Wikipedia:Reference desk/Entertainment

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Wikipedia Reference Desk covering the topic of entertainment.

Welcome to the entertainment reference desk.
Shortcut:
Want a faster answer?

Main page: Help searching Wikipedia

How can I get my question answered?

  • Provide a short header that gives the general topic of the question.
  • Type ~~~~ (four tildes) at the end – this signs and dates your contribution so we know who wrote what and when.
  • Post your question to only one desk.
  • Don't post personal contact information – it will be removed. We'll answer here within a few days.
  • Note:
    • We don't answer (and may remove) questions that require medical diagnosis or legal advice.
    • We don't answer requests for opinions, predictions or debate.
    • We don't do your homework for you, though we’ll help you past the stuck point.


How do I answer a question?

Main page: Wikipedia:Reference desk/Guidelines

  • The best answers address the question directly, and back up facts with wikilinks and links to sources. Do not edit others' comments and do not give any medical or legal advice.
 
See also:
Help desk
Village pump
Help manual


August 20[edit]

Music myth[edit]

I would like to know if anyone can explain the origin of the myth that F major is the hardest key to sing in. Does anyone know where this myth began?? Georgia guy (talk) 00:29, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

This ain't really gonna answer your question but take a look at this http://www.choralnet.org/view/220889. You may be right it is a myth but the people who posted in that thread, who are choral directors and so on, seem to believe that it is not. In any case you could try to contact one of them and ask them. Contact Basemetal here 19:48, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Speaking as one who knows next to nothing about music theory... C major would be the classic "simple" key, right? (No sharps or flats on the staff.) Being a major key, it would have the usual "do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do" structure. And if it's F major, then "do-re-mi..." starts on F instead of C, right? So why would it be so hard to sing do-re-mi in F major as opposed to C major? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:36, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Well if you're right, then a lot of songs would be in that simple key. But F major would mean that vocalists have to pitch their voice five semitones up (or seven semitones down). People used to C major and songs around there might find F major significantly more difficult. But that really doesn't explain why F# Major is given as the toughest to sing... ~Helicopter Llama~ 21:08, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Being too high-pitched occurred to me, but that would be more true for G than for F, I should think. And is it F major, or F-sharp major? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:16, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
(for what it's worth, no good reference) It's F major, and it has to do with how the root harmony (F major) is voiced among the soprano, altos, tenors, basses etc in a mixed choir. The fact that this is about choirs is relevant, because it's about the quality of sung intervals and chords in harmony. Even if the alleged problems applied, say, to only 30% of all singers, you will hear the difference in a large group, while you might hear it less in solo or small ensemble performances. (even if the 30% choose not to sing, you'd still hear the difference).
For example, most amateur basses in choirs can sing a smooth voluminous low G, but some will struggle with the F, the chord's root note {tonic), most often given to the basses for the composition's final chord, for example. The struggling might result in a different timbre, or even in a tendency to intonate it sharp. Similarly, it is said that F major's chord notes often lie in the area where the vocal register changes for a number of female choir members (see passaggio) which (again for some of the non-professionals) might result in flat intonation. All together this can lead to a thin-sounding, or, worse, to a clashing chord, which is particularly ugly when it's what is supposed be the music's tonal center, and also the sound that will linger in your ears after the music stops.
That's the theory I've heard, I don't have any good reference beyond forums, and I've heard choir leaders say it's rubbish. ---Sluzzelin talk 21:45, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
It's not and there is no key that can be said to be the "hardest" to sing in. The range of the melody is more important. Many untrained singers cannot easily sing a melody whose range exceeds an octave. For example, The Star-Spangled Banner is often thought of as being hard to sing because of its larger-than-average range of an octave and a fifth, while Mary Had A Little Lamb may be considered "easier" because of its limited range of only a fifth. In the original Broadway production of The Sound of Music, the song Do-Re-Mi has a melody that starts and ends on the tonic note of C, with a range of an octave. This may be comfortable for many singers, but the melody of Amazing Grace, if sung in the same key of C-major, actually lies lower in pitch because the range goes from G to G, rather than C to C. --Thomprod (talk) 01:29, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
The main issue seems to be one of range. So it's reasonable to suppose that John Gary could have handled these difficult keys rather better than, say, Ringo Starr or Herb Alpert. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:08, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Late 90's isometric shooter game for the PC.[edit]

Hi all,

I am trying to recollect the name of a PC game I played many years go, but sadly has forgotten the name of. The game must be from late 90s or early 2000s, since that is when I was playing it, and graphics of the game surely was of that era. It was an isometric shooter, with the main character being a sort of robotic vehicle that zooms around and shoots where you click. The vehicle/ character would be the same size a single unit in an RTS, say Command and Conquer:Red Alert. The setting was a futuristic city outdoors set out with really flat terrain, with streets and small buildings. One of the weapons that was available to be used was a gatling gun. The only thing I faintly remember is that the game or its tag line somewhere had the word "virus" in it. Much googling has failed to bring up any further clues. Perhaps it was an obscure port of some console game. Any hint/ info will be much appreciated.

