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May 21[edit]

Spare connector on SATA drives[edit]

What is the purpose of the spare 4 pin connector on some SATA drives? Can it be used to daisy chane two SATA drives?-- (talk) 15:20, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Many drives have jumper blocks which allow you to configure some basic options; in particular, for backwards compatibility with older BIOSes and OSes. Worrying about these was much more common for P-ATA drives, and I don't recall needing to set one for at least five years. These blocks are vendor (and often model) specific, and they're not always fully documented (meaning some of the functions they represent are used only in manufacture and post-manufacture test). So you'll have to find the documentation for your specific drive in order to find out what the connector does. Some examples: Western Digital, Seagate. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 15:40, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you.-- (talk) 15:57, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
And many are an RS-232 serial interface you can use a terminal to communicate with the drive.[1] -- Gadget850 talk 17:51, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

May 22[edit]

Sending an HTML email[edit]

Hi there,
I would like to send an HTML email.
Unfortunately, when I try to send to Gmail, an e-mail with "html\text" headers, Gmail ignores my headers, and just present it as "plain\text".
Does anyone know how to send an HTML e-mail?
Thanks.Exx8 (talk) 05:51, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Click on the small triangle to the bottom right of the text box. In the pop-up menu make sure "plain text" is unchecked.--Shantavira|feed me 07:25, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
NO NO, I try to send via a php file into a Gmail account.Exx8 (talk) 09:20, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Do you mean to say that you have written a PHP program to send mail? If so, carefully read PHP mail function documentation. In particular, see the section where they talk about MIME and HTML email. (The mail header is only part of the work you need to do: you must provide a complete and valid multipart message). If you wish, you can write your own code to produce valid MIME multipart email documents, but it is recommended that you use the pre-existing code provided by Pear Mail_Mime (part of the Pear package). Nimur (talk) 11:00, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Another option is to create an HTML page on a public server, then just provide a link to it in your email. This is often done as a backup method even when the HTML page is sent as part of the email. StuRat (talk) 13:31, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't think either "html\text" or "plain\text" is a valid Content-Type. In my email I see "text/html" or "text/plain", not only with the order reversed but with different punctuation. -- (talk) 20:24, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

List of USB type C devices[edit]

If there a comprehensive list of USB type-C host devices out there? Our article lists four of them, but I suspect there might be more out there. My other car is a cadr (talk) 06:30, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

I doubt you can really make a comprehensive list or if you can, it would be irrelevant within a few months. While USB type-C is still relatively new, you can already buy PCI express cards from China http://www.aliexpress. com/item/Single-USB3-1-Type-C-to-PCI-Express-x4-Converter-Adapter-10Gbps-USB-3-1-Type/32348096169.html http://www.aliexpress. com/item/10pcs-PCI-E-4x-Express-to-USB-3-1-Type-C-USB-C-Dual-Port-Add/32345340902.html. Consumer motherboards are starting to include them (I'm not sure if these have launched but they've been announced). Nil Einne (talk) 18:27, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Old windows 7 installation.[edit]

Long story short, had hardware problem on system, misdiagnosed as software so reinstated 7.

Now theres a windows.old folder on primary disk. How can I revert back to this installation, please? Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:20, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

This should help - [2] -- LarryMac | Talk 16:38, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
windows key + R, type cleanmgr.exe and click ok. Select the bottom left button which is something like clean up system files. Check the box for old windows installation and click ok. (talk) 02:23, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

How To Split A String Into An Array Of Characters In VBA (Not VB.NET) ?[edit]

Hello, I want to take a string and split it into an Array(or a Collection) of characters(each character that makes up the string) in Visual Basic for Applications, not VB.Net. I am using VBA in Microsoft Word 2007. How would I do this? Thanks for your help in advance. —SGA314 (talk) 16:00, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

You can look at this. Ruslik_Zero 19:58, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, I am kind of limited to wiki only. For me this site is blocked. Sorry. —SGA314 (talk) 13:35, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

May 23[edit]

clang help[edit]

[First, an apology. I could probably answer these questions myself with the help of the Clang User's Manual, but I have not yet succeeded in obtaining a copy of the Clang User's Manual.]

My Mac was recently upgraded to OS X 10.9, and I'm having a little difficulty adjusting. Among other things, when I went to reinstall the C compiler, I discovered that what Xcode now gives you is clang, not the gcc suite I'm used to. Here are some of the issues I'm having:

  1. The error messages are a little... verbose. Each error gives you three lines of output, like this:
        geowalkoutlines.c:66:4: error: non-void function 'walkoutlines' should return a value [-Wreturn-type]
    Lines two and three are nice touches, I suppose, but I don't need them and I'd like to turn them off. The man page suggests there are command line flags -fshow-source-location and -fcaret-diagnostics controlling these, but it looks like those flags turn the options on, while I'd like to turn them off. Anybody know how to do that? Alternatively, anybody know where these options are getting turned on by default, so I can tinker with the defaults?
  2. The error message I mentioned in #1 is an error, not a warning. Anybody know if there's a way to suppress it, or change it from an error to a warning? (I have lots of old code that uses "implicit void", and I might not want to change it all right away.)
  3. The error messages are also in color, which is, shall we say, hard on my eyes. Anybody know how to turn that off? (Setting TERM to "dumb" works, but it feels very wrong to be doing that for a C compiler.)
  4. Anybody know where the standard header files are? They're not in /usr/include any more.
  5. Anybody know what the debugger is? It's kind of a shock to get "gdb: command not found", and my code is, alas, still not perfect. (But I'm no real fan of gdb any more, so if clang has its own, presumably better debugger, I'm happy to give it a try.)

Thanks for any help! —Steve Summit (talk) 00:41, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

The clang user manual is at Command line flags can be turned off with "no-" added, eg -fno-caret-diagnostics. lldb is the debugger. I'm not an expert on any of this but a quick google turned this up for me.-gadfium 04:20, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
-fno-color-diagnostics will help your eyes. You might be able to avoid the "implicit void" error if you set -std=c99 (or even -std=c94 or -std=c89); it defaults to c11.-gadfium 04:29, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm not a Mac owner, but the standard include files should be in /Applications/
Wow! Thanks very much for all that. You're just about five for five!
Only remaining question, which I'm not finding in the manual so far, is whether there's a way to tune the clang defaults on a global basis. I'm surprised if they left this out, since they seem to have done a super complete job on everything else. I may have to figure out a way to put in a feature request. —Steve Summit (talk) 12:19, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
If there's nothing in your makefile (or equivalent) setting the defaults, take a look at the CFLAGS environment variable (CXXFLAGS for C++ options). CFLAGS may be being set up in your .profile or whatever the equivalent of that is on a Mac.-gadfium 19:01, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
What do you mean by "implicit void"? It's undefined behavior to use the value of a function call that exited other than by a return statement with a value (C89, § Are you relying on implicit-int for your functions' return types and on the clients to ignore the values not being returned? --Tardis (talk) 14:15, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Precisely. That's how we did it back in the day (the pre-C89-days, that is), when type void hadn't even been invented yet. —Steve Summit (talk) 21:05, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

How to boot from a USB stick with an IBM Thinkpad[edit]

I have an old laptop (an IBM Thinkpad). It is probably from 2005 or so. It is running Windows XP. I want to upgrade it to Windows 8. I have Windows 8 on a USB stick. How can I get my laptop to boot from the USB stick (so that I can install the Windows 8 onto the laptop)? Thanks. I am not that computer-savvy, so please don't get too technical with a lot of computer/technical jargon. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 06:35, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Hold the F12 key when you power on the computer until the "Boot Menu" appears, and choose USB. -- BenRG (talk) 07:02, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't be certain that a Thinkpad that old will be able to run Windows 8: getting the drivers for the network, sound and video cards, etc. may be non-trivial. It's also possible that it won't boot from USB. Even if it does, my Thinkpads from that era have USB 1 interfaces, which are very, very slow. It's likely to take a looong time to install from USB. If it was me (and I'm pretty technically savvy) I wouldn't bother to try.--Phil Holmes (talk) 10:28, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Yes, come to find out ... you are correct on all counts. (1) It will not boot from USB, after all. And (2) It will not be able to run Windows 8 at all, unless I upgrade some hardware first. I had not even thought of the slow USB 1 speed, either. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:13, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
A Thinkpad from 2005 should support USB 2.0 ([3], [4]) and be able to boot from USB ([5]). The T43 was first released in 2005, with a 1600–2260 MHz CPU and a Radeon X300 GPU, and Windows 8.1 works on it ([6]). Computers haven't really gotten much better in the last decade. That said, depending on the actual model and year, you may be limited to Windows 7. -- BenRG (talk) 18:04, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I was only ball-parking when I said "2005". Although, I think that must be close. In any event, I called Microsoft. They stated that I need various minimum requirements (so much RAM, certain processor speed, so much hard disk space, etc.) in order to run Windows 8. And I do not have those minimum requirements. Also, my laptop will definitely not boot from USB. And, even if it did — which it doesn't — my hardware will take "accept" Windows 8. I tried to install Windowss 8 with a CD (instead of the USB stick). And I got an error message that says something along the lines of "this computer is not capable of installing Windows 8". Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 18:34, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Most of the Windows 8 "requirements" are not really required. The problem with your machine may be that it doesn't support NX, which is a real requirement (but not required by Windows 7). You could check that with a tool like Speccy (on the CPU page, on the Instructions line, look for "NX" in the list).
What type of Thinkpad is it? The type is 7 digits and letters, possibly with a hyphen, e.g. 2373-91U. It should be printed on a sticker on the bottom, and Speccy may also tell you (under Model on the Motherboard page).
Or you could just give up. :-) -- BenRG (talk) 19:28, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I was wondering myself what type of Thinkpad it is. What make, model number, etc. I will have to look at the sticker on the bottom, as you suggested. I didn't know it would be listed there. But, just today, I brought my laptop to a computer repair shop. So, they still have it. I won't get it back for a few days (plus, there is the holiday intervening). And, whatever the issue is, when I tried to install Windows 8, I did get that error message that prevented me from going any further with the installation process. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 04:12, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
You might be better getting a second HDD for the computer, and installing Win8 on it. However, given the age of your laptop it probably uses PATA drives rather than the newer SATA drives, and PATA 2.5" drives might be hard to find. I don't think you can get adaptors for mobile drives, as there is less room for them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by LongHairedFop (talkcontribs) 10:46, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Yeah. This is basically an "extra" piece of junk laptop. I have two good computers that I use daily, a desktop and a laptop. I am just giving this old clunker to my Dad, so he has something to fiddle around with. He will not use the computer extensively at all. But, I still want it to have Windows 8 instead of Windows XP, if at all possible. This is just a minor project and really not all that important to me. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:12, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I'd stick with XP on that laptop. It's going to work a lot better than Windows 8, even if you can find a way to load it. StuRat (talk) 21:07, 26 May 2015 (UTC)


If I have a computer with 127 usb devices connected (the maximum), what happens if I connect one more? Does the computer crash, give an error, do nothing? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:34, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

I had the situation where I had more USB devices plugged in than the PC would allow, and it seemed to do as follows:
1) Ignored any new USB devices plugged in after the max was reached.
2) At boot time it apparently depended on the somewhat random boot order, resulting in a random USB device being ignored.
Of course, I can't guarantee that all PCs will behave the same way. StuRat (talk) 17:59, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
It probably depends on the computer and the specific USB host controller, but I suspect, most of the time it would do nothing, since it has run out of addresses to assign. The behaviour you describe, randomly deciding at boot up which it connects and which "miss out" makes sense, since the "boot up" time of each device would vary ever so slightly depending on power draw of the other devices etc, it would give enough "chaos" that the sequence in which they connect might change each time. I've only played a "bit" with usb controllers, but I get the impression that 127 was actually set as a limit that would "never be reached" in practice, so i'm not sure how well the limit is implemented. I suspect it's somewhat better than "crash the computer" but somewhat worse than "tell you the limit is reached and let you decide which device/s to ignore." Vespine (talk) 23:17, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
But I REALLY want to know what 127 USB devices you have plugged into your computer?? :) Also, by the by, I believe that the 127 limit is per CONTROLLER not per COMPUTER. A Computer can have more than one USB controller, in fact, these days I "think" it's pretty normal for most computers to have more than one USB controller (if you have USB3 controller you almost certainly also have a USB2 controller in the same computer), so I don't think there's anything stopping you from having more than 127 USB devices connected to one COMPUTER. Vespine (talk) 02:24, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

May 24[edit]

May 25[edit]

Multiple wikis on Bitnami MediaWiki stack?[edit]

How do you set up more than one wiki on a Bitnami MediaWiki stack? The installation procedure only assists in setting up one, and it doesn't reveal how it does it. How do you add a second wiki? The Transhumanist 04:25, 25 May 2015 (UTC)


Where are the instructions on how to set up and use DBpedia? The Transhumanist 04:43, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

How to initialize an array of shared_ptr in C++[edit]

I want to allocate an array of shared pointers, and then loop through the array to initialize each element. However I can't figure out the right syntax for it:

  std::shared_ptr<int> intArray[2];
  intArray[0](new int);

What's the right syntax for this? My other car is a cadr (talk) 13:10, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

The standard way to initialize the array is with list initialization. Initializer lists have to be resolvable at compile-time, though, which the result of "new" is not. I don't believe there's any standard way to initialize an array with a run-time determined value. You probably just want to use a for loop to populate the array:
  int intArraySize(2);
  std::shared_ptr<int> intArray[intArraySize];
  for( int i(0); i < intArraySize; ++i ) {
      intArray[i] = std::shared_ptr<int>(new int);
Note you're assigning each element rather than using parenthesis/bracket initialization. Also, the "std::shared_ptr<int>" in the loop body is needed because the conversion of the raw pointer into shared_ptr needs to be "explicit" (to prevent you from accidentally converting something you don't want to and messing up the reference counts.). -- (talk) 16:21, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
By the way, if you have "programming help" questions (as opposed to general computer questions) you may want to look at StackOverflow, which is a more specialized question/answer site for programmers. (People here will certainly be willing to answer your questions, but you're likely to get more/better answers at a SO.) -- (talk) 16:24, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
You can only initialize an object when it's constructed. In your example, the shared_ptrs are constructed (and default-initialized) by the first statement. All you can do after that is overwrite them with new values. You can't use the constructor syntax for that; your second statement is a function call, which fails because shared_ptr doesn't define operator().
Contrary to what said, array initializers don't have to be compile-time constants. This works:
  std::shared_ptr<int> intArray[2] = {std::shared_ptr<int>(new int), std::shared_ptr<int>(new int)};
But it probably isn't useful unless you really only want two shared_ptrs.
In the loop or the initializer list, it is probably better to write std::make_shared<int>() instead of std::shared_ptr<int>(new int), since it will (probably) halve the number of allocations by allocating the int and its reference count together. -- BenRG (talk) 23:14, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, guys. My other car is a cadr (talk) 13:21, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

"Cloud this...", "Cloud that..." and NSA.[edit]

Nowadays, people talk alot about cloud computing and etc..
The question is how/why the hell cloud computing is becoming/became trendy on NSA surveilance era~?
Why dont people sort of bury this idea under the ground, or at least stop "masturbating" to cloud computing. Are those guys outside current reality? (talk) 16:13, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

In reality, not much has changed, if they wanted to, "The Government" could bug your phone line ever since phones were invented, they could intercept your mail ever since the post was invented. They could bug your livingroom if they really wanted to. They could track your car if they really wanted to. People still use phones, live in houses, post letters and drive cars without worrying too much about the government spying on them. And in reality, you'd have to be pretty paranoid to think that out of the millions of citizens, the government would give two hoots about you or what you do. Legitimate businesses, and even a lot of internet users might not care that the NSA can "spy" on them, since they have nothing to hide. As for specifically "cloud" computing, there's nothing "inherent" in cloud computing that makes it more voulnerable to "NSA Attack" or whatever you want to call "that" idea. Like with any technology you just weigh up the advantages and disadvantages and decide if it's worth it for your situation. Cloud can even be implemented just for services that don't contain any "sensitive data" that you care someone might be spying on, you could use it for non sensitive services, like a "web shop", why would anyone care if the NSA can spy on their store front? Vespine (talk) 22:52, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
"Since they have nothing to hide." The one who decide what is wrong is not the "legitimate business" owners. Someone saying he has nothing to hide is irrelevant, he is assuming he do nothing wrong according to his own point of view and unless he is the one who decide what point of view is used to check what is wrong or not, his point of view on this case is irrelevant. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:50, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
The technical difference is that back in the earliest days of bugging houses it took a crew of people and van full of equipment to install the bugs and to monitor one house. This was a rather expensive operation, ensuring that even in a police state only a small number of homes would actually be bugged. However, it has now become vastly cheaper to monitor the internet, and, using computers to flag items of interest, one person can effectively listen in on many conversations at once. So, it is now feasible for monitor everyone's internet usage, all the time. StuRat (talk) 18:33, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Ok the unsigned IP clearly has a bee in his bonnet about the NSA, I'm guessing chemtrail level paranoia. I personally am glad that true anonymity is very difficult on the internet, there have been more than enough social experiments that prove how absolutely horrible people can be if they're "guaranteed" anonymity without reprecussion. I see no reason to suppose the internet should or was ever intended to be "free" of laws and regulations, there is more than enough internet crime, terrorism, fraud, child abuse etc that the internet enables with the feeble laws that are in place. The internet is still in its infancy, call it the "wild west", people loved the freedom, but there was a high price for it too, the risk of being shot in the street by some drunk cowboy etc... MOST people in the modern world would not trade places with someone who lived in the wild west and I predict the internet will undergo similar "progress". Vespine (talk) 23:28, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
"I'm guessing chemtrail level paranoia." I dont know what chemtrail is (will have to check). Its not paranoia, its already set to stone USA spy people. Also this goes against USA constitution, so they made something illegal, I am not saying that because they made something illegal (implemented this surveilance system against constitution rules) they will use the NSA system to do illegal stuff. But the point is that they already made something illegal, so asking questions like "do you think the government would do something bad?" is stupid since the fact that NSA surveilance exist prove they did at least one illegal thing. (talk) 12:11, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Preview of dump data before downloading large file[edit]

Is there a way to preview a segment of the data before downloading a 1.5 GB dump file? I would like to know if the file contains the kind of data that I am looking for. Thank you for reading :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:18, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

If you're downloading on HTTP or HTTPS, you may find the server supports byte serving, which will allow you to ask to download only a small section of the file. For example, with cURL:
     curl -r 0-1023 > cat.partial.jpg
will download only the first 1k of the image. But some servers don't support this (they'll send the whole file regardless) or will only support it on some file types. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 19:52, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Empty Characters Retrieved From String Data From TextBox Into Array Using VBA (Not VB.Net)?[edit]

Hello, I have a TextBox that I want to take the individual characters and put them into an Array (or a Collection). This would require 2 things: 1. I would have to take the string from the "Text" property of the text box and extract the individual characters. 2. Put those extracted, individual characters into a Collection or an Array. How would I do this in Visual Basic for Applications (I am using MS Word 2007 to do this)? I have already asked a similar question but not aimed at doing this with a Textbox. Also I can't go to any other web sites, I need the information to be here as I cant go to any external links. Thanks for your help in advance!

Edit: I can use the KeyPress event to record every character that's pressed and empty it into the Array or Collection but I don't have a way to tell if any characters have been deleted. Here is the code i am using to do this.

Public Chars As New Collection
Public i As Integer
Private Sub CharTextInput_KeyPress(ByVal KeyAscii As MSForms.ReturnInteger)
    Chars.Add Chr(KeyAscii), i
    i = i + 1
    'KeyAscii Is the character code that was pressed.
    'Chr() converts the specified character code to a character that is enclosed in a string.
    'Chars is a Collection (I like using Collections, their so easy to use!).
    'i is just the Key that is used to locate the character in the Collection.
End Sub

The problem with this is like I said, I don't have a way to identify when a character is deleted from the text box. This is why I need to use the string from the "Text" property to get the characters. —SGA314 (talk) 18:56, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Let's start with the string splitting functions:
Private Sub StringToArray(ByVal sString As String, ByRef asArray() As String)
    Dim i as Integer
    If Len(sString) = 0 Then
        '  sString is empty
        ReDim asArray(0)
        ReDim asArray(Len(sString) - 1)
        For i = 1 To Len(sString)
            asArray(i - 1) = Mid$(sString, i, 1)
    End If
End Sub
Private Sub StringToCollection(ByVal sString As String, ByRef colCollection As Collection)
    Dim i as Integer
    For i = 1 To Len(sString)
        colCollection.Add(Mid$(sString, i, 1))  
End Sub
Now, for the textbox handling. You can access the current text by just reading the CharTextInput.Text property - the issue is when to do this. Do you want to update something else while the user is typing in the text, or do you want to wait until the user has finished entering the text? Tevildo (talk) 00:20, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
I want to update the collection every time something changes in the textbox. I think I would have to clear the Collection and then load the characters into the Collection again. I can use the TextBox Changed Event to do this, right? Thank you so much for your help. I didn't know about the Mid function. Thanks again. —SGA314 (talk) 13:10, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes! I did it! Here is what I came up with based on your way:
Public Chars As New Collection
Private Sub CharTextInput_Change()
    Dim i As Integer
    Dim Text As String
    Text = CharTextInput.Text
    For i = 1 To Chars.Count
        Chars.Remove (CStr(i))
    For i = 1 To Len(Text)
        Chars.Add Mid$(Text, i, 1), CStr(i)
End Sub

So the first thing I do is, I Empty the Text from the TextBox into a String. Next I proceed to clear the Chars Collecteion(In VBA for MS Word 07, the Collection dosen't have a Clear() method) by going through and removing each one.

Finally I use your String Splitting piece of code, only this time I Set the key for each element as the String version of whatever I currently equals in the Loop. Now When I want to access the characters in the Collection, I just do this:

For Each Char In Chars
'Do Whatever With the variable 'Char'

Thanks sooo much for your help. —SGA314 (talk) 13:43, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

May 26[edit]

Annoying pony videos[edit]

[question moved here from the miscellaneous desk]

Lots of annoying pony videos show up on my YouTube recommended videos and it's so embarrassing since i don't even watch that sort of cartoons. Could any one of your kind souls work this out for me...? I don't fancy when I am in the middle of a power point me clicking on YouTube and pony videos popping up. That would be so embarrassing and it would be the worst possible thing for me for social stuff and getting teased.

If this doesn't happen when you are using private browsing mode and aren't logged on to your account but only happens with your normal browser, then it's likely Google has decided these are the sort of thing you want. In that case, if you aren't logged in to an account, clear your cookies. If you are logged in to your account, you'll either have to delete your history, or open and subscribe to enough other stuff that it will start showing different stuff. However this may not work, or won't work long term if the reason this arose in the first place keeps occuring. If it's not an account problem but it is a shared computer, you should create seperate OS or browser profile for youself which only you use. If it it's an account problem, are you sure you are keeping your account secure? Nil Einne (talk) 18:54, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Thank you! Yes I am keeping my account secure. Why would Google decide that though....? I don't have any younger sisters or brothers to do that so I am stumped. I don't fancy deleting my history because someone might get the wrong idea. I've got different accounts for each family member so no one could have made a mistake. The videos show mostly the Mane 6 with some Princess Celestia and Princess Luna to boot. No fun indeed. I know about that because of pony spamming on forums and stuff. (talk) 19:09, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

If getting caught with ponies would be the worst possible thing for you, giving someone the wrong idea by deleting history should be the relatively safer option.
Remember, Google doesn't just build your demographic profile from YouTube videos you watch, but anything you do on any site it has trackers and widgets and whatnot in. For instance, launches scripts from and If that's not the forum you've learned about how friendship is magic at, it probably also applies to the one where you did.
If you Google something like "why is my little pony in my recommended videos?", you're just associating yourself further. But when I Googled it (protected somewhat by NoScript), I found this, which suggests you're not alone. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:08, May 24, 2015 (UTC)
You can check here to find out what Google thinks you like, and tell it to stop guessing, if you'd like. If it doesn't suggest you like ponies, it might just be that the brony community has an effective viral marketing strategy, and you've been touched by it. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:17, May 24, 2015 (UTC)

I have tried using the ad check but it showed nothing. I do not like MLP so I have not gone on any forums nor listened to any of the MLP videos on my recommended videos on YouTube. I had a look at the thread but it was useless due to the fact that it showed no tips to deal with it and the thread was mostly mudslinging at YouTube or calling the OP a brony. So why does it continue to happen. Do you have any more tips. Thank you. (talk) 15:55, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Could someone please response. Also the videos are still there and there seems to be a lot of links to MLP Forums and FiMfiction but I don't know why. Could any of you please help. Thanks! (talk) 21:19, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Nil Einne, why so afraid? Pony rocks man! Read this article My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fandom. —SGA314 (talk) 13:55, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

I am not afraid of ponies. Also I really do not like MLP and I have no idea why FiMFiction and MLPForums are on my tabs screen. Also there is some sort of MLP fan game music too. I think it's called MLP:Fighting is Magic or something. And it's mostly Fluttershy and with some Twilight Sparkle as well. I don't listen to such music or such girly western animation. Why does it continue to show. Could you help me please. School is a brutal place and I do not want someone to think that I might even enjoy something so girly. I actually don't like it but I don't want someone to think otherwise. Thanks! (talk) 16:31, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

I am just going to leave this here... --Guy Macon (talk) 18:53, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Could you please tell me what you are trying to say. I don't get it. Anyway I do not watch such a girly show such as MLP the main concern is the pony videos on MY YouTube. Not only that but I am not a fan. At all. I do know a lot but I assure you I am not a Brony! School can misjudge a lot and thus I don't want the school thinking I like such girly shows. Could you give me any tips please on the videos and why they appear. PS I think all of you are good people who will go to heaven when you die. Thanks! (talk) 19:04, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Try watching videos that are completely unrelated to Pony. Like watch a Within Temptation music video, or something that is unrelated. Not even in the ball park. Youtube will try to give you videos that you might like, although it has failed miserably.

YouTube just likes to spam pony stuff. I do like reading about fanfiction about MLP but not the show itself. I would NEVER dare watch such girly show's ok! Anyway YouTube just's like that in general. And it's tough to avoid looking at pony stuff in order to annoy the bronies but sadly I do not have a YouTube account so everypony just thinks I like the show. Why must this terrible nonsense continue! Thanks! PS No matter what any pony spamming forums tell you about me being a secret brony it's not true! (talk) 19:29, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

The videos may hang around for a long time. I still have Youtube insisting that I want to see Peppa Pig for a year now after my granddaughter watched some. Strange but your last line in your last comment makes me think of the line from Garageland (song). CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Sunasuttuq 02:32, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

There is still a awful lot of MLP:FiM videos on my YouTube. Could you please help..? Also there's links to EqD and FiMFiction along with MLPForums. It's quite annoying since school is quite a judgmental place and I do not want to have to endure teasing sbout MLP:FiM. I really, really do not like ponies! Thank you. (talk) 19:55, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Using old menus in Microsoft Word 2007[edit]

Is there a way to use Microsoft Word 2007 and use the menus that were in older versions of Word?

Thanks, CBHA (talk) 03:30, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

I haven't tried it myself, but there is a free tool to give you classic menus. See How To Bring Back the Old Menus in Office 2007.-gadfium 04:34, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Actually, don't install that just yet. There are reports that it can be difficult to uninstall and that some downloads may contain a virus. Wait until others on this refdesk chime in and check any download thoroughly with a virus checker.-gadfium 04:41, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Here's the web site; I haven't tried it but it certainly looks legitimate to me. What reports are you talking about? I searched for "UBitMenu virus" and only saw a few of those scam sites that have boilerplate pages for every software product in existence. -- BenRG (talk) 07:15, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
I've been using UbitMenu since Microsoft inflicted the ribbon on us. It has worked well on M$Office 2007, 2010 and 2013. I have never had a problem with it and the virus checkers have never flagged the download as being infected. I highly recommend it. --TrogWoolley (talk) 13:30, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Ok, I didn't realise that some sites report everything as a virus. So long as you download it from the original site, as linked by BenRG, you should be fine. Avoid third party sites which offer you freeware as they sometimes bundle other software into the installer.-gadfium 22:01, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Compute MD5 hash of string in VBA(Not VB.NET)?[edit]

Hello, can anyone tell me how to compute an MD5 hash of a specified string using Visual Basic for Applications? Thanks for your help in advance. —SGA314 (talk) 19:12, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

This question on StackOverflow has some example code. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 12:53, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
As i have said before(in a previous post) i can't go to any other website for information on this topic except here on wiki. Sorry. Could you post some of the example code? I am so sorry. If i had complete internet access in would just Google it. Hence why i am asking here. Thanks. —SGA314 (talk) 15:52, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
The stackoverflow page has VB.NET not VBA sample code. There's pseudo-code on the MD5 article. It might be better to roll your own MD5 function. LongHairedFop (talk) 18:46, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Stepping through an animated gif file?[edit]

Is there a way to step through (or freeze/unfreeze a frame of) an "animated" gif file such as

Franks expansion.gif

Contact Basemetal here 21:05, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

What I've done is to bust it up into individual, single-frame images (I forget if I used gifsicle or one of the NetPBM tools for this), and then view and step through the collection in an image viewer (for me, typically MacOS Preview). —Steve Summit (talk) 21:40, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Open the image in Gimp. You can click on each layer (frame of animation) to view each one independently. (talk) 13:19, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Windows live mail ignores my Header[edit]

Hi there,
I got a php file that sends mail.
These are my header settings:

MIME-Version: 1.0 \r\n Content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 \r\nFrom:\r\n

Unfortunately, when a client gets a mail, windows live ignores my encoding setting and presents it as gibberish.
Does anyone know why it happens?Thanks!Exx8 (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 03:28, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Do you really have a space between \n and Content-type? If so, that's your problem: a header line that starts with whitespace is a continuation of the previous field body, not a new field (RFC 2822 § 2.2.3). -- BenRG (talk) 06:22, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Excel help required[edit]

Unfortunately I have very restricted internet access in work; or I could probably Google the answer myself but I'm appealing to you wonderful people to hopefully help.

We have two different Departments who both require access to an Excel file in its most up to date condition:

1) Department 1 regularly updates the file during the day
2) Department 2 only require access to read but have a bad habit of not closing the file when they have finished with it and then leaving the office to go on site, causing problems for Department 1

Is there a way (or ways) around this. I *think* that restricting Department 2 to read only access would still prevent Department 1 from opening the file to edit? (talk) 06:19, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

I'd consider making a copy of the file for Dept.2 and configuring a job on the server to update the copy regularly, say every 5 minutes during a working day. If Dept.2 staff leave the copy open so it could not be overwritten, then they will have outdated copy, but the main file can still be updated by Dept.1.
Anyway the possible solutions depend on the environment – operating systems, user privileges, admin co-operability etc. --CiaPan (talk) 09:21, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
yes, I figured it was going to need some sort of scripting on the server. Thank you for your time in any case (talk) 12:01, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. Rather than copying every 5 minutes, perhaps it could copy the file whenever they attempt to open it. Thus they would always get the current version and there would hopefully be fewer copies made.
You might also consider restricting department 2's access to only run reports on the file, not allowing them to read it at all. Presumably the report generating software is smart enough to close the file immediately after the report is generated.
A third option might be to change the read-only access to not lock the file. (I'm not sure if Excel allows this.) The whole idea of file-locking is to prevent getting outdated info, but you may not consider that as important, in this case. StuRat (talk) 12:25, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
[EC] Having been in a similar workplace position, I find the most satisfying solution is to smack Department 2 upside the head every time they do it, until they get the message.
Alternatively, if Department 2 only requires access to read, than if Department 1 keeps the file permanently open during the working day, Department 2 should still be able to open it in "Read Only" mode which should answer their needs. I myself regularly consult an Excel file from the 'Department 2' position, and can, for example, add entries and/or reformat it as I require for partial printouts of certain columns only, but of course cannot save such changes. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 12:32, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that Excel will not try to lock a read-only file. If the whole directory is read-only then it wouldn't be able to create the lock file anyway. So I think that denying write access to Department 2 will solve your problem. It's worth a try, anyway. -- BenRG (talk) 21:00, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Why does IP Address keep changing ?[edit]

I have been using a public computer (a PC at a local LearnDirect centre) for tha past few weeks & when I've been able to check the "Last Account Activity" in my email (gmail), it says that the activity current session is a different location to where I actually am. For example today it says: Netherlands ( I'm not in the Netherlands but in Liverpool, England. In the past it said Poland, China, Denmark etc. Any ideas whats going on ? (talk) 08:59, 27 May 2015 (UTC) Also, I don't know if this is relevent but the LearnDirect centre IT is by someone called Zscaler185.46.212.70 (talk) 09:58, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Sounds like it might be using rotating anonymous proxy servers. If they set it up that way they must have felt the anonymity of their users was important. StuRat (talk) 12:20, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Well today, nearly everybody had some sort of trouble trying to login to their Hotmail, Outlook, etc accounts. (talk) 12:37, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

If you want to log in to Wikipedia using this server, you should register an account. Wikipedia blocks IP addresses that are known to be anonymous proxies, because they facilitate vandalism. Robert McClenon (talk) 12:55, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Fedora machine - display freezing[edit]

I'm looking for some guidance on where to look for this problem (which I presume must be a hardware fault, but I don't know in which component).

I have a PC (64 bit Intel Duo, 2.2GHz) running Fedora Linux. Until last week it was running Fedora 20; last week I installed F21, in case it wasn't a hardware problem. From time to time (more often now, usually after no more than an hour) the display freezes. The cursor continues to move following the mouse, and if I use Ctrl-Alt-F2 to get to a console, that works perfectly (as does an ssh session running on the machine). I'm running Cinnamon as desktop, with lightdm - I was formerly running it with gdm, but substituting lightdm made no observable difference. On the other hand selecting "Cinnamon (software)" as desktop, while it makes most things intolerably slow, seems to avoid the problem. I've had a quick look at dmesg, and the lightdm and Xorg log files: I don't see anything obviously panicking, but I don't really know what I'm looking for.

When I was playing about with installing F21, I tried running many of the hardware tests on the Ultimate Boot CD: nothing turned up.

