerthorpe tragedy. CBWeather, Talk, Seal meat for supper? 07:20, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
I've found quite a few, but they all involve bombs. If we're excluding them, it seems likely those three are the answers. Easy to fall through the cracks, serial killing riffraff. But the net closes very quickly when a cop is the first victim. Hard enough (relatively) to even kill one, with their training and equipment. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:21, September 13, 2014 (UTC)
I found a fictional serial cop killer in The Poet. Apparently, the key is making it look like suicide. No idea if there have been sets of mysterious police suicides in actual districts, but if so, there's a maybe. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:33, September 13, 2014 (UTC)

September 11[edit]

Name of dictator?[edit]

Does anyone know the name of the dictator who one day decreed that there were now eight days in the week - and named the extra day after himself? Or maybe it was that there were 13 months in the year, with the new month named after himself. It was something along those lines, anyway - pretty much King Canute levels of hubris. It was within the last 25 years too, I believe. But that's all I can recall now. --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 00:32, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't think he actually added any days or months, but Saparmurat Niyazov, self-called Turkmenbashi, did rename the days and months in Turkmenistan, naming one month after himself, another after his book, and one after his mum. DuncanHill (talk) 00:38, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
That's the guy - thanks very much. Is this also the same fellow who made it illegal for anyone to speak of his toupee? There's no mention of it in his article, so maybe that was someone else. --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 20:09, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Gerhard Schroeder is famously touchy about his hair (which is, of course, entirely natural and without any artificial enhancements whatsoever), and has used the courts to enforce this undeniable fact, but I don't think he actually passed a law against mentioning it. Tevildo (talk) 20:15, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
As for King Canute (or Cnut the Great if you're brave), he has acquired an undeservedly bad reputation. He put his throne by the seaside and commanded the waves to recede, specifically to prove that he DID NOT have the magical or divine powers attributed to him and that he was a mere mortal like everyone else. He's the patron saint of anti-hubris, if anything. See King Canute and the waves. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:12, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Oh, right. I'd always thought that it was the (maybe fictional) story of the king who ended up on the beach with wet feet, looking foolish in front of his people after arrogantly proclaiming that even the waves would obey the divine power of the king. I also thought myself superior to those who get it the wrong way around and appear to think that it was the story of the king who actually *held back* the waves (fairly common in sports metaphors)... :) --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 20:09, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
July and August were named after Julius Cesar and Augustus. StuRat (talk) 04:11, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
In I, Claudius, one of Caligula's first acts as emperor is to continue the pattern by renaming September for Tiberius, but if that really happened it obviously didn't stick. —Tamfang (talk) 20:52, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
According to Mapping Time by E.G. Richards (ISBN 0-19-286205-7) there were lots of temporary renamings of Roman months , and under the infamous Commodus, all 12 months were renamed to Amazonius, Invictus, Felix, Pius, Lucius, Aelius, Aurelius, Commodus, Augustus, Herculeus, Romanus, and Exsuperatorius... -- AnonMoos (talk) 20:56, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Reminds me of the French Revolutionary Calendar, which while not being the answer to the question, is interesting of itself in this context. --TammyMoet (talk) 13:00, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

What is the British side of the American Revolutionary War?[edit]

What is the British side of the story? Do they really consider themselves losers? (talk) 02:50, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

They thought the colonies should pay higher taxes to pay for the costs of the French and Indian War, which, after all, removed the French as a threat from North America. And they didn't think the colonists would be able to govern themselves. Put those together, and they wanted to continue to impose taxation without representation on the colonies. StuRat (talk) 03:13, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
The question seems to be asking what Brits think of the war now, rather than what they thought at the time. I suspect that the truth is that we rarely think about it at all - not considering it a particularly significant event in British history. The Britain (or rather the British political/military establishment) lost the war is indisputable. How much difference it made in the long term is of course open to question - and a matter of conjecture for 'alternate history' forums rather than this reference desk. I think it is safe to say however that it is readily apparent that the pre-war status quo was untenable in the long term, and accordingly that there is little sense of 'loss'. AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:40, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
At the time, the war was really unpopular in Britain, and many of the British commanders sympathised with their opposite numbers who had so recently fought with them against the French. In short, the military dragged its feet and failed to follow up advantages, while the British public often supported the colonists. George III and parts of his Government might have been incandescent, but Britain as a whole was more glad it was over that sorrowful in defeat.
Challenged to put a label on it, I suppose most contemporary Brits would see the whole debacle as a colossal mistake. We Celts, the Scots and the Irish, are stil waving our little Stars and Stripes. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 09:04, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Celts waving the Stars and Stripes? What world are you living in? The majority of 'Celts' share the very sensible antipathy towards Yankiestan as the rest of the UK. (talk) 09:27, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Talking exclusively about the American Revolutionary war, which was a good result. Attitude to contemporary Americans might soften if they were much quieter and didn't stride round the Scottish capital wearing a selection of clashing tartans. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 09:42, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
My partner and I, both Americans, are a very quiet couple. Neither of us wore any kind of tartan when we visited Edinburgh. But then, nobody noticed us except on the rare occasions when one of us opened his mouth. Since we did not fit the stereotype, maybe they took us for Canadians. Too bad that some people base stereotypes on the actions of a conspicuous few. Marco polo (talk) 14:14, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks to modern technology, the world has moved on from stereotypes, to quadrophonotypes.  :) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:13, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
The Americans objected to paying for their own defence, didn't want to honour the treaties with the Native Americans, and American smugglers objected to tea taxes being lower in America than in Britain. Looking at how America has turned out, it seems we were lucky to be rid of them. Not so lucky for the Native Americans though. Oh, and it was a War of Independence, not a revolution. DuncanHill (talk) 14:35, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
A quick Google failed to find any references to give you, but I can provide a personal opinion as several other editors have done. Militarily, the War of Independence (it's never described as a "Revolution" in the UK) was analogous to the Vietnam War for us - a professional army trained for conventional warfare, beaten by guerilla tactics of an opponent backed by a rival superpower (France). Politically, it still seems that the grievances of the Colonists were rather minor and that war could have been avoided with a bit of compromise and common sense. The lessons learned were subsequently employed in the creation of the British Dominions and eventually the Commonwealth of Nations, which seems to me to have been a rather good thing. Alansplodge (talk) 16:27, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, so interesting point about "revolution" versus "war of independence". We sometimes call it a "war of independence" as well. I don't think Americans really make a political distinction between the two descriptions; we just use whichever one comes to mind or seems to sound better at the moment.
Do you think the British have a political meaning for choosing one term over the other?
The reason that it's interesting is that it's hard to think of another "good" revolution. The French Revolution certainly overthrew a regime that needed overthrowing, and would have been "good" if it had stayed in the hands of the liberals instead of being taken over by a gang of vicious criminals. The Russian one, very very similar situation (though in the broadest of strokes I suppose I'd describe the February Revolution as "good" and the October Revolution as "bad"). You finally get to some "good" revolutions in the late 20th — early 21st centuries (the People Power Revolution in the Philippines, the various "colored revolutions" in Eastern Europe), but these were, for the most part, not even wars, so the term "revolution" seems in some sense a little strong. --Trovatore (talk) 20:13, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Marxists define "revolution" in their progressive model of history as a move from one class-power to another, and I think there's poplar notion that a "real" revolution has to be some Les Miserables-like event built on the idea of overthrowing a supposedly corrupt or unjust social structure. But the term originally meant simply "turnabout". The Glorious Revolution of 1688 was essentially a coup, and that's all the term meant - but it acquired the connotation of progressive change because of the legislation that came after it. The American Revolution was a turnabout in government - hence 'revolution' - that came to be associated with the same idea of progressive social evolution. I think it contributed to the way we use the term "revolution", but to such an extent that the events themselves no longer quite fit the way the word is used. There's also the concept of counter-revolution, which is also still influenced by the Marxist model, so that the overthrow of the Eastern block regimes in 1989 such as the Romanian Revolution can also be called the Romanian counter-revolution! Paul B (talk) 20:22, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, well, let's quit letting the bloody Marxists influence our speech so much. --Trovatore (talk) 20:47, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Is penis envy a Marxist term? This is silly, very few Americans realize King George once ruled a small strip of our continent, and we Americans all think scouse and cockney are oh, so posh. As for the Nazis and the Huns, well, all in a day's work. μηδείς (talk) 22:18, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Medeis, just once in a while, I have trouble working out exactly what it is you're getting at. --Trovatore (talk) 22:57, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Is this a poem by Tristan Tzara? Paul B (talk) 13:00, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I am sorry, Trovatore, my comment wouldn't have made sense if you thought it was only a direct answer to you. My point was the Marxists above you seem quite jealous of us, while we don't notice they exist. μηδείς (talk) 20:01, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Seems to be a lot of opinion and not much in the way of references. Hack (talk) 05:30, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
How shocking! That's never happened here before. What could possi-bly have gone wrong? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 00:31, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
<cough>. <sniff>. <Hmmm...>. --Jayron32 00:36, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
There's some discussion of this in Boswell's Life of Johnson. One issue was that British traders and merchants were paying far, far more in taxes specifically to fund the French and Indian Wars than the Americans ever did - and without any real representation, either. That class of Briton saw the Americans and their "no taxation without representation" mantra basically as thieving scamming con artist liars. Their rage at what they saw as being taken advantage of by the colonies led them to support the King and Prime Minister - at least until it became clear that the uprising wasn't going to be put down quickly or cheaply. Their entire interest was in their pocketbooks: little else mattered to them.
Another group that had an interesting view on the war was the intelligentsia, who were more likely to be in favour of American independence than against it. Boswell himself, a Conservative, was on the side of the colonists, as was the radical Wilkes. Samuel Johnson was very, very anti-independence not just because of his Tory love of monarchy and his view of the revolutionaries as traitors but also because of his extreme hatred of slavery. (He's the one who, when asked to make a toast at a formal society dinner, replied with "Here's to the next insurrection of the Negroes in the West Indies!") In fact, many of those most adamantly against American independence were abolitionists.
The vast majority of English, though, even at that time, were illiterate agricultural labourers who probably didn't have any way to know what was going on, and anyway had more pressing concerns than an overseas war that didn't much affect them. --NellieBly (talk) 02:53, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
NellieBly -- Great Britain actually had a fairly high rate of literacy compared to most other countries in the 1770s and 1780s. Basic literacy was reasonably widespread among some segments of the working classes -- not agricultural laborers, but those a few steps above them on the social ladder (such as "nonconformist" urban or small-town craftsmen who took Bible-reading seriously). Many lower-class supporters of John Wilkes etc. were very aware of events.
From most points of view the inhabitants of the 13 colonies were not terribly oppressed according to the prevailing practices of 1776, but they were tired of being yanked around by the vagaries of British politics while having no meaningful say in such politics, and their basic political demands were that they be allowed to have representatives in the British parliament and/or that they be given certain constitutionally-entrenched rights which couldn't be taken away by a simple majority vote following the next British parliamentary overturn. The fact that no high-ranking or influential British politician ever seems to have even seriously considered these demands shows a certain lack of imagination and complacency in the workings of the British political system at that point... AnonMoos (talk) 14:46, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Bridge cultures[edit]

(Apologies if this seems vague.) In the fields of history or anthropology, is there any concept of a "bridge culture" that (within a short span) takes on aspects of another culture and then transmits them to a third? I'm thinking of things like the Normans carrying French culture to England, or the Turks/Mughals carrying Persian culture to India. Has anything been written on this topic? --Lazar Taxon (talk) 12:10, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Kudos for a fascinating question, Lazar Taxon! I await answers with interest. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 13:13, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Cultural diffusion often occurs from one culture to another by way of one or more intermediary cultures. For example, the idea of gunpowder reached Europeans from Arabs, was learned by the Arabs from the Mongols, and was in turn learned by the Mongols from the Chinese. This would be an example of indirect diffusion, as discussed in our article. Marco polo (talk) 23:12, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Are there Muslims that proselytize in Asian countries?[edit]

By "Asian", I mean India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Taiwan, China, Japan, etc. Are there Muslim groups that send missionaries to Asian countries and proselytize the people to Islam? (talk) 17:57, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Bangladesh and Pakistan are already Muslim majority countries and India has a large Muslim minority so none of those countries would have to rely on outside sources for missionaries. As for the rest of Asia, there are groups that work to gain converts but a lot of this tends not to be nearly as organizational about it as Christians. Whereas christians might start a big missionary organization to supply and support missionaries in other countries, most Muslim groups tend to be somewhat smaller local groups already in the place where they are looking for converts and many already have a main purpose besides getting converts so seeking converts is one concern among many. Bakmoon (talk) 18:23, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Is there a practical purpose to gaining converts? Or is sending missionaries purely for spiritual reasons? (talk) 19:56, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Why does any religion seek converts? The faithful might say they are trying to save souls. The cynical might say they are tying to gain increased monetary donations to the the church. A realist might say that churches are the strongest memes ever encountered by humans. SemanticMantis (talk) 23:17, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Your realist might say that churches aren't as strong as other religious groups, but that's a matter of degree. See Meme#Religion; if this is your own idea, you've independently come up with a significant chunk of the original idea of what a meme is. Nyttend (talk) 03:29, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
If by "etc." you include Indonesia, well, that country has the largest Muslim population in the world. There are more Muslims in South and South-East Asia than the rest of the world combined (including the birthplace of Islam, the Middle East.) Check out islam by country for such demographics. Mingmingla (talk) 00:37, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Is it true that Australia and Africa offered land for Israel after WW2?[edit]

^Topic ScienceApe (talk) 21:54, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

The Australian option was certainly discussed. I've read of it, but not sure where. Not aware that an actual offer was made. The African idea is somewhat different. Australia is a single country. Africa is made up of dozens of countries. Who would/could have made an offer? HiLo48 (talk) 22:05, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
(e/c) : Not "offered". It was "suggested" by others that these, and many other places over the years, all covered at Proposals for a Jewish state, would be suitable locations. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:06, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
For Africa, see the Uganda Scheme, which was proposed in 1903. Nyttend (talk) 16:44, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I remember the suggestion of a Brazilian homeland but cannot remember the source. μηδείς (talk) 19:55, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

September 12[edit]

Greek orthodox bible[edit]

There are so may article about the Septuagint, its manuscripts and their critical editions, but I don't get, which is the Greek bible text used in Eastern churches over the centuries, and where it is on the internet? Maybe there is nothing uniform at all? trespassers william (talk) 00:41, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