Thanks Gulielmus estavius (talk) 15:05, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

You might take a look at our list of third-person shooters (which is sortable by release date and platform, among other criteria) and see if anything jumps out at you. The only such game on our list with the word "virus" in its title is this one, which was released in your stated timeframe; though the gameplay description doesn't seem to match at all. Good hunting. ☯.ZenSwashbuckler.☠ 15:52, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Streets, small buildings and a gatling gun ? That sounds like one of the Syndicate games
Possibly Syndicate wars: the in-game story was that a computer virus - "Harbinger" - had infected various technology, including the mind-control implants used by each faction.
90.244.143.220 (talk) 16:55, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
The game I was thinking of is neither Syndicate wars nor the virus game mentioned above, but going through the list of 3rd person shooters, I find something resembling to what I had played: Future Cop: LAPD, but only I find the game I remember having played was having a small hovertank type of vessel or craft as the players unit, instead of a walking robot, and also the unit movement in the isometric view much more smoother and better done. Also it had a lot of barrels and crates to be shot up for powerups. And the city setting was a lot more industrial, with lots of tubing and boiler type of structures, and generally better graphics than Future Cop. Gulielmus estavius (talk) 17:39, 20 August 2014 (UTC)


August 21[edit]

Clarissa Explains It All (tv series)[edit]

Star Wars[edit]

I'm looking for the name of a Star Wars game. At that time, I had never watched a Star Wars movie, just played the game because my friend was a great fan. Currently, I have just finished watching the original triology, but I don't mind spoilers from newer films. I want to point this out because I don't know the franchise very well yet, so my description of the game could be poor. I remember playing it on Xbox at a friend's house back in 2005 I think. Some available characters to play were: different types of stormtroopers armed with bazookas, grenades or as sharpshooters and a spider-like robot I often chose because it could create force fields. Somehow my friend managed to switch to Yoda in the middle of the game, he just didn't want to tell me how. I can't recall the exact aim of this multiplayer mode, I just shot the enemies. --2.245.66.137 (talk) 19:33, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

Star Wars games around that time would include Star Wars: Battlefront II and Lego Star Wars. Sounds like the former to me, but switching to Yoda suggests the latter, although I'm sure if they were Lego characters you'd have noticed, so it's probably not that. --McDoobAU93 19:39, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, the former one looks like it. Thanks. --2.245.66.137 (talk) 20:17, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

August 23[edit]

Stories that feature a Christian monastic or clergy?[edit]