Can anybody suggest where to look to narrow down the problem? --ColinFine (talk) 11:52, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Could be low RAM (swapping to paging space could explain the intolerably slow part, and that happens when RAM is low). How much do you have ? Also, is the problem more likely to occur after you've been using it for a while and started up multiple apps ? StuRat (talk) 12:17, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I suspect RAM - which will not report any error anywhere. I've also seen this happen because of a faulty bus controller - which also caused errors in sound, but also did not report any error anywhere. However, you should check /ver/log/Xorg.0.log for warnings and/or errors - though I doubt you will see anything. (talk) 12:21, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
In January, I provided advice to a different Fedora user with a similar symptom. The system had different installed display manager software, but the same general troubleshooting steps apply. When the display lags, is the entire system unresponsive (or only the display)? Can you monitor the system via an ssh session or a serial console so you can interactively diagnose these problems while the UI is unavailable? In my earlier response, I provided some useful links and some debugging advice, as well as the prognosis: unless this is a very common bug, we are unlikely to be able to find and fix its root cause by simple descriptions of the symptom alone.
Of course, if you do follow my instructions and collect debugging information, be sure you sample the LightDM process and direct your bug report to the LightDM mailing list contact, using their instructions for filing bugs (and not for the Cinnamon project team - that information applied to User:JIP's system as of January).
Nimur (talk) 14:26, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestions, Nimur. I have 2Gb of RAM, which I would have thought was adequate. However, it occurs to me that when I've seen the problem I'm always running Firefox (37.0.2) and I remember that Firefox certainly used to be a memory hogger. I've usually got Thunderbird going as well, but not more than one or two other things. I certainly could ssh in when I tried. I'll look at the previous discussion. --ColinFine (talk) 14:40, 27 May 2015 (UTC)


May 22[edit]

What is the difference between analgesia and sedation?[edit] (talk) 01:17, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

The difference between analgesia and anesthesia is that you're conscious for one. Both relieve or prevent pain. Sedation doesn't necessarily do that, just makes you tired. That can somewhat help with pain, but mainly used to stop movement. InedibleHulk (talk) 02:18, May 22, 2015 (UTC)
Analgesia is relief from pain and sedation is relief from anxiety or irritability. Sedation does not necessarily render the patient unconscious. Richerman (talk) 06:18, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Aye. I should have said reduce movement. You want a fuller stop, you'll want a neuromuscular-blocking drug. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:34, May 22, 2015 (UTC)

Definition of planet[edit]

I have a hard time understand what is this sentence trying to say: "while the instructions to the Alfonsine Tables show how "to find by means of tables the mean motuses of the sun, moon, and the rest of the planets"? Especially what motuses means? Thanks! (talk) 02:09, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Movements, probably. InedibleHulk (talk) 02:20, May 22, 2015 (UTC)
Makes sense, but then what exactly would "mean movement" mean? Movement or motion doesn't seem like something that it makes sense to take the mean of and tabulate in tables. Note incidentally that the spelling "motuses" is applying an English plural to a Latin word; as indicated on the linked Wiktionary page, motus was a fourth-declension noun and the Latin plural was motus with a different pronunciation. -- (talk) 04:21, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Not sure. Math and Latin aren't my thing. Astronomy isn't, either, but I hear spinning things like to wobble and shift. Seems that would would create at least one set of deviant numbers a math wizard might try to level out, by any medians, modes or means necessary.
Someone smart will probably be along shortly. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:53, May 22, 2015 (UTC)
Alfonsine tables#Methodology might be something to ponder. I don't get it. These seem to be the deviations. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:56, May 22, 2015 (UTC)
I also do not believe that using Latin word in this case is necessary. This is English Wikipedia, not Latin Wikipedia. Latin should only be used when it is required by contexts. In this case, it is only making things harder to understand. (talk) 05:16, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
It's part of a quote here. Blame John of Saxony (astronomer). Though yeah, it'd make more sense to paraphrase that, or just explain the damn thing in modern layman. I'll leave that to the experts. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:52, May 22, 2015 (UTC)
To answer the question implied by the heading of this thread: In the geocentric system, the sun and the moon were considered planets, since they moved with respect to the background of fixed stars. See Classical planet. Deor (talk) 11:47, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
The term is used a lot in this book which is a translation of a manuscript that dates from the 14th century. The manuscript was written in Middle English which may explain the plural form of the word. You have to remember that in those days no-one had realised that the planets moved in elliptical orbits and they appeared to wander about the heavens in odd paths, so the 'mean movement' would presumably be the mean of the various paths one planet appeared to take. Richerman (talk) 11:56, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

List of USB type C devices[edit]

Active resolution vs total resolution[edit]

This datasheet[7] lists two types of resolutions: "300 x 225 active resolution" and "320 x 240 total resolution". What's the difference between the two? Which one would, for example, 1080p be referring to? My other car is a cadr (talk) 06:34, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Usually, such details refer to HBLANK and VBLANK. The device expects analog input, which means that the provider must also supply timing (by way of the HS and VS (horizontal- and vertical- sync) signals. It is expected that these signals should be timed for 320x240 and that video data can only be valid after the blank periods on each line and at the start/end of each frame. In plain english: there are only 300x225 dots on this screen, but the programmer who controls the screen has to send control signals to the electronics as if there were 320x240 dots. This is a very normal procedure for analog display technologies like VGA.
This is not a data sheet - this is a product brief or "feature sheet"; if you were actually going to build a device using this display, you would need to contact the vendor's technical sales team to obtain the actual data sheet that would more clearly specify such statements and provide details of timing signals.
A 1080p signal usually refers to a high definition signal (and by extension, a digital signal protocol). Although it is possible to think in terms of active area, blanking interval, and so on, digital outputs for display on small consumer electronics usually use a packetized data format like MIPI Display Serial Interface (DSI), so "active area" will not be advertised as part of the specification brief (even though the engineers will still have to worry about it!) If you wished to put 1080p signal into an analog representation, then it is probable that you would want an active area of 1920x1080 pixels, and then you'd want extra rows and columns sufficient to allow the display's control circuitry a sufficient amount of time to reset. A rule of thumb is to add a (low single digit) percentage to the columns, and a (mid single digit) percentage to the rows, to permit the circuitry enough time to reset correctly for the next frame. At high speeds (for example, 1080p pictures at 60 frames per second) on realistic hardware clocked at speeds you can buy today in 2015, there might not be enough microseconds to be so generous! (And just wait until "4K" goes mainstream: your monitor control circuitry is going to need to be faster than your CPU!)
Nimur (talk) 10:33, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

String Theory with less scientific literacy[edit]

This inquiry resulted from a conversation I had with a man who has a BA in quantum physics. To my understanding string theory is the result of "combining" the current model of particle physics with general relativity. The layman community seems to have 2 statements on this subject. Either "string theory is nonsense" or "insert large claim based on an interpretation" ( infitite number of possible universes, multi-verse etc ). So there is a lot being said in regards to string theory. (meanwhile there's no hype about the photoelectric effect, the strong force, superconductivity etc). I have an inclination that string theory should be called string hypothesis. Every discipline of science has 2 fundamental pieces of evidence for a theory. A "formula" (physics computations, math, something written on paper in general) and experimental/observational evidence. So where is the experimental/observational evidence for string theory? By no means am I making a claim in regards to the validity of string theory. (due to my ignorance) Do physicists get special exemption or something? Agent of the nine (talk) 16:51, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

It's still a theory without experimental evidence (or for that matter an equation). What makes something a scientific theory is it's explanatory or predictive purpose. That is, in basic terms we have scientific laws, which are simply statements (in either words or mathematics) which accurately describe some aspect of the physical world. To take well-known examples, E=mc2 is a law, or the law of natural selection, or the like. Such statements simply describe, but do not explain. That is, laws are the "whats" of the language of science. Theories provide the "hows" and "whys" of science. A theory is the explanatory framework that gives laws context. From our earlier examples, the theory of special relativity explains why there is a particular relationship between mass, energy, and the speed of light, and the theory of evolution provides an explanation for natural selection. Now, anyone can propose a theory or a law; they are then hypothetical theories and laws. But they don't stop being theories or laws merely because they haven't been proven yet; they're just hypothetical or speculative or unproven theories and laws. Of course, some theories and laws are later disproven conclusively, Phlogiston theory and humor theory and Aristotlean elemental theory are all examples of theories which are actually disproven, and replaced by better theories (i.e. modern Atomic theory). One can even have theories which operate simultaneously and which complement each other (for example molecular orbital theory and valence bond theory). String theory as a concept, lies in the inbetween state, as a theory without proof or disproof. It meets Karl Popper's standard for a sound theory because it is falsifiable in the sense that one could disprove it if one had access to the correct experimental set up, but it's just a theory which hasn't yet been shown one way or the other to be proven or disproven. Physicists like it because it is consistent with existing behaviors, and it explains lots of behaviors in elegant ways that other theories do not; we're just waiting on ways to provide experimental evidence for such strings. --Jayron32 17:14, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Our article currently states that scientific theories do need supporting evidence, with the first sentence "A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation" citing (among others) the SEP here [8]. I don't think the SEP really supports the need for "repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation" as a necessary condition to be a scientific theory, but the SEP article is very good related reading regardless. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:31, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, to be an accepted or proven theory it needs supporting evidence. Phlogiston theory didn't stop being a theory when it was disproven. It just stopped being accepted. --Jayron32 18:12, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Sure, I agree, but that's not what our article says, and I'm not relishing the thought of making major changes to it anytime soon. I suspect many users are watching it, and changing the lede/definition would require a serious campaign. I just wanted to point out that the definition in the article is a little wonky. Maybe I'll sneak in some bits about aether and phlogiston and humors, mentioning that sometimes the assessment of supporting evidence can change - after all, that is core to the self-undermining nature of scientific research. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:34, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
A comment on terminology. There is a lot of misconception around, so I will put this in bold: A scientific theory is distinct from a hypothesis. You seem to know this, but it bears further consideration. You can read the definitions in our articles, but understand that there is no one true canonical definition of what constitutes a theory. A shorter one that I like: a scientific theory is a body of knowledge, with supporting evidence, while a hypothesis is basically an educated guess. People who say "that's just a theory" to challenge something aren't arguing in good faith. The germ theory of disease has essentially no credible criticism. Nor does the gravitational theory. It's little different in math, because math is not science. So while e.g. gravitational theory follows inductive reasoning, it cannot prove anything, not in the logical sense of the word. Modern science mostly works through falsifiability. Math, in contrast, needs no evidence (n.b., the definition in that article does not cite any sources. Suffice it to say that mathematical proof is generally considered distinct from evidence, which, in the scientific world, must be empirical). For example group theory is a self-contained system, and mathematical proofs in the area are instances of deductive reasoning. As string theory is basically part of theoretical physics and mathematical physics, some people think of "theory" in "string theory" as more similar to the "theory" in "group theory", comparte to the use in "gravitational theory". We do have String_theory#Testability_and_experimental_predictions, but I will not weigh in on whether this constitutes a broadly repeatable body of supporting evidence that would place string theory in a similar position to the germ theory of disease. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:25, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

I get the heebie jeebies from reading both of your posts. That you can have a proven or disproven theory gives people ammunition to say "well its just a theory". A hypothetical theory is just a hypothesis. right? These words should have more strict definitions. (based on the context) A good read is "the relativity of wrong by Isaac asimov". Neutons theory of gravity isn't wrong it's just not as correct as general relativity. If a theory is wrong that means that the conclusion was misinterpreted and/or there was missing evidence. In my mind a theory is an idea that is expressed in a formula and is supported by evidence. In fact a theory should just be the sum of evidence one finds/observes with nothing extra added. Agent of the nine (talk) 17:40, 22 May 2015 (UTC) I would like justification for why string theory is a theory. Biology would have never gotten away with only presenting natrual selection without the observational evidence and calling it a theoryAgent of the nine (talk) 17:46, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Hey, you get to think whatever you want, but that won't make it correct in terms of the way the scientific community uses these terms. There is certainly no need for a "formula" to make something a theory. If you want to start calling string theory "the string hypothesis", nobody can stop you. The responses from Jayron and myself are consistent with each other, as well as the general way that science is conducted and taught. Words mean different things in different contexts, and there is no escaping that. There is no regulatory body deciding what is called a theory. There are some regulating bodies in science that govern names, like the IUCN, ICZN, etc., but they don't weigh in on what is and isn't a theory. I do recommend reading the SEP article linked above, it is far more reliable and authoritative than our article on scientific theories. One justification for why string theory is called a theory is by analogy to the way the term is used in mathematics, but there are other, independent justifications discussed in our responses and references above. Jayron is certainly right that it meets the Popperian sense of the word - the claims of string theory are conceptually falsifiable, and nobody seriously doubts that. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:56, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

A hypothetical theory is a hypothesis. yes or no? jay said that theories can be hypothetical in his first post. By formula i refer to a broad sense of an explanation which would be required for a theory. A theory has one or more claims but i feel we are talking past each other.Agent of the nine (talk) 18:02, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

That statement is about as logical as saying "an red apple is a red, yes or no?" Hypothetical is a condition a theory can have, it can be either hypothetical (that is, merely a logical proposition) or a well-established theory. String theory is both a theory and a hypothesis, not just one or the other. Try it this way. Use synonyms because you don't seem to understand these words. Everywhere you read "theory" put the word "explanation" in its place. Everywhere you read "hypothetical" put the word "proposed" in its place. Everywhere you read "hypothesis" put the word "proposal" in its place. If you do that, does it make anymore sense? --Jayron32 18:09, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
To be fair, string theory is an odd bird, because of how it spans math and science, and that precludes putting it in to a simple box. It can be considered as a conceptual framework, a mathematical theory, a scientific theory, a body of research, etc. There is nothing hypothetical about e.g. monstrous moonshine - there are proofs that demonstrate the truth of the claims it makes about abstract objects, independent of any physical objects. One the other hand, I don't think anyone would be bothered if you said "the so-called strings proposed by string theory are hypothetical objects, whose physical existence has not yet been firmly established or falsified. But you just can't change the name. You don't have to like it, but it is what it is. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:22, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
By extension: "the so called 'numbers' of number theory' are hypothetical objects, whose physical existence has not yet been firmly established or falsified..."
I think there is still significant confusion about what a theory is, and how we use this word in the context of a scientific theory. Allow me to present yet another example: consider music theory. Nobody reasonably denies that music exists; nor that there are tones, notes, harmonies. Nobody reasonably denies that we can observe the frequency of a vibrating string, and relate that frequency to its tension and length. Nobody reasonably denies that we can write geometric ratios of frequencies. But all of these concepts are theoretical constructions that allow us to describe detailed abstractions about observations of more mundane occurrences.
String theory is much the same. It is a framework in which we may discuss abstractions, using common terminology, in order to make better sense of observations. One can use string theory to make predictable hypotheses: one can use music theory to make predictable hypotheses, also. For example, you could predict that if you built a larger musical instrument, that it could be used to generate bass tones; you could test that hypothesis. There is no requirement to use the theory in this way. Sometimes, people simply study and develop theory because they enjoy abstraction. Nimur (talk) 19:26, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Ha, that's a good one about number theory! And music theory is another good example to illustrate the breadth of the term. But note that, unlike strings and string theory, number theory does not posit the physical existence of numbers, and hence there is no need to support or falsify their physicality. I can point to two apples, or the numeral '2', but I can't point to two :) Philosophy_of_mathematics covers some of the most notable perspectives, though none of them suppose the physical existence of a number. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:49, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

If a hypothetical theory is a hypothesis why call that a theory to begin with just call it a hypothesis?! (reference to jay) I read this post all over again and then asked myself the definitions of these words (which you claim i dont understand at all) I look them up and find out i have a reasonable understanding of these words according to the page "scientific theory" that you were kind enough to post. "A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation" if it doesnt meet that definition it's not a theory (i would think?) At the bottom of that page it talks about how a theory in physics differs.

"In physics, the term theory is generally used for a mathematical framework—derived from a small set of basic postulates (usually symmetries—like equality of locations in space or in time, or identity of electrons, etc.)—which is capable of producing experimental predictions for a given category of physical systems. A good example is classical electromagnetism, which encompasses results derived from gauge symmetry (sometimes called gauge invariance) in a form of a few equations called Maxwell's equations. The specific mathematical aspects of classical electromagnetic theory are termed "laws of electromagnetism," reflecting the level of consistent and reproducible evidence that supports them. Within electromagnetic theory generally, there are numerous hypotheses about how electromagnetism applies to specific situations. Many of these hypotheses are already considered to be adequately tested, with new ones always in the making and perhaps untested. An example of the latter might be the radiation reaction force. As of 2009, its effects on the periodic motion of charges are detectable in synchrotrons, but only as averaged effects over time. Some researchers are now considering experiments that could observe these effects at the instantaneous level (i.e. not averaged over time)"

That paragraph answers my origional question.. kinda funny but also frustrating the way this conversation went. Probably would have been easier if this was in person. I thank you both for helping meAgent of the nine (talk) 19:34, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Well, I did tell you in my first post that the theory in string theory is like the theory in group theory. Also, note the comments at the top of this thread, and recall that WP:Wikipedia_is_not_a_reliable_source. The initial definition at scientific theory is not a very good one, and perhaps better suited to "widely accepted scientific theory]]. I do still suggest you read the SEP article, but I also agree that the final paragraph you quote is a good way to understand string theory- in part, it is a type of mathematical theory. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:49, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

The reality is that the theorists are doing the best they can. There is a crisis in particle physics right now because of a lack of experimental guidance, but that isn't anyone's fault. Nature has just decided to stop giving us hints. Gravity is incredibly weak, and that makes any approach to quantum gravity equally untestable. People working on non-stringy quantum gravity are in the same boat. I don't know how to solve the crisis, but I'm pretty sure that renaming "string theory" to "string hypothesis" is not going to make any difference. -- BenRG (talk) 21:14, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Theory /= Hypothesis[edit]

I would like to stress the importance of the point made by Jayron32 and SemanticMantis of the difference between a scientific theory and a scientific hypothesis. To call an explanatory framework a theory does not mean that its validity is still awaiting verification. That confusion of terminology is especially significant with regard to creationism. Creationists stubbornly refuse to understand that calling evolution a theory does not mean that it is a hypothesis, and that calling evolution a theory does not mean that any scientist doubts its truth.

Creationists also stubbornly think that ongoing debate as to the details of evolution, in particular as to gradualism or punctuated equilibrium, is debate over the validity of the overall fact of evolution.

Robert McClenon (talk) 20:52, 22 May 2015 (UTC) I completely agree with you. Agent of the nine (talk) 20:55, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Just to be clear I never said that a theory lacks validity because it is called a theory. My contention lies with calling an idea a theory when that idea is still awaiting verification. i.e. calling a hypothesis a theory. Agent of the nine (talk) 21:18, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

A hypothesis is a theory if it is an explanatory framework that is awaiting verification. String theory is an explanatory framework that is awaiting verification, and is therefore both a hypothesis and a theory. Biological evolution is an explanatory framework that is considered by mainstream scientists to have been thoroughly verified, and is therefore both a fact and a theory. Phlogiston is an explanatory framework that has been falsified, and is therefore incorrect and a theory. Robert McClenon (talk) 02:32, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Jayron32 that our article scientific theory is incorrect in that it appears to require verification of theories before they are considered theories. Phlogiston has been falsified, but is still a theory because it is an explanatory framework. (It is true that the explanation is wrong, but it was a reasonable explanation in the eighteenth century.) Robert McClenon (talk) 02:36, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Healthy processed foods  ?[edit]

Standard nutritional advice seems to be to avoid processed foods, since they are all unhealthy. This results from the goals of the manufacturers:

1) To produce the food at the minimum possible cost.

2) To make people eat as much as possible, so they will use it up quickly and then buy more.

3) To cause an addiction to that food, so they won't switch to another food.

This combo leads to adding things like corn syrup, excess salt, etc. But, it seems to me that processed foods could potentially be healthier than many unprocessed foods, say by adding unsaturated fats, no saturated fats or trans fats, adding HDL cholesterol, but no LDL cholesterol, sodium only in the recommended amount, adding all of the recommended vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, enzymes, etc.

Of course, many processed foods claim to be healthy, but it's usually just an attempt to trick the consumer, not an actual attempt to make them healthy. For example, "granola bars" that are mostly sugar. (My favorite claim is "Part of a healthy breakfast", which really seems to mean "The unhealthy part of an otherwise healthy breakfast".)

It also occurs to me that capitalism may be the problem here, and we would need a food coop or some such organization, to truly offer healthy packaged foods.

1) So, what food manufacturers are actually trying to make processed foods that follow all of the latest nutritional recommendations ?

2) Do we have an article or category for this ? (The term nutraceuticals seems to include what I mean but also includes pills, powders, etc. Functional foods seems to just mean vitamin enriched, not so much removing the naturally occurring unhealthy parts of the food.) StuRat (talk) 21:08, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Well seems like nonsense because there are living examples that prove that you can eat unhealthy foods and still be healthy. Agent of the nine (talk) 21:21, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, and you can play Russian roulette and survive, too. That doesn't mean I want to take that risk. StuRat (talk) 21:25, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
There is controversy about how bad saturated fats and salt really are, and you can't put HDL cholesterol in a food - it is the part of your body that carries the food. Also, according to our article a good HDL level is not actually known to be anything more than a symptom of good health, though I would kind of expect/think i.e. guess that it should facilitate useful clean-up processes. Most of the rest is a matter of saying don't make food so tasty... but who eats the virtuous variety? I do think that there are some industrial short-cuts, like using pure sodium rather than a mixture of electrolytes, and of course the dreadful practice of passing artificially generated trans fats as food, which can be avoided without much downside. Wnt (talk) 21:34, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I don't want to get sidetracked by a discussion of what the current best recommendations are, I just want to know what food manufacturers are attempting to follow them. And natural foods can be healthy and tasty, but they often quickly rot and/or are inconvenient, like say beans that need to be soaked overnight or berries that are fuzzy by the time you get them home. StuRat (talk) 21:41, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Processed foods are always going to have some compromise between convenience and health. It's not just about minimizing the cost, it's also about maximizing shelf life. If you take out all the unhealthy ingredients, then it's not really "processed", it's just "precooked." As for added vitamins, I think there's some debate about whether simply adding vitamins to food is really as effective as a diet naturally containing the same nutrients. Does grinding up a multivitamin over a hot dog make it as healthy as a kale salad? See Nutritionism. Also, FWIW, you don't need to soak beans. Mr.Z-man 17:04, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
No, adding vitamins to a hot dog doesn't make it healthy, but if you also added other important nutrients and took out the unhealthy components, like saturated fat, it should theoretically be possible. Pet food (particularly dry) has been manufactured for many decades now with the health of the animal in mind. As long as they don't use ingredients from China they seem to do a reasonably good job of it, resulting in healthy pets, and still make a profit. It also must taste good, as pets seem to want it. So, why can't we do the same for humans ? StuRat (talk) 17:51, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't assume that pets think all pet food tastes as good as any other. Pets do get "spoiled" and refuse to eat their old food once they have gotten used to something better. (They'll eventually eat out of hunger.) Cats and dogs are not naturally picky, since they usually have to wolf down what they can get in nature. Unlike humans they do not sit and calmly choose from a variety placed before them. If they've been brought up on one product, they basically don't know what they are missing. μηδείς (talk) 18:07, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Not everyone would agree that pet foods are made to be healthy for the animal - see: [9] and [10] It is often made using cheap ingredients which provide no nutritional benefit, and it often has colouring added that makes it look more appetising to humans but provides no advantage to the animal. Also your premise that all manufactures try to cause an addiction to the food they produce is ridiculous. Richerman (talk) 19:22, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I heard a story recently from Bruce Ames that Nestle once explored the idea of adding folic acid and perhaps other healthy additives to chocolate on the general theory that it would make their product more healthy at minimal cost (folic acid being dirt cheap). According to the story, they approached the USDA about this, and were told that they would never ever get permission to do that. Apparently the USDA at that time (I think a decade or two ago) was categorically opposed to the idea of making "unhealthy" foods more "healthy" because such action would appear to undermine their efforts to get Americans to eat fewer "unhealthy" foods in the first place. Though milk and fruit juices and other things are often fortified with vitamins and minerals, apparently the idea of similarly fortifying "junk foods" was politically unacceptable. Dragons flight (talk) 20:12, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Chocolate is one of those things that could be made reasonably healthy. Cocoa powder is pretty healthy, it's just all the added sugar and saturated fat that makes it unhealthy. Also, milk products seems to block the absorption of some of the beneficial nutrients in cocoa. I like dark chocolate, myself, with a low sugar content. StuRat (talk) 20:27, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
A bit off-topic, but mashing up a banana with fresh cocoa powder (not any that's been sitting in the pantry for months for it can become stale) is a sweet treat which is easy to make. -Modocc (talk) 11:56, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I'll have to try that. (I'm also surprised cocoa powder goes stale so quickly, when properly stored.) StuRat (talk) 15:13, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
From time to time the notion of adding folic acid to alcoholic beverages is raised (to prevent Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome in chronic alcoholics). Not sure it's ever progressed to the USDA level, though. - Nunh-huh 07:45, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
  • "Processed" is basically a euphemism for "processed in a way that I don't like". Foods have been processed since before the dawn of recorded history, using methods such as smoking, salting, drying, grinding, soaking for an extended period in water, soaking in an alkaline solution such as made from wood ashes, and, of course, cooking. One traditional method of processing that clearly increases the nutritional value of food is nixtamalization, in which cornmeal is soaked in an alkaline solution to turn it into masa, which is used to make tortillas, tamales, etc. The most important effect is to make the niacin in the cornmeal usable by the body, but there are additional good effects as well. Native American tribes have been doing this in various ways for thousands of years. Looie496 (talk) 13:19, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Yes, precooked canned beans seem like a good thing, to me, as long as they don't add too much salt or sugar. (Beans are healthy, and I will eat a lot more of them if I don't have to cook them myself.) StuRat (talk) 15:17, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I will reluctantly advise that most of the processed stuff in canned beans is in the liquid matrix. Drain this off and just use the beans. Goya black beans (plain) need a little more cooking. The Sopa de Frijoles Negros is ready to eat, but is swimming in oil and whatnot. μηδείς (talk) 20:30, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

pocket calculators[edit]

I've noticed a strange thing. Calculators have a constant mode, which substitutes a different operand into the calculation every time, e.g.: 3+4= 7 0= 4. So, the four became the (implied) operand it substitutes into the calculation. This works with all four operations. However, with addition, substraction and division, it's the second operand which becomes the constant, whereas with multiplication, it's the first operand: 3×4= 12 1= 3. Is there a reason for this? Asmrulz (talk) 22:08, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

I doubt if there's any reason for it. If it's an undocumented feature, they wouldn't spend many resources testing it for consistency between operations. Is there more than one model of calculator affected ? If so, I suspect they use the same chip. StuRat (talk) 22:54, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
All that I tried are affected (except the one that has an editable input line with a cursor in the upper half of the display), like, 5 or 6 of them, different manufacturers, too. It's not undocumented, manuals do acknowledge this (for instance), but they don't say what the purpose is. Asmrulz (talk) 23:16, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
One of my calculators also does it. Google results for various calculators show that this is the norm when they have such a constant feature. Maybe it's because many people are used to think of multiplication like that. Multiplication tables like are often written with the constant first, and most people probably prefer to read a grid like in Multiplication table#History by row with a constant on the left. Once a few calculators have done it, it may become a de facto standard followed by others. PrimeHunter (talk) 01:31, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
It's probably because we normally write 3x + 7 rather than x3 + 7 or 7 + 3x or 7 +x3. Looie496 (talk) 14:49, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

May 23[edit]

Laminar jet as a fiber optic cable[edit]

I was just watching this video and the guy said that a laminar jet acts as a fiber optic cable to transmit light. I was wondering if a laminar jet of water could also transmit information similar to a real fiber optic cable. Malamockq (talk) 18:11, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Yes. I actually had a demo of this in school myself. Looks mighty impressive in a dark room! Fgf10 (talk) 18:54, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
How is that 'transmitting information'? AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:57, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
How does a laser transmit light in an optical fibre? Exactly the same. Fgf10 (talk) 18:58, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Anything where two substances with different refractive indices coming into contact presents the opportunity for total internal reflection. Once you have that, you have the possibility of making an optical transmission medium. The question then is, why would you want to use a jet of water? Water is a finite resource as it is, why would you want a transmission medium that constantly needs replenishing? --OuroborosCobra (talk) 19:08, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Well yes of course, it's just a curiosity. Just because it's possible doesn't mean it's sensible. Just that Andy seemed to think it wasn't possible. Fgf10 (talk) 19:14, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
At no point did I suggest that transmitting information through a laminar water jet wasn't possible. Instead I asked how the example you showed transmitted information. All your video showed was light following a water jet, which the OP had already shown in the video linked in the original question. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:42, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Obviously the light can be turned on and off, therefore you can transmit 1's and 0's. That's information. StuRat (talk) 20:31, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Oh that's what you meant! I thought that would be utterly obvious, as Stu described above. (talk) 20:43, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

May 24[edit]

A rocky start[edit]

First post of the day. Well... I have a small collection of stones and minerals, see, that I've picked up over the years. I took some pictures of two earlier. I was wondering if anyone would be able to identify them, or at least give an educated guess. — Chris Woodrich (talk) 10:53, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

The second could be andesite or formed from fused pyroclastics likely of Holocene age. It could have come from the local volcano, or from Krakatoa. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 11:37, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

They're lovely clear photos Chris - just a tip, but including a scale is always helpful. I'd also recommend you check out - Mindat, some very helpful and knowledgeable people there. DuncanHill (talk) 12:30, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
The first one could be calcite, or fluorapatite. DuncanHill (talk) 12:40, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Identifying minerals from photos can be difficult - would you be able to test the streak and hardness - this page has a scale of everyday objects which you could use for comparison. An estimate of density is also helpful - even as rough and ready as "it's heavy for its size" can tell us something. DuncanHill (talk) 12:51, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I'd have to reshoot for a scale, but since I've got ready access that would be easy (I was somewhat disappointed with the sharpness of the first one anyways). I'll see what I can do about the streak and hardness, though as a lit major I wouldn't be able to do much. — Chris Woodrich (talk) 14:00, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Graeme, thanks for the suggestion of andesite. I'd considered that, but I wanted a second opinion. — Chris Woodrich (talk) 14:06, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I can't see the crystal shape of the mineral (and it's been so long since I did geology that it probably wouldn't help if I did). But apart from that, the two mot basic tests we would do with minerals when I was a geology student were "does it react with acid?" and "how hard is it? (Specifically "can you scratch it with your fingernails?" and if not "can you scratch it with a pen knife?"). If it is harder than a stainless steel penknife and unreactive, it might be some sort of quartz or silica (there are plenty of other minerals it could be, but quartz/silica are more common). If its softer than steel but harder than a fingernail and reactive, it could be calcite or a related carbonate. If its softer than your fingernail, it might be something like gypsum (but I don't think it looks much like that). (talk) 22:25, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Wow! Signal[edit]

Wow! signal article says the signal would have required a 2.2-gigawatt (2,200,000 kW) transmitter, vastly more powerful than any on Earth in the speculation on the signal's origin section, referring to a signal which might be sent to the origin of the signal. It was labeled with a why template which I replaced with a cite. A small discussion was undergoing the way in the talk page. What exactly is the truth and if some beam is sent, why would it require such a high energy (energy, I presumed from the unit Watt)? Can I demand a suitable explanation that can be added to that article? -The Herald (Benison)the joy of the LORDmy strength 16:40, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

I could be wrong but I think the commentators on the talk page are right. The power of the hypothetical transmitter will depends significantly on the distance from earth. That being the case, our article is problematic since it seems to simply it depends only on the size of the transmitter. I'm not even sure whether size (at a resonable distance) will make a significant difference on the power required as opposed to the directionality of the transmitter. Does the source you add provide no clarification as to these points? (This isn't really the place to discuss this but I do differ with the commentators in that I don't think giving a properly explained example is necessarily wrong if it's well sourced.) Nil Einne (talk) 18:04, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Knowing the received power, we'd need two or perhaps three other pieces of information in order to determine the source power:
  1. Distance. The received power is proportional to one over the distance to the transmitter squared. Since we really don't know where the signal came from - we can't know that.
  2. Beam width. If you broadcast out a signal in all directions at once (like a typical TV or radio station) - then you need a LOT more energy than if you are shooting a narrow beam (like a laser or a very narrow-beam flashlight). We don't know whether the beam was constrained to (say) 1/1000th of a steradian - or whether it was omnidirectional - that's a difference of 12,000:1 in source power.
  3. Intervening dust & debris. This could attenuate the signal - implying a much stronger transmitter than you'd otherwise guess.
There are far too many unknowns - and for a number that quoted to two significant digits, I very much doubt that calculation is valid. Sadly, the source for that statement is behind a paywall - so it's hard to know what assumptions were behind the 2.2GW number. I'm very dubious about using that number in our article without listing the assumptions made in the original article. SteveBaker (talk) 00:35, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Not necessarily. As I said the full source for that statement is a pay-to-read scientific paper. Since I'm not about to pay to read it, it's hard to judge what's going on. There are several possibilities:
  1. The paper doesn't say how it arrives at that number - in which case it's not a valid reference for the fact and we should delete it.
  2. The paper makes some assumptions about the distance, beam size and intervening attenuation - in which case our article should explain those assumptions because a different set of assumptions would produce a wildly different answer.
  3. The paper demonstrates proof of the source and beam size of the signal (I don't see how!) in which case we should be quoting a heck of a lot more of the paper than just a line from the abstract.
  4. The paper references some other source for this information and we should go and find out what THAT source says.
  5. We're taking the number out of context...which seems unlikely because it's mentioned in the abstract of the document.
Without knowing any of those things, I'd personally be deeply suspicious about a number with two digits of precision. If the article had said "Between 1 and 10GW" - then maybe I'd give it some credence. However, if the body of the referenced article says something like "Assuming that the source is in the north-west quadrant of the Messier 55 galaxy and assuming that it was an omnidirectional signal then..." - we'd find that much more credible. Acta astronautica published that paper - they say that they do a "fast peer-review" - which isn't too hopeful. What Wikipedia should do is to remove the 'fact' and have someone go and read the full article and report back. What someone reading the article should do is to ignore that information until such time as someone goes in there to fix it. SteveBaker (talk) 14:08, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
@SteveBaker: @The Herald:, I got a copy of the paper, expecting it to outline some of the nature of the assumptions that Steve lists above. However, even the title alone should be an indicator something went wrong - the paper itself is fine - "DETECTION OF THE EARTH WITH THE SETI MICROWAVE OBSERVING SYSTEM ASSUMED TO BE OPERATING OUT IN THE GALAXY" - but it is about
It basically considers a sort of reverse question e.g. something like: "If equipment similar to ours was out in the galaxy, could it detect Earth?" I'd be happy to email anyone who's interested a copy of the article to read for themselves, it's fairly short. As far as I can tell, the strings '22' and '2.2' do not appear in the article, nor does the string 'wow'. I can only assume the intent was to say something like this in our article: "If something like the SETI MOP, were outside of the solar system, we would have to be emitting a signal with a power of at least 2.2 gigawatts to expect it to be detected". Or maybe not. Anyway, I can't see any easy way to fix/explain this.
In fact, the most relevant bit seems to be a quote from a much earlier paper in Science
Though neither of those numbers are in the giga range. Anyway, I can see how some of this info conceivably add some good context to the article, but this 1992 article does not claim anything like the sentence it is attached to in our article. I have blanked that sentence, and put a note to this thread in the edit summary and on the talk page. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:54, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Wow! Thanks...I kinda thought there was something suspicious going on here. Oh well, just another typical day on Wikipedia!  :-) SteveBaker (talk) 16:03, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Reynolds number[edit]

I know for turbulent flows, Reynolds number is independent of wavelength but is there a relationship between them for laminar flows? (talk) 19:49, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Relationship between what? Re can be calculated for laminar flows. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 20:22, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Between Re an wavelength. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:33, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
The wavelength of what? Vortex train? Greglocock (talk) 01:35, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

May 25[edit]

Radon and illness[edit]

In reading through the article on Radon here, there is a section discussing the effects of Radon within the mining community. I am wondering about health problems coming from Radon in residential areas. More specifically, my parents (who live on the Canadian Shield in Central Ontario Canada)lived in a house for over 30 years. This house used a large portion of natural rock (granite, I assume) for the foundation. So, in the basement (where my father had a small workshop) was exposed rock. My question is what effects, if any, would there be re: radon (or anything else)? Are there any health hazards coming from the exposed rock (no moisture so no mold, or the like)? If so, would painting the rock have made any difference? (talk) 03:01, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

We have some relevant information at Radon#Accumulation_in_houses and Health_effects_of_radon#Health_risks. SemanticMantis (talk) 03:22, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Great! Thanks. (talk) 04:12, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

As you work through your concerns please consider the following:- What, if any, radon was and is present in the surrounding soil? The granite is, mostly likely, denser than that soil itself and therefore is itself a barrier to radon from that source.
There is an obvious similarity between a basement and a mine in that both are below ground. Radon is a heavy gas and so gravitates to lower levels. I suggest however that greater importance as a source of radon be given to the materials and activities that have occurred & are occurring above the basement, in and about the house, than to the (undisturbed) granite walls of the basement. Consideration also to the ventilation of the basement.
The article observes where radon is found. It does not discuss how fast radon gas that is trapped within rock, where that rock is left totally undisturbed, how long that radon gas will take to migrate (move) to the surface of that rock so that it can then be released into the air. Clearly what is on the surface of the rock is in contact with the air, and may be released. Radon trapped within the rock and in a dense rock such as granite may not migrate at all, therefore it may never be released. For example, the article observes that radon is present in lower concentrations in limestone. Not surprising as limestone is more porous than granite. The important difference between the basement and a mine however it that in a mine the rock is not undisturbed. In a mine rock is being dug, drilled, blasted, fractured, pulverised, moved about, etc. during which trapped gas is released. The same activity is not happening the the walls of a typical basement.
As to painting the walls. Not all paints are effective sealers. Their porousity differs. Then comes the trade off between the chemicals in the paint and radon. Would you feel comfortable if you had used a lead based paint? Lanyon (talk) 05:58, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
The article on radon discusses means of testing and of trying to lower the levels. I think it should be emphasized that radon is an exhalation of the entire earth beneath your feet, or at least so much of it as gas can escape from in a few days - the amount coming from a few little pieces of exposed granite is going to be pretty miniscule; the question is whether fissures exist that channel gas from below, which can occur even if a house is built on an innocent-looking layer of sediment. Note also what the article quotes about the issues of trying to seal out radon without leaving some other means of escape; it's not all that reliable. Really though, this is a professional question requiring personalized advice, and you shouldn't rely on us to guess whether you need a radon test or what method of radon-proofing will be most effective in your specific setting. Wnt (talk) 11:05, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
It is spelt radon.
Sleigh (talk) 11:31, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
There is no doubt that radon is not a good thing to be breathing. It's a heavier-than-air gas so it tends to pool in basements (especially in areas with granite deposits). The amount floating around in the air normally isn't an issue, but a growing concentration of the stuff in a basement area is sufficiently worrying as to warrant taking some action. I believe that the usual remedy is to have an air circulation system in place that pulls air from the lowest point in the basement and pushes it outside the building. That prevents a buildup of radon in the building - which is really the best you can do. SteveBaker (talk) 14:31, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
@SteveBaker: The article actually explains more than this - several methods involve capturing the radon before it enters the building at all, or immediately afterward while it is still trapped beneath plastic. The article doesn't make it sound like it stays in a separate layer for long, though I imagine there would be some temperature stratification affects in some specific cases. Wnt (talk) 15:48, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Some resources relevant to radon in Canadian homes - Lung Association Ontario, who say that radon is the second leading cause of lung-cancer in Canada, CBC News information, which says 6.9% of Canadians are living in homes with radon levels above Canadian guidelines, and Health Canada Cross-Canada Survey of Radon Concentrations in Homes - Final Report. The Lung Association page has links to further information, and to buy a test kit. DuncanHill (talk) 23:07, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
And Public Health Ontario have a page with information and further links. DuncanHill (talk) 23:10, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Geology vs physical geography, is geology a sub-field of physical geography?[edit]

What is the difference between geology and physical geography? Geology is the study of rocks, while physical geography encompasses atmospheric sciences, hydrology. So could we say that geology is a sub-field of physical geography? --IEditEncyclopedia (talk) 11:41, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Physical geography focuses on the large scale. So for example the crystal structure of quartz would be a topic in geology but wouldn't ordinarily be thought of as a topic in physical geography. Looie496 (talk) 12:23, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I think that it's better to say that there is a small degree of overlap between physical geography and geology. Geology covers a much wider field of study than physical geography. (Note as a geologist, I am naturally biased in my view) Mikenorton (talk) 14:05, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
There is some overlap, but the best way I could explain it is that geology is the "what happens" and physical geography is the "where it happens". Physical geography is all about mapping geologic processes and their evidence to specific places on earth. Geology is more about describing and explaining those processes themselves. Though, of course, each feeds the other. --Jayron32 01:33, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

By what mechanism do some diseases cause loss of appetite?[edit]

Clearly several categories of disease cause a temporary loss of appetite (influenza, for example).

  • I wonder why (and how) they do that.
  • Would it be possible to isolate the mechanism of that symptom into a super-effective weight-loss treatment without ungodly side-effects?
  • Is anyone working on such a thing? (Seems like they should be - because something that would turn someone off of eating on demand would be a far better solution than things like baryatric surgery...and sales of such a treatment would be off the charts).

Anorexia (symptom) (not anorexia nervosa) describes some drugs that produce this effect - but it doesn't seem like any of them are safe or without horrendous side-effects. SteveBaker (talk) 14:23, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

I believe it's an attempt by the body to clear the digestive system out, when it may contain potentially harmful microbes. Vomiting and diarrhea also serve to clear it out. See appetite suppressant for drugs. One risk of such drugs, besides the side-effects, is malnutrition, since, if the person had an unhealthy diet, but managed to get enough vital nutrients due to quantity, then just lowering the quantity without improving the quality might lead to a lack of those nutrients. StuRat (talk) 15:22, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Complete WHAG here, but is it the body's method of diverting resources away from digesting food (which takes a lot of energy) and into attacking invaders? --TammyMoet (talk) 16:00, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I know WAG = Wild-Assed Guess, but what's the H ? StuRat (talk) 03:42, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Wild Half-Assed Guess (technical distinction?).--Shantavira|feed me 15:37, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Good questions! Your first question, ie the question of mechanism is definitely being studied. For example here is a request for proposals from NIH from 20 years back. If one would trace who received the grants, and their subsequent publications that would be useful. Haven't done so yet, but here are a couple of review papers on the proposed mechanism for anorexia in hemodialysis patients and in cancer patients, which suggest that though there are commonalities there is unlikely to be one universal mechanism. Side note We should be wary of just so explanations of what the body is "trying" to do. For example, one could have argued that since the body needs energy to fight invaders and digestion is a net energy gain, ones appetite increases when one is ill. Of course this "explanation" is contradicted by observed facts, but on its face is as plausible as any similar argument. Abecedare (talk) 16:46, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Cutting patterns out of fabric: humans against computers[edit]

Apparently, given a roll of fabric for producing garments, humans can find the best arrangement of patterns to cut the most pieces out of it, resulting in less wasted fabric. Obviously, the patterns are not regular geometrical figures.

