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August 15[edit]

Primary key[edit]

I have to design a series of tables for a database. One of the tables will look like this: (those are the fields): [1] numb_id int (11) AUTO_INCREMENT; [2] attribute-1 double; [3] attribute-2 double [3] attribute-3 double.

I make the first field a primary key.

My question is: will I gain in performance speed with the primary key vs. no primary key? My understanding is that there will be no gain in performance. Primary key is an index field, it means that DBMS will create a separate (index) table that will have this key in the first column but it is already in the first column. That column will be ordered but it is already ordered. It will then probably create pointers to each row in the first table to the row where the primary key is but it's not really needed. Once you get the row in the original table you can read this information directly. Is it all correct?

What could be the situation, what kind of structure the table should have to benefit from introduction of primary key in terms of improved performance. What could be the gain?

Thanks, - --AboutFace 22 (talk) 01:43, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

You don't mention the database system you are using, but the syntax looks like mysql. I don't know mysql specifically, but in general you get the first index for free - combined into the main table. This is called the clustered index. Typically the primary key will also be the clustered index unless you explicitly specify something different in your table definition. A database index is some variation of a tree data structure that allows for an efficient look-up of a specific key value or range of values. For secondary (non-clustered) indexes, the leaf node will be a reference to the record number of primary key value into the main table. After database system looks up the index record, a second look-up into the main table is performed to get the actual record. For a clustered index, the leaf node of the index is the record itself, so there is no extra work to retrieve the target record contents. How much performance gain that gives you depends on how often to access a record (or join to that table) using that primary key. -- Tom N talk/contrib 04:08, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Thank you, Tom. I actually do not know the DBMS that is going to be used. I do not design the whole thing, only a conceptual framework so to speak. I do have some (fairly extensive actually but years ago) background in SQL server and dBase IV now defunct but this is not applicable here. Another person does the implementation. He mentioned a few options, MySql is one of them. The actual choice is still up in the air and will be apparently discussed at a later date but this is not something I can influence because I am not familiar with them.

This is also my impression that in order to be effective the primary key must be a clustered index, otherwise any advantage is not there. It sounds like you are saying that the primary key is always a clustered index even if not designed as such. Thanks, --AboutFace 22 (talk) 13:40, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

I believe each table normally has a hidden column, named something like ROW_ID, that sounds like it would be identical to your NUMB_ID column. So, you could possibly skip your column entirely. However, if you would ever want to change the numbering to be anything other than the order in which the rows are created, then you need to keep it in. Also, if you intend to display the column to the user, it might be easier to keep it in, than try to use the ROW_ID for that. StuRat (talk) 17:19, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Thank you, StuRat, you are always helpful. Still one of my questions is unanswered: how much will I gain in speed of storage and retrieval with introduction of primary keys. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 17:59, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

It sounds like there would be no savings in speed by introduction of the primary key, if it's just redundant with the ROW_ID index which you get by default. It might actually slow things down by a slight amount, as there's some overhead in using it. However, as each DB management system is a bit different, I can't guarantee it. I'd do some benchmark testing to confirm it on your specific DB.
BTW, I don't think adding a primary key ever makes row creation faster, as there's now more info to store. It's designed to make retrieval faster. Deletes and updates may also be faster, as the first step there is retrieval of the desired record. And, of course, if you do a retrieval using some fields other than the primary key, it won't help the speed there, either. StuRat (talk) 22:28, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Chili's credit card security[edit]

This restaurant chain has placed card readers on each table so you can pay by credit card there. However, they are wireless. What type of security precautions do they take so the credit card info can't be compromised ? (This is a practical Q, as I eat there myself, and want to know if it is safe to pay that way.) StuRat (talk) 22:21, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Apparently it's a Ziosk. This on Chilis' website says it "meets the comprehensive PCI security standards". The Ziosk website doesn't say much at all about security considerations, except for mentions of "Secure payments" and "encrypted credit card reader". Rojomoke (talk) 07:28, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Of course everyone claims to have a secure system, but all the recent thefts of credit card info shows they were wrong. So, if they won't say how it is encrypted and secured, I guess I have my answer: don't trust it. I'll continue to pay with cash. StuRat (talk) 13:37, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
StuRat, your post last night made me thinking. What is the guarantee that cash registers at Sears, Macy's or other large department stores don't have wireless connections with their credit card readers. What would be a wired connection? A phone line which is perhaps much more expensive to operate in a long run. You also need lots of them to service a large store. The answer ultimately would be those credit cards with chips inside they are talking about now. Thanks for your note at my primary key post. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 14:52, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
I think the recent thefts show a more important point. Whether the connection is wired or wireless, how does it help anyone if the POS systems are hopelessly insecure? Also experience in Europe where chipped cards are the norm shows they help, but are no magic bullet. In other words, you can be pretty sure there will be breaches,a nd it may not be in the areas you think.
However I'm not recommending mass panic. People seem to worry about this sort of stuff too much when they are end users. Sure you should take reasonably protections like making sure you hide your pin entry, a cursory check for any skimming devices and not handing your credit card over to a dodgy looking person who disappears with it for minutes, but there's no need to analyse the security of every machine except for personal interest reasons. (And speaking of dodgy people, I wonder how many people willingly hand over their unchipped card to someone who disappears with it and yet are worried about the security of machines.)
Obviously it's annoying to have to replace your credit card or make reports and wait for your bank to cancel transactions you didn't make but if you're paying attention to your statements (which you should be), you should primary consider such credit card misuse fraud a concern of the banks and stores involved, not yours, unless you're in some weird jurisdiction or with some weird bank with totally crap credit card liability policies. (Identity theft is of course another issue.)
Nil Einne (talk) 15:58, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Note that recent major thefts of credit card info have been either from the back office systems or from malware infected POS terminals (like that suspected in the Target#2013 Security Breach). The payment details were not snatched from the air while being transmitted from a card reader to the store's systems. Your card information is probably just as safe as if you were to go to the desk and pay there with your card. The added security provided by Chili or any other location with portable POS devices, is that you don't hand over your card to someone who disappears off into a back room and skims your card. In any case, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard mandates that information such as the PIN remain encrypted at all times. Unfortunately, not all information is required to be encrypted and that is how the thieves are able to get access to customer names, card numbers, expiration dates, etc, but not the PIN numbers. The thieves are then able to shop online, so long as they can avoid things like 3-D Secure, but can't produce a duplicate card and go shopping at regular stores, or retrieve cash from ATMs. Astronaut (talk) 15:58, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, they do take the credit card away for several minutes. I wish they would just bring the card reader right to the table. So maybe the Ziosk is the safest way to use a CC, although still not as safe as cash. StuRat (talk) 03:18, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Of course carrying around lots of cash all the time makes the risk of being mugged or pick pocketed higher :P I think the physical risk outweighs the virtual one by a long shot. I work in IT for a financial institution and I think people worry FAR too much about how secure their credit card is. I think Nil Ennie's reply is very reasonable. Banks guarantee credit cards against fraud, credit cards now are safer than ever before. Do you remember the days of swiping your card in those carbon imprint machines? You think "that" was secure? Vespine (talk) 23:02, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
I carry my wallet in my front pocket, not back, deep down in the pocket, so it would be difficult to steal. I also have a secret compartment for the big bills (be careful how you read that), so anyone eyeballing me as I use it to pay a restaurant bill will only see small bills. StuRat (talk) 16:46, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

August 16[edit]

JPEG color[edit]

I need to determine the HTML color code - #rrggbb - of part of an existing JPEG image. The color is consistent enough that any pixel will do within the resolution of my mouse. Is there a web tool that will do this?   Mandruss |talk  07:34, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Pixlr - open image from URL, use the eyedropper, then click the colour palette to see the colour numbers. It won't work for every image, because some sites will check the HTTP referer and will refuse to send the image of they don't think it's an ordinary request (this is will be true for other web based services too). (talk) 07:55, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks @ Perfect.   Mandruss |talk  08:45, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

<span> tag as template parameter[edit]

I'm trying to create my first userbox template, and I need it to support an HTML <span> tag as parameter 1. I can't get it to do the substitution, I guess because the tag is being resolved too early in the process and the result is not a valid template parameter.

The template is here and the transclusion is here. Correct answerer will have my eternal gratitude.   Mandruss |talk  08:55, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

I have cross-posted at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical) because it may be the better place for this type of question. Feel free to ignore if you agree.   Mandruss |talk  10:03, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Does Firefox's about:config actually do anything?[edit]

When I go to about:config in Firefox, I get this supposed-to-be-scary warning that I might hose the whole thing up if I do something wrong. But lots of times, I just can't tell that it does anything at all.

For example, I just changed spellchecker.dictionary from en_GB to en_US, closed Firefox, and restarted. But in this window, it still puts a red wavy line under "color", but not under "colour".

Similarly, whether I have plugins.click_to_play set to true or false, it doesn't seem to matter: Either way, videos autoplay in Facebook without my consent, unless I actually disable Shockwave Flash.

This is really kind of frustrating. I've used Firefox for years, because they're open-source and because I thought they were committed to user control of the experience. Starting to wonder about switching. Maybe to Chrome? Anyone know whether you have better control there? (Don't suggest IE; I'm a Linux user.) --Trovatore (talk) 09:01, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

For disabling the autoplay on Facebook, you might want to look into F.B. Purity which has a few features including disabling the autoplay of videos on your news feed. Dismas|(talk) 10:46, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Since the release of Firefox 4 Mozilla has been desperately trying to emulate Google Chrome. Such "improvements" include habitually bumping the version number up and up (since apparently the great unwashed masses think Product 27 is better than Product 3 because its version number is bigger), introduction of frivolous "social features", and removable of user-changeable options as part of the process of dumbing the browser down for the Apple Generation. Many options that used to be available in the options dialog (for example, disabling javascript) are now only accessible via about:config. But it gets worse. Mozilla has decided that the user is too dumb to understand what they are doing and even if they have gone to the effort of delving into the bowels of the browser and explicitly setting an option in about:config, so Firefox will now override them whenever it wants because it's "better" for the user. This includes ignoring options to disable functions (javascript, flash, etc), ignoring options not to update the browser (the latest version is forced down your throat regardless of setting Firefox NEVER to update), ignoring cookie options, ignoring cache options, etc. Mozilla clearly yearn for the modern, empty-head hipster user base and have shunned the original power users. Time to change to Pale Moon (web browser), OP. (talk) 11:16, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Since 2012, 90% of Mozilla's royalty revenue is derived from "a search engine provider" (there's a good chance that is Google, because Google is the default search engine selected by Mozilla, and the two organizations have corporate offices literally down the street from Each other). Accounting for the Mozilla foundation's grants, corporate partnerships, assets, and history, at this time it's my opinion that Mozilla Foundation (and its profitable partner, the Mozilla Corporation) is almost a wholly-owned subsidiary of Google, though legally distinct for tax and accounting purposes. But it stands to reason that the creative choices made for the Firefox browser are heavily influenced by said "search engine" who sponsors its development and marketing.
If you actually care about free software, perhaps GNU IceCat is worth a shot. It's derived from the free software that goes into Mozilla's browser, but it does not include nonfree add-ons. It works on most GNU/Linux systems.
Nimur (talk) 14:08, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
As the Wikipedia article mentions, the Mozilla Foundation has been primarily funded by Google search revenue since 2005. Google presumably makes money from this arrangement as well. If Google ever decided to cut off Mozilla, Microsoft would probably be happy to get all the extra Bing users. Google management doesn't tell Mozilla management what to do. -- BenRG (talk) 19:43, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Addressing Trovatore's original question: the "about:config interface is one of several backdoors that are built in to Firefox. I mean this term in the literal sense of the word - with and without its negative security connotations. Basically, "about:config" is one of several methods by which you can change the software's behavior, using feature sets that are built in, but for which no user-interface exists:
  • Some such items have no UI because the creative directors do not want to expose such a UI. An infamous example that caused uproar a few years ago was the removal of certain popular "Disable Feature checkbox", which was widely discussed across the development and user-community.
  • Other features have no UI because these features are temporary, experimental, or outright broken. Worse yet, most such features are undocumented anywhere - not on developer forums, not in source code, and certainly not on easy-to-digest tutorial blogs.
  • Waxing conspiratorially: still other features have no UI because you aren't supposed to talk about them loudly or in public. For example, even when you visit a secure website using secure protocols, your traffic is reported to aforementioned search engine - but it's only monitoring your traffic to to keep you safe.
When you use "about:config" or any other method to modify the program's behavior, you are explicitly asked to accept responsibility for the outcome - which is a perfectly fine thing to do, as long as you understand it.
Now, as somebody who has attempted to compile Firefox from source, I can attest: nobody understands all the complex interactions in this very large piece of software. The program has several hundred thousand "moving parts." A handful - say, a few ten thousand of those - have "configuration options" that can be set by the "about:config", "prefs.js", or other methods. Such preferences allow you - the "power user" - a bit more flexibility without implying that you can (or want) to modify the software at the source-code level. Yet, by using these features, you are taking a few steps down the road towards "developer" - which means that you can (and want) to understand the complex interactions of your changes. Nimur (talk) 15:38, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Editing about:config is like editing a textual configuration file, or the Windows registry. Any part of Firefox, or an extension, can put any information it wants in these configuration variables, and use it however it wants. It can be useful to edit it following instructions from someone who understands Firefox internals, but you shouldn't edit it based on your own guess about the meaning of a setting. I suspect the reason that changing the dictionary language didn't work is that you don't have the en_US dictionary installed, so it fell back on one that was installed. It could have downloaded the appropriate dictionary in the background, I suppose, but that would have required them to add code specifically to support changing the dictionary via mucking around in about:config. Instead you should do it through the UI, specifically the Languages submenu of the context menu for a text box. I don't know the status of plugins.click_to_play; it may be obsolete, or overridden by another setting. Check the per-plugin activation settings in about:addons, or search a Firefox-specific forum for help.
Firefox gives you far, far more control than Chrome over all kinds of things. I doubt that will ever change: Google has no apparent interest in adding that functionality to Chrome, and Mozilla would lose too many of its loyal supporters if it tried to remove it. -- BenRG (talk) 19:43, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Firefox 30 is one of the worst browsers ever. It's unstable (it crashes even without user input), and its RAM footprint is huge; it gets into the 10-digit range with less than 15 WP articles (even text-only) and never seems to get back down. Somebody at Mozilla obviously forgot that Firefox is free software... - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 06:28, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Disk Usage Analyzer has stopped working[edit]

I've used Disk Usage Analyzer (previously known as Baobab) on Fedora Linux to have a graphical view of how much space my folders are using on disk. But now it has suddenly stopped working. The process starts up, and keeps running, but doesn't seem to actually do anything. It never even opens a window. I don't see any error message either. The funny thing is, it used to work all OK on Fedora 20, but then just suddenly stopped working. I didn't even update or upgrade the operating system. How can I see what is the reason here? JIP | Talk 15:46, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

It probably exited before even getting to displaying a window and therefore might have writen someting in a logfile. Take a look at the files in /var/log/ If not, maybe running it from a terminal will be more enlightening. The program might still be 'baobab' (like it is on my system). Astronaut (talk) 16:33, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
The thing is, it doesn't exit. It just keeps running all OK, except it doesn't actually do anything. JIP | Talk 16:39, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
If you run it under ltrace, strace, or ptrace, then you might get some clues as to what it did before it locked up. CS Miller (talk) 21:34, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

August 17[edit]

Very large sets of permutations and their application in contemporary music theory[edit]

Twelve-tone music is based on an ordered set of 12, unique, pitch classes notated in music set theory as integers 0 … 11. Therefore there are 479,001,600 possible twelve tone rows (permutations of the ordered set). Even if it took just a millisecond to calculate each permutation it would still take about 326 days to perform that calculation, correct? Is there any hope at all that a searchable database of all twelve-tone rows can be constructed? -- (talk) 00:31, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Modern computers can do calculations far quicker than a millisecond. They can do more like millions or billions of calcs per second, depending on the complexity of the calculation and the computer used. But, even using your mere thousand calcs per second, I still get 5 and half days, not 326 (12!/1000/60/60/24). It looks like you forgot to divide by either the 60 seconds in a minute or the 60 minutes in an hour.
Also, I don't see any point in creating such a list. If I understand you correctly, there would be 12 notes in sequence, and the first could be any of the 12 notes, while the next would be any of the remaining 11 notes, etc., giving us 12! possibilities. If you really wanted a list of all those possible sequences, it probably already exists online, but what use would it be ? StuRat (talk) 03:00, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply, and sorry for my arithmetic error. My interest in having this kind of collection would be to search and/or sort the resulting database for desirable characteristics such as certain kinds of symmetries in the hexachords, all-interval tetrachords, etc. For students of 20th-century music theory this actually has great importance and practical application. I'm not aware of a readily available tool to do this online. (In addition, it would be a proof of concept that I would want to expand into other, more interesting applications in the study of algorithmic composition.)
I know that finding all the permutations is probably the most brute force of many available approaches, however I would want to allow for very broad flexibility in what the user specified as a search criteria. Could a database of this kind be indexed in some way so as to make the search more speedy than the initial calculation by which it was created? And is there some way to split up a calculation of this kind over a number of computers to speed up the process? Finally, how can one calculate the memory size for a database from the number of sets generated? Thanks! -- (talk) 04:38, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't understand why you're searching. If every possible permutation of notes is in your hypothetical database, why do you need to search it? Every conceivable combination is in there - so the answer to every search is "YES!" - so why search?!? SteveBaker (talk) 05:05, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Steve, as a composer myself, I frequently want to see a selection of sets or chords with certain properties. This database would provide an analytical means of reviewing an inhumanly large data set and selecting appropriate musical material. Remember, we're talking about music represented by numbers. Perhaps the twelve-tone example is a bit obscure, but consider the set of all natural harmonics up to the 9th partial in the string section of the classical, western orchestra (also a set with close to half a million members if we only go up to hexachord-size subsets). Generating every combination of these harmonics reveals every possible chord in that set, each with its own expressive properties. That would be incredibly valuable in the field of contemporary sound art and algorithmic music composition. So, -- (talk) 05:49, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Yeah - but that list would also contain every possible jarring, grating, iharmoneous squawk. I'm no expert, but I bet there are 10,000 horrible sounds for every good one. If you have an algorithm for making "useful" chords - then just generate those rather than all of them. How are you going to search this list anyway? The point is that STORING a predictable series is pointless when you can generate the Nth element of the series trivially easily. It's kinda like saying: "I need to divide a bunch of number by 3 - so I'm going to generate a database of the first 100,000,000,000 multiples of 3 and search it to find the number I want to divide into." - there is simply no point in making the list.
If you're planning to generate every possible set of (say) 6 notes - then we can write you code that runs in a billionth of a second that'll produce the N'th element of that series. Pre-generating and storing makes NO sense whatever. SteveBaker (talk) 21:22, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
The thing is, twelve-tone rows are not chords. They're never or hardly ever heard in any perceptible form in a final composition. Instead, they are a kind of tool which could be used to construct an infinite number of compositions. The row imparts certain qualities to the resulting work, but is fairly unimportant to the sonic result. In other cases, such as the set of all natural harmonics up to the 9th partial in the string section of the orchestra, remember that the point of music is not to create "nice" sounds. Like all other arts, the point of "art music" is to express something. (That's debatable of course, but certainly the desire is to do SOMETHING beyond creating pleasant sounds.) What one composer finds ugly, another composer will find beautiful. Since the purpose is to make this tool available to all, it must be flexible enough to sort for any quality at all in the resulting sets. -- (talk) 17:32, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Sounds to me like what the OP is asking about is more of a sorting algorithm with the database (or else it'd be like assigning keywords or tags to certain combinations, like 'hex' and 'tetra' and so forth...) rather than simply a searchable database. And to add to the mix, s/he is sometimes using the term 'search' above when he seems to mean 'sort' -- or else 'search for the keywords as assigned previously...'. (I know he said 'search and/or sort,' but the conflation of terms after that is perhaps some source of confusion (?) though i can't pretend to know much about the music side of the question. El duderino (abides) 06:08, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
  • This sort of thing arises all the time in database programming -- that is, situations where you have a database most of whose index values don't have any entries associated with them. The standard solution is to construct what is called a hash table, which allows the database to be searched efficiently. Looie496 (talk) 14:29, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
  • As far as figuring out the size of the database table, take the number of records (479,001,600) and multiply it by the length of each record. To calculate the length of a record, since each of the 12 positions will hold one of 12 values, that takes 4 bits per position, since 2^4 = 16. If the DB system doesn't support 4 bit integers, then hopefully it supports 8 bit integers, or at least 16 bit. So, we have 12 times 4 or 8 or 16, for 48, 96, or 192 bits. Now, you'll probably want to add some more fields to label this record. These could be binary variables, noting whether this record is or isn't a certain type of combo. So, one bit each would do. If you have 8 of those, that's 8 more bits. So, we now have 56, 104, or 200 bits. Using an 8-bit byte, that's 7, 13, or 25 bytes per record. Now we multiple by the number of records, to get 3.4GB, 6.2GB, or 12GB. The lower two would fit on one side of a DVD, while the larger would fit on a two-sided DVD. All would easily fit on modern hard drives, flash drives, etc.
There's also possible index space needed. That's typically much less than the data space, but if you put an index on every field, it could actually be more, considering that each data record is quite short. To index each of 479,001,600 records, you'd need a 29 bit index, since 2^29 is the first multiple of 2 greater than that number. However, you aren't likely to be able to do that, and will need to go to a 32 bit (4 byte) index, instead. So, you multiply that by the number of records, and the number of indexes. If you had an index on all 12 notes and 8 labels, that's 20×4×479,001,600, or over 38GB for the indexes. You probably don't want to do that, but you could, if speeding up the searches is far more important than the space on the hard drive. So, worst case scenario, we're at 50GB total, for data and indices. You could also be more conservative and only put indices on the label fields, which would lower the index size to 15GB, and the worst case total size to 27GB. If you need fewer than 8 labels, you could lower it even more. StuRat (talk) 18:27, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Please help me buy the right wire[edit]

I want to connect my computer to my TV and be able to watch video/movies on it. I have no idea what connection/wire type I would need to do this or if it's even possible, so I was hoping someone here could be specific and tell me what I need: what type of wire/what type of connection/any adapters and so on.

My TV is a brand new Sony Bravia and it's specs including its ports are here. I want to run to it from my iMac (iMac11,3 Intel Core i5 2.8 GHz). After a bit of research, looking at the back and the searching for what they are, my iMac has four USB 3 ports, an ethernet port, a FireWire port, a mini DisplayPort, an audio out, an audio in and in fact is identical to this.

Thanks much in advance, even if the answer is that I can't.-- (talk) 01:15, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Hmm, it looks rather incompatible. The inputs to the TV include HDMI, composite, and component video. Both devices have USB ports, but I don't think you can send streaming video over that, it's used more for displaying stills, playing music, etc. (Although maybe USB 3.0 can handle video, I'm not sure on that.) I'd think your best bet would be to get a device to convert the mini display port output to HDMI format, but let's see what others have to say about it. StuRat (talk) 01:40, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
They could get a mini display to HDMI adaptor. Dismas|(talk) 01:46, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Cool. So if I got this, and ran an HDMI cable from my TV to it, would it be as simple as (after changing the input on the TV to that HDMI connection) just turning on AVI/Quicktime/Wondershare, and playing the movie?-- (talk) 02:30, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
There could still be some annoyances. For example, does the movie you are playing match the aspect ratio of the TV ? If not, then you will have letterboxing, stretching, or part of the movie will be off the edge of the screen. You can probably select which option you want using your TV remote. Also, the iMac might not send the full 1920x1080 resolution the TV can display. The TV may then create a smaller pic, or it could try to interpolate to "upscale" the image. Again, the TV remote may have options for which approach it takes.
Also, you will want to switch to a full screen display of the movie on the iMac, or you will get all the window frame and other junk displayed around the edges on the TV. Note that you won't be able to use the iMac for anything else interactive while the movie plays, because anything you do will also display on the TV. (You could run things in background mode, but they might cause the video or audio to pause or get out of sync.) StuRat (talk) 02:47, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Interesting. Worth a shot considering what a pain it is to burn movies to DVD which take up a lot of time (especially now that I always want 1080p).-- (talk) 03:56, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
On a side note, you don't have to buy brand name retail, which includes huge markups. There are perfectly good adapters out there for under $5 ([1]) if you don't mind waiting a few days for delivery. Same for the HDMI cables. You can find 25 foot HDMI cables for under $10 ([2]). -- Tom N talk/contrib 06:07, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
The specs for the TV say that it supports WiFi and Ethernet. Why not just network it and watch the videos directly from the TV, rather than via the iMac? --Phil Holmes (talk) 10:16, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
I am pretty sure that screen mirroring on Sony Bravia TVs is using a thing called Miracast which seems incompatible with Macs. ny156uk (talk) 12:29, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Oh, that's interesting too! I really don't know where to begin though. So, um, it's a mac, so it only broadcasts via bluetooth right? I thought wifi and bluetooth were not compatible? Any suggestions on how I would "ask" the mac to send a movie that I have on it, and in a way a wifi capable tv would understand it-- (talk) 12:10, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
I think Phil Holmes assumed that everything you want to watch is streaming video from the Internet, such as Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, etc. If that's the case, your TV wouldn't be connected to your Mac but to your router, using WiFi or an Ethernet cable. In other words, your TV would be like another computer in your home network. TVs that have that capability provide a way to connect to the desired site and start the video, using the TV's remote control and on-screen menus. That should all be in the documentation for the TV.
If you're talking about other video sources such as files on your Mac and DVDs, etc., then the TV's networking support is of no value to you. That is, unless there's some kind of Mac app that I'm not aware of, that would allow you to send a stream from your Mac to the TV through your router.
Bravia is a family of television models. If you could provide your TV's model number, we could be referring you to specific pages in specific manual(s) on the Web.   Mandruss |talk  12:41, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Mandruss. It's a 48w600b. Yes, I am not thinking of using content from the internet directly, but videos on my computer. I have ordered the adapter and HDMI cable, for a grand total of about $14 (thanks Tom N!); thanks all!-- (talk) 13:50, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Cool. I'll mark this Q resolved for now, but please come back and tell us if it worked (repost if the Q has been archived by then). StuRat (talk) 17:09, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Automated accepting of cookies in EU[edit]

The EU passed a moronic law requiring each and every goddamned website to ask for permission to store cookies on my computer. I would like to grant permission once and for all - is there some way I can communicate this through a browser mod or user agent or some such thing? (talk) 15:23, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

I think P3P does this, but it's not widely implemented.--Shantavira|feed me 06:08, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

XML support in databases[edit]

I wonder what FREE databases provide XML support. In know PostgreSQL does. What others are in this league? Thanks, --AboutFace 22 (talk) 16:04, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Google Chrome - How to remove the white boxes[edit]

There are 8 white boxes in Google Chrome that are obstructing the theme I've chosen. Can I remove them and leave everything else the same? I've tried what you can do from Settings and a number of apps. The apps can remove them, but they also remove the background picture. Starfsmanna (talk) 16:53, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

I don't think so. However, there is a great extension called "New Tab Redirect". When you click on a new tab, instead of going to the boxes, it goes to the homepage of your choice, which can be a website or even a homemade html page on your hard disk. Mine is an html page with a bunch of links I use all the time. So, it is just like the 8 boxes, but I can choose what is there and what is not. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 16:59, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Thank you, with your help and a continued search for a solution, I managed to come up with a workaround.

Starfsmanna (talk) 18:00, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

August 18[edit]

Priming/initial charging a lithium-ion battery?[edit]

Is it even necessary? Some claim that I should give them an initial charge for like six hours to even a day, while others don't. In the case of a just-purchased tablet with a Lithium iron phosphate cell, do I really need to initialise it? Blake Gripling (talk) 01:21, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

I've never heard of this and I've been using LiPo batteries with remote controlled helicopters and airplanes for years. Did your device come with instructions? That's usually covered in the manual. As far as I know, Lithium batteries do not suffer from memory effect, but that might not be the only reason to charge a battery for that long. Also, lithium batteries are very sensitive to OVER voltage, so any device that's designed to charge them should STOP charging them when they hit full charge, so I can't see how leaving it plugged in for 6 or 24 hours would make any difference. But, like I said, I'd read what it says in the manual and stick to that. Vespine (talk) 03:35, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
It did come with some documentation, but there's nothing in the manual that suggests leaving the device charged for hours to prep a battery for first use. Also, during the time when I bought a Lenovo smartphone, the only advice the saleslady told me (at another store) was not to drain the battery at too low a voltage to curb any damage. Blake Gripling (talk) 04:47, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Bitmap Header Field - Importance?[edit]

A while back I made my own image enhancement software (just to tinker with), I was going over it and decided to change the header it uses to the standard windows one (it's just for tinkering, so it assumes a certain structure). At any rate, what actually uses the biXPelsPerMeter and biYPelsPerMeter fields? As in, if I left them 0, would the image display differently anywhere? I understand what the values mean, but I can't find anything indicating if they need be correct - and I know that not all bmp headers have them. Just curious. Thank you:-)Phoenixia1177 (talk) 06:30, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

My own, rather limited experience, with generating bitmap (BMP or otherwise) headers from scratch is that physical specifications (DPI, DPM, PPI, etc.) are ignored for all but a few print-ready formats (TIFF, PS, EPS, PDF) and even than any actual print job being done, a designer or operator will still check (print-preview, essentially) what's to be printed before starting a job, to avoid nasty surprises - caused by mad suggested-size values in vector media (like SVG) or page size variances in page-aware formats (A4/letter/legal). Back when BMP had some currency as an interchange format, pretty much "what Windows does" was the nearest you'd get to compliance with its rather hazy specification (given that's it's just an old OS/2 "barf your internals into a file" type format). A corollary of your question is surely "if you don't know the physical dimensions of your bitmap, what values should bi[XY]PelsPerMeter have?". If you can, it's surely better to be silent (to not have the entry at all) than to lie. If you have to lie, it's better to lie with a sensible-ish guess than a definitely wrong value like 0 or NaN or -1 - because if some code somewhere does honour it, it'll surely do something like width_in_metres = width_in_pixels/biXPelsPerMeter - and your 0 value will either make the decode fail silently or with an error. Better, surely, to have a default that shows the image (at a wrong but recognisable size) than have the image not appear at all. These days I'd only add "what does libbmp do" and "what does libmagick do" to "what does windows do". Personally, if I were writing my own graphics software now and I wasn't going to use standard formats like JPEG or PNG, I'd probably use Netpbm format (with any of my own info in comments) as a path-of-least-makework. If I needed fancier features like alpha, gamma, compression, or progressive rendering I'd probably use libpng (with my custom data in PNG custom chunks). -- Finlay McWalterTalk 12:21, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm a strong advocate of following standards in every possible respect, regardless of whether you know why they are written that way. I've never worked with that particular file format, but you can find documentation for the header structure at, where it states: "biXPelsPerMeter DWORD Specifies the horizontal resolution of the target device in pixels per metre. Applications often use this value to select the resource bitmap that best matches the characteristics of the current device.". In other words, you should specify the device resolution that makes your bitmap look best -- neither too large nor too small. Looie496 (talk) 13:11, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Preventing Spam[edit]


Apparently that advice about ignoring internet trolls and cyber-bullies doesn't always work, since mine is now threatening to send a flood of spam against my twitter account, emails and most likely anywhere else he can find. I am wondering if anyone can recommend some way of blocking him from doing this, pre-emptively protecting myself in case he comes through with his threats?

