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January 20[edit]

YouTube Partner[edit]

How does YouTube (or Google) pay you for a YouTube Partnership? I have read that when you get to $100, they pay, but how? There is no place to enter my bank details or PayPal address. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 14:51, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

"In order to earn money with your videos and get paid, you need to associate an AdSense account with your YouTube account" (talk) 15:07, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Android devices[edit]

I can no longer find the list of Android operating system devices. It had a list of all hardware manufacturers, model names and their specifications. It included smartphones, tablets and other devices. Has it been renamed, moved or (I hope not) deleted? (talk) 17:25, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

List_of_Android_devices exists, but is crap. It was previously a redirect but was deleted by Mike V because it redirected to a non-existent page. That non-existant page may be what you are thinking of, but I can't tell what it was. You may also be interested in Category:Android_(operating_system)_devicesGaijin42 (talk) 17:30, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Found it, or at least the portion I was interested in. Looks like it was divided up and listed under each manufacturers page.Rwlocke2010 (talk) 18:07, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

It should be mentioned that a complete list is unlikely as pretty much anyone can create an Android-run device, so there are potentially thousands. Mingmingla (talk) 02:26, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

January 22[edit]

How painful will the upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 be?[edit]

How painful will the upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 be? That is, will applications have to be reinstalled? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 05:57, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Unfortunately, we can't really a make predictions as per WP:CRYSTALBALL, but from what I've seen, you don't need to reinstall anything, and it's free for the first year, so it shouldn't be any more painful than using Windows normally is. On the right side, the start menu is actually back. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 2 Shevat 5775 06:04, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
I upgraded from Windows 7 to 8 when it came out. I wasn't supposed to have to reinstall things. But it never worked very well until I did a clean install and reinstall everything. It takes me about two weeks, working several hours a day to reinstall everything - tracking down the original CDs, finding downloaded installation programs, installing updates, and setting options. That is my least favorite thing to do. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 06:27, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I never upgrade Windows. Each version tends to be even more bloated than the last version, so, in addition to all the pain of an upgrade, the old PC likely couldn't handle that level of bloatware anyway. So, the only way I get new versions of Windows is if I buy a new PC which has it on it. StuRat (talk) 15:04, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
I know that is probably a good idea. But I would like to get the improvements w/o having to buy a new computer, which would require reinstalling and setting everything. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 03:39, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I also do not recommend to upgrade existing installations of Windows. Since WinXP there's a tool, called MIGWIZ, renamed in never versions of windows and upgradeable for WinXP. It backups and transfers userprofiles data and settings to other machines. --Hans Haase (有问题吗) 18:36, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, but I need programs transferred too. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 03:39, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

What happened to Windows 9 ?[edit]

I don't recall hearing anything about it. StuRat (talk) 15:04, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Following your own link will give you the answer, it never existed, they're skipping straight to 10 for reasons that haven't been explained beyond (paraphrased) "It's such a different product that it wouldn't be right". Of course, they could have just gone all the way up to 11 MChesterMC (talk) 15:15, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Sounds like they were falling into a predictable pattern of release numbers and couldn't risk that. So now we have Windows 3.X, 95, 98, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10. I think they need to do Windows Z next, then Windows -3.14159. :-) StuRat (talk) 15:22, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
And then there's this. ―Mandruss  15:24, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
That looks like the truth to me, that they don't want to break legacy code looking for Windows 95/98, which only examined the first character of the version number. I wonder why they felt the need to lie about it, though. StuRat (talk) 15:31, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Just a convenient marketing device, I'm guessing. They want distance from the failure that 8 is, and 10 is twice as far from 8 as 9 is. I'm surprised they didn't skip to Windows 15, going retro to the 95/98 meme. That would work thru 2094. (Or 2089, if the legacy code is still there.) ―Mandruss  15:36, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Appears to be a well decission by giving Windows versions of Millenium Edition, Vista and Eight a closer review. --Hans Haase (有问题吗) 18:41, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
One thing to keep in mind is that "Windows 7" etc. are marketing names. Microsoft also keeps an internal version numbering for Windows. In this scheme "Windows Vista" was 6.0, "Windows 7" was 6.1, "Windows 8" was 6.2, and "Windows 8.1" was 6.3. So in a certain sense you could argue that what is called "Windows 8.1" actually "should be" "Windows 9". ("Windows 10" will be 10.0, as they're apparently changing the scheme to be matching from here on out.) -- (talk) 20:00, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Windows 10 Preview identifies as version 6.4.9879. Anyone else remember Microsoft Word going from 2.0 to 6.0? Presumably to compete against WordPerfect 6.0. --  Gadget850 talk 20:42, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
So it's a point release. --Tagishsimon (talk) 13:08, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

What industries are the social networking sites part of?[edit]

What industries are the social networking sites part of? WJetChao (talk) 11:03, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Do you mean which industries use them ? Retailing is a big one, with just about every retail business (restaurants, clothes stores, etc.) trying to create an "online presence". StuRat (talk) 15:00, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Entertainment industry, Information technology, mobile technology, marketing, telecommunications, leisure industry, among others. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:12, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
It is Information technology. There are differents in the business to customers and cooperations. --Hans Haase (有问题吗) 18:30, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
I can't understand that last sentence. Did you mean to say "There are branches of social networking which specialize in either consumers and corporations" ? StuRat (talk) 18:34, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Remote desktop without a domain name and static IP address?[edit]

Hi there,

I have a Remote Desktop inside my LAN at home but I am wondering if I can do it from outside, from my office at work or whatnot or I have to have a domain name and static IP for that? Thanks, --AboutFace 22 (talk) 19:04, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

See these instructions from MS [1]. My "dynamic" IP somehow has stayed the same all year. Some people end up getting several IPs a day. If yours is rather stable, you might be mostly fine to stop there. If IP changes a lot, you can use a DNS dynamic update service -- Dynamic_DNS#Standards-based_dynamic_DNS_update. There are various more and less complicated ad-hoc ways to hack together things yourself, so that you can tell what the IP of your home PC is when you are out of town, but I don't know much about those. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:17, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
If you're going to open your computer to remote control from anywhere on the Internet, I'd strongly advise you to follow all of the instructions here to protect yourself from automated port scanners looking for vulnerable machines. Also set an account lockout policy, as described here for example (steps 1 and 3). -- BenRG (talk) 20:09, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
I use the free version of TeamViewer. --  Gadget850 talk 20:30, 22 January 2015 (UTC)--AboutFace 22 (talk) 02:07, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Thank you much. I think a stable (unchanged) IP address should always be if you don't turn your computer off. I doubt the provider will change an IP address in this case. Besides all you posted is very intgeresting and I appreciate it. Sort of a revelation.

Th IP address in question is the one assigned by your ISP to your router— turning your computer off has nothing to do with it. Turning your router off for a period of time may result in a new IP address. I have seen that after a long power outage and the client thought they had a static IP assigned. --  Gadget850 talk 11:24, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

"the client thought they had a static IP assigned" - this is very hilarious. You've made my day :-). It is good to know about the router. I used to have a static IP. I paid close to a hundred bucks a month, I believe. I should check if I have a static IP address "assigned" now. Thank you. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 17:21, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

@Gadget850: TeamViewer, unfortunately, is not suitable for me. I don'w want to install anything on my employer's computer (aside from some desktop links :-). --AboutFace 22 (talk) 17:28, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

@SemanticMantis & @BenRG, thank you for the links. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 17:37, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Security and remote access, OSX tips?[edit]

Hi, motivated a bit by the question above, I thought I'd ask a few questions about access security on OSX (10.7.5). The computer used to live behind a nice strong firewall maintained by someone else, and I was confident that a) my computer was relatively secure and b) it wouldn't bother me much/not be my fault if anyone gained access to it. Now let's just say I'm not so sure.

I use ssh to login remotely (and also to log in to some linux virtual machines). I have "remote login" enabled on the sharing pane of system preferences. I have an NAT firewall enabled on my router (that also does port forwarding for my xbox and laptop), but I'm not using the firewall available through the OSX system settings. The questions:

  1. Any recommendations for a way to scan my own ports for vulnerabilities? Preferably the quickest/easiest option.
  2. Is there anything obviously insecure with the setup I describe? My intuition was that there was no need for the local firewall when I have one on the router.

Thanks! SemanticMantis (talk) 22:13, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Buy a hardware firewall, Cisco or whatnot. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 22:48, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Website design and online memberships[edit]

Once upon a time, many online websites required no registration and had no cookies. How did websites develop online memberships? What technical knowledge is required to create and host members' data on servers? How does online membership work? (talk) 22:40, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Simply that we're expecting web sites to do more these days. Initially, they had information, like "We have this widget on sale for $10 and you can buy it at 1234 Main Street, Newtown, TX"...then they made it so you could order the item right from the web site - but that required collecting information from you, name, address, credit card, billing address, phone number. But now you don't have just a single web page anymore - and when you go from one page to the next, the system needs to know that the person who entered this shipping address is the same person who chose the purple extra-large widget - and to maintain that knowledge of who you are from one page to another requires that there is some means for the site to know who you really are. So it dumps a cookie on your computer that says "The Person Who Presents This Cookie Is Steve Baker". Now, whenever you visit their site, they know that you are that person. This works quite well - but fails if you have multiple computers - or a phone, tablet, whatever. If each device has it's own cookie, how does the website know that "Steve Baker on this Android Phone" is the same person as "Steve Baker on this laptop"? For that to work, it needs some utterly unique identifier to link them together. Names are not unique - neither are addresses (two people can live at the same address) - so they either demand that you create a unique 'handle' - or, increasingly, ask for your email address. Email addresses are presumed to be unique - and they mostly are. So now, the cookie says "This person logged in as" and when you log in from multiple computers, it can know that you're still the same person.
Now, there is a problem...anyone could come along and use your email address to log in and access your account - so you also need to provide some other piece of information that nobody else would know...your password. Furthermore, you don't want some evil person to create an account with your email you end up with the business of sending you an email that you use to verify that you really are the person with that email address.
Hence, we've arrived at a point where you need to create an account, give up your email address and verify that it's yours.
The technical knowledge to do this isn't too bad. Most sites store their user's names and other account information in an 'SQL' database. For most simple sites, you can write software on the server - probably using the PHP language - to generate the login/logout/register/verify-email/change-email/change-password pages - which in turn requires a knowledge of HTML, and possibly JavaScript. The mechanisms to generate cookies and send verification emails are built into PHP, as is the means to communicate with the SQL database. What information you choose to store in the database, and what you choose to ask the user for each time is entirely up to you. Generally, it would be extremely stupid to store passwords in plain-text in SQL, so you should use a 'hashing' function to encrypt the password and only store the encrypted version. Ideally you choose a 'one-way' encryption/hash that provides no possible way to de-crypt it. When the user logs in, you use the same hashing function to generate a hashed version - and compare that to the hashed version you have in SQL. That makes it hard for hackers to get people's passwords by hacking your SQL server.
You could store the users' email address and hashed password in the cookie on their when they come to the site again, your software asks for the cookie - and uses it to veryify that this person is in your database - and if there is no cookie - or if it doesn't match any real accounts - then you offer them a login or regitster-new-account option.
I'd say that a competent programmer could figure out how to do all of this in a couple of days...maybe a week. But if they are already familiar with SQL and PHP, then a day should be plenty.
SteveBaker (talk) 17:39, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I suppose this is why companies simply hire a few or a lot of IT people to handle all the computer technical issues. This requires some skill, man, unless the webmaster is also a computer programmer who understands SQL and PHP. (talk) 18:13, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

That's a great explanation, and even though I already know alot of that stuff, I found it very readable and interesting. Thank you. (talk) 05:33, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

January 23[edit]

Conecting HTC One X Mate to Fedora 20[edit]

I've been trying to mount my phone (HTC One X Mate) on my laptop (VAIO running Fedora 20). I've realised that this no longer happens automatically. Following various discussions I've found online I've installed mtplib and simple-mtpfs (version 0.2). On plugging in, Dmesg shows

usb 2-3: new high-speed USB device number 17 using ehci-pci
usb 2-3: New USB device found, idVendor=0bb4, idProduct=0f25
usb 2-3: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
usb 2-3: Product: Android Phone
usb 2-3: Manufacturer: HTC
usb 2-3: SerialNumber: [redacted]
usb-storage 2-3:1.1: USB Mass Storage device detected
scsi host7: usb-storage 2-3:1.1
usb 2-3: USB disconnect, device number 17
usb 2-3: new high-speed USB device number 18 using ehci-pci
usb 2-3: New USB device found, idVendor=0bb4, idProduct=0f25
usb 2-3: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
usb 2-3: Product: Android Phone
usb 2-3: Manufacturer: HTC
usb 2-3: SerialNumber: [redacted]

so the kernel is recognising it; but when I try to use simple-mtpfs (version 0.2) to find the device to mount it, I type simple-mtpfs -l and it replies 1: and then stops without a carriage return, which I think means it has crashed out.

Has anybody successfully done this? --ColinFine (talk) 11:00, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Exception thrown when trying to insert multiple rows to database in .NET C#[edit]

In the work project I mentioned earlier, I have to insert multiple rows into a database in one go. I thought I could do this by opening a database connection, then using multiple database commands in the same connection and then committing the transaction at the end. But for some reason, this causes the transaction to be rolled back instead of committed, with an exception saying "Operation is not valid due to the state of the object."

We are using Oracle's C# database driver. We have our own custom extensions of the C# classes but they don't have much added functionality relating to this problem. What I'm trying to do is something like this:

using (OracleConnection connection = new OracleConnection(connectionString)
  OracleTransaction transaction = connection.BeginTransaction();

  for (int i=0; i<10; i++)
    OracleCommand command = new OracleCommand("insert into mytable (mycolumn) values (" + i + ")");
    command.Connection = connection;
    command.Transaction = transaction;


This causes the above exception at the end of the using block. No actual rows are inserted. I might not remember the exact underlying command structure, but it's very similar to the above. I can look the details up at work on Monday. Does anyone have any idea what causes this?

And in the meantime, is it possible to insert several rows, all with different values, by using only a single insert into SQL statement? JIP | Talk 18:16, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't know Oracle, but in Microsoft SQL Server (2008 onwards, I think) you can insert multiple rows (up to 1000) with a single INSERT statement. The syntax is (from memory) :

INSERT INTO mytable (col1, col2) Values

and this is much quicker than INSERTing one row at a time. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 19:39, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Not to mention that style of coding is horrible and leaves you open to SQL injection attacks. Use the OracleBulkCopy class and pass it a datatable that has your rows in it. Gaijin42 (talk) 19:50, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

I know about SQL injection attacks. What I'm really doing is parametrising the SQL statement, not concatenating literal values to it. I just thought it was quicker to write it this way, because the main point is to ask why the operation fails, not to ask how pass parameters properly. I'll try the multi-row insert statement when I get back to work on Monday. JIP | Talk 19:55, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

What problems can't machine learning deal with?[edit]

Provided lots of data. --Senteni (talk) 20:52, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Well, there is an entire class of problems that are not solvable by any means - the Halting problem being the most well known. But anything that requires an an iterated algorithm would be essentially impossible using 'learning' techniques. "What is the millionth digit of pi?", for example, can't really be learned - if the answer itself isn't specifically in the training data - it has to be computed. Of course you might argue that a sufficiently intelligent piece of software would learn the equation for computing pi from whatever digits of it are in the training set and start using it to calculate the answer, but that requires more than just learning, it requires the ability to generate mathematical theorems from evidence, which is a deductive reasoning problem, not a learning issue. SteveBaker (talk) 00:17, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
How about problems where the rules constantly change ? A classic example might be predicting stock prices, since, once a method is developed, and sent out, this affects the stock market, and hence the accuracy of the prediction. Sports might be another example, with literal rule changes, equipment changes, new training methods, steroids, etc. StuRat (talk) 01:41, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Most practical problems, even NP ones, can obtain sensible solutions from a Genetic algorithm. Machines still haven't passed the Turing test, so the problem of defining the problem, thinking like a human, would be top of the list. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 02:46, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Socially positive video games[edit]

Many video games prominently feature hatred and warfare. Which video games prominently feature love and peace?
Wavelength (talk) 20:59, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Well, there are a lot of neutral's hard to attribute hatred and warfare to Tetris, for example. The real problem here is that love and peace don't make for huge amounts of adrenalin-fuelled excitement. You need opposing forces (widely construed) to create a challenge - if you're not striving to do something difficult, it's not really a game.
That said, there is an entire genre of Dating sims - they are very popular in Japan. They aren't exactly "socially positive" though. SteveBaker (talk) 00:02, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
In a flower garden game or a vegetable garden game, there can be enjoyment from collaborating to overcome natural challenges and achieve desired results. Also, there can be solitaire versions of those games, where the computer plays the part of a friend.
Wavelength (talk) 01:23, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
How about games where your team works together to defeat some unreal threat, like a dragon ? StuRat (talk) 01:35, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
In those games, the threat and its defeat are (too) prominent, whereas love and peace are not prominent (enough).
Wavelength (talk) 03:14, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
I thought of the same thing. Unfortunately, co-op is quite rare in recent titles. It was more common in the 1990s.
Raiding in WoW sort of stands out, but then again, 90% of raiding consists of (a) calling the worse players "n00bs" and/or calling the better players "cheaters". Doesn't really fit the "social" aspect, either... :( (talk) 06:40, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
SimCity typically focuses on reducing conflict. Mitch Ames (talk) 13:59, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
The LittleBigPlanet franchise is all about humankind working together to build new worlds with our collective imagination and invite strangers to play in them. A lot of these worlds turn out pretty unfun and/or violent, but Stephen Fry lays the love on thick throughout single-player. Warm and fuzzy, but not too disgusting for adults, either. InedibleHulk (talk) 14:45, January 24, 2015 (UTC)
How about "happy customer" games ? There's Crazy Cakes, for example, where each customer ask for some version of a cake, and you need to bake it in time to make the customer happy and get a big tip. There are variations on that where you are a restaurant waitress or a hair salon stylist. I've even seen a version from Progressive Insurance where your goal is to get the customers the coverage they want in a timely manner. Of course, in all of those games, if you are too slow, the customer gets angry and storms off. StuRat (talk) 06:48, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
As they should. Insurance is one of the least wholesome games on the planet. All about forcing people to gamble, and not letting them make their own pick. They have to bet they (or their stuff) will die or hurt. Going peacefully in your sleep at 100 means you lost. Dying suddenly and violently pays double, a rule that's directly caused far more murders than Grand Theft Auto. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:55, January 26, 2015 (UTC)
Animal Crossing (whole series), Katamari_Damacy (three games), Harvest moon (whole series) PaRappa_the_Rapper (two games), Ico, Brothers:_A_Tale_of_Two_Sons, maybe Scott_Pilgrim_vs._the_World:_The_Game. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:29, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Scott Pilgrim is a classic old-school beat-em-up. Tons of violence there. PaRappa is about conflict between two guys...admittedly the object of their conflict is love of a girl - but the game is mostly about conflict. Karamari Damarcy is about...well, it's hard to tell actually...but rolling up the entire world into a big ball seems like a fairly violent act and the fun really does come from large-scale destruction...I don't recall any love and/or peace there. Animal Crossing is closer....peace is certainly a part of it...but it's really not much of an actual game - there are no real goals to meet, little in the way of real excitement. Brothers also has its share of violence - our article lists many sources of that ("facing challenges like the local bully, a farmer's aggressive dog, and deadly wolves"). Sure, there is cooperation - but then many extremely violent games have cooperative play modes. I don't know about ico or Harvest moon...but I'd be really surprised if they were able to meet our OP's needs.
The thing is that there are a ton of games that aren't about violence and hatred - but there isn't much in the way of love and peace because it simply doesn't make for a playable game. There simply has to be serious problems to overcome in order to provide a challenge...and problems generally amount to violence and hatred of one kind or another. Sure we can make games where love conquers all, and everyone strives for peace - but the game elements that have to be overcome to get to that laudable goal are inevitably the negation or contradiction of love and peace. Without some kind of contrast between present-state and desired-goal, there is no game.
The best you can do is to abstract the violence away - but in so doing, you also abstract away the goals of the game. So if you play (let's say) poker - there is no violence or hatred in the game play - but there is no love or peace in the end does, however embody deception and other less wonderful human traits. Things like Animal Crossing truly do remove all of those sources of conflict and stress - and wind up not really being games at all...playing it is just like having a job and going to work to earn money...there is no element of "game" in it...ditto "FarmVille". Only when you add an element of conflict, stress, whatever, do you deliver the joy that comes with overcoming it and the energy that comes from trying to get to that end state.
In the end, you need difficulty in order to enjoy success...and for a game to be plausible, the difficulty has to be in proportion to the goals. So if the goal is love and peace - then the sources of conflict and difficulty have to be proportionately large - hatred, violence. If the goal is merely to score more points than you did last time, then stacking blocks of the right shapes together is a proportionate amount of difficulty. A game where you stacked blocks in order to achieve love would seem silly - it would trivialize the end goal and come across as just plain silly.
SteveBaker (talk) 16:54, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
OP didn't say anything about violence, only hatred and war. Whatever, those were just some candidates of games that I thought had elements of love and peace in them, I certainly didn't expect anyone to come along and tell me that my opinions were wrong :) Unlike other responders, I at least have a serious list of candidates. But if you want more of my perspective:
Scott Pilgrim was admittedly a bit of a joke candidate. Sure, there is cartoon violence, but there are also very sweet and romantic cut scenes.
Please don't no true scotsman me on Animal Crossing, it's a game series for Nintendo consoles, and has sold millions of units around the world. There are certainly challenges and difficulties in it, but even if there weren't it's just silly to say it's not a video game. Brothers is probably the most emotionally moving game I've played in decades, and the final portion is all about brotherly love. PaRappa also has many themes about how people should get along and be nice to each other. Let me quote just one song:
I'd like to think that most of us could agree that that is an explicit call to love and peace. Moving on: if you didn't catch anything about love and peace in Katamari, I suggest you weren't paying much attention to what the King says. I'll quote again
I detect a bit of love and peace there as well, but I suppose it's up to interpretation. For many of these games, you'd have to play more than a few minutes of them to see what they're all about.
I do take your point in your original post though, games (like novels, and plays, and movies, etc) often work through conflict and resolution. Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon are probably the two most famous games that are mostly peaceful, have little-to-no violence, and instead focus on more "wholesome" messages and goals. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:15, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Here's a whole "game jam" devoted to making games that are more about peace and love: [2]. Their examples page reminded me of another rater peaceful game Fez. You'll probably find more of this stuff in the Indie_game category, compared to the famous games released by large studios. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:26, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

January 24[edit]

FOSS for electromagnetic FEA simulations[edit]

Are there any open source software out there that can perform electromagnetic FEA simulations? List of finite element software packages contains a bunch of candidates but it doesn't say anything about the capabilities of any of them. WinterWall (talk) 05:32, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

GNU Octave may be the most versatile general-purpose tool for you. What are you trying to model? Electromagnetic simulation is a very broad area. When I studied RF in school, we got Puff (pun intended). It is free and open-source software! But it needs a very old DOS compiler to work. Despite its horrible interface, I found it to be more accurate than Cadence for my UHF amplifiers - but sometimes accuracy is less important than ease of use and feature-completeness.
Here's the textbook listing for Numerical Electromagnetics. When I studied that, the assumption was implicitly that if we could understand the math, it would be trivial to write our own software to implement it. A lot of the books contain source listings in FORTRAN or MATLAB.
It will really help if you narrow what you're trying to model. Do you want to model waves in nonlinear media? Do you want to study antenna coupling? Are you interested in waveform accuracy? Time or frequency doman? ...And so on.
Out in the real world, people who do RF simulations often write their own code in MATLAB (or Octave); or they use fancy expensive commercial tools like the stuff that's built into test-equipment. Scour the websites of Agilent or Rohde & Schwartz or other vendors to see the software they sell that pairs with their RF equipment.
Nimur (talk) 17:50, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for the help. It's nothing complicated like RF, I'm just trying to model a solenoid with a moving magnet inside. Basically a miniature shake flashlight. I'm using COMSOL Multiphysics right now, but my currently workflow is atrocious:
1. Change a parameter
2. Run simulation (which takes 5 minutes)
3. See if the results are better
I'm basically trying to select the right size for the magnet and the coil, but this will take forever if each iteration takes at least 5 minutes. So I'm trying to look for an open source solution where I can use a script to tell it: "try magnet diameters from 6mm to 20 mm at 2 mm increments and coil lengths from 30 mm to 50 mm at 1 mm increments" and then leave it to run over the weekend. WinterWall (talk) 20:23, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
COMSOL has batch jobs; it may be worth checking out. Also if you have Matlab, there looks to be a basic binding there. --Mark viking (talk) 20:32, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
If you're just trying to pick solenoid size, you need to ask and answer this truthfully: why do you think a highly parameterized numerical simulation will be more accurate than just using simple analytical methods applied to the basic solenoid equation? Nimur (talk) 15:39, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm looking for a shoe[edit]

Hi there,
I have been trying to find a shoe which its model is: A960314WR of Asics in the web.
I haven't found it in Amazon.
Can anyone help me? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:45, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

I searched their own web site, and found nothing: [3]. This suggests the model number is wrong. That might be a retailer's stock number or something else. The model numbers I saw were shorter, like "T3N2N". StuRat (talk) 16:30, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
As StuRat says, it might be a retailer's number, so the best call might be to run the number by them and see what the shoe is called. Then contact Asics direct to find out who their retailers are... or just order from their site. I tried googling that number and all that comes up is this thread. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 5 Shevat 5775 05:40, 25 January 2015 (UTC) Edit: Actually, I see from your IP address that you're in Israel, and so this might be a bit trickier. If Amazon has the shoe then order through them, otherwise check to see which other online providers have it that might ship to you, or if Asics can ship to Israel. Then of course pray that Doar Israel doesn't lose the package.... Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 5 Shevat 5775 05:44, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
That looks like an Amazon product code. You can search Amazon by order code (it's the bit after the "dp/" in the URLs), but A960314WR is drawing a blank. LongHairedFop (talk) 13:28, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
If you can't find a shoe online, you might need to reboot. :-) StuRat (talk) 16:30, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Such pedestrian humor.Noah 02:26, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm looking for a shoe, too. And I can't go anywhere until I find it. ―Mandruss  02:35, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Never criticize a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes, as he will then be a mile away, and without shoes, making it much harder for him to beat the crap out of you. StuRat (talk) 05:33, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Can your friends tell when you've logged into Facebook?[edit]

I have a Facebook account I have not been active on in a long time.

Every now and then I log in to look at the activity feed of my Friends, but I never open their messages.

I get email notifications when I receive a message; these include the opening text (the first line or two) of the message.

Today after logging on to the account for the first time in month, I got an email notification of a message that said "why are you ignoring me?"

If I haven't posted, liked, shared etc. anything on the account, is there any way my Friends would know I had logged into the account?

Thank you for your time. I googled extensively but was unable to find an answer. (talk) 21:27, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

P.S. My chat function is always set to "Off" (talk) 21:29, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Unless you actually open a message, turn on chat, or do anything you know makes your presence known, then no. Your friend may just be trying to get a response out of you and should try phoning or texting IMO. To the rest of the world however, you're basically one of those people too cool to check your FB and they don't know you're on.... Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 5 Shevat 5775 05:47, 25 January 2015 (UTC). FB also notifies your friend when you read their chat.
Facebook chat is turned on by default; As you interact with FB all your friends can see that you are available for chat, and how long ago you were last on chat. On the desktop, to hide yourself from chat for all your friends, click on the gear on the bottom of that chat side bar, and select "Turn off chat". To hide from one friend, click on that friend, and at the top of their chat, click on the gear, and select "hide chat for <friends name>". You used to be able to hide chat for your friends-groups, that seems to have been removed.
However, on the FB ticker your friends will still get notification of your activity on your wall, mutual friends' walls, all public groups/pages, and private group/pages that your are both members off. They can also look at your wall to see if you've posted/shared anything there. LongHairedFop (talk) 13:20, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I think the OP said in his/her P.S. that their chat is turned off. They also implied they're not doing any of those things that would show up in your news feed or ticker. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 5 Shevat 5775 17:48, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Headphones plugged into notebook or tablet[edit]

Why is it that I seem to get a higher quality playing the same file and using the same headphone when I plug it into a notebook conpared to an iPad? Is this to do with the sound card? (talk) 21:54, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Yes. Laptops and desktops generally have better sound card quality than tablets because they don't have to squeeze it into a tiny space. KonveyorBelt 22:31, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
But is that the only reason? Is it to do with software too? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:32, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Check your sync settings in iTunes. Look for the one that saves your songs at a lower bit rate (e.g. 128kbps vs 256kbps) when copied to your iPad. There is a trade off here, of course, as you will use up more space on your iPad if the songs are copied over at their full size. Another possibility that may cause you to notice changes in sound quaility is that you may have your notebooks levels (aka equalization) set in a manner that appeals to you but your iPad is using defaults that are unappealing to you. Noah 02:30, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Well the OP said the same file. If the OP really is using the same file, rather than simply the same song from the same source, than the bit rate issue is irrelevant. (The bit rate may affect the quality of the images, but there's no reason why an iPad would be worse at lower bitrates files.) Nil Einne (talk) 14:02, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

January 25[edit]

HTML alt text not displayed[edit]

<a href="">

<img src="cat_dog_hug.png" alt="This is the link to Strayer University" style="width:42px;height:42px;border:0">


I expect to see the text "This is the link to Strayer University" somewhere, but I don't, in either Chrome or IE. Any ideas ? StuRat (talk) 03:52, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

UPDATE: Just from trial and error, it seems I need to write "title" in place of "alt", despite what a normally reliable web site said. Is "alt" just wrong, deprecated, or something else ? StuRat (talk) 03:59, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

The alt attribute is displayed in place of an image. So, for example, if you disabled images in your browser, you would see the alt attribute in place of the image. It is also used by screen readers to describe the image. The title attribute's text is displayed when you hover over the element with your mouse. Older versions of IE would display alt text in a tool tip when you hovered your mouse over the element, but this was really just a bug and Microsoft has fixed it. So, it sounds like the Web site you referenced is out of date and was really just describing IE's behavior in the past.—Best Dog Ever (talk) 04:59, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, that explains it. I was thinking it was an alternative text displayed in place of the address of the image. StuRat (talk) 05:23, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
It wasn't just IE. I think all major browsers displayed the alt attribute as a tooltip before the title attribute existed. It was a feature, not a bug. -- BenRG (talk) 18:38, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

But what happens if no alt text is defined ? Does the title still display if the image can't be displayed ? Is the title then read by screen readers ? StuRat (talk) 05:23, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

The title attribute isn't processed by screen readers at all. The most popular Web browsers (IE, FF, Chrome, and Safari) just render it as a tool tip. If no alt text is defined and the image doesn't display, the user will typically see a little box indicating a missing image, although some browsers will just render the missing image as a blank space.—Best Dog Ever (talk) 06:27, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
In that case, I suppose the best practice is to define the same text as both the title and alt text ? StuRat (talk) 06:30, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes. I would.—Best Dog Ever (talk) 06:35, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
OK, will do. Thanks for your help. StuRat (talk) 06:56, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
No problem.—Best Dog Ever (talk) 07:05, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
The above seems a rather poor example of alternative text (and also probably poor web design, particularly for a university). I couldn't work out where the above images occurs, but the alternative text is supposed to describe the image so unless the image is simply an image of a link to Strayer University, it isn't doing the intended job. In case where the image is purely decorative, it may be better to simply define alt as null. Wikipedia:Alternative text for images has some examples, but it's written from the POV of wikipedia so there are some cases in the real world which probably aren't really discussed, still it's a useful starting point including for links for more info. Making alt and title the same may be okay in some cases, but probably a poor idea in others. To be honest, I'm not sure if there's ever a good reason for the alternative text to be "this is a link to Strayer University", it sounds to me like as I suggested above, this is more an example of poor web design than anything else and likely to be a source of unnecessary confusion, particularly for screen readers. Nil Einne (talk) 13:17, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Actually this does support the use of alt text in the manner described above for images used for navigation elements [4] so I guess that's considered okay by some experts. I'm still not sure if that's the best webdesign in most cases however and can't help thinking if the reason it isn't mentioned at Wikipedia:Alternative text for images is not simply because it's something that isn't likely to occur on wikipedia, but also because it's something best avoided. BTW using the IE7 and earlier tooltip behaviour which is also mentioned in our article alt attribute, is something most guides I saw recommend against because it means that screen readers and other software using the alt text for the intended purpose may be disadvantaged. Nil Einne (talk) 13:33, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
P.S. [5] has some more discussion. In particular, there's a general recommendation against using the title element for anything perhaps besides a tooltip. And even a tooltip should be used with care, it definitely shouldn't be that important since touch devices frequently don't have an easy way to access it. Probably it's annoying for those who largely navigate by keyboard too. (I would add people like my mother would have difficulty figuring out how to get the tooltip, or even that it may exist, even with a mouse.) BTW, from what I understand, in the absence of an alt attribute, some screen readers will read the title or have an option to read the title, but many don't by default so using the alt attribute correctly is what should be done where it's needed. I think reading out the filename is the more common fallback. Also I said in the struck out portion that alt text should describe the images. The is wrong, the correct terminology is the alt text should convey the content and function of the image as said in the Wikipedia guide (which I only quickly perused agains). I sort of knew this, but reading [6] made me realise/remember why it's important to make the distinction. Incidentally, because of the above and [7], I think possibily if you want to hide the image, you should not only give a null alt (has to be null, not simply absent) but also no title (or a null title). Nil Einne (talk) 13:48, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
1) That example was just a practice case to work out the difference between the "alt" and "title" keywords. That was an image I happened to have handy, I'd presumably find one more appropriate for a real web page.
2) If I didn't want an image to display, I wouldn't put one in, hence no image keywords either.
3) A simple example of describing the image versus what the image will do is an up arrow, which I wouldn't describe as "Up arrow", but rather "Return to main page".
4) I think I will use both "title" and "alt", with identical captions, since I want browsers to display the title, say as a tooltip, if they can, and I also want to display text if the image isn't shown, and have screen readers read the title. StuRat (talk) 14:33, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Ersatz "dual boot" option[edit]

I'm using XP, normally booting up from a SATA drive, and would occasionally prefer to boot up from an older PATA drive. What I've been doing is (with power off) attaching the older drive when I wanted to use it, and hitting "esc" for the boot choice. I don't normally leave the PATA drive on when I don't expect to use it for a while, as it's added wear for an older drive, as well as using unnecessary power.

