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July 21[edit]

What is the difference between formulas and algorithms?[edit]

If you take a formula, for example, Celsius Fahrenheit conversion, you can apply it step by step, and somehow fulfil the definition of algorithm (something that's finite and step by step to solve a problem). At least, with an intuitive interpretation that makes sense. Is the difference just the way you express things?OsmanRF34 (talk) 09:03, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

"Formula" usually means a mathematical equation or something similar. Evaluating a formula is indeed a simple algorithm, but algorithms can be more complicated: in particular, they can include ways to vary the sequence of actions, similar to "while" or "if" statements in a programming language. -- (talk) 10:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
An algorithm is a series of steps to solve a problem or perform a task. A formula is a series of steps that takes an input and produces an output. In your example, the formula requires a Celsius input and produces a Fahrenheit output. The algorithm is the series of steps requires to solve the problem.
The articles on formula and algorithm should help. --  Gadget850 talk 12:18, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
A formula is a kind of minimalist algorithm - but it only encompasses arithmetic operations. An algorithm can be much more than that. For example, I can say that the algorithm for making a phone call is:
  1. Pick up your phone.
  2. Make sure it's turned on.
  3. Touch the phone button.
  4. Dial the number
  5. Wait for the caller to answer.
That's an entirely valid algorithm - but it would be impossible to express it as a formula. That said, as you pointed out, the Celsius to Fahrenheit conversion formula is indeed a very small algorithm.
So a formula is a kind of algorithm but an algorithm isn't necessarily a formula. There is another sense to it though. A formula can trivially be described as an equation 'F=Cx9/5+32' - and an equation can do something that an algorithm can't - you can use the standard rules of algebra to discover that 'C=(F-32)x5/9' - which means that you had a second algorithm (one that converts Fahrenheit into Celcius) contained within that very same formula. So in that sense, a formula (by it's very simplicity) is capable of conveying information that a generalized algorithm may not. This becomes increasingly clear as you consider equations with more unknowns in them. Ohm's law (I=V/R) effectively contains the description of three algorithms...I=V/R, V=IR and R=V/I.
The name of the FORTRAN programming language is short for "Formula Translation" - and it was first envisaged as a means to convert formulae into algorithms. That capability (to type in a formula into your computer program and have the compiler or interpreter of your software convert the formulae into algorithms) is now such a standard feature that we tend to forget that it's there. SteveBaker (talk) 14:37, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  • There is obviously some overlap, and sometimes some ambiguity between the terms, as others have pointed out. One additional conceptual difference is that formulae are essentially declarative, while algorithms are essentially procedural. For example F=ma is a declarative statement, without any necessary action. Steve's example algorithm is a set of procedures, with no declarations. There is also an analogy to programming language paradigms, List_of_programming_languages_by_type has examples of declarative and procedural languages. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:47, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
It might be instructive to compare "equation" to "equation solving." These terms have a similar relationship like "formula" and "algorithm." Of course, in common parlance, these kinds of related terms can be applied in a variety of ways, blurring their dictionary-definitions and defying all efforts to draw a distinction among them. Nimur (talk) 16:41, 21 July 2014 (UTC)


Some time ago, during the World Cup playoffs, I picked up a virus that keeps plaguing me with popups advertising all kinds of things. It also makes my browser, Firefox, go back TWO pages when I hit the back arrow, and throws up unwanted/weird pages on my screen. Fortunately, Wiki seems relatively unaffected by these ploys. But when I'm visiting other websites, such as Reuters, BBC, AP, AOL (mail) it drives me crazy.

I reloaded AVG, and it keeps killing malware, but that keeps coming back like a metastasizing cancer. I've done innumerable AVG scans, which have isolated such things as Malsign.Generic.6E2 and Trojan Horse, but the problem continues.

Suggestions? Should I remove Firefox and reload it? Help!

TNX. Sca (talk) 16:32, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

If your machine is compromised, you need to completely re-install it. There is no way to confidently assert that any type of anti-malware or anti-virus software can ever possibly restore the machine to proper working order. If you'd like to dive in to the technical details regarding why antivirus software is completely unable to confidently assert that the malware is gone, we can explain in more elaborate detail. But, as this 2012 StackOverflow discussion also emphasizes, it is better if we just phrase it this way. "It will take longer and cost more money and cause more collateral damage if you correctly run anti-malware software than if you cleanly wipe and re-install your machine." The most rational choice, to minimize your time, effort, and data loss, is to wipe the machine and re-install it. The next course of action is your choice. Nimur (talk) 17:05, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I've heard this general advice from several sources — not only this time, but a couple years ago when a PC of mine got infected. At that time I considered buying a Mac (Apple) laptop, which though expensive avoids the whole problem of viruses written for (IBM-type) PCs and their ilk. However, a hand-me-down Toshiba laptop became available, and I've been using it for a year and a half in a stationary position with an external monitor and keyboard. Until now it was fine.
I've just finished running a Malwarebytes scan on it and now must decide whether to tell it to quarantine all the dozens of items it found. Any suggestions? Sca (talk) 21:25, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Could you describe these weird/unwanted pages to us? We may able to determine what it's trying to do then. -- (talk) 21:33, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Method in Java[edit]

I have a confusion with System.out.println() regarding its not taking methods with void return type. i mean why cant i call a method inside S.O.P that returns void.? i browsed it on web but did not come up with relevant answers. (talk) 19:18, 21 July 2014 (UTC) I got what Finlay Mcwalter pointed but what with the answer that Println has overloaded versions of object type.i need more clarity. (talk) 06:22, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

System.out.println() will only print java.lang.Strings, or things that can be converted into strings. For built in things like int, it knows how to do that itself. For everything else (things that are objects) they have to provide a toString() method. println calls that method to string-ify any objects it's passed; if those objects' classes don't themselves implement a custom toString, it falls back on the rudimentary one in java.lang.Object. A void function isn't returning anything, so there's nothing for println to ask to turn itself into a string. Javac's solution to this little kōan is to error with "void type not allowed here". -- Finlay McWalterTalk 20:10, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks very much@ Finlay Mcwalter. (talk) 06:22, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

A small correction to the above: println can print things other than Strings because it is overloaded. Such as println(boolean), println(double) and println(int). Your friendly documentation will give you a list of the overloaded versions. (talk) 21:50, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
No, Finlay's answer was correct. Java does not use operator overloading. The argument will be converted to a String using its implementation of the toString method. Primitive data types, like boolean, are first promoted (for example, to java.lang.Boolean objects); and then the toString method is called. See, for example, Chapter 5 of the Java Language Specification.
Java's System.out object is a special instance of object, and that object has no "overloaded" method for println( primitive data type ) : it only has the methods defined in its class definition. Nimur (talk) 22:49, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Java's lack of operator overloading is obviously irrelevant since println isn't an operator. Java does support method overloading, and the page you linked shows that println has overloaded versions for primitive types as well as String and Object. So Finlay McWalter and were both correct, but your reply seems to make no sense at all. -- BenRG (talk) 02:35, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
println does indeed work by method overloading (on call type signature). Latterly (in 2004) the language introduced autoboxing; where data of elementary types can be automatically autoboxed into a corresponding java.lang.Integer (etc.) object. That's what Nimur describes. They could now choose to implement println that way instead of all those different method signatures:
public class foo {
    static void print(Object o){
        System.out.println(o.getClass().getName() + " : " + o.toString());
    public static void main(String[]args){
which works well. But println still has explicit methods for int, bool, etc., and we can verify that if they're found the compiler will preferentially use them, rather than autoboxing to an object, by adding:
    static void print(int i){
        System.out.println("native int : " + Integer.toString(i));
...and we note that the int is printed by our new method rather than the Object one. There's a little wrinkle - so is the char (as its ASCII value 99) - because the compiler decided it was more appropriate to promote the char to an int rather than autobox it to a java.lang.Character -- Finlay McWalterTalk 09:28, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

thank u again @Finlay Mcwalter and,i can understand clearly. (talk) 17:09, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

There's no deep reason for it. There are languages (such as ML) whose equivalent of "void" is a type like any other: you can have variables of that type and print values of that type and so on. In ML the type is called "unit" and has a single value, written (). In Java the value could have been called void or something. Java copied the void quasi-type from C, which also treats it specially. C++ had to preserve the C behavior, which causes problems with templates (equivalent of Java generics). I can't see any reason why Java had to preserve it too; they probably just didn't think to change it, along with other questionable C design decisions, like the left associativity of ==. -- BenRG (talk) 04:03, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks everybody for the reply. (talk) 06:22, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Java is a call-by-value language. You don't call anything "inside System.out.println" Asmrulz (talk) 16:47, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Uexpress topics in URL[edit]

I asked here why it was possible to access Dear Abby topics, and topics by other columnists on Uexpress with or without the URL that included the topic. In fact, I could change the date, with the topic left in, and I would still get the column for the particular date. The answer was that part of the URL at the end was always going to be ignored, but having the topic in the "official" URL would help in searches. This seems like something Wikipedia should address in one or more articles, so I was wondering where to do this and what the sources might be.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 19:21, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

As to the first part: the URL article discusses that part of the URL (the "path") and simply says it "is used to specify and perhaps find the resource requested". It's left implicit that the server has licence to interpret the path in whatever way it chooses. Some servers and websites may implement common ways of doing things, and some people may have formed the misapprehension that these are actually how all URLs must be interpreted (e.g. that HTTP URL paths necessarily relate to file paths on the server; or that all parts of the path are necessarily significant; or that different paths must reference different resources), but as your Dear Abby, and my Amazon, example shows, sites can (and do) choose do work in different ways. As to the second part: it'd like to see a reference that supports the claim (that path fragments actually have SEO value); I suspect that it is not true. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 21:00, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
So there's no Wikipedia article that actually states the last part of the URL is ignored. And I knew the SEO claim had to be controversial and would need a source before I added that.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 21:06, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
The part of the path is ignored specifically on the Dear Abby website only; the first part is ignored specifically on Amazon only. On most other sites, the whole path is significant. It doesn't seem like it's encyclopaedic for a Wikipedia article to enumerate how each individual website chooses to handle its own paths, any more than it would be to list what default fonts each website might elect to use. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 21:15, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
No, of course it's not encyclopedic to say this is done and this is done for each web site. I was thinking more about "some" web sites do this. Obviously it would have to be sourced.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 21:33, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

1 Facebook like? Rob Ford[edit]

Hi all... I was on the official campaign website of Rob Ford, infamous Toronto mayor, and it links to a Facebook campaign page. It has one like. Is the Chromebook that I'm on acting up, or would that be true? I find that stunningly low. -- Zanimum (talk) 21:31, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

He has 2 likes just now. The Page was created on 2 Feb 2014, but appears to have been idle until 19 July 2014 (3 days ago). Still, I'd expect there to be more likes. CS Miller (talk) 10:57, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, if only from comedians, appreciative for all the material. StuRat (talk) 12:25, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks! Even the most random of no hope, non-notable mayoral candidates has more than Ford, I was sure that it was a glitch. -- Zanimum (talk) 19:08, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

It has four likes now. I don't see a FB page listed at Rob Ford mayoral campaign, 2014. I even searched the source text of the article thinking that it might be in some reference somewhere and didn't find mention of FB. My guess is that it's not actually his page and was just created by some fan of his who has done nothing to promote it to even their friends or relatives. As far as I know, FB has no "confirmed" status process to confirm that a page is actually run by the person or company that the page is about. So, there's nothing stopping everybody and their brother from creating a page for any celebrity or politician. Dismas|(talk) 03:16, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Actually if you hover over the blue tick, it says it's a verified page (I don't know how long it's been verified). See [1] for Facebook's explaination of what this means and how it happens (it's basically up to Facebook, you can't request verification). Also AFAIK, our external link policy means we frequently only link to one official link Wikipedia:External links#Official links. I haven't checked our article, but the most logical place to link to would be the official website [2] which does link to the Facebook page, as well as Twitter, Google Plus and Youtube (I don't know for how long). BTW it's up to 7 likes now. Nil Einne (talk) 15:18, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

July 22[edit]

Rip off of the deleted website by the FBI[edit]

I heard there's a website containing survey when somebody downloads a file and it's a rip off of the old Megaupload website that was shutdown because of Copyright Infringement. It's called that was not created by KimDotCom. Should wikipedia have articles about survey protected file hosting websites like FileIce or something like that?--HappyLogolover2011 (talk) 04:29, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

There's a large volume of such websites, and related, that are fading into, and out of, existence and usage all the time. Most are not in any way notable, nor do most have any pertinent sourced information pertaining to them. If one is the subject of media reports, and becomes notable, then that specific site might be worth adding an article on - or, perhaps, an article on the topic of such sites, if sources can be found - but, in general, there is very little compelling reason to give these sites articles.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 04:57, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Some of the websites that has the contact button or whatever may not let us go to that page and find their info, but we can however trace the site's IP address.

Update: Fileice's IP address to the site is, the domain name that it uses is and it was founded in Arlington Heights, Illinois.--HappyLogolover2011 (talk) 05:24, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Not only is this information not really overly interesting on its own (as in, there wouldn't be much point to putting it in an article in the first place), but I don't see why this site, or any other like it, are notable enough to be included as articles. Is this site the subject of a news article? Several articles? etc.? If not, I see no reason this should have an article, is there a reason you believe it should? Finally, the reference desk really isn't the place to discuss this - to be honest, I'm not active enough on the other parts of Wikipedia to tell you what would be the place to discuss it, sadly.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 06:02, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia: Help Desk, probably. But no, nothing seems notable here. I wouldn't bother, Logolover. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:18, July 22, 2014 (UTC)

VoIP - two questions[edit]

I have two questions about VoIP:

  1. When I use Skype, there is a long delay, almost as long as when they were talking to astronauts at the Moon. My landline has no noticeable delay. Does VoIP have that delay?
  2. On my landline, I can talk and listen at the same time, as with a normal conversation. Does VoIP allow that, or can you only do one at the time? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 07:29, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Skype is VOIP. They are all different, and the delay can be dependent on the Internet speed of both participants, as well as any intermediary server that the VOIP is running through. Zzubnik (talk) 08:32, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. I imagine some people with fibre connections and decent VoIP systems probably have lower average latency for medium distance calls (albeit neither being noticable) and probably longer ones too (presuming they're using a dedicated provider with decent routing, not just routing them randomly over the internet). And just because you're using your landline doesn't mean there's no VoIP somewhere in the system. I suspect in the modern world, the longer distance the call, the greater chance there's VoIP somewhere in the system. (Remember VoIP is just voice over internet protocol and has nothing to do with the internet per se.) Nil Einne (talk) 14:29, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Not answers, but related comments:
1) Using satellites to communicate, especially the much farther out geosynchronous satellites, can cause this "satellite delay", as even at the speed of light, there's a noticeable delay in sending info that far. Undersea cables, on the other hand, are much shorter, and therefore faster. Of course, this all assume you are talking with somebody on the other side of the world.
2) Duplex (telecommunications) allows sending info both ways at the same time. However, you need a headset that isolates the speaker from the microphone, or they need to take steps to electronically prevent audio feedback. StuRat (talk) 12:34, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
No citations or sources, just based on my own experience:
  1. I do not experience a delay when using VoIP (Skype in my case) between developed countries. I did experience a delay while calling home from the middle of nowhere in Africa though.
  2. I've never noticed an inability to do duplex over VoIP - not even on a laggy line. If the line is lagging it can get confusing if both speak at the same time though.
WegianWarrior (talk) 14:30, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks to all of you. Duplex is the name for what I was talking about. In a traditional telephone, the mice and receiver are far enough apart so that feedback isn't a problem. The natural delay to and back a satellite is less than 0.25 second, but the delays now are longer than that. I've been Skyping to 800-900 miles away, and the delay is quite bothersome. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 20:49, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
The path traveled by the signal might be far longer than the distance between sender and receiver. Both signals may go to a central hub, far away, and then sent on their way. Beyond that, there may be delays for processing the signals, and an overloaded system may put your signal in a queue until resources become available. StuRat (talk) 22:51, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Processing definitely takes a long time. Back in the days of analog TV, when they would have a satellite hookup across the ocean, there wasn't nearly as much of a delay as there is now. And I can flip from a HD TV channel to its non-HD version, and the HD version is a long way behind the other one. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 00:50, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

July 23[edit]

Editing from a Laptop[edit]

Recently I have been sometimes editing Wikipedia Dell laptop (Windows 8) with a mouse. It is frustrating. Sometimes, when I have an editor box open, I have tried to use the mouse and select text or to focus, and discover that a substantial amount of previous text (either my own or that of another editor) has blanked out. The only remedy that I have found if I have blanked another editor's text is that I have to leave the page. Restoring the deleted text would be harder than cancelling and trying again. My main question is: What can I do to prevent this blanking of text? This is one of two problems that I have that seem both to be due to the mouse focus moving. The other is having the focus change so that inserted text does not go where I had been entering it. What causes the mouse cursor to move, and what should I do about it? Robert McClenon (talk) 02:50, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

If the laptop has a touch-pad at the bottom of the keyboard - then probably you're inadvertently dragging your hand across it as you type. Both the mouse AND the touchpad are in control of the cursor - so this is an easy mistake to make. I don't know much about Windows 8 - but it ought to be possible to disable the touchpad somehow. SteveBaker (talk) 03:21, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. Can someone else tell me how to disable the touchpad? Robert McClenon (talk) 03:55, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
My mom bought a Windows 8 Dell like that. The problem was it came with an unhelpful feature that made touching the trackpad click things, too. This might be what's happening when you think you're just selecting, but moving text out of the window instead. I think that was simply solved in the Control Panel, by unchecking a box ("Tap to click" or something). That's probably around where you'll find the option to disable it completely. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:10, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
I think that I have managed to disable the touchpad. At least I don't have the cursor moving randomly and eating things. Robert McClenon (talk) 05:38, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Every laptop with a touchpad has a simple way of disabling it. On mine it is Fn-F8 (i.e., hold down the Fn key and press F8). Look over your function keys and see if you see a symbol that looks like a touchpad with a slash through it -- if so, that will be it. If it isn't there, look over the rest of your keyboard. Looie496 (talk) 15:00, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Maybe I don't recognize any of the symbols as a touchpad with a slash. I disabled it from the Control Panel Mouse dialog. Robert McClenon (talk) 15:06, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
It might be a touchpad with an X in it Dell Instructions. ---- CS Miller (talk) 18:35, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Thunderbird versions[edit]

Thunderbird just went from version 24.6 or 24.7 to 31.0. Why skip over major version numbers? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 04:05, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Firefox is currently at version 31.0. I suspect it was at version 24.x when Thunderbird was last updated. -- BenRG (talk) 04:14, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Why do Firefox and Thunderbird need to have the same version numbers? I can see it with, say, an office suite, where you would want the individual programs to have the same version number. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 04:16, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Because version numbers give a certain expectation to users, so much that even completely unrelated softwares from different companies have jumped version numbers to "catch up" to their competitors, when they've upgraded to the same level of functionality. I can't remember the specific instance, i'm sure someone can chime in, but i think it happened in linux land where, for example, red hat who upgrade their software on a frequent basis made it to version 12 by the time some other linux flavor version only made it to version 6, but, that they were based on the same linux kernel and had essentially the same functionality, it's just that red had had performed their updates twice as frequently, so company B decided to release their "version 6" as version 12, since it was directly competing with red hat 12. Same thing probably happened here, thunderbird probably receives fewer updates as firefox, but it's based on the same technologies and is the same "generation" of software and has comparable security features etc... calling it thunderbird 24 when their flagship software is up to version 31 makes it "sound" like thunderbird is miles behind. Vespine (talk) 04:44, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Thunderbird and Firefox are both based on Gecko. So, whatever version Gecko is, that is the version that both Thunderbird and Firefox will be. (talk) 14:04, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Gecko must be this: Gecko (software). I didn't know they had so much in common, since their functions are so different. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 21:48, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Thunderbird 30 (...and earlier) were developer betas and were not marketed or advertised to the general community of users. From the developer mailing list archives, here is the May/June development plan for Thunderbird 31. If you subscribe to the developer feeds, or build your own Thunderbird from source - or if for some reason, you as an individual or organization have a special working relationship with the Mozilla development team - then you'll commonly have visibility into a lot more versions and forks than the well-advertised, widely-available, mass-announced general releases. But, the Thunderbird and Gecko code is still mostly open-source free software, so you can grab any version at any time. Nimur (talk) 15:09, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Javascript function[edit]

Hi there, in Javascript I have a bunch of numeric variables, say a, b, c, d etc., and a procedure that takes any two variables, and changes both of them in a way that is dependent on both input values (for example, in a very simple case, a could become a + b, and b could become a − b). How do I create a Javascript routine to do this? I have a method at the moment that uses objects and "eval" statements, but it totally sucks, and it pains me to look at it. What is the elegant way to achieve this, given that I apparently cannot pass references to the numeric variables? (talk) 11:25, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Objects are passed by reference; so you can wrap those ints in objects, pass them, and mutations to their value are evident outside the function:
var add_and_diff = function (x,y) {
    var sum = x.val + y.val;
    var dif = x.val - y.val;
    x.val = sum;
    y.val = dif;
var a = {val:10};
var b = {val:20};
var c = {val:66};
var d = {val:99};
console.log('before:', a.val, b.val, c.val, d.val);
console.log('after: ', a.val, b.val, c.val, d.val);
Still kinda clunky, IMO. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 12:31, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I think this is slightly better than what I currently have, but it still means in the main code I have to refer to "a.val", "b.val" etc., rather than just "a", "b", etc., right? I find this a real nuisance. (talk) 16:56, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
You could copy the values out of the struct like this, after which .val cannot be used.
var a = 10;
var b = 20;
a = {val:a};
b = {val:b};
add_and_diff(a, b);
a = a.val;
b = b.val;
console.log('after:', a, b);
Another way to do it, which might be cleaner, is to return an anonymous struct, and then copy the values out of it. CS Miller (talk) 20:14, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, yeah, I know I can copy "a = a.val", "a.val = a" etc. back and forth, but it really sucks. Could you give an example of what you mean by the "anonymous struct" method? (talk) 12:59, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
I was thinking of C. In Javascript all structs are anonymous, as Javascript isn't strongly typed. I was meaning code like
var add_and_diff =  function (x,y) {
    var _sum = x + y;
    var _dif = x - y;
    return {sum:_sum, dif:_dif};
This allows the function to return two values at the same time. CS Miller (talk) 18:10, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

July 24[edit]

Burning CD[edit]

What is the problem when one tries to burn an hour music to an audio CD and when they are finished only 25 minutes have been burnt in?-- (talk) 03:03, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

I think it has to do with it wanting to burn the CD at a certain rate, and if the PC can't supply the data at that rate it runs out of music to record and just records a blank from that point on. You can lower the speed at which it writes the CD, to try to prevent this. However the CD you already recorded can't be saved, unless it's an erasable CD. StuRat (talk) 03:39, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Also, make sure the source is on a local hard disk, I've seen this happen if you try to burn directly from a USB key or from a network drive, or even another CD drive. Vespine (talk) 06:41, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
<tldr>What Stu and Vespine said.</tldr>
Earlier HDDs could not reliably provide the data fast enough for the CD-R drive, at least in borderline cases with fragmentation etc. Today, HDDs are faster than CD-R drives, by orders of magnitude. Even at 24x, that'd translate into 3.84MBps, and HDDs provide sustained data rates in the triple or high double digits. So, today, almost any write speed is safe from a data rate POV (but there have been reports that no CD-R can take more than about 25x reliably due to thermal limitations?), as long as the source is on HDD. If the source is somewhere else, like a CD, USB flash drive, network drive, or teh internets. No matter how fast your drive/connection is, most of these media can experience hiccups, during which no data are delivered at all. This can be enough to kill your recording session. - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 08:57, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Proof of concept: the WP database had a minor hiccup several minutes ago. It got better.
Actually, I don't think we can reliably conclude the cause from the information given. It's true buffer underruns use to be a common problem in the very early days of CDRs (I remember dealing with them). However this hasn't been a common problem for a long time. It's not just because of faster HDs, but because of Optical disc recording technologies#Buffer underrun protection which began to become common place in 2001? or so. These mean, unless you disable them or the software doesn't know how to use them (which again hasn't been a problem for a long time), the recording should not outright fail because of a buffer underrun. Because of the small gap such protection results in, it's possible some standalone audio players will have playback problems with the CD. Although because the lead-out etc was written, worst case scenario they should work if you skip the track if that is the cause (of course some have problems with many CDRs). Definitely even with the limited EC, the writer should at worst have a small hiccup when reading that track, and it's the same for many CD-ROM drives (so probably including anything which supports MP3 etc). Note also many software support a secondary computer RAM buffer, and if you have a 4GB RAM computer, the whole 800mb or so of a 70 min CD could easily fit inside the buffer generally without causing issue for anything else if you choose to size the buffer appropriately. (It may work on a 2GB as well but if you're more likely to have problems if running something with high memory usage.)
It could also be your software failed for some reason. Perhaps a key point, if there was a buffer underrun, or some other burning problem, it should have reported this (as a recording failure) and only take the time for the 25 minutes. If it didn't, this indicates the software at least believes it burnt the whole disk or it's such a POS you should never touch it again. (IIRC some software will try and write the leadout even after a failure to try and keep the CD readable, but it should still clearly report the failure.) It's not clear from the OP's comment whether there was actually a reported recording failure or the OP just found the CD wasn't the expected length after burning. If there was a failure, logs should provide some clue of what happened if it did fail. (If there wasn't a failure, logs may still provde some clues.)
There are many other things that could go wrong or cause a player to have problems with the CD if the recording didn't fail. As I already mentioned, standalone players don't always like CDRs. Similarly media compatibility varies quite a lot both between players and writers. Some like the famous gold Taiyo Yuden may be better on average. But still if you're writer does a poor job with them, it may be some other CDRs will be better. (And contrary to what some believe, burning at a slower speed isn't necessarily better. To be fair, I'm not sure 52x ever produces the best results, but many modern CDR and modern drives definitely aren't going to produce good results burnt at 1x either.)
Then there could be a variety of mastering issues (both software and user caused).
At the very least, if the time playback time is very different from the recording time, you should be able to tell by looking at the CD whether roughly the expected size was recorded or not.
Nil Einne (talk) 18:44, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Lang subcodes case sensitive?[edit]

In some of my websites I use the language code <html lang="en-gb"> which normally seems to pass the various validation checks. However I have now come across Powermapper which objects to this coding. After some puzzlement, I worked out that it would accept en-GB, with the subcode in upper case. Is this actually required by the standards, or is Powermapper being excessively pedantic? --rossb (talk) 07:57, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

For HTML4, the spec says "Names of character encodings are case-insensitive". HTML5's spec points us to IETF's BCP47 recommendation, which says "At all times, language tags and their subtags, including private use and extensions, are to be treated as case insensitive: there exist conventions for the capitalization of some of the subtags, but these MUST NOT be taken to carry meaning". W3C's advice on language internationalisation says "Although the codes are case insensitive, they are commonly written lowercased, but this is merely a convention". The only place I see a requirement about case is where a document has both xml:lang and html lang= tags (where it's a transition from XHTML to HTML5) where the case is required to be the same in both formats. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 10:38, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

hacking via php[edit]

I am a php beginner and on my first day my tutor hacked my gmail password using a small php script(approx 5 to 6 lines) and then he deleted it. i requested him to tell me for knowledge purpose but he didn't. i am wondering is hacking passwords so easy with php scripts?.i browsed on web but couldn't find anything reasonable. will anyone please clear that if something so easy exists in php or it was just a trick(may be he had some software installed on his laptop). (talk) 15:08, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

thanks for the reply Finlay Mcwalter, but i think i should have been more precise with the question the first time.actually, he wrote the code and saved in "htdocs" folder like normal procedure is and executed it in "localhost" then a page displayed with my username and password and he told that he had sent a request to "server".he also had a connection established to google and (through this) he tried to tell us that security depends upon coder's logic and not just this language is more secure and other not(between java and php here). (talk) 19:10, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Things probably went something like this:
  1. he copied the gmail login page (e.g. by downloading it with wget or curl)
  2. he wrote a little PHP program that showed that page and waited for you to type your password
  3. then he tricked you into accessing that site (maybe he just typed it in for you, maybe he messed around with the machine you were using to alter its DNS or proxy-server settings)
  4. you didn't properly check that the connection was secure and signed by google
  5. you typed your password in, and inadvertently sent it to his fake site
So he didn't hack Gmail with PHP, he hacked you with social engineering. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 15:23, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, Phishing to be exact. KonveyorBelt 16:24, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
As a general rule, one should never enter any kind of password into a machine that you don't trust (and for things that are really important - like banking - that you don't have total personal control over). He could have easily installed a keylogger, or could have altered the browser's settings (or its code) so that even if the site appeared to be an https connection properly signed by Google's certificate, it wasn't. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 15:28, 24 July 2014 (UTC), you should reply at the bottom of conversations, rather than at the top. It sounds like your teacher may have made a simple proxy server which does what I described above. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 20:27, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

@Finlay Mcwalter thanks and i will take care of it from now onwards. (talk) 17:48, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

text 'Chapter # ' missing before chapter in latex[edit]

I do not know much about Latex. I have written a thesis with the help of a sample thesis. But i have some problems. For example, the name my thesis first chapter is 'Preliminaries', But in table of contents only 'Preliminaries' is written rather than '1 Preliminaries' and first chapter starts with 'Preliminaries' rather than 'Chapter 1 'in next line 'Preliminaries'. base class of my thesis is 'book', I m using class file with no preamble file. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:08, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

We may need more information about how you've set up your work. How are you adding the chapters? I presume you're doing something simular to me and not writting one big long document in one file. In my thesis to get the behaviour you are describing I used
which gives the Abstract and no number in the table of contents, but for the main section I used
which give 1 Introduction in the table of contents (As I named the chapter the same as the file but you can have different chapter headings). Dja1979 (talk) 19:08, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Right or Left alignment of filenames in Windows7 folder?[edit]

I have an open folder in Windows7 with "View Mode" set to "details"-view.
Can I somehow get the filenames aligned to the right side instead of the standard left side of the column? Or toggle between Left and Right alignment of the filenames?
-- (talk) 19:01, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

I doubt it. You'd need another application to do that type of thing for you. StuRat (talk) 00:31, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Steelseries Apex keyboard media keys[edit]

I am interested in the Steelseries Apex keyboard, but I am concerned about the media keys to the right. According to some images on the Internet, there are previous/next track keys (|<<, >>|), while other images show rewind/fast forward keys (<<, >>) instead. I often use the previous/next track keys, but never the rewind/fast forward keys, so I am very interested to know what is actually the case. If the keys are the rewind/fast forward ones, can they be reprogrammed to act as previous/next track keys? -- (talk) 23:08, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

The multimedia keys are standardized (at least de facto by Windows) and don't include rewind and fast forward, so I think that << >> is a variant labeling for the previous and next track keys. -- BenRG (talk) 04:56, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Excellent. Thank you for your answer. -- (talk) 18:35, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

July 25[edit]

Search engine question. Ignore vs. exclude[edit]

Are there search engines which can do both, ignore and exclude?

I mean by "ignore", a search like (shades AND of AND grey) but ignore "50 Shades of Grey" should return most files containing the words "shades", "of", "grey" but only if they are not part of the wording, "50 Shades of Grey".

By "exclude", even a file containing both the wording "50 Shades of Grey" and the individual words outside the context would be excluded.

For example, the article would stay in the "ignore" results, because of the sentence "Not to be confused with Shades of Grey." but get excluded from the "exclude" search results, due to the redirect remark, "(Redirected from 50 Shades of Grey)". - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 08:50, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

And again, the signature gained a second meaning.
I'm not sure of your distinction, but in Google, using -"some phrase", will ignore results containing exactly that phrase, for example searching for -"fifty shades of grey" -"50 shades of grey" shades of grey will ignore references to a certain BDSM-lite book and film. Note that both representations of 50 have to be separately ignored. CS Miller (talk) 11:12, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

pdf format[edit]

I cannot use all the functions in some pdf files (e.g. in Wikipedia article footnotes) on my new laptop, e.g. Search and Go To page number. Do I need to update some software in my laptop, and if so, how, please? I have Windows 7, IE11 and Firefox. --P123ct1 (talk) 11:21, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

If you access the PDF using a browser, the browser may display the file with any of several different PDF viewers, depending on your browser settings. I find Firefox picking different ways to display the PDF for reasons I can't fathom.
Once the PDF is displayed, see if there is a menu bar across the top with the choices "File Edit View Window Help". Click "Help"; see if there is a choice "About Adobe Reader XI". If there is, click it and make note of the version. Mine is 11.0.07. Let us know what you find. Jc3s5h (talk) 11:38, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

C Compiler on Windows 7 Desktop[edit]

I would like to run C programs on my Windows 7 desktop computer. What is anyone's advice for a compiler? In the 1990's the compiler of choice was Borland Turbo C for about $300. However, now it has been made into freeware. That would be fine if I could figure out how to complete its installation, but I can't. Some of the web sites that come up on a Google search for it then try aggressively to get you to download other software that I don't want and don't trust. The site that I think really is Borland downloads a ZIP file to me, which I can unpack, but it doesn't include instructions for what to do next. Is there a .exe program that will install the unpacked elements? Is there a set of instructions? I assume, with freeware, that there is no technical support. There are C compilers out there for $700, but that is a lot. Is there a reasonable commercial C compiler for $400 or less, or is there a web site that provides detailed instructions on how to install Borland? Robert McClenon (talk) 14:41, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Microsoft Visual Studio Express is free, if you want to use it. If you want to use the Borland compiler, then WinZip or 7-Zip will extract the files for you, they are both free, but WinZip is nagware. CS Miller (talk) 15:41, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Maybe I wasn't clear. I wasn't asking how to unzip the files. I did download the ZIP file and I did extract the files for Borland C. What do I do to install the compiler? All that the unzipping does it to create a folder of files. It doesn't install the compiler. Also, what does Visual Studio Express do? Will it compile K&R C, or does it do something else? Robert McClenon (talk) 16:11, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
What's inside the ZIP file? Is there an .exe? MS VS Express is a full C and C++ compiler, IDE, and Debugger, but the profiling and installer builder won't work (you need the paid-for versions for those). It appears to support K&R code, over ANSI. Why are you using K&R anyway, ANSI C gives you warning about incorrect parameters, and automatic casting. CS Miller (talk) 16:29, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
I will answer later whether there is a .exe in the files that were unzipped. (I am not in front of the desktop but of the laptop.) What does the installer builder do? Does it install the compiler, or does it create the install wizard that installs the compiled C program on someone else's computer? I don't need that feature. My real question was whether it would compile source code that had all of the power of K&R C (so that I can use the K&R blue book as my language bible). It is my understanding that the differences between ANSI C and K&R C are not significant. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:38, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
It does the later, allows your program to be installed else where. VS express is installed by a wizard. Unless you have good reason to use K&R, you'd be better using ANSI, as it will catch some common mistakes. CS Miller (talk) 18:03, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Unless you have some ancient programs to compile that will only work on Borland C (16 bit segmented programs, TurboVision, OWL, .COM creation) you should not need, and shouldn't use, Borland C. The obvious choice for C development on Windows is Visual C/C++, as CS Miller has noted. Apart from that, there is GCC (you'd probably install the MinGW environment to get it and its toolchain) or you'd use an IDE like Code::Blocks, Eclipse, Netbeans, Bloodshed, or Qt Creator, which all use GCC too. C as described in the 2nd (latest, still very old) edition of K&R is (essentially) ANSI C (the older form, found in the even more ancient 1st edition, is very rarely seen these days). -- Finlay McWalterTalk 17:00, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
So is Visual C/C++ consistent with ANSI C? Visual Basic is not the same as other Basic implementations (as if Basic ever were a standard language). I don't have ancient code; I want to write new code. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:16, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes. Much more so than 16-bit Borland C, where you'll run into limitations of the memory model (segmented memory, FAR pointers) which correspond to nothing in K&R. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 17:24, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Turning Off Scheduled Update on Laptop[edit]

I have a Dell laptop with Windows 8. Three days ago, it started telling me that it would restart in 2 days in order to apply updates. Yesterday, it restarted itself (without giving me a choice to delay it), but then the installation of the updates failed, and the process of the restart and the backing out of the updates took about 90 minutes. I have now used the Control Panel so that it now checks for updates but prompts me as to whether to apply them. However, it is again saying that it will restart in two days. I used the troubleshooter to correct one problem with the updates. My question is whether I can remove the cached updates so as not to risk another update failure, or whether is anything else that I can to do to avoid having another failed update. Robert McClenon (talk) 15:01, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

My guess is that it's smart enough not to reuse a cached update that failed. StuRat (talk) 00:28, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't think so. Why is it telling me that it will restart in two days? Robert McClenon (talk) 00:44, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
That would mean it will try to re-download the update(s), not use the (possibly corrupted) cached version(s). StuRat (talk) 01:50, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

When it comes down to information processing (and not storing), what are the most basic units?[edit]

What are the 0s and 1s of information processing? OsmanRF34 (talk) 22:33, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

0s and 1s. AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:41, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Information processing is not quantified in that manner. --  Gadget850 talk 23:55, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
I wonder if the original poster is thinking of Logic in computer science or Boolean algebra? Jc3s5h (talk) 00:00, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
I would still call a unit of data (that can contain only a 1 or 0) a bit, in any case. StuRat (talk) 00:22, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

July 26[edit]

Android app for photographing paintings and other rectangular items[edit]

I like to take photos of paintings at art museums with my Android smart phone, when that is allowed. Currently, I use the HTC One (M8). If the photos are good, I like to upload them to Wikimedia Commons and add them to Wikipedia articles. Often, though, the image of a painting is not a true rectangle, but rather a quadrilateral with sides that are not exactly parallel. I am looking for an Android app that would allow me to click on the four corners of the image, and stretch or skew it into an exact rectangle. Any suggestions? Cullen328 Let's discuss it 04:39, 26 July 2014 (UTC)


July 22[edit]

Can anyone identify this bird?[edit]

I would like to upload this somewhat accidental pic I took to Commons, but I can't identify the bird. It's the eye colour that defeats me. Can anyone help? It was taken a few weeks ago a couple or miles or so inland from one of the wilder reaches of the west coasts of the EU on an old train embankment in a wooded area. The eye colour is natural as I wasn't using fill-in flash. Help really appreciated. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 00:07, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

I think it's a Tit. Not sure which one, though. --Jayron32 00:39, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Indeed there are some red-eyed Tits around, thanks for that. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 01:06, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
It's a Dunnock — quite common in that part of the world! MeegsC (talk) 01:26, 22 July 2014 (UTC) (from WP:BIRDS)
Brilliant! That's it exactly. I had no idea they had red eyes. Not exactly twitcher event of the year thus, but still it gives me pleasure. He was just perched a metre or so away from me and quite unafraid and at last I was able to get decent shot of a bird. Thanks so much. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 06:24, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Happy to help. They're brilliant little birds. And it's always fun to get a great shot! MeegsC (talk) 12:00, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Life flashing before one's eyes[edit]

Is there a term for it? Is it covered somewhere? I don't see it being covered in near-death experience. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 00:28, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Life review, though I haven't looked at the article. Huge admirer of your user page by the way. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 00:36, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

This also might interest. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 00:39, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Wow! Sooooooooo spooky. Thank you kindly. I expanded the description and made a couple of redirects. And thank you for the compliment about my userpage. :) Anna Frodesiak (talk) 00:51, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Pleasure. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 01:04, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Skyglobe replacement[edit]

I want an application that will serve the same as Skyglobe, but I don't know what to call it, so I can't run a decent Google search; all I've been able to find so far is stuff such as Terrestrial Planet Finder, which obviously is not a program I can use to figure out what's in tonight's sky. Any ideas? I downloaded and extracted the ZIP file for Skyglobe, but upon telling it to run the Windows version (I have Windows 8) of the program, all I got was a message of "this program cannot be run on your computer", so I need something else. Nyttend (talk) 02:57, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

The only one I'm familiar with is RedShift (planetarium software)(current version 7) –There are several others listed on Planetarium software; and a more complete list can be found here, on (neither list mentions Win8, however).  ~: (talk) 06:04, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure I've got all the nuances of your question, but Stellarium (computer program) is a tremendous program. I run it on Windows 7 but it claims to run on Windows XP or greater. (BTW I've recently discovered Google Sky Map for Android). Thincat (talk) 21:23, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Starry Night runs on windows 8 (but not W8 RT). I've found the cheapest version to be excellent. As Thincat says, if you want something for free, google sky map on a smartphone or tablet is brilliant. Hold it up to the sky and it shows you an annotated image of the section of sky you're pointing it at - and as you move the phone the image moves too. Richerman (talk) 14:00, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Base hydrolysis[edit]

Do thioethers and alkyl arsenides/arsenates undergo hydrolysis in concentrated alkali solution? (For that matter, do amines do so?) Thanks in advance! (talk) 04:07, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Answer to question 1. --Jayron32 04:14, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Thioethers, not thioesters (I already know the latter hydrolyze readily). In case you're wondering, here are my three reasons for asking. (And just so you know, my educated guess would be that alkyl arsenides and thioethers hydrolyze, but amines don't -- but I can't find reliable info to either confirm or refute it.) (talk) 09:11, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Identification of the species[edit]

Species name?

