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September 1[edit]

How to search for movies that move ?[edit]

I type a topic into a search engine, pick movies, and get what looks to be movies about that topic. But they are just slide shows instead. Is there a way to exclude those from the search results ? One complicating factor is that they may have movement, of a sort, if they pan the snapshots or zoom in on them. But that's not what I want, I want a full motion movie. Any ideas ? StuRat (talk) 04:05, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't know, but I hope so, too. Even worse is when you think you're getting a movie, but after the ad stops, it's just a 1:34:23 long screenshot with an ad for a pirate site tacked on. Doesn't pan, doesn't zoom, doesn't do anything. No music. Just anger! YouTube owes me that 1:34:23 of my life back.
Sadly, I think the indexers just look at the file, host and keywords. If it says FLV or whatever, it's a movie to their puny robot brains. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:17, September 1, 2014 (UTC)

Pre-compiled header files?[edit]

I noticed that my work computer's (Windows 7) hard drive is 43% full of "pre-compiled header files" (.pch) presumably created by Microsoft Visual Studio. What are these used for? Do I need them after successfully building my code? If not, then is there an easy way in Windows to automatically delete them? JIP | Talk 13:32, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Does the MSDN article Creating Precompiled Header Files help? --Phil Holmes (talk) 14:03, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
In short, they are "cached" compiled files which are unlikely to change, and supposed to speed up large projects. You can delete these files, or just those which haven't been accessed recently, without any ill effects (unless you recompile the code which recreates them; they will reappear if you do ;) )
In my experience, the savings are minimal and sometimes negative; OTOH, compiling across networks does seem to save time, due to the slower data transfer in that case.
43% is a metric shitload of them, given the size of a Windows 7, or generally a post-XP Windows, partition. - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 14:29, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
That there is a "metric shitload" of them is mostly because our application is big (I haven't counted, but the source code must run into several hundred thousand lines of code, if not over a million, and the total installed size of the compiled application is in the order of several gigabytes), and I have to maintain several different versions of it, as different customers have different licence agreements, which include different versions of the application. I'm just amazed that these pre-compiled header files take up way more space than the source code or the compiled application. JIP | Talk 19:06, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Several gigabytes of code would explain the PCH bloat quite nicely, indeed.
...and I made an error in the unit conversion; it's only an imperial shitload. ;) - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 06:46, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
PCH files will only help if you have two or more compilation units that start with exactly the same code (and are compiled with the same command-line options). To get the benefit you need to compile one of them with the generate-PCH option (-Yc), then compile the others with the use-PCH option (-Yu). In standard Visual Studio projects you put common headers in stdafx.h and #include that from all of your source files, and there's a dummy stdafx.cpp that also #includes it and gets compiled first. If your project isn't set up that way, and is (mis)configured to pass -Yc when building every file, that might explain the metric firkin of PCH files you're seeing. In that case they're not doing any good and are actually slowing down your build. -- BenRG (talk) 22:23, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

September 2[edit]

the text "chapter no # " missing[edit]

I m writing a thesis using a thesis template in latex , But I have problem with the title of chapter. In my thesis each chapter starts with only chapter name but before this the text "Chapter No ... " is missing.I want this to appear. thesis style file has the following code at start:

              [2007/22/02 v1.0
   LaTeX document class]
    \ifin@ \@tempswatrue \@break@tfor \fi}
  \if@tempswa \else \PassOptionsToClass{#1}{\baseclass}\fi
\btypeout{Declaration of Authorship}
\addtotoc{Declaration of Authorship}
%\vskip 60\p@
\begin{center}{\huge\bf Declaration of Authorship\par}\end{center}
%\vskip 60\p@
{\normalsize #1}

\newcommand\btypeout[1]{\bhrule\typeout{\space #1}\bhrule}
  January\or February\or March\or April\or May\or June\or
  July\or August\or September\or October\or November\or December\fi
  \space \number\year}

\setlength{\parskip}{2.0ex plus0.5ex minus0.2ex}
\setmarginsrb           { 1.0in}  % left margin
                        { 1.0in}  % top margin
                        { 1.0in}  % right margin
                        { 1.0in}  % bottom margin
                        {  20pt}  % head height
                        {0.25in}  % head sep
                        {   9pt}  % foot height
                        { 0.3in}  % foot sep
\setlength{\topskip}{1\topskip \@plus 5\p@}
\doublehyphendemerits=10000       % No consecutive line hyphens.
\brokenpenalty=10000              % No broken words across columns/pages.
\widowpenalty=9999                % Almost no widows at bottom of page.
\clubpenalty=9999                 % Almost no orphans at top of page.
\interfootnotelinepenalty=9999    % Almost never break footnotes.
%\renewcommand{\chaptermark}[1]{\btypeout{\thechapter\space #1}\markboth{\@chapapp\ \thechapter\ #1}{\@chapapp\ \thechapter\ #1}}

please help me to overcome this — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

What is the best code to use to create a WikiBot?[edit]

Currently I am learning HTML and CSS. Based on the list provided, is there a language that would best fit my needs? I plan to have a personal bot for large edits, and possibly another for fixing syntax differences such as:

* [[File:Example_22.png|thumb|Caption text]]

compared to

*[[File: example 22.png |thumb|caption text]]


I have been suggested to use PHP or Python, although I would like to have a second opinion with reasons of versatility for the language. DC64 (talk) 01:20, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

There are some who give damning critiques of PHP. However, I have only heard good about Python 3. Σσς(Sigma) 01:22, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
I would say python is a good option as there is the Manual:Pywikibot framework which will do a lot of the tricky bits for you. PHP only makes sense if you have the code running on a webserver, say if you have an account on WP:LABS. With python it will typically run from the command line or via a GUI. You might find the actual type of edit you want to do is better handled with WP:AWB which can use regular expressions to make changes like turning File:Example_22.png into File:Example 22.png you may even find that sort of change is already done by WikiProject Check Wikipedia.--Salix alba (talk): 06:26, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Pywikibot does not at present support Python3.[1] I understand it is highly functional with Python2.x.-gadfium 03:08, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Google drive permissible file types[edit]

Does Google Drive support arbitrary file types, or is there hidden away somewhere in their terms-of-service agreement some requirement that certain well-known file types be used? I've noticed that they've cut prices considerably, and a large mirrored cloud storage space is becoming affordable. I'm considering mirroring a dedicated disk (or two), where I keep encrypted, compressed versions of the stuff on my hard drives. 3TB, perhaps. I roll my own encryption scheme, and like to package the data in .WAV containers, so that I by listening can confirm that the content is truly random (white noise). ENT is nice for that purpose, too. This will of course thwart the deduplication that I suppose is the basis of Google's pricing. Could I risk that Google converts my WAV files to MP3... --NorwegianBlue talk 13:01, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

September 3[edit]

Visual C++ Simple Game Programming[edit]

So, from past questions, I'm learning C++ (and finding that I, actually, really love it as I get used to it). For my own interest, I'd like to make a simple game using it - nothing advanced, at the moment, I just want to make a box that moves around in an area, correctly collides with areas borders, and maybe has to avoid other boxes; just something to get a feel for the basics. At any rate, after a little research, it looks like there are all sorts of different packages and directions to start from, so I wanted to know if anyone has any suggestions. I'm not looking for the simplest route, but what would be most useful to work with long term/what would be worth knowing. If anyone has any experience or direction they can offer, I'd greatly appreciate it, thank you in advance:-)Phoenixia1177 (talk) 03:50, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Simple DirectMedia Layer is a popular multimedia library that works on most platforms. You can use it to animate simple 2D and 3d graphics. Nimur (talk) 04:06, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Chinese characters and Firefox[edit]

Here on Wikipedia everything is fine, but when typing something in Google search bar or looking at Google results, Chinese characters look very odd. I think it's the Firefox default font. I have done some research and found someone else having the same issue: The thread's answers are not very helpful and it is not a general problem as they assumed. It's a Firefox issue and it happens no matter which encoding I select. I'm a native speaker, so it was probably easier for me to find out that these odd forms actually do exist. They are Japanese standardized forms, therefore some strokes look different. It's the 黑体 font, translated as East Asian gothic typeface.
I thought Firefox did it because the characters are too small although I don't see how the Japanese standardized forms make characters smoother or even save space. So I increased the font size and the characters still stayed the same. It wasn't a size issue after all and 黑体 displays perfectly with Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Microsoft Word at any size. Therefore it must be Japanese characters in 黑体. And I was wrong again. The fact is that they are still Chinese characters, but they are displayed as Japanese ones. If you copy those characters and paste them elsewhere, they look Chinese again. Moreover, Google results only show Chinese websites (I didn't set any country preferences).
Now the strangest thing is yet to be mentioned. I had increased the font size and there were actually two different fonts mixed together. 黑体 is a font where all strokes are equally thick, while 宋体 Song is a serif typeface. Again this happens only with Firefox. You can see it yourself even if you don't know the language. Paste a Chinese character for Google results and increase the font size to the maximum. I tried to find a pattern which font is used for which character and came to the conclusion that traditional Chinese characters which had not undergone simplification are in 黑体, while simplified characters are in 宋体. Finally, I still don't understand why Firefox mixes two fonts and I want to know if there's a method to change this. Hope you don't mind the use of paragraphs in favor of the long text's legibility. -- (talk) 04:05, 3 September 2014 (UTC)


August 30[edit]


Is there an example of a recycling plant that employs destructive fractional distillation under a reducing hydrogen atmosphere? I know of examples that separately employ fractional distillation, and plasmification, but not one that combines both. Plasmic Physics (talk) 04:15, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

The ideal cases in mathematics, physics and chemistry[edit]

Does the ideal cases in mathematics, physics and chemistry are been always right? The ideal cases in mathematics, physics and chemistry are been always a regularity or a paradox?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 05:18, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

I think you're asking whether the theoretical answer is always the real-world solution. That would be more common in math, although there are also many wrong answers provided by math, along with the correct ones, such as negative square roots that don't apply to a real-world case. In science there's more often a difference between the theoretical and observed. For example, the observation of the universe expanding at an ever increasing rate was completely unexpected by theory. StuRat (talk) 05:27, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
What force(s) would be causing such acceleration? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:33, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Bugs, see accelerating universe. Staecker (talk) 14:04, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you StuRat. I’m sorry for my next question, but I want to better understand you. Does the formulas of ideal cases in mathematics, physics and chemistry are been always right?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 05:46, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
In general in mathematics formulae are always exactly right, even when something is an approximation it is a correct approximation otherwise there is an error in the mathematics. In general in physics and chemistry everything is wrong because there is always something left out or the theory isn't absolutely certainly true of the real world. This is a problem of ontology and the difference between existence and truth in mathematics as opposed to physics or chemistry. Dmcq (talk) 07:02, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Is mathematical scientific doctrine is not absolute in the sciences, that is, what the mathematical scientific doctrine does not provide the identity of theory and practice in the sciences, including the practice of scientific research?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 12:05, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I think there are several different aspects here. But at the heart there is a serious philosophical debate. See The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:11, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Does the scientific knowledge of the world in mathematics is always absolute or not absolute? Does the mathematical of the cybernetics is been always right?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 12:35, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Have you read and tried to understand the article pointed to by Stephen Schultz in the twenty minutes between him writing his reply and your response? Why do you expect anyone to be able to give you any better response than is already given? Dmcq (talk) 13:50, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
What practical and theoretical mathematics always had ambiguity? The mathematics always is been a much exact science!--Alex Sazonov (talk) 15:17, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I think, Norbert Wiener always supposed that practical decisions in mathematics always had higher values than the theoretical decisions, as practical decisions in mathematics always explained something that is not able to explain the theoretical mathematics.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 15:55, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

The idealism concerned in the question is the conviction that scientific method must build objectively stated unambiguous theories that have reliable predictive power; it is satisfactory demonstration of predictions that distinguishes theories from hypotheses. The scenario for fulfilment of a prediction is the ideal case. In chemistry, formulae for reactions must assume that the ingredients are pure and in analytical concentrations; in physics, calculation of a two-body planetary orbit (Kepler) must assume that every other object in the Universe has zero gravity; in mathematics nothing exists unless it is designated and nothing designated may vary unless it is declared to vary in a more (Algebraic number) or less (Transcendental number) restricted way. Use of ideal cases

  • is relevant for exposition and understanding of scientific theory
  • is necessary to show the scope of applicability of a principle, accepting the "paradox" that the ideal cases are generally unachievable
  • leads to amiable parody such as "Consider a Spherical cow in a vacuum...".

Idealized cases do not however relieve the intellectual from studying or the investigator from investigating more demanding real-world complexities, because hanging on to Naïve physics offers only the intellectual stagnation of Pope Urban VII confronting Galileo. The square root of -1 is formally an imaginary mathematical unit and far from being a "wrong answer" it is fundamental to Complex number calculations which have had serious practical applications since the 17th century (Tartaglia). "Absolute truth" is a commodity of belief systems that is inaccessible to scientific analysis, is a theme in philosophy that is accessible to scientists though not to science, is not yet claimed by responsible chemists or physicists, and is only ever delineated provisionally by mathematicians. (talk) 15:58, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Is identity in mathematics always been absolute? If A always is not been equal to B, is B always not been equal to A, or thats is not been right? I think, it always is been a much exact, it is been mathematics.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 17:30, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Time does not enter into math unless it is deliberately introduced as a variable (often as t seconds). A and B do not exist in a mathematical proof until they are designated (invoked); expressions like A=B become absolutely true from the moment they are stated; an operation A+B can give a result C which is similarly true from the moment it is stated because the operator "+" has been defined earlier. Values that the mathematician assigns persist only as long as needed to complete a calculation; one may turn the page of a math textbook and then find A, B and C used differently. A few constants such as pi have unchangeable values. There is a particular meaning of Absolute value which is the distance from zero of a value but I assume you don't ask about that. (talk) 18:40, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm trying to prove that mathematics consists of identities and not of mathematical hypotheses have (had) no practical mathematical solution, I believe that all of mathematics is presented mathematical identities always have mathematical solutions, so I am a supporter of absolute mathematical identity as the absolute accuracy of mathematics.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 19:53, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Sadly, you need to read Gödel's incompleteness theorems...and if you have the time and patience, Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter. Mathematics is (for sure) always going to be incomplete. There are mathematical statements out there that can never (even in principle) be either proved or disproved. SteveBaker (talk) 20:44, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Umm, let's be a little careful here. The theorems say that no fixed formal theory, with appropriate technical stipulations, can answer all mathematical questions. They don't say that there's any particular statement that can never be proved or disproved by any theory. --Trovatore (talk) 08:01, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I think that, a practical method of mathematical decision of a mathematical problem always had generates a theory of mathematics! Does it make sense to use in scientific knowledge the mathematical theories (hypotheses) which had no practical solutions?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 07:14, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Exterminating virtual particles[edit]

I understand that virtual particles are very common in modern physics, but... my mind rebels against them. I mean, consider the Casimir effect. The plates are drawn together by the lack of virtual particles with certain frequencies that can't exist due to the conductive plates around them. It seems simple enough, except... suppose the plates weren't conductive, or were only mostly conductive. Then I'm supposed to believe that the vacuum is a sea full of an infinite variety of virtual particles, and out of all that mind-boggling density of imaginary stuff, the ones that measure the plates' conductivity are the ones that don't exist, even as "virtual" particles. Do I have that right? Whereas (as the article says) simply looking at the effect as a Van der Waals force, based on (I assume) the very clear uncertainty of the position and momentum of the real electrons in the metal plates, seems incredibly more straightforward.

Anyway, has a reputable authority tried to lay out a physics in which each and every proposed virtual particle has been exterminated from consideration, whether for mediating the Coulomb force or Hawking radiation or any of the dozen other things mentioned in virtual particle, relying only on honest-to-God particles? Wnt (talk) 17:46, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

This question is near the line between physics and metaphysics - Horror vacui (physics), The World (Descartes) (as we don't have an article specifically on the Cartesian Plenum), Vacuum energy and Dirac Sea might be useful further reading. The experimental observation for which we need to save the appearances is that particles interact with each other in a vacuum (a real vacuum that one can produce with a vacuum pump). The alternatives to virtual particles are the acceptance of action at a distance without any physical mediation, or the view that the vacuum isn't empty, but contains (an infinite amount) of a substance through which particles interact. All three have their metaphysical disadvantages, and all three give us theories that explain the real world. Tevildo (talk) 19:46, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
It is clear that virtual particles provide a useful framework for calculating a variety of very real phenomena. However, it is not necessarily the case that they really exist as such. Allow me to draw a very crude analogy. Suppose a small boat is sitting on a pond, and somewhere else on the pond you drop in a stone. This generates ripples on the pond that cause the boat to move. Now suppose you couldn't see the water ripple, instead all you could see was the passing stone and the bobbing boat. You might imagine that the stone was sending out invisible particles that were hitting the boat. In a way, virtual particles are a bit like that. Virtual particle interactions can also be interpreted as fluctuations in a hidden higher-dimensional structure of spacetime, sort of like ripples on a pond, but in a space that incorporates the fundamental forces and standard model particles as an extension of the properties of space itself. Essentially, one can consider virtual particles as a sort of accounting gimmick that allows us to describe the complex ways that the various forces perturb the universe. Whether you actually imagine that we live in a complex sea of virtual particles rippling in and out of existence, or rather choose to imagine that we live in a complex and dynamic higher dimensional spacetime is essentially a matter of interpretation. Like the various interpretation of quantum mechanics the different points of view are more about philosophical interpretation than useful prediction. Dragons flight (talk) 22:05, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I suppose there are other cases of this; for example, the "holes" in semiconductors are like this. But if you have a semiconductor with one random atom missing, and you look at the localization of a "hole" that is adjacent to it, I assume it doesn't actually look like an anti-electron, because I'd expect the probability pattern of the hole to reach up and around the physical hole in the structure whereas the electron would have no interest in embracing it. I wonder if virtual particles can lead us astray the same way. For example, in the infamous black hole information paradox, we uncritically accept that "virtual particles" are bringing information from nowhere out of the hole. Only... what if this is more virtual particle BS? What if really the paradox can be explained by simply discovering that we're looking at the uncertainty of the position and momentum of the particles that were falling in before they hit the horizon, which allows for a chance they really never did? Or the odds that they did go in the singularity, but tunneled out again. Or ... something. I'm not a physicist and I'm not trying to propound a theory here, just feel like what I'm being fed tastes off. Wnt (talk) 15:29, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
The paradox - again, we're really still in metaphysics, although this issue is potentially amenable to experimental resolution - depends on the principle of quantum determinism, that Laplace's demon can put any system back together again, even if it falls into a black hole. This may not be true in the first place (which is a question of pure metaphysics), but, even if it is, the mechanism by which the wavefunctions of the black hole's source particles are recovered doesn't have to involve virtual particles. Without knowing what goes on at the singularity, we can't say definitely that the wavefunctions are "destroyed" and have to be "recreated". They could persist through the accretion and evaporation process, as you suggest. Until the physicists come up with a testable theory, all we can do is check the maths is correct and doesn't contradict observation. Tevildo (talk) 19:10, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
The original Hawking radiation paper derived the result nonperturbatively (without virtual particles). He only mentioned virtual particles as a handwavy informal picture of what's going on. It can certainly happen that no one knows any way to get a handle on a difficult problem except by some approximation method, and the result can have features that look like real physics but are actually artifacts of the approximation method. If the approximation involves virtual particles then you would be misled by virtual particles, in a sense. But those sorts of problems are unavoidable when you're doing original research. Professional particle physicists understand that the nonperturbative physics is what matters; I don't think they overvalue virtual particles the way pop-physics books do. -- BenRG (talk) 23:04, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Hmmmm, to me it sounds as if Hawking was indeed saying something vaguely similar to what I was suggesting all along, from the first paper in 1975, the only difference being that his version was mathematical, meaningful and coherent. :) What I wonder, though, is if the "tunneling" going on in any way would imply that when matter is eaten, matter would outweigh antimatter in the radiation, i.e. that the notion of taking a mini black hole and stuffing it with a matter beam to convert it into energy might be too good to be true. Wnt (talk) 05:52, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you're saying, but there's no "tunneling". The Hawking radiation comes from outside the horizon. -- BenRG (talk) 22:05, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Elevation and temperature[edit]

At what elevations do temperatures start to change significantly? 500m? 1000m? Etc — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:02, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

See Tropopause, Atmosphere of Earth, and (perhaps) Atmospheric temperature (although that last article isn't very good). 500 m and 1000 m are still comfortably within the troposphere - the tropopause (where temperature _stops_ changing significantly) is at about 10000 m. Tevildo (talk) 20:10, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
To answer your question literally, temperatures _start_ changing significantly at zero elevation. The temperature at the top of a medium-sized building (50 m / 150 ft) will be about 0.5 C lower than at ground level, which will be noticeable to most people. See lapse rate. Tevildo (talk) 20:35, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
You said elevation (i.e. height above sea level) and not altitude (i.e. height above local ground level). Assuming you really want to know about elevation related changes, then the surface elevation lapse rate is about 3 degrees C per km of elevation change in environments with slowly changing elevations. This is significantly less extreme than the about 6.5 degree C / km atmospheric lapse rate that one experiences from simply going up in altitude. The difference is related to the role of solar heating in setting the conditions at the ground surface. Dragons flight (talk) 21:27, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
A minor correction - altitude is also the height above sea level, which (unlike elevation) may be different from the height above ground level. Height above ground level is just "height" (or QFE). Tevildo (talk) 21:52, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
In my area of climate science, "altitude" is nearly always a synonym for "height above ground level" also known as the "absolute altitude". As far as I know, it is only people in aviation that insist in using "altitude" to generally mean height above sea level. Dragons flight (talk) 22:16, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
By way of evidence that "altitude" can be used to mean "elevation", I submit this. It'd be in England. -- (talk) 05:50, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I'd just submit altitude. --jpgordon::==( o ) 04:45, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

August 31[edit]

Metabolization of trans fats[edit]

Small amounts of ethanol naturally occur in our food, thus we have evolved a way to metabolize those small amounts which would otherwise be harmful. Distillation of alcohol, however, allows us to drink way too much alcohol to metabolize before it does damage.

Similarly, small amounts of trans fats naturally occur in our food, but the food industry has found a way to add massive quantities of artificially created trans fats. So, then, my Q is if our bodies have evolved a way to metabolize small amounts of trans fats before they cause damage. For example, is 0.1 g of trans fats 1/100th as harmful as 10 g, or not harmful at all ? Or, put another way, would you do as much damage to your body eating 0.1 g of trans fats every day, for 100 days, as you would if you consumed 10 g in one day ? If possible, I'd like to know just how much we can metabolize safely in a day. If "trans fats" is too broad of a category, let's restrict it to partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

The reason I ask, BTW, is that some restaurants have started listing tenths of a gram on their nutrition info for trans fats, and I don't quite know what to do with that info. Before, if it had 1 gram or more, I would skip that item. If it said 0 g I would eat it. But now I see 0.1 g, for example, and don't really know if that's safe to eat or not. StuRat (talk) 02:26, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

I'd say eat it, go for a good walk afterwards, and stop worrying. The worry is more likely to kill you. HiLo48 (talk) 02:30, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
That would be blatant medical advice. Over the past century, the geniuses who came up with the notion of putting artificial chemicals that superficially resemble lard into the food supply have managed to kill millions of people, and that really does matter. The risks might be "relatively small" (I just saw a figure of +7% risk of stroke per gram per day in men) but they are increases in risk for some of the most common causes of death. Wnt (talk) 12:02, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
For part of your question, the answer is that "trans fat" isn't all one thing that acts one way, just as "fat" isn't. Even if you suppose lipids are cleanly broken up into fatty acids in a fungible way, each type of fatty acid has different properties; they are precursors to hugely important compounds like prostaglandins, endocannabinoids, and many many others. Each of those classes of compound is made up members with different chemical formulas that are produced from one specific fatty acid or another. If you look at [2] and [3] you'll see this kind of study, but not much is known; it appears though that the natural trans fats are much less harmful if harmful at all, presumably because the evolution of metabolism has taken them into account. Generally speaking, if you climbed on board an alien spaceship and managed to get a machine to pump out bars of "generic food" made up of all the right elements in a vaguely right proportion, it wouldn't be healthy eating. Catalytically altering fat is very much like that, only among a more restricted class of compounds.
In a quick search I didn't find data about consumption of limited amounts of trans fats. It would be next to impossible to control for in a human population, and it would make for an immense animal study in order to have the necessary statistical power, so I can see the difficulty. Biology is never simple though - it's impossible to say a priori whether a small amount is as bad as a large amount, or proportional, or harmless -- for all I know some sort of hormesis could apply. But I wouldn't bet on that. Wnt (talk) 12:02, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, but remember, I added "If 'trans fats' is too broad of a category, let's restrict it to partially hydrogenated vegetable oils". StuRat (talk) 12:13, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, my point is that the natural trans fats in food are not partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Wnt (talk) 15:16, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
OK, that would seem to imply that any ability we've evolved to deal with natural trans fats would not help in the metabolization of PHVOs, and hence any amount is harmful. StuRat (talk) 19:05, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I would not eat it unless it was a very rare and special occasion. Trans fats are cumulative killers. Each little bit does a tiny bit more damage. I don't believe it works like Radiation hormesis but rather like the Linear no-threshold model. Ariel. (talk) 02:37, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
You're free to guess that, but biology doesn't know theory. It is possible, for example, that eating a tiny amount of trans fat would induce cytochrome P450 enzymes that break down some sort of metabolic products that end up accumulating, leaving you better prepared for some point over the next week when you gulp down grams of the stuff in a mislabelled or unlabelled product you didn't know about. On the other hand, that same sort of activity might increase the oxidative stress on something and cause toxicity well out of proportion to the quantity. The only real advantage of the linear no-threshold model is that it's sort of an average among the possibilities. Wnt (talk) 17:44, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

What type of Hair styling cosmetic doesn't contain any lipids\Hydrophobic materials?[edit]

I want use something which is both easy to get, and doesn't contain any lipids\Hydrophobic materials and thus leaves the hair easily in wash... Any suggestions? Thx. Ben-Natan (talk) 03:49, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Lipids should be easy enough to wash out, provided you use shampoo (not a shampoo/conditioner combo). If you had something that rinsed out in just water, then rain would leave your hair a mess, too. StuRat (talk) 04:23, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Anything else?, Does Gels or Mouses typically contain\should contain Lipids? Ben-Natan (talk) 22:11, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Lead acetate is the mot common men's hair coloring. It is certainly not easily washed out, although the instructions say not to shower for qt least four hours after use.