This guy was a Japanese Buddhist monk, but there is a whole TV series about a presumably fictional version of this guy's younger self as a monk-in-training. In another story, Journey to the West, there is this itinerant Buddhist monk who travels with a team of other travellers to go westward (India). I am wondering if there are stories in European countries about Christian monastics or clergy. 65.24.105.132 (talk) 04:27, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Father Brown, Cadfael, Father Dowling spring to mind, and we have the Category:Fictional priests and priestesses. Rojomoke (talk) 04:54, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict × 2)My family loved Cadfael, which was about a Welsh monk in the middle ages who went about solving murder mysteries. There's also William of Baskerville, who isn't Welsh, and solves far more grisly murders, but pretty similar otherwise. Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth and its sequel World without End feature monks.
As for more historical works, there's Friar Tuck in the Robin Hood legends (though he was probably based off of earlier stories of monks breaking the law). The Canterbury Tales features a friar and a monk. There may also be a Chanson de geste or two out there (particularly in the Crusade cycle) about one of the Knights Templar or Knights Hospitaller while they were still monastic in nature (though probably more focused on them killing lots of people than anything else).
(edit conflict)As for clergy, Ballykissangel is a quaint series about an English Catholic priest who moves to Ireland (and is replaced at a later season, and then again a few seasons later). Father Ted generally heads in a direction that many might consider sacriligious, but some ministers I know would have to laugh at in private for getting the fact right that they're still regular people who aren't any better at dealing with the same sort of depressing crap we laypersons deal with.
7th Heaven (TV series) deals with a protestant minister and his family. My mother, a minister's daughter, watched the show for about half an episode before getting angry that it wasn't more like Father Ted. I have heard good reviews for Calvary (film), a writer at Patheos writing that it is one of the few truly Christian movies he'd seen in a while.
The Mission (1986 film) and Shūsaku Endō's Silence (novel) concern Christian priests doing missionary work in countries unfamiliar to them.
G. K. Chesterton's Father Brown, like Cadfael, solves murders, though in the early to mid 20th century.
Aramis of The Three Musketeers eventually becomes a priest, if I remember correctly.
There's The Exorcist (novel) and the movie series based on it. Originally written by a devout Catholic, and then used by non-Catholics to make a lot of money from non-Catholics.
There's also a comic book series called "Preacher", where I think the eponymous preacher actually kills God at some point. It's written by Garth Ennis, who does not mind bashing Christianity if given the chance. Ian.thomson (talk) 04:59, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
No, the Saint of Killers kills God (to avenge his family). —Tamfang (talk) 06:34, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
There are no Hospitallers or Templars in the Crusade Cycle, which deals with the First Crusade, before those orders existed. But I'm sure there are other clergy in them...Adhemar of Le Puy is featured in the Chanson d'Antioche, at least. Adam Bishop (talk) 11:05, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Highway to Heaven wasn't about a member of the clergy but about someone a bit higher up the food chain. Dismas|(talk) 05:37, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
If we're going that route, I almost consider Dogma (film) required viewing (despite a few doctrinal errors) before I'll allow someone to have a theological discussion with me. Ian.thomson (talk) 05:40, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
The Name of the Rose. --Viennese Waltz 07:14, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Black Robe was about a Priest in Canada in the 1600s. M*A*S*H in its various incarnations had a strong Priestly character. Monkey was a version of Journey to the West. Then of course, on the not so serious front, there's The Vicar of Dibley. HiLo48 (talk) 08:19, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Monkey seems interesting. The article says that each episode talks about Buddhist or Taoist philosophies. On the subject of this type of TV programming, are there similar stories but involve Christian-based ethics and philosophies? 65.24.105.132 (talk) 04:15, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
If you're into science fiction there's Canticle for Liebowitz (and a sequel), and Anathem which isn't really Christian but features secular monastic communities obviously inspired by Christian monastics. Staecker (talk) 12:18, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Catholic priests and monks feature in various important roles in James Clavell's Shōgun. -- Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 13:08, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
The Cardinal and The Red and the Black are two classic novels whose main protagonist is a priest (or a trainee in the latter case). The Brothers Karamazov has a member of the orthodox clergy as a main character. George Bernanos is another novelist who has made priests central characters in a number of his works, e.g. Diary of a Country Priest and Under the Sun of Satan. Also check out The Hunchback of Notre-Dame and Émile Zola's La Faute de l'Abbé Mouret. A classic novel from Portugal is O Crime do Padre Amaro ("Father Amaro's Crime") by José Maria de Eça de Queirós. In English, Anthony Trollope's Chronicles of Barsetshire feature various members of the Anglican clergy as major characters. And this is just scratching the surface of the topic. --Xuxl (talk) 13:14, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Don Camillo is a name that's not come up yet. Tevildo (talk) 13:53, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Ray Bradbury's short story "The Fire Balloons" from The Illustrated Man is one of my favorites in the Catholic-priests-go-to-Mars genre. Evan (talk|contribs) 02:54, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
The Devil's Advocate by Morris West, a book, a play and a film, was about some goings-on in the Vatican. West wrote a lot of stuff about religion. HiLo48 (talk) 03:12, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
And let's not forget Doubt: A Parable and its excellent film adaptation. Evan (talk|contribs) 04:02, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Jesuits are prominent in A Case of Conscience by James Blish and in The Sparrow/Children of God by Mary Doria Russell. —Tamfang (talk) 07:32, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Absolution (1978 film) - Richard Burton is a priest in a story based on the belief that "the priest cannot break the seal of confession, even if it includes a serious crime or murder."
90.244.138.107 (talk) 15:13, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
No mention of stories dramatising the life and times of Thomas Becket ? How about: Becket (1964 film) or Becket or Murder in the Cathedral
( and if the OP is willing to include parodies, then "I have a cunning plan"...  :) I will cunningly point out episodes of Blackadder - the first series/season episode The Archbishop, in which Edmund is invested as Archbishop of Canterbury and the second series/season episode Money, in which Edmund falls foul of a bishop money-lender...
90.244.138.107 (talk) 14:17, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Music used in a trailer ?[edit]

Can anyone identify the music used in this ?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvDmhhRzQ_Y&list=PLcPxT2_tlNZgt21UIf8_Durl4VawQVe2e&index=49

It's apparently a drama/soap-opera series made by the Greek television network Mega Channel.

