Page semi-protected

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.
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

April 13

Has the UK ever had a ginger prime minister?


Strange question I know. A work colleague asked me this, and google only gives some people who might have been PM and hits for Churchill having a cat called Ginger! -- Q Chris (talk) 11:29, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

Churchill is included in List of redheads. Hack (talk) 11:35, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
BBC ref confirms. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 11:36, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks - I'd only remembered the pictures of Churchill with grey hair -- Q Chris (talk) 12:20, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
I found some internet speculation [1] that William Pitt the Younger may have been ginger, but it's hard to tell; this 1930s jigsaw puzzle is the only portrait I could find without a powdered wig or grey hair. The other candidate is Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool which seems even less likely, but you can judge for yourself. David Lloyd George might have had a bit of a ginger moustache. Alansplodge (talk) 15:19, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
Do you mean pink or pink or pink? Alansplodge (talk) 21:40, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
Just an understanding question: By "ginger", do you mean red hair, Chris? — Sebastian 18:55, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
See Wikt:ginger "(colloquial, often derogatory, countable) A person with reddish-brown hair; a redhead".
Common usage in the UK, only recently considered derogatory IMO. Those of us brought up on the Biggles books will recall his chum Ginger Hebblethwaite and in Just William, William's best pal Ginger, who doesn't even seem to have a surname. Alansplodge (talk) 21:14, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
I think it's pretty fair to blame Eric Cartman for the new wave of hate. InedibleHulk (talk) 02:21, April 14, 2015 (UTC)
Just to note, I didn't mean this in a derogatory way at all. Certainly it was normal usage when I was at school. -- Q Chris (talk) 12:12, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Had Julia Gillard not migrated with her family from Wales to Australia, she might have risen to high office in the UK. Thanks to her (or, more accurately, to commentators about her), I'm now aware of the term "ranga" to refer to redheads. Apparently I was the only Australian who'd never heard that word till she became PM. But she'd been in politics for 14 years before then, and that word had never, in my experience, been used about her in that time. But overnight (literally), it was ranga this, ranga that. Strange people, those Australians. Maybe most of them had never heard of her till she succeeded Kevin Rudd. Too busy gorging themselves on food on sticks, probably. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 02:25, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Why not, indeed? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 07:57, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

Fingernail Growth

Do certain fingernails grow faster than others, and if so, is there a reason for this? For example, using the keyboard to type with mainly the four 'main' fingers and not so much with the thumbs (except for the space bar with the side of the thumb on the right hand). I am asking this because my thumb nails seem to grow a bit faster that the others. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 12:44, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

Mechanisms are unclear. Climate may play a role [2], here's a little more about concepts of nail growth [3], and this recent work says
[4]. This paper [5] also lists a few factors that can increase nail growth. SemanticMantis (talk) 13:38, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, but that doesn't exactly answer my question. I am asking about fingers on the same person, growing fingernails at different rates, simultaneously. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 15:41, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
Did you read the papers I linked? You could of course make your own measurements if you are interested in n=1, you don't need us for that. The paper I quoted has figures on each finger/toe across the studied sample (see Fig. 2). They show that overall, the ring fingernail grows the fastest, but in some sub-groups (including males 23-33, the entire age range in the sample), the thumbnail grew faster than the mean of all nails. That doesn't guarantee that every individual in that group had the thumb grow faster, but on average, it did. So, the answer to your initial question is "On average, yes, according to one recent study" - they do not however discuss mechanisms of variation between nails within one individual. Looking at forward cites to the Yaemsiri et al. (2010) paper would be a good place to look for that info, if it exists. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:22, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
@KageTora: sorry, that must have seemed rude. I hadn't realized that the article/figure I quoted is not freely accessible, and even if you attempted to read the whole thing, you may have been prevented by the paywall. Cheers, Template:Ping:SemanticMantis (talk) 20:10, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
@SemanticMantis:, I did not take it as rude, so don't worry. Thanks for trying, anyway. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 20:34, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't think it's normal for nails on one person to grow at significantly different rates. A disease or injury could certainly stunt the growth on some, however. StuRat (talk) 15:54, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
Fingernails also may be subject to different amounts of "wear" (for lack of a better word), i.e. by typing ;-). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:23, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
Did you cut your nails appropriately (length wise) the last time(s) you cut them? -- (Mr. Prophet (talk) 19:14, 13 April 2015 (UTC))
I cut them down to where there is no 'white' part of the nails left, using standard nail clippers. Every finger and thumb. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 20:34, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Well, 'thumb' is addressed as 'logic' in 'pseudoscience' and 'food' is used for 'growth' in 'science'. You can combine the two if you like! Extreme brain usage! Find out what you do with your brain/mind... Note: You could also see the white bits quicker/earlier if you scratch things with your thumb... -- (Mr. Prophet (talk) 21:37, 14 April 2015 (UTC))

Cricket Question

This is a memory from my childhood, when we were playing cricket at school. Is it allowed for the batsman who is on the receiving end of the bowler's ball to hit the ball in the direction of the other batsman, so that the other batsman can hit it further? This actually happened at school, with myself and my friend as batsmen, and the teacher (who was acting as umpire) just said it was OK. Is this a possibility in professional cricket? KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 19:51, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