Does knowledge is been verb in English language?[edit]

Does knowledge is been verb in English language?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 07:55, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

As I know, the knowledge is been the verb forming, which is been a verbs saying. Is it right?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 08:30, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Are you asking if "knowledge" is a verb in English? If so, then the answer is that "knowledge" is a noun. The verb is "to know". The words "is been" don't occur in English in that order. You can ask "is knowledge a verb", and you need to omit "been" in your sentences. Dbfirs 08:35, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Here are references for your English language questions:
  • WP:RD/L - the Wikipedia Language reference desk. Your questions will be seen by language specialists who may not look at this science desk.
  • [] - a site that checks a large number of dictionaries. You can try it now.
  • [4] - etymology is the study of the origin and development of words. You can try it now.
  • There is also an Wikipedia article about Knowledge. (talk) 09:12, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Some nouns and adjectives will are derived from verbs, is it not this the case? In my language mind the knowledge is been discovery process.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 08:58, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes nouns and adjectives can be derived from verbs, and this is exactly what we have here: the noun "knowledge" is derived from the verb "know". "Knowledge" as a verb is obsolete, but has been used historically in the English language. The Oxford English Dictionary gives six distinct senses of "knowledge" as a verb, these have mostly been replaced with "acknowledge". The most recent attestation given by the OED is from 1797: "If any ecclesiastical person knowledge a statute merchant or statute staple, or a recognizance in the nature of a statute staple." (Burn's Eccl. Law (ed. 6) III. 204) - Lindert (talk) 13:50, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Lindert, Thank you very much!--Alex Sazonov (talk) 14:12, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
So it is correct to say that "knowledge" has been used as a verb, but is not used as a verb in current English. The verb "to be" in English is usually strong enough to stand on its own (but occasionally needs reinforcing with another verb). It never appears with two different tenses together (like "is been" or "will are"). Dbfirs 14:28, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
The commonest way to derive a noun from a verb is to add the ending -ing which creates a Gerund that can function as a noun. The verb to know makes the gerund knowing which can be used as a noun (as in Knowing two languages is useful). There are many similar verb/gerund pairs such as to paint/I like painting, to write/I like writing, to build/I like building. I will emphasize that Dbfirs is correct, "knowledge" is used as a noun and never as a verb in modern English. The past tense of "to be" that you should know is "Has knowledge been a verb? - Yes, it has been a verb but it is not a verb today". (talk) 14:45, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I been spouse that, the verb been always has the perfect form of the verb in all tenses.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 05:41, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
You might wish to read the conjugation section of Wiktionary's entry on the verb. Dbfirs 07:39, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you! Do I understand correctly that the values of perfect verbs never change, and not to override by other verbs participating in the phrase?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 09:00, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Does a perfect mirror violate the laws of thermodynamics?[edit]

A mirror that reflects 100% of the electromagnetic radiation directed towards it. I'm fairly certain this is impossible, but I just want to confirm that it violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics. ScienceApe (talk) 13:32, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

As I think that, the absolute mirror reflection which is been an absolute mirror effect will always had be possible only in the case of resonance of a mirror reflected.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 13:59, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Reflecting 100%, as opposed to absorbing some of it as heat, for example? Just trying to understand what you're thinking. Nyttend (talk) 14:08, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes. ScienceApe (talk) 18:09, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't know if a perfect mirror is possible, but it doesn't violate the second law of thermodynamics. The second law says that no process can globally decrease entropy. All that a perfect mirror would do is to locally keep entropy constant. Looie496 (talk) 15:56, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Well if it's not possible, it has to violate some law of physics right? If it violates no laws of physics, it should be possible. ScienceApe (talk) 18:09, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
If the mirror is not attached to something but is drifting in space, won't the photons that are hitting it "push" it a bit, causing it to accelerate? If the mirror is being accelerated, I think some of the energy of the original light beam must be being used to push the mirror. CBHA (talk) 18:37, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Which to me would mean that the mirror is not reflecting as light all the light energy hitting it. Therefore ,a less than perfect mirror. CBHA (talk) 23:36, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Reversible process might be a useful comparison. A thermodynamically reversible process isn't theoretically impossible (indeed, most thermodynamic calculations depend on them being available), but isn't achievable with real materials in finite amounts of time. A perfect mirror isn't theoretically impossible, but would require a material that didn't absorb electromagnetic radiation at any frequency (from radio to the most energetic gamma rays) - such a material doesn't exist in the real world, although there's no theoretical reason why it can't. Tevildo (talk) 18:48, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Not a traditional "mirror", but according to total internal reflection, an interface can reflect all the light directed at it if the angle of incidence is right.--Wikimedes (talk) 19:00, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Over the range of frequencies in which its refractive index doesn't have a complex component, yes. No materials possess that property over the entire spectrum. Tevildo (talk)
Yeah - but it only works at one very specific frequency - so it certainly doesn't achieve what our OP is asking for. SteveBaker (talk) 05:43, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I would expect that straight conservation of momentum issues would preclude the construction of a perfect mirror. (Where a 'perfect mirror' is defined broadly as some construct or device that receives photons from one direction and returns the same number of photons of identical energy/wavelength travelling in a different direction, possibly along a reciprocal course. In other words, a photon comes in, 'bounces', and comes back with the same energy.) CBHA gets close to it with his 'mirror in space' thought experiment, but doesn't go quite far enough.
Consider a photon with momentum travelling to the right (call this a positive direction) with momentum p. We want a device that accepts that photon and delivers us a photon with momentum -p, that is, a photon with the same-sized momentum (and therefore the same energy and wavelength) travelling to the left. But wait—if the photon has a change in momentum of -2p, the mirror (and the planet it is attached to) has to experience a change of momentum of +2p. For any macroscopic object and reasonable photon momentum, 2p isn't much—but it also isn't zero. And you can't impart that impulse on the mirror for free—there's an energy cost. That energy comes from the photon itself. It is redshifted ever-so-slightly, so that the departing photon has a momentum of -(p-ε) and the mirror has momentum p-ε. While this is a one-dimensional model, the same reasoning applies in three dimensions. You can't change the direction of a photon without paying, somehow, for the change in momentum. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 21:48, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Sirs, all the phenomena of thermodynamics always had consist only in the dynamics of the heat, is no longer what!--Alex Sazonov (talk) 04:40, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Nothing that exists in the universe can defy the laws of physics. If something appears to defy the laws of physics, that can only mean that we have not yet figured out all the laws of physics. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:50, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Toxicity of Hemlock and Nightshade[edit]

Hello, I am doing some research for a book and have the following two questions: Firstly, how poisionous are Deadly Nighshade petals/the purple flower itself? I noticed the wiki article only comments on the seeds/leaves/berries etc.

Secondly, can Deadly Nightshade and Hemlock (conium) both be touched with ones bare hands without poisoning occuring?

Thanks im advcance for your help! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:08, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

I would expect that if just touching them was fatal, we'd all be very concerned about them, have public education and eradication campaigns, etc. Since the average person doesn't go around eating strange plants, they would be far less of a threat, if they must be ingested to poison us.
Incidentally, I understand that tobacco plants can cause contact poisoning, but only in certain circumstances. After a dew or rain, nicotine is drawn into the droplets, and pickers can absorb too much of that through their skin, and suffer from Green Tobacco Sickness. Still, it would take hours of picking, so it's not a threat to somebody just walking through them.
And of course there's poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak but those normally cause skin rashes only. StuRat (talk) 19:09, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
THE POISON GARDEN Website says of Deadly Nightshade; "There is disagreement over what constitutes a fatal amount with cases cited of a small child eating half a berry and dying alongside a nine year old Danish boy who, in the 1990s, ate between twenty and twenty five berries and survived." The same site has a page on Conium maculatum, poison hemlock which cites several people who died after mistaking it for carrot leaves or parsley. It doesn't say how much they ate. Alansplodge (talk) 20:35, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
But... but... they're natural! Monsanto has nothing to do with them! They must be good for you! Tevildo (talk) 21:43, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

mass of an electron at +1,000,000 V[edit]

An electron normally has a mass of 0.511 MeV. Suppose a perforated spherical electrode is somehow brought to a potential of +1,000,000 V. A loose electron from outside will therefore emit 1 MeV of energy, or gain 1MeV of kinetic energy, falling into the space.

Does a stationary electron inside the electrode therefore have a net negative mass?

If you can somehow neutralize (I mean, accurately account for) the charge effects, can it be observed to fall upward under the influence of Earth's gravity? Wnt (talk) 16:22, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

The (relativistic) mass of the accelerated electron will be 1.511 MeV, not 1.0 MeV. See cyclotron for the detailed mathematics. Tevildo (talk) 16:56, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
This seems to be a misapplication of the principle that in a conservative field, the state of an object is independent of it's path (or previous history). To use this principle to find out what a stationary electron does, you would have to decelerate the electron to 0 velocity and include the effects of the deceleration in your calculation.--Wikimedes (talk) 18:48, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
One of the great things about the theory of relativity is that it's relative. That means that the value of the relativistic mass, which (in some formulations) includes potential energy, depends on who is measuring it, and where they are. So, depending on where you pick your electrical ground (your point of zero potential energy), your electron will have a different amount of potential energy. Subsequently, if you calculate its relativistic mass and account for that potential energy, you'll get a value that depends on where your ground is located. This shouldn't be a surprise at all: if you were accounting for the relativistic mass by including kinetic energy, then the value you compute would depend on your inertial reference frame. In other words, this is not the first time you've encountered a "mass" whose value depends on how and where you measure it!
In classical electromagnetic theory, the electrical potential energy can be formulated as a gauge. Moving your "ground" is a simple change of scalar gauge. In fact, if you pursue formal study of relativistic electrodynamics, solving these equations will be among your first homework assignments, to make sure that you are comfortable using analytical mathematics to move beyond the conceptual weirdness.
Nimur (talk) 22:50, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Hmmm, so far I don't see this. But let's nail down something first: at "neutral voltage", an electron and a positron have equal mass. Does this remain true no matter what you adjust the voltage to be? And if so, why doesn't that potential energy, that could be tapped at any time, have mass? Wnt (talk) 05:28, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Remember that voltage is relative as well - we can only talk about the voltage _between_ two points, not the voltage _at_ a point or the "overall voltage" of a system. When you say "neutral voltage", where are you measuring it? Tevildo (talk) 07:14, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Always believed that the mass of elementary particles is always been the force of their electric charge or the force of dynamics of their electric charge, because the mass of the electron is always been pleasant to consider the variable mass, so the electron is been never the absolute gravity.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 09:30, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

No, gravity and charges sometimes electric can not pleasantify in that they are being what was always been their mass is absolute unless without question and when gravities and more massives do sometimes make differently from that. So yes. Sebastian Garth (talk) 10:31, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
The question is what, does the elementary particles had a mass or they always had only the gravity of the electric charge?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 09:41, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Absolute mass of all elementary particles is always be considered to be the mass of light, because is always pleasant to believe that the speed of light is always be the absolute standard of speed in physics, because it have not a limits, I think it's be wrong, because an electromagnetic induction is always been more much powerful than the magnetic induction, because the speed of electric current is always be absolute, so that the mass of the electron can be adopted as the absolute standard, although the electron is been never the absolute gravity.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 11:10, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

What is been the natural nature of the electron that is what had always the electron magnetism or electromagnetism?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 12:08, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Do you think that science could researching the elementary particles which mass always is been immaterial, and does these elementary particles had a gravity?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 18:13, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I believe that science does not makes sense to researching the elementary particles which are never observed in materials (substances), although they may had a gravity.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 07:56, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
note: I've started a separate question on absolute voltage two below because this is way too fundamental of a point for any of us to be confused about without humiliation! And our article discussion seems confused... Wnt (talk) 13:21, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

September 1[edit]

Greenhouse carbon dioxide level[edit]

According to the article Carbon Dioxide, "Plants can grow up to 50 percent faster in concentrations of 1,000 ppm CO2 when compared with ambient conditions, though this assumes no change in climate and no limitation on other nutrients."

And from the same article, "Carbon dioxide content in fresh air ... varies between 0.036% (360 ppm) and 0.039% (390 ppm), depending on the location." And in the Toxicity section: "In concentrations up to 1% (10,000 ppm), it will make some people feel drowsy".

With this as background, is it practical and worthwhile to raise the CO2 level by lighting a small woodstove in a greenhouse? (Other things being equal. I.E., assuming that the level is not raised so high as to be toxic to the greenhouse workers, that the carbon monoxide level is not raised, and that the greenhouse is not overheated.) Thanks, C7nel (talk) 01:36, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Sounds dangerous. Using a stove in an unventilated area can produce deadly carbon monoxide and other combustion products. If you really wanted to raise CO2 levels, I'd suggest buying a tank of it. You could still get too much carbon dioxide in the air, but at least that would eliminate the other dangers. Small tanks would be safer, since even if it all leaked out at once, it wouldn't be that much. StuRat (talk) 01:57, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
From my experiments the limiting factor in plant growth is light. Not CO2, water or other nutrients. Obviously if those are lacking the plant will grow slower, but once those needs are met the limit is light. I have not tried using a solar concentrator to see if that helps. Ariel. (talk) 02:13, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I doubt it is just light or just CO2, and this paper at least agrees that ~99% of various plants grew more when exposed to more CO2 alone Fig 1 . One obvious mechanism is that if there is more CO2 then the stomata don't need as much air circulation so the plant loses less water via its leaves, which is one of the other limitations on plant growth. Greglocock (talk) 02:08, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Yea, marijuana grow houses seem to install major grow lights to make it grow faster. I am guessing that the cost is prohibitive for less valuable crops. StuRat (talk) 02:30, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
No, I'm not growing marijuana :) Just regular plants in a window box. Ariel. (talk) 07:24, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
In Victorian times, some rich people in England maintained "pine houses" – heated greenhouses in which they raised pineapples to serve at table. Some heated their pine houses with a coal boiler (in an nearby outhouse) and hot-water pipes, others used heaps of vegetable matter (grass cuttings, potato peelings, etc.) decaying under the benches of the pine house. The latter was found more effective in promoting growth of the pineapple plants, and people wrote of the benefits of "live heat" relative to "dead heat". Later they realised that heat is just heat, but the decaying heaps were promoting pineapple growth by increasing the CO2 level in the pine houses. Maproom (talk) 06:54, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Pineapple is special in that it uses the efficient CAM photosynthesis - perhaps it can use the extra CO2, if so than corn and sugar cane should also be able to since they use C4 carbon fixation. Ariel. (talk) 07:24, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Is there such a thing as absolute voltage (and thus true electrical neutral)?[edit]

This is based on the next-to-last question above, but deserves its own heading: someone said that voltage somehow is only relative as a result of it being a gauge theory. But my impression was that a device such as an electroscope truly measures, if only approximately, a zero voltage when the little gold leaves hang down next to each other. (sorry, on second thought that part was dumb) Talk:Voltage is full of debate like this, with some saying that neutral voltage can be defined as the voltage "at infinity". Given the extreme electrical charges in space I have a hard time picturing that as practical, but is it theoretically valid? Last but not least there was my supposition above that the masses of electrons and positrons (or associated with their presence in some way) ought to vary depending on where they are in an electric field -- it seems like Stackexchange leans toward the idea that a charged battery contains more mass than a discharged battery, and reddit the same of capacitors. So I'm thinking a third way to define zero voltage is where positrons and electrons have precisely the same mass. Note: even if they're valid, I don't know all three methods agree. So let's try to settle this, and hopefully find reliable sources to update Voltage to dispel the world's confusion: is there an absolute zero voltage, and do we know what it is relative to the range encountered on the ground and in the air of our planet? Wnt (talk) 13:19, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

This is a very common cause of confusion. I tried to explain the answer as clearly as I could in the "Voltage" section of the membrane potential article, and I don't think I can do any better than refer to that. But let me quote from the third paragraph there: In mathematical terms, the definition of voltage begins with the concept of an electric field E, a vector field assigning a magnitude and direction to each point in space. In many situations, the electric field is a conservative field, which means that it can be expressed as the gradient of a scalar function V, that is, E = –∇V. This scalar field V is referred to as the voltage distribution. Note that the definition allows for an arbitrary constant of integration—this is why absolute values of voltage are not meaningful. Looie496 (talk) 15:17, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps it is time to review constant of integration.
With due respect, Wnt, the best way I can answer your question without writing any equations is this explanation. Please understand that this is my best and sincere effort to represent your question conceptually (and not in any way an attempt to be condescending, although if you can understand this explanation, you might get a good laugh). You ask whether there is absolute voltage. This is logically equivalent to the nonce question, "what is the length of a piece of string?" Then you refine this concept by expressing confidence that we can find a "true" electrical neutral. This is logically equivalent to saying, "what if we tied one end of the string down at the position 'zero'?"
Does this help? Voltage is the path integral of the electric field. It is computed by adding up a quantity along a path integral - sort of like how we measure the length of string. There are many clever methods to compute this value, but it always depends on where the two ends of the string are. We can measure the length of any specific string, but we cannot answer the question in general - at least, not by providing a numerical value. When we define the two points - i.e. we measure voltage between two points - it has a definite value, because it is a definite integral. When we do not define the endpoints, we have an indefinite integral, to which we may add a constant of integration. Nimur (talk) 16:11, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Staying with the "piece of string" analogy, it might be useful to consider gravitational potential energy. The gravitational potential energy of a mass m in a uniform gravitational field is mgh. This quantity is meaningless unless we know what h is; until we define the point we're measuring the height from. On the electroscope issue, no deflection of the leaf means there's no voltage between the leaf and the case of the electroscope, so there's a definite but arbitary reference potential. Tevildo (talk) 16:47, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
On consideration I suppose I was making a basic error thinking about the electroscope -- even though the leaves obviously move apart, this isn't due to their voltage but due to their charge; i.e. it is conceivable they could be inside a very large spherical metal electrode, wired directly to it, but because the charge repels itself to the outside of the electrode, the charge goes away and the leaves fall together.
Nonetheless, the mgh analogy seems like a bad one. Relative to one source, matter really does have a zero potential at infinity, and it really does emit energy to reflect the loss of relativistic-ish mass as it falls in; in the case of a black hole, as I understand it, even most of the rest mass consumed can end up being radiated as energy. And there's a specific phenomenon, the event horizon, that forms a neat ruler line marking the precise absolute bottom of the gravity well. The energy of a gravitational potential is -G mM/r, the Schwarzschild radius is r = 2 GM/c^2, so the potential there is - c^2 m /2 ... I forget why there's a /2 here, but I remember seeing claims that actually the amount of energy was equal, so there might be a relativistic correction I've missed. The point is though, it's an absolute potential as evidenced by these clear ruler markings at the top and the bottom of it. No? Wnt (talk) 17:09, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
You're conflating "really convenient reference point" with "absolute reference point." Nimur (talk) 17:17, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Also I should mention the photon sphere at 3 GM/c^2, i.e. where the absolute gravitational potential is precisely -1/3 of the mass of any given particle. (Hmmm, wonder if there's anything at 4...) Wnt (talk) 17:22, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Wnt, you are trying to explore some very complicated equations, while you are demonstrating to us that you are uncomfortable with elementary mathematics. For your own sake, put the advanced topics in mathematical physics to the side, for a little while, and review the elementary concepts of analytical mathematics, because you cannot meaningfully understand mathematical physics if your comprehension of calculus is broken. Would you like a recommendation on some good books to help you refresh those concepts? Or, if you've never learned them, would you like some recommendations for introductory texts?
Nimur (talk) 17:25, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I understand the calculus of doing an integral; what I don't understand is why the two of you use that as proof of something. Sure, position is the integral of velocity ... so there's no such thing as absolute position ... so you can put the equator wherever you want it, it doesn't mean anything. It is too easy to let the math obscure a point. Just because you can calculate some quantity doesn't mean you've explained the full system.
P.S. apparently there's yet another "ruler marking" in the gravity potential at 9/4 G M / c^2, where the redshift reaches two, that controls the possible compactness of stars. [5] (I haven't yet even looked at this) Wnt (talk) 17:30, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
But that's exactly the point. Voltage is the antiderivative of the electrical field in exactly the same way that position is the antiderivative of velocity. Incidentally, I think your explanation of the electroscope is a bit off the mark, perhaps the article is not very well written. The electroscope is actually an instrument for detecting an electrical field. It does not directly detect voltage. A zero reading for an electroscope tells you that the voltage is locally constant, not that it is zero. Looie496 (talk) 17:41, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Wnt, we aren't presenting "proof." We are presenting definition of terms. If you aren't familiar with this distinction, you are again demonstrating that you are unprepared for analytical exercises in advanced mathematical physics. (Contrast: voltage is defined; while its path independence is proved, subject to specific definitions). This proof would be a good one for you to study, and ask questions about it if you get stuck!
We want to help you understand these things. I volunteer my time here because I like helping people understand things! But we have to be pragmatic: I can see that you are presently on completely the wrong side of a massive conceptual gulf, and the way to bridge this gap is by reviewing mathematical concepts. Every hour you spend trying to apply your present methods to understand black holes is taking you deeper into the ravine of self-induced confusion. Nimur (talk) 17:36, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I may indeed be on the wrong track, but I don't think it is philosophically wrong to try to understand a confusing point by asking thought-experiments. For example... suppose you have a plasma of electrons and positrons in a chamber, all with the same rest mass, and now you apply a strong electric field to it. Most of the electrons go to + and most of the positrons go to - of course, but the electrons that were furthest from the + pick up the most speed (more relativistic mass) reflecting their higher electrical potential when they were near the - electrode. But now suppose you have some positronium "atoms" amid the mix; being neutral, they are little affected. Now my thinking here was that the potential energy of the electrons being closer to the negative electrode is equivalent to some amount of mass, which might be measured. But ... I'm not sure a measurement actually would back this up. When I picture those positronium atoms spinning and going into and out of excited modes, I suppose the electron wouldn't start to remain at the center in one of these because it has "increased mass" from being near the negative electrode, while the positron takes the same role in those at the other end. The mass is real, we have an article on electric potential energy that explains how to calculate it, but understanding just where it is and what it affects isn't as obvious. Wnt (talk) 18:10, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Should be interested in the speed and speed accelerations in natural magnetism as physical-chemical phenomena which had creating an inert masses, and in particular should be interesting in the electromagnetic induction.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 03:32, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Potential energy gravitates, which means that we can in principle measure the absolute quantity of it, and even its spatial distribution, by measuring spacetime curvature.
Potential energy is the energy of the field, and there's only one field in total, not one per charged particle. Thus it doesn't make sense to talk about "the potential energy of a particle". A charged battery or capacitor does have more mass than a discharged one, but that mass doesn't belong to any of the particles. In a capacitor, it's mostly located in the dielectric.
Voltage is only well defined when the total potential energy can be written in the form (U0 +) q·f(x) where q and x are the charge and position of some object. Within its domain of applicability, only voltage differences matter. There's probably nothing deeper to say about voltage because at a deeper level it no longer makes sense as a concept. -- BenRG (talk) 21:56, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
@BenRG: This was a very good answer, and similar to what I found at [6]. It would be interesting to further explore when and how "voltage no longer makes sense as a concept". And our article on electric field says that the energy density of the field is 'proportional to the square of the amplitude', which perplexes me first, well, because they link amplitude referring to sinusoidal waves, but here we're speaking of a static field (I assume that's a mistake?), and mostly because if I take two protons and jam them side by side, the amplitude of the field should be double the two individual fields, so the energy should only be 4x, but classically I could sink an infinite amount of energy into that push, and even IRL a ridiculously large amount. Stackexchange gives me a formula but alas not the definitions or explanation:  \int |\nabla \phi|^2 dV = - \int \phi \nabla^2 \phi = \int \phi \rho and says that the self-potential of a point charge is divergent (which I suppose would explain why the 4x is a big deal?) but I'm still not quite seeing it. I ought to look further here, but I might as well poke head up and see if someone tells me I'm on the wrong track. Wnt (talk) 14:39, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Saying that "voltage" doesn't make sense in general is like saying that "up" doesn't make sense in outer space. It's more a matter of word definition than physics.
\int |\nabla \phi|^2 dV = - \int \phi \nabla^2 \phi is Integration by parts#Higher dimensions together with the assumption that φ vanishes on the boundary of the region of integration (which is probably at infinity). - \int \phi \nabla^2 \phi = \int \phi \rho uses Poisson's equation in weird units (normally there would be a factor of 4π or 1/ε0 in front of ρ—I suspect they just forgot it).
"Amplitude" in the article means vector norm/magnitude. I changed it.
Superimposed point charges should have twice the energy of the same charges separated to infinity because (E+E)²/(E²+E²) = 2. But E = +∞, so "twice" is infinitely more. The usual way of dealing with the infinities is to impose some sort of cutoff in the integral, justified because Maxwell's equations must break down at short distances. See regularization (physics). In this case, there's a trick you can use: write
\frac12 \int |E_1(\mathbf x) + E_2(\mathbf x)|^2 = \frac12 \int |E_1(\mathbf x)|^2 + \int E_1(\mathbf x)\cdot E_2(\mathbf x) + \frac12 \int |E_2(\mathbf x)|^2
and then just discard the first and third terms because they're independent of the separation of the particles. The middle term should integrate to q^2 / |\mathbf x_1 - \mathbf x_2|. -- BenRG (talk) 17:30, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
This makes sense. If it takes an infinite amount of energy to push two point charges together, then it must take an infinite amount of energy to push one point charge together. But the point charge presumably can be replaced by a radially symmetric distribution, approximatable as a sphere of charge with no electrical force (so no field) inside by the shell theorem, and acting like a point charge outside. Which leaves me to integrate for r from x to infinity, where x is some small value. The volume is 4 pi r^2 * dr ; the magnitude squared = ( e / 4 pi eps0 r^2 )^2 ... I think. So that's the integral of e^2 dr / (4 pi eps0^2 r^2), I think. Which gets me -e^2 / (4 pi eps0^2 r) for r=(some small value) - (r at infinity), i.e. only the small value counts.
Now to check sanity by units... eps0 (I mean, vacuum permittivity) is ε0 = 8.854 187 817... x 10−12 [F/m] where 1 F = 1 s4·A2·m−2·kg−1 so that's 8.854 187 817... x 10−12 s4·A2·m−3·kg−1. The charge on the electron e is −1.602176565(35)×10−19 C where 1 C = 1 A s. So (might as well multiply the values too) I'm getting, oh, 3.204 x 10-38 A^2 s^2 / 9.8509 x 10-22 s4·A2·m−3·kg−1 = 3.253 x 10-17 m^3 kg /s^2 / r. And a joule, incredibly, is actually m^2 kg /s^2, which means I couldn't possibly have fouled up this calculation. 🙈 🙉 🙊 :) (no, really do speak evil of it when you find the bug)
As a sanity check, the energy actually in the field around an electron can't really be more than the mass of the electron itself, because wherever the electron goes it goes... right? The mass-energy of an electron is 9.10938291(40)×10−31 kg * ( 299792458 m/s) ^2 = 8.187 x 10-14 m^2 kg / s^2, which means that r can't be less than, oh, a millimeter. Arrrgh. I oughtn't post what's probably just a really stupid math error, but might as well check in and see if it turns out that there's something I ought to know about this calculation. Wnt (talk) 21:30, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Inside your car there is a zero voltage point at the negative terminal of the battery; inside your house there is a zero voltage point where mains wiring is grounded (often to a water supply pipe). A zero voltage point for the whole universe is hard to find, hence the OP's question. The Bohr model of the atom describes it as a tiny orbital system of charged particles and the potentials of the particles are calculated in terms of the work needed to bring a test charge "from infinity". A more realistic wording is "from a point so distant that the field strengths of the atom's particles are negligible, and the atom being modelled is alone". The Bohr model, and the better refined Atomic orbital model, do not require an absolute zero voltage to exist anywhere; they are isolated atom models that work the same way whether the atom of, say copper, is deep in the ground or in a high-voltage cable. The article Introduction to gauge theory explains here how our understanding of electricity and magnetism by Maxwell's equations having gauge symmetry is consistent with every practical voltmeter needing two probes. A single-probe voltmeter that could indicate absolute volts is as elusive as the Magnetic monopole. We would conclude that no absolute zero voltage exists but for the implication of mainstream Cosmology that speculates A) the singular source of the Big Bang had no potential gradient i.e. it was all at the same voltage which we may call the absolute voltage reference, and B) whatever the Ultimate fate of the universe there cannot remain any voltage difference (because that could drive an electric motor, meaning that the story isn't over) so we may also call that the absolute voltage reference. There is no mainstream cosmology that claims the voltages in A) and B) would be different, from which we conclude that there is an absolute zero voltage reference but it presently exists only as the theoretical average voltage that matter would attain if all insulators including vacuum became conductors. (talk) 13:23, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Actually that's not really convincing as an argument. Unless there is proton decay - and even electron decay - one expects the universe to retain differences in electrical potential. And the existence of a literal singularity before the Big Bang is something at least I don't believe in. Wnt (talk) 14:43, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Wnt, I know this has been said already, but I have to say it again: by definition, voltage is the potential difference between two points. By definition. By analogy, distance is the position difference between two points. What's the absolute distance of New York? What's the absolute distance of your house? Do you understand why the question makes no sense? --Bowlhover (talk) 17:37, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Come on, not the same thing at all. In certain models of the Universe it makes perfect sense to talk about the absolute potential at a point — it's the potential difference between that point and the "point at infinity". For example, if space is asymptotically flat, and electrically neutral on the average, then I'm pretty sure this is well-defined (I don't know GR well enough to be sure there are no gotchas hiding in there somewhere). The "absolute distance of your house" relative to the point at infinity would always be infinity, but this is not true for electrical potential. --Trovatore (talk) 20:01, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Trovatore, you are also conflating a "really convenient reference-point" with an "absolute reference-point."
A large number of mathematical formulae can be dramatically simplified if their definite integral is written with one limit set to infinity. This is called an improper integral. You're a mathematically-inclined individual! You already know this. This choice for the limit of integration can make the computation easier, especially for many of the potential functions we find in real-world problems.
However, solving the improper integral doesn't change the definition of potential-difference: it just asks us to consider the conceptual idea that a potential difference converges when considered across large distances. Nothing about that observation changes anything. The choice to use "a point that is very far away" as the reference-point is still totally arbitrary. The fact that the integral does converge is an important detail: it means that the potential energy functions we normally encounter are non-pathological. They frequently have radial symmetry. And so on. These observations are important to the physics! But they don't make the definitions change.
Nimur (talk) 21:18, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, OK, now this has become more of a philosophical argument than a scientific or mathematical one. If potentials are well-defined relative to the point at infinity, but that does not qualify as an "absolute reference point", then what, if anything, would qualify? In the hypothesized case (flat, electrically neutral universe), it's the same for all observers, or at least all observers in our universe, right? How much more "absolute" than that do you want to get? I think we're flirting with Scholasticism here. --Trovatore (talk) 21:25, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
You bring up an interesting point; but one that only holds for those non-pathological, well-behaved functions we talk about in basic physics, like the coulomb potential. If we want to build a mathematical framework that is useful for more general problems - both real and theoretical potential functions - we need to stick to our definitions very carefully. I'm not just defending the definition for the sake of being argumentative!
For example, the Yukawa potential generalizes the Coulomb potential. In the general form, its improper integral does not always converge. Or consider the magnetic vector potential, or any other field that may represent a non-conservative potential. As you can see, there are potentials - real and theoretical - for which two observers at infinity could disagree about magnitude!
If we were to stretch the definition of the word "absolute," or if we were to assume that "a point at infinite distance" is the universal reference point, then we would not be able to mathematically describe many real observations. We would not be able to mathematically explore theoretical potential fields that represented anisotropic or inhomogeneous interactions. We need to stick to the mathematical definitions so that we can consider real, testable hypotheses for a more general class of problems than simple electrostatics. We could, with equally valid abuse of notation, stretch the meaning of "absolute" to define an inertial reference frame for which the Lorentz factor is equal to unity. It's "absolute" with respect to a specific problem-setup! Obviously you see why this is not "absolute" at all, for an entire category of interesting physics problems!
You asked "what, if anything, would qualify as absolute?" ... Nothing. Nothing qualifies as absolute. This isn't simply a regurgitation of "physics establishment" dogma: it's a real thing that we have to be aware of when we frame our problems with mathematical models.
Nimur (talk) 21:57, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, so if "nothing qualifies as absolute" , my question is, is this a contingent or a priori truth? That is, is there any possible world in which there would be absolutes? If not, can you explain what work the word "absolute" is doing, and why we don't simply redefine it to be more useful, by referring to some property that is possibly (even if not actually) instantiated? On the other hand, if it's a contingent truth, then can you explain in what counterfactual situation you would call something absolute? That would help me understand what you mean by the word. --Trovatore (talk) 23:46, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Sure: there are a lot of abstract, non-physically-realizable absolutes. Most of them are pretty abstract. For example, the total ordering of the set of all integers is an absolute: two is absolutely larger than one; there is no "relative" scheme in which two is smaller than one or equal to one. This absolute relationship follows from our definitions of what integers are.
The cardinality of the reals is absolutely larger than the cardinality of the integers. There is no conceivable hypothetical universe in which this is untrue. This is an absolute relationship between two entities that directly follows from the definition of those entities.
I think it's no coincidence that I'm readily able to find mathematical abstractions that form absolute relationships, but that I'm unable to contrive good examples of any physical manifestations of absolute relationships.
Nimur (talk) 23:58, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
(ec) Sure, you can define the reference point to be infinity, and then call the resulting potential difference an "absolute voltage". I don't really care what term you call it. It remains true that 1) voltage is, by definition, a potential difference, 2) infinity is no better or worse than any other reference point, and 3) if I define voltage to be 10 volts plus whatever you think it is, no physical prediction about the world would change. --Bowlhover (talk) 22:01, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, it's "better" than any other reference point in at least one way; namely, in the hypothesized situation, it can be defined independently of any artifact or of the observer. Yes, you can also say that about "take the potential difference to infinity, and then add 10V"; it's "better" than that one in the sense of being more naturally motivated. --Trovatore (talk) 23:46, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
To reset the philosophy here, my question wasn't meant to be merely "is voltage as the term is conventionally used provided with an absolute zero value", though that has been answered and it is interesting that it is only defined in relative terms. It's also not meant to be one of whether we can define a purely arbitrary zero, a ceremonial platinum-iridium Leyden jar that they can keep in that place in France where they have the standard kilogram. Rather what I really want to get at is whether there is a universal standard reproducible procedure whereby we can work out a zero voltage point that would be the same whoever referenced data by it. If such a thing exists, then voltage is not purely relative, at least in my opinion.
Now, for gravitational potential, I think it's pretty clear there is such a point. Given access to any black hole in the cosmos, you could measure the exact position of its event horizon, then measure the exact velocity of a probe dropped from your position as it approaches it. Given access to any neutron star you could use a probe to measure where the photon sphere is located, and measure the distance dropped to it. These things are impractical, not impossible. By contrast, I'm not sure if measuring gravity "at infinity" is possible because whichever way you look there are more stars. (N.B. I am assuming that the event horizon of a black hole in a cosmic void would be smaller than one at the center of a galaxy made from the same mass; if that's wrong please enlighten me!) For electrical potential, I still don't know any method other than "at infinity" exists, and we know how extreme the voltages in space can be even quite far from the sun. Wnt (talk) 22:06, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