See "Eastern / Greek Orthodox Bible".—Wavelength (talk) 02:23, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That's an English translation. I am asking about the Greek original. The article says "The Old Testament (in progress) is based on the Greek text of the Old Testament (Septuagint / LXX)..." but when I try to figure which is the "default" vversion of the Septuagint I get stuck. There are four major manuscripts with differences and three "recensions" from the first centuries AD, what had eastern priests read in the following 15 centuries? What had they printed inthe later ones? trespassers william (talk) 10:54, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
See Byzantine text-type for the New Testament, if I understand rightly. It's similar to the Textus Receptus, but it differs in some respects. For the Old Testament, see the "Septuagint" article on the Orthodox Wiki; it's a pretty good resource for Eastern churches. You may want to contact the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America; I'm sure they could give you an answer more helpful than mine. Go to this page on their website for the "authorized 1904 text of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople" for the New Testament, but I'm not finding the Septuagint on their site. Alternately, are there any Eastern Orthodox churches in geographical proximity to you? If so, I'm sure the priest would be happy to help you. Nyttend (talk) 16:39, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
(ec) You may find the discussion on Septuagint manuscripts from the Catholic Encyclopedia ([53] and [54]) helpful. Note that the recencions of Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotion, mentioned in the wikipedia article are Jewish recensions, and though they may have had some influence, the Christian versions are not primarily based on those. According to Jerome, writing around 400 AD, (in his preface to Chronicles]), there were three geographically separated manuscript families (or revisions) at the time, that of Hesychius, popular in Egypt, that of Lucian in the region between Constantinople and Antioch, and versions based on Origen's edition in the Palestinian region. The various readings of these revisions were preserved in various manuscripts throughout the following centuries. The Catholic encyclopedia mentions that most manuscripts (including many medieval ones) are difficult to ascribe any one manuscript family, but rather contain a mix of readings. Printed editions are also based on a variety of manuscripts, but it appears that Codex Vaticanus is the most popular 'standard' text. So while it appears to be complicated, you are right, the Septuagint has definitely not been entirely 'uniform' over the centuries - Lindert (talk) 16:45, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
By the nature of scribal copying, it was quite impossible for any lengthy text existing in multiple manuscripts to be completely identical in all versions. AnonMoos (talk) 20:41, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Except the Qur'an, obviously. Adam Bishop (talk) 11:24, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Not sure whether you're joking or not, but see Qira'at... AnonMoos (talk) 22:30, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
But he's also asking "what had they printed in the later ones", i.e. later centuries. It's quite possible to have a standard Septuagint text today, and one can expect the Greek Orthodox Church, for example, to have an official text. This would be comparable to the Catholic church identifying a specific standard Vulgate text; textual variants might cause it to be different from the autograph, but it's still a single official text. Nyttend (talk) 01:05, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
There's no "autograph" of the Septuagint; different books were translated at different times (the Pentateuch first, of course) and with different translation philosophies. After Greek-speaking Christians adopted the Septuagint, Jews then produced new Greek translations of Hebrew scriptures with a more strictly literalistic translating style, and based on Hebrew Biblical manuscripts respected by Rabbinic authorities -- and there came to be some cross influence between Septuagint manuscripts and Aquila etc. manuscripts. Then after the majority of the Jewish community of Alexandria, Egypt converted to Christianity, and harsh repression of Judaism under the Byzantine empire continued, Jews pretty much gave up the use of the Greek language for religious writings for a while... AnonMoos (talk) 22:30, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
There was an earliest translation of Genesis, an earliest translation of Isaiah, etc.; that's what I meant. Whether or not the LXX really translated the Bible for Ptolemy the Whatevereth, someone produced the first Septuagint manuscript of each book. Nyttend (talk) 02:40, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Length of a court appearance[edit]

I can find a bunch of info about what an arraignment is but can't find how long one takes. Does it change for what the charges are? In the US specifically? Dismas|(talk) 00:56, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Dismas, this is going to vary by jurisdiction within the United States. Federal arraignment takes place in two separate stages, usually on different dates: 1) reading of charges and setting of bail; 2) entering a plea. Arraignment procedures vary by state. In some states, charges are read, in other states, they are often not read in full. The arraignment itself is likely to be a matter of minutes, but the time involved for the defendant or his or her lawyer could be much greater due to waiting time if a court is handling a number of arraignments that day. The wait is likely to be longer in a major city than in a small county. Marco polo (talk) 13:01, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, Marco. And thanks to the rest of the community for not closing or removing this thread. Dismas|(talk) 01:33, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Do speakers of Kansai dialect feel pissed off when someone speaks awkward Kansai dialect?[edit]

I've seen this in Case Closed (season 21) of the Detective Conan series. Is that true for most Kansai dialect speakers?--Wdsss (talk) 07:55, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

I'm sure you could find one. Indeed, when people misspeak English, there's at least one English speaker in the entire world that gets pissed off at that. Probably two or more even. I'd suggest it's plainly true for any language, that'd you find at least one person who speaks that language who doesn't like it when you misspeak it. --Jayron32 14:49, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I highly recommend this short story [55], written by Haruki Murakami, a generally critically-praised Japanese author. It includes some nice description and "translation" of Kansai dialect, and also discusses how some Japanese people feel about it. One of the characters has mastered Kansai as a 'foreign' language, being a native speaker of Tokyo/standard dialect. But Jayron's basically right, at least some native speakers of any given dialect will be annoyed if outsiders try to speak it, though others might find it to be a sign of good faith and friendship. See e.g. Style_(sociolinguistics)#Style_matching, it's generally accepted that when speaking to people we like, we tend to subconsciously mimic their speech characteristics. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:19, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I found an interesting discussion on a language blog; Attitudes of minority languages speakers to learners. Alansplodge (talk) 17:45, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I wonder though how similar that is to the case of nonstandard (not necessarily minority) dialects (or mutually intelligible languages). Also, there must be published studies of this, not merely Facebook and blog comments. I failed to find anything on Google Scholar, though. I don't really know what keywords to use. I did find a study that found that standard UK English speakers had a higher opinion of Glaswegian speakers after trying to imitate their accent, but that was the imitators' opinion of the imitatees, not the other way around. -- BenRG (talk) 02:05, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Murakami wrote that story in Japanese, presumably using real Kansai Japanese, and the translator seems to have made almost no effort to render it as a nonstandard English dialect—he just tossed in some random "y'know"s and "gonna"s, which are strange choices since they're part of standard US English vernacular. I think an English "equivalent" of Kansai-ben would be more like Scots. -- BenRG (talk) 02:05, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Soviet violations of US borders[edit]

Off the top of my head I can't recall any and my web search also yields nothing, so I wonder whether there were any instances of violations of US airspace or territorial waters by Soviet aircraft/ships/submarines? Brandmeistertalk 19:05, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

I was under the impression that Tupolev Tu-95 variants equipped with electronic surveillance capabilities often flew parallel to the U.S. coasts, and sometimes played games with approaching very close to U.S. airspace, but there doesn't seem to be anything about this on Wikipedia... AnonMoos (talk) 20:35, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
They still come close. [Last month] for instance. Rmhermen (talk) 00:14, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Sort of, in the case of Sputnik. Up until that time, it had been somewhat assumed that national air spaces extended out into space. However, after Sputnik, the US decided not to protest, but instead use it as a precedent and put their own spy satellites over the Soviet Union. (Of course, it took many years to bring this goal about.) StuRat (talk) 01:03, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Mike Tyson rape case[edit]

Mike Tyson's been in the news recently so that kind of piqued my interest about his rape conviction. It says at the Mike Tyson article that, "Further testimony came from Thomas Richardson, the emergency room physician who examined Washington more than 24 hours after the incident and confirmed that Washington's physical condition was consistent with rape." Was it ever revealed what those physical conditions were, and how they were consistent with rape? ScienceApe (talk) 20:31, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

There's a standard examination in most jurisdictions done on rape victims; it is highly standardized and the same for every victim, and there are rigidly defined standards for what qualifies as "consistent with rape"; medical examiners and other forensic scientists work within these standards. See Rape kit for a description of how rape exams are done. --Jayron32 00:31, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
That didn't answer my question. ScienceApe (talk) 16:01, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Private communities and HOAs[edit]

I'm curious to know through what legal mechanism private communities and homeowners associations function. Are they one giant slab of property or is it more complex than that? — Melab±1 23:02, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia has an article titled Homeowner association which covers some of the legal background regarding their operation. --Jayron32 00:28, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
So are they some sort of agreement? — Melab±1 22:58, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
HOA's are generally set up as a covenant whereby the prospective buyer must agree to enter the covenant (sometimes called a CCR or "Covenants, conditions, and restrictions") which are riders placed on the deed that obligate the owner of the property to certain standards of property maintenance, and to pay fees to an HOA to both maintain common property within the development and to enforce the covenants within the neighborhood. For example, the HOA can fine homeowners for not maintaining their property; these fines can be placed as liens against the property which must be payed before the property can be sold. The HOA generally has a local board (with a president and several members elected from the community), the board usually then hires an HOA management company (a sort of property management) to manage the HOA system. The entire purpose of an HOA is to maintain property values for the whole community; if your nextdoor neighbor's home is left to rot, it takes down the value of your own house. HOAs are supposed to prevent/discourage that. --Jayron32 05:12, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

September 13[edit]

Need entry: James T. Hackett[edit]

This man is the network center of energy companies supplying a US market worth about 15x the U.S. government's annual budget. We need a page for him. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:26, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Then create one! Instructions here. Nanonic (talk) 15:42, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
We do have a page on his company, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. Is Mr Hackett notable independently of the company? If not, he may not be entitled to a separate article - see WP:BIO. Note also that any article about him, or any material about him added to the APC article, must satisfy WP:BLP. Tevildo (talk) 16:26, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Male film actors portraying female characters or vice-versa[edit]

It is somewhat of a common knowledge that male theatre actors used to play women for certain reasons. I'd like to know how many (if any) film actors were hired to portray characters of the opposite sex simply because the producers thought they would do a good job. Neither the actor nor the character should be a transvestite. To make the matter simpler, let's exclude transsexuals as well. Surtsicna (talk) 17:57, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

I have the 2007 version of Hairspray in mind, specifically John Travolta's role since he did a good job as danny zuko, but idk if that op looking for a list of some sorts? ~Helicopter Llama~ 18:06, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Cate Blanchett played Bob Dylan (or a piece of him, anyway) in I'm Not There. Not sure if the producers thought she'd be good, but she was, so they'll likely say it was on purpose. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:16, September 13, 2014 (UTC)
I am looking for examples, and yours appear to be good! Surtsicna (talk) 18:33, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Linda Hunt won an Oscar playing a man in The Year of Living Dangerously. Peter Pan, according to that article, has "traditionally... been played on stage by an adult woman". -- (talk) 18:57, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Don't confuse pantomime with straight acting! All principal boys in panto are played by women: all dames are played by men. --TammyMoet (talk) 20:09, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
French male actors Michel Fau, Nicolas Maury and Guillaume Gallienne playing women's roles Akseli9 (talk) 19:32, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Angela Winklair, Fiona Shaw, Nadia Vonderheyden, Marief Guittier, Iben Rasmussen, actresses playing men's roles Akseli9 (talk) 19:32, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
  • My favorite (Deborah Warner's production of Shakespeare's Richard II has Fiona Shaw, who is rather long boned, play the king, who is assumed to have been homosexual, at least effeminate. Unfortunately it's not been released on DVD and is almost impossible to get a hold of. The Ovation channel in Manhattan Time Warner Cable used to play it on occasion. μηδείς (talk) 19:53, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Queen Elizabeth I is played by a man in Orlando (film). The movie is about gender-bending to some extent, but Elizabeth's gender is not called into question- she was just played by a male actor.

Staecker (talk) 21:59, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

That same movie has the suspiciously male-sounding Oleg Pogodin playing Desdemona. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:04, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
I should have thought of Orlando, since I actually met Quentin Crisp in the early 90's. Tilda Swinton plays the main role, an immortal nobleman who changes sex every few decades. I can highly recommend the film. μηδείς (talk) 18:02, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

See also Breeches role... AnonMoos (talk) 22:35, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

In Monkey (TV series), the monk Tripitaka was played by Japanese actress Masako Natsume. HiLo48 (talk) 23:12, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Not sure this quite fits your requirement, but Dustin Hoffman played a woman in Tootsie. -84user (talk) 01:57, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

No, he didn't. He played a man disguised as a woman. That was the main premise of the movie. -- (talk) 04:21, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
The main character of CJ7 is a boy played by a girl. Probably because the actress was only 11, she passed as a boy pretty well. Also in Iron Monkey (1993 film) a 12 year old girl actress played the male character of Wong Fei-hung. In both cases no gender confusion in the character is suggested. I guess they just liked the actress best, and put enough makeup on them that you can't tell the difference. Staecker (talk) 12:09, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Not quite what you're looking for, but Spuds MacKenzie was actually a female dog despite being dressed up and otherwise portrayed as being a "male". Matt Deres (talk) 12:16, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

September 14[edit]

Baby bottles - a teat at each end[edit]

You used to see baby bottles which were sort of banana-shaped, and had a teat at each end. What was the reason for having two teats, and why the switch to one? DuncanHill (talk) 00:00, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Too many babies, and contraception, in that order? HiLo48 (talk) 03:32, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Only one teat was usable at a time, so I don't think the number of babies would have anything to do with it. DuncanHill (talk) 03:35, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
  • That's not all: The same site describes that upright feeders (bottles with one teat) already existed early in the 20th century, but due to their long thin necks, they were harder to clean than the banana bottles they were competing with at the time. "Wide neck upright bottles did not appear until the 1950's in the UK. However they had been around in the USA since the early part of the 20 century." The History of the Feeding Bottle. ---Sluzzelin talk 03:46, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
It's a fascinating site! DuncanHill (talk) 04:05, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

German interrogator/torturer in the Second World War - Bonner[edit]

The Daily Telegraph obituary of the historian M. R. D. Foot mentions "a notorious German interrogator called Bonner who had tortured some of the French SAS after capture" - who was this Bonner and what happened to him? DuncanHill (talk) 06:11, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

I searched a bit, but couldn't find a first name. In his Memories of an S.O.E. Historian, Foot only refers to him as "a subaltern in the Sicherheitsdienst called Bonner". The book's index lists him as "Bonner, Hauptsturmführer". ---Sluzzelin talk 06:27, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Well that's a start - all I've found in a quick google are some very strange conspiracy theory sites. DuncanHill (talk) 06:37, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
And Foot says that no-one ever found him, and supposes him to have got away to "Egypt, or South America, or Hell". DuncanHill (talk) 06:54, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Is it true that the UK will lose its nuclear weapons if Scotland goes independent?[edit]

^Topic ScienceApe (talk) 14:10, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

No. But this is interesting. The Rambling Man (talk) 14:15, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
It will lose its submarine base for submarines which launch Trident missiles. There are a number of possible ways in which this could be adjusted, but it seems pretty clear that England-Wales-and-Northern-Ireland will keep authority and control over the nuclear weapons... AnonMoos (talk) 14:21, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
No, but the Trident submarines are based at Faslane, on the Gareloch, part of HM Naval Base Clyde, while the missile warheads (leased from the US) are stored nearby at Coulport. The SNP has made clear that it will want them moved out of Scotland if it becomes independent which is a problem as it's reckoned it'll cost £2-3 billion to build a replacement base. One suggestion I've seen mentioned as a stopgap solution, is to base them with the US Trident submarines in Kings Bay, Georgia, but basing them 3000 miles from home seems a bit extreme to me! -- Arwel Parry (talk) 14:37, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Aren't the trident missiles leased, but the warheads themselves are British? CS Miller (talk) 14:47, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
There's a BBC News report about the issue here, and the report from the Royal United Services Institute is here. DuncanHill (talk) 14:51, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
For historically similar situations, see Baikonur Cosmodrome, Black Sea Fleet, etc. Russia, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, generally engaged in treaties with former Soviet republics to maintain military bases in their locations. Similar deals would likely be struck between Scotland and the UK. Many such deals would have to be ironed out with military, monetary policy, customs, border controls, etc. It is entirely unlikely (and many say folly) that a sovereign and independent Scotland would sever all ties with the UK and do everything on their own. Many treaties would be established where the UK and Scotland would negotiate how to handle many situations; much of those treaties would establish the "status quo" as the most advantageous for Scotland and the new rump UK... --Jayron32 19:32, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Note however in terms of the subject of the question, as our article says UK Trident programme#Scottish politics

All major pro-independence Scottish political parties, such as the Scottish National Party, Scottish Green Party, Scottish Socialist Party and Solidarity, have policies opposing the presence of the Trident system in Scotland.

