Wikipedia:Reference desk/Miscellaneous

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

The Wikipedia Reference Desk covering the topic of miscellaneous.

Welcome to the miscellaneous 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


September 10[edit]

Song Name[edit]

What exactly is the name of the song in the first commercial/advertisement (the one with the "lemon chicken") in this link?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGvSJaX2BIY Futurist110 (talk) 01:16, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

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

Re:WP:Size in volumes[edit]

What's the size of a Britannica volume?

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

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

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

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

Eviction records[edit]

Hi,

I live in North Carolina and am trying to find a decent source (preferably online) to determine how many evictions have been carried out at a certain address, and when. I'm not even sure if this is the sort of thing that would be on public record. A Google search did turn up a few hits, but most of them are pay services and seem to be geared toward landlords seeing whether a certain tenant has recently been evicted from another home. I'm effectively trying to do the opposite (see how many tenants a landlord has evicted from a specific address). Is this the sort of thing I'm likely to find publicly available, and if so, where? Thanks. 198.86.53.69 (talk) 17:48, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

These sorts of records are commonly held at the county level. Here's a random NC county's web page, that has a form that you can fill out requesting public information [1]. I recommend looking through your county's web presence, and if the info is not easily downloadable, it should be available upon request. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:06, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Not at all to contradict SemanticMantis, but evictions when actually physically carried out are done by the local sheriff's office. You might want to try contacting them as well, although my knowledge is based on different states, not NC. User:Jayron32 might also be a good person to contact if I correctly remember. μηδείς (talk) 21:26, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the ping, Medeis. I have lived in Cakalaky for many years, but don't have a lot of experience with eviction statistics. My best guess on how to get the information would either be a properly formatted and submitted FOIA request, or to contact the county records office. I believe bot Medeis and SemanticMantis are correct when they say this sort of thing is handled on the county level. I live in Wake County, for example, and here is their online public records request page. You may have to find a similar office at your local county. That'd be my best advice. --Jayron32 23:25, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Cakalaky? Is that the same as Cackalacky? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:17, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Shonuff. You and yur fancy dixunairy spellins. --Jayron32 01:18, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
And here's a little light reading for you on the subject. "A word to capture the Carolinas". --Jayron32 01:20, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:23, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
The OP says: Thanks, everyone! 198.86.53.69 (talk) 15:20, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

September 11[edit]

"Wholesale to the public"[edit]

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

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

Has there been any research on this?[edit]

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

Sounds like habituation to me personally; something like sensory fatigue may be the culprit, and i know there have been research studies on that sort of thing. Perhaps the amount of bacteria growing on your body producing the odor is initially growing faster than you can habituate during the first week, then it plateaus allowing for sensory fatigue? ~Helicopter Llama~ 11:09, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I just spent about 10 minutes searching google scholar, and found no single work that directly addresses your question, in terms of bathing frequency in humans and perceived odor. There is of course a lot of research on human olfaction, and human body odor, skin chemistry, and even bathing, so in a sense there is a lot of scientific knowledge on this, but it comes from a wide variety of studies. First, consider olfactory fatigue, which is well-documented, and applies to most scents. This is likely part of the story, but I don't think it's all of it. Also consider that the human microbiome will respond to decreased bathing frequency, and you will be carrying around different types and concentrations of critters after two weeks of camping and not bathing. We all make scents, but it is often bacterial emissions that our responsible for bad body odor. I wouldn't be surprised if less bathing led to changes in your microbiome, that in turn changed the scent profile. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:24, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Pursuant to SemanticMantis's closing speculation: (ethnically European) friends who have adopted uncut difficult-to-wash dreadlocks as a hairstyle have told me that for the first month or so their scalp and hair became greasy and smelly, but subsequently reverted to a much drier, non-smelly condition. As I myself could attest to this condition, their own sensory habituation could not be responsible. {The poster formerly known as 87.81.230.195} 212.95.237.92 (talk) 17:34, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
And the hair example specifically reminds me that sebum production can vary, depending on how much is present on the body. In general terms, more washing leads to more sebum production, while less washing leads to less production. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:17, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I have friends with dreads as well who have experienced the same, but they complain that when their hair gets wet, they smell like wet dog? why is this? ~Helicopter Llama~ 20:39, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

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

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

World Banks[edit]

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

This will change over time. prime rate is talked about a lot in the USA, but there are international equivalents. See e.g. here [2], where you can see current and historical rates for several countries/markets. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:10, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
According to this web site, banks in Argentina currently have the highest interest rates on deposits. Click on "More Info" to see terms of deposit and rates offered by various banks in each country. The highest rates are on term deposits (where the depositor agrees not to withdraw the money for a set period), like CDs in the United States. If you deposit money in an account denominated in Argentine pesos, and you intend to exchange those pesos for a different currency after you withdraw them, note that Argentina limits the convertibility of pesos into dollars and other foreign currencies. Also, the Argentine peso is subject to sharp depreciation. It has lost 24 percent of its value against the dollar in just the last month, wiping out the interest rate offered by Argentine banks on peso deposits. Banks in many countries make it difficult or impossible for non-residents to open bank accounts, and deposits denominated in currencies other than your own are subject to exchange rate risk. Marco polo (talk) 18:52, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Customer service jobs[edit]