The person who asked me is sure the music was "from something else"...
While the music sounds familiar, in the way that a lot of tunes sound familiar, I *think* it's likely to have been composed for that series.

Any suggestions ?
90.244.142.208 (talk) 15:17, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

I tried using Shazam, but the music is too soft (and the dialog too much louder) for it to read correctly. Just an FYI in case anyone else was going to try that. I don't recognize the music either, but I'm with you - it may sound familiar simply because that style is used so often; even if it's an original comp, we've likely all heard something very similar (with similarly distraught people over-emoting on the screen). Matt Deres (talk) 14:49, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

August 24[edit]

Connectivity between audio card and speaker system[edit]

Would it be possible to connect these CREATIVE T4 2.1 WIRELESS speakers to this audio card ASUS Xonar D2X?

I would assume so. If the plug fits, try it out, with the volume turned down when you first plug it in. StuRat (talk) 01:41, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
erm... the speaker system will definitely connect to that sound card via WIRES, but if you specifically want WIRELESS, no it won't - the sound card does not have a Bluetooth transmitter.
90.244.135.189 (talk) 17:16, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
I thought the wireless speakers would come with a plug and transmitter to be used at the source, and a receiver at the speakers. StuRat (talk) 17:21, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
looking in the manual and "what's in the box" photos - there's no transmitter, only a receiver, built into the "control pod"...
90.244.135.189 (talk) 18:00, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
OK, thank you. I hardly know anything about connections regarding digital speakers. I wasn't sure whether it would work or not because it says that the audio card has one S/PDIF Coaxial out and the speaker system has one S/PDIF TOSLINK in.
Those are two different cables - the same signals but over physically different connections: the "coaxial" one is traditional copper cable, the TOSLINK is basically a fibre optic - those two won't plug together...
Looking at the manuals for both items, the way to connect those speakers to that sound card is via the analogue sockets - a cable with a 3.5mm jack on one end that plugs into the sound card output socket, and two RCA phono plugs on the other end that plug into the subwoofer
90.244.135.189 (talk) 18:00, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
But then I wouldn't get rid of the analogue noise that I'm having a problem with. I want to connect it digitally to get rid of the noise. But I think this motherboard(MSI Z97 GAMING 7) has a TOSLINK connection. That would work, wouldn't it?
When dealing with interference, switching to digital isn't always wise. It's true that digital is better able to eliminate minor interference, but major interference can be even worse on digital, causing it to cut out entirely. StuRat (talk) 19:26, 24 August 2014 (UTC)


Ah, you already have that speaker system... I thought you were checking before buying... :)
Well, It's always difficult to diagnose a computer problem without being present, but several suggestions at this stage:
1: Look at the volume levels. PC-based media playback has multiple volume controls in software - at least one in the operating system, and one in the media player. By default, these tend to be set to 100%. Set any and all software volume controls to 50%. Now pretend they don't exist :) . To change the volume you're hearing, use only the hardware volume control on the speaker system.
If that doesn't improve the situation:
2: Try a different cable ( always check the cables before buying anything more expensive :) )
3: Try plugging the sound card into: a different amplifier/speaker system/headphones to see if the problem is the sound card.
4: Try plugging some other hardware into the speaker system, to see if the speakers are the problem.
90.244.138.107 (talk) 13:47, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
You've misunderstood me :) I haven't bought the speakers nor the sound card. If I buy a sound card without a TOSLINK, can't I then just use an adapter of some kind that has a TOSLINK input and a coaxial output for me to plug into the sound card?
You probably could, but buying items which are compatible to begin with should be less expensive, more reliable, and potentially provide better sound. StuRat (talk) 18:00, 26 August 2014 (UTC)


erm... I stand corrected...
Looking at the manual for that specific sound card, the digital connectors are not just coaxial TOSLINK - they're "combination coaxial and optical" - both coaxial and optical connectors in the one socket.
The "official box" version of that sound card contains 2 adaptors - one for the digital input, one for the digital output.
The sound card is also available in a "white box/OEM" version, which *does not* include those adapters.
So, the answer to the original question is YES - if you buy the "official box" and not the "white box" version. :)
90.244.138.210 (talk) 20:08, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Section of a Ryder Cup captain,[edit]

Are there qualifying factors such as active in P. G. A. golf tournaments????

