Wikipedia:Reference desk/all

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This page lists all the recent questions asked on the Wikipedia reference desk by category. To ask a new question, please select one of the categories below. To answer a question, click on the "edit" link beside the question.

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May 30[edit]

Cell phone similar in shape factor to Samsung Galaxy S4 ?[edit]

A few weeks back I asked about cell phones that could do digital zooming to allow me to read restaurant menus without using reading glasses. I got one, but wasn't happy with the results (larger but blurrier). So, now I'm looking for cell phones with optical zoom. An actual zoom lens would only come on a very expensive cell phone, but I found a 10x/15x snap-on lens to add to a cell phone that seems to do the trick. It works on my cell phone, but doesn't snap on, since it's designed for another phone (the Samsung Galaxy S4). So, I had to tape it on to do a test. I don't want to pay what the proper model costs, though, so I'm hoping a cheaper model will have similar geometry. These lenses have magnets in them, and snap to the top and left side of the phone. So, the phone must:

1) Have a metallic case that will attract a magnet.

2) Have the same distance from the top, down to the lens (5/8 inch to center of lens).

3) Have the same distance from the left side, to the lens (11/8 inch to center of lens).

4) Have a 1/2 to 3/4 inch corner radius between the top and left side.

So, how can I search for cell phones given these criteria ? StuRat (talk) 04:34, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

@StuRat: The best search tool would probably be here at PhoneArena, it allows you to search by all sorts of dimensions, sizes, shapes, types and OS's. Also, have you taken a look at the Nexus 5? I know it is a bit pricy, but for that you entirely own the phone with no contacts or locks with certain carriers. Hope this helps you out! That search link it quite useful. EoRdE6(Come Talk to Me!) 21:23, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Looks like I can search by material, so that solves #1, but I can't specify the rest. StuRat (talk) 22:16, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm all in favour of tinkering, especially if you have fun. But coming into the proper age range myself, I can't help to notice (after losing two pairs of optician-made prescription glasses, one on the way to Singapore, and one in Beijing) that I do quite well witch cheap (as in EUR 1.49/pair - 3.99/pair) glasses from the next drugstore. This might not work for everyone, and the solution does lack the high-tech factor. But on the other hand, the glasses never run out of battery, and they give me a nice Mahatma Gandhi/Kurt Gödel/Konstantin Tsiolkovsky retro aspect. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:03, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
John Lennon? Contact Basemetal here 12:11, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Too close to {{{2}}} for the retro aspect to kick in - I was born before the Beatles broke up ;-). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:21, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

I am seriously nearsighted, and now I hold the menu about 2 inches from my eyes to read it. The drugstore reading glasses don't seem to go to a high enough prescription for me. I have a pair of prescription "coke-bottle" lens glasses. To me, putting those on is no better than holding the menu so close. This is why I want a high tech solution. StuRat (talk) 15:08, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Is there a site that enable to build and publish app (android) for free?[edit]

I looked for such site, I've tried for 4 sites and no one of them enable me to publish it for free149.78.227.97 (talk) 20:56, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

May 31[edit]

Desktop issue[edit]

I had installed windows 7 in my computer . Recently my desktop is shown black in the start screen. however I can use the right click in desktop and the background image is also shown. I had checked the desktop folder through the explorer and I saw all the folder added to desktop folder there but still all the file are invisible in the main desktop screen. How can I resolve it? AmRit GhiMire "Ranjit" 07:29, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

To me it sounds like you might need to reinstall Windows 7, as one of the files is corrupted. However, as this is a minor problem and a reinstall is a major effort, you might just live with your workaround, instead. StuRat (talk) 15:20, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
If the problem persists after restarting your computer, I would recommend first trying a System Restore (type "System Restore" in the Start menu) to a date before the problem was present, then "repairing" the installation using your Windows 7 installation disc (there should be an option for this after booting from the disc) before reinstalling Windows as a last resort.  — TORTOISEWRATH 20:12, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

How do I figure this ?[edit]

Laptop graphics card upgrade[edit]

Is there any way I can upgrade the dedicated graphics card on my laptop?

Currently it is an ATI mobility radeon HD 3430, but the performance is lacklustre to say the least, especially at native 1650x1024. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:11, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

While it may not be strictly impossible, it's very unlikely to be practically and economically feasible. Modern laptops are very tightly designed, both from a space and from a temperature/power point of view, and usually have few easily upgradable parts except for memory and mass storage. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 11:48, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. Just opening it up is likely to break something. My suggestion, buy a new laptop and use the current one as a backup. StuRat (talk) 15:22, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Many parts of many laptops are replaceable. I've replaced the LCD panel, keyboard, and fan/heat sink of my Thinkpad T40, which is now 11 years old and still a fine machine (2004 was roughly when CPU speeds flatlined). The laptops are designed to be disassembled in the field, and IBM/Lenovo provide detailed instructions about how to do it. But I don't think the CPU and GPU (graphics card) can be replaced, much less upgraded.
Of course, the original poster's laptop could be one of those ones where everything is soldered in place, even the RAM and hard drive. -- BenRG (talk) 19:37, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, the release date of the ATI mobility radeon HD 3430 was 2008. That's closer to your 2004 laptop than to todays very densely packaged laptops. On the other hand, 2008 was also the release date of the MacBook Air. And my experience tells me that no, CPU speeds did not flatline in 2004. See Megahertz Myth. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 20:05, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. Without knowing the model of the laptop it will be hard to assess its upgradeability.  — TORTOISEWRATH 20:09, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, and I just wanted to add that it's an HP Compaq 6830s. And yes, I have also taken the whole thing apart screw by screw, bit by bit and I ended up with more screws than I remember starting with so certainly not worried about having another go. I just don't know if it's as easy as hot swapping the graphics board with another of the same series (3xxx)

Are parts like graphics card standardized? I would buy a broken 2nd laptop and break it for the card if I had to. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:23, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Graphics cards are standardized for desktops, but not really for laptops. A few high-end laptops have replaceable GPUs using MXM cards, but in most, they're built into the motherboard. And the motherboard designs are usually specific to a few similar laptop models. If there were multiple graphics options for the same model of laptop, you might be able to find a replacement motherboard with a better graphics card (and hopefully still find drivers for it), but it likely wouldn't be a huge improvement and would probably be fairly expensive. Mr.Z-man 13:04, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Facebook "Photos of" broken?[edit]

I don't know if this is the right place to ask about Facebook, but recently I've been unable to view the "Photos of" section of just about any public Facebook page or group. The section for the page or group's own photos works all OK. The "Photos of" section just shows up empty. Is this happening to anyone else? JIP | Talk 19:26, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Clear browser cache and reopen the www-browser. Check for unneccessary addons and toolbars and incompatibiliy of popup bockers. Always keep browser and Adobe Flash Player uptodate. Run %APPDATA%, change to the folder Roaming, delete the folder Macromedia.
When using Windows, get the recent Version of
Note this links are obsolete, when newer versions appear.
Check antivirus software. If expired, MS Security Essentials may be useful:
--Hans Haase (有问题吗) 13:33, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

looking for quiz generator[edit]

Hi there, I look for a quiz generator which has a users system,
and has some AI features, including learning which questions did the student get wrong and re-ask him.
The system needs to have a restrictions system, or a permission system, that monitors that only allowed users are able to use part of the questions.
The system must be written in php.
We're talking about web.
The system should be freeware.
Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Exx8 (talkcontribs) 19:33, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Image scanner or digital camera[edit]

If you took care of all the details to obtain a photo of quality, could it reach the same level of quality as an image scanner? The article image scanner considers that digital cameras generate lower quality images. However, all problems named there ("a camera image is subject to a degree of distortion, reflections, shadows, low contrast, and blur due to camera shake (reduced in cameras with image stabilisation)") could be dealt with by an experienced photograph. Specially the last point could be better tackled with a tripod and not with image stabilization as claimed in the article. The article seems to be comparing a high-end scanner to a spontaneous photography, done with a pocket camera. --Llaanngg (talk) 20:31, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Read: Scanning Backs. How they work--Aspro (talk) 20:54, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Ah. As always... Wikipedia has an article Digital scan back. My old flat-bed scanner has far more capacity that the latest digital camera.--Aspro (talk) 20:59, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

How can I contact LinkedIn and get them to clean up the mess they've made?[edit]

A few days ago I established an accound on LinkedIn. My level of interest in having such an account was such that I'd have called off the whole thing for fifty cents. LinkedIn caused invitations to be sent to everyone I've ever exchanged email with on gmail. I would have disapproved that if it had been submitted for my approval. My communications with some people via gmail are delicate and this could have serious consequences. I wish to know:

  • How can I contact a person at LinkedIn responsible for fulfilling that organization's responsibilities?
  • Is there a quick way to get my account closed?
  • Would closing it now preclude setting up a new one?

Michael Hardy (talk) 21:14, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Oh dear, Oh dear. You must be older than 14 then. Try starting here: Managing Account Settings. Next time don't open an account without the guidance of a grandchild who will guide you through the information jungle (where you are the quarry).--Aspro (talk) 21:36, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
You would have had to opt-out of this "email hijacking for spamming all your contacts thing." As it appears, Linkedin makes getting the authorization a feature by default of the registration process, and many users, like you, do not realize that all their friends, co-workers, clients, relatives, and former contacts, are receiving emails from LinkedIn from now on. Go to Your name -> Settings -> Groups, Companies & Applications > Privacy Controls and disable everything that's too intrusive. LinkedIn won't send just one email per contact, it will send several to try and get more users, if you don't know. Yppieyei (talk) 21:51, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
[1] tells you how to close your account. You can probably easily find this result by searching for 'closing linkedin account', as I did. Note that closing your account will probably still keep some data for 20 days [2] and possibly longer in backups. However people shouldn't be able to see that data on Linkedin. (They may still see it on search engines, there's nothing much Linkedin can do about that.) Linkedin will also stop contacting people on your behalf. I doubt that simply closing your account will stop you opening a new one in the future, but you'll need to read the T&C or contact Linkedin to be sure.
BTW whenever you connect some account somewhere be it Twitter, Facebook,, gmail or whatever to a third party service, you should always make sure you are clear about what you're actually authorising the third party service to do.
As for your first comment, I'm not sure if anyone can help you if you don't specify what responsibilities. Do you want their legal department? Are you in India and want to contact their Grievance Officer? Their CEO? Board of directors? Tech support department?
Nil Einne (talk) 17:07, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Formal languages and the empty string[edit]

1. Why would we need an empty string? What could you not be able to express if you didn't work with such a concept? 2. Where does it appear, only at the beginning and end, or in a string like 'abcdef' is there an empty string between 'a' and 'b', 'b' and 'c' and so on? --Yppieyei (talk) 22:13, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

If the program asked the user to supply a string and the user merely press the enter/return key then the string returned to the program is an empty string. If there is no concept of empty string, how do you describe what the string the user gave the program? (talk) 03:57, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
That's in the wrong direction. An empty string in programming is a string were the terminal character appears right away. The question is about an empty string in formal languages. --Llaanngg (talk) 12:08, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
1. I suppose it's easier on balance (requires fewer special cases) to treat ϵ as a string than not. If a language recognizer's initial state is also an accepting state, it's natural to say that it accepts the empty string; it would be odd to say that you have to leave and reenter that state before it counts, because that's otherwise never true of accepting states. The empty string is a valid program in many programming languages. 2. If "S appears between c and d in T" means that cSd is a substring of T, then yes, ϵ appears between every two characters. -- BenRG (talk) 04:44, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
You don't need it. And we don't need 0. The Greeks even developed a big chunk of their maths without a concept of 0. However, having such elements at hand makes more easy to define certain properties of elements. --Llaanngg (talk) 12:08, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Whether you need 0 depends on what you want to do. You do need 0 if you want to be able to do arithmetic easily with pencil and paper (or quill pen and parchment). The use of Arabic numerals in place of Roman numerals, as described to Europeans by Fibonacci, caught on largely because it made it possible to do arithmetic with the quill pen, and to record the intermediate results, rather than using an abacus. You do need 0 as part of a place-value numeral system. As noted, the use of an empty string facilitates the implementation of formal languages by minimizing special cases. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:18, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
You don't really need a digit 0 for place-value arithmetic. You can use digits 1, 2, ..., 9, and T for ten. In fact that system is a bit more compact and elegant than the usual one in that every nonnegative integer has a unique representation as a digit string, unlike the usual system where 1, 01, 001, ... all denote the same number. The unique representation of zero in this system is the empty string. But if you don't need the integer zero, then you don't need the empty string either. -- BenRG (talk) 22:26, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

June 1[edit]

Don't know what to call this part[edit]

[It's not quite a computer, but these things fulfill computing purposes, so forgive me for coming here :-]

My Garmin Nüvi portable GPS unit is having charging problems: the spot where you plug it in is malfunctioning. I want to search for information about the broken part — but what do you call it? See this image; if you draw a line between the "G" of "Garmin" and the screw at the bottom of the image, it's on the line a bit closer to the "G", the spot where you plug in the USB and the surrounding piece of plastic that, in this image, is protruding a little from the surrounding area. Nyttend (talk) 23:38, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

The connection appears to be a USB Mini-B receptacle. The 2795LMT manual just calls it a "USB port". -- Tom N talk/contrib
As for what could be wrong, the easy fix would be if there is gunk in the connector. Look at it closely and see if anything is stuck in there. If so, you can try cleaning it with a Q-tip and alcohol, etc. The other easy fix is if it's the cord. Just replace it. (If you have another Garmin Nüvi cord you can try, I'd do that as a test.) The worst problem is if one of the wires inside the device, behind the connector, is broken or has come disconnected. It's doubtful you could fix that yourself, so you may need to take it in for service or replace the whole thing. (If the connector wiggles, then this is likely to happen eventually.) StuRat (talk) 19:32, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

June 2[edit]

Compare meanings of words dictionary[edit]

Is there any dictionary which can compare the meanings two or more similar words. e.g. native place/home place, home/house, happy/pleasure. Thank you. (talk) 03:59, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Yes, any dictionary will do that. If you have a more specific question, the language desk might be a better place to ask it.--Shantavira|feed me 08:32, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
... but we don't know of any dictionary that has single entries on the comparison of word pairs. Some dictionaries such as Wiktionary sometimes mention similar words as a note in an entry. Dbfirs 11:15, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, many dictionaries will list similar words, and try to describe differences. For example, how "big", "large", "huge", "gigantic", "titanic", etc., compare. One problem, though, is that there are often regional differences in how they compare. For example, "apple juice" versus "apple cider" seem to have reversed meanings in US English and British English. StuRat (talk) 19:18, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
No, it's more within North America that there are reversed meanings. It's all juice in the UK (only cider when fermented). Dbfirs 19:51, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Fermented = "hard cider", in the US. StuRat (talk) 02:19, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
You might try a thesaurus, possibly in connection with a dictionary. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:36, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Cloud Gaming[edit]

Has anyone tried cloud gaming, and is it any good yet?

I can't seem to find any demos or places where I can try out any current games on a cloud service. It's mostly all talk and PR material but very little goods as far as I can see. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:03, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Cloud gaming lists two types, one with video streaming, where your device just plays a video, and all the processing happens at the server. That sounds unworkable to me, now, on a large scale, as the server demand and bandwidth requirements would just be too much. And these days even cell phones have enough processing power to run decent games, so I don't really see the advantage. The second type they list uses file streaming to download additional levels, etc., while you play the first part it downloaded. That seem much more sensible. (I've often thought that while reading a PDF file: "Gee, I just read pages 1-26, and now am on 27, wouldn't you think the PC could figure I might read page 28 next and download it for me as I read page 27 ?") StuRat (talk) 19:07, 2 June 2015 (UTC)


How do ones and zeros turn into images and text on the computer? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:50, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Well, for images each pixel (dot) on the screen can be coded with 0's and 1's (that's called a bitmap). In the case of a black and white image, you can just use a single bit, where a 0 is a white pixel and a 1 is a black pixel. For colors you need more bits of data for each pixel. For example, you could use 4 bits, which have 16 possible combos (0000, 0001, 0010, 0011, 0100, 0101, 0110, 0111, 1000, 1001, 1010, 1011, 1100, 1101, 1110, 1111). Those could be used to set each pixel to 1 of 16 colors. Early computers did this. With 8 bits per pixel, you can show 256 possible colors. Modern PCs tend to use around 24 bits per pixel, to show millions of possible colors at each pixel. Images can also be defined in other ways, like vector graphics, but I won't get into that (they also use 1's and 0's, but in a different way).
For text, it's a two step process. First, the computer needs to know which character you want. 8 bits are often used there, which allows for up to 256 possible characters. That includes the alphabet (upper and lowercase), the numbers, and lots of symbols and punctuation. For some languages, they need more characters than that, so 16 bits or more may be used.
Once the computer knows what character to display, it looks up a character map which might be just have a little picture (bitmap) of how to display that character at a given scale, font, etc. (there are other methods, too). If it's a bitmap, then it's defined using 1's and 0's just like described above. (Other character representations also use 1's and 0's, but in a different way.) StuRat (talk) 18:45, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Just to complete Stu's explanation: these values (1's and 0's) are stored in a part of memory called video ram (VRAM). You can think of the memory address in VRAM corresponding to the location of a pixel on the monitor (i.e if VRAM addresses start at 1000, then 1000 might be the upper-leftmost pixel, 1001 the next pixel to the right, and so on). In reality, it's more complicated than this, because various compression schemes are used to save memory space; however, the basic idea that the (1) different combinations of 1's and 0's correspond to different graphics elements (i.e. pixels, or text), and (2) the location of these elements in video RAM corresponds with their physical location on the screen IS true. OldTimeNESter (talk) 19:01, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Problem opening a program (Itunes) installed on my computer. Nothing I do fixes the problem[edit]


Suddenly my Itunes stopped working. I click the logo on my desktop and nothing happens. Absolutely nothing. It just worked before, and then it did not... I've tried to "open it as administrator", I've tried to reinstall/repair, I've tried to uninstall and then install anew, but nothing changes.. I also tried to open Itunes from its folder rather than using the desktop-shortcut. But the problem lingers.

I have not installed any new software, I have not updated any drivers or done any configurations etc.

What can be possible explanations to the problem and possible solutions? The fact that not even installing it anew makes any difference is weird..

UPDATE: Now it worked *once*, but it took literally 25-30 minutes from I double-clicked the desktop-logo till it suddenly opened. So there has got to be something preventing/slowing the program down from responding, right? Beyond that I am still at a loss... (talk) 18:16, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Could be a virus. Have you run any virus scans ? Also, I suggest you look at the Task Manager to see if a new process starts when you click on it. I bet it does, maybe one each time you click. And did you do an uninstall before doing the reinstall ? StuRat (talk) 18:37, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Yes I have tried both reinstall first and then uninstall/install. Task-manager shows nothing. But everything else works fine and the task manager shows every other open program as expected. Doesn't seem to be w virus... Computer just scanned an seem safe and healthy. (talk) 18:44, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

UPDATE: I just figured it out.. kinda.. An EMPTY CD was in the CD-rom. Once I ejected and took the cd out the program immediately opened. And I have now tried to open, close, open, close many times, and it works. So it was the CD. But why an empty cd which I originally meant to burn on, but which I never did?

Thnx for your time anyway, @Stu. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:50, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

I would guess that iTunes first searches through the CD so it can list any music there. This is meant to be a quick process, but perhaps it takes very long time to search that CD, for some reason, such as not having an index defined. They really should pop up a window after 30 seconds saying that it's taking a long time to search the CD for music, and ask if you want to continue or not. StuRat (talk) 18:59, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

double redirect spam[edit]

Each month I look over my website's HTTP log for incoming links. As usual, most of the new ones are Russian spammers. Less usual, this time there's a huge crop of double redirects, like this (simplified):


If it's working right, which it isn't always, the first page will redirect to


which in turn redirects to mySite. In many cases the redirect page doesn't work, but it also doesn't show their hot amateur porn, only an error message.

If SiteA or SiteB is legit, the other is the spammer; there are examples both ways. But either way, what's the point? No one who clicks that composite link in my site's log (if I have a public log) is going to see their advertisements for apartments in Ulyanovsk. Are they doing it to see whether spamming my site (with more conventional referral spam) is worthwhile?