Thank you (talk) 12:04, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

As previously advised...ignore trolls. They crave attention - they delight in causing you grief. So, don't react. Don't acknowledge that there is a problem. "Dont Feed the Trolls" is excellent advice. SteveBaker (talk) 02:28, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
yes, random trolls feed on attention, but this concrete case seems much more like stalking by someone the OP knows in real life. Maybe this is a case to be reported to the police, if it gets to far.OsmanRF34 (talk) 16:04, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I'd say it's time to change your accounts. Only give the new names to people you trust not to pass them along. StuRat (talk) 16:41, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Label printers[edit]

I'm in need of printing a bunch of shipping labels for my wife's business ( - and it's clear that using our inkjet printer isn't a good option because you have to print an entire sheet of labels at one time.

I see that there are a bunch of devices by different manufacturers that take a roll of stickers - so (presumably) I can print to them one at a time.

My question is how those devices interface to the PC. Are they (in effect) just tiny inkjet printers as far as the operating system is concerned...or do I have to use some horrible (probably!) software that comes with the printer itself?

We use an SQL customer database, with custom web interface software - and I'd like to use our standard query software with a "PRINT ADDRESS LABEL" button. I can write the code to do that if the interface to the label printer isn't something exotic.

Does anyone have any experience with these machines? (Also, if you can recommend a good one, that would be nice).

TIA SteveBaker (talk) 20:06, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Brother, Seiko and Dymo make affordable thermal label printers but they use special software. Zebra makes higher end printers with a higher price that you can create a print file in ZPL language. --  Gadget850 talk 01:30, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Are there significant problems with the thermal-printed labels fading in strong sunlight and 100 degree Texas days? They won't experience any of those things when they're in our control - but we ship packages around the world. SteveBaker (talk) 02:32, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
For the lengths of time that your packages would see those temps, I don't think you should have an issue. Dismas|(talk) 06:05, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
There are basically two types of thermal printing: direct and indirect. Direct thermal uses a print head to essentially burn the label in a controlled way to print. Cash register receipts are often printed this way. They tend to have low operating costs because there's no ribbon or ink, but they do tend to be thermally sensitive. I would definitely request samples and/or specs if you're thinking of going that way. Indirect thermal printing uses a wax/resin ribbon that gets burned onto the label by the print head. They tend to have higher operating costs (but the amount of ribbon you'd need would be negligible) and, IIRC, are somewhat pricier off the shelf as well. In my experience, they do not fade with heat, but you may experience cracking if you print to poly labels (the plastic expands in the heat and cracks the printing). I don't think that would happen if you printed to paper labels. I use a Datamax indirect thermal printer which has done yeoman's work for many years. The software is ridiculously priced, but it can marry up with standard DBF files and so forth. Matt Deres (talk) 17:15, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I have never seen the term "indirect thermal" used— this is thermal transfer (TT) as opposed to direct thermal (DT). If you need durable labels, then you need thermal transfer with coated paper, vinyl or poly labels and a resin ribbon. The more popular label applications are Neat Label, LabelView and BarTender. --  Gadget850 talk 22:39, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

August 19[edit]

Hard disc I/O error[edit]

uTorrent can't download to one of my hard discs. It used to be fine. Now, it downloads for a while, then all the downloads stop and say "Error: WriteToDisk: The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error."

The disc works fine otherwise. I'm running and old version of XP. If you have an suggestions, I'd be most grateful. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 02:12, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Try running CHKDSK, run "chkdsk /f". I think you run a command prompt "as administrator" and reboot your computer to start it. It may take a couple of hours. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 02:31, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you very much. I'll give that a try. One thing I did is close uTorrent and start it again with a lower download speed. This is working. I recently renewed my ISP deal and they gave me much greater speed. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 08:58, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Wording: "ID must be numeric"[edit]

Situation: A website has an admin search menu with several IDs to look for. Some IDs are numbers, others are strings; and some of the strings are with digits only (with leading zeros added by the search function, if necessary), others with mixed characters. If someone looks, say, for a shop and enters letters in the shop ID search function, while a numeric shop ID is required, an error message is helpful. Is "Shop ID must be numeric" a perfect wording? Can it be used both for numbers and purely numeric strings? If it is suboptimal for any reason, what would be better? --KnightMove (talk) 13:46, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

I might prefer "ID must contain only numerals" -- that way it doesn't matter if it's considered as a number or a string of numerals. I suppose you could even include something like "(0-9)" to make it more clear what is allowed. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:53, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Null Zero Deletion in MS Word[edit]

How to delete all Null Zeros in Saved MS Word Document?--Tenkasi Subramanian (talk) 14:07, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Movie quality[edit]

What would be better quality for a movie - an itunes download in 1080p or a 1080p "mastered in 4k" blu ray? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:33, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

All other factors being equal (bitrate, source), the 4K Blu-ray will be higher quality. Simply because iTunes 1080p uses h264 encoding, while 4K Blu-rays use its successor. However, in the real world, it's really a case-by-case comparison, because the bitrate, source, and what's being encoded all affect quality. --Wirbelwind(ヴィルヴェルヴィント) 18:36, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Did the hardware logic been?[edit]

Did the hardware logic (instrument logic) been or it been only the program logic?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 17:39, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Could you try rephrasing the question? I'm not really sure what "instrument logic" is. Are you trying to ask about physical logic gates versus software logic, e.g. conditional statements? --Wirbelwind(ヴィルヴェルヴィント) 18:34, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

When using a VPN, do web-pages know their users are connecting to it through one[edit]

If yes, do web-sites like online banks or ecommerce sites care or at least raise a red flag due to it being a potential fraud? (in a scenario where a user connect both through a VPN when on public spaces and to the same page without said VPN from home or from the office).OsmanRF34 (talk) 19:51, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Silverlight - What Does It Do?[edit]

What does Silverlight do? The only times I have ever seen anything about it on my computer (ANY of my computers) is when I get a message on my browser saying it has stopped working. What exactly is it supposed to do? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 21:59, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Our article Microsoft Silverlight gives a basic description of what it is and how it is used. --Mark viking (talk) 22:10, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
For the most part, it's an Adobe Flash substitute. Netflix, for example, uses Silverlight to stream their content. Without Silverlight, you'd see a blank page. They do have some HTML5 support, but it's in the infancy. --Wirbelwind(ヴィルヴェルヴィント) 22:13, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
This site claims that only 0.2% of websites use Silverlight. Other than the very notable example of Netflix, which Wirbelwind mentioned, I can't remember ever finding a site that I wanted to use which needed Silverlight to work. (talk) 22:35, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Microsoft provides a list of Silverlight features. Among these, I find the video streaming technologies to be the most interesting and useful, because the feature-set for streaming video is significantly richer than that available in the HTML5 specification. For example, Silverlight supports adaptive streaming from multiple sources at variable bitrates, using client-side cooperation built into the Silverlight plug-in to monitor streaming performance and adjust the server-side parameters accordingly. This would be very difficult to re-implement using only HTML5 - so there's an immediate value-add for video-streaming providers who want a software solution that already works. Silverlight also provides state-of-the-art security and authentication, assuring integrity from the network layer all the way to the hardware layer - again, by relying on cooperative security provided by the client-side plug-in (addressing a very difficult problem, which is that content is consumed on machines that categorically cannot be controlled by the content-provider). This plug-in solution ranks among the more secure ways to execute digital rights management (digital restrictions management) - for better or for worse, this means that it's more difficult (prohibitively difficult) for users to save, copy, or inspect digital content in ways that the developers and providers do not authorize.
Nimur (talk) 23:27, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Replacing RAM with old RAM still in the system[edit]

I have a set of 2x4GB ram running at 1600mhz. One of these sticks has gone bad, and it has been determined it is not a socket problem. The other one is not, so I'd like to get another stick of 4GB ram to replace the bad one. 2 questions here. Must it be the same model or manufacturer? (they are Patriot Viper 3s) Does it have to be the same speed? I'd run them in dual channel. KonveyorBelt 23:31, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

I find it prudent to swap it with the stick of the same speed, i.e. 800Mhz on a board that takes DDR2-800s. Not sure if mixing speeds would be bad but I bet it is. It should be alright to use different brands though. Blake Gripling (talk) 00:43, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

August 20[edit]

McAfee Security Scan Plus[edit]

Hi there. One day I found this application installed on my computer. I never asked them to install it. I am surprised the application showed up, just like this. Roughly once a month it "runs" which takes about 30 seconds and declares that my computer is free of malware. I googled and found a few websites with mostly negative information. This is one of them. I wonder what people visiting this Reference Desk would say. I decided to ask here before I uninstalled it. Thanks, - --AboutFace 22 (talk) 00:46, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

It is offered with Adobe Flash Player- if you update, you have to opt out. I have a low opinion of McAfee security products. --  Gadget850 talk 01:14, 20 August 2014 (UTC)


August 16[edit]

Spider Gender[edit]

Is it possible to know whether a spider is male or female? I know that with many species, the female is larger, but with most species being solitary dwellers, there are usually no other spiders to compare them with. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 03:34, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

It's going to vary by species. For some, perhaps many, only the females build webs. For some tarantulas, the males have some sort of little hooks on their forelegs which are used to hold the female in check during mating. (Talk about a "two-bag date", eh?) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:51, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
I thought everybody knew that female spiders always have longer eyelashes; (I too, am educated from cartoons). (talk) 18:14, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Called "tertiary sexual characteristics" on TVTropes. -- BenRG (talk) 21:10, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
This page suggests looking at the pedipalps (along with coloration and size). -- BenRG (talk) 21:10, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
The males of some species have six legs, a mosquito-like proboscis and manage hotels. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:25, August 16, 2014 (UTC)
Spiders are feminine in the gendered languages with which I'm acquainted. —Tamfang (talk) 05:48, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Molecular term symbols[edit]

How do you I translate a MO diagram into a molecular term symbol? How about using

Molecular orbital scheme for the three forms of oxygen.png

as a teaching model? I understand the multiplicity number, I am most interested in the quantum number, but the remainder of the general formula is also important. Plasmic Physics (talk) 06:32, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

How does a Cross Vacuum Scale work?[edit]

A Cross Vacuum scale is a collection of 5 or 6 tubes with vacuum varying from a couple of torr to about .03torr. When a high voltage charge is placed across these tubes they glow, with different colours at different levels of vacuum. I would like to know why they glow and what voltage is required to excite these tubes.

Thanks for your help Rod — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:32, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

A Cross vacuum scale consists of 6 Geissler tubes (see article) with different vacuums to show their effects on electrical discharge.

From a seller's description:

tube no. 1 at 10 Torr pressure : ribbon line discharge

tube no. 2 at 5 Torr pressure : crimson band discharge

tube no. 3 at 1,25 Torr pressure : crimson coloured discharge

tube no. 4 at 0,75 Torr pressure : stratifications

tube no. 5 at 0,05 Torr pressure : grayish-white light

tube no. 6 at 0,025 Torr pressure : glows with brilliant green flourescence of glass (talk) 11:05, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Testing for alcohol in food[edit]

If you cook some dish using alcohol, how can you measure how much alcohol is left at the end? (I suppose there is a lot still, but I want to know how to test it empirically). OsmanRF34 (talk) 17:04, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

A hydrometer will allow testing of the liquid component, but presumably you're interested in the whole dish. Cooking with alcohol cites this paper, which anyone with a PubMed account can access - this doesn't include me, unfortunately. Tevildo (talk) 17:13, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
A hydrometer just measures density of the liquid component. That would be fine if one were to work with a solution of just water and ethanol, but breaks down if the mixture contains an appreciable amount of any other dissolved, suspended, or emulsified material which could quite significantly affect the density of the liquid.
The paper Tevildo linked noted rentention of anywhere between 4 and 85% of the original alcohol content, depending on cooking time, cooking temperature, and surface area of the cooking vessel. (Unsurprisingly, there was less alcohol retained during longer, hotter cooking in pans with larger surface area.) The method used was homogenization of the food sample and addition of water (to fully dissolve the alcohol), followed by centrifugation of the resulting slurry to remove solids. Gas-liquid chromatography was used to determine ethanol content, using the method described in Martin GE, Burggraff JM, Dyer RH, Buscemi PC. "Gas-liquid chromatographic determination of congeners in alcoholic products with confirmation by gas chromatography/ mass spectrometry." J Assoc Off Anal Chem. 1981; 64:186. I'm afraid I can't lay my hands on that paper, but Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry gives you an idea of the technique. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 19:14, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Assuming you don't want to submit your dinner to a lab for testing, perhaps a home breathalyzer unit might give a rough indication of the amount of alcohol remaining. Take a bite of the food, then exhale into the device, and see what kind of a reading you get. Now it won't give you the percentage of alcohol in the food, but a higher number will mean there's more in the food. You could "calibrate" it by making a chart, with various test concentrations of alcohol in the food. Again, it wouldn't be highly accurate, but might be good enough to tell you if the kids should skip that meal or not. StuRat (talk) 01:24, 17 August 2014 (UTC)


After playing the last of us Im just curious is it possible for the fungus to somehow evolve or adapt into infecting humans and if so would the results be like in the game or will people just start climbing buildings and wait to die like ants do — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:37, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

First, let's link The Last of Us. As for your question, well, I would say that nothing is impossible in biology. A science like physics, it is all about what can't be done. But biology is just a collection of things that happened. If you dream it, you can do it. But something like this is really, really unlikely without a whole lot of help, or a certain sort of luck. Wnt (talk) 22:03, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
A big diff is that ants do everything based on instinct, while humans have far more complex decision making processes. The advantage of instincts is that they require far less brain, but this also means they can be easily hijacked by activating just a few neurons. Changing human behavior in such a specific way would require a lot more than that. On the other hand, torqued up aggression or risk taking behavior can occur in humans as a result of diseases. StuRat (talk) 01:10, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
"A big diff is that ants do everything based on instinct, while humans have far more complex decision making processes." How do you know that? Can you prove it? ScienceApe (talk) 04:00, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
One fun way to show this is to lay down a circular scent trail for the ants to follow. They will happily follow the circle around and around, not noticing they are going in circles. Very reminiscent of the infinite loops a computer can get into. When you only have a very basic set of instructions to follow, this type of error can happen. StuRat (talk) 04:50, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Mammals are highly resistant to systemic fungal infections. Mammalian body temperature is uncomfortably hot for fungi (it is even possible that a high body-temperature is partly an antifungal adaptation).
Also linking Cordyceps. There are a ton of parasites that control host behavior. Most of them don't use mammalian hosts. Here is a nice overview [3], and here is a very nice set of links to many more articles about parasite manipulation [4]. The plot for the game, while not necessarily biologically sound, is indeed informed by the many examples of parasites turning animals into "zombies". SemanticMantis (talk) 15:55, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
In general most fungi can not survive the elevated temperature of warm blooded species. Some theorize that this is the reason for warm blood in the first place. There are few that can, but they don't grow well. So it's unlikely that Cordyceps could infect a human, even an Immunocompromised one. Ariel. (talk) 18:27, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

August 17[edit]

A properties of acids and caustic alkalis[edit]

Does a microlife (germs, bacteria, viruses) been in the acids and caustic alkalis?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 11:56, 17 August 2014 (UTC) As I been knowing, the acid and excess acidic environment is been eating by them's.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 13:17, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Snottite. Wnt (talk) 14:37, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Acidophiles and alkaliphiles exist. Red Act (talk) 15:51, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
I been suppose that, anyone chemical environment is been a biological!--Alex Sazonov (talk) 17:15, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Pretty much. See Extremophile#Classifications. Red Act (talk) 17:24, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
The most simplest form of biological is been chemical-physical materia or not it been biological?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 18:04, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
For a discussion of the simplest possible forms of life, see Abiogenesis. Red Act (talk) 19:08, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

I thinking that, a chemical oxides (химические окиси) and oxideis of chemical (химические окислы) are beening the absolute chemical environment.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 18:27, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

But so, the absolute chemical environment always had been a biologically properties and biologically specifications.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 19:28, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
These two sentences are hard to understand, mainly because the phrase "absolute chemical environment" doesn't make sense. But I presume the word "absolute" is a translation of "aбсолютный", which can also mean "perfect", and "perfect chemical environment" does make sense. I.e., I think the intended meaning of these two sentences is something like: "I think that oxides are the ideal chemical environment. However, the ideal chemical environment is a property specific to the organism." Red Act (talk) 19:57, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
I mean that, the absolute (ideal) chemical environment is been the zero biological, but of course it always had been a biologically properties and biologically specifications.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 10:15, 18 August 2014 (UTC) I think that, an oxides group is been the chemical environment of terminates biological, but not all chemical elements of oxides group made it.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 10:31, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

I been suggest that, an oxides group consisted from this: окиси, окислы, закиси, закислы, углеродные перекиси, углеродные перекислы, but I don’t know how it’s translate in English, because I had not got a special English translate.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 15:40, 18 August 2014 (UTC) The list partly translates as "Nitrous oxide, oxides, nitrous oxide, закислы, carbon peroxide, carbon перекислы". (talk) 11:04, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

I suppose that, a sulfates and sulfides are not been included in oxides group, because they had been an alkaline ash in most cases, that’s why they always been an alkalis.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 18:05, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

can we ban him already? as did ruwiki (talk) 21:03, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

I've proposed this on the talk page. Tevildo (talk) 23:30, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

I’m sorry for my English! Did the chemical hydrolyzing of complex (implex) chemical substances been? I been think that, in Nature been only the chemical hydrolyzing of simple chemical substances.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 18:05, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Medical test result human error statistics[edit]

How common are test result errors in developed countries as a result of human error? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:33, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

I'm thinking This book may be just what you are looking for. --Jayron32 01:36, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

August 18[edit]

Conclusions of an autopsy[edit]

A recent case got me to thinking about what information can or cannot be concluded from an autopsy. So, two questions. (1) Can an autopsy determine if the decedent were moving (e.g., running) versus standing still when the decedent was shot? And (2) Can an autopsy determine the position of the decedent's body when he was shot (e.g., whether or not he was holding his hands up in a "surrender" position?)? If indeed the medical examiner can make conclusions about these two matters, how would he do so? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 04:25, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

The position of the body should show if he was running (unless he survived for some time after being shot and changed his position). Also, if he was running on a road or sidewalk, you'd expect abrasions where he slid on the cement. On grass his clothes should have grass stains. And the path of the bullet through the body would reveal the position of the part of the body it hit. If the body was vertical at the time, that would tend to indicate standing, while if it was angled, that would indicate running (accounting for the height and distance at which the bullet was fired).
Detecting the hands up position would be a lot trickier. If the shooter was close enough that the victim was sprayed with gunpowder residue, then the location and density of the spray would indicate that the hands were up, but with a distance shot this method wouldn't work. Blood spatter from the victim could be used in a similar way, but there might not be much spatter, especially if the bullet is small, doesn't exit the body, and the victim was wearing thick clothes, like a winter coat. On the other hand, with a case like the fatal JFK head shot, there was all kinds of spatter to work with. StuRat (talk) 04:57, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. But, I still have some confusion. You said: The position of the body should show if he was running. Why is that? Once you are shot, don't you just sort of "plop" down, regardless of whether you were running or standing still? You also said: Also, if he was running on a road or sidewalk, you'd expect abrasions where he slid on the cement. When your body hits the ground, wouldn't you get abrasions either way, whether running or standing still? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 05:31, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
At the very least, if he was hit in the back instead of the front, that would indicate he was leaving the scene. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:52, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Momentum is a factor here. If the victim is moving quickly, they will keep moving quickly after being shot (unless shot with something large and fast enough to cancel out their forward momentum). I'd expect there to be a difference between abrasions resulting from a straight fall down or backwards, and abrasions resulting from a fall when running, which results in sliding across the ground for a small distance. MChesterMC (talk) 08:41, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Moment of inertia seems appropriate, as well. Though I'm what "laymen" call an idiot, sometimes. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:02, August 18, 2014 (UTC)
A-ha. That all makes sense. Thanks! Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 08:49, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
As for the abrasions, you'd expect them to be longer and deeper if the victim was running when they dropped on cement or stones, or for the grass stains to be darker and longer if they dropped on grass. Of course, if the wounds weren't immediately fatal, they might have stopped running before they dropped. Regarding the angle of the bullets, the first should best show the initial position of the victim, but with rapid firing the victim's position might not change much between shots. StuRat (talk) 17:07, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
  • The problematic word here is "concluded" the medical examiner will describe a bunch of facts, that a bullet entered in one location and exited at another, that certain wounds were found, perhaps any signs of intoxication, cause of death (blood loss, brain trauma). It will be the forensic specialists who argue the case in court who will try to convince the jury of their theories of what happened. They will argue the patterns show he must have been standing, running away, shot while falling, etc. μηδείς (talk) 16:48, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
A medical examiner can conclude lots of things, as Steven Hayne illustrated. —Tamfang (talk) 20:03, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Of course, he can conclude all sorts of things, such as cause and approximate time of death, type of weapon used, trajectory of a bullet though the body. He can have his own theory, if asked to testify as a witness. But he can't conclude guilt or criminal fact in the legal sense, which is what the OP seems to be getting at, given the recent shooting in MO. μηδείς (talk) 22:13, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Though, of course, he may be getting at The Huston Plan. Inconclusive, I declare. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:20, August 18, 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, all. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 21:03, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Mayer bullets[edit]

Mayer bullets compared to an AA battery

There is an article on Russian Wikipedia about something called Mayer bullets or Mayer slugs. According to Google translate the article seems to say these are used in shotguns. How does that work exactly? Is a cartridge full of propellant loaded behind the slug? Are the Russians still using muzzle loaders? Our article on shotgun slugs seems to show the slug always crimped to a shell, but in the images in the Russian article just shows the slugs by themselves. SpinningSpark 10:48, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

My guess is that they are a normal type of slug, normally fired from a complete shell. I think they are just pictured solo for illustrative convenience. If you do an image search for shotgun slug, you'll see lots of photos where the slugs are removed from the shell for comparison purposes. Here's an article all about modern slugs, and it mentions a guy named Mayer, but it's probably not the same Mayer [5] SemanticMantis (talk) 14:58, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Yup, not the same Mayer. That's Steve Mayer of Winchester, we're looking for A. K. Mayer (А. К. Майера) who invented a slug in 1963. SpinningSpark 16:22, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
They certainly seem to be on sale as bullets only without a shell [6][7]. SpinningSpark 16:54, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
@Spinningspark: I found a video where a guy is shooting them. I have no idea how they are commonly sold, but he shows the single slugs, then packs one into a shell, then fires it from a seemingly normal Break_action shotgun [8]. This video seems to be the same guy, and shows a little more about how the shell is assembled [9]. I found the videos by searching /Майера ружье/, with the second word meaning "shotgun" in Russian, according to google translate. SemanticMantis (talk) 21:58, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, that about answers it then. SpinningSpark 23:57, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Nuclear contrail thingies[edit]

Upshot-Knothole GRABLE.jpg

Yeah, I'm sure that's not the correct term, but since I have no idea what they are, I also have no idea what their name is. You can see them in the image at right; I've seen better images of them before but wasn't able to find any with a quick check of Commons. They are quite distinct white-ish lines of what look like water vapor, and they seem to have a strange habit of appearing in the area of nuclear weapon tests. I have a guess as to what they are, but it's probably wrong, and I'm sure someone here knows. Thanks in advance! Evan (talk|contribs) 16:05, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

They are smoke trails from small rockets launched just prior to the nuclear detonation. The visual distortion of the trails provides information about the detonation. Trying to find the relevant articles... DMacks (talk) 16:11, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Mentioned with cite at Effects of nuclear explosions#Other phenomena. I know I've seen more detail of the history of this use (originally discovered accidentally!). DMacks (talk) 16:21, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Fantastic! Thanks for the speedy response. Evan (talk|contribs) 16:24, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
How about an entire book on the history and role of such rockets? NASA Sounding Rockets, 1958-1968: A Historical Summary. This book focuses on civilian sounding rockets, including many that were fired at White Sands, but if I recall, it also has a section on the early Army rockets launched during the Trinity test in 1945. The photograph posted in the original question is a 1953 test at a different Department of Energy facility, the Nevada Test Site. Those sounding rockets were almost certainly small Army rockets and their smoke-trails would have been used as an indicator of the winds aloft (after the blast) at various distances. For some tests, the rockets would also be equipped with radiological, physical, and chemical detection and sample-collection equipment. You can find historical records of such tests from the Nevada Test Site's OpenLibrary web-page, hosted by the Department of Energy's Office of Scientific and Technical Information. In just a few moments of browsing, I found a technical report on the specific purpose of sounding rockets during Operation Hardtack, Aircraft and Rocket Fallout (1959). If you're interested in the exact test pictured above (Upshot-Knothole Grable, (1953)), I'm sure you can spend a few more hours browsing those resources. Nimur (talk) 17:16, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Sounding rocket.    —E: (talk) 17:41, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Here is the accidental first use of visual effect I was remembering: File:Trinity explosion film strip.jpg. And according to ISBN 9783540304210 page 992, the smoke trails are actually not even from really rockets, just simple mortars (in this context they are only used for the smoke trails, not the object being lofted). DMacks (talk) 16:57, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Water jet cutter as a weapon[edit]

About how effective would a water jet cutter be as a weapon?(ignoring the bulk of the surrounding hardware) Would the stream just dissipate into steam after a few feet? (talk) 16:37, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Our article does say "The penetrating power of these tools has led to the exploration of their use as anti-tank weapons but, due to their short range and the advent of composite armour, research was discontinued.[citation needed]". Rojomoke (talk) 16:45, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Yeah I saw that, but ya know. Citation needed, plus I want to know what causes the range to be limited. (talk) 16:57, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Air resistance and turbulent flow limit the effective range at which you can shoot a stream of high-velocity liquid. You read a two-sentence overview at the terminal velocity section of our article on water drops. Momentum and energy - which you would want to direct into the target - are instead lost to the air around the stream of water as it "sloshes." The faster you move the water, the more it sloshes, because air flowing past the "edges" of the water stream induces a viscous flow shear force. Nimur (talk) 17:02, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I remember reading that in the article when I first started at my current job (we have a waterjet cutting machine) and pointing it out to a colleague who laughed. When it comes to steel, particularly thicker/harder steel, it is very slow. To give some numbers, the M1A2 Abrahms tank apparently has armour 120mm thick (according to google, yeesh), the feed rate for that thickness is somewhere in the region of 2-3mm a minute. That means to cut through 1m of steel would take some 6-8 hours. In that time your tank could have driven 250-340 miles--Jac16888 Talk 17:34, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
The rate at which the machine could cut a slot might not matter if you could aim it sufficiently well - a single penetrating hole one millimeter in diameter would be plenty if you can hit exactly the right spot in the engine bay and have the water jet drill a 1mm hole through some vital engine part or electronics. But I agree that keeping the water flow focussed over significant distances would be the downfall of such a weapon. I doubt that it's practical beyond a foot or two. SteveBaker (talk) 20:27, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
1mm could take 30 seconds, which a long time considering at the same time a tank-turret is probably turning around to face you--Jac16888 Talk 21:48, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
That sentence, which evolved out of something posted by someone at Central Michigan University in 2007, was apparently inspired by the use of a water jet cutter in the video game Metal Gear Solid 2. See the original addition. I can't find anything using Google that would support that sentence, so I removed it. Red Act (talk) 20:32, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Would shooting another liquid that has a higher density and/or boiling point at high velocity make a difference? Liquid metal perhaps? (talk) 22:31, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

You're on the right way, since most portable anti-tank weapons use metal, which behaves like a liquid at the kind of pressure involved. Generating that kind of pressure (I've read it's in the TPa range[citation needed], which is more than 107 times atmospheric pressure) using non-destructive equipment (in the sense that it doesn't blow itself apart in the process) is difficult even with today's technology. Sidney Alford#Early Inventions lists some shaped charges using water, so the idea isn't flawed as much as it hits its limits if applied to modern armor.
Also note that a [citation needed] tag does not necessarily indicate that the tagged statement is dubious; it indicates that a key fact is not backed by a source in the list of references. For dubious statements, we have the [dubious] tag. - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 05:49, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
It is a common application in manufacturing engineering. See Water jet cutter. It only works on very short distance but is a very cost efficient, precise, fast and reliable technology to cut flat materials like steel plates. But it wouldnt make much sense as a weapon. --Kharon (talk) 16:51, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Kidney function questions[edit]

The other day I started wondering about kidney function. Firstly, does the filtering ability of the kidneys dynamically respond to waste concentrations in the blood? If a person happens to have high levels of urea, or salt, or something else in their blood does the body have the ability to increase the activity of the kidneys, or are they pretty much going to filter the blood at a fixed rate regardless? Secondly, for a fixed level of hydration, if one has more waste in the blood (e.g. urea / excess salt) does that lead the kidneys to excrete more water as well or is the water output about the same but the waste in the urine more concentrated? Dragons flight (talk) 23:10, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

