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July 17[edit]

Custom XML serialiser in .NET WCF code?[edit]

I have run into a rather unusual problem at work. We use a WCF service written in .NET C# code. This is otherwise OK, but now it has come into attention that the WCF service should not map the type xsd:decimal in the SOAP messages to System.Decimal as it does by default, but instead into our internal Decimal class, because System.Decimal has too little precision. I think I need to write a custom XML serialiser for this, but how do I go about doing it? The only difference is the handling of the xsd:decimal type. I would like to get this done by writing as little custom code as possible. JIP | Talk 11:07, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

You could create a wrapper class around the System.decimal, and create a custom serialiser/deserialiser for it. It'd probably be less work than writing a serialiser/deserialiser for the parent class. CS Miller (talk) 15:04, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
But how will the WCF service know that xsd:decimal should be deserialised to this new class instead of System.Decimal? From what I understand, the incoming SOAP messages could contain numbers that are so precise that if they ever get made into System.Decimal objects, we lose precision, or the whole process fails. JIP | Talk 15:14, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
If I understand WCF correctly, it uses DataContractSerializer to serialise and deserialize objects to/from XML. It looks (frankly I haven't tried it) that there are two ways to customise its behaviour to handle new types. The first is (statically) to add a new known type, which has its own handler. The second is to dynamically handle things with a custom resolver, which is provided as a helper when you create a new deserialiser (the resolvename() method is the locus of your interest). What I don't know is whether either of these can override an existing type; I don't see any documentation, particularly for the latter way of doing things, which says you can't - I think you'll have to try it and see. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 17:53, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Terminology of email accounts[edit]

I admin a site that has many users and many email addresses. I have a solid idea of what they do and what they are but for non-tech people, I sometimes have a hard time coming up with a succinct term for the difference between the accounts.

There are Forwards which we mostly use as a dispersion sort of thing, e.g. something comes in to Billing@ and that forwards those messages to several people.

Then there are the regular email accounts which are basically meant for individual people, e.g. Mary@, Joe@, etc.

What is the common terminology to differentiate between these types of accounts? Would you term them as Forwards and Accounts? Forwards and Inboxes? The problem my brain has is that the forwards are accounts as well but not really. So, what's the common term to differentiate for explanations to non-tech people? Dismas|(talk) 12:00, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

I'd call the former a role address, or a role account. CS Miller (talk) 15:01, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Another option might be "service account" or "service address", compared to "personal account" or "personnel account", etc. One common thing is to have addresses like or these are for roles or services, and not designed to reach a specific person. As I'm sure you've discovered, it's very hard to use google to find documentation on this... SemanticMantis (talk) 17:23, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Or how about a "bot account", meaning a bot is used to forward the mail from there. StuRat (talk) 17:54, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
It's not a bot though. I would tend to describe the "forwarding" address as an email alias. In my organisation (and in others) [1], [2], these accounts are known as generic email addresses.--Kateshortforbob talk 11:59, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

July 18[edit]

Where are google earth "pins" stored?[edit]

I've recently changed from an XP PC to a Win7 PC> I'd like to copy my google earth pins across. Where would they be on the XP and where should they go on the Win7? -- SGBailey (talk) 11:45, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

I just found this with google:
Your Placemarks are stored in a file named myplaces.kml
XP: C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR user name\Application Data\Google\GoogleEarth\myplaces.kml
Win7: C:\users\YOUR user name\appData\LocalLow\Google\GoogleEarth\myplaces.kml 

-- SGBailey (talk) 22:26, 18 July 2014 (UTC)


I would like to be able to remind myself of actions to take at some future time. (Eg, pay for a holiday 6 weeks before travel in 6 months time...)

Is there anything that can readily do this on Windows 7? I had thought to use a perl script (which I run at bootup anyway) to add a sticky note to the sticky notes file, but I can't determine how to add a note to the stickynotes file.

Any suggestions? -- SGBailey (talk) 12:20, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Google Calendar does this. You can set any reminder for any time you like and it will e-mail you when you want it to. Mingmingla (talk) 16:01, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm giving that a try. Thanks -- SGBailey (talk) 17:19, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I use my cell phone for this type of thing. Most cell phones have a calendar with this capability. Then there's also a paper calendar, which is less likely to lose that info if you reinstall the O/S. Of course, you need to get in the habit of checking your paper calendar every day, as it can't set an alarm. For really important things, like say your wedding anniversary, it's best to use multiple methods, if you want there to be another anniversary next year. StuRat (talk) 16:11, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
The thing I like about Google Calendar (and I presume Apple's iCal works the same way) is that it syncs across devices and the web services that you have, presuming you have a Google account. So my phone, my tablet, my desktop and my e-mail will all notify me one way or the other with an audible alarm, a notification, and the aforementioned e-mail. This prevents the O/S installation and accidental deleting from losing a single device from being an issue. It's "in the cloud". Mingmingla (talk) 22:12, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
That's pretty good, but my paper calendar will still work after an EMP. :-) StuRat (talk) 23:00, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

(1)How can I add the music Handel's "Messiah" to my PowerPoint for class; (2)how to documented the music to a "Works Cited" page?[edit]

Hi Wiki,

Have questions:

(1)How can I add the music Handel's "Messiah" to my PowerPoint for class;


(2)how to documented the music to a "Works Cited" page?


Didi Abel — Preceding unsigned comment added by Didiabel (talkcontribs) 17:05, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

1) Do an Internet search to find the piece in a supported PP format: [3], then download it and import it into the PP presentation. Note that some formats sound better than others, and some recordings will be better than others, so avoid any version performed on the kazoo. :-) StuRat (talk) 17:40, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Dataflow driven programming framework[edit]

I'm developing a high-performance DSP system in C++. I've designed and simulated the algorithm but now it's time to start working out a structure for the actual code. It can be visualized as a directed graph of data streams, being transformed by MIMO blocks. Most streams will be fixed rate, but there may be some special cases where samples come in at arbitrary intervals. All samples will be timestamped, or a timestamp can be inferred based on the sample rate.

At several stages of the flow there are points I would like to be able to log and analyze data.

The output is being used for real-time control of a low-latency system, so I would like to be able to specify that the output thread must run at real-time priority, and the framework should be able to infer what other components of the system will also need to run at that priority. Other outputs that are being used for diagnostic displays or end-of-run reports would not need to run in real time, so their processing could be done in lower priority threads, or if needed be suspended entirely unless buffering their input starts causing memory pressure.

The basic concept I have is some sort of directed graph model with lazy evaluation. If the output thread is running at real-time priority, then it could work backwards up its dependency chain running any needed calculations at its priority level. Lower priority threads would work the same way, and could take advantadge of the work done by the high-priority sections once they reach a point where they are dependent on them.

I have some ideas of how to go about implementing this, but I was wondering if there are any existing frameworks that would be good for building this sort of system. The concept isn't too hard, but there's no point in me reinventing the wheel, especially with all the possible gotchas in implementing some of the details. Katie R (talk) 18:02, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Is there a daily maintenance period ? If so, then all the low priority jobs could be run then, if once a day is sufficient.
Something else to think about is if you have too many high priority jobs running at once, do you prefer to slow them all down equally, or suspend some until later ? StuRat (talk) 18:21, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
By low-priority I mean that the output period can be slowed down to hundreds of milliseconds between updates instead of tens of microseconds, or in some cases it can wait till the end of a test that runs for a few hours. I've designed the system so there will be enough processing overhead to handle everything it needs without violating any timing constraints - the most intense real-time processing comes in bursts and there is enough memory for the lower priority stuff to queue up data instead of process it, then catch up when the real-time code isn't working as hard. The problem now is just finding a framework that lets me implement this sort of system without having to dive into the nitty-gritty details of managing the scheduling of each component. The dataflow is simple enough that I feel like a framework designed for this sort of problem should be able to work out those details itself, now that I've proven that there will be enough overhead for it to work. It would also make things more flexible when it comes to changing the design down the road because I would just have to work at the higher level. Katie R (talk) 18:35, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Still, even though you think you have enough resources to get the job done, you should have a backup plan in place for what to do if resources are more limited than you expect. I've seen system go to page swapping when handling too much at a time, and consequently grind to a crawl, where just cutting back on the running processes would have made everything run much more smoothly. StuRat (talk) 19:14, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I know precisely what resources I have, what processes are running on the system and at what priority, the purpose and frequency of each interrupt on the system and the delays involved in handling it. Non-essential interrupts are preemptible, and I can place precise bounds on the delays in the critical data processing interrupts. I monitor the running processes for unexpected amounts of memory usage and the operating system scheduler puts precise limits on the amount of CPU time each process is allowed to use. My process's code segment is pinned in physical memory, and before running a test all data pages are pre-faulted and pinned. I have mathematically proven the correctness and performance of my algorithm, confirmed those results through simulation, and have a test plan in place to empirically verify the performance on actual hardware once it is implemented. System monitoring code watches for anything to go outside of acceptable bounds and immediately attempts a smooth shutdown and termination of the run, because if something goes outside of those bounds then something is happening that I do not yet expect or understand, so it should stop until we analyze the situation.
This isn't a question about best practices for handling high CPU loads and many jobs, it's about frameworks for high performance dataflow-based DSP algorithms on multiprocessor systems. Katie R (talk) 19:50, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
In the functional community, the sort of lazy evaluation you are talking about is sometimes called reactive programming. There are a number of C++ libraries that implement some sort of dataflow structure:
  1. DSPatch
  2. Boost::Dataflow
  3. dc-lib
  4. Route11
If you want to get closer to the metal, SystemC is more of a software version of an HDL. --Mark viking (talk) 19:28, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the links - I'll start looking into them. I should have also added that this is proprietary code, so GPL and other licenses that would require it to be open-sourced aren't acceptable. I'm hoping to stay at the high level here, I've done enough low level stuff writing the DAC/ADC drivers and managing all fiddly bits of the system that can lead to delays, and have a pretty clean abstraction of it all by the time I get to my C++ code. Katie R (talk) 19:50, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Oooh and DSPatch looks very shiny! And LGPL so I can use it. :-) Katie R (talk) 19:54, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

July 19[edit]

Online port scanner for my computer[edit]

Does anyone know of an online port scanner that is capable of scanning ports 0-65535 all in one go (i.e. all of them)? I just want to thoroughly check my computer's security. Cheers. --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 11:17, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

GRC ShieldsUp! do that.. or at least, that is what the page claims. It also checks for other leaks and holes. WegianWarrior (talk) 19:31, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Yup - but that one only scans from 0-1056. Those are the standard ports, but there are more. I believe that you can enter the higher numbers in a custom scan, but only 64 at a time. There did used to be a site that did what I was looking for - the scan took about 10/15 minutes. I don't know if it's gone from the internet now though... --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 08:23, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
These sites, [4], [5], [6] all appear to do what you are looking for. This site [7] asks you to only do a range of 500, but it looks like it may do more (I did not test it, only including it in the event that the others all fail to satisfy, you still have an option).Phoenixia1177 (talk) 03:33, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Not as good as an external scan, obviously, but if you're familiar enough with a C++ compiler and the linking process you can at least scan your own ports internally with this simple program (to fine-tune things like timeout settings, you can pass probe.handle() to standard socket API functions):

[you'll need this header file]

#include <ip.hpp>
#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
using namespace xtd::ip;
int main(void) 
    cout << "[ TCP Port Scan Self-Test ]" << endl;
    client probe;
    endpoint local;
    local.address = "";
    local.protocol = IPPROTO_TCP;
    for(local.port = 0; local.port < (1 << 16); ++local.port)
            cout << "Listening: ";
            cout << "No Response: ";
        cout << local.port << endl;
Sebastian Garth (talk) 10:05, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Concurrent programming languages and non-concurrent programming languages[edit]

What makes a programming language non-concurrent? Can't all languages start a process, a second process and so on? (in the same way that a user can start several programs). OsmanRF34 (talk) 12:36, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

It may be instructive to turn the question around and ask "what makes a programming language concurrent ?". Some languages provide native support for a concurrent programming paradigm. This is not just the ability to start new processes, but also involves a model for communicating between processes and handling interrupts. Other languages require an extension, add-on or library to support concurrent programming. This creates an additional learning overhead for the programmer, and may be less efficient (slower running, more memory overheads etc.) than a language that provides native support. Gandalf61 (talk) 13:53, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Some languages are designed around concurrency to such an extent that virtually any nontrivial program in that language will make heavy use of it. Erlang and ToonTalk are examples. Others (like Java) are conventional sequential-imperative programming languages that just happen to have standard support for concurrency, and I wouldn't necessarily call those concurrent languages. Wikipedia's Category:Concurrent programming languages seems to be inconsistent about this—it includes Java but not C++11, for example. -- BenRG (talk) 23:01, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Are there any languages/compilers that can figure out for themselves what can be optimized into concurrent processes and what can't ? (In some cases, it might need to gather statistics from several typical runs to figure this out, similar to how some relational database systems gather stats and use those to optimize indexing, etc.) StuRat (talk) 04:06, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Automatic parallelization is very hard in general. The overhead of creating and synchronizing threads is large enough that you need to do a fairly large amount of independent computation in each one before it pays for itself, and most programs don't have such long independent computational chains in them, at least not without high-level algorithmic changes that compilers aren't smart enough to do automatically. Automatic vectorization, using SIMD instructions instead of threads, is much easier and a lot of popular optimizing compilers support it. (Historically this was a strength of Fortran compilers, but I think the C++ compilers have caught up.) -- BenRG (talk) 05:56, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. StuRat (talk) 12:13, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

simple cross-platform library to display rasters?[edit]

I have a C program that runs a simulation and outputs the final state as a PGM raster image, but I want to make it display rasters for the intermediate states as they're computed. I know almost nothing about graphics libraries. I'm on my way to figuring out how to do what I want with OpenGL and GLFW. But that seems like overkill for such a simple task. If I understand right, the whole point of OpenGL is rendering, and I don't need any rendering. Just a window I can draw pixels on. So what am I missing? Is there a conventional cross-platform way to do what I want? Or do people just use OpenGL, since it exists and works? Thanks! --Allen (talk) 19:18, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Graphics libraries take primitives operations like "draw line" and generate image files (or image buffers in memory). They don't display them. It sounds like you don't need the graphics library part at all (you're doing that yourself in your own code). What you need, as you say, is something to make a visible window, provide your program with something to draw into, and manage the usual events that keep a graphical application on Windows, Linux, etc. working okay. That's the job of a GUI toolkit; there are a bunch of cross-platform ones, including wxWidgets, GTK+ and Qt. But these are heavy tools for this simple job you want. For what you want, I'd recommend Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL). Although SDL is designed for games, it's good for what you want too, and it's super simple to use. I have a program somewhere that draws a Mandelbrot set into an SDL window, with progressive updates as the computation proceeds. I'm pretty sure I used SDL; I'll see if I can dig it up. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 19:32, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Finlay! I'll look into SDL. And it'd be great to see your Mandelbrot code if you do come across it. --Allen (talk) 19:47, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
It turns out I had some SDL code, and some Mandelbrot code, but they weren't together. So I merged the two to make this very basic example. Note that the flow of this code mostly resembles a conventional non-interative program, and as such it's a bad example of how you'd actually code in any interactive GUI system (whether SDL or another toolkit). Because a program has to respond to inputs and other events, they're typically event driven, where the main event loop never blocks (to keep the program responsive). In such environments, if a program needs to do long-running computation, the calculation is farmed out to a different thread, and care must be taken to properly synchronise (coordinate) access to shared resources. In this case, for simplicity (and laziness) I do just block, which is why the program is totally unresponsive during the calculation; it can't even be closed. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 22:32, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
I should note that it is possible to do long-running calculations without the complexity of another thread. What one typically does is have the main loop poll for events, and then (if there's no event to service) do just a tiny bit of the calculation (only a few millseconds worth) before going back and polling again. This isn't hard, but it rather everts the flow of control, so it takes a bit of getting used to. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 22:37, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
This is exactly what I needed; thank you! I'm not worried about interactivity just yet, so blocking is no problem. I'm just happy to know how to put pixels on a window. --Allen (talk) 02:24, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I'd like to know the same thing, but from Fortran (specifically gfortran). My current approach is to output an image file and display that, but this is too slow for continuous updates. StuRat (talk) 02:30, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
In your position, I'd just have the program write out these consecutive intermediate images into a somewhat more common format (PNG, JPEG - using libpng and libjpg respectively) into a directory someplace and write a simple HTML wrapper so you can view your raster images in a browser. The nice thing about doing this stuff there is that the browser takes care of all of the windowing stuff for you. It's really easy to use JavaScript to grab different images and display them consecutively or whatever.
SteveBaker (talk) 03:57, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
That's exactly what I do now, from Fortran. It takes several seconds to update an image, though, and closing the old image is tricky, requiring you to kill the browser process. I used IE as the browser, since that's likely to be on any Windows PC. StuRat (talk) 04:02, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
There is a trick to making it reload - I used this to load still frames from a webcam feed - the file "webcamOutput.jpg" gets reloaded about once a second. To prevent the system from caching it, add a garbage "?t=xxx" to the end of the filename and increment xxx each time:
     var unique = 0 ;
     function reloadImage()
       var webcam0 = document.getElementById ( "webcam0" ) ;
       webcam0.src = "webcamOutput.jpg?t=" + unique ;
       unique++ ;
       setTimeout ( "reloadImage()", 1000 ) ;
   <div id="webcamWrapper">
     <img id="webcam0" src="webcamOutput.jpg">
     reloadImage() ;
should work on any browser. (IE is by *far* the worst browser to choose for this kind of thing!) SteveBaker (talk) 15:38, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
So changing the title of the image file stops it from reading it from the cache ? Thanks, I might try that. But it still is probably too slow of a refresh rate for many applications. One issue that comes up is image compression. Either I spend the time to compress each image, or I deal with huge files, either of which may slow things down to an unacceptable degree. StuRat (talk) 16:25, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes - changing the filename WOULD avoid the cache issues - but that's not quite what I'm doing. When the browser requests a file via a URL, it can add parameters to that request (like if you check a box in an online form). If the file (which in this case is a dumb image) has no interest in those parameters, they are ignored...but they serve to make the request unique - even though the file isn't. And that's enough to bypass the cache without you end up with a bazillion junk images on your computer. As for speed. I'm using this to monitor a web cam at one frame per second (or so) - and it's plenty fast enough for that - even grabbing the file over the Internet. However, if you need more speed than that, or if your files are *HUGE* then you're effectively building a full graphical program and/or engineering a video stream and then you'll be writing a LOT more code! However, for monitoring slow-running processes - this is great because you can view it over the network, view it on your phone and the amount of code you need is tiny. So YMMV. SteveBaker (talk) 17:04, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
My particular application was a redneck version of the board game Clue, featuring characters like "Skeeter" and "Bubba", locations like "The Trailer" and "the Outhouse", and weapons like "Bottle of Jack Daniels" and "Pit Bull". I had a separate text command line interface window, and wanted to also show the game board graphically. So, if I wanted to display (barefoot) foot prints when the player moved, a one second delay would be too slow for each step, with up to 12 steps per move. A tenth of a second would be good, though. I ended up using an animated GIF to get the speed I needed. StuRat (talk) 17:32, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
OpenGL is supposed to be a general graphics library with support for 2D as well as 3D graphics. If you just want to blit a bitmap into a window without any fancy 3D effects, glDrawPixels will do that efficiently. Here's a complete example doing more or less what you want, though using GLUT rather than GLFW. It's quite similar to Finlay McWalter's SDL code. GLUT doesn't support event polling, so you would have to do your calculation in the glutIdleFunc callback (which could be a hassle because of the control inversion), or else use GLFW which does support polling. -- BenRG (talk) 05:26, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

July 20[edit]

--Jessica A Bruno (talk) 18:19, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

July 21[edit]

What is the difference between formulas and algorithms?[edit]

If you take a formula, for example, Celsius Fahrenheit conversion, you can apply it step by step, and somehow fulfil the definition of algorithm (something that's finite and step by step to solve a problem). At least, with an intuitive interpretation that makes sense. Is the difference just the way you express things?OsmanRF34 (talk) 09:03, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

"Formula" usually means a mathematical equation or something similar. Evaluating a formula is indeed a simple algorithm, but algorithms can be more complicated: in particular, they can include ways to vary the sequence of actions, similar to "while" or "if" statements in a programming language. -- (talk) 10:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
An algorithm is a series of steps to solve a problem or perform a task. A formula is a series of steps that takes an input and produces an output. In your example, the formula requires a Celsius input and produces a Fahrenheit output. The algorithm is the series of steps requires to solve the problem.
The articles on formula and algorithm should help. --  Gadget850 talk 12:18, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
A formula is a kind of minimalist algorithm - but it only encompasses arithmetic operations. An algorithm can be much more than that. For example, I can say that the algorithm for making a phone call is:
  1. Pick up your phone.
  2. Make sure it's turned on.
  3. Touch the phone button.
  4. Dial the number
  5. Wait for the caller to answer.
That's an entirely valid algorithm - but it would be impossible to express it as a formula. That said, as you pointed out, the Celsius to Fahrenheit conversion formula is indeed a very small algorithm.
So a formula is a kind of algorithm but an algorithm isn't necessarily a formula. There is another sense to it though. A formula can trivially be described as an equation 'F=Cx9/5+32' - and an equation can do something that an algorithm can't - you can use the standard rules of algebra to discover that 'C=(F-32)x5/9' - which means that you had a second algorithm (one that converts Fahrenheit into Celcius) contained within that very same formula. So in that sense, a formula (by it's very simplicity) is capable of conveying information that a generalized algorithm may not. This becomes increasingly clear as you consider equations with more unknowns in them. Ohm's law (I=V/R) effectively contains the description of three algorithms...I=V/R, V=IR and R=V/I.
The name of the FORTRAN programming language is short for "Formula Translation" - and it was first envisaged as a means to convert formulae into algorithms. That capability (to type in a formula into your computer program and have the compiler or interpreter of your software convert the formulae into algorithms) is now such a standard feature that we tend to forget that it's there. SteveBaker (talk) 14:37, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  • There is obviously some overlap, and sometimes some ambiguity between the terms, as others have pointed out. One additional conceptual difference is that formulae are essentially declarative, while algorithms are essentially procedural. For example F=ma is a declarative statement, without any necessary action. Steve's example algorithm is a set of procedures, with no declarations. There is also an analogy to programming language paradigms, List_of_programming_languages_by_type has examples of declarative and procedural languages. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:47, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
It might be instructive to compare "equation" to "equation solving." These terms have a similar relationship like "formula" and "algorithm." Of course, in common parlance, these kinds of related terms can be applied in a variety of ways, blurring their dictionary-definitions and defying all efforts to draw a distinction among them. Nimur (talk) 16:41, 21 July 2014 (UTC)


Some time ago, during the World Cup playoffs, I picked up a virus that keeps plaguing me with popups advertising all kinds of things. It also makes my browser, Firefox, go back TWO pages when I hit the back arrow, and throws up unwanted/weird pages on my screen. Fortunately, Wiki seems relatively unaffected by these ploys. But when I'm visiting other websites, such as Reuters, BBC, AP, AOL (mail) it drives me crazy.

I reloaded AVG, and it keeps killing malware, but that keeps coming back like a metastasizing cancer. I've done innumerable AVG scans, which have isolated such things as Malsign.Generic.6E2 and Trojan Horse, but the problem continues.

Suggestions? Should I remove Firefox and reload it? Help!

TNX. Sca (talk) 16:32, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

If your machine is compromised, you need to completely re-install it. There is no way to confidently assert that any type of anti-malware or anti-virus software can ever possibly restore the machine to proper working order. If you'd like to dive in to the technical details regarding why antivirus software is completely unable to confidently assert that the malware is gone, we can explain in more elaborate detail. But, as this 2012 StackOverflow discussion also emphasizes, it is better if we just phrase it this way. "It will take longer and cost more money and cause more collateral damage if you correctly run anti-malware software than if you cleanly wipe and re-install your machine." The most rational choice, to minimize your time, effort, and data loss, is to wipe the machine and re-install it. The next course of action is your choice. Nimur (talk) 17:05, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I've heard this general advice from several sources — not only this time, but a couple years ago when a PC of mine got infected. At that time I considered buying a Mac (Apple) laptop, which though expensive avoids the whole problem of viruses written for (IBM-type) PCs and their ilk. However, a hand-me-down Toshiba laptop became available, and I've been using it for a year and a half in a stationary position with an external monitor and keyboard. Until now it was fine.
I've just finished running a Malwarebytes scan on it and now must decide whether to tell it to quarantine all the dozens of items it found. Any suggestions? Sca (talk) 21:25, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Could you describe these weird/unwanted pages to us? We may able to determine what it's trying to do then. -- (talk) 21:33, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Method in Java[edit]

I have a confusion with System.out.println() regarding its not taking methods with void return type. i mean why cant i call a method inside S.O.P that returns void.? i browsed it on web but did not come up with relevant answers. (talk) 19:18, 21 July 2014 (UTC) I got what Finlay Mcwalter pointed but what with the answer that Println has overloaded versions of object type.i need more clarity. (talk) 06:22, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

System.out.println() will only print java.lang.Strings, or things that can be converted into strings. For built in things like int, it knows how to do that itself. For everything else (things that are objects) they have to provide a toString() method. println calls that method to string-ify any objects it's passed; if those objects' classes don't themselves implement a custom toString, it falls back on the rudimentary one in java.lang.Object. A void function isn't returning anything, so there's nothing for println to ask to turn itself into a string. Javac's solution to this little kōan is to error with "void type not allowed here". -- Finlay McWalterTalk 20:10, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks very much@ Finlay Mcwalter. (talk) 06:22, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

A small correction to the above: println can print things other than Strings because it is overloaded. Such as println(boolean), println(double) and println(int). Your friendly documentation will give you a list of the overloaded versions. (talk) 21:50, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
No, Finlay's answer was correct. Java does not use operator overloading. The argument will be converted to a String using its implementation of the toString method. Primitive data types, like boolean, are first promoted (for example, to java.lang.Boolean objects); and then the toString method is called. See, for example, Chapter 5 of the Java Language Specification.
Java's System.out object is a special instance of object, and that object has no "overloaded" method for println( primitive data type ) : it only has the methods defined in its class definition. Nimur (talk) 22:49, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Java's lack of operator overloading is obviously irrelevant since println isn't an operator. Java does support method overloading, and the page you linked shows that println has overloaded versions for primitive types as well as String and Object. So Finlay McWalter and were both correct, but your reply seems to make no sense at all. -- BenRG (talk) 02:35, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
println does indeed work by method overloading (on call type signature). Latterly (in 2004) the language introduced autoboxing; where data of elementary types can be automatically autoboxed into a corresponding java.lang.Integer (etc.) object. That's what Nimur describes. They could now choose to implement println that way instead of all those different method signatures:
public class foo {
    static void print(Object o){
        System.out.println(o.getClass().getName() + " : " + o.toString());
    public static void main(String[]args){
which works well. But println still has explicit methods for int, bool, etc., and we can verify that if they're found the compiler will preferentially use them, rather than autoboxing to an object, by adding:
    static void print(int i){
        System.out.println("native int : " + Integer.toString(i));
...and we note that the int is printed by our new method rather than the Object one. There's a little wrinkle - so is the char (as its ASCII value 99) - because the compiler decided it was more appropriate to promote the char to an int rather than autobox it to a java.lang.Character -- Finlay McWalterTalk 09:28, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

thank u again @Finlay Mcwalter and,i can understand clearly. (talk) 17:09, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

There's no deep reason for it. There are languages (such as ML) whose equivalent of "void" is a type like any other: you can have variables of that type and print values of that type and so on. In ML the type is called "unit" and has a single value, written (). In Java the value could have been called void or something. Java copied the void quasi-type from C, which also treats it specially. C++ had to preserve the C behavior, which causes problems with templates (equivalent of Java generics). I can't see any reason why Java had to preserve it too; they probably just didn't think to change it, along with other questionable C design decisions, like the left associativity of ==. -- BenRG (talk) 04:03, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks everybody for the reply. (talk) 06:22, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Java is a call-by-value language. You don't call anything "inside System.out.println" Asmrulz (talk) 16:47, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Uexpress topics in URL[edit]

I asked here why it was possible to access Dear Abby topics, and topics by other columnists on Uexpress with or without the URL that included the topic. In fact, I could change the date, with the topic left in, and I would still get the column for the particular date. The answer was that part of the URL at the end was always going to be ignored, but having the topic in the "official" URL would help in searches. This seems like something Wikipedia should address in one or more articles, so I was wondering where to do this and what the sources might be.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 19:21, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

As to the first part: the URL article discusses that part of the URL (the "path") and simply says it "is used to specify and perhaps find the resource requested". It's left implicit that the server has licence to interpret the path in whatever way it chooses. Some servers and websites may implement common ways of doing things, and some people may have formed the misapprehension that these are actually how all URLs must be interpreted (e.g. that HTTP URL paths necessarily relate to file paths on the server; or that all parts of the path are necessarily significant; or that different paths must reference different resources), but as your Dear Abby, and my Amazon, example shows, sites can (and do) choose do work in different ways. As to the second part: it'd like to see a reference that supports the claim (that path fragments actually have SEO value); I suspect that it is not true. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 21:00, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
So there's no Wikipedia article that actually states the last part of the URL is ignored. And I knew the SEO claim had to be controversial and would need a source before I added that.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 21:06, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
The part of the path is ignored specifically on the Dear Abby website only; the first part is ignored specifically on Amazon only. On most other sites, the whole path is significant. It doesn't seem like it's encyclopaedic for a Wikipedia article to enumerate how each individual website chooses to handle its own paths, any more than it would be to list what default fonts each website might elect to use. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 21:15, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
No, of course it's not encyclopedic to say this is done and this is done for each web site. I was thinking more about "some" web sites do this. Obviously it would have to be sourced.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 21:33, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

1 Facebook like? Rob Ford[edit]

Hi all... I was on the official campaign website of Rob Ford, infamous Toronto mayor, and it links to a Facebook campaign page. It has one like. Is the Chromebook that I'm on acting up, or would that be true? I find that stunningly low. -- Zanimum (talk) 21:31, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

He has 2 likes just now. The Page was created on 2 Feb 2014, but appears to have been idle until 19 July 2014 (3 days ago). Still, I'd expect there to be more likes. CS Miller (talk) 10:57, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, if only from comedians, appreciative for all the material. StuRat (talk) 12:25, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks! Even the most random of no hope, non-notable mayoral candidates has more than Ford, I was sure that it was a glitch. -- Zanimum (talk) 19:08, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

It has four likes now. I don't see a FB page listed at Rob Ford mayoral campaign, 2014. I even searched the source text of the article thinking that it might be in some reference somewhere and didn't find mention of FB. My guess is that it's not actually his page and was just created by some fan of his who has done nothing to promote it to even their friends or relatives. As far as I know, FB has no "confirmed" status process to confirm that a page is actually run by the person or company that the page is about. So, there's nothing stopping everybody and their brother from creating a page for any celebrity or politician. Dismas|(talk) 03:16, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

July 22[edit]

Rip off of the deleted website by the FBI[edit]

I heard there's a website containing survey when somebody downloads a file and it's a rip off of the old Megaupload website that was shutdown because of Copyright Infringement. It's called that was not created by KimDotCom. Should wikipedia have articles about survey protected file hosting websites like FileIce or something like that?--HappyLogolover2011 (talk) 04:29, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

There's a large volume of such websites, and related, that are fading into, and out of, existence and usage all the time. Most are not in any way notable, nor do most have any pertinent sourced information pertaining to them. If one is the subject of media reports, and becomes notable, then that specific site might be worth adding an article on - or, perhaps, an article on the topic of such sites, if sources can be found - but, in general, there is very little compelling reason to give these sites articles.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 04:57, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Some of the websites that has the contact button or whatever may not let us go to that page and find their info, but we can however trace the site's IP address.

Update: Fileice's IP address to the site is, the domain name that it uses is and it was founded in Arlington Heights, Illinois.--HappyLogolover2011 (talk) 05:24, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Not only is this information not really overly interesting on its own (as in, there wouldn't be much point to putting it in an article in the first place), but I don't see why this site, or any other like it, are notable enough to be included as articles. Is this site the subject of a news article? Several articles? etc.? If not, I see no reason this should have an article, is there a reason you believe it should? Finally, the reference desk really isn't the place to discuss this - to be honest, I'm not active enough on the other parts of Wikipedia to tell you what would be the place to discuss it, sadly.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 06:02, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia: Help Desk, probably. But no, nothing seems notable here. I wouldn't bother, Logolover. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:18, July 22, 2014 (UTC)

VoIP - two questions[edit]

I have two questions about VoIP:

  1. When I use Skype, there is a long delay, almost as long as when they were talking to astronauts at the Moon. My landline has no noticeable delay. Does VoIP have that delay?
  2. On my landline, I can talk and listen at the same time, as with a normal conversation. Does VoIP allow that, or can you only do one at the time? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 07:29, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Skype is VOIP. They are all different, and the delay can be dependent on the Internet speed of both participants, as well as any intermediary server that the VOIP is running through. Zzubnik (talk) 08:32, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. I imagine some people with fibre connections and decent VoIP systems probably have lower average latency for medium distance calls (albeit neither being noticable) and probably longer ones too (presuming they're using a dedicated provider with decent routing, not just routing them randomly over the internet). And just because you're using your landline doesn't mean there's no VoIP somewhere in the system. I suspect in the modern world, the longer distance the call, the greater chance there's VoIP somewhere in the system. (Remember VoIP is just voice over internet protocol and has nothing to do with the internet per se.) Nil Einne (talk) 14:29, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Not answers, but related comments:
1) Using satellites to communicate, especially the much farther out geosynchronous satellites, can cause this "satellite delay", as even at the speed of light, there's a noticeable delay in sending info that far. Undersea cables, on the other hand, are much shorter, and therefore faster. Of course, this all assume you are talking with somebody on the other side of the world.
2) Duplex (telecommunications) allows sending info both ways at the same time. However, you need a headset that isolates the speaker from the microphone, or they need to take steps to electronically prevent audio feedback. StuRat (talk) 12:34, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
No citations or sources, just based on my own experience:
  1. I do not experience a delay when using VoIP (Skype in my case) between developed countries. I did experience a delay while calling home from the middle of nowhere in Africa though.
  2. I've never noticed an inability to do duplex over VoIP - not even on a laggy line. If the line is lagging it can get confusing if both speak at the same time though.
WegianWarrior (talk) 14:30, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks to all of you. Duplex is the name for what I was talking about. In a traditional telephone, the mice and receiver are far enough apart so that feedback isn't a problem. The natural delay to and back a satellite is less than 0.25 second, but the delays now are longer than that. I've been Skyping to 800-900 miles away, and the delay is quite bothersome. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 20:49, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
The path traveled by the signal might be far longer than the distance between sender and receiver. Both signals may go to a central hub, far away, and then sent on their way. Beyond that, there may be delays for processing the signals, and an overloaded system may put your signal in a queue until resources become available. StuRat (talk) 22:51, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Processing definitely takes a long time. Back in the days of analog TV, when they would have a satellite hookup across the ocean, there wasn't nearly as much of a delay as there is now. And I can flip from a HD TV channel to its non-HD version, and the HD version is a long way behind the other one. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 00:50, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

July 23[edit]

Editing from a Laptop[edit]

Recently I have been sometimes editing Wikipedia Dell laptop (Windows 8) with a mouse. It is frustrating. Sometimes, when I have an editor box open, I have tried to use the mouse and select text or to focus, and discover that a substantial amount of previous text (either my own or that of another editor) has blanked out. The only remedy that I have found if I have blanked another editor's text is that I have to leave the page. Restoring the deleted text would be harder than cancelling and trying again. My main question is: What can I do to prevent this blanking of text? This is one of two problems that I have that seem both to be due to the mouse focus moving. The other is having the focus change so that inserted text does not go where I had been entering it. What causes the mouse cursor to move, and what should I do about it? Robert McClenon (talk) 02:50, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

If the laptop has a touch-pad at the bottom of the keyboard - then probably you're inadvertently dragging your hand across it as you type. Both the mouse AND the touchpad are in control of the cursor - so this is an easy mistake to make. I don't know much about Windows 8 - but it ought to be possible to disable the touchpad somehow. SteveBaker (talk) 03:21, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. Can someone else tell me how to disable the touchpad? Robert McClenon (talk) 03:55, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
My mom bought a Windows 8 Dell like that. The problem was it came with an unhelpful feature that made touching the trackpad click things, too. This might be what's happening when you think you're just selecting, but moving text out of the window instead. I think that was simply solved in the Control Panel, by unchecking a box ("Tap to click" or something). That's probably around where you'll find the option to disable it completely. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:10, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
I think that I have managed to disable the touchpad. At least I don't have the cursor moving randomly and eating things. Robert McClenon (talk) 05:38, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Every laptop with a touchpad has a simple way of disabling it. On mine it is Fn-F8 (i.e., hold down the Fn key and press F8). Look over your function keys and see if you see a symbol that looks like a touchpad with a slash through it -- if so, that will be it. If it isn't there, look over the rest of your keyboard. Looie496 (talk) 15:00, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Maybe I don't recognize any of the symbols as a touchpad with a slash. I disabled it from the Control Panel Mouse dialog. Robert McClenon (talk) 15:06, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
It might be a touchpad with an X in it Dell Instructions. ---- CS Miller (talk) 18:35, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Thunderbird versions[edit]

Thunderbird just went from version 24.6 or 24.7 to 31.0. Why skip over major version numbers? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 04:05, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Firefox is currently at version 31.0. I suspect it was at version 24.x when Thunderbird was last updated. -- BenRG (talk) 04:14, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Why do Firefox and Thunderbird need to have the same version numbers? I can see it with, say, an office suite, where you would want the individual programs to have the same version number. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 04:16, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Because version numbers give a certain expectation to users, so much that even completely unrelated softwares from different companies have jumped version numbers to "catch up" to their competitors, when they've upgraded to the same level of functionality. I can't remember the specific instance, i'm sure someone can chime in, but i think it happened in linux land where, for example, red hat who upgrade their software on a frequent basis made it to version 12 by the time some other linux flavor version only made it to version 6, but, that they were based on the same linux kernel and had essentially the same functionality, it's just that red had had performed their updates twice as frequently, so company B decided to release their "version 6" as version 12, since it was directly competing with red hat 12. Same thing probably happened here, thunderbird probably receives fewer updates as firefox, but it's based on the same technologies and is the same "generation" of software and has comparable security features etc... calling it thunderbird 24 when their flagship software is up to version 31 makes it "sound" like thunderbird is miles behind. Vespine (talk) 04:44, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Thunderbird and Firefox are both based on Gecko. So, whatever version Gecko is, that is the version that both Thunderbird and Firefox will be. (talk) 14:04, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Thunderbird 30 (...and earlier) were developer betas and were not marketed or advertised to the general community of users. From the developer mailing list archives, here is the May/June development plan for Thunderbird 31. If you subscribe to the developer feeds, or build your own Thunderbird from source - or if for some reason, you as an individual or organization have a special working relationship with the Mozilla development team - then you'll commonly have visibility into a lot more versions and forks than the well-advertised, widely-available, mass-announced general releases. But, the Thunderbird and Gecko code is still mostly open-source free software, so you can grab any version at any time. Nimur (talk) 15:09, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Javascript function[edit]

Hi there, in Javascript I have a bunch of numeric variables, say a, b, c, d etc., and a procedure that takes any two variables, and changes both of them in a way that is dependent on both input values (for example, in a very simple case, a could become a + b, and b could become a − b). How do I create a Javascript routine to do this? I have a method at the moment that uses objects and "eval" statements, but it totally sucks, and it pains me to look at it. What is the elegant way to achieve this, given that I apparently cannot pass references to the numeric variables? (talk) 11:25, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Objects are passed by reference; so you can wrap those ints in objects, pass them, and mutations to their value are evident outside the function:
var add_and_diff = function (x,y) {
    var sum = x.val + y.val;
    var dif = x.val - y.val;
    x.val = sum;
    y.val = dif;
var a = {val:10};
var b = {val:20};
var c = {val:66};
var d = {val:99};
console.log('before:', a.val, b.val, c.val, d.val);
console.log('after: ', a.val, b.val, c.val, d.val);
Still kinda clunky, IMO. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 12:31, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I think this is slightly better than what I currently have, but it still means in the main code I have to refer to "a.val", "b.val" etc., rather than just "a", "b", etc., right? I find this a real nuisance. (talk) 16:56, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
You could copy the values out of the struct like this, after which .val cannot be used.
var a = 10;
var b = 20;
a = {val:a};
b = {val:b};
add_and_diff(a, b);
a = a.val;
b = b.val;
console.log('after:', a, b);
Another way to do it, which might be cleaner, is to return an anonymous struct, and then copy the values out of it. CS Miller (talk) 20:14, 23 July 2014 (UTC)


July 18[edit]

Electron = black hole?[edit]

The electron is assumed to be a dimensionless point particle since the electric repulsion between the parts of a finite-sized electron is supposed to be so strong that it would disintegrate. If so, then the electron is a tiny black hole: how long does it take for such electron-black-hole to evaporate due to Hawking radiation ? Antonquery (talk) 02:03, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

There's an article on this, black hole electron, but it's rather awful at the moment so don't read it.
Black holes in GR must satisfy q² + a² ≤ m², where q is the electric charge, a is the angular momentum, and m is the mass (all in natural units). Electrons violate this inequality by a factor of (from memory) about 1021. Therefore either they are naked singularities (no event horizon) or the GR calculation is wrong somehow. The simplest way it could be wrong is if there are large extra dimensions, but the LHC hasn't found any evidence for that.
Black hole evaporation conserves mass-energy and electric charge. There are (for unknown reasons) no charged particles lighter than the electron. Therefore electrons can't decay by Hawking radiation even if they are black holes.
It's not impossible for the electron to be a composite particle; it could be made of preons bound by a force like the strong force. It's hard to understand why its mass is so low in that case, but that's hard to understand anyway. Many preon models have been proposed over the years, but there's no experimental support for any of them. Elementary particles are not pointlike in string theory either. -- BenRG (talk) 02:54, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
An electron is not really a point particle. It's not really a finite-sized particle either. It does not necessarily have a precisely defined position in space, or size. You can describe an electron as a particle and use that model to talk about some aspects of its behavior. You can also just as well describe it as a wave and describe some of its properties that way. Both models are fully correct and equivalent. See Wave-particle duality.--Srleffler (talk) 16:16, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for your answers, Antonquery (talk) 10:16, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Experimental evidence for muscle microtrauma in exercise?[edit]

I've been hearing for a few decades that the reason muscle strengthening exercise works is that it causes small tears in muscles, and the resulting healed muscles are stronger than the original (roughly speaking). Has anyone actually observed these tears in exercised muscles and counted more tears than exist in unexercised muscles? Failing that, what other experimental evidence exists?--Wikimedes (talk) 03:59, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

DOMS is a good place to start. (talk) 12:30, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Evidence for myofibril remodeling as opposed to myofibril damage in human muscles with DOMS: an ultrastructural and immunoelectron microscopic study. suggests some of the physical evidence that is typically considered. (talk) 15:13, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the reference. It's good to know that the hypothesis is being tested.--Wikimedes (talk) 01:09, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Were ancient oceans orange ?[edit]

As I understand it, before there was oxygen in the air, micro-organisms released oxygen into the oceans, which reacted with iron which was then dissolved in large quantities in the water, to form rust (iron oxide), which then precipitated out. So, did this happen at a fast enough rate to visibly make the oceans rust-colored, if anyone had been around to see them ? StuRat (talk) 04:36, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

At modern rates of net primary productivity there would have been more than enough rust created to make the ocean surface appear visibly discolored. However, I don't think we can make anything other than wild ass guesses about what the rate of oxygen formation was during that early epoch. Dragons flight (talk) 10:42, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I should think we could get a good estimate, based on the rate of iron oxide deposition on the sea floor, which can determined by taking core samples. StuRat (talk) 15:36, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I thought that too, and immediately thought of banded iron formations, but our article states that it is unknown if the bands are from seasonal variation or some other process. That means we don't know how much time is represented by each band of iron, so I suspect it makes it hard to precisely estimate the iron concentration in the water that led to the formation. I think we need to attempt to track down references on estimated iron concentrations, then find information on what concentrations would cause noticable changes in water color. Other questions such as if the surface layers of the ocean had as much concentration as lower ones may be much, much harder to find information on. Katie R (talk) 19:09, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Still, even if we can't find the deposition rate for individual years, if we find the total amount of deposition, then divide by the total number of years over which deposition was likely to have occurred, we can get a good average rate, right ? StuRat (talk) 15:38, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
The idea that electromagnetic radiations in the wavelength range 590-620 nm should be distinguished from other wavelengths by the colour name "orange" is a perception that humans owe to the long evolution of the colour-discriminating eye and early implementations of colour signaling by interacting organisms; for example, the orange of Agelas clathrodes elephant ear sponge signals its bitter taste to predators.
Oxygen began to outgas from the oceans 3–2.7 billion years ago, leading to the Great Oxygenation Event (an extinction event for anaerobic organisms) around 2.3 billion years ago. Thus the OP asks about the colour of oceans that neither eyes, nor Arthropods to have them, had yet evolved to see, existing under an unbreathable atmosphere of (probably) nitrogen, carbon dioxide, methane and (in a hypothesis about early greenhouse effect) Carbonyl sulfide and illuminated by the relatively weak young Sun. The question is moot. (talk) 18:32, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Not moot at all. Part 2 of my question would be if we can detect orange (water) oceans on exoplanets, and use that to infer that those oceans contain micro-organisms giving off oxygen, along with dissolved iron. The idea being to supplement looking for free oxygen in the atmosphere as a sign of life. The orange-ocean method would presumably work for earlier life forms than the free oxygen in the atmosphere method. StuRat (talk) 19:25, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, usually the exoplanet hunters are trying to look for absorption in the atmosphere. Trying to detect the components in the oceans... well, the exoplanet transiting its star is essentially in a state of solar eclipse to us. There must be some light that reflects off the ocean on the near side and scatters in the atmosphere to us, but ... well, I've learned by experience not to say what's impossible for exoplanet hunters any more, but they will sure impress the hell out of me if they can do that one! Wnt (talk) 21:47, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
From an older source (in exoplanet search, that was around 2010 or 11), I remember they picked up on a planetary atmosphere of a hot gas giant (the easy-to-find kind of planet), identifying one atmospheric gas by spectroscopy.
The "bad" news was that that gas was nickel. - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 06:27, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Part 2 of the question is expressed as a condition "if we can" rather than "can we?". Supposing that we can, and do, detect a WOE (wet orange exoplanet), these sobering expositions may cause SETI devotees to restrain their celebrations.

N = R_{\ast} \cdot f_p \cdot n_e \cdot f_{\ell} \cdot f_i \cdot f_c \cdot L

as far as we know is still

0 = wild guesses

The WOE gives a little magnitude to the factor fl (planets that actually develop life) but does nothing to fi (life that develops intelligence).