Can someone help me with the identification of the species? Thanks in advance. Nikhil (talk) 05:40, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

So, from your image title, I'm guessing that this specimen was found in "Blossom International Park" - about 3 Km from the town of Munnar in India. (That kind of information *REALLY* helps with identification problems). I did a Google Image search on the name of the park and got a bazillion photos of various flowers...I hoped to find a picture of the flower in your photo which someone might have helpfully labelled - but no such luck. Sadly, the park is renowned for the enourmous range of exotic flowers it has...which isn't exactly helpful! If you have a picture of the plant from further back - so we can see the general shape of the plant - that might help. SteveBaker (talk) 14:53, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Where in the world was this taken? Was it a garden or wild? When was it taken? How tall was the shrub? Answers to these questions will help identify the flower. As it stands, I might guess a white azalea, but that's just a guess. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:38, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
  • @SemanticMantis Thanks for the response. It was taken in Kerala, India. It was taken in a flowers park, sort of exhibition for all the flowers. Shrub was about 1 to 1.5m tall. Nikhil (talk) 14:51, 22 July 2014 (UTC)


If p-aminophenol is reacted with acetic anhydride, what is the product? Is the amino group acylated or the hydroxy group? (talk) 06:36, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

The hydroxyl group is more reactive, so it should be acylated preferentially. So the product will be mainly the acetic ester, with possibly a small amount of the amide. (Note that in the presence of an acidic catalyst such as aluminum trichloride, yet another reaction can occur, placing the acyl group on any of the four remaining aryl positions, but preferentially (but not exclusively) ortho to the amino group -- so you'd now end up with a total of up to four different products!) (talk) 08:35, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Although the article Paracetamol disagrees with me, giving the amide as the main product. Maybe this depends on the reaction conditions? (talk) 08:51, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Is the amino group more electronegative? (talk) 09:49, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
As a rule, oxygen is more electronegative than nitrogen. (talk) 00:05, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Inertia Simple expiation needed thank you.[edit]

Confused my self on it. Please be patience with me thank you. Inertia and what it means is driving me crazy. Ok my question is: if Inertia is the property of mater and for the sake of argument that it is stationary. lets call this first object a tree stump. Then if another object comes along moving at high speed (velocity right?) Then should this moment be called inertia? or momentum? or energy? I'm missing something here. Am making a book and trying find the correct word, and have been stuck on using inertia correctly, I tend to think backwards on some things if that makes an sense.

Here is where I'm having a problem:

Ignoring him she continues to sprint over the surfaced of the lake! Half way into the lake, making a v-turn and going up a hill. And then they go through another valley. Near a long mountain range she lets go of his hand. - Inertia propels her forward - into a stump near by with a bone-crushing smash! Parcival runs over to her. Hurriedly kneeling down afraid to touch her.

Ignoring him she continues to sprint over the surfaced of the lake! Half way into the lake, making a v-turn and going up a hill. And then they go through another valley. Near a long mountain range she lets go of his hand. - The momentum propels her forward - into a stump near by with a bone-crushing smash! Parcival runs over to her. Hurriedly kneeling down afraid to touch her.

Ignoring him she continues to sprint over the surfaced of the lake! Half way into the lake, making a v-turn and going up a hill. And then they go through another valley. Near a long mountain range she lets go of his hand. - Her energy propels her forward - into a stump near by with a bone-crushing smash! Parcival runs over to her. Hurriedly kneeling down afraid to touch her.

So what one of these three is correct? Thank you so much if you decide to help me. I should know this stuff my by now, but guess I've forgotten what it means exactly. Help please. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:43, 22 July 2014‎

None are correct. If she were a rocket, circling the Earth, with no propellant left in the tanks, she would not be propelled by it. So she is not propelled by inertia, momentum, nor force, but merely continues moving relative to the ground. Wnt (talk) 17:27, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
A better example is this: "...she lets go of his hand, but continues moving forward. Why? She has inertia." Inertia means resistance to change. --Bowlhover (talk) 18:20, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
As pointed out above, "propel" is a problematic word, because propulsion is a matter of accelerating an object via the application of a force, but you're trying to describe the behavior of an object in the absence of a net force. And "energy" provides an insufficient explanation of the behavior, because energy is a scalar quantity, so the conservation of energy alone doesn't preclude the possibility of the object changing direction while maintaining the same speed; see kinetic energy. The full behavior of the object continuing in a straight line at a constant speed can be described as either being an example of the law of inertia, or as being an example of the conservation of momentum. Red Act (talk) 20:26, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
The usual phrase is "her momentum carries her forward". Dbfirs 20:49, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Your problem is that you want to describe something we easily understand, a painful collision of a running lady with a tree stump, but have introduced technical terms of physics such as inertia momentum and energy in your narrative. I think it is unnecessarily pedantic to analyse the collision in these terms but here are their rôles in the collision:

  • Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to any change in its state of motion, including changes to its speed and direction. The lady has forward inertia. In non-technical storytelling I don't object to "Her inertia propelled her forward into a stump..". This is just the literary device of making an active verbal statement where as Wnt points out, there is no actual propellant. However general readers tend to associate inertia more with absence of movement than persistence of movement, which is not the right association here.
  • Momentum is the product of the mass and velocity of an object. The lady has forward momentum. This means the same as inertia except that momentum is a numerical vector quantity. Likewise it's possible to say "Her momentum propelled her forward into a stump..". However the resulting collision is not the elastic type that conserves momentum so you are using the word colloquially, not technically.
  • Energy is a numerically calculable property of matter that comes in many forms. In the story, the lady has Kinetic energy \begin{smallmatrix} \frac{1}{2}mv^2 \end{smallmatrix}
until she meets the stump. That energy then converts into other forms of energy such as heat, noise, vibrations and bone fracture. Such analysis does not make for good storytelling.

It would be simplest to forget the exact physics, write "She broke free from his grip and flew into a stump with a bone-crushing smash" and get on with the rest of your book. (talk) 21:30, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

There is some subtlety to this description. Newton says that objects remain in their state of motion unless disturbed by a force. So she keeps on moving because that's what things do if you don't go sticking a tree-stump in front of them! In terms of the physics, nothing special is happening to her as she continues to move. Her constant state of motion is due to the LACK of any other influences. We don't need a name for what changed - because nothing changed.
If you want to be scientifically pedantic, then having a "high speed" is the correct terminology. A "high velocity" is a rather meaningless term because velocity is speed combined with direction - and "high" versus "low" is hard to say when a direction is included. So, actually, "speed" might be the better word.
But then, we could invoke relativity and say that it's not even meaningful to talk about the person's velocity/speed because it is equally valid to state that she is "stationary" and it is the tree stump that is moving "at high speed"...and then the only true description is to say that the person and the tree are moving relative to each other at high speed.
When viewed like that, you can't even say which object has kinetic energy, or momentum or inertia - it's all a relative matter. From the perspective of the tree, the person has lots of kinetic energy and is moving pretty fast. From the perspective of the victim, the tree stump has kinetic energy and is moving alarmingly quickly.
Fortunately, in a location such as the surface of the earth, we have a convenient verbal convention, which is to discuss motion in a frame of reference in which the earth is stationary...but its' only a verbal convention - and if you're discussing the motion of (say) the moons of Jupiter - it would be singularly perverse to do so with the earth-is-stationary frame of reference.
It follows that when we discuss how someone flies through the air and whacks into a tree stump, we put enough verbal short-cuts into the explanation to keep things comprehensible. Trying to sound more 'scientific' brings with it some fairly extreme inconveniences.
SteveBaker (talk) 04:39, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
The relativity being invoked is Galileo's and Isaac's and not Albert's. The term its' seems a peculiar contribution to the English used on this planet where we owe a budding author a competent explanation rather than bad examples that demand expiation. (talk) 20:15, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Help identifying a dragonfly[edit]

Unidentifed dragonfly.jpg

Can anyone identify this dragonfly. Taken in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Wasn't able to measure it but they are about 150 mm (5.9 in) long. The black item behind it is a tyre. Thanks. CBWeather, Talk, Seal meat for supper? 16:58, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

It must be from the Anax genus. It resembles Anax imperator, the Emperor dragonfly, but our article suggests that they are smaller, and unlikely to be found in Australia. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:15, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, it's a good thing this dragonfly was photographed in Canada then... --Jayron32 17:17, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Doh! Sorry, brain slipped out of gear... AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:34, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
CBWeather, are you quite sure about the size? I can't find evidence of any species that big being found in Canada. Incidentally, I may have been premature in identifying it as Anax - it could be another of the Aeshnidae family - possibly Aeshna. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:09, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Just asked my daughter, she was there as well, and after a few comments about my eyesight and age it is more likely to be 75 to 100 mm (3.0 to 3.9 in) long. I noticed that in the Emperor (dragonfly) article that the males are difficult to approach but these were easy to get up to. Is it possible it is some variety of darner, Aeshnidae or Aeshna? CBWeather, Talk, Seal meat for supper? 04:22, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, that seems likely, looking into this further - though apparently the darners can be very difficult to positively tell apart. I think it may possibly be Aeshna eremita, the Lake Darner - see the image here [3] AndyTheGrump (talk) 06:06, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks. I'll ask User:Dger as he is the one who uploaded the image in the article. 22:38, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Swarms of Antarctic krill[edit]

The introduction to the Antarctic krill article notes that its swarms can reach a density of 30,000 individual animals per cubic metre, and that the animal itself can grow to a length of 6 cm. Given that there are 1,000,000 cubic centimetres in a cubic metre, and that the image shows the length as several times the other two dimensions (let's guess 5mm height and width), we're left with something like 45,000 of those 1,000,000 cubic centimetres being occupied by the krills' body volume. How do all of them survive, let alone go anywhere in the swarm? Imagine a huge room in which 5% or more of the volume is occupied by humans (e.g. the ceiling is just tall enough for an average-height human, so we can pack the whole volume without stacking people): there's not going to be anywhere near enough food to eat (after all, krill don't have supermarkets or pizza delivery), and without verbal communication, those humans are going to have a massively hard time going anywhere all together, especially if we remove the walls and ceiling. How are krill able to do it better than humans? Nyttend (talk) 23:51, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

To me a "swarm" isn't the density at which they normally live, any more than a "crowd" of humans is how we normally live. Presumably they just pack together occasionally for certain purposes, like mating.
Also, since they are filter feeders, their food is delivered by the water itself, so they don't need room to farm, herd, etc., like people do. Now, if you had a cubic kilometer with them all at that density, then I would expect that the center of that cube would starve, but if spread out over long "tendrils", they should have more access to food washing in from the sides. StuRat (talk) 23:57, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
The article said that "swarm" was the term for their schools, so I was imagining something like schools of bigger fish, a massive "blob" (large in all three directions) of fish all actively swimming together, rather than a group mating but not going anywhere or a massively long string or otherwise essentially 2-D group. Did I have the wrong idea? Nyttend (talk) 00:07, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Consider that krill in large groups don't have to deal with the problems of body heat, sore legs and the various mammalian (and distinctly human) social anxieties that come with those, like a crowd of people do. If someone's in their way, they can far more easily go around, over or under. Water is cool that way. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:13, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
Of course, when you're moving as a unit, the problem of people in your way isn't so common. Compare marching soldiers to a similarly sized concert audience. I'd assume time moves slower for those tiny krill, so what may be seen as rapid commotion by our eyes should be much more relaxed on their level. If you've never seen a giant cloud of bats leave a cave, I recommend it. Almost unbelievable how they don't all crash and die. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:22, July 23, 2014 (UTC)

@Nyttend:Several benefits of Schooling_(fish) apply to krill as well as fish. Flocking_(behavior) gives some clues as to how this is accomplished by organisms without much of a brain or communicative capacity. Basically, all each one has to to is swim vaguely in the direction of another that it can perceive, and (modulo some tuning of parameters), coherent motion is achieved as an emergent process (see also Self-organization, and perhaps ant mill).
Contrary to your notion that the swarm has less food, aggregation can serve to increase feeding efficiency. It can also serve to reduce predation by slightly larger organisms, though of course whales and such take advantage of the swarms to increase their feeding efficiency. These concepts are elaborated in the schooling article. Another thing to keep in mind is that water "feels" much different to krill compared to cod or humans, because of the differences in Reynold's number. This means it's really hard for krill to bump into each other. Does this explanation make sense?
To your follow-up question, my understanding is that the density quoted is something like a seasonal max. Not all krill are always 'swarmed', and not all swarms achieve that density. But many swarms exist as coherent aggregations at any moment. I'm not an expert on krill, but that's my reading as a biologist.
Finally, is 5% by volume really that dense? If we take average human volume to be 0.0664m^2 and average human height to be 1.6m (via wolfram alpha [4]), then that puts ~120 people in a room with dimensions 10mx10mx1.6m. Looking only at area, that's ~0.83 m^2 per person, which is far less crowded than a modern lecture hall or a bus at rush hour, to my estimation. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:56, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

July 23[edit]

Are all spontaneous processes exothemic?[edit]

According to the article Spontaneous process, a spontaneous process should be exothermic as said by the first lines

"A spontaneous process is the time-evolution of a system in which it releases free energy (usually as heat) and moves to a lower, more thermodynamically stable energy state."

But I think the statement is wrong. Because ice melting is an endothermic but spontaneous process at room temperature or even at or above 273 K, some spontaneous processes should be endothermic. And when glucose is dissolved the water becomes cooler. But glucose melting is spontaneous. Should enthalpy get confused with entropy? When ice melts ice absorbs some heat from the surrounding. Please give your comments. A user has already pointed out this in the article's talk page. But there were no response for 3 years. I asked this here to get some response.--G.Kiruthikan (talk) 10:47, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Further down the article, it specifies "free energy" to refer to Gibbs free energy. Plasmic Physics (talk) 11:47, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
OK. I understood. Sorry.--G.Kiruthikan (talk) 06:04, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
No need to apologise. Plasmic Physics (talk) 06:08, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Natural Selection[edit]

Could it be argued that those who get bullied or those who end up single for life, not by choice but as a result of shyness or women not finding them attractive etc, are experiencing a process of natural selection, favouring those who are confident and can stand up for themselves?

This is called sexual selection Graeme Bartlett (talk) 11:48, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
It ultimately benefits humanity, by ensuring a continued supply of Wikipedia editors. (talk) 12:03, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
wouldn't that be called Wikipedia selection,
There is nothing good or bad about natural selection, it is just what happens in the circumstances. Our circumstances are that we have laws and a belief in rights and basically a complex society. What that will lead to is anybody's guess. For instance currently deaths by firearms and deaths from car accidents are at a rate that very probably will have an effect on our genome but we can't guess what it will be. For all we know the characteristics that lead to bullying may be preferentially removed by them being involved more in such fatalities. I'm not altogether sure though if that was the case that we should then say we should remove car and gun safety laws. Society is the environment for evolution now. Dmcq (talk) 12:48, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

I should apologize in advance for blatant speculation, but just thinking out loud... I recently saw a study in which the frequency of homosexuality was listed as only 1.6%, and only 2.5% even when bisexuality is included. The figures for this used to be much higher, starting with the famous Kinsey Reports figures of 10% and 37%, but every decade they seem to get lower. I would suggest that this may not be experimental error; rather, the effect of anti-gay oppression may have been to pretty much force people to reproduce who wouldn't have otherwise. (The irony of this effect should not much shock those who have seen obscure plants like Cannabis turned into household words over the past century) The present figure is still greater than the (somewhat inflated) figure for autism, so by this model I'd expect the frequency to drop several-fold more over the next few generations. Anyway, if any of this is true then I would expect any other genetic trait whose effect on reproductive success was concealed by social compulsions to reproduce would likewise be uncovered by the same change in attitudes, and to be undergoing a similar reduction in frequency. Wnt (talk) 12:54, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

it only takes a single exception, you could be a lonesome reject for life except meet 1 bookworm after 17 years of nothing post-puberty, and it's literally all it takes to procreate, get married, etc. Think about your parents :) Or their parents. In fact you come from a direct line of pushovers who all successfully procreated, going back tens of thousands of years. You'll probably end up married yourself (chances are). So zero evolutionary pressure here. (talk) 14:42, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Anything that influences the probability of ultimately having children is going to create selection pressure. But it is important to realize that natural selection operates on a time-scale of thousands of years, whereas human social systems affect us on a time-scale orders of magnitude faster. The consequence is that natural selection is almost never a significant factor when thinking about how our social systems ought to be structured. Looie496 (talk) 14:53, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
That's not true though. Peppered moth evolution changed the color of the peppered moth from specked white to totally black within 50 years - and back again within another 50 years. Evolution can produce an effect within just one generation if the selection pressure is sufficiently harsh. A sufficiently decisive social movement could easily wipe out a particular single-gene variation in just a few generations.
The thing that makes the "lonesome bookworm" type succeed is that there are other lonesome bookworms of the opposite sex who really couldn't stand to hook up with someone with a loud, outgoing, sport-enthusiast "Type A" personality. So there will always be enough pairings to ensure that the type survives. The question worth asking is how long it'll be before "homo sapiens geek" become a separate species from the "homo sapiens jock" ? SteveBaker (talk) 16:59, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
If the jocks get the pretty girls and the geeks do the technology then it should have been the Eloi in the Time Machine who were the brutals not the Morlocks. ;-) Dmcq (talk) 17:27, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I'd probably think a bit more about generation time of moths vs. humans before claiming that Looie said something wrong about evolution. Nothing about natural selection has an absolute time scale-- the widely variable and natural unit of time is the generation, because that's where mutation and selection happen (for simplicity ignoring the case of horizontal gene transfer). Peppered moths have 1 generation per year at minimum, humans of course go much slower. So 50 human generations may well be enough time for some of us to get spots or whatever, but that's still a much longer time scale than most of our social structures have. You are of course correct that strong selection can have a decent effect in just one generation, but that would be very strong selection indeed, and I think we'd all agree that that is not what this question is about. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:25, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm a geek. My wife is beautiful. HiLo48 (talk) 20:01, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
[citation needed] --Bowlhover (talk) 23:35, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm a geek. My wife is also a geek. We both agree that intelligence, wit, honesty, gentleness - and most of the other thousand attributes that make for a good marriage - *all* trump beauty. (Although, as it happens, she's also beautiful!) SteveBaker (talk) 04:25, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Is there any evidence that there a large pool of 50 year old male "geeks" who yearn to be fathers, but haven't succeeded in fathering offspring? Cullen328 Let's discuss it 05:10, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Probably not - but I guess the real issue is whether there are a large pool of 50 year old geeks of either gender who don't yearn to be parents? SteveBaker (talk) 16:07, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
But realistically, for this kind of 'geeky' person to evolve out of existence, you'd have to assume that 'extreme-geekiness-leading-to-not-having-kids' has a genetic basis - and that it's a simply-inherited one that comes from just a few genes that aren't 'mission critical' for anything else. It could easily be that you turn out to be a geek because of some complex mix of genes, then maybe you have one great grandmother had blue eyes, one great grandfather had a club foot, at least one other great grandfather was NOT color blind AND another great grandmother carried the genes for both sickle-cell anaemia and lactose intolerance. If the situation is that complex then the trait of geekiness isn't going to pass directly from one generation to the next and it would be unlikely to vanish from the gene pool no matter how bad we geeks are at reproducing.
Sickle-cell disease is another good model to consider. If you have a sickle-cell gene from both mother and father, then (without modern medicine) you're unlikely to survive long enough to reproduce - you'd think that this defect would have vanished from the gene pool tens of thousands of years ago. BUT having just one of these genes confers immunity from malaria. So the benefit of being a 'carrier' of sickle-cell outweighs the risk of producing sickle-cell children that die the gene stays in our gene pool.
Complex genetic outcomes are much more complicated. For example, if there is a genetic component to living on into old age - that couldn't directly affect the gene pool because the gene doesn't improve reproductive success because it only does something after you're too old to have kids. If that were all there were to this, then humans would drop dead the moment they were no longer able to reproduce (that happens with LOTS of other animals). But in fact, we're social animals and an entire village gains reproductive success if there are some older people around to pass on knowledge and so forth. So the presence of the gene for living longer has value to the reproductive success of the population, and it is selected for to some degree.
If small communities see reproductive benefits from having geeks around to figure out why their PC won't run Candy Crush anymore - then the genes for geekiness will remain in the population

even if no geek ever has a child.

SteveBaker (talk) 16:07, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

can a clear substance become opaque upon electrical impulse?[edit]


Can a transparent substance become opaque upon electrical impulse? For example glass that can become frosted (or in any other way not-transparent) upon electrical impulse?/|]] (talk) 13:38, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

An LCD sort of does this. RJFJR (talk) 13:46, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Why do you say "sort of"? Would this work to darken a room for example? (Like, instead of shades.) Is the level of transparency adjustable? (talk) 13:53, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
See Smart glass#Electrically-switchable smart glass. I don't know whether any of these technologies can be used to make glass perfectly opaque (and I didn't read enough of the article to find out), but your mention of "frosted" implies at least some translucency. Deor (talk) 14:04, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

If this is just an LCD, what keeps someone from just bulding up thousands of layers of LCD screens for a true volumetric display? (talk) 14:24, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Most LCD screens (not the ones referred to above) use two crossed polarizing filters so there's no way I can see to stack them meaningfully. Transparent OLED is probably the closest to what you want but it is nowhere near transparent enough and can't give dark colors for points. Dmcq (talk) 14:54, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Display device lists various 2D and 3D display types. Dmcq (talk) 15:05, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I've thought of this idea myself, as a way to control solar heating of a home. Because of the cost and lack of total transparency I rejected LCDs as the way to achieve this goal. I believe they do make electrically operated miniblinds between panes of glass, and making on side reflective (either white or silver), and the other side black should provide the maximum difference between open (when you want both heat and light), closed with black side out (when you want heat, but not light), and closed with reflective side out (when you want neither heat not light). Certainly it wouldn't block 100% of the light, though. An advantage over LCDs is that it would only use electricity when moving the mini-blinds, and very little then, relative to LCDs which would use electricity the whole time they are on. Also, LCDs don't seem able to withstand wide ranges in temperatures, which you should expect at windows.
Another option might be electrically operated window shades. If those could also be placed between panes of glass, hopefully the edges could be held firmly in place, so light doesn't leak around them as it does through a mini-blind. StuRat (talk) 15:28, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

What would be a way to get a true volumetric 3D display using such technologies? (i.e. that changes depending on the angle you view them at, where one layer can occlude another layer, etc) (talk) 15:55, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Well, if you DID have a material where individual pixels could be turned opaque or transparent on command without doing polarization tricks - then you could make a bunch of layers and have some sort of voxel-based 3D display. But for even a very low resolution display (say 640x640x480) you'd need 480 layers! Unless these layers are amazingly cheap, you'll have a fairly crappy display costing a good fraction of a million dollars!
Worse still, a 640x480 2D image only looks reasonably acceptable because it's typically "antialiassed" to get rid of the jaggy edges by making fuzzy transitions from regions of one color to the next. You can't really antialias a volumetric display - so even a display with hundreds of layers would be very 'blocky' looking.
I'm not sure if it's currently possible to electrically opaque individual pixels in a panel - but no matter because unless there is some kind of major technological breakthrough it would be prohibitively expensive. Another issue would be the reproduction of color - and to make convincing 3D, you'd probably need programmable shininess, partial translucency and other surface attributes. The way that light interacts with a surface is critical - and these blocky 'voxels' aren't going to do it right!
SteveBaker (talk) 04:19, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
How about a technology where you have one solid block of normally transparent material, that reacts to a certain level of radiation by becoming opaque, then it fades back to transparent in, say, a hundredth of a second after the radiation level drops below the required level ? The device would then aim multiple narrow beams of the appropriate frequency of radiation at each voxel, in turn. Obviously you would want a form of radiation that's not harmful to humans. Creating electromagnetic interference could also be a problem, but you might put the whole thing in a Faraday cage to prevent that. StuRat (talk) 04:37, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Our volumetric display article briefly touches on this method - using lasers to create points of plasma in air. Katie R (talk) 13:08, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
That only works because the air remains transparent enough to transmit the laser light. What you see with those displays is a ghostly glowing doesn't look solid. When you demand that the voxels become opaque - that would (presumably) block the laser light - so you couldn't make solid-looking objects that way. This is the real problem with most 3D display technologies - it's easy enough to generate those kinds of ghostly glowing images that you can see right through - but they don't look real because you can see distant parts of the object through the nearer parts. There are plenty of ways to make those kinds of displays - holograms, vibrating mirrors, spinning 2D display panels...etc, etc. SteveBaker (talk) 15:13, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I envision using a form of radiation other than visible light, and the activated voxels should then remain transparent to that wavelength. StuRat (talk) 17:25, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Holy cow, I disagree with every single assumption you've stated. In the first paragraph, you assume that 480 layers and the electronics to drive them would cost a "good fraction of a million dollars", but even at $2000 for the kit (which I would not say is a "good fraction of a million dollars") that is $4 per layer, whereas an 640x480 LCD layer plus everything to drive it (zero economies of scale) costs around $5 at scale, there is no way you couldn't put 480 of them on top of each other at significantly less, at volume manufacturing scales. So this assumption is just totally wrong.
In your second paragraph you say that 3D voxels couldn't be antialiased, but why the hell not? Here is antialiasing with legos: - why couldn't the same thing be done in 3D? (I realize that most lego sculptures don't use this effect, as they like the blocky effect and don't use that many shades of color anyway - but as a long as the transparency was't binary but had degrees, you could do this.)
In your third paragraph, you assume that voxels have to have real-world properties to "look right". But no pixel has real-world shininess or reflection, and things still look OK on monitors, despite being reduced to a few brightnesses of a few colors. Sure it won't look like the real world, but that is no objection to making voxels. It will look like something.
Finally I will say that despite your analysis being totally wrong, based on clearly false assumptions, I will grant that layers of OLED's or similar is probably NOT the way to do it. Then again, I doubt anyone in CRT era would have thought physically putting 4 million physical pixels - each containing a complete mix of colors - into a 15 inch monitor at 227 dpi was in any sense viable - surely scanning across is the only viable method. And yet that's exactly what a Retina Macbook contains, in a tiny light form factor, as opposed to a phosphor screen and scanning laser. So just because something seems ridiculously infeasible does not mean it is not *the* solution in the future.
All that said, I don't necessarily think layers of LCD's or OLED's or anything else is the correct way forward in the future with 3D volumetric display. I was more interested in the theoretical possibilities, and bringing up technical objections at this thought-experiment stage is unwarranted, especially when the analysis isn't even correct. (talk) 12:50, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Sadly, my job is doing this kind of I happen to know that you're wrong. You can't just stack panels like that because they emit heat and the heat buildup in the inner layers would kill you. You need some way to communicate the heat from the inner layers to the outside world. Flat panel displays need bulky connectors and external drivers that don't stack up so well and DO add to the cost. Just the panel itself is only a small fraction of the cost here. I can't think of any consumer-grade gadgets with 640x480 displays that cost $5.
But let's say you're right...$5 display panels aren't THIN. If we want to build a 640x640x480 display that's a few inches across - then we need each layer to be about 1/100th of an inch thick. Do you have any clue how much a 1/100th inch thick LCD panel costs? You want to guess? Please don't - I know the answer - and that's why the cost of your layered display *WILL* be a substantial fraction of a million dollars. Sure, you could build a 640x640x480 display that's (say) 48" thick with 1/10" thick layers - but still, you don't get 1/10" thick panels for $5. With $5 displays, you find them to be around 1/4" with 480 of them stacked up, you have a display that's 120" thick. Well, if you want a roughly equal resolution/dimensions in X, Y and Z - you now need $5 panels that are 1/4" thick and 10' x 10' wide! I don't think so! So quit talking without thinking.
Yes, antialiassing is a problem. You only want those semi-transparent voxels at the profile edge of the objects - and that's view-dependent. If this is a view-independent display then the objects would have to be 'coated' in all directions with semi-transparent voxels, blurring and fuzzing absolutely everything. When you actually look into this in detail, it doesn't work. Your link to a 2D lego mosaic proves nothing. Your lack of understanding about the issues of light reflection in a 3D object require a longer explanation than I really want to give here - but suffice to say that a 2D representation of a 3D object has already undergone lighting calculations (well, unless it's a very flat cartoon) - and therefore the 2D display surface itself doesn't have to undergo illumination. But a true volumetric 3D object would have to interact with the room lighting or it can't be view-direction independent because the way light reflects off of a surface depends on where you are viewing it from. Since it's really just an array of little cubes, their faces wouldn't align with the light direction the way a real object would - so the resulting lighting would be decidedly strange. Perhaps that would be OK for some kinds of limited applications - but for general 3D display, it would pretty much suck.
Your analogy with the growth of 2D display resolutions isn't exactly correct - when you double the resolution of a 2D display, you only need four times the number of pixels. But pushing the resolution of 3D displays would require not just 8x the number of pixels but it would increase the number of layers that you need...DECREASING the thickness of each layer in proportion to the required resolution. While flat panel displays have shrunk somewhat in thickness over the years - it's not anything like the shrinkage you'd need here. There are no display technologies that are thin enough to generate a small display with reasonable Z resolution - and no thicker displays that are large enough in the X/Y direction to make a large volumetric display. Since the demise of the CRT, the technological improvements to make displays THINNER or LARGER lag by far the technologies to push the resolutions up. It turns out that there are very good laws-of-physics reasons why that is.
So, no - you're the one who is wrong in almost every regard. SteveBaker (talk) 15:13, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
The other issue that stood out to me is the issue of light transmission through each panel. They aren't perfectly transparent, so voxels far away from the viewer will be foggy. Minor imperfections in the plane cause the layer to work like a lens, distorting the path of the light through it. It doesn't matter on an LCD display where the only thing behind the panel is a backlight, but a panel behind 100 layers will be distorted and blurry. Both of those can theoretically be engineered around to make things acceptable, but will obviously cost a fortune. Katie R (talk) 15:54, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't understand why a view-independent object is supposed to have to interact with the room lighting (outside the 3D display) whereas a monitor (normal 2d one) doesn't... We're not trying to trick someone into thinking that a real object is there - you NEVER think your monitor actually has a real object inside it - maybe an ant crawling across it or a hair on it or something - we just want something there, clearly different from a real-world object. Basically, in the sense that a set of pixels is an "approximateion" (a very poor one) of a piece of paper, in that it has different splotches of color at various places, is there a set of voxels that is physically an "approximation" of a paper statue, in that it has different splotches of color at various places, but they also occlude each other? A piece of people is approximated by rows and columsn of pixels. Could a similar theoretical solution approximate a 3d statue, by literally occluding parts of the statue? (such as the inside - you can't see inside it). Even theoretically? Even with a 9x9x9 matrix? Even if you made it very large? And if so, by what chemical or electronics means? (talk) 16:20, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
To be clear, we are talking about the theoretical basis, not current technical limitations. For example the "plasma created by lasers" clearly can't occlude other plasma points (the back of the object) - so that doesn't work. (talk) 16:22, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
The thick (120") display might even be promising.
Look at the 16/9 inflation. All manufacturers joined the 16/9 craze, not because of the applications in computing (there are VERY few if you don't include watching movies on a PC) but because a 20" diagonal doesn't indicate actual display area. With a more skewed ratio, you can achieve the same diagonal with less area. Now imagine the potential of a 3D display with a 120" triagonal and hardly any cubic inches to go with it.
The mere absence of these displays is proof that they are not that easy to make. - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 08:24, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Steve and Katie, if we back away for a moment, one of the major things in this thought experiment is that it started by assuming that the polarization problem could be fixed from a modular-2 system to a higher dimension of modular arithmetic so that the different layers could all be visible. But of course polarity doesn't work like that. So for starters - if we go back to this assumption: 1) is there a competing technology that lets you go from opaque to transparent? 2) can "that" be filled into a cavity, so that it has some true volume as well? What are our options here, theoretically... (not practically.) Even at 16x16x16 pixels, I haven't seen a demonstration of this (true occlusion), even with terrible optical properties on the logically 'transparent' parts. (talk) 16:02, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

It obviously could be done. Imagine that the display is the size of a large building, each voxel is a 1'x1'x1' glass fish-tank with a thin, clear plastic hose leading into the bottom of it out to a large array of pumps and storage tanks. You could pump black ink into the tank to make it opaque or drain it out to make it be transparent. With sufficiently fine hoses and sufficiently clear glass - this might make a low-res opaque/clear voxel display - with a refresh rate of maybe once a minute and a pile of several million ink pumps to keep working! That works (at least as a thought-experiment). Instead of ink, you could use water and mix in colored powders with four different grain sizes (one size for each of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and White) are infused into water as it's pumped into the tank - then as you drain the tank for the next update cycle, you filtere the powders out by four filters with different hole sizes so you can recycle the powders and the water for the next refresh cycle.
Using microfluidics, maybe you could somehow make this work at a small scale - possibly small enough to make it usable for a more sane size of display...maybe. So at least in theory, there is a way to do it.
Stacking current-generation panels doesn't really work because the panels have bezels around them to contain the scanning electronics, etc - so you wouldn't be able to see through four out of the six sides of the display that's not going to work...but we can certainly imagine at least one thing that could - at least in theory.
SteveBaker (talk) 16:25, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
SteveBaker - your thought experiment is fascinating. I like this solution. Basically, my original question is, can we start with filled but transparent fish-tanks, filled with something that electrically becomes opaque? Then you don't have to drain it to empty it, you just cut power to a tiny filament. To fill back up, you just turn power back on. Does such a materials exist? What is the closest approximatino?
Also, Stevebaker, you seem to have a really good grasp of optics. If we return to your super-slow, totally "elevator in space" (like relativistic thought experiment) level of impractical building-sized voxels-of-fish-tanks... viewed from a distance, what difference is there between that and a true 3D object? (supposing you could pump any material into the fish tanks)? Where would it look "off", other than needing exceptionally transparent glass, and being unable to have real-world reflective and refractive and transparent properties, except if you pump such a material into the voxels? Any other clear differences from a true 3D object, as seen from afar? (again, purely at the thought experiment level, nothing practical here. just wondering what physical properties come up.) (talk) 16:45, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Reflectivity. In the real world, the light coming from an object to your eye is composed of several kinds of reflection. A simple approximation that's used in computer graphics is to split it into three parts:
  • Ambient - light which hits the object more or less equally from all directions (like the sky) and is reflected off more or less equally in all directions - typically after the object has absorbed some of it - so it takes on the color of the actual object itself.
  • Diffuse - light which bounces off of the object in an amount that depends on the orientation of the surface to the light source - but which is scattered off equally in all directions. This is what gives objects their characteristic three dimensional appearance. Without diffuse light, a cube would look exactly like a flat hexagon. Diffuse reflection also takes on the color of the object itself.
  • Specular - light which bounces off of a smooth surface without being absorbed by it and reflects off of it in a fairly narrow cone of directions. It keeps the color of the original light, not the object itself. Specular light changes in appearance depending on where the observer is positioned relative to the object.
(This is a gross over-simplification - real materials are much more complex than that - but even getting our fishtank display to do this is impossible).
The problem we have with our "fishtank" display (neglecting the glass walls of the tank because this is a thought-experiment) is that the colored water is shaped into little cubes. Each face of those cubes is oriented in either the X, Y or Z direction. But if you're trying to represent (say) a sphere, then none of the faces of the voxels are ever pointing in the right direction to catch the light the way a sphere would. Ambient light will be OK - but diffuse light won't because there will be places on the sphere where the true spherical surface was at right angles to the light - and should be shining brightly in diffuse light - but isn't because the little cubes are all turned at around 45 degrees to the light where it's not sufficiently strongly reflected. Specular light will be even worse - as you move your head around, those shiney highlights should 'follow you around' on the surface of the sphere - but they won't because the only specular reflection is heading out in one of three distinct directions that's determined by the orientation of the display volume to the light source.
Now, one of our earlier posters is probably about to jump in and say "BUT THAT'S NO DIFFERENT FROM A 2D DISPLAY!!!"...which demonstrates a lack of understanding of what's going on here.
We humans know when we're looking at a photograph or a painting or an image on a TV screen or computer monitor - and it doesn't look real. No matter how cleverly it's done, it doesn't look like looking out of a window does unless you VERY carefully allow for where the viewer is standing and what the lighting in the room is (such as is done in Trompe-l'œil paintings and such). One of the reasons people love the Oculus Rift display system is that it tracks the position of your head and the software can adjust the lighting of the 2D scene to accomodate that. We could do calculated lighting on our 3D fishtank display - but getting people to accept that as a real thing would be difficult without doing all of the viewing in a darkened room with the voxels themselves emitting a very uniform light - and we wouldn't have a viewer-independent display anymore because you have to recalculate the specular light component as the view direction changed - which really defeats the object of having a 3D display in the first place!
SteveBaker (talk) 17:10, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Even if it worked, it wouldn't give a realistic impression to more than one viewer, either. - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 08:24, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