Not for the European captain, at least. HiLo48 (talk) 21:06, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Nor for the US captain. Here is a link that gives a bit of info to answer the question. There is probably a more detailed set of criteria if you want to search for it. MarnetteD|Talk 00:24, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

August 25[edit]

Wrong Turn 2[edit]

Why was this thread censored? Edison (talk) 03:57, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

I was wondering that about the Clarissa Explains It All one, too. Turns out the OP's blocked, and blocked people have the right to remain silent. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:28, August 27, 2014 (UTC)
Not just blocked, but "long term abuse", which means it's likely a banned user. Banned users are not allowed to edit. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:00, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

Leonard Cohen[edit]

Did Leonard Cohen ever appear on the Ed Sullivan TV show?— Preceding unsigned comment added by Brianpoleary (talkcontribs)

No. See here for the complete list of guests. --Jayron32 12:45, 25 August 2014 (UTC)


August 26[edit]

Promotion in English football[edit]

English football league system discusses promotion and relegation for the top eight divisions of the pyramid, but I didn't see anything about progress from the lower divisions. Imagine that a group of coworkers in middle Sussex form an amateur club and join the bottom division of the Mid-Sussex Football League (level 24, according to the English football league system article) and do unrealistically well, winning their league year after year. After 23 years of doing this, would the club be promoted to Premier League, or is there a great gulf fixed preventing amateurs from being in the Premier League and professionals from reaching Mid-Sussex? Of course I understand that this isn't going to happen; I'm trying to understand rules, not probability. Nyttend (talk) 02:33, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

The biggest hurdle is financial. Each step of the pyramid has its associated fees to be a member of an eligible league which gradually increase the further up you go (for example, the Hellenic League's fees are on page 44 of their handbook) and the higher up you go; the greater are the FAs requirement that the club be operated as a business. But perhaps the biggest hurdle is that of ground development, each step of the pyramid has an associated 'Ground Grading' scheme and upgrading what was a muddy field in year 1 to meet the requirements of the Premier League in year 23 would be, to most, financially impossible. As a club progresses through the levels; it has to be the primary user of a ground, provide adequate facilities for ever growing supporters and press, pay for first aiders/stewarding/police, upgrade barriers to enclosed stands and then seated viewing, install floodlights and public address systems, provide a scoreboard etc etc etc. It is possible that they could hop around to different stadia but many league eligibility rules dissuade this (making it a requirement that a team will play in the same place for subsequent seasons) and also prevent promotion (and sometimes force relegation) of those teams that are groundsharing. Nanonic (talk) 07:15, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
There's an interesting case like this in French football at the moment: the Luzenac Ariège Pyrénées Club, representing a village of 511 inhabitants, has earned a promotion to the Ligue 2 thanks to excellent on-field performance, but has been refused the promotion by league authorities citing concerns about its financial ability to play at such a high level and its inadequate home grounds. The issue is still unresolved. Article in French here [1]. I imagine a similar situation in England would result in similar objections being raised. --Xuxl (talk) 09:09, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Not quite so strange, but there is also the case of En Avant de Guingamp, whose stadium holds almost 3 times as many people as the entire town of Guingamp. Adam Bishop (talk) 15:24, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Recent cases of clubs in England successfully being promoted through the local leagues into the Championship include Fleetwood Town F.C. and AFC Wimbledon. This article provides some background into how Fleetwood have progressed so far - essentially, through heavy financial investment. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:16, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Some years ago, Stevenage Borough were refused permission to join the Football League's 2nd Division because its ground did not meet the criteria for membership, which had recently changed so there was some controversy around this. It is, however, as Ghmyrtle has said, quite possible for a club to be promoted up through the leagues from scratch provided they meet the criteria at every stage. Another club you may find interesting in this context is FC United of Manchester. --TammyMoet (talk) 10:26, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Back in the mid-1970s Sports Illustrated's year in review issue mentioned a team that had progressed from Div 4 to Div 1 (No Champions League or EPL that far back of course) in three years. Unfortunately I cannot remember which team it was. Maybe someone else will remember and post it here - or if my memory is faulty they can clear that up as well. MarnetteD|Talk 15:51, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Carlisle United went from Division 4 to Division1 and back, but not in 3 years. Widneymanor (talk) 16:16, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Swansea City. --TammyMoet (talk) 18:07, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Ding ding ding. This mists of time clear a bit as it was SC that was mentioned in SI. TammyMoet Many thanks. Thanks also to you Widneymanor for your post. MarnetteD|Talk 19:03, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
I believe also Northampton Town had a similar rise and fall in the 1960s. --TammyMoet (talk) 11:48, 27 August 2014 (UTC)