  • Anthropocentric loyalty requires us to shun contact with WOEs at distances 0 to 4 and >10 billion light-years which are Waste Of Energy distances, due to the alien intelligence not having had time to evolve yet or having had enough time to evolve, make guns and blow themselves up before Earth missionaries arrive. (talk) 15:47, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Check out Blood falls from the Taylor Glacier. Id. be inclined to say that if we can see it now, it was probably more widespread earlier. --DHeyward (talk) 07:38, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Yep, good find. My ego and superego tend to agree. :-) StuRat (talk) 15:38, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

"Eupleridae", meaning[edit]

I want to know what that word means. It doesn't say. (talk) 07:56, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Eupleridae means a family of carnivorans endemic to Madagascar. If you are asking about the etymology, I suggest you visit the Language Desk--Shantavira|feed me 12:07, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Google scholar has references about Eupleridae and you may read the Wikipedia article. Eupleridae is also an entry in Wikispecies and is a family of carnivorans endemic to Madagascar and comprising 10 known living species in seven genera. (talk) 12:10, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Well, I'd say that the name is pretty transparently from Greek εὖ ("well") and πλήρης ("full" or "filled up"). It's based on Eupleres, the genus name of the falanouc, which is just the two Greek words stuck together. I'm not, however, finding any indication of why the falanouc was considered "well filled" by some taxonomist (maybe he saw a particulary fat one?). Perhaps someone here can turn up the scientific paper in which the species was originally described. Deor (talk) 12:09, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Whoah, wrong track! See wikt:eu- - the first part generally means "true" in taxonomies, as opposed to say "pseudo". To begin with, here's a reference to the creation of the name from Eupleres in 2005.[8] Hmmm, except actually the word "Eupleridae" at least (no idea if it's a similar grouping) apparently dates to 1850. The name Eupleres was nonetheless first (as you'd expect) from Doyère, 1835.[9] That's Louis Michel Français Doyère. From [10] I came to [11] which at least might be the actual source text, but in classic early 1800s style I'm not finding table of contents and it's all in... French. At this point I may take a break in hope that beneficent fairy folk will stop by and wave a magic healing wand at it to make it something other than... French. :) Wnt (talk) 12:57, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
In French books, tables of contents most often appear at the end, Wnt (at least nowadays; I'm not sure about the early 19th century). In this instance, there's a "Table Méthodique" back there, but I'm not seeing any mention of Eupleres in it, nor does the name seem to be mentioned in the book's section on viverrids (p. 183 ff.), where one might expect to find it. In any case, that book's just an overview of mammalian systematics that lacks any etymological information at all, from what I can see. The initial description of Eupleres must lie elsewhere. Deor (talk) 14:45, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
According to, the original description is in Doyère, P. 1835. Description d'un nouveau genre de mammifières carnassiers. Bulletin de la Société des Sciences Naturelles, 3: 45. That doesn't appear to be online. However, there is also, which claims (without sources) that the word is from eu (no meaning given) and pleres meaning "replete, or covered over; by analogy, complete". So Eupleres might mean 'completely covered'. I found some fairly convincing confirmation of this on Google Books in The American Journal of Science and Arts (1836), which contains this on p.192: "A new genus of Mammalia has been found ... which M. Doyère ... proposes to call Eupleres ... the sole of the foot being the only part free from hair." --Heron (talk) 21:20, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I corrected a spelling in your post for clarity, Heron. The website says pleres, not pleures, referring to the same Greek word I cited above. (Pleur- would have something to do with the flanks or the ribs.) Deor (talk) 22:54, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
You're quite right, Deor. I didn't mean to disagree with you; it was just a typo. My fingers decided to auto-correct the unfamiliar pler- to the more familiar pleur-. --Heron (talk) 11:21, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Good job, Heron! And no less than I deserved for suggesting someone else was on the wrong track without completing my own. Deor was actually not far off the mark; "completely covered" with hair then. If there's one thing I ought to know from biology it's that there are no laws. Wnt (talk) 21:42, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, Wnt, the only law is that the names have to be unique within a kingdom; otherwise, they are at the whim of the discoverer. Even jokes are allowed. --Heron (talk) 11:40, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

excellent. never would've guessed. thx. (talk) 22:17, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Help identifying a feather[edit]

Yellow feather.jpg

I recently found this feather in a wooded area of southeastern Pennsylvania. I am unable to identify the bird that it comes from. The feather is a very bright yellow (more so than the photo may suggest) and is about 6 inches long. I am not aware of any yellow birds in the area that are large enough to have such a feather. (Though the bird may not appear as yellow as some parts of the feather itself, because it is the underside that is the yellowest, and the presumably more exposed top side has more brown.) Can anyone help identify this? Thank you. (talk) 12:03, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Very speculative, but note yellow-shafted Northern flicker. Wnt (talk) 13:06, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I think you might be right. They live in this area, they are about the right size, and a Google images search finds plenty of pictures of the undersides of their wings which look bright yellow. Thanks. (talk) 14:43, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Disabling MANPADS[edit]

Since some countries cannot keep track of all their MANPADS (MAN Portable Air Defense Systems, i.e. Stinger missiles), I am wondering if they could be made with an expiration date, much like landmines. However, since some will no doubt be stored along with other equipment or munitions, it would not be a good idea to simply detonate the warhead when the expiration date arrives. So I'm wondering if there is some chemical reaction that would render the explosive part of the warhead inert without causing an explosion or starting a fire. Yes, I know, there is a huge amount of energy stored in the warhead, but to me chemistry is mostly black magic, so maybe there is a way to do this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:13, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Another approach would be to make the electronics fail after some period of time. A timer could go off after the designated time period, and detonate a micro-charge that would be just enough to burn through some wires or critical electronic components. Of course, the terrorists might be able to repair this or remove the charge before it detonates, if they are sophisticated enough. Using components that just naturally fail with age is another approach, and would be more difficult to prevent or repair, but there the timing would be less exact. In any case, the explosives and fuel could still be removed and used for some nefarious purpose, but probably won't kill as many people as if a plane is shot down.
I believe there is a great need for this, for example in Syria, where any weapons given to the rebels may well end up being used against civilians. StuRat (talk) 16:24, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
When components fail, it's not all that hard to simply replace them with newer (and more reliable) ones. A better (if expensive) solution would be to equip civilian aircraft with infrared jammers (what the hell, no article?!) to prevent the missile from guiding properly. (talk) 19:57, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Terrorists aren't likely to have the spare parts and the knowledge to replace damaged components. Or, for those who do have those things, they could probably build their own surface-to-air missiles anyway. StuRat (talk) 15:49, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
These missiles are made to take down military planes. I am therefore more than a little skeptical about the claim you could harden civilian planes to resist anything but the most utterly obsolete weapons. Wnt (talk) 21:00, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
We have an article infrared countermeasure which mentions Israel is attempting to develop a laser based system for civilian aircraft to help defend against MANPADs which is what the question was about. MANPADs are of course mostly a threat on take off/landing and not when overflying, Nil Einne (talk) 21:12, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Given that ALL aircraft have to take off and land somewhere, and that many civilian airports are both extremely busy in terms of traffic and inadequately guarded, a threat to civilian aircraft at takeoff and landing is definitely to be taken seriously. What if, for example, terrorists from Al-Qaida stake out the departure paths from several major civilian airports (JFK, LAX, Chicago O'Hare, Sea-Tac, etc.) and use Stinger missiles (plentiful from old Afghan stocks) to simultaneously shoot down several jumbo jets right after takeoff?! (talk) 23:03, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Maybe, but the fact remains the evidence is that those who are looking in to this seem to be those who believe there is an active treat. Not everyone else. It could be that the possible cost is seen as not worth it cconsidering the possible risk and the many other likely avenues of attack compared to the alternatives to deal with such risks particular if the systems may post their own risks (see e.g. Flight Guard and perhaps Civil Aircraft Missile Protection System). The RD is not the place to speculate on what should happen. Nil Einne (talk) 13:14, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
The fact remains that there IS an active threat (as shown, e.g., by the 2003 Baghdad DHL shootdown incident), and that the "everyone else" who refuse to believe this or to act upon it are WILLFULLY BLIND to this fact. Enough said! (talk) 00:13, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

No chemical solution for this problem?

Firstly, stinger missiles are only one model of MANPAD. There are others - see our article at man-portable air-defense systems. The article includes a brief section on countermeasures. You may find the links there to be useful. I don't see a "chemical" solution to the problem to be useful, but there may or may not be some sort of "component" solution, e.g. using hard-to-replace batteries. Of course, circumventing such a "solution" depends on the expertise of the insurgents. It reminds me of the minds put to use in bypassing Digital_rights_management, and the difficulty in implementing technologies which can't be bypassed. (talk) 06:57, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Identify a plant[edit]

Can anybody identify this plant, which is next to the hothouse in the Walled Kitchen Garden at Clumber Park? It is probably an exotic: the same bed contains specimens of Paulownia tomentosa and Echium wildpretii. I asked one of the gardeners (in another part of the garden, so it wasn't in sight at the time) and she thought it might be Tetrataxis, but she wasn't sure, and I haven't found a picture of that anywhere, so I don't know if that identification is even plausible.

Unknown plant

--ColinFine (talk) 16:16, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

A picture of Tetrataxis salicifolia which is listed as a critically endangered species shows a different leaf shape. (talk) 17:16, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I can't tell from the photo if the leaf margins and veination are right, but it reminds me of castor oil plant, see e.g. picture here [12]. Also I can't tell the context/ situation of the plant from the photo. Not sure why you think it's exotic, but the way it's poking out of the other hedge makes it seem like a weed to me... SemanticMantis (talk) 19:33, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
And in case of mispronunciation/transcription/slip-of-the-tongue errors, "Tetrataxis" could be confused for "Tetrapanax" (verbally, not botanically). See e.g. pictures at Tetrapanax papyrifer. It has a fairly similar leaf to your specimen, but I'm not sure that it would survive over winter in that location, even in a walled garden. It does apparently survuve in British Columbia, though... [13] SemanticMantis (talk) 20:30, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Tetrapanax it is. Thank you, SemanticMantis. I actually thought she had said "Tetrapaxis" with a 'p', but I couldn't find that, and concluded it must have been "Tetrataxis". I actually thought it looked araliaceous, but didn't think of trying to look it up in Araliaceae. --ColinFine (talk) 23:23, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

thrombosis or sclerosis in the coronary veins[edit]

Can it be thrombosis or sclerosis in the coronary veins (usually they are only in the coronary artries)מוטיבציה (talk) 18:23, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Yes, coronary venous thrombosis exists.[14] Red Act (talk) 18:34, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Thank you מוטיבציה (talk) 01:05, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

"Do that thing with your eyes"[edit]

In Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978 version), about 20 minutes in, Donald Sutherland asks Brooke Adams (actress) to "Do that thing with your eyes". She then wiggles the pupils back and forth rapidly. I can do the same thing. So:

1) What's this ability called ? It's similar to a saccade, but that's normally involuntary, and moves in all directions, not just horizontally.

2) How common is this ability ? StuRat (talk) 20:44, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

+1 here. I've seen others do it also; it's instinctive enough that I feel like it has to have something to do with the basic biology. Blatant speculation: It feels like there's some relationship with focusing nearer, crossing the eyes... I'm thinking somehow it's a set of saccades after a target that disagrees with itself due to the urge to cross the eyes; I think that because the disagreement is somehow tied to eye-crossing is why it is only left to right. Wnt (talk) 21:40, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I find it much easier to do it when focusing both eyes on a finger placed just in front of my nose. StuRat (talk) 22:52, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Over 30 years ago, 8% of "college age populations" could produce "voluntary nystagmus" according to Zahn JR (July 1978). "Incidence and characteristics of voluntary nystagmus" (J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatr. 41 (7): 617–23.) You can also find "voluntary flutter" or "voluntary ocular flutter". I guess you'd have to add "horizontal" to specify exactly what you're describing. (I can't do it, by the way, unless I'm looking straight out a train window). ---Sluzzelin talk 21:49, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
My optician used the term "voluntary nystagmus" when I inquired about it.--Gilderien Chat|List of good deeds 23:09, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

July 19[edit]

May be all science always been humanitarian?[edit]

If philosophy of science knowledge always been humanitarian, may been all science always been humanitarian?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 09:16, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

What do you mean? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:11, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
It might be better to write it in your own language and use google translate to change it to English. At least I normally understand that. I think it is a pity if people don't support the Wikipedia in their own language. Dmcq (talk) 11:19, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
There's no way working backwards from Russian you can assume this linguistic behavior is caused by translation mistakes, μηδείς (talk) 17:49, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
I think I know what he means, and I have this to say: Was the Manhattan Project humanitarian? Was I. G. Farben's research into nerve gases humanitarian? Was Alfred Nobel's invention of high explosives humanitarian? (talk) 19:52, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
At least two of those (Manhattan Project, and especially much of Nobel's work) are often argued as a net humanitarian gain, either with the benefit of historical perspective and/or at their own time. Knowledge is not a moral thing; only how one uses it. DMacks (talk) 19:59, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Does that make Nazi research into the atomic bomb humanitarian too? HiLo48 (talk) 23:55, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
If they had been destined to win WW2 in either case, then I suppose it could be argued that a quick victory, using nuclear weapons, that killed fewer people, would be better than a longer, more deadly war. Of course, if they just murdered everybody after they won anyway, then there wouldn't be any benefit. StuRat (talk) 03:20, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Will, the philosophy of science knowledge in all technical is been always humanitarian too?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 08:36, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, Hayne. Beisbol bean berry good to me. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:21, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
You do realize that the chance that he will recognize an SNL sketch from the 1970's is approximately zero ? Also, wasn't the name Jaime (pronounced Hymee), and wasn't it "berry, berry" ? StuRat (talk) 15:56, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
To philosophy of science is amoral, meaning neither moral (humanitarian) nor immoral (evil). That is, the goal is just to seek knowledge, and whether that knowledge is good or bad for humanity is irrelevant. StuRat (talk) 19:36, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't think we can really answer this question here - at best we could provide sources to discussions of the topic, but I think there may be a language barrier. As for why the question is problematic:
  • Are we talking about science as in "scientific knowledge" or as in "the practice of science" or as in "the motives that direct science"? In the first case, it would be hard to discuss a moral value, but the latter cases are a lot murkier for a ton of reasons.
  • Does "humanitarian" mean "morally good" or "for the benefit of man"? For example, animal testing to develop drugs may, or may not, be moral, but it would be hard to argue that it is not to the benefit of man.
Without further clarification, I don't think any real answer can be supplied.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 05:39, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
None of 'philosophy', 'science', 'knowledge' or 'humanitarian' have sufficiently precise definitions to answer this. Peter Grey (talk) 01:50, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks more for all! Did the cybernetics is been always a philosophy science, or the cybernetics is been always a method of science knowledge?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 14:32, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Cybernetics is, and has always been, predominantly an applied science topic, with some attendant ethical and philosophical questions.
Your English is very hard to understand. People have asked you about this before. Do you understand that we have considerable difficulty understanding you? AlexTiefling (talk) 14:40, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! As I been thinking, never been the national science which write up the methodology of science knowledge which been usedes by that national science.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 14:59, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I been see, that methodology of science knowledge always is been a intellectually secret of mind of every person which been in a science!--Alex Sazonov (talk) 15:22, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Chose agree with me that, never not been important what kind the experiment will do, but always been most important how will do this experiment!--Alex Sazonov (talk) 15:43, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Did you understand what I said about your English? AlexTiefling (talk) 15:47, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you AlexTiefling. Yes, I been understood that is been my problem that my English is not been well for discussions.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 15:55, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Be agreed that methodology always is been a key to knowledge, that’s why the science which used by the USSR and the USA is been always general, but keys of that none been general!--Alex Sazonov (talk) 16:37, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Are you understand that a soviet science person always been not wanted to share by their methodology because this methodology always been only their intellectually privacy which the USSR is not been ensure by them.--Alex Sazonov (talk) 18:36, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

I been must sad that in the USSR a science person always been knew that methodology is been a mind of science person!--Alex Sazonov (talk) 19:29, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Recommendations for textbook on galactic astrophysics ?[edit]

I have just read and enjoyed Gravity's Engines by Caleb Scharf and would like to read a more detailed book on the same subject. Can anyone recommend an undergraduate level text covering galaxy formation and evolution, active galactic nuclei, supermassive black holes, dark matter etc. ? I know this is an area of active research, so something that is up to date and includes latest observations and developments would be good. I am comfortable with undergraduate level mathematics and physics. Not looking for a popularisation - Scharf ticks that box nicely - or pretty pictures - I can get those from APOD. Thank you. Gandalf61 (talk) 09:58, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

I think you will find The Astrophysical Journal of interest. Abstracts of its articles are free at the website, though to read them in full you need to pay or join a subscribing library. Caleb Scharf has written widely cited articles in The Astrophysical Journal. (talk) 13:59, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
The Astrophysical Journal is a research journal that publishes highly technical research papers. You'll need a degree to understand the contents of individual articles and you'll need to spend a lot of effort on synthesising the contents of many articles into something like an overview of the current status of a field of research. Not recommended for the lay person. A book that I like and that covers most of the topics mentioned by Gandalf61 at an accessible but not too simplistic level is "Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology: An Introduction" by Peter Schneider. There are others, of course. --Wrongfilter (talk) 17:38, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. I shall take a look at Schneider. Gandalf61 (talk) 06:16, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Improvement to Cosmological Inflationary Model?[edit]

One of the aspects of current inflation that can be recorded in our modern universe is that it is only increasing in speed with time, which as I understand was the opposite expected behaviour until not too long ago. Of what evidence or idea does the early Cosmic Inflation theory still hold validity? As I've researched, the "Metric Expansion of Space" model defines that the universe still underwent that abrupt inflation and expansion at the moment of the Big Bang, then slowed down over the next 8 billion years, then began accelerating about 5 billion years ago. This would look something like this graph for the Inflection Point article:

which is more or less a graphical deviation of an otherwise straight-line, and therefore possibly a misinterpretation of data on the Scientific Community's behalf.

I still feel the existence of an "inflationary epoch" to not be a necessary or appropriate model. If inflation is only increasing with time, is there really anything stopping it from always having been that way since the moment of the birth of the universe? Is there any observable data that says the early universe couldn't have existed as is postulated, but for millions or even billions of years rather than the established fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a second? Fbushnik (talk) 19:06, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Value of the Hubble Constant including measurement uncertainty. Vertical units are (km/s)/Mpc.
Modelling of the expanding universe is initially based on the observable constant H_0 in Hubble's law v = H0D. If H_0 were really constant, the age of the universe could be resolved simply by extrapolating the present rate of expansion v back in time to a Big-Bang moment 13.7 billions of years ago. Such a finite universe lifetime seems to explain both Olbers' paradox (black gaps show between the stars) and the residual background radiation. The vast timescale rules out reliable direct observation of the rate of change, if any, of H_0. Observations of Type Ia supernova now suggest an Accelerating universe (see article). Models attempting to explain accelerating expansion include some form of dark energy, dark fluid or phantom energy and lead to different estimates of the age of the universe. See the diagram at Hubble's law#Ultimate fate and age of the universe. (talk) 22:26, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

The accelerating expansion of the universe due to dark energy is not the same as inflation. They're theoretically similar, both being apparently caused by a spin-0 field of some sort, but there's nothing to suggest that they're related beyond that. There is no evidence that the rate of the accelerating expansion is increasing with time. What is happening is that the density of ordinary matter (and dark matter) is decreasing, and a few billion years ago it fell to the point that its gravitational attraction was no longer enough to counter the gravitational repulsion of the dark energy that had, apparently, always been there. It's not certain that this is the right model, but it's the simplest model that fits all of the data so far.
It's not true (or not known to be true) that inflation only lasted for a fraction of a second. The observed smoothness of the universe only gives a lower bound on the duration of inflation. There's no theoretical reason to think it didn't last for much longer than that. It could have lasted for billions of years as far as anyone knows. -- BenRG (talk) 23:37, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm not a great fan of Occam's Razor, but I have to wonder how one measured Hubble constant (with substantial disagreements in the measurements) can support the proposal of two separate mysterious universe-wide repulsive forces active at the same time. Wnt (talk) 11:50, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Support for the ΛCDM model comes primarily from the cosmic microwave background, the luminosity-redshift relation of supernovas, and baryon acoustic oscillation, not from one measured Hubble constant. Ned Wright's cosmology site has some details.
The universe-wide repulsive force is predicted by general relativity if there is a spin-0 field with a nonzero value in the vacuum (VEV). GR is known to be very accurate, and spin-0 fields with a nonzero VEV are known to exist (the Higgs field and the QCD vacuum). A lot of the appeal of the inflationary / dark energy model is that it doesn't require new physical laws, just new fields of a familiar type. -- BenRG (talk) 16:05, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Chemical disposal of chemical weapons[edit]

As some of you probably know, phosgene can be made harmless by reacting it with a solution of caustic:

COCl2 + 4 NaOH → 2 NaCl + Na2CO3 + 2 H2O

and cyanide gas by chemical (e.g. catalytic) oxidation:

HCN + 5/2 O2 → HNO3 + CO2

My question is, what other chemical warfare agents can be made (relatively) harmless by selective chemical reactions (other than by high-temperature incineration, which would be sort of "cheating" because it's non-selective)? (talk) 20:15, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Most mustard agents and nerve agents seem reactive towards water or aqueous-caustic. Many of their biological properties are based on a similar reaction with various N and/or O nucleophiles. DMacks (talk) 20:33, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
See, for example, doi:10.1021/jo01175a018 discussing the rates and mechanisms of hydrolysis of some nitrogen mustards. DMacks (talk) 20:48, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! I was pretty sure that mustard gas would hydrolyze in alkali solution like it actually does -- wasn't sure about nerve gases, though, because I didn't remember their structure. (talk) 22:45, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Wave interference - What´s happen with their energy ?[edit]

My doubt is about light/wave interference and their energy. I have read all the posts about waves and I didn’t find any reference about wave energy when interference occurs.

I don´t know if it is a dumb questions but I would like to ask you a question that is bothering me and I dont know how to explain.

If two waves meet at a point and from there we have a completely destructive interference, what happen with original energy that was transported (contained) by each wave ?

In other way, Could we have light wave interference, with phase deplacement, in such way that light will disappear ? In such case what will happen with energy ?

Futurengineer (talk) 22:07, 19 July 2014 (UTC)futurengineer

"Destructive interference" when travelling waves interact means that the net deviation (which may be brightness, electric potential or sound, depending on the type of wave) is zero at that point. Each wave continues in its own direction and likely there will be constructive interference between the waves at a different location. But in neither case has any energy been destroyed or constructed, only the local observation is affected. For simplicity assume small sinusoidal waves in a linear medium where no intermodulation of the waves occurs. (talk) 22:40, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. To see this for yourself, fill the tub with an inch or two of water, and poke the water with fingertips at two different locations, simultaneously. Waves will spread out from each point, and pass right through each other. StuRat (talk) 03:13, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
In the general case where the waves are not spatially correlated, then the energy will redistributed, but the total energy is conserved. The waves may interfere destructively in some places, in which case the energy density could be locally reduced to zero. However, the waves will interfere constructively in other places, and in those places the energy density is greater than sum of the energy densities of the two waves. This is because the energy depends on the square of the amplitude, and the square of the sum of two amplitudes is greater than the sum of the squares. For example, if the waves have equal amplitude at a point where they constructively interfere, then the amplitude at that point is twice the amplitude of that of either wave, but the energy density is locally four times the energy density of either wave. The cold and hot spots average out, so that it turns out that energy is conserved (this is half the answer). --catslash (talk) 18:34, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
In the special case where the interfering waves are spatially correlated (such as two plane waves of the same amplitude and same wavelength travelling in the same direction), then the source of one wave (say the second), will continually be opposed (in the case of constructive interference), or assisted (in the case of destructive interference), by the field of the first wave. This means that the second source may be working abnormally hard (radiating more energy than usual), or may actually be absorbing energy, and so energy is conserved even though the total energy in the interfering waves does differ from the sum of the energies in the separate waves (still not a complete answer). --catslash (talk) 18:56, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Another point worth mentioning is that anything that obeys both the wave equation and conservation of energy consists of a pair of fields (or a field having at least two components). For example a sound wave consists of a pressure wave and a particle velocity wave, while a light wave consists of both an E-field (electric) and and H-field (magnetic). Both parts of the wave carry energy. For the sound wave, the medium holds energy both by virtue of being compressed and due to its local kinetic energy. In the case of interference between waves travelling in opposite directions (a standing wave), constructive interference of the pressure waves (or E-field waves) occurs at the same locations as destructive interference of the particle-velocity waves (or H-field waves) and vice versa, so that the total energy density is everywhere the same. --catslash (talk) 23:04, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
To put the above replies more simply: when waves interfere destructively, there is always somewhere else where they interfere constructively, such that the total energy in the waves is always conserved.--Srleffler (talk) 17:18, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

July 20[edit]

How thick is the skin of a balloon?[edit]

I realize that the thickness would depend on the material, and how much pressure was inside, but I'm wondering what the range is. I'm talking about an ordinary children's party balloon. I'm thinking an uninflated balloon could be several thousandths of an inch thick and it would get thinner as it was inflated. How thin could it get before it fails? One one-thousandth? A ten-thousandth? Less? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:51, 19 July 2014‎

Party balloons...dunno. Similar looking things used for some scientific/medical purposes are described here as being "12mils" thick...about 0.3 millimeters...which is probably about what the party balloons are.
When you inflate them, every time you double the diameter of the balloon, the wall will have four times the surface the thickness of the wall ought to be four times thinner. The thickness of the wall is inversely proportional to the square of the diameter of the balloon. So if a 3cm diameter (uninflated) balloon might get up to 30cm diameter when fully inflated - so we would expect it to be 100 times thinner. That would be three thousandths of a millimeter...three micrometers. That's about the same as the thickness of a human hair...which seems awfully thin to me. I'm suspicious of the validity of this estimate...but I don't see how it could be much different than that.
Incidentally, I doubt the failure of the balloon directly relates to the overall wall thickness. There are bound to be weak spots in the latex that give way long before the overall thickness of the material gets too thin to hold the pressure - and we know that a microscopic flaw (like a pin-prick) rapidly propagates to a large tear. This video: shows you how they're made - basically they dunk metal molds of the uninflated balloon into a tank of liquid latex - so the thickness of the material isn't going to be all that uniform either across the whole of one balloon - or from one balloon to the next.
SteveBaker (talk) 03:46, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Ref. Desk vs. YouTube challenge on the same question
What is the thickness of the rubber just before bursting? Why do the air-filled balloons break at the top while the last one with some water inside breaks at the bottom? (talk) 11:18, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, if the balloon was perfectly uniform, I'd say that the pressure at the bottom of the puddle of water is higher than the pressure at the top of the balloon because the weight of the water is added to the air pressure. It seems like it would be a tiny difference - but if the balloon were completely uniform, that would be the first place to go. But there are other possibilities. Balloons get hot as they stretch - and the water would conduct that heat away creating a thermal gradient that might affect the elasticity...there are MANY possibilities. However, I'd guess that it was mostly coincidence. I don't think balloons are manufactured carefully enough to ensure that they are that perfectly uniform. SteveBaker (talk) 15:19, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I think the shape of the balloon is a factor in bursting. A favourite party game when I was a lad, was to blow up a balloon until it burst, and sausage balloons where always much more difficult than round ones. I think zig-zag sausage balloons might be easier to burst than straight sausage. Modelling balloons are very difficult to blow up to bursting point. I can inflate them by mouth but when I used to model at fetes I used a pump, partly in interests of hygiene but also to save my body, although it is quicker to inflate by mouth. I guess they have thicker skins than party balloons. --TrogWoolley (talk) 14:44, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
A link for those unfamiliar with the term: Balloon modelling. -- ToE 13:19, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Pre-CPR resuscitation[edit]

Early- and mid-20th century films sometimes depict a pre-CPR method of resuscitation, in which the body is laid on the back, the arms put at the side, and then moved behind the head before being returned to the side; this is repeated until the person breathes or (thought this isn't often shown in the films) until the resuscitator gives up on the hopeless case. What do we call this method? Nyttend (talk) 03:06, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

At History_of_cardiopulmonary_resuscitation I see the idea of lifting the arms, but that sounds like "up in the air" not "along the ground to behind head" as you describe. Anything you find, please add a note to that article. DMacks (talk) 03:25, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
There's also a mention at Cardiopulmonary resuscitation#History. HiLo48 (talk) 03:30, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I was thinking of the lifting-in-the-air; I wasn't describing moving the arms along the ground. Think vaguely of the motion backstroke swimmers use. Sorry that I missed the history section in the CPR article; I looked for it and somehow completely failed to find it. Nyttend (talk) 04:16, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
That's because this material belongs in the article on artificial respiration, which came before CPR. Or maybe the two articles should be merged. -- (talk) 04:45, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I was taught this every time I refreshed my First Aid at Work qualification because it is useful in cases where the patient is believed to have ingested poison per ora or where there is a lot of blood round the oral area and you are worried about oral transmission of disease. --TammyMoet (talk) 08:43, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
It's called the Sylvester method. -- (talk) 05:03, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Ca and K sorbates?[edit]

what does it mean? [15] -- (talk) 07:27, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

I think I had understand : Potassium sorbate + Calcium sorbate, but I need to read it again. thanks -- (talk) 07:31, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that's right -- (talk) 09:49, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Number of employees at the Russian Federal Space Agency[edit]

How many employees does ROSCOSMOS (the Russian Federal Space Agency) have? Thanks. --Schweinchen (talk) 13:47, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Voltage divider - question about current[edit]

Suppose I have a device that draws 1 A at 6 v and I have a 12 v supply so I make a voltage divider with two 1 Mohm resistors. Now I can have 6 v across my device but how could it draw 1 A through that 1 Mohm resistor? This was completely neglected at school (a long time ago). Impedance Voltage divider.png (talk) 15:34, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

it can't. whatsmore, any load except very small ones (several megaohms) will upset the divider because of how parallel resistances add. That's why voltage dividers are never used as sources of voltage (except in transistor stages, to provide bias voltage to the base, but then the base only draws microamps (huge base-emitter resistance), so it's OK). if the device draws 1A at 6V, then you could connect it through a 6 Ohm series resistor, which would drop 6 V and dissipate 6 W (!) of power as heat, but that's also "suboptimal." If the voltage is AC, one could use a simple stepdown transformer. DC requires the use of DC-DC converters, such as the 7806, which is a linear regulator (there are other conversion methods, such as when you have an oscillator generate a square wave with an adjustible duty cycle, then smoothen the voltage out with a capacitor, or by generating a sinusoid which is then power-amplified and fed into a transformer etc) Asmrulz (talk) 17:35, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
The LM7806 regulator is a good suggestion. It will deliver fixed 6V whether a load (up to 1A) is connected or not and it will tolerate a short circuit. But note that when the device takes 1A, the device and the regulator are each dissipating 6 Watts. Therefore the regulator which comes in a TO-220 package should be bolted to a Heat sink. If you know the thermal resistance of the heat sink, say 3 deg C/W, then in this application the regulator runs at 6 x 3 = 18 degrees above ambient temperature, which is reasonable. Read the application note for other information such as the pin connections and the capacitors that should be soldered close to the regulator to ensure stability see Fig 4. (talk) 21:32, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Don't use a voltage divider as a power supply, because it's inefficient, it's sensitive to imperfections in your (probably non-) ideal voltage source; and even if it works, it loses a lot of energy to resistive heating. Real power supplies that source large currents do not use voltage dividers to set the output voltage. Nimur (talk) 17:37, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Voltage divider#Loading effect mentions this problem, but I added another mention earlier in the article since it seems rather important. -- BenRG (talk) 17:40, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Use an op-amp. You can tie it to the 12V rail, tie one input to the divider at 6V and a 6 ohm resistor at the output. Tie the output to the other input. The opamp will drive the load to keep the inputs difference at 0 volts. So you end up with the opamp driving 6V into any load you like. See Voltage follower. --DHeyward (talk) 07:25, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

A linear regulator, or an op amp or any other active semiconductor solution will be more satisfactory than a simple dropping resistor if the demand of the device varies, since the active device can keep the voltage supplied to the device from varying. But a better approach for high current like 1 amp out at 6 volts is a DC to DC power supply which converts the DC to AC and uses a transformer to drop the voltage before converting it back to DC. That can be far more efficient. These DC to DC power supplies have largely replaced the "old school" solution for high current DC voltage conversion which would have been a motor generator set, with a 12 volt motor driving a 6 volt generator. It could be a rotating machine with one shaft and one field winding. Edison (talk) 17:29, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

What do insect bites do to your skin tissues?[edit]

Bites by many insects result in rashes, which may last from hours to few weeks. What do insect bites do to your tissues? For the ones that take a few weeks to completely clear up, what makes recovery take soon long? What's happening when your tissues are recovering from an insect bite?

For those which aren't trying to harm you, like a mosquito, it's often a bacterial infection. The mosquito injects a blood thinner so it can avoid clotting while drawing blood, but that's also full of bacteria and viruses. Having microbes injected directly into the blood vessel is one of the worst places for it, since it can't be ejected by bleeding, as in a normal cut, or killed off by free oxygen, in the case of anaerobic bacteria, or removed/killed by washing and sterilizing the wound. At that point, it's up to the immune system to counter the infection.
For those which are trying to harm you, like venomous spiders (not technically insects), the venom may work by any of a number of methods. In any case, first the venom must be diluted to the point where it no longer causes damage, then the damage must be repaired. StuRat (talk) 16:35, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Even a non-infectious mosquito bite can cause an allergic reaction, which believe it or not is called Skeeter syndrome. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:12, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Good point. Note that many of the same problems I noted above also apply to an allergen injected directly into a blood vessel, such as the inability of bleeding to wash it away. StuRat (talk) 17:23, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Typically there are two types of reaction from blood-sucking flies and mosquitoes. The first and subsequent bites will from a histaminic which will be local swelling, redness and itching due to the response to the direct tissue damage of the bite. If the body forms antibodies to chemicals in the flies' saliva, in later bites, some minutes after the initial red, pimple-like reaction, the skin will become raised and hardened in the shape of a coin or a pancake. This is called induration, and is caused by white blood cells responding to the presence of activated antibodies. Odly we lack an article on induration. μηδείς (talk) 17:36, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Beware those bites shaped like a con. They sound dangerous. :-) StuRat (talk) 19:31, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Unless you're goining to start paying me Stuart, don't expect me to notice things the spelczeck doesn't. μηδείς (talk) 23:01, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Is a spellCzech an Eastern European wizard ? StuRat (talk) 20:28, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
An Eastern European editor wizard... (talk) 00:06, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Salt poisoning[edit]

Our hypernatremia article mentions salt poisoning as one possible cause. However, we have no article on that. Is salt poisoning simply consuming so much salt in a short time period that your body is unable to compensate by drinking water and urinating salt, in order to bring the sodium balance back to normal ? If so, how much salt intake causes this ? For example, according to this nutrition menu from Chili's, ordering a full order of Texas Cheese Fries as an appetizer followed by a Margarita Shrimp Bowl for the entree and a Molten Chocolate Cake for dessert will result in about 12 grams of sodium: [16]. So, would this cause salt poisoning, if consumed within an hour, by a 200 pound man ? How about a 100 pound woman ? StuRat (talk) 19:28, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

This page has the Center for Disease Control recommendations for sodium intake. At Wikipedia, we cannot diagnose whether or not any action you or someone you know has taken or plans to take would cause a medical problem. Only a doctor would. --Jayron32 19:42, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
That's not particularly helpful, as it deals with chronic excessive sodium intake, and I asked about an acute overdose. And I believe you can state whether a particular level of sodium intake would cause medical problems in a theoretical individual. For example, is there an LD50 value for sodium ? StuRat (talk) 21:25, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
See here section 11. --Jayron32 04:00, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Let's see, that lists the LD50 as 3-10g per kg of body weight, and a 200 pound man is around 80kg, so that means it would take 240-800 grams to reach the LD50 for him, and 120-400 grams for the 100 pound woman. That's a lot more than I thought. Also, what is the minimal acute lethal dose ? StuRat (talk) 16:04, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

I'm also interested in knowing what the minimum sodium intake is. I believe the 1.5-2.3 grams stated in the previous link is the range for maximums. StuRat (talk) 21:29, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

It varies. This page notes that only about 180 mg per day are needed for a person who doesn't sweat (that's 0.180 grams), but recommends a minimum of 1500 mg (1.5 grams) for a healthy adult. this page is a bit older, and recommends a safe minimum of 500 mg per day. --Jayron32 04:00, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
From here [17], it indicates that risk as a function of salt intake appears to follow a "J" shaped curve, they also mention that less than 3g per day is associated with risk - they mention that the current guidelines are from projections based on small samples and short term trials; so there does appear to be some controversy. This [18] appears to indicate that low sodium diets can raise various other levels, not all good; the general conclusion being that low sodium diets aren't necessarily beneficial to those without high blood pressure - though, there main recommendation is further testing. This [19] mentions that lower sodium excretion is associated with higher CVD mortality. This [20] concludes that the current guidelines are not supported, but that raising sodium intake is also not supported - in short, recommendation either way does not appera to be supported. This [21] indicates that sodium restriction can have risks to cardiovascular health. These, may also be of interest: [22], [23], [24], [25]. In short, it does not appear that it is supported that a sodium restricted diet is necessarily healthier, nor necessarily healthy - this is not to say that a high salt diet is safe either. There is some sweet spot somewhere in there, but the current US recommendations may be on the too low side (even if the average American consumes too high on the high side...), at any rate, the issue is controversial, and I don't think there is any clear answer at present.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 06:05, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
As for the original question, I couldn't find nearly as much info. These are MSDS for Sodium chloride: [26], [27] which mentions oral toxicity (search for "ld50"). This [28] (pdf full article: [29]) discusses salt toxicity and the case of an accidental deat due to salt poisoning in an adult. Here's a news article on someone in jail for not intervening/causing in a case of salt poisoning (involves her child) [30]. This is for animals, but might be relevant: [31]. At any rate, it would appear that it would take a large amount to actually cause acute poisoning - however, the amount and impact on a large dose of salt in a dehydrated individual would be more pronounced. (This [32] also has a bunch of info, search "range of toxicity".)Phoenixia1177 (talk) 06:33, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks. I never expected dietary sodium recommendations to be so controversial.

I've also wondered if people in food eating contests involving salty items might be in danger of salt poisoning. (At the top level, though, most of the food is quickly vomited back out or passes through undigested, so that would hopefully limit the sodium absorption.) StuRat (talk) 16:05, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

I have no source, but I believe a major inhibiting factor would be the time it takes to digest food. The cases I read about involved children, a mentally handicapped woman eating jam with large amounts of salt added in place of sugar, and people who were given saline enemas. In those cases, the needed dose is either smaller (children) or was from a source that allowed large amounts to be absorbed quickly. For an eating contest, using hot dogs as an example, you'd need to directly absorb the salt content of 60 hot dogs before reaching significant toxic levels (70kg person) - for someone like Takeru Kobayashi, this may be possible, but the digestion time factor should still put him in a safe zone, even if he didn't vomit any of it back up. Finally, it is possible that such people may intake enough to suffer from limited poisoning, but, again, digestion time would most likely prevent this. In almost any situation involving actual food, it is most likely that the eater would vomit before they could take in enough food - and, again, even if not, with digestion time being a factor, it is likely that the person would never have enough salt at anyone time due to excretion. -- Again, I have no direct source, but I would say that this would be almost impossible to do with standard food items under normal circumstance.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 08:24, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
However, some people seem to lack the vomit response. (I wonder what percentage that is.) Fortunately my vomit response is quite good. I've never had a hangover, for example, because consuming enough alcohol to cause one would just make me to vomit it back up. StuRat (talk) 12:21, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps, but I imagine very few people lack the vomit response and can fit 60+ hot dogs in their stomach while near dehydration, which is what you would need to even near a risky level through food. On the other hand, if you did lack a vomit response and chugged salt water, or something like it, you might be able to poison yourself, but it certainly would be on purpose or do to weird circumstance and mental handicap. Essentially, if someone gets salt poisoning through ingestion, then it was either purposeful, the result of mental handicap and weird circumstance, or some survival style situation (as in a ship wreck). The only cases I've heard of that may be accidental and involving normal people are in the case of saline enemas; and I'm not sure how common it is that someone receives one, nor what portion of those get poisoned.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 00:46, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I many movies people are shipwrecked, adrift in a lifeboat, and very thirsty. They are cautioned not to drink seawater, but inevitably someone does and promptly dies in agony after one good drink. If a 100 pound woman would have a LD50 of 129 grams minimum, and seawater is 3.5% salt, (roughly 35 grams salt per liter) then her lethal drink would be about 3.4 liters. The real story likely is that the person who starts with say a 250 ml drink of seawater actually winds up more thirsty as a result and more and more seawater drinking as time passes, and a day later is worse off than the person who didn't drink seawater, and dies sooner than that person, but not instantly. Edison (talk) 17:14, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Plus they presumably had a high sodium to water ratio in their body to begin with, due to dehydration. StuRat (talk) 00:06, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

How can we know that electrons cannot be broken down into smaller constituent parts[edit]

Just tell me how? OsmanRF34 (talk) 20:58, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

We can't know for sure. We can however state that there is no verifiable evidence that they can be. If you want absolute certainty, you won't find it in science... AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:01, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
See preon. Wnt (talk) 21:05, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
In general, as particle accelerators move to higher and higher energies they probe smaller and smaller structures. Broadly speaking, studying interactions with higher and higher energy particles has allowed us to first discover the nucleus of atoms, and then the constituent nucleons, and then the quarks from which nucleons are made. Such tests have not revealed any internal structure to the electron, which either implies it doesn't exist (i.e. no smaller parts) or the constituent parts are so tightly bound that they can't be revealed by the energies we have available to probe for them. Given the lack of evidence for internal structure, it is simpler to assume that no constituent parts exist (e.g. Occam's razor). Dragons flight (talk) 09:36, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Wouldn't it be more advisable to assume that up to energy level x, there could not be found any particles, but above this, we don't know? That would be the same assumption, but with a reasonable limitation.OsmanRF34 (talk) 10:39, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
That's why I linked Occam's razor. The simpler assumption (i.e. less complicated theory) is that there are no constituent parts. That doesn't make it right, but in the absence of evidence assuming anything else just makes your theories more complicated without explaining anything new. Of course, some people do make theories about what electron constituent parts might look like (e.g. preons) and what consequences they might have, but until there is some experimental evidence for such theories that can't be explained the traditional way, most scientists are just going to assume electrons have no constituent parts. Dragons flight (talk) 17:19, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
What do you want particle physicists to do that they aren't already doing? Obviously they haven't ignored the possibility of preons, as witnessed by the existence of the word "preon" and the papers on the subject. Preons are just one of many possibilities for beyond-the-Standard-Model physics, and without experimental guidance it's not clear how much time one should spend on that possibility and how much on others.
One theoretical argument against preons (which is mentioned in the article) is that they would have to have a much larger mass than an electron in order to be confined in such a small space without violating the uncertainty principle. You might be able to cancel that with a negative binding energy, but it's not clear why the binding energy would be so close to minus the sum of the preon masses. To the extent that physicists disbelieve in preons, I suppose this is why.
Also, the fact that the fundamental Standard Model fermions are all massless and chiral seems to me to rule out their being composite, but professional physicists have proposed preon models post-Standard-Model, so I must be wrong about that. The article does say that the discovery of the Higgs boson ruled out many of the models. -- BenRG (talk) 18:46, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

What is the difference between ECG and Monitor?[edit]

What are the main differences between ECG and monitor? מוטיבציה (talk) 21:28, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

An electrocardiogram can be displayed on a monitor and/or recorded on paper tape. The paper tape version traditionally had the advantage of allowing quicker access to recent data which had scrolled off the monitor. However, modern systems both electronically record the data and hopefully allow rapid access to recent data, but it's still hard to get quicker than paper tape. Paper tape does need to be changed periodically, however. In a third world hospital, where power disruptions are frequent, paper tape records may also be more reliable. StuRat (talk) 21:37, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
See also heart monitor. (I'm guessing that's what you mean by "monitor" which is a rather general term.)--Shantavira|feed me 06:04, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

July 21[edit]

Time loops[edit]

Could time loops actually exist in real life? Clover345 (talk) 00:05, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Probably not, but existing theory doesn't currently completely rule out that possibility. There do exist solutions to the Einstein field equations which contain closed timelike curves, but those solutions generally require circumstances which have never been observed, and hence may never exist. See also Chronology protection conjecture. Red Act (talk) 01:54, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
See Time loop. The Novikov self-consistency principle is needed to avoid paradoxes, such as the Grandfather paradox, arising if a Closed timelike curve (CTC) existed. Most physicists feel that CTCs are artifacts. (talk) 15:31, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
On the contrary, this assumes a classical (i.e. nonquantum) approach. I recall reading an article in Scientific American many years ago in which a quantum approach resolved this by showing that natural solutions existed, without having to resort to paradox-avoiding principles. My own guess is that this would be easiest understood in the Many worlds interpretation. I would tend to de-emphasize the statement about "Most physicists ..." in this context. —Quondum 18:43, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
The main thing I want to know about a time loop is the entropy of an isolated system within the loop. Either it's a theorem that you can't keep the system isolated (Novikov forbids it) or else the "direction of time" within the loop should reverse to point from the lowest-entropy point to the highest-entropy point, at least within the isolated system. Right??? Wnt (talk) 18:57, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I disagree – you're coming at it from the perspective of being able to assign an entropy density to a point on the spacetime manifold. However, entropy is essentially specific to each observer, which is essentially connected to a what could be called a history (I don't know the terminology in MWI, so I'm improvising). Thus, an observer can see a different entropy on each circuit, even assuming a GR-like manifold. Remember that an observer does not see the "whole" wavefunction. An observer on each loop sees different histories (pasts).
Disclaimer – I'm headed into speculation here; my point is simply that the converse should not be taken as a given.Quondum 00:10, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
In fiction I've seen this problem overcome by having a piece of information make the loop, not a physical object. For example, a document is transcribed then sent back in time to become its own source document. This prevents the problem of wear and tear on an "infinitely" old object. Katie R (talk) 19:33, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Some history questions about the ECG development[edit]

Hello everybody, I have some questions about the history of the EKG, and I would like to know the answers. 1. In the book "Dubin: rapid interpretation", written that "Galvany knew that the closing circle between two metals to dead frog's leg, creates an electric current". According to this thing, if someone takes a gold and silver for example (two different metals), his legs dance... but it does not happen in the reality. if so, what is the explanation for the things that mention above? 2. There written too "Koliker and Muller recover that when putting a motor nerve of grog's leg on a beatting heart, then the leg moves according to the beats", it does not clear to me what kind of heart he's talking about, Is it talking about human heart, and how they did that (what is the way they did it to approach to the beatting heart in order to make their research? מוטיבציה (talk) 02:40, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Rapid Interpretation of EKG's by Dale Dubin is a long-time best-selling textbook.
EKG#History is another place to start reading. EKG or Electrocardiography is the study of natural electric signals in the living body. You have been reading about the much older experiments on reactions of muscles to externally applied electricity that were started by Luigi Galvani. Two different metals placed in contact can produce an electric voltage; some pairs of metals are useful for sensing temperature or for controlling corrosion. Gold+silver together generate very little voltage, too little to demonstrate a galvanic reaction on a person (though I suspect your book's author was joking). However be assured that if one joins sufficiently many Electrochemical cells in a series circuit to get enough (over 100V) potential, it will make anyone's leg "dance involuntarily". Koliker and Muller's work is cited in History of Defribrillation that you can view at the link. (talk) 13:55, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

which is the top,best institute to get trained on "Telecom Protocol Testing" course in india?[edit]

am a e.c.e fresher(2014) without any experience in any field,kindly please suggest the top,best institute to get trained on "Telecom Protocol Testing" course in india?