I can't find a specific prohibition in the Laws, but I'm sure it wouldn't be allowed: it goes against the spirit, if not the letter, of Law 34 (Hit the ball twice) and Law 37 (Obstructing the field), or more generally Law 42 (Fair and unfair play). From the Preamble: "According to the Laws the umpires are the sole judges of fair and unfair play." AndrewWTaylor (talk) 20:21, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
Definitely out obstructing the field. "[E]ither batsman will be out Obstructing the field if while the ball is in play and after the striker has completed the act of playing the ball ... he wilfully strikes the ball with ... any other part of his person or with his bat." Here's a video of Inzamam-ul-Haq being dismissed in a manner very similar to that described by KageTora. Tevildo (talk) 20:54, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
Presumably it would be umpire's judgment as to whether it was intentional? Baseball solves this by making the runner automatically out, whether he intended to run into the ball or not. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:05, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes - in the ul-Haq dismissal, it clearly was intentional, as it would be in KageTora's example. And the fielding team have to appeal for the dismissal; it would probably be considered unsporting for them to appeal in anything other than a very clear case. As the commentator notes, running between the fielder who has the ball and the wicket is perfectly legitimate, as long as the batsman doesn't take any active steps to deflect the throw. Tevildo (talk) 22:38, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
As with appeal situations in baseball, they might wait to see the result. Let's suppose the second batsman hit it to a waiting fielder. I could imagine the fielding team would be glad to overlook the batsman's rule violation in exchange for a wicket. In baseball, the runners have to be allowed appropriate space to run the basepaths, and sometimes an errant throw will hit a runner, and the play goes on. But if a runner intentionally deflects a thrown ball, he's supposed to be called out immediately. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:12, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
That's interesting, you know. I _think_ the striker (the first batsman to hit the ball) would be out caught (see Law 32), but the non-striker would also be liable to be dismissed for obstructing the field - I'm not sure which would take precedence. (Cricket doesn't have a double-play rule, as soon as a batsman is dismissed the ball is dead). A question for the late Bill Frindall, if anyone has a ouija board... Tevildo (talk) 23:44, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
And that's an interesting expansion on it. They might get two wickets on one ball. That would be a good deterrent against someone trying it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:11, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
In baseball, the umpire is authorized to make a decision when a crazy situation arises that is not in the rules. As with cricket, it seems. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:25, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, basically, although any dismissal has to be within one of the Laws, and in a doubtful case the umpire _shouldn't_ give the batsman out (and call "dead ball" to stop play). They often do give batsmen out in doubtful cases, of course, for various values of "doubtful". Tevildo (talk) 21:35, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
@Tevildo:, the ball is dead from the moment there is a wicket. If the umpire judges a deliberate obstruction has occurred, then that would take precedence. Hack (talk) 01:41, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Does not Cricket derive from Croquet? μηδείς (talk) 00:47, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
    I don't believe so. Their names both derive from the same origin meaning "stick". Cricket has been attested in a recognizable form since the turn of the 17th century. Croquet only since the middle 19th century, though it evolved from older games played since the 17th century. --Jayron32 00:52, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

Alois Hitler

The article about Alois Hitler, Adolf Hitler's father, claims he always wore his uniform and demanded to be addressed as Herr Oberoffizier Hitler. Was this also true of his private life with his family? JIP | Talk 20:02, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

I cannot find anywhere where the article claims that. Even using CTRL+F. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 20:10, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
In the caption of the second picture of Alois Hitler (but it's "Herr Oberoffizial ... "). It cites The Mind of Adolf Hitler (which I can't check or verify directly). According to Humanizing Hitler:Psychohistory and the Making of a Monster by José Brunner (University of Tel Aviv), the children addressed him as "Herr Vater" (also citing Langer's The Mind of Adolf Hitler). [6] This kind of formal deference within the family did exist in the German-speaking world, including the Austria-Hungary Empire, at the time, though I have no idea how common it was. ---Sluzzelin talk 20:17, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
I found a website called The Nizkor Project which has a transcription of the OSS psychological profile of Hitler: "It is said, however, that he always wore his customs official's uniform and insisted on being addressed as Herr Oberoffizial Hitler. According to reports, he [Alois] liked to lord it over his neighbors whom he may have looked down upon as "mere" peasants. In any event, it seems quite certain that he enjoyed sitting in the tavern and relating his adventures as a customs official and also in discussing political topics." (p. 98).
I'm not sure (a) if this is a faithful reproduction of the report or (b) how accurate the report was. Alansplodge (talk) 21:55, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
Oops, I didn't click the link to see an image of the report. Alansplodge (talk) 21:55, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Here is an Austrian site in German with all military ranks at the time, incl. different "Oberoffizial" ranks[7], thus at least the title existed. Google translate doesn't work well on it but you get the picture.--TMCk (talk) 00:36, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
"Oberoffizial" is still in use in Austrian civil service and translates more or less to "senior official". The address "Herr Oberoffizial" would be completely adequate. Quoting from a 1941 novel: „Wie heißt der Herr Oberoffizial?″ „Herr Oberoffizial Greiner in Kelheim, Bismarckstraße 6, gleich neben dem Gasthof ,Zur blauen Donau'. Bitt schön.″ -- (talk) 09:32, 15 April 2015 (UTC)