I'm a bit concerned about the wear and tear on the PATA cable and connector, so was wondering if it's possible to leave that cable connected, and connect the power to that drive only when I wanted to use the PATA drive (prior to turning on the computer). In other words, most of the time, the PATA drive would be connected to the computer, but it would be unpowered. Might this damage either the drive or computer? Bunthorne (talk) 18:45, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

There should be no issue. With no power, nothing is active. --  Gadget850 talk 20:46, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I agree it won't damage anything but IIRC from experience back when PATA was way more common, that may cause delays in POSTing (or when detecting IDE drives in BIOS). I presume the interface detects something unusual and takes a while to be certain there's no working drive connected. Nil Einne (talk) 12:10, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

How to return an HTML page to using a CSS file ?[edit]

I have an HTML file that uses a Cascading Style Sheet, referenced as such:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="mystyle.css">

Later in the HTML page I override the font and color defined in that CSS file with:

<font face="ariel" color="red">

I then want to return to using the CSS file for the rest of the HTML page. I tried:

<font face="null" color="null">

That seemed to return me to the default font and color for HTML, not those defined in the CSS file. What should I do differently ? StuRat (talk) 20:26, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Try using CSS:
<span style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica Neue,Helvetica,sans-serif; color: red;">...</span>
--  Gadget850 talk 20:43, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't think you understand the problem. I am using CSS, to define some other color and font at the start of the HTML page. I then want to switch to red Ariel font for part of the HTML page, and then return to using the values defined on the CSS page. StuRat (talk) 21:05, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Then my best guess is that you are not closing with </font>. --  Gadget850 talk 21:07, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, I just misunderstood your earlier comment. I thought you were saying to change my external CSS page to red and Ariel, but you were saying to use an inline CSS style to override the external CSS page. I tried it, and it works. Thanks ! StuRat (talk) 21:12, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Finding your network's DHCP range if you don't have a Default Gateway IP?[edit]

I'm following these instructions because my printer won't stop cycling IP addresses and it sounds like this will fix it. But the thing that worries me is "Note: If you manually set the printer's IP, make sure that it is outside of your router's DHCP range. Otherwise you may run into an issue with duplicate IP's on your network." So I followed these instructions planning to then follow this video but when I typed ipconfig/all into console the Default Gateway was blank. Does this mean I just don't have a network? If so, can I set the printer's IP manually without risk of duplicate IPs? (talk) 20:44, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Is DHCP enabled? --  Gadget850 talk 21:10, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I tried to follow these instructions for finding out, but when I typed my address ending in 0 I just got "This page cannot be displayed". (talk) 21:56, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
When you do ipconfig/all one of the entries will be DHCP Enabled: what is it set to? --  Gadget850 talk 22:17, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
It appears DHCP is not enabled. Would that mean my original problem with the printer is not due to the IP address roaming? (talk) 22:39, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
What is your router brand/model? Do you know the IP address? --  Gadget850 talk 22:44, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

January 26[edit]

Google doodle for 26 Jan 2015[edit]

Hi all,
Is this - a picture of kids building sand-castles, with Australian flags (though they could be New Zealand flags. Don't. Get. Me. Started. &c) on them (flags on the sand-castles, not on the kids, that is) - coming up in other parts of the word? Just curious.
Pete AU --Shirt58 (talk) 01:56, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Eastern U.S. here. It's still the 25th here, so we won't see ours for another three hours. Right now I just got the standard Google text image. No doodle. Dismas|(talk) 01:59, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
If you hover over the image, it will show Australia Day 2015. --  Gadget850 talk 02:08, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
And that would be why instead of being at work, I'm being a mamil. Face-smile.svg "Hi, I'm Peter in AU! You might remember me from such Wikipedia articles as 'Ego Leonard', 'Hevisaurus', 'Mutant Giant Spider Dog' and '" --Shirt58 (talk) 02:41, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
@Gadget850: I don't know why you're replying to my comment. My normal Google text doesn't say anything when I hover over it. Dismas|(talk) 03:09, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

For what it's worth, those are clearly Australian and not NZ flags; the NZ flag doesn't have the larger white star under the canton. -- (talk) 03:00, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

And the Southern Cross on the NZ flag has only four stars, and they are red outlined with white, but both flags are otherwise identical and include the %#$&ing flag of some country on the other side of the world on the upper hoist... I'm getting the red mist...--Shirt58 (talk) 10:19, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Now, now, Peter, remember what your personal brain care specialist says to do in situations like this: think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts; though the 2015 tri-series match for today got washed out, there will be plenty more at the 2015 Cricket World Cup. --Shirt58 (talk) 10:19, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
It's the 26th in the U.S. now and we still just get the regular Google text sans doodle. Dismas|(talk) 09:01, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Many Google Doodles are country specific. The link in question is which is the Australia TLD. --  Gadget850 talk 09:10, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I realize that. The way I understood the question was that the OP was asking if other parts of the world were getting a doodle related to Australia Day as well or if they were being served something else. Dismas|(talk) 09:28, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Oh. I didn't know that the doodles are Tldn-specific. That would explain why the 26 Jan 2015 doodle for is about Republic Day (India). Are there any times when they are world-wide or at least non-country specific? I know for a fact that the 24 November 2014 Toulouse-Lautrec one wasn't limited to la France.--Shirt58 (talk) 10:19, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Google Doodle#See also has links to several lists which show the countries. --  Gadget850 talk 10:25, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
If I'm not mistaken, things like Earth Day generally have the same doodle around the world. Dismas|(talk) 17:32, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Word Count in Powerpoint[edit]

How do I get a word count/character count for a selection of slides (e.g. 10 slides) from a Powerpoint file with many more slides (e.g. 89 slides). I would like the word count/character count for that selection only. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 13:30, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Can't sync to itunes u[edit]

Hi all, I'm using a new ipod with an old laptop, and I've downloaded an itunes u course on the Chinese language. I've only downloaded the first two lessons, but when I sync, they don't come up. I've checked, and the computer thinks the lessons really are on the ipod, but nothing actually shows up on the device (it won't even register that the itunes u course exists on my ipod). Most of the courses do show up, so itunes u is basically working on the device, up to a point, but this course (and one other) just doesn't show up. IBE (talk) 13:49, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Further .NET database question[edit]

Continuing about my work project. It turns out this syntax doesn't work with Oracle:

  • INSERT INTO mytable (mycolumn) values (1), (2)

However, this does:

  • INSERT INTO mytable (mycolumn) SELECT a FROM (SELECT 1 AS a FROM dual UNION ALL SELECT 2 AS a FROM dual)

Now, I have two questions:

  1. One of the columns is a unique identifier number and gets its value from a sequence. For some mysterious reason, using the sequence with its nextval operator in the INSERT INTO statement causes a rollback, which then throws an InvalidOperationException if I start a transaction within the connection. If I don't use a transaction, the insert works OK. It also works OK in a transaction if I don't use a sequence, but that is not an option. What could be causing this?
  2. In case the estimation fails (for example, the estimated time doesn't fit into a DateTime object) I return null from the estimation. But I can't store this null value among the other date values in the table with UNION ALL. I get a database error: ORA-01790: expression must have same datatype as corresponding expression. Apparently Oracle thinks null values aren't compatible with date values. Is there any way to solve this, or will I have to resort to using DateTime.MinValue or DateTime.MaxValue instead?

JIP | Talk 19:58, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Fedora 20 Cinnamon GUI hangs with every file operation[edit]

I'm using Fedora 20 Linux with Cinnamon. My computer has been up for three weeks already and Cinnamon is taking up 5 gigabytes of the computer's 12 gigabytes of memory. The computer and its operating system work otherwise OK, but whenever I execute any file operation whatsoever from the GUI that modifies the file system in any way, the whole GUI just hangs for about 15-20 seconds, and then resumes working as normal. I can move the mouse as normal, and its pointer responds to elements, changing shape as necessary. But I can't click on anything or type anything. Clicks and keypresses are recognised, but the system doesn't react to them until 15-20 seconds afterwards.

I actually even played Lazy Jones on VICE, and when I took a screenshot, the GUI hung for 15-20 seconds. But the game didn't hang - it kept on running, thinking I hadn't moved Jones at all. I can tell because the cleaning cart collided with Jones, killing him, and I heard the distinctive sound effect.

What could be causing this? Is it just the Cinnamon process having been running for too long and consuming too much memory? JIP | Talk 20:04, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Sounds like a classic memory leak. That's where a program allocates a chunk of memory for each operation, but never bothers to free it up again, consuming more and more memory until the computer becomes unusable. A reboot is the usual "cure", although the problem will recur and require reboots again and again. StuRat (talk) 06:00, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

January 27[edit]


January 23[edit]

Gross hamster tumours[edit]

A number of our dwarf hamsters have a strange belly bubble. What I find on the internet does not match. It can develop at any time. It is redish and may sometimes burst (yuk!). It can be the size of a big olive. Sometimes the hamster dies -- sometimes not. Also, some hamsters get small and then die -- hamsters without such bubbles -- but maybe that is related. Anyway, what is this bubble disease? I can't even figure out what type of thing this is? Anna Frodesiak (talk) 01:19, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Anna, are these "bubbles" located in the same part of the belly of each hamster or more variable? My first inclination from your description is that these are abscesses (especially given that they "burst"). Do you have mixed sexes and ages in one enclosure? How much space do they have? In many such species the most common cause of abscesses are bite wounds that heal over, sealing bacteria inside where it grows, prompting the immune response which develops the abscess to fight the infection. The only reason a hamster would get noticeably smaller in a short period would be serious ailment and/or malnutrition from depressed appetite. This could also be a sign of an infection. I suspect that you may have too many animals (and/or a problematic combination of sexes and maturity levels) kept in one enclosure to ensure safety and hygiene amongst them. For the time being, if possible, I would isolate each animal separately or in small groups. Completely clean every inch of surface in each living environment with an antibacterial solution that is safe to use in the presence of animals before you place any animals within it.
If your animals develop any of these further "bubbles" (by the way, if they smell like death when they burst, it's an indication they very well may be abscesses) there's nothing to be done but to take them to the vet, as, if they are abscesses, an antibiotic is called for. Honestly, though, I think a vet is who you really want to be talking to about this right now anyway; there seems very likely to be an infection of some sort being shared amongst these animals and nipping it in the bud now by getting basic treatment for them and changing up their living environment will save you money in the long run, save them a great deal of suffering, and reduce the risk they might pass on an infection to someone in the household. Besides which, these might not be mere abscesses at all. For the well being of you and your pets, I daresay it's time to bring in the professional. Best of luck. Snow talk 01:48, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Thank you so much for the thoughful reply. Some answers to your questions:
  • Sometimes under the chin. Sometimes down low in the belly.
  • Yes, mixed sexes and ages in one enclosure.
  • Lots of space.
  • No bad smell when they burst.
More facts:
  • Sometimes when they fight, they bite each other in the stomach.
  • In the glass tanks, we use sand that we get from here and there -- mostly constructions sites.
  • There are lots of rats where I live (Haikou).
  • Going to a vet here will result in two things: 1. The vet will have no idea what he's talking about and just make guesses with an air of authority and certainty. 2. He will try to sell the most expensive medicine he has, which might actually be water.
From what you've said, I think it best to pour a bottle of rubbing alcohol into the sand bags a week before using them because this may be rat poop-related. Any hamsters that fight will be isolated. We will try to diversify their diet, which now consists mainly of sunflower seeds, peanuts, sesame seeds, greens, and bits of cheese if they're lucky. So, what about teeny amounts of antibiotics? Anna Frodesiak (talk) 02:08, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I had no idea the state of local veterinary care was so dismal there -- that's unfortunate. Well, I'm hesitant to give any kind of firm analysis without firsthand observation, but all the circumstances do seem to point toward issues with bacteria. Addressing some of your further info: lack of of smell doesn't necessarily rule out abscesses either, in that this varies depending on the type of bacteria, size of the abscess and so-forth. Definitely if you are not using pre-packaged and sanitized sod/sand product, your idea of sanitizing the sand best you can on your own is worth exploring (not just the feces of other animals, but any number of other sources of bacteria can be found within typical sand), though striking the right balance on how much solution to use may be an issue; I'd recommend wood shavings instead, but rodents need these to be made of specific materials to avoid toxicity issues, and I'm not sure what the consumer market looks like for variety in pet products thereabouts. Honestly the diet you are feeding them now seems pretty decent all-around, but more diversity can't hurt either; there are many forums online which can give you hints as to what your specific breed of hamster would like, I've no doubt.
I'd be very concerned about trying to self-administer antibiotics, as small rodents are notoriously difficult to dose; too little and the infection can rebound and even become worse while too much and the animal can easily have a reaction and die immediately. I'm in consultation with my fellow editors on this matter right now, trying to determine just how much I can say here; we have a policy against direct medical advice and I need to gain consensus with them about whether it extends to veterinary advice before I speak too much to the subject of antibiotics. For the time being, I think the preventive measures you've discussed above will be a good step in the right direction; get the serial biters away from the others and increase the frequency of cleanings (don't forget to use gloves, a mask and and a thorough cleaning of your hands and any other exposed areas both before and after the cleanings to reduce risk of cross-contamination between you and them). I also know that in some species of hamster (dwarf and otherwise) aggression is tied to breeding conditions with fights over mates, between mates, between mothers with competing broods, and all other manner issues. I'd look into the mating habits of your particular species to try to determine what the best combination of individuals is, with regard to the ages and sexes in a given group.
Do you have any animal showing an abscess now? If so, I would isolate that one as well, regardless of whether he or she seems to be a fighter and give them some special care. Observe whether they eat or drink and try to encourage them to do so if they aren't. You can try to bring the abscess to a head by applying a warm, wet towel to it for 10 minutes every hour (be sure it's not so warm as to burn their skin though). If it does burst, flush the area out with a mixture that is one-part hydrogen peroxide (if you have it handy) to eight parts water and make sure it stays open so that it heals from the bottom up. Moving forward, any time you catch the animals fighting, separate them and check them over for wounds (this can be tedious, as the hair tends to obscure them, but finding them earlier will make things much easier on you). Clean any wounds found with the same solution recommended above; there are also topical antibiotics that you can buy with a nozzle which allow you to push the ointment into the wound to hopefully prevent and abscess from forming in the first place, but I don't know where you'd get them there, short of a vet. In any event, these are definitely "an ounce of prevention = a pound of cure" type situations with these animals. Snow talk 03:09, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
A less expensive and less toxic way to sterilize sand might be to boil it. StuRat (talk) 04:48, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm doubtful that would be cheaper (and certain that it would be a lot more work), but it could be more hypo-allergenic friendly to the hamsters. Snow talk 06:16, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Hi StuRat. Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, boiling would mean drying, and that's just way too much to do. But thank you. :) Anna Frodesiak (talk) 06:38, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I think they don't like wood shavings. It's too hot and I've read that it gives them other health issues.
  • I'll avoid antibiotics for now. Don't worry about medical advice for hamsters. Life is cheap when you're a hamster and they get a pretty good life here. Good food, lots of love, decent lifespan, food delivery service, no owls.
  • I'll try the forums, but I just tried one and got a malware warning. (See my contribs for links removed from a few pages.)
  • The fights are usually adolescent sibling rivalries and husband-wife disagreements. Nobody else fights. We'd never normally put two adult males together.
  • One named Silverback has an abscess right now. It's huge and so is he. He is very old and his wife is getting smaller.
  • Could it be inbreeding? Everybody comes from seven individuals a couple of years ago (probably related to each other). There is also Trippy. No abscess, but born with his front right leg missing. It's there, but under his fur. He sort of uses it. It's like when you can't find the armhole for your sweater. Also, his ex-girlfriend bit out his right eye. We think he secretly hates his right side. But he's a good sport about it.
  • Everybody eats and drinks just fine. (No waterbottle. Just cucumber.)
  • Nobody is willing to put a wet towel on the thing. It's too gross. And if it bursts, nobody will even pick him up for a while. I can promise you that. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 06:38, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Bit out his right eye huh? Yeah, I had a break-up like that once... As to inbreeding, I think the effect that would have on the propensity for abscesses (aside from the fact that it could, possibly, lead to more aggression between the offspring) but you may continue to see more congenital disorders if they continue to interbred; since it seems you keep a number of these critters at once, it might not necessarily be a bad idea to add an outsider or two for new blood for the over-all health of the population. Of course that carries its own risks (possible new outside infections and the possibility the current clan won't take well to the newcomers. And yours would not be the first population of rodents to descend from just a handful of individuals; animals that have "broods" are a little bit better adapted to handling the genetic issues implicit in this situation. I wouldn't worry too much about the forums; I think the diet you are offering them is pretty diverse and unlikely to be a factor in their problems.
And it sounds like you have them as separated as ideally as possible, so there's little more you can do I suppose about the fighting other than to stop it when you see it and keep anyone who can't get along separate. I'd say the best single thing you can do is try to clean out the wound when you see one get bit; even more so than disinfecting the sand and the living space, this will help prevent the abscess from forming in the first place (if indeed they are abscess - I'm fairly sure they are from your description of the circumstances, but it's worth remembering this is a long-distance assessment). I would look into a topical antibiotic for this purpose, but again, that might necessitate vet involvement. If I find I can be more specific on that topic, I will post a follow-up on your talk page. In the meantime, good luck to you and the little furballs. If there's any other guidance we can provide, do let us know. Snow talk 08:25, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Not really "bit out", but bit, closed, and never re-opened.
  • Sorry about your break-up. During a break-up, it is probably best to wear safety goggles, and maybe a helmet too. (Although, if you sit down to announce a break-up wearing those, your significant other will totally see it coming.)
  • We are looking for an outsider. They tend to die from being pre-poisoned. Bunnies, puppies, etc., all seem to last only a month or so before dying. I guess the sellers don't want to make a glut.
  • Young newcomers go well with other young ones. Adult females can be introduced to males, but it is best to rub stinky bedding all over them first so they smell familiar. Another trick is to put them into the tank in a cardboard box with big holes. Both sides work to enlarge the holes to "get at each other". By the time they break through, they're friends.
  • It's hard to spot wounds, but that's a good idea to find and clean them.
  • Many, many thanks for the advice, by the way. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 09:49, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
You're most welcome! Snow talk 10:46, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
We shouldn't be giving "advice" - you may or may not get useful information here, but the decision making is up to you. We do not issue a hamster back guarantee! And I might find it an 'interesting experiment' to evaluate the LD50 of antibiotics in dwarf hamsters empirically. You may find [8] interesting with a list of antibiotics - to be honest I got that from Google, due to the popularity of hamsters in science PubMed is not very usable for this! Oh, and though I shouldn't give advice, please do be careful - if there are infectious bacteria involved, they might pose a hazard to you. Wnt (talk) 15:47, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Really, don't worry. We're talking about hamsters. :) Besides, things can't get worse. Silverback's bubble is 10% of his body weight. It's revolting. We thought it was a botfly larvae at one point. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 23:40, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Is there any science source about the influence or damage of opiates on the kidney / liver when it's used for a long-term[edit]

Is there any science source about the influence or damage of opiates on the kidney or liver? (talk) 04:56, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

[9], [10] (scroll down to the bottom for peer-review references), [11], [12]; opinions seem to vary some and, for obvious reasons, the answer is largely circumstantial, depending on the over-all health of the individual, length of abuse, predispositions, and all other manner of factors. One point to bear in mind in this case is the distinction between direct and indirect causal factors. Even in cases where specific opiates themselves do only moderate damage, they are often combined with other pharmaceuticals that take a higher tole on renal and hepatic tissue. What's-more, those with opiate dependencies are often far more likely to suffer specific kinds of infections that can lead to organ damage. Snow talk 06:14, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Thank you. But I think three of them are not scientific sources, I knew them before by googling. (talk) 09:10, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Nope. Indeed, three of them are not all peer-review, but I didn't anticipate that you would want only such sources. The first is peer review, the second is the least formal, in that it it's a narcanon page, but even it has ten references which are themselves all peer-review research on the topic, the third is a transcript of five doctors collaboratively answering just your question (which would be an ideal source, if not so brief) and the fourth is part of the online resources of the National Institute on drug abuse. If you want explicit primary source research only, the second listing (or rather its reference section) is your friend. Perhaps it would help if you told me what this is for? If you need to be able to cite sources of a specific type for example, I can help you find more of that variety. Snow talk 10:00, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Opiates are a very broad class. I suggest you look up the specific drugs you are interested in and look at their toxicity and ld50. For an analogy, compare the toxicity of ethanol and methanol, which are both alcohols. μηδείς (talk) 06:45, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

What are the proximal organs?[edit] (talk) 09:05, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Proximal is not really a class of organ, per say. It's a relative anatomical term, with a lot of different meanings along a similar theme of being "closer to"; it contrasts with "distal", meaning "farther from". So, for example, the fingertips are less proximal to the torso than is the elbow; the toes are more distal to the torso than are the knees. When used to refer to organs, proximal can have a couple of different meanings depending on context. It can be used to refer to a part of an organ that is is closer in some sense to the center of the body and other organs it connects to (for example, the proximal colon or the proximal end of the esophagus) or it can refer to relative positions of the organs or to indicate direction in general. And then there are still more abstract uses with regard to metabolic and systemic pathways. The shared elements are that proximal means "closer to" or "towards" whereas distal indicates "farther/away from". Snow talk 10:22, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Its not perfectly defined, but in context, proximal and distal usually mean closer to or further from the spinal column, heart, and stomach, each as the "center" of its own system. (Of course the spine is distal to the brain, so it's vague in layman terms.) Again, this can change by context. When my father had knee replacement (I had to take three days off and drive almost 1,000 miles) the hospital, which was excellent, offered a family consultation. They tried in vain to explain clearly what sort of swelling and bruising was expected, and what wasn't. I finally said, anything distal from the knee is bad, and needs immediate attention, but proximal bruising is okay? They were surprised, and confirmed that yes, symptoms from the wound towards the toes were of immediate concern, but that minor symptoms from the knee to the hip were to be expected. μηδείς (talk) 06:56, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Question about spaceships?[edit]

Non science guy here. On real life and realistic scifi. If you are at an travelling on space using an spaceship with max power and at an speed of X on space and turn off the engines, the ship will continue to travel with speed of X.
Lets imagine that some amount of time you turn on the engine to max power again, the ship will increase the speed or continue with the same speed of X? (talk) 15:39, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Simple answer; turning the rocket motor on again will impart an acceleration - if you trust posigrade (in the direction of flight), your rocket will gain speed. Boils down to the fact that v=a*t (velocity equals acceleration multiples by time).WegianWarrior (talk) 15:47, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
That depends:
1) Current ships would increase speed if the engine was turned on (unless the spaceship had been turned around, then it would decrease speed).
2) The speed of light is the theoretical maximum, so while it would still increase speed, it would do so at a decreasing rate until you'd get to a point where no measurable speed increase would occur. Of course, we are nowhere near being able to go that fast yet.
Note that I am assuming the ship is in a perfect vacuum. There are some particles, even in space, so the spaceship will slow down by a tiny amount as it hits those, especially at higher speeds. Then there's the solar wind and radiation pressure, which blows anything away from the Sun, again at a very slow rate. StuRat (talk) 15:53, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
This means with an 1km per hour engine turned on and an extreme amount of fuel, you will "eventually reach speed of light?" (talk) 16:50, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
To put it in another way, in the older models (newtonian physics), as long as you apply engines, you will theoretically accelerate (gain "speed", more accurately, velocity) every time you apply engines.
In relativistic physics, it depends on who is measuring.
A. To an observer from your starting point, the closer you are to the speed of light, the more your acceleration appears to slow down, until it becomes almost (but not quite) zero at just below the speed of light. So you appear to reach just below light speed and stay there, never accelerating beyond that.
B. To the pilot, you will continue to accelerate at the normal rate as long as you apply engines, but the universe will begin to age faster around you. So no. Time will end before you reach light speed. :D
And yeah, this is given a magic spaceship in a perfect vacuum, not real spaceships in real space.-- OBSIDIANSOUL 16:13, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
One key concept is relativistic mass. The closer a ship is to the speed of light, the heavier it is relative to the 'stationary' observer. So to keep going faster relative to that observer, it takes more and more fuel for a given amount of acceleration. (this is basic F=ma, the acceleration from a given force is divided by the mass) Another way of looking at it is that suppose you look at a ship going half the speed of light in the right lane, and that ship is passed by one going half the speed of light relative to it in the next lane, and that ship is passed by one going half the speed of light relative to it, and so on. Is this possible? Absolutely. But none of these ships looks like it's going faster than the speed of light even to the 'stationary' observer. From the perspective of the ship, the same amount of fuel always provides the same amount of thrust ... but all that thrust never adds up to lightspeed from any perspective. Wnt (talk) 16:11, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Sadly, no, it doesn't. Relativity will induce time and space dilation so you'll never reach the speed of light.
It's true (at any speed) that if you accelerate your spacecraft to speed X and turn off the engine, you'll continue to coast along at speed X for eternity...and If you turn the engine back on, you'll go faster, so as long as you have fuel left to keep the engine running, you can always go faster and faster. That's clearly true at speeds much less than the speed of light - but when you get close to light-speed, things get kinda complicated and you have to start asking who is measuring the speed and what they are measuring it relative to - and the answer gets very weird. (Basically, from your perspective, you'd feel yourself accelerating - but time and distance in the outside world would start to distort to prevent you from getting where you're going any faster than lightspeed. From someone else's perspective, they'd see time inside your spaceship start to distort to prevent you from getting to lightspeed.)
This business of the spaceship continuing at the same speed with the engine turned off is in accordance with Newton's laws of motion - but it can be counter-intuitive. After all, if you turn off the engine of your car while traveling at speed down the freeway, you'll gradually slow down and eventually stop. But that's because cars have friction against the ground and drag though the air. A spaceship (in a vacuum) has neither of those things. (Technically, space isn't a *complete* vacuum, there is always some teeny-tiny trace of gas and dust - so after hundreds of years, you'd gradually notice a slight slowdown).
In a car, when you're driving at constant speed, the engine is providing just enough power to overcome drag and friction. If you had a frictionless road and no air - then your car would coast forever with the engine turned off too.
SteveBaker (talk) 16:21, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Steve, the drag though is very small unless you're going faster than bodies in that part of space, over easily obtainable spacecraft speeds, or very close to a visible atmosphere. Vanguard 1, a 3 pound ball carrying radios with antennas sticking out, has passed 0.05 Earth sizes from this world over 99,000 times and all it did was shrink the orbit from 17379 km in width to 17242 km (less than 0.8 percent). The percentage it was slowed down by was even less. I've never heard of drag being a factor for the smallest observable asteroids going 20 miles per second. Interplanetary spaceships can be shaped like flying junkyards.
If you travel at 67 million miles per hour between the stars (1/10th the speed of light, not too easy in the near future) then spaceship streamlining starts being important, though. In fact, at 604 million miles per hour (90 percent the speed of light) spaceships have to be thin, sleek, and protected by a heat shield. (though a lot of that is due to relativity, you're really reaching energies well over 90% the speed of light at that point but relativity speeds up or slows down others' time compared to you as appropriate so that nothing ever moves 671 million miles in an hour). Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 22:49, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Yeah - as I said "after hundreds of years, you'd gradually notice a slight slowdown"...and after just 57 years, we are indeed noticing a slight slowdown of Vandguard 1. It's certainly not very significant though - and the further you are from planets and stars, the less noticable it'll be. I merely wanted to point out that there is nothing materially different about the way a spacecraft moves compared to (say) a car. It's just a matter of degree. SteveBaker (talk) 23:09, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

How did humans form a diet that relies heavily on the consumption of carbohydrates?[edit]

How did humans form a diet that relies heavily on the consumption of carbohydrates? Around the world, foods rich in carbs may take on the form of rice, porridge, noodles, bread, and potatoes, and many of these carb-rich foods become staple foods. Yet, some humans can live on primarily carnivorous diet, and some humans can live on primarily vegetarian diet. Eh? How does that work out prior to the modern understanding of nutrition? (talk) 16:51, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

If everyone tried eating only meat and vegetation, there wouldn't be enough for everyone. Bread's filling. Easy to catch. Tastes pretty good, too. Plus, it gives you an excuse to make beer. Beer gave nomads the reason they needed to settle down. Settling down created the ecosystem and population you see today. That required a lot of cheap starchy foods. Brewers have to eat, too, and more and more are too fat and drunk to hunt. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:15, January 23, 2015 (UTC)
Tell me that you are only being facetious by that flippant explanation. (talk) 17:29, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Nope. It's a bit overgeneralized, but human evolution's a long story. Others will be along with the finer details, don't worry. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:36, January 23, 2015 (UTC)
Hunter-gatherers, living off of e.g. Bushfood probably didn't might not have eaten as many carbs as we do, but it's hard to tell, because we don't have their recipe books or records of what they could find each day. Most experts think the diet was highly variable. But then the Neolithic_Revolution happened, at it became easier/more reliable to grow lots of carbs. Paleolithic_diet is more about the modern fad, but does have some info on what we thing prehistoric people ate. Paleolithic#Diet_and_nutrition has some other info. You might also be interested inNative_American_cuisine#Crops_and_ingredients - though there were many different lifestyles, and some of those people were very agrarian, while others were more like hunter-gatherers. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:38, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
(ec) I saw an explanation on a PBS pledge drive show, but some of those aren't reliable, so take this as a possible explanation only:
Humans are not well adapted to live on a diet heavy in carbs, particularly grains. In a "natural diet", they would only be a minor component of the diet. However, during the agricultural revolution, people found ways to grow complex carbs (starches) like grains and tubers (potatoes, yams, etc.) in quantity, and our diet switched to largely carbs, which made many more calories available to us than in a more natural diet, and fewer of some important nutrients (especially in the case of white flour). This has led to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems. Simple carbs (sugars) have been refined more recently, leading to even more health problems. StuRat (talk) 17:45, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Way easier to keep the carbs fresh, year-round, too. Ice wasn't big in the "known world" once, and salt wasn't exactly cheap. Needed a lot of something for all those mouths. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:58, January 23, 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I don't think it's that simple. Tubers, especially things like wild yams, are an important element of human diet, especially for hunter-gatherers. And grains formed a very important component of the pre-Neolithic diet in the Middle East. Of course, both of these are seasonal foods, so they aren't likely to be a year-round food for non-settled people.

More fundamentally, grains, pseudocereals (quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth) and starchy staples (root, tubers, plantain, breadfruit) produce more food per unit area than do other crops. So they're critical components of any sort of agricultural intensification. But I think it's pretty safe to say that starches have always played an important part in the diet of humans - if memory serves me, the robust australopithecines (while not direct human ancestors) fed mainly on the starchy roots of grasses. Guettarda (talk) 18:05, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

People who think our ancient ancestors didn't eat many carbs have probably never tried to feed themselves by hunting with a pointy stick, or running game to exhaustion. Plants don't generally run away when you try to kill them. One often overlooked source of protein and fat is juicy grubs, but those also take some decent time and skill to harvest, and tend not to occur in very high densities. Of course there is a big difference between eating a raw yam and highly processed white flour. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:52, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
You're forgetting some major food groups, like fruits and vegetables. Those tend to be packed with nutrients, relative to the number of carbs (especially back then, before we bred all the fruit to have more simple carbs, AKA, sugars). StuRat (talk) 00:04, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

I think more crops are fed to livestock than eaten by people. A ton of animal costs 10 tons of plants to make. Doesn't that look slightly wasteful? I wouldn't want to see the habitat destruction caused by more protein in the average world diet. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 19:57, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

  • I'll add staple food since I don't see it. Basically, consuming carbs from plants removes one level from the food chain (eat what the antelope eat, not just the antelope) and allows you to become much more plentiful. μηδείς (talk) 19:59, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Staple food was in the original post, by the way. (talk) 23:39, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but there's a huge difference between knowing a term and looking it up. I suspect 2/3 of our questions would never be asked if the OP's would use the search and archive functions. Time also to restore "have you tried a searc engine to the policy at the top of the page. μηδείς (talk) 06:42, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
There is also a huge difference between looking it up on a Wikipedia page and actually looking it up from one's knowledge bank in one's head. The former may not always provide accurate, verifiable information, especially when the pages are not properly cited, while the latter requires an answerer to gather related materials in the mind and formulate a meaningful, brief answer, preferably with links to the desired resources. When you ask a quick question to a teacher, the teacher may (1) directly answer the question (even though that may not really be helpful) or (2) provide a list of links and references for finding the information that you didn't know before. (talk) 14:13, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
I must note that answering a question may depend on how specialized the question is and how knowledgeable the answerer is. If the question is very specialized in scope, and the answerer does not have the topic as a field of expertise, then the answerer may find references, but the references won't exactly be on-topic or helpful. In this case, such a specialized question can serve as a knowledge litmus test to distinguish among "easy questions", "difficult questions", and "questions-that-humankind-does-not-know-yet". (talk) 14:22, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
There is a growing body of evidence that it all started with beer. Once mesolithic humans had worked out the fermentation thing, they had to settle down to grow the grain. Then bread came along, the neolithic revolution, the rest is, what's the word? Fiddlersmouth (talk) 20:04, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Hey, that was my top Google link! All good, though. Gave me a reason to replace it with a more suitably flippant and facetious one. InedibleHulk (talk) 13:47, January 24, 2015 (UTC)
While the semi-legendary "Eskimo diet" may have worked once or twice, the seal eater of today (literally) supplements his family's diet with starchy Frosted Flakes and Corn Pops, and it still isn't enough. They are also drastically underbeered. InedibleHulk (talk) 13:47, January 24, 2015 (UTC)

Is this a valid scientific method?[edit]

I want to know an answer to a question. So I think and think and think about it and I came up with a method to determine the answer. I want to know if my method is a scientific method for determining the answer to the question.

Do adult women get the same erotic arousal as men when watching the same "movie clip"? In other words, do men and women feel the same erotic arousal from the same stimuli?

I proposed to have an open competition where by film makers make a 20 minute film clip (sound and vision). This film clip is then shown to an adult audience of age 20 to 40 years. After watching the film clip, the audience must answer only one question. "On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is not erotic and 10 is the most erotic film you have ever watched. How erotic did you find the film clip?".