I would suggest that you finish your electrical engineering degree first. This should include units about communications protocols. An employer will very likely give on the job training on how to use the equipment and facilities they have for testing. Any course you do now will probably be dated by the time you are employed. But on Wikipedia you can read Bit error rate test jitter loopback test, Ping (networking utility), traceroute, Optical time-domain reflectometer all the topics linked from Interference (communication) to get an idea. If you want to go further to prove yorself, you could write a page for Wikipedia on a related topic. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 22:54, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Importance of Coking Coal[edit]

Why is coking coal the only form of carbon useful for steel manufacture? Why can't it be substituted with other carbon sources like graphite or dehydrated sugar [33], etc. (talk) 09:43, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Coking coal is about $100 / ton. Mineral derived graphite is about $2500 / ton (plant-derived graphite is even more). I don't think it is that one can't ever use other carbon sources, but rather that they choose to use the cheapest carbon source available that is also pure enough that it won't impact the steel too much. Dragons flight (talk) 09:55, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Coke used to be cheap in the UK too, but it's now four or five times the US price if Dragons flight's estimate is accurate. Perhaps it's because we no longer make town gas here. Sugar is not much more expensive here, but unsuitable in its hydrated form. Dbfirs 20:49, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
For manufacture of low-carbon steel, gas can be used as well... (talk) 00:03, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
High purity carbon is made easily and cheaply from charcoaled coconut husk in equatorial countries. This is used for carbon absorption like in CIL/CIP gold production. I can't imagine that it's more expensive than coking coal. Is there a particular reason why it may be unsuitable? (talk) 00:44, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Never turns out it is used [34]. (talk) 01:03, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Because there ain't no coconuts here in the USA (nor in England, last time I checked, unless that global warming thing really kicked in over there). (talk) 04:04, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
You may want to be careful about claiming there are no alternatives as a previous contributor seemed very concerned [35] about such claims Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Archives/Science/2014 April 1#Wired can't figure out cleansteel. Anyway as others have said it's not necessarily impossible to use other methods [36] [37] [38] [39]. It's more that these methods aren't used much because of cost and similar reasons compared to total annual production [40] (and I believe in the earlier discussion there were figures of 74 million vs about 1.5 billion total production). So as evidence by the previous sources and others like [41] (and of course this infamous article [42]), there's great disagreement over whether it's realistic to expect coke to be substanially replaced in steel production in the next 20 years or so. (And of course, if it is replaced, whether it will be smelting iron with some other carbon or whatever reducing agent whether non renewable like shale gas or renewable like something plant derived, or whether some other method like electrolysis could be used.) Nil Einne (talk) 14:21, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
As I already pointed out above, there are alternative processes which use syngas instead of coal as the reducing agent. And of course it's theoretically possible to use electrolysis, but this is so expensive as to be utterly uneconomic at present (not to mention that most of the electricity it would use is generated from coal anyway...) (talk) 04:18, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Strength training[edit]

Does resting too long between sets during strength training lower it's effectiveness? Why? -- (talk · contribs) 10:59, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Define "too long". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:02, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I tend to rest several decades between sets, and that does, indeed, appear to lower it's effectiveness. StuRat (talk) 16:13, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
It ultimately depends on your goals. When you say "strength training" do you mean, literally, that you are seeking to increase strength in the sense of powerlifting, or do you mean it in the sense of weight lifting, in general? At any rate, the general rule (I'll dig up sources later, I'm at work and not able right now to give more than a few random articles) seems to be that shorter rest periods (say 1 - 1.5 minutes) with high intensity around 8 - 12 reps per set is idle for hypertrophy due to growth hormones, whereas for increasing strength, heaver weights (3 - 5 rep range) with 3 - 5 minute weight periods; this will allow you to do more reps. According to bodybuilding literature, the first is more geared towards sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (more massive) the latter myofibrillar (strength) - although, neither occurs in isolation from the other, it's more a matter of what you want to focus on most, though. At any rate, take all of this with a grain of salt, I've read a lot on the topic, but this is also from memory and typed in a rush. Finally, be aware that these are guidlines that have some support, but ultimately, what is "too much" or "too little" of anything will be a matter of your body, your diet, and your goals - you would be best served talking to a trainer, or just trying various regimes for 4 - 6 weeks and seeing the results over time. Heres a few articles, when I get more time, I'll find some better sourcing for you: [43], [44], [45], [46]. (As mentioned, these are by no means "definitive", take what I say with a grain of salt.).Phoenixia1177 (talk) 13:59, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Power source[edit]

It took many hundreds of years before the invention of electricity, is it envisaged that someone, at some far future date, will invent an entirely new source of power? (talk) 12:41, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

We don't answer requests for opinions, predictions or debate. (talk) 12:54, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
There are a few tidbits mentioned in Energy development. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:20, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Electricity isn't a "source of power" - it's a means for transmitting energy from one place to another. For example, from the energy produced by spinning water turbines in the Hoover Dam is transmitted to the caps-lock LED in your keyboard by electricity. The electricity wasn't the source of the power - that was the water spinning that turbine.
We certainly do have other means to transmit power - for example, the Seattle Steam Company makes steam by using natural gas as an energy source, using it to boil water - and then pipes the resulting steam to local businesses, where it's used to provide heating. No electricity is involved - the energy is transmitted by the steam.
Electricity is a very convenient way to transmit power because we've figured out ways to convert almost any energy source into a flow of electricity - and to use a flow of electricity to power almost any kind of device we can think of. But it's not always the most efficient way - as the Seattle Steam Company have proven. But considered more broadly, an oil pipeline is another way to transmit energy. When you buy candy in your local store and bring them home for your consumption - you're transmitting energy (in the form of food calories) from the store to the place where it's going to be converted into body heat, body motion and brain activity.
SteveBaker (talk) 14:22, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
One could argue that it was nature that invented electricity, we just figured out how to exploit it. The reason it exists and the reason we can exploit it ultimately lead back to the Big Bang. It reminds me of a Carl Sagan statement: If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:33, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Most people would say that we "discovered" electricity - just as we "discovered" fire. We generally reserve the word "invented" for things like 'The Wheel' - or 'The Internet' which didn't already exist in nature. SteveBaker (talk) 14:55, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

"We don't answer requests for opinions, predictions or debate. <IP address misappropriated>" Apparently not!!

I see, like nature created water power, but humans invented the gristmill and the hydroelectric dam. So maybe the OP's question comes down to whether new energy types might be invented in the future, i.e. if we haven't thought of everything yet? Electricity is generated by a variety of technologies, some old, some new - but it's still electricity. There could be additional fuels for generating electricity which we haven't discovered or made practical yet. But I think the OP is asking whether we have any clue of something that could replace electicity itself. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:24, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Is there anyone already working on alternative forms of energy transmission? The OP refers to electricity as a "source of power" but I'm not sure this phrase encompasses everything they intend and I can't think of a better one. Would you call the electrons moving around a circuit a "source of power"? Circuits can operate using lasers, right? So light could be a "source of power" in the future, beyond the manners in which it already is? Could long-distance light transmission ever compete with electrical energy transmission in terms of efficiency? Could quantum entanglement play a role in energy transmission and conversion to work? -- (talk) 14:18, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Sitting in your home, electricity can be thought of as a "source of power", although that's not true in the big picture. The OP has made only two entries - the original question here, and 5 days ago about the possibility of creating giant batteries.[47] That suggests he's talking about ways to produce electricity rather than alternatives to electricity. But until he returns and comments, it's hard to know for sure. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:03, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Note that people have been using electricity for thousands of years, although only a few people, and only as a "magic trick". Ancient clay pots seem to have been electrical cells, using acid (vinegar or lemon juice, perhaps), metal plates, and electrodes to create sparks on demand. Not sure if they hooked it up to an electric filament, but, if so, they would have had electric light, at least until the filament burnt up due to the lack of vacuum around it. Of course, an oil lamp would have been far more practical, at the time. StuRat (talk) 16:19, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
In terms of new stuff, there are people looking into using Spintronics as an alternative to electronics - where the spin of the electron is used instead of the charge. I'm not sure if that helps you with energy sources - or ways to transmit energy though.
My problem here is that the OP is asserting that electricity is the "source" of the power...if we're talking about power sources, then sure, we invented ways to use nuclear power (both fusion and fission) long after electricity was discovered and tamed. If we're talking about how energy is TRANSMITTED then we routinely transmit small amounts of energy in fibre-optics or using radio waves but also in larger quantities: A microwave oven transmits power through the air into your food using microwaves. The laser cutters my wife uses in her business transmit about 100 watts of energy through a beam of infra-red light over a distance of around ten feet.
So we have come up with plenty of new power sources - and new ways to transmit power - since the discovery of electricity...which leaves me puzzled as to why our OP thinks that electricity is the most recent discovery in that field. SteveBaker (talk) 16:50, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
StuRat: I think you are referring to the Baghdad Battery, which, according to Wikipedia's article, is no longer believed to have been electrical by mainstream archaeologists. הסרפד (call me Hasirpad) 02:18, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

" We don't answer requests for opinions, predictions or debate. <IP address misappropriated> " Apparentlty not !!

    • Hearing someone chime in with "No one is allowed to answer this question" when it is an appropriate question is a little annoying, like hearing little birds squawking for no apparent reason. Edison (talk) 16:04, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
      • I agree. The questioner asks whether this "is envisaged" - and that's a testable proposition. Are there reliable sources to say that someone notable in the world of physics is envisaging some new power source - and presumably doing research in that direction. SteveBaker (talk) 03:09, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Strength vs cardio training[edit]

Does strength training have the same health benefits as cardio training such as promoting good immune system health, heart health etc.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:23 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Certainly not as much benefit for the heart as cardio, but still any exercise is better than none. StuRat (talk) 16:41, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
It's possible to overtrain or improperly train, and this can be unhealthy, even for athletes. UFC fights are routinely cancelled/changed for training injuries. That sort of exercise isn't better than nothing. Unfit people should always start off slower than fitter folks. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:05, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
Here are some references about how strength training can improve various aspects of heart health [48] [49]. The benefits of strength training for heart health seem to be different than the benefits from cardio. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:06, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

July 22[edit]

Can anyone identify this bird?[edit]

I would like to upload this somewhat accidental pic I took to Commons, but I can't identify the bird. It's the eye colour that defeats me. Can anyone help? It was taken a few weeks ago a couple or miles or so inland from one of the wilder reaches of the west coasts of the EU on an old train embankment in a wooded area. The eye colour is natural as I wasn't using fill-in flash. Help really appreciated. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 00:07, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

I think it's a Tit. Not sure which one, though. --Jayron32 00:39, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Indeed there are some red-eyed Tits around, thanks for that. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 01:06, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
It's a Dunnock — quite common in that part of the world! MeegsC (talk) 01:26, 22 July 2014 (UTC) (from WP:BIRDS)
Brilliant! That's it exactly. I had no idea they had red eyes. Not exactly twitcher event of the year thus, but still it gives me pleasure. He was just perched a metre or so away from me and quite unafraid and at last I was able to get decent shot of a bird. Thanks so much. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 06:24, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Happy to help. They're brilliant little birds. And it's always fun to get a great shot! MeegsC (talk) 12:00, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Life flashing before one's eyes[edit]

Is there a term for it? Is it covered somewhere? I don't see it being covered in near-death experience. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 00:28, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Life review, though I haven't looked at the article. Huge admirer of your user page by the way. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 00:36, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

This also might interest. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 00:39, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Wow! Sooooooooo spooky. Thank you kindly. I expanded the description and made a couple of redirects. And thank you for the compliment about my userpage. :) Anna Frodesiak (talk) 00:51, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Pleasure. Coat of Many Colours (talk) 01:04, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Skyglobe replacement[edit]

I want an application that will serve the same as Skyglobe, but I don't know what to call it, so I can't run a decent Google search; all I've been able to find so far is stuff such as Terrestrial Planet Finder, which obviously is not a program I can use to figure out what's in tonight's sky. Any ideas? I downloaded and extracted the ZIP file for Skyglobe, but upon telling it to run the Windows version (I have Windows 8) of the program, all I got was a message of "this program cannot be run on your computer", so I need something else. Nyttend (talk) 02:57, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

The only one I'm familiar with is RedShift (planetarium software)(current version 7) –There are several others listed on Planetarium software; and a more complete list can be found here, on (neither list mentions Win8, however).  ~: (talk) 06:04, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure I've got all the nuances of your question, but Stellarium (computer program) is a tremendous program. I run it on Windows 7 but it claims to run on Windows XP or greater. (BTW I've recently discovered Google Sky Map for Android). Thincat (talk) 21:23, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Base hydrolysis[edit]

Do thioethers and alkyl arsenides/arsenates undergo hydrolysis in concentrated alkali solution? (For that matter, do amines do so?) Thanks in advance! (talk) 04:07, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Answer to question 1. --Jayron32 04:14, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Thioethers, not thioesters (I already know the latter hydrolyze readily). In case you're wondering, here are my three reasons for asking. (And just so you know, my educated guess would be that alkyl arsenides and thioethers hydrolyze, but amines don't -- but I can't find reliable info to either confirm or refute it.) (talk) 09:11, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Identification of the species[edit]

Species name?

Can someone help me with the identification of the species? Thanks in advance. Nikhil (talk) 05:40, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

So, from your image title, I'm guessing that this specimen was found in "Blossom International Park" - about 3 Km from the town of Munnar in India. (That kind of information *REALLY* helps with identification problems). I did a Google Image search on the name of the park and got a bazillion photos of various flowers...I hoped to find a picture of the flower in your photo which someone might have helpfully labelled - but no such luck. Sadly, the park is renowned for the enourmous range of exotic flowers it has...which isn't exactly helpful! If you have a picture of the plant from further back - so we can see the general shape of the plant - that might help. SteveBaker (talk) 14:53, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Where in the world was this taken? Was it a garden or wild? When was it taken? How tall was the shrub? Answers to these questions will help identify the flower. As it stands, I might guess a white azalea, but that's just a guess. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:38, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
  • @SemanticMantis Thanks for the response. It was taken in Kerala, India. It was taken in a flowers park, sort of exhibition for all the flowers. Shrub was about 1 to 1.5m tall. Nikhil (talk) 14:51, 22 July 2014 (UTC)


If p-aminophenol is reacted with acetic anhydride, what is the product? Is the amino group acylated or the hydroxy group? (talk) 06:36, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

The hydroxyl group is more reactive, so it should be acylated preferentially. So the product will be mainly the acetic ester, with possibly a small amount of the amide. (Note that in the presence of an acidic catalyst such as aluminum trichloride, yet another reaction can occur, placing the acyl group on any of the four remaining aryl positions, but preferentially (but not exclusively) ortho to the amino group -- so you'd now end up with a total of up to four different products!) (talk) 08:35, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Although the article Paracetamol disagrees with me, giving the amide as the main product. Maybe this depends on the reaction conditions? (talk) 08:51, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Is the amino group more electronegative? (talk) 09:49, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
As a rule, oxygen is more electronegative than nitrogen. (talk) 00:05, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Inertia Simple expiation needed thank you.[edit]

Confused my self on it. Please be patience with me thank you. Inertia and what it means is driving me crazy. Ok my question is: if Inertia is the property of mater and for the sake of argument that it is stationary. lets call this first object a tree stump. Then if another object comes along moving at high speed (velocity right?) Then should this moment be called inertia? or momentum? or energy? I'm missing something here. Am making a book and trying find the correct word, and have been stuck on using inertia correctly, I tend to think backwards on some things if that makes an sense.

Here is where I'm having a problem:

Ignoring him she continues to sprint over the surfaced of the lake! Half way into the lake, making a v-turn and going up a hill. And then they go through another valley. Near a long mountain range she lets go of his hand. - Inertia propels her forward - into a stump near by with a bone-crushing smash! Parcival runs over to her. Hurriedly kneeling down afraid to touch her.

Ignoring him she continues to sprint over the surfaced of the lake! Half way into the lake, making a v-turn and going up a hill. And then they go through another valley. Near a long mountain range she lets go of his hand. - The momentum propels her forward - into a stump near by with a bone-crushing smash! Parcival runs over to her. Hurriedly kneeling down afraid to touch her.

Ignoring him she continues to sprint over the surfaced of the lake! Half way into the lake, making a v-turn and going up a hill. And then they go through another valley. Near a long mountain range she lets go of his hand. - Her energy propels her forward - into a stump near by with a bone-crushing smash! Parcival runs over to her. Hurriedly kneeling down afraid to touch her.

So what one of these three is correct? Thank you so much if you decide to help me. I should know this stuff my by now, but guess I've forgotten what it means exactly. Help please. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:43, 22 July 2014‎

None are correct. If she were a rocket, circling the Earth, with no propellant left in the tanks, she would not be propelled by it. So she is not propelled by inertia, momentum, nor force, but merely continues moving relative to the ground. Wnt (talk) 17:27, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
A better example is this: "...she lets go of his hand, but continues moving forward. Why? She has inertia." Inertia means resistance to change. --Bowlhover (talk) 18:20, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
As pointed out above, "propel" is a problematic word, because propulsion is a matter of accelerating an object via the application of a force, but you're trying to describe the behavior of an object in the absence of a net force. And "energy" provides an insufficient explanation of the behavior, because energy is a scalar quantity, so the conservation of energy alone doesn't preclude the possibility of the object changing direction while maintaining the same speed; see kinetic energy. The full behavior of the object continuing in a straight line at a constant speed can be described as either being an example of the law of inertia, or as being an example of the conservation of momentum. Red Act (talk) 20:26, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
The usual phrase is "her momentum carries her forward". Dbfirs 20:49, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Your problem is that you want to describe something we easily understand, a painful collision of a running lady with a tree stump, but have introduced technical terms of physics such as inertia momentum and energy in your narrative. I think it is unnecessarily pedantic to analyse the collision in these terms but here are their rôles in the collision:

  • Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to any change in its state of motion, including changes to its speed and direction. The lady has forward inertia. In non-technical storytelling I don't object to "Her inertia propelled her forward into a stump..". This is just the literary device of making an active verbal statement where as Wnt points out, there is no actual propellant. However general readers tend to associate inertia more with absence of movement than persistence of movement, which is not the right association here.
  • Momentum is the product of the mass and velocity of an object. The lady has forward momentum. This means the same as inertia except that momentum is a numerical vector quantity. Likewise it's possible to say "Her momentum propelled her forward into a stump..". However the resulting collision is not the elastic type that conserves momentum so you are using the word colloquially, not technically.
  • Energy is a numerically calculable property of matter that comes in many forms. In the story, the lady has Kinetic energy \begin{smallmatrix} \frac{1}{2}mv^2 \end{smallmatrix}
until she meets the stump. That energy then converts into other forms of energy such as heat, noise, vibrations and bone fracture. Such analysis does not make for good storytelling.

It would be simplest to forget the exact physics, write "She broke free from his grip and flew into a stump with a bone-crushing smash" and get on with the rest of your book. (talk) 21:30, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Help identifying a dragonfly[edit]

Unidentifed dragonfly.jpg

Can anyone identify this dragonfly. Taken in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Wasn't able to measure it but they are about 150 mm (5.9 in) long. The black item behind it is a tyre. Thanks. CBWeather, Talk, Seal meat for supper? 16:58, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

It must be from the Anax genus. It resembles Anax imperator, the Emperor dragonfly, but our article suggests that they are smaller, and unlikely to be found in Australia. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:15, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, it's a good thing this dragonfly was photographed in Canada then... --Jayron32 17:17, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Doh! Sorry, brain slipped out of gear... AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:34, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
CBWeather, are you quite sure about the size? I can't find evidence of any species that big being found in Canada. Incidentally, I may have been premature in identifying it as Anax - it could be another of the Aeshnidae family - possibly Aeshna. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:09, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Just asked my daughter, she was there as well, and after a few comments about my eyesight and age it is more likely to be 75 to 100 mm (3.0 to 3.9 in) long. I noticed that in the Emperor (dragonfly) article that the males are difficult to approach but these were easy to get up to. Is it possible it is some variety of darner, Aeshnidae or Aeshna? CBWeather, Talk, Seal meat for supper? 04:22, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, that seems likely, looking into this further - though apparently the darners can be very difficult to positively tell apart. I think it may possibly be Aeshna eremita, the Lake Darner - see the image here [50] AndyTheGrump (talk) 06:06, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Swarms of Antarctic krill[edit]

The introduction to the Antarctic krill article notes that its swarms can reach a density of 30,000 individual animals per cubic metre, and that the animal itself can grow to a length of 6 cm. Given that there are 1,000,000 cubic centimetres in a cubic metre, and that the image shows the length as several times the other two dimensions (let's guess 5mm height and width), we're left with something like 45,000 of those 1,000,000 cubic centimetres being occupied by the krills' body volume. How do all of them survive, let alone go anywhere in the swarm? Imagine a huge room in which 5% or more of the volume is occupied by humans (e.g. the ceiling is just tall enough for an average-height human, so we can pack the whole volume without stacking people): there's not going to be anywhere near enough food to eat (after all, krill don't have supermarkets or pizza delivery), and without verbal communication, those humans are going to have a massively hard time going anywhere all together, especially if we remove the walls and ceiling. How are krill able to do it better than humans? Nyttend (talk) 23:51, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

To me a "swarm" isn't the density at which they normally live, any more than a "crowd" of humans is how we normally live. Presumably they just pack together occasionally for certain purposes, like mating.
Also, since they are filter feeders, their food is delivered by the water itself, so they don't need room to farm, herd, etc., like people do. Now, if you had a cubic kilometer with them all at that density, then I would expect that the center of that cube would starve, but if spread out over long "tendrils", they should have more access to food washing in from the sides. StuRat (talk) 23:57, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
The article said that "swarm" was the term for their schools, so I was imagining something like schools of bigger fish, a massive "blob" (large in all three directions) of fish all actively swimming together, rather than a group mating but not going anywhere or a massively long string or otherwise essentially 2-D group. Did I have the wrong idea? Nyttend (talk) 00:07, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Consider that krill in large groups don't have to deal with the problems of body heat, sore legs and the various mammalian (and distinctly human) social anxieties that come with those, like a crowd of people do. If someone's in their way, they can far more easily go around, over or under. Water is cool that way. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:13, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
Of course, when you're moving as a unit, the problem of people in your way isn't so common. Compare marching soldiers to a similarly sized concert audience. I'd assume time moves slower for those tiny krill, so what may be seen as rapid commotion by our eyes should be much more relaxed on their level. If you've never seen a giant cloud of bats leave a cave, I recommend it. Almost unbelievable how they don't all crash and die. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:22, July 23, 2014 (UTC)

@Nyttend:Several benefits of Schooling_(fish) apply to krill as well as fish. Flocking_(behavior) gives some clues as to how this is accomplished by organisms without much of a brain or communicative capacity. Basically, all each one has to to is swim vaguely in the direction of another that it can perceive, and (modulo some tuning of parameters), coherent motion is achieved as an emergent process (see also Self-organization, and perhaps ant mill).
Contrary to your notion that the swarm has less food, aggregation can serve to increase feeding efficiency. It can also serve to reduce predation by slightly larger organisms, though of course whales and such take advantage of the swarms to increase their feeding efficiency. These concepts are elaborated in the schooling article. Another thing to keep in mind is that water "feels" much different to krill compared to cod or humans, because of the differences in Reynold's number. This means it's really hard for krill to bump into each other. Does this explanation make sense?
To your follow-up question, my understanding is that the density quoted is something like a seasonal max. Not all krill are always 'swarmed', and not all swarms achieve that density. But many swarms exist as coherent aggregations at any moment. I'm not an expert on krill, but that's my reading as a biologist.
Finally, is 5% by volume really that dense? If we take average human volume to be 0.0664m^2 and average human height to be 1.6m (via wolfram alpha [51]), then that puts ~120 people in a room with dimensions 10mx10mx1.6m. Looking only at area, that's ~0.83 m^2 per person, which is far less crowded than a modern lecture hall or a bus at rush hour, to my estimation. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:56, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

July 23[edit]

Are all spontaneous processes exothemic?[edit]

According to the article Spontaneous process, a spontaneous process should be exothermic as said by the first lines

"A spontaneous process is the time-evolution of a system in which it releases free energy (usually as heat) and moves to a lower, more thermodynamically stable energy state."

But I think the statement is wrong. Because ice melting is an endothermic but spontaneous process at room temperature or even at or above 273 K, some spontaneous processes should be endothermic. And when glucose is dissolved the water becomes cooler. But glucose melting is spontaneous. Should enthalpy get confused with entropy? When ice melts ice absorbs some heat from the surrounding. Please give your comments. A user has already pointed out this in the article's talk page. But there were no response for 3 years. I asked this here to get some response.--G.Kiruthikan (talk) 10:47, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Further down the article, it specifies "free energy" to refer to Gibbs free energy. Plasmic Physics (talk) 11:47, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Natural Selection[edit]

Could it be argued that those who get bullied or those who end up single for life, not by choice but as a result of shyness or women not finding them attractive etc, are experiencing a process of natural selection, favouring those who are confident and can stand up for themselves?

This is called sexual selection Graeme Bartlett (talk) 11:48, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
It ultimately benefits humanity, by ensuring a continued supply of Wikipedia editors. (talk) 12:03, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
wouldn't that be called Wikipedia selection,
There is nothing good or bad about natural selection, it is just what happens in the circumstances. Our circumstances are that we have laws and a belief in rights and basically a complex society. What that will lead to is anybody's guess. For instance currently deaths by firearms and deaths from car accidents are at a rate that very probably will have an effect on our genome but we can't guess what it will be. For all we know the characteristics that lead to bullying may be preferentially removed by them being involved more in such fatalities. I'm not altogether sure though if that was the case that we should then say we should remove car and gun safety laws. Society is the environment for evolution now. Dmcq (talk) 12:48, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

I should apologize in advance for blatant speculation, but just thinking out loud... I recently saw a study in which the frequency of homosexuality was listed as only 1.6%, and only 2.5% even when bisexuality is included. The figures for this used to be much higher, starting with the famous Kinsey Reports figures of 10% and 37%, but every decade they seem to get lower. I would suggest that this may not be experimental error; rather, the effect of anti-gay oppression may have been to pretty much force people to reproduce who wouldn't have otherwise. (The irony of this effect should not much shock those who have seen obscure plants like Cannabis turned into household words over the past century) The present figure is still greater than the (somewhat inflated) figure for autism, so by this model I'd expect the frequency to drop several-fold more over the next few generations. Anyway, if any of this is true then I would expect any other genetic trait whose effect on reproductive success was concealed by social compulsions to reproduce would likewise be uncovered by the same change in attitudes, and to be undergoing a similar reduction in frequency. Wnt (talk) 12:54, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

it only takes a single exception, you could be a lonesome reject for life except meet 1 bookworm after 17 years of nothing post-puberty, and it's literally all it takes to procreate, get married, etc. Think about your parents :) Or their parents. In fact you come from a direct line of pushovers who all successfully procreated, going back tens of thousands of years. You'll probably end up married yourself (chances are). So zero evolutionary pressure here. (talk) 14:42, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Anything that influences the probability of ultimately having children is going to create selection pressure. But it is important to realize that natural selection operates on a time-scale of thousands of years, whereas human social systems affect us on a time-scale orders of magnitude faster. The consequence is that natural selection is almost never a significant factor when thinking about how our social systems ought to be structured. Looie496 (talk) 14:53, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
That's not true though. Peppered moth evolution changed the color of the peppered moth from specked white to totally black within 50 years - and back again within another 50 years. Evolution can produce an effect within just one generation if the selection pressure is sufficiently harsh. A sufficiently decisive social movement could easily wipe out a particular single-gene variation in just a few generations.
The thing that makes the "lonesome bookworm" type succeed is that there are other lonesome bookworms of the opposite sex who really couldn't stand to hook up with someone with a loud, outgoing, sport-enthusiast "Type A" personality. So there will always be enough pairings to ensure that the type survives. The question worth asking is how long it'll be before "homo sapiens geek" become a separate species from the "homo sapiens jock" ? SteveBaker (talk) 16:59, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
If the jocks get the pretty girls and the geeks do the technology then it should have been the Eloi in the Time Machine who were the brutals not the Morlocks. ;-) Dmcq (talk) 17:27, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I'd probably think a bit more about generation time of moths vs. humans before claiming that Looie said something wrong about evolution. Nothing about natural selection has an absolute time scale-- the widely variable and natural unit of time is the generation, because that's where mutation and selection happen (for simplicity ignoring the case of horizontal gene transfer). Peppered moths have 1 generation per year at minimum, humans of course go much slower. So 50 human generations may well be enough time for some of us to get spots or whatever, but that's still a much longer time scale than most of our social structures have. You are of course correct that strong selection can have a decent effect in just one generation, but that would be very strong selection indeed, and I think we'd all agree that that is not what this question is about. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:25, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm a geek. My wife is beautiful. HiLo48 (talk) 20:01, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

can a clear substance become opaque upon electrical impulse?[edit]


Can a transparent substance become opaque upon electrical impulse? For example glass that can become frosted (or in any other way not-transparent) upon electrical impulse? (talk) 13:38, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

An LCD sort of does this. RJFJR (talk) 13:46, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Why do you say "sort of"? Would this work to darken a room for example? (Like, instead of shades.) Is the level of transparency adjustable? (talk) 13:53, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
See Smart glass#Electrically-switchable smart glass. I don't know whether any of these technologies can be used to make glass perfectly opaque (and I didn't read enough of the article to find out), but your mention of "frosted" implies at least some translucency. Deor (talk) 14:04, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

If this is just an LCD, what keeps someone from just bulding up thousands of layers of LCD screens for a true volumetric display? (talk) 14:24, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Most LCD screens (not the ones referred to above) use two crossed polarizing filters so there's no way I can see to stack them meaningfully. Transparent OLED is probably the closest to what you want but it is nowhere near transparent enough and can't give dark colors for points. Dmcq (talk) 14:54, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Display device lists various 2D and 3D display types. Dmcq (talk) 15:05, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I've thought of this idea myself, as a way to control solar heating of a home. Because of the cost and lack of total transparency I rejected LCDs as the way to achieve this goal. I believe they do make electrically operated miniblinds between panes of glass, and making on side reflective (either white or silver), and the other side black should provide the maximum difference between open (when you want both heat and light), closed with black side out (when you want heat, but not light), and closed with reflective side out (when you want neither heat not light). Certainly it wouldn't block 100% of the light, though. An advantage over LCDs is that it would only use electricity when moving the mini-blinds, and very little then, relative to LCDs which would use electricity the whole time they are on. Also, LCDs don't seem able to withstand wide ranges in temperatures, which you should expect at windows.
Another option might be electrically operated window shades. If those could also be placed between panes of glass, hopefully the edges could be held firmly in place, so light doesn't leak around them as it does through a mini-blind. StuRat (talk) 15:28, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

What would be a way to get a true volumetric 3D display using such technologies? (i.e. that changes depending on the angle you view them at, where one layer can occlude another layer, etc) (talk) 15:55, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

G2 vs Sgr A*[edit]

In April this year, the gas cloud G2 was due to collide with the black hole Sgr A* (or at least, when we would see the collision). However, the Sgr A* article has not been updated, and I can't (from a quick search), find anything about it, post-event. Was there anything to report about it? CS Miller (talk) 18:30, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

According to Sagittarius A*#Discovery of G2 gas cloud on an accretion course, observations during the expected time of the perinigricon in March found that G2 remained intact, most likely due to G2 hosting a central star. So it turned out to be kind of a non-event.[52] Red Act (talk) 19:03, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Red Act. The paragraph Astronomers from the UCLA Galactic Center Group published observations obtained on March 19 and 20, 2014, concluding that G2 is still intact, in contrast to predictions for a simple gas cloud hypothesis and therefore most likely hosts a central star. does say that. However, the paragaphs before jump between the past and future tense, and reads like it has yet to occur, which is what threw me. Perhaps a copyedit is in order. CS Miller (talk) 19:40, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Go for it. Red Act (talk) 19:46, 23 July 2014 (UTC)


July 14[edit]

July 16[edit]

July 17[edit]

Large Recursive Ordinals and Large Cardinals[edit]

Let me preface this by saying: I'm just beginning, as in yesterday, to introduce myself to Ordinal analysis, and that this question comes more from a musing/stray thought than it does anything else. That said is there any sort of expected symmetry between large cardinal properties and large recursive ordinal properties - in other words, LCA some large cardinal axiom, does the structure of LCA tell us something about the nature of the proof theoretic ordinal of ZFC + LCA? Moreover, can we, from the relations of the various types of large cardinals, infer anything about the relations between their proof theory ordinals when added to ZFC? I apologize, in advance, if this question is not the most clear, or if it is stupidly glossing over something obvious. Thanks for any help/insight:-)Phoenixia1177 (talk) 06:58, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

It's not my field of mathematical logic, (except, or course, I knew ε0 for PA), but the article ordinal analysis states: "Most theories capable of describing the power set of the natural numbers have proof theoretic ordinals that are so large that no explicit combinatorial description has yet been given." Most large cardinals require power set in their definition. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 07:23, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for the reply - I realize that we have no description of these ordinals, but are we able to say anything about them otherwise? For partial analogy, as far as I know, we have no way of describing large cardinals directly, but we can say that if a Huge cardinal and a Supercompact cardinal exist, then the first huge is smaller than the first supercompact. In this case it need not be size comparisons, but is there anything that could potentially be said? --addendum: another analogy: we can't directly describe the Absolute Galois Group of the Rationals, but we can say things about the group itself; is there something that might be said/expected to be said about the overall collection of ordinals that would result? I realize that this is vague, my brain just keeps nagging me that there is something interesting here.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 07:38, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
This is a little off the track from your question, but the example that you mention is kind of an interesting one, because although the first huge cardinal comes before the first supercompact, the existence of a huge cardinal is a much stronger axiom, in terms of consistency strength, than the existence of a supercompact.
There are other anomalies like this, but as far as I'm aware, they're all based on LCAs that are not "local" — that is, you can't say that a cardinal is supercompact just because there's some sufficiently large α such that Vα thinks the cardinal is supercompact.
Non-local LCAs are a bit problematic because they rely on knowing stuff about the whole universe. In Woodin's work around 2000, he gave an abstract definition of large cardinal (not widely adopted, but interesting) that simply made locality part of the definition. I don't know of any counterexample to the claim that, when you restrict attention to local LCAs, the LCA with the larger first witness always has larger consistency strength. (However, a properly stronger LCA might have the same first witness as the weaker one.)
Also, the order of consistency strength on LCAs seems to be the same as how far up the Wadge hierarchy they prove regularity properties for sets of reals (again with possible collisions — for example, weak large cardinal axioms, those consistent with V=L, don't prove any regularity properties beyond ZFC itself). --Trovatore (talk) 11:32, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Your "slight tangent" answers a question at least as interesting to me as my original, doubly so since I had no idea about the Wadge Hierarchy - thank you:-) Do you know of any good introductions to Woodin's work, or where to start with it? For some reason, I feel like there is some sort of connection between all the various hierarchies in computation, logic, and the transfinite, like they're all just instances of some underlying thing - like the difference between classical and modern algebraic geometry. Anyways, I digress. Thank you again for the interesting ideas:-)Phoenixia1177 (talk) 16:55, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Don't know if this is exactly what you are looking for, but it is Woodin and it is around 2000:
YohanN7 (talk) 20:37, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that's it exactly. Anyone reading it should be aware that not all of it has held up perfectly in the intervening years. A result that Woodin thought he knew (that there's a limit to the large cardinals you can have in HOD) fell through. I don't know how much of that paper depends on that. --Trovatore (talk) 21:29, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Thank you:-)Phoenixia1177 (talk) 03:33, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

July 18[edit]


Is there any valid reason why Awk (number) redirects to Large numbers? There's no explanation in the article. Rojomoke (talk) 09:58, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

I'd guess because awk is able to handle fairly long numbers, it holds them in double precision float. But that's not a good reason for having that link so it should just be deleted. Dmcq (talk) 10:07, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Double precision float cannot compute N - (N - 1) correctly if N is Avogadro's number, so I'd say that awk doesn't deserve the redirect. (Neither is temporary real aka extended precision aka long double.) It would take a 79-bit significand to handle the "mol" version of Avogadro. Double and long double are still inadequate with 52 and 64 bits. - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 12:00, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I found the redirect while looking for the AWK article, but I was wondering if there was a separate mathematical meaning to the term. Rojomoke (talk) 12:28, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Just seconding Dmcq, after creating the redirect the same editor made a bunch of test edits, so it appears to me that the redirect was one as well, which would mean a speedy delete is in order. I can't find any mathematical meaning for awk.--RDBury (talk) 18:16, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
In the future, this sort of notice would be better placed at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mathematics. --Trovatore (talk) 18:21, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
It wasn't a notice, it was a question. I wonder if the poster was thinking of the Ackermann numbers, a sequence which rapidly gets into very large numbers. I think I've seen the word abbreviated as "ack", which might be confused with "awk". -- (talk) 19:32, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
It was a question, but not about math. It was more of a "what do we do about this page" sort of question, or at least that's my take on it. Those are more wikiproject-like. I don't want to belabor this; there was no real harm done. I just want people to be aware that the wikiproject exists, and that this is the sort of thing it's there for. --Trovatore (talk) 20:10, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

July 19[edit]

Random walk on polygon[edit]

What is the easiest way to show that, for a symmetrical random walk starting on a vertex of a polygon, the expected value of the number of steps to visit all n vertices is n(n-1)/2? And how would one derive the expected value of the number of steps to cover all n edges? → (talk) 12:30, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

For the second part, it will take as long to reach all vertices of the polygon as to reach n (necessarily consecutive) integers in a random walk on the integers, and it will take as long to traverse all edges as to reach n+1 integers, so if n(n-1)/2 is the right answer to the first part then n(n+1)/2 is the right answer to the second. -- BenRG (talk) 03:01, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't know about the easiest way, but here is a way. Suppose you know that it takes on average n(n-1)/2 steps to visit every vertex for n vertices. Now suppose you're on an n+1-gon. The number of steps needed to visit all n+1 vertices = (the number of steps needed to visit n vertices) + (the number of steps needed to reach the n+1st vertex having just reached the nth vertex). Look at a random walk, basically as sequence of lefts and rights, where you have just visited the nth vertex on the last step. Perform that same walk on an n-gon and you also get a walk where you have visited the nth vertex on the last step. Also, any walk on an n-gon where you where you visit the nth vertex on the last step will, if performed on an n+1-gon, will give a walk that visits exactly n vertices and reaches the nth vertex on the last step. This is using the fact that the walk can't make a complete circuit without having first reached all n vertices. So the number of walks on an n-gon where you reach n vertices after exactly S steps is the same as the number of walks on an n+1-gon where you reach the n vertices after exactly S steps. In other words, the (the number of steps needed to visit n vertices) part of the sum given above is the same for an n+1-gos as it is for an n-gon, and we already know that number is on average n(n-1)/2. So if the second number is, on average, n, then the sum is n(n-1)/2 + n = (n+1)n/2 then we have proved the formula for n+1 and the result follows by induction. Therefor it is sufficient to show that the second term in the sum is n, that is, from a position where a walk has visited n vertices and visited the nth vertex on the last step, it takes on average n steps to get to the n+1st vertex.
So lets start in a position where n of the vertices have been visited, and the nth vertex was visited on the last step. The n vertices visited must be contiguous and the last vertex must be at one end, since if the walk ended in the middle it must have previously reached both ends. Therefor the vertices that have been visited form a path, with our current position at one of the ends, and we want to know how long on average will it take to fall off that path if the walk is continued. Falling off the path is equivalent to reaching the n+1st vertex since going off the path at either end will result in reaching the n+1st vertex. Number the vertices visited so far from 1 to n, then going off the path would be the same as reaching 0 or n+1.
Now we have the following restatement of the problem, given a random walk starting at 1 or n, show that the expected number of steps required to reach either 0 or n+1 is n. To do this it's probably easier, to actually do more than is required. Namely, given a random walk starting at any number k between 1 and n, find the expected number E(k) of steps before the walk reaches either 0 or n+1. Take E(0)=E(n+1)=0. From k after 1 step you land on k-1 with probability 1/2 and k+1 with probability 1/2. So E(k) = 1 + (E(k-1)+E(k+1))/2. This gives you a system of n equations in n unknown, namely
2E(1)-E(2) = 2
-E(1)+2E(2)-E(3) = 2
-E(2)+2E(3)-E(4) = 2
2E(n-1)-E(n) = 2
The coefficient matrix for the system is nonsingular, in fact it's easy to show by induction that its determinant is n+1. So there is a unique solution to the system. Since we suspect that E(1)=n, start with that value and plug in the equations to the the remaining ones, which come out as E(2)=2(n-1), E(3)=3(n-2), ... and in general E(k)=k(n-k+1). It's not hard to verify that these values satisfy the equations and since a solution is unique these must be the values of the E(k). Plug in k=1 and k=n to get E(0)=E(n)=n as desired. I've glossed over a point here in that I'm assuming without proof that E(k) is finite. This isn't extremely hard to show, though it's a bit messy, and this response is already overly long. So I'll leave it as an exercise.
Random walks are well studied and so are Markov processes which are a generalization, so I assume most of the above can be simplified a great deal by using results from those theories, but I'm giving a completely naive proof that does not rely on such specialized knowledge. According to my calculations, if instead of just moving to adjacent vertices you can go to any vertex with equal probability, the result is the same. So there may be a larger class of graphs for which the expected time to visit all vertices is n(n-1)/2. Also, it might be interesting to what happens if the probabilities going left and right are not the same. It seems clear that as the probability of going left approaches 1 then the expected number of steps will approach n-1. --RDBury (talk) 06:00, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, that's probably as easy as it gets. I came across a paper which was really beyond me, and the n(n-1)/2 result for an n-gon with equal left/right probability just appeared in a load of confusing detail, with extra notation being defined from time to time along the way. It does seem strange if the result isn't in some sense standard (I deduced it by considering a triangle and quadrilateral from first principles, having been unable to find it by direct searching), likewise n being the expected number of steps to escape from one end of an n-path.
Yes, covering edges is equivalent to covering one more vertex.→ (talk) 16:18, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Is it a metric space?[edit]

I am not a mathematician but I need this for a project I am involved with. Given a final set of complex numbers; if each complex number defines one dimension of a topological space is this space a metric space? In short can a distance be defined on it? I feel it can be but want to make sure. I think this follows from "Metrics on vector spaces" in the article "Metric" here. Thanks, --AboutFace 22 (talk) 22:48, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

You'll have to be more specific about how exactly you construct your space. Any set can be given a metric- the discrete metric can always be used no matter what the set is. Probably you're wondering if some "nicer" metric exists, but it's not clear from your question exactly what you're talking about. Do you mean the vectorspace defined by taking your finite set of numbers as a basis? Staecker (talk) 23:02, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for the answer. Honestly I am surprised my question is unclear. I will need a day or two to think about what you've said. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 01:27, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

L² norm states:
On an n-dimensional complex space Cn the most common norm is
\|\boldsymbol{z}\| := \sqrt{|z_1|^2 + \cdots + |z_n|^2}= \sqrt{z_1 \bar z_1 + \cdots + z_n \bar z_n}.
Are you asking if this yields a metric space? -- ToE 08:45, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

July 20[edit]

When mathematicians speak of "Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory", do they mean ZFC or ZF?[edit]

I had always assumed that mathematicians mean ZFC when they use the phrase "Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory". Historically, the axiom of choice (the "C" in "ZFC") was part of Ernst Zermelo's earliest forms of an axiomatization of set theory (see Zermelo set theory), and it was the one axiom that caused the most debate, making it perhaps the most prominent part of Zermelo's axiomatization. This is why I myself had assumed that the phrase "Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory" always meant ZFC. However, some time ago, when editing Dedekind-infinite set, I came to doubt this. Now I wonder: when mathematicians speak of "Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory", do they conventionally mean ZFC or ZF ("ZFC minus C") or even some other variant? Or do mathematicians avoid to talk about "Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory" at all, directly using the unambiguous terms ZFC and ZF and so on instead?

BTW: Just for fun, I have looked at the way the phrase "Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory" is used on wikipedia, checking some of the pages that link to the article with the title "Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory".

