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September 10[edit]

Editing a TTF file with python[edit]

Hi there,
I would like to know which module do I need to edit TTF titles, and how do I install it on Windows 7.
Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Exx8 (talkcontribs) 19:10, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

FontForge can be run as a library within python. I have no idea if it works in Windows, but I don't see why not. --Mark viking (talk) 19:26, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
well actually I got FontForge and I got Python running on my computer, but how should I install the module? is it on the installed software folder or should I download it from somewhere?Exx8 (talk)
It is probably best to check out the fontforge documentation on this, e.g., [1] and [2]. --Mark viking (talk) 23:39, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I read these lines: is there prepared-compiled binaries the suit windows? I mean I use windows 7 and not linux?Exx8 (talk) 00:10, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

many small files[edit]

Hello. I run a 32-bit virtual linux box with a 7.6G disk. The other day I got "no space left on device" errors when trying to create a small text file. du -h showed that the disk was only 55% full. Deleting a half gigabyte file did not resolve the issue. On the disk were maybe half a million files, each about 100 bytes long. But when I deleted a few thousand of these 100 byte files, I could again create files with no problem. I thought that maybe I was running out of inodes, but this doesn't seem realistic. Or maybe each 100 byte file actually occupied more space on my disk. Can anyone suggest what was going on? thanks, Robinh (talk) 21:27, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Naively, a filesystem will allocate a whole number of blocks for each file; so a file of even one byte will allocate a whole block. Different file systems use different blocks sizes (or can be configured to use different sizes), but 4Kbytes is the most common (e.g. tmpfs and the extfs family). Do a du -h * and you'll likely see something like:
   4.0K    foo
   4.0K    bar
even though foo and bar are a few bytes each. As you've noticed, if you have lots of small files this makes for very inefficient use - and it might be slow too (depending on the access pattern) as reading each file means reading a distinct block (again usually 4K) from the disk. So some filesystems have special small file support, where small files don't get allocated a whole block to their own - they're instead stored together, or appended to the inode that describes them. I think (too late tonight for experiments for me) that filesystems which do something like this include btrfs, zfs, xfs, reiserfs, and ntfs. A side note: it seems the way ecryptfs is set up on many systems (e.g. on Ubuntu) by default it uses 12K blocks. ext4 has a feature called inline-data, which allows small file sup to 60 bytes to be stored after the inode in the same disk block (but my very brief late-night experiment just now suggests the one ext4 volume I have doesn't do this, and I can't find a tune2fs/mkfs.ext4 option to enable it). -- Finlay McWalterTalk 22:43, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
If someone wants to experiment with this while I'm asleep, I wonder if a mkfs.ext4 -T small might implicitly enable inline-data? -- Finlay McWalterTalk 22:46, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, but du should report accurate usage, and you said you were at 55%. So perhaps the block size thing is a red herring, and instead your /tmp (assuming its a tmpfs or is otherwise size limited) was full, and the program you were using to create the file was erroring because it couldn't make a journal file there. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 22:49, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

(OP) Thanks Finlay. I made a mistake above: when I said "du -h reports 55% disk usage", that should have been "df -h" reports 55% disk usage". But if I'm interpreting correctly, a 100 byte file actually occupies 4 kilobytes of disk space, and so most of the 4k is wasted. Robinh (talk) 23:16, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

df reports the wasted space (slack space) as used. Given that df says the disk isn't full, and deleting a few thousand small files (occupying at most a few tens of megabytes) solved the problem while deleting a half-gigabyte file didn't, I think you ran out of inodes. -- BenRG (talk) 00:07, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
So use df -i to check for that. -- (talk) 04:09, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

(OP) I didn't know about df -i. I had run out of inodes. thanks everyone! Robinh (talk) 09:21, 11 September 2014 (UTC)


September 11[edit]

installing a module of 2.7 in 3.4 python[edit]

Hi there,
I'm trying to install a 2.7 module of python on 3.4 environment.
unfortunately I got this error:

C:\Program Files\FontForgeBuilds\lib\python2.7\Tools\scripts>python install
running install
running build
running build_scripts
error: file 'C:\Program Files\FontForgeBuilds\lib\python2.7\Lib\' does not exist

what can I do? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Exx8 (talkcontribs) 02:17, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't think Python 2.x packages will ever work on Python 3.x. Also, I don't think that's a Python package—it's a complete Python distribution bundled with FontForge. If you got this from, it looks like they offer only a 32-bit build with Python 2.7 and a HIGHLY EXPERIMENTAL (caps theirs) 64-bit build with Python 3.4. If you have 32-bit Windows, your best bet may be to write your scripts in Python 2 and use the bundled Python (ffpython.exe), if you can. -- BenRG (talk) 06:47, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
okay I succeed running this script by altering the path of 2 files and installing python 2.7, but now I got new problem. I ran py -2 install, but it doesn't recognize the module:

Python 2.7.8 (default, Jun 30 2014, 16:03:49) [MSC v.1500 32 bit (Intel)] on win 32 Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information. >>> import fontforge; Traceback (most recent call last):

 File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>

ImportError: No module named fontforge Exx8 (talk) 08:30, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

As I said, I don't think this is a package that can be installed. Looking at, it appears to install some random utility scripts, not FontForge. I think's existence is an accidental side effect of the build process. -- BenRG (talk) 23:40, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Pros and cons of networking a printer[edit]

I have a gigabit home network. I just got a printer that can be networked. In the past, I've always hooked the printer up to one of the computers by USB. Which is the best way to go?

Pro network:

  1. computer connected to the printer doesn't have to be on all the time. However, in my case it is, unless it is down for repairs or something.
  2. You can access printer settings over the network with a browser.

Con network:

  1. Slower than USB2? The printer uses USB 2 and 100Mb Ethernet, but isn't USB 2 faster than 100Mb?

Others? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 04:39, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

USB2 is 480Mbit/sec nominal, 240Mbit/sec actual, while 100Mbit is 100Mbit/sec nominal, 50Mbit/sec actual. However, unless you have an ultrahigh speed printer, I doubt that you'll need anywhere near 50Mbit/sec. Connecting it via LAN allows you to connect your PC to your home network wirelessly, and then print. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Csmiller (talkcontribs) 11:57, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
According to List of device bit rates, USB 2.0 runs at around 480 Mbit/s - which is certainly faster than 100 Mbit Ethernet - but slower than 1 Gbit Ethernet. But it hardly matters. There is really no chance that your printer can print faster than a 100Mbits/second of data except in quite contrived you'll hardly ever be slowed significantly by the network. Imagine you're printing a full page photo. If you're printing at 150 dpi - and using an uncompressed ".PNG" file - then you'll need 150x150x8x11 pixels, 24 bits each. That's 47Mbits...which will take half a second to get there via 100Mbit Ethernet. But what printer can print a whole sheet in half a second?! Even at an ungodly 600dpi, it should only take 8 seconds to transmit the data. You have to assume that the printer is only able to use a small fraction of the available bandwidth to make 100Mbit Ethernet be a bottleneck. In practice, we mostly print JPEG files - which are typically 10x to 20x more compact than PNG files.
Some "pro's" that you missed are:
  1. Wireless access means that you can place your printer anywhere in the house. (Most networked printers have WiFi these days).
  2. You can access it from a phone, tablet or from multiple computers.
  3. If you have laptop, tablet or phone, not having to hook up a cable is really convenient.
  4. The printer can access the network directly - by itself. For example, you can tell my printer to automatically order more ink from the manufacturer's website when it's getting low.
  5. You can print from one place (eg your computer) and use another device (eg, your phone) to monitor the print queue. I did this the other day. I set a 40 page print job going in my office, then went downstairs to watch TV, using my phone to see when the printer had gotten finished.
  6. If you have more than one printer - you can easily get to any printer from any computer. (You can do this with printer sharing - but it presumes that the computer that 'belongs' to that printer is turned on, booted up, and has sharing enabled).
SteveBaker (talk) 01:21, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
One possible downside is the possibility of eavesdropping. Of course that's more about securing your network than it is about printing. --Trovatore (talk) 01:27, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I forgot to mention that the new printer is Ethernet only, not wireless. But everything on our home network can use it. Right now we have three printers on our home network and anything on the network can use any of them. And being able to put it anywhere in the house is no advantage to me - right now I can reach the output from my office chair. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 01:35, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm not 100% sure, but i don't think printers "stream" print these days anyway> I believe that typically the print driver will "spool" a job to the printer before printing starts, so unless you are printing pdfs that are hundreds of megabytes, I don't think the "transfer" really contributes a lot to the total print time anyway. Vespine (talk) 02:00, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

A good 3D Environment for Java, for this specific situation[edit]

I would like to have the following type of 3D environment:

Various sphere shapes are suspended in a 3D environment, the user can use the mouse to determine the camera angle, and hold left mouse button (or use 'W' or 'Up Arrow') to move "forward" with the camera. In this manner, the user can "fly around" and examine the arrangement of the spheres, in a way where the spheres are not "solid".... in other words, you can fly through them, they don't stop you.

I have a reasonably intermediate knowledge of java, and would like to be able to make a wrapper around a 3D library such that you can instantiate a scene with the spheres in question... ie: Scene a = new Scene(ArrayList<Sphere>); .... where each sphere knows its location in 3D space as well as its radius (i intend to make the radius fairly small compared to the observers apparent "size".)

I know how to do simpler things like drawing on an image buffer of a sort and either displaying it on screen or flushing to a file, but ive not done anything 3D, and i know its a bit of a jump. I read this tutorial, and although its outdated i feel i understand the info regarding the camera's position, where its looking, and the related vector....

I've asked in other places where would be good to start and i got various answers.

I have tried my luck with JOGL, but the documentation is extremely poor. I had to search for a long time to see what jar files needed to be imported, and then when it comes to examples, there are some i understand really well like the one i listed at "land of kain" but they are outdated. Maybe this is an indication that JOGL is not right for me, either because of the learning curve or because of the almost non-existant clear documentation.

I would just like to know some good directions i could go in to achieve what i listed at the top of this post. Like i said i am moderately good at java, but example source code and things like this really help me to understand a 3rd party library! Any thoughts where i should start on building the wrapper i want? (talk) 14:47, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

I have written extensively in JOGL and some of my code is freely available, licensed with the GPLv3. A few remarks: JOGL is a slim wrapper around OpenGL. OpenGL is a strange language; it requires thinking about the mathematics of your geometry quite extensively. It can be very efficient, because those mathematics translate directly into optimized hardware instructions of nearly every GPU of the last 25 years. JOGL, however, has a poor CPU-to-GPU work sharing scheme so it is easy to write very inefficient OpenGL code in this environment. With some effort, you can make a lot of highly-performant applications without leaving the comfort of Java. Recently JOGL underwent a major API change (for the better): it allows you a little better control over platform-specific capabilities. The documentarion is poor because "it goes without saying" that OpenGL expertise is prerequisite to writing cross-platform, cross-compiled OpenGL.
Let me know if you're interested in getting sample-code from me. I have an Eclipse project with my code, plus JOGL 2 built from source, for Linux, Mac, and Windows. The application-layer may need to be stripped down for distribution, but it evolved out of a scientific visualization utility. It may be suitable for a simple 3D game (e.g. it already supports WASD and mouselook, just like many popular games). It will require a Java 6 or newer compiler, and a C compiler (unless you want to use my JOGL binaries, or those distributed by others).
Regarding others: Java3D has poor support on most operating systems. It is a scene-based library as opposed to a graphics primitives library. I have never used FX but it is the only library that Oracle supports today (JOGL is entirely open-source software supported by a small developer community). I never heard of JMonkey.
Nimur (talk) 15:43, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

I am currently developing for windows only, and do not need another OS for this. I normally use Netbeans though. I would like to take a look at some of your code for guidance, but wont GPL force me to also be GPL? May i use it privately without need for licensing? Sorry i am unfamiliar with this. I have in fact been told about the learning curve of direct OpenGL, and maybe that approach isnt for me. I am not developing a game of any sort. My application is in mathematical research actually.

I feel like i either need assistance from someone who has already done things in 3D or something that's already out there with great documentation. (talk) 16:22, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps you are seeking a more user-friendly 3D programming environment, like VPython or MATLAB? VPython is available at no cost. MATLAB is commercial software and its price varies significantly depending on who you are. If you want to contact me for more information about my work, send me a description of your project.
If you are new to 3D programming, you almost certainly need guidance from an experienced developer. Even the best autodidacts commonly find that their mental efforts are insufficient to grapple with the prior art of computational representations of multidimensional mathematics. Nimur (talk) 17:38, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

At least we agree in what type of help i need! I would prefer to stay within the realm of java, but i will give VPython a look at least. Also, i do not have "Permission" to email you it seems. Edit: I now have a wiki account.

Drifter2015 (talk) 18:08, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

The keys to success[edit]

Did the possibility of professional software programming in the mathematical assembler had been a guarantee of quality consumer and guarantee of consumption possibilities from tablet computers and smartphones?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 16:47, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

This question makes no sense whatsoever. I suggest you find a website where you can ask questions in your own language. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:50, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Wow, the future conditional pluperfect subjunctive; don't see that used very much. OldTimeNESter (talk) 20:21, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Full screen (For real) Webpage screen capture tool?[edit]

I've tried about 3-4 screen capture tools with the description "Full page" capture. In practice, they gave me a screen captrue of the current display itself, and not of the full page (In other words, they didn't cover up all the horizontal scrollable landscape of the screen).

What Firefox or Chrome addition does what I need? Thank your for this blessed recommendation, Ben. Ben-Natan (talk) 17:10, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Fireshot comes to mind, but it is not free...—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); September 11, 2014; 18:13 (UTC)
Something which is also free?, Anyone? Ben-Natan (talk) 01:28, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I've used screengrab before, and it worked. No guarantees if the "fix version" works (the original ceased development because of the awful firefox rapid versioning) (talk) 12:56, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Also (and I realize this may not work for you purposes, but since I don't know why you need this...), have you thought about perhaps simply printing the webpage into a pdf file? This is, for all intents and purposes, the same as having a "full page capture", unless you need to actually work with the result as an image and not as a document...—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); September 12, 2014; 14:25 (UTC)

error while 'making' fontforge[edit]

I've installed cygwin,
and configure successfully fontforge.
but now, when I try to 'make' fontforge I get this code:
collect2: error: ld returned 1 exit status Makefile:91: recipe for target '../' failed make[1]: *** [../] Error 1 make[1]: Leaving directory '/cygdrive/c/cygwin/fontforge-20120731/fontforge' Makefile:28: recipe for target 'fontforge' failed make: *** [fontforge] Error 2
what is the solution for this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:36, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Those lines are just reports from collect2 and make that the linker failed. Hopefully the linker itself printed a more informative error message before it failed, which would appear before the lines you quoted.
Have you considered just using the bundled Python distribution from the ready-made build, as I originally suggested? Yes, it's stupid that so many Windows ports of Unix software bundle huge dependencies like Python instead of letting you use your global install of it. But it'd probably be a lot easier to go with the flow in this case. -- BenRG (talk) 23:49, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I'll be delighted to download a made version of this, but unfortunately, it does not contain the python expansion(module). if you do have an installer to fontforge module for python, please send it to me.
here some more information:
— Preceding unsigned comment added by Exx8 (talkcontribs) 00:11, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I think the "Prerequisite X of target 'fontforge' does not exist" lines are the problem. You need source or prebuilt versions of libgunicode, libgutils, libgdraw, and maybe pos (unless that's just the .po files), as well as whatever dependencies they have.
The bundled Python works for me. I unpacked the 32-bit portable distribution (FontForge-mingw-w64-i686-bf1870-r1.7z), ran bin\ffpython.exe, and typed import fontforge at the prompt, and it succeeded. I haven't tried actually using the module, but the symbols are there. -- BenRG (talk) 01:23, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
wow it works, thank you! just a little question for the end, how do I make it permanent? I mean I want that whenever I'll open python, I want that module will be installed.Exx8 (talk) 08:51, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

What happened here?[edit]

Mingo Junction Central HS horizontal.jpg
Mingo Junction Central HS vertical.jpg
Mingo Junction Central HS vertical.jpg
Mingo Junction Central HS horizontal.jpg

Why is the building so much more vertically inclined in the second image than in the first? They were taken seconds apart with the same camera on the same settings, and as you can tell from the building and the flagpole, the location is virtually identical. Nyttend (talk) 21:59, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Because the camera was tilted clockwise by about 1.7 degrees when the first photo was taken, it looks like. If you apply a rotation to one image and recrop the edges a bit, the differences go away almost completely. -- (talk) 23:09, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Based on the position of the flagpole relative to the windows, the obscuring of the nearest windows, and the alignment of the background trees, I'd guess that the two shots were taken from positions 10 - 15 feet apart - resulting in a noticeable change in perspective. -- Tom N talk/contrib 01:34, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That's obvious, but it doesn't explain the tilt. The camera being tilted does explain the tilt. -- (talk) 05:06, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
The first one was taken at a focal length of 20mm and the second at 23mm on an APC-sized sensor. These are fairly wide-angle shots. And the 15% difference in focal lengths probably makes for some of the difference. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 05:12, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Then there is the Leaning tower illusion. Let's swap the images so the top one goes to the bottom. (talk) 11:07, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That makes a lot of sense. Though other factors listed above may contribute, I think the swap is very good evidence that the illusion is a key driver-- thanks! SemanticMantis (talk) 16:22, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
So the settings weren't quite the same. I've not yet learned to do much more than "Auto" mode on this camera — I take lots of simple pictures of buildings, without a need for artistic precision, and I typically don't have time to get all the settings just right. But I don't understand what you mean about the illusion — I first noticed the difference while viewing them on my computer, one at a time in full resolution, and the whole reason I uploaded them both was to ask here about the different I saw when viewing them one at a time. Many of the windows, and the two protrusions between the three bays, appear quite different at resolutions such as 800px; if I look at the "horizontal.jpg" version for a while and then look at the "vertical.jpg" version, I start feeling like I'm looking at an El Greco painting (example) with its elongated dimensions. Nyttend (talk) 17:13, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I think you're noticing the optical distortion - specifically, transverse barrel distortion, in which a straight line that cuts a chord near the extrema of the image circle appears curved. This occurs because the lens is "imperfect" : its magnification (rather, its focal length) changes with respect to angle. Here's some math from SPIE: Distortion at SPIE's Optipedia. This effect can not be eliminated - a part of the effect is due to imperfection in glass, but most of the effect is a mathematical inevitability of geometric projection onto a flat imaging plane (i.e. the film or digital sensor). In practice, it can be reduced by avoiding wide-angle lenses, or by cropping to show only the center, or by spending lots more money to buy "more perfectly calibrated" glass.
Alternately: if you must have a wide field of view, you can cheat the mathematics that governs image-projection, using strip photography to synthesize a projection geometry from many individual photographs. You can increase distortion, or decrease distortion, depending on how you blend the images. Hugin (software) is free software that can accomplish this, and many people use it to compose or "stitch" panorama shots.
Somewhere on Wikipedia is a quite long panorama whose "effective focal length" is some infinitely huge value... the walls of Stanford University's main quad (some hundreds of meters apart) appear perfectly parallel, a feat of trick photography that is accessible to humankind now that we live in a digital era!
Nimur (talk) 18:05, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

September 12[edit]

SSD IOPS benchmarking for Mac?[edit]

Are there any benchmarking tools for Mac than can measure a drive's input/output operations per second (IOPS) --Navstar (talk) 03:00, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

7 GB project burning?[edit]

I have a multimedia project I'd like to show people, but it runs 1' 41" 58 and is nearly 7 gigabytes, which so far has precluded its leaving my computer. Sometimes my relatives have distributed HD movies to me, two of which were nearly three hours each, via USB. Could that work with this project? Or is something else more advisable? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Theskinnytypist (talkcontribs) 21:05, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Yes, an inexpensive USB flash memory drive should hold that comfortably. If the people you want to see it are distant from you, it's easy enough to post them a flash drive (they weigh next to nothing). Given the size, it's probably not the best idea to try to distribute it over the internet, but if everyone has decent broadband and some patience, you could upload it to a service like Google Drive, Mega, or Dropbox. (talk) 21:32, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That's about the limit that will fit on a 1-sided DVD, too. So, if you have a DVD burner, and want to distribute it to non-computer people, they would probably be better able to play a DVD (especially if it has the autoplay feature, so it just plays when they put it in).
Another option is to find a web site to host it, then everyone can access it there. This could be a lot cheaper than mailing out lots of media. Another advantage is that you can then update it without having to redistribute it (although you would want to send an e-mail telling them about the update so they will take another look). StuRat (talk) 21:52, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
There are also dual layer DVDs, which hold approximately 8.5 GB of data. --Wirbelwind(ヴィルヴェルヴィント) 23:51, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

September 13[edit]

Ranking in Excel[edit]

Let's say there is a competition with 10 people. The names are written once in A2 to A11 (column) and once B1 to K1 (row). The person in A2 wins against C1, thus C2 displays "1" (indicating win) and B3 displays "0" (indicating loss). Since one can't play against himself, B2, C3, D4,... also display "0". The points will be added at the end of the row. So far there's no problem. However the competition system is different. It can be generally said that everyone play against everyone once. The problem with this is that people can have the same amount of points because of this situation: Person A wins against person B, loses against person C, but person B defeats person C. Now everyone has one point and there no final winner. The system doesn't allow rematches and this is solved this way: Person A wins against person B, loses against person C, so person B has already lost against C despite having never played against each other. Now don't question the fairness of the system. I just want "person B has already lost against C" to be somehow indicated after A's games so that no mistakes occur. The cell would automatically display "0" in B's imaginary game against C. It could be something else like color changing or just some other indication. This should be then extended to 10 more people. Is this possible with some VBA? Unfortunately I have absolutely no knowledge of VBA, so I need an explaination to how to alter factors. -- (talk) 00:44, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

It is possible in VBA (although cumbersome). It will be possible also in plain excel with formulas. If you have time you can add to the excel file another spreadsheet with all the formulas that you require that will fill for you the wanted result. For example (in pseudocode, i don't remember the excel syntax now)
[in the cell holding the result]: = <reference to a cell in the second spreadsheet 
                                     that holds the right result>
[in the referenced cell in the second spreadsheet]: IF( C2==0 ; 0 ) 
  //this means, if the cell C2 has zero, return a zero
Anyway in the case of checking several results you will need to be creative with excel formulas. A long work but not impossible. -- (talk) 23:41, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

"Native"ness of resolution[edit]

The article display resolution tells the reader:

most recent screen technologies are fixed at a certain resolution; making the resolution lower on these kinds of screens will greatly decrease sharpness, as an interpolation process is used to "fix" the non-native resolution input into the display's native resolution output

I've experienced this mushiness at lower resolutions, but not on very recent screens (simply because I don't have easy access to very recent screens). Is what this says still true for what's for sale in 2014? (I'd be using Crunchbang, which is like Debian + Openbox, if this is an issue.) I'm pretty sure it would still be true; just hoping against hope. (I'm thinking of getting something marketed for a resolution rather higher than 1920×1080 but then using it for 1920×1080.) -- Hoary (talk) 13:01, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

1) If you never intend to view anything higher than 1980×1080, then it's counter-productive to get a higher resolution screen.
2) If you do sometimes want to view higher res video, then it might still not be worthwhile, depending on the portion of the time that would be. If only 1% of your viewing will be at higher res, then it's still not worth it.
3) If you do want to view higher res frequently, then look for a 4K resolution screen. Since that has an integer multiple of 2 over 1980×1080, that gives you some nice options (assuming they support these):
3a) Blocks of 4 pixels could be used without interpolation, to display 1980×1080 images. That would look sharp, although if it's a large display you may see the pixel blocks and "jaggies".
3b) Do interpolation between the pixels. That will still look a bit fuzzy, but better than a non-integer scale factor interpolation.
3c) Only use 1/4 of the screen (the center, presumably). That should produce a nice sharp pic, without visible pixels or jaggies, but quite small, of course.
Another option is to use a separate display device for your 1980×1080 viewing. If you have a 1980×1080 device that still works, and have room for both, this might be an option, and be the best of both worlds. If you want a display in another room anyway, this might be a good way to get it there. And your new display device should last longer, if you use it less often. (talk) 14:21, 13 September 2014 (UTC)'s advice is more or less OK - but it's dangerous to assume that doubling the resolution *exactly* will cause the screen's firmware to duplicate pixels and thereby give you a sharp image. Some screens have multiple modes - some of which do interpolation to avoid pixellation of TV/video - and others of which may indeed replicate pixels to get you a perfectly sharp image. Others choose to interpolate all the time...yet others are smart about it. But either way, a "4k" display may not be exactly twice even then, you may get interpolation. But 4k displays are horribly expensive - and many graphics cards can't generate an image that big, and when they can, it uses up so much graphics memory, that there may not be enough left to run some games full-screen, or even for the desktop compositor to do it's work. If you do actually want to generate a 4k image sometimes, and you're sure your software and your graphics card can do it - then sure, that's the way to go. But if you just sometimes need 2400 horizontal pixels - then a 4k display is an expensive solution - and buying two lower resolution displays will likely be far cheaper. SteveBaker (talk) 14:37, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
As far as I know, every color display technology in history has had a "native resolution" and been blurry at other resolutions. Color CRTs had a fixed mosaic of pixels too, but it was impossible to aim the electron gun accurately enough to control them individually, so every achievable resolution was blurry.
You didn't explain why you want to use your monitor at a non-native resolution. If it's to watch Full HD video, that's unlikely to look better on a native 1920×1080 screen than on a higher-res screen, because video normally doesn't have sharp pixel-aligned edges that would be visibly blurred by resampling. In fact a lot of 1080p video is really upsampled 720p video, so it's blurry at its "native" resolution and will look just as good at 1366×768. -- BenRG (talk) 17:12, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The funny part to me is that "blurring" and "antialiasing" are, commonly, applications of the exact same kernel: convolution with a star filter gaussian function (at least, this is the simplest realization of the technique). In one case, a marketing team calls this an advantage; in another case, a marketing team calls this a disadvantage.
If you are concerned about pixel-accuracy to the extent that every single bit value of every single pixel should be under your control, you're in for some bad news: in 2014, there are almost zero displays available on the consumer market that will satisfy your requirements. If you are willing to shell out big bucks and mucho engineering time, you can get such equipment: but you'll need a display technologies engineering team, a graphics processing engineering team, and many many hours to make the technology do what you expect, by calibrating its analog behaviors and operating its digital intricacies.
In reality, most people do not actually care about every bit of every pixel, because few humans can see anything remotely close to that level of detail. Most of the time, coarse control is sufficient to satisfy user needs: for example, a lot of professional graphics designers want a white balance knob and a gamma correction curve on their displays. High-level software features can turn image-processing features like antialiasing "on" or "off," (usually with nothing in between). Users expect a software-abstraction of a rectangular frame buffer, with square-shaped pixels, with magically co-situated "Red", "Green," "Blue" sub-pixels, with a one-to-one mapping into hardware - even though modern display pixel hardware is not even remotely arranged in that way. Pixels show up on screen after they are processed at the application layer, at the graphics acceleration layer, and (it's 2014!) at the data link layer. That's right: as your pixel bits are banged into the wire connecting your "computer" to your "display," most modern systems are processing the pixels inside the firmware that runs on the wire. You probably don't know how or why there is firmware inside a "wire" - if you wanted such details, you'd spend your 40-hour-workweek visiting display technology symposia, and you'd spend your nights and weekends learning how to write that kind of firmware! For a start, here's a lengthy 200-page textbook on last year's Intel display technology: Intel Embedded Mobile Graphics User Guide, v1.16.
However, if you tune those parameters, you're intentionally de-calibrating your pixel values - are you sure you're calibrating better than the factory, which presumably had access to optical equipment you can't even dream about?
And when it comes to resolution, don't you really just want a clean software-abstraction? Trust that the hardware will correctly re-sample your software "1920x1080 RGB" array, which you will update n times per second, mapping this idealized representation into hardware, subject to the sampling theorem, mathematically optimized for minimal error in time-, position-, and color- spaces. A "good" display is one for which each stage of this engineering project has been correctly implemented: but this has essentially no correlation to the number of pixels of "native resolution."
Nimur (talk) 17:34, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Generally on modern displays you do have control over each subpixel. On most LCDs the pixels are square and divided into three rectangular subpixels in a pattern that's predictable enough that subpixel rendering works well. The only postprocessing is brightness/contrast/gamma/temperature adjustment which applies independently to each subpixel.
"Blurring" and "antialiasing" are basically the same thing in this context, but the desirability of it is not defined by marketing but by what other options are available. Pixel art can be displayed pixel-for-pixel, nearest-neighbor resampled, or resampled with antialiasing, and pixel-for-pixel is often the best choice. Vector art can't be displayed at its native resolution because the native resolution is infinite. It can be point sampled or sampled with antialiasing, and often the latter is the better choice.
I'm not sure where you got the idea that there's firmware in DVI, DisplayPort, or HDMI cables, if that's what you meant. They are just cables. Of course, you need signal processors at either end that understand the wire protocol. -- BenRG (talk) 19:03, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Thank you all for your informativeness. From above: You didn't explain why you want to use your monitor at a non-native resolution. No I didn't, sorry. I'm thinking of replacing one of my laptops. There are half a dozen or so reasons for wanting to do this. (None of them is compelling on its own but cumulatively they are.) One is that the resolution is 1366×768; although this is sufficient most of the time, often it isn't sufficient and 1920×1080 seems good. Now the (imagined?) problem. Today's screens for 1920×1080 seem hardly larger than mine for 1366×768; larger screens (even putting aside freakishly giant laptops) tend to be for still larger resolutions (e.g. 2880×1620), which aren't of interest to me. I realize that today's technology is likely to increase the pixel density (per square millimetre) for a given degree of legibility (it would have to do so for the fancier kinds of tablet to be usable), but I wonder. -- Hoary (talk) 00:48, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Computer graphics subsystem[edit]

I have a good overview of various parts of the graphics subsystem but I'm not sure what happens behind the scenes.As an example, could you tell me what happens when you compile an opengl program that renders a cube. What does the compiler output? What does the GPU and/or its drivers do with this? -- (talk) 18:53, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

To the compiler, the OpenGL calls are the same as any other external function calls. They are resolved at (static or dynamic) link time to an OpenGL library that is typically provided by the operating system, and is independent of the graphics card. That library normally passes the commands and data to the kernel without much processing, and the kernel gives them to the video driver without much processing. The video driver is video-card-specific and uses some combination of CPU and GPU capabilities to do the rendering. The CPU-GPU interface is proprietary and often undocumented. At a bare minimum, the GPU computes perspective-correct coordinates for each pixel in each polygon, runs a shader program to determine its RGB color given its coordinates, and writes the result to a frame buffer, while independent circuitry reads the frame buffer in raster-scan order and sends it to the monitor. On modern GPUs, if you don't supply your own pixel shader, the driver will most likely use a default shader that implements the traditional lighting model. The shader is compiled by the video driver into the GPU's (proprietary) machine code. DirectX has a video-card-independent shader assembly language and a user-mode compiler from HLSL into that assembly language, which avoids the need for an HLSL compiler in every video driver, but I'm not aware of an analogous intermediate language in OpenGL. ARB assembly language exists but doesn't support all GLSL features. -- BenRG (talk) 19:50, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Programming libraries question[edit]

Take as an example the C programming language. I know that a line such as x = a + b; would be compiled to something that runs on the CPU as such: move a into register 0, move b into register 1, add register 0 and 1 storing result in register 3.... So I can see how it relates to the way the CPU works. But what exactly is happening when you use functions like printf() -- (talk) 19:38, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

printf is usually an ordinary function written in C. You can look at the source code if you want (even Microsoft provides source code for its standard C library), though it's rather complicated. Ultimately it bottoms out at a system call that writes bytes to a file handle (write on Unix, NtWriteFile on Windows). The kernel is also usually implemented in C and is even more complicated. If stdout is a file, the write request will go to a filesystem driver, which will turn it into reads and writes of disk sectors, and the disk driver will turn that into commands to the disk controller, probably using the IN and OUT instructions on x86. If stdout is a pty, the kernel will give the written bytes to the terminal emulator the next time it does a kernel read, and the terminal emulator will use a font rendering library to display the text on the screen, which may be more complicated than everything else put together, at least if outline fonts are involved. Windows doesn't actually have ptys, and communication with console windows uses LPC instead, but the idea is the same. -- BenRG (talk) 20:18, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, exactly. Ultimately, computers have either special registers, special memory locations or special instructions for talking to 'peripherals' like disk drives, your screen, the keyboard and so forth. (We call these "I/O" instructions/locations/registers). In a computer like a PC, which has an operating system, those special things are handled by the operating system software (Linux, Windows, MacOS, Android...whatever). In that case, there is software (written in C or C++ usually) which passes numbers back and forth to the peripheral. So, for a keyboard, there might be a special memory location that you can read that tells you whether a key is being held down - and another memory location that tells you what key that is. The operating system reads that information and stores it so that when some application program tries to read from the keyboard, that information is right there in memory.
So on a computer like that - 'printf' is just C code that ultimately presents a string of ASCII characters to the operating system, which deals with talking to the graphics card to display that string onto the screen. It's crazily complicated to do that because the character has to be decoded, a font has to be selected, the font is probably composed of detailed descriptions of the curves and lines that make up the letters - those have to be broken down into individual pixels, the pixels have to be placed (in the right colors) into the right memory locations within the graphics card in order for them to get onto the screen. Add in the possibility of overlapping windows, magnified views, windows that straddle two or more displays - each (perhaps) with their own graphics card...and the process of turning "printf" into photons of light coming out of the screen is a phenomenally complex process. Almost beyond description. Millions of lines of C/C++ software are dedicated to doing all of that.
But not all computers are PC's - many so-called 'embedded' computers (the ones that run your microwave oven, or your TV remote) are too simple to have operating systems - and in those cases, your program can directly interact with these special I/O locations. If you're a programmer and you are interested in this stuff, you should DEFINITELY splurge $30 to buy an "Arduino" board and play around with programming it. The Arduino is one of the simplest computers you can buy these days. It has NO operating system at all. If you want to send data to flash the LED on the board, you get to write C++ code to directly send 0's and 1's to the special I/O register that controls the LED. If you connect a display to the Arduino, you can write code to directly turn the pixels on and off. It's surprisingly interesting - and there is no substitute for actually doing that to get to some kind of understanding about what's going on "under the hood" on a PC. The Arduino is simple enough to run off a battery, so you can easily write software to make fun gadgets.
SteveBaker (talk) 22:36, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Okay, so taking a simple hello world program compiled for Windows I assume that all that fancy stuff isn't actually defined by printf but rather printf passes the string to Windows which then takes care of everything. If so then this also means that when people write compilers for windows they need to know how to pass data from their application to the OS. How is this accomplished? The special instructions/memeory locations you mentioned? -- (talk) 00:30, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Well, for Windows, I'm not 100% sure - I'll describe what happens in Linux, but probably Windows is similar.
For 'printf', it happens like this:
  1. The 'printf' function is written in C or C++ and built into the standard I/O library. Your program links to that library, which (depending on how you linked your code) might mean that this software is included into your ".exe" file - or it might be that your program links to a ".dll" file as it's loaded for execution.
  2. The code for 'printf' probably uses 'sprintf' to generate a string of characters and sends them to the underlying output using either 'fputs', just as you could do yourself. 'sprintf', 'fputs' are also C/C++ code in the standard I/O library.
  3. The code for 'fputs' will call the 'fwrite' function to send the data to the standard-out file descriptor.
  4. The code for 'fwrite' is also in the standard I/O library. It deals with buffering of the output into convenient sized blocks - but for the standard I/O, it may not bother. Either way, it'll call the 'write' function which does unbuffered I/O.
  5. Now, the 'write' function is probably still written in C/C++ - but it does almost nothing except to make a special call to the operating system kernel. This special call is something you could do yourself via a low level function or an assembly language statement - but I don't think I've ever seen an actual program that did that! In Linux, this transfers control of the CPU over to the operating system.
  6. The operating system does a bunch of complicated things here - one is to park your application while it handles the 'write' call. Each device that can be written to has a 'device driver' - and that handles the low level operations like this another call hands the data over to the device driver. Device drivers may be written in C or C++, but at least some of them are written in low level assembly code.
  7. What happens next depends critically on where your "standard output" is directed right now. If you had it directed to something very simple (like a USB port, for example) then the device driver might write the first byte of your data to the USB port hardware (which exists at a special memory location) - and then returns control to the Linux Kernel.
  8. Since the device driver (and your code) is 'blocked' waiting for the S-L-O-W hardware to write that byte out, it'll probably take the opportunity to run some other program while it's waiting.
  9. When the USB hardware has finished sending your first byte out, it does a special hardware operation called an 'interrupt'. As it's name implies, this operation interrupts the CPU - so no matter what it's doing, it stops doing it and hands control back to the device driver.
  10. The device driver hands the second byte to the USB hardware and gives control back to whatever was running just before the interrupt.
  11. This cycle repeats until all of your message has been sent, then the device driver tells the kernel that your 'write' operation was completed.
  12. The kernel then schedules your program to be allowed to continue when no other programs need to be run...
  13. Then control returns to 'write', which returns to 'fwrite', which returns to 'fputs', which returns to 'printf', which returns to YOUR CODE! Hoorah!
    Now, that's all well and good if the device you're sending the message to is something simple. If you sent the message to the screen though...OMG! It gets *much* more complicated.
  14. If you're writing text to the screen then the device you're writing to is called a 'pseudo-tty' (tty=='teletype'!). The pseudo-tty device driver sends the message off to the windowing system software. In Linux, that's the X-windows system. X is just a regular program that does graphics stuff. So it takes your string, notes which window it's being sent to, figures out which font is being used and at what font size - and where inside the window the text has to be written. Armed with all of that, on older systems, it would use the font description to convert each character of your message into a bunch of pixels (a little picture of that letter) and send it off to more software that crops the letter shape to the boundary of the window - then physically writes it into the memory location in the GPU memory space where those pixels need to be. In more modern systems, X makes calls to OpenGL calls to pass the letter off to a program called a 'shader' inside the GPU that generates a quadrilateral with a texture map representing that letter and places it in the right place in GPU memory. The shader program is probably written in a C++-like language called 'GLSL'. But OpenGL also has to send it's commands to the GPU hardware via kernel calls and device drivers.
It's actually even more complicated than that...but I've spent too long typing this message already!
I've probably messed up quite a few details here - and undoubtedly, Windows does it a bit differently than Linux (sorry, I'm not sufficiently familiar with the inner workings of Windows) - but the broad-brush picture is the same.
But, as I said before - it all depends on the system you're using. If you use 'printf' in an Arduino program, then 'printf' is C code that calls 'putchar' that directly controls the hardware registers to send the data out of the USB port. No operating system kernel, no device drivers, probably not even any interrupts.
The whole beauty of this insanely complex edifice that is our modern programming environment is that we don't need to know all of this stuff. We call 'printf' and it does the same thing no matter which operating system you use and no matter which hardware it's running on. When you consider everything it takes to make that happen, it can get totally mind-bogglingly complex.
SteveBaker (talk) 01:06, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
A few corrections:
  • printf definitely isn't implemented using sprintf because there's no safe way to do that. Technically I don't think it can even be implemented with snprintf because that might give incorrect output for a call like printf("%s%n", &x, &x)—not that anyone would ever write that, but they could. I think that typically the printf-family functions use a shared implementation that writes to a buffer with a callback if it overflows, but it's not available as a public C library function.
  • stdout is almost certainly buffered, but if it's attached to a terminal (pty), it's probably line buffered, meaning that if your printf format string ends with \n, it will be immediately sent to the kernel.
  • write probably won't block ("park your application") if you pass a small amount of data, because the kernel has its own write buffers. It will copy the data to a kernel buffer and return without a task switch. In this case the system call is not much different from an ordinary function call, except that the CPU switched to a higher privilege mode and back.
  • The CPU doesn't wait for an interrupt after every byte because that would be far too slow—USB 2 data rates can exceed 30 MB/s, and it can take hundreds of CPU cycles to service an interrupt. For most devices, the CPU doesn't feed data to the device at all; it gives a memory address to the device and the device reads the data directly from RAM and interrupts the CPU when it's done (direct memory access). Devices that don't support DMA normally have internal buffers so that the CPU can at least send more than one byte at a time.
-- BenRG (talk) 17:55, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
To make a system call, the program typically loads the system call number (sys_write on Linux is #4) and the arguments into CPU registers and then uses the SYSENTER or SYSCALL or INT instruction to switch the CPU into high-privilege mode and jump to a kernel entry point. The user-mode address space is still mapped in kernel mode, so the memory address that you passed to write is still valid, and the kernel can access it using memcpy just like user-mode code.
On (NT-based) Windows, the only documented way of making a syscall is to call a function in ntdll.dll. Under the hood it works the same way, but because the code is dynamically linked and ships with the kernel, the system call interface doesn't have to remain compatible across OS releases. That was useful when they switched from INT to the newer and faster SYSENTER/SYSCALL mechanism. Linux has to retain compatibility with binaries that have hardcoded INT 0x80 instructions, and I think it actually patches them in RAM to use SYSENTER/SYSCALL after the first call. -- BenRG (talk) 17:55, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