The Essay of Asimov about Star Trek[edit]

Dear all.

Asimov wrote in 1966 a critical essay on Star Trek's scientific accuracy for the TV Guide magazine. I am looking since ages for this essay. Do you know where I might find the essay?

All the best.


Cheers.--178.195.94.230 (talk) 18:05, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Oddly hard to find. The response and back-and-forth with Gene Roddenberry is available many places, but the article itself seems invisible other than an image of the first two pages at [2]. --jpgordon::==( o ) 18:42, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Thank you very much for your response and the link. The first page is better than nothing!--178.195.94.230 (talk) 20:03, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Who invented that joke about the capital of Alaska?[edit]

A friend was just telling me that Robin Williams invented the joke wherein you ask, "What is the capital of Alaska" and the other person says "Juneau" and the first person says, "I don't know, that's why I asked you?

It seems hard to believe that joke would be invented so recently - my friend says he heard Williams invented it while talking to cancer patients, but it sounds like vintage Abbott and Costello, or at least that era (it could have been used about the territory).

Is there a way to tell who invented this joke? I wasn't able to find it Googling. I can see Robin Williams being famous for it, but wasn't aware of it - however, if that's the case, it's certainly not the first time an originator of something gets left in the dust by someone who made it famous. Thanks.108.192.86.137 (talk) 18:31, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

This seems like the sort of joke that is so self-evidently obvious, it may not have a first writer; it was likely simultaneously "invented" many times. Given the subject of the joke, and your interest in it, you may be interested in Delaware (song). --Jayron32 19:08, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
It's in the same vein as the classic: "My wife's gone to the West Indies" - "Jamaica?" - "No, she went of her own accord", which has spawned many variants, e.g. see here. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 21:20, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Including the one by Led Zeppelin. --Jayron32 21:27, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

What causes content to go viral on the internet?[edit]

What causes content to go viral on the internet? I see content on YouTube that get likes very rapidly. WJetChao (talk) 22:32, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Mostly it is viewers actually liking the posted video. That accelerates as they text, tweet etc etc their friends telling them to go see the video that they like. MarnetteD|Talk 22:37, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Things paid for on the main YouTube page get clicked a lot. Things that aren't there yet often get sent to news agencies or Reddit-style sites. Helps if they're sensational or controversial. Some pay teams of people to like/share. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:41, August 26, 2014 (UTC)
See viral video and viral marketing, if you haven't. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:42, August 26, 2014 (UTC)
How many things have "gone viral" (lots), and how many of them are remembered for more than their 15 allotted minutes of fame (hardly any). Most people's minds have been "blown" so often by "amazing" stuff that they now resemble guacamole. So, the answer to the question "What causes content to go viral on the internet?" is: Massive world-wide addiction to flashy things of no lasting value. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:42, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
No way, man! Pstew's Ice Bucket Challenge is different. It's going to last forever! InedibleHulk (talk) 01:48, August 27, 2014 (UTC)
As Dick Clark said to the committee during the payola scandal, "No amount of airplay can turn a dud into a hit." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:46, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
And as Bruce Cockburn once asked, "If a tree falls in the forest..." He also said some critics complained he was "stretching his metaphors too far" and he had a "two-word response" for them. My two-word response is nobody hears. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:38, August 27, 2014 (UTC)
Meme is another relevant article. While the concept is much older than the www, Internet_meme describes how it applies in this case. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:42, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
The market ultimately decides these things. No amount of formal marketing hype will change that. Regardless of the number of "likes" something has, if it's not truly popular it won't get any more than that 15 minutes Jack mentions - and possibly much less. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:33, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
There's always this theory from xkcd. Double sharp (talk) 22:09, 27 August 2014 (UTC)