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


December 14[edit]

List of supercentenarians who died in 2014[edit]

Nobody has added any new supercentenarians to the list or even editited it for two weeks. Is it because no supercentenarians have died at all this month? Deaths in 2013 (talk) 02:47, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

This user page [1] contains a list including some, no sources, though. There is another table located at a link with "invisionfree" in it that Wikipedia says is blacklisted, that contains a list with 5 unverified deaths in December (and only those 5). Here are obituaries for all of the unverified for December (save for Elizabeth Meier): [2], [3], [4], [5]. I have no idea if there are others - and the blacklisted site is, obviously, not an RS, I guess, but the obituaries are (I'm assuming).Phoenixia1177 (talk) 04:54, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
I can't get into "invisionfree", and by the way, it is more commonly known as "The 110 Club". Anyway, I can't browse forums or read their shit because they don't let guests browse forums or read their sections anymore.Deaths in 2013 (talk)05:58, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
That's odd - I know nothing about any of this, just hunted down the above - but I had no problem entering their site, nor reading the forum posts that came up. Maybe it was just some odd luck. At any rate, the other sources listed should have the info you're looking for - at least for this question.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 11:24, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

1,400+ supercentenarian list[edit]

I want to create an article out of the 1,455 oldest people list of my page, User:Deaths in 2013/My OR stuff, but I can't copy or paste anything, since the right click of the mouse is broken, and that means I can't even update the table, let alone relocate it. So can someone else please do it for now? Deaths in 2013 (talk) 19:45, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

You can copy and paste with Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V without having to right-click. Tevildo (talk) 19:51, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)CTRL + C copies highlighted test, CTRL + V pastes it where a typing cursor is located. Also, I'm not seeing much in the way of sourcing, which would be needed for any entries that we do not currently have articles about. Ian.thomson (talk) 19:53, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
Note: this page is currently being discussed at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/User:Deaths in 2013/My OR stuff. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:57, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
Makes me wonder whether my own subpages break the rules. —Tamfang (talk) 22:50, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

which logical fallacy is this?[edit]

"You can't complain that X breaks the rules because W, Y, and Z break the rules as well." 69.38.167.222 (talk) 20:09, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

Is it really a logical fallacy? Or is it just a lawyer's argument? It reminds me of one of Bill Veeck's axioms: "If everyone is corrupt, then no one is corrupt." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:14, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)That fits a few things in the List of fallacies, including Two wrongs make a right and Nirvana fallacy, depending on context. Ian.thomson (talk) 20:15, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
In the Wikipedia world it is also known as other stuff exists. --ColinFine (talk) 21:55, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
It is not a logical fallacy, it is an informal fallacy. Logical fallacies are errors made in logic, that is in violations of the formal rules for connecting two axioms and in drawing conclusions from them. Informal fallacies are the collective term for other errors of reasoning. --Jayron32 23:21, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
I would go with Association fallacy, an informal fallacy. However, simply because there is a fallacy with the reasoning doesn't mean the person is wrong. See the formal fallacy argument from fallacy. Sometime it is OK to ignore all rules. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 08:15, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Isn't this tu quoque? It seems like it is but maybe I am misunderstanding. 81.138.15.171 (talk) 11:12, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

The article Two wrongs make a right is of relevance. {The poster formerly known as 87.81.230.195} 212.95.237.92 (talk) 19:37, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

December 16[edit]

Horse-drawn sleighs[edit]

I remember seeing, in a televised movie many years ago, someone riding on a sleigh drawn by one or more horses. The setting might have been urban or rural or both, and the country might have been the United States. Where have horse-drawn sleighs ever been ridden? How common were they? Nowadays, the World Wide Web has some websites about horse-drawn sleighs as a tourist attraction. Are there any places nowadays where they are used as a practical means of travel (either public transit or private transit) over snow-covered terrain?
Wavelength (talk) 03:05, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