First of all, it's important to clarify that the kidney only removes excess organic molecules and/or wastes. The answer to your first question, as far as I can tell, is yes. Refer to Clearance (medicine). Not sure about the answer to your second question, sorry. ceranthor 00:25, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
The removal of waste and water are largely independent (although obviously some water is needed to carry the waste out). If you drink a very large quantity of water, but don't eat much or do much, your urine will be clear, since it's mostly water. If you are dehydrated, but have eaten a lot and done a lot of exercise, your urine will be brightly colored, since it's much more concentrated with waste. Obviously that wouldn't be a safe test, but you can take some vitamin C, instead. That will turn your urine brighter yellow, which indicates it has a higher concentration of waste (vitamin C, in this case).
I suspect that salt is a special case, though, where the concentration of salt in the urine can't be changed much relative to the concentration in the blood. This would explain why eating salty things makes you thirsty, because the salt must be diluted, as it can't easily be removed at high concentrations. StuRat (talk) 00:38, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I would suggest conceptualizing the kidney as an organ of absorption rather than merely excretion. For the example of Vitamin C, one should realize that all the vitamin C in the serum passes into the renal tubules, and then only a certain amount is reabsorbed. So the kidney isn't responding to a high level of vitamin C and excreting more, it's just excreting all the vitamin C regardless of its blood level, and then reabsorbing the same amount it always does. Salt, as StuRat says, must be considered separately, as it's not a simple matter of passive diffusion; there are a variety of means of regulating salt (active transport, hormones, countercurrent multiplication, etc.). You may be interested in the concept of obligatory water loss, which is the amount of water that must be excreted in order to remove waste products and thereby maintain health. - Nunh-huh 01:01, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I see we don't have an article on obligatory water loss, but you will find a brief mention in dehydration. - Nunh-huh 01:01, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

August 19[edit]

Lowest Possible Temperature[edit]

We know there is a lowest possible temperature, but is there a theoretical highest? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 01:18, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

WHAAOE. Absolute hot. --Jayron32 01:20, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
There's also negative temperature. Dmcq (talk) 16:09, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
So, if a system at negative temperature is brought into the presence of a system at absolute hot, which way will heat flow? The article says " If a negative-temperature system and a positive-temperature system come in contact, heat will flow from the negative- to the positive-temperature system." - but I have no idea if that applies to absolute hot... SemanticMantis (talk) 16:52, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Atoms as fact[edit]

When did the scientific consensus become that atoms are real? I read atomic theory, but it doesn't mention any point in time or event. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 04:20, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

See there about Dalton in the section 'First evidence-based theory' and his presentations of the atomic theory at the start of the nineteenth century. His first oral presentation in 1803 is one good date and his textbook in 1808 is another. Dmcq (talk) 08:03, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
The term "atom" or "indivisible particle" was revived 1805 from ancient Greek philosophical speculation by John Dalton. In 1828 "atom" was evidently part of Christian truth with which Noah Webster was concerned in his dictionary. Understanding of the atom has progressed from the cubic model (1902), the plum-pudding model (1904), the Saturnian model (1904), and the Rutherford model (1911) to the Rutherford–Bohr model or just Bohr model for short (1913) whose image is most recognized today. The Bohr model is widely taught as real and gives an explanation of some spectral emissions. It may be said to have reached popular consensus though scientific consensus favours the quantum mechanical atomic model introduced by Wolfgang Pauli in 1925. (talk) 10:41, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
First of all, scientists don't think in terms of "facts" and "proof". The think in terms of "evidence". Dalton's atomic theory was well a well accepted conjecture by the middle 19th century, but the definitive empirical justification ("proof" if you want) is usually cited as Einstein's paper on Brownian motion in 1905 (his Annus Mirabilis. See Annus Mirabilis papers). The other parts of atomic theory, those dealing with the internal structure of atoms, built up over time, with the experiments and conjectures cited above by, who did a great job laying out the history of Atomic theory. There were also some false starts in Atomic theory, see Prout's hypothesis for a more famous one. --Jayron32 14:09, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
That is kind of what I was getting at. The 19th century chemists had a model that worked beautifully, but I don't think any of them "detected" an atom. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 02:56, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm sure I have read somewhere that atoms were widely accepted among scientists as a model by 1905 but there were still some who didn't. Einstein's Brownian motion paper which provided another way to calculate the size of atoms was an extra bit of useful evidence that atoms existed and weren't just an apparent building block of solids that was actually made up of other things of different sizes. (oops should have read Jayron's answer first) JMiall 18:53, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
There is a subtle confusion here. Once the experimental results were in and the math had been crunched, it would have been valid to say "The world operates as if matter was made of atoms" - but you still wouldn't know that there actually ARE atoms. These days, we've actually imaged them so we have direct evidence - but that's a rather recent thing. SteveBaker (talk) 05:24, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Can you accelerate the decay of radioactive material?[edit]

Or do you always have to bury it and wait 10,000 years? OsmanRF34 (talk) 15:10, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

For practical purposes, decay rates for spontaneous radioactive decay are constant. Radioactive decay#Changing decay rates says "The radioactive decay modes of electron capture and internal conversion are known to be slightly sensitive to chemical and environmental effects that change the electronic structure of the atom, which in turn affects the presence of 1s and 2s electrons that participate in the decay process. A small number of mostly light nuclides are affected ... A number of experiments have found that decay rates of other modes of artificial and naturally occurring radioisotopes are, to a high degree of precision, unaffected by external conditions such as temperature, pressure, the chemical environment, and electric, magnetic, or gravitational fields". Gandalf61 (talk) 15:22, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
The key words here are *spontaneous* radioactive decay. While temperature, pressure, electromagnetic fields, etc. don't substantially increase decay rate, neutron flux will. See Nuclear transmutation#Artificial transmutation of nuclear waste for details. -- (talk) 16:21, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Well surprisingly you can just about do the opposite see Quantum Zeno effect. And of course sending particles at something will start splitting it up, a nuclear bomb is a good example. Dmcq (talk) 16:02, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
You can sort of do that partly, by refining the material aka split it up into active and decayed matter with physical and/or chemical methodes of process engineering. This is actually done to an limited extend for some Time with radioactive waste because in most countries space in radioactive waste repositories is very expensive. --Kharon (talk) 16:35, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
You should be able to change a radioactive isotope into something else by bombarding it with enough of the right type of radiation. However, it may turn into something even nastier. Also, you are likely to get many different products, so now you need to separate the stable from the radioactive. There's also the risk that you might get more heat than anticipated, due to unknown interactions between all the products and radiation, and have an explosion or meltdown. StuRat (talk) 16:56, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
If you want to accelerate the decay, that means you want something "even nastier". Things that decay slowly are not very radioactive. But as Stu says, the problem is that you are likely to get many different products. I don't believe it's practical at present to convert all of a chunk of some substance into another by irradiating it. -- (talk) 00:24, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
It is possible using fast breeder reactors, but the anti-nuclear movement has stopped the development of large scale nuclear power making fast breeder reactors uneconomical at present. The Integral fast reactor was never completed, the article says: "Fast reactors can "burn" long lasting nuclear transuranic waste (TRU) waste components (actinides: reactor-grade plutonium and minor actinides), turning liabilities into assets. Another major waste component, fission products (FP), would stabilize at a lower level of radioactivity than the original natural uranium ore it was attained from in two to four centuries, rather than tens of thousands of years." Count Iblis (talk) 17:34, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Giant resonance does not need fast breeding reactors or other sources of neutrons. But probably prohibitive amounts of energy. (talk) 19:12, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Another option is to separate out the radioactive isotopes from the non radioactive material. This my make a valuable resource, or at the least make a smaller waste output. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 23:10, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Decline of large aerial predators[edit]

The amount of large aerial predators seem to be nonexistent, which is counter-intuitive to me. Considering there used to be creatures with wingspans the width of a basketball court, what led to their extinction? Considering there are still whales and elephants, it seems weird to me that bustards are the largest bird left around, with no large bird-of-preys. Was it tied to lowered oxygen levels? Climate change affecting updraft? Trees growing taller to hide prey? Just curious. --Wirbelwind(ヴィルヴェルヴィント) 19:26, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

No large birds of prey? Tell that to the harpy eagle or the golden eagle. Here's a nice video about the harpy eating monkeys [10], and here's one about the golden hunting wolves [11]. As for the biggest flyers ever, what do you know of with a ~50 ft wingspan? (the width of a basketball court). Pterosaur_size tops out at ~35 feet, according to our article. The largest bird we have evidence of is currently Pelagornis_sandersi, which, with a wingspan of ~20 feet is admittedly ~2x the wingspan of our current leader, the wandering albatross. But enough with questioning your premise:
You're right that were some larger flyers in the past, but there were also lizard type things the size of school buses, and they went away too, most likely due to the Chicxulub impact. So the pterosaurs et al. went extinct due to massive disruption of the food chain, as all photosynthesis on earth was severely compromised for a long time (more info at dinosaur extinction). After that, everything was much smaller, and there was a lot of value on the R side of R-K selection. Now, we might ask the question, "why have no very large flying predators evolved again?" I think the key here is that size is relative. We lost most of our megafauna in the Holocene extinction, and even though that was pretty recent, things have pretty much stayed smaller since then. I don't personally think O2 levels or updraft patterns are the culprit, but that's hard to find references to support. Even though the Square-cube_law has never changed, I think its importance might be strengthened in a world with much more pathogens, complex food webs, greater diversity of terrestrial vertebrates, etc. The main thing to think of is the ecological niche, and, for whatever reasons, the niche space is just not there anymore, even if it used to be. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:13, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
A giant asteroid slammed into the Gulf of Mexico some 65 million years ago, setting off a chain of catastrophic events that ultimately led to the extinction of all big living creatures. Then mammals got bigger. And eventually they paid the price. Several mammoths and other big mammals died off during the Pleistocene/Holocene extinction event, which started around 50,000 years ago. whales were more mobile and could emmigrate to whenever they wanted. Animals bigger than elephants didn't have so much luck. If there is little food, you are better off being small and having lots of descendants as fast as possible. OsmanRF34 (talk) 20:19, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Per Semantic Mantis, there are several birds of prey which can be strikingly large; it's just that humans rarely get up close to them to see them. All animals (aside from whales) are generally smaller than they were in the Mesozoic era and flying critters are no exception. However, that doesn't mean that all birds are pigeon-sized. Female bald eagles have a length of 3.5 feet or so (standing on the ground they'd come up past your belly button) and have a wingspan of 7.5 feet or more. The golden eagle noted by Semantic Mantis above can get even larger. Those are land-based raptors. Seabirds can also get pretty large; various kinds of pelicans can get as large as a person; 5+ feet in length with an over 8 foot wingspan. Obviously, they weigh less than people, but they are still quite big in size (bird physiology maximizes their ability to fly, and so tends to favor lower mass-to-size ratios than land animals). The grand-daddy of carnivorous birds is the California condor, which is a bit shorter than the largest pelican, but can have up to a 10-foot wingspan. Again, since most people never see one of these birds up close, it can be hard to judge them from context. If you ever do get to see one up close, it takes you aback at how big they can be. --Jayron32 22:00, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
When it comes to pterosaurs, this is an open question. There is even a question about the question itself. Based on the fossil record, it appears that the pterosaurs reached peak diversity in the early Cretaceous period and then sharply declines before being finished off by the K-Pg extinction. However, it's possible that at least some of this apparent decline may be due to gaps in the fossil record ([12]). It should be noted that as far as we know, there were never any large, predatory pterosaurs (the thing with pterodactyls carrying prey off to their nest is a Hollywood invention;they didn't even have grasping feet, or bird-like nests). Why a highly diverse group like pterosaurs never produced any predatory forms is an interesting question and I'm not sure if it's been addressed. There may have been small hawk-sized predatory pterosaurs (this has been suggested for Darwinopterus), but even the biggest ones like azhdarchids seem to have been stork analogues, picking off small prey like lizards and baby dinosaurs. I guess that's still predatory, but maybe not the way most people think.
It's true that birds have not yet ever attained sizes comparable to pterosaurs and are on average very small (pterosaurs were on average very big as adults with no known tiny species, probably because they took years to grow up unlike birds, and niches for small sized animals were occupied by babies of larger species). It has been suggested that birds are limited in size by their takeoff style. They need two well-developed sets of limbs - forelimbs for flight, and hind limbs for launching themselves into the air. That's two well-developed sets of muscles in creatures that need to stay as light as possible. Pterosaurs were quadrupeds and most had piddly little hind limbs. By all accounts, they both launched AND flew with the forelimbs, allowing the biggest pterosaurs to get a few times bigger than comparable birds.
I don't think there have ever been any really large aerial predators. The largest I can think of is Haasts eagle, which isn't as large as the largest flying birds today, though larger than the extant predatory ones. All birds that ever lived larger than this have either been vulture-type birds (scavengers) or seabirds, which eat fish and can get larger than normal by taking advantage of oceanic winds to aid flight. Dinoguy2 (talk) 23:23, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
'Large, flighted, actively-hunting bird' is probably one of the most energy intensive animal 'designs' possible. Imagine how much food a 150lb+ bird that chased down and subdued live prey would need to eat in order to remain alive, let alone thrive, given that flying birds have a much faster metabolism than mammals (from what I've seen, birds tend to eat a huge amount for their size) - and how much territory it would need to fulfil its hunting needs. Such a critter would certainly find it difficult to survive and almost certainly be amongst the first to die out, should the world ever take a turn for the worse. The condors are huge and carnivorous, to be sure - but they are also mostly scavengers and gliders. --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 23:36, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

This is not a scientific answer because there is lack of scientific evidence for it. But I believe that not only is the percentage of oxygen higher in the past but the air pressure is higher in the past as well. In fact I believe the air pressure is 10 times to 50 times higher in the past than the air pressure is today. Therefore with higher air pressure in the past, flying creatures can be bigger because it can generate bigger lifts. Of course, air pressures leaves no "fossil records" and thus I am not able to offer any proof that air pressure is higher in the past. (talk) 00:56, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

We do not currently have a Thick atmosphere theory article, and Atmosphere of Earth#Evolution of Earth's atmosphere does not address pressure. (Faint young Sun paradox does discuss the posibilities of CO2 partial pressures as high as 10 bar, but long, long before the cambrian radiation, presumably only up until the GOE.) Here are a couple of interesting papers by Octave Levenspiel published in 2000 in ACS's Chemical Innovation: Earth’s atmosphere before the age of dinosaurs (with Thomas J. Fitzgerald & Donald Pettit, on the ACS site) and Atmospheric Pressure at the Time of Dinosaurs (on Levenspiel own site). -- ToE 05:01, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
According to Quaternary extinction event and given the many near extinct species, caused by overhunting and -fishing done by humans up till today, its almost certain there where some but Homo sapiens sapiens killed them all.
Even worse. Your contradiction regarding whales and elephants is wrong. We (as species) would likely have killed all whales and elephants by now if some international Commissions had not put a world wide ban on commercial whaling and ivory trading. --Kharon (talk) 02:37, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

August 20[edit]

Wheel base anf friction[edit]

Can we say that wheel base is proportional to friction acting on a vehicle,when brakes are applied.I think i solved a problem in h c verma(12 class physics) using this assumption.please correct me if i am wrong.

Sameerdubey.sbp (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 03:38, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Wheelbase is normally understood to mean the distance between the front and rear axles of a vehicle. Your statement accordingly makes no sense at all. AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:41, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Velocity of Saturn's moons[edit]

Any of the many, doesn't matter - I'm writing a fantasy where there's a vehicle tethered to one of Saturn's satellites, towing it around one of the rings. My preference is for one of the Inuit, Gallic, or Norse moons, because their names are so cool, but I gather they're further out than the orbit of the rings.

Thanks for your indulgence

Adambrowne666 (talk) 04:42, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Velocity relative to what? Saturn? If one end is tethered to the satellite, what's the other end tethered to? (It can't be Saturn, because it doesn't have a solid surface.) --Bowlhover (talk) 05:06, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Note that if you have a tether running from the spacecraft to the moon, remember that you only need the tow to get the vehicle up to the speed of the moon - then you can cut the tether and the spacecraft will continue to follow the moon around. Of course the moon will have some tiny amount of gravity - so after that initial acceleration, you'd pretty much have a slack tether. So calling this a "tow" is a little confusing. SteveBaker (talk) 05:20, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Can a shooting cause gradual brain death?[edit]

Hello. In a script I'm writing, a character is mortally wounded by gunfire. After a protracted period, the character suffers brain death. Is this plausible? I've read some articles on the subject and I'm not entirely sure how a bullet wound would lead to slow brain death. (talk) 05:36, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Your question is misleading. If a human is suffering from a gunshot wound. The human will suffer from a slow brain death while they are also suffering from a slow liver death and a slow death for every part of their body. The blood system in a human body is for all parts of the human organ. So technically yes, the character will suffer a slow brain death. (talk) 05:59, 20 August 2014 (UTC)


July 29[edit]

August 9[edit]

August 11[edit]

August 14[edit]

Parallel curves in geometric algebra?[edit]

Is there a way to represent the problem of parallel curves in geometric algebra? JMP EAX (talk) 22:59, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

I haven't gone through the exercise, but intuitively seems straightforward: start with a curve in a two-dimensional space described as a position vector function of some scalar parameter. Finding the tangent vectors of the curve requires differentiation of the vector function. Aside from that, normalization, rotation and scaling are straightforward operations in geometric algebra, and these can be used to find a parallel curve. Maybe not quite what you asked. It would be interesting to determine a curve is always parallel to its parallel – not answered by the article as far as I can see. —Quondum 01:59, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, the differentiation (tangent) is probably the non-straightforward part. There's a (relatively recent) book that probably covers that, but I haven't read it: John Snygg (2011). A New Approach to Differential Geometry using Clifford's Geometric Algebra. Springer. ISBN 978-0-8176-8282-8. JMP EAX (talk) 20:22, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
The differentiation is straightforward: it is the derivative with respect to the single parameter. No partial derivatives needed; no different from normal vector calculus. Snygg seems to cover the concept in §7.1 as in a sense a velocity along the curve. If the position vector is expressed in two components, the components of the tangent vector can be found as the derivative of each component with respect to the parameter. —Quondum 05:52, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

August 16[edit]

Knuth's up-arrow notation[edit]

How much money is being paid by the check in this xkcd comic? I found Knuth's up-arrow notation but didn't understand it. 00:22, 16 August 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

It is an extremely large number. It is way to big to write the digits. In fact, it is proabably way to big to even write the number of digits. Offhand, I'd guess that the number of digits in the number is way bigger than the number of atoms in the universe. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 00:46, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Even the number of digits in the number of digits in the number is larger than the number of atoms in the visible universe, as is the number of digits in the number of digits in the number of digits in the number, and so in. In fact, the number of times I would have to prepend "number of digits in" before the number could be written down is larger than the number of atoms in the visible universe. As is the number of digits in it. -- BenRG (talk) 01:33, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
It's even bigger than that: The number of digits in the number of times you would have to prepend "number of digits in" before the number is larger than the number of atoms in the visible universe. Sławomir Biały (talk) 12:01, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Can anyone figure out what the third term (i.e. S¤¤(1000)) on the right is meant to be? —Quondum 13:59, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
I was only focused on the term with the arrows. I thought maybe the S thingie was something to do with states in statistical mechanics, although it would be quite amusing if this was actually some stupendously small number, rendering the amount on the check some trivial number of cents. This seems unlikely though. Sławomir Biały (talk) 14:10, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
When the general context is xkcd humor, anything could be the case. But in the context of the specific xkcd what if page, it seems that a large number is intended. —Quondum 15:15, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
It may be SBB, referring to the busy beaver function. -- BenRG (talk) 18:39, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Sounds right. In this case, not only is it a huge number, it's also probably non-computable. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 22:19, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Not sure exactly what you mean by that. Every natural number, of course, is a computable number well, that is, its image under the natural map into the reals is, hi Bo.
Maybe you have in mind some sort of feasible computation, something that can actually be done within the bounds of physical realizability? In that case, we have other problems, because (say) the decimal representation of the number isn't one that can be feasibly written down, never mind computed, which makes it sort of trivial to say it can't be feasibly computed. If you allow more compact representations, then what's wrong with one that just represents it in terms of the Busy Beaver function? That representation is certainly computable.
So not saying you're wrong, just that it's not terribly clear what the claim means. --Trovatore (talk) 22:44, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Hmm... I'm not sure myself what I mean, but it's certainly not that it's not feasible in the physical universe (that could be said about the Knuth arrow number here, but I wouldn't call it non-computable. Given a classical computer and a huge, but finite, amount of RAM and CPU time, I can tell you the value of any digit you please of this number).
Now that you say it, it does sound obvious that every natural number is computable, but since the BB function is not computable, it makes sense to me that some of its values (such as S(1000)) are non-computable in some way. Maybe not that the number itself is not computable, but that it's impossible to compute the equivalence of its BB representation and its more usual representations, such as binary expansion.
Maybe something along the lines of "there exists an integer n such that for every m\in\{0,1\}, there is no proof in ZFC that the nth binary digit of S(1000) is m"? (where, when we make this statement formal, we don't substitute the actual number for S(1000), we write down the definition.) Does that make sense?
Or maybe I'm just wrong and there is no sense in which particular values of the BB function are not computable. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 07:53, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
It makes sense, although I'm not sure it's true at 1000. It's certainly true for some S_{BB}(k), purely on the grounds of noncomputability; otherwise, we could compute S_{BB} by enumerating all ZFC proofs until we find the one that gives us the value of S_{BB} on our desired input. In fact, we can construct a k where it holds: let M be the machine that searches for a ZFC proof of 0=1, then outputs the Gödel number of that proof. Let k be the number of states in M. Then a ZFC proof of S_{BB}(k) would allow you to prove consistency of ZFC simply by checking that none of the first S_{BB}(k) proofs prove 0=1.-- (talk) 08:43, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I thought something like that might have been what you (Meni) had in mind.
Yes, absolutely, it could be the case that you can't prove in ZFC what the value of BB(1000) is. I don't know whether that's actually the case or not, but it may well be. Definitely there is some N such that you can't prove in ZFC what the value of BB(N) is.
That does not, however, make the value non-computable. It just means that ZFC is insufficiently strong to decide what it is. There is a real answer, Platonistically; a particular first-order theory just might not get you there.
There is no such thing as a non-computable natural number, or a non-computable value of a function from the naturals to the naturals. Non-computability applies only when you have infinitely many values to produce. Any finitely many natural numbers are always computable.
Here's the confusion, maybe. Computability is not about justifying an answer. It's only about whether there can exist a program that correctly finds the answer, whether the program is justified or not. The program might produce the answer completely by accident, as it were, and it would nevertheless witness computability. --Trovatore (talk) 09:26, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Going back to the psychology/intent of the xkcd strip: I find it interesting that it used a product of three big numbers, each of which seems to require a deeper level of understanding of its sheer size, perhaps so that the smaller numbers fill in where understanding of the larger number(s) is just missing. There is also an interesting irony in the strip: that the cheque (check) would be inherently valueless, something that is not alluded to in the strip but could not have escaped Randall. I am reminded of a challenge run by Scientific American decades ago: readers were to mail in a whole number, and the reader submitting the largest number would receive $1,000,000 divided by the sum of all received numbers (or something to that effect). They even pointed out the optimal strategy. Apparently some of the numbers submitted were of the same ilk as on the xkcd cheque, so no money needed to be paid. —Quondum 15:24, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
That was the Luring lottery. Some people did submit the largest number they could manage to define on a postcard. Hofstadter wrote in his next column about how sad that made him because it showed how blindly selfish some of his readers were, in contrast to his superrational self, of course. I think the selfish ones were the people who tried to extract a substantial payout from SA (that it could ill afford) while doing nothing of value themselves. The people who submitted large numbers saved SA from a potentially difficult situation, and some of them were apparently pretty creative about it, unlike the people who followed Hofstadter's instructions. Anyway, getting back to the check, yes, it didn't make sense. -- BenRG (talk) 22:37, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Interesting point. I have never agreed with Hofstatder about "superrationality", but this is an angle that I can't recall ever occurred to me.
(Would a mil actually have hurt SA that badly, even if they'd had to pay out the whole thing? I guess a million dollars was a lot of money back then.) --Trovatore (talk) 23:33, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

August 18[edit]

Determining relative advantages of traits[edit]

So I'm comparing the fitness of organisms. I can take an organism with a collection of traits (say, a, b, and c) and compare it to an organism with another collection of traits (x and y) and see which has greater fitness. I can never compare individual traits. If I've got a sample of a bunch of matchups (not necessarily every possible combination of a given number of traits), how do I go about finding which individual traits, which combinations, etc. best promote organism fitness? --2404:2000:2000:5:0:0:0:C2 (talk) 04:23, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Okay here's a tentative idea I had: represent each matchup as an inequality (e.g. a+b+c-x-y>0) (note there are only finitely many traits), and I get a system of inequalities. The more samples, the narrower my solution space. But this works under the assumption that each trait contributes a fixed value to fitness, and there's no added value from particular combinations. But it might work reasonably well anyway I think? --2404:2000:2000:5:0:0:0:C2 (talk) 04:56, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
You need to figure out what fitness function you want to optimize, and how the traits contribute to it. For example, what's the better deal? A 2L bottle of soda for $5, or a 500mL bottle for $2? The 2L has a better per-unit cost ($2.5/L versus $4/L) but if you're only going to drink 400mL, with the rest going flat and being dumped out, the 500mL is a better deal, as total cost is better ($2 versus $5). Add in the fact that the 500mL bottle is refrigerated and the 2L isn't (how much is cold soda worth to you?), or perhaps that the 2L comes in your favorite flavor, but the 500mL doesn't, and you have a complex optimization problem that can't just be reduced to a simple "what's the price per liter?". There isn't any single answer as long as you're unclear on how the traits relate to each other, fitnesswise. - What you need to do if you really want to compare fitness is convert each independent trait to a single numerical value that's consistent within and between each other trait. That is, give each trait a certain number of "points", and for each organism sum the number of "fitness points" it has. So you may have 10 points for being cold, but 12 points for coming in your favorite flavor. You can get more complex if your want - trait a and trait b each get so many points individually, but when they occur together, they get a certain number of points for bonus (or penalty). The fitness function need not be a linear combination of the individual traits. - If you can't convert the values to a single consistent "point" scale, you may want to look into Pareto optimization. That is, you can't necessarily rank all the organisms in single file, but you can say "this set of organisms, when taken as a group, have a better fitness than any of these other organisms". Even then, though, you'll want to reduce your dimensionality as much as possible by combining those traits that can be combined into a reduced number of metrics, and if you want to rank organisms on the Pareto front, you'll need to determine a fitness function. -- (talk) 18:39, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

It depends on what you want to do, and there isn't one general answer. I'll assume you are interested in concepts from real biology. One perspective is that traits are only adaptive traits if they lead to a persistent population, i.e. the species/strain doesn't go extinct. Then "fitness" only makes sense in terms of the processes that affect population biology, things like reproduction, predation, resource competition, and so on. This is basically the stuff in Fitness_(biology).
In theoretical ecology, we often use the the long term low density growth rate, as described here [13]. The basic idea is that populations that can reliably grow back from low density while competing with others will not go extinct. If all types can do this, we can infer species coexistence. This LTLDGR can be measured empirically if good data is available, or calculated from a model. Another perspective on fitness is to take the expected value of the number of "grandchildren". Again, this can be computed for a population if data good, but will otherwise need a model. Really, there are just a lot of ways that "fitness" can be quantified, and what is best/most useful depends on the details of your problem. As for your suggestion of just adding together numbers, that is not something that makes much sense. Not only does that disallow interactions between traits, but it also assumes that all traits are somehow on comparable scales... Anyway, if you'd like to know more about any of the stuff I wrote up just ping me, I'll be happy to give more detail/refs. SemanticMantis (talk) 22:50, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
As regards "what I want to do": after taking a sample, I'd like to be able to predict which of two collections of traits has greater fitness. --2404:2000:2000:5:0:0:0:C2 (talk) 23:55, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
The "good" and useful answers for you will be very different, depending on your application. E.g. a highschool project on mice is very different from a research paper on theoretical ecology, which is very different from a video game that uses evolutionary ideas. Unfortunately your response could be true for any of those scenarios, but I'll still try to explain.
If you want to "take a sample" and see which type has "greater fitness", you have to have either (a lot of) data from the real world or a model of some sort. There are a few definitions for measurements at Fitness_(biology)#Measures_of_fitness, and I mentioned the LTDGR above. There are a few others, but they all revolve around the dynamics of the population over time. So, you have to quantify how much each genotype or phenotype contributes to the next generation. The entire notion of "fitness" in biology is about survival and reproduction. No trait is "better" or "worse", except in that context. There is no biologically meaningful way of measuring fitness of traits in a vacuum. You need to account for, at minimum, survival and reproduction over time. This is somewhat a problem of terminology, as this has very little to do with some other uses of the word "fit". I understand this is the math desk, but this is an area of evolution/ecology that actually has a lot of mathematical tools and techniques. If this is just for some small project or video game or something, you can make up whatever you like, or follow some of the other suggestions. If you want your answer to make sense in terms of the modern understanding of fitness in biology, you have to use one of the established mathematical frameworks. I apologize if I sound harsh, but I want to make it clear that this is a well-studied area of research, and making something up ad hoc might not be very useful. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:47, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
If you assume all the traits are independent, then you can do the following:
1) Compare all the cases with trait "a" to all those which lack trait "a", even though each of the two groups will contain a mixture of every other trait.
2) Repeat for trait "b", "c", "x", "y", and any other traits.
3) For each trait, you will then have either a positive or negative differential, or no significant difference in fitness, based on whether that trait is present or absent.
4) You could then conclude that the combination of all the positive traits, and absence of all the negative traits, is the most fit organism.
However, again note that this assumed that all the traits were independent. You may very well find this not to be the case. For example, cats with white fur and blue eyes might be desirable, but such cats also tend to be deaf. So, if this turns out to be the case, things get more complex. StuRat (talk) 00:26, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

August 19[edit]

Thermal resistance from a wire through a disk[edit]

Please see attached diagrams in

The flow of heat through a solid is governed by the solid's thermal resistivity, R, a property of the solid. For a simple bar shape, the flow of heat from one side to the opposite side as shown in Fig 1 is determined by the particular shape's thermal resistance, R, determined from R and the length, width, and height by the simple formula shown.

For a perfectly heat conducting wire or rod passing through a thermally resistive disk, and in perfect contact with the disk, the thermal resistance from wire to disk perimeter is also given by a standard formula: R = R Ln(Rd/Rw)/(2 Pi T) - See fig 2 in the attached file.

I need to find the thermal resistance from a wire to the disk perimeter edge where a pear-shaped hole is cut into the disk, so that the wire makes contact (assumed to be perfect contact) only over a limited angle, as show in Fig 3. The area of the hole can be assumed large compared to the cross section of the wire but small compared with the disk area. Assume heat only flows through solids, and not across any gap, and that there is negligible radiation.