Tobias Bergemann (talk) 10:26, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

(Partially) answering my own question: Apparently I am somewhat mistaken in my assumption that ZF universally refers to "ZFC minus C". Indeed, most works on set theory appear to use this convention (e.g. the canonical works by Jech or Kunen or Levy or Smullyan/Fitting or Fraenkel/Bar-Hillel/Levy/van Dalen, and of course those books that specifically talk about the axiom of choice like Gregory H. Moore's "Zermelo's Axiom of Choice"). So I think it is safe to say that this use is conventional. But: I also found a few books on set theory that explicitly use "ZF" to refer to the axioms of Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory with the axiom of choice included (e.g. Cohens "Set Theory and the Continuum Hypothesis", and Mary Tiles's "The Philosophy of Set Theory"), at least if I'm not mistaken. However, they are certainly a tiny minority.
And the term "Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory" indeed appears to be ambiguous, with some authors including the axiom of choice and others not. On the one hand, for example, Keith Devlin's "The Joy of Sets" says (on p. 45): "The theory whose Axioms are 1–8 above is usually denoted by ZF. If we add Axiom 9, we denote the resulting theory by ZFC. This is at slight variance with the fact that 'Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory' has all nine axioms as its basic assumptions, but the nomenclature is now standard." On the other hand, Azriel Levy's "Basic Set Theory" says (chapter 5.24, p. 23): "The system consisting of the axioms of extensionality, union, power-set, replacement, infinity, and foundation is called the Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory and is denoted by ZF."
I am somewhat confused as several authors explicity or implicitly claim that the axiom of choice was added later to Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory. E.g. Smullyan/Fitting (Part I, Chapter 1 §9 "Zermelos set theory") talk about a "Zermelo set theory" without the axiom of choice (basically ZFC without choice, substition and replacement), then present substition and replacement (the additions of Fraenkel and, independently, Skolem) and then refer to the resulting system as "Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory" (ZF), without even mentioning choice, and (at least to me) implicitly suggesting that the axiom of choice was a much later addition to the axiomatization of set theory when it was in fact Axiom VI in Zermelo's 1908 article "Untersuchungen über die Grundlagen der Mengenlehre. I". (And, of course, Zermelo explicitly used choice in his 1904 proof of the well-ordering theorem, and he explicitly formulated and used the choice principle again in his modified proof of the well-ordering theorem presented in his 1908 article "Neuer Beweis für die Möglichkeit einer Wohlordnung".)
At least the meaning of "ZFC" is unambiguous.
Tobias Bergemann (talk) 13:22, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I have heard some vague claims that Zermelo's original theory, as he conceived it, was sort of implicitly in second-order logic, which could be part of the confusion. If you take Z to have full second-order separation and consider it as a theory in second-order logic, then it's categorical up to the first inaccessible cardinal. (More precisely, the only thing that can differ between two models is their height.) So if you think AC is true, then you think that all models of Z in this sense satisfy AC, so it maybe doesn't seem so important whether it is explicitly included or not.
All these ZF-like set theories have the same "picture" of the universe of sets (namely the von Neumann universe). Workers who study theories with a significantly different picture of the universe (like New Foundations) are sometimes heard to use the term "ZF" to refer, not to a precise formal theory, but to all set theory that views sets in that standard way. --Trovatore (talk) 05:23, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Great circles through antipodal points[edit]

Is there any discontinuity-free procedure for choosing a great circle through any given pair of antipodal points on Earth -- i.e. so that the chosen great circle never suddenly jumps with a very small movement of the antipodal points? I feel that this may be impossible, but I'm not certain. Assume that the Earth is a perfect sphere. (talk) 19:49, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

If your conditions are met - a pair of antipodal points on a perfect sphere - there are an infinity of identical great circles through them. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 20:13, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I am aware of that (though they are not "identical"). I want to know whether there is a systematic procedure for choosing ONE great circle through each pair of antipodal points so that no discontinuities occur. For example, a simple procedure would be to choose the great circle that also passes through the North Pole. However, this creates a discontinuity when the antipodal points are the poles. (talk) 20:34, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
How about this:
1) For the initial pair of poles, choose any third random point on the equator between the poles. Use that point and the two poles to construct the great circle.
2) Find the midpoint of one of the two semi-great circles between the poles (choose the semi-great circle which is closest to the last midpoint), and use that as the third point for the next great circle. Repeat step 2 indefinitely. StuRat (talk) 20:32, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Given any two antipodal points, the procedure, or algorithm, needs to independently return a unique great circle without any reference to any previous history. Also, I am interested in solving this in an exact mathematical sense, not anything related to precision of variables. (talk) 20:37, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Then no, I don't think that's possible. Note that if you aren't worried about precision of variables, then the chance of either point being exactly coincident with your random 3rd point is zero, however. StuRat (talk) 20:44, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
However, that is no consolation to me. Except in pretty exotic cases, mathematical discontinuities do occur only at single points. (talk) 20:49, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Also, you probably won't be interested in this "trick", but if you can limit the selection of the antipodal points to a certain set, say if they can only specify each coord up to a trillionth of a degree, then just choosing a random 3rd point not on that grid of points would work. StuRat (talk) 20:44, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Right, I'm only interested in solutions that are completely theoretically valid. I'm not looking for practical fudges or kludges. (talk) 20:54, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Then I think you're out of luck. May I ask what this is for ? StuRat (talk) 21:00, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
It is just for interest. (talk) 22:43, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
This isn't wholly rigorous, but:
  • Assume that the method you're looking for exists.
  • This means that for any point A on the sphere, a function f produces a circle f(A). (We have f(A) = f(B) iff B=A or B=-A.)
  • Let's define a vector v along f(A) from A, such that v also varies continuously. (This appears to follow from the definition of f, that it is continuous and unique.)
  • v for all A is a vector field.
  • The hairy ball theorem applies. Therefore the initial assumption is false - v cannot be continuous, so either v's continuity doesn't follow from f's, or f isn't continuous. If anyone can show that f can be continuous without v being so as well, I'll be surprised. AlexTiefling (talk) 23:15, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I like it! I must be careful not to confuse with the hairy balls theorem... (talk) 00:29, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
One clarification: If f is continuous, one could obviously choose a discontinuous v (but there's no reason to); but if you can't make v continuous, that's either because there's something peculiar about the choice of v (that I've missed) or else f isn't continuous either. Hence why I say this isn't rigorous. I can easily see an argument that if f(A) isn't unique for each A, v can't be guaranteed continuous, but not if f(A) is unique. (For example - distinguish the hemispheres into which f(A) divides the sphere; require v to be a unit along f(A) from A with a specified hemisphere on its left. If f(A) is continuous, the identity of the chosen hemisphere should be too.) AlexTiefling (talk) 11:38, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
The fundamental polygon of the projective plane
This problem is clearly what one might call a variant of the hairy ball theorem on a different space: the elliptic plane, topologically the real projective plane, since antipodal points are identified, and we are trying to find a field of tangent lines over this manifold that does not have topological discontinuities. A tangent line is equivalent to the pair of oppositely pointing units vectors, which is to say we can tolerate a 180° flip when we get back to the point via any path in the projective plane. Or: can one draw a set of non-crossing lines that covers the real projective plane? Looking at the fundamental polygon of the real projective projective plane, if we rule it with vertical lines, it would suggest that it might be possible. There is an inherent 180° shift in the vector field, but that is accommodated by the lines being non-directed. If one examines this more closely, this corresponds to the fields making two U-turns around the tips of the arrow B, creating two singularities in the field. This corresponds to two pairs of antipodes where small circular path around them will result in the vector direction spinning 180°, or if one shrinks them to one point, this becomes one pair of antipodes where there will be a spin of 360° (corresponding to diagonal lines in the diagram). While this is not rigorous, it does lend support to AlexTiefling's argument from a topological perspective. —Quondum 17:54, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I think I agree. But is there necessarily a mapping from any ruling (even partial) of the fundamental polygon of the real projective projective plane onto a set of great circles on the corresponding (hemi)sphere? Projective geometry's not my strong point, I'm afraid. AlexTiefling (talk) 08:57, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
No, there isn't. The projective plane is a topological construct, so what is a straight line in the fundamental polygon isn't necessarily anything very nice in the projective plane (or in the sphere when taking preimages). For this, you need more structure than a topology. YohanN7 (talk) 14:14, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
That is to say, the concepts "straight line" and "great circle" both lack meaning in this topological setting. YohanN7 (talk) 14:37, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Agreed, regarded as a topology, though this doesn't detract from the argument. (Actually, the real projective plane does have straight lines, and they do map to great circles in our case, but we are not interested in these, only in the topology. These lines are not straight in the diagram here, though.) If the real projective plane cannot be ruled with wavy lines that are locally parallel everywhere, this is a proof that there is no procedure as outlined in the original question. —Quondum 15:58, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
How do you define "straight" in the real projective plane? Its elements, in one construction, are straight lines but these are points in the space, not lines, so you mean something else obviously. I guess you could probably use the projection from the sphere (using its standard embedding in R3) to define straight in one incarnation of the real projective plane. YohanN7 (talk) 16:21, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
The geometry of the projective plane is off-topic here. —Quondum 18:42, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Don't bring it up then. YohanN7 (talk) 19:27, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Alex, can you please further explain your uniqueness condition. As I understand it, nothing in the definition of the original problem explicitly prevents f(A) = f(B) where A ≠ B and A ≠ -B, but that the uniqueness is allowing you some method of creating a continuous v from a continuous f. I don't understand that method -- your "distinguish the hemispheres" example -- and I don't see how uniqueness comes into play.

Trying to map the tangent lines of a continuous f() to a vector field, it seems to me that given an A, and choosing an arbitrary hemisphere of f(A) to be on the left of the vector derived from f(A), and calling the point in the center of that hemisphere X, the continuous nature of f means that there is a neighborhood of A in which for all elements C of that neighborhood, f(C) will be sufficiently far from X that we can assign a vector where the hemisphere containing X is to its left, and that the resulting vector field in that neighborhood will be continuous. Does that work, and if f is uniformly continuous, should it be possible to paste together a continuous vector field for the entire sphere? But what if f is continuous, but not uniformly so? -- ToE 14:29, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

I was worried that I was out of my depth, and it looks like I might be. My attempt to clear up as much as I can:
  • You're right about more than two points being capable of producing the same circle; however, the uniqueness is not essential to the argument. I was over-specifying. The original problem only requires that f(A) is uniquely determined by choice of A, not that it is actually unique.
  • 'Distinguishing hemispheres' was simply my way to try and visualise consistently assigning a vector to each A. But yes, I imagined that if f were continuous, small changes in A would result in small changes to v, and my original draft included identifying a point equivalent to your X - such that small changes to A would result in equivalent-sized small changes to X.
  • Your argument about neighbourhoods of A makes sense to me. But this is a proof by contradiction...
  • I'm weak on uniform continuity, but I'm not sure it's essential to the argument. Let's say I think my argument is true for uniform continuity, and might well be otherwise.
  • The argument about neighbourhoods of A implies that the function can be locally continuous, but the hairy ball theorem implies that there must be point discontinuities somewhere in the global function.
Does that make any sort of sense? AlexTiefling (talk) 14:58, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I haven't followed the reasoning closely ITT, but it seems like the Hairy ball theorem is incorrectly interpreted. It says there is no nonvanishing continuous vector field on the two-sphere. Continuous vector fields do exist. YohanN7 (talk) 14:44, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
The definition of v(A) that I was using assumed it has unit magnitude everywhere. If it's capable of having zero magnitude, it can't correspond to the orientation of a uniquely specified circle through A. AlexTiefling (talk) 15:00, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I think that we are on the same page, Alex. Clearly, any combing of a hairy ball would yield the f() asked for. But since no such combing exists, if we can show that a continuous f() can be used to construct a continuous unit vector field, then such an f() does not exist.
S2 is compact, so I suppose that any continuous f() is uniformly continuous, so we should be able to piece together a continuous unit vector field by covering the sphere in finitely many neighborhoods. So yes, I think that the hairy ball theorem does preclude a continuous f(). -- ToE 15:39, 22 July 2014 (UTC) (I *know* that I'm out of my depth here, but this sounds reasonable to me.)

Fantastic question! In my mind, the question is precisely asking for a global section of the projectivised tangent bundle of  \mathbb{RP}^2 (for each pair of antipodal points, choose a direction (tangent line at either point), through which the great circle then goes). Nonexistence of such a section does not, to my eyes, immediately follow from the hairy ball theorem. Crucially, there is a difference between the following two circle bundles on the sphere  S^2 :

  • the unit circle bundle associated to the tangent bundle, which has no global sections precisely by the hairy ball theorem, and
  • the projective bundle associated to the tangent bundle, which is the quotient of the previous circle bundle by the antipodal map (on the fibers).

The first bundle has Euler class  2 \in H^2(S^2,\mathbb{Z}), as the Euler characteristic of  S^2 is 2. This precludes the existence of a global section (essentially, this is the proof of the hairy ball theorem via Poincaré—Hopf). The second bundle will then have attached Euler class 1 and the same argument applies to rule out a global section. (Note that I don't have to worry about twisted Euler classes as  S^2 is simply connected so every vector bundle is orientable). This was for the projectivised tangent bundle of  S^2 , but as I noted you really care about the projectivised tangent bundle of  \mathbb{RP}^2, in which case we do need to worry about the orientation sheaf to get a twisted Euler class, but the same argument should apply. -- (talk) 16:12, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Actually, here's another argument: if such a global section of the projectivised tangent bundle of  \mathbb{RP}^2 existed, we could lift it by the covering map to  S^2 to get a global section of the projectivised tangent bundle of  S^2 . Now  S^2 is simply connected, hence it is always possible to consistently choose orientations, turning the continuous choice of tangent line inside the tangent space at each point (which is precisely what a global section of the projectivised tangent bundle is) into a choice of unit length tangent vector, and hence a continuous nowhere zero vector field on the sphere. This contradicts the hairy ball theorem, hence it is impossible to choose great circles as desired. -- (talk) 16:03, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

A simpler argument: such a section if it existed would define a pair of sections of the unit tangent bundle: a double cover of the sphere. The sphere, being simply connected, has only trivial covers. So the double cover is the trivial one, and the unit tangent bundle has a section. Sławomir Biały (talk) 17:41, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

July 21[edit]

July 22[edit]

Is every infinite field with cardinality aleph-0 isomorphic to the rationals?[edit]

Just wondering. --2404:2000:2000:5:0:0:0:C2 (talk) 00:31, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

No. Consider the field Q(sqrt(2)) (I'm no longer sure of the notation; what I mean is the smallest field containing the rationals and sqrt(2)). Any isomorphism between them would have to fix the rationals, so there's nowhere for sqrt(2) to go on the Q side. --Trovatore (talk) 00:47, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Your notation is pretty standard, sometimes rendered with the "blackboard bold" or square brackets, e.g. as \mathbb{Q}[\sqrt{2}] . Our relevant article is Algebraic_number_field. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:52, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I think I learned square brackets for the extension as a ring, parentheses (round brackets) for the field. --Trovatore (talk) 17:59, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
That is also what I learned. However, \mathbb{Q}[\sqrt{2}]=\mathbb{Q}(\sqrt{2}), so it is not very important in this case. —Kusma (t·c) 18:02, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Even worse: the algebraic closure of a finite field is countable but doesn't even contain an isomorphic image of the rationals. —Kusma (t·c) 07:29, 23 July 2014 (UTC)


I'm trying to figure out a way to equitably pay off debt with my spouse. She makes 71% of what I make.

Let's say debt d=1750 and d=m+h (mine and her contribution)
Does h=0.71m??
And then does d=0.71m+m??
Does m=1232.39?

I'm doubting because then h=517.61 and I think h/m=0.71, but it doesn't...

I want to ultimately make an excel spreadsheet. Thanks

You're right up to d=0.71m+m, but you must have made a mistake after that, because it gives m = d/1.71 = 1023.39, and so h = 726.61. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 16:34, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Wow, thanks for the quick answer. That makes sense. Maybe you could help me spot my mistake, too?

  1. d=0.71m+m
  2. Divide d by 0.71 and cancel from other side
  3. so 2464.79=2m
  4. m=1232.39

Step 2, somewhere I think. Thank you again! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:53, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

If you want a simple formula for a spreadsheet for proportionally dividing a quantity, think in terms of each income as a fraction of the total income. So, say you each earn a = $1 and b = $0.71 respectively. Then an apportionment multipliers would be a′ = a/(a+b) = 0.585 and b′ = b/(a+b) = 0.415, so m = ad and h = bd, and these factors a′ and b′ can be reused for splitting other amounts. —Quondum 17:54, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
And as to the specific algebraic error, yes, step 2. You can divide both sides of an equation by 0.71, but the right hand side would become (0.71m + m)/0.71 = m + m/0.71, not m + m. What you should have done is to see that 0.71m + m = 1.71m, and then divide both sides by 1.71. -- ToE 21:21, 23 July 2014 (UTC)


July 17[edit]

Historical names for the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, etc[edit]

What were the historical names for the United States House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations? I'm guessing it was originally just called "the Subcommittee on Crime" before buzz words like "terrorism" and "homeland security" got tacked on. So I'm wondering when did the name extensions happen.WinterWall (talk) 00:53, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

For this kind of thing, the Congressional Directory is invaluable; it lists all committees and subcommittees and their membership, as well as tons of other things, ranging from the office of each member of Congress (location, phone numbers, senior staffers' names) to miscellaneous things such as the name, telephone number, and full address (with ZIP+4 code!) for the head of the field office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Lubbock, Texas. The Government Printing Office has Congressional Directories online for each Congress since the 105th (which was elected in 1996), and the 105th's section on House committees confirms your guess that it was then the Subcommittee on Crime. Check the GPO website for more recent Congresses, and check Worldcat to find printed copies of older editions in a library near you. Nyttend (talk) 01:10, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the help! By going through the Congressional Directories I found that it was still the "Subcommittee on Crime" on October 2002. By July 2003, it became the "Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security". WinterWall (talk) 01:49, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Where did the "coffee" in the Coffee Club come from?[edit]

Uniting for Consensus is nicknamed the Coffee Club. Where did the coffee part come from?

Among them only Indonesia is a significant producer of coffee and none of them are major coffee consumers on a per capita basis.

So far, I found only two explanations online and neither of them make a lot of sense:

1. "They are known as the Coffee Club because it is reminiscent of the powerful lobby opposing the expansion of permanent membership in the early 1990s."[53]

2. "The group was nicknamed the "Coffee Club", supposedly because its members would rather disrupt the meetings on the subject than engage in effective negotiations."[54]WinterWall (talk) 10:33, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Historical person obsessed with clocks[edit]

I remember my father telling the story of a historical person (king, perhaps) who spent the last years of his life trying to keep all the clocks in his castle or mansion synchronized. I've not been able to identify the person through a web search, and remember little else than what I've written above. Does this fragment of a story ring a bell with anyone? --NorwegianBlue talk 12:31, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Charles I of Spain. Nyttend (talk) 14:04, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
The article doesn't explicitly state that he tried to keep all his clocks in sync. But is it possible he was just trying to get them to clang all at the same time, to avoid what I might call the "row-row-row your boat" effect? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:28, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks a million Nyttend! That was fast. --NorwegianBlue talk 14:40, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
See also Sandringham time, instituted by King Edward VII of the UK, maintained by his son George V, and done away with by his son Edward VIII. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:20, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
An early attempt at "daylight saving time", it would seem. Had he made it an hour instead of a half-hour, maybe it would have stuck. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:24, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Jack, nice story. I'm sure that Carlos I is the person I'm looking for though. There are many things in the article that fit with what I remembered from the story, but so vaguely that I didn't include them when writing the question. The king had abdicated or been thrown out of office. He lived in a house where there were many clocks. The fact that he was a Habsburger also fits, my father had a special interest for the Habsburgers. Now, all I need is a source for the "keeping in sync" part of the story. I'll do a targeted search in my father's bookshelves at the next opportunity! --NorwegianBlue talk
I found a website that tells the story pretty much as I remember it:
The attempt to make his clocks keep time together is said to have been one of the daily occupations of the retired emperor, and the adjustment of his clocks and watches gave him so much trouble that he is said to have one day remarked that it was absurd to try and make men think alike, when, do what he would, he could not make two of his timepieces agree.
From Historical Tales Spain (Heritage history). --NorwegianBlue talk 23:03, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
"My Grandfather's Clock" isn't quite in sync with everything else here, but sort of coincides with a lot. Figured I'd mention it. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:23, July 17, 2014 (UTC)
Similarly, it put me in mind of "the Prince’s mother had once had a dream that her son would either be killed by a sheep or else by a clock falling on him. For that reason the Prince never kept a sheep in his park or a clock in his palace."[55] Marnanel (talk) 09:22, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
And that reminded me that a certain prince had reminded me to beware spinning wheels. And since coincidences love company, I also mentioned him (though not by name) an hour or so ago, in a comment about spinning yarns. Weird timing, indeed. InedibleHulk (talk) 09:35, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
Even stranger that you were on that talk page, Marnanel. Finland is not Sweden. InedibleHulk (talk) 10:25, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
Don't similar harmonic oscillators such as pair of pendulums lock phase when they are loosely coupled? I swear I've heard descriptions of pendulum clocks keeping in sync due to the vibrations carried through the wall they are mounted on. A quick search didn't find actual stories of it happening, just mathematical descriptions of the phenomenon and some simulations. Of course, once you have hundreds of them in your home, especially with different pendulum periods, it isn't the same situation. Katie R (talk) 12:49, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Malaysian airline crash in Ukraine[edit]

I was shocked to see the air space over the active war zone in Ukraine is not off limits to commercial aircraft. What are the standards the European agency that regulates air traffic uses, to determine where planes can fly safely ? StuRat (talk) 18:02, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

I just came here to ask this very question. Is it ever considered standard operating procedure for civilian planes to be flying above a war? If so, I'm amazed. Obviously, the blame lies with whomsoever issued the order to open fire without knowing what they were looking at, but I'm genuinely surprised that the plane was even there in the first place. --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 18:13, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
It's been discussed on the news. The view was that commercial aircraft fly at such high altitudes that normal weaponry would not affect them. Only highly sophisticated weapons of the kind normally used only by governments would by a threat. Paul B (talk) 18:23, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
I dunno, but it seems like a big assumption was made in deciding that the Ukrainian government side wasn't going to decide to be trigger-happy idiots and assume that it was a Russian plane in their airspace supplying the separatists or something... --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 18:35, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
How likely is it that a Russian plane would be flying west to east? Regardless, CBS was showing some type of made-in-Russia missile launcher which is capable of hitting targets that high, along with the assumption that Russia has been supplying arms to eastern Ukraine. Far as I know, there has been no official determination of who or what caused the mid-air explosion, i.e. a missile vs. a bomb vs. a fuel tank fault as per that one off Long Island in the mid-1990s. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:43, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
"How likely is it that a Russian plane would be flying west to east?" - if it was flying back where it came from, having already dropped some stuff off it would be, rite? --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 19:51, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
See and hear
Wavelength (talk) 19:41, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
I meant from western Ukraine to eastern Ukraine. And if it already dropped off its cargo, why shoot it down? Anyway, news reports are now saying it was definitely a missile. If they can prove it was a Russian-made missile, there will be hell to pay. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:11, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
On the bright side, it may lead to technological safety advances. Like last time, with GPS. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:44, July 17, 2014 (UTC)
Actually nothing much seems to have come from last time Nil Einne (talk) 23:48, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Right. I meant the last time the Russians did it. If Russians did it. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:51, July 17, 2014 (UTC)
Then there's the possibility that Malaysian Airlines itself is the target. Two mysterious incidents within months of each other. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:44, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Maybe a target. Maybe unlucky. Maybe, like the Washington Post acknowledged that other last time, the pilot simply saw no reason to not live dangerously. The only thing that's certain is we're going to hear a lot about maybe again. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:55, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
Maybe the Burrows family of Queensland are being targetted. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:34, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
If I were an Aussie, I'd only fly where Qantas could take me, since they have a much better safety record. Hopefully they know not to fly over war zones. StuRat (talk) 21:40, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree, Rain Man. Although, to be fair, nobody is suggesting that Malaysian Airlines is in any way responsible for what happened yesterday. Were any of the passengers concerned about their flight path over Ukraine? I doubt it, because I doubt any of them knew. Is this the sort of information airlines normally volunteer to intending passengers? I doubt it, because nobody could have predicted that such an unspeakable crime would ever have occurred, except in hindsight, and we know what predictions in hindsight are worth. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:06, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I disagree that nobody could predict it. Certainly nobody could predict an attack was 100% certain, but predicting that there is an increased risk in flying over a war zone where 3 aircraft had already been shot down is a no-brainer. Qantas chose to avoid the area, for this reason: [56]. They didn't obtain their excellent safety record by taking unnecessary chances. StuRat (talk) 03:41, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Most everyone chose to divert around the war zone. As noted in this, posted farther down by another editor, the reason that's liable to get the blame is money - it costs more to fly around Ukraine than over it. So it seems that the bean-counters overrode good sense at that airline. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:02, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
But even considering economics alone, the cost of the loss of a plane with all on board, in terms of the plane's value, the amount they are sued for, the loss of bookings from those who have lost faith in the airline, and the subsequent drop in their stock price, even if there was only a 1 in a million chance of this happening, it might still not have been worth the risk to save that fuel cost. StuRat (talk) 03:29, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
That's the thing about risk. No matter what the percentages are, each time is something new. You either fail or succeed, and that outcome influences the number, not the other way around. 100% of the time that taking a risk pays off, it was totally worth it. In this case, it was absolutely not. It's why that "Past performance does not guarantee future results" disclaimer is so prevalent in stock markets. The numbers are mostly for bedazzlement. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:07, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
Looking at the past record is only one way to determine risk, and not a good choice for infrequent events. For example, we've never had a global thermonuclear war, but that doesn't mean the risk is zero. The Doomsday Clock attempted to assess the risk by other methods. StuRat (talk) 04:22, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, two minutes to midnight. But does anyone really know whether to plan for the future or live like there's no tomorrow? If the superbomb goes off, then the superbomb will have certainly gone off. Anyway, I agree that people should be guarded more safely than money. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:41, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
Sort of like the Jessica Ghawi story. Poor folks. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:19, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
Air Canada had apparently been "proactively" avoiding the area for a while. Seems to suggest it's the sort of decision an airline makes, rather than a regulator. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:05, July 17, 2014 (UTC)
Ukraine joined Eurocontrol in 2004. However, Eurocontrol only directly controls air traffic in the MUAC area (basically the upper airspace of Benelux and a part of Germany). Deciding on air space design and opening and closing of air spaces is mostly left to the member states. And of course the airlines decide which route they want to fly within the areas they are allowed to. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 21:12, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Even the FAA only told their airlines to avoid Crimea and the surrounding sea [57] so it doesn't seem that unique to European agencies.
It seems everyone is going to avoid the area now. Some may have been avoiding it before, although it's worth remembering it depends on the route. From comments on the news and elsewhere, I suspect it's a route more commonly used when travelling from/to parts of Europe to/from Asia, particular SEA (and perhaps also Australia/NZ). It may be easier for airlines travelling from/to Canada or the US to/from most destinations to avoid it without either noticeably increasing fuel usage and travel time or travelling over equally risky areas.
Perhaps everyone overestimate how much control Russia has over the breakaway region militants (at least those showing up with sophisticated weaponary), as Russia themselves have been saying all the time, and so believed it was safer than it was.
Nil Einne (talk) 23:45, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Airliners routinely fly over Iraq and Afghanistan, I believe. Or did until recently, in the case of Iraq - not sure about now. Instructions to pilots dictated that the aircraft remain above 22,500 feet at all times. Note that Man-portable air-defense systems, even recent models, cannot hit an airliner at full cruising height. (Those incidents where airliners were targeted by MANPADs generally involved takeoff and landing). Only fixed, semi-mobile, or vehicle-mounted systems could do it. Most insurgents don't have access to such systems (they're quite hard to hide). Obviously, the rebels in eastern Ukraine are an exception, as the airliner was apparently at full altitude. It's suspected a Buk missile system was used. (talk) 10:26, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

The evidence seems to point toward it having been a Russian made missile launched from the rebel controlled area of the Ukraine. This certainly suggests it was Ukrainian rebels who launched it, presuming the target to be a Ukrainian military plane. They may have obtained it either covertly from the Russians, or perhaps they captured it from Ukrainian military depot.

Note that 2 Ukrainian cargo planes and one Ukrainian fighter were shot down by the Ukrainian rebels in the last few weeks, although I'm unsure of their altitude. So it's pretty clear that the rebels have anti-aircraft weapons, and if those planes were at the same altitude, it's clear that they had AA weapons capable of shooting down civilian jets. If so, then allowing civilian jets to fly over that area seems incredibly stupid.

Also, are civilian jets flying over other war zones now ? Syria ? The Gaza Strip ? Iraq ? StuRat (talk) 17:59, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

According to Pierre Jeanniot, a former Air Canada CEO, they did fly over Afghanistan at those heights, and do for Iraq, Syria, Iran and Egypt. Without the precedent of a disaster, he thinks there was little reason for concern. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:01, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
Sounds like the classic tombstone mentality. StuRat (talk) 19:19, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
For a classic, that sure has been unsourced for a while. Should I delete it before or after someone is misled? InedibleHulk (talk) 20:48, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
Absolutely not. Find a source for it, instead. Here's one from the New York Times: [58]. StuRat (talk) 20:57, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I'll just leave it be and pass the buck on to you if any catastrophic confusion occurs. Your "advance-knowledge" seems more advanced than mine. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:08, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
What does a 9-11 conspiracy site have to do with anything ? StuRat (talk) 21:32, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
It's actually Wikipedia. Figured it tied into the tombstone mentality, the general expert-in-hindsight vibe the news gets in times like these and my telling you about a potential Wikiproblem that you and I are willfully ignoring. Nothing to do with 9/11, in particular. I'll just shut up. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:06, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
CNN showed the missile that struck the plane broken it two. It was at least 25 feet, perhaps longer. Not a shoulder mount. It must have come from a specialized truck. What is a probability that a person who pulled the trigger did not know what he was doing? Such hardware are operated by a crew of ten. Put yourself in the shoes of the commander, perhaps a lieutenant junior grade. Before you fire you take binoculars and look at the aircraft. Aren't civilian aircraft distinguishable? Again if you are a commander of such a machine, would you do it alone? No, you will wait for an order from a superior officer. What is the motivation for the Ukrainian military to do it? Zero. Have they shot down any aircraft yet? No. The Russians have shot down Ukrainian planes in this area. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 20:41, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
You can't distinguish planes at 33,000 feet from the ground with binoculars. I believe those were pro-Russian rebels who shot down the other planes recently, although there may be actual Russian military interspersed with them. It will certainly not help either the rebels nor the Russians out to have this on their record. Indeed, I suspect that much stricter sanctions will follow, unless Russia stops providing such high tech weapons to idiots. This fact does bring up the possibility that the Ukrainians did it, to blame it on the rebels, but that would be a very difficult thing to bring off, even if you assume they were immoral enough to do so. They would have to somehow get into the rebel controlled area with the missile launcher, shoot the missile, and get out, without being detected. Also, the serial numbers on the missile may be recovered, from which it could be tracked, and satellite surveillance of the area would likely spot any movements into or out of the area.
If recent news reports are correct, the missile launcher is a "point and click" system, where the radar finds a target, just displayed as a blip, and the operator then decides whether to launch or not. The missile launcher itself does not distinguish between targets, they would have to use other system for that. The rebels may not have access to those other systems. StuRat (talk) 20:55, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
A quick review of various reports and commentaries on bear out the essence of what you're saying. The (unconfirmed) account of voice traffic indicates the rebels mistook it for a transport plane, and they (along with many others) are asking the same question as the OP here: What on god's green earth were they doing flying over a war zone? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:23, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
And suddenly the chat room becomes Sturat's own "I believe... " blog. There's a lot of crap here. Worth just reading the mainstream news sources, and avoiding these chat/conspiracy boards. All they do is perpetuate limited understanding. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:04, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Lawsuits will be filed in a short order. A bunch of lawyers already count their fees. Russia will be defending those lawsuits in European courts for the next decade or two. Some properties will be impounded. A lot of headache for Mr. Putin and company. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 23:51, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Seems to also be spurring Poland on to increase continue the sanction headache. Not that Poland needed any help in anti-Russian sentiment. But the rest of Europe may need a little help jumping to conclusions about their energy relationships. And who better for relationship advice than this odd couple? InedibleHulk (talk) 01:18, July 19, 2014 (UTC)
Correction: Poland seems to have already been officially pissed (via Radoslaw Sikorski) a day before the plane exploded. I apologize if I implied they were easily manipulated. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:53, July 19, 2014 (UTC)
This Štefan Füle guy has had an interesting few days. The day before he appeared in the story above, he was concerned with rumours and today he's helping annex former Soviet republics. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:41, July 19, 2014 (UTC)
You must be confusing Füle with Putin, who is the only one who has been annexing (parts of) former Soviet republics recently. If you consider a bilateral agreement between independent countries an annexation, then the U.S. "annexed" Western Europe 65 years ago (or vice versa?); while the UN "annexed" almost the entire world. --Roentgenium111 (talk) 19:07, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Malaysia Airlines may not survive the double disaster. Kind of unfair for them but at the same time the second one is a product of poor judgment. Who is going to purchase tickets for their flights now? --AboutFace 22 (talk) 02:44, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
You must be channeling Jason Biggs! ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:15, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Those who don't remember their Tweets are doomed to retweet them. Or maybe he's the killer. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:20, July 19, 2014 (UTC)
WSJ this morning has an article: "Compensation Could be Limited." The online version is more expanded. It says the Airline is contractually liable for $174,000 per death. Getting more from the governments may be problematic for a variety of reasons. The Airline's stock is down 11% this morning. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 18:48, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

The legal precedent set by Iran Air Flight 655 suggests that Putin doesn't have to worry, the statements he made are similar to what was said by most countries in this earlier case (Iran is to blame because of the ongoing conflict, vs. Putin saying that the responsibility lies with Ukraine for starting the military offensive). I didn't hear Putin say anything remotely similar to this statement by the then vice president George H. W. Bush, "I will never apologize for the United States — I don't care what the facts are...". Count Iblis (talk) 20:40, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Singapore Airlines has apologized for simply reminding people their planes don't fly over warzones like 66 others. Apparently it's insensitive to literally defend passengers. I see no apology for almost causing a disaster at George Bush Intercontinental Airport earlier this month. Russia also hasn't apologized for doing the same in Barcelona, three days later. Corporations are stranger than governments, sometimes. InedibleHulk (talk) 02:42, July 20, 2014 (UTC)

Are these notable in England[edit]

There is currently an AFD discussion about an Englishman named Nicholas Padfield, however, I'm finding it difficult to vote on him because all of his supposed accomplishments are that are unfamiliar to me as an American. I'm hoping someone can shed some light on whether or not these things are a big deal in England. He's listed in Who's Who (UK), is that something special? He played hockey at Oxford and for England. There are so many athletes in America, it's hard to know how big a deal that is. The article also says: He was called to the bar by the Inner Temple in 1972. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1991 and was elected a bencher of the Inner Temple in 1995. He was appointed a recorder in 1995 and a deputy judge in 2008. Are these big achievements? Bali88 (talk) 19:57, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

If he played for England, I'd say that's instant notability right there provided sources can be found to verify it. There is no higher level in any sport than representing your country at international level. Mogism (talk) 20:03, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Being called to the bar just makes one a barrister (a lawyer permitted to address certain slightly higher categories of court, balanced out by not being permitted to do some other things that lawyers in the British system do), and there are many of them, most of whom are not notable (and some of whom claim to be very poorly paid). A Recorder (judge) is a local judge (more important than a magistrate because it requires detailed knowledge of the law.) Not sure about deputy judge but I doubt it would confer notability. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 20:32, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Okay, so the barrister thing is out as a form of notability. As for representing your country at international level, does that typically count as notability for British BLP's? Because I'm not sure it would be a notable feat for American athletes. There are 530 athletes who represented the US at the 2012 summer Olympics alone. More than 10K from all countries in 2012 total. Add that to all the athletes in the winter olympics and all the various international sporting events around the world and that's a lot of people! That's what's kind of giving me pause. I don't really know how big a deal hockey is and if being on the national team makes you a celebrity over there. Is that typically accepted for British athletes? Also, I kinda feel like if that is the thing that is making him notable, the article should be focused on that instead of it being sort of a side note. Say what year he played, what notable things he did on the team, etc.

Also, does anyone know anything about the who's who list? Is that something that is notable? Bali88 (talk) 21:09, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

  • A Queen's Counsel is a senior barrister, and a bencher is a senior member of an Inn of Court, taken together I think that they would argue towards notability, as would representing his country at the top level in any sport. (Hockey, by the way, means the one played on grass or artificial pitches, not the sort played on ice. Britain is generally seen as being in the upper ranks internationally). Who's Who would also argue towards notability. DuncanHill (talk) 21:28, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Also see Who's Who (UK). People it lists are by definition notable in some sense (which may or may not agree with Wikipedias sense). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 21:34, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Not sure about Who's Who, but WRT the athletics stuff, see Wikipedia:Notability (sports). To wit " The guidelines on this page are intended to reflect the fact that sports figures are likely to meet Wikipedia's basic standards of inclusion if they have, for example, participated in a major international amateur or professional competition at the highest level (such as the Olympics)." You are free to interpret that, and apply it to this situation, as you see best. However, if you are seriously interested in saving the article, your best shot is to find source text about his life. What Wikipedia needs to write articles is reliable source text, and while the other, supplementary notability guidelines are nice, they are usually debatable as to whether the presumption of notability the supplementary guidelines provide really is there. However, actual, real, reliable, in-depth source text is unassailable. The more of that you find, the more rock solid your case comes in keeping the article around. If no in-depth source text exists anywhere in the world, it becomes harder to defend the existence of an article even if the subject of the article meets some arbitrary criteria, like holding some job or having appeared in some competition. --Jayron32 21:35, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Cool, thanks. I really don't have a dog in the fight in terms of keeping it, I just wasn't sure what to do with it!
Can you guys think of a reliable source for this? I don't think the "Who's Who" book is going to count since it's self-written. If I can I'd like to add it to the article. Bali88 (talk) 01:10, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Interesting point. The content of a Who's Who entry is written by the subject, but the fact of inclusion is decided by the editors, so it seems to me that it should count towards notability. --ColinFine (talk) 15:35, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I have added six reliable sources, so the page should now meet the general notability guideline of WP:N. Moonraker (talk) 04:10, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

July 18[edit]

What was Rhode Island's status before it ratified the Constitution?[edit]

The U.S. Constitution took effect on June 21, 1788, when it was ratified by the ninth state, Connecticut. But what was the status of the other four members of the original Articles of Confederation from that point on - Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island - before they ratified the Constitution? Were they part of the United States? Were they part of a separate United States? --Golbez (talk) 01:49, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Under the terms of the Articles of Confederation, the U.S. Constitution was simply an illegal treaty between the states. "No two or more States shall enter into any treaty, confederation or alliance whatever between them, without the consent of the United States in Congress assembled." Congress had authorized the Constitutional Convention for the purpose of writing amendments to the Articles, not a whole new constitution, and amendments to the Articles were only allowed to be adopted if "such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every State." The various governments simply found it convenient to ignore those provisions and treat the new Constitution as legitimately adopted—in effect, a bloodless revolution in favor of the new-style government. -- (talk) 02:19, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
You can read in, for example, History of Rhode Island, its refusal to ratify the constitution led to it being treated as a foreign nation by the other 12 states in the union. As far as the other 3 states you mention, those that ratified after the ninth state (New Hampshire, FWIW) necessary to ratify the Constitution and bring it into the force of law, it is likely that they were not treated as independent nations; remember that communication in those days went as fast as a horse could carry it, and as such, there was not an expectation of "instantness" that we have today. See History of the United States Constitution#Ratification of the Constitution, by the time that they got from the "It's been ratified" to "We need to organize and hold elections to form our first government, two additional states (bringing the total to eleven of thirteen) had ratified the constitution. The twelfth state, North Carolina, ratified on November 21, 1789, eight months after the government had started meeting on March 4, 1789, what had been the official inauguration day, though even on March 4, there was not a quorum in either house of Congress, it took some more weeks for representatives and senators from enough states to make it to New York to do so. It wasn't until the end of April that the President and Vice President had been sworn in. I can't find any information to indicate if North Carolina was treated as a foreign nation (or threatened to be) during the months of 1789 between when Congress started performing official business and they ratified the Constitution, but Rhode Island was under that direct threat until it ratified almost a year later. --Jayron32 06:06, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I had the book Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788 by Pauline Maier out of the library a while back. If I remember correctly, the delay in implementing the new government after New Hampshire ratified was not only due to slow communications and the time to organize elections but also because it was hoped the remaining states would fall into line quickly and avoid any problems such as they actually had with Rhode Island. -- (talk) 08:05, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Hm. So it seems like the best method is to just consider them all in the U.S. and not do any trickery. (I'm working on new versions of Territorial evolution of the United States etc. and was wondering how to handle this) --Golbez (talk) 06:40, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
In essence, Rhode Island was "gently" coerced into joining the Union. Being surrounded, they were not really in a position of strength. Now, if Virginia or Massachusetts had failed to sign on, it could have been serious trouble. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:28, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
If you were doing a progressive map like File:US states by date of statehood.gif or File:Non-Native American Nations Control over N America 1750-2008.gif, you could use three similar but distinct colors to show the "US under the Articles", "US states that ratified the Constitution before it took effect", and "US states under the Constitution". -- (talk) 08:05, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

jurisdiction & admissibility[edit]

What 's the difference between jurisdiction and admissibility? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:10, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

See Jurisdiction and admissible evidence. Moonraker (talk) 04:14, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Low population density of central inner Spain[edit]

Why is central inner Spain (apart from the Madrid region) so sparsely populated? It's rather comparable with Scandinavia or northern Russia, than with Italy or France.

--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 06:30, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Looking at the map in Climate of Spain, a large portion of the center appears to be classified as BSk - cold, semi-arid climate. So the rain in Spain stays mainly ... elsewhere. Clarityfiend (talk) 07:34, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
You might be right but the precipitation and temperature do not strictly correspond to the density.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 12:14, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
That area appears to be known as the "Meseta Central" or "Inner plateau" (no separate en.Wikipedia article)... AnonMoos (talk) 09:44, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Geography_of_Spain#The_Inner_Plateau_and_associated_mountains Katie R (talk) 17:10, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Mountains are also difficult to farm, necessitating building and maintaining ledges, which is rather labor intensive. Also, you can't bring in heavy machinery to harvest such crops, so that is also labor intensive. This has been done in places, such as parts of Asia, where the mountains get enough rain, the labor supply is plentiful, and there is a lack of more accessible farm land. In other areas mountain pastures are used to feed livestock, but those support a lower population, since much of the food energy is lost when it's converted into meat. StuRat (talk) 17:24, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Our article describes the landscape as "barren rugged slopes". So probably not very productive as pasture either. Alansplodge (talk) 17:33, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
True, but pasture doesn't need to be as productive, as goats, etc., have a knack for finding a tuft of grass here and there, which would be impractical for humans to try to harvest. Obviously more productive pasture will support more animals and thus humans, though. StuRat (talk) 17:46, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Spain also experienced a decent rate of urbanization during the 20th century, including during and after the Franco period (an increase from 61% to 77% between 1965 and 1985, "slightly higher than the average for the advanced industrial countries" Spain: A Country Study, Eric Solsten and Sandra W. Meditz, editors. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1988). Of the top ten cities of Spain, and with the exception of Madrid, as noted by Любослов, only Zaragoza is not at or near the coast, and it's still not in central Spain. ---Sluzzelin talk 18:04, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
File:EU_NUTS_2_population_density_2007.svg (linked by OP) shows a similar pattern in Greece and Turkey. --Pp.paul.4 (talk) 20:52, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Taking pets to war[edit]

I'm wondering about this World War I photograph (1917) showing "Two American soldiers about to embark for duty, with their pets, a dachshund and a racoon. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)" Were soldiers officially allowed (or even encouraged) to bring along pets at the time? Was it still allowed in WWII? What about nowadays? ---Sluzzelin talk 23:10, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

The comma seems to suggest these two soldiers about to embark on duty are with their pets, not about to embark on duty with their pets. I don't know of anything allowing or forbidding it, but it seems like a hassle to take them along. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:14, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
In Britain, when WWII was coming, many people seem to have figured their pets would be better off dead, at the government's suggestion. Seems unlikely those soldiers would be allowed. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:18, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, big green unpalatable one (I actually saw the pic in a local magazine reminiscing on WWI, and the caption claimed it showed the two soldiers after disembarkment in Europe, which isn't what the linked caption says). Sorry, by the way, if the link doesn't work. It's one of those patronizing links that automatically redirects to my country web domain (.ch) and language (de), so I'm not even sure that changing it to .com would work. But people can view it by image-googling American + soldiers + dachshund + raccoon. ---Sluzzelin talk 23:22, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Works for me. I can't understand all the German on the right, but I can guess by the context that it's not so relevant to the question. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:32, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
There was the case of Sergeant Stubby, the most decorated war dog in the first one. But he wasn't technically a pet (or a sergeant). Somewhere in between. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:40, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
Also Wojtek, a private in the Polish artillery (and a brown bear) who allegedly carried ammunition to the guns at the Battle of Monte Cassino. 08:00, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Unlike Sergeant Stubby, Able Seaman Just Nuisance has an official rank. Clarityfiend (talk) 09:31, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Slightly off-topic, but speaking of war dogs, the Russians tried to use dogs with explosives on their backs to attack German tanks at the Battle Of Kursk. Unfortunately, it backfired (pardon the pun), because the dogs had been trained using Russian tanks, so they blew their own tanks up. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 09:34, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Or so the story goes. See Anti-tank dog. Although not terribly effective, they don't seem to have destroyed any Soviet tanks. Alansplodge (talk) 00:40, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, I heard the story on QI, and I trust Stephen Fry and his army of elves. And that article does say, they sniffed out their own tanks, beacause of the difference in smell between diesel and gasoline. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 13:19, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes. I think that I first read the story in The Book of Heroic Failures (1979), an amusing but hardly academic work. Our article quotes as its reference The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II edited by Chris Bishop, 2002 (p.205) which Google Books won't show me. The same story is quoted in Colonel Richardson's Airedales: The Making of the British War Dog School by Bryan D. Cummins which quotes it verbatim from Dogs at War: True Stories of Canine Courage Under Fire by Blythe Hamer 2001. So it seems to be well attested but only in fairly recent works and has a hint of the urban myth about it in my opinion. Red Road From Stalingrad: Recollections of a Soviet Infantryman by Mansur Abdulin has a brief eye-witness account of the successful use of anti-tank dogs on the Don Front in November 1942. Alansplodge (talk) 19:38, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
If we're drifting away from pure pets, here are Seven Insane Military Attempts to Weaponize Animals. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:40, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
Indeed, thanks again, unsavoury muscular mate (and everyone else), but the animals I was curious about were pets, without any military use apart from their potential of comfort, consolation, and cuddliness to their owner. ---Sluzzelin talk 21:03, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
That's what I figured. I remember hearing stories of trench soldiers befriending and (often temporarily) adopting cats and dogs, but Google is frustrating. Even then though, they met during the war. I did find this, slightly more relevant than confirmed active duty animals. Funny story, anyway. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:11, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
There's this academic paper about the various ways dogs were seen and treated in WWI. Pretty deep, just skimmed through it. Stuff about pets, though. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:20, July 20, 2014 (UTC)

July 19[edit]

Coin Act 1696[edit]

Where can I find the full text? "Google" isn't the answer. I'd like to know about section 8 of the act, which isn't mentioned in the article. Section 6 prohibited the mixing of copper and silver. Did this apply in all circumstances, or just in a numismatic context? It would be a shame if natural philosophers were prohibited from carrying out chemistry experiments on the properties of the two elements. Nyttend (talk) 04:24, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

According to the virtual Parliament, your paper is somewhere behind this hyperlink. I'm not sure. I don't have Javascript on. Good luck! InedibleHulk (talk) 05:41, July 19, 2014 (UTC)
As for Part 2, I'll just guess it only meant coins. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:42, July 19, 2014 (UTC)
Found the text through your link, and expanded the article. Thanks! Nyttend (talk) 12:22, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Passports during aircraft accidents[edit]

Why the passengers' passports aboard the downed Malaysian MH17 flight (and some other accidents) didn't burn out (if they were inside passengers' cloth, which burned together with the bodies)? (talk) 11:10, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

What's the basis of your premise? Who says all the bodies burned? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:14, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
They must not have, since there are apparently lots of intact bodies (and body parts) on the ground, along with lots of intact baggage and plane parts. Adam Bishop (talk) 11:29, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
The missile would have fractured the plane and lots of people could have simply fallen out. The fireball occurred when the fuel tank portion hit the ground. There is a widespread debris field, so a lot of the entities probably did not burn. I wonder, though - on an international flight, do the passengers keep their passports, or are they stowed in a safe or something? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:33, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
On an international flight, passengers keep their passports with them at all times. I can't imagine why it would be otherwise.--Shantavira|feed me 12:23, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
I'd heard jokes about Americans being "insular", but this is bizarre... perhaps I should've known better in this case :S --Demiurge1000 (talk) 19:00, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
A senior citizen who has never travelled overseas is not all that uncommon, and certainly not "bizarre". From about 18 onwards, the older people are, the less likely they are to have travelled (OR), and if they have, the less likely they are to have travelled multiple times (OR). -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:48, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
I've seen footage of a witness describing seeing bodies falling out of the sky. And there's plenty of unburnt personal effects in amongst the burnt wreckage. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 11:39, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
There are actually pictures or largely unburnt bodies if you look in certain places too. I don't suggest the be linked to from here. As for the photo with lots of passports piled up. I'm not sure if this was mostly for the photo. It wouldn't be surprising if someone thought it would help identify victims to gather all the passports even if it wasn't necessary and probably made things worse. Nil Einne (talk) 21:17, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
I wonder if the OP has seen pics, similar to those I've seen, which are passports piled up after tragedies like this. I think there's a term for news photographer setting up pictures like this but I can't remember what it is right now (e.g. deaths of young children so the photographers set up a scene with a teddy bear) (talk) 13:34, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't know what the term is, but I'm fairly certain I saw a clip of seemingly pristine passports being shown kind of the way you're describing. Actually from the crash, or file footage, I'm not totally sure. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:23, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

When I've travelled long haul, I tend to keep my passport in a shirt or jacket pocket, or if I'm not going to sleep, in my hand luggage nearby. There are plenty of pictures of intact baggage from MH17. There's no reason to believe that passports stored within such intact baggage would have been spontaneously destroyed. Therefore passports can and regularly do survive such accidents. The Rambling Man (talk) 16:27, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

When the plane breaks up suddenly, anything that is not very tightly fixed to the plane will be blown out of the plane. Initially, there is a big pressure difference between the inside and outside air which causes the air to rush out, and then everything gets exposed to the outside air, but at a relative speed of more than 800 km/h. The friction from the air at that speed leads to small objects being blown backward very fast. In a matter of seconds there will be a speed difference of hundreds of km/h between the severely damaged plane and the people and objects that have been blown out of the plane. Count Iblis (talk) 18:24, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

This is true—it's not uncommon for bodies to be found naked (or nearly so) after this sort of disaster—but it doesn't mean the passports will be destroyed, only that they will be separated from their owners' remains. -- (talk) 04:37, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

List of current constituent African monarchs[edit]


first, I must commend this article and other articles about traditional rulers.