(I remove my address before following any such link.) —Tamfang (talk) 23:54, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

June 3[edit]


May 31[edit]

How many times has sex evolved?[edit]

How many times has sex evolved? For example, did it evolve independently in plants and in animals? Please use simple language as I am not a biologist. I suppose the answer will depend on what sex is, and the various stages of its development? (talk) 08:14, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

As far as we know, once. See evolution of sexual reproduction. Dragons flight (talk) 08:37, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
(EC) Unsurprisingly we have an article Evolution of sexual reproduction. While it's not always that simple, some parts should be understandable particularly "All sexually reproducing eukaryotic organisms derive from a common ancestor which was a single celled species" which seems to answer the basic question. If you have follow up questions from the parts of our article you don't understand, you should clarify what they are. Nil Einne (talk) 08:38, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. However, there are some species which can reproduce either sexually or asexually. This is more common in plants, but some animals can do either, too. So, in those cases, the species may "evolve" to either trigger those genes for sexual or asexual reproduction, depending on conditions (a lack of genetically diverse mates would tend to favor asexuality). This change could also be triggered within a single individual, in which case it's not evolution, but adaptation. StuRat (talk) 15:57, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Mitosis (simple cell division) is the basis for asexual reproduction, whether that be the simple splitting of one cell into two, or the splitting away of two halves of a worm, or medusae from a polyp in the cnidaria, or the dropping of clones by certain plants that produce rooted runners, etc.
Sexual reproduction occurs when a diploid organism or some of its cells undergoes meiosis, forming haploid gametes (almost always eggs and sperm) which then recombine, producing a new organism with its own unique genome.
Meiosis has only evolved once. Now the details of sex between animals, the mosses and their kin, versus higher plants and their complicated systems of pollenization, the Fungi, and the other eukaryote kingdom including the various types of algae vary quite extraordinarily. μηδείς (talk) 18:50, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
More times than you can imagine. --Jayron32 20:45, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Are amphetamines proper a substituted amphetamine?[edit]

The article about substituted amphetamines claims that "Examples of substituted amphetamines are amphetamine (itself), methamphetamine, ephedrine, cathinone, MDMA ("ecstasy"), and DOM ("STP")." However, it sounds logical to me to not count amphetamine itself as a substituted amphetamine, since that's like saying it is a derivative of itself. Is the article using a standard definition? --Yppieyei (talk) 13:49, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

In general, when you see a -R in a chemical formula, -H is an option. I would say in a substituted compound, a substituent can be hydrogen. But this is the sort of thing where I can picture opinions going more than one way. Wnt (talk) 16:22, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
I think you're concentrating too much on what the words mean and missing the point that the term isn't being used the way a simple intepretation of the words may suggest. If you read substituted amphetamines and amphetamine carefully, the point seems to be that substituted amphetamines is a class of compounds of which amphetamine (alpha‑methylphenethylamine) can be considered the parent. It makes sense to consider this class of compounds, including alpha‑methylphenethylamine together and for various reasons substituted amphetamines is the name for the class of compounds. It doesn't make so much sense to consider just the substituted ones without the "parent". The name may be a bit confusing, but the alternative seems to be just calling them amphetamines but that can be confusing given the name amphetamine is often used to refer to alpha‑methylphenethylamine. If you're still confused, try removing the word substituted from the term or just come up with your own term to refer to the class of compounds and perhaps it'll make more sense. Nil Einne (talk) 17:25, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

June 1[edit]

Question (Silene undulata preparation)[edit]

When the ancient shamans used Silene undulata for vision quests they boiled it in a tea and drank the froth. Why does this work better than simply swallowing the roots whole? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:02, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Why do you think it "works better"? Maybe it's just part of the ritual, similar other herbs are smoked or chewed, various ways of igesting it probably affect the duration and onset of the effects. What is "better" seems subjective in this case. Vespine (talk) 02:11, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
See extract and tincture for related concepts. The active ingredient in a natural plant product often exists in low concentrations, and in certain cases would require the user to consume large quantities of the plant to ingest physiologically-relevant amounts of the active substance. A tea of this type is just a form of extract, which likely concentrates the active ingredients which may be of too low a concentration in the plant itself to be useful. Think of it this way: It's easier to get drunk off of whiskey than beer, and easier to get drunk off of beer than orange juice, though all three contain non-zero amounts of the active substance, ethanol. Why? Because the concentrations are different. In the case of the above ceremony, the reason for creating the tea may very well be to concentrate the psychoactive substances which may not exist in high enough concentrations to be useful in the original root. --Jayron32 02:19, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
That makes sense, although an additional reason for creating a tea is not wanting to consume the parts that aren't water soluble. For example imagine eating the contents of a Lipton tea bag. Looie496 (talk) 14:12, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Or the sludge at the bottom of a beer kettle. Oh wait, people do that. Still, a good point also. --Jayron32 15:57, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I added to your title, to make it actually useful. StuRat (talk) 04:09, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Spatial disorientation[edit]

I was reading about the death of John F. Kennedy, Junior. He died when his private airplane crashed. I read that the cause of the crash might have been spatial disorientation. I then read further about spatial disorientation and I also spoke with some people who are pilots. In a nutshell, they said that it is possible (when spatial disorientation kicks in) that a pilot does not know his position relative to the earth. In other words, the pilot could be right-side-up, or he could be upside-down, or he could be "tilting to the left", or he could be "tilting to the right", and he would not even know it. I found it hard to believe, especially the example of being "upside-down" and not knowing it. My pilot friends basically said that, with no visual cues (such as the horizon or a coast-line, etc.), the pilot cannot determine his orientation relative to the earth. So, my question. However, if a person is "upside down" while piloting a plane, wouldn't that person – at the very least – feel the effects of gravity? Wouldn't they feel like they were being "pushed downward"? I'd imagine that I could tell that I am "upside down" because I would feel my body pushing down (due to gravity) against the seat-belts. And the seat-belts would be "holding me" or "suspending me". (This is similar to when I ride on a roller-coaster that actually loops around in a circle, so that at some point, I am completely upside down and being "held in" by the seat-belt.) Also, if the pilot did not even have a seat-belt on, wouldn't the pilot simply tumble out of the seat when he is upside down? So, none of this makes sense to me. Can anyone explain? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 06:14, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

John Junior was only a VFR rated pilot, meaning he was only trained to fly, navigate and maintain aircraft attitude during daylight by essentially using visual references viewed from the cockpit. He was not trained in "flying blind" which is called IFR. With this additional rating, pilots are trained to fly the plane using only the instruments (maybe your pilot friends were only VFR rated, hence the nature of their advice, as an IFR pilot would have explained how to fly with the instruments only and not get disoriented). In the case of the spatial disorientation in the way you are asking, the principle instrument that would keep you level and "stop you flying upside down" is the artificial horizon. As John Junior was only Visual Flight Rules rated, I would hazard to guess he panicked when it got dark and did not pay attention to that very important instrument. As for sensing if you are inverted, if the plane was basically flying level I would think that you would feel gravity pulling you down, but if the plane was in an inverted dive that was looping down, then the centrifugal force created by the upside down looping dive might counteract or neutralise gravity depending on the speed of the dive and the radius of the loop. Ironmungy (talk) 08:11, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Chapter 16, Aeromedical Factors, of the Airplane Flying Handbook, explains spatial disorientation, and explains how optical illusions, inner ear turmoil, hypoxia, and the forces experienced during uncoordinated flight can all contribute to poor pilot decision making and inability to positively control the aircraft. In particular, take a look at the diagrams of forces experienced during a skidding turn, which is a classic entry to a graveyard spiral. The pilot may feel that he is sliding horizontally, and may roll the aircraft - or even worse, slam on the rudder - to reduce that force. This is a wrong procedure and may cause a spin. The correct procedure is to coordinate yaw and roll during every turn, especially when flying in poor weather conditions.
Regarding belief: many people do not believe that their sensory perceptions can be so absolutely incredibly wrong. Yet, this is a fact: sensory perception can have complete dissociation from objective reality. In the application of aviation, it is very important to establish this fact. For this reason, aviators train for unusual attitude recovery. In this scenario, the pilot in training wears a view limiting device while an instructor pilot takes the aircraft into an other-than-normal situation, like the entry to a spin, or a power-off stall, or dives the aircraft toward the ground. The aviator in training must recover the aircraft. Even pilots trained only for VFR still need to perform this training, but experiencing it during training does not innoculate the aviator against all possible future hazardous situations.
Nimur (talk) 13:56, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I suffer from vertigo, which is similar. In my case the inner ear balancing function doesn't seem to be very strong, leaving me almost exclusively dependent on visual cues to determine up and down. Without a flat plane in front of me, I get dizzy. Note that, at an intellectual level I may well know which way is up, but at a more basic level, I feel dizzy and like I am spinning or falling. For me the cure is to avoid such situations, or to close my eyes to avoid the confusing visual cues. Flying a plane while having a vertigo attack might well be difficult. StuRat (talk) 15:03, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
As stated above, you need centrifugal force to masquerade as gravity; i.e., to push you into your seat with a force roughly equal to that of gravity. To confuse upside-down with right-side-up would require being in an inverted loop, which is both unlikely from a practical standpoint and beyond the capability of most aircraft except for stunt planes; they simply lack sufficient power compared to their weight. I'm not sure even that would be enough centrifugal force to simulate gravity. You would need double your weight in force, to both neutralize the downward pull of gravity and then simulate it in the upward direction. So I'd say the upside-down thing was an exaggeration for dramatic effect. ―Mandruss  15:20, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
User:Mandruss, with due respect, you seem to have all the intuition of a non-aviator! An aircraft, or an airman inside of one, may experience forces significantly greater than one G, even without inverted flight. For example, take a look at load factor. When we get quantitative about this, there is no way you can know what high G loading feels like, let alone how it affects your spatial awareness, until you do it; but you can run some simple trigonometry to see how very easily we can experience ±2G in a normal aircraft operation.
For perspective, consider this. I know a lot of guys who ride motorbikes or drive fast sports cars. I have heard them boast about "pulling lateral Gs" on closed racetracks. They always do this in a land vehicle. It always piques my interest to hear their boisterous claims of heavy forces and "slamming" in their seats.
One of the aircrafts I fly is certificated in the aerobatic category and it has an accelerometer that goes up to +12G. Once in a while, I bring a boisterous character up for a ride, and subject them to, let's say, +1.5 G in a moderate or a steep turn. This kind of maneuver shuts up most mere mortals. At -0.5G, many will lose their stomach contents. At +3.0 G, most passengers can no longer figure out which direction to turn their heads to look out the windows (and their heads are three times heavier, which makes pulling them out from between their knees a real challenge of physical and mental strength). At +3.0G, our flight club requires us to wear parachutes. This is, roughly speaking, the boundary between "normal" operation and the entry into "aerobatic" category operations (per interpretation of Federal regulation). (14 CFR 91.303 and 91.307 specify other regulatory requirements related to parachutes and aerobatic flight; conservative interpretation of such rules is often a good idea).
The magnitudes of force that you are familiar with, and the magnitudes of force that aviators normally experience, are quite different. Aviators cannot rely on pure intuition or sensory perception. An aircraft in instrument meteorological conditions, in heavy turbulence, may very well be so disorienting that an aviator can not tell which direction is up, even if the wings are level. You don't have to take my word for it: this is the probable cause listed on many accident investigation reports. If you wish to read about Mr. Kennedy Jr.'s incident, there is a full report available at no cost, on in the aviation accidents database.
Nimur (talk) 15:48, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Well worth reading, thanks Nim. For anyone that couldn't be bothered, the accident number is NYC99MA17, enter it in the appropriate field in the NTSB status section as stated above, or go here Ironmungy (talk) 08:05, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. The above answers are getting technical and "over my head". I am trying to find a "common sense" answer that makes sense to me. (Not necessarily a very scientific answer. If that makes sense.) So, let me re-phrase my question. Let's say that I am sitting in my car, right-side-up. I feel fine. Now, let's say that I am strapped into my seat-belt in my car. And the car is hoisted and inverted, so now I am upside-down. I would certainly "feel" that I am upside-down (either with or without any visual cues around me). I would feel my body pulling down toward the ground, through gravity. And I would feel the seat-belt "holding me up" or suspending me (or otherwise I would fall out of my seat). I would feel the pressure of the seat-belt against my body (shoulders, stomach, etc.). So, why is this not the case with the pilot in the airplane? And, if I was not 100% upside-down, let's say that I am "tilted to the left" (or to the right) by some large degree. I would still feel that. I would feel like I am slipping out of my seat, and that the seat-belt is "holding me in". So, why is this not the case with the pilot in the airplane? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:03, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

You are imagining steady state. Imagine, instead of being hoisted, that you are instead jostling around a lot, and you feel forces from the jostling around, and then the vehicle moves abruptly and quite fast (like a roller coaster or a merri-go-round). Perhaps you feel a spinning effect (like you've closed your eyes on the merri-go-round). When you hop off, you may still feel dizzy - perhaps you have the optical illusion that the ground is spinning, and you are standing still, and whirling at the same time.
Now, hop off the merri-go-round, and keep your eyes closed (to simulate having no visibility of the outside world, due to clouds). Can you walk in a straight line? If you can, you've successfully navigated on one single plane, but you're cheating - because you don't have to even worry about up and down, as long as your feet are on the ground.
Medically speaking, your inner ear has adapted and believes it is still spinning. This is only the most common one (!) of the many different sensory illusions and errors that your inner ear, and your entire sensory system, can undergo.
Nimur (talk) 16:11, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
If you still saw a view that made you think the inverted car was in the correct orientation, then you probably wouldn't think you were upside down. Instead, you would wonder why the seat belt was cutting into your shoulders and why the blood was rushing to your head. This might also be true if there was no view outside, just darkness. The way our perceptions work is that your brain starts with an assumption of how things are, and then tries to match perceptions to that. Changing the underlying assumption can be difficult. A similar example I've had is when stopped at a light, when trucks on either side of me started edging forward at the same speed. This made me feel like I was slipping backwards, so I pushed the brake pedal down as hard as I could to try to stop. StuRat (talk) 16:14, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. "Wrong" visual cues - like a road at night or a weirdly-shaped cloud - or water waves or clouds moving in the wind - can really mess up the aviator. These are real effects: if you click on the link to Aeromedical Factors that I posted above, those are actually textbook examples of what you should not depend on. Out in rural California (and many other rural areas), there are a lot of places where the horizon has no light at all, and many aviators have fatally rolled the airplane to level the wings with the nearest slanted road angle. Street lights on long, straight desert roads look very straight and flat: like artificial grape flavor, the fake sensory input seems better than the real one! This ends badly. Nimur (talk) 16:23, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

OK, thanks. Let's forget the pilot for a moment. (Since he is busy and distracted and doing important tasks.) I am just a passenger in a plane. (So, I am not busy or distracted or preoccupied with anything. I am just sitting there.) The plane is flying completely upside-down (for whatever reason). All of the window shades are drawn, so I have no visual cues of the outside world. You mean to tell me that – as a passenger strapped into my seat by a seat-belt – I would not realize that I am upside-down? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 20:00, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

You might not be able to reliably know whether you are upside down. If I asked you, the passenger, to point toward the ground, you might point in the wrong direction. Perhaps you would point towards the correct half-sphere, but that's not really close enough, accurate enough, or reliable enough to ensure positive control of the aircraft. What is worse, though, is that if you used this sensation to control the aircraft, and the result was that the aircraft continued to fly in an unstable or constantly-changing attitude, the plane may pitch, roll, stall, or spin; and this will subject you to increasingly accelerating forces. As time progresses, the degree to which your sensory information is incorrect will increase. Nimur (talk) 20:25, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
It might help if you watch what a spin looks like. For example, watch this video: Super Decathlon spin. See how the aircraft can point in any direction! You might be confused because you're thinking only of two cases: straight-and-level, and straight and level while inverted. As you can see in this video, the aircraft is climbing towards the "up" - as evidenced by the bright blue sky above... and then all of a sudden, the ground slides in from the left (as the aircraft stalls, the wing drops, and the pilot intentionally enters an aerodynamic spin). Aviators have to be aware of all combinations of all three dimensions. The ground can be in any possible direction - not just above your head or below your feet. The aircraft's attitude/orientation does not have to align with its trajectory - especially in uncoordinated flight, or during a stall or a spin. Now imagine that you cannot see which direction from which the ground will approach, because you are in the clouds. Which direction would you steer - rather, how would you manipulate the controls and the engine -to recover? Nimur (talk) 20:42, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Let's try to explain this concisely, because a complicated explanation isn't necessary.
In the vomit comet, passengers are weightless and can float around, because the aircraft is accelerating toward the ground at the same rate as the acceleration of gravity. Could you tell which way is up and which way is down? Clearly not--being weightless means you don't feel any gravity (even though it exists), and without feeling gravity, how can you tell which way is up?
Now let's imagine 2 scenarios. In scenario 1, an aircraft is rightside-up and accelerating toward the ground slightly faster than the vomit comet. This means passengers feel a force pulling them toward the ceiling. In scenario 2, an aircraft is upside-down and accelerating toward the ground slightly slower than the vomit comet. This means passengers feel a force pulling them toward the ceiling, since the "ceiling" is in the opposite direction as in scenario 1. How can you, as a passenger, tell the difference between scenarios 1 and 2? In both, you feel a force pulling you toward the ceiling. --Bowlhover (talk) 06:26, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Huh? In an airplane, the passengers don't become weightless. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 04:01, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
That is why I specifically mentioned, and link to, the vomit comet. People do become weightless on the vomit comet, as you can see from the images in that article. --Bowlhover (talk) 06:26, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Correct. And that is why I am confused. On the vomit comet, people (apparently) do become weightless. On a regular airplane, as a regular airplane passenger, people do not become weightless. So, why were you comparing the two (completely different) scenarios as if they were analogous? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 15:35, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
What you call a "regular airplane" is an airliner: a large jet flown by an Airline Transport Pilot, operating under very strict regulations and company policies. These large aircraft are massive - they have a lot of inertia - and they are engineered and operated for the utmost stability.
Small general aviation aircraft typically fly in accordance with different rules and regulations. They are engineered to be light and maneuverable. They frequently maneuver for navigation and traffic avoidance, and to avoid weather, in ways that large commercial airliners do not. These type of aircraft operations have more in common with NASA's "vomit comet" than they do with airline transport: even down the to applicable regulations! (Well, at least that was the case when the aircrafts were operated by NASA. As of 2014, Zero Gravity Corporation has privatized this service and operates as a Part 121 operation, just like a commercial airline... I can rail against the regulatory implications of the privatization and commercialization of aerospace research at some other time. At present, the "Vomit Comet" is an airline for regulatory purposes, which means, among other things, that its maneuvers and operations and its safety margins are more rigorously constrained than those of a small GA airplane!)
A small aircraft can easily achieve 0G for short durations. In severe turbulence, the crew and passengers may oscillate between positive and negative G and each time they cross the 0 point, they will actually, really, seriously experience a moment of weightlessness. Nimur (talk) 15:49, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Soil mech[edit]

In soil mechanics, how do you know when to use the submerged unit weight and when to use saturated unit weight when calculating earth pressure? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:51, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Can you re-freeze food after it has thawed out in the refrigerator?[edit]

Say that I have frozen food in the freezer (maybe hamburgers or steak or whatever). I want to defrost it, so I place it in the refrigerator for a day or so. Then, the next day, I decide that I want to eat something else (and not the hamburger meat or the steak that I had defrosted). So, can I place the now-defrosted meat back into the freezer, to have it frozen again? Or should I not do that? I looked this up on the Internet with a Google search. Some people say "absolutely not, it's dangerous and can lead to food poisoning and salmonella". Some people say "it's perfectly fine and people do it all the time". So, I am not sure what to believe? 2602:252:D13:6D70:9DA1:666F:A7B5:2BD3 (talk) 15:55, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

It is safe to refreeze thawed meats, though the freezing-thawing-freezing process may degrade the quality of the meat, affecting it's palatability. The caveat is that the thawed meat should have never been allowed to enter the "danger zone" for food-safety purposes, that is meats should not be thawed in an environment where they are allowed to get above 4 degrees C (40 degrees F). If they have been thawed above that temperature, the meat should not be refrozen, as any pathogens that may have colonized the food at the unsafe temperature may not be eliminated by the refreezing process. --Jayron32 16:16, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Just to clarify, if you left it about 4 degrees C: The refreezing does not make the food unsafe. It just doesn't reset the clock, that's all. If your choice is refreezing or leaving it in the fridge for an extra week, for sure refreeze. The freezer stops the clock, it doesn't reset it. Ariel. (talk) 17:38, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. So am I correct to assume that the average refrigerator is set to a temperature that avoids the "danger zone"? 2602:252:D13:6D70:D2C:6172:6309:7E8 (talk) 20:10, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Technically it's more delay than avoid. But in the typical way the word "danger zone" is used to refer to food: yes, the refrigerator avoids it. Ariel. (talk) 20:33, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
And if it's been thawed but below 40°F for long, then there will be some bacterial growth. The total time it's been in the fridge needs to be considered, before the first freezing, between freezings, and after the last freezing. The problem is that once it's been in the freezer for a month, you may completely forget about it already having been refrigerated for a fair amount of time, and not figure that in. Of course, if you use common sense, and throw out anything that looks or smells bad, and cook any meat thoroughly, then you will minimize the risk.
Suggestion: The usual reason for thawing and refreezing is that it was frozen in too large of a batch to use at once. Just subdivide food into smaller batches before you freeze it, to avoid this problem. Another reason for refreezing is if the frozen food thaws on the way home from the grocery store. Packing all the frozen food together, surrounded by refrigerator temperature food, in a cooler or thermal bag, can help prevents this.
Also note that some foods, like bread, are actually damaged by the freeze/thaw process directly, rather than by bacteria (parts of bread become stale or soggy). Fruit and some veggies will tend to become mushy, due to breaking of cell walls. This is OK if you use them in dishes where mushy is expected, like a stew or maybe berries with ice cream. But, if you need firm veggies or fruit, you want to avoid refreezing (and flash freezing is really needed to keep them crisp during the first freeze). StuRat (talk) 16:29, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. The issue was simply that I planned to eat the food the next day. When the next day rolled around, my plans changed. So, I realized that I would not be eating the defrosted meat that day. (And I was not sure as to when exactly I would ever get to it.) So, I wanted to just throw it back in the freezer. As opposed to letting it sit in the refrigerator for who-knows-how-long. 2602:252:D13:6D70:D2C:6172:6309:7E8 (talk) 20:08, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, put it back in the freezer. Doing so will preserve it longer than leaving it in the fridge. Ariel. (talk) 20:33, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Paper v Plastic v Reusable cups[edit]

I wonder if there has been any updates to Martin Hocking's research about the relative energy uses of these three things? Or if there are studies that suggest his conclusions are wrong or outdated? My cursory googling primarily yields results comparing plastic to paper, or finds conclusory sites demanding we all have reusable mugs. The research seems pretty damning to me--who uses reusable mugs enough and cleans them efficiently enough to justify their use? But I'd like to see if there is any other research before I imperiously respond to people about my paper Starbucks cup. Thanks! ÷seresin 23:55, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

I found this, which also considers CO2 and hand washing and uses more modern figures on dishwasher efficiency. It says that hand washing is much more efficient than using a dishwashing appliance (contradicting the PDF you linked). It points out that the break-even point is very sensitive to the assumptions. It still doesn't consider any costs other than energy or CO2, such as other pollutants produced in manufacturing, the problem of plastic litter, or the fact that styrene is classified as a possible human carcinogen (though so is coffee). -- BenRG (talk) 18:03, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

June 2[edit]

Can anyone provide me with examples of some cryptids that actually turned out to be real...[edit]

The coelacanth is the obvious example that springs to mind, but are there any other examples of animals that 'mainstream opinion' has suggested are either extinct or never existed in the first place, that were eventually located and documented? For the people who are out there now, trying to find the chupacabras, pterodactyls, bigfoots, dragons, large carnivorous cats, etc. - the sort of thing that gives them hope that they're not wasting their lives... Any ideas? --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 00:04, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Not exactly a cryptid, but black swan is a famous example of something everyone "knew" didn't exist. Dragons flight (talk) 00:09, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Our article doesn't go into detail about it, but I have the notion there was some skepticism about the giant squid before it was finally photographed alive. --Trovatore (talk) 00:15, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, you're absolutely right - also the colossal squid. I clearly remember the scepticism about the old stories of their existence (when people thought that the 19th century whalers were telling tall tales about having seen them) - until a few were hauled alive from the deep in the last decade or so. --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 00:21, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
There's a few websites dedicated to animals people thought to be myths that turned out to be real, such as here and here though I'm not sure that meets your criteria. Somewhat interesting reading about the "discovery" of the Okapi (one of the animals listed at those sites). I was trying to find a report of it being claimed a myth through older books when I found that. I would be careful about drawing any equivalence to people in say, Europe, not believing in an animal claimed to have been seen by an explorer an ocean away that in their estimate sounded fantastical, and say, a large cryptid in a highly explored part of our backyard that would defy normal expectations of climate and ability to survive by food supply in that location, that the lack of a shred of real evidence for despite the proximity and quantity of humans and degree of time and continuous exploration would make just about impossible to escape detection and study.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 00:38, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Fair point. Take the Loch Ness Monster, for example. The area is populous enough that if a breeding population of plesiosaur-like animals existed (because you'd need a breeding population - I refuse to believe in magical beasts), then there would be far, far, far more sightings than there have been and are. You'd probably be able to go watch them go about their business on a daily basis. --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 01:02, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
The most famous example I can thing of to meet Fuhghettaboutit's stipulation may be the North American Moose, the descriptions of which were doubted in Europe until Thomas Jefferson famously shipped a preserved specimen to the noted French naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon. --Jayron32 01:41, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Does that count as a cryptid? Moose exist in Europe (where they're called elk). From the linked article, it seems that teh assumption was that animals in the Americas were smaller and weaker than their Old World counterparts, due to an unhealthy environment. So I don't think they were doubting the existance of Moose - just that they were inferior to European ones. Iapetus (talk) 12:27, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Moose and elk are normally considered two species. Robert McClenon (talk) 15:58, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes and no. The various large deer have been given different names depending on whether they're on the east or west of the Atlantic - no problem - but the names have also been re-used. So, the animal people in NA call "moose" is called an "elk" in Europe. The articles discuss it. Matt Deres (talk) 17:40, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  • The coelacanth was not a cryptid, no one was saying there was a sarcopterygian living in the Indo-Pacfic until it was discovered. On the other hand there were rumors of a hairy man in the jungle before the gorilla was discovered. Nor was the existence of the giant squid doubted until pictures were taken--dead specimens were long known, unless one wants to identify it with the kraken. Even then, live pictures proved nothing. μηδείς (talk) 01:44, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  • When I looked into this, the hunt for the coelacanth had been on for years. Local fishermen were dragging them up and eating them from time immemorial. What was needed was a whole specimen. So it was a true cryptid. I wish I had moved over my book marks from my old computer (win 98) to show you how the hunt was focused. By the time a whole specimen became available it was well beyond its sell by date. The fisherman was being compensated (by what’s her name and her husband) for not selling interesting specimens for food. They had to hunt and acquire a whole coelacanth (as required, to provide a whole 'index specimen' to gain academic recognition). So it was a true cryptid; which did not just magically appear -out of nowhere- as you suggest. Please give the discovers credit for the effort that they put into this, rather than suggesting it was a chance and serendipitous Aha moment. --Aspro (talk) 20:39, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Sounds familiar, now that you mention it. I think that the local fisherman knew of them as an uncommon, but largely worthless fish (because it doesn't taste too good) that occasionally showed up in their catch, but never really thought any more about them. They'd either throw them back, use them as bait or sell them cheap, maybe as animal food. Reminds me a bit of those rare poisonous birds that were discovered a few years ago. Scientists were amazed that they existed, but to the locals (who hunted a lot of jungle birds), they were just a nuisance. --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 22:55, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
As far as I can recall, there was a lot of speculation in the 1980s about whether gigantic squid were real. Whalers had found some huge squid beaks in the bellies of large whales and some scientists had calculated that for a beak of size x, then the squid would likely be size y - but there were loads of people who said that was physucally impossible. No way that an invertebrate could grow to that size, feed itself, must be a smaller squid with a large beak, etc. Anyway, FWIW - our cryptid article suggests that the coelacanth is considered a cryptid by some definitions of the term. --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 02:34, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