How can I get or derive a formula, either approximate or exact? (talk) 10:13, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

While the original problem has cylindrical symmetry which makes for a simple analytic solution (see for instance Thermal conduction#Cylindrical shells), with the cutout getting an analytic solution would be more challenging. For more complex geometries like this, it may be best to numerically approximate the solution to the heat equation. Energy2d is a free program that may be sufficient for your needs, but there are many full featured commercial programs, too. --Mark viking (talk) 21:37, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Well yes, the solution for a plain disk is in almost any textbook on heat flow - I gave it in the drawing I attached. Yes, a numeric solution can be used. But a formula would be MUCH more convenient, and it need not be an exact solution. Within 20% or so would be quite good enough. (talk) 01:30, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Components Exceed The Average Squared[edit]

The following problem has come up in something I'm working on and I can't seem to find a good way to solve it. For reals a1, so 0 <= ai <= 1, when is ak >= Average(ai) ** 2 for all k? A specific answer would be wonderful, though, even if the set could simply be characterized, I would be much obliged. Ideally, I need to find a continuous transform of the unit n-cube into the solution that moves around the points as little as possible (various other constraints as well, but I'm not worrying about that at the moment). If the above is simply solved, I'd be even more interested in the general problem: given ai and linear combinations f1, of them, when is ai >= f1 * f2 * for all i? Thank you for all help - this problem is outside of what I'm good at, so any help is quite greatly appreciated:-)Phoenixia1177 (talk) 19:00, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

If I understand you correctly, any constant sequence will do: a_1,\dots,a_n = p gives average of p and p \ge p^2. Am I missing something...? --CiaPan (talk) 20:15, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Phoenixia1177 wants a classification of all such points, not just an example. Is it obvious that the set is even convex?-- (talk) 20:45, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Simplification of bincoef series?[edit]

Keeping in mind that

\sum_{j=m}^\infty \frac 1 {\binom j k}=\frac k{(k-1)\binom{m-1}{k-1}} and \sum_{j=m}^{M-1}\frac 1 {k\binom j k}=\frac 1{(k-1)\binom{m-1}{k-1}}-\frac 1{(k-1)\binom{M-1}{k-1}},

is there a similar simplification for

\sum_{k=1}^M \frac{1}{\binom{2k}{2}}=\frac{1}{\binom{2}{2}}+\frac{1}{\binom{4}{2}}+\frac{1}{\binom{6}{2}}+\frac{1}{\binom{8}{2}}+\frac{1}{\binom{10}{2}}+\dots+\frac{1}{\binom{2M}{2}}\,\!?

I do know that \sum_{k=1}^\infty \frac{1}{\binom{2k}{2}}=\ln(4)\,\!.

 ~Kaimbridge~ (talk) 21:01, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Given that the last series converges to an irrational it's unlikely there would be a closed form for the partial sums. Note that it's a variation on 1/1-1/2+1/3-...=ln 2. You could perhaps get an asymptotic formula for the partial sums using the Euler–Maclaurin formula. --RDBury (talk) 04:14, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

August 20[edit]


August 15[edit]

If Richard III and Henry Tudor had died...[edit]

I'm wondering who would have been king of England had both Richard III and Henry Tudor died in the Battle of Bosworth Field. Now wait a second, thread closers! I realize that I'm asking for speculation and guesses. But I'm not looking for you to make those guesses. So, I'd like it very much if you could supply me an answer based on any sources that might have looked into this question and come to a serious and scholarly decision. If there are any leading theories, that's what I'm going for. Thank you, Dismas|(talk) 05:23, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

It depends which sides was still in power. Possibly Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick or John de la Pole, 1st Earl of Lincoln, Richard III's alleged heirs if the Yorkists were still be in power in such a situation. If the Lancastrian won but Henry died in the process, the closest other Lancastrian heirs except for Henry's mother Margaret Beaufort were the descendants of John of Gaunt's legitimate daughters and other female line descendants of the Beaufort's. Charles the Bold, in his lifetime had an unexercised claim to the English throne, since he was a Lancastrian through his grandmother and married to a Yorkist princess, but he was a foreigner. Then there is the situation of some powerful noble usurping power and marrying Elizabeth of York or any other royal and legitimizing his succession. Maybe Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby by the right of his wife.--The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 05:46, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
If both the Lancastrians and Yorks had completely died out at Bosworth, you'd have to go back to other children of Edward III of England. The Lancastrians lay claim through John of Gaunt, while the Yorkist claim goes through both Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence and Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York. Edward III had 2 other sons: Edward the Black Prince, whose only son Richard II of England died without issue, and Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester who had only one son, who himself died without issue. Thus, had all the valid Lancastrians and Yorkists died out, primogeniture gets VERY muddy (indeed, Henry VII's claim was ultimately very muddy too). You'd either have to go through daughters of Edward III (he had nine of them, I'll not follow every one of those lines, but one of them MUST have had a male heir alive in 1485, I would hope) or go back one MORE step to Edward II of England. Edward II had only one other son besides Edward III, that being John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall, but HE had no legitimate issue. After that, it's just daughters and bastards, none of whose lines would be more legitimate than daughters of Edward III. Go back to Edward Longshanks. Longshanks had only one other legitimate son who survived to produce legitimate issue, that being Edmund of Woodstock, 1st Earl of Kent, half brother of Edward II. However, his only heir by the time you get to Richard II was Richard II himself (via Edmund's daughter Joan of Kent), and we know that goes nowhere. So go back one more step from Longshanks to Henry III of England. He had one other surviving legitimate son besides Longshanks (among a few other daughters) Edmund Crouchback, Edmund was named Earl of Lancaster; he had two sons succeed him Thomas and Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster. Henry had only a single son, also named Henry who was elevated to Duke of Lancaster. He had no sons, so that line dies out, and his titles passed jure uxoris through his daughter Blanche of Lancaster to her husband John of Gaunt, and we're back where we started. So we go back one more step, to John (yes THAT John, of Robin Hood fame. We're going back a LONG way now, aren't we). John's only other son besides Henry III was Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall. Without going into all the details, which involve some murder and associated deviousness, Richard's male-line ends with his grandson Edmund, 2nd Earl of Cornwall, and that also end's John's line (other than, of course, the line that gets us to Bosworth Field). John's father was Henry II of England, who founded the Plantagenet line. Henry had 5 sons, but the only one who doesn't get us to where we've already gone is William Longespée, 3rd Earl of Salisbury who had only one son who produced male issue, being William II Longespée. Wikipedia doesn't seem to follow his line too far, and implies his male line dies out. Before Henry II, you have The Anarchy, so we're essentially done. There's no real point going further back. So that brings us to following female lines; and your best shot there is some daughter of Edward III. --Jayron32 12:33, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
William Longespée, 3rd Earl of Salisbury was illegitimate. England didn't practice Salic succession so it would have been unlikely for them to choose a distant direct male line heir even if there was one, although the preference would probably still have been a male from a female line. --The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 18:45, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
In that case, it'd still be better to go through the daughters of Edward III then. The eldest was Isabella de Coucy. In 1485, her living heir general would have been Marie of Luxembourg, Countess of Vendôme, and there may be some question has to whether the throne would have passed to a foreign princess. Probably not. The next best heir through that same line would have been Anthony I, Count of Ligny, Marie of Luxembourg's uncle, who would have also been alive in 1485. I got there the following way: Isabella de Coucy had only 2 daughters: Marie I de Coucy, Countess of Soissons was her eldest, and thus heir. Marie had only one child live to inherit from her: Robert of Bar, Count of Marle and Soissons. Robert had only a single daughter: Jeanne de Bar, Countess of Marle and Soissons. Jeanne de Bar had a bunch of kids; but the eldest John died without issue himself; his heir was his brother Pierre inherited from him. Pierre's heir was the aforementioned Marie of Luxembourg. Now, Marie WOULD produce a son in 1489, but England wasn't going to wait 4 years for a king, so she's probably out as a candidate in 1485 to inherit the throne. John and Pierre had one three more younger brothers: a consecrated bishop, Charles of Luxembourg, Bishop of Laon, who could produce no legitimate heir, so he wasn't getting the throne, Philippe of Luxembourg, Abbot at Moncel, HE wasn't getting the throne for the same reason, and that leaves Anthony of Ligny as our heir. The line to him follows the normal male-first primogeniture, but allows inheritance through daughters, until we need to avoid putting an actual queen on the throne. Part of the problem is, neither Anthony nor any English barons (who would have likely been in charge of finding and electing a king if needed) may have known about the strength of this claim. But that's the best I can find using a legitimate line of succession through Edward III, and assuming all legitimate lines from his sons were extinct. --Jayron32 20:42, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Sorry we don't seem to have sources. The very accession of Henry Tudor would seem to indicate that, whatever the validity of the respective claimants, whoever thought fast and moved first had the best claim. The lack of academic speculation suggests that you can take your choice from the above, add anything you feel has been forgotten, and roll a dice. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 00:08, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
You're absolutely correct there. Henry VII, for all his "claims" to the throne, claimed said throne by right of conquest, no different than Henry Bolingbroke or William the Conquerer before him. I think that, given what we know the real claim to the throne required (an army to back it up!), had Henry Tudor died at Bosworth, it is quite likely one of those wily Stanley brothers would have laid claim to the throne. They were essentially biding their time at Bosworth anyways. Had both Henry and Richard died, their faction would have been the one intact to support a claim. --Jayron32 01:29, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Why a daughter of Edward III rather than a daughter of John of Gaunt? —Tamfang (talk) 08:49, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Sure. If we go down that line, John's eldest daughter Phillipa was Queen of Portugal. Her great grandson, alive in 1485, would have been John II of Portugal. --Jayron32 15:28, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

See Alternative successions of the English crown. —Tamfang (talk) 08:49, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for all the answers! Dismas|(talk) 03:35, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Grave offerings[edit]

I was just looking at photographs of Douglas Adams' grave in Highgate Cemetery, London. There is a custom amongst the fans who visit his grave to stick pens into the grave. It got me wondering, what happens to all the pens (or any grave offerings left at any graves) when they are cleared away? Are they kept by the cemetery authorities or discarded? (talk) 12:30, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

You could contact the cemetary to be certain but they are likely discarded. Flowers and other sundry items left at grave sites are often either discarded or donated to charity if they are of any use/value. Dismas|(talk) 12:44, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
That's how my hometown graveyard worked. They tell people not to leave anything they expect to stay. I've read some just disallow it entirely, and others have strict guidelines for size, shape, colour and whatnot. Nothing that can potentially be a nuisance to other grievers, blow away or hurt a lawnmower. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:34, August 15, 2014 (UTC)
Per a Kelowna by-law (first I saw in Google), "The Caretaker may remove and dispose of any offerings as specified in “Section 10.1” (he stores it for a month) from any grave when the condition is considered by him to be a safety hazard, detrimental to the beauty of, or impedes maintenance of the Cemetery. The Cemetery cannot be held accountable for any offerings which are lost, stolen or removed by an act of vandalism." And no planting anything! InedibleHulk (talk) 21:41, August 15, 2014 (UTC)
"On a date I prefer to give the lady a single rose. It's simple, classic, elegant, and best of all, it's easy to carry in my teeth as I jump back over the graveyard fence." :-) StuRat (talk) 22:58, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Accuracy of Jean Raspail's "The Camp of the Saints"[edit]

Link to a full PDF here for reference.

So, would the aforementioned work be considered predictive of modern trends? Are there any examples of modern praise or criticism of the book? (talk) 13:29, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

In the article on the book in the French-language wikipedia [14], there is a whole section on reactions to the 2011 re-printing; the commentators cited use expressions such as "racist paranoia" and "a book of the extreme right". The book was cited approvingly in a 1994 article in the Atlantic Monthly [15], in one of its more prominent discussions in mainstream U.S. media. Also check out the article The Camp of the Saints, which includes reactions of some English-language critics, who are divided along the same lines, between strong criticism and praise. --Xuxl (talk) 14:42, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! Are there any examples of modern sources thinking it to be innacurate or predictive and explaining that in detail? (talk) 15:05, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Obviously, most articles about the book are in French. Here is a selection of recent critical reviews: from le Nouvel Observateur [16], Rue 89 [17], Le Monde [18] and Libération [19]. --Xuxl (talk) 16:16, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Is there a Catholic or Protestant equivalent of a Protestant youth ministry?[edit]

So, is there? If so, what is it? (talk) 23:18, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

I don't know about the Catholic one, but I can only imagine the "Protestant equivalent" of a Protestant youth ministry is, well, a Protestant youth ministry. Is that what you meant to ask? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:24, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
No. I meant to ask for a Catholic or Orthodox equivalent. Apparently, Wikipedia only has a page on "Protestant youth ministry". I suppose Newman Centers may be considered a Catholic equivalent. I recently became aware of the typo in the heading. It's supposed to read "Orthodox" instead of "Protestant". (talk) 00:22, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
It would probably vary from parish to region or parish. The Catholic Christian Outreach] is focused on Catholic youths, for example. Also, there are interdenominational groups that the Catholic church has had some positive interaction with. The Catholic church generally doesn't prevent anyone from joining the YMCA, though they do have disagreements over birth control that occasionally lead to the Catholic church pulling financial support (but not forbidding their members from joining or participating). Ian.thomson (talk) 01:18, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Another Catholic organization is the Catholic Youth Organization. The CCO program noted above is mainly a Canadian one, while CYO is active in the U.S. and Philippines. ECyD began in Spanish-speaking countries, but has expanded into English-speaking ones as well. --Jayron32 01:24, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
    • And then I found the template below. Let it guide your research: --Jayron32 01:38, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

  • Also, it's not much, but in the U.S. for Greek Orthodox youth, I found this. --Jayron32 01:38, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
I found Catholic Youth Ministry Federation for the UK. Alansplodge (talk) 12:10, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Other side of the Wailing Wall?[edit]

I feel like this is a really stupid question, but I seem to be chasing my tail on searches. Our article on Western Wall shows a fairly pretty little park behind it, and its map seems to suggest there are the two mosques in that open space, but we don't have a picture of it from the far side. I understand of course that most of the Jews won't go in there, but somebody must have gotten a shot of the far side ... and we ought to have it in the article. Also, just out of curiosity, are there any groups of Muslims or Christians who would find some reason to do something at the far side of the wall? Wnt (talk) 23:24, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

As far as I know, the ground under the Temple Mount platform is on the other side of the wall. The Temple Mount waqf has jurisdiction over it, and seems to have been given free reign by the Israel Antiquities Authority to conduct archaeologically destructive activities there (one of a number of problematic aspects of the Israel Antiquities Authority); see Committee for the Prevention of Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount etc... AnonMoos (talk) 04:43, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Here's a good aerial photo of the Temple Mount looking north. It gives an impression of what is on the other side of the Western Wall. This photo of the El-Kas fountain shows the "park" area east of the Wall.--Cam (talk) 12:37, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks; I've put the first of those in the article; at least to me it makes it a LOT clearer. Wnt (talk) 19:23, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

August 16[edit]

Historical Royal "Bride Transfers"[edit]

Which cases have there been in which the heir-apparent to a throne dies and the person to whom he or she was engaged or married to marries the new heir-apparent afterwards?

So far, I can think of:

Were there ever any additional cases such as this? Futurist110 (talk) 01:22, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

They will all be here, Category:Heirs apparent who never acceded. Dig around for those who had wife who remarried to their successors. Also it's not very uncommon even with monarchs, Anne of Brittany married two successive Kings of France and Byzantine Empress often married their husband's successors, even if they were usurpers, ex Maria of Alania and Empress Zoe.--The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 02:07, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you very much for these links and for all of this info. And for the record, I was talking about real cases, not fictional ones, though thank you anyway for sharing this information about Catelyn Stark with me. :) Futurist110 (talk) 03:20, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
It should be noted, however, that Song of Ice and Fire is basically a British History Mixtape; many of the events in the novels make it a thinly veiled roman a clef for famous and infamous events from medieval and early modern British history. --Jayron32 05:27, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
OK, so which historical figure exactly is Catelyn Stark an allegory (is this the right word to use here?) for? Futurist110 (talk) 05:34, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Probably a little bit Catherine of Aragon (the betrothed to the older brother, then married to the younger), a little bit Empress Mathilda (the way she supports her son during a time of open civil war). --Jayron32 05:52, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying this part. Futurist110 (talk) 07:21, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Margaret III, Countess of Flanders, married Philip, the last duke of Burgundy of the first house; he died young and she married Philip, the first duke of Burgundy of the second house. —Tamfang (talk) 09:06, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
At least she didn't have to worry about screaming out the other guy's name in bed... --Jayron32 15:18, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
LOL! Futurist110 (talk) 07:21, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Edmund Tudor[edit]

What were the opinions of Henry VII toward his father Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond? Did he admire the man, was he ashamed of him, ambivalent, etc?--The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 01:42, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

I read the book The Tudors by GJ Meyer recently; unfortunately it glosses over much of Henry VII; IIRC, Meyer notes that he wishes he could have written more about Henry, but scholarship just isn't there about him. He's sort of the "forgotten tudor", overshadowed by his son and grandchildren. I no longer have the book, but I seem to remember that there was some closeness between Henry and his uncle Jasper Tudor, that it was Jasper who organized Henry's conquest of England. --Jayron32 01:54, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Just checked some dates. Henry VII likely never knew his father. Edmund was captured and imprisoned while his 13 year old wife Margaret Beaufort was pregnant with Henry. He predeceased Henry's birth by a few months. --Jayron32 01:58, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
You still know about a father even if you are a posthumous child. His mother thought very highly of him and stated she wanted to be buried next to him in her will but her wish was never carried out.--The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 02:00, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
As I noted, though, it seems like the richness of scholarship doesn't necessarily exist for Henry VII in the way it did for other Tudor monarchs. That's not to say your question is unanswerable, but it's less likely to be answerable for that reason. You may want to check out GJ Meyer's work here, perhaps it will help a bit. You may also want to check out the works of Lacey Baldwin Smith who is something of an expert on Tudor-era English history. I've read several of his works, though it's been decades. I also have read some works by Carole Levin and Anne R. Larsen; they tend to specialize in Women during this time period; maybe they have covered something about Margaret Beaufort that could speak to the issue. --Jayron32 02:27, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Some information regarding Edmund Tudor can be found at Margaret Beaufort: Mother of the Tudor Dynasty by Elizabeth Norton which describes him as "a shadowy figure" who may have been the illegitimate son of Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset who had previously been denied permission to marry Catherine of Valois. It also suggests that Edmund Tudor was an aggressively ambitious man, consummating his marriage with the twelve year-old Margaret "to the indignation of his contemporaries", in order to legally secure his interests in his wife's estates. This article in History Today adds support to the illegitimacy theory, which it says was "gossip" at the time. Whether Henry VII knew about all this is unknown to me. Alansplodge (talk) 11:58, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Demographics of police departments across the USA[edit]

Where can I find demographic information for the various local police departments across the United States? In particular, I am looking for a comparison between the percentage of African-American police officers and the percentage of African-American residents in the regions the police departments serve.

Yes, this is related to the recent shooting of Michael Brown and the surprising fact (to me at least) that a city which is 65% African-American is served by a police force with only 5 African American officers out of a total of over 50 officers. I was wondering if this was an atypical situation. Astronaut (talk) 15:04, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

This report has some information. Page 4 states " About 1 in 4 officers was a member of a racial or ethnic minority in 2007, compared to 1 in 6 in 1987." This is expanded on with figures and analysis starting on page 14. --Jayron32 15:12, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
I also found This page from the FBI which seems to be a detailed report on police department demographics. I didn't delve deeper into it. But it may help. --Jayron32 15:15, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
The statistics from the FBI are less useful for my question, breaking down the demographics of police departments by sex but not race. However, elsewhere in the FBI statistics, the demographics for those arrested are pretty interesting. Astronaut (talk) 10:53, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
One thing to consider is how much more weight "white-on-black" brutality cases get in the news these last few decades, compared to "white-on-white" or "black-on-black". In the latter, there's no "deeper issue" that papers can explore/exploit through sidebar stories, it's simply "one bad apple". This undue weight on the racial part creates an illusion of distrust, which compels blacks far more than whites to actually avoid/challenge police and policework. The longer this goes on, the greater the odds the officer who beats the civilian purely for the power trip happens to be white, and the greater the chances the story will go mainstream, should the civilian happen to be black.
If this mentality goes away, more blacks will sign up for the force. It will seem like brutality cases also drop, and people will draw a correlation. But the cause of the apparent drop will the now-obsolescence of the ubiquitous racial brutality story, not because human beings have suddenly stopped relieving stress by hurting the powerless humans who had previously pissed them off. Cops have to deal with a lot of extremly infuriating stuff, whether chasing an Indian, being taunted by a black or kicked by a white. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:08, August 16, 2014 (UTC)
I like how you are able to dismiss any notion of racial bias in policing on the basis of no data and the assumption that whites are abused proportionately, but the media has a bias. Could you please not use the Ref Desk for your unsubstantiated, unsupported editorializing? TenOfAllTrades(talk) 22:15, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
I didn't mean to dismiss the racism. It certainly exists, and whites aren't mistreated in equal proportions, just also. But is that because of contempt of black or contempt of cop? Easy to feel contemptful with so many opinions like this. I wrote my editorial small because it was unsourced. Is there something in particular you want substantiated? InedibleHulk (talk) 21:20, August 18, 2014 (UTC)
A better idea than hiring more black men may be hiring whichever women are right for the job. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:12, August 16, 2014 (UTC)
It would be curious to see how police unions intersect with this. Union rules might delay employee turnover and hinder integration, while emboldening the members. I wonder if there are any non-unionized police departments. Anyway, with the busting of public employee unions being a big thing lately, I'm thinking I wouldn't really shed a tear if they had an official lockout in Ferguson and hired a nonunion force from scratch... possible? Wnt (talk) 21:44, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
The Camden County Police Department tried that, after Camden city's force folded. Didn't last long. I think scab police forces could easily be seen as militia organizations in the United States. That might not be wise just yet, considering the actual militia are in town. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:40, August 17, 2014 (UTC)

Does HUJ still have all rights to Einstein's likeness?[edit]

I was reading this old news story in which the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, to which Albert Einstein left his papers, was suing a costume store for selling an Einstein outfit, and the costume store asserted that HUJ had not the right, since Einstein died in New Jersey, in which state there's only right of publicity if they exploit their name before they die.

I'm not asking about legal analysis. I'm just curious what was the result of that case, and if HUJ still has all rights to Einstein's likeness. (talk) 15:09, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Forum Novelties, Inc. v. Greenlight, LLC et al (in which the costume store is the plaintiff, not a defendant) was apparently dismissed in 2011, but the next year in Hebrew University of Jerusalem v. General Motors LLC a California federal court applying New Jersey law ruled that HUJ's rights, if they existed at all, had expired in 2005 (50 years after Einstein's death). -- BenRG (talk) 17:51, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Bicameral system from The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress[edit]

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress contains a bicameral legislature where the upper house can only repel laws. I've got two question about it:

1. I'm pretty sure there are no real world analogues to something this radical, but is there any real-world upper house that can only reject bills? As in, no power whatsoever to propose new bills?

2. In both Heinlein's fictitious case and the real-world case (if it exists), how could these restrictions on the upper house be enforced? To wit, the president in most presidential systems has no de jure legislative power, but actually has the strongest de facto legislative power. What's stopping the can-only-reject-bills upper house from telling the lower house: "propose this bill verbatim and pass it or else we veto everything"? WinterWall (talk) 17:57, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Technically, the U.S. system is a variation on the answer to your first question—as I understand it, the President's sole legislative (as opposed to executive) ability is his veto power.
In the Iranian government, the Guardian Council has veto power over all legislation. (It also controls who may run for parliamentary and presidential elections.)
Westminster system governments often restrict the role of their upper house with regard to money bills. In some countries, (Australia and Canada, for instance) the Senate may neither propose nor amend money bills, but can reject (veto) them. In these systems, these bodies do have other legislative powers relating to non-money bills as well, however. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 18:27, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
To the second question, the answer is a qualified "it depends". In most systems, it comes down to relying on a sense of obligation on the part of the bodies or individuals involved. This doesn't always work. The 1975 Australian constitutional crisis arose because the Australian Senate refused to pass budget legislation. In recent years, the U.S. has had a couple of rounds of disagreement between House and Senate leading to shutdown (or near-shutdown) of government by whiny, posturing, right-wing wingnuts.
In the UK, the Parliament Act 1911 puts strict limits on the amount of time that the House of Lords can hold up legislation—but as far as I know, there's nothing which prevents the Queen from withholding royal assent for any bill.
To be honest, I find it difficult to conceive of a political system that can't be 'broken' by a sufficient bad-faith effort. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 18:53, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
The Dutch Senate has no legislative power whatsoever, having no power to propose or amend bills, they can simply reject or pass them. To prevent governmental shutdowns, formation of a Coalition government is required where a number of parties, (typically possessing a majority of seats in both houses) come to a (four-year) agreement regarding a compromise between desired policies of all involved parties. - Lindert (talk) 22:18, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Archibald Bentley Beauman[edit]

I've just written an article on a WWII British Army officer, Archibald Bentley Beauman (1888 - 1977). A couple of points have eluded me, viz: a) where was he born (perhaps London)? b) is he related to Eric Bentley Beauman (1891 - 1989) who was an RNAS and RAF pilot and officer in WWI and apparently a noted mountaineer. If anybody can Google better than I can, I'll be very grateful. I have rather cheekily included Eric as a relative in Archibald's infobox but will remove it if nothing comes to light - je le jure. Alansplodge (talk) 20:49, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Found some information on Eric and his wife Katherine. Apparently Katherine was a noted historian: [20]. Still looking for Archibald info. --Jayron32 21:29, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Archibald may have written a book. Perhaps if you can get a copy, it would have info about his family life. See [21]. --Jayron32 21:30, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
More sources on Archibald's life. No connection to Eric, unfortunately. [22] [23]. --Jayron32 21:33, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
This page lists Archibald's father as Martin Bentley Beauman: [24]. And this one may lead you interesting places: [25]. --Jayron32 21:38, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Here is a pretty good biography of Eric, which gives a birthdate, but does not list any family. Here: [26] is a biography of one Donald Bentley Beauman, he may be a son or nephew of either of these men. Maybe that will lead interesting places. --Jayron32 21:54, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Who's Who gives both Archibald and Eric as having one son each, but Archibald's predeceased him while Eric's was still living in the 1980s. This seems to confirm Don was indeed Archibald's son. Andrew Gray (talk) 13:26, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Many thanks for your efforts everyone. I had seen some of those links and used them as references for the article, but others were new to me. The genesreunited link with the newspaper reports allowed me to track down Archibald's DSO citations, so that was particularly helpful. There might be enough for an article about Eric too. The quest continues... Alansplodge (talk) 12:53, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Definitely brothers - both have entries in Who Was Who. Archibald: "Born 30 Nov. 1888; e s of Bentley Martin Beauman"; Eric: "Born 7 Feb. 1891; yr s of late Bentley Martin Beauman". Archibald is in the ODNB (it doesn't mention siblings, but this is a common omission rather than a clear negative); Eric isn't, but oddly he was a contributor... Andrew Gray (talk) 13:16, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for that. Alansplodge (talk) 21:07, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Just added some info to the article, the 1891 Census says he was born in Paddington, the son of Bentley Martin Beauman and his wife Estelle, also lists Eric B as his brother and a sister Murial. Needed a bit of work as they are listed as "Baumann". MilborneOne (talk) 18:21, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Just to add he is listed as Archibald Bentley Baumann in the General Record Office Birth Index for Q1 of 1889 in Paddington, so Baumann doesnt appear to have been a one off error. MilborneOne (talk) 18:26, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Excellent! Perhaps Baumann sounded a bit Germanic and was changed during WWI? However, his entries in the London Gazette only have one "n". Thanks. Alansplodge (talk) 18:45, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
He was "Baumann" at school in 1904:
Baumann, Archie Bentley ; born 1889. Poster.
Son of B. M. Baumann; Hove Lawn, Cromwell Road, Hove. Army Side. House Eleven Football. Still in School.
I think the Anglicisation theory is plausible - though I'm wondering if "Baumann" here was originally Jewish rather than German per se. Andrew Gray (talk) 18:57, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I couldn't find much online, but says of "Bauman": "Respelling of German Baumann or Jewish (Ashkenazic) or Scandinavian spelling of the same name." [27] So could be either or both. However, the name Martin is distinctly Christian and the same in German or English. Alansplodge (talk) 19:18, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Alansplodge: I would not dismiss the possibility of Bauman's Jewish ancestry yet: European Jews routinely used "distinctly Christian" names in the 19th century. Mark, John, Paul, etc. were not uncommon—at least in their Polish, German and Czech equivalents, if I recall correctly. הסרפד (call me Hasirpad) 23:15, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Jokes about nationalities not knowing the meaning of some word?[edit]

Is there a generalised name for jokes which rely on this sort of form?

  • XYZ is relayed to nationalities A, B, and C.
  • Nationality A doesn't know the meaning of X.
  • Nationality B doesn't know the meaning of Y.
  • Nationality C doesn't know the meaning of Z.