Of course any negotiations would include all parties including those opposed to independence (although those supporting independence do currently have a majority in the Scottish parliament), however the expressed views (notably it seems to be a key part of the current majority parties platform_ suggest a starting point is likely to be the eventually removal of the Trident system from Scotland if they do vote for independence. (Our article hints at this too.) Major concessions (e.g. a currency union) may change minds, but the UK government would need to be willing to make them. Of course, not everyone in the UK may want them there in the event of independence anyway [56] although others suggest more extreme measures may be used to keep them there [57].
Nil Einne (talk) 20:12, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Is it true that Reagan's policies made the USSR's economy too sparse and limited to manage?[edit]

^Topic ScienceApe (talk) 21:33, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

It is true that some people have argued this. Whether the claim is itself true or not is a matter of opinion - and we don't answer requests for opinion. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:46, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
You'll find opinions out there ranging from "Reagan single-handedly brought down the Iron Curtain" to "Reagan interfered, almost fatally, in the process of bringing down the Iron Curtain, but took all the glory for himself" and everything in between. This is a sign that there is no agreement as to what really happened. This question therefore can't be answered here, as we don't provide opinions.
Incidentally, it's far from unusual for historical processes to remain murky. There are many events in history that have never been explained to the satisfaction of all; get ten Tudor historians in a room and you'll have ten explanations of the fall of Anne Boleyn, each equally plausible. --NellieBly (talk) 23:55, 14 September 2014 (UTC)


September 9[edit]

Is there a word for...[edit]

...misrepresenting another person's argument in an exaggerated way, and then arguing against that position.

I find it happens quite a lot here, and elsewhere where debates occur, and have been wondering if there is a simple, relatively polite word or term for the practice. HiLo48 (talk) 11:31, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Aunt Sally, or straw man. DuncanHill (talk) 11:37, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
"Oh sure, like every argument you ever made has been exaggerated by others just so they can shoot you down. You must be paranoid to think that !" :-) StuRat (talk) 13:03, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Reductio ad absurdum? --TammyMoet (talk) 14:04, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Straw man and absurdum might both fit, depending on the specific argument, with the caveat that true RAA shouldn't "misrepresent" anything, but only deal with what is entailed by the premise. But whether a claim is (mis)representative is itself contentious! It's worth pointing out that Reductio ad absurdum is seen as a basically fair and logical way to debate, while straw man is seen as poor form, nearly (but not quite) a logical fallacy. Of course, the same argument will likely be classified as a straw man by the opponent, and absurdum by the proponent ;) SemanticMantis (talk) 15:47, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
    Strawman arguments are not logical fallacies, but rather informal fallacies based on starting from the wrong premise. Strawman arguments can be built on sound logic; they often are. Strawmen are based on the wrong axiom; but since the axiom is not itself being analyzed, merely accepted; it isn't subject to logical analysis. Axioms are presumed true. --Jayron32 18:03, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

"Reductio ad absurdum" (or in plain English, proof by contradiction) is just wrong; it's a form of proof, explained at the article. It amounts to "I will prove that X is true. Assume X is false; then (reasoning, reasoning, reasoning) and so we deduce Y, which we know is impossible. Therefore X must be true." People engaged in debate may express their claims as a reductio ad absurdum, but that's just a choice of form and irrelevant to whether they're reasoning from an invalid premise. Deliberately misrepresenting another person's claim in order to argue against it is indeed a "straw man" argument, as explained at that article. -- (talk) 18:48, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Of course, there's a fine line between "misrepresenting another person's argument in an exaggerated way" and "representing another person's argument in an exaggerated way, only a hair's breadth short of misrepresenting it". A lot of argument can be found in that fine line. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:02, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, Jack represents the flaw in Aristotelian logic; it's a boolean condition: A thing is either A or not A according to classical logic thinking. The problem is that reality is not divided into two states; reality exists as a continuum of states between absolute truth and absolute falseness, and classical logic is built on the law of the excluded middle, whereas human experience exists solely in that middle. Classic Greek philosophy, which Western "logic" is built on, is full of these problems where simple propositions fall apart because of their simplicity. Zeno's paradoxes are built on the same presumption, they paradoxes only break down when you realize the axioms they are built on aren't realistic. --Jayron32 02:00, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

September 10[edit]


Is burgle a fully accepted word, in formal discourse, in British English?

I always thought it was a little bit of a joke. What does a burglar do? Well, he burgles, ha ha ha. That certainly struck me as the intent in "When the felon's not engaged in his employment", a number from The Pirates of Penzance. (Pirates is from 1879, whereas Wiktionary claims that burgle dates to 1872, so it could still have been a relatively novel word at the time.)

But it's used unironically in Alan Turing, and I'm not sure what could be substituted for it, given that BrE speakers apparently hear burglarize as an Americanism. (Of course, the sentence could be reworded, I suppose.) --Trovatore (talk) 02:32, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

It did indeed originate as a bit of a joke, as a back-formation from burglar. Now ... I'd say it has a mildly comic ring still, but it's used by e.g. the CPS [58] and police [59]. HenryFlower 05:47, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Lots of words now regarded as standard started their lives as humorous creations. "To burgle" has been standard in the UK for more than a hundred years and has no "comic ring" to most people in England (G & S fans excepted). The variant "burglarize" would have a comic effect when used in the UK, especially amongst those unfamiliar with the verb invented in America around the same time as the British variant. Both variants are perfectly respectable derivations from the English Law Latin verb burgulāre going back to 1354. Dbfirs 07:33, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I admire your dedication in surveying the majority of England's population. :) Perhaps Scots just have a more finely honed sense of humour, though googling "burgle funny word" suggests you may be less representative than you think. HenryFlower 20:23, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I was merely countering your claim that the word has a mildly comic ring. Perhaps you are a G & S fan? Google produces lots of funny results for many words. Of course, once Scots becomes your national language you can speak for that language. :) Dbfirs 06:47, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
"I'd say" prefaces an opinion, not a claim. HenryFlower 19:20, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Fair comment. I should have cited the OED to support my claim. You are correct, of course, that Scottish English tends to be more conservative and to resist new words coined in the south. Northern English has the same tendency, but I think the verb "to burgle" is generally accepted up as far as the Scottish border. Dbfirs 06:28, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
This sample of one person in England agrees with Dbfirs: "burgle" feels standard, "burglarise" sounds absurd (no offence intended to people who use the word). (talk) 01:01, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Same here, and there are examples from the BBC, Guardian, The Times, and even Parliament. In England it is the normal word. -- Q Chris (talk) 07:51, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Is any of this applicable to The Hamburglar, or does he play by his own grammatical rules? InedibleHulk (talk) 09:51, September 10, 2014 (UTC)

sughauli treaty[edit]

[Question moved to WP:RD/H Tevildo (talk) 08:07, 10 September 2014 (UTC)]

Baby corn[edit]

Does anyone know what the Korean translation for baby corn is? Our baby corn article has only 1 link and the Korean article ko:옥수수 doesn't (I think help). Wikitionary has a few languages but not Korean. Google translate gives 아기 옥수수 which I'm pretty sure is a literal translation so may not be correct. I didn't find anything useful with searches either. Also, while this is the wrong desk there's a chance whoever answering may know. Am I correct baby corn is not particularly common in Korean cuisine? I've heard that it's hard to find which would suggest yes and the searches make me think it's possible. Cheers Nil Einne (talk) 13:38, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

I haven't come across baby corn in Korean food. It does seem to be sometimes sold under the name 아기 옥수수 (agi oksusu, lit. "baby corn"), but that might just be because the importer has run it through Google translate. The most common name I can find online is 영콘 (yeongkon, a phonetic rendering of English "young corn"). This shows up in at least some recipes and on labels. --Amble (talk) 19:39, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
소형 옥수수?    → Michael J    21:10, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That would mean "miniature corn". Also a possibility. I have only found one use of it online with the meaning "baby corn", though. Have you heard or found it in use? --Amble (talk) 22:13, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Negative comparatives[edit]

In English, we have two ways of forming a comparative - we can say that something is "more X" or that it is "X-er". However, we can also say that something is "less X", yet there's no negative equivalent to the "-er" suffix. As far as I know, the same is true in other languages with similar systems (e.g., a German says "frischer", but "weniger frisch", or perhaps "unfrischer"). Are there any languages that do form negative comparatives - that is, where you can inflect an adjective to mean "less [adjective]"? Smurrayinchester 14:22, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Newspeak has "doubleplusungood". Among natural languages, according to page 4 of "No language has a synthetic comparative of inferiority." -- AnonMoos (talk) 15:10, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
THanks, AnonMoos, that's a great pdf. μηδείς (talk) 16:10, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Doubleplusungood is not a comparative, just a very strong form of ungood.
One thing I noticed in the book is that Newspeak, in theory, is supposed to have three grades of each adjective; so for "bad", for example, there would be ungood, plusungood, and doubleplusungood. However, as far as I noticed, the "plus" grade was never used at all in the book; it was always "doubleplus". I think there's supposedly a general linguistic phenomenon whereby middle gradations of constructions are more likely to disappear than the extremes, don't know what it's called. --Trovatore (talk) 20:40, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
That may be true in general, but in the context of the book it also makes sense because the government wanted their propaganda to be, ah, doubleplusforceful. -- (talk) 04:13, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I guess you're right -- I was assuming that "plus-" was comparative and "doubleplus-" superlative, but perusing the appendix to 1984 again, it seems that the forms would be "ungooder" and "ungoodest"... AnonMoos (talk) 00:55, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
There are some special cases, such as: many/some - more - most vs. many/some - fewer - fewest (except where the context demands many/some - less - least). "Fewer" would seem to meet your criterion on its face, but it's also the comparative of "few", so it's actually "more few" rather than "less few". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:16, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Sorry for once again picking up on something marginal, but "unfrischer" actually wouldn't work well in German, in any event it sounds really awkward, perhaps because "unfrisch" in itself is not really used frequently and only in particular contexts, and it's more specific than "nicht frisch". Even if we pick a standard coupling of X/"un"-X, let's say "glaubwürdig" and "unglaubwürdig, "Diese Aussage ist unglaubwürdiger" emphasizes the comparison on a negative scale as opposed to "diese Aussage ist weniger glaubwürdig". (I think, no reference) Afterthought: Sort of like the difference between "more unbelievable" and "less believable", even if German uses only one word for "more unbelievable". ---Sluzzelin talk 21:28, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Why do people ta[edit]

Warning: Skinny jeans may be hazardous to your health.

Wearing skinny jeans and other restrictive, tight clothing might seem like the more fashion-friendly choice, but it may come with a hefty price tag - for your health. -- 17:34, 10 September 2014 Sagittarian Milky Way

Neckties are also slightly dangerous. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:43, September 10, 2014 (UTC)
The answer is fashion, with perhaps a dose of Sexual_selection_in_mammals, i.e. competition for mates. Maybe the worst example is Saree_cancer. (ps. please sign your questions with four tildes: ~~~~). SemanticMantis (talk) 19:13, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
There are many aspect of fashion that can be dangerous, or at least highly impractical. Four years ago I tried to initiate discussion on the Fashion article Talk page on one particular aspect that concerned me, with a view to having the article address safety aspects. I got one reply, telling me I was being petulant. It seems that I encountered minor resistance and a general lack of interest. HiLo48 (talk) 20:06, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I think they meant the kid Asmrulz (talk) 20:42, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't understand the header, and since that's the only place any question appears, I don't understand the question. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:11, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I think it may be along the lines of "Why do people ta[ke risks with fashionable clothing?]". Tevildo (talk) 22:28, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Ta for that, Tevildo. (Don't get me started on the insane things people do in the name of fashion; mainly because I have no idea why. "But others are doing it" cannot possibly be a suitable explanation for some of the worst examples.) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:23, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
See Shoe Event Horizon. Tevildo (talk) 23:48, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I say "ta ta" to this topic.  — (talk) 23:56, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Indeed, I often wonder why people ta. It is a profound and difficult question. (talk) 00:51, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm wondering if anyone ever washes their tie ("since ties aren’t washed as frequently as other clothing, they may be laden with disease-causing germs"). Bus stop (talk) 01:02, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
At least they remembered the hyphen. However, I believe a more important question is whether anyone ever washes their ta. I think we should be told. (talk) 03:08, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
You can clearly tell Road Warrior Hawk isn't comfortable here, with the constricting tights, solid belt and shoulderpads (which must have also had him constantly worried about eyepokes, hence the squint). Died of a sudden heart attack, but if he'd worn sweatpants and a tank top, who'd have remembered what a rush he must have had looking so fashionable. InedibleHulk (talk) 13:32, September 11, 2014 (UTC)
The text of the "question" is copied from a CBS News article. -- BenRG (talk) 01:33, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Speaking in abbreviations[edit]