Why can humans, if this is indeed the case, perform better than a computer?--Yppieyei (talk) 17:24, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Who says they can? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:39, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I too question the premise of the OP's question, at least if they are considering state-of-the-art algorithms. There is in fact a rich literature on th subject known as irregular shape packing problem in mathematics and the nesting problem in the textile industry. See this paper for a review. Abecedare (talk) 20:08, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I think a computer could produce a better result just by exhaustively trying a gazillion possibilities. However, the amount of time it might take would be pretty big...but in some applications you can afford to wait. It is remarkable how good humans are at doing this - particularly if they have a lot of practice in doing it.
In case you think the combinatorial problem is too large - for the case of cloth, it's common for the major parts to have to be aligned in specific ways to the warp and weft of the cloth so that the garment falls properly. Sometimes there is a demand that the pattern on the cloth is aligned in some specific way too. That actually simplifies the problem spectacularly for the computer because there are just less options to try and a 'brute force' search becomes more plausible.
Where the computer can really do well is when there is already a reasonable solution - at that point, the computer can use Gradient descent methods to improve the solution. At that point, I'd be surprised if a human could outperform the computer in that final stage.
But it's undoubtedly an exceedingly difficult problem for a computer - and humans seem to just 'get it' in a ridiculously tiny amount of time.
This is actually a problem I have to deal with on a regular basis - my wife makes model buildings from plywood using a laser cutter - essentially the same problem. Very often I have to pack a dozen parts into the smallest amount of wood. What is utterly amazing is that I can work for 10 or 15 minutes on the problem - thinking that I have a good result - but then come back a week later and immediately spot something that makes a massive improvement. It's clearly not a conscious process for us. SteveBaker (talk) 22:44, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I know these days it appears the question is being flippantly dismissed, but the premise of this question was almost certainly true at some point in time, how long ago it became "not true" arguable, but at least for a while computers were excellent at "brute force" calculations, but quite poor at Pattern recognition, easily out performed by even a novice brain at simple tasks like, picking out a face in a photo. I agree there are probably few tasks like this left that a human would perform "better" than a computer. (although captcha still works under the assumption a human will solve it MUCH easier than a computer!) This is still a very active area of research in Computer Science and there has been great progress especially since the age of the internet. Vespine (talk) 06:07, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
As I understand it, one issue is that these sorts of irregular shape packing problems - especially when you start adding in constraints like aligning the bias in a certain direction - start to reach into the NP-hard/NP-complete categories. That is, it's easy to verify that you have a better solution, but it's difficult to come up with that better solutions. The classic example in this category is the traveling salesman problem, which is finding the shortest path which visits all the cities in a list, or the boolean satisfiability problems, where you attempt to find a set of inputs which satisfies a set of logical conditions. These are hard to solve because the naive implementation of using a brute force method only works in the most simple cases. For other types of problems (e.g. polynomial time problems) the problem has a certain internal structure which makes solving it simpler. For NP-hard/NP-complete type problems, there really isn't any of that internal structure to simplify the problem - or there is, but it doesn't bring down the complexity enough to be solvable. Traditionally, humans have done better at these sorts of problems because they tend to use heuristic approaches rather than algorithmic ones. These are "short-cuts" that are used in problem solving which help simplify the problem at the approach of not being able to guarantee an optimal solution. Early computer development focused on algorithmic approaches because a computer is intrinsically an algorithmic machine. It's taken a lot of effort over the years to figure out how best to encode decent heuristic approaches as an algorithm that computers can follow. This is complicated by the fact that humans are bad at describing the heuristics they're using (e.g. even if SteveBaker was able to find a much better arrangement, he probably couldn't verbalize *how* he could look at the problem and realize it might give a better result). Computers are improving at this though, so the original claim may not strictly be the case anymore. However, part of this comes from the increasing speed of computers - they're trying many more combinations much quicker than humans do. We still don't know all the heuristic tricks expert humans use in solving these sorts of problems, so if you limited humans and computers to the same number of trials (rather than the same amount of time) the expert human would still likely beat out the computer. (Disclaimer - I don't know for certain that the cloth fitting problem is in either NP-hard or NP-complete - I'm just saying it sounds much like problems that are.) -- (talk) 16:25, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
The reason that humans perform well in these tasks is the same reason that humans see faces in mundane objects and patterns in the stars. Humans see what is not there. So, given a blank cloth, humans see patterns that show how to fit things together. Computers see what is there. They have to meticulously move things around, constantly trying to improve. That leads to a local minima problem, which leads to algorithms to break the local minima problem, which lead to complicated solutions that take forever to run. So, the obvious solution is to program a computer to see what is not there in the same way that humans do. There is a lot of work in that field (such as facial recognition), but it isn't at the standard of a normal human brain yet. It will be soon. At this point in time, the algorithm designs are still ahead of the available computing power. When the computing power exceeds the algorithm designs, we will be able to do a lot more. (talk) 17:34, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
  • A few additional notes: As 160.129 suspects (common flavors of) the irregular packing problems are indeed NP-hard/NP-complete, which has been know for over 3 decades. And they are combinatorial optimization problems, so gradient descent type methods are not very useful (except sometimes in a inner sub-routine of a broader algorithm). As 209.149 and others have suggested efficient algorithms in the area all incorporate heuristics to help with the search, and 100s of papers have been published on the subject (sample Google scholar search results to get an idea of the approaches). For an interesting alternate application of this research see this book on optimization of cargo-loading for space-flights. Abecedare (talk) 18:29, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

May 26[edit]

burning eye by acidic stuff vs basic stuff[edit]

I read in the past that burning of the eyes from basic stuff is more dangerous from the burning the eyes by acidic stuff. Is that true? What is the explanation for that? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:44, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Bases are more damaging to many body tissues because of their ability to saponify things like fatty acids. --Jayron32 02:00, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, but Actually I didn't understand the answer. (talk) 11:44, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
The base converts the fat into soap. This is saponification. It can also break up proteins. So strong bases (alkali) can dissolve animal flesh like eyeballs. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 13:15, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
How dangerous an acid/base is related to how concentrated the solution is or what the pH is, so a general statement about one being "more dangerous" can be iffy. (For example, a weak solution of sodium bicarbonate is generally less dangerous than a concentrated solution of nitric acid.) Concentrated acidic solutions can also break up proteins and fats (see acid hydrolysis). If you want to compare which are more destructive, you'd have to start getting into details. - That said, one issue is that pain detecting nerves are sensitive to acid, but less sensitive to basic/alkaline conditions [11]. This means that if you get acid onto your skin or into your eye, you tend to feel it immediately and run to wash it off or start tearing up to flush it out of the eye. In contrast, you might not recognize the severity of getting a highly basic solution on you until there is significant damage. I've heard stories of people who unknowingly got highly basic solutions on them and were unaware of it until they visually noticed a quite serious wound. -- (talk) 15:53, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Why and how alcohol kills bacteria?[edit] (talk) 11:43, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

The alcohol can suck the water out of the bacteria. This is due to osmotic pressure. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 13:19, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Tonicity is also a good relevant reading. --Jayron32 15:03, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Oligocene Drowning[edit]

Zealandia, the mostly submerged continent

Where can I find out more about the (possibly alleged) period known as the "Oligocene Drowning", about 30 million years ago when New Zealand was (allegedly) mostly/entirely under-water?

There doesn't seem to be anything about it on Wikipedia.

I've searched and found a little info, but I'm not sure which of the sources are credible - and whether the 'popular' view is that it is probably true or probably false.

I don't mind if the info isn't online, if there's some book/s or something I can get. (talk) 11:56, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

I don't know about the name, but there is evidence that there were few if any land areas left by the early Miocene [12] [13] [14]. Mikenorton (talk) 12:13, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Great, thanks, I'll definitely read those for some background.
The name seems to be specific to NZ; I was looking at info about extinctions and evolution of megafauna there, when I came across it. (talk) 12:40, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
You can read Zealandia_(continent). Ruslik_Zero 20:40, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Cattle bathing in the Andaman Sea[edit]

I saw a documentary on the Rudy Maxa's World episode "Thailand, Andaman Islands" that showed the local cattle (gnus ?) wading out in the sea at sunset. This seems like odd behavior to me. He didn't explain it. I can't imagine they are trying to cool down, as that would make more sense at mid-day or earlier afternoon. Does this get rid of parasites ? Why else would they do it ? StuRat (talk) 19:27, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

I'd imagine it'd be a water buffalo, as our article on gnus states that they are endemic to Africa, and not southeast Asia. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 20:45, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that makes sense. Water_buffalo#Ecology_and_behavior says they use the water for "thermoregulation". I doubt if they use it to keep warm, so that would mean they use it to cool down. I'm still curious why they would need to cool down at sunset, though, as opposed to the hottest part of the day. StuRat (talk) 21:16, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Midsummer high temperatures peak at about 6:00 PM, which while not actually sunset on the dot, is closer to sunset than to noon. That would mean the time period from 6:00 PM until sunset would be the warmest chunk of time during the day. --Jayron32 04:41, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Note though that that plot is for latitude 45 degrees, corresponding roughly to Minneapolis, where sunset occurs around 9 PM in midsummer. For the Andaman Islands, at latitude 10 degrees, sunset is right around 6 PM even at midsummer, and the high temperature occurs hours earlier. I lived in Tucson for many years, and my experience was that the midsummer high temperatures usually occurred at 3-4 PM. Looie496 (talk) 13:50, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

What is the difference between erection and priapism?[edit] (talk) 01:24, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Free will. --Jayron32 01:29, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
We have an article on this. Please at least pretend to have searched for our articles on topic next time. Ian.thomson (talk) 01:33, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Um, free will is a bad answer, since both arousal and orgasm do occur during rape, and people laugh even when they find being tickled torture. (This was in the news recently, but for some odd reason google was unhelpful.) μηδείς (talk) 02:18, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Entirely true. I suppose the difference is that priapism is an erection that is not in response to any stimuli. Free will was a bad way to express that. --Jayron32 02:35, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
No one will hold it against you, Jayron. :) μηδείς (talk) 03:00, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, sometimes it's nice if someone would hold it against me. At least it would let me know they were interested... --Jayron32 03:01, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
As I understand it (and having read the WP article) the initial cause is irrelevant, it's the failure to go away that's the problem. Alansplodge (talk) 18:19, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
people often accuse me of the same thing as well... --Jayron32 18:28, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

What kind of frog?[edit]

Tree frog?
Unknown type of frog eating an insect or spider
Two frogs

I think this is a type of tree frog, but I'm not sure. Can someone give more information? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 02:02, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

I don't know that we can tell enough from just this angle. Do you have any images from other angles? --Jayron32 02:05, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
It is in Lower Coastal Plain (Georgia). I took this tonight through my window. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 02:06, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but did you take any additional pictures showing the dorsal side, which may have useful markings in identifying the possible species, or just this one? --Jayron32 02:11, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
By the way, it's also probably not a tree frog, as I don't see any of the major classifications thereof which are endemic to North America. --Jayron32 02:13, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Did some research. Doing the best I could working this dichotomous key from the picture we have, the best hit I came up with is the American green tree frog, or Hyla cinerea, which is everywhere in the Southeastern U.S. I have several I see all the time in my yard in North Carolina. A secondary possibility is the closely related Pine Barrens tree frog, which is much rarer, and not usually found in Georgia. I also don't see any evidence of the lavender and yellow stripes down the side. It looks like the common American green tree frog if anything. --Jayron32 02:18, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Did some more searching at that same site. Another close match is the Squirrel tree frog. --Jayron32 02:21, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Bejeezus! Frog Porn at WP? I am going to contact Drudge! (Yes, a dorsal view wold be more helpsome.) μηδείς (talk) 02:13, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

I added a dorsal view, taken from outside with a flash. He is eating an insect or spider. They may be called green frogs around here. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 02:24, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Looks like either a squirrel tree frog or American green tree frog then. Unless we have a trained batrachologist who stops by, we may not be able to get more definitive than that. I'm not sure I could tell either of those two apart even from the pictures in our articles. --Jayron32 02:28, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
It looks more like the photos of the Squirrel tree frog to me, but biology was my weakest science. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 02:30, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
It looks fairly certain it belongs to the Hylidae based on the skull and limbs. but it is very reckless to assign it to a specific genus. We'd really need a specific location even to opine, and an expert to be sure. μηδείς (talk) 02:57, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
This one is in Glynn County, Georgia. And there are plenty more where that came from - you should hear it around here when it rains! If it can be narrowed down, I'll add it to the right article - there aren't very many photos of the underside. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 03:31, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Looking at this further, I am curious why the waist is so wide. The other hylid frogs seem all to have skinny waists. Perhaps it's gravid? I despair because despite my batrachiophilia I lack a reference book on the subject. μηδείς (talk) 19:04, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I tcould be - I just added a photo showing two such frogs, and compare them. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 19:19, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Heat equation on the ice rink[edit]

Sending a low-loss message to the distant future[edit]

Imagine I leave a letter in a shielded box embedded in some barren rock deep in an intergalactic void. Assuming it's protected from a million more immediate hazards, over a long enough time period, quantum fluctuations will destroy the letter. Would it be possible for someone who finds the illegible remains of the letter to open a wormhole to view the letter as it was in the past? I know it believed to be impossible to send information back in time through a wormhole, but what about forward in time?-- (talk) 02:27, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Sure you can send it forward in time. Just put it on a space ship and accelerate it to a really fast speed, on an arcing course that brings it back to earth. The time it arrives at earth compared to it's age is a function of time dilation, which is dependent only on its speed relative to earth. The faster you send it out and back, the further into the future (relative to it's own age) you will send it. --Jayron32 02:34, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Which works if the senders intend their message for the future. But what if people from 5 million AD want to read letters sent between Mark Anthony and Cleopatra? Is the information irrecoverably lost due to quantum fluctuations? We don't live in a clockwork universe after all.-- (talk) 04:47, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
The messages from Antony to Cleopatra (presumably you mean the actual parchments with the actual ink on them) are irrevocably lost due to good old chemical and biological decay and decomposition. There's no need to bring in an esoteric idea like "quantum fluctuations". The texts are lost now, adding another 5 million years to now doesn't make them less lost. --Jayron32 11:05, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Before the discovery of quantum mechanics (QM) we didn't know those letters were truly lost when they rotted. If we lived in a clockwork universe, like they believed we did before the discovery of QM, you could work out the position and velocity of every particle in the universe, and with a powerful enough computer could know its complete history and future. That the paper letters have rotted away would not be important because you could literally have a computer work out what they said before they rotted. We don't live in such a universe however. You can't measure the world so precisely due to the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics. And the further in the past an event occurred the more uncertainty there is when measuring it. This is what I meant by quantum fluctuations.
I know about QM but I don't understand relativity, which is a theory that apparently may allow for wormholes. I have read that some smart physicists don't think it's possible to change the past with a wormhole. In the last paragraph I noted that the further into the past an event occurred, the more uncertainty there is when measuring it. Is it plausible to get around this by using a wormhole to measure things from the past, without changing them? And thanks a lot for all of your help.-- (talk) 11:53, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
  • No, not unless the letter comes with a very large corpus of easily definable terms in more recent and known languages, or with a really good illustrated picture dictionary. We have plenty of things from the Etruscan language, and so forth, that are almost entirely inscrutable since they are not defined very easily nor repeated in other languages. See also the Sumerian language which we know largely (and almost only) because it was translated into the Akkadian language and the Harrapan civilization whose language remains entirely disunderstood. μηδείς (talk) 02:51, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

You have put two questions. The answer to the first is "No". I come to that answer by logic without any deep knowledge of wormholes. We are assuming you can create a wormhole. We are assuming information can pass through a wormhole. You say "I know it believed to be impossible to send information back in time through a wormhole" and we are accepting your statement as true. Then the answer is "no" because standing in the future, at the future end of the wormhole, you cannot manipulate the past end of the wormhole to locate the paper and read it. This is because, as you say, you cannot send information back to past so you cannot send information back to manipulate the past end of the worm hole. The second question is effectively "Can you send information forward in time through a wormhole?" I cannot answer that, however the whole tenor of your statements and questions appear to be trying to logic out the first question & perhaps my first answer covers it without need to answer the second question. Lanyon (talk) 10:18, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

I found myself reading John McCarthy's website this weekend (because I have been studying the Lisp programming language and its early history). Among his writings, he has some very well-developed ideas on futurism futurism. Here are a handful of excerpts:

If you contemplate this problem deeply, you will find that the message will probably degrade for other reasons, long before you hit limitations of physics imposed by thermodynamics or quantum mechanics. It is probably safe to say that this is true for any possible information-storage mechanism you can contrive for your message. How can you communicate high-level semantic messages to some unknown recipient, unless you can first produce a formalization of language that permits you to describe abstract ideas in a universal way? Phrased another way: suppose you serialize the message into binary and guarantee zero bit error rate by some technological means. The bits can be preserved perfectly - but has the message been preserved? Only if the recipient knows how to interpret these perfectly-reconstructed bits!

Nimur (talk) 13:06, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I suppose the "semantic" problem is similar to that of Communication with extraterrestrial intelligence (though perhaps slightly easier, if we assume the recipients will be at least vaguely similar to ourselves). Attempts to communicate with unknown recipients include the Pioneer plaques and Voyager Golden Records. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 13:59, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Here [15] is a short article about specifically communicating to far future human societies (~10k years), with respect to the Yucca_Mountain_nuclear_waste_repository and the Waste_Isolation_Pilot_Plant. We also have some related info at Long-time_nuclear_waste_warning_messages, and here's a description straight from the source at WIPP/DOE [16]. Spoiler - include lots of redundancy, have several different message levels, and cover the whole place with scary spikes. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:12, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Can we get free electricity from a phone jack?[edit]

Can we get free electricity from a phone jack? How do phone companies deal with this? Do they limit the amount of power that can be leeched? Do they monitor consumption, and cut the line if it's too high? Or, is it so little that it's not feasible? --Llaanngg (talk) 16:20, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Plain old telephone service does supply power: it provides 48 volts to the wall. However, this is not an ideal voltage source. If you attempted to sink a large amount of current (i.e., if you tried to power a large load like a television or a computer), you would trip the circuit breaker. The maximum allowable current in the United States is defined by the FCC, as part of "Part 68" (47 C.F.R. §68 CONNECTION OF TERMINAL EQUIPMENT TO THE TELEPHONE NETWORK). You can find exact values for the maximum current if you're willing to dive deep into the regulations. "Unofficial" publications provide technical data for the analog telephone electronics enthusiast: for example, - the website of an industry consortium - hosts Technical Requirements for Connection of Terminal Equipment to the Telephone Network, which includes short circuit behavior. Obviously, you can draw power from the system, subject to certain design limitations: many (mostly historical) devices (other than telephones) do this. For example, there are teletype terminals and telexes, fax machines, telephone bell ringers, flashing lights, assistive devices for the hearing-impaired; and so on.
You are not really getting electricity for free unless you are receiving telephone service for free. You are either paying for telephone service, or you are usurping the generosity of somebody else who is paying for it and supplying it to you at no charge.
Nimur (talk) 17:58, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
POTS! God bless you, Nimur. μηδείς (talk) 18:55, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
"Free" as in "used for other than its intended purpose providing of power for telephone calls", I suppose. There are some web pages and videos that show you how (for example) to charge an iPhone from a telephone socket, but this kind of thing is probably at least a violation of the phone company's terms & conditions, and possibly even a criminal offence in some places. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 18:05, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, your assertion that this power is intended for powering "telephone calls" is overly narrow. The power is provided with the intent to power "terminal equipment", which is defined (in 47 CFR 68.3), as: "Terminal equipment. As used in this part, communications equipment located on customer premises at the end of a communications link, used to permit the stations involved to accomplish the provision of telecommunications or information services.
Nimur (talk) 18:08, 27 May 2015 (UTC)


May 21[edit]

How To Convert Decimal To Binary?[edit]

Hello. I Am trying ton convert a Decimal Number (say, 16) to Binary. The article on binary numbers says, "To convert from a base-10 integer numeral to its base-2 (binary) equivalent, the number is divided by two, and the remainder is the least-significant bit. The (integer) result is again divided by two, its remainder is the next least significant bit. This process repeats until the quotient becomes zero." I don't understand how to do this. Could some one explain step by step how to convert the number 16 to binary? The correct binary representation of 16 is 10000. Thanks in advance —SGA314 (talk) 15:10, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

16 divided by 2 is 8 with remainder 0.
8 divided by 2 is 4 with remainder 0.
4 divided by 2 is 2 with remainder 0.
2 divided by 2 is 1 with remainder 0.
1 divided by 2 is 0 with remainder 1.
So the digits of the binary representation of 16 *from right (least significant) to left* are 0,0,0,0 and 1. Reversing this to write the binary representation from left to right we get 10000. Gandalf61 (talk) 15:21, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
The method I use is to find the largest power of 2 less than or equal to the number, in this case 16, then subtract that:
16 - 1 sixteen = 0
I then continue with each smaller power of 2:
0 - 0 eights = 0
0 - 0 fours  = 0
0 - 0 twos   = 0
0 - 0 ones   = 0
That gives me 10000. I find it easy to use my fingers to record the binary digits, allowing for binary numbers up to 1111111111, or 1023 in decimal. StuRat (talk) 15:32, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Stu's way may show more clearly what the representation means, but Gandalf's is quicker: no need to figure out first what the biggest power is, nor to keep track of what to subtract this time. —Tamfang (talk) 05:31, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I tend to show people that I don't like the fact that I can count to 132. :)Naraht (talk) 16:17, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Ok Gandalf61, I understand. But how would I do this using a calculator, considering the fact that a calculator will divide into fractions and have no remainder(as in the case of dividing 1 by 2 which yields 0.5). My reason for asking this is because I am writing a program that can convert a decimal number to a Binary number and the reverse. Oh and i am using Visual Basic For Applications as my programming language. —SGA314 (talk) 18:24, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Programming languages normally provide a modulo operator that gives you the remainder that division would produce. According to the article I linked, in Visual Basic that operator is named Mod, and this page from Microsoft tells you how to use it. -- (talk) 19:11, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Cool Thanks! problem solved. Now I can convert decimal numbers to and fro binary! Thanks for your help everyone. —SGA314 (talk) 19:15, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Here is the final VB script i came up with. if you have any suggestions to improve/simplify it let me know. Output from this script is 110001.
Sub ConvertDecToBin()
    'Decimal To Binary Conversion Script.
    'Written By SGA314
    Dim Num, Remain, Times, i, Result As Double
    Dim BinNum As String
    Num = 49 'Insert number to convert to binary here.
    Times = Num / 2
    Result = Num
    While Not Result = 0
        Remain = Result Mod 2
        BinNum = BinNum + CStr(Remain)
        Result = Int(Result / 2)
    Debug.Print StrReverse(BinNum)
End Sub

SGA314 (talk) 20:15, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

I don't have time to check your code, but you may be interested in seeing how this example works [17]. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:24, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
It's been a while since I've written in VB, and it was mostly in normal VB rather than VBA, but:
  1. Not sure how you intend to use this, but hardcoding the value to convert makes little sense. It would be more meaningful to have the value given as a parameter. It might also make more sense to have it a Function instead of a Sub, and print the result in the calling sub.
  2. You have values you're defining but never using.
  3. The code isn't equipped to handle fractions, so unless you want to modify it to do that, it would make more sense to work with ints rather than doubles.
  4. The \ operator represents integer division in VB, so you can replace Int(Result/2) by Result\2.
So you can use the following code instead:
Function ConvertDecToBin(ByVal Num As Int) As String
    'Decimal To Binary Conversion Script.
    'Written By SGA314
    Dim Remain As Int
    Dim BinNum As String
    While Not Num = 0
        Remain = Num Mod 2
        BinNum = BinNum + CStr(Remain)
        Num = Num \ 2
    Return BinNum
End Function
-- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 21:00, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Many languages will also contain a built-in method of converting, sometimes as simple as assigning a decimal value to a binary variable. Of course, coding it yourself is also useful for educational purposes. StuRat (talk) 03:40, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

In J (programming language) you write

1 0 0 0 0

Bo Jacoby (talk) 06:12, 22 May 2015 (UTC).

I think I can truly say I have never used a variable of decimal type. —Tamfang (talk) 05:31, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Oops. Your right Meni Rosenfeld, I forgot to remove the Times and i Variables. These were variables that I used for a different way of converting (I was using a For Loop). And as for using Doubles instead of Integers, I am using doubles because they can hold values much higher than 32,768(I can store numbers that go into the Billions range with Doubles) and if I try to store any value higher than 32,768 in an Integer value, I will get an Overflow error. Good idea by the way on making it a Function that returns a String. I coded this as a macro in Microsoft Word, so I was going replace the hardcoded number with Selection (Selection is how you get the currently selected text in Word) instead. As for the Int(Result / 2) line, I don't know whats up with this. I don't know if it isn't necessary in VB, but in VBA if I don't include this the program will spit out
000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000...(a huge amount of zeros that take up way to much space on the page)1010001, instead of 110001. But if i use your version of the script(with a few mods to make it compatible with VBA) it will work just fine. I have to say, I like how you simplified the code and used 1 less variable than I used. I guess VB is a lot different from VBA, because in VBA for Word, I cant put a variable after the Return statement (I utterly disgust this). Instead I have to do this
Function A() As String
and in order to return something I have to set a variable that has the same name as the function (no I don't have to define it) like so
A = "Whatever"
this will return the String "Whatever."
That would be nice StuRat. But I don't think VBA has a function like that but that sure would be cool if it did. I thank you very much for your feed back! Here is my simplified version of the script(special thanks to Meni Rosenfeld for this)
Function ConvertDecToBin(ByVal Num As Double) As String
    'Decimal To Binary Conversion Script.
    'Written By SGA314
    'Improvments By Meni Rosenfeld
    Dim Remain As Double
    Dim BinNum As String
    While Not Num = 0
        Remain = Num Mod 2
        BinNum = BinNum + CStr(Remain)
        Num = Num \ 2
    ConvertDecToBin = StrReverse(BinNum)
End Function

Thanks for your help everyone! I now understand how to convert a decimal number to a binary number and do the reverse. —SGA314 (talk) 13:30, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

I think the differences are less between VB and VBA, and more between modern (on which one can easily find documentation), and classic VB <= 6 (on which I think VBA is based). This goes for how to return values from a function, and also for integer data types. In classic VB, Integer refers to a 16-bit signed int, which can go up to 32767; But you also have Long which is 32-bit and goes up to ~4 billion (which might be good for you instead of Double). In the modern version, Integer is 32-bit, and Long is 64-bit and gives you much higher precision than Double. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 14:53, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Huh Good to know. Thanks. —SGA314 (talk) 15:56, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Note, this is also something that you may consider using a recursive program on. Something like (Visual basic was a while ago)
Function RecursiveConvertDecToBin(ByVal Num As Double) As String
    If Num > 0 Then
        RecursiveConvertDectoBin = RecursiveConvertDectoBin(Num\2)&CStr(Num Mod 2)
        RecursiveConvertDectoBin = ""
    End If
End Function
Naraht (talk) 22:35, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
I dunno nothin' about VB, but I'd expect recursion (in a sane language) to slow things down considerably. —Tamfang (talk) 05:31, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Not necessarily, fewer variables, more copies. Worth checking at least. :)Naraht (talk) 19:02, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Can I suggest an even simpler method? Simply type for instance "123 in binary" into Google and it'll tell you. ;-) Dmcq (talk) 09:15, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
The problem with that is that i can't use Google. —SGA314 (talk) 14:19, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

May 22[edit]

Generating function of the central binomial coefficients[edit]

The generating function for the central binomial coefficients is f(z) = (1-4z)-1/2 which follows by expanding f using either the binomial theorem or Taylor's series. The OEIS page (OEISA000984) mentions that if the sequence is convolved with itself you get powers of 4. In terms of the generating functions this amounts to ((1-4z)-1/2)2 = (1-4z)-1. The combinatorial interpretation of this is that the number of ordered pairs of strings a's and b's, having total length 2n, and with both strings having equal numbers of a's and b's, is equal to the number of strings of a's and b's having length 2n. For example, for n=2 this says

#{aabb|, abab|, abba|, baab|, baba|, bbaa|, ab|ab, ab|ba, ba|ab, ba|ba, |aabb, |abab, |abba, |baab, |baba, |bbaa}
#{aaaa, aaab, aaba, aabb, abaa, abab, abba, abbb, baaa, baab, baba, babb, bbaa, bbab, bbba, bbbb}.

Is there a combinatorial proof of this? In other words, is there a one-one correspondence between these two sets that works for all n? --RDBury (talk) 23:35, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

May 23[edit]

How many experiments are required to establish a probability ?[edit]

Let's say I estimate a probability of something happening as 1/10000. How many times do I have to try before I can reasonably say my estimate is valid ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A01:E34:EF5E:4640:889D:27B:ACBF:4AB5 (talk) 12:31, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

That's a really complex question, and more information is needed before we can give an answer. There are quite different answers for different situations: for example, the probability that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe, or that the sun will explode tomorrow, or whether a single jellybean hidden in a box is red, or whether the next jellybean drawn from a pool of 1,000,000 jellybeans will be red or not, are really quite different problems, yet all can be expressed as "probabilities" in some sense. Can you give a more concrete description of the specific scenario you're thinking about? (For example, are your observations statistically independent? Do you know anything about the problem that might give you a prior distribution?) You might want to take a look at the statistical hypothesis testing, Bayesianism and frequentism articles for some pointers about how to frame your problem. -- Impsswoon (talk) 16:59, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I believe my problem is closest to the "jellybean" situation. Imagine I have a truly huge number of jellybeans in a box and I suspect that one in ten thousand is red. Is there a general rule of thumb used by statisticians which would allow me to say with x% confidence that after examining y jelly beans and finding z red ones that my 1/10000 ratio is accurate ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A01:E34:EF5E:4640:E9E1:4B51:3817:FB41 (talk) 07:56, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
The problem as the previous answer said is with your 'I suspect one in a thousand is red'. The number depends on your degree of certainty about your suspicions. If you are absolutely certain you don't need to test any at all. That is your 'prior'. Dmcq (talk) 09:20, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
In the case of the jellybean case, and when your experiments are independent (i.e. either your box is infinite, or you return the beans and mix after each draw), the distribution of red beans found is governed by the binomial distribution. You might, in particular, want to look at Binomial proportion confidence interval. This is the simple answer with no priors. There is no very simple answer. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 10:03, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

The probability p that a randomly chosen jellybean is red is estimated from the number k of red jellybeans in a random sample of n jellybeans.

The distribution function of p is a beta distribution.

The mean value of p is

μ = (n+2)−1(k+1).

The standard deviation of p is

σ = (n+2)−1(n+3)−1/2(k+1)1/2(nk+1)1/2.

To find n and k such that, say

p ≈ 0.00010 ± 0.00001

solve the equations μ = 0.00010, σ = 0.00001.

The answer is approximately n = 1000000, k = 100. Bo Jacoby (talk) 19:45, 24 May 2015 (UTC).

Excellent, thank you. Although I now realize that my question was incorrect. In fact, what I'm looking for is : "how many experiments are required so that I can be reasonably confident that no more than 1/10000 jellybeans are red".
The *actual* situation relates to scuba decompression profiles: the number of reported accidents (in a very specific yes/no sense) using common profiles is about one per ten thousand dives, so if somebody comes with a radically different profile, and all else being equal how many *accident free* dives would be needed before being able to reasonably start claiming that the profile was safer? 2A01:E34:EF5E:4640:14A0:75F4:548D:EFAD (talk) 20:15, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

The hypothesis 0 ≤ a ≤ p ≤ b ≤ 1 has the credibility

c=\frac{\int_a^b p^k(1-p)^{n-k}dp}{\int_0^1 p^k(1-p)^{n-k}dp} =(n+1)\binom n k \int_a^b p^k(1-p)^{n-k}dp

Setting a = 0 and b = 0.0001 and c ≥ 0.95 and assuming k = 0 you get the condition

0.95\le(n+1)\int_0^{0.0001}(1-p)^{n}dp = 1-(1-0.0001)^{n+1}

Note that 1−(1−0.0001)29954+1 < 0.95 and 1−(1−0.0001)29955+1 > 0.95.

The number of consecutive accident free dives must be at least 29955 in order for you to be 95% certain that the accident probability is less than 0.0001. Bo Jacoby (talk) 16:35, 26 May 2015 (UTC).

Fantastic. Thanks a lot. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A01:E34:EF5E:4640:5BF:C8E4:804B:7B45 (talk) 19:38, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

You are welcome! Bo Jacoby (talk) 21:41, 26 May 2015 (UTC).

(my) formula for normal Latin Squares[edit]

My question doesn't require any medical diagnosis or legal advice, and I'm am not sharing an opinion, prediction, or debate, and it is certainly above any homework problem that would ever be assigned to someone. I am simply wanting to post a correction to a wikipedia page.

The page for Latin Squares states an opinion, not fact. I have KNOWN FORMULA for normal Latin Squares, and anyone, yes, anyone,... can appreciate such a mundane answer to such a long-standing problem. Why can't I talk about something that certainly will enhance that webpage? it corrects an unfounded opinion made by the author of Latin Squares wikipedia's webpage. It would be as correct as any, ANY, information that currently resides on that webpage. I could show it to an 8th-grade student, and he/she could enjoy THE FACTS!!! Besides, it is only a talk page. You could allow it on the basis that it is merely a very, very good guess. Please respond. Remember, an 8th-grade student could verify it. Don't be a fool and follow your guidelines as they exist. My idea will make people want to read your webpage and enjoy it for its accuracy! I can supply you with my website where it is already posted. Bill (talk) 20:33, 23 May 2015 (UTC) read it for yourself. (talk) 22:16, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

You need to publish your result elsewhere first, Wikipedia doesn't publish original research it only summarizes what is out there in reliable sources. I would advise you to check you actually do get the correct numbers as listed in that article when you evaluate your formula and point that out near the beginning of your paper. Don't worry too much about the difficulty of styling etc, the major first thing is to check your results and then point out that you have done so and then if you stick it ir ArXiv or send it somewhere a person will take the extra time to try and help you through any process. Dmcq (talk) 09:51, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately that page of yours does not provide a general formula, it gives separate equations for the separate cases and only for the simplest cases. It suggests there might be some such formula but you'd need to give a straightforward algorithm that someone else could follow. That would get you some credit but the main credit would belong to someone who provided an explanation. Dmcq (talk) 17:20, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
And in addition to a formula, a proof of its validity would be useful. -- Impsswoon (talk) 18:50, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

May 24[edit]

here's another one; it belongs to wikipedia[edit]

they (the powers to be) won't let me enhance yet another wikipedia page with a formula that a very amateurish person would understand. it goes something like this, and again no diagnosis, no advice, no prediction, etc. etc., and it certainly doesn't qualify as a homework assignment. it just follows careful observation. it could be labeled as a very, very good guess-- nothing more, nothing less. it would attract people to the talk page of Van Der Waerden Numbers!

(my) Van Der Waerden Numbers formula-- presented! before I had even understood what Van Der Waerden Numbers were about, I looked at the diagonal of the chart on wikipedia's webpage and saw a 9 and 293, and I wondered... how could those numbers be generated from 2 and 3??? then, I spotted the answer in less than 5 minutes: v(k)= (2*k^2 -1)^(k -1) +2^(k -1). it turned out that I had to back up a little to verify that for k= 1, v(k)= 2. i later read the description of a very interesting problem-- imagine that we have 9 positions in a row with only the first 8 "colored" positions:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Van Der Waerden noticed that if he listed all 16 arithmetic progressions: 1, 2, 3; 2, 3, 4; 3, 4, 5; 4, 5, 6; 5, 6, 7; 6, 7, 8; 7, 8, 9; 1, 3, 5; 2, 4, 6; 3, 5, 7; 4, 6, 8; 5, 7, 9; 1, 4, 7, 2, 5, 8, 3, 6, 9; 1, 5, 9; then the last 2 sequences containing the 9th position would either be ALL red or ALL blue iff the last position were to be "colored". the situation is forced at several levels! when i showed (my) formula to a professor, he angrily replied that "you can't just examine the data, produce a formula, and call it MATH!!! i was sorry, but sometimes a discovery of a general formula for a pattern could lead to a very humble beginning of a math proof. it looked as though arithmetic progressions must be admitted after reaching the 2nd, 9th, 293rd, and the 29,799th positions, and so on... of each Ramsey-like-coloring of a "(k+1)-length" progression. i couldn't just ignore the fact that i uncovered the answer to a phenomenon. he was just mad 'cause i saw it first! the iterations must be 2, 9, 293, 29799, since the next iteration had to be greater than 17,000. unknowingly, the 2^(to some power) described the number of "glue" variables that were present in the positions as they were described in Jerome Paul's and Michal Kouril's formal paper. ideas from their paper could be included on the wikipage also, easily!! 04/26/2015 Bill Bouris — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:49, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

I reformatted slightly for easier reading. Hope you don't mind. —Tamfang (talk) 05:35, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Hi. I've been thinking about how the Reference Desk can best help you; I hope you don't mind if I make a couple of comments...
First, you need to know that I've studied mathematics to a fairly high level, but I'm not qualified to comment on Van der Waerden numbers, as they are outside my area of expertise. However, I do understand how both Wikipedia and mathematics work, so I can see where your difficulties are arising.
I can see from your question above, and from some other things you've said elsewhere in Wikipedia, that you are very interested in mathematics and have some new things to say. However, what you need to understand is that Wikipedia isn't the right place for posting new ideas, however interesting they may be. Even if Einstein came along with a new theory, we wouldn't say anything about it here until he had shown the theory to lots of other people, and they'd checked it and agreed that it was correct. It's the same for you: even if your ideas are right, we don't just rely on your saying so, we wait until other people have checked your results. In mathematics, there is a special way of checking, which consists of two parts: first mathematicians require proof, then they require peer review.
In mathematics it isn't enough just to write down a formula that gives the answer to a particular problem. You also have to prove that the result is correct. Most of the advanced training that mathematicians get at university is really training in how to prove things. These proofs can be quite short, or very, very long; it depends on lots of different factors. A proof is simply a list of steps that any other mathematician can follow, at the end of which they will be as sure as you are that your result is correct. Since some people are very sceptical, they are not convinced just by how pretty the formula is, or how it happens to fit all the cases you've examined so far: they need a way of being sure that your result is always true, in every possible case that the result is about, not just for the cases that we already know about.
Once you have a proof, you write it down and start on the second part of the process, peer review. For this, you send your result and its proof to a refereed journal for professional mathematicians; there are lots of these, and you pick the one that has readers who are interested in your particular area of mathematics. The editor of the journal sends your result and its proof to several other mathematicians, who check your work (it's just like submitting homework at school, only with a very strict teacher!). If these other mathematicians don't find any mistakes in your work, and are convinced by your reasoning, then they recommend to the journal editor that your work is published. And once it's published, we here at Wikipedia can immediately include the result in the appropriate Wikipedia article, because we can be sure that your work has now been checked.
I hope you can see that this process of proving and checking is what matters to Wikipedia. It's also what matters most to mathematicians, and if you hope to make a real contribution to mathematics you have to learn how to do it.
I'm not sure how old you are, or whether you're still at school or college, but I think what will help you best is to study more mathematics. If you're at school or college, that's easy to do - you just work harder in class, and try to learn from your mistakes every day. If you're outside formal education, a very good thing to do would be to sign up for more mathematical education - perhaps do a degree part-time or by distance learning. You will gradually learn how to prove things as well as work out formulas, and this is a good way to become a useful member of the mathematical community.
Almost finally, I want to say one thing which may give you a little encouragement: my professional view is that the professor who you mentioned earlier was not very helpful to you, because his advice was incomplete. What I think he meant to say was something like this: "Examining the data and producing a formula is math, but it's not all that you need. You also need the proof that your result is true." If you can learn how to prove your results, you'll be able to make some very good contributions to the subject. Getting to this stage isn't easy, but I hope you'll work hard to get there.
And finally, I'd like to recommend a book that will help you to understand a little about proofs and how they work: "Proofs and Refutations" by Imre Lakatos. Reading this book will help you understand how mathematics works, and how you can best make contributions to the subject. Good luck! RomanSpa (talk) 10:08, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Einstein would be the exception though. Notable whether right or wrongFace-smile.svg

Anti incest version of adam and eve matematical question.[edit]

I am curious about something: Imagine adam and eve, if we came from them, their childrens would need to make sex with each other or their parents to makes things work and make population be able to increase. Now, here comes the question, Imagine that no one can make sex with her sister/brother, fathers, uncles (and their sons), grandparent. Now, what is the amount of starter humans and their sex, needed to make population be able to increase under this rule. (talk) 21:54, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

You didn't exclude first cousins (unless that's what "uncles and their sons" means). One set of first cousins having kids isn't so bad, but if you repeated it generation after generation you would end up with some serious inbreeding. StuRat (talk) 23:00, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Evolutionary theory claims that a population evolves into a new species first by being separated from the main population, by geography or some other prevention of interbreeding. I think the maths after that are covered in the article on Genetic drift. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 23:42, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I think people are missing the point of the original question - it isn't about genetics, it is simply about the smallest population that can mathematically increase in size according to the rules given. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:53, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Step number one is to list all the rules explicitly. (talk) 04:08, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

How long can a population last without incest? is a related, well-defined puzzle analyzed on Stack Exchange, which assumes an initial unrelated population and asks how many generations can be formed if parents are restricted from having any common ancestors.
It appears that our questioner intends to exclude pairings between first cousins (such as with an uncle's son), but do they intend to permit great grandparent - great grandchild pairing which have the same r = 0.125 coefficient of relationship as first cousins? What about quadruple second cousins, also with r = 0.125? Is a certain longevity and maximum number of children per individual assumed, or are they unrestricted as in the stack exchange problem? Are faithful pairings required, or may one person reproduce with several others?
The question has piqued my curiosity and I intended to work a few variations (particularly that of lock-stepped generations with unlimited pairing between members of the same generation who don't share common grandparents; an initial population of 8 is clearly necessary, but I've yet to show that it is sufficient), but don't expect to have the free time for a few weeks (and shouldn't even be typing this). I encourage the questioner to register a Wikipedia account and drops a note here so they may be contacted after this question archives. -- ToE 13:44, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

May 25[edit]

Property of Legendre transformed thermodynamic potentials[edit]

Dear volunteers,

as I understand from Legendre transformation#An equivalent definition in the differentiable case, it holds that for a differentiable, convex function f and its Legendre transform g

Df = \left( Dg \right)^{-1}~.