There are many Greek Islnds such as Lesbos, Chios, Samos, and Kos which are much closer to the Turkish mainland than Greece. Do the inhabitants share a closer culture to Turkey or Greece? I mean has this proximity affected their relationship with Turks? Has there been discussion of ferries etc.? World bymyself (talk) 20:45, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

Relations between Greece and Turkey has generally ranged between diplomatic animosity and actual warfare for at least the last thousand years, ferries and other features of "normal" neighbourly relations do not exist between these two countries. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 21:24, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
No, that is not quite right. These are sometimes uncomfortable neighbours, but both states are NATO members, there is e.g. a ferry from Piraeus to Izmir, there are direct flights between the two states, the borders are open, there is a free trade system in place, and Greece supports Turkey's acceptance into the EU. But yes, after about 100 years of sorting with less than acceptable means, culminating in the Greco-Turkish War (1919–22) and the associated crimes, the populations are very clearly demarcated. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:06, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)The Turkish mainland or Anatolia was inhabited by Greeks until the arrival of the Seljuk Turks following the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, when the process of Turkification began. There was a sizeable minority of Ottoman Greeks living in Turkey until the Greek genocide of 1913 to 1923 (but don't mention that in Turkey unless you like prison food) and the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1923. The islands that you mention are all culturally Greek. Alansplodge (talk) 22:13, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
Per Alansploge, remember that the Byzantine Empire was a culturally Greek state, and it was centered on Anatolia. The most important cities and places in the Byzantine Empire were mostly in what is now Turkey, including the capital city and what was then the most important city in all of the Hellenic world at the time, Constantinople, now Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey. What is today the Greek mainland was mostly backwater, historic cities like Athens and Thessaly were little more than small villages at the time. Over the course of several centuries, the Greeks were pushed out of Anatolia and East Thrace by the Turks. They just stopped (or better yet, were stopped) before they pushed them out of the Aegean Islands as well. It should be noted that what is now Greece was controlled by the Turks for several centuries until the Greek War of Independence in the 1820s. The Aegean Islands and the Greek Peninsula remained culturally Greek, though Anatolia (as noted above) was gradually purged of Greeks. The last part of Anatolia to have a sizable Greek population was Ionia and the area around Smyrna/İzmir, which for a very short while following the Treaty of Sèvres was formally part of Greece. It was retroceded back to the Turkish Republic at the Treaty of Lausanne, which also confirmed the Greek ownership of the Dodecanese, which are the Islands closest to Anatolia; basically establishing the modern boundaries of the two nations. --Jayron32 23:03, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
There is also the notion of the "Megali Idea", which is still supported by various yahoos. Adam Bishop (talk) 16:52, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
  • There are some Black Sea Greek "colonies" historically attested in the western Caucasus, the Crimea and northern Anatolia all of which date to pre-Homeric times. It seems the Greeks probably originated in the Eastern Black Sea area, close to the homelands of the very closely related Armenian language and closely-related Indo-Iranian languages. Their appearance in the Peloponessus seems to date to the advent of the Sea Peoples and the whole of western Anatolia was Greek speaking by the time of the Roman Empire. (Previously it seems to have been inhabited by Hittite and its relatives and relatives of Etruscan.) References upon demand, but see In Search of the Indo-Europeans J. P. Mallory first. μηδείς (talk) 00:44, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

April 14

Chess photo

In the photo of the Fischer-Spassky match on this page, what are the three box-like items between the camera and the chess clock? --Dweller (talk) 10:50, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Scho-Ka-Kola? ---Sluzzelin talk 11:08, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Could be! What's the eggbox-like item with what looks like two small candles on it? --Dweller (talk) 11:38, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
A pen holder with two pens in? Dalliance (talk) 12:32, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
I think that's it all right. One pen for each player and a spare. Spassky has left his pen on the table. -- (talk) 12:57, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
A Google Images search on Fischer Spassky finds better versions of the image: [8] [9]. This confirms two Scho-Ka-Kola boxes and a pen holder. PrimeHunter (talk) 13:40, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Interesting they had a German nibble each, when neither was German and the match was in Iceland. --Dweller (talk) 14:09, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Are there any cocoa plantations in Iceland? Or chocolate manufacturers there? Dubious x 2. So, they must import all their chocolate, and from somewhere other than Iceland (although not necessarily, if we go by the Kep Enderby World View: Traditionally, most of Australia's imports come from overseas - that's most, not all). Germany would have been as good as any, being neutral to all three parties. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:01, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Well I'm fairly sure the first one mostly applies to places like Switzerland and Belgium. Or even if they do produce some cocoa, it's only a small percentage of what they use. To give a slightly related example, particularly when it comes to Belgium, it's recognised that EU tariffs, and a whole host of other factors, mean it's difficult for many cocoa producers to move up the production chain to chocolate [10] [11].

For the second one, even with a country as small as Iceland, it always pays to take care with such statements particularly since chocolate production isn't hard to do (i.e. doesn't require a lot of investment, equipment, highly specialised or bulk workers or climate or other advantages). And for various reasons local production isn't uncommon, and probably even less uncommon in those days anywhere where chocolate was regularly consumed. It sounds like Nói Síríus would have existed then. Nowadays, and possibly then, small scale speciality producers like [12] too. In fact there's back and forth here. On the one hand, at the time, even when niche producers may exist, their production may have only really been available and known in a small area. On the other hand, globalisation etc means that non niche local production may be less common. However globalisation and related factors has probably also increased the popularity of niche producers.)