September 14[edit]

Twitter location changes for no apparent reason[edit]

Every so often, for no apparent reason, Twitter decides to change my location. There does not seem to be any connexion with where I am, what I am Tweeting about, or anything else which I can think of. Does anyone know why this happens, or have any suggestions as to how I can stop it? DuncanHill (talk) 04:41, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Which Twitter client are you using? The web interface or a mobile app? On a phone, laptop or desktop computer? If your device cannot determine the location from GPS, or doesn't have a GPS chip at all, it may try to use wifi signals to establish a location which may be less accurate. If the suggested location is way out, it may be asking the ISP's server for its location—sometimes this is on the other side of the country or even in a different country. --Canley (talk) 05:48, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
To sort of back up Canley's response: If you're tweeting from work, it may have something to do with how your company's network is set up. When I'm at work in Vermont, things like Google Maps will always locate me in Poughkeepsie, New York, at first. Dismas|(talk) 08:35, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
It seems to happen mainly when I am at home on the desktop, connected wirefully (is wireful the opposite of wireless?) DuncanHill (talk) 14:34, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
'Wired' is the normal antonym for a wireless connection. CS Miller (talk) 14:46, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Mac OS X Upgrade[edit]

I currently run Mac OS X Version 10.5.8 and would like to upgrade to Mavericks but am unsure if my machine has the right hardware requirements, and whether I would need to go through an intermediate version like Mountain Lion or something to get there, or if I can straight from one to the other. Thanks. (talk) 11:46, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

This should help you decide. --TrogWoolley (talk) 17:26, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Based on your current version which is relatively old, I'd guess not. I have an old iMac ("sunflower" model, 2003) running 10.6.8 which is the last OS available for it. I recently upgraded a newer iMac (2010) from 10.7 to 10.9 (Mavericks) successfully skipping 10.8 and so far it doesn't seem sluggish or otherwise compromised. Definitely check the Apple forums, and if you're still not sure then you might check 3rd party sites like macintouch or macrumors which can give details about any reported problems with Mavericks running on older machines. El duderino (abides) 19:51, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

September 15[edit]

Old GPU pipeline vs programmable shaders[edit]

With the development of GPUs from a fixed pipeline to programmable shaders, how is backwards compatibility maintained? i.e. How can old games still be run on newer PCs? -- (talk) 00:23, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Generally, the old functionality is simply implemented with shaders that the graphics library (Direct3D or OpenGL) generates as needed 'behind the scenes'. There are a few old features that have been abandoned however, so very old games may no longer work for one reason or another. Another problem is that some older games may rely on incorrect assumptions that were never strictly legal, but did work on all hardware at the time. One example of that that I've seen is that when you swap the display buffer (glSwapBuffers), the buffer you get has content that is described in the OpenGL API as "undefined" - but in the early days of 3D rendering, in practice, it would reliably contain the previous image that you generated. Some games would rely on this - even though the API specification said that it wasn't safe to do that. Nowadays, that assumption fails nearly 100% of the time. SteveBaker (talk) 00:31, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you mean by implemented behind the scenes. The games code said to do something which would work on the old hardware. How would a newer GPU know what to do with the old code -- (talk) 00:37, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

It's the video driver's job to translate the OpenGL calls into something the GPU will understand. If the GPU only supports programmable shaders, but the client application is using a fixed-function pipeline, the video driver will give the GPU a shader that emulates the fixed-function pipeline of older GPUs. This happens "behind the scenes" (the client application doesn't need to know about it). -- BenRG (talk) 02:25, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Ok so then Openggl (and Directx I assume and even things like CUDA and OpenCL) functions get passed to the driver. But the source for an opengl program will be written in C or whatever with libraries that implement the opengl functions. So how is it compiled. Normal C statements like x = a + b would become assembly that moves data into registers performs an add etc. What exactly does a opengl function compile to? -- (talk) 02:46, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

If you're asking what the instruction set architecture of the GPU is, it's usually a quite horrible, highly-proprietary, fairly-specific-to-each-model machine language that contains highly specialized instructions to control the primitive operations of graphics processing. A compiler for this architecture is typically provided by the graphics processor vendor, and the audience for said compiler is usually very limited - i.e. that very small community of software people who write drivers for each specific piece of hardware. Most end-users receive the resulting "finished product" in the form of a graphics driver provided by the operating system software vendor, or distributed by the GPU vendor.
For example, i386 or x86_64 are names for two broad Intel CPU instruction set architecture families; GPUs have something analogous to this. PTX is the name for a family of recent Nvidia GPU instruction set architectures; other brands (and older models) have different architectures . You can read the GPU machine language documentation at Nvidia's PTX ISA reference. That PTX architecture coexists as the compute architecture implementation, in tandem with Nvidia's graphics architecture implementation. Much of the actual digital circuitry of the GPU is shared between these two programming models, even though the PTX ISA exposes a different software-abstraction than an ordinary graphics processor state machine. PTX is more accessible, because better public documentation exists, compared to most GPU "graphics" instruction sets.
OpenGL itself is a "common subset" of higher level functions, as BenRG correctly described earlier. The code that OpenGL generates for your CPU will consist of commands to set up and manipulate the internal state-machine of the software-abstraction model for the graphics processor: the CPU will run code to write (e.g.) memory mapped I/O for control registers, data buffers, DMA accelerator hardware that copies data, and so on - shuffling data and workloads to the GPU and waiting for the GPU to report when the work completes. These GPU workloads take the form of executable programs targeted for the specific GPU instruction set, generated at compile-time or at run-time (depending on your operating system and hardware drivers). Nimur (talk) 05:45, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
A call like glFoo(x, y); compiles into something like push y; push x; call glFoo; add esp, 8, like an ordinary function call. The implementation of glFoo is OS-specific, and I don't know how it works on any OS, but probably it uses a system call like ioctl to pass the data to the video driver in the kernel. It may store the data from each call in a user-mode buffer and pass several commands at once to the kernel for better speed (given that OpenGL uses one function call per vertex). -- BenRG (talk) 17:20, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Mandatory recursion?[edit]

So, I've come across a few pages saying that certain problems must be computed recursively (the Ackermann function, for example), and maybe it's mathematicians using the term recursion differently from how I've encountered it in programming or something but that doesn't make much sense to me. In the end the program just gets turned into conditional jumps when it's compiled. Can someone explain? Horselover Frost (talk · edits) 17:01, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Are you sure they didn't say that it isn't primitive recursive? In theoretical CS, "recursive function" is basically synonymous with "computable function". You can of course always translate a recursive solution to a problem into an iterative solution with an array in place of the stack, and vice versa. Optimizing compilers actually turn imperative flow control into recursive tail calls in their intermediate code representation (see SSA is Functional Programming), and high-performance CPUs take a rather functional approach to executing the machine code (see out-of-order execution). -- BenRG (talk) 18:28, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
To quote one of the pages: "Interestingly enough, the Ackermann function is one of the very few known examples of function that can only be implemented recursively. It is impossible to implement it with just for loops and other control flow commands." I suspect this is just a bad explanation that's confusing me. Horselover Frost (talk · edits) 19:37, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Right, so there's a kernel of truth here, but as you say, it's badly explained.
Because the function is not primitive recursive, you can't compute it using just for loops used in their usual form (that is, where a counter variable counts up to a limit that has already been computed by the time you hit the for statement, and where you don't change the value of the variable inside the loop.
As BenRG explains, though, that doesn't mean you have to use recursion per se. You could do it with a while loop, for example. --Trovatore (talk) 19:55, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
(EC) I think you're right, that the word 'recursive' can mean slightly different things to a pure mathematician and a theoretical computer scientist. As Ben says, in CS, all computable functions are in some sense recursive functions. See e.g. Recurrence_relation, which is often what a mathematician means when we say things like "foo is defined recursively," and this also applies to the Ackermann function. While some recurrence relations can be 'solved' to yield a value X_n+1 without previously computing X_n, the Ackermann function is not one of those. I may be missing something, but I think the quote you've pulled is nonsense. I'm pretty sure I could implement a computation of A(m,n) using "for loops and other control flow commands" -- I'd just compute A(1,1), A(0,0), etc before calculating e.g. A(1,2) -- but again, I may be missing something in the terminology... do they consider "while" to be normal flow control? What about using a for loop with a range that is variable? Btw, in case anyone else wants to look into it, your quote seems to be from here [3], not our WP article. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:01, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
That's got to be it. I can write a simulation of (say) an 8086 CPU that doesn't use emulating a computer that's doing recursion doesn't require recursion. That means that I can turn any recursive function into a non-recursive program that's emulating a recursive program.
More directly, any program that's doing recursion is merely using the stack to remember where it's got to in the recursive processing sequence. Remembering that data, and correctly acting on it - but in some other way - can always avoid doing recursion.
However, mathematicians do indeed talk about 'recursive' functions as something special. I'm pretty sure that there must be a subtle difference in how computer programmers and mathematicians are using the word.
SteveBaker (talk) 02:25, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Facebook friends[edit]

On my timeline, there are entries where Facebook shows 9 squares, the first eight show my friends' profil pictures and the last square says "+number". This is not my friends list, it's an additional entry. Apparently, it says how many friends I gained in 2011 and 2012. And the friends in those square always stay the same. How can you remove this from the timeline? It could be a bug resulted from the timeline's introduction of Facebook. There are no options for this entry and when I click on the heading, it leads me to all my current friends. -- (talk) 18:24, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

How to find (list) all folders without any .wpl-file in them? (Windows7)[edit]

I have a lot of files (both mp3 audio and other non-audio files) spread across various folders.
Question: Is there some way, in MicrosoftWindows7, to list the full path names of all the folders that do not contain any file with the extention: .wpl ?
-- (talk) 20:48, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

There may be a Windows method, but I'd install cygwin, then use ls and grep. Some details given with this relevant question on grep [4]. SemanticMantis (talk) 22:01, 15 September 2014 (UTC)


September 11[edit]

Fuse voltage rating.[edit]

I have a power supply with a 5A/240v fuse that recently blew.

The power supply is available in 110v and 240v versions - mine is the 110v version, but I know that the only difference between the two versions is a jumper position, so I strongly suspect (without proof) that both versions have the same 5A/240v fuse.

The only fuses I have to hand are 125v rated - but at a bunch of different amperage ratings.

I think I can replace the 5A/240v fuse with a 5A/125v fuse - but some people are telling me that I need a 10A/125v (or so) replacement. My gut feel is that they are incorrect - but I'm at a loss to explain why.

My reading of Fuse_(electrical) is that the voltage number is the "rated voltage" which is the maximum voltage at which the fuse will reliably blow without arcing and conductive plasma keeping the circuit open. Since I'm running the unit at 110v, the 125v rated fuse should be OK.

So who is right...and (most importantly) why? I need the answer in simple terms (eh...simpler than that) so that the people involved in the original debate can be convinced one way or the other.

SteveBaker (talk) 01:07, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

""I need a 10A/125v" Utterly completely and dangerously wrong, you are trying to limit the current in the system, not the power. I'd use a 5A 125 V fuse of the same type - fuses come in different types and some will blow more quickly than others. Greglocock ([[User talk:Greglocock|talk]]) 01:28, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

That's what I think too...but a solid explanation is needed here. The Devil's advocate argument is that the circuit you're protecting has constant resistance - so it'll be handling different amounts of current with the two input voltages - so it'll need a different fuse in those two circumstances. I don't know how to counter that argument. SteveBaker (talk) 02:01, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
The fuse depends on the thickness of the wires inside the power supply, not the amount of power the supply is generating right now. Changing the voltage to the power supply does not change the thickness of the wires, so the Amp rating of the fuse does not change, it doesn't matter what you do to the voltage.
For voltage rating on the fuse on the other hand you just need a fuse rated for what you are using, not what the power supply is capable of.
I hope that's enough to convince them. Remind them the fuse is based on the physical size of the wires in the supply, not how the supply is being used. Ariel. (talk) 03:50, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
We need to know the specifications of the power supply to be sure that we are giving the correct answer. It is possible (but unlikely?) that your power supply actually draws a maximum of 1.2 kW regardless of the voltage of the source (within a stated range). In these circumstances, the required fuse would be 5A/240v when connected to 240v but 10A/120v when connected to 120v and this would explain why your fuse blew. I agree with the analysis given by Greglocock and Ariel for all normal power supplies, and you should not use a ten amp fuse unless the manufacturer recommends it. Dbfirs 06:18, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Sadly, this is a made-in-China power supply - we have no schematics, no specification and no user-manual of any kind. The *only* guide as to what fuse it needs is the old. blown fuse I removed from it...which has some chinese squiggles, then a 5 and a 240...which we're merely assuming is the amperage and voltage rating. The fuse is the same size and shape as every other 5A/240v fuse you've ever seen - so we're presuming it's nothing especially exotic.
If it helps to know, this beast is generating just 25mA at around 40,000 20,000 volts(!) for our laser cutter. It's scary as all hell because it's allegedly capable of generating two inch long arcs that are more than able to kill you...and it has big capacitors inside so it can still zap you hours after you've unplugged it from the wall. This makes the simple act of changing the fuse way more exciting than you'd ordinarily expect! We don't know why the fuse burned out in the first place...but with the 5A/125v slow-blow that's in there now, there have been no further incidents and everything seems to be working OK. The ordinary shock risks or fire concerns that you might have from an overly-large fuse are really nothing compared to the potential lethality of the device when it's working just fine and the fire risk from the CO2 laser it's powering! SteveBaker (talk) 20:58, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Even in that case the fuse would be 10A in both situations. A fuse is designed to protect against excessive current, not excessive power. (SteveBaker: Don't assume from this that we are recommending a 10A fuse.) Ariel. (talk) 20:41, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Both the fuse and the wires behave as simple, fixed resistors (until the fuse blows). The heat load on a resistor is equal to the square of the current divided by the resistance, independent of voltage. The wires in the device will melt at some current greater than 5 A. You need a fuse that blows at 5 A to protect those wires. Voltage is irrelevant here.--Srleffler (talk) 16:36, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Many thanks everyone! That clarifies things beautifully. I will now go and do battle with those who oppose me and crush them without mercy using the weapons you have provided!  :-)
SteveBaker (talk) 20:44, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Err - 25mA at 40000 V is 1kW, so you _do_ need the 10A fuse - it's over 9A at 110V. The 5A fuse will probably blow again before long, but it doesn't indicate a fault in the device. Tevildo (talk) 22:45, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
You're sure it's not 25uA and/or 4000V? That's some serious EHT if your figures are right. Does it produce X-rays (which I hope are shielded) as well as the laser output? Tevildo (talk) 22:51, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Oops! My bad...20,000 volts, not 40,000...which means that the 5A fuse is *really* marginal. No wonder it's blowing whenever there is a voltage spike. I'm starting to think that I should be going with at least a 6A fuse. SteveBaker (talk) 00:35, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
The slow-blow 5-amp fuse should cope with any normal voltage spikes, and at the same time protect against faults. Dbfirs 08:31, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Suspension cells in tissue culture: congregation in middle of well[edit]

Is it usual for suspension cells to congregate in the middle of a well? Does it have something to do with water-tension and the meniscus? Figure of eight swirling works well enough for adherent cells but not my PGCs. I don't seem to have the problem when culturing in a flask. -- (talk) 11:22, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Yes, I see that all the time with my NSCs, only in small wells though (24/96 well or chamber slides). More medium may help. Fgf10 (talk) 11:58, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
If you stirred a liquid culture, and left it rotating, that would force particles either to the edges or center, depending on if they are lighter or heavier than the culture. StuRat (talk) 02:01, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

September 12[edit]

Better than a human at combined swim/run part of triathlon?[edit]

Excluding the Bicycle, (which I'm not sure *any* animal could do better than a human), is there an animal which could complete the combined swimming/running parts of the Olympic Triathlon (1.5km swim followed by a 40km run (approx 1 mile/25 miles)) faster than a human. I know there are a lot of animals (dolphin, etc) that could finish the swim first and some animals, I think could beat a human in in the run (antelope?), but any that would get to the end of the race ahead of us?Naraht (talk) 00:06, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

I can't think of any. Before we get too cocky about that, though — which species made up the rules? --Trovatore (talk) 00:29, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Best comment of the week award goes to Trovatore! SteveBaker (talk) 00:31, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Interesting question. Since the running portion is much longer than the swimming portion, a creature that is a fast runner and an "okay" swimmer might win. The pronghorn antelope can run at 56 km/h for 6 km (according to our article). This speed is useful to outrun lions and other predators. There is no mention of its time over a 40 km course. I think they can swim fairly well. CBHA (talk) 00:46, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
See Man versus Horse Marathon for something akin to a real-life example. It's 22 miles cross-country (not on a level track), with no swimming - the current stats are 32-2 to the horses. Over a shorter distance on the level, the horse would definitely win every time, although I'm not sure about the swimming. Tevildo (talk) 00:55, 12 September 2014 (UTC) Irrelevant portion stricken out. Tevildo (talk) 00:58, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
The man versus horse marathon is significant here. A man doesn't stand a hope in hell against a horse over 1 mile - but over 22 miles, it's actually possible to win...but as the distance gets longer, it becomes more and more possible for a human to outrun almost anything. We've evolved to hunt animals like antelopes. We don't do it by out-sprinting them like a cheetah - but by having more stamina over the long haul. So I think it would be a relatively close thing between a fit human and almost any land animal. The issue is how fast land animals can move through the water. List of successful English Channel swimmers shows that fit humans can manage between 1 and 3mph over 20 miles. It's hard to find date about how fast land animals can swim - this video [5] of a horse swimming makes it look like it can swim about as fast as it can walk...which could be around 4mph. So if the horse could keep up that pace, maybe a horse is in with a chance. But it's back to the stamina thing. If humans are just beginning to out-stamina horses after a 40km race - the horse is going to be slowing down a lot for the swimming. I've seen data on polar bears who have the stamina to swim for days. They also seem to be managing 3 to 4mph over long distances...but it's not clear how fast they are over long distances over land. They can probably out-sprint a human, but I doubt they could keep up a winning pace over miles.
I think it would be close for a typical human and a typical horse or polar bear - but it's all about stamina, not raw speed. SteveBaker (talk) 02:56, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Note that in the man-versus-horse marathon, the horse has a human riding on it. I think it is nearly certain that a good horse could beat the best humans in a one mile swim followed by a 25 mile run. Looie496 (talk) 17:47, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps this animal? Count Iblis (talk) 01:11, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Maybe a polar bear ? They are excellent swimmers and fast runners, but that distance might be too long of a run for them. StuRat (talk) 01:58, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Dogs are also very good at doing long distance running, it is a bit far for them but I think they could manage 40km at about the same pace as a human. Kangaroos also are a possibility. I'd have thought elephants would heat up too much but I've heard of them walking long distances without stop at about 10 kilometers an hour. Dmcq (talk) 07:52, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
OK - so where is the video of the kangaroo swimming? I'd really like to see that! SteveBaker (talk) 15:17, 12 September 2014 (UTC) Judging from that they'd find 1.5km a bit of a struggle.Dmcq (talk) 15:42, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
plus apparently there's a dog out there named norman who knows how to ride a bicycle haha ~Helicopter Llama~ 11:25, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
If the race started in the water, I think a tiger would win easily. It would handily swim to the shore and then eat the human, finishing the run at a leisurely pace. Come to think of it, if you start in the water, a tiger shark has a greater chance of making it to the finish line first. Matt Deres (talk) 15:51, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
The other way round if pitted against Jaws (James Bond) ;-) Dmcq (talk) 16:40, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Not quite an answer, but this site is sort of cool. Lets you compare animal speeds in land, sea and air, both in real speed and if they were scaled to your height (or whoever's). Not exactly practical info...yet. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:01, September 12, 2014 (UTC)
Why would any animal bother doing it? HiLo48 (talk) 16:10, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Glory, I suppose. Maybe food. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:37, September 13, 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps a Hippopotamus? "Adult hippos move at speeds up to 8 km/h (5 mph) in water" (Wikipedia article) and "30 km/h (On Land, Running)" [6], which would be times of 11.25 minutes (1.5 km swim) and 20 min (10 km run), assuming they maintain the quoted speed. Compare this with the times for men's triathlon Triathlon at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Men's, where the winner had a 17 minute swim and a 29 minute run. I don't know what the endurance of a hippo is like, though, and if they would be able to maintain those speeds over those distances. -- (talk) 17:45, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Clearly polar bear. Was already mentioned. I am shure many other species, probably not a cow but very likely a horse, are also capable of winning such a race. Most would likely fall back in the swim section but many can run long distances multiple times faster than humans. --Kharon (talk) 21:10, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Actually, not so much on the horse. Horses, over marathon length distances, run only marginally better than humans. See Man versus Horse Marathon, already mentioned above, so I'm not sure why you missed it. The horse usually wins. But not always, and not by enough to say it would be a shoe in. Indeed, given the swimming advantage of humans, I'm pretty sure top triathletes could take beat the horse often enough. --Jayron32 00:21, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
This article claims that humans are "the right honorable kings and queens of the planet when it comes to long-distance running", but I'm not convinced. Maybe in a cold climate the European moose or elk would be the winner: "They have very long legs, which make them appear ungainly while standing but very elegant when trotting. Designed for speed and endurance, they can gallop at up to 60km per hour and are also excellent swimmers. This comes in useful when they need to escape predators such as wolves, lynx and brown bear. (source). Difficult to find hard data on distance... In a hot climate many species would be at a disadvantage, see Persistence hunting. Ssscienccce (talk) 21:13, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
A lynx's snowshoe-like paws would tune us if we were running in boots. But if we were racing in the north, the swimming part would kill us anyway. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:43, September 13, 2014 (UTC)

Laser energy greater than nuclear explosion[edit]

Over here ,Laser#Examples_by_power it lists some of the most powerful lasers, 700 TW and 1.3 PW. A watt is 1 joule/sec. So these lasers presumably pulse in a fraction of a second, but even so the total energy output of those lasers should exceed some nuclear weapons. But yet, when those lasers are fired, the resulting explosion created isn't comparable to a nuclear explosion. But yet according to those energy levels, they should be. Why the discrepancy? ScienceApe (talk) 06:19, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Isn't the answer given in the section to which you linked? The peak power quoted is many orders of magnitude greater than the average power. Average power output of most powerful lasers is just a few kilowatts (perhaps a bit more for the really big and most deadly lasers). It is fair to say, though, that if the pulsed power is concentrated in a small area, then the effect is comparable to that at the core of a nuclear explosion, just not so widespread. Dbfirs 06:44, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps someone is failing to distinguish between energy and power. Jim.henderson (talk) 13:19, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Not only do those exceedingly high power lasers fire for only a very small amount of time - they also only strike a very small target.
Since I actually own a couple of 100 watt lasers - I can add more light onto this subject.  :-)
On the face of it, my 100 watt lasers don't sound all that impressive...the amount of light energy they produce is more or less the same as a 100 watt light bulb. The difference is that a 100 watt light bulb spreads that energy out over perhaps 100 square centimeters of surface area. It gets hot enough to hurt if you touch it - but it's not really going to cause significant destruction. My lasers are focussed to a spot that's about 1/30th of a millimeter across - so those hundred watts are dumped into an area 9,000,000 times smaller than the lightbulb. The energy delivered per unit area is about 9 million times greater - which means that whatever you point the laser at pretty much "goes away" - this machine can happily slice through a half inch of wood at a speed that's only a little slower than a table-saw.
To wreak destruction, delivering a peta-watt (1015 watts) for a nanosecond (10-9 seconds) has about as much effect as pointing one of my 100 watt lasers (102 watts) at a target for 104 seconds...about 2.5 hours. My lasers are capable of producing 100 watts continuously - and I routinely cut up bits of plywood (to make little model buildings - as it happens) by running my two lasers for 12 hours - which is 10 times as much light energy as the petawatt/nanosecond device. So far, there has been no giant smoking crater anywhere near my house!
Put another way, the total energy from a peta-watt for a nano-sec is about the same as leaving your bedroom light on overnight - but it's enough to (briefly - and in a very, very tiny space) create the same conditions as are found on the surface of the sun!
It's all about how the energy is concentrated - both in time and in space.
SteveBaker (talk) 15:11, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
But then by extension if you were to make the beam more diffuse (less concentrated), it should produce an explosion comparable to a nuke. ScienceApe (talk) 15:58, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
No! That's the opposite of what I'm saying. Spread out that peta-watt laser both in time (from a nano-second to a few hours) and in space (from a tiny spot to the surface of a light bulb) - and you have something with enough energy to run an easy-bake oven...not flatten a city. SteveBaker (talk) 16:30, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Well then that means the energy released by the laser in that nano-second should equal the energy to run an easy-bake oven, not a nuke. But if it did equal a nuke's energy, then it should produce an explosion comparable to a nuke. ScienceApe (talk) 17:02, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes...although whether expending all of that energy would produce an explosion or not depends on what you do with the energy. If you dumped that much energy into the ground, you'd get an impressive explosion - but if you fired the laser up through the atmosphere and out into space, then the energy would gradually dissipate and there wouldn't be that much disruption. Also, again, it's dependent on how fast you release the energy. The distinction between a 'high explosive' and (say) gunpowder is that even when the exact same amount of energy is released, it matters how fast it's released. So I'd be nervous about comparing the two explosions - even when the raw energy and power numbers could be meaningfully compared. A single lightning bolt produces about 109Joules - which is about the same as a quarter ton of TNT, but a lighting bolt can be safely dispersed using a simple lightning conductor where a large car-bomb with the same amount of energy could bring down a large building and leave a decent sized crater. SteveBaker (talk) 17:59, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps someone failed to read what I said. "A watt is 1 joule/sec. So these lasers presumably pulse in a fraction of a second, but even so the total energy output of those lasers should exceed some nuclear weapons." ScienceApe (talk) 15:18, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
No, I'm pretty sure we all understood what you said.
1 joule per second, is a rate of energy production - so one joule-per-second running for a nanosecond (which I believe is the typical pulse duration of one of these things) is 0.000000001 joules. A petawatt is 1015 watts which means that over one nanosecond, the total energy it delivers is 1015J/s x 10-9s...which is 106J ...a million joules...which is the exact same amount of energy (Joules) produced by a 100 watt light bulb (102J/s x 104s) in a few hours (104s = 166 minutes).
Google says that 1 megatonne TNT is 4.18400 × 1015 joules. So a one megatonne nuke produces 4x1015 joules of total energy, spread over however long it takes to explode...which is 109 times as much energy as the petawatt laser produces in a nanosecond. So this laser is a BILLION times less energetic than the bomb. The amount of power that the bomb is generating depends on how long the explosion takes...which is kinda fuzzy...and really bears no relevance to it's destructive capability.
Now, admittedly, if the laser could be left running, continuously, for four second - then it would hypothetically produce a megatonne of energy and it could level entire cities. But it can't run for a second - it's only able to produce that number of watts for a billionth of a the total energy is only as much a leaving your bedroom light on all night.
As an earlier respondent pointed out - you're getting confused between energy and power. SteveBaker (talk) 16:30, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Well no I wasn't confused about energy and power, I just wasn't aware the total amount of energy the petawatt laser actually produces. I knew it was a fraction of a second, but I didn't know it was only a nanosecond. According to the boom table, 1 million joules however is equal to 239 grams of TNT, so it should still produce an explosion equal to that much TNT detonated at once. ScienceApe (talk) 17:07, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
The Petawatt laser at the University of Texas, here in Austin [7] produces a petawatt - but the total energy output is just 190 it must be firing for considerably less than a nanosecond...more like the femto-second range, probably. SteveBaker (talk) 18:05, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Also these Lasers only work for a tiny fraction of a second at peak so you have to brake it down as "Joule" is "watt * second". The 1.3×10^15 W Laser in Livermore only works 400 femtoseconds aka 400×10^-15 seconds so formaly its only 520 Joule really if i calced it right. --Kharon (talk) 21:33, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
The generation time in a fission explosion is about 0.01 microsecond, and 99.9% of total energy is released during the last seven generations. (source) A 100 kiloton explosion releases 0.4184 PJ (see TNT equivalent), so the average power during the last seven generations is 0.4184 * 0.999 / (7*10-8) or 5.97*106 PW. That's 4 million times more power than the most powerful laser mentioned. If my calculations are correct... Ssscienccce (talk) 21:41, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Something I don't see mentioned in this discussion is that, in fact, the function of the laser at the National Ignition Facility is to ignite very small thermonuclear explosions. They use tests on this system to improve nuclear weapon designs, and also for research on inertial confinement fusion for civilian use.--Srleffler (talk) 01:36, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

pearl index and decrement table[edit]

What is the first year failure rate of Mirena IUD according to life table method not pearl index— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:40, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

See IUD with progestogen. According to Bayer's datasheet here, the first-year failure rate is 0.21%. Tevildo (talk) 08:04, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
NOTE: Our article includes a short video of the device being removed. I wouldn't call it _erotic_, but it's probably NSFW. Tevildo (talk) 08:10, 12 September 2014 (UTC).

According to life table method not pearl index199.7.159.62 (talk) 09:07, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Skin lesion and std transmission research[edit]

Has there been any research done to suggest that skin lesions and fissures as a result of skin conditions such as psorasis or eczema increases the chances of skin to skin transmission of stds such as syphillis or herpes? (talk) 09:50, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Not sure it makes sense to test every combination of skin condition with every disease that can be transmitted through the skin. Obviously having skin damage makes transmission more likely, but knowing exactly how much more likely is of limited value. Perhaps testing remediation methods might be of value, like whether bandages prevent infections. Nurses with skin problems could then act accordingly, and either tend patients when they have bandages on, or avoid working until their skin heals. StuRat (talk) 16:15, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Energy extraction from would-be tornadoes[edit]

I heard that some tornadoes form in the US because hot air becomes trapped below cold air. What about building towers that bridge the gap with turbines in between to harness the energy? This might then also reduce the occurrence and severity of tornadoes in those areas (as well as other wacky changes in weather patterns). -- (talk) 14:01, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

It's a good idea except for having to come and replace said towers every time a tornado tears them out of the ground and scatters them around the landscape. Also, very unreliable, and you have the problem with having LONG lulls of no wind energy, giving you a worthless tall thing, and then a very short burst of very intense energy. The system doesn't deal well with that, the electric grid works best with a constant flow of reliable energy, not short bursts. So yeah, basically your idea is just fine, except for all of it. --Jayron32 14:44, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
We get quite a lot of ideas like this - capturing the energy from lightning strikes, to pick another example. The root problem with all of these ideas is that building a gigantic, expensive machine to capture this energy is likely to leave you with a multi-million dollar investment that sits there for decades doing nothing until it *FINALLY* gets struck by lightning or hit by a tornado - or whatever it's designed to use. Then it generates a reasonable amount of energy - and then it's sitting there waiting for more decades.
Just think about that. How often does a tornado strike the exact same place twice? Sure, it happens - but it's always an astounding coincidence - and nobody can predict where that place is. But for your machine to earn money (or even to generate any energy at all before it rusts into oblivion) - it has to be exceedingly lucky.
You might (I suppose) be able to capture energy from temperature inversions in the atmosphere and other high energy weather events that happen a little more predictably. The conditions for tornado formation probably happen a dozen times a year in some parts of "tornado alley" here in the USA. I've been living in that region for the last 20 years - and I've only once been within 10 miles of a tornado touch-down...but probably had at least a couple of "tornado watch" alerts over my house each year. So if you had built your machine where my house is and given it a 20 year operational life - it would never have generated an erg of energy from an actual tornado - and it would only have generated a few bursts of energy per year if it operated under "tornadic conditions".
What you're REALLY talking about is windmill farms. Those operate in any windy conditions - and windy conditions happen during temperature inversions and such. So those machines (which exist in LARGE numbers around my area) do exactly what you want - but they are also capable of capturing energy from mere light breezes as well as from more violent storms. That's a more practical kind of machine for the job...and because of that, people have built them.
But even so, one of the biggest criticisms of wind farms is that they don't produce energy reliably. When it's dead calm - the energy to run nearby cities has to come from someplace else. A hypothetical tornado-energy-machine would have that problem about a million times worse!
So, no - sadly, this idea is a non-starter.
SteveBaker (talk) 14:48, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Tornado Alley.gif
Well, if we forget about generating power, the idea that large structures could decrease incidence of tornadoes is basically sound, see e.g. here [8]. (btw Steve, I don't think Austin is firmly in the tornado alley, see also here [9]. As a recent immigrant to Austin, I'm just glad we get any storms at all, even if they are far less common and violent than the other areas I've lived :) SemanticMantis (talk) 15:38, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but I'm relatively new to Austin - for most of the last 20 years, I've lived in Cedar Hill (near) Dallas - which (I believe) is solidly inside the orange bits of Tornado Alley - at least according to our map at right. The only tornado I got close to touched down to the west of me on Joe Pool Lake - it was heading east across the length of the lake while I was driving south across the width of it - along the two mile-long bridges with a very open stretch of road between them. When I heard on my car radio that the tornado had touched down - I was on the then-deserted section of land between the two bridges and faced with the "go-on/go-back/sit-still" decision. Since the car I was driving was possibly the worst imaginable for riding out a tornado in (a race-tuned MINI Cooper'S convertible!) - but had a pretty good turn of speed, I made the decision to go on - and basically floored it. As it turns out, I was basically racing the tornado, to the far end of the bridge - and I was hitting 130mph as I got out of the way. There was inch-sized hail pounding the car - and although I was concerned about the toughness of the cloth on the roof - having a convertible turned out to be a good thing because I only took hail dings on the hood of the car. As I arrived home (on the south shore of the lake) - I had to slalom between tree limbs to get down the 300' driveway into my garage. Quite an exciting ride home! SteveBaker (talk) 16:02, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Ah, my mistake. Sounds like a fun adventure! SemanticMantis (talk) 16:07, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

You misread my suggestion. I wasn't suggesting you hardness tornadoes. I was suggesting you hardness the power of what would otherwise become a tornado. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:39, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

It doesn't matter. Either way, if you design it to harness the most extreme conditions, then your equipment will be idle for far too large a percentage of the time. You need to make it harness less energetic - but more frequent events - and that's precisely what a wind farm does. SteveBaker (talk) 17:44, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
So you mean this layering of air only occurs some of the time? I thought it was constant. (talk) 18:16, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I think what he means is that this tower would extract energy that would otherwise go into generating a tornado in the first place so the tornado, in theory, is never produced at all. Presumably, the towers would allow hot air trapped under the cold air cap to travel up through the tower, spin turbines and generate power. Thus preventing tornadoes and producing electricity. The tornadoes never have to be formed in order to produce power, the power is produced from trapped hot air. I have no idea if this is possible or not, but that's what I got out of his posts thus far. ScienceApe (talk) 19:53, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Sounds like a Vortex engine --Digrpat (talk) 20:29, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
You would need a aproximately 5,000 ft high tower that builds a very huge tube. It would cost probably 20-30 Billion to build given the highest Building Burj Khalifa at 2,722 ft is just a short needle compared that already cost 1.5 Billion to build. But it has to withstand storms tho its not a needle but a wall. I doubt such a structure could be build with current technology and expertise. --Kharon (talk) 22:00, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
  • The energy that drives a tornado comes ultimately from convection: when moist air is lifted to a higher altitude, the drop in pressure causes some of the moisture to condense, which releases energy. Tornadoes typically occur when the convective available potential energy is very high. However, there are lots of situations where the potential energy is high but no tornado occurs. In principle that energy could be tapped, but at a technical level it seems very difficult. The basic problem, as Steve has been saying, is that the energy is hard to get to, and even though there is a lot of it, its density is not very great. Looie496 (talk) 14:06, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Yep, exactly. The diagram at right shows the total number of tornadoes per 2400 square miles between 1950 and 2006. The peak numbers are around 15. So that's one tornado every 3.5 years in 2,400 square miles. If you built some kind of a machine that would pull energy from a tornado within (say) a square mile around the machine - then the odds of it producing any energy is something like 1 in 8400 every year. If you built 8400 of these contraptions across the countryside - then every year, ONE of them would produce energy for an hour or two - then nothing. Windmills, placed in moderately windy places, can produce electricity at a cost of about $40 per megawatt-hour. A 2 MegaWatt windmill costs around $2,000,000. You can't come remotely close to that payback with a machine that's operating so rarely. SteveBaker (talk) 22:17, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
To be exact, the diagram at right shows the number of F3-F5 tornadoes over that period. I've witnessed about a dozen, or their effects, from teh 70's til present, (.e.g., one blew my shed about 1000ft into the bay), but they were the much more common F0 to F1. μηδείς (talk) 17:28, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, convective energy -- the energy that drives tornadoes -- is present during any thunderstorm, or even whenever you see cumulus clouds. In principle it could be tapped simply by creating a horizontal windmill. The problem is that the altitude at which strong convective winds occur is highly variable, and usually thousands of feet above the ground. The comparison isn't quite as extreme as the passage above makes it look, but still wouldn't come close to the overall efficiency of an ordinary windmill in a windy spot. Looie496 (talk) 14:11, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

The evaporation of water (which in turn happens due to solar energy) accounts for a large part of the energy here, despite the fact that it actually costs energy to evaporate water. The energy itself is irrelevant, what matters is how much useful work you can generate from the process in the given environment. Processes that require energy to run can yield useful work if more than the required energy can be extracted free of charge from the environment, this is the case for evaporating water. So, the relevant question here is to ask how much work could you in theory extract from your 1 litre bottle of water on your desk using only local processes (so the machine that is going to do this is assumed to only work onder the local ambient conditions, otherwise the sky would be the limit). The maximum amount of work is less than or equal to the drop in the Gibbs free energy when the water is changed to water vapor and dumped in the environment. Because the water can exist in equilibrium with saturated water vapor at the ambient temperature, the Gibbs free energy of the water is equal to that of saturated water vapor. So, we only need to calculate the drop in the Gibbs free energy for saturated water vapor and the water vapor at the partial pressure the ambient vater vapor is at. If we treat water vapor as an ideal gas, then it's an easy computation to obtain the result