I don't mean the Internet slang but abbreviated words which are so common that I often hear them in movies or TV series. Expamples are sec (second), jeally (jealous), comfy (comfortable), prob (problem), prep (prepare), evac (evacuation). As a non-native speaker I find these very intersting. I wonder if there's a list of such words. -- (talk) 19:29, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Wavelength (talk) 20:00, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
The trouble is, the list changes with time and with place. _Sec_ is common in British English, _comfy_ is now rather old-fashioned, and _jeally_ I have never heard. _Semi_ in the UK means "semi-detached house" (which the Americans call a "duplex") but I believe in American English it means a kind of vehicle, something like what we in Britain call an _artic_ (articulated lorry). --ColinFine (talk) 22:11, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
(UK speaker) Actually, I don't perceive "comfy" as old-fashioned. The data here seems to show a recent increase in use. (talk) 00:20, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm a native Californian. I think "sec" is common in American English too. "Comfy" doesn't sound old-fashioned to me either. "U jelly?" is endemic to the Internet, I think. -- BenRG (talk) 02:07, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
The common shortening for "jealous" seems to be "jell" in the UK, usually heard in the form "well jell". You could also include the opposite formations, such as "amazeballs", or "good-o", or "problem-o" i.e. making a shorter word longer. --TammyMoet (talk) 12:57, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
A quick Google Scholar search turned up "Lexical abbreviations in American slang" by Maciej Widawski, which lists some more of these: ab(dominal muscle), biz, bod, celeb, con(vict), congrats, decaf, doc(tor), exec(utive), fave, grad, hon(ey, as a term of endearment), hood, info, legit, lit(erature), mike(rophone), nabe(orhood), pro(fessional), psycho(path), sis, spec(tacle)s, sub(marine), tux, (li)brary, copter, (hair)do, (con)fess, gator, Nam, (pa)rents, (ciga)rettes, (ice) scream, (moon)shine, (piz)za. I've heard and would understand most of these, except "nabe", "brary", "rettes", "scream", "shine", "za". There's surprisingly little overlap between your examples, this list, and Wavelength's list. Most of the items on this list are still perceived as slang, while many of Wavelength's "clip words" aren't. -- BenRG (talk) 02:07, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Some clipped words are mentioned in the article "Clipping (morphology)".
Wavelength (talk) 15:08, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
And that method of word formation isn't a recent phenomenon. I doubt that very many people recognize that words such as mob and bus are clipped forms. Deor (talk) 21:33, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
It's as though English was slowly but steadily becoming monosyllabic (unforch) :( .... Asmrulz (talk) 21:33, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Punt ermine lynx[edit]

I'm looking for the term for a specific type of pun. This type involves semantic/linguistic re-parsing multiple words, for example: [Aladdin Sane] → "A lad insane"  -&-  [Isle of View] → "I love you"  -&-  (almost, not quite) [Punt ermine lynx] → "Pun term in links"  —I know that I found it previously on WP, but my current venture down the wikilink rabbithole has reached a dead end; (I thought the term began with an 'O', but maybe that's where I made a wrong turn).  —Thanks in advance, (talk) 22:17, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

This article calls it homophonic transformation. Given your parenthetical remark at the end of your post, I have a suspicion that what you're recalling is the related article Holorime. To amuse myself in idle moments, I sometimes make up homophonic transformations of well-known poetry ("Gnome ocean, ashy noun, oaf horse, / Sheen ether—here snores cease! ..."). Deor (talk) 22:35, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I think the term the OP is thinking of is oronym, apparently invented by Gyles Brandreth in 1980, although I definitely remember reading a newspaper article by Miles Kington which discussed such puns a few years before that. Kington didn't come up with a name, though. Tevildo (talk) 22:38, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I've taken the liberty of retargeting your link to a disambiguation page, Tevildo. Deor (talk) 22:48, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) :::Yes, Oronym is the word. Apparently a "phonological juncture".   Thanks again!  —E: (talk) 22:52, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Isn't it also a particular type of mondegreen? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:03, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
  • (EC, agree with Jack:)I could be missing something, but it seems like the distinction between oronymy and Mondegreen is rather small and subjective. Your examples could seemingly be either/both, depending on intention and reception. SemanticMantis (talk) 23:04, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Then there's that lovely romantic standard, What is this thing called, Love?. --Trovatore (talk) 23:12, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

I think one distinction is that each phrase can stand alone as a meaningful term or phrase -- which is one (of two) reason(s) why I qualified "Punt ermine lynx". Also, if I understand correctly, a Mondogreen can involve a portion of a phrase, such as the example from the article: "Excuse me while I kiss the sky" → "...kiss this guy" — A distinction without a difference?  —E: (talk) 23:15, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that's why I called it "a particular type" of mondegreen. The sounds don't have to exactly match up, but they can. Also, "Kiss This Guy" as a book or film title would be a perfect mondegreen for "Kiss The Sky". Also a perfect oronym. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 00:36, 11 September 2014 (UTC) -- for a multilingual example which was semi-famous 40 years ago, see Mots d'Heures... -- AnonMoos (talk) 00:42, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

And on the other hand, some languages are designed so that a given string of phonemes can be broken into valid words in at most one way; I believe Lojban is an example. Such morphologies have been called "self-segmenting". —Tamfang (talk) 04:38, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
For those who don't waste their time exercise their minds with such things, some crossword puzzles in UK newspapers make the first two Across answers form an oronym. An example from the Concise Crossword No. 1184 in today's 'i': 1Ac "Look for", 4Ac "Is victorious" = Seek & Wins (= "Sequins"). {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 13:06, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

September 11[edit]

All combinations of Greek letters for transliteration[edit]

I'm checking algorithms to transliterate Greek (especially names) to Latin letters. There are sets of rules for this, but it seems unsure whether they cover all possible cases. For example:

  • υ is converted as v before β, γ, δ, ζ, λ, μ, ν, ρ and all vowels.
  • υ is converted as y when the vowel before υ has an accent or υ has dialytika (ϋ).

In theory, these two rules could conflict and you would have to decide which one has priority. Does it also happen in practice? There are many situations like these, but as of now I failed to find a satisfying list what does occur and what does not. Does anybody know such a list? --KnightMove (talk) 13:37, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

I can't tell you about a list of rules or cases, but about the two rules you quote above, the second one is meant as an exception to override the first (i.e. αυλός 'flute' > avlos, but άυλος 'non-material' > aylos). Also, the first rule only applies under the additional condition that the <υ> is preceded by either <ε>, <α>, or (rarely) <η>. Fut.Perf. 13:58, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Just for clarification, this is for modern Greek, right? E.g. I thought  \beta \to v for modern, but  \beta \to b for ancient Greek. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:17, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, modern Greek. --KnightMove (talk) 17:57, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

How did Chinese names americanize/anglicize prior to the development of pinyin?[edit]

How did Chinese names americanize/anglicize prior to the development of pinyin? Sometimes, you read about Chinese people who came to the US in the early or mid-twentieth century, and their family names tend to be a bit different than more recent Chinese immigrants, who all use pinyin letters for their family names and may adopt a traditional English name as a given name. Examples of old Chinese immigrants that passed down their names in America would be like "Hwang" or "Tsai" or "Tsao" or "Lo". (talk) 16:35, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Some info and refs at Pinyin#History_before_1949, and also at Chinese_surname#Variations_in_romanization. Chang_Apana is one early Chinese American who seemed to basically conform to the Pinyin rules. My understanding is that even recent immigrants to the USA may have a variety of preferences, e.g. I've known Chengs and Changs, Hsia/Xia, and Lee/Li. Perhaps differences in original immigration time explain these differences, but I suspect preference plays a key role. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:01, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
The most widely used systems of romanization before pinyin were Wade-Giles for Mandarin Chinese and Standard Romanization for Cantonese. Many early Chinese immigrants to the United States spelled their names using one of these systems, though many others romanized their names idiosyncratically by adopting a spelling whose pronunciation in American English would approximate the pronunciation of their name in their home dialect. Note that most Chinese immigrants to the United States before the late 20th century spoke dialects of Cantonese. Marco polo (talk) 17:17, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Also keep in mind (as seen in the stanrd romanization link above), Taiwan didn't adopt the use of Pinyin until the early 2000s, and used mostly Wade-Giles. So a lot of Taiwanese immigrants after 1949 would still have used "Hwang," "Tsai," "Tsao," "Lo," "Cheng," "Chang," etc. --Wirbelwind(ヴィルヴェルヴィント) 20:04, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

September 12[edit]

At chapter...[edit]

Would it be correct to say "I'm at chapter 4.." instead of "I'm on chapter 4"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yashowardhani (talkcontribs) 16:09, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Both read as grammatical/correct to me. We say "on page 2" more often that "at page 2", but preposition often serve multiple purposes, and there are many situations where many choices will all be "correct". SemanticMantis (talk) 16:26, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
To my ear either is correct, with somewhat different connotations:
  1. "on chapter 4" is most common. It implies that you are reading (or writing) the chapters in sequence, and you have started reading (or writing) chapter 4.
  2. "at chapter 4" is less common. It doesn't imply as much: you may be reading the book all the way through, or you may have randomly opened to that page, or you may be using it as a reference.
  3. "in chapter 4" is similar to "at chapter 4", except that "in chapter 7" and "in chapter 11" mean something else entirely!
For most situations "on chapter 4" is the most idiomatic. --Amble (talk) 17:00, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Actually I think there is a subtle difference, though it may be a personal perception: to me, "at chapter 4" means at the beginning, if not already started chapter 4, whereas "on chapter 4" could mean the same (at the beginning, just started) or in the middle of it. To confirm these shades of meaning, I compare the phrases "i stopped at chapter 4" versus "i stopped on chapter 4." Generally though i agree they can be used interchangeably, with "on" being more common. El duderino (abides) 10:19, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
  • "write an essay on chapter four for Friday, please." "I haven't finished the book, I'm only on chapter four."
You weren't here last Friday when we finished the prior chapter, but please start reading at chapter four." "You'll notice the narrative voice changes from omnisicient to first person at chapter four, and back to omniscient at chapter six."
On would seem to express content or location within, while at expresses a boundary. (You can be somewhere on chapter four, but not somewhere at chapter four. With and in can also be used according to meaning and context. In very few circumstances will it matter, listen to others and encourage them to correct you. μηδείς (talk) 20:46, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Minutes and seconds in 19th century literature[edit]

In Jane Eyre, there are several uses of the word "minutes" where the normal meaning of "60 seconds" would seem a remarkably long time, but where the number of minutes mentioned seems too specific for the word to mean just an indeterminate short time: "he spent some three minutes in thrusting out his tongue at me as far as he could without damaging the roots"; "Now came a pause of ten minutes, during which I, by this time in perfect possession of my wits, observed all the female Brocklehursts produce their pocket-handkerchiefs and apply them to their optics"; "At last, having held a document before her glasses for nearly five minutes, she presented it across the counter".

Was there ever a meaning of "minute" corresponding to the modern "second"? HenryFlower 20:54, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

@Henry Flower: I am not sure but just by the context of having read books like Longitude, set in the 18th-century, it seems to me the unit was probably of the same order of magnitude, even if not delimited with atomic clock precision. To my ear, in all three uses quoted above the only reason the amount of time each matter took is mentioned is to emphasize the long duration. Take the tongue thrusting – saying it took three seconds would be a somewhat odd detail to include normally, whereas saying he did it over the course of three minutes does not seem odd because the duration detail is significant/serves a function. (I don't think Brontë was saying the child kept his tongue out for a full three minutes mind you, but that he directed this at her a number of times over a period of three minutes.) The same for the others.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 22:37, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Ah, some confirmation. Jane Eyre was published in 1847. In This treatise on arithmetic by an English writer from 1834, he calculates that there are "1440" "minutes in a day" and "3600" "seconds in an hour".--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 22:54, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Hyperbole is part of Charlotte Brontë's style, though a factor of 60 does seem rather excessive! Dbfirs 08:44, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the replies. :) The "number of times" point is a fair one, and might explain the tongue, but it doesn't seem to fit the other two cases so well (there's nothing else in the narration at those points which would seem to fill up the remaining time).
The narrator does mention at one point that "watches were not so common then as now"; perhaps Brontë grew up with a rather flexible sense of time? HenryFlower 09:33, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Or maybe the sense is "At last, having held a document before her glasses for what felt like nearly five minutes, she presented it across the counter" If she's given to hyperbole, then the experience of time distortion when waiting for something imminent, such that every second seems to last for 10 or more seconds, would be familiar territory to her and could be safely presumed to be familiar to her readers too. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:41, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Once again, see the etymology. Originally there were prime minutes (divisions of sixty) and second minutes (a further division of sixty.) Until second became set as meaning second minute, the meaning might depend on context. μηδείς (talk) 22:12, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
    • ... but "minute of a minute" had been obsolete for centuries before the date of writing (1846?) and before the date the novel is set (1800?). See Chaucer: "Thise degrees of signes ben euerich of hem considered of 60 Mynutes, & euery Minute of 60 secondes." (around 1400). Dbfirs 09:09, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
      • I suppose the thing to do would be to compare other popular works of the same era, but all I can glean from my source is that it came in around 1400 but was codified in the public mind in the 17-1800's. I wonder how many parsecs it took her characters to do the Kessel Run.