Does anyone have any information about how many traditional rulers (kings, sultans, emirs etc.) that exist in the world today? I am sure they must be some sort of list that contains such info as it is known how many tribes/peoples there are.

Thank you,

with best regards

Morten Norway — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mortennorway (talkcontribs) 15:55, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

What do you mean by "traditional rulers"? The 1905 referendum restored the traditional rulers of the House of Oldenburg instead of the French rulers of the past 87 years. However, your link makes me guess that you're more interested in tribal rulers, so it would help if you'd clarify what you're asking about. Nyttend (talk) 21:51, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
From our List of monarchies article:
African constitutional monarchies
African absolute monarchies
African subnational monarchies
There may be others that haven't made it into our article, perhaps somebody else can think of some. Alansplodge (talk) 23:12, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't know if this is germane to the discussion, but Hugh Quarshie traced his ancestry and is possibly the current Chief of Abe in Ghana, according to this article. Is the OP more interested in rulers of larger tribal areas? --TammyMoet (talk) 08:54, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Missing from the list are at least three traditional monarchies in South Africa: Zulu, Bafokeng and Balobedu. These just off the top of my head, there may be other tribal leaders with royal status that I'm not aware of. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 10:47, 20 July 2014 (UTC)


Why would a store (I've observed this in Walgreens and CVS, pharmacies, and Food Lion, a grocery store) sell 20 oz bottles of soda for $1.79 and larger 1.25L bottles (42.2 oz, over twice as much) of the same soda for 99 cents? Is there evidence that the price premium for the less soda is due to the increased handiness of the smaller portion size? (talk) 17:05, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

It's not any sort of convenience fee, it's just prices being raised on people either not paying attention or not caring. The manufacturers, distributors, and sellers know that the smaller bottles sell better so they throw on a ton of mark up. One of the guys who filled the soda fridges at my last job said you can get the 20 oz bottle for pocket change at the factory. Ian.thomson (talk) 17:29, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree with the bit about customers who don't care or pay attention (or aren't able to do the math). These seemingly illogical prices are in reality part of a price differentiation strategy. In the US, we also have a mixture of ounce and liter measurements, making it rather difficult to compare the cost of a 20 ounce bottle with a 2 liter bottle. I suspect that this is intentional on the part of the bottlers, who don't want people comparing to find the best price. Constantly changing prices also make it more difficult to compare, as you would have to run continuous comparisons of all sizes in each place you shop. StuRat (talk) 12:41, 20 July 2014 (UTC) -- Are you sure they're in the same state of refrigeration? It's quite common for convenience stores to charge a high premium for instant cold gratification... AnonMoos (talk) 20:04, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

And quite common for the supplier to pay supermarkets for the privilege of having its wares sold right next to the tills. --NellieBly (talk) 03:22, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I used to buy the 650ml "contour bottles" (one per day, refrigerated) from the work restaurant. The work restaurant, cleverly but certainly not inappropriately, stocked neither smaller nor larger sizes of the same cola. (This is similar to how larger supermarkets have such bottles, and often the smaller cans, in the "ready to go" refrigerated area near the door, with the better value large sizes in more distant areas of the store.)
One of my colleagues who had a bit of a problem with excessive sugar intake, would instead bring in his own 2 litre bottle of cola, and just swig straight out of the bottle, which looked a bit odd in the workplace. I'm not sure how many he got through in a day.
These days I buy 330ml cans in the supermarket, in packs of 8, 12 or 20 depending on whatever the best offer that week is, and carry them into work myself, two per day. Another thing that's changed (in the workplaces I've seen in the UK that have externally serviced restaurants) is that such places no longer permit the employer to locate a (free) water cooler in the eating area. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 21:25, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Also note that most people won't finish a 2 liter bottle in one day (and shouldn't, due to the amount of sugar/corn syrup), so it will tend to go flat. This might explain why it's a less popular choice. StuRat (talk) 12:41, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I prefer 1.5 or 2 liter containers to aluminum cans or glass bottles for home consumption, because once you open a can or glass bottle, you have to drink it all fairly quickly or throw it away, while with plastic screw-top containers, you can take irregular swigs as you choose. For some reason apple soda here seems to have a different style of carbonation or interaction with carbonation, and doesn't go flat as quickly as some others... AnonMoos (talk) 15:46, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Once that goes flat you would have something similar to apple juice, which is still drinkable. With normal soda you end up with just sugar water (corn syrup water, actually), which doesn't taste very good at all, unless you're a hummingbird. :-) StuRat (talk) 17:13, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
One thing User:AnonMoos may like about the UK and many parts of Europe (I don't know where you live), is that 650ml soda bottles here are all plastic screw-top containers. Of course, that also means they don't sell them in packs (mostly), but only expensively individually. For home consumption, I do exactly what you do, and I even keep separate supplies of caffeinated and decaffeinated for different circumstances. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 20:14, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

July 20[edit]

James Harden-Hickey[edit]

James Harden-Hickey had a handmade crown. Whatever happen to it after his death and what did it look like and what was it made of?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 04:42, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

In answer to the second question: In the scanned (not wikisource) version of the Real Soldiers of Fortune book, there is a picture of a medal issued by Harden-Hickey [59] along with the statement "For himself, King James commissioned a firm of jewelers to construct a royal crown. In design it was similar to the one which surmounted the Cross of Trinidad. It is shown in the photograph of the insignia." (talk) 13:17, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
So very similar to St Edward's Crown. Alansplodge (talk) 19:46, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
According to a newspaper article; BACK IN THE DAY: Story behind Corona's name involves a baron, the town of Corona, California was named by Harden-Hickey who had bought a ranch there. Neither article mentions an actual crown, but perhaps there's a link? Alansplodge (talk) 19:55, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

First World War medical report[edit]

I have obtained copies of my grandfather's enlistment papers from 1915. I'm fascinated by the standard form the Medical Examiner had to sign, which said:

"I have examined the above-named person and find that he does not present any of the following conditions, viz. :-
Scrofula; phthisis; impaired constitution; defective intelligence, defects of vision, voice, or hearing; hernia; haemorrhoids; varicose veins, beyond a limited extent; marked varicocele with unusually pendent testicle; inveterate cutaneous disease; chronic ulcers; traces of corporal punishment, or evidence of having been marked with the letters D. or B.C.; contracted or deformed chest; abnormal curvature of the spine; or any other disease or physical defect calculated to unfit him for the duties of a soldier."

I'm glad Grandpa passed the test, but I'd love to know why people of his generation in Australia might have "been marked with the letters D. or B.C.". Anybody? HiLo48 (talk) 05:37, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

According to this, D meant "Deserter". The other seems to mean "bad conduct". Even worse for business than an unusually pendent testicle, I'd figure. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:08, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
Yep, gotta watch the latter though. Never know where they'll lead. What's described in that link seems a nasty way to brand a deserter, but I guess they weren't popular. And Grandpa wasn't a deserter. Though I did find later in his record a few days AWOL in France. One can only wonder.... HiLo48 (talk) 06:48, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Nasty, but effective. Can't exactly take "I promise I'll never hurt you" at face value, especially without knowing who's already dishonest. This way, they either have the mark, or a suspicious scrape where the mark should be. Gentler now with central databases, biometric ID and impaired constitutions.
Speaking of impaired, nasty and promises, your grandpa likely did the same things in France mine did in the next war to end all wars. Maybe even the same women. If I'm in the area for World War III, I'll raise a glass to both of them before finding the wisest mademoiselle left. She'll know what to do. InedibleHulk (talk) 08:27, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
I wonder if they used brands or tattoos. If tats, then that doesn't seem particularly cruel to me. It seems to imply that they couldn't otherwise keep track of who each person was, presumably meaning they would accept recruits who couldn't produce a birth or baptismal certificate, and they had nothing like a Social Security number at the time to uniquely identify people. StuRat (talk) 12:30, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Australian War Memorial: Enlistment Standards: First World War: "On enlistment recruits were examined for BC or D tattooed on their skin. These were British army tattoos. BC stood for bad character and D for deserter." (talk) 12:58, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Which authors used the most adjectives and which ones used the least[edit]

In most writing classes they teach you overuse of adjectives and adverbs is a bad thing, and that use of nouns and verbs is the best way to get your point across. I have been reading HP Lovecraft, and while I believe is he is a very effective teller of scary stories, he uses way too many adjectives. Which other famous authors used way too many adjectives and which ones used them the most sparingly?-- (talk) 07:19, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

According to one count [60], there isn't much of a variation. King of purple prose Edward Bulwer-Lytton and adjective-hating Mark Twain both came out to 6.8% adjectives in the samples tested. The counter concludes that "Calculating the relative percentages of adjectives and adverbs in texts tells us nothing useful about their readability, clarity, or efficiency." (talk) 12:51, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, in general, Ernest Hemingway was known for his economy of language. Herman Melville springs to mind when I think of authors who used many adjectives. ceranthor 23:46, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
When forced to schlep through Moby-Dick in English class, I strongly suspected that Melville was being paid by the word. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:55, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

'Lives of the saints'[edit]

The following passage is from Isabell Hapgood translation of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables. This passage has a reference to a book or work called 'Lives of the saints'. This is not the only place that I have found someone referencing to it. In Robert Graves 'Goodbye to All That' he alludes to it as well. The impression I got is that it is a well known work of the western canon, but on looking up in wikipedia, though there are a few works listed having the name "Lives of saints", the most prominently listed one is a novel dating from circa 1990. So what is exact work that is being refereed to as the "Lives of saints" without any qualifications in Les Miserables, and in 'Goodbye to All That'.

"The children ate in silence, under the eye of the mother whose turn it was, who, if a fly took a notion to fly or to hum against the rule, opened and shut a wooden book from time to time. This silence was seasoned with the lives of the saints, read aloud from a little pulpit with a desk, which was situated at the foot of the crucifix. The reader was one of the big girls, in weekly turn. At regular distances, on the bare tables, there were large, varnished bowls in which the pupils washed their own silver cups and knives and forks, and into which they sometimes threw some scrap of tough meat or spoiled fish; this was punished."

Gulielmus estavius (talk) 14:26, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Upon reading Hagiography, I wonder whether a specific book is meant, or whether the term is a catch-all for any book in the hagiographic tradition, of which there were many. The French wikipedia, for example, gives this list: Vies de Saints. You might also like to look at Acta Sanctorum, a 68-volume work published from 1643 to 1940. I do not, however, have a reference that this is the book intended by Hugo. (talk) 15:25, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
The most famous single work was probably the Golden Legend, but presumably there were a lot of repackagings over the centuries to satisfy various styles of Catholic piety. The Charlotte Bronte novel Villette has a classic passage expressing the reactions of an English-speaking Protestant to a French compendium of saints' lives read out for the edification of young girls (see Chapter 13 at Wikisource... -- AnonMoos (talk) 15:29, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

How are former French, Spanish, Portuguese and English colonies performing economically?[edit]

Can we say that the colonies of the one or the other are much better off than the others? It's clear that the US and Australia will skew things up for England, but there is also India to skew it down. OsmanRF34 (talk) 15:33, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

No one here will stop you from reading the relevant Wikipedia articles and coming to your own conclusions. You can find the lists of the colonies at places like Spanish Empire, British Empire, French colonial empire, and Portuguese Empire. You can find measures of economic strength based on any measure you want at Wikipedia, for just one example, List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita (that's just the first I grabbed. By linking it, I am not recommending that measure over any other you want to use). Using articles like that, you can research the answer to your question. --Jayron32 15:50, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
  • The question is much more if it is meaningful to compare the present economical situation than to know if former colonies of one are more developed.OsmanRF34 (talk) 18:07, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Which measure of development do you wish to use? Wikipedia has articles about most of the important ones, for example the Human Development Index would work for you. Again, I (and no one else here) is going to stop you from cross-referencing that article to the articles which list the colonies of the European powers. --Jayron32 20:00, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure that there's much point in comparing colonies of settlement (where the majority of the population is European-descended, and which are culturally largely overseas extensions of Europe) -- such as the U.S., Canada, Australia, Argentina etc. -- with colonies where the majority of the population remained local (not forgetting a third type of colony, such as Fiji and parts of the Caribbean, where there was a huge infusion of non-European non-locals from distant areas). Russia also had comparable colonial zones of expansion, even though geographically adjacent (not overseas). At one point, it was commonly said that former-British colonies in Africa were doing better than former-French colonies in Africa, but I'm not sure that's still true... AnonMoos (talk) 15:56, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
A common observation is that colonies that were largely populated by the British seem to have done better than those which were largely populated by the Spanish and Portuguese. One difference is that the British colonies tended to develop renewable resources, such as tobacco and cotton, while the Spanish colonies and Portuguese colonies extracted nonrenewable resources, such as gold and silver. With renewable resources, it makes sense to invest in infrastructure and set up a stable, long-term local government. With nonrenewable resources, you want to keep all those expenses minimal, so you can extract the resources from one colony and then move on. This might also explain why those nations which possess a more recent nonrenewable resource, petroleum, and have thus undergone neocolonization as a result, haven't done particular well, either.
One colony largely populated by the French, Canada before it was taken over by the British, did OK, as they relied on a semi-renewable resource, beaver pelts (renewable only if hunting is kept at a low enough level). Their Haiti colony, on the other hand, did very poorly, despite it's reliance on a renewable resource, sugar cane. (It did well while under French rule, but their over-reliance on and mistreatment of slaves led to a successful revolution, after which nobody would trade with them. If the US had solely consisted of the South, then it might have suffered a similar fate.)
Disclaimer: No colony relied solely on one or two resources, but I tried to list some of the major exports of each. StuRat (talk) 16:48, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Note also that both the US and Canada include large areas colonized or controlled first by France, by Britain, and for the US, also by Spain; and in some cases large territories passed from one colonial power to another; and each of these areas had its own resources. So although it was Britain that both countries eventually gained independence from, any analysis as Stu does above according to colonizing power becomes complicated. -- (talk) 19:57, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
The short answer is, it depends on which colony you're talking about, to whom you're talking about it, and when you're talking about it. Dependency theory holds that poverty in postcolonial nations is largely a result of their economic dependence on larger nations. The outside economic interest that organized their economies during the colonial era has now resulted in an economy and infrastructure that is oriented toward outside support, without the means to be self-supporting or self-sufficient. Dependency theory can probably explain poverty in many countries, but certainly not all of them. As advocates of world systems theory note, not all poor nations are former colonies, and not all former colonies are now poor nations. Evan (talk|contribs) 19:48, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
And if you go back far enough, the colonial powers were themselves colonies, specifically, of the Roman Empire. StuRat (talk) 22:31, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Here's one academic paper that looked at this question for Africa: [61]. The abstract says: "We investigate the impact of 20th-century European colonization on growth. We find that colonial heritage, as measured by the identity of the metropolitan ruler and by the degree of economic penetration, matters for the heterogeneity of growth performances in Africa. Colonial indicators are correlated with economic and sociopolitical variables that are commonly employed to explain growth and there are growth gains from decolonization.". If you need the article to improve wikipedia articles, you can ask for a complete copy at Wikipedia:WikiProject Resource Exchange/Resource Request; otherwise it's probably a matter of visiting a university library or asking if your local reference library can get a copy. (talk) 20:06, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Going back to the Sodanomics section, is there any correlation between a given country's economic strength and the amount of soda sold there? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:36, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
First we would have to do some linguistic work. What Americans call soda is not called soda in Australia. Soft drink would be the descriptor for a similar category of beverages, but I'm not sure if the boundaries are the same. HiLo48 (talk) 00:29, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Colored fizzy syrup. --Jayron32 04:06, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Nope. Some of it isn't coloured. Or colored. HiLo48 (talk) 09:09, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Your previous comment could have been "What some Americans call soda". Names for soft drinks in the United States. Hack (talk) 09:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

To make any comparison meaningful, I would think one would have to compare former colonies that are relatively close to each other geographically, as well as similar in size and resources ... for example: comparing Guyana to French Guyana and Surinam ... or Ghana to Togo, and Benin... or Kenya to Tanzania, and Mozambique. Blueboar (talk) 10:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Although Guyana has a thriving agricultural sector which French Guiana does not. Also, you could argue that French Guiana is still a colony since it has been made a département d’outre-mer and is dependant on French subsidies and the European Space Agency. Alansplodge (talk) 21:26, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  • This is further complicated in regions like the Caribbean where some islands (now nation states) were at various times under the colonial rule of England, France or Spain, sometimes split between two and shuffled back-and-forth during times of dispute and conflict. To which colonial power do you give credit for the positives and to which do you assign blame for the negatives? Stlwart111 07:16, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Back to the topic, and in response to one by Evan, dependencia, as per our article, “Dependency theory no longer has many proponents as an overall theory, but some writers have argued for its continuing relevance as a conceptual orientation to the global division of wealth.” The reasons are that the counter-examples – particularly Korea and Taiwan – can’t be explained by this model. DOR (HK) (talk) 03:50, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

July 21[edit]

$23.6 billion jury award in tobacco lawsuit[edit]

A Jury awarded $23.6B to a widow of a smoker who died from lung cancer years ago. This is surreal. If this goes through the plaintiff's attorney stands to get a third of this money, almost eight billion dollars. I wonder if the jurors had their marbles in place. It seem some people have no concept of large numbers. Perhaps many cannot count beyond a hundred. What are the internals of such a trial? Who suggested such a crazy figure? I wonder what did this man do in real life that made him worth so much money? Thanks --AboutFace 22 (talk) 00:36, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

I read about that case, very quickly. Presumably, the attorney for the plaintiff is the one who suggested the amount of damages (money) that should be awarded. I read that such an enormous amount is illegal and unconstitutional. (I will try to find a link to that article.) What I suspect happened is probably something like this. The plaintiff's lawyer said to the jury: "Let's look at the profits that the tobacco company made during the period of my client's lifetime. That comes to $ XXX billion dollars. I think a fair amount is to award my client a mere 1 percent of that tobacco company's profits. That amounts to $ XXX billion dollars. After all, this tobacco company made these profits by killing all of these smokers, my client included." Or some such. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 00:48, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Also, by the way, you have to take account that this award consisted of two types of monetary damages: compensatory damages and punitive damages. The first award, compensatory damages, is money that is supposed to make the client "whole" and compensate him for all of his injuries, medical treatments, lost earnings, etc. (This relates to your question: I wonder what did this man do in real life that made him worth so much money?) In this case, that amount was rather small. I think it was around a million dollars or two or so? The second award, punitive damages, is money that is supposed to punish the wrong-doer (defendant) appropriately so that the company won't repeat this wrong again. It is based on a "punishment" that will appropriately hit the defendant in the pocketbook to such an amount that will deter him from wrongdoing in the future. This award amount has nothing to do with the value of the plaintiff's life or his lifetime earnings. And, in this case, the punitive damages award was the bulk of the overall award. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 00:59, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Source: [62] As to what motivated the jury to make such a large award, this isn't a forum, and we shouldn't engage in speculation. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:54, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
AndyTheGrump, the original poster asked a legitimate question. Namely: what are the internal legal machinations that could account for such a bizarre award? (In other words: how and by whom and why did such a bizarre dollar amount get placed in their heads, such that they thought it was appropriate?) That is not asking for speculation. That's a legitimate question for this Reference Desk page. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 00:59, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Asking if "the jurors had their marbles in place" doesn't look like a legitimate question to me. Or at least, not one that can possibly be answered without speculation. Of course, if you can prove the contrary by citing reliable sources on the subject, feel free to do so... AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:07, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
The purpose of this Reference Desk Help Page is to help people with their questions. Asking if "the jurors had their marbles in place" is simply another way of asking exactly what I stated above ("how and by whom and why did such a bizarre dollar amount get placed in their heads, such that they thought it was appropriate?"). I am sure that you knew that. Also, the original poster did not simply ask: "did the jury have their marbles in place?". Rather, he (or she) used that wording in the context of the rest of the wording in the post. Which – at the end of the day – amounts to a legitimate question. I think we should be encouraging, not discouraging, people from coming here and asking legitimate questions. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 01:15, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Actually, the original poster never asked "did the jurors have their marbles in place?" The original poster merely commented (not asked): "I wonder if the jurors had their marbles in place." And that statement was couched in amongst all the other legitimate questions: (1) What are the internals of such a trial? (2) Who suggested such a crazy figure? (3) I wonder what did this man do in real life that made him worth so much money? All three very legitimate questions. The "marbles" comment was not a question; it simply placed the actual questions in context (i.e., that the original poster was quite surprised at such a verdict). Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 01:33, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Back to your original question: The compensatory damages were a mere $16 million dollars. Thus, the punitive damages were $23.584 billion dollars. Clearly, the "punishment" award was the great bulk of the total award. In this case, the jury felt that the plaintiff's life (medical expenses, lost earnings, etc.) was valued at $16 million dollars. He was a rather young guy (age 36) and presumably had 50+ more years to live, had he not died ("at the hands of the tobacco company", according to the plaintiff). Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 01:26, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
This isn't the first time a jury has awarded incredibly high punitive damages. These awards get overturned or drastically reduced on appeal. The N.Y. Times article mentions a previous award of $28 billion that was reduced to $28 million on appeal.
It is very tempting to speculate that the jury simply misspelled "million". -- BenRG (talk) 01:38, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Very unlikely about the misspelling. After all, they spelt it correctly in the compensation award (16 million). Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 02:06, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Joseph Sparado clarified the issue a bit but only partially and I am very grateful. I am a psychiatrist and psychological aspect is what I am after. Is it possible that the jurors were intimidated? Perhaps they were specially selected based on their background? Perhaps the defendant lawyers did not realize that the deck of cards was stacked against them? What else can one suppose? --AboutFace 22 (talk) 01:41, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Interesting that you ask about their being "intimidated". Why do you suppose that? And intimidated by whom? Intimidated of what? I would not suppose intimidation. My best guesses are as follows. (1) I would think they were acting on emotion, sympathy, and compassion, far more than on intimidation. And that factor (i.e., a decision arrived at through emotion, sympathy, compassion, etc.) is exactly why this award is illegal and will not stand. I am sure that the jurors "felt sorry" that a young guy of age 36 lost his life, a young woman lost her husband, and a few young kids lost their dad. And I am sure that the lawyer "played upon" their sympathies and emotions. (2) I also suspect that juries are more inclined to "side with" the small, helpless underdog as opposed to the big, bad, greedy (and faceless) multi-billion dollar corporation. Akin to siding with David in the "David and Goliath" dispute. (3) I also suspect – as you theorized – that most jurors do not really understand large numbers. They can't fathom what that "billion" really means (much less, 24 billion!). For example, let's say that you asked the average person this question: What is the length of time represented by 24 billion seconds?" And you gave possible multiple-choice answers: "100 years; 1,000 years; a million years", etc. I suspect most average people would have no idea whatsoever what the "billion" really means. And, in answering that question, would simply be taking stabs in the dark and simply guessing. I also expect that the lawyers capitalized on this quantitative weakness of the jury. Those are my best three guesses at the moment. I don't see intimidation as a part of the equation, as I understand it. Which is why I asked you to clarify about the intimidation aspect. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 02:03, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Needless to say you gave a brilliant analysis. Thank you. I should have phrased the intimidation hypothesis differently. The court atmosphere with a barrage of unfamiliar words may be too much for an average person: a lot to memorize and put together. Thus people may be intimidated by the milieu. I've never been on a jury that is why I am ignorant. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 02:14, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks! Glad to help. No, I sincerely don't think that the intimidation aspect (as you describe it) is a significant factor at all. Definitely not. Also, some quick answers to your other questions. (1) Perhaps they were specially selected based on their background? The answer is absolutely "yes". The lawyer for the plaintiff picks jurors that (demographically) he feels will be helpful to him and will serve to his advantage. However, the lawyer for the defendant does the same exact thing. This is called voir dire. Basically, both lawyers look at demographics (age, race, income, gender, occupation, marital status, education, etc., etc., etc.) and try to pick the jurors that they think will "side" with them. (2) Perhaps the defendant lawyers did not realize that the deck of cards was stacked against them? A lawyer always knows the strengths and weaknesses of his case. That is Lawyering 101. At the end of the day, if the tobacco lawyer truly felt the deck of cards was stacked against them, then he would have likely pushed for a settlement of the case, rather than taking the case to trial. Now, of course, for that to be successful: (A) the plaintiff would also have to agree to the settlement; and (B) the client – the company – would also have to agree. Actually, I don't think it is necessarily the case that the deck was stacked against them. When I was reading about that case, many readers (ordinary, average citizens) posted comments such as this: "That guy was smoking for 25 years; he obviously knew it was dangerous to his health; he's an idiot; there is no way he should get a penny, let alone $24 billion dollars". So, a lot of people out there feel like that. Those people would side with the defendant (the tobacco company). So, I don't think it's necessarily true that the defendant had the cards stacked against him at all. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 02:24, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
If you take the punitive damages to be enough so "they won't do the same thing again", and here "the same thing" means to sell a product known to cause cancer, then you would indeed need to award multi-billion dollar fines to have any hope of getting the tobacco companies to stop selling tobacco. Also, as I understand it, the citizens of the state were prohibited from forming a class-action lawsuit, which would be the obvious way to go, and the jury may feel that the tobacco companies "bought" the judge who decided on that issue, and wanted to punish them for that action, as well. StuRat (talk) 03:01, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
StuRat, I generally agree with your comment. However, I want to delineate an important distinction. You (essentially) said that the crux of the case is: "the tobacco company sold a product known to cause cancer". I think that is oversimplifying the "real" issue in this case. In the link provided above (by AndyTheGrump), it says: "Cynthia Robinson claimed that smoking killed her husband, Michael Johnson, in 1996. She argued R.J. Reynolds was negligent in not informing him that nicotine is addictive and smoking can cause lung cancer." So, the real issue that was being litigated here is not that the tobacco company was selling a product known to cause cancer. The "real" issue in this case was that the company knew it was dangerous, but they did not pass that knowledge on to its customers (the public). The widow would be claiming that the company should have made these risks known (and they were negligent in not doing so). Her (winning) argument is: "my husband should have had all that information at his disposal, so that he could make an informed decision about whether or not he would choose to smoke". So, the tobacco company did not violate the law by selling cigarettes; they violated the law by not disclosing known dangers. An important distinction, I think. Back to the punitive award: the award is designed to punish the company, not to dismantle the company. Again, an important distinction. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 04:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
There have been warnings on cigarette packs since the late 1960s. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:53, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Baseball Bugs, do those warnings really go back that far? I thought they were much more recent? I was guessing maybe the 80's? Also, didn't they used to allow cigarette commercials on TV, but then they disallowed them? (I am referring to the USA.) In any event, what do the cigarette package warnings have to do with this jury award? You lost me. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 06:08, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
1966, as noted in Tobacco packaging warning messages#Cigarettes. By 1985 they were saying cigarettes cause cancer. These warnings are typically used as a defense by the tobacco companies against these kinds of suits. Surprisingly, that fact seems not to have been made in this case.[63]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:53, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. But, that is where you are losing me. Where in that article does it mention anything at all about the cigarette package label warnings? It does not mention them at all. (Or did I miss it?) Since it does not mention it, that does not necessarily mean that the arguments were not presented in this trial. It simply means that the article is silent about this detail of the trial. Therefore, the argument may well have been made at trial; the article simply did not discuss that specific detail. No? Also, do you know anything about the TV commercials question that I had asked? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 14:46, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I am likewise mystified. I think more research is needed, to discover how the plaintiff successfully argued that the warnings on the packaging were somehow inadequate. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:59, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Reading between the lines, I think their argument was that the warnings don't go far enough, as they don't talk about the addictive nature of the product, and that Reynolds engaged in some kind of conspiracy to hide the fact of that addictiveness. Never mind that Surgeon General Koop, at around the time the deceased took up smoking, was declaring nicotine to be as addictive as illegal narcotics. Another hint is that the Reynolds appeal will be based on precedent, i.e. that the award is extremely excessive, rather than on denying the issues of addiction and conspiracy. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:08, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I would suspect that the plaintiff's argument concedes that the label warnings do in fact exist, but that they are insufficient. I can't imagine that the defendant did not bring this issue to light. The defendant's argument is likely: "The federal government specifies very clearly what warnings we are required to offer our consumers, and we fully complied with all of these requirements." And the plaintiff's retort was: "Yes, but even so, that was insufficient and negligent." Also, do you know anything about the TV commercials question that I had asked? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 15:15, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Cigarette ads were banned from TV in the USA starting in 1971. There's a lengthy article on this general subject, Tobacco advertising. Over the course of time, other forms of tobacco were banished from the airwaves, one by one. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:29, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. That is what I was looking for. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 15:33, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I had overlooked that part of the question. :) It's worth pointing out that there were many clever and creative TV ads for these noxious products. You can find a lot of them on youtube if you want to take a somewhat dark (tobacco-stained) nostalgia trip. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:37, 21 July 2014 (UTC)


My reasoning was:
1) The jury had to be aware that, based on the age of the deceased, he would have had adequate warning of both the cancer risk and addictive nature of cigarettes.
2) Therefore, they did not believe the company guilty based on that, but, in a form of jury nullification, they found them guilty anyway, and added a huge punitive award, since they believe that selling an addictive product known to cause cancer should be stopped, despite the law permitting it. StuRat (talk) 15:38, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, it might be jury nullification, but it might also be that they decided the company had actively engaged in a conspiracy to hide the additional dangers of the product, i.e. its addictive nature. It's also possible that they made that ginormous award on the assumption that the appeals process will whittle it down to something that's still significant but less likely to bankrupt the company. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:42, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree with most of what you say. And that is exactly why the award will not survive on appeal. "They" (the jury) gave the award for "all the wrong reasons" (legally speaking, that is). And, believe me, these facts are not lost on the defense lawyer and/or the defendant company. Thanks. I will check out some YouTube videos. They must be something to look at, in hindsight and in retrospect. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 15:54, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

It is kind of a rambling, sorry, but I sympathize with the company. They have been thrashed and thrashed again in the past. So many lawyers have made fortunes suing them. What is their guilt? I am not a smoker but looking objectively, tobacco is a cultural phenomenon in this county. They inherited a product that sold well and a business and it all goes back hundreds of years. Are they guilty of not warning people? The warnings are regulated by the law and I am sure they complied. Many risks of tobacco had not become known until about 25 year ago. Even in the early 90th doctors smoked openly in the hospital halls. The life expectancy in 1900 was 50 years so the tobacco related death drowned in all other causes. The cases of lung cancer and emphysema were not that prominent statistically. It all became apparent late in the century after Surgeon General began to stir emotions. Smoking declined rapidly partially through awareness but more through taxes. A pack of Marlboro, I was shocked, costs $10.00 now. And what about a personal responsibility? Shall Lauren Bacall sue RJ. Reynolds for Humphrey Bogart's lung cancer and death? To a significant degree it is all in the genes. Not everyone gets addicted to tobacco. Not everyone even dies or gets sick after years of smoking. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 21:13, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

I hear what you are saying. The problem, in this particular case (from the defendant's point of view), is that the time frame does not go as far back as you cite. Yes, back in the 1940's and 50's and 60's, far less was known about smoking and its dangers. I believe that I even read that some doctors actually used to suggest or recommend smoking to some patients. But – as you state – in the more recent past, more of the risks of smoking became known. The smoker in this case was smoking from age 13 to his death at age 36; this was from 1973 to 1996. During that time frame, the risks were well known. In a post above, another editor even mentioned that it was the early 1970's (1971) when cigarette commercials on TV were banned. So, all of these facts (essentially) work to the advantage of the plaintiff and to the disadvantage of the defendant. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:33, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Also, in this case, the deceased smoker started smoking when he was just 13 years old. That's quite young. And, presumably, he became addicted at such a young age. It's quite possible, in this case, that the plaintiff made a big deal of the smoker's youth. And they probably alleged that the tobacco company appealed to impressionable youths, who did not/could not know any better. I imagine that his age came up as an issue in the trial. A 13-year-old cannot be expected to make decisions in the same way that an adult would. The plaintiff likely argued that once the smoker reached adulthood – and had the ability to make better decisions – it was too late; he had already been addicted for some 7+ years. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:42, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
There was a period of decades after which the cigarette companies knew it was addictive and caused cancer, and lied about it. Also, they did things like manipulate the nicotine level to cause addiction (you get a stronger than usual batch, then after smoking the normal amount of those, you are more addicted and have to smoke more after it drops back to the normal level). Then there is their attempt to cause addiction in kids, by fighting to keep cigarette machines legal, so kids can buy them, and using advertising themes like Joe Camel which appeal to kids. Finally, saying they "complied with the laws" isn't the whole story, as their lobbyists controlled what was legal and what wasn't. For example, they didn't have to disclose all the additives to the cigarettes, because they lobbied to prevent it. (One of the additives forms ammonia when burned, and I am allergic to ammonia, so that one really bothers me in cigarettes, but it's not in pipe tobacco, which therefore doesn't bother me at all.) StuRat (talk) 23:07, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
That reminds me of this story from decades ago. A cigarette company learns that this one particular guy has smoked more of their brand through the years than anyone else. They decide to give him an award of some kind. They call the guy's house and tell the wife about it. They want to come out the next morning. The wife says, "Better make it later in the day. He doesn't stop coughing until noon!" ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:18, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Needless to say, tobacco is evil. It causes all sorts of problems, it creates physiological dependence that dominates your life even before you got cancer or emphysema. Sure the tobacco companies CEOs and other executives were torn apart in those days. You must preserve a business, but on the other hand... I remember a congressional hearing whereas a senator asked an executive of a major company if he believed the cigarettes were not addictive. He said, yes, under oath. It was a horrible moment. He then had legal troubles for months because their own research clearly showed and documented that he was lying.

You must recall a wave of tobacco related lawsuits when the settlements were in billions. It was a decade back or so. The punitive damages went to the states ostensibly for anti tobacco education. To begin with education never worked. Nobody bothered to prove with a test run. So, the states misused the money, most likely hired hundreds of new bureaucrats and that was it. This is what I am talking about. People should leave the tobacco makers alone. This business is too old to tinker with. Fighting smoking should be done on individual level. And now we have the e-cigarets in the picture. What could be more confusing?

There are things we cannot change. You cannot undo tobacco damage. There is another issue I want to mention. It has been a belief for years that vitamins are antioxidants and they prolong life. Paradoxically it is just the opposite. They shorten your life by 2-3 years. I know why but this is not a place to go into it. If this is the case who will you sue? The plaintiff attorneys can sue only themselves over it. Thanks --AboutFace 22 (talk) 00:31, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

This clip shows seven tobacco CEOs declaring under oath that they believe that nicotine is not addictive. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 07:58, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
That's an attempt at plausible deniability. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:23, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Imagine what would have happened if American troups in WWI or WWII in the trenches were told that Ron Wyden would take away their smokes? Tobacco companies probably felt they were making major contribution to the victory. Life is full of such dualities. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 13:45, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

What has Wyden got to do with anything? Whatever, if it was known in 1917 or 1941 what cigarettes can do to you, it's not unlikely that the Army would have banned them. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:23, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

BMW of North America, Inc. v. Gore would be the case you're interested in, as would remittitur. Strangely, in all the rambling above I don't see any reference to these two obvious responses to the OPs actual question. Shadowjams (talk) 04:17, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

American civil war ten years before[edit]

A request for an original research prediction by Wikipedia editors would indeed be inappropriate. But I wonder if the timing of various major wars and the effects on the outcome has been a topic of "official war games" or scholarly books or papers? Like "If Leader X had waited 5 years to launch a certain war, historical events or trends A, B and C would have greatly aided or impaired his goals." If such research has been published by reliable sources, then it can be the basis for appropriate answers to "what-if" questions. It would be the analyses and conclusions of experts, not of us Wikipedia editors.That said, if such scholarly and authoritative American Civil War war games exist, they are hard to find, buried under mounds of hobby or recreational board games and online games about that war. But I know that it happens that on occasion famous battles and decisions of generals and leaders and fortuitous events are analyzed to see what effect alternatives would likely have had, with our 20/20 hindsight. Edison (talk) 02:19, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

The American Civil War was one of the first industrial wars, and the outcome was pretty well predicted by the comparative economic strengths of the North and South. A Civil War starting in 1850 would probably be similarly industrialized, in which case looking at historical numbers would give an answer. Wikipedia doesn't have much in the way of regional historical statistics ("early history" tends to stop before 1850, while "later history" starts after the war), but the ones I have found indicate that the South might have been even worse off: for example, between 1850 and 1860, railroad construction in the South took place faster than in the North. --Carnildo (talk) 02:30, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Outback Steakhouse[edit]

Outback Steakhouse is a US-based chain of restaurants that bills itself as an Australian-themed restaurant; its frequent advertising on TV and through venues such as the Outback Bowl (a US football game) make plenty of Americans aware of it, and probably most of us assume that it's based in Oz. Are there restaurants that fill a reciprocal position? I'm thinking an Australian-based chain, prominent in Australia, that bills itself as a US-themed restaurant. Places like McDonald's don't count, since they really are US-based. Nyttend (talk) 19:58, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Somehow I doubt it, because there are so many actual American restaurants there, the locals probably want less American food, not more. Also note that Outback doesn't really serve Australian food. Try ordering some Vegemite or roo/croc meat there and you'll just get a dirty look. StuRat (talk) 20:32, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Is vegemite sold anywhere in the US? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:52, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
It appears that the Vegemite brand is currently owned by an American company. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:00, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
It is available from 17 outlets in New York City alone, according to Yelp - vegemite New York, NY. Alansplodge (talk) 21:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Have you ever tried it? Is it tasty? It's got me curious. I don't know if they have it in the American midwest. But I'll follow that lead you posted. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:37, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
"Is it tasty?" is not a question that has any truth value. I've been eating it all my life, and I love the stuff (in fact, I think I'll go and have some on toast after I post this). But most Americans I know of who've ever tried it think it's ghastly. So, it very much depends whom you ask. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:44, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm sure. I'm just curious. I'll try most any food item once. I even like lutefisk, which many Norwegian-Americans (and many others) pretty much hate. Looks like the nearest Vegemite source in my neighborhood is Chicago. Rather than drive there, maybe I can order it online. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:03, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
@Baseball Bugs: American here, also love the stuff. I do have a bit of xenophilia with respect to food though. Any high brow grocery in the midwest will have either vegemite or marmite in stock (think Trader Joe's, World Market and the ilk) the difference between the two is subtle to the inexperienced (the slogan for marmite is "love it or hate it", and I think that applies to both products). Very salty stuff, the newbie mistake is to use too much. Salty, yeasty, beery type flavor, chock full of vitamins and minerals, made from beermaking waste products, popularized in the Great War, what's not to like? After realizing my local grocer sells marmite for nearly $7/125g, I've decided to order on Amazon. SemanticMantis (talk) 22:08, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Sounds like eating that literally means scraping the bottom of the (beer) barrel. StuRat (talk) 22:12, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
According to my country, that stuff should be driven into the sea (though they acknowledge it's not exactly unhealthy). That just makes it seem tastier, though, like cigarettes and beer. Still haven't found it, myself. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:16, July 21, 2014 (UTC)
Marmite was banned due to added vitamins and minerals ? That seems odd. I wonder what Canada has against those. (I suppose you can overdose on some, and they can be used as a way to market junk food as if it was healthy, like Hi-C.) StuRat (talk) 23:15, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
More a bureaucratic thing than a safety one. Something to do with this rule or that. I heard it all neatly explained on CBC Radio, but it didn't stick with me. The basic idea is that the products themselves are not banned. Only variations of them meant for other markets. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:28, July 22, 2014 (UTC)
Try it in the following ways: toast with butter, toast without butter, sandwich with butter, sandwich with butter and cheese, dissolved in a cup of boiling water, on a spoon by itself, as a flavouring and salt agent in soups / stews / pies. Fifelfoo (talk) 22:24, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
List of restaurant chains in Australia could be a good place to start research.Taknaran (talk) 20:58, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Certainly here in London there are plenty of home-grown "American diners" and "rib shacks" - we also used to have The Chicago Pizza Pie Factory chain, which had little to do with Chicago. Alansplodge (talk) 21:03, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Did they serve Chicago-style pizza? The deep-dish images in that article are what you expect to find at a pizza place with "Chicago" in the name in the US. Katie R (talk) 18:54, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Not an answer, but if you're interested in how American culture gets adapted/interpreted/appropriated/mocked around the world, you might like this blurb about American-themed parties in non-USA countries [64] SemanticMantis (talk) 22:11, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
"Are there restaurants that fill a reciprocal position?" Australia doesn't produce domestic restaurant chains outside of the US restaurant chain business model, importing the cultural elements wholesale. Amusingly Sizzler in the US and Internationally, which imported its business model wholesale to Australia, was for a period owned by Australian capital and is currently internationally owned by Australian capital. "I'm thinking an Australian-based chain, prominent in Australia, that bills itself as a US-themed restaurant." Australians receive American culture from American capital, the market is full and there's no reason or need to reinvent the wheel. Burger King was for a long time marketed as Hungry Jack's in Australia, due to local intellectual property and local franchisee decisions. "Americana" is celebrated in Australia as fast food, or tacky US chains. We get enough US culture shoved down our throats by invidious free trade agreements in media that the US is not "exotic" to us outside of US regional identities.
Moreover the Australian restaurant scene operates differently to the US. Australia has a sociologically "flatter" consumption of restaurant meals, with most people consuming a mixture of fast food including delivery, cafe type eating with significant elements of migrant cuisine (Australia has independently received Greek, Italian, Turkish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai food; without reference to international food trends). On top of this there's the Returned and Services League of Australia's / football club bainmarie or bistro. In capital cities there tends to be "fine dining". So there's a hole in the market for chains that bill themselves as restaurants. People who know expensive food access fine dining. For everyone else, the market has already filled the space that US chains would fit into. I've only seen the chains in car dependent Australian suburbs btw. Fifelfoo (talk) 22:23, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
If you're going to try Vegemite or marmite (or yarmite, i've heard of too), i too recommend you spread it sparingly on toast or cracker, as the intense salty-yeasty taste can be surprising. but it can quickly become a favorite. i'd also recommend a thin layer of margarine under ut. Good factoid about the beer waste. El duderino (abides) 08:51, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm curious because I haven't been to Australia, haven't ever seen an authentic "Australian restaurant," and in fact haven't even set foot in Outback. What is there to Australian cuisine other than steak and vegemite? I understand that kangaroo and crocodile are served, but do most Australians eat those meats very often? How is Australian food distinct from mainstream American food? Does Australia carry on British traditions such as Yorkshire pudding and savory pies? Thanks. Marco polo (talk) 14:26, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
We do have an article Australian_cuisine. My experience as an American staying there for ~6 weeks with an academic family, eating at home, take out, and clubs: vaguely similar to food in USA, more curries and Indonesian food available. They do a bit of the meet pie which I associate with UK. Ordering coffee was a bit confusing. I'm sure our resident Ozzies can add more, but thought you might like a foreigner's perspective. Also might be worth starting a new thread if you want more info? SemanticMantis (talk) 15:03, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Speaking as someone born, raised and living in Australia. "Australian national identity" is hotly contested. Mostly Australian cuisines are modified cuisines from elsewhere (Irish/British, Chinese, Italian, Greek, Turkish, Vietnamese). Chicken parmies are not Italian from Italy, but are actually pretty damn anglo. Individual serve meat pies are a snack food eaten in unusual quantities, but this isn't cuisine. Most people living in Australia do not regularly or even yearly eat roo, emu or crocodile. "Damper" is an advertising campaign for nationalism. Australian coffee culture is different, as it developed independently. In fact, generally, Australian food culture has developed since the 1980s, and is marked by the fact. "Steak" and "vegemite" aren't part of a cuisine, they're stuff you do at home. Australian food tends to be less processed than US food, less heavily marketed, the sugar tends to be hidden, agricultural capital tends to be state based (or retain state based marketing). Few Australians eat Yorkshire pudding. Many Australians have a meat and three veg mentality, or spag bol, or stir fry, or fuck it, lets get take out nothing's washed in the kitchen. Fifelfoo (talk) 01:38, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
You will wish to read this article on early 20th century Greek or "Fish" cafes. Fifelfoo (talk) 03:41, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Another related non-answer: Texas Roadhouse has nothing to do with TX (not started there, owned there, etc), but is marketed as "Texan" steak in the midwest and other areas of the USA. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:05, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, Texas Roadhouse does it least have "Texas-sized" steaks. They offer a 23 oz steak, more than twice the size of Outback's largest 11 oz steak. Besides size, I'm not sure there's all that much different about Texas cuisine than other states. A bit more Tex-Mex, of course, but that's just a matter of degree, as you can get that type of food anywhere in the US. StuRat (talk) 19:40, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Even less related, but I find endlessly hilarious the massive campaign of advertisements/commercials on UK television (are they still going?), advertising something like "proper pizza just like at a real Italian pizzeria" (there's something wrong with that wikilink, can you spot it?). Complete with mouth-watering footage of said pizza, and backgrounds of said pizzeria. Then at the end, a huge caption saying MADE IN GERMANY. (I assume frozen.)
This would be like Canadian television having a colossal advertising campaign for "proper American hamburgers just like at a real USA roadhouse", ending with a huge caption saying MADE IN CHINA.
Then of course there's Werther's Original... --Demiurge1000 (talk) 19:10, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I wonder it it's really authentic Italian-style pizza, which is to say, boring. The Americans came up with the idea of allowing you to specify from an endless list of toppings and then pick it up or get it delivered. If they really don't allow pickups or delivery, and only have 1 or 2 basic pizzas, with no customization allowed, then they are "authentic Italian". StuRat (talk) 19:33, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Pizza says otherwise! It also has more references than you do, although perhaps that's only for now. Maybe we could improve the pizza article with any references you have for this type of pizza? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 20:08, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Some examples of chains claiming an ethnicity without actually having a direct link to said culture: Taco Bell, Wienerschnitzel, Arctic Circle, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Au Bon Pain, Quiznos and of course that Kiwi favourite, Hell Pizza.DOR (HK) (talk) 04:08, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

ISIS Fines for Christianity[edit]

Both CNN and BBC news report that the ISIS self-proclaimed Caliphate issued an ultimatum to Iraqi Christians living in Mosul that they must convert to Islam, pay a fine or face "death by the sword." CNN also expresses the words in italics as pay extra "jizya" tax and quotes an ISIS governor's declaration that any family not converting to Islam would be required to pay 550,000 Iraqi dinar (about $470). Earlier The Telegraph reported ISIS promising that Christians in Syria who pay Jizya tax will not be harmed and will be allowed to worship privately, maintain their own clergy without interference and keep their own cemeteries. Is there any material evidence of such a "christian permit" tax actually being administered in ISIS controlled areas, such as documents from an office for receiving payments on behalf of christian residents? (talk) 22:23, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

If I can add a question, is this tax annual, monthly, one-time or what? InedibleHulk (talk) 22:30, July 21, 2014 (UTC)
I see people can pay in two installments per year. Sounds annual. One thing to clarify, it's not that any Christian needs to pay four gold dinars. Middle-class pay two and the poor just one (about $117). At least in Syria. Shouldn't be a difference though, if it's all one caliphate now. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:36, July 21, 2014 (UTC)
See Jizya. This is not a new idea; it's been around since the Pact of Umar, a very early Islamic document pseudepigraphically attributed to the Caliph Umar, who died in AD 644. Those with the status of "dhimmi" (non-Muslims who aren't polytheists, e.g. Christians and Jews) are permitted to live in Muslim lands, but among other things they're not allowed to bear arms and are required to pay a tax, known as jizya, to pay for (among other things) extra Muslim soldiers needed to take the place of the unarmed dhimmis in the army. Nyttend (talk) 23:49, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Same half-half-half scale all the way through, too, it seems. I wish "Western" tax codes were that simple and consistent. Thanks for the link. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:04, July 22, 2014 (UTC)

pig's skin which covers a Muslim, avoids arriving to heaven?[edit]

Is there a credible origin / reference for the believing that a dead Muslim who is covered with a pig's skin, he will not enter to heaven? (talk) 22:42, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Like most superstitions, the root source will likely seem incredible to many. Unclean animal may be a good place to start digging. Or Islam and animals#Views regarding particular animals. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:58, July 21, 2014 (UTC)
A common myth, see (I find it odd that many Orthodox Jews—my own schoolmates, for example—believe this myth about Muslims, when Judaism's views of "unclean animals" are extremely similar to Muslims'.) הסרפד (call me Hasirpad) 23:04, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Plus, the logical conclusion of that belief would righteous indignation against whoever desecrated the body of a co-religionist, whether or not they believed it somehow affected how God judges their lifelong faith and/or good acts. Ian.thomson (talk) 23:07, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
As for the "myth" (Snopes calls it undetermined), Wikipedia's own Moro Rebellion mentions it, and it's one of the few claims in that article with a citation. Depends if you can trust a guy named D.P. Mannix, I guess. Doesn't say Pershing did it, just "Americans". InedibleHulk (talk) 01:41, July 22, 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't say that the porcine contact prevented the dead from entering heaven, though, and there are other explanations besides that (like "the Muslims couldn't bury their dead," or "the Muslims felt that their co-religionists' bodies had been defiled"). Ian.thomson (talk) 01:53, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
True enough. I agree with "undetermined" more than "false" in this case. Doesn't help that "defilement" itself has various meanings. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:55, July 22, 2014 (UTC)
I was referring to the generalization about Muslim belief (which Snopes does debunk, indirectly) not to the particular incident discussed there. הסרפד (call me Hasirpad) 02:13, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
All good. Thanks for clarifying. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:25, July 22, 2014 (UTC)
Worth considering the Koran: "And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision." Open for interpretation, of course, but many take it to mean something like absolution. Touching pig guts doesn't affect jihadis who believe this. Neither does anything. But only Allah can know who truly died in his cause, and not just for war's sake. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:55, July 22, 2014 (UTC)

July 22[edit]

Family businesses[edit]

Is it common in family businesses for family members to be given special treatment such as automatic entry, higher pay and being given more responsibility quicker? If so, is this a good idea?