September 2[edit]

Light, momentum, and refraction[edit]

We had the "momentum of light" topic ago: When a beam of light hits a mirror, it transfers momentum, so at least a very light near-perfect mirror could be pushed around by bright light.

Now, what about refraction? Let's say a beam of light, coming in from the left, hits a prism and gets refracted:

=>==/  \

This time, the momentum doesn't change sign, but still changes direction: from horizontal to diagonal. Does the "missing momentum" end up in the prism? (I suspect it does; it has to go somewhere. With enough beam power, the prism could levitate - at least in theory.)

That momentum change would point up and slightly to the right. However, there are two refraction events: one, when entering the prism, and two, when leaving. Both times, the only thing to act on is the part of the surface through which the beam enters/exits. What exactly does the light act on? The glass molecules?

For a conducting medium, I'd guess the free electrons. However, the conductors I know (metals, graphite) are either opaque or reflective, not transparent. The transparent materials I know (glass, plastic) do not provide free electrons. Does the light act on the bound electrons instead?

Also, entering a prism, the light will get slowed down. Does the loss of speed translate into another momentum transfer, pushing the glass surface in (which would be the only momentum transfer if the light hits at right angles)?

    |   |
=>==| = |======

Would this glass cube get pushed to the right by the momentum transfer alone (i.e. even if we assume that it doesn't reflect any light) ? - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 06:40, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

It wouldn't push the cube; when exiting, the original momentum would be restored. One question solved. - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 06:48, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

I thinking it would be noted that the resonance of the light is always been only when the light had a mirrory (зеркальность), so the absolute reflection and absolute refraction always had the mirrory (зеркальность).--Alex Sazonov (talk) 07:15, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

If in nature had an absolute optical environment, so that the light is been able to reach their absolute values!--Alex Sazonov (talk) 15:49, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Note: The original thread was [7]. I'd been thinking I ought to finally set up a proper VPN before ... [this space intentionally left blank] ... but procrastinated. But I'd also welcome further discussion/explanation of what was said there. Wnt (talk) 14:53, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Optical Refraction that causes the path of a light beam to bend where it crosses the interface between two media (e.g. air and glass) in which it has different velocities and therefore different wavelengths is more intuitively understood from the wave-view of light than the particle-view. Thus the analogy: "Imagine a marching band as they march at an oblique angle from pavement (a fast medium) into mud (a slower medium). The marchers on the side that runs into the mud first will slow down first. This causes the whole band to pivot slightly toward the normal (make a smaller angle from the normal)." The particle-view though arguably valid tends to lose sight of the finite width of every light ray, making refraction harder to explain. However it is useful when considering the momentum of light as the OP is doing. The prism gains Angular momentum in the direction opposite to the bending of the beam that passes through it. The mechanical action and reaction occur in the electron clouds of the surface molecules of the prism. This would also be the case in a prism made of a solid transparent conductor such as Indium tin oxide. (talk) 15:27, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
The light do transfer momentum to the prism when it is refracted. The photons are mainly interacting with the electrons, but since they are bound the momentum is transfered to the atoms and to the prism. This phenomenon is the working principle of optical tweezers, so you will find a more thorough explanation in that article. Ulflund (talk) 16:20, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
For light entering a different refractive index, it is going to have some reflection back off the surfaces. For your perpendicular case the light will be reflected directly back, and this will increase the momentum transferred to the glass block. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 20:41, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

I have a question, does the light can do reflecting and refracting himself by himself?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 16:14, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Photons do not interact directly with other photons, but in a non-linear optical medium they can indirectly do so. In high power lasers the phenomenon of self-focusing, where the high intensity changes the refractive index differently in different positions, thus resulting in refraction. Finally two-photon physics is the field studying interactions between photons and photons in vacuum, although this only occur through higher order where one photon first turns into a fermion anti-fermion pair. Ulflund (talk) 16:31, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
The double-slit experiment start reading here is fundamental to understanding how light can interfere with itself. (talk) 03:47, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Sense of the nature of physical-chemical phenomena[edit]

Could the nature of a physical-chemical phenomenon to refute anther nature physical-chemical phenomenon?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 11:10, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

The verb to refute means to contradict in words someone's argument, which I thinkfirst thought is not what you are asking about. I understand understood your question as "Could one physical-chemical system in equilibrium disturb another system in equilibrium?" The first issue to answer is whether there is a way to expose the systems to each other without disrupting the equilibrium of either. For example, the Mechanical equilibrium of two children on a Seesaw and the Dynamic equilibrium of a certain reversible chemical reaction in seawater are necessarily independent equilibriums that cannot be tested against one another. Generally speaking, if A and B are elements in equilibrium and they are exposed to another pair C and D of elements in equilibrium, then a reaction in any of these pairs may disrupt both equilibriums: AC, AD, BC or BD. (For "elements" substitute whatever force, concentration, rate, etc. is in equilibrium.) There is also a special case in chemistry of Catalysis where the rate of a chemical reaction, which could be a constituent of some greater equilibrium, is abruptly increased when the substance called the catalyst (itself in self-equilibrium) is introduced. (talk) 14:43, 2 September 2014 (UTC) I apologise for misunderstanding your question!
I believe that, the paragraphs (sections) of physics and paragraphs (sections) of chemistry could never deny each other, both in their unison and as among themselves, because the physics and chemistry always had the mutual of universal knowledge.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 15:27, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Physics and chemistry are studies that overlap, as demonstrated in the articles Physical chemistry and Chemical physics. (talk) 20:58, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

What is been Alex Sazanov's Native Language?[edit]

The name seems like some sort of mock Slavonic, but the "user's" grammar corresponds in no way to any Slavic language. Is been this some sort of joke? μηδείς (talk) 19:54, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

I thought at first that the questions were trolling, then that they were being translated from Russian, but I assumed good faith. It would be interesting to know. Dbfirs 21:37, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
I wonder if it is an Eliza program with the bad grammar to cover up any problems. Dmcq (talk) 22:19, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
язык Стол-ичная ВСЕГДА лучше будет возможно назад в будущее рассмотреть?--Digrpat (talk) 22:25, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Assuming good faith even if only, as Douglas Adams might have said, for the sheer mental exercise of it, it strikes me as not completely impossible that Sazonov might have learned just enough English to be dangerous at some point, extrapolated who-knows-what to invent his own grammatical rules, and these are now fixed ideas that are somewhat refractory to evidence or observation. I do find that his contributions have gotten somewhat less impossible to understand that they were at one time, although whether this is a function of an actual change or merely my exposure to them is difficult to be sure. --Trovatore (talk) 23:12, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
(For what it's worth, this user is blocked on ruwiki. His contributions there appear to be in perfect Russian, but make absolutely no sense: he's spouting scientific gibberish.) -- (talk) 03:57, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Which of these Two Kidney Situations Is Better?[edit]

Out of curiosity--serious question: Is it better for someone (who, for whatever reason, previously lost one kidney) to only have one kidney of his/her own (with his/her own DNA) or to have one kidney of his/her own and one kidney which was donated to him/her from someone else (with someone else's DNA)? Futurist110 (talk) 20:57, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Organ transplantation is major surgery, with all the associated risks. The transplant recipient will likely need to remain on antirejection meds for the rest of his life, with the associated risks and side effects. In contrast, individuals with just one fully-functional kidney are generally just fine. Heck, in unilateral renal agenesis, individuals get by with just one kidney for their entire lives, typically without major medical consequences.
So really, one is asking whether the very tiny risk that an infection, malignancy, or injury could damage a lone kidney is greater than the risks associated with major surgery and long-term immunosuppressant use—and the answer is almost certainly not. (And in many circumstances, there is still the possibility of arranging a transplant after the first kidney starts to go south.) The other issue which arises as well is that donor kidneys are a finite and limited resource; no ethical transplant physician or surgeon is going to 'waste' a donor kidney on someone who doesn't need one. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 21:51, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

September 3[edit]


August 24[edit]

August 28[edit]

Why is Regression analysis called regression analysis?[edit]

Regression means to go back but I don't see what that has to do with regression analysis. (talk) 16:42, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

This is explained in the history section of the article. This came from using the word "regression" for the phenomenon (also known as "regression towards the mean") that children go back to the average relative to their parents. The statistical procedures that came out of this observation have therefore been called "regression". -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 16:50, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
That seems to be basically correct, in light of Regression_analysis#History. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:09, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
There goes my theory that people who do regression analysis are all thumb-suckers who wet the bed at night. :-) StuRat (talk) 00:05, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

August 29[edit]

notation of differentiation versus notation of integration[edit]

We have an article notation for differentiation but no article of notation for integration which is telling. Why? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:14, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Because one is a big enough subject for its own article and the other is a small topic best dealt as a subsection in Integral. Dmcq (talk) 17:58, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
I mostly agree with that, but it doesn't really answer the underlying motivation: why are there several conventions for notation of differentiation still in modern use, but only one for integration (at least restricting to functions of a single real variable)? Put another way, why do we still use sometimes use Newton's notation for derivatives, but not for integrals? I suspect the answer is that the various options for differentiation have different strengths and weaknesses, while in contrast, the integral notation doesn't have any real downsides. Of course, there are a few different notations for different types of integrals, e.g. path integral, double integral, surface integral, Ito integral etc. In that light, it wouldn't be so strange to have an article that mentions each of these briefly. Checking the articles, the notation is fairly consistent, but sometimes in text books the integral symbol gets adorned in different ways, depending on context. SemanticMantis (talk) 21:40, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Let's look at the question in another way: 1/1 = 1^1 = 1^{-1}. 1^{-1} is the inverse of 1/1 but there is only one way to write this. Differentiation on the other hand has many different ways, but the inverse, integration, has one way. Why? (talk) 22:17, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Actually there's an article Integral symbol. I just remembered about that as it describes how the Germans and Russians use much more upright versions. Dmcq (talk) 22:18, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Don't forget the physicists habit of writing the d-whatever right after the integral sign as opposed to after the integrand. YohanN7 (talk) 22:19, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm quite liable to leave it out altogether sometimes ;-) Dmcq (talk) 14:16, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
This mention makes me think of differential geometry, where the integral does not form a notational pairing with a formal variable of integration (as in Exterior derivative#Stokes' theorem on manifolds); it is only over a region of a manifold. This might be relevant in that while it looks similar, it is a distinct notation. —Quondum 20:54, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Ok, let's ask another question. We know that "n" is any number, "b" is any number. Newtonian notation uses "dt". Is "dt" = "dx"? Why? (talk) 16:07, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

I can't quite make out what you are saying but Newtonian notation does not use dx or dt. It assumes a single independent variable, t normally but something else can be assumed instead. For instance \ddot x = -cx describes simple harmonic motion with time as the independent variable but \dot y=y might describe the exponential function with x as the independent variable - but in mechanics it would just be time again. Dmcq (talk) 17:50, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Ok, my situtationsituation is at a Math 31 level, which is a grade 12 calculus course in Alberta. I am stuck on the quotient rule. I need a proof. I believe where I was stuck uses Leibniz notation. I think the quotient rule is one multiplied by another, but I don't understand why. (talk) 20:13, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

This is quite different from your original question. Try reading quotient rule and product rule. —Quondum 01:20, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
That is a poor explanation of my question. Here's another question, why is d over dx? (talk) 01:28, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
The purpose of the reference desk is not to act as a tutoring service, but is primarily to provide references such as I gave you; in particular, you need to be prepared to take the information and links given and extract the information that is relevant to your question. If you cannot frame your questions so that it is clear what information you seek, and especially if you are so dismissive, you can't expect much of a response. You are not demonstrating that you are trying to synthesize the information that you have been given. —Quondum 01:51, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

August 30[edit]

Integers/whole numbers vs decimals[edit]

The advantage of using integers instead of decimals would seem obvious to most (9 mm instead of 0.09 cm, 1500 metres instead of 1.5 kilometres). But is preference for integers/whole numbers over decimals when using SI units an established principal?--Gibson Flying V (talk) 03:22, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

It is more that people like to use a system where their measurements have a whole number part but not be too big and to use the largest unit like that they can. 1500 meters is an example where one tries as far as possible to use the same scale for all ones measurements. In athletics one would say 1500 meters but in a car one might say 1.5 kilometers. Dmcq (talk) 07:31, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Right, but for whatever reason 9mm and 1500m were chosen. Similarly, drinks are in 700ml bottles, not 0.7l bottles, snacks are in 200g packs, not 0.2kg packs, films are 90 minutes, not 1.5 hours. It seems that where integers can be used, they are, and I was curious to know from those knowledgeable in mathematics if this apparent preference has ever been acknowledged anywhere (or does it just go without saying).--Gibson Flying V (talk) 07:40, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Note that 9 mm = 0.9 cm, (not = 0.09 cm). Integers are more elementary and were historically used before fractions, and so an integer number of subunits were preferred to fractions of larger units. The prefix c = 0.01 is usually considered part of the unit, cm = 0.01 m, rather than part of the number, 0.9c = 0.009 . Of course 0.9 cm = 0.9c m. Bo Jacoby (talk) 20:25, 30 August 2014 (UTC).

  • Medical professionals are taught to avoid working with decimals, particularly when measuring dosages.[8][9][10][11][12]
  • The UK Metric Association's Measurement units style guide says, "Use whole numbers and avoid decimal points if possible - e.g. write 25 mm rather than 2.5 cm."
  • In his book entitled The Fear of Maths: How to Overcome It Steve Chinn opens the chapter entitled "Measuring" with I am sure that most people would rather avoid decimals and fractions. This is the reason we have "pence" rather than "one hundredths of a pound". The metric system allows us to avoid decimals by using a prefix instead of a decimal point. If £1 is the basic unit of money, then 1 metre is now the basic unit of length. The metre is too long for some measurements, so we use prefixes, as in "millemetre" as a way of dealing with fractions of a metre.
  • This article cites the Australian construction industry's standardisation on millemetres for all measurements in 1970 as having saved it 10-15% in construction costs due to the eilimination of errors associated with decimals.
That's all I could find so far.--Gibson Flying V (talk) 01:12, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Absurd or meaningless rate[edit]

I couldn't decide what desk to post this question to. It's kind of a logical/mathematical question but it's also a semantic/linguistic question, so if this is the wrong place to ask this question, please forgive.

Consider the following statements: 1) "I can run fast, up to 10 miles an hour" 2) "I can run at least one mile in at least an hour"

The first statement refers to a maximum possible speed or rate or ratio. But the second statement appears to be absurd or meaningless (I think). Can someone explain to me in a quasi-systematic way *why* the second statement is meaningless.--Jerk of Thrones (talk) 06:51, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

The Humanities reference desk would probably have been the right place for a question like this.
The first asserts that you can run at that speed for a short distance at least. The second is not meaningless, it says you can run one whole mile but sets no limit on the speed. The meaningless bit is because of the very reasonable expectation that the speaker actually meant something more otherwise they wouldn't have said so many unnecessary words, that implies they made a mistake in what they said. In English that sort of sentence can easily be the result of a common habit of duplicating a superlative and one would suppose they just made a mistake and meant "I can run at least one mile in an hour", but there may be some other explanation depending on the circumstances. Dmcq (talk) 07:21, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
It is absurd because it seems as if it should be a statement about how fast someone can run, but isn't. It could be paraphrased as 'I can run for some unspecified distance of a mile or more - but it will take me an hour or more to do it.' It isn't actually meaningless, just less informative than it first appears. AndyTheGrump (talk) 07:24, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I think the odd part is claiming one can move a mile in a period of time without any upper limit. Unless the person is infirm, that should be true of everyone. Of course, just what constitutes "running" is open for debate, but most wouldn't call a mile in an hour to be a run at all, only a slow walk. If you said it as "I can travel at least a mile in at least an hour", then that might be a reasonable statement from somebody with some type of injury, or carrying a heavy load. StuRat (talk) 02:35, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Running vs. walking isn't defined by the speed, but by the gait. When walking you have 1-2 feet on the ground at any time, when running you have 0-1. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 07:50, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
It's defined by both: [13]. There's not much point to using a running gait when moving that slowly. Even joggers move faster than that. StuRat (talk) 14:45, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
The meaninglessness comes with both the over-generalization of the sentence (mentioned above, effectively weakening the statement to "I can run 1 mile before I die") and the contrast with the listener's expectation (" at least one hour? That doesn't help one bit").
Advertisers do this a lot, throwing a heap of positive-sounding phrases which don't actually synergize at the audience. ("Save up to 50%, and more" is the textbook example. It could be 50%, 99%, or only 1%, and due to the illogical structure of their promises, they didn't really lie even if most customers save much less than 50%.
Some politicians use similar patterns, usually for similar reasons (to suggest, rather than actually make, promises).
Sometimes employed for comedy ("A messy death is the last thing that could happen to you" – literally) or by a "lawful" character who would never lie. TV Tropes calls it a "false reassurance" . - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 10:43, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
That's a good one. Absolutely true but conveying no information. I like those in my speech, like 'If I don't go to sleep I'll never wake up in the morning'. I think there's a term for those but I've forgotten it. Dmcq (talk) 11:07, 1 September 2014 (UTC)


I read the article Coequalizer, and feel a little bit stupid, because even after repeatedly thinking about it, it evades my grasp.

The article tells me:

In the category of sets, the coequalizer of two functions f, g : XY is the quotient of Y by the smallest equivalence relation ~\sim such that for every x\in X, we have f(x)\sim g(x).[1] In particular, if R is an equivalence relation on a set Y, and r1, r2 are the natural projections (RY × Y) → Y then the coequalizer of r1 and r2 is the quotient set Y/R.

Firstly I have trouble understanding what the smallest equivalence relation is. I assume, it's the finest?