Latin and the letter J[edit]

Latin, as written since classical times to the present, but using classical pronunciation, originally had I and V for both vowels and semi-vowels, and later a distinction was made using I/J and U/V. In the last century or so, the letter J has fallen out of fashion and I is used for both vowel and semi-vowel. Why did this happen? On the surface it seems a useful distinction to make, and there are enough ambiguous cases for it to be worthwhile. Peter Grey (talk) 21:16, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

By last century, are you referring to the 20th century or the end of the Roman era. Because J is still in use. Mingmingla (talk) 21:46, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
He means the 20th century, and he's right: J is not very widely used for Latin anymore. Open a modern Latin dictionary or textbook and you'll see iocus alphabetized somewhere between inter and ipse, but vacca is alphabetized after ut. I think it's because the u/v distinction is not always predictable in Latin (e.g. serui "I have sown" vs. servi "slaves"), while the i/j distinction always is. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:54, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
"The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but always iam to-day."Deor (talk) 22:05, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
The front matter of a Latin-English English-Latin dictionary (by Collins) in my possession explains that its use of consonantal "v" and "i" (instead of "u" and "j") follows the practice of modern publications of Latin texts.
Wavelength (talk) 22:22, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
All known by me Latin-Russian dictionaries and textbooks consistently use both j and v.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 22:39, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That's interesting. I just looked through 10 Latin dictionaries and textbooks for speakers of English and German, and all of them use v, but only one uses j, and the one that uses j was published in 1870. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 00:56, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The question is: why is that the current practice? Many hundred-year-old Latin books (e.g. on Project Gutenberg did use J, but newer ones, at least in the English-speaking world, do not. Peter Grey (talk) 00:11, 13 September 2014 (UTC) Until very recently, and in only some publications, there was no similar trend for the U/V alternation. Peter Grey (talk) 00:17, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
I attempted to answer why above: u and v can contrast in Latin, i and j can't. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 00:36, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Is there a rule to distinguish vowel and semi-vowel I, or are they considered interchangeable? Peter Grey (talk) 02:20, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
A very rough rule would be, if the word has evolved into an English word that now uses a J, it is acceptable to spell it with a J in Latin. So, "ejectus" for example, although the underlying verb "iacere" is usually spelled with an I since that didn't come into English except in forms with prefixes (hic iacet, alea iacta est). You can also use J when there are two I's in a row - for example, "eicio" (from which we ultimately get "eject") can also be spelled "eiicio", and then the first I can be wriiten as a J, "ejicio". But that's not really a defined fact maybe that is my own personal rule, maybe I made it up. I think it's really up to the editor (or the publisher). For published editions, tastes change over the years - using only I and U would make it seem more authentically classical, assuming that "classical" means "capital letters carved in stone monuments". Actual classical handwriting didn't look like that, and there were many other types of writing other than monumental capitals. And for the classical literature that only survives in medieval manuscripts (to say nothing of all the medieval Latin literature), the letters would be different - manuscripts might use only I, I and J interchangeably, only U, only V, or both U and V. One current trend in editing is to use whatever the manuscript uses, instead of trying to classicize the language. (This also affects the classical diphthongs OE and AE, which in manuscripts are often just written as E, or something like Ę). But it really depends on the publishing company. Adam Bishop (talk) 11:54, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
A rule that requires no reference to English is I is a semivowel before another vowel, unless the I is preceded by a consonant. Another advantage to distinguishing U and V is that it makes the rule for I easier to keep track of: in forms like iuuenis and fluuius it's easy to lose track of which u's and i's are syllabic and which aren't. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:56, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The interrogative and relative pronoun cuius (wikt:cuius) has the potential for various diphthongal interpretations, and is the source of Italian cui (wikt:cui) and Portuguese cuj-o, os, a, as (wikt:cujo) and Spanish cuy-o, os, a, as (wikt:cuyo), which reflect the fact that i in cuius was a semi-consonant. However, the third-person singular perfect indicative active verb iit (wikt:iit) and its compounds (abiit, adiit, circuiit, etc.) each have two consecutive identical vowels.
Wavelength (talk) 20:42, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

September 13[edit]

Logic of progressive and simple tenses[edit]

Well, as you probably have noticed, English is not my native language.
Anyway, I would like to know what is the logic of the progressive and simple tenses.
I mean, whenever I hear a person speaks with a progressive tense, I get the feeling that he is in the middle of it.
My problem with that definition, is that I can use present progressive for the near future, but how it makes any sense?
Another thing, I get the feeling that there are a lot cases where both tenses (simple and progressive) can be used, so I would like to know where is the logic? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Exx8 (talkcontribs) 00:33, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Exx8 -- for verbs where the subject is an active doer, then the plain unadorned present tense (with no modals) actually has a kind of habitual or general reference, while the progressive tense is used for specific concrete actions. So "I'm reading Jane Eyre now" vs. "I read 50 pages a day." The questions "What are you reading?" and What do you read?" are very different -- the first implies "What are you reading now?" while the second implies "What do you read habitually?" For verbs where the subject is an "affected experiencer", the plain present is is used much more often than the progressive ("I believe/know/feel this"). AnonMoos (talk) 03:14, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

The progressive is rapidly gaining ground. It is found half a dozen times in the Lord of the Rings (which is obviously intentional) and much less in 19th century works than current ones. When I was a kid you could not ask "what are you seeing" (although "who are you seeing" was a different matter.) "I'm loving it" was unheard of. Do we not have a link to English progressive verb? μηδείς (talk) 22:04, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

I thought about those definitions, but then what is the purpose of the future progressive? I mean "I'll be reading"? the context should be that when I'll go by and I'll see you reading a book. but it looks to me a little bit bizarre. Don't you think?Exx8 (talk) 00:19, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
"Tomorrow when you arrive I will be watering the plants out back" means, "so expect me not to hear you at the front door, come around back.
"Tomorrow when you arrive I will water the plants out back" means, I'll wait for you to arrive, but be prepared I may be busy for a bit.
This kind of instruction is not suitable for this forum. You should seek an advanced native tutor and a good English grammar written in your native language. μηδείς (talk) 03:35, 15 September 2014 (UTC)


Inspired by a question above, is there a term for when you have an argument/discussion with someone, and gradually change your parlance to meet their point of view, but they continue to argue against you, not realising that what they are now doing is agreeing with what you said in the first place? Is it 'automatic gain-saying'? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 10:45, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

I call it "duck seasoning", but that may be an unmitigated fabrication. In any case, it also works for making cartoon rabbits drink. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:46, September 13, 2014 (UTC)

y comercial[edit]

Is it incorrect to use & in Spanish? -- (talk) 17:06, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

No, it's fine. THe ampersand originates in the Latin et, from which the French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese words for "and" come. μηδείς (talk) 21:54, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

"Out of hand"[edit]

Does anyone know where the expression "out of hand" (meaning "out of control") comes from? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 20:57, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

There are at least a couple of different uses, which don't strike me as being related. Could you specify which one you meant? There's the sense of things getting crazier or more outrageous, as in The argument got out of hand and devolved into fisticuffs. and there's also the sense of being able to solve problems quickly or easily, as in He appeared to be the sort of fellow to solve such problems out of hand. They both seem pretty straightforward, but I don't know of the specific etymology of either expression. The first immediately conjures an image of a problem growing so large your hands literally can't hold it any more and the second seems to refer to being able to deal with problems with what you have on hand and without the need for reinforcements. Matt Deres (talk) 21:06, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Note, the question was modified after I edit-conflicted. Matt Deres (talk) 21:08, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Yes, I was referring to the "out of control" meaning. Not the second meaning that you mention. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 21:53, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
There's also the meaning of "without any further consideration" or "sight unseen", usually in a negative context, e.g., "The princess was haughty, imperious and disdainful of men. Those few suitors whose approaches she deigned to entertain were subject to the condition that, if they failed to cause her to fall in love with them in one night, they would be executed in the morning. Most suitors were luckier, as they were dismissed out of hand." -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:32, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

OR: Sounds to me like a metaphor for a carriage driver who drops his reins. μηδείς (talk) 21:56, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

The first sense has an opposite, "in hand". You can take something in hand or allow it to get out of hand, whether that is a problem or something physical like a garden. Double entendres aside, "in hand" means under one's control, or purview, or remit, or oversight, a current task. The second sense, "dismissed out of hand" doesn't have any opposite "in hand". It is certainly pretty old. Itsmejudith (talk) 07:45, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

When did "regularly" come to occasionally mean "frequently"?[edit]

Quite often, "regularly" is used to mean "frequently". I understand that it's common usage, and am not complaining about that. How long has this usage been common? HiLo48 (talk) 22:22, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Inadequacies in the educational system contribute to the misuse of words, but there are still persons who know how to use them correctly.
  • Halley's Comet revolves around the Sun, regularly but not frequently.
  • Snow falls in polar regions of the Earth, frequently but not regularly.
A person might use Google Ngram Viewer to look for an answer to your question, but choosing useful search terms in this instance seems to be difficult.
Wavelength (talk) 01:00, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
The OED gives the sense of regularly relating to time as sense 6 of the word, specifically defining it as "At fixed times or uniform intervals; repeatedly, without interruption; frequently, often.". In other words it doesn't distinguish between "regularly" meaning "according to a fixed pattern (of time)" and "regularly" meaning "frequently but not necessarily according to a fixed pattern". (Most of the other senses it identifies - there are 8 in total - refer to uniformity of manner or conformity to a set of rules). I'd hazard that it chooses not to attempt to untangle the two senses relating to time as often when the word is used, it's unclear whether the author meant "at uniform intervals" or just meant "often". The earliest example it quotes for "regularly" referring to time is from 1665 in a letter by Robert Boyle. The quote is "Permit mee [not] for a weeke or 10 days to cont[inue] my Correspondence with you so regularly as I was wont." I would understand the meaning in that sentence to probably mean just "frequently" rather than implying that the writer had previously written, say, every three days like clockwork. The second example, from 1699, refers to the heartbeat and clearly implies "at uniform intervals". The remaining examples are examples of both senses. I agree the distinction set out by Wavelength is useful, but it has no historical validity in terms of "correctness" and is by-the-by to the OP's question. Both usages have existed as long as "regularly" has been applied to time. Valiantis (talk) 01:03, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
You might find some answers here (aka the last time you asked this question).--William Thweatt TalkContribs 08:52, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I like to date most of today's language mistakes to January 1, 2000. Probably isn't true, but feels true. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:12, September 14, 2014 (UTC)

September 14[edit]

Meaning of a song title[edit]

French speakers please! What does "Si Tu N'Etais Pas La" translate to? It is the title of this song. I put it in Google Translate, and it didn't make any sense. Thanks everyone!! (talk) 01:26, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

My french is a little rusty, but I think it means "If you are not there". Si, when starting a sentence means "If", "tu" is the informal form of "you", and "n'etre pas" in its various forms means "to not be" while "là" means "there". So, "If you aren't there" seems like a good swipe at it. --Jayron32 01:36, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps this website might help. --Pp.paul.4 (talk) 02:18, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you your holiness, that is a great site! (talk) 13:57, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it's a counterfactual conditional where French uses the imperfect tense for the protasis (if-clause). Hence it's "if you weren't there", while "if you are not there" would be "si tu n'es pas là". ---Sluzzelin talk 03:56, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. The correct spelling is "Si tu n'étais pas là". Part of the reason Google Translate got confused was the missing accent on "là". -- (talk) 04:00, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

How do you pronounce "azure"?[edit]

I know of four ways of pronunciation: [ə'ʒu:r], ['æʒju:r], [æʒ'jər], ['eɪʒər]. Of course, the [r] will disappear in non-rhotic accents - the [u:r] becoming [ʊə], but let's put aside the rhotic issue.

So, as a non-native, I would like to know:

  1. Do you know of another way of pronouncing "azure"?
  2. How is "azure" pronounced, in what part of the world (or where you live)?
  3. Do you use this word in your everyday speech, or in written language only? (talk) 01:29, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

:I would say it as your second one (I think - not that great with IPA) first syllable same as the word "as", second same as "yer", and I would never pronounce the r. I should say it's most often used in singing "When Britain first, at Heaven's command / Arose from out the azure main.." Native British speaker. DuncanHill (talk) 01:38, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

You probably mean my third option. (talk) 01:53, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
No, I meant the second one as the question was when I answered it, but you have changed the options since I answered! DuncanHill (talk) 02:06, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
And the stress would be on the second syllable, not the first - stress on the first sounds distinctly foreign. DuncanHill (talk) 02:07, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I use the middle one. I live in the southeastern U.S. currently, but grew up speaking New England English. I now speak mostly General American English, with a few hints of New England thrown in. --Jayron32 01:39, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
You mean the second one. Btw, do you use the word "azure" in your everyday speech? (talk) 01:53, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I mean, it's not like I wake up every day and plan to use it. But I've been known to say it from time to time when appropriate. --Jayron32 02:04, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I azure you it's used rather infrequently, but when it is, most people (I hope) know what it means. Clarityfiend (talk) 03:58, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I have struck my answers because it is impossible to answer a question like this meaningfully when the question gets changed after people have already answered it. DuncanHill (talk) 02:09, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I would say [ə'ʒu:r], or other ways you haven't listed, [ə'ʒʊ:r], [ə'ʒjʊ:r], [ə'zu:r], or [ə'zʊ:r]. It's hard to say because I wouldn't really ever use that word in speech, but if I did, it would definitely start with a schwa, be stressed on the second syllable, and most likely have a z instead of a ʒ, and a ʊ instead of a u. I would say it rhymes with "sure". I speak some variant or other of West–Central Canadian English (so, fully rhotic). Adam Bishop (talk) 02:19, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Australian here. It was always (non-rhotic) option 4 (AY-zhə) here, an exact homophone for Asia, but of recent times I've heard a few people say option 1 (ə-ZHU-ə). It's only ever trotted out in faux-poetic contexts now, and most people have had no aural guidance so they make up how they think it should be pronounced. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 02:25, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm sure there was a "popular" (among teachers, anyway) national pride style Australian song/poem that used the word. My brain cells keep dredging up fragments of it from half a century ago. Do you recall it? HiLo48 (talk) 04:08, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
That would be the Song of Australia. "There is a land where summer skies / Are gleaming with a thousand dyes, / Blending in witching harmonies; / And grassy knoll and forest height, / Are flushing in the rosy light, / And all above is azure bright — Australia!" DuncanHill (talk) 04:25, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes! With a grassy knoll as well. Thanks Duncan. HiLo48 (talk) 06:15, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
And here we can hear the inimitable, not to mention utubular, Peter Dawson singing it, with the pron of "azure" exactly as I described above. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 07:03, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Ah yes, he had it right. HiLo48 (talk) 07:07, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Are you quite, quite sure? It was Britain that arose from out of the azure main. Rule Britannia![60] Thincat (talk) 08:53, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Britain arose form out the azure main, in Australia all above is azure bright. DuncanHill (talk) 14:38, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Britain may have arisen from an azure main, but Australia is girt by sea. HiLo48 (talk) 18:13, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Australia may be girt by sea (Girt-by-Sea sounds like a decayed seaside resort in Sussex), but it's not a precious stone set in the silver sea, nor is it scepter'd. DuncanHill (talk) 18:29, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Southern England (half West-Midlands accent, half South-London). I pronounce it to rhyme with "as your" (with the second syllable rhyming with "or"), and with a slight stress on the second syllable. I'm not fluent in IPA, but I think that would make it [æʒ'ju:r] Bluap (talk) 02:32, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
There's a lot of variation here in the UK. I pronounce it ['aʒju:r] (as you're) here in the north. I'm surprised to see so many of you putting stress on the second syllable (though both stresses are used, of course).)Dbfirs 08:46, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Agree with that (Londoner). Alansplodge (talk) 12:33, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Central California English (although with heavy influence from Oklahoma/Arkansas) here. I say ['æʒjʊr] and that's all I hear around here. Accent on the second syllable sounds like a non-native speaker or maybe somebody trying to be pretentious. I will say, however, that I rarely say or hear the word in everyday speech. I would just say "blue" or if I need to be more specific, "sky blue".--William Thweatt TalkContribs 09:11, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