I don't know how common, or if that's even empirically measurable, but our article on Nepotism is a good place to start, particularly the business [65] section and its references. El duderino (abides) 08:58, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Have you read family business yet? InedibleHulk (talk) 09:02, July 22, 2014 (UTC)
It must depend very much upon which country, as laws and cultures differ. Also on the size of the business and how long it has been established. In the case of a small shop it is often more the case that the children are pressurised to work in the business, rather than being given any privileges. A larger business might have equal opportunities policies relating to recruitment and family members would be treated the same as any other employees. As for whether it is a good idea, you would have to look at some how-to-run-your-business guides. Itsmejudith (talk) 09:05, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. In a small business, all the employees may be family members, so that simplifies things. Once they start to hire outside workers, though, then they need to consider how lack of advancement, etc., for non-family members may lower morale, increase turnover, etc. StuRat (talk) 12:57, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Everyone loves Lepidus[edit]

Having done my best recently to improve the article on Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (triumvir), the forgotten one of the Second Triumvirate, I had a look at the article traffic statistics. Normally Marcus gets a solid by unexciting 150-200 views a day. Suddenly, on the 11th-12th of this month he leaped up to rock star-like levels, getting 25000 hits [66]. Anyone know why? Was some politician somewhere compared to him? Was there news that some big actor will be playing him? I can't find an answer and the mystery is disturbing me. Paul B (talk) 15:13, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

I suppose it might have to do with the current production of Julius Caesar, in which Lepidus is a significant character, by Shakespeare & Company and coincidentally by several other Shakespeare production companies across the United States this summer. Marco polo (talk) 15:46, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Here's a likely answer: Info about Augustus was posted [67] to a popular subReddit on July 10, linking to Vedius_Pollio (note his even more dramatic spike [68]). Somewhere in the thread, Lepidus was mentioned, and redditors went nuts on their Roman history over the next few days. We have an article on the Slashdot_effect, and the Reddit "Hug of death" is the analogous term. If you doubt the numbers, that subreddit currently has 6,100,724 subscribers, and when I checked the page there were ~10k viewing at that moment -- Reddit is massively popular, and whenever something gets and odd surge of traffic, they are likely an impetus, if not the sole cause. (Post EC with Marco Polo, I don't think the world of live theater fans has anywhere near the acute impact on internet traffic that reddit does these days.) SemanticMantis (talk) 15:55, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I suspect you are right, SemanticMantis. My thinking was skewed by the fact that I am a live theater fan and had never navigated to Reddit before I clicked your link. But I know that I am far from typical. Marco polo (talk) 18:06, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
No worries. To anyone who is reading who is unfamiliar with Reddit and been online for a while, it's a bit like a modern version of the old Usenet, with a far larger userbase, and all the great and horrible things that implies ;) SemanticMantis (talk) 20:04, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

American Curl meme[edit]

I'm trying to figure out another internet feline meme. I've seen it on YouTube. That cat is an American Curl. It's also a munchkin, like Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub. Does that American Curl have a name and her own webpage? Anyone know? (talk) 20:12, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Is the concept of race really a social construct?[edit]

Most scientists agree that the concept of race is a social construct with little to no biological and genetic basis. So, is it a contradiction to say that race is a social construct, but use DNA testing to determine where one’s ancestors came from hundreds to thousands of years ago, what race or races they were, what kinds of illnesses and diseases would I be susceptible to, etc? How can one reconcile this apparent contradiction? Willminator (talk) 21:53, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Just call them gene pools instead of races. StuRat (talk) 02:06, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't think there's a contradiction. As long as you look at races as having fuzzy dividers. There's no distinct line between races the way we often view it socially, but there are biological differences between races in the same way that there are biological differences between individuals. It's just that certain types of genes are more likely to be located in certain geographic areas than others leaving people in one area to be more similar genetically than people separated for thousands of years. Bali88 (talk) 04:04, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Coming out of self-imposed retirement to deal with this question again. Your premise is flawed. I don't know who you've been listening to, but race is most definitely not a social construct. There are extensive genetic differences between different populations, which have significant effect on things like drug metabolism and disease susceptibility. Now, these populations may not always overlap with the 'traditional' boundaries of races, but to say race has no biological meaning is a large pile of bovine excrement. Basically, as the above says! Fgf10 (talk) 06:48, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
The differences are real, the social constructs are the divisions according to the differences. We're all pretty different, in different ways. We (general we) could have chosen to focus more on tall vs short, but we picked skin colour as the "big one". InedibleHulk (talk) 07:24, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
It's not just skin color or other physical features, it's the social construct "us" vs. "them". Note how often someone who puts down the Irish, for example, would be accused of "racism", despite the fact there's no such thing as an Irish "race". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:58, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
The accuser would be wrong. Like you say, there's no race there. Sectarianism, elitism or xenophobia would be better accusations. Racism's a sort of "us vs them", but a specific kind. InedibleHulk (talk) 15:32, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
  • There is obviously a contradiction between saying that race is a social construct and using DNA to determine what race your ancestors were. But there is no necessary conflict between saying that race is a social construct and using DNA to determine what part of the world your ancestors come from. It is 100% possible to study the genetics of human geographic variation without ever using the word "race". Looie496 (talk) 15:18, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Agree with Looie on the specific question. For the other comments: at risk of supplying the obvious references, we have an article on Race_(human_classification). A key quote:
... there is a broad scientific agreement that essentialist and typological conceptualizations of race are untenable
(emphasis mine) See also the section Race_(human_classification)#Social_constructions, which says
As anthropologists and other evolutionary scientists have shifted away from the language of race to the term population to talk about genetic differences, historians, cultural anthropologists and other social scientists re-conceptualized the term "race" as a cultural category or social construct—a particular way that some people talk about themselves and others.
(emphasis still mine). So, the WP perspective (supported by many WP:RS citations) is that race is indeed largely a cultural construct, but there are indeed differences between different human populations. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:43, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Most importantly, the things we call "races" do not bear direct connection to genetics in the way that most cultures have defined races. For example, in America, most people would consider the three people below to be of the same race, after all they have similar skin tone, facial features, hair type, etc.:
  • However, the first is an Australian Aborigine, the second is native Filipino, and the third is South African. Yet, if you polled 100 people in the U.S., all 100 would say they were all the same race; despite the fact that these three people come from isolated populations that have no more genetic relationship to each other than they would to any other randomly selected people groups. THAT is why race is not a biological concept. Almost every culture in the world defines race differently, and they all define race in superficial ways where the definitions do not match genetics. We can group people based on genetic relationships. However, the connection between those groupings and "race" doesn't bear out in any meaningful way. --Jayron32 16:40, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Also, there have been cases of twins who come out from interracial couples appear of different races, one looks black while the other looks white for example, like this example. The narrator of the video gives a genetic explanation of why it happens from 1:00-1:30 and he says that skin color is determined by several genes working together. I was confused because I thought most scientists believe that race has more social, cultural basis than a biological, genetic one. I thought race did not bear any connections with genetics as you said, so how is a genetic explanation even possible in cases like this? Willminator (talk) 18:41, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
No, skin color is genetic. And it is genetic in complicated ways; the genes that give someone from Africa dark skin are different than the genes that give someone from Australia dark skin. Furthermore, race is a STILL a social construct. And here is why. It appears that your culture bases its definition of race upon skin color. But as shown above, two people with similar physical appearances can be as genetically unrelated as anyone else. The issue is not "African-American people cannot be genetically identified as different than White Americans". They absolutely can. The issue is that the American (and broader Eurocentric or Western) definitions of race, based on a few cherry-picked physical characteristics such as skin tone, hair, and facial features are NOT universal. If an American met the lady in the picture above, assuming she was either African or had recent African ancestors, they'd be VERY VERY wrong. And yet, most Americans would do just that. Because the American concept of human variation is VERY LIMITED, to those people groups which populated the U.S. historically. The U.S. paradigm is that people fit into four main groups (if I may be so crude): Black, White, Red, and Yellow. That's because, by and large, America was initially settled primarily by four people groups: Northeastern Europeans (Britain, Ireland, Germany, and to a lesser extend Scandinavia and France), Coastal West Africans, East Asians (Primarily Han Chinese and Japanese), and Native Americans. People who came to America later got shoehorned into those four categories, because American culture sees the term in those four races, for example Italians and Russians and Spaniards get thought of as "White people" even though they look markedly different than the Irish or Germans, because they look somewhat more like Irish and Germans than they do look like the Japanese or West Africans. But when you look at the world, variation between people groups is far more subtle and continuous. There are not sharp divides among people groups into a small set of distinct races, and any physical characteristic you use changes subtly as you move across the globe. That's why race is a social category and not a scientific one. There are not a smallish subset of groups which have a clear genetic makeup you can cram people in. There ARE meaningful genetic groups you can put people in, but there are not 4 or 5. It's probably closer to 4000 or 5000. --Jayron32 21:12, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
In that case, race refers only to skin color, not to language, culture, genetics, or anything else that it normally associates with. Obviously skin color is not social or cultural--you can't change your skin color just by changing your beliefs. --Bowlhover (talk) 19:17, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
And it's a really poor definer of race. HiLo48 (talk) 20:58, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I think you're still confused. My links and quotes above describe that most scientists now understand that most concepts of "races" are just social constructs, and do not match up with more scientific ways of grouping people. Jayron points out that defining "race" in terms of skin color does not match up with our understanding of how closely related people are via their genetics. However, skin color absolutely does have a genetic component (there is also an environmental component, e.g. sun tan.) The example you give is very interesting and perhaps even counterintuitive. But it is also rather uncommon for two very light-skinned people to have a very dark-skinned child. If you want to read up on how skin tone is influenced by genetics, see Skin_tone#Genetics_of_skin_color_variation. The key here is that skin tones are not a valid way of dividing up people in a way that aligns with genetic groupings. But that doesn't mean that skin tone can't be genetically controlled. Make sense now? SemanticMantis (talk) 21:16, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

July 23[edit]

Is there a philosophical notion for the inability of a corpse to have faith?[edit]

An old discussion I had on death was recently dug up on another Desk. Not revived, mind you. What's done is done and what's gone is "deceased". All good. But something I said there (and someone's recent question here) got me to thinking of something I can't seem to put into Google terms.

Is there a school of thought (or even a lesson) about how those who believe faith itself is what promises eternity are doomed, since dead people can't believe anything, thus automatically lose their faith and all the perks?

Don't confuse this with a question about whether this is how the world works. Things like that are best left unknown. Just things like who discussed it, where, when, why and how it went. What new words (if any) were invented? InedibleHulk (talk) 07:19, July 23, 2014 (UTC)

I can't imagine there's much discussion of it, because the premises are self-contradictory. Most beliefs about eternal life assume a soul-body dichotomy, with the implicit assumption that it is the soul that has faith, and thus can live forever. AlexTiefling (talk) 11:07, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Hadn't even considered that. Are you sure it's common? Took a quick look around for that idea, I see theosophy believes this. First I've heard of that, though. (Had heard of it after all, just not the name.) I'll look around some more. InedibleHulk (talk) 11:29, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
The notion that the body and the soul are separate would be common among pretty much all religions that believes in an afterlife. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:54, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
No, I mean the distinction between the soul and the brain part of the body. Is it common for the soul to do the thinking? InedibleHulk (talk) 12:27, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
The belief is that the soul remains intact regardless of what happens to the brain. Consider the case of someone suffering from dementia. Obvously, their personality and thought processes are significantly impaired. The soul is not likewise impaired. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:36, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
OK, so the soul's intact. I get that part. But if the person's brain is demented and they can't even remember their religion, can they use their soul to believe in it instead? If so, citation needed. Fate of the unlearned shows a lot of disagreement about what happens to those who don't know before they die, but they all seem to agree there's a difference between them and those who know, even though they all have souls. InedibleHulk (talk) 12:49, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
The belief would be that once they're "saved", then they stay saved. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:52, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
That doesn't seem true for those that believe in mortal sin. InedibleHulk (talk) 13:21, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
Not all denominations within Christianity believe in a ethereal soul, at least one believes that a soul is simply another term for a living being, composed of body instilled with the breath of God. Meaning that consequentially, there is no consciousness between death and the advent resurrection. Plasmic Physics (talk) 12:59, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
True. As if the soul goes into cold storage or something. But either way, separate from the physical body, yes? (Where's Jayron when we need him?) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:15, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Apparently, all the "soul"s in the Old Testament were intended in that "complete living being" way. Nephesh, they say. InedibleHulk (talk) 13:21, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
I've usually seen Nephesh used more in the context of a life force, and Ruach for the person's collected consciousness (not merely their consciousness in that moment, but their true self).
Part of the problem, I think, is that most people no longer distinguish between the life force, collected total identity (what one's Heavenly Wikipedia article would look like when all is said and done), and one's current identity. Older philosophy, religion, mysticism, and magic does. You have the Greek Psyche and Pneuma, the Indian Prana and Atman, the Egyptian Ka and Ba, and the Chinese Qi and Shen. While there are differences in finer details (sometimes splitting one aspect into different facets like "rational" and "emotional" or "hungry" and "horny," or treating the two as a spectrum, with different shades of grey being distinct spiritual elements), and major differences in what happens after you die, the idea is that one is the (now scientifically disproven) life force (like the Odic force or Orgone), while the other is a hypothetical reconciled collection of every stage of your consciousness (of which your current identity is only a portion of). The life force (so say the mystics) may receive impressions of the consciousness, akin to jello being left in a mold long enough. Distinguishing between the two is also why I really don't get why everyone thinks the Christian afterlife and reincarnation are irreconcilable: most of the religions that teach reincarnation hold that the consciousness is impermanent and focus more on a peaceful transition of the life force, while the Christian afterlife (at least in some of the religion's mysticism) assumes that the life force is mortal and needs to be replaced by Jesus and the Holy Spirit if the identity is to survive. Lurianic Kabbalah gets it.
Anyway, to answer the original question: most such religions hold that when the body dies, the brain only hosts the current "page" of the book of the person's overall identity, and it's the whole book that gets put on the top shelf. Ian.thomson (talk) 14:59, 23 July 2014 (UTC)


what is the source of le corbusiere's statement that a home should be a treasure-chest? (talk) 10:50, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Where did you see that? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:55, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
It appears on BrainyQuote as: "The home should be the treasure chest of living.". Alansplodge (talk) 12:55, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
At this point I'm not sure what the OP is asking: The specific source of the quote? Or the meaning of the quote? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:13, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
If you can provide a reference that answers either question, don't feel inhibited. I was only able to find it only popular quotation sites, which don't help much. Alansplodge (talk) 18:01, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I suspect Vers une architecture, but I can't find a definitive link, either. ceranthor 19:21, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Why do Russians love to name their children "Alexei" and related names?[edit]

What's so special about "Alex" in Russian culture? (talk) 15:07, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Just a guess, but Russians like to think of themselves as European empire builders (they consider themselves European, if their empire extends well into Asia), so perhaps Alexander the Great serves as a model. Also note that the word Tsar is based on Ceasar. Neither communism nor the current post-communist period seems to have dampened their dreams of empire. StuRat (talk) 16:08, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Russia had three emperors named Alexander: "The Blessed", "The Liberator" and "The Peacemaker". Not so familiar with any, but those are rather "great" nicknames themselves. Seems reasonable they may have inspired some parents. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:22, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
Historically, Russia also saw itself as the Third Rome and made many self-conscious cultural connections to Classical Antiquity, both Greek and Roman culture. --Jayron32 16:29, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Alexei is not Alexander. The latter is shortened colloquially as Sasha. Peter the Great had the son Alexei who was tortured for joining a conspiracy against him. He died in prison. There have been no Russian rulers named Alexei. In Slavic lands the names for children are fixed by tradition and the church. People cannot deviate much. I think Alexei was a saint sometime in history. The pool of acceptable names is not that great. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 16:54, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, don't get Aleksandr I/II/III confused with Pyotr Alexeyevich's father or son, both of whom were Alexei. Bizarrely, we anglicise his father's name but not his son's. Nyttend (talk) 17:18, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Maybe Saint Alexius, Metropolitan of Moscow has a bearing on it. He "has been revered as one of the patron saints of Moscow" according to our article. Alansplodge (talk) 17:58, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

My apology. I just did a bit of a search and it turned out the second Romanov was Alexey. So I stand corrected. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 20:12, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
It ain't just the Russians. My Scottish grandfather was called Alec (short for Alexander), as were several other male ancestors from that line. Are the Scots empire builders? I teach Greek kids. Many are called Alex (for Alexander, et al). HiLo48 (talk) 20:55, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Since no one has linked it, see Alexey and Alexander. The two names share a similar etymology, but arrived in Russia via different paths, and thus in Russian are considered distinct names. The closest parallel I can think of in English are the names Jacob and James, which like Alexei and Alexander are distinct names with a common root. --Jayron32 20:58, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Royal Philatelic Collection[edit]

Who owns it: the Queen or the Crown? In other words, could Mrs Mountbatten-Windsor sell it like any other personal property, or would selling it require vaguely the same kind of procedures as selling a chunk of Crown land? The answer may be at this website, but my computer refuses to load it (but won't give a 404 or any other error message) for whatever reason. Nyttend (talk) 17:14, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

And that site says
"After the death of King George V, Edward VIII became King. He is said to have considered selling the Royal Philatelic Collection but did not do so. Although the Collection is the personal asset of the Sovereign, it was, and is, regarded as an heirloom to pass down."
Rojomoke (talk) 17:29, 23 July 2014 (UTC)


July 16[edit]

Velopharyngeal fricatives[edit]

According to Extensions to the International Phonetic Alphabet, the character ʩ represents a velopharyngeal fricative (snoring sound), which often occurs with a cleft palate. What does this mean? Are most velopharyngeal fricative sounds produced by people with cleft palates (i.e. the minority is non-cleft palates who can produce it), or are most people with cleft palates able to produce velopharyngeal fricative sounds (i.e. the minority is cleft palates who can't pronounce it)? Nyttend (talk) 05:52, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

I don't think it's meant to be about ability, about who can or cannot produce a velopharyngeal fricative, but about where you might hear it as part of spoken language. According to "FrathWiki", for example, it is not used phonemically in any natural or constructed language. The sound is categorized among articulation disorders (see for example Arnold Elvin Aronson's Clinical Voice Disorders, Thieme, 2009, p 58).
Another source says
"A velopharyngeal fricative produced without simultaneous oral articulatory activity would be transcribed with the symbol [ʩ]: thus SAFE as [ʩeɪʩ], although this is generally felt to occur only rarely in speech related to cleft palate, as usually the friction is simultaneous with an attempt by the speaker to produce an oral target."
(Cleft Palate Speech: Assessment and Intervention, Sara Howard and Anette Lohmander, John Wiley & Sons, 2012, p 133) ---Sluzzelin talk 17:46, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
The sound may not be used as a phoneme in a language, but I think this sound can be used in Nonverbal communication, e.g. a snort [69] can indicate derision or incipient laughter -- see e.g. these examples on Google Ngram [70]. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:29, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Jack In The Box[edit]

What would be the plural of this?

  • Jacks in the box? - this woud mean multiple Jacks in one box
  • Jack in the boxes? - this would mean the same Jack in all of the boxes
  • Jacks in the boxes - this seems to be more logical

KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 21:11, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Methinks you've asked this question before; see Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/2014 February 4#Jack In The Box Plural. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:25, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I have indeed. Thank you for pointing that out to me. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 23:01, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
You're most welcome. See, I'm a lazy sod, and I'm attracted to anything that avoids us having to reinvent the wheel. (But I have this fantastic new idea, about everyone in the world being connected through their computers, and antiquating many existing forms of communication. Radical, sure, but it just might catch on. I wonder where the nearest patent office is ... ). -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:17, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
You're a sarcastic b*stard, but you know I like you. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 00:55, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Bustard? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:07, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I always thought a bustard was a driver who didn't know his route. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 14:51, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Not to be confused with a busturd, which is what the homeless guy on that backseat leaves behind. StuRat (talk) 15:29, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Greek epsilon with caron[edit]

I'm looking for the Greek letter ε with a háček/caron needed for the IPA of pinyin. -- (talk) 23:50, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

See fr:Ɛ̌.—Wavelength (talk) 23:57, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
The hexadecimal HTML codes &#x0190;&#x030C; and &#x025B;&#x030C; produce Ɛ̌ and ɛ̌ respectively.
Wavelength (talk) 17:29, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
The proper glyph for open-mid front unrounded vowel, /ɛ/ is the latter, U+025B ɛ latin small letter open e. No such user (talk) 08:19, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

July 17[edit]

What does "Renaissance boy" in this sentence mean?[edit]

In Amis' book "Lionel Asbo:State of England",the following sentences can be read; "I fancy modern languages, sir. And history. And sociology. And astronomy. And- You can't study everything, you know. Yes I can. Renaissance boy, innit. ..You want to watch that smile,lad. All right.We will see about you."

And what's the "smile" ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:45, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

A "renaissance boy" is a younger equivalent of the renaissance man. As for what's meant by "You want to watch that smile, lad", I think it depends on the context. It might mean "Wipe that smirk off your face" but it might mean any of a number of other things. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 06:32, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

This question was asked and answered here two weeks ago.--Shantavira|feed me 15:14, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

What are the Chinese characters?[edit]

What are the Chinese characters here? File:ShanghaiUnknownHS.jpg

Thanks WhisperToMe (talk) 20:13, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Σσς(Sigma) 20:22, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Thank you! What about File:HongqiaoNewHighSchool.jpg? I can't find the Chinese name from the English. Also File:ShanghaiUnknownES.jpg and File:ShanghaiUnknownSecSchool.jpg

So 上海市澄衷初级中学 would be Shanghai City Chengzhong Junior High School, right? WhisperToMe (talk) 20:25, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

:The first one is too low-resolution to read, but the second is 虹口区丹徒路小学 and the third is 澄衷中学. Your translation for 上海市澄衷初级中学 seems right. --Bowlhover (talk) 05:07, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Meaning of series of symbols[edit]

Formerly Question

I dont get what የ ሓበሻ ሻ ጆ means. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:14, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

I am revising the heading of this section from Question to Meaning of series of symbols, in harmony with WP:TPOC, point 12 (Section headings). Please see Microcontent: How to Write Headlines, Page Titles, and Subject Lines. The new heading facilitates recognition of the topic in links and watchlists and tables of contents.
Wavelength (talk) 20:27, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
It's Amharic. The language of Ethiopia. I have no idea what it means. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 21:53, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
The Ge'ez script is used for various languages.
Wavelength (talk) 22:35, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
It appears to mean ya ḥābašā šā ǧo. Is that any help? Where did you find it? —Tamfang (talk) 05:40, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Habasha is the Arabic name for Ethiopia and/or Abyssinia; I expect that it's used in other languages as well. --Xuxl (talk) 12:00, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

July 18[edit]

Names' Names[edit]

Good Afternoon, I would be most grateful for your help in regard to a reference that is quoted in

The last paragraph of the inntroductory section of the article reads:

According to a 1988 study[1] of words ending in -onym, there are four discernible classes of -onym words: (1) historic, classic, or, for want of better terms, naturally occurring or common words; (2) scientific terminology, occurring in particular in linguistics, onomastics, etc.; (3) language games; and (4) nonce words. Older terms are known to gain new, sometimes contradictory, meanings (e.g., eponym and cryptonym). In many cases, two or more words describe the same phenomenon, but no precedence is discernable (e.g., necronym and penthonym). New words are sometimes created, the meaning of which duplicating existing terms. On occasion, new words are formed with little regard to historical principles.

and the reference [1] refers to Scheetz, Names' Names, p. 1.

The full title of that article is given later under 'References' and is

Names' Names: A Descriptive and Prescriptive Onymicon. (“What’s In a Name?” Chapbook Series; 2.) Sioux City, Ia.: Schütz Verlag, August 1988.

So far so good _but_ my researches so far have revealed that that article was some 20 pages in length and was issued by the author in a _very_ limited edition of just 50 copies and so far I have not been able to find a single one (:

However, it is clear that the author of the paragraph quoted above _must_ have had some form of access to Scheetz' publication.

Since I really would like to be able to read the entire publication I wondered if you could possibly contact the author and ask her/him to contact me

I appreciate that this is an unusual request and it is not made lightly and I hope that you will feel able to help

Many thanks Yours Michael Message (talk) 10:44, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Looking at the history of that page, the information was added by User:PlaysInPeoria in this edit [71]. You would probably need to ask that editor (PlaysInPeoria). It looks like they're still occasionally active, and including a link to their name here in this comment should mean they receive a notification to join this conversation. (talk) 13:19, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
The other place to ask is at the resource exchange. --ColinFine (talk) 15:45, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

off of[edit]

Hello. What does it mean to say "I'm living off of grass", it's from the song Something in the Way. -- (talk) 15:44, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

"Off of" is normal in some dialects of English where other dialects (and Standard Englishes) use "off" or "from". So "living off of" means the same as "living off". What "grass" means in this song I couldn't say without context. Quite likely cannabis, but it may be something else. --ColinFine (talk) 15:48, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
So, taken literally, it would mean "I derive all my nutritional needs from grass". Unless the singer happens to be a ruminant, I find this unlikely, so it probably means "I smoke a large quantity of cannabis", as noted above. StuRat (talk) 17:14, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Just to say that the lyrics were written by Kurt Cobain who comes from Aberdeen, Washington, so "off of" must have some colloquial use in the USA too. Looking at the lyrics on Google, it talks about the subject living under a bridge and not having the heart to kill the animals that he traps, so it's possible that it means that he lives in such straightened circumstances that he's reduced to eating grass for sustenance (I know humans can't digest grass, but Cobain may not have done). Besides that, looking for sense in popular music lyrics is often a fruitless pursuit. 17:53, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
It's OK to eat fish, because they're not made of cellulose. And "they don't have any feelings." InedibleHulk (talk) 18:41, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
But, as the song article says, if Cobain was literally under the bridge, he'd have been swept away by the Wishkah River. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:46, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
Probably not what Kurt meant, but I'll note that contrary to some comments above, millions of people derive their sustenance primarily from grass grass. Another thing to consider is that "I went off of [stuff]" can mean "I stopped using [stuff]]" in some contexts. But in my experience "living off of" would mean something like "sustaining myself by," e.g. "living off of my inheritance." does not mean that the speaker eats her inheritance, but that it provides a means for living.
As for people being so hungry that they eat non-nutritive turf grasses, there are many reports of such in the media [72], [73]. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:04, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
From my experience, having weed for yourself at night is harder when you're homeless. Friends will share while you're couch-surfing, but generally won't follow you under the bridge (where he may indeed have slept a few times). When you're sober, alone and getting dripped on, depression and introspection follow, and if you're a songwriter, something like "Something in the Way" may occur.
Also keep in mind, cats eat grass to purge their systems. Could be that "living off of grass" means "getting off of something else". Something that was in the way, perhaps. Cats seem a common animal to trap and befriend in Aberdeen, and may have given him the fishing idea, too. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:27, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
The recent release of the film Jersey Boys has re-ignited discussion over the original title of Can't Take My Eyes Off (Of) You. HiLo48 (talk) 09:13, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Franki Valli sang it without the "of". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:12, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Just to remind everyone, while the narrow question of what the "off of" means, we've all likely over analyzed what the deeper meaning of the song is. Cobain wrote (like many writers) for many different reasons, and "telling a literal autobiographical story which was entirely plausible and likely could happen" is but one possibility, and is likely not even the meaning behind this one song. Cobain wrote many songs based on the meter, rhythm, and sounds of the words themselves rather than having any inherent meaning; his songs could also have emotional or allegorical meaning. After scanning some google searches on meanings of this song, I'm led to think that Charles R. Cross's biography of Cobain titled Heavier Than Heaven may have some insight as to Cobain's songwriting process and the meaning of this song in particular. Several websites I have found say as much. I've not read it, but if someone wants to know what Cobain really meant behind his words, it would be a good way to start. --Jayron32 15:45, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I've heard him say about as much about "meaning" in interviews. If "nothing on the top but a bucket and a mop, and an illustrated book about birds" goes any deeper than syllables, I'd be shocked. But this one has always seemed uniquely straightforward. Of course, that may just be my own paleomammalian complex reacting to the sound itself. The esteemed psychologist Alfred M. Yankovic may have clearly explained the unexplainable in "Smells Like Nirvana". Bargling noodle zous (or nawdle zouss) does beat raising cattle. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:58, July 20, 2014 (UTC)

Hard on[edit]

What is the origin and etymology of this word/phrase?-- (talk) 20:07, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

As in erections or "you're being too hard on him". StuRat (talk) 20:36, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
First known use for a boner is 1888. I imagine it's simply because it gets "hard on" you. Like it gets "wide on" the others. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:39, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
There is a shop in Japan which uses the opposite. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 20:42, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Heh...junk. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:44, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
And there's this little shop in Redmond, which also qualifies as the opposite to "hard-on". They bought Nokia; wonder if they're gonna buy Pfizer too. - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 05:51, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

July 19[edit]

leaving by the back door[edit]

In the sentence: "He left quietly by the back door, with as much dignity as he could muster." is "by" correct? My gut is mildly objecting and wants to replace it with "through" or "via". (My native ENGVAR is South African, the source of the sentence is British - probably what we now call "upper middle class" - from the 1950s). Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 07:51, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Native Brit here, I see no problem with that sentence. --TammyMoet (talk) 08:55, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Native USA'ian here. "By" is just fine there. I've heard and read it that way countless times. "Via" means "by way of". Just "by" by itself could be a shorter way of saying that. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 08:56, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Native Aussie here. It's fine by me. Some people might prefer "through the back door", which if read literally would be quite painful. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 09:06, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
See File:1885 Punch three-volume-novel-parody Priestman-Atkinson.png for a little drawing of someone departing "through" a door... AnonMoos (talk) 19:18, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree with all the above responses, that "by" is fine. But my introspection suggests a slight difference of meaning from "through" or "via". To me "by the back door" suggests that the back door is in a sense what he used to leave (tool, or method), as opposed to where he went through (route). I can't find any practical difference, but it has that feel to me. --ColinFine (talk) 09:11, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Native Brit here. 'By' is fine. It means 'using', basically. If you said 'he went home by car', that would make sense. If you said he went home through the car, that would mean he got in one side and got out of the other side on his wy home. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 09:18, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Native ESL speaker here:o) The rest of the sentence would imply that the phrase “by the backdoor” carries some additional semantics. The backdoor (as opposed to front door) would be the entrance / the exit for tradesmen, domestics and lower class nobodies. Thus “leaving by the backdoor” may imply that the person is “sneaking out” in shame. Knowing the source of the citation may help. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 15:22, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes and that may have been intentional on the part of the writer, especially given the second clause of the sentence. --TammyMoet (talk) 16:43, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Isn't the term 'native ESL' a contradiction? El duderino (abides) 09:04, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Cookatoo is from the little known country of Eslonia, who have reserved first language status for Eslonian, naturally, but use English as a second language. They're very insular, having no diplomatic links with any other countries. They once opened a consulate in Estonia because they and the Estonians were sick to death of being mistaken for each other, but that only seemed to make matters worse, so they shut it down. The 1992 World Cartographic Conference made it an item of the first importance to set up a working committee which is undertaking a scoping study to establish where exactly Eslonia is. They're working feverishly to a tight deadline: they're required to produce their preliminary report by the end of 2025, with the full 200-volume report and recommendations to be submitted by 2035. Watch this space. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:21, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Related Languages[edit]

I know that languages are grouped based on their roots, or presumed roots. Couldn't it be acceptable, however, to say that languages that have borrowed from each other are also related? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 09:26, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

For linguists, it is rather important to keep these concepts apart, so we will typically insist that "related" can only be used in the genetic sense. In other cases we may speak of languages that have "converged", or of a "convergence area", a "sprachbund", or a language heavily "influenced" by another, and so on. Fut.Perf. 09:40, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
The distinction can be slightly blurry. Borrowing individual words would not make languages typologically related, but there are cases of languages adopting significant grammatical constructions from other languages when their communities are in contact. So English is an unambiguously Germanic language but which nonetheless has a little bit of Celtic syntax and a little bit of Romance word formation. Peter Grey (talk) 17:36, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

KageTora -- before 1800, most educated people would have had little reluctance to say that English was vaguely "related" to both French and Dutch (though Joseph Justus Scaliger was already classifying European languages by their word for "God"), but since that time linguists have been able to discern several different and distinct ways in which languages can have similarities, and don't wish to lapse into earlier terminological confusion... AnonMoos (talk) 19:11, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

I am quite aware of linguistics, having studied it for years. I was just putting forward a theory. Perhaps this is the wrong place, as it is not a forum for discussion. I was just wondering if anyone had any links to a book or something which had the same idea.

KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 23:13, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Linguistics already has a long-standing genetic/genealogical analogy (mentioned by Fut.Perf. above), wherein one language can "give birth" to another, which then inherits certain traits and features of the "parent". I think the biological analogue of what you're describing would be horizontal gene transfer. A quick google of /horizontal transfer lingustics/ brought up this book [74], and this tantalizing scrap of what appears to be an abstract for a work in progress [75]. Hope that helps, SemanticMantis (talk) 22:24, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Arab place name[edit]

Al Karak has the initial 'al' the article title, which I believe is a bit unusual among Arab place names in Am I correct? Is there a reason for this? A policy? trespassers william (talk) 21:11, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

It's fairly common, though there's inconsistency due to spelling the article "al" or "el", and separating it from the following word with a space or a hyphen, or joining the two directly together... AnonMoos (talk) 01:01, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
It used to be Kerak, but was moved, somewhat arbitrarily, I always thought. Adam Bishop (talk) 11:39, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

July 20[edit]

or not[edit]

What tone is implied by ending a question with the phrase "or not"? Seems to me it may imply impatience or perhaps a demand for a response. --Halcatalyst (talk) 00:48, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

I think you need to give an example so we understand the context. HiLo48 (talk) 00:55, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Halcatalyst -- do you mean that "or not" at the end of a sentence becomes like a Tag question? -- AnonMoos (talk) 01:05, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
"Or not" can sometimes mean that the speaker is trying to take back whatever he just said, usually because whoever he's speaking to is reacting negatively. The implication may be that the speaker is thoughtless or self-absorbed, but there may also be an implication that the other person is a cruel, irrational meanie. A classic example:
Husband: "Honey, wouldn't you love a new toilet brush set for your birthday?"
Wife: (glowers menacingly)
Husband: "...or not."
That's not the only possibility, though. --NellieBly (talk) 02:39, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
That's the only way I hear it (at least as a two-word phrase). A form of wembling or conflict avoidance. Interchangeable with "On second thought..." or "Then again...". People (typically men on TV) who use the terms can't decide what the better idea is, just know they're wrong, somehow, and scared to guess again. Something like a tag question, without the explicit question. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:12, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
  • Examples might include: "Are you coming or not?" - "Is it raining or not?" - "Do you want to dance or not?" - "Are the kids fed or not?" --Halcatalyst (talk) 03:30, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
  • It's going to depend on the way it's said. You put a question mark only at the end, which to me implies that it's not said in an angry way, in which case it doesn't "imply impatience or perhaps a demand for a response".
  • Add an exclamation mark, to show it's said in an angry way, and then it does.
  • Adding a pause could also imply uncertainty or lack of confidence: "Do you want to dance ... or not ?".
  • Another case is where something changes mid-sentence: "Shall we eat dinner now ?" (opens oven door and smoke billows out) "... or not ?" StuRat (talk) 03:39, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
In other words, the use of the phrase isn't enough to imply any particular tone. -- (talk) 04:06, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
But if you read someone yell "NOT!!!" after a sentence, it's proper to imagine in Wayne and/or Garth's's tone. Far less common today than a generation ago. I wish I could yell "NOT!!!" after that, but it's true. Still pops up here and there, though. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:30, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
Unless there's a special case of the sort StuRat describes above, I'd say that the normal meaning is to ask the question neutrally - it removes the expectation of a positive answer that the question might have otherwise. It also makes it explicitly a closed question (which I think is where the secondary implication of wanting an immediate answer comes from). AlexTiefling (talk) 09:26, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

interlingual communication[edit]

I’m trying to find the name of this phenomenon. Essentially, it’s when people are speaking separate languages to each other, but still comprehend each other. What is this? -- (talk) 03:58, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

The closest term I can come up with at the moment is "receptive bilingualism". That section uses an example that is similar to what you are talking about.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 04:54, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Typical of conversations between generations in immigrant households. -- Deborahjay (talk) 06:40, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Some linguists also call it "semi-communication", although I personally find that a bit of a misnomer. Fut.Perf. 09:01, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
"Semicommunication"? What a bizarre term. There's even a movie about this, Um Filme Falado with a bunch of my favorite actors where they each speak their own language at dinner, yet understand each other well enough to hold a conversation. Tragic, but well worth seeing. Reminds one of the meaning of Boko Haram. μηδείς (talk) 23:09, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Mutual intelligibility? But that's for related languages.Cfmarenostrum (talk) 12:35, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
ObPersonal — while serving (in the British Army) in Germany, my father witnessed a striking example of this. A German truck driver arrived at a British Army base and reported in to the English duty clerk, who had only recently arrived and spoke no German. They proceeded to have an everyday, inconsequential conversation, each speaking only his own language but with no evident misunderstandings. My father (who had some German) was convinced that neither consciously realized the other was not speaking in his own language. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 12:32, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Wasn't this also practiced at the Mir space station? The Americans would talk in Russian and Russians in English. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 04:13, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Pronunciation of Russian aircraft models such as "Tu-2"[edit]

Many (but not all) Soviet and Russian aircraft have names that include the prefix assigned to the manufacturer or designer. So we have the Tupolev SB, but also the Tupolev Tu-2; the Polikarpov I-16 and the Polikarpov Po-2; the Beriev MBR-2 and the Beriev Be-30. I know how I would pronounce "MBR-2", but how would I say "Be-30"? Like the word "be", the individual letters "B-E", or would I say "Beriev 30"? Or something else? -- (talk) 09:47, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

If you go by "AK-47", the letters would be pronounced separately, while if you go by "MiG-21", they would be pronounced as a word. For "I-16", the two options would be identical... AnonMoos (talk) 10:27, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
But... be careful with AK-47; the Soviets didn't even use the 47 prefix. It was tacked on by western intelligence, representing the year, 1947. In Soviet Russia, it was an "AK" without the 47, or the "Kalash'". - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 06:11, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
What did you expect? Another "Soviet Russia" joke? ;) - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 06:08, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
When I collected aircraft numbers, the arrival of a Tupolev Tu-104 would cause huge excitement amongst the young boys gathered at London Airport. And we invariably called it a TU104, also pronouncing each digit separately. Thincat (talk) 09:35, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
In this documentary video [76] they say "tu-dva". That suggests you'd also want to say "tu-two" in English, unless you want to avoid confusion with a tutu. I've seen another documentary that similarly pronounces the prefixes similarly. --Amble (talk) 14:49, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Differences in meanings[edit]

What are the differenes in the shade of meanings of the following sentences:
1. There was half an hour left for the last entry.
2. Half an hour was there for the last entry.
3. Half an hour was left for the last entry.
Thanks. (talk) 10:24, 20 July 2014 (UTC)Vineet Chaitanya

Number 2 is either archaically poetic or incorrect... AnonMoos (talk) 10:29, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Depends on which word you stress. If you stress 'there' it is modern. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 12:58, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
If you stress "there", then it's no longer an existential sentence, and so the meaning is completely different from 1 -- and "Half an hour" has to be some kind of quasi-concrete entity which can be present in a location, or some kind of quasi-volitional entity which can "be there for" something else... AnonMoos (talk) 16:27, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I am not sure which type of measuring system for time you might have, but halves of hours do exist in our usual measuring system. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 17:26, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
In #2, the absence of the word "left" means that "half an hour" is more likely to be the entry itself, as in filling out a time card, while the others sound more like half an hour is allotted to complete the last entry.
Also, depending on where the emphasis is, you might change the meaning. For example, emphasis on "half an hour" would indicate that this is an unusual amount of time, either less then needed or an excessive amount. StuRat (talk) 14:27, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Japanese translation help[edit]

So, i've been working on the Man With A Mission article and in reviewing the Oricon charts, I noted an addition to the DVD page for the band. It's the third one on there, most recent one. I was able to determine that this is a movie of some kind and that the theme song for it is Your Way from the Man With A Mission album Tales of Purefly. So, I need two pieces of help.

1. What is the name of this film in understandable English? Because Google Translate is giving me "Www unusual life after making customs", which clearly is...not right. Or not very intelligible, at least. What's a better translation?

2. Is the ranking on Oricon of #60 for 1 week for the film or for the band's Your Way song due to it being used in the film?