G2 vs Sgr A*[edit]

In April this year, the gas cloud G2 was due to collide with the black hole Sgr A* (or at least, when we would see the collision). However, the Sgr A* article has not been updated, and I can't (from a quick search), find anything about it, post-event. Was there anything to report about it? CS Miller (talk) 18:30, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

According to Sagittarius A*#Discovery of G2 gas cloud on an accretion course, observations during the expected time of the perinigricon in March found that G2 remained intact, most likely due to G2 hosting a central star. So it turned out to be kind of a non-event.[5] Red Act (talk) 19:03, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Red Act. The paragraph Astronomers from the UCLA Galactic Center Group published observations obtained on March 19 and 20, 2014, concluding that G2 is still intact, in contrast to predictions for a simple gas cloud hypothesis and therefore most likely hosts a central star. does say that. However, the paragaphs before jump between the past and future tense, and reads like it has yet to occur, which is what threw me. Perhaps a copyedit is in order. CS Miller (talk) 19:40, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Go for it. Red Act (talk) 19:46, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Carbon auditing[edit]

Does carbon auditing, within a system boundary, normally require complicated mathematical calculations? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:13, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

That depends a lot on the system. A coal-powered power station, should be pretty easy - you know the tonnage of coal going in - you know the tonnage of ash and debris coming out the other end - the difference will overwhelmingly be carbon - and you can calculate the amount of CO2 produced very simply.
However, if you wanted to figure out (say) the carbon footprint of a car factory - it's a horrifically complicated calculation because cars are made from a bunch of different materials, there is much processing of those materials and energy is consumed in hundreds of different ways.
It's not likely to be difficult from a strictly mathematical perspective - but the data gathering and the science involved may be a huge undertaking.
SteveBaker (talk) 04:07, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree in concept that no single calculation is terribly complicated from a mathematics point of view, and that it depends a lot on what is being audited. For example, these people [6]. Have done cradle to grave life cycle analysis on the carbon cycles of their energy farm. There are several publications listed at the link above if anyone is interested in seeing how this works in modern practice. To sum up carbon accounting is conceptually relatively simple, and does not intrinsically rely on advanced math. However, in practice, it can become incredibly complicated. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:47, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
You can cheat a little. The cost of the final product is proportional to the energy consumed, and energy consumed is proportional to CO2 released. So to a first approximation you can just see how much the product costs - the cheaper it is the better for the environment (*ONLY* from a CO2 point of view). Major caveat: This does not include money spent to prevent or treat waste released to the environment (pollution), so this only works is you have similar environmental regulation. Ariel. (talk) 03:30, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Beer cans are easier to squeeze when half frozen. Why?[edit]

At room temperature, you can squeeze a can of beer a little. Fully frozen, you can't squeeze them at all. Halfway though, when there's like 50% ice, 50% liquid, squeezing is a lot easier than when it's completely liquid. The biggest component of beer is water which expands while cooling, so why? Joepnl (talk) 23:25, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

It probably has something to do with Ductile–brittle transition temperature (DBTT) –(good luck making sense of the article).   — (talk) 00:20, 24 July 2014 (UTC)[Nevermind]  —I sort of misunderstood the question. Rather than the can itself, it is the change in the resistive force of the contents. Hopefully somebody (else) can provide a better explanation. (?) (talk) 00:27, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, it's almost certainly something to do with the pressure inside the can right? Water is incompressible either frozen or liquid so my guess is that the answer lies in the gas. The warmer the liquid is, the less gas it can hold, is that right? When you warm up fizzy drink, the gas escapes. So, the most gas is soluble when the liquid is at it's coldest, but not yet completely solid, then obviously mechanical forces of the ice prevent squeezing the can. Does that make sense? Vespine (talk) 01:29, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm trying to find a ref for the claim that cold liquid holds more gas, which does indeed seem to be the case, but the top of my search is "straight dope" which might be mostly correct but not really what I'd call a scholarly source..Vespine (talk) 01:33, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia covers it at Henry's law#Temperature dependence of the Henry constant. Red Act (talk) 02:27, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
You can do an experiment too! Put on your official white lab coat, freeze one can of beer/soda and leave another out of the fridge. When you open the cans, you won't get the same initial "woosh!" of escaping gas from the frozen can - which is because the gas is staying dissolved in the ice and low-temperature water. Also, if you leave a can of soda in a hot car, the base of the can will dimple outwards because the pressure inside the can goes up so high as the CO2 comes out of solution at the higher temperatures (you might not want to test that assertion because the can may actually crack open and fill your car with a foamy, sticky mess). SteveBaker (talk) 04:03, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Use a can of carbonated water instead of a sugary soda, whether trying either the freezer test or the hot car test. Back to the original question, water expands dramatically when it freezes, but not until then. Chilly liquid water is almost exactly the same volume as warm liquid water. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 04:52, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
And furthermore, the OP's condition where you have a mix of liquid water and solid ice happens at exactly the freezing point. However, if this is beer then the small amount of alcohol will act as an antifreeze and lower the freezing point of the we're actually likely to be seeing temperatures below zero celcius without yet seeing the large expansion of the water as it changes state - yet still seeing the increased ability to dissolve CO2. So I bet this effect is even more pronounced in beer than in soda. However, soda has a complex mix of ingredients - I have no idea what (if anything) that does to the freezing point - so I could easily be wrong in that guess. But it does mean, for sure, that using canned carbonated water won't demonstrate the effect as well as beer. SteveBaker (talk) 14:43, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
The gas head at the top will also reduce in pressure, by about 1/3% per degree Celsius at room temperature, assuming the gas follows the ideal gas law. ---- CS Miller (talk) 09:07, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

July 24[edit]

Question about Hawking's imaginary time[edit]

Please don't hesitate to use advanced math in answering this question:

As I understand it, Stephen Hawking thinks the universe is spherically curved in imaginary time.

Would that mean that imaginary time is the radial dimension of the universe's expansion? Why or why not?

If so, would that mean that the universe is expanding slower than light speed? Why or why not?

If the universe is expanding faster than light speed, then why doesn't that make the FRW metric positive-definite? (talk) 02:32, 24 July 2014 (UTC)Collin237

Hi there. You're asking about the Hartle-Hawking state. Unfortunately, our article about this subject isn't great, and the technical details are rather inaccessible. (I won't claim to be an expert in this area of cosmology.) Given those caveats, there are a few basic points that can provide the answers to your questions:
  1. The Hartle-Hawking state is a hypothesis about how to write down a quantum state in quantum gravity around and before the Planck time. It does include a signature change in the metric. However, it doesn't describe the subsequent Friedmann–Lemaître–Robertson–Walker expansion history of the universe and isn't needed to answer questions about the present-day expansion of the universe.
  2. Saying that the universe is expanding faster than (or slower than) the speed of light is a vague statement that can mean one of several things when describing cosmology in everyday language. It doesn't have any precise technical meaning. It refers to the recession speed of objects at some distance, so it is not a local property of spacetime.
  3. The metric tensor is a local property of spacetime.
So my answer to your first two questions is no, because the Hartle-Hawking hypothesis doesn't describe the modern universe (or anything much after the Planck time); and my answer to your last question is no, because the metric is a local property of spacetime, while "expanding faster than light" (whatever it may mean in some context) is not a local statement. --Amble (talk) 18:13, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
So if there was no time and no space before the big bang, what was around then and where? And in what 'space' did the big bang occur? Also where did all the mass and energy in the present universe come from if there was nothing to start with? Also whats to stop another universe just appearing out of nothing. And anyway, where did God live before the big bang?? This theory must be complete tosh! (talk) 16:13, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
The argument from incredulity is a notoriously unreliable guide in matters outside the realm of everyday experience. In addition, you appear to be objecting to certain vague notions about Big Bang Cosmology in general, rather than the Hartle-Hawking state, which is the topic under discussion. --Amble (talk) 16:21, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Well is it credible that something that violates basic laws of the universe is, in fact, true? Or is it more likely to be false. If false, why? (talk) 17:42, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
A hypothesis that violates basic laws of the universe is probably false. A commonsense notion that is violated by nature is probably not a basic law of the universe. Do you have a specific question about the Hartle-Hawking state? --Amble (talk) 17:58, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Is this a good image of a pediplain?[edit]

I'm determined to find an image for this article, and after researching a bit I discovered that the western Atacama Desert, particularly the Tarapaca region, is home to one of the largest and oldest pediplains on Earth.[7] And so I found [this image], and I'm wondering if anyone with expertise or familiarity with the region can confirm that this is in fact (part of) a pediplain. And furthermore, is it a good enough representation to include in the page? If so, I can modify the image with some labels to make it clearer. = NV1982 (talk) 06:16, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Interesting! It looks like you've done your homework. I've read through your links, and it seems right to me... but I'm no geographer or geologist. I suggest (barring any credible, referenced, objections here in the next few days) that you be WP:BOLD and add the image to the article :) SemanticMantis (talk) 14:50, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
I think I'll end up doing that. I'm pretty confident in this case. Although an aerial shot might be more ideal, this at least will point readers to an example of what the article's describing. And it'd be a bonus to make more good use of that photo. Thanks for your input! = NV1982 (talk) 17:38, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Origin of body heat when cycling[edit]

When I cycle, which are the main contributors to (over) heating my body - muscles in my legs, heart, diaphragm and intercostal muscles? -- (talk) 10:20, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

That is waste heat generated when muscles convert chemical energy into kinetic energy. StuRat (talk) 15:16, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
In addition to the excellent links StuRat has provided for you, Thermoregulation may also be an interesting read. --Jayron32 00:58, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Alternate Fuel and Car Technology[edit]

Hi wikipedia, I dont have a great article to publish but certainly a new idea which i would like to share it with you. Recently i have been thinking about powering cars with wind energy ,can i do so? i have a basic idea not exactly a technical one , so need help hope so ull reply . — Preceding unsigned comment added by Manojb95 (talkcontribs) 12:05, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Lots of obvious problems with that. Your best bet is to charge batteries using a turbine, which is already done. Any ideas about sails and turbines mounted on cars are, sadly, not feasible. Zzubnik (talk) 12:25, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
This is a much underappreciated aspect of history - see land sailing, ice boat, ice yachting. We've seen a thousand film images of Conestogas but anyone ever see a "wind wagon" in film (??!) I remember reading something about ice boats having held the land speed record on Lake Michigan for a time but can't find it now. (maybe a logician objected?) Wnt (talk) 12:50, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
These old Chinese devices are pretty close to a wind-propelled wagon Wheelbarrow#Chinese_sailing_carriage. Google /Chinese wheelbarrow sail/ for lots of cool pics and articles. SemanticMantis (talk) 13:17, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Wind-powered vehicle has examples of the turbine type. Katie R (talk) 13:25, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
We should probably mention some of the problems that make it not feasible:
1) You can't go faster than the wind in a vehicle powered solely by the wind. In most places, the wind doesn't go very fast, most of the time, so your car would be slow. When there is no wind, your car wouldn't move at all.
2) The wind often goes in the wrong direction. While sailboats can go in the opposite direction as the wind, via tacking, this involves sailing in a zigzag pattern that's not practical for land vehicles following roads. Out on an open desert, it's a bit more practical.
And, in case you are thinking you could power a car by conventional means, and put up a windmill to capture wind energy too, that won't work, since the drag from the windmill will slow the car down more than the electricity generated would speed it up.
So, I agree that the best way to power a car by wind energy is to use a windmill to charge batteries for an electric car. However, for a car that gets much use, if the windmill is only set to charge the batteries and nothing else, the best option is to charge the batteries outside the car, and just swap those in for the discharged batteries in the car whenever you leave home. Alternatively, if wind power is used to generate electricity on the grid, then you can just use a standard plug-in electric vehicle. (In many places you can sell your unused wind energy back to the power company using the grid.)
One other possible use of wind energy for powering a car is when parked away from home. You could conceivable have a windmill that deploys above the car to trickle charge it while parked. However, this would provide rather minimal power, so would only be practical if parked for long periods in windy areas, with only short drives. Also, high winds might tip the car over, necessitating the use of outriggers (I see our article is just on boats, don't we have one for outriggers on cranes, etc. ?), which would add to the weight of the vehicle. StuRat (talk) 14:04, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree that these vehicles aren't practical for everyday use. However, your first claim is wrong. Blackbird (land yacht) can go upwind and downwind faster than the wind speed and doesn't need to tack. Katie R (talk) 14:21, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
(EC) Your comment 1 seems very confusing or inadequately explained as our article sailing faster than the wind (and perhaps vehicle) will indicate. Nil Einne (talk) 14:23, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
The key to understanding the concept is that by using a turbine coupled to the wheels, it can use the speed between the air and the ground, not just the relative speed between the air and the craft. Katie R (talk) 14:26, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Note that I'm not just thinking of Blackbird concept but the general concept of sailing faster than the wind. StuRat's comment 2 mentioned the issues tacking etc poses for road based vehicles. But comment 1 didn't say anything about that nor did it refer solely to sailing dead downwind. So comment 1 seems to ignore the more general idea where you can use tacking or other methods to achieve a VMG higher than the windspeed particularly on ice boats (which Wnt already mentioned) and unlike Blackbird, I don't think is something only recently demonstrated (if you didn't believe the theoretical calculations), even though StuRat's comment itself could be taken to imply this isn't possible. These may not be practical for most land based vehicles but again, the comment was phrased very generally. So I'm not sure making the claim as StuRat did without additional explaination of what they were referring to, or at least a link to our article (which I found in about 3 seconds), helps the OP much. Nil Einne (talk) 14:44, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Aside from the physics of the thing, consider the economics. A typical car engine puts out something of the order of 100kWatts. According to The American Wind Energy Association a 1kWatt turbine costs between $4000 and $9000 (already way too expensive to put onto a car!) and a 100kWatt turbine costs $350,000. So right there, you know that you can't bolt a wind turbine to a car and get free energy. However, since you aren't driving your car 24 hours a day - and the wind might maybe blow 24 hours a day (in a good location) - if you restricted yourself to driving for at most one hour per day, then you could charge the batteries on an electric car with a mere 4kWatt generator. Sadly, that's still going to cost you more than your car...but why bolt the thing to your car? Why not use it to charge the batteries and leave it behind when you drive off? What this leads you to is that electric cars are a good idea...and that using wind energy to make electricity is a good idea. These are completely separate concepts though...linking them together and saying "Let's run a car on wind" is an unnecessary (and exceedingly difficult) linkage! Why have your expensive windmill only work while you're driving your car? Why not use it to power your refrigerator instead?

Taking it one step further - the larger a windmill is, the more efficient it becomes. That's why the wind energy folks use windmills with blades the size of a 747's wing. So having each person who drives an electric car spend all that money on a 4kW windmill is silly. You need to fund your share of a megawatt windmill and share it with everyone else...or, in other words, buy your electricity from a wind-energy company and run an electric car.

What most concerns me is that you're probably thinking "Wow! When I drive my car, and stick my hand out of the window, there's a heck of a lot of wind! Why can't I capture some of that to drive the car?" - and that's a fatally flawed argument. The problem is that windmills cause fact, that's what their function is - to cause as much drag as possible, slowing down the airflow and stealing energy from it. So if you could bolt a small windmill onto your regular car, it would increase the drag on the car such as to increase fuel consumption by an amount of energy that would most certainly be considerably more than the windmill would generate. That's 100% certain - and it doesn't depend on how clever your design for the windmill is - or how you use it's energy. The laws of thermodynamics guarantee that this approach won't matter how clever you are!

The only thing that might work would be to have a windmill that popped up out of the roof of your car when you stepped on the brakes! The windmill would slow the car down AND generate energy. This might, somehow be a seemingly good idea (I doubt it!) - but cars that recover energy from the braking systems ("regenerative braking") already exist - the Prius does that exact thing - except that it turns the electric motors that drive the wheels into generators when you step on the brakes - and that requires no new mechanical systems - just $10 worth of electronics. So if you already have an electric car, that's a vastly cheaper, easier, more efficient approach than trying to capture the energy from the air flowing over the car.

So, sadly, this idea is a non-starter. Not going to work!

SteveBaker (talk) 14:32, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

No. A moving Prius regenerates from the moment the accelerator pedal is released i.e. during coasting. Let Toyota explain. (talk) 19:26, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Yeah - but it's simulating the effect of engine braking. When I take my foot off the gas pedal of my conventional car, the engine speed drops to the point where it's actively slowing the car down - the Prius wouldn't do that unless they had something like regenerative braking. The Prius can't harvest energy without slowing the car down more than would otherwise be the case...that would be impossible. SteveBaker (talk) 19:00, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree that it's totally impractical, but it isn't ruled out by the laws of thermodynamics. You can extract power from the air-ground speed difference while moving relative to both. As Katie R mentioned above, people have actually built wind-powered vehicles that move faster than the wind. Also, a wind turbine behind the front grille of a car seems likely to produce more power than it would cost in drag. There's no law of physics saying that it can't. -- BenRG (talk) 17:41, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
"a wind turbine behind the front grille of a car seems likely to produce more power than it would cost in drag"? Citation most definitely needed... AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:46, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
There absolutely IS such a law! The First law of thermodynamics in fact! A machine that produced more power than drag would allow you to build a perpetual motion machine...and thermodynamics has rather strong opinions on such things!
Building a machine that moves faster than the wind (and even against the wind and faster than it!) is perfectly possible if your machine is in contact with the ground (or water or whatever). You can use the relative speed of the wind and ground/water to extract energy - which (if you're careful) does allow you to move faster (relative to the ground) than the wind travels (relative to the ground) - but that in no way frees you from the laws of thermodynamics.
Bobbin (PSF).jpg
For example (you can actually do this): Take a spool of thread. Rest the spool on its side on the ground and unspool a length of thread so that it runs under the spool. Now, if you pull gently on the loose end of the thread - the spool will move in the opposite direction from what you're pulling and at a speed that's higher than you're moving your hand. Now imagine attaching a large, very lightweight parachute to the loose end of the thread so that it moves away from the spool at more or less the same speed as the wind - and now our little vehicle will move against the wind and at higher speed than the wind...(at least until it runs out of thread...but this is a thought-experiment so the thread and parachute are massless and can be collapsed and reeled back in once in a while for zero energy outlay).
SteveBaker (talk) 18:09, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Cars already lose energy to air friction, and there's no law that you can't get some of that as useful work instead. Not all of it, or more than all of it, but more than a typical car does. You gave an example yourself with frictional vs. regenerative braking. If the air that enters through the front grille is decelerated to the speed of the car anyway, decelerating it with a turbine doesn't make the drag any worse and generates some power in the bargain.
The best citation I can offer is a car that does have turbines behind the grille, though it could be a gimmick. -- BenRG (talk) 20:37, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
But, if the air in the grill was formerly used for engine cooling, then if you use a turbine to slow that air, you've effectively reduced the efficacy of the air cooling system... and it's also possible that a spinning turbine can increase drag: if the induced drag of the turbine blades is greater than the static drag of the stagnation point (i.e., the moving turbine can be worse for aerodynamics than the stationary material that it replaced, even if the exit air velocity is identical). Anyway, I don't think it's useful or instructive to nitpick at this hypothetical situation too much: it depends on a zillion unspecified details. As a whole, I think we're all very familiar with conservation of energy and we understand the limitations of pushing this analogy. I only wanted to highlight some of the many engineering-details that would make an actual implementation more difficult. Nimur (talk) 23:21, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Space suit color[edit]

Why were the first space suits like those that Shepard wore shiny silver? (talk) 16:20, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

To reflect heat away from the body. The interior of those early spacecraft weren't well insulated against the heat of launch and re-entry - or from the suns' rays while in orbit. SteveBaker (talk) 16:35, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Wasn't Yuri Gagarin's suit on his first space flight orange? (talk) 16:37, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
The SK-1 spacesuit was indeed orange - most likely to aid in spotting the cosmonaut after s/he ejected from the capsule during reentry. WegianWarrior (talk) 16:44, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Found a citation for it:"The orange colour of the overalls was selected to facilitate the search for the cosmonaut...". Russian Spacesuits, by Isaak P. Abramov and Å. Ingemar Skoog, ISBN 1-85233-732-X. WegianWarrior (talk) 17:45, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Hmmm - so how does a wind-farm work?[edit]

All this talk of wind-powered cars got me thinking.

I'm imagining an invisible cuboid surrounding a wind farm containing hundreds of windmills. Air flows into the cube at some velocity. The windmills steal kinetic energy from it - so the air must leave my imaginary volume at slower speeds than it enters. We know that the cube doesn't fill up with increasingly high pressure air - and what comes in has to go out again! I suppose a larger fraction of the surface area of my imaginary cube has a net low-speed outflow of air than has a high-speed net inflow...but this has to result in some crazy wind directions when several hundred windmills are set up close together over several miles of hilltop (as we see out in West Texas, for example).

What exactly happens there?

SteveBaker (talk) 16:41, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

There is of course a net reduction in energy in the air when some of it is slowed down to do work on the turbine blade. But it doesn't necessarily result in crazy wind directions beyond scales of a few meters. Turbulence (at all scales) takes care of mixing and averaging of wind speeds, but usually engineers want to diminish wake vortices and vortex shedding to improve efficiency of conversion of kinetic energy in the air into mechanical power. For some relatively long-distance effects, check out this image search for /wake vortex wind turbine/ [8] My understanding is that a turbine array would be most efficient if we could magically eliminate all wake vortices, and then the simple effect of the wind farm would be to reduce the velocity of the laminar flow. Here's a power point presentation from the Sandia national lab [9] that talks about how turbulence effects arrays. Here's a more technical book chapter about mathematical modeling of how turbine blades affect wind [10] These both relate to your question, but do not address your specific phrasing. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:04, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
I think you mean to say that turbulence affects arrays. (talk) 19:02, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
It is true that you can't extract too much energy (aka speed) from the wind at each site, or the air piles up and causes stalls. IIRC, the exit wind speed must be no less that 75% of the source speed, but I don't have a cite for that. CS Miller (talk) 18:04, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
The physical limit is known as Betz's law and says that no wind turbine can extract more than 16/27 (~59%) of the energy in an airflow. Typical real windmills for power generation operate around ~75% of this theoretical maximum efficiency. It also implies that the air behind the windmill will optimally move at about 1/3 the speed of the air approaching the windmill (the exiting air is assumed to move across a larger area). Dragons flight (talk) 19:06, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Byron Airport (C83) is in very close proximity to a large number of windmills. I can feel their effect on the wind when I fly my Citabria there. Their effect is still smaller in magnitude than the coal power plant, whose "smoke-stack" produces thousands-of-feet-tall vertical updrafts of very significant magnitude. Both the wind farm and the steam plume are documented in the official Airport/Facility Directory entry, "Remarks" section, for C83, which is officially published by the FAA[11] to make sure that aviators are aware of all relevant information. (It's up to us to use our own judgement about the magnitude of the effects)! And it's not only their effect on local wind: they're also large, tall, weirdly-shaped moving obstacles; one generally prefers to avoid flying into such objects. Windmills also have serious effects on modern Doppler RADAR (to air traffic control, the windmills have a radio return that looks exactly like a small aircraft with an inoperative transponder - i.e. an out-of-the-ordinary radar blip that blinks into- and out-of existence, a little bit too close to the rugged terrain). Windmills are also tall and difficult to avoid.
Here's a video of a C182 landing at C83 on Runway 30. (The really exciting footage is the take-off from 23, directly upwind into the rising terrain full of the windmills, but I can't find any online. Maybe next week I'll post a video...) Nimur (talk) 21:18, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
And before anyone nitpicks, I always comply with 14 CFR 91.119 and all other applicable regulations; in particular, I do not fly closer than 500 feet from the structure of a windmill. Even still, I can feel the wind change. Nimur (talk) 21:42, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
I think Steve is asking about the mass balance. If I had a (wind driven) turbine in a duct, I would expect to pressure (and thus density) to be lower downstream of the turbine than upstream. If the downstream velocity of the air is also lower, then there would appear to be a greater rate of air (by mass) flowing into the turbine than out. How can that be? -- ToE 11:06, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
For efficient turbine drive, the cross sectional area of your duct should vary inversely with speed, as in the diagram at Betz's law. (talk) 11:44, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I missed the larger area mention that Dragons flight made earlier. -- ToE 12:30, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Also see Disk actuator theory. Dolphin (t) 13:12, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Does Betz's law also apply to water-turbines, and free-flow tidal generators, that look like underwater windmills? The article indicates that it is for air only. As water is non-compressible, a different law may apply. CS Miller (talk) 13:16, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
I too would have assumed that compressibility would be a factor, but the article does say, "Betz' Law applies to all Newtonian fluids, but this article will use wind as an example." -- ToE 14:44, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
I really need to improve my skim-reading. The lead only mentions air/wind, but the first section says all Newtonian fluids. CS Miller (talk) 15:23, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Sadness and heart problems[edit]

Is it possible that sadness, whether from a sad movie or a real situation such as a breakup, which causes the physical sadness feeling in the chest area, is bad for the physical health of the heart? Could it increase risks of heart disease? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:22, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Yes. See Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, also known as broken heart syndrome. --Srleffler (talk) 04:59, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

July 25[edit]

Anti Armor Weapons[edit]

I read in a forum that Kornet uses a low energy laser beam to guide the missile so that it cannot be discovered , my fist question is : does the TOW 2 have the same ability to be undiscovered ? My next question : are there any other methods to guide missiles - within SACLOS systems not fire and forget systems - which is resistant to jamming and detection ? (talk) 08:11, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

See BGM-71 TOW for our article on the missile. According to the article, the wireless version of the TOW-2B employs a "stealth one way radio link", but no details are given and the statement isn't cited. The standard version uses a wire link for guidance, so there's no radiation to indicate the missile's presence - I'm not sure if that makes it "undiscoverable". Tevildo (talk) 09:03, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Ask yourself this: Is a Sidewinder missile undiscoverable just because it uses passive infrared guidance? And this will answer your question whether any missile can ever be truly "undiscoverable". (talk) 10:07, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Hardening against coronal mass ejections?[edit]

I just read a story saying that a 2012 coronal mass ejection could have put Earth "back to the stone age" if it had hit us. Which makes me wonder: what would people need to do to prepare against them?

To start with, where would they do their damage? (This would be good to add to the article also) I had a clearly ludicrous notion of wrapping computers and power cords in tinfoil, but from very not-Wikipedia-grade sources it appears that the damage is mostly to big features, long transmission lines.

  • Is this true?
  • Would Germany, with its advanced state of conversion to solar power that I assume is more decentralized, be spared from the event to the degree they have done so?
  • Would underground power lines be unaffected?
  • Which power generation facilities would be affected?

Last but not least, since we've now seen an event like this, can we begin to estimate how long it is until we are hit by this? Wnt (talk) 12:51, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

It is true that we use computer-controlled machines to build machines to build our technology, so that if all surface computers were to be destroyed we would be in trouble. However, there should be computers in Cheyenne Mountain nuclear bunker, and its Russian/Chinese equivalents that will survive. There will be details of how to (re)build our technology stored on surface CD/DVDs that will survive, and on tape/hard drive deep in old salt-mines as long-term backups (Iron Mountain etc use old mines if available). The question is, can our just-on-time supply network provide sufficient food etc for us to survive the few years before we can rebuild everything? CS Miller (talk) 13:28, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Our Electromagnetic pulse article should cover much of this. StuRat (talk) 14:08, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Another one just missed us, according to this Guardian report ---- CS Miller (talk) 14:50, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Don't see any mention of another one. Far as I can tell, the report just refers to the same 2012 event Wnt refers to (along with one in 1859 that we have an article on Solar storm of 1859). The report itself is from the past few days, as I'm sure is Wnt's report, that's just because NASA just put out the PR about it [12] and everyone is reporting it now. Nil Einne (talk) 15:48, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
BTW, the NASA PR has useful information. In particular it mentions a NSF study. Some quick searching ('National Academy of Sciences solar storm') finds [13] which is probably referring to the same study and gives a title which suggests it's [14] or NSF workshop report (working without registration copy).
The other papers referred to are [15] (wrong date but all the other details seem right so I guess NASA or someone who gave them the date screwed up) and [16] + [17] (found with a search for 'Nature Communications Janet G. Luhmann'). However as the first is about estimating the probability of such events and the second two are about an analysis of the 2012 eruptive event, it looks like they only briefly mention or don't mention at all the possible effects.
Also this is the related PR about the 2014 study [18] and has some cost and recovery estimates. Of course as a press release not a great source (amongst other things, very few details) but it does mention a study in the previous year (i.e. 2013). The NSF workshop report is from 2008 or so unless they do go their dates mixed up it's probably not what they're referring to. But again a quick search for '2013 solar storm 2.6 trillion' finds [19] which mentions a $2.6 trillion Lloyd's estimate from 2013 so the details match up with the Berkeley PR. The same search (or I guess the details from Telegraph) finds the report Lloyds report. They don't actually talk about the figure much, more about other stuff.
Oh and due to misremembering what the Berkeley PR said, I also looked for '2011 solar storm recovery' which found [20] which mentions and links to an OECD report OECD report.
I didn't look at these that well but the 3 reports, particularly the NSF and OECD ones look like they provide a resonable amount of information on what could happen. I think all 3 agree the effect could be fairly disastrous. I doubt any of them say anything about "back to the stone age". It doesn't look like that's even in the NASA PR. I'm not sure who came up with it, but I suspect it may have been a journalist somewhere. I did find one newspaper quoting a researcher but the full quote is "back to the stone age for days" [21] (however it looks to me like this only came after every paper and their dog were already talking about "back to the stone age").
Nil Einne (talk) 16:59, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

An electromagnetic potential of Brownian motion[edit]

Did a Brownian motion always had been an electromagnetic potential? Why the Wikipedia don’t include that?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 13:54, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

What the devil does Brownian motion have to do with electromagnetism??? (talk) 17:14, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
I _think_ Johnson noise is what the OP's getting at. Tevildo (talk) 17:29, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
If been seek a Brownian motion as movements of electromagnetic charges, we been seek that Brownian motion always had a electromagnetic potential. But I have asked a question about a make been resonances by Brownian motion in which an electromagnetic charges lost’s or had their mass. Why's the Wikipedia don’ting include that?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 18:51, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Which why losted mass of electromagnetic charges in Brownian motion up to had mass a twice?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 19:50, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Odd cat behavior[edit]

Unlike dogs, which wag their tails when happy, cats normally wag their tails when angry. But I know a cat that wags it's tail when happy, for example, when being petted and purring. So, how rare is this ? Do cats raised with dogs pick up this behavior from the dogs ? StuRat (talk) 14:16, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Cat's have different ways of moving their tails. Some mean that they are happy, some mean that they are annoyed. Just part of the enigma of having a cat share its home with you. [22] ---- CS Miller (talk) 14:36, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Our cat is almost constantly twitching its tail, whether it's happy, uncomfortable, impatient, or whatever. I think it just likes twitching its tail. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:25, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

MSF and Scotlands free ride[edit]

If Scotland vote for independence, will the MSF transmitter be moved back to central England (Rugby) like it was before? I assume it was moved up north to give better coverage over Scotland so if they are independent, why cant they build their own time reference and stop riding on our backs for free?-- (talk) 16:03, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

I never knew that the Multi-Stage Flash desalination process required any sort of transmitter! But yes, if Scotland declares independence, they'll no doubt have to build their own desalination transmitters (whatever that is)... (talk) 17:20, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
[citation needed]. (EC) Questions begining with "I assume" (or for that matter "if") are rarely good questions for the RD. Most sources about the move e.g. [23] [24] [25] mention the move of Time from NPL (MSF) to Anthorn Radio Station was a result of changing the contract from BT to VT Communications (which occured concurrently with an upgrade meaning less maintenence) and don't mention at at all about Scotland or coverage which is kind of weird if that was the intention. Particularly since from what I can tell, these come from before the SNP 2007 Manisfesto was published so I'm not sure there would even be much controversy then. Plus a quick search doesn't find anything 'anthorn NPL scotland' so it doesn't seem likely it was said much by anyone. So basically you're making a claim which few people involved seem to have said which is very weird given the reasoning you claimed. Note that in case there's any confusion to other respondents, the transmitter remains in England, just a different part. Nil Einne (talk) 17:22, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Well certainly the move to Anthorn has reduced signal strength in most of England, so why was it moved to a central part of the island as a whole if it was not to benefit the Scots?-- (talk) 17:34, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Um did I not already say quoting 3 sources? Or do you really need a link to Pound sterling and free market as well? In case you're still confused, you are of course nominally correct. Since Scots must (currently) pay for NPL in some way, just the same as those in Northern Ireland, England and Wales it was ultimately intended to benefit them, just as it was ultimately intended to benefit the people of NI, England and Wales. But not in excess proportion (actually since I suspect England pays more on average for the NPL, because amongst other things they probably use it more on average, it was probably intended to benefit England more. Sort of. Nil Einne (talk) 17:40, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, you lost me there. care to explain? (talk) 17:47, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
After EC. Your answer makes sense now. (talk) 17:48, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Would a "mirrored" human body work?[edit]

Hi. A 2-dimensional surface with an R on it can only be made to show an Я if rotated in 3-space; similarly, a 3D cube with R on the sides can only show an Я if rotated in 4-space. H G Wells wrote The Plattner Story, in which a man passes through a fourth dimension and returns with his body mirrored: the heart is on the right-hand side, his eyes are reversed, and so on. Suppose that this actually happened to a person: could they still live and function normally, or are there reasons (perhaps e.g. Stereoisomerism) why they could not? Thanks. (talk) 17:25, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

There is a physiological condition where the internal organs are reversed, the name of which escapes me. Slightly shorter life experience is noted in those with it, but that might be because pain localises to the wrong side of the body, making diagnosis harder. (talk) 17:56, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
His body would have the wrong chirality of amino acids, so I don't think he would get the proper nutrition from normal food. Chemical chirality in popular fiction covers some other stories where this happens. Katie R (talk) 18:06, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Having all molecules mirrored, it seems perfectly feasible that perfect mirroring would produce a fully functional being, since physics is almost exactly symmetrical (there are subtle asymmetries, e.g. in the weak interaction, but I expect that this would have no effect at the chemical level and above). Katie's point about nutrition is of course valid: a source of chemically mirrored food, not only amino acids, would be necessary. For example, the stereoisomer of vitamin C is useless to the human body. —Quondum 18:51, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Might it be useful to the mirror image of a human, though? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:43, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, the R-ascorbic acid would be exactly what the mirror image body would need, and our normal L-ascorbic acid would be useless to it, just as R-ascorbic acid is useless to us. —Quondum 22:00, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Wow, I can't believe "Chemical chirality in popular fiction" is an article. WP really has everything. Thanks for that. (talk) 22:24, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
See "Situs inversus".—Wavelength (talk) 18:08, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Note that that condition involves reversal of the organs from right to left, but no change at the molecular level. StuRat (talk) 00:36, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
Flatfish have already evolved a 90° rotation of one eye to join the other "topside" eye. This could have occurred (may still be occurring) in either direction. If a single human should suddenly reverse his Chirality it would cause a ±180° Angular momentum problem that doesn't rate a Wikipedia article. (talk) 18:33, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Mediterranean & South China Sea poles of inaccessibility?[edit]

Where are the Mediterranean and South China Sea poles of inaccessibility (points farthest from any land above the surface) and which one is farther from that land?Naraht (talk) 18:22, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Fusion > Fission?[edit]

Will nuclear fusion deliver the era of almost limitless, almost free energy that fission promised but didn't deliver? -- (talk) 20:39, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

This is a request for speculation, so isn't really answerable. See Fusion power for our article. Tevildo (talk) 20:51, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, it definitely makes for more destructive bombs, if that's considered a plus. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:55, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
So at the very least it's a possibility which cannot be immediately discounted? -- (talk) 21:36, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
The sun is a naturally-occurring fusion reactor which provides us with effectively limitless energy. It can't be controlled any more than the H-bomb can, but at least its energy can be captured. I'm curious to know what promises fission failed to deliver upon? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:41, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm not interested in the Sun! I'm interested in terrestrial fusion reactors. Atomic age discusses fission's broken promises. (talk) 21:54, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
The electricity too cheap to meter was just marketing hype, it was not the serious belief of the engineers. From the Electrical Engineer's Reference Book, Malloy, Say and Walker 6th ed. 1952, I see that an atomic power station is estimated to cost 4 times as much as a coal-fired plant, and it is estimated that the energy will cost 25% more than that from coal. There were other reasons for nuclear power: diversity of supply (necessary to keep the miners in their place), gaining the technological expertise, obtaining fissile isotopes for weapons and national prestige. --catslash (talk) 23:37, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
That's interesting: Too cheap to meter related to fusion all along; people just assumed it referred to fission (and I still did 60 years later). Amazing what you learn on WP. --catslash (talk) 23:53, 25 July 2014 (UTC)


The idea of anything being too cheap to meter seems faulty. Tap water is pretty darned cheap, yet we still meter that. If we didn't, people would waste it to such a degree that it would become a major expense. Same is true of energy. There are all sorts of wasteful things you could use an unlimited amount of energy to do, and if people didn't have to pay for it, they would do exactly that. StuRat (talk) 00:42, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

July 26[edit]

quantum immortality[edit]

this is what i found in simple english wikipedia, see question below:

Quantum Immortality is an idea in which it is put forward that the consciousness stays alive even though the conscious being dies. For example, someone sets off a bomb beside the victim, that victim survives in an alternate universe by being injured but living, or by the bomb not blowing up. However, in the original universe, the victim "dies" in the blast. The consciousness continues to exist in another, perhaps many alternate universes. This is related to the thought experiment of Schrödinger's cat.