Nil Einne (talk) 14:20, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

Marina del Rey, California

Can a msajority of boats docked at the del Rey travel on its own to Hawaii? World bymyself (talk) 16:42, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Most boats in the marina are small craft. As such, they are not intended or really suited for voyages thousands of miles/kilometers in length across the open ocean. So, basically, the answer to your question is 'no'. That said, people have been known to cross oceans in small craft. But those who have succeeded have generally engaged in extensive training before their voyages and modified their craft to be more seaworthy. Without some modification, small craft are unlikely to be able to hold up to rough seas and high winds during inevitable storms. That is, those boats would be likely to founder and sink before they reached Hawaii. Marco polo (talk) 19:16, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
Didn't Captain Bligh go 4000 miles in an oared lifeboat, just so he could get Mister Christian hanged faster? --Trovatore (talk) 19:30, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
He didn't have much choice. The mutineers stuck him and some loyal crew on the boat and took off. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→`
More importantly the plural of anecdotes is not data. The reason why stories like Bligh's and the crew of the Essex and even frigging Kon-Tiki are so memorable is because they are so out of the ordinary. We can't say "Well, the crew of the Bounty all survived, so that means anyone can do it". No, they can't. Most people in that situation are shark fodder. The reason we remember the stories is that they came back which is awesome (and unusual) as hell. Most people attempting to cross 4000 miles of open ocean in an unprotected small craft don't make it. Attempting so, without proper preparation (like in Kon-Tiki where he had a film crew following along and potential rescue crews on call the whole time), is contraindicated. --Jayron32 20:30, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
See the Transpacific Yacht Race which goes from San Pedro, Los Angeles to Honolulu, but I agree that those taking part have specially equipped boats and they know what they're doing. Alansplodge (talk) 20:35, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

April 15

what flag is this ?

hello - please what flag is this ? i did not find it in your (numerous) flag pages... - thanks in advance Blump007 (talk) 05:59, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

The symbol is the Fleur-de-lis, but the design doesn't appear in that article @ Fleur-de-lis#Coats-of-arms and flags. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 05:57, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
It looks to me less like a fleur-de-lis (or for that matter a fleur of anything else) than a stylized bird or letter E. —Tamfang (talk) 07:04, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
thanks for your comments but it's indeed no fleur-de-lis at all: I just found out it's in Mongolia! Blump007 (talk) 07:06, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Didn't you know that "fleur-de-lis" is Mongolian for "stylised dove"? :) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 07:12, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

haha - but i still don't know what in mongolia... let's search Blump007 (talk) 07:49, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

This page lists it as a flag of the Mongol Empire, but doesn't cite any source for the claim. Abecedare (talk) 07:52, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
"Alternate reconstructed flag of the Mongol Empire. Not from a reliable source, but recreated from images from a 700th anniversary celebration in Mongolia."
I found this on Wikimedia Commons and have copied the text into the caption. The web page link provided is dead. Alansplodge (talk) 07:59, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

oh yeah, thanks! it's confirmed by my street view link = "13th Century Complex" Blump007 (talk) 08:32, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

Sidearms and US soldiers

In Hollywood movies, some US soldiers are depicted as having sidearms (pistols), one example being Black Hawk Down, in which a sniper fires his rifle until he is out of ammo, and then uses a pistol. I have read that in general it is just officers who carry a sidearm. Do US soldiers carry sidearms in addition to a rifle?OnBeyondZebraxTALK 14:10, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

Our Beretta M9 article and [13] don't suggest it's limited to officers, but definitely isn't everyone. Nil Einne (talk) 14:28, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Bear in mind that in Black Hawk Down, these were Special forces soldiers, and they are required to carry a sidearm in addition to their main weapon. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 15:18, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Oh I forgot to link to [14]. Nil Einne (talk) 16:47, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

April 16

Script during a Roman Catholic daily mass?

What is the script during a Roman Catholic daily mass? I'm not sure if that's the right term for it, but I am pretty sure that the daily mass follows a scripted, structured set of lines that are memorized like the Pledge of Allegiance. I know and can recite the archaic modern English Lord's Prayer, which is used during the mass, but I can't follow along everything else. Also, why does the priest alone drink all the wine during the daily mass, while the laypersons drink the wine during the Sunday mass? (talk) 13:48, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