If I could get some help with this, it would be very appreciated. SilverserenC 21:39, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

1. "Going to the sex industry changed my life lol", or something like that. According to its Japanese Wikipedia article it's a 2channel post-turned-book-turned-movie about a guy who falls in love with a call girl. 2. The previous highest ranking (過去最高位) is 60th place; the current ranking is 3rd place (on the left). I assume that's the DVD's sales rank among DVDs that mention Man With A Mission in their metadata. -- BenRG (talk) 00:12, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Ah, okay, so it's not something I would need to add to the article. Good to know. Thanks for the help. SilverserenC 00:23, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I guess I must be wrong about the meaning of the ranking numbers, unless they have 168+ albums. 過去最高位 does mean "highest past rank", 登場回数 means "times appearing", and the colored numbers on the left are also ranks of some sort, but I don't know how to interpret them. -- BenRG (talk) 00:40, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

July 22[edit]

The word "Holey"[edit]

How should the comparative and superlative form for the word "Holey" (adjective: full of holes) be spelled? Places I find by STFW do not seem to agree. Thieh (talk) 03:24, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Wiktionary has "holier" and "holiest" at wikt:holey, but Collins English Dictionary has "holeyer" and "holeyest" at In this instance, I prefer the forms given by Collins, because they avoid confusion with the inflected forms of "holy".
Wavelength (talk) 03:36, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I'd go with "holier" over "holeyer". Plenty of things are homophones, and people understand just fine, in the right context. Trying to avoid confusion like this would likely make more. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:40, July 22, 2014 (UTC)
I find that "has more holes" avoids any confusion, even in speech. --Jayron32 04:01, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I'll second that. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:09, July 22, 2014 (UTC)
Thirded. I have also never seen Collins' suggestion before, nor any parallel construction in common use. As far as I know, all adjectives ending in -y form their comparatives in -ier and superlatives in -iest. AlexTiefling (talk) 09:22, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
(Slightly relevant to the holeyest things: Trypophobia, more holey examples here [77]) SemanticMantis (talk) 17:04, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
While we're at it, I've never liked that the atomic weights given for the various elements aren't whole numbers according to reliable sources; let's just round them off here at wikipedia, or avoid their use altogether. μηδείς (talk) 17:21, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I may as well second that, too. Crank boron all the way to 11. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:11, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
OneLook Dictionary Search mentions "boneyest", "feyest", "greyest", "riceyest", and "surveyest" at*eyest&ls=a. Wiktionary mentions "clayier" and "clayiest" at wikt:clayey.
Wavelength (talk) 19:17, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Cod is bonier than tuna. I don't understand how varying degrees of rice work, but I know "boneyest" is terrible. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:15, July 23, 2014 (UTC)


I just watched an episode of the Antiques Roadshow filmed in Salt Lake City Utah. Two separate members of the public whose items were appraised used "deceased" in an identical manner that I'm not sure I've ever heard before. The first woman said something like "once my grandparents deceased I..." and then a man said "once my mother deceased I..." Note that even though they were not together at all, they were interviewed in the same segment (as they both brought in similar lamps), so there is a possibility the man heard the woman's usage, and then followed her lead in a way he wouldn't have if he hadn't just heard the word used that way. But anyway, two people saying this got my attention. Is this a common regional use? Is this common to any of you?-- (talk) 04:35, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

I don't use it myself, but I'm pretty sure I've heard it. It seems to be a revival or persistence of the archaic verb to decease, which the OED dates back to 1439: "Yf the saide Iohn decesse withoute heires". My guess is that it's not restricted to one region; it seems to be a logical choice for anyone who wants to express the formal or euphemistic tone of the adjective deceased using a verb (though of course the usual go-to is to pass away). Lesgles (talk) 05:20, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
It's like "departed". People who have departed are departed. You could say those who desisted are "the desisted", too. Not common. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:12, July 22, 2014 (UTC)
InedibleHulk—this was fun to discuss here. Bus stop (talk) 14:11, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Oh yes, joyful times indeed. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:27, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
'Deceased' would seem to be less ambiguous and euphemistic than 'pass away', without breaking the 'never say die' taboo. (I can't say I much understand the taboo myself, but I've seen it in action a lot.) AlexTiefling (talk) 09:20, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Not as bad as "lost", though: "I'm depressed because I recently lost my wife ... I sure wish I could remember where I left her." StuRat (talk) 12:51, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Ah, euphemisms. Actor: "I understand you buried your wife recently." W.C. Fields: "Yes, we had to. She died." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:05, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Stu, Oscar Wilde had great fun with "lost" in The Importance of Being Earnest. When Jack reveals to Lady Bracknell that he has "lost" not just one but both of his parents, she retorts: "To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune ... to lose both seems like carelessness". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:01, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Decease and sist from discussing this any further. Clarityfiend (talk) 23:14, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Name of Asia[edit]

I noticed that apparently none of the Oriental languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai...) have a native word for Asia: They all seem to use derivations of the Hellenic word Ἀσία from the opposite edge of the continent. Did they really never elaborate a native term for their own continent or for a similar concept? Or was it replaced in recent times? -- (talk) 13:49, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Asia is a Western concept. From the perspective of physical geography, there is nothing to distinguish Europe from Asia but a rather arbitrary, culturally defined line across the landmass of Eurasia. This line was part of the Western, Greco-Roman tradition but not the Sinitic tradition. To the Chinese, south and southwest Asia and Europe were lumped together as "the West." This is no less rational than lumping the 3/4 of Eurasia east of the Urals and the Bosphorus as "Asia." In premodern times, East Asians were not aware of any other landmasses comparable to Eurasia, so there would be no need to distinguish Eurasia with a name. Although Zheng He reached East Africa, it isn't clear that he recognized that it was part of a separate continent distinct from other lands he had visited in South Asia. The Chinese would simply have referred to Eurasia with terms such as 大陆 (dàlù), meaning "continent" or "mainland". Marco polo (talk) 13:59, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
What is Europe and what is Asia? Depends on who you ask and when you ask them
Boundaries_between_continents#Europe_and_Asia has a pretty nice discussion about the issue, and it largely confirms what Mr. Polo has said above. The perspective is largely a European one, and is also largely culturally based. You can even see that, historically, the line has jumped around quite a bit, and with a bit of danger of being too simplified, Europe was where the white people lived. The overland border between Europe and Asia generally included Slavic and Georgian peoples in Europe, but not Iranian, Turkic, Mongol, or Tartar peoples. The tripartate division of the "world" into Africa, Europe, and Asia (as well as the now debunked division of people into Negroid, Caucasoid, and Mongoloid, i.e. people that live in Africa, Europe, and Asia) permeates Western thought for thousands of years, and it is largely based on the racial-cultural definitions as defined by European culture over that time period. The physical geography definition of "continent" came about MUCH later than the cultural one, which is why many geologists and geographers prefer terms like "landmass" over "continent", as the word "continent" carries too much cultural baggage. --Jayron32 16:47, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, and us British pee ourselves laughing about it, presumably because we are incontinent. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 17:17, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
"...Europe was where the white people lived"
Well, only if you consider Greeks to be white. --Bowlhover (talk) 18:11, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Greeks were typically classified as Caucasian. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:45, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I've always thought that Greece is quite far from the Caucasus. I wonder why the Argonauts sailed for the Golden Fleece if they could do it by land.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 20:26, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Long story short: although deriving from the Greek mainland, many of the Ancient Greek peoples and their allies, trading partners etc. were scattered over various other non-adjacent city states, areas and islands, often with non-Greek (and potentially hostile or non-cooperative) peoples separating them. Traversing such areas by land could be time-consuming, arduous and dangerous. It was generally easier (though not without its own hazards) to sail rather than travail, which was how many of the Greek 'colonies' were established in the first place. The semi-obsolete and much-misunderstood anthropological term Caucasian, though of course deriving from the Caucasus, was never intended to imply actual residence of that area, or for that matter a particular skin complexion. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 12:51, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
People in the Middle East and North Africa are classified as white. Arabs aren't exactly black. (Some natives in Afghanistan look really white. Not sure if whites consider lighter-skinned people from the Indian Subcontinent white nowadays.) In some regions of Europe, especially in the south (e. g., Sicily), the natives do not look appreciably different from Middle Easterners; it's not like at the European side of the Bosporus people are blond and blue-eyed and at the other side everybody looks Chinese. (In fact, the whole southwest of Asia is inhabited by peoples who definitely do not look "Asian" in the sense of Chinese. I hate when people equate Asia with East Asia and act if everything in between Europe and East Asia did not exist.) So it's not that neat. (If it were, Europe would have to extend all the way to the Himalayas.)
As far as I know, the division Europe–Asia–Africa began in Ancient Greece. Europe was west of the Aegean, Asia the eastern coast ("Asia" originally only referred only to Asia Minor, i. e., Anatolia), and Libya (whence Africa) the southern coast of the Mediterranean. It makes only sense from the perspective of the Greeks. Funny enough, Crete was once considered to be part of Asia. Egypt too, possibly. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 03:52, 23 July 2014 (UTC) -- I strongly doubt whether any nations or peoples adopted names for continents until well into historical times, because there's no reason to name a continent until you have explored fairly widely and are aware of more than one continent. The origin of Western continent names is that the ancient Greeks used the word "Asia" to refer to lands directly across the Aegean sea (i.e. "Asia Minor" or Anatolia), the word "Europe" to refer to mainland Greece itself and vaguely-known areas connected by land to the north, and the word "Libya" to refer to vaguely-known areas reached by sailing long distances to the south. These words were not at first continent names, because the Greeks didn't know about continents until they acquired broader horizons of geographical knowledge, after the three words had already been in use for some time to refer to narrower less-than-continental areas... The Romans substituted "Africa" for "Libya" ("Africa" in the narrower sense was the name of a province encompassing today's northern Tunisia and northeastern Algeria), and that's how we got the three eastern hemisphere continent names (Asia, Europe, Africa). AnonMoos (talk) 20:29, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

greek diacritics[edit]

At Yarmouk River, I added the ancient greek name in greek script. The problem is the first letter in the source is printed with a diacritic, and I don't know which one, or how to fill in the transliteration template. trespassers william (talk) 22:07, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Fixed it; it would be Ἱερομύκης, with a spiritus asper, as in the root hiero. Fut.Perf. 22:15, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. The template:transl is still empty. It never occurred to me this can be an originally Greek name. Surprisingly, no semitic older name is easily found. Do you have an idea as to what μύκης would mean in that context? trespassers william (talk) 00:00, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
There is a Greek word wikt:μύκης, but it doesn't really make much sense here. The Greek name might well be a folk-etymological adaptation of a pre-existing native name, just like the "hiero-" in Ἱεροσόλυμα, the Greek name of Jerusalem, so I wouldn't be too confident that it has to be the original etymology, even if it happens to be the earliest attested form. Fut.Perf. 02:32, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
A "holy mushroom" could be a psilocybin mushroom, but it makes little sense as a river name (unless the region was known for shrooms, perhaps), I agree. It's probably of Semitic origin. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 03:21, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
OK, at least Amanita muscaria is apparently not actually endemic to the Middle East, but the Greeks themselves would have been well familiar with psychoactive mushrooms used in sacred ritual if speculations that the kykeon of the Eleusinian Mysteries contained mushroom-derived substances are correct. In that case, "holy mushroom" is not such a random collocation, even if the association with the river may be purely phonetically motivated and unrelated to local circumstances. I recall other cases where ancient Greeks have clearly distorted foreign names and words as the result of folk-etymological re-interpretation. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 04:27, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
For what it's worth, Robert Graves believed that the Amanita was in use [78]. I should probably add that citation to the Eleusinian Mysteries article. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:03, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I can find several sources (including, apparently, the 1974 Encyclopedia Britannica) stating that the earliest mention of the Yarmouk is in the Mishna (Tractate Parah), as ירמוך Yarmuk. הסרפד (call me Hasirpad) 03:29, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Though I can also find sources that say that the Yarmuk is Pliny's Hieromices, so ignore my previous comment. הסרפד (call me Hasirpad) 03:35, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
The Greek seems to me pretty clearly derivative of "Yarmuk" or some earlier version of that name. The Ἱερο in Ἱερομύκης mirrors that at the beginning of Ἱεροσόλυμα, pronounced roughly Yerushalem or Jeruʃalem in Aramaic. According to Koine Greek phonology, ύ was still pronounced 'y' (like a French 'u') at the time the first Hellenistic Greeks arrived to coin a Greek name for that river. The -ης at the end of the name was likely added so that the word would fit into the Greek noun declension scheme. Very likely, the Greek word is derived from an earlier form something like Yerumuk/Jerumuk. Marco polo (talk) 20:13, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Did Karl May know genuine Apache words?[edit]

Karl May's character Winnetou, described as Mescalero Apache, has a horse called Iltschi, whose name is explained as meaning "wind". Iltschi's brother Hatatitla, whose name is said to mean "lightning", is ridden by Old Shatterhand. Did he simply make these words up or are there really similar words with those meanings in Mescalero or some related language such as Navajo? He certainly got the general sound of Apachean languages at least vaguely right from what little I know of them, although Navajo phonology#Vowels informs me that [u] is not present in Navajo even allophonically and there are no diphthongs. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 22:13, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Winnetou sounds more like an Algonquian word (like a mix of Winnipeg and Manitou). Adam Bishop (talk) 01:24, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

July 23[edit]

Take no prisoners[edit]

I sometimes read about some musician playing a piece in a "take no prisoners" style, and I always wonder what they mean. When I google the phrase, I get a range of related meanings, like 'ruthless', 'merciless', 'determined' and so on. I can understand how these meanings might apply to many human actions, but not to music making.

  • To whom is the performer showing no mercy?
  • How do the qualities of mercilessness and ruthlessness apply to the complex interplay of nuance, rhythm, harmony and tempo that is at the heart of music?

Leaving jazz and other intentionally improvisatory genres to one side, a musician doesn't just make it up as he goes along. He learns the piece thoroughly, and that includes having well developed ideas about how it all fits together. He then performs the piece according to this interpretive concept. His ideas about the piece may well (or even should) change over time, but on any one occasion, what he plays is how he conceives the piece at that time. And if he played it any other way, he would not be being true to himself. That fits my understanding of 'determined'. In that sense, pretty much all decent performances could be described as "take no prisoners". But relatively few of them are so described. What marks these few for this particular description? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 08:48, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

I don't have a defintive answer, but I think it has to do with not caring about the audience too. There are pianists who seem to play in a "crowd-pleasing" way (one very famous one comes to mind, but I hesitate to list examples since this is also a matter of taste and opinion, and I don't wish to start that kind of debate). In any event, those crowd-pleasing performances don't fit the "takes no prisoners" label, in my view. ---Sluzzelin talk 09:25, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
When I hear the phrase, I think of Megadeth. Particularly the sort of rhythm in "Architecture of Aggression." Feels like advancing machinery, then the riff gets sinister for the chorus. Structure fits the lyrics. A similar thing happens in "Angry Again". All in rumbling and forward-driving steady beats. Tank songs. "Take No Prisoners" itself seems more like an aerial assault to me. Dave Mustaine's snarl helps the feeling in all of them. InedibleHulk (talk) 10:26, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
Can't forget to mention Kill 'Em All. That album might have invented the style, at least as I hear it. InedibleHulk (talk) 10:32, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
Might be virtually synonymous with thrash metal. InedibleHulk (talk) 10:36, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
"Take no prisoners" to me suggests an aggressive approach - which most forms of metal but also punk and grunge might fit, but you could also imagine, say, a classic pianist playing a piece more aggressively than another pianist might. --Nicknack009 (talk) 11:23, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Aggressively, yes. But does that necessarily equate to "take no prisoners"? Certain kinds of music (the ones mentioned above, mainly) are inherently aggressive, regardless of how anyone sings/performs them. But normally it's not the music itself that's tarred with this epithet, it's individual performances. Is this just a cliched expression that means little but helps to pad out music reviews? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 11:30, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Could just be a label. I don't get how music can be inherently anything regardless of how it's played, though. Isn't the way it's played what makes it music? Or are you talking about stage presence? InedibleHulk (talk) 11:47, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
Typically a metaphor for a strong, dynamic performance of some kind - possibly misused in this case, but it's a pretty mainstream metaphor, watered down. Like a real Nazi vs. a "soup Nazi". I'm thinking back to one time a number of years ago, when the Chicago Cubs swept the New York Mets in a four-game mid-season series, including a fistfight in the final game. The Chicago Tribune's headline the next day was "Cubs take no prisoners!" ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:49, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
More speculation: to take no prisoners means, by extension, to do things "all the way" and completely dominate the action. I can see those phrases pertaining to any style of music; it means to play without timidity. Don't hesitate or play with reluctance - do your best. I don't have the musical vocabulary to describe it, but I think it's fairly common to hear someone playing a piece technically well, but without a sense of surety, so that it doesn't sound as good as it should given the technical ability. Matt Deres (talk) 13:33, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
My impression is pretty much the same as Matt's (as well as those that suggest that the expression is a reviewer's easy way out of actually characterizing a performance in detail). In my younger days, such a reviewer might have said that a performer "let it all hang out"—played with passion and enthusiasm, even if perhaps not with technical precision. The opposite of "by the numbers". Deor (talk) 13:47, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
By Merriam-Webster's take on the phrase, music that feels charitable, compassionate, humane, kindhearted, kindly, merciful, sensitive, softhearted, sympathetic, tender, tenderhearted, warm or warmhearted is the opposite of "take no prisoner". Sarah McLachlan music takes prisoners and adopts dogs, even if she's passionate and sloppy about it. Bugs' Cubs example is more in line, I think. Just "destroyed" the Mets, something like how a stack of amplifiers "destroys" the first few rows at a rock show. InedibleHulk (talk) 14:07, July 23, 2014 (UTC)
I would assume, though lacking real knowledge in this area, that a "take no prisoners" approach to playing music is putting the emphasis on an "offensive" style, as though the performer is not afraid to be offensive. This would be hyperbole because truly offensive would be simply offensive and consequently without any redeeming qualities, in my opinion. But the description implies "pushing the envelope" of acceptability, or at least I would assume. Bus stop (talk) 15:46, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • "Take no prisoners" is an obvious metaphor for "to go all out". Is there some further question? μηδείς (talk) 20:06, 23 July 2014 (UTC)


July 16[edit]

Bond girls[edit]

Have there been any Bond girls who rejected James Bond's sexual advances completely? I don't mean characters like Kissy Suzuki, Anya Amasova or Wai Lin, who kept their distance during the mission but got in bed with him afterward, but someone who rebuffed him altogether, mission or no mission. (Also, I don't include Miss Moneypenny, with whom he never really tried to go all the way, or M, who's too old for that in any case.) (talk) 08:23, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

I think more than a few women over 70 are still sexually active. There's no reason to think that M didn't just sleep when in bed with her husband. Dismas|(talk) 09:22, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
You'd think Bond would have run into a lesbian or two, over the years, but maybe he's just so charming he can make them switch teams. StuRat (talk) 23:54, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
He did. See Pussy Galore. --Jayron32 23:57, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm thinking more along the lines of him running into a woman who's very physically attractive, but completely unavailable (happily married/otherwise with someone else/physically unable to have sex/under a vow of chastity/just plain unattracted to him/etc.) Has this ever happened in any books or movies about James Bond? (talk) 06:17, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Miss Moneypenny complained at least once that "you never do anything with me," suggesting that the aloofness there is mostly on 007's side. —Tamfang (talk) 22:12, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

I remember that at the end of the novel Moonraker (not the film), Bond makes an advance on a beautiful woman he met during his mission, and she says that she's already married and thus not interested. Bond just shrugs this off and walks away without her. JIP | Talk 07:33, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Not Gala Brand, is it? (talk) 07:47, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that should be who I was thinking about. JIP | Talk 08:39, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
She's not married - she's getting married "tomorrow afternoon". ( Bond has spent the novel lusting after her, and though he outwardly "shrugs it off", the narrator makes it clear Bond is actually quite upset... ) (talk) 10:35, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
In any case, I think it meets the OP's criterion, in that Bond displayed interest in her but she rebuffed him altogether. JIP | Talk 10:44, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
but he does erm... talk them round to his point of view... (talk) 19:49, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Mid 1990's large format children's software magazine[edit]

While answering Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Computing#Trying_to_find_an_old_pc_program_from_1995.2F1998 I remembered a magazine I received as a child. It was printed in a large format - the pages may have been 11x17, and I remember it being reasonably thick. It was about children's computer software, although I honestly don't remember much of the content of the actual magazine. More important than the magazine were the CDs that shipeed with it. They had dozens of demos and game descriptions on each disc, in a small virtual environment you could explore. Can anyone help me figure out what this magazine was called? Katie R (talk) 16:29, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

I think we had a lot of those mags in the UK in the 90's, I remember sometimes getting home to discover the disc wasn't there! How devastating was that? I'll have a search for them but you're from the US judging by the '11x17'reference? There was off the bat. -- (talk) 18:04, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Have you had a look through this list as well? Might take some time as it's a list rather than an answer to your question. -- (talk) 18:15, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Club Kidsoft was it. Thanks! Katie R (talk) 19:11, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
The next step is to find a list of the software that came with them. There were a lot of great games that would be good for my kids, and would bring back a lot of memories for me. I'll start looking for some when I get home from work, but if anyone wants to give me a head start I would appreciate it. :-) References with current children's software would be great as well - it just doesn't seem like there are that many high-quality options available compared to the huge amount of software I remember seeing back then. Maybe it's all hiding in app stores now... Katie R (talk) 19:16, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

Jokes for an emergency/awkward situation[edit]

I cracked a joke about my boss to some colleagues today (nothing nasty, he'd just had a late night at his sister's birthday party) and it went down a treat, lots of amusement was had my all until my boss walked in the room. Unfortunately everyone then went quiet straight away and of course my boss asked what the joke was - so some idiot mentioned that they were laughing at MY joke. Having a slight problem with being the centre of attention and not being very quick of mind I could literally only think of 'why did the chicken cross the road'! Mr Boss was not ROFL, no sense of humor I guess... Does anybody have suggestions or links that have REALLY basic, easy to remember jokes that are still funny for people like me to use in an emergency situation? Thanks -- (talk) 17:46, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

You might try "What did Buddha say to the hot dog vendor? Make me one with everything." It's mildly clever, if cliched, and it probably won't offend anyone. OldTimeNESter (talk) 18:31, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Ha! InedibleHulk (talk) 18:38, July 16, 2014 (UTC)
I'd have gone with the funny one about the boss. Still fresh in your head, and you know it works. If it was nothing nasty, it may have gone over better than making him think you're unfunny and/or lying.
But here's 50 quick ones off the top of the Google results. At least one of them will fare better than the chicken. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:37, July 16, 2014 (UTC)
If you want a chicken joke for all occasions (and believe me, I've tried this out on all occasions over a span of 50 years, and it always gets the same result), here goes:
  • Q. What's the difference between a chicken?
  • Here you need to deal with objections such as "between a chicken and what?". Never answer this question. Just repeat the opening line, ad nauseam if necessary. When they're ready to hear the answer:
  • A. One of its legs is both the same.
  • Now comes that "result" I mentioned above: a group of perplexed faces, belonging to people who now think they're conversing with an idiot. Little do they realise, that's the whole point ... -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:46, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Just for your multicultural edification, Jack (and that of anyone else who may be interested), the U.S. equivalent is "What's the difference between a duck?" At least, that's what I'm assuming is true, because it's the version I recall from my own youth and the version known to Trovatore (who has yet to hear the Anvil Chorus, apparently). Don't Aussies know that ducks are funnier than chickens? Deor (talk) 22:13, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Hmmm ... "There's nobody here but us ducks" - just doesn't do it for me, I'm afraid. Australia has been called The Lucky Country, but we're not much of a Ducky Country, really. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:22, 16 July 2014 (UTC) PS. Oh, I forget myself. Michael Leunig has had a long, long love affair with ducks. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 06:18, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
That "nobody here" joke originally had racial connotations. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:12, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
So did yo mamma. Seriously. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:00, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
Not the sort of jokes you'd tell in (all) polite company (I am not let don't get out much for a reason), but dead baby jokes would've been a great way to bring everyone down with you. Ian.thomson (talk) 22:11, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
Anything G-rated will do. Groucho: "I've had a wonderful [day/evening/whatever]. But this wasn't it." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:12, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Could give No soap radio a try. Speaking of ducks. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:31, July 17, 2014 (UTC)
"I've just come back from a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. Tell you what, never again." --Viennese Waltz 08:21, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

July 17[edit]

Computer games[edit]

What computer games are there (if any) that teach the principles of economics? (talk) 06:19, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Check out Category:Business simulation games. Railroad Tycoon, for example. Clarityfiend (talk) 09:50, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Fun fact: the classic board game Monopoly_(game)#Early_history"Monopoly" was originally intended to teach the negative impact of concentrating ownership of properties. I bring this up because there are many economic principles at play in the game, and there are of course several computer versions. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:29, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
I fixed your link. StuRat (talk) 17:44, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
What negative impact? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:52, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Bankruptcy for the other players. All good if you win. In the Super Nintendo version, losers garbage-pick fishbones. It's terrible! InedibleHulk (talk) 20:16, July 17, 2014 (UTC)
Bankrupting everyone else is the object of the game. Hence the term "Monopoly". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:14, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, however the original designer of Monopoly intended all involved to feel bad about that, and thus demonstrate how real-life monopolistic behavior was bad for society. Parker Brothers cleaned up the game a tad and made it more fun. For the original version, see The Landlord's Game, to wit, "She based the game on the economic principles of Georgism, a system proposed by Henry George, with the object of demonstrating how rents enrich property owners and impoverish tenants. She knew that some people could find it hard to understand why this happened and what might be done about it, and she thought that if Georgist ideas were put into the concrete form of a game, they might be easier to demonstrate. Magie also hoped that when played by children the game would provoke their natural suspicion of unfairness, and that they might carry this awareness into adulthood." --Jayron32 21:40, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
That might have been their hope, but just as likely is that it would get each kid to thinking that they need to be the one to become the monopolist. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:56, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
And when there's only one kid left, his money stops being worth anything. All he can do is gloat and quit himself. It's the point, but it's tragic. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:04, July 17, 2014 (UTC)
From the music video for "Weapon": When you're at the top there's nowhere left to go but down. That's been said in a million country songs. It's true. As true for nations as it is for their citizens. For when you are at the top you aspire to attain that which cannot be attained. And in doing so achieve the ruin of all that you have built. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:10, July 17, 2014 (UTC)
It's been a long time, but I'm fairly certain there's a provision for getting back into the game once you're bankrupt. That's a workaround for the problem of one guy having everything. In fact, the one guy doesn't have everything. The bank still has a lot of money. This is closer to real life. I see this ad every evening during the local news, about how bankruptcy can be "the best thing that ever happened to you." I don't necessarily buy into that theory, but it echoes the Monopoly game. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:20, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
In the board game, you can certainly carry on passing Go, paying luxury tax and landing on Free Parking till you wheelbarrow into St. James, if for some reason you hadn't yet. And if setting up hotels there gets boring (it should), of course you can let a friend rejoin (if they haven't gone home to enjoy bankruptcy long ago). But not in the SNES version, and likely not in many other computer versions. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:35, July 17, 2014 (UTC)
In case anyone's wondering, computers are better than paper for Monopoly because everything is automatic. Just like real life. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:57, July 17, 2014 (UTC)
And since the Monopoly board is based on Atlantic City, you could have a timer, simulating the passage of years, after which the hotels / casinos go bankrupt and the monopolist has to give everything back to the bank, and the whole thing starts over. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:53, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
I made money on Donald Cerrone in Atlantic City last night. But my bank doesn't know. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:59, July 17, 2014 (UTC)

July 18[edit]

Name of movie[edit]

I'm trying to remember the name of a movie. If I remember the correctly, it was an international film, although it could have been an English one. But basically it follows a plot where a man met the love of his life but for some reason went their separate ways, I remember one got in a taxi. The man goes home vue Later, the man tries to find the woman again. He finds her in a town and I remember the scene where he walks round the town, asking about her, and people join his walk around the town. Eventually him and a group of people arrive at a restaurant where she is working as a waitress and he proposes there in front of everyone. Can anyone think what movie this is? This plots probably quite common so it might be a difficult question. I think it was in French but like I sAid I can't remember. (talk) 00:00, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Yes, the movie is It Could Happen to You (1994), with Nicholas Cage and Bridget Fonda. --Wintereu (talk) 00:20, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
The OP did not say "lottery". Therefore the film in question cannot be It Could Happen to You. —Nelson Ricardo (talk) 03:58, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
And he doesn't find her working as a waitress, she's a waitress at the beginning. —Tamfang (talk) 22:24, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Much of the OPs description (especially the latter part) fits the Jamie and Aurélia segments of the film Love Actually. Of course, there are several other stories being told in this film and the "love of his life" wording is used a couple times in the Daniel, Sam, Joanna and Carol storyline. If this isn't it hopefully another editor will find the right film. MarnetteD|Talk 04:24, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
This also fits with the original poster's confusion about language, as the movie is British and mostly takes place in London, but Jamie and Aurélia meet in France (where they have no common language) and the restaurant scene is in Portugal. While apart they have each been learning the other's language ("just in cases", as she explains): he proposes in bad Portuguese (subtitled as bad English), looking up at her from the ground floor, and she accepts, looking down over a railing from an upper floor, in bad English: "Thank you, that will be nice. Yes, is being my answer." That all sound familiar? -- (talk) 07:41, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
You are correct except for one thing. The restaurant scene takes place in Marseilles. After Jamie walks out on his relations in London - "I hate Uncle Jamie" :-) the next time we see him he is walking out of the Marseilles airport. Aurélia has been cleaning Jamie's home outside of town and nothing in the film indicates that she moved back to Portugal. Nor do we see Jamie flying from France to Portugal. The fact that there is an enclave of Portuguese people in Marseilles is perfectly in keeping with life in the real world. No worries about your description though - this is a common mistake about this section of the film. I have even won a couple dinner bets from friends about this over the years. Yum Yum. MarnetteD|Talk 14:47, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the correction and for not betting with me. -- (talk) 19:26, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Joke in a movie (watermelon stereotype)[edit]

There was a movie, two years ago or so. In that movie an investigating white guy (police officer or private detective) throws stuff on a black guy, he wants informations from. When he's throwing watermelons, the black says "wow wow, watermelon? that's racist". Does anyone know the title? -- (talk) 02:40, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Possibly The Heat (film), see the quotes on this page. Nanonic (talk) 06:49, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it is. -- (talk) 13:14, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

July 19[edit]


Are the actor Frankie Faison and former pro football player/actor Earl Faison related? They originate from the same town in Virginia and are pretty close in age. (talk) 06:01, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Also, I have wondered about whether Frankie Faison is related to Donald Faison from 'Scrubs', even though he comes from New York, not Newport News like Frankie.!Chris the Russian Christopher Lilly 07:23, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Faison is a common enough name (I have unrelated friends that have that last name) so it would not be unusual for multiple famous people to have it and not be related. --Jayron32 19:37, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

And which others were there ?[edit]

Last night I watched the Movie 'Next' ( 2007 ) , with Nicholas Cage for the second time, and as it ended, I noticed the credits rolled the opposite way to how they normally do so at the end of a feature film. Whereas of course TV Shows and Movies flash names on a screen, take them off and add a batch of new names, Cinema releases tend to roll credits, where the names in order go upwards, and the first names read disappear at the top of the screen and the newer ones come from below. Now with this Movie, it was the other way round - probably as a gimmick due to it being about a man who could see the future, so as he saw first what happens later, things occur to him in a kind of backwards order. Now I had previously seen this film at least four years earlier and had forgotten about that, although I have in the time since that first viewing seen other unusual ways of showing the credits. Now recently I did see another film that did the same as 'Next', it was reasonably recent, and I saw it in just the past couple of months, but cannot recall it. Can anyone else recall what it was, and whether there are other movies in which the credits roll backwards or are done in a more unusual way, such as, for the British show 'Some Mothers do 'ave 'em', starring Michael Crawford, its closing credits roll as if on a horizontal tape, from right to left. Now as I think about it, because Arabic and Hebrew are written from right to left, would this also affect the way they show credits in movies made in their languages ? As for the other movie I did see recently that did roll its credits the other way as 'Next' did, I cannot remember anything about it, except I believe it was most likely made in the past 15 years, but I cannot even be sure of that. Thanks. Chris the Russian Christopher Lilly 07:20, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

TVTropes says Repo Man and Se7en had their ending credits scroll down. Clarityfiend (talk) 07:43, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
And the sideways scrolling credits aren't unique to that one TV program, I've seen other British TV shows that do that, too, usually down in the footer area, so they can show the rest of the show above it without words scrolling over it. I think Posh Nosh is another example. I've also seen normal vertical scrolling done with a split screen, for the same reason. Then there are those shows that try to match the actor's names with their picture, either still or moving. Counterweight (The Outer Limits) was one such example. I wish they would all do this, as I frequently can't match the actor's name with the face otherwise (when they list the character's name along with the actor's name, that might help, but I don't always recall the character's name). StuRat (talk) 12:08, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Well, I have seen both Repo Man and Se7en, and cannot remember that, but only because it has been a while since, so one or either of those might well have been the one, unless there is another. I liked Se7en, but Repo Man was a disappointment - a kind of confused mish mash of mixed up nonsense and a real waste of a talented actor like Harry Dean Stanton. It would be really good if they always showed faces of actors with their names, so we no longer have that idea of the less known actors not getting the recognition they deserve. 'Me, Myself and Irene' did a great job of making an effort to show every performer, including all the extras, and a show like British sitcom It Ain't Half Hot Mum (1974–81). always showed most of the actors with their faces and name in the opening credits. What I cannot abide are those closing credits where the names just flash past, either in rolling or on screen then off then the next group of names on screen and so on, like they normally do in TV Shows. What is the point if You cannot read the names ? A lot of people spend a good deal of effort making these shows for the producers, so let them be properly recognised. Thank You both for Your comments, and if anyone else can remember other movies that have strange credits or other such things, feel free. Chris the Russian Christopher Lilly 14:25, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

THX 1138 has credits at the front of the film which go down instead of up. Lucas (on the DVD commentary I think) said he did this because the whole film takes place underground and he wanted to give a feeling of descending during the credits. Staecker (talk) 23:21, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
And Lucas' Star Wars series have no opening credits at all, except for the studios' logos, the film title, and the scrolling story intro. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:44, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Which is why he shot the film in the UK and Tunisia, to avoid U.S. film industry rules regarding credits. IIRC, he was ejected from the Directors Guild of America for doing so... --Jayron32 19:35, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Huh? Many mainstream Hollywood films have no opening credits. Apocalypse Now, for example. See cold open. --Viennese Waltz 08:54, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

The original poster also asked about other forms of unusual credits. Some movies have used elaborate humorous animated credit sequences: the one in The Pink Panther (1963) became so well known that it was reprised in the sequels and eventually spawned an animated TV show. Other examples from around the same time include Around the World in 80 Days (1956) and Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines (1965). Note that this was before the era when every minor cast member and employee was credited; these credits would correspond only to the opening credits on most movies. Another interesting credit treatment was Sneakers (1992), where the opening credits appear as anagrams and then their solutions, starting with A Turnip Cures Elvis, which of course solves to one of the names of this company. Another unusual case was Apocalypse Now, where the original 70 mm release version had no onscreen credits at all; they were handed out to moviegoers on paper, like at a play. (The only superimposed text in the whole movie is a one-line copyright notice; the title appears only as graffiti visible in the final part of the movie.)

A lesser form of unusual credit is that some movies move what is usually the opening credit sequence (main cast, producers, writers, etc.)—and sometimes also the title—to the end, immediately before the usual closing credits (full cast, minor crew members, typically a crawl). Also, some movies interpolate jokes and things into the closing credit sequence. As a minor example, in Fargo one actor's name was replaced by a variation on the symbol that the singer Prince used for a time as his name. -- (talk) 04:26, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

The former, the Star Wars series as I mentioned above; and 2001: A Space Odyssey, whose only opening credits were the studio logo, the film title, and Kubrick's name several times. The latter, the Airplane and Naked Gun movies had a few joke credits, such as: Best Boy - [whoever]; Worst Boy - Adolf Hitler. And Warren Spahn - "He's not in the film, but he's still our all-time favorite left-hand pitcher." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:48, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Yes indeed, and thank You all very Much. I remember the Prince symbol in Fargo, and do recall those joke credits from certain films. In addition, as I have just remembered, at the start of Man on the Moon with Jim Carrey portraying the late Andy Kaufman, the closing credits begin near the front as a joke on " Andy's " part, as if the Movie was only a minute long, but I cannot recall if these same credits come in again at the end - I don't think they do, but somewhere in the film they do run the names of the main stars. I have found that movie amusing also in the sense that Danny de Vito portrays George Shapiro, Mr. Kaufman's manager, but of course Mr. de Vito was himself in Taxi with Kaufman, but is not shown in the recreations of Taxi's scenes or set. I did see Apocalypse Now recently, with a then relatively little known ( that is, post American Grafitti but pre Star Wars), Harrison Ford at the beginning, and I believe I can recall the credits as this version of the film seemed to have been digitally remastered and credits showing this were shown at the end. I was surprised also to see " Larry " Laurence Fishburne, as he must has been very young, since principal photography was in 1976, and delayed due to a storm, and Martin Sheen's heart attack, finishing around mid '77, but Fishburne was born in 1961 in Augusta, so he had to be under 16 years old by that time, if anyone has any comments on that. This idea of variety in screen credits is excellent, because we do not want to see just the same old thing all the time - sure, it is good to have a bit of order so one knows where one stands, and the credits show who is who and who did what, but the odd joke here might get us to stay behind and be more likely to watch them.

Another thing - how often is there and added scene, either during the credits, involving action or bloopers, or right at the end, and people might miss one little thing if they leave the Cinema before they are done. Also, since the movies Breakdown , Pleasantville, The Negotiator and Hidden Agenda are dedicated to the memory of the brilliant but I think underrated J.T. Walsh, since he died February 27, 1998, aged 54, before three of them were released, what percentage of movies have dedications such as that ? Interestingly, Breakdown was released about nine months before Mr. Walsh died, but the first time I saw it on Television, the dedication was there, but this may be because they had time to add this to the film once it went to video, but I am certain the dedication is there. I know that Shawshank Redemption is dedicated to one Allen Greene, if I recall rightly, and there are others, but I get the impression that most movies do not have dedications, so it would be interesting to work that out. Thanks all again. Chris the Russian Christopher Lilly 07:58, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

It would be extraordinarily challenging to figure what "percentage" of films have had dedications, although it's possible someone has done that work. Have you googled the subject? Part of that tedious work would be to figure out which major players or crew died during production. One that comes to mind is British cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth, who died during post-production of 1978's Superman film. At the other end of the spectrum, there's Plan Nine from Outer Space, which I don't think actually had a dedication to Bela Lugosi, but it did have a poorly-chosen double in a number of scenes. As Leonard Maltin's guidebook once said, "Lugosi died during production, and it shows." In the case of the Chris Reeve Superman films, the absence of Unsworth was evident in the inferior production values of the sequels. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:33, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Game of Death was another terrible one in the same vein. Don't rememeber if there was any explicit dedication to Bruce Lee, but using footage of his actual corpse was something like a tribute. The Crow was a lot more straightforward about Brandon. Those sequels sucked, too. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:05, July 21, 2014 (UTC)

No, I have not Googled that. I might simply try noting each movie and making a list, just to see if some sort of proportion emerges. Thanks. Chris the Russian Christopher Lilly 02:18, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

  • The IMDB has a lot of items about unusual credits in movies, though many of them are about specific credits rather than unusual ways of presenting the credits. The term they use is "crazy credits" and you will find it as a link on many pages about specific movies. But instead of accessing it that way, you can also download and browse the entire set of "crazy credits" entries in gzipped plain text form (your web browser may or may not expand the gzipping to access it as plain text for you). Here is the URL for the download. Currently the file is about 1 megabyte gzipped, 3 megabytes as text and contains 18,576 entries (marked by "" at the start of a line) under 12,931 different titles (marked by "" at the start of a line). This includes TV or video productions as well as movies; the first 3,705 titles shown have double quotes around them, which means that those entries are for TV series or TV episodes. Most of the remaining 9,226 titles will be movies, except where you see a code like (TV) for TV-movie, (V) for direct-to-video release, (VG) for video game. The word "dedicated" appears in 385 items; I didn't search for any further specifics. Have fun. -- (talk) 05:44, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

That is excellent, and I shall have a good look at that. It is amazing how one question can lead to answers to a lot of other ones. This shows, that although many Movies are made, and they do generally follow a basic formula, that each is individual, and we can find many different ways of catergorising them. Thank You. Chris the Russian Christopher Lilly 06:33, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Does Queen Elizabeth watch Game of Thrones[edit]

There were a lot of news stories about the Queen visiting the Game of Thrones set in Belfast a couple months ago. But I couldn't find anything in the articles about whether she actually watches this dark, ultraviolent show. I would never let my grandma watch such a violent show. If she doesn't watch GoT, what shows does she watch?-- (talk) 22:20, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

She's led a country through several wars, and was in the military in WW2. She's not just a great-grandmother. But it did look as though the people on set were having to contextualise much of what was shown, so I'm guessing she doesn't watch GoT. Like her mother and her husband, the Queen is very much into horses, so I dare say she watches racing shows like The Morning Line (is that the right title), and others - mostly on Channel 4. AlexTiefling (talk) 22:30, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
See What are the Queen's favourite TV shows? for some idle speculation by the Radio Times. Alansplodge (talk) 01:03, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
It's well known that she edits Wikipedia in any spare moments she gets, so she would never have time to watch TV. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:13, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
  • That explains why hers is a featured article! — Crisco 1492 (talk) 01:33, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't know about her, but Elizabeth of York lived Game of Thrones. And let's not forget how common royal ghosts are in England. If any walls could talk, the Queen's likely heard the stories. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:19, July 20, 2014 (UTC)

To be honest, Game of Thrones is fine, but I find the real thing more fascinating, especially The White Queen, where Elizabeth of York, our Elizabeth's ancestor, features - you couldn't make half of that stuff up they really got up to - although I suspect the makers of most historical dramas still do, even though I do not think they need to. I understand Her Majesty does watch Coronation Street, although it is not to my taste. I think we need more real historical drama, and sure the altered stuff is fine, but it would be good if someone could come up with something as historically accurate as possible, as I recall with amusement the glaring impossibilities of Braveheart, as entertaining as it was. Having read certain works of history, a lot of it needs no added spice. Chris the Russian Christopher Lilly 08:04, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

To be fair, a lot of the history you find in old books (or scrolls) has already been spiced before Hollywood and hobbyists find it. Today, there's no way a baby prince (I don't even have to say which) can get away from scrutiny. But if he was born 500 years ago, scaled like a lizard, blind, with the stub of a tail and small leather wings like the wings of a bat, who would know? And who would dare to tell? InedibleHulk (talk) 08:49, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
Considering GoT is basically the War of the Roses[79] with a few episodes from other parts of European history thrown in (I.E. Robert Baratheon as a Henry VIII type character), I'm sure the Queen is familiar with the history thereof. --Jayron32 19:33, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
Not sure if that Cracked video (didn't watch) mentions the Black Dinner connection. Probably, but there it is, just in case. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:31, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
It actually does, IIRC. I just watched it a few days ago... --Jayron32 21:07, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
And the finger that stirs the pot? I guess I could just enable Javascript and watch the link, eh? Cracked is cool. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:30, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
Nope, no Thomas Cromwell. To sum it up for those who didn't watch, Tyrion is Richard III, Daenerys is Henry VII and Cersei is Margaret of Anjou. Sort of. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:46, July 20, 2014 (UTC)
And dragons are basically everywhere in literature, all the time. The Lord of Light is from Lord of Light, but the whole religion is even simpler Manichaeism. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:53, July 20, 2014 (UTC)

Yes, that is fair enough about History having been spiced up - there are certainly allegations that Henry VII altered History to suit his version of events, since there is documentary evidence he predated his Reign to August 21, 1485, one day before the Battle of Bosworth, but whether he or his relative Richard III killed the Princes in the Tower is not proven either way. One can argue validly for each scenario. It is this idea of Henry Tudor being a liar that forms the basis for the first ( very spiced up ) series of Blackadder. But then which historians do we trust - those who report the facts in what may be called a very dry, lifeless manner, or those who take the same facts, and it is just the way they are described that spices them up, rather than adding any scandalous or exciting tidbits ? When mentioning before having read History, I was referring specifically to the Biography of Mary Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser ( 1967 ), although I have looked at much more than that. In there David Rizzio is butchered before pregnant Mary's eyes, and round the same time she makes a night time escape on horseback - almost like something out of the later set Lorna Doone, or some such thing. Of course in this work, the writer does not believe Mary had anything to do with the death of Darnley at Kirk O' Field, so then, what counts as History, the truth, or our interpretation of it ? Consider George Orwell's 1984, where Winston Smith and his comrades at the Ministry of Truth altered History every day, and once the evidence that it was any different was gone, who could say ? In the end though, spiced up or not, I still contend that History can be as intriguing as any made up thing, and sure, we want it to be perfectly true, but I guess, we can only accept as History what the evidence, whatever that is, tells us. Chris the Russian Christopher Lilly 02:16, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Aye. A lie we then agree to tell ourselves, over and over till we forget that it's a lie. Only the ladder is real!
I might check out this Antonia Fraser. Thanks for the tip. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:19, July 21, 2014 (UTC)
How about that? She went to Dragon School. So she's technically a Lady and an Old Dragon. The last (or only) of her kind, at least by Wikipedia's list. Apparently she and Caroline Kennedy of Camelot were at least somewhat fireproof when the IRA tried to blow them up in 1975. That's rather insane. I think I can trust her. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:41, July 21, 2014 (UTC)

A side note, but I find the concept of letting your grandma watch something bizarre. I think she's old enough to make her own decisions, and know what she likes. Katie R (talk) 17:49, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

My mom knew she liked the show, but the entire Internet seems Greek to her. So I'd download them, and drop off a season at a time. I made a point of making her wait at least a week between seasons. Gotta let it sink in a bit, and have some anticipation grow. She decided I was wrong, but it didn't matter. She was powerless. I imagine other mothers and (great) grandmothers are in the same boat, and/or completely tuned out from pop culture. These ones need to be shown (or not). InedibleHulk (talk) 21:26, July 21, 2014 (UTC)

Yea, I guess some ( hopefully not all ) of History could be seen as a lie that perpetuates until it seems true, like the old fisherman who caught a tiddler, and over the course of decades it turned it Jaws himself, and the fisherman even begins to believe it, but this is not always good enough for me. I am always holding out for someone to come up with the truth, and indeed, even now the experts are telling us all new things and saying the Dark Ages were not so dark, and it might just be a comparative term, and even in the realm of other subjects, ( wrongfully, I believe ), downgrading Pluto to not being a planet when they might have rapped us over the knuckles before if we forget it in our list of nine. Now they also say Sharks do not have to keep moving, when previously they believed they had to, lest they die - so also it is not always that they are lying, although some certainly are, but that they did not know. So if I cannot find the truth in what is written already, I might also be minded to check it out myself.

One thing about Antonia Fraser is that she made the story of the Queen seem very fairytale exciting, but no less true, compared to one like Richard John Green, who just gave the facts. This I am not criticising, as long as the facts are true. I should come to a point, and this is that, we have History recorded for us, this is it, true or not, it is all we have, it reminds me of Martin Luther saying " Here I stand - I can do no other ", and so, if I have this version of History given to me, it is all I have, at least until I can find the evidence that overturns it, just as the Lady did who led the expedition to dig poor King Richard the Third out of the carpark, and thus alter to some extent our perception of him. As for Richard, for over twenty five years I have neither called him hero nor villain, as yes, he usurped the throne, but there is no evidence he murdered his own nepehews, and sure, no evidence he didn't, but in modern courtroom trials we at least have the presumption of innocence.

The moral to this then, is we might have to accept the official version of History, but never stop trying to overturn what we believe to be the actual truth if this History is flawed. One major example for me is the JFK Assassination - now I could go on for ages about this, but suffice to say, the overwhelming evidence from many different sources points to a conspiracy, and a gunman on the grassy knoll. Oswald was involved, to what extent I do not know, but it irks me that in official accounts and questions on some quiz shows he is considered the lone assassin, and no leeway is given, and this is indeed the false History that keeps getting repeated til one believes it, unless those determined people keep up their investigations and such to change the official story. I have no doubt a lot of History can be and is faked, but the one thing is trying to work out what is left that is at least genuine.Chris the Russian Christopher Lilly 13:03, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

I know one thing for sure: If you ever find the truth and hope to preserve it in writing, many will turn a blind eye if you don't use paragraphs. I mean that in a helpful way. I'd like to read your book one day. There's a lot of truth buried in that block of text already.
Cold, hard facts are only part of the truth. When a writer adds a certain tone to the tale (fairytale or otherwise), she shapes the lens you see through. People and places stay vaguely familiar, but become brighter, darker, wider, taller, whatever. Former fictional vampire Billy Corgan once sung "My reflection, dirty mirror, there's no connection to myself." A few other relevant lyrics there, and a certain tone to the guitars that's never quite replicated in his live shows. I recommend listening, even if you've heard the exact recording before.
One eternal truth is that keeping your eyes and ears open will find you new clues every day. Another is that many of those clues won't be clues at all. So it stands to reason that you should learn to easily identify red herrings before attempting to learn anything new. And never pretend to already know what you're looking to find. Anyone can find that. InedibleHulk (talk) 07:52, July 22, 2014 (UTC)

Yes, indeed. Chris the Russian Christopher Lilly 13:03, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

July 20[edit]

Law & Order Season 6 Episode 15: Encore[edit]

bhangra songs featuring reggae artists[edit]

How many bhangra songs have featured reggae artists like ishq naag by RDB featuring Elephant Man?