How hard is it to progress to a management job from a frontline customer service position in the retail, tourism and transport sector if you have a degree? 109.157.183.0 (talk) 14:53, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

This is highly variable and subjective. Useful links? Customer serviceCustomer relationship managementCareer paths in the travel industryCareer Paths in the Travel & Tourism Industry (PDF)   71.20.250.51 (talk) 18:46, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
It depends greatly on unpredictable factors, including the personality of the employee, the employee's relationship with superiors, and the culture of the individual company. So it would be difficult to generalize meaningfully about an entire industry. Marco polo (talk) 18:56, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
The degree tells a potential employer two things:  1) you have the focus and ability to complete a long-term task;  2) you have acquired useful knowledge and skills (depending on the curriculum and degree, of course).  —71.20.250.51 (talk) 21:33, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
  • This is something the OP should be asking his presumptive employer if he gets to the detailed interview stage of hiring. UPS only hires from within, the Bell companies mostly from within, and Denny's from without. Of course none of us knows if the OP, himself a Londoner, is management material. WP CRYSTAL SOMETHING. μηδείς (talk) 22:25, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

September 12[edit]

Fort Knox and land mines[edit]

Hi. I read somewhere (not on Wikipedia) that the defences of the bullion depository at Fort Knox include land mines. Is that true? If so, doesn't it contravene international laws, to which I believe the US is party, against the use of land mines? 86.130.41.222 (talk) 00:11, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Well, there are signs at Fort Knox indicating such. As seen here: How To Break Into Fort Knox  —71.20.250.51 (talk) 00:25, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That same article says towards the bottom that employees can neither confirm nor deny this, so I doubt there's a way to answer op's question... :'( ~Helicopter Llama~ 00:29, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
For obvious reasons, the details of their protection systems are a closely held secret. Most rumors are simply guesswork. 71.20.250.51 (talk) 00:31, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Landmines are banned under the Ottawa Treaty - which the USA refused to sign. So no, it's not illegal. Even if they had signed it - I suspect that the law only applies in warfare - they may be perfectly legal for defense against criminals or something. Also, only anti-personnel mines are covered by the treaty. Anti-tank (or anti-other-vehicle) mines are still perfectly legal everywhere. That said, the US claims that they only use anti-personnel mines that automatically disarm themselves two days after deployment - and which rely on a battery to trigger them that runs down after about two weeks in the event that the automatic disarming mechanism fails. Clearly those would be no use around Fort Knox - so perhaps this is an example of the US being inconsistent - but not breaking any agreement that they are signatories to. SteveBaker (talk) 00:48, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure the distinction between warfare and protecting against criminals really exists in the convention, our article seems to hint against any, as does the convention text e.g. [3] [4] [5]. These seem to ban and require the removal of anti-personnel mines point blank except for training, testing methods of destruction and similar purposes.
Note that such exceptions would need to be carefully worded otherwise any country mining their border will simply say it's to protect against criminals rather than for the purposes of warfare. See e.g. similar problems discussed here [6] (the link itself wasn't working at the time for me but an internet cache was) about the problem with the definition of anti-personnel. Actually it also mentions definition issues surrounding the ban requirements itself but not related to warfare vs criminal per se.
(Even with a very careful wording you'd still likely not cover lots of stuff, e.g. if some regime uses them to protect their presidential palaces, military bases including those where they torture people etc, or even against internal rebels, it's going to be difficult for your definition to exclude these purposes since from the POV of the state party, they are simply used against criminal behaviour. Not that such regimes are likely to have signed the treaty or will care even if they have signed and ratified, but the point of the treaty was I'm pretty sure to include such cases.)
If the US is still has a minefield in Fort Knox, whether of persistent mines or not and anti-personnel or anti-vehicle, that does seem to go strongly against their stated policy [7] [8] [9] [10]. Unless I guess Fort Knox is where they conduct their training exercises and such.
I suspect that they probably have none, although getting them to state it on record may be difficult. (However if you were to ask if their landmine policy applies to the US and whether they have any minefields in the US, they may confirm that it does and doesn't even if the same person just told you they can't confirm or deny what protections are used at Fort Knox.) It seems unlikely landmines would provide much benefit compared to whatever other measures they have there. It's not like Fort Knox is an extremely large area they have difficulty patrolling/controlling via personnel.
Nil Einne (talk) 05:52, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I would suspect that blowing a would-be thief to pieces might just push the concept of reasonable force a little too far. DuncanHill (talk) 08:53, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That's the odd thing though - you'd think that a minefield would principally be intended as a deterrence measure...in which case, why would you deny it's existence? It's more likely (IMHO) that there is no minefield and that they'd prefer to leak the false information that there is one, and then vigorously refuse to discuss it in order to reinforce this falsehood. But it's a long-held principle to say "cannot confirm or deny" in such situations because if you tell people everything you DON'T have, and refuse to talk about the secret things you DO have - then the bad guy can use a process of elimination to deduce what your secret is. Quite honestly, I don't understand why you need all that secrecy anyway - it's very hard to destroy a very large pile of solid gold, if you stole a large fraction of the gold, you'd have no reasonable way to transport or sell it - and even a modest amount of security is enough to prevent single gold bars from leaving the area. A large-scale "goldfinger-like" exercise would be impossible to pull off in any realistic situation. They really only need to make the place a teeny bit more secure than the local jewellery shops. SteveBaker (talk) 17:39, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the helpful responses. I have decided not to attempt to rob Fort Knox at present. 86.130.41.222 (talk) 23:19, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Last updated...[edit]

