Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2010 December 30

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Miscellaneous desk
< December 29 << Nov | December | Jan >> December 31 >
Welcome to the Wikipedia Miscellaneous Reference Desk Archives
The page you are currently viewing is an archive page. While you can leave answers for any questions shown below, please ask new questions on one of the current reference desk pages.


December 30[edit]

Milk jug threads[edit]

What is the diameter and pitch of the threads of a common gallon milk jug? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 209.86.226.15 (talk) 05:12, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Your best bet is to buy one and count them. Unless it's a pop-top. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:06, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
As Bugs might have made more explicit, the answer is likely to vary according to which country and perhaps more specific region you are in, which you have not vouchsafed us, although I would take a WAG at the USA which still measures such things in its version of a gallon. (The UK commonly uses multiples of both litres and imperial pints (= 0.87 litres) for domestic-sale milk containers, but not usually as many as 8 pints). If you supply your locality, someone with relevant knowledge pertaining to it may be able to answer. 87.81.230.195 (talk) 10:06, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
My first reaction was to wonder, how and why and where does a jug have threads? I can only suppose that you mean some sort of screw-top container (which I would not call a jug), and I must suppose that the answer would depend on the manufacturer. Or is there some sort of national standard for this in whatever country you live in? --ColinFine (talk) 11:40, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
I would be very surprised if there's any kind of standard, since the average milk container is a one-use object. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:05, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Is milk sold "loose" in the US, i.e. you take your own container, like cheap wine in some parts of Europe? How do you fit a gallon container in the fridge? Won't it go off before you finish using it? Itsmejudith (talk) 12:22, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Many American fridges can store multiple gallon-sized containers on the door shelves, much less on the main shelves. Just how small are European fridges, anyway ? StuRat (talk) 19:09, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Come on guys. Stop picking on our IP editor. It's obviously a standard case of US-centrism, and given that Americans aren't all great at picking irony, we should simply remind the questioner that this is a global encyclopaedia and it's worth mentioning one's country in such questions. HiLo48 (talk) 12:25, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Sold "loose"? Ugh. Anybody who would buy milk that way ought to have their sanity questioned. Anyway, a gallon jug will easily fit in a standard US fridge, and will get used pretty quickly in a larger family. But that issue is why there are various sizes: half-gallon, quart, etc. As far as US-centric... do any other countries still sell milk by the gallon or common fractions thereof? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:30, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, the UK does (but it lacks a standard UK fridge).--Shantavira|feed me 12:48, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
OK, I should have said "full-sized" fridge. There's no standard-sized fridge as such. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:53, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
... and most British fridges, even small ones, are designed to fit 1, 2, 4 and 6-pint containers commonly on sale in supermarkets, as well as 1/2, 1, 2 and 3 litre sizes. Perhaps I should say that the containers were designed to fit the spaces formerly intended for pint bottles. Dbfirs 15:05, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Just to respond to a couple points, A) my house (which only includes my wife and I) goes through a couple gallons a week without any of it going "off", B) Americans call a gallon container of milk a "jug" even though it may not fit the strictest definition of the word (in fact, see jug (container), C) they aren't all the same and it would take measuring or asking the maker of that specific jug, D) and finally, many people do re-use milk jugs for other things (fill with dirt and use as a dead weight, fill with water to water plants, etc). But don't take my word for it, I'm American, and since I'm irony impaired apparently, I could be an idiot as well. ;-) Dismas|(talk) 12:35, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
I like where the "jugs" article says, "Most jugs throughout history have been made from clay, glass, or plastic." It's a little known fact that the Pharoahs were often buried with plastic jugs containing Nile water, which was a subtle hint that the pyramid-builders were in de-Nile about their mortality. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:52, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
I've known a number of Europeans who think all Americans are idiots, and I've known a number of Americans who think all Europeans are idiots. The possibility has to be considered that they are both right. :) Certainly milk containers can be used for other things... just not other perishables (except maybe by idiots). The exception would be glass bottles, which are often returnable and you get a few cents back for doing so. They are (presumably) sterilized and then re-used. But they don't have screw-on tops. Plastic milk containers are typically recyclable. Wax-paper containers might be, I'm not sure. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:42, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
I've noticed plastic containers are gradually replacing waxed paper, from large sizes down. It used to be that only gallons came in plastic, but now all half gallons seem to be plastic and even some quart containers. Next, the front line should move on to pint and half-pint sizes. I wonder what changes cause this gradual process. StuRat (talk) 19:17, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
A small aside: polyethylene (polythene in the UK) milk jugs are typically made at the dairy to avoid costs of shipping empty containers that are 99% (at least) air. There's a vacuum-forming machine that takes the raw materials for the various sizes, so the threads could be specific to a given vacuum-forming/cap system. Acroterion (talk) 15:05, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
I think some of them still use those weird pop-on caps that invariably come off if you jostle to jug too much after you've broken the seal. APL (talk) 15:16, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
I hate those. They seem designed to pop off and spill milk into the carpet, whenever the container falls over. StuRat (talk) 19:13, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
American pints are only 16 fluid ounces, so an American "gallon" is only 6.4 pints. (I though I'd deliberately write that from a UK-centric perspective). 92.29.127.80 (talk) 15:14, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
In good old "English Units," dating from before the successful insurgency in the American Colonies, A US gallon is 128 fluid ounces, or four quarts, or 8 pints, or 16 cups. Edison (talk) 19:50, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
The American gallon was the old "wine gallon", whereas the UK adopted the "ale gallon". A wine gallon was 6.4 ale pints, of course. Our pints and gallons are two of the few things that are not bigger and better on the other side of the Atlantic! Dbfirs 21:31, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
We're not big milk drinkers here, but we happen to have a 1 quart milk carton and a 2 quart juice container that both have screw-on caps due to them being wax-paper cartoons with the cap on one side of the "sloping roof" of each carton. Here are some facts:
1 quart / 946 mililiters / [32 fluid ounces] - serving size 1 cup / 240 mililiters, 4 servings per container
Depth of screw-on top: about 1.1 centimeters, of which the bottom .4 centimeters is unthreaded
2 quart / 1.89 liters / 64 fluid ounces
Depth of screw-on top: about 1.3 centimeters, of which the bottom .4 centimeters is unthreaded
This all squares with what they used to tell us in school, that a liter was about the size of a quart. Also, notice that 16 fluid ounces would be a pint (half a quart), which squares with the old saying, "a pint's a pound the world around". Both containers' "mouths" are 2.5 centimeters in diameter, but being slightly different depths, the toppers aren't quite interchangeable. The threading itself is such that, once the cap "catches", it's pretty much once-around and it's locked. I hope this info is of some use to the OP. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:43, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