Elephant Man discography lists the songs he has guested on. --Jayron32 19:29, 20 July 2014 (UTC)


What does the pawnshop stand to gain by giving valuable items to the game show? Jim

Marketing (for the pawn shop and show itself) and advertising revenue (from advertisers who show commercials during the show). You can know that they aren't losing money, so the assumption you should make is "I know they are making money on this. What are they making money on". The average price of a 30 second ad is $122,734 as of 2013 [80]. Since there are 8 minutes of ads per 30 minute TV show, that gives about 2 million dollars of advertising revenue per show. Not bad for putting up $20-30,000 worth of antiques for contestants to win, which, from the shows I have seen, more than half of which don't get won. Even if every show featured every prize won, that would be a 100x return on investment. Not to frigging bad, if you ask me... --Jayron32 19:27, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

July 21[edit]

Sondra Locke article[edit]

In the first line you state that it is unsure about when she was born. But, later in the early life portion it states that she graduated in 1962. So, that would make here year of birth 1944. How accurate is the information of her graduation?— Preceding unsigned comment added by ElmerFudd63 (talkcontribs)

The article says they're a dispute, not that it's unsure, and lists plenty of evidence that it's 1944. Some women lie about their age. Wikipedia gives due weight to mainstream publications, so the fact that most sources give the wrong date is mentioned. Ian.thomson (talk) 01:36, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Also, what makes you think that just because she graduated in 1962, she must have been born in 1944? People graduate at different ages not just 18. --Viennese Waltz 08:49, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Assuming her high school graduation year was in fact 1962, a birth year of 1947 seems kind of unlikely - though not impossible. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:10, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Hypothetical Synopsis of Law & Order episode calledEncore[edit]

overweight,long-haired, leaping, gnome[edit]

I remember this segment from a long time ago. Wonder if you could help me locate the source?

Googling these words found me Wikipedia's Village Pump. You shouldn't ask these sorts of things there.
Judging by the Yahoo answer beneath it, you want Spill the Wine, perhaps. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:33, July 21, 2014 (UTC)
That was an "overfed" gnome. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:34, July 21, 2014 (UTC)

Identifying music[edit]

For the bit from 3:07 to 3:35 in, is it original or borrowed from another piece? That bit is particularly nice sounding and the rest of the piece is borrowed from the well known canon in D so I want to hear the whole piece if this bit is borrowed...

European Swords in Escrima?[edit]

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen.

I have found a curious video with a grand master named Bill Newman (I have never heard of him before) that seems to teach fighting with both Easterm and Western weapons. I am a practioner of both FMA and Western Martial Arts (the German school of fencing to be exact, a wonderful representation can be found under, this is the original medieval art that was used in the Holy Roman Empire, not the modern 20th century stage fencing). Since I have never seen Escrima practioners using such big swords and strange stances and guards, I wonder myself if this style of Escrima has anything to do with the real "Escrima" or if they are just imitating modern movie fencing. Is this a effective way to fight or is it nonsense? Is it even possible to use a European sword effectively with this style of Escrima?

Thank you for your answers

All the best.-- (talk) 10:16, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

did arlene francis have breast cancer along with alzheimers[edit] (talk) 10:19, 21 July 2014 (UTC)vince

This question was raised here recently. [By you, on July 9th] She had cancer, but available sources don't indicate which type. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:05, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

what song is this?[edit]

Hello Wikipedia community, I'm looking for a song, it is a classic song, I think. But I only remember a small part of it. I try to reproduce this part using my mouth, hope this will be enough to identify the song. If someone could tell me what song is it, I will buy him/her a beer :) Thanks. [81] (talk) 17:05, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Is there a name for this type of singing?[edit]

Notice the way he says "loyal". I've heard that kind of middle eastern singing before and am wondering if it has a specific name for it. (talk) 17:39, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

That's not a particularly good example, but "Middle Eastern singing" often features a lot of melisma. Is that what you're referring to? Deor (talk) 22:36, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
It might be. I'm struggling to find examples on YouTube but I remember hearing that kind of tone (when the kid says "loyal") in classical arabic music. (talk) 22:52, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I also think it's (brief) melisma, but you are also probably picking up on the scale_(music) used, because it is not common in western music. Middle eastern music often uses "strange" scales by western standards, e.g. Phrygian dominant scale. I don't have a good ear for this, so I can't tell you what specific scale that song uses. Another thing to listen for is quarter tones, which I think he might be using in that portion of the song. Some addition info at Arabic_music#More_notes_used_than_in_Western_scales. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:14, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

A question regarding character recycling[edit]

I've noticed some characters a long time ago that have been recycled into new characters for their new franchise like the Baabians used for Escape from Planet Earth were originally green humanoid alien people for Planet 51 and Daphne Blake was once an antagonist on Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer as Cousin Mel that is usually a protagonist on the Scooby Doo universe. The popular muppet alien "Gonzo" for the later Muppet series was originally Snarl that made it's debut in The Great Santa Claus Switch and the other out of print version of Grover that was green colored turned blue on the Second season of Sesame Street. This question is one of the trivial things that people do if a desired character is needed and if Wikipedia should have an article about that concept of re-using characters.--HappyLogolover2011 (talk) 22:44, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Not an answer, but Robbie the Robot may hold the record for most reused character in unrelated shows. StuRat (talk) 22:53, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
That is an excellent choice StuRat. As a kid in the 60s I remember him showing up on so many sitcoms. Of course, his meeting with the Robot on Lost in Space is an all-timer. The character of John Munch appeared in nine different TV series on five networks. I'm not sure whether that would be considered recycling but I thought it worth a mention. MarnetteD|Talk 23:31, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Similarly (and in pretty much the same "universe") Jerry Orbach played Detective Lennie Briscoe in several of the Law and Order series. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:19, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Ub Iwerks turned Mickey Mouse from The Karnival Kid into Flip the Frog from Circus. And then there's the mystery mouse from Fiddlesticks. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:45, July 21, 2014 (UTC)
Gene Kelly played the nightclub character "Danny McGuire" in 1944's Cover Girl (film) and then again in 1980's Xanadu (film). ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:13, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Buddy Ebsen reprised his TV role of "Barnaby Jones" in the movie version of The Beverly Hillbillies - only because he had also played Jed Clampett in the TV version. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:13, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Character recycling of a different sort: Soylent Green. Clarityfiend (talk) 05:19, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

July 22[edit]

In which Movie was this one ?[edit]

I watched 'Sea of Love' the other night, nodding off for about ten minutes around the time Al Pacino's character meets Ellen Barkin's in her shoe store, and his altercation with two young punks reveals to her he is a Cop. Now having woken up I thought I had missed an amusing scene, and looked back at the Movie at the place I missed when it repeated, but did not see it, so I thought I might have missed it anyway, as if I could have nodded off more than once - not because the Film was boring, because it certainly wasn't.

The scene I thought was in it, and perhaps indeed is, but could be in another film, is one where a Cop, and if in another film, it could still be Mr. Pacino, is waiting for someone outside a flash school where diplomats and such send their kids, and he notices another man standing about ten yards the other side of the gate, and they acknowledge each other, but within a minute, they end up pulling their guns on each other, but it turns out the other guy was a bodyguard for I think the child of an Iranian diplomat, so all is good. The actor playing him resembled the Canadian born Elias Koteas, who himself bears a slight lookalike to Robert de Niro, but I cannot recall any other movie that this was in.

Also, while I am here, I may as well ask about another movie I have made mention of twice before, to see if anyone else is now reading, or others who have heard it might now remember - a film from about 1987, where a mother finally finds her son in New York, but the drug dealer he is with has him as a slave, and will not let him go, so the Lady calls a street cop, who challenges the crook. This toe rag makes the mistake of drawing on this middle aged officer, who shoots him dead, and mother and son are reunited. It is similar to the David Ogden Stiers T V Movie The Kissing Place, but is not it. Any help ? Thanks. Chris the Russian Christopher Lilly 13:15, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Robert Webber's name[edit]

Why did they put Robert Webber's name in a box? -- Toytoy (talk) 14:42, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Pet Shop Boys and photography[edit]

I was recently at Pori Jazz to see Pet Shop Boys live for the first time in my life. Right before the concert, the staff told us fans not to take any photographs. I noticed that people were taking photographs anyway, so I took a couple myself too. What I find curious here is that the Pet Shop Boys Facebook page states "Please share any pictures you take", which I understand to mean that the band itself is fine with fans photographing them. Does anyone know what is the situation here? Should we fans have been allowed to photograph them or not? How can I contact the band themselves or their manager to ask about this? JIP | Talk 15:31, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

It could be the venue that was trying to enforce its own no-pictures policy. May want to start there, instead. --McDoobAU93 15:34, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
That doesn't explain why the venue had no problems with fans photographing other bands, such as Hurts or George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. JIP | Talk 15:35, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm assuming that the Facebook page you're referring to is the band's official page? Even if it is, the band themselves probably don't manage it and have probably not authorized every single statement on it. Sounds to me like it's run by a fan or someone connected to the band who just wants as many photos as possible for their page. --Viennese Waltz 15:38, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
I found the e-mail address of "Becker Brown management" on the official site of the band. I've sent a question there. JIP | Talk 18:30, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps they only meant to ban flash photography, which can blind the performers, and the message got garbled along the way. StuRat (talk) 22:38, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
No, the security staff definitely told me that any kind of photography is forbidden. But they only did that during the Pet Shop Boys concert. JIP | Talk 06:10, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Their official Facebook page and their Twitter feed both regularly ask fans to post pictures from concerts. If you have access to the internet you can check these yourself. I went to see them at the Brighton Centre at the start of their current tour, and they were asking for pictures of that. Any restriction will be a venue-specific thing. I'm going to see them at the Albert Hall on Wednesday, I expect that there photography will not be permitted. DuncanHill (talk) 23:26, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Lil Jon free download songs and instrumentals[edit]

Louis ("Blues Boy") Jones[edit]

My father is blues legend Louis Blues Boy Jones. I wrote a Bio and I had my cousin Phil O'Neal to submit it to Wikipedia for publication a few months ago. Phil told me that there were more questions. Please let me know what information is needed to complete my Bio for Wikipedia. I am Jones' oldest daughter LaVern. I almost have my book ready to be published about my father's life and I am truly excited. Jones, my father was an amazing entertainer in the early 1950's and 1960's. Now there is a tremendous amount of info provided on Jones' music on websites worldwide. Thank you all kindly. LaVern Jones Lemons

I added a section title. StuRat (talk) 22:27, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
We generally prefer that somebody unrelated to the person in question write their article, to prevent them from only showing their positives and suppressing any negatives. I did find over 1.6 million hits on a Google search of his name, so he does appear to be notable enough to warrant a Wikipedia article. So, perhaps you could write the article, but would need to allow others to modify it, which may include adding negative info on your father, to balance out the article. Will you be OK with that ?
Also, if your father is still alive, our "Biography of Living Persons" guideline will apply, requiring sources for everything (we want to be extra careful not to make mistakes in such cases, where the person is still alive to be offended). StuRat (talk) 22:31, 22 July 2014 (UTC)


July 17[edit]

Finding Information on a Company or Business[edit]

I have searched the internet and cannot seem to find what I am looking > for and thought maybe you might be able to help. I am looking for a > company or business that made clocks in the 50's or 60's and if they > are still in business today. I have a Dancing Girl Ballerina Musical > TV clock they had made and I need some parts for this clock. The only > information I found on the clock is; Fichter KG Germany also stamped on it is D.B.G.M. Any > information or help you could give me is greatly appreciated. > — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:25, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

According to this discussion on a horological message board, Fichter KG went bankrupt in 1976.
There are a few ebay results for Fichter KG. You might find spare parts there. Dalliance (talk) 12:04, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Also, if you can't find spare parts, you could take it to a clock repair shop, which can probably custom make them. Of course, this will be expensive. StuRat (talk) 13:22, 17 July 2014 (UTC)


After watching the final match of the FIFA World Championship 2014, I saw that there was a goal scored but it was disqualified as an offside. I had to look up the article Offside (association football) to find out what an offside is. Apparently a player is in offside when he's nearer to the opposing team's end of the field than both the ball and any of the opposing team's moving players (i.e. everyone except the goalkeeper) simultaneously, and as such any action by such a player is disqualified. What I don't understand is the reason for this rule. Is it simply to encourage fairer play? JIP | Talk 20:14, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

It's so that a player can't "goal-hang", i.e. just stand around the goal waiting for the ball to be passed forward to him. --Viennese Waltz 20:21, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
OK, I see. That actually makes perfect sense. I cannot imagine why I've never understood this in all my life. Thank you! JIP | Talk 20:24, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Maybe see Cherry picking (basketball) for the banned practice itself. Also applies to hockey. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:30, July 17, 2014 (UTC)
Soccer's offside rule, at least in the situation in the World Cup final, to me is closer to the three-second rule or lane violation, i.e. ganging up on the goal. In the World Cup game, even though soccer's offside rule is a bit complicated, it was clear why it was a violation in that case, as there were two offensive players parked near the goalkeeper. Hockey's offside is rather more straightforward: The puck must precede the offensive players into the attacking zone. And the offense has to stay out of the goal crease area, although you'll often see an attacker parked just outside the goal crease, waiting for a pass. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:07, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
I was going to post here about hockey, then I noticed that some already had, then I noticed they were talking about ice hockey, not the hockey I'm far more familiar with. The offside rule was abolished in Field hockey maybe thirty years ago. Of the other sports mentioned, it's obviously the most similar to soccer/association football. The plan to remove the rule was met with many warnings of terrible consequences, but they didn't occur. I don't know why the rule still exists in soccer, apart from the obvious "We've always done it that way.". HiLo48 (talk) 22:26, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
I've already explained why the rule exists. I can't speak for hockey, but it's pretty clear to me that the offside rule in football is an important one and needs to be there. --Viennese Waltz 07:39, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Offside is the most complicated rule soccer has, and it's not even that complicated. Take it away, and what fun will the game be, for people who like to argue about the rules? --Trovatore (talk) 22:31, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
When I was a small child in a boys' Preparatory school (United Kingdom) (don't click the link as it won't tell you anything I didn't just tell you), I was mildly surprised that on one of the few occasions that "weather" was so bad that we couldn't play football... (That is, the groundsmen thought that we might harm the pitch. Harm to the boys from snow, hail, ice, cold etc was disregarded and even encouraged, and at least one boy at my school later died from harm due to sharp metal alongside the pitch.) ... We were all herded into a classroom and a teacher/coach stepped up to the blackboard, chalk in hand, and said, "right, let's go over how offside works". Being very young, I thought blackboards were only for academic use. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 22:43, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
The language of soccer is part of the problem in explaining the rule to people not brought up with the game. In real life, my goal is something I'm aiming for. In soccer, my goal is the one behind me, the one I'm defending. And the rule refers to things like "the opponents' goal line". Well, I would have thought the my opponents' goal was the one behind me, the one they're aiming at. HiLo48 (talk) 22:52, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
It's that way in most or all of the goal games that I'm familiar with. The terminology is kind of weird, but it's how it is. Kind of like in baseball, where the "foul lines" are in fair territory. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:28, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Oh well, the footballing game I was brought up with is Australian football. (ALthough there was plenty of soccer played in my neck of the woods too.) In Aussie Rules, players just kick the ball towards the goals. Nobody owns them. HiLo48 (talk) 01:22, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Whoa. I've heard of Australian football, but I thought it was just another term for rugby. That's almost more like Powerball from American Gladiators. At least in the neutral goal way. Too many rules about tackling in that one. Anyway, thanks for the enlightenment! InedibleHulk (talk) 01:58, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
Wait, so to be clear, if you get the ball, you can kick it through whichever goal is easier to reach, and you score the same either way? I don't see that mentioned in the article (though it also doesn't contradict it). If that's true, I think that should be stated prominently in the article, because it just won't occur to readers familiar with other football codes that that might be the case. --Trovatore (talk) 03:00, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
No, I was more speaking linguistically. Teams aim for opposite ends of the ground. Aussie Rules players speak of kicking for goal, kicking to the goal square, aiming or goal. There is no sense in language of the goals belonging to a particular team. It's pretty obvious where you're aiming. HiLo48 (talk) 03:37, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Oh. Sounded that way from "The main way to score points is by kicking the ball between the two tall goal posts." Not "either of" or anything. I didn't read that much further, but it's clearer now. Not so cool anymore, but still cool to know it isn't rugby. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:47, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
In various forms of football in the US and Canada, each team is said to be defending one of the two goal lines. Instead of saying "the goal line team A is defending" every time, it's easier just to say "team A's goal". As words, it seems counterintuitive, but the players and fans understand. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:21, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
It's not really counterintuitive; you just need the right metaphor. The languages of sports and war are often similar; and to win in war, you typically have to fight in the enemy's territory. So in sports you score in the opponents' goal, in/at the opponents' half/zone/end of the field/pitch/rink/pool/whatever. I would have expected this to be used for all sports where the teams score at opposite ends of the playing area. -- (talk) 07:45, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
It pretty much is that way. Basketball and (ice) hockey employ that same usage. I think lacrosse does too. Confusion may arise because of the physical "goal" (line, cage, posts, etc.) vs. the metaphorical "goal" (objective).[82]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:12, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
To go back to the earlier question of why the offside rule hasn't been abolished, it's because it would lead to a deluge of goals and would completely change the flow of the game. Less radical proposals have been made to change it, however. The old North American Soccer League, in the 1970s and early 1980s, had tweaked the rule so that the off-side line was not the center line anymore, but a line 35 yards from the goal you're attacking. This created more space for attackers to roam in the middle third of the field and opened up the game a lot without fundamentally changing it. But FIFA did not like the rule, regularly threatened to apply sanctions if the NASL did not go back to using only official rules (there were a couple of other minor changes made, such as the shoot-out to break ties), and the dispute became moot when the league went bankrupt. North American professional leagues since that time have used the standard off-side rule, but that innovation would be worth reviving, even if it was dreamed up by North American barbarians. --Xuxl (talk) 08:26, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that's the exact purpose of the offside rules in various sports - to have "optimal" balance between offense and defense. Any radical change would alter the nature of the game. However, with all the low-scoring games in the World Cup (with the glaring exception of Brazil's humiliations), as a non-fan I have to ask: Does the average fan enjoy watching 120 minutes of 1-1 or 0-0 scores? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots

0:16, 18 July 2014 (UTC)Yes,very much hotclaws

It's nothing new, though, low-scoring games have been the norm since the 1960s, and fans would argue that those low scores means that "every goal matters" and thus increases interest. Personally, I would prefer it if scoring was a bit more frequent, hence my support for the old NASL rule, but that's just me. --Xuxl (talk) 12:05, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm the exact opposite, I can't fathom how someone cabn get excited about a sport where there are multiple sores a minute (basketball). If scores are more rare, they are much more exciting, and creating an opportunity to score is exiting in and off itself. (talk) 16:34, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
You've hit upon why I'm not much of a basketball fan. I like hockey much better. The action can be electric, and it doesn't slow to a snail's pace in the last two minutes like basketball often does. And unlike soccer, the players and fans actually know how much time is left in the period. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:46, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Actually I find basketball and soccer to have a very similar "feel", in spite of being at opposite ends of the scoring spectrum. The flaw with both of them, as spectator sports, is that possessions are so short. Both games are more tactical than strategic. You get the ball, and you either score or you don't, and then you go on.
The great thing about American football (again, as a spectator sport; it's a miserable game to actually play) is the long possessions where a team is striving towards an objective, and the structure that that gives to the drama and to the emotional profile of the game. (American) football is a novel; both soccer and basketball are collections of loosely related vignettes. --Trovatore (talk) 20:48, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
In pro wrestling (not a sport, I know), those vignettes are called spots, and people who play rapid style, instead of telling a whole story, are called spot monkeys. Be careful applying that one to American basketball players, though. Like "porch monkey", there's still a certain vibe to it. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:39, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
Oddly enough, there's one basketball player mentioned by name in the Tropes article, and he's Australian. Brett Rainbow. Though, in my books, Harold Miner would also qualify. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:48, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
Trovatore, have you ever tried explaining that flaw to your Italian friends and colleagues? ;-) ---Sluzzelin talk 22:01, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Your mention of the "center line", by which you mean the halfway line, is making me think. I'm sure there used to be a rule that a player could not be offside if the ball was played to him from within his own half. But I can't find anything about that now in the laws. Am I imagining this, and if not, when was the law changed? --Viennese Waltz 08:34, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I think you're imagining it; the rule is that a player cannot be offside in his own half. --Xuxl (talk) 12:05, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

If you ever watch small boys playing football in the park in the "Jumpers for Goalposts" style, you see what happens when the offside rule is abandoned. The unpopular chubby or skinny kid gets left in defence and all the other players stand about by their opponent's goal in the hope of scoring and glory; a practice known as "goal-hanging". Alansplodge (talk) 18:09, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

I already referred to that term in the very first response to the OP. --Viennese Waltz 22:07, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Quite so. I'd forgotten by the time I had read to the end of the thread. My apologies. Alansplodge (talk) 22:35, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

The offside rule was abolished in field hockey about thirty years ago. It didn't lead to a deluge of goals. Why does soccer have an offside rule? HiLo48 (talk) 19:24, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Alansplodge has answered that already. Five-a-side football doesn't use offside. --John (talk) 19:34, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
What unskilled schoolkids do in things that aren't really matches, or what happens with fewer than half the usual number of players, doesn't prove much at all. International field hockey is played by the best in the world, like the Soccer World Cup. It's played on similar sized grounds, with the same number of players. There are many other similarities. The removal of the offside rule did not create a problem. Scores are usually still quite low. HiLo48 (talk) 22:06, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Point taken. I suspect that the answer is that those with their hands on the levers don't want to change. Reference the difficulty in getting Goal-line technology introduced. Alansplodge (talk) 00:56, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
I think that's it too. They see a game that's extremely successful in a large part of the world, and probably think that no change is needed. I'm not in that part of the world, and I can't see the game growing much here in Australia, and in places like the USA, without some changes. Maybe they don't care. Maybe they don't understand. HiLo48 (talk) 01:15, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
The rule (unlike goal-line technology) has clear implications for the way the game is played. Remove it and you encourage teams banging the ball long all the time to strikers who sit in the goal box for the whole game. Defences have no reason to push up and as a result pace becomes significantly less important. Strikers would play directly in front of the opposition goalkeeper in an attempt to deflect or poach goals. It would lead to goals being easier to score and the game becoming somewhat monotonous as I see it. It would also cause massive technical rethinking for every club worldwide which doesn't seem desirable. Certainly not going to change - nobody involved in the game really wants it to, and its hardly that complicated (either as a stand alone rule or compared to rules in other sports). Macosal (talk) 13:41, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Like the game isn't monotonous already? But for sure it would be a radical change. To compare with hockey, where if the blue line wasn't there, you would have a game more like basketball... and be it soccer or hockey, taking away the offsides rules would pretty much eliminate the need for a goalie, making it even more like basketball. And basketball is often monotonous as well.Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:26, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
@Macosal it's not that complicated until you have to explain it to someone. Hack (talk) 14:47, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Like trying to explain the infield fly rule to someone who's never seen a bat-and-ball game. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:56, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I guess sometimes it is easier to just have a video explaining something complicated like this. Hack (talk) 00:35, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

July 18[edit]

Voices in my head[edit]

This could be connected to psychology, but I'm not even sure about that. When reading certain words, I have to think of certain voices. Some examples:

Yahoo! --> Not the Yahoo commercial in my case, but the Shofixti "Glory Device" sound. Call me silly.
YEAH! --> CSI: Miami soundtrack (duh!).
Asta la vista --> Arnold Schwarzenegger.
I am not an atomic playboy --> Vice Admiral William H. P. Blandy.

Is there a name for that phenomenon? - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 10:45, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Wow, the Shofixti link works! I'm impressed.

The authors of "Silent Reading of Direct versus Indirect Speech Activates Voice-selective Areas in the Auditory Cortex" call it "perceptual simulations (or spontaneous imagery)", though the quote continues "of the reported speaker's voice". In your examples there are no reported speakers, only implied ones. ---Sluzzelin talk 11:06, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
So it would only apply if it is the speaker I associate with the words? Time to play more Star Control then. Ya-HOO! - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 11:51, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I'd have to call it a type of intelligence - a high aptitude for retention and recall, from a wide variety of media. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:35, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
I seem to be quite good at it. Could be related to the "3 types of learners": one prefers learning by listening, the other by reading, and the third type by reading. Only now did I notice how well Ya-HOO! and ¡Ouch! go together: "Ouch" is the usual result of a successful Glory run. - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 06:12, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Animal Thinking[edit]

Inspired by the question above, and bizarrely I was thinking about this yesterday after reading Animals In Translation for the umpteenth time, I was wondering about how animals think. I am very sure this question cannot be answered, but with humans, we think in words. Of course, we have images, too. Has there been any research on animals for this? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 13:07, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

I can't give you a citation, but the consensus of what I've read here and there by animal behavior theorists is that animals appear to think in frames of reference they can sense: "mental pictures", smells, etc. I think it's Jackson Galaxy who has said on a number of occasions that when you play with a cat, be it with string or toy mice or whatever, they are "imagining" catching prey. That's why they may run over to the food bowl after they're done playing, to kind of have closure of this imagining. Similarly, if you're caressing your cat, it will purr contentedly and get into a posture that emulates nursing when they're kittens, as that's what they're imagining or reliving at that point. Which is why they will knead and then lick their paws, imagining they are getting those last drop of mother's milk. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:19, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
And it's worth mentioning that humans often do this too. Athletes and others talk about "visualizing". A favorite example of mine is a hobbled Kirk Gibson at bat in Game One of the 1988 World Series. His knees were in such bad shape he could barely walk. At certain points in the at-bat, he stepped out of the batter's box and swung the bat a few times. He said later he was visualizing where the ball might be and how he would swing at it. After he knocked it into the right field seats for the game winning home run, radiocaster Jack Buck famously said, "I don't believe what I just saw!" Gibson believed it. It turned out just the way he had visualized it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:25, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
In Wembley and the Great Race, Red (an athletic Fraggle) is trying to explain to Wembley (a wishy-washy wimp) how the first step to outracing Gobo (the alpha Fraggle) is imagining it. At first, he dismisses the idea of even imagining it as preposterous. But with some encouragement, he tries visualizing it hard. And fails. But he wins the race anyhow, shocking himself.
My point is individual animals likely think differently from other of their species, due to experience and personality traits. I have roosters, some successful at chicken loving, some not. It seems the winning ones just kept getting better, while the two wimps got far worse with time. If you're used to failing, that's likely what you'll visualize, essentially "cockblocking yourself" (not necessarily sexually). InedibleHulk (talk) 19:42, July 18, 2014 (UTC)
It's probably impossible to know for sure what animals are thinking - but sometimes we can infer things. A great example comes from dogs - they have an instinct to show submission to a pack leader by licking their throats right below the chin. My dogs have frequently done that..."I recognize that you're the boss" is the clear message here. But dogs often lick the underside of your wrists in the same way...what's going on there? The suggestion is that dogs think of our hands as extra mouths...seems bizarre...we're giant three-headed monsters as far as they are concerned!? But if you're a dog, your mouth is what you use to manipulate the world - and human hands do perhaps it follows that if hands are mouths, then wrists seem like throats - and they lick them to show submission. Do we know this for sure - well no, of course not - but if we can find more evidence for it - perhaps it's a reasonable assumption. So we note that stroking a dog calms it down...why would that be? Well, we know that a mother dog licks it's puppies and that calms stroking has the same effect as licking - and this is additional circumstantial evidence that our dogs imagine that our hands are like mouths. Add that a dominance gesture in wolves is to pin a rival on it's back and loosely place jaws across it's throat..."I could easily crush your windpipe and kill you right now - but I'm not going to". The "underdog" may briefly struggle to get out from this - but if it can't, it ultimately submits by going limp. My dog does the exact same thing if I put my hand across his throat while he's on his back and pretend to strangle hands have jaws evidently.
So with careful observation, we can perhaps piece together some small insights into how animals think - but we're unlikely to ever be 100% right.
SteveBaker (talk) 15:05, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Another interesting aspect of animal thought relates to "theory of mind", the ability most people have to make a good guess at what others are currently thinking, or will think, in a given situation. Most animals seem to lack that ability. There are possible exceptions, though. One possible example is tigers, who always attack from behind. People who live where tigers are a problem will even wear masks on the backs of their heads to convince tigers that they are looking at the front side of the person (a good example of "theory of mind" at work in humans). Presumably the reason for attacking from the back is that if a person sees the tiger pouncing, they might get a spear or bow and arrow or knife deployed in time to wound or kill the tiger (and note that a wound that prevents them from hunting will likely cause them to starve to death, too).
Now, this could mean the tiger is thinking about what the person thinks, or it could simply be a trait that evolved, when only tigers who liked to attack from behind survived to pass on this gene, without them knowing why they attack from behind. Note that this attacking from behind behavior may also be important when attacking other animals which can defend themselves, given sufficient warning. Also, tigers, like all cats, are built for sprinting, not marathon runs, so many prey species could outrun them, given enough warning of an attack.
Some primates also engage in theft, or mating which wouldn't be sanctioned by the leader, only when they are out of sight. This could also mean they know what others are thinking. StuRat (talk) 15:21, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Note that humans don't always think in words, as your question seems to imply. If you recall the smell of e.g. your grandparent's house, your brain is not using words to conjure up that olfactory memory.
--But you asked for research, so here's a well-reviewed recent scholarly book on the topic: "Inside the Animal Mind: A Groundbreaking Exploration of Animal Intelligence" [83]. For a much older perspective, you might like this one [84]. Here is an open access article I was able to find [85]. Hope these help, SemanticMantis (talk) 19:15, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Whatever you can do or "think" without using or never having used a word a higher mammal can to. They can even say no, (growl) in many cases. Things that require the sentences of three year olds (my neice just told me she had a gree light saber. I asked her was it new, or was it her brother's? She named her brother we have no evidence animals can "think". Given dogs and two yea olds know they are doing bad, it seems non-linguistic thinking can be pretty sophisticated. μηδείς (talk) 22:28, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
  • That might be taking it a bit far. They may act as if they know they did wrong, but it may well be that they do so because such actions help to minimize their punishment, without having a clue what you are thinking, or even that you are thinking. StuRat (talk) 22:33, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
And you've never done that yourself? With a partner, parent, boss or someone? It beats the more honest "What the hell's your problem, anyway?" response seven times out of ten, at least in civilization.[citation needed] Your dog hangs its head in sorry confusion, but try scolding a wolf. Or any other stranger. Conflict avoidance only works when there's a reason to avoid a conflict. Love, foresight, self-consciousness or whatever else mammals have in common. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:00, July 19, 2014 (UTC)
Stu you seem to be requiring an explicit theory of mind and morality in words, all I am saying is non-dominant males will sneak sex when they know they are not being seen, dogs will sleep on the couch, then sneak down when they hear the owner coming, two-year-olds will sneak cookies when they think they can get away with it--this is all behavior at a similar level of intelligence possible without wrkds. Once you want to do, what is the cost of two 40 dollar shirts with a 6% sales tax going to leave me if I start with $125.00 you ned higher concepts in the form of words no available to animal. μηδείς (talk) 17:43, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

July 19[edit]

Article to be deleted - Manoj Srivastava[edit]

please delete the page MANOJ SRIVASTAVA. This page was created by his son Kunal Srivastava for creating a fake image for Manoj Srivastava. Mostly all statements published in this article are wrong with the intense to push his father. Please check all the given links (references) given in the article. They only proof that Manoj Srivastava worked as an employee for different companies, not more and not less. He is neither an actor (where is the proof?), nor a film director (where is the proof apart from mentioning his amateur 9-minute film with his own son in the lead, which was never publicly screened at any festival - if so...where is the proof?), nor a film festival director (he was alway only an employee in different positions for different festivals - so where is the proof?), nor a producer (where is a proof?), nor an author of any book (where is the proof?). So please again check the article and it's relevance for the public. I don't support fake pages, especially not from persons who are pretenders. Please check with diverse people from any of the festivals, what was the position of Manoj Srivastava. Wikipedia is a platform for giving information on public interest. And this is here defenitely NOT the case. — Preceding unsigned comment added by WikiObserver12345 (talkcontribs) 11:14, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

This is not the right venue. Take it to the Manoj Srivastava article's talk page and consult Wikipedia:Deletion process. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:42, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
While the article is overly promotional, it was announced by reliable sources that his short was to be screened at the Brisbane International Film Festival in 2008.[86][87] Also, the Times of India reported on "alleged scams carried out during the tenure of Manoj Srivastava as chief executive officer (CEO) of the Entertainment Society of Goa (ESG)."[88] So at least some of your allegations are false. As far as I can see, he is may be marginally notable. Clarityfiend (talk) 20:40, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

OP has been blocked idefinitely for repeatedly blanking the article.--Shantavira|feed me 07:49, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Hi, please can you remove any info regarding Botley brewery.... I have given up trying to change the page name... although I am confused that I am not allowed Botley Brewery but you do allow another local business ...botley cleaners... I have there for to admit defeat and give up with Wikipedia.

This site may be great if you are computer mind ....... but a nightmare for a non techy!

many thanks


How do I change my user name?[edit]


I would like to put an article about my business on Wikipedia and so set up an account. I set up my account using the business name and then received an email about account not using the business name! Am confused as I cannot seem to find where to change my user name to something else that Wikipedia is happy for me to use!

please help

many thanks

Meg — Preceding unsigned comment added by Botley Brewery (talkcontribs) 17:46, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

In the message on your talk page, the words "username change" is a link to the instructions on how to request a username change. If something is linked in a message, check the link, because it's probably relevant.
Also, Wikipedia is not for advertising or promoting a business, see WP:NOTPROMO. Advertising will be deleted. If your brewery does not meet our general notability guidelines (which you can read by clicking this link), we do not want an article about it and will delete it. In other words, you need at least two published references discussing your brewery in detail, that are not affiliated with your brewery, that are not user-generated, and are not pay-to-publish. Ian.thomson (talk) 17:58, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
As you've only made two edits with your account, and non to mainspace article, it might be better just to abandon your account, and create another. However, editors are strongly discouraged from editing articles they have a close connection to, see Wikipedia:SELFPROMOTE for details. CS Miller (talk) 18:05, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
I wonder why Wikipedia doesn't allow accounts named after businesses.
Policies like WP:NOTPROMO and WP:COI would be easier to follow if, for example, brewery employees editing beer-related articles had to use a name indicating the possible CoI. Sure, a malicious editor could choose not to, but other editors and their contributions to relevant articles could be checked and reviewed more easily. Once a more malicious editing pattern is found, an offending account can be blocked either way, but the user name looks like a good way to declare COI, and hard to miss, too.
OTOH, the naming policy stands as it is, so an account name change is in order even if I don't see a major problem. WP runs on consensus, not on what is okay with one user or two. - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 06:46, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
User's named after a business are bad on two fronts: 1.) It may not be someone affiliated with the business (which rules out the whole "easier to catch COI" stuff, but opens up the door to malicious things) and 2.) The name itself is still an advertisement/promotion, it is getting the name out there and, depending on volume of edits, giving it a slight bit more web presence. Finally, people should be editing Wikipedia, not companies - I would feel much more uneasy about edits from an account named BeerCompanyX editing articles about calories than I would JimSmith, calories are not directly related to alcohol, but skewing sources in just the right way can be favorable to certain demographics; since this kind of editing could involve very disparate subjects from the company's obvious sphere of interest, I think it would make for a far less trustworthy Wikipedia. --Obviously, there are bigger direct and blatant threats, vandalism/people with an axe to grind/etc., and this seems a relatively minor point, but I think the less open projects like this are linked up to people with a profit motive, the better.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 09:23, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Trouble with bicycle pump[edit]

Evening all. Not sure if this belongs here but I'm having a problem I'm frankly embarrassed about, and you guys are smart and on the interwebs. So: I bought a new pump for my bike tyres. It's got two valve heads, one of which doesn't fit onto my tyres. The other one does, and I can hear air be released as it breaks the seal so I'm sure it works. But when I seal it (by clipping the clip from 'unlocked' to 'locked') I can't pump air in. I push the pump handle down but the air compresses very hard with it less than halfway down, and the PSI gauge shows no improvement even if I pump for 10 minutes. For some reason air just won't go in. I feel like I must be missing something really basic, but what? This used to happen with my old pump, but moving the cable a bit always sorted it. Repeated attempts have led to no help. The pump definitely expels air when I test it not attached to the bike. Help, please. (talk) 19:55, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

At the risk of stating the obvious: does the bike have Presta valves? If so you need to unscrew the little nut so that the air can get in. Demo here. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 20:47, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

Don't worry about stating the obvious, I'm definitely making a rookie error. But I don't think I have a Presta Valve, mine looks different. In any case, I never had to unscrew something like that with the old pump which screwed onto the valve - so I don't think that's it. (talk) 21:03, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

If they're not Prestas then they're probably Schrader valves (like those used on cars), in which case you need to make sure that the pump nozzle is pushed far enough on to the valve for the pin to be depressed; it could be that the pump is faulty so that this isn't possible. The other option is the Dunlop valve, but not much can go wrong with those. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 21:23, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Does the pump have a lever on top of the valve assembly? If so, that'll have to be moved to the different position than it's it (usually from horizontal to vertical), to lock on the valve properly and open it up, as mentioned by the above post. (talk) 22:07, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
Why not go to the shop where you bought it and ask? There you can show them what you're doing. -- (talk) 04:28, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

I'll probably end up doing that, have tried the lever suggestion to no avail. Many thanks for the suggestions nonetheless. Prokhorovka (talk) 01:13, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

It would be very helpful to know the make and model of the pump. Looie496 (talk) 14:11, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
One more thing to try: if the tire is completely deflated, it can be difficult to get the pump to seat properly on a Schrader valve, because there's nothing to push down against. Try pushing up on the valve stem from the bottom of the tire, and pushing the pump head down on the tire valve rather firmly. Also, to be more specific about the switch: there are two positions on the pump switch, call them A and B. Try seating the pump head on the valve while it is in A position, then moving it to B to inflate. If that doesn't work, seat the pump head while in B position, then move it to A to inflate. Order is important, and simply toggling the switch while seated often doesn't work in my experience. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:05, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Yep, you're probably doing what I first did on my new pump, switching the clip the wrong way. Try the other way. On mine, the locking position is away from the valve, as SM describes in more detail above. El duderino (abides) 09:57, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

July 20[edit]

Real-life girl's name used by JK Rowling as Hogwarts student?[edit]

Must have been years ago, I remember reading the Harry Potter Wiki and one of the pages was for a Hogwarts student whose name was mentioned in dialogue. The page explained that the name was of a daughter of a real-life friend of JK Rowling, who inserted it at her friend's request. I think?

Obviously the page could have been lying, but now that I'm re-looking for this information, I can't find anything on the subject at all. Is there any verifiable evidence for anything of this nature having happened? 2605:A000:F9E0:2900:21F3:6562:6370:3CCE (talk) 02:27, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

There's Natalie McDonald, search the web for details. (talk) 13:01, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
In particular, read this. -- (talk) 19:41, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

That's it! Thank you! (On an unrelated note, why is my IP address so weird?) 2605:A000:F9E0:2900:7501:8FFD:3DC0:45E8 (talk) 22:14, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Your IP address is a new-fangled IPv6 address, welcome to The World Of Tomorrow! SteveBaker (talk) 22:35, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
You mean "Welcome to The World Of Tomorrow!"! -- (talk) 05:50, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
No, welcome to the World of Yesterday's Tomorrow. Clarityfiend (talk) 00:43, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
The answer to your question is...Welcome to Tomorrow. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:26, July 21, 2014 (UTC)

July 21[edit]

Decimal fractions in Welsh[edit]

Welsh numerals contains information about numbers in Welsh, but doesn't mention anything about fractions (decimal or vulgar). What would be the Welsh for one point two three four (for example)?  — An optimist on the run! (logged on as Pek the Penguin) 12:31, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Until a genuine Welsh speaker answers, Google Translate says that "decimal point" in Welsh is "pwynt degol". Alansplodge (talk) 12:58, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
There's a little bit about fractions here (it's a powerpoint) but only really that "un haner" (one half) is "2 chwarter" (two quarters). Haven't found anything else.--ColinFine (talk) 17:21, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
I am not a genuine Welsh speaker, but if you look here [89] for example, it is clear that 1.234 is un pwynt dau tri pedwar (or possibly the corresponding feminine adjectives for a feminine noun). ----Ehrenkater (talk) 17:31, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
While you are probably right, it is certainly not clear from the evidence there. The page gives us only a single digit after the point, and these are section numbers not decimals. In English 1.11 is read "one point one one" if it is a decimal, but "one point eleven" if it is a section number, so there is no necessary reason why the two uses need read the same way, --ColinFine (talk) 21:32, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
And for non-decimal fractions, for example one eighty-seventh is un rhan o wyth deg saith (from para 4.211 of Gramadeg y Gymraeg by Peter Wynn Thomas, 1996 edition)----Ehrenkater (talk) 17:48, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

How long does a Bumblebee live?[edit]

It's only July and they seem to be dying everywhere. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 18:28, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Click me. --Jayron32 19:41, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
It shouldn't be a case of colony collapse disorder, since that affects the European Honey Bee, not the Bumblebee. StuRat (talk) 20:43, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Bumblebee#Endangered_status discusses plenty of stressors on Bumblebee population that could explain KageTora's observations. But it may be that now that you've "noticed" a problem, finding a dead bee is more significant to you than it would otherwise be - a case of observer bias perhaps. SteveBaker (talk) 03:01, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Another factor not mentioned in your link would be Neonicotinoid use in the area. The article mentions effects on honey bees, but pretty much any pollinator can be affected. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:13, 22 July 2014 (UTC) P.S. Unless you think KageTora's observations are killing bees, that's not observer bias (according to our article). Confirmation bias is closer. I was taught the term salience bias to cover this case, but apparently that is not terribly standard nomenclature.
My apologies, yes - of course I meant "confirmation bias"...a small slip of the brain! 03:17, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Searching across Wikipedias in various languages[edit]

As an experienced editor, and (English language) article creator I am increasingly aware of the the extent to which:

(a) different language Wikipedia articles, driven by cultural differences, present their information and resources in quite different and instructive ways,
(b) different language Wikipedia articles, often written from entirely different perspectives, often direct the reader to new and otherwise un-cited (English and non-English) sources of valuable information, and
(c) it is important to link different language Wikipedia articles to the corresponding English language article.

My question is this: instead of the time consuming process of having to choose a specific language Wikipedia and, then, searching for articles with the title sought within that particular Wikipedia, and repeating the process again and again -- with the additional risk that there might be an important subject-relevant article in some other Wikipedia written in a language that the searcher has not predicted might exist (and, therefore, has missed it altogether) -- is there some way to search for an article on a specific topic -- say, "autosuggestion" -- (or, even better, to search for some reference to that term within some other article) in a language other than English language right throughout the entire Wikipedia domain? Dr Lindsay B Yeates (talk) 05:47, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

It's better to do this using advanced Google search rather than trying to do it from within Wikipedia. [90] returns references to autosuggestion in all Wikipedias. [91] is the same search but with the letters "en" (for English Wikipedia) excluded. I'm not sure that second search is 100% effective though, as it might exclude references in, say, the German Wikipedia that include the word "englisch". --Viennese Waltz 09:19, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Wouldn't it be better to use [92] [93] if you want to exclude the English wikipedia in particular? May be add the simple English one as well if need be. Nil Einne (talk) 14:46, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Also if you want to try excluding English results that occur in other wikipedias, you will likely have to rely on the search engines language detection capabilities which are a bit hit and miss (they can get confused if there's too much of one language in a page). Google only seems to let you search in a certain language, may be you can full around with the url to include all languages but one (but I'm not sure whether Google will interpret them all or only the first or last one). But Bing does seem to let you select multiple languages so you'd just need to select each language but English [94]. Bing seems to only use cookies for the search results language so I can't provide a sample URL. Nil Einne (talk) 14:57, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

Who is this guy?[edit]

Let's say that somebody posts a profile on a social-networking site. How can one find out if the photo was copied from somewhere else? More generally, if you have a picture that you got from the Internet, is there any way to find out whom it belongs to? (talk) 21:20, 22 July 2014 (UTC)

See Reverse image search. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:23, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, exactly. You might start with a trip to Google. Find the "Image" search tool and click on the camera icon. It'll ask you for the URL where your photo is posted - then it'll produce a list of exactly (and nearly, and not so nearly) similar images. You can visit those to see if the person's name is revealed. There are other similar tools ( is another good one)...but I generally find Google does the best job.
However, while that may help you discover who this is a photo of - it's not generally possible to discover who owns the copyright on photograph. If you see the image uploaded in a bunch of places, then it's quite likely that the one that's the highest resolution and least-cropped is the most original...but that's always going to be nothing more than a good guess! SteveBaker (talk) 03:16, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
Cool, I wasn't aware of that feature of Google! (talk) 03:44, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

July 23[edit]

Same location - Different cell phone experience[edit]

At my home here in Vermont, I can use my cell phone to make fairly clear calls. My plan is with Verizon. Meanwhile, if anyone with AT&T visits, they cannot make phone calls and only occasionally get text messages through. Is this simply a matter of the different technologies used by the two carriers, e.g. LTE for Verizon and whatever AT&T uses? Dismas|(talk) 03:25, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

It also depends on the coverage of each network, including the cell towers and signal strength each company controls. Depending on where you live in Vermont, the nearest AT&T cell tower may be too far away or not have enough signal strength to reach you. Verizon likes to advertise it has "America's most reliable network", and posts comparison coverage maps in the middle of this page on their web site. Other comparison maps can be found on such independent sites as . Zzyzx11 (talk) 04:48, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I guess I hadn't really considered where the towers are. Thanks. I'm not sure about the accuracy of that Open Signal link you provide though. It shows hardly any coverage anywhere around me and yet I can get a decent 3/4G signal in most places around my house. Dismas|(talk) 05:48, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
The quality of signal you get depends on more than just the distance to the nearest cell tower belonging to your provider though. The topography of the landscape matters too. I once owned a home that was halfway down a hillside which had a massive cell tower on the top - not 200 yards from the house. But most since most of those 200 yards were straight through solid rock, we got almost zero reception. We ended up switching carriers a couple of times before we found one that had usable signal strength. SteveBaker (talk) 16:37, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Camera extension tubes[edit]

I recently got a set of extension tubes for my FX-format DSLR. This is the first time I've had extension tubes. The set consists of 12, 20, and 36mm tubes. I have three lenses: 18-55mm, 18-105mm, and 55-300mm. That makes a lot of combinations.

Suppose you want to fill the frame horizontally with something that is X cm wide. How can you tell which combinations of tubes and which lens (or lenses) will allow that? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 07:24, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

All of them might because you haven't said how far away the object is. (talk) 12:41, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

Google searching use of plus sign[edit]

If I was to perform the following search "word1 +word2" (ignoring the quotation marks), what function is the plus sign performing? Hack (talk) 07:58, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

It means that the result must contain word2. It's described here [95], which was linked from [96], which was the result of searching for "search help" (sans quotes). CS Miller (talk) 08:29, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
This page doesn't say that it must contain a word. Dismas|(talk) 08:31, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
My mistake, I'm sure it used to do that. Perhaps it biases the results to contain word2. CS Miller (talk) 08:44, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

The article Google Search notes that the '+' was removed from Google on October 19, 2011 [97]. It presently does not seem to work as either a Boolean operator "OR" nor as a literal quotation mark so it may be treated now like a text character. A search for A+ student confirms this. (talk) 08:46, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

It seems to be filtering results somehow. For example "barack +obama" (minus quotes) returns 4.6m results while "barack obama" (with quotes) returns 201m results. The numbers themselves are unimportant but it's significant that an apparently more precise search is returning more results than a plus search. Could it have something to do with adwords which are formatted with a leading plus sign? Hack (talk) 08:59, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
It is filtering results, probably just as the page we linked points out. It's finding instances of people using the term "+obama" for whatever reason. And it's finding Google+ pages which contain the word "obama". Whereas your "barack obama" (with quotes) example is finding every page with those exact words in that order. Which is naturally quite a few million more than the other results.