The Russian Troika springs to mind as an obvious example.
Troika
AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:15, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Are you able to provide a source confirming that they are used there nowadays as a practical means of travel, and not just as a tourist attraction?
Wavelength (talk) 03:44, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Non-tourist sleigh in Ukraine, 2012. Alansplodge (talk) 10:35, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
No, because you asked multiple questions, and I wasn't attempting to answer that one. AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:12, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, AndyTheGrump, for an answer to my first question. Also, I thank Alansplodge for an image and caption answering my third question.
Wavelength (talk) 22:04, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Were you referring to Doctor Zhivago? The film is set in Russia and filmed in Canada. See this scene with horse-draw-sleigh. μηδείς (talk) 03:49, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
I have probably never seen that movie. Anyway, the sleigh in the YouTube video differs from what I remember seeing many years ago.
Wavelength (talk) 04:35, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
I should think they would have been a common form of transport in anyplace that got large amounts of snow and used horse-drawn carts in summer. They would just connect the horse(s) to the sleigh in winter. Keeping a team of sled dogs for use in winter wouldn't have been practical. And early motorized vehicles would have been particularly poor at handling snow and ice, until the snowmobile, snowcat, etc., were invented, and they started plowing and salting roads in winter for normal vehicles. Today, anyone who can't afford a vehicle probably can't afford a horse and sleigh either, so that leaves them purely for entertainment and nostalgia purposes. StuRat (talk) 06:44, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
They are still sometimes used on Mackinac Island, which bans cars.[6] Rmhermen (talk) 07:14, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that would be a prime example of entertainment and nostalgia purposes. Mackinac Island is a tourist destination where people visit for the "old-timey feeling" (and the fudge). StuRat (talk) 16:09, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
A few people live on Mackinac Island in the winter, and their everyday life is not all "nostalgia and entertainment." They are not actors or re-enactors in some historic village. As for the sleigh, a woman born around 1900 told me once that her family had a one horse sleigh and used it for transportation in her teen years, in northern Illinois. Edison (talk) 16:41, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but they still cater to those who do come for nostalgia and entertainment, realizing that if they brought motor vehicles onto the island in a big way, that would end their tourism bonanza. StuRat (talk) 03:01, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, Rmhermen and Edison, for the information about sleighs on Mackinac Island.
Wavelength (talk) 22:04, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
My grandmother grew up in a rural part of Canada in the early years of the 20th century and according to her stories, yes, horse-drawn sleighs were commonly used in the winter, including to take children to school. The sleighs were replaced by wheeled carts when the snow melted. Obviously, they were all replaced by motorized vehicles by the 1930s or so. --Xuxl (talk) 14:00, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

Two important questions[edit]

I have two important questions that I have been wanting to ask for lord knows how long. First question: Why is the Gerontology Research Group slacking so much? In other words, what is causing so many delays of adding new verifications to the GRG website? The GRG used to be only days behind, now it is three months behind. Is it because of Stephen Coles being sick and passing away? Question two: Is User:Deaths in 2013/My OR stuff going to be deleted as recommended? I'm done editing the page permanently. Deaths in 2013 (talk) 05:04, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Answer to Q1: Ask on their website. We are not affiliated with them in any way.
  • Answer to Q2: Better to ask on that page's Talk.

KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 19:09, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

is walking on the back door in the bus a bad idea?[edit]

Kristine here. I almost did today because I saw other people do it and a woman got angry with me. So we got in a verbal fight. Anyway is walking to the back door of the bus illegal? Venustar84 (talk) 07:01, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