The idea is that if you use a special gun that goes off, something called a quark is spinning one way, but not if it spins the other way. However, the quark somehow manages to spin both ways at once, so the universe splits into two separate possibilities as the person pulls the trigger. In one universe, the person survives, in the other, the person dies. The person themself does not notice anything different.

my question is, is that (bold text) true and what does that mean? Dannis243 (talk) 01:25, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

The entire passage is somewhat confused and not very accurate. The bold text is correct, though: it just means that the person never experiences the outcomes in which he dies. In the few outcomes where he somehow survives, he just experiences a narrow escape, just as in any situation where someone has a close brush with death. --Amble (talk) 01:58, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
I wonder about the same thought experiment done with quantum unconsciousness. The apparatus randomly determines each 10 seconds whether to anaesthetize the experimenter. So in some universe, the events that would render him unconscious never happen, and so he remains awake for the experiment.
What is the difference between someone being rendered unconscious, returning with an at least someone different configuration of nervous system later, and someone who dies, but leaves behind some other member of his species who can then pick up and read about the experiment? Wnt (talk) 02:34, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
This sounds like a variant on the old expression, "Blown to kingdom come." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:06, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
The idea is that some variations of quantum theory maintain that every possible outcome to every event happens in one or other of an infinity of alternate parallel universes. Since you can't reason about what's going on in universes in which you died, then by analogy with the anthropic principle, "you" must exist in a universe in which you survived. What this is claimed by some to mean is that you will live forever - dodging bullets and surviving catastrophies by increasingly crazy and unlikely means. At first sight, this seems like a good thing - it predicts that you'll live forever. But if it's true, the idea might mean that we're going to find ourselves in a literal living hell. This idea would only mean that you survive to observe the universe in this state - not that you are healthy, happy, comfortable or anything else. So, for example, it seems likely that in this view of the universe, the insane series of coincidences actually FORCE you to survive. You can't die even if you try. However, it doesn't prevent you from going blind, deaf, losing all of your limbs, being in continual agony, having all of your family, all of the rest of humanity dying around you, etc, etc. We'd better hope this isn't true - because it means that every single one of us winds up in their own, individual hell-universe. It quite literally dooms us all to the worst hell imaginable for all eternity!
Fortunately, there are many get-out-clauses that most people who've seriously considered it believe will ensure that it isn't true. SteveBaker (talk) 04:41, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
it calld "the next world" , thanks water nosfim — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:05, 26 July 2014 (UTC)


July 14[edit]

July 16[edit]

July 20[edit]

When mathematicians speak of "Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory", do they mean ZFC or ZF?[edit]

I had always assumed that mathematicians mean ZFC when they use the phrase "Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory". Historically, the axiom of choice (the "C" in "ZFC") was part of Ernst Zermelo's earliest forms of an axiomatization of set theory (see Zermelo set theory), and it was the one axiom that caused the most debate, making it perhaps the most prominent part of Zermelo's axiomatization. This is why I myself had assumed that the phrase "Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory" always meant ZFC. However, some time ago, when editing Dedekind-infinite set, I came to doubt this. Now I wonder: when mathematicians speak of "Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory", do they conventionally mean ZFC or ZF ("ZFC minus C") or even some other variant? Or do mathematicians avoid to talk about "Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory" at all, directly using the unambiguous terms ZFC and ZF and so on instead?

BTW: Just for fun, I have looked at the way the phrase "Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory" is used on wikipedia, checking some of the pages that link to the article with the title "Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory".

Tobias Bergemann (talk) 10:26, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

(Partially) answering my own question: Apparently I am somewhat mistaken in my assumption that ZF universally refers to "ZFC minus C". Indeed, most works on set theory appear to use this convention (e.g. the canonical works by Jech or Kunen or Levy or Smullyan/Fitting or Fraenkel/Bar-Hillel/Levy/van Dalen, and of course those books that specifically talk about the axiom of choice like Gregory H. Moore's "Zermelo's Axiom of Choice"). So I think it is safe to say that this use is conventional. But: I also found a few books on set theory that explicitly use "ZF" to refer to the axioms of Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory with the axiom of choice included (e.g. Cohens "Set Theory and the Continuum Hypothesis", and Mary Tiles's "The Philosophy of Set Theory"), at least if I'm not mistaken. However, they are certainly a tiny minority.
And the term "Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory" indeed appears to be ambiguous, with some authors including the axiom of choice and others not. On the one hand, for example, Keith Devlin's "The Joy of Sets" says (on p. 45): "The theory whose Axioms are 1–8 above is usually denoted by ZF. If we add Axiom 9, we denote the resulting theory by ZFC. This is at slight variance with the fact that 'Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory' has all nine axioms as its basic assumptions, but the nomenclature is now standard." On the other hand, Azriel Levy's "Basic Set Theory" says (chapter 5.24, p. 23): "The system consisting of the axioms of extensionality, union, power-set, replacement, infinity, and foundation is called the Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory and is denoted by ZF."
I am somewhat confused as several authors explicity or implicitly claim that the axiom of choice was added later to Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory. E.g. Smullyan/Fitting (Part I, Chapter 1 §9 "Zermelos set theory") talk about a "Zermelo set theory" without the axiom of choice (basically ZFC without choice, substition and replacement), then present substition and replacement (the additions of Fraenkel and, independently, Skolem) and then refer to the resulting system as "Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory" (ZF), without even mentioning choice, and (at least to me) implicitly suggesting that the axiom of choice was a much later addition to the axiomatization of set theory when it was in fact Axiom VI in Zermelo's 1908 article "Untersuchungen über die Grundlagen der Mengenlehre. I". (And, of course, Zermelo explicitly used choice in his 1904 proof of the well-ordering theorem, and he explicitly formulated and used the choice principle again in his modified proof of the well-ordering theorem presented in his 1908 article "Neuer Beweis für die Möglichkeit einer Wohlordnung".)
At least the meaning of "ZFC" is unambiguous.
Tobias Bergemann (talk) 13:22, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I have heard some vague claims that Zermelo's original theory, as he conceived it, was sort of implicitly in second-order logic, which could be part of the confusion. If you take Z to have full second-order separation and consider it as a theory in second-order logic, then it's categorical up to the first inaccessible cardinal. (More precisely, the only thing that can differ between two models is their height.) So if you think AC is true, then you think that all models of Z in this sense satisfy AC, so it maybe doesn't seem so important whether it is explicitly included or not.
All these ZF-like set theories have the same "picture" of the universe of sets (namely the von Neumann universe). Workers who study theories with a significantly different picture of the universe (like New Foundations) are sometimes heard to use the term "ZF" to refer, not to a precise formal theory, but to all set theory that views sets in that standard way. --Trovatore (talk) 05:23, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Great circles through antipodal points[edit]

Is there any discontinuity-free procedure for choosing a great circle through any given pair of antipodal points on Earth -- i.e. so that the chosen great circle never suddenly jumps with a very small movement of the antipodal points? I feel that this may be impossible, but I'm not certain. Assume that the Earth is a perfect sphere. (talk) 19:49, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

If your conditions are met - a pair of antipodal points on a perfect sphere - there are an infinity of identical great circles through them. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 20:13, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I am aware of that (though they are not "identical"). I want to know whether there is a systematic procedure for choosing ONE great circle through each pair of antipodal points so that no discontinuities occur. For example, a simple procedure would be to choose the great circle that also passes through the North Pole. However, this creates a discontinuity when the antipodal points are the poles. (talk) 20:34, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
How about this:
1) For the initial pair of poles, choose any third random point on the equator between the poles. Use that point and the two poles to construct the great circle.
2) Find the midpoint of one of the two semi-great circles between the poles (choose the semi-great circle which is closest to the last midpoint), and use that as the third point for the next great circle. Repeat step 2 indefinitely. StuRat (talk) 20:32, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Given any two antipodal points, the procedure, or algorithm, needs to independently return a unique great circle without any reference to any previous history. Also, I am interested in solving this in an exact mathematical sense, not anything related to precision of variables. (talk) 20:37, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Then no, I don't think that's possible. Note that if you aren't worried about precision of variables, then the chance of either point being exactly coincident with your random 3rd point is zero, however. StuRat (talk) 20:44, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
However, that is no consolation to me. Except in pretty exotic cases, mathematical discontinuities do occur only at single points. (talk) 20:49, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Also, you probably won't be interested in this "trick", but if you can limit the selection of the antipodal points to a certain set, say if they can only specify each coord up to a trillionth of a degree, then just choosing a random 3rd point not on that grid of points would work. StuRat (talk) 20:44, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Right, I'm only interested in solutions that are completely theoretically valid. I'm not looking for practical fudges or kludges. (talk) 20:54, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Then I think you're out of luck. May I ask what this is for ? StuRat (talk) 21:00, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
It is just for interest. (talk) 22:43, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
This isn't wholly rigorous, but:
  • Assume that the method you're looking for exists.
  • This means that for any point A on the sphere, a function f produces a circle f(A). (We have f(A) = f(B) iff B=A or B=-A.)
  • Let's define a vector v along f(A) from A, such that v also varies continuously. (This appears to follow from the definition of f, that it is continuous and unique.)
  • v for all A is a vector field.
  • The hairy ball theorem applies. Therefore the initial assumption is false - v cannot be continuous, so either v's continuity doesn't follow from f's, or f isn't continuous. If anyone can show that f can be continuous without v being so as well, I'll be surprised. AlexTiefling (talk) 23:15, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I like it! I must be careful not to confuse with the hairy balls theorem... (talk) 00:29, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
One clarification: If f is continuous, one could obviously choose a discontinuous v (but there's no reason to); but if you can't make v continuous, that's either because there's something peculiar about the choice of v (that I've missed) or else f isn't continuous either. Hence why I say this isn't rigorous. I can easily see an argument that if f(A) isn't unique for each A, v can't be guaranteed continuous, but not if f(A) is unique. (For example - distinguish the hemispheres into which f(A) divides the sphere; require v to be a unit along f(A) from A with a specified hemisphere on its left. If f(A) is continuous, the identity of the chosen hemisphere should be too.) AlexTiefling (talk) 11:38, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
The fundamental polygon of the projective plane
This problem is clearly what one might call a variant of the hairy ball theorem on a different space: the elliptic plane, topologically the real projective plane, since antipodal points are identified, and we are trying to find a field of tangent lines over this manifold that does not have topological discontinuities. A tangent line is equivalent to the pair of oppositely pointing units vectors, which is to say we can tolerate a 180° flip when we get back to the point via any path in the projective plane. Or: can one draw a set of non-crossing lines that covers the real projective plane? Looking at the fundamental polygon of the real projective projective plane, if we rule it with vertical lines, it would suggest that it might be possible. There is an inherent 180° shift in the vector field, but that is accommodated by the lines being non-directed. If one examines this more closely, this corresponds to the fields making two U-turns around the tips of the arrow B, creating two singularities in the field. This corresponds to two pairs of antipodes where small circular path around them will result in the vector direction spinning 180°, or if one shrinks them to one point, this becomes one pair of antipodes where there will be a spin of 360° (corresponding to diagonal lines in the diagram). While this is not rigorous, it does lend support to AlexTiefling's argument from a topological perspective. —Quondum 17:54, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I think I agree. But is there necessarily a mapping from any ruling (even partial) of the fundamental polygon of the real projective projective plane onto a set of great circles on the corresponding (hemi)sphere? Projective geometry's not my strong point, I'm afraid. AlexTiefling (talk) 08:57, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
No, there isn't. The projective plane is a topological construct, so what is a straight line in the fundamental polygon isn't necessarily anything very nice in the projective plane (or in the sphere when taking preimages). For this, you need more structure than a topology. YohanN7 (talk) 14:14, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
That is to say, the concepts "straight line" and "great circle" both lack meaning in this topological setting. YohanN7 (talk) 14:37, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Agreed, regarded as a topology, though this doesn't detract from the argument. (Actually, the real projective plane does have straight lines, and they do map to great circles in our case, but we are not interested in these, only in the topology. These lines are not straight in the diagram here, though.) If the real projective plane cannot be ruled with wavy lines that are locally parallel everywhere, this is a proof that there is no procedure as outlined in the original question. —Quondum 15:58, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
How do you define "straight" in the real projective plane? Its elements, in one construction, are straight lines but these are points in the space, not lines, so you mean something else obviously. I guess you could probably use the projection from the sphere (using its standard embedding in R3) to define straight in one incarnation of the real projective plane. YohanN7 (talk) 16:21, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
The geometry of the projective plane is off-topic here. —Quondum 18:42, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Don't bring it up then. YohanN7 (talk) 19:27, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Alex, can you please further explain your uniqueness condition. As I understand it, nothing in the definition of the original problem explicitly prevents f(A) = f(B) where A ≠ B and A ≠ -B, but that the uniqueness is allowing you some method of creating a continuous v from a continuous f. I don't understand that method -- your "distinguish the hemispheres" example -- and I don't see how uniqueness comes into play.

Trying to map the tangent lines of a continuous f() to a vector field, it seems to me that given an A, and choosing an arbitrary hemisphere of f(A) to be on the left of the vector derived from f(A), and calling the point in the center of that hemisphere X, the continuous nature of f means that there is a neighborhood of A in which for all elements C of that neighborhood, f(C) will be sufficiently far from X that we can assign a vector where the hemisphere containing X is to its left, and that the resulting vector field in that neighborhood will be continuous. Does that work, and if f is uniformly continuous, should it be possible to paste together a continuous vector field for the entire sphere? But what if f is continuous, but not uniformly so? -- ToE 14:29, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

I was worried that I was out of my depth, and it looks like I might be. My attempt to clear up as much as I can:
  • You're right about more than two points being capable of producing the same circle; however, the uniqueness is not essential to the argument. I was over-specifying. The original problem only requires that f(A) is uniquely determined by choice of A, not that it is actually unique.
  • 'Distinguishing hemispheres' was simply my way to try and visualise consistently assigning a vector to each A. But yes, I imagined that if f were continuous, small changes in A would result in small changes to v, and my original draft included identifying a point equivalent to your X - such that small changes to A would result in equivalent-sized small changes to X.
  • Your argument about neighbourhoods of A makes sense to me. But this is a proof by contradiction...
  • I'm weak on uniform continuity, but I'm not sure it's essential to the argument. Let's say I think my argument is true for uniform continuity, and might well be otherwise.
  • The argument about neighbourhoods of A implies that the function can be locally continuous, but the hairy ball theorem implies that there must be point discontinuities somewhere in the global function.
Does that make any sort of sense? AlexTiefling (talk) 14:58, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I haven't followed the reasoning closely ITT, but it seems like the Hairy ball theorem is incorrectly interpreted. It says there is no nonvanishing continuous vector field on the two-sphere. Continuous vector fields do exist. YohanN7 (talk) 14:44, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
The definition of v(A) that I was using assumed it has unit magnitude everywhere. If it's capable of having zero magnitude, it can't correspond to the orientation of a uniquely specified circle through A. AlexTiefling (talk) 15:00, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I think that we are on the same page, Alex. Clearly, any combing of a hairy ball would yield the f() asked for. But since no such combing exists, if we can show that a continuous f() can be used to construct a continuous unit vector field, then such an f() does not exist.
S2 is compact, so I suppose that any continuous f() is uniformly continuous, so we should be able to piece together a continuous unit vector field by covering the sphere in finitely many neighborhoods. So yes, I think that the hairy ball theorem does preclude a continuous f(). -- ToE 15:39, 22 July 2014 (UTC) (I *know* that I'm out of my depth here, but this sounds reasonable to me.)

Fantastic question! In my mind, the question is precisely asking for a global section of the projectivised tangent bundle of  \mathbb{RP}^2 (for each pair of antipodal points, choose a direction (tangent line at either point), through which the great circle then goes). Nonexistence of such a section does not, to my eyes, immediately follow from the hairy ball theorem. Crucially, there is a difference between the following two circle bundles on the sphere  S^2 :

  • the unit circle bundle associated to the tangent bundle, which has no global sections precisely by the hairy ball theorem, and
  • the projective bundle associated to the tangent bundle, which is the quotient of the previous circle bundle by the antipodal map (on the fibers).

The first bundle has Euler class  2 \in H^2(S^2,\mathbb{Z}), as the Euler characteristic of  S^2 is 2. This precludes the existence of a global section (essentially, this is the proof of the hairy ball theorem via Poincaré—Hopf). The second bundle will then have attached Euler class 1 and the same argument applies to rule out a global section. (Note that I don't have to worry about twisted Euler classes as  S^2 is simply connected so every vector bundle is orientable). This was for the projectivised tangent bundle of  S^2 , but as I noted you really care about the projectivised tangent bundle of  \mathbb{RP}^2, in which case we do need to worry about the orientation sheaf to get a twisted Euler class, but the same argument should apply. -- (talk) 16:12, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Actually, here's another argument: if such a global section of the projectivised tangent bundle of  \mathbb{RP}^2 existed, we could lift it by the covering map to  S^2 to get a global section of the projectivised tangent bundle of  S^2 . Now  S^2 is simply connected, hence it is always possible to consistently choose orientations, turning the continuous choice of tangent line inside the tangent space at each point (which is precisely what a global section of the projectivised tangent bundle is) into a choice of unit length tangent vector, and hence a continuous nowhere zero vector field on the sphere. This contradicts the hairy ball theorem, hence it is impossible to choose great circles as desired. -- (talk) 16:03, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

A simpler argument: such a section if it existed would define a pair of sections of the unit tangent bundle: a double cover of the sphere. The sphere, being simply connected, has only trivial covers. So the double cover is the trivial one, and the unit tangent bundle has a section. Sławomir Biały (talk) 17:41, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

July 21[edit]

July 22[edit]

July 23[edit]

Is every infinite field with cardinality aleph-0 isomorphic to the rationals?[edit]

Just wondering. --2404:2000:2000:5:0:0:0:C2 (talk) 00:31, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

No. Consider the field Q(sqrt(2)) (I'm no longer sure of the notation; what I mean is the smallest field containing the rationals and sqrt(2)). Any isomorphism between them would have to fix the rationals, so there's nowhere for sqrt(2) to go on the Q side. --Trovatore (talk) 00:47, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Your notation is pretty standard, sometimes rendered with the "blackboard bold" or square brackets, e.g. as \mathbb{Q}[\sqrt{2}] . Our relevant article is Algebraic_number_field. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:52, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I think I learned square brackets for the extension as a ring, parentheses (round brackets) for the field. --Trovatore (talk) 17:59, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
That is also what I learned. However, \mathbb{Q}[\sqrt{2}]=\mathbb{Q}(\sqrt{2}), so it is not very important in this case. —Kusma (t·c) 18:02, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Even worse: the algebraic closure of a finite field is countable but doesn't even contain an isomorphic image of the rationals. —Kusma (t·c) 07:29, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
But any field of characteristic 0 contains the rational as a subfield -- (talk) 14:53, 24 July 2014 (UTC)


I'm trying to figure out a way to equitably pay off debt with my spouse. She makes 71% of what I make.

Let's say debt d=1750 and d=m+h (mine and her contribution)
Does h=0.71m??
And then does d=0.71m+m??
Does m=1232.39?

I'm doubting because then h=517.61 and I think h/m=0.71, but it doesn't...

I want to ultimately make an excel spreadsheet. Thanks

You're right up to d=0.71m+m, but you must have made a mistake after that, because it gives m = d/1.71 = 1023.39, and so h = 726.61. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 16:34, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Wow, thanks for the quick answer. That makes sense. Maybe you could help me spot my mistake, too?

  1. d=0.71m+m
  2. Divide d by 0.71 and cancel from other side
  3. so 2464.79=2m
  4. m=1232.39

Step 2, somewhere I think. Thank you again! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:53, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

If you want a simple formula for a spreadsheet for proportionally dividing a quantity, think in terms of each income as a fraction of the total income. So, say you each earn a = $1 and b = $0.71 respectively. Then an apportionment multipliers would be a′ = a/(a+b) = 0.585 and b′ = b/(a+b) = 0.415, so m = ad and h = bd, and these factors a′ and b′ can be reused for splitting other amounts. —Quondum 17:54, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
And as to the specific algebraic error, yes, step 2. You can divide both sides of an equation by 0.71, but the right hand side would become (0.71m + m)/0.71 = m + m/0.71, not m + m. What you should have done is to see that 0.71m + m = 1.71m, and then divide both sides by 1.71. -- ToE 21:21, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

This is how you should solve the problem. Very simple ratio.

You should think like this

  1. For every $100 I earn, she earns $71
  2. Thus we earn a total of $171 dollars ($100 + $71) for every $100 that I earn
  3. Thus my ratio of the debt is 100/(100+71)
  4. Thus her ratio of the debt is 71/(100+71)
  • d = 1750
  • m = 100/(100+71) * d
  • h = 71/(100+71) * d

Very easy. You don't need an excel spreadsheet. You just need to think clearly. (talk) 04:12, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

I'm not at all certain why the paying off of the debt is to be divided up according to how much each earns. There are lots of ideas on how it should be done, e.g. see fair division and airport problem and see how complex and confused these sorts of things can be made at Entitlement (fair division)#Entitlement in the Talmud. Basically you sre agreeing with proportional tax rather than a progressive tax for income. Dmcq (talk) 11:24, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

July 24[edit]

July 25[edit]

What's the use of complex numbers?[edit]

After reading Complex number I still don't get what makes the invention of imaginary numbers so special. Is it like Syntactic sugar for mathematicians so they can use less text to get to a proof? Are there proofs that wouldn't be possible without inventing i at the spot? I remember reading a book on fractals with surprisingly little mathematics in it, yet it had some formulas using the magical i as well. The BASIC code that was also in the book to actually draw the fractals didn't need such magic and was completely understandable (besides the astonishing pictures generated by such simple code, of course). Are there things that wouldn't have been discovered/invented/proven by now if no one ever had been thinking out of the box to by writing down the square root of -1? Joepnl (talk) 00:23, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

No, you can represent the complex numbers using pairs of real numbers. Dealing with such pairs doesn't, however, have a natural touch an feel like the set of complex numbers have once the -1 = i is accepted. At any rate, many discoveries and applications would have been delayed many years without the complex numbers. YohanN7 (talk) 00:40, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Edit: As a matter of fact, you can dispose of -1 = i as well. Just regard complex numbers as a particularly efficient notation for a certain field consisting of pairs of real numbers with extraordinary properties. It is the field with these properties we can't do without, whether it's represented by complex numbers or pairs of real numbers. YohanN7 (talk) 00:56, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
You need complex numbers to have a "Closed Field" or algebraically closed field. What this means is that any mathematical operations on a "complex number" will always result in another "complex number". As a comparison, an mathematical operation on a Real number can result in a number that is NOT REAL. For example the square root of negative one. (talk) 00:50, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
It's useful in appreciating the bigger picture, which is always a good thing to focus on. Because we're typically taught complex numbers later in our mathematical education, it might seem that they're curious exceptions to the real numbers. The truth is sort of the reverse. ALL numbers can be expressed as a complex number, but not all complex numbers can be expressed as a real number. That means that the real numbers, the ones we know and love and are familiar with, are the real curiosities, being merely an infinitesimally small subset of the complex numbers. Henceforth, when you order 3 hotdogs, you'll be asking for "3 + 0i" hotdogs. Right? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:38, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
See Complex numbers#Applications.—Wavelength (talk) 01:47, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Hello, I'm not an expert in mathematics, but only an enthusiast. I think that I have enough knowledge to provide an answer. There are 2 separate issues in this question, the first one is that complex numbers aren't an elementary concept as taken by most mathematic treatises, but rather they're usually defined as pairs of real numbers, one of which is the real part and the other is the imaginary part, then arithmetic operations and other properties are defined as well. You can replace all references for complex numbers in theorems and their proofs for the corresponding definition and they will still be valid, in this case complex numbers only make the role of syntactic sugar; likewise it would be possible to deal away with intermediate theorems on proofs by replacing them with their proofs and so on until only axioms and inference steps remain, but it would make intractably huge proofs, and consisting mostly of redundant information.
However, as far as human reasoning is concerned, the concept of complex number embodied in its definition (Or axioms, if you're treating them as a an elementary concept) is absolutely necessary because when we think, we do so on the properties of complex numbers as a structure standing on its own and the definition is abstracted away. There are results for which complex numbers are necessary which aren't about complex number themselves. For instance, the prime number theorem; using an area of mathematics to prove results in another is commonplace. Note that the PNT uses not only complex numbers, but complex analysis. (I'm not knowledgeable enough to understand those proofs themselves or results of complex analysis, however).
Thinking (Apart from writing proofs) in terms of complex numbers makes some things easier, even when they're not indispensable. For instance, a Fourier transform convert a signal from time domain (Values represent immediately intensity as a function of time) to frequency domain (Values represent the intensity of pure sinusoidal frequencies, which sum to the original signal and hence are another representation of it). Each frequency component has 2 components which are in quadrature (90° out of phase), even if the input is real; at this point it's trivial to see each of them as a pair of real numbers, rather than a single complex number, and there's little if any practical difference. However, the FT has very nice properties that are only intuitive when expressed with complex numbers. For instance, the convolution theorem says that convolution in time domain equals multiplication in frequency domain. It makes sense to see one operand as the signal and the other as the filter in a convolution (Specifically, its impulse response). Intuitive, when you pass a signal through a filter, it may attenuate some frequencies in different degrees (Multiply them), but it also may rotate the phase of the frequencies, and complex numbers define this multiplication for both components of each frequency (Either expressed as sine waves in quadrature or the magnitude and phase of a single one, AKA rectangular and polar form) while real numbers by themselves only explain intuitively the magnitudes.
It's exactly the same with real numbers, which can be defined as Dedekind cuts or Cauchy sequences, or rational numbers, which can be defined as pairs of integer numbers, which in turn are usually defined in set theory treatises in terms of sets. Of course, the reason you're asking about complex numbers and not any of the just listed number sets is because you're likely not used to them since your childhood, as you're with the R, N and Q sets (I wasn't, either, but maybe parents and elementary schools should begin teaching them). There's no fundamental distinction, your question can also be justifiably made for them and also for any other mathematical definition.
Also, note that complex numbers are defined and the question of the square root of negative numbers has no sense whatsoever in real numbers. To manipulate expressions containing \sqrt{-1} pretending that it's a real numbers has no more validity than the pseudo-proofs of any other Mathematical fallacy and may give contradictory results as well.
I hope that it helps, regards.
QrTTf7fH (talk) 02:47, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
By the way, QrTTf7fH, parentheses within a sentence do not call for a capital. —Tamfang (talk) 01:06, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

elementary mathematics[edit]

what are the main basics in mathematics.what are the elementary based questions that appear in the competitive exams117.204.70.51 (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 05:47, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

The meaning of "elementary" varies widely depending on context. I assume that you want to know about some examinations set in India, but you will have to tell us the level of the examination before anyone can help. Dbfirs 20:09, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Percentage of Grids with connected pathways?[edit]

Let An be the Universe of grids of 2n by 2n black and white squares where half of the squares are white and half are black. *and* both the upper left and lower right square are black. (so A1 only has one grid, A2 has 14C6 grids (the other 6 black squares among the other 14 spots. Let a grid be successful if there is a path of black squares joined on edges from the black square on the upper left to the black square on the lower right. As n goes to infinity, does the percentage of successful grids in An go to 0%, go to 100% or something else?Naraht (talk) 14:39, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Purely intuitively, I'd guess that the proportion is either 1/e or 1 - 1/e. (talk) 22:42, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
I ran a numerical simulation where I generated random grids meeting your criteria and tested them for successful paths. Here are the numbers for ten million iterations for each value of n from 1 through 20.
For n=2 it is easy to hand-enumerate the 150 distinct successful grids (there are twenty distinct paths (each of total length seven), with nine remaining spots for each path to place the eighth black square, though some remaining square choices need to be excluded to avoid duplicating earlier paths), and the actual ratio of 150 / 3003 = 4.995%, matches my simulation closely. This gives me hope that my code may be correct.
If so, this suggests that the percentage goes to 0% as n goes to infinity, and for these first few numbers, at least, it appears to do so roughly exponentially, with the ratio of successive values not so far from the inverse of the golden ratio, though I don't know if there is anything to that. -- ToE 03:37, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

July 26[edit]


July 21[edit]

$23.6 billion jury award in tobacco lawsuit[edit]

A Jury awarded $23.6B to a widow of a smoker who died from lung cancer years ago. This is surreal. If this goes through the plaintiff's attorney stands to get a third of this money, almost eight billion dollars. I wonder if the jurors had their marbles in place. It seem some people have no concept of large numbers. Perhaps many cannot count beyond a hundred. What are the internals of such a trial? Who suggested such a crazy figure? I wonder what did this man do in real life that made him worth so much money? Thanks --AboutFace 22 (talk) 00:36, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

I read about that case, very quickly. Presumably, the attorney for the plaintiff is the one who suggested the amount of damages (money) that should be awarded. I read that such an enormous amount is illegal and unconstitutional. (I will try to find a link to that article.) What I suspect happened is probably something like this. The plaintiff's lawyer said to the jury: "Let's look at the profits that the tobacco company made during the period of my client's lifetime. That comes to $ XXX billion dollars. I think a fair amount is to award my client a mere 1 percent of that tobacco company's profits. That amounts to $ XXX billion dollars. After all, this tobacco company made these profits by killing all of these smokers, my client included." Or some such. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 00:48, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Also, by the way, you have to take account that this award consisted of two types of monetary damages: compensatory damages and punitive damages. The first award, compensatory damages, is money that is supposed to make the client "whole" and compensate him for all of his injuries, medical treatments, lost earnings, etc. (This relates to your question: I wonder what did this man do in real life that made him worth so much money?) In this case, that amount was rather small. I think it was around a million dollars or two or so? The second award, punitive damages, is money that is supposed to punish the wrong-doer (defendant) appropriately so that the company won't repeat this wrong again. It is based on a "punishment" that will appropriately hit the defendant in the pocketbook to such an amount that will deter him from wrongdoing in the future. This award amount has nothing to do with the value of the plaintiff's life or his lifetime earnings. And, in this case, the punitive damages award was the bulk of the overall award. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 00:59, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Source: [26] As to what motivated the jury to make such a large award, this isn't a forum, and we shouldn't engage in speculation. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:54, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
AndyTheGrump, the original poster asked a legitimate question. Namely: what are the internal legal machinations that could account for such a bizarre award? (In other words: how and by whom and why did such a bizarre dollar amount get placed in their heads, such that they thought it was appropriate?) That is not asking for speculation. That's a legitimate question for this Reference Desk page. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 00:59, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Asking if "the jurors had their marbles in place" doesn't look like a legitimate question to me. Or at least, not one that can possibly be answered without speculation. Of course, if you can prove the contrary by citing reliable sources on the subject, feel free to do so... AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:07, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
The purpose of this Reference Desk Help Page is to help people with their questions. Asking if "the jurors had their marbles in place" is simply another way of asking exactly what I stated above ("how and by whom and why did such a bizarre dollar amount get placed in their heads, such that they thought it was appropriate?"). I am sure that you knew that. Also, the original poster did not simply ask: "did the jury have their marbles in place?". Rather, he (or she) used that wording in the context of the rest of the wording in the post. Which – at the end of the day – amounts to a legitimate question. I think we should be encouraging, not discouraging, people from coming here and asking legitimate questions. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 01:15, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Actually, the original poster never asked "did the jurors have their marbles in place?" The original poster merely commented (not asked): "I wonder if the jurors had their marbles in place." And that statement was couched in amongst all the other legitimate questions: (1) What are the internals of such a trial? (2) Who suggested such a crazy figure? (3) I wonder what did this man do in real life that made him worth so much money? All three very legitimate questions. The "marbles" comment was not a question; it simply placed the actual questions in context (i.e., that the original poster was quite surprised at such a verdict). Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 01:33, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Back to your original question: The compensatory damages were a mere $16 million dollars. Thus, the punitive damages were $23.584 billion dollars. Clearly, the "punishment" award was the great bulk of the total award. In this case, the jury felt that the plaintiff's life (medical expenses, lost earnings, etc.) was valued at $16 million dollars. He was a rather young guy (age 36) and presumably had 50+ more years to live, had he not died ("at the hands of the tobacco company", according to the plaintiff). Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 01:26, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
This isn't the first time a jury has awarded incredibly high punitive damages. These awards get overturned or drastically reduced on appeal. The N.Y. Times article mentions a previous award of $28 billion that was reduced to $28 million on appeal.
It is very tempting to speculate that the jury simply misspelled "million". -- BenRG (talk) 01:38, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Very unlikely about the misspelling. After all, they spelt it correctly in the compensation award (16 million). Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 02:06, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Joseph Sparado clarified the issue a bit but only partially and I am very grateful. I am a psychiatrist and psychological aspect is what I am after. Is it possible that the jurors were intimidated? Perhaps they were specially selected based on their background? Perhaps the defendant lawyers did not realize that the deck of cards was stacked against them? What else can one suppose? --AboutFace 22 (talk) 01:41, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Interesting that you ask about their being "intimidated". Why do you suppose that? And intimidated by whom? Intimidated of what? I would not suppose intimidation. My best guesses are as follows. (1) I would think they were acting on emotion, sympathy, and compassion, far more than on intimidation. And that factor (i.e., a decision arrived at through emotion, sympathy, compassion, etc.) is exactly why this award is illegal and will not stand. I am sure that the jurors "felt sorry" that a young guy of age 36 lost his life, a young woman lost her husband, and a few young kids lost their dad. And I am sure that the lawyer "played upon" their sympathies and emotions. (2) I also suspect that juries are more inclined to "side with" the small, helpless underdog as opposed to the big, bad, greedy (and faceless) multi-billion dollar corporation. Akin to siding with David in the "David and Goliath" dispute. (3) I also suspect – as you theorized – that most jurors do not really understand large numbers. They can't fathom what that "billion" really means (much less, 24 billion!). For example, let's say that you asked the average person this question: What is the length of time represented by 24 billion seconds?" And you gave possible multiple-choice answers: "100 years; 1,000 years; a million years", etc. I suspect most average people would have no idea whatsoever what the "billion" really means. And, in answering that question, would simply be taking stabs in the dark and simply guessing. I also expect that the lawyers capitalized on this quantitative weakness of the jury. Those are my best three guesses at the moment. I don't see intimidation as a part of the equation, as I understand it. Which is why I asked you to clarify about the intimidation aspect. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 02:03, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Needless to say you gave a brilliant analysis. Thank you. I should have phrased the intimidation hypothesis differently. The court atmosphere with a barrage of unfamiliar words may be too much for an average person: a lot to memorize and put together. Thus people may be intimidated by the milieu. I've never been on a jury that is why I am ignorant. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 02:14, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks! Glad to help. No, I sincerely don't think that the intimidation aspect (as you describe it) is a significant factor at all. Definitely not. Also, some quick answers to your other questions. (1) Perhaps they were specially selected based on their background? The answer is absolutely "yes". The lawyer for the plaintiff picks jurors that (demographically) he feels will be helpful to him and will serve to his advantage. However, the lawyer for the defendant does the same exact thing. This is called voir dire. Basically, both lawyers look at demographics (age, race, income, gender, occupation, marital status, education, etc., etc., etc.) and try to pick the jurors that they think will "side" with them. (2) Perhaps the defendant lawyers did not realize that the deck of cards was stacked against them? A lawyer always knows the strengths and weaknesses of his case. That is Lawyering 101. At the end of the day, if the tobacco lawyer truly felt the deck of cards was stacked against them, then he would have likely pushed for a settlement of the case, rather than taking the case to trial. Now, of course, for that to be successful: (A) the plaintiff would also have to agree to the settlement; and (B) the client – the company – would also have to agree. Actually, I don't think it is necessarily the case that the deck was stacked against them. When I was reading about that case, many readers (ordinary, average citizens) posted comments such as this: "That guy was smoking for 25 years; he obviously knew it was dangerous to his health; he's an idiot; there is no way he should get a penny, let alone $24 billion dollars". So, a lot of people out there feel like that. Those people would side with the defendant (the tobacco company). So, I don't think it's necessarily true that the defendant had the cards stacked against him at all. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 02:24, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
If you take the punitive damages to be enough so "they won't do the same thing again", and here "the same thing" means to sell a product known to cause cancer, then you would indeed need to award multi-billion dollar fines to have any hope of getting the tobacco companies to stop selling tobacco. Also, as I understand it, the citizens of the state were prohibited from forming a class-action lawsuit, which would be the obvious way to go, and the jury may feel that the tobacco companies "bought" the judge who decided on that issue, and wanted to punish them for that action, as well. StuRat (talk) 03:01, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
StuRat, I generally agree with your comment. However, I want to delineate an important distinction. You (essentially) said that the crux of the case is: "the tobacco company sold a product known to cause cancer". I think that is oversimplifying the "real" issue in this case. In the link provided above (by AndyTheGrump), it says: "Cynthia Robinson claimed that smoking killed her husband, Michael Johnson, in 1996. She argued R.J. Reynolds was negligent in not informing him that nicotine is addictive and smoking can cause lung cancer." So, the real issue that was being litigated here is not that the tobacco company was selling a product known to cause cancer. The "real" issue in this case was that the company knew it was dangerous, but they did not pass that knowledge on to its customers (the public). The widow would be claiming that the company should have made these risks known (and they were negligent in not doing so). Her (winning) argument is: "my husband should have had all that information at his disposal, so that he could make an informed decision about whether or not he would choose to smoke". So, the tobacco company did not violate the law by selling cigarettes; they violated the law by not disclosing known dangers. An important distinction, I think. Back to the punitive award: the award is designed to punish the company, not to dismantle the company. Again, an important distinction. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 04:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
There have been warnings on cigarette packs since the late 1960s. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:53, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Baseball Bugs, do those warnings really go back that far? I thought they were much more recent? I was guessing maybe the 80's? Also, didn't they used to allow cigarette commercials on TV, but then they disallowed them? (I am referring to the USA.) In any event, what do the cigarette package warnings have to do with this jury award? You lost me. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 06:08, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
1966, as noted in Tobacco packaging warning messages#Cigarettes. By 1985 they were saying cigarettes cause cancer. These warnings are typically used as a defense by the tobacco companies against these kinds of suits. Surprisingly, that fact seems not to have been made in this case.[27]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:53, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. But, that is where you are losing me. Where in that article does it mention anything at all about the cigarette package label warnings? It does not mention them at all. (Or did I miss it?) Since it does not mention it, that does not necessarily mean that the arguments were not presented in this trial. It simply means that the article is silent about this detail of the trial. Therefore, the argument may well have been made at trial; the article simply did not discuss that specific detail. No? Also, do you know anything about the TV commercials question that I had asked? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 14:46, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I am likewise mystified. I think more research is needed, to discover how the plaintiff successfully argued that the warnings on the packaging were somehow inadequate. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:59, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Reading between the lines, I think their argument was that the warnings don't go far enough, as they don't talk about the addictive nature of the product, and that Reynolds engaged in some kind of conspiracy to hide the fact of that addictiveness. Never mind that Surgeon General Koop, at around the time the deceased took up smoking, was declaring nicotine to be as addictive as illegal narcotics. Another hint is that the Reynolds appeal will be based on precedent, i.e. that the award is extremely excessive, rather than on denying the issues of addiction and conspiracy. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:08, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I would suspect that the plaintiff's argument concedes that the label warnings do in fact exist, but that they are insufficient. I can't imagine that the defendant did not bring this issue to light. The defendant's argument is likely: "The federal government specifies very clearly what warnings we are required to offer our consumers, and we fully complied with all of these requirements." And the plaintiff's retort was: "Yes, but even so, that was insufficient and negligent." Also, do you know anything about the TV commercials question that I had asked? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 15:15, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Cigarette ads were banned from TV in the USA starting in 1971. There's a lengthy article on this general subject, Tobacco advertising. Over the course of time, other forms of tobacco were banished from the airwaves, one by one. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:29, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. That is what I was looking for. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 15:33, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I had overlooked that part of the question. :) It's worth pointing out that there were many clever and creative TV ads for these noxious products. You can find a lot of them on youtube if you want to take a somewhat dark (tobacco-stained) nostalgia trip. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:37, 21 July 2014 (UTC)