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

Clicking "history" at the top of a page will give you that information. μηδείς (talk) 02:34, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
All pages on Wikipedia have a text at the bottom, "This page was last modified on <date> at <time>". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 03:15, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Note that an article having been last modified on a given date does not necessarily mean that it reflects all of the latest knowledge on the topic it depicts as of that date. 97.94.188.60 (talk) 15:01, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
No, the time stamp is more likely to tell you when a - was changed to a – Thincat (talk) 12:19, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

September 13[edit]

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

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

It's probably part of a much larger pattern of nobody standing up for US consumers. Being more conservative than most developed nations, there are fewer regulatory restrictions on "ripping off customers". And US customers themselves take a more individual attitude, that they will try to protect themselves from being ripped off, but not anybody else. The US also has all sorts of hidden banking fees. For example, US banks find ways to maximize overbalance fees, say by reordering your charges so the last (large) charge, which put you over your balance, is charged first, then all the smaller charges will happen after you are over your balance, and then they can charge you for those, too. This type of rip-off is perfectly legal in the US, with nobody calling for laws to prevent it. StuRat (talk) 12:20, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I had about a $100 balance in my chase checking account. I had placed six very small (less than $5 each) orders with Amazon over Christmas. The order had not been filled and it was now March. Amazons policy says orders not filled in one month are cancelled. Those orders all came through, then I overdrafted on the $100. So Chase charged me 6 $35 overdraft charges on the 6 items all of which had priority and would have been covered as well as on the seventh. When I had set up the account all overdrafts were to be denied on the checking card anyway. The rep I got told me they had made a change in policy to cover such overdraftsand charge the fee in order to "help customers". I said, yeah, help yourself to customer's money. I did eventually get $210 waived, then closed the account. μηδείς (talk) 00:48, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Business ethics in the US has degraded to the point where "if we can rip off the customer, and it's not illegal, or even if it is and we won't get prosecuted, then we have an obligation to the shareholders to do it". StuRat (talk) 14:31, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I understand StuRat's sentiment, but there do not seem to be any EU regulations requiring legacy carriers to accept baggage without fees. In fact, this is probably a matter of different market structures and consumer expectations. In Europe and perhaps other markets, "legacy carriers" may have adopted a business strategy of convincing consumers to pay higher prices for a higher level of service than is provided by discount carriers. Presumably, that strategy has not failed, or they would have abandoned it. (Though, according to this source, KLM and British Airways have already begun charging fees on checked bags on short-haul flights.) In the United States, the distinction between legacy carriers and discount carriers is little more than historical. When a legacy carrier and a discount carrier share the same route, their fares tend to mirror each other. The reason is that airlines in the United States compete mainly on price for the coach class market segment (as opposed to the premier classes), and to a lesser extent on passenger loyalty stimulated by award programs. I am not familiar with the short-haul air travel markets in countries other than the United States, but some carriers may be competing on the basis of quality of service in those markets, which would cause them to continue to waive fees on the first checked bag. In the United States, one or two "legacy" carriers introduced fees for the first checked bag, and other carriers watched to see what would happen. The carriers with fees did not see a significant loss of business where their fares were otherwise competitive, and as a result other carriers followed suit. Perhaps legacy carriers in other countries are reluctant to take this step because they perceive that it would erode a market advantage, which apparently did not exist for such carriers in the United States. Marco polo (talk) 15:10, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Another thing that might play a role is that in Europe, on many routes there is a lot more competition from the rail network, where, in general, one can take whatever luggage one can haul into the train. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:33, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
And yet another factor is that European countries generally provide more Annual leave to workers, so they are more likely to be able to take holidays of a length where a checked bag is a necessity, rather than a luxury. MChesterMC (talk) 08:21, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Debts to USA[edit]

How many billions of bucks do thirdworld countries owe the United States government? --112.198.79.8 (talk) 22:52, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