I don't know if it's illegal in your particular area, but the back door is for emergencies, not everyday use (assuming you're not talking about the side door near the back). Clarityfiend (talk) 07:29, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
I think OP is talking about boarding from the rear. It depends on the bus company. Since the driver can't accept cash fares at the rear door, it's usually not allowed to board as a cash fare from the rear door. Some companies do allow boarding via the rear door if they support payment cards. Some also allow it if you are using a transfer. Every city's bus service is different. San Francisco allowed boarding from the rear for all but cash fares last time I was there. Chicago had signs saying it was unlawful to board from the rear last time I was there. You need to check the bus company policies or ask a driver. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 08:28, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
I've found that many cities with either prepaid tickets, or tickets you validate on the bus (either a paper ticket you punch into a machine, or an RFID card which you swipe against the reader) allow passengers on at the back if they are using these tickets (with the appropriate machine avaialble at each door). Cash passengers generally have to board at the front, to pay the driver (if indeed this is an option). It may be that the woman got angry because you walked in the back and did not do the required action to validate your ticket, which the others did without you noticing. [User:MChesterMC|MChesterMC]] (talk) 09:09, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Some places may have the convention of boarding from the front and exiting from the rear to speed onloading and offloading during crowded times (one way movement moves faster). It may be the sort of thing that develops as an unwritten convention, and the locals all know it, but when an outsider comes by, they haven't "figured it out" yet. --Jayron32 11:27, 16 December 2014 (UTC
When we had proper busses, you could ONLY get on at the back. Those were the days. Alansplodge (talk) 14:01, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
When there was racial segregation on buses in at least some US cities, "colored" riders could ONLY get on at the back even though they first had to pay at the front. Those were NOT the days! --65.94.50.4 (talk) 16:27, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Although just to make it clear, even with electronic payment, it may still be one way only. In Auckland, most buses only allow you to "tag off" at the rear, not to "tag on". (Exiting is fine at both the front and back door, although I have seen times when the driver isn't paying attention and doesn't notice someone wants to exit at the rear.) In KL, in the old days when there were conductors from memory no one cared if you boarded at the rear or front (although IIRC conductors lasted longest on minibuses which didn't have rear doors). Nowadays I think it's okay to board at the rear if you're using electronic payment but I can't recall exactly. Nil Einne (talk) 13:49, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
We can't say for sure what the policy is unless you can tell us the name of the bus system. In the USA, I've used dozens of bus systems in several states, and generally the common practice is to board at the front door, and exit from the rear. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:29, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
For two years I rode the Geary Express bus in San Francisco; that line had (iirc) one pickup downtown and then no stops for the first few miles. Most busses have only a few seats where I, with uncommonly long femurs and a crooked hip, can be comfortable. So I'd often let a bus go by and wait for the next one so that I'd be near the front of the queue and have a better chance of getting one of those seats, which were near the rear doors. So naturally the driver, to get going more quickly, would often open the rear doors and invite everyone to board that way – knowing that most of the passengers on that line had monthly passes. —Tamfang (talk) 22:12, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Anecdote time: I was once riding on a very crowded Chicago bus on a very cold winter day. At a stop at which there was a press of people boarding (at the front), making it difficult to board, one fellow boarded at the rear door—which had been opened by exiting passengers—to avoid the crush (and maybe to avoid paying the fare). Unfortunately, a passenger sitting near the door happened to be an off-duty police officer, who flashed his badge and told the fellow that if he didn't immediately exit the bus and reboard at the front door, he would arrest him for "theft of services". Deor (talk) 12:59, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

December 17[edit]

What's the newest spice ?[edit]