My reasoning was:
1) The jury had to be aware that, based on the age of the deceased, he would have had adequate warning of both the cancer risk and addictive nature of cigarettes.
2) Therefore, they did not believe the company guilty based on that, but, in a form of jury nullification, they found them guilty anyway, and added a huge punitive award, since they believe that selling an addictive product known to cause cancer should be stopped, despite the law permitting it. StuRat (talk) 15:38, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, it might be jury nullification, but it might also be that they decided the company had actively engaged in a conspiracy to hide the additional dangers of the product, i.e. its addictive nature. It's also possible that they made that ginormous award on the assumption that the appeals process will whittle it down to something that's still significant but less likely to bankrupt the company. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:42, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree with most of what you say. And that is exactly why the award will not survive on appeal. "They" (the jury) gave the award for "all the wrong reasons" (legally speaking, that is). And, believe me, these facts are not lost on the defense lawyer and/or the defendant company. Thanks. I will check out some YouTube videos. They must be something to look at, in hindsight and in retrospect. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 15:54, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

It is kind of a rambling, sorry, but I sympathize with the company. They have been thrashed and thrashed again in the past. So many lawyers have made fortunes suing them. What is their guilt? I am not a smoker but looking objectively, tobacco is a cultural phenomenon in this county. They inherited a product that sold well and a business and it all goes back hundreds of years. Are they guilty of not warning people? The warnings are regulated by the law and I am sure they complied. Many risks of tobacco had not become known until about 25 year ago. Even in the early 90th doctors smoked openly in the hospital halls. The life expectancy in 1900 was 50 years so the tobacco related death drowned in all other causes. The cases of lung cancer and emphysema were not that prominent statistically. It all became apparent late in the century after Surgeon General began to stir emotions. Smoking declined rapidly partially through awareness but more through taxes. A pack of Marlboro, I was shocked, costs $10.00 now. And what about a personal responsibility? Shall Lauren Bacall sue RJ. Reynolds for Humphrey Bogart's lung cancer and death? To a significant degree it is all in the genes. Not everyone gets addicted to tobacco. Not everyone even dies or gets sick after years of smoking. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 21:13, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

I hear what you are saying. The problem, in this particular case (from the defendant's point of view), is that the time frame does not go as far back as you cite. Yes, back in the 1940's and 50's and 60's, far less was known about smoking and its dangers. I believe that I even read that some doctors actually used to suggest or recommend smoking to some patients. But – as you state – in the more recent past, more of the risks of smoking became known. The smoker in this case was smoking from age 13 to his death at age 36; this was from 1973 to 1996. During that time frame, the risks were well known. In a post above, another editor even mentioned that it was the early 1970's (1971) when cigarette commercials on TV were banned. So, all of these facts (essentially) work to the advantage of the plaintiff and to the disadvantage of the defendant. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:33, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Also, in this case, the deceased smoker started smoking when he was just 13 years old. That's quite young. And, presumably, he became addicted at such a young age. It's quite possible, in this case, that the plaintiff made a big deal of the smoker's youth. And they probably alleged that the tobacco company appealed to impressionable youths, who did not/could not know any better. I imagine that his age came up as an issue in the trial. A 13-year-old cannot be expected to make decisions in the same way that an adult would. The plaintiff likely argued that once the smoker reached adulthood – and had the ability to make better decisions – it was too late; he had already been addicted for some 7+ years. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:42, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
There was a period of decades after which the cigarette companies knew it was addictive and caused cancer, and lied about it. Also, they did things like manipulate the nicotine level to cause addiction (you get a stronger than usual batch, then after smoking the normal amount of those, you are more addicted and have to smoke more after it drops back to the normal level). Then there is their attempt to cause addiction in kids, by fighting to keep cigarette machines legal, so kids can buy them, and using advertising themes like Joe Camel which appeal to kids. Finally, saying they "complied with the laws" isn't the whole story, as their lobbyists controlled what was legal and what wasn't. For example, they didn't have to disclose all the additives to the cigarettes, because they lobbied to prevent it. (One of the additives forms ammonia when burned, and I am allergic to ammonia, so that one really bothers me in cigarettes, but it's not in pipe tobacco, which therefore doesn't bother me at all.) StuRat (talk) 23:07, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
That reminds me of this story from decades ago. A cigarette company learns that this one particular guy has smoked more of their brand through the years than anyone else. They decide to give him an award of some kind. They call the guy's house and tell the wife about it. They want to come out the next morning. The wife says, "Better make it later in the day. He doesn't stop coughing until noon!" ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:18, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Needless to say, tobacco is evil. It causes all sorts of problems, it creates physiological dependence that dominates your life even before you got cancer or emphysema. Sure the tobacco companies CEOs and other executives were torn apart in those days. You must preserve a business, but on the other hand... I remember a congressional hearing whereas a senator asked an executive of a major company if he believed the cigarettes were not addictive. He said, yes, under oath. It was a horrible moment. He then had legal troubles for months because their own research clearly showed and documented that he was lying.

You must recall a wave of tobacco related lawsuits when the settlements were in billions. It was a decade back or so. The punitive damages went to the states ostensibly for anti tobacco education. To begin with education never worked. Nobody bothered to prove with a test run. So, the states misused the money, most likely hired hundreds of new bureaucrats and that was it. This is what I am talking about. People should leave the tobacco makers alone. This business is too old to tinker with. Fighting smoking should be done on individual level. And now we have the e-cigarets in the picture. What could be more confusing?

There are things we cannot change. You cannot undo tobacco damage. There is another issue I want to mention. It has been a belief for years that vitamins are antioxidants and they prolong life. Paradoxically it is just the opposite. They shorten your life by 2-3 years. I know why but this is not a place to go into it. If this is the case who will you sue? The plaintiff attorneys can sue only themselves over it. Thanks --AboutFace 22 (talk) 00:31, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

This clip shows seven tobacco CEOs declaring under oath that they believe that nicotine is not addictive. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 07:58, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
That's an attempt at plausible deniability. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:23, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Imagine what would have happened if American troups in WWI or WWII in the trenches were told that Ron Wyden would take away their smokes? Tobacco companies probably felt they were making major contribution to the victory. Life is full of such dualities. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 13:45, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

What has Wyden got to do with anything? Whatever, if it was known in 1917 or 1941 what cigarettes can do to you, it's not unlikely that the Army would have banned them. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:23, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

BMW of North America, Inc. v. Gore would be the case you're interested in, as would remittitur. Strangely, in all the rambling above I don't see any reference to these two obvious responses to the OPs actual question. Shadowjams (talk) 04:17, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

American civil war ten years before[edit]

A request for an original research prediction by Wikipedia editors would indeed be inappropriate. But I wonder if the timing of various major wars and the effects on the outcome has been a topic of "official war games" or scholarly books or papers? Like "If Leader X had waited 5 years to launch a certain war, historical events or trends A, B and C would have greatly aided or impaired his goals." If such research has been published by reliable sources, then it can be the basis for appropriate answers to "what-if" questions. It would be the analyses and conclusions of experts, not of us Wikipedia editors.That said, if such scholarly and authoritative American Civil War war games exist, they are hard to find, buried under mounds of hobby or recreational board games and online games about that war. But I know that it happens that on occasion famous battles and decisions of generals and leaders and fortuitous events are analyzed to see what effect alternatives would likely have had, with our 20/20 hindsight. Edison (talk) 02:19, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

The American Civil War was one of the first industrial wars, and the outcome was pretty well predicted by the comparative economic strengths of the North and South. A Civil War starting in 1850 would probably be similarly industrialized, in which case looking at historical numbers would give an answer. Wikipedia doesn't have much in the way of regional historical statistics ("early history" tends to stop before 1850, while "later history" starts after the war), but the ones I have found indicate that the South might have been even worse off: for example, between 1850 and 1860, railroad construction in the South took place faster than in the North. --Carnildo (talk) 02:30, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Outback Steakhouse[edit]

Outback Steakhouse is a US-based chain of restaurants that bills itself as an Australian-themed restaurant; its frequent advertising on TV and through venues such as the Outback Bowl (a US football game) make plenty of Americans aware of it, and probably most of us assume that it's based in Oz. Are there restaurants that fill a reciprocal position? I'm thinking an Australian-based chain, prominent in Australia, that bills itself as a US-themed restaurant. Places like McDonald's don't count, since they really are US-based. Nyttend (talk) 19:58, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Somehow I doubt it, because there are so many actual American restaurants there, the locals probably want less American food, not more. Also note that Outback doesn't really serve Australian food. Try ordering some Vegemite or roo/croc meat there and you'll just get a dirty look. StuRat (talk) 20:32, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Is vegemite sold anywhere in the US? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:52, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
It appears that the Vegemite brand is currently owned by an American company. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:00, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
It is available from 17 outlets in New York City alone, according to Yelp - vegemite New York, NY. Alansplodge (talk) 21:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Have you ever tried it? Is it tasty? It's got me curious. I don't know if they have it in the American midwest. But I'll follow that lead you posted. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:37, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
"Is it tasty?" is not a question that has any truth value. I've been eating it all my life, and I love the stuff (in fact, I think I'll go and have some on toast after I post this). But most Americans I know of who've ever tried it think it's ghastly. So, it very much depends whom you ask. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:44, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm sure. I'm just curious. I'll try most any food item once. I even like lutefisk, which many Norwegian-Americans (and many others) pretty much hate. Looks like the nearest Vegemite source in my neighborhood is Chicago. Rather than drive there, maybe I can order it online. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:03, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
@Baseball Bugs: American here, also love the stuff. I do have a bit of xenophilia with respect to food though. Any high brow grocery in the midwest will have either vegemite or marmite in stock (think Trader Joe's, World Market and the ilk) the difference between the two is subtle to the inexperienced (the slogan for marmite is "love it or hate it", and I think that applies to both products). Very salty stuff, the newbie mistake is to use too much. Salty, yeasty, beery type flavor, chock full of vitamins and minerals, made from beermaking waste products, popularized in the Great War, what's not to like? After realizing my local grocer sells marmite for nearly $7/125g, I've decided to order on Amazon. SemanticMantis (talk) 22:08, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Sounds like eating that literally means scraping the bottom of the (beer) barrel. StuRat (talk) 22:12, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
According to my country, that stuff should be driven into the sea (though they acknowledge it's not exactly unhealthy). That just makes it seem tastier, though, like cigarettes and beer. Still haven't found it, myself. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:16, July 21, 2014 (UTC)
Marmite was banned due to added vitamins and minerals ? That seems odd. I wonder what Canada has against those. (I suppose you can overdose on some, and they can be used as a way to market junk food as if it was healthy, like Hi-C.) StuRat (talk) 23:15, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
More a bureaucratic thing than a safety one. Something to do with this rule or that. I heard it all neatly explained on CBC Radio, but it didn't stick with me. The basic idea is that the products themselves are not banned. Only variations of them meant for other markets. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:28, July 22, 2014 (UTC)
Try it in the following ways: toast with butter, toast without butter, sandwich with butter, sandwich with butter and cheese, dissolved in a cup of boiling water, on a spoon by itself, as a flavouring and salt agent in soups / stews / pies. Fifelfoo (talk) 22:24, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
List of restaurant chains in Australia could be a good place to start research.Taknaran (talk) 20:58, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Certainly here in London there are plenty of home-grown "American diners" and "rib shacks" - we also used to have The Chicago Pizza Pie Factory chain, which had little to do with Chicago. Alansplodge (talk) 21:03, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Did they serve Chicago-style pizza? The deep-dish images in that article are what you expect to find at a pizza place with "Chicago" in the name in the US. Katie R (talk) 18:54, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Not an answer, but if you're interested in how American culture gets adapted/interpreted/appropriated/mocked around the world, you might like this blurb about American-themed parties in non-USA countries [28] SemanticMantis (talk) 22:11, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
"Are there restaurants that fill a reciprocal position?" Australia doesn't produce domestic restaurant chains outside of the US restaurant chain business model, importing the cultural elements wholesale. Amusingly Sizzler in the US and Internationally, which imported its business model wholesale to Australia, was for a period owned by Australian capital and is currently internationally owned by Australian capital. "I'm thinking an Australian-based chain, prominent in Australia, that bills itself as a US-themed restaurant." Australians receive American culture from American capital, the market is full and there's no reason or need to reinvent the wheel. Burger King was for a long time marketed as Hungry Jack's in Australia, due to local intellectual property and local franchisee decisions. "Americana" is celebrated in Australia as fast food, or tacky US chains. We get enough US culture shoved down our throats by invidious free trade agreements in media that the US is not "exotic" to us outside of US regional identities.
Moreover the Australian restaurant scene operates differently to the US. Australia has a sociologically "flatter" consumption of restaurant meals, with most people consuming a mixture of fast food including delivery, cafe type eating with significant elements of migrant cuisine (Australia has independently received Greek, Italian, Turkish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai food; without reference to international food trends). On top of this there's the Returned and Services League of Australia's / football club bainmarie or bistro. In capital cities there tends to be "fine dining". So there's a hole in the market for chains that bill themselves as restaurants. People who know expensive food access fine dining. For everyone else, the market has already filled the space that US chains would fit into. I've only seen the chains in car dependent Australian suburbs btw. Fifelfoo (talk) 22:23, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
If you're going to try Vegemite or marmite (or yarmite, i've heard of too), i too recommend you spread it sparingly on toast or cracker, as the intense salty-yeasty taste can be surprising. but it can quickly become a favorite. i'd also recommend a thin layer of margarine under ut. Good factoid about the beer waste. El duderino (abides) 08:51, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm curious because I haven't been to Australia, haven't ever seen an authentic "Australian restaurant," and in fact haven't even set foot in Outback. What is there to Australian cuisine other than steak and vegemite? I understand that kangaroo and crocodile are served, but do most Australians eat those meats very often? How is Australian food distinct from mainstream American food? Does Australia carry on British traditions such as Yorkshire pudding and savory pies? Thanks. Marco polo (talk) 14:26, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
We do have an article Australian_cuisine. My experience as an American staying there for ~6 weeks with an academic family, eating at home, take out, and clubs: vaguely similar to food in USA, more curries and Indonesian food available. They do a bit of the meet pie which I associate with UK. Ordering coffee was a bit confusing. I'm sure our resident Ozzies can add more, but thought you might like a foreigner's perspective. Also might be worth starting a new thread if you want more info? SemanticMantis (talk) 15:03, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Speaking as someone born, raised and living in Australia. "Australian national identity" is hotly contested. Mostly Australian cuisines are modified cuisines from elsewhere (Irish/British, Chinese, Italian, Greek, Turkish, Vietnamese). Chicken parmies are not Italian from Italy, but are actually pretty damn anglo. Individual serve meat pies are a snack food eaten in unusual quantities, but this isn't cuisine. Most people living in Australia do not regularly or even yearly eat roo, emu or crocodile. "Damper" is an advertising campaign for nationalism. Australian coffee culture is different, as it developed independently. In fact, generally, Australian food culture has developed since the 1980s, and is marked by the fact. "Steak" and "vegemite" aren't part of a cuisine, they're stuff you do at home. Australian food tends to be less processed than US food, less heavily marketed, the sugar tends to be hidden, agricultural capital tends to be state based (or retain state based marketing). Few Australians eat Yorkshire pudding. Many Australians have a meat and three veg mentality, or spag bol, or stir fry, or fuck it, lets get take out nothing's washed in the kitchen. Fifelfoo (talk) 01:38, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Some of us still call it "take away". I suppose it's a generational thing. Yet I can't recall ever seeing an Aussie food place billing itself as of the "take out" variety; it's always "take away". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 00:05, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Some of us still call it "take away," and I should too. Thanks for spotting the americanism and calling me on it. Fifelfoo (talk) 07:52, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
You will wish to read this article on early 20th century Greek or "Fish" cafes. Fifelfoo (talk) 03:41, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Another related non-answer: Texas Roadhouse has nothing to do with TX (not started there, owned there, etc), but is marketed as "Texan" steak in the midwest and other areas of the USA. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:05, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, Texas Roadhouse does it least have "Texas-sized" steaks. They offer a 23 oz steak, more than twice the size of Outback's largest 11 oz steak. Besides size, I'm not sure there's all that much different about Texas cuisine than other states. A bit more Tex-Mex, of course, but that's just a matter of degree, as you can get that type of food anywhere in the US. StuRat (talk) 19:40, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Even less related, but I find endlessly hilarious the massive campaign of advertisements/commercials on UK television (are they still going?), advertising something like "proper pizza just like at a real Italian pizzeria" (there's something wrong with that wikilink, can you spot it?). Complete with mouth-watering footage of said pizza, and backgrounds of said pizzeria. Then at the end, a huge caption saying MADE IN GERMANY. (I assume frozen.)
This would be like Canadian television having a colossal advertising campaign for "proper American hamburgers just like at a real USA roadhouse", ending with a huge caption saying MADE IN CHINA.
Then of course there's Werther's Original... --Demiurge1000 (talk) 19:10, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I wonder it it's really authentic Italian-style pizza, which is to say, boring. The Americans came up with the idea of allowing you to specify from an endless list of toppings and then pick it up or get it delivered. If they really don't allow pickups or delivery, and only have 1 or 2 basic pizzas, with no customization allowed, then they are "authentic Italian". StuRat (talk) 19:33, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Pizza says otherwise! It also has more references than you do, although perhaps that's only for now. Maybe we could improve the pizza article with any references you have for this type of pizza? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 20:08, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
They list several basic types of pizza served in Italy, but I didn't see anything about customers being able to add individual toppings or get it delivered. Of course, at this point American pizza has made it back to Italy, so you might find more flexibility in Italian pizza these days. StuRat (talk) 02:00, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Some examples of chains claiming an ethnicity without actually having a direct link to said culture: Taco Bell, Wienerschnitzel, Arctic Circle, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Au Bon Pain, Quiznos and of course that Kiwi favourite, Hell Pizza.DOR (HK) (talk) 04:08, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

I guess this is turning the question on its head but Outback Jacks is an Australian version of the American interpretation of "Australian food". Back on topic, I've seen a couple of versions of Australian-themed restaurants - Ayers Rock Butcher and Grill in Malaysia; and Didge Steakhouse and Pub in Brazil. Realistically, there is no way of getting a complete list because countries with a diverse community are going to have endless versions of foreign cuisine. Hack (talk) 03:39, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

ISIS Fines for Christianity[edit]

Both CNN and BBC news report that the ISIS self-proclaimed Caliphate issued an ultimatum to Iraqi Christians living in Mosul that they must convert to Islam, pay a fine or face "death by the sword." CNN also expresses the words in italics as pay extra "jizya" tax and quotes an ISIS governor's declaration that any family not converting to Islam would be required to pay 550,000 Iraqi dinar (about $470). Earlier The Telegraph reported ISIS promising that Christians in Syria who pay Jizya tax will not be harmed and will be allowed to worship privately, maintain their own clergy without interference and keep their own cemeteries. Is there any material evidence of such a "christian permit" tax actually being administered in ISIS controlled areas, such as documents from an office for receiving payments on behalf of christian residents? (talk) 22:23, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

If I can add a question, is this tax annual, monthly, one-time or what? InedibleHulk (talk) 22:30, July 21, 2014 (UTC)
I see people can pay in two installments per year. Sounds annual. One thing to clarify, it's not that any Christian needs to pay four gold dinars. Middle-class pay two and the poor just one (about $117). At least in Syria. Shouldn't be a difference though, if it's all one caliphate now. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:36, July 21, 2014 (UTC)
See Jizya. This is not a new idea; it's been around since the Pact of Umar, a very early Islamic document pseudepigraphically attributed to the Caliph Umar, who died in AD 644. Those with the status of "dhimmi" (non-Muslims who aren't polytheists, e.g. Christians and Jews) are permitted to live in Muslim lands, but among other things they're not allowed to bear arms and are required to pay a tax, known as jizya, to pay for (among other things) extra Muslim soldiers needed to take the place of the unarmed dhimmis in the army. Nyttend (talk) 23:49, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Same half-half-half scale all the way through, too, it seems. I wish "Western" tax codes were that simple and consistent. Thanks for the link. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:04, July 22, 2014 (UTC)

pig's skin which covers a Muslim, avoids arriving to heaven?[edit]

Is there a credible origin / reference for the believing that a dead Muslim who is covered with a pig's skin, he will not enter to heaven? (talk) 22:42, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Like most superstitions, the root source will likely seem incredible to many. Unclean animal may be a good place to start digging. Or Islam and animals#Views regarding particular animals. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:58, July 21, 2014 (UTC)
A common myth, see (I find it odd that many Orthodox Jews—my own schoolmates, for example—believe this myth about Muslims, when Judaism's views of "unclean animals" are extremely similar to Muslims'.) הסרפד (call me Hasirpad) 23:04, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Plus, the logical conclusion of that belief would righteous indignation against whoever desecrated the body of a co-religionist, whether or not they believed it somehow affected how God judges their lifelong faith and/or good acts. Ian.thomson (talk) 23:07, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
As for the "myth" (Snopes calls it undetermined), Wikipedia's own Moro Rebellion mentions it, and it's one of the few claims in that article with a citation. Depends if you can trust a guy named D.P. Mannix, I guess. Doesn't say Pershing did it, just "Americans". InedibleHulk (talk) 01:41, July 22, 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't say that the porcine contact prevented the dead from entering heaven, though, and there are other explanations besides that (like "the Muslims couldn't bury their dead," or "the Muslims felt that their co-religionists' bodies had been defiled"). Ian.thomson (talk) 01:53, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
True enough. I agree with "undetermined" more than "false" in this case. Doesn't help that "defilement" itself has various meanings. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:55, July 22, 2014 (UTC)
I was referring to the generalization about Muslim belief (which Snopes does debunk, indirectly) not to the particular incident discussed there. הסרפד (call me Hasirpad) 02:13, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
All good. Thanks for clarifying. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:25, July 22, 2014 (UTC)
Worth considering the Koran: "And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision." Open for interpretation, of course, but many take it to mean something like absolution. Touching pig guts doesn't affect jihadis who believe this. Neither does anything. But only Allah can know who truly died in his cause, and not just for war's sake. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:55, July 22, 2014 (UTC)

July 22[edit]

Family businesses[edit]

Is it common in family businesses for family members to be given special treatment such as automatic entry, higher pay and being given more responsibility quicker? If so, is this a good idea?

I don't know how common, or if that's even empirically measurable, but our article on Nepotism is a good place to start, particularly the business [29] section and its references. El duderino (abides) 08:58, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Have you read family business yet? InedibleHulk (talk) 09:02, July 22, 2014 (UTC)
It must depend very much upon which country, as laws and cultures differ. Also on the size of the business and how long it has been established. In the case of a small shop it is often more the case that the children are pressurised to work in the business, rather than being given any privileges. A larger business might have equal opportunities policies relating to recruitment and family members would be treated the same as any other employees. As for whether it is a good idea, you would have to look at some how-to-run-your-business guides. Itsmejudith (talk) 09:05, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. In a small business, all the employees may be family members, so that simplifies things. Once they start to hire outside workers, though, then they need to consider how lack of advancement, etc., for non-family members may lower morale, increase turnover, etc. StuRat (talk) 12:57, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Everyone loves Lepidus[edit]

Having done my best recently to improve the article on Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (triumvir), the forgotten one of the Second Triumvirate, I had a look at the article traffic statistics. Normally Marcus gets a solid by unexciting 150-200 views a day. Suddenly, on the 11th-12th of this month he leaped up to rock star-like levels, getting 25000 hits [30]. Anyone know why? Was some politician somewhere compared to him? Was there news that some big actor will be playing him? I can't find an answer and the mystery is disturbing me. Paul B (talk) 15:13, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

I suppose it might have to do with the current production of Julius Caesar, in which Lepidus is a significant character, by Shakespeare & Company and coincidentally by several other Shakespeare production companies across the United States this summer. Marco polo (talk) 15:46, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Here's a likely answer: Info about Augustus was posted [31] to a popular subReddit on July 10, linking to Vedius_Pollio (note his even more dramatic spike [32]). Somewhere in the thread, Lepidus was mentioned, and redditors went nuts on their Roman history over the next few days. We have an article on the Slashdot_effect, and the Reddit "Hug of death" is the analogous term. If you doubt the numbers, that subreddit currently has 6,100,724 subscribers, and when I checked the page there were ~10k viewing at that moment -- Reddit is massively popular, and whenever something gets and odd surge of traffic, they are likely an impetus, if not the sole cause. (Post EC with Marco Polo, I don't think the world of live theater fans has anywhere near the acute impact on internet traffic that reddit does these days.) SemanticMantis (talk) 15:55, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I suspect you are right, SemanticMantis. My thinking was skewed by the fact that I am a live theater fan and had never navigated to Reddit before I clicked your link. But I know that I am far from typical. Marco polo (talk) 18:06, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
No worries. To anyone who is reading who is unfamiliar with Reddit and been online for a while, it's a bit like a modern version of the old Usenet, with a far larger userbase, and all the great and horrible things that implies ;) SemanticMantis (talk) 20:04, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

American Curl meme[edit]

I'm trying to figure out another internet feline meme. I've seen it on YouTube. That cat is an American Curl. It's also a munchkin, like Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub. Does that American Curl have a name and her own webpage? Anyone know? (talk) 20:12, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Is the concept of race really a social construct?[edit]

Most scientists agree that the concept of race is a social construct with little to no biological and genetic basis. So, is it a contradiction to say that race is a social construct, but use DNA testing to determine where one’s ancestors came from hundreds to thousands of years ago, what race or races they were, what kinds of illnesses and diseases would I be susceptible to, etc? How can one reconcile this apparent contradiction? Willminator (talk) 21:53, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Just call them gene pools instead of races. StuRat (talk) 02:06, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't think there's a contradiction. As long as you look at races as having fuzzy dividers. There's no distinct line between races the way we often view it socially, but there are biological differences between races in the same way that there are biological differences between individuals. It's just that certain types of genes are more likely to be located in certain geographic areas than others leaving people in one area to be more similar genetically than people separated for thousands of years. Bali88 (talk) 04:04, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Coming out of self-imposed retirement to deal with this question again. Your premise is flawed. I don't know who you've been listening to, but race is most definitely not a social construct. There are extensive genetic differences between different populations, which have significant effect on things like drug metabolism and disease susceptibility. Now, these populations may not always overlap with the 'traditional' boundaries of races, but to say race has no biological meaning is a large pile of bovine excrement. Basically, as the above says! Fgf10 (talk) 06:48, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
The differences are real, the social constructs are the divisions according to the differences. We're all pretty different, in different ways. We (general we) could have chosen to focus more on tall vs short, but we picked skin colour as the "big one". InedibleHulk (talk) 07:24, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
It's not just skin color or other physical features, it's the social construct "us" vs. "them". Note how often someone who puts down the Irish, for example, would be accused of "racism", despite the fact there's no such thing as an Irish "race". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:58, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
The accuser would be wrong. Like you say, there's no race there. Sectarianism, elitism or xenophobia would be better accusations. Racism's a sort of "us vs them", but a specific kind. InedibleHulk (talk) 15:32, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
  • There is obviously a contradiction between saying that race is a social construct and using DNA to determine what race your ancestors were. But there is no necessary conflict between saying that race is a social construct and using DNA to determine what part of the world your ancestors come from. It is 100% possible to study the genetics of human geographic variation without ever using the word "race". Looie496 (talk) 15:18, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Agree with Looie on the specific question. For the other comments: at risk of supplying the obvious references, we have an article on Race_(human_classification). A key quote:
... there is a broad scientific agreement that essentialist and typological conceptualizations of race are untenable
(emphasis mine) See also the section Race_(human_classification)#Social_constructions, which says
As anthropologists and other evolutionary scientists have shifted away from the language of race to the term population to talk about genetic differences, historians, cultural anthropologists and other social scientists re-conceptualized the term "race" as a cultural category or social construct—a particular way that some people talk about themselves and others.
(emphasis still mine). So, the WP perspective (supported by many WP:RS citations) is that race is indeed largely a cultural construct, but there are indeed differences between different human populations. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:43, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Most importantly, the things we call "races" do not bear direct connection to genetics in the way that most cultures have defined races. For example, in America, most people would consider the three people below to be of the same race, after all they have similar skin tone, facial features, hair type, etc.:
  • However, the first is an Australian Aborigine, the second is native Filipino, and the third is South African. Yet, if you polled 100 people in the U.S., all 100 would say they were all the same race; despite the fact that these three people come from isolated populations that have no more genetic relationship to each other than they would to any other randomly selected people groups. THAT is why race is not a biological concept. Almost every culture in the world defines race differently, and they all define race in superficial ways where the definitions do not match genetics. We can group people based on genetic relationships. However, the connection between those groupings and "race" doesn't bear out in any meaningful way. --Jayron32 16:40, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Also, there have been cases of twins who come out from interracial couples appear of different races, one looks black while the other looks white for example, like this example. The narrator of the video gives a genetic explanation of why it happens from 1:00-1:30 and he says that skin color is determined by several genes working together. I was confused because I thought most scientists believe that race has more social, cultural basis than a biological, genetic one. I thought race did not bear any connections with genetics as you said, so how is a genetic explanation even possible in cases like this? Willminator (talk) 18:41, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
No, skin color is genetic. And it is genetic in complicated ways; the genes that give someone from Africa dark skin are different than the genes that give someone from Australia dark skin. Furthermore, race is a STILL a social construct. And here is why. It appears that your culture bases its definition of race upon skin color. But as shown above, two people with similar physical appearances can be as genetically unrelated as anyone else. The issue is not "African-American people cannot be genetically identified as different than White Americans". They absolutely can. The issue is that the American (and broader Eurocentric or Western) definitions of race, based on a few cherry-picked physical characteristics such as skin tone, hair, and facial features are NOT universal. If an American met the lady in the picture above, assuming she was either African or had recent African ancestors, they'd be VERY VERY wrong. And yet, most Americans would do just that. Because the American concept of human variation is VERY LIMITED, to those people groups which populated the U.S. historically. The U.S. paradigm is that people fit into four main groups (if I may be so crude): Black, White, Red, and Yellow. That's because, by and large, America was initially settled primarily by four people groups: Northeastern Europeans (Britain, Ireland, Germany, and to a lesser extend Scandinavia and France), Coastal West Africans, East Asians (Primarily Han Chinese and Japanese), and Native Americans. People who came to America later got shoehorned into those four categories, because American culture sees the term in those four races, for example Italians and Russians and Spaniards get thought of as "White people" even though they look markedly different than the Irish or Germans, because they look somewhat more like Irish and Germans than they do look like the Japanese or West Africans. But when you look at the world, variation between people groups is far more subtle and continuous. There are not sharp divides among people groups into a small set of distinct races, and any physical characteristic you use changes subtly as you move across the globe. That's why race is a social category and not a scientific one. There are not a smallish subset of groups which have a clear genetic makeup you can cram people in. There ARE meaningful genetic groups you can put people in, but there are not 4 or 5. It's probably closer to 4000 or 5000. --Jayron32 21:12, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I think you are overestimating how different Italians and Irish look. In fact, there are people from North Africa, the Levant, Central Asia and Pakistan who look like Germans and Irish. It's exactly like the Philipino, South African and Aborigine pictured above looking similar.-- (talk) 22:06, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
In that case, race refers only to skin color, not to language, culture, genetics, or anything else that it normally associates with. Obviously skin color is not social or cultural--you can't change your skin color just by changing your beliefs. --Bowlhover (talk) 19:17, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
And it's a really poor definer of race. HiLo48 (talk) 20:58, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I think you're still confused. My links and quotes above describe that most scientists now understand that most concepts of "races" are just social constructs, and do not match up with more scientific ways of grouping people. Jayron points out that defining "race" in terms of skin color does not match up with our understanding of how closely related people are via their genetics. However, skin color absolutely does have a genetic component (there is also an environmental component, e.g. sun tan.) The example you give is very interesting and perhaps even counterintuitive. But it is also rather uncommon for two very light-skinned people to have a very dark-skinned child. If you want to read up on how skin tone is influenced by genetics, see Skin_tone#Genetics_of_skin_color_variation. The key here is that skin tones are not a valid way of dividing up people in a way that aligns with genetic groupings. But that doesn't mean that skin tone can't be genetically controlled. Make sense now? SemanticMantis (talk) 21:16, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I would say I have a better understanding now than before I asked the question. I used to think that race was mostly about skin shades and that was it, but I guess there's a bit more to that than I thought. There are cases where a black couple have a Caucasian-looking child and a white couple have a black-looking child, but as you said, they are very, very rare. Willminator (talk) 02:12, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Skin color is a quick reference, but there are other facial features that figure into the traditional racial divisions. The three pics Jayron posted are good stereotypes of those features. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:19, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

July 23[edit]

Is there a philosophical notion for the inability of a corpse to have faith?[edit]

An old discussion I had on death was recently dug up on another Desk. Not revived, mind you. What's done is done and what's gone is "deceased". All good. But something I said there (and someone's recent question here) got me to thinking of something I can't seem to put into Google terms.

Is there a school of thought (or even a lesson) about how those who believe faith itself is what promises eternity are doomed, since dead people can't believe anything, thus automatically lose their faith and all the perks?