"A pint of pure water / Weighs a pound-and-a-quarter" in this part of the world Bugs. Alansplodge (talk) 20:13, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Being neither an American nor European idiot, I recall from my Australian youth seeing people living outside towns sometimes get their milk delivered by the the milkman using a ladle to transfer milk from a large milk can, known as a churn, to the householder's billy. HiLo48 (talk) 00:02, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

My mum (British, in her 60's), can remember being sent out with a pot to get it filled with milk by the milkman. DuncanHill (talk) 10:38, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Happily, we don't have this 6.4 pint and ale gallon nonsense in Australia no more. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 10:33, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Straight from the cow to your doorstep. Ugh. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:45, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Raw milk is quite tasty! You just have to be careful about the sanitary practices of the farm that you get it from. Dismas|(talk) 00:55, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
"You just have to be careful..." That's an understatement, fer sher. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:58, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Aw c'mon, get your milk from the local mom'n'pop farm, sift it for potential impurities, cook it and voila. I'm with dismas here, store milk can never remotely compare to milk straight from the farm. TomorrowTime (talk) 07:18, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I recall (many years ago) taking my mug and holding it under the cow to collect milk which I then drank. It was much tastier than standardised, homogenised, pasteurised milk from supermarkets. The health issues are grossly exaggerated, though the risk in drinking "raw" milk from healthy cows is just slightly higher than that in eating "raw" lettuce or "raw" strawberries. Dbfirs 10:32, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
One of the boys at my primary school used to bring in raw milk from his family's farm, it was delicious, rich and creamy. I'd also like to comment here that when I was a boy shop-milk wasn't homogenized, and tasted much better than the homogenized stuff so common today. I still try to buy non-homogenized when I can. DuncanHill (talk) 10:38, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
I'll bet it's less about the homogenization and more about the varied diet that small-farm cows get compared to cows on a feed lot. APL (talk) 18:40, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
Of course, Literally straight from the cow isn't a fair comparison unless you normally drink your milk warm. Many things taste different at different temperatures. Or seem to at least. APL (talk) 18:40, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps I should inform our American chums that a British pint is 20 fluid ounces, compared to the puny 16 fluid ounces of American pints. This also means that although both gallons are eight pints, the size of the gallons is thus different. 92.15.12.145 (talk) 00:26, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
The ounces are different as well, though only by about 4%, much less than the difference between the pints. --Trovatore (talk) 06:51, 3 January 2011 (UTC)


