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October 20[edit]

i386 Windows application compatibility across platforms[edit]

Can Windows versions for other platforms, such as arm (CE/RT), axp64 (NT4), ia64 (XP/2003*/2008*), mips (CE/NT4), powerpc (CE/NT4) and superh (CE), run native i386 DOS, 16-bit Windows (Windows 3.1) and 32-bit Windows (e.g. Windows 9x/Me/2000) applications? For amd64 (XP+), I know it can't run DOS nor 16-bit Windows applications but it can run 32-bit Windows applications. (talk) 01:45, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

This page makes me think that Windows for Itanium/IA-64 has bundled support for 32-bit x86 executables. As far as I know Microsoft never supported x86 emulation for other architectures, but I have no source for that. Of course, any version of Windows can run anything with third-party emulation. -- BenRG (talk) 02:57, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the information. (talk) 04:11, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Upon further research, I conclude that the ability to run programs for different platforms is handled by Windows "subsystems." The subsystem for running DOS and Win16 programs is called NTVDM. According to the article, it exists in all i386 Windows and all platforms (i386, axp64, mips and powerpc) of Windows NT 3.51 and 4.0. The subsystem for running Win32 programs is called WOW64. According to the article, it exists in all amd64 and ia64 Windows though the performance is vastly inferior in ia64 platform due to emulation overhead. There are also other subsystems for running other kinds of programs in Windows. I've read things like OS/2 and UNIX (Interix/SFU/SUA) subsystems but they are not enabled or installed by default. Moreover, the WOW64 subsystem is not installed (or enabled) in amd64 Windows Vista/2008/7 Setup so you can't run Win32 programs there. So I am thinking a subsystem is more of a component which can be enabled or disabled, installed or uninstalled etc., and unless explicitly said to exist, it probably doesn't exist in other platforms of Windows. (talk) 04:11, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Place to buy old PCs?[edit]

Is there a place to buy old, outdated PCs for cheap? Like, PCs that were going to be thrown out anyway? Anything down to and including a 286 would suffice for my current project, so the cheaper the better. Horselover Frost (talk · edits) 03:09, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

You would be surprised what you can find on eBay and Craigslist. RegistryKey(RegEdit) 03:38, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
There's a local store here that sells used furniture, appliances, books, CDs, etc. Even 8 track tapes. They also have a computer section. Maybe there's one like it in your area. Or maybe a few Raspberry Pis will do what you want. Dismas|(talk) 03:42, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I've bought a ton of PC's and laptops at Discount Electronics over the years - they have $100 machines (with Windows XP) or $50 machines (with Linux) that are reconditioned and work great. The best deals are to be had by going to one of their stores - but very often the cheapest machines are slightly strange in some way...I bought three that came from Cinemark movie theatres that had mounting brackets to fit them under desks and no audio outputs. I agree with Dismas that for lots of those kinds of project, a Raspberry Pi will suffice. I actually prefer the BeagleBone - but both are fairly cheap and run Linux quite nicely.
SteveBaker (talk) 20:44, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

I've picked up a lot of computers from the recycle dropoff. It is free (and they often have a lot of commercial software on them). (talk) 18:46, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Firefox dejo de reproducir videos en vivo de[edit]

Hola, Firefox dejo de reproducir videos en vivo de

Todo lo que veo es una ventana negra y a pesar de que dice "playing" no se ve nada.

Alguien sabe como solucionar este problema?

Gracias, AK — Preceding unsigned comment added by A723 (talkcontribs) 11:09, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

How to find full name of my Laptop so I can order the right battery, as I need a New one?[edit]

My laptop's battery is spent. When I have put in the charger it won't recharge. I can still use the laptop though on 0% battery, so long as the charger is in. Probably not gonna last much longer. Anyway, it is clear that the battery is spent and that it needs changing...

Problem is I don't know what laptop I have so I can't really go about ordering a new one.. All I know is that I have a Toshiba. Where do I see the whole name or model or whatever of the laptop? Is it on the underside of the laptop? There are lots of rows of digits and letters, like a serial-number and other stuff I don't know what is. I don't know what to look for, so any help would be appreciated :) Maybe serial-number is all I need?