An application of this transformation is, e.g., the derivation of the Helmholtz free energy A from the internal energy U. However, I do not see the above equation apply to this case. Since the internal energy is a function of the entropy, U=U(S), and the free energy is a function of the (entropy conjugate) temperature, A=A(T), I would expect

\frac{\partial U}{\partial S} = \left( \frac{\partial A}{\partial T} \right) ^{-1}

as linear Operators. As we are in the scalar case, the above derivatives are scalars \in \mathbb{R}, namely

\frac{\partial U}{\partial S} = T


\frac{\partial A}{\partial T} = -S ~.

Obviously, the composition of the linear Operators results in an Operator equivalent to multiplication by -TS \neq 1.

Any hints on the location of the error(s) in the above would be highly appreciated.

Thanks, --Das O2 (talk) 20:07, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

The derivatives are not inverse linear operators of each other, they are inverse functions of each other! The derivative of a function f:V\to\mathbb R on a vector space V is a function f':V\to V^* from V (the space of x's) into the dual space V^* (the space of ps). The Legendre transform g:V^*\to\mathbb R is such that g':V^*\to V is the inverse function of f':V\to V^*. Perhaps a clearer way to write this: the derivative of f(x) is just f'(x)=p (in the conventions of the article Legendre transform), so the derivative of the Legendre transform g(p) is the inverse function g'(p)=x. (Thermodynamics has the signs all opposite to those used in the article, so really it is the negative inverse function in that case.) Sławomir Biały (talk) 13:21, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank You! I embarrassingly mixed up derivative and differential. --Das O2 (talk) 17:55, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Circle packing in a circle[edit]

I ran across a cute article Circle packing in a circle, which further references a site , and it's interesting. There seems to be some kind of pure, fundamental meaning in which patterns of circles are regular and which are not.

To take the simplest thing for me to look at: suppose I define a "regular-edged" packing as one where every circle touching the outer rim is equally spaced, touching two circles to either side of it. Then the numbers 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11?, 13*, 18, 19, 37, 56 61, 91 represent "regular-edged" numbers, and the ones between them, not. (?: the solution given for 11 differs between Packomania and the Wikipedia article - someone should sort that out *: the Wikipedia article says there are *two* equivalent solutions for #13, one of which is regular-edged and one of which isn't!)

You could likewise sort out solutions by uniqueness (whether a loose circle is present), symmetry group, etc. But are any of these things known to mean anything about anything other than how circles go in a circle? Wnt (talk) 21:20, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

The WP solution for 11 circles and the one given given at packomania have the same diameter of outer circle so they are both optimal. In fact they differ only by the placement of one circle; there are two possible "holes" where this last circle can fit. The packomania summary table has some of the things you're asking about: symmetry, #loose circles, #circles on the edge. If there are p circles packed around the outer rim then the radius of the outer circle is 1+\frac{1}{\sin(\frac{\pi}{p})} which is asymptotically a constant times p. But you can argue that the radius of the outer circle is asymptotically a constant times the √n. So it seems that the radius of the outer circle increases more and more slowly as n increases while the gaps between the radii for regular edges stay about the same size. Hence you would expect larger and larger gaps between values of n which have a regular edged solution. Whether there is any deeper meaning to this type of problem is an interesting question. On the one hand, though packomania hints of industrial applications, the problem seems to be more on the recreational side. On the other hand, it's an example of a type of multivariate optimization problem which is very difficult to solve exactly and there are sophisticated techniques to find good approximate answers. Note that the table lists the best known solutions; apparently no solution is known to be best for n>19. Also, this problem is closely related to the sphere packing problem which leads to some very serious mathematics, e.g. the Leech lattice. --RDBury (talk) 00:24, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
It seems to become sparse faster than the square root, because there are values of p that are 'unpackable', like p=11, which is not seen in the solution for any number of circles. There's some sort of trade-off that favors symmetry, i.e. the solution for fifteen circles with p=10 and five in the middle. I feel a suspicion that this is related to 11 being prime, whereas 'popular' numbers like 6 (which solves 6 and 7) or 12 (which solves 18 and 19) are highly divisible. (24 doesn't appear to turn up twice, but at 61 is one of the few 'regular-edged' solutions, followed only by p=30 as a sixfold symmetric solution for 91 circles, at least in the packomania approximations) Wnt (talk) 14:23, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

May 26[edit]

3d Rotation of Point around a Line[edit]

I feel tremendously foolish having to ask this, but it is not something I usually work with and am having an oddly hard time for some reason. I have a point (x, y, z) and want to rotate the line going through (x, y, z) and intersecting the line (t, t, t) [t variable] around (t, t, t) - if possible, is there a formula, in terms of the point being rotated and the change in angle that gives the result? (and what is the angle that xyz is at relative ttt? I was mucking around with spherical coordinates, but it seems this would be the better approach). I have a difficult time connecting geometry (pictured in my head) up with formulas for some reason, so I apologize if is this is unclear. Thank you for any help:-)Phoenixia1177 (talk) 03:16, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Yes, it is unclear, at least to me. Is the point rotating about a line, or the line about the point ? And what does (t,t,t) mean ? Just going with the problem in the title, you could first find the plane normal to the line, through the point. Within that plane, you could project the point (normal) onto the line (you could also do that in 3D, if you prefer). Then find the distance between the point and it's projection, and create a circle of that radius centered on the projected point (or a sphere in 3D which you then intersect with the plane). Quite a few steps, but each is relatively straightforward. StuRat (talk) 04:09, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
This is why I usually stay far away from routine geometry:p. (t, t, t) is the line specified by f(t) = (t, t, t). I have a line passing through this line and a point (x, y, z) off the line, given a parameterization of this line, I'm asking for how to express an arbitrary point on a rotation of the line in terms of the difference in angle, the point (x, y, z), and, ultimately, the parameter value of the point rotated.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 05:02, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
So you have a fixed line (the one parameterized by (t, t, t)) through the origin such that the angles between it and each of the positive axes are all equal. You have a point off the line, and a line through the point that intersects this line. Where does it intersect this line? Or is it at right angles to it? It is not clear what angles you are referring to, so perhaps you can elaborate? There is an angle of rotation around the fixed line, but you also need to define the starting point of the rotation if you're using that. —Quondum 06:04, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
I feel doubly foolish, I'm leaving something out of this! The problem is the following: Let A be the line throught the origin, p a point, g a function from the reals^3 to A, and B the line through p and g(p). Suppose B is parameterized as f(t), given s, where does f(s) go when you rotate B around A, in terms of the change in angle, p, and s? Does that make more sense?Phoenixia1177 (talk) 06:25, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
It might be helpful have a look at rotation group SO(3), see also rotation matrix and linked articles. YohanN7 (talk) 11:33, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
I get the transformation matrix
{1 \over 3} + {2 \over 3}\cos \theta & {1 \over 3} - {1 \over 3}\cos \theta  + {1 \over \sqrt{3}}\sin\theta & {1 \over 3} - {1 \over 3}\cos \theta - {1 \over \sqrt{3}}\sin\theta\\
{1 \over 3} - {1 \over 3}\cos \theta - {1 \over \sqrt{3}}\sin\theta & {1 \over 3} + {2 \over 3}\cos \theta & {1 \over 3} - {1 \over 3}\cos \theta + {1 \over \sqrt{3}}\sin\theta \\
{1 \over 3} - {1 \over 3}\cos \theta + {1 \over \sqrt{3}}\sin\theta & {1 \over 3} - {1 \over 3}\cos \theta - {1 \over \sqrt{3}}\sin\theta & {1 \over 3} + {2 \over 3}\cos \theta  
to rotate through angle θ while fixing (1, 1, 1). The idea is you apply rotations to move (1, 1, 1) parallel to (1, 0, 0), apply a rotation through angle θ about the x-axis, then apply the inverse of the first rotations. The general formula is in the Rotation matrix page, but it's not the kind of thing that's covered in the standard math curriculum. --RDBury (talk) 12:36, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
@RDBury: I believe the  \sin\theta terms in your matrix should have their signs reversed (assuming standard convention of counter-clockwise rotations). Can you check? Abecedare (talk) 16:30, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
I wasn't keeping track of clockwise vs. anti since it depends on from which direction you're looking at the axis, but I'll take your word for it. --RDBury (talk) 19:55, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

searching for a number in an unlimited range[edit]

StuRat's answer to the base conversion question above prompts this question. Suppose I'm looking for the floor of an unknown positive real number; and my only tool is an oracle that tells you whether your guess is low or high. What's my best sequence of guesses? Start with 1, double my guess until the oracle says "high", and then do binary search? —Tamfang (talk) 08:09, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

What do you mean by "best"? The two most obvious options are shortest worst-case running time and shortest average-case running time, but the former is impossible and the latter requires a probability distribution on your inputs. Algebraist 09:38, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Agree with Algebraist on that but if you're doing the original problem of converting to binary and take a constant time per digit once you've started your binary doubling method at least only multiplies the total conversion time by a constant amount. WIth most anything else it seems hard to get any reasonable limit when the numbers might range up to say 2 to the power of googleplex with some weird distribution. Dmcq (talk) 10:22, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
As mentioned it depends on the distribution and there is no generic answer. At best you can hypothesize about the distributions you are likely to encounter in practice. And for those, I suspect trying to apply your method on the logarithm of the value is a safer bet (equivalent to starting by squaring each time, etc.). You can for convenience switch to binary search on the value itself once the range is narrow enough.
Alternatively, you might try an optimization criterion based on regret. I haven't completely fleshed it out, but: Choose a family of distributions, and for any technique under consideration and given positive real, find the distribution for which the difference in number of steps between the optimal technique for this distribution applied to the chosen real, and what your technique did, is minimal. This minimal value is your regret. It's possible that for any possible technique, the regret over all possible real numbers is bounded; find the technique with the minimaximal regret. (This is inspired by Multi-armed bandit problems, not sure if the intuition truly applies here.) -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 14:34, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Looks like we need a links to regret and minimax. StuRat (talk) 15:24, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Best Buy[edit]

What is the 'best buy' out of the following.

1. One Sachet consisting '18g' of Horlicks costing '£12'.

2. One Sachet consisting 100g of Horlicks costing £80.

3. On tub of Horlicks of 400/450g costing £370/380.

I believe it is number (1). Am I right?

Mr. Prophet (talk) 11:09, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

You are - but how did you arrive at that conclusion? (talk) 12:05, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
1) You have to be broke as a joke, and 2) think of what Stu said thereafter if your brain doesn't function... Face-grin.svg -- Mr. Prophet (talk) 18:29, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
You divide the price by the quantity to get the price per quantity. Of course, there are also other factors, like not wanting to buy more of something you can use before it spoils, loses potency, etc., and, as mentioned above, larger quantities may have better packaging, come with free shipping, etc. (I'd just add all the shipping, handling, taxes, etc., in, then divide by the quantity, to find the total price per quantity.)
There is some strange pricing going on with your examples, where the more you buy the more expensive it seems to get. StuRat (talk) 12:59, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
It's also the world's most overpriced Horlicks: you can get 500g for £3.50. Maybe "Horlicks" is some kind of euphemism. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 13:05, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Smiley emoticons doh.gif I should've stated 'Say for Example:'; I'm in a different country... -- Mr. Prophet (talk) 18:29, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
The thing is, those Horlick tubs are mighty useful for storing things, so it may be worth the extra money to get them instead of the sachets where you just throw away the empties. --RDBury (talk) 12:44, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Smile.gif I agree but I don't have anywhere to keep it... Maybe when I go back home. Thank you for the reminder! -- Mr. Prophet (talk) 18:29, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
One use for such jars is for food you intend to toss out. I find that sealing it up like that prevents fruit flies from breeding there, and the stench of rotting food doesn't get out as much. To make it even more effective, put it in the freezer until garbage collection day. (A garbage disposal and/or flushing food scraps down the toilet and/or composting them are other approaches.) StuRat (talk) 19:16, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
To be honest, the idea does not sound mind blowing, guessing that it concludes with the words 're-clean', 'reuse' or 'recycle' the tub. Since you mentioned, I've used 'disposable plastic containers' and the 'toilet' many times, I still ask you for an opinion since I'm not happy, "where and or how do I throw 'hot' 'boiling' 'fat'?" -- Mr. Prophet (talk) 18:26, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Thanks friends, love you all! (not in a gay way SFriendly.svg) -- Mr. Prophet (talk) 18:29, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Heat equation on the ice rink[edit]

[moved here from the science desk]

Is it possible to solve the heat equation on this shape analytically (not just numerically)? On an ellipse or rectangle, the solution is relatively simple (in the former case we use polar coordinates). But an ice rink is most conveniently described in a piecewise fashion, as the union of two semi-circles with a rectangle. In particular, does knowledge of the solutions on the ellipse and rectangle help?

Homogeneous boundary conditions are okay, since to me, they seem to be a reasonable physical assumption. Also I'm not sure about how the cooling of the ice physically works but if coolant coils pass under the whole ice sheet, I would think that those heat sources would be relatively easy to incorporate.

I would also be interested if there were a better equation than the heat equation for this particular physical problem.--Jasper Deng (talk) 02:14, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Properly, though, an ice rink is not two ellipses and a rectangle. It's a rectangle with rounded corners. Unlike in an ellipse, the short and long ends of an ice rink are both perfectly straight. You'd have to describe it as a rectangle less the four corners, which are pretty close to the space left over from a circle inscribed inside a square. --Jayron32 02:31, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
An expansion is always possible in eigenfunctions of the Laplace operator, but the eigenfunctions for such a domain are not analytically determinable in terms of standard special functions. You can infer something about the eigenvalues by the shape of the domain; for instance, the first eigenvalue is related to the area of the domain by an isoperimetric type inequality. But even knowing that the domain decomposes into somewhat nice pieces doesn't give much information about the corresponding eigenfunctions. The standard solutions all rely on separation of variables, and so in particular are dependent on having a region which is "nice" in some orthogonal coordinate system: these are the coordinate systems in which the Laplacian is separable. In two dimensions, there are five such coordinate systems: Cartesian coordinate system, Polar coordinate system, Parabolic coordinate system, Bipolar coordinates, Elliptic coordinates. (There are also periodic solutions on elliptic curves that appear in number theory, and have solutions given by Jacobian theta functions. But that's not going to help here either.) Sławomir Biały (talk) 02:56, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I was hoping that someone had already investigated eigenfunctions of the Laplacian on this domain, because I think ice rinks are a very important practical application of the heat equation, but it looks like any such orthogonal expansion is going to rely on nontrivial functions anyways.--Jasper Deng (talk) 03:11, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
In his blog, Terrence Tao has talked about scarring in the Bunimovich stadium, which has implications for the Laplacian eigenvalue distribution. An ice hockey rink is a generalization of this shape, but I'd guess that the same sort of chaos, and thus scarring, would occur in it, too.--Mark viking (talk) 03:25, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Simple statistical proof[edit]

A very sexist population prefers boys to girls. Every family tries various birthing strategies to have more sons than daughters, such as repeatedly giving birth until they get one son. Prove that no strategy can have any effect on the sex ratio.

I know this is easy to prove using the optional stopping theorem, but I'm trying to explain this to a friend without a math background. Is there a simpler, more intuitive proof that a smart layman who knows high school math could understand? It doesn't have to be absolutely rigorous, but has to be rigorous enough to be convincing. Thanks! --Bowlhover (talk) 03:18, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

You are assuming that this preference nonetheless cannot change the actual probability of having girls or boys, and that you're ignoring abortions and other ways one gender could be physically removed, right?--Jasper Deng (talk) 04:24, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Do some of the birthing strategies include Sex-selective abortion? If so, that would alter the ratio. For example, in China, the gender difference is about 2.5% in favor of males, (see Demographics of China which doesn't seem like much, but is significantly different than the Human sex ratio of the world, which is about 0.5% in favor of males. Indeed, China itself is such a huge population, they are actually driving the world average a big portion of the world average. --Jayron32 04:25, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
This needn't be true even if you disallow abortion. For example, if different mothers have different chances of having male children, which I think is actually the case, then stopping at the first girl will result in more boys in total than having children indiscriminately. So your friend's suspicion of the claim may well be justified.
To prove this you need to assume that the sex of each baby is an independent random coin flip, and at that point I'd just say that you've assumed your conclusion. If that isn't obvious enough, you could replace the many couples with a single (immortal) couple trying all of the strategies in sequence. E.g., instead of a bunch of couples each having kids until one is a boy, the one couple has kids until one is a boy, then has more kids until one is a boy, etc. It seems intuitively obvious that this will give the same sex ratio as when there are many couples, and that the ratio will be the chance of flipping heads vs tails. -- BenRG (talk) 04:52, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure the last part is that obvious. An intuitive proof of that would answer the OP. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 15:51, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
If we assume that the probability of conceiving a boy is the same for all couples, is independent of previous conceptions and does not change over time then we can combine a set of parallel sequences of conceptions into one single sequence (placing them end to end, or interleaving them in chronological order, or whatever scheme suits us) without affecting probabilities. If we drop any of these assumptions (e.g. if some couples are more likely to conceive boys than others; if a boy is more likely to be conceived after a boy; if first children are more likely to be boys) then we cannot combine sequences without affecting probabilities, and conversely there are possible strategies for conceiving more boys. Gandalf61 (talk) 16:34, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
The part where you can combine multiple couples into a single one is clear. The part where a single couple can have no strategy (assuming each birth is a fair coin toss), not so much. It seems to me that a proof of that would not be much different from the proof of the optional stopping theorem, which in turn does not seem completely trivial. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 18:20, 27 May 2015 (UTC)


May 21[edit]

How to pronounce the "v." in court cases?[edit]

Is Roe v. Wade pronounced "Roe vee Wade" or "Roe versus Wade"? My other car is a cadr (talk) 03:01, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

I've heard it pronounced both ways in various news stories. Dismas|(talk) 03:14, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Yup... it's pronounced both ways. Blueboar (talk) 03:28, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
What Blueboar said. Lawyers and those involved in legal fields are more apt to use "Roe vee," but either works. GregJackP Boomer! 03:33, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
In at least some countries it's also pronounced as "'n", meaning "and". I was talking to a niece of mine who's a lawyer in Canada just the other day and noticed her using this pronunciation. -- (talk) 04:31, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
In England, lawyers would refer to the case as 'Roe and Wade'. Sometimes you get a case with multiple defendants - for example, R. v. Dudley and Stephens - which is referred to by the name of the defendants only - ie. 'Dudley and Stephens'.
How non-lawyers would refer to such a case is up to them; there is no right or wrong answer. (talk) 06:32, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I remember when Kramer vs. Kramer was a current movie and a frequent topic of conversation. A friend of mine was a first year law student at the time, and whenever the movie was mentioned, he would be certain to pointedly call it "Kramer AND Kramer", which always stopped the rest of us in our tracks. He, with his decades of legal training, would explain that that was the one and only correct way to say "vs". Well, maybe so in Commonwealth countries, but not so in the USA. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 07:00, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
In the UK, the conventional system is to say "and" for civil cases: Rylands v Fletcher = "Rylands and Fletcher", and to say "against" for criminal cases: R v Wallace = "The King against Wallace". (Geoffrey Rivlin (2012), Understanding the Law (6th ed), Oxford, p 21). Tevildo (talk) 08:27, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Although criminal lawyers generally just refer to the case by the name of the defendant. So to use your example, R. v. Wallace would usually be referred to (other than in formal settings) simply as Wallace. (The practice mentioned by above is broader than just cases with two defendants.) It can sometimes be difficult, without context or knowledge of the case in question, to know whether a case referred to in speech as "Smith and Jones" is the civil case of Smith v. Jones or the criminal case of R. v. Smith and Jones. Proteus (Talk) 11:53, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
@Tevildo and everyone else who knows about these things: The UK civil terminology has from time to time become contentious at Jarndyce and Jarndyce and there has been a RM at Talk:Jarndyce and Jarndyce#Requested move. Could someone supply a reference to a reliable source for the terminology at this article and otherwise help out? Thincat (talk) 14:42, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
User:JackofOz, whilst your law student friend ("with his decades of legal training" in "first year law") might have substituted "and" for "versus", it certainly isn't how "vs" is pronounced. Aside from that, the name of the film is properly pronounced however its title is officially marketed, which was quite definitely "Kramer versus Kramer", irrespective of what the 'proper' parlance might be in legal circles. So your pedantic friend was just wrong.--Jeffro77 (talk) 10:13, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
As we told him at the time. But he knew better, and there was no telling him. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 11:41, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

It's and in England. That's how I was taught at law school; and in criminal cases R is pronounced The Queen. It is short for Regina because crimes are officially prosecuted by the Crown. Hence, R. v Brown becomes The Queen and Brown. (talk) 09:34, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Of course, R is sometimes pronounced The King. DuncanHill (talk) 10:49, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Visa Waiver Program[edit]

The visa waiver program seems to favours Europeans. Previous US visa policy were openly racist when they favoured Europeans. So is the current European favouring eligibility also due to racism or something else? (talk) 07:17, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

The article tells us that (after markup-stripping):
The criteria for designation as program countries are specified in Section 217 (c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (Title 8 U.S.C. § 1187).[1] The criteria stress passport security and a very low nonimmigrant visa refusal rate: not more than 3% as specified in Section 217 (c)(2)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as well as ongoing compliance with the immigration law of the United States.
If you ask whether this is due to racism, it seems to me that you're inviting mere opinions. Are you asking whether these apparently impartial standards are actually interpreted in a racist way? -- Hoary (talk) 08:06, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
According to this article, Qatar, Oman and South Africa should have been offered the program. They are more stable and employed than many listed European countries. This makes me wonder if their majority African and Asian ethnicity has something to do with it as it had in the past. Is my racism-theory correct? (talk) 09:00, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
We do not answer requests for opinions. Including opinions as to whether your theories are correct. AndyTheGrump (talk) 09:06, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Please provide citations for your claims. The source you linked to doesn't say "Qatar, Oman and South Africa should have been offered the program". It simply mentions that these 3 countries meet one of the criteria. Nil Einne (talk) 13:51, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Since you say its racist, why would you want to go there anyways? Almost a moot point methinks. btw- many [Black-majority] CARICOM countries, for example, don't need visas in places such as the uk and even Switzerland. (talk) 12:00, 21 May 2015 (UTC)


What was the [indigenous] term for America before Vespucci and the European came over? Was there a unified term for the entire continental island (many traders did cross what are state borders today)? Of course all the tribes and societies have/had their own language, so they may be more than one term, if any. (talk) 12:02, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

If I'm not mistaken, Charles C. Mann covers this in his excellent book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. The answer is "nothing". The people who lived here before European contact had no common culture, and no common understanding of the entire planet, with concepts like "continents" and the like. They had ideas like "land" and "sea" and "sky", but concepts like "Europe" or "The Americas" did not exist for them in any meaningful way. --Jayron32 12:09, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Same, incidentally, for all the other continents. Note the anomaly when it comes to the notion of "Europe", though, which is a "continent" that is not actually a continent, geographically speaking. That by itself should give away who it was that did the naming. Btw, Vespucci did not discover America. He simply claimed to have been the first to identify that area as a new continent (as opposed to it being the eastern edge of Asia) and someone who apparently took his claim seriously used a Latin form of Vespucci's first name to designate that new part of the world. The use of a first name was a bit unusual (except for monarchs) but in hindsight it was a good choice: just imagine "the United States of Vespuccia (US of V)". Contact Basemetal here 12:51, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, except that the old world had a (to them) natural continental division: the Mediterranean Sea (lit. "The Center of the Earth"). From the Mediterranean point-of-view, you could divide the land into continents based on cardinal directions: Europe to the North, Asia to the East, and Africa to the south. The lack of a Western land upset their sense of symmetry, which is why some had to invent a "lost" continent, hence, Atlantis. The continent never existed, but the name for it persists today in the Atlantic Ocean. As far as they were concerned, each of those lands extended on from those direction in an indeterminate manner. The division between Europe and Asia had natural water boundaries (i.e. the Black Sea) as did Asia and Africa (the Red Sea). The lack of a convenient body of water beyond the Black Sea to divide Asia from Europe certainly upset that original plan, but at the time, it worked well for them. --Jayron32 13:06, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
The people living in the Americas before the arrival of Europeans were unaware of other landmasses. In fact, individual societies were generally unaware of any lands more than about 1000 km from their own, so they did not have a concept of continents. Marco polo (talk) 13:24, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
They weren't aware of kilometers, either. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:05, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
They still aren't. Kilometers are French. Contact Basemetal here 15:54, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
No, kilomètres are French, kilometers are American. DuncanHill (talk) 16:02, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Canada has Natives and kilometres. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:20, May 21, 2015 (UTC)
And it refers to the Yupik as Inuit, which they aren't. --Trovatore (talk) 20:50, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Federally, yeah. But it also lets both groups largely disregard federal stuff, and officially call themselves anything. So there's a moral balance. Wait, no. Only "First Nations" get band governments. We're evil after all. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:36, May 22, 2015 (UTC)
See "Turtle Island (North America)".—Wavelength (talk) 21:12, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
No, that's not exactly the same thing, and I don't really like the phrasing in the article that it is the name for North America. Native American cosmogony is certainly not developed enough to recognize what a continent is. Turtle Island is merely the World Turtle concept as manifested in the Northeastern United States. It's the name for the world as opposed to this chunk of land. --Jayron32 21:17, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
At least I've had a longtime question answered: does "Turtle Island" mean island with turtles, island shaped like a turtle, island that is a turtle, or something else again? Each of these would be translated differently to at least some languages. —Tamfang (talk) 06:50, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Can or will formal language replace ordinary language in the literary arts?[edit]

According to philosophers, poetry and mathematics both seek truth and beauty. Moreover, these two disciplines operate under constrains of precision, rigidity and logical validity. This deep and intimate connection became the foundation of “mathematical poetry”.

This is an example of a minimalist mathematical poem by LeRoy Gorman entitled “The Birth of Tragedy”:


Does mathematical poetry signal the literary turn to using formal or symbolic language in creative writing? Are there any critics to this kind of poetry?Rja2015 (talk) 15:30, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

No. --Jayron32 15:33, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't know about criticizing that kind of poetry, but the St. Louis Poetry Center saw something wrong with that particular poet's language thirty years ago, because he came in second. But, as artists do, he didn't let it get him down and by 1990, he was big in Japan.
No on the first question. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:50, May 21, 2015 (UTC)
There are the best math poems, as decided by the (probably) esteemed critics at By binary logic, the rest are simply not the best. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:03, May 22, 2015 (UTC)
I have read all the poems included in that site's list of "best" math poems. All are execrable, as you'd expect from a site largely targetting doggerel-mongers. Some of Piet Hein's grooks express entertaining mathematical thoughts, but all are expressed in common language (either English or Danish). RomanSpa (talk) 17:38, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
This is one of those areas where "philosophers" have (as is very common) expressed themselves unclearly. Mathematicians are to a large extent concerned with statements that are "mathematically true" - that is, can be deduced from an agreed set of prior statements by a clear sequence of intermediate statements. A mathematical truth is often regarded by practitioners as beautiful if it is of great significance or generality, and/or has been deduced using a non-obvious sequence of intermediate statements, and/or tells us something unexpected or useful about the real world that the mathematics is being used to model. Poets, on the other hand, are not concerned that their statements are in any sense literally true, but seek to induce particular thoughts or states of mind in their audience through the use of language such as metaphor and simile, and such oral-language tools as assonance and rhyme. The "truth" of a poem is largely the affirmation or contradiction of pre-existing tendencies within the human mind, and is largely uninteresting except as an examination of mental states. When a poet writes "Proud the hull and dark the prow, of sweat and steel it forged..." he is not giving true information about ship construction, and when he writes "North the fulmar through the smoke, the ship in silence led" he is not suggesting that ship navigation be based on bird behaviour: he is seeking to evoke a state of mind that is "true" in its emotional satisfaction. To put it another way, the "truth" that mathematics is concerned with is different from the "truth" that poetry is concerned with. It isn't meaningful to compare the two. RomanSpa (talk) 18:09, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Thomas Harcourt's kidney[edit]

According to John Aubrey, when Thomas Harcourt (our article is at Thomas Whitbread), was executed and his bowels thrown into the fire, "a butcher's boy standing by was resolved to have a piece of his Kidney which was broyling in the fire", later it was in the possession of one "Roydon, a brewer in Southwark". Aubrey says he saw it, and it was absolutely petrified. Do we know if the kidney has survived? Is it now a relic? Where is it? DuncanHill (talk) 15:41, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

This review of 1973 Review of the Patrick Garland/Roy Dotrice's one-man play about the life of Aubrey (noted in our article) claims that among the props used in the play are "the actual jawbone of Thomas More and the .petrified kidney of Sir Thomas Harcourt". No idea if the report is accurate, but if it is, then the kidney still existed in 1973. No idea how it, and More's jawbone, were obtained to be used in the play. But it's a lead. --Jayron32 15:50, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Broiling a kidney petrifies it? How does that work? I think I've eaten broiled kidneys, though not human ones. Or was it liver? Contact Basemetal here 16:01, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
The obvious explanation is that it was a giant kidney stone, such as this 2.5 pound specimen: [18]. The fire would merely removed the remaining flesh. StuRat (talk) 16:11, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Flesh will petrify just fine. Mummification, for example. So long as it is kept free from the sort of microorganisms that would eat it, flesh can survive almost indefinitely; certainly a few centuries is not unreasonable. --Jayron32 16:17, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but you don't mummify something by "broyling in the fire", as described in the Q. StuRat (talk) 13:27, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Aubrey says "The wonder is, 'tis now absolutely petrified. But 'twas not so hard when he first had it. It being always carried in the pocket hardened by degrees, better than by the fire". Thanks for the Patrick Garland/Roy Dotrice lead - Unfortunately they are both dead, so I can't approach them for information. DuncanHill (talk) 16:21, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Oh how very silly of me, Roy Dotrice is not dead, I'm glad to say! DuncanHill (talk) 16:26, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Not entirely relevant, but here lies Grigori Rasputin's alleged penis. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:11, May 21, 2015 (UTC)

A detail of the boundary between Minnesota and Wisconsin[edit]

I'd have said the boundary between Minnesota and Wisconsin consists of part of the course of the St. Croix river going as far south as its confluence with the Mississippi River, and downstream from there it's the Mississippi River, and north of the point where the St. Croix forms the boundary it's a straight line going northward until, or almost until, it reaches the western extreme of Lake Superior.

Looking at this map a few miles southeast of Prescott, Wisconsin, I see the boundary appearing to leave the main channel of the Mississippi and following a narrower channel southwest of the main channel and rejoining the main channel about a half-mile downstream from there. Zooming in, it appears to be labeled "Big River". But the Big River is supposed to be a river in Wisconsin flowing into the Mississippi somewhere near there. This channel labeled "Big River" seems to be on the wrong side of the Mississippi to be a river in Wisconsin, and it looks like a channel a half-mile long rather than a river 13 miles long in Wisconsin. What exactly is happening here? Michael Hardy (talk) 21:59, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Rivers change their courses but legal boundaries don't always follow. The border may be defined as the middle of the waterway as it existed on a certain date. Rmhermen (talk) 22:50, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
This sort of thing happens often along state boundaries defined (at the time the state's boundaries were first drawn) by the Mississippi River in particular. For most of its course, the Mississippi meanders over a broad floodplain, resulting in relatively frequent changes of position, especially before the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began working to stabilize the course of the river in the late 1800s. Marco polo (talk) 23:04, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
The principle is that when the river drifts gradually across its floodplain, the state border drifts with the river. When the river abandons it's old channel and completely cuts a new channel (see Meander cutoff for example), then the state border remains with the former channel. This has happened all over the place, and resulted in geographic oddities like Kaskaskia, Illinois (caused by river channel jumping) and the Kentucky Bend (caused by a drifting river channel which moved the border). --Jayron32 00:18, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
According to the linked article, the Kentucky bend was not formed by a "drifting river channel" but arose accidentally from the way the boundary was specified, similarly to Point Roberts, Washington. I'm not aware of any cases where a drifting channel formed that sort of anomaly (which certainly is not to say that there aren't any).
Another notable example of natural channel jumping is Carter Lake, Iowa, which since 1877 has been on the Nebraska side of the Missouri River. A similar example where the channel was moved artificially is Marble Hill, a part of the New York borough of Manhattan that's been on the Bronx side of the Harlem River since 1914. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:10, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
No, when originally mapped it was contiguous with the rest of Kentucky. The New Madrid Earthquake caused the river channel to drift dramatically (without leaving its channel as in a cutoff). See [19] and [20]. Both sources cite the movement of the river channel caused by the earthquake as the reason for the bend. --Jayron32 04:16, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
In the second source, "Kentucky Bend" is written in capitals and small capitals, indicating a cross-reference. That is to page 491, where you will see the enclave explained as the result of a surveying error (which is what I should have said above, rather than referring to the original specification). It is, of course, possible that the earthquake moved the river far enough that, when the states agreed to use the surveyed line as the boundary, that decision created the enclave. -- (talk) 20:56, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Further to this, check out this 1775 map of the river. If you mouse over the map, a gray scale icon appears and you can click "+" to enlarge, then click and drag to see the part you want. Unfortunately it's hard to relate the map to a modern one because so many place names have changed, but near the top you can see the confluence with the Ohio River. If you scan south from that point, you will see Wolf Island: see Wolf Island, Missouri. South of that the river makes an N-shaped double bend, where some islands are labeled "Sound Islands". That has got to be the Kentucky Bend, with New Madrid at the point where the map shows a "Cheponssea or Sound River" flowing into the Mississippi. (That river doesn't seem to exist today as shown on the map, but perhaps it's what Google Maps shows as Saint John Bayou, and the mapmaker mistook what direction it flowed from.) Anyway, if this interpretation is correct it means that while the New Madrid quakes may have altered the exact configuration of the Kentucky Bend, they clearly did not create it. -- (talk) 23:30, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

None of the above appears to explain why that channel is labeled "Big River" when the Big River is supposed to be a river in Wisconsin that is a tributary of the Mississippi. Michael Hardy (talk) 04:37, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

It is possible that that's just an error in the Google Map—such errors are hardly unknown occurences. The USGS topographic map for the area does not have a label for that side channel, and I'm not seeing a "Big River" label on any online map other than the Google one. On the other hand "Big River" is an extremely common name in the U.S., and it's possible that someone calls that side channel Big River; but it's apparently not a name recognized by the U.S. government. (From the Google aerial image, it appears that the channel may be silting up and losing its connection with the Mississippi, turning into an oxbow lake.) Deor (talk) 11:37, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
It could even be an intentional error. Google only recently turned off a number of user submission features in Map Maker due to such intentional errors or misuse [21]. (This allowed people to make changes on the map, I presume it include modifying names of features.) Nil Einne (talk) 19:44, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

May 22[edit]

Please identify this nasheed[edit] This is a video from Army of Conquest. I haven't been able to find the nasheed, and google deleted the youtube channel so I can't ask them either. Does anyone know the nasheed, or can an arabic speaker search the lyrics for me? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Radioactivemutant (talkcontribs) 05:03, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

City of London pub history[edit]

Does anyone know where online I'd be able to see anything about the histories of pubs in the City? I've discovered the Golden Fleece on Queen Street (51°30′48″N 0°5′33.5″W / 51.51333°N 0.092639°W / 51.51333; -0.092639), a block away from One New Change (which is apparently by the site of the pre-Blitz street "Old Change"), and I'm trying to figure out whether it could be the place of publication (or related to the place of publication) for Thomas Edwards' book The casting down of the last and strongest hold of Satan, which was "Printed by T.R. and E.M. for George Calvert, and are to be sold at the golden Fleece in the Old-Change, 1647". Nyttend (talk) 14:18, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

The London Encyclopaedia has some information about Old Change (p. 598). Londoners don't really talk about "blocks" as there is no regularity to our streets especially in the City. Queen Street is actually four junctions further down Cheapside from the site of Old Change (about two or three hundred yards) as you can see on the 1936 A to Z of London. New Change was built "a little to the east" of Old Change, which is now the site of a (rather ugly) sunken garden in the Festival of Britain style where I used to eat my sandwiches sometimes. So no, I don't think there's a connection as there are several pubs in between. Alansplodge (talk) 15:09, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Actually looking at a photograph of the Old Change garden, it doesn't look as bad as I remembered. Either I or the garden the garden or I must have mellowed with age. By the way, in 2011 there were 28 English pubs called the "Golden Fleece",[22] so it's not a particularly rare name. Alansplodge (talk) 15:30, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
"Golden fleece" is a good name for any business, which is of course there to fleece you of your "gold". The only more appropriate British business name I can think of is the gambling group, Ladbroke. StuRat (talk) 16:10, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
It's a small world: the "Golden Fleece" website that the original question linked to is actually in Forest Gate some six or seven miles east of the City, overlooking Wanstead Flats in Epping Forest. My sister used to rent a flat nearby and I've had a few enjoyable pints there. Alansplodge (talk) 18:02, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
I originally had several "Golden Fleece" webpages open and closed all of the tabs, so when I went to ask the question, I apparently pulled up the wrong one. I think this is the right one. Nyttend (talk) 12:12, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
At the risk of sounding trite, yes there are lots of historic pub guides: a simple Google search on "history London pubs" brought up several online. Rather than recommend them to you, please have a look yourself. (The reason I'm doing this is because I'm quite a beer and pub fan and if I started looking through all these sites myself now, I'd miss the event I'd got planned for this evening!) --TammyMoet (talk) 18:30, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Can you give me some examples of ones that are reliable? I ran such a search, but the first reliable-looking one didn't show up until the seventh page of results, and much of the book isn't displayed. All I'm seeing otherwise are a mix of random popular websites, with a couple newspaper columns, and they're not reliable for seventeenth-century history. Nyttend (talk) 12:08, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Didn't realise you were writing an academic paper on this, I thought you were interested in visiting pubs! --TammyMoet (talk) 14:46, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Nope, sorry; I'm in the US, working on MARC cataloging a collection of 16th-through-20th-century books, and when I can't find an authority file for the publisher, I've been doing my best to add a free-text note connecting the publisher to something currently in existence. That's why I wanted something online; our print reference collection definitely won't have anything on the subject, and I doubt I could find anything relevant in print in any regional libraries. Nyttend (talk) 18:41, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Have you tried approaching the Museum of London? (or for that matter the Metropolitan Archive?) ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 19:31, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I've managed to trace the Golden Fleece at 8 Queen Street back as far as 1971 [23] which given the short life span of many City pubs isn't bad going. In 1919, the same address was the registered offices of the London Coal Trade Clerks Association (a trades union) [24], but that doesn't preclude it being a pub as well. There is a mention of a pub called the "Golden Fleece" in the Post Office London Directory, 1843 (p. 122), at 3 Little Knightrider Street. Knightrider Street connected with Old Change at its southernmost end; however our article says that much of the street was demolished in the 1860s. Note also that this area was devastated by the Great Fire of London in 1666; however another pub in Knightrider Street, "The Horn", was rebuilt afterwards and is still in use as a pub today, although under a different name. This 1775 map shows how far away Old Change was from Queen Street, and Knightrider Street is partly shown on the western margin as "...riderS." Alansplodge (talk) 20:44, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Sniffle-less Žižek?[edit]

Has anyone come across audio/video of Slavoj Žižek with the sniffling removed? That should be technically feasible, shouldn't it? It's absolutely unbearable. It makes it impossible to concentrate on what the guy's saying. There's also his speech impediment, a kind of "bilateral lisp" (is that the correct term?) but I can deal with that. (If you don't know who/what I'm talking about: here and here, but you probably won't be able to help me then.) Contact Basemetal here 16:30, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

From a quick glance at his article, I'm not sure whether not being able to concentrate on what he's saying is a bug or a feature. --Trovatore (talk) 16:59, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Assuming he doesn't talk while sniffling, careful editing could mute the sound whenever he sniffled, without interfering with the words. However, you would lose any ambient sounds during each sniffle. Depending on the volume of those ambient sounds, the muting might be quite obvious. There are also more complex ways to try to remove the sniffles without the ambient noise, but that would require lots of work and expertise. StuRat (talk) 16:55, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. If this is something that would take a lot of work then it probably doesn't exist. I had Googled things like 'Zizek sniffling removed' etc. but nothing serious came up. He doesn't have the reputation of being a very profound thinker but, despite his sniffling, has gained some notoriety globally. I was curious what it was all about, but, because of that sniffling, never managed to sit through even a 5 mins video. Contact Basemetal here 17:41, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
    • Twice the same link. You did not provide the link for the parody. Contact Basemetal here 17:41, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
      • Oops, sorry, Basemetal, sometimes cut doesn't always work on PC's for some reason; never have that issue with Macs. I have fixed the link above, and here it is again First there is a jean commercial and its parody, then the tampon commercial at 1:30 followed by the parody. Oh, and I looked, but I couldn't find the filtered version of the actual commercial where the wheezing goes away. μηδείς (talk) 18:07, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I have a solution to the problem of <CTRL> C not telling you if it worked or not. Do <CTRL> X, instead, followed by <CRTL> V. If the highlighted text disappears, then reappears, you have confirmation that it made it into the cut buffer. StuRat (talk) 22:10, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, Stu, that is actually what I did, and the text did disappear. In this case it was between browsers, so perhaps that was the specific issue. Nevertheless it has been my experience that with PC's running Windows 7 there's no guarantee the cut will take or that the paste will be the most recent cut. I've had this issue on multiple PC's running anything from XP to Windows 8, so I think its a Windows fault. I have never had this problem with a Mac, but mine is now 10 years old and I am not in a hurry to spend money to replace an Asus I bought in 2013 and love for just that problem. Of course it's embarrassing when you end up posting... well, you can imagine. μηδείς (talk) 04:01, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Oh, crumbs, Žižek again. Can someone please think of the domo-kuns and upload a YouTube video entitled, I dunno, "Cultural Marxism for Dummies", consisting of <redacted> and <redacted> repeatedly hitting <redacted> over the head with paperback first editions of "The Sublime Object of Ideology"?--Shirt58 (talk) 15:20, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Been done. Some ... is repeatedly hitting ... over the ... though possibly not with a ... that will satisfy all .... Contact Basemetal here 15:55, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
It sounds like there's something very weird with your computer which few other people experience. Windows by default has only a single clipboard and no clipboard history. Certain applications like Office do have their own history but even if the application is running, this should generally only affect the application unless you majorly screw up the settings. You can install clipboard history applications, but if you did that, you should know about it unless the computer is managed by someone else which it doesn't sound like it is.