OP's comment: Thank you all. As I understand, the variation in pronunciation is probably a result of the rareness of the word in everyday speech. As a native Hebrew speaker - I find this socio-linguistic fact - quite interesting, because when Hebrew speakers - who are taught English at school - get to the "color" topic, and are told about the pair "black / gray" (i.e. a mixture of black and white), and about the pair "red / pink" (i.e. a mixture of red and white), they are never told about the pair "blue / azure" (i.e. a mixture of blue and white), i.e. they are told about "blue" only, although Hebrew has a very common word for "azure" (Numbers, 15, 38), being used rather frequently in everyday speech, or rather: not less frequently than "pink" or "gray" (The option "sky blue" is usually not mentioned in the English lessons for Hebrew speakers, maybe because it's composed of two words, just as "light yellow/green/orange/purple/brown" is not mentioned). (talk) 11:57, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Our article, Distinction of blue and green in various languages, may be of interest to you. We also have an article called Blue in Judaism and a general article, Blue, in which you may find some pertinent information.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 14:36, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! (talk) 18:17, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Since I don't see my variant above, it's ['æʒr] with a syllabic final r and no palatalization. Rhymes with badger except for badger's -j- vs azure's -zh-. μηδείς (talk) 17:40, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
You forgot to indicate where it's pronounced [æʒr]. (talk) 18:17, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
D'uh, took me a second, I'm thinking, "well, here, of course." Here is Delaware Valley accent. μηδείς (talk) 19:12, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Another vote for [ˈæʒr] (or as I might transcribe it, [ˈæʒɚ]), which I was surprised not to see; it's the first or only pronunciation given in all the dictionaries I've checked, British and American. I'm from Illinois. I do remember not knowing how to pronounce it when I was growing up, and I agree that it's common in literature but rare in everyday speech, in which I would use "sky blue" or "light blue". Lesgles (talk) 22:44, 14 September 2014 (UTC)


September 6[edit]

I started the September 6 section by hand. I hope this is ok. Isn't there an automated way to have the first new (sub)section created on a given day also create the section corresponding to that day? Contact Basemetal here 12:13, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Thank you. The date headers are only semi-automated and the bot wrangler is currently on vacation (see talk page). Matt Deres (talk) 12:56, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Looking for an English comedy sketch from the 1970s or 1980s featuring a remotely controled pair of shoes.[edit]


I'm looking for the name of an English comedy series from the 1970s or 1980s.

One of the instalments featured a shoestore selling a type of shoe with a remote control. The remote control had various options that would make you (if you were wearing the shoes) walk like various entertainment celebrities (e.g. Mick Jagger, Freddie Mercury, and others I forget).

The main point of that particular sketch was that it featured an amazing dancer who could actually imitate those walks amazingly well in just a few steps.

Thanks (please ping me) Contact Basemetal here 12:06, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

PS: Why is my question under September 5th? Today is Saturday September 6th. Contact Basemetal here 12:09, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

@Basemetal:It sounds like something they'd do on Whose Line Is It Anyway?. Look familiar? Matt Deres (talk) 12:14, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
What I have in mind would seem to be earlier than 1988. Plus in Whose Line the set is always the same whereas the sketch I have in mind was taking place on a set really made to look like a shoestore (if I remember correctly). Contact Basemetal here 12:34, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
It sort of reminds of me the Simpsons episode Last Tap Dance in Springfield. Not quite the same as Frink and Lisa's deal, but that show is known for ripping off/paying homage to all sorts of entertainment. May be a clue, may be nothing. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:39, September 7, 2014 (UTC)
  • It sounds like the style of humour that would appear on a Russ Abbot comedy sketch show. ( I can picture Russ Abbot - not normally described as "an amazing dancer", but a good physical as well as verbal comic - as the customer, complaining at the end that the shoes were too much hard work. )
An impersonation of movement, rather than voice, also makes me suggest Michael Barrymore, who was in the cast of Russ Abbot's Madhouse ( which doesn't have its own Wikipedia page, surprisingly ) in 1981/1982.
( Also not normally described as "an amazing dancer", Barrymore *did* perform impersonations that included running around on stage, mimicking that person's movements, in addition to the voice. Even when appearing in other shows - including hosting a game show - he was known to cross the stage in various distinctive ways. )
Slightly less physical - Les Dennis and Dustin Gee, who also appeared with Russ Abbot during the 80s, and for a time had their own show, The Laughter Show, ( which also doesn't have a Wikipedia page. ) (talk) 10:12, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

September 7[edit]

American trampolinist[edit]

I recently read an article from Trampoline Pundit. The article was about American trampolinist Charlotte Drury. She became best friends with fellow American gymnasts McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross. Drury was born on June 4, 1996. Her gymnastics club is World Elite Gymnastics. Are there any more sources out there that would help with doing an article about her? (talk) 07:04, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

A convenient means of finding sources is by using the template: {{find sources}}, which in your case results in:
Find sources: "Charlotte Drury" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR · free images
I hope this helps, —E: (talk) 19:05, 7 September 2014 (UTC) — However...
...A cursory check suggests that it will be difficult to establish "notability" in the Wikipedia-sense; please see: Wikipedia:Notability (sports) before spending too much effort writing an article that is likely to be rejected. ~Sorry 'bout that, —E: (talk) 19:31, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Would these [61] [62] help a little bit? How tall is she? (talk) 07:39, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Those sources would be useful for adding factual information to an article, but would not satisfy "...significant coverage in reliable secondary sources that are independent of the subject." — You could create an account and then create a Userspace draft and submit it for review. Please first see Wikipedia: Your first article. Also, consider visiting Wikipedia: Teahouse, "a friendly place" for new editors.   —E: (talk) 19:29, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

September 9[edit]

What's the point of points in basketball?[edit]

In basketball - and, until a few years ago, in volleyball - a game won is awarded two points and a game lost is awarded one point, with a tie not being permitted as a final result by the rules of the game. So in a group tournament where all teams will eventually have played the same number of matches, the final ranking by points is in fact a final ranking by matches won, with an additional point given to each team for each match played - apart from the rather exceptional cases where zero points are awarded to the losing team after a forfeited game, which could easily be compensated by deducting points from the losing team (cf. the last season of the Cypriot football championship, where a team finished with minus 39 points). Is there some sort of history behind the basketball ranking system, has it been criticized as being pointless, and have there been proposals to abolish it? --Theurgist (talk) 00:32, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Which basketball league are you asking about? In North America, neither the NBA nor the NCAA uses a game points system like ice hockey or association football; records in those leagues use straight win-loss records to rank teams. Likewise, Euroleague regular season also does not use a game-points system, it uses win-loss record. I know of no basketball league which uses a ranking system based on points; they all seem to use wins alone to rank teams. --Jayron32 00:46, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
World Cup Basketball (FIBA) uses this system. See, for example points calculation in group tournament ranking and FIBA's rules here. "Teams shall be classified according to their win-loss records, namely two (2) points for each game won, one (1) point for each game lost (including lost by default) and zero (0) points for a game lost by forfeit." But I couldn't find an answer (and won't speculate). ---Sluzzelin talk 00:50, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, that's just a pre-tournament ranking. Since the teams don't play head-to-head much before the tournament, there has to be a way to rank teams to seed them in said tournament. Within actual head-to-head competition, however, they just use win-loss record. --Jayron32 01:02, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, the final round is a knockout stage (see, for example 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup final round), but I think Theurgist was asking about group tournaments (for example the World Cup preliminary round) all along, and the question still remains as to why a system avoiding negative points (and scores) was chosen. ---Sluzzelin talk 01:09, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Not familiar with the system, but it seems the zero for forfeits is what gives it its point. A zero is twice as easy to come back from as a -1. Keeps it more competitive, I suppose, while also penalizing quitters harder than losers.
You want pointless points, try watching mixed martial arts, with its ten-point must system. A 10-8 round is hard enough to get, a 10-7 nearly impossible. Points 1-6 are never used, but for some reason, we don't just make it three-point must. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:56, September 9, 2014 (UTC)
Australian Rules Football assigns four points for a win, two for a draw, and zero for a loss (or a forfeit). For cultural reasons I happen to know an awful lot about the game, but I have never been able to understand why those respective numbers of points aren't 2, 1 and 0 respectively. HiLo48 (talk) 01:07, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Aye. The Champion Carnival may not be a sport, but it gets it. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:34, September 9, 2014 (UTC)

Introductions, introits, preambles, and preludes[edit]

What term refers to the first portion (ending at 0:56) of this performance of "Wait 'Till the Sun Shines, Nellie"?

It is not included in this performance.

Wavelength (talk) 03:00, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

That's called the verse (see Verse-chorus form). George Burns, when he appeared on The Tonight Show, used to sing the verses of familiar old songs and ask Johnny to identify what songs they were from. They're often so unconnected with the material in the choruses (and so seldom sung) that this can be a real challenge. (A beautifully all-purpose, self-referential one is the verse of Cole Porter's "It's De-Lovely".) I've been known to play that parlor game myself. Deor (talk) 05:11, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you very much.—Wavelength (talk) 19:21, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Does anyone know what is this instrumential song?[edit]

I'm pretty sure it's some free background music but I can't find it. Already asked the one who made that video but she doesn't know. [63] -- (talk) 08:16, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Hello old bean! I would suggest you ask the lovely young lady to upload onto Youtube a minute of video with the music without her talking over the top. You could then play this clip into an app like Shazam (service) and see if it recognises it. Good luck! Quintessential British Gentleman (talk) 23:39, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Below the description is a series of links to sell the track "Dare to Dream" by Utopian Sounds; follow the links and listen to sample(s). In the video it's too faint for me to be sure of a match. —Tamfang (talk) 23:41, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

September 10[edit]

French national team official jerseys[edit]

I've watched the opening game of the current World Cup against Brazil and I thought its just a one-off, but I've noticed that they played in the same type of sleeved jerseys against Spain, as well. Is it not much harded for players to move hands freely with such jerseys? One would say not, as they are currently in the quarter-final, but it makes me wonder why all other national teams have sleevless jerseys then? If it had any advantages to wear football-style shirt, would America or Spain use those ones? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:56, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't have the answer, but the question concerns the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. --Xuxl (talk) 11:23, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Teams don't always make decisions based on what is best for the players on the court, with regard to the style and quality of jerseys. These decisions are made most often by sports marketing departments based on what will sell to the general public, and thus make the most money. The shirts worn by France this year are pretty unremarkable, considering some of the odd experimental uniforms tried in the past. OIn 1989, the NC State Wolfpack experimented with basketball unitards. The players refused to wear them, and insisted on wearing shorts over them, as they were a bit too revealing. See [64] and [65] and [66]. --Jayron32 12:17, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Obviously my theory that its a disadvantage proved to be right as my little country defeated the french in the semis tonight! Anyhow, thank you for your answer. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:38, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

There's more to sports success than jersey style. If that made the difference, then they weren't good enough to win with any jersey, anyways. --Jayron32 01:43, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

September 11[edit]

Video game marathons[edit]

I know there's a popular theory in these parts that Wikipedia has an article on everything - so, riddle me this: do we have an article about video game marathons? i.e. A gamer or group of gamers playing video games for an extended period of time, usually to raise awareness or donations for a cause.

I've found a few articles about some individual marathons, e.g. Speed_Demos_Archive#Charity_marathons, Mario Marathon, LoadingReadyRun#Desert Bus For Hope, TheSpeedGamers, but none of these have links to an article on the general idea. OrganicsLRO 15:26, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

I found a few other places where the concept is mentioned, Child's_Play_(charity), Speedrun#Team_Ludendi, Destructoid, and Mario_Marathon. Since the last one is a specific gaming marathon, I think and article title gaming marathon or video game marathon would be notable enough for WP coverage. So I say, be WP:BOLD and create it! See Wikipedia:Your_first_article if you need instruction, but a simple stub with refs cribbed from the links above should be pretty easy to manage. These other pages already have obvious places to link to the new article, so it should receive attention and grow accordingly. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:38, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
We have an article about a movie about a $50,000 "Video Armageddon". It's so bad! Not exactly a charity, but it helped a sick kid learn the value of hustling. InedibleHulk (talk) 15:27, September 12, 2014 (UTC)

Star Trek episodes[edit]

Most episodes from TOS, TNG, voyager and DS9 seem to be very sci fi and obviously it's a scifi show but are there any episodes which are particularly emotional and have much more than sci fi? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:00, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

From TNG, I'd recommend "The Inner Light" and "Chain of Command". From DS9, "Duet". --McDoobAU93 19:15, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I've seen the inner light. That's very good. I don't remember chain of command being much different from most other TNG episodes though and never seen duet. (talk) 20:02, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I selected these as the core story, if you took the sci-fi elements away from it, could still be told and have the same impact. Definitely recommend "Duet", as it's one of my all-time fave DS9 episodes. --McDoobAU93 20:11, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I would recommend the TNG episode "Family". There is almost no sci-fi in it at all. Most of it centers around Jean-Luc Picard's recovery from the Borg attack. He returns to his family vineyard in France, and reconnects with his older brother who has taken over the wine-making business. Worf has a similar reconnection with his adoptive human parents, and Wesley Crusher is given a message left by his late father.    → Michael J    21:29, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
The DS9 episode In the Pale Moonlight has always been one of my favorites for drama. Sisko, while dictating a personal log entry, wrestles with his conscience regarding decisions he made. There is sci-fi-ish story stuff in the flashbacks, but the turmoil Sisko is going through (and its resolution) is the central theme of the episode.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 00:08, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Your premise is flawed, sci-fi and emotional quality drama are not mutually exclusive by any means. (talk) 23:36, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. "Science Fiction" is merely a setting. Any story can take place in any setting. There are Sci-Fi detective stories (The Caves of Steel, Blade Runner), Sci-Fi war stories (Old Man's War); Sci-Fi samurai stories (Star Wars), sci-fi political commentary (Foundation), sci-fi comedy (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), etc, etc, etc. --Jayron32 00:17, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The OP never stated that sci-fi and emotion were mutually exclusive, just that they aren't always combined in the same ratio. StuRat (talk) 12:36, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
In the original series, there were some rather emotional ones. We had the half-black, half-white races fighting each other to mutual destruction of their planet, at least 2 episodes where officers were on trial for murder, The Doomsday Machine, where Kirk felt useless at first, the episode where Kirk's brother was killed by those flying things that stuck on people's backs, the one where Kirk was split into two people, one violent and one gentle, etc.
BTW, if you like emotion with your Sci-fi, you might appreciate the original Outer Limits. I get the impression most of the scripts were meant for a half hour show, but when they got an hour-long slot instead, they reacted by tossing a romantic entanglement into each episode to take up the extra time. StuRat (talk) 12:36, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
A few more emotional TNG episodes: Dark Page, where Lwaxana Troi comes to terms with the death of her first-born daughter, who drowned as a youngster, and Eye of the Beholder, which dealt with themes of murder and suicide. Matt Deres (talk) 17:19, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
"In the Hands of the Prophets" parallels the debate over whether creationism should be taught in schools. Dismas|(talk) 00:09, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Need help identifying a Paul Mauriat composition[edit]

The theme song of the 1982 Hong Kong TV series 痴情劫 [67] (a.k.a. Love with Many Phases) was, I believe, composed by Paul Mauriat. Some suggested that it was specially composed for that theme song. On the other hand, comments on YouTube identified the music as a 1977 work entitled "Taste of Sorrow". I did some Web searches but I couldn't find any 1977 albums by Paul Mauriat that includes a track with that title. The references I found about "Taste of Sorrow" say it was released in 1983 and the composers were Paul Mauriat and Gérard Gambus.