To make a simple example, assume X=Y is the set of real numbers and f(x)=|x| and g(x)=x. What would be the coequalizer? (talk) 13:08, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Yes, smallest means finest. The term smallest is justified by thinking of an equivalence relation as a set of pairs. Then the smallest one with property X is the intersection of all equivalence relations with property X.
Another way to view it is to start with f(x) \sim g(x) for all x, then make it reflexive and symmetric and close under transitivity.
Using your example, for every nonnegative x, x = f(-x) \sim g(-x) = -x, so we start with x \sim -x for all x. Of course, we also add symmetry and reflexivity. Normally we'd need to close under transitivity, but this is already transitive. So now we take the quotient of the reals by this, which gets us a set which can be naturally identified with the nonnegative reals.-- (talk) 14:38, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Excuse me, it really looks like I have some extraordinarily mental block on that subject. Please tell me what the morphism of this coequalizer would be. (talk) 14:57, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure what morphism you're asking for. The equivalence relation from your example is given by x \sim y if x = y or x = -y. We get the coequalizer by taking the quotient of the reals by this, so the coequalizer is the set \{ \{x,-x\} \ : \ x \in \mathbb{R}_{\ge 0}\}. The natural identification I mentioned earlier is given by \{x,-x\} \mapsto x.-- (talk) 17:04, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you so far. I guess my problem is some misunderstanding deep inside my head, probably mixing limits and colimits. At least I now have an example that is not tainted by this fault inside my brain. Thanks. (talk) 20:18, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Got it! I finally got my brain bug fixed. Having been trained on resolving equations, my mind was tied on thinking about the domain, but, as the name co-equalizer strongly suggests, we are rather forcing equality on the codomain. Nice koan. (talk) 08:53, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
{{reflist-talk}} added here for clarity (talk) 11:58, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
  1. ^ Barr, Michael; Wells, Charles (1998). Category theory for computing science (PDF). p. 278. Retrieved 2013-07-25. 

August 31[edit]

Trilateral symmetry[edit]

My question relates to a hypothetical sentient lifeform based on trilateral symmetry. Assume their mathematics to be base-9 (since they have 3 digits on each of their 3 appendages; the only reason humans created the decimal system is that we happened to be created with ten "digits").  —The question is: Are irrational numbers such as π and φ irrational for all base systems –in the sense that they cannot be expressed with a finite set of ordinal digits, (or whatever the proper terminology is)? Does this relate to Commensurability, and would this be applicable to all number-base systems (specifically, base-3 and base-9)?  —I might not be expressing myself clearly, but hopefully you get the idea. A second (tangentially related) question might best be asked on the computing or science desk, but I'll give it a try here: is there such a thing as a trinary computer based on (null, +/-); translated as (0,1,2) or base-3 (?)     ~: (talk) 11:08, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Actually, humans developed place-value arithmetic three times, with three different bases. The first place-value system was that of the ancient Babylonians, with base 60. The Mayans used base 20. We use so-called Arabic numerals, which were actually invented in India before being adopted by the Arabs, with base 10. The connection of the arithmetic base with evolutionary anatomy would appear to be sort of random. There are still a few vestiges of Babylonian mathematics, such as 60 minutes to a degree and 60 seconds to a minute, reflecting the use of Babylonian mathematics in astronomy and astrology. Except for that specialized use, Babylonian mathematics did not displace the use of non-place-value systems such as Egyptian, Greek, and Roman numerals. It had the advantage (as do Arabic numerals) of permitting calculations with an arbitrary amount of precision. (That is, you can always carry out a long division to as many decimal places or sexagesimal places as you need, which is important for calculating astronomical events.) It had the disadvantage that it was difficult to memorize the addition and multiplication tables.
However, the question about rational, irrational, and transcendental (incommensurable) numbers has already been answered, which is that rationality does not depend on the base. The axiomatic formulation of mathematics, with Peano postulates, Dedekind cuts, etc., does not depend on the base. Robert McClenon (talk) 19:21, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
The definition of irrational is that such a number cannot be expressed as the ratio of two integers. Since being an integer doesn't depend on base, being irrational does not depend on base. The fact that the decimal expansion of irrationals is infinite without repetition is a theorem. If you go through the proof, you'll see that it can be repeated in whatever integer base you like. So yes, π's expansion is infinite without repetition in base 9.
Since being irrational (and similarly, being rational) does not depend on your base, commensurability does not depend on your base. Otherwise, I don't see much of a way in which it's related.-- (talk) 12:58, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
(E.C.) Yes, they are still irrational. An irrational number is one that can't be expressed as a fraction -- or ratio -- of two integers, and this definition is irrespective of base. One consequence of this definition, discussed in Irrational number#Decimal expansions, is that an irrational number cannot be expressed as a terminating or repeating expansion in any natural base (decimal, binary, ternary, whatever), while a rational number can be expressed as a terminating or repeating expansion in every base, although any given rational number may have an infinite but repeating expansion in one base and a terminating one in another. For instance, 1/3 = 0.333333... in base 10 and 0.010101... in base 2, but 0.3 in base 9 and 0.1 in base 3.
For base 3, see our articles Ternary numeral system, Balanced ternary, and Ternary computer. -- ToE 13:09, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, everyone, for your informative replies and links!   ~: (talk) 00:16, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Defining a perfect number[edit]

Go to Perfect number. It says:

In number theory, a perfect number is a positive integer that is equal to the sum of its proper positive divisors, that is, the sum of its positive divisors excluding the number itself (also known as its aliquot sum). Equivalently, a perfect number is a number that is half the sum of all of its positive divisors (including itself) i.e. σ1(n) = 2n.

It's a provable theorem that the 2 definitions equate. But what I want to know is why the latter definition is preferred by some modern mathematicians. Georgia guy (talk) 13:42, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

I can't speak for all of those modern mathematicians but moving out any one exception from a definition looks well worth trading in an additional factor somewhere. (talk) 14:22, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
While I would not think of a uniform exclusion as an exception, there is a pleasing symmetry between:
  • A perfect number is a number for which its positive divisors sum to twice the number, and
  • A perfect number is a number for which the reciprocals of its positive divisors sum to 2.
The second statement becomes rather awkward when the reciprocal of the number itself is omitted. —Quondum 19:15, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Total degree of elementary symmetric polynomials[edit]

One can think of the Fibonacci numbers as the number of integer solutions to x1, x2, ..., xn ≥ 0, x1+x2, x2+x3, ... xn-1+xn ≤ 1, the number solutions being Fn+2. Define S(n,k) as the number of integer solutions to x1, x2, ..., xn ≥ 0, x1+x2, x2+x3, ... xn-1+xn ≤ k. So S(n,0)=1, S(n,1)=Fn+2. (S(n,k) is the value at k of the Ehrhart polynomial of polytope defined by the first set of inequalities.) I computed S for n and k ≤ 7 and found a matching set of values in OEISA050446, but I don't understand the description of the entry "total degree of n-th-order elementary symmetric polynomials in m variables," Also, some insight on how S(n, k) might be related to the degree of an elementary symmetric polynomial would be appreciated. --RDBury (talk) 19:45, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

September 1[edit]

Addition help[edit]

Hi guys

How can you do 1+1 WITHOUT a calculator?

tks — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:01, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Principia Mathematica 54-43.png
Perhaps this from Principia Mathematica might help? ;-) Dmcq (talk) 15:56, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
If you're asking how to teach children to add, the usual first step is to take one object, say an apple, then add another object, then have them count the total. Repeat this with various objects, and eventually they will understand that if you add 1 + 1 of any objects, you always get 2. StuRat (talk) 16:20, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Unless of characteristic 2Face-smile.svg YohanN7 (talk) 16:47, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Not Unless, but rather Including when: that 2 = 0 for characteristic 2 does not change the validity of 1 + 1 = 2 (2 is normally defined as 1 + 1 in the general case). —Quondum 18:06, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

September 2[edit]

September 3[edit]


August 29[edit]

Black and Jew arguing[edit]

Many years ago, I remember reading a novel or story or play where an African American man and a Jewish man were having a heated debate over whose people had been treated worse throughout history. The tone was broadly comedic, even somewhat silly, with each man trying to "one up" the other one. The only specific line I remember was when the Jewish guy says something like "my people were oppressed by the Tsar Nicholas!" or something along those lines.

I'm thinking it might have been in a novel by Ishmael Reed and I googled it but didn't find what I was looking for. Admittedly, I wasn't quite sure what to Google, exactly.

Anyone know what book this scene is from?--Jerk of Thrones (talk) 06:32, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Not entire sure, but this sounds vaguely like the barbershop scenes from Coming to America. --Jayron32 09:36, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Fall of the Roman Empire Time Period[edit]

At what time period do people generally mean when they refer to the "Fall of the Roman Empire"? Is it the time period during which the Eastern half and Western half split? Is it the time period during which the Eastern half of the Roman Empire became the Byzantine Empire? Is it the time period during which the Eastern (Byzantine) Empire fell to the Ottoman Turks? And why does this page say that the East is considered to be more civilized simply because it's influenced by Greek culture? What would make the non-Hellenized Western culture uncivilized? Are Western countries "civilized" now compared to the Eastern European countries? (talk) 11:02, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Wow. You ask a lot of questions. Lets start from the beginning. 1) Usually, they mean the Fall of the Western Roman Empire to Odoacer in 476 when they speak of the "fall of the Roman Empire". This sort of thinking dates to The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon, often regarded as the seminal work of Western History. Whether or not this perspective is correct is a debate for another day, but Gibbon is the source of that thinking. 2) The dating of the "start" of the Byzantine Empire is not nailed down to one specific date. The fall of the Western half of the empire is commonly used, but other times cited as the transition from the "Eastern Roman Empire" to the "Byzantine" empire include the rule of Heraclius, who reorganized the Eastern state in a way that some consider a fundamental break from the older Roman empire; or occasionally the rule of Justinian I, who is sometimes consider the "Last of the Roman Emperors". It should be noted that this sort of thinking; that the Byzantine Empire was somehow a fundamentally different state than the Roman Empire, exists only in relatively modern historiography. The Byzantine Empire never called itself that. It just called itself the Roman Empire. 3) I have no idea where you are reading that the Byzantine Empire was more "civilized" I did a text search, and the word civilized never once appears in the text of the article you linked. If you could quote the sentence or direct us to the passage you are referring to, that'd be great! 4) Regarding western vs. eastern cultures and being "civilized"; I'm not sure there is any way to answer that question in the guise of the mission of this desk. --Jayron32 11:34, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Never mind that part. I thought I saw the term. I may have misread it. No idea how the term "civilized" popped up when it should have meant "Hellenized". (talk) 11:50, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
It's easy to find "more populous and more prosperous" for the eastern half of the Empire - which is one of the reasons Diocletian picked the eastern half and Constantine ruled from Constantinople, not from Rome. The West also suffered more from "barbarian incursions" - the major conflict in the East was with Persia, also a relatively developed power. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:46, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, but that's like ancient history. Somehow, later in history, the West gained a lot of power and spread across the world, including the Americas. The United States and the Soviet Union were considered "superpowers" during the Cold War. I remember watching a funny movie clip "Duck And Cover (1951)" in high school. The '50s must have been a frightening era. (talk) 13:21, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Not so much. The threat was more theoretical than real. It became a little too real during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Actually, McCarthyism was a much worse threat to us Americans. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:54, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
It wasn't the Western Romans that developed the cultures that spread across the world. It was the Western Germanic peoples, among others. While modern cultures represent an admixture of many ancient cultures (Germanic, Latin, Arabic, Greek, Celtic, etc.) at least three of the major world powers in the early modern period (France, Germany, and England) grew out of ancient Germanic peoples (The Franks, Anglo-Saxons, Goths, etc.) and others (Spain, Portugal, etc.) had considerable influence from same (Esp. Visigoths). It wasn't the Romans per se that led to these developments among the west. There are certain theses among historians that having a large, centralized, cohesive imperial state leads to cultural and scientific stagnation, and that conflict among smaller states drives innovation and exploration. If you look at Western Europe, it was among the least cohesive parts of the world for much of the middle ages and early modern period. There's one train of thought that said it was exactly this lack of cohesion that led to it becoming the hegemony that ruled the world during the modern period. --Jayron32 14:30, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Cool. Jayron32, can you cite a source to the part where you said "There are certain theses among historians...". I would like to look them up myself. Sounds interesting. (talk) 19:45, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
I might be mistaken, but I think this is in Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond - a good book to have read anyways, although it tends to piss off the social science people no end ;-). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:16, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
I believe that one does. I think Charles C. Mann also touches on it briefly in his books 1491 and 1493. And I know that Niall Ferguson's book Civilization makes the case rather prominently. --Jayron32 22:43, 29 August 2014 (UTC) -- people could have different times in mind even if they confined themselves to just the Western Roman empire. The empire went through a long "time of troubles" in the 3rd century A.D. (see Crisis of the Third Century) and the empire as re-established afterwards by Domitian and Constantine (the "dominate") was very different from the empire of the first two centuries (the "principate"), with more heavy-handed and intrusive government and tax burdens. In the "dominate" period, the Western Roman empire especially seemed to have great difficulty paying for an army which was barely sufficient to keep the barbarians out. The beginning of the end was the famous Crossing of the Rhine in 406, which marked an invasion of barbarians some of whom could not be expelled -- though there were still some further ups and downs before the final collapse. AnonMoos (talk) 14:46, 29 August 2014 (UTC)


Could you please advise me as to where I can find the PA state and federal guidelines that govern child custody appeals online? I specifically need the timeline for filing the appeal along with the exact guidelines for the petition must contain in an outlined detail for my jurisdiction. I was unable to locate it on the Bar Association, perhaps I was not entering the correct search or needed to be a member. Time is of the essence. I appreciate your prompt response and any suggestion. The law library is not is not a feasible option due to time constraints. Thank you for any suggestions.Croberts8997 (talk) 18:30, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

This is the appropriate document from the Pennsylvania Bar Association website. For detailed advice about your case, you should contact a lawyer - we're not allowed to give legal advice on the Reference Desk. Tevildo (talk) 19:02, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
"Where to find legal requirements" is definitely within our purview, and note that Croberts had already checked the Bar Association website, so he was clearly familiar with them and simply hadn't found the page you linked. Nyttend (talk) 12:52, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Which is why I answered the question rather than deleting it. Tevildo (talk) 18:03, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Exhaustive list + pictures of every single piece of art ever created by Picasso and Dalí[edit]

Does anyone of you know where I can find something as close as possible to that? --Schweinchen (talk) 20:51, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Here is a whole website devoted to Pablo Picasso: LINK. And I hope this is an exhaustive list of Salvador Dali's works: LINK. (talk) 21:40, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
For Dalí, there is a catalogue raisonné with images at (click on "Chronological Index"), but at this point it only reaches up to 1964, and, like most catalogues raisonnés, it only covers one medium of his art (in this case oil paintings). For Picasso, who created in so many media, there exist several catalogues, but I couldn't find any of the more recent ones, with images, online. ---Sluzzelin talk 21:51, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Note that there are probably pieces made by any artist which the public does not have access to, or perhaps even know about. They may have been destroyed, or might be in an attic gathering dust, with an owner oblivious to what it's worth. Or some were painted over. StuRat (talk) 00:08, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

August 30[edit]

Margaret Mead[edit]

I was wondering how many times Margaret Mead stayed in Lake Papakeechie, IN and what did she do/write there? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 2014-08-30T08:43:34‎

Misplaced question moved. Zhaofeng Li [talk... contribs...] 00:48, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Why do you think the answer to your question are anything except "zero" and "nothing at all"? --Jayron32 01:38, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
This, perhaps? ---Sluzzelin talk 01:40, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
What's the Hoosier term for "deja vu all over again"? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:18, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Actually, the answer-pair could not possibly be "zero" and "nothing at all", Jayron32. If she never went there, then the second question has a false premise; to put it another way, "nothing at all" is answer from the Nothing-Something-Everything spectrum, which assumes the answer to the first question was non-zero. (It's already the first day of Spring here, which explains Everything. Or Something. Or possibly Nothing.) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:51, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
If the answer to the first part is "none", then the answer to the second part is either "not applicable" or "the empty set". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:53, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Anyway, she _did_ go there, and did whatever 20-something girls did in Indiana in 1923. I suspect it involved dinner parties, gramophone records, and (gasp) dancing. Probably not cocktails, though, the Volstead Act being in force at that time. Tevildo (talk) 19:55, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

How do people identify the social class of a Christian monk, nun, or cleric?[edit]

What is it called when a devout Christian from a wealthy household gives up everything he owns and pursues a monastic life? Would that be the "Nouveau Poor"? What about the cleric who pursues a career of pastoral work and ends up with a lofty bishop title, and people have to address him with respectful, fancy titles? Are these people part of the same social class as their immediate families? (talk) 02:32, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

That's one way to put it, but "monk" is shorter. I'd go with whatever title the climber reaches, when addressing him. These people might be part of the same class as their families, if their families did the same things. But unless you're in a caste system, it's not where you're from, but where you go. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:07, August 30, 2014 (UTC)
Not that this is much relevant modern day, but there was once this: Estates of the realm. Beside, though some clergy has tons of cash, most monks and whatnot theoretically don't. I'd always assumed that they lived outside the normal class system inasmuch as it still exists (it totally does). Mingmingla (talk) 17:06, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
In case I implied social classes don't exist in "the West", I didn't mean to. Just that social mobility also exists. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:03, August 30, 2014 (UTC)
Historically, Clerics were really "off to one side" of secular social class (neither nobility, nor commoners... but in a social stratification of their own, with bishops and abbots at the top, and village parish priests at the bottom). That said, through most of European history, bishops and abbots were chosen from the younger sons of the landed elite... so "family connections" have played a role, even within clergy. In the US, the social status of a a priest/pastor/minister has tended to be determined by the social status of his congregation. The more prestigious the social status of the congregation as a whole is the more prestigious will be the social status of it's priest, pastor or minister. Blueboar (talk) 22:36, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
In case I implied social mobility is easy, I didn't mean to. Nepotism, tribalism and racism also exist. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:47, August 30, 2014 (UTC)
See Estates of the realm for the concept of the Three Estates or basic three social classes: the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners. American clergymen's status can sometimes be in reverse of the general pattern that you mention, Blueboar; sometimes a clergyman's prominence for whatever reason attracts people of status. For example, Clarence E. Macartney was extremely well known because of his preaching; although it was already large and well known, First Presbyterian Church in downtown Pittsburgh jumped quite a bit in social status when he became their minister. Nyttend (talk) 13:42, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

German peace initiative of 1916[edit]

Do we have an article on this? And if not (or even if we do) where can I read more about this? DuncanHill (talk) 13:29, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

We may not have an article about it. Here is a book of primary documents related to the peace offer. -- Cam (talk) 13:55, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
It seems to have been in reply to a letter by Woodrow Wilson. The "Lansdowne Letter" is indirectly related. AnonMoos (talk) 22:52, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Architectural terminology[edit]

What's the unknown bit?

What's the technical term for the vertical board below the sill of an oriel window? (See picture). Bargeboard and fascia board seem to apply to roofs rather than windows. Thanks in advance for your help. Tevildo (talk) 15:53, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

That is the corbel table, which goes above the corbel (the supporters). (talk) 17:13, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Not according to Corbel Table, I'm afraid. Tevildo (talk) 19:23, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
How about "courses"? Link: (talk) 20:23, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I found an English Heritage listing for a building, 1 Bridge Street, Chester which has a similar feature... "The corner turret has 3 good pargeted panels beneath a mullioned 4-light canted casement" [14]. Also the Ancient House, Ipswich (although they are bay windows rather than oriels proper): "The panels below the bays have pargetted figures representing America, Africa, Asia and Europe". Either English Heritage didn't know either, or they really are just called "panels". Alansplodge (talk) 21:53, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
"Panels" will probably do, thanks. I need to complain to my landlord about them, so I didn't want to use the wrong word. :) Tevildo (talk) 22:20, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Incidentally, in the Bridge Street photo, is that the old market cross that used to be in the Roman Garden in Pepper Street? When did they move it? Tevildo (talk) 22:27, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I'm afraid that I don't know - I haven't been to Chester since I was 13. Here is a better photograph though. Alansplodge (talk) 20:45, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! It was moved in 1975, according to Chester High Cross. Things don't seem to have changed enormously since my young day - Walton's was there in the early 70's, certainly. Tevildo (talk) 22:02, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

How do people receive communion at a megachurch?[edit]

Do people ever receive communion at a megachurch, and if so, how do they do it? What about the people who watch church service at home on their TVs? Do megachurches hold any opinion about people who do not receive communion because they are at home, watching the service on TV? (talk) 19:51, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Megachurches are a Protestant phenomenon, and communion is a Catholic ritual. So megachurches don't do communion at all, AFAIK. (talk) 19:58, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Many protestant churches do celebrate communion, so you're wrong there. I'd imagine that the larger the church, the more communion servers you'd need. They'd serve it like any other church, there'd just be more people passing out the bread and wine/juice. You can find a full description of the various methods of celebrating communion at the article titled Eucharist; if you know the denomination of the "megachurch" in question, you can find out what they do. --Jayron32 20:06, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) Most mainstream protestant denominations celebrate communion, even if it's not as central to their liturgy as it is in Catholicism. I grew up Methodist, and we had communion once a month. We knelt at the communion rail, and were given a piece of sliced white bread cut into small squares, and a shot-glass of blackcurrant juice. I later went to a (large, but far from a megachurch) non-denominational evangelical church for a while, and communion was very rare, but it happened occasionally. They had a number of servers, probably the elders, bring a basket of small pieces of bread and a cup of blackcurrant juice to the end of each pew, they were passed down the pew and whoever wanted to partake did so. If megachurches celebrate communion, I suspect the latter method would be more likely. --Nicknack009 (talk) 20:11, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Are there megachurches' opinions on the inclusion of TV viewers in the Eucharist? (talk) 20:30, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Origin of the Eucharist notes that the founder of christianity instituted the eucharist by telling the persons present what to do with one loaf and one cup. The 3rd image here shows Pastor Pam Bryan administering communion at Cedar Park Assembly of God, Bothell, Washington. This is a megachurch of 1,412 members. There is no sign of restrictive privacy nor of human blood or pieces of flesh that would result from Transubstantiation. (talk) 21:16, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
From your last remark, I suspect that you are misunderstanding Transubstantiation: "The Catholic Church teaches that the substance or reality of the bread is changed into that of the body of Christ and the substance of the wine into that of his blood, while all that is accessible to the senses remains unchanged" (from the lead paragraph of our article). However, rejection of Transubstantiation was a main issue of the Protestant Reformation, so you wouldn't expect an evangelical Christian to believe in it. Alansplodge (talk) 21:41, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I understand the bit about "all that is accessible to the senses remains unchanged". I also understand that there were 95 issues that launched the Reformation and none of them concerns communion. (talk) 04:13, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Plenty of Protestant denominations do communion, they just don't buy the transubstantiation bit. Jesus said "Do this in remembrance of me." That's the part that Protestants honor. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:07, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
A conveyor system could work. Not saying it is or isn't currently used, just an idea. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:53, August 30, 2014 (UTC)
Sort of an outdated and clunky idea, now that I think about it. A team of those tiny drone helicopters is probably more the way of the future. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:58, August 30, 2014 (UTC)
In the distant future, Christ's body will probably be transubstantiated and teletransported into the living room (or virtual reality helmet). InedibleHulk (talk) 23:05, August 30, 2014 (UTC)
Google the subject "communion at megachurch", and you will see various ways the churches handle the obvious logistical issues this ritual would present. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:09, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't see the problem. Reformed and Pentecostal churches often celebrate communion by preparing individual glasses of wine and tiny squares of bread which are loaded onto trays/plates and distributed by deacons. Bigger church, more deacons, problem solved. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 08:51, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
How many megachurches have deacons? Since so many are self-founded and not part of any denomination, I'm left wondering how many of them have no ordained positions and run only with paid staff, including a preacher who's basically just the CEO who talks weekly. To answer the original question, go to (the authors examined a lot of American megachurches, and this book publishes the results) and run a search for "communion". Among the more relevant results is that it's definitely celebrated less often (page 94) and abandoned completely by some (28), and the authors give an example on 97 of a megachurch where communion is functionally replaced by a person operating a little station among many, where you can come and get some if you feel like it. Nyttend (talk) 13:15, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I now have the image of a bunch of guys with trays and paper hats going up and down the aisles of a Mega Church yelling "Body of Christ!... gettchyer Body and Blood of Christ here!"... like beer and peanut vendors at a baseball game. Blueboar (talk) 13:28, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
That's pretty funny, but how many non-Catholic churches believe in transubstantiation? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:50, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
The various Anglican/Episcopal Churches believe in transubstantiation... and (I think) the Lutherans. These denominations may have subtle differences in the fine dogmatic detail over exactly what occurs during transubstantiation, but the basic concept is there. Blueboar (talk) 12:47, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Blueboar, Anglo-Catholics do espouse it, but "mainstream" Anglicans generally don't; Article XXVIII of the Articles of Religion says, "Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions." [15]. Martin Luther wrote in On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church (1520): "Since then it is not necessary to lay it down that a transubstantiation is effected by the operation of divine power, it must be held as a figment of human opinion; for it rests on no support of Scripture or of reason." [16] (p.12) so we can conclude that he was against the idea. Alansplodge (talk) 09:43, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
The Orthodox churches believe in something similar if not identical (particulary compared to typical Protestant views). Protestantism is actually the anomaly for downplaying or denying the Real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Ian.thomson (talk) 15:56, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
And the Protestant view is that Jesus' words were symbolic rather than literal. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:30, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Just for the sake of clarity, note that "transubstantiation" and "Real Presence" are not synonymous terms. Lutherans, for example, believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, but prefer the notion of sacramental union to that weird Aristotelian transubstantiation thing Catholics believe in. Evan (talk|contribs) 18:02, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
That idea reminds me of something that's a big practical matter — open communion is basically the only possible route to take. Closed communion is ridiculously difficult to practice in a megachurch context, although its obscurity in 21st century America means that tons of megachurch leaders are probably completely unfamiliar with the concept. In the latter situation, members of the congregation and outsiders known by the leaders are the only ones who participate; imagine how difficult this would be, especially in megachurches that don't have a concept of formal membership. Excommunication, moreover, would be impossible to practice if anyone can come and get some, although the obscurity of church discipline in 21st century America means that it, too, is probably largely unknown. Nyttend (talk) 13:53, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Surely it depends what you mean by closed communion?
The Catholic church is generally accepted to practice closed communion with some complexities as per our article. But in a large church, unless you're famous or happened to be recognised by someone, whether you're a divorced and remarried Catholic, a doctor who still performs abortions, or a Hindu or Muslim or whatever rather than a Catholic, or otherwise someone who's denied communion; it's unlikely you'll be physically denied. It's still generally considered a closed communion since it's clear that these people aren't generally welcome to take communion even if it's not something they can easily enforce. (And from their POV, the person is committing a further sin.) In fact, as I understand it, even if you are recognised it's complicated. Particularly if you aren't an extreme case, you may not be denied straight away, instead advised privately to stop approaching. In fact, they may even make that advice public before they start stopping you. See e.g. [17] [18] [19]
Of course being a member in good standing eligible for communion in a megachurch may be complicated. But I imagine it's possible some may restrict it to those who have sufficently helped fund the planes, mansions, personal servants and other components of the preacher's lavish lifestyle tithed.
Nil Einne (talk) 14:20, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────In Churches that don't acknowledge transubstantiation, closed communion would be a nonsense. This video shows a posh Church of Scotland communion (the actual communion starts at 29ish minutes). Normally those too far back to share the cup are given thimble size glasses of wine, (or grape juice/blackcurrent cordial in the Happy Clappy Churches), passed along the pews in special trays that stop them from sliding around. As the deacons are volunteers, and occasionally press-ganged on the spot, there is no theoretical limit to their number. Does this help? Fiddlersmouth (talk) 19:32, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