@Kurt Shaped Box: - a few examples that may be of interest. These all involve the search for an organism, but may or may not fit your criteria. Xanthopan_morgani (or something like it) was famously predicted to exist by Darwin. There was much skepticism, until the moth was found. Phytophthora_ramorum was only identified in 1995, but many people were hunting for the agent that caused Sudden Oak Death for many years up to then. Unicorn#Elasmotherium_or_rhinoceros indicates that the Elasmotherium may well have been the mythical unicorn. Manna#Identification describes how this questionable food from heaven may have just been sugary secretions of scale insects. Many people are still searching/justifying the Botanical_identity_of_soma–haoma, though this is more a case of a forgotten identity, as most people believe an actual plant was used. Fly agaric is a key candidate there, and also in the Berserker#Theories. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:55, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
See okapi, which is used as a symbol for cryptids. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:00, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Not exactly a cryptid, but when the first (stuffed) platypuses were taken back to Europe, they were widely taken to be a crude hoax.
All microbes fit the bill. When the first people used microscopes to see them, there was considerable skepticism, until the skeptics saw them for themselves. StuRat (talk) 18:14, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Characteristics of numbered BtI mosquito abatement treatments[edit]

Regarding [3] and [4], from an as-yet unanswered question above, where can I find studies of the different numbered strains of BtI treatments? Is there any evidence mosquitoes have been evolving resistance? Is there evidence that the manufacturer has altered the strains in ways that change the post-release viability of the treatments? (talk) 00:18, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

DIY clear lens fabrication[edit]

I'm looking for an inexpensive source of non-prescription glasses as props for portrait photography. Fashion glasses with clear lens are available from the online store I shop, but the problem is that you can't try them on to judge the look and fit before you get them, and there don't seem to be too many of them to choose from. I was thinking that sunglasses and reading glasses might be sources of cheap frames with a variety of styles, but you would need to replace the lenses with zero-power clear lenses. (Using a frame without glasses is an option for some frame styles, but careful examination of the picture can reveal that the lenses are absent.)

Is there an easy way to fabricate clear replacement lenses for my purpose? I'd imagine that it wouldn't be too hard if you had access to a CNC milling machine, but I don't. Any ideas? --11:56, 2 June 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

If you are looking at portraits or stage plays, you will likely want the lenses removed. It removes the glare that they produce. I don't do photography, but I have been a stage actor for 40 years. Every pair of stage glasses I've ever seen is just a frame with no lenses. (talk) 12:03, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion. I've seen someone wearing an empty glasses frame as a fashion statement. You could tell easily that there was no lenses if you saw it in person. I've also seen what I believe to be pictures taken with empty frames. If you're observant, I think you can tell that there are no lenses. One hint is the total absence of reflection (which is not a bad thing). Another is the lack of a ground beveled edge in the (absent) lenses where you'd expect to see them. (I suspect that the shadow of the frame may also look too defined if there are no lenses, but this depends on the lighting.) These problems may be fixable digitally, but I haven't tried it. -- (talk) 12:24, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Here in the UK there are several glasses makers who allow you to select frames on their website and then they will send you pairs with plain lenses so that you can see them on your face. You then send them back and they will make your prescription to fit which ever frame you like. If you don't like any, you can select again. They will charge you for any frames that you fail to return. Are there companies like this where you live? (USA?) I know of at least one of these that will sell you plain lens glasses. --TrogWoolley (talk) 14:15, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Trivia, aside: George Reeves initially played Clark Kent with lensless frames. By the end of the series' run, he was in his mid-40s and actually needed glasses, and you could see the light reflecting sometimes... and sometimes you could catch him squinting a bit when he was Superman, even when not concentrating for X-ray vision. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:01, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
We have dollar stores here like Dollar Tree where you can buy reading glasses for $1. They come in a variety of styles and prescriptions, so you could probably find some with so little magnification that it's practically a flat lens. You could also undo the screws and remove the lenses, if that's what you prefer. One issue, though, is that they are usually only half height, as is typical for reading glasses. You can also buy full sized sunglasses there and remove the lenses, or, if only lightly tinted, maybe you could leave those in, too. StuRat (talk) 18:07, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Conflicting Statistical evidence. (yes economics and statistics are science too)[edit]

If you look here Here HERE hErE The evidence comes from 3 main sources. The World bank, IMF, and Cia factbook. Since there are conflicting claims made by all 3 sources which one is more likely to be correct and why? Any ideas on why these 3 sources came up with diferent statistics? Bias? Propoganda?! Agent of the nine (talk) 15:49, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

The CIA, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank are all reliable sources (insofar as they are widely recognized authorities who provide information). However, they each obtain and aggregate information differently. Perhaps what you want is to read about each organization's methodology for collecting economic data. Nimur (talk) 16:10, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
First, you need to explain why those conflict with one another. The first is based on GDP-PPP. The second is based on GDP-PPP/Capita. The third is based on GDP/Capita. The last is based on the human development index. To greatly simplify, supposed that I had two countries. One produced $2000 in goods a year and the other produced $1000 in goods a year. I could say that the first produced more value of goods. Now, if the first had 2000 people living in it and the second had just 10 people living in it. I could claim that the second produced more value per capita. I am not conflicting myself. I am simply making two very different statements. (talk) 16:45, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

To the IP user (above). I was not saying that the GDP-PPP or the GPD/capita etc contradicted each other. Look at only one of those articles say the GDP/PPP. The tables for the IMF, WB, and cia have varying claims about the GDP/ppp. Nimur gave a good answer and that's what I am trying to research nowAgent of the nine (talk) 16:52, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

From the CIA's Frequently Asked Questions page: Why are there discrepancies between The World Factbook's demographic statistics and other sources? "Although estimates and projections start with the same basic data from censuses, surveys, and registration systems, final estimates and projections can differ as a result of factors including data availability, assessment, and methods and protocols...."
If you peruse the CIA's website, they have extensive free and public information in their Intelligence library. They extensively describe how they collect and analyze data - at least, that portion of data that is not obtained by clandestine means. There is also significant explanation of historical clandestine data collection in the Center for the Study of Intelligence library, from which you can extrapolate to present times.
Nimur (talk) 17:14, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
More information: IMF's 2015 World Economic Outlook is a 150+ page book including data sources, data methodology, and additional reference for more reading. You can find additional information available at no cost on IMF's public data website.
World Bank's data website also provides "free and open" access to data. They have extensive documentation of methodology. Further, they publish World Bank Research Observer, a periodical journal " inform nonspecialist readers about research being undertaken within the Bank and outside the Bank in areas of economics relevant for development policy."
So, if you want to read about methodology, there are a few hundred pages to start!
Nimur (talk) 19:40, 2 June 2015 (UTC)


Why do air bubbles deep under water take much longer to reach the surface than air bubbles near the top? For example I watched a video of sucba divers blowing air bubbles at each other and the bubbles didn't even seem to travel upwards at all, they went horiontially — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:51, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

I suggest that the video was rotated, and the air bubbles really were going up. Only a strong current would make them appear to move horizontally. As for how fast they rise, I believe it's the reverse of a falling object. That is, they accelerate until they reach a terminal velocity, then stay at that speed until they hit the surface, although turbulence in the water could slow them down. StuRat (talk) 17:58, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Here's a nice description of some basic properties of bubbles [5]. Equation (3) says that the vertical velocity is equal to the Reynold's number times the bubble's radius, divided by the kinematic viscosity of water (once we rearrange to solve for velocity). The section Viscosity#Water gives a table of how dynamic viscosity changes with temperature of water, and this [6] calculator will give you kinematic viscosity. Anyway, for a fixed radius, a bubble will usually rise more slowly in very deep water, because the temperature is usually lower in the deep. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:15, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
How does density affect that calculation? At 10 metres depth, a bubble of air will have half the volume of the same mass of air just below the surface; it will expand as it rises to lower-pressure water. — Preceding unsigned comment added by LongHairedFop (talkcontribs) 20:28, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

If the deep bubble is eight times as deep as the shallow one it will have half the radius and 1/8 the volume (roughly) and so its net buoyancy is 1/8 as much. Stokes Law says the drag is proportional to R*V, so if R is halved, and F is 1/8, then V is 1/4 for the deeper bubble. Greglocock (talk) 23:09, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

June 3[edit]


May 27[edit]

Heat equation on the ice rink[edit]

[moved here from the science desk]

Is it possible to solve the heat equation on this shape analytically (not just numerically)? On an ellipse or rectangle, the solution is relatively simple (in the former case we use polar coordinates). But an ice rink is most conveniently described in a piecewise fashion, as the union of two semi-circles with a rectangle. In particular, does knowledge of the solutions on the ellipse and rectangle help?

Homogeneous boundary conditions are okay, since to me, they seem to be a reasonable physical assumption. Also I'm not sure about how the cooling of the ice physically works but if coolant coils pass under the whole ice sheet, I would think that those heat sources would be relatively easy to incorporate.

I would also be interested if there were a better equation than the heat equation for this particular physical problem.--Jasper Deng (talk) 02:14, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Properly, though, an ice rink is not two ellipses and a rectangle. It's a rectangle with rounded corners. Unlike in an ellipse, the short and long ends of an ice rink are both perfectly straight. You'd have to describe it as a rectangle less the four corners, which are pretty close to the space left over from a circle inscribed inside a square. --Jayron32 02:31, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
An expansion is always possible in eigenfunctions of the Laplace operator, but the eigenfunctions for such a domain are not analytically determinable in terms of standard special functions. You can infer something about the eigenvalues by the shape of the domain; for instance, the first eigenvalue is related to the area of the domain by an isoperimetric type inequality. But even knowing that the domain decomposes into somewhat nice pieces doesn't give much information about the corresponding eigenfunctions. The standard solutions all rely on separation of variables, and so in particular are dependent on having a region which is "nice" in some orthogonal coordinate system: these are the coordinate systems in which the Laplacian is separable. In two dimensions, there are five such coordinate systems: Cartesian coordinate system, Polar coordinate system, Parabolic coordinate system, Bipolar coordinates, Elliptic coordinates. (There are also periodic solutions on elliptic curves that appear in number theory, and have solutions given by Jacobian theta functions. But that's not going to help here either.) Sławomir Biały (talk) 02:56, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I was hoping that someone had already investigated eigenfunctions of the Laplacian on this domain, because I think ice rinks are a very important practical application of the heat equation, but it looks like any such orthogonal expansion is going to rely on nontrivial functions anyways.--Jasper Deng (talk) 03:11, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
In his blog, Terrence Tao has talked about scarring in the Bunimovich stadium, which has implications for the Laplacian eigenvalue distribution. An ice hockey rink is a generalization of this shape, but I'd guess that the same sort of chaos, and thus scarring, would occur in it, too.--Mark viking (talk) 03:25, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Simple statistical proof[edit]

A very sexist population prefers boys to girls. Every family tries various birthing strategies to have more sons than daughters, such as repeatedly giving birth until they get one son. Prove that no strategy can have any effect on the sex ratio.

I know this is easy to prove using the optional stopping theorem, but I'm trying to explain this to a friend without a math background. Is there a simpler, more intuitive proof that a smart layman who knows high school math could understand? It doesn't have to be absolutely rigorous, but has to be rigorous enough to be convincing. Thanks! --Bowlhover (talk) 03:18, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

You are assuming that this preference nonetheless cannot change the actual probability of having girls or boys, and that you're ignoring abortions and other ways one gender could be physically removed, right?--Jasper Deng (talk) 04:24, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Do some of the birthing strategies include Sex-selective abortion? If so, that would alter the ratio. For example, in China, the gender difference is about 2.5% in favor of males, (see Demographics of China which doesn't seem like much, but is significantly different than the Human sex ratio of the world, which is about 0.5% in favor of males. Indeed, China itself is such a huge population, they are actually driving the world average a big portion of the world average. --Jayron32 04:25, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
This needn't be true even if you disallow abortion. For example, if different mothers have different chances of having male children, which I think is actually the case, then stopping at the first girl will result in more boys in total than having children indiscriminately. So your friend's suspicion of the claim may well be justified.
To prove this you need to assume that the sex of each baby is an independent random coin flip, and at that point I'd just say that you've assumed your conclusion. If that isn't obvious enough, you could replace the many couples with a single (immortal) couple trying all of the strategies in sequence. E.g., instead of a bunch of couples each having kids until one is a boy, the one couple has kids until one is a boy, then has more kids until one is a boy, etc. It seems intuitively obvious that this will give the same sex ratio as when there are many couples, and that the ratio will be the chance of flipping heads vs tails. -- BenRG (talk) 04:52, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure the last part is that obvious. An intuitive proof of that would answer the OP. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 15:51, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
If we assume that the probability of conceiving a boy is the same for all couples, is independent of previous conceptions and does not change over time then we can combine a set of parallel sequences of conceptions into one single sequence (placing them end to end, or interleaving them in chronological order, or whatever scheme suits us) without affecting probabilities. If we drop any of these assumptions (e.g. if some couples are more likely to conceive boys than others; if a boy is more likely to be conceived after a boy; if first children are more likely to be boys) then we cannot combine sequences without affecting probabilities, and conversely there are possible strategies for conceiving more boys. Gandalf61 (talk) 16:34, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
The part where you can combine multiple couples into a single one is clear. The part where a single couple can have no strategy (assuming each birth is a fair coin toss), not so much. It seems to me that a proof of that would not be much different from the proof of the optional stopping theorem, which in turn does not seem completely trivial. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 18:20, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Here is another intuitive "proof": Consider an population of a million people with one fair coin who play the following game: A person tosses the coin till it lands on head (analogous to having a son) and then passes the coin to the next person, who does the same, till each person has had their turn. Now which-person-gets-their-hand-on-the-coin-when obviously depend upon the exact sequence of heads and tails, but overall all that has happened is that a fair coin has been tossed (about) 2 million times. So we should expect a million heads and a million tails.
And as a corollary it should be obvious that no individual can expect to beat the odds either by handing over the coin as soon as they get a head, since everyone is using that strategy and if it worked, the difference would show up in the total number of heads. Also nothing in the above proof depends upon the coin being "fair", although they do have to use the same coin (as BenRG and Gandalf61 have pointed out). Abecedare (talk) 01:43, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
I think people above are over-complicating things. The proposition hinges on the assumption that the births are independent events with respect to sex of the child. That is, the probability of getting a boy/girl in any individual birth is unaffected by the outcome of any other birth. (This is the definition of an independent event.) We also assume that the probability of a boy/girl birth is the same for all births, and doesn't depend on other factors like which mother/time of year/age of father/etc. Once you make those assumptions, it doesn't matter how the births are arranged, because each is unaffected by any other and has a constant probability. At that point, to get the ratio of boy to girl births, you can just use the (frequentist) definition of probability: a probability of an outcome is equivalent to the frequency of that outcome in a large population of (independent) trials. Strategy doesn't matter, because it doesn't figure into the calculation. - Of course, that's assuming sex at birth is an independent event and every birth has the same probability of a boy/girl birth. If that's not the case, then you possibly can change the sex ratio by strategy. But you would need to clarify details on how the assumptions are broken to figure out how. -- (talk) 13:16, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
I think you are simultaneously over-complicating and over-simplifying things. It seems we all agree the problem can be reduced to fair coin tossing (can be generalized to unfair coins, but to examine the core issue it's enough to consider a fair coin). So we can simply go with that rather than repeating the domain-specific problem.
With that behind us, I maintain that it's not obvious that no strategy can work, and that the proof is not trivial. You should keep in mind that if a strategy is used, then given the total number of tosses, the different tosses are no longer independent of each other, and the probability of each particular toss to result in heads is no longer 1/2. So I don't think you can just naively apply "everything is independent".
The frequentist definition of probability assumes that we repeat the experiment a number of times independent of the results each time. It does not apply directly to a case that the number of experiments depends on their outcomes. You'd need to actually prove that. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 16:48, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Exactly... this is the difference between Gaussian statistics and Poisson statistics. Nothing about the universe changes when we switch models; but the fact that we may optionally change our behaviors because of prior outcomes can affect the distribution. As I recall, the central limit theorem (or more specifically, de Moivre's other theorem) says that the Poisson distribution approaches the Gaussian distribution as the number of events increase. Therefore, I would go so far as to say that any strategy that seeks to keep n small actually has a better chance of escaping from the expected value. Hence, a strategy exists that may actually have an effect on the outcome distribution - although we have very little control over which direction this effect manifests! In the extreme example: if we deduce a strategy that permits only one baby to be born, ever, then we are guaranteeing a ratio of male-to-female of (either) 1:0 or 0:1. This is not equal to 50% - it is quite far from the expected value! - And what is more, we have guaranteed this strong deviation from the expected value by selecting our strategy! However, this specific strategy can't enable us to control the outcome (0:1 or 1:0)!
Altogether, though, I think it provides enough justification for me to question the premise. I don't think you can prove that there does not exist any strategy that might affect the ratio: I have provided a counterexample. Perhaps the original premise needs to be restated in more formal language before we try to prove anything. Nimur (talk) 22:43, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks everyone! I think BenRG's simple proof is convincing enough, even if it's not absolutely rigorous. I also think it's fascinating that the strategy of producing children until getting a son decreases the proportion of boys in the world, assuming different mothers have different chances of producing sons.
@Nimur: You're right that I didn't phrase the question too well. I meant that the expected number of boys is equal to the expected number of boys, given any strategy. Your strategy where only one child is ever born has this property as well, so it's not a counterexample. --Bowlhover (talk) 08:24, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
If every pregnancy has an equal chance of producing a boy or a girl, it should be clear that no substitution of one pregnancy for another can change the ratio. Therefore, from n births there will be m boys on average, no matter what.
However, the human sex ratio is potentially affected by various factors; for example our article mentions hepatitis B, which I didn't know. Clearly if someone carries a genetic disease that kills one sex but not the other (sex-linked trait) that person's ratio will be different. In most of these situations, the way to "beat" the game is to have those who have had a son go on and produce more kids in the hope that they were unusually prone to have sons. Of course, such is monstrously intrusive and minimally effective! Wnt (talk) 00:29, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Indeterminate forms with tetration[edit]

Go to tetration. Are these (using ^^ for tetration) indeterminate forms??

  • 1^^(-1)
  • (-1)^^0

Note that (-1)^^1 is not indeterminate; it's unambiguously -1. Georgia guy (talk) 23:36, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

They are not indeterminate forms, in the usual sense of that phrase, which is a closed-end list of exactly seven expressions. You could try to make an abstract definition of indeterminate-form-in-general if you wanted to (and no doubt someone has), but no such definition has been generally adopted, probably because it has not been seen as useful.
However, none of the definitions in our tetration article assign a value to either of these expressions. --Trovatore (talk) 23:47, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
The question of them being indeterminate forms is not particularly meaningful even in the broadest sense, since that only sensibly generalizes to when both arguments are continuous. Georgia guy, do you mean are they well-defined? Tetration could be extended to zero and negative "exponents" by saying that we add a base for every increment of the "exponent", so we ask "what number do we have to treat as 0x so that 1x = x(0x)? The natural answer is 0x = 1 (ignoring quibbles about x = 0). Similarly, −1x = 0 for all x. But −2x and further cannot be defined sensibly. So I get (under this extension), that 1^^(−1) = −11 = 0, and (−1)^^0 = 0(−1) = 1. —Quondum 01:06, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
To me it looks like both cases are covered in the existing article. It explicitly says 1^^(-1) is not unique in the section about extension to negative heights, and a unique value of zero for odd n seems to follow from the section about stacks with height zero. Both these are definitions, however, and so should be addressed by whoever is defining tetration as you use it. (This is the kind of thing where you'd really have to RTFM for the software library) Wnt (talk) 17:34, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

May 29[edit]

Math puzzle.[edit]

I'm stumped! Who can help. This is from a past test paper.

Let V and W be finite dimensional real vector spaces. Define the rank rT and nullity nT of a linear transformation T : V → W. State and prove the rank nullity theorem.

Let V1, V2, V3, V4 be finite dimensional spaces and Ti

Vi → Vi+1, i = 1, 2, 3, linear


Suppose that T1 is injective (one-to-one), T3 is surjective (onto), the image of T1 equals the kernel of T2 and the image of T2 equals the kernel of T3.

Show that (i) dim V2 = dim V1 + rT2 , (ii) dim V1 + dim V3 = dim V2 + dim V — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:05, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

I don't know this stuff, but I've taken the liberty of adding wikilinks to your post as a first step for both of us. (Usually we don't edit each others' comments but I hope this is a tolerable deviation) Wnt (talk) 17:18, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
This question is #2 from Oxford's 2010 First P.E. for Pure Mathematics. -- ToE 00:34, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Gambler problem...[edit]

A gambler has an initial fortune of size k, where k is a non-negative integer. He plays a sequence of independent games such that on each play he wins 1 with probability p, or loses 1 with probability p, or his fortune remains unchanged with probability q, where 2p + q = 1. He decides to stop playing when either his fortune reduces to zero or his fortune reaches m, where m > k. Let N(k) be the number of games played until he stops.

How can I find EN(k)?