Here and here are two examples of such jokes. --Morningcrow (talk) 21:28, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Your second example is called "ignorant bashing of the most generous nation on earth". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:34, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
The question has no answer really, especially as both examples aren't really jokes. At least, not funny ones. It's now well acknowledged that around a third of Americans have a passport, up from something 3% in 1989. Some even use them to visit places outside of the US. However, the substantial rise has been attributed to the new requirements at border control with Mexico and Canada. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:46, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks to BB and tRM for providing no answers and proving one of the punchlines of the second joke- that the USA cares only about the USA. The jokes poke fun at several groups: 3 in the first one, and 7 in the second one. And you both react as if these are about the US? Classy. Nice to see you two getting along though. Staecker (talk) 13:25, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Could someone fill me in on what any of this has to do with the USA? And what's the most generous nation on earth, Nationality A?? --Bowlhover (talk) 18:50, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Follow the OP's links. Beware: head may asplode if you're from the world's greatest nation. Staecker (talk) 20:13, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Germany? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:23, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
One might comment that a nation would be in a pretty dire state if its citizens did _not_ consider it to be the world's greatest. But there may be counterexamples. Tevildo (talk) 22:42, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Sir Walter Scott did not write: Breathes there a man with soul so dead, Who never to himself has said, "My country is the world's greatest nation". The last bit actually goes: "This is my own, my native land". The concept of "the world's greatest nation" is pretty useless, really. One loves one's country for a range of reasons, which do not include that other silly thing. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:10, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
It was Staecker who invoked the "world's greatest nation" phrase here. Hard to tell what he was referring to. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:18, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
It's worth remembering joke 1 is somewhat ambigious anyway. It could be intepreted to mean people in the US are extremely selfish don't know how to que up in a line which would generally be seen as somewhat offensive. It could be see as meaning the US is such a land of plenty no one ever sees lines (which is obviously false) and therefore implies some degree of ignorance and isolation but as with the Western Europe one in joke 2, isn't really that negative particularly compared to the Soviet example. Nil Einne (talk) 14:17, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Maybe you recall Robin Williams' film Moscow on the Hudson. There's one scene that illustrates that joke well. He's in a grocery store, and is so overwhelmed by the abundance and the lack of lines waiting for basic necessities (in stark contrast to what he was used to in the USSR), that he hyperventilates, becomes dizzy and passes out. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:06, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I suspect this doesn't have a name, but you could look through Category:Joke cycles for articles about common joke structures. Staecker (talk) 17:19, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
The "generalised" name for such jokes might be "ignorant and unfunny bigoted stereotypes." Edison (talk) 01:47, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Staecker, thanks for providing a useful link; to be honest that's probably more or less what I was hoping I'd find (and will also allow me to waste even more time reading humour examples on Wikipedia). --Morningcrow (talk) 08:24, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
This type of joke reminds me of the style of comedian Yakov Smirnoff.    → Michael J    04:27, 20 August 2014 (UTC)


I was casually looking in the category "German legendary creatures" and I noticed the article about Horerczy. To me its name doesn't sound Germanic at all. Maybe Polish or another Slavic language. After reading the page it seems that there is only one author mentionng it. Does anyone have other informations? -- (talk) 21:52, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

I've nominated the article for deletion. Thanks for spotting this issue. The source used in the article is clearly not reliable and the whole thing is fishy. Fut.Perf. 22:13, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

August 17[edit]

Old English Adjectives as substantives[edit]

[Moved to WP:RD/L] Tevildo (talk) 14:39, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

What is the difference between fascism and dictatorship[edit]

^Topic ScienceApe (talk) 14:43, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

i know fascism has to have an authoritarian state which can be a dictatorship or otherwise, but this seems to be a case of WP:WHAAOE (see articles fascism and dictatorship) ~Helicopter Llama~ 14:54, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
(ec) See Fascism and Dictatorship (and Authoritarianism might also be useful). Basically, in fascism, the emphasis is on the rule of the State and what's good for it (as opposed to what the people might want, or what might be good for them as individuals). The fascist state may be (and all real examples have been) personified in a dictator, but it's theoretically possible for a state to be fascist yet run by a body of people (Plato's Nocturnal Council comes to mind). [No article! See the Laws and the Epinomis, then.] A dictatorship, on the other hand, is just a state (effectively) run by one person, with no connotations of political ideology. Tevildo (talk) 14:59, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Fascism is one type of dictatorship. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:04, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
The difference between different types of authoritarian dictatorships is the stated goals or philosophy of the dictatorships; that is the justification the use for their hold on power and their oppression of dissenting views. In practice, all authoritarian dictatorships are functionally equivalent for the people who disagree with them, or the people whose ethnicity or religion they feel are a threat to their power. Philosophies used to support dictatorships include fascism (the devotion to the nation-state), communism (promotion of worker's rights), national socialism (racial purity), cult of personality (pseudo-religious devotion to the dictator and his/her family, see Juche), etc. etc. It's quite important to remember that none of these ex-post-facto justifications makes one lick of difference to the average people living under these regimes. It's either "agree vehemently with the dictator and his stated philosophy" or "get imprisoned, tortured, or killed". It was probably best said by Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakunin, who said "When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called "the People's Stick."" Bakunin had a lot of crazy ideas, but that one probably comes a little too close to the truth... --Jayron32 19:28, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
The prominent examples that we have had have been dictatorships, but is that required of fascism? That is, if you have a "fascist-like" state where power ultimately rests in a committee, or a nebulous group of party elite, or even an "elected" representative council, would that still be "fascism"? I'm thinking of an analogy with (20th century) communism, where early examples could arguably have fell into the "dictator" bin (Stalin, Mao, the Kims in North Korea), but where, at least for the Soviet Union and China, they transitioned into a model that was still arguably "communist" but not really "dictatorship" per se. Could something similar have happened to "fascist" regimes, were they have to persisted, or would a transition to a looser control structure mean they no longer would be "fascist"? -- (talk) 19:00, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, they were certainly authoritarian regimes; oligarchy if you will; where the state apparatus still operates as oppressive and authoritarian, though without the singular leader. The Soviet Union in the late 70s - early 80s in the post-Brezhnev years were run by the Nomenklatura, for example. Dictatorship by bureaucracy is still dictatorial... --Jayron32 21:20, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

At least in Fascist theory, it is certainly possible for a fascist state to be run by an oligarchic body rather than a single autocrat. See Grand Council of Fascism. I don't really know how much authority they had in day-to-day decisions, but they were certainly relevant on 25 Luglio, 1943. --Trovatore (talk) 21:48, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Baker McKenzie article[edit]

Why is it that the Baker McKenzie article is still flagged for advertisement when it has been updated with appropriate citations? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:09, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

This question would be better on the Baker & McKenzie talk page. However, looking at the article, the "Transactional focus" and "Awards and Rankings" sections need to be drastically cut down and re-written as prose rather than a list of bullet points, and the list of cities where the firm has offices and the "Practice Areas" section should be replaced by a couple of summary paragraphs in the lead. Tevildo (talk) 17:16, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

August 18[edit]

History of social equality[edit]

Which societies in the past 3000 years have offered the greatest level of equality. (talk) 00:47, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

See Gini coefficient for one method of quantifying equality. --Jayron32 01:29, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
See my comments at Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2014 July 8#Origin of Kings for anthropological typology of societies (corresponding Wikipedia article Sociopolitical typology doesn't discuss equality/inequality)... AnonMoos (talk) 04:22, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Is there a difference between apostate and unchurched?[edit]

Is there a (significant) difference between apostate and unchurched so that they deserve their own Wikipedia pages? An apostate is someone that leaves the church. An unchurched individual is, well, someone that is not affiliated with a church, especially someone who was raised Christian or have family members or ancestors who were Christians. Hence the familial-cultural relationship between unchurched individuals and the church. Is there a concrete or widely accepted distinction between "apostate" and "unchurched"? (talk) 01:51, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Yes, there is a significant difference. An apostate refers to one who undermines a particular church from within. An unchurched is does not necessarily undermine a church, and by definition, does not act from within. Plasmic Physics (talk) 02:02, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Another way to look at it: The apostate is a former believer who has decided to reject their former beliefs. The unchurched is an unspecific term. In some contexts, it means people who were never believers. In another context, it means people who are believers still, but who are not attending worship services for various reasons. In yet another context, it can mean people who are and/or were believers, but have become apathetic about the practice of their faith, without outright rejecting it. The apostate is usually taken to mean someone who is more than apathetic or not attending worship services. The apostate is someone who actively rejects or speaks against their former faith. --Jayron32 02:11, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Fine. The unchurched article shouldn't be nominated for deletion then, even though it's really short and undeveloped. (talk) 03:30, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I'd support deletion. That said, it would make for a fine Wiktionary article. Plasmic Physics (talk) 03:44, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Wiktionary already has an entry and will not welcome an essay. Dbfirs 06:37, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
For instance, Sodom and Gomorrah were apostate cities, they were cities of the nation of Israel (Israel is synonymous with church). They were destroyed for becoming a stumbling block for the remainder of Israel. Ancient Memphis could be considered was "unchurched", as it was never part of the nation of Israel. Plasmic Physics (talk) 02:16, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Neither were Sodom and Gomorrah ever part of a nation of Israel. The people of Israel did not exist back then, even their ancestor Israel had not yet been born when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. - Lindert (talk) 08:15, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Very well, however they were nonetheless considered to be a stumbling block to God-fearing men. Plasmic Physics (talk) 09:58, 18 August 2014 (UTC) -- The word "unchurched" (someone without a current formal denominational affiliation or place to attend regular worship services) is linguistically parallel to "unbanked" (someone currently without a bank account). It has little to do with doctrinal heresy. The word "unchurched" is somewhat of a jargon term used within religious bodies to refer to one category of people targeted for outreach, but I'm not sure why the article should be deleted... AnonMoos (talk) 04:10, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Another obvious difference is that "unchurched" would only be used by religions having churches (primarily Christian and derivatives) -- Q Chris (talk) 14:15, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Members of the British Royal family who dropped their German titles during WWI[edit]

Does anyone have a comprehensive list of British royals who dropped their German titles during WWI? Was it just the Mountbattens/Battenbergs, descendants of Prince Louis (who adopted the title of Marquess of Milford Haven, and Prince Henry or were there others? Sotakeit (Sotakeit) 10:13, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

As far as I know, it's everyone who went from Battenberg to Mountbatten, everyone who went from Teck to Cambridge, and obviously the royal house itself changing from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor. Do you want a long list of personal names, or is that enough? AlexTiefling (talk) 10:52, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
No, that's great, cheers. Hadn't thought of the Tecks. Sotakeit (talk) 11:23, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Don't forget the children of Princess Helena. Surtsicna (talk) 11:58, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Jack Shaftoe[edit]

Jack Shaftoe is one of the main characters in Neal Stephenson's series called The Baroque Cycle. I had always assumed that he was purely invented, and Stephenson has said as much in interviews -- so I was quite surprised yesterday, while reading Thackeray's 1852 novel The History of Henry Esmond, to come across the following passage: "Twenty ships were burned or taken in the Port of Redondilla, and a vast deal more plunder than was ever accounted for; but poor men before that expedition were rich afterwards, and so often was it found and remarked that the Vigo officers came home with pockets full of money, that the notorious Jack Shafto, who made such a figure at the coffeehouses and gaming-tables in London, and gave out that he had been a soldier at Vigo, owned, when he was about to be hanged, that Bagshot Heath had been HIS Vigo, and that he only spoke of La Redondilla to turn away people's eyes from the real place where the booty lay." This suggests that such a person actually existed at the right time, but I haven't been able to find any more information at all about him. Any thoughts? Looie496 (talk) 18:35, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

This search on claims to have info on a Jack Shafto of England/Wales, 1837-1915 [28], but you have to sign up for a free account to get it. Also keep in mind that it seems to be a not uncommon surname, and a rather common first name. There are three Jack Shaftos on facebook alone, not to mention various phone directories and the Shaftoe spelling. I'm tempted to take Stephenson at his word, he'd probably be happy to share the history if he'd been inspired by some real rogue Shaftoe from history. SemanticMantis (talk) 22:17, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Maybe I should have given a little more information. The Battle of Vigo Bay referred to in the sentence I quoted took place in 1702, and had features reminiscent of the escapade in which Jack and his companions stole the Spanish gold (although in Bonanza that took place in Cadiz in 1690). I'm convinced that there is some connection here; I'm just puzzled about exactly what. Looie496 (talk) 22:41, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Yeah as soon as I submitted I realized that the novel was probably referring to events long before the publication date. AFAIK, Stephenson isn't that responsive to press or fan inquiries. Didn't he say something once to the effect of "Please stop writing me, it will just delay my next book"? SemanticMantis (talk) 15:56, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Is there any place that use some sort of reverse of two round system, voting system?[edit]

On the two round system, people pick the best and the ones with more votes (if he has more than 50% of votes wins), if not a new poll with just the 2 most voted ones is held and the one with most votes win.
Is there any country that use the reverse of that, where you pick a guy that you really doenst want, and the 2 guys with least "not wanted" votes goes to a second similar poll and the one with least amount of "not wanted" votes wins? What voting system criteions would this system comply? (talk) 20:25, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Disapproval voting might be of some interest, though it doesn't seem to list any "pure" cases like this. Andrew Gray (talk) 20:36, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

What're the cheapest useful amounts of a physical thing in the continental US (or Hawaii)?[edit]

And what're the lowest prices on a label/sticker/tag here? (Real price, no spend $20 at Staples get a notebook for a cent, buy 2,000 lbs of coal for $20, and use it for cents per meal fire)

I recently saw microscopic bags of popcorn (1oz) for 25 cents. I wonder if the final ounce of popcorn is that useful (If I don't eat it, get not hungry soon - if I eat it, get too full soon) but it's there in print so I'll count it. Come to think of it, they're useful for people with kids. Useful, cause otherwise you could probably scoop out 0.01 lbs of cereal at Wild Oats for a penny. American, cause people that make $100 a year (some Africans) will probably sell you an apple (-equivalent) for a ridiculously low amount of US coins, and things like how many times more the cheapest purchase is than the cheapest coin is probably only determined by prices in this country (the penny will one day go the way of the half-cent coin)

Also, even a penny of tapwater can quench thirst but 25 cent transactions would require buying it more than one a day, so not very useful. The same with other utilities. We could only pay that little if they changed the account on the last day of the month..

When will they stop pricing things in fractions of a cent? (like gasoline?)

Why aren't coupons unreedeemable? I thought the smallest unit of American currency is the mil? Wouldn't that mean that something promising you 1/100 of a cent or even 1/8 of a cent is promising you something that doesn't exist, as it cannot be written in mills? Do they round, or do you need the whole 100 to get the cent? Would they just weigh them or guess if someone tried to do it for real, as it would take many, many times the counter's wages to count them than they could lose from giving too much? (talk) 23:34, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Though I'm having a hard time finding a question that we can answer amongst that rambling, I will point out that we have gone over the cash value of coupons before. And this addresses the 9/10 of a cent for gasoline prices. Dismas|(talk) 00:48, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

If the price of postage for a particular mailing rises by 1 cent, and you don't have forever stamps for it, then a 1-cent postage stamp is a useful item. -- (talk) 01:21, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Wouldn't you have to go almost a decade without buying stamps, for this to be a problem? Knowing full well that you'll have a ton of one-cent stamps on your letters at the end of your 7-8 year time between post office visits cause the postage rises frequently. (talk) 04:36, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Huh? What "problem"? I cited a 1-cent stamp as an example of something that is low-priced and useful. -- (talk) 07:55, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
  • My local grocery store sells bananas for 67 cents/pound (or there abouts). Bananas are about 4 to the pound, which gives a price of about 16-17 cents per banana. --Jayron32 01:31, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Oh right, bananas. I'm surprised they're that light, I would've guessed 3 to the pound. (I don't buy produce. Bananas aren't bad, unlike most fruit (sour), but I'm just a snack food kind of guy)
So unless something at Home Depot or Walmart is sold in small enough count (singly?) it looks like the cheapest purchase you might want to make might be something that's imported. Who would've thought. Or maybe you can buy a short 2 by 4 (makeshift door stay opener) at Home Depot for less? I not be down with the retail wood prices, yo. Specially not the wood to banana price ratio prognosis. (talk) 04:36, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
You could buy a single nail or screw which would just be a couple cents, if that. Dismas|(talk) 05:21, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
See this NPR story for people who tried to see if they could find anything to buy for a penny in Manhattan, and did find a washer for sale for 2¢... -- AnonMoos (talk) 06:13, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Speaking as a contractor who buys inexpensive items quite often, I observe that Home Depot will not sell individual washers, bolts or nuts for a few pennies. Instead, they package 5 or 10 or 20 in a sealed clear plastic bag at a higher price point. In Northern California where I live, local hardware stores or smaller regional chains still sell individual minor hardware items in bulk, for less than a nickel each. There are little brown paper bags and a pencil by the bin. It is the honor system. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 06:28, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't know how much money you need to operate a gumball machine these days, but a dime or a quarter is likely enough to buy one item. I guess it's useful if you are a kid craving some bubblegum. --Xuxl (talk) 08:15, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Table salt, perhaps. When I was doing baking projects for 4-H (early 2000s), I had to record the price per item, taking the purchase price for the store's amount of each ingredient and dividing by the amount used (e.g. if I use four ounces from a four-pound bag, the price per item is 1/16 of what I paid for the bag), and I learned simply to ignore salt: Kroger then (and now?) was selling 26-ounce salt boxes for 19¢, so the price of ½ teaspoon was somewhere in the milrays. Nyttend (talk) 14:47, 19 August 2014 (UTC)


Hello, wikipedians i`m writing an alternate history novel, the premise of which is what if the eastern and western roman empires re-united against a barbarian threat and Rome became just one empire again. That lasted well into our current 21st century. My Question is what would the world be like in a social sense if the romans for example discovered america as a result of the roman empire never falling in the west. How would the world be different today if the roman empire were still around? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:35, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

From the information at the top of this board: "We don't answer requests for opinions, predictions or debate." AlexTiefling (talk) 23:39, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)The answer is: however is necessary for your novel to work, because it's your novel, not the Wikipedia Reference Desk's. According Philip K. Dick, we're still living in the Roman empire. You might want to check out the novels in Category:Alternate_history_novels_set_in_Ancient_Rome. Ian.thomson (talk) 23:45, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
It didn't really fall, it just evolved. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:57, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
It fell with one heck of a thump on 29 May 1453. Alansplodge (talk) 08:16, 19 August 2014 (UTC) -- Don't want to discourage you, but Robert Silverberg published a novel on that topic over ten years ago, called "Roma Eterna"... AnonMoos (talk) 00:28, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

We even have an article on it: Roma Eterna... -- AnonMoos (talk) 00:32, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
the reception section of that article might encourage op to build it better as they say ~Helicopter Llama~ 00:47, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Harry Turtledove has also explored the idea in Gunpowder Empire. Blueboar (talk) 00:48, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Or, similarly, Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague de Camp. This is one of the more often used points of divergence in counterfactual history. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 07:07, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Which doesn't mean it can't be used as a point of divergence again. I would advice the OP to read these stories, see what has been done by other authors, and then try to come up with a new take on an old idea. Not easy (but successful writing never is)... we wish you all the best in your endeavors. Blueboar (talk) 12:02, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
It's fiction, so you can do almost anything you want, but the European discovery of the Americas was a result of commercial and political competition among nation-states, which wouldn't have happened if most of Europe remained united in a single empire. Nor, arguably, would most of the technological advance of the modern era, a product of competition among merchants and polities in late medieval and early modern Europe. I would expect the surviving empire to remain preindustrial. Marco polo (talk) 18:28, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Arguably, aspects of the Roman Empire exist down to today. The Roman Catholic Church adopted some of the hierarchy and organization of the old Roman Empire; as the Papal States represents a continuity back to Exarchate of Ravenna and the Patrimonium Sancti Petri, creations of the Roman Empire. Of course, the Eastern Roman Empire continued in the East until 1453, and even after the fall of the Constantinople to the Turks, the Ottoman Empire considered itself as a continuation of the Roman Empire (itself having grown out of the Sultanate of Rum). The Ottoman Empire lasted until the end of WWI; so perhaps the modern state of Turkey has a claim to part of the Roman Empire. Then there is Russia, who itself claimed to be the Third Rome after 1453, and the fall of Constantinople. It is no coincidence that the Grand Duke of Moscow started using the title of Tsar (Slavic for Caesar). And then there is France, which has a state continuity back to West Francia, one of the divisions of Charlemagne's empire, who himself was crowned Roman Emperor in opposition to the Empress Irene, whom the west refused to accept as a legitimate ruler of the Roman Empire. Really, there's a lot of modern Romes. I could name even more, but this is enough of a smattering. --Jayron32 20:47, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

August 19[edit]


It seems that whenever a foreign royal visit Hawaii (during the territorial period and afterward), a member of the Kawanankoa family is always present with them. Ex: during the visits of Edward, Prince of Wales, Prince and Princess Takamado of Japan, and recently the Dalai Lama. Are these meetings official (involving the state or municipal government) or private affairs planned by the family themselves?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 01:21, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Revoking a pardon[edit]

Can a presidential or gubernatorial pardon in the United States be revoked? For example, when a new president or governor comes into office? -- (talk) 09:27, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Yes. See for example Isaac Toussie.--Shantavira|feed me 09:56, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
That goes against the second part of the OP's question though. In Toussie's case, the pardon was more of a recall than a revocation since the pardon hardly left Bush's office before he took it back. Dismas|(talk) 09:58, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) According to this, yes. Dismas|(talk) 09:57, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Re Toussie, you're right, I just read that the article goes on to say "The action by Mr. Bush to revoke the pardon is considered unprecedented, and it is unclear that the president has the power to withdraw a pardon.[13] However, the Justice Department has stated that the pardon was never official, having never been delivered to the person who requested it."--Shantavira|feed me 10:01, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

convert to Zoroastrianism[edit]

Hello guys, this is a very common question about Zoroastrianism, but since the only website I trust, is Wikipedia, please let me ask this question here. Is it possible to convert to Zoroastrianism? Some says that it is not possible and Zoroastrianism is only for those people that already born as a Zoroastrian. Is this right? Thanks. Bkouhi (talk) 14:17, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

That depends on who you ask. What I'm finding (source, source), in general, most Zoroastrians are opposed to conversion, with only a minority believing that the opposition to conversion was rooted in a historical promise to not proselytize (in exchange for protection) than actual religious doctrine. Still, since Zoroastrianism at least as much a practiced religion as a dogmatic one, refusal to accept converts does amount to dogma. Iranian Zoroastrians who did not go through India but left Iran seem to be more likely to accept converts than Parsis who spent time in India. Still, some Zoroastrians (source) make the argument that conversion is pointless if you're already observing a good religion (be it Christianity, Hinduism). This may be a modern phenomena, though (source). Ian.thomson (talk) 14:34, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Wade Hampton Census Area[edit]

Why is Wade Hampton Census Area, Alaska named for Wade Hampton III, who never had anything to do with this remote chunk of Yukon Delta? Hampton's article claims that "In 1913, Judge John Randolph Tucker named the Wade Hampton Census Area in Alaska to commemorate his father-in-law", but this is clearly impossible: List of boroughs and census areas in Alaska notes that there were no such things as census areas in Alaska until 1970, and even if that uncited statement is untrue, the concept of Alaska boroughs (and thus of non-borough areas such as Wade Hampton) originated in the Constitution of Alaska, promulgated in 1956 and presumably long after Judge Tucker's death. Nyttend (talk) 14:53, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

I'm looking at the 1920 Alaska Territory census (on, a pay site - sorry) which shows "Recorder's Districts" (treated liked "townships" in ancestry's index) called Wade Hampton, in both the Second and Fourth Judicial Districts (treated like "counties" in ancestry's index). By 1940 (the last detailed census available to the public) they were using the terms "Recording District" and "Judicial Division". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:33, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
It's available on Google Books - search for "Fourteenth Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1920". -- Finlay McWalterTalk 16:40, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
This indicates changes in terminology over the years. Maybe the author(s) of the Wikipedia articles tried to retrofit the terminology. The website I linked shows the terms Boroughs and Census Areas (2000, 1990, 1980); Census Divisions (1970); Election Districts (1960); Judicial Districts (1950 back to 1910); and Census Districts (1900, 1890, 1880). ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:53, 19 August 2014 (UTC)


Why is the scope of national geographic magazine so large? It seems to cover everything from all branches of science, technology and geography to world culture, heritage, history, arts and humanities. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:44, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

August 20[edit]

Non-Jews that live in Jewish communities must pick up grain?[edit]

I recently watched this episode on National Geographic about the Bible's mysteries. There was one verse that said that Jews were extremely strict about impurities, so even the non-Jews living within Jewish communities had to clean up the grain, which somehow prevented the Jews from becoming ill while the Egyptians - who didn't have such practice - got poisoned by the mold. Where can I find biblical textual back-up or Jewish religious tradition and culture for this claim? By the way, are there any Christian groups that are very fastidious about cleaning up grain, or at least ask non-Christian members to obey Christian religious laws, observances, practices, rituals, and the like simply because the non-Christian members are living within predominately Christian communities? (talk) 01:43, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

This sounds like gleaning and is post-exile and not specifically a cleanliness practice. Rmhermen (talk) 02:43, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Eh? Is there a pre-exile cleaning up grain? (talk) 03:36, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

British princes of Hanover[edit]

Why did Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover (1914–1987) have to be granted his British title in 1914 by George V when his father Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick did not? British prince seems to indicate that prior to 1917, male line great grandchildren were recognized as prince with the style of Highness while descendants after that was not specified. Logically Prince Ernest Augustus's father, aunts and uncles' status as British princes/princesses would have been questioned too and needing a grant (if it is even necessary) since they were great great grandchildren of George III. If the title of Prince was meant to go pertually in the legitimate male line then George V wouldn't have to have done anything in 1914 because Ernest Augustus along with all male line Hanoverian born before 1917 would have been born as Prince/Princess of Great Britian automatically. The articles of Ernest Augustus' siblings born before 1917 Prince George William of Hanover (1915–2006) and Frederica of Hanover claimed they were born British prince and princess, is this true even though they weren't granted titles by George V as their elder brother was in 1914. --The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 04:39, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Titles Deprivation Act 1917[edit]

The Titles Deprivation Act 1917 only list four people. Did the act deprive the children of the first three from holding the title Prince/Princess of Great Britain and Ireland. All of the Duke of Cumberland's children, three of the Duke of Brunswick's children and four of the Duke of Albany's children were born before 1917. Also was the Duke of Cumberland's sister Princess Frederica of Hanover who lived till 1926 deprived of her British titles? She lived in Britain till 1898 and seem to have continued on good terms with the British royals after she moved to France given that she was buried at St George's Chapel. Did she everre visit Britain between 1917 and 1926 and wa she recognized as a British princesses at the time or a foreign royal. Please don't merge with question above.--The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 04:45, 20 August 2014 (UTC)


August 13[edit]

Banned keywords on Chinese Internet/servers[edit]

Is it true that the Chinese government has recently imposed new restrictions on certain Chinese "keywords" being included in online Internet content (especially for advertising)? Are you aware of such recent restrictions, and what do they entail? Thank you.

New restrictions are being introduced all the time. Please see List of blacklisted keywords in China, and the first link under "Further Reading" which is constantly updated with the latest news.--Shantavira|feed me 08:12, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
If you care to visit the Linguists' blog Language Log and search their archives, you'll find extended and informed recent discussions of this topic. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 13:39, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

August 14[edit]

"Hard cheese"[edit]

When and how did "hard cheese" change from simply meaning a category of cheese to become an expression that apparently has nothing to do with cheese?

As, for example, in this note from the Language Desk Archives four years ago: "Portuguese does that too, of course. However, according to Portuguese orthography, qü and gü are used only in Brazil, and not even always there, and according to Portuguese Language Orthographic Agreement of 1990, qü and gü are to be abolished in BP as well, with the result that spellings like que, qui, gue, gui will be ambiguous as to whether /k ~ g/ or /kw ~ gw/ is meant. No problem for native speakers of course, and it's one less letter for them to have to worry about (will it free up a key on Brazil computer keyboards?), but it's hard cheese on foreigners learning the language, who will lose a pronunciation hint in the spelling. +Angr 11:42, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, CBHA (talk) 17:21, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

I'm not familiar with the phrase, but apparently it's from BrEng. Here's three discussions of the matter [29] [30] [31]. The consensus seems to be that it's metaphorical, coming from the notion that it is unfortunate to find that one's cheese has gone hard. It basically means "bad luck." SemanticMantis (talk) 17:27, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Interestingly, some of the best regarded cheeses in the world are "hard cheese". --Jayron32 17:30, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
I think it possibly is military-related, in which soldiers were given cheese as part of their rations. A big block of cheese would be shared out. If you ended up with the hard cheese from around the edge of the cheese, this was your bad luck. However, this might be complete folk etymology. Barney the barney barney (talk) 17:38, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm familiar with the term "stiff cheddar" from growing up in Australia in the 1950s and 60s. The term involved the ideas of bad luck and no sympathy. Don't know how it came to mean that. HiLo48 (talk) 17:51, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
I suspect it's just a derivative of "hard luck", which is a common expression expressing resigned sympathy. What else can be hard? Cheese. So it becomes "hard cheese". --Nicknack009 (talk) 21:40, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
According to my old copy of Partridge's Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, the expression is first recorded as Royal Military Academy slang in the 1890s (especially applied to hard luck at billiards), so there does seem to be a military relation. He calls hard cheddar a "humorous variant", and I suppose stiff cheddar is a further variant. Deor (talk) 21:57, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
The earliest cite in the OED is from 1876 (Isabella Banks in The Manchester Man (novel)), so there might be an earlier origin in northern England. "Hard cheddar" is first cited from 1931. Dbfirs 05:44, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
My (admittedly less reliable) link above [32] gives a usage from 1837, in a collection of plays called "The Acting National Drama" SemanticMantis (talk) 15:05, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, yes, I missed clicking that link. The meaning seems to have gradually changed from the dried-up dairy product to hard times to hard luck during the 1800s. Dbfirs 07:42, 16 August 2014 (UTC)


The phrase on the pedestal

I don't like the way the online translators (Google, Babelfish, Prompt, etc) translate "Hidalgo, en el nombre llevamos la Independencia" into English. Particularly, I'm not sure whether hidalgo here is the Mexican state of Hidalgo or a nobleman. The article would welcome the correct translation, thanks. Brandmeistertalk 20:57, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

"Hidalgo took the name Independence" does seem a bit odd. "Hidalgo" likely refers to Padre Hidalgo. It seems like it should be "Hidalgo, in your name we claim independence." But a native Spanish speaker could do better. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:35, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
The name "Hidalgo" in this case refers to Hidalgo (state), which is where the city of Pachuca is located (and where the monument stands). The correct translation would be: "Hidalgo, in the name we carry independence". Regards.--MarshalN20 Talk 03:04, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
"The correct translation" into which language? Sorry, but "Hidalgo, in the name we carry independence" isn't any variety of idiomatic English known to me. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 04:29, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
My translation: Hidalgo, in the name, we brought/bring independence.--Jondel (talk) 05:28, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
"Hidalgo" refers to the Mexican state, which is named after the Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla that Bugs mentions above. The official name of the state is actually Estado Libre y Soberano de Hidalgo or "The Free and Sovereign State of Hidalgo"; the name "Hidalgo" represents the independence won from Spain through the Mexican War of Independence and is a source of great pride for the residents there. The inscription has no punctuation and is in all caps. "Llevar" also has the connotation of "to convey". To me it reads more like Hidalgo: en el nombre llevamos la indepencencia or "Hidalgo: in the name (i.e. by that name), we convey independence".--William Thweatt TalkContribs 05:51, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
That makes sense. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:33, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
My Spanish is poor, but having read the discussion as an English-speaking editor, I might suggest "Hidalgo, we bear independence in our name" or "Hidalgo, we carry independence in our name", which I suspect has something of the tone of the Spanish motto. Marco polo (talk) 13:15, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
I wonder if the sense of the motto could be that the hidalgo class (the lesser nobility, like Don Quixote) had more independence than the lower classes? --Trovatore (talk) 21:54, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Of all the suggestions above, I think "convey" reads the best (yet is still lacking -- perhaps there is no ideal translation). Please note, though: the inscription in Spanish has the 'I' of "Independencia" capitalized, in reference to events of The (Mexican) Independence which WT mentions above, yet it has been changed at the article to lowercase in both Spanish and English. El duderino (abides) 22:22, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

August 15[edit]

"The only type of person I hold no remorse for is one given a miracle but who refuses to take advantage of it."[edit]

Can you help me make this sound like a decent sentence? I can't figure out what's wrong with it, but I don't think it sounds very good right now.