It's not either nonsense. In many churches, membership in that particular congregation is required, which includes tithing or at least paying some sort of dues in order to support the expenses of the church - one of which is communion. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:43, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I'd be interested to hear which ones. Here in the UK pretty much all of the protestant Churches that practice communion invite all members of whichever church to partake at the beginning of the rite. Welcoming a Christian who is far from home is a duty, and welcoming newcomers to the neighbourhood is a no-brainer. There is a collection, and communion isn't a three course dinner. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 22:00, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Here in the USA, it's largely smaller independent churches and congregations of smaller, more conservative denominations that practise closed communion or some variation of it; my own church practises a variation, in which a congregational leaders will allow a non-member to commune if they think his faith is similar enough to theirs. I don't know the UK scene, although I expect that the various Presbyterian denominations of Scotland (other than the Kirk) would generally practise some variation of the concept. See communion token — tokens are distributed to members before the communion service, and only people with tokens are allowed to commune. It's theoretically a simple way of practising close communion, although it's not good if you're willing to allow visitors to commune, and someone with a token can of course give it to someone else who wouldn't have been allowed in. Nyttend (talk) 22:57, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
The Communion Token isn't even used by the Wee Frees anymore, and I've never heard of them in use during three generations of my family. The article you quote shows they were of mainly historical interest in 1908 (see references). The main qualification for attending a Free Church communion is the stamina to sit through a one hour sermon. Thanks for the information on the USA. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 00:08, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Except that per our closed communion article, some baptists practice it. And per our Eucharist#Baptist article, baptists don't generally believe in transubstantiation. Similarly our article mentions some Lutheran churches practice closed communion and they don't generally believe in Transubstantiation#Lutheranism either. (I'm lazy to check, but I doubt Confessional Lutheranism are exceptional in believing in transubstantiation. And I'm fairly sure a number of those mentioned under other groups don't believe in transubstantiation either.
As per BB and others, I don't understand why you think closed communion wouldn't occur without believing in transubstantiation. The fact that some Christians may believe that it inviting them to communion is important to "Welcoming a Christian who is far from home is a duty, and welcoming newcomers to the neighbourhood is a no-brainer", doesn't mean all will. Communion can still be regarded as sacramental, or otherwise sufficiently important that it may be reserved for those they regard as sufficiently connected to god, or whatever. It doesn't mean they won't welcome new members (although some may not), simply that they may feel you need to fulfill some requirement before you can partake fully in their service.
As I emphasised, in the particular case of mega-churches, with their frequent emphasis on tithing or donating to the church, and adherance to the prosperity theology, it's possible they may argue communion is something reserved for those who have shown sufficient faith in god by having tithed as much as the church argues is necessary (which may be a percentage perhaps with exceptions for those sufficiently poor). And this could be the case regardless of whether you accept their likely argument that god wants the tithing so the church can do their good work, or you think it's more likely my struck out example.
As I mentioned, they may not do much policing of this policy. However, probably even more so in the case of a megachurch, it's likely faith and believe of adherents and their acceptance of church theology is an important part of how they work. This theology may not be as complicated or extensive as more traditional churches but in the parts they do emphasise, it may still be important. So the members belief that if they want to participate fully they need to fulfill what the church argues is required of them may often be enough.
Yes this may be a lot of 'if's', and I'm not saying it's definitely the case some church has their theology. My point is with over 1300 churches that may qualify in the US alone List of the largest Protestant churches in the United States, it's difficult to rule any possibilities out.
P.S. Even the historic practices would seem to reaffirm the view that there's no particular reason it won't happen without transubstantiation.
Nil Einne (talk) 14:45, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Just a general response to some of the above comments about closed communion, which seem to boil down to Well, how do they enforce it? For the most part, the answer is that churches don't enforce it. It's not a matter of enforcing it. They invite people meeting certain criteria to the communion table, and not those who don't. That in itself makes it "closed communion". No one's going to check your ID; if you want to sneak in and grab a wafer that's up to you, but you're doing it against their will. --Trovatore (talk) 04:28, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

August 31[edit]

religious fanaticism in ancient times[edit]

I was reading Religious fanaticism and I wondered why it didn't mention religions which flourished in ancient times, like ancient greek religion, norse religion or Zoroastrianism. Was there fanaticism in those contexts?--Nickanc (talk) 12:14, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Most of the ancient religious were non-exclusive, either acknowledging the existence of other gods with different geographic, political, or thematic spheres of influence (see Henotheism), identifying foreign gods with their own gods, or, in educated circles, considering all gods as different aspects of the same supreme god. This does not very much lend itself to fanaticism. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 13:18, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
With polytheistic religions, individuals could be very dedicated (even fanatical) in their devotion to a particular god... what was missing was the exclusivity inherent in monotheistic religions. (The fact that I might be fanatically dedicated to Apollo, for example, did not make you "wrong" for being fanatically dedicated to Hera, since it was accepted that both gods existed.) Blueboar (talk) 13:42, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
More than that they existed: it was accepted that both existed and were worthy of worship and dedication. Monolatrism (unfortunately a poor article, devoted largely to advancing a single POV about ancient Israel) says that multiple gods exist, but we should only pay attention to one of them; it would be more likely to produce religious fanaticism than would henotheism, which is what your Apollo devoté practises. Nyttend (talk) 14:03, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Plus, if/when members of non-exclusive religions were fanatic, it's usually treated as political (Roman persecution of other religions, Confucian persecution of foreign religions around the 10th century) or economical (Viking raids of monasteries) instead of religious (even when religious language was used to justify those persecutions). Ian.thomson (talk) 14:13, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
It's possible that we tend to understate this. For example, one of the main charges against Socrates, for which he was sentenced to death, was impiety -- "not believing in the gods of the state". The ancient Hebrews were notoriously intolerant, and Herodotus describes the Egyptians in his time as the most religious people in the world, living lives that were entirely dominated by religion.Looie496 (talk) 14:46, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
The wording of the Ten Commandments entry about having no gods before God implies the existence of other gods. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:47, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I suggest that it does not imply the existence, but rather the supposition of other gods, and regard for them. Other verses outright denies the existence of other gods, saying that they are manifest in no other form than dead stone and wood. Plasmic Physics (talk) 21:45, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Nickanc -- Before the rise of "cosmopolitan empires", most religions were localistic and/or ethnic, closely tied to the details of the way of life of one particular tribal group, or the inhabitants of a small region or city-state. Under those circumstances, most people really didn't care one way or the other about the outlandish religious customs of outlandish foreigners. As empires grew and people belonging to formerly autonomous small groups interacted with people from other groups more and more, there was a process of roughly equating gods in different pantheons (see Interpretatio Graeca and Interpretatio Latina), and many of the old rituals lost their meanings as the ways of life of peoples incorporated into the large empires changed. You could say that it was a good thing that there were relatively few claims to have an exclusive monopoly on truth, and often effective tolerance for other religious systems, but in fact many people felt a tremendous void as old religions offered no real spiritual or moral guidance for living in the new social circumstances, so that many people in the Hellenistic world and the early Roman empire turned to innovative quasi-oriental "mystery religions" or the castrating cult of Cybele etc., and there was also a huge rise in belief in fatalism and astrology (in fact, for a large number of people, astrology pretty much replaced religion). This was the situation in which universalistic "religions of personal salvation" arose, with appeal to the mixed populations of the internally-diverse empires. Christianity and Buddhism are the paradigm examples, but of course there have been many other early competitors and later offshoots. The good thing about religions of personal salvation was that they were not tied to any particularistic local or ethnic identity, they offered guidance relevant to the personal struggles of individual believers in the circumstances in which they found themselves as subjects of a cosmopolitan empire, and they had a solid core of universalistic morality (as opposed to the myths of unedifying petty squabbles among the Greek gods, or Zeus boinking every nymph in sight in animal form, etc.). The bad thing about religions of personal salvation was that they lent themselves much more easily to fanaticism than the old particularistic religions.
P.S. You're quite wrong about Zoroastrianism -- the history of the Sassanid Empire involved a very high degree of religious turbulence as traditional "orthodox" Zoroastrianism and some of its variants and offshoots (such as Zurvanism, Mazdakism, and Manichaeism) went in and out of favor... AnonMoos (talk) 17:01, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Not to entirely disagree with you, AnonMoos, but the claim that "many people felt a tremendous void as old religions offered no real spiritual or moral guidance for living in the new social circumstances" is a rather outdated viewpoint in modern scholarship about Roman-era religion, at least when put in those extreme terms. Ramsay MacMullen and Robin Lane Fox attacked that assumption in the 1980s, arguing that conventional religion was very much alive. There are still scholars who argue that the mystery cults filled a spiritual need that civic cults did not, but from what I gather, they believe the mysteries mainly served as more of a supplement to conventional religion than a replacement for it. (Here I am basing my statements primarily on Romanising Oriental Gods by Jaime Alvar (2008), supplemented by lots of other books I have been reading related to the Greco-Roman cult of Isis. On that same basis, regarding the original question, I mostly agree with the replies already made here, especially Ian.thomson's.) A. Parrot (talk) 19:02, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
A. Parrot -- of course such generalizing statements don't apply with equal force to all members of a complex society. Most of the old civic religious rituals remained in place, and a few new ones were invented (such as acknowledging the genius of the emperor), and some people didn't feel much need for anything else. But it seems pretty clear that many people felt that official religion didn't provide much moral guidance for the problems of their lives. The Iliad was a fine work of literature, and exemplified the aristocratic warrior code of a long-defunct age, but it didn't necessarily have a lot to offer to spiritual seekers in the cities of the Hellenistic kingdoms and the Roman empire, and some were openly scornful of the religious and moral value of tales of the petty squabblings of the Greek gods and Zeus nymph boinkings. The sheer variety of alternative systems embraced by many -- from philosophical schools (Stoicism, Epicureanism, etc.) to orientalizing mystery religions, to fatalism/astrology, to Mithraism, Manichaeism, Gnosticism, "god-fearing", Christianity, etc. etc. -- would seem to indicate that there was significant dissatisfaction with official religion (though of course few refused to participate in traditional rituals if this would imply political disloyalty or cutting oneself off from society, unless they embraced strict monotheism). AnonMoos (talk) 08:09, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I tend to agree that the move toward unconventional religions was motivated by a feeling that they offered something civic cults did not. But MacMullen and Lane Fox have, from what I gather, argued that civic cults still mattered to people. They didn't just participate because they felt social or political pressure to do so. Whatever philosophical or mystical system struck their fancy may have filled the "spiritual void" left by the civic cults, but the civic cults were still valued for what they did provide (public spectacle that brought the city together, in honor of gods that people, by and large, still revered). I may be overstating the case here, because I'm reading the arguments secondhand. But in any case, scholars reject, and may be overreacting against, the simplistic Franz Cumont narrative that dominated the scholarly world for decades. (Putting Cumont very crudely: Hellenization shook up the ancient world and made the old cults seem less relevant, mystery cults and whatnot came in to fill the spiritual void, and they prepared the way for the True Religion that everybody accepted because it was obviously better.) I should read MacMullen and Lane Fox sometime to see exactly what they're arguing. A. Parrot (talk) 23:17, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Akhenaten was pretty fanatical about erasing the old gods to replace them with just one, until they erased him. Then a "restoration" period followed and Akhenaten ended up being remembered as a heretic. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 19:19, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
That's true, which is why many Egyptologists have seen Akhenaten's religious changes as a sort of spiritual precursor (though usually not an ancestor) to the more exclusive religious attitude of Judaism and its offshoots. But Akhenaten's reign is so confusing that it's difficult to discern what was actually going on. For part of his reign, the traditional gods coexisted with the increasing emphasis on the Aten; even after that, the erasure of divine names was rather spotty; and nobody knows what the general populace was doing at the time, or how much of Akhenaten's beliefs were pushed on them. The selective nature of Egyptian records makes it practically impossible to discern if there was any religious persecution in Akhenaten's reign. There are signs that courtiers had to pay lip service to his beliefs to stay in favor (no surprise), but I find it hard to imagine that he tried to force all of Egypt to reject the other gods (and to my knowledge, no Egyptologist that has suggested that he did). Doing so would have been highly impractical and, I think, too far out of line with the Egyptian worldview for even Akhenaten to conceive of it. A. Parrot (talk) 19:54, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Why was Roald Dahl's book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory published three years later in the UK than in the US?[edit]

I understand that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was published in the US in 1964 and in the UK in 1967. I believe that in 1964 Roald Dahl was already a successful children's author, having published James and the Giant Peach in 1961. Why then was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory published three years later in the UK, compared with the US? Why wasn't the book published in the UK in 1964 when it was completely written? (talk) 15:08, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

According to this, no UK publisher wanted it. "But his main problem at this point was getting published in the UK. All the "top-tier" firms turned him down. In a 1964 letter to Alfred Knopf's wife Blanche, Dahl blamed the literary establishment's "priggish, obtuse stuffiness". A former publisher at Bodley Head, Judy Taylor, told Dahl's first biographer, Jeremy Treglown: "I could see that Dahl would be popular with children, but publishing for them has to involve more than that somehow." Another editor told Donald Sturrock, Dahl's most recent biographer, that she remained proud to have turned the book down twice." Nanonic (talk) 17:23, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't speak for Judy Taylor, but just to give some possible meaning to that sentence, a children's book must also be popular with parents, because children don't buy books. I'm no expert on "British sensibility", but it feels like the thing to blame. Probably actually only factors in, somehow. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:34, September 1, 2014 (UTC)

But his main problem at this point was getting published in the UK. All the "top-tier" firms turned him down. In a 1964 letter to Alfred Knopf's wife Blanche, Dahl blamed the literary establishment's "priggish, obtuse stuffiness". A former publisher at Bodley Head, Judy Taylor, told Dahl's first biographer, Jeremy Treglown: "I could see that Dahl would be popular with children, but publishing for them has to involve more than that somehow." Another editor told Donald Sturrock, Dahl's most recent biographer, that she remained proud to have turned the book down twice.

It wasn't published in the UK until a US version was given a founder of Allen & Unwin by his daughter. CS Miller (talk) 11:08, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Knowledge Singularity[edit]

Hi there,

In this weekend issue of Financial Times there is an article: "Irresponsible gods." It is a book review. The book is by Y. Hirari "A brief history of humankind." I found the book naïve and not worthy of attention, my opinion is based on this review, of course, but one point is interesting. He talks about exponential growth of human knowledge and especially of Ray Kurzweil’s (Google's director of engineering) idea that the growth of human knowledge will result in a knowledge singularity whereas the human brain will merge with a type of artificial intelligence more powerful than anything we have seen before, etc, etc, etc.

Well, R. Feynman, I believe talked about the end of Physics, we have seen recently how much it cost to find the Higgs boson. Experiments in physics are getting more and more expensive and involve teams of scientists so large that the list of authors is almost as great at the papers themselves. Soon, if not already this business will have run into cost limitations. Testing anything about strings will require such massive amounts of energy, everyone understands it is a hopeless idea. Theoretical exploration of the subject runs into zillions of options, I believe it is 10^{500}. Social impact of scientific knowledge is negligible. Just look at what is going on in the Middle East or Ukraine. The golden era of humankind was in Europe at the end of the 19th century although the life expectancy was not what it is today but who needs this life :-) --AboutFace 22 (talk) 16:02, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

We have a very detailed article on Technological singularity... -- AnonMoos (talk) 17:21, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Rather surprising. It looks like the Wikipedia is the true, and only Knowledge Singularity, he he, --AboutFace 22 (talk) 19:36, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Handedness in chess[edit]

I've noticed that when I play chess I tend to favour the right-hand side of the board, and am more vulnerable on the left. I am right-handed. At higher levels of play, has any difference in style, etc been observed between right- and left-handed players? DuncanHill (talk) 23:24, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Well, the board isn't quite symmetrical, with the king and queen each on one side. So, unless you played the game with a mirror image setup, you really can't switch between the left and right sides without changing the game. (It might be an interesting test to play with that mirror setup to see how you cope.) StuRat (talk) 00:00, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
In starting position, the strong side is the side with the queen. And that is different depending on whether you are playing white or black. Perhaps the OP tends to play one color more often? --Jayron32 03:16, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I've noticed it whichever colour I play. DuncanHill (talk) 03:20, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Color vs. colour. How humourous. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:47, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Colour all the way! InedibleHulk (talk) 04:05, September 1, 2014 (UTC)
I'll go with kuller, but then I am a non-conformist. Blueboar (talk) 12:57, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
"What d'you mean? Spell bolour with a K? — Kolour. Oh, that's very good, I never thought of that." -- (talk) 19:55, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Silly bunt. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 11:49, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Of course, changing color also changes who goes first, so that changes the game dynamics, too. StuRat (talk) 13:45, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm far from a chess expert or fan. Most of my games last as long as they do for the rule against moving my king into check. But as a generally smart guy, that sort of thing seems like a significant and exploitable weakness. Even in games involving far more luck (boxing, soccer, skiing), the further you go, the harder you're going to feel it on your "soft side".
To be observed, even failing, at higher levels, one must use the whole ass. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:00, September 1, 2014 (UTC)
User Bubba73 is a resident expert on chess. You might want to run your question by him. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:13, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I found this abstract, paper discussed here which suggests that high level players are less likely to be right-handed than the general population. DuncanHill (talk) 09:59, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
  • But that may relate more to using the creative side of their brains rather than the left side of the board. I might expect ambidextrous individuals to be the best chess players, if they can successfully integrate the creative and logical sides of their brain and apply both to the game. StuRat (talk) 13:42, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

September 1[edit]

not Gini[edit]

(Unsure whether economics is a humanity, a science, an entertainment or miscellaneous, I throw caution to the winds and post the question here.)

Income and static wealth are correlated but distinct. The Gini coefficient measures the distribution of income. Is there a word for the analogous measurement of the distribution of wealth? —Tamfang (talk) 05:29, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure if this is helpful, but according to our article, Distribution of wealth § Statistical distributions:  Pareto Distribution has often been used to mathematically quantify the distribution of wealth, since it models a random distribution.   — (talk) 06:20, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Tamfang -- as far as the basic mathematics goes, the Gini coefficient is an abstract indicator of degree of evenness or unevenness, and is not tied to any one concrete measured thing... AnonMoos (talk) 07:44, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
However, wealth will tend to be more unevenly distributed than income, as poor people may never accumulate any of their income at all, as it is all spent on daily survival. Of course, there are always idiots who, despite multi-million dollar incomes, manage to get deep into debt (and business owners who took a risk that failed). StuRat (talk) 13:48, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
[In "List of Dewey Decimal classes", "Economics" (330) is classified under "Social sciences" (300), so economics is a subset of humanities.
Wavelength (talk) 17:38, 1 September 2014 (UTC)]
The Gini coefficient is also applied to wealth distributions. See for example the first sentence of the third paragraph of the Gini coefficient article "The Gini coefficient was proposed by Gini as a measure of inequality of income or wealth" and List of countries by distribution of wealth, which has a column for the wealth Gini.--Wikimedes (talk) 18:13, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for that list. Full of surprises! —Tamfang (talk) 04:17, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

People who are "almost" saints[edit]

Does Wikipedia have any type of list or category for people who are "almost" saints? That is, those people who have gone through some (but not all) of the steps in canonization; as such, they are "one or two steps away" from being named a saint. I can't seem to find this. I am referring to saints in the Roman Catholic Church, named by the Pope. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:27, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

The stages are venerable, blessed, saint. A lot of "list of saints" articles appear to incorporate venerables and blesseds (e.g. List of Mexican saints etc.). -- AnonMoos (talk) 17:24, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) List of blesseds may be a start, though, as the hatnote says, I don't think that list is exhaustive. People who have been beatified may reasonably be described as "one step from being named a saint". Deor (talk) 17:26, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Bl. Bronislava[edit]

On my Roman Catholic "Calendar of Saints", the entry listed for August 30 is: "Bl. Bronislava; died 1259; Virgin; patron saint of happy death; patron saint of disease prevention". Does Wikipedia have an article on her? I can't seem to find anything. (I believe that the name is also spelled as "Bl. Bronislawa", with a "w" at the end instead of the "v".) Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:30, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Nothing beyond that in Blessed Bronisława Chapel it seems. Other info here. Nanonic (talk) 17:56, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
See Bronislava of Poland (I cheated and made one up). Perhaps somebody could check her places of birth and death for me, as there seem to be an awful lot of towns with the same name in Poland. Also, I'm not sure if she's technically a saint or not. Alansplodge (talk) 19:00, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. She is definitely not a saint. That's why she is referred to as "blessed". She is in the process of becoming a saint, but she has not yet completed the process. She has been beatified; hence, she is "Blessed Bronislava". But, she has not been canonized; hence, she is not "Saint Bronislava" Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:14, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Okay. I have edited the lead paragraph to say that she is "venerated in the Roman Catholic Church". Alansplodge (talk) 19:23, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for creating the new article. However, the article has many inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and concerns. I listed some on the article Talk Page. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:25, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
"Venerated" is also not accurate; that relates to the stage of "veneration" (Stage #2 in the chart below). "Beatified" is the correct term; that relates to the stage of "beatification" (Stage #3 in the chart below). Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:27, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
See chart below. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:28, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Hmmm... we have Saint Bronislava Catholic Church in Plover, Wisconsin and Saint Bronislava Parish in Chicago. Alansplodge (talk) 19:39, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Those are churches. I don't understand why you are mentioning them? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:41, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
In response to your statement 'she is not "Saint Bronislava"' above. However, I defer to your greater knowledge. Alansplodge (talk) 20:38, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
OK, I see what you mean now. I think they are using the word "saint" loosely. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 20:52, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Given that Bronislava is said to have been born in 1203, they are definitely not using the word to mean a defined stage in the modern process of canonization. (Their website calls her "Blessed Bronislava, acclaimed as a saint in Poland"), And indeed, before codification of the canonization process, acclamation was the means by which one became a saint: if there were enough people who believed, or said, someone had been a saint, they were called a saint. It's only much more recently that there's been an effort to clean up the calendar of saints, by removing those (at least) who had clearly never existed. - Nunh-huh 01:00, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Exactly. Yes, I agree. Even the church's websites refer to her as "Blessed", rather than as "Saint". They are using the term "Saint" very loosely. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 03:55, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
If venerability is a prerequisite to beatification, how is it wrong to say she's venerated? —Tamfang (talk) 04:08, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
It's not "wrong". It's "technically" correct. But, it implies that she is only venerated, and not beatified. It's misleading as to her status. It's like calling John Roberts a "Justice of the Supreme Court". Yes, he is. But, that implies that he is only a Justice when, in fact, he is the "Chief Justice". A loose analogy on my part, but you get the idea. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 04:15, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
I actually just thought of a better example that I wanted to add (to make my point). Let's say that a person is a college graduate. In order to be a college graduate, he must – by definition – be a high school graduate first. So, to call him a "high school graduate" is technically correct, but it is also very misleading. It implies that that level (high school graduate) is the highest level that he achieved, and that he did not go on any further beyond high school. It implies that he stopped after high school and did not proceed on to college. So, can we call Hillary Clinton a "high school graduate"? Yes. I am sure that she graduated from high school. But, it is much more appropriate – and far less misleading – to call her a "college graduate" or, better yet, a "law school graduate". Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 17:11, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Israel Defense Force rank distribution[edit]

List of Israeli soldiers killed in 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict gives the rank of each IDF soldier who died in the conflict, and all are sergeants or higher. No one is identified as a private or corporal. How can this be? It is common for snipers to target high ranking officers in any war, and it was a tradition in some armies for there to be high casualties among officers leading charges, but the lack of low ranking casualties is still puzzling. Does every soldier in the IDF get quickly promoted to sergeant, like in the US military (musical) bands? Do those killed in war get posthumous promotions? The Jerusalem Post memorial article used as a ref for the memorial article lists Meidan Maymon Biton and Niran Cohen as corporals, but in the Wikipedia article they are listed as sergeants. Edison (talk) 16:37, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Our articles on Israel Defense Forces and Israel Defense Forces ranks both say that lower rank promotions are awarded for time served. Sergeants are those that have served 18-24 months, Corporals from 4-12 months. Nanonic (talk) 18:05, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
So in combat, if a lieutenant tells a sergeant to "Take your squad and reinforce the left flank" the sergeant will likely command a squad of several other sergeants? That seems a bit odd, compared to armies where the sergeant would command a squad of privates. I don't find mention of the frequency distribution of various ranks in various armies. The casualty breakdown is still puzzling, sonce there should be some soldiers who haven't put in their 18 months to make sergeant. Edison (talk) 19:05, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I seem to remember posthumous promotions being standard. הסרפד (call me Hasirpad) 22:44, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, posthumous promotions seems to be common in the Israel military. Just googling "posthumous promotions Israel" brings up news stories where most of the casualties are posthumously promoted. (talk) 05:10, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Posthumous promotion sounds like the explanation, along with becoming a sergeant after just serving 18 months. Most would apparently be sergeants at the end of their compulsory 3 years, so presumably they would retain the sergeant rank if called up for duty later. Otherwise it initially sounded like the newer soldier hanging back while the sergeants did all the fighting. If some elite force were assigned to hazardous duties, like entering booby-trapped tunnels or disarming bombs, then all members might have higher rank than the typical soldier, but perhaps that was not the case. In the US military, retiring career soldiers often get a retirement promotion but I don't think they routinely get a promotion because of getting killed in action. Edison (talk) 22:45, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

19th century Great Britain - No dowry, no marriage?[edit]