Now suppose, that his initial fortune is a random variable X, where X is binomially distributed with parameters m and α. What now is the expected number of games played? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:07, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

You may wish to start by reading and understanding the mathematics used in Random walk#One-dimensional random walk, as that is in many ways similar to this problem. After you have digested that (as well as the articles which Wnt has linked in your question above), get back to us with the progress you have made and let us know if there is anywhere you are stuck. -- ToE 19:55, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
There was a similar question at Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Mathematics/2014 July 19. The upshot is that you can solve this type of problem by setting up a system of linear equations. Not sure if this is homework, but the question seems to be copied from [7] which makes it dubious from a COPYVIO standpoint. --RDBury (talk) 23:09, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
There can't be copyright violation in the quotation of a short excerpt like the OP did. See Fair Use (Wikipedia goes by U.S. laws); I assume de minimis also allows some sort of scholarly quotation. I have quoted larger bits of text on occasion to answer a question, and will continue to do so. Wnt (talk) 00:23, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
WP:Non-free content requires that brief verbatim textual excerpts from copyrighted media be properly attributed, which the OP did not do. Perhaps our subsequent links to the sources are sufficient. This question was #3 from Oxford's 2006 First P.E. for Pure Mathematics. -- ToE 00:48, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

May 30[edit]

Calculus in a statistics class[edit]

Next semester at college, I am enrolled in a class called "Intro to Probability and Statistics". All the course description says `is: "Sample spaces; combinatorial theory; elementary probability; random variables; discrete and continuous probability distributions; moments and moment-generating functions; applications"

This makes it sound pretty basic, but 2 things give me pause. First, one of the prerequisites to this particular course is multivariable calculus. Second, while browsing some of the student feedback on the course, several warned that your integration skills have to be sharp to do well in this class.

Fortunately, I did well in my multivariable calculus class and have a lot of practice doing integration problems, but I'm still curious: what concepts taught in this type of class are likely to require us to use integration? I might want to read up on these subjects just so I have a better idea what I'm getting into.--Captain Breakfast (talk) 03:02, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

See probability density function, which is integrated into the cumulative distribution function, and some of the other articles that are linked to about continuous distributions. I will comment that, if you know calculus, continuous distribution functions are generally easier to work with than discrete distribution functions. If you don't know calculus, the opposite is true. Robert McClenon (talk) 03:13, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
I'll add that (as with most integration), the challenge with integrating a density function is determining the limits of integration. Be sure you know how to set up and solve double integrals over general regions (e.g. not just over a rectangle): you need this to derive the joint density function of a function of two continuous variables (something like "If X has density function f, and Y has density function g, and Z = 2X - 3Y, find the density function of Z). You will probably also have to solve for one of the limits of integration, given an integral and it's solution: this is how you find quantiles. Don't worry about trigonometric functions, though: they won't appear (integration by parts will, though, particularly for expected value problems). Good luck! OldTimeNESter (talk) 19:12, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
To be clear, when I say "general regions," I'm still referring to integrals defined with rectangular Euclidean coordinates (e.g. not parametric functions, or vector fields). OldTimeNESter (talk) 19:12, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

How to calculate the length, width, height of a rectangular cuboid given two opposite corners[edit]

How do you calculate the length, width, and height of a rectangular cuboid when given the coordinates of two diagonally opposite corners? I came across some code[8] that does exactly this:

   viewer->addCube (min_point_AABB.x, max_point_AABB.x, min_point_AABB.y, max_point_AABB.y, min_point_AABB.z, max_point_AABB.z, 1.0, 1.0, 0.0, "AABB");

I didn't even think this was possible before, since so little information is given. My other car is a cadr (talk) 10:04, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

I think the code contains the implicit assumption that the sides of the cuboid are parallel to the axes of a given co-ordinate system, which is enough additional information to solve the problem. Without that assumption, a cuboid with a given space diagonal can have any volume from as close to zero as desired, up to a cube with the given diagonal; it can also be in any orientation, and have any one side of any length from zero to the length of the diagonal (a choice which will constrain the other side lengths). AlexTiefling (talk) 10:09, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, my bad, it's just rectangular cuboids instead of general cuboids. I've updated the question. That should make it doable, no? My other car is a cadr (talk) 10:19, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
How the length, width and height match the x, y and z directions is rather arbitrary, but the length in each direction is simply the smaller coordinate value subtracted from the larger one, i.e. xmax - xmin, ymax-ymin and zmax-zmin.→ (talk) 11:57, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
...or, alternatively,(|x1-x2|, |y1-y2|, |z1-z2|). StuRat (talk) 12:13, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
No, I was assuming a rectangular cuboid. There's still no guarantee that the cuboid is aligned with the axes. AlexTiefling (talk) 21:28, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. If we don't assume the edges are parallel to the axes, then we would need to know what they are parallel to, in order to solve it. (An interesting problem would be if you also knew the volume, and from that and the opposite corner points, had to figure out the dimensions of a rectangular cuboid.) StuRat (talk) 21:59, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
If x2+y2+z2 = L2 where L is the length of the diagonal, then there exists a rectangular cuboid with length = x, width = y, and height = z. Bo Jacoby (talk) 22:17, 30 May 2015 (UTC).
Not just one. There should be an infinite number of solutions, if the orientation is not specified (although if they specify that x, y, and z must be integers, then there may only be one solution, excluding the trivial duplicate solutions where x, y, and z are swapped around). StuRat (talk) 15:20, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Rotations in four-dimensional space using quaternions[edit]

Does anyone know of a good, preferably free, introduction to this topic for a non-mathematician? Most of the material I've come across is a bit too formal for me.--Leon (talk) 10:33, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Chapter 11 (Hypercomplex numbers) of Penrose's The Road to Reality has a couple of sections on this. Be warned though, while the book may be intended for non-mathematicians, even mathematicians may find it pretty heavy going. --RDBury (talk) 13:13, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Our article Rotations in 4-dimensional Euclidean space isn't bad and includes a short section on quaternion representation of 4D rotations. --Mark viking (talk) 17:21, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
You might want to also look at use of geometric algebra as a mathematically similar approach, as being more intuitive than the use of quaternions. I'm surprised that the article Rotations in 4-dimensional Euclidean space does not mention this. —Quondum 17:45, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Name of a general "orthogonal group"[edit]

We could define (in a broad sense) the orthogonal group of a vector space V over a field K with an associated symmetric bilinear form B to mean the group of all linear transformations that preserve the form, namely all T for which B(Tv, Tv) = B(v, v) for all v in V. It appears to be a fairly normal to define orthogonality in terms if any reflexive bilinear form (and, I suspect, any bilinear form in general). We already have a name for a group that preserves a symmetric bilinear form. My question is: what would be call the group that preserves an alternating bilinear form, and what would we call the group that preserves a bilinear form in general? Does the latter even make sense? —Quondum 17:31, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

The group associated to an alternating bilinear form is called the symplectic group. Sławomir Biały (talk) 18:04, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Ah, thanks, I read that article too cursorily, and missed that statement. Which leaves the question for an arbitrary bilinear form (neither symmetric nor alternating in the general position). —Quondum 19:41, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
An automorphism of a general bilinear form preserves the alternating and symmetric parts. In general, the group should decompose into irreducible factors consisting of unitary groups, orthogonal groups and symmetric groups. Sławomir Biały (talk) 21:51, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Okay, thanks, that is valuable info, which makes a nice overall picture, and gives me a few areas of study: unitary groups and decomposition of groups. —Quondum 22:26, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Classical group summarizes this concisely (without going much into general fields or rings). YohanN7 (talk) 11:44, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, I've made a note to include this article when I review this. —Quondum 18:57, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

May 31[edit]

Question in Statistics[edit]

I am trying to solve a Question in Statistics, for which we are using R and SAS, and it is about a Survey of a number of women, giving facts about themselves to determine whether or not they have Diabetes. We were given a Training Set of 200 people, then a test set of a further 332, and my understanding in Classification, is the training set is used to get a Model or equation to determine membership of either the group that has diabetes, or the one that does not. We assigned zero for no Diabetes, and 1 if the Lady did have Diabetes. We ran code given to us, and had to answer a number of questions which I did until the last, and this was to be given details of one extra woman, and to work out whether or not she either had diabetes or could be predicted to have it, and I am not sure how to do it. We carried out a Linear Discriminant Analysis, a Logistic Regression and a Quadratic Discriminant Analysis, and the summaries of the LDA and Logistic, which we are to use, are as follows, where below I have decided to show the whole Code : Assignment 4

  1. first, set the working directory to the data file location (this can be easily done in RStudio Menu/Session/Set working directory or by using setwd("~/path to working directory/")) import the ' ' separated .txt files

> setwd("P:/STAT315") > pima<- read.table("pima.txt",header=TRUE) >pima$type <- factor(pima$type) > pima_test <- read.table("pima_test.txt", header=TRUE) > pima_test$type <- factor(pima_test$type) > # Linear Discriminant Analysis > library(MASS) > (pima_lda <- lda(type ~ npreg + glu + bp + skin + bmi + ped + age, data=pima, prior=c(0.66, 0.34))) Call : lda(type ~ npreg + glu + bp + skin + bmi + ped + age, data = pima, prior = c(0.66, 0.34)) Prior probabilities of groups: 0 1

   0.66 0.34 

Group means: npreg glu bp skin bmi ped age

 0   2.916667  113.1061   69.54545  27.20455  31.07424  0.4154848   29.23485
 1   4.838235  145.0588   74.58824  33.11765  34.70882  0.5486618   37.69118

Coefficients of linear discriminants: LD1 npreg 0.0794995781 glu 0.0240316424 bp -0.0018125857 skin -0.0008317413 bmi 0.0494891916 ped 1.2530603130 age 0.0314375125

# Variable tab the Name given to the two by two Table from the Pima Type Training Set as shown here

> tab <- table(pima$type, predict(pima_lda)$class)

# From the two by two in the Training Set Table of those with Diabetes and those Without, add              # Row One Column Two to Row Two Column one, then divide by Total Number of Women, to get #  the Training Error for the Linear Discriminant Analysis Model

> (tab[1,2] + tab[2,1])/sum(tab) [1] 0.23

  1. Variable tabtest the Name given to the two by two Table from the Pima Type Test Set as shown here

>tabtest<- table(pima_test$type, predict(pima_lda, newdata=pima_test)$class)

  1. From the two by two in the Test Set Table of those with Diabetes and those Without, add # Row One Column Two to Row Two Column one, then divide by Total Number of Women, in # order to obtain the Error on a Test Set for the Linear Discriminant Analysis Model

> (tabtest[1,2] + tabtest[2,1])/sum(tabtest) [1] 0.2018072

  1. Cross Validation using the Package ipred

> library(ipred) > mypredict.lda <- function(object, newdata) predict(object, newdata = newdata)$class > errorest(type ~ npreg + glu + bp + skin + bmi + ped + age, data=pima, model=lda, estimator="cv", predict=mypredict.lda, est.para=control.errorest(k=199)) Call: = type ~ npreg + glu + bp + skin +

   bmi + ped + age, data = pima, model = lda, predict = mypredict.lda, 
   estimator = "cv", est.para = control.errorest(k = 199))
   199-fold cross-validation estimator of misclassification error 

Misclassification error: 0.245 > # Logistic Regression > lmod <- glm(type ~ npreg + glu + bp + skin + bmi + ped + age, data=pima, family=binomial()) > summary(lmod) Call: glm(formula = type ~ npreg + glu + bp + skin + bmi + ped + age, family = binomial(), data = pima) Deviance Residuals: Min 1Q Median 3Q Max -1.9830 -0.6773 -0.3681 0.6439 2.3154 Coefficients: Estimate Std. Error z value Pr(>|z|) (Intercept) -9.773062 1.770386 -5.520 3.38e-08 *** npreg 0.103183 0.064694 1.595 0.11073 glu 0.032117 0.006787 4.732 2.22e-06 *** bp -0.004768 0.018541 -0.257 0.79707 skin -0.001917 0.022500 -0.085 0.93211 bmi 0.083624 0.042827 1.953 0.05087 . ped 1.820410 0.665514 2.735 0.00623 ** age 0.041184 0.022091 1.864 0.06228 . Signif. codes: 0 ‘***’ 0.001 ‘**’ 0.01 ‘*’ 0.05 ‘.’ 0.1 ‘ ’ 1 (Dispersion parameter for binomial family taken to be 1)

   Null deviance: 256.41  on 199  degrees of freedom

Residual deviance: 178.39 on 192 degrees of freedom AIC: 194.39 Number of Fisher Scoring iterations: 5 > pclass <- predict(lmod, newdata=pima_test, type="response") > 0.5 > pclass <- predict(lmod, newdata=pima_test, type="response") > tabtestlogistic <- table(pima_test$type, pclass) > (tabtestlogistic[1,2] + tabtestlogistic[2,1])/sum(tabtestlogistic) [1] 0.003012048

  1. Or :> pclass<-predict(lmod,newdata=pima_test,type="response")>.5

> tabtestlogistic <- table(pima_test$type, pclass) > (tabtestlogistic[1,2] + tabtestlogistic[2,1])/sum(tabtestlogistic) [1] 0.1987952

  1. This Time using the available Data to fit a Quadratic Discriminant Analysis Model

> setwd("P:/STAT315") > pima <- read.table("pima.txt", header=TRUE) > pima$type <- factor(pima$type) > pima_test <- read.table("pima_test.txt", header=TRUE) > pima_test$type <- factor(pima_test$type) > library(MASS)

  1. Setting up the Quadratic Discriminant Analysis Model

> (pima_qda <- qda(type ~ npreg + glu + bp + skin + bmi + ped + age, data=pima, prior=c(0.66, 0.34)))

  1. Summary of the Model

Call: qda(type ~ npreg + glu + bp + skin + bmi + ped + age, data = pima, prior = c(0.66, 0.34)) Prior probabilities of groups : 0 1

          0.66 0.34 

Group means : npreg glu bp skin bmi ped age

          0   2.916667 113.1061 69.54545  27.20455 31.07424  0.4154848  29.23485
          1   4.838235 145.0588 74.58824  33.11765 34.70882  0.5486618  37.69118
  1. Variable tabq the Name given to the two by two Table from the Pima Type Training Set as shown here, # but this time for the qda

> tabq <- table(pima$type, predict(pima_qda)$class)

  1. From the two by two in the Training Set Table of those with Diabetes and those Without, add # Row One Column Two to Row Two Column one, then divide by Total Number of Women, # this occasion to get the Training Error for the Quadratic Discriminant Analysis Model

> (tabq[1,2] + tabq[2,1])/sum(tabq) [1] 0.23

  1. Variable tabqtest is the Name given to the two by two Table from the Pima Type Test Set as shown here, # but now it is for the qda

> tabqtest <- table(pima_test$type, predict(pima_qda, newdata=pima_test)$class)

  1. From the two by two in the Test Set Table of those with Diabetes and those Without, add # Row One Column Two to Row Two Column one, then divide by Total Number of Women, # on this occasion to get the Error on a Test Set for the Quadratic Discriminant Analysis Model

> (tabqtest[1,2] + tabqtest[2,1])/sum(tabqtest) [1] 0.2289157

  1. Cross Validation using the Package ipred for Quadratic Discriminant Analysis

> library(ipred) > mypredict.qda <- function(object, newdata) predict(object, newdata = newdata)$class > errorest(type ~ npreg + glu + bp + skin + bmi + ped + age, data=pima, model=qda, estimator="cv", predict=mypredict.qda, est.para=control.errorest(k=199)) Call : = type ~ npreg + glu + bp + skin +

   bmi + ped + age, data = pima, model = qda, predict = mypredict.qda, 
   estimator = "cv", est.para = control.errorest(k = 199))

199-fold cross-validation estimator of misclassification error

Misclassification error: 0.275

Now my understanding is that for the Logistic, I take the coefficients in the estimates column, and multiply each by the actual data values for this one particular woman, but I am not sure if I use the intercept all seven times, or once or not at all, then the number I find I raise to the power of e, and divide this by this same number to the power of e plus 1, to undo the logit ( expit ). The data for the woman in question is : npreg glu bp skin bmi ped age

5 111 81 33 25.1 0.36 58

which are the seven explanatory variables, and type, either 0 for no Diabetes and 1 for Diabetes, is the Response. In LDA we are told to take the coefficients and multiply each by the values for the woman above and see if it is greater than zero, which here it is, but I do not know what that signifies. I also did work in SAS, which gives two sets of coefficients, 0 for no Diabetes and 1 for Diabetes, and we multiply each of the woman's values by each of the coefficients, and here the value relevant to 0 was greater than the one I worked out for 1, so this suggests to me this Lady will not get Diabetes, or at least not be said to have it. This SAS Data is as follows : Calculations for 0 with respect to no Diabetes : -35.51043-0.17897×5+111×0.09573 +81×0.44203-0.26259×33+25.1× 0.96574 +.36× 4.78151 +0.14675×58 = 35.83263 While the Calculations to do with 1 for there being Diabetes present are as follows : -46.10679-0.05820×5+111×0.13224+81×0.43928-33×0.26386+1.04092×25.1+.36×6.68513+0.19451×58 = 34.97047 Also, I did not understand why in the training set there were some women that were misclassified, as well as in the Test Set, when I thought the Training set was meant to be good enough to predict the test set. Sorry for the longness of my Question How do I sort this out ? Thanks Chris the Russian Christopher Lilly 11:13, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

June 1[edit]

Independence of bivariate normal distribution.[edit]

I found, that a bivariate normal distribution is independent, if it is uncorrelated. This appears the be the case when s12 and s21 are zero. Is there a proof with the steps taken for this? -- (talk) 03:55, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Calculation regarding WMF finances.[edit]

Consider the following:

Wikimedia Foundation financial development 2003–2014. Green is revenue, red is expenditure, and black is assets, in millions of dollars.

If the WMF were to limit the growth of expenditures to some reasonable amount (I am thinking 5%, 10% at the most) starting now and we make some reasonable assumptions about future growth of revenue and future return on investments while keeping the principle safe, how long would it take for us to build up enough assets that we can fund everything from the interest and stop running banner ads asking for donations? How long would it take if we started by cutting expenditures to 2010 levels?

I did some back-of-the-envelope calculations, but I am seriously considering posting an RfC suggesting that we actually do this, so I would like to see what kind of numbers other people get.

I did a similar calculation a while back with the US budget and a rollback to 2000 expenditures (Bill Clinton). If anyone is interested I will try to find it. --Guy Macon (talk) 04:47, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

While this link is based on personal finance rather than business finance, the maths seems equally valid: [9]. A very quick glance at the graph shows that 2010 spending would be about 20% of current revenue, so if you could keep both of those up for 5.5 years, then the WMF could survive off the interest. Of course, unlike a household, the costs of wikipedia are likely to rise as it gets larger and more popular (as well as rises due to inflation), so the "safe withdrawal rate" for investments is probably somewhat lower. MChesterMC (talk) 08:49, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Judging from the chart, WMF experiences exponential growth in both revenue and expenditures, not the usual case for personal finance. Usually such a curve follows the logistic model, which looks almost exactly like the exponential curve at the start but eventually levels off. So until there's a clear point of inflection visible it would be impossible to predict what the final limit would be. In any case, I doubt such a simple model could adequately predict future costs, not to mention "black swan" type events. --RDBury (talk) 14:01, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Also, even if we somehow fix the growth models and ignore black swan events, the results are likely to be accutely sensitive to the assumed (1) rate of revenue growth, (2) rate of expenditure growth, and (3) rate of (real) returns on investment. And given that (roughly speaking) sum/differences of these parameters enter the equation in the exponent, small differences in the assumed values will lead to either wikimedia owning the world, or being bankrupt. Basically GIGO. Abecedare (talk) 14:34, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
"the costs of wikipedia are likely to rise as it gets larger and more popular" – I think the costs of running the Wikipedia servers are a tiny fraction of the WMF's current expenditures. Page views have less than doubled since 2008 and have been flat for several years now, but look at the WMF's spending in that time. -- BenRG (talk) 17:56, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Multiplication table - with numbers 1-10 & others[edit]

By zapping through other Wikipedias, it seems usual in many countries that pupils learn a multiplication table with the numbers 1-10. Is there a list / an analysis where this is the case, and where not? --KnightMove (talk) 06:17, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Can you please clarify your question? Are you asking how commonly multiplication tables themselves are used in teaching arithmetic to children in different countries, or are you asking the common range for such educational multiplication tables? I was surprised by your 1-10 as I was taught 1-12 and had assumed everyone else was as well, though I recall being taught from flashcards, with my only recollection of multiplication tables being as interior cover decorations for notebooks. A quick Google image search on "multiplication table" returns 12x12 tables for 9 of the first 12 results (with the other three being 10x10, though the 13th result is 25x25), and our Multiplication table#History states, "The illustration below shows a table up to 12 × 12, which is a common size to teach in schools." Multiplication by 11 and 12 (and 10, for that matter) is not used in long multiplication (As Frank Mitchell wrote in his Mathematical Prodigies, "How many of us in multiplying 412,976 by 3,128, for instance, would think to treat the 12 in either the multiplicand or the multiplier as a single factor. It is only where the multiplier itself is simply 11 or 12 that the 12 x 12 table excels the 10 x 10 table for any practical purpose.") but multiplication by 11 is trivial and learning the 12-times table teaches the value of various number of dozens. There is some discussion of range (as well as a wonderful cartoon) in Talk:Multiplication table, and I would have expected to see this mentioned somewhere in mathematics education journals (particularly in regard to the debated value of rote memorization in teaching arithmetic), but I didn't find any. Sorry. -- ToE 12:52, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
ToE, I assume from your user name that you're of British origin? I was given to believe that we were taught our twelve times table so that we could handle our money, with 12d in the shilling, and that British schools now just go up to 10x10. Rojomoke (talk) 13:03, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm just a Cranky Old Yank, though my primary education dates to the late '60s and early '70s at a small school in Pakistan with teachers hailing both from UK and elsewhere in the Commonwealth and from the US, so I should know better than to assume that my experience was typical of any other population. Your point about UK decimalization is an interesting one. I don't know about the interim, but I found several articles from 2012 regarding draft changes to the National Curriculum (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) such as this Telegraph article, "The comments come weeks after the Government published plans to overhaul the National Curriculum in England in a bid to promote the core knowledge that children should acquire at each age. A draft maths curriculum suggested that nine-year-old should know all their times tables up to 12x12 and confidently work with numbers up to 10 million by the end of primary school. Currently, children only need to know up to 10x10 and familiarise themselves with numbers below 1,000 by the age of 11." This apparently passed. Mathematics programmes of study: key stages 1 and 2 Pg. 17: "By the end of year 4, pupils should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 multiplication table and show precision and fluency in their work." -- ToE 15:17, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
ToE, you have interpreted my question correctly. My motivation was primarily the English article Multiplication table, which does not mention the 10x10 table at all, and the introduction suggests a recommended table only up to 9x9?!. --KnightMove (talk) 14:48, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
While it looks like it's 12x12 in the UK, 9x9 may be all that is required from the Common Core State Standards Initiative in the US. Grade 3 » Operations & Algebraic Thinking: "Multiply and divide within 100. CCSS.Math.Content.3.OA.C.7: Fluently multiply and divide within 100, using strategies such as the relationship between multiplication and division (e.g., knowing that 8 × 5 = 40, one knows 40 ÷ 5 = 8) or properties of operations. By the end of Grade 3, know from memory all products of two one-digit numbers."
Common Core only sets minimum standards, and I would hope that most schools teach beyond this. While a 9x9 table might at first appear less intimidating than a 12x12 table, the x10 and x11 are trivial, and x12 are easy multiples of a dozen which need to be know for everyday life. For just a bit more work the student can feel a much greater sense of accomplishment, and, when expanding their understanding of arithmetic to multi-digit operations (Grade 4 » Number & Operations in Base Ten: "Use place value understanding and properties of operations to perform multi-digit arithmetic. CCSS.Math.Content.4.NBT.B.5: Multiply a whole number of up to four digits by a one-digit whole number, and multiply two two-digit numbers, using strategies based on place value and the properties of operations. Illustrate and explain the calculation by using equations, rectangular arrays, and/or area models."), the example 12 x 12 = (10 + 2) x (10 + 2) = 100 + 20 + 20 + 4 = 144, presented both algebraically and via the box method, will have greater impact when the student absolutely knows that 12 x 12 = 144 because it is a value that they memorized after first having constructed via repeated addition. The early wonder I found in mathematics came from the amazement that arithmetic could be computed in many different ways, but would yield the same value every time. -- ToE 16:23, 1 June 2015 (UTC) "What's eight times eight?" "Fifty-six," a tiger said. -- Richard Brautigan's In Watermelon Sugar
In Israel we use 1-10 (As can be evidenced by an image search for the Hebrew words for multiplication table). 1-12 seems completely bizarre to me. But then again, so does using a decimal number system with a non-decimal unit system. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 16:14, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

I too learned 1-10. For multiplication I need 0-9, but 0 and 1 are trivial. So the 2-9 table is sufficient.