Next give the result back to the film makers and ask them to predict the gender of the audience. For example: Audience #324 gives the result 6 on the erotic scale.

Then determine how well, the film makers can determine the gender of the audience. (talk) 17:04, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

I see a couple problems:
1) People might very well identify something as erotic that they don't personal find arousing. Instead you should ask if they personally feel aroused, if that's what you're interested in.
2) The last part (having film makers predict the audience member gender) seems extraneous. Just look at the scores directly.
And, in case you don't know this, men and women find different things stimulating. For example, most women probably don't want to see genitals, at least not right at the start. StuRat (talk) 17:55, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I'd be surprised if Masters and Johnson (or their Institute) hadn't examined something like this question at some point, but I'm not going to search for references from my Office PC! {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 18:52, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, lots of research has been done on this topic, see e.g. [13], [14], or just this google scholar search [15]. A lot of the modern stuff skips surveys altogether and instead uses things like fMRI to do brain imaging. If you specifically want survey methods, try here [16], which is a meta-analysis of many survey-based studies. OP would be well-served to examine previously vetted methods, rather than making up a novel one (which has many problems). I should also point out that most of these studies are interested in the question of whether men and women have different or similar reactions to visual stimuli in general. If you really wanted to just test whether men and women had the same arousal from one specific clip then the methods will be a little simpler. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:46, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

What can't be modeled in science with differential equations?[edit]

I mean physics mainly.--Senteni (talk) 20:49, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

The main thing that comes to mind is turbulence. Differential equations are used to study it, but they don't really model it. Shock waves are also problematic, as they involve discontinuities, but they are typically handled by sort of augmented differential equations. Looie496 (talk) 21:14, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Depends on what you mean by "differential equations" and "model." Numerical solutions of coupled partial differential equations are one of the standard tools for studying turbulence. Let's see if direct numerical simulation is a blue link. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 03:05, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
It's often not about whether something can or cannot be modeled with differential equations, it's whether that's the best tool for the job. For instance I use lots of stochastic finite difference equations in my research. I could probably use stochastic PDE, but that wouldn't work as well for analyzing systems that basically work in discrete time (e.g. populations that reproduce once per year.) Another example is how you can see the heat equation emerge from random walks - they both get at the same physics, but one is PDE and the other is not.
In pure physics, you have things like the Ising model, which doesn't really work well with DiffEq. Some methods in statistical mechanics don't use much DiffEq. Game theory hardly ever uses DiffEq, and has applications to economics, ecology, and social sciences. Then there's the stuff they do with Self-organized_criticality a very physics-y topic, which historically came about through the study of cellular automata and fractals, which tend to use few differential equations. These are just a few things that came to mind, I doubt there's any exhaustive list :) SemanticMantis (talk) 21:26, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
From a purely practical point of view, problems dealing with Concurrency and NP-complete models, like network flow. Bottom line - anything you can't reduce to a Polynomial. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 02:30, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
It's a trick question as nearly everything over an arbitrary space/time can be modeled. The degree of difficulty is the range over which the model is valid. Models describe what we observe but it's rarely true that what we observe is described exactly by a model over every possible condition. The model is bounded by and with error. --DHeyward (talk) 20:33, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Ideas for Chemistry Paper Topic?[edit]

I have to write a lengthy literature review paper for a chemistry class. Does anyone have any ideas for a topic? I am looking for a topic that is interesting (perhaps involving a mathematical component), current, and will have ample journal review articles. Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pinterc (talkcontribs) 22:26, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

I'd suggest the Belousov–Zhabotinsky_reaction. There's some very interesting history of the "supposedly discovered discovery" - the tie in to biochem with the Krebs cycle, and lots of cool math with the dynamics of reaction-diffusion systems. Also an interesting example of self organization and emergent phenomena (if you think of the thin-plate situation that forms spirals). Plenty of papers have been written on the topic, and the Brusselator and Oregonator models are an interesting illustration of how different models can say different things when different levels of complexity are included. If you can manage a demonstration, that's always a crowd pleaser :) Should be plenty of refs in those articles to base a review paper on. SemanticMantis (talk) 23:24, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Oops, I didn't notice "current" - a lot of this research is not especially recent, but people are still publishing on this and related autocatalytic reactions. SemanticMantis (talk) 23:28, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
You didn't say if this is organic or inorganic chemistry. For organic, maybe something on protein folding, such as misfolded proteins/prions. For inorganic, maybe the search for high temperature superconductors ? StuRat (talk) 00:31, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Suzuki reaction? Metal-organic framework? Plasmic Physics (talk) 02:11, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
There's been a lot of recent active research in nanoparticle drug delivery. --Jayron32 03:55, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Graphene comes immediately to mind. Looie496 (talk) 16:14, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
What do you find to be "interesting"? If you find it interesting, you will have an easier or less onerous-feeling task. What any of us might find interesting might be in a field you don't care about, or that seems esoteric/specialized in a way you don't have time or interest in getting up to speed as a field. DMacks (talk) 03:59, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

DMacks (talk) 03:59, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

January 24[edit]


Why don't vaccines always protect against their targeted infections? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:27, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Well sometime the immune system does not develop a response to it. Perhaps the combinations available do not match any of the substances in the vaccine. Or perhaps the infection is a mutant. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 08:05, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Some good info and refs at Vaccine#Effectiveness. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:23, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
If you are asking about the ineffectiveness of the flu vaccine this year, that's because there are many strains of flu, and they typically only make the vaccine capable of fighting what they predict will be the 3 worst strains that year. Of course, predicting which strains will be the worst is tricky, especially considering that not providing any vaccine for a particular strain will make it worse. They might consider increasing the number of strains they cover. (I wonder how far down the list they would have had to go to have covered the current worst strain.) StuRat (talk) 15:37, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

M1 Abrams[edit]

Someone claimed on YouTube that M1 Abrams` engine requires weekly maintenance , is that true ? (talk) 12:14, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

First of all, we are talking about the Army here, and the Army has their own way of doing things. Secondly, tanks might be operating in dusty environments, so cleaning the air filter could easily be the weekly engine maintenance. Lastly, this engine probably uses roller bearings (as opposed to air bearings), which require oil, just like a regular car engine. (talk) 12:25, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) "...the time between AGT1500 depot-level overhauls has declined from 2,000 operating hours for a brand-new engine to 700 hours for one returned to stock from the depot." [17] I suspect that there is a programme of lesser maintenance which is performed in the field. This critical report says (see "Chart C: Actual Use Data") that for an average of 0.6 Maintenance Hours per Mile (MH/M) for the M1 and 0.41 MH/M for the M1A1 results in 88% of tanks being available for the M1 or 82% for the M1A1. So basically, for every hour that you operate the tank, you need to spend about half an hour maintaining it; and even then, only 9 out of 10 tanks are going to work. Alansplodge (talk) 12:52, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Actually the ratio is much worse, it's over half an hour of maintenance per mile travelled, not per hour operated. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 15:04, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
We discussed M1 Abrams' combat-time and maintenance regimen in November 2013. A variety of reliable references indicate that these vehicles require lots of maintenance, and in exchange for that extraordinary preventative effort, they provide extraordinary combat capabilities. Nimur (talk) 02:18, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Well maybe. The Leopard 2 is just as fast and has a better operating range. The Challenger 2 is slower but is said by some to be better protected. They both use ordinary diesel engines. Alansplodge (talk) 23:25, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

How much lead is dangerous?[edit]

I'm looking for ways to change the surface of the keys on my keyboard and someone suggests that a drop of hot solder would embed itself in the key and be relatively permanent. This suggestion is immediately followed by someone warning of THE DANGERS OF LEAD POISONING. My gut reaction is nonsense. I've done some soldering with lead-based solder and while I might be crazy, I ain't dead yet. One time exposure is one thing, but repeated exposure, day after day, year after year is another. So now I'm wondering how much lead could you handle safely? Or is skin contact with room temperature solder a non-issue? (talk) 12:15, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Lead poisoning is a good start. Jarkeld (talk) 12:23, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Lead poisoning#Pathophysiology Jarkeld (talk) 12:27, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
The urban rise and fall of air lead (Pb) and the latent surge and retreat of societal violence (August 2012) says: "Our findings along with others predict that prevention of children's lead exposure from lead dust now will realize numerous societal benefits two decades into the future, including lower rates of aggravated assault." Alansplodge (talk) 15:12, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Why do it that way though? Couldn't you (for example) drill a small hole and use a hot glue gun to fill it full of polymer - or use some Polycaprolactone (sold in many craft stores under the name "polymorph" or "shapelock") which softens in 80 degC water and can be reshaped over your keycap to make any shape or surface texture you could imagine - as it cools to room temperature, it hardens and leaves a nice surface. Just making a small dimple in the surface using a dremel would seem much preferable to messing with solder. SteveBaker (talk) 17:54, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Your idea sounds very dangerous. From what I learned when I was in school, lead is a cumulative poison. I remember reading somewhere that there is no safe exposure level for it. If you have handled lead, you'd know that it's a soft metal. You could actually draw on paper with it! (Not that you should try it, I'm just making a point about how easily lead can transfer to things it come in contact with.) Having it on your keyboard means that your hands can easily pick it up and transfer it to other things that you touch and consume, including food. -- (talk) 22:26, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Why not just use lead-free solder? Richerman (talk) 23:27, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
The danger of lead aside, there's also the question of whether the plastic the key caps are made of can withstand the temperature of molten solder. -- (talk) 23:46, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

I had looked at the Lead Poisoning article but it is very long and I didn't really want to learn all about this. The section on pathophysiology contained this little bit: "...however inorganic lead found in paint, food, and most lead-containing consumer products is only minimally absorbed through the skin." That makes it sound like minimal contact entails minimal risk, for some value of minimal. So, thank you, Jarkeld, for the link. The rest of you sound like a bunch of PC ninnies. (talk) 14:14, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Absorption through the skin is only one route lead could get into your body. Like I said in my earlier reply, if you have lead on your keyboard, it can rub off onto your fingers and get transferred the food someone eats, through direct or indirect contact. This can happen if you eat finger snacks while using the keyboard. OK, let's say you are careful not to touch food while using the keyboard. You may still transfer lead to the coffee mug that you drink from while using the keyboard. Next time you have cookies and drink coffee from that cup, your fingers can pick the lead and transfer it to the cookies. Even if you're careful not to do any of those, what about family members and visitors? Can you trust them not to do something that would eventually get lead onto their food? Why risk contaminating your environment with lead just for a customized keyboard? Being prudent is not silly, and has nothing to do with political correctness. -- (talk) 15:11, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Traditionally kids would play with lead figurines in a house with walls of lead paint and lead dust from motor vehicles wafting in the window and eat pretty freely and no obvious fatalities... still, it's clear that at some point the lead may add up and can cause measurable IQ reduction, etc. even if they don't chew on it. A keyboard is an ultra common contact for fingers and might therefore be problematic. I assume that just touching the end of the soldering iron (hmmm, maybe you better decontaminate ;) ) to the keyboard would cause a noticeable imperfection to be felt anyway. Or for a visual impact, surely there are a hundred kinds of good paint to use (not lead paint :) ) Erm, anyway, none of us are supposed to be giving you advice, but the set of references we can cite on the chronic health effects of typing on a keyboard with a lead key is just not gonna be good. :) Wnt (talk) 16:22, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Prestressed concrete transfer equation[edit]

In a prestressed concrete beam, how do you find the characteristic strength of the concrete at the time of transfer of the prestress? Im not sure what information I need. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:31, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Magnetic pick up for electric guitar[edit]

Is it, or is it not, a variable reluctance transducer. If not, what is it?-- (talk) 19:08, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

No. And they vary; see Pickup (music technology) and then come back here for more. --Tagishsimon (talk) 19:39, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Ok looked at that page: no info at all on how magnetic pickups actually work. So what in principle is the difference between a variable reluctance setup and an induced voltage caused by a magnetised string?-- (talk) 19:30, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Hmm. Paraphrasing the second paragraph of the Variable reluctance sensor article we would have:
"As the [strings] pass by the face of the magnet, the amount of magnetic flux passing through the magnet and consequently the coil varies. When the [string] is close to the sensor, the flux is at a maximum. When the [string] is further away, the flux drops off. The moving [string] results in a time-varying flux that induces a proportional voltage in the coil. Subsequent electronics are then used to [amplify] this signal to get a [stronger] waveform that can be more readily [connected to a speaker]."
To me this seems to very closely match how a typical electric guitar pickup works. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 21:12, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
See also Magnetic reluctance, which lists "Variable reluctance magnetic pickups" under "Applications". A standard guitar pickup is indeed a variable-reluctance device. Tevildo (talk) 22:36, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Factor of 2 in photosynthesis equation[edit]

Our photosynthesis article gives the following equations:

2n CO2 + 2n DH2 + photons2(CH2O)n + 2n DO (General equation)
2n CO2 + 4n H2O + photons2(CH2O)n + 2n O2 + 2n H2O (Oxygenic photosynthesis)
2n CO2 + 2n H2O + photons2(CH2O)n + 2n O2 (Oxygenic photosynthesis, simplified)

What is the purpose of carrying the extra factor of 2? Why not simply write the following?

n CO2 + n H2O + photons(CH2O)n + n O2

Is there something inherently "two by two" in photosynthesis? -- ToE 23:18, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

I believe that is because the reactions involved are Lewis acid-base reactions, which depend on the transfer of electron pairs. --Jayron32 23:51, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
The answer to this is not immediately obvious to me. I am more familiar with a non-doubled version (especially for a "general formula") and see it is in sources like [18]. @Jayron32: The electron pairs are at a pretty low level of this - the figure in Photosynthesis illustrates an electron pair being promoted for each half of an O2 produced, and this formula lists two O2s produced. Wnt (talk) 14:07, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

If the birth rate is less than 2.0 birth/woman, is the population decreasing?[edit]

Is it? --Senteni (talk) 23:40, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Yup. In fact, it's higher than 2.0 births/woman. Because of various issues, it's actually a bit higher than that. According to Sub-replacement fertility, the birth-rate necessary to maintain exactly zero population growth is more like 2.33 births/woman worldwide. It varies by country based on things like child mortality, but even in the developed world it would still be about 2.1. Read the article I just linked for more information. --Jayron32 23:46, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Note however, as the article explains, a country with a sub-replacement fertility may not have a decreasing population for reasons such as immigration and also population momentum and increases in life expectancy in the short term. Although our article does suggest even immigration may not be enough to counter another effect of sub-replacement fertility, population ageing. (Conversely I think a country could have a total fertility rate above sub-replacement fertility but still have a decreasing population due to emmigration and other factors.) Nil Einne (talk) 00:35, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Not necessarily. The population will start to decrease eventually if that birth rate is maintained, but it might not happen for a long time, if there is a large excess of young people in relation to old people. (This is the population momentum factor that Nil Einne mentioned. I'm repeating because it is actually extremely important in real life. Typically population does not begin to decrease until decades after the birth rate falls below 2.0.) Looie496 (talk) 16:59, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
The number is clearly around 2.0 - but bear in mind that you might (for whatever reason) produce more girl children than boys - which would theoretically allow the population to continue to grow with a birth rate of 2.0 or less. This doesn't appear to be the case, however; Human sex ratio says that averaged across the world, the ratio is currently 101 men for every 100 women, so a birth rate of 2.0 would likely make for a theoretical decline. But of course, not all children live long enough reproduce - which is why the practical self-sustaining birth rate has to be a little over 2.0. But if you imagine a society where boys are more valued by their parents than girls (eg India & China) - where it is not at all uncommon for parents to abort girls before they are born...then in such cases, 2.0 births per woman would result in a substantial population decrease as fewer than half of the population would be women. SteveBaker (talk) 00:22, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

The normal figure is "net reproduction rate" which is the number of female children a woman will have on average. In fact, even without counting sex-selective abortions, slightly over half of all infants are male, thus the total number of children needed is slightly over 2. Amazingly enough, the NRR is underpopulated developed areas tends to rise (viz. post WW II Europe) and to decline where the population density appears to be too high in such areas. Collect (talk) 15:23, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

The answer will also depend on how many of the women are parthenogenetic. μηδείς (talk) 20:16, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Also depends on whether children favor male or female. --DHeyward (talk) 20:37, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

January 25[edit]

In which cases can we find infection or inflammation without Leukocytosis or non-normal CRP?[edit] (talk) 08:58, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

You are presuming that we can find such cases. Perhaps they do not exist. (talk) 14:22, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Removing instability in a linear system[edit]

I have a somewhat poorly conditioned linear system, A\bold{x}=\bold{b}. The right hand side, b, contains physical data which has some associated (though poorly characterized) uncertainty. The matrix is exact, rectangular (more rows than columns), but near singular for some variables, so small errors in b can result in large errors in some of the x's. I'd like to identify the most uncertain x's and exclude them (fix them to zero). Is there a typical process for picking which and how many x's to exclude? Dragons flight (talk) 10:37, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't know this topic, and don't have ready access to some of the best-looking results, but Google delivers many hits for "Monte Carlo" "linear system" "exclude" that look promising... Wnt (talk) 13:47, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps you are looking for a preconditioning method. This stage usually precedes inversion in an iterative solution.
Image Estimation by Example, chapter 5, covers this approach with practical examples. "This book is not a statistics book. Never-the-less, many of you have some statistical knowledge that allows you a statistical interpretation of these views of preconditioning."
If you'd like a more formal math book, the standard reference is Golub's constrained optimization book, Matrix Computations, which is not an easy read, and it's also not free.
Nimur (talk) 14:45, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure if preconditioning is the right thing. The preconditioning that I am aware of (and what seems to appear on the wiki page) is generally about reducing roundoff error and improving computation speed without changing the value of the solution (the x's). In my case, it's not roundoff error in A that is the problem, but actual error in the b's. The manifestation of that is that sometimes you get things like x1 = -1000 when we know for physical reasons that the plausible values are +/- 3. However, because it is a large linear system, any instability at one point leads to instability elsewhere, e.g. x1 = -1000 is met with a partially compensating swing x2 = +1001. I'm trying to figure out which parts of the system are most sensitive to the noise in b and cut them out. Is there a variant of preconditioning that does things like that? Dragons flight (talk) 17:31, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, exactly! Outlier rejection is exactly the point! Half of GEE (the book I linked above) is about examples of that problem: physically, we know that a large outlier value is implausible; so we use a preconditioner or a regularization method to automatically determine where the outlier data is - and to avoid using it in the optimized solution. You can apply any precondition you like - for example, you can discard values above some threshold, or throw out any jump discontinuities, and so forth. If you already know that ±1000 is the outlier threshold, your job is very easy. If you aren't sure where the outliers are, you need an algorithm that can estimate a threshold (or otherwise generate a precondition) from the data itself. This can be automated, with a little bit of skill. Nimur (talk) 23:06, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I think the basic thing you have to do is compute the singular value decomposition of your matrix. But where you go from there is more than I can say. Looie496 (talk) 16:54, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
You know, I had the exact same impulse that SVD ought to be useful, but I also am unsure of what to do with the SVD result after I get it. My current thought process is to use the pseudoinverse (P_{i,j}) along with some crude assumption for the error in b to estimate the errors in the inverse: \delta x_i^2 \approx \sum_j P_{i,j}^2*\delta b_j^2. That assumes uncorrelated errors, which is probably false, and that I can usefully estimate the errors in the b's. My plan is then to find the x with the largest implied uncertainty, remove that term, and then iterate until the implied uncertainty on the remaining terms is within some tolerable threshold. It feels like this will work, but I'm also wondering if there are better ways to go about it. Dragons flight (talk) 18:40, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
This is a basic model in factor analysis. Let the covariance structure of your observables guide you. --Mark viking (talk) 20:01, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Care to elaborate? I could use the generic covariance estimate Q \approx {1 \over n} A^T A. Then apply principal component decomposition to Q, and what? Presumably retain only some of the components, but how many, which ones, and why? Dragons flight (talk) 21:07, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
What is the nature of the noise in b? Sometimes there are errors not only in the numerical value, but also at what time (or at what position or whatever, you get the point) the samples were taken. YohanN7 (talk) 20:18, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

How does the electric current of a Taser (or a similar electroshock weapon) spread?[edit]

If someone is holding you with a headlock and you apply an electrical shock on your attacker, wouldn't you get a shock too? And if the shock is only local to the touching point, wouldn't that be ineffective? It would certainly hurt, but not making him release you or stop attacking through other means.--Noopolo (talk) 23:29, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

It sends two wires and the current mainly travels between the electrodes on the contacts, so there is not much outside the contact area. The idea is to hurt but not be lethal. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 07:44, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
And why does it disrupt the body to a point that people fall down, although they were hit on the shoulder? I get that an electrical shock to my right arm will make the muscles of my right arm contract, which is also consistent with your explanation (electricity traveling between the electrodes). But why does the whole body collapse? See a youtube video about some tests on people. --Noopolo (talk) 13:06, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
While electricity mostly follows the path of least resistance (which is the shortest path in the case of a material of uniform resistance), some takes the longer path. You can see this in a spark, which jumps around a bit, rather than just forming a straight line. And it doesn't take much electricity to disrupt nerves, since they use only a tiny amount of electricity to communicate. StuRat (talk) 15:31, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
@Noopolo: According to this study [19] over whether a TASER could affect the human heart adversely,
".. causes involuntary muscle contraction and intense pain in the unfortunate target".
Note this was done on a guinea-pig heart in a laboratory setting (petri dish?), not a 'whole body' subject! The heart is, presumably, not the 'target' for a taser in any case.
From what I have seen on-line, the 'trunk' of the body would be the target (similar to pistols, the main mass of the body). If hit only on the same shoulder, it might not have the 'desired effect', disabling you, as it might indeed only affect the muscles on the one limb, though the pain could be disabling, if not the muscle contractions.
  • "How Stun Guns Work" at may have some useful info, but doesn't seem to be very certain about its statements regarding the science behind it effects on the body.
  • This BBCstory [20] makes fairly definitive statements about the 'process':
"Electrical signals - taser waves or T-Waves -overpower the body's normal electrical signals, temporarily confusing the nervous system."
And here is a (not particularly informative) explanation at [21]
  • "The TASER CEW (Conducted Electrical Weapon) simulates the pulsed communications used within the nerves, and interferes with communication – like static on the telephone lines within the body."
220 of Borg 06:21, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
This sourced "How Stuff Works" may explain better. How the Taser Shotgun Shell Works. --220 of Borg 07:29, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

January 26[edit]

What is the amount of gs in space???[edit]

My google-fu is failing. What is the amount of G(s) on Interplanetary space? (talk) 10:33, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

If you are talking about G-force (which is not actually a force) it can range from nothing to degrees that would rip you apart. It is a measurement of acceleration - the faster the acceleration the higher the gs. G-force can also be referred to as the acceleration felt as weight. If you are travelling at a constant velocity (in a straight line) in space you will experience 0 gs. (talk) 12:24, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
You might be thinking of a gravitational constant, in which case you want to read about microgravity. In the vast emptiness of space, far from any massive objects, the acceleration due to gravity is very small, but not zero - so zero g is the wrong term, but people use it anyway. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:20, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Also note that if you are in orbit about a body, that cancels the gravity from that body. So, if you started midway between the Earth and Venus, but not in orbit around the Sun, then you would be pulled towards the Sun. If you were in orbit around the Sun, you would not be. StuRat (talk) 15:06, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Likely better to say "balances" rather than "cancels" and the fact is that, for example, the Earth is constantly "pulled towards the Sun" if one is literal.Collect (talk) 15:18, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. Gravity acts on all objects that have mass: everything is pulled toward the sun. Some objects have immense angular momentum, due to their initial velocity, and this momentum must be conserved. So, these objects - even the ones in stable orbits - are still pulled toward the sun. Objects in stable orbits are in a constant state of acceleration - but they follow an elliptic trajectory (or a more complicated trajectory, depending on their velocity and other imperfect conditions).
The equation you want to use to find the force of gravity is given in our article, N-body problem#General_formulation. If you are in "interplanetary space," you may be able to neglect all objects except the sun.
Nimur (talk) 16:29, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Is it possible the OP meant amount of gas in outer space? This source quotes others, and gives estimates about 1 atom per cubic centimeter. μηδείς (talk) 17:54, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
If it was, (s)he mistyped it twice, once with parentheses...I don't think it could have been a typo. SteveBaker (talk) 18:52, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I swear I read the question. μηδείς (talk) 18:56, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Meh...s(h1)t happens! 23:33, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Genetics of Labrador Retrievers[edit]

Labs have three colors Black, chocolate, and yellow.

Is the Black color gene dominant over the other two color genes? I would say yes.

If so, does that make a black Labrador more genetically inclined to perform better as a Lab then a chocolate or yellow? why?

I would say all Labs would have the same or similar genetic traits with different color genes and all colors would perform at the same level. If that is right, why? (talk) 16:20, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Do you have any questions that aren't resolved by our article, Labrador Retriever coat colour genetics? Nimur (talk) 16:36, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Although it's not mentioned in the article, some dog breeders will suggest that lighter puppies tend to be more highly strung. This is expressly mentioned in controversial book The Bell Curve by Herrnstein and Murray. RomanSpa (talk) 17:48, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
  • You might also want to look at black dog syndrome, which is not a question of performance, but a bias against blzack dogs. Anecdotally, my blonde German Shepherd escaped while in heat, and mated with a purebred Black Lab. She had three puppies, two pure black, and one chocolate colored, but it was stillborn. You'd have sworn the surviving puppies were pure Labs by the look of them. μηδείς (talk) 17:50, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
It's spelled "blizzack", dog. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:56, January 27, 2015 (UTC)
It's been said that a lab is the closest thing we have to an "average" dog...(one reason why labs are so overwhelmingly featured on dogfood packaging) crosses tend to veer towards looking a lot like purebred labs.
Lab color is caused by three separate genes - and thus to call one color "dominant" is at best a wild over-simplification! Yellow labs actually split into two separate genetic groups - one with black skin and the other brown (most noticeable on their noses) - which also complicates matters. Some people distinguish "red" from "chocolate" and there is a genetic difference there too. There are also other lab colors out there: charcoal, silver and champagne...there is much dispute in the lab fanatic community as to whether these should be considered pure bred or not...but it's very easy for one of those non-standard colored dogs to have black/yellow/chocolate puppies and that complicates the genetics still further.
Anecdotally: I've had both black and yellow labs in the past - they all had different temperaments and I wouldn't say that there was any obvious correlation with color. Our last black lab had a bad time in Texas summers, that black coat can heat up to the point where you can hardly bear to pet them - so his enthusiasm for outdoor play in mid-summer was definitely a "color-related performance" thing. So we went with yellow this time around. Our yellow lab has been super-calm since day #1, so if there is a genetic link, it's gotta be a fairly weak one - but possibly because he was bred from a long line of hunting dogs where calmness is a valued trait.
But behavior is much, much more likely to be "nurture" than "nature". But when you're asking if a dog might "perform better" have to ask "better at what?"... Playing fetch? Being a gun dog? Being a drug-sniffer or a seeing eye dog? Tolerance for grandkids yanking on his tail and hoping he'll play "horsey"? There is just too much scope here to come up with a coherent metric.
SteveBaker (talk) 18:49, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Coriolis force effect on a rifle bullet[edit]

Is the Coriolis force a significant factor in the impact point of a rifle shot over a 1000m range? I know that it is taken into account for aiming artillery and mortars but is it meaningful for long range rifle shooting? Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 20:40, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Coriolis acceleration is equal to a_c=2(\boldsymbol{\omega}\times\boldsymbol{v}), where \omega\sim10^{-5}\,s^{-1} and v\sim1000\,m/s (for rifle bullet speed). So, the acceleration is about 2*10^{-2}\,m/s^{2}. Over 1000 m range (travel time about t=1 s) the impact point will be shifted by d=a_ct^2/2 or by about 1 cm. Ruslik_Zero 21:01, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I think there is a mistake here: the angular frequency is 1/86400 per second, so \omega = 2\pi/86400. Then the deviation would be more like 6.3cm, close to the three inches in the article below. --Mark viking (talk) 22:10, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Minor correction: the angular frequency is 1/86164 per second. The relevant "day" is the sidereal day, i.e., the time for one rotation of Earth on its axis, not the calendar day. (This is a very common oversight.) Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 01:13, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Good point, thanks. --Mark viking (talk) 01:16, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
This is a topic in external_ballistics and a little info can be found in External_ballistics#Coriolis_drift. This article claims a three inch deviation at 1000 yards at 45 degrees north latitude due to the Coriolis effect. --Mark viking (talk) 21:01, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

As a simple sanity check, consider a bullet fired from the South Pole. The range of 1,000 m means that it strikes somewhere along a parallel of latitude at that distance from the pole. Pretending the Earth is flat (it's close enough for this purpose), the length of that parallel of latitude is 2π × 1,000 m or about 6,283.2 m. In one sidereal day of 86,164 seconds, a point on that parallel travels that distance. Therefore in 1 second it travels 6,283.2/86,164 m, which is 7.2921 cm—similar to the other amounts given above. -- (talk) 05:54, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Fly eggs everywhere?[edit]

My local newspaper has an article discussing a past incident: in early July some years ago, local police found a car in which two people had committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning, and over the days since that time, fly eggs had hatched, and the car was full of flies feasting on the decomposing bodies. Is it common for fly eggs to be found in places like cars that generally don't have any non-microscopic organisms, i.e. is it likely that flies would have laid eggs in the car before the people had gotten in? I don't see any other alternative, as a space from which carbon monoxide molecules can't escape should be impervious to flies, i.e. I can't imagine the flies getting in postmortem. Nyttend (talk) 20:47, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

I would be very surprised if the car were airtight. I don't know what the source of carbon monoxide was, but presumably it was generated in sufficient quantities that it led to the individuals' deaths before it dispersed from the car - it doesn't take that much carbon monoxide to kill someone. It is likely that the flies were attracted by the scent of decomposing flesh that also dispersed from the car. I would also be surprised if the car were flytight (if that's a word). The flies could have found their way into the car and to the bodies postmordem and then laid their eggs on the dead bodies. Gnome de plume (talk) 21:09, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
But if the car's not airtight, wouldn't the CO simply escape out the windows instead of building to the low-yet-lethal levels that it obviously reached? The car was found in the woods, not in someone's garage, if that's at all relevant. Nyttend (talk) 21:24, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Flies can get through very tiny gaps when they are attracted to decay odours. The gaps would be too small to allow gases to exchange quickly by diffusion. Dbfirs 21:30, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
In general, given a well-mixed volume with well-defined entrance and exit flows, the concentration of gases inside the volume will gradually approach the average concentration of gases at the inflow. This makes sense since whatever is inside must gradually be replaced by whatever is coming in. In general, there might be multiple inlets and outlets, but if the flux-weighted average concentration of CO across all the inlets is lethal, then eventually the concentration of CO inside will also be lethal. In general, CO ought to be dissipated at the tailpipe and loss on the wind; however, I can imagine a leaking emissions system could have been blowing gas into the engine compartment from which some of it could easily have found its way into the main body of the car. Dragons flight (talk) 02:41, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
The CO in engine exhaust, if it escapes before reaching a catalytic converter, is 20-50 times the minimum lethal concentration, so you wouldn't need that much of a leak to start causing problems. Dragons flight (talk) 02:48, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Can we have a link to the article? μηδείς (talk) 21:29, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Cars are not airtight, by design. Older cars may develop new gaps, through rust or rough use. Speed holes make the flies lay faster. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:58, January 26, 2015 (UTC)
Oh yes, I remember the old Beetle. You had to open a window to be able to close a door! Dbfirs 22:08, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Also keep in mind, carbon monoxide is slightly lighter than air, and flies can steer. More paths for them to enter than for it to leave. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:01, January 26, 2015 (UTC)
Right. As a thought experiment: consider a car with that is airtight, save for one 1/4" hole in the side. That's not much air exchange to let fresh air in, but it is plenty enough to let putrescine and cadaverine out into the air. That will distinctive odor attract flies from quite a large area. And if it's been more than about 10 days or so (time to maturity for many fly spp.) then you're potentially contending with multiple generations of flies, growing exponentially in that period. Also consider that CO comes from car exhaust, which is usually outside the car. If it had been tampered with to let exhaust into the cabin, then there's your holes big enough for flies to get in. Death by CO (or any gas) doesn't require a hermetic seal - it only requires an input rate higher than the output rate, for long enough to get to the lethal concentration of CO. SemanticMantis (talk) 22:07, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
To directly answer your question about fly eggs - no, it would not be common for eggs to be there first. Most flies lay eggs in fruit, feces, carrion, and other common larval food sources. This is the reason why larva are useful in forensic entomology - the eggs don't show up until the person is dead, and if you know enough about the critters you can often get some good estimates of time/day of death. SemanticMantis (talk) 22:07, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Every car I have worked on has a cabin air exhaust vent. These typically have dust traps or grids, but not mesh over them (I don't know why). So if the smell can get out a fly can get in. No, it would be unusual to see fly eggs (housefly eggs are surprisingly big) just lying around, they are tasty morsels.Greglocock (talk) 23:00, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
They also hatch almost as quickly as you can notice them. Not lying around for long, especially with bot flies. My last four dead dogs, like clockwork, shat themselves the day before and had maggots by funeral time, the morning after. Extremely impatient ghouls. And dysentery-style shit is about as pervasive and unique a scent as corpse smell, but faster. Newspaper reports (and most media) tend to avoid mentioning what condition the deceased's pants were in, but even a regular dump will speed up the process in a locked car. Farting while alive in one is bad enough. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:46, January 27, 2015 (UTC)
Yea, farts are a good example. If you fart in a car, the smell stays in there a while, even if you have the vents open. Rolling down the windows while moving gets the smell out quicker. If farts were as fatal as carbon dioxide, people would die if they didn't put those windows down. StuRat (talk) 04:27, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

January 27[edit]

What kind of bird?[edit]

What kind of bird is this? (I photographed it on the coast of Georgia, USA.)

I asked someone who should know, and they said anhinga. But the beak looks too different (among other things). Anyhow, that article led me to Cormorant, which has about the same kind of beak. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 06:39, 27 January 2015 (UTC)


January 18[edit]

January 21[edit]

Triangles and circumcenters[edit]

My points are (-3,1) (-1,-1) (4,-2)

I graphed the triangle and found all the perpendicular bisectors. I got them all to connect at a point and that's the circumcenter.

