Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2011 September 21

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September 21[edit]

James Randi and Harry Potter[edit]

Has James Randi heard about Harry Potter? If so, then what does he think about it? If not, then what would he think about it? Has he read any book of Harry Potter? If so, then which? Has he watched any film of Harry Potter? If so, then which? Does he own any book of Harry Potter? If so, then which? Does he own any DVD of Harry Potter? If so, then which? Is he a fan of Harry Potter?

Some Christians say Harry Potter is evil because it contains witchcraft and witchcraft is associated with the Devil. Some of these Christians say that J. K. Rowling herself was involved in witchcraft. Has James Randi heard about these claims? If so, what does he think about them? Does he agree with them? If not, then why not? If not, then what would he think about these claims? Would he agree with them? If not, then why not?

What does James Randi think about J. K. Rowling?

Bowei Huang 2 (talk) 01:23, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Anyone want to report this guy to ANI? I'm busy watching a cheesy anime. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 01:25, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Has Bowei Huang 2 heard of Wikipedia's policy on asking stupid questions? Has he noticed the sarcastic responses he gets? If so, then what does he think of them? If not, then is he an idiot? Does he care what others think of his questions? If so, then why hasn't he ceased and desisted? If not, then should we just delete this rubbish? Does he realise that his hypotheticals are annoying? If so, then why does he continue? If not, then is he an idiot? (Oooh, I we think we reached this point earlier.) HiLo48 (talk) 02:26, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Countries with no national day[edit]

File:National Days.png

According to File:National Days.png, which countries have no national day? National Day tells me that there's none in the UK, but the UK is highlighted on this map, so I'm curious which (if any) countries are in grey. Partial colourblindness = green and grey don't look very different for me. Nyttend (talk) 04:50, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

It looks to me like Denmark is the only one coloured grey in the map. I'm not really sure why though, Public holidays in Denmark shows a constitution day and I would be surprised that none of the other countries national days that are light green aren't something similar. Nil Einne (talk) 05:11, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Edit: National Day mentions Denmark as having no official national day. Looking more carefully at the public holidays article, I see that it's not listed as an official public holiday but instead another special day but the article notes "With a few exceptions, all shops stay closed on Grundlovsdag by law". From Constitution Day (Denmark) it's remarked it's not widely celebrated compared to places like Norway and Sweden. The difference with other public holidays in Denmark appears to be that it's only half day although Anzac Day Act (New Zealand) is still considered a public holiday in NZ despite sort of only applying to half the day. BTW there's some discussion of the UK here File talk:National Days.png Nil Einne (talk) 05:15, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
An unrelated point, but I find that when I cannot tell the difference between colours on a map, the best thing is to copy it into Paint, which has the option to replace all of one colour with another, then I can recolour the map in shades that I can more easily tell apart. (talk) 11:22, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
What edition of Paint do you have? Mine, which came with Windows Vista, doesn't have that feature. Nyttend (talk) 11:36, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
I have the Windows 7 version, but what I meant was not a quick single button does everything for you tool, it's the one where you have to go over everywhere with the eraser and the right button, it takes a little while, but if you rush, it gets at least a bit of most countries, enough to see which ones they are. (talk) 18:15, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Wow...I never knew I could do that! I just tested it, and it works in Vista Paint as well. I remember that earlier versions of Windows had a separate button to click that would have this feature, but once they removed the button, I thought that they'd removed the feature. Nyttend (talk) 21:16, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
A geeky way of changing a colour is to save the image as a .gif file then open the file in a hex editor and change the bytes in the palette. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 11:12, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
There is no UK national day as such, but we do have Saint George's Day, Saint David's Day, Saint Andrew's Day (public holiday in Scotland), Saint Patrick's Day (public holiday in Northern Ireland as well as in the Republic of Ireland) and St Piran's Day. Gandalf61 (talk) 11:52, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
St Andrews Day isn't really a public holiday in Scotland: from the article "Although it is a bank holiday, banks are not required to close and employers are not required to give their employees the day off as a holiday." --Colapeninsula (talk) 12:38, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Okay, it depends on what you mean by "public holiday". I was taking my cue from bank holiday which says "A bank holiday is a public holiday in the United Kingdom or in Ireland. There is no automatic right to time off on these days, although the majority of the population is granted time off work or extra pay for working on these days, depending on their contract". So St Andrew's Day is a bank holiday in Scotland and therefore a public holiday, regardles of whether or not Scottish employers chose to include it in their contracts of employment. Gandalf61 (talk) 14:48, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
St George's Day is not a big thing in England. Its not a holiday and seems to only be celebrated by the EDL and BNP. - Q Chris (talk) 09:09, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Not the whole story; St George's day is slowly being reclaimed by from the far right[1]. But agreed it's not that big a deal for most people and we don't get a day off work. Alansplodge (talk) 09:46, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
From the context and your link I think you mean "St George's day is slowly being reclaimed from the far right". -- Q Chris (talk) 12:23, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
D'oh! Thanks Q Chris. Alansplodge (talk) 22:55, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