Don't confuse this with a question about whether this is how the world works. Things like that are best left unknown. Just things like who discussed it, where, when, why and how it went. What new words (if any) were invented? InedibleHulk (talk) 07:19, July 23, 2014 (UTC)

I can't imagine there's much discussion of it, because the premises are self-contradictory. Most beliefs about eternal life assume a soul-body dichotomy, with the implicit assumption that it is the soul that has faith, and thus can live forever. AlexTiefling (talk) 11:07, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Hadn't even considered that. Are you sure it's common? Took a quick look around for that idea, I see theosophy believes this. First I've heard of that, though. (Had heard of it after all, just not the name.) I'll look around some more. InedibleHulk (talk) 11:29, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
The notion that the body and the soul are separate would be common among pretty much all religions that believes in an afterlife. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:54, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
No, I mean the distinction between the soul and the brain part of the body. Is it common for the soul to do the thinking? InedibleHulk (talk) 12:27, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
The belief is that the soul remains intact regardless of what happens to the brain. Consider the case of someone suffering from dementia. Obvously, their personality and thought processes are significantly impaired. The soul is not likewise impaired. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:36, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
OK, so the soul's intact. I get that part. But if the person's brain is demented and they can't even remember their religion, can they use their soul to believe in it instead? If so, citation needed. Fate of the unlearned shows a lot of disagreement about what happens to those who don't know before they die, but they all seem to agree there's a difference between them and those who know, even though they all have souls. InedibleHulk (talk) 12:49, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
The belief would be that once they're "saved", then they stay saved. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:52, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
That doesn't seem true for those that believe in mortal sin. InedibleHulk (talk) 13:21, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
Neither is it true for those who believe in the veracity of Romans 11:19-24. Plasmic Physics (talk) 22:04, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Here it is for those who like clicking. Or for something almost completely different, the "God's Word" version. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:58, July 24, 2014 (UTC)
Not all denominations within Christianity believe in a ethereal soul, at least one believes that a soul is simply another term for a living being, composed of body instilled with the breath of God. Meaning that consequentially, there is no consciousness between death and the advent resurrection. Plasmic Physics (talk) 12:59, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
True. As if the soul goes into cold storage or something. But either way, separate from the physical body, yes? (Where's Jayron when we need him?) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:15, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Apparently, all the "soul"s in the Old Testament were intended in that "complete living being" way. Nephesh, they say. InedibleHulk (talk) 13:21, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
I've usually seen Nephesh used more in the context of a life force, and Ruach for the person's collected consciousness (not merely their consciousness in that moment, but their true self).
Part of the problem, I think, is that most people no longer distinguish between the life force, collected total identity (what one's Heavenly Wikipedia article would look like when all is said and done), and one's current identity. Older philosophy, religion, mysticism, and magic does. You have the Greek Psyche and Pneuma, the Indian Prana and Atman, the Egyptian Ka and Ba, and the Chinese Qi and Shen. While there are differences in finer details (sometimes splitting one aspect into different facets like "rational" and "emotional" or "hungry" and "horny," or treating the two as a spectrum, with different shades of grey being distinct spiritual elements), and major differences in what happens after you die, the idea is that one is the (now scientifically disproven) life force (like the Odic force or Orgone), while the other is a hypothetical reconciled collection of every stage of your consciousness (of which your current identity is only a portion of). The life force (so say the mystics) may receive impressions of the consciousness, akin to jello being left in a mold long enough. Distinguishing between the two is also why I really don't get why everyone thinks the Christian afterlife and reincarnation are irreconcilable: most of the religions that teach reincarnation hold that the consciousness is impermanent and focus more on a peaceful transition of the life force, while the Christian afterlife (at least in some of the religion's mysticism) assumes that the life force is mortal and needs to be replaced by Jesus and the Holy Spirit if the identity is to survive. Lurianic Kabbalah gets it.
Anyway, to answer the original question: most such religions hold that when the body dies, the brain only hosts the current "page" of the book of the person's overall identity, and it's the whole book that gets put on the top shelf. Ian.thomson (talk) 14:59, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Another important consequence, is that thought/personality/identity are completely organic in nature, in that it is an attribute of only the 'nephesh'. Plasmic Physics (talk) 21:56, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, those organic souls are the ones I was concerned with in the original question. When their brain stops, their identity stops and their god doesn't recognize them anymore. There must be a term for that condition somewhere, even if it's not English. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:00, July 24, 2014 (UTC)
Then again, if the soul departs immediately before we die, ultimately causing death, I guess there'd be no problem. Only if it leaves after, without remembering where it was supposed to go. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:03, July 24, 2014 (UTC)
According to the view that I spoke of, the Ruach departs the nephesh concurrently with death. The Ruach is an inanimate object, and does not need to remember where to go, any more than a stone needs to know to fall when it is thrown. Plasmic Physics (talk) 06:22, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
But what's left to throw it (at least aim it), if the faith is dead? Or does the Angel of Death take it? According to the view you spoke of, I mean. The older ones seem different from the Michael I know. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:34, July 24, 2014 (UTC)
Nevermind, I think I found them. Something like Michael. Apparently, Joshua ben Levi knew his pretty well. That article is copied verbatim from the Jewish Encyclopedia, but Wikipedia has its own Entering Heaven alive article. Probably useful. InedibleHulk (talk) 07:26, July 24, 2014 (UTC)
The stone metaphor does not extend in that way nothing throws it. It just returns to God of its own accord. Ecclesiastes 12:7. The psychopomp candidates that you've give only seem to cause death instead of transferring Ruach. Another key element to answering the question, would be your definition of faith. Hebrews 11:1. It is reasonable to think of faith as an investment with a guaranteed future return. It is an investment which must be secured while one is still living. Plasmic Physics (talk) 10:33, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
If you're saying Ecclesiastes says it works like a boomerang, I'll say it doesn't. Only that it returns to God. Something can return without moving itself. Mail does it all the time. Some of those angels are more the Slayer type, but Michael row the boat ashore. Like a taxi driver, he doesn't judge, but gets where you got to go. Whether his "you" contains the mind and spirit, not sure.
Thanks for that psychopomp word. I'd have never have guessed it. I'll add it to the See Also for the angels. Another, newer word for those that just kill and let God sort them out is "Psychotron".
As for faith, I guess I think like Hebrews 11:1. Need a working brain to envision and hope for those unseen things. Per Hebrews 11:6, if you go to God without believing in him, he won't be pleased. Belief is a cognitive function, as is diligently seeking. So is disappointment, though, so it's all good, even if we're not saved in time. InedibleHulk (talk) 12:29, July 24, 2014 (UTC)
I wouldn't base my understanding of death on 19th century gospel, but that is your prerogative. I don't know the relevant passage, but it is says that everyone is offered salvation in one form or another, at least once in their lives. Plasmic Physics (talk) 21:29, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Nah, my understanding of death is based in growing up in a funeral home. There, it's simple. Bodies are emptied, filled, washed, dressed, viewed and buried. Never was much to learn about life after that, except that families like to be assured the soul went where they think it should.
That gospel tune is just something I considered, in the context of general beliefs about afterlife and that angel. I "know" him more than others, but only in a literary sense. I don't think he's real, certainly haven't met him. This question has nothing to do with my own death or soul, just what people have said. I personally believe our souls recycle in virtually the same way our bodies do, and will be reused to build any life form, not just humans. The human identity is all in our brains, and doesn't influence what happens next. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:45, July 25, 2014 (UTC)
This seems to be based on 2 principle points:
  • 1 - salvation by faith alone, which is SFAIK pretty much an exclusively Protestant Christian belief;
  • 2 - other groups which don't believe in the Christian concept of the soul or their own approximation of it;
and, basically, what a member of group 2 would think of the fate of a member of group 1.
I very seriously doubt there are consistent basically dogmatic views from non-Christian groups regarding one group within the broad field of Christianity, because it is only the belief of a percetage of Christian groups and many or most of them don't have anyone in a position to make dogmatic statements. Of course, inconsistent nonauthoritative views are likely.
There are some Christian groups like the Jehovah's Witnesses who don't accept the conception of the soul other Christians have, but again SFAIK they do have their own conception of the continued life of the individual, and the continuation of individual existence is based on how well the individual does according to those standards, more or less without regard to whaever that person themselves believed.
If there were a group that denied the Christian soul and believed the individual is judged primarily or exclusively on their own personal beliefs, they may have addressed this, but I personally know of no such group. John Carter (talk) 22:15, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
What is does the term "Christian soul" refer to? Plasmic Physics (talk) 22:34, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
There are multiple variant religious conceptions of ths soul, as per Soul#Religious views, including a predominant Christian one at Soul#Christianity. John Carter (talk) 15:56, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
In order to make sense of your final statement, I need to know what the group is denying. If "Christian soul" is a vague term then, the statement is equally vague. Plasmic Physics (talk) 21:07, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
It was intended as being an abbreviated version of the previously used "Christian concept of the soul". John Carter (talk) 21:38, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
So that would be the nepesh then? I did not say that there is a group who denies it, instead believing in judgment based on beliefs. To make things clearer, I am referring to the Seventh Day Adventist, and perhaps, the Baptist denominations. Plasmic Physics (talk) 05:46, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
The condition of the dead is discussed at Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10. Jehovah's Witnesses have published "Resurrection" at and "Sadducees" at
Wavelength (talk) 23:30, 25 July 2014 (UTC)


what is the source of le corbusiere's statement that a home should be a treasure-chest? (talk) 10:50, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Where did you see that? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:55, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
It appears on BrainyQuote as: "The home should be the treasure chest of living.". Alansplodge (talk) 12:55, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
At this point I'm not sure what the OP is asking: The specific source of the quote? Or the meaning of the quote? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:13, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
If you can provide a reference that answers either question, don't feel inhibited. I was only able to find it only popular quotation sites, which don't help much. Alansplodge (talk) 18:01, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I suspect Vers une architecture, but I can't find a definitive link, either. ceranthor 19:21, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Searching in Google Books for "maison doit" together with "Corbusier", I found several sources giving Le Corbusier's wording as "La maison doit être l'écrin de la vie". Google Translate renders "écrin" as "jewel" in this context, but my French-English dictionary translates the word as "jewel case, case, casket", which fits better with the translation as "treasure chest", particularly when the metaphor is presumably that home is where you store your memories.

Now searching for the full phrase, I find this page which says he used it in response to an order from a Bordeaux businessman named Henry Frugès; so I presume it comes from a letter. According to the page, Le Corbusier summarized his own attitude as: "Une maison est une machine à habiter. La maison doit être l'écrin de la vie, la machine à bonheur. J'ai travaillé pour ce dont l'homme d'aujourd'hui a le plus besoin, le silence et la paix." Which I would translate idiomatically as: "A home is a machine for living in. A home should be a treasure chest of life, a happiness machine. I have worked at what today's man needs most: peace and quiet." (Note: French does not have distinct words for "house" and "home"; I've chosen to translate "maison" as "home", the same as in the passage quoted by the OP.) -- (talk) 23:36, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Aha! That's why my search for caisse au trésor dew a blank. Well done! Alansplodge (talk) 12:43, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
The usual phrase in French is malle au trésor or coffre au trésor. Sometimes we can translate "home" by foyer. Le Corbusier wrote "une maison est..." in the first sentence but "la maison doit...". I wonder if we can say "house" for the first one (because it is the concrete place where we live) and "home" for the second one (because je vais à la maison = I go home). Just an idea: I am not fluent in English — AldoSyrt (talk) 17:05, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately, if you did that, the reader would likely think Le Corbusier was making a contrast between what a "house" is and what a "home" is. -- (talk) 07:48, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. There is no such contrast in French, just a very slight difference. — AldoSyrt (talk) 09:29, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
The French cunningly rendered A House Is Not a Home (film) as La Maison de Madame Adler (The House/Home of Madame Adler). Cheats. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:33, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Why do Russians love to name their children "Alexei" and related names?[edit]

What's so special about "Alex" in Russian culture? (talk) 15:07, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Just a guess, but Russians like to think of themselves as European empire builders (they consider themselves European, if their empire extends well into Asia), so perhaps Alexander the Great serves as a model. Also note that the word Tsar is based on Ceasar. Neither communism nor the current post-communist period seems to have dampened their dreams of empire. StuRat (talk) 16:08, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Russia had three emperors named Alexander: "The Blessed", "The Liberator" and "The Peacemaker". Not so familiar with any, but those are rather "great" nicknames themselves. Seems reasonable they may have inspired some parents. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:22, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
Historically, Russia also saw itself as the Third Rome and made many self-conscious cultural connections to Classical Antiquity, both Greek and Roman culture. --Jayron32 16:29, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Alexei is not Alexander. The latter is shortened colloquially as Sasha. Peter the Great had the son Alexei who was tortured for joining a conspiracy against him. He died in prison. There have been no Russian rulers named Alexei. In Slavic lands the names for children are fixed by tradition and the church. People cannot deviate much. I think Alexei was a saint sometime in history. The pool of acceptable names is not that great. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 16:54, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, don't get Aleksandr I/II/III confused with Pyotr Alexeyevich's father or son, both of whom were Alexei. Bizarrely, we anglicise his father's name but not his son's. Nyttend (talk) 17:18, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Maybe Saint Alexius, Metropolitan of Moscow has a bearing on it. He "has been revered as one of the patron saints of Moscow" according to our article. Alansplodge (talk) 17:58, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

My apology. I just did a bit of a search and it turned out the second Romanov was Alexey. So I stand corrected. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 20:12, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Huh? You weren't wrong. My "don't get Aleksandr and Alexey confused" was building off what you said, not attempting to correct it. Nyttend (talk) 01:38, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
It ain't just the Russians. My Scottish grandfather was called Alec (short for Alexander), as were several other male ancestors from that line. Are the Scots empire builders? I teach Greek kids. Many are called Alex (for Alexander, et al). HiLo48 (talk) 20:55, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Since no one has linked it, see Alexey and Alexander. The two names share a similar etymology, but arrived in Russia via different paths, and thus in Russian are considered distinct names. The closest parallel I can think of in English are the names Jacob and James, which like Alexei and Alexander are distinct names with a common root. --Jayron32 20:58, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
The assertion above that the Russians are in awe with Alexander the Great is incorrect and Russian Alexanders are named after a different person. Until recently (perhaps until 1917) the Russian church made decisions. You have to baptize a child, you take him to a priest and the priest looks at the calendar if he already did not memorize it by heart. Every day had a few saints (their birthdays or days of canonization, whatnot). So, the priest says: the boy is Alexander, it is his day today. He most likely meant Alexander Nevsky, a ruler of Russia or a part thereof who in medieval times confronted the Teutonic knights and defeated them, That stopped the German Eastward expansion. The church canonized him. He is a saint now. Alexander, of a Norwegian (viking) line, was a direct descendant of Vladimir, another Russian ruler, a Norwegian gangster, who grabbed the power in Kiev after a series of murders and in the end he baptized the whole Russian populace by ordering them to jump into the Dnieper river. For that the church declared him a saint. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 01:05, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
It is worthwhile to note that all of those Alexanders still likely derive (either directly or a more circuitous route) from Alexander the Great. --Jayron32 03:35, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
And that Alexander was named after earlier Alexanders in his family (Alexander I and Alexander II). Maybe they were ultimately named after Alexander, otherwise known as Paris of Troy. 09:47, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
See name day for what AboutFace describes above. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:08, July 24, 2014 (UTC)
There is a strange almost mysterious power attached to some personal/proper names. I don't know if everyone feels it. For me Alexander sounds much stronger than Alexei. Ticonderoga is another example. Perhaps people here can bring out more examples. Why is it so? --AboutFace 22 (talk) 22:19, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
I hear strength in John, George, Jim and Frank. Johnny, Georgie, Jimmy and Frankie sound like little boys. Same with Alexei. Something about the vowel. Trails off, while consonant has a decisive finish. Shorter names help. Jonathan, Franklin and Alexander sound a bit more "nerdy", probably due to verbosity. Those sound mature, but not physically strong. Alex would be the strongest version, I think. Drop the Frenchish "le", even stronger. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:24, July 25, 2014 (UTC)

Royal Philatelic Collection[edit]

Who owns it: the Queen or the Crown? In other words, could Mrs Mountbatten-Windsor sell it like any other personal property, or would selling it require vaguely the same kind of procedures as selling a chunk of Crown land? The answer may be at this website, but my computer refuses to load it (but won't give a 404 or any other error message) for whatever reason. Nyttend (talk) 17:14, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

And that site says
"After the death of King George V, Edward VIII became King. He is said to have considered selling the Royal Philatelic Collection but did not do so. Although the Collection is the personal asset of the Sovereign, it was, and is, regarded as an heirloom to pass down."
Rojomoke (talk) 17:29, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Which means that it's her personal property to do with as she pleases, but we can just about guarantee that it will please her to hand it down. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 00:00, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Of course, Liz might succumb to an as-yet-unknown gambling addiction and squander her fortune at Monte Carlo, in which case she might want to sell those dusty old stamps to have another go at roulette, but that would be the sort of speculation we don't do here. Marco polo (talk) 15:20, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Walter L. Shaw[edit]

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Of all the individuals listed on wiki I am most surprised that Walter L. Shaw, the American inventor, had no entry. How come? AT&T? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:30, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Interesting (and definitely notable) fellow. Why no article? Because you (or more likely I now) haven't gotten around to writing it yet. Stay tuned to this bat channel ... Clarityfiend (talk) 23:40, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Voila: Walter L. Shaw (inventor). Clarityfiend (talk) 01:41, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, considering a conspiracy involving AT&T and Wikipedia to hide the existence of a man is a much more reasonable assumption than "not done yet." --Golbez (talk) 16:25, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Shhhh!  —I haven't received my payola from AT&T yet. (talk) 16:29, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

I don't really understand the nature of his grievance from what's in the newly-created Wikipedia article, because assigning one's patents over to one's employer was and is a standard and very-well-known condition of employment for researchers and scientists at technology companies... AnonMoos (talk) 01:30, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

July 24[edit]

Washington Street, Boston[edit]

I have a photograph said to be taken "on Washington Street, Boston" maybe 1860 to 1863 (the date of the subjects death) or around the time of the Civil War. Were there any photographers or photography companies active during this time with their businesses located on Washington Street, Boston?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 16:04, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Washington Street was at that time the main commercial street of Boston. Marco polo (talk) 19:35, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Was Carte de visite the most popular form of photography at this period?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 19:58, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

A contemporary Russian author?[edit]

Just a bit of a background. I recommended someone to read Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace" to sharpen his writing skills. The man is an amateur writer. He liked the novel of course. Now he is asking me if I know of a contemporary Russian novel of the same magnitude set in the background of Perestroika (1989), pretty much like the Tolstoy's work, translated in English of course. I don't know if such a work exists, so am posting here. Solzhenitsyn does not qualify, though. Thanks, --AboutFace 22 (talk) 16:50, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

You might try a "search inside" this book for suggestions:  Encyclopedia of contemporary Russian culture (1. publ. ed.). London [u.a.]: Routledge. 2007. ISBN 0415320941.   —Valentin Rasputin seems to come up often as novelist from this period, (perhaps not in the same category as Tolstoy; but who is?). Sources seem to recommend Rasputin's 1979 novel Farewell to Matyora which has been translated into English (ISBN 0810113295); however, this predates perestroika.
See also: Russian Literature after Perestroika (authors are interviewed) here: ( although JSTOR access required to read full interviews (or $44); it does list several authors:
  • et al...

...I hope this helps, ~E: (talk) 20:52, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Your knowledge base is very impressive! Thank you very much. It helps. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 22:11, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Eleventh Annual Report of the Hawaiian Mission Children's Society[edit]

Can anybody help me find an online version of the Eleventh Annual Report of the Hawaiian Mission Children's Society or volume 11 of Annual Report of the Hawaiian Mission Children's Society?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 20:41, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Do you know the the year? Since the 61st was in 1913 (archived here), presumably the 11th would have been 50 years earlier (1863). might be your best bet: ~: (talk) 22:08, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Strangely, this one is dated 1853, yet it references the "Eleventh Annual Report"[33] on page 42 [further research required] ... ~: (talk) 22:17, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
That's the first. Yes the Eleventh was published in 1863. I need to use page 15 of that book. It doesn't seem to be on google book or I wonder if there is any other sites that have these in more complete forms since the Eleventh Annual Report isn't the only one that is hard to find.--KAVEBEAR (talk) 22:40, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Here it is → [34]   — (p. 15)  ~: (talk) 22:46, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
No -- actually, page 15 of the 11th is here: [35] —There seems to be some sort of computer compilation error.   ~: (talk) 22:52, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! Here is a better link to that page. It seems to be a compilation of many volumes. I hate it when it does that on google book. --KAVEBEAR (talk) 22:58, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Who is this Corresponding Secretary of the Hawaiian Mission Children's Society Martha or Mattie A. Chamberlain mentioned in these reports? Was she a daughter of sister of Levi Chamberlain and what did the A stand for In her name?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 23:19, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

July 25[edit]

Anime and manga with pregnancy as a major theme?[edit]

Did/does this type of language exist?[edit]

I was wondering if there are any languages that are not sequential i.e start from the beginning of a sentence and ending at the end of the script. Rather, a mass of information, a bit like a map. The meaning is the same but the way the language is expressed is in its entirety rather than a start and a finish. With bits of the map added on whenever new information needs to be expressed. Is there any validity in this. Or perhaps its beyond our intelligence to communicate in this way. I just had this dream that a yet to be discovered alien civilization communicates in this way. -- 15:05, 25 July 2014

Cephalopods may be able to communicate non-sequentially by altering the colouration / patterns of their skin. Maybe an expert can direct you to relevant references.. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 15:37, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
PS: Of, course, this (Cave of Altamira)
Parallel information
is an example. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 15:51, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Many sign languages are able to express various elements of a "sentence" simultaneously, as opposed to the strictly one word after another sequential nature of spoken or written language. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 17:11, 25 July 2014 (UTC) -- Maybe you should look at Charles F. Hockett's list of design features of human language to see why the short answer to your question is "No". A feature not included in Hockett's list is hierarchical structuring (i.e. syntactic constituents are embedded in nested Immediate constituent structures)... AnonMoos (talk) 23:32, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

How are Jewish and Christian values different from each other?[edit]

Can someone provide a brief summary of Jewish values and Christian values? (I recently saw an episode of the "Prager University" on Youtube, in which it asked whether or not belief in God or atheism was "more rational", and concluded that belief in God was "more rational". Then, I did a Google search, which led me to Dennis Prager's wiki page, which told me that he's Jewish, with "Judeo-Christian values". If Judeo-Christian values are shared by Judaism and Christianity, then what values distinguish them?) (talk) 15:24, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

See Christian–Jewish reconciliation. (talk) 15:58, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
What does that tell me about values? (talk) 16:27, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Define "values". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:30, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
wiktionary:values (talk) 16:33, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
I want to know what the poster thinks "values" means, not what wiktionary thinks it means. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:42, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
All I did was rephrase what I read on Dennis Prager's wikipedia page, and surprisingly, he uses the term, "Judeo-Christian values". I find it surprising, because I often hear Christians use the term, not (observant) Jews. His wikipedia page says his religion is Judaism, though. (talk) 16:57, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Apparently you'd have to ask Prager what he thinks "Judeo-Christian values" means. But at least on a high level, it includes belief in God, belief in the Ten Commandments, i.e. belief in morality, etc. Those would be values generally shared by all three Abrahamic religions Obviously there is a wide variety of opinions on the details. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:16, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Some might say that Christianity would side with mercy and Judaism with justice, but in practice it tends to be the other way around. Because of long-term Jews' minority position, being accepting of non-Jewish otherness was the best way to stay sane (and alive). Judaism tends to hold itself to some pretty high (but fairly definite) standards, while it kindly asks everyone else to consider some fairly simple guidelines on not being evil. From what I've read, the concept of Tikkun olam ("repairing the world") tends to be influential even in branches of Judaism that aren't particularly interested in Kabbalah. Israel causes some exceptions to this, but that's an discussion I'm not touching. There's also plenty of finer points (such as distinctions between Reform Judaism, Conservative Judaism, and Orthodox Judaism) I lack the experience to comment on.
Meanwhile, almost all of Christianity accepts that there's something like right and wrong (certain interpretations of Kierkegaard and Calvinism can get pretty Antinomian), but what defines morality isn't as firmly nailed down beyond the idea that it should fulfill "Love others," "Love God," and that the values should be in some way Biblical (the latter two used to shoehorn in a lot of ideas). Consequently, many Christians tend to look at what they believe in the here and now, find some way it matches some part of the Bible, and call it Christian values, without comparing them to other Christian values throughout the world and its history (which may or may not be the same as or different from Inculturation, phrasing Christian values using another culture's terms). Since Christianity makes up about a third of the world's population, and has existed in a number of cultures, this raises questions that we can't answer here about whether there are unified Christian values, whether certain groups are right or wrong, etc... (plus no one wants me to make Jeremiah Wright's sermon about America sound like mild mannered patriotism).
The American Religious right tends to favor Young Earth Creationism (source), indicating an overall belief that the world already works the way it's supposed to, in law, society, and nature (whatever the root is of this is a matter of debate). At the other end of the spectrum, there's a lot of overlap between Christians who believe in Theistic evolution, socially progressive Christians, and those who use terms like "Social Gospel". These are very broad and extreme examples, most people falling inbetween. Ian.thomson (talk) 16:31, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Who said values must be mutually exclusive? Every religion or ethical philosophy may teach values, and these values have their similarities and nuances. This does not necessarily mean they are derived from each other, and may mean they have evolved independently. A person may call something "Christian values", because it is a body of values that (a certain group of) Christians (however defined) may hold. (talk) 17:07, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
There are many good points raised in Wright's sermon. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:52, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Who are the "Some people" here? (talk) 16:43, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
"Some who do" as opposed to "some who don't". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:49, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
I was referring to the "Some people" at the beginning of the sentence. (talk) 17:10, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes. Some do, and some don't. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:16, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
what are judeo-christian values? that eating people's brains is wrong. that r**ping a woman is an offence first and foremost against her, not against her male relatives who are invested with guarding her chastity. that a handicapped or a pauper are people who had bad luck, not born-again miscreants serving their karmic punishment. you know, that stuff that made Europe great and that you only notice when you see how others got it wrong. I'm an atheist, btw. Asmrulz (talk) 18:41, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
"A lot of nuns are born-again Mafiosi." -- Father Guido Sarducci. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:53, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
"The word was celebrate!" :) Asmrulz (talk) 19:32, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Jehovah's Witnesses have published "The Early Christians and the Mosaic Law" at
Wavelength (talk) 18:52, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
It isn't possible to generalize about "Jewish values" or "Christian values", because not all members of either group hold the same values. That is to say, there is no such thing as a uniform set of Jewish values or a uniform set of Christian values. Since Jewish values are in theory codified in the Talmud and the Rabbinic literature, one might expect the values of Jews to be more uniform than those of Christians, and maybe they are, but even among Jews, the values of, say young, gay Reconstructionist Jews are likely to be vastly different from those of elderly Hasidic Jews, even within New York City, let alone in other parts of the world. If anything, there is even more diversity among the value sets of different groups of Christians. For example, the values of Jehovah's Witnesses are very different from those of other Christian groups. Even if it is possible to identify ways in which early Christians' values were different from those of neighboring Jews because of Christians' partial departure from Mosaic law, that has little relevance to differences in values among Jews and Christians today, beyond the trivial observation that some Jews continue to observe dietary and ritual rules laid down in the Jewish scripture while hardly any Christians do. There is much more to a person's or group's set of values than that. Marco polo (talk) 19:06, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Our article Judeo-Christian is quite informative. In a nutshell, the ethical values of Judaism and Christianity have a broad overlap, since both are based on the Ten Commandments. The moral code of Judaism is somewhat more formalised than in Christianity (dietary restrictions, Sabbath observance, circumcision etc.). The biggest differences between the two religions are in the area of theology, especially around the means of salvation, the status of Jesus and the doctrine of the Trinity. Gandalf61 (talk) 19:09, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
You may want to look at the articles on Sermon on the plain & Sermon on the mount. There is, of course, a fundamental difference in the way God is perceived in Judaism and the way Jesus is perceived in Christianity. Also bear in mind the vastly differing historical context of the development of Christianity vs the history of Judaism and the Jewish diaspora. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 19:42, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

July 26[edit]

American white supremacist[edit]

I desperately need help trying to remember the name of an American white supremacist as I just can't recall it and Google has been no help so far. My exact recollections are hazy but this guy was a figure in either the KKK, one of the sundry other far-right groups or both until he announced that he was done with all that. He subsequently turned up on Geraldo and similar shows discussing his decision to give up racism, meeting African American activists and the like. In this case however he then returned to white supremacy, possibly claiming that his initial abandonment of the ideology had been all a ruse in the first place. I've gone through every article in Category:Ku Klux Klan members and none of them seem to match up so can anybody help or did I just imagine all this? Keresaspa (talk) 01:00, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

David Duke maybe? --Jayron32 03:20, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

22nd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry[edit]

Where can I find this but in book form? Or can it be found --KAVEBEAR (talk) 06:03, 26 July 2014 (UTC)


July 20[edit]

or not[edit]

What tone is implied by ending a question with the phrase "or not"? Seems to me it may imply impatience or perhaps a demand for a response. --Halcatalyst (talk) 00:48, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

I think you need to give an example so we understand the context. HiLo48 (talk) 00:55, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Halcatalyst -- do you mean that "or not" at the end of a sentence becomes like a Tag question? -- AnonMoos (talk) 01:05, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
"Or not" can sometimes mean that the speaker is trying to take back whatever he just said, usually because whoever he's speaking to is reacting negatively. The implication may be that the speaker is thoughtless or self-absorbed, but there may also be an implication that the other person is a cruel, irrational meanie. A classic example:
Husband: "Honey, wouldn't you love a new toilet brush set for your birthday?"
Wife: (glowers menacingly)
Husband: "...or not."
That's not the only possibility, though. --NellieBly (talk) 02:39, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
That's the only way I hear it (at least as a two-word phrase). A form of wembling or conflict avoidance. Interchangeable with "On second thought..." or "Then again...". People (typically men on TV) who use the terms can't decide what the better idea is, just know they're wrong, somehow, and scared to guess again. Something like a tag question, without the explicit question. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:12, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
  • Examples might include: "Are you coming or not?" - "Is it raining or not?" - "Do you want to dance or not?" - "Are the kids fed or not?" --Halcatalyst (talk) 03:30, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
  • It's going to depend on the way it's said. You put a question mark only at the end, which to me implies that it's not said in an angry way, in which case it doesn't "imply impatience or perhaps a demand for a response".
  • Add an exclamation mark, to show it's said in an angry way, and then it does.
  • Adding a pause could also imply uncertainty or lack of confidence: "Do you want to dance ... or not ?".
  • Another case is where something changes mid-sentence: "Shall we eat dinner now ?" (opens oven door and smoke billows out) "... or not ?" StuRat (talk) 03:39, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
In other words, the use of the phrase isn't enough to imply any particular tone. -- (talk) 04:06, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
But if you read someone yell "NOT!!!" after a sentence, it's proper to imagine in Wayne and/or Garth's's tone. Far less common today than a generation ago. I wish I could yell "NOT!!!" after that, but it's true. Still pops up here and there, though. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:30, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
Unless there's a special case of the sort StuRat describes above, I'd say that the normal meaning is to ask the question neutrally - it removes the expectation of a positive answer that the question might have otherwise. It also makes it explicitly a closed question (which I think is where the secondary implication of wanting an immediate answer comes from). AlexTiefling (talk) 09:26, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

interlingual communication[edit]

I’m trying to find the name of this phenomenon. Essentially, it’s when people are speaking separate languages to each other, but still comprehend each other. What is this? -- (talk) 03:58, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

The closest term I can come up with at the moment is "receptive bilingualism". That section uses an example that is similar to what you are talking about.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 04:54, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Typical of conversations between generations in immigrant households. -- Deborahjay (talk) 06:40, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Some linguists also call it "semi-communication", although I personally find that a bit of a misnomer. Fut.Perf. 09:01, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
"Semicommunication"? What a bizarre term. There's even a movie about this, Um Filme Falado with a bunch of my favorite actors where they each speak their own language at dinner, yet understand each other well enough to hold a conversation. Tragic, but well worth seeing. Reminds one of the meaning of Boko Haram. μηδείς (talk) 23:09, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Mutual intelligibility? But that's for related languages.Cfmarenostrum (talk) 12:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
ObPersonal — while serving (in the British Army) in Germany, my father witnessed a striking example of this. A German truck driver arrived at a British Army base and reported in to the English duty clerk, who had only recently arrived and spoke no German. They proceeded to have an everyday, inconsequential conversation, each speaking only his own language but with no evident misunderstandings. My father (who had some German) was convinced that neither consciously realized the other was not speaking in his own language. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 12:32, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Wasn't this also practiced at the Mir space station? The Americans would talk in Russian and Russians in English. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 04:13, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Pronunciation of Russian aircraft models such as "Tu-2"[edit]

Many (but not all) Soviet and Russian aircraft have names that include the prefix assigned to the manufacturer or designer. So we have the Tupolev SB, but also the Tupolev Tu-2; the Polikarpov I-16 and the Polikarpov Po-2; the Beriev MBR-2 and the Beriev Be-30. I know how I would pronounce "MBR-2", but how would I say "Be-30"? Like the word "be", the individual letters "B-E", or would I say "Beriev 30"? Or something else? -- (talk) 09:47, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

If you go by "AK-47", the letters would be pronounced separately, while if you go by "MiG-21", they would be pronounced as a word. For "I-16", the two options would be identical... AnonMoos (talk) 10:27, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
But... be careful with AK-47; the Soviets didn't even use the 47 prefix. It was tacked on by western intelligence, representing the year, 1947. In Soviet Russia, it was an "AK" without the 47, or the "Kalash'". - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 06:11, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
What did you expect? Another "Soviet Russia" joke? ;) - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 06:08, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
When I collected aircraft numbers, the arrival of a Tupolev Tu-104 would cause huge excitement amongst the young boys gathered at London Airport. And we invariably called it a TU104, also pronouncing each digit separately. Thincat (talk) 09:35, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
In this documentary video [36] they say "tu-dva". That suggests you'd also want to say "tu-two" in English, unless you want to avoid confusion with a tutu. I've seen another documentary that similarly pronounces the prefixes similarly. --Amble (talk) 14:49, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Differences in meanings[edit]

What are the differenes in the shade of meanings of the following sentences:
1. There was half an hour left for the last entry.
2. Half an hour was there for the last entry.
3. Half an hour was left for the last entry.
Thanks. (talk) 10:24, 20 July 2014 (UTC)Vineet Chaitanya

Number 2 is either archaically poetic or incorrect... AnonMoos (talk) 10:29, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Depends on which word you stress. If you stress 'there' it is modern. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 12:58, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
If you stress "there", then it's no longer an existential sentence, and so the meaning is completely different from 1 -- and "Half an hour" has to be some kind of quasi-concrete entity which can be present in a location, or some kind of quasi-volitional entity which can "be there for" something else... AnonMoos (talk) 16:27, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I am not sure which type of measuring system for time you might have, but halves of hours do exist in our usual measuring system. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 17:26, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
In #2, the absence of the word "left" means that "half an hour" is more likely to be the entry itself, as in filling out a time card, while the others sound more like half an hour is allotted to complete the last entry.
Also, depending on where the emphasis is, you might change the meaning. For example, emphasis on "half an hour" would indicate that this is an unusual amount of time, either less then needed or an excessive amount. StuRat (talk) 14:27, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Japanese translation help[edit]

So, i've been working on the Man With A Mission article and in reviewing the Oricon charts, I noted an addition to the DVD page for the band. It's the third one on there, most recent one. I was able to determine that this is a movie of some kind and that the theme song for it is Your Way from the Man With A Mission album Tales of Purefly. So, I need two pieces of help.

1. What is the name of this film in understandable English? Because Google Translate is giving me "Www unusual life after making customs", which clearly is...not right. Or not very intelligible, at least. What's a better translation?

2. Is the ranking on Oricon of #60 for 1 week for the film or for the band's Your Way song due to it being used in the film?