Is it true that in Great Britain in the 19th century that if your daughter had no dowry, then no man would want her? Could this have been the scenario behind A Christmas Carol? There was this girl who did say that she was "dowerless". How much money would be sufficient? Did really poor, rural people had to prepare dowries for their daughters too? What would happen to empty-nester parents who had married off their daughters? Would they live with one of their daughters and her spouse? (talk) 20:22, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Dowries in the strict sense (a payment by the bride's family to the husband's family, as in India today) were only the concern of a narrow aristocratic elite at that time. What was more broadly true was that it was considered imprudent and "improvident" for a couple to marry unless they had enough resources to set up a household in the manner expected of their social class. Both men and women who were socially ambitious often sought to raise their status by marrying someone with wealth; the difference was that women had extremely few opportunities to acquire wealth by working. So if a woman had land or money to bring to her marriage, it certainly potentially increased her choices... AnonMoos (talk) 20:51, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Scrooge still should have married that girl when he had the chance. He could have had children, and the children could be very profitable in the long run by earning money for the family. But that's more of a collectivist approach to gaining wealth. (talk) 21:47, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Up until quite recently in England, it was commonplace for a young woman to have a "bottom drawer" in which she would store things for her marriage, that would help her set up home. --TammyMoet (talk) 17:30, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
In some places, this is called a hope chest; my French Canadian family also calls this chest a trousseau. --Jayron32 17:38, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Does the president read and check all bills he signs?[edit]

As I went through the Law Books of the US federal government (Statutes at large), I was really surprised how much legislation is passed. Particulary in the 20th century, when there was not so much gridlock in Congress. By such a large amount of legislation, did the president read and check all bills before he signed them into law? Sometimes there are more than a hundert pages of laws, that were signed the same day. Even around 500 pages in a week or so. Does the president have so much time to read, check and understand all that, or is there a large staff to read all this? With making recommendations to the president whether to sign it or not? -- (talk) 21:26, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

There's a staff, and it's part of their job to check bills that the president signs... AnonMoos (talk) 22:14, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Nixon wrote that on his first day as President, he was given a draft of a treaty with some country. He opened it and started going through it marking things with a blue pencil which he felt needed improvement or clarification, and realized then that he could not act like a lawyer and get all the presidential work done. He instead had to staff out the detail work to trusted and qualified staff, who would present him with an executive summary, and a listing of his options with the pros/cons. Eisenhower had used a similar system. Some elderly or short-attention-span presidents have basically just done what their staff told them. Edison (talk) 22:31, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

What is the name of this musical instrument being played on this sound file?[edit]

Check this link, there is a 30 second sample of a song, where some instrument start to play. What is the name of this musical instrument playing? (talk) 23:25, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

It could be one of several double reed instruments. An arghul comes to my mind, though that may be because Egypt takes up so much of the space in my brain these days. A. Parrot (talk) 23:35, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
It's definitely double reed, and my own guess would be some class of bagpipe, as the player doesn't stop to draw breath. The key appears to be E flat minor, which you could get by cross-fingering Breton small-pipes (Binioù), but I think it's too low, and something more exotic. On the other hand, it could be a specialist set custom made by a modern maker (I saw a custom chanter in York recently with an extra thumb-hole to give a minor third). There's a lot of echo, so this won't be easy to nail down unless you can find a match in another sample. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 00:06, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

September 2[edit]

The process of being named a Saint in the Roman Catholic Church[edit]

I had asked a few questions up above about Saints in the Roman Catholic Church. These led me to think of another question. When an individual is being considered for sainthood, there is essentially a four-step process. (See chart below.) These are: (1) Servant of God; (2) veneration; (3) beatification; and (4) canonization. Here is my question. There are many saints (all of them, in fact) who move from Step 1 to Step 2 to Step 3 to Step 4. In fact, to be named a saint, one has to progress through all four steps. I am wondering this, however. Are there ever any instances in which the Roman Catholic Church progresses an individual through some of the steps and then simply "stops the process"? In other words, for example, they say: Person X has gone through Step 1; and also Step 2; and also Step 3. So, we will call this person "Blessed". However, we will not advance this person's case to Step 4. We will just stop at Step 3. This person meets the criteria at Step 3 (to be beatified), but does not meet the criteria for Step 4 (to be canonized). Or – in the alternative – every single person who advances to Step 1 will eventually advance to Step 2 and then Step 3 and finally Step 4. It's just a matter of time to get through all the steps. Being brought to Step 1, it is essentially a "fait accompli" that the person will (eventually) be brought to Step 4. In other words, I can't imagine that the Roman Catholic Church will elevate someone to Step 3; claim that they meet the "requirements" for beatification; and then, when scrutinized further, the person does not meet the "requirements" for the final step, Step 4. Any thoughts or insights? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 04:11, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Well, the requirements for each step are fairly liquid/ad hoc/mutable. A candidate would be proposed, his/her life examined, they would found to be unworthy, or to have been a martyr or to have possessed heroic virtue, which would bring them to venerable (step 2). But progression to Blessed or Saint status would depend on the certification of miracles attributed to the saint's intervention. Once you're venerable, the church isn't supposed to doing anything more than waiting for someone to report a miracle to them. Not really much of a process.
That's not strictly true, of course: if the Church wants someone made a saint, they'll reduce the number of miracles needed from 2 to 1, or some other tinkering to get the result they want, but it's the way it works on paper. - Nunh-huh 04:24, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
I'd say that many of those at the earlier stages—those in list of blesseds, for instance—will never be canonized. Take Odoric of Pordenone, who was beatified more than 250 years ago; barring some sudden increase in his "popularity", it's unlikely that anyone will see fit to revise his status. Deor (talk) 10:26, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
It's also important to note that in the very early days of the Church, getting to Sainthood was not quite so formal and structured. Blueboar (talk) 11:50, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
'Very early' seems quite recent - the predecessor of the current Congregation for the Causes of Saints was only created in the late 16th century. AlexTiefling (talk) 11:59, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
I think you might be making a bit of a mistake in assuming the church as a body sees itself as being in total control of this process. The big hurdle to conquer to go from beatus to saint is the requirement for 2 canonically recognized miracles. That is of course for non-martyrs who as I recall have different rules. Basically, in the eyes of the church, the miracles are entirely in God's hands and the church effectively leaves that in his hands.
At the lower levels, one of the other factors involved is funding. The Church itself doesn't pay for the gathering of information on a candidate, some private source has to. Today, the average cost is over 1 million US dollars. If the funding runs out the investigation does too. There are also, in general, different requirements at each level. Considering the Church itself is doing all such investigations at the request of some group or individual advancing a cause, it isn't itself so concerned with the outcomes of each case presented as the questioner seems to believe.John Carter (talk) 16:15, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes. I remember seeing a documentary about the canonisation of Mary McKillop, which was a very long process that started in the 1920s, stalled for many decades, and was restarted (effectively recommenced from scratch), by different people in the early 1970s. The person latterly in charge of prosecuting her cause, a Catholic priest, was talking on the doco about how his many years in the priesthood had left him completely unprepared for the colossal degree of apparently pointless but unavoidable bureaucracy, but also how he was totally frustrated to discover there was absolutely no official guidance about this bureaucracy or how to proceed with the matter. It was effectively "Oh, we have rules and procedures about all this - lots and lots of them - but it's your job to find out what all of them are, and you ain't gettin' no help from us. Nada." While there are 4 main stages in the canonisation process, there are dozens of minor stages that nobody ever talks about. He had to find out what they were as he went along, which meant a huge amount of research, time, correspondence and money, and having to restart certain sub-processes because a particular form wasn't supplied, or a prescribed form of words wasn't used somewhere, or some deadline of whose existence he was not aware had passed. If this arcane hodgepodge was meant to test the applicants, it worked (or didn't work, depending on your point of view), because McKillop was finally canonised in 2010. If I could track down the doco, I'd link it. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:51, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

September 3[edit]


August 28[edit]

General term for Uncle Tom ?[edit]

I refer to the def: "any person perceived to be a participant in the oppression of their own group". Is there a term used outside the US and not primarily used in a black/white context ? For example, a term for women who support the oppression of women ? StuRat (talk) 02:36, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Don't know about outside the US, but there's race traitor, a phrase I hadn't heard of before. Clarityfiend (talk) 03:11, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Race traitor (nowadays at least) is usually used in a self-deprecating way, to (self-)describe a person of the oppressing group who sympathizes with the oppressed group and rejects the privileges which they themselves receive without meriting them. See Noel Ignatiev for the most prominent such. --Orange Mike | Talk 03:19, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

More broadly, StuRat, there are terms like "collaborator" and "self-loathing fill-in-the-blank". --Orange Mike | Talk 03:20, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

A term that comes to mind is useful idiot. --Bowlhover (talk) 04:32, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
In the UK we have class traitor to describe working-class Tories. Trade Unionism gives us blackleg for strikebreakers. --TammyMoet (talk) 13:42, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Fellow-traveller is a good general-purpose term for a traitor. Specifically in the context of women who oppose women's rights, "mouse" or "doormat" is a common term of abuse. Tevildo (talk) 18:27, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
I can't agree on "fellow traveler". It's a specific term for someone who works for some but not all the goals of some movement and is not officially a member of it, and it's especially associated with Communism.
Of the suggestions so far, my favorite is "collaborator", and "quisling" might also be a possibility. I once read an essay by a black writer saying that "Gunga Din" was a more appropriate term than "Uncle Tom" for such people. —JerryFriedman (Talk) 21:52, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
"Quisling", to me, implies some form of active betrayal, of turning one's coat - in Paradise Lost, Satan is a traitor, but Abdiel is a quisling. An Uncle Tom is one who merely approves of the status quo, despite it being to their disadvantage. But there are plenty of words to choose from in this situation. Tevildo (talk) 19:58, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Although not refering to what a person is but what they have, Stockholm syndrome comes to mind. Alanscottwalker (talk) 11:36, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Why do synonyms exist?[edit]

What is the point of having multiple words that mean the same thing? What is the advantage from a communication point of view? (talk) 16:44, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

1) There are no perfect synonyms. Every word carries additional meanings and subtext that can indicate certain senses of meaning, register, tone, etc, which make one word distinct from the other. Shit and feces are considered synonyms, because the have the same thing they are referring to. But we cannot use them perfectly interchangably; there are different situations where shit and where feces would each be appropriate, and those subtle differences in meaning is what makes synonyms important and useful. --Jayron32 16:53, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
I'll differ slightly from Jayron32. I think there are some perfect synonyms, and I wish I could call some of them to mind on short notice. Many times this happens when the synonyms come from different languages, such as French and Latin. There's no Central Committee for the Elimination of English Synonyms, so the synonyms just hang around as long as people continue to use them. There are excellent documentaries about the history of the English language that talk about things like this. ‑‑Mandruss (talk) 17:01, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
My candidate for the most perfect pair of synonyms in English would be "anyone" and "anybody". -- (talk) 21:08, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
That's an example of non-perfect synonyms, as there are places where "anybody" wouldn't be appropriate. "Anyone" is more formal, "anybody" is more colloquial (in American English, at least; I can't speak for the Brits). A case of perfect synonyms is where the words are completely interchangeable in any context. ‑‑Mandruss (talk) 21:48, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
They are used pretty much interchangeably. But it is difficult to come up with perfect synonyms, even from the same word. Consider the words "hotel" and "hostel", which both derive from the same Old French word but are not quite the same thing. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:00, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
  • I don't think you see "anybody" much in academic writing or journalism, but it's quite common in everyday spoken language. Therefore they're not interchangeable.
  • "Beast" and "creature". Pretty much interchangeable in any context, at least in the most common sense of the words (referring ro actual non-human animals on Earth). No doubt you could identify certain senses in the definition of one that don't exist in the definition of the other; for example, a woman probably wouldn't say to a guy: You CREATURE!!. But I don't think all the senses have to line up to qualify as perfect synonyms. We're probably taking this deeper than the OP wanted. ‑‑Mandruss (talk) 22:09, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
  • "Creature" refers to any living thing, typically any animal. Hence creatures include both birds and beasts. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:12, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
You got me! Back to the Thesaurus! ‑‑Mandruss (talk) 22:14, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, it's worse than that, I think. Creature tends to be a religious term, and it explicitly includes humans (and angels). I'm not particularly familiar with usages that exclude humans, outside of maybe a Creedence song. Is this a dialectal difference? --Trovatore (talk) 22:16, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
"OMG - that car with the twin turbo's and go-faster stripes is just a *beast*.'", or "John, you were just *beast* in bed last night"..."creature" wouldn't work there. Beast has connotations of power and anger. Creature seems somehow more gentle. I really can't imagine any sufficiently precise synonyms to warrant disposing of one of the two words. SteveBaker (talk) 14:44, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
One might say to a farmer "My, that's an 'ansum beast!" when admiring his livestock, one would not say "creature" - the latter would (to my ears) imply something wrong with the beast in question. DuncanHill (talk) 20:41, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
The "point", in addition to what the above users have said, is that English is nowhere in the neighborhood of being a "pure" language. It's a hodge-podge of different languages - offshoots of both the northern and southern Europe languages, along with bits and pieces from a host of others. And as stated above, words that are effectively synonyms can carry shades of meaning. As a fitting example, I can say I will carry my luggage, which is from Latin via French and is pretty much neutral; or I can say I will drag my luggage, which is from Old English for "carry" but convoys a degree of burden or annoyance at the task; or can say I will schlep my luggage, which is Yiddish for "drag" but conveys an even better word-picture. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:05, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Good for poetry and songwriting. One word often has too many syllables or doesn't rhyme or starts with a vowel, while the other doesn't. An example (and counterexample) using words mentioned above is in "What Would Brian Boitano Do?":
"And when Brian Boitano built the pyramids, he beat up Kublai Khan / 'Cause Brian Boitano doesn't take shit from a-ny-bo-dy!" "Feces" wouldn't fly there, and the extra bit over the expected rhyme "anyone" is a bit awkward, but allows for a four beat tempo shift, which kind of grows on a listener. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:00, August 28, 2014 (UTC)
Actually, this is the same OP that asked about lasers that curve and then argued with the responders about it but wouldn't explain his question. Likewise here, the OP has stated a premise but has given no examples - and is unlikely to return here to clarify. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:02, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Everyone who gave a physics-related answer understood his question perfectly fine. So did the one person who complained about the etymology of "laser"--he understood the question perfectly, but chose to complain about semantics instead of answering it. --Bowlhover (talk) 08:11, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
I assumed the OP meant curving of the laser beam by some means or another. Then the IP introduced doubt by arguing over exactly what the term "laser" really means. But since the OP didn't clarify his own question, it raises the possibility that he meant a laser beam that would somehow curve on its own. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:46, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Many things happen in language that are not advantageous from a communications point of view. Not everything in language has a point.
English does have a lot of synonyms because it's taken vocabulary from a lot of sources, but I have the impression that all languages have synonyms.
My candidate for a very close pair of synonyms in English would be "though" and "although". —JerryFriedman (Talk) 22:04, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
They weren't originally identical, and they really still aren't, but they're close.[20][21]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:15, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Start, begin, commence. Widneymanor (talk) 08:07, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

To directly answer the OP, in England after the Norman Conquest, the existing laws and language were officially replaced by Norman French laws and language. However, so that the people (who spoke Old English) could understand what their new lords and masters meant (who spoke Norman French), word pairs were introduced, such as "let or hindrance": the first was Old English, the second was Norman French. --TammyMoet (talk) 08:43, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, ya learn something new every day. If "let" meant "hindrance", that could explain the use of the term "let" in tennis. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:01, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Actually, "hinder" is from Old English, according to etymonline again. However, the -ance suffix is from Norman French. —JerryFriedman (Talk) 16:39, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
It's not strictly necessary to borrow words from other languages to have synonyms (though this has certainly helped in some cases). My little "Teach Yourself Icelandic" book by P.J.T. Glendening has long lists of impeccably Icelandic-looking synonyms for common nouns like "men, battle, sky, sea" which you apparently need to learn how to spot if making any attempt to read the Icelandic sagas in the original... AnonMoos (talk) 13:48, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
(@Widneymanor) Start, begin, and commence aren't perfect synonyms either. You don't commence or begin your car, for (a silly) example. Apart from differing semantic connotations etc, once you consider the context of poetry, or even of euphony in everyday speech, it is very difficult to come up with completely interchangeable synonyms. In Italian, for example, the words "fra" and "tra" are often considered perfect synonyms, but, as pointed out in this Treccani article, you can't just substitute the one with the other in phrases such as "fra tre minuti ~ tra tre minuti" ("in three minutes"); or "tra fratelli ~ fra fratelli" ("among brothers"), because of the sounds, not because of the meanings. ---Sluzzelin talk 10:54, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
The word "commence" is from French and literally meant "to start or begin".[22] We don't always use it the same way in English, though. Graduation is called "commencement" as kind of a formality. But you also hear about "commencing operations", as in a project or battle or something. There, begin or start would work as synonyms. However, the origin of "start" implies something sudden, like leaping up. That squares with why you "start" your car, and then "begin" (or "commence" if you're being funny) your journey. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:09, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
But the subtle shades of meaning are important here. I 'start' my car and drive to the store, but in a novel about Victorian/steam-punk steam-powered locomotives, having Lord Fahquah tell his chauffeur: "Commence the vehicle and progress toward my club" might well provide that connotation of a more complex process, some weight and oily/smokey/steamy smell and overall antiquity that "start" just doesn't convey. Choose 'engage' (think Star Trek) and you get an entirely different shade of meaning. One of the joys of English is all of the subtlety and overtone one can convey by picking just that one perfect choice of near-synonym. You only have to read text written in the limited vocabulary of 'Basic English" or "Simple English" to immediately understand how flat and dull it is to write without all of those synonyms. SteveBaker (talk) 14:44, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
For sure. And your Lord Fahquah could just as easily be W.C. Fields, who enjoyed putting high-falutin' terms into his characters' mouths. Like instead of saying, "Let's have some coffee", he says "Let's gurgitate a few saucers of mocha java." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:59, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Synonyms exist so that Wikipedia editors can argue over which word is best. "Jolly Roget" (talk) 14:15, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

  • "Why do synonyms exist?" Well, Johnny, when a mother synonym and a father synonym meet and fall in love, very very much, they get married, and plan a family. Usually for the first time they make a baby they go on a special trip. (On later occasions blackouts, snowstorms, and recreational drugs my be involved.) The father synonym buys just enough champaign for the mother synonym to relax. They go back to their room and kiss in a very special way for almost a whole minute. Nine months later, a baby synonym pops out of the mommy's tummy, and now there is a new, baby synonym. μηδείς (talk) 17:40, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Although this is tangential to the OP's question, it's worth noting that a pair of words may seem like synonyms to one person, but not to another. People who are cursed with better vocabulary skills perceive more subtle differences between words, and so see fewer real synonyms. This makes "synonymity" subjective and therefore a less useful concept. When a dictionary or thesaurus lists synonyms for the word being defined, it could more accurately call them "potential synonyms", "related words", or something similar. ‑‑Mandruss (talk) 20:38, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

I think the existence of synonyms can be put in the broader context of why redundancy exists. Redundancy is a good thing in communication, electronic and biological alike. It makes it more reliable and the language more expressive. Lack of redundancy is a problem and a point of criticism with conlangs such as Ro. There are all sorts of it built into a language, phonetic, grammatical, verbal (hence, synonyms.) Asmrulz (talk) 20:39, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

And without synonyms, there would have been no "Dead Parrot Sketch". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:30, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

A substantial part of the issue, in my humble opinion, relates to the sheer obstreperousness of the English language. As far as I know, English and Lao remain the only major languages on Earth that nobody directly regulates. This free-for-all approach cannot help but proliferate synonyms—even as other, important languages restrict them.

English to wit videlicet namely i.e. that is viz. scilicet
French à savoir
Spanish a saber
English maybe perhaps belike perchance mayhap peradventure
French peut être
Spanish puede ser

Pine (talk) 01:56, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Well, that's a bit unfair. Several of those English terms for "that is" are borrowed directly from Latin (and some are just abbreviations of the others). I can't speak for Spanish, but French certainly has more ways of saying "that is" than "à savoir". You can also say "c'est à dire", and it's abbreviation "c.-à-d.", for one example. For "maybe", most of those English terms are extremely archaic or would just simply never be used (peradventure, really?). And again French has many more equivalents than "peut-être". I suppose it's true that English has a crazy amount of one-word synonyms, but French (at least) still has a huge variety of expressions that perform the same functions as English synonyms. For another example, how would English express "concernant", "en ce qui concerne", "en ce qui a trait de", "en matière de", "à propos de", "par rapport à", "à l'égard de"? Do these count as synonyms, if they aren't one word? And here, I think, English is rather poor, since you could translate all those with a rather ambiguous "about". Adam Bishop (talk) 11:43, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Good grief: Puede ser -- quizás -- tal vez -- acaso (Just off the top of my head). -- Elphion (talk) 20:16, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

August 29[edit]

Hebrew form of request[edit]

In Jewish liturgy, prayers are often expressed in the imperative form: רפאנו Heal us, ברכנו Bless, etc. In general, this form takes the present tense.However, at times it is expressed in the future tense, where the equivalent English would be תבנה "You will build" etc. Is there any formal name for this, and are there any rules for the switch between present and future? — Preceding unsigned comment added by אפונה (talkcontribs) 13:03, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

אפונה -- In modern Israeli Hebrew, and in many forms of Rabbinic Hebrew, the so-called "suffix" form (מלך malakh "he ruled") is a past tense, the form not conjugated for person (מולך molekh "rule, rules (masc. sg.)") is a present tense and the so-called "prefix form" (ימלוך yimlokh "he will rule") is a future. However, in Biblical Hebrew things were somewhat different, and more complex. The suffixed form is usually called the perfect, and the prefixed form the imperfect, while molekh is an active participle and not a finite verb. Among other things, the Biblical imperfect incorporates an old "jussive" conjugation which was similar in meaning to the imperative. There have been whole books written on the meanings and uses of the verb tenses in Biblical Hebrew (not to mention multiple doctoral dissertations), and in fact I have one on the shelf behind my computer monitor now as I type -- "A Treatise on the Use of the Tenses in Hebrew and Some Other Syntactical Questions" by S.R. Driver... AnonMoos (talk) 13:24, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your response. I'm actually more interested in the more rare future tense used. In modern Hebrew it happens to be pretty common: תביא לי = bring [to] me... literally rendered, it's you will bring [to] me, but in Biblical/Rabbinic Hebrew I haven't noticed it much, and also can't see a pattern when the present is used and when the future. אפונה (talk) 18:15, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, but in Biblical Hebrew (highly relevant to "Jewish liturgy"), the yimlokh form is simply not a future tense -- and derivatives of it, such as wayyimlokh, could actually be used with past meaning. Even in modern Israeli Hebrew, it's not a strict future -- it has various injunctive and conditional uses, and Haiim B. Rosen prefers to call it the "potential" tense. And the basic negative imperative is אל תמלוך al timlokh "Don't rule!" AnonMoos (talk) 07:22, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
P.S. In Contemporary Hebrew (Trends in Linguistics: State-of-the-Art Reports 11) by Haiim B. Rosen (1977, ISBN 90-279-3106-2), p. 199, Rosen states that the difference between an imperative such as mlokh or melokh and the corresponding 2nd. person future (or "potential" as he prefers to call it) form such as timlokh in Israeli Hebrew is that the imperative can be more of a request or command, while the future can involve more of a wish or an emotional appeal to the person addressed (though this distinction is not always strictly observed, and the future/potential is more or less the default form in modern Israeli). AnonMoos (talk) 14:44, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
[The case וימלוך is always referred to by the early grammarians as the ואו ההיפוך,because the term ימלוך in its basic sense is the future tense, and the prefixed ואו vav is considered an exception] אפונה (talk) 17:08, 1 September 2014 (UTC)<

August 30[edit]

Inflection of English verbs formed from acronyms.[edit]

Hello, again!

For as long as I've studied English grammar, the OED has always inflected verbs formed from acronyms by using apostrophes followed by the shortest, possible, suffixes.


Present Indicative
/Present Subjunctive
Present Indicative (3rd Person singular) Past Indicative
/Past Subjunctive
/Past Participle
Present Participle
to KO KO KO's KO'd KO'ing

Recently, though, it has begun inflecting social-networking acronyms (e.g. "SMS," "PM") as regular verbs.


Present Indicative
/Present Subjunctive
Present Indicative (3rd Person singular) Past Indicative
/Past Subjunctive
/Past Participle
Present Participle
to PM PM PMs PMed PMing

Is this lexically specified to computing/text-messaging verbs, or what, exactly?