 4  6  8 10 12 14 16 18
 6  9 12 15 18 21 24 27
 8 12 16 20 24 28 32 36
10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45
12 18 24 30 36 42 48 54
14 21 28 35 42 49 56 63
16 24 32 40 48 56 64 72
18 27 36 45 54 63 72 81

Bo Jacoby (talk) 06:56, 2 June 2015 (UTC).

And I guess Jacobi Jr. will only learn the J programming language? Count Iblis (talk) 20:40, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
In case anyone is interested, you really only need to know the table up to 5x5. Convert to balanced decimal, i.e, balanced ternary only with ten; the conversion can be done mentally. You can then to the conversion back to ordinary decimal in the addition phase. For example 729x183 = 1(-3)3(-1) * 2(-2)3 = 2(-6)6(-2)00 - 2(-6)6(-2)0 + 3(-9)9(-3) = 200000-80000+15000-1700+110-3=133407. True it's not really practical because is hard to keep track of all those minuses, but it is possible to to multiplication with a quarter of the memorization. Even more extreme, convert to binary-coded decimal, then you only have to memorize up to 1x1. --RDBury (talk) 01:18, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

Number of ways to arrange n items so that...[edit]

...the following criteria is met:

  1. The items are numbered and no number occurs in its numerical order position.
  2. If a sequence occurs where each item is followed by the one whose position matches the number of the preceding item, the sequence is periodic with n terms.


  • a(1) = 0
  • a(2) = 1 (the only solution is 2,1)
  • a(3) = 2 (2,3,1 and 3,1,2)
  • a(4) = 6 (2,3,4,1; 2,4,1,3, 3,1,4,2, 3,4,2,1, 4,1,2,3, and 4,3,1,2)

What are a(5), a(6), and a(7)?? Note the reason, for example, 2,1,4,3 is not a valid way according to this rule because if we start with 2, the sequence would alternate 2,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,... contradicting the statement that the period should be 4 because the period is 2. Georgia guy (talk) 20:56, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Your second criterion is unclear. I assume you mean by "The items are numbered" that if there are n items, they are consecutively numbered from 1 to n. But in the criterion it seems to the number of the item? From your example, it seems the latter. The numbers involved are small enough that a writing a computer program to exhaustively list and check each sequence is probably simplest. —Quondum 23:04, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Pick a group of the numbers 1 to 5 so that no number occurs in its natural position and I'll tell you whether it qualifies. Georgia guy (talk) 23:34, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
A derangement is what a sequence satisfying the first condition is called. The second condition does not seem to be properly articulated. Sławomir Biały (talk) 23:48, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Are you attempting to count the number of cyclic permutations without fixed points? -- ToE 00:53, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes. For a=4, 3,1,4,2 is valid because the order will go 3,4,2,1,3,4,2,1,3,4,2,1, and so on. The period is 4, making it valid. But 2,1,4,3 is not valid because the order is 2,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2,1, and so on. The period is 2, not 4. So it's invalid. Georgia guy (talk) 01:27, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Then a(n) = (n-1)! for n>1. Check out Stirling numbers of the first kind. (a(1) is special because a 1-cycle is a fixed point.) -- ToE 01:34, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
You may also be interested in reading Permutation#Cycle notation. -- ToE 01:41, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

June 2[edit]

I Should Have Counted Sheep...[edit]

But insead I counted prime numbers of the form 4N+1.

To my (sleepy) surprise, it seemed as if

1) P =A^2+B^2
2) P^2=C^2+D^2
P is a prime of form 4N+1;
P, A, and B are relatively prime integers;
P, C, and D are relatively prime integers.
Assuming this is not new, what is the proof - or is there a counterexample? A link will do.

Moreover, it seemed as if

3) Q =E^2+F^2
4) Q^2=G^2+H^2
Q is the product of a number of primes of form 4N+1;
Q, E, and F are relatively prime integers;
Q, G, and H are relatively prime integers.
Again, assuming this is not new, what is the proof - or is there a counterexample? A link will do.

By multiplying both sides of equations 1) through 4) by P^2M or Q^2M, M>0, we can obtain similar results for any integer power of P or Q.

However, these results have a common factor on both sides of the equations: P^2M or Q^2M.
So, finally, when is it possible to obtain results for integer powers >2 for P or Q but without a common factor on both sides?
For example, for P=5 or 13, or Q=65:

Bh12 (talk) 11:23, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

See Fermat's theorem on sums of two squares and Brahmagupta–Fibonacci identity. Gandalf61 (talk) 12:11, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Thank you! The references you listed give proofs for P and P^2 showing they must have relatively prime squares.

They also give proofs for Q, Q^2, and higher powers of P and Q, but it is not clear whether relatively prime squares can always be found - i.e., it is not clear whether (for a given P or Q or M) a solution can be found that is free of a common factor.

(I rechecked the case for 5^5 and found only two solutions (55*2+10^2, and 50^2+25^2), neither of which has relatively prime squares; i.e., there is a common factor (5^2) on both sides of the equation.)

So some of the original questions still stand.Bh12 (talk) 22:27, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

June 3[edit]


May 30[edit]


Is this image Margherita of Savoy and this her son Victor Emmanuel III of Italy? Also who is the photographer on the bottom?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 04:21, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Yes, that's Margherita of Savoy [10]. I haven't found an identical photo of Victor Emmanuel III, but this one File:Vittorio Emanuele III con l'uniforme della Nunziatella.jpg looks like it's from the same session. The studio named at the bottom is it:Fratelli D'Alessandri. --Amble (talk) 06:54, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

May 31[edit]

What has Wat got in his hand? (17th Century portraiture)[edit]

Walter Ralegh and his Son

What has Wat Ralegh (son of Walter Ralegh), got in his right hand in this picture? DuncanHill (talk) 01:14, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

His ding-a-ling? --Jayron32 01:36, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
It don't look like any ding-a-ling I've ever seen. DuncanHill (talk) 01:47, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Looks like a glove to me—and, assuming that the same portrait is being described, to the Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, Literature, and Art. - Nunh-huh 02:28, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
I think it's the same picture (can only see snippets of the book). DuncanHill (talk) 02:36, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Ah, yes it is the same picture - the book says "in the possession of Sir J. F. Lennard" and the National Portrait Gallery page about the picture says it was given by the Lennard family. DuncanHill (talk) 02:40, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
They're also both dated 1602, so glove it is. - Nunh-huh 02:43, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
  • The thing is, if it is a glove, is it one of his father's? The colour matches his father's jacket, not Wat's. Would their perhaps have been some symbolism to a son carrying his father's gloves? DuncanHill (talk) 02:53, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
It doesn't seem like a terribly allegorical painting to me, so I wouldn't look for any deeper meaning. I know YMMD. The glove is closer in color to WR père, but it doesn't really match the outfit of père or fils. I'd sooner ponder the question of 'who has the other glove?' - Nunh-huh 03:16, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
He might be holding a pair of gloves, but who knows? Alansplodge (talk) 08:49, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
It's a primitive early baseball glove. Who's on first base, and Wat's on second. Clarityfiend (talk) 10:19, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Wat (born 1593) looks here like a 9 years old alright, and a pretty frail one too. Does anyone know what happened to him? He must have died young, as it was his younger brother, Carew, who inherited his father's titles. Contact Basemetal here 17:52, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
According to this source Wat lived until 1618, when he was killed in an engagement with the Spanish in the Guianas with his father (which engagement proved to also be the cause of his father's execution). Dwpaul Talk 18:00, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
  • My immediate thought on seeing the picture is that it reminds me of a strap with a "blind" spur. This would be consistent with Walter Raleigh being a knight (he was knighted in 1585, I think) and his son therefore being his esquire (the boy who carries his armour and his spurs - the right to bear spurs was of particular significance in Devon). This would be consistent with the formal nature of the portrait. Unfortunately, I'm not an expert, so this is simply an observation as a "fresh pair of eyes". RomanSpa (talk) 16:36, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

fictional scarecrow[edit]

I remember that when I was seven years old, there was a book about a scarecrow who had friends, especially with a human girl and they go to different places around the world like India. Does anybody remember that story or that particular character? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:03, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

'Go to different places around the world like India'? India doesn't travel to other countries, or do you mean he travelled to countries similar to India? KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 16:37, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Sounds very much like the Oz series of books, although they don't actually go to India (but may have gone to a place that resembles it, in the fictional land of Oz). You're probably familiar with The Wizard of Oz, but there are many other books in that series. Depending on the book, the girl could be Dorothy or perhaps Princess Ozma.
Here's an example of some of the Oz characters in an "India-like" place (actually Arab, but probably close enough for a 7 year old): [11]. StuRat (talk) 03:23, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
See Category:Fictional scarecrows.—Wavelength (talk) 03:54, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
My search turned up this series of educational books for young readers (which fits with you being seven years old) featuring Trek the scarecrow and his journeys around the world - one of which is to India. Here is a PDF copy of Trek Learns to Fly that might spark your memory. MarnetteD|Talk 03:56, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Worzel Gummidge. (talk) 10:22, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

June 1[edit]

St. Paul's Church, California street, near Fillmore[edit]

What is the current official name of "St. Paul's Church, California street, near Fillmore" listed here and here? Do we have an article for it?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 20:04, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

There is a St. Paul's Catholic Church in SF currently, [12], but checking it's address, it is nowhere near Fillmore, which is several miles further north. Maybe it moved? --Jayron32 20:28, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I think it was Episcopalian. --KAVEBEAR (talk) 21:19, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I think I worked it out. I believe (but cannot prove yet) based on the California Street/Fillmore address that this is know the Grace Cathedral, San Francisco. The St. Pauls name is not mentioned in our article, but it's a church, whose address is on California Street, is Episcopalian, and near the Fillmore neighborhood. I can't find any information that it was called anything except Grace Chapel/Church/Cathedral. But it's a church in the right locale and denomination. There are currently no other churches in San Francisco known as St. Paul's anything except the above noted Catholic church. There is a St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Oakland: [13], but that's not Fillmore either. There may have been yet another church on California Street in Fillmore, actually named St. Pauls of a different denomination, but I can't find any modern decendant of it. Maybe one of these leads will help. --Jayron32 01:55, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Nobody who knows San Francisco would describe Grace Cathedral's location as "near Fillmore". Fillmore is in the neighborhood known as the Western Addition, whereas Grace Cathedral is nearly a mile to the east, on Nob Hill where it meets Downtown San Francisco. It is not the same neighborhood at all. The Western Addition is a neighborhood that attracted a lot of African American migrants in the mid-20th century. When it was first developed, however, in the late 1800s, it had a white, middle-class population that might have supported an Episcopalian church. The congregation had probably dispersed by the 1950s. The Western Addition was labeled a "slum" in the 1960s and subjected to a lot of demolition and redevelopment. It is very likely that the Episcopalian church mentioned in your sources no longer exists. Marco polo (talk) 14:50, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

"Phantom saints" and demons[edit]

I found this Language Log comment which mentions that some names of demons originated from misreadings of the Bible, and some names of saints from accidental repetition by scribes copying lists. Are there any known examples of such erroneous names? (talk) 22:21, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

I may be mistaken, but I believe that several saints mentioned in the Golden Legend of the 13th century were later debunked and removed from the Roman Catholic roles of Saints. Saint Christopher may be among those who religious scholars consider to be fanciful creations and not likely real historical personages. There may be others from that same work as well. --Jayron32 01:49, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
I think they may have had "Lillith" in mind, which appears in a list of animals in Isaiah 34:14, but is nonetheless thought of as a female demon. - Nunh-huh 02:11, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Ah yes, I recall that her name might simply mean "owl." (talk) 03:37, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Another mistaken saint is Saint Veronica, a name originally applied to an image of Jesus on a piece of cloth, believed to be a miraculous imprint of his face, a vera icon (true image). " By degrees, popular imagination mistook this word for the name of a person and attached thereto several legends which vary according to the country" according to the Catholic Encyclopedia. Alansplodge (talk) 11:46, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
The eleven thousand virgin companions of St Ursula are generally thought to have their origins in a scribal error. AlexTiefling (talk) 21:23, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
It's still happening. Not a saint or a demon, but a few years ago Irish police were on the lookout for a Polish man called Prawo Jazdy who had an enormous number of driving offences to his name, but kept giving different addresses so they couldn't track him down. Turned out, prawo jazdy is Polish for "driving licence".
And apparently, a Dutch tour guide in the Louvre was overheard directing tourists' attention to busts of the Roman emperor Inconnus. In fact, a selection of busts labelled inconnus - French for "unknown". --Nicknack009 (talk) 21:49, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Have you heard the one about the foreign exchange student in the US whose favorite brand of milk was "Missing"? Contact Basemetal here 22:10, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Reminds me of the story about Ronly Bonly Jones (bottom of this page). (talk) 22:32, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

June 2[edit]

On shadow cabinets[edit]

The shadow cabinet is formed from members of the Opposition-so what happens in the event that the government wins such a crushing election victory that are insufficient MPs to actually form a shadow cabinet?Do those few who are left double up roles-or does the government just continue without any shadow cabinet at all? Lemon martini (talk) 10:27, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

If they are few and far between, the remaining members of the opposition party assume a number of different portfolios each; minor portfolios may not have an assigned critic. Below a certain number of members, however, it becomes preposterous to call it a "cabinet", as you couldn't form a cabinet with four or five members only. It's a more useful expression when, as you state, there is a significant number of opposition MPs and some have more responsibilities than others. --Xuxl (talk) 11:17, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Has that ever happened ever? In Westminster system countries, 2-3 parties are favored by the way the system is set up, so you get the possibility of a single party which controls the majority of the legislature, but I don't know that it has ever happened where the government has controlled such a huge majority of seats as to render the opposition irrelevant. In other parliamentary systems, true majority governments are rare; most governments form via negotiated coalitions; the parties in the government coalition rarely control such a huge majority in the legislature as to render the other parties inconsequential either. Also of note, even in Westminster system countries, cabinet positions are not required to be held by MPs. In the UK, for example, the current Minister of State of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Joyce Anelay, Baroness Anelay of St John's, is not an elected member of Commons. --Jayron32 14:08, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
It has happened in British Columbia. With only 2 sitting members opposed to the government, there was no official opposition. Mingmingla (talk) 15:47, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
B.C. isn't the only Canadian province to have had that sort of result. Here's one from Alberta. -- (talk) 22:15, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
OP, re "... or does the government just continue without any shadow cabinet at all?": the government doesn't need any organised opposition in order to function. Governments have traditionally treated oppositions with ill-disguised contempt, except when it's not in their political interests to do so. The legislature, on the other hand, could easily become a rubber stamp/joke, unless the government continued to treat it with respect. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:09, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Earliest known real (i.e. not legendary) people?[edit]

Has anyone ever seen a list of (say) the 100 (or 500 or 1000) earliest known humans for whom we have enough historical data to make it likely that they were real people, not legendary characters? For example, probably among the earliest, the following three pre-dynastic Egyptian kings King Narmer, King Scorpion, King Ka, or (among the earliest non-kingly characters) Imhotep, Hesy-Ra, Merit-Ptah. I don't mean to start a discussion regarding the possible actual contents of such a list (these were just examples) and of course they do not necessarily start in Egypt (I could have just as well picked my examples in Sumer). I'm simply asking whether such a list exists and/or is feasible. Incidentally I don't think we have such a list at WP (despite the famous claim), but this is not the place for suggesting the creation of a WP article. Contact Basemetal here 16:08, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

AFAIK, the earliest humans for which we have names are the Sumerian King List, the earliest objects to be inscribed with the lists are themselves 4000 years old. Many of the early names on the list have not been documented by other methods, but some have, the oldest of which is Enmebaragesi, who probably lived 4500-4600 years ago. I'm not aware of any other person for whom we can confirm their name or actions as individuals from much earlier than that. --Jayron32 17:39, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
According to our own articles King Narmer dates from between 5000 and 5400 years ago (see also Narmer Palette). Contact Basemetal here 17:46, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Maybe the Egyptologists aren't talking to the Sumerologists; the History of Sumer notes Enmebaragesi as the first archeologically attested ruler. --Jayron32 17:59, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Or the other way round. Assyriologists got a headstart, public relations-wise ("History Begins at Sumer" and all that) but that's no reason not to pick up the phone Face-smile.svg Contact Basemetal here 18:47, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
According to another article, Iry-Hor pre-dates Narmer and "is the earliest ruler of Egypt known by name and possibly the earliest historical person known by name." Ghmyrtle (talk) 19:01, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes (I was adding precisely this when I got an edit conflict with Ghmyrtle) possibly great-grandfather to king Narmer, so even earlier. There was some controversy as to his historicity but that seems to have been resolved. You can read all about it in the article. At least you've got to admit Sumerian names don't exactly roll off the tongue. Contact Basemetal here 19:09, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
We had this question in 2008 (and that discussion links to one from 2006 - and I'm sure it has been discussed between 2008 and now but I can't find it). There are some more suggestions there (but ignore mine, Otzi the Iceman is not historically attested obviously...I guess I just like saying "Otzi"). Adam Bishop (talk) 00:48, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
Note that, technically, my question was about the existence of a list of such people. It's Jayron who turned it into a question about the first one. Clearly, as the first item on any such list, that guy would be a start. But I was naively hoping for a list of a 100 (or 500? or 1000?) of them. Another reasonable (?) way to limit the scope of such a list would be to make it a "Chronological list of historical figures from before 2000 BC" (for example). After that such a list could become rather unwieldy. Contact Basemetal here 01:19, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

Mother's surname[edit]

If you're British and 15 years old, but dislike your father's surname and prefer to use your mother's surname, would that surname be allowed/issued by the HM Passport Office? (talk) 18:09, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

You should really ask HMPO, contact details are here. Please note that it is the parent who would apply. I would imagine that the only name a child could have on a passport is either that from the full birth certificate, a deed of change of name or a statutory declaration as the parent will have to submit evidence of the child's true identity on application. Nanonic (talk) 18:35, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
We cannot offer legal advice, but according to this website, you must first legally change your name before you can use your new name on a passport, and you must be over 18 to legally change your name on your own. For people under 18 this website discusses the procedures for a legal name change. If you have any further questions, you will need to consult with an attorney. Marco polo (talk) 18:39, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Whilst we can't offer legal advise, I'd like to point out that deed-polls are not required under Scots law; you just have to write to all interested parties and inform them of your new name, and cease to use your old one. Also in Scotland the Age of Majority, where you can make such decisions for yourself, is 16 not 18, as in England and Wales. LongHairedFop (talk) 20:52, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

This article is evil. You need to fix or delete it.[edit]

This article is evil. This is why I would never donate to Wikipedia:

Zionism is not Judaism. That is where the discussion needs to start. So, Zionism is not a religion and being against it or believing its multiracial cabal controls other governments is NOT ANTISEMITIC.

You need to quit letting these evil Zionists control your website My natural father was Jewish but I know what Zionism is, a cabal that seeks world dominance. And in case you didn't hear:

“The technotronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities. ”

—Zbigniew Brzezinski-1970, Between Two Ages: America's Role in the Technetronic Era

“In the technotronic society the trend would seem to be towards the aggregation of the individual support of millions of uncoordinated citizens, easily within the reach of magnetic and attractive personalities exploiting the latest communications techniques to manipulate emotions and control reason.”

—Zbigniew Brzezinski-1970 , Between Two Ages: America's Role in the Technetronic Era

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:29, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Obviously a case of WP:DONTLIKE. Just go. --TL22 (talk) 23:55, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Ooh ooh yay we don't seem to have an evil Zionist cabal in our Wikipedia:List_of_cabals. Can we add them? And possibly the stretch-the-length-of-the-page-to-breaking-point cabal-nominating our user friend above to be their first member of course. And whilst we're at it,can we have a List of evil articles too?Lemon martini (talk) 23:44, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

US old-people's prison[edit]

In the UK, the number of elderly people in prison is apparently more than it used to be; this article says "cold-case" DNA evidence is partially responsible. Obviously housing elderly prisoners imposes different challenges than the young-to-middle-aged people who form the majority of the prison population. This says that a wing in HM Prison Wymott houses many of these "old lags". Does the US Federal prison system similarly have facility designated for, or becoming the norm for, housing elderly prisoners? (talk) 22:25, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

I haven't heard of any, but we do have minimum security prisons, which might be appropriate, considering grandpa probably won't get very far with his walker, if he tries to "run". :-) Here "life imprisonment without the possibility of parole" sentences lead to the elderly in prison. StuRat (talk) 02:42, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

June 3[edit]

Will beastiality become socially acceptable one day[edit]

Where specifically are pterodactyls mentioned in the Bible?[edit]

Question as topic. The thread I started about cryptids on the science desk reminded me about this.