missing links[edit]

So, anyone have any idea why I am blocked from editing the computer and misc reference desks? All the edit links have just disappeared, leaving me unable to reply to any questions, and this is far from the first time something like this has happened. It seems to be getting more and more common that I come onto one reference desk or another and find myself unable to add anything to a question, though I am still able to edit other reference desks or articles. What is going on? (talk) 11:17, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Now that's interesting, as soon as I add a new question on here, they reappear, on this one if not the other. (talk) 11:18, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

It'll be something to do with your browser playing up or something, and nothing to do with being blocked. It's happened to me a few times in the past. Just seems to clear itself up. Try clearing out the cache and see what happens. --KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 12:04, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Ctrl-F5 (a hard reload, overriding the cached version) sorts this out for me when it happens - and it happens regularly, including once when I was logged in; I think I was, anyway. I'd like to know the cause of the bug.  Card Zero  (talk) 16:46, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Hard reloads don't fix it for logged out IPs; we have to click "View source" or manually construct a section edit URL and then it works as "Edit" should and puts everything back to normal thereafter. This bug has been going on for years now, and nobody can track it down. :( (talk) 19:09, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Something which always works for me, as a logged-out user, is to go to 'view history', then click on the link to the most recent version. You get the 'you are viewing a version that may not be the most recent' history blurb at the top, but otherwise you get a completely normal, working version of the current page with section edit buttons. (talk) 20:39, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Additional Info ref 1929 Boston Bulldogs NFL Football Team[edit]

Good Morning,

I read with interest the article about the first NFL team to ever be based in Boston; the Boston Bulldogs. In the article you refer to George "Gigi" Kenneally of South Boston as a player/owner of the franchise. His co-owner and friend from Southie, my late grandfather, Edward G. Morris, is not mentioned however. Edward G. Morris was a broker on the old Boston Stock Exchange and represented South Boston as a State Senator. He helped finance the move of the Pottsville Maroons to Boston where they played for one season as the Boston Bulldogs. In the stock market crash of 1929, my grandfather lost his fortune and the Boston Bulldogs folded. I note with great pleasure the Boston Bulldogs team photo featuring my grandfather in the center....obviously, the short man wearing the business suit. That same picture hangs in the NFL Hall of Fame where the Bulldogs are identified as the first NFL Team frnachised in Boston. Unfortunately, whomever scribed the names in longhand on the back of the photo wrote my grandfather's name correctly as "Eddie Morris" but poor penmanship resulted in him being listed as "Eddie Mario", not "Morris". Nonetheless, our family is proud of his accomplishment in bringing, along with his friend, George Kenneally, the first NFL team to their hometown of Boston.

My request is that he be listed ,along with Mr Kenneally, as an owner of the Boston Bulldogs since he is pictured in the team photo on Wikipedia.

Thank you

Don Morrissey Grandson of Edward G. Morris

Gilford, NH — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:40, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

You're welcome to add the information yourself (this is Wikipedia, the encyclopedia anyone can edit) but you should have a reliable source to back up your claim. Family tradition is great, but not enough for an encyclopedia. --Dweller (talk) 13:54, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Seth Boyden's 1818 patent number for the patent leather process[edit]