(Up until now, I ♥'d conjugating acronyms.) Pine (talk) 06:03, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

The big OED doesn't seem to have KO as a verb, so there are no conjugations, but the Third Edition (updated March 2004) entry for OK allows OK'd, OK-d and OKd. I think the OED investigates and reports good usage rather than prescribes it. Personally, I've never liked or used an apostrophe to conjugate. Dbfirs 06:28, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply, Dbfirs. I suppose that prescribing grammatical forms for acronym-based verbs would seem pedantic—even by Mr. Oxford's standards! And since few people know (or care) how to key an apostrophe on a cell phone, those particular acronyms must inflect regularly under a lexical "defense of necessity." Pine (talk) 02:16, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Personally, I prefer to reserve the use of the apostrophe for possessives and genuinely omitted letters. I dislike its use for plurals and conjugations because I find these "mis-uses" confusing. I always use it appropriately when writing texts on a cellphone. Dbfirs 08:16, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Twinpinesmall -- Not sure why you included subjunctive in charts above, since for all verbs in the language other than the very special case of "to be", the only non-archaic inflectional manifestation of the subjunctive is omission of the third singular present ending in sentences such as "I insist that he go away" (and even this is now a little archaic in British English)... AnonMoos (talk) 13:17, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
As for your question, AnonMoos, I included "subjunctive" largely for reasons of thoroughness. I'd like to add, however, that to be is not quite unique in the sense you mentioned: Several modal-verb constructions (in American English, anyway) also noticeably inflect for mood.
Indicative All parties must fulfill said conditions in order to enact the accord.
Subjunctive It remains imperative that all parties have to fulfill said conditions in order to enact the accord.
Although—I concur—the latter, on the right-hand side of the Atlantic, does indeed sound John-Waynish.
Pine (talk) 02:16, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
That's really not what "subjunctive" means in ordinary linguistic usage -- it means separately inflected verb forms, not variations in modal auxiliaries. In modern English, the only non-archaic inflectionally distinct forms which go back to a historic subjunctive are the "if I were / if he were" construction, "be" in sentences such as "I insist that you be silent", and the lack of third person singular present ending in sentences such as "I insist that he go away" -- and the first is generally optional, while the second and third now sound rather stiff in contemporary British. "To be" is strongly divergent from all other verbs in the language because it has eight inflectionally-distinct forms, while all other verbs have a maximum of five inflectionally-distinct forms (regular verbs have only four), which explains why two out of three of the subjunctive constructions only affect "to be"... AnonMoos (talk) 06:03, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Doesn't "imperative" include the notion of "have to", and wouldn't that make any mention of "have to" redundant? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 04:02, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

All right, Jack, I'll admit: That wasn't a very good example.
Here are some better ones.
Indicative The typical, 4-year-old child can speak in complete sentences.
Subjunctive It is vital that a child be able to speak in complete sentences by age 6.
Indicative It may very well happen.
Subjunctive I so would that it be likely to happen.
Indicative Restaurants must comply with the new, indoor-smoking ban.
Subjunctive Restaurants may lose business as soon as they have to comply with the new, indoor-smoking ban.
Indicative The Israeli Air Force may fly through Jordanian airspace when they bomb ISIS.
Subjunctive The Israeli Air Force can easily decimate ISIS, with bombing sorties, provided that they be permitted to fly through Jordanian airspace.
Indicative A godly man ought to provide for a woman and her children.
Subjunctive My son will become far godlier when he be compelled to provide for a woman and her children.
Alas, throughout the Commonwealth, the subjunctive forms have all become either obsolete or moribund. In the States, however, you'll still find a large number of apologists for them.
Pine (talk) 06:07, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
The "...when he be compelled to..." example doesn't conform to the usage of any form of modern standard English, as far as I'm aware. Unfortunately, your personal definition of the term subjunctive is highly idiosyncratic, and simply does not align with traditional or technical linguistic usage. Either you're wrong or everybody else is wrong, but either way most of your examples do not involve the subjunctive as we know it, Jim... AnonMoos (talk) 07:01, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
AnonMoos, I cannot recall: Is it 1,072,409,238 angels that can dance simultaneously on the head of a pin, or 1,072,409,237?
If one wishes to be "traditional or technical" about it, only the present indicative and past indicative forms actually exist for all of the English, modal auxiliaries. For all other forms, an English speaker simply has no recourse apart from substituting some sort of periphrase. Surely, you wouldn't consider it an idiosyncrasy when someone refers to "shall/will be able to" as the future indicative of "can."
Pine (talk) 07:53, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

I'd like to make the observation that inflecting acronyms with apostrophes is now widely seen as old-fashioned or even incorrect. This more often comes up with nouns. The New York Times stylebook from 1976, which I found in Google Books, says that the plural of G.I. is to be written G.I.'s (and they advise avoiding possessive plural, as it would have to be G.I.'s' with two apostrophes). Today people are more likely to write GI instead of G.I. and many people insist that GI's is only the possessive singular, with GIs as the plural. Business English: Being a First Unit of a Course in Business English is one source I found in Google Books that supports this (their example is FAQs).

The OED, of course, still includes large amounts of content that has not been updated since the late 19th or early 20th century, so it's not surprising if some of the details you find in it are out of date. -- (talk) 05:26, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

I question the OP's premise about the OED's conjugation. I cited the March 2004 update, and I can't find entries like those claimed (though there are some older cites that use the apostrophe). I wonder if some other Oxford publication was being cited. Dbfirs 08:16, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
To answer your question, Dbfirs, I mostly cull my data from either the Oxford American Dictionary, Third Edition or the Concise Oxford American Dictionary, Third Edition. Very rarely, do I enjoy access to the OED online.
Pine (talk) 06:07, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, I wondered if you were looking at some other publication since I couldn't find your entries in the full OED. I wonder if the use of the apostrophe for inflecting acronyms is currently more common in America. I do still see it in the UK sometimes, but I would never use it myself (though perhaps that's just a personal preference). Dbfirs 08:35, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
My objection to "KO'ing" is that, logically, it should be "K'ingO." (but I would never use that, either). Dbfirs 08:40, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
You object to anything in the English language on logical grounds? What's the name of the planet you're from?  :) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:35, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
A few people have tried to apply logic to the language, but I agree that their efforts have often been ignored. Dbfirs 07:19, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Greek text from a title page[edit]

Title page of Edward Waterhouse's Fortescutus Illustratus (1663)

Just wondering if I transcribed the Greek passage on the title page correctly: "Χρἠ τοὺς νομους μὲν τίθεσθαι σφοδρῶς, πραοτὲρως δὲ χολάζειν ἢ ὡς ἐχεῖνοι χελεύουσι". I followed this but could have got the letters or diacriticals wrong. From other Internet sources I ascertained that it means "It is necessary that the laws be drawn up with severity, but that punishments milder than the laws should be exacted" (in Latin, "Oportet leges quidem acriter statui, mitius autem quam ipsæ jubent pœnas sumere"). Thanks. — SMUconlaw (talk) 09:32, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

The first word should have a grave accent rather than a smooth-breathing mark (Χρὴ), the third word needs an acute accent (νόμους), the accents in πραοτὲρως and ἐχεῖνοι should be acute (πραοτέρως, ἐχείνοι), and the last word should be κελεύουσι (kappa rather than chi). That's all I noticed in a hasty look; I'm sure others will point out what I missed. Deor (talk) 11:08, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Oops, the chis in χολάζειν and ἐχείνοι should be kappas, too (κολάζειν and ἐκείνοι). Deor (talk) 11:20, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks – I knew I was bound to have got stuff wrong. I've updated the description page of the file. — SMUconlaw (talk) 11:32, 30 August 2014 (UTC)


Most cultures have their own way of responding to a sneeze. In English, there are basically two options: some version of "bless you" and the German "gesundheit". The German is appropriate ("health!"), but why did we adopt the German one at all? How did it come to be recognized in English ahead of, say, the French or the Italian? (Okay, Italian is a bad example because we already use a similar word while toasting, but you get the drift.) While we're at it, how widely recognized is "gesundheit" in the anglosphere? Matt Deres (talk) 14:50, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

With regard to your final question, see Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/2009 June 13#Response to sneezing in English (the drift of which seems to have been that the use of gesundheit is more common in the U.S. than in the UK but is recognized in the UK). Deor (talk) 14:55, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I understood that it came to us through Yiddish which is agreed by a website called Judaism 101; "Yiddish. Literally, health. This is the normal response when somebody sneezes. The same expression is used in German (Yiddish is largely based on German), and is quite common even among non-Jews, but I thought it was worth pointing out because some non-Jews have told me they were afraid of offending by saying "bless you" to a Jew". In London, people from the East End used to use a number of Yiddish words in everyday speech, as there was a large Ashkanazi community there until about 50 years ago, Alansplodge (talk) 17:50, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I strongly suspect it was due to general German-American influence. German-American culture was very strong in various local areas of the United States until the backlash of 1917-1918. Uriel Weinreich's Yiddish dictionary doesn't list any word directly corresponding to standard German gesundheit, only das gezunt דאס געזונט and gezunterheyt געזונטערהײט -- and indicates that the usual way to respond to a sneeze is tsu gezunt צו געזונט ... AnonMoos (talk) 20:55, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
In the Yiddish I've learned (both an American and an Israeli dialect) you can either say gezuntheit or tzu[m] gezunt אפונה (talk) 18:10, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Try asking Walter Matthau! Martinevans123 (talk) 18:01, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
EO dates its American use to at least 1914.[23] That link also says that auf ihre Gesundheit means "to your health." In the famous Yiddish-speaking Indian schtick in Blazing Saddles, he says something that sounds a bit like auf ihre Gesund at about the 2 minute mark, maybe the Yiddish equivalent of that expression or something similar.[24]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:56, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
If you follow the link from Etymonline to, it says "1905-10, Americanism", which makes a lot of sense... AnonMoos (talk) 06:10, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
In my experience, "gesundheit" is essentially never used by BrE speakers, other than perhaps humorously on infrequent occasions. (talk) 03:45, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, if we hear that word sound over here, we are likely to think that the sneeze was infectious! Dbfirs 07:55, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
My BrE experience differs. I have heard it used regularly by relatives, friends, acquaintances and work colleagues over several decades, and use it myself as often as not in the appropriate circumstance (of somebody sneezing). Some of the time the variation (from "Bless you!") is intended at least semi-humorously, especially if someone is sneezing again shortly after a previous Anglophone blessing, but often it isn't.
This is not unrelated to my father having served in Germany with the British Army, during which period I also lived and worked there: our use of the term is something of a sign of commonality. However, since a very large proportion of British Army personnel do serve in Germany at some point, and their family and friends may consequently also adopt the term, it has (I suggest) spread quite widely in the UK population. It's regularly used in my current work office, both by ex-military personnel and people with no Teutonic associations known to me.
There is also of course, the possibility of adoption from Yiddish, mentioned above in an American context but also applicable in the UK: my family also Jewish associations (possible ancestry, some in-laws, neighbors and employers), so our use may stem from that rather than subsequent residence in Germany. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 12:56, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Interestingly, the opposite is "krankheit", which is the origin of Walter Cronkite's name. Hmm, "Walter Sickness" doesn't have quite the same ring. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:32, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Dictionary of English constructions[edit]

There is a family of grammars called construction grammar that started perhaps in the 80s with the work of Fillmore & Kay among others. Examples of constructions include:

1. the time + away construction (they danced the night away)
2. the way construction (he glad handed his way into the club)
3. the incredulity construction (Bush, a humanitarian!?)

I'm wondering if there is a dictionary or list of these constructions. I'm not looking for something exhaustive, but fairly extensive would be nice. Various online searches have turned up only a Japanese dictionary The Taishukan Contemporary Dictionary of English Constructions, but judging from the Japanese title 〈最新〉英語構文事典, I would say it's unlikely to be what I'm after.--Brett (talk) 16:17, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

Wavelength (talk) 18:18, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, not what I'm looking for, though.--Brett (talk) 19:59, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

August 31[edit]

Good extract from the New Testament to illustrate a language[edit]

I know the most wide-spread is the Lord's Prayer as well as the 1st article of the Declaration of Human Rights and Aesop's "The North Wind and the Sun". The latter two are either too short or not every language has a translation of them. While the New Testament is translated in over a thousand languages, it's one of the most translated and available books, but the Lord's Prayer is no less short and unrepresentative than the other two and quite insufficient to illustrate a language. So I want some other part from the New Testament. My first thought is obvious: Matthew 2, but probably there is a better option? It must contain maximum of grammatical features and as well be more or less neutral.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 04:58, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

If I am not mistaken, the entire Gospel of Luke is the most translated book of the New Testament; that is it already exists in the most languages. That may be too long for you, but perhaps you could choose some section of that. --Jayron32 05:07, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
In the book Indo-European Philology by W.B. Lockwood (ISBN 0-09-095581-1), Luke 2:8-14 is used (but he also provides a Sanskrit translation of the Lord's Prayer!). AnonMoos (talk) 06:22, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
The mainly-SF blog 'Making Light' has a traditional posting of Luke 2:1-14 or 20 in multiple languages or historic versions each Christmas Day. Here's the 2013 version, with English (Anglo-Saxon, Wycliffe 1382, Tyndale 1530, Coverdale 1535, King James 1611), Greek, Old Church Slavonic, Latin Vulgate, Gothic, Lallans Scots, Swedish (2000, 1917, and 1541), Dutch (1637), Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Icelandic, German (Luther 1545), Quenya(!), Jamaican Creole, Amharic (if you have the right fonts), and in the links, Maori, Galego, Gronings Dutch, Limburgs, Old Georgian, Schwäbisch, Tagalog, Hawaiian, Irish, Turkish, Welsh (modern spoken, 1588, and 1988), Arabic, and Armenian. -- Arwel Parry (talk) 11:57, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Does "maximum of grammatical features" include every part of speech, every grammatical gender, every grammatical number, every grammatical case, every grammatical person, every grammatical tense, every grammatical aspect, every grammatical mood, every grammatical voice, every degree of comparison, and every sentence type, to the extent possible and relevant?
Wavelength (talk) 14:39, 31 August 2014 (UTC) and 14:18, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Please note that the King James Bible renders a part of Luke 2:14 incorrectly as "on earth peace, good will toward men" (and some other versions are similar), whereas "ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκίας" (Greek: Westcott and Hort 1881) and "in terra pax in hominibus bonae voluntatis" (Latin: Biblia Sacra Vulgata) mean "on earth peace among men of good will".
Wavelength (talk) 14:39, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
"Of good will" may be more literal, but what does it actually mean? While in English "men of good will" implies that the men have good will towards each other, it also seems reasonable to interpret εὐδοκίας as meaning "of the good will shown by God", an interpretation taken by some recent respected translations, e.g. NRSV: "peace among those whom he favours"; NIV: "peace to those on whom his favor rests.” There also seem to be some differences among the Greek manuscripts. Lesgles (talk) 00:13, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Jehovah’s Witnesses have published similar information at
Wavelength (talk) 04:18, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Elders and language[edit]

I suspect that elders hold a significantly different vocabulary compared to that of young people; the words that we use have different meanings for them (though I am not absolutely certain). Do you lot already have a topic that discusses how elders use language? -- (talk) 05:04, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Are you talking about the size of the vocabulary, or about slang? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:19, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
And what's an elder? Someone over 30? HiLo48 (talk) 08:11, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
There is a definitive upper limit. Tevildo (talk) 15:09, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
If anything, there should be an article on how ignorant younger people have destroyed the language. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:14, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Age-graded variation seems to be the appropriate topic in linguistics, though the article doesn't seem very comprehensive. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 11:37, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I think the more common difference is that the elderly use different words for the same things. My grandmother, for example, referred to trousers, spigots, and spectacles, rather than pants, faucets, and glasses. The elderly just naturally continue to use the words which were common when they learned the language. StuRat (talk) 12:21, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
That would be the apparent-time hypothesis. Deor (talk) 12:33, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
It's groovy. It's hep. It's the bee's knees. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:40, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Vinyl records were groovy, but CDs are just the pits. StuRat (talk) 13:40, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
"elders" is probably not the correct word for what you want to say. It does not just mean old people, it has special connotations of place in society, wisdom, etc. The role of "elder" does not exist in most Western societies. (talk) 00:37, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
See euphemism treadmill. "Elder" is the euphemism after (or possibly before?) "senior". Tevildo (talk) 19:10, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Letter Wood[edit]

Apparently, the Demerara River and the province of Guyana named after it got their name from a local word for the "letter wood" that grew nearby. Does any one know what in the world "letter wood" is? Rojomoke (talk) 10:17, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

According to this site, "Letterwood" is Brosimum guianense, "so called from the wood's letterlike markings". Tevildo (talk) 10:23, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Here's a pic of the wood, looking like it has some words written on it in some unknown alphabet: [25]. StuRat (talk) 14:07, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I goggled "letter wood" and got lots of hits about wooden letters. I didn't think to try "letterwood". Rojomoke (talk) 16:55, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
It might be an idea to remove the space from the "Demerara" article - the native name presumably means "river of the <local name for B. guianense>", rather than the separate English (or Dutch) words "letter" and "wood". But this is probably for the article talk page. Tevildo (talk) 17:18, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
This type of tree nomenclature can also be found in cottonwood, lacewood and buttonwood, but I can't think of an Old World example. Alansplodge (talk) 20:10, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Is "Thy will be done" grammatically correct?[edit]

I don't understand this grammar. Even the modern version, "Your will be done", doesn't really conjugate the verb. Why is it correct or acceptable? (talk) 16:36, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

It's an archaic use of the English subjunctive. Nowadays we would add may thy name be hallowed, may thy kingdom come. μηδείς (talk) 17:08, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
In Matthew 6:10, the word "will" is a noun.
Wavelength (talk) 17:17, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. A clearer version might be "May thy bidding be done". StuRat (talk) 18:35, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
"Thy will" is the subject of the sentence. "Be done" is the verb. In this case, the "be" is an old subjunctive form indicating a wish or expectation. The more usual way to express this in modern grammar (substituting "your" for "thy") would be "May your will be done" or "Let your will be done", or in simpler English, "May what you want be done" or "Let what you want be done". Marco polo (talk) 00:01, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

What does it mean "I was born at a very young age" ?[edit]

What does it mean "I was born at a very young age" ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Goforit138 (talkcontribs) 17:05, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

It is a joke. Consider the alternative. μηδείς (talk) 17:10, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Here is the alternative. StuRat (talk) 18:39, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
And an old joke at that. Bill Cosby's 1960s album titled "I Started Out As a Child". Or Chico Marx, in Duck Soup, asked when he was born: "I don't remember. I was just a little-a baby." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:36, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Which is actually a very pertinent point when debating a subject's date of birth, for which refer to innumerable debates on WP talk pages. People often say things such as: "The guy has his birth date on his website, for *** sake, how much more official can you get than that?". To which others, such as me, retort: "People are not reliable sources about their own birth dates. Whatever he says about this is what he's been told by his parents and/or read on his birth certificate, but NOT what he can personally testify to. He was certainly present at his own birth, but only by definition, because he was not exactly in a position to note the date and time or provide any other details of the circumstances of the delivery. Plus, who can say he hasn't fudged the date for reasons of vanity or whatever?". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:09, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Reminds me of the major league pitcher Dizzy Dean, who gave three different versions of his birth information to three different reporters. His defense was, "I wanted to give each o' them fellas an exclusive story!" ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:14, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
And I'm sure that Wikipedia would gladly accept any one of those three reporters' articles as a reliable source. —Nelson Ricardo (talk) 23:44, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Which is why in 2008 I initiated a discussion on Talk:Dizzy Dean about the conflicting sources, not just for his date of birth but also his place of birth and his birth name; there's no final resolution yet. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:53, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I knew this sounded familiar. I've looked at the census records for his early years, but all they call him is "Jay", and of course with only approximate birth year. Which is probably what I did the last time this came up. The only way to know for sure would be to track down his birth certificate, which might or might not be publicly available, depending on Arkansas law. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:46, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
That's assuming he was born in Arkansas, and not Mississippi or Oklahoma. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:29, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I think the censuses said Arkansas, but I know from experience that census data is not gospel, it's merely a guideline. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:14, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

A side note: Throughout the ages, an urban legend has persisted that the Chinese philosopher Lao Tsu was born an old man. (Most likely, a homograph gave rise to this misconception.)

The glyphs constituting his name, 老子, literally mean "old master," but can also mean "old child."

Pine (talk) 05:38, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Don't forget his cousin Lhotse, an old mountain man. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:48, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Difference between [i̯] and [j][edit]

What is the different between [i̯] and [j] when used as a glide? -- (talk) 17:33, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

If intended to represent a real consonantal sound, then [i̯] would be just an unnecessarily elaborate way of writing [j]. When writing the second half of a falling-sonority diphthong, using [j] is not really standard IPA practice (though in some languages such a diphthong could be analyzed as containing a phonemic consonant)... AnonMoos (talk) 06:52, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
So if the sound is not the nucleus of the syllable, [i̯] is more appropriate? You mentioned that some languages still use [j], I found that on Wiktionary for the Spanish ending -cia. I don't see the difference between Spanish and German, the latter uses [i̯] more. Or is it just a habit in the respective languages? -- (talk) 00:08, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

How do I tranlsate JSTOR pdf files?[edit]

Uploading the pdf to Google Translate results in gobbledygook because words like "l'ingéniosité" are rendered as "L'ing?niosit?". It seems obvious the problem is converting to plain text first, before translation, but that doesn't work either. At least one website recommends using something called the "Paper Capture Plugin" in the paid version of Acrobat, but it isn't clear if this will work. Does anyone know how to proceed? I'm surprised this is a problem. Surely, someone knows how to translate JSTOR documents? Viriditas (talk) 22:42, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

I downloaded a JSTOR PDF document containing the word "ingéniosité" and uploaded it to Google Translate and it worked (or the translation contained the word "ingenuity", at least).
PDFs of scanned documents usually contain both the scanned bitmap and an OCR text "underlay". If there's a mistake in the OCR text, it won't be visible when reading the document in a PDF viewer but will be visible when converting to plain text. The only solutions are to correct the mistakes manually or redo the OCR. It looks like the Paper Capture Plugin will redo the OCR. There are free alternatives, but someone else will have to recommend one because I have no experience with this. -- BenRG (talk) 03:01, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
@BenRG: please try this article and tell me what happens. It's from 1953; was the pdf you tried to translate more recent? Viriditas (talk) 03:30, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Maybe you would be more likely to find a solution on a computer help forum which covers software incompatibility issues involving character set encodings. AnonMoos (talk) 07:32, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

September 1[edit]

How is American Spanish different from the Spanish spoken in Latin American countries and Spain?[edit]

There is "American English", which sounds and looks different from British English or Australian English. What about "American Spanish"? Since there are so many Spanish-speakers in the U.S., how are these Spanish-speakers different from their Hispanic and Spanish counterparts? (talk) 14:50, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Have you read Spanish language in the United States? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:47, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
It's also important to note that local words and idioms, as well as pronunciation, vary noticeably across Latin America and Spain. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:50, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
See also: Spanglish.   — (talk) 18:34, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
That article Spanish language in the United States contains lists of miscellaneous variations, but it is still hard for the reader with no knowledge of Spanish to get any handle on how different the varieties really are. I have skimmed through the article, and I still have no feel at all for whether the differences are similar in scope to those between British and American English, or less, or much greater. I know this issue is complicated by variations within language varieties that are conventionally lumped together, but I still think it should be possible to say something more useful on this point than the article presently does. (talk) 19:39, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I studied Spanish throughout high school, including an Honors class. I know a couple of linguistic and cultural differences in Spain and Latin American countries, but Spanish in the United States was lightly touched. Maybe there was Nueva York or Miami or San Antonio. Not sure if those places speak Spanish any differently than the Latin American countries or that in Spain, though. (talk) 20:05, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't understand what the OP wants. The differences between the varieties of English have t do with pronunciation, spelling and idioms. But generally any English speaker can understand any other English speaker. The same is true of Spanish speakers in general. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:39, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
This source seems pretty informative. The language of recent immigrants is quite close to that of their country of origin (Mexico, Puerto Rico, etc.), whereas Spanish speakers born in the country may be what that author calls "transitional bilinguals" and display speech patterns more influenced by English. The most obvious difference is the greater use of English words. One noticeable grammatical influence in a greater use of the nominative personal pronouns, e.g. in "yo quiero", "tú vas", etc., which tend to be omitted in the more standard varieties when they aren't needed for emphasis. Lesgles (talk) 23:41, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
[edit conflict] U.S. Spanish is not a variety of Spanish in the same way that American English is a variety of English. There are actually many varieties of Spanish spoken in the United States. In fact, virtually every variety of Spanish spoken in the world is also spoken in the United States. There is at least one variety of Spanish indigenous to the United States — New Mexican Spanish. Aside from that variety, the most widely spoken Spanish variety used in the United States is Mexican Spanish, which is the most common variety everywhere but in the Northeast and Florida, where Caribbean varieties of Spanish are more common. First generation immigrants naturally continue to speak their own national variety of Spanish, though they may mix in some English words. In subsequent generations, (American) English has more of an impact on people's Spanish, to the extent that they may speak Spanglish, but these mixed forms do not constitute a uniform U.S. Spanish variety, because their starting point is different national varieties of Spanish. Marco polo (talk) 23:54, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
  • In NYC there is a huge amount of borrowing of vocabulary from English, including even verbs remodeled on the -ear subtype. The verbs chequear, parquear, and liquear ("to check, to park" and "to leak") are examples. One night around midnight I heard drastic pounding at my front door. I walked out into the entrance, separate from the livingroom to find an inch of water on the floor and its was the super (who spoke just a few nouns in English) at the door yelling "tus pipas tan liqueando al piso abajo!" They are fully treated as Spanish verbs, and pronounced with the typical accent of the speaker (i.e., there's quite an obvious difference between a Mexican and a Puerto Rican). Actual Spaniards throw fits at such things. My own English is peppered with Ruthenian words like "gotchies" for underpants, which has actually become normalized in certain parts of Canadian English, which shocked me when I first came acrost it. I am unaware of any typically "American" pronunciations by Spanish speakers in the US that have anything to do with linguistic interference by English. This source mentions words like boila, frizando and biper (now archaic!) typical of Spanish of the NE US. μηδείς (talk) 02:11, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
U.S. Spanish is not a variety of Spanish in the same way that American English is a variety of English. The introduction to the article Spanish language in the United States fails to make this clear. In fact, the prominent mention of the term American Spanish gives every impression that the opposite is the case. (talk) 02:24, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
The statement you've italicized is quite correct. If anything there might be a difference between Chicano and other dialects. But I don't live out West, and in NYC, for example, there is a difference between Spanish spoken by Mexicans spoken with a Mexican accent and Spanish by Puerto Ricans (actually mostly Dominicans) spoken with a Caribbean accent. Each population retains its pronunciation, but they have a common vocabulary particular to the details of in the US.
I just spoke with my father who is a native English speaker who spoke enough Spanish to be the foreman of an all Spanish-speaking construction site in PR. (A lot of his Spanish accidentally came out in German, with humous effects.) He said their speech was full of borrowings like troque for truck (should be camion). My dad would say authentic Spanish words like el martillo and be responded to with Spanglish like la jama for "the hammer".
The only actual phonetic influence I can think of from English to Spanish is the use of sh for ch in words like show and shampoo where the sh sound is not native to Spanish. μηδείς (talk) 02:48, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

I'm not quite sure how to answer the OP's question, apart from stating that—unlike Portuguese, French, Dutch, and (worst of all) English—Spanish pronunciation is extremely simple and, thus, rather difficult with which to form creole or pidgin languages. Regional dialects exist, of course, and I'd advise said OP to avoid using certain expressions such as, ahem, cojer among certain Hispanics.

Although the English language has significantly corrupted "American Spanish" (for lack of a more proper, linguistic term) these contributions remain far from standard. To wit, if the New York City government distributed a Spanish pamphlet entitled Oficinas Municipales en La Loisaida `City Offices in the Lower East Side`, it may very well seem condescending—and even racist! Though most people, today, still consider American English and British English two dialects of the same language, they really do so for historical, political, and cultural reasons, at least as much as for linguistic ones; indeed, the two "dialects" are, in fact, less mutually intelligible than Hindi/Urdu or Croatian/Bosnian/Serbian/Montenegrin. The dialect continuum in Spanish, however, remains remarkably narrow.

I'll simply note that (outside of northern and central Spain) one would pronounce z, ce, ci, and cy akin to an "s" in English, and not similar to a "th" in English. Also, in Modern Spanish, ll sounds identical to y in English. In fact, wherever someone goes in the Spanish-speaking lands, he will not likely notice any difference whatsoever between halla and haya, callò and cayò, or malla and Maya. Only in Bolivia, parts of northern Chile and eastern Peru, and a handful of small villages in Spain's Castille region, has the distinction between ll and y remained preserved to this day (sort of like the lli in the English word million). Also, in the River Plate region of Argentina and Uruguay, many pronounce it—in informal settings, at least—similarly to the "s" in the English word measure, (although, I've heard that it has now started trending more toward the "sh" in the English word shop).