As far as I remember, that the Bible refers to something that could possibly be pterodacyls started some sort of minor 'movement' to locate living specimens in Africa. I think that the logic is something like 'they are clearly mentioned in the Bible, so they could have been alive back then - and there have been reports of pterosaurs in remote parts of Africa over the years, so maybe there is something to it...'. It's not specifically a religious thing, they just use the Bible as a potential lead, more than anything else. Who started this, anyway? I think that some group was raising money to send an expedition somewhere or other to look for pterodactyls. --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 00:23, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

If the expedition you were thinking of was this it's a hoax made up by a satire site. I don't know if there's ever been a similar actual expedition, but attempts have been made to track down an alleged living pterosaur in New Guinea (the Ropen). (talk) 00:46, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
That may have been it. Can't remember now, but it looks sorta familiar. Thanks. --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 02:34, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
Where specifically are pterodactyls mentioned in the Bible? Nowhere (and no, I can't cite a source for that - for the same reason that I can't cite a source for Bill Gates not being mentioned in the Rigveda) Though sadly, Googling 'pterodactyls in the bible' [14] reveals that people have made the claim (see e.g. [15]) As to who started it, creationists have been arguing against extinction more or less ever since the fossil record began to unearth creatures no longer apparently in existence - since this would appear to contradict the Biblical version of the Flood, and Noah saving the animals. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:35, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
Fiery flying serpent? (talk) 00:39, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
Well yes, if you ignore the fact that a pterodacyl resembles a serpent in the same way that an umbrella resembles an alarm clock... AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:42, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
There are other animals that I'd compare pterodactyls to before I thought of 'serpent', to be honest. Anyway, I found this - pterodactyls in the Torah (maybe). --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 02:34, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
Checking further, the 'plesiosaur' in question supposedly being sought was the 'Ropen', a supposed cryptid for which I'm glad to say we no longer have an article (AfD discussion [16]). Feel free to Google it if you have spare brain cells you no longer require... AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:46, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
Drat, I should have checked the Ropen wikilink before posting it. (talk) 01:27, 3 June 2015 (UTC)


May 29[edit]

Are the verbs "to ascertain" and "to determine" complete synonyms?[edit]

Are the verbs "to ascertain" and "to determine" complete synonyms (used in the sense of seeking and discovering something - I know that "to determine" can also mean to cause something to happen in a particular way)? Often things which are almost synonyms have some subtle shade of meaning, is that the case here? -- Q Chris (talk) 14:15, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

"To determine" can also mean "to bring to an end", from Latin de of, from and terminare to finish. (talk) 14:46, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
IMHO there is a subtle semantic difference: "acertain" is to discover external/objective information, while "determine" could mean to declare/define something. "The court, having acertained that the accused was not at the bank at the time of the robbery, determined that all charges were to be dropped." Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 16:53, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
I think the OP is asking about the difference between ascertain and sense 4 (only) of determine. ―Mandruss  17:01, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Even so, User:Mandruss, to avoid possible ambiguity when writing for a readership that nowadays is increasingly likely to include non-native speakers, it's advisable to choose the word with fewer alternate definitions, thus minimizing the risk of a misreading. -- Deborahjay (talk) 08:38, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
@Deborahjay: I don't necessarily disagree with you on that point. But the OP didn't say anything to indicate they are talking about Wikipedia editing, and, in fact, most of the questions at the Reference Desks are unrelated to Wikipedia.
Anyway, and just because I can't resist a good conversation, I'm not convinced it serves non-native speakers to insulate them from common native English usage. Sense 4 of "determine" isn't going away any time soon, so the non-native speaker is going to be exposed to it somewhere, whether at Wikipedia or elsewhere. ―Mandruss  08:48, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
How about an answer to the OP's question? Yes, as far as I am concerned they are exact synonyms. "Establish" is also synonymous. --Viennese Waltz 09:14, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Examples in the above discussion indicate that "ascertain" and "establish" work well as synonyms. I still contend that the use of "determine" would require careful wording of context so that it couldn't be misconstrued as having another of its transitive-verbal meanings, namely "to decide." -- Deborahjay (talk) 12:10, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Haček in an American spelling bee?[edit]

I saw an article [17] which claimed that the Scripps National Spelling Bee used a sentence to provide context, "The priest, philosopher and reformer Jan Hus introduced the haček into Czech orthography." By their bolding I presume that haček was the word to be spelled.

What confuses me is that I don't recognize "haček" as an English word, because I don't see č as an English letter, because it has, well, a haček over it. I have no idea how you would say that letter in a spelling bee. I see Wiktionary lists wikt:hacek as an 'alternate spelling', though.

Anyway, I was kind of curious whether such strange letters have become valid in English spelling, or spelling competitions; or alternatively, whether they accept the stripping of any and all special marks and simply the recitation of the closest-looking English letter. Or did they use the alternate spelling as a loophole, and avoid such questions where one isn't present?

Incidentally, our article on č doesn't say how it is spelled out aloud. Wnt (talk) 14:55, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Actually it's an English word. At least so think Oxford, Collins and MW. By the way, Hus did not invent háček but a dot above for Czech (nevertheless a dot as a diacritic had long existed before him).--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 15:51, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
  • The haček itself is the little hat, caron, over the Latin letter. It also appears over other letters like s and z. The symbol 'č' is called 'cee haček' when said aloud. The letter is actually part of my family name. I've always considered it an English word in the way that salsa, haggis, and sigma are English words. I've also seen the word spelt haczek (the Polish spelling) when the č symbol itself was not available. μηδείς (talk) 18:42, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
  • If it's an English word, when will the makers of Scrabble be introducing the tile marked Č? Or, for that matter, the tiles marked Á, À, Â, Ä, Ǎ, Ă, Ā, Ã, Å, Ą, Æ, Ǣ, ........ Ź, Ż and Ž? And, more importantly, what will their letter values be, given that they're used rather less often than the diacritic-free versions? Or, to put it another way, how can an English word contain characters that are not recognised - anywhere - as part of the English alphabet and English language? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:39, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Garcon! μηδείς (talk) 22:02, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
... noun, plural garçons [gar-sawn] (Show IPA). French -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:49, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
I expected this response (hence my parenthetical comment), but, jalapeño, façade, naïve, and dejà vu are all perfectly english expressions, as are coöperate, and fiancée. We simply do without the symbols when practicality demands, yet the symbols still have English names. I am also sure the children are provided with the rules, whatever they are, and are coached in the contest; not swept off the streets and plopped in the beehive. The fact that some keyboards don't have certain symbols doesn't mean the symbols are in themselves problematic. The custom when you and I were young was for typists to add such symbols by hand when necessary. If English is limited to what 4th graders are expected to be able to parse, then Shakespeare isn't English either. μηδείς (talk) 05:28, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
I am all in favor of expanding the confines of the English language to include commonly used words written with non-English diacritical marks, including the six words mentioned above. That should be based on common understanding and widespread usage by literate English language writers. But those six words mentioned above are widely accepted and commonly rendered and understood in English with or without the diacritical marks. I do not believe that the "hacek" word has yet achieved that status. I would certainly have no idea at all what was meant if I encountered it in an English sentence lacking strong context, though I would have no problem whatsoever with the other six words mentioned, with or without the diacritics. So, language evolves and opinions may vary, but I do not at this time recognize "hacek" or "haček" as standard English at this time. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 05:50, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Interestingly, the very names of the country and language whence the word originates, Czechoslovakia (as it was then) and Czech, are rendered in English using Polish (!) orthography, because Čechoslovakia would have had little or no chance of being understood or pronounced correctly. The haček would have been dropped, and the Cecho part would have been pronounced like "Setcho". So much for acceptance of hačeks in English. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 07:51, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
I think Chekoslovakia would have been the likely outcome, Jack. But no such thing as Czechoslovakia existed before WWI, nor very long after the end of the Cold War. The haček was around quite a bit before that. μηδείς (talk) 20:24, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
I suppose an interesting case is "habañero", which is certainly not a word in any language other than English. Still, my feeling is that User:Medeis' test cases can be gone through and addressed in different ways. To begin with, coöperate and naïve are genuinely English spelling, though I would say archaic spelling; the article Diaeresis (diacritic) says that this notation is the only case of English terms with diacritical marks. Because of how diaresis is defined, there is never a doubt that it sits atop an English letter like o or i. As for "facade", "fiancee", and "deja vu", I would say that these words are or would be English when they lack diacritics and are not italicized, but foreign when those two things are done. (Though it's not very clear to me that deja vu is accepted as English the way facade is) Which leaves us with the pesky ñ - except in very old borrowings like "canyon" people don't really feel comfortable, for reasons I don't understand, with the idea of replacing it with "ny" or "ni", yet rarely can reproduce the letter in print or are minded to. And yet... I feel like these words aren't always italicized either. So that's the most interesting case of the six. Wnt (talk) 10:56, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
I have also seen diaresis used in words such as reëmergent, Wnt, which spellcheck is happy to take as reemergent, the latter looking like a term for a gent who reems. μηδείς (talk) 01:27, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
You also see role spelled with a circumflex, as in rôle. See here for example. --Jayron32 16:16, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
That, and début, première and various others bespeak confusion and/or snobbishness. Rôle, début, première et various al have all been absorbed into English to produce the very fine English words role, debut and premiere, which are written without diacritics. They are all available free of charge, and there is simply no case to use any French words or French orthography in an otherwise English-language text, unless the text is actually about how certain French words are the origin/source of English words (in which case the French words must be italicised). Or unless English simply has no word or expression of its own to call upon. For example, déja vu is clearly a French expression. It has been borrowed by English speakers because we have been too lazy or too unimaginative to develop one of our own. Just because it's widely used in English-language contexts does not mean it is an English expression. It remains French, and should be italicised in writing. Maybe one day it will be reborn as the English expression "deja vu" (without the acute é), but that hasn't happened yet. To consider it an English expression would be like considering перестройка an English word. Well, hardly. Not even its usual romanization, perestroika, is an English word. Acutes, graves, circumflexes and cedillas are just as foreign to English as Cyrillic, Greek, Hebrew, Armenian, Arabic, Chinese or Japanese script. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:18, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
By the way, déjà vu also takes a diacritic on the "a" in French. One more reason to spell it "deja vu" in English... --Xuxl (talk) 14:49, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Jack, Czech is actually the original Old Czech spelling. It's just Poles who retained the old digraph. I cannot confirm when the name entered English.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 13:45, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:18, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
To address Cullen and Jack above, yes, haček is a relatively rare word, used mainly by linguists in English, as well as ethnically and liturgically, typically by Slavs who use the Latin alphabet. I'd expect it to be marked as such in an English dictionary, given fewer than 1% of native English speakers are likely familiar with it (or with the term. Ultimately, what matters with the spelling bee is their rules and the words they defined as canonical. Learning the names of various accent marks is indeed a part of standard grade school education for native speakers. Reading poetry and Shakespeare requires understanding a markèd accent. Luckfully, never having been ruled by Napoleon, we English speakers don't feel the need to codify our speech before we just get on with it. μηδείς (talk) 20:24, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
French spelling was codified well before Napoléon, though. But his name is diacriticized (is that a word?) --Xuxl (talk) 14:52, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
England has been always too backward comparing to France, this why the English never came to the progressive idea of a language institution like l’Académie. (Joke.) --Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 18:36, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Napoleon lost the right to use the accent at Waterloo, Xuxl. μηδείς (talk) 18:55, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Are you supposed to type one space or two spaces, after a period?[edit]

Are you supposed to type one space or two, after a period? Does Wikipedia have an article on this topic? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 15:42, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

It has a rather terrible article on it, called sentence spacing, in my opinion written with an agenda. --Trovatore (talk) 15:46, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
That's not the correct article, is it? Isn't that an article about the distinction between, say, single-spacing and double-spacing and triple-spacing, etc., lines of text? That refers to how much space there is vertically from one line to the next. I am asking about typing a single space (blank) character or two space (blank) characters after I type a period at the end of a sentence. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:32, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
That is the correct article. I'd have to read the whole of it to understand why it jumps from spacing the lines of text to the number of spaces between sentences, but for your purpose you can jump straight to the applicable sections #Digital age and #Controversy.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); May 29, 2015; 16:44 (UTC)
OK, thanks. I'll check it out. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 18:14, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
For Wikipedia articles, see WP:MOS#Periods (full stops) and spaces and WP:MOS#Spaces following terminal punctuation.
Wavelength (talk) 15:49, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I'd like to read a "main space" article on the topic. Not a Wikipedia MOS (Manual of Style) guidebook. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:37, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Wars have been fought over this exact subject. You'd do best to back out the way you came in, and pretend like you didn't ask. Otherwise, you're liable to get caught in the crossfire. --Jayron32 16:04, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
  • My mother was a professional typist, and was taught two spaces after a full stop at the end of a sentence. This is what I was taught in the Eighties, and what I do myself. Certain modern word processing program-programmers have decided we are too stupid to make this decision on our own, and they override or "correct" what the user does. μηδείς (talk) 18:48, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
When I first was taught to touch type in 1973, I was taught two spaces after a full stop and also after a colon. Then in 1983 I went to secretarial school, and we were still taught two spaces after a full stop. However, in 1993 I was teaching word processing in an FE college, and in the meantime the RSA had changed its standards to only one space after a full stop and a colon. (UK) --TammyMoet (talk) 21:36, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Where I come from, the standard was 2. I never saw 1 until I started looking at Wikipedia. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:00, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
And I don't think I've ever heard about using two spaces before I read this thread. - Lindert (talk) 11:48, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
An actually answer is that it depends on which style guide you are using. Both MLA style and Chicago Style Manual prefer single. Mingmingla (talk) 16:07, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, all. I later realized that my question wasn't particularly clear. I was not asking: "Are you supposed to type one space or two, after a period?" What I was asking was: "Does Wikipedia have an article on the topic of whether you are supposed to type one space or two after a period?" Sorry for the poorly phrased question. Thanks. Since this is such a "big deal", I thought that Wikipedia would have an article on it. That is, a specific article, dedicated to this exact topic / "controversy". Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 21:06, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

The two spaces might have been more of a thing when all we had was typewriter fonts. With better computer fonts, the two-space approach looks somewhat overkill. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:03, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
That does seem to be the story that you hear, but it makes no sense to me. The function of a period is to help you find breaks between sentences. As far as I can tell, a period and a single space works better for that in monospace fonts (the typewriter-style ones) than it does in proportional fonts (the more modern ones). In proportional fonts, the periods have a habit of cuddling up against the last letter of the sentence and kind of getting lost, so a wide space seems even more important.
There's a very nice solution for this in the typesetting package LaTeX (actually I think it's the same in plain TeX). In LaTeX, it will put a wide space after a terminal punctuation mark (period or question mark or exclamation mark). Exactly how wide that is depends on other exigencies (like what's necessary to keep the text right-justified) but in general it's wider than a full space, but not as wide as two spaces.
The best thing of all is that if you don't want the wide space in a particular spot (say, if the period ends an abbreviation rather than a sentence), you can easily suppress the wide space in that location. --Trovatore (talk) 22:24, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Proportional or not, extra space after a sentence can help the reader tell whether the dot ends a sentence or an abbreviation. ("During my time in the U.K. I made a driving blunder or two.") — My last typewriter had a half-space key, so I used a space and a half between sentences. —Tamfang (talk) 06:12, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
But you should not be writing "U.K." anyway, you should be writing "UK". --Viennese Waltz 07:33, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
As a general rule, Americans are more likely to use abbreviations with periods, Brits without. I have actually been drifting towards the British style, partly because it's just easier to type, but also, Tamfang is right: If you use a single space after terminal punctuation, then it does become more difficult to distinguish terminal punctuation from abbreviations, using the American style. So if this (in my view unfortunate) trend towards a normal space after terminal punctuation is really here to stay, then that's a strong point in favor of transitioning to British-style abbreviations.
Again, LaTeX does this very nicely, though it does require a tiny bit of effort on the part of the author. When I want to use a period to end a sentence, I just type normally — one space or two, or seventeen, makes no difference; the engine will choose a wide space that's usually sufficient to mark the sentence break, while maintaining pleasing spaces in other ways.
But if I want to use an abbreviation followed by a period, Mr. or Dr. or what have you, I follow it immediately by a backslash-space, and the engine knows that the sentence is continuing and adjusts accordingly. --Trovatore (talk) 18:22, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, all. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 05:18, 1 June 2015 (UTC)


A friend got a report after an ultrasound that included the comment "baja cogenidad". So far as I can tell, "cogenidad" doesn't exist anywhere on the internet. Can anyone think of a word for which it might be a misspelling (in Spanish)? Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Medeis (talkcontribs) 18:33, 29 May 2015

  • We figured out it meant "low echogenicity" (ecogenidad) which makes sense given the procedure. μηδείς (talk) 20:02, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

May 30[edit]

The Rain In Spain[edit]

Does it actually fall mainly on the plain, or is this just an elocution lesson for people who have trouble pronouncing 'ai'? A bit like 'How now, brown cow', which has no verb and one would not expect an answer from a cow, whatever colour it was. (talk) 10:39, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

The song doesn't say it falls on the plain but that it stays ("mainly") in the plain. Now seriously. Contact Basemetal here 11:30, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Since what is meant by plain us undefined, the answer is uncertain. Most of Spain except the coasts is a high plateau, rain clouds tend to rain out as they are forced to ascend, hence much of Spain is dry. The Northwest coast (especially Spanish Galicia) is rather lush. Much of the potential rain from the Atlantic falls there and in Portugal rather than inland. See climate of Spain. μηδείς (talk) 19:28, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
I think the answer is clear — it's the second thing you said. Or more precisely, it's what the librettist thought would sound like an elocution lesson. The elocution teachers couldn't much care whether the statement reflected reality, and the librettist wasn't much more interested in whether real elocution teachers use such a phrase.
Compare Moses supposes his toeses are roses/but Moses supposes erroneously/for Moses, he knowses his toeses aren't roses/as Moses supposes his toeses to be. --Trovatore (talk) 21:38, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Prof. Enry Iggins was packing as many "ays" in there as he could. Eliza would say it, "The rine in Spine sties minely in the pline." Until she "got it", by George. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:00, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
The other one they used was "In Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire, hurricanes hardly ever happen". Now, "hardly ever" says they have happened, if only rarely. I'm no meaty horologist, but I'd be surprised if hurricanes have ever happened in those parts. Conclusion: it wasn't meant to reflect the truth. Neither was the Spanish one. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:34, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
It sounded like Hertford, not Hartford, to me. DuncanHill (talk) 00:07, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Hartford. Start at about 1:15 in.[18] Or this, from :00.[19]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:23, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Hertford is pronounced like "Hartford", and presumably the line is referring to the places in England...also Hartford frequently gets hurricanes, doesn't it? So that part wouldn't make sense, not that it really needs to make sense, but anyway it's clearly referring to Hertford. Adam Bishop (talk) 00:43, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
See also pun. DuncanHill (talk) 00:47, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Aha, spelled Hertford but pronounced Hartford. That British peculiarity, in words like clerk, derby, Kerr, etc. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:08, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Hartford, Connecticut was actually named after Hertford, Hertfordshire, but I suppose that they had forgotten how to spell it while they were away. The spelling of the place was Herutford in the 8th century,[20] so I think we have continuity on our side. Alansplodge (talk) 18:03, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
And the irony is that they pronounce "hurricane" like "hurric'n". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:41, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
But they don't pronounce 'mobile' and 'missile' as if they were spelt 'moble' and 'missle'. And they don't drop the h in herb. So, all is forgiven. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 06:21, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
As it turns out, "erb" was correct from French, and later someone started enunciating the "h", from the Latin.[21] However, we Yanks say "herbicide", not "erbicide". You got us on "mobile" (or "Mobil Oil") and "missle", though I doubt that the French pronunciation ended with a homophone of "isle" / "aisle". But we say the formal name of a car as "aw-toe-moe-beel". Do you say "aw-toe-moe-byle"? Then there's "Moe-BEEL", Alabama, but it apparently is an unrelated word.[22]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:53, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
In my speech, the adjective meaning "able to be moved from place to place" is /'moʊbəl/, but the toy is a /'moʊ,bi:l/. --Trovatore (talk) 00:49, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
That would depend on whether you use "hurricane" in the strict sense where it is limited to a sufficiently powerful tropical cyclone in certain parts of the world, or whether you mean the word to include any windstorm of hurricane strength. Specifically, see Great Storm of 1987. -- (talk) 23:10, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
"Tropical cyclone" and "typhoon" don't start with the letter "h". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:14, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
A typhoon in Troon would not affect the Toon. DuncanHill (talk) 13:13, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
What's this about the British pronouncing "Kerr" like "car"? Bill Kerr came over from Perth and went back there after working with Tony Hancock at the BBC. He was always a "cur" to us. Hancock went on tour to Australia and killed himself in Melbourne, like Jimmy Clitheroe did. When I was over there I was ticked off for pronouncing "Melbourne" to rhyme with "born" rather than "burn". I was also admonished for pronouncing "Albany" to rhyme with the American (shopping) "mall" rather than the British "mallet". Do Australians shop in the "mall" rhyming with "maul" like the Americans or do they say it in the British way to rhyme with "pal"?
Aussies wouldn't know that Costessey, a suburb of Norwich (rhymes with the first syllable of "coral" followed by "itch") is pronounced "Cossy". One stop down the railway line, Wymondham is pronounced the same as that town in the far north of Western Australia. Cutteslowe, a suburb of Oxford, is pronounced "Cutslow", but when I was living in the equivalent Perth suburb it was pronounced as written. I was amused to learn that Cottesloe is now the Beverley Hills of Western Australia. The smart places used to be City Beach and Floreat Park. I also lived in Northbridge, which had a bad reputation even in 1911. How do Australians handle the pronunciation of names like Beauchamp, Cholmondeley, Mainwaring and St John Stevas? (talk) 13:42, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
In English, the word "south" at the beginning of a place name sometimes rhymes with the first syllable in "mother", thus Southall, a west London suburb, Southwark, a south London suburb across the Thames from the City (the "w" is not sounded), and Southwell, a Nottinghamshire town which you hear of in betting shops because it has a racecourse (again the "w" is not sounded). Does Australian pronunciation follow the same pattern? In Perth, between Mosman Park and Fremantle, there used to be a Shire of Peppermint Grove, which had its own council but consisted of about half a dozen streets. I believe it's been reorganised, but before it was would it hold the record for the smallest local government unit ever? (talk) 13:59, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
What about Loughborough? KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 14:04, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Well there you're getting to it. Slough, Brough Park, Lough Neagh, Loughborough (including the last syllable), they're all pronounced differently. It was George Bernard Shaw who decided that "ghoti" is actually pronounced "fish" - "gh" as in "tough", "o" as in "women", and "ti" as in "nation". (talk) 14:16, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
You'd still be wrong if you pronounced Melbourne to rhyme with 'burn'. It's Mel-bən. And Brisbane is Briz-bən (not -bane). We shop in a "mall" (rhymes with Paul, not with pal), but yes, Albany is al-, not awl-. When I was at school, we were taught the proper prons of most well-known Australian places, so we knew Launceston was Lon-, not Lawn-; and Toowoomba had a short -oom- (like a Yorkshireman saying "plum"), not long (like "doom"); and Canowindra was "kə-NOWN-dra" (rhymes with Caloundra), not "ka-nə-WIN-dra"; and Wangaratta was wang-, not wong-, and so on. But listen to TV weather reports and you end up screaming at the presenters because they obviously have never even heard of half the places they tell us about, let alone have a clue how to pronounce them. So, with such a standard among the local "experts", we should go a little easier on our international visitors, many of whom are from overseas. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:26, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Also, I don't know who you're getting him confused with, but Jimmy Clitheroe suicided in Blackpool, England, and I can find no evidence he ever visited Australia at all. Also, Tony Hancock suicided in Sydney, not Melbourne. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:31, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Suicided? There's a word that should kill itself. DuncanHill (talk) 22:13, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Also, Bill Kerr resided in Perth when he returned to Australia, but he had had no previous association with that city. He was born in South Africa, and on migration to Australia his family lived in Wagga Wagga, NSW, a very long way from Perth. In the UK he was billed as "The Boy from Wagga Wagga". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:42, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
See "List of names in English with counterintuitive pronunciations".—Wavelength (talk) 14:53, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Wasn't Deborah Kerr pronounced "car"? In the UK, Bill Kerr was always pronounced "cur", and fissile missile rhymes. Widneymanor (talk) 20:55, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, Deborah Car and Bill Cur. What a team they'd have made! But they've both karked it (or is that kirked it, or kerrked it, or curked it ...?). -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:42, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Pronuciation of Dupleix[edit]