This 2011 report from the McKinsey group says U.S. holdings of foreign assets total $15.3 trillion (see here [11]; the figure is from page 34 of the full report), which makes the U.S. the largest creditor in the world; however, as the U.S. debt at the time was $18.3 trillion (also the largest in the world), the balance was largely negative. This is for all countries, not just third world ones. More recent figures from the Congressional budget office put those numbers at $21 trillion versus $25 trillion at the end of 2012 (see page 4 of [12]). These numbers are significantly higher than the 2010 figures cited in Financial position of the United States. The best breakdown by country I could find is the table for U.S. Direct investment abroad in 2007, in the 2009 edition of the U.S Statistical Abstract, table 1256, available via google books. Out of total investments of $2.8 trillion, European countries represented $1.5 trillion, Latin America and Asia $0.5 trillion each, Canada $0.3 trillion and Africa and the Middle East $0.03 trillion each. Most of the Asian countries are places like Australia, Japan and Singapore. Foreign assets are not debt, but the breakdown provides an idea of how the pie is divided. You can use the table to tally the figures for third world countries according to whatever definition you use. --Xuxl (talk) 14:21, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Apparently the UK still owes the USA $4.4 billion at 1934 prices for debts incurred during the First World War.[13] Hopefully, they won't ask for it back anytime soon. Alansplodge (talk) 20:46, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Section 9 of Article I of the United States Constitution allowed a tax of ten dollars on each imported slave. Has anyone calculated a financial reparation to Africa for guest workers in US plantations? 84.209.89.214 (talk) 10:03, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
See Reparations for slavery debate in the United States. --Xuxl (talk) 11:10, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
The original question was about money owed to the U.S. government. In fact, the U.S. government is a debtor, not a creditor, and according to this table from the U.S. Treasury Department, the "third world" or developing countries, as defined by the International Monetary Fund, owe a net amount of zero to the U.S. government. Meanwhile, according to the same source, the U.S. government owes at least $2.4 trillion (or $2,400 billion) to developing countries. Marco polo (talk) 14:56, 15 September 2014 (UTC)


September 14[edit]

Russian Presidential election Inauguration[edit]

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

I am not a Russian, I live in Canada... im just sick of all the anti-Russian movements to propagate what is really not happening. As a Canadian, I JUST WANT THE TRUTH! so I can make an informed decision not one coerced by media such as yourself. Shame shame on you! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 172.218.193.149 (talk) 21:04, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Russian presidential election, 2012 is the relevant article. The current revision of the article gives a figure of "15,000 - 20,000", cited to the Daily Telegraph, an impeccably reliable source. This sort of statement should really be on the article talk page rather than the Reference Desks, and any disputes about article content should be backed up with information from reliable sources, rather than an individual's view of what counts as "propaganda". Tevildo (talk) 21:14, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately, for most protests, even in Western countries, the organisers will over-estimate the crowd size, and the target(s) (or police, if it is the state that's being targeted), will underestimate the size. Unless the are good photos taken by independent sources, it is hard to tell what the true figure is. CS Miller (talk) 13:13, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
You're looking at the wrong subsection. The sentence the OP refers to is still there "Putin was inaugurated in the Kremlin on 7 May 2012. Massive public protests had taken place in Moscow on 6 May with estimated 8,000[39]-20,000 protesters taking part". As can be seen, it's sourced to 2 different sources. Anyway, what CS Miller said. We do have a Crowd counting article which isn't that great but does have a source and links Nil Einne (talk) 14:00, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
To my eyes, the problem with that sentence is the word massive. I've taken part in a number of street demonstrations, and even 20,000 participants fall short of a truly massive demonstration, in my experience. In fact, 20,000 protestors are not terribly impressive in a city with a population of more than 12 million. In any case, the word is completely subjective, unnecessary, and suggestive of bias. It's better to just cite the numbers. Therefore, I have deleted the word massive. Marco polo (talk) 14:36, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree with that, I didn't pay much attention to anything besides the numbers since that seemed to be what concerned the OP. Nil Einne (talk) 19:36, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
You're writing as though Wikipedia had an editorial board which decides what goes into it. It hasn't. It has thousands and thousands of editors, who are without exception unpaid volunteers, and who work on what they want to work on. The answer to questions like "Why isn't XXX mentioned" is always one or both of "Because there is no reliable source that says so" and "because nobody has happened to want to write that yet". There are certainly a number of biases in what gets written in Wikipedia, not by policy, but by self-selection among the people who choose to edit. If you see something missing, as long as you can find reliable sources for it, you are very welcome to edit the article and add the missing material. --ColinFine (talk) 21:33, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
  • In America, you count on press to control state. In Russia, state-control on press count you. μηδείς (talk) 23:52, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Seriously, see order of magnitude--differences in estimates of an order of magnitude are a good sign. When everybody agrees in cases like this it is because Kim or the Ayatollah has spoken. μηδείς (talk) 23:52, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

what is this guy saying at the beginning[edit]

i'm not sure if it goes under language or entertainment or both so i just put it here but this is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xIEeOMWcJU ~Helicopter Llama~ 22:39, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

"To the wears!" 84.209.89.214 (talk) 09:27, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
That's what it sounds like, but I'm not convinced he is actually saying that - it is meaningless isn't it? Richard Avery (talk) 09:35, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
He is said to be drunk, so his speech is supposed to be incoherent. God did not intend for us to know. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:31, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
To me it sounds like "to the world", perhaps in an Irish accent. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 19:40, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

September 15[edit]

Name of french press/cafetière for tea[edit]

Is there a specific name for tea infusers that look a bit like cafetières? There's photos of what I mean towards the bottom of this page [14]. I've my own one, so can take photos of it for our article if they're wanted. CS Miller (talk) 11:45, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