It seems to me they are all centuries old. Are there any recently discovered spices ? (Let's exclude new blends of old spices.) StuRat (talk) 02:57, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Discovered by 'whom'? I am pretty sure that any spice in the world will have been discovered by natives to the local area well before anyone else. Also, define 'spice' - if it's just something that changes the taste of the food, it could include literally anything, including moon dust or sand gathered from Mars (not that they would be particularly palatable). KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 03:06, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Umami is not new, but it's being produced chemically (1908) and sold in a pure white crystalline form to home chefs as "Accent]" brand "flavor enhancer" (i.e., monosodium glutamate) is pretty recent, with Accent dating to 1947 in the US. μηδείς (talk) 03:21, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Well, that's a starting point, at 67 years. Can anyone come up with a more recently discovered spice ? StuRat (talk) 03:34, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
MSG is a seasoning, but not a spice. The word "spice" has a very specific definition. Spices are specifically dried plant parts, not including the leaves (leaves of a plant are properly herbs, whether dried or used fresh). If it isn't dried, and it isn't a plant, it isn't a spice. --Jayron32 04:41, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Spices or herbs will do. StuRat (talk) 07:02, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
The OP has spoken, Jayron. And the possible source of the essence is all sortsa plants and other sources. You might as well say vanillin is not a spice. See the better answers below, and then we're back to the chatroom discussion on the talk page, non? I agree with KageTora the context here is a local one, but you've cruelly ruled out cilantro, so hence whither? μηδείς (talk) 06:43, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
There is I would suggest an additional point related somewaht . As even μηδείς has mentioned, as does our articles the umami taste has been recognised to some extent by various cultures for quite a while before the isolation of MSG. It's true that the various glutamates that stimulate this taste were only isolated fairly recently which lead to a more scientific recognition of this as a taste. OTOH, while some sweeteners like sucrose have been recognised for a long time, others are far more recent. Heck some things that stimulate the sweetness taste are naturally occuring but probably not stuff you want to eat (like lead(II) acetate and choloroform). So somewhat related to what Richard-of-Earth said below, if you're going to count MSG as a recent spice due to the recent isolation, what then with the large number of naturally occurring (let alone artificial) sweeteners? Edit: In other words, what's a new spice? Nil Einne (talk) 12:06, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Does Baby Spice count? First arrived in Europe 1976 and North America 1998.--Aspro (talk) 04:31, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
What about Old Spice? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 05:35, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Ignoring the question of whether MSG is a spice, why on earth are you taking the 67 year date? There's been commercial production by Ajinomoto since 1909, so 105 years now. If this question is the newest spice in the US that should have been stated in the question. And somewhat similar to KägeTorä's point, you'd also have to define "in the US". While international transportation before 1947 wasn't anything like it is now, it would seem unlikely there was really no one who imported MSG to the US before 1947 even if it was just a single bag or whatever they brought back for personal use. And there are surely plenty of other spices (however you define it) which were rare in the US prior to 1947 but used sometimes by someone and which are much more common now. So precisely how you want to differentiate between the two is unclear. Nil Einne (talk) 11:51, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
I don't understand your dudgeon one whit, Nil. Are you calling me a racist? I simply reported the facts I had, and provided links. I don't read Japanese, so I don't know what products Ajinomoto markets, although I did note chemical manufacture started in 1908. As for the spice issue, I keep it in the spice cabinet, and it's sold in the spice section of the grocery store in the US. μηδείς (talk) 17:34, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
???? As shown by the identation, my comment was a reply to StuRat who is the one who chose the 67 year date despite giving no indication they wanted spices new to the US.
Don't get what reading Japanese has to do with anything. I don't read Japanese either. I did read our article on monosodium glutamate which you linked to so I assumed you'd read which says the commercial production as Aji-no-moto began in 1909 (~1 year after isolation in 1908). Or even if you hadn't, which was largely a moot point anyway, StuRat who is the one wanting help would have read it and chosen the most appropriate date. Which may be 1908 or 1909 but not 1947 unless they only wanted spices new to the US and even then, they'd need to properly define what new to the US means since as I indicated, under some definitions where msg being new to the US in 1947, it's likely other spices would come in at a later date.
Also, even if not in the US, Ajinomoto's association with msg is also fairly well known outside Japan and to people who don't read Japan and don't really give a flip about Japanese stuff (at least no more than anything in general), to the extent that Ajinomoto may sometimes refer to msg [7] [8] [9] (which was after all the origins of the name). Heck the area where I lived in Malaysia wasn't that far from an Ajinomoto factory, a somewhat prominent landmark for the area [http://cj.my/post/11990/pedestrian-bridges-what-for/ [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] (the last link also supports my earlier claim), albeit probably far less so now given the amount of development but still enough that I was easily able to find the earlier links. I'm fairly sure I was far from the only one who always assumed they produced msg there (at least one of the links supports the idea they do), if not other stuff (not something I really thought about and again I'm guessing I'm not the only one). And the real Japanese craze in Malaysia only took off fairly late in my time there, so I'm reasonably confident it had nothing to do with any great concern for anything Japanese, simply the fact that the name Ajinomoto was associated with msg (one of the links suggests a 70-80% market share so it isn't surprising). So yes, I really have no idea what reading Japanese has to do with anything. And this only came up after your latest reply above, so I wasn't thinking it until now.
Nil Einne (talk) 14:50, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
There should be new spices all the time. Growing plants in new environments will change the resulting spice. There are also crossbreeds that would produce slightly different tastes. For instance a new variety of Cardamom has just been released by Indian Institute of Spices Research Appangala 2. One can always create a new spice mix as well. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 10:52, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
I specifically excluded new blends of old spices. New varieties of old spices aren't really what I'm after, either. StuRat (talk) 17:12, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