W = -N k_B T \log(r)

where W is the maximum amount of work that can be obtained, N is the number of molecules, and r is the relative humidity. The maximum amount of work that can be extracted from my 1 litre water bottle here where the temperature is 20 C and the relative humidity is 60% is thus approximately 69100 Joules. Count Iblis (talk) 02:14, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Will putting toilet unclogger make it worse?[edit]

Toilet paper is blocking my toilet. I put at least 3/4ths of a half gallon bottle of drain cleaner in (the rest to speed up a slow sink), turns out it's just water, soap and "grease cutting oil". Which I guess might be their term for "third hot press oil that hasn't had enough hexane removed to meet Chinese FDA standards" (to cut the soap with). This brand worked before (maybe cause paper wasn't blocking that one and only the huge dump, maybe it still had some alkali then (the bottle was smaller). If I put in a bottle of actual toilet unblocker — one with lye, will it turn the ton of oil into soap and block it more? At best the oil will just use up some of the reactant. My small bathroom lacks a fan, vent or window, how much should I put to ensure that I only have to open that door once? Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 15:32, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

I would avoid using chemicals entirely. They are expensive, toxic, can damage the pipes, and, in my experience, rarely work. Plumbers want nothing to do with them.
Use a toilet plunger instead. Note that a toilet plunger is distinct from a sink plunger, in that it's larger and has an extra bit of rubber at the bottom that goes into the hole in the bottom of the toilet bowl (see pic at link). Make sure that part isn't stuck up inside. If you only have a sink plunger, you can try that, but they are less effective on toilets. Push the plunger up and down slowly, at first, to get the air out. This will prevent splashing. Then, once it's full of water, give it some good thrusts and pulls to unclog the toilet. Then flush a couple times to clear any residual paper. Plungers cost about $5, so you can afford to have one by every toilet. The lack of a plunger can cause severe damage if the toilet overflows because you can't plunge it out in time.
If a toilet plunger doesn't work, a plumber's snake is the next thing to try, but those tend to make a lot of mess and require more skill to use and are more expensive, so you might consider calling a plumber. StuRat (talk) 16:03, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Straighten a wire coathanger, bend a small (1cm) hook shape at the bottom, and use that instead of a snake. Most home plumbing sites I've seen say it's more sanitary and quicker to use that and rinse after than to use a plunger. SamuelRiv (talk) 17:56, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That's how Hulk rolls, but only after one try with the plunger. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:48, September 13, 2014 (UTC)
Agree. Those chemicals don't work. I've used them before and never even once have they worked for me. How bad is the clog? Does the water slowly go down, or does it not move at all? If the water goes down slowly, and you REALLY don't want to use a plunger and if you can afford to wait a few days, then: Even every time the water is all the way down flush it once (remove the tank lid and be ready to put the flapper back down if it looks like it's about to overflow). Over time and many many flushes, you will dissolve the paper and solids and it will eventually clear. Otherwise, just plunge it. If it happens a lot you should consider a new toilet, you can get a good one for $200 (not including installation). Ariel. (talk) 18:06, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
A new toilet is more likely to be a low-flow toilet, and hence clog more easily. StuRat (talk) 22:41, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That is a common myth and completely incorrect. A low flow toilet has a larger tube at the bottom, and a more intelligent design. Most common is a siphon which can suck the entire contents of the toilet out with very little water. I personally can attest that I went from weekly clogs with an old 4 gallon flush to 1 clog in a year with a 1.8 gallon flush. The old toilet was simply poorly designed. Ariel. (talk) 03:17, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
That's a bit like denying that larger cars are inherently safer. Yes, you can poorly design a large car in such a way as to make it more dangerous than a small car, and you can poorly design a regular toilet so it will clog often, but given competent designers, the large car should be safer and the regular flow toilet should flush better. StuRat (talk) 16:08, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
No, that's not true. Once the toilet is well designed adding extra water does not help it. Either it will go down or it won't. More water doesn't do anything except overflow and spill everywhere. If more water helped then flushing a second time should do something when there is a clog, but flushing again does nothing. On top of that, the available regular flow toilets are all poorly designed. So your statement "and hence clog more easily" is factually incorrect for the actual toilets in use and is therefor bad advice. Ariel. (talk) 16:50, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree with the suggestion above to use a plunger. I can't imagine why anyone would try clearing a plugged toilet with chemicals. Be careful though, about plunging a toilet that is full of caustic chemicals. You may splash them.--Srleffler (talk) 01:50, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

See also here. Count Iblis (talk) 19:42, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

I find caustic soda is effective, and cheap. Make a bucketful and pour it in. Leave it to work. DuncanHill (talk) 22:45, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

If you don't have a toilet plunger a twine mop usually works well as a plunger. Richerman (talk) 14:17, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

I used something with water,bleach and NaOH that worked, with a hiccup. That's a 2-0 record for the Drano-type products and a tens-2 record for the plunger with one cancelled contest. Plunging are filthy, can take many minutes of hard pushing to work, if not more (see the 2 failures), this was some especially stinky feces and this toilet splashes even more than my previous one so I did not try the plunger. (My habit of flushing until either it works or there's no other option contributes, by stuffing the clog deeper and compacting it) Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 18:32, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Using conventional explosives to initiate nuclear fusion[edit]

This is somewhat related to the previous question I had about lasers and nuclear explosions. It appears the lasers used to initiate inertial confinement fusion only release energy around 1 million joules. That's actually not that much, it's actually only a little more powerful than a hand grenade. I was wondering why is it impossible to initiate inertial confinement fusion with shaped conventional explosives? Obviously I understand that shaped explosives are not as precise as lasers are, but intuition would say that a large enough conventional explosion should do it at a certain point correct? ScienceApe (talk) 21:39, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Thermonuclear fusion needs some billion Kelvin hot Plasma to start. The main problem is not to initiate it. This has been done in 1952 with the first hydrogen bomb. The main problem is to contain a some billion Kelvin hot Plasma which can under laws of physics only be done with help of a "vacuum wall" or in fusion reactor terms a "vacuum vessel" for the plasma. You can not build or cause that thermodynamic isolated cage with conventional explosives. --Kharon (talk) 22:24, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
To get efficient fusion you need high temperature, and a high product of density and time. (Details: see Lawson criterion). Magnetic confinement fusion uses lower density for long times. Inertial confinement fusion such as laser fusion uses higher densities for very short times. In the latter approach, containment is not really a problem. The reaction is over long before the plasma reaches the walls of its container.--Srleffler (talk) 02:10, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The initiation problem really does require the focus of a laser. Even a shaped charge explosive can't concentrate the available energy sufficiently. A typical shaped-charge cut makes a 10mm wide cut in thick steel. A 1000 watt laser makes a slot that's a fraction of a millimeter wide using a fraction of the energy of a shaped charge. SteveBaker (talk) 00:37, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Precision matters. If you're trying to ignite a fusion reaction by compression, the compression has to happen over an extremely short time, and has to be extremely uniform. If the compression isn't uniform, the plasma doesn't reach the required densities. Note, however, that General Fusion is working on a fusion reactor where the reaction is created by using giant pistons, so your idea is not completely impossible.--Srleffler (talk) 02:10, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

September 13[edit]

Cellular coverage on the London Underground[edit]

Is there a technical reason the London Underground is still one of the only major metro systems in the world to have no cellular coverage underground? (talk) 00:18, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

They haven't installed it yet. --Jayron32 00:19, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Apparently, this "national disgrace" has something to do with Huawei and China’s Red Army (according to that link from GoMobile News).   — (talk) 02:05, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
According to one blogger, who offers no evidence in favor of that theory and acknowledges that it's contradicted by statements from the companies involved. The blog comments by Neil McGrath and Jeremy Andrews, listing technical obstacles, are also unsourced but sound a lot more plausible on their face. -- BenRG (talk) 04:06, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The New York subway system has Wi-Fi, at least on some lines. Or maybe it's only guaranteed in the stations (i.e. no antennas in the tunnels), though I've seen it work over a tenth of a mile past the tunnel-mouth. Typical station separation is half a mile, station length is a tenth of a mile, so that's up to 75% coverage when not crossing a river, and more by time.
Complete, cellular, coverage is coming in a few years, which means that you can then talk like an asshole for your entire commute. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 03:38, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
WiFi and Mobile Phone coverage are two different systems (at least in the UK). Dbfirs 08:17, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
For what it's worth, a Transportation for London spokesman said in early 2013 that "Given the financial pressures on TfL’s budgets, any solution would have to have been funded through mobile operators, with no cost to fare- or tax-payers. The parties were not able to agree a viable proposal and the project is not being progressed at this time." ([10]). -- BenRG (talk) 04:06, 13 September 2014 (UTC
So is Wifi and cellular the same thing in the us? (talk) 10:23, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
No. WiFi and cellular mobile are completely different systems.--Phil Holmes (talk) 14:41, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't remember, but maybe the speech data will use Wi-Fi technology until it gets outside. This seems to be better, as you don't need several sets of antennas (up to 4 for 4 companies?) in a tight space. To tell the truth, I don't remember to what degree antennas in tunnels is planned. Most lines become elevated railways as close as a half mile from CBDs, so the longer your commute is the more likely you'll be able to use Internet. (London doesn't have as many non-underground portions (I think)) Nonetheless, if the OP didn't already know it, New York is probably one of his few others, which shows that the two great English-speaking peoples suck. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 18:06, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
So if I use the underground I don't have to listen to someone shouting "I'm on a train" down their mobile - what's not to like? Richerman (talk) 19:08, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The problem is mostly extroverts, not coverage. Their insensitive brains unwind with.. loud parties, lol and trying to get the attention of one with sub-vacuum cleaner loudness is like throwing a baby dust mite eye at a monkey. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 01:26, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I've been told in New York it's the same project. Wi-Fi and 4G are being installed side by side. However, I've been in places where I got Wi-Fi but no Gees, umm bars. In most underground parts, even in the majority of stations, nothing. When the F train climbs to Smith–Ninth Streets (IND Culver Line) scads of phones come out for a few minutes to say, "Meet me at the station in x minutes". Jim.henderson (talk) 19:24, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The first batch of Wi-Fi had stations on 6th and 7th Avenue lines south of Midtown. I don't know how far below 14th Street the first batch reached (if at all). It was extended northwards, the western L line was added, the Broadway line was added (I think, that line shares many stations with the previous three). Anything else? IDK. That explains your experience. I think the 1 might've gotten it all the way up in Harlem/Washington Heights a year ago, lol. Before Grand Central Station? Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 01:26, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Not really my subject, but apparently Virgin Media has a workaround system that operates at 100 Underground stations.[11] Alansplodge (talk) 12:42, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Isn't that WiFi coverage as a substitute for mobile phone coverage? Presumably they haven't solved the problem of providing even 2G coverage underground. Dbfirs 12:23, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

4g speeds[edit]

This is similar but a different question to the above so thought if start it as a new question. Why is it that 4g speeds are so much faster in places like Tokyo or Seoul. I could swear that in these cities, the 4g connection is faster than a home fibre optic connection in the uk even indoors or on the metro. And also, how do they even install 3G/4g coverage on a moving train underground? Are there masts at intervals inside the tunnel or is it cabled to the train? (talk) 10:23, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Cabled to a moving train ? How could that possibly work ? I'd say they have antennas on the train and masts at intervals along the tracks. From inside the train they could then have you plug in or use a wireless method. They could also have you use the masts directly, but then they couldn't bill individual users as easily as if you must plug in, and would need closer masts, since the antenna on your device will be much smaller than one on the train. Also, if they are anything like US companies, they want to nickel and dime you to death any way they can, like charging you to plug in. StuRat (talk) 12:04, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Well it could use track circuitry. But I suppose track circuitry wouldn't have enough bandwidth for 3G, let alone 4g. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:49, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The problem with "4G" is that it's not one single standard - or even one single specification for speed. When the service providers tried to agree on the next thing after 3G, they basically didn't agree - so everyone went off and labelled any small improvement that they could think of as "4G" - and the gullible public just assumed it would be some massive technological leap over 3G. So in some places, 4G is no faster than 3G and in others it's dramatically faster. Basically the term carries no meaning other than "Something made after the 3G standard". SteveBaker (talk) 14:47, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
What technology is it that gives Tokyo or Seoul it's 100mbps 4g then? It can't be lte can it? Uk lte only seems to get about 10mpbs at most. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:02, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
LTE-Advanced.[12] Nanonic (talk) 21:13, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Why might some NSaids cause "Sudden Weight gain" for some Human individuals?[edit]

I've heard this in relation to Etodolac. Why is it? Ben. Ben-Natan (talk) 12:01, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

I could think of some possible mechanisms:
1) Water retention. If this was the method, I'd expect them to say so explicitly.
2) Increased appetite.
3) Decreased metabolic rate. This could either be decreased basal metabolic rate, or a decrease in activity level, say if the med causes drowsiness. StuRat (talk) 12:08, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
I would have thought that "sudden" weight gain would pretty much have to be water retention. You have to increase your calorie intake, or decrease your activity level really drastically to put on weight rapidly...but water retention can happen very quickly. Fortunately, if it's the latter, then the additional weight is relatively easy to lose again. Of course a lot depends on what they mean by "sudden". SteveBaker (talk) 14:42, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Can dog sense electrocuted water?[edit]

A recent news is being discussed in several Indian newspapers— dog sacrifices life to save passengers ALT1). Undoubtedly, it is a surprising news. We know about Dog intelligence, but is Dog so intelligent that it can sense electrocuted water a) of course she did not jump there before, b) the passengers did not notice the wire? --TitoDutta 16:47, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Comprehension of impending death aside, electricity does have a distinct smell and buzz. Dogs smell and hear better than humans do. It might have bothered her. Though just from reading that, it seems she didn't so much make an altruistic decision to let actions speak louder than words, rather was shooed into it by the group of busy people. In near-death experiences, humans tend to look for deeper meaning as to why they lived, and confuse correlation with causation in their rush. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:08, September 13, 2014 (UTC)
  • That is an excellent point. Thank you. --TitoDutta 17:20, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
InedibleHunk is wrong. Electricity is the movement of electrons - it doesn't have a smell. What electricity does to the medium it flows through might create a smell. So when you pass electricity through the air, it can cause the formation of ozone which has a very distinctive smell which people associate with electricity because small sparks smell of ozone. However, unless the water is unbelievably pure (which it clearly wasn't here), it's a much better conductor of electricity than the air. So if there is electricity passing through water, it won't be passing through the air - so no ozone smell. The only effect electricity has on water is (possibly) to electrolize it into hydrogen and oxygen - or to boil it into steam. Oxygen is already present in the air we breath all day long, so it doesn't smell. Hydrogen is ordorless (at least to humans), so it seems unlikely that the dog would have smelled anything whatever, steam would have condensed back into water vapor before it ever reached the dog. So I doubt there were any distinctive smells for the dog to pick up on - I don't see how it could have known that there was an electrocution hazard here.
But even if it did smell something - how would it know that there is danger involved with electricity in water? It couldn't possibly have learned it from anything it had seen in the past - and for sure it wouldn't have some kind of evolved 'instinct' to see danger in this situation.
I just don't buy this story. Dog barks surprise there...dogs do that. Dog stupidly jumps into the water, not realizing the danger and surprise there either. By pure luck (for the humans), this happens before the people get into the water. I don't think the dog deserves any particular credit here. SteveBaker (talk) 21:58, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
I'd figured someone would point out my too-general use of the word "electricity". Thanks for clarifying. And yeah, you're right that water doesn't spark. Overlooked that, somehow. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:58, September 14, 2014 (UTC)
Incidentally, the correct term is "electrified" water, not "electrocuted". StuRat (talk) 22:12, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The water is dead, ain't it? —Tamfang (talk) 03:56, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I realize you're joking, but this is the science desk - no, the water is not dead; it's non-living. Matt Deres (talk) 14:15, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Of course, even though the water itself is nonliving, it contains many living micro-organisms, or perhaps dead organisms, depending on the electrical charge. I would guess that such life forms are rather resilient against electrocution, however. StuRat (talk) 16:02, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Not sure if puddle animals are more resilient, but there's allegedly a man who is. As luck would have it, he's also Indian. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:03, September 14, 2014 (UTC)

Species id[edit]


Can some one identify the species? Thanks in advance. Nikhil (talk) 16:56, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

From the leaves I'd say gardenia but I can't say the flower is typical.--TammyMoet (talk) 20:06, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The are 140 species of Gardenia, not to mention varieties. I agree with TammyMoet. μηδείς (talk) 22:36, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Please help me in balancing the following redox reaction[edit]

Please help me in balancing the following redox reaction:

Cu + HNO3 --> Cu(NO3)2 + NO + NO2 + H2O

(By the way, this question has been asked in PMT 1994) What are the coefficients of Cu and HNO3 respectively? Options:

A) 2, 3 B) 2, 6 C) 1, 3 D) 3, 8

I tried to balance this redox by half reaction method, but after solving it half, the nitrogen atoms remain (or become) unbalanced. So, I cannot solve this at all.

I thought that the coefficient of HNO3 must divisible by 2, as it gives 2NO3-, NO and NO2. So the answer must be (2,6) or (3,8), but after doing that I could do nothing but put options into the reaction, which yields that (2, 6) is the correct answer. I just want to solve this by proper (step-by-step) method.

Important note: When I tried to get balanced this equation with Wolfram-alpha (click here), it gave the answer as below.

5Cu + 16HNO3 --> 5Cu(NO3)2 + 2NO + 4NO2 + 8H2O

Yours faithfully,

Ravishankar Joshi — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ravijoshi99 (talkcontribs) 18:30, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

After looking at this reaction for some time I balanced it the following way:
2Cu + 6HNO3 --> 2Cu(NO3)2 + NO + NO2 + 3H2O
so, the correct answer is B. The step by step: every Cu requires two HNO3 to produce one Copper(II)_nitrate and also produces one H2. On the other hand NO+NO2 requires two HNO3, which also gives three O atoms, which require three H2 to produce three molecules of water. So, we need two Cu and total 6 HNO3. Ruslik_Zero 19:22, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
You can use the algebraic method:
a Cu + b HNO3 --> c Cu(NO3)2 + d NO + e NO2 + f H2O
Cu: a=c (1)
H: b=2f (2)
N: b=2c+d+e (3)
O: 3b=6c+d+2e+f (4)
to simplify the last one you can replace b in (4) by (3): 6c+3d+3e=6c+d+2e+f or 2d+e=f
you have 6 unknowns, 4 equations, meaning there are an infinite number of solutions. Then the best way to start is probably looking for the smallest coefficients and assign them values. b=2f so b>f and f=2d+e so f>d and f>e. so d and e are smaller than the rest.
Give d and e the smallest value: d=1, e=1; then f=3, b=6, c=2 and a=2; all numbers are integers, so it fits: 2Cu + 6HNO3 --> 2Cu(NO3)2 + NO + NO2 + 3H2O
if you try d=1 e=2 you get c=2.5, so double the values: d=2, e=4 f=8, b=16, c=5, a=5: 5Cu + 16HNO3 --> 5Cu(NO3)2 + 2NO + 4NO2 + 8H2O
if you try d=1 e=3: f=5, b=10, c=3, a=3: 3Cu + 10HNO3 --> 3Cu(NO3)2 + NO + 3NO2 + 5H2O
d=3 e=1: f=7, b=14, c=5, a=5: 5Cu + 14HNO3 --> 5Cu(NO3)2 + 3NO + NO2 + 7H2O
and so on... Ssscienccce (talk) 22:38, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

September 14[edit]

Linea nigra[edit]

I've read our articles on linea nigra and melanocyte-stimulating hormone. Neither of them, or the references that I've read, explain why that particular line of skin is colored/darkened. So, what makes that particular line of skin so susceptible to the discoloration?

Note: I'm male. I'm not pregnant. I don't plan on becoming pregnant. I don't have any close contact with any pregnant people. This is not a request for medical advice. This is asked out of my own curiosity. Please don't close or blank this thread. Thank you. Dismas|(talk) 01:31, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

The line is normally (in non-pregnant people) referred to as the linea alba and is a line of fibrous tissue giving attachment to the muscles of the wall of the stomach [13], so it is different to the areas of skin around it, but precisely how or why it becomes pigmented doesn't appear to be clear. Mikenorton (talk) 14:30, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

The nature of electromagnetic induction[edit]

Does the nature of electromagnetic induction is always been created the nature of magnetic induction or nature of magnetic induction is always been created the nature of electromagnetic induction?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 05:44, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

How can proved that the nature of the magnetic induction is always electromagnetical, using for this experiment of Faraday?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 05:44, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

During of changing the polarity of the electric current in the inductive coil (in changing of polarity inductance), this inductive coil never changed its properties.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 07:15, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
We covered this before in an earlier question. Magnetic induction is just a special case of electromagnetic induction, where a conductor is present. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 08:59, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
It is not easy to change a current in an inductive coil. It is even harder the change the polarity. You can only change the current over a period of time, The faster you want to change the current, the higher the voltage that you need to reverse the current. Energy is stored in the inductor, and reversing hte current means that you will take out that energy and then put in energy corresponding to the new current. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 08:59, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I have not answered the second part of question 1 or question 2 (about proof). Graeme Bartlett (talk) 08:59, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I been suppose that, the electromagnetic inductive volume of all inductive coils is always been constant, so that the electromagnetism of all inductive coils always is been a constant, its proved that the inductive magnetism did not made the work of the electric current. Therefore, the nature of the electric current is always been electromagnetical but not magnetical.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 09:22, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Graeme Bartlett, I would be argue that inductive volume of all electrical appliances (electrical devices) is always been a constant this been proved that the work in any electric gird (electric circuit) is always been doing only by an electric current, and more by than anything (by nothing another).--Alex Sazonov (talk) 14:47, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Graeme Bartlett, Only the inductive contours of the magnetic volume (not electromagnetic volume) always been create a variable work of electric current, so they always been create a variable electromagnetic induction, that is, the work in such contours always been made by the variable electromagnetic induction but not by electric current.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 16:44, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
If the magnet which is been inserted into the inductive coil as well as magnets had different force of magnetism which are been inserted into the inductive coil would been changed the force of electric current in an electrical circuit everything would be nice!--Alex Sazonov (talk) 18:02, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Obviously, that the principal construction of all inductive contours is always been the equally (equal type).--Alex Sazonov (talk) 19:31, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Inductors have different value of inductances, and that depends on the volume enclosed by the coil, and by the permeability of the material, which may be ferrite or laminated iron plates to boost the inductance. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 20:30, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Inductive contours are always been created by one and the same electromagnetic force, so that all inductive contours are always been similar to each other (it is been equal type).--Alex Sazonov (talk) 06:23, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Similar is not the same as equal. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 08:49, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
The force of the inductive of electromagnetism of the electric charge (electromagnetic induction is been presented as Ampere Force) is always been create all inductive contours. Creates any magnetism could always only the Ampere Force, but in some cases the Ampere Force is always been presented as electromagnetic induction.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 09:11, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Graeme Bartlett, Did you think that the magnetism of the planet Earth which always been formed a magnetic contour of the planet Earth could been able to create the statics and dynamics of electric charges, if did the electric current is been really existed in the nature of the natural magnetism of the planet Earth? I been think, if did the magnetism of the planet Earth would been formed an inductive contour of the planet Earth, it would be wonderful!--Alex Sazonov (talk) 14:08, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Graeme Bartlett, I always been consider the natural nature of the planet Earth as a simplest natural capacitor which is always had been a magnetic contour, but not an inductive contour, although most of modern advanced (perfect) capacitors are always had been only inductive contours.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 17:24, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

The answer to this next point of your is no, the magnetism of the earth has not created electric charge, but it does affect the motion of charged particles. See Magnetosphere and Earth's magnetic field. To your second part please read Atmospheric electricity. The earth with its ionosphere is a large capacitor. It also has the nature of an inductor, but at the low frequencies involved in magnetic field variations, or electric fields in the atmosphere, it has negligible effect. And do not be confused by electrostatic induction. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 00:02, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Do people clean out the anus before engaging in anal sex?[edit]

I was googling "sexual slang terms" and found a couple that described some pretty unsanitary sex positions. Do people clean out the anus before engaging in anal sex? Does the anus have a self-cleaning function? (talk) 18:55, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Your questions seem fairly unclear to me.
For your first question, it shouldn't really be surprising that some people do (particularly professional porn actors before a shoot [14] including almost definitely before any scene when the penis goes somewhere else after anal sex has begun) and some people do not, as with pretty much anything where sufficient people are involved. See these sources which unsurprisingly basically say the same thing even if not directly attempting to answer you question Enema#Recreational usage [15] [16] [17] [18] Rule 34 (sort of). Are you asking for statistics on averages or something?
For your second question, I assume you know what Defecation is. Maybe the stuff discussed in the links and also others like [19] [20] which explain why there there often isn't much fecal matter in the lower bowel for someone with a decent diet who has recently defecated (but you shouldn't expect none) will answer your second question, but I'm not sure without knowing what it is.
Nil Einne (talk) 19:38, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
The last time I went down that alley was in a bathtub, so pretty clean. But after a minute or so, she called a time out because she got the urge to "self clean". Killed the mood, at least for an hour or so. She swore she didn't have to go beforehand, blamed my end of the deal. She's usually right. Probably some "switch" nerves in there. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:00, September 14, 2014 (UTC)
I always clean my anus before I fuck someone--it's just the polite thing to do.Miss Manners' Guide to Rearing Perfect Children. μηδείς (talk) 23:56, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Why do pure gynophiles have anal sex anyway? I wouldn't do that because I wouldn't like to go back. It'd be like winning a 2015 Buggati Veyron plus it's extra costs (deductible etc.) for life (trade in for free unused 2015 when it becomes unreliable) then being offered occasional test drives in a 2015 Buggati Veyron Super Sport with aftermarket carbon fiber body and street-illegal jet engine. Besides that, uncomfortableness has no place in sex and I might wonder if she's only saying it's not discomforting/faking enjoyment to please me (give me oral) or to delay breakup (I don't want that kind of oral). I don't want a pain-loving lover either, that's perverse, and caused by child abuse. To tell the truth it's more fascinating when you're 10 or 11, only a few years from that age when caca and your anus was awesome, and can't imagine what a female looks or feels like but can easily imagine anuses (you don't want the bad feeling of diarrhea in your anal canal all day, do you?) Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 02:44, 16 September 2014 (UTC)


Why is it that some diarrhea only lasts for a few hours, which seems to be the case mostly after you've eaten something bad, while others such as those caused by stomach bugs can last up to a week. Aren't they both caused by bacteria or virus? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:11, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Diarrhea is usually caused by the poisons that the bacteria have produced. Even if all the bacteria have been killed by cooking, the poison will still be in the food and you will get ill. Diarrhea that lasts only a few hours or less can also be caused by other effects like indigestion that leads to a lot of gas and some exess fluids in your intestines. If bacteria are the problem, then you can get ill a long time after eating the infected meal. The bacteria then get into the itnestines and multiply there possibly after being dormant for a while. In case of Listeria infection, you can get ill several months after eating an infected product. Count Iblis (talk) 22:19, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
(ec) Diarrhea caused by a food that chemically irritates the colon or a chemical irritant like magnesium citrate is self limiting because the colon allows the food or chemical to pass too quickly to spend several hours reabsorbing the water content. Diarrhea from an infection is likely due to a bacteria or virus higher in the digestive tract shedding irritants that carry its reproductive vector out of the body over a more extended period, without themselves getting washed away. μηδείς (talk) 22:28, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Why would Magnesium Citrate be in food? And is that why the short diarrhea lasting a few hours or less normally don't have any the symptoms such as fever, vomiting etc normally associated with an infection? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:34, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Magnesium citrate is sometimes added to food to adjust its acidity. Short diarrhea lasting just a few hours is the result of food borne toxins, and so wouldn't be expected to have the same symptoms as infection, even if those toxins are the product of microorganisms (present in the food, and not necessarily in the patient). - Nunh-huh 03:41, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Nunh-huh is right about food-borne toxins versus infections. Concentrated magnesium citrate in the form of an 8 oz soda is a typical heavy-duty over-the-counter purgative. It will usually induce 1-3 very watery bowel movements in 4-6 hours. The instructions usually include taking two tall glasses of water right after drinking the purgative. This or a less irritating prescription version is usually prescribed to treat moderate constipation and for the night before a colonoscopy, or a surgical or diagnostic procedure. μηδείς (talk) 17:58, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

September 15[edit]

can you carry your own weight? (briefly, e.g. on your back)[edit]

A US Marine carrying an injured Afghan after an IED blast, 2011. (talk) 00:30, 15 September 2014 (UTC)


I was wondering if an average man of 150 pounds could carry 150 pounds on his back briefly (e.g. 100 meters / 109 yards). or is that too hard? (talk) 23:59, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Well, I can think of a couple of 'data points' that say "yes". Soldiers in Iraq were carrying 65lb backpacks, plus (at the outset) 5 gallons of water (50lb) plus weapon, bulletproof vest, helmet and ammo (easily another 50lb) - and they would march many kilometers while loaded to that degree. So it's certainly possible if you're moderately fit and if the weight is well distributed and positioned appropriately. A second data point it that there are plenty of people out there who started off weighing 150lb and through poor diet and exercise ended up weighing 300lb or more - and can still get around fairly easily. SteveBaker (talk) 00:17, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I would argue that neither a soldier in iraq, nor a 300lbs person are "average man". However I agree that an average man would quite easily be able to "piggy back" another average man for 100m. I very much doubt however that an "average man" could piggy back another average man for "many kilometers". The answer lies somewhere in between.. Vespine (talk) 00:57, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
How much do you suppose an average person can easily carry? (e.g. for kilometers) Online I saw "1/3 of body weight" thrown around - does this seem right? ) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:00, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I weigh about 80kg, 1/3 would be 26kg, I might not be terribly average, I'm not overweight (I'm 183cm tall) but i don't really exercise, so I can't imagine "easily" carrying 26kg for a few kilometers, I'm pretty sure I could do it, but it sounds like a considerable work out to me. Even if the weight was being carried in a decent backpack. If I had to carry it in my arms or over my shoulder, like a sack of potatoes, then no, I don't believe it would be easy at all. it's a tough question, it really depends on what you mean by easy.. Like, if I was stuck in the desert and had only 26L of water then yes I'd be carrying it :) Vespine (talk) 01:11, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
My wife can carry a 15 kg pack (25% of body weight) for days at a time when walking and camping. I can carry 22 kg (21%) for days at a time and I doubt I'd be regarded as fit. So 25% is easy enough. Now, if she stuffs her back, I get to carry both packs. That is possible, on the flat, but in any significant terrain it is much faster and more comfortable for me to ferry the packs individually. Although I am walking 3 times as far, once is unladen, and once is lightly loaded. I can do that for 10 km in a day (ie 30 km actually walked) but the next day wouldn't be much fun.Greglocock (talk) 01:44, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
A good quality back back that fits properly should allow you to carry your own body weight for a while quite easily. If you are reasonably fit and can run for 30 minutes without gasping for air, you should be able to walk for half an hour with a such a backpack. You do have to get used to it for a while, because you may feel that this is way too heavy, but that's simply because your brain makes an assesment based on the exertion required to stand up and get moving with that thing compared to the speed. You will tolerate a heart rate of 150 bpm much easier when you are actully running fast, compared to when you are just walking. This is all a psychological issue that you have to learn to tolerate. Count Iblis (talk) 03:27, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
"average man" "can run for 30 minutes without gasping for air" hahahaha good joke, game over Greglocock (talk) 03:39, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I run for an hour, five times per week. For experience I know that the difficulty one experiences when carrying heavy stuff for more than just a short distance is more of a psychological issue, it's about accepting that it will be an exertion that you normally don't associate with the speed you are moving at. Count Iblis (talk) 03:50, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I think you're missing what seems to be Greglocock's point. Regardless of whether it's true that someone who is "reasonably fit" and "can run for 30 minutes without gasping for air" can also carry their own weight for several km, this question wasn't about such people. It was about people the "average man" who probably can't do neither and isn't likely to be considered "reasonably fit". (Of course this will depend how you define "average" but even if you take the whole world and only include adults in a narrow age range. Even considering the large percentage of people in developing countries, it seems unlikely you're going to come up with the average being able to run for 30 minutes with gasping for air.) It may be worth considering under what conditions people can do so, but Greglocock's point remains. Nil Einne (talk) 13:52, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I see this issue. Still, there is another issue here, and that is when you are not accustomed to doing this you will tend to walk too fast. So, regardless of fitness, there is a maximum speed that the fitness you have will allow you to move at and you will likely exceed that speed the less experience you have. Also the less fit you are the slower you have to move, which is then more likely to cause you to breach your maximum speed. You will then experience this as the load being too heavy while in reality it's caused by your brain not regulating the walking speed properly. Count Iblis (talk) 15:32, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Not carrying, but on reaching a ~30° slope with a heavy wheeled load I started running. It is weird running fast(ish) and only managing inches with each step. Pushing at least as hard as slow running too. Was that also suboptimal? But since there was no ratchet, there's a constant backwards pushing force on you, and I have very weak leg muscles (for a man in his 20s). So maybe not. Is high rpm low mph a known method of training? Either increasing the time, weight and/or slope with gains in fitness or simply allowing the mph to go up and/or rpm to go down?
It's surprisingly hard to find information on this. The general rule for backpackers is that for sustained hiking, the pack weight should not exceed 30% of body weight, apparently for both men and women. In this thread, a small woman asks whether she could plausibly carry 180 pounds in a fireman's carry, and the responses all indicate that it's possible with training. How much a person can actually carry is heavily dependent on the shape of the object--very few people can lift a 180 pound box of steel, for example, because a fireman's carry would not be possible. --Bowlhover (talk) 18:34, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

ion.of Mo metal //9-15-14[edit]

How do I solve for the amount of mass (g) ionized by light...given only frequency of 1.09 x 10 15 /sec and 161 kJ of energy? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:30A:C023:E6F0:A4BF:1382:BD46:EC06 (talk) 13:18, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

What is the full homework problem your teacher has asked you to solve? Throwing bits and pieces at us makes it hard for us to help you. Instead, tell us the problem verbatim. We won't solve it for you, but we can direct you to how to solve it yourself if you give us enough information. --Jayron32 20:26, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Without answering the question for the OP, photoelectric effect and work function are the relevant articles. Tevildo (talk) 23:17, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
One way to approach this is to work out how many photons at that frequency make up the given energy, with E=hν then calculate how many ions are made with that, (perhaps one ion per photon) then multiply the mass of one ion by the number to get the ending mass. The mass of an ion will not differ much from the atom, especially given the precision of your numbers. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 23:51, 15 September 2014 (UTC)


September 10[edit]

Friends meeting at the park[edit]

Three people come and meet at the park each day. Each comes 7 out of 10 days. What is the chance of all three coming? Only two? Only one? None? Thanks. I'm stumped. Please try to answer in a way that a complete idiot (me) will understand. Actually, the reason isn't so imporant. It is the actual % chance that I'm after. Many many thanks. :) Anna Frodesiak (talk) 03:32, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

We'd have to start with the assumption that each person showing up is an independent event. This probably isn't correct, as they may all avoid rainy days, or all show up when they planned to meet. But, if we assume each has an independent chance of showing up 70% of the time, then the chances of all or none showing up are:
Zero: 0.33 = 0.027
Three: 0.73 = 0.343
Now the chances of 1 or 2 showing up are complicated by the fact that a different one or two might show up, so we have to account for all the ways that can happen. In this case there are 3 ways 1 person can show up (A, B or C) and 3 ways 2 people can show up (AB, AC, or BC):
One: 3(0.320.71) = 0.189
Two: 3(0.310.72) = 0.441
To check our work, add them all up and you should get 1.0, or, if we multiply all the numbers by 100, we get percentages: 2.7% + 34.3% + 18.9% + 44.1% = 100%. StuRat (talk) 04:42, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Wow! You are a super-genius. I am very impressed. I sort of figured out the zero and three part, but got stuck on the one and two. A thousand thanks for your help. :) :) :) Yay StuRat! And yay refdesk. The best kept secret on the Internet. :) Anna Frodesiak (talk) 07:37, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
You're quite welcome. Here it is, presented in the tree diagram format mentioned below (or as close as I can get using ASCII text):
                            I N D E P E N D E N T   E V E N T S
    Person A: |     P R E S E N T   ( 0 . 7 )     |      A B S E N T   ( 0 . 3 )      |
    Person B: |  Present (0.7)  |   Absent (0.3)  |  Present (0.7)  |   Absent (0.3)  |
    Person C: | P (0.7)| A (0.3)| P (0.7)| A (0.3)| P (0.7)| A (0.3)| P (0.7)| A (0.3)|
            / |.7×.7×.7|.7×.7×.3|.7×.3×.7|.7×.3×.3|.3×.7×.7|.3×.7×.3|.3×.3×.7|.3×.3×.3|
Probability   +--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
            \ | 0.343  | 0.147  | 0.147  | 0.063  | 0.147  | 0.063  | 0.063  | 0.027  |
   # Present: |    3   |    2   |    2   |    1   |    2   |    1   |    1   |    0   |
 3 present = 0.343                         = 34.3%
 2 present = 0.147 + 0.147 + 0.147 = 0.441 = 44.1%
 1 present = 0.063 + 0.063 + 0.063 = 0.189 = 18.9% 
 0 present = 0.027                         =  2.7%
Note that tree diagrams are only practical for a small number of events, with a small number of possible outcomes for each event. Here we have 3 events, with two outcomes each (3 people who can be present or absent), making for 23 or 8 possible outcomes. If we had 10 events with 2 outcomes each, that would give us 1024 possible outcomes, or if we had 3 events with 10 possible outcomes each, that would give us 1000 possible outcomes. Either would be way too big to draw as a tree. But, if you can draw a tree, it can help to visualize dependencies on events, as well as if all events are independent. For example, let's say person A and B are a couple, and always are present (0.7) or absent (0.3) at the same time. The presence of person C (0.7) remains an independent event:
                                D E P E N D E N T   E V E N T S   ( A = B )
    Person A: |     P R E S E N T   ( 0 . 7 )     |      A B S E N T   ( 0 . 3 )      |
    Person B: |  Present (1.0)  |   Absent (0.0)  |  Present (0.0)  |   Absent (1.0)  |
    Person C: | P (0.7)| A (0.3)| P (0.7)| A (0.3)| P (0.7)| A (0.3)| P (0.7)| A (0.3)|
            / |.7×1×.7 |.7×1×.3 |.7×0×.7 |.7×0×.3 |.3×0×.7 |.3×0×.3 |.3×1×.7 |.3×1×.3 |
Probability   +--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+--------+
            \ |  0.49  |  0.21  |    0   |    0   |    0   |    0   |  0.21  |  0.09  |
   # Present: |    3   |    2   |    2   |    1   |    2   |    1   |    1   |    0   |
 3 present = 0.49             = 49%
 2 present = 0.21 + 0 + 0     = 21%
 1 present = 0    + 0 + 0.21  = 21% 
 0 present = 0.09             =  9%
StuRat (talk) 13:58, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
You should also take a look at Binomial distribution. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 09:05, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
You mean me? That page could be upside down and scrambled and would make as much sense to me. Thank you, though. :) Anna Frodesiak (talk) 09:16, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I've noticed that page isn't very newbie-friendly. But it describes the general way to solve problems like the one you've presented. If there are n different things which can either happen or not, each with probability p, and they are independent, then the probability that exactly k of them will happen is \frac{n!}{k!(n-k)!}p^k(1-p)^{n-k}, where n! is the factorial. In your case, the things that happen are each person showing up, n=3 and p=0.7. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 12:49, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
A good way to understand this sort of thing "visually" is with a tree diagram. That article is just a stub, but the linked BBC page has some good examples. If you take their 3-coin-tosses example, and replace the 3 tosses with the arrival or non-arrival of each of the 3 people (and change the 0.5 probabilities of heads and tails to 0.7 and 0.3) then you should end up with the same answers as above. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 13:22, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Holy moly. I'm actually understanding this. I sort of lost it half way through, but was getting it. I will read it again tomorrow after a big coffee. This is very nice. I never understand stuff like this. I have the IQ of lichen. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 14:47, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Awesome, glad we could help. StuRat (talk) 16:57, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

September 11[edit]

is any of Spinoza's Ethics mathematically rigorous? (to the standard of published proofs.)[edit]


Spinoza's Ethics takes the form of extreme mathematical rigor. I was wondering if any of it were rigorous enough to be published as a mathematical proof, or, on the contrary, does it just take this form with all the real convincing 'power' couched in the terms and language themselves, which are left undefined?