I found nothing more specific than "tea infuser". Where context is clear you could call it a "théière", especially in English (in French the word just means teapot). I found sites referring to multifunctional models similar to your examples as "cafétière/théière", even in French. The company La Cafétière calls some of their models "Le Teapot" :-) (but lists them as "tea infusers"). ---Sluzzelin talk 12:03, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Mine doesn't have the cafetière attachment; the site I linked to was the only one with photos, so I didn't have to describe it. Mine (and the previous one, who's jug I broke), are squatter than typical cafetières, with a hight only slightly greater than their diameter. CS Miller (talk) 13:10, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
This is the one I have, and it's called a 'Tea Press', but I'd agree that the general term, including those that just have a basket and no plunger, would be 'Tea Infuser'. - Cucumber Mike (talk) 16:07, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Are consumer electronics (e.g. Sony Handycam camcorder) exported in containers or a separate compartment in a ship?[edit]

I am curious of "are consumer electronics like the Sony Handycam camcorder exported in containers or a separate compartment in a ship?".

Please answer my question. --Kiel457 (talk) 18:44, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Most likely on shipping containers. From the article Containerization#Twenty-first century: "As of 2009, approximately 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide is moved by containers stacked on transport ships;" If your camcorder crossed an ocean, it likely did so alongside hundreds of it's friends inside a standardized intermodal container. --Jayron32 20:24, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Very high-value items may come by plane. I know that at least one of my MacBooks came from Singapur to Miami in about 36 hours. This may in particularly happen for early shipments, to provide early adopters with the latest technology as fast as possible. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:51, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

What is the genetic significance of being "ugly"?[edit]

So, what is it about just the very slight proportions of the face (over which one has no control from birth) that are the difference between eliticting a friendly loving smile from the hipster barista at Starbucks (and the concomitant free coffee I get) and causing the same lady to grimace and look away as quickly as possible?

What is it about "ugly" people that almost from birth we are conditioned to believe they are less than human -- wholly inferior beings?

The other factors of physical attractiveness (height, intelligence, body shape) have obvious advantages in health and natural selection, but what difference does 1/8 an inch on a nose and 1/4 an inch on a chin really make in practical terms? But it makes a whole world of difference in the real world.