The point of all this is that if you cut something and it was successfully cut it's not possible to paste something else by default on Windows. So either you're running an application which is messing around with the clipboard, or you aren't actually cutting.

As StuRat said, cutting will generally give feedback that it worked, which was the point of StuRat's suggestion. The exceptions is something which can't be modified. In which case you should still know that there's no feedback (i.e. the content is still there). In fact with I think most applications cutting won't work with something which can't be modified. So "content is still there" does usually mean "cutting didn't work" whatever the reason.

Since you highlighted something, you could delete it instead of cutting but unless you have a very weird keyboard, or major hand motor problems, it should be very difficult to do this without noticing that you did so, when trying to cut using the keyboard. If you fail to push ctrl or it otherwise doesn't register, you should see the x which replaced the highlighted text. Even if you push space you should see the space if you are paying proper attention (and with most keyboards it isn't easy to push space anyway). And besides you'd have to not only push, but push space and fail to push x. Pushing backspace or delete will generally appear little different from a successful cut, but these would generally be even harder to push then space, plus again you'd need to fail to push the x.

Different browsers should generally irrelevant since the clipboard itself is a Windows function, unless the browser messes around with the clipboard in some way or doesn't know how to use a core Windows function. (The clipboard is part of Windows, but the application obviously has to know how to interact with it.) Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome should not have any problems using the clipboard properly without having installed weird plugins or something. I suspect Opera shouldn't either. No idea about other browsers although it would IMO be a silly or specialised browser that does anything like that by default.

(Certain web services like online document editing services have their own way of interacting with the clipboard, but this is even less likely to affect anything other than the service itself.

P.S. In a limited number of cases, you may get undesirable results if one application copies content formated in one way, and the other application can't handle that format properly. Although this will depend significantly on the interaction since many applications with such formatted content particularly text will include plain text and perhaps some other formats, as well. But in that case, you should simply get weird results rather than "cut one link but an older link appeared".

Nil Einne (talk) 19:24, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Well, this is a bit off topic and stale, but in appreciation for your effort I will explain that while I did ctrl x from the address field, I didn't do ctrl v to see if it pasted back, as Stu suggested, which would have been determinative. I took the disappearance of the address after the ctrl x as indicating that the cut had taken. μηδείς (talk) 18:21, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Is there a right to be forgotten?[edit]

Hi, I just wanted to know if there is a legal right to be forgotten in the United States. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:53, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

You'll have to ask a more specific question. The police will often not participate in missing persons cases when it seems clear the missing person just wanted to get away from an abusive spouse or family. One can legally use any name one likes, (alias), as long as it is not for illegal purposes (such as to avoid debts) and there is such a thing as a witness protection program. But there's no such federal right ensconced in the constitution. Unfortunately a more specific question might end up being leagal advice, so read our disclaimer (extreme bottom of the page), and restate your question keeping it in mind. As for WP, there is a right to start over without a connection to a past identity with some restrictions. Unfortunately, I can't remember the policy! Someone else will surely think of it if that is your concern. μηδείς (talk) 21:57, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
I think it's called "the right to vanish." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:20, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I wonder if the OP wasn't asking if there was in the US something equivalent to the European so called "right to be forgotten" regarding Google results? Contact Basemetal here 22:04, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
The law needs a lot of keeping up to do. Unfortunately American legislators are obsessed with 1930's era farm subsidies and 1950's era highway subsidies. It's not evident that any law since the 1996 telecommunications act has even been read in full by a single congressman. Bill Clinton bragged he sent two emails during his presidency, and we all know GWB was unsure on 9/11 of how to hold a book. μηδείς (talk) 02:05, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Why are 1930 and 1950 so greedy that they gotta have a whole era, a year isn't good enough for them? — Or is era an adjectival suffix? —Tamfang (talk) 07:02, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I meant dating from the New Deal and the Interstate Highway System of those decades. μηδείς (talk) 18:12, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

To actually address the OP's question, no there is no equivalent of a right to be forgotten in terms of American legislation or legal precedent. The right to be forgotten is the result of a ruling from the European Court of Justice, and is a fairly new and novel extension of privacy rights that is at present particular to the EU and, to in a more narrow context, to Argentina. It has proven controversial in Europe for a number of reasons and there is not, to my knowledge, any serious discussion of proposing such an approach in the U.S., where it would run contrary to a number of major legal principles on the rights of expression and inquiry and the established freedoms of the press -- though there is some case law regarded civil cases that have touched upon related issues. Snow let's rap 01:56, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

The general answer is no. I can provide pointers to some relevant case law if you wish. Newyorkbrad (talk) 01:58, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

May 23[edit]

H. Blacklock & Co[edit]

Seeing this as a publisher name in some works, but couldn't find the Wikipedia article.

Trying to determine who they became in 2012-2015, if they survived.

Id also be interested in knowing if they published in the US via an agreement with a US publisher.

This is so that I can determine if a work published by them in 1904/1914 editions was ever published (in compliance with the formalities) in the US. Sfan00 IMG (talk) 00:09, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

According to this website, H Blacklock & Co Ltd were taken over by McCorquodale & Co Ltd, based in Merseyside, in about 1930 - this company ceased trading in 2005. There is a printing (not publishing) company called McCorquodale 2005 (UK) Ltd based in Derby, which is probably their successor. They might be a good place to start any further enquiries. Tevildo (talk) 10:27, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
ShakespeareFan00 your comment about the formalities — I understand that you may be looking for information besides the simple license status, but as far as the license, it's fine. Anything published before 1923 is in the public domain in the USA, regardless of the jurisdiction in which it was first published, and regardless of whether it complied with US requirements at the time of publication. Nyttend (talk) 12:27, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Status of Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe[edit]

Now that Russia withdrew, what's the status of this treaty with respect to the non-Russian signatories? Are they still following the treaty? Are they legally required to? My other car is a cadr (talk) 03:40, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

It hasnt actually withdrawn completely its just taken its toys and refused to play anymore, but it is still represented by Belarus at treaty meetings. MilborneOne (talk) 12:18, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

One of Queen Victoria's daughters, an eminent scientist, and a mysterious bird.[edit]

Elspeth Huxley, in her book Gallipot Eyes, recounts a story told to her by her husband, Gervas Huxley. One of Queen Victoria's daughters, finding herself in close proximity to Thomas Huxley, inquired: "Do tell me, professor, what is the name of that bird one often hears in springtime that makes a silly noise something like 'cuckoo, cuckoo'?" I'd like to know which daughter. DuncanHill (talk) 11:47, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Considering Elspeth was an author, a journalist and a government advisor, I'd like to know if she didn't make the whole thing up. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:13, May 27, 2015 (UTC)

Are the board memberships and directorships of Delaware Corporations considered public record?[edit]

My other car is a cadr (talk) 15:20, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

This commercial site says: "Corporations can also be filed in Delaware through a registered agent without listing shareholders, directors, and officers on the public record. However, on or before March 1 of each year after the initial filing, each Delaware corporation is required to file a franchise tax payment and must list the names and addresses of the company's directors and officers. This information is required even if your Delaware agent pays your taxes for you. This information may be obtained by anyone requesting it from the Delaware Division of Corporations for a small payment of $10. Some states post this information on their websites, but not Delaware." Director information may also be available from other states if the corporation does business in those states, and of course information about public companies is available from the SEC. John M Baker (talk) 13:15, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you very much for the excellent answer. My other car is a cadr (talk) 09:05, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

United States paleo-indians[edit]

In the entry about the history of the United States, it says that paleo-Indians migrated from Eurasia 15,000 years ago. I would like to know what proof there is of that? I know there is a THEORY that this happened but there is evidence that this did not happen, and that they were indigenous to this area. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:30, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

No scientist or scholar doubts that modern humans arose in Africa, spread from there throughout Eurasia, and then to the Americas from east Asia. The fact that you are entertaining the idea that humans arose indigenously in the Americas shows a great lack of understanding of biology and archeology. For example, if you want proof of the out-of-Asia theory, what is your counter hypothesis? Did native Americans evolve from South American primates, or were they created there by God? And if comparative genetics, anthropology and linguistics don't convince you, what would you accept as proof? An ancient written text? See peopling of the Americas as a start. μηδείς (talk) 19:12, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Even if we ignore mainstream anthropology, does anyone argue that modern humans are indigenous to the Americas and later migrated elsewhere? The most Americas-centered religious group of which I'm aware, the Latter Day Saint movement, posits that the earliest people in the Americas came from the Old World. We may even be able to discount native mythologies: such accounts are often local in scope, and they may only account for the origins of the tribe and its neighbors without attempting to explain the origins of all humans. Nyttend (talk) 19:22, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Given the OP has asked for "proof" I take that to mean scientific demonstration, rather than reference to a revealed text. All historical proof is ultimately ostensive. You have to be familiar with the physical evidence, you can't derive such proofs from axioms or refer to religious authority. It's possible he's using "what proof" in the way creationists do when they challenge evolution, but such discussions have limited value and aren't really appropriate here. μηδείς (talk) 20:11, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm questioning whether he's even understanding something properly; I've never heard such a concept before, and I'm wondering whether perhaps he's misunderstood something, rather than simply asking about evidence for a position that's gotten only minimal support. Nyttend (talk) 20:27, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
It also seems odd that he says the theory is that the people came from Eurasia, rather than being more specific and just saying Asia, or even East Asia. StuRat (talk) 00:35, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps because that's what the article the OP referred to says: "The prevailing theory proposes that people migrated from Eurasia across Beringia, a land bridge that connected Siberia to present-day Alaska during the Ice Age, and then spread southward throughout the Americas and possibly going as far south as the Antarctic peninsula. " (History of the United States#Pre-Columbian era)? --ColinFine (talk) 15:03, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
@Stu, yes, the East Asain/Beringia land bridge is overwhelmingly the most supported theory, but there is also the Solutrean hypothesis and the even less likely idea of some sort of Proto-Polynesian South Pacific crossing directly to South America popularized by Thor Heyerdahl. Perhaps that is why the OP used "Eurasian", although as pointed out above the phrasing of the question does betray a misunderstanding of the field, so probably not.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 22:12, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Actually, Heyerdahl proposed contacts the other way round - from South America to Polynesia. The Kon-Tiki expedition was supposed to show the plausibility if that. He also, though less prominently, proposed settlement of Polynesia by Asian populations via the American North-West, but I'm not aware that he ever championed direct contact back from Polynesia to South America. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:10, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
You may also want to read the article on Scientific theory as you capitalise the term in your query. A theory is not some fringy set of hypotheses but a tested and verified body of concepts. I also suggest the WP entries Multiregional origin of modern humans and Archaic human admixture with modern humans. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 19:22, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
The Solutrean Hypothesis is considered disproven, and at best the presence of Austronesian language words for the sweet potatoes in South American are considered evidence of a fourth migration, not disproof in any way of the out-of-Asia hypothesis. μηδείς (talk) 02:34, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm not saying I particularly believe The Solutrean Hypothesis, but it and the out-of-Asia theory aren't mutually exclusive. Both could be true. And I wouldn't say it is "disproven". If you look at the language most writers use, it is usually, due to the lack of convincing evidence, cautiously dismissed as "unlikely". Many seem to be hedging their bets in case more convincing evidence for an otherwise thoroughly plausible hypothesis is uncovered in the future.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 23:57, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
The Solutrean hypothesis is based on two main points, the supposed similarity of the Clovis toolkit to the Solutrean toolkit, which is now discounted, as well as the X haplogroup connection, which is also now discounted. I agree this is not disproof, but given the lack of evidence or necessity, it's as good as disproof according to Ockham's Razor. The American presence of the sweet potato and the Austronesian word for it is much more impressive. μηδείς (talk) 00:10, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
There have been a lot of speculations on the topic, but the two clearest bits of evidence I can think of are Genetic history of indigenous peoples of the Americas and Clovis point. The history of a continent is a complicated thing, and I don't mean to discourage creative exploration of the possibilities, but these are two stumblingblocks that any interesting ideas need to get around. Wnt (talk) 11:13, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I am not sure in what way you see Clovis points as relevant, Wnt, since they are an indigenous innovation, not showing any link to Asia, but also not the earliest toolkit in the Americas either, as recent research has shown. μηδείς (talk) 18:06, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Hawaiian Supreme Court Justices[edit]

Hawaiian Supreme Court Justices (PP-27-8-003).jpg

Can anybody help me identified the two Associate Justices to the left and right of Albert Francis Judd (center)? --KAVEBEAR (talk) 22:51, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Based on List of Justices of the Supreme Court of Hawaii, the associate justices between 1881 and 1893 were Benjamin H. Austin, Edward Preston, Richard Fredrick Bickerton, Abraham Fornander and Sanford B. Dole.--KAVEBEAR (talk) 23:35, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
KAVEBEAR the documentation for the pic says that Judd is in the center so it is the names of the AJ's on either side of him that you are looking for. MarnetteD|Talk 03:37, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, the two on the sides.--KAVEBEAR (talk) 03:38, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
OK this is just a guess - the one on the right (his left) looks like Fornander if you allow for him being ten years (+ or -) older and having had his beard trimmed. The other one does not look like Dole (the only other one whose article has a pic) so it should be one of the others that you linked. I hope another editor will be able to give you fuller info. MarnetteD|Talk 03:43, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
They're neither Dole or Fornander. It can't be a younger Fornander since he was appointed a year before he died and he never served on the Supreme Court formally since he was suffering from illness the last year of his life. It is one of the other three. Hopefully someone else can help. --KAVEBEAR (talk) 06:46, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

May 24[edit]

When did the states join the Confederacy?[edit]

Unfortunately, the list we have at Confederate States of America seems to be unsourced. And I am having lots of trouble finding primary sourcing for the dates. Por ejemplo: I can find the law that allows for the accession of North Carolina ("An Act to admit the State of North Carolina into the Confederacy, on a certain condition.") but it only kicks in when a presidential proclamation has been made... and I have been unable to find such a proclamation, let alone the date it was made. Is there any truly solid sourcing of the dates of admittance/accesison? --Golbez (talk) 05:29, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Confederate States of America#States and flags lists the dates of Admission to Confederacy. The first six states jointly created the Confederacy on February 4, 1861 and then the five states afterward joined presumably by other treaties/ordinances. Some of the dates are actually wrong.
Yes, the fact that the dates on that article are wrong (several, in fact) is why I came here. But, worse than being wrong, they're unsourced. Also, that link is useful but it's Texas applying to the Confederacy; it unfortunately does not answer the question of when the Confederacy admitted them. --Golbez (talk) 05:57, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I think it just requires some digging and most of these dates might turn out to be right in the end. For Texas: An Act to admit Texas as a Member of the Confederate States of America is dated to March 2, 1861. Texas accepted statehood on March 22 in "An Ordinance In relation to a union of the State of Texas with the Confederate States of America, March 22, 1861". --The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 06:03, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

All acts issued by the CSA to admit the latter five states can be founded here

Well that's the main problem I'm having - the laws to admit NC and TN require a proclamation and I can't find this proclamation. The "May 17, 1861" date on those is for the laws, but if you look at the act itself it says that, for example, Tennessee has to ratify the constitution, then relay this to the president, and, "upon the receipt whereof, the President, by proclamation, shall announce the fact; whereupon, and without any further proceeding on the part of Congress, the admission of said State of Tennessee into the Confederacy" It sounds like NC and TN couldn't be admitted until a presidential proclamation was made. I can't find any record in the congressional proceedings about them being admitted... so far, there seems to be no primary sourcing of NC and TN being admitted to the CSA. --Golbez (talk) 06:23, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
For Tennesse, the dates seems to be July 22, 1861 when "In a proclamation, Jefferson Davis accepts Tennessee as a member of the Confederacy" [25]. Let seem if we can find the proclamation. --The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 06:33, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
You might be better writing to the central library at each state's capital, or to museum of the state's history, asking for clarification of when that state joined the Confederacy. LongHairedFop (talk) 10:51, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I have been unable to find online what you are looking for. LHF's idea seems like the best, although not the quickest, way to get definitive answers. If you do, though, be sure to ask them to kindly include their sources for their answers because it might be hard to cite a letter in a WP article. As a Civil War "buff" myself, I often find there's a paucity of such information. Probably because history is written by the victors.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 22:40, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
"History is written by the victors" is one of those untrue truisms, and never more untrue when it comes to the American Civil War. Examples abound. —Kevin Myers 04:18, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Finding the actual proclamation is hard. I think that if it could be found, it would be in "The Messages and Papers of Jefferson Davis and the Confederacy"[26], and indeed Davis references the proclamation on August 31, 1861 in an address to his Congress: "Our loved and honored brethren of North Carolina and Tennessee have consummated the action, foreseen and provided for at your last session, and I have had the gratification of announcing, by proclamation, in conformity with law, that those States [Tennessee and North Carolina] were admitted into the Confederacy." But I've had no luck finding the proclamation itself, or even the date thereof. --jpgordon::==( o ) 18:46, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

professor Robert Solomon Wistrich ..NEUBERGER prof, not as spelled on Wikipedia[edit]

This would be better at Talk:Robert S. Wistrich. However, according to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's website (here), the professorship is indeed callled the "Erich Neuberger Professor of Modern Jewish History". I've made the appropriate correction. Tevildo (talk) 18:38, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Loving your colonizer?[edit]

Migration trends indicate that lots of subjects of colinization have migrated to the lands of their colonizers. For example Indian subcontinent to Britain, West Africans to France etc. Is there any info (wikipedia or otherwise) on why they migrated to a place that was widely viewed as being an enforcer of oppression? (talk) 18:35, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Standard of living. --Jayron32 22:19, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
1) Access. Many former colonies get preferred treatment when attempting to immigrate to that nation. So, no getting packed into leaky boats to try to sneak in illegally.
2) Language. Many residents of former colonies learn the language of their former "oppressor", and know that language is a big first step when trying to start over in a new land.
3) Cultural similarities. For example, in the case of England and India, we have common sports like cricket, common forms of government (parliamentary), etc. StuRat (talk) 22:46, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
We? Aha, at last StuRat outs himself as an Anglo-Indian Detritus Detroiter. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:52, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Keep in mind, the colonizers are (mostly?) dead, and with them largely went their policies. The places themselves didn't do any of the bad things associated with the colonial days, nor their current bosses. Also remember, not every person in an "oppressed peoples" group felt or feels oppressed. Some have great (or fine) times, despite or because of their new alien overlords. Viewing things too widely distorts them.
Anyway, do you have a source for "migration trends indicate"? InedibleHulk (talk) 01:36, May 25, 2015 (UTC)
Mass migration from the Commonwealth into Britain is usually dated from the arrival of the MV Empire Windrush from Jamaica in 1948. At that time Jamaica was still a British colony and its residents could go back and forth as they pleased (as long as they could afford the travel fares of course). Britain had an enormous labour shortage following the war, while the economies of the colonies were not in good shape either, so there was a great incentive for economic migration. You could be a supporter of colonial independence and still live in Britain; see for example C L R James or Claudia Jones. Another part of the world that had mass migration to Britain was the Sylhet region of present-day Bangladesh, and there it followed from centuries of contact, with many Sylhetis having worked as lascars on British ships from at least the 18th century. Then there's migration into France, another complicated story. Actually, in the 20th century, immigration from Spain, Italy, Portugal and Poland was on an even larger scale than migration from North Africa or other colonies. Of course many people from North Africa and from Francophone Africa south of the Sahara have long-standing links to France. Often these go back to before the end of colonial status. Again, you could be a supporter of independence and still live in France, cf Leopold Senghor. Ho Chi Minh lived in both Britain and France, and as a notice informs us in Newhaven, was a pastry cook on the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry. Itsmejudith (talk) 10:47, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Perspective is a tricky thing. According to British Indian, they're the most visible minority, so it might seem to an Englishman that 1.4 million Indian immigrants is a lot. But according to this, there are 6 million in the Gulf Cooperation Council and 23 million elsewhere across 130 countries. From that angle, it doesn't look like many choose Britain. InedibleHulk (talk) 11:05, May 26, 2015 (UTC)
Economic opportunity, or lack thereof, often outweighs sentiment in migration decisions. People move based mainly on what they think is best for themselves and their families. Attitudes toward historical events are generally less important. For example, millions of Mexicans have moved to the United States even though the United States forcibly seized a third of Mexico's territory in 1845. It is doubtful that such a history of aggression and humiliation endears many Mexicans to the United States, but they choose to move to the United States anyway because of the opportunity, as Jayron points out, for a higher standard of living and better opportunities. Marco polo (talk) 13:24, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
A more recent example directly contributing to the standard of living is the smuggling of firearms into Mexico to fuel the drug wars. Even now, the urge to find a safer place ouweighs the urge to boycott that place for some of its inhabitants' roles in the unsafety. Easier to swallow pride than eat it. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:49, May 27, 2015 (UTC)
It can be disputed that the "Mexicans" at the time of the Mexican-American War, in 1845 were feeling that much together bound by a nationalistic feeling: see the case of California. A fascinating though otherwise, when thinking about the original state of mind of the concerned, is how much "longing for a higher standard of living" when achieving it by crossing a border, may translate sometimes in terms of pure metamorphosis. --Askedonty (talk) 21:24, 26 May 2015 (UTC) ( You can even achieve it for cheap if in from a country with stronger currency. )

May 25[edit]

Was Anne Meara considerd influential in her field?[edit]

I am curious whether Anne Meara was considered an influential comediene or actress according to her obits or not? It appears that she wasn' at WP:ITN, although there was no question of the importance of Jack Klugman and Mike Nichols. μηδείς (talk) 02:26, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

"We don't answer requests for opinions, predictions or debate." This should be hatted, per norms here. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:29, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Personally I would answer "yes," but disagreements from the "In the News" page should not be imported to the Reference Desk. Newyorkbrad (talk) 20:36, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Aside: This too doesn't belong here, but while we are at it, can someone figure out the number of Emmy nominations she received? Abecedare (talk) 20:52, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
What I was hoping for was refs to obits, but the question is moot, and the article doesn't need improving. Other than Michaels and May (who weren't married) I remember Stiller and Meara as being top of the couple-comedy-duo field prior to Seinfeld. So we can hat this if no one objects, and it's considered debatemongering. μηδείς (talk) 21:02, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Googling "anne meara influence" brings up plenty of material about her career, but whether anyone credited her with a direct influence is a bit unclear. Obviously, without Anne Meara there is no Stiller and Meara, and no Ben Stiller. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:41, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
I remember thinking, the first time I saw him on Seinfeld, "Oh, look, it's Anne Meara's husband." μηδείς (talk) 06:06, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
This is a perfectly reasonable and answerable question to ask, even if ITN didn't exist. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:21, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Egtved Girl's cause of death[edit]

Couldn't find the cause of death of Egtved Girl, only that it was some kind of "ritual death" (murder?). The paper also doesn't seem to clarify that. Could someone drop a source? Brandmeistertalk 11:01, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

The cause of death is unknown. Ritual death would be speculation. The first author of your paper is Karin Margarita Frei who here is quoted for "Hvad hun og barnet døde af vil vi nok aldrig finde ud af. Måske har de begge pådraget sig en smitsom sygdom eller måske døde Egtvedpigen i barselssengen under en mislykket fødsel. Men det er ren spekulation". My translation (I'm Danish): "What she and the child died of, we will probably never find out. Maybe they both contracted an infectious disease or maybe the Egtved girl died in childbirth during a failed delivery. But this is pure speculation". PrimeHunter (talk) 12:13, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Safe to assume the most immediate cause of death was cardiac arrest, like everyone whose heart wasn't utterly destroyed first. Not a very satisfying answer, I know, but that's history, sometimes. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:07, May 25, 2015 (UTC)
Most would say the heart stopping is a sign or definition of death and usually not the cause of death. PrimeHunter (talk) 23:59, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm definitely one of them. Not a distinctive cause. It's been one of my peeves at the "Deaths in 20xx" articles for a while. That's how I know at least quite a few people feel differently.
There is a short interlude between a heart stopping and mass programmed cell death, so restarting a heart isn't exactly raising the dead. Death certificates often have it at the top of the cause chain, but many explicitly warn against the signee writing only that, because it's pretty much meaningless. But still true, in a boring way. InedibleHulk (talk) 07:11, May 26, 2015 (UTC)

Masons Manual of Legislative Procedure[edit]

Anyone know if the current edition is available online or as an ebook? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:30, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Seeing how the copyright holders are only selling it in hardback, probably not. Well, not legally at any rate, but we can't/won't provide any information as to illegal options, though I will at least note that this is probably not something that would be pirated. Ian.thomson (talk) 18:45, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm afraid that's not the case, Ian. I don't know about this book in particular, but there is an enormous amount of pirated scientific, technical, and other specialist literature available. I was never in the scene much, but it seemed that the more abstruse or detailed the material, the more likely it was to be available. Most books exist as soft copies somewhere and that's what gets copied and pirated; few pirated books get scanned in the way, say, pirated comics are. With such a low threshold of effort, almost everything gets released somewhere. Matt Deres (talk) 20:12, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't see any sign that this book is available other than in hard copy. Newyorkbrad (talk) 20:34, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

May 26[edit]

Did the National Revolutionary Army really prepare to bomb the Tiananmen?[edit]

I watched a documentary (sadly I don't recall its name) that claimed that Chiang Kai-shek ordered a mission to bomb the Tiananmen on Oct 1st, 1949 in order to disrupt the proclamation of the P.R.China. The mission was supposedly canceled at the last minute. Is is really true? And where can I read more about it? The NRA air force had B-24s, so the capability was certainly there. My other car is a cadr (talk) 09:13, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

a short story about mantises[edit]

hi, all - decades ago, I read a story in which the nazi overtake of Paris is allegorised as a sort of sci fi invasion story, where the nazis are imagined as giant praying mantises - can anyone help me find the title?

thanks in advance Adambrowne666 (talk) 22:09, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

The version I am familiar with featured cats (Nazis) and mice (victims): Maus. StuRat (talk) 22:22, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, not Maus; this is an obscure little short story Adambrowne666 (talk) 22:23, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Les premiers jours de mai (The First Days of May), by Claude Veillot? See "Alien Invasion Revisited". ---Sluzzelin talk 22:39, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Marvellous! thank you - just the one! - and nice to see you, Sluzzelin! Adambrowne666 (talk) 22:53, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
(Same here, Adam)! For completeness sake, an English translation (I wasn't quickly able to find out by whom) appeared in A Century of Science Fiction, first published in 1962 and edited by Damon Knight. ---Sluzzelin talk 13:15, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Request for Free Resources for Law Courses[edit]

Dear Readers,

I have been given the following legal coursework, and I am having difficulties finding free legal textbooks and online resources to help me finish my work. Can anyone kindly suggest any website, where i can search the content relating to the following questions?

Tim drove his car into a gas station and told the attendant to fill it up with unleaded gasoline. The attendant proceeded to pump 10 gallons of gas into Tim’s tank. When he approached Tim for payment, Tim drove off shouting, “Thanks for the freebie, Sucker!”

Tim is guilty of which of the following

A) larceny

B) larceny by trick

C) false pretenses

D) embezzlement

Explain your answer.

3) Larry Norton was charged with felony murder as a result of his setting fire to Linda Crabtree’s home. Linda was upstairs sleeping when the fire was set and she died in her bed during the fire.

If Larry can prove the facts to support his defense, which of the following would least likely remove liability for felony murder?

A) Larry did not intend to kill Linda

B) Larry was insane when he set the fire

C) Larry was coerced by someone else to set the fire

D) Linda died of a heart attack before the fire spread to her bedroom

Explain your answer.

4) Rich and Sam were told by their friend, Hank, that ABC Wholesalers was now utilizing the XYZ Warehouse to store a large overstock of new appliances. Late one night Rich and Sam broke into the warehouse and proceeded to load the merchandise onto their truck. As they were leaving, Sam noticed that the lit cigarette he had inadvertently thrown onto a pile of boxes had ignited the cardboard. Sam had time to put the fire out, without placing himself in danger, but instead climbed into the truck with Rich and sped away. The fire proceeded to burn down the entire warehouse.

At Common Law, Sam and Rich would likely be found guilty of A) burglary and arson

B) larceny

C) larceny and arson

D) burglary, larceny and arson

Explain your answer.

5) John, Mary, Joseph and Mark were all co-owners of the home in which they resided. Because their yard was too small for a pool, they decided to burn down the neighbor’s house, in the hopes that they could later purchase the vacant lot for a cheap price, thus increasing the size of their yard.

Mark was given $25 from the others and sent to the store to pick up gas cans and gasoline with which to start the fire. On the way, he stopped at a bar and proceeded to get drunk with the money he received from his housemates. Afraid of once again returning home with neither the money entrusted to him nor the items he was supposed to purchase, Mark borrowed a gas can from another patron at the bar. He then filled the gas can at a local gas station and ran away without paying for the purchase.

A gas station attendant witnessed the theft and immediately began running down the street in hot pursuit. Distracted with thoughts of how the chase was likely to impact his chances of becoming night manager, the attendant is struck by a moving van and killed.

After reading the above fact pattern, discuss and determine what, if any, charges each of the characters would likely face and any possible defenses that may be offered by each — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:22, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

  • Have you asked your professors for any recommendations? Your success is of interest to your professors; they want you to learn this material, and they would be most familiar with resources to help you pass their classes. --Jayron32 10:58, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
First, if we're talking US criminal law wouldn't this depend on what state you're in? Then, w/o further information from the OP as to the jurisdiction, how is anyone supposed to be able to make any suggestion? Second, the OP seems to be sitting in Islamabad, Pakistan. What's going on? Contact Basemetal here 11:46, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
We won't do your homework for you. Someone has already posted this at, I would suggest checking with them (and paying their fee) if you can't do it yourself. Or, if you are connected with homeworkmarket and are trying to answer the question posted there, maybe you should go elsewhere to obtain your answer and your fee. GregJackP Boomer! 14:42, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

1895 newspaper[edit]

Paul Neumann Addressing The Military Court On Behalf Of The Conspirators.jpg

Can someone help me find which newspaper this was from? --KAVEBEAR (talk) 14:15, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

It is signed "H. NAP." which was the signature of Henry Nappenbach, an artist with the San Francisco Examiner at the time. I don't think the Examiner's archives are online however.--Cam (talk) 14:56, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
That is a logical guess, and the fact that a San Francisco paper is more likely than most others to carry detailed Hawaiian news from that time period confirms it. But you might want to ask the editor who uploaded the file if he has any further information. That would be User:KAVEBEAR. You could also try contacting the Hawaii State Archives, the source of the image, directly. Newyorkbrad (talk) 15:16, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I asked the question. Also HSA have horrible record keeping in their image department and are not staffed to answer inquiries.--KAVEBEAR (talk) 15:23, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Is the Examiner on the online Library of Congress archive?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 15:26, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it is. Here is a list of archives and libraries that have it. Taknaran (talk) 15:54, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Chas. T. Gulick, Call sketch, 1895.jpg

Also second question who is the sketch artist whose signature is shown here?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 15:26, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

It looks like it says P. Gray. Some quick searching turns up Percy Gray as the likely artist. [27]. As a painter, he was known as a landscape artist. However, he also paid the bills as a sketch artist for various newspapers, including some in San Francisco. He eventually became the head of the art department for the New York Journal. Not definitive, but a lead, as the time period and location is all correct. --Jayron32 16:01, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Likely since Percy Gray was working for The Morning Call till 1895, when he moved to NYC (see here). A slight hitch is that here he signs his name as "Percy Gray", but that is from a different time period and he possibly used a different signature for his newspaper sketches. Abecedare (talk) 17:31, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

*self-trouts* I just realized I told the OP to speak with User:KAVEBEAR, without noticing that it was KAVEBEAR himself who asked the question. Sorry. Newyorkbrad (talk) 16:40, 27 May 2015 (UTC)


May 20[edit]

shorthand transcription needed[edit]

Hi to the help community, would this be the right place to present a shorthand sample (Germany, 1950's) that needs to be transcribed? The sample can be seen de:File:Unnamed7.jpg (I could not figure out how to download it here locally, because the upload dialogs do not seem to offer threshold of originality as a license. Thanks in advance. Greetings,--Ratzer (talk) 08:24, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

"True" meaning of "poisonous"[edit]

I've often seen it said that "poisonous" really means "poisonous when consumed", and that it is "incorrect" to use to the term to describe things (e.g. snakes) that can inject toxins by bites, stings, etc, and which should instead only be described as "venomous". My question is: who or what defines this as the "correct" usage? The "incorrect" use of "poisonous" is extremely widespread, is supported as a synonym of "venomous" by atleast two dictionaries, and I'm pretty sure has been used as such for a very long time. (I'm sure I've seen old texts that refer to "poisonowse snaykes" [sic] or similar, meaning this useage predates standardised spelling). Is this just a case of hypercorrection by people who think "poisonous" should have a more limited range of meanings than it actually does, or is there a genuinely good reason for this restricted meaning? Iapetus (talk) 16:21, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Sometimes, having two different meanings for two different words is useful. In this case, the distinction (injection vs. ingestion) represents a functional difference, and having two such words makes sense. Colloquial speech often makes mistakes, however formal speech and writing should use correct terms. Dictionaries note usage without regard to register, oftentimes. --Jayron32 16:25, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
It would only be hyper-correction if there was no actual difference between the two uses. Since there is, the incorrect use of poisonous is exactly that, incorrect. Especially since venomous is a perfectly good word. Fgf10 (talk) 18:23, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I have a view contrary to Jayron32 and Fgf10. In my view, the only place where the meaning of a word or phrase resides is in what it is used and understood to mean. If a significant number of people use "poisonous" more widely than by ingestion (as, for example by the proprietors and guides of a place I visited on Monday), then by definition that is a meaning of the word. Of course, it is not the only meaning, and there are possibilities for confusion. In this case, somebody discussing toxicology may find the distinction important, but in ordinary contexts it is unnecessary.
To answer the original question, there is no authority for any aspect of English, except whatever authorities individuals (or organisations) choose to acknowledge. It is clear that some people make the distinction that you are referring to and others don't. (I rather suspect that many of those that do claim to make the distinction often fail to do so in practice, but this is only a guess). --ColinFine (talk) 20:14, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Context is everything. In what context is the word being used? If the word is being used in, say, some scientific literature or a science textbook discussing the concept, the distinction is real and important. If it is being used between two random joe's on the street, then that's a different context. So, it absolutely does matter which. For example, when my doctor is treating a condition I have, I damn sure hope he properly describes whether or not I was envenomed or poisoned in my medical chart, even if Randy from Boise may describe it as a poisonous snake. That word is fine in that context, but that doesn't mean the distinction is unimportant in all contexts. The "true" meaning does absolutely matter where accuracy of language is important for conveying some bit of information, and where conveying the wrong bit of information by using the wrong word matters. --Jayron32 20:24, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Can't tell from your userpage, but I guess you're not a scientist or medical professional? If so, you'd understand the crucial importance of correctly defined terms. See Jayron above. "Funnily" enough, I had shared rant with someone just today about the sloppy use of the terms 'neural stem cells' and 'neural progenitors' Fgf10 (talk) 20:42, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
If I ask someone if a snake is poisonous, and they tell me it's not, I expect that it will not introduce anything toxic into me, whether it bites me or I bite it. The semantic difference between poisonous and venomous is useful in some contexts, but there are plenty of others where insisting upon it would be misleading. The idea that the more precise and exacting usage is always the 'correct' one is misleading too, for the same reason. The correct usage (and interpretation) is the one that conveys the information which is important in context. AlexTiefling (talk) 21:10, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Hah! "Whether I bite it." That was quite good, thanks. μηδείς (talk) 22:29, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
The origins of "venom" and "poison" may be of interest.[28][29] There's no practical difference. It's just semantical nitpicking. The term "poison" is cognate with "potion", which comes from the Latin for "drink". Ther term "venom" also comes from Latin and means... guess what... poison. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:22, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
It's most certainly not a "mistake", scientifically or otherwise, to call a snake poisonous. For example, we have "VIPER. The vipers constitute a family of Old-World poisonous snakes, with a pair of poisonous fangs in the maxillary bones, which are short and movable." 1911 Encyclopedia Britanicca And it's used within the Merck Manual (1987): page 1608 Chapter 254 heading VENOMOUS BITES AND STINGS with subheading: POISONOUS SNAKES and lists each snake's envenomation. -Modocc (talk) 21:54, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
  • So, should we have a campaign to rename poison ivy as toxic ivy? μηδείς (talk) 22:29, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
It can't be, because little lamsey divey. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 12:07, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Odd name for a botanical entity. How about Urushiol-induced contact dermatitogenic Ivy? Yes, much better. (There was once a skin specialist whose wife gave birth to twin boys. They named them Dermot and Titus.) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 04:48, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Formal languages and natural languages[edit]

Does one preclude the other? Or can a language be both natural (as used by humans to interact) and formal?