What is the proper pronunciation of the French surname Dupleix? -- (talk) 19:34, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

As far as I know the final 'x' is pronounced in both French and English and the 'ei' is pronounced as a short 'e' in English and as an open 'e' in French. Contact Basemetal here 21:24, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
But how is the X pronounced? -- (talk) 03:35, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
According to this, it's pronounced like an "x". If so, "Dupleix" would be a near-homophone of "duplex". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:40, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
The 'x' is pronounced like an 'x', i.e. as 'ks'. In French 'Dupleix' and 'duplex' are perfect homophones. In English they only differ in the place of the accent: first syllable for 'duplex', last syllable for 'Dupleix'. Contact Basemetal here 04:57, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Marquee project[edit]

In our article Gambit (2012 film), it says "Sutherland knew of a fledgling production company, Crime Scene Pictures, with equity financing from Southeast Asia, who were looking for a marquee project for their new company and felt that Gambit would fit the bill". What is a "marquee project"? DuncanHill (talk) 20:36, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

See definition 2 here [23]. The adjectival one. "very popular and well known, having or associated with the name recognition and attraction of one whose name appears on a marquee." A marquee is the giant sign that appears over the doors of theaters, where you put the names of the best known stars in a show to attract patrons. In the middle 20th century, the word got expanded to mean "well-known" or "well recognized". A "marquee project" is one that a company is hoping will be a huge hit that will attract the company itself customers and name recognition, in the same way that a star's name on a theater marquee would attract customers. --Jayron32 21:01, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. I was previously only aware of the tent. DuncanHill (talk) 21:11, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Synonyms might be "signature project" or "flagship project" (if it's the main one). StuRat (talk) 23:00, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
I wonder how on earth we managed to stumble through our pathetic lives before they finally took pity on us and gave us adjectives like "marquee" and "boutique". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 06:14, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Isn't a "marquee display" on an electronic devices (e.g. old-style electronic typewriter) the term for where a single line of text runs laterally on a narrow rectangular screen, as with a teletype? -- Deborahjay (talk) 08:44, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

May 31[edit]

Where does the 'n' in the Arabic word for pharaoh come from?[edit]

In Egyptian there was no 'n' in the word for pharaoh (and neither is there one in Hebrew or English). In French the n of 'pharaon' comes from the Latin accusative (the declension is pharao, pharaonem). But where might the 'n' of the corresponding Arabic word 'firʿawn' (فِرْعَوْن) come from? Contact Basemetal here 12:46, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Classical Arabic contains an 'n' at the end of masculine nouns. (talk) 13:44, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
There are thousands of masculine nouns in Arabic that do not end in 'n'. Are you talking about tanwīn? The 'n' at the end of 'firʿawn' is not tanwīn. Contact Basemetal here 14:20, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Etymonline only has "title of the kings of ancient Egypt, Old English Pharon, from Latin Pharaonem, from Greek Pharao, from Hebrew Par'oh, from Egyptian Pero', literally "great house."" so maybe it comes from French or Latin? KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 15:37, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
The word is already used in the Qur'ān so I'd say French is out.
An early (pre-Islamic) borrowing from Latin? Maybe not impossible even though this would seem a fairly circuitous way to go about it: why Latin instead of Aramaic, or Hebrew, or Coptic, or some other neighboring language? But, leaving that aside, the Latin nominative does not have an 'n'. You'd expect languages borrowing from Latin to borrow the nominative not the accusative. Are there other examples of borrowings from Latin using the accusative as their model? The case of words inherited from Latin by languages descended from Latin is different.
Going back to's suggestion, I wonder whether something that could have started as a tanwīn form 'firʿawun' (فِرْعَوٌ) based on 'firʿaw' (فِرْعَو), which as you can see would correspond etymologically to the Hebrew form, could not have given the Arabic form of the Qur'ān: so 'firʿaw' > 'firʿawun' > 'firʿawn'? But how would an indefinite (as the meaning of tanwīn is) eventually become the basic form of the noun? Are there other examples of Arabic words that were originally a tanwīn form where the 'n' of the tanwīn form eventually became part of the basic form of the word?
Contact Basemetal here 17:34, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Joseph Henry Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament says "Φαραων" with an N at the end is a variant spelling in Josephus. That's pretty much exactly the same as the Arabic spelling, so maybe that was a spoken form, and that's how Muhammad picked it up. Adam Bishop (talk) 12:57, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
'How the scribe picked it up' :) Alanscottwalker (talk) 13:02, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Why "the scribe"? Do you imagine Muhammad dictated without the 'n' and the scribe took it upon himself to insert an 'n'? Face-smile.svg
I'm skeptical of a direct Greek connection: the Greek form has lost the information that there was an ʿayin there and where it was. If borrowed from Greek, where would Arabic have gotten the ʿayin and how did it insert it exactly where it corresponds to that of the Egyptian word? From Greek 'Φαραων' you'd expect, wouldn't you say, Arabic 'faraʾūn' or 'faraʾun' (فَرَؤُون and فَرَؤُن respectively: I hope I got my hamzas right) according as, when the word was borrowed, vowel length was still a feature of the Greek language or not. In the former case I'm assuming that the alphas were all short, which I don't actually know. I also ignored the question of the first vowel which is in fact 'i' in the Arabic word. I don't think that is a serious problem. Arabic short vowels are unstable.
But maybe Adam is getting closer. Indeed, where did Josephus (or the copyist responsible for this variant) pick up his 'n'? If not Hebrew (which does not have the 'n') could it be Aramaic? Can anyone find some Aramaic or Syriac forms of 'pharaoh'?
Not directly connected: Does the Latin nominative of the word really have a short 'o' (as Wiktionary says)? Or in fact a long 'o'? If the word was borrowed from Greek you'd expect a long 'o', plus Latin nominatives in 'o' (imago, leo, etc.) usually end in a long 'o', so analogy would also seem to make the long 'o' more likely. I wonder if, for Latin, Wiktionary makes a distinction between "short vowel" and "vowel of unknown length". It is mostly vowels in closed syllables (not the case here) whose length is unknown (so called "hidden quantity"), for obvious reasons.
Amazingly it turns out that (this is 2015!) there still is no decent etymological dictionary for Arabic in any language? Apparently some people are working on one in Norway. Hard to believe isn't it?
Contact Basemetal here 18:48, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, apparently it's difficult to make an etymological dictionary for Arabic? Maybe it's because Arabic is relatively new as far as classical languages go...but there isn't even a Semitic etymological dictionary in general. There's one for Hebrew though. Anyway, another thought I had was that "fira'un" was constructed as a plural, but there's no precedent for that in the other languages (and that wouldn't work with the actual plural, "fira'ina"). Also, as you mentioned above, the Arabic is (فِرْعَوْن, not فِرَؤُن, so it's actually not the same as the Greek, but I suppose -αων would be pronounced as a diphthong there. As for where the ayin came from if it was borrowed from Greek, are there any other words where something similar happened? I'm sure there are but I can't think of any - the only one I can think of is Constantinople, where the Greek taus became ط and the kappa became ق - قسطنطينية. But those are consonants reinterpreted to a similar sound, not a vowel becoming a new consonant. Are there any other Greek names or words with the sequence -αω- borrowed into Arabic? Adam Bishop (talk) 23:49, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Latin universitas, accusative universitatem, that's how we got "university" in English and universitaet in German. Neither language is descended from Latin. In fact, English seems regularly to get its Latin - derived words from the accusative - "imaginary" and "leonine" have been flagged above and there must be hundreds more - I can think of legal, marginal, ordinal, pontifical, regal, sacerdotal and virgin.
You get some very weird transitions - for example the Babylonian arach - samna became the Hebrew Marcheshvan through perfectly regular rules of lexical change. As for pharaoh, could "pharaonic" have arisen from the same process that turned "a" into "an", or Portuguese "em" + "o" into "no"? (talk) 09:35, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
'An' didn't come from 'a', it was the other way around. 'An' was the Old English word for 'one'. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 12:18, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure about German, but English either gets all those words from French, or from Latin adjectives which slready used the base form, so that's a different process. Adam Bishop (talk) 10:34, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
A language like Sard, which is really Latin with different endings, is already showing the change to noun formation from the accusative/genitive/dative/ablative stem. Why shouldn't a word like "virgin", for example, be directly formed from the Latin virginem? (talk) 11:54, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Etymonline says it's from Anglo-French/Old French "virgine". In other words it is from 'virginem' but not directly from 'virginem'. It's through Old French. And in Old French this is not a borrowing from Latin but a word inherited from Latin. Those words do come from the accusative. I have not checked all of the evidence of course but I was taught that borrowings from Latin into French, English, etc. all use the nominative as their model. The reason could be that to foreigners, and to European scholars who were using Latin as their scholarly language, it was the nominative that "represented" the word. Similarly it is the nominative that we use in Latin dictionaries to represent the word. Not quite the same thing but it may give an idea of the process. I'm not claiming this rule is absolute and that someone may not be able to find a borrowing from Latin that does use the accusative. If you wanna try you can basically limit yourself to those words of the 3rd declension that have a different number of syllables in the nominative and the accusative.
Regarding Adam's question whether Arabic speakers would hear a vowel hiatus in a ancient Greek as an ʿayin or as a hamza: Greek χάος gives Arabic كاوس if you believe Arabic WP. There are at least two possibilities for its pronunciation (couldn't find a vocalization) but at least you can see there's no ʿayin. One example, that's not a lot a lot. Maybe others can come up with other examples. (And please don't forget my request for Aramaic pharaohs if you come across one.)
Contact Basemetal here 14:18, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
There is apparently a letter in Aramaic to a pharaoh, which you can read about on JSTOR, but it doesn't give the Aramaic text...still maybe that help find the original text. Adam Bishop (talk) 16:25, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Here is another, with the Aramaic text - although the word for Pharaoh is the same as in Hebrew, no indication of an N. This is from the 7th century BC though, so that doesn't really help figure out if there was an N there 1000 years later when Arabic borrowed it. Adam Bishop (talk) 16:55, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

OK, outdent to make this seems that the Peshitta version of the Bible uses the word for pharaoh with an N at the end at Romans 9:17. My search is a bit hampered by my inability to read Aramaic or Syriac and my lack of proper fonts, but this Peshitta New Testament search tool can be used to show the Syriac as well as Arabic, Hebrew, and Latin transliterations (all of which also contain the final N). This might help explain where Arabic got it from...although that still leaves us with the question of where Syriac got it from. (If it's actually a Syriac form then maybe that's where Josephus got his variant Greek spelling.) Adam Bishop (talk) 17:12, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks Alan. Lots of stuff. It could turn out it's all from Aramaic/Syriac after all. That would seem to be the more natural, or at least the more expected answer as the source of Biblical stories in the Qurʾān seem to have been Aramaic speaking Christians and Jews. You may remember the story a few years ago about the houris being allegedly not in the least pure virgins but just white grapes. I don't know where that particular story is at, as I haven't been following it, but it would seem only natural if there was a little Aramaic influence hidden in the Qurʾān. But, as you say, that would only beg the question: Where did Aramaic get the 'n'? We'll worry about that another time. "After all, tomorrow is another day". This said I'd love to know what the Akkadian word is for 'pharaoh'. You may know that Akkadian was used through the whole of the Middle East (even in Egypt actually) as a diplomatic language and that could have influenced Aramaic which followed it as the diplomatic lingua franca. Or in Nabatean, an Aramaic dialect spoken by people who were ethnically Arabs and which may have influenced early Arabic. Mutual influences of Semitic languages on one another in the Middle East could give any linguist a serious headache, not to mention us, lowly dilettanti. In the end, if there is one origin it can't very well be anything other than analogy or morphology. It could also be "totally random" but that's just another name for "we haven't figured out the answer yet". But, like I said, tomorrow is another day. Contact Basemetal here 20:16, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
The Akkadian word seems to be "pirhu", obviously a borrowing, although they would also use their own word "lugal" to refer to a pharaoh. Adam Bishop (talk) 00:25, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

June 1[edit]

Native level of proficiency?[edit]

Is "native" a level? Some natives cannot read or write, and many have a very limited vocabulary. I am pretty sure that an educated foreigner could write better than the bottom 25% of the the natives. And that's being generous. Wouldn't that mean that something like "full professional proficiency" is sometimes higher than "native"?--Llaanngg (talk) 12:47, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia has an article titled First language which covers the various ways this can be defined; under the "defining native speaker" section of that article, the most relevant definition for your purposes is likely "The individual is able to produce fluent, spontaneous discourse". Note, also, that most linguists treat spoken language different than written language, notably that a spoken language is acquired naturally, without instruction or intervention, by children, and will even be invented spontaneously by isolated populations with no contact with other languages (see Nicaraguan Sign Language which is the most famous case study for spontaneous language creation of this type). Written languages, on the other hand, are artificial constructs which exist to represent the spoken language, they must be taught, and are only acquired by a learner after mastery of the spoken language. Reading and writing are not important variables in determining linguistic fluency, many languages worldwide have no written form; and yet their speakers are self-evidently fluent in communicating with others in their own tongue. --Jayron32 13:01, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
  • A native level of proficiency and a professional level of proficiency are not the same thing, otherwise all native speakers would be good writers and announcers. That's obviously not true. A look at the article Oral Proficiency Interview (run by an American company, but viewed as industry standard) and related topics such as the written tests and the various scales is a good way to start. μηδείς (talk) 19:12, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

June 2[edit]

'uman rights and 'elf 'n' safety[edit]

The earlier question about apheresis reminded be of something that's been puzzling me for some time. In the UK, it seems to be commonplace for people who write letters to (or opinion pieces in) newspapers criticising health and safety or human rights legislation to refer to them as 'elf 'n' safety or 'uman rights. Does anyone here know what the purpose is of this apheresis? Is it supposed to be a parody of the supposed accent or manerisms of people that care about health and safety / human rights? (And if so, what accent is it meant to be and why the association?) Or is it supposed to represent something else? Iapetus (talk) 10:17, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

I think maybe they are intended as more a parody of the kind of blind-obedience-without-understanding that sometimes surrounds this legislation. And the notion that they are so ubiquitous that they have become "slang words." One can of course easily imagine these being parrotted out by London cab drivers. See wikt:elfin_safety. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:29, 1 June 2015 (UTC) [24]
See the Wikipedia article titled eye dialect. WP:WHAAOE. --Jayron32 13:32, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Also in part another version of the irregular verb format (I am firm, you are obstinate, (third person pronoun) is as stubborn as a mule) - if one agrees with it/finds it useful it is human rights/health and safety, if opposed it is 'uman rights and 'elf 'n' safety. Jackiespeel (talk) 10:04, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
The thing about all that that puzzles me is that - as the article says - eye-dialect is often used to suggest superiority over the people who supposedly talk like that. But the (stereotypical) London cabbie is more likely to be complaining about over-the-top H&S / HR laws rather than blindly obeying them. So essentially, the writers are parodying people who agree with them. Is this then meant to be a way of showing (claiming) that "Ordinary hard-working people agree with me"? Iapetus (talk) 10:17, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
"Elf 'n' safety" evokes a middle-to-upper-class person being stymied and frustrated by a jobsworth, someone of a lower class who nonetheless has the upper hand because he represents bureaucracy. The lower class person would, in London at least, stereotypically drop their aitches.
Upper-middle-class person: But I left my handbag in there!
Fluorescent-jacketed steward: Can't let you in luv. More 'n my job's worth. 'Elf 'n' safety, innit.
There is also a common stereotype of lower class people using 'human rights' to defend inexcusable behaviour, more out of a vague sense of entitlement than actual legal knowledge. "You can't give my Wayne detention! It's against 'is 'uman rights!" -- (talk) 10:31, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Also, as in other contexts, intonation/facial expression - or which newspaper is using the phrase - can affect the meaning. (And sometimes the speaker wishes to say 'it isn't practical (for various reasons' or 'you are annoying me' and uses the jobsworth/elf and safety to fob the person off. Jackiespeel (talk)

Pronunciation of "Blayac"[edit]

Can anyone tell me how to pronounce the French surname "Blayac", as in Jérémy Blayac? In terms an Englishman would understand if possible. Cheers. -- (talk) 10:33, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

The IPA is [bla'jak]. If you don't understand IPA, the French [a] sound is similar to the vowel in the English word black as it is pronounced in Wales and most of England, particularly in the North, but NOT as it is pronounced in America or in traditional Received Pronunciation (what you might call a plummy accent). So the English pronunciation is bla YAK, with a very slight emphasis on the second syllable. Marco polo (talk) 13:45, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

"All but..."[edit]

What exactly does this phrase mean? When you say 'experiments have all but ceased', does it mean they have completely ceased, or that they are continuing, albeit in a reduced state? KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 11:24, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

The latter. (talk) 11:45, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
"In a reduced state" doesn't quite cover it. It means that they have almost entirely ceased. --Viennese Waltz 12:17, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Requested translation: What are the terms in File:China Airlines Flight 140 EN.svg in Chinese?[edit]

In File:China Airlines Flight 140 EN.svg what are the terms in Chinese in this document? For bustle I presume it is "A cover to protect and hide the back panel of a computer or other office machine." (from wiktionary:bustle)

Thanks! WhisperToMe (talk) 19:10, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

I can't answer your main question, but I think bustle refers specifically to the cover of the stored evacuation slide. See the second paragraph of the linked article. Deor (talk) 22:53, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Leo Marriot or Leo Marriott?[edit]

This may be the wrong section to ask, but the military author's name is spelled both ways, in hundreds of citations in Wikipedias of many languages, in thousands of websites, and even on his own book covers. This Leo Marriott is probably a different person. Art LaPella (talk) 23:37, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

June 3[edit]

on line sites with English words hard for foreigners?[edit]

I have been searching on line, at a spanish-speaking friend's request, for sites that offer a list of hard-to-pronounce English words. One of the listed "anemone" as the most difficult. The obvios google results have been horrible. I am looking for something on an advanced level that gives words (mostly in the (American-, but also British-type dialects) that present a difficulty for non-natives. Phrases like six sixths, cowboy baby, and squirrel's strengths. Can anyone with ESL experience or a general knowledge of the topic recommend any appropriate site/references? Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 01:23, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

You can find English tongue twisters listed at
Wavelength (talk) 01:32, 3 June 2015 (UTC)


May 29[edit]

Music Album Cover Picture[edit]

Please, I want to know how to upload a cover picture to music album Best of 11-Twelve I uploaded one on commons but it was deleted. I want to know if there's another way to upload it. Thank you Senor Mido (talk) 18:44, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Hi Senor Mido.
It would have been deleted because it was a copyrighted image and commons doesn't accept images subject to copyright.
You can upload the image to Wikipedia instead under "fair use" provisions, but you do need to follow some quite strict rules:
Here is an example of a copyright image used under "fair use" (which just happens to be the second-greatest album ever, after "Loveless" by My Bloody Valentine).
There is an upload wizard to assist you with this, but I can't remember where it is. Someone is sure to know.
PS: this should be at Wikipedia:Help desk, or maybe somewhere else, but, whatevs.
Hope this helps. Pete AU aka --Shirt58 (talk) 08:02, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Musical genre identification[edit]

What musical genre best applies to this music by Guy Lombardo?

Wavelength (talk) 18:50, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure that it can be narrowed down to just one genre Wavelength. Some (most?) of it fits into the Swing music prevalent in the Big band and Swing eras. That music has its roots in jazz. Other songs on the list can fit into other genres. Maybe other editors will have more specifics for you. MarnetteD|Talk 20:25, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, MarnetteD, for your reply.
Wavelength (talk) 02:07, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
My father was a bit of a geek as far as big band music goes, and he explained Guy Lombardo's music (his favourite by the way) as being sweeter than Sammy Kaye's music, but both of them being in the same genre of sway music, which was part of swing music. According to our article on him, his slogan was "Swing and sway with Sammy Kaye". Now as to what the differences were, I can't really describe, but I suspect it has to do with being more at the orchestral end of the spectrum, the opposite end being trad jazz. So I reckon the genre is, as the title itself says, sweet swing music. (As an aside, Billy Rose's music was described as "slurp" music, which described the upward glissandoes which characterised his arrangements, the most vivid example I remember is "You're the Tops".) --TammyMoet (talk) 21:47, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, TammyMoet, for your reply. (Wikipedia has an article "You're the Top".)
Wavelength (talk) 02:07, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

May 30[edit]

Deez Nuts[edit]

The article Deez Nuts is about an Australian hardcore band, but it also includes a disambiguation link saying "For the Dr Dre song, see The Chronic". However, the article on The Chronic contains no reference to this phrase. So what is the connection between the phrase and Dr Dre? And can someone please fix the article on The Chronic so that the disambig link makes sense?