How do you solve for this algebraically? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:20, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Homework? There's probably a nicer way to do this, but a brute force approach should work... Select two points, work out the gradient of the line between them, then find their midpoint, and write down the equation for the perpendicular running through that midpoint (recall that the product of the gradients of two perpendicular lines is -1). Repeat for another pair of points. Now you have a pair of simultaneous linear equations. Solve for their intersection. RomanSpa (talk) 01:22, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
P.S. I hope there's a more elegant approach, and that someone here will remind me what it is! Thanks. RomanSpa (talk) 01:22, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
That's how I'd do it, too. StuRat (talk) 06:06, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
I would plug vertices' (x,y) coordinates into the general circle equation (x-a)^2+(y-b)^2=r^2, eliminate r^2, then expand squares and reduce a^2 and b^2 to obtain a 2×2 linear equation system with a,b unknown. --CiaPan (talk) 06:20, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
That's much neater than my way. Interestingly, your approach requires us to know that the intersection of the perpendiculars is the circumcenter (presumably from the geometric proof), while mine/StuRat's doesn't require this knowledge. Once we have the intersection of the perpendiculars it's easy to prove algebraically that this is the circumcenter, of course (hint for the original questioner: it's just Pythagoras...). I suspect this was someone's homework question, and now we can see why: we can prove that the circumcenter is the intersection of the perpendiculars geometrically, and I suspect our original questioner has already seen this proof; now we see that we can prove the same thing algebraically. That is, one area of mathematics can be mapped onto another area - here we're mapping geometry to algebra - and proving something in one area can (with a suitable choice of mapping) prove something in another area. This is an important technique in more advanced mathematics, and I suspect our original questioner is just encountering this idea for the first time. RomanSpa (talk) 13:19, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Given a triangle with vertices (x1, y1), (x2, y2), (x3, y3), the equation of the circumcircle is given by the determinant
x^2+y^2 & x & y & 1 \\
x1^2+y1^2 & x1 & y1 & 1 \\
x2^2+y2^2 & x2 & y2 & 1 \\
x3^2+y3^2 & x3 & y3 & 1 
You can then find the coordinates of the center by completing squares. The final expression is a bit messy when you expand everything out, a fraction with 12 term numerator and 6 term denominator for each coordinate. --RDBury (talk) 10:36, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

January 22[edit]

January 23[edit]


What do you call a bipyramid with shaved base? In other words, make two identical Egyptian pyramids. Make cuts to create identical vertical walls. The structures' footprints/bases are now identical smaller squares. Glue the squares together so it's a 12-sided solid.

What's the Washington Monument's geometric shape? Is it different if the visible ground touching faces were vertical? Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 06:32, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Have any pics of the objects you have in mind ? StuRat (talk) 06:37, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I've made it clearer. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 16:33, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
With regular faces, I think you're describing the elongated square bipyramid. If the Washington Monument had regular faces, it would be an elongated square pyramid. Its actual shape is sometimes called an obelisk, though MathWorld seems to disagree about the meaning of that term. (It's definitely an obelisk in the architectural sense.) -- BenRG (talk) 22:35, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

How do you solve this equation? (find all possible values of x)[edit]

18(-3^\frac{x}{2})^x - (-3^\frac{x}{2})^{2x} = 81
The Transcendent One 17:10, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Step 1. Simplify the equation

18*(((-3)^(x/2))^x)-(((-3)^(x/2))^(2*x)) == 81

18 * (-3)^((x^2)/2) - ((-3)^(x^2)) == 81

Step 2. Substitute x^2 with B

18 (-3)^(B/2) - (-3)^B == 81

step 3. Substitute (-3)^B with y

18 Sqrt[y] - y == 81

step 4. solve for all possible value of y (remembering that square root of y has two possible solutions

Step 5. solve for B

step 6. solve for x


oh yeah! I almost forgot, you got to know if you want to work in the REAL domain or in the COMPLEX domain. In other words, do you want only the results in real numbers or in complex numbers. (talk) 17:58, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

The foregoing answer reads -3^\frac{x}{2} as meaning (-3)^\frac{x}{2}; it's a different problem if it means -(3^\frac{x}{2}). —Tamfang (talk) 08:05, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I believe exponentation has a higher precedence than negation.
Also, finding all possible solutions (which can be complex numbers in general) would be preferable. — Preceding unsigned comment added by The Transcendent One (talkcontribs) 15:17, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

A Maths Problem[edit]

Whats 9+10 and 6x6? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:34, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Since I can't imagine that you are simply asking for 9+10=19 and 6x6=36, which your could discover via Google, Wolfram Alpha, a calculator, or doing it in your head, I figure it must be a trick question and your "and" refers to a binary AND. Since 19 = 16 + 2 + 1 and 36 = 32 + 4, the answer to your question is zero. -- ToE 23:06, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
OTOH both 19 and 36 are non-zero which may be treated as TRUE; their conjunction then is TRUE, too. --CiaPan (talk) 14:57, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

January 24[edit]

Why does lineal algebra have such a central role in many, if not all, math degrees?[edit]

Math degree programs seems to include invariably Calculus (single and multivariate), probability, and lineal algebra. Then, you can find more applied fields like game theory, analysis of algorithms. Why not universal algebra, or, abstract algebra? Wouldn't these be more basic than lineal algebra? --Senteni (talk) 14:46, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

From the US university programs I'm familiar with, the Calculus (and differential equations), probability, and linear algebra classes you mentioned are expected to be completed at the underclassman (freshman/sophomore) level, and may be all the math that is offered at a two-year junior college. Math majors will be expected to take a full year of abstract algebra (as well as topology and real analysis) as upperclassmen (juniors/seniors), as well as additional in-major electives. So I don't see linear algebra playing the the central role you describe, although it provides an introduction to some of the elements of abstract algebra, and is often the first class in which students are expected to be able to write formal proofs (aside from the delta epsilon proofs that may still be required in some calculus classes). This is the first roadblock in the studies of some math majors, and I know a few who sailed through calculus, but changed majors after having trouble in linear algebra and realizing that it was unlikely that they would make it through an abstract algebra class. -- ToE 18:07, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
(ec) "We share a philosophy about linear algebra: we think basis-free, we write basis-free, but when the chips are down we close the office door and compute with matrices like fury." (Irving Kaplansky, writing about himself and Paul Halmos).
Why study linear algebra? Because it gets everywhere. On the applications side: quantum mechanics -- linear algebra; co-ordinate transformation locally -- linear algebra (globally too, if it's flat); basis function decompositions -- Fourier theory, Laplace theory, wavelets, functional analysis, orthogonal function theory -- all linear algebra. Big multidimensional simulations -- eg numerical weather forecasting, econometrics -- mostly (big) linear algebra. Engineering applications -- stability theory, signal processing -- mostly linear algebra. Linear calculations can be big and fast; even for nonlinear problems, the solution of choice will often go through solving a sequence of linearised steps. And the linearisation may be very revealing about the nature of the solution.
On the purer side, too: every group has a linear representation (group representation theory), leading to a lot of pure maths (as well as a fair number of applications), exploring group theory (and deeper extensions of it) in a systematic way. So there is a lot that you can represent with matrices. And even if you're interested in more abstract properties of algebra, it's useful to be able to illustrate them in a concrete way, or show phenomena in simple toy systems. Matrices can often provide that -- whether it's simply introducing the idea of non-commutativity, all the way to really quite hairy stuff.
So yeah, there's a reason that linear algebra is right up there with calculus and probability. Jheald (talk) 18:30, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I clearly poorly expressed myself. I mean "central" in the sense that it's basic, not that it is the learning object. Do many things build upon it? Couldn't the programs have been organized like the Algebra book of Serge Lang,where Lineal Algebra just shows up on part III? His book puts Groups, Rings, Modules, Galois theory, Fields before the Matrix and the like. --Senteni (talk) 23:54, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, not really. More general does not necessarily equate to "better". For example, the entire field of representation theory exists because linear algebra is "easy", whereas group theory is "hard". Basically all non-trivial problems in group theory involve realizing the groups involved as matrices in some fashion. But that's just in abstract algebra. You can work in other fields like analysis or dynamics, and never encounter a "ring" or "group", yet use linear algebra regularly. There one studies linearizations of problems, again because linear things are easy to do, but non-linear things are hard. In a sense, this is also what differential calculus is about too. So, yes, you need linear algebra to do just about anything in mathematics. Whereas group theory and ring theory, not so much. Sławomir Biały (talk) 00:41, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
It is linear with an r at the end. Yes lots of things build on it, in fact it has more direct applications around mathematics than anything else, probably the only places where you don't use it would be in areas like number theory or set theory. See special linear group for instance for just one application in group theory. Dmcq (talk) 01:06, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
In Spanish it is álgebra lineal. -- ToE 21:12, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

January 25[edit]

Factorization of \sum_{n=0}^M~(-1)^n~n^k[edit]

For k ≥ 2 and even values of M = 2N we have


For k ≥ 2 and odd values of M = 2N + 1 we have


where Pk and Qk are polynomials of degree k - 2 in N. My conjecture, based on computer aided verification for all values of k\le10^3, is that Pk and Qk are irreducible over the rationals. What are your opinions on the subject, and how might one prove (or disprove) such a conjecture ? Is there any literature or research on this particular topic ? Thank you. — (talk) 11:20, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't know about irreducibility, but the polynomials seem to be closely related to the Euler polynomials; see Faulhaber's formula for a possible explanation. --RDBury (talk) 13:03, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
One can express them easily as the difference of two of those Faulhaber's formulae, for instance leaving out the N=0 case we get  F_{2N}(k) - 2^{1+k}F_N(k) for the first one where F_p(k)=\sum_{i=1}^k i^p so that gives an expression in terms of either Bernoulli polynomials or Bernoulli numbers as desired. Or one can get a generating function but I don't know if any of that advances towards the target. It might be interesting to see how the polynomials behave in modular arithmetic. Dmcq (talk) 18:50, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Simplex coordinates starting with (0,0,0,...),(1,0,0,...)[edit]

I'm looking for a reasonably easy way to calculate the coordinates for an n dimensional simplex where the first two coordinates are at the origin and (1,0,0...) and all-coordinates are non-negative (essentially each time the next dimension is added on, it gets added on in the positive value of the next dimension). So after origin and (1,0,0,0...) the next is (1/2,sqrt(3)/2,....). and the next is (1/2,sqrt(3)/6,?,0,0,0,0), etc. I'd like a formula where I can put in d for dimension of the simplex and n for which coordinate in the the simplex. So for d=3, n=2, I'm getting the sqrt(3)/6.Naraht (talk) 16:07, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Did you look over here? YohanN7 (talk) 16:15, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I already did. Most of the coordinate systems are definitely not what I want. The only one that I'm not sure of is "Increasing Coordinates" section which I simply don't understand.Naraht (talk) 15:02, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Try this: Let
a_i=\sqrt{\frac{i+1}{2i}}, b_i=\sqrt{\frac{1}{2i(i+1)}}.
then the kth vector is
(b_1, b_2, \dots , b_{k-1}, a_k, 0, \dots)
starting with the the 0th vector as
(0, 0, 0, \dots).
The requirements are that each vector (after the 0th) has length 1 and the dot product of any two is 1/2 = cos π/3. --RDBury (talk) 22:41, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Question in applied linear algebra[edit]

At the Science Desk, I asked a linear algebra question regarding how to best remove instabilities from a linear system. I thought the Science Desk was a slightly better fit because the instabilities are a consequence of measurement uncertainties; however, if anyone here has any insights, they would also be welcome. Please reply at the Science Desk. Dragons flight (talk) 19:50, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

A general method for such problems is the singular value decomposition. The directions corresponding to the small singular values of A are the bad directions. So one way to force stability is to project away those directions. In the case of interest, Ax=b with A a matrix with more rows than columns (an overdetermined system). Multiply by A^T, giving A^TAx=b. Now, A^TA is a symmetric matrix. Orthogonally diagonalize that. Say A^TA=UDU^T where the columns of D are orthonormal, and D is a real diagonal matrix. The subspace on which this system is unstable is spanned by the columns of the matrix U corresponding to the small eigenvalues of A^TA (fix some cutoff ε, and this gives a subspace for the singular values of A less than ε). Then P be the projection onto the orthogonal complement of this space. The problem then becomes to solve PA^TAx=PA^Tb. This system is now under-determined: the instability of the original system has been absorbed into the kernel of the system. Sławomir Biały (talk) 11:51, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

January 27[edit]


January 22[edit]


I am in possession of a painting which depicts a beautiful landscape with no animal forms whatsoever,nor humans. Mountains, trees, a blue brook,and three huts clustered together, blue sky, some white clouds. I tired of searching its origin, it is signed "by young" and under the name two digits "76". I could not find this artist's identity. the thought came as to wether the "76" digits might stand for the year 1876 as I could not find anything covering the 1900's . this painting was under another painting108.94.177.87 (talk) 00:27, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Clearly, without further information, we have no way of knowing whether the digits indicate 1786, 1876, 1976, or something else entirely - and Young is a very common name. Why do you describe the paintings as 'famous'? AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:33, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
When you say that "this painting was under another painting" do you mean that the topmost painting had to be removed to find the painting that you are describing? How do you know that "this painting was under another painting"? Bus stop (talk) 00:36, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
You could try to photograph the painting, and use TinEye or reverse image search on google. If it really is a famous work, it might have been photographed in the past, and might even be available online. Even if it has not been photographed prior, you could still post it here. Some people can identify periods and artists by style, even for novel paintings. SemanticMantis (talk) 03:52, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
And some here would be capable of doing the same. You might start by providing some basic details - where did you get it, what painting was "on top" (style, form, media, etc), what type of frame does it have, how was the top painting removed (was the "bottom" one simply a backing in the same frame or were they on the same canvas and the "top" painting was removed) and is there anything on the back by way of merchant's stamps, signatures, codes or numbers, letters or words, or labels. Often, these things are fairly easy to narrow down from there, at least in terms of style, era and nationality. If non-famous, locating an artist might be more difficult. If you genuinely believe it to be worth something and you have the money to find out, many good auction houses can be commissioned to undertake the above research for you. Stlwart111 04:04, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Could it be Harvey Otis Young (American, 1840 - 1901)? Rodolph (talk) 13:53, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
It seems to me that the "by" in the signature is rather unusual, and might be useful in identification. StuRat (talk) 18:28, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Ha! Yes, I suspect that tells us a lot. Well spotted. Stlwart111 22:35, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
It might tell us that Young's first two initials were B.Y. -- (talk) 04:12, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Medicaid expansion in PA without legislative approval?[edit]

This article says, that the new Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf does not need legislative approval to expand medicaid. Why doesn't he need it while other states do need a law for this? Is PA the only state were the chief executive can do this? -- (talk) 07:50, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Harvard in-text citation[edit]

If I am referencing multiple single words in a sentence (that come from the same source, but on different pages), do I just put a generic reference at the end? E.g., (Name, date). What do I do if I do the same thing again later in the same paragraph? Thanks in advance for any light you can shed on this! (talk) 17:08, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Edit: This is for a poem being referenced in an essay. I might have actually discovered the answer. Do I put "(l. 1)", "(l. 2)", etc., at the end of every quote? (talk) 17:11, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Do Muslim converts and Hare Krishna adherents have to choose Arabic and Indian names?[edit]

Do they have to choose new names or do these names merely represent ordination? (talk) 17:31, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't know anything about the Hare Krishna movement, but Muslims don't need to have Arabic names. Some converts to Islam do choose a new (usually Arabic) name in order to show their commitment or to symbolize that they are living a new life as a Muslim, but that's purely a matter of personal preference. - Lindert (talk) 17:41, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Those who become initiated members of ISKCON, the Hare Krishnas, are given names by the guru doing the initiation, but the name chosen is one of the guru's choice, and not necessarily one chosen by the individual themselves. A lot like Western Christian baptism, actually. I know I would never have chosen my own given names (first and middle) if I had had that choice, which is one of the many reasons I claim to be a fictional character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The others included a desire for anonymity and a strong tendency toward delusionalism coupled with a really, really weak grasp of objective reality. ;) John Carter (talk) 00:36, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Why do I now have the image of John Belushi, dressed in a saffron robe, and saying: "Dorfman... your Hare Krishna name is... Flounder"  :) Blueboar (talk) 15:04, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
  • You mean like Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) or Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay), right? No, there is no obligation for them to have changed their names - it was a choice. This section of the latter's article provides some context to his conversion and change-of-name. Elijah Muhammad, for example, only ever changed his last name. He retained "Elijah", having been born Elijah Poole, when he joined (and later led) the Nation of Islam. Stlwart111 02:07, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Elijah Muhammad had his last name changed twice. First time to Karriem then to Muhammad. Also there was little need to change his first as it was already a semi-Islamic name, Elijah#Elijah in Islam. CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Sunasuttuq 03:06, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Exactly right; the point was that he was free to change it (or not) the first and the second times. Stlwart111 03:16, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
It's worth remembering that various non converts don't even use Arabic or Arabic derived names. Some Indonesian names for example and some Bosniak names. (I also wonder what names Western, Central or Northern European Muslims who's ancestors were Muslims for several generations usually have.) Nil Einne (talk) 14:00, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

What would be the name of both choices?[edit]

Imagine USA merge with russia. (could be any country with any country)
Wikipedia says there are 193 UN member states on earth. This includes russia and USA. (this info is used to make my question more clear)
This can be done in 2 ways:

1-They decide to merge themselfs. UN has now 192 members states, this excludes russia and USA, but include the now existant country X.

2-USA is merged with russia. UN has now 192 members states, this excludes USA.
1 and 2 are different things that sound the same. WHat is the name for each one of those "happenings"? (talk) 18:11, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Amerika (TV miniseries) depicted a merger, of sorts. Not sure if they mentioned the UN, though. StuRat (talk) 18:08, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
I posted 2 different things, there if one of both (or an third one I am not thinking about) happened on this amerika tv series you talk about and was called merge I need to know the name of the other.
I don't think there are specific names for the different options you list.(Update, looks like there are some good phrases at least below) I see this as an issue of Sovereignty, and how we construe continuity of identity when parts of a system change (in the sense of Identity_(philosophy)). In your first case, USA and RU cease to exist (i.e. Dissolution_(law)), cease to have sovereignty, and a new sovereignty is formed, with a new identity. In the second case, the sovereignty and identity of RU remains the same. RU has acquired territory, and USA ceases to exist. This is basically a question about the ontology of the UN's member states and sovereignty. There may be extant UN policy on the matter, but I wouldn't bet on it. I'm happy to see we have a decent but short article titled Identity_and_change :) SemanticMantis (talk) 18:21, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
You would be able to see more clearly the choices by looking at 2 areas that were in the distant past countries X and Y, but now are part of country Z (that dont have other areas), or then looking at 2 areas that were in the distant past countries X and Y, but now are part of country X. (talk) 18:30, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
The article Timeline of country and capital changes offers some terminology. Examples *"The Republic of Crimea accedes to the Russian Federation." *"The United Kingdom transfers sovereignty of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China." *"The German Democratic Republic merges into the Federal Republic of Germany." Taknaran (talk) 19:12, 22 January 2015 (UTC) Edit to add a potential example of your situation 1: *"The Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania unite to form the Commonwealth of the Crown of the Polish Kingdom and Grand Duchy of Lithuania."
The types of union are covered in the political union article. Case 1 would be a "incorporating union", whereas case 2 would be an "incorporating annexation". There's also federation/confederation, where the the original states are preserved as sub-jurisdictions with varying degrees of retained sovereignty, as well as a host of sui generis cases. There's also a personal union, where they stay legally separate, but are simply ruled by the same person(s). As a side note, in the business world, the terms are mergers and acquisitions, where mergers are the coming together of two equals, whereas acquisitions are one company taking over another. Another side note is that the UN has already dealt with the reverse case. When the USSR broke up, there were a number of new member states. One issue was that the USSR was a permanent member of the security council, so what happens to that seat now that the USSR is no longer? As things shook out, Russia took over the USSR's spot on the UN security council, and all the other portions of the USSR just became regular member states. As our USSR article notes "The Russian Federation (formerly the Russian SFSR) assumed the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and is recognized as its continued legal personality." In contrast, when Yugoslavia divided, it ended, and none of the component countries continued its legal personality. -- (talk) 19:44, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
So there are some good terms to distinguish these cases, thanks! SemanticMantis (talk) 22:21, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
In the corporate world, this would be the difference between a merger and a takeover. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:23, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  • If the SciFi author Jerry Pournelle is correct, it will be called: the CoDominium. Blueboar (talk) 15:17, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
The usual term is "union"; see the Treaty of Union in 1706 for example. Churchill proposed an "indissoluble union" between the UK and France in 1940, but the French decided to ask the Germans for an armistice instead, doubtless to the relief of the civil servants who would have had to work out how to unite a monarchy with a republic. CoDominium is a bit too much like condominium when two or more countries jointly govern another territory. Alansplodge (talk) 17:21, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Actually not that impossible -- vide New Hebrides which lasted about 75 years as a condominium. Collect (talk) 18:42, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Human microphone[edit]

I'm surprised that the human microphone was only invented in the late 20th century. How did people address large crowds before modernity? How did the Athenians speak to 6000 other citizens during their assemblies? Did they just scream and hope they don't lose their voice before finishing their speech? --2001:4898:80E0:ED43:0:0:0:2 (talk) 20:36, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Voice projection, not screaming. Actors and singers on stage all knew about this. I guess we've got used to seeing singers with their mouth and half their face covered by a mic, which is a terribly backward step, culturally speaking. That's why I like to watch opera. You can see every word (even if you can't understand a single word). -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:13, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
I strongly suspect however, that in those very large crowds, the folks at the back didn't get to hear very much. The scene in Life of Brian where Brian is trying to make sense of the Sermon on the Mount ("Blessed are the cheesemakers?") probably contains a kernel of truth. Alansplodge (talk) 21:20, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Addressed them in a amphitheatre. Not much difference to a modern opera house were you can here every note -even at the very back.--Aspro (talk) 21:32, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
That's true. Otherwise, a fairly recent example of someone addressing crowds without amplification was Bernard Montgomery who liked to finish a formal troop inspection by jumping on the bonnet of his Jeep and calling the men forward for an informal pep-talk. The effect of these speeches is described here. However, a quick look at some archive footage (see General Montgomery Addressing Troops for example) suggests that the crowd of soldiers usually numbered hundreds rather than thousands. Alansplodge (talk) 21:42, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Megaphone#History says they were definitely in use by 1655. I suspect even the ancients knew that they'd get a bit more projection by cupping their hands around their mouths. SemanticMantis (talk) 22:24, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
However, they are designed to project the voice farther in one direction, at the cost of reduced volume in other directions. Thus, they don't allow you to reach more people, unless those people are all in one direction from you, instead of all around you. StuRat (talk) 15:37, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
The ancients knew acoustics pretty well. I visited Chichen Itza about a decade or so ago, back when they the let people climb all the way to the top of the Big Pyramid there. The acoustics are pretty impressive. My wife stayed at the bottom, and we could almost carry on a conversation in regular speaking voices, she could hear me from just about anywhere, and I wasn't shouting, and if she stood in the right places, I could hear her: the acoustics were just so that they entire complex was designed to focus sounds from the top of the pyramid to the ground below. It was a pretty impressive thing to do. The Great Ball Court also had similar effects, someone speaking at one end can be heard at the other. These structures obviously were built to allow people to address great crowds. --Jayron32 00:54, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

In the Rome TV series public speakers are shown to make very specific gestures while talking, in a kind of simplified sign language. The gestures are reminiscent of gestures known from Roman sculptures, but I wonder if there is any other historical source suggesting or confirming that Romans actually used a system of gestures that would help listeners understand what a speaker was saying. — Kpalion(talk) 10:20, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia Has An Article About Everything! See Chironomia. Alansplodge (talk) 11:18, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Anecdote alert: I was in a very large cathedral a month ago and got a text message from a friend. My notification ringtone, which is Stephen Fry shouting "Oh, for f**k's sake!", reverberated around the entire cathedral about 20 times. Everyone was looking around, thinking "Where the hell did that come from?" - these buildings we built in a style that helps project a voice. The cathedral in question was built in 1902. They didn't have microphones then. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 11:54, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Actually, they did. The microphone was invented in 1877. However, amplification wasn't invented until 1906. LongHairedFop (talk) 13:41, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
And amplification was poor quality early on, and probably expensive, too, so many would have skipped it. StuRat (talk) 15:38, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Too bad the article's so short, but at least now I know what it's called. Thanks, Alansplodge! — Kpalion(talk) 17:39, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Town criers are a phenomenon that has survived untile recent times. The criers have a distinctive way of declamation and emphasis. See the opening of the classic Spanish film La Colmena for a depiction from Spain in the 30's. There's also the bullhorn. μηδείς (talk) 18:36, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
The Talmudic meturgeman, (also turgemana, amora), seems to sometimes have had a role in amplifying his master's speech. הסרפד (call me Hasirpad) 03:43, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Biographical information for a translator[edit]

This item at English Wikisource Lists a Katherine Miller as as Translator.

It would be nice to provide a biographical stub on Wikisource, but I've been unable to find anything on Google.

At the very least a rough idea of their lifespan and nationality would be appreciated.

The book is a 1919 translation of a work by Romain Rolland. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 23:12, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Checking the book's entry in the US Library of Congress online catalogue might have links to other works by this translator, after which I'd suggest contacting her publisher(s). Notable translators do have Wikipedia pages. Deborahjay (talk) 06:14, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

January 23[edit]

allegiance obligation[edit]

If an author is writing a fictional book about three Asian women becoming naturalized United States citizens, should he/she include the Oath of Allegiance full text? (talk) 04:28, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

It's fiction. The author can include or exclude whatever he or she likes. AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:36, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
If the terms of the oath, or the immigrants' thoughts about it, are significant to the story. —Tamfang (talk) 07:20, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I think the OP is asking about copyright. I very much doubt it is copyrighted, but if you want to find out, ask your local government offices. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 11:47, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
This obviously isn't legal advice, but if I understand Oath of Allegiance (United States), [23] & [24] correctly, all modern versions of the oath are works of the US federal government (or more correctly officers or employees of the federal government while performing their official duties), and the older versions which may have non US government involvement are too old to be eligible for copyright and the oath would therefore be in the public domain, at least in the US. Nil Einne (talk) 13:35, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

As an Australian Citizen, I can say this in public over and over again. I, John Smith., do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, Her heirs and successors according to law. SO HELP ME GOD! I don't have to worry about violating copyright. I can even publish it in a fictional novel (as long as the character doing the swearing is an Australian Citizen or is becoming one) (talk) 17:25, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Not just Australia - but it has been a general British form for several hundred years, and was the source for "So help me God" used by Washington for his oath of office - before and after the American Revolution. The US oath is specifically not copyright as a government product, just as the Constitution is not copyright etc. Collect (talk) 18:47, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Espousals of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Saint Joseph[edit]

In the painting below (of the Espousals of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Saint Joseph), which figure is supposed to represent Saint Joseph? I assume it's the most "obvious" figure in the painting (i.e., the male who is exchanging rings or touching hands with Mary). If that's the case, why would they represent Saint Joseph as such a young "boy"? Isn't it pretty conventional wisdom that he was an "old" (or, at least, "older") man? Saint Joseph is typically (always?) represented as similar to one of the images in his article, here: Saint Joseph. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 18:05, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

I guess there are a few answers to this. First, I have to agree that the younger individual tocuhing hands with Mary is the obvious, and, really, only, candidate for Joseph in the picture. And just about every artist makes a painting based on several reasons, many of which are actually less than usual. Not knowing the details of the artist himself, but there have been artists who have changed any number of details about their subjects if they made the picture look better as a picture or if it played to the artist's individual strengths. It could well be that, for whatever reason, the artist was intending to make some sort of statement of some sort in this picture, or, maybe, just wanted it to "look better" in some subjective way. Lastly, while it is now today seemed likely by most Christians that Joseph was an older man, at least in part based on miracles and other less than really reliable sources, that is still kind of speculative based on the lack of information in the original sources, and that view has changed a little over time. In short, I can't be sure why he painted what was I think even for the time a rather anomalous or "alternative" Joseph in the painting, but the number of reasons he might have had for doing so are too numerous to count. John Carter (talk) 18:18, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Yes, he clearly went with an "alternative" depiction of Saint Joseph. Had this occurred today, in 2015, I could see contemporary artists "pushing the envelope" for the sake of art, and coming up with this representation out of left field. The artist who painted this is Rosso Fiorentino. So, the fact that he was (A) Italian and (B) living in the 1400's and 1500's would have made me believe that he would stick with the conventional view and not create some "odd-ball" alternative image. That is, he would stick with the traditional Catholic (Italian) image. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:21, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
It should be noted that Joseph's age is never mentioned nor implied by anything at all in the original text of the Bible. Some traditions hold that he was an old man, because certain aspects of the text could be interpreted to mean that he might have died before Jesus started his ministry at age 30. However, there's no reason, really, to assume that, nor is there any reason to assume he may have been young, middle-aged, or old at the time of Jesus's birth. Any painting of Joseph or depiction of him at ANY age is purely speculative, as such there's no reason to say a painting showing Joseph as a young man is any more or less correct than one that shows him as an old man. --Jayron32 20:16, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Well, of course, no one "knows" his real age. And any painting is going to be the artist's rendition of his own ideas. That goes without saying. I guess the question can be re-phrased as something along the lines of: given his background (Italian and Catholic) and time frame (1400-1500's), why would he "go against the grain" and go against the traditional views of the time? Maybe that is what I was asking. I have to say, it was quite jarring to see Saint Joseph portrayed as a young teen-ager. So much so, that I couldn't even figure out which person in the painting was Joseph to begin with. And I think most people (even today; never mind, back then) would have that same reaction. After I figured it out, the painting reminded me more of a "Romeo and Juliet" type of situation (i.e., two young teenagers in love). Very odd. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 21:07, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Not to mention that a picture of two young teenagers, in the prime of their lives, getting married, pretty much implies a hint of sexuality. Which is the exact opposite of what the picture should be offering. I think. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 21:20, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't see the problem. The painting seems to show a young couple getting married. The ages of the bride and groom are not really obvious from the painting, but they could be anywhere from about 16 to 28. It was usual for weddings to involve young couples. If there is an assumption today that Joseph was significantly older than Mary (and I don't think such an assumption ever came up during my religious education), that assumption may not have existed during the Renaissance. The paintings in our article on Saint Joseph show Joseph at a variety of ages. One of the paintings, by Murillo, show both Mary and Joseph roughly in their 30s, some time after their wedding, with the young Jesus. So I don't think that there was a convention that Joseph was much older than Mary. Marco polo (talk) 22:18, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I disagree. I think it's generally accepted that the conventional view of Joseph was that of not only an older man, but of a much older man. See Saint Joseph#In art. The painting discussed above (with the teenage-appearing Joseph) is an anomaly. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:49, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
The article you are referencing contains the statement “When Joseph’s rod bloomed, he was identified as her betrothed.” As an ESL speaker, I may not grasp the subtleties expressed, but I regard this as hard evidence that Joseph was not quite the doddering old geezer depicted by the old masters.--Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 14:36, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

January 24[edit]

Is the flag of Saudi Arabia still forbidden to fly half-mast?[edit]

"Mourning will last for three days during which kingdom's flags will fly at half staff but businesses and shops will remain open." - NBC News

Either this NBC report is flawed, or this law has changed by government decree!