Could a subset of a natural language be a formal language? If I restrict a natural language to a finite set of words, with a well-defined set of rules (for writing scientific publications, for example), would that be a formal language? Can the description of a limited grammar and finite vocabulary for educational purposes (for speaking a foreign language) also be a formal language? Would esperanto or other constructed language be both formal and natural?--Llaanngg (talk) 17:45, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

See Formal language, Natural language, and Constructed language. Robert McClenon (talk) 18:14, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Also subsets of "formal language" such as Literary language and liturgical language. --Jayron32 18:16, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
A constructed language, such as either Esperanto or a literary in-universe language (Klingon or Elvish), is not a formal language, and is not considered a natural language, but typically has many of the features of natural languages. A defined subset of a natural language with very precisely defined rules may be referred to as a formal language, but normally the term 'formal language' is used in computing more often than for subsets of natural languages. Robert McClenon (talk) 18:19, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I disagree with Jayron32 as to whether a literary language or a liturgical language are formal languages. They are used in very formal settings, such as religious rites, but a liturgical language is a natural language (although likely one that is no longer used except in liturgy). Robert McClenon (talk) 18:22, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, except that liturgical and literary languages don't undergo linguistic evolution as natural languages do. They aren't formally dead languages because they are used, but they also don't change and adapt, as all natural languages do. --Jayron32 18:28, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
That means that liturgical languages may be neither natural languages nor formal languages. I would also mention that literary languages do sometimes undergo vocabulary development. In particular, Latin underwent vocabulary development when it was used in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as a language of scientific publication, to describe newly discovered things. It continues to undergo vocabulary development in its use as the official language of the Roman Catholic Church. For instance, if the Pope writes an encyclical about proper and improper use of technology, he will condemn pornography on the Internet, so that a Latin word for the Internet is needed. ('Pornographia' is an ancient loan word into Latin from Greek. Ovid was exiled, partly for writing pornographic poetry.) (It is true that the subset of Latin that is used liturgically is essentially static, but Latin as used in official church documents is a literary language rather than only a liturgical language.) Robert McClenon (talk) 18:43, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
There is huge difference between the formality of a black tie affair and the formality of a regular expression. The former has to do with sense 1 of the word: "Formal, done in accordance with rules of convention or etiquette; suitable for or constituting an official or important situation or occasion: a formal dinner party", while the latter is sense 3 (in my NOAD) "of or concerned with outward form or appearance, esp. as distinct from content or matter". I agree with Robert that a liturgical language is not formal, in the sense of formal language, but it is a language that happens to be formal, in the first sense given above. Ecclesiastical Latin is certainly not a formal language. It could probably be defensibly classified as a natural language or a constructed language, depending on what parts of those definitions you focus on. Nothing in the definition of natural language says that it has to change over time, and I also strongly suspect that the Latin in Vulgate Bible is at least a little different from the Latin used in Fides_et_Ratio, though they are both written in "Ecclesiastical Latin." Likewise, few would argue that literary languages are formal languages, they are not a "set of strings of symbols that may be constrained by rules that are specific to it." The point is, a language that is formal is not a formal language, compositional semantics be damned.SemanticMantis (talk) 20:19, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree with Jayron above except where RM disagrees with him. While the distinction between natural and formal language is not exclusive to the point each covers a non-overlapping part of the totality of language. Natural languages are the birth language of some speech comunity learnt often without formal training and suffering "irregularities", ambiguities, and a strain between denotation and connotation, whereas in formal languages all terms are well defined, have a 1-to-1 form and sense relationship, and an unambiguous syntax. There are also creoles, jargons and cants, and liturgical languages are not formal languages for the mere reason that they embody the ambiguity and wordplay of natural languages. "'I am the Way and the Light', sayeth the Lord" is formal in the sense of dignified, but certainly not formal in the sense of mathematics or chemical nomenclature. A look at diglossia might also be relevant. μηδείς (talk) 22:19, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Using "accumulate" as a noun[edit]

Can we use "accumulate" as a noun? For example in a phrase like "shifting two years' worth of accumulate". I know the noun form of accumulate is accumulation, but I rather want something along the lines of precipitate (which can be used as both verb and noun, despite the existence of precipitation). Because accumulation tends to emphasise on the process of things getting accumulated rather than the things themselves. (talk) 19:28, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Sure you can: you just did, and I understood what you meant (i.e. descriptive linguistics ;) Of course, some readers and editors may balk at the usage. I see no record of any noun usage in the OED or NOAD. The OED does have an entry for an adjectival usage: "Now rare. Heaped up, accumulated; increased by accumulation. In early use chiefly as past participle." With an example usage: "1929 W. Faulkner Sartoris iii. 182 All the accumulate impedimenta." So unless you are self publishing, you will likely get some pushback on that sentence. However, "shifting two years' worth of accumulate [stuff]" would be fine, and supported by the OED, although it is a rather rare and obscure usage, and at that point you might do just as well to say "accumulated stuff." SemanticMantis (talk) 19:46, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I checked 34 definition links at and found no definitions of "accumulate" as a noun, although I found a few definitions of it as an adjective (#9, 16, 19) and a few links redirected to commercial pages without definitions. Links to definitions of "-ation" are listed at It can mean the result of an action or process (wikt:-ation).
Wavelength (talk) 20:03, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
As a (not entirely unrelated) aside, my pet peeve for today is the use of the non-word "accumulative" in place of the word "cumulative". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:42, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
  • It's a cromulent noun if pronounced differently from the verb, which has final, long a, stress. The noun is /ə'kju:mjəlɨt/ (uh KYOOM yuh lit) in my dialect. The term is certainly used in Ivory League university science programs. This shift in accent is well known, and paralleled in precipi'tate (verb) as opposed to the noun (or adjective) pre'cipitate (the second with a final schwi). μηδείς (talk) 22:03, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
The shift in stress is important for speech, but irrelevant for text. Do you have any references or examples to cite of a noun usage in academic contexts? It did seem completely reasonable to me, but I was unable to come up with a reference for that usage in the wild. SemanticMantis (talk) 02:42, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Very easy if you just Google "the accumulate" which cannot but be a noun phrase. I am not sure if the term came up in high school, but I took AP Chem, and tested out of basic chemistry as a bio major. I just had to take Org Chem/Lab and the term came up all the time. It also comes up in other hard science contexts, such as oceanography and limnology. I suspect the issue is that this noun/verb stress difference is a growing phenomenon, and hence much more noticeable in speach than writing, sinc e English (Gott sei dank) doesn't use accents. μηδείς (talk) 02:52, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
No, "accumulate" could be an adjective in such searches, such as "the accumulate precipitate". Of course, that gets us into the question of whether it's a adjective or a Noun adjunct, which is to say whether the word in that phrase is functioning as an "adjective unto itself" or a "noun which functions as an adjective". But the same debate could be had as to whether purple is a reddish blue or a bluish red. --Jayron32 11:13, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Adjectives pattern with nouns, not verbs, regarding the alternating stress rule, so it's a distinction with no difference. μηδείς (talk) 17:54, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
A google search is not a citation. I know how to use google, and nothing on the first page of hits supports your claim that it is commonly used as a noun. Most of them are either proper nouns or references to computer algorithms and functions. If it were actually common (as opposed to just intelligible) I'd think OED would have an entry. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:30, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
You've changed the criterion from use to common use. Who here had said anything about common use? μηδείς (talk) 18:05, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I have compiled a list of similar words at User:Wavelength/About English/Word list 1. The page is in a draft stage, with a tentative title, a tentative introduction, and tentative section headings.
Wavelength (talk) 23:31, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Given the context I had heard it in of "removing the accumulate", a verbatim search for "remove the accumulate" gets exactly the sort of chemical, scientific and engineering results I would have expected and these are serious, deliberate uses, not typos or jokes in blogs. μηδείς (talk) 18:05, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Again, a google search is not a citation. Did you actually read any of the hits? Many of those hits are grammatical errors or nonsensical ("remove the Accumulate 10 steps back option", "It helps to addition the particular action and remove the accumulate regarding smooth that is definitely in charge"), and most of the rest are adjectival use ("remove the accumulate calculus", " remove the accumulate dusts", " remove the accumulate liquids", " remove the accumulate grime"). This book [30] does seem to be an actual noun usage in a published source. It is the only of the first 10 hits that has a real noun usage, I gave up after that. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:15, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I fear I am driving you to distraction over this, but again, the stress pattern of the adjectival use follows that of the nominal use (stressed u, reduced a), not the verbal use (long final a). For examples, see Wavelength's list linked above. The usage does exist, the google results show multiple intentional examples of that use--i.e., they are primary sources. This matter does not bother me in the least. I am quite sure I have been understood, and I am not going to waste space quoting the search results when people can follow the link. (This articleInitial-stress-derived noun is hardly our best, but it mentions the adj/noun versus verb opposition. μηδείς (talk) 17:09, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

May 21[edit]


John Aubrey uses gallipot to mean (I think) a kind of mottled blue - for example, "I do well remember that the common English cat was white with some bluish piedness, that is a gallipot blue..." and also "there persons are generally plump and feggy; gallipot eyes, and some black; but they are generally handsome enough" (of North Wiltshiremen). Elspeth Huxley used Gallipot Eyes, from the latter quotation, for the title of a diary about her life in Wilts. I've not seen this usage anywhere else, and the OED does not have it. I would be interested to know if any other writers use it in this way. DuncanHill (talk) 00:44, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

I think it's possible it might just be a metaphor based on a common type of glazing (in some places and times). Gallipot says it "is a small glazed earthenware jar..." Consider this google image search for /glazed earthenware/ [31] - most examples are dappled/ pied/ reticulated/mottled/brindled, and many are contain prominent blue. Also consider crazing as a possible motif for metaphorical fodder. The idea is that it is not the pot that is being referenced, but the common irregularity and patterning of various glazing techniques. I also suspect the several related pattern words I linked above are more the core of the metaphor, rather than the color blue per se. Surely none of this is conclusive, but perhaps suggestive. SemanticMantis (talk) 02:56, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Frustratingly, most of the images for gallipot [32] are not glazed earthenware, nor is the image in our article :-/ SemanticMantis (talk) 02:59, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Note that the only part of a cat that can actually be blue is the eyes. In cat fanciers' jargon, "blue" fur is gray, although some sources say it can be a slightly bluish gray. -- (talk) 03:59, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Aubrey does say the breed is almost lost, and that was in the 17th Century. DuncanHill (talk) 11:55, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

What's the provenance of the given name Ahsan?[edit]

I am curious, is Ahsan is a specifically ethnically typical name? I know of a person with that name and with a Muslim last name (of the abdul- form) whom I highly doubt is ethnically Arab, but we're are not on intimate terms, and I am just curious what Ahsan might mean. Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 01:06, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Arabic, "the best", "the most beautiful". See here. DuncanHill (talk) 01:17, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
And of course, most Muslims are not ethnically Arab. DuncanHill (talk) 01:18, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, excellent, I was quite aware of the fact that most Muslims are not Arabic, which is why I did not jump to the conclusion that although Ahsan does have an Arabic syllabic form, it need not be nor need he be Arabic. Given I don't read the alphabet, I was not going to guess at something I assumed was probably Urdu, Bengali or Farsi without advice. Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 04:19, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
It could also be Indonesian, Malay or Turkish for that matter. It is related to (same root as) Ihsan and Ihsan (name).--William Thweatt TalkContribs 04:39, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Japanese question: info on a book written about the Japanese school of Manaus, Brazil?[edit]

Hi! I found out about this book:

Does anyone know more about the background of Mitsutoshi Miura? What kinds of connections did he have with the school? Who is the publisher? Was this sold in regular Japanese bookstores? Was the Japanese School of Manaus involved in the creation of this book? How would the title and name of the publisher be translated?

Thanks, WhisperToMe (talk) 07:39, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

I have no clue about most of your questions, but the title means "Hugged by the Amazon River: 3 years of/at the Manaus Japanese school", and the publisher is Kindai Bungeisha (these guys, I guess, though they use 藝 in their name instead of the simplified 芸). -- BenRG (talk) 02:58, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you! I wonder if searching the kanji of the author and the title of the book may net more info about the author. I will pass the information on to the Portuguese Wikipedia. See: Escola Japonesa de Manaus and pt:Escola Japonesa de Manaus WhisperToMe (talk) 08:52, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

What's the name of the "promo" (like an abstract or a brief preface) usually printed on the back of books?[edit]

HOOTmag (talk) 10:21, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Blurb. (talk) 10:24, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you so much.
HOOTmag (talk) 10:30, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Fell as past participle of fall (The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down)?[edit]

In the "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" I can hear the line "By May the 10th Richmond had fell it's a time I remember oh so well". The lyrics sites I've checked agree. But this would be the only occurrence of "fell" as a past participle of "fall" I've ever come across. Do we, me and those sites, hear this right? Couldn't this actually be "By May the 10th Richmond xxxx fell", with a past tense and something we all mishear at xxxx? Contact Basemetal here 13:28, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

See Southern American English, which notes that all southern dialects share some difference from Standard English dialects in several ways they form past tenses, both simple past and past participles. While the specific example you give is not given in Wikipedia's article, it does note several other peculiar past tenses there, and the construction "had fell" sounds to me as distinctly "southern"; notably while The Band was mostly Canadian, the singer of that song, Levon Helm was from Arkansas. --Jayron32 13:43, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Poetic license. "Had fallen" doesn't really rhyme with "well". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:55, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
My alternate lyrics: "By May the 10th Richmond had fallen; I wish all the Yanks I could just wall in". StuRat (talk) 15:19, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Compare Amazing Grace, the last stanza (added later IIRC):
When we've been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the Sun
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we first begun
I love that stanza, among other things, for bringing the notion of a Dedekind-infinite set into everyday culture (and no, Medeis, it doesn't mean it's "bigger than itself", just that you can take something away without making it smaller, quite a different notion). But the tenses and inflections are a little iffy. --Trovatore (talk) 15:10, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I do appreciate the mention, Trovatore, but I'm not particularly critical of theological claims made in religious songs from a scientific viewpoint. μηδείς (talk) 17:42, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Notably, that stanza was added by African Americans from the American South... --Jayron32 15:20, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Same but backwards: standard English past participle is used here as a past tense. Songwriters: for the sake of a rhyme use any past participle as a past tense, or vice versa, and don't worry about it. There will be some dialect of English for which this will be right. Face-smile.svg Contact Basemetal here 15:38, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, Newton's original version has a quite different and more grammatical final verse - see Olney Hymns, in three books (p. 43). Alansplodge (talk) 22:38, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Dictionary: Southern Appalachian English lists "have fell" and "had fell" with a note "OED dates this usage from the 17th century". Also Kanye West uses "had fell" in Cold (Kanye West song) so it is not only southern dialect. Rmhermen (talk) 17:08, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
This discusses some aspects of the Southern American accent. Bus stop (talk) 17:15, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Also, regarding the Kanye West song, AAVE is a close cousin of Southern US dialects, the Wikipedia article notes the commonalities. --Jayron32 17:23, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Usages like this don't strike me as odd unless maybe on network nightly news and from Alex Trebek. In NYC you hear a lot of southernisms among blacks. Whites in Most of Manhattan tend not to be native, but upwardly mobile, and more careful of their speech. "Had went" is extremely common in the Delaware Valley. Had Basemetal not brought it up I doubt I'd ever've noticed it. μηδείς (talk) 17:50, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Older sibling vs younger sibling in the case of Japanese twins?[edit]

I would assume that, in Japan, when twins are born, the one who comes out first is officially the older sibling (ani/ane). This seems obvious but things that seem obvious do not always turn out to be true so I'd like to check this with someone that knows this for a fact. Thanks. Contact Basemetal here 13:37, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

December 13 seems to be 双子の日 (Day of the Twins), which appears to have something to do with an edict issued in 1874 regarding the ordering of twins. My Japanese is rudimentary at best, so somebody needs to confirm this but I'm pretty sure this page says that prior to this act, the twin who was born last was considered to have been the first "implanted" or "conceived" and therefore the oldest (i.e. first in, last out). The edict, however, reversed that tradition and declared that the first-born twin shall be the older sibling. Like I say, though, somebody more skilled in Japanese needs to confirm that as well as the reliability of the "sources".--William Thweatt TalkContribs 07:43, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
That page does say that, but Japanese Wikipedia says there was no universal rule, with the first born or the healthierlarger-boned(?) twin sometimes being considered the ani/ane. -- BenRG (talk) 18:27, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Or whose build was bigger? Or is that an idiom? I wonder if this has any implication for twins of opposite gender. Contact Basemetal here 19:34, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Eijiro has "large(r) body frame". It sounded so odd to me to talk about the physique of a newborn that I substituted "healthier", but I shouldn't have. -- BenRG (talk) 18:43, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Coincidentally, the game "Tokaido", which is about traveling on the famous road in historical times, has first-in-last-out built in its mechanism.— Sebastian 20:20, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
The first born is actually considered the elder sibling. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 08:28, 22 May 2015 (UTC)


I took this test and it asked you to convert this sentence: "It is fun to play on the beach in the summer" to an exclamatory format

_____ ______ it is play on the beach in the summer!

My teacher insists that you can only fill in WHAT FUN, but I'm sure you can also fill in HOW FUN. Why?

Also, : This road is not good. Let's pick __________ one.

It's a multiple answer choice with "another" and "the other" being 2 of the choices. She insists that another is the best answer. Is it? and why?

(with emphasis on the why)

Thanks :)--- — Preceding unsigned comment added by Someone with a Question (talkcontribs) 16:00, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Your teacher may be some kind of unbending linguistic prescriptivist, which is never good for someone teaching language (though I may be reading too much into your short question). Language bends and twists and changes and has colloquialisms and slang and regional variations and so on. A teacher can attempt to teach, qualifiedly, what is considered most proper by the mainstream majority in a certain location, with the premises that slang is verboten and colloquialisms are to be avoided. etc. But they must provide some type of qualification because the notion that X is wrong and Y is right in English, as a monolith, is mostly nonsense. As to the first question, I am first assuming that the word "to" is intended to appear before play, and you missed it when typing this out. I believe what your teacher is objecting to with "how fun", is the use of "fun" as an adjective (you might see this World Wide Worlds post for more. It does sound colloquial to me; that it would be viewed as "more correct" in formal writing to use "what fun", but it is not "wrong" where the other is "right" for the reasons I've given. The problem with the second sentence is that the use of "the other" requires the reader to understand there are only two roads – information not contained within the confines of the sentence. "Another" works because it ropes in any other road without defining information on the number of roads available, as if the reader already knows the number. If that sentence appeared as part of dialogue, where the reader was already provided context in prior writing that there was only two roads, it would be perfectly cromulent.-- (talk) 16:22, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately, "another one" is a poor choice of words if there happens to be only two roads, which is often the case, so "the other" shouldn't be ruled out as an answer. --Modocc (talk) 18:03, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
On the second question, the key thing is the word "pick". The meaning is that, having decided not to use this road, you will then have to pick another road. Therefore there must be at least two other roads. But "the other road" only makes sense if there is only one other road. Therefore "the other" is wrong, or at least, not the best normal usage. -- (talk) 19:00, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
You're correct unless the speakers happen to not be on the roads in question and are deciding between them. For instance, they could be at the entrance to a toll road and deciding whether or not to turn back and go another way. Or they could not have even left yet and are studying two alternate routes. Given these possibilities, the test is poorly constructed. --Modocc (talk) 19:23, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. If "this road" isn't one that they have already "picked", then "the other" is possible after all. -- (talk) 21:33, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Both "How fun" and "What fun it is to play on the beach in summer are from the 1800's Bronte sisters area. No one has said either phrase since WWI. IP 96 is correct that it should be "another one." "The other assumes the voyagers know there are two, and only two." Modocc is assuming a fact not in evidence. μηδείς (talk) 22:25, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
"Another one" is possible too, but contrary to the teacher's misleading presumptive prescription (that there are more than two roads to pick from) I'm not being presumptive. Neither answer is best, for both are possible. -Modocc (talk) 22:35, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
The reason that neither answer is "best" is that one of them may be better and the other worse. "Best" would apply only where there are three or more options. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:20, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
If by options you mean roads then yes the additional information determines which answer is actually best. Without it we don't know which sentence should be used so the test is ill-conceived. In addition, with respect to the writer-reader relationship, it's not required that the audience has prior knowledge to what the speakers happen to know. In fact, writers sometimes use such dialog to inform the reader. For example: "This road is not good. Let's pick the other one!" Sally exclaimed as she pushed the laptop away. "Let me see." Dorothy responded, emptying her glass into the sink before peering over her roommate's shoulder to look at the mountainous terrain sprawled across the screen. To Dorothy, both routes to the lake had seemed plausible, but now she had to actually help with the decision since they would be leaving soon. Modocc (talk) 01:48, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
That's well and good, but the conversational context lets us know how many roads are being discussed. The above test question is beyond terrible because it lacks context. If it gives both options "the other road" and "another road" as possible answers, it's a shitty question, plain and simple. They're both perfectly valid, perfectly grammatical constructions in proper English, and without context, there's no objective way to say one is better than the other. --Jayron32 03:38, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
All valid points and points which I also either assumed or also made, contrary to what Medeis said. I figured that the teacher assumed the speaker was referring to the road the speaker was driving on so they simply had to pick "another" road which is why I elaborated on my counterexample in case it wasn't clear the first time I mentioned it above. I also rebutted Medeis's claim that I assumed only two roads, which I didn't and I've said that the test is ill-conceived and above I wrote "Given these possibilities, the test is poorly constructed." With regards to "the conversational context lets us know how many roads are being discussed" that is precisely what I meant when I said "writers sometimes use such dialog to inform the reader" which is why I knew that my counterexample would have the effect of conveying the required information. -Modocc (talk) 04:00, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
If I asserted that you made an assumption, Modocc, but you hadn't you would simply deny what I said, not rebut it. Given that "the other" could only be correct if you knew there were only two roads, and that was not mentioned, then you couldn't assume it was known. But the proper thing to do at that point is to ask the teacher to clarify the question as you take the test, not now, when it's too late. μηδείς (talk) 16:55, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Let's suppose that I didn't rebut your assertion that "Modocc is assuming a fact not in evidence." to your satisfaction, but that I simply denied it. But you presented no evidence for your assertion. I had written "Unfortunately, "another one" is a poor choice of words IF there happens to be only two roads, which is often the case, so "the other" shouldn't be ruled out as an answer." [emphasis added] Clearly, I implied the teacher's answer would suffice if she wasn't being presumptive. In addition, we are not even discussing my exam(s) of course. -Modocc (talk) 17:33, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
My underlying point was that a rebuttal is an argument. But if I said "Modocc's favorite flavour icecream is chocolate" and you responded, "No, it's vanilla" that wouldn't be a rebuttal. You don't need to argue with someone over your preferences, you just state them and deny the truth of mistaken claims. My advice is that you be a little more aggressive with your English teacher, and be aware that the text is using language "What fun it is to play on the beach!" that is so outdated I doubt my grandparents ever said such a thing. "Playing at the beach is awesome" or something like that doesn't sound like you've learnt English by reading Melville and Swift. μηδείς (talk) 21:23, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that sounds like something straight out of Fun with Dick and Jane (the boring books, not the unrelated movies), the type of formal speech that Doctor Seuss rebelled against, leading him to offer an entertaining alternative. StuRat (talk) 16:34, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
You are mistaken that I am the OP (I'm a greying old guy and not a kid anymore) and I tried my best to explain that you strawmanned my position regarding my assumptions. I'll add that the OP should show this thread to his/her teacher for they will usually correct errant test scores. -Modocc (talk) 21:58, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
I can agree with the last, teachers should always be asked to clarify themselves. I guess I can also agree with the greying part. :) μηδείς (talk) 03:47, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

May 22[edit]

Term for covering of track on vertical blinds?[edit]

In the apartment where I live, there is a balcony, and there are vertical blinds on the inside of the door that leads out. The blinds are on a track, and there is a fixture that covers that track so that it blends into the ceiling in about the location where you would expect a molding of some kind. Is there a term for that fixture? I've tried scanning the Glossary of architecture but haven't found anything that fits. Confusing Manifestation(Say hi!) 02:12, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

The guy who installed our vertical blinds called them valances. Ours are simpler than the ones described in the article, resembling nothing more than one slat of the blinds turned horizontally and mounted with one edge to the ceiling. According to the article, pelmet is the British term. -- (talk) 03:53, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Note that while they serve the same purpose, they aren't the same. Valances are fabric coverings, while pelmets are the fixture described in the Q. StuRat (talk) 13:15, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
  • So you say, but I expect the guy who installed them to know what they're called. He has to obtain them. -- (talk) 20:26, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
See also Window valance, which seems to refer only to fabric accessories, called "pelmets" in the UK. Alansplodge (talk) 21:41, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Coving perhaps? Alansplodge (talk) 16:16, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

multiple forenames in Spanish[edit]

Quick one: if a Mexican is named José Juan N (and normally addressed as José Juan rather than as José or Juan), are his forenames written with a hyphen (as they would be in French)? —Tamfang (talk) 06:20, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

I've not seen it done. Our article on Spanish naming customs makes no mention of hyphenated first names either.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 07:05, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
From José Juan Barea and José Juan Figueras, it appears the answer is no. My other car is a cadr (talk) 09:19, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Hyphens in general are used much less in Spanish than in English (or French, for that matter). I googled the subject, and here's one discussion.[33]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:23, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Apostrophes too, and yet [34]Tamfang (talk) 19:28, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Regarding French given names, when someone has a bunch of them, I'm not sure they are invariably hyphenated. In older sources I think they are but more recently they seem to have stopped doing that at least consistently. You have to distinguish this from the use of double given names (prénom composé ou prénom double; mostly having 'Jean' as first element: Jean-Pierre, Jean-Claude, Jean-Marie, etc.). Incidentally hyphenating someone's given names can lead to ambiguity because of the possible presence of double given names. For example, if someone's given names are said to be Jean-Claude-Marie, does that mean Jean, Claude and Marie or Jean-Claude and Marie? An aside: you sometimes find that some exclusively feminine names (most commonly 'Marie' but I've also seen 'Marguerite') are used for men in such cases, though never as the first given name. This is to be distinguished from the fact that there are in French names that are both masculine and feminine (prénom épicène ou prénom mixte): nowadays the only ones I can recall are Dominique, Claude, Camille but there were others in the past such as Anne (nowadays exclusively feminine) and Philippe and Antoine (nowadays exclusively masculine). Contact Basemetal here 21:53, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
If someone is known by two prénoms, in French or English, in my experience they're hyphenated; if not, not (Frédéric Othon Théodore Aristidès). —Tamfang (talk) 07:14, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
For French I agree this is the more recent convention used in reference works. But I do seem to recall that in older works all the prénoms (and in French there's no distinction between first name and middle name, they're all just "prénoms" or (for Christians) "noms de baptême") are hyphenated together in a long hyphenated string that can mess up your formatting if there's a whole bunch of them and if you like, like I do, left-and-right-justified-formatting. In particular this is what I seem to recall the old edition of the "Dictionnaire des auteurs" (Laffont-Bompiani) did, but unfortunately I can't check right now. I might be recalling incorrectly. Apologies if I am. Contact Basemetal here 12:26, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
A couple of trivia questions for expert onomasticians (?) regarding French prénoms this discussion reminded me of: Has anyone ever come across a "prénom triple" in French? Am I right in thinking that 'Jean' is the traditional first element in most French "prénoms doubles" because they were at first built on the analogy of 'Jean-Baptiste' which is not really a prénom double, at least originally? (Cf. analogous Italian names, which are written w/o spaces: 'Giambattista' or 'Michelangelo'). Has anyone ever come across a 'Jean-Évangéliste' in French? (I think 'Juan Evangelista' exists in Spanish but I haven't encountered the equivalent in Italian). And finally, can anyone explain the anomaly of the French using some feminine prénoms such as 'Marie' for men? (Though never as the first prénom). Thanks. Contact Basemetal here 12:40, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
In Portuguese also, boys may have a middle girls' name, which is always Mary (Nossa senhora a Virgem Maria) - thus Jose Maria Fulano. The Christian names are never hyphenated. People also have "Jesus" in their names - I knew a woman (long dead, so I can reveal it) called Erminda de Jesus Silva. As far as I know, only Spanish speakers have it as a first name - Jesus Sosa Blanco. Portuguese also have "of the saints" as a name - Armando dos Santos. This extends to things inanimate – Banco Espirito Santo is Holy Spirit Bank. The exclamation Ai Jesus! is heard - it's not the same as "Oh God", but rather an exclamation of surprise. Another difference in naming - married women add their husband's name to their own, rather than placing it before. Thus if Maria Barrantes marries Pedro Soares she may call herself Maria Barrantes Soares.
Some Portuguese names are very strange - Senhor Coelho Furtado is "Mister Stolen Rabbit". Again this extends to things inanimate – Rua do Poco dos Negros (c with the cedilha) is literally "Street of the Well of the Black Men." Mind you, there is a Black Boy Lane not a million miles away from where I am now. It's not as obscure as it sounds - it's actually a bus route. I wonder if these peccadilloes are found in any other language. (talk) 12:51, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Why is ITMO's URL[35]?[edit]

Why is ITMO's URL[36]? Its English abbreviation is "ITMO" according to its own website, and its Russian abbreviation is ИТМО (И being the Cyrillic I). So where does the F in IFMO come from? My other car is a cadr (talk) 09:16, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

ИТМО stands for Институт точной механики и оптики ("Fine mechanics and optics institute"), the school's name until 1992. The F is from the (way too literal in my opinion, in terms of word order) translation of that name and its abbreviation into English (Institute of Fine Mechanics and Optics) Asmrulz (talk) 09:38, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Looking for a word...[edit]

What do you call it when you can't tell the difference between a real news article and satire like The Onion? There's got to be a word for this phenomenon, right? This all started when I read this article. Read that and tell me if you can't tell the difference between news and news satire. So, what's the word? Viriditas (talk) 09:35, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Convincing? Widneymanor (talk) 10:07, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Related: Poe's law. In German there is the noun Realsatire, when reality becomes satirical on its own. ---Sluzzelin talk 12:25, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Like when Tom Lehrer said reality had become indistinguishable from satire after Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:59, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
I second that, when Yasser Arafat won one, too. StuRat (talk) 13:12, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
More like involuntary surreal humor (Norwegian style) than satire. For satire the humorist needs to have his tongue firmly in his cheek whereas the Norwegian Nobel Committee seem to take themselves very seriously. Contact Basemetal here 13:28, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Close, Bugs. The formal quote is Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. What was that quip about replacing talking turkey/chewing the fat/smoking the peace pipe with Indians, for eating humble pie with the Viet Cong at Paris? I read it just this past week, but I'm damned if I can find it again now. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:27, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
No source ??? Shall I require you to spend the next several weeks researching this to find the source ? :-) StuRat (talk) 23:46, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
No. Now, cop this, young Harry.  :) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 05:28, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Neurologically, it may have to do with the paracingulate sulcus [37] [38]. "Reality monitoring" seems to be a term of art in the neuro/psych domain, see Source-monitoring_error#Reality_monitoring. TV Tropes has Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:47, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
See also: truthiness. Matt Deres (talk) 15:17, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
By truthiness do you mean veriditas? — Preceding unsigned comment added by medeis (talkcontribs)
This did remind me of verisimilitude, which is also relevant to the OP question. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:42, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
That pun would only work if the OP's name were User:virisimilitude. μηδείς (talk) 03:38, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
gullibility. - Nunh-huh 21:58, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Hunh. I always thought WP:WHAAOE, but we don't seem to have one on gullibility. -- ToE 02:43, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I would have thought that's because, as I am reliably informed, the word "gullible" is not in the dictionary. But WP is not a dictionary, so who knows. --Trovatore (talk) 04:41, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
It may not be in "the" dictionary, but it's certainly in Wiktionary, which is "a" dictionary. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 05:28, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Hoax? (talk) 09:31, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

What's someone called who thinks that "gullible" is not in the dictionary? Widneymanor (talk) 10:44, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I always thought that 'Gullible' referred to a story about a man who was shipwrecked and spent some time on an island with really, really tiny people. "Gullible's Travels", wasn't it? KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 14:31, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
He was mercilessly tied up by them too. --Modocc (talk) 14:51, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Exactly, having fallen for their dirty tricks. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 16:21, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Seriously now, here's the page. As you see, "gullible" really isn't in the dictionary. (I was shown this page years ago by a friend whose hobby was collecting old dictionaries. Note that it does include the base verb "gull", meaning "to deceive, cheat, cozen, chouse, defraud, etc." If you don't recognize "chouse", you will find that listed on this page with the spelling "chowse".) -- (talk) 18:17, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Should it not be called 'A' Universal Dictionary, and not 'An Universal Dictionary'? If they can't even get that simple thing right, then I would not trust them to organize a piss-up in a brewery. (talk) 16:15, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Maybe they used to pronounce it "ooniversal" back then. That would have been more in keeping with the classic pron, and if they were true pedants, that's exactly what would have attracted them. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 05:16, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

May 23[edit]

The letter J[edit]

What is the best word or words to use to describe the hook at the bottom of the letter j ? The specific portion which makes it look different from the letter i — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:19, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

According to my reading of Typeface anatomy it would be the open curve. Mitch Ames (talk) 09:30, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Descender is used for any portion of a letter that dips below the base line, so this would be the word for the "tail" of a y or a j and so on. Matt Deres (talk) 12:30, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
"Tail" is often used too, though not for the descenders of pq. —Tamfang (talk) 07:19, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Late Old English words derived from Old French or Anglo-Norman/Old Norman?[edit]

I know that there was only a short time in which this could have happened, but I was just wondering if there are any late Old English words borrowed from Old French or Anglo-Norman/Old Norman. Tharthan (talk) 16:24, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

This webpage says "The greatest influence set in the mid 13th century. The number of borrowings runs into thousands." and gives examples, but I guess that's really Early Middle English, although it also says "Some few words pre-date the Norman conquest such as prud ‘proud’ and tur ‘tower’". Mikenorton (talk) 16:41, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Further to what Mikenorton said, French loanwords can be seen trickling into the language in the very few post-conquest English texts that are transitional between Old and Middle English, especially the 12th-century continuations of the Peterborough Chronicle. The so-called first continuation has only a few of them (e.g. canonie, clerk, canceler), the second continuation from the 1130s considerably more (pais, tresor, prisun…). But then again, some people might say that the presence of these loans is really one of the things that make these texts more Middle English than Old English anyway. I couldn't say anything about loans in genuine pre-conquest OE and where they would be attested. Fut.Perf. 17:45, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

May 24[edit]

Term for a demographic[edit]

A question on another desk has intrigued me about a terminological issue. What's the name (in a marketing/sociological context) for the period of one's life between "young adulthood" and "middle age"? We have articles Young adult (psychology) and Middle age which put the upper boundary of young adulthood at 40, but a book, film, or TV show targeted at "young adults" would not be designed to appeal to someone in their late 20s, let alone their late 30s. What do the marketing people call this agegroup? Tevildo (talk) 20:56, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

I think Psychographic categories are the way things are trending these days in marketing, not age-based categories alone. But have a look at Millennials or Generation Z, or some of the terms in Market segmentation. Also see New-adult fiction for ages 18-25. (talk) 21:26, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Help with Latin RPG Button[edit]

A friend of mine will be attending his 25th year at a gamecon this August. He's hosting his own self-created game, the point of which is for combatants during the late Roman Republic to come out with their interests ahead, but also not having destroyed the republic as such. Basically, who can avoid the civil wars and Augustan imperium wins.

The big thing is that he wants to have a short catchy name for the game, in Latin, that can be printed out on buttons to be given to the recipients.

His immediate idea was "Quisnam Res Publica Infractus". I explained that this was worse than "Romanes Eunt Domus" given the improper nominative case and that fact that Latin of the era didn't have a participial perfect, and he understood, having had German. I suggested something easy like "cuja culpa est/sit/erit" which he understood but thought was too vague and uncatchy. I suggested that he really needs to select a verb, since infrangeo means to break in pieces (not his real meaning) and deleo means more like wipe out, again not his meaning. If the English were to be a loose and idiomatic "Who killed the Republic" what might be a Latin translation that preserves the intended meaning? Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 21:03, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

For anyone not familiar with the Romanes Eunt Domus sketch, here it is. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 22:20, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
The Latin translation of "I came. I played. I saved the Republic"? Clarityfiend (talk) 00:22, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Good one, I will suggest that, hehe. μηδείς (talk) 17:17, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
There's a ton of words for "overthrow" or "destroy" in Latin, so you have a lot of options...I wouldn't use a word for "kill" necessarily, since that would apply to living things. How about "Quis rem publicam labefecit?" (Also, I think you were going for "Cuius culpa est", whic means "whose fault is it", or you could also say "cui cupla est" - not "cuia" though.) Adam Bishop (talk) 10:27, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I assumed cujus was an adjective agreeing with culpa in gender, as it is in Spanish, cuya culpa. μηδείς (talk) 17:17, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
The Latin genitive cujus (same for all three genders) apparently got reinterpreted as an adjective in Spanish probably because it formally resembled the nominative of an adjective (non-existent cujus, cuja, cujum on the model of bonus, bona, bonum). Since cujus formally resembles a nominative, not an accusative, that must have happened in pre-Spanish when both subject case and object case were still part of the language, is it not? Just speculating. Contact Basemetal here 17:49, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

May 25[edit]

When were spaces introduced in Hangul?[edit]

When Hangul was introduced, it was written like Chinese, without spaces between words. Now (and I've seen examples in the Japanese colonial period) it is written with spaces between words. When did this change? Who introduced the change, and how did it spread? --2A02:810C:8700:1778:56D:2C25:F2CA:D775 (talk) 10:52, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

It usually is not written with spaces. Are you talking about books for children? That is the case in Japan, where books for children have spaces in them, but only books for children. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 11:47, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
A quick look at our article on the Korean language, Korean Wikipedia, a random article from Chosun Ilbo or [39] shows that it is indeed normally written with spaces. --Taejo|대조 16:52, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
A stupid question this made me think of (I know no Korean, just a tiny little bit about the Hangul writing system): Suppose in a sentence a word ending in 악 is followed by a word beginning in 아, is the final ᆨ of the first word joined to the initial ᅡ of the second word to give 아가 (in which case the 가 would belong to both words at the same time, since it is composed of the last consonant of the first word and the first vowel of the second word, and a separation with a space would seem impossible) or are the two syllables kept separate like so 악아? Sorry if this is a really stupid question. Contact Basemetal here 17:21, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
This is in no way a stupid question. Korean does have considerable sandhi, and therefore words are often joined. This is why I said there are generally no spaces. At least, not in the books I have read. (talk) 18:27, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
When and where were these books published? Can you take a picture? --2A02:810C:8700:1778:C86F:4CDA:96B:5C9D (talk) 19:38, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Korean is usually written morphophonemically today, meaning that the spelling reflects the underlying forms (morphemes) of the words, rather than how they are pronounced (though the pronunciation can be inferred). So one writes 읽다 and 읽어요 rather than 익따 and 일거요; thus, consonants do not move across the written syllable boundaries even within single words (at least in the case of conjugated verbs). I'm not an expert, though (I only know a very little Korean). --2A02:810C:8700:1778:C86F:4CDA:96B:5C9D (talk) 19:38, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Basemetal -- this doesn't happen in standard Korean spelling, but it's common in playful spellings used online: [40]. --Amble (talk) 15:33, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Although hangul was created in 1443, it wasn't widely adopted for a very long time. There were letters [41] and novels [42] written in hangul during the mid-Joseon dynasty (16th-17th century), which don't seem to have used spaces. In the late 19th century, hangul was promoted by Protestant missionaries, who published Korean Bible translations. The ones I find here, from the 1890's, don't use spaces between words: [43]. The style remains very close to Bible translations in Chinese. Around the same time, Korean newspapers began to be published. This edition of Tongnip Sinmun ("The Independent") from 1896 clearly does use spaces. It was published both in Korean and in English, and founded by Soh Jaipil / Philip Jaisohn, who had lived in the United States. The text is still vertical (or right-to-left, for the title and date line that are written horizontally), but besides that the layout is similar to the English-language edition. The newspaper came out around the time that hangul was adopted by progressives and modernizers and came into much wider use. Therefore, although I don't know for sure that Tongnip Sinmun was the first to use spaces between words, it may well have been (and I haven't come across an earlier example). If not, it was likely to be another newspaper around the same time and cultural context. --Amble (talk) 15:22, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Finnish accent in the German language?[edit]

Right yesterday, I was at the Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany, and when I went to enter an installation room, the following conversation took place between the museum attendant and me:

  • Die Karte, bitte.
  • Natürlich.
  • Natürlich. Sind Sie aus Finnland?
  • Ja.
  • Das hört man.