I hope you see my question. If indeed it contains real (rigorous) proofs, is there any chance that you can quote (or produce) me a small 'lemma'-like (or even smaller!) rigorous argument from that work, to show how we can translate it into mathematics and treat it as such?

What I mean is that clearly it takes the form of proofs with premises, logical steps, and conclusions - but are these vacuous? Could we translate any of htis into a proof in a computer language, for example?

I've only just glanced at it but for me it seems that there is no logic or rigor used at all, and in fact the form is highly misleading, as it makes it seem as though there are definitions that are being applied, whereas there are no such definitions and instead we are left with undefined terms like perfection and God that are useless in a formal context. however this is just my impression!!! I've had the same, mistaken, impression, of highly rigorous works that could be understood well and translated directly into code.

Therefore I would like your opinion about whether Spinoza's Ethics is of this kind of work, and, if so, I wonder if you could produce for me either a quotation or your own synthesis of a very short (perhaps trivial) but rigorous "proof" from it.

Thank you kindly! -- (talk) 01:42, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

One can look at the logical structure and try to formalize it; see for instance [21]. But as a review of that paper states [22], there is more to Spinoza's Ethics than logical inference. --Mark viking (talk) 02:43, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, of course there is more as it is a religious text, not a proof. But it takes the form of a proof. The question is: is that form rigorous? Is there anything interesting or good about what it proves rigorously? For example, I could write a whole treatise on color coordination in interior decorating, what colors go together and what don't, what needs to match with what, I can define premises and conclusions, such as the maximum number of colors that can be in touch with each other without dissonance, etc. It will all be absolutely meaningless gibberish! Color simply isn't the kind of thing that is amenable to reasoning about rigorously. Period. I could also write the same thing about physics. But in this case it would be highly meaningful. Physics is the kind of thing you can reason about. Now what about Spinoza's Ethics (the work) - is it like an axiomatic treatment of interior decorating (i.e. meaningless gibberish) or like an axiomatic treatment of quantum mechanics (fully meaningful and formalizable)? Given that in a sense you could say Spinoza's Ethics (the work) is a work of physics, if we treat it as such does it (in parts) attain modern standards of rigor? Could you produce kind of an extract of one, or a synthesis of one? Thanks. (talk) 02:50, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
An axiomatic treatment of interior decorating can be absolutely rigorous, as far as the math, in which case, those who accept that the axioms truthfully correspond to decorating will also be compelled, rationally, to accept that any theorems apply equally as much. Axiomatic systems of physics work pretty much the same (though, physics isn't axiomatized, or, at least, it is not done from axioms). I don't much about the specific case of Spinoza, but you are essentially asking if he makes any logical errors, if taken at face value. It sounds, more so, like you are asking if his theories are correct, or have correspondence, in the way that physics does - that question has nothing to do with axiomatics and logical structure, however, and, really, is just asking if his premises are sound, which is not a mathematics question at all; and, as for physics, it does not correspond to reality because its structure is mathematical (nor is that a defining aspect of what physics is, to be honest).Phoenixia1177 (talk) 03:40, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Right, but my point is there is not a single axiom in interior decorating that anyone would accept, or even so much as entertain, for even a second. Any axiom can be false under certain conditions - i.e. leads "logically" to a conclusion that you would, however, not accept. So, obviously a system of axioms which is the null set does not make for a very interesting axiomatic system. But is theology the same way? Or, in the case of Spinoza, does he use axioms that are in some sense interesting and perhaps have correspondence, and then does he reason from them in a logically sound way? Or, is it just pseudomathematical/logical? (Following the form, but without any chance of correspondence.) (talk) 04:01, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
You're not asking about mathematics, though, you're either asking if Spinoza had true axioms or if those axioms were interesting, neither has anything to do with mathematics and logic, it has everything to do with philosophy and ethics and the world. Even if nobody believed some set of axioms for "interior design" those axioms would be every bit as legit as the axioms of ZFC, or any other system. A set of axioms is a system, that is it, the content of those axioms and what they mean is not the purview of mathematics, as a subject. This is especially so when you are talking about axioms for something philosophical. I don't know, personally, if his reasoning is logically sound, but you might have better luck trying at the humanities desk as this is really a philosophy question - or just try googling criticisms of Spinoza's work, you're sure to find something far more salient.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 06:47, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
You've hit at the crux of my question by stating, "A set of axioms is a system...the content of those axioms and what they mean is not the purview of mathematics". That might be true for a real set of axioms, but not everything that is labelled that way is an axiomatic system. Here is an example. I've prepared a farcical "axiomatic system" and some proofs, below. They're just the first few sentences of our Color article. What do you think?

What do you think of the above?

What you SHOULD think is that it's total nonesense, it doesn't even try to look like an axiomatic system. It's just borrowing the form, like gibberish or gobbledegoock or Lorem ipsem. It only might look like an axiomatic system at a brief glance.

It's obviously NOT actually an axiomatic system!

So, my problem/question is that to me, Spinoza's Ethics seems the same way (at a first impresssion). I was wondering if it actually was that way - or if, on the contrary, it really is an axiomatic system and some proofs within it.

So, which is it? Is it like my farcical example? Or is it more? Does it meet logical/mathematical rigor, is it nonesense (from a mathematical point of view), much as my sentences above are. Note that my sentences aren't actual total nonesense - they're quoted from the Wikipedia color article after all. (talk) 09:18, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

If you rearranged the "axioms" above so that they were all sentences, they would be axioms, just pointless ones as far as that goes. As for the propositions, if the terms all traced back (that's not even that necessary, really), that would work too. The only issue is the logic of your proofs wouldn't be standard logic (I'm sure you could concoct some goofy deduction rules too, if you really wanted, why not?). That's kind of the problem with your whole question, any set of sentences can be "axioms", as long as they are some form of declarative essentially. So, when you ask if Spinoza's are nonsense, do you, literally, mean to ask if they satisfy being declarative sentences relating terms and if he was capable of following basic logic? Most philosophical work is going to be logically valid (as a general rule), the debate is over soundness. I'm not trying to be a jerk, but as far as mathematical requirements go, the answer should be immediately obvious upon reading it, the terms can be complete nonsense, the relationships all bullshit, as long as axioms aren't of the form "Is it good to steal, ever?" or "Stop!", I'm sure someone can whip something up in symbols. For example:
  1. All lines love at least 3 distinct circles.
  2. Some circle loves a line.
  3. Every circle is loved by some line.
  4. If puppy A loves puppy B loves puppy C, puppy A loves puppy C.
  5. Every circle is a puppy.
  6. Every line is a puppy.
Is a system of axioms. And we can deduce that there is some line that loves some other line, and that there are at least 3 circles if there is a line. That's all perfectly valid and fine, mathematically - of course, it's all meaningless gibberish as far as humans go (I imagine, but who knows? Maybe it has a neat model - I doubt it).Phoenixia1177 (talk) 09:47, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
One thing to keep in mind here is that the standards of rigor have changed significantly since Spinoza's time. There was a time when you wouldn't be considered an educated person unless you could recite the 47th proposition of Euclid upon demand, and The Elements where hugely influential a result. Spinoza modeled Ethics on it in an attempt to bring the same sense of certainty to his conclusions as was perceived in be in the propositions of Euclid. But much has happened since then and The Elements would not stand up to modern standards of rigor. For on thing Euclid's geometry was trying describe the universe as it actually exists, at least in some idealized Platonic sense. The general theory of relativity says the universe doesn't behave as described. Also, modern analysis has found many hidden assumptions in the Elements and a truly rigorous axiomatization (see Hilbert's axioms e.g.) requires many more axioms than Euclid gave. Finally, the whole viewpoint of mathematics changed from a description of the world to a purely logical construct. People of Spinoza's time would not be familiar with the concept of symbolic logic, but today's standards of rigor require that mathematical reasoning can, at least in theory, be stated in symbolic form. Euclid and Spinoza basically start by saying "here is a bunch of things we can all agree about what they are, and here is a list of things we can all agree are true about them, now let's see what conclusions we can draw." The definitions used are not definitions in a rigorous sense but descriptions that enable the reader and author to agree on what things are being talked about. An example of this type of definition might be "A cat is a small fuzzy creature that sometimes lives in people's houses." But mathematically this definition is nonsense, just as the definitions of point and line given in Euclid are more or less nonsense by modern standards. A mathematician would say "Small relative to what? What does it mean for a thing to be fuzzy? What is a house? etc." At some point people realized that in order to avoid circularity a mathematical theory would have to include undefined concepts, from which other terms could be defined. But Spinoza doesn't take that approach, instead starting out with definitions involving things like "essence", "nature", "conceivable" which the reader is supposed to already understand. So, the short answer to the original question is no, at least by modern standards, it's not mathematically rigorous, but then it's hard to see how someone from the 17th century could produce something of the kind that would be. Whether it was rigorous by 17th century standards is something you'd have to get from contemporaries. Leibniz was a philosopher in his spare time so perhaps he had something relevant to say about it. --RDBury (talk) 11:49, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for the responses! There is a lot to read there. Let me ask some basic background questions. 1) As a mathematician, do you find Spinoza's Ethics any more convincing than the "some circles love a line" axiomatic system and proofs? Or is it equally gobbledegook. 2) Although it's not formally rigorous by today's standards, is Euclid convincing to modern mathematicians, i.e. can they follow and rely on those proofs, within the system that Euclid set up? (Despite its being insufficiently formal). 3) A clarification on your analogy. Is this still an equally valid axiomatic system:

  1. All lines love at least 3 distinct circles.
  2. [+] There is at least 1 line.
  3. [+] No lines love at least 3 distinct circles.
  4. Some circle loves a line.
  5. [+] No circle loves a line.
  6. Every circle is loved by some line.
  7. [+] No circle is loved loved by some line.
  8. [+] There is at least 1 circle
  9. If puppy A loves puppy B loves puppy C, puppy A loves puppy C.
  10. Every circle is a puppy.
  11. [+] Every circle is NOT a puppy.
  12. [+] There is at least 1 circle
  13. Every line is a puppy.

And for good measure:

  1. [+] No line exists
  2. [+] There is no circle

Are we still good? Even though I've now added literal contradictions, just the same sentences with a "not" in them, as axioms?

Does at least this make the axiomatic system nonsensical? (talk) 10:14, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

If you're using classical inference rules, a formal system that has both P and ¬P as axioms for some proposition P is uninteresting since you can trivially prove anything in it (ex falso quodlibet), but it is still a formal system. Its proofs are valid, though boring. There are paraconsistent logics with weaker inference rules that allow for nontrivial, potentially interesting formal systems in which classically contradictory propositions are provable, but I'm not sure that's relevant here.
Spinoza's Ethics is clearly not formally rigorous (i.e., mechanically checkable), but very few published mathematical proofs are either. They can only be checked by specialists who understand the concepts well enough to fill in the gaps. I have an intuition for plane geometry that enables me to follow Euclid's proofs, though they aren't always entirely convincing since it's not always obvious that the constructions work in the general case (see e.g. Euclid's Elements#Criticism). Spinoza's "proofs" look like gobbledegook to me, but it may be that someone else understands them. The very first reply to your question linked to a paper ("The Logical Structure of Spinoza's Ethics, Part I" by Charles Jarrett) that actually attempts to encode Spinoza's proofs in a formal system, so apparently Jarrett understands them, or thinks he does. -- BenRG (talk) 00:27, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
(Neither) Euclid, nor Spinoza, is perfectly laid out in a modern sense, but I think it would certainly be possible to do so, if one were inclined. For Spinoza it might take a little more effort since the intended content is not mathematical, but it would, really, just be a matter of organizing terms to reflect how they are being used by him. The better question is if it would be worth it; personally, all it would do is codify and make explicit the reasoning, but the real question is if the results actually mean anything or have any worthwhile philosophical content - and I don't know if they do, but if they do, formalizing them isn't going to make that any more apparent, probably less. As for your add on axioms: yes, that is a formal system, having a contradiction does not mean that the system is not axiomatic, or somehow not allowed (just as being meaningless doesn't make it not a formal system). Indeed, the axioms of set theory may contradict each other, and we have no way of proving that they do not, so if contradictions are not allowed, then for many common systems we would have to say that we aren't sure if they actually are formal systems; obviously, this wouldn't be a good position to take. When a system has a contradiction, it is called inconsistent.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 04:31, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Statistical statement[edit]

Message from a "stop smoking" campaign: "Stop smoking for 28 days and you're 5 times more likely to stop for good."

It seems to me that this statement is nonsensical. Am I missing anything? (talk) 03:15, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

I think it means that people who stop for 28 days are 5 times more likely to quit for good, compared to the ones that don't make it 28 days. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 03:35, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
There's probably a better, more formal way to say it. Suppose that, as seems likely, the probability of a relapse strictly decreases with length of abstinence. Say P(n) is the probability of never smoking again after not smoking for n days. Clearly P(0) is near zero, and P(28) is greater than that, but five times what? What is q such that P(28) = 5 P(q) ? —Tamfang (talk) 03:59, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I take the meaning to be q = 0. That is, it's comparing to the probability before you even try. Another issue is whether "5 times more" implies a factor of 5, as Tamfang assumed, or a factor of 6. -- (talk) 04:19, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree it's nonsensical. It's like a "Live long!" campaign that says, "Live to the age of 80 and you're 30 times more likely to live to the age of 85." Well, great. That helps someone live to 85 how? The hard part of smoking is probably quitting smoking for 28 days. In fact, it sounds like it's 80% of the hard part." (talk) 08:11, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Hmmm, it seems that no one else saw quite the same fundamental illogicality as me, so let me explain the way I see it. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that if you stop smoking for 28 days you have a 50% chance of stopping for good. The statement then implies that if you DON'T stop smoking for 28 days you have a 10% chance of stopping for good. To me, this obviously cannot be correct. If you don't stop smoking for 28 days then you have NO chance of stopping for good. In order to give up for good, you HAVE to stop for 28 days. Any further thoughts? (talk) 11:00, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I think it's trying to convey a statement about conditional probability-- \mathbb{P}(\mathrm{stop for good (i.e. day X+1 \to \infty) }|\geq 28 \mathrm{days \; smoke \; free  \; on\; day \;X)} \approx 5 \cdot  \mathbb{P}(\mathrm{stop for good}| < 28 \mathrm{days \; smoke \; free  \; on\; day \;X}) . While the English phrasing might be awkward, I sincerely doubt that the stat isn't drawn from some fairly legit study. They're just struggling to get it into a snappy ad campaign. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:03, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Wouldn't that calculation depend on X, though? Let's take a concrete example. Say ten people try to stop smoking, and the number of days they last is {1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 40, 60, permanently, permanently, permanently}, then how would you do that calculation? Where the original statement has "5 times", what factor would this data yield? (talk) 19:20, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
No, I was just specifying it for clarity, thinking of X as a calendar date when they did the survey. Mark viking seems to (mostly) share my interpretation below. The difference is, I'm lumping everything less than 28 days together, rather than comparing to zero-days-stopped. This would be an easy way to "cherry pick" the data to find a nice statistic, just keep dividing the pool into two groups based on Y days stopped, until you get the multiplier that you want. SemanticMantis (talk) 23:09, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I interpret this as the conditional probability of quitting forever given that you stopped for 28 days is five times the probability of quitting given no such 28 day stoppage, i.e, the probability of quitting after 0 days of stoppage, right at the start. It makes sense to me, as after 28 days, most of the the physical withdrawal effects are probably gone and the psychological habit may be broken, too. It looks to be part of the Stoptober campaign, but I could not find a source for the statistic. --Mark viking (talk) 19:54, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps the missing or unclear information, then, is "5 times more likely than what?"? I read it as "5 times more likely than if you don't stop for 28 days". In your interpretation, I suppose it would be "5 times more likely than when you start out". Is that right? (talk) 20:38, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Presumably it means that if you picked two persons at random from a group of recently quit smokers, one of whom had just quit that day and the other had quit 28 days ago, the person who had quit 28 days ago would be five times more likely to quit for good than the person who had just quit. Doctors are not known for any Bayesian subtlety when they make statements like this. Sławomir Biały (talk) 20:46, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Why compare to the 0 day quitter? pooling all days-quit<28 as I did above makes more sense to me... SemanticMantis (talk) 23:09, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Because the statement will certainly be false if you do that. Why should the 28th day be so much more important than the 27th? Dbfirs 09:57, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Confusion Over Open Problem's Meaning[edit]

On the article linked in the subject line, it asks "Is there a logic satisfying the interpolation theorem which is compact?", I'm assuming the reference is to Craig interpolation, but FO is compact and satisfies it, so I'm not sure what it is asking. I don't have access to the source, unfortunately.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 10:27, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

The statement in the WP article is not correct. From the chapter referenced, the open problem is Is there a logic L which satisfies both the Beth property and Δ-interpolation, is compact but does not satisfy the interpolation property? The interpolation here looks like Craig interpolation, but I have little knowledge of this field, so don't trust me on that. --Mark viking (talk) 21:57, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Is this a case for WP:SOFIXIT then? SemanticMantis (talk) 23:10, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Phoenixia1177 just did. --Mark viking (talk) 23:34, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for the response:-)Phoenixia1177 (talk) 03:15, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

puzzle from game question...[edit]

In this game there is a puzzle as follows. There are 16 items, four each of four colors and four each of different types of shells. Call the colors A-D and the shell types 1-4. They are placed in a 4x4grid at random and the game is won if the top row is A1-A4 in order, second row B1-B4 in order and so on. Legal moves are as follows: Two items may be switched if and only if the cells border each other vertically, horizontally or diagonally *and* the two items share a characteristic (color or type of shell). Can it be won from any starting position? (If moves are only allowed Horizontally and Vertically, then the Order 4 Graeco-Latin square would be a losing starting position) If the puzzle can be won from any position, is there anything like a strategy to win it in as few moves as possible?Naraht (talk) 12:59, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

I had a go at solving it starting from a random position and thought it made a nice puzzle. It's similar to but slightly harder than the 15 puzzle, much easier than Rubik's cube. I think this starting position
A1 B2 C1 D2
C3 D4 A3 B4
A2 B1 C2 D1
C4 D3 A4 B3
leaves you with no moves allowed, which would mean it's not always possible to win from any starting position, but it looks like such configurations are very rare. Anyway, I'm sensing commercial possiblities, maybe a cell-phone app? --RDBury (talk) 11:23, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree that that starting position has no moves. (and rotating the columns/rows and/or rotating the numbers/letters also would give a no move position, so a few more than just that one). It is a (small) part of a game that my wife downloaded a few days ago, I'll try to find the name. Any ideas for solution strategy?11:55, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Somehow I thought this was a game you made, my mistake. I don't know about as few moves as possible, but the way I solved it was a lot like the 15-puzzle. First get all the 1's in the top row. Getting 3 out of 4 isn't too hard to do ad hoc so the tricky part is the 4th. To make things a bit easier, do the corners first so you have something B1, C1, *, A1 in the first row. You need to get D1 where the * is, but let's say you have B4 there instead. Work D4 into one of the three squares below and diagonal from the * (again using whatever ad hoc moves will work, then swap it in to get B1, C1, D4, A1. Now work D1 into a position where you can swap it with D4 and do so to get B1, C1, D1, A1. Once all the 1's are in the top row you can swap them around to get them in the right order. With the top row done do the same with the first column using more or less the same method. Continue with the second row and second column and you're down a 2 by 2 square in the lower right. But 2 by 2 is easy so you're done. The trick is that when you have three out of four in the first row, it does no good at all to try to move the fourth one into position before getting a square in that you can swap with it. Not a very specific method I know but it would be a lot of work to write out and verify a detailed algorithm. I'm guessing that for finding the minimum number of moves it would be hard to improve upon brute force enumeration of possible moves, but 16! is very large so it may not be possible. You could probably get some good upper bounds with a clever algorithm though. Just for a ballpark value I did another randomly generated on and it took about 55 moves, but that's probably not optimal. --RDBury (talk) 18:04, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

September 13[edit]

3rd and 4th degree Bézier curve[edit]

the computer's fonts use Bézier curve to represent glyphs.
The creator of the font divide the complex curve to sub-curve, which he then describe with Bézier curve technique.
My question is whether there is a technique that can take 4-th degree collection of Bézier curve, and create 3-rd degree collection of Bézier curve that looks the same.Exx8 (talk) 01:10, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

You can't in general turn a 4th degree Bézier into exact 3rd degree ones. So your 'looks the same' needs to be some sort of approximation. They do lend themselves to mathematical reasoning - for instance you can always subdivide a Bézier curve exactly into smaller ones of the same degree and your rule may lend itself to checking easily if the sub curve can be approximated closely enough. A computing solution might be to simply generate lots of points close to each other and then approximate them with cubic Bézier curves with smoothing just like one would for freehand drawing. There could easily be a computer package already written to do this. Dmcq (talk) 06:27, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
TrueType fonts just use quadratic Bézier curves and OpenType fonts uses cubic Bézier curves. You should be able to get a good enough approximation to your curves for use with fonts. I would suspect most font designers would do this by eye adjusting control points to get the look they want rather than use an deterministic algorithm. A good discussion of Bezier curves is A Primer on Bézier Curves sections 29 and 30 near the end might help.--Salix alba (talk): 08:18, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
My naïve suggestion: Cut up your original curve so that there is a control point wherever the tangent angle is a multiple of π/4, and wherever the curvature reaches an extreme or crosses zero; these are the points most important to the appearance of the glyph. On each segment of the arc, make the derivatives of the cubic match (in angle and magnitude) those of the original curve at the control points. (I have a sporadic project involving even more arcane curves, and this is how I plan to convert them to cubic fonts.) —Tamfang (talk) 02:05, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Verifying that the cts dual space is subspace of the algebraic dual space[edit]


It's mentioned on the page for dual spaces that if a vector space is topological, the continuous dual space is a linear subspace of the algebraic dual space.

I tried to verify this directly from the subspace axioms:

Let V be a topological v.s over F. Assume f\in Hom(V,F) is cts, and let k\in F. Then

(kf)(x)=k(f(x))=(\phi\circ f)(x)

(where \phi is multiplication by k), by the definition of scalar multiplication on Hom(V,F)

Since scalar multiplication on a topological field is cts, as is the composition of cts functions, it follows that kf is continuous.

But I can't seem to show closure under addition. Have I overlooked something, or is there a better approach?

Neuroxic (talk) 06:28, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps I'm missing something, this isn't really my area, but by definition of a topological field, addition is continuous, so if f and g are V->k, then f + g is continuous. Clearly, f + g is a linear functional, so the continuous dual is closed under addition. That the continuous dual is a subset of the algebraic dual is immediate, so it is a linear subspace. Again, I apologize if there is something that I am glossing over, I haven't touched any of this stuff in a year, or two.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 06:36, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
"by definition of a topological field, addition is continuous, so if f and g are V->k, then f + g is continuous" this is the bit I'm having trouble with. Would you be able to expand on this more precisely?
Neuroxic (talk) 10:15, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The definition of a topological field k includes that the basic field operations are continuous. For any topological space X and continuous f,g:X -> k, f + g is continuous because it is composition of functions; explicitly: +(f, g). Continuous linear functionals are linear maps V -> k that are continuous. Thus, pointwise addition will yield, another, continuous map. It is obvious that the sum of any two linear functionals is a linear functional, thus, the sum of two continuous linear functionals is another one. Hence, closure under addition. --Essentially, functions add using pointwise addition, since addition is continuous, addition of functions outputs continuous functions.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 10:28, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
"For any topological space X and continuous f,g:X -> k, f + g is continuous because it is composition of functions; explicitly: +(f, g)."
This part doesn't make sense to me, and was one of the reasons I was stuck. I tried to use the idea of composing cts functions to preserve continuity (that worked to show closure under scalar multiplication) but wasn't able to do it. I thought I couldn't write (f+g)(x)=(\tilde f \circ g)(x) for some \tilde f because \tilde f depends on g(x), not on x. How do you write f(x)+g(x) as a composition of two cts functions?
Neuroxic (talk) 12:24, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The function +:k x k -> k is continuous, so f + g is +(f, g), it is a continuous function of two variables composed with f and g. Since all the operations are continuous, the end result is. As a more basic example, consider continuous f,g from a topological space into the reals, their sum is continuous for the same reason - it's the continuity of addition that gives this result. The same principle applies here, just X replaced with the dual space and the reals with a topofield.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 12:32, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Epic fail. I forgot that a function (f,g) is cts if f,g are cts. I know the proof now. Thanks.
Neuroxic (talk) 12:37, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

September 14[edit]

Star angle[edit]

Imagine pointed stars made to match the notation used at Schläfli symbol#Regular polygons .28plane.29.

For example the pentagram is {5,2}.

How do I determine the angle within the points from this pair of numbers? How do I determine the exterior angle where lines from two points meet?

Thanks -- SGBailey (talk) 19:53, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

I think the notation for the pentagram is actually (5/2). The angle for the star polygon with symbol (n/k) is π(1-2k/n) radians. So for example the angle for the pentagram is π(1-4/5)=π/5=36°. --RDBury (talk) 00:53, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Both the pentagram and the Schlafli article use {} not (). -- SGBailey (talk) 06:40, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but it contains one rational number \frac{5}{2}, not two integers separated by a comma. —Tamfang (talk) 06:53, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
And the sum of internal angles for a star polygon with symbol {n/k} is 2 π (n - 1). From this and the convex internal angles it is easy to see that the concave internal angles are π (1 + 2 (k-1)/n), or equivalently, the corresponding external angles are π (1 - 2 (k-1)/n). Icek (talk) 01:09, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
So for {5,2) in degrees we have 180 * ( 1 + 2 * (2-1) / 5) = 180 * 1.4. That has to be wrong. I'm currently thinking 180 * ( n - 2k ) / n -- SGBailey (talk) 06:40, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
No, it isn't wrong for the internal concave angles of the pentagram. Measure it. The regular pentagon has internal angles of 108 degrees. Think of the pentagram as a pentagon with 5 triangles attached; then from RDBury's formula for the outer angle of such a triangle (36 degrees), you can calculate that the sum of the other 2 angles of such a triangle must be 144 degrees, therefore one such angle is 72 degrees. The internal concave angle of the pentagram can be thought of as the sum of the internal angle of the pentagon and 2 angles of 72 degrees each from the adjacent triangles. That sums to 252 degrees, the same answer as from my formula. Icek (talk) 11:20, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Your equation is wrong. The answer for the {5,2} pentagram is 36° (or equivalent in radians). Your equation doesn't give 36°. It may be the correct formula for some other aspect of the shape, but not for the angle of the points of the star. -- SGBailey (talk) 15:26, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
RDBury's formula is perfectly adequate for that angle. I only added the formula for the concave angles, and its complement, and the latter would be your "exterior angle where lines from two points meet" (but only if the two points are adjacent): π (1 - 2 (k-1)/n). Icek (talk) 01:30, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't know where Icek's formula comes from. The sum of internal angles of a convex polygon is (n-2)π, as you can see by decomposing it into triangles, not 2(n-1)π.
The vertex of a regular {x} polygon, whether x is integer or not (convex or star polygon respectively), represents a turn of 2π/x, and the internal angle is π minus this, whence RDBury's formula π(1-2/x).
Another way to look at it: consider the triangle formed by the center and one edge of the star. The angle at the center is 2π/x, so the sum of the other two angles – each of which is half of the interior angle at a vertex – is π-2π/x. —Tamfang (talk) 07:05, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
The sum of the internal angles of a star-shaped polygon with n corners is (n-2)π as well: You can consider the triangles formed by the center and one edge of the star, and there are n of them. The sum of angles of these triangles is n π. Subtract the angles at the center (which sum to 2π), and you are left with the sum of the internal angles of the star-shaped polygon.
But the star-shaped polygon with symbol {n/k} should have 2n corners, as long as k > 1 and the fraction n/k is irreducible, hence my formula valid only for these special cases: 2π (n-1).
The rest follows from subtracting the n pointed angles and then dividing the rest by n, because there are n concave angles. Icek (talk) 11:20, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

September 15[edit]

closed group of operations[edit]

Hello. I am interested in the six functions f(z) = z,~z/(z-1),~1-z,~1/z,~1/(1-z),~1-1/z. These seem to be closed under composition and form a group which must be isomorphic to S3 because it is not commutative. It is a subgroup of the Mobius group of transformations. But does it have a special name? Is it the only subgroup of order six? I am looking for a couple of sentences to describe unambiguously its relationship to the Mobius group of transformations. Thanks, Robinh (talk) 08:13, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

That's only five functions ... (I've added some spaces after your commas to ease counting.) -- SGBailey (talk)
(OP) corrected, now there are six. It looks better now it's got spaces, but I didn't think math typesetting was sensitive to whitespace. Robinh (talk) 08:47, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
(I think for WP math mode, as in LaTeX, any whitespace >1 renders the same as whitespace=1, but whitespace=0 is different. I took the liberty of testing/confirming this in your original question, as you can see if you look at the source now :) SemanticMantis (talk) 14:18, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
In the context, Robinh's suspicion seems to have been correct: whitespace only has significance in LaTeX if it changes the parsing. It does not change the display spacing; for that you need an explicit spacing (e.g. ~, which I've taken the liberty of including) —Quondum 15:24, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
It is not a normal subgroup, so cannot be the only subgroup of order six. However, within PSL(2,\mathbb Z) this is the group of automorphisms of the quadratic form x^2+y^2+xy whose zeros (projectively) are the cube roots of unity. This group is called the anharmonic group. Sławomir Biały (talk) 12:18, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
As for uniqueness, you can generate an infinite family of 6-function sets with the same group structure by taking the one that you found and using the mapping from the Mobius group to 2-dimensional matrix groups and changing basis. For example, here's one that (I hope) also gives you S3:
f(z) = z, -z, \frac{3+z}{1-z}, \frac{3+z}{z-1}, \frac{3-z}{1+z}, \frac{z-3}{1+z};
For subgroups of order 6 which are unrelated to the S3 that you found, you can quite easily find representations of Z6 (e.g. the group generated by f(z)=e^{i\pi/3}z). (talk) 16:50, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

(OP) thanks everyone. So it's not normal (Sławomir, how did you discover this? Did you compose a general element of the Mobius group with one of the transformations above and observe that it made a function not in my set of six? Or is it obvious to you in a more direct way?). And therefore not unique because I can consider g^{-1}Hg for some g\in M. It says in Cross-ratio that "The anharmonic group is the group of order 6 generated by λ ↦ 1/λ and λ ↦ 1 − λ. It is abstractly isomorphic to S3 . . .". This is close to what I'm seeking. But what does "abstractly isomorphic to S3" mean? Does this statement have connotations not implied by plain old "isomorphic"? Robinh (talk) 20:13, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

I take "abstractly isomorphic" to mean that there is no particular implied realization of the group as a group of permutations of three objects. However, it is easy to see that they do, in fact, act as permutations on the points {0,1,∞}, so this gives an explicit isomorphism of the group with a symmetric group and it might be helpful if the article cleared that up. As for the non-normality, I just did it by conjugating by some random thing in SL(2,Z) (any element of infinite order will work). But if you believe what I said about the quadratic form, it is also "obvious" from that point of view. Sławomir Biały (talk) 21:57, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
OK thanks Sławomir. I see what abstractly isomorphic means now. I am having difficulty understanding the relationship between the Mobius group and your quadratic form x^2+y^2+xy. Also, would it help to consider the group of six functions and their group action on the set {0,1,∞}? Robinh (talk) 22:17, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Graph theory:[edit]

Is there a special name, or a recognized short expression/description, for denoting the following type of directed graphs?

  1. Let G be a directed graph, and let v be a vertex (in G) - from which there is an edge - and to which there is an edge.
  2. Let U be the set of all vertices of which each vertex u has an edge (in G) from u to v, and let W be the set of all vertices of which each vertex w has an edge (in G) from v to w.
  3. Every vertex u in U has an edge (in G) - from u - to a vertex in W, and every vertex w in W has an edge (in G) - from a vertex in U - to w.

HOOTmag (talk) 14:25, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Relation theory:[edit]

Is there a special name, or a recognized short expression/description, for denoting the following type of relations?

  1. Let R be a binary relation, and let v be an object for which there is u satisfying R(u,v) and there is w satisfying R(v,w).
  2. Let U be the set of objects u satisfying R(u,v), and let W be the set of objects w satisfying R(v,w).
  3. For every u in U there is w in W satisfying R(u,w), and for every w in W there is u in U satisfying R(u,w).

HOOTmag (talk) 14:25, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

determine interior angle of triangle give the coordinates of the vertices.[edit]

So I was asked to calculate the interior angles of a triangle given the x coordinates P(2,0) Q(0,3) and R(3,4)

Though this is a basic geometry question, this was in the context of a chapter where we are learning the dot product of vectors.

Anyway, I feel like I understand how to solve the problem up to a point, but I must have made mistakes somewhere.

First thing I did was calculate the length and slope of the sides PQ, QR, and RP.
PQ length = sqrt (13) with slope of -2/3

QR length = sqrt (10) with slope of 1/3

RP length = sqrt (17) with slope of 4

Next I used the slopes of each sides to convert the sides to vectors. I called

vector based on PQ vector A <3, -2>

vector based on QR vector B <3, 1>

vector based on RP vector C <1, 4>

Then I used the identity that says that the dot product of vectors A and B = |A||B| cos theta, where theta is the angle formed by the two vectors

The dot product of A and B is 7 (associated with vertex Q of the triangle)

The dot product of B and C is 7 (associated with vertex R of the triangle)

The dot product of C and A is -5 (associated with vertex P of the triangle)

Therefore, I thought, that

the cosine of theta for angle Q is 7/sqrt (130) - > theta = approx 52 degrees

the cosine of theta for angle R is 7/sqrt (170) - > theta = approx 57 degrees

the cosine of theta for angle P is -5/sqrt (221) - > theta = approx 109.7 degrees

These are not the correct answers! they don't even add up to 180

I looked in the back of my book and apparently my value for angle R = approx 57 degrees is correct, but the other two are wrong. So maybe I did something wrong with my vector arithmetic or coordinate geometry?--Jerk of Thrones (talk) 21:36, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Your first vector had the i and j components switched. I also don't think you should use slope to determine vectors. After all, slope can be infinite, and vectors representing the sides of a triangle can't. Instead, find vectors as the difference between each pair of coords:
P = (2,0) 
Q = (0,3) 
R = (3,4)
P-Q vector = (2-0,0-3) = (2,-3)
R-Q vector = (3-0,4-3) = (3,1)
R-P vector = (3-2,4-0) = (1,4)
You could also use the Q-P, R-Q, and P-R vectors, which would just point in the opposite directions. Now, which directions the vectors point are rather critical when using the dot products. If one vector is pointing the wrong way at a point, you will get the supplementary angle at that point. If your angles still don't add up to 180, then that's probably the issue. I don't think this particular triangle will have any angles over 90, so if you get any, try subtracting it from 180 to get the correct angle.
(BTW, the "R-P vector" would normally just be called the "RP vector", but I wanted to make it a bit clearer by adding the minus sign.) StuRat (talk) 00:55, 16 September 2014 (UTC)


September 10[edit]

The Indonesian Tree of Life[edit]

Tree of life ("levensboom") This specific one is used in Wayang to mark the beginning, end or the break of a Wayang play. The Tree of life is called Dewadaru. It stands for gift of the gods. The tree grows on the Karimunjawa Islands north of Java. The inhabitants believe the wood of the tree has heeling power and is used as an charm for protection.
Fine weaving representing a large stylized bird ‘pregnant’ with a smaller bird, surrounded by various creatures and humans stacked in a configuration resembling the mythological tree-of-life’. Birds in the Indonesian archipelago often are associated with creation myths, with omens for good and evil, and with concepts of death and resurrection. In this rendering, the bird is a reddish brown figure on a natural color cotton base.
Very good and interesting tampan-ceremonial textile- from Indonesia (Lampung-Sumatra), 19th century, size 68 x 76 cm/ 27 x 31 inches. a boat with a large bird and tree of life with on top a frog or toad (rare!). Several other stylized animals.

These "Tree of Life" textiles with birds and many other animals were produced by Indonesians of the 19th century. I think today's Indonesians are mostly muslims. Did the use of clothes with animal decorations in a ceremony constitute some kind of idolatry in Islam? -- Toytoy (talk) 03:48, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

  • I can't speak for the 18th century (other than to note that Raden Saleh was Muslim and painted portraits). I can, however, note that a) Indonesian Islam (particularly Javanese) has historically featured an amalgamation of Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic symbolism (Syncretism, such as in abangan Islam) and b) in modern Indonesia, many Muslims have no problem with depicting animals or humans... just so long as its not a/the p(P)rophet (see, for instance, the many "Pop Islam" films such as Ayat-Ayat Cinta). — Crisco 1492 (talk) 03:54, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Japanese art/ Chinese history question[edit]

I was browsing reproductions of Japanese woodblock prints on ebay and noticed one that seemed to portray Yue Fei. My reasoning is that the character has the same tattoo that the Song general was known for. However, a cursory Google search hasn't turned up any information on Japanese reverence for Yue Fei. Is it possible that this could just be a representation of a Chinese literary hero who paid homage to the general by tattooing themself? I can't make out any of the characters in the top of the picture and no larger versions are available. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 05:08, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Sughauli treaty[edit]

Question moved from RD/L Tevildo (talk) 08:06, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

when its effect are going to end? -- (talk) 06:20, 10 September 2014 (UTC)azic

We have an article - Sugauli Treaty about the treaty. DuncanHill (talk) 09:06, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
It would appear to have been superseded by the 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship which "cancels all previous Treaties, agreements, and engagements entered into on behalf of India between the British Government and the Government of Nepal". DuncanHill (talk) 09:10, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

was Spinoza an atheist, i.e. pseudo- theist (by analogy with 'pseudorandom', i.e. not at all random)[edit]


Based on the arguments in The Ethics of Spinoza, is he really a total atheist, i.e. pseudotheist? I mean by analogy with a pseudorandom number generator: it's just not random at all, it's just an algorithm. Likewise, if you remove all choice from God, and say he has no choice but to follow Nature, then isn't it just a 'pseudo-theist' in perfect analogy with a pseudorandom number generator and, in fact, you are a perfect atheist?

I would like a high-level meta-analysis here, and if you don't understand my analogy with pseudorandom numbers, I still welcome your opinion about whether he's really an atheist, based on the fact that he thinks nature is deterministic. a third-party web site says, "The difference [between leibniz and spenoza] goes back to that simple-sounding question: Does God have a choice? Spinoza says no; Leibniz says yes. Spinoza says that God has only one world to choose from, namely, the one that follows ineluctably from its own Nature." Well, okay, so then how is there a "God". It sounds logically equivalent to me saying that I control all cloud formations with the power of my mind, but with the caveat that I can - and must - make them move only, and in the exact way, that follows from meteorology and the laws of Nature. But I totally control them yo.