OK, if we exclude MSG since it's a seasoning, not a herb or spice, then what's the most recently discovered, completely new, herb or spice ? StuRat (talk) 17:12, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Chemists in the labs of food-processing corporations are coming up with new flavorings all of the time. This list from the FDA could be a starting point to research which of these is the most recent, though the exact date of the first formulation might be proprietary corporate information. However, these are not spices as usually defined. Because people have been experimenting with plants in every environment from the moment they first visited that environment in prehistoric times, they probably made use in prehistoric times of nearly every edible substance that could function as a spice. I did a brief search for spices discovered in Antarctica, the most recently discovered continent, but couldn't find anything. Of course, not much grows there. Maybe there is a substance used by someone as a spice that came from one of the remote islands first discovered in historic times. Marco polo (talk) 17:11, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
There are an awful large number of plants, fungi, etc. in the world, some of which are rare, or rather inaccessible, like truffles, and some of which only have small portions of which work as spices, like saffron, and others of which require special preparations to make them edible. So, considering all this, it seems like there should be some spices only discovered recently and others yet to be discovered. StuRat (talk) 17:22, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Another factor to consider is whether any spices gathered from organic products may be being genetically engineered for some reason or other, be it productiveness, flavor, longevity, etc. Honestly, given the amount of genetic engineering being done on agricultural plants and animals, I could see people saying that, at least potentially, based on the specific definition of "spice" being used, there might be new spices coming into existence on a very regular basis. John Carter (talk) 23:11, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Death rumors in the 110 club likely false[edit]

In the "Recent Deaths 110+ section of "The 110 Club", Bernice Madigan and Ethel Lang are reported to have died. Has anyone that is a member of the 110 club looked into this and verified that they have died? It's got to be a hoax. I mean, I see NO SOURCE that confirms EITHER Ethel Lang NOR Bernice Madigan to have passed their earthly test. I am blocked out of the 110 club for repeatedly making disrespectful comments about SCs, so that is why I am asking the question here. Deaths in 2013 (talk) 05:58, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Can you link us to the 110 club since you are aware of it, and cannot you ask them? μηδείς (talk) 06:45, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
The question appears to relate to a Wikipedia blacklisted website called "The 110 Club", a members-only discussion board on the subject of supercentenarians. (It's the top link on this search results page.) Google suggests that Bernice Madigan and Ethel Lang are both still among the living. No report of either of their deaths has been published; given their status among the ten oldest living persons, I expect it would be news if they lost that distinction.
As a hint to the OP, perhaps you should show more respect for your elders if you don't want to get banned from discussion sites? Just a thought. - EronTalk 22:20, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

What're the most well-known sets of 15 and 16?[edit]

non-exhaustive,

XIV Stations of the Cross
Thirteen American Colonies
XII cranial nerves (all named), months, signs of the zodiac, Dodecanese islands...
basic English color words (ROYGBV, brown, white, black, gray, pink), major solar system objects, according to Earthlings (9 planets, Sun, Moon), objects in a horoscope (exclude the Earth, include asteroid 2060 Chiron for some reason)
Ten Commandments
Nine planets (traditional)
Ivies
Seven Deadly Sins
chess pieces
Platonic solids
cardinal directions, elements
Gods (Hindu, Mormon)
Gods (Zoroastrian)
Gods (Abrahamic)
Gods (atheist)

But I can't think of any sets of 15 or 16. They should exist, but I'm not sure if there's one where both the subject and number of members is relatively unobscure. For example, types of glands in a man and international airports of Scotland are relatively small, unchanging sets where the number of members is not cared about despite the somewhat important subject matter. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 08:01, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

And a partridge in a pear tree. Many of the items in your list seem pretty obscure to me. I'm guessing more people associate the number seven with continents than with deadly sins. 15: number of on-field players on a rugby union team. ‑‑Mandruss  08:22, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Well I thought the pretty obscure ones were interesting and some of the commonest ones are cliched or boring. (days of the week?) And maybe the Gods semi-joke got religion on my mind. When you get to 14 (A US President's 14 Points, the 14 Words ridiculously paranoid racists tattoo to their skin), they're all going to be pretty obscure anyway. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 23:41, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Sixteen Tons, The Sixteen, The Fifteen Streets] - Q Chris (talk) 10:01, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
There are always 15 UN Security Council members. But the 5 permanent members are more significant. --65.94.50.4 (talk) 10:02, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
I'm a big fan of this set of six. Pete "DNFFT" AU aka --Shirt58 (talk) 11:53, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
  • There were 16 original Major League Baseball teams: AL: Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia Athletics, St. Louis Browns, Washington Senators, Detroit Tigers. NL: Boston Braves, New York Giants, Brooklyn Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals. This set was unchanged from the 1900's to the 1950's. Also, for your list, six could be the Original Six NHL franchises (Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Montreal Canadiens). --Jayron32 12:08, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
15 stripes on the American flag at Fort McHenry. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:10, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
In computers, there are 16 bits in a hexadecimal (base 16) number, and 16 bits comes up in many places, like 16 bit color (there's also 15 bit color) and the unicode double byte character set. StuRat (talk) 15:59, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
But if exponential growth continues 65,536 bit will come up a lot in 2060s GPUs and I will not be considering sets of 65,536 bits in a byte to be notable :) Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 23:41, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
I'm sure you meant to say that there are sixteen distinct "digit" symbols in hexadecimal. Like any number, a hex number can be any length. ‑‑Mandruss  20:38, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
You can find examples in "15 (number)" and "16 (number)", and choose the best-known sets.
Wavelength (talk) 20:48, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
... and one splendid example from there which can fit both 15 and 16 is the 15 puzzle (for the number of tiles) aka 16 puzzle (for the number of spaces). ---Sluzzelin talk 20:53, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
  • A chess set, with one piece missing. 23:52, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Various old songs: "Sixteen Candles", "Sweet Little Sixteen", "Sixteen Going on Seventeen", etc. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:59, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
There are 15 players in a Rugby Union team (actually on the field of play). Alansplodge (talk) 19:00, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
Sixteen personalities in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. —Tamfang (talk) 02:59, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