I spoke German to the attendant the entire time and she spoke German back to me. I never mentioned my home country or my name. Still she correctly identified me as Finnish. Is there something about how Finns pronounce German that gives their nationality away? As Finnish has an almost perfectly one-to-one correspondence between written glyphs and spoken sounds, I find it easier to speak German the same way too, as in German the one-to-one correspondence is only slightly weaker. Not like English or French, where the pronunciation rules are really complicated and there are one-to-many correspondences in both directions. But this is the first time a native German speaker identified me as Finnish before I mentioned it. JIP | Talk 20:12, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Maybe it was more due to your physical appearance? I've regularly encountered Finns during my travels, and you guys are generally rather easy to discern (round faces, cute noses, slightly Asian eyes). When combined with a foreign accent, she might just have made an educated guess. No such user (talk) 20:57, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
But she said Das hört man, not Das sieht man, leading me to think it was because of my accent. JIP | Talk 20:59, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't worry about it. When I go to Germany, they think I am from Holland. When I go to Holland, they think I am from Germany. When I go to France, they think I am from Belgium. When I go to Belgium, they think I am from Holland. Nobody has ever correctly identified my accent in any language I speak. I'm British. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 22:03, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm not worrying. I'm genuinely interested. Whenever I have travelled abroad, no one has ever been able to identify me as Finnish without me saying so. The closest I've come to before this was in the Isle of Wight, England, UK, when I was at a pub, and some guy came to ask me about something I had no idea about, and then he said "Sorry, I thought you were someone else. Are you Nordic?" to which I replied yes. But this was the first time someone had been able to identify me as specifically Finnish without any prior hint. Usually, whenever I visit Germany or Austria, the locals compliment me on my German upon learning I am Finnish. JIP | Talk 22:09, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
In my personal, unreferenced perception and experience I think your attendant was either someone familiar with a Finnish accent (by personal acquaintance or otherwise) or someone with a particular ear for accents, in both cases above average. I am familiar enough with the sound of Finnish accents when speaking my particular dialect, because I know at least four Finnish expats who speak it, but I'm not sure I'd be able to recognize it just by hearing "natürlich" (though visual clues might help my guessing/showing-off, as implied by KageTora. Aside: I go out of my way to compliment people on their command of German, as it really sucks to learn it as a second language. ---Sluzzelin talk 22:28, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I did not mention anything about physical appearance. That was 'No Such User', not me. As for my appearance, I am brown haired, green eyed, white skinned. I doubt that has anything to do with guessing where I am from. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 11:49, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Apologies, KageTora and No Such User, for careless reading and the mix-up. ---Sluzzelin talk 15:50, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
It is easy to discern an accent if you are regularly in contact with them. I went to a Nordic church here in Liverpool a few months ago, just because my Chinese (now ex-) girlfriend was interested in Christian churches, so I took her there, and the curator showed us around the place. There were Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish paintings all over the place, but I managed immediately to pinpoint his English accent as Danish. Your pronunciation of "natürlich" may have given it away, with the stress on the first syllable (like in English 'Naturally'), rather than the second syllable. Finnish stresses the first syllable. Plus your intonation might have been a clue. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 02:19, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
As I understand Finnish has rather dental stops than alveolar like in German. If we look at the word "natürlich" Finnish also lacks short [ɪ] and [ç]. There may be difficulty with -r- after vowels. Finns might stress right but tend to give a secondary stress on the first syllable. As I result a Finn might say [ˌn̪aˈt̪yː(e)lik] instead of native [naˈtʰyːɐ̯lɪç]. Your accent might be not so rough but still something revealed you. Also Finnish intonation somewhat particular, I may say.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 04:58, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps if you uploaded a recording of yourself speaking this dialog, somebody could identify any Finnish-sounding aspects of your pronunciation? -- (talk) 10:09, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
I currently lack the means to make a recording of anything. I think I can use Audacity or something on Fedora 20 Linux to record sounds, but I don't have any microphone to capture them in the first place. Are there microphones available I could just plug into a USB interface or something? If I successfully manage to make a recording, can I upload it here on the English Wikipedia or on Commons? JIP | Talk 11:38, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
There is no need for you to go to the trouble of doing any of that. Sluzzelin has the correct answer. /thread --Viennese Waltz 11:41, 26 May 2015 (UTC)


Could anybody identify a Viennese expression transliterated as so-wos? or so-wos! (that is probably intended to be an English-orthography representation of the pronunciation)? Further clues: it's a mild exclamation, is or was over-used and probably risible to speakers of standard German. Thanks. --catslash (talk) 22:21, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

I'm not a native German speaker, least of all from Vienna, but it sounds like so war es, meaning "so was it". But this is just a guess, I might be completely wrong. JIP | Talk 22:24, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps 'so was?' or 'so was!' as in English 'so what?' or 'so what!'? KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 07:39, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Spiegel online says: "Entgegen einer weit verbreiteten Vermutung wird "so was" in zwei Wörtern geschrieben, daran hat auch die Rechtschreibreform nichts geändert. Es handelt sich um die umgangssprachliche Verkürzung von "so etwas". Der oft zitierte Ausruf des Erstaunens wird weder in einem Wort ("Nasowas") noch in zwei Wörtern ("Na sowas") geschrieben, sondern in drei Wörtern: "Na so was!" ".
In English regional usage (Irish?) "so was" is used to mean "it was so much" which by extension can mean "indeed" or "well, well". I wonder how the expression reached Vienna? Dbfirs 08:02, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Aren't you confusing the English word "was" (imperfect of "to be") with the German word "was" ("what")? JIP | Talk 08:26, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
I live in Vienna and my Hochdeutsch is passable, although my Wienerisch is abysmal. Anyway Dbfirs's quote from Spiegel is almost certainly correct. "Was" here is not the German for "what" but is a contraction of "etwas" meaning "something". The other possibility is that the OP is hearing "Servus", which means "Hi" and sounds like "so-wos". Pinging User:Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM who might have more to add. --Viennese Waltz 09:12, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
There are two (well, three) possibilities:
1 "So was!?" means "so what!?". It implies in Viennese (as it does in English) that the first speaker has made a statement which the second speaker considers to be irrelevant. It is the equivalent of shrugging off a statement as unimportant.
2 "So was?" means "Something like that?". It may be asked in a shop when you want to purchase some gadget you don´t know the name of. The sales assistant will get some likely item and enquire "So (et)was?" --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 15:06, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
3 A third interpretation is: "So was!" as an exclamation of wonderment and mild incredulity, a bit like "I can´t believe it!". --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 15:10, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, it's certainly 3 I can´t believe it! that I'm looking for. Is this the same as Dbfirs's Na so was!? Can you give me any etymological explanation? Is was here what?? --catslash (talk) 20:56, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

The was, as stated above, is an abbreviation of “etwas” (= something). It is a colloquial pronoun referring to some object or event. The Duden says it comes from the Old High German etewaʒ, thence further back to an Indoeuropean root. The original “was” / “waʒ” having been the neuter gender of “wer” (who), the masculine and feminine forms.
The original “wer” / “was” (who / what / possibly which) are used in German as relative and interrogative pronouns. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 05:51, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

What does 'tschicko? tschicko!' mean in German?[edit]

It seems to mean: 'understood? understood!', 'ok? ok!' (as here) but why I can't find it anywhere? Contact Basemetal here 22:39, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I think that's the best translation. You could replace it with "in Ordnung" in German, and hence "alles tschicko" for "alles in Ordnung". I used that phrase for searching various spellings, and "tschicko" appears to be far rarer than "tschiko" ("Alles tschiko, Digga?") or "chico" ("In Hamburg ist eben alles Chico!"). I don't know anything about the origin (the second link is from 2004, the first one from 2014), nor is it really part of my passive, let alone active vocabulary. ---Sluzzelin talk 15:47, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Poking in the internet I found some German references. It is often spelled as CHICO. One source states that the term comes from the Spanish and means something like "young man". I checked the online Duden, and they have the same meaning. Unfortunately, this makes little sense in the dialogue shown. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 15:52, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Ignore, Sluzzelin has it anyway. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 15:54, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
The dialogue makes Basemetal's interpretation sound like the only possible one. "Boy boy boy boy ... I'll be back here in one month, and it's going to be impeccable. Chico?" - "Chico." (note that the first speaker uses "picobello" too, right before "chico" ... "... picobello. Chico?")
Another article from last year quotes the former interior minister of Schleswig-Holstein: "Alles chico hier". ---Sluzzelin talk 16:02, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you Sluzzelin and Zoom. Regarding the spelling, isn't the 'i' short and wouldn't therefore a strict application of German spelling rules require two consonants between the 'i' and the 'o'? Contact Basemetal here 17:25, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
By "short i" you mean you hear [tʃɪko] instead of [tʃiko]? I don't. It sounds maybe somewhere in the middle, but probably closer to the latter. --Trovatore (talk) 18:11, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
By 'short i' I meant the vowel of the word 'nicht' as opposed to the 'long i' which would be the vowel of 'Liebe'. To me the 'i' of 'Chico' sounds more like the former. But I'm no native speaker. Contact Basemetal here 18:25, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Actually you're probably right. I listened to it again and I'm starting to agree with you. What do native speakers say? Contact Basemetal here 18:33, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm having trouble "hearing" exactly where the spoken (not to mentioned the whispered) vowel lies in the clip. For some reason it does sound somewhere outside standard German sound clusters, and for the same reason, perhaps, "tschiko" (not to mention "chico") look less "Germanic" than "tschicko" and might "feel" like a more natural way to represent this loanword. Even more so when you consider the ending and words like Schoko.
I still have no clue where it comes from. Like Cockatoo, I fail to see an obvious connection to "chico" (or cicco in Italian, or even chicco which is pronounced differently anyway (yet I did find "alles chicco" as well). Then again, the mentioned picobello is word-creation, a hybrid of Germanic and Italian, meant to sound Italian, but not part of the Italian vocabulary. It could even be some TV-reference, it could have lost a couple of final syllables, like Schoko, who knows? I couldn't find anything. ---Sluzzelin talk 13:28, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Oh, and I saw this had been asked at German Wikipedia's reference desks, 2½ years ago: Herkunft: "Alles chico!"?. Still inconclusive, but there too, the oldest example was a (different) reference from 2004. ---Sluzzelin talk 13:48, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Do you get the feeling the older phrase is "alles chico" and the use of "chico" by itself is derived from it? Contact Basemetal here 13:54, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I'd thought about that too. It was of course easier to search the meaning we're talking about, by adding a German word. ("chico" alone won't do, and even when spelled differently, you'll find indigenous boys, cats, gangsters, etc. carrying a variety of that name.
It does not seem to replace "in Ordnung" in phrases such as "es geht in Ordnung", "das geht so in Ordnung", or ok in "ist schon ok" or "das ist für mich ok", for example (I googled a number of varieties). ---Sluzzelin talk 14:05, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
(obviously obsessed with its etymology now) I hadn't thought of Hungarian until I thought of another German word ending in -ko (but not in -cko): Tschako: csikó means foal, and csikós means horseherd, while csíkos means striped. So ... O.o? ---Sluzzelin talk 15:59, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

May 26[edit]

On the grammar and style of long sentences.[edit]

Does this prose read well?

There is no best form of government. No system of government or form of constitution can rid our country of corruption and nepotism. There will always be loopholes and grey areas from which corruption will emerge. A rigid and strict governmental system with laws imposing severe penalties against corruption doesn’t necessarily result in political reform. Likewise, no system of government can promise an instant success without the public officials conscientiously deliberating on the country’s fiscal and economic policies. Hence, changing our system of government, which ultimately requires a substantial revision of our constitution, is abrupt and impractical, to say the least. We don’t need a new government. We need honest and sincere leaders.Rja2015 (talk) 13:47, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Yes. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 13:59, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Doesn't matter, cause it's nonsense. And btw this is a "request for opinion". Which means that (give it a few hours) some self-appointed RD "enforcer" is bound to hat it. Contact Basemetal here 14:09, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Good idea. Go ahead. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:47, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
1) Omit "the" in front of "public officials".
2) Change "country's" to "nation's".
3) "Constitution" should be capitalized, when referring to a specific document.
4) Note that, under the parliamentary system, "a new government" means "the same form of government, but with new leaders", not what it does in the US ("a new form of government"). So, as written, this paragraph wouldn't make sense under the parliamentary system.
(Incidentally, I disagree with the logic, too, but you didn't ask us to comment on that.) StuRat (talk) 15:00, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for your comment. You can comment on the logic of this paragraph too. Overall, how's the style of this paragraph?Rja2015 (talk) 15:37, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
There is illogic in the transition from the first sentence to the last sentence because the first sentence refers to a "form of government" and the last sentence says that "[w]e need honest and sincere leaders." This is sleight of hand. "[H]onest and sincere leaders" are irrespective of a "form of government". Bus stop (talk) 16:37, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
In short, it's propaganda disguised as a question, and should be zapped as per Basemetal's recommendation. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:42, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Looks more like a homework assignment to me. And while we can't do their homework for them, we can review their homework for any errors. StuRat (talk) 19:54, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
  • If Bus Stop can read the passage as sneakily conflating two concepts, when its whole point is to contrast them, there must be some room for improvement in clarity. —Tamfang (talk) 07:38, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Like Stu I'd change the last "we don't need a new government" into "we don't need a new form of government". I'd also change "no system of government can promise an instant success" into "no system of government can promise instant success". As to the logic, frankly I wouldn't know where to start. It's been known for about 250 years that what you propound here is a fallacy, as nobody has yet come up with a sure way of finding those "honest and sincere leaders", not to mention a way of keeping leaders "honest and sincere". It's been known for that long a time that the best chance to achieve some sort of a reasonable form of government (or at least a form of government that slowly and clumsily moves towards reason) is not by relying on or hoping for moral virtues on the part of either the leaders or the governed but by balancing the selfish self-interest of the several actors. How you do that is an ongoing process of trial and error which does involve in fact tweaking the form of government, and, unfortunately, is not a process that is invariably moving forward. Contact Basemetal here 17:06, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
  • For what little it's worth, I disagree with half of StuRat's suggestions: I see no advantage in nation over country (not all sovereign states are nation-states), and I'm content to read constitution as meaning the structure rather than the Document that describes it. Even if comment were invited on the substance of the argument, I hope I'd resist the temptation.Tamfang (talk) 07:38, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
There will always be corrupt leaders, but in some forms of government, with no checks and balances, they can do whatever they want, including genocide and stealing all of the nation's wealth (see kleptocracy). In a democracy, especially one with term limits, they can only do limited damage before they are removed from office. StuRat (talk) 19:52, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
You seem to have missed when Barry Goldwater's democratic election led to the destruction of mankind. μηδείς (talk) 17:35, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
On second thought, it's not so illogical. But it is too wordy. I will attempt a rewrite: "Various forms of government each have their own weak spots vis-a-vis exploitation by the unsavory slime-buckets that arise from time to time." The phrase "unsavory slime-buckets" can be replaced by "corrupt politicians" for greater palatability. Bus stop (talk) 18:57, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

A pride of lions[edit]

A group of wombats is called a "wisdom." A "pride" of lions consists of related females and offspring and a small number of adult males. Why those terminologies? Are there other examples of animals of a species having a specific name when they occur in groups? Bus stop (talk) 16:25, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Check out List of English terms of venery, by animal. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:28, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Great, thanks, that's exactly what I was looking for. Bus stop (talk) 16:36, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
There was a list I saw in a computer book, long ago, which had several satirical collective nouns. I can't find the reference just now, but it included a "bleat" of users, an "absence" of hardware engineers, and the like. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:56, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
lol Bus stop (talk) 23:43, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Old joke: "Four scholars at Oxford were making their way down the street and happened to see a group of ladies of the evening. 'What’s this?' said the first. 'A jam of tarts?' 'Nay,' said the second, 'an essay of Trollope’s.' 'Rather, a flourish of strumpets,' advanced the third. 'No, gentlemen,' concluded the last. 'Here we have an anthology of pros.'" Deor (talk) 00:35, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
The play is on the word "prose". Bus stop (talk) 05:17, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I've heard that a group of wombats is also known as a wet mess. Bus stop (talk) 08:40, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
"Terms of venery" is the terminology related to hunting of animals, but these are more generally just collective nouns. Here's a list on wiktionary: [44]. As for "why" - most of these don't have good "reasons" other than they sounded nice or evocative to someone and got used in print. Many are more-or-less made up for fun. Many will have very rare usage outside of such lists, and have several equally "correct" alternates. But that's ok, all words are made up ;) SemanticMantis (talk) 15:58, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
"Glint of goldfish" seems very appropriate. Bus stop (talk) 16:56, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Similarly, I've always been fond of "a kaleidoscope of butterflies". ---Sluzzelin talk 17:01, 27 May 2015 (UTC)


Has anyone ever encountered "untruism" used with the meaning "untrue truism" (i.e. something that people commonly believe but is in fact untrue, an untruth that is commonly believed to be true) as opposed to just "untruth" as defined by the Wiktionary article? It seems (to me at least) that the Anthony Trollope 1878 quotation is more compatible with that meaning rather than with that of "untruth". Contact Basemetal here 14:06, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

There is a word for such a concept. It is called a misconception. --Jayron32 14:38, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I found a 1972 article, "Untruisms", published in Metaphilosophy, where the authors Barnes and Robinson define it as "an ambiguous sentence which taken in one sense states a dull truism—an analytical or a platitudinous truth—and taken in another sense makes a statement that is interesting but either certainly or probably false or at least of uncertain truth-value. Sincere utterers of untruisms suppose themselves to be making a true and interesting statement: in fact they are hovering between a true and trifling statement and a false and informative statement." The authors, too, quote Trollope, in the sense of "hackneyed untruth". ---Sluzzelin talk 15:39, 27 May 2015 (UTC)


  1. A physical and spiritual form – I can define this to a demon/Angel/ghost…
  2. A physical and ‘soul’ (‘soulotuol’) form. – I am wishing to define a human being. What can I put their when I’m talking about a human, instead of the embolden words? I know the word ‘soulotuol’ doesn’t make sense and it is not in the Dictionary, it’s just an example for a better understanding. I want the sentence to sound as good as the 'first number'. e.g., physical and spiritual, physical and soulotual...

Mr. Prophet (talk) 18:35, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

spiritual can also refer to the soul, so you might wish to choose a different word there, if you want an unambiguous distinction between beings within the biological world (no matter what else we attribute to these beings, such as a soul, they still exist in the scientific world) and beings that only exist in fantasy/mythology/religion/fiction. Some suggestions, not the greatest ones, but just to get things started : psychical/psychic, conscious, animate, breathing ... all ambiguous too ... ---Sluzzelin talk 19:21, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Demons, angels, and ghosts have a "spiritual" dimension in common with human beings. Granted that human beings' spiritual dimension is considered different from those other constructs' in some religious traditions, though in some religious traditions, ghosts may also have souls. What human beings have and those other constructs lack is biological, or natural life. So you might contrast beings with supernatural and spiritual form (your demons, angels, and ghosts) and beings with natural and spiritual form (human beings, and perhaps other living things if you think that they have a spiritual dimension). We don't have an attributive adjective related to the word soul, but you can use this distinction instead. Or, you could contrast "beings with souls" and "beings without souls". Marco polo (talk) 20:38, 27 May 2015 (UTC)


May 21[edit]

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down: question about lyrics?[edit]

While the general theme in "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" is fairly clear, if you listen to the lines more closely, they seem to have been thrown together in a pretty haphazard way, just for the sake of the rhymes. Sometimes they don't even make much sense. For example: Who are all the people who were supposedly singing "na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na"? Union soldiers? You wouldn't call them "all the people" then, would you, as if there was no one else left? On the other hand there doesn't seem to be any good reason for either Confederate soldiers or southern civilians to go "na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na"... Of course none of this would be especially shocking in the realm of popular music where logical consistency is hardly ever a priority, but since, contrary to most songs, this one seems to have a more focussed historical topic, I keep wondering if there might be something I might have missed. Contact Basemetal here 14:07, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

See Non-lexical vocables in music. --Jayron32 14:10, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Interesting article but unfortunately it did not help me figure out who were singing "na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na". But yes, "na" is, here, a nonsense syllable. That much I'd figured out. I didn't think they were singing about sodium. Contact Basemetal here 14:27, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Art is not meant to be a bare reporting of facts. Songs are composed with mind to not just the historical veracity of their content, but also to artistic concerns such as rhythm and meter and Prosody. We joke about someone being able to "sing the phone book", but really, the art of writing and performing a song is much more complex and nuanced than merely reporting facts. --Jayron32 14:37, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
One possible interpretation is that both the bells and the people, ringing and singing, belong to the other side, the one wallowing in triumph (close to "nyah nyah" perhaps), but that's just one way of hearing it. ---Sluzzelin talk 14:48, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
(e/c with above post, which says pretty much the same thing) See this article about the song [45], which includes (about halfway down) a few bits of speculation (taken from the Band fan forum) about the meaning of the chorus. Basically, some people think it's the losing side, the South, lamenting their defeat, but some others think it's the victors, the North, singing to celebrate their own victory. You're not going to get a more authoritative reading, unless you ask Robbie Robertson, and probably not even then. --Viennese Waltz 14:50, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I recommend the link provided above by Viennese Waltz to anyone interested in the lyrics of this song and how much you can read into them if you truly pay attention. Clearly Jayron is right this is a song, not a scholarly paper. Indeed the point of the lyrics of the song was to raise an emotion in the listener through "echoing" the popular (and possibly distorted) memory of a 100 years old (but still fairly significant) historical event, not to pass on factually accurate information, but it does not follow that the facts of history meant nothing to the songwriter. Read the discussion. Thanks again to Viennese Waltz. Contact Basemetal here 22:35, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Maybe the same "na" as in "na na na na hey hey goodbye". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:00, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

May 22[edit]

voice over story/interview[edit]


I'm trying to find a video in which some of the biggest names in voice-acting at that time (1980s, if I recall correctly) - ernie anderson, danny dark, I think Gary Owens, and more - are seen in action, as well as discussing the craft.

I last saw this video a few years ago, I believe on yahoo, but it has since been removed from there.

If anyone knows what I'm referring to, and can tell me where it will be possible to watch it, please do...

Thanks so much!!!

Laureus World Sports Awards, Academy members section.[edit]

To whom it may concern, whilst read the Laureus World Sports Awards, Academy members section, I noticed that some member entries were marked with an asterisk. I searched the whole page for an explanation but to no avail. Quite simply, what does the asterisk by the name denote, refer to or indicate?

My email address: (deleted as per reference desk policy)

Regards, Stewart — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:31, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Somebody removed [46] "The Academy was originally 40-strong, and as of early 2011, currently has 47 members. Those marked with an asterisk (*) after their names joined after the Academy was originally founded." I haven't examined whether it's followed but either an explanation should be readded or the asterisks removed. PrimeHunter (talk) 01:29, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Is The Karate Kid a cop?[edit]

I was glancing through a list of Wikipedia edits made by NYPD IPs, and noticed this declaration from June 2009. So I Googled "ralph macchio smithtown". Google didn't respond, so I Binged it. Bing said try Twitter, so I did, and found he joined in June 2009. Tried Google again, Google worked. First stop, Smithtown Acura dealership.

Could mean nothing, of course, if it's just some liar, but if not, why was Ralph Macchio using police computers? InedibleHulk (talk) 04:32, May 22, 2015 (UTC)

2009 was quite a while ago. Could the IP have been reassigned?
However it seems just as likely that someone was vandalizing Wikipedia. Vandals come from all walks of life. (Though remember that NYPD employs a lot more people than just cops.) ApLundell (talk) 04:59, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
True enough. Sort of sad to imagine him as a clerk, though. Not sure how IP assignment works (or worked back then). InedibleHulk (talk) 05:04, May 22, 2015 (UTC)
I'm willing to believe there's a different Ralph Macchio who likes to make fun of the name similarities. Ian.thomson (talk) 05:09, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
He (whoever he is) mentioned his karate skills that March. Still insistent about Smithtown. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:13, May 22, 2015 (UTC)
Definitely seems to have been an NYPD IP range in the interim (and earlier), so no reassignment. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:16, May 22, 2015 (UTC)
Now I've come full circle and found it's already been news. I guess this is as resolved as it gets. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:35, May 22, 2015 (UTC)

May 23[edit]

From promotion to relegation via administration[edit]

Dear Wikipedians,

In association football, clubs sometimes go bust after the end of the season and are automatically relegated as a result. Has this ever happened to a team which was, prior to going bust but after the end of the season, going to be promoted? (talk) 09:30, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Southampton F.C. would have been promoted at the end of the 2009/10 season if they hadn't been carrying a 10 point financial penalty from the previous season, and Swindon Town F.C. were denied promotion in 1989/90 - the original penalty was for them to be relegated (to the Third Division) rather than promoted (to the First), but it was commuted to merely staying in the Second Division. This was for rule violations, though, not for insolvency. No club has (to date) avoided promotion due to financial penalty points deducted in the season they should have been promoted. Tevildo (talk) 19:39, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Where could I find English subtitles of the film Apoorva Sagodharargal and Kaaviya Thalaivan?[edit]

Hi, I was searching for the English subtitles of the Tamil films Apoorva Sagodharargal and Kaaviya Thalaivan. I've searched on all popular subtitle websites including and, but couldn't find it..! Can anyone help me..?--Joseph 10:46, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Teddy bear film[edit]

I'm looking for the title of a cartoon with a teddy bear waiting to be sold in a display window with other toys (e.g. jack-in-the-box). Finally, when someone wants to buy him, the shop owner refuses. The teddy bear then realizes that the shop owner and the other toys have been his family the whole time. -- (talk) 20:01, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

This is The Tangerine Bear (2000), starring Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Tevildo (talk) 20:42, 23 May 2015 (UTC)


Why are the Simpsons yellow? Does Homer Simpson have jaundice or something? --Uenich Montich (talk) 20:31, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

I think you mean jaundice? Joseph2302 (talk) 20:32, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
About halfway down here, in an interview with one of the show's producers: "... because Bart, Lisa and Maggie had no hairlines, and if you made them flesh-colored it would look very strange." Yellow appears to have been an arbitrary choice. Mingmingla (talk) 21:20, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Not quite arbitrary. They would have to be a color that seems normal for both hair and skin, or at least close to normal (I suppose they could have gone with green or purple, but that would have made them harder to relate to). Yellow is close to blonde hair and close to the color of Oriental or Caucasian skin. The other good option would have been brown, but that would have made everyone think they were an African-American family. That wasn't the way they wanted to go with the main characters. StuRat (talk) 21:59, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Yet, nobody ever thinks they were supposed to be Asian. Perceptions of race have more to do with facial structure than skin colour. They don't have typical African-American features, so even if they'd been given brown skin I doubt many people would have assumed they were African-American. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:35, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I think I recall one episode in which Marge refers to "yellow folks like us". It seems an obvious way of putting the characters outside of any racial category. Alansplodge (talk) 22:59, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
That's just an in-joke, like the "four finger discount" mentioned once and "poor little Maggie never seems to grow at all". They do have races and ethnic groups on The Simpsons. For example, Carl is black and Krusty is Jewish. The Simpsons are Caucasian, or as close to Caucasian as one can get in Springfield. StuRat (talk) 00:21, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
At least outside of Homer's darkest fears. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:46, May 27, 2015 (UTC)
There is another episode where Reverend Lovejoy's daughter calls Bart "yellow trash". Adam Bishop (talk) 08:38, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
If you're going to mostly restrict your palette to primary colors, yellow would seem to make the most sense for skin. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:27, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Depending on your vantage point, the Simpsons aren't yellow at all. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:48, May 27, 2015 (UTC)
Though yes, they still are yellow in the general series in Africa. That'd be too much work. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:50, May 27, 2015 (UTC)

Ignored details in a fictional universe[edit]

In The Flash, the meta-human criminals are put into a secret prison that only about a half dozen people know about. The show never goes into how these criminals are fed, bathe, where their waste goes or even if they have access to a toilet, etc. Is there a blanket term for these things that are just ignored in a fictional universe? Dismas|(talk) 23:32, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

It'd normally be just a plot hole, but I think there was one episode where someone started to raise the issue, but was interrupted before an answer came up. If I'm correct about that, that would be Lampshade Hanging. Ian.thomson (talk) 23:39, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I hope that Cinema Sins expands to TV series someday, and point this kind of stuff. Because no TV series is without sin. Cambalachero (talk) 23:45, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
I think a bit of The Law of Conservation of Detail with a hat-tip to Nobody Poops. Nanonic (talk) 23:46, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Thank you all! Dismas|(talk) 04:51, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

May 24[edit]

Trivia Question[edit]

In Dawn of the Planet of the Apes the orangutan seen teaching the ape children is named Maurice. Does anyone know if this was a tribute to Maurice Evans who played Dr. Zaius in the original PotA film way back in '68. Our article doesn't mention it and it is probably too trivial to be added to it. Any info you can find will be appreciated. MarnetteD|Talk 00:42, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

May 25[edit]

Citizenship and Olympics[edit]

According to Rugby sevens at the 2016 Summer Olympics, if Ireland make the 2016 tournament, rugby players from Northern Ireland would have to play for an all-Ireland team. This leads to two questions, 1) would a Northern Ireland player have to possess an Irish passport to compete (not just be eligible); and 2) are there other examples where athletes are forced to represent a country other than their own? Hack (talk) 04:30, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

I'm simplifying this a bit, but the Republic of Ireland considers that anyone born on the island of Ireland is an Irish citizen, even if they are from Northern Ireland and are technically UK citizens. See these FAQ from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service. So to answer question 1, no they would not, and they would not even need an Irish passport to be considered citizens of Ireland in general. Adam Bishop (talk) 10:13, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Ah, I suppose I could have just looked on Wikipedia - we have an article on Irish nationality law. Adam Bishop (talk) 10:14, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I wonder if you know but the Ireland national rugby union team (Six Nations, World Cup) also represents the whole island. What do you mean by "forced to represent a country other than their own"? Those teams represent the whole island. Players from both parts of Ireland play for a unified team. It's not like players from Northern Ireland are made to play for the Republic of Ireland or vice versa. As to your more general question I think there were similar cases. Start with Unified Team at the Olympics and Korean Unification Flag and go from there. Contact Basemetal here 12:30, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
When I say forced, I meant if they wanted to play Olympic rugby, they'd have to play for a country that they may not necessarily identify with. While the All-Ireland concept is in place for a handful of sports, it's not been at this sort of level. Hack (talk) 12:58, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
How about the Rugby World Cup? That's the very highest level of the sport, and Ireland play in that as an all-island team. DuncanHill (talk) 17:24, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
@DuncanHill: Nationality of a union isn't ordinarily required to play international rugby. For an example Quade Cooper was not an Australian citizen when he began playing for Australia in the 15-a-side game.[47] Hack (talk) 08:09, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
@Hack:I know. I was making the point that at the highest level in rugby, Ireland play as an all-island team in response to your comment "I meant if they wanted to play Olympic rugby, they'd have to play for a country that they may not necessarily identify with. While the All-Ireland concept is in place for a handful of sports, it's not been at this sort of level" above. DuncanHill (talk) 10:30, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't understand the word 'forced' in this. You can only play Olympic Rugby if you have qualified to do so. These qualification stages are arranged by the sport's International Federation (World Rugby in this case). You can't qualify for a country not recognised by the IF and once qualification begins, you generally can't change your sporting nationality. I'm not aware of, and can't find any instances of, anyone who's qualified for the Olympic games (through qualification stages arranged by a particular sports' governing body or IOC recognised International Federation) being forced to change their sporting nationality to another (except due to not meeting eligibilty - see Grannygate). Even after the dissolution of the USSR, the athletes and sportspersons could choose (within reason) who to represent in future games. A handful of International Federations (FIFA for one) have rules whereby your sporting nationality is set once you are selected for a particular country, you can't change it afterwards whilst some sports let you change however much you like (In Equestrian, you just fill out a form). Those who have already qualified but their countries are no longer recognised by the IOC, or whose NOC have been sanctioned for whatever reason, can apply to compete as Independent Olympians. If you live in ROI or NI and are good enough to play Rugby at a national or Olympic level you would play for the Ireland national rugby union team which represents both countries unless you changed your sporting nationality (via the grandfather rule or similar). This is because there is only one governing body on the whole island and they have chosen to have one representative team. Nanonic (talk) 13:58, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I've found the relevant WR regulation. The usual, relatively straightforward, eligibility rules are much, much more complicated for Olympic-related sevens matches.[48] Hack (talk) 15:23, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Formula 1[edit]

In the Jenson Button article, it states he has had 274 races with 271 starts. How is this possible. Widneymanor (talk) 16:56, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Hello Widneymanor You might want to post this question at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Formula One as the members of that project might have a better understanding of how the items in the infobox are listed. MarnetteD|Talk 17:04, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
It means he is recorded as DNS (did not start) for three races (all listed in that article - search it for DNS). That means he was one of his team's nominated drives for that race weekend, but was unable to start the race due to mechanical failure or for medical reasons. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 17:11, 25 May 2015 (UT
Thanks for the quick answer Finlay McWalter! Thank goodness you didn't get pulled into the pits for a tire change while you were leading :-) MarnetteD|Talk 17:15, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Here's the three reasons:
-- Finlay McWalterTalk 17:25, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Thank you for such speedy responses. Widneymanor (talk) 19:12, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

May 26[edit]

Sci-fi story to ID[edit]

I believe a teacher read it to me back in grade school, so the story is probably 35+ years old. There was a single (male) protagonist and he's in an arena, being forced to fight an alien. The arena is split in half with some kind of force field separating them. For some reason I think there was something particularly bizarre about the alien, such as it was an enormous sphere-shape, but I could be conflating that with something else. I don't recall the outcome of the story; it could be that the human and alien figure out a way to cooperate or it could be that the man fought it and won. IIRC, it was being presented to us as "classic" SF, so I'm guessing the story is relatively famous within the genre, or at least was a major writer like Asimov or Bradbury. Any help? Matt Deres (talk) 19:52, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Arena (short story). Nanonic (talk) 19:55, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Which begat Arena (Star Trek: The Original Series) (The fight against the Gorn). Nanonic (talk) 19:59, 27 May 2015 (UTC)


May 21[edit]

Dead/Dirty Skin[edit]

List of ways I could peel/remove dead/dirty skin off of my body?

Any idea friends?

Mr. Prophet (talk) 06:38, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Please see Exfoliation.--Shantavira|feed me 07:32, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Smile.gif -- Mr. Prophet (talk) 18:37, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Did I ever mention this: You Wikipedians are AWESOME! 💓 -- Mr. Prophet (talk) 18:37, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

You may have mentioned it - but without references, we're not going to accept it as fact. :-} SteveBaker (talk) 02:57, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Lightbulb.png How about the trust based factor that we have and use while editing articles, advising...virtue... Face-tongue.svg -- Mr. Prophet (talk) 18:27, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Famous single people?[edit]

Presidents, celebrities and almost anyone of public or corporate significance is married, and usually with kids. Like, defacto.

Aren't there any famous names who don't fit into the above? Or is it somehow culturally unacceptable? Why. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:21, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Well, we could start with John Browne, Prince Harry to name just two.--Phil Holmes (talk) 13:03, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
It depends what you mean. Firstly there are obviously plenty of young people who have never been married, I presume you're more thinking of older people, although nearly anyone who isn't currently married and is of sufficient age could probably marry in the future if they aren't already dead (but not necessarily to the person they want to marry). Even so, there are plenty of people who fit the above who are not currently married, but may have been married before and may have had kids, whether from or outside of marriage. There are people like Oprah Winfrey, Ricky Gervais and in many countries plenty of people who are in a same sex relationship who have as far as we know never been married for various reasons, but have been with the same partner for many years. There are people like Hugh Grant and Al Pacino who have as far as we know never been married but may have been in long term relationships and do have kids (whether they came from these relationships or not). I can't think of any off hand, but there are obviously some who've had kids but have never been in a long term relationship (there may be some who are forthcoming about it, but there are also obviously plenty of people who've don't talk about it and many who aren't even asked). Then there are people like Condoleezza Rice who may have been engaged but never married (who may or may not have had long term relationships). Finally there are obviously people without kids (as far as we know), who've never been married, enganged or in a long term relationship. As with my earlier point, knowing precisely who is in this list is difficult since people may not talk about their relationships but Ralph Nader possibly fits in this list. I presume you're excluding modern popes and other religious figures like the Dalai Lama who say they are celibate. Nil Einne (talk) 13:20, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  • The singer Morrissey, who has had a handful of romantic relationships here and there, has some interesting perspectives on his own sexuality and sexual identity. For a large part of his life, he claimed he was asexual, and uninterested in sexual or romantic relationships (that has changed somewhat since those earlier mid-1980s statements), and as such, perhaps fits the OP's requirements. Also, there are the majority of the list of Popes, almost all of whom are officially single and celibate, and the majority thereof also probably meant it. There was the U.S. President James Buchanan, who had been engaged at a young age to a woman, but after breaking off the engagement, showed no public interest in romantic relationships at all. There's some speculation that he had a semi-open homosexual relationship with William Rufus King, and yet still others who claim that both men were asexual and celibate, and that the insinuations of homosexuality between them were political smears; we'll likely never know, but at best we can say that we had one U.S. President who was never married. Just some ideas off the top of my head. --Jayron32 13:30, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
There are plenty. J. Edgar Hoover and Katharine Hepburn to name one odd pair. And of course any famous Catholic priest, bishop, cardinal or pope. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:03, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Hoover yes, Hepburn no. As noted in her article, she had been married for 6 years, and had long-term romantic relationships with several men, including Howard Hughes and Spencer Tracy. She did intentionally decline to get married a second time, but strictly she was a divorcee and not single. One that should rather obviously fit the OPs requirements as a famously single historical figure would be Queen Elizabeth I of England. --Jayron32 15:15, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Ted Heath. DuncanHill (talk) 15:23, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  • It's pretty much been taken as a given until recently that the cursus honorum for anyone who wants to become US President includes joining a suitable (Protestant) church and having married, happily, only once. Hence the controversy over Kennedy's Catholicism, and Barack Obama's actual church, as well as his alleged atheism and muslim faith. Reagan was also criticized for some for having had been Catholic and divorced and remarried. Obviously that's changed somewhat, but voters highly dislike infidelity, see the careers of John Edwards, Newt Gingrich and Jim McGreevey. (Anecdata: I also actually know someone who was an atheist in high school who confided he was going to choose a church and join the ROTC as a prelude to entering politics, although I suspect he actually went into intelligence work, given his real aptitudes.) μηδείς (talk) 17:08, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  • James Buchanan (president 1857–61) never married. Grover Cleveland was unmarried when first elected president in 1884, but got married in 1886. More recently, in Canada, Pierre Trudeau was unmarried when he was first elected prime minister (see note) in 1968, but he got married in 1971. (Note: in the Westminster system the PM is the leader of the party supported by a majority of the House of Commons. Trudeau first became PM on the retirement of the previous Liberal Party leader, Lester Pearson, but there was an election soon after, won by the Liberals, so he was elected PM that year as well.) -- (talk) 19:29, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Here is a "Bachelor's A-List". Jesus Christ is probably the most famous, if not André the Giant. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:44, May 21, 2015 (UTC)
Buchanan's widely considered one of the worst presidents, so now we know why. As for Jesus, there's good speculation that he was married, given a man in his position being unmarried would have been borderline scandalous. μηδείς (talk) 21:27, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Good speculation is about as convincing as bad speculation. But if it helps put André over, I'll buy it. In fact, maybe he married all the Marys, except for his mother Mary, who made him marry Mari-Mac. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:41, May 21, 2015 (UTC)
Swoosie Kurtz has never married or had children. Dismas|(talk) 21:28, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Or Sheryl Crow. All she wants to do is have some fun. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:42, May 21, 2015 (UTC)
Here are some famous bachelors. Some were "confirmed" bachelors; others just never met the right girl. Spinster doesn't have a corresponding list. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 05:16, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Cliff Richard is not married, though his celibacy has come into question recently (too much access to little boys). KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 05:38, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Bill Maher's lawyers publicly confirmed him a "confirmed bachelor, and a very public one at that" in Los Angeles Superior Court. That's about as officially single as a living person gets, I think. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:03, May 23, 2015 (UTC)
If you search WP for "never married", you'll get over 61,000 hits. At least the first 1,000 or so are productive for this question. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 06:28, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
For many years, Stephen Fry was celibate, apparently. He's now married. As an aside, on Monday, he'll hopefully be celebrating something else. --Dweller (talk) 08:18, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Which Stephen_Fry#Sexuality are we talking about? How does one who's celibate struggle to keep his sexuality secret? (In any case, any reason to mention Stephen Fry is a good reason.) μηδείς (talk) 01:28, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Cecil Rhodes was famously, if not notoriously single. IIRC, he would dismiss from his staff men who wanted to marry. --Dweller (talk) 08:19, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Elizabeth I never married. Nor did Edward Heath, who was Prime Minister in 1974. (talk) 11:06, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Did they never marry twice, or is there an echo in here? --Jayron32 14:47, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
There are plenty of people who aren't married but have children. (talk) 14:54, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
BTW, there is some truth that in a number of countries and particularly historicly, not marrying was far less accepted, particularly for a couple or a woman. This had an effect on people where it mattered, especially politicians but also to some extent business people so you're probably more likely to find them having been married. (Of course proportionally, the number of people who lived to a resonable age, weren't someone expected to be celibate like a religious figure but never married was generally AFAIK under 50% although depending on the time and country, you'd need to include less formal marriages.) Some may argue beyond the public acceptance, marriage makes people more likely to succeed in those fields, I make no comment on that matter. There is the case of Helen Clark, who at the time of her marriage didn't really want to marry but felt she had to [49]. If we're talking about historic examples Michael Joseph Savage is another Prime Minister who never married and according to [50] never had a serious relationship with a woman. Many of the more artistic type may also fall in to the never married category. Vincent van Gogh didn't although died relatively young and clearly wanted to marry a few times. Ludwig van Beethoven was I think somewhat similar although lived to a more resonable age. Nil Einne (talk) 18:57, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Going back in time,Queen Elizabeth I famously never married or had offspring despite continual political pressure to do so,and Isaac Newton and Oliver Heaviside reputedly died virgins. Lemon martini (talk) 13:21, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

So did Henry the Navigator of Portugal and, presumably, Edward the Confessor as well. (talk) 15:49, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Did Elizabeth I or Ed Heath ever marry? μηδείς (talk) 18:50, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

chicken blood or gut meal71.196.51.61 (talk) 22:27, 21 May 2015 (UTC)[edit]

Under what name the rendering industry produces the chicken blood or gut meal, or if it forms part of another named meal? (talk) 22:27, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Blood meal ? Seems to normally be from cattle blood or pig blood, though. StuRat (talk) 03:21, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
I think you're asking about Poultry_by-product_meal. You might also be interested in our articles By-product#Animal_sources and animal product. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:26, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

May 23[edit]

Is it alright to finish your online, second undergraduate degree while taking up law?[edit]

Let's leave the issue of practicality aside. I was just wondering if this is possible and if anyone has done this before. (talk) 08:30, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

You would need to check with the institutions concerned whether they allow it. DuncanHill (talk) 14:43, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
You won't be able to do so in the U.S. You'll have a full load of lockstep courses the first year and will not be allowed to take additional hours at any institution beyond that. GregJackP Boomer! 05:41, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Is there much value in a second undergraduate degree, especially when you intend to pursue law? —Nelson Ricardo (talk) 04:21, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Where in the world is this notion that one can't take online courses from one college without permission from another college even coming from? The load might be self-limiting, but it's not like admissions officers all report to a central agency, or gossip about their students. I find the premise hugely confusing. μηδείς (talk) 21:47, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Interracial relationships[edit]

Is there any general explanation towards the trend of white women marrying / having relationships with black males. Influence of popular culture? Is it seen is unacceptable for a white male to have a relationship with a black female, but not visa versa? With all things being equal, and the previous statement being false, I would expect a similar number of white males to be with black women, but this just doe not seem to be happening.