And the liter is punier than both. :) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:45, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
A litre is bigger than either of the pints. 92.15.12.145 (talk) 01:12, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
... and this has already been discussed above. (It was the gallons that started different.) Dbfirs 10:36, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

DSLR problem: stain inside the prism assembly?[edit]

I noticed a weird stain, probably from steam, when looking through my DSLR's (Olympus E-520) viewfinder. It looks like it's actually inside the prism assembly. How could it have got there, and how can I get rid of it? JIP | Talk 13:05, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Unless your instruction manual says that it's just fine to open your camera up, I would recommend taking it to a camera shop (a real one, not a one-hour-photo kiosk) and see what they diagnose. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:17, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't seem to be there any more. It was probably condensed steam, resulting from the camera having been out in the cold, and now it has evaporated. JIP | Talk 13:28, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Excellent. In my experience, anytime you have an electronic device out in extreme heat or cold, it's best to let it settle back to room temperature before attempting to use it. If it had not gone away, taking it to a camera shop would still be the best bet. Find someone that looks like they know what they're doing, and most likely they'll give you a quick (i.e. free) assessment of what's wrong, and then you can decide whether to fix it or buy a new one (as with the guy a few weeks ago whose color imaging was messed up.) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:31, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm a little late to this discussion, but Baseball Bugs is right--I've photographed a fair bit in Greenland and Svalbard, and I'll usually let my camera warm and cool inside the camera bag to prevent it from warming/cooling too quickly, this can help with condensation, as can including a bit of desiccant such as silica gel in the camera bag. Don't know if the 520 is completely sealed, but it's also possible that the condensation was at the bottom (the glass of the prism nearest the SLR mirror), which won't be completely sealed on an SLR--that's a common place for photographers to see "spots" in their viewfinder that won't show up in their images. --je deckertalk 03:53, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

can we use sound energy & convert into power in mobile cellphone??[edit]

i asked this qustion because of i have doubt on einstin statement "ENERGY CAN'T BE CREATE CAN'T DESTORY" — Preceding unsigned comment added by Achal123 (talkcontribs) 15:14, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

What would cause you to doubt the veracity of not being able to destroy energy? Also, just because energy exists, doesn't mean that it can do work. Energy is never detroyed, but it is constantly being transferred from a state of usefulness to a state of uselessness. Concepts like entropy and free energy exist to explain this. See second law of thermodynamics for an explanation. --Jayron32 15:24, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Sound energy is converted into electricity in the phone, but very little electricity. That's why an amplifier is needed. APL (talk) 15:25, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
An example of such conversion would presumably be the old two-cups-and-a-string, which works OK over short distances but not so well otherwise. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:34, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
We of course have the articleSound-powered telephone. Such a telephone is good only for connection to up to two other phones. My experience with the US Army's TA-1 phones is that the quality is not that great. There certainly is not enough power for a cell phone. ---— Gadget850 (Ed) talk 15:41, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Cup and string phones do not convert anything to electricity. They simply convert vibrations in air to vibrations in a string and back to vibrations in air. (Contrary to what you see in cartoons, the string needs to be pulled tight for this to work.) APL (talk) 15:57, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
No, not to electricity, just to a usable form of energy. And, yes, pulling the strings taut is part of the process. That would be another issue for long-distance transmission. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:02, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
The problem is that the amount of power available from even loud speaking is pretty miniscule. This page puts 80-decibel yelling at about 1 milliwatt (mW), and notes that using your voice you could warm up a cup of coffee (assuming, implausibly, no losses over the time) in about two years of constant shouting. Meanwhile, the power output of a typical cellular phone transmitter is in the neighborhood of 1 watt, or a thousand times as much. (That number doesn't include losses in the transmitter, as well as the significant power needed to illuminate the display and drive the processor in your smartphone.) TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:54, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
That pretty conclusively makes it not a usable method for making phone calls directly, but charging the battery might be worthy of consideration. If you only talk on the phone about 1/1000th of the time (86.4 seconds a day), and assuming 100% efficiency in each step, that could provide enough energy. That's not much usage, so would probably only work for an emergency only phone in a loud area (like those on the side of the highway), where electricity lines are absent (solar power is another way to go). Alternatively, if this method could just extend the battery life a bit, that might still be useful. StuRat (talk) 18:59, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
You'd probably have better luck building a charger that absorbs energy from your movements as you walk around. Like a self-winding watch. Probably still not enough, though. APL (talk) 23:32, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Right, but that only works with a cell phone you carry, versus one tucked away somewhere for an emergency. StuRat (talk) 19:49, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
You might be able to make more of a dent in it if you could funnel the sound from a jet taking off. The downsize of that is that you'd have to take your cellphone to the airport to make it work. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:03, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
The "downsize" of it is when they fire you for loitering in the airport during working hours (unless you happen to be a member of a religion which hangs out at airports handing out flowers). :-) StuRat (talk) 18:51, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Oh, it's worse than that - you'd have to be on the tarmac near a plane when it revs up. So your second call would probably be the one you're allowed to make after being arrested. Nonetheless, I think my theory would work. Another drawback, though, is that the jet engine would be so loud you couldn't hear your other party and you would both have to shout... which, come to think of it, have you noticed how people shout on cellphones so that the entire store can hear them? Maybe that's the kind of sonic energy the OP is thinking of. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:12, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
It gets a little windy back there. Clarityfiend (talk) 00:11, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
There are clockwork radios and wind-up torches, and wind-up mobile phone chargers are readily available. 92.15.12.145 (talk) 00:45, 31 December 2010 (UTC)