What is the U.S. patent number for Seth Boyden's 1818(?) patent for the patent leather process? I looked at and did a bunch of searches of google books, but couldn't find the number. In fact, google books seem to indicated that people didn't start writing about Boyden's patent leather efforts until after the 1850s. His patent leather process seems to have been originated when he came across a German military cap front and used that to make the first patent leather product in the United States. It's possible that he did not letters patent the process. If you have a source for that, that would be great as well. -- Utmoatr (talk) 12:38, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Seems Boyden never patented it. See Tuttle, Brad R. (2009). How Newark became Newark: the rise, fall, and rebirth of an American city. Rutgers University Press. p. 27 Extra |pages= or |at= (help).  So that leaves open the Etymology of patent leather. Please feel free to answer that question as well. -- Utmoatr (talk) 12:58, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
"Patent" leather refers to Edmund Prior's 1799 patent and Charles Mollersten's 1805 patent, both of which were only effective in England and its colonies of the time. Boyden's 1818 process -- which was in all essential details identical to Mollersten's improvements on Prior -- merely popularized the method and the term used to describe it. (talk) 19:16, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

methods of payment for textbook writing[edit]

My cousin has been asked to write the exercises for a new book. If he accepts, he'll have to write about a quarter of this textbook. He is a teacher (in England, if it matters) who knows his subject but has no experience of negotiating payments with big-time publishing houses. He asked me and I said I'd ask Wikipedia. Are there literary agents who specialize in these contracts, like there are for novels? Is a flat fee normal, or a daily rate? Or is it paid per word? Is it more advantageous to get a royalty? This is a big company and they sell a lot of books and paraphenalia. How the heck are royalties calculated, anyway? What sort of percentage is fair? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:32, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

What's fairness got to do with it? Much depends on how the request has arisen. Was it formal or informal? What alternatives do the publishing company have i.e. how easily can they find another equally reliable and qualified person? With no more information, I suggest replying in a formal way asking the company to propose a deadline and/or quantity of text. One has no negotiation until someone puts numbers on the table, and the payment is only one of them. An agent is probably an unnecessary expense if there is already contact with the company. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 15:57, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Royalties are generally 5–10% but that would be for a complete book. A flat rate is more likely for a text book. All these details should be clearly laid down in the contract he will be expected to sign with the publisher, so I suggest he agrees subject to seeing the contract, and then he can decide whether it's worth his while to do it.--Shantavira|feed me 16:04, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
I doubt there is much room for negotiation here. The publisher will probably specify what they want and what they are prepared to pay for it. The author then simply decides whether to accept the offer -- bearing in mind that the task will be at least twice as much work as it looks like. Looie496 (talk) 16:12, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
I have worked for textbook companies. A key question is whether your cousin will be listed on the cover of the book as an author or not. If he will be a listed author, then he has more leverage than if he is being hired as a freelance writer. If he will be a listed author, the publisher may offer a royalty. In U.S. educational publishing, royalties are more on the order of 3% for books, which must be divided among authors. If your cousin is writing 25% of the book, then he might be offered 0.75% as a royalty in the U.S. (Trade books, which have much smaller print runs and generate much smaller revenues typically offer authors 5–10% in the United States, but textbooks with their vast print runs and huge sales are different.) If your cousin is offered a choice between an upfront fee and a royalty (even with an advance), the upfront fee might be worth considering. By accepting a royalty agreement, your cousin would be exposing himself to the risk that the book will not make any money, in which case he would have no royalty beyond any advance. The UK market is smaller than the US market, but projected revenues on a U.S. national textbook can easily exceed $10 million, in which case a 1% royalty would be worth $100,000 (£64,000). The UK has about one-fifth the US population, so maybe the corresponding figure for the UK would be £13,000. Possibly that means higher percentages are offered in the UK, though I'd be surprised if it were more than 5% for the book as a whole. In these days of government austerity, revenues seldom meet projections, so if your cousin is offered an upfront fee that is greater than 60% of the projected royalty, he might be wise to take it in lieu of the royalty. If your cousin will not be a named author, then his pay will likely be more modest. For someone with experience and a track record, rates of around $50 (£30) an hour are typical in the United States, though the publisher will sometimes instead offer rates per page or per question based on an overoptimistic assumption of the writer's productivity, in which case the writer realizes more like $35 (£20) an hour after dealing with queries and so on. I don't know how this compares with pay scales in the UK. They are likely to be a bit lower, since freelancers in the UK do not face the same burdens that US freelancers do of financing private health insurance. Marco polo (talk) 19:19, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Shopping at Argos[edit]