Some of my rather snobby friends have said before that "ugly" people are literally genetically inferior and unhealthy, and their face is nature's way of telling us that. Is this true? If not, then what is it? Zombiesturm (talk) 19:19, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Not all facial attractiveness is about symmetry, but faces with higher facial symmetry are often seen as more attractive. From that article: "Evolutionary theorists in biology and psychology argue that more symmetric faces are preferred because symmetry is a possible honest sign of superior genetic quality and developmental stability." -- this is a somewhat contentious claim, but at least some serious scientists do consider it as a possibility, and there are two citations with that statement. Other info at Physical_attractiveness. Always remember sexual selection can be capricious, and not all traits are adaptive traits. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:13, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Ugliness is a correlative sign of poor genetic or childhood health, parasite burden, the poorly-raised children of unsuccessful families, and things like being accident prone, and otherwise bad fatherhood material. Note, however, that the scars a wounds of soldiers are often considered to make them handsome to women, given the correlation between those injuries and masculine bravery. Semantic has already given the appropriate links. μηδείς (talk) 21:54, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Ugliness is a human construct. Different societies and different times have produced different ideas of what is ugly. HiLo48 (talk) 01:37, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Figured someone would get around to the usual relativist nonsense, but replicated studies have shown that symmetry and other markers of health are universally considered beautiful, while dissymmetry and deformity is considered ugly. You won't find a single person on the planet who thinks Angela Basset is ugly compared to Andre the Giant, except, of course, HiLo48. μηδείς (talk) 02:01, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
To say that there are some universal standards of beauty/ugliness is NOT the same thing as saying that every standard of beauty/ugliness is universal. There are both universal and relative standards of beauty/ugliness. Concepts like symmetry and healthiness are universal, but other standards vary greatly based on cultural expectations and the like. It isn't as simple as saying "it's all universal" or "it's all relative". --Jayron32 02:19, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Yep. HiLo48 (talk) 02:25, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
@ Medeis,Ah, so those Hapsburgs that Velasquez painted with their big noses and odd lips were poorly bred with a 'parasitic burden' were they. And the recently late Richard Keil, was he ugly? many people would think not. Was he poorly bred with a 'parasitic burden'. Never heard so much bo***cks in my life. On second thoughts perhaps Medeis is being "ironic" Richard Avery (talk) 08:01, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm with you Richard Avery. I mean, just look at Prince Charles - heir to the British throne and with the ugliest features I've ever had the misfortune to look at. Or maybe that's because I would prefer to abolish the UK monarchy. --TammyMoet (talk) 14:19, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
So, the same people who insist race is a social construct argue that people with certain features within their race are attractive because of it? (Or perhaps the argument is there are no such thing as good looking people?) None of this skepticism has anything to do with contradicting what I've said. So long as saying everything is relative, one becomes an instant self-certified expert in everything by remembering that one phrase. μηδείς (talk) 19:57, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Here are two counterexamples to the notion that ... dissymmetry and deformity is [universally] considered ugly: Lip plate. Kayan people (Burma). -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:19, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
It's long been known (since the 1800's when Sir Francis_Galton played around with composite photography) that a very average face is widely considered to be the most beautiful. Galton projected dozens of faces onto a screen at once to make his "averages" but modern computer technology can do better - and they confirm his results. The reason for this seems fairly logical. The human perception of beauty in other humans has to do with finding a good mate. People who differ greatly from the average are likely to either be unhealthy or have some widely divergent genes. We've evolved to look for individuals who don't have diseases or 'bad' genetics - and recognizing the most average people as desirable is how we do that. It's not just people - pure-bred dogs are considered more attractive than mutts, very 'typical' landscapes are often considered more tranquil and so forth. We're highly attuned to "average" when we're making a snap judgement about things.
This also explains why there is a difference in the perception of beauty between cultures and across the span of time. If you live someplace where people tend to have longer noses - then long noses are probably considered more beautiful than short ones.
Perrett et al. (1994) found that this simplistic approach isn't quite right. They first made a moderately attractive face by taking the average of 60 photographs of randomly selected people. Then they asked people to find the 15 most attractive people in the original sample and averaged those. Finally, they constructed a third image by exaggerating the differences between the strict average and the average of the top 15 faces. This face rated more attractive than either the strict average or the average of the best 15. It's hard to make sense of what that means.
But there are MANY other studies - and most of them come out on the side of "average = beauty" for a specific culture.
Of course these are all generalities - individual preferences in the observer and some specific divergences from average may swing the balance where there may be some obvious reproductive benefits to not being average (eg most women prefer taller men to average-height men) - but as a statistical best-guess, average is beauty.
I don't think we're "conditioned from birth" to reject certain faces. Quite the opposite, in fact. I think we've evolved since long before birth to tend to prefer individuals that might confer a greater probability of reproductive success - that means "average" and we've decided to use the term "beauty" to explain a seemingly mystical attraction to certain (very, very average) people. Obviously, we're only able to do that from what may be deduced in a quick glance at someone - so much may be missed by doing that - we know that "beauty is only skin-deep" and all that.
Sadly, nature and evolution are hardly ever "fair" - they are brutal, biassed, arbitrary, unthinking, unkind, mechanisms, and it requires "conditioning from birth" to overcome that innate biological bias.
SteveBaker (talk) 18:34, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Some links to go with your points: Averageness (bad title, refers to attractiveness) Koinophilia, and this great resource from one of the current leaders in facial attractiveness research, including averageness and symmetry [15]. We should also mention Assortative_mating, which in part explains the persistence of various phenotypical faces, and why we aren't just becoming more similar looking.
But I have to say that I think you're wrong about dogs. If we indeed prefer purebreds, it's because humans have spent centuries of artificial selection to make each breed suit human preference. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:07, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Abraham Lincoln was considered ugly, which is probably why his career didn't amount to much. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:02, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
What you're really saying is that beauty isn't everything - which is obviously true. But if you check Abraham_Lincoln#Health you'll see precisely what I'm talking about. His (admittedly superficial) ugliness to people of the time was actually their subconscious perception of several possible genetic conditions that were not even known at the time that we've only subsequently been found that he suffered. Had he not succeeded in his career by other means, he might very well have had a hard time passing his genetic material on to the next generation. SteveBaker (talk) 00:37, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

September 16[edit]

Muriatic acid, gelling agent[edit]

Does anyone here have experience with muriatic acid and how to make it more jelly like so it sticks on surfaces rather than dripping/running down? I thought about corn starch and other common food ingredients but those I thought about need to be heated up to work as intended, which is not an option with muriatic acid.

Very much appreciated for any knowledgeable input.TMCk (talk) 00:05, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Piercing parlors[edit]

Is there anyone on here who's gotten a piercing in Montreal that can recommend a place that has a great track record for being safe? 69.156.171.5 (talk) 01:17, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Recommendations would be opinion - and we don't answer requests for opinion. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:36, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
So if someone asks for recommendations for products or services, you never answer them? I find that extraordinarily hard to believe, especially when scores of evidence in the archives prove otherwise. I'm not asking for a medical opinion on the safety and aftercare methods of body piercings. 69.156.171.5 (talk) 02:14, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Try Angie's List or another service like that. We don't provide reliable recommendations for local businesses. It's not what we do here. --Jayron32 02:16, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
If someone happened to ask here for a recommendation for a local business in my city, I would have absolutely no hesitation in giving one. But it's not the kind of question that is likely to get well answered here. Reddit would be a much better bet, specifically [16] or you can do a search like this one et voilà. --Viennese Waltz 09:43, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Even if we happen to have an editor here who has gotten a piercing in Montreal, I seriously doubt that we have more than two. What you want is large numbers of reviews so that you don't have to rely on one person's opinion, and we just don't have anything near that kind of critical mass, aside from the issue that opinions are discouraged here. Marco polo (talk) 13:56, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Jayron and VW have it right. I wouldn't personally have a problem with a rec from a respondent, but it's better to direct OPs to the kind of resources that will help with their questions. That's what we're all about, isn't it? :) SemanticMantis (talk) 14:12, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Paintings by John Scougal, Scottish portrait painter[edit]

Why is there no mention in the works of John Scougal of the portraits he has painted in the late 17th Century of the Earls of Marchmont, who are part of the Hume family? I have one of the portraits, that of Captain Robert Hume, son of the First Earl of Marchmont, painted in 1694, hanging in my hallway in Washington DC.