So in this sense is Spinoza literally an atheist or a pseudo-theist (believes God exists, much as a pseudorandom number is random; i.e. not at all.)

thanks for clarification on this. (talk) 15:32, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

For Spinoza's atheism (or not), see Baruch_Spinoza#Pantheist.2C_panentheist.2C_or_atheist.3F and the dozen or so references therein.
For your analogy, I think it's unhelpful. Random has different meanings in different contexts. That is why we have the word "stochastic," so that in technical writing we can distinguish things like dice rolls from deterministic chaos, and other phenomenon that could be grouped into the catch-all term 'random'. It is true that pseudorandom number generators are not stochastic processes, but the whole point of the term is that pseudorandom numbers are 'sort-of-random', even 'nearly indistinguishable from random'. Saying pseudorandom numbers are not at all random is an almost willfully obstinate abuse of terminology. You can phrase your idea however you want, but I'd challenge you to look at a stream of a few thousand digits, and reliably decide if it came from the Mersenne_twister or from measurements of radioactive decay. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:50, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
But what I mean is suppose that you use "random" to mean "stochastic". Then a pseudorandom process is not at all random. For example, a program that uses an unseeded pseudo RNG. That may have a single deterministic output, not at all random. In formal terms, we might not know what that output is, for example perhaps the program has a very long running time, and we do not know the output unless someone calculates it through some short-cut. In one sense, then, the output might be "random", as it has not been calculated. In another sense, however, it is not at all random, it is totally fixed. Calling the program "random" (stochastic) is then totally false. Likewise, saying there is an intelligent, omnipotent God "ruling over" the Universe, when in fact "the God" is indistinguishable from one that does not exist, might be "totally false" (He is not intelligent, not omnipotent, and does not actually rule over anything. In fact He is nulpotent, having no ability to do anything whatsoever". In other words, my analogy comes from this: a stochastic random process might have entropy of 1 bit per 1 bit of output. The program I mentioned instead has 0 bits of entropy per bit of output: non whatsoever, it is totally fixed. Likewise, an omnipotent God might have 1 unit of "power" to affect the Universe. A nulpotent God has 0 units of power to affect anything. I feel the analogy is quite useful (and not just a matter of terminology) so if my analogy is still unclear I would be interested in expounding it further. Have I made my question more clearer this way? (I still don't know to what extent the analogy applies to Spinoza's philosophy - i.e. as a determinist - and quoted a third-party summary of his view; therefore I am interested in to what extent what I've written, and quoted, actually applies to spinoza in your opinion.)
"For Spinoza's atheism (or not), see Baruch_Spinoza#Pantheist.2C_panentheist.2C_or_atheist.3F and the dozen or so references therein." Thank you for that! When I read "It is a widespread belief that Spinoza equated God with the material universe. He has therefore been called the "prophet"[92] and "prince"[93] and most eminent expounder of pantheism." For me, specifically when you add determinism, it seems that this now fulfills the definition of Atheism. If a program ignores 100% of my keyboard inputs and then exits [in all cases and under all conditions, not on one particular run!], it is proper to call it a non-interactive (batch) program, regardless of my wishes. Likewise, if the universe ignores 100% of God's "input" (He has no control over anything today), it fits my definition of atheism. My only question is whether Spinoza in fact believed this to be the case. (talk) 16:15, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Our article on Atheism defines it as "the rejection of belief in the existence of deities," or "specifically the position that there are no deities." It does not include affirming the existence of a God who lacks free will. Gravity has no free will, but it exists nonetheless.
Our article on Baruch Spinoza discusses him as a pantheist (from a simple perspective), or (from a more nuanced perspective) a sort of transcendent panentheist. Connections with atheism appear mostly from detractors (and Shelley, but he's an overglorified hack, Ozymandias excluded, especially compared to Keats). This seems as applicable as claims that Socrates, Jews, and Christians are "atheists" for rejecting the state gods of Greece and Rome despite a rather firm belief in some sort of God.
The Spinoza article, in the section on beliefs regarding God, notes that he did not think that God was an aspect of Nature, but rather Nature an aspect of the transcendent God. It also says that "Spinoza meant God was Natura naturans not Natura naturata." In other words, God is not bound by determinism, God binds determinism. How, why, or in what way God binds determinism is not what defines God, it is that It binds it that matters.
For the record, I'm definitely more in the Indeterminism camp (such that I cannot personally reconcile Calvin and Christ), but I'm not seeing the conflict here between God being deterministic and God being omnipotent. To reverse the argument that God without free-will is not God: God with free-will makes His own choices, and so creates His will (which is at most a part of Him). If God does what God chooses to do, He is ruled by something He created rather than Himself.[citation needed] (I'm not affirming that that's correct, either, since I stick to the cop-out that humanly-contrived concepts of fate or free-will, while relevant to theodicy, are irrelevant to trying to understand the ultimate source of those human thinking).
Ian.thomson (talk) 16:37, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

American astronauts' fluency in Russian[edit]

Runglish contains the quote: "We say jokingly that we communicate in 'Runglish,' a mixture of Russian and English languages, so that when we are short of words in one language we can use the other, because all the crew members speak both languages well." Are American astronauts really fluent in Russian? Or is the above quote a mistranslation or something? WinterWall (talk) 20:27, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Speaking Russian is a requirement for all new astronauts.[23][24][25] Nanonic (talk) 20:40, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! That's completely new information for me. Does this apply to just NASA or do the other national space agencies (of non-English speaking counties) have similar requirements? Or does learning both English and Russian present too much of a burden?WinterWall (talk) 20:53, 10 September 2014 (UTC)


Are degrees worth it considering the fact that most graduates go onto jobs that didn't require them to go to college? What advantage if any does the degree give them? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:51, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Only if you like money. See This article as of June 2014 as to the value of a college degree in the United States. Even factoring in the exorbitant fees and crippling debt most college graduates end up with in the U.S., the investment still pays off hugely over the average person's working life. Such statistics don't excuse the debt burden (after all, if one could reduce or remove the debt burden, the education would be worth THAT MUCH MORE), but clearly, employers still value the degree itself. If a college degree were merely about job training, we'd all just go through vocational education. The college degree is still an expression of the value of the liberal arts education; and regardless of what you or I think about it, or arguments we could make in either direction, employers and the marketplace still value it. That you have reasons you could invent as to why the market shouldn't value such an education is mostly irrelevant. The market does, so explanations which say it shouldn't are dead ends. --Jayron32 23:19, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Employers who value graduates over non-graduates speak of them having learnt how to think. HiLo48 (talk) 23:22, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, that is something of the value of the liberal arts education (speaking extemporaneously and VERY OR/personal view here), the real value of education is not learning how to do specific tasks, like skills or knowledge specific to any one job, it's learning how to learn; really it's all those skills that make you good at any job. I've never heard of any employer who doesn't expect to have to train you on the job; no one expects a new hire to understand how to do anything at the company. Instead, what employers want isn't necessarily "The specific skills to do this specific job" what they want is that when they teach you something, it stays learnt. People who have demonstrated the perseverance to learn anything and to do well at it no matter what it is, regardless of whether they find it "relevant" to themselves, are highly valuable. Does knowing how to write an essay about Hamlet's soliloquy get you a job as an Engineer? Specifically, no. The fact that you were willing to persevere and learn how to do that task because you had to, and did a good job at it even if you wouldn't have chosen to do it yourself, however, IS an employable skill. The liberal arts education also teaches the sort of soft skills that translate well to any job: the ability to reason, use logic, write and speak well, organize your thinking, come up with novel solutions to problems, collaborate with others, etc. That sort of stuff are things employers don't have the time to teach you. They can teach you what they need you to do for your specific job you are hired for, and are expecting to anyways. They don't want to deal with someone who needs to be badgered to complete simple tasks, or can't figure out how to solve a novel problem on their own. --Jayron32 23:40, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Worth noting there are some who think there is a higher education bubble which may soon burst, thanks to higher education expanding too quickly, the costs of getting a degree increasing, the value of a degree in terms of future employment decreasing because so many more people have one, and the loan system threatened by defaults. --Nicknack009 (talk) 07:39, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
A lot of jobs which used not to need a degree now need one. The jobs haven't got harder, but there's been a lot of "pulling up the ladder" by people anxious to maintain their status and money. DuncanHill (talk) 16:01, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Some economists say the value of a college degree is more as a positional good than in anything learned. —Tamfang (talk) 20:44, 12 September 2014 (UTC)


The Who's Who entry for the novelist Joseph Keating (1871-1934; no enwp article) is one of those odd gems clearly written by the subject - it has a detailed digression on his career as a child labourer in a Welsh coal-mine:

...earning six shillings and ninepence per week as a door-boy; at thirteen he fancied he would like to be an oliver-boy; after twelve months at the oliver-fires he decided that the coal pit was more attractive... he was a collier boy; later he worked as a pit-labourer [and so on]

Most of these are fairly clear (a door-boy, as I recall, worked doors inside the mine itself to let trucks of coal through) but I'm baffled by oliver-boy/oliver-fires. Any idea what this might have been? Andrew Gray (talk) 23:16, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

That is a delightful entry - especially enjoyed at eighteen became a pit haulier, a delightful profession in which a horse does the work and the haulier draws the pay. Anyway, an oliver is "A tilt hammer having the arm or handle attached to an axle, worked with the foot by a treadle which brings the hammer down, and with a spring which raises it, used esp. in the shaping of nails, bolts, or links of chains." (OED) There are (or were) also steam olivers, presumably powered by the oliver-fires. DuncanHill (talk) 00:27, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
You can see a picture of a steam-oliver here. I did, for a moment, entertain the thought that he might have stoked the fires which bake another sort of Oliver, but discarded it as unhelpful. DuncanHill (talk) 00:58, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
There's probably a good article to be written just on quixotic entries alone. (Tony Benn's has had some wonderful evolutions over time).
Thanks for the pointer - I'd assume id was some kind of machinery and -fires definitely suggests steam-driven. Andrew Gray (talk) 16:07, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Most police officers killed by one person[edit]

All I've found is the "Lakewood, Washington police officer shooting" which was apparently the highest amount of police officers killed by one person at one time. What about most police officers killed by one person all together(Excluding bombings or use of weapons of mass destruction)? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Radioactivemutant (talkcontribs) 23:53, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

I couldn't find more than 4 officers killed at any one time. There was the Lakewood, Washington police officer shooting that you mentioned, the 2009 shootings of Oakland police officers and the Mayerthorpe tragedy. CBWeather, Talk, Seal meat for supper? 07:20, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
I've found quite a few, but they all involve bombs. If we're excluding them, it seems likely those three are the answers. Easy to fall through the cracks, serial killing riffraff. But the net closes very quickly when a cop is the first victim. Hard enough (relatively) to even kill one, with their training and equipment. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:21, September 13, 2014 (UTC)
I found a fictional serial cop killer in The Poet. Apparently, the key is making it look like suicide. No idea if there have been sets of mysterious police suicides in actual districts, but if so, there's a maybe. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:33, September 13, 2014 (UTC)

September 11[edit]

Name of dictator?[edit]

Does anyone know the name of the dictator who one day decreed that there were now eight days in the week - and named the extra day after himself? Or maybe it was that there were 13 months in the year, with the new month named after himself. It was something along those lines, anyway - pretty much King Canute levels of hubris. It was within the last 25 years too, I believe. But that's all I can recall now. --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 00:32, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't think he actually added any days or months, but Saparmurat Niyazov, self-called Turkmenbashi, did rename the days and months in Turkmenistan, naming one month after himself, another after his book, and one after his mum. DuncanHill (talk) 00:38, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
That's the guy - thanks very much. Is this also the same fellow who made it illegal for anyone to speak of his toupee? There's no mention of it in his article, so maybe that was someone else. --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 20:09, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Gerhard Schroeder is famously touchy about his hair (which is, of course, entirely natural and without any artificial enhancements whatsoever), and has used the courts to enforce this undeniable fact, but I don't think he actually passed a law against mentioning it. Tevildo (talk) 20:15, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
As for King Canute (or Cnut the Great if you're brave), he has acquired an undeservedly bad reputation. He put his throne by the seaside and commanded the waves to recede, specifically to prove that he DID NOT have the magical or divine powers attributed to him and that he was a mere mortal like everyone else. He's the patron saint of anti-hubris, if anything. See King Canute and the waves. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:12, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Oh, right. I'd always thought that it was the (maybe fictional) story of the king who ended up on the beach with wet feet, looking foolish in front of his people after arrogantly proclaiming that even the waves would obey the divine power of the king. I also thought myself superior to those who get it the wrong way around and appear to think that it was the story of the king who actually *held back* the waves (fairly common in sports metaphors)... :) --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 20:09, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
July and August were named after Julius Cesar and Augustus. StuRat (talk) 04:11, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
In I, Claudius, one of Caligula's first acts as emperor is to continue the pattern by renaming September for Tiberius, but if that really happened it obviously didn't stick. —Tamfang (talk) 20:52, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
According to Mapping Time by E.G. Richards (ISBN 0-19-286205-7) there were lots of temporary renamings of Roman months, and under the infamous Commodus, all 12 months were renamed to Amazonius, Invictus, Felix, Pius, Lucius, Aelius, Aurelius, Commodus, Augustus, Herculeus, Romanus, and Exsuperatorius... -- AnonMoos (talk) 20:56, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Reminds me of the French Revolutionary Calendar, which while not being the answer to the question, is interesting of itself in this context. --TammyMoet (talk) 13:00, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

What is the British side of the American Revolutionary War?[edit]

What is the British side of the story? Do they really consider themselves losers? (talk) 02:50, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

They thought the colonies should pay higher taxes to pay for the costs of the French and Indian War, which, after all, removed the French as a threat from North America. And they didn't think the colonists would be able to govern themselves. Put those together, and they wanted to continue to impose taxation without representation on the colonies. StuRat (talk) 03:13, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
The question seems to be asking what Brits think of the war now, rather than what they thought at the time. I suspect that the truth is that we rarely think about it at all - not considering it a particularly significant event in British history. The Britain (or rather the British political/military establishment) lost the war is indisputable. How much difference it made in the long term is of course open to question - and a matter of conjecture for 'alternate history' forums rather than this reference desk. I think it is safe to say however that it is readily apparent that the pre-war status quo was untenable in the long term, and accordingly that there is little sense of 'loss'. AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:40, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
At the time, the war was really unpopular in Britain, and many of the British commanders sympathised with their opposite numbers who had so recently fought with them against the French. In short, the military dragged its feet and failed to follow up advantages, while the British public often supported the colonists. George III and parts of his Government might have been incandescent, but Britain as a whole was more glad it was over that sorrowful in defeat.
Challenged to put a label on it, I suppose most contemporary Brits would see the whole debacle as a colossal mistake. We Celts, the Scots and the Irish, are stil waving our little Stars and Stripes. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 09:04, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Celts waving the Stars and Stripes? What world are you living in? The majority of 'Celts' share the very sensible antipathy towards Yankiestan as the rest of the UK. (talk) 09:27, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Talking exclusively about the American Revolutionary war, which was a good result. Attitude to contemporary Americans might soften if they were much quieter and didn't stride round the Scottish capital wearing a selection of clashing tartans. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 09:42, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
My partner and I, both Americans, are a very quiet couple. Neither of us wore any kind of tartan when we visited Edinburgh. But then, nobody noticed us except on the rare occasions when one of us opened his mouth. Since we did not fit the stereotype, maybe they took us for Canadians. Too bad that some people base stereotypes on the actions of a conspicuous few. Marco polo (talk) 14:14, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks to modern technology, the world has moved on from stereotypes, to quadrophonotypes.  :) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:13, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
The Americans objected to paying for their own defence, didn't want to honour the treaties with the Native Americans, and American smugglers objected to tea taxes being lower in America than in Britain. Looking at how America has turned out, it seems we were lucky to be rid of them. Not so lucky for the Native Americans though. Oh, and it was a War of Independence, not a revolution. DuncanHill (talk) 14:35, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
A quick Google failed to find any references to give you, but I can provide a personal opinion as several other editors have done. Militarily, the War of Independence (it's never described as a "Revolution" in the UK) was analogous to the Vietnam War for us - a professional army trained for conventional warfare, beaten by guerilla tactics of an opponent backed by a rival superpower (France). Politically, it still seems that the grievances of the Colonists were rather minor and that war could have been avoided with a bit of compromise and common sense. The lessons learned were subsequently employed in the creation of the British Dominions and eventually the Commonwealth of Nations, which seems to me to have been a rather good thing. Alansplodge (talk) 16:27, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, so interesting point about "revolution" versus "war of independence". We sometimes call it a "war of independence" as well. I don't think Americans really make a political distinction between the two descriptions; we just use whichever one comes to mind or seems to sound better at the moment.
Do you think the British have a political meaning for choosing one term over the other?
The reason that it's interesting is that it's hard to think of another "good" revolution. The French Revolution certainly overthrew a regime that needed overthrowing, and would have been "good" if it had stayed in the hands of the liberals instead of being taken over by a gang of vicious criminals. The Russian one, very very similar situation (though in the broadest of strokes I suppose I'd describe the February Revolution as "good" and the October Revolution as "bad"). You finally get to some "good" revolutions in the late 20th — early 21st centuries (the People Power Revolution in the Philippines, the various "colored revolutions" in Eastern Europe), but these were, for the most part, not even wars, so the term "revolution" seems in some sense a little strong. --Trovatore (talk) 20:13, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Marxists define "revolution" in their progressive model of history as a move from one class-power to another, and I think there's poplar notion that a "real" revolution has to be some Les Miserables-like event built on the idea of overthrowing a supposedly corrupt or unjust social structure. But the term originally meant simply "turnabout". The Glorious Revolution of 1688 was essentially a coup, and that's all the term meant - but it acquired the connotation of progressive change because of the legislation that came after it. The American Revolution was a turnabout in government - hence 'revolution' - that came to be associated with the same idea of progressive social evolution. I think it contributed to the way we use the term "revolution", but to such an extent that the events themselves no longer quite fit the way the word is used. There's also the concept of counter-revolution, which is also still influenced by the Marxist model, so that the overthrow of the Eastern block regimes in 1989 such as the Romanian Revolution can also be called the Romanian counter-revolution! Paul B (talk) 20:22, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, well, let's quit letting the bloody Marxists influence our speech so much. --Trovatore (talk) 20:47, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Is penis envy a Marxist term? This is silly, very few Americans realize King George once ruled a small strip of our continent, and we Americans all think scouse and cockney are oh, so posh. As for the Nazis and the Huns, well, all in a day's work. μηδείς (talk) 22:18, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Medeis, just once in a while, I have trouble working out exactly what it is you're getting at. --Trovatore (talk) 22:57, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Is this a poem by Tristan Tzara? Paul B (talk) 13:00, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I am sorry, Trovatore, my comment wouldn't have made sense if you thought it was only a direct answer to you. My point was the Marxists above you seem quite jealous of us, while we don't notice they exist. μηδείς (talk) 20:01, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
It still makes not sense whatever. There are no Marxists above him. And America certainly notices them when they are there. Paul B (talk) 14:46, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Seems to be a lot of opinion and not much in the way of references. Hack (talk) 05:30, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
How shocking! That's never happened here before. What could possi-bly have gone wrong? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 00:31, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
<cough>. <sniff>. <Hmmm...>. --Jayron32 00:36, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
There's some discussion of this in Boswell's Life of Johnson. One issue was that British traders and merchants were paying far, far more in taxes specifically to fund the French and Indian Wars than the Americans ever did - and without any real representation, either. That class of Briton saw the Americans and their "no taxation without representation" mantra basically as thieving scamming con artist liars. Their rage at what they saw as being taken advantage of by the colonies led them to support the King and Prime Minister - at least until it became clear that the uprising wasn't going to be put down quickly or cheaply. Their entire interest was in their pocketbooks: little else mattered to them.
Another group that had an interesting view on the war was the intelligentsia, who were more likely to be in favour of American independence than against it. Boswell himself, a Conservative, was on the side of the colonists, as was the radical Wilkes. Samuel Johnson was very, very anti-independence not just because of his Tory love of monarchy and his view of the revolutionaries as traitors but also because of his extreme hatred of slavery. (He's the one who, when asked to make a toast at a formal society dinner, replied with "Here's to the next insurrection of the Negroes in the West Indies!") In fact, many of those most adamantly against American independence were abolitionists.
The vast majority of English, though, even at that time, were illiterate agricultural labourers who probably didn't have any way to know what was going on, and anyway had more pressing concerns than an overseas war that didn't much affect them. --NellieBly (talk) 02:53, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
NellieBly -- Great Britain actually had a fairly high rate of literacy compared to most other countries in the 1770s and 1780s. Basic literacy was reasonably widespread among some segments of the working classes -- not agricultural laborers, but those a few steps above them on the social ladder (such as "nonconformist" urban or small-town craftsmen who took Bible-reading seriously). Many lower-class supporters of John Wilkes etc. were very aware of events.
From most points of view the inhabitants of the 13 colonies were not terribly oppressed according to the prevailing practices of 1776, but they were tired of being yanked around by the vagaries of British politics while having no meaningful say in such politics, and their basic political demands were that they be allowed to have representatives in the British parliament and/or that they be given certain constitutionally-entrenched rights which couldn't be taken away by a simple majority vote following the next British parliamentary overturn. The fact that no high-ranking or influential British politician ever seems to have even seriously considered these demands shows a certain lack of imagination and complacency in the workings of the British political system at that point... AnonMoos (talk) 14:46, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Bridge cultures[edit]

(Apologies if this seems vague.) In the fields of history or anthropology, is there any concept of a "bridge culture" that (within a short span) takes on aspects of another culture and then transmits them to a third? I'm thinking of things like the Normans carrying French culture to England, or the Turks/Mughals carrying Persian culture to India. Has anything been written on this topic? --Lazar Taxon (talk) 12:10, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Kudos for a fascinating question, Lazar Taxon! I await answers with interest. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 13:13, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Cultural diffusion often occurs from one culture to another by way of one or more intermediary cultures. For example, the idea of gunpowder reached Europeans from Arabs, was learned by the Arabs from the Mongols, and was in turn learned by the Mongols from the Chinese. This would be an example of indirect diffusion, as discussed in our article. Marco polo (talk) 23:12, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Are there Muslims that proselytize in Asian countries?[edit]

By "Asian", I mean India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Taiwan, China, Japan, etc. Are there Muslim groups that send missionaries to Asian countries and proselytize the people to Islam? (talk) 17:57, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Bangladesh and Pakistan are already Muslim majority countries and India has a large Muslim minority so none of those countries would have to rely on outside sources for missionaries. As for the rest of Asia, there are groups that work to gain converts but a lot of this tends not to be nearly as organizational about it as Christians. Whereas christians might start a big missionary organization to supply and support missionaries in other countries, most Muslim groups tend to be somewhat smaller local groups already in the place where they are looking for converts and many already have a main purpose besides getting converts so seeking converts is one concern among many. Bakmoon (talk) 18:23, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Is there a practical purpose to gaining converts? Or is sending missionaries purely for spiritual reasons? (talk) 19:56, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Why does any religion seek converts? The faithful might say they are trying to save souls. The cynical might say they are tying to gain increased monetary donations to the the church. A realist might say that churches are the strongest memes ever encountered by humans. SemanticMantis (talk) 23:17, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Your realist might say that churches aren't as strong as other religious groups, but that's a matter of degree. See Meme#Religion; if this is your own idea, you've independently come up with a significant chunk of the original idea of what a meme is. Nyttend (talk) 03:29, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
If by "etc." you include Indonesia, well, that country has the largest Muslim population in the world. There are more Muslims in South and South-East Asia than the rest of the world combined (including the birthplace of Islam, the Middle East.) Check out islam by country for such demographics. Mingmingla (talk) 00:37, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Is it true that Australia and Africa offered land for Israel after WW2?[edit]

^Topic ScienceApe (talk) 21:54, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

The Australian option was certainly discussed. I've read of it, but not sure where. Not aware that an actual offer was made. The African idea is somewhat different. Australia is a single country. Africa is made up of dozens of countries. Who would/could have made an offer? HiLo48 (talk) 22:05, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
(e/c) : Not "offered". It was "suggested" by others that these, and many other places over the years, all covered at Proposals for a Jewish state, would be suitable locations. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:06, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
For Africa, see the Uganda Scheme, which was proposed in 1903. Nyttend (talk) 16:44, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I remember the suggestion of a Brazilian homeland but cannot remember the source. μηδείς (talk) 19:55, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

September 12[edit]

Greek orthodox bible[edit]

There are so may article about the Septuagint, its manuscripts and their critical editions, but I don't get, which is the Greek bible text used in Eastern churches over the centuries, and where it is on the internet? Maybe there is nothing uniform at all? trespassers william (talk) 00:41, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

See "Eastern / Greek Orthodox Bible".—Wavelength (talk) 02:23, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That's an English translation. I am asking about the Greek original. The article says "The Old Testament (in progress) is based on the Greek text of the Old Testament (Septuagint / LXX)..." but when I try to figure which is the "default" vversion of the Septuagint I get stuck. There are four major manuscripts with differences and three "recensions" from the first centuries AD, what had eastern priests read in the following 15 centuries? What had they printed inthe later ones? trespassers william (talk) 10:54, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
See Byzantine text-type for the New Testament, if I understand rightly. It's similar to the Textus Receptus, but it differs in some respects. For the Old Testament, see the "Septuagint" article on the Orthodox Wiki; it's a pretty good resource for Eastern churches. You may want to contact the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America; I'm sure they could give you an answer more helpful than mine. Go to this page on their website for the "authorized 1904 text of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople" for the New Testament, but I'm not finding the Septuagint on their site. Alternately, are there any Eastern Orthodox churches in geographical proximity to you? If so, I'm sure the priest would be happy to help you. Nyttend (talk) 16:39, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
(ec) You may find the discussion on Septuagint manuscripts from the Catholic Encyclopedia ([26] and [27]) helpful. Note that the recencions of Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotion, mentioned in the wikipedia article are Jewish recensions, and though they may have had some influence, the Christian versions are not primarily based on those. According to Jerome, writing around 400 AD, (in his preface to Chronicles]), there were three geographically separated manuscript families (or revisions) at the time, that of Hesychius, popular in Egypt, that of Lucian in the region between Constantinople and Antioch, and versions based on Origen's edition in the Palestinian region. The various readings of these revisions were preserved in various manuscripts throughout the following centuries. The Catholic encyclopedia mentions that most manuscripts (including many medieval ones) are difficult to ascribe any one manuscript family, but rather contain a mix of readings. Printed editions are also based on a variety of manuscripts, but it appears that Codex Vaticanus is the most popular 'standard' text. So while it appears to be complicated, you are right, the Septuagint has definitely not been entirely 'uniform' over the centuries - Lindert (talk) 16:45, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
By the nature of scribal copying, it was quite impossible for any lengthy text existing in multiple manuscripts to be completely identical in all versions. AnonMoos (talk) 20:41, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Except the Qur'an, obviously. Adam Bishop (talk) 11:24, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Not sure whether you're joking or not, but see Qira'at... AnonMoos (talk) 22:30, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
But he's also asking "what had they printed in the later ones", i.e. later centuries. It's quite possible to have a standard Septuagint text today, and one can expect the Greek Orthodox Church, for example, to have an official text. This would be comparable to the Catholic church identifying a specific standard Vulgate text; textual variants might cause it to be different from the autograph, but it's still a single official text. Nyttend (talk) 01:05, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
There's no "autograph" of the Septuagint; different books were translated at different times (the Pentateuch first, of course) and with different translation philosophies. After Greek-speaking Christians adopted the Septuagint, Jews then produced new Greek translations of Hebrew scriptures with a more strictly literalistic translating style, and based on Hebrew Biblical manuscripts respected by Rabbinic authorities -- and there came to be some cross influence between Septuagint manuscripts and Aquila etc. manuscripts. Then after the majority of the Jewish community of Alexandria, Egypt converted to Christianity, and harsh repression of Judaism under the Byzantine empire continued, Jews pretty much gave up the use of the Greek language for religious writings for a while... AnonMoos (talk) 22:30, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
There was an earliest translation of Genesis, an earliest translation of Isaiah, etc.; that's what I meant. Whether or not the LXX really translated the Bible for Ptolemy the Whatevereth, someone produced the first Septuagint manuscript of each book. Nyttend (talk) 02:40, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks to all. That's a lot of info and ideas. trespassers william (talk) 11:39, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Length of a court appearance[edit]

I can find a bunch of info about what an arraignment is but can't find how long one takes. Does it change for what the charges are? In the US specifically? Dismas|(talk) 00:56, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Dismas, this is going to vary by jurisdiction within the United States. Federal arraignment takes place in two separate stages, usually on different dates: 1) reading of charges and setting of bail; 2) entering a plea. Arraignment procedures vary by state. In some states, charges are read, in other states, they are often not read in full. The arraignment itself is likely to be a matter of minutes, but the time involved for the defendant or his or her lawyer could be much greater due to waiting time if a court is handling a number of arraignments that day. The wait is likely to be longer in a major city than in a small county. Marco polo (talk) 13:01, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, Marco. And thanks to the rest of the community for not closing or removing this thread. Dismas|(talk) 01:33, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Do speakers of Kansai dialect feel pissed off when someone speaks awkward Kansai dialect?[edit]

I've seen this in Case Closed (season 21) of the Detective Conan series. Is that true for most Kansai dialect speakers?--Wdsss (talk) 07:55, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

I'm sure you could find one. Indeed, when people misspeak English, there's at least one English speaker in the entire world that gets pissed off at that. Probably two or more even. I'd suggest it's plainly true for any language, that'd you find at least one person who speaks that language who doesn't like it when you misspeak it. --Jayron32 14:49, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I highly recommend this short story [28], written by Haruki Murakami, a generally critically-praised Japanese author. It includes some nice description and "translation" of Kansai dialect, and also discusses how some Japanese people feel about it. One of the characters has mastered Kansai as a 'foreign' language, being a native speaker of Tokyo/standard dialect. But Jayron's basically right, at least some native speakers of any given dialect will be annoyed if outsiders try to speak it, though others might find it to be a sign of good faith and friendship. See e.g. Style_(sociolinguistics)#Style_matching, it's generally accepted that when speaking to people we like, we tend to subconsciously mimic their speech characteristics. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:19, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I found an interesting discussion on a language blog; Attitudes of minority languages speakers to learners. Alansplodge (talk) 17:45, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I wonder though how similar that is to the case of nonstandard (not necessarily minority) dialects (or mutually intelligible languages). Also, there must be published studies of this, not merely Facebook and blog comments. I failed to find anything on Google Scholar, though. I don't really know what keywords to use. I did find a study that found that standard UK English speakers had a higher opinion of Glaswegian speakers after trying to imitate their accent, but that was the imitators' opinion of the imitatees, not the other way around. -- BenRG (talk) 02:05, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Murakami wrote that story in Japanese, presumably using real Kansai Japanese, and the translator seems to have made almost no effort to render it as a nonstandard English dialect—he just tossed in some random "y'know"s and "gonna"s, which are strange choices since they're part of standard US English vernacular. I think an English "equivalent" of Kansai-ben would be more like Scots. -- BenRG (talk) 02:05, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Soviet violations of US borders[edit]

Off the top of my head I can't recall any and my web search also yields nothing, so I wonder whether there were any instances of violations of US airspace or territorial waters by Soviet aircraft/ships/submarines? Brandmeistertalk 19:05, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

I was under the impression that Tupolev Tu-95 variants equipped with electronic surveillance capabilities often flew parallel to the U.S. coasts, and sometimes played games with approaching very close to U.S. airspace, but there doesn't seem to be anything about this on Wikipedia... AnonMoos (talk) 20:35, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
They still come close. [Last month] for instance. Rmhermen (talk) 00:14, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Sort of, in the case of Sputnik. Up until that time, it had been somewhat assumed that national air spaces extended out into space. However, after Sputnik, the US decided not to protest, but instead use it as a precedent and put their own spy satellites over the Soviet Union. (Of course, it took many years to bring this goal about.) StuRat (talk) 01:03, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Mike Tyson rape case[edit]

Mike Tyson's been in the news recently so that kind of piqued my interest about his rape conviction. It says at the Mike Tyson article that, "Further testimony came from Thomas Richardson, the emergency room physician who examined Washington more than 24 hours after the incident and confirmed that Washington's physical condition was consistent with rape." Was it ever revealed what those physical conditions were, and how they were consistent with rape? ScienceApe (talk) 20:31, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

There's a standard examination in most jurisdictions done on rape victims; it is highly standardized and the same for every victim, and there are rigidly defined standards for what qualifies as "consistent with rape"; medical examiners and other forensic scientists work within these standards. See Rape kit for a description of how rape exams are done. --Jayron32 00:31, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
That didn't answer my question. ScienceApe (talk) 16:01, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Private communities and HOAs[edit]

I'm curious to know through what legal mechanism private communities and homeowners associations function. Are they one giant slab of property or is it more complex than that? — Melab±1 23:02, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia has an article titled Homeowner association which covers some of the legal background regarding their operation. --Jayron32 00:28, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
So are they some sort of agreement? — Melab±1 22:58, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
HOA's are generally set up as a covenant whereby the prospective buyer must agree to enter the covenant (sometimes called a CCR or "Covenants, conditions, and restrictions") which are riders placed on the deed that obligate the owner of the property to certain standards of property maintenance, and to pay fees to an HOA to both maintain common property within the development and to enforce the covenants within the neighborhood. For example, the HOA can fine homeowners for not maintaining their property; these fines can be placed as liens against the property which must be payed before the property can be sold. The HOA generally has a local board (with a president and several members elected from the community), the board usually then hires an HOA management company (a sort of property management) to manage the HOA system. The entire purpose of an HOA is to maintain property values for the whole community; if your nextdoor neighbor's home is left to rot, it takes down the value of your own house. HOAs are supposed to prevent/discourage that. --Jayron32 05:12, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

September 13[edit]

Need entry: James T. Hackett[edit]

This man is the network center of energy companies supplying a US market worth about 15x the U.S. government's annual budget. We need a page for him. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:26, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Then create one! Instructions here. Nanonic (talk) 15:42, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
We do have a page on his company, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. Is Mr Hackett notable independently of the company? If not, he may not be entitled to a separate article - see WP:BIO. Note also that any article about him, or any material about him added to the APC article, must satisfy WP:BLP. Tevildo (talk) 16:26, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Male film actors portraying female characters or vice-versa[edit]

It is somewhat of a common knowledge that male theatre actors used to play women for certain reasons. I'd like to know how many (if any) film actors were hired to portray characters of the opposite sex simply because the producers thought they would do a good job. Neither the actor nor the character should be a transvestite. To make the matter simpler, let's exclude transsexuals as well. Surtsicna (talk) 17:57, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

I have the 2007 version of Hairspray in mind, specifically John Travolta's role since he did a good job as danny zuko, but idk if that op looking for a list of some sorts? ~Helicopter Llama~ 18:06, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Cate Blanchett played Bob Dylan (or a piece of him, anyway) in I'm Not There. Not sure if the producers thought she'd be good, but she was, so they'll likely say it was on purpose. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:16, September 13, 2014 (UTC)
I am looking for examples, and yours appear to be good! Surtsicna (talk) 18:33, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Linda Hunt won an Oscar playing a man in The Year of Living Dangerously. Peter Pan, according to that article, has "traditionally... been played on stage by an adult woman". -- (talk) 18:57, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Don't confuse pantomime with straight acting! All principal boys in panto are played by women: all dames are played by men. --TammyMoet (talk) 20:09, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
French male actors Michel Fau, Nicolas Maury and Guillaume Gallienne playing women's roles Akseli9 (talk) 19:32, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Angela Winklair, Fiona Shaw, Nadia Vonderheyden, Marief Guittier, Iben Rasmussen, actresses playing men's roles Akseli9 (talk) 19:32, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
  • My favorite (Deborah Warner's production of Shakespeare's Richard II has Fiona Shaw, who is rather long boned, play the king, who is assumed to have been homosexual, at least effeminate. Unfortunately it's not been released on DVD and is almost impossible to get a hold of. The Ovation channel in Manhattan Time Warner Cable used to play it on occasion. μηδείς (talk) 19:53, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Queen Elizabeth I is played by a man in Orlando (film). The movie is about gender-bending to some extent, but Elizabeth's gender is not called into question- she was just played by a male actor.