I had wanted to buy something from Argos, but it seems they are out of stock in my area, do they offer the same service as many other similar companies where if you order soon enough before, they will bring things in from another store for you to pick up. And if so, where is it on their website? (talk) 18:17, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

I presume you mean Argos (retailer), on go to Reserve for free in-store collection where it is all explained. Basically Any item not in stock at the store today can usually be ordered for you from our warehouse, to collect within 3 working days. MilborneOne (talk) 19:16, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

It says that, yes, but I can't seem to find anywhere to actually tell them to do so, they are out of stock anywhere near here and there is no option on the form to ask them to get it from elsewhere that I can see. (talk) 19:43, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

I see what you mean - there doesn't appear to be any next step on the website when all nearby stores are out of stock. Just speculating, but maybe this could indicate that the local distribution centre is also out of stock, hence they wouldn't be able to acquire the item locally within the 3 days. Perhaps you'd have more luck ringing the phone number on the page MilborneOne referred to. AJCham 21:47, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

What does all this rubbish on this site mean?[edit]

Could someone please take a look at this [2] and tell me what the purpose of these numbers is? Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 19:32, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Looks like the technical bumf you'd need to know to tune into their satellite broadcasts. --Tagishsimon (talk) 19:39, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Eh? How do you use it? It's the webbie for this news service, but I know nothing of this satellite junk (dammit man, I'm an archaeologist! :p). Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 20:00, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
I think you point your satellite dish in the general direction indicated, dial up the appropriate frequency, and put the signal through an appropriately configured decoder. If it's all greek to you, it suggests you don't have the technical wherewithal to be able to make use of the info, so I'd let it pass. Tagishsimon (talk) 20:11, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Oh my no, I wasn't familiar with some of the terms. Seems all fill-in the blanks really. Only problem is that I don't have a satellite dish (would never get such a dreadful thing; don't have cable anymore either, horrible distraction). I was wondering if there was some sort of free web program where you could enter this info and then get the channel. The guys running this thing don't seem to have things all set up yet (I'll leave it at that so as not to violate WP:BLP). Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 20:17, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
If they're not streaming their content through the intertubes, you're out of luck, I'm afraid. The info on the page won't be of any help. --Tagishsimon (talk) 20:26, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Ah well, I guess I'll have to wait for them to get their act together and start having a live stream. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 20:40, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
I found one news story saying they were broadcasting by internet [3], but our Jewish News One follows the majority of stories in talking about their satellite transmissions. You might check out their facebook page, but I leave that to you. --Tagishsimon (talk) 20:54, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Click "View History" on Jewish News One. :p I'm afraid I've not seen hide nor hair of the net stream I'm afraid; I've been actively looking for it too. :( Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 22:15, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

I take your point ;) --Tagishsimon (talk) 22:19, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Sir Bill, what is the point of all the rubbish you archaeologists dig up? Please don't disparage as "rubbish" things just because you don't understand them. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 11:08, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

It's called a joke. Please relax, my cuddly good sir. :p Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 00:14, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

Hedgehog flavoured crisps[edit]

Hedgehog flavoured crisps.

I originally read about Hedgehog flavoured crisps in Amiga Power issue #29, September 1993. (Gosh, that was eighteen years ago.) It was in the review of One Step Beyond, a puzzle game sponsored by Quavers crisps. Right up until now, I thought the Hedgehog flavoured crisps meant hedgehog-flavoured crisps, which is intentionally alluded to by Amiga Power's comment in the review:

  • By correctly labelling the product, novelty snacks such as "Hedgehog flavour" crisps can be put on the market without the wholesale slaughter of Britain's most flea-ridden and all-around crap road-kill victims.

So does this mean that, then, it is really "Hedgehog" flavoured crips, i.e. flavoured crisps whose brand name is "Hedgehog"? Is this some kind of British invention? How long has it been available, and is it available outside Britain? Is this a widespread confusion, and is the confusion intentional? JIP | Talk 19:49, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