My questions:

  1. Is the melody of the 痴情劫 theme from the composition "Taste of Sorrow"? (Clips of the 痴情劫 theme song can be found on YouTube.)
  2. Who composed the melody for the 痴情劫 theme song and when was it written?
  3. Was the melody originally composed for the theme song?

Thanks. -- (talk) 16:04, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

September 14[edit]

Double sharps and double flats[edit]

Two questions:

  1. When was the first use of a double sharp??
  2. When was the first use of a double flat??

The reason these questions are so interesting to compare is that while the double sharp double sharp has a special symbol; the double flat double flat is just 2 flat signs. I can easily conclude from this non-sequitur that the double flat is a newer invention. Georgia guy (talk) 17:46, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Apparently, they came about at the same time -- with the development of equal temperament. The main proponent of the saltire double-sharp symbol was Johann Mattheson; Leopold Mozart preferred an upright cross, and existing practice had been simply to use the note above. Mattheson also wanted to use β for the double flat, but it didn't catch on. --jpgordon::==( o ) 18:27, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Rock drummers[edit]

This may be two questions but here goes. Who is the black drummer who plays with rock bands such as Dave Gilmour, Paul McCartney and who isn't Abe Laboriel? Or if anyone is watching the Jeff Lynne concert on BBC/Proms in the Park, who's the drummer? TammyMoet (talk) 19:44, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Just for clarification, you're looking for a drummer who plays with Gilmour and/or McCartney but is NOT Abe Laboriel, Jr.? --Jayron32 19:49, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Donavan Hepburn was on the drums for Jeff Lynne at Hyde Park and also Children in Need 2013. He's a session musician who has worked with Take That, Olly Murs, Adele, Cheryl Cole, Robbie Williams, Alesha Dixon, James Morrison amongst others. Nanonic (talk) 20:03, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Donovan Hepburn looks like the guy I am seeing when watching some videos of recent Jeff Lynne performances. Being large with dark skin, he's also easy to confuse (at a quick glance) with Laboriel Jr. Perhaps that's who Tammy is looking at. --Jayron32 20:07, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
He's also a Yamaha sponsored artist along with McCartney and others which could explain them working together occasionally. Nanonic (talk) 20:09, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
The other thought I had was Carter Beauford, another African American rock drummer; though I'd not ever seen him play with McCartney, Gilmour, or Lynne. I do think Nanonic has it right; I think the drummer definitely is Hepburn. --Jayron32 20:10, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Invisible man like series[edit]

Does anyone remember a series in the 90s/2000s that dealt with invisibility? It was a British series about a guy that whenever he was splashed with water would turn invisible. Two particular scenes I remember for some reason is first he is walking to a pub and whilst out in the street there is a huge puddle in the street. Inevitably he gets splashed either by a black cab or another car.

The second random scene I remember is that he is speeding down a track on a motorbike with a female friend on the back, possibly in her dressing gown. Something causes him and the bike to turn invisible leading to a comedic scene where some onlookers watch as there is a screaming woman at speed floating through the air down the track and passing by.

I could have sworn this was called The Invisible Man. Could anyone suggest which drama this could have been? Difficultly north (talk) Simply south alt. 01:50, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

There was an American show The Invisible Man (2000 TV series) in that time period. Rmhermen (talk) 02:49, 15 September 2014 (UTC)


September 9[edit]

Female settlers west bank pictures[edit]

Is there a website where they show pictures of female settlers, especially those who wear sandals? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:06, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Struggling with WP:AGF here because this comes across as creepy. My response would therefore be YES. --Dweller (talk) 10:24, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
So, um, I guess something like Submissive Arab foot fetishists: feel "raped" by Israeli settlers?
If that URL really works and that's on there verbatim then OMG. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 01:05, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
If you didn't know, you can find tons of images by searching on google images for /west bank settlers women/, like so [68]. (Nobody is compelled to respond here. We are WP:NOTCENSORED and 'creepy' questions deserve refs too!) SemanticMantis (talk) 14:14, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
I did give a reference. The user asked a yes/no question, which I answered, with a reference. --Dweller (talk) 14:31, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Dweller, may I provide a reference to your reference? This even has the same answer (both in text and image). - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 09:21, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Mobile phone questions[edit]

First, has the UK code for mobile phones always been 07?

Second, why do mobile phones have numbers with regular country calling codes whilst satellite phones don't?--Leon (talk) 17:59, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

For your first, no they were changed as part of the Big Number Change in 2000. Nanonic (talk) 18:06, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
There were some changes to the structure in 2000, but mobile phone numbers still began with 07 (070 then 077, 078 and 079) from 1995. See Telephone_numbers_in_the_United_Kingdom#New_personal_numbers_with_revenue-share_start_using_070 Dbfirs 06:55, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
And for the second, because cell networks (and in particular, the transmitters) are within a country and so are integrated into that country's telephone system; whereas satellite networks are not in any country. See Global Mobile Satellite System. --ColinFine (talk) 19:21, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
When your mobile phone is abroad, it becomes a guest of the network it has connected to. It is allocated a temporary phone number on that network, and your home network is informed of this, setting up a redirect for incoming calls. CS Miller (talk) 12:48, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Work at home edu ([edit]

I can't seem to find out anything about the validity of work at home projects from this company Work at home EDU-( Supposedly they have an A+ rating with the BBB, but I can't find them listed with the BBB. Also, they list as seen on MSN NBC, ABC, Fox News, USA Today, and CNN, but I can't find anything on these websites. Any information would be helpful2601:1:AC80:13FE:9420:5E4D:B41:DE9C (talk) 18:23, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

There is a review for Work At Home Edu on ScamXposer, for what its worth (spoiler: rated as "scam")[69] —Btw, BBB rating for ScamXposer = A+  — (talk) 19:41, 9 September 2014 (UTC) (talk) 19:44, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Um, ScamXposer itself looks creepy as heck. I don't believe for a second that the sites it endorses are not paying for the endorsement. The Better Business Bureau is kind of a dodgy organization too. An A+ rating just means ScamXposer pays the BBB for membership and no one has filed a complaint against it with the BBB. And I'm sure is a scam also. I'm not sure there's such a thing as a work-at-home web site that isn't a scam at some level. Even if they technically offer paid work, their ultimate goal is to prey on the desperate. -- BenRG (talk) 21:42, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree with the skepticism around ScamXposer. On the linked page they have a few recommendations for "legitimate" work-at-home work. For one, their write-ups are as vague and titillating sounding as descriptions of actual scams. And two, doing a search for their recommended programs yields a number of other sites reporting those recommended programs as scams themselves. In this case, I'd say that the scam site is a scam itself in that it's trying to dissuade people from signing up for other scams in favor of its own scams. Dismas|(talk) 22:24, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
  • There are a few work-from-home distributed work sites that are reputable, but generally they are associated with reputable companies. See Amazon Mechanical Turk generally gets good ratings; though criticisms are leveled against it, none of them amount to the service being a "scam" per se. --Jayron32 16:27, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I've had a few problems with ( in my case) - relatively high commissions (paid upfront by me#$!), mediocre support, clunky website - but getting paid for my work hasn't been one of them. Clarityfiend (talk) 22:49, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

September 10[edit]

Song Name[edit]

What exactly is the name of the song in the first commercial/advertisement (the one with the "lemon chicken") in this link?: Futurist110 (talk) 01:16, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

"One Great Love" by The Five Keys (1958). ---Sluzzelin talk 01:33, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Merci beaucoup! Futurist110 (talk) 02:29, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Re:WP:Size in volumes[edit]

What's the size of a Britannica volume?

This is very hard to find on the Internet, even Amazon if they give it at all just gives the size of the set packed into a brick with uncertain form. The first Google result is some guy on Wikipedia Talk:Size in volumes saying that it's 19 inches, that's freaking huge, and too small to be cms. Maybe that article's scale picture can finally be to scale, I believe it's still scaled by "feel".

I measured one once but forgot the numbers. They're all exact inch fractions - the width seems random but becomes extremely accurate when you squeeze the book so hard it can't compress no more.

And that article says 44 million words in 32 volumes, but 2 volumes are just the index. Should it say 44M words in 30 volumes? A real paper WP would need an index too, so the # of volumes shouldn't be reduced. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 06:44, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

(OR warning:) one of the Britannica volumes I have here on the shelf measures 285 x 225 x 40. --ColinFine (talk) 18:27, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
That would have been a more useful answer if you'd told us the units! We should assume millimeters. So 40mm/volume - 30 volumes is 1.2 meters...close to 4 feet...which seems about right to me.
Converting in Google gives 11 1/4" x 8 7/8" x 1 9/16" which brings back the ways I tried to remember it (ie a fourth, an eight, and a sixteenth), so even a British measurer agrees with me (so much so that it was hard to tell if Britannicas were metric or Imperial — the values are only 0.75mm, 0.425mm and 0.3125mm apart! Might this be intentional? Thermal expansion is about 0.3%, I made sure the ruler reached room temperature! And didn't absorb humidity! (no wood) I managed to squeeze the book to about 39.7mm despite the paper absorbing water and 10 kg less help from air pressure (it was raining), so I think US Britannicas at least are Imperial) Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 04:47, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
However, measurement of the Britannica is very sensitive to which version you're talking about. The copy we had at home when I was a kid took up about 4 to 5 feet of shelf space and included an atlass, a single volume index and a year book for the year we bought it...which suggests that ColinFine's numbers are about right. When I bought my own copy decades later, it came as a "propedia", a "micropedia" and a "macropedia" - as well as index, atlas and one year book for each year for several years.
Which of those are legitimately comparable to Wikipedia is hard to know because our work isn't organized in those levels of depth. But for sure, 19 inches is far too small to be the shelf space for the entire set.
SteveBaker (talk) 01:34, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Eviction records[edit]


I live in North Carolina and am trying to find a decent source (preferably online) to determine how many evictions have been carried out at a certain address, and when. I'm not even sure if this is the sort of thing that would be on public record. A Google search did turn up a few hits, but most of them are pay services and seem to be geared toward landlords seeing whether a certain tenant has recently been evicted from another home. I'm effectively trying to do the opposite (see how many tenants a landlord has evicted from a specific address). Is this the sort of thing I'm likely to find publicly available, and if so, where? Thanks. (talk) 17:48, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

These sorts of records are commonly held at the county level. Here's a random NC county's web page, that has a form that you can fill out requesting public information [70]. I recommend looking through your county's web presence, and if the info is not easily downloadable, it should be available upon request. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:06, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Not at all to contradict SemanticMantis, but evictions when actually physically carried out are done by the local sheriff's office. You might want to try contacting them as well, although my knowledge is based on different states, not NC. User:Jayron32 might also be a good person to contact if I correctly remember. μηδείς (talk) 21:26, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the ping, Medeis. I have lived in Cakalaky for many years, but don't have a lot of experience with eviction statistics. My best guess on how to get the information would either be a properly formatted and submitted FOIA request, or to contact the county records office. I believe bot Medeis and SemanticMantis are correct when they say this sort of thing is handled on the county level. I live in Wake County, for example, and here is their online public records request page. You may have to find a similar office at your local county. That'd be my best advice. --Jayron32 23:25, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Cakalaky? Is that the same as Cackalacky? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:17, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Shonuff. You and yur fancy dixunairy spellins. --Jayron32 01:18, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
And here's a little light reading for you on the subject. "A word to capture the Carolinas". --Jayron32 01:20, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:23, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
The OP says: Thanks, everyone! (talk) 15:20, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

September 11[edit]

"Wholesale to the public"[edit]

Does the phrase "wholesale to the public" mean something in particular? As I understand it, wholesale usually means business-to-business selling, while retail usually means selling to the public. However, I've noticed that some businesses (such as jewelers and used car lots) describe themselves as "wholesale to the public" while nonetheless doing most of their business in consumer sales. Is this just marketing, or is there some functional difference between these "wholesale" sellers and typical retailers? If it matters, I'm in the US. Dragons flight (talk) 06:28, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

The short version is: yes, it's just a marketing thing. It's supposed to make customers conjure up visions of saving big $$$ by not paying retail markup. In a few cases that might be true, but more often than not, it's a euphemism for selling bulk items (i.e. yes, you save $5 per box, but you have to buy 30 boxes at once) or stores that essentially run both retail and wholesale from the same building (i.e. you're still paying full retail markup, but the gent beside you taking three skids at once is getting a much better deal). An example of the first would be something like Costco. I can't think of a nationally known example of the second type, but I deal with some local ones professionally. Matt Deres (talk) 13:31, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
When I complained to my pharmacist that he was charging $1 for 16 generic benadryl (diphenhydromine hydrochloride, 25 mg) he went into the stockrooom, handed me a 1600 count bottle, and said he'd sell me whatever was left in it for $5--probably about 1000 ct. Presumably enough to get him a new full bottle. That was pretty much wholesale to me, if I count as the public--it lasted a year, instead of 3-4 days. This was a privately owned pharmacy. It was not an advertised deal. I have also had other privately owned stores offer me better than advertised deal. I ordered 8 mozzarella sticks from a restaurant once. The owner gave me thirty. It was unfortunate, since his shop burnt down that night. μηδείς (talk) 22:33, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Has there been any research on this?[edit]