Staecker (talk) 21:59, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

That same movie has the suspiciously male-sounding Oleg Pogodin playing Desdemona. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:04, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
I should have thought of Orlando, since I actually met Quentin Crisp in the early 90's. Tilda Swinton plays the main role, an immortal nobleman who changes sex every few decades. I can highly recommend the film. μηδείς (talk) 18:02, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
It's been a long time since I saw Orlando, but as I remember it, he only changes sex once. Pais (talk) 10:36, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Your account matches the article summary. I was under the impression each new episode in the movie represented a sex change, and thought she ended a male with a very old child. Damn that Tilda Swinton and her tricky ways! μηδείς (talk) 18:34, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

See also Breeches role... AnonMoos (talk) 22:35, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

In Monkey (TV series), the monk Tripitaka was played by Japanese actress Masako Natsume. HiLo48 (talk) 23:12, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Not sure this quite fits your requirement, but Dustin Hoffman played a woman in Tootsie. -84user (talk) 01:57, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

No, he didn't. He played a man disguised as a woman. That was the main premise of the movie. -- (talk) 04:21, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
The main character of CJ7 is a boy played by a girl. Probably because the actress was only 11, she passed as a boy pretty well. Also in Iron Monkey (1993 film) a 12 year old girl actress played the male character of Wong Fei-hung. In both cases no gender confusion in the character is suggested. I guess they just liked the actress best, and put enough makeup on them that you can't tell the difference. Staecker (talk) 12:09, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Not quite what you're looking for, but Spuds MacKenzie was actually a female dog despite being dressed up and otherwise portrayed as being a "male". Matt Deres (talk) 12:16, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Sandy Duncan as Peter Pan on stage; Nancy Cartwright as Bart Simpson (and several others). —Tamfang (talk) 06:44, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Zelda in Pet Sematary was played by a man, as was the Bloated Woman in the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead. King Zog in Aria was played by a woman, and there are numerous cases of infants being played by opposite-sexed infants. Pais (talk) 09:32, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
We have a whole article on Cross-gender acting. Pais (talk) 10:42, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure if it counts, but as far as I can recall, Lassie, who is supposed to be a female dog, was frequently actually played by male dogs. JIP | Talk 11:38, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
The Guinness Book Of Movie Facts & Feats includes the following list of women who have playem men (some are listed above) :
  • Francesca Bertini in the title role of Histoire d'un Pierott (It 1913)
  • Mathilde Comont as the Persion prince in The Thief of Bagdad (US 1924)
  • Elspeth Dudgeon (billed as 'John Dudgeon') as the old man in the upstairs bedroom in The Old Dark House (US 1932)
  • Virginia Engles as old man who falls down the stairs during saloon brawl in San Antonio (US 1945)
  • Jean Arless as Warren (also as his wife Emily) in Homicidal (US 1961)
  • Sena Jurinac as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier (GB 1962)
  • Ivy Ling Po as the hero Chang in The Mermaid (HK 1966)
  • Caroline Johnson as the Prince of Denmark in Hamlet (Can 1971)
  • Anne Heywood as Roy, a transsexual man, in I Want What I Want (GB 1972)
  • Victora Abril as an effeminate young man, Pao Yu, with voracious sexual (hetero) appetite in Dream of the Red Chamber (HK 1977)
  • Ethel Merman as a shell-shocked soldier suffering from the delusion that he is Ethel Merman in Airplane (1980)
  • Linda Hunt, 4 ft 9 in American actress, as the male Eurasian cameraman Billy Kwan in The Year of Living Dangerously (Aus 1982)
  • Eva Mattes as a male film director based on Rainer Werner Fassbinder in A Man Like Eva (FRG 1983)
  • Ina-Miriam Rosenbaum as Jesus Christ in Johannes' Hemmelighed (Den 1985)
  • Vanessa Redgrave as Richard Radley, who underwent a sex change and became tennis champion Renee Richards, in Second Score (US 1986 TVM)
  • Gillian Jones as Sebastian (also Viola) in Twelfth Night (Aus 1986)
  • Debra Winger as redheaded male archangle Emmett, who is in charge of Heaven in Made in Heaven (US 1987) (Ms Winger played the role on condition she was neither credited not identified)
  • Theresa Russell as King Zog of Albania in husband Ken Russell's segment of portmanteau film Aria (GB 87)
  • Lanah Pella as black waiter turned revolutionary Alex in Eat the Rich (GB 1987)
  • Barbara Leary as moustachioed Russian heavy Dimitri in 9 1/2 Ninjas (US 1991)

In Summer Vacation 1999 (Jap 1989) all of the boys were played by 14 year old girls. In The Christine Jorgensen Story (US 1970), Jorgensen as both sexes, is played by John Hensen. --TrogWoolley (talk) 21:00, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Oooh, that list just reminded me: Glenn Close as bearded "Gutless the Pirate" in Hook [29]. ---Sluzzelin talk 21:16, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Now it's my turn. Der Rosenkavalier is an opera in which the male title character is always sung and played by a female. Richard Strauss had his reasons for setting the music for a soprano voice rather than a tenor. Sena Jurinac was the soprano in question in a famous recording of the opera under Herbert von Karajan, which was also filmed using the same forces. So this entry does not satisfy the OP's condition. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:06, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

September 14[edit]

Baby bottles - a teat at each end[edit]

You used to see baby bottles which were sort of banana-shaped, and had a teat at each end. What was the reason for having two teats, and why the switch to one? DuncanHill (talk) 00:00, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Too many babies, and contraception, in that order? HiLo48 (talk) 03:32, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Only one teat was usable at a time, so I don't think the number of babies would have anything to do with it. DuncanHill (talk) 03:35, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
  • That's not all: The same site describes that upright feeders (bottles with one teat) already existed early in the 20th century, but due to their long thin necks, they were harder to clean than the banana bottles they were competing with at the time. "Wide neck upright bottles did not appear until the 1950's in the UK. However they had been around in the USA since the early part of the 20 century." The History of the Feeding Bottle. ---Sluzzelin talk 03:46, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
It's a fascinating site! DuncanHill (talk) 04:05, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

German interrogator/torturer in the Second World War - Bonner[edit]

The Daily Telegraph obituary of the historian M. R. D. Foot mentions "a notorious German interrogator called Bonner who had tortured some of the French SAS after capture" - who was this Bonner and what happened to him? DuncanHill (talk) 06:11, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

I searched a bit, but couldn't find a first name. In his Memories of an S.O.E. Historian, Foot only refers to him as "a subaltern in the Sicherheitsdienst called Bonner". The book's index lists him as "Bonner, Hauptsturmführer". ---Sluzzelin talk 06:27, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Well that's a start - all I've found in a quick google are some very strange conspiracy theory sites. DuncanHill (talk) 06:37, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
And Foot says that no-one ever found him, and supposes him to have got away to "Egypt, or South America, or Hell". DuncanHill (talk) 06:54, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Is it true that the UK will lose its nuclear weapons if Scotland goes independent?[edit]

^Topic ScienceApe (talk) 14:10, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

No. But this is interesting. The Rambling Man (talk) 14:15, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
It will lose its submarine base for submarines which launch Trident missiles. There are a number of possible ways in which this could be adjusted, but it seems pretty clear that England-Wales-and-Northern-Ireland will keep authority and control over the nuclear weapons... AnonMoos (talk) 14:21, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
No, but the Trident submarines are based at Faslane, on the Gareloch, part of HM Naval Base Clyde, while the missile warheads (leased from the US) are stored nearby at Coulport. The SNP has made clear that it will want them moved out of Scotland if it becomes independent which is a problem as it's reckoned it'll cost £2-3 billion to build a replacement base. One suggestion I've seen mentioned as a stopgap solution, is to base them with the US Trident submarines in Kings Bay, Georgia, but basing them 3000 miles from home seems a bit extreme to me! -- Arwel Parry (talk) 14:37, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Aren't the trident missiles leased, but the warheads themselves are British? CS Miller (talk) 14:47, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
There's a BBC News report about the issue here, and the report from the Royal United Services Institute is here. DuncanHill (talk) 14:51, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
For historically similar situations, see Baikonur Cosmodrome, Black Sea Fleet, etc. Russia, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, generally engaged in treaties with former Soviet republics to maintain military bases in their locations. Similar deals would likely be struck between Scotland and the UK. Many such deals would have to be ironed out with military, monetary policy, customs, border controls, etc. It is entirely unlikely (and many say folly) that a sovereign and independent Scotland would sever all ties with the UK and do everything on their own. Many treaties would be established where the UK and Scotland would negotiate how to handle many situations; much of those treaties would establish the "status quo" as the most advantageous for Scotland and the new rump UK... --Jayron32 19:32, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Note however in terms of the subject of the question, as our article says UK Trident programme#Scottish politics

All major pro-independence Scottish political parties, such as the Scottish National Party, Scottish Green Party, Scottish Socialist Party and Solidarity, have policies opposing the presence of the Trident system in Scotland.

Of course any negotiations would include all parties including those opposed to independence (although those supporting independence do currently have a majority in the Scottish parliament), however the expressed views (notably it seems to be a key part of the current majority parties platform_ suggest a starting point is likely to be the eventually removal of the Trident system from Scotland if they do vote for independence. (Our article hints at this too.) Major concessions (e.g. a currency union) may change minds, but the UK government would need to be willing to make them. Of course, not everyone in the UK may want them there in the event of independence anyway [30] although others suggest more extreme measures may be used to keep them there [31].
Nil Einne (talk) 20:12, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Is it true that Reagan's policies made the USSR's economy too sparse and limited to manage?[edit]

^Topic ScienceApe (talk) 21:33, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

It is true that some people have argued this. Whether the claim is itself true or not is a matter of opinion - and we don't answer requests for opinion. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:46, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
You'll find opinions out there ranging from "Reagan single-handedly brought down the Iron Curtain" to "Reagan interfered, almost fatally, in the process of bringing down the Iron Curtain, but took all the glory for himself" and everything in between. This is a sign that there is no agreement as to what really happened. This question therefore can't be answered here, as we don't provide opinions.
Incidentally, it's far from unusual for historical processes to remain murky. There are many events in history that have never been explained to the satisfaction of all; get ten Tudor historians in a room and you'll have ten explanations of the fall of Anne Boleyn, each equally plausible. --NellieBly (talk) 23:55, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, quite, but we wouldn't rudely dismiss a question about Anne Boleyn as "a matter of opinion". This is history, we can provide arguments from historians. If you don't know, you don't have to answer... (Of course I can't answer this either, I just wanted to point out that it's a totally legitimate and answerable question.) Adam Bishop (talk) 09:56, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Is it true that the preamble "Is it true that..." can dress any debateable claim you fancy as an objective enquiry? (talk) 10:15, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Actually, I don't think anyone argues that Reagan's policies or any other historical process made the USSR's economy "too sparse and limited to manage". Some historians argue that Reagan's policies weakened the economy of the USSR to the point where it had to shift away from the planned economy that was the basis for the power of the Communist Party. But this weakness was not a matter of being too sparse and limited to manage. It was a matter of being unable to sustain a rate of growth that would allow Soviet military spending to match the rate of growth of U.S. military spending in the medium to long term. As a result, a segment of the Soviet elite, led by Gorbachev, decided to shift away from a planned economy in the hope of generating faster growth. They did not foresee that this would lead to the collapse of Communist power and the breakup of the Soviet empire, but that was probably one effect of that shift. Probably most historians would agree that the structural issue (higher U.S. economic growth rates, after the initial period of Soviet industrialization, due to a capitalist economy) made it inevitable that Soviet policy would face a crisis at some point, whether or not Reagan had been president. Also, I think most historians would agree that the end game for the Soviet Union resulted from the failed Soviet intervention in Afghanistan (note the section "Consequences of the war" in our article) and the U.S. rejection of the policy of détente, which resulted from the Soviet action in Afghanistan. Historians disagree on the relative importance of the failure in Afghanistan and the internal dissatisfaction this created within the Soviet Union on the one hand and external pressures connected with the end of détente on the other as causes of the shift in Soviet policy. It is this disagreement among historians that is central to the disagreement over Reagan's role in the process. In fact, the shift away from détente began under President Carter. While Reagan emphasized his opposition to détente in his presidential campaign, in fact his policies can be seen as a continuation of those of Carter, so that even if external pressure was the main cause of the collapse of the Soviet system, Reagan would have to share some of the credit for that collapse (if one believes that credit is due) with Carter. Marco polo (talk) 14:09, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

ScienceApe -- I really don't know what "sparse and limited" would mean in that context, but it's often been claimed that the military buildup under Reagan caused the Soviet authorities to spend more than they could afford in response, and that this -- together with the general accumulated inefficiencies of an overcentralized "command economy", and the fact that fifty years after the atrocities of Stalin's forced collectivization the Soviets still couldn't manage to show a consistent agricultural surplus -- made it clear to many within the Communist party that there was need for far-reaching and fundamental reforms. AnonMoos (talk) 13:57, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

September 15[edit]

What will happen if Scotland becomes independent again?[edit]

What will happen if Scotland becomes independent again? If they stay as a monarchy, do they have to get a new monarch from somewhere or will Elizabeth II continue ruling over Scotland, the same way she does over Canada, Australia and New Zealand? On the other hand, if they decide to become a republic instead, they will probably just hold a normal presidential election. I assume Scotland can then take their own flag (the white diagonal cross over the blue background) into use as an official independent nation flag, but what will happen to the flag of the rest of the United Kingdom? Can it stay the same or will it have to have the blue parts taken away? JIP | Talk 11:35, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

None of this has been decided. It will all get thrashed out over the next few months if the "Yes" camp wins on Thursday. Rojomoke (talk) 12:00, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Indeed, some of these question already have answers: see the BBC's Q&A and our very own Scottish independence referendum, 2014. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 12:11, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
... although most of the answer sections on the BBC page start by giivng the SNP's response followed by more nuanced viewpoints or in some cases plain contradictions from other sources. In other words, there are more answers than questions ;) Gandalf61 (talk) 13:45, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Until the Scots reclaim Berwick-upon-Tweed, the blue bit of the Union Flag could represent that Scottish bit of England. Dbfirs 12:50, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

JIP -- people have already uploaded to Wikimedia Commons images of the Union Jack without blue background and white saltire (the result not being very attractive in my opinion), but according to Union Jack#Flag speculation regarding proposed Scottish independence that would by no means be an automatic or immediate consequence of Scottish secession. If there is some eventual flag change, then the England-Wales-and-Northern-Ireland flag would be likely to include some component for Wales. AnonMoos (talk) 13:27, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

The current policy of the ruling Scottish National Party (or SNP) is to retain the queen (Elizabeth II) or her successor or representative as the head of state. There is virtually no interest in Scotland in acquiring a monarch from a different dynasty. However, there is considerable interest in the SNP and in Scotland in ending the monarchy and becoming a republic, and they have committed to holding a referendum on taking that step shortly after achieving independence, if they do achieve independence.[32] Marco polo (talk) 13:48, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Minor remark: The Queen does not rule. She reigns. At least in nearly all matters that matter. Arguably, English monarchs have stopped ruling approximately when Charles I gave his head to promote the common wealth. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 16:16, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Further question: If Scotland votes "Yes" on Thursday, will it automatically mean that they can become independent again, or will they have to negotiate with the rest of the UK? And if it happens that they're all set for independence, how long will it take to actually happen? JIP | Talk 17:41, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

If Scotland votes yes, it does automatically mean that Scotland can be independent, but the Scottish government does not intend for independence to be finalized until March 2016.[33] Between the date of the vote and the date of actual independence, negotiations over a number of issues would have to be concluded with the rest of the UK. Some experts believe that the negotiations could not be concluded by March 2016, such that the actual date of independence would be later.[34] Negotiations would not be over the issue of independence itself, since both parties agree that the vote constitutes an irrevocable decision. Marco polo (talk) 18:06, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. This confirms what I already figured. Even further question: If Scotland votes "No" on Thursday, is there any restriction on whether and when they can hold a new election for independence? JIP | Talk 18:23, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
No. The Scottish government would be free to hold another referendum, or any number of referenda, in the future. The only foreseeable constraint would be waning enthusiasm or fatigue on the part of the Scottish public. Marco polo (talk) 18:33, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

$100K (1987) vs today's dollars[edit]

What would $100K of 1987 dollars be worth today as a rough ball park figure?--Doug Coldwell (talk) 17:38, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

As a rough ballpark, a bit over $200k (going by CPI). If you do Fermi estimation, it's unchanged. But it depends on what you want to know. This site has a number of different estimators, giving results from $178000 to $344,000.00. Of course, if you do Fermi estimation, it's unchanged ;-). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 18:04, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Before reading Stephan's answer, I estimated about 100% inflation, much of it recent. A gallon of milk has gone from $2 to $4, gasoline from $1.75 to $3.50, a comparable new car from $15,000 to $30,000, a pack of Nathan's Beef Franks from $1.99 to $4.00, a big bag off chips from $1.00 to $2.00. Beef and fresh produce has doubled in price on average. 1987 was when I moved off campus, and cancelled my food plan, so I became highly aware of food prices at that time. μηδείς (talk) 18:23, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for responding to my question.--Doug Coldwell (talk) 18:50, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Note: you could try the {{inflation}} template, which in this case, — with {{formatprice}} & {{Inflation-fn}} — results in:  "About $208 thousand in today's currency."[1] – Which indeed, is "a bit over $200k"   —E: (talk) 00:25, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
  1. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.

What is the first human to be settled in mainland China?[edit]

I want to know about what is the first human to be settled in mainland China. --Kiel457 (talk) 18:51, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

See early human migrations. The first human migrations out of Africa were by Homo erectus, and this species reached China around 1.7 million years ago. Homo sapiens reached China somewhere between 60,000 and 40,000 years ago, although some scholars claim dates as early as 100,000 years ago. Unfortunately, the fossil evidence of early Homo sapiens in China is extremely poor [35]. --Bowlhover (talk) 19:47, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
The 1.7 million years is attributed in the Chinese synopsis to the Yuanmou Man, whose age is estimated at a mere 0.6 million years in the German synopsis. --Pp.paul.4 (talk) 19:58, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Famous quote[edit]

What is the origin of the famous quote "you are the dreamer and we are the dream" or "you are the dreamer and the dream". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:58, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

If you're thinking of what I think you're thinking of, then it's Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Itself quoting this poem. Jared (t)  20:23, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Compulsory release of works in the public domain?[edit]

I know this is far-fetched situation, but I'm certain something similar has happened on more than one occasion in the history of the US. Let's say someone creates a piece of intellectual property (for the sake of simplicity, let's say it's a book) and only one copy was published. Let's say that it was public knowledge that the author had written this book (because he/she announced its existence publicly), but the book was never released to the public, and it remained very much a part of the public interest to read this book (because the author was famous for writing other books, perhaps). Without release, the book stayed within the estate of the author until the copyright ran out under US law, and now the book is legally within the public domain.

My question is: because of the "public domain" status of the work, does the author's estate have an obligation to make this book available to the public (perhaps analogous to a FOIA request), or can the estate maintain possession of the book indefinitely without revealing its contents?

Any relevant historical examples or case law in your responses would be a plus, but I'm just looking to gauge opinion. Jared (t)  20:20, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

REgistered copyright of a book in the US required, when I was young, that a copy be placed on file with the Library of Congress. I know, because I had a book dedicated to me in the 1970's. The law on copyright has changed a lot since then, so I don't know if it is still the same. There's also fair use which may apply especially to, say, specific theories. But you may also be thinking of patent law, which is quite different. μηδείς (talk) 00:07, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Do Eastern Orthodox kids go trick-or-treating with their Western Christian counterparts?[edit]

So, do they go trick-or-treating or not? (talk) 01:52, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Googling Eastern Orthodox Halloween provides a long list of screeds about how trick-or-treating and other aspects of modern Halloween are satanic/neo-pagan attempts at corrupting Eastern Orthodox kids. People don't usually get this worked up over something not happening, so my guess is that E-O kids in countries that traditionally do the trick-or-treat thing do take part, but to the chagrin of the staunch faithful. My understanding is that trick-or-treating is not common outside of the Anglosphere; trick-or-treating more-or-less backs that up, but notes that it's spreading. Matt Deres (talk) 02:38, 16 September 2014 (UTC)


September 9[edit]

Is there a word for...[edit]

...misrepresenting another person's argument in an exaggerated way, and then arguing against that position.

I find it happens quite a lot here, and elsewhere where debates occur, and have been wondering if there is a simple, relatively polite word or term for the practice. HiLo48 (talk) 11:31, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Aunt Sally, or straw man. DuncanHill (talk) 11:37, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
"Oh sure, like every argument you ever made has been exaggerated by others just so they can shoot you down. You must be paranoid to think that !" :-) StuRat (talk) 13:03, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Reductio ad absurdum? --TammyMoet (talk) 14:04, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Straw man and absurdum might both fit, depending on the specific argument, with the caveat that true RAA shouldn't "misrepresent" anything, but only deal with what is entailed by the premise. But whether a claim is (mis)representative is itself contentious! It's worth pointing out that Reductio ad absurdum is seen as a basically fair and logical way to debate, while straw man is seen as poor form, nearly (but not quite) a logical fallacy. Of course, the same argument will likely be classified as a straw man by the opponent, and absurdum by the proponent ;) SemanticMantis (talk) 15:47, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
    Strawman arguments are not logical fallacies, but rather informal fallacies based on starting from the wrong premise. Strawman arguments can be built on sound logic; they often are. Strawmen are based on the wrong axiom; but since the axiom is not itself being analyzed, merely accepted; it isn't subject to logical analysis. Axioms are presumed true. --Jayron32 18:03, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

"Reductio ad absurdum" (or in plain English, proof by contradiction) is just wrong; it's a form of proof, explained at the article. It amounts to "I will prove that X is true. Assume X is false; then (reasoning, reasoning, reasoning) and so we deduce Y, which we know is impossible. Therefore X must be true." People engaged in debate may express their claims as a reductio ad absurdum, but that's just a choice of form and irrelevant to whether they're reasoning from an invalid premise. Deliberately misrepresenting another person's claim in order to argue against it is indeed a "straw man" argument, as explained at that article. -- (talk) 18:48, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Of course, there's a fine line between "misrepresenting another person's argument in an exaggerated way" and "representing another person's argument in an exaggerated way, only a hair's breadth short of misrepresenting it". A lot of argument can be found in that fine line. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:02, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, Jack represents the flaw in Aristotelian logic; it's a boolean condition: A thing is either A or not A according to classical logic thinking. The problem is that reality is not divided into two states; reality exists as a continuum of states between absolute truth and absolute falseness, and classical logic is built on the law of the excluded middle, whereas human experience exists solely in that middle. Classic Greek philosophy, which Western "logic" is built on, is full of these problems where simple propositions fall apart because of their simplicity. Zeno's paradoxes are built on the same presumption, they paradoxes only break down when you realize the axioms they are built on aren't realistic. --Jayron32 02:00, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

September 10[edit]


Is burgle a fully accepted word, in formal discourse, in British English?

I always thought it was a little bit of a joke. What does a burglar do? Well, he burgles, ha ha ha. That certainly struck me as the intent in "When the felon's not engaged in his employment", a number from The Pirates of Penzance. (Pirates is from 1879, whereas Wiktionary claims that burgle dates to 1872, so it could still have been a relatively novel word at the time.)

But it's used unironically in Alan Turing, and I'm not sure what could be substituted for it, given that BrE speakers apparently hear burglarize as an Americanism. (Of course, the sentence could be reworded, I suppose.) --Trovatore (talk) 02:32, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

It did indeed originate as a bit of a joke, as a back-formation from burglar. Now ... I'd say it has a mildly comic ring still, but it's used by e.g. the CPS [36] and police [37]. HenryFlower 05:47, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Lots of words now regarded as standard started their lives as humorous creations. "To burgle" has been standard in the UK for more than a hundred years and has no "comic ring" to most people in England (G & S fans excepted). The variant "burglarize" would have a comic effect when used in the UK, especially amongst those unfamiliar with the verb invented in America around the same time as the British variant. Both variants are perfectly respectable derivations from the English Law Latin verb burgulāre going back to 1354. Dbfirs 07:33, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I admire your dedication in surveying the majority of England's population. :) Perhaps Scots just have a more finely honed sense of humour, though googling "burgle funny word" suggests you may be less representative than you think. HenryFlower 20:23, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I was merely countering your claim that the word has a mildly comic ring. Perhaps you are a G & S fan? Google produces lots of funny results for many words. Of course, once Scots becomes your national language you can speak for that language. :) Dbfirs 06:47, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
"I'd say" prefaces an opinion, not a claim. HenryFlower 19:20, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Fair comment. I should have cited the OED to support my claim. You are correct, of course, that Scottish English tends to be more conservative and to resist new words coined in the south. Northern English has the same tendency, but I think the verb "to burgle" is generally accepted up as far as the Scottish border. Dbfirs 06:28, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
This sample of one person in England agrees with Dbfirs: "burgle" feels standard, "burglarise" sounds absurd (no offence intended to people who use the word). (talk) 01:01, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Same here, and there are examples from the BBC, Guardian, The Times, and even Parliament. In England it is the normal word. -- Q Chris (talk) 07:51, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Is any of this applicable to The Hamburglar, or does he play by his own grammatical rules? InedibleHulk (talk) 09:51, September 10, 2014 (UTC)

sughauli treaty[edit]

[Question moved to WP:RD/H Tevildo (talk) 08:07, 10 September 2014 (UTC)]

Baby corn[edit]

Does anyone know what the Korean translation for baby corn is? Our baby corn article has only 1 link and the Korean article ko:옥수수 doesn't (I think help). Wikitionary has a few languages but not Korean. Google translate gives 아기 옥수수 which I'm pretty sure is a literal translation so may not be correct. I didn't find anything useful with searches either. Also, while this is the wrong desk there's a chance whoever answering may know. Am I correct baby corn is not particularly common in Korean cuisine? I've heard that it's hard to find which would suggest yes and the searches make me think it's possible. Cheers Nil Einne (talk) 13:38, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

I haven't come across baby corn in Korean food. It does seem to be sometimes sold under the name 아기 옥수수 (agi oksusu, lit. "baby corn"), but that might just be because the importer has run it through Google translate. The most common name I can find online is 영콘 (yeongkon, a phonetic rendering of English "young corn"). This shows up in at least some recipes and on labels. --Amble (talk) 19:39, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
소형 옥수수?    → Michael J    21:10, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That would mean "miniature corn". Also a possibility. I have only found one use of it online with the meaning "baby corn", though. Have you heard or found it in use? --Amble (talk) 22:13, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Negative comparatives[edit]

In English, we have two ways of forming a comparative - we can say that something is "more X" or that it is "X-er". However, we can also say that something is "less X", yet there's no negative equivalent to the "-er" suffix. As far as I know, the same is true in other languages with similar systems (e.g., a German says "frischer", but "weniger frisch", or perhaps "unfrischer"). Are there any languages that do form negative comparatives - that is, where you can inflect an adjective to mean "less [adjective]"? Smurrayinchester 14:22, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Newspeak has "doubleplusungood". Among natural languages, according to page 4 of "No language has a synthetic comparative of inferiority." -- AnonMoos (talk) 15:10, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
THanks, AnonMoos, that's a great pdf. μηδείς (talk) 16:10, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Doubleplusungood is not a comparative, just a very strong form of ungood.
One thing I noticed in the book is that Newspeak, in theory, is supposed to have three grades of each adjective; so for "bad", for example, there would be ungood, plusungood, and doubleplusungood. However, as far as I noticed, the "plus" grade was never used at all in the book; it was always "doubleplus". I think there's supposedly a general linguistic phenomenon whereby middle gradations of constructions are more likely to disappear than the extremes, don't know what it's called. --Trovatore (talk) 20:40, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
That may be true in general, but in the context of the book it also makes sense because the government wanted their propaganda to be, ah, doubleplusforceful. -- (talk) 04:13, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I guess you're right -- I was assuming that "plus-" was comparative and "doubleplus-" superlative, but perusing the appendix to 1984 again, it seems that the forms would be "ungooder" and "ungoodest"... AnonMoos (talk) 00:55, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
There are some special cases, such as: many/some - more - most vs. many/some - fewer - fewest (except where the context demands many/some - less - least). "Fewer" would seem to meet your criterion on its face, but it's also the comparative of "few", so it's actually "more few" rather than "less few". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:16, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Sorry for once again picking up on something marginal, but "unfrischer" actually wouldn't work well in German, in any event it sounds really awkward, perhaps because "unfrisch" in itself is not really used frequently and only in particular contexts, and it's more specific than "nicht frisch". Even if we pick a standard coupling of X/"un"-X, let's say "glaubwürdig" and "unglaubwürdig, "Diese Aussage ist unglaubwürdiger" emphasizes the comparison on a negative scale as opposed to "diese Aussage ist weniger glaubwürdig". (I think, no reference) Afterthought: Sort of like the difference between "more unbelievable" and "less believable", even if German uses only one word for "more unbelievable". ---Sluzzelin talk 21:28, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Why do people ta[edit]

Warning: Skinny jeans may be hazardous to your health.

Wearing skinny jeans and other restrictive, tight clothing might seem like the more fashion-friendly choice, but it may come with a hefty price tag - for your health. -- 17:34, 10 September 2014 Sagittarian Milky Way

Neckties are also slightly dangerous. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:43, September 10, 2014 (UTC)
The answer is fashion, with perhaps a dose of Sexual_selection_in_mammals, i.e. competition for mates. Maybe the worst example is Saree_cancer. (ps. please sign your questions with four tildes: ~~~~). SemanticMantis (talk) 19:13, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
There are many aspect of fashion that can be dangerous, or at least highly impractical. Four years ago I tried to initiate discussion on the Fashion article Talk page on one particular aspect that concerned me, with a view to having the article address safety aspects. I got one reply, telling me I was being petulant. It seems that I encountered minor resistance and a general lack of interest. HiLo48 (talk) 20:06, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I think they meant the kid Asmrulz (talk) 20:42, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't understand the header, and since that's the only place any question appears, I don't understand the question. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:11, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I think it may be along the lines of "Why do people ta[ke risks with fashionable clothing?]". Tevildo (talk) 22:28, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Ta for that, Tevildo. (Don't get me started on the insane things people do in the name of fashion; mainly because I have no idea why. "But others are doing it" cannot possibly be a suitable explanation for some of the worst examples.) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:23, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
See Shoe Event Horizon. Tevildo (talk) 23:48, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I say "ta ta" to this topic.  — (talk) 23:56, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Indeed, I often wonder why people ta. It is a profound and difficult question. (talk) 00:51, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm wondering if anyone ever washes their tie ("since ties aren’t washed as frequently as other clothing, they may be laden with disease-causing germs"). Bus stop (talk) 01:02, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
At least they remembered the hyphen. However, I believe a more important question is whether anyone ever washes their ta. I think we should be told. (talk) 03:08, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
You can clearly tell Road Warrior Hawk isn't comfortable here, with the constricting tights, solid belt and shoulderpads (which must have also had him constantly worried about eyepokes, hence the squint). Died of a sudden heart attack, but if he'd worn sweatpants and a tank top, who'd have remembered what a rush he must have had looking so fashionable. InedibleHulk (talk) 13:32, September 11, 2014 (UTC)
The text of the "question" is copied from a CBS News article. -- BenRG (talk) 01:33, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Speaking in abbreviations[edit]

I don't mean the Internet slang but abbreviated words which are so common that I often hear them in movies or TV series. Expamples are sec (second), jeally (jealous), comfy (comfortable), prob (problem), prep (prepare), evac (evacuation). As a non-native speaker I find these very intersting. I wonder if there's a list of such words. -- (talk) 19:29, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Wavelength (talk) 20:00, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
The trouble is, the list changes with time and with place. _Sec_ is common in British English, _comfy_ is now rather old-fashioned, and _jeally_ I have never heard. _Semi_ in the UK means "semi-detached house" (which the Americans call a "duplex") but I believe in American English it means a kind of vehicle, something like what we in Britain call an _artic_ (articulated lorry). --ColinFine (talk) 22:11, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
(UK speaker) Actually, I don't perceive "comfy" as old-fashioned. The data here seems to show a recent increase in use. (talk) 00:20, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm a native Californian. I think "sec" is common in American English too. "Comfy" doesn't sound old-fashioned to me either. "U jelly?" is endemic to the Internet, I think. -- BenRG (talk) 02:07, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
The common shortening for "jealous" seems to be "jell" in the UK, usually heard in the form "well jell". You could also include the opposite formations, such as "amazeballs", or "good-o", or "problem-o" i.e. making a shorter word longer. --TammyMoet (talk) 12:57, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
A quick Google Scholar search turned up "Lexical abbreviations in American slang" by Maciej Widawski, which lists some more of these: ab(dominal muscle), biz, bod, celeb, con(vict), congrats, decaf, doc(tor), exec(utive), fave, grad, hon(ey, as a term of endearment), hood, info, legit, lit(erature), mike(rophone), nabe(orhood), pro(fessional), psycho(path), sis, spec(tacle)s, sub(marine), tux, (li)brary, copter, (hair)do, (con)fess, gator, Nam, (pa)rents, (ciga)rettes, (ice) scream, (moon)shine, (piz)za. I've heard and would understand most of these, except "nabe", "brary", "rettes", "scream", "shine", "za". There's surprisingly little overlap between your examples, this list, and Wavelength's list. Most of the items on this list are still perceived as slang, while many of Wavelength's "clip words" aren't. -- BenRG (talk) 02:07, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Some clipped words are mentioned in the article "Clipping (morphology)".
Wavelength (talk) 15:08, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
And that method of word formation isn't a recent phenomenon. I doubt that very many people recognize that words such as mob and bus are clipped forms. Deor (talk) 21:33, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
It's as though English was slowly but steadily becoming monosyllabic (unforch) :( .... Asmrulz (talk) 21:33, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Punt ermine lynx[edit]

I'm looking for the term for a specific type of pun. This type involves semantic/linguistic re-parsing multiple words, for example: [Aladdin Sane] → "A lad insane"  -&-  [Isle of View] → "I love you"  -&-  (almost, not quite) [Punt ermine lynx] → "Pun term in links"  —I know that I found it previously on WP, but my current venture down the wikilink rabbithole has reached a dead end; (I thought the term began with an 'O', but maybe that's where I made a wrong turn).  —Thanks in advance, (talk) 22:17, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

This article calls it homophonic transformation. Given your parenthetical remark at the end of your post, I have a suspicion that what you're recalling is the related article Holorime. To amuse myself in idle moments, I sometimes make up homophonic transformations of well-known poetry ("Gnome ocean, ashy noun, oaf horse, / Sheen ether—here snores cease! ..."). Deor (talk) 22:35, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I think the term the OP is thinking of is oronym, apparently invented by Gyles Brandreth in 1980, although I definitely remember reading a newspaper article by Miles Kington which discussed such puns a few years before that. Kington didn't come up with a name, though. Tevildo (talk) 22:38, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
I've taken the liberty of retargeting your link to a disambiguation page, Tevildo. Deor (talk) 22:48, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) :::Yes, Oronym is the word. Apparently a "phonological juncture".   Thanks again!  —E: (talk) 22:52, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Isn't it also a particular type of mondegreen? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:03, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
  • (EC, agree with Jack:)I could be missing something, but it seems like the distinction between oronymy and Mondegreen is rather small and subjective. Your examples could seemingly be either/both, depending on intention and reception. SemanticMantis (talk) 23:04, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Then there's that lovely romantic standard, What is this thing called, Love?. --Trovatore (talk) 23:12, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

I think one distinction is that each phrase can stand alone as a meaningful term or phrase -- which is one (of two) reason(s) why I qualified "Punt ermine lynx". Also, if I understand correctly, a Mondogreen can involve a portion of a phrase, such as the example from the article: "Excuse me while I kiss the sky" → "...kiss this guy" — A distinction without a difference?  —E: (talk) 23:15, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that's why I called it "a particular type" of mondegreen. The sounds don't have to exactly match up, but they can. Also, "Kiss This Guy" as a book or film title would be a perfect mondegreen for "Kiss The Sky". Also a perfect oronym. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 00:36, 11 September 2014 (UTC) -- for a multilingual example which was semi-famous 40 years ago, see Mots d'Heures... -- AnonMoos (talk) 00:42, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

And on the other hand, some languages are designed so that a given string of phonemes can be broken into valid words in at most one way; I believe Lojban is an example. Such morphologies have been called "self-segmenting". —Tamfang (talk) 04:38, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
For those who don't waste their time exercise their minds with such things, some crossword puzzles in UK newspapers make the first two Across answers form an oronym. An example from the Concise Crossword No. 1184 in today's 'i': 1Ac "Look for", 4Ac "Is victorious" = Seek & Wins (= "Sequins"). {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 13:06, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

September 11[edit]

All combinations of Greek letters for transliteration[edit]

I'm checking algorithms to transliterate Greek (especially names) to Latin letters. There are sets of rules for this, but it seems unsure whether they cover all possible cases. For example:

  • υ is converted as v before β, γ, δ, ζ, λ, μ, ν, ρ and all vowels.
  • υ is converted as y when the vowel before υ has an accent or υ has dialytika (ϋ).

In theory, these two rules could conflict and you would have to decide which one has priority. Does it also happen in practice? There are many situations like these, but as of now I failed to find a satisfying list what does occur and what does not. Does anybody know such a list? --KnightMove (talk) 13:37, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

I can't tell you about a list of rules or cases, but about the two rules you quote above, the second one is meant as an exception to override the first (i.e. αυλός 'flute' > avlos, but άυλος 'non-material' > aylos). Also, the first rule only applies under the additional condition that the <υ> is preceded by either <ε>, <α>, or (rarely) <η>. Fut.Perf. 13:58, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Just for clarification, this is for modern Greek, right? E.g. I thought  \beta \to v for modern, but  \beta \to b for ancient Greek. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:17, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, modern Greek. --KnightMove (talk) 17:57, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

How did Chinese names americanize/anglicize prior to the development of pinyin?[edit]

How did Chinese names americanize/anglicize prior to the development of pinyin? Sometimes, you read about Chinese people who came to the US in the early or mid-twentieth century, and their family names tend to be a bit different than more recent Chinese immigrants, who all use pinyin letters for their family names and may adopt a traditional English name as a given name. Examples of old Chinese immigrants that passed down their names in America would be like "Hwang" or "Tsai" or "Tsao" or "Lo". (talk) 16:35, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Some info and refs at Pinyin#History_before_1949, and also at Chinese_surname#Variations_in_romanization. Chang_Apana is one early Chinese American who seemed to basically conform to the Pinyin rules. My understanding is that even recent immigrants to the USA may have a variety of preferences, e.g. I've known Chengs and Changs, Hsia/Xia, and Lee/Li. Perhaps differences in original immigration time explain these differences, but I suspect preference plays a key role. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:01, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
The most widely used systems of romanization before pinyin were Wade-Giles for Mandarin Chinese and Standard Romanization for Cantonese. Many early Chinese immigrants to the United States spelled their names using one of these systems, though many others romanized their names idiosyncratically by adopting a spelling whose pronunciation in American English would approximate the pronunciation of their name in their home dialect. Note that most Chinese immigrants to the United States before the late 20th century spoke dialects of Cantonese. Marco polo (talk) 17:17, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Also keep in mind (as seen in the stanrd romanization link above), Taiwan didn't adopt the use of Pinyin until the early 2000s, and used mostly Wade-Giles. So a lot of Taiwanese immigrants after 1949 would still have used "Hwang," "Tsai," "Tsao," "Lo," "Cheng," "Chang," etc. --Wirbelwind(ヴィルヴェルヴィント) 20:04, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

September 12[edit]

At chapter...[edit]

Would it be correct to say "I'm at chapter 4.." instead of "I'm on chapter 4"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yashowardhani (talkcontribs) 16:09, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Both read as grammatical/correct to me. We say "on page 2" more often that "at page 2", but preposition often serve multiple purposes, and there are many situations where many choices will all be "correct". SemanticMantis (talk) 16:26, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
To my ear either is correct, with somewhat different connotations:
  1. "on chapter 4" is most common. It implies that you are reading (or writing) the chapters in sequence, and you have started reading (or writing) chapter 4.
  2. "at chapter 4" is less common. It doesn't imply as much: you may be reading the book all the way through, or you may have randomly opened to that page, or you may be using it as a reference.
  3. "in chapter 4" is similar to "at chapter 4", except that "in chapter 7" and "in chapter 11" mean something else entirely!
For most situations "on chapter 4" is the most idiomatic. --Amble (talk) 17:00, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Actually I think there is a subtle difference, though it may be a personal perception: to me, "at chapter 4" means at the beginning, if not already started chapter 4, whereas "on chapter 4" could mean the same (at the beginning, just started) or in the middle of it. To confirm these shades of meaning, I compare the phrases "i stopped at chapter 4" versus "i stopped on chapter 4." Generally though i agree they can be used interchangeably, with "on" being more common. El duderino (abides) 10:19, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
  • "write an essay on chapter four for Friday, please." "I haven't finished the book, I'm only on chapter four."
You weren't here last Friday when we finished the prior chapter, but please start reading at chapter four." "You'll notice the narrative voice changes from omnisicient to first person at chapter four, and back to omniscient at chapter six."
On would seem to express content or location within, while at expresses a boundary. (You can be somewhere on chapter four, but not somewhere at chapter four. With and in can also be used according to meaning and context. In very few circumstances will it matter, listen to others and encourage them to correct you. μηδείς (talk) 20:46, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the help, good people! :D --Yashowardhani (talk) 11:23, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Minutes and seconds in 19th century literature[edit]

In Jane Eyre, there are several uses of the word "minutes" where the normal meaning of "60 seconds" would seem a remarkably long time, but where the number of minutes mentioned seems too specific for the word to mean just an indeterminate short time: "he spent some three minutes in thrusting out his tongue at me as far as he could without damaging the roots"; "Now came a pause of ten minutes, during which I, by this time in perfect possession of my wits, observed all the female Brocklehursts produce their pocket-handkerchiefs and apply them to their optics"; "At last, having held a document before her glasses for nearly five minutes, she presented it across the counter".