Best Bollywood internet TV service available in the UK[edit]

I need something that can work through some sort of set top box (I don't have a smart TV, and the inconvenience of linking a computer to a TV is more than I wish to deal with). I primarily, but not exclusively, want it for movies and music television. Any ideas?--Leon (talk) 13:00, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Best way to acoustically isolate a subwoofer ?[edit]

I have a couple problems with my subwoofer:

1) It often causes something or the other in the room to vibrate, making a buzzing sound.

2) It disturbs those downstairs from me.

So far, I've solved the problem by setting it on the floor, but with a pillow underneath, to prevent it from transmitting vibrations to the floor and thus the rest of the room, and this also makes it quieter downstairs. I also turn it off at midnight. It occurred to me that suspending it from the ceiling by bungee cords might even better isolate it from the floor. However, before such an undertaking (which involves drilling lots of holes in the ceiling), I'd like to know what others have done to solve this problem, and if anyone has tried the suspension approach.

Thanks,

StuRat (talk) 15:50, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Check out Vibration_isolation. You can spend a fortune on an isolation system that will damp out nearly everything, see e.g. here [17] for a nice video showing what a high-end isolation table can achieve. Also some good info on the math and physics here [18]. I would consider mounting on four isolating feet before hanging from the ceiling. Looks like you can get 4 feet for around $30 [19]. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:15, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Is there any indication that those would be better than a pillow ? Also, why on Earth does this isolation system cost well over 3 grand: [20] ? I'm guessing it works with pressurized air and some powerful magnets ? Still, that seems like it might cost a few hundred, not a few thousand. Maybe it has some kind of active suspension, where it detects the frequency of vibration and changes the suspension to counter that ? StuRat (talk) 16:56, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
It costs over $3k because it can ensure that your microscope (or laser, etc) doesn't move a micrometer when someone walks by your experiment (number made up for illustrative purposes). When you're working on million dollar research, you don't want it messed up because somebody sneezed. Also it will hold up to 500 lbs. I can't easily tell if it's active or passive damping, but both forms exist. As for comparison to pillows, I honestly have no idea how to start estimating the sound damping from first principles, but some of the more reputable vendors I linked above give quantitative measurements of how much vibration can be damped. One thing about the tables and feet is that they also ensure the object stays level and on a hard surface, which is important for laboratory equipment but probably isn't much of an issue for your subwoofer. Finally, there is also a market for this kind of thing to mount high quality turntables on. You might find audiophile products to be (slightly) less expensive than scientific products. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:43, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
My intuition (unsupported by any hard evidence) suggests that suspending the subwoofer from the ceiling will not be significantly better than your pillows, but you might need to put pillows under some other objects in the room if they happen to resonate with the frequency of your subwoofer output. A good thick carpet and underlay will also help, of course. Dbfirs 19:30, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
A few year back I was friends with a defence engineer who was designing audio isolation accessories (initially for himself). It is quite a complex process as one is dealing with resonances that mutually interfere with each other, over a large audio spectrum. Every mass has to me matched with everything else in the whole hi-fi system, as that can effect the overall sound – so it gets expensive. Here is a review of some of those speaker stands that are now made by his brother's company as he himself couldn't keep up with the orders.[21] Of course these are only for connoisseurs and not for the average hoi-polloi, who only aim is to stop annoying the neighbours. Yet it gives you some idea of why the price. However, on that subject. The other-thing I discovered from his research, is that if one employs a really good amp and matching high power speakers (he swore by JBL's) then the definition of the reproduced sound is so good and clear, that one does not have to have to have the volume up. I don't think that is something that can easily be appreciated, until one walks out and closes the door behind one and relize that the system is only at 30% power. One needs an amp with sufficient reserve to follow the waveform of the lower frequencies accurately. Those with lower power systems often try to get round it by turning down the treble and upping the bass and wonder why they keep wrecking their speakers. It don't sound too good either.--Aspro (talk) 22:55, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
That's an interesting approach, to try to minimize the transmission of vibrations by reducing the contact area between the supports and the floor. But is that really more effective than absorbing the vibrations by using a soft material to dampen them ?
I know a sand table is often used when making holographic pictures, where vibrations cause massive problems ([22]). But maybe there's a bit of a difference, since, in holographic photography you want to eliminate all vibrations, whereas with audio, you want to preserve the vibrations at the speaker and in the air, but eliminate them from the floor and objects sitting on the floor. And sand apparently filters out high frequency vibrations, whereas low frequency is causing my problems.
And yes, I am guilty of having a cheap system. It's actually a $30 2.1 speaker system I use as external speakers for my TV, which, without them, sounds like a cheap AM radio. By doing just as you said, turning the treble down and bass up, I can make it sound respectable on a budget, aside from the annoying buzzing I got (until I put the subwoofer on a pillow). I guess I'll stick with that solution for now, unless anyone else has an economical suggestion for me. StuRat (talk) 12:10, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