Ian Hume96.227.102.182 (talk) 03:12, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

There are probably at least two reasons. Firstly it is not common in articles about artists to list every work by that artist. Secondly there may not be third party references to the portrait you own to be able to place such information within the article. If you know of any reliable references to your portrait you are free to add the information yourself or leave a message on the article's talk page directing someone else to the citation. Richard Avery (talk) 07:49, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Heroin production[edit]

After reading this article, I'm curious just how much of the world's heroin comes from what starts out as legal poppy fields. Am I wrong to think that most heroin comes from illegal fields of poppies much like marijuana or cocaine? Well, maybe marijuana isn't the greatest example. Dismas|(talk) 03:51, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

As indicated in the article you cite, legal production of opium poppy is limited to only a handful of countries, under the strict supervision of the International Narcotics Control Board, a United Nations agency (its latest annual report is available here [17]). The objective of these controls is to ensure that none of the legal production gets into the illegal stream, and if it did, the country would be in danger of losing its very lucrative mandate to produce legal opium poppies for medical purposes. As a result just about all of the world's heroin comes from illegal fields. --Xuxl (talk) 09:31, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, the article says "...while mitigating the potential for diversion to illegal use...". If the chances are so low, why bother mentioning it? Which lead to my curiosity. Dismas|(talk) 09:49, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
It's only minimal diversion from legal crop to illegal production because of the oversight mentioned by Xuxl. Presumably having another route to production would allow some of that money spent on oversight to be spent elsewhere by the UN. Also, keep in mind that research scientists and engineers will sometimes grasp at straws when promoting their work to the public. I'll also mention that the opium poppy grows all around the USA and UK not to mention the native range of Asia Minor. I've seen it in gardens in the USA, but also naturalized on roadsides meadows. It is basically legal to grow as a garden plant in USA and UK, but there are laws that make it illegal to process the poppy into a drug. Unlike Heroin, opium is essentially dried poppy latex, so it doesn't even need any "processing" to speak of to turn it into a drug. I guess my point is, there isn't much point in trying to stop poppies from growing, and people from using the sap. On a related note, you might be interested in reading about kratom, which is a tree that grows all over Thailand that can be used as a mild intoxicant. It was banned to protect the opium industry there, because as opium prices went up above local wages, locals stopped buying it and started just chewing leaves that they could find anywhere. There have been several (expensive, useless) campaigns by the Thai government to eradicate this plant from their countryside. So while lab-made opioids might be useful in some contexts, I don't personally think this will have much of any impact on ethnobotannical practices around the world. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:58, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
(EC) Our article Poppy straw says with a source, as do other sources like [18] that there are no reliable estimates for the level of diversion in India. Various sources like that and [19] [20] suggest unlike Turkey, diversion remains a problem in India. This source [21] discusses some of the issues (and does give some very rough estimates of diversion) although it's fairly old.
Note that there's 2 different issues here. Your question relates to the percentage heroin originating from legal production which is probably low and not in itself the main concern since it relates much more to the fact control of illicit production hasn't been successful than whether preventing diversion is successful. The bigger concern as mentioned in these sources is what percentage of legal production is being diverted, since that's what those supporting legal production want to prevent, and it sounds to me like it is considered a problem, at least in India.
On that note, using a different opioid source without diversion probably isn't really that interesting. There's a reason for all this talk of Turkey and India, since as per the sources and others like [22], the US intentionally buys a big percentage from India and Turkey. Not because they're the best in the world at preventing diversion, but because they wanted to try and cut down illicit production by giving farmers them an alternative. Unless the yeast method is combined with nuking production areas, you're still going to have the farmers looking for a way to make money. To be clear, there are also a bunch of historical and political factors at play, and there does need to be some trust (which the US doesn't have for Afghanistan). In fact, I suspect some would suggest the stated diversion free method of producing it in yeast would end up being counter productive. (Also while I didn't read the article, I wonder how the authors plan to ensure their yeast strain doesn't end up the in hands of those in the illicit market. I think history has shown that while they may not be Walter White, they often don't have a problem getting people with sufficient technical skills and I'm sure they're always interested in new methods which may end up being cheaper, e.g. because it's harder to detect.)
Nil Einne (talk) 15:33, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

"Warwick" page[edit]