Also, new battery is probably expensive, right? Will I get more for the money if I buy a brand new laptop? Considering that the laptop is only 2 years old it's disappointing that the battery is spent already. (talk) 12:26, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Enter the serial number here It might help you identify the laptop --TrogWoolley (talk) 14:23, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Or try here: The second part of your question will depend on too many things to speculate. (talk) 14:26, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
If the straightforward approachs (see above) fail, this Toshiba support page contains some helpful guidance about using the "device ID" (all IDs "should" be noted on a label on the laptop's back) and device manager (under Windows). GermanJoe (talk) 14:35, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Thanks goes to all of you. You truly are a helpful bunch ;D (talk) 15:15, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Your battery should not be showing 0% after only two years of use. The laptop on which I am typing this is more than 7 years old and the battery is showing 100% with the charger plugged in. Admittedly, this quickly falls to zero when the power supply is unplugged, but the battery has not failed completely after seven years of constant use. This makes me wonder if it is the charging circuitry or the battery connection that is faulty. I should get advice from Toshiba before buying a new battery. Dbfirs 16:16, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Microsoft Word Security Notice[edit]

In a Word doc (Word 2010) I've posted online, and also sent as an email attachment, when I click any link I get a "Microsoft Word Security Notice" saying, "Hyperlinks can be harmful to your security and data. It is important that this file is from a trustworthy source." Then it gives a file name such as "" and continues, "Clicking yes will enable all the hyperlinks in this file, for this session. Do you want to continue?"

All the files it shows are legitimate.

What should I make of this? --Halcatalyst (talk) 15:47, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

This is a security feature of Office. Microsoft has an article on how to disable this.[1] --  Gadget850 talk 17:35, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Microsoft Office 2013 installation[edit]

My father's computer recently crashed so badly it required resetting its entire Windows 7 system to its factory settings. My father keeps all his personal files on a separate USB hard disk, but this resetting wiped out all his installed programs. After the reset, the system has Microsoft Office 2010 installed, but it is not activated yet. My father bought Microsoft Office 2013 separately, and he still has the activation code, but neither of us could find any installation medium. The activation code for Office 2013 won't work with Office 2010. Where can I find the actual installation medium for Office 2013 so I could install it on my father's computer and activate it with the code? JIP | Talk 17:15, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

You can download it from Microsoft.[2] You probably want the option "My copy of Office came with a disk." --  Gadget850 talk 17:19, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Commodore 64 demos[edit]

I've watched a few Commodore 64 demos on YouTube recently, and was genuinely impressed. I know some 6510 assembler programming, and have even made a semblance of a BASIC extension purely in assembler, but these demos are currently far beyond my Commodore 64 programming skills. I'd just like to first ask one question. Pretty much every demo I have seen routinely features 160×200 pixel, or even full 320×200 pixel, pixel-by-pixel graphics in all 16 colours. As far as I know, the Commodore 64 can only natively display two graphics modes: 320×200 with a single uniform background colour and a single unique foreground colour in each 8×8 block, or 160×200 with three common colours (background and two others), and again a single unique foreground colour in each 4×8 block. Attempting more colours results in attribute clash. But the demos I've seen on YouTube don't seem to have this problem, but instead can colour individual pixels in all 16 colours freely. How did they do this? JIP | Talk 18:14, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Commodore 64 demos and links may help. --  Gadget850 talk 18:19, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
The article talks about many custom graphics modes but does not mention how they are used. I suppose all these can be accessed simply in 6510 assembler, by LDA with some value and STA it at some location. But I'd like to know the details. Is there any documentation on how one accesses these custom graphics modes? JIP | Talk 18:26, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
A great deal of the fancier tricks one could do on a C=64 involved manipulating the registers of the VIC-II chip dynamically, in real time, and sometimes exploiting bugs in the chip. The chief mechanism is using multiple raster interrupts. A raster interrupt is set (using the VIC-II register mapped at $D012) to occur at a specific scan line. The initial intention of this was for programs to set this to a point in or near the vertical blanking interval; programs could set the VIC's scroll registers, and manipulate the memory mapped into the VIC's 16K window (which, subject to more register settings, corresponded to the character