Maybe: "The only type of person I hold no remorse for is those who are given a miracle but refuse to take advantage of it." ??? (talk) 07:08, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

I think the problem is more with the words themselves rather than the grammar. "Hold remorse for" and "given a miracle", although comprehensible, aren't really idiomatic, and "take advantage of" implies some level of exploitation or abuse, which isn't really appropriate for miracles. Is "remorse" the right word? It implies that the speaker is only considering people he's harmed in some way. "Sympathy", perhaps? "Benefit from", "avail themselves of", or just "use", might be better than "take advantage of". Tevildo (talk) 07:54, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
"The only type of person I have no sympathy for is one who is given a miracle but refuses to take advantage of it." That's not wrong, but if you are concerned about people who don't like dangling prepositions, "The only type of person for whom I have no sympathy is one who is given a miracle but refuses to take advantage of it." I don't claim that either of these sentences is a stylistic gem, but they correct the misuse of remorse and the awkward structure of the original. Marco polo (talk) 13:30, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
I think the reason it's awkward, in addition to the word choices mentioned by Tevildo (except 'take advantage' which fits with miracle as opportunity, and complements the 'give'), is that there are nested clauses and ambiguous subject-object relationships. You can simplify it and add a little punctuation, though perhaps lose the 'quotable' quality you might be after: "I have no sympathy for a person who, given a miracle, does not take advantage of it." Or if you're not a fan of commas like that: "I have no sympathy for a person who does not take advantage of a miracle." (The latter implies they were somehow presented with a miracle, but is also lacking in that implication..) El duderino (abides) 22:41, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
To me, "is given a miracle" is awkward. How about "experiences a miracle"?
And "take advantage of a miracle" does not seem right. Miracles warrant more respect than is suggested by "take advantage of". Is "take advantage of a miracle" meant to convey "turn the results of a miracle to one's personal benefit"? Or "appreciate (or admire or respect) the extraordinary quality of the miraculous event"?
Singling a person who does not seek to benefit (in one way or another) from a miracle as "the ONLY type of person I have no remorse for" (or "the only type of person I have no sympathy for") puts a strain on the credulity of the reader of the sentence. There are such a wide range of people toward whom one might not be sympathetic. CBHA (talk) 00:00, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
The oddest thing about this sentence is remorse, suggesting (as that word is most commonly used) that the speaker could harm such a person without regret; was its meaning formerly closer to ‘sympathy’? Less odd: one given, rather than one who is given, is rare enough to make some readers stumble.
I see nothing wrong with take advantage of, which literally means only ‘(lift a finger to) benefit from’ (though zero-sum thinking leads to the secondary meaning ‘cheat’). —Tamfang (talk) 07:19, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

"have been" vs. "have"[edit]

Is it correct to use just "has" instead of "has been" in the same context? For example is it correct to say:
Queen Elizabeth II has reigned since 1952.
instead of saying:
Queen Elizabeth II has been reigning since 1952.
If yes, is there any difference in meanings of the two statements? Thanks. (talk) 07:22, 15 August 2014 (UTC)Vineet Chaitanya

Both are correct, but the latter highlights either the length or the temporary nature of the reign, depending on context -- see Continuous_and_progressive_aspects#English. The former is more likely, unless you have a particular reason for highlighting either of these. As an aside based on possibly unwarranted assumptions about your name, Indian English makes much greater use of the progressive than British English, so the latter may be more likely there. Unfortunately our article appears to ignore Indian English grammar entirely. HenryFlower 11:55, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Outside of India, the correct sentence, if you want to state a fact and don't want to emphasize duration, is the first one. Even if I did want to emphasize duration, I think I would choose something like "QEII has reigned since 1952 — a total of 62 years." To my American ears, the second sentence sounds odd, though it is not incorrect. In spoken English, I think, the "has been reigning since" form sounds odd, because it is much more common to hear the homophonous "has been raining since". People are more likely to emphasize duration or progressivity when it comes to rain than to a reign. When a listener first hears "has been reigning" he or she may wonder for a second how a queen can shed rain. Marco polo (talk) 13:05, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
She's been reigning on Charlie's parade for years and years now. Clarityfiend (talk) 20:19, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, it's not like it's an "OK, Mummy, you've had a pretty good run, how about moving into that nice retirement unit at Windsor Shady Pines and letting a real man have a go" system. You get born, you become the heir apparent, and you wait. For most of your life, if necessary. It's still Elizabeth's parade, and if anyone down the line is champing at the bit, then it is they who are raining on her parade. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:59, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
I also really doubt that Charles just can't wait to be king. It must be a very stressful, thankless job. If I were Prince Charles I'd want her to stay alive as long as possible so I could avoid it. (And now that he has two sons and a grandson, if I were him I'd quickly convert to RC to make sure it passed me by altogether.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:46, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
The second one turns it into more of an adjective, and then the "be" part is redundant to the "has" (which is just a form of "is"). You could also either say the Queen is happy/sad/on fire or being happy/sad/on fire (or it is being rainy outside). One has an extra word, so isn't great for Wikipedia, but the meaning is essentially the same. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:13, August 15, 2014 (UTC)
It is being rainy outside? Really? Sure, it's formally grammatical, but not idiomatic in any ordinary context.
If I heard someone say "it is being rainy outside", I would look for some unusual interpretation to justify the unusual wording. For example, a speaker might be personifying the "it" that is (formally) the subject of the sentence, and ascribing to "it" some sort of willful peskiness. --Trovatore (talk) 21:18, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I'd suspect, too. It's a sketchy phrase. I am feeling the same way about almost any which has been written like that is being. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:04, August 16, 2014 (UTC)

The issue here isn't has vs has been. Instead, it's progressive aspect or not. For example, does he live there vs is he living there. The answer is that it's generally the choice of the speaker to decide whether to explicitly present the situation as one that started in the past and is expected to end (progressive) or simply one that holds at the moment. In your question, has reigned is present perfect and has been reigning is present perfect progressive.--Brett (talk) 15:42, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

August 16[edit]

Subject-verb agreement in en-gb[edit]

Please see my changes in edits one and two. Are these correct for en-gb? I can't imagine how it could be correct to say "...the club has played at their current home ground...Aston Villa were founder members...", but as a native speaker of en-us, I could be wrong, and I would expect basic grammar issues in the intro to be caught on an FA, especially as it was prepared for becoming today's featured article. If I made a mistake, please revert me, or if you're not an admin, call one quickly please. Nyttend (talk) 03:44, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

In British English, wouldn't it be "the club have played at their grounds"? In America, of course, it would be "the club has played at its/their grounds" or "the Yankees have played at their stadium". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:55, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
British English has a choice: "the club" (as a single entity) "has" ... but "the club" (the members of the team) "have" ... I can see the argument for making the edits, but I think I prefer the original version with its implied differences in interpretation, though it must look very odd to American readers. Dbfirs 07:10, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
But football clubs almost always take plural verbs, don't they? I'm American myself, but I've heard enough spoken British English to know that if someone says "Liverpool is..." they're talking about the city and if they say "Liverpool are..." they're talking about the football club. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:52, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Seems to me we heard that British plural during the World Cup, and definitely during the Tour de France. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:34, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
It still depends on whether you are talking about the players or the organisation. See Liverpool F.C., Manchester United F.C., Crystal Palace F.C. and Burnley F.C. for example. I think there was an agreement on Wikipedia that British pop groups should always be plural, and BB's and Angr's argument follows this practice. I'm not a football expert, so perhaps someone else from the UK might like to comment. We ought to decide on a policy then stick to it for consistency between articles. Currently, most of our articles use the singular in the formal opening sentence. (Perhaps they were all written by Americans or by British pedants?) Dbfirs 15:37, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
What I'm afraid I cannot tolerate is a combination like "the club has played at their current home ground". (talk) 03:22, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
I agree that sentence needed changing (I'd have made the change the other way), but "The club were floated" also grates to my ear. ( ... and it's the team that plays, not the club!) Dbfirs 09:11, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
English English speaker here: whilst other compatriots may disagree, I would use singular for "club" as it's usually treated as a (sometimes legal) singular entity; plural for "team", as that's a group noun; and singular and plural respectively for (e.g.) "Liverpool F.C." and "Liverpool". So "the club was floated", "the team were playing", etc. Bazza (talk) 11:19, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

August 17[edit]

Become overrun[edit]

How do languages handle passive constructions with helping verbs other than be/get, such as "to become overrun"? (talk) 05:15, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

A clarification. I want to know how languages that aren't English deal with passives like "These flowers look trampled" or "This food smells fried". I know some languages like the Romance languages can make a participal adjective out of almost any action verb, but what about the languages that can't? (talk) 07:11, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Well, I can't directly translate smells fried or even smells yummy into French; I'd use unpack the English idiom to something like "smells as if it were fried". —Tamfang (talk) 07:31, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Many languages don't use helping verbs in passives. For instance, Japanese marks the voice with an inflectional ending. Consider "step on", which is 踏む (fumu), while "be stepped on" is 踏まれる (fumareru).--Brett (talk) 15:36, 17 August 2014 (UTC) -- I don't think that the examples in your second comment would usually be considered passives. Rather, they contain participles used as predicate adjectives. It's similar to a small clause construction, but with an intransitive main-clause verb... AnonMoos (talk) 18:09, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

particular type of question[edit]

Is there a word for the situation when someone asks a question, but the questioner knows the answer to the question he has just asked? I am interested in this in an educational setting (for example, when the teacher asks "what is three times seven?", knowing full well what the answer is) but I guess the same thing happens when a police officer asks questions of a suspect. Anyway, any hints as to the proper linguistic terms for such a situation (or even further examples) would be very welcome. Best wishes, Robinh (talk) 09:19, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

If there isn't a more specific term, I suppose it could be called a loaded question though without the presumption of guilt or negative connotations that are normally associated with them. Dismas|(talk) 09:48, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
thanks Dismas. I never thought of loaded question, It put me on to leading question and suggestive question which are closer, but still not quite right. Best wishes, Robinh (talk) 10:01, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
And neither Rhetorical question nor Hypothetical question is quite right either, though they may well be used in educational settings. I don't think English has a special term for a question to which the questioner already knows the answer. I suppose one could call them "educator's questions" (and "interrogator's questions" for the police). Dbfirs 11:35, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
It's also similar to a Socratic question. --Amble (talk) 15:33, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Ref desk at its best. Socratic method is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!
Robinh (talk) 19:45, 17 August 2014 (UTC)


What is that word in this sentence from a Schopenhauer's paper : 'Go to the Democolacs and get praised'? Thanks. Omidinist (talk) 13:45, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Seems to be from Greek δημοκόλαξ (dēmokolax), defined by Liddell & Scott as "a mob-flatterer". Deor (talk) 14:34, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
That's it. Thank you, Deor. --Omidinist (talk) 15:02, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Old English Adjectives as substantives[edit]

I'm looking for an expert opinion on the following: It's claimed that in OE all adjectives were completely free to occur as substantives. Is this overstating things? For example, would an adjective like fæġen (fain) occur as a substantive? Thanks for you help!--Brett (talk) 14:32, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Don't have a handy reference for your right now, but judging from how this is easily possible in modern German, and how Old English and German are generally highly similar in the nominal systems, I'd guess yes, this would generally be possible. See e.g. Beowulf "Gesette sige‐hrēþig sunnan and mōnan" ('the triumphant one placed the Sun and the Moon'). Fut.Perf. 14:51, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! Isn't sige a noun here though?--Brett (talk) 15:37, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but it's only a compound modifier of "hreþig", which is the actual head of the compound word, so the entire thing counts as an adjective. Fut.Perf. 15:51, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Is there a word in English for this?[edit]

Frequently done in movie titles and posters, when one uses symbols or modified symbols from another language as symbols in one's own language to express a feel for that foreign language. For example, if an American movie about Russia had a title with 'R' and 'N' in it, so they use the Russian ya and ee letters. (talk) 14:45, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

See our article Faux Cyrillic. There are also faux Greek fonts used to give that Classical feel, and other sorts of faux fonts. Deor (talk) 17:36, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Which direction does the R face in the Moscow branch of Toys "Я" Us ? :-) StuRat (talk) 19:00, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Since Google Street View imagery is available for Moscow, I was hoping to be able to answer that question, but, sadly, it turns out that the company has no locations in Russia or other countries using Cyrillic. (P.S. my CAPTCHA to post that link was "kookducts". How fitting!) -- (talk) 00:31, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

3rd-person singulars of "to degas" and "to diminuendo"?[edit]


I've been studying semi-regular, English conjugations, and have now gotten bewildered. The Oxford American Dictionary (Third Edition) gives the 3rd-person singular for the verb to degas as degass (Wiktionary gives degases). At first, I dismissed it as a typo, but the OED website also gives degass.

Similarly, it gives the 3rd-person singular of "to diminuendo" as diminuendos. This strikes me as odd since the OED prescribes the -es suffix for all other <consonant+o> verbs (e.g. "goes," "does") and also, for that matter, nearly all <vowel+o> verbs (e.g. "radioes," "videoes"). Only in the case of stems ending in "-oo," does it use "-s" (e.g. "coos," "tatoos").

Is somebody at Oxford snoozing on the job?Pine (talk) 21:17, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

I can't find the results you report. I don't have a subscription to either OED or OAD; don't know if that matters. But the OED does give me a hit for degas aside — really ought to use the hyphen in this one, so people don't think you're talking about a French painter and no variant degass occurs in it.
As for dimenuendo(e)s, I'm sorry, yuck. Turning an Italian gerund into an English verb, that's just wrong. --Trovatore (talk) 21:57, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Twinpinesmall -- I'm not sure why one would convert the surname of Edgar Degas into a verb, but if one did so, the pronunciation would remain vowel final (i.e. [deɪɡɑː] with silent letter "s"). The spelling degases would strongly indicate a pronounced (non-silent) letter "s", and also the meaning "to remove the gas from". The spelling degass looks strange, but would be suitable for the third person singular present of a verb derived from Edgar Degas and pronounced [deɪɡɑːz] (e.g. "It out-Degass Degas")... AnonMoos (talk) 02:47, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

The full OED online has no verb "to diminuendo", only the noun. It does have an entry for the verb "to degas" (earlier cites have a hyphen), but gives no indication of the form of the third person singular (from which one normally deduces that it is regular). I found your version on-line and I assume that it is a typo by a clerk entering data onto a website which was then mirrored to the other website. I would trust Wiktionary here. Collins Millennium Dictionary allows either "degases" or "degasses". Perhaps that's what the Oxford website intended to convey? Dbfirs 07:07, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
@ AnonMoos: Isn't Edgar Degas's surname pronounced [dəɡɑː]? The e is not acute. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:47, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
The correct French pronunciation is [dəɡɑ] or [dəɡa], but its traditional English (mis)pronunciation is [deɪɡɑː]... AnonMoos (talk) 00:20, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
We have bussing and busses from both "to bus" and "to buss", so why wouldn't it be degassing and degasses (or at least degases). Never just degass for 3rd person singular. He degass? Nope, he de man! 3rd person plural is OK, though: They degass. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:54, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
My off-line version of the OED gives only degas "to remove gas" hence degas(s)es, degassed, degassing.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 10:45, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Subtitles for people speaking in English[edit]

I am watching a National Geographic documentary about the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A Japanese woman is telling her story in English, yet subtitles are provided. I recall seeing subtitles on another channel (CNN, I think) during an interview with a South African man, also speaking in English. I am a South Slav and not a native speaker of English, yet I was perfectly able to understand both, so the subtitles struck me as bizarre. Is it possible that a native speaker cannot understand English spoken with strong accent while a non-native speaker can? Or is there another reason for the subtitles? Surtsicna (talk) 23:01, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

If the person is not speaking in a "standard accent" - it is common for subtitles to be used. I understand that some in London do not speak with a Scots or Yorkshire accent, and subtitles are thus essential. Collect (talk) 23:15, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Your listening ability in English must be quite good! Although most native speakers would presumably also be able to understand both of these, I can suggest a couple of reasons for the subtitles:
  • The National Geographic documentary is not intended only for native speakers of English. Quite a lot of the viewers may have a different native language, and have trouble understanding these accents.
  • It becomes much more difficult to understand an unfamiliar dialect when there's some other impediment such as poor sound quality, ambient noise, a "busy" sound environment within the show, or divided attention. Even as a native speaker I sometimes turn on subtitles in English, especially when the program is in a different national variety of English and I'm watching on a laptop. For similar reasons, I sometimes see subtitles appear when someone is speaking in a noisy environment like a factory or a crowd. --Amble (talk) 23:31, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I've just been watching the BBC's "Countryfile" programme where subtitles were provided for a speaker with a strong Irish accent (the inspiration for one of Seamus Heaney's poems). At first I thought "why are they doing that?", then, as I listened, I realised that some words were difficult to make out for those not familiar with the accent. As I get older, I find it increasingly difficult to decipher strange accents, so perhaps the subtitles are just a courtesy for those whose hearing and brain cells are deteriorating. Dbfirs 23:34, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I have seen American TV shows where my dialect, Australian English, was subtitled. Obviously I could understand it, but I guess some Americans couldn't. It all depends on what one is used to. I have trouble with a small set of American accents, although American TV shows have educated us in most of the mainstream American accents. And English from Yorkshire and further north in Scotland can be quite incomprehensible to me (even though that's where my ancestors are from!). HiLo48 (talk) 23:40, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Language acquisition is not a genetic thing. Identical twins separated at birth and brought up in mutually hostile linguistic environments will have just as much difficulty understanding each other when reunited, as unrelated people would. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:17, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Scottish accent is a bit strange. It's my favourite and I understand it much better than others (except for GenAm, which also quite good) but at the same time I often cannot comprehend a word from a usual conversation. Looks like there are two types of Scottish speakers: ones speak normal articulate Scottish English or at least Anglified Scots, others speak alien gibberish (I cannot call it either Scots or English). And it does not directly depend on age, education level and so on, what is even more strange.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 12:45, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
The accent that you find difficult to understand is probably Glaswegian. I struggle to follow it, and I live less than a hundred miles from there. Dbfirs 19:58, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
ah, if only they did subtitles for the phone. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:04, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Aye, klazweejn, Ah cã'e ã'stõ' a 'er' frae i'. Hey spee' a peer alyã lãgij. But other Scots from other areas also can speak like aliens.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 10:39, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
The Harder They Come was subtitled in U.S. theatrical release. In recent decades, the broad U.S. moviegoing public seems to have become rather intolerant of more-than-minimal use of subtitling in wide-release commercial movies... AnonMoos (talk) 00:27, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
That was a good movie, but without the subtitles I would have had a heck of a time understanding much of the dialog. - Marchjuly (talk) 07:07, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Riff-Raff too, iirc. —Tamfang (talk) 07:23, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
That was a good movie too, but I only got Japanese subtitles for that one. Face-sad.svg - Marchjuly (talk) 07:34, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
As pointed out above by Dbfirs there is a good chance that these subtitles were provided for hearing-impaired individuals. For what it's worth, Japanese TV programs/documentaries do occasionally provide Japanese subtitles even for dialog spoken in Japanese. This is not only because a particular dialect is being used, but also for people with hearing problems. Turns out to be good listening practice for me. Sometimes, however, the actual spoken dialog is a little crude sounding, so the subtitled version is "translated" into a more polite, standard form of Japanese. - Marchjuly (talk) 07:07, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but Japanese TV has a quite frankly annoying habit during so-called comedy/variety shows, of printing the celebrity's 'funny' comment in big colourful letters, then repeating it up to four or five times, just to make sure you get the joke, which wasn't particularly funny in the first place. Only the audience - which is inevitably made up of university-age females - is laughing, and the people watching at home aren't. Bizarrely, the audience only gets to see it once, and without subtitles. The only good thing is when a celebrity sticks some food in his/her mouth and a millisecond later - way before the brain has time to even process the fact that food is in the mouth, never mind the taste - he/she will open his/her mouth and say 'UMAI!', and the unnecessary subtitle distracts you from the fact that the person is breaking all rules of etiquette by speaking with food in the mouth. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 18:47, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
It seems to be getting more and more common to provide subtitles in any occasion when the speaker has a really thick accent or there is background noise. It might be for the hearing impaired, but I'm not such, and I find it useful. I wish they had provided subtitles for the Yorkshire farmers during the TV series All Creatures Great and Small, as their English was sometimes unintelligible. That might have been the point, though, as author "James Herriot" had kind of a sly sense of humor. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:10, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I've seen plenty of Shakespeare films in English that offer subtitling on the DVD. That is a great help for things that when spoken in a freer order come out as mondegreens. As to Surtcina's exact examples, I have sometimes almost thought it parody or racism. They have perfectly clear and grammatical speakers, but because they are not British or North American they get subtitling. When it happens in newscasts I figure the subtitler's got to get paid, so he subtitles every chance he gets. μηδείς (talk) 17:06, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
A majority of the DVDs I watch offer subtitling, whatever the dialect. —Tamfang (talk) 21:02, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Obvious reason: subtitling for people that are deaf or hard-of-hearing. --VanBuren (talk) 17:13, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Except that they would typically have subtitles turned on for all programs. What we're talking about here is where subtitles are provided as part of the default mode, and all viewers get to see them whether they wanted to or not. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:44, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Here, we have an American voice, a Canadian voice and an English voice. One apparently isn't English enough. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:12, August 19, 2014 (UTC)
The subtitled guy sounds like a cross between French Canadian and stereotypical Mafiosi. And is basically unintelligible. I'm not so sure the subtitles even match what he's saying. It's actually "cleaned up" to read like normal English as opposed to the way he's saying the words. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:45, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
That's Dynamite Kid (the unsubbed "Amazing" French Canadian is Jacques Rougeau; coincidentally, the story in that video also involves Dino Bravo, who was "allegedly" in with the Québec Mafia). He's obviously not a kid anymore, but even before the drugs and concussions caught up with him, he was hard to understand. Just one of those Englishmen. They like to cram their syllables together, but can apparently understand each other fine. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:27, August 20, 2014 (UTC)
Excellent! I wish this type of people were obliged to wear an automatic personal subtitler on their neck. They speak simply like retards. Even East Asians can speak Ingrishu better.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 11:07, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

August 18[edit]


Is it "early-eighteenth century statue" or "early-eighteenth-century" or possibly "early eighteenth-century"? Clarityfiend (talk) 05:19, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

A cursory check indicates that of the three, early eighteenth-century is the only one in common use, but it is also commonly used without any hyphens (i.e.: early eighteenth century). — (talk) 06:16, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Personally I take every opportunity to resist the with-enough-hyphens-any-phrase-can-be-an-adjective trend. —Tamfang (talk) 07:24, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
See "compound modifier" and "English compound#Hyphenated compound modifiers". Gabbe (talk) 07:47, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I am simultaneously an arch-anti-over-hyphenationist and an arch anti under hyphenationist. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 12:15, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Your third suggestion is the most correct. The first suggestion has one alternative interpretation from the intended - that there exists objects called century-statues, of which this particular one is the early-eighteenth. The usage rules of commas, means that there is only one interpretation of the third suggestion - since there is no comma following 'early', as an adjective, 'early' is automatically associated with 'eighteenth-century'. Meaning that while correct, the hyphen following 'early' in the second suggestion is superfluous. Plasmic Physics (talk) 07:57, 19 August 2014 (UTC)


BE speakers giving telephone numbers and similar number strings in speech often pronounce 0 (zero) as the letter O. Does this occur in other varieties of English and is there an equivalent in other languages Jimfbleak - talk to me? 16:32, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

AmEng most definitely. Not sure about other languages. Evan (talk|contribs) 16:42, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
And so we very properly had the letter O on the digit 0 on our telephone dials. It was only because foreigners put it in the wrong place that we had to give up using letters when international dialling happened. --ColinFine (talk) 17:42, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Nobody in the history of the world has ever been heard to say, e.g. History 101 as "History one zero one". [citation needed] -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:34, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
A challenge! —Tamfang (talk) 21:01, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
In Illinois I had a neighbor whose house number was displayed as Six O One. I often thought, "And half a dozen O the other." —Tamfang (talk) 21:01, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Bloody hell, you're me. Welcome to the madness. :) Evan (talk|contribs) 14:19, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I've never come across a variety of English that didn't pronounce zero as "Oh" within numbers. This is common with years such as "nineteen-oh-one", and I recall some speculation about whether we would read 2005 as "twenty-oh-five". In the event it was actually pronounced as "two thousand five".
You asked about other languages. In Korean, the digit five happens to be called 오, pronounced "oh". This leads to great confusion for expats from English-speaking countries switching between languages, since "oh" has to get mapped to 0 in one context and 5 in the other, and it invariably goes wrong some of the time. Although Korean does have a round-circle letter, it is not identified with zero either in typing or in pronunciation. Instead, the numeral zero is often called 공, gong, meaning a ball. Other languages I've come across seem to just call zero by the standard word for zero. --Amble (talk) 00:34, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
"Two-thousand..." was common for the first decade, but more and more the usage is becoming "Twenty-oh..." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:41, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Really?? In what geographical region do you hear "twenty-oh-something"? We do use "twenty-ten" and so on for the second decade, but I literally cannot recall ever hearing that pattern extrapolated back to the previous decade to give "twenty-oh-something". I only heard this back in 1999 when people were talking about what the coming years were going to be called. I'd be interested to hear if that pattern really did catch on somewhere. --Amble (talk) 00:46, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Charles Osgood was saying "twenty-oh..." from the get-go. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:49, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Very interesting, thanks. It also occurs to me that we do say "oh-five", "oh-eight", etc. when giving years in two-digit form. --Amble (talk) 01:00, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
And some people do refer to the police as "five-oh", even when they're not in Hawaii. Face-tongue.svg - Marchjuly (talk) 04:33, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Just to confuse everybody, the original series was Hawaii Five-O (oh), but the new one is Hawaii Five-0 (zero). -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 04:42, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Is the name of the reboot still pronounced the same? I wonder if they changed McGarret's "Book 'em Danno (Dann-oh)!" to "Book 'em Dann-zero!" as well. It's interesting that in Japanese they are also written differently: the original is ハワイ5-0 and the reboot is Hawaii Five-0. - Marchjuly (talk) 05:07, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
In Japanese, there are two words which mean "zero":ゼロ (zero) (spelling is the same but pronunciation is slightly different) and (rei). The word (maru, circle) is also sometimes used when reading numbers out loud because "" looks a little like "0" and it's really easy to understand. So, a Japanese person might read "102" as "ichi zero ni", "ichi rei ni", or "ichi maru ni". Kind of depends on context and on the person. Since "maru" is more conversational and "zero" is a loanword taken from English, the Japanese "rei" is what is usually used on NHK. - Marchjuly (talk) 04:33, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
While reading about Don Pardo's recent death, I got to wondering what he looked like (Note: Pardo is most known for his voice work). So I looked for a clip on YouTube and found an interview that he gave. In it, he uses the shorthand of "Two-Oh-Five" to refer to 2005. He does this repeatedly throughout the interview when discussing years in the first decade of this century. This is the first time I've heard someone drop one of the zeros from those years. Dismas|(talk) 06:31, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Sportscaster Brent Musburger is known to use "oh" even ehen referring to a single zero [as opposed to the more common "nothing" (U.S.) or "nil" / "naught" (U.K.)], as in "The Giants take the lead 3-0 (three-oh)."    → Michael J    04:21, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

August 19[edit]

Chinese request: MH370[edit]

From Commons:Search_for_Malaysia_Airlines_Flight_370#Maps_and_graphics

  • Theoretical fuel range
  • Initial search area based on last radar contact
  • Corridors based on satellite data
  • Areas of possible debris spotting

What are these in Chinese?

Thanks WhisperToMe (talk) 14:35, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Grammar Correction[edit]

Is this sentence correct? I would suggest you call for a meeting with the vendor as we are not going to be able to resolve all these outstanding issues through emails.

Please let me know if the above sentence is grammatically correct. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Yes, it is perfectly formed, although it may sound slightly odd if your dialect doesn't use the English subjunctive. Stylistically, I would probably say email (sing), treatng it as a medium, rather than a plural, but that's a style choice and the sentence is perfectly cromulent as is. μηδείς (talk) 16:34, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Wait, are there dialects of English that don't use the subjunctive? Where are these "shouldless, wouldless, couldless" speakers? SemanticMantis (talk) 16:56, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Would, should, could are not ordinarily considered subjunctive. Morphologically, they are the past tenses of will, shall, can respectively. In terms of meaning and comparative grammar, they're more similar to the "conditional mood" from Romance languages than to the subjunctive mood. --Trovatore (talk) 00:08, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Interesting, that's at odds with what I was taught. To my (non-linguist) reading, e.g. "could" squarely fills the role subjunctive mode, which is used "to expresss...possibility, judgment, opinion, necessity," To be specific "He could jump over that car" indicates my belief that it is possible for him to jump over that car. Likewise if I say "he should jump over that car", I'm offering my opinion on that matter. Linguistic_modality#Auxiliaries seems to make it clear that auxiliary verbs can serve to mark modality, but doesn't clearly classify which are which. I did read about conditional mood, but I don't think my examples depend clearly on some condition being met. This also gets us into difficulties assessing the nature of our modal semantics (e.g. deontic vs. epistemic modality), but I think I should stop digressing :) SemanticMantis (talk) 03:03, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
A lot of British and uneducated American dialects would feel more comfortable with "I suggest you should cal" as opposed to 'I would suggest you call". English dialectology is not an intersy of mine but I am sure others here can comment in detail. I agree with Mp below the comma is needed. μηδείς (talk) 22:00, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Oh I see what you mean now, thanks for clarifying. SemanticMantis (talk) 03:03, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
It's basically correct, but there really should be a comma between vendor and as marking off the dependent clause. Marco polo (talk) 18:17, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

August 20[edit]

Theravada Buddhists: Pali or Sanskrit?[edit]

From what I can tell, among Western Buddhists, Mahayanists prefer to use Sanskrit terms (karma, dharma, etc.), while Theravadins prefer to use Pali terms (kamma, dhamma). This made me curious about usage among Theravadins who speak an Indic language: from what I can find here, the Sinhalese words are කර්මය (karmaya) and ධර්මය (darmaya) – clearly not Pali-derived, because they have the Sanskrit r. So what's the reason for this seeming inconsistency? Is the preference for Pali over Sanskrit forms purely a phenomenon of Western Theravadins, and not actually the case among those in Sri Lanka or other Asian countries? --Lazar Taxon (talk) 00:42, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Abbreviation "Ag" in German place names[edit]

This question is for a friend of mine whose research into her family's genealogy has taken her to a town called Gägelow Ag. Sternberg, in what's now Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Does anyone have any idea what "ag." stands for/signifies? I came up empty on Google and speak no German myself. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:37, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

(Copied from the Tourism Reference Desk, aka Wikivoyage Tourist Office by: (talk) 02:16, 20 August 2014 (UTC); I suggest answering there. Looking at Google Maps, it seems to show Gägelow as place either within or near Sternberg, so I suspect the word is a preposition.)