If I could get some help with this, it would be very appreciated. SilverserenC 21:39, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

1. "Going to the sex industry changed my life lol", or something like that. According to its Japanese Wikipedia article it's a 2channel post-turned-book-turned-movie about a guy who falls in love with a call girl. 2. The previous highest ranking (過去最高位) is 60th place; the current ranking is 3rd place (on the left). I assume that's the DVD's sales rank among DVDs that mention Man With A Mission in their metadata. -- BenRG (talk) 00:12, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Ah, okay, so it's not something I would need to add to the article. Good to know. Thanks for the help. SilverserenC 00:23, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I guess I must be wrong about the meaning of the ranking numbers, unless they have 168+ albums. 過去最高位 does mean "highest past rank", 登場回数 means "times appearing", and the colored numbers on the left are also ranks of some sort, but I don't know how to interpret them. -- BenRG (talk) 00:40, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
The numbers on the left seem to be "(total) sales rankings" (売り上げランキング uriage rankingu?) An explanation of what that means is given in the box "売り上げランキングとは" located below album #7. Basically it says that this ranking, reflects (covers), in principle, total sales for CDs, DVDs, and BRDs released since 1988; however, it also says that this ranking does not necessarily include the sales of all CDs, DVDs, and BRDs released since 1998. My best guess is that this ranking only reflects sales (downloads) of these albums through this particular website. I hope that helps and sorry advance if I'm getting it wrong. - Marchjuly (talk) 04:32, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

July 22[edit]

The word "Holey"[edit]

How should the comparative and superlative form for the word "Holey" (adjective: full of holes) be spelled? Places I find by STFW do not seem to agree. Thieh (talk) 03:24, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Wiktionary has "holier" and "holiest" at wikt:holey, but Collins English Dictionary has "holeyer" and "holeyest" at In this instance, I prefer the forms given by Collins, because they avoid confusion with the inflected forms of "holy".
Wavelength (talk) 03:36, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I'd go with "holier" over "holeyer". Plenty of things are homophones, and people understand just fine, in the right context. Trying to avoid confusion like this would likely make more. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:40, July 22, 2014 (UTC)
I find that "has more holes" avoids any confusion, even in speech. --Jayron32 04:01, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I'll second that. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:09, July 22, 2014 (UTC)
Thirded. I have also never seen Collins' suggestion before, nor any parallel construction in common use. As far as I know, all adjectives ending in -y form their comparatives in -ier and superlatives in -iest. AlexTiefling (talk) 09:22, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
(Slightly relevant to the holeyest things: Trypophobia, more holey examples here [37]) SemanticMantis (talk) 17:04, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
While we're at it, I've never liked that the atomic weights given for the various elements aren't whole numbers according to reliable sources; let's just round them off here at wikipedia, or avoid their use altogether. μηδείς (talk) 17:21, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I may as well second that, too. Crank boron all the way to 11. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:11, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
OneLook Dictionary Search mentions "boneyest", "feyest", "greyest", "riceyest", and "surveyest" at*eyest&ls=a. Wiktionary mentions "clayier" and "clayiest" at wikt:clayey.
Wavelength (talk) 19:17, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Cod is bonier than tuna. I don't understand how varying degrees of rice work, but I know "boneyest" is terrible. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:15, July 23, 2014 (UTC)


I just watched an episode of the Antiques Roadshow filmed in Salt Lake City Utah. Two separate members of the public whose items were appraised used "deceased" in an identical manner that I'm not sure I've ever heard before. The first woman said something like "once my grandparents deceased I..." and then a man said "once my mother deceased I..." Note that even though they were not together at all, they were interviewed in the same segment (as they both brought in similar lamps), so there is a possibility the man heard the woman's usage, and then followed her lead in a way he wouldn't have if he hadn't just heard the word used that way. But anyway, two people saying this got my attention. Is this a common regional use? Is this common to any of you?-- (talk) 04:35, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

I don't use it myself, but I'm pretty sure I've heard it. It seems to be a revival or persistence of the archaic verb to decease, which the OED dates back to 1439: "Yf the saide Iohn decesse withoute heires". My guess is that it's not restricted to one region; it seems to be a logical choice for anyone who wants to express the formal or euphemistic tone of the adjective deceased using a verb (though of course the usual go-to is to pass away). Lesgles (talk) 05:20, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
It's like "departed". People who have departed are departed. You could say those who desisted are "the desisted", too. Not common. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:12, July 22, 2014 (UTC)
InedibleHulk—this was fun to discuss here. Bus stop (talk) 14:11, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Oh yes, joyful times indeed. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:27, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
'Deceased' would seem to be less ambiguous and euphemistic than 'pass away', without breaking the 'never say die' taboo. (I can't say I much understand the taboo myself, but I've seen it in action a lot.) AlexTiefling (talk) 09:20, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Not as bad as "lost", though: "I'm depressed because I recently lost my wife ... I sure wish I could remember where I left her." StuRat (talk) 12:51, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Ah, euphemisms. Actor: "I understand you buried your wife recently." W.C. Fields: "Yes, we had to. She died." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:05, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Stu, Oscar Wilde had great fun with "lost" in The Importance of Being Earnest. When Jack reveals to Lady Bracknell that he has "lost" not just one but both of his parents, she retorts: "To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune ... to lose both seems like carelessness". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:01, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Decease and sist from discussing this any further. Clarityfiend (talk) 23:14, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Name of Asia[edit]

I noticed that apparently none of the Oriental languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai...) have a native word for Asia: They all seem to use derivations of the Hellenic word Ἀσία from the opposite edge of the continent. Did they really never elaborate a native term for their own continent or for a similar concept? Or was it replaced in recent times? -- (talk) 13:49, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Asia is a Western concept. From the perspective of physical geography, there is nothing to distinguish Europe from Asia but a rather arbitrary, culturally defined line across the landmass of Eurasia. This line was part of the Western, Greco-Roman tradition but not the Sinitic tradition. To the Chinese, south and southwest Asia and Europe were lumped together as "the West." This is no less rational than lumping the 3/4 of Eurasia east of the Urals and the Bosphorus as "Asia." In premodern times, East Asians were not aware of any other landmasses comparable to Eurasia, so there would be no need to distinguish Eurasia with a name. Although Zheng He reached East Africa, it isn't clear that he recognized that it was part of a separate continent distinct from other lands he had visited in South Asia. The Chinese would simply have referred to Eurasia with terms such as 大陆 (dàlù), meaning "continent" or "mainland". Marco polo (talk) 13:59, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
What is Europe and what is Asia? Depends on who you ask and when you ask them
Boundaries_between_continents#Europe_and_Asia has a pretty nice discussion about the issue, and it largely confirms what Mr. Polo has said above. The perspective is largely a European one, and is also largely culturally based. You can even see that, historically, the line has jumped around quite a bit, and with a bit of danger of being too simplified, Europe was where the white people lived. The overland border between Europe and Asia generally included Slavic and Georgian peoples in Europe, but not Iranian, Turkic, Mongol, or Tartar peoples. The tripartate division of the "world" into Africa, Europe, and Asia (as well as the now debunked division of people into Negroid, Caucasoid, and Mongoloid, i.e. people that live in Africa, Europe, and Asia) permeates Western thought for thousands of years, and it is largely based on the racial-cultural definitions as defined by European culture over that time period. The physical geography definition of "continent" came about MUCH later than the cultural one, which is why many geologists and geographers prefer terms like "landmass" over "continent", as the word "continent" carries too much cultural baggage. --Jayron32 16:47, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, and us British pee ourselves laughing about it, presumably because we are incontinent. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 17:17, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
"...Europe was where the white people lived"
Well, only if you consider Greeks to be white. --Bowlhover (talk) 18:11, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Greeks were typically classified as Caucasian. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:45, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I've always thought that Greece is quite far from the Caucasus. I wonder why the Argonauts sailed for the Golden Fleece if they could do it by land.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 20:26, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Long story short: although deriving from the Greek mainland, many of the Ancient Greek peoples and their allies, trading partners etc. were scattered over various other non-adjacent city states, areas and islands, often with non-Greek (and potentially hostile or non-cooperative) peoples separating them. Traversing such areas by land could be time-consuming, arduous and dangerous. It was generally easier (though not without its own hazards) to sail rather than travail, which was how many of the Greek 'colonies' were established in the first place. The semi-obsolete and much-misunderstood anthropological term Caucasian, though of course deriving from the Caucasus, was never intended to imply actual residence of that area, or for that matter a particular skin complexion. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 12:51, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
It was my sarcasm. I do not like the racial term "Caucasian" at all as it's accidental, outdated, unscientific, confusing etc. If we need a racial (or beter say, "phenotypical") term for "white people", Europid is much better (most anthropologists outside of the English-speaking world use this or alike term). Though for now more than a half "Europids" live outside of Europe (Americas, N. Africa. M. East, N. India, N. Asia), this type is most associated with Europe in general, and a great bulk of them have been lived there non-intermingled with other types for millennia.
And, of course, Ancient Greeks did not live in the Caucasus (apart from small colonies) and hence they weren't and isn't "Caucasians". They travelled to Colchis by see because it was the best way to get there in Ancient times.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 12:56, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Terms like Caucasoid, Negroid, Australoid, Mongoloid, etc. were only fairly recently considered to be negative or out of date. They were at once time considered superior to the colloquial terms white, black, brown, yellow, red, etc. They were like euphemisms. And as often happens with the euphemisms treadmill, those terms likewise fell out of favor. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:36, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
People in the Middle East and North Africa are classified as white. Arabs aren't exactly black. (Some natives in Afghanistan look really white. Not sure if whites consider lighter-skinned people from the Indian Subcontinent white nowadays.) In some regions of Europe, especially in the south (e. g., Sicily), the natives do not look appreciably different from Middle Easterners; it's not like at the European side of the Bosporus people are blond and blue-eyed and at the other side everybody looks Chinese. (In fact, the whole southwest of Asia is inhabited by peoples who definitely do not look "Asian" in the sense of Chinese. I hate when people equate Asia with East Asia and act if everything in between Europe and East Asia did not exist.) So it's not that neat. (If it were, Europe would have to extend all the way to the Himalayas.)
As far as I know, the division Europe–Asia–Africa began in Ancient Greece. Europe was west of the Aegean, Asia the eastern coast ("Asia" originally only referred only to Asia Minor, i. e., Anatolia), and Libya (whence Africa) the southern coast of the Mediterranean. It makes only sense from the perspective of the Greeks. Funny enough, Crete was once considered to be part of Asia. Egypt too, possibly. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 03:52, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
The American racial categorisation is one of the stupidest things in the world I know. It always leads to confusion. Being for centuries a racist country but later rejecting racism passionately and thus being paranoid about everything racial, America still divides peoples by the most ambiguous outdated racist terms like "White" or "Black" or even worse "Asian". And after the racial taboo in science, physical anthropology is in abyss there, so it is most probably these terms will be used, unfortunately. If they banned physical anthropology as it is "racist" and they do not want use proper scientific categorisation (nevertheless, I wonder why even this scientific categorisation is needed in everyday life), why the heck are they using the outdated 18-19 century one?
I believe initially "white" meant "Anglo-Saxon" or "Teutonic" as most American people, who were neither Natives nor African slaves, migrated from the British Isles or Germanic North Europe. And they, being North Europeans, indeed were relatively fair-haired and fair-skinned, thus this term had some sense. But when immigrants began arriving from South Europe as well as M. East and India, this became obviously unacceptable. These people are swarthy but still anthropologically they are close to "Anglo-Saxons". And the only thing American bureaucrats have found out is to widen the definition and now we have "white" but swarthy Indians or Yemenis. And when this also became ridiculous, instead of dropping out races at all (as they know nothing about them, cannot define them properly and pretend to be an anti-racist country) they dug out outdated no less ambiguous "Caucasian" and added "Asian" for Far Eastern nations. Voilà, we have an absolute incomprehensible terminological mess.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 12:56, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Of course. Purely descriptive terms like "Europ(o)id", "Mongol(o)id" or "Austral(o)id" are not exactly racist as such, even if one may take issue with their accuracy or appropriateness in specific contexts. I have thought about calling these morphological phenotypes "Regional Ancestry Correlated Entities", i. e., RACEs in short. :-) I do find it annoying when you find yourself needing to employ cumbersome circumlocutions, whether in daily life or even scientific discussions, only because people exhibit a reflex-like distaste for these handy and for many purposes reasonably accurate terms. Racial phenotypes aren't going to go away anytime soon. Even with the most vigorous mixing humans aren't ever going to be a completely homogeneous mass as, even if we inbred semi-albinos from Europe disappear as a coherent group, the variation will not; the characteristics typical of this and other groups are going to surface time and again and blondes, redheads etc. are never going to disappear completely.
And face it, human phenotypical variation, prehistoric migrations and related issues is a fascinating topic to many people regardless of their political views. Instead of rendering it completely obsolete, archaeogenetics both enriches and corrects it. For example, some terms such as "Mongol(o)id" or "Nordic" correlate remarkably well with certain narrow haplogroups, while the number of lineages lumped under other terms such as "Negr(o)id" is far larger and so these handy terms conceal huge diversity – although this is hardly surprising given what we know about human prehistory now.
Racial classifications are hardly more arbitrary than those of other – even quite scientific – fields, such as colours, celestial objects, day and night, periods of history, dialects, vowels, music genres and other cultural phenomena, even tools, fashion or furniture. Or geographical objects such as seas and continents, of course: There is no objective solution, it's all culture-dependent. The concept "species" is no less controversial than that of "race". That's the nature of classification and semantics: reality is full of continua and complexities we try to handle with our reductionist categories. The concept of, say, "planet" is (as everybody should be aware of now) not based on a god-given objective fact of the universe, but an arbitrary human invention, with a long and confused history of its own.
That's the real fallacy (and quite harmful folly) at the heart of flat-out "race denial", as opposed to quite different issues that are only related to politics and economics and have nothing to do with the objective existence – or not – of race. In fact, denying classifications on the grounds of them being arbitrary to an extent is an inherently anti-scientific mindset, because science cannot do without classifications that are to some extent arbitrary, even if scientists try to avoid them more and more. "Racial realism" as a far-right movement is not really about the mere existence of races as a plain descriptive fact, after all. Non-white people are happy to acknowledge the differences as such and don't wish them to be eliminated or suppressed, only the associated harmful cultural baggage.
On either end of the political spectrum, colourblindness and tabooing of the subject makes people only more racist. Also, misunderstood "political correctness" is exploited by nationalists and other ideologues to manipulate (among other things) Wikipedia all the time to rewrite or suppress the nasty or inconvenient bits of history (often attributed to "white colonial history/science"). For example in the case of Mileva Marić, where Serbian nationalists and Anti-Semites team up with feminists to deny Einstein his true place in history. Or when Turkish, Indian and other nationalists together with well-meaning helpers gang up on Marija Gimbutas and absurdly impute white supremacist ideological motivations to her. Afrocentrism isn't made true by the oppression directed against black people, either. Science can inform politics, but politics should never inform science. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 02:35, 26 July 2014 (UTC) -- I strongly doubt whether any nations or peoples adopted names for continents until well into historical times, because there's no reason to name a continent until you have explored fairly widely and are aware of more than one continent. The origin of Western continent names is that the ancient Greeks used the word "Asia" to refer to lands directly across the Aegean sea (i.e. "Asia Minor" or Anatolia), the word "Europe" to refer to mainland Greece itself and vaguely-known areas connected by land to the north, and the word "Libya" to refer to vaguely-known areas reached by sailing long distances to the south. These words were not at first continent names, because the Greeks didn't know about continents until they acquired broader horizons of geographical knowledge, after the three words had already been in use for some time to refer to narrower less-than-continental areas... The Romans substituted "Africa" for "Libya" ("Africa" in the narrower sense was the name of a province encompassing today's northern Tunisia and northeastern Algeria), and that's how we got the three eastern hemisphere continent names (Asia, Europe, Africa). AnonMoos (talk) 20:29, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

greek diacritics[edit]

At Yarmouk River, I added the ancient greek name in greek script. The problem is the first letter in the source is printed with a diacritic, and I don't know which one, or how to fill in the transliteration template. trespassers william (talk) 22:07, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Fixed it; it would be Ἱερομύκης, with a spiritus asper, as in the root hiero. Fut.Perf. 22:15, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. The template:transl is still empty. It never occurred to me this can be an originally Greek name. Surprisingly, no semitic older name is easily found. Do you have an idea as to what μύκης would mean in that context? trespassers william (talk) 00:00, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
There is a Greek word wikt:μύκης, but it doesn't really make much sense here. The Greek name might well be a folk-etymological adaptation of a pre-existing native name, just like the "hiero-" in Ἱεροσόλυμα, the Greek name of Jerusalem, so I wouldn't be too confident that it has to be the original etymology, even if it happens to be the earliest attested form. Fut.Perf. 02:32, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
A "holy mushroom" could be a psilocybin mushroom, but it makes little sense as a river name (unless the region was known for shrooms, perhaps), I agree. It's probably of Semitic origin. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 03:21, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
OK, at least Amanita muscaria is apparently not actually endemic to the Middle East, but the Greeks themselves would have been well familiar with psychoactive mushrooms used in sacred ritual if speculations that the kykeon of the Eleusinian Mysteries contained mushroom-derived substances are correct. In that case, "holy mushroom" is not such a random collocation, even if the association with the river may be purely phonetically motivated and unrelated to local circumstances. I recall other cases where ancient Greeks have clearly distorted foreign names and words as the result of folk-etymological re-interpretation. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 04:27, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
For what it's worth, Robert Graves believed that the Amanita was in use [38]. I should probably add that citation to the Eleusinian Mysteries article. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:03, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I can find several sources (including, apparently, the 1974 Encyclopedia Britannica) stating that the earliest mention of the Yarmouk is in the Mishna (Tractate Parah), as ירמוך Yarmuk. הסרפד (call me Hasirpad) 03:29, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Though I can also find sources that say that the Yarmuk is Pliny's Hieromices, so ignore my previous comment. הסרפד (call me Hasirpad) 03:35, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
The Greek seems to me pretty clearly derivative of "Yarmuk" or some earlier version of that name. The Ἱερο in Ἱερομύκης mirrors that at the beginning of Ἱεροσόλυμα, pronounced roughly Yerushalem or Jeruʃalem in Aramaic. According to Koine Greek phonology, ύ was still pronounced 'y' (like a French 'u') at the time the first Hellenistic Greeks arrived to coin a Greek name for that river. The -ης at the end of the name was likely added so that the word would fit into the Greek noun declension scheme. Very likely, the Greek word is derived from an earlier form something like Yerumuk/Jerumuk. Marco polo (talk) 20:13, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Here comes the pendulum. I had already seen in Yohanan Aharoni that Arar might be an old Egyptian name, but wasn't thrilled with two syllables, and two shady consonants (as r and l are conflated in Egyptian). But after jumbling some names, thought it ,might be convenient if there was an Arar Maacha or Aram Maacha. And then found hebrew, jstor page or eng weird site, relating to the execration texts. Now where to find an echo to the speculation? trespassers william (talk) 02:29, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Did Karl May know genuine Apache words?[edit]

Karl May's character Winnetou, described as Mescalero Apache, has a horse called Iltschi, whose name is explained as meaning "wind". Iltschi's brother Hatatitla, whose name is said to mean "lightning", is ridden by Old Shatterhand. Did he simply make these words up or are there really similar words with those meanings in Mescalero or some related language such as Navajo? He certainly got the general sound of Apachean languages at least vaguely right from what little I know of them, although Navajo phonology#Vowels informs me that [u] is not present in Navajo even allophonically and there are no diphthongs. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 22:13, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Winnetou sounds more like an Algonquian word (like a mix of Winnipeg and Manitou). Adam Bishop (talk) 01:24, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
There's also Winnebago (although Ho-Chunk#Etymology makes me think the name may be etymologically identical with Winnipeg – see Winnipeg#History and Lake Winnipeg#History) and the Siouan-derived first name Winona. So this could really be the way the name was created. Perhaps the name is actually Algonquian, because it is translated as "burning water" and Winnipeg/Winnebago is also supposed to mean "muddy water" or "stinking water" respectively.
Karl May gives meanings for all the names. One gets the impression that the names are supposed to be actually real – and the context is very specific: Winnetou is not a generic Indian, he belongs to an identifiable ethnic group. May's descriptions are detailed and he gives the impression to have done detailed research. So you would expect that it's not all made up out of thin air.
I just thought there might be Athabascanists, natives or people with access to dictionaries in relevant languages here. Oh well. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 04:06, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

July 23[edit]

Take no prisoners[edit]

I sometimes read about some musician playing a piece in a "take no prisoners" style, and I always wonder what they mean. When I google the phrase, I get a range of related meanings, like 'ruthless', 'merciless', 'determined' and so on. I can understand how these meanings might apply to many human actions, but not to music making.

  • To whom is the performer showing no mercy?
  • How do the qualities of mercilessness and ruthlessness apply to the complex interplay of nuance, rhythm, harmony and tempo that is at the heart of music?

Leaving jazz and other intentionally improvisatory genres to one side, a musician doesn't just make it up as he goes along. He learns the piece thoroughly, and that includes having well developed ideas about how it all fits together. He then performs the piece according to this interpretive concept. His ideas about the piece may well (or even should) change over time, but on any one occasion, what he plays is how he conceives the piece at that time. And if he played it any other way, he would not be being true to himself. That fits my understanding of 'determined'. In that sense, pretty much all decent performances could be described as "take no prisoners". But relatively few of them are so described. What marks these few for this particular description? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 08:48, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

I don't have a defintive answer, but I think it has to do with not caring about the audience too. There are pianists who seem to play in a "crowd-pleasing" way (one very famous one comes to mind, but I hesitate to list examples since this is also a matter of taste and opinion, and I don't wish to start that kind of debate). In any event, those crowd-pleasing performances don't fit the "takes no prisoners" label, in my view. ---Sluzzelin talk 09:25, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
When I hear the phrase, I think of Megadeth. Particularly the sort of rhythm in "Architecture of Aggression." Feels like advancing machinery, then the riff gets sinister for the chorus. Structure fits the lyrics. A similar thing happens in "Angry Again". All in rumbling and forward-driving steady beats. Tank songs. "Take No Prisoners" itself seems more like an aerial assault to me. Dave Mustaine's snarl helps the feeling in all of them. InedibleHulk (talk) 10:26, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
Can't forget to mention Kill 'Em All. That album might have invented the style, at least as I hear it. InedibleHulk (talk) 10:32, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
Might be virtually synonymous with thrash metal. InedibleHulk (talk) 10:36, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
"Take no prisoners" to me suggests an aggressive approach - which most forms of metal but also punk and grunge might fit, but you could also imagine, say, a classic pianist playing a piece more aggressively than another pianist might. --Nicknack009 (talk) 11:23, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Aggressively, yes. But does that necessarily equate to "take no prisoners"? Certain kinds of music (the ones mentioned above, mainly) are inherently aggressive, regardless of how anyone sings/performs them. But normally it's not the music itself that's tarred with this epithet, it's individual performances. Is this just a cliched expression that means little but helps to pad out music reviews? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 11:30, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Could just be a label. I don't get how music can be inherently anything regardless of how it's played, though. Isn't the way it's played what makes it music? Or are you talking about stage presence? InedibleHulk (talk) 11:47, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
Typically a metaphor for a strong, dynamic performance of some kind - possibly misused in this case, but it's a pretty mainstream metaphor, watered down. Like a real Nazi vs. a "soup Nazi". I'm thinking back to one time a number of years ago, when the Chicago Cubs swept the New York Mets in a four-game mid-season series, including a fistfight in the final game. The Chicago Tribune's headline the next day was "Cubs take no prisoners!" ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:49, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Inedible Hulk, I was thinking of heavy metal and its ilk. My exposure to such music is very limited, by my choice, because what I've heard of it has turned my aural stomach. There may well be a death metal version of a lullaby, but I'm not going looking for it. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 00:11, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
There's probably some sort of melodic metal (not to be confused with melodic death metal, for which we actually have an article) for you out there. But yeah, turning some stomachs is part of not taking them prisoner (widening the fanbase). Just more mouths/ears to feed. InedibleHulk (talk) 08:42, July 24, 2014 (UTC)
More speculation: to take no prisoners means, by extension, to do things "all the way" and completely dominate the action. I can see those phrases pertaining to any style of music; it means to play without timidity. Don't hesitate or play with reluctance - do your best. I don't have the musical vocabulary to describe it, but I think it's fairly common to hear someone playing a piece technically well, but without a sense of surety, so that it doesn't sound as good as it should given the technical ability. Matt Deres (talk) 13:33, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
My impression is pretty much the same as Matt's (as well as those that suggest that the expression is a reviewer's easy way out of actually characterizing a performance in detail). In my younger days, such a reviewer might have said that a performer "let it all hang out"—played with passion and enthusiasm, even if perhaps not with technical precision. The opposite of "by the numbers". Deor (talk) 13:47, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
By Merriam-Webster's take on the phrase, music that feels charitable, compassionate, humane, kindhearted, kindly, merciful, sensitive, softhearted, sympathetic, tender, tenderhearted, warm or warmhearted is the opposite of "take no prisoner". Sarah McLachlan music takes prisoners and adopts dogs, even if she's passionate and sloppy about it. Bugs' Cubs example is more in line, I think. Just "destroyed" the Mets, something like how a stack of amplifiers "destroys" the first few rows at a rock show. InedibleHulk (talk) 14:07, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
I would assume, though lacking real knowledge in this area, that a "take no prisoners" approach to playing music is putting the emphasis on an "offensive" style, as though the performer is not afraid to be offensive. This would be hyperbole because truly offensive would be simply offensive and consequently without any redeeming qualities, in my opinion. But the description implies "pushing the envelope" of acceptability, or at least I would assume. Bus stop (talk) 15:46, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
G.G. Allin was that sort of purely and simply offensive type. But even he had fans. Fans he literally beat and pissed on, but still. They saw something in him. But no, I doubt he's cool in your opinion. Mine neither. InedibleHulk (talk) 09:00, July 24, 2014 (UTC)
"music that feels charitable, compassionate, humane, kindhearted, kindly, merciful, sensitive, softhearted, sympathetic, tender, tenderhearted, warm or warmhearted" - it's not really possible to play or sing such music in a "take no prisoners" style, is it? This is why I feel that certain genres of music are themselves inherently of the TNP style. You can't play death metal in a softhearted or tender way (and expect to be taken seriously), and you can't sing a soft, slow romantic ballad in a TNP style (and expect to be taken seriously). Comments? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:45, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Doesn't each genre have its own spectrum? Within that spectrum (and for those who enjoy that particular genre), I do think death metal contains moments performed in a softhearted or tender way while being taken seriously. Though I'm not a native speaker, I will re-iterate what I wrote above about crowd-pleasing. I guess what I meant was compromising (the composers intentions, one's own artistic or aesthetic judgment, etc.) in order to give the audience what they want to hear (or what the performers/conductors who do take prisoners think the audience wants, or what they're being told it wants). Various definitions of "to take no prisoners" include "uncompromising". Googling for "takes no prisoners" in reviews of classical music performances and recordings gave several examples where I think "uncompromising" is also the intended meaning, applicable to non-aggressive, non-driven music as well. ---Sluzzelin talk 07:54, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
OK, I hear you now. Thanks. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 08:26, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Well said. That's what the last bit of that Chicago Tribune article on Slayer got at. They don't care if they're on the radio, or stay "relevant". They just want to keep making Slayer-style music. Could work for an unflinching, stoic flautist or marimba player, too, but the connotations apply better to music that somewhat feels like war and testosterone and slaughter. I'd call the gentler musicians simply "uncompromising".
As for the inherency, the same song can be adapted in many ways, depending on the performer. Richard Cheese has made a career out of pussifying and ridiculing aggressive music, while retaining the general tune and lyrics. It's actually quite nice. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:21, July 25, 2014 (UTC)
  • "Take no prisoners" is an obvious metaphor for "to go all out". Is there some further question? μηδείς (talk) 20:06, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I have one. Do you really think it takes maximum effort and enthusiasm to literally take no prisoners? I think "going all out" means taking the extra time to captivate and enthrall (like "winning hearts and minds"). Much easier to just crank it up to eleven and blow everyone away. Become the loudest band in the world. You don't even have to make eye contact. Just a vulgar display of power. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:32, July 24, 2014 (UTC)
This article on Slayer paints a decent picture. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:39, July 24, 2014 (UTC)
I think that all that we can say is that the writer is using the metaphor of the “take no prisoners” style of music to make the reader interested in hearing the music. Bus stop (talk) 23:06, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

July 24[edit]

Blimber Road[edit]

I remember Blimber Road is a place in Dickens' novel "Dombey and Son", but I forget in which chapter the place is mentioned. I need your help here. Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:48, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Searching inside the book finds Blimber and road (or) Road, but not together. (pp. 161, 217 and 384).   — (talk) 02:02, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
The novel is available from Project Gutenberg in plain text form here. By downloading it you can search the text yourself with any tools you like, and see that while several characters in the book are named Blimber, that name never occurs followed by a capital letter without punctuation intervening, as it would in "Blimber Road", "Blimber St.", or any other such street name. -- (talk) 06:39, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Googling the phrase "Blimber Road" led me (only) to Martin Amis's Lionel Asbo - the Google Books extract here also mentions the Dickensian-sounding "Squeers Free" (a school). AndrewWTaylor (talk) 07:34, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

July 25[edit]


Here is part of a poem I wrote. I seem to write most poems in this metre. I would like to know what type of metre it is.

  • We slip into the office
  • And I carefully choose my seat,
  • Another bloody meeting
  • In the awful office heat.

KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 02:07, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

I have no idea what it's called (and Metre (poetry) didn't totally work for me, but it might make sense to you), but except for the second line, it matches this oldie:
I eat my peas with honey (7 syllables)
I've done it all my life (6 instead of 8)
They do taste kind of funny (7)
But it keeps them on my knife (7)
Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:06, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
"Iambic trimeter", maybe? This may help too.[39]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:31, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Looks like some type of an iamb. Especially the 1st and 3rd lines are pure iambic. --Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 11:34, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Though I think it's mixed metre: 1 and 3 are iambic, 2 is anapestic, 4 is anapestic with iambic.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 11:43, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Word for low quality scientific papers[edit]

What word can be used for the type of papers/articles (usually humanitarian) which have low quality, have no or little sources, trivial conclusions, just verbose texts about nothing but pretending to be scientific, but nevertheless not pseudo-scientific in the traditional sense? This type of "science about nothing", "science for science's sake" is quite wide-spread today.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 13:39, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Do you have an example or two? Terms that come to mind are Pseudoscience [already mentioned] and Fringe science. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:07, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
I think Любослов means something like what is described in "How science goes wrong" (The Economist, Oct 19, 2013). See also publish or perish, though it's not covered well there. All I could think of is fluff. ---Sluzzelin talk 17:21, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
"Factoid" and "Truthiness" also come to mind. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:26, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, by the way I didn't mean that article, but a different negative consequence of the publish or perish maxim, i.e. not bunk or fake or cherry-picking, but lots of words signifying nothing. ---Sluzzelin talk 17:28, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Bullshit? InedibleHulk (talk) 20:07, July 25, 2014 (UTC)
The Sokal affair was an attempt to expose/criticise/parody the sort of writing I think you mean. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 17:48, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Любослов Езыкин -- Generic terms are "filler", "Curriculum Vitae fodder", "published only to bolster the author's credentials on paper towards achieving tenure" etc., but none of those are science-specific... AnonMoos (talk) 23:48, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.

—Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5)

( (talk) 03:22, 26 July 2014 (UTC))

Hence the Tom Lehrer comment about Gilbert and Sullivan: "Full of words and music, and signifying nothing." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:03, 26 July 2014 (UTC)
Humanitarian? As opposed to vegetarian? I think you mean "humanities". Anyway, how about "aerothermology" or hot-air research? (Which is presumably a valid scientific discipline.) The Sokal affair text, by the way, is characterised as outright pseudoscience in that article. That said, the word "bunk" is probably sufficient and covers it all, including bad science – if not borderline pseudoscience – like what Quentin Atkinson has become infamous for peddling. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 04:55, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

July 26[edit]


July 20[edit]

Law & Order Season 6 Episode 15: Encore[edit]

bhangra songs featuring reggae artists[edit]

How many bhangra songs have featured reggae artists like ishq naag by RDB featuring Elephant Man?

Elephant Man discography lists the songs he has guested on. --Jayron32 19:29, 20 July 2014 (UTC)


What does the pawnshop stand to gain by giving valuable items to the game show? Jim

Marketing (for the pawn shop and show itself) and advertising revenue (from advertisers who show commercials during the show). You can know that they aren't losing money, so the assumption you should make is "I know they are making money on this. What are they making money on". The average price of a 30 second ad is $122,734 as of 2013 [40]. Since there are 8 minutes of ads per 30 minute TV show, that gives about 2 million dollars of advertising revenue per show. Not bad for putting up $20-30,000 worth of antiques for contestants to win, which, from the shows I have seen, more than half of which don't get won. Even if every show featured every prize won, that would be a 100x return on investment. Not to frigging bad, if you ask me... --Jayron32 19:27, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

July 21[edit]

Sondra Locke article[edit]

In the first line you state that it is unsure about when she was born. But, later in the early life portion it states that she graduated in 1962. So, that would make here year of birth 1944. How accurate is the information of her graduation?— Preceding unsigned comment added by ElmerFudd63 (talkcontribs)

The article says they're a dispute, not that it's unsure, and lists plenty of evidence that it's 1944. Some women lie about their age. Wikipedia gives due weight to mainstream publications, so the fact that most sources give the wrong date is mentioned. Ian.thomson (talk) 01:36, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Also, what makes you think that just because she graduated in 1962, she must have been born in 1944? People graduate at different ages not just 18. --Viennese Waltz 08:49, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Assuming her high school graduation year was in fact 1962, a birth year of 1947 seems kind of unlikely - though not impossible. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:10, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Hypothetical Synopsis of Law & Order episode calledEncore[edit]

overweight,long-haired, leaping, gnome[edit]

I remember this segment from a long time ago. Wonder if you could help me locate the source?

Googling these words found me Wikipedia's Village Pump. You shouldn't ask these sorts of things there.
Judging by the Yahoo answer beneath it, you want Spill the Wine, perhaps. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:33, July 21, 2014 (UTC)
That was an "overfed" gnome. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:34, July 21, 2014 (UTC)

Identifying music[edit]

For the bit from 3:07 to 3:35 in, is it original or borrowed from another piece? That bit is particularly nice sounding and the rest of the piece is borrowed from the well known canon in D so I want to hear the whole piece if this bit is borrowed...

European Swords in Escrima?[edit]

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen.

I have found a curious video with a grand master named Bill Newman (I have never heard of him before) that seems to teach fighting with both Easterm and Western weapons. I am a practioner of both FMA and Western Martial Arts (the German school of fencing to be exact, a wonderful representation can be found under Since I have never seen Escrima practioners using such big swords and strange stances and guards, I wonder myself if this style of Escrima has anything to do with the real "Escrima" or if they are just imitating modern movie fencing. Is this a effective way to fight or is it nonsense? Is it even possible to use a European sword effectively with this style of Escrima?

Thank you for your answers

All the best.-- (talk) 10:16, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

did arlene francis have breast cancer along with alzheimers[edit] (talk) 10:19, 21 July 2014 (UTC)vince

This question was raised here recently. [By you, on July 9th] She had cancer, but available sources don't indicate which type. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:05, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

what song is this?[edit]

Hello Wikipedia community, I'm looking for a song, it is a classic song, I think. But I only remember a small part of it. I try to reproduce this part using my mouth, hope this will be enough to identify the song. If someone could tell me what song is it, I will buy him/her a beer :) Thanks. [41] (talk) 17:05, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Is there a name for this type of singing?[edit]

Notice the way he says "loyal". I've heard that kind of middle eastern singing before and am wondering if it has a specific name for it. (talk) 17:39, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

That's not a particularly good example, but "Middle Eastern singing" often features a lot of melisma. Is that what you're referring to? Deor (talk) 22:36, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
It might be. I'm struggling to find examples on YouTube but I remember hearing that kind of tone (when the kid says "loyal") in classical arabic music. (talk) 22:52, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I also think it's (brief) melisma, but you are also probably picking up on the scale_(music) used, because it is not common in western music. Middle eastern music often uses "strange" scales by western standards, e.g. Phrygian dominant scale. I don't have a good ear for this, so I can't tell you what specific scale that song uses. Another thing to listen for is quarter tones, which I think he might be using in that portion of the song. Some addition info at Arabic_music#More_notes_used_than_in_Western_scales. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:14, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

A question regarding character recycling[edit]

I've noticed some characters a long time ago that have been recycled into new characters for their new franchise like the Baabians used for Escape from Planet Earth were originally green humanoid alien people for Planet 51 and Daphne Blake was once an antagonist on Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer as Cousin Mel that is usually a protagonist on the Scooby Doo universe. The popular muppet alien "Gonzo" for the later Muppet series was originally Snarl that made it's debut in The Great Santa Claus Switch and the other out of print version of Grover that was green colored turned blue on the Second season of Sesame Street. This question is one of the trivial things that people do if a desired character is needed and if Wikipedia should have an article about that concept of re-using characters.--HappyLogolover2011 (talk) 22:44, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Not an answer, but Robbie the Robot may hold the record for most reused character in unrelated shows. StuRat (talk) 22:53, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
That is an excellent choice StuRat. As a kid in the 60s I remember him showing up on so many sitcoms. Of course, his meeting with the Robot on Lost in Space is an all-timer. The character of John Munch appeared in nine different TV series on five networks. I'm not sure whether that would be considered recycling but I thought it worth a mention. MarnetteD|Talk 23:31, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Similarly (and in pretty much the same "universe") Jerry Orbach played Detective Lennie Briscoe in several of the Law and Order series. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:19, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Ub Iwerks turned Mickey Mouse from The Karnival Kid into Flip the Frog from Circus. And then there's the mystery mouse from Fiddlesticks. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:45, July 21, 2014 (UTC)
Gene Kelly played the nightclub character "Danny McGuire" in 1944's Cover Girl (film) and then again in 1980's Xanadu (film). ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:13, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Buddy Ebsen reprised his TV role of "Barnaby Jones" in the movie version of The Beverly Hillbillies - only because he had also played Jed Clampett in the TV version. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:13, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Character recycling of a different sort: Soylent Green. Clarityfiend (talk) 05:19, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Towards the earlier days of all-digital animated feature films, Aki Ross was created as a character model which could be used to appear in several films playing different roles, just like a real actress. She was in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and Animatrix. Her career ended when her first and only feature cost a zillion dollars to make and then bombed. Staecker (talk) 22:12, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Detective Munch is a more recent (and well known) example. Evan (talk|contribs) 22:06, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

July 22[edit]

In which Movie was this one ?[edit]

I watched 'Sea of Love' the other night, nodding off for about ten minutes around the time Al Pacino's character meets Ellen Barkin's in her shoe store, and his altercation with two young punks reveals to her he is a Cop. Now having woken up I thought I had missed an amusing scene, and looked back at the Movie at the place I missed when it repeated, but did not see it, so I thought I might have missed it anyway, as if I could have nodded off more than once - not because the Film was boring, because it certainly wasn't.

The scene I thought was in it, and perhaps indeed is, but could be in another film, is one where a Cop, and if in another film, it could still be Mr. Pacino, is waiting for someone outside a flash school where diplomats and such send their kids, and he notices another man standing about ten yards the other side of the gate, and they acknowledge each other, but within a minute, they end up pulling their guns on each other, but it turns out the other guy was a bodyguard for I think the child of an Iranian diplomat, so all is good. The actor playing him resembled the Canadian born Elias Koteas, who himself bears a slight lookalike to Robert de Niro, but I cannot recall any other movie that this was in.