Liturgy is the usual term for the "script" of a religious service; the Mass of Paul VI is probably what you're referring to in the case of a modern Roman Catholic mass. That article has links in the bottom to the actual order of business, with the wording in English and (what little is still done in that language) Latin. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 14:01, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Eh. I'm just going to bring a tape recorder. (talk) 14:07, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Also, see Missal (or "Missalette" for the shorter version designed for lay use) which are often kept on the backs of the pews next to the hymnal. Technically the missal is the published liturgy. In non-Roman Catholic churches, the liturgy is often called the "Order of Worship" while the missal is often called the "Bulletin" or something similar, but they serve the same purpose. --Jayron32 14:15, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm talking about the daily mass. There may be no hymns on a daily mass, and the priest may drink all the wine as well as only give out the body of Christ. Are you talking about the daily mass, which is shorter than the Sunday mass, or the Sunday mass? Also, one parishioner told me that the length of time may vary between priests. Some priests can do a quick mass in under 30 minutes. (talk) 14:40, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
According to Fr. Leo McDowell's post here, the differences are no Gloria, no Creed, only one reading instead of two. Other changes may be down to individual church practices. Rmhermen (talk) 15:07, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Also, the script followed during a non-Sunday mass is still called the liturgy and still published in a missal. As far as the wine-bread practice goes, see Eucharist in the Catholic Church. Any part of the Eucharist is sufficient. The wine or the body are both fully Christ, so a person is considered to have taken complete communion having taken either. It is sufficient for one to receive just the body. It is recommended to also receive the wine on a regular basis, but not required. --Jayron32 15:21, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
I mostly agree with you on the wine issue except for the last point. Do you have a source for that? From my reading, neither the Eucharist in the Catholic Church nor the Blood of Christ nor the Communion under both kinds mention anything suggesting it's officially recommended the receive the wine regularly. Some may believe so, including some priests and bishops but the official view seems to be it's not necessary, for the reasons you already outlined and so they only went so far as to allow it but not in any way require or recommend it. I mentioned before I never received it at the church I went to in Malaysia, in fact the last article suggests at least in 1989 many in the US likewise didn't offfer it. Nil Einne (talk) 16:02, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
From the article I cite, quoting the Roman Missal directly, "Holy Communion has a fuller form as a sign when it is distributed under both kinds. For in this form the sign of the eucharistic banquet is more clearly evident and clear expression is given to the divine will by which the new and eternal Covenant is ratified in the Blood of the Lord, as also the relationship between the Eucharistic banquet and the eschatological banquet in the Father's Kingdom..." Later in the same section, it notes the sufficiency of Communion of one kind, but the tenor and tone of the actual quote from the actual Missal clearly seems to say that it provides a "fuller form as a sign" and "is more clearly evident and clear expression" to take Communion under both signs. In other words, just the bread is enough, but taking both is better. A person's salvation does not depend on the wine, but the experience of communion is better for those who get to fully partake in both kinds. That sentiment seems evident in the official missal. --Jayron32 16:10, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
See also this recent discussion and our Communion under both kinds article. Alansplodge (talk) 17:08, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Admittedly I haven't been to a mass for a long time, but we never drank the wine on Sundays (or on any other day of the week). Adam Bishop (talk) 18:20, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
In terms of the wording of the missal, I would suggest a lot depends on how you intepret the different parts. The part which says:

"It is most desirable that the faithful should receive the Body of the Lord in hosts consecrated at the same Mass and should share the cup when it is permitted. Communion is thus a clearer sign of sharing in the sacrifice that is actually being celebrated."

may seem the most clear. But that depends on how you intepret the "when it is permitted" part. To me this isn't independent from the rest of the paragraph. Therefore, unless it's actually offered, there's no need to worry about taking both kinds. Or to put it a different way, at most what you can say is it's recommend that people take both kinds when it's offered. This makes sense, since there's not much the general congregation/laity can do when both kinds aren't offered, except to lobby the priest or those higher up, which often isn't encouraged in the Catholic church and when it is, allowed, that's normally stated somewhere.
In terms of the other parts of the missal like those you quoted, they seem to be directed at the priests and bishops making the decision whether to offer both kinds. So at most, you can say it's recommended that both kinds are offered to the laity on occasion. But even that doesn't seem entirely the whole story since it then goes on to give reasons why priests (and bishops) may not want to offer both kinds. Notably to me anyway, these reasons don't seem to be saying "these are reasons why you may want to only offer both kinds on rare occassions" but rather, "these are reasons why you may never want to offer both kinds".
Or to put it a different way, it seems to me the Vatican was much more hedging their bets, as they often do, rather than coming down on way or the other on whether you should offer both kinds, at least on occassion. Notably the "whenever it may seem appropriate to the priest to whom, as its own shepherd, a community has been entrusted" point seems to concur with my believe that this isn't something the congregation is supposed to concern themselves with, unless both kinds are actually offered.
Nil Einne (talk) 00:49, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
BTW a final thought, is that to me, none of the missal I've read seems to be suggesting the laity needs to go out of their way to ensure they receive both kinds on occassion. I was earliy mostly thinking of it never being offered in a church, in which case the only thing that can be done is to either as I said, lobby the priest etc, or to go to a different chuch neither of which IMO is going to be generally recommended (and actually I suspect we agree on this). But there is also the possibility of it only being offered on rare occassion which a perfectly observant Catholic may still miss out one. For example, if it's offered during first communion (for children I mean, baptism for adults since it's during the Easter Vigil may be something that you're generally supposed to attend if able), I'm not sure if there's any expectation you sometimes attend first communion mass. So if you're in a church with multiple morning mass services, you may perfectly acceptably miss these occassions. I'm not sure if I'd intepret the missal to mean (presuming there's no other reason you need to sometimes attend first communion mass) you need to make sure to attend first communion mass so you can receive the wine. Perhaps the most you could say is that a good observant Catholic may hope they are invited to be a god parent, or have some other reason why they would need to attend the first communion mass, but even this seems to be a case of may be, may be not. Nil Einne (talk) 01:10, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
I think the important take-away for the OP is that there is not as much uniformity between Roman Catholic churches across the world as they are expecting. I attended a Roman Catholic church weekly until I was in my teens, and the wine was offered at every Saturday and Sunday mass (I didn't attend weekday masses, so I cannot attest to that). Others report having never, or rarely, been offered the cup. It should be clear that there is not (nor should there be expected to be) a singular Catholic Mass experience shared across the world. There is a variety of experiences depending on which churches one attends. --Jayron32 01:17, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

Will a human being be able to walk upright without being taught how to do so?