I think the answer is that this is not part of the place name at all. I believe it refers to the local court (Amtsgericht or Ag.) in the district of Gägelow in the town of Sternberg. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 04:23, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Pronunciation of Greek surname[edit]

How would the surname Petratos be pronounced? Hack (talk) 03:18, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

IPA: [pɛ'tratɔs], pe-TRAH-tos. Fut.Perf. 04:58, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Great, thanks for the reply. Hack (talk) 06:09, 20 August 2014 (UTC)


August 14[edit]

Top Gear[edit]

Who is the man sitting next to the editor of Rail Express magazine in Jeremy's Sports Train? S17E04. Th4n3r (talk) 06:15, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Jeremy said on the show, "That's just a man."    → Michael J    04:29, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

Super Nintendo Entertainment System vs. Sega Genesis: Which side you were on[edit]

We all know who won the console wars. It was Nintendo. But originally, Sega was winning, with customers preferring to buy Sonic the Hedgehog rather than Nintendo's Super Mario World. Unfortunately, however, Sega was not prepared for the release of Street Fighter II: The World Warrior on Nintendo's SNES.

But enough history lessons. Which side were you on back then: The Super Nintendo Entertainment System or the Sega Genesis? Ebaillargeon20 (talk) 07:09, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

This is not an appropriate question for a Reference desk. HiLo48 (talk) 07:32, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Gender of sports fans[edit]

I live in the home town of Australian Rules Football. A personal observation of mine is that one of the reasons for its local popularity is that it's watched pretty much equally by males and females. It seems to me that soccer worldwide tends to be watched far more by males. I don't know about American football. But this is obviously my own original research. Has anyone formally studied this aspect of the gender make-up of sports fans? HiLo48 (talk) 08:47, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Here are some figures for North America [35]. Women represent over 40% of fans in both MLB and the NHL. Lowest figures (36%) are for the NBA, closely followed by NASCAR (the good ole boy stereotype is alive and well there). --Xuxl (talk) 11:11, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Those numbers don't tell the whole story, as they don't show the absolute interest, i.e. the total quantities. MLS and NHL are kind of "niche" sports in America, whereas the NFL is very popular among both men and women, even if the percentage ratio seems to say otherwise. Sports in the United States has some interesting figures. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:36, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Computer game development[edit]

Hello all, I couldn't sleep last night because I had an idea for a World War 2 RTS computer game rolling around in my head -- my idea is to make it the ultimate in realism (something along the line of Sudden Strike/Blitzkrieg, but with even more realistic gameplay -- for example, with units running away when demoralized, tanks stopping when out of fuel, and U-boats having to surface to recharge their batteries, among other elements of realism). However, I'm not a computer programmer, so I don't know how to translate my detailed concept into C++ code -- and in any case, I know that this project is beyond the ability of any one person, no matter how skilled. I definitely want to make some money off of this project if it's successful, and I also would prefer to have at least some part in the development, to make sure that realism is not compromised without great need. How do I go about doing it? Thanks in advance! (Also cross-posted to Computing/IT desk.) (talk) 19:13, 14 August 2014 (UTC)

Well, you could actually plan out a lot of the mechanics with pencil and paper before any coding is done. I would think you'll need to at least start thinking in pseudocode from the start. You might also research a game engine. Many of these are free for non-commercial use, most require some form of payment for commercial development. You could also check out fora for game developers, just google /indie game developer forum/ for a list, or check out some of the appropriate subreddits. The main thing to understand is that the vision in your head will likely take several years and several people to accomplish, at minimum. Securing venture capital would help a lot, but there are zillions of people with little experience making games that have great ideas, so I wouldn't hold out too much hope for that :) SemanticMantis (talk) 20:15, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
As a matter of fact, I already have some of the mechanics planned out in great detail, especially with regard to unit parameters (armor, attack points, health, experience, morale, ammo, fuel, etc.) and their interactions (movement, attacks, minelaying, resupply, etc.) And I believe my idea is better than most -- if it has any flaw, it's that it might have too much complexity, especially in the morale component. And BTW, I've already found one indie game developer which specializes in RTS, but I don't know yet if they have the expertise to make something this complex. So I'd say that for someone just starting out, I'm in pretty good shape. (talk) 22:56, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
You might also want to check out a game called MechCommander, which has a lot of what you described above. Except it didn't have a morale system. --Wirbelwind(ヴィルヴェルヴィント) 23:03, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, the morale system will be pretty complex -- units start out at neutral morale (500 points out of 1000 possible), and they're demoralized by taking enemy fire, by enemy leaflets or propaganda, or by seeing other friendlies get killed or run away (in Sudden Strike 2, they were only demoralized by enemy leaflets or propaganda), or they can get their morale boosted by defeating enemies, achieving game objectives, or (temporarily) by being near an officer with high morale. Plus, when demoralizing factors are no longer there, the demoralized units will gradually recover back to neutral morale. And morale will affect unit effectiveness in pretty much the same way as experience, but with an additional twist: when morale drops to 200 points, the units take cover/entrench/submerge/etc. and will no longer advance toward the enemy (but will still fire at enemies coming within range); when it drops to 100 points, they will run away and no longer obey orders until their morale recovers; and when it drops to 0, they will surrender to the enemy and will no longer be available. On the other hand, I won't have unit salvaging (although infantry units will be able to capture abandoned artillery and vehicles), unit upgrades or base construction, and little if any unit production -- so in that way, it won't be as complicated as MechCommander. (talk) 23:24, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
(Moved from Computping) Well, you can start with game designing software, such as GameMaker: Studio or Unity. As for the scope being out of the hands of one person, that may or may not be true. Some single-person created games include Dust: An Elysian Tail, Banished, and the infamous Minecraft. As for realism, games already exist where troops run away when demoralized (Age of Wonders and many 4X games), tanks stopping when out of fuel (Field Commander, Valkyria Chronicles), etc. How do you go about it? One step at a time, I suppose. You can start by learning about coding, game development, graphics design, writing and digitizing music, writing the story, or any number of things. You can also ask friends. Or if you have money and a business sense, you can always hire people... --Wirbelwind(ヴィルヴェルヴィント) 22:56, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, in that case, I'd say I've already started taking baby steps -- I've already written the story (actually, the Nazis and the Allies have done this for me), and I've planned out the gameplay and user interface in considerable detail (logistics, etc.) And I know quite a bit about coding, just not the sort of code that games use. As for the music, my plan is to use authentic World War 2 songs for the soundtrack -- the only concern with that is, this will mean a disproportionate number of Russian and British songs, and comparatively few from the other combatants. So I'd say I'm off to a good start. (Plus, I've just found an indie game developer the other day, but I don't know yet if they can take on something as complex as what I have in mind.) (talk) 23:08, 14 August 2014 (UTC)
As for designing software (IF I end up having to go it alone): Unity it is, because GameMaker stinks to high heaven -- it doesn't even offer much in the way of 3-D graphics! And I'm pretty sure I'll be able to learn it without too much trouble -- I'm a quick study. It's just the graphics design that will be the hard part, because I'll have to make a whole bunch of realistic-looking World War 2 vehicles (from a Willis jeep to an Iowa-class battleship), not to mention those tiny infantrymen! So I'll definitely have to outsource at least part of the graphics design, even if I do the coding myself. (talk) 01:06, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

August 15[edit]

Racing game based on the same engine as the 2000 RTS Sacrifice by Shiny[edit]


Around the year 2000 or 2001, I remember having caught a glimpse in some TV show of an off road racing game based upon the same engine used by the game Sacrifice the 2000 RTS made by Shiny Entertainment. Any help in identifying that game would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

04:56, 15 August 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gulielmus estavius (talkcontribs)

Nathan For You[edit]

Are the people in the show - outside of Nathan - genuine, or are they also actors? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:57, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Our article at Nathan for You as well as the IMDB [36] page seem to indicate that they are "real" small businesses, and "real" ordinary people working at them. That does not preclude, however, that some lines may be scripted ahead of shooting the scenes. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:14, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
You are better at reading than I am. Thanks! (talk) 07:19, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Martial Arts in "Wolfman" (2010)[edit]

Dear all.

Does anyone know, which martial arts are used in the movie "Wolfman" (2010)? There is a scene, where Anthony Hoplins fights against Benicio del Toro with a cane. Is this "canne de combat" (french martial art) or Escrima (filipino martial art)?

Thank you for your answers All the best. Yours very truly-- (talk) 18:52, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Haven't seen the movie, but if there's no character backstory explaining his training, one scene with a few moves will be hard to pin to an entire discipline. Tried a bit of Googling for the scene, found these two fighting as werewolves. There, they used a style called "moves that look cool, but wouldn't work in real life". I'd assume it's the same for the cane fighting scene. A hodgepodge of whatever moves the choreographer thinks convey the right attitude (and fit into the pacing of the show), without any necessary rhyme, rhythm or underlying discipline. Something like professional wrestling, but with multiple camera cuts and stunt doubles. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:52, August 15, 2014 (UTC)
Saw it close to release date, so it's been awhile. Perhaps someone has access to the DVD extras where they discuss stunts. From the Amazon description [37]: "The Wolfman Unleashed -- The team behind the stunt and action units shares with us the physical challenges of bringing The Wolfman to life, including the climatic werewolf battle at Talbot Hall." El duderino (abides) 08:59, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

August 16[edit]

Law & Order Season 10 Episode 5: Justice[edit]

August 17[edit]

Add a picture[edit]

I need to uployed my pics how can I do it please help yerrys chryssos greek pop singer — Preceding unsigned comment added by Terrys chryssos (talkcontribs) 08:42, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

I added a header to separate your new question from the one above. There is a "Upload file" link in the toolbox (on the left). You will need to be autoconfirmed to be able to do that. However, if this is to simply upload a picture of yourself in order to promote your singing career, please don't - Wikipedia is not an appropriate venue for promotion of singers. Astronaut (talk) 11:03, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Articles on the recent trend of major game engines becoming affordable for indies[edit]

Major game engines used by AAA titles have been starting to be licensed at rates that encourage use by indies, startups and hobbyists. This trend seems to have mostly started with UDK and Unity (there were others earlier without much uptake), and recently blown up with UE4 and Crytek being added to the mix. Does anyone know of any articles, especially those backed by any sort of research, talking about the effects this has had on the industry and specifically the independent games industry? There doesn't seem to be much on Wikipedia about it (or I've missed it), and I can't seem to find anything anywhere else. -- Consumed Crustacean (talk) 19:37, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Here's a blurb from Penny Arcade last year that agrees with you, saying that Unity has been "fueling the indie gaming boom." I don't think you'll find much if any academic research on the topic yet. There might be marketing research, but that tends to be done by big companies, not little indie devs... SemanticMantis (talk) 14:49, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Identify the song![edit]

I'm looking for the title and artist of an Italian language song. I think it is, possibly, from the 1980s or 1990s (that is to say not new, but not that old) and the title is something like "The Boys" or similar (in Italian), and it is voiced by a female singer with a strong and somewhat hoarse voice. It was not obscure but rather well known back then I think. Does any one now the answer? Thank you!-- (talk) 22:44, 17 August 2014 (UTC)

Don't know, but here's boy (and similar) in Italian. Might help someone's search. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:24, August 17, 2014 (UTC)
Well, strong hoarse voice automatically brought Gianna Nannini to mind, so my guesses are "Ragazzo Dell'Europa" from Latin Lover (1982) or "Vieni Ragazzo" from G. N. (1981). Both songs can also be heard on the live album Tutto Live (1985) and on the compilation album Maschi e Altri (1987). ---Sluzzelin talk 23:36, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Gianna Nannini was the artist, yes! Thanks to that I have managed to find the song: it was I maschi! Thank you very much!-- (talk) 11:35, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
And of course "I maschi" is a better translation of "The Boys" than either of my suggestions. Despite being in the title of one of the albums I listed, I didn't notice it there. ---Sluzzelin talk 19:16, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

August 18[edit]

Not entirely unlike The Dove[edit]

I'm trying to remember a movie I saw many, many years ago. At first I thought it was The Dove, since the plot involved a man hitting the high seas and spending much of the movie, there. I even remembered that title, but judging from our plot synopsis I think I might be confusing two different movies. The movie I am thinking of features a main character (white), and the inciting incident that gets him out on the water is his accidental stabbing of his friend (black). The white character and the black character were in a kitchen together preparing food; I think it was at the black character's home, but it may have been in a restaurant setting. As the white character is holding a knife, a door opens behind him, causing him to fall forward and (don't run with scissors, kids) accidentally stab the black character. The door was opened, I think, by the black character's mother or grandmother, and she understandably freaks out, since from her perspective she didn't see an accidental stabbing, but what looked like a deliberate act.

The main character flees, believing his friend to be dead. He takes a boat and sails for quite a while, and it's here that my memory gets fuzzy, and I remember only the bare outlines of the plot. In the end, the main character returns home; he finds out that his friend survived the stabbing, and all is forgiven. The movie seemed to be from around the same era as The Dove, and I'm struggling to figure out why I either conflated the two movies in my memory, or why such an important plot point as the stabbing would be omitted from our article. Any help? Evan (talk|contribs) 15:39, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Guardians of the Galaxy - Awesome Mix Tape #2[edit]


I saw the movie over the weekend. What was the song played in the movie on the Awesome Mix Tape #2 (not #1)? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 17:57, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

According to Slate, the two songs heard from Awesome Mix Tape #2 are Ain't No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and I Want You Back by the The Jackson 5. Matt Deres (talk) 03:26, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:13, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Pretty popular Movie from early 1980s[edit]

This was a somewhat popular movie from around 1984. I saw it on an airline flight and later it was on TV a couple of times. A woman wins a vacation to France, something to do with a subscription to a murder mystery magazine or something like that. She gets there and somehow gets knocked in the head where she thinks shes actually in the mystery as the main character. There was a train scene where she grabs some woman and says "I always catch my man, even when he's a woman!" and tries to rip off her wig. I think a romance as well with a French policeman, but not sure. Its been many years...anyone know this film? -OberRanks (talk) 21:09, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

American Dreamer. --Jayron32 21:25, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Awesome! Thank you!! -OberRanks (talk) 22:31, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't think it was very popular. It only made $5 million, and I bet it cost more than that to make. Looking at the movie poster, I can see why it might have lost money. Despite being hand drawn, both the main characters look downright ugly, even discounting 80's style. And people don't normally go to see movies starring all ugly people. What were they thinking, in going with that poster ? StuRat (talk) 14:20, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

August 19[edit]

Cartoons from 70 years ago[edit]

I am looking for two cartoons from 70 or more years ago.

  • The first - possibly a Bugs Bunny cartoon - finishes with a parody of the Bob Hope movie The Princess and the Pirate. Viz., the cartoon ends with a sudden very bad turn of events for the "hero" (Bugs?), as he desparately and vainly tries to stop the final screen credits from rolling.
  • The second is a parody of Abbott and Costello, featuring rwo mice in a department store.Bh12 (talk) 12:31, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
The first one I'm not sure about. The second one would be an appearance by "Babbit and Catstello", who appeared as cats in A Tale of Two Kitties (which was also Tweety's debut), as mice in A Tale of Two Mice and The Mouse-Merized Cat and as dogs in Hollywood Canine Canteen. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:03, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
First one may be Rabbit Punch. Matt Deres (talk) 13:42, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

I went and saw all the suggested cartoons, but none of them are what I seek. But I did have a good time. Thanks!!Bh12 (talk) 02:04, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

I'm looking for an episode of ER[edit]


I'm trying to identify an episode of ER in which Dr. Carter supposedly gave his own blood to a patient. I could be wrong though, it could be something else or maybe it wasn't Dr. Carter because I've searched plenty for


and all kinds of variations of it and didn't find it. It's not Carter's Choice.

Starfsmanna (talk) 18:12, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Are you sure it isn't Carter's Choice? I've read several synopses, and that sounds like the only match I can find. --Jayron32 19:30, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

In Carter's Choice he gave the patient's lost blood back to the patient. What I'm looking for is when he gave his own blood to a patient. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Starfsmanna (talkcontribs) 19:34, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Can someone help identify this song?[edit]

Can someone help identify the song used in this YouTube video from the beginning of the video to about 4 minutes 20 seconds into the video. I tried the obvious (searching for the bits of lyrics I could make out "save me", "come and rescue me", etc. but no luck). Any help appreciated. Please ping me (@Basemetal). Thanks. Contact Basemetal here 18:24, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

@Basemetal: It's "The Wolf" by Felxprod, with vocals by Thallie Ann Seenyen. We don't have articles on any of those, but you can find the song on Spotify, YouTube, and most music services. --Jayron32 20:28, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

August 20[edit]

Music myth[edit]

I would like to know if anyone can explain the origin of the myth that F major is the hardest key to sing in. Does anyone know where this myth began?? Georgia guy (talk) 00:29, 20 August 2014 (UTC)


August 15[edit]

Air conditioner death?[edit]

A warning found in the owner's manual of a Hyundai Accent (model year 2013, if I remember rightly) rented in the United States:

Do not sleep in a vehicle with the air conditioning or heating system on. It may cause serious harm or death due to a drop in the oxygen level and/or body temperature.

I can't imagine ever hearing or seeing anything of this idea before. Is this some weird twist on fan death perhaps? Nyttend (talk) 20:43, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

It's a warning to abjure responsibility in case anyone does die in the car, and the cause of death happens to be tied to either hypothermia or carbon monoxide build up. Companies will put seemingly nonsensical warnings just to head off potential lawsuits in the case someone dies or is injured doing something unwise with their products. Happens all the time. Just google "stupid warning labels" and you'll be inundated with similar examples. The existence of said warning labels is in no way connected to the likelyhood of harm from the things the warning labels warn about. It's arbitrary. --Jayron32 21:07, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Is it usually the case that warnings of this nature are a result of the incident in question happening at least once before and the company being sued for it? I think that many of the entries on those stupid warning lists that circulate online are apocryphal or taken out of context anyway. --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 21:15, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
It's not that rare. People often die in cars by leaving them running with the heat on and sleeping in them. Especially in their garage, in snow storms, when stuck in traffic, etc. Here his a tragic story from about 18 months ago. Terrible stuff. --Jayron32 21:33, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. It's not the heater or A/C that kills, it's leaving the engine running. However, since you need to have the car on to run either the heat or A/C for long, you can see how, indirectly, the heater and A/C can be "responsible" for deaths. However, I think a more sensible warning would be to only run the car in a well ventilated area, whether the A/C or heat is on or not.
I also wonder if people who die like that lack a sense of smell. After all, car exhaust stinks. It's hard to breath it in without noticing. StuRat (talk) 22:39, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
This kind could be deadly, if it were to fall on the driver or passenger. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:40, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the input; definitely a weird way of conveying these warnings. I thought the warning was focusing on the AC/heating itself, and somehow showing that the Hyundai engineers, like lots of Koreans, were subscribing to fan death. Nyttend (talk) 03:34, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
All we need is a volunteer to sleep in an Accent with the engine running but the heating switched off, and we're in the money! More seriously, I would also interpret the reference to a "drop in oxygen level" (rather than saying anything about carbon mononxide) to mean fan death, as that's the standard mechanism proposed for the phenomenon. Tevildo (talk) 08:14, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
I strongly suspect that this is Korean Fan death superstition. The "Drop in oxygen" and "lower body temperature" is a giveaway. APL (talk) 21:54, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

what is VPN in the following contacst?[edit]

I'm a nurse in the hospital, but now I'm on call. I've got a mobile phone that's called here "VPN". What does it stand for? (talk) 21:27, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

See virtual phone number. --Jayron32 21:29, 15 August 2014 (UTC)


How do I get started with YouTube? How do I edit videos and upload them? Also, how do I get around the fact that I am reluctant to speak into a microphone?Note that I am interested in doing Minecraft related videos and other video games. How do I capture the feed off of my computer? Pablothepenguin (talk) 22:53, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Why don't I have an answer? Pablothepenguin (talk) 17:32, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Because none of the volunteers here have answered yet. My suggestion is that, first, you read this, and then come back here with any further questions. Ghmyrtle (talk) 17:57, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
What I want to know is:-
  1. How do I conquer my reluctance to speak into a microphone?
  2. How do I edit videos before uploading them?
  3. How do I capture the screen of my computer and film what is on it?

Pablothepenguin (talk) 18:33, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

No suggestion for (1). as for the rest, assuming you are using a PC:
(2): List of video editing software
(3): Comparison of screencasting software
AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:45, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
I am asking how I can conquer my reluctance to speak into a microphone and how to use editing and screen capture software? Pablothepenguin (talk) 19:58, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
The first question cannot be answered by this desk. We don't know your problem, and have never met you, so cannot tell you what your problem is or what course of action to take to solve it, with regard to speaking into a microphone. Andy has given you links to Wikipedia articles that tell you kinds of software you can get to both edit and screencap. If you want to know how to use that software, read the documentation that comes with it. --Jayron32 20:10, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
More on the microphone issue, I seem to get very nervous in front of one and don't like the sound of my own voice. I don't know how to deal with this. Pablothepenguin (talk) 21:07, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Do you have any friends who are actors or have done any public speaking? I know YT isn't public speaking in the usual sense, but if you check out Public Speaking or Presentation Skills in your Yellow Pages, or online, I'm sure you'll find some resources you can use. Here are a few links you might wish to explore for starters. Maybe your local college or adult learning place has relevant courses. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:55, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Get a book such as "The Dummy's Guide to Presentations" to get some pointers, and whatever you're nervous about, practice. Practice may not make perfect, but it will make familiar. I was nervous the first time I rode a bicycle or drove a car. But I kept at it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:48, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
I believe the main problem is that I don't like the sound of my own voice. Like many others, I find that it sounds a lot different when recorded than it does normally. I don't seem to be able to get around this. Pablothepenguin (talk) 08:28, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Forget about what you think you sound like. No-one else in the world has ever heard you sound that way. To them, the way you speak is simply the way you speak, and is just the same as it always has been. Ghmyrtle (talk) 09:41, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
To put it another way, our respective voices tend to sound somewhat different to us than to others. I read somewhere once that it has to do with various vibrations in the head which get intermixed with the voice, and of course that's not audible to anyone else. This, again, is where practice comes in. I don't much like my own voice either, but with practice I got used to it. It's also possible to experiment or tinker with one's voice, thanks to the wonders of voice recording. If the OP wants to sound a certain way to an audience, he could use his recorder to try to attain that inflection. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:18, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
If you're old enough for a beer or two, that might help the nerves. Regardless, I agree with what Ghmyrtle said about everyone hearing the voice only you think is the weird one. If you sounded weird to them, they'd all sound weird to you. A professor in college told me the same thing, and it helped a lot, for audio and video. Still pictures still scare me. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:32, August 17, 2014 (UTC)

How I'm supposed to be spending my leisure time[edit]

How am I supposed to be spending my leisure time? Ronaldlheureux (talk) 22:56, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

This is a request for opinion, and therefore not within our remit. See Work-life balance for what's (probably) the most relevant article. Tevildo (talk) 23:01, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
You're supposed to be spending your leisure time playing Mortal Kombat II, preferably on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (on other sites, I've said Street Fighter II: The World Warrior rather than Mortal Kombat II, but that's because I was just joking). I also advise you to play Super Mario World (though it won't bother me if you don't). However, it is mandatory that you play Mortal Kombat II. I prefer that you wear Aura Systems' haptic vest known as the Interactor, while playing Mortal Kombat II and Super Mario World (I can't comprehend you not playing Super Mario World). Resolved and thus CLOSED. The pantomath source (talk) 23:05, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
Editing Wikipedia, of course. StuRat (talk) 23:47, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

August 16[edit]

GPRS still on?[edit]


1) Turn off your caps lock.
2) Realize that any cell phone company is always capable of tracking their phones capable of sending and receiving signals. That's how they work. It's like getting upset that an oven gets hot. Ian.thomson (talk) 13:18, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, it's not how they work when they're off. I think it's reasonable to expect that off means off. I would also get upset about an oven that got hot when it was off. --Trovatore (talk) 06:07, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
To continue the analogy, a cell phone isn't like an electric stove, or a gas stove with an electric igniter, it's like a gas stove with a pilot light. That is, both have a "standby mode", where the oven gets a little hot and the cell phone occasionally checks it's position so the cell phone network knows where to route incoming calls. However, you can also turn both entirely off. When doing so, a restart sequence is required. In the case of the stove, that includes lighting the pilot light, while in the case of the cell phone, that involves sending it's location to the cell network. Now, if the cell phone is still sending location information when turned completely off (but with the battery still in), then that's bad for many reasons. There's wasting the battery, the invasion of privacy aspect, and possible interference it may cause. Presumably, avoiding one of more of these issues is precisely why it was turned off instead of left in standby mode. StuRat (talk) 17:27, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Oh, I thought it was like a big truck... - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 06:49, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I added a header to your question. If your phone is off, one would presume it is incapable of sending or receiving signals. However, the definition of 'off' can be quite variable depending on the model of your phone and one sure way is to remove the battery. Certainly, my old Sony K850 would still operate the alarm even if I had pressed the power button to 'off', so obviously something was still on. I am unsure about modern smartphones. Many support an 'aircraft mode' due to supposed interference with aircraft systems. I would be very surprised if the phone was still attempting to contact cell towers when in that mode - I'm assuming that 'airplane mode' is subject to some regulation by bodies such as the FCC or FAA or their equivalents. But then again, maybe the need for the NSA to track terrorists trumps aircraft safety concerns. If you are really concerned about people tracking you, why do you even have a mobile phone? Astronaut (talk) 14:16, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
A cell phone can be a life saver in an emergency, that's why to carry it. For emergency only cell phones, I agree with the advice to remove the battery when not in use (unfortunately you probably need to plug it into the phone to charge it). In addition to any privacy concerns, removing the battery may make it last longer. Also, get a "burner" phone (a prepaid cell phone bought with cash at a store with no video cameras and never refilled online). This way, even if your phone is on, nobody can track your movements because they don't know which phone is yours. Of course, once you call anybody on it, the NSA might be able to figure out who you are and track you from then on. BTW, I realize this all sounds rather paranoid, but many people don't like the fact that they can be tracked by the NSA, whether or not they actually are. StuRat (talk) 17:42, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Even forgetting the NSA, what about if someone is driving somewhere and becomes hopelessly lost? If there's a continuously online tracking system, it could be a life saver. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:39, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
I guess it's possible (but I find very unlikely for various reasons like local regulations) that the phone will occasionally connect to the network even when off. When can be sure that there is no constant network connection when the phone is off. Such connections are somewhat power intensive. And pretty much all phones whether smart phones or whatever have some sort of lithium ion battery of some sort and it's a bad idea to over discharge these (or rather you can, but it's a bad idea to try and charge them again afterwards). Even on a modern smartphone with fairly high capacity batteries, if you're leaving the GPRS constantly on, this is a good way to ensure the battery will eventually overdischarge. Meaning if you let your battery run down and the phone autoswitches off, leave it a few weeks and you can't safely charge it. Since we know phones aren't like this, we can be fairly sure they aren't leaving the GPRS network on when off. I'm fairly confused why GPRS will come in to it anyway. AFAIK, many phones will only connect to GPRS occasionally or as needed. They normally just maintain the ordinary GSM (or whatever) connection. And that's presuming your phone is using GSM, many will preferably connect to 3G if available nowadays. (AFAIK the days of 3G connection being far worse on battery life is long gone.) Nil Einne (talk) 15:29, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm fairly sure the OP means GPS rather than GPRS. The above points are still valid, of course. Tevildo (talk) 16:41, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I wondered that, though GPS is entirely passive and doesn't transmit anything (though, of course, software in the phone can pick up the location and transmit it over GPRS, GSM, WiFi etc.) In all the devices I've ever seen, GPS can be switched off. Many manufacturers allow the device to receive a message via GPRS or GSM to switch GPS on again for legal tracing purposes, but this is under the control of the registered owner unless malware has subverted the facility. Dbfirs 18:06, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
If constantly, GPS is likely to be an even worse battery hog.
Okay, perhaps I should clarify. If you're trying to maintain a constant GPS lock, you'll quickly overdischarge any run down battery or even any not run down battery.
If you're actually maintaining a significant GPRS (or even 3G) connection, this will in fact down the battery even faster than the GPS but unless you're actualling doing something most phones won't do that instead just the occasionally polling (and as I mentioned, AFAIK most phones won't maintain a GPRS connection at all, just the ordinary GSM connection). Simple non touch feature phones, despite their generally low capacity batteries are a good example of this. Unlike smartphones, they don't have fancy processors or large LCD screens so the network connection is often a big chunk of battery usage. Try using the GPRS constantly and your battery capacity will drop at a fairly high rate and as I mentioned, I'm pretty sure it's not just because of the screen or processor (the former is easy to test).
Of course such phones are also demonstrate another point. Even if you completely disable the screen, you still won't generally get more than 2 weeks or so standby and as I mentioned, I don't think it's just the processor on the SOC. (Of course either way, you have the same problem if you're phone is doing this when off.)
As I hinted earlier, neither of these rule out the phone intermitedly connecting to either GPS or GPRS when off but there are good reasons to think it doesn't happen particularly in the case of a run down battery (I suspect with the demands of modern smartphones, manufacturers are pushing these to a greater limit so for an already run down battery, even an intermittant connection will easily lead to an overdischarged battery). Personally I wouldn't trust anything some low level staff at the telco says. Such staff are known for not being particularly reliable mostly intended to help with simply matters where they can follow a script.
Nil Einne (talk) 13:44, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
The idea of the NSA (or other law-enforcement/anti-terrorist/military organization) being able to track a phone even when it's turned fully off is complicated. It's obviously true that if a phone is turned fully off - even if the battery is still in it - then it cannot be tracked. But the NSA (and some others) are reputedly able to infect the phone with a piece of software that changes the function of the "OFF" button to turn off the screen and the ringer and a bunch of other stuff - but leave the phone pinging the cell towers regularly.
If they did infect someone's phone in that way (possibly with collusion from the phone company) - the owner would THINK that they'd turned the phone off when in fact it's still turned on.
Technically, it's true to say that if the phone is turned off, you can't track it...but if you're very paranoid, then recognize that turning it off is a software function that can be circumvented.
So if you desperately don't want to be tracked...physically remove the battery.
SteveBaker (talk) 03:05, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
...or just use a phone booth. - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 06:49, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
There are still phone booths? I haven't seen one for years! SteveBaker (talk) 16:14, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Why was my Pokemon's nickname banned?[edit]