Pine (talk) 12:35, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Um, Loisaida is in all sorts of official documents, and there was certainly no rioting when this happened 25 years ago. And linguists don't say corruption. They speak of linguistic interference. μηδείς (talk) 16:56, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
American Spanish is more influenced by the various versions of Spanish spoken elsewhere in the Americas than Spain itself. For example, burrito is taken to mean the food item in the US, whereas in Spain it would be more likely to be taken literally, meaning "small burro. StuRat (talk) 13:35, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
"Though most people, today, still consider American English and British English two dialects of the same language, they really do so for historical, political, and cultural reasons, at least as much as for linguistic ones" -- I cannot possibly agree with this statement. (talk) 20:10, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
The differences between American and British English are cosmetic, superficial, anecdotal. They aren't different enough to be consider dialects. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:10, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
It seems I may have completely misunderstood the intended meaning of that statement. I thought it was saying that they were more distant than dialects of the same language, like separate languages or something. (talk) 21:42, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Indecipherable Czech (written)[edit]

Looks a bit like chteliste žrati, possibly means stuff your faces or eat like pigs or some-such, or just maybe you wanted to gorge yourselves - any ideas? Thanks --catslash (talk) 23:27, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

It must be chtěli jste žrát, "you (all) wanted to eat (like an animal)", so basically your last translation. The word žrát, common to many Slavic languages, means to eat when referring to animals, and is colloquial or vulgar when referring to people. Compare German fressen. Lesgles (talk) 23:53, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Brilliant - thanks! --catslash (talk) 01:41, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

September 2[edit]

English to Latin to English[edit]

I once used Google Translate to get the phrase "somni tempus", but I can't remember what the original English was. I suspect it may have been "fall asleep" or "go to sleep", but running either of those through Google Translate gets me something completely different, and "somni tempus" translates to "sleep!" with the exclamation mark. But I'm sure there was more to it. — Melab±1 03:58, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

"Time of sleep" would translate literally as "somni tempus", and that's what Google Translate gives. -- (talk) 08:28, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm guessing "Bedtime!" — SMUconlaw (talk) 11:47, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Google Translate gaans fill canny the noo/currently translates things idiomatically instead of of literally. The literal translation (and I'm using all my knowledge[dubious ] of Latin that I learned from High School Italian) of ""somni tempus" would be "time to sleep". I guess "somni tempus" in idiomatic Latin is "go to sleep!" in the imperative. Vestri mileage variari. Pete AU aka --Shirt58 (talk) 12:04, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
That doesn't look plausible at all; 'tempus' would be redundant in such a construction. Google Translate doesn't known an idiom from a hole in the ground. Google Translate works statistically - it pieces together likely translations from existing texts whose translations it is more sure of (or that it has been directly told are good). This works badly in most cases, but especially badly in languages with a complex case structure (like Latin) or where the two languages are structurally very different. AlexTiefling (talk) 12:11, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Actually inflection makes everything less ambiguous because the function of a word is indicated in the word itself.-- (talk) 17:59, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
If it makes any difference, what I wanted translated was supposed to be spoken with an exclamation mark. — Melab±1 14:44, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Somni tempus is really only going to work as a noun phrase as IP 65 indicates. Latin would use a command or a participle or a subjunctive. Vade ad lectum! is pretty straightforward, or even just Cuba! which can mean recline to eat or sleep. μηδείς (talk) 17:13, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
I think dormi! more directly conveys "go to sleep" in the singular imperative. Marco polo (talk) 17:55, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Left-brained people[edit]

I know that the expression refers to people using their left brain hemisphere more often. However, what does it mean if you call somebody a "left-brained person"? What does that mean figuratively? Does it bear a negative connotation? I'm not a native speaker. -- (talk) 16:09, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

See Handedness and Lateralization of brain function. Some studies have found that people whose left brain hemisphere is dominant (people who are generally right-handed) are statistically more likely to be strong in reason and logic and less likely to be intuitive or creative. So, saying that someone is left-brained is claiming that they are more rational and logical than average. In fact, this is a stereotype, and it is not always the case that people with dominant left hemispheres are especially logical or lacking in creativity. I don't think that the expression has a negative connotation by itself, though I suppose a person who fancies himself creative might use it dismissively to suggest that someone else is less creative. Marco polo (talk) 17:49, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
The whole "Stronger in reason and logic" is mostly bullshit. Handedness does indicate hemispheric dominance in brain scans, but there is less and less evidence that the old "left=logic and reason" and "right = language and creativity" is far from universal, and the more studies that are done, the more it seems that there is not a universal pattern of lateralized functions in people, and less indication that handedness is tied to any outward traits; that is that one can predict one's aptitudes merely by knowing which "hand" is your dominant hand. That sort of thing is about as bullshit as the taste map and other unfortunate mularky foisted on school children as "factoids" that are more "oid" than "fact". --Jayron32 02:05, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
I was sent to the principal's office in second grade for calling bullshit on the taste map. I didn't even use that "naughty" term, but I think I called my teacher "stupid" a few times. Looking back, it wasn't her fault, she was just following a lesson plan. I'm glad newer kids don't have to deal with that anymore, but I'll bet more than a few feel the same way about hearing the "alternatives" to evolution. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:02, September 3, 2014 (UTC)
I guess I should point out that I was sent to the office about as equally for arguing logically as I was for sleeping, doodling, drumming or whistling. Whether I was right-brained or left-brained depended on whether the stimuli was boring. I figure that's mostly true for everyone. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:22, September 3, 2014 (UTC)

September 3[edit]

Does English have an equivalent for the Spanish word, "nacer"?[edit]

"Nacer" means "to be born", according to But notice that the English version has the helping verb. "Born" is also the past participle of "to bear". However, when you bear a child, it means that you are going into labor, giving birth to a child. So, I think maybe the verb form of "nativity" would be a good fit, but I don't know the verb form of "nativity". (talk) 01:04, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

The simple answer is, no, English has no such verb. That said, I wouldn't be shocked if someone managed to pop up with some obscure word that Chaucer used once, or some such. But in terms of any ordinary discourse, no. --Trovatore (talk) 01:08, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
In certain contexts there are loose equivalents; for example you can say that a new baby "arrives". (talk) 01:55, 3 September 2014 (UTC)


August 28[edit]

What do you call the "standard CG movie animation style"?[edit]

There seems to be an animation style used in almost every CG animated comedy movie, including every Pixar feature-length film, many of the DreamWorks Animation films, many of the recent films from Walt Disney Animation Studios, etc. The defining characteristics, as far as I can tell, include:

So rather than "non-photorealistic rendering", this is photorealistic rendering of unrealistic scenes. Is there a specific name for this style of animation? « Aaron Rotenberg « Talk « 16:16, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure if there is a name for this, but when CG animation doesn't follow the Pixar model, that is when it tends to more photorealistic effects, it drifts into the uncanny valley. See criticism leveled at films like The Polar Express and other films from ImageMovers Digital Animation; the partnership between Robert Zemeckis and Disney Studios. There are very good reasons why the so-called "Pixar" model of CG animation works, and why other styles tend to get bad reviews. --Jayron32 00:11, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
That "uncanny valley" style is indeed weird. It's kind of like high-tech rotoscoping. The difference is that you know rotoscoping when you see it - it's vaguely realistic but cartoonish enough to not seem truly real. The "uncanny valley" style doesn't work. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:31, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
That's not quite true. Animation that's between Pixar-style and photorealistic tends to fall into the uncanny valley, as you noted. But there are also films that use physically-based rendering but with a completely different type of visual design—The Lego Movie, for example, used CG to fake stop motion animation. That movie didn't follow the Pixar style, but it clearly also avoided the uncanny valley! There's also Avatar, which was mostly mocapped CG and skipped straight over the uncanny valley into hyper-realistic. So it's clearly possible to do other types of CG successfully. There's just that one particular style that is very prevalent. « Aaron Rotenberg « Talk « 01:21, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

August 29[edit]

Requesting a Webpage to be made for Carvelli[edit]

Hello. I'm a web designer for a hip-hop artist named Bill Carvelli (

Due to his success and notability, I was requesting to have a professional Wikipedia article created. He has been referenced in Aria Johnson's page, when she was featured in his single "Something's Up Tonight".

There are no professional Wikipedia article writers. This entire project has been created by amateurs. However, you can (and should) request that an amateur create this page by going to Wikipedia:Requested articles and requesting an article. Be aware that, if you want someone to work on your request, you should include reliable source material written by people who have no connection to your client. That is, Wikipedia articles must come from reliable source material, and that source material shouldn't be written by anyone who has a vested interest in promoting your client. Things like reliable books, magazines, scholarly journals, etc. or websites with a similar sort of editorial control, and which have high standards of academic integrity. I hope that helps! --Jayron32 02:58, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Actually there are professional Wikipedia article writers. Try|feed me 14:35, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Well, sort of. There are people who try to take your money for writing articles. This is a controversial practice, and not well accepted by much of the community here. See WP:COI which has a section on the problems paid editing introduces. It does not guarantee problems, but editing Wikipedia for profit carries a certain air of unrespectability that tends to tarnish the effort. --Jayron32 14:43, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
Please see WP:AUTOBIOGRAPHY. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:36, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Dance scene in Stormy Weather[edit]

In Stormy Weather (1943 film) there is a big dance scene that lasts over 6 minutes. Was that filmed in one long continuous shot? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 04:29, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

One of my favorite scenes in moviedom! That dance scene, featuring Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers, is pure joy every time. Now I get to watch it again with your question in mind. --jpgordon::==( o ) 23:08, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
That is the scene I'm talking about. Some of us were discussing whether or not it is one continuous dance or if there are edits from different takes. Do you know? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 23:15, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
No, that's why I have to watch it again! --jpgordon::==( o ) 00:14, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
To me, it looks like there is a discontinuity when the Nicholas brothers go down to the floor and another one when they start up the stairs. There are edits, and they seem to be in a little different positions. Others disagree with me. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 01:17, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Ottawa Senators signature[edit]

I found this signature (link) on an older CCM manufactured Ottawa Senators jersey. Who knows this signature? Thanks --MB-one (talk) 19:18, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Number 11 is most famously Daniel Alfredsson - a Google Images search for his signature brings up more just like this one. Adam Bishop (talk) 20:13, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
That was super fast. Thanks a lot, Adam! --MB-one (talk) 00:37, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

August 31[edit]

name confusion connection[edit]

I remember watching en episode of FBI: The Untold Stories. That one had someone who was a USMC veteran-turned-child killer. TV Guide credited the performer as Jason Adams. But I'm confused as to which one. Was it Ash Adams or Jason Leland Adams? Anyone know what I'm talking about? (talk) 07:56, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

According to IMDb, it was Ash Adams, but IMDb is not an official reliable source. This particular reference is a "Mini-biography by Anonymous", so is likely to be less reliable than usual... Tevildo (talk) 08:54, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Thank you so much. (talk) 11:54, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

They're both around, so to find out for sure, maybe you could contact them and/or their agents? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:38, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

philippine mermaids[edit]

i was fumbling around when i saw the template for philippine mermaids and i was just wondering why there were so many what provoked this interest? hank ~Helicopter Llama~ 16:23, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

The primary source article for Template:Philippine Mermaids is Dyesebel, a popular comic-book character in the Philippines. The references in the template are to her, and similar characters in films and TV series. Tevildo (talk) 16:49, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
so the other mermaids are derivative works of dyesebel basiscaly? `~Helicopter Llama~ 16:00, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Using fans to disarm people with swords[edit]

I have seen several scenes on TV/film that involve people disarming swords with fans. One example involves Mulan, where Mulan uses her fan to disarm Shan Yu when he attempts to attack her with his sword on the rooftop of the palace. Another example involves Detective Conan, where, in one episode, Shizuka (Heiji's mother) uses her fan to disarm a criminal attempting to commit suicide with her sword. Is this a realistic technique in real life? (talk) 17:39, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

See Japanese war fan and Tessenjutsu. According to the latter article, "Some [practitioners] became so skilled, in fact, that they were able to defend themselves against an attacker wielding a sword", but this statement isn't cited, and the examples given are more legendary than historical. So, to answer your question - possible, yes, realistic, no. Tevildo (talk) 17:56, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
I certainly wouldn't expect that, in two people of equal skills with their weapons, the person with the fan would ever be likely to win, because the sword out-ranges the fan. However, since an unarmed person of great skill could probably defeat an idiot who doesn't know how to use his sword (let's say he can't even get it out of the scabbard), then certainly somebody with a war fan could do so, as well. The advantage to the war fan, I would think, is that it doesn't appear to be a weapon, so could be used where weapons are forbidden, with an element of surprise. StuRat (talk) 19:38, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Our article on Sasaki Kojirō (1585? – 1612) says "The first reliable account of his life states that in 1610, because of the fame of his school and his many successful duels, including once when he fended off three opponents with a tessen..." Alansplodge (talk) 19:54, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

September 1[edit]

French film including a story with a prostitute and a wielding guy sculpting a woman released in the 1960a[edit]

What was the name of the French film which was released in 1960s which includes a story of a prostitute and had different stories? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:17, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

The long 1960s (say 1958-1974) was the core era of the French New Wave. I don't recognize the film from your description, but if you explore the films and directors of the French New Wave, you may find something. --Jayron32 03:10, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't really know what "a wielding guy sculpting a woman" means, but my first thought was Belle de Jour. My Life to Live is another possibility. --Viennese Waltz 08:20, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm guessing that "wielding guy" means a welder. Belle de Jour does not "have different stories". —Tamfang (talk) 04:23, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Ding ding ding Tamfang. That was the only film that came to mind when I read the OPs question. MarnetteD|Talk 04:29, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
And I could mention Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne since it's French and mentions prostitutes, but I won't. —Tamfang (talk) 05:48, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Ah rats I should have sent out a ding ding ding to Viennese Waltz as well. Naughty me for not reading all the posts. The only thing worse is if it is a film that none of us have seen. MarnetteD|Talk 05:52, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

September 2[edit]

Harold and Maude: arranged marriages in the 1970s?[edit]

In Harold and Maude, the mother seems to be obsessed with finding Harold a wife, even though each prospective wife completely freaked out at the sight of one of Harold's mock suicide attempts. Is arranging a marriage normal behavior in the 1970s? How common were arranged marriages during the '70s? (talk) 03:43, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Mothers trying to arrange a marriage is a time immemorial event OP. While it isn't as rigid in some cultures as others you have to take into account the upper middle class familial structure depicted in the film. You also have to be aware of the fact that this is a fiction film - so it is just as likely to be mocking said societal structure - whether it still existed or had become passe by then - as anything else. MarnetteD|Talk 04:37, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Upper middle class? I would have thought that Harold comes from an upper upper class family, because it looks like he's just sitting on inherited wealth. Yes, I do realize it is a fictional movie. However, your post doesn't really attempt to answer the inquiry about the prevalence of arranged marriages in the 1970s of the United States. (talk) 23:20, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Rebel telugu movie Year 2012[edit]

According to the synopsis, some of the details might be Fake. How in the world did Stephen & Robert know that Rishi was creating a trap? Nanu couldn't have informed Stephen & Robert about Rishi, so how did Stephen & Robert fool Rishi in the end of this movie?( (talk) 11:23, 2 September 2014 (UTC)).

OP seems to be talking about Rebel (2012 film). I've no idea the answer. Dismas|(talk) 05:29, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Cadfael - TV series. Date set in[edit]

What year/ time period was the TV series set in ? The books were set during 1130s to 1140s (I think) so is/ would the TV series be the same ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:04, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

The TV series is set in the same time period as the books. The episodes (with a few exceptions) are faithful adaptations of the novels but they are presented in a different order then the books were published in. MarnetteD|Talk 02:35, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

early - mid 2000s internet mashup video song[edit]

I remember this video on an icelandic media site, it was on it from 2004/2005/2006 -2010, It was this song but not a released one, it was like this mashup song, but not songs on the radio but more like random voices, scratching sounds and yeah, the video started with "ladies and gentlemen" or atleast included it, it's icelandic name was "samklippa úr hinum ýmsu klippum" which translates to mashup of random clips or something. In the video, there were vids like: A horse kicking a man in the head or his head in the horses rear.. idk The guy from "Here's johhny" in the door Couches humping each other (cgi animation??) a guy shooting a gun in a studio and falls back Dancing baby (green or something) a guy spinning/dancing and hits a little toddler in the head when he/she runs past

in the ending it was black with a yellow or red or something text with an email on it, which i sadly don't remember.

please help me, this was certainly not icelandic and it had those clips in it, and this catch mashup-y song with it. (talk) 20:00, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Sounds vaguely like the music video for "Pump Up the Volume", but the time frame is wrong. --Jayron32 02:07, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
By the way, the "Here's Johnny!" that you're talking about is likely Jack Nicholson's character in The Shining. Dismas|(talk) 02:33, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Made me think of "Get Ready For This", but that's probably just the ice, mashup videos and hitting tykes in the head when they try to pass. The time frame is also wrong. Speaking of also wrong, couches aren't the only ones humping couches. I do remember cartoon couches humping, though, and will continue to try and find the right Google term. InedibleHulk (talk) 02:40, September 3, 2014 (UTC)
It wasn't "couch having sex", but that's pretty funny. Catchy tune, too. InedibleHulk (talk) 02:46, September 3, 2014 (UTC)

September 3[edit]


August 29[edit]

Everyone is infected with worms?[edit]

I just read from an unverified source claiming that everyone has worms in their body if they haven't been wormed in the past 4-6 weeks. And symptoms are unlikely to be present.

Can anyone point me in the right direction shedding some light on the veracity of these claims. It isn't clear if these worms are the intestinal kind or other types. Nematodes on the skin aren't likely to be too gross. But wrigglers squirming around in your bowel is. Any clarification would be useful.

Perhaps there is a Wiki-tician out there with anatomy experience who might have a had experience handling autopsies and can say for sure. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:02, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

According to our article Helminths, "over a quarter of the world’s population is infected with an intestinal worm of some sort", citing this paper, for which only the abstract is publically available. Tevildo (talk) 21:12, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
But note that those hosts are not at all evenly distributed among the world's population. In places without sewage treatment and water treatment, intestinal worms are far more common. StuRat (talk) 23:08, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
For an example, go to about 1:35 of this video clip:[26]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:35, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
What I'm seeing, the idea that everyone is "infected" seems to be a bunk claim made to sell medically spurious "colon cleansing" products. Plus, if a given species of worms was capable of infecting all of humanity (barring those of us whose diets contain enough capsaicin, citric acid, acetic acid, and dietary fiber that nothing short of gut flora can survive), they'd have to be symbiotic (or at least benign). Ian.thomson (talk) 23:47, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
If all else fails, there's always "Ex-Lax: Cleans Like a White Tornado!" ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:50, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
I'll stick to putting Sriracha on all my Mexican, Indian, and Chinese food, thanks. Ian.thomson (talk) 23:53, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
It does not seem to be true that everybody has worms. This source is one of many citing the figure that roughly one quarter of the world's population has parasitical worms. This problem is largely confined to developing countries with poor sanitation, particularly places where large numbers of people lack indoor toilets and proper waste disposal systems. When large numbers of people relieve themselves outdoors and drink untreated water, intestinal parasites spread easily. Marco polo (talk) 00:10, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
I heard from a reliable source, W.C. Fields, that alcohol kills worms. I shall commence treatment. (talk) 02:48, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Ah, yes. Attributed to other drunkards as well. I think the punch line to the story is, "If I keep drinking corn, I won't get worms." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:30, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
If you think that's disgusting, ubiquitous and invasive, check out these large biological molecules. You get them from handling dead animals, and if a cute little baby ingests them for long enough, they'll literally take over, transforming it into a gangly, hairless chimp-like creature, driven by the unending obsession to eat corpses and feed the parasite. Even worms fall victim. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:36, August 30, 2014 (UTC)
For further info, see "The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:30, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Exactly. They're not our bodies in the first place. Just a temporary configuration. We say we maintain them, but there are hundreds of other jobs going on it every day that we don't even notice. Our brain self basically just rents the penthouse and does what it can to not topple the building. If mitochondria, bacteria, worms and viruses want to live here, it's not our call. All we can do if we're fed up is leave, and the building finds something else to do. Like grow fruit, or a tail or a trunk. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:52, August 30, 2014 (UTC)
Vaguely related, the old expression, "You don't buy beer, you only rent it." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:02, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
Karen Blixen had a view on that: What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning, with infinite artfulness, the red wine of Shiraz into urine. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 04:16, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
A sensationalist news piece my friend shared acts like Demodex brevis is a species-wide infection on our faces. Instead of, you know, a bunch of critters generally causing no trouble and possibly keeping our faces a little cleaner. Ian.thomson (talk) 15:43, 31 August 2014 (UTC)
If I can sensationalize further, when they do very rarely throw a party, it leads to red mange, the go-to scientific explanation for the reddest Chupacabras. I'm not saying we should eradicate this vital species, but what if it had been your adorable puppy? Or worse, Nixon's? And won't somebody also think of the livestock? InedibleHulk (talk) 04:52, September 1, 2014 (UTC)

August 30[edit]

Robbie Ross[edit]

who wrote the biography of Robbie Ross-Professional Baseball Player? How can I find it myself? On the bio page somewhere? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:33, 30 August 2014 (UTC)

@ Do you mean who wrote the Wikipedia Article titled Robbie Ross (baseball)? If you do, Wikipedia articles are written by many authors, who modify and improve each other's work, most of them known either by a pseudonymous user name, and some identified only by the IP address of the computer they used to make the edit. In any event, you can get a full list of every author, along with every change they made, in the order they made it in, by clicking the "view history" tab while looking at the article in question. --Jayron32 20:00, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
It's sometimes interesting to go the original creation edit, then click the "cur" button on the far left to compare it to the current version, and see what survived. Pretty close, this time. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:16, August 30, 2014 (UTC)

September 1[edit]


Since the bowels aren't terribly well fixed in place or attached to tendons / bone like other organs, is it possible survive if a large section of your bowel fell out of your abdominal cavity. For instance, say due to a knife wound or some other tearing injury and the whole lot simply fell on the floor. 15 or more feet of the spaghetti. Could you just pick the lot back up yourself and try and cram it back in there. Or would you be generally unconscious at this stage. If not, and you picked it all up and pushed it back in would there be any immediate health consequences beyond just stitching the abdomen back up afterwards.

Gross I know but it seems like it's one of those 'questions' outta hollywood that you just wonder about. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:59, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

  • An abdominal hernia matches the situation, except the bowel extrudes past the abdominal musculature, but not the dermis. I suffered that after a previous surgery, and wasn't operated on for a year, even though you could feel a loop of sausage under my skin that gradually grew almost a foot long, and slid in and out of my abdominal wall. Both hernia and disembowelment are eminently survivable so long as the guts themselves are not ruptured, but there is the risk of strangulation (cut off of blood supply) with both and especially infection with the latter. See also Truss (medicine). μηδείς (talk) 15:25, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Plucked from the internet at random: Disemboweled biker to make full recovery. I suspect that in a time before antibiotics, peritonitis would get you if shock didn't. Not a medical opinion, just a guess. Alansplodge (talk) 20:25, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Valerie Lakey had her guts sucked out of her butt (transanally disemboweled) by a swimming pool in 1993. As of 2006 (maybe today), she's still alive, though still not back to normal, despite a lot of professional medical help. Almost certainly couldn't have done it alone.
The intestines may seem like a chaotic mess, compared to the more rigid organs, but they're actually folded rather precisely. Like trying to refold a road map or rebox Christmas lights, ripping and tangling are common problems. If you're rushing and distracted (as a disemboweled person should be), that risk increases. Gotta remember to wash your hands well, too. They may be normally full of crap, but only on the inside. InedibleHulk (talk) 02:13, September 3, 2014 (UTC)
Artur and Heitor Rocha are set to have their bowels removed from each other's abdominal cavities. That's a whole other level of complexity, but doctors figure it's possible. InedibleHulk (talk) 02:18, September 3, 2014 (UTC)

dakimakura question[edit]

Do lesbian girls in Japan use yuri-themed dakimakuras or is it just a male phenomenon? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:23, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

See Rule 34. --Jayron32 02:58, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

September 2[edit]

How to use Ebscohost Connection?[edit]

In my searches for references, I've occasionally come across articles listed on Ebscohost Connection. I'm not familiar with this website and have been struggling to understand it. I believe that I managed to access an article through the site once, but that was a couple of years ago - I don't remember what I did at the time. My recent attempts to access anything through the site have proved futile. I put a lot of effort into it a couple of months ago and just ended up confused and frustrated. I just tried again today and this is what has happened:

  • Here's the page that I was working from [27]
  • I clicked on the blue flag-like box that says, "Read the article courtesy of your local library"
  • This opens a green box
  • I enter my zipcode to search by location
  • I select a library in my local area - it isn't the library that I usually go to, but my card should still be valid there
  • I enter my library card number
  • I get a message saying, "Thank You! You will now be redirected to EBSCOhost to read the full text: The Bros. Runt courtesy of Fairfax County Public Library. If you are not automatically redirected, click here to go to the full text."
  • I am then taken to a login page, where it asks for a User ID and Password

I don't think that I actually got this far when I tried a few months ago. But I'm not sure what login information the site is looking for. Do I need to set up an account with EBSCOhost? If so, how do I do that? I don't see an option for creating an account. --Jpcase (talk) 17:27, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

I'm in the UK but I've always found it best to access EBSCOHost via the library website itself as it uses a different logon form. From your example - the Fairfax link is here which takes you to this login page. Nanonic (talk) 19:18, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I was able to log in through that link. However, I remember getting to this point before, when I tried a few months ago. I can't figure out how to use the search option from this point. For example, I'm interested in finding articles about the television series Ed, Edd n Eddy and have been able to find many on EBSCOhost through the area of the site that I linked to above. When I go through the login page that you provided though, and search Ed, Edd n Eddy, I only get five results - none of them having to do with the show. Any thoughts? --Jpcase (talk) 19:40, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

3rd meter line violation in volleyball[edit]

Why in some moments players aren't allowed to cross the 3rd meter line and the point goes to the opponent team?-- (talk) 18:42, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia has an article titled Volleyball which does cover the rules. The restrictions as to which players may cross the 3-meter line are covered in that article; near as I can tell, it depends on which players start in the back-court before the serve; there's also a player called the "libero" that has restrictions on how and when they can hit the ball. --Jayron32 19:05, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

September 3[edit]