'''tAD''' (talk) 17:18, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

See Flag of Saudi Arabia, which confirms your suspicions. The text of the report is definitely missing a word before "kingdoms" - I suspect it may be "other". Tevildo (talk) 18:08, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
That seems the most legitimate answer - that other countries will be dipped like in the picture - but why say "kingdoms"? That seems to imply the flags of the US, China et al will not be half mast. Should I just settle that this is a crap source? I used it to write about Abdullah's funeral on the article on him, please remove the reference to flags flying half mast if this can not be relied upon '''tAD''' (talk) 18:56, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

The Saudis sometimes use the Emblem of Saudi Arabia in situations where using the flag (with its Islamic creed quotation) would be considered quasi-sacrilegious, though this probably doesn't have anything to do with flying at half-staff... AnonMoos (talk) 18:31, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Saudi Arabia is, indeed, multiple kingdoms within a kingdom -- see Hejaz and Nejd. Collect (talk) 18:48, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Evolutionary history/Origin of Mythologies[edit]

Hello, any articles available providing entitled information(s)? -- ( (talk) 18:48, 24 January 2015 (UTC))

Pick any religious tradition you can think of. Read the Wikipedia articles about that religious tradition. The articles in that topic area will always indicate the historical origins and historical evolution/development of that religious tradition. --Jayron32 00:10, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I was thinking that someone might mix it with religious education… I understand. Thanks Jayron32. Face-smile.svg -- ( (talk) 13:55, 25 January 2015 (UTC))

Cultures / ethnicities which have never developed religion[edit]

No doubt it is difficult (if not impossible) to separate prehistoric religions from ideology from philosophy from law, possibly even from early science and art. It may be even more difficult as many (all?) prehistoric cultures have either become extinct or have evolved into more complex systems. Not to mention the lack of written documentation.
Nevertheless, my question is:
Do we know of cultures / ethnicities which have never developed religion? Maybe, religion here may be defined fuzzily as a belief in supernatural entities who are controlling or guiding the universe / the planet / flora and fauna / every single human being. And yes, I am perfectly aware that it it may be questionable - lacking a hard definition of religion - to state unambigously: X (eg Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime) is a religion and not a prescientific theory of cosmology, abiogenesis and societal rules.
Google , as yet, gets me nowhere. If possible a reference (en / de , understandable to a non-anthropologist - would be appreciated). Thank you for your help! --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 21:33, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

As phrased, it might be possible that some cultures/ethnicities have inherited religion which they did not themselves "develop." Regarding the broader question, whether there were any early groups which did not have what would be called today broadly religious characteristics, I can't myself think of any, partially because so far as I can tell some sort of belief system we might today call broadly "religious" seems to have existed from early on, and thus been inherited by most subsequent culture. John Carter (talk) 22:11, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

I assume you are speculating that some proto-religion existed which may have migrated “out of Africa”. And yes, I found some interesting WP articles, eg Prehistoric religion, Anthropology of religion and a few more. Thank you, I will study those references. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 22:35, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

The Encyclopedia of Religions ed. Eliade/Jones has rather a long lengthy series of articles dealing with the broad topic of prehistoric religions, I think bigger than our own actually. The overview article can be found here. John Carter (talk) 22:46, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  • It depends on how you define religion. But animism is universal, and still exhibited by people kicking inanimate objects. Science took a very long time to develop and is a high intellectual achievement that needs to be taught and is not natural to us, hence all our psychological biases. Even Aristotle explained gravity as the desire of rocks and inanimate objects to occupy the center of the universe, which was the core of the earth. Male chimps pound their chests and shake the trees when it rains, apparently believing in a sky god. Elephants show reverence for the remains of their dead.
It's not surprising that primitive societies had ancestor worship and tabus. Shamanism and cultism is universal to pre-Columbian American natives. The Austronesians have their gods and tabus. The Australian Aborigines have their Dreamtime. Everything from shamanism to developed mythologies is typical of the Siberians. The Indo-European gods are well known. Shamanism, ancestor worship and tabu are present in Africa, see, for example, mingi. The only population I can think of that I don't know does have a religion or mythology is the Khoisan, and that is only due to my ignorance. As mentioned above, Eliade is a good source. μηδείς (talk) 03:40, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
We have a not-very-good article San religion, to which both Khoisan religion and Khoikhoi mythology redirect. Deor (talk)
China is notable for having developed the idea of impersonal universal forces fairly early: Heaven in Confucianism, and yin and yang (and many other concepts) in Taoism. Xunzi even defined Heaven as simply "Nature," echoing Spinoza. But in fact this terminology was part of their development as a civilization. The early Shang dynasty Chinese thought of Heaven as a personal tutelary god called Tian. So, it would seem that the existence of "religion" according to the definition you gave came before the creation of the traditional beliefs of China, and that these traditional beliefs actually downplayed what you consider "religion". Shii (tock) 09:49, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Atheism really requires science. Without either, there's simply no explanation given for many natural phenomena, like the apparent rotation of the Sun around the Earth. On Earth, objects require a force to be continuously applied to keep moving, and they would have expected the same of the Sun, not understanding the frictionless nature of space (nor that the Earth was the object rotating around the Sun). StuRat (talk) 15:05, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that's what I was alluding to with animism. We don't move (in most cases) unless it's voluntary, so we attribute volition to other things that move. Sophisticated philosophical/theological religions seem to require writing be present in the culture, even if, say, Jesus and Mohammed themselves never wrote down their own words. Thanks, Deor, for the link. There are also totem gods. Kamuy, means "bear" and "god" in the Ainu language.
Interestingly gom is Korean for bear, and kami is a Japanese word for divine beings. Japanese and Korean are somewhat distantly related in many accounts, but Ainu is not, so if not coincidence (unlikely) there's some sort of contact phenomenon. μηδείς (talk) 18:29, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Thank you, everybody, for your comments. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 11:32, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

See Do dolphins grieve? as well: "supportive behavior toward dead offspring has also been observed in toothed whales, sea otters, harbor seals, monkeys, apes, and elephants. What these species have in common is they are all mammals", Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM
The HeLa culture has achieved immortality without thinking about anything. Depending how you look at it, that might make her a Buddhist. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:39, January 26, 2015 (UTC)

January 25[edit]

Scipione Rota, a Prince of Acherontia[edit]

The Castelsilano article claims it was founded by "Scipione Rota, Prince of Acherontia". I can't find any sources for there being a Scipione Rota, a Prince of Acherontia, or anywhere called Acherontia. Acherontia is a genus of moth. There's no ref in the article, and the content was added by an anon. Did this Prince and his Principality exist? -- Finlay McWalterTalk 00:08, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

The corresponding article in the Italian Wikipedia has "Cerenzia", which, according to the latter's Italian article, was historically known by many names, including Acherontia. הסרפד (call me Hasirpad) 01:43, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
As for Castelsilano's alleged founder, Scipione Rota of Cerenzia: sources are easily found that show the Rota family was the ruling house of Cerenzia until the early 18th century, when it passed to the Savelli family. I can't read Italian well, and I don't have full access to any of the more reliable-seeming sources, but Wikipedia's version seems to be in accordance with other sources. Scipione seems to have later become a monk. הסרפד (call me Hasirpad) 03:12, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Dafydd ab Owain Gwynedd[edit]

In this article it speaks of Giraldus Cambrensis spending a night in 1188 on his journey round Wales with Archbishop Baldwin in a castle at Rhuddlan that was owned by David. If one were to guess, approximately how many people were entertained (i.e. a hand full, few, dozens, hundreds, thousands)?--Doug Coldwell (talk) 14:27, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Note that the castle Gerald visited was Twthill, Rhuddlan, a modest wooden motte and bailey castle; work on the nearby Rhuddlan Castle, a much grander stone-built affair, didn't start until 1277. I can't imagine that Twthill would have had a great hall capable of seating many more than a hundred, but that's just a guess. Gerald doesn't say much about his stay at Rhuddlan - see The Itinerary through Wales (pp. 128-129) and he also doesn't say much about the size of Archbishop Baldwin of Forde's retinue (Gerald was the official translator) but I suspect it was dozens rather than hundreds, also a guess. Alansplodge (talk) 18:49, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! Great answer = actually that has helped me a lot.--Doug Coldwell (talk) 18:57, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
My guess is that it was about 60 people (including women and children) = that would fit within your guess. Would the entertainment consist of dancing girls or singers or poets or food or ? Would the entertainment be for other people (i.e. county locals) other than Archbishop Baldwin of Forde's retinue?--Doug Coldwell (talk) 19:23, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Pleased to help. I didn't have much luck with a reference, but see Castle Learning Center - Food and More on the archbishop’s enthronement feast which says; "...a major source of entertainment at a medieval banquet was apt to be culinary in nature, at least in part." Bear in mind that Wales was far from prosperous at the time, so I would guess it was a rather modest affair. Alansplodge (talk) 23:12, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for another great answer. You have been most helpful.--Doug Coldwell (talk) 12:45, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Jo Indian, Adirondack Mountains[edit]

The description for a piece by Eastwood Lane, "Dirge for Jo Indian", reads "Jo Indian was a famous Adirondack Indian who lived and hunted in the vicinity of the mountain bearing his name. Like Chingachgook, Cooper's marvelous embodiment of all that is best in the native North American, Jo Indian met his death in a forest fire." Who was Jo Indian? I found no such mountain, only "Joe Indian Island" in Cranberry Lake. — Sebastian 22:29, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Maybe Mount Jo? (though it was named after Josephine Schofield, apparently, but there's also an "Indian Pass" on the southern foot of Mt Jo, see here ...) ---Sluzzelin talk 22:39, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, Sluʒʒelin, nice to meet you again! The explanation about Josephine makes sense to me, and it's referenced, so I would trust that. I'm actually more interested in the person, since Eastwood Lane describes him as famous; the mountain is just one pointer. — Sebastian 02:30, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
"Sim's Island on Joe's Pond" has some information and points to a booklet from 1976 by William Parker Neal titled Indian Joe: The Friendly Indian Guide (the same author also wrote "Molly, Squaw of Indian Joe"). I couldn't find online copies of these booklets, but they can be ordered here. (Always nice to see you, Sebastian)! ---Sluzzelin talk 10:16, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Wonderful, that's a great find! There are actually three booklets on him and his wife, Molly. Now my problem is that I have to decide which to buy. But at $4 apiece, it won't be too hard a decision. — Sebastian 11:03, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

African Union languages template[edit]

What happened to the template that dealt with languages of African Union where the top was working languages and the bottom was national or regional languages and Somali, Swahili and Hausa and others was one of them? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:48, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

{{African Union languages}} was deleted in September 2013 following a standard WP:TFD discussion, archived at WP:Templates for discussion/Log/2013 September 14. Is this the template in question? Tevildo (talk) 09:10, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

January 26[edit]

Relationship between relative age of students and their academic performance[edit]

In most K–12 education systems, the students within a grade differ in age by up to one year. On average, do the older student perform better academically than their younger classmates?

I found two papers[25][26] that claim this is indeed the case.

But then I also found this New Yorker article[27], citing this paper[28], that the opposite is true, surprisingly enough.

So which group of academics is correct here? WinterWall (talk) 04:13, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

It's unlikely you can come to any reliable conclusion with only 3 papers, only one of them happens to be a review paper (i.e. there are actually a lot more papers). At most, you may be able to decide that one or more of the papers isn't particularly good (but this doesn't mean you can be certain that the others are definitely right even if the research is better, you still only have 2 papers). Anyway these papers seem to be looking at different things. The first 2 seem to be looking at academic performance during the children's schooling years. The other one seems to be looking at IQ at 18, educational attainment, earnings, teenage pregnancy and possibly other things. So it could easily be both findings are largely correct (or for that matter wrong). Nil Einne (talk) 07:33, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

what if the USA, the EU-Countries, Russia, China and India suddenly disappared?[edit]

what would happen, if, some day about now, the United States of America, the 28 member states of the European Union, the Russian Federation, the Peoples Republic of China and the Republic of India (all these nations territory defined by the territory they claim to belong to them, irrespective of how other countries think of these claims or actual territorial control. Territorial waters count. Airspace and space within earth gravity well included) would, without any unusual preceding signs or explanation suddenly disappear (disappear in the sense, that there are nosigns anymore, that humans ever existed in these places - no manmade structures, no artifacts, even ressources exploited by humans are back) ? What would be the global ramifications of such an event? How would the part of humanity that would still be there (and their gouvernments) act in such a situation with all of the worlds major powers gone? (of course I'm aware that this premise is rather fantastical, but so is Without Warning (Birmingham novel)) -- (talk) 08:05, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

That sounds like a great question for xkcd What If. I think Randall would also love your exact specifications of the problem. Not that there's anything wrong with asking it here, either. — Sebastian 08:32, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, the thing wrong with asking it here is that it says at the top of the page "We don't answer requests for opinions, predictions or debate." -- BenRG (talk) 08:45, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
See also Darwinia (novel)... AnonMoos (talk) 08:34, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
The only certain answer is that the USA, the EU-Countries, Russia, China and India would no longer exist. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:29, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Ukraine Would Rule World! MWAHahaHAHahaHAHahaHAHahaHAHahaHAHaha! μηδείς (talk) 18:14, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Switzerland might also have an opinion on the issue. Tevildo (talk) 20:12, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
The Swiss will be too busy in their sex boxes for world domination. And don't even mention the Japanese and Koreans with their marriage pillows. Ukraine Rules!!! μηδείς (talk) 22:49, 26 January 2015 (UTC)


Suppose that you believe the entire Hebrew Bible to be true (like most Christians), but you don't accept the New Testament. You're also not Jewish by ethnicity and haven't formally converted to the religion. Perhaps you were a Christian who got disillusioned with the New Testament, and because you're black, nobody would think you're a Jew. What would you be called? Do people like this actually exist? Under Jewish tradition, do these people have to follow the Law (including all 613 mitzvot), or can they just follow the Noahide laws? --Bowlhover (talk) 08:44, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

In ancient times such people were known as God-fearers -- kind of hangers-on to Judaism who were reluctant to get circumcised or effectively repudiate their previous ethnic affiliation. Christianity spread in part because converting to Christianity didn't require such steps... AnonMoos (talk) 09:06, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Our article Noahidism explains that there is a modern concept of Noahidism, but not how many adherents there are. Under Jewish law, unless you're Jewish, you don't need to keep the 613 laws, just the seven. If you wanted to convert, it's notoriously difficult, but I know people who have done this, and this particular motive, which is often taken into account by the Beth Din for orthodox conversion, is extremely noble. There are black Jews. Our disambiguation page has some links. --Dweller (talk) 12:42, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Questions about Black people in Britain[edit]

Hi Kids. I have 2 questions regarding the history of Black people in Britain.

  • Aside from job discrimination and issues with the police, how did the idea of Black power come to Britain in the late 1960s and 1970s?
  • Secondly, is there a difference between Black Power and Black Consciousness? Are they linked or separate? Thanks guys.

--Spoœekspaar (talk) 12:57, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

2) Our articles treat them separately, but of course there are some links in terms of ideology and goals - see Black_Power#Impact_in_Britain, and Black_Consciousness_Movement. The former is seen as starting in the USA, the latter as starting in South Africa. Both had some impacts around the world. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:22, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Red Army personal firearms in 1918-1921[edit]

What were the main personal firearm models (revolvers, pistols and rifles) used by the Red Army in the Russian Civil War? The ones most often mentioned in fiction are Mauser C96 handgun, Nagant M1895 revolver, Mosin rifle and Berdan rifle. Are these really the main ones, or is this a self-sustaining bias in literary and cinematic fiction? What other types of revolvers and pistols were in use in the Red Army? Dr Dima (talk) 18:54, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

australian aboriginals[edit]

Why didn't the Australian Aboriginals domesticate animals or develop agriculture? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:57, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

The way they lived worked just dandy for somewhere between 40,000 and 60,000 years. Far longer than any other known human societies. They were perfectly adapted to their environment, to the extent that they made no distinctions between themselves and the environment. They did not own any land. If anything, they considered the land owned them. They knew nothing of the world outside their country, and didn't need to. This is a bit like asking why Martians don't speak English. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:44, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Not really. The people in other places who did domesticate animals and develop agriculture were also adapted to their environment, they just found a new adaptation that worked better for them. Jared Diamond's book Guns, Germs and Steel goes into why it was that some cultures made these changes and others didn't; as I recall, the principal reason is the availability of suitable species of plants and animals. -- (talk) 23:01, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

January 27[edit]

Is it illegal anywhere to surgically assign sex at birth?[edit]

Surgery is often performed on intersex infants to conform them to one particular sex. However, intersex adults almost unanimously agree that this is a bad practice, and that's becoming the expert consensus as well. Are there any laws anywhere in the world regulating, limiting, or banning such procedures? Neither the intersex article nor Legal aspects of transsexualism seemed to answer this. ± Lenoxus (" *** ") 00:08, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

What Happens Next ?[edit]

I recently went to see American Sniper, which I did like, and noticed at the funerals, the U.S. Navy SEALs, including Chris Kyle, thumping their Trident badges onto the coffins of Michael A. Monsoor, and then later Kyle's own coffin. I had also seen this in the movie Act of Valor, and I would just like to know whether the Tridents stay and are buried with the coffin, or they are taken back later, and if not, whether the SEALS get new ones to replace those they put on the coffin, since surely many of the guys who went to Monsoor's funeral must also later have attended Kyle's. Thanks. Chris the Russian Christopher Lilly 08:20, 27 January 2015 (UTC).


January 21[edit]


Back when I was in high school, the people who worked in the administrative office cubicles but did not hold the window offices were mostly secretaries that came from an older generation and thus preferred to be called "secretaries" - or so I'd heard from a schoolteacher. The same schoolteacher also mentioned that nowadays (mid-2000s) we should call those office workers "administrative assistants", unless the person preferred to be called a "secretary". Eh? Is this attitude widespread? Do people really get offended by the use of the term "secretary"? What's wrong with "secretary"? Is it because the term is too ambiguous and may refer to the government position (i.e. Secretary of State)? (talk) 01:29, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I think secretary has gone the way of stewardess. I'm not sure why, in either case. I seriously doubt that Secretary of State had anything to do with it. You might ask an administrative assistant or flight attendant. ―Mandruss  01:38, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
The original concept of a "secretary" was one who kept secrets; who was a confidant of an executive.[29] In the olden days, they were typically male. In the business world, the title was fitting, as secretaries were often "in on" things that not everyone knew. The nature of the job changed over time, in the business world at least, and "administrative assistant" describes the job better now. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:05, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
See Euphemism treadmill. Come back if you don't understand the article, or don't understand how it applies to this topic, and someone here can explain it to you. --Jayron32 02:26, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
I understand the article. But what does "secretary" have to do with euphemism? (talk) 02:33, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
The term used to be "secretary". Over time, the word "secretary" came to mean a subservient woman who typed up letters and fetched coffee for their bosses. Modern employees who fill the same roles that "secretaries" used to are now called "Administrative assistant" because they resent the pejorative view of what a secretary was seen as. Thus, the term changes every generation or so. That's what Stephen Pinker means by "Euphemism treadmill": The term for a thing changes every generation because the thing carries a pejorative sense. The problem is that the pejorative sense tends to transfer every generation to the new term, so terms have to constantly be reinvented: thus the "treadmill" thing: the creation of new terms for old ideas is a continuous process, and it never ends. Thus what used to be "iditotic" or "moronic" becomes "retarded" becomes "mentally handicapped" becomes "mentally challenged" becomes "IEP". The secretary to administrative assistant transition is simply another one of the euphemistic substitutions. --Jayron32 02:41, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Dumb became mute, but that was like a century ago. What's the holdup?? ―Mandruss  02:48, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
The core concept behind the euphemism treadmill is that the pejorative-ness behind pejorative terms is really attached to the idea the term describes, rather than the term itself. This means you can escape the euphemism treadmill if beliefs or society change enough such that the concept no longer carries a pejorative connotation. I think that's what's behind the lack of treadmilling for "mute". It used to be that a lot of emphasis was placed on verbal intelligence and rhetoric skills. If one could not speak intelligently, one was not intelligent. Therefore, if you were unable to talk due to a medical condition, your lack of speech was taken as a proxy of your lack of intelligence in general. Our concepts of intelligence have changed over the years, to the point where rhetoric - part of the old trivium - is no longer treated as a "standard" university course in most universities. As part of this change in how we view intelligence, we no longer view an inability to speak as being indicative of not being intelligent. So "mute" doesn't pick up any pejorative sense from the underlying condition it's describing. -- (talk) 18:57, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Twittery. (The term, not the comments above.) If you google "help wanted" "administrative assistant" you will see the results advise "He/she will perform advanced secretarial...". This means instead of a raise, you get a title. Next they'll start giving out OBE's (Official Boss's Errand-runner's). Anyone who's had an assistant position knows the boss can't function without you. I'd see both Yes, Minister and, especially, Peter Principle. μηδείς (talk) 03:10, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Talking of Yes Minister, the first episode has Sir Humphrey Appleby listing the (Civil Service) staff of his department, all of whom are called "[something] Secretary". At the end of it, Jim Hacker jokingly asks "can they all type?", and Sir Humphrey replies "None of us can type, Minister. Mrs MacKay types: she's the secretary." AndrewWTaylor (talk) 13:42, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

I think it is part of the trend for people wanting more highfalutin titles. Here in Blighty, the people who check your ticket on the train used to be called "conductors". Now they are called "train managers". The people who randomly get on the train to check your ticket, used to be called "inspectors". Now they are "revenue protection officers". I've been working in the computer game for 35 years, and when I started, I was "in computing" or "in DP". Now I am "in ICT", although I don't use that term. At the college where I work, the "caretaker" is now "estates manager". TrogWoolley (talk) 13:58, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

If I may quibble slightly, the historical UK term for the chap in charge of a train was "guard" - "conductor" was (and might still be) the American term. A conductor on the UK railways was the equivalent of a nautical pilot - a more experienced railwayman who assisted the driver through unusual situations (such as engineering works). Tevildo (talk) 18:13, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
(EC) It's not a matter of what the individual workers prefer to be called, but how employers describe the posts involved. ObPersonal: I have worked (in the UK) in the field of 'Office Administration' for 3 decades, and from time to time have had to look for a new job. Posts are very rarely described as 'Secretary' any more – the closest usual current equivalent would be 'PA' (for 'Personal Assistant'). Preference for 'Admin Assistant' and variants thereof is (I suggest) in part because office tasks have significantly changed with the increasing prevalence of IT, and with even quite senior managers using their own PCs and/or laptops for many tasks rather than delegating them to subordinates. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 14:06, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Agree with IP, Secretary (20th century usage) is now Personal Assistant (PA). Admin Asst. is a more general role, often departmental, which may be related to Junior Clerk, Office Boy, Man (or Woman) Friday, Gopher, Dogsbody. The title, however, is far more neutral and a number of Admin Assistants I have worked with have moved into more senior roles without the difficulty I would imagine previous generations might have had. All the best: Rich Farmbrough16:12, 21 January 2015 (UTC).
Even the "assistant" bit of "administrative assistant" is falling out of use. Where I work (a UK government agency) the lowest grade is "administrative officer", above that "clerical officer" and then "senior clerical officer". Above that you're in middle management. Oddly enough, "secretary" has risen a bit in status. The term "secretary" is used for the personal assistant of a director (only directors and the chief executive have secretaries), and is usually of senior clerical officer grade. A bit off-topic, but my dad and I were discussing it recently and comparing it to the army, where you have three ranks of enlisted men and about ten ranks of officers. --Nicknack009 (talk) 19:25, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, with "secretary" no longer used for a typist/file clerk, it may return more to it's original meaning, as a high level executive, as in Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, etc., which never went away completely. This may be a good thing. StuRat (talk) 19:34, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Why is Kw a consonant?[edit]

I read about the theories about the Indo-European language family.
And I wondered how come is that Kw is considered one consonant and not complex of consonants for example.
14:30, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

The reason why the 'w' is superscript is because the 'K' and 'w' are considered to have been pronounced simultaneously. Hence, the transition to 'p' in the Celtic and Indo-Iranian languages. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 14:47, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
See secondary articulation for more on that kind of thing. In regards to your question of why, specifically, PIE is considered to have such consonants, you might check out Indo-European sound laws. *kʷ may have made more sense than *kw because, comparing the corresponding sounds in its daughter languages, it made more sense to see it as a single co-articulated consonant than a cluster. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 17:03, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Could it be a double stop as in Igbo? —Tamfang (talk) 06:29, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
We don't actually know how it was pronounced (though we can guess). The reason that it is treated as a consonant is that it behaves the same way as the other consonants, and not like clusters. There probably was a semivowel /w/ in Indo-European, (which was the zero-grade of the vowel /u/), and there could have been words where this followed /k/ (I'm not sure); but if there were they will have developed differently from /kʷ/. --ColinFine (talk) 17:11, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Quibble: As I misunderstand and misremember it, /*w/ is expressed as [*u] in zero-grade forms of stems that otherwise have [*ew] or [*ow]. —Tamfang (talk) 06:29, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  • The biggest argument is because the /kw/s pattern like other single consonants, and not like strings. It normally always develops as a unit, not as a /k/ followed by a separate /w/. Also it fits in a pattern:
where forms like /pw/ are absent. /tw/, /sw/, and /dw/, etc., are usually treated as strings, because the /w/ segment can end up taking its own stress, as in Latin duo, as ColinFine alluded to. The situation is complex, and there are respected minority views that disagree with some of what I've said above. I would suggest Szemerenyi and Lehmann as good conservative sources. Ivanov and Gamkrelidze is a more recent work that discusses the possibility of alternative analyses. μηδείς (talk) 18:39, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Identification and textifiction of three images[edit]

The following are in a) Don't know, b) Arabic and c) Russian.

  1. What is the language of the first?
  2. Can you provide text of one or more (and translations)?
Three of the translations issued by Charlie Hebdo on the day of the shooting.
Another language 

All the best: Rich Farmbrough16:16, 21 January 2015 (UTC).

The first one is Farsi. It says "من چارلی هستیم ", and the Arabic is "انا شارلي", which are both "I am Charlie". But the Persian is wrong, I think? It mixes up the singular and plural, basically it says "I are Charlie" - it should be either "من چارلی هستم " or "ما چارلی هستیم ". (Once again Omidinist will have to confirm!) I'll leave the Russian to a Russian-speaker, but it looks like it says "I am Charlie Hebdo", while the Farsi and Arabic don't have the "Hebdo" part. Adam Bishop (talk) 16:39, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Confirmed! Omidinist (talk) 04:44, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

A transliteration of the Russian would be Ya Sharli Ebdo (Я Шарли Эбдо) "I Sharli Ebdo" with "am" implied and no idication of the silent French 'H'. μηδείς (talk) 18:01, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure "implied" is the right word there. The correct translation is "I am Charlie Hebdo". Russian doesn't use the present tense of the verb to be except in some very obscure places that most speakers never encounter. So it's not a matter of an "am" being implied, per se. It would be just as wrong for the English version to be without "am" as it would be for the Russian to include their verb. Neither does Russian use definite or indefinite articles, but when translating we need to insert them into our English version wherever appropriate. We don't talk of these being "implied". There is generally not a one-to-one correspondence between the words in the source language and the corresponding words in the target language, which is why it's the meaning of the whole sentence or the whole expression that's the focus of the translator's energy, not the meaning of the individual component words. Otherwise, we'd translate s'il vousplaît as "if it you pleases" rather than just "please". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:04, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Similarly in Japanese, the verb 'to be' can be omitted. 俺、チャーリー・ヘブド。 would be perfectly acceptable when spoken. A bit like 'Me Tarzan, you Jane." KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 14:23, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I am aware of this, but I didn't use the word translation. I gave a transliteration (I wanted to use ja, but I won't get into that) and a word-for-word gloss. (S'il vous plaît would be "If it please you", which is perfectly cromulent English) μηδείς (talk) 22:59, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
If you're giving a transliteration then there's no need to say anything about "implied" at all. That would be part of a translation. --Viennese Waltz 23:11, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
I gave a transliteration in italics, as well as the original as text in Cyrillic, and a word-for-word gloss in quotes, which does indeed require comment, or the English speaker with no familiarity with Eastern Slavic might think I'd left something out. μηδείς (talk) 20:25, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Likewise, the Arabic actually word-for-wod says "I Charlie", as it doesn't even have any present-tense forms for "to be". (Normally the pronoun would be omitted, but in this case there's no verb to carry that info.) Adam Bishop (talk) 16:52, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Many thanks to all! All the best: Rich Farmbrough00:36, 23 January 2015 (UTC).

What can cause stark idiolectal differences in the speech of children anent their parents?[edit]

I'm a rare case in that my speech is far more conservative than my parents for a multitude of reasons, one being my linguistic studies, as well as my appreciation for my local speech.

However, if we look on the flip side...

What can cause stark idiolectal differences in the speech of children from their parents?

Now I'm not talking about switching whole dialects or anything, I'm just talking about notable differences in the manner in which a child speaks from their parents, even though they speak the same dialects (and have most of that dialect's notable traits).

So I am not referring to when someone picks up a completely different dialect from their local one as a prestige dialect (unless they merely adopt "prestige" elements from it into their idiolect), I am referring to when a parent and child speak the same dialect, and yet that have notably different idiolects to the point where, for instance, they might sound like they each speak different subdialects of their local dialect (by which I mean those dialects that are categorised like like "Eastern Examplesville Dialect", "Northern Examplesville Dialect", "Western Examplesville Dialect", etc.)

So does anyone here know? Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 18:17, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Interaction with friends who speak a different sub-dialect (e.g. at school) is probably the primary factor. Education can also be another. TV may also be another. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 18:39, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Agreed, although I would expand "TV" to all spoken media, like movies, radio, and online audio. Hopefully we don't pick up our dialects from our cars, or we will all end up saying "The door is a jar". :-) StuRat (talk) 19:38, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
What can cause it? Snobbery on the part of the parents, I'd say. My mom worked hard on her accent to make it sound less Black Country and more posh, and was utterly mortified when I took pride in my Black Country accent to the extent of studying it as part of my degree course! --TammyMoet (talk) 21:06, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
My accent changed due to interaction with non-English speakers for most of my life. I can revert to my own Scouse accent if I need to (some people feel intimidated by someone who speaks with a 'posh' accent). My mum tried to teach me to 'talk posh' when I was a kid, by using her version of 'talking posh', which incidentally made her sound more Scouse, and got angry when I spoke with a male Scouse accent (male and female Scouse are different). My Scouse accent is still discernible to a degree, for non-Scousers, but Scousers always ask me where I am from. By the way, Tammy, we don't use 'mom' in the UK..... :) KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 21:15, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Now this is a case in point. "Mom" is definitely used in the Black Country and has been for a very long time. In the rest of the country it's generally "Mum". So yes, "Mom" is used in the UK in one small part of it - and I am proud to come from that part! --TammyMoet (talk) 16:42, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Wow, before I followed the link, I imagined the "Black Country" as some remote, mysterious, romantic place. Now that I know what it means, all I can say is, I'm sorry. Hope it's gotten better since the coal ran out.
There are some places I just find depressing. I know a lot of people think that about my city, Los Angeles, which I love, in spite of her flaws. But there are very nice places to go within a couple hours' drive, except to get there, you have to go through the Inland Empire, and that just always saps my spirit a bit. What can it be like for those who actually live there? I suppose they must find a way to reinterpret the things that get me down. --Trovatore (talk) 16:56, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
On reflection, the above was a bit rude and I apologize. I was reacting to the meaning of the "black" part of "Black Country", which was really disappointing, but on further reading it appears that those conditions have not obtained for quite some time — maybe kind of like Pittsburgh, which is now quite a beautiful city. --Trovatore (talk) 17:42, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
It could be worse. I live in Detroit, but there are bright spots even here. StuRat (talk) 18:03, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
A case in point is Geoffrey Robertson (hear here). He's often been accused of deliberately acquiring a plummy (and most un-Australian) accent in order to advance his legal career or show off or whatever. This is not the case. He was a very late talker. His mother had the radio on all day, tuned to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. In those days (the late '40s and early '50s), ABC persons all spoke with plummy British accents. Robertson was an only child who didn't mix much with neighbouring children, and from the time he started speaking he unconsciously emulated the speech patterns of the radio announcers he'd been hearing all day every day. He didn't intentionally reject whatever way his parents spoke. Then there's Josh Thomas (comedian), who somehow developed a unique accent that stumps everyone who hears him for the first time. He says he just created it all by himself at a very early age, and now it's totally natural. See this. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:52, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
This may be obvious and not what you were looking for, but it is quite typical for children to speak differently from their parents due to generational language change. One of the main ways language change takes place is that children adopt speech patterns which are common to their generation and different from those of their parents' generation. In the United States, it is often possible to identify a person's generation from his or her speech. The same is probably true elsewhere. Marco polo (talk) 22:03, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
The articles on age-graded variation and apparent-time hypothesis might be of interest here too. ---Sluzzelin talk 01:47, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Here are a gajillion sources to answer the OPs question. Many of them are quite good. --Jayron32 02:15, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
@KageTora: What does "education" entail in the context of your response?
@TammyMoet: Whilst, on the other hand, the part of New England that I am from does use mum, contrarily to the rest of North America (as far as I know). However, it is often spelt "mom" (though I have seen both spellings used). But phonetically, it is /mʌm/ here.
@Marco polo: Doesn't that vary at least to a certain extent upon the general conservativeness of a dialect? I mean, I agree in the general accuracy of your statement, but at the same time I've seen plenty of (even group-wise) cases in which that was not really the case at all. Furthermore, I was born in the late-mid '90s, and yet, for as long as I can remember, most people that I have run into that were not local to my area have grouped mine and my sibling's idiolects in with those of bygone generations.
@Jayron32: I don't subscribe to Google. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 19:10, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Google is not a subscription service. By the way, this is the first time I have seen 'anent' used in a work written after the Second World War. Your own idiolect is pretty idiosyncratic. AlexTiefling (talk) 23:44, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
It does indeed have a musty smell. Perhaps it's due for a revival by people who like mustiness. (Cf [if you "subscribe to Google"] an implausibly popularized trisyllabic alternative to "if".) -- Hoary (talk) 01:12, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
If you can't be bothered to click my link, and then click a second link, I don't know why you expect us to do any more for you. --Jayron32 00:42, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
👍 Like -- Hoary (talk) 01:12, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
@AlexTiefling: Definition three, hotshot. Also, since when was the fact that I am a linguistic purist--a fact that I have openly stated on my user page for years now--that, whilst does not usually show itself in my work here due to my linguistic purism being generally reserved for poetry, has nothing to do with my local dialect or local wordstock, and thus not having any particular influence other than to the extent that I indicated in my original post, have to do with anything?
@Jayron32: I'm not exactly sure what that statement is supposed to mean, but let me assure you that I have clicked on no links to searches linked on this page over the course of this discussion. I'm not singling out you or anything. I actually did search the Web on this subject, though I used a different search engine that isn't controlled by what I personally feel is an ill-willed, hypocritical, tyrannical, megacompany). I very much appreciate the sentiment, however. But, like I said, I just don't use Google products anymore. They've done me wrong far too many times in the past. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 01:54, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
whilst does not usually show itself in my work here due to my linguistic purism being generally reserved for poetry: hmm, this comes as a mild surprise, as I'd have thought that somebody calling themself a "linguistic purist" would demand an "it" immediately before "does", and "purism's" rather than plain "purism". (The former worries me only slightly, the latter not at all.) ¶ I normally use Duckduckgo myself. Use what you will. -- Hoary (talk) 02:49, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
@User:Tharthan I mean the difference between the education of the older generation and the younger generation. We don't sit in the playground playing marbles these days and then going off to work in factories. We have much more experience of and interaction with the outside world via the internet. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 04:46, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
@KageTora: True enough. But what does that have to do with it? Do you mean that, because people are quite constantly interacting, that these things would happen far swifter than before, or something like that? Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 19:02, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Essentially, yes. It's a case of having more social interaction with people from different parts of the country (and world), via internet, which is provided in schools and elsewhere. Also, young people like to speak like their peers, in order to fit in socially. If their peers speak in a different way, then so will they. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 19:23, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps, but I've actually seen the exact opposite happen far more often (as a response to what you are suggesting). Something similar to "counterculture"-type concepts. Then, the result is that very little ends up changing dialectally. Sort of like an "up hill, down dale, up hill, down dale" type thing, if you get what I'm saying. What would cause such a thing to happen, though? Furthermore, on a broader scale, what causes "reversions" of certain perceived processes of the sort, à la TammyMoet's example? Is it purely pride, or is there something else to it? Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 19:38, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Not really. To take the example of Scouse I mentioned above, there has been a massive change between the way Scouse was spoken 50 years ago when The Beatles were first starting up and Scouse spoken now. Language changes over generations, and we are now in a position to make recordings to actually monitor that change. It's a pity we couldn't do that thousands of years ago, because that really would have been interesting. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 04:48, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
If one is defiantly proud of one's roots, this can lead to an effort (conscious or otherwise) to seek out and use as role models the elders of one's sub-culture and regional sub-dialect, in a quest for "authenticity", even if one's parents deliberately sought assimilation to the dominant culture. This is not unrelated, I'm thinking, to the local Native American tribes who use part of the proceeds of casino operations to subsidize schools in which the children of the tribes are schooled by the few surviving speakers of the tribal languages, lest they be lost forever (see language death). --Orange Mike | Talk 00:48, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Grammar question[edit]