For the umphteenth time, see Phonomotor, about a 19th century rotary machine powered by the human voice. The talk page includes a cite saying that it would require the voices of a million people to power a 60 watt lightbulb. So perhaps a 1 watt celphone could be powered by the voices of 1667 people, assuming 100% efficiency throughout. Quite an impractically large receiver would be needed. Nathan Stubblefield patented an acoustic telephone, akin to the "2 Dixie cups and a string," which functioned for over a mile. Edison (talk) 06:43, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
One important Q for whether a phone could be charged by sound, is if the charging rate would be faster than the losses from the battery (in a cell phone that's turned off). Can anyone do the math on this ? StuRat (talk) 19:52, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
I get that if you were able to capture the energy with near full efficiency you could get about a minute of use from a cell phone a day after having talked to it for twenty four hours, less if you don't talk in your sleep though snoring might help considerably. I think it would be very hard to capture the energy with any sort of reasonable efficiency though. Dmcq (talk) 11:17, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

touring in france by car west coast[edit]

what is the best guide to buy for family run small hotels. ' —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.143.210.146 (talk) 18:14, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

I don't think that any comprehensive guide focuses on small, family-run hotels. They all list a range of accommodations. In my experience, the best place to learn about accommodations is this site. Just be sure to type your search into the top search window, which will bring you all listings for a given destination. The search window inside the more obvious box will just return places that pay the website for special promotion. Most listings include numerous reviews by guests, which often say something about the owners or management. If you prefer to purchase a printed guide, then you want one that lists a large number of accommodations at each destination, so that you can select from their list the places that are small. Your best strategy would be to buy regional guides focusing on the regions you plan to visit rather than a guide for all of France. Regional guides are published by Michelin, Rough Guides, and Lonely Planet. These more focused guides will have room for more listings for each destination than a national guide. It may be more difficult to know whether the places listed are family-run. You could always phone each place and ask. Marco polo (talk) 19:14, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Try www.logishotels.com. Logi hotels are mostly small friendly places.Froggie34 (talk) 09:00, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Bank robberies[edit]

Note: I'm not an expert on financial things, so there might be errors in my assumptions and theories here. Assume there is a bank robbery, and the robbers (at least for the time being) get away with it. If the robbers had robbed a private person or a business, the situation would be simple: the robbers have more money, and their victims have less. But the bank doesn't actually own the cash it is storing - it is lending it from its customers, recording the value in their bank accounts. So if the robbers rob cash from the bank, the immediate effect is that the value actually exists twice - both in cash, and on the bank accounts. What happens now (assuming the robbers haven't been caught yet)? Could this somehow change the size of the money supply, and therefore the value of the currency? JIP | Talk 21:16, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