I am a resident of Warwick, New York. When I searched for my town in the search bar, I was brought to Warwick, UK. This is unfair for a number of reasons: the largest Warwick is in Rhode Island, with a population of approximately 82,000. Second is Warwick NY, with a population of 32,000. Warwick UK is only third place, with 30,000. I believed this needs to be changed because why bring up the town where less people live? it should be more specific. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Liammitchell0508 (talkcontribs) 18:07, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Probably more to do with being very old and well established many hundreds of years before the United States was founded, I believe they say size is not everything. MilborneOne (talk) 18:18, 16 September 2014 (UTC)


As for "unfairness", recall that Warwick UK has a castle built in 1068, and the area has been inhabited since the 6th century! Some other users might say it is unfair and US-centric to link to a small, relatively young town in NY or RI over a place that is much older in terms of human habitation, and of much greater historical importance :)
As for the 'problem' -- there are two choices here: make searches of "Warwick" go to Warwick_(disambiguation) -- or pick one of the many Warwicks to come up first. It seems that previous editors have picked the latter solution, probably based on historical reasoning. If the page that comes up is not what the user wanted, they can get there in two more clicks through the disambiguation page at the top of the Warwick UK article. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:23, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
You mean that any place whatsoever in the USA isn't the most important place of its kind, by default, just because it happens to be in the USA? How dare you even suggest such a thing? =) JIP | Talk 18:26, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Maybe the way to solve the problem for Warwick and Worcester is to make the link go to the town that pronounces their name the 'right' way. That should get easy consensus, right?
A suggestion at Talk:Warwick (disambiguation)#Requested move got no consensus to move the disambiguation page to Warwick. PrimeHunter (talk) 18:55, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
This is a consistent pattern at Wikipedia. I just noticed that Worcester directs to the English city, even though Worcester, Massachusetts, has nearly twice the population and has its own historical importance. Does this mean that each English person is twice as important as each American? It is true that English places will have longer recorded histories, but so what? The American places have also been inhabited for thousands of years, sometimes with very ancient archeological evidence. Of course there won't be consensus to remove English towns from their places of privilege as long as there are English people around to block consensus. Wikipedia has its strong points, but the privileging of less important places in England over places with the same name elsewhere is not one of them. Marco polo (talk) 19:20, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, the retort is that recorded history and current status are probably the reasons why we use the articles about cities. If I want to know about a famous site for fossils in the western USA, I go to La Brea Tar Pits, not Los Angeles. I didn't mean to dismiss the topics of pre-Columbian NE USA, but I did mean to offer a counterpoint to the OP's notion that population should be the sole criterion for this kind of decision. My perspective is that I see tons of US-centric bias on WP, but maybe I'm just unaware of places where bias may occur toward e.g. the UK. I would personally support every such link going straight to the disambig page, as seems to be the custom for TLAs, but building consensus toward that seems unlikely. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:36, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Since there is really no rational way to decide whether population or length of recorded history is more important, I agree that the only rational solution in cases where one place is not obviously more important than another would be for the unqualified search term to lead to a disambiguation page. That we don't have such a policy is one of the shortcomings of consensus as a process, though I don't actually support ditching consensus, as it is part of the heart and soul of Wikipedia. Marco polo (talk) 20:40, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Pumps?[edit]

A photograph I uploaded to WikiMedia Commons was changed from category "Women wearing high-heeled shoes" to "Women wearing pumps". Now, with me being neither a native English speaker or a woman, I don't understand the difference. How are "pumps" different from high-heeled shoes in general? JIP | Talk 18:25, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Most of the footwear known as pumps of which I'm aware does not have high heels. HiLo48 (talk) 18:40, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
(ec) According to the WIkiCommons category system, "pumps" are considered to be a sub-class of high-heeled shoes. So someone was trying to place your photograph into a tighter classification than the broader class that you chose - which is definitely a good thing in helping people find the specific photographs they need.
HOWEVER: According to our article Court shoe, (which is what a "pump" is...in this context): "A court shoe (British English), or pump (American English), is a shoe with a low-cut front and usually without a fastening. However, some have an ankle strap." I presume the ones you uploaded the photo of were of that sort.
This is a somewhat unfortunate choice of category name because in US english, "pumps" are high heeled shoes - but in British english the word refers to a Plimsoll shoe (like a Converse all-star sneaker). That's a horrible mess - you couldn't imagine a more different style of shoe sharing the same name!! (And actually, this explains some confusions I've had as a Brit living in the USA).
So I guess I'd say that the recategorization of your photograph was OK - but the category itself is unfortunately named for non-US readers.
I think someone should head over to WikiCommons and make an effort to get the category renamed in some less US-centric fashion. That's not going to be easy however because I don't see a term for this sub-category of high-heeled shoe that's common to both US and British english...we simply don't have a shared word here. Perhaps "Women wearing high-heeled pumps" might make better sense.
Ikky!
SteveBaker (talk) 18:54, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
I have no problem with there being very different forms of English around the globe, but there is a problem when the users of one form behave as if theirs is the only (correct) one. HiLo48 (talk) 22:11, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
I remember getting very confused (and rather worried), when I was 4 and 3/4 and we were told to remember to bring our pumps to school the next day. I didn't have any pumps, though I think I might have seen on or two in old villages. I did have daps however. DuncanHill (talk) 22:19, 16 September 2014 (UTC)