I just typed this sentence on another Reference Desk. After I typed it, I realized how "funny" it sounded. The sentence is: Some form of it, I'm sure, has had to have occurred over the past 50+ years. So, let me remove the extraneous words. The sentence, at its root, is: Some form of it has had to have occurred over the past 50+ years. Is that correct and proper grammar? I am referring to the verb: has had to have occurred. And, what tense is that? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 23:04, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Lose the "had" and you've probably got it. But it would read better as "must have occurred". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:18, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. This is simply a post for the Wikipedia Entertainment Help Desk. (See here: Wikipedia:Reference desk/Entertainment#Super Bowl question about cheating.) So, I am not concerned with re-writing it or with making it sound better. My real question is: is that proper grammar or is there something wrong in there? Is it grammatically correct, even though it sounds funny? Or is there a grammatical error? If so, what? (And what tense is that?) Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 23:47, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
It's gramatically correct, but it sounds funny. must have occurred - you could pick at the technical correctness, but it's common usage for that meaning. ―Mandruss  23:51, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Losing the "had", as per Bugs' suggestion, does very slightly change the nuance. I agree it's an unusual construction, using as it does three forms of the verb "to have". It's sort of treating "to have to have occurred" as a single verb and putting it into the past continuous tense. This may or may not be legitimate, but it's deliciously inventive. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 00:03, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
It cannot be the past continuous, as that that would be 'was having had to have occurred'. It's the present perfect. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 07:52, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
It sounds perfectly normal to me. I must've used the same construction more than once. I'd say it's fine as it is, at least when writing colloquially, though admittedly, parsing it is a bit tricky. — kwami (talk) 01:33, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Agreed it's perfectly grammatical, and not that rare in speech. I would avoid writing that and similar have/had/has clumpings in anything other than casual contexts. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:37, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. Anybody know the tense? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 15:12, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

It's an auxiliary verb in the past perfect linked to a perfect infinitive. Really the tense is past, but the aspect is perfect. Marco polo (talk) 15:30, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
MP is correct except that "has had" is the present perfect, the past perfect would be had had. μηδείς (talk) 18:35, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
According to pluperfect, past perfect would be had written (and I guess "pluperfect" is now a deprecated near synonym of "past perfect" for English grammar). So wouldn't *had had written be past pluperfect? SemanticMantis (talk) 19:07, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Anyway, MP's description of past tense and perfect aspect is exactly what is described at the pluperfect article. While I think OP's *has had to have is semantically different from had, I'm not sure that it has any different grammatical quality. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:07, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, I was mistaken. SemanticMantis is correct. Marco polo (talk) 16:57, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
"Had had written" is not relevant or analogous. (He has had to have written me at least 50 times over the last month would be analogous to the case here.) The phrase in question is has had to have occurred and the "had" here is the past participle of have. If you can say "it has to have occurred" in the present, then you can say "it has had to have occurred" in the present perfect. This is no different from the present "it needs to have occurred by noon monday" and the present perfect "it has needed to have occurred by noon before." μηδείς (talk) 22:51, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. I am following all this discussion about past tense, etc. But what is "aspect" that Marco polo mentions above? I have never heard the term "aspect" as a term for grammar before. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 23:14, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Grammatical aspect is looking at time from the inside, so to speak. Anyway, it's present perfect (has had) plus infinitive perfect (to have occurred). Only the first and third "haves" are modals, ~ "I have wanted to have been there, but don't any more". — kwami (talk) 23:33, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Agree 100% with kwami. μηδείς (talk) 20:20, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

January 22[edit]

danah boyd[edit]

Hi why is this person in lower case? Even the references to her are in lower case. Even if she chose to register her name like this, should it be allowed in written English? Sandman1142 (talk) 13:12, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

It is widely accepted, including on Wikipedia, that we go with the unusual capitalizations people use. The Wikipedia position is that we follow common usage on this. Personally I am not sure this is a good idea. We do not, for example, generally use titles, even when they are awarded by recognised bodies (although we acknowledge them in first-use).
You may be amused that one lower-case personality claims that she chose lower-case so that her name would not be the centre of attention. This seems a little disingenuous to me.
All the best: Rich Farmbrough13:30, 22 January 2015 (UTC).
More than a little, I would say... I would also say that the lead of the dana boyd article, like any English sentence, should being with a capital: ('Danah boyd ... is ...') but I fear opening a can of worms (in contrast, the first sentence of "Early life" starts with capitalised 'Boyd'). A 10-year-old article on Language Log discusses this affectation. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 13:55, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm not so sure that I agree with the conclusion and tone of that piece. For one, it seems needlessly dismissive of bell hooks. According to the Chicago manual of style, via this NYT bit [30]
I mean, if you tell me you prefer to be called "Andrew", I am still allowed to call you "Andy" - but doing so repeatedly and with clear knowledge that it is against your preference would make me kind of a jerk, in my opinion. It may be an affectation on your part, but that doesn't mean your simple wishes shouldn't be respected when people write about you. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:34, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
I suppose I'm OK with following the typographical preferences of individuals up to the point that it doesn't become inconvenient for me. In the middle of a sentence, sure, I'll go ahead and write "danah boyd" or "bell hooks" if that's what the owners of those names prefer. But I won't start a sentence with a lowercase letter — that interferes with readability. --Trovatore (talk) 18:40, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Totally reasonable; I'd do the same if I had to talk about them in print. I believe CMS speaks a bit about not letting another guideline destroy clarity/readability. I know Strunk&White mention something along those lines. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:51, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
The direct answer to your precise question is "yes, it should be allowed" - in fact, according to my links above, it is preferred that writers respect the capitalization style of their subjects' names. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:40, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
No, the answer is "no, it should not be allowed." Your Andrew/Andy example above is not relevant here. Both Andrew and Andy are permissible names, so in that case the subject's wishes should be respected. But writing a person's name in all lower case violates the rules of written English, which it is not within the subject's gift to do. --Viennese Waltz 14:49, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Says who? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:30, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Says VW apparently. It's not like the police will show up if I write "Bell Hooks" -- But that would be in direct contradiction to the Chicago Manual of Style, and also slightly disrespectful in my opinion. Of course people may write what they want here or on a blog. But each publisher will have their own style guide, and the CMS is widely regarded as an authority for many journalistic and academic venues. They are not the sole arbiter of what is "correct", but they are one of the primary authorities. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:44, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
A style guide, or "the rules of written English", has no legal foundation, and there's no law preventing someone from calling themself pretty much anything. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:57, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
A lot of people still write "e. e. cummings" in faux-respect to his general dislike of capitals, but in apparent ignorance of the fact that he did not usually impose this preference on the spelling of his own name, E. E. Cummings. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:39, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
The Chicago Manual of Style does *not* insist that Bell Hooks' name be spelled "bell hooks". It says: "Names and initials of persons, real or fictitious, are capitalized.[...] The names of certain writers occasionally appear without capitals—for example, bell hooks. If such unconventional spelling is the strong preference of the bearer of the name, it should be respected in appropriate contexts." If you think the appropriate context in which to honor such a deviation from normal orthography is, say, in dinner invitations and Cchristmas cards, you can justifiably use the CMOS to justify using normal orthography in other contexts—such as encyclopedia articles. - Nunh-huh 23:25, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
That sort of spell my name this way stuff is performance art, and of the worst kind: it relies on the audience to amuse the "performer". --The artist formerly known as μηδείς (talk) 00:15, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
On the other hand, it is the right of every person to be called what they wish. It is not my prerogative to say what a person's name must, or must not, be. If bell hooks and danah boyd want that to be their names, its beyond presumptuous of me to decide that those are NOT their names. If a person does not get to choose what their own name is, why should you, or me, or anyone else have more rights in that regard? --Jayron32 01:03, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
No, a person's right to call himself what he wishes places no obligation on me to learn Klingon. There's no such thing as a right to have other people pronounce your name in a certain way, dude. μηδείς (talk) 20:11, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Like Trovatore, I find my own convenience relevant here, though I have no problem with bell hooks and danah boyd (in fact, they're easier to type). On the other hand, I just couldn't manage something like Biáng.svg in English text (and not everyone can afford to be Prince logo.svg). ---Sluzzelin talk 01:20, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Various companies, pop groups and so on expect that their names are written in FULL CAPITALS. They're entitled to do this, and to pay others to do it. Wikipedia ignores this (other perhaps than in a footnote pointing out that this is the subject's preference). When Wikipedia (for the most part) ignores the fact that (for example) Sanyo consistently presented its name as SANYO, it neither denies that Sanyo (now defunct, despite the impression the article gives) wanted this nor implies that a company should not do this. Bell Hooks is of course entirely justified in writing "bell hooks" (just as she'd be entirely justified in writing "bell hooks"); if I were the autocrat of Wikipedia I'd ignore this; if my expected lifespan were 150 years or more I might argue the matter in the MoS talk page. -- Hoary (talk) 03:13, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Various companies, pop groups, etc. are not actual people who should have the expectation of baseline levels of human dignity and respect. Corporations may be legal persons, but that's a rather arcane aspect of corporate law and not really applicable to how I, as a human being, should be expected to treat other human beings. --Jayron32 17:41, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
We seem to have different ideas of "baseline levels of human dignity and respect". My own include, but are not limited to, shelter, warmth, food, education, medical care, elected representation, free speech (with the usual exceptions such as "Fire!" in crowded theatres) and of course operation of the shift key; they don't include subservience to personal whims of orthography. You're welcome to write "Jayron" without a capital or in blue; I'll write it as I write the other names of other people/users. -- Hoary (talk) 00:13, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Refusing to use someone's own chosen form of address seems highly disrespectful. If someone introduced themselves to you as "Andy" and you called them "Andrew", and then they politely asked you to call them "Andy" and you continue to insist to call them a name that they don't wish you to, because of your own personal beliefs about what their name should be, then that's not respect. That's you intruding on their own personal choices of self-identification. That's highly disrespectful. --Jayron32 23:28, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Have I got news for you, Hoary!. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 08:33, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Well . . . damn, now I need a new excuse for not joining in the "fun" at MoS. -- Hoary (talk) 13:01, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks everyone for a most interesting but not entirely conclusive discussion :) I think the point made about "e. e. cummings" is quite relevant. If he could be referred to in lower case, and I've seen that in reputable print, then why not anyone else? Sandman1142 (talk) 12:29, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
It's an unfortunate choice of example, though, given that he did not refer to himself that way, and the popular idea that he did appears to have been created out of whole cloth by a critic named Harry T. Moore. (At least, that's the impression I get from our article.) There are multiple examples of more recent folks who really did request to be referred to in minuscule, and respected newspapers that complied, so no need to pick on poor Estlin. --Trovatore (talk) 00:11, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Just by the bye, I recall that there was a person in the news a few years ago, maybe the Eighties or so, who was nominated in lowercase at his own request. He was not one you would normally think of in the company of danah boyd or bell hooks — some sort of Wall Street figure I think, who may or may not have been involved in some sort of financial or political scandal. I want to say "robert walden" or "robert walpole" but both those names seem to belong to more famous people. Does this ring a bell with anyone? I remember the WSJ referring to him in lowercase, which surprised me a tiny bit. --Trovatore (talk) 00:22, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
This talks about what lowercaseness and uppercaseness may have meant to the poet: [31]. (But what is with his [titles]?) Alanscottwalker (talk) 01:34, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia suffers from a self-contradiction in cases like this. We require valid sourcing, especially for persons - yet we insist that our manual of style overrides those sources. The usual compromise would be to say "Danah Boyd, styled as danah boyd". Having an article title in lower case is non-standard here. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:28, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Another Arabic inquiry[edit]

What is the Arabic in ? It is for Lycée Français de Koweït.

Thanks WhisperToMe (talk) 15:19, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

مدرسة الکویت الفرنسیة - Omidinist (talk) 18:42, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks again! WhisperToMe (talk) 22:10, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

January 23[edit]

Greek keyboard[edit]

(Maybe this belongs in Computing?)

I recently had some occasion to use a few Greek letters (as symbols in physics), using the Greek keyboard mapping in MacOS. There passed through my mind a memory of an episode of The Streets of San Francisco: the killer sent the police a note using a Greek typewriter, the detective obtained such a typewriter and determined what the output would be if a touch-typist hit the analogous keys on an English typewriter. (The encrypted sentence was "I worked with the Butterfly", the victim's nickname.)

Now, someone who commonly types in both languages would prefer that the key assignments correspond as nearly as possible, and here the match is quite good: the English letters ABGDEZH IKLMN OPRSTYFX correspond to ΑΒΓΔΕΖΗ ΙΚΛΜΝ ΟΠΡΣΤΥΦΧ, leaving only ΘΞςΨΩ (UJwCV) to be learned anew. But my memory of watching that TV episode is that there was very little such matching; the clue was nowhere near as transparent as "Ι ςορκεδ ςιτη τηε Βθττερφλυ".

Hence my cluster of overlapping questions. Can I trust a memory from no later than 1981 (as I probably haven't seen Streets since then)? Is the MacOS Greek keyboard layout the same as in Greek typewriters made before 1977? Were there multiple standards in Greek typewriters? Are there multiple standards for Greek computer input? —Tamfang (talk) 00:32, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

All I can help you with is the Keyboard layout#Greek seems to be standard across computing. All the best: Rich Farmbrough01:25, 23 January 2015 (UTC).
this image and associated text are interesting. All the best: Rich Farmbrough01:31, 23 January 2015 (UTC).

Proper verb tense[edit]

I was involved in a discussion at this Talk Page: Talk:Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501. That article contained the following sentence: Iriyanto's name was a mononym, which is common for Indonesian names. I thought that sounded odd, so I asked this question: Shouldn't that verb be "is", not "was"? My thinking was: even if that individual is deceased, his name still "lives" in the present (so to speak). So, to back up my argument, I referred to a deceased person and stated: Richard Nixon's name is always going to be "Richard Nixon", whether he's dead or alive. Another editor offered a counter-argument by stating: Which sounds more natural? Tricia Nixon's father's name is Richard Nixon. [or] Tricia Nixon's father's name was Richard Nixon. So, the question interested me enough to bring it here. What would be grammatically correct for a deceased person? I assume the context plays a role. But, strictly speaking from a grammar perspective, I assume there is a "correct" answer (i.e., the "proper" way to do it). As an example, would it be proper to say: "Richard Nixon's middle name is Milhouse."? or ""Richard Nixon's middle name was Milhouse."? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 05:50, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

I think it makes sense to use past tense in the phrase "X's father's name was Y" because the death of Y means that X no longer has a father. It has less to do with death than with a cessation of the role. A similar sentence might be "The name of the President at the time was George Bush."
Unless Indonesian custom is to have a different name in death, present tense is grammatically correct for the sentence in question. The features of one's name do not cease when one dies. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 07:19, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Unless you're a Japanese Emperor. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 07:54, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Anybody with a Buddhist funeral takes a new name, even though they are commonly referred to by their old names (or their title, depending on who is doing the referring). As for the OP's question, I would use the past tense. Even though 'Iriyanto' is a fairly common given name in Indonesia, we are now referring to the deceased person's name, not the name itself, in my opinion. His name was a mononym, and not necessarily true for everyone else. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 11:42, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I strongly disagree. "X's father's name is Y" is/was/will ever be right. "Was" implies he later changed it. Now "X's father is/was Y" is a different question. Clarityfiend (talk) 21:43, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
The phrase "His name was" is used to indicate/imply that someone is no longer around. What you describe makes some logical sense, but that's simply how people use English. If you infer from that, without greater context, that someone changed their name, then you will get quite confused with modern English[32][33][34][35][36]Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 23:38, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
By the way: would it be proper to say: "Richard Nixon's middle name is Milhouse."? or ""Richard Nixon's middle name was Milhouse"? Neither. His middle name was Milhous. --jpgordon::==( o ) 16:19, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Put me down for "is". In this case, the name (which his father used) still is a mononym. It's a one-word name. Richard Nixon has no name. Has nothing. The name he had is still a famous one, but it was his name. If we're not talking about possession, it is always is. Names last forever, but nobody can have one for long. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:31, January 23, 2015 (UTC)
Oh wait, the apostrophe. I have no opinion now. Except that "Iriyanto" is a mononym. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:32, January 23, 2015 (UTC)

Spacing Modifier Letters[edit]

Where can some of them like caron, acute, grave, breve, ogonek be used? I've hardly seen them after or before letters not above or below.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 07:22, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Accurately or otherwise, the WP article describes this block as "containing characters for the IPA, UPA, and other phonetic transcriptions". There's no mention of their use in what's the (or a) standard orthography for this or that language. Several of these are used above characters to indicate tone; the ogonek isn't IPA but it is (or was) used by Americanists for nasalization (says Pullum and Ladusaw, Phonetic Symbol Guide, 2nd ed). My uneducated guess is that attaching the nonspacing equivalents to IPA characters, however good an idea in principle, is far more likely to lead to problems when printed out or viewed online by others, and thus people separate them. Also, one might want to have two (or more!) doodads above or below a given letter, likely giving illegible results, so lateral separation would be wise. NB my knowledge of phonetic script (and phonetics in general) is minimal. -- Hoary (talk) 08:08, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Is the ʻokina (ʻ)considered a spacing modifier? If so, it appears before, after or between letters in Hawaiʻian and other Polynesian languages.    → Michael J    00:36, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
It's an independent consonant, not a modifier. —Tamfang (talk) 07:19, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
It's not important whether they are often used or not. Unicode simply includes them as standalone characters. The same with Chinese radicals. Most of them can't be used in practical context, but they are listed in Unicode. Then there are Combining Diacritical Marks, which are used to put any diacritical mark on anything. Wikipedia and Word, for example, use them. Just practical for computing. -- (talk) 13:21, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
One use for such characters is in text about diacritics. —Tamfang (talk) 08:34, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Seeking a French translation[edit]

Hello, everyone. I apologize in advance if this isn't the right place to seek translation assistance, but it seemed most appropriate. I'm currently working on an article regarding a Frenchman, Aubin Olivier (though not that article itself), and I'm trying to accurately translate two titles which he held at different times. One is Maistre ouvrier, garde et conducteur des engins de la monnaie du moilin à Paris and the other is Maistre et conducteur des engins de la monnoye des Étuves. I have a rough idea what these mean via Google Translate, but I'm not sure it's accurate, and I need a pretty accurate English-language description to include in the article. If it helps, he introduced the screw press for coins to France, so I assume the titles must have something to do with engineering at the mint. Also, according to my source, "the King conceded to him the privilege of graver, fabricquer et monnoyer toutes sortes de pieces courantes, piedz fortz, médailles antiques et modernes, jettons et autres pièces de plaistir." Am I correct in thinking that this means "engraver, maker and moneyer of all current pieces, piedforts, medals antique and modern, jetons and other pieces in plaster"? Thanks in advance for any insight and translation help!-RHM22 (talk) 18:34, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

There are two issues. The spelling is archaic. And the words will have technical meanings in the context. What in the world, for example, is a "master opener"? We do have contributers who speak at a native level, hopefully they can help. μηδείς (talk) 20:07, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Ouvrier is ordinary French for "worker" ("opener" would be ouvreur). AnonMoos (talk) 20:13, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
You may be having problems with Google translate because those passages contain a number of archaic spellings (starting with "maistre"). The "-er" words in the last passage are infinitives, not agent nouns, so it's the privilege to engrave, manufacture, and mint. Also, "courant" does not mean exactly current in this context, but more circulating as legal tender... AnonMoos (talk) 20:11, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for the thoughts, fellows! I thought it might be archaic usage, since the titles/descriptions are apparently from the mid-sixteenth century. Would it be correct to say that he was put in charge of mint operations?-RHM22 (talk) 22:34, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure from the language whether he was a government employee as we would understand it, or a kind of contractor. AnonMoos (talk) 08:07, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it is correct to say he was in charge of mint operations. This sentence "graver, fabricquer et monnoyer toutes sortes de pieces courantes, piedz fortz, médailles antiques et modernes, jettons et autres pièces de plaistir" means "engrave, make and mint all kinds of common coins, piedforts, antique and modern medals, jetons and other (plaistir) coins". I don't know what "plaistir" means, I'm not sure whether it could be an older form of the word "plaisir" (entertainment) or some jargon among coin makers. Akseli9 (talk) 10:20, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Maistre ouvrier, garde et conducteur des engins de la monnaie du moilin à Paris is misspelled. It is Maistre ouvrier, garde et conducteur des engins de la Monnaie du Moulin à Paris, which means "master craftsman, curator and operator of the machines at La Monnaie du Moulin in Paris". Akseli9 (talk) 10:33, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Maistre et conducteur des engins de la monnoye des Étuves is misspelled too. It is Maistre et conducteur des engins de la Monnoye des Étuves, which means "master craftsman and operator of the machines at La Monnaie des Étuves". Akseli9 (talk) 10:38, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
[EC] : First of all one should read: "Maistre ouvrier, garde et conducteur des engins de la monnaie du moulin à Paris" and "et autres pièces de plaisir". You can refer to [37] page 15. "Maître-ouvrier [modern spelling], garde et conducteur des engins de la monnaie" is an office [same word in French and English], it was a personal charge given by the King to a person. This person can be seen as a government employee. Refer to French WP [38]. According to my first reference, we can say that Aubin Olivier was in charge of mint operations. The "pièces de plaisir" were pieces engraved in small volumes and used to be given as gifts by the King.— AldoSyrt (talk) 10:33, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
This was pretty understandable although it's older French. I'm not a native, but modern "maître" and "plaisir" (today only found in the third person of the verb ["plaît"], not counting the controversial spelling reform) keep the circumflex, which implies that one or more letters have been left out. "maistre" is indeed much closer to English "master". A general development in French was the reduction of consonant clusters and diphthongs. -- (talk) 13:45, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Plaisir is a noun, here and in modern French - the verb is plaire, and although "s'il vous plaît" is probably the most common use of it, all the other forms exist too (but I guess more commonly in the reflexive "se plaire"). "Plaire" itself of course does come from the Old French "plaisir" (and ultimately from Latin "placere"), but that's a much older form than this text. Adam Bishop (talk) 11:15, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Thank you all for this excellent information! I'm going to copy everything down for future reference. I'm hoping to expand some of the information relating to French sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth century Mint officials and machinery, but some areas are difficult because I don't speak any French at all.-RHM22 (talk) 15:09, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Arabic question: Schmidt's Girls' College[edit] has the Arabic for Schmidt's Girls' College in Palestine. What is the text?

Thanks WhisperToMe (talk) 19:46, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

It doesn't have any equivalent to "girls". It just says كلية شميدت (where the second word is an unimaginative and not very phonetic transcription of Schmidt)... AnonMoos (talk) 20:02, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
That's fine. Thank you! WhisperToMe (talk) 20:13, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

January 24[edit]

Does verb conjugation serve any function in modern English?[edit]

Does verb conjugation serve any function in modern English? Why is it that modal auxiliaries are not conjugated but other auxiliaries, like verbs in general, are? -- (talk) 23:12, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Define "function", so we can meaningfully answer... --Jayron32 23:25, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Let me clarify by rephrasing my first question: In English, does verb conjugation signal or communicate something that would be lost if we stopped doing it? -- (talk) 23:33, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, if you had said "In English, did verb conjugation signal or communicate something...", would that mean the same thing? -- (talk) 00:03, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Certainly, because the English language serves more purposes than mere commands for others to follow. The entire body of anglophone culture, from the way we speak with each other, to our literature and poetry, is intrinsically tied to the way our language is constructed. A functional language can be constructed with very minimal forms, and be fully able to describe objects and issue commands. Certain Experimental languages, created more for novel study than as serious attempts to create a new native language, such as progamming languages like Brainfuck or speakable languages like Loglan, do exist and attempt to explore things like semiotics and other esoteric linguistic ideas. English, however, is more than that. As a language, it is a medium of art and expression as well, and the specific type of art and expression in inherent in the way the language is built, including verb conjugation. In many ways, the way English speakers think and view the world at a fundamental level has to to with the way English is put together. Native French, or Chinese, or Arabic, etc. speakers have distinctly different cultures and societies and art and whatnot, because, in part, their language operates differently than English. The purpose of any aspect of a language as a functional unit is of marginal importance. Instead, it's the way the language shapes and forms the culture (and visa-versa, it isn't a one-way relationship. Culture shapes language as well) that is very important. When you imply with your question that some aspect of a language is "unimportant" or you question its reason to even exist, you're only focusing on the practical, literal, and functional aspect of the language, and not the importance the language, at the most basic level, provides for those aspects of the human experience that exist outside of the merely functional. See interrelated subject matters like Sociolinguistics, Linguistic anthropology, Ethnolinguistics, etc. for more studies in this area. --Jayron32 00:07, 25 January 2015 (UTC) -- English hasn't really lost much inflectional distinctiveness since the mid-15th century (EXCEPT the loss of former 2nd. person singular inflections, which was mainly due to complex external sociolinguistic factors), so the current situation has been fairly stable for a long time. The modal auxiliaries go back to old "preterite-present verbs", which were inflected with past tense endings in early Germanic languages even when they had present meanings. The only inflection in the modern English regular verbs which might be considered more ornamental than functional is third-person singular present "-s", since the other regular endings ("-ed", "-ing") mark real independent differences in meaning or syntax (i.e. which are not merely due to agreement with something else in the sentence)... AnonMoos (talk) 00:12, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
  • The fish has versus the fish have; He fit in the car versus he fits in the car.... Also, redundancy is a feature, not a bug. μηδείς (talk) 01:16, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

January 25[edit]


From the article: "Theonyms have been particularly useful in understanding the connections of Indo-European languages." Why might this be the case? ÷seresin 20:57, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

That word "particularly" is exaggeration to the point of falsity. The Indo-European mythology is of interest, but many of the terms show what is probably tabu replacement. Of much more importance is the common grammatical forms of the Proto-Indo-European language and the Swadesh list and various cultural words having to do with technology and animal husbandry. What you want is the expensive and rare Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture by James Mallory (Editor), D.Q. Adams (Editor), but available in pdf at Scribd, or the accessible and encyclopedic The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World by J. P. Mallory (Author), D. Q. Adams (Author) (here at Amazon). μηδείς (talk) 22:34, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
There is also the phenomenon of assimilation and adoption which makes the topic quite complex. The Roman treatment of foreign gods is famous, see also evocatio. μηδείς (talk) 18:03, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Another Arabic request[edit]

In I need the text for the name of en:American School of Palestine and I also would like to have the Arabic street address.

Thank you WhisperToMe (talk) 23:17, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Name: مدرسة فلسطین الامیرکیة
Address: ١٥ شارع بیت نبالا، البیرة، ص.ب ٦٨٥، رام الله، فلسطین . Omidinist (talk) 03:43, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Thank you! WhisperToMe (talk) 04:34, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

January 26[edit]

Using parentheses[edit]

Which of the following two sentences are correct?

  1. This is a sentence (With an add-on).
  2. This is a sentence (with an add-on).

I know which I prefer and I also know which is quite common on Wikipedia. Also is this some sort of English variant? CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Sunasuttuq 16:58, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

The 2nd, I believe, for a sentence fragment. Of course, in your example I wouldn't use parens at all. I'd only capitalize a standalone sentence, like so:
This is a sentence (although, admittedly, not much of one).
This is a sentence. (Although, I admit, it wasn't much of a sentence.)
StuRat (talk) 17:03, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
The word "although" is a subordinate conjunction, for introducing a subordinate clause, and it requires a main clause, either before it or after it, in the same sentence. Without a main clause, a subordinate clause is a sentence fragment. The adverb "however" has a similar meaning, but is not synonymous with it.
Wavelength (talk) 17:41, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I was curious as to which capitalisation within the parentheses was correct. Of course I can't find an example right now. CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Sunasuttuq 19:28, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Definitely 2. One begins a parenthesis with a capital letter only when what precedes it is a complete sentence ending with a full stop (period). Compare the first example sentence in WP:MOS#Sentences and brackets. Deor (talk) 20:27, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Further, if the opening parenthesis comes in the middle of a sentence in the outer content, the parenthetical content doesn't take a period of its own even if it is a complete sentence. (It may take an exclamation or question mark.) In formal writing this sort of construct is best avoided. On the other hand, if the parenthetical content is outside of any sentence in the outer content, is is punctuated and capitalized normally.
  • If that noise was a bear (any kind of bear), we're in danger.
  • If that noise was a bear (he thinks it is), we're in danger.
  • If that noise was a bear (does he think it is?), we're in danger.
  • If that noise was a bear, we're in danger. (He thinks it is.)
If the parenthetical content is two or more complete sentences, it's best to keep it outside of any outer sentence.
  • If that noise was a bear, we're in danger. (He thinks it is. There are lots of them around here.)
-- (talk) 22:37, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
This is off-topic, which hardly ever happens at the Reference Desk. I say it only because (1) we're at the Language Reference Desk, and (2) it's obvious that you care about using the language correctly, or you wouldn't have started this thread. No offense intended. It's Which of the following two sentences is correct?. The subject, "which", is singular. That is, unless you intended that both of the following might be correct. ―Mandruss  22:55, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Dafydd ab Owain Gwynedd in English and Welsh[edit]

I know how Dafydd, Owain, and Gwynedd are pronounced, but how is "ab" pronounced both in English renderings of the name and in proper Welsh? Also, does the /b/ have various allophones, or cause mutation or other sorts of sandhi phenomena in different contexts (e.g., pre-consonantally)? Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 18:21, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Nothing to do with consonant mutation in this case, just that "ap" is used before consonants and "ab" before vowels (incidentally that is how we get the surnames "Powell" and "Bowen"). Adam Bishop (talk) 21:01, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
That helps, are these [ap] and [ab] or is the vowel reduced or different from [a] in English or Welsh? I have never heard such names pronounced. μηδείς (talk) 21:37, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
The vowel is not reduced in Welsh. I don't know of any convention for how Welsh names are pronounced in English - I would generally pronounce them more or less as Welsh even when talking English. --ColinFine (talk) 21:55, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I'd use [ap] and [ab], not [əp] and [əb]. Some speakers of conservative RP in the UK would change [a] to [æ] if they were not familiar with Welsh. It's a stronger word in Welsh than "of" in English that tends to get reduced to [əv] and [ə]. The Irish "O'" tends to retain its strong form, unlike the equivalent in my local dialect that tends to get reduced (e.g. "Bill [ə] Ben's", but this usage is now almost extinct, I think). Dbfirs 22:26, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

It's Greek to me[edit]

I'm trying to determine what this Ysplix article is referring to, it's probably the result of a translation or transliteration error. The urls in the article are no longer valid except for this that I dug out of webarchive. When I run it through google translate it does say the item is a "Ysplix"; anyone know what the closest equivalent in English would be? Vrac (talk) 20:42, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure it's an early form of what we normally call a "starting gate" in English -- sure enough, the "see also" section of that article links to Hysplex, which is just a different romanization of "Ysplix", though the Hysplex article makes more sense, and has some English-language references. Based on content, the Ysplix article should be deleted, and "Ysplix" should redirect to the Hysplex article. (Or shuffle things the other way if it can be shown that "Ysplix" is the more common Romanization.) SemanticMantis (talk) 20:02, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I've redirected Ysplix to Hysplex. The ancient Greek word was ὕσπληξ (Liddell & Scott, sense 3), for which hysplex would be the normal romanization. "Ysplix" (or "Isplix") looks like a representation based on how the word would be pronounced in Modern Greek. Deor (talk) 20:18, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks @Deor: ! SemanticMantis (talk) 20:31, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Thanks all. Vrac (talk) 20:42, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

what is the meaning of swarajit (in bengali)?[edit]

what is the meaning of swarajit(in bengali)?Swarajit110 (talk) 13:02, 26 January 2015 (UTC)26/01/2015§

This would be an excellent Q for the Language Ref Desk. StuRat (talk) 17:24, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Done. μηδείς (talk) 20:13, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
If you provide (or if someone else provides) the spelling in Bengali characters, then you or I or someone else can search for it in
Wavelength (talk) 21:52, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
We have an article on Swaraj ("self-rule")... AnonMoos (talk) 00:37, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Sorting Arabic names[edit]

Hello, I am composing a table of people which needs to be sorted alphabetically (based on WP standards for sorting people by name). I am not at all familiar with Arabic names, and so I was hoping that someone might tell me how these two can be sorted: Ismail Loufti Bey and Al-Farouki Samy Pasha. P.S. They are taken from British sources over 100 years old. Many thanks, —Noswall59 (talk) 22:34, 26 January 2015 (UTC).