Also, while I am here, I may as well ask about another movie I have made mention of twice before, to see if anyone else is now reading, or others who have heard it might now remember - a film from about 1987, where a mother finally finds her son in New York, but the drug dealer he is with has him as a slave, and will not let him go, so the Lady calls a street cop, who challenges the crook. This toe rag makes the mistake of drawing on this middle aged officer, who shoots him dead, and mother and son are reunited. It is similar to the David Ogden Stiers T V Movie The Kissing Place, but is not it. Any help ? Thanks. Chris the Russian Christopher Lilly 13:15, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Robert Webber's name[edit]

Why did they put Robert Webber's name in a box? -- Toytoy (talk) 14:42, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Pet Shop Boys and photography[edit]

I was recently at Pori Jazz to see Pet Shop Boys live for the first time in my life. Right before the concert, the staff told us fans not to take any photographs. I noticed that people were taking photographs anyway, so I took a couple myself too. What I find curious here is that the Pet Shop Boys Facebook page states "Please share any pictures you take", which I understand to mean that the band itself is fine with fans photographing them. Does anyone know what is the situation here? Should we fans have been allowed to photograph them or not? How can I contact the band themselves or their manager to ask about this? JIP | Talk 15:31, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

It could be the venue that was trying to enforce its own no-pictures policy. May want to start there, instead. --McDoobAU93 15:34, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
That doesn't explain why the venue had no problems with fans photographing other bands, such as Hurts or George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. JIP | Talk 15:35, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm assuming that the Facebook page you're referring to is the band's official page? Even if it is, the band themselves probably don't manage it and have probably not authorized every single statement on it. Sounds to me like it's run by a fan or someone connected to the band who just wants as many photos as possible for their page. --Viennese Waltz 15:38, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I found the e-mail address of "Becker Brown management" on the official site of the band. I've sent a question there. JIP | Talk 18:30, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps they only meant to ban flash photography, which can blind the performers, and the message got garbled along the way. StuRat (talk) 22:38, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
No, the security staff definitely told me that any kind of photography is forbidden. But they only did that during the Pet Shop Boys concert. JIP | Talk 06:10, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Their official Facebook page and their Twitter feed both regularly ask fans to post pictures from concerts. If you have access to the internet you can check these yourself. I went to see them at the Brighton Centre at the start of their current tour, and they were asking for pictures of that. Any restriction will be a venue-specific thing. I'm going to see them at the Albert Hall on Wednesday, I expect that there photography will not be permitted. DuncanHill (talk) 23:26, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Lil Jon free download songs and instrumentals[edit]

Louis ("Blues Boy") Jones[edit]

My father is blues legend Louis Blues Boy Jones. I wrote a Bio and I had my cousin Phil O'Neal to submit it to Wikipedia for publication a few months ago. Phil told me that there were more questions. Please let me know what information is needed to complete my Bio for Wikipedia. I am Jones' oldest daughter LaVern. I almost have my book ready to be published about my father's life and I am truly excited. Jones, my father was an amazing entertainer in the early 1950's and 1960's. Now there is a tremendous amount of info provided on Jones' music on websites worldwide. Thank you all kindly. LaVern Jones Lemons

I added a section title. StuRat (talk) 22:27, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
We generally prefer that somebody unrelated to the person in question write their article, to prevent them from only showing their positives and suppressing any negatives. I did find over 1.6 million hits on a Google search of his name, so he does appear to be notable enough to warrant a Wikipedia article. So, perhaps you could write the article, but would need to allow others to modify it, which may include adding negative info on your father, to balance out the article. Will you be OK with that ?
Also, if your father is still alive, our "Biography of Living Persons" guideline will apply, requiring sources for everything (we want to be extra careful not to make mistakes in such cases, where the person is still alive to be offended). StuRat (talk) 22:31, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Two things. IF LaVern, or anyone else, writes an article, then it's implicit in the way Wikipedia works that others may add to it or otherwise improve it. Whether the original author is ok with that or not is by the by. Nobody "owns" any Wikipedia article, and that includes the initiator.
LaVern, if anyone, such as your cousin, had started an article and it's since been deleted for whatever reason, there should still be a record of that, but I can't find any record of any article on your father, and I've looked under various variations on the name. So, I'm not sure what these "more questions" were. Can you provide any further details? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:25, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

July 24[edit]

TV show from the 80s/early 90s[edit]

Hi everybody,

i remember a show where a ghost (probably a deceased high school student from the 60s) helped a not very popular high school student in 80s/early 90s to master his life... The ghost showed him how to paint cars, play arcade games and date girls... Basically, that's all i remember. Can anyone tell me the name of the show? Thanks alot, with greetings from Austria -- (talk) 16:40, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Teen Angel perhaps? --McDoobAU93 16:48, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Extract from a novel[edit]

Could somebody post the last paragraph of Book 2, Chapter VI of And The Ass Saw The Angel (Nick Cave)? My eBook copy stops at "It was of Beth aged...". I'm fairly sure that this counts as "fair use" as we're not reproducing a significant part of the work. Thanks. Incidentally, should I complain to Amazon about the missing text? Tevildo (talk) 23:54, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

""Beth" hung opposite the spiralling afflatus of "The Martyrdom" in the Ukulite tabernacle, on the north wall. It was despised by some, lauded by others. Others it simply baffled. Sardus Swift made the decision to have it hung in the tabernacle. It was of Beth aged six." --Viennese Waltz 08:17, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Just one word? OK, I'll let them off. :) Thanks for your help. Tevildo (talk) 08:50, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

July 25[edit]

REM's (Don't_Go_Back_To)_Rockville[edit]

According to your article, REM's (Don't_Go_Back_To)_Rockville was originally performed in a punk/thrash style, and later recorded in its more familiar country style. Where can I hear the former? Llamabr (talk) 15:26, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

You would have to look for live bootlegs of the early REM. I don't think any early live recordings of the song have been officially released. --Viennese Waltz 15:47, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
I did some looking for the OP on YouTube, and the oldest recording I can find is from a live show at the Raleigh Underground in 1982, which would have been two years before the song made it on an album, and it was pretty much the same country/jangle pop hybrid you find on Reckoning. If there is an earlier punk/thrash version, it predates 1982. --Jayron32 03:14, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

July 26[edit]

dario costello[edit]

Costello was a baroque composer of music for small ensembles. I'm looking for CD titles recordings of his music for flute and bassoon only97.123.251.17 (talk) 03:38, 26 July 2014 (UTC).

His name is actually Dario Castello and you can find a list of his extant compositions here. --Jayron32 03:57, 26 July 2014 (UTC)


July 21[edit]

Decimal fractions in Welsh[edit]

Welsh numerals contains information about numbers in Welsh, but doesn't mention anything about fractions (decimal or vulgar). What would be the Welsh for one point two three four (for example)?  — An optimist on the run! (logged on as Pek the Penguin) 12:31, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Until a genuine Welsh speaker answers, Google Translate says that "decimal point" in Welsh is "pwynt degol". Alansplodge (talk) 12:58, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
There's a little bit about fractions here (it's a powerpoint) but only really that "un haner" (one half) is "2 chwarter" (two quarters). Haven't found anything else.--ColinFine (talk) 17:21, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I am not a genuine Welsh speaker, but if you look here [42] for example, it is clear that 1.234 is un pwynt dau tri pedwar (or possibly the corresponding feminine adjectives for a feminine noun). ----Ehrenkater (talk) 17:31, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
While you are probably right, it is certainly not clear from the evidence there. The page gives us only a single digit after the point, and these are section numbers not decimals. In English 1.11 is read "one point one one" if it is a decimal, but "one point eleven" if it is a section number, so there is no necessary reason why the two uses need read the same way, --ColinFine (talk) 21:32, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
And for non-decimal fractions, for example one eighty-seventh is un rhan o wyth deg saith (from para 4.211 of Gramadeg y Gymraeg by Peter Wynn Thomas, 1996 edition)----Ehrenkater (talk) 17:48, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the info. I realised belatedly there's a separate desk for langauge questions - should have looked first. Sorry :-)  — An optimist on the run! (logged on as Pek the Penguin) 14:17, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

How long does a Bumblebee live?[edit]

It's only July and they seem to be dying everywhere. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 18:28, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Click me. --Jayron32 19:41, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
It shouldn't be a case of colony collapse disorder, since that affects the European Honey Bee, not the Bumblebee. StuRat (talk) 20:43, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Bumblebee#Endangered_status discusses plenty of stressors on Bumblebee population that could explain KageTora's observations. But it may be that now that you've "noticed" a problem, finding a dead bee is more significant to you than it would otherwise be - a case of observer bias perhaps. SteveBaker (talk) 03:01, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Another factor not mentioned in your link would be Neonicotinoid use in the area. The article mentions effects on honey bees, but pretty much any pollinator can be affected. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:13, 22 July 2014 (UTC) P.S. Unless you think KageTora's observations are killing bees, that's not observer bias (according to our article). Confirmation bias is closer. I was taught the term salience bias to cover this case, but apparently that is not terribly standard nomenclature.
My apologies, yes - of course I meant "confirmation bias"...a small slip of the brain! 03:17, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
The fact that some species of lime/linden trees are toxic to bumblebees (and bees) was recently a main story in Aftenposten, a major Norwegian newspaper (link). According to the article, the problem has been known since the 1960's. In Norway, the main culprit is Tilia cordata x platyphyllos, which is often planted in parks. It is not unusual to find dead bumblebees scattered under these trees. Since it is a hybrid and cannot reproduce, the risk of its use in parks has not been evaluated. The predominant lime/linden species native to Norway is Tilia cordata, which is not toxic to bumblebees. Another link which may be of interest is --NorwegianBlue talk 23:25, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

July 22[edit]

Searching across Wikipedias in various languages[edit]

As an experienced editor, and (English language) article creator I am increasingly aware of the the extent to which:

(a) different language Wikipedia articles, driven by cultural differences, present their information and resources in quite different and instructive ways,
(b) different language Wikipedia articles, often written from entirely different perspectives, often direct the reader to new and otherwise un-cited (English and non-English) sources of valuable information, and
(c) it is important to link different language Wikipedia articles to the corresponding English language article.

My question is this: instead of the time consuming process of having to choose a specific language Wikipedia and, then, searching for articles with the title sought within that particular Wikipedia, and repeating the process again and again -- with the additional risk that there might be an important subject-relevant article in some other Wikipedia written in a language that the searcher has not predicted might exist (and, therefore, has missed it altogether) -- is there some way to search for an article on a specific topic -- say, "autosuggestion" -- (or, even better, to search for some reference to that term within some other article) in a language other than English language right throughout the entire Wikipedia domain? Dr Lindsay B Yeates (talk) 05:47, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

It's better to do this using advanced Google search rather than trying to do it from within Wikipedia. [43] returns references to autosuggestion in all Wikipedias. [44] is the same search but with the letters "en" (for English Wikipedia) excluded. I'm not sure that second search is 100% effective though, as it might exclude references in, say, the German Wikipedia that include the word "englisch". --Viennese Waltz 09:19, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Wouldn't it be better to use [45] [46] if you want to exclude the English wikipedia in particular? May be add the simple English one as well if need be. Nil Einne (talk) 14:46, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Also if you want to try excluding English results that occur in other wikipedias, you will likely have to rely on the search engines language detection capabilities which are a bit hit and miss (they can get confused if there's too much of one language in a page). Google only seems to let you search in a certain language, may be you can full around with the url to include all languages but one (but I'm not sure whether Google will interpret them all or only the first or last one). But Bing does seem to let you select multiple languages so you'd just need to select each language but English [47]. Bing seems to only use cookies for the search results language so I can't provide a sample URL. Nil Einne (talk) 14:57, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Who is this guy?[edit]

Let's say that somebody posts a profile on a social-networking site. How can one find out if the photo was copied from somewhere else? More generally, if you have a picture that you got from the Internet, is there any way to find out whom it belongs to? (talk) 21:20, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

See Reverse image search. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:23, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, exactly. You might start with a trip to Google. Find the "Image" search tool and click on the camera icon. It'll ask you for the URL where your photo is posted - then it'll produce a list of exactly (and nearly, and not so nearly) similar images. You can visit those to see if the person's name is revealed. There are other similar tools ( is another good one)...but I generally find Google does the best job.
However, while that may help you discover who this is a photo of - it's not generally possible to discover who owns the copyright on photograph. If you see the image uploaded in a bunch of places, then it's quite likely that the one that's the highest resolution and least-cropped is the most original...but that's always going to be nothing more than a good guess! SteveBaker (talk) 03:16, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Cool, I wasn't aware of that feature of Google! (talk) 03:44, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
You can also just open Image Search in a separate tab, then click and drag the image onto the search bar. Beats typing or copying the URL. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:13, July 24, 2014 (UTC)
You can also check to see if there is any copyright (or other relevant info) in the image's Exif or other metadata. I just found an online metadata and Exif viewer (metapicz) that might be useful —and also has a drag/drop feature.   ~E: (talk) 06:40, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

July 23[edit]

Same location - Different cell phone experience[edit]

At my home here in Vermont, I can use my cell phone to make fairly clear calls. My plan is with Verizon. Meanwhile, if anyone with AT&T visits, they cannot make phone calls and only occasionally get text messages through. Is this simply a matter of the different technologies used by the two carriers, e.g. LTE for Verizon and whatever AT&T uses? Dismas|(talk) 03:25, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

It also depends on the coverage of each network, including the cell towers and signal strength each company controls. Depending on where you live in Vermont, the nearest AT&T cell tower may be too far away or not have enough signal strength to reach you. Verizon likes to advertise it has "America's most reliable network", and posts comparison coverage maps in the middle of this page on their web site. Other comparison maps can be found on such independent sites as . Zzyzx11 (talk) 04:48, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I guess I hadn't really considered where the towers are. Thanks. I'm not sure about the accuracy of that Open Signal link you provide though. It shows hardly any coverage anywhere around me and yet I can get a decent 3/4G signal in most places around my house. Dismas|(talk) 05:48, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
The quality of signal you get depends on more than just the distance to the nearest cell tower belonging to your provider though. The topography of the landscape matters too. I once owned a home that was halfway down a hillside which had a massive cell tower on the top - not 200 yards from the house. But most since most of those 200 yards were straight through solid rock, we got almost zero reception. We ended up switching carriers a couple of times before we found one that had usable signal strength. SteveBaker (talk) 16:37, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Camera extension tubes[edit]

I recently got a set of extension tubes for my FX-format DSLR. This is the first time I've had extension tubes. The set consists of 12, 20, and 36mm tubes. I have three lenses: 18-55mm, 18-105mm, and 55-300mm. That makes a lot of combinations.

Suppose you want to fill the frame horizontally with something that is X cm wide. How can you tell which combinations of tubes and which lens (or lenses) will allow that? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 07:24, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

All of them might because you haven't said how far away the object is. (talk) 12:41, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Generally I can get any distance from the object. But I've experimented around with the combinations, and some combinations will focus on the object and some will not. I'd like to know in advance which combinations can focus. There are seven combinations of the extension tubes and three zoom lenses. So with all of the tube combinations, lens choices, the zooming in and out, the focusing ring, and changing the distance, that is a large number of combinations to try to find one that will work. How can I tell in advance a combination that will work? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 23:36, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
"Try it and find out", until you get an intuitive sense, is often not a bad approach. (Surely the first thing that you did when you got the tubes was start trying to take pictures of tiny things!) If you want a direct readout, take a few pictures of some graph paper or a ruler. "Start with the shortest or second-shortest tube" is also often a good rule of thumb. Focus at 'infinity', and approach the subject until it's in focus. Get closer while adjusting the focus until you find the closest focusing distance, or the object fills the frame the way you want it to. (Fire off a few shots before you switch to a longer extension; you can always crop if you have to.) Honestly, if you're photographing a subject that requires you to stack multiple tubes, you're probably shooting something that isn't moving very quickly, and you have time to fiddle and swap.
Bear in mind that extension tubes have proportionally less effect on longer-focal length lenses; you'll get more bang for the buck (magnification) with shorter, wider lenses. Physically long, heavy lenses can also be harder to support and manipulate around tiny subjects. Mind you, for very wide lenses the working distance may be less than zero (that is, the focal plane will be inside the lens even when the lens is focused at 'infinity'—too close!) I've done some satisfying hand-held nature work with a cheap-and-cheerful 50mm prime lens and a 20mm tube as a 'walking-around' combo.
All that said, there are online calculators that you can use. A Google search for "extension tube calculator" or similar turns up a number of them, here's one to get you started. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:02, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I did take some shots when I first got the tubes. But then when I tried to take photos of something specific, I saw how hard it is to get it the right size (or even in focus). Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 21:08, 24 July 2014 (UTC)


W/O tubes, cropped and enlarged
With tubes, slightly cropped

Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 05:45, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Google searching use of plus sign[edit]

If I was to perform the following search "word1 +word2" (ignoring the quotation marks), what function is the plus sign performing? Hack (talk) 07:58, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

It means that the result must contain word2. It's described here [48], which was linked from [49], which was the result of searching for "search help" (sans quotes). CS Miller (talk) 08:29, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
This page doesn't say that it must contain a word. Dismas|(talk) 08:31, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
My mistake, I'm sure it used to do that. Perhaps it biases the results to contain word2. CS Miller (talk) 08:44, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

The article Google Search notes that the '+' was removed from Google on October 19, 2011 [50]. It presently does not seem to work as either a Boolean operator "OR" nor as a literal quotation mark so it may be treated now like a text character. A search for A+ student confirms this. (talk) 08:46, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

It seems to be filtering results somehow. For example "barack +obama" (minus quotes) returns 4.6m results while "barack obama" (with quotes) returns 201m results. The numbers themselves are unimportant but it's significant that an apparently more precise search is returning more results than a plus search. Could it have something to do with adwords which are formatted with a leading plus sign? Hack (talk) 08:59, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
It is filtering results, probably just as the page we linked points out. It's finding instances of people using the term "+obama" for whatever reason. And it's finding Google+ pages which contain the word "obama". Whereas your "barack obama" (with quotes) example is finding every page with those exact words in that order. Which is naturally quite a few million more than the other results. Dismas|(talk) 09:29, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

His / Her Majesty's Ship[edit]

In Britain, when a ship is given the "HMS" prefix, does the designation change when a King's reign changes to a Queen's (or visa-versa). For examle, would the Victorian "Her Majesty's Ship Hornblower" be referred to "His Majesty's Ship" during the Edwardian era, or would it always be referred to with its original "title"? (I need a WP:RS for this)  ~Thanks in advance, E: (talk) 17:00, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Yes it does change for ships in commission but historic vessels keep the original name, looking for a reliable source. Victory for example is still in commission so currently is Her Majesty's Ship Victory despite her age. MilborneOne (talk) 17:12, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I think it's a moot point. Technically, the ship's title hasn't been "His/Her Majesty's Ship" since 1789 when the abbreviation "H.M.S" became simple "HMS" (ie, no longer an abbreviation). So these days, the title of the ship is just HMS - and what that stands for is unimportant to the naming of the ship. (See: Victory isn't "Her Majesty's ship, Victory", it's "HMS Victory" the name of the ship doesn't change at all. SteveBaker (talk) 17:27, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Minor point User:SteveBaker but thats not what the page you linked to says have you a reliable reference?. MilborneOne (talk) 17:41, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
If the full title can no longer be used, nobody has seen fit to tell the folks who sit in Parliament - see HIS MAJESTY'S SHIPS "HOOD" AND "RE NOWN" (COLLISION) - House of Commons debate 20 February 1935 or indeed, their Lordships at the Admiralty, who no doubt arranged The Commissioning of Her Majesty's Ship Sheffield at Portsmouth on Friday, 28th February , 1975 (two examples plucked from the internet at random). I read the National Museum of the Royal Navy's note to mean that the abbreviation was first used at that date, rather than the use of the full title being prohibited thereafter. Alansplodge (talk) 18:26, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
It would obviously be going too far to say it was "prohibited" - but then what terminology ever is?! But they made a clear decision to switch from the long form to just HMS - and that's what the ship is intended to be called. Anyway, if you have a better idea of how to tackle this question, let's hear it. SteveBaker (talk) 19:24, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
The answer was given by MilborneOne above. It all changes on the day of accession. Also, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Her Majesty's Young Offender Institution and everything else. Alansplodge (talk) 20:02, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Nope...our OP went to the trouble to say "(I need a WP:RS for this)" - and so far, nobody has a reference for the assertions we're making. I can show that the naming of ships HAS changed - but that's only tangential to the question. I agree with pretty much everyone here that it would be crazy to keep calling a ship that was named during the reign of a king "His Majesties Ship XXX" when there is a queen on the throne...but where is the reliable source that says that? I don't see one. The best I can offer is that the NAME of the ship isn't "His/Her Majesties Ship XXX" it's "HMS XXX" - so the NAME of the ship doesn't change. What does change is what "HMS" expands out to - but that's not the name of the ship - nor has it been since 1798 or so. I have a reference for that change in the naming of ships...but you still have a layer of unreferenced interpretation going on.
So, nobody disagrees that the name (or the meaning of the name) changes with the gender of the's only logical because "His Majesties' Ship" implies that the ship is the property of the monarch - and when one monarch dies and another takes over, the new monarch inherits the navy along with all of the ships - so the name must logically change or be meaningless. But CRUCIALLY: we can't find a reference for that - and that's what we're being asked for. In most reference desk discussions, I'd say we'd answered the question - but this time, we're not done without reliable sources.
Let's stop discussing what we all pretty much agree to be true - because it's WP:OR - and try to dig out some kind of formal proof in a WP:RS. SteveBaker (talk) 03:46, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the re-focus, Steve. My apologies for this turning out to be more difficult to pin down than expected (I won't cry for too long if it turns out to be unanswerable).   —OP (Eric): (talk) 06:08, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

relating to images[edit]

I am a frequent user of Wiki and I noticed something about the viewing of your images. Since you have switched to the new image viewer I have noticed that your images are now smaller. I currently run Windows 7 and found that with the new viewer I can right click to view the image. Now your images no longer have the enlargement they used to have. Have you restricted the size of all your images now?

Thanks — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:07, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

I think the solution is to go into preferences | appearance and de-select the use of the image viewer. This is one of those "fast ones" that the developers pull from time to time and don't bother telling the average reader about. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:47, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
There is an enormous ruckus going on about that as we speak. There are inflammatory debates in half a dozen places. You'd think that the developers would have learned their lesson after the WYSIWYG text editor debacle...but evidently not. Fortunately, you DO have the ability to disable it. SteveBaker (talk) 03:54, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, at least it's being talked about. As far as learning their lesson, remember that even the smartest mule may have to be whacked over the head in order to get its attention. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:49, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Court Order[edit]

My university are really bad at grading, and so far they have changed my grades four times as a result of me investigating and questioning them. So, if I hadn't investigated, then I would have got a worse degree.

I want copies of my examination scripts, so that I may rigorously check the marking of them, but the University doesn't want to give them to me. The Data Protection Act 1998 doesn't let me request them, as examination scripts are an exemption (Sch. 7 para. 9).

Because of this, I want to court order them. Whilst the Data Protection Act doesn't help me, I believe that a court will appreciate my distrust in their marking, resulting from the multiple mistakes in the grading of my degree, and let me analyse them. How do I court order them?

I am not asking for legal advice, i.e. what I should do; I know the reference desk is not for that. I am asking for a reference on how to do something. I am going to get a lawyer soon regarding the whole situation, but any research and work I can do myself is a great deal of money saved.

The problem is that our court order article is US-centric, and I'm in the UK [edit: I forget the UK doesn't have the same laws; I should have said England]. I would be more than happy if anyone could assist with a link. The only help I can find from the government regarding court orders is getting a court order regarding children: . Hopefully you might be able to find a more relevant link.

Many thanks in advance for any help you can provide. (talk) 22:09, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Sorry - as you are evidently fully aware, the Reference desk has a policy of never offering legal advice - and that most certainly is what you're asking for. By recommending an article that might be relevant to your case, we're implying that this is appropriate advice for you - and we're not allowed to do that. Talk to that lawyer - we can't help you. SteveBaker (talk) 03:51, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Sigh, here we go again. No, it is not a request for legal advice. The OP is asking a strictly factual question – in (presumably) England, how does one go about getting a court order? That is a plain & simple request for information. If the OP had just asked that, without explaining why he wants to get a court order, would the question have been acceptable to you? --Viennese Waltz 08:14, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Viennese Waltz, yes, that is exactly what I am asking. Apologies if in what I wrote some think I gave too much information, but I did not want to waste your time and mine in receiving responses on how to get a court order for custody over children or whatever.
SteveBaker and others like you, if you do not like the question, you are more than welcome not to respond. I did try to make it clear that I am *NOT* asking for legal advice. I am not asking for recommendations or advice on a legal case; I am asking for information on how to do something. (talk) 11:42, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
And how do you propose we give it to you without making a recommendation regarding a decision or course of conduct of or relating to law? InedibleHulk (talk) 13:13, July 24, 2014 (UTC)
Well, if he was after a court order relating to the custody of children, we could have pointed him to this page. Since he said that he wants a court order relating to obtaining information, we could point him to a page relating to that. If you can't find such a page, you can go and do something else. --Viennese Waltz 13:17, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
I can recommend getting legal advice. No matter what, he'll need a lawyer eventually, so may as well start with one. InedibleHulk (talk) 13:55, July 24, 2014 (UTC)
Why do you assume he'll need a lawyer? There's nothing to stop someone from applying for a court order on their own. --Viennese Waltz 14:10, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Aside from the inconveniences, costs, and possible penalties associated with doing it in the wrong way, of course. Note that many universities have legal aid clinics which are open to students, which can provide pro bono advice or connect you with appropriate experts. These clinics often have a fair bit of experience in dealing with the most common legal and quasi-judicial disputes affecting students, and may be able to counsel you on what the most likely outcomes of your case will be. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 14:36, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
"Need" was probably too strong a word. But they certainly help. InedibleHulk (talk) 14:47, July 24, 2014 (UTC)
The best advice we can give is to go and see a solicitor, preferably one that specialises in education law. Yes it may be expensive - but some solicitors offer 30 minutes free legal advice, and you will get better advice in that one session than you can get from a bunch of guys (and gals) on the Internet. --TammyMoet (talk) 12:47, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks to everyone for their input. Particularly Viennese Waltz who got that what I was hoping for was a page relating to making a court order. I didn't want advice on whether I should make a court order, or what options I should take, I just wanted to know how to do it. I think my Union has a pro bono advice clinic, so I'll ask them how I could do it. I am aware that I can get a solicitor to do it for me, but at this stage I simply want to know how to do it.
Also, for those that can't understand the difference between factual information and advice, factual information would be: "One court orders something by writing a letter to their local court with the subject 'Court Order'." or "Court Orders are made by filling in the form available here..."; and advice would be: "I think you shouldn't court order the information, but instead informally talk to your university." or "You can court order the information by writing a letter to a court. And, I think it would be best to include a lot of detail, and word it formally. Maybe even get a friend or relative to proof-read it or you before sending it." There is a *big* difference. (talk) 15:18, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, you're not asking for advice on a decision, you've made up your own mind. Now you want us to recommend a course of conduct. Not "Should I do this?", but "How do I do this?" "How", like "in what manner or way?" Way, like "the course traveled from one place to another" or "a method or system that can be used to do something". If you truly can't grasp that sort of English, your odds of understanding (and using) highly precise legal writing aren't good. That's a fact. Why do you think law school takes so long, and why lawyers charge so much? It's not even easy suing an idiot, let alone an institution of knowledge. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:58, July 24, 2014 (UTC)
Staying with the purely factual, then, the relevant legal term is "disclosure" (on which we do not have an article - see Discovery#Discovery in the United Kingdom for the placeholder), and the form of order required is a subpoena duces tecum. So, to answer the unambiguously answerable bit of the question, you don't want to "court order" the documents, you want to "subpoena" the university to "disclose" the documents. In order to obtain such an order, you'll need to issue legal proceedings (see claim form) against the university, and establish a cause of action for your claim. Moving away from the purely factual, you would be _very_ ill-advised to attempt to do so without taking professional advice, as mentioned repeatedly above. Tevildo (talk) 17:10, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Disclosure happens when a legal case has already been started, which underlines the impossibility of giving advice about this online. The OP may be advised to request a judicial review but this will be up to his advisers. He should contact his Students' Union immediately. They will indeed be able to get him legal support if necessary but also may be able to get the issue sorted internally without recourse to the courts. Itsmejudith (talk) 05:35, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Judicial review relates to challenging decisions of the government (or a government department), so it doesn't seem to be relevant in this case, unless universities have som special status I'm unaware of. Disclosure is generally used to obtain evidence for a specific case (e.g. to obtain sales records for a potential patent infringer), I'm not sure if it's possible to bring a case purely to get disclosure without seeking other remedies (i.e. disclosure is evidence collection, not a remedy in itself). Disclosure would happen as part of the process of most cases you could bring against the university. Make sure to talk to a lawyer, who will be able to guide you through the process, and outline the possible remedies at the end, as well as working out which actions to bring against the university. MChesterMC (talk) 08:29, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks to everyone for their responses. The answer from the above appears to be that it is not possible to court order the documents. Avenues such as a subpoena for disclosure might be the correct course of action. However, whether it is or not, given that the disclosure would not be for any current litigation, is unknown, and hence the process to produce such a subpoena is unknown. To discover this I will have to read some law books and consult a solicitor. Thanks for the information! (talk) 17:41, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

July 24[edit]

Has Ronald McDonald ever been played by a black actor?[edit]

Has Ronald McDonald ever been played by a black actor? Thank you . YŶwechen (talk) 10:59, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Almost certainly - but it's hard to tell because of all the white paint. McDonalds is not without humor - for example, HERE is an advert from McDonald's Japanese division that features a female "Ronald" - without all of the paint. So it's perfectly possible that they used a obviously black Ronald in some market or other. Also, bear in mind that this character probably shows up many thousands of times a day across the world - often at individual branches of McD's. So there must be at least a few hundreds of clown suits and hundreds - if not thousands - of "actors" (and minimum-wage fry-cooks given the job for the day!) who've donned the big red shoes. It would be pretty surprising if not one of them was a black person because that level of discrimination would probably be illegal. But finding actual evidence of that happening might be hard to find because the restaurants want to maintain the fiction that the guy interacting with your kids right now is THE Ronald McDonald. SteveBaker (talk) 13:31, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Beyond the US, according to List of countries with McDonald's restaurants, McDonalds is in South Africa. (Two or so other African countries but they don't seem to be ones with a high "black" population.) McDonalds unsurprisingly only appeared in South Africa after apartheid. I don't however know how common Ronald Mcdonald is in South Africa (AFAIK he isn't particularly common here in NZ). Nil Einne (talk) 15:05, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
This one seems black. InedibleHulk (talk) 13:32, July 24, 2014 (UTC)
This site provides a list of actors who "played Ronald McDonald" with dates and such - from doing a Google Image search on their names, not one of those is black...but that list can only refer to the Ronald McDonald who appears in major events and TV adverts because the character shows up at FAR too many minor, local events for just one actor to do them this list certainly isn't definitive. SteveBaker (talk) 13:53, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
We have a similar list in our article Ronald McDonald which has a few different names but confirms it's just referring to national US TV actors. Nil Einne (talk) 15:01, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
The role of Krusty the Clown was once filled by Mr. Black. He didn't care enough to dress up, though, and was strictly yellow. InedibleHulk (talk) 14:02, July 24, 2014 (UTC)
I did find a comment attached to a YouTube video (sorry, hardly a great reference!) that says that McDonalds trains people to wear the Ronald costume at a special school in NewYork. The same person remarked that African Americans are actually preferred for the role because their bone structure is a closer fit for the idealized Ronald character. Sadly, it's really hard to find information about this place online because every web search turns up a bazillion references to the the Ronald McDonald charity schools - or the "Hamburger University" where managers and franchise owners are trained. But I bet that if we could find that institution, we'd be able to confirm that black actors do indeed take the role on occasions. SteveBaker (talk) 19:05, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Would it be safe to assume "bone structure" meant something like this and "idealized Ronald" meant something like this? An offline black clown in Montreal said something of the sort to me, years ago. He wasn't Ronald, though. I have no idea what his clown or real name was, or whatever became of him. So at least your reference is better than that. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:31, July 24, 2014 (UTC)

Buying shares[edit]

Is it better to buy shares at a high price and wait for the dividend or buy at a low price and sell when the shares increase in price ? Thank you . YŶwechen (talk) 10:59, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

I don't think we're equipped to give that kind of financial advice here. It's going to depend DRAMATICALLY on the business you're investing in. Some companies (Google, Yahoo, eBay, Amazon) don't pay dividends at clearly you wouldn't want to buy those and "wait for the dividend"! Which you should do depends on what you know about the company, what level of risk you want to take, how long you anticipate holding the shares...far too many variables. You should consult a financial expert who can assess your situation and give the advice you need. We can't do that. SteveBaker (talk) 13:42, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
If you never intend to sell the shares, then it doesn't really matter at what price you buy them. But if you want to sell the shares eventually, it is obviously better not to buy them when their price is high. For an individual share, it is impossible to know whether its dividend yield will be greater than its net change in value from the time of purchase to a given future date. It is also impossible to know whether a given stock with a high price (measured, say, by its price-to-earnings ratio) with a high dividend yield will outperform a stock with a low price and a low dividend yield. For actual advice, you need to consult a professional financial advisor rather than random editors on the Reference Desk, though even the best financial advisor cannot predict the future. He or she, though, can suggest strategies to minimize the risk of loss and improve the potential for gain. Marco polo (talk) 15:53, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Dividend income is much less risky than income from an increase in the stock price (a capital gain), but it is also much less profitable: dividend yields on the S&P500 are typically 1-3%. Returns from capital gains can be much greater; of course, you need to pick the right stock, which is either largely a crap shoot, or entirely a crap shoot, depending on how much you believe the Efficient_Market_Hypothesis is correct. Having said that, you will be lucky to beat inflation by investing for dividend yield, and as the saying goes ". . .taxes takes the rest." OldTimeNESter (talk) 16:50, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

Life in 1991 in the UK[edit]

What was life like in 1991 for people in the U.K? Thank you . YŶwechen (talk) 10:59, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

It varied. --Viennese Waltz 13:20, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
1991 in the United Kingdom gives a general idea, though. InedibleHulk (talk) 13:23, July 24, 2014 (UTC)
I lived in the UK in 1991 - I don't recall it being in any way special. Does our OP have some specific aspect of UK life in mind? Given the huge range of people living there with wildly different life-styles - without more direction it's an incredibly vague question! SteveBaker (talk) 13:34, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Apart from the fact that people were watching television, using land lines to make phone calls, reading books, or spending time in pubs instead of using computers and mobile devices to access the internet and communicate, life wasn't really much different than it is today. (The internet existed at the time, in a more primitive form without the web, but few people had access to it other than scientists, computer geeks, and a subset of university students. Personal computers existed, but they were used mainly at work or for writing texts to send to a printer, and most were not connected to the internet. Primitive mobile devices existed as an expensive niche product, but they were not widely used.) The UK was in a fairly bad recession in 1991, and there were riots in some cities that summer connected to discrimination against ethnic minorities. But most people got up each morning, went to school or work, came home, watched television, and went to bed each night, much like today. Marco polo (talk) 15:42, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Another big social change in the past 23 years has been the demise of VHS and the home video rental market. I assume the concept of "getting a video and a pizza" is as archaic to today's generation as a trip to the music-hall is to ours. (I wouldn't say mobile phones were that exotic in 1991, compared to (say) 1985 - they were heavy, expensive, and inadequate of battery, but were to be commonly found attached to the ears of yuppies in the financial districts of our cities and, most notably, in our trains...) Tevildo (talk) 18:29, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
Quite a recent change, though. My small and unremarkable town had a Video Sales & Rental Shop operating until about 3 years ago, though it was transitioning to DVDs. (I didn't have a VCR Player myself, but occasionally bought them as presents for relatives.) It's now a Pet Shop, but the numerous Charity Shops (AmE: Thrift Stores) still have a good turnover of 2nd-hand videos (as well as DVDs, of course.) However, I digress. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 19:04, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
@Marco: You're way off about the computer thing!
The UK had the ZX80 home computer in 1980, the ZX81 in 1981 and the Sinclair Spectrum in '82. The Spectrum in particular was huge as a games machine - they sold 5 million of them (which, for a country with a population of around 50 million people is a LOT!) and lots of families had them - about 20,000 games were published for that computer alone. Just about nobody used them at work because they were just awful for text entry...and the only printer that worked with it was a piece of junk, so they weren't being used for writing text. That was a games machine - pure and simple - and they were EVERYWHERE - not just with us geeks. Computer games in the form of machines like the Atari 2600 have been around in the early 1980's and were not just commonplace - but rapidly being obsoleted by "real" computers. By 1991, I had been using the Commadore Amiga for 4 or 5 years and the Atari ST for some years also. My Commodore PET, Apple ][ and Tandy TRS-80 were *way* obsolete and collecting dust! I had an IBM PC clone too - the IBM PC was already 10 years old in 1991. Games were big on all of those machines and there were *MANY* mainstream games magazines in every high street store that sold this was not just a niche thing. I didn't quite have have Internet access from home - I think that came a year or so later...but you could use a cheap modem to access "bulletin boards" and services like that did enable you to "get online", play online games, chat with people in realtime, etc. At work, we had (and used) email both within the building and to and from people in Europe and the USA via "Usenet" and the fledgeling Internet - and we could exchange documents and other files using services like Gopher (protocol) (which allows for primitive hypertext links). We also had forums and such via Usenet "news". For people who had that access, the arrival of the Internet over the next few years was more evolutionary than revolutionary. SteveBaker (talk) 18:55, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
I would agree with Marco on this issue, to be honest. The important words are "For people who had that access". You and I may have been among them, but being "on-line" was a very rare hobby to have back then. Computers were ubiquitous, true, but not the Internet or its equivalent. There was a question a few months ago on RD/H (about Russian nobility, as I recall) which lead to a link indicating there were only 200-odd UK internet users in 1992. I didn't believe this at first, but, on thinking about it, it doesn't sound unreasonable. But this is personal reminiscence unbacked by data. Tevildo (talk) 19:19, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
True the internet was uncommon, but gaming wasn't. I was 11 in '91, and was pretending to be characters from Space Quest, already on it's 3rd iteration with my pals. If an 11 year old was savvy enough for, that, I can't imagine what older kids were playing. SimCity was another favourite. Mingmingla (talk) 00:25, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
No-one has mentioned so far the Sony Walkman, as popular among teenagers back then as mobile phones are now. Definitely a difference one would notice if one were to go back. Tevildo (talk) 19:37, 24 July 2014 (UTC)
I remember pagers being pretty popular, and watches almost universal. Also, far fewer coffee shops, fewer food outlets in general, and less out-of-town shopping. Newspapers were much more widely read, and there was a great deal of interest in the top 40. There were many more payphones, and they were used more heavily. TV and monitor screens were generally smaller, although the CRT devices were huge. Offices were more heavily paper-based, and typewriters - including electronic typewriters - were still widespread. Rail was still nationalised, with services remarkably similar to now, but cheaper, and bus networks tended to be more extensive. In terms of society, there was slightly less ethnic diversity, and homophobia was much more prevalent. Warofdreams talk 01:30, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
For those of us who lived and worked in London, there was always the slight worry that we could be blown to pieces by Irish terrorists (see "The Troubles"). A friend in our office overslept and missed his usual train, thereby avoiding the Clapham Junction bombing in December 1991. The following April, I left a drink-up early at a pub near the office, and avoided being showered with glass when the Baltic Exchange bombing happened later that evening. A teenaged girl and two other innocent bystanders were killed. 91 people were injured. Alansplodge (talk) 07:47, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
Correction, it was more likely to have been the London Bridge Station bombing of February 1992. Alansplodge (talk) 12:55, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
On the subject of technology before email, the fax machine was the popular for business use. Some people I knew had one at home too. People used to send each other jokes by fax. A non-too-bright colleague received a hoax call-up paper for the Gulf War on an official looking fax, asking him to report to the nearest barracks. He was quite taken-in until he read the details. One point was that recruits were expected to bring their own map of the Iraqi desert; "if you can't obtain one, a sheet of sandpaper will do instead". Alansplodge (talk) 08:47, 25 July 2014 (UTC)
And another thing... before the Sunday Trading Act 1994 we were subject to the bizarre laws which meant that generally, only small newsagents and corner shops were open on a Sunday. It was legal to buy a Chinese take-away but not fish and chips. It was legal to buy a pornographic magazine but not a Bible. This meant that everybody had to do their shopping on a Saturday. Before the Licensing Act 2003, pubs (if I remember rightly) could only open on Sunday between 12 noon and 3 pm and then from 7 to 10:30 pm. There were some counties in Wales where the pubs couldn't open at all on a Sunday. Alansplodge (talk) 12:47, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

July 25[edit]

Search engine question. Ignore vs. exclude[edit]

July 26[edit]