As an aside, I am well aware that the phrase is some kind of internet meme. It seems like cutting off one's nose to spite one's face to make the primary article with that name about some hardcore band no-one's ever heard of, rather than being an article about the meme itself. It means that one has to go to some place like Urban Dictionary to learn the meaning of the meme. Frankly, I would expect Wikipedia to be the prime source of such information. --Viennese Waltz 07:26, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

If it's a meme, it's a very old one. The "Deez nuts" phrase dates back to at least the early-to-mid 1990s, before the Internet was a major force in popular culture. I used it when I was in my teens and young adulthood, which is long enough ago. Stack Exchange has anecdotal evidence that the phrase dates to at least 30 years ago, which would definitely predate the Internet as we know it. This Reddit thread also has anecdotes citing the same joke as the Stack Exchange one, "Do you like CD'S... What CD's? see Deez Nuts!" and cites it to the 1980s or so. --Jayron32 16:44, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
BTW, the Stack Exchange link given above explains the Dr Dre connection. Rojomoke (talk) 17:02, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Regarding your last point, WP is not a dictionary; I'm not sure why you would expect it to be a prime source of information for a joke meme. Best case scenario, it would collect previously published information (hopefully from reliable sources). Matt Deres (talk) 17:26, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
And yet we have a whole category called Category:English-language idioms, with articles on such gems as "Keeping up with the Joneses" and "Jumping from the frying pan into the fire". It's not clear to me why phrases like that deserve their own article, whereas something like "deez nuts" doesn't, except that the latter doesn't seem to have been around for as long. --Viennese Waltz 17:36, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
WP:NAD is frequently misappropriated. All it means is that Wikipedia articles about words should not only be the definition. Wikipedia can have good encyclopedia articles about words. It's about how to format articles about words, and what information should be in them. Not about the concept of having an encyclopedia article of a word. Of course, if the only reliably sourced information on a word or phrase is it's dictionary definition, there probably shouldn't be an article. But that's true of anything. --Jayron32 18:43, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm astonished that anybody could connect the phrase "very old" with the phrase "early-to-mid 1990s", but I suppose that's the march of time. "I grow old … I grow old … I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled". [25] Alansplodge (talk) 15:07, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
I consider myself very old. At 38, I'm a dinosaur compared to most of these kids around here these days... --Jayron32 00:00, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I think you're reading too much into this. Yogurt from the early-to-mid 1990s would be very old yogurt. On the flip side, as a singer of music from the 1500s, I'm always amused when people talk about "oldies". -- BenRG (talk) 07:45, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Good point. Thanks for cheering me up. Alansplodge (talk) 17:22, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
A quick scan of the track list showed a link to this: Deeez Nuuuts. I've modified the disambig link accordingly. That article also gives a little info on the phrase itself. MChesterMC (talk) 09:20, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
👍 Like There we go, thanks! It's not that the phrase is just associated with Dre, it's that an alternate spelling is the title of a famous song! SemanticMantis (talk) 14:08, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Music in Mapp And Lucia[edit]

Can someone tell me the name of the piece of music being played by Lucia and Georgie in episode 1 of Mapp and Lucia (BBC TV series). It starts at 36:38 in this ABC iview episode. Mitch Ames (talk) 07:50, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Link only works in Australia. --Viennese Waltz 07:59, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Never mind, I think I've found it - Movement Three: Rondo Alla Turca (Turkish March) from Piano Sonata No. 11 (Mozart). Mitch Ames (talk) 08:04, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Kids song[edit]

OK - so we've lost the CD, and my son really wants this song, but I can't remember the band or album title. 1. It's a kids song, from a kids music band. 2. Its a sort of country / banjo sound to it. 3. It's about sheep. 4. It's sung by a woman. 5. It opens with a line about 'white clouds, little white sheep from the seat of this big old jumbo jet' - the clouds are sheep she's watching. 6. There's a rapid listing of different breeds of sheep in the song. 7. She mentions 'mint sauce' as something she likes about sheep, then says 'Sorry Sheepie!' 8. The chorus is "Sheep!" then a one-liner, one of which is "Sheep! A tasty kind of meat!" Would love it if someone recognized it! Thanks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:07, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Sadly, it seems to be unknown to the internet, as far as I can tell. Alansplodge (talk) 19:22, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
- yes - I've done some searching for the lyrics I remember, but I think they are not listed anywhere that's indexed - I'm just counting on someone having it and recognizing it! Thanks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:31, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Ah! Got it ! Thanks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:49, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

We have an article on both Zoë Lewis and the album Sheep. DuncanHill (talk) 10:48, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Time travel themed Where's Waldo type picture book.[edit]

I'm trying to find a Where's Waldo type picture book I had as a kid in the 90s. It was illustrated, not photography, so that rules out I Spy. The main theme (I don't remember any characters) was time travel: One page was set in medieval times, another was set in a 1960s type American city with a parade, and the last page was set in the future, where everything was chromed. You had to find specific items (ex: Gas can for your stuck time travel machine, radio, etc) in every page, not any characters. I think that's all I remember. Anyone have any ideas? YukiMuonMadobeNite (talk) 21:43, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Might it be this one? Deor (talk) 23:22, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm afraid it's not that. Thanks though. YukiMuonMadobeNite (talk) 18:30, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

May 31[edit]

NHL overtime statistics[edit]

The other day an NHL playoff game went into overtime with the score tied 4–4, and it made me think: has anyone tabulated statistics of overtime games by score? For example, the highest score in an overtime game; the longest 2–1 game, the longest 3–2 game, the longest 4–3 game, and so on up; the relative frequency of different scores going into overtime. That sort of thing. -- (talk) 03:42, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

One source would be this list[26] from the NHL page. I don't immediately see the kind of stat your looking for, and it also seems to be out of date. But you could construct a list from this list, and fill it out with recent history references. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:11, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Hockey Reference has a "frivolities" section that has a list the longest games, with length, final score, winning scorer, etc. That would answer some of these specific questions - the longest 4-3 game was April 24, 2003, a 5-overtime game between Anaheim and Dallas. HR also has a list of all overtime playoff games, where the highest score is 7-6 (four different games had that score). Fiddling some more with HR, here is a list of all overtime games (including regular season) sorted by number of goals, where the highest score seems to be an 8-8 tie. Some games have been won 8-7 in overtime. For more detailed stuff, generally that's harder to find for the NHL, because there just hasn't been the amount of work done with NHL stats as there has been with MLB stats. If you had similar baseball questions, Baseball Reference or Retrosheet could probably answer them immediately...for the NHL we might have to dig through game scores manually. But Hockey Reference is a good place to start. Adam Bishop (talk) 00:29, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! Based on Hockey Reference list of all playoff overtime games, here's a table summarizing data for those:
Score Games Number of overtimes Overtime length
1 2 3 4 5 6 Shortest Mean Longest
1–0 47 31 10 3 1 0 2 0:51 19:35 116:30
2–1 167 123 29 12 2 1 0 0:59 15:19 92:01
3–2 244 202 25 12 5 0 0 0:58 12:53 79:15
4–3 210 167 35 7 0 1 0 0:51 11:40 80:48
5–4 97 83 11 2 1 0 0 0:51 11:10 78:06
6–5 28 27 1 0 0 0 0 0:34 6:23 22:32
7–6 4 3 1 0 0 0 0 0:18 12:15 21:57
-- (talk) 04:54, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Outstanding! There are some visible trends there, which I suspect is what you were curious about. In general, the tougher it has been to score, the longer the overtime is liable to go. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:52, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

English football jerseys[edit]

A question which occurred to me while watching the FA Cup final last night - is there a historical reason why so many English football teams wear claret and sky blue? Aston Villa, West Ham, Crystal Palace, Burnley... red and white I can understand, and also blue and white, or yellow and black, or a strip that's entirely one colour - but claret seems an unusual choice and it's nearly always with sky blue. Are they perhaps originally regimental colours or similar, or is it simply a coincidence? Grutness...wha? 07:36, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

give some info. Villa were the first (but nobody knows why), West Ham took their colours from those of the ironworks they were based at, Palace borrowed Villa's kit in their early days, and Burnley copied Villa when they were the the leading team in the league. Rojomoke (talk) 08:24, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

[ec] This site is linked from most of our articles for sourcing on such issues. According to it, the historical sequence is:
  • Aston Villa adopted claret and blue in 1887 after running through various sequences - [27].
  • West Ham Utd adopted claret and blue in 1899, reputedly after their coach Bill Dove won a Villa shirt in a foot race - [28].
  • Scunthorpe Utd adopted claret and blue in 1904, without any obvious connection to Villa - [29].
  • Crystal Palace FC adopted claret and blue on their foundation in 1905, as Edmund Goodman, their first chairman, had played for Villa - [30].
  • Burnley FC adopted claret and blue in 1910, when Villa won the FA Cup - [31].
Tevildo (talk) 08:39, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

So most of them followed Villa's lead by the looks of it. Thanks for that. ISTR that Arsenal's first ever jersey was claret as well, so maybe there's a connection there too. Grutness...wha? 09:13, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

A possible link would be ironworks: plenty of ironworks in the Aston area of Birmingham (now gone), West Ham's connection to ironworks already noted by Rojomoke, Scunthorpe also still has ironworks (Corus). --TammyMoet (talk) 10:54, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

June 1[edit]

Harold Kumar 2nd Movie[edit]

What the Fudge?

1. I don't know for sure but why did the Cops allow Fox to be a Racist by pouring Grape Soda on the Ground?( (talk) 12:40, 1 June 2015 (UTC)).

Because that's the way that the writers wrote the script, and the way the director shot the scene. See fiction if you have more questions of this nature. --Jayron32 13:03, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

In real life, would Cops allow a Cop to be a Racist by pouring Soda on the Ground?( (talk) 02:31, 2 June 2015 (UTC)).

Have you been paying attention at all? --Jayron32 02:42, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
How does pouring soda on the ground constitute racism? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:13, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Related: [32] & [33]. Dismas|(talk) 08:45, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

I consider "Pouring Soda Infront of a Witness" is Racism.

Here is a better question: [In real Life, would Cops allow a Cop to pour Soda infront of a Witness?]( (talk) 11:21, 2 June 2015 (UTC)).

Even with Dismas' links, I don't get it. How would pouring soda on the ground be racist? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:04, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
In the same way that tossing a watermelon on the ground, in that context, would be racist; it's invoking a nasty stereotype. As for whether cops would allow that to happen, honestly I think many of them wouldn't care. (talk) 14:29, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
The watermelon stereotype has been around a long time. How long has this grape juice thing been around? I never heard of it until I read it here. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:47, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Documentary featuring a hypothetical intelligent insect and the Cambrian explosion[edit]

On a forum devoted to speculative evolution, a poster mentioned a documentary, primarily about the Cambrian explosion, which they couldn't recall the title of. What they remembered was this: " At the end they had a bit where chordates died out and invertebrates ruled. They came up with a big, chunky wolf sized wasp and then a erect, vaguely praying mantis intelligent wasp." Now I'm pretty sure I've seen a (negative) review of this same documentary, but I can't remember the title either, or anything specific enough to search for. The poster also said that it might have aired on Channel 5 (UK). Anyone know what this is? (talk) 16:02, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Some (though not all) of what you describe fits The Hellstrom Chronicle. MarnetteD|Talk 17:53, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Game of thrones[edit]

How did theon greyjoy get captured by the boltons when they both betrayed the Starks? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:34, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Here is his biography at the TV show Wiki, while here is his biography at the book series Wiki. You can get the answers to your questions there. --Jayron32 20:44, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
After Theon seizes Winterfell, Robb tasks his bannerman Roose Bolton to recapture it. He sends Ramsay Snow to do so, which he does - capturing Theon. This happens in "Valar Morghulis", the last episode of season 2. Ramsay spends much of season 3 torturing Theon. Bolton doesn't openly betray the Starks until "The Rains of Castamere", the 9th episode of season 3. By that point Theon's brainwashing is complete. And as neither the Boltons nor the Lanisters have allied with they Greyjoys, Theon being against the Starks doesn't automatically make him Bolton's ally. (talk) 00:01, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

June 2[edit]

'Slashing' in blues[edit]

(From Talk:R. L. Burnside) Robert Palmer and everyone after him described the elements of R. L. Burnside's music as "Droning and Slashing". I get the Drone (music), it's a simple concept and easily heard. Now about slash, do you believe what is meant is Slash chord? Can someone with musical education testify if that's important here? Or is it just pictorial description of the music, maybe derived from the way Burnside acts around a guitar.

More generally, which of this two elements should be connected with hill country blues as a style? I think drone is common elsewhere too, although maybe not as prominent, but again don't know about slash. trespassers william (talk) 21:52, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

June 3[edit]


May 30[edit]

Origins of Profiterole[edit]

Yes all, there is a disturbance in the Force at Profiterole! Some IP editors have been (over the last year or more) swapping it back and forth between Italian and French origins. This seems to have been going on since at least April 2014. Apparently it was invented by "Chef Popelini that worked for Catherine De Medici from TUscany". Anybody know the 'Truth'? 220 of Borg 05:11, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Reminds me of the long-running debate about the origin of the Pavlova - New Zealand or Australia? Anyway, the "truth" (whatever that is) is less important at WP than what can be verified from reliable sources. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries]
Likewise. Perhaps invented is the wrong word. 'Popularized' is probable better, as the chances that nobody up to then, had not mixed these ingredient together to create a profiterole is laughable. It is like saying that John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich invented the sandwich when all he's household did was give the name sandwich to two slices of bread with a filling. Hardly new in even the 1600's -long before he was born.--Aspro (talk) 16:28, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
As noted above. Find a reliable source. Cite it. If different stories are told by different reliable sources, cite them all. --Jayron32 16:37, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Note that for food recipes, it's not that unlikely that two people will come up with a similar recipe at about the same time, independently. This is because there are maybe a billion people in the world creating new recipes (I'm one of them). If a billion people were working on inventions in any other field, you'd expect lots of duplicate inventions there, too. StuRat (talk) 19:03, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Oh dear, I was hoping for some reliable sources! Face-wink.svg The bit I quoted seems to be in the vein of verbal history or "urban legend" sourced on the page to a blog. So I will likely remove it, if I can't find a reliable source for it. 220 of Borg 01:47, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
The picture at top right of the article don't look like any profiterole I've ever seen. More of a choux bun to my mind. DuncanHill (talk) 01:50, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Ah-ha, I thought, Larousse Gastronomique will have the definitive answer. Which it... doesn't. It says nothing about the origin of the pastry itself, but does note that "the name comes from the word profit and originally meant a small gratuity or gift." (2009 edition, page 836) Presumably the French word profit. Doesn't look like an Italian diminutive ending. --Shirt58 (talk) 05:02, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
@Shirt58: Do you have: Juillet, Claude (1998). Classic Patisserie: An A–Z Handbook. Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN 0-7506-3815-X? That's used as a source on Choux pastry. 220 of Borg 05:56, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
No, I'm afraid not. (I have very few cookery-related books, as generally I don't use recipes. I've never used Larousse Gastronomique for cooking, I just browse it for enjoyment. And in case I might come across something that doesn't have a Wikipedia article. Face-smile.svg)--Shirt58 (talk) 07:07, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, there's an 'important' question I never asked answered! Très bien! Face-wink.svg (Apparently 'Manchette' means 'cuff') 220 of Borg 13:27, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) @DuncanHill: Good point. Does this, Cream Puff, look closer? It's used on List of pastries. 220 of Borg 05:08, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Well - a bit more, but either that's a tiny plate or it's a huge profiterole. And I'd expect a profiterole not to gape. DuncanHill (talk) 10:28, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
De gustibus non est disputandum, a profiterole is a globe-shaped pâte à choux filled with some sort of creme filling. The exact type of cream filling and method of putting it inside the globe are not specified, except by pedants who like to make themselves seem superior by claiming their method of making them is the only true way to make them. --Jayron32 00:05, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
A small such ball, according to OED and every baker's, supermarket, and restaurant I've ever seen offering profiteroles for sale. If it's big enough that you'd sell singly then it's a choux bun, or an elephant's foot, or something like that. DuncanHill (talk) 12:38, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

James Earl Jones tour of "Mice and Men,"[edit]

While I was at Purdue doing graduate study, sometime in the period from 1964 to 1968, I saw James Earl Jones and his father, Robert Earl Jones, give a very moving performance of "Of Mice and Men" in an auditorium on the Purdue campus. I see no reference to such a tour in any of the information in Wickipedia (, (,)and other links. It would be interesting to see such information in an article.

Also, I am not sure if this is the correct venue for asking this question. I had a great deal of difficulty finding a place to make this comment. It would be nice to have clearer information as to how to do this and other things. There are so many links that it is hard to find the appropriate link. Please clarify. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:57, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

That would be the Entertainment Desk. StuRat (talk) 22:23, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
No, the Ent. Desk is for asking entertainment related general knowledge questions. In order to point out issues with a particular article, the information should be put on the talk page for the article in question. So pointing out something that is missing from James Earl Jones should go on Talk:James Earl Jones. Dismas|(talk) 22:38, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
I assume they want us to confirm, with sources, the details of the performance. Once that info is provided, then it would be time to change the article, either directly, or by leaving the info on the talk page for others to do the update. StuRat (talk) 22:55, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
No, you are wrong and Dismas is correct. The searching out of sourced information on this topic should have been conducted on the talk page of the article. --Viennese Waltz 07:37, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
A performance at a university is rarely considered important enough to single out in an article, even if it does involve his parent ("Darth, I am your father"). Clarityfiend (talk) 23:07, 30 May 2015 (UTC)
Not important enough for it's own article, certainly, but a mention of it in the James Earl Jones article would make sense, if it can be confirmed, that is. StuRat (talk) 02:02, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
The performance was reported in The Kokomo Tribune. If someone thinks it should be added to the article, go ahead and do so. John M Baker (talk) 17:31, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

May 31[edit]

USA emergency service response[edit]

Why is it that in the USA, emergency services will respond to other emergency services calls. For example a police unit might respond to an ambulance call or a ambulance unit might respond to a fire call, if they are nearest to the incident. In the UK, it never happens. Only the emergency service that was called will respond and they call other services if necessary. (talk) 22:54, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

When you call 911, the dispatcher decides what services are likely to be needed based on your description of the incident and dispatches them all. Most places do not have separate emergency phone numbers for different services. Additionally in some locations first responders are multiply trained. In my town every fireman is a trained paramedic and a couple are trained reserve police on the SWAT team. In some cities all police are firefighters. Rmhermen (talk) 23:10, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
In the UK it definately does happen for medical emergencies, a lot of rural Fire Stations are first responders to calls in places an ambulance can't get to in the 8 minute target for a Category A emergency. See for example Warwickshire's scheme. Nanonic (talk) 23:11, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
See also this response from the US city of Red Wing, Minnesota. Nanonic (talk) 23:31, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Police may respond to a fire call for a few reasons: A) Direct traffic, B) give first aid (CPR, etc) if the officer is trained, C) Calm the residents of the structure who are wondering "When is help going to come?", etc.
Ambulances may respond to a fire for things like smoke inhalation or other more serious injuries.
Police may respond to ambulance calls for, again, first aid, traffic control, etc.
The police can often respond the quickest since there are already officers in vehicles out patrolling whereas the fire trucks and ambulances have to come from whatever garage they are in. Dismas|(talk) 23:12, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
I was born in England and my mother was taken to hospital in a police car because there was no ambulances available. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:19, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
Indeed police seem to deliver quite a few babies! 220 of Borg 05:41, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Makes a huge amount of sense to me to send whichever service is immediately available/closest. I think Dismas & Rmhermen have already said a lot of what I say here. In a lot of 'emergency' situations, the police would likely be required (or at least very helpful) in addition to the fire brigade /ambulance requested. First aid training is required even for security guard licensing in New South Wales, Australia, and I am quite sure it is required for police applicants here too.
  • I came across a situation where police were called to a nearby domestic violence incident, and an ambulance also arrived. I was told it was then standard practice to send medical aid (ambulance) as well to domestic violence calls.
  • There is also the fact that a lot of 911 or 000 calls are fake calls, so sending the nearest 'emergency responder' of whatever type, means that the veracity of the incident can be confirmed quicker.
  • I also recall watching an American TV series in the 1970s(? I can't remember the name! Emergency ?) where the 'firies' seemed to be very involved in providing treatment to injured persons. That may not be a realistic portrayal of course. I had an idea that US firies are often also trained paramedics, as Rmhermen mentions above. 220 of Borg 05:41, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Nota bene* And the TV show I was thinking of was Emergency!. - 220 of Borg 05:57, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Is "firies" the Australian word for "fire fighters"? Dismas|(talk) 05:48, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
As an Australian, with no particular language expertise, I believe it is a common colloquialism, at least in Sydney, New South Wales. Ambulance personnel are commonly called 'ambos'. 220 of Borg 05:57, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
@Dismas: Source: "Firies" and Keep your hands off our ambos!", which is about ambos being subjected to assault while trying to help people, another reason why police go to injury type emergencies. Australian Slang may be useful for future reference. 220 of Borg 09:05, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
@220 of Borg: Thanks heaps! Dismas|(talk) 09:30, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
The postman is a "postie" in Australia and sometimes also in Britain. When police attend a traffic accident an ambulance often attends as well even though there may be no injuries. That seems to be sensible advance planning. The police will often ask someone involved in an accident if they want an ambulance. They're actually trained in midwifery in case a baby arrives unexpectedly. I think all the emergency services have basic training in the others. The basic training is widespread - the inspectors in my local street market go through a course in first aid. (talk) 11:38, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

June 1[edit]

Pre Spanish Colonial written characters, that predate Tagalog [Filipino Language], by a Millenia.[edit]

Hello. I wish specific factual information, on the pre Spanish Colonization written characters, of the pre Tagalog [Filipino Language] characters in use about 1000 AD or earlier. Thanks. LI FU RAN, Ph.D. (talk) 05:05, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

We have a whole article (with a few further references at the bottom) dedicated to that topic at Baybayin.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 05:09, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
There is also Buhid alphabet, Hanunó'o alphabet, Tagbanwa alphabet, Kulitan alphabet. However none of these scripts (including Baybayin) date to 1000 AD. They are estimated by some to have originated in the mid-to-late 13th century, at the earliest, although a much later date is probable. The oldest known writing in the Philippines is in the Old Javanese or Kawi script which dates to the time period you are asking about.[34] You may also find this to be of interest: Indic Scripts of Insular Southeast Asia: Changing Structures and Functions--William Thweatt TalkContribs 06:37, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Circumnavigation of the Europe-Asia-Africa land mass[edit]

We don't often think of it in this way, but Europe-Asia-Africa is one contiguous land mass - the Suez Canal aside. My questions are:

  • Does this land mass have a name? Eurasica, perhaps?
  • Has anyone ever circumnavigated it? If so, who was the first?

Thank you. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 07:12, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Old World (one possibility) also links to the clunky-sounding Afro-Eurasia, which in turn provides the equally vile Eurafrasia. Clarityfiend (talk) 07:50, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. That led me to Vega Expedition. Those people had the basic idea, but they cheated and left out Africa. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 08:25, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
The land masses that combined to form these continents have names - Pangaea, Gondwanaland and others. It is more than just Europe/Africa/Asia - the bulge of Brazil fits into the Bight of Benin in West Africa because they were originally joined but drifted apart. (talk) 11:32, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, thanks, I know something about continental drift and tectonic plates, but this is not really relevant to my question. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 11:59, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
  • I do not know the answer to your question, but I am willing to guess that it's someone listed in List of Russian explorers, since sailing the Russian Arctic coast would be the hardest part of the journey. --M@rēino 14:48, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
(e/c with GH Myrtle below) That assumes anyone has done it at all. A scan of that list was not fruitful, but thanks for the idea. I'd have thought it would be such a major undertaking - probably second only to a circumnavigation of the entire globe - that it would be very well known. I'm thinking it's never been done; I can't even find any evidence anyone's ever even tried and failed. I'm sure there'd be some intrepid travellers who've sailed in all or most of the waters surrounding this enormous World Island at various times in their lives. But doing the complete circuit in one discrete voyage? Maybe I'd better get in touch with Guinness World Records. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:30, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
The first circumnavigation of the Americas was only in 1970. I suppose it's possible that a circumnavigation of Afro-Eurasia has never been undertaken. Ghmyrtle (talk) 21:27, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
...and the first solo circumnavigation of the Americas was by Matt Rutherford in 2012. Ghmyrtle (talk) 21:36, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
They're both listed in our List of circumnavigations. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:53, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

June 2[edit]

Hawaiian cuisine and pineapple[edit]

Here in Finland, a restaurant dish "Hawaiian style" usually means anything made from pork or chicken with pineapple, and possibly very mild chili sauce, on it. However, the article Cuisine of Hawaii claims that pineapple was first cultivated in Hawaii in the 19th century, after contact with the Europeans. Is the pineapple in any way an authentic part of Hawaiian cuisine or is it just an invention for the tourists? JIP | Talk 21:12, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Do you consider the tomato to be an "authentic" part of Italian cuisine? Same deal, except Italians have had access to tomato a bit longer than Hawaiians have had access to pineapple. The fruit grows well there, they seem to like it, and they've had a few hundred years to work it in to their local cuisine. Compare spam musubi, which is distinctly Hawaiian, regardless of the fact that spam (and pork) are not native to HI. You may also be vindicated by reading Hawaiian_pizza, which was invented in Canada, not clear on if Hawaiians even really like it. SemanticMantis (talk) 21:47, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

June 3[edit]

Notability Problems[edit]

I have seven references. The article includes all these references, links to wikipedia pages and quotes. What else is needed? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hannaguido (talkcontribs) 02:17, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

You should discuss this with those who declined the article submission and commented on the decision. StuRat (talk) 02:26, 3 June 2015 (UTC)