The first rule is to throw away the definite article prefix when alphabetizing. Beyond that, it may be difficult to offer much guidance that will be valid in all situations, since traditional Arabic names can be quite complex, and may or may not contain a component similar in function to a European surname. Sometimes it's best to go by the nisba, but Saddam Hussein's nisba was "al-Tikriti". In your examples, Bey and Pasha are honorifics originally taken from Turkish... AnonMoos (talk) 00:31, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

January 27[edit]


January 21[edit]

Numbers in international football[edit]

When were numbers first worn in international association football? (talk) 04:36, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Good question. Our article makes it clear that it was the case by 1954 (Squad_number_(association_football)#In_international_football), but that seems to be squad numbering, not shirt numbering, which I guess would precede it. I'll post at WT:FOOTY and see what the experts there think. --Dweller (talk) 10:55, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
"When Chelsea toured Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil at the end of the season, in summer 1929, they also wore numbered shirts, earning the nickname 'Los Numerados' from locals." From our Squad number (association football) article; but not national sides though, it depends on your definition of "international". Alansplodge (talk) 17:32, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
"Numbers were worn on the back of [England] players' shirts for the first time at Hampden Park on 17 April 1937" [39]. This must refer to Scotland v England, 17 April 1937. Alansplodge (talk) 17:37, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Can somebody give any affordable alternatives to popular fashion designer ?[edit]

Can somebody give any affordable alternatives to popular fashion designer ? I mean, I want to find a new vision of fashion design. New products that are different than textile industry and grandes maisons. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sebiblanc (talkcontribs) 09:16, 21 January 2015 (UTC) seems to have a nice knockoff selection. Can't vouch for the quality. InedibleHulk (talk) 09:21, January 21, 2015 (UTC)
He's not asking for replicas of haute couture, he's asking for new alternatives. The answer would be to seek out new young fashion designers in your area. --Viennese Waltz 09:34, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Hey, you're right. I usually read better than that. I'm no expert on what's not stylish yet, but I seem to recall "retro" keeps coming back in waves. You sure don't see a lot of plate mail these days. It might be ahead of the time. InedibleHulk (talk) 11:29, January 21, 2015 (UTC)
You might try visiting one or more Art Colleges (or similar) in your area (assuming they cover clothing design) and talking to students in the relevant departments. Those who have ambitions as fashion designers will doubtless be thinking about this. Their lecturers may also have some opinions. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 13:53, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
If you have the money and some ideas of your own, you could also go to a tailor/seamstress and tell them what you had in mind. If I had the money, I'd like to do that myself (I want a man's shirt with two pockets, not one, to keep my nipples covered properly, since I don't wear undershirts). StuRat (talk) 00:25, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Stu's shirt[edit]

I have a few two-pocket, button-front, collared shirts. One is Dickies brand, like these [40]. I'm pretty sure there are options available that are not bespoke tailored, but they may not suit your precise needs. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:11, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Oh, I have lots more requirements than that:
1) Dark-colored vertical stripes, except for the yoke yolk (shoulders), which should have horizontal stripes.
2) No flap or buttons on pockets.
3) No button-down collars or knits.
4) Rigid collar and place where button holes go (placket). I hate when those fold over.
5) Permanent press, cotton/poly blend.
6) Short sleeve.
7) Stitching that matches the fabric color.
If you find an off-the-rack shirt which meets all those req's, I'd like to hear about it. StuRat (talk) 04:03, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Haha, wow, that's pretty specific. I don't think I've ever seen a two-pocket shirt where the pockets had no flaps or buttons. To help with your searches - one common term for the type of stripes you're describing is oxford stripe, which is commonly blue on white, but sometimes brown or black. But it also gets confused with oxford cloth, which I think is usually just a type of cotton, though our article doesn't specify. Unfortunately oxford shirt is just a redirect. Good luck! SemanticMantis (talk) 14:11, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
I'll keep that in mind. StuRat (talk) 06:51, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Yoke. —Tamfang (talk) 08:40, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
LOL. I knew that, really I did. Corrected. StuRat (talk) 06:47, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Super Bowl question about cheating[edit]

I was reading this article (Former Tampa Bay Quarterback Brad Johnson Admits To Tampering With Footballs In Super Bowl XXXVII) and it prompted my question. Let's hypothetically say that one of the teams who are about to play in the upcoming Super Bowl cheated in the playoff game. So, let's say that the NFL officially acknowledges the cheating. What would happen for the upcoming Super Bowl? Would they just let the loser from the playoff game go to the Super Bowl? Also, has anything like this ever happened? So, to use a current-day scenario: let's say that the NFL officially recognizes that the actions of the New England Patriots in the playoff game (with regard to the deflated football accusations) rises to the level of "cheating". What would happen and who would play in the Super Bowl? Would it be a simple matter of allowing the Indianapolis Colts to play? Or would there be some more complicated method? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk)

45-7. No amount of cheating (short of a secondary manned by sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads) would have changed that outcome. There's no way those sorry Colts are playing in the Superbowl. That would be ridiculous. The score would be worse than last year's 43-8, and nobody wants that. Besides, it's way too late to make any changes. The Patriots don't seem to be too worried, so I'm guessing a big fine or loss of draft pick(s). Clarityfiend (talk) 22:15, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. My question was about cheating, in general. The 2015 Super Bowl example was just that, an example. But it raised this interesting question in my mind. Thanks. As an aside: are you a Patriots fan or a Colts fan? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:55, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Heck no. Seahawks all the way. Clarityfiend (talk) 00:19, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
The official rules do state "The Commissioner’s powers under this Section 2 include the imposition of monetary fines and draft-choice forfeitures, suspension of persons involved in unfair acts, and, if appropriate, the reversal of a game’s result or the rescheduling of a game, either from the beginning or from the point at which the extraordinary act occurred." (bolding mine) But practically, a reversal just isn't going to happen. Clarityfiend (talk) 22:21, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
What does "reversal" mean, in this context? That the winner is declared the loser and vice versa? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:57, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
That's right. Clarityfiend (talk) 00:21, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
In theory, Goodell could declare that game a forfeiture and advance the Colts to the Super Bowl. Certainly highly unlikely, but not beyond the realm of possibility. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:28, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
If a humongo-quinti-bazillion to one counts as being in that realm, sure. If Goodell doesn't mind the advertisers rising as one to smite him down. Clarityfiend (talk) 00:21, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Don't count on anything where this commissioner is concerned. He seems to lack the P.R. savvy of Rozelle. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:59, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
The timing makes it impossible. The investigation has just gotten underway, and the report isn't due out for a while. What are they going to do, postpone the Super Bowl? Don't think so. Clarityfiend (talk) 03:18, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Wouldn't any guess on our part as to "what happens now" be just that, a guess? To my knowledge, nothing like this has happened before, so we have no precedent to base our guesses on. Dismas|(talk) 22:34, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Yesterday they were saying "a few days", which implies it will be out several days before the Super Bowl. As I recall, "Spygate" was uncovered after the Super Bowl had occurred, and the penalties against New Orleans also came after the Super Bowl. This is different. Goodell will be on the spot. But a key issue will be who deflated the balls, and on whose orders... if they can find that out. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:29, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Nah, even Goodell isn't that goofy (I think). You can't tell the Seahawks to prepare to play one of two teams, have the Colts get back together and start preparing, just in case they get to play, tell the advertisers that they don't know for sure who'll be playing, etc. It's more likely that the Tea Party will endorse Hillary Clinton. Clarityfiend (talk) 21:55, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
We won't know what will be done, if anything, until the report comes out "in a few days". The question would be what might Commissioner Goodell do, i.e. what is the extent of his authority. As Clarityfiend notes, in theory Goodell could do anything he wants to in order to remedy the situation. I don't recall any case in the modern era of pro football in which a team was yanked from the championship game. I also don't recall, for example, the quarterback being suspended. The NFL is not the NCAA, and they really don't like to reverse what happened on the field. But teams and individuals can pay a price for malfeasance, as the Saints found out recently, and some past star players (Paul Hornung and Alex Karras come to mind) might be given lengthy suspensions in the next season. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:11, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Really? This has never happened before, ever? Cheating, I mean. Some form of it, I'm sure, has had to have occurred over the past 50+ years. Not necessarily cheating in the Super Bowl (or playoffs leading to). But, is there not precedent for cheating in a "regular" game? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 23:01, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I meant in such an important game. I'm sure there has been cheating (the Pats just recently got fined for cheating) but I can't recall ever hearing about it in the playoffs during such an important game. Dismas|(talk) 23:03, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
A few decades ago, the Oakland Raiders were accused of partially filling their kickoff footballs with helium, to give them extra "hang time". I don't know that that was ever proven, but it might be the reason that the officials now control the kickoff balls. Some latitude is given for normal game-play balls. As Peyton Manning was saying recently, teams try to avoid using new balls as they are harder to get a grip on. One fairly ridiculous attempt at cheating occurred in the championship game of the World Football League, some 40 years ago. It was played in a blinding rainstorm, and a wide receiver was found to have taped thumbtacks onto his fingers to aid in catching the ball. He was sent packing. (As was the league itself within a year, but that's another story.) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:15, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
Is it showed to just *tell* your kickers that the ball is 1 ounce underweight to make them feel better? Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 00:31, 22 January 2015 (UTC)


Every sport (well, maybe, almost every sport) has a provision for forfeit of a game. In high school play the most common reason for forfeit is failure of one team to show up, or failure to provide enough players to begin play. Another reason for forfeit in high school or college play is the use of ineligible players. In professional play ineligible players are hard to define. One could argue that doped players are ineligible because they are chemically enhanced, but the usual penalty for the use of drugs is suspension after the fact.

In Major League Baseball, and possibly in other sports, games have occasionally been forfeited by the home team (see forfeit (baseball)) due to inability to provide a field of play, because the fans rioted or otherwise misbehaved, and the home team is responsible for providing a field of play.

As was mentioned above, the Commissioner does have the power on paper to reverse the outcome of a game by declaring forfeit in the event of conduct that altered the course of the game that was clearly cheating. There are two reasons why this option is only on paper. First, as mentioned, even if there was deflation of the footballs, and even if it did affect the score, it should be obvious that the game was enough of a mismatch (on game day) that it did not affect the outcome of the game. Two good teams met, and one played well, and one played badly. Second, forfeit isn't what the fans or the sponsors want. The fans and the sponsors want there to be a Super Bowl, and the Patriots will play the Seahawks.

If there was illegal deflation of the footballs, then the penalty should (in my opinion) be sufficiently harsh as to send a signal that similar conduct will never be tolerated. That would be anything up to the loss of multiple 2015 draft choices, and a fine in the millions, and long-term suspension, but forfeit is the wrong answer. Sometimes a wrong cannot really be set right, and the job of justice is to deter future wrongs.

Robert McClenon (talk) 23:31, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

You state: Second, forfeit isn't what the fans or the sponsors want. The fans and the sponsors want there to be a Super Bowl. I was not suggesting that there be no Super Bowl at all this year. I was suggesting a different team play in it in lieu of the Patriots. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 05:29, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
The Patriots have already been caught cheating in their past, under this coach, and were issued fines and such. The commissioner might decide that stronger measures are needed this time. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:57, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
That is my point also. If the charges are found after adjudication to be true, the Commissioner may find it necessary to impose much more severe penalties to deter further misbehavior. Robert McClenon (talk) 03:43, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
What I can't figure out is why they even bothered to cheat (unless they did it all the time, and just forgot to stop). They didn't need that advantage at all, so why risk it for such a trivial gain? Clarityfiend (talk) 01:11, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
That's the same kind of question they were asking at the time of "Spygate", and for that matter, the original Watergate. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:53, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
How would they have known in advance that they needed to cheat to get the advantage? Both the Patriots and the Colts were good teams with excellent quarterbacks. The Colts simply played a bad game for a good team. Only in retrospect is it obvious that they didn't need to cheat. Robert McClenon (talk) 03:43, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
No. Everyone knew beforehand that the Patriots were a much better team than the Colts, with a stronger defense and running game. Clarityfiend (talk) 14:42, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

January 23[edit]

Super Bowl question about DeflateGate[edit]

In the 2015 Super Bowl, it has been alleged that the Patriots deflated or under-inflated the footballs. What does this do, exactly? In other words, what are the results if a football has been deflated? And how does the deflation of footballs give one team an (unfair) advantage over the other? I have no idea. Full disclosure: I know absolutely nothing about football. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 05:34, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

It is claimed that an underinflated ball can be easier to grasp, giving the quarterback somewhat of a competitive advantage. Each team supplies 12 of their own footballs for game play while on offense. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:10, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. When you grab it your fingers will sink in deeper, to get a better grip. This would be especially important for players with smaller hands. Does the Patriots QB have smaller hands than the average QB ? StuRat (talk) 06:27, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
By the way it was not in the Super Bowl, it was in the NFC Conference championship game. I don't think it has to do with the size of the QB's hands, it's just a matter of personal preference. An underinflated ball is also easier to catch, especially in cold conditions. --Xuxl (talk) 08:15, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Are there weather conditions in which the ball would naturally change condition or inflation? Hack (talk) 09:09, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Fifteen degrees below zero should do it. I don't think any modern NFL game has been played in those conditions, though per a polar vortex newspaper (Minnesota has a dome, maybe they shouldn't, it would give them a great home field advantage). I'm sure they warm the balls up before measuring them, though, it'd be kind if silly for a ball to get illegal when the temperature changes. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 16:41, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
The Vikings are currently an outdoors team until the Metrodome's replacement is completed. At this point, the probability of them playing football in January seems rather slim. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:25, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
15 below describes the conditions during the 1967 NFL Championship Game. There has been endless commentary about that game, but I don't recall anything being said about the balls deflating from the cold... and if they did, both teams would have had that same "advantage". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:23, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
They wouldn't deflate but they would depressurize. The leather must've been less flexible, making this less helpful and noticeable. And it would be barely below the legal pressure if it was left in the shade to chill, and probably warm up enough during use to become legal pressure. So, not very noticeable. Anyway, that was before the Super Bowl-era (by days), so not modern, at least if you wanted to sensationalize the then-current polar vortex (didn't even reach our 2004 low of +1°F..). Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 18:08, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
That game was the lead-in to the first Super Bowl, so it was definitely in the Super Bowl era. And it defends how you define "modern". It's not difficult to argue that the "modern" NFL began with the first championship game in 1933. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:20, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Huh? They measure the balls before each game? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 17:05, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
The officials check the status of all game balls at some point prior to the game. The teams retain their respective sets of 12, while the officials retain the ones used for kickoffs. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:19, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
So, what's the allegation here? That the officials checked the balls; they checked out just fine; after they checked them, the officials handed the balls over to the Patriots; and it was at this point that the Patriots manipulated the balls? Is that the scenario of the allegations? In other words, the manipulation occurred after the "official" check, but prior to start of game play? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 17:31, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
That would be the gist of it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:42, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
OK. And doesn't that make no sense whatsoever? And clearly defeats the whole point of some neutral third-party official making sure that the balls are OK and that everything is on the up and up? I mean, if a team wanted to manipulate the balls, they clearly would not do so before the officials gave their inspection and their OK. They would clearly do it after the inspection and the "official OK" (as is alleged here). So, if the point is to make sure (through some neutral third-party) that the balls have not manipulated, how does this system achieve that? This method defeats the whole purpose of the inspection in the first place. Am I missing something? The NFL officials couldn't figure this out? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:29, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Teams have been messing with balls for years, if you follow the stories, they have recently brought back a story that ran several years ago where Aaron Rodgers had candidly admitted to tampering with the balls. It's one of those things that everyone does and no one talks about. This story is really more about the fact that Belichick has the personality of a cold, wet blanket and that the Patriots win a whole shitload of games. This sort of "cheating" is admittedly rampant and unenforced, at least until coach with an unlikable media personality gets accused of it, and then it's a capital offense. --Jayron32 20:21, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
OK, that makes sense and is likely true (in the "real world"). But, in theory ("on paper") how is this inspection process useful? How is it supposed to work? At least on paper, the NFL states that they don't want the balls manipulated (I assume.). That being the case, how do they advance or defend a policy that defeats itself (i.e., giving the ball back to potentially be manipulated after it has been inspected and deemed to be not manipulated and, furthermore, giving it back to the very people who are being policed and from whom the manipulation is feared)? The whole thing seems ridiculous, and I am actually laughing as I type this. I am just not sure if the whole thing is just "window dressing" and a "sham", or I am sort of missing something? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 20:54, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Rules are often reactionary rather than proactive. It's reasonable to suppose that this will lead to some sort of procedural change, for example the officials keeping each team's 12 just as they already do with the kickoff balls. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:14, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
That's because people in charge are usually idiots. What kind of retard thought that putting a parking garage under a World Trade Center tower and letting anyone park there was a good idea? Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 23:40, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
The same "retards" who put parking garages under numerous other high-rise buildings. Stay on-topic, please. -- (talk) 22:55, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

National anthems at events, if said national anthems have the same melody[edit]

What would happen if, at events between two countries where two anthems have to be played, notably in sporting events, the two countries have national anthems which share a melody? For example, theoretically, what would happen if countries like Finland faced Estonia, Tanzania faced Zambia, the United Kingdom faced Liechtenstein, or perhaps the most extreme example, Greece and Cyprus, which have the same national anthem, faced each other? In these cases, would the melody have to be played twice, once for each nation, or will playing it once suffice? I know of one precedent though: whenever England faces Northern Ireland, if England uses God Save the Queen at said event, the anthem will only be played once since GSTQ is also Northern Ireland's anthem. But what about the aforementioned cases? Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 10:37, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Then it usually gets played twice. Our article on "God Save the Queen" writes: "The same tune was therefore played twice before the Euro 96 qualifying match between Northern Ireland and Liechtenstein; likewise when England played Liechtenstein in a Euro 2004 qualifier." ---Sluzzelin talk 11:07, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
(ec) I watched the opening of an England-Liechtenstein football match a while back. Both God Save the Queen and Oben am jungen Rhein were played and sung. AlexTiefling (talk) 11:08, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
This might have been a more common occurrence had the Germans kept their previous national anthem, abandoned in 1922, Heil dir im Siegerkranz which also used the God Save the Queen tune. Alansplodge (talk) 00:42, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

January 24[edit]

video zoom in filmmaking[edit]

You are making a professional movie (i.e. it will be shown on full sized theater screens) with professional high resolution video equipment. You take a certain live action shot that can't be repeated. During editing you realize you want to zoom in on a certain part of the frame.

  1. Is that a normal thing to do with editing software, to get an effect that looks like you zoomed with the camera instead of afterwards? That is I don't just mean crop the frame for the whole scene. It's supposed to look like you started with a wider shot, then zoomed or brought the camera closer during the shot.
  2. Is the loss of resolution likely to be noticable to viewers during projection, if the scene is just a few seconds long? The zooming isn't to show fine detail, but rather to just emphasize the part of the scene being zoomed on. Let's say the zoom factor is moderate, like 1.5x or 2x, but not extreme.

Thanks. (talk) 19:26, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

It certainly wouldn't be their first choice (optical zoom would be), but I suppose it's a lot quicker than re-shooting a scene. So, if they are nearing their budget limit, they might be tempted to take shortcuts like that. StuRat (talk) 06:44, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Re-shooting the scene was absolutely impossible in the situation in question (one-of-a-kind footage, not a budget issue). My question is whether simulating zoooming during editing is a known technique supported by existing software. Thanks. (talk) 15:49, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
The answer to your first question is yes, and to the second, no. --Thomprod (talk) 19:18, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. (talk) 21:43, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

January 25[edit]

Happiness is...[edit]

I listen to older stuff in general, so I don't know much about popular music. Beginning several months ago, I've occasionally heard a song in public places (e.g. fast food restaurants) that repeats a line, seemingly "Happiness is [rest] the way you feel". It's a male singer with an American accent. Can anyone guess what the song is, and/or the correct lyrics? Google provides six results for "happiness is the way you feel"; presumably I'd get lots more hits for something that's been popular now for several months. Nyttend (talk) 06:06, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Happy by Pharrell Williams. Here's a clip. StuRat (talk) 06:36, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
And here's the best video of the same song is called Happy British Muslims. Watch it and your day will be infinitely better. On a side-note, if you get these burning questions in the future, but don't want to use RefDesk, the try getting Soundhound on your phone or tablet. It's remarkably accurate (as in it will be spot on with the exact rendition of the song). Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 6 Shevat 5775 07:01, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Google "room without a roof" and you'll probably get plenty of hits. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:48, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
And if you like older stuff, here's one from the 60s,[41] and one of the TV commercials it spawned.[42]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:09, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Another question about DeflateGate[edit]

Here is another question about DeflateGate. There has been some theory (and, perhaps, even a defense by the Patriots) that the weather somehow caused the footballs to deflate. (I believe that's what I have been reading in the news.) How would that explain that the footballs of only one team deflated, while the footballs of the other did not? Has that issue been raised? Is there any plausible (innocent) explanation that would allow one set of footballs to deflate, yet not the other set? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:17, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

No, unless the Colts' footballs were also deflated and no one caught it. One recent report said that the game balls in the second half were monitored by the officials. The second half is when the Patriots got the majority of their scoring. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:56, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Contestants appearing on a game show[edit]

[This was moved from Misc desk ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:27, 26 January 2015 (UTC)]

I believe I have read that they often tape several episodes of game shows on the same day, back to back (which will later broadcast on different days to the TV public). As such, the game-show host will change his clothes several times, so that each taping (of each new episode) appears like it was filmed on a different date altogether. My question concerns the clothing of the contestants. First, do contestants wear their own clothes on the show? (I can't imagine that the TV show buys each contestant a new wardrobe.) Second, do the contestants also change clothes in between same-day episode filming, in the same way that the host does? Third – and most importantly, to me – does anyone know if the show gives the contestants any set of "rules" about their apparel? A list of things that they are allowed (or not allowed) to wear? I am curious if anyone knows anything about this topic. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:23, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

I appeared on University Challenge. We were told not to wear clothes that were too "busy" - that is, would be a distraction for the viewers (I can't remember the exact phrasing), not to wear white, and to take a plain jersey in case something had to be covered up. We were also told not to wear anything that could be construed as advertising, or as supporting a product or political or social cause. Multiple episodes were filmed, but they shuffled the audience around a bit so that supporters from the unis currently being recorded are at the front; I suppose this is so they can get louder cheers. RomanSpa (talk) 16:55, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Interesting. So, did they tell you to bring several days of clothing? Or did you wear the same outfit in all of the different episodes (taped on the same day)? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 17:32, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Same outfit, though because of the way the contest works you get breaks between the first round and later rounds. I just kept things simple, though I think someone put a jersey on (the studio is much colder than you think it's going to be if you're in the first recording of the day). It's not really the sort of show where people pay much attention to clothing. RomanSpa (talk) 21:35, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
On The Price is Right, where the audience is full of potential contestants, nobody is allowed to wear advertising or costumes. They also ban you from the building if you have game show experience and don't offer parking. You will be "processed" in a "holding area". It's a very challenging career path. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:49, January 25, 2015 (UTC)
And you can apparently bring a chest, so long as it's not an ice chest. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:51, January 25, 2015 (UTC)
Here, they stress "ABSOLUTELY NO OPEN-TOED SHOES, NO HIGH HEELS, NO PLATFORMS, AND NO SANDALS OR FLIP FLOPS OF ANY KIND WILL BE ALLOWED INSIDE THE STUDIO." I guess CBS has been sued by a viral video star or two. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:58, January 25, 2015 (UTC)
Yep. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:59, January 25, 2015 (UTC)

Ken Jennings in his book Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs talks about his first day arriving to play Jeopardy!:

As the guard at the gate checks IDs, I open the passenger-side back door to pull out the two spare changes of clothes that Jeopardy! asks you to bring.
The clothes aren't there.
As we file into the greenroom, I am conspicuously the only contestant not finding a place to hang a bulky garment bag.

Fortunately his wife is with him and she manages to retrieve the clothes from where he'd left them. Anyway, he goes on to address the point explicitly:

If you win your game, you have no time to revel in your victory, call your mom, or do a Terrell Owens end zone dance. You and Alex are rushed backstage to change outfits—in separate dressing rooms, mind you—and as soon as your skirt is zipped or your tie is tied, you're yanked back on set to start all over again. Alex's clever introductory repartee pretends to the home audience that twenty-four hours have passed. ("On yesterday's show, folks—and it must have been yesterday, mind you, not ten minutes ago, because you'll notice that I'm wearing a blue tie now, and yesterday, as these photos reveal, I had a maroon one on...") Five separate shows back-to-back makes for an exhausting day.

-- (talk) 19:13, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

The World Wrestling Federation used to regularly tape a month's worth of squash matches in one or two long days. To compensate for the human inability to care that long, they often inserted crowd noise and reaction shots to the later end, post-production. If you don't look at them, these people seem pumped! InedibleHulk (talk) 19:40, January 25, 2015 (UTC)

January 26[edit]

2015 Miss Universe Pageant[edit]

At about 10:45 p.m. while watching the live broadcast of the Miss Universe Pageant on NBC, I wondered when the last time a Miss USA won the title. I checked Wikipedia and before the announcement was made on the live broadcast, Wikipedia announced that Miss Columbia was the "current" Miss Universe and had been crowned on January 25, 2015 in Miami.

How is it that the name of the winner was posted on Wikipedia before it was announced on the live broadcast? (talk) 04:16, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

I have no idea. But it could be a case of simple vandalism. I often work on the "Academy Awards" articles. And, on Awards night, a lot of people are fooling around and naming their favorite person as the winner. And, within a few seconds, the vandalism edit gets removed. It's pretty common on very current competitions. This probably happens with the Super Bowl, and stuff like that as well. But, on the plus side: when an event is current, there are usually many eyes on that page. So, vandalism gets removed pretty quickly. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 05:26, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
What time zone are you in? The event apparently started at 8 PM in Florida and the NBC air time was 8/7c, meaning it was live in the eastern and central time zones and tape delayed by 2+ hours elsewhere in the US. -- BenRG (talk) 08:57, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Good point. I had assumed that the original poster was watching it live. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 14:32, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
The IP geolocates to Florida but that is not conclusive. One question is was the broadcast three hours long? Here is another possible explanation - ever since Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction (if not before) live events aren't actually live. With the exception of sports (and maybe even those) there is a minute or two delay built into a broadcast. I remember when Melissa Leo dropped the "f" bomb at her Oscar acceptance speech we didn't even hear a bleep it just looked like she had shifted an inch to her left at that point. So someone in the pageant audience might have added the info a couple minutes before it was seen on TV. Now I haven't looked at the edit history so this guesswork may be way off. MarnetteD|Talk 15:48, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I see what you are saying. But in those cases (e.g., Melissa Leo, etc.), aren't we talking about mere seconds? Or is it longer? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:21, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
It can be as long a delay as they want it to be. So I wouldn't be surprised if the whole thing is delayed by several minutes in case of something drastic happening, it will give them more time to cut to a commercial or simply edit something larger out. Other things that they might want to remove go from curse words being uttered to streakers running across the stage to even nuts with guns. Dismas|(talk) 16:32, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)It is longer now JAS. I assumed the delay was at least a minute. According to the last paragraph here Broadcast delay#Computerized delay it is 30 seconds. In ML's case the "something that can be quite jarring to a viewer or listener" certainly applied. It wasn't until I read the papers the next day that I learned the she had used the f bomb - yes that is an old fogey admission I am sure that those who use social media knew it within a few minutes :-) MarnetteD|Talk 16:38, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I didn't know that. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 20:07, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Did that entry turn out to be true? If so, maybe the vandal merely guessed right. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:26, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it was true. My guess is the competition was winding down to the last few contestants. And Miss Colombia (who, only by coincidence, was the eventual winner) had a fan that was fooling around and prematurely listed her in the article as the winner. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:47, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Stranger shit happens. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:05, January 26, 2015 (UTC)
If the contest was on January 25, then yes, it was vandalism. An anonymous editor made a series of 5 edits from 21:35 to 21:47 UTC (4:35 to 4:47 pm EST in the US) on January 24, updating various parts of the article as if Miss Colombia (a word that does not have a U in it, by the way) had already won. -- (talk) 22:56, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
It would be interesting to see where the IP address of that anonymous editor originates from. Colombia? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 23:12, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
It locates to Venezuela which is right next door. MarnetteD|Talk 23:15, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
And home to the defending champion. Those countries have a history of (allegedly) harbouring each other's enemies. Probably unlikely to go all the way to the top here, but also unlikely that was a native vandal. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:12, January 27, 2015 (UTC)

Entertainment ke liye kuch bhi karega indian woman Guinness world record[edit]

What is the woman's name who was on the show carrying bricks with a thing that connects her ears to the bricks and also she broke the world record in Guinness? Also, which season and episode was it on? Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:10, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

According to the Daily Express here, her name is Asha Rani (not to be confused with the Asha Rani on whom we have an article) and she performed the feat on or about January 29, 2014. I'll see if I can track down details of the broadcast. Tevildo (talk) 19:21, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
It was apparently Season 5, Episode 6, first broadcast on May 20, 2014, although I've yet to track down a website that isn't full of adverts and malware to link to. (Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega for our article on the show, incidentally). Tevildo (talk) 19:31, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Who performs the SNL closing theme?[edit]

It sounds like two saxophones. The alto sax player, I have heard, is the show's music director. They show him with a bass guitar player, but there's no way a bass guitar can hold notes as long as the ones I am hearing. I say it's a baritone sax playing the low notes, but I can't find anything.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 19:17, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

A bass guitar can do a lot of things, depending on the effects pedal. But then again, Ron Blake plays a real baritone sax for the Saturday Night Live Band. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:55, January 26, 2015 (UTC)
So apparently they're not showing him. Thanks.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 22:28, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
If you're watching a pre-2007 episode, you won't see him. Lew Del Gatto played baritone (among other things) from 1975-79, then 1985-2005. German Wikipedia has an article, but we don't. Maybe we should. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:18, January 27, 2015 (UTC)
George Young could also use more recognition than a quarter note. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:26, January 27, 2015 (UTC)

Celebrity (?) identification[edit]

I was wondering - who are the modern people depicted in this animation from the BBC History of Ideas series? The erastes is presumably Peter Ustinov - who are the eromenoi? And is a reference to any particular film in which Ustinov plays such a character intended? Tevildo (talk) 20:04, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm intrigued as to why you think it depicts modern people at all. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:20, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, they're not depicted as potential models for classical sculpture, they do have fairly distinctive rather than generic facial characteristics, and the chap with the sunglasses and the cigar would be out-of-place in ancient Athens. But I agree that it's possible they're not intended to represent any particular real people. Tevildo (talk) 21:46, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Having watched it twice they look generic to my eye. Having said that the one you mention looks more like Charles Laughton than Ustinov. There was at least one Bugs Bunny cartoon where they depicted Laughton in his role as Captain Bligh and that is who this one reminds me of. There was another one which featured all manner of stars from the 30's and early 40's at a formal party. I can't remember their titles - maybe Baseball Bugs can. I will be interested to see if any other editors can suggest who they might be. You might try contacting the Beeb to see it they can put you in touch with the makers of this animation. MarnetteD|Talk 21:36, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I'll take a look at the production company's website, thanks. Tevildo (talk) 21:46, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Doing some poking about in the dark depths of Twitter, the character is named as "Uncle Monty", which leads me to suspect it's Richard Griffiths and the film is Withnail and I, which I regret to say that I've not watched. Does this sound like a reasonable solution? If so, who are the other three? But I may be on the wrong track altogether. Tevildo (talk) 22:23, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
That's definitely it. Richard E. Grant (Withnail) and Paul McGann (...& I) are clearly in there too. And Ralph Brown (Danny). ---Sluzzelin talk 22:26, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Congrats on tracking it down to you both. T the film is a one of a kind. If you ever do see it I would stay away from the associated drinking game. Unless your constitution is strong and your liver is in great condition :-) MarnetteD|Talk 22:31, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

January 27[edit]


January 23[edit]

Add ability to post articles on facebook-twitter etc...[edit]

I use your website a lot to educate people about very important topics-I would like to see if you can add the ability to be able to share links to the pages & info to places used as educational forums such as facebook-Thank You-Ginger VassyGinger Vassy (talk) 02:48, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

AddThis will do what you want as an add in to Firefox and/or Chrome. CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Sunasuttuq 03:20, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Or just copy and paste the link into to Facebook - it automatically allocates a thumbnail when you post a link to that site... gazhiley 10:20, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
On most desktop browsers, pressing Alt-D, Ctrl-A, Ctrl-C will move the cursor to the URL bar, select the full URL, and then copy it to the clip board. The Ctrl-A may be optional. LongHairedFop (talk) 11:24, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Things like AddThis seem to be more helpful for copying things to many sites at once. Keep in mind that AddThis is a notorious data aggregator first and a friend second. If you don't want them following you around, copying and pasting is better. InedibleHulk (talk) 15:34, January 23, 2015 (UTC)
Hello, Ginger Vassy. This has been suggested many times, and consensus has been that it is not appropriate for Wikipedia. See the summary at WP:PERENNIAL#Share pages on Facebook, Twitter etc. and the many individual discussions linked from there. --ColinFine (talk) 11:54, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Since you have an account, you can also add User:TheDJ/Sharebox. Dismas|(talk) 13:18, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Do humans have a mating season?[edit]

I can't help but notice that most people tend to be born around december certainly where I am based in the northern hemisphere. Why is this.

Given that human gestation is around 9 months, that would mean most breeding occurs around early spring.

Who else has noticed this and is there some sort of explanation. Maybe Feb and march are the horny months for women. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:24, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

Happy reading. People will be along shortly to banter with you about horny months for women. ―Mandruss  18:34, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
(EC) An alternative hypothesis would be that human female (or possibly male, or both) levels of fertility exhibit an annual periodicity. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 18:37, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
This page (open "Characteristics of Birth 2, England and Wales, 2013", and select the tab "Table 2b") has a table numbers of live births in England and Wales between 1992 and 2003. As far as I can see the numbers areas fairly consistent across the years, and don't vary much between months, taking into account the different numbers of days in the months. The only exception is December, which tends to have rather low numbers. The questioner's IP geolocates also to the UK, so he/she may be experiencing confirmation bias. Remember that most people in developed countries can to some extent decide when to conceive a child: maybe they tend to aim at months other than December to avoid clashing with Christmas. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 19:31, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
The lull in December births is two-fold in cause. No one plans to have a child on Christmas. And weddings shouldn't be scheduled during lousy Smarch weather. μηδείς (talk) 19:41, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
That would imply that children born of wedding night (and honeymoon) nookie represent a statistically significant number of births, compared to children born from nookie at other times of the year. People fuck in March whether or not they are married. They may not plan to have children in December, and so may choose to not go off whatever form of birth control they are using at the time, but it has nothing really to do with weddings. --Jayron32 20:25, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Your answer seems oddly hostile, Jayron. The difference is rather small, so the two OR factors I mentioned could be at play. I was conceived on my parents' honeymoon, and my younger sister was conceived on my parents' anniversary, so I do think weddings dates are relevant. μηδείς (talk) 20:36, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
My Mom was born exactly 9 months after the repeal of Prohibition. :-) StuRat (talk) 22:58, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
WHAAOE. Even your mom... - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 08:16, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Jayron32's response seemed fine to me. The anecdotes weren't mentioned before, your answer seemed to imply this was definitely the case, rather than just one possibility your were suggesting which you now say. Anyway, more to the point, better OR suggests your second claim in still highly misleading as presented, anecdotes aside.

The earlier discussion concerned the England & Wales, so I'm going to ignore the US (feel free to research it yourself and present it here, I'm just saying this is related to the earlier stats). These stats [43] show the month which the least marriages was January. Even if these were mostly late January (there may be some bias, but it seems likely there would still be a fair few early in the month), it's fairly unlikely many chilren conceived during the honeymoon or anniversary of a January wedding are going to be born in December. In fact, the rate is fairly low from November to March.

February is the next lowest after January, it's possible some February honeymoon (and a smaller number of anniversary) conceptions will be born in December. Notably if [44] is to believe, it looks like more births are after the due date than before, although that would include due dates calculated from estimated time of conception which may not always be that reliable I suspect and I think may be more biased in terms of a later estimated conception than reality.