Human babies crawl. When they reach a certain age, their parents usually train them in walking in some way. But what happens if the babies are never trained how to walk? Will they still be able to walk in the bipedal manner? The human skeleton seems to be conducive to walking upright, which may suggest that babies can eventually walk upright without any external guidance. Or perhaps, babies need external guidance in order to walk upright? What about talking? Instead of using "baby talk" toward a baby, the adult uses ordinary speech and never raises the pitch of the voice. Will the baby still be able to talk like a normal human being, assuming that the baby has no birth defects? (talk) 21:01, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

I and my then wife never talked "baby talk" to our kids, and they've grown into highly articulate adults with an excellent command of two languages. They rarely make spelling or grammatical errors in writing or speech. (Naturally.) But we still failed as parents, because they turned out to be the most unpedantic people you'd ever meet.  :) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:02, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Most parents encourage speech, as well as walking. But riddle me this, how many children are you aware of who don't speak or walk, even having seen their parents do so? Is there even a word (in general usage) for the phenomenon? μηδείς (talk) 22:21, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
And, as I've pointed out to many people who've given up trying for some goal when it all got too hard: how many children are you aware of who tried to walk but in the end gave up and decided to crawl for the rest of their lives? I suggest the answer would be: none. They just keep on till they get what they want. Giving up is not an innate but a learned behaviour, and apparently not a very useful one. But most of us seem to acquire it relatively early in life, at least in relation to some things, and then struggle (or not) with its inertia forever. Strange people, humans. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 00:41, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
This is an interesting question, because there was a case of a feral child found in Russia, not so long ago. She had been kept for all of her life until she was found at around age 7 living in a dog kennel (presumably big enough to also house a child). She had no ability to speak Russian, and acted like a dog, walking/running on all-fours, and even approximating barking sounds when vocalizing. This is, of course, an example of nurture and not nature, as her only 'friend' was the dog. This is also perfect proof that children will copy whomever is with them. Children are taught to walk by parents/guardians, only for safety reasons. Even if they are not taught, if they see you doing it, it is perfectly natural for them to pick up the skill, too. The same goes for language. They will pick up methods of communication very quickly, due to their environment and the people with whom they are. All of this is a product of observation of surroundings (nurture), and not automatic (nature). KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 22:58, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, Oxana Malaya from Ukraine, not Russia. Documentary here. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 23:15, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
She was but one of many feral children. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:37, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, Jack. Sorry, I should have clarified. That documentary has other cases in it, too, all equally interesting, but her case was the one that seemed to be the most relevant to the OP's question. There are, of course, many cases, which are unfortunately still being found even today. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 00:30, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I remember this case, but specifically mentioned "having seen their parents" in order to exclude it. In any case, the child quickly adopted an upright stance once human examples were available. Speech seem to be a bit more limited and complicated. μηδείς (talk) 00:34, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
A niece-in-law of mine showed no sign of wanting to walk at age 2. In fact, she was not even crawling. She could propel herself slowly by rolling and squirming, but showed no inclination to rely on her legs for propulsion. I don't know whether she would eventually have decided to try propelling herself with her legs on her own, but her parents hired a trainer to work with her and train her to walk. After a couple of months of training, she was walking. I'm not sure whether her condition counts as intellectual disability. Marco polo (talk) 13:28, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Briefly, that family carries a dominant gene that causes several different issues, one of which is a neuro-musculature problem that makes an upright stance difficult. It's more akin to congenital deafness than being a member of the Wallendas. μηδείς (talk) 18:58, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Sure, but they are still humans ;) SemanticMantis (talk) 20:54, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
I'll refrain out of delicacy from providing other examples of crippled people who are still human, some of whom are friends, neighbors and relatives. μηδείς (talk) 21:18, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
I have mentioned this recently, but as far as language acquisition is concerned, of course there would need to be multiple children raised in isolation for a language to be spontaneously developed - and it would not be related to any existing language. See Nicaraguan sign language for one spectacular (and recent) example of this. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 14:48, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

April 17

Transparent umbrellas

Women with transparent umbrellas.