I often go out hiking/camping, and I can be out for a week, or for four weeks, or sometimes more, during which time, I have no opportunity to wash. I find that the first week or so of not washing, I smell, but after that, the smell goes away. Is there any science to this? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 10:02, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Sounds like habituation to me personally; something like sensory fatigue may be the culprit, and i know there have been research studies on that sort of thing. Perhaps the amount of bacteria growing on your body producing the odor is initially growing faster than you can habituate during the first week, then it plateaus allowing for sensory fatigue? ~Helicopter Llama~ 11:09, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I just spent about 10 minutes searching google scholar, and found no single work that directly addresses your question, in terms of bathing frequency in humans and perceived odor. There is of course a lot of research on human olfaction, and human body odor, skin chemistry, and even bathing, so in a sense there is a lot of scientific knowledge on this, but it comes from a wide variety of studies. First, consider olfactory fatigue, which is well-documented, and applies to most scents. This is likely part of the story, but I don't think it's all of it. Also consider that the human microbiome will respond to decreased bathing frequency, and you will be carrying around different types and concentrations of critters after two weeks of camping and not bathing. We all make scents, but it is often bacterial emissions that our responsible for bad body odor. I wouldn't be surprised if less bathing led to changes in your microbiome, that in turn changed the scent profile. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:24, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Pursuant to SemanticMantis's closing speculation: (ethnically European) friends who have adopted uncut difficult-to-wash dreadlocks as a hairstyle have told me that for the first month or so their scalp and hair became greasy and smelly, but subsequently reverted to a much drier, non-smelly condition. As I myself could attest to this condition, their own sensory habituation could not be responsible. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 17:34, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
And the hair example specifically reminds me that sebum production can vary, depending on how much is present on the body. In general terms, more washing leads to more sebum production, while less washing leads to less production. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:17, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I have friends with dreads as well who have experienced the same, but they complain that when their hair gets wet, they smell like wet dog? why is this? ~Helicopter Llama~ 20:39, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

The reason I am asking is because no-one else perceives the smell, after I come back after a trip over a few weeks, so I doubt it is a problem with habituation or olfactory fatigue. It's only for the first week. And yes, I will go with the 'poster formerly known as...' with the hair story. I experience that myself. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 08:17, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Seems like this phenom might have something to do with the layer of dead skin cells (and dirt) which builds up. the initial odor is due to live bacteria, right? i mean, in addition to sweat which is infused from your dietary choices. i think after awhile the skin-dirt layer creates a sort of odor shield.. This is just speculation, i've travelled and felt the sensation of washing off days of grime. and i've been around people who stopped bathing with soaps. their natural smell can be mildly earthy. El duderino (abides) 11:03, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

World Banks[edit]

==Which bank or institution has the highest rate of return on 'Interest Bearing Deposits', for their customers?

This will change over time. prime rate is talked about a lot in the USA, but there are international equivalents. See e.g. here [71], where you can see current and historical rates for several countries/markets. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:10, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
According to this web site, banks in Argentina currently have the highest interest rates on deposits. Click on "More Info" to see terms of deposit and rates offered by various banks in each country. The highest rates are on term deposits (where the depositor agrees not to withdraw the money for a set period), like CDs in the United States. If you deposit money in an account denominated in Argentine pesos, and you intend to exchange those pesos for a different currency after you withdraw them, note that Argentina limits the convertibility of pesos into dollars and other foreign currencies. Also, the Argentine peso is subject to sharp depreciation. It has lost 24 percent of its value against the dollar in just the last month, wiping out the interest rate offered by Argentine banks on peso deposits. Banks in many countries make it difficult or impossible for non-residents to open bank accounts, and deposits denominated in currencies other than your own are subject to exchange rate risk. Marco polo (talk) 18:52, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Customer service jobs[edit]

How hard is it to progress to a management job from a frontline customer service position in the retail, tourism and transport sector if you have a degree? (talk) 14:53, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

This is highly variable and subjective. Useful links? Customer serviceCustomer relationship managementCareer paths in the travel industryCareer Paths in the Travel & Tourism Industry (PDF) (talk) 18:46, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
It depends greatly on unpredictable factors, including the personality of the employee, the employee's relationship with superiors, and the culture of the individual company. So it would be difficult to generalize meaningfully about an entire industry. Marco polo (talk) 18:56, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
The degree tells a potential employer two things:  1) you have the focus and ability to complete a long-term task;  2) you have acquired useful knowledge and skills (depending on the curriculum and degree, of course).  — (talk) 21:33, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
  • This is something the OP should be asking his presumptive employer if he gets to the detailed interview stage of hiring. UPS only hires from within, the Bell companies mostly from within, and Denny's from without. Of course none of us knows if the OP, himself a Londoner, is management material. WP CRYSTAL SOMETHING. μηδείς (talk) 22:25, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

September 12[edit]

Fort Knox and land mines[edit]

Hi. I read somewhere (not on Wikipedia) that the defences of the bullion depository at Fort Knox include land mines. Is that true? If so, doesn't it contravene international laws, to which I believe the US is party, against the use of land mines? (talk) 00:11, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Well, there are signs at Fort Knox indicating such. As seen here: How To Break Into Fort Knox  — (talk) 00:25, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That same article says towards the bottom that employees can neither confirm nor deny this, so I doubt there's a way to answer op's question... :'( ~Helicopter Llama~ 00:29, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
For obvious reasons, the details of their protection systems are a closely held secret. Most rumors are simply guesswork. (talk) 00:31, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Landmines are banned under the Ottawa Treaty - which the USA refused to sign. So no, it's not illegal. Even if they had signed it - I suspect that the law only applies in warfare - they may be perfectly legal for defense against criminals or something. Also, only anti-personnel mines are covered by the treaty. Anti-tank (or anti-other-vehicle) mines are still perfectly legal everywhere. That said, the US claims that they only use anti-personnel mines that automatically disarm themselves two days after deployment - and which rely on a battery to trigger them that runs down after about two weeks in the event that the automatic disarming mechanism fails. Clearly those would be no use around Fort Knox - so perhaps this is an example of the US being inconsistent - but not breaking any agreement that they are signatories to. SteveBaker (talk) 00:48, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure the distinction between warfare and protecting against criminals really exists in the convention, our article seems to hint against any, as does the convention text e.g. [72] [73] [74]. These seem to ban and require the removal of anti-personnel mines point blank except for training, testing methods of destruction and similar purposes.
Note that such exceptions would need to be carefully worded otherwise any country mining their border will simply say it's to protect against criminals rather than for the purposes of warfare. See e.g. similar problems discussed here [75] (the link itself wasn't working at the time for me but an internet cache was) about the problem with the definition of anti-personnel. Actually it also mentions definition issues surrounding the ban requirements itself but not related to warfare vs criminal per se.
(Even with a very careful wording you'd still likely not cover lots of stuff, e.g. if some regime uses them to protect their presidential palaces, military bases including those where they torture people etc, or even against internal rebels, it's going to be difficult for your definition to exclude these purposes since from the POV of the state party, they are simply used against criminal behaviour. Not that such regimes are likely to have signed the treaty or will care even if they have signed and ratified, but the point of the treaty was I'm pretty sure to include such cases.)
If the US is still has a minefield in Fort Knox, whether of persistent mines or not and anti-personnel or anti-vehicle, that does seem to go strongly against their stated policy [76] [77] [78] [79]. Unless I guess Fort Knox is where they conduct their training exercises and such.
I suspect that they probably have none, although getting them to state it on record may be difficult. (However if you were to ask if their landmine policy applies to the US and whether they have any minefields in the US, they may confirm that it does and doesn't even if the same person just told you they can't confirm or deny what protections are used at Fort Knox.) It seems unlikely landmines would provide much benefit compared to whatever other measures they have there. It's not like Fort Knox is an extremely large area they have difficulty patrolling/controlling via personnel.
Nil Einne (talk) 05:52, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I would suspect that blowing a would-be thief to pieces might just push the concept of reasonable force a little too far. DuncanHill (talk) 08:53, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That's the odd thing though - you'd think that a minefield would principally be intended as a deterrence which case, why would you deny it's existence? It's more likely (IMHO) that there is no minefield and that they'd prefer to leak the false information that there is one, and then vigorously refuse to discuss it in order to reinforce this falsehood. But it's a long-held principle to say "cannot confirm or deny" in such situations because if you tell people everything you DON'T have, and refuse to talk about the secret things you DO have - then the bad guy can use a process of elimination to deduce what your secret is. Quite honestly, I don't understand why you need all that secrecy anyway - it's very hard to destroy a very large pile of solid gold, if you stole a large fraction of the gold, you'd have no reasonable way to transport or sell it - and even a modest amount of security is enough to prevent single gold bars from leaving the area. A large-scale "goldfinger-like" exercise would be impossible to pull off in any realistic situation. They really only need to make the place a teeny bit more secure than the local jewellery shops. SteveBaker (talk) 17:39, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the helpful responses. I have decided not to attempt to rob Fort Knox at present. (talk) 23:19, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Last updated...[edit]

Hello! SUGGESTION: It would nice to see "LAST UPDATED ON (date)" on some scientific topic entries in the HEADER of the page in question. Would please consider it. Thanks a million. [removed personal information] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chaher Soliman (talkcontribs) 01:30, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Clicking "history" at the top of a page will give you that information. μηδείς (talk) 02:34, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
All pages on Wikipedia have a text at the bottom, "This page was last modified on <date> at <time>". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 03:15, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Note that an article having been last modified on a given date does not necessarily mean that it reflects all of the latest knowledge on the topic it depicts as of that date. (talk) 15:01, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
No, the time stamp is more likely to tell you when a - was changed to a – Thincat (talk) 12:19, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

September 13[edit]

Checked baggage fees in non-low cost carriers in America and elsewhere[edit]

I've read that in America, while legacy carriers generally allow one free carry-on baggage per passenger, similar to low-cost carriers (LCCs), the legacy carriers charge for checked luggage (even the first bag), especially for domestic flights (certain international flights, mainly trans-Pacific, do include one complimentary checked bag; ironically, Southwest and JetBlue, two LCCs, allow one or two free checked bags per passenger). I'm aware that this is mainly the case with so-called discount tickets; a full-price ticket includes baggage fees, but the latter ticket doesn't appear to be mentioned as much on websites. However, for the most part, outside of the United States, legacy carriers charging for checked luggage is pretty much unheard of, and is mainly common only with LCCs. The question: how come the practice of charging for checked baggage among legacy carriers caught on in the United States, but not in other countries? As in, why in America, most legacy carriers charge for checked luggage, a practice frequently associated with LCCs, and why hasn't this practice caught on among most legacy airlines in the rest of the world? Apparently, even Air Canada allows one complimentary checked bag, depending on the destination. This question refers to the practice of charging for first checked bags; it does not refer to excess bag fees, or fees regarding bags that exceed size or weight limits. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 09:31, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

It's probably part of a much larger pattern of nobody standing up for US consumers. Being more conservative than most developed nations, there are fewer regulatory restrictions on "ripping off customers". And US customers themselves take a more individual attitude, that they will try to protect themselves from being ripped off, but not anybody else. The US also has all sorts of hidden banking fees. For example, US banks find ways to maximize overbalance fees, say by reordering your charges so the last (large) charge, which put you over your balance, is charged first, then all the smaller charges will happen after you are over your balance, and then they can charge you for those, too. This type of rip-off is perfectly legal in the US, with nobody calling for laws to prevent it. StuRat (talk) 12:20, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I had about a $100 balance in my chase checking account. I had placed six very small (less than $5 each) orders with Amazon over Christmas. The order had not been filled and it was now March. Amazons policy says orders not filled in one month are cancelled. Those orders all came through, then I overdrafted on the $100. So Chase charged me 6 $35 overdraft charges on the 6 items all of which had priority and would have been covered as well as on the seventh. When I had set up the account all overdrafts were to be denied on the checking card anyway. The rep I got told me they had made a change in policy to cover such overdraftsand charge the fee in order to "help customers". I said, yeah, help yourself to customer's money. I did eventually get $210 waived, then closed the account. μηδείς (talk) 00:48, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Business ethics in the US has degraded to the point where "if we can rip off the customer, and it's not illegal, or even if it is and we won't get prosecuted, then we have an obligation to the shareholders to do it". StuRat (talk) 14:31, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Debts to USA[edit]

How many billions of bucks do thirdworld countries owe the United States government? -- (talk) 22:52, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

This 2011 report from the McKinsey group says U.S. holdings of foreign assets total $15.3 trillion (see here [80]; the figure is from page 34 of the full report), which makes the U.S. the largest creditor in the world; however, as the U.S. debt at the time was $18.3 trillion (also the largest in the world), the balance was largely negative. This is for all countries, not just third world ones. More recent figures from the Congressional budget office put those numbers at $21 trillion versus $25 trillion at the end of 2012 (see page 4 of [81]). These numbers are significantly higher than the 2010 figures cited in Financial position of the United States. The best breakdown by country I could find is the table for U.S. Direct investment abroad in 2007, in the 2009 edition of the U.S Statistical Abstract, table 1256, available via google books. Out of total investments of $2.8 trillion, European countries represented $1.5 trillion, Latin America and Asia $0.5 trillion each, Canada $0.3 trillion and Africa and the Middle East $0.03 trillion each. Most of the Asian countries are places like Australia, Japan and Singapore. Foreign assets are not debt, but the breakdown provides an idea of how the pie is divided. You can use the table to tally the figures for third world countries according to whatever definition you use. --Xuxl (talk) 14:21, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Apparently the UK still owes the USA $4.4 billion at 1934 prices for debts incurred during the First World War.[82] Hopefully, they won't ask for it back anytime soon. Alansplodge (talk) 20:46, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Russian Presidential election Inauguration[edit]

Im really disappointed in your site for having such a Western opinion of information. I come to your site to get facts yet I find that you don't give the facts, you give Western information propaganda; that is really disheartening. My main concern on this specific subject is you say that in the Inauguration there were 8,000 - 20,000 protestors. Im sorry but there is a HUGE difference from 8,000 - 20,000! Why the heck would you post information if you don't know? Putting that far of a span is just ridiculous! Im sure that you could have come a little closer to the real number if you just did more leg work and wanted to know the truth. If you want people to trust your site, I would suggest you stop supporting anti-Russia, and print the facts instead of getting into the Western pumped up propaganda against Russia.

I am not a Russian, I live in Canada... im just sick of all the anti-Russian movements to propagate what is really not happening. As a Canadian, I JUST WANT THE TRUTH! so I can make an informed decision not one coerced by media such as yourself. Shame shame on you! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:04, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Russian presidential election, 2012 is the relevant article. The current revision of the article gives a figure of "15,000 - 20,000", cited to the Daily Telegraph, an impeccably reliable source. This sort of statement should really be on the article talk page rather than the Reference Desks, and any disputes about article content should be backed up with information from reliable sources, rather than an individual's view of what counts as "propaganda". Tevildo (talk) 21:14, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

what is this guy saying at the beginning[edit]

i'm not sure if it goes under language or entertainment or both so i just put it here but this is the video: ~Helicopter Llama~ 22:39, 14 September 2014 (UTC)