Was there ever a meaning of "minute" corresponding to the modern "second"? HenryFlower 20:54, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

@Henry Flower: I am not sure but just by the context of having read books like Longitude, set in the 18th-century, it seems to me the unit was probably of the same order of magnitude, even if not delimited with atomic clock precision. To my ear, in all three uses quoted above the only reason the amount of time each matter took is mentioned is to emphasize the long duration. Take the tongue thrusting – saying it took three seconds would be a somewhat odd detail to include normally, whereas saying he did it over the course of three minutes does not seem odd because the duration detail is significant/serves a function. (I don't think Brontë was saying the child kept his tongue out for a full three minutes mind you, but that he directed this at her a number of times over a period of three minutes.) The same for the others.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 22:37, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Ah, some confirmation. Jane Eyre was published in 1847. In This treatise on arithmetic by an English writer from 1834, he calculates that there are "1440" "minutes in a day" and "3600" "seconds in an hour".--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 22:54, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Hyperbole is part of Charlotte Brontë's style, though a factor of 60 does seem rather excessive! Dbfirs 08:44, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the replies. :) The "number of times" point is a fair one, and might explain the tongue, but it doesn't seem to fit the other two cases so well (there's nothing else in the narration at those points which would seem to fill up the remaining time).
The narrator does mention at one point that "watches were not so common then as now"; perhaps Brontë grew up with a rather flexible sense of time? HenryFlower 09:33, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Or maybe the sense is "At last, having held a document before her glasses for what felt like nearly five minutes, she presented it across the counter" If she's given to hyperbole, then the experience of time distortion when waiting for something imminent, such that every second seems to last for 10 or more seconds, would be familiar territory to her and could be safely presumed to be familiar to her readers too. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:41, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Once again, see the etymology. Originally there were prime minutes (divisions of sixty) and second minutes (a further division of sixty.) Until second became set as meaning second minute, the meaning might depend on context. μηδείς (talk) 22:12, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
    • ... but "minute of a minute" had been obsolete for centuries before the date of writing (1846?) and before the date the novel is set (1800?). See Chaucer: "Thise degrees of signes ben euerich of hem considered of 60 Mynutes, & euery Minute of 60 secondes." (around 1400). Dbfirs 09:09, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
      • I suppose the thing to do would be to compare other popular works of the same era, but all I can glean from my source is that it came in around 1400 but was codified in the public mind in the 17-1800's. I wonder how many parsecs it took her characters to do the Kessel Run.

Latin and the letter J[edit]

Latin, as written since classical times to the present, but using classical pronunciation, originally had I and V for both vowels and semi-vowels, and later a distinction was made using I/J and U/V. In the last century or so, the letter J has fallen out of fashion and I is used for both vowel and semi-vowel. Why did this happen? On the surface it seems a useful distinction to make, and there are enough ambiguous cases for it to be worthwhile. Peter Grey (talk) 21:16, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

By last century, are you referring to the 20th century or the end of the Roman era. Because J is still in use. Mingmingla (talk) 21:46, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
He means the 20th century, and he's right: J is not very widely used for Latin anymore. Open a modern Latin dictionary or textbook and you'll see iocus alphabetized somewhere between inter and ipse, but vacca is alphabetized after ut. I think it's because the u/v distinction is not always predictable in Latin (e.g. serui "I have sown" vs. servi "slaves"), while the i/j distinction always is. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:54, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
"The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but always iam to-day."Deor (talk) 22:05, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
The front matter of a Latin-English English-Latin dictionary (by Collins) in my possession explains that its use of consonantal "v" and "i" (instead of "u" and "j") follows the practice of modern publications of Latin texts.
Wavelength (talk) 22:22, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
All known by me Latin-Russian dictionaries and textbooks consistently use both j and v.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 22:39, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That's interesting. I just looked through 10 Latin dictionaries and textbooks for speakers of English and German, and all of them use v, but only one uses j, and the one that uses j was published in 1870. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 00:56, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The question is: why is that the current practice? Many hundred-year-old Latin books (e.g. on Project Gutenberg did use J, but newer ones, at least in the English-speaking world, do not. Peter Grey (talk) 00:11, 13 September 2014 (UTC) Until very recently, and in only some publications, there was no similar trend for the U/V alternation. Peter Grey (talk) 00:17, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
I attempted to answer why above: u and v can contrast in Latin, i and j can't. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 00:36, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Is there a rule to distinguish vowel and semi-vowel I, or are they considered interchangeable? Peter Grey (talk) 02:20, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
A very rough rule would be, if the word has evolved into an English word that now uses a J, it is acceptable to spell it with a J in Latin. So, "ejectus" for example, although the underlying verb "iacere" is usually spelled with an I since that didn't come into English except in forms with prefixes (hic iacet, alea iacta est). You can also use J when there are two I's in a row - for example, "eicio" (from which we ultimately get "eject") can also be spelled "eiicio", and then the first I can be wriiten as a J, "ejicio". But that's not really a defined fact maybe that is my own personal rule, maybe I made it up. I think it's really up to the editor (or the publisher). For published editions, tastes change over the years - using only I and U would make it seem more authentically classical, assuming that "classical" means "capital letters carved in stone monuments". Actual classical handwriting didn't look like that, and there were many other types of writing other than monumental capitals. And for the classical literature that only survives in medieval manuscripts (to say nothing of all the medieval Latin literature), the letters would be different - manuscripts might use only I, I and J interchangeably, only U, only V, or both U and V. One current trend in editing is to use whatever the manuscript uses, instead of trying to classicize the language. (This also affects the classical diphthongs OE and AE, which in manuscripts are often just written as E, or something like Ę). But it really depends on the publishing company. Adam Bishop (talk) 11:54, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
A rule that requires no reference to English is I is a semivowel before another vowel, unless the I is preceded by a consonant. Another advantage to distinguishing U and V is that it makes the rule for I easier to keep track of: in forms like iuuenis and fluuius it's easy to lose track of which u's and i's are syllabic and which aren't. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:56, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The interrogative and relative pronoun cuius (wikt:cuius) has the potential for various diphthongal interpretations, and is the source of Italian cui (wikt:cui) and Portuguese cuj-o, os, a, as (wikt:cujo) and Spanish cuy-o, os, a, as (wikt:cuyo), which reflect the fact that i in cuius was a semi-consonant. However, the third-person singular perfect indicative active verb iit (wikt:iit) and its compounds (abiit, adiit, circuiit, etc.) each have two consecutive identical vowels.
Wavelength (talk) 20:42, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

September 13[edit]

Logic of progressive and simple tenses[edit]

Well, as you probably have noticed, English is not my native language.
Anyway, I would like to know what is the logic of the progressive and simple tenses.
I mean, whenever I hear a person speaks with a progressive tense, I get the feeling that he is in the middle of it.
My problem with that definition, is that I can use present progressive for the near future, but how it makes any sense?
Another thing, I get the feeling that there are a lot cases where both tenses (simple and progressive) can be used, so I would like to know where is the logic? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Exx8 (talkcontribs) 00:33, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Exx8 -- for verbs where the subject is an active doer, then the plain unadorned present tense (with no modals) actually has a kind of habitual or general reference, while the progressive tense is used for specific concrete actions. So "I'm reading Jane Eyre now" vs. "I read 50 pages a day." The questions "What are you reading?" and What do you read?" are very different -- the first implies "What are you reading now?" while the second implies "What do you read habitually?" For verbs where the subject is an "affected experiencer", the plain present is is used much more often than the progressive ("I believe/know/feel this"). AnonMoos (talk) 03:14, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

The progressive is rapidly gaining ground. It is found half a dozen times in the Lord of the Rings (which is obviously intentional) and much less in 19th century works than current ones. When I was a kid you could not ask "what are you seeing" (although "who are you seeing" was a different matter.) "I'm loving it" was unheard of. Do we not have a link to English progressive verb? μηδείς (talk) 22:04, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

I thought about those definitions, but then what is the purpose of the future progressive? I mean "I'll be reading"? the context should be that when I'll go by and I'll see you reading a book. but it looks to me a little bit bizarre. Don't you think?Exx8 (talk) 00:19, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
"Tomorrow when you arrive I will be watering the plants out back" means, "so expect me not to hear you at the front door, come around back.
"Tomorrow when you arrive I will water the plants out back" means, I'll wait for you to arrive, but be prepared I may be busy for a bit.
This kind of instruction is not suitable for this forum. You should seek an advanced native tutor and a good English grammar written in your native language. μηδείς (talk) 03:35, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
well I understand how to use it(I mean I HAVE written this section). My question is what is the logic.It's more linguistics question. I understand that it describes a continuous action and what it means, but my question is why it so differs for the the English that they made a whole new series for the continious tenses. I'm asking about the etymology of the continuous tenses. Yes this is my question. Exx8 (talk) 16:09, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
As for the historical origins of the progressive, at least one part of it is an old (Middle English) construction that used to be of the form "I am on V-ing", i.e. originally a locative construction: "I am in (the process of) doing something". This is a common grammaticalization path (similar to German "Ich bin am Arbeiten/ich bin beim Arbeiten" and similar patterns in many other languages). People "invent" such forms in order to place more emphasis on the dynamic/temporary nature of an event; then through routinization these turns of phrase become a fixed part of the language. Fut.Perf. 16:46, 15 September 2014 (UTC)


Inspired by a question above, is there a term for when you have an argument/discussion with someone, and gradually change your parlance to meet their point of view, but they continue to argue against you, not realising that what they are now doing is agreeing with what you said in the first place? Is it 'automatic gain-saying'? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 10:45, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

I call it "duck seasoning", but that may be an unmitigated fabrication. In any case, it also works for making cartoon rabbits drink. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:46, September 13, 2014 (UTC)

y comercial[edit]

Is it incorrect to use & in Spanish? -- (talk) 17:06, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

No, it's fine. THe ampersand originates in the Latin et, from which the French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese words for "and" come. μηδείς (talk) 21:54, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

"Out of hand"[edit]

Does anyone know where the expression "out of hand" (meaning "out of control") comes from? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 20:57, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

There are at least a couple of different uses, which don't strike me as being related. Could you specify which one you meant? There's the sense of things getting crazier or more outrageous, as in The argument got out of hand and devolved into fisticuffs. and there's also the sense of being able to solve problems quickly or easily, as in He appeared to be the sort of fellow to solve such problems out of hand. They both seem pretty straightforward, but I don't know of the specific etymology of either expression. The first immediately conjures an image of a problem growing so large your hands literally can't hold it any more and the second seems to refer to being able to deal with problems with what you have on hand and without the need for reinforcements. Matt Deres (talk) 21:06, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Note, the question was modified after I edit-conflicted. Matt Deres (talk) 21:08, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Yes, I was referring to the "out of control" meaning. Not the second meaning that you mention. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 21:53, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
There's also the meaning of "without any further consideration" or "sight unseen", usually in a negative context, e.g., "The princess was haughty, imperious and disdainful of men. Those few suitors whose approaches she deigned to entertain were subject to the condition that, if they failed to cause her to fall in love with them in one night, they would be executed in the morning. Most suitors were luckier, as they were dismissed out of hand." -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:32, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

OR: Sounds to me like a metaphor for a carriage driver who drops his reins. μηδείς (talk) 21:56, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

The first sense has an opposite, "in hand". You can take something in hand or allow it to get out of hand, whether that is a problem or something physical like a garden. Double entendres aside, "in hand" means under one's control, or purview, or remit, or oversight, a current task. The second sense, "dismissed out of hand" doesn't have any opposite "in hand". It is certainly pretty old. Itsmejudith (talk) 07:45, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

When did "regularly" come to occasionally mean "frequently"?[edit]

Quite often, "regularly" is used to mean "frequently". I understand that it's common usage, and am not complaining about that. How long has this usage been common? HiLo48 (talk) 22:22, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Inadequacies in the educational system contribute to the misuse of words, but there are still persons who know how to use them correctly.
  • Halley's Comet revolves around the Sun, regularly but not frequently.
  • Snow falls in polar regions of the Earth, frequently but not regularly.
A person might use Google Ngram Viewer to look for an answer to your question, but choosing useful search terms in this instance seems to be difficult.
Wavelength (talk) 01:00, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
The OED gives the sense of regularly relating to time as sense 6 of the word, specifically defining it as "At fixed times or uniform intervals; repeatedly, without interruption; frequently, often.". In other words it doesn't distinguish between "regularly" meaning "according to a fixed pattern (of time)" and "regularly" meaning "frequently but not necessarily according to a fixed pattern". (Most of the other senses it identifies - there are 8 in total - refer to uniformity of manner or conformity to a set of rules). I'd hazard that it chooses not to attempt to untangle the two senses relating to time as often when the word is used, it's unclear whether the author meant "at uniform intervals" or just meant "often". The earliest example it quotes for "regularly" referring to time is from 1665 in a letter by Robert Boyle. The quote is "Permit mee [not] for a weeke or 10 days to cont[inue] my Correspondence with you so regularly as I was wont." I would understand the meaning in that sentence to probably mean just "frequently" rather than implying that the writer had previously written, say, every three days like clockwork. The second example, from 1699, refers to the heartbeat and clearly implies "at uniform intervals". The remaining examples are examples of both senses. I agree the distinction set out by Wavelength is useful, but it has no historical validity in terms of "correctness" and is by-the-by to the OP's question. Both usages have existed as long as "regularly" has been applied to time. Valiantis (talk) 01:03, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
You might find some answers here (aka the last time you asked this question).--William Thweatt TalkContribs 08:52, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Presumably, therefore, this question will be posted frequently but not regularly. --Dweller (talk) 13:14, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I like to date most of today's language mistakes to January 1, 2000. Probably isn't true, but feels true. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:12, September 14, 2014 (UTC)

September 14[edit]

Meaning of a song title[edit]

French speakers please! What does "Si Tu N'Etais Pas La" translate to? It is the title of this song. I put it in Google Translate, and it didn't make any sense. Thanks everyone!! (talk) 01:26, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

My french is a little rusty, but I think it means "If you are not there". Si, when starting a sentence means "If", "tu" is the informal form of "you", and "n'etre pas" in its various forms means "to not be" while "là" means "there". So, "If you aren't there" seems like a good swipe at it. --Jayron32 01:36, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps this website might help. --Pp.paul.4 (talk) 02:18, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you your holiness, that is a great site! (talk) 13:57, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it's a counterfactual conditional where French uses the imperfect tense for the protasis (if-clause). Hence it's "if you weren't there", while "if you are not there" would be "si tu n'es pas là". ---Sluzzelin talk 03:56, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. The correct spelling is "Si tu n'étais pas là". Part of the reason Google Translate got confused was the missing accent on "là". -- (talk) 04:00, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

How do you pronounce "azure"?[edit]

I know of four ways of pronunciation: [ə'ʒu:r], ['æʒju:r], [æʒ'jər], ['eɪʒər]. Of course, the [r] will disappear in non-rhotic accents - the [u:r] becoming [ʊə], but let's put aside the rhotic issue.

So, as a non-native, I would like to know:

  1. Do you know of another way of pronouncing "azure"?
  2. How is "azure" pronounced, in what part of the world (or where you live)?
  3. Do you use this word in your everyday speech, or in written language only? (talk) 01:29, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

:I would say it as your second one (I think - not that great with IPA) first syllable same as the word "as", second same as "yer", and I would never pronounce the r. I should say it's most often used in singing "When Britain first, at Heaven's command / Arose from out the azure main.." Native British speaker. DuncanHill (talk) 01:38, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

You probably mean my third option. (talk) 01:53, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
No, I meant the second one as the question was when I answered it, but you have changed the options since I answered! DuncanHill (talk) 02:06, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
And the stress would be on the second syllable, not the first - stress on the first sounds distinctly foreign. DuncanHill (talk) 02:07, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I use the middle one. I live in the southeastern U.S. currently, but grew up speaking New England English. I now speak mostly General American English, with a few hints of New England thrown in. --Jayron32 01:39, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
You mean the second one. Btw, do you use the word "azure" in your everyday speech? (talk) 01:53, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I mean, it's not like I wake up every day and plan to use it. But I've been known to say it from time to time when appropriate. --Jayron32 02:04, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I azure you it's used rather infrequently, but when it is, most people (I hope) know what it means. Clarityfiend (talk) 03:58, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I have struck my answers because it is impossible to answer a question like this meaningfully when the question gets changed after people have already answered it. DuncanHill (talk) 02:09, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I would say [ə'ʒu:r], or other ways you haven't listed, [ə'ʒʊ:r], [ə'ʒjʊ:r], [ə'zu:r], or [ə'zʊ:r]. It's hard to say because I wouldn't really ever use that word in speech, but if I did, it would definitely start with a schwa, be stressed on the second syllable, and most likely have a z instead of a ʒ, and a ʊ instead of a u. I would say it rhymes with "sure". I speak some variant or other of West–Central Canadian English (so, fully rhotic). Adam Bishop (talk) 02:19, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Australian here. It was always (non-rhotic) option 4 (AY-zhə) here, an exact homophone for Asia, but of recent times I've heard a few people say option 1 (ə-ZHU-ə). It's only ever trotted out in faux-poetic contexts now, and most people have had no aural guidance so they make up how they think it should be pronounced. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 02:25, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm sure there was a "popular" (among teachers, anyway) national pride style Australian song/poem that used the word. My brain cells keep dredging up fragments of it from half a century ago. Do you recall it? HiLo48 (talk) 04:08, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
That would be the Song of Australia. "There is a land where summer skies / Are gleaming with a thousand dyes, / Blending in witching harmonies; / And grassy knoll and forest height, / Are flushing in the rosy light, / And all above is azure bright — Australia!" DuncanHill (talk) 04:25, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes! With a grassy knoll as well. Thanks Duncan. HiLo48 (talk) 06:15, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
And here we can hear the inimitable, not to mention utubular, Peter Dawson singing it, with the pron of "azure" exactly as I described above. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 07:03, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Ah yes, he had it right. HiLo48 (talk) 07:07, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Are you quite, quite sure? It was Britain that arose from out of the azure main. Rule Britannia![38] Thincat (talk) 08:53, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Britain arose form out the azure main, in Australia all above is azure bright. DuncanHill (talk) 14:38, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Britain may have arisen from an azure main, but Australia is girt by sea. HiLo48 (talk) 18:13, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Australia may be girt by sea (Girt-by-Sea sounds like a decayed seaside resort in Sussex), but it's not a precious stone set in the silver sea, nor is it scepter'd. DuncanHill (talk) 18:29, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Southern England (half West-Midlands accent, half South-London). I pronounce it to rhyme with "as your" (with the second syllable rhyming with "or"), and with a slight stress on the second syllable. I'm not fluent in IPA, but I think that would make it [æʒ'ju:r] Bluap (talk) 02:32, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
There's a lot of variation here in the UK. I pronounce it ['aʒju:r] (as you're) here in the north. I'm surprised to see so many of you putting stress on the second syllable (though both stresses are used, of course).)Dbfirs 08:46, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Agree with that (Londoner). Alansplodge (talk) 12:33, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Central California English (although with heavy influence from Oklahoma/Arkansas) here. I say ['æʒjʊr] and that's all I hear around here. Accent on the second syllable sounds like a non-native speaker or maybe somebody trying to be pretentious. I will say, however, that I rarely say or hear the word in everyday speech. I would just say "blue" or if I need to be more specific, "sky blue".--William Thweatt TalkContribs 09:11, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

OP's comment: Thank you all. As I understand, the variation in pronunciation is probably a result of the rareness of the word in everyday speech. As a native Hebrew speaker - I find this socio-linguistic fact - quite interesting, because when Hebrew speakers - who are taught English at school - get to the "color" topic, and are told about the pair "black / gray" (i.e. a mixture of black and white), and about the pair "red / pink" (i.e. a mixture of red and white), they are never told about the pair "blue / azure" (i.e. a mixture of blue and white), i.e. they are told about "blue" only, although Hebrew has a very common word for "azure" (Numbers, 15, 38), being used rather frequently in everyday speech, or rather: not less frequently than "pink" or "gray" (The option "sky blue" is usually not mentioned in the English lessons for Hebrew speakers, maybe because it's composed of two words, just as "light yellow/green/orange/purple/brown" is not mentioned). (talk) 11:57, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Our article, Distinction of blue and green in various languages, may be of interest to you. We also have an article called Blue in Judaism and a general article, Blue, in which you may find some pertinent information.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 14:36, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! (talk) 18:17, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Since I don't see my variant above, it's ['æʒr] with a syllabic final r and no palatalization. Rhymes with badger except for badger's -j- vs azure's -zh-. μηδείς (talk) 17:40, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
You forgot to indicate where it's pronounced [æʒr]. (talk) 18:17, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
D'uh, took me a second, I'm thinking, "well, here, of course." Here is Delaware Valley accent. μηδείς (talk) 19:12, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Another vote for [ˈæʒr] (or as I might transcribe it, [ˈæʒɚ]), which I was surprised not to see; it's the first or only pronunciation given in all the dictionaries I've checked, British and American. I'm from Illinois. I do remember not knowing how to pronounce it when I was growing up, and I agree that it's common in literature but rare in everyday speech, in which I would use "sky blue" or "light blue". Lesgles (talk) 22:44, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Northen UK-er here, who speaks very close to RP. I would say it as /az'ju:ə/, or sometimes I would add the glottal /R/ at the end, just for artistic effect, because, to be honest, it's a word we rarely use. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 11:20, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
To the person who posed the question, I'd say it's quite understandable why you did not learn about the word azure in English class. The word is seldom used. It is hardly ever used in everyday conversation and is almost confined to poetic or self-consciously literary texts. The word is not like gray or pink, which are everyday, widely recognized colors. Though I am quite educated and work with words professionally, I will confess that I did not know until reading this thread that azure referred to a specific shade of blue, and I doubt that most native English speakers know exactly which shade of blue the word indicates. I thought that it was just a poetic synonym for blue. I wouldn't recommend translating the Hebrew word for "sky blue" as azure unless you are aiming for a poetic tone. Marco polo (talk) 13:31, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Likewise, in fact I would say the only time I regularly encounter the word "azure" is when Italian sports teams are referred to as "Azzurri", and I suppose the way this is pronounced in English makes me pronounce it the way I do. When I think of the colour azure, I think of the blue Italy soccer uniforms. Adam Bishop (talk) 21:19, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Shades of light blue.png
Incidentally, the article "Sky blue" has a link to this image, shades of light blue.
(Anyone is welcome to edit my post, but only to make the image smaller.)
Wavelength (talk) 17:41, 15 September 2014 (UTC)]
I added this markup to make it smaller and to appear on the right:[[File:Shades_of_light_blue.png|thumb|right|300px]] μηδείς (talk) 18:05, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
In addition to sparse 'everyday' use of the word, "Azure" was and is the standard term in (British) Heraldry for the tincture corresponding to 'blue'. Like all tinctures it isn't precisely defined – because in practice it depends on the pigments available to the user and to how much exposure to the elements may alter it – except that it should be distinct from the lighter Bleu celeste ('sky blue'). In my experience, heraldry enthusiasts don't obsess about the correct pronunciation of an Anglo-Norman French word originating in the Middle Ages, perhaps because most first encounter it in text rather than speech and because it is scarcely confusable with anything else. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 19:02, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

September 15[edit]

Czech:English translator/content editor[edit]


Stumbled across the article Jankovský of Vlašim, which appears to be a poor translation from Czech. How would one find an active content editor who speaks Czech that might tidy this up? --Dweller (talk) 13:58, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

See Category:User cs.—Wavelength (talk) 14:39, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
See Category:Wikipedians who participate in Pages needing translation into English.
Wavelength (talk) 14:51, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Excellent, thanks. --Dweller (talk) 14:53, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Word-ending aversions[edit]

I might be imagining, but it seems that in English you won't find words that end with an "ah" vowel sound (like the 'o' in 'hot'), even words ending in 'a' are pronounced "uh" (like NASA, pizza). In modern Hebrew many, many words end with the "ah" sound.
[Curiously, in Hebrew there are two vowels patach that makes an "ah" sound, and kumatz that makes an "uh" sound, although in modern Hebrew they have merged into the "ah" sound. Most examples of Hebrew words that end in "ah" are really spelled with a "kumatz" meaning that their original pronunciation was not "ah" and words that truly end in "ah" are pretty scarce.]
I've noticed this because my children are bi-lingual English and Hebrew (I speak to them in English) and when they say a word in Hebrew to me in modern Hebrew that ends with an "ah" they change the pronunciation to "uh" - seemingly because they never hear an "ah" ending from me (even the Hebrew I say to them is more liturgal/biblical, pronouncing the "kumatz" as an "uh").

Am I missing some words, or is this a common feature of some languages? אפונה (talk) 17:40, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

אפונה -- Traditionally in modern English, the "short" or "checked" vowels [ɛ], [æ], [ʊ], [ʌ], and [ɒ] were only found in syllables pronounced with some degree of stress, and were not found at the end of a word or directly before another vowel (with very limited exceptions for certain interjections or onomatopoeia, such as imitating the sound made by sheep). Originally [ɪ] was an exception to this (and still is in many British dialects), but in some dialects [ɪ] before a vowel or at the end of a word has been changed to [i]/[iː], while unstressed [ɪ] in other positions has become [ɨ] and/or [ə], so that [ɪ] is no longer an exception in such dialects. Of course, [ɑː] and [ɔː] were always allowed to occur at the end of a word, and in some dialects [ɔː] and [ɒ] have now merged... AnonMoos (talk) 17:56, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Also, the Hebrew קמץ diacritic (a little "T" looking symbol under a Hebrew letter) represents two historical sounds in early/Biblical Hebrew, a long [ā] sound and a short [o] sound, which are still pronounced differently in some "Sephardi" traditions of recitation of Biblical Hebrew, and most of the time also in modern Israeli Hebrew (which was influenced by Ashkenazi traditions in the pronunciation of the consonants and Sephardi traditions in pronunciation of the vowels). A קמץ diacritic indicating a word-final vowel was always [ā], not [o]... AnonMoos (talk) 18:07, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply! "a long [ā] sound"... like 'a' in 'day'? I've never, ever, heard anyone pronounce it that way. That would be closest to a צירה. In Ashkenazi pronunciation the קמץ is pronounced like the 'u' in 'cut', and in modern Hebrew & Sephardi like the 'o' in 'cop'. אפונה (talk) 19:39, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
No. AnonMoos means something like what you're writing "ah". (This is why serious discussion of phonetics is nearly impossible without using IPA or something similar. You nearly lost me at the beginning, because in no British dialect is the vowel in "hot" the least bit like "ah": it's much more like kamatz katon. Ditto "cop" at the end of what you wrote). --ColinFine (talk) 21:44, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

אפונה -- Go to International Phonetic Alphabet and Help:IPA for English for a quick summary on phonetic symbols (though "ā" in my comment above was a historical linguistics convention for what would be [ɑː] and/or [aː] in stricter IPA). Early or Biblical Hebrew had a standard "5×2" vowel system like Classical Latin, with both short and long phonemes for each of the basic [a], [e], [i], [o], and [u] vowels. In traditions leading to Sephardi (and modern Israeli Hebrew) pronunciations, the long-short vowel contrast collapsed (ceased to be distinctive) so there were now 5 vowel phonemes instead of 10, while in traditions leading to Ashkenazi pronunciations, there was a more complex pattern of mergers, so that 10 vowel phonemes became 7.

Early or Biblical Hebrew Tiberian spelling Ashkenazi or pre-Yiddish "Sephardi"
ī חירק י i i
i חירק i i
ē צרי e e
e סגול ɛ e
ū שורק u u
u קבוץ u u
ō חולם o o
o קמץ ɔ o
ā קמץ ɔ a
a פתח a a

In actual Yiddish the vowels [e],[o] shown in the "Ashkenazi" column of the table above have become diphthongs whose pronunciation varies by dialect...

When you say that קמץ in modern Israeli is pronounced like the "o" in English "cop" I don't really know what you're trying to say, because Tiberian קמץ has two different pronunciations in modern Israeli, while the vowel of "cop" has quite a range of variant pronunciations across different dialects of English (due to Cot-caught merger). AnonMoos (talk) 01:38, 16 September 2014 (UTC)


Why are men sometimes referred to as "guys". Where does the word Guy originate? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wsccj8 (talkcontribs) 22:08, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Originally referred to a person of unsavory character, from Guy Fawkes. See [39]. --Jayron32 22:11, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Guy Fawkes, on the other hand, got the given name Guy because his mother thought he was a son of a bitch. μηδείς (talk) 00:00, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
If you're going to be disruptive then at least have the courtesy to mark your jokes with <small>. Otherwise they're hard to tell apart from your bad answers. WinterWall (talk) 02:01, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Another source here (last paragraph). Deor (talk) 22:17, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Guillaume, actuellement. μηδείς (talk) 00:00, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Medeis, the name Guy has no connection to Guillaume. It is a separate name, cognate with Guido. Not sure what you are getting at with "son of a bitch". Marco polo (talk) 00:30, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Medeis has poorly developed understanding of Poe's law. --Jayron32 01:29, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Surely it's worth mentioning that these days "guys" often refers to females as well. It seems to have happened because polite English doesn't have a word for multiple second persons. (The southern US "y'all" might be an exception.) HiLo48 (talk) 00:21, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
That's covered in Deor's link above. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 00:45, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Also in Wiktionary (usage notes under "Etymology 2"), which specifically mentions the functional similarity of "you guys" and "y'all". Deor (talk) 00:54, 16 September 2014 (UTC)


September 6[edit]

I started the September 6 section by hand. I hope this is ok. Isn't there an automated way to have the first new (sub)section created on a given day also create the section corresponding to that day? Contact Basemetal here 12:13, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Thank you. The date headers are only semi-automated and the bot wrangler is currently on vacation (see talk page). Matt Deres (talk) 12:56, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Looking for an English comedy sketch from the 1970s or 1980s featuring a remotely controled pair of shoes.[edit]


I'm looking for the name of an English comedy series from the 1970s or 1980s.

One of the instalments featured a shoestore selling a type of shoe with a remote control. The remote control had various options that would make you (if you were wearing the shoes) walk like various entertainment celebrities (e.g. Mick Jagger, Freddie Mercury, and others I forget).

The main point of that particular sketch was that it featured an amazing dancer who could actually imitate those walks amazingly well in just a few steps.

Thanks (please ping me) Contact Basemetal here 12:06, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

PS: Why is my question under September 5th? Today is Saturday September 6th. Contact Basemetal here 12:09, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

@Basemetal:It sounds like something they'd do on Whose Line Is It Anyway?. Look familiar? Matt Deres (talk) 12:14, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
What I have in mind would seem to be earlier than 1988. Plus in Whose Line the set is always the same whereas the sketch I have in mind was taking place on a set really made to look like a shoestore (if I remember correctly). Contact Basemetal here 12:34, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
It sort of reminds of me the Simpsons episode Last Tap Dance in Springfield. Not quite the same as Frink and Lisa's deal, but that show is known for ripping off/paying homage to all sorts of entertainment. May be a clue, may be nothing. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:39, September 7, 2014 (UTC)
  • It sounds like the style of humour that would appear on a Russ Abbot comedy sketch show. ( I can picture Russ Abbot - not normally described as "an amazing dancer", but a good physical as well as verbal comic - as the customer, complaining at the end that the shoes were too much hard work. )
An impersonation of movement, rather than voice, also makes me suggest Michael Barrymore, who was in the cast of Russ Abbot's Madhouse ( which doesn't have its own Wikipedia page, surprisingly ) in 1981/1982.
( Also not normally described as "an amazing dancer", Barrymore *did* perform impersonations that included running around on stage, mimicking that person's movements, in addition to the voice. Even when appearing in other shows - including hosting a game show - he was known to cross the stage in various distinctive ways. )
Slightly less physical - Les Dennis and Dustin Gee, who also appeared with Russ Abbot during the 80s, and for a time had their own show, The Laughter Show, ( which also doesn't have a Wikipedia page. ) (talk) 10:12, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

September 7[edit]

American trampolinist[edit]

I recently read an article from Trampoline Pundit. The article was about American trampolinist Charlotte Drury. She became best friends with fellow American gymnasts McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross. Drury was born on June 4, 1996. Her gymnastics club is World Elite Gymnastics. Are there any more sources out there that would help with doing an article about her? (talk) 07:04, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

A convenient means of finding sources is by using the template: {{find sources}}, which in your case results in:
Find sources: "Charlotte Drury" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR · free images
I hope this helps, —E: (talk) 19:05, 7 September 2014 (UTC) — However...
...A cursory check suggests that it will be difficult to establish "notability" in the Wikipedia-sense; please see: Wikipedia:Notability (sports) before spending too much effort writing an article that is likely to be rejected. ~Sorry 'bout that, —E: (talk) 19:31, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Would these [40] [41] help a little bit? How tall is she? (talk) 07:39, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Those sources would be useful for adding factual information to an article, but would not satisfy "...significant coverage in reliable secondary sources that are independent of the subject." — You could create an account and then create a Userspace draft and submit it for review. Please first see Wikipedia: Your first article. Also, consider visiting Wikipedia: Teahouse, "a friendly place" for new editors.   —E: (talk) 19:29, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

September 9[edit]

What's the point of points in basketball?[edit]

In basketball - and, until a few years ago, in volleyball - a game won is awarded two points and a game lost is awarded one point, with a tie not being permitted as a final result by the rules of the game. So in a group tournament where all teams will eventually have played the same number of matches, the final ranking by points is in fact a final ranking by matches won, with an additional point given to each team for each match played - apart from the rather exceptional cases where zero points are awarded to the losing team after a forfeited game, which could easily be compensated by deducting points from the losing team (cf. the last season of the Cypriot football championship, where a team finished with minus 39 points). Is there some sort of history behind the basketball ranking system, has it been criticized as being pointless, and have there been proposals to abolish it? --Theurgist (talk) 00:32, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Which basketball league are you asking about? In North America, neither the NBA nor the NCAA uses a game points system like ice hockey or association football; records in those leagues use straight win-loss records to rank teams. Likewise, Euroleague regular season also does not use a game-points system, it uses win-loss record. I know of no basketball league which uses a ranking system based on points; they all seem to use wins alone to rank teams. --Jayron32 00:46, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
World Cup Basketball (FIBA) uses this system. See, for example points calculation in group tournament ranking and FIBA's rules here. "Teams shall be classified according to their win-loss records, namely two (2) points for each game won, one (1) point for each game lost (including lost by default) and zero (0) points for a game lost by forfeit." But I couldn't find an answer (and won't speculate). ---Sluzzelin talk 00:50, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Well, that's just a pre-tournament ranking. Since the teams don't play head-to-head much before the tournament, there has to be a way to rank teams to seed them in said tournament. Within actual head-to-head competition, however, they just use win-loss record. --Jayron32 01:02, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, the final round is a knockout stage (see, for example 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup final round), but I think Theurgist was asking about group tournaments (for example the World Cup preliminary round) all along, and the question still remains as to why a system avoiding negative points (and scores) was chosen. ---Sluzzelin talk 01:09, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Not familiar with the system, but it seems the zero for forfeits is what gives it its point. A zero is twice as easy to come back from as a -1. Keeps it more competitive, I suppose, while also penalizing quitters harder than losers.
You want pointless points, try watching mixed martial arts, with its ten-point must system. A 10-8 round is hard enough to get, a 10-7 nearly impossible. Points 1-6 are never used, but for some reason, we don't just make it three-point must. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:56, September 9, 2014 (UTC)
Australian Rules Football assigns four points for a win, two for a draw, and zero for a loss (or a forfeit). For cultural reasons I happen to know an awful lot about the game, but I have never been able to understand why those respective numbers of points aren't 2, 1 and 0 respectively. HiLo48 (talk) 01:07, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Aye. The Champion Carnival may not be a sport, but it gets it. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:34, September 9, 2014 (UTC)

Introductions, introits, preambles, and preludes[edit]

What term refers to the first portion (ending at 0:56) of this performance of "Wait 'Till the Sun Shines, Nellie"?

It is not included in this performance.

Wavelength (talk) 03:00, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

That's called the verse (see Verse-chorus form). George Burns, when he appeared on The Tonight Show, used to sing the verses of familiar old songs and ask Johnny to identify what songs they were from. They're often so unconnected with the material in the choruses (and so seldom sung) that this can be a real challenge. (A beautifully all-purpose, self-referential one is the verse of Cole Porter's "It's De-Lovely".) I've been known to play that parlor game myself. Deor (talk) 05:11, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you very much.—Wavelength (talk) 19:21, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Does anyone know what is this instrumential song?[edit]

I'm pretty sure it's some free background music but I can't find it. Already asked the one who made that video but she doesn't know. [42] -- (talk) 08:16, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Hello old bean! I would suggest you ask the lovely young lady to upload onto Youtube a minute of video with the music without her talking over the top. You could then play this clip into an app like Shazam (service) and see if it recognises it. Good luck! Quintessential British Gentleman (talk) 23:39, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Below the description is a series of links to sell the track "Dare to Dream" by Utopian Sounds; follow the links and listen to sample(s). In the video it's too faint for me to be sure of a match. —Tamfang (talk) 23:41, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

September 10[edit]

French national team official jerseys[edit]

I've watched the opening game of the current World Cup against Brazil and I thought its just a one-off, but I've noticed that they played in the same type of sleeved jerseys against Spain, as well. Is it not much harded for players to move hands freely with such jerseys? One would say not, as they are currently in the quarter-final, but it makes me wonder why all other national teams have sleevless jerseys then? If it had any advantages to wear football-style shirt, would America or Spain use those ones? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:56, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't have the answer, but the question concerns the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. --Xuxl (talk) 11:23, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Teams don't always make decisions based on what is best for the players on the court, with regard to the style and quality of jerseys. These decisions are made most often by sports marketing departments based on what will sell to the general public, and thus make the most money. The shirts worn by France this year are pretty unremarkable, considering some of the odd experimental uniforms tried in the past. OIn 1989, the NC State Wolfpack experimented with basketball unitards. The players refused to wear them, and insisted on wearing shorts over them, as they were a bit too revealing. See [43] and [44] and [45]. --Jayron32 12:17, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Obviously my theory that its a disadvantage proved to be right as my little country defeated the french in the semis tonight! Anyhow, thank you for your answer. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:38, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

There's more to sports success than jersey style. If that made the difference, then they weren't good enough to win with any jersey, anyways. --Jayron32 01:43, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

September 11[edit]

Video game marathons[edit]

I know there's a popular theory in these parts that Wikipedia has an article on everything - so, riddle me this: do we have an article about video game marathons? i.e. A gamer or group of gamers playing video games for an extended period of time, usually to raise awareness or donations for a cause.