When attempting to transfer Pokemon forward from Gen V to Gen 6, the game will wipe any inappropriate nicknames (for example, a Bibarel of mine named "Balls" got his name reset to Bibarel"). I guess I understand why they're doing this. But what I don't get is why my Alakazam named "Shazaam" tripped that filter. What is inappropriate about that name? This makes me sad because I've had Shazaam since I played FireRed as a grade schooler. He was the cornerstone of my first Elite Four victory ever, and I just want to understand what caused his nickname to get wiped. (talk) 18:03, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

A complete guess, but it could be because it's too similar to the copyrighted and/or trademarked Shazam. Rojomoke (talk) 19:51, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
I googled a few of the lists with known banned words and names and couldn't find anything tied to Shazaam, but maybe it contains a string of characters that are banned in another language? As far as I know there is no officially published banned list. I don't think copyright similarity is enough to trigger, though. Mingmingla (talk) 21:45, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Does anyone else remember Shazzan? —Tamfang (talk) 05:57, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
I dimly recall that he used to say "Size of an elephant!" to magically enlarge things. It was a while ago... Alansplodge (talk) 21:14, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Was that not Arabian Knights rather than Shazzan? Are we not showing our ages here? Tevildo (talk) 22:32, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Am I the only one old enough to remember this "Shazam!"; If that's not annoying enough, see also: [38](?)  —E: (talk) 17:14, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Leap year[edit]

Since we live around the year 2000, some people may've only learned that if the year can be divided by 4, it's a leap year. So how many people are really aware that normally years which can be divided by 100 are not leap years and that 2000 is yet one because it can be divided by 400? When you tell people that 2100 is not a leap year, how many will be surprised? I know there probably won't be any statistics about this, but I just want to see the reactions or experiences here. -- (talk) 18:27, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

We don't do surveys. Anyone expecting 2100 to be a leap year will find themselves wondering what happened to February 29th when it is already March 1st 2100, a Monday. (talk) 20:05, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
Seems to me there was a fair amount of discussion of date-related matters as 2000 and 2001 approached. I expect there will be similar discussions as 2100 approaches, but I don't expect many of us here to be in on it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:28, 16 August 2014 (UTC)
I seem to remember hearing more than one person insisting that 2000 would be nonleap. —Tamfang (talk) 05:56, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
Maybe by the year 2100 we'll have found a way to get kids to pay attention at school. HiLo48 (talk) 06:00, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
This doesn't quite answer your question, but "in a Computerworld survey of 105 information technology managers, 17% didn't know 2000 is a leap year" ([39]), which suggests that at least 17% knew the 100-year rule (unless some of them didn't even know the 4-year rule). Also, enough ordinary people knew the 100-year rule and not the 400-year rule to aggravate Daniel P. B. Smith into writing this amusing FAQ in 1998. -- BenRG (talk) 06:10, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
There was enough confusion just over the question of whether 1999 or 2000 was the last year in the 20th century. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 08:43, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
That's in no way comparable. The question of which century a year is in has no practical consequences (unless somebody has been silly enough to set something to explicitly depend on it), and I would argue that there is not a single answer to it. The question of whether a year is a leap year or not has a right answer according to the particular calendar in use, and has practical consequences. In other words, nobody but pedants cares when the century ended. --ColinFine (talk) 17:05, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
The idea of people being "surprised" about some year not being a leap year assumes that they've thought about it at all. I doubt many people know the 100/400 rules because it has no significant bearing on their lives. And the number of people thinking about the year 2100 is probably even smaller yet considering it won't even be within their lifetime. Dismas|(talk) 08:45, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
There are children alive today (and a small number of young adults) who could live to see the year 2100. The question is whether the effects of climate change, resource depletion, and associated armed conflicts will have resulted in the collapse of our civilization by then. If not, it will probably be news to a fair number of people that 2100 is not a leap year. If civilization has collapsed, a handful of people may be aware that 2100 should not be a leap year, but most survivors will be too concerned with survival to care about keeping an accurate calendar. Marco polo (talk) 19:40, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
What's to stop a latter-day Pope Gregory XIII from decreeing a change to the calendar to fix assorted glitches and infelicities? Maybe it will be a leap year in 2100 after all under the Francine Calendar. Or the Petrine Calendar. Assuming the world takes any notice of such putative preposterous papal pronouncements. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:02, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Initial scepticism of Pope Gregory XIII#The Gregorian calendar declared in Inter gravissimas can be explained by the small number of people then able to comprehend that mismatch between the actual and assumed lengths of a year necessitated a correction. Education in the 16th century was inadequate to allay suspicions that it was a plot to steal life time (between 5 and 14 October 1582), religious difference caused long delays before protestant and eastern Christian countries eventually understood it, while Eastern Orthodox churches alone still retain the Julian calendar for Easter. Great Britain and its American colonies reformed in 1752 and the Gregorian calendar would therefore have counted the days in 1788 in the British penal colony "New South Wales". How is Gregory's pronouncement putative or preposterous, Jack? (talk) 01:17, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

August 17[edit]

Economic Multiple Choice Questions[edit]

1. Which of the following statements about the financial and real sectors is true?

A) For every financial asset there is a real asset. 
B) For every real asset there is a financial asset. 
C) For every financial transaction there is a real transaction. 
D) For every real transaction there is a financial transaction. 

2. Without a financial sector:

A) borrowing and lending would not occur. 
B) borrowing and lending would be much more difficult. 
C) saving and investment would increase. 
D) economic activity would continue as before. 

3. If the financial sector causes more to flow into spending than is saved, most likely:

A) the supply of real assets will exceed the demand for real assets. 
B) there will be too many real assets produced. 
C) the economy will experience inflation. 
D) the economy will experience recession. 

4. Flows that do not enter the spending stream enter the financial sector in the form of:

A) saving. 
B) investment. 
C) real assets. 
D) expenditures. 

5. The funds acquired from the sale of a financial asset:

A) may re-enter the spending stream as a financial liability. 
B) may re-enter the spending stream as consumption and borrowing. 
C) may re-enter the spending stream as a financial asset. 
D) cannot re-enter the spending stream.  — Preceding unsigned comment added by Walidalrawi (talkcontribs) 17:04, 17 August 2014 (UTC) 
Welcome to the Wikipedia Reference Desk. Your question appears to be a homework question. I apologize if this is a misinterpretation, but it is our aim here not to do people's homework for them, but to merely aid them in doing it themselves. Letting someone else do your homework does not help you learn nearly as much as doing it yourself. Please attempt to solve the problem or answer the question yourself first. If you need help with a specific part of your homework, feel free to tell us where you are stuck and ask for help. If you need help grasping the concept of a problem, by all means let us know. StuRat (talk) 17:15, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
A few links: financial asset, real asset, real transaction, financial transaction, economic activity, spending stream Rmhermen (talk) 17:28, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
You do know that fully half of those "links" aren't links...right? You might try actually following the links you recommend before posting them! SteveBaker (talk) 02:46, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Sometimes the reference deskers will try to improve the encyclopedia by turning those red links to blue. We even have a template to point out when we've done it. One can hope. (talk) 19:48, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
It looks like Economics is the only reasonable redirect for the remaining ones. Should we create them? Tevildo (talk) 20:04, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Normally, I'd agree that using red links where you think an article should exist (but doesn't) is a good thing - but when someone asks for help and the answer is "Read these documents...which, by the way, don't exist" - then it's not especially helpful to the OP! Worse still, if you're recommending that someone read one of our articles, you really should at least skim it yourself to be sure it actually does answer the question and isn't the title of the deeply moving, third track from the acclaimed self-titled album of a Norwegian CyberPunk-Polka fusion band "Real Asset" that disbanded in 1979. Clearly if you just type a bunch of likely titles in square brackets, and half of them don't exist, it strongly implies that this minimal level of due diligence was not undertaken. SteveBaker (talk) 20:18, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I didn't choose the links - I simply linked some words in the OP's question and then deleted the surrounding words. If Wikipedia fails to have articles on basic economics topic, it seems to show a problem the Reference desk used to love to tackle. Rmhermen (talk) 21:24, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
No, SteveBaker is right – the problem is yours, for failing to check whether those are articles. --Viennese Waltz 07:50, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. Walidalrawi (the OP) might have already typed in these words and found Wikipedia unhelpful. The point about missing articles would have been better made in a comment separate from a reply purporting to be helpful. Dbfirs 20:52, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

August 18[edit]

Putting someone to sleep with a healing Superpower[edit]

My character in a roleplay has the power to heal people of their wounds. By extension, he has the power to do the opposite; accelerate cancer cells, prevent blood from clotting, and pinch off a blood vessel until part of the brain dies. However, he's very kindhearted and doesn't want to do any of that lethal stuff. I'm just wondering what some believable ways there are for this character to use his power just to put people to sleep, or at worse knock them out. Nothing that causes longterm harm (or ideally, short term harm). (talk) 02:54, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Something like the Vulcan nerve pinch? According to our article (but unsourced):  "... the ability to project telepathic energy from their fingertips ... which if applied to a nerve cluster correctly could render a human unconscious."  — (talk) 06:09, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Can your character "remove fear"?
From that, it wouldn't be much of a stretch that he can stop panic and calm other characters down, and maybe extend that to induce sleepiness. However, that would take a lot of time and couldn't work as fast as Spock's nerve pinch, and probably requires that the character remains unspotted through the whole trick. - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 07:00, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
A little hypoxia is relatively (to poison or clubs) harmless. When it's fatal, it's relatively (to arrows and fire magic) painless. If you're a really white mage, you may want to transfer some oxygen (and Speed, Intelligence, Dexterity, whichever) from an enemy to an ally. Waste not, want not. Temporarily, of course. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:46, August 18, 2014 (UTC)
Judging by your character's abilities (being able to control cell activity it appears), I don't think it would be a stretch to believe this character can control cell activity in general. In that case, I would think your character could induce relevant hormonal release (melatonin and the like) and induce sleep-related neural patterns by manipulating neurons. That or the character could act like many hypnotic drugs and target the person's GABA receptors. Inducing brief hypoxia as mentioned above would probably work as well. Plenty of ways, assuming your character has this level of control over bodily functions. Brambleclawx 14:13, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
According to Strangling, "Incomplete occlusion of the carotid arteries is expected and, in cases of homicide, the victim may struggle for a period of time, with unconsciousness typically occurring in 10 to 15 seconds." So, just a brief pinching of the carotid arteries should be fine to justify this. uhhlive (talk) 21:15, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Ship maneuvers during a beach landing[edit]

I just finished watching Flags of Our Fathers and took this screenshot during the film. For those who haven't seen the movie, it's about the flag raising at Iwo Jima. What I'm wondering is what those boats are doing going in circular patterns. Can anyone explain that to me? Thanks, Dismas|(talk) 06:33, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

It is the same technique when launching a formation from an aircraft carrier. Each craft can only be launched one-at-a-time, yet they need to be in formation for the mission. This method prevents them from bunching up; also allows everyone to begin assault at the same speed; otherwise, the folks at the back would have to wait for the ones in front to start moving before they could begin. This way, they can all move at the same time with the same speed. Also, the "circles" become larger as individual landing craft are added; this is simpler than trying to arrange rows & columns. One doesn't need to figure out which row and/or column to go to; one simply joins a circle.  —Sorry that I don't have time to find sources. ~: (talk) 07:06, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
An unanchored, non-powered boat, in a sea-swell, will tend to turn side-onto the waves. It will then start to rock with the waves, and can capsize. For this reason, in mass-start sail-boat races, the crew will have their boats turning in circles just before (the very long) start line. CS Miller (talk) 09:07, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
I had a look for a reference to back up these explanations and found lots of accounts of landing craft circling, but only one which attempts to explain it, thus: "In the middle foreground are some LCVP's moving in a circle. This maneuver is performed until all the craft are assembled and are given the signal to move up to the line for the final dash in." [40] CS Miller's point above about the need to keep headway in a swell explains why they don't just wait "dead in the water". Alansplodge (talk) 12:24, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for the responses, everyone! My own theory for why they would want to keep moving was so that the guns on the shore would have a harder time hitting the boats. Thanks again, Dismas|(talk) 00:21, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Vector analysis of course(s) taken by a nation[edit]

I have seen vectors (positive and negative in direction <---|--> = <-|} used to describe and explain single-issue choices made by the people of a community such as a nation. It should, then, be possible to plot a large number of single-issue vectors and attempt to account for the general course that the community/nation is taking. For one thing, researchers would have to identify the relevant motivations/forces that determine complex decisions And there would be technical difficulties with the calculations if vector pairs were cross-linked with other vector pairs.

This is the way I was taught to think about political decisions, but I want to find an academic source or sources that I can link to.

Thanks. P0M (talk) 19:49, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Interesting. What you describe is a game mechanic in the Europa Universalis series by Paradox Interactive, along with many of its other games. You use "sliders" to alter your nations political landscape (similar to the vectors you describe) and your get certain benefits or penalties based on your political decisions. Your strategy depends on how you choose to set your "sliders". --Jayron32 21:29, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
There is an "ant-learning" function implied in the way a 1950s politician explained it to me, or you could say it is like the experiments where many people try to guess the number of beans in a large glass container. Individually, nobody may get particularly close, but the average of all guesses is a good estimate of the true number. So at one time crime may be way out of control and so many people are recruited to the "lock 'em in jail and throw the key away" school. Prison sentences become more and more extreme and gradually more and more people get recruited to the "get them to repent, reform, and then release" side of the balance. Things can't go too far in any direction because individual humans are pretty accurate observers of their own condition, so if a large number get sick of some social condition their attitude will show up in the change of the appropriate vector.P0M (talk) 04:22, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
How does that theory apply in a place like North Korea? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:08, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Scott E. Page introduced a "Wisdom of the crowd" diversity prediction theorem: "The squared error of the collective prediction equals the average squared error minus the predictive diversity". North Korea's Ten Principles for the Establishment of a Monolithic Ideological System replaces diversity by the principle of unconditional obedience in carrying out the Great Leader comrade Kim Il-sung's instructions. Thereby the thesis of The Wisdom of Crowds, namely that independently deciding individuals will make better decisions collectively than a single expert, is overturned in NK's Juche absolutism that calls on the working class not to think for themselves, but instead to think through the "Great Leader". (talk) 14:04, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Good point, Basebaall Bugs! It gets at the more basic problem I have been working on, how to try to manage situations like Iraq in which there may be no leadership candidates when a Saddam Hussein gets taken out because the system has been constrained for so long. Imagine what it would be like if the core government of N. Korea disappeared overnight. There would be utter chaos, refugees would stream into China, creating huge problems for them, and any leaders emerging in N. Korea would have had only the role models of the Kim dynasty to base their own attempts to govern on. I would wish for a Korean Nelson Mandela to appear, but the chances would be pretty slim.
According to a vector model only an opposing force can counteract an emerging force that somebody who wants control has decided to repress. It is one of the primary ideas of Daoism that in such situations, what doesn't come out straight will come out sidewise. In other words, if you screw a cap on the end of a garden hose to stop outflow and then you keep increasing the pump pressure on the other end, the weakest point in the hose will break and water will start coming out. When the U.S. instituted Prohibition, many people still wanted to drink. So bootlegging, bathtub gin production, basement wine production, etc. etc. proliferated, and in addition those "streams" influenced other vectors pertaining to things like organized crime, smuggling, etc.
Metal springs expand when heated. To stop a spring from expanding you could put it in a heavy C-clamp. If spring pressure mounts up to the point that the constraint device fails, then the potential energy stored up in the spring will be released explosively as kinetic energy, and you wouldn't want to be along the trajectory of the broken clamp parts.
In North Korea, every natural impulse must be being opposed by applications of brute force. It would be a fascinating study to work out how a ruler can recruit coercive force from his subordinates and use that force to control those subordinates and, through them, to control successive lower levels in the hierarchy all the way down to babies in the womb. The latest "dear leader" gave one demonstration of maintaining the power of the ruler when he had his own uncle (?) dragged off to be executed. P0M (talk) 16:37, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Uncle by marriage, iirc. —Tamfang (talk) 04:51, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
The question reminds me of various attempts to reduce the universe of political opinions to a small number of dimensions by measuring the correlations between (e.g.) votes in a legislature or answers to a questionnaire. —Tamfang (talk) 04:51, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
It's probably a little like predicting weather by characterizing equal-sized volumes of the atmosphere, the more closely you dice up the atmosphere, the more difficult the math becomes. The more "dimensions" there are, the more complex the math. On top of everything else, like the weather, there is a sort of cross-linking of dimensions, i.e., changing something going on in one dimension can "drag" something going on in another dimension. Questionnaires that show the tolerance for violence of members of a population may change from time to time, and questionnaires that show the prevalence of childhood abuse may also change from time to time. Then you find out that if something happens to increase tolerance for violence (a long war for instance) the other questionnaires show a growing tendency toward child abuse. Or if something happens to increase child abuse (some kind of propaganda attack involving psychobabble perhaps), the tolerance for violence measures may go up. The tricky part of the math (if the analogy to weather prediction holds, for instance) is that a tiny change in one measure in one direction can result in a major change in another measure a little while down the road.
I'm out of my depth when it comes to discussing this stuff on a firm mathematical basis, and it may seem irrelevant to others if no professionals in the field happen to use this kind of approach. So I'd like to know if there is a formal treatment of this stuff somewhere.P0M (talk) 05:25, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

When do you need to sign when using credit card?[edit]

In North America, when using my Visa credit card, sometimes the cashier asks me to sign the receipt and sometimes I am not asked to sign. Why is there this inconsistency? Acceptable (talk) 21:50, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

I know it's not what the question is asking, but since the beginning of this month in Australia we have not been allowed to sign. HiLo48 (talk) 22:00, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Not allowed to sign? Why? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:53, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Switching over to PIN verification only. See Sign-off looms for credit card signatures (The Sydney Morning Herald). -- ToE 00:39, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
My experience is that, at most points of sale, there is a threshold amount; if the transaction is above that, you will be asked to sign; if below, you will not. Usually it's 25 or 50 dollars. But it depends on the retailer; some will always ask you to sign (especially in an eating or drinking establishment, when there's a line for tips). On the other hand, for gasoline, there's generally not even an option to sign. --Trovatore (talk) 22:08, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Gas pumps often ask for some vital info, typically your zip code which I assume is embedded on the card's mag strip. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:53, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, because after all, people who want to buy gas but don't live in the US and therefore don't have a ZIP code are of no importance whatever. Sigh. -- (talk)
You can always go inside the store to charge the purchase, or - gasp - pay in cash. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:01, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, and line up to do it. Twice, if I want to fill the tank, because these days the stations all require prepayment and if I'm filling it up I need change. And if I use a credit card inside, they still want a prepayment: say I prepay $50 and the fillup costs $38 so I get $12 back, then several percent of the $12 goes to the bank as they don't offer the same currency exchange rate for reverse transactions. None of this a big deal, of course, but it is an annoyance to be treated as a second-class customer. -- (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 07:53, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm having trouble finding anything due to recent changes to some state laws about minimum purchases with credit cards. Here in Canada at least, signing is being phased out; I don't believe I've signed anything in more than a year and I buy everything on M/C. For cheaper transactions, no verification is needed at all, though I don't know if that minimum is set by the retailer or the card company. Above that threshold, we need to insert the chip on the side of our card and enter a PIN. That's perhaps what HiLo was referring to regarding not being able to sign; it's sure not an option for me. Matt Deres (talk) 23:46, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that's the way it is now in Australia. Just the card for many small transactions, card plus pin for larger ones. No option to sign at all for any transactions. I have wondered what will happen next time I visit the US and am expected to tip everywhere. HiLo48 (talk) 00:52, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
There were apparently issues for a lot of Americans at the recent soccer World Cup who had cards without a chip and a PIN. Hack (talk) 02:55, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
The relevant articles about this are at Chip and PIN, Smart card, and the links therein, but we're drifting further from the OP's question. Matt Deres (talk) 03:13, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I live in the U.S. A few years ago I went into a fast-food shop and bought my lunch, expecting to have to input the PIN for my debit card. However, I just got a receipt. There is a limit, probably set by each merchant, below which they don't want to be bothered with the details. If a stolen credit card is used, the true owner of the card won't be charged, so either the bank or the merchant has to take the risk. Above the limit, the merchants that use this method will require a signature or a PIN. As far as I know, nobody announced this change. Procedures were simply changed. For a long time the card-reader devices on gasoline pumps did not require any signature or equivalent. A few years ago some started asking for the postal code for my billing address, and others started requiring the PIN for my debit card. P0M (talk) 04:04, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

I live in Austria. My credit card is signature-only, no PIN. I always have to sign. --Viennese Waltz 07:48, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Banks charge different amounts for credit card transactions based on differing factors. They assume that transactions without signatures are more likely to be fraudulent, so prefer higher amounts (say, over $15) to be accompanied by a signature.
For example, X Bank may charge companies 1% for all transactions accompanied by signatures because they are low risk; they may charge 3% for all transactions without signatures below $15 because they are higher risk, but not such a financial burden if fraudulent; they may charge 5% for all transactions without signatures over $15 because they are higher risk and more of a financial burden if fraudulent.
Companies such as Subway, KFC etc take on this higher cost for unsigned transactions because their business model means they need to deal with customers quickly. So, whilst they may by a little more to the Bank, they don't have to take the time to ask for signatures and can get through more customers' orders.
Here in the UK, all cards are chip and pin, so we never have to sign for a transaction.Sotakeit (talk) 12:57, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
On pumping gas/petrol in foreign countries: I always use cash because I get a better exchange rate on ATM transactions than on credit-card transactions. I suggest that approach for people visiting the United States. Yes, you will generally have to queue/stand in line twice, but usually the wait isn't so long in those places. (There are still remote rural parts of the United States where they trust you to pay after pumping.) Marco polo (talk) 18:36, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I'll still have no idea how much to tip and, because shelf prices aren't tax inclusive as they are elsewhere, how much I will have to pay. I love visiting the USA, but financial transactions there annoy the crap out of me. HiLo48 (talk) 21:18, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Your problem, HiLo is that you don't realize you are visiting 50 sovereign states, not one. Next time you vistit go to a stste without sales tax or don't complain--it's not like you've been kidnapped. Tipping 15% excluding any tax is standard. Round up if the service is good, rodund down if it's poor. μηδείς (talk) 21:35, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Your problem, Medeis, is that you don't realise that my country also comprises six sovereign states (and two territories) but we've had the sense to legislate that shelf prices reflect cash register prices. It's not all that difficult to achieve. And tipping is still a mystery. Do I tip at petrol stations? Train stations? Bus drivers? Don't answer. My questions just highlight the mysteries. HiLo48 (talk) 22:15, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, and the reason for those difference is that they exist. It isn't necessary to consider one's own personal situation as normative. Australia and the U.S. (just to pick two countries at random) have different traditions regarding pricing and payments, and neither is better merely because one has grown up in one system or the other. They are different, and they can just be different, without having to defend the one, or denigrate the other. --Jayron32 22:18, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
I think I can defend a system of shelf pricing against one that makes no comparative sense, and would be very easy to change if people and legislators actually cared. I understand the difference in tipping being a cultural thing, but I retain my right to admit massive confusion, and a constant feeling of guilt that I will get it wrong, and either rip someone off, or tip inappropriately and offend. And, getting back to the topic of credit cards, tipping with cards, especially now we can't sign with our cards in Australia, will only be more messy. HiLo48 (talk) 22:42, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
At the risk of getting even farther off topic, how would not signing make it more messy? If you're entering a PIN, can't you also enter a tip percentage or amount? Dismas|(talk) 00:18, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
If I buy a small item such as a coffee, I just wave my card at the machine and off I go. No PIN required. No mechanism for tipping. HiLo48 (talk) 01:21, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Ah! For small purchases. Got it. I was thinking about meals where you'd have a larger bill. Dismas|(talk) 01:30, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
There's no fixed rule, but I've experienced "no pin" for amounts up to $100. HiLo48 (talk) 03:12, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

August 19[edit]

"October 30" article[edit]


In the "October 30" article, "birth" category, you forgot to mention that Yana Sokolova (very famous russian actress) was born on the 30th of October 1986. How to add it in the article?

Thank you Anton — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:13, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

There are two issues here. Ms Sokolova doesn't have an article - in order for her to have one, we'll need evidence from reliable sources that she's notable. WP:ENT is the relevant guideline. Secondly, as she's (presumably) still alive, any facts about her have to pass WP:BLP, so we'll also need a reliable source specifically for her birth date. I've done a quick Google search and there doesn't appear to be anything immediately available which will enable this to happen. Tevildo (talk) 07:30, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Googled the name. By very famous, do you mean the youtube starlet or the personal coach or who? врать нехорошо. Asmrulz (talk) 04:16, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

What is the common connotation of "The Internet"? Just the WWW/HTTP one?[edit]

The http;// style "web browser" accessed internet started to go mainstream in about 1994 in America. Before that, however, many home enthusiasts, such as myself, used local Telnets, Freenets, Compuserv in the early 90's, and BBS's in the 1980's. Are those considered "The Internet", or does the Internet only mean the WWW/HTTP style internet? Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zombiesturm (talkcontribs) 13:21, 19 August 2014 (UTC) Sorry forgot to sign Zombiesturm (talk) 13:21, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Those are all part of the internet, yes. The web is also a part of it. --Viennese Waltz 13:22, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Yeah but nobody called it "The Internet" until the WWW/http style browsers came out. We called it "BBS'ing". Zombiesturm (talk) 13:27, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Well I was on the internet in 1994 when the web was just starting. I wasn't on BBSs but I was on things like telnet and gopher. We certainly called those the internet. --Viennese Waltz 13:51, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
See History of the Internet and History of the World Wide Web. While the origins of the Internet can be traced as early as development in the 60s of packet network systems such as the ARPANET, the first network to implement TCP/IP, creation of the first web page by Berners-Lee on servers at CERN can be dated to January 1991. (talk) 14:25, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Zombiesturm, that's not true at all.
The Internet and BBSs are not the same thing. Sometimes they're not even connected.
That's like saying "We called it AOLing". No. AOL existed separately, and eventually they offered internet access through their service. APL (talk) 21:21, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
The "internet" (inter network) and the "World Wide Web" (WWW) are two seperate things. You can read the articles or if you have 10 minutes this video on youtube clarifies it [41]. -- Sincerely, Taketa (talk) 15:59, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
That's technically true, but we must pay some attention to WP:COMMONNAME. I was there in the BBS, Telnet and Gopher days too, but now even my spellchecker regards the lower case form of "internet" as being wrong. HiLo48 (talk) 16:43, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
As a point of clarification, our article says TCP/IP is the sine qua non of the 'internet'. So, if you were using Xmodem or Zmodem, you weren't using the internet, just using a network that connects users in a star topology. Now, our article on Bulletin board system says that some used telnet and packet switching, but that wasn't really common in the heyday of BBSs. What was common was Fidomail FidoNet and other such services, which effectively asynchronously linked lots of BBSs together. To me, it seem that using Fidomail in the 1990s was basically using "the internet," in the sense of an interconnected computer network, regardless of whether it used TCP/IP. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:08, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
While I did my first searches on FTP-site spider Archie, I do think the general connotation of "Internet" is the things you do using a browser. Example poll question: "do you use Internet for WhatsApp?" My guess is that a majority people would respond with answers like "no, I can only use it on my phone" (while knowing you need to buy "data" from your phone company). Joepnl (talk) 20:31, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

2014 FIDE election with Garry Kasparov[edit]

Anyone know where to find which countries voted for Kasparov and which voted for Ilyumzhinov, compared to how the federations voted in 2010? Thanks. Zombiesturm (talk) 17:10, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

FIDE is the Fédération internationale des échecs or World Chess Federation. The published results of FIDE 2014 election report the re-election of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov as President and elections of other officials, but do not reveal how countries voted. Ilyumzhinov defeated Garry Kasparov, winning 110-61. (talk) 23:50, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

Why don't we use luminous paint in houses to save energy during the day to be used at night?[edit]

I read that this is done in the Netherlands on certain roads, so I'm curious why it isn't done in houses. It seems like an obvious idea.--Leon (talk) 20:01, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

i would think that it has to do with the lack of control over the emission of light. you can simply flick off a light bulb, but the glow which a painted wall would give off would last for hours fading slowly over time. roads are more practical because cars have their headlamps and the lines can be seen from the repeated exposures. houses, not so much, since it's too dark for practical use but too bright for if you want to sleep or whateverer idk this is mainly speculation lol ~Helicopter Llama~ 20:11, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
Radioluminescent types of luminous paint are based on a beta emitting radioactive isotope (radionuclide) combined with a radioluminescent substance. Their radioactivity is a health hazard, demonstrated in the case of the Radium Girls who painted watch dials around 1917, and they decay after a number of years, depending on the chosen isotope and phosphor. Chinese suppliers offer purportedly non-toxic luminescent water-based paint for road marking. Information found about their formulation is "made by firing a mixture of alumina and rare earth" and "rare earth-activated silicate aluminate", categorized as an Alkene. See the article Luminous paint. (talk) 23:32, 19 August 2014 (UTC)


The kinds of "glow in the dark" products I am familiar with put out only a faint glow. I have made a sort of experiment because I have a room with a light switch well inside the entrance. To help find it I placed a couple of luminescent appliance boxes from my dentist next to the switch. If the lights have been on for a while the luminescent boxes will grow brightly when the electric lights are turned off. However, the material quickly sheds its energy becoming dimmer and dimmer.
If I were going to use sunlight to provide for night time lighting of a road sign or something of that sort then I would use a photovoltaic screen to charge a battery during the daylight hours and have the electric light switched on and off by a photoreceptor switch. This scheme is used fairly frequently in the U.S., but the panels I've seen on power poles or telephone poles by the sides of highways do not connect to electric lights. I think they are used to provide current for low-amperage radio transmitters or other devices that use relatively little energy. (Probably 4 D-cells would be enough to power the same units for a day or two. Much larger solar panels would be needed to provide enough juice to light up a couple of floodlights. Signs that create a message by selectively turning on or off the extensive grid of little LEDs would be the most energy-efficient signs that we could produce today. P0M (talk) 00:58, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

August 20[edit]