In terms of the money supply, it is no different to the bank lending money to someone. Doing so does, indeed, increase the money supply and that does cause inflation (that's why central banks can control inflation by changing interest rates - by lowering the rates, more loans are made so the money supply increases and the currency inflates, and vice versa). The vast majority of the money supply in a developed economy does not exist as physical coins and notes, it is just loans from one party to another. (Of course, the causes of inflation are far more complicated that just loans increasing the money supply, but that is a significant factor.) --Tango (talk) 21:26, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't know much about the internal workings of banks, but I would expect they would have various kinds of insurance to cover unexpected losses. There might even be a process to do a quick electronic funds transfer to restore the amount that was taken. Hence the insurance company's assets would be reduced by the amount taken, netting to 0 increase in the money supply. Maybe for a very short time, your idea could be correct in theory, but I doubt it would be in a practical sense. And unless they stole billions of dollars, any such impact likely would be very small. As recent years show, the real impact is not from bank robbers of the conventional kind, but of the mega-robberies committed by financial game-players. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:31, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
In the case of a bank robbery, the 'victim' is the bank itself. The cash in the teller's drawer is drawn from the bank's own cash — or, more accurately, from the bank's reserve. The cash never exists 'twice'; the cash that the robbers have is deducted from the accounts of the bank. (Each country has its own rules about how much cash a bank needs to have on hand to meet the needs of account holders; it's usually quite a bit less than the total value of the accounts held. In the United States, for example, the reserve requirement on transactional accounts – like chequing accounts – is 10%; for every dollar deposited the bank can immediately lend out ninety cents. If the bank robbers steal a dollar, then it reduces the amount that the bank can lend by nine dollars. In principle, this could have the same effect as a bank run; in practice, banks operate with enough breathing room around the reserve requirement – and with enough of their reserves held in accounts with central banks – for this to be a practical impossibility.) TenOfAllTrades(talk) 22:15, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
"n the United States, for example, the reserve requirement on transactional accounts – like chequing accounts – is 10%; for every dollar deposited the bank can immediately lend out ninety cents. If the bank robbers steal a dollar, then it reduces the amount that the bank can lend by nine dollars." Shouldn't that be "ninety cents", if I've understood the math correctly? JIP | Talk 22:29, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
I think 9 dollars is correct. Put it this way: for every 10 dollars deposited, the bank can lend 9 dollars, with 1 held in cash. So if that 1 cash dollar is taken, the virtual 9 dollars become unavailable. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:49, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) No, it's nine dollars. The dollar they stole was, in effect the 10% reserve of a ten-dollar deposit where the bank had lent out the other nine dollars already. So in theory, the bank would be required by law to either invest another dollar or contract its lending position by the quoted figure of nine dollars. I also agree with the main thrust of the points raised: the bank would incur a loss in just the same way as any other business. - Jarry1250 [Who? Discuss.] 22:51, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Wouldn't banks have insurance to cover robberies and the like? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:54, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Banks – and many large corporations – are much more likely to be self-insured against these sorts of costs. (In other words, they take the hit out of their own pocket.) Think about how insurance is priced — the insurer attempts to predict their average losses across their pool of insured clients, and then sets their rate based on the average anticipated payout plus a premium for their trouble. Insurance doesn't mean that money magically appears from nowhere; it's just a tool for spreading risk uniformly across a group. The bank already can do this — if they have a hundred branches, odds are only a few will get robbed in any given year, and the loss is spread over the entire company. It becomes a predictable cost of doing business, particularly as one averages over a larger number of branches or across multiple years.
Where insurance is necessary is against catastrophic losses which the bank is unable to absorb on its own. In most modern banking systems, banks must hold deposit insurance on behalf of their clients, which guarantees that even if the bank fails the depositors' cash is still going to be available. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 23:10, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Small quibble here, but I thought that the main reason the FBI was charged with handling the bank robberies was because the US government is responsible for insuring those losses, which is why robbing a bank is a federal crime, while robbing the 7-11 is a state crime. Googlemeister (talk) 16:24, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, not quite. The FDIC doesn't insure against theft/robbery losses (except in the unlikely case that those losses render the bank insolvent, in which case FDIC protects account holders and not the bank itself). You're probably thinking of the Bank Robbery Act, which since 1934 has made all bank robberies a federal crime. For the purposes of the Act, an institution counts as a 'bank' if it is a member of the Federal Reserve System or it holds FDIC-insured deposits; either condition is sufficient. In principle, many banks do carry insurance against robbery under some form of 'banker's blanket bond' designed to protect against a wide variety of malfeasance and misfortune. In practice, the bonds usually have breathtakingly high deductibles (well into the tens of thousands of dollars for very small institutions, and ranging up into the tens of millions for big multinationals) and are designed to cushion losses in the event of a major disaster: vault burns to the ground, head office collapses, serious 'inside-job' embezzlement or theft, etc. The few thousands that a robber gleans in the classic 'empty-your-till-into-the-duffel-bag-before-the-cops-get-here' is way below the deductible. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 17:24, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
The Northern Bank robbery (which is a poor article) was one robbery that significantly altered the money supply, as the Northern Bank opted to reprint the currency. Also the Portuguese Bank Note Crisis had significant effect upon the Portuguese economy. meltBanana 16:55, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

There have been cases where thieves targeted old bank notes on their way to be destroyed. This presents a more interesting case as the money is in the possession of the central bank - the guys who print the money. If you managed to pull off such a theft undetected (e.g. replacing the bank notes with blank paper which got burned in it's place) then I guess your theft could end up increasing the money supply. filceolaire (talk) 22:58, 31 December 2010 (UTC)