I have only ever seen women and girls use transparent umbrellas. Men and boys use opaque ones. Women and girls use opaque ones too. The picture here is from a cabaret show, but this happens in actual everyday life too, with the umbrellas being used for protection from rain, not for show. Why is this? Or do men and boys use them too? JIP | Talk 17:09, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

  • I certainly have seen them, although not for a long time, now yo mention it. The difference is usually in the color and style of the handle, and color of the fringe or rib tips. μηδείς (talk) 17:17, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I was unable to find data on usage of clear umbrellas by age or gender. Sorry. ―Mandruss  17:20, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I think males just use umbrellas less in any case. They usually aren't as concerned with a few raindrops messing up their hair or make-up. And, for a total downpour, a rain slicker or at least a coat with a waterproof hat may be more common for men (again the hat only works if you don't care about messing up your hair). Try to picture the Gorton's Fisherman with an umbrella. Another historic reason might be that men were expected to do things like open doors for women, (or, going back far enough, hold the reins while they drive the carriage) which becomes difficult while holding an umbrella. Then we have the ultimate feminine umbrella, the parasol (which of course was never clear, since the purpose was to provide shade). So, umbrellas are barely acceptable for heterosexual men, and they better be basic black at that, not clear (and certainly not pink with lace on the edges). Anything "fancy" seems like it's designed to make a fashion statement. StuRat (talk) 17:25, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
    • Not being American, I am unable to picture the Gorton's Fisherman with an umbrella, because I don't know what he looks like, and I only ever learned of his existence from StuRat's reply. Regarding Medeis's comment, does that mean that males use transparent umbrellas too, but with a different style? JIP | Talk 17:28, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, a clear umbrella with a pink handle would be a "girl's" umbrella, while one with a black handle would be a "boy's" umbrella. Also women's umbrellas tend to be domed and smaller, while men's umbrellas tend to be flatter, like furniture umbrellas. Unfortunately a google search has not been very helpful. μηδείς (talk) 18:51, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
  • See [16]. Our article neglects to show a picture of him. The advertising campaign showed him braving severe storms at sea to bring customers the finest fish, which were then made into God-awful fried fish sticks. StuRat (talk) 17:30, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
In Japan, transparent umbrellas and semi-transparent umbrellas are available for free at convenience stores and railway stations. They are cheap if you buy them, and therefore expendable/disposable, so many people leave them in the designated umbrella racks for other people to pick up if needed, especially during monsoon season, when intense downpours can happen at any moment. They don't offer much protection, because they are generally small. Just before you say this is stealing - this is not the case. If people want to keep their umbrellas, they will take them into the office with them and put them in the designated umbrella racks there, then take them home at the end of the day. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 18:10, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
See Why real men don't use umbrellas, Real men do not carry umbrellas, but also Real Men May Use Umbrellas in (US) Navy Alansplodge (talk) 18:13, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm still afraid neither of the above replies is of any help. I've never been to Japan, so I don't know whether those disposable transparent umbrellas are used more by men or by women. Saying "real men don't use umbrellas" isn't helping. My question is specifically about transparent umbrellas. I've seen plenty of men use opaque umbrellas. I use one myself. The only reasons why I use an opaque umbrella instead of a transparent one is that I haven't even been able to find a place selling transparent umbrellas, and that I use umbrellas for protection from rain, not for show, so I haven't bothered going especially looking for a transparent one. JIP | Talk 18:21, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Apologies; the gist of my post, and StuRat's above, is that using an umbrella can be seen as "too effete" (to quote my last link). Therefore many men will not use an umbrella at all, and those that do will avoid anything that might be considered effeminate. I couldn't find a reference to support this directly; it's just my opinion. Alansplodge (talk) 18:28, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
I have no problem with using an umbrella, and I've never thought any other man would have either. I have never thought of umbrellas being effeminate by default. I've just thought of them being protection against rain. Rain doesn't discriminate by sex or gender. Is the overall opinion here that umbrellas being transparent is effeminate? JIP | Talk 18:31, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
It looks like it may be considered effeminate, but only in some cultures, such as the US. And yes, they serve a practical purpose, but are perhaps less practical than a rain coat with attached hood, as those don't encumber an arm, get blown away in the wind, etc. So, they would seem to somewhat fall into the same category as high heels. Yes, shoes serve a practical purpose, but that particular choice of shoes is not the most practical one, meaning it may at least in part be chosen for it's decorate purposes rather than practical reasons. StuRat (talk) 18:54, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
I otherwise get your point, but there's still the problem with the distinction between opaque and transparent. This distinction has no effect on the use of the umbrella. Whether an umbrella is opaque or transparent has no effect whatsoever on whether it encumbers an arm or gets blown away in the wind. As I said, I've seen plenty of men and women use opaque umbrellas, but only women use transparent ones. The only reason I don't use a transparent one myself is that I haven't even been able to find one, and I don't think it's worth the bother to go especially looking for one. JIP | Talk 18:58, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Well, black seems to be more masculine than clear, at least in the US. Compare a man wearing a black shirt versus a transparent shirt (and note that a transparent shirt even seems less masculine than no shirt at all.) StuRat (talk) 22:02, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Stu's... too sexy for his shirt, too sexy for his shirt, so sexy it hirts? μηδείς (talk) 00:11, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
(EC) The disposable transparent umbrellas available in Japan are used by anyone who doesn't have an umbrella at that particular time, regardless of gender. British men, regardless of our stereotype of bowler hats and umbrellas, do not usually carry umbrellas. In Japan, though, they are very much certainly necessary during monsoon season, when you don't want to turn up at the office looking like you swam there (It's too hot to wear a coat). Here is a picture of one in action, though not during the monsoon season, I think. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 18:33, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
On umbrellas in the United States, I think that there may be regional and class, as well as gender, dimensions to their use. Where I live, in greater Boston, it rains a lot, and lots of people travel to and from work or go shopping every day by public transportation. That means long walks outside between your subway station and your destination, often in heavy rain. This is not the light drizzly mist that prevails in England. We get twice as much rain as London, though compressed into fewer rainy days. It is not just a matter of getting your hair damp; without some protection, you will get your clothing and shoes thoroughly soaked. So white-collar men with indoor jobs do carry umbrellas here, but ONLY black umbrellas, unless they wish to express a nonstandard gender identity. Men with outdoor jobs (here's where class comes in) and some blue-collar men with indoor jobs wear rain gear instead. I think that this holds for most of the urban Northeast and downtown Chicago, and for San Francisco in the rainy season, but maybe not so much in parts of the United States where most people get around by car and at most make a mad dash from the parking lot to the shopping mall entrance. I have seen transparent umbrellas, but only in the hands of women. Marco polo (talk) 19:12, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I've seen plenty of men use transparent umbrellas in the USA, albeit mostly on college campuses, and mostly (but not exclusively) Asian men. Here's a few pics I've found online [17] [18] [19]. As for "why?" - Gender norms are weird, often capricious and arbitrary. Why is pink considered feminine, while blue is considered masculine (in some places) - it doesn't have any real logical impetus, and not that long ago those gender associations were opposite in the USA, see e.g. Pink#Gender or here [20]. So use whatever kind of umbrella you like :) (Also, I'm a little disappointed in the strange sexist opinions being presented as fact above, but that's an on-going issue...) SemanticMantis (talk) 20:51, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Where I grew up, purple/magenta/pink, red, orange, and yellow were all considered "girl colors". This seemed intuitively obvious, but I remember wondering why it should be so in elementary school when I was 9 or 10. It wasn't until I studied color theory as a post-grad in its relation to epistemology that I realized all the "girl colors" are saturated in red in the RGB color scheme. See sexual availability. (Notice, also, red ties/hankies were once a flaming sign of homosexuality among men. Also, lipstick lesbian does not refer to black lipstick. μηδείς (talk) 21:11, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Still not buying it. Lots of men wear read too [21] [22] [23], and men have reddish/pinkish bits too, just like women. Here's a manly man in a red "dress" [24]. But this is far off topic of umbrellas; I was just pointing out another arbitrary gender association. SemanticMantis (talk) 22:01, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
You're not buy what I'm not selling. Hero is perhaps my favorite movie of all time, but the color is misrepresented, and that is not a dress. While red might have been a "girl" color, a girl wearing a black dress was not considered butch. In fact, I kissed one. Several. μηδείς (talk) 00:15, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