Anyway I would suggest we'd still expect more in November and taken with the other stats, the wedding factor would seem to bias births towards being low in August to December, with the peak low probably in the October-November period (and lowest in October probably being a fair bit lower than December).

Ultimately none of these actual statistics (instead of random new anecdotes) suggest wedding dates are in itself a reason for there to be a lower rate in December than in other dates. Of course, wedding dates could contribute along with other factors to a lower rate in December. And similar the rates aren't as low in October or November etc as would be expected because the other factors are far more significant. But none of this was properly explained in your first post.

It's worth remembering that stress in either partner is also likely a factor against successful conception, so it may not be just planning (although I'm not sure anyone was intending to suggest it was only planning). AFAIK, there's decent evidence that the pre Christmas time can be quite stressful for people. (Wasn't thinking straight, this would explain lower conceptions, not lower birth. Ultimately coming up with 2 random factors and saying "this is the reason" is always going to be very poorly thoughtof on the RD or anywhere else which expect decent sourcing or at least reasoning.

I would also note that things have likely changed significantly from either conception you mentioned which I'm guessing may be at least 30+ years ago. Probably even more so in modern day E&W when compared to the situation in the US those 30+ years ago. While it's difficult to get good stats because of the sensitivity of the issue, it does appear that the rates of pre-marital or non-marital sex, including among those engaged have gone up. Definitely the rates of living together before marriage is far higher. Similarly, there's far less controversy over a conception before or without marriage and likewise far more children born to unmarried parents. (In fact, while an unexpected pregnancy may have very often been in the past a reason to bring a wedding forward, which can still be the case, nowadays seems it's not also uncommon for it to instead be a reason to postpone.) It also appears there's greater thought given to family planning than in the past (and more availability and possibily knowledge of different options). All these factors and more suggest that even if in the US wedding dates were a significant factor 30+ years ago, which 2 anecdotes doesn't establish anyway, they are not necessarily so nowadays in England & Wales.

Of course, we do have to consider the influence of those who are more "traditional" (for lack of a better word), who may be more likely to have kids even if they're a smaller percentage of the population in modern day E&W than the past US. Incidentally since we're discussing anecdotes. While you mentioned both honeymoons and anniversarys rather than wedding nights, I can think of at least 2 cases when I'm not sure there even was sex on the wedding night. Too much else going on. That said, in neither of these was kids a realistic possibility.

Ultimately I get back 2 my first point. Jayron32 had a good reason to challenge your statement presenting these 2 factors as the definite answer, despite you presenting little to actually support it. While we can't rule out wedding dates being a factor, the evidence doesn't suggest it's a big factor.

Edit: Note the stats for above live births are from the period 1992-2013 as you may guess from the title, not 1992-2003 which I think was a typo. I had quick look at the data and it appears to me that November is a bit lower on average too. So is February, but I think this may be because it of fewer days. I don't think there's a clear lower rate in October or August-October though, but there may be in April. I do agree that there doesn't appear to be a clear difference in trend over the years. In other words, the social changes mentioned earlier, while may not be that much from 1992-2013 and just within E&W, don't appear to have have had a clear cut change. How much of this is because wedding dates was never a big factor, I can't say. I may do a more careful analysis later.

Nil Einne (talk) 04:07, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

For quick analysis here's a spreadsheet with births per day in the month (starting from AF) derived from the above data. [45]. I've removed everything else exept the new and original data (to make checking my work easy) for copyright reasons. So you'd need to check the above original data if there's anything unclear. I've added an overall total, as well as a total over 5 year period to try and make determing trends easy. Graphing would probably be useful, but may be another time. The dip around December seems definite and consistent but it isn't always the lowest. In fact in recent years, it seems January - March tends to be lower. November which I suggested above is less clear or consistent although it is seemingly always lower than October. September also seems to be a consistent peak. Interesting that August seems consistently lower than July and oviously September (or alternatively you could say there is a mini peak around July time although it's less clear). You could probably also say there's an overall lower rate in the October-May or even June (whether to include October or even November is perhaps also questionable) period which is similar to the wedding data above (perhaps a bit later) which doesn't seem consistent with the idea conceptions may often happen soon after the wedding unless a lot of people are having a ~12 month pregnancy. Perhaps instead, the factors which result in fewer weddings in those months also result in fewer planned birth in these months and/or the conceptions happen ~4 months or so after the wedding and/or other factors are at play. (Although in any case, the actual difference in births is far lower than in weddings, not even 10%.) Nil Einne (talk) 06:39, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

This phenomenon has been noticed for centuries: nearly 200 years ago Tennyson wrote "In the Spring a young man's fancy/Lightly turns to thoughts of love" (Locksley Hall, 1835 pub 1842).--TammyMoet (talk) 20:34, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Humans actually have four mating seasons: summer, fall, winter, spring. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:32, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Not much good if you live a country that doesn't have four seasons. Hack (talk) 13:03, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Scientifically, the only thing I can think of other than the calendar is that lactating women don't tend to menstruate while they are breast feeding. μηδείς (talk) 06:38, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Suicide by bridge jumping[edit]

I fail to understand how jumping off a bridge into water would kill someone. You can fall through water, like we see when people dive into pools and such. How does jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge (for example) kill people? --Callimpolosī (talk) 21:34, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

You can jump into a swimming pool because the water basically gets out of your way as you go through the surface. When you add height, you add speed. When the speed is high enough, the water becomes more and more like solid ground. So it's like falling onto concrete. I'm sure someone will be able to point you to the appropriate articles here. Dismas|(talk) 21:42, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
This Quora discussion spells it out in clear, if grisly detail. Marco polo (talk) 22:32, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps the most relevant Wikipedia article is Equations for a falling body. Marco polo (talk) 22:40, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Note that there have been a few survivors, who happened to hit feet-first. The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook has a theory on optimizing your chance for survival. I don't know if the text is available online. When Nik Wallenda walked across the Chicago River a few months ago, a writeup I saw said that at some 50 or 60 stories up, a fall into the water would be fatal - no chance. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:41, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Even if you managed to survive striking the water, you would be seriously injured and unconscious, so would drown immediately, unless someone just happened to be right there to fish you out. StuRat (talk) 22:45, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
I recall seeing one of those news programs like 20/20 a few years ago, in which a couple of survivors of jumps off the Golden Gate told of their experiences. I don't recall the extent of their injuries, but I do recall the most important thing: As soon as they let go, they wished they hadn't. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:49, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Possibly thinking of The Bridge (2006 documentary film). ―Mandruss  23:01, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
[Anecdote alert] In a BBC documentary about the Metropolitan Police Marine Policing Unit in London, an officer said that you can always tell when somebody is going to jump off a bridge, because they always take their shoes off first. Strange but true, apparently. Alansplodge (talk) 23:29, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Update - they do the same thing in America and Japan according to Barefoot To The End. Alansplodge (talk) 23:33, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Interesting! I would never have thought of that. Is it so they can swim ashore if they don't die instantly? μηδείς (talk) 19:54, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Mythbusters did an episode exactly about this, and they used their crash test dummy to see what would happen if they dropped it from the Golden Gate Bridge. Two of its limbs came off. As said above, from certain heights (i.e. when at terminal velocity) hitting the water without breaking the surface tension beforehand with perfect timing will be like hitting concrete. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 00:06, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Few bridges in London are high enough to cause serious impact injury; I think people probably hope that they're going to drown fairly fast. In Victorian times, Waterloo Bridge had an attached first aid hut manned by a doctor, who would attempt to resuscitate suicides who were pulled from the river. Tower Bridge, then the furthest downstream, had a mortuary built into one of the piers for any corpses that came floating by. Alansplodge (talk) 11:17, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Or, jumping from a low bridge could be like slitting your wrists just a little. A cry for help, no actual desire to die. ―Mandruss  20:01, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Mandruss. Never dismiss someone's suicide as a 'cry for help', as that is humiliating. People do it for reasons, and very often such attempts are genuine. Simply dismissing a failed attempt as 'a cry for help' is not ever going to help their mental state in any way. I would appreciate it if you struck out that remark. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 20:42, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
I was going to strike because it's not worth a fight, but no, I'll fight. I believe the community of mental health professionals recognizes the concept as legitimate. People are free to disagree. ―Mandruss  22:39, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Sure, the concept does indeed exist, but it does not apply to every case. Nobody puts a gun in their mouth, a knife in their stomach, or takes thousands of paracetomol and whiskey if they are not serious - esepecially not in private - this is not a call for help. A 'call for help' is when you stand on a high building expecting people to talk you down. I have worked as a mental health proffessional. Even when it may be classed as a 'call for help', you should never say that, as, like I said, it is humiliating for the individual in question. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 23:15, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Where did I say it applies to every case? When someone starts putting words in my mouth, that's generally when I decide I have better things to do. The mental health professionals in my experience have recognized that people sometimes make a halfhearted attempt at suicide with no real intention to die. Other mental health professionals may disagree, as there is a lot of disagreement among mental health professionals about a lot of things. Show me academic consensus on your view and I'll shut up. ―Mandruss  23:22, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Does this satisfy your needs? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 23:27, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Hardly. For starters, an article by one professional does not constitute academic consensus. But it gets better, as the writer says in her very first paragraph:

Sometimes, it is true that a person who made what appeared to be a suicide attempt did not really want to die. One large study found that of 286 people who reported that they had attempted suicide, almost half (41.8%) nevertheless endorsed the following survey item about their intentions: "My attempt was a cry for help. I did not intend to die."

I don't know what you're reading into my words, but I said nothing more than that. ―Mandruss  23:41, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
In any case, 'almost half' does not represent a majority, and even still, saying to the minority 'it was a cry for help' is going to make them feel a hell of a lot better, right? No, of course it isn't. Psychiatric help involves knowing how to talk to people, and talk them through their difficulties. Not humiliating them with phrases like that. In any case, I think we are getting off topic, as the OP's question was about jumping into water from a high place. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 23:49, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't know what you're arguing against. Nobody is saying any of the things you're upset about. He just said that it can be a cry for help. He didn't say it always was. He didn't say that is was the "majority" of times. He didn't say it to the face of one of the hypothetical victims. He didn't claim that classifying it that way would somehow help anybody. He didn't say that such things should be dismissed or not taken seriously.
APL (talk) 15:58, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I thought about this a bit more later on and have a bit of an example for the OP.
Fill up a bathtub or sink. Any sufficiently large container of water will do. And you may want to have a towel handy. Now, take your hand and with the fingers flat like you're going to do a pushup, slowly put your hand into the water. It goes in nice and easy, yeah? No pain? Good. Now take your hand and do the same thing but slap the water as hard as possible. You'll probably notice two things. First, your hand will sting a little. Especially if you don't have calluses from manual labor or something. Second, you will notice that the water felt more solid. It was a little harder to break the surface.
That's why jumping from a bridge from a sufficient height kills. The force of hitting the water is so much greater from those heights that you do quite a bit of trauma to your body. Dismas|(talk) 05:22, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
If you jump from Prague's suicide bridge, you can land in someone's bathtub or sink, depending on the resiliency of their roof and your desire to get over the fence. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:34, January 25, 2015 (UTC)

January 24[edit]

Robert Young no email response[edit]

I emailed Robert Young two days ago asking when he would put up the September edition of pending cases, but he never responded. Is there a particular reason why he did not respond? Perhaps it is because he is busy working on putting up the September update? Deaths in 2013 (talk) 03:21, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't think this is a question for the Reference Desks. Please be more careful about where you post in the future! Thanks. SteveBaker (talk) 03:40, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
If it is, it might help if the OP were to tell us who Robert Young is and what cases they are referring to. That would help anyone interested enough to research the answer. Dismas|(talk) 05:13, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Robert Young is part of the Gerontology Research Group [46] and involved in research on supercentenarians. The pending cases would likely be pending GRG cases like [47]. The confirmed cases seems to have been last updated in September [48], but the pending cases one seems to be last updated in August. That said, I agree with a SteveBaker, the questions from Deaths in 2013 are getting more and more inappropriate for the RD, and frankly this one is not only inappropriate but silly. And frankly in a situation like this (emailing someone you don't personally know, about something which isn't particularly important and which you aren't paying for in any way and where the person has no real reason why they have to reply to you) there's no reason to expect an answer in 2 days even if they were going to reply. And if the OP has been occasionally e-mailing Young with stuff that is unnecessary or which they wouldn't expect them to answer, like they have been doing here on the RD for the past few weeks, it's even less surprising if Young may not reply. Even the question seems weird. The GRG website seems confusing to navigate but from what I can tell, it doesn't look like there's always a monthly update. And considering it's now nearing the end of January 2015, the more logical question would be something like "when would there next be an update to the pending cases" rather than when the September edition would be forthcoming. And while Robert Young may or may not be the primary researcher behind all this, the page URL makes me thing that nowadays it's possible John Adams is the one responsible for maintaining the web pages. Adams also seems to be the contact point listed throughout the website, so it would seem likely they are who should be contacted regardless of who's maintaining it or doing the research. (I'd also note someone who was involved in the group and a friend of Young and probably Adams recently died, so another reason why they might be a bit behind with stuff.) Of course this is something the OP is highly interested in, so I would have hoped they understand all the background etc better than me, but the more of their questions I read, the less I am confident of this. Nil Einne (talk) 14:32, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Is the rise of obesity in women going to reduce birthrates?[edit]

I think 'wipe out a nation' is a bit excessive. Remember three things: there are also obese men; there are men who are attracted to obese women; and there are men who don't mind either way. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 10:55, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
WHAAAE: see Fat fetishism. Alansplodge (talk) 11:04, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Human net reproductive success, at least in developed countries, is largely decoupled from biological constraints and instead limited by artificial constraints like artificial birth control. So no, if we manage to wipe ourselves out, it will not be by lack to reproduce. Moreover, attraction to particular body types is significantly affected by cultural indoctrination. See e.g. The Judgement of Paris (Rubens) for how Rubens in the 17th century imagined the three most beautiful goddesses of ancient mythology. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 14:45, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Venus of Willendorf shows that fat women were attractive to prehistoric men, too. StuRat (talk) 18:00, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Being athletic actually decreases fertility, though after a certain point being obese hurts it. It's goes back to the same mechanisms behind how exercise makes menstrual cycles less severe: a woman who regularly works out has (as far as nature can tell) the body of a hunter who can't afford to be pregnant too often. A woman who's overweight has the body of someone with a lot of well-providing mates hunting for her. Nature can't tell that the relationship between fitness and wealth has almost completely reversed. Ian.thomson (talk) 17:18, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Being overweight also causes girls to start their periods sooner. StuRat (talk) 17:54, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Cheap digital camera vs cheap digital camcorder[edit]

Is there any advantage of a cheap camcorder like this over a similarly-priced digital camera (about £20 now)? I've found lots of pros and cons of cameras and camcorders on the web, but only concerning higher-quality hardware.--Leon (talk) 13:59, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

The digital camera probably has better resolution, and the camcorder probably has a higher frame rate. The digital camera may also lack video capability entirely, or just lack audio. StuRat (talk) 17:56, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
In the EU, video cameras are taxed more than still cameras; this is why still cameras can only record for 30mins before they autostop. LongHairedFop (talk) 13:33, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Aesthetic open-ceiling design for residential space[edit]

I like the concept of an open (i.e. un-covered) ceiling, which allows plumbing, wires, and structural members to be accessed easily for inspection and repair. (I'm aware that dropped ceilings provide the same benefits, but the ones I've seen look "cheap", office-like, and generally unattractive.) What are some visually-pleasing designs that allow the ceiling of a residential space to remain uncovered? I've seen one design, in commercial settings, in which the ceiling (painted black) is visually "shielded" by rows of painted, regularly-spaced, parallel planks suspended from the ceiling (or maybe rails). I thought that was clever. I wonder what other designs people have come up with that accomplish the same goals. -- (talk) 21:56, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

How about this:
|                |
| |    |  |    | |
| +----+  +----+ |
|                |
So, the U-shaped conduits are open on top, for easy access, and contain all the wires, plumbing, etc. You can expect them to fill with spiderwebs, dust, and possibly dead mice, of course. If the ceiling is white, reflected light should be sufficient to work in the conduits. From below, the conduits can appear to be solid wooden beams. This design obviously doesn't shield structural members, but they can be made attractive enough to remain uncovered. The effect would be a rather rustic look. StuRat (talk) 05:55, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
A possible problem that comes to mind is that, in an existing house, the routing of plumbing, wires, ductworks, etc is not coordinated. Trying to hide all of those with the conduits you described may create a visually-complicated network of conduits overhead in a living space. -- (talk) 15:25, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I had a new construction in mind. StuRat (talk) 06:41, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Depending on the space you have and its existing style, you might simply consider either painting the main structure white or leaving it as uncovered concrete (this would work particularly well in a modernist building). Then leave all services open and exposed, and colour-code them brilliantly (as was originally done at the Pompidou Centre. If I had the right kind of flat I'd do this in a heartbeat. RomanSpa (talk) 19:46, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Handheld electronic game[edit]

Hallo everybody, please could you tell me, how did you call the handheld electronic game when you were a kid (or how you call it now)? I am interested especially in English, German and Czech/Slovak names. Plase do it here: Thank you! --Jiří Janíček (talk) 22:02, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

I should point out that this probably counts as original research. If you intend to include the various names in the article, you should obtain them from reliable sources, rather than relying on the personal recollections of individual editors. Tevildo (talk) 22:34, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
OK, it seems pretty much to be correct. So let's do it so: you just give me the words, and I then try to find them in the sources - deal? --Jiří Janíček (talk) 22:59, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Wouldn't it be easier to do a WP:RFC? This isn't exactly the best place to make this sort of request. However, Gameboy's kind of a catch-all and you shouldn't have trouble finding sources.... Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 5 Shevat 5775 05:21, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
When some of us were kids, we had hand-held electronic games, but Gameboys had yet to be invented! --Dweller (talk) 12:52, 26 January 2015 (UTC)


Have a look at yesterday's strip of Fingerpori. The dialogue goes as follows:

Stalingrad 1943:

  • Die, you Nazis!
  • You should say "National Socialists".

Now, this caused me to ask my question. Were the Nazis themselves OK with being called "Nazis" or did they prefer to be called "National Socialists" or some similar more official term? JIP | Talk 23:43, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Unlikely they would have preferred to have been called "National Socialists", as they were Germans, not English. You may be surprised to know, my dear Finnish friend, that we speak different languages in England and Germany. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 23:54, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Thats is beside the point. What I'm trying to ask here is whether the Nazis would have been OK with being called "Nazi" or would they have insisted on the more correct term "Nationalsozialistischer". I find your comment patronising. I know very well Finnish, English and German are different languages. I have provided the translation for convenience. One further time, this entire question has only ever been about the difference between the abbreviatory term "Nazi" and the original German term "Nationalsozialisticher". JIP | Talk 23:59, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
I am sorry. I did not mean to sound patronising, but this is the language desk. We don't need translations. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 04:05, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
This is the Miscellaneous desk. And I, for one, appreciated the translation. Even if this were posted on the Lang. desk, I doubt everyone there speaks Finnish. Dismas|(talk) 05:07, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Wrong desk, then, sorry. And nobody would have to speak Finnish. It's translated from German to English. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 05:12, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
The original strip is in Finnish. (And it looks like the Finnish word for 'National-socialist' does not contain the 'nation-' root that is found in German and English, and which goes into 'Nazi'; but the Finnish form of 'Nazi' is nonetheless 'Natsit'.) AlexTiefling (talk) 11:55, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. I understand you didn't mean to sound patronising. I guess my question is pretty much answered now: the Nazis themselves didn't use the term "Nazi" and didn't very much approve of it, but didn't seem to actually impose any restrictions on its usage. JIP | Talk 20:13, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Nazi is essentially an English word. This speech of Hitler contain no Nazis, but 51 varying inflections of nationalsozialistischen. I don't know if they were OK with the abbreviated anglicisation, but somehow I doubt that they cared. Let me clarify. Germans (Deutschlanders) who spoke English would already be aware that English speakers had changed the name of their country, and they in return had mangled all of the English speaking countries except England. It's another language and you live with it. Nationalsozialistischer -> Nazi is small beer. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 00:18, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
What is "small beer"? I'm not entirely sure this idiom is known in the Anglophone world, so it might be best to use another term or say it plainly. A small beer sounds unpleasant anyway. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 5 Shevat 5775 05:23, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
'...the word Nazi was favored in southern Germany (supposedly from c.1924) among opponents of National Socialism because the nickname Nazi, Naczi (from the masc. proper name Ignatz, German form of Ignatius) was used colloquially to mean "a foolish person, clumsy or awkward person."... The NSDAP for a time attempted to adopt the Nazi designation as what the Germans call a "despite-word," but they gave this up, and the NSDAP is said to have generally avoided the term. Before 1930, party members had been called in English National Socialists, which dates from 1923. The use of Nazi Germany, Nazi regime, etc., was popularized by German exiles abroad...' Alansplodge (talk) 00:52, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
@ Flinders Petrie "small beer" is well known in the UK, and I suspect many other English speaking countries, as a phrase to mean "of little consequence, of lesser importance". A small beer in southern Spain in summer is the only proper way to drink it. If you have a large beer it will be warm by the time you get halfway through it. Richard Avery (talk) 08:34, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't know, I lived in WC1 for a year and never heard that expression and I heard a lot of peculiar English expressions. And nonsense, you just drink it fast if it's nasty English brews that cost £5 a pint anyway. Though I have never had a small beer in Southern Spain in summer. Have to fix this. Thank you for clarifying though. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 5 Shevat 5775 09:24, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
"Small beer" is quite widely known, but it is rather a literary expression, so it's not surprising that you didn't hear it in a year in WC1. It is recorded in the OED from 1498 in its literal meaning "Beer of a weak, poor, or inferior quality", and figuratively ("Trivial occupations, affairs, etc.; matters or persons of little or no consequence or importance; trifles") from 1710. But the OED has a citation of it in the latter sense from 2010, so it is still current in writing at least. It never referred to the size of the portion. --ColinFine (talk) 11:05, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Ah, I'll have to keep an eye out then. Thanks and apologies for the tangential conversation. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 5 Shevat 5775 17:53, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Beware Sir William! Heed the horrid example of poor Thomas Thetcher immortalised on his own gravestone:
"Here sleeps in peace a Hampshire Grenadier, / Who caught his death by drinking cold small Beer,
Soldiers be wise from his untimely fall / And when ye're hot drink Strong or none at all."
Alansplodge (talk) 19:00, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
I think that's how Shakespeare passed away. As the guides in Stratford put it, 'he got drunk one night, went outside, fell asleep, caught a chill, and then he doy'd'. Needless to say, it's hilarious when heard in-person. That is also a fantastic epitaph. I shall have to have one relating to the dangers of vodka for mine.... Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 5 Shevat 5775 19:08, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Not forgetting Henry Purcell who went on a lad's night out, but his wife wouldn't let him back in the house and he had to sleep in the street. He died of the resulting "chill" as well. Alansplodge (talk) 22:58, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Just a comment: The proper German for "a Nazi" ist "Ein Nationalsozialist". The word nationalsozialistischer is the adjective form (note that in German all nouns are capitalised, but the non-noun forms of proper nouns are not). In a pinch, the adjective form can stand in for the noun (with an implicit "something" assumed to complete a noun phrase), and can then be capitalised, but this is not done when the root already is a noun, as in this case. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 16:05, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
The word Nazi in German is at least slightly demeaning, and the people known in English as Nazis would not generally have used it to refer to themselves, except perhaps in a joking and self-deprecating way, if any of them had a sense of humor. The correct way to say Nazis in Germany under the Nazis would have been Nationalsozialisten. Even today in Germany, the word Nazi amounts to slang. The usual abbreviation in formal or standard German is NS. Marco polo (talk) 17:01, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
So the strip is correct, Nazis didn't particulary like being called "Nazis" instead of "Nationalsozialisten". But I came to understand they weren't very active in imposing or enforcing bans on the word "Nazi". Apologies for my German grammar problems, German is only my fourth best language after Finnish, English and Swedish. This also gives rise to a further question: Why is it "Nazi" in the first place instead of "Nati" or "Natsi"? The original German word is "Nationalsozialist", not "Nazionalsozialist" or "Natsionalsozialist". It is pronounced like the two latter ones, though. But this conversation seems to say that "Nazi" is an English invention, and the letter "z" in English is usually pronounced as a voiced "s", like a bee buzzing, not like "ts". Why was that spelling adopted and not "Nati" or "Natsi"? JIP | Talk 20:19, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
That's a good question. But note that Winston Churchill always pronounced it nah-zee, and when it comes to the meanings and pronunciations of English words, of which, as is well covered above, Nazi is an example, he had few peers. But most of us say nah-tsee. That's probably a beautiful case of hypercorrection. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:32, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
There's some information on the origin of "Nazi" at the Online Etymological Dictionary, which says it's probably modelled on the earlier "Sozi" as a nickname for a socialist. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 22:03, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
I am not sure this counts as hypercorrection, since the first two syllables of nati-onal would normally be pronounced nah-tsi-. We had to learn the American Pledge of Allegiance in homeroom in German in Highschool when my homeroom teacher happened to be one of the school's german teachers, and nation is "NAH-tsee-own" auf Deutsch. μηδείς (talk) 01:36, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

January 25[edit]

translation from English to Hebrew[edit]

I need to translate an article of about 9,000 words from English to Hebrew. Can a user please suggest which is the best online translator to use. Thank you Simonschaim (talk) 07:43, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Machine translators are notoriously unreliable. I find that to be especially true for languages that are genetically further apart and/or for complex sentences involving complicated grammar. For example, machine translation of a simple English sentence to Spanish often gives a comprehensible result that is close in meaning to the English. A machine translation of English to Thai, on the other hand, most often yields nonsense. That said, I have been surprised at the ability of machine translators with regards to Hebrew. Oftentimes a readable result can be obtained, but the Hebrew grammar may not be perfect and the words used may give a different connotation than expected from the English meaning. Here are two examples of Google Translate and Bing Translator, using the English of Ezra 1:2 as a sample text.
  • English text: "Thus says Cyrus, King of Persia. The Lord God of Heaven has given all the kingdoms of the earth to me and has charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem that is in Judah."
  • Google
  • gives: כך אומר סיירוס, מלך פרס.אלוהים אלוהי שמים נתן לכל ממלכות הארץ אליי ופקד עליי לבנות לו בית בירושלים אשר ביהודה.
  • When reversed, gives: "Thus says Cyrus, king of Frs.alohim God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and commanded me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judea."
  • Bing
  • gives: כה אמר כורש, מלך פרס. שהאל השמים כל ממלכות הארץ נתן לי, האשימה אותי כדי לבנות לו בית בירושלים זה יהודה.
  • When reversed, gives: "Thus saith Cyrus King of Persia. The Lord of heaven all the kingdoms of the Earth gave me, accusing me to build him a house in Jerusalem that Yehuda."
So, as you can probably see, online translators are sometimes good if your goal is just to ascertain the basic gist of a piece of text, but not at all reliable for coherent translations of lengthy texts nor for any kind of formal translation. I've found that this holds true for every online translator with which I've experimented. They all seem equally good (bad). That's why people who make translations for a living earn the big bucks.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 08:41, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
That's because that's a Biblical text and online translators often have standard translations programmed into them. If you come up with your own Hebrew text and try to translate that, it will be complete nonsense. To translate an article of this length (assuming it is an article that Simonschaim wrote himself, or some other kind of publication), the best option is to find an actual human translator, but you'll have to pay them...something this size would typically cost several hundred dollars, at the very least. Adam Bishop (talk) 12:34, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
If you're intending to use machine translation to create an article for Hebrew Wikipedia then the advice must be don't. Hebrew Wikipedia's page on translating articles, just like ours, says there is a consensus that uncorrected machine translations are worse than useless for that purpose. And how do I know it says that? Thank you, Google Translate! --Antiquary (talk) 13:08, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Contestants appearing on a game show[edit]

Question and responses were moved to Entertainment desk. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:15, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Latest time to send parcels[edit]

So I'm sending out three parcels (most likely via USPS) from New York that I would like to have reach their destinations on 14 February. One is going to the Washington, DC metro area, one is you going to the Atlanta metro-area, and the last and most tricky is going to Sydney, Australia. What's the latest I could send each out and have them arrive no later than the 14th? Cheers, all! Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 5 Shevat 5775 17:58, 25 January 2015 (UTC) Side-note: the parcel to Aus contains letters and packaged perfume and so I don't think there's any hold-up likely in customs.Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 5 Shevat 5775 18:00, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

We can't give a direct prediction, especially since we won't know weather conditions. It also depend on the size and nature of the parcel, and what you're willing to pay, go to the USPS site, click on "buy postage" and do a dry run to get costs and estimated delivery times. I can tell you that a book sent from NY to Australia will take about 12-14 days, but that will vary widely with customs and how it's shipped. First class letters and priority rate packages in the US east (not rural) usually arrive in two business days, but they don't guarantee it. If you are willing to pay exhorbitantly, most items will go anywhere in two busines days. μηδείς (talk) 18:07, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
The two parcels in the US are each small (8.5 inch-long) papyrus scrolls ideally sent in the wee-est box they have that will fit, and the scrolls are probably less than 1 oz. They're predicting a massive snowstorm in the northeast this Monday, but this winter has been calmer than the last (when everything was covered in snow and ice and even Atlanta was covered in the black ice). Well, there's nothing worse than late valentines, so I probably would. Of course, Valentine's Day is a very busy mail day. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 5 Shevat 5775 18:21, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the scoundrels won't show anything later than 1 February post dates. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 5 Shevat 5775 19:10, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Customs aside, perfumes, if they contain alcohol or other flammable solvents, may be prohibited in a number of postal systems at least when shipped by air (so generally always internationally since given the variety of postal systems it's difficult to guarantee it never goes by air), including Australia Post [49] [50] and USPS [51]. (USPS appears to always allow domestic ground shipping of perfumes, Australia Post appears to allow domestic ground shipping by contract only [52].) I think you will find the same for nearly all international couriers (definitely those sending from US to Australia given the only route besides air is sea), bearing in mind that these restrictions often come from civil air travel regulations. (It may be possible to send them by air commercially if you obey certain complex regulations, see e.g. [53]). Presuming the perfume you plan to send does contain a alcohol or another flammable solvent, your best bet may be to find an Australian seller who accepts international credit cards and is able to ship domestically. Nil Einne (talk) 18:35, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Oh wow, I had no idea. They might have confiscated the package and tossed the letters. Thank you, Nil, you just saved my friend's Valentine's Day! Happily, I have a back-up gift for her if the need arises. I'll just hand off the perfumes in-person at a later date. They're very unusual and likely not sold in Aus. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 5 Shevat 5775 18:47, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Media mail is the cheepest rate, it applies to printed materials like scrolls (read the regs), it will get anywhere in the 48 within a buusiness week. μηδείς (talk) 21:11, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
The scrolls can't be sent by medial mail as they're not educational material. They're the media for the Valentine's Day letters themselves, you see, and so I think First Class or Priority is the way to go. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 5 Shevat 5775 22:40, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
  • You might've already found out by now that "buy postage" is the wrong link to go. "Calculate a price" (direct link here) is the way to go if you use USPS.TMCk (talk) 22:58, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, I checked it, but they don't let you estimate beyond 1 February right now. At least for domestic. I think I'll send the Aussie one some time prior to the start of next month. It took less than a week from the UK for a similar package, but I don't know about from the US. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 5 Shevat 5775 23:25, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Never saw that but then again I also never used it that way. Shouldn't make a difference tho at least if you pick the same day of the week since their trucks and planes run on a pretty much fixed schedule. More important is the time of the day you'll drop it off (or let them pick it up).TMCk (talk) 23:43, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
We are talking about the time around Valentine's Day; when the USPS is filled up with parcels (similar to the situation on Christmas minus the federal holiday). Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 6 Shevat 5775 05:47, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
- I doubt very much that Valentin's Day has the same impact as X-Mas time.
- There is no Fed. holiday in that timeline so no day off for USPS.
- You can check International mail beyond Feb 1.
Cheers,TMCk (talk) 14:15, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Now, now, no need for the the passive agressive listing (if that wasn't your intent, then apologies). I said similar, not the same as; by federal holiday I was referring to Christmas, and so I believe we're in agreement there. As for the Aussie package, I'll probably just send it sooner rather than later as not all of its contents are Valentine-related and she knows to wait on opening the things that are. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 6 Shevat 5775 15:52, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
At that (local) time of the day I keep it short or don't write at all :) So no, no "passive aggressive" intent on my side.TMCk (talk) 17:20, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Ah, then you have my sincerest apologies for the exceptionally rude assertion on my part. Also, I've a fourth one, this time for Italy. I think I'll just mail the Aussie and Italian ones on the 31st or sooner. The Italian one should arrive no later than Valentine's Day of next year and I can just blame the crappy postal service. As for the domestic ones, I guess the 10th of February. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 7 Shevat 5775 02:57, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
For Christmas, the USPS was nice enough to mail me a flyer listing the final date the various classes of packages could be mailed and still arrive by Xmas. Unfortunately, the flyer didn't arrive until mid-January. True story. StuRat (talk) 17:17, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
So what? The flyer came in early! :)) TMCk (talk) 17:24, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Better late than having something like a several k tax refund check not arrive. Sadly not a joke.... Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 7 Shevat 5775 02:57, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

January 26[edit]

What gun is this?[edit]

It appears to be a heavily modified AK rifle of some type due to the banana magazine, but can anyone tell what model of Kalashnikov? (talk) 09:09, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Not too sure about the model but the picture seems to be from Payday_2. Obviously there is the possibility someone used Artistic_license to make it look more bad-ass and there is no such gun at all. Will hunt some more... (talk) 12:43, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
See if you can find it here. I did a brief scan but found nada. Note: there are custom mods in the game so I'm guessing it's not a real rifle. (talk) 12:55, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
The receiver seems based on an AK-74, but seems a little off along the bottom. The stock seems to be based on an M4 or HK416. The gas block and front sight I'm not recognising off the bat... but as points out this is basically a kitbashed gun meant to look cool and/or scary. WegianWarrior (talk) 13:00, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

what is the meaning of swarajit (in bengali)?[edit]

Moved to the language desk, click here. μηδείς (talk) 20:10, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Why do pants tear?[edit]

January 27[edit]

Where can I buy a postcard of the Greek town Kirra,_Phocis online?[edit]

Thank you Venustar84 (talk) 06:48, 27 January 2015 (UTC)