According to [this] page, they were invented by a company called Hedgehog Foods Ltd. They contained no hedgehog, but did contain pork flavoring. Only after being sued in 1982 did they change the name from hedgehog flavored to hedgehog flavor. He got the idea after interviewing Gypsies, who apparently enjoyed the taste of Hedgehog. According to [this BBC article], "He later admitted that the hedgehog crisps were in poor taste" TheGrimme (talk) 20:15, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
The packet in the image does say "Hedgehog flavoured". Does this mean the packet was produced before 1982? JIP | Talk 20:21, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Interesting -- in the United States, most people would read a food marketed as "X-flavored" as NOT containing X. --M@rēino 20:38, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
No, in the UK 'hedgehog flavoured' means 'flavoured with hedgehog'. 'Hedgehog flavour', however, means 'has the flavour of hedgehog [but does not necessarily contain any]'. KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 22:23, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Would the phrase "flavoured crisps" by itself (i.e. designating that they are not regular, plain crisps, but flavoured with some otherwise unspecified ingredient) be acceptable UK English? Because from the package it seems clear to me (as an American) that it should be parsed "Hedgehog (flavoured crisps)" rather than "(Hedgehog flavoured) crisps". I can easily imagine other packages on the same shelf with "thick cut" or "low fat" in place of the "flavoured". -- (talk) 00:11, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that's how I understood it. 'Hedgehog [brand], flavoured crisps'. Also, I have heard of 'flavoured water', so I guess 'flavoured crisps' would be just as acceptable. Further to what I said above, we have crab sticks, which do not contain any crab whatsoever, and they are said to be 'crab flavour', and not 'crab flavoured'. --KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 00:24, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
I was not aware that people actually eat hedgehogs. What do they taste like? Let me guess: Chicken.Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:16, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
I would say they taste like pork. They are hogs, after all ;-) I'm sure some people like them. KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 00:24, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Pork with a dash of hedges. ;) -- Obsidin Soul 05:27, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Hedgehog#Culinary_and_medicinal_use. Just because it's not eaten where you live doesn't mean it's not eaten. The world is wide, and culinary tastes (or necessities) are diverse. Pretty much any animal, especially mammal, in moderate contact with humans is eaten to some extent. Buddy431 (talk) 03:54, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
There are apparently no hedgehogs in the western hemisphere (except maybe in zoos), so it stands to reason that not many would be consumed here. Any idea what they taste like? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:27, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
You've got hedgehogs in zoos?!?! xD KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 10:50, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Yep. I've seen one being brought out for children to pet (carefully) at the Saint Louis Zoo. Though it was an African species rather than a European hedgehog. Deor (talk) 13:23, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Fair enough. Must be a novelty over there. We get them all over the place here (in the UK), and zoos are probably the only place we don't see them, unless they have snuck in to chew on the buffaloes' bedding ;-) - Buffalo? What is that?! Just a weird looking cow!? KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 14:57, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
With tiny wings. Seriously, how does an animal that large generate lift with wings that small? An oddity that must be zoo-worthy if you ask me... --Jayron32 00:01, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
According to this source (that wouldn't pass muster at WP:RSN) they taste like... Hedgehog ("Not even remotely like chicken"). Evidently, hedgehog consumption is associated with travellers in the UK, so there's a fair amount of stigma attached to eating them among some circles. Buddy431 (talk) 04:43, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Not to mention that in England and Wales, they're protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996[4]. You can get a £5000 fine or 6 months in prison for harming one[5]. Alansplodge (talk) 08:34, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Are domestic hedgehogs protected as well? Googlemeister (talk) 13:46, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
I suspect it's an offence to keep one in captivity, but then we're not allowed to give legal advice ;-) Alansplodge (talk) 22:46, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
"...if any person has in his possession or control any live or dead wild animal included in Schedule 5, or any part of or anything derived from such an animal, he shall be guilty of an offence." WACA 1981 Part 1 Sect 9. You can obtain a licence to exempt you from this provision for a wide range of reasons, but putting them on the dinner table doesn't seem to be one of them. Alansplodge (talk) 21:08, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
If you're willing to eat roadkill cuisine they're easy to obtain. --Colapeninsula (talk) 12:31, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Are tourist attractions open in Sofia, Bulgaria the first weekend of December?[edit]

Are tourist attractions open in Sofia, Bulgaria the first weekend of December? A lot of museum and attraction pages I've found seem to be in Cyrillic or lack information on openings and closings. Thank you.-- (talk) 21:39, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

I don't know the answer to your question, but I found a contact form on their official website [6] you could try asking through that, the site is also in English so the answers might be on there somewhere--Jac16888 Talk 21:48, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
You might want to check out some of the links and info here.--Shantavira|feed me 16:16, 22 September 2011 (UTC)