April 18


Britain used to be a protectorate of the UAE. Why did it relinquish control of a region so wealthy in natural resources? World bymyself (talk) 00:42, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

See Trucial States, aka Trucial Oman. Note that they were a protectorate of Britain, not a colony or possession. The states voluntarily entered into a treaty of protection with Britain as sovereign states, and were not possessions or colonies of Britain. In the 1960s, as with the rest of the states with which Britain still had hegemony, the Trucial states were granted full independence. But this basically was a withdrawal of British defensive forces from the states, they were never a formal part of the British Empire, were never under formal Dominion under Britain's sovereign control, rather they were merely a means to provide military support to prevent lawlessness and border security for what were otherwise sovereign states. This military support did give Britain some say-so in the local governance, but the control was by truce, and the truce was ended by mutual agreement as it was formed. Britain never had "control" over the region. --Jayron32 01:01, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

80 Degrees North Latitude

A quick question for the mathematically inclined: how far from the North Pole (90 degrees north) would a point at latitude 80 degrees north be? Just looking for a simple geographic measurement, preferably in in U.S. statute miles. The formulas at wikiarticle Latitude are way above my pay grade. Textorus (talk) 02:22, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

A degree of latitude is about 111 kilometers [25]. So 80 degrees North Latitude is roughly 1100 kilometers from the North Pole. --Jayron32 02:35, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
Whoa there. I thought 90 degrees North *is* the North Pole. Also, doesn't the north-south distance between degrees of latitude get smaller as they approach the Pole? Textorus (talk) 03:06, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
I did a rough calculation using this tool. 80th parallel north lists Nordaustlandet as very close to the 80th parallel. That utility notes that Nordaustlandet is 1140 km from the North Pole (try it yourself). Seems like a pretty good confirmation of my estimate. (the link I note says that a degree of latitude is 111 km, so 10 degrees would be 1110 km, while the official Lat/Long of Nordaustlandet is, according to the Wikipedia article, slighly south of the 80N, making this a DAMN good estimate). --Jayron32 03:20, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
And also to confirm, degrees of latitude do not get closer as you get closer to the poles. If the earth were a perfect sphere, the distance between 0N and 1N would be identical to the distance between 89N and 90N. Longitude gets closer together as you approach the poles, but degrees of latitude are parallel, so each degree should be a consistent distance. In reality, the earth is slightly oblate (i.e. not a perfect sphere) but the difference is small enough for the rough estimates here to make no difference. --Jayron32 03:24, 18 April 2015 (UTC)