What does this wire do?[edit]

At this link you can see a wiring diagram for a switch. I get the basics of the red and black (load and line) and of the ground wires but what does the white/neutral do? Thanks! Dismas|(talk) 23:05, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Just noting that to me this thread is started with what might be one of the scariest questions imaginable. ;) John Carter (talk) 23:12, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, cut the red wire...although "cut the red wire" gets 41 million google hits, "cut the blue wire" scores 57 million, where "cut the black wire" gets over 100 million...so maybe not.  :-) SteveBaker (talk) 21:04, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
See Ground and neutral. It's just the "return path" for your electricity. All active controls need four wires (if earthed) since they need a line supply independent of the controlled load. Dbfirs 23:32, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Jesus H! Thimble connectors and uninsulated ground - H&S would have kittens if they saw that over here. One hopes that they have efficient fire departments in the USA. Tevildo (talk) 23:57, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
I can remember when these were normal in the UK (and I think I might know of one or two premises that still have them!) Does the USA not have the equivalent of IEE Wiring Regulations? Dbfirs 00:12, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
Of course we do. In the US, most in-house wiring uses bare ground wire. --jpgordon::==( o ) 18:04, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
Bare earth wire was used in the UK also until 1966 (IEE Regs 14th Edition). It's only a problem if it touches a live terminal. Dbfirs 23:29, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
It's still used. BASEC approved from my local hardware store here. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 23:36, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
That's sheathed, and it has to be separately sheathed (using green and yellow striped plastic) at the socket. Dbfirs 23:41, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
In the US and Canada, the junction box where the bare wire is exposed is itself commonly made of metal, and if so, is supposed to be grounded. Keeping the ground wire bare makes sense in that context. --65.94.50.4 (talk) 00:58, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
This particular switch box is made of plastic. Dismas|(talk) 01:02, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
not the switch itself, the junction box in the wall which may also have metal conduit which also needs grounding (or can be the ground). Rmhermen (talk) 07:20, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

Thanks everyone for the responses! Dismas|(talk) 01:02, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

December 18[edit]

Paper folding man[edit]

I'd recently come across a man who invented a certain way of folding a piece of paper. I don't remember who he is, or why this particular paper folding technique was so important/ground breaking. All I remember is that he was probably a mathematician of some sort (not very sure about this though) and the way of folding the paper was this: first you'd make mountain and valley folds along one length of the paper, then you'd make mountain and valley folds orthogonally (by turning the piece of paper by 90 degrees). Can anyone tell me either who this man was or what technique this is called? Thanks in advance. 202.153.41.162 (talk) 13:19, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