I've found a few articles about some individual marathons, e.g. Speed_Demos_Archive#Charity_marathons, Mario Marathon, LoadingReadyRun#Desert Bus For Hope, TheSpeedGamers, but none of these have links to an article on the general idea. OrganicsLRO 15:26, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

I found a few other places where the concept is mentioned, Child's_Play_(charity), Speedrun#Team_Ludendi, Destructoid, and Mario_Marathon. Since the last one is a specific gaming marathon, I think and article title gaming marathon or video game marathon would be notable enough for WP coverage. So I say, be WP:BOLD and create it! See Wikipedia:Your_first_article if you need instruction, but a simple stub with refs cribbed from the links above should be pretty easy to manage. These other pages already have obvious places to link to the new article, so it should receive attention and grow accordingly. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:38, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
We have an article about a movie about a $50,000 "Video Armageddon". It's so bad! Not exactly a charity, but it helped a sick kid learn the value of hustling. InedibleHulk (talk) 15:27, September 12, 2014 (UTC)

Star Trek episodes[edit]

Most episodes from TOS, TNG, voyager and DS9 seem to be very sci fi and obviously it's a scifi show but are there any episodes which are particularly emotional and have much more than sci fi? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:00, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

From TNG, I'd recommend "The Inner Light" and "Chain of Command". From DS9, "Duet". --McDoobAU93 19:15, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I've seen the inner light. That's very good. I don't remember chain of command being much different from most other TNG episodes though and never seen duet. (talk) 20:02, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I selected these as the core story, if you took the sci-fi elements away from it, could still be told and have the same impact. Definitely recommend "Duet", as it's one of my all-time fave DS9 episodes. --McDoobAU93 20:11, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I would recommend the TNG episode "Family". There is almost no sci-fi in it at all. Most of it centers around Jean-Luc Picard's recovery from the Borg attack. He returns to his family vineyard in France, and reconnects with his older brother who has taken over the wine-making business. Worf has a similar reconnection with his adoptive human parents, and Wesley Crusher is given a message left by his late father.    → Michael J    21:29, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
The DS9 episode In the Pale Moonlight has always been one of my favorites for drama. Sisko, while dictating a personal log entry, wrestles with his conscience regarding decisions he made. There is sci-fi-ish story stuff in the flashbacks, but the turmoil Sisko is going through (and its resolution) is the central theme of the episode.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 00:08, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Your premise is flawed, sci-fi and emotional quality drama are not mutually exclusive by any means. (talk) 23:36, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. "Science Fiction" is merely a setting. Any story can take place in any setting. There are Sci-Fi detective stories (The Caves of Steel, Blade Runner), Sci-Fi war stories (Old Man's War); Sci-Fi samurai stories (Star Wars), sci-fi political commentary (Foundation), sci-fi comedy (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), etc, etc, etc. --Jayron32 00:17, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The OP never stated that sci-fi and emotion were mutually exclusive, just that they aren't always combined in the same ratio. StuRat (talk) 12:36, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
In the original series, there were some rather emotional ones. We had the half-black, half-white races fighting each other to mutual destruction of their planet, at least 2 episodes where officers were on trial for murder, The Doomsday Machine, where Kirk felt useless at first, the episode where Kirk's brother was killed by those flying things that stuck on people's backs, the one where Kirk was split into two people, one violent and one gentle, etc.
BTW, if you like emotion with your Sci-fi, you might appreciate the original Outer Limits. I get the impression most of the scripts were meant for a half hour show, but when they got an hour-long slot instead, they reacted by tossing a romantic entanglement into each episode to take up the extra time. StuRat (talk) 12:36, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
A few more emotional TNG episodes: Dark Page, where Lwaxana Troi comes to terms with the death of her first-born daughter, who drowned as a youngster, and Eye of the Beholder, which dealt with themes of murder and suicide. Matt Deres (talk) 17:19, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
"In the Hands of the Prophets" parallels the debate over whether creationism should be taught in schools. Dismas|(talk) 00:09, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Need help identifying a Paul Mauriat composition[edit]

The theme song of the 1982 Hong Kong TV series 痴情劫 [46] (a.k.a. Love with Many Phases) was, I believe, composed by Paul Mauriat. Some suggested that it was specially composed for that theme song. On the other hand, comments on YouTube identified the music as a 1977 work entitled "Taste of Sorrow". I did some Web searches but I couldn't find any 1977 albums by Paul Mauriat that includes a track with that title. The references I found about "Taste of Sorrow" say it was released in 1983 and the composers were Paul Mauriat and Gérard Gambus.

My questions:

  1. Is the melody of the 痴情劫 theme from the composition "Taste of Sorrow"? (Clips of the 痴情劫 theme song can be found on YouTube.)
  2. Who composed the melody for the 痴情劫 theme song and when was it written?
  3. Was the melody originally composed for the theme song?

Thanks. -- (talk) 16:04, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

September 14[edit]

Double sharps and double flats[edit]

Two questions:

  1. When was the first use of a double sharp??
  2. When was the first use of a double flat??

The reason these questions are so interesting to compare is that while the double sharp double sharp has a special symbol; the double flat double flat is just 2 flat signs. I can easily conclude from this non-sequitur that the double flat is a newer invention. Georgia guy (talk) 17:46, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Apparently, they came about at the same time -- with the development of equal temperament. The main proponent of the saltire double-sharp symbol was Johann Mattheson; Leopold Mozart preferred an upright cross, and existing practice had been simply to use the note above. Mattheson also wanted to use β for the double flat, but it didn't catch on. --jpgordon::==( o ) 18:27, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Simply using the note above might also have taken some time to die out – you can find it as late as the slow movement of the Emperor Concerto (though I find this really inexplicable, given that by this time the double sharp was completely standard, and even more strongly because double sharps appear in the finale of the fourth concerto!) Looking at Beethoven piano concerto scores it looks as though he refrains from using double accidentals in the orchestral parts, but not in the piano part. May be composer-dependent though, because I haven't seen a single Mozart(!) work that avoids the double accidental when it is needed. Double sharp (talk) 13:43, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Oh my, I'm now completely absorbed in that "Extremes" site. Thanks. --jpgordon::==( o ) 14:08, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you: it had the same effect on me when I first found it! :-P You might like this too, from the same site. Double sharp (talk) 14:24, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
The last two posts confused the heck out of me, until it finally dawned on me that JPGordon was thanking Double sharp for a link provided at the bottom of this question. Occupational hazard of being left-brained, I guess. Note to self: Must become less imperfect and more gestalt-oriented. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:59, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Something I'd really like to know, though, is: when was the first use of a triple sharp? A triple flat? The earliest triple sharp I know of is in Anton Reicha's 36 fugues (No. 34; Ctriple sharp, b. 56, LH), published in 1803. The earliest triple flat I know of is in Nikolai Roslavets's first piano sonata (Btriple flat; this wonderful resource helpfully informs me that it is in bb. 152–3), published in 1914. But the huge gap of over a century between these two seems improbable. Double sharp (talk) 13:53, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Rock drummers[edit]

This may be two questions but here goes. Who is the black drummer who plays with rock bands such as Dave Gilmour, Paul McCartney and who isn't Abe Laboriel? Or if anyone is watching the Jeff Lynne concert on BBC/Proms in the Park, who's the drummer? TammyMoet (talk) 19:44, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Just for clarification, you're looking for a drummer who plays with Gilmour and/or McCartney but is NOT Abe Laboriel, Jr.? --Jayron32 19:49, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Donavan Hepburn was on the drums for Jeff Lynne at Hyde Park and also Children in Need 2013. He's a session musician who has worked with Take That, Olly Murs, Adele, Cheryl Cole, Robbie Williams, Alesha Dixon, James Morrison amongst others. Nanonic (talk) 20:03, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Donovan Hepburn looks like the guy I am seeing when watching some videos of recent Jeff Lynne performances. Being large with dark skin, he's also easy to confuse (at a quick glance) with Laboriel Jr. Perhaps that's who Tammy is looking at. --Jayron32 20:07, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
He's also a Yamaha sponsored artist along with McCartney and others which could explain them working together occasionally. Nanonic (talk) 20:09, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
The other thought I had was Carter Beauford, another African American rock drummer; though I'd not ever seen him play with McCartney, Gilmour, or Lynne. I do think Nanonic has it right; I think the drummer definitely is Hepburn. --Jayron32 20:10, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes I think Donovan Hepburn is the one I was looking at. Thank you all so much. And that's the explanation for what I remembered about McCartney et al - would never have guessed that. --TammyMoet (talk) 14:05, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

September 15[edit]

Invisible man like series[edit]

Does anyone remember a series in the 90s/2000s that dealt with invisibility? It was a British series about a guy that whenever he was splashed with water would turn invisible. Two particular scenes I remember for some reason is first he is walking to a pub and whilst out in the street there is a huge puddle in the street. Inevitably he gets splashed either by a black cab or another car.

The second random scene I remember is that he is speeding down a track on a motorbike with a female friend on the back, possibly in her dressing gown. Something causes him and the bike to turn invisible leading to a comedic scene where some onlookers watch as there is a screaming woman at speed floating through the air down the track and passing by.

I could have sworn this was called The Invisible Man. Could anyone suggest which drama this could have been? Difficultly north (talk) Simply south alt. 01:50, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

There was an American show The Invisible Man (2000 TV series) in that time period. Rmhermen (talk) 02:49, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I think you're remembering the UK series The Vanishing Man. Our article mentions the bit about becoming invisible "shortly after coming into contact with water". Deor (talk) 12:46, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Meital Gal and other Israeli actresses of Mizrahi and Sephardic origin[edit]

What is Meital Gal's origin? Is she Ashkenazi or Sephardic or Mizrahi? How many actresses are Mizrahi and Sephardic? Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:37, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia does not have any article on Meital Gal. IMDb does but it is VERY short, and does not indicate her ethnic origins. As far as the second question, it is likely unanswerable. That does not sound like the kind of statistic that anyone would have ever bothered to count. --Jayron32 23:04, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Do you know the titles of the two songs whose music was used in these two separate Cinder Calhoun sketches on SNL?[edit]

If you're familiar with the late 1990s SNL character Cinder Calhoun (played by Ana Gasteyer), I'm looking for the titles of two songs whose music she used in two separate sketches she did namely Sausages pain (aired Sep 27 1997) and Xmas Chainsaw Massacre (aired Dec 05 1998). Contact Basemetal here 00:31, 16 September 2014 (UTC)


September 10[edit]

Song Name[edit]

What exactly is the name of the song in the first commercial/advertisement (the one with the "lemon chicken") in this link?: Futurist110 (talk) 01:16, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

"One Great Love" by The Five Keys (1958). ---Sluzzelin talk 01:33, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Merci beaucoup! Futurist110 (talk) 02:29, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Re:WP:Size in volumes[edit]

What's the size of a Britannica volume?

This is very hard to find on the Internet, even Amazon if they give it at all just gives the size of the set packed into a brick with uncertain form. The first Google result is some guy on Wikipedia Talk:Size in volumes saying that it's 19 inches, that's freaking huge, and too small to be cms. Maybe that article's scale picture can finally be to scale, I believe it's still scaled by "feel".

I measured one once but forgot the numbers. They're all exact inch fractions - the width seems random but becomes extremely accurate when you squeeze the book so hard it can't compress no more.

And that article says 44 million words in 32 volumes, but 2 volumes are just the index. Should it say 44M words in 30 volumes? A real paper WP would need an index too, so the # of volumes shouldn't be reduced. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 06:44, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

(OR warning:) one of the Britannica volumes I have here on the shelf measures 285 x 225 x 40. --ColinFine (talk) 18:27, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
That would have been a more useful answer if you'd told us the units! We should assume millimeters. So 40mm/volume - 30 volumes is 1.2 meters...close to 4 feet...which seems about right to me.
Converting in Google gives 11 1/4" x 8 7/8" x 1 9/16" which brings back the ways I tried to remember it (ie a fourth, an eight, and a sixteenth), so even a British measurer agrees with me (so much so that it was hard to tell if Britannicas were metric or Imperial — the values are only 0.75mm, 0.425mm and 0.3125mm apart! Might this be intentional? Thermal expansion is about 0.3%, I made sure the ruler reached room temperature! And didn't absorb humidity! (no wood) I managed to squeeze the book to about 39.7mm despite the paper absorbing water and 10 kg less help from air pressure (it was raining), so I think US Britannicas at least are Imperial) Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 04:47, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
However, measurement of the Britannica is very sensitive to which version you're talking about. The copy we had at home when I was a kid took up about 4 to 5 feet of shelf space and included an atlass, a single volume index and a year book for the year we bought it...which suggests that ColinFine's numbers are about right. When I bought my own copy decades later, it came as a "propedia", a "micropedia" and a "macropedia" - as well as index, atlas and one year book for each year for several years.
Which of those are legitimately comparable to Wikipedia is hard to know because our work isn't organized in those levels of depth. But for sure, 19 inches is far too small to be the shelf space for the entire set.
SteveBaker (talk) 01:34, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Eviction records[edit]


I live in North Carolina and am trying to find a decent source (preferably online) to determine how many evictions have been carried out at a certain address, and when. I'm not even sure if this is the sort of thing that would be on public record. A Google search did turn up a few hits, but most of them are pay services and seem to be geared toward landlords seeing whether a certain tenant has recently been evicted from another home. I'm effectively trying to do the opposite (see how many tenants a landlord has evicted from a specific address). Is this the sort of thing I'm likely to find publicly available, and if so, where? Thanks. (talk) 17:48, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

These sorts of records are commonly held at the county level. Here's a random NC county's web page, that has a form that you can fill out requesting public information [47]. I recommend looking through your county's web presence, and if the info is not easily downloadable, it should be available upon request. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:06, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Not at all to contradict SemanticMantis, but evictions when actually physically carried out are done by the local sheriff's office. You might want to try contacting them as well, although my knowledge is based on different states, not NC. User:Jayron32 might also be a good person to contact if I correctly remember. μηδείς (talk) 21:26, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the ping, Medeis. I have lived in Cakalaky for many years, but don't have a lot of experience with eviction statistics. My best guess on how to get the information would either be a properly formatted and submitted FOIA request, or to contact the county records office. I believe bot Medeis and SemanticMantis are correct when they say this sort of thing is handled on the county level. I live in Wake County, for example, and here is their online public records request page. You may have to find a similar office at your local county. That'd be my best advice. --Jayron32 23:25, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Cakalaky? Is that the same as Cackalacky? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:17, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Shonuff. You and yur fancy dixunairy spellins. --Jayron32 01:18, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
And here's a little light reading for you on the subject. "A word to capture the Carolinas". --Jayron32 01:20, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:23, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
The OP says: Thanks, everyone! (talk) 15:20, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

September 11[edit]

"Wholesale to the public"[edit]

Does the phrase "wholesale to the public" mean something in particular? As I understand it, wholesale usually means business-to-business selling, while retail usually means selling to the public. However, I've noticed that some businesses (such as jewelers and used car lots) describe themselves as "wholesale to the public" while nonetheless doing most of their business in consumer sales. Is this just marketing, or is there some functional difference between these "wholesale" sellers and typical retailers? If it matters, I'm in the US. Dragons flight (talk) 06:28, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

The short version is: yes, it's just a marketing thing. It's supposed to make customers conjure up visions of saving big $$$ by not paying retail markup. In a few cases that might be true, but more often than not, it's a euphemism for selling bulk items (i.e. yes, you save $5 per box, but you have to buy 30 boxes at once) or stores that essentially run both retail and wholesale from the same building (i.e. you're still paying full retail markup, but the gent beside you taking three skids at once is getting a much better deal). An example of the first would be something like Costco. I can't think of a nationally known example of the second type, but I deal with some local ones professionally. Matt Deres (talk) 13:31, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
When I complained to my pharmacist that he was charging $1 for 16 generic benadryl (diphenhydromine hydrochloride, 25 mg) he went into the stockrooom, handed me a 1600 count bottle, and said he'd sell me whatever was left in it for $5--probably about 1000 ct. Presumably enough to get him a new full bottle. That was pretty much wholesale to me, if I count as the public--it lasted a year, instead of 3-4 days. This was a privately owned pharmacy. It was not an advertised deal. I have also had other privately owned stores offer me better than advertised deal. I ordered 8 mozzarella sticks from a restaurant once. The owner gave me thirty. It was unfortunate, since his shop burnt down that night. μηδείς (talk) 22:33, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Has there been any research on this?[edit]

I often go out hiking/camping, and I can be out for a week, or for four weeks, or sometimes more, during which time, I have no opportunity to wash. I find that the first week or so of not washing, I smell, but after that, the smell goes away. Is there any science to this? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 10:02, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Sounds like habituation to me personally; something like sensory fatigue may be the culprit, and i know there have been research studies on that sort of thing. Perhaps the amount of bacteria growing on your body producing the odor is initially growing faster than you can habituate during the first week, then it plateaus allowing for sensory fatigue? ~Helicopter Llama~ 11:09, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I just spent about 10 minutes searching google scholar, and found no single work that directly addresses your question, in terms of bathing frequency in humans and perceived odor. There is of course a lot of research on human olfaction, and human body odor, skin chemistry, and even bathing, so in a sense there is a lot of scientific knowledge on this, but it comes from a wide variety of studies. First, consider olfactory fatigue, which is well-documented, and applies to most scents. This is likely part of the story, but I don't think it's all of it. Also consider that the human microbiome will respond to decreased bathing frequency, and you will be carrying around different types and concentrations of critters after two weeks of camping and not bathing. We all make scents, but it is often bacterial emissions that our responsible for bad body odor. I wouldn't be surprised if less bathing led to changes in your microbiome, that in turn changed the scent profile. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:24, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Pursuant to SemanticMantis's closing speculation: (ethnically European) friends who have adopted uncut difficult-to-wash dreadlocks as a hairstyle have told me that for the first month or so their scalp and hair became greasy and smelly, but subsequently reverted to a much drier, non-smelly condition. As I myself could attest to this condition, their own sensory habituation could not be responsible. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 17:34, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
And the hair example specifically reminds me that sebum production can vary, depending on how much is present on the body. In general terms, more washing leads to more sebum production, while less washing leads to less production. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:17, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I have friends with dreads as well who have experienced the same, but they complain that when their hair gets wet, they smell like wet dog? why is this? ~Helicopter Llama~ 20:39, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

The reason I am asking is because no-one else perceives the smell, after I come back after a trip over a few weeks, so I doubt it is a problem with habituation or olfactory fatigue. It's only for the first week. And yes, I will go with the 'poster formerly known as...' with the hair story. I experience that myself. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 08:17, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Seems like this phenom might have something to do with the layer of dead skin cells (and dirt) which builds up. the initial odor is due to live bacteria, right? i mean, in addition to sweat which is infused from your dietary choices. i think after awhile the skin-dirt layer creates a sort of odor shield.. This is just speculation, i've travelled and felt the sensation of washing off days of grime. and i've been around people who stopped bathing with soaps. their natural smell can be mildly earthy. El duderino (abides) 11:03, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

World Banks[edit]

==Which bank or institution has the highest rate of return on 'Interest Bearing Deposits', for their customers?

This will change over time. prime rate is talked about a lot in the USA, but there are international equivalents. See e.g. here [48], where you can see current and historical rates for several countries/markets. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:10, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
According to this web site, banks in Argentina currently have the highest interest rates on deposits. Click on "More Info" to see terms of deposit and rates offered by various banks in each country. The highest rates are on term deposits (where the depositor agrees not to withdraw the money for a set period), like CDs in the United States. If you deposit money in an account denominated in Argentine pesos, and you intend to exchange those pesos for a different currency after you withdraw them, note that Argentina limits the convertibility of pesos into dollars and other foreign currencies. Also, the Argentine peso is subject to sharp depreciation. It has lost 24 percent of its value against the dollar in just the last month, wiping out the interest rate offered by Argentine banks on peso deposits. Banks in many countries make it difficult or impossible for non-residents to open bank accounts, and deposits denominated in currencies other than your own are subject to exchange rate risk. Marco polo (talk) 18:52, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Customer service jobs[edit]

How hard is it to progress to a management job from a frontline customer service position in the retail, tourism and transport sector if you have a degree? (talk) 14:53, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

This is highly variable and subjective. Useful links? Customer serviceCustomer relationship managementCareer paths in the travel industryCareer Paths in the Travel & Tourism Industry (PDF) (talk) 18:46, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
It depends greatly on unpredictable factors, including the personality of the employee, the employee's relationship with superiors, and the culture of the individual company. So it would be difficult to generalize meaningfully about an entire industry. Marco polo (talk) 18:56, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
The degree tells a potential employer two things:  1) you have the focus and ability to complete a long-term task;  2) you have acquired useful knowledge and skills (depending on the curriculum and degree, of course).  — (talk) 21:33, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
  • This is something the OP should be asking his presumptive employer if he gets to the detailed interview stage of hiring. UPS only hires from within, the Bell companies mostly from within, and Denny's from without. Of course none of us knows if the OP, himself a Londoner, is management material. WP CRYSTAL SOMETHING. μηδείς (talk) 22:25, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

September 12[edit]

Fort Knox and land mines[edit]

Hi. I read somewhere (not on Wikipedia) that the defences of the bullion depository at Fort Knox include land mines. Is that true? If so, doesn't it contravene international laws, to which I believe the US is party, against the use of land mines? (talk) 00:11, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Well, there are signs at Fort Knox indicating such. As seen here: How To Break Into Fort Knox  — (talk) 00:25, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That same article says towards the bottom that employees can neither confirm nor deny this, so I doubt there's a way to answer op's question... :'( ~Helicopter Llama~ 00:29, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
For obvious reasons, the details of their protection systems are a closely held secret. Most rumors are simply guesswork. (talk) 00:31, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Landmines are banned under the Ottawa Treaty - which the USA refused to sign. So no, it's not illegal. Even if they had signed it - I suspect that the law only applies in warfare - they may be perfectly legal for defense against criminals or something. Also, only anti-personnel mines are covered by the treaty. Anti-tank (or anti-other-vehicle) mines are still perfectly legal everywhere. That said, the US claims that they only use anti-personnel mines that automatically disarm themselves two days after deployment - and which rely on a battery to trigger them that runs down after about two weeks in the event that the automatic disarming mechanism fails. Clearly those would be no use around Fort Knox - so perhaps this is an example of the US being inconsistent - but not breaking any agreement that they are signatories to. SteveBaker (talk) 00:48, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure the distinction between warfare and protecting against criminals really exists in the convention, our article seems to hint against any, as does the convention text e.g. [49] [50] [51]. These seem to ban and require the removal of anti-personnel mines point blank except for training, testing methods of destruction and similar purposes.
Note that such exceptions would need to be carefully worded otherwise any country mining their border will simply say it's to protect against criminals rather than for the purposes of warfare. See e.g. similar problems discussed here [52] (the link itself wasn't working at the time for me but an internet cache was) about the problem with the definition of anti-personnel. Actually it also mentions definition issues surrounding the ban requirements itself but not related to warfare vs criminal per se.
(Even with a very careful wording you'd still likely not cover lots of stuff, e.g. if some regime uses them to protect their presidential palaces, military bases including those where they torture people etc, or even against internal rebels, it's going to be difficult for your definition to exclude these purposes since from the POV of the state party, they are simply used against criminal behaviour. Not that such regimes are likely to have signed the treaty or will care even if they have signed and ratified, but the point of the treaty was I'm pretty sure to include such cases.)
If the US is still has a minefield in Fort Knox, whether of persistent mines or not and anti-personnel or anti-vehicle, that does seem to go strongly against their stated policy [53] [54] [55] [56]. Unless I guess Fort Knox is where they conduct their training exercises and such.
I suspect that they probably have none, although getting them to state it on record may be difficult. (However if you were to ask if their landmine policy applies to the US and whether they have any minefields in the US, they may confirm that it does and doesn't even if the same person just told you they can't confirm or deny what protections are used at Fort Knox.) It seems unlikely landmines would provide much benefit compared to whatever other measures they have there. It's not like Fort Knox is an extremely large area they have difficulty patrolling/controlling via personnel.
Nil Einne (talk) 05:52, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I would suspect that blowing a would-be thief to pieces might just push the concept of reasonable force a little too far. DuncanHill (talk) 08:53, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
That's the odd thing though - you'd think that a minefield would principally be intended as a deterrence which case, why would you deny it's existence? It's more likely (IMHO) that there is no minefield and that they'd prefer to leak the false information that there is one, and then vigorously refuse to discuss it in order to reinforce this falsehood. But it's a long-held principle to say "cannot confirm or deny" in such situations because if you tell people everything you DON'T have, and refuse to talk about the secret things you DO have - then the bad guy can use a process of elimination to deduce what your secret is. Quite honestly, I don't understand why you need all that secrecy anyway - it's very hard to destroy a very large pile of solid gold, if you stole a large fraction of the gold, you'd have no reasonable way to transport or sell it - and even a modest amount of security is enough to prevent single gold bars from leaving the area. A large-scale "goldfinger-like" exercise would be impossible to pull off in any realistic situation. They really only need to make the place a teeny bit more secure than the local jewellery shops. SteveBaker (talk) 17:39, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the helpful responses. I have decided not to attempt to rob Fort Knox at present. (talk) 23:19, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Last updated...[edit]

Hello! SUGGESTION: It would nice to see "LAST UPDATED ON (date)" on some scientific topic entries in the HEADER of the page in question. Would please consider it. Thanks a million. [removed personal information] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chaher Soliman (talkcontribs) 01:30, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Clicking "history" at the top of a page will give you that information. μηδείς (talk) 02:34, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
All pages on Wikipedia have a text at the bottom, "This page was last modified on <date> at <time>". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 03:15, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Note that an article having been last modified on a given date does not necessarily mean that it reflects all of the latest knowledge on the topic it depicts as of that date. (talk) 15:01, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
No, the time stamp is more likely to tell you when a - was changed to a – Thincat (talk) 12:19, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

September 13[edit]

Checked baggage fees in non-low cost carriers in America and elsewhere[edit]

I've read that in America, while legacy carriers generally allow one free carry-on baggage per passenger, similar to low-cost carriers (LCCs), the legacy carriers charge for checked luggage (even the first bag), especially for domestic flights (certain international flights, mainly trans-Pacific, do include one complimentary checked bag; ironically, Southwest and JetBlue, two LCCs, allow one or two free checked bags per passenger). I'm aware that this is mainly the case with so-called discount tickets; a full-price ticket includes baggage fees, but the latter ticket doesn't appear to be mentioned as much on websites. However, for the most part, outside of the United States, legacy carriers charging for checked luggage is pretty much unheard of, and is mainly common only with LCCs. The question: how come the practice of charging for checked baggage among legacy carriers caught on in the United States, but not in other countries? As in, why in America, most legacy carriers charge for checked luggage, a practice frequently associated with LCCs, and why hasn't this practice caught on among most legacy airlines in the rest of the world? Apparently, even Air Canada allows one complimentary checked bag, depending on the destination. This question refers to the practice of charging for first checked bags; it does not refer to excess bag fees, or fees regarding bags that exceed size or weight limits. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 09:31, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

It's probably part of a much larger pattern of nobody standing up for US consumers. Being more conservative than most developed nations, there are fewer regulatory restrictions on "ripping off customers". And US customers themselves take a more individual attitude, that they will try to protect themselves from being ripped off, but not anybody else. The US also has all sorts of hidden banking fees. For example, US banks find ways to maximize overbalance fees, say by reordering your charges so the last (large) charge, which put you over your balance, is charged first, then all the smaller charges will happen after you are over your balance, and then they can charge you for those, too. This type of rip-off is perfectly legal in the US, with nobody calling for laws to prevent it. StuRat (talk) 12:20, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I had about a $100 balance in my chase checking account. I had placed six very small (less than $5 each) orders with Amazon over Christmas. The order had not been filled and it was now March. Amazons policy says orders not filled in one month are cancelled. Those orders all came through, then I overdrafted on the $100. So Chase charged me 6 $35 overdraft charges on the 6 items all of which had priority and would have been covered as well as on the seventh. When I had set up the account all overdrafts were to be denied on the checking card anyway. The rep I got told me they had made a change in policy to cover such overdraftsand charge the fee in order to "help customers". I said, yeah, help yourself to customer's money. I did eventually get $210 waived, then closed the account. μηδείς (talk) 00:48, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Business ethics in the US has degraded to the point where "if we can rip off the customer, and it's not illegal, or even if it is and we won't get prosecuted, then we have an obligation to the shareholders to do it". StuRat (talk) 14:31, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
I understand StuRat's sentiment, but there do not seem to be any EU regulations requiring legacy carriers to accept baggage without fees. In fact, this is probably a matter of different market structures and consumer expectations. In Europe and perhaps other markets, "legacy carriers" may have adopted a business strategy of convincing consumers to pay higher prices for a higher level of service than is provided by discount carriers. Presumably, that strategy has not failed, or they would have abandoned it. (Though, according to this source, KLM and British Airways have already begun charging fees on checked bags on short-haul flights.) In the United States, the distinction between legacy carriers and discount carriers is little more than historical. When a legacy carrier and a discount carrier share the same route, their fares tend to mirror each other. The reason is that airlines in the United States compete mainly on price for the coach class market segment (as opposed to the premier classes), and to a lesser extent on passenger loyalty stimulated by award programs. I am not familiar with the short-haul air travel markets in countries other than the United States, but some carriers may be competing on the basis of quality of service in those markets, which would cause them to continue to waive fees on the first checked bag. In the United States, one or two "legacy" carriers introduced fees for the first checked bag, and other carriers watched to see what would happen. The carriers with fees did not see a significant loss of business where their fares were otherwise competitive, and as a result other carriers followed suit. Perhaps legacy carriers in other countries are reluctant to take this step because they perceive that it would erode a market advantage, which apparently did not exist for such carriers in the United States. Marco polo (talk) 15:10, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Another thing that might play a role is that in Europe, on many routes there is a lot more competition from the rail network, where, in general, one can take whatever luggage one can haul into the train. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:33, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Debts to USA[edit]

How many billions of bucks do thirdworld countries owe the United States government? -- (talk) 22:52, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

This 2011 report from the McKinsey group says U.S. holdings of foreign assets total $15.3 trillion (see here [57]; the figure is from page 34 of the full report), which makes the U.S. the largest creditor in the world; however, as the U.S. debt at the time was $18.3 trillion (also the largest in the world), the balance was largely negative. This is for all countries, not just third world ones. More recent figures from the Congressional budget office put those numbers at $21 trillion versus $25 trillion at the end of 2012 (see page 4 of [58]). These numbers are significantly higher than the 2010 figures cited in Financial position of the United States. The best breakdown by country I could find is the table for U.S. Direct investment abroad in 2007, in the 2009 edition of the U.S Statistical Abstract, table 1256, available via google books. Out of total investments of $2.8 trillion, European countries represented $1.5 trillion, Latin America and Asia $0.5 trillion each, Canada $0.3 trillion and Africa and the Middle East $0.03 trillion each. Most of the Asian countries are places like Australia, Japan and Singapore. Foreign assets are not debt, but the breakdown provides an idea of how the pie is divided. You can use the table to tally the figures for third world countries according to whatever definition you use. --Xuxl (talk) 14:21, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Apparently the UK still owes the USA $4.4 billion at 1934 prices for debts incurred during the First World War.[59] Hopefully, they won't ask for it back anytime soon. Alansplodge (talk) 20:46, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Section 9 of Article I of the United States Constitution allowed a tax of ten dollars on each imported slave. Has anyone calculated a financial reparation to Africa for guest workers in US plantations? (talk) 10:03, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
See Reparations for slavery debate in the United States. --Xuxl (talk) 11:10, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
The original question was about money owed to the U.S. government. In fact, the U.S. government is a debtor, not a creditor, and according to this table from the U.S. Treasury Department, the "third world" or developing countries, as defined by the International Monetary Fund, owe a net amount of zero to the U.S. government. Meanwhile, according to the same source, the U.S. government owes at least $2.4 trillion (or $2,400 billion) to developing countries. Marco polo (talk) 14:56, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

September 14[edit]

Russian Presidential election Inauguration[edit]

Im really disappointed in your site for having such a Western opinion of information. I come to your site to get facts yet I find that you don't give the facts, you give Western information propaganda; that is really disheartening. My main concern on this specific subject is you say that in the Inauguration there were 8,000 - 20,000 protestors. Im sorry but there is a HUGE difference from 8,000 - 20,000! Why the heck would you post information if you don't know? Putting that far of a span is just ridiculous! Im sure that you could have come a little closer to the real number if you just did more leg work and wanted to know the truth. If you want people to trust your site, I would suggest you stop supporting anti-Russia, and print the facts instead of getting into the Western pumped up propaganda against Russia.

I am not a Russian, I live in Canada... im just sick of all the anti-Russian movements to propagate what is really not happening. As a Canadian, I JUST WANT THE TRUTH! so I can make an informed decision not one coerced by media such as yourself. Shame shame on you! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:04, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Russian presidential election, 2012 is the relevant article. The current revision of the article gives a figure of "15,000 - 20,000", cited to the Daily Telegraph, an impeccably reliable source. This sort of statement should really be on the article talk page rather than the Reference Desks, and any disputes about article content should be backed up with information from reliable sources, rather than an individual's view of what counts as "propaganda". Tevildo (talk) 21:14, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately, for most protests, even in Western countries, the organisers will over-estimate the crowd size, and the target(s) (or police, if it is the state that's being targeted), will underestimate the size. Unless the are good photos taken by independent sources, it is hard to tell what the true figure is. CS Miller (talk) 13:13, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
You're looking at the wrong subsection. The sentence the OP refers to is still there "Putin was inaugurated in the Kremlin on 7 May 2012. Massive public protests had taken place in Moscow on 6 May with estimated 8,000[39]-20,000 protesters taking part". As can be seen, it's sourced to 2 different sources. Anyway, what CS Miller said. We do have a Crowd counting article which isn't that great but does have a source and links Nil Einne (talk) 14:00, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
To my eyes, the problem with that sentence is the word massive. I've taken part in a number of street demonstrations, and even 20,000 participants fall short of a truly massive demonstration, in my experience. In fact, 20,000 protestors are not terribly impressive in a city with a population of more than 12 million. In any case, the word is completely subjective, unnecessary, and suggestive of bias. It's better to just cite the numbers. Therefore, I have deleted the word massive. Marco polo (talk) 14:36, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree with that, I didn't pay much attention to anything besides the numbers since that seemed to be what concerned the OP. Nil Einne (talk) 19:36, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
You're writing as though Wikipedia had an editorial board which decides what goes into it. It hasn't. It has thousands and thousands of editors, who are without exception unpaid volunteers, and who work on what they want to work on. The answer to questions like "Why isn't XXX mentioned" is always one or both of "Because there is no reliable source that says so" and "because nobody has happened to want to write that yet". There are certainly a number of biases in what gets written in Wikipedia, not by policy, but by self-selection among the people who choose to edit. If you see something missing, as long as you can find reliable sources for it, you are very welcome to edit the article and add the missing material. --ColinFine (talk) 21:33, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
  • In America, you count on press to control state. In Russia, state-control on press count you. μηδείς (talk) 23:52, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Seriously, see order of magnitude--differences in estimates of an order of magnitude are a good sign. When everybody agrees in cases like this it is because Kim or the Ayatollah has spoken. μηδείς (talk) 23:52, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

what is this guy saying at the beginning[edit]

i'm not sure if it goes under language or entertainment or both so i just put it here but this is the video: ~Helicopter Llama~ 22:39, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

"To the wears!" (talk) 09:27, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
That's what it sounds like, but I'm not convinced he is actually saying that - it is meaningless isn't it? Richard Avery (talk) 09:35, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
He is said to be drunk, so his speech is supposed to be incoherent. God did not intend for us to know. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:31, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
To me it sounds like "to the world", perhaps in an Irish accent. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 19:40, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

September 15[edit]

Name of french press/cafetière for tea[edit]

Is there a specific name for tea infusers that look a bit like cafetières? There's photos of what I mean towards the bottom of this page [60]. I've my own one, so can take photos of it for our article if they're wanted. CS Miller (talk) 11:45, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

I found nothing more specific than "tea infuser". Where context is clear you could call it a "théière", especially in English (in French the word just means teapot). I found sites referring to multifunctional models similar to your examples as "cafétière/théière", even in French. The company La Cafétière calls some of their models "Le Teapot" :-) (but lists them as "tea infusers"). ---Sluzzelin talk 12:03, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Mine doesn't have the cafetière attachment; the site I linked to was the only one with photos, so I didn't have to describe it. Mine (and the previous one, who's jug I broke), are squatter than typical cafetières, with a hight only slightly greater than their diameter. CS Miller (talk) 13:10, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
This is the one I have, and it's called a 'Tea Press', but I'd agree that the general term, including those that just have a basket and no plunger, would be 'Tea Infuser'. - Cucumber Mike (talk) 16:07, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Are consumer electronics (e.g. Sony Handycam camcorder) exported in containers or a separate compartment in a ship?[edit]

I am curious of "are consumer electronics like the Sony Handycam camcorder exported in containers or a separate compartment in a ship?".

Please answer my question. --Kiel457 (talk) 18:44, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Most likely on shipping containers. From the article Containerization#Twenty-first century: "As of 2009, approximately 90% of non-bulk cargo worldwide is moved by containers stacked on transport ships;" If your camcorder crossed an ocean, it likely did so alongside hundreds of it's friends inside a standardized intermodal container. --Jayron32 20:24, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Meaning "it IS friends" or "it HAS friends" ? (talk) 23:42, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
You'd really have to be quite incredibly stupid to be unable to work that out on your own, so I'm pretty sure you really did figure it out. Nobody who contributes usefully here is impressed by passive-aggressive grammar nazis, and being one doesn't help our ability to respond to the legitimate questions of our users. If you don't have something useful to contribute, please don't bother saying it. SteveBaker (talk) 02:14, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Very high-value items may come by plane. I know that at least one of my MacBooks came from Singapur to Miami in about 36 hours. This may in particularly happen for early shipments, to provide early adopters with the latest technology as fast as possible. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:51, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

What is the genetic significance of being "ugly"?[edit]

So, what is it about just the very slight proportions of the face (over which one has no control from birth) that are the difference between eliticting a friendly loving smile from the hipster barista at Starbucks (and the concomitant free coffee I get) and causing the same lady to grimace and look away as quickly as possible?

What is it about "ugly" people that almost from birth we are conditioned to believe they are less than human -- wholly inferior beings?

The other factors of physical attractiveness (height, intelligence, body shape) have obvious advantages in health and natural selection, but what difference does 1/8 an inch on a nose and 1/4 an inch on a chin really make in practical terms? But it makes a whole world of difference in the real world.

Some of my rather snobby friends have said before that "ugly" people are literally genetically inferior and unhealthy, and their face is nature's way of telling us that. Is this true? If not, then what is it? Zombiesturm (talk) 19:19, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Not all facial attractiveness is about symmetry, but faces with higher facial symmetry are often seen as more attractive. From that article: "Evolutionary theorists in biology and psychology argue that more symmetric faces are preferred because symmetry is a possible honest sign of superior genetic quality and developmental stability." -- this is a somewhat contentious claim, but at least some serious scientists do consider it as a possibility, and there are two citations with that statement. Other info at Physical_attractiveness. Always remember sexual selection can be capricious, and not all traits are adaptive traits. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:13, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Ugliness is a correlative sign of poor genetic or childhood health, parasite burden, the poorly-raised children of unsuccessful families, and things like being accident prone, and otherwise bad fatherhood material. Note, however, that the scars a wounds of soldiers are often considered to make them handsome to women, given the correlation between those injuries and masculine bravery. Semantic has already given the appropriate links. μηδείς (talk) 21:54, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Ugliness is a human construct. Different societies and different times have produced different ideas of what is ugly. HiLo48 (talk) 01:37, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Figured someone would get around to the usual relativist nonsense, but replicated studies have shown that symmetry and other markers of health are universally considered beautiful, while dissymmetry and deformity is considered ugly. You won't find a single person on the planet who thinks Angela Basset is ugly compared to Andre the Giant, except, of course, HiLo48. μηδείς (talk) 02:01, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
To say that there are some universal standards of beauty/ugliness is NOT the same thing as saying that every standard of beauty/ugliness is universal. There are both universal and relative standards of beauty/ugliness. Concepts like symmetry and healthiness are universal, but other standards vary greatly based on cultural expectations and the like. It isn't as simple as saying "it's all universal" or "it's all relative". --Jayron32 02:19, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Yep. HiLo48 (talk) 02:25, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Muriatic acid, gelling agent[edit]

Does anyone here have experience with muriatic acid and how to make it more jelly like so it sticks on surfaces rather than dripping/running down? I thought about corn starch and other common food ingredients but those I thought about need to be heated up to work as intended, which is not an option with muriatic acid.

Very much appreciated for any knowledgeable input.TMCk (talk) 00:05, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Piercing parlors[edit]

Is there anyone on here who's gotten a piercing in Montreal that can recommend a place that has a great track record for being safe? (talk) 01:17, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Recommendations would be opinion - and we don't answer requests for opinion. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:36, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
So if someone asks for recommendations for products or services, you never answer them? I find that extraordinarily hard to believe, especially when scores of evidence in the archives prove otherwise. I'm not asking for a medical opinion on the safety and aftercare methods of body piercings. (talk) 02:14, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Try Angie's List or another service like that. We don't provide reliable recommendations for local businesses. It's not what we do here. --Jayron32 02:16, 16 September 2014 (UTC)