Further troubling questions raise out of this. Are men naturally more racist then women?

This is an area that should be ripe for study, are any papers available yet? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:19, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

This QUESTION looks racial because of the colours of skins, but could it rather be a social QUESTION..? Akseli9 (talk) 11:43, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Confirmation bias.--TammyMoet (talk) 14:42, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Since your IP address geolocates to London, I assume that you are asking about the situation in the UK. Do you have any references (such as newspaper stories or magazine articles) which support the premise of your question -- that a disproportionate fraction of heterosexual black / white mixed race relationships involve a black man and a white woman -- or is this based on your personal observation? The United Kingdom Census 2011 collected sufficient data to test you premise, but articles I have seen, such as the Independent's One in 10 relationships now cross racial boundaries, do not address any gender imbalance. -- ToE 15:27, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
There is some evidence from the US which may support your premise. The Pew Research Center's 2012 report The Rise of Intermarriage says:
Gender patterns in intermarriage vary widely. About 24% of all black male newlyweds in 2010 married outside their race, compared with just 9% of black female newlyweds. Among Asians, the gender pattern runs the other way. About 36% of Asian female newlyweds married outside their race in 2010, compared with just 17% of Asian male newlyweds. Intermarriage rates among white and Hispanic newlyweds do not vary by gender.
I've run across a few blog posts and opinion pieces which propose reasons for this, but haven't located anything which rises to our WP:Reliable Source standards. -- ToE 15:44, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
As for pop culture influences (movies in particular), black women with white men is generally acceptable, but white women with black men seems to mainly be a thing in movies about interracialism. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:21, May 23, 2015 (UTC)
From what I could see when I was still living in Europe (France, Spain then Germany), many girls find Black guys attractive cause they are more "masculine" and Asian guys less attractive cause they look less manly. In the same way, I never met any guy who was into Black girls (White men usually see Black girls like manly, loud and not very sexy). Most of men are in the other hand attracted by Asian women. BTW, I'm writing here about Black people who live in Europe (mainly 1st and 2nd generation of Africans who moved or were borm from parents who moved from Africa). Then the culture difference makes it different than in the US where Black and White people are all from the same country and culture. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:33, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Why are the coasts more liberal in the US ?[edit]

I knew that coastal states tended to be more liberal, but here's a map also showing that the most liberal towns in each state tend to be on the coasts (the only exception to the pattern I see is in the highly conservative "Deep South", although FL, LA, and TX still have their most liberal towns on the coasts):


So, why is this ? I can think of a few theories:

1) Those living in coastal communities would naturally be more concerned with global warming and rising sea levels, as it will directly affect them.

2) Immigrants tend to settle down in coastal areas, or at least influence those areas before they move on. So, immigrants themselves might tend to be more liberal (certainly regarding immigration policy and benefits for immigrants). Less certain would be the effect on natives living near those immigrants. They might tend to sympathize with all the immigrants they know, but, if they lose their job or have lower wages due to all the immigrants, they might resent that.

3) Do liberals tend to move to coastal areas ?

So, has anyone studied why this pattern exists ? StuRat (talk) 21:44, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

NAC:Opinion and political commentary. Robert McClenon (talk) 00:05, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

While waiting for the opinion-based discussion here, you might wish to do some browsing here (mostly opinion-based as well, most likely). ―Mandruss  21:55, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Wait no longer! In my non-expert opinion, liberals generally want personal freedom, so they try to flee the heartland (AKA flyover country), but are stopped by the enormous moats on either side. The more crossable north and south borders are guarded by ice and fire, respectively. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:19, May 23, 2015 (UTC)
Given the choice, most jump in the fire. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:23, May 23, 2015 (UTC)
Here's how oceans make folks calmer and more creative, at least according to "the liberal media", as some uptight and destructive folks call it. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:54, May 23, 2015 (UTC)
1) What does being "calm and creative" have to do with liberal/conservative? 2)IMHO the HuffPo and its readers are the destructive ones and are so uptight as to presume to know how to spend my money better than I do. But then again, this isn't the place for veiled insinuations, opinions or attacks...if you strike yours, I'll strike mine.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 23:10, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Creativity is about making new things, like they do in liberal arts. Conservatism is about keeping things the same. Liberals want the world to chill out with the oil spills and war and whatnot, and fiscal conservatives want steadily increasing profit. Content people don't replace or desire things, so conservativism is about destroying things and agitating desires. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:02, May 24, 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Please avoid any discussion of the validity of liberalism and confine your answers to why people living on the coasts appear to be more liberal. StuRat (talk) 00:03, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

  • Appear to who, Stu? You're a long term regular. You know you've posted a request for what can only (appear) be opinion. You take liberal as if it has a well-defined uncontroversial meaning. Beyond that you certainly know that 99% of the world's population lives within 100 miles of the coast. Hence those areas will tend to be more urban. And the ability to live on state subsidized housing, transportation, and so forth is much easier where there are trains and bus routes and tenements. I am sure you are aware Amtrak desperately wants to cut service to rural areas.
Hence the political patronage of such constituencies. Whereas rural areas can't afford to support a welfare state, and people who live there need to have cars and homes and small businesses to support them. Look at the most recent election map of Great Britain. England voted labour in London, Liverpool, Manchester, York, and the Detroitified areas of Wales. The rest of the country wen Liberal/Conservative/UKIP, and Scotland went Scotlish. The cities voted what we in the US would call liberal. All of this is common knowledge and the subject of a huge web inkspillage. But to summarize, Coast=Urban=Socialist. μηδείς (talk) 01:22, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
City size is one possibility, but many of the most liberal cities in each state aren't the largest, yet are on the coast, so apparently that's not the only factor. (Also note that many rural areas do rely on government handouts, in the form of farm and gas/oil subsidies and interstate highway funds.) StuRat (talk) 02:56, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Coastal areas are more likely to have outside influence, they may be sea ports or international airports. This would predict not only immigrants are there, but also people that travel and get exposure to different ideas. It would also suggest that x-ports may have different kinds of people to other more isolated coastal communities, say in Alaska. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 02:21, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't understand that last sentence. What are "x-ports" ? Exports ? "Have" seems to be the wrong word for that part of the sentence, too, or some words are missing. Please clarify. And in Alaska the interior is isolated, while the coastal areas are connected to the outside world (with the possible exception of the north coast, which is still iced-in for most of the year). StuRat (talk) 02:48, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I think GB meant ex-ports, meaning places that were ports (and either aren't any more or maybe are but where it's not particularly significant any more). Nil Einne (talk) 18:23, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Actually I meant airports and seaports together. I should have just said "ports".Graeme Bartlett (talk) 13:33, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Your question is for the US only and that's quite right. In the rest of the world, coastal does not especially mean liberal/labour/socialist. Quite very often indeed, coastal at the contrary means conservative or far-right reserved areas, made very expensive and unaffordable for the average people (middle class), except for the new lumpen who lives there in ghettos (on the windy and dry hills far from the beach/coast), who don't vote anymore thus will never make it turn liberal. Akseli9 (talk) 06:53, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
If the effect is limited to the US, then that implies something different in US history happened. Perhaps the suburbanization of the US, primarily as a result of the GI Bill, is responsible, as it left cities, including coastal ones, populated by mainly poor people, who tend to be liberal. However, there are some very wealthy beachfront suburban communities, too, such as Pebble Beach.
Perhaps the initial white flight out of cities in the US was mainly conservatives, who didn't want to live in a multicultural city, while the current gentrification of cities is by liberals, who do want to live there. StuRat (talk) 15:49, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
On the notion of import/export of goods, ideas and people, you might enjoy reading about cosmopolitanism. E.g. NYC and SF are commonly known as cosmopolitan cities, and liberal, and coastal. There are many counter examples to the claim that the most liberal cities within a state are on the coast, e.g. Austin, TX is generally held to be the most liberal city in TX, and is not on the coast. Maps like this might be helpful in establishing your perspective [52]. Finally, consider that liberals tend to be more intelligent and better educated than conservatives: [53] [54]- those are both from known firebrand Satoshi Kanazawa, but see also here [55], and refs scientific refs therein. So you might want to also look at maps like these [56], [57], and make your own conclusions about educational achievement, educational spending, and liberal ideology.SemanticMantis (talk) 17:16, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Sarita, Texas, on the Gulf, is listed as the most liberal city in Texas, on the map, and in our Wikipedia article. And with a population of only 238, that counters Medeis' theory that cities on the coasts are liberal just because they are large. StuRat (talk) 04:29, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
  • The notion above that somehow the US differs from the UK ignores the fact that the UK is entirely coastal (all within 50 miles of the sea), hence the notion that their geography is different is quite irrelevant. All the major cities in Britain are on tidal waterways. μηδείς (talk) 21:43, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I suspect that may be news to the citizens of Birmingham. AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:43, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Terms like coastal and nearby can be viewed differently in different countries. Earle Hitchner said: "The difference between America and England is that Americans think 100 years is a long time, while the English think 100 miles is a long way." See also [58]. PrimeHunter (talk) 23:40, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
StuRat, there are historical explanations for this. Going back 100 years or more, the political divisions of the United States were three regions: 1) The South, where the enfranchised white population was profoundly conservative to reactionary. At this point, South Florida was a beach-fringed swamp with very few inhabitants. 2) The North (i.e. Northeast and Midwest), which was divided between Democratic (economically left) industrial cities and moderate Republican small towns and rural areas, with Republicans winning most elections. The industrial cities were mostly coastal or located on the Great Lakes. 3) The West, consisting mainly of progressive Republicans.
Each region underwent its own transformation. In the South, urbanization occurred without much unionization and with more of a race-based than class-based consciousness, with the result that its conservatism persisted in the dominant white population. An exception is the populous east coast of South Florida, settled mainly by migrants from the industrial North, which consequently became relatively leftwing. In the Northeast, urban areas remained economically left, while urban areas in the west maintained their progressive tradition. In the Midwest, urban areas grew largely through migration from their moderate Republican hinterlands, with the result that, say metropolitan Pittsburgh, Cleveland, or Chicago drifted moderately to the right during the 20th century. During the 1960s and 1970s, meanwhile, students at elite universities in the Northeast and on the West Coast were at the center of a counterculture that included a left-leaning political perspective. This was actually a global phenomenon, but it had a regional dimension in the United States for two reasons: 1) Industrial fortunes during the 19th century left certain universities in the Northeast with large endowments that attracted the best scholars and students from around the country and around the world, enhancing the cosmopolitanism of a region that had always attracted many immigrants. 2) California's economic prosperity and progressive politics had a similar effect with the growth of well-funded universities in the early 20th century. The top universities in the Midwest took part in this cultural development, but to a varying extent. There were echoes in the South as well, but the left-leaning counterculture in the United States was really centered in the Northeast and the West Coast.
As a result, the upper middle classes of the Northeast and West Coast share a left-leaning perspective with their urban working classes. By contrast, the upper middle classes of the South and much of the Midwest (with the partial exception of the Upper Midwest) tend to be more conservative, while racialized politics have confined economic leftism in these regions largely to the black minority. The coastal location of these left-leaning groups is mostly accidental, except insofar as that coastal location promoted an openness to immigration and the commercial success that underwrote elite cosmopolitan universities. In response to one of your questions, I believe that studies have shown that people tend to migrate to politically compatible places, so this pattern has been self-reinforcing since the 1960s, with politically left (or in U.S. terms, "liberal") people gravitating to the West Coast or coastal Northeast, and politically conservative people gravitating toward the Sunbelt east of California. Marco polo (talk) 14:22, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

May 24[edit]

how come england gets to enter 4 different teams in the world cup, when every other country only gets 1? that gives england an unfair advantage of winning[edit]

how come england gets to enter 4 different teams in the world cup, when every other country only gets 1? that gives england an unfair advantage of winning. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:19, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

They don't, England sends only one team - the England national football team. Nanonic (talk) 13:24, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Right, the UK has separate teams for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Only England has a realistic chance of winning the World Cup so spreading the UK players decreases the chance of winning. History of association football#First International was Scotland vs England, and the International Football Association Board is older than FIFA. The UK wanted to keep their separate teams and I don't think FIFA objected to that. There is a Great Britain Olympic football team since the UK only has one team at the Olympic Games. PrimeHunter (talk) 14:04, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
But the Great Britain Olympic football team only rarely competes, since getting the Scottish FA to join in nicely seems to be a difficult trick; see Scottish FA opposes Team GB for Rio Olympics in 2016. Alansplodge (talk) 17:39, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Note also that presuming you mean the FIFA (football) world cup, Scotland haven't qualified since 1998 and never advanced past the group stage, Northern Ireland have only qualified for 3, 1958, 1982 and 1986 amd Wales only qualified once in 1958. Nil Einne (talk) 18:48, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
And, it should put the United Kingdom at a disadvantage to have their top players spread out over 4 teams, versus all in one team. You don't win the World Cup with quantity of teams, but with quality. Having more, but weaker, teams would only be an advantage if the winner was chosen at random. StuRat (talk) 15:22, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
The OP geolocates to Brazil. It is a common misconception that UK = England, when in fact, the UK is four different countries. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 16:58, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Or 5, depending on how you feel about Cornwall. DuncanHill (talk) 22:20, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it's common. Just as we don't see the US as 50 different countries, just as we don't see Germany as 16 different countries, just as we don't see USSR as 15 different countries, we see the UK also as one country, and just like the Netherlands are often called "Holland", the UK are quite commonly called "England". Akseli9 (talk) 17:12, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
In much the same way as the USA are commonly called "New York"? DuncanHill (talk) 22:19, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Sort of, when everyone from the USA is called Yankees. StuRat (talk) 22:55, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Of course both the use of England for the UK and Holland for the Netherlands is not only incorrect, it is also deeply offensive to a lot of people, a fact that is often missed by foreigners. (talk) 22:31, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
The difference is that the UK has it both ways. Sometimes it wants to be considered one country, such as the Monarchy of the United Kingdom (you'll look in vain for the Monarchy of Wales or the Monarchy of Northern Ireland; you will find Monarchy of Scotland and Monarchy of England but these both ceased to exist centuries ago). But sometimes, it wants to be considered many countries (such as the 7 teams that compete at the Commonwealth Games). Is it any wonder that many people are confused, as exceedingly amply demonstrated at Terminology of the British Isles. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:35, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
Fairness is a tough call here. The US team has a pool of 320 million people from which to draw it's team - France has only 66 million. There is a good argument that the US should have to divide it's best players amongst five regional teams in order to make a fairer game. Or since Ghana has a population of just 20 million, perhaps the French should send three regional teams and the USA about fifteen or sixteen of them?
Clearly population size can't be a determining factor here. But the UK is in fact just a grouping of four separate countries - and who is to deny the Scots, the Welsh and the Northern-Irelanders their chance to win? SteveBaker (talk) 01:06, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
It would be better said that "the US team theoretically has a pool of 320 million people.." The actual pool from which to draw is limited to people who care about soccer, which in the US is proportionately quite small, to say the least. Most Americans think of soccer as "the metric system in short pants"--William Thweatt TalkContribs 22:13, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
I'd say "Clearly population size IS a factor, but not the only one". There should be some type of "net soccer population" ("NSP") measure, of those people who played soccer since they were kids, and had the opportunity to get good coaching and move up to the national team, if they were good enough. In the US only a small portion of the population played soccer since they were kids, so the NSP would be much lower than the total population. However, the NSP can't be larger than the actual population (aside from bringing in "ringers" from other nations), so microstates will have a very small NSP, and thus not much chance at winning the World Cup. Nations with large populations, where soccer is important, would be expected to do well, such as Brazil. Of course, there's also a random factor, as a soccer superstar might happen to be born anywhere. StuRat (talk) 15:14, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
... the UK is in fact just a grouping of four separate countries. Maybe, but in a very different way from how NATO, for example, is just a grouping of 28 separate countries; or the OECD, or OPEC, or the Warsaw Pact, or ASEAN, or the G8, or many other examples. Reducing the UK down to that simplistic grouping is very misleading. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:27, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Eastern Europeans, zey are very very violent, for example Yugoslavia voz a very nice kantry, zen zey had vor, now it's five different kantries. — Preceding unsigned comment added by KageTora (talkcontribs)
The issue here, which no one has clearly identified, is the peculiar definition of "country" used for the constituent parts of the United Kingdom. For the rest of the world, "country" means "sovereign nation-state". At this point, only the United Kingdom as a whole qualifies for the usual definition of "country". No other sovereign nation-state in the world gets to send multiple teams to the World Cup. That's where the question of fairness arises. Why does the United Kingdom get to have the attitude, "We consist of several countries but every other nation-state in the world consists of only one"? I understand completely that each of the constituent parts of the United Kingdom has its own unique history, and in the cases of England, Scotland, and debatably Wales, a misty and distant history of sovereign independence (though that was never true of Northern Ireland; Ulster maybe, but not the 6 counties). But the same is true, and more recently true, of the constituent parts of Italy and Germany, and nobody claims that, say, Mecklenburg is really a separate country and therefore entitled to its own team at the World Cup. Marco polo (talk) 13:49, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
If the different bits of Italy and Germany had bothered to have their own national football teams, and start playing international matches before unification, then they could have their own teams still. They didn't, so they don't. If you don't like our game, then don't play it. make one up for yourself. DuncanHill (talk) 13:58, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Without commenting on the fairness or not of the situation (which is irrelevant, really. Fairness is what little kids care about when they count the cookies they get for dinner and what their siblings got) that doesn't have any parallels here. The 4 Home Nations national football teams come well after the formation of the UK. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland became United in 1801. Wales had been a formal part of the Kingdom of England the middle 1500s and Scotland and England were united in 1707. The Football Association wasn't even formed until 1863, over 6 decades after Ireland joined the Union and centuries after the others. Technically, the FA is older than Germany, which only united in 1871. So, you are technically wrong on both counts. Just a sayin'. Regardless, each of the Home Nations does get their own national football team (and Rugby teams too!) and that's Just The Way It Is. Rationalizing it is beyond the scope of this board, unless one wishes to look into merely describing the history of these organizations, which one can do already by following links from articles already cited in this discussion.--Jayron32 15:01, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
There's no "monarchy of Wales" or "monarchy of Northern Ireland" because Wales never had a king and Northern Ireland has only been a political entity since 1922. When are the monarchies of Scotland and England supposed to have ceased to exist? Elizabeth II is still Queen of England and James II of England was James VII of Scotland. England, Scotland and Wales are no different from, say, the Czech Republic and Slovakia when they were united. The fall of the Iron Curtain didn't change the countries making up Czechoslovakia, and if Scotland were to leave the Union the countries would still be the same. (talk) 15:45, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)The Monarchy of England and the Monarchy of Scotland both ceased to exist in 1707. She is not the Queen of England nor the Queen of Scotland. She is only the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the context of her role in those lands. The Kingdom of Ireland was a separate realm, and as such, continued to exist until January 1, 1801 when it was Unified with the other two. Northern Ireland is a rump state that is a remnant of this kingdom when the Irish Free State broke away in 1922. Northern Ireland, therefore, has a direct connection to the former Kingdom of Ireland. There was an independent Monarchy of Wales until 1283 or so, though it's ruler was known by the title "Tywysog", usually translated Prince. The last truly independent Prince of Wales was Dafydd ap Gruffydd, who ruled the Principality of Wales until 1283-1284, when the Statute of Rhuddlan ended it's independence, though it was legally a distinct realm under the English crown (the King of England was separately Prince of Wales in the same way that the King of Spain was simultaneously King of Portugal during the years of the Iberian Union). There was a putative independent Prince of Wales in the person of Owain Glyndŵr who revolted against Henry IV, but he was never recognized by the English crown as the rightful Prince. The distinction ended in 1542 when Parliament formally ended the independent Welsh state. So there you go, yes all four home nations were, at one time, all four independent monarchies. All four in order (Wales in 1542, Scotland in 1707, Ireland in 1800, - southern Ireland in 1922) were annexed into a single crown with a single title and a single realm. By the time the FA was created and organized national football began on the British Isles, there were not four separate realms, nor four separate monarchies. Since 1800 (with a border change in 1922) there has been a single monarchy known as the "United Kingdom", and Queen Elizabeth II is the current monarch of THAT single realm. She has never been Queen of England or of Scotland or of Wales or of Ireland. She has always only been Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. And England, Scotland, and Wales ARE different from the Czech Republic and Slovakia when they were united. Because they are different countries with a different history and different ways of coming into being. You cannot draw analogies between the organization of one sovereign state and any other in that way. They are all different. --Jayron32 18:18, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Fairness may be pointless to debate, since the world is unfair, but it is not "irrelevant", since it was part of the original question, which should be the arbiter of relevance. Despite my earlier comment on—let's call it the anomaly of the special status of the parts of the United Kingdom in FIFA, the explanation for this anomaly is that association football, as such, originated in England, and the first football association, known as The Football Association, was confined to England. The first "international" match was between England and Scotland. As founding entities for the sport, constituent parts of the United Kingdom obtained a special status within FIFA, which formed later. It's a case of first comer's privilege. Marco polo (talk) 18:14, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
But, as I pointed out above, having more teams makes them less likely to win, not more likely, so it's a disadvantage, not an advantage. Although, admittedly, 4 teams probably get more media coverage than 1 team would. So, if the goal is more publicity and fewer World Cup championships, that's the way to go about it. StuRat (talk) 18:25, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
By that argument Charles is the prince of the United Kingdom, but he's not - he's the Prince of Wales. (talk) 18:40, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
No, by that argument, he is still the Prince of Wales. As the Queen of the United Kingdom, Elizabeth is free to grant titles as she sees fit. Since Wales is a real place inside her realm, she can grant the title to any of her subject she wishes. By tradition, the Monarch always grants the title to the first born son. But that's neither here nor there. The actual history exists, and doesn't need you to understand it to be true. --Jayron32 18:44, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
Charles is a Prince of the United Kingdom, but not "the Prince of the United Kingdom". He is "the Prince of Wales", but not a Prince of Wales (except in the sense of a particular case of a generic reference to this title). His brothers Andrew and Edward are also Princes of the United Kingdom. These three sons all had these titles from birth, as sons of the sovereign. Their dear old Dad was appointed a P of the UK some years into his marriage, which is why he is now known as Prince Philip, and not by the title he first had upon marriage, the Duke of Edinburgh. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 05:41, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
The 1707 Act of Union abolished the Scottish Parliament. I am not aware that it abolished the Kingdom of Scotland as well. According to Whitaker's Almanac, which is a highly reliable source,

The Kingdom of England occupies the southern position of the island of Great Britain.

The Kingdom of Scotland occupies the northern portion of the main island of Great Britain.

Bonnie Prince Charlie referred to his father as "James VIII and III".

Under the heading "The Principality of Wales":

Wales occupies the extreme west of the central southern portion of the island of Great Britain.

You would expect a "principality" to have a prince, and it does. Elizabeth is Supreme (temporal) Governor of the Church of England, not as Queen of Scotland but as Queen of England. She is also the head of the Church of Scotland (and presumably the Scottish Episcopal Church). There is a Church in Wales. The Scottish courts have no jurisdiction in England, and vice versa. Northern Ireland and Scotland have their own parliaments and prime minister. Wales also has a parliament. The proceedings may be conducted in Welsh. If you drive over the Severn Bridge you will come to a sign saying "Welcome to Wales" in Welsh. If you drive to Gretna Green you will come to a sign saying "Welcome to Scotland", possibly in Gaelic. The County of Middlesex has not had a High Sheriff or Lord Lieutenant since 1965 but it does have a cricket team and you can write letters to people who live there. (talk) 14:51, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

The places exist as places. The monarchies, as institutions, do not. There is no Queen of Scotland. There is a Queen of the United Kingdom, who reigns over a territory that includes the piece of land called "Scotland". There's a distinction there which you are willfully pretending not to be able to understand. --Jayron32 15:16, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

<undent> "That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England shall upon the first day of May next ensuing the date hereof and forever after be United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain... " I don't care what Whitaker's says. The actual act of Parliament says there is One Kingdom created in 1707 by the name of Great Britain. --Jayron32 15:27, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

(ec)Yes, I just looked that up myself. There is a saying "The law is an ass". You are saying that England does not have a Queen. I don't believe that and I don't believe anyone else believes that either. Don't say it too loudly because you might be sent to the Tower. (talk) 15:34, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I never said England does not have a Queen. I said that there is no Queen of England, any more than there is a Queen of Yorkshire or Queen of Cornwall or Queen of any-other-territorial-division-of-that-land. England has a Queen. Her title is the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There is no Kingdom of England today. There is a Kingdom, which includes England, that is called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Please pay attention and keep up. --Jayron32 15:52, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
She's also Queen of the Commonwealth. The fact that there's no law that says that doesn't make it any less real. Yorkshire never had a Queen, while Cornwall has a Duchess who may well become Queen (although I personally don't think that should happen while Parker - Bowles is alive). There is no law that says that she and her loyal subjects cannot call her Queen of England. (talk) 16:02, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
You can call her anything you damned well please. It doesn't mean there's a real, functional state called the Kingdom of England over which she is the sovereign. I can call her Queen of My Bedroom, and it doesn't make my bedroom a real, functional state. --Jayron32 16:46, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
In this neck of the woods, we have Pearly Kings and Queens. There's no functional state - all there is is a rotten borough presided over by an elected mayor who's been removed for corruption. After George VI died Queen Elizabeth remained Queen although there was no functional state over which she presided. (talk) 16:51, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
She isn't "Queen of the Commonwealth", as there is no such post: she is the Head of the Commonwealth, and Queen of 16 Commonwealth realms, one of which is the UK. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 17:59, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
There are queens regnant and there are other types of queen, but they are queens nevertheless. There were (there may still be) Rajahs in India but their titles were not dependent on their territory being coterminous with a sovereign state. Victoria was Empress of India - her title was no less valid because India was not self - governing. I don't see that being a queen is any different from being a Baron, Viscount, Earl, Marquess or Duke - just a little more exalted. (talk) 18:16, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Pretty much, you're correct there. There is no currently active titled Queen of England, nor is there a Kingdom of England today one could be queen of. There used to be, but they abolished it in 1707. --Jayron32 18:30, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Some neat stuff above. Just as a comparison, consider that both the US and Puerto Rico go to the Olympics. Matt Deres (talk) 20:26, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Annoying pony videos[edit]

May 25[edit]

Long periscope?[edit]

Would it be possible to build a periscope that is say, 100 miles long so you could see things that far away as if you were in the same room. Or is that more of a telescope of sorts? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:59, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Yes, perhaps using something like fiber optic cables which you called a periscope. But not in the traditional sense of the word, since the light would attenuate to a uniform blackness over such a distance. μηδείς (talk) 21:39, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
As Medeis says, it would be like looking at something 100 miles away... Just through a tube. Dismas|(talk) 23:08, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
Certainly you can do that - but these days a camera, a long wire and a TV is easier! The glass that they use for optical fibre is amazingly clear (0.2dB/km according to our article)- so you'd get a reasonably bright image - but to maintain a focussed image over that distance would require that the light bounces repeatedly off the sides of the fibre. This means that you need a lot of fibres to maintain a complete image - and hence the result is going to be very pixelated. Obviously you're not reasonably able to pull a few million optical fibres over 100 miles - and without doing that, you just get better images with a digital camera. I suppose a 100 mile long telescope (or makes no practical difference) would be possible. But the attenuation of the light due to the air inside the tube would require you to pump the air out - and the precision with which the pipe would have to be straight and the lenses perpendicular and free of even the slightest vibration would be daunting. Electronics just do it better. SteveBaker (talk) 23:13, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
IF you were looking into somebody else's room with a 100 mile long telescope, the vision would be distorted, due to the the rotation of the earth, and the telescope itself may be broken by window frames, etc. You would also need planning permission from the city council. If you really want to spy on someone 100 miles away, install TeamViewer on their PC, and remotely switch on their webcam. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 01:45, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
How would the rotation of the Earth distort anything? AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:49, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps he meant "curvature". μηδείς (talk) 21:07, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Comparing conflicts.[edit]

With ISIS in the news again, my question is how they are able to make such rapid and swift progress against two formally powerful countries. CNN or Fox just don't go into context.

My main reference being the siege of Stalingrad. I mean, hundreds of thousands if not over a million perished during this conflict. The size and scale of the Eastern Front makes the ISIS skirmishes and battles look like something straight out of kindergarten.

Yet, ISIS are probably only slightly better equipped than the Soviets were, excluded the thousands of tanks. Slightly better than rag tag. And they survive a sustained, comprehensive aerial bombardment by the most powerful air force ever known. How!?

Then they take Palymra against an army that has powerful T72 tanks.

Is there something we dont know in this co flict? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:04, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

The main difference is that this bombing is not carpet bombing, it's very limited targeting drone strikes. The goal is to kill only ISIS fighters without killing civilians. In carpet bombing, you just kill everyone in the area. That's far more effective militarily, although you still need massive land forces to use in combination. Most of the land forces just aren't up to the task. You have a weak central government in Iraq, which has purged all the Sunnis from it's officer ranks, leaving it weakened and demoralized. You have Shiite militias, which really only care to fight when in Shia areas. And in Syria you have the much weakened government, due to years of civil war. The Kurds have done an effective job, but again only in Kurdish areas. It's going to take competent troops, which probably means Western troops, to get the job done. And since ISIS will probably behead or burn alive any prisoners, it would require overwhelming numbers to ensure that they never have the local superiority in numbers which might allow them to take prisoners. StuRat (talk) 20:13, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
You may have noticed that little is said about them until they take an oil producing site. There is only one viable resource in the region: oil. They can take 100 cities that do not produce oil and the concern is low. If they take a city that produces or refines oil, concern is high. From an American perspective (I assume you are American because you mention CNN/Fox), we are not overly concerned as long as the oil keeps flowing at a good price. We don't really have a need to one religious sect to rule over another. It reminds me of a quote from the Iraq-Iran war: The only problem is that we cannot have both sides lose. (talk) 12:35, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Here in the US I hear about them when they commit a massacre or destroy antiquities. StuRat (talk) 12:42, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
When they commit a massacre or destroy antiquities, look at where they are. For example, radical Islam in Nigeria was not notable until they kidnapped a bunch of girls from a major oil producing area. Suddenly, they are in the news. Similarly, we didn't hear much about Ethiopian pirates until they captured a oil tanker. Suddenly, they are a major threat. (talk) 13:28, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
The main difference between ISIS and the government forces that are their main adversaries (outside Kurdish areas) is one of motivation. Fighters for ISIS believe that their cause is holy, and that if they die, they will go straight to paradise as heroes meriting reward. Their commitment is strong. As a result, ISIS is able to use tactics like sending armored vehicles to force their way to positions, then exploding the vehicles once they reach their positions, killing the ISIS fighters in the vehicle as well as their opponents, and allowing other ISIS fighters to then advance and take the positions. [59][60] Government forces in the region are fighting for corrupt governments lacking in legitimacy and simply lack the fervor to stand against ISIS fighters willing to risk everything. Given the choice between dying in defense of their corrupt government or fleeing to safety, they tend to flee to safety. By contrast, ISIS fighters willingly sacrifice their lives. As for bombing, another factor is that most of ISIS's opponents (including US forces) are concerned about minimizing civilian casualties, whereas for ISIS, their cause is more important than individual lives. [61] That allows ISIS to act more ruthlessly and with little restraint, whereas humanitarian concerns constrain U.S. and allied forces. Marco polo (talk) 18:54, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

How long was the IRT Third Avenue Line (redux)?[edit]

On May 20, Metrophil44 asked:

How long was the IRT Third Avenue Line?
I wondered how long this line was, but I can't find the length in the article. -- Metrophil44 (talk) 16:36, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

And I wrote in the thread:

I haven't found a source for the actual length but have asked a knowledgeable friend. Stay tuned. -- (talk) 21:27, 22 May 2015 (UTC), corrected 21:30, 22 May 2015 (UTC).

I now have an answer, but it's from a knowledgeable friend of my friend, not from a published source, and I didn't get permission to attribute it. So this should be the correct information but I don't have a suitable reference for it to be used on Wikipedia. According to this unpublished information, the sections of the line were:

From To Miles
South Ferry Chatham Sq. 1.3
City Hall Chatham Sq. 1.3
Chatham Sq. 149th St. 8.4
149th St. Gun Hill Rd. 5.5
Fordham Rd. Bronx Park 0.3

Making 15.2 mi (24.5 km) end to end, plus 1.6 mi (2.6 km) in branches.

I was also given official lengths of the different Manhattan Railway el lines as given out by their chief engineer's office in 1909, but this was before the Dual Contracts extensions and therefore does not represent the final extent of the Third Avenue line.

  • Manhattan:
Line Miles
Second Avenue 7.44
Third Avenue 9.34
Sixth Avenue 10.89
Ninth Avenue 4.78
Suburban 0.15
Total 32.60
  • Bronx:
Suburban 5.08

I hope this is useful. -- (talk) 22:27, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

These numbers are extremely precise, implying your friend's friend has a source. Is there some reason he can't simply name the source, MTA Museum Brochure, or whatever? μηδείς (talk) 21:05, 27 May 2015 (UTC)


There's no article for the Brazilian sandals brand Ipanema. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:27, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

It doesn't appear that the Portuguese Wikipedia has such an article either. Their disambiguation page, pt:Ipanema, contains no footwear entries. -- ToE 06:00, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Feel free to create the article yourself! The Portuguese Wikipedia does have an article on Grendene who own and make the brand. Nanonic (talk) 06:45, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Living brain outside the body[edit]

What would the owner of that particular brain experience?

Seeing as we can sustain whole organs outside of the human body, if we did the same with a brain, is it possible at all to theorize what it would experience? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:50, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Just dreaming, really. Not having access to the external functions of stimuli like touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight, it couldn't do anything else. It would simply be just like being asleep. (talk) 10:15, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
It might be possible to provide it with nerve inputs. We have a cochlear implant and visual prosthesis that work that way now, so it certainly is possible. StuRat (talk) 11:39, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
See also Brain in a vat. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 12:50, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Isolated brain and William and Mary. DuncanHill (talk) 13:06, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Madness, and death, in short order. μηδείς (talk) 18:47, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

"Fair Use" or "Public Domain"[edit]

The photos on your site. How do I tell if they are "Fair Use" or "Public Domain"?

I am writing a trivia book and would like to use some of your photos, but I am not sure if I will have a copyright issue. It seems if I am reading correctly, the information on your site is "Fair Use" or "Public Domain" as long as I cite the source. Please advise and also let me know if this is not the case, how do I find out who to contact for permission to use a photo? Thanks

D. L. Milner — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dlmilner (talkcontribs) 16:15, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

If you are interested in reusing content from Wikipedia, especially images, please read Wikipedia:Reusing Wikipedia content which contains details on how to do so. There is a section in there on reusing Wikipedia images, which also links to some longer reading if you have further questions. If you have any more specific questions regarding reuse of Wikipedia content, please let us know! --Jayron32 16:43, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Each picture has a different copyright status. All images have a description page; click on the large blue button at the bottom-right with the text "More details" to see it. That page will indicate what the copyright status is. Some pictures are Public Domain, some Fair Use (so they are owned by a third party), and some are on various copy-left licenses, mainly Creative Commons or GNU Free Document License. For example, the picture of the Taj Mahal is file:Taj_Mahal_in_March_2004.jpg, and it is GFDL. 19:00, 27 May 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by LongHairedFop (talkcontribs)
There's no such thing as a "fair use image". Fair use is a set of (poorly defined) limitations on the power of copyright holders to restrict what you do with their works. The copyright owner can't choose to make an image "not fair use". Uses can be fair use or not; images can't. If an image on Wikipedia has a fair-use box in the "licensing" section, that only applies to a particular use of that image on Wikipedia. It says nothing about your rights.
Also, there's no such thing as "public domain as long as I cite the source". If something is in the public domain, it is not copyrighted and there are no copyright restrictions on its use. If an image's page doesn't explicitly say that it is in the public domain, it isn't. -- BenRG (talk) 19:34, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, that last sentence is probably not quite true. I would wager there are quite a few public-domain images on WP servers that are not identified as such. But you would have to find that out some other way.
(Note that the converse is not necessarily safe either — anyone can mark an image as public domain; it's a simple edit. It doesn't make it true.) --Trovatore (talk) 19:41, 27 May 2015 (UTC)