Have you tried searching our article Origami for leads? The sub-section 'Origami tessellations' looks as if it might be particularly relevant. {The poster formerly known as 87.81.230.195} 212.95.237.92 (talk) 13:54, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
Maybe you're thinking of this guy [23] - from a popsci news story in 2008 - guy is a mathematician that works on folding, applications are to airbags, I'm sure you can find more on him with his name - Robert J. Lang. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:27, 18 December 2014 (UTC) p.s. I've removed the double posting of the question below.
You'll want to watch the video Between the Folds which will most likely feature the person you are talking about. Lang is in the video, and you may also be speaking of Erik Demaine. In any case the video covers many present Western cutting edge origamists. μηδείς (talk) 17:05, 18 December 2014 (UTC)


December 19[edit]

Newspaper[edit]

Does anyone know any info on this? I have been trying to find any info in what year people started gift wrapping with newspaper and have not had any luck was wondering if you could help I thought I had read in an article it was during great depression because money was so tight but cant seem to find the article or anything helping me figure out when that came about. Would really appreciate any help you could offer. Thank you — Preceding unsigned comment added by 174.124.28.188 (talk) 02:13, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

From what I could find here and here it was the opposite. During the Great Depression people wanted their gift to look nicer as they couldn't afford expensive gifts. Although one reference I found from 1944 had this:

Gift packaging at Neiman-Marcus of Dallas, Tex., is a ritual. War or peace, booms or depressions, it continues as a definite part of store operations. When the material shortage threatened at the beginning of the war, J. B. Aiello, superintendent superintendent, said, "We'll gift package, even if we have to use newspapers," and his boast was made good by the creation of a colored newspaper package wrapped by Beverly Morgan, Neiman-Marcus' imaginative gift-wrap designer.

Modern Packaging. Morgan-Grampian Publishing Company. 1944. p. 102. 
I hope that helps Richard-of-Earth (talk) 11:18, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

List of supercentenarians who died in 2014[edit]

Another user started deleting pending cases on the list. Is this necessary? Deaths in 2013 (talk) 03:27, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

Any article which does not have enough source material outside of Wikipedia is subject for deletion. It's not complicated, unless the deleted articles are somehow your pet project, and then you'll somehow come up with some other justification for why they shouldn't be deleted. If you want to stop something from being deleted, come up with reliable source text to support it as an article. --Jayron32 03:54, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

Highest Bejeweled 2 score ever?[edit]

Could this be the highest score ever achieved in the ACTION game in Bejeweled 2 Deluxe (my highest score in the ACTION game), 2,164,600? Deaths in 2013 (talk) 05:39, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

nope Richard-of-Earth (talk) 10:35, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

Are news network interviews pre-scripted?[edit]

When a news network, such as CNN for example, brings on air a specialist to discuss a particular subject (Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Chief Medical Correspondant for example), are these guests given the questions that will be asked ahead of time so that they have time to prepare a well-thought out answer? Similarly, on late-night comedy shows such as Colbert Report, Jimmy Fallon, or Jon Stewart, are their guests given the questions and prepare answers ahead of time? Acceptable (talk) 14:53, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

The interviewee needs to be informed about the subject that they are being asked to give their views upon but that’s about it. Knowing the questions beforehand temps the interviewee to memorise answers which lead to a boring, non-spontaneous, speech like response. Also, a good interviewer will only have a few brief bits on the on the subject written down as a aid memoir of the most important bits he wants answers to, together with the expert's possible responses, so that interviewer can come back instantly with a counter argument (cross-examine). However, much of how the interview goes though, is based on the response given by the interviewee. On chat-shows things are 'slightly' different. Very often the guest(s) appear for the sole purpose of promoting their latest film, book, tour, or whatever (you are watching an advertorial in case you hadn't realized). The guests may demand ahead of time, that certain topics of a personal nature are not mentioned, if talk of them would subtract from their public persona or image that they wish to project. Likewise the interviewer needs to weave into the conversation what the guest is there to promote. The structure of the interview is bound by tight time constraints. So the producer can keep the chat-show host aware of the right point in which to bring into the conversation the promotional stuff (through the earpiece). As this has got to go well and smoothly, a little pre-collusion sometimes helps but this is up to the personal style of the chat-show host. A good host can find himself introducing at short notice, someone substituted in-place of a guest that could not make the show, yet be able to draw out an interesting conversation about what the guest has been getting up to (in a professional sense). Hence, the substitute guest's eagerness to appear on the show, at short notice and unprepared. --Aspro (talk) 16:13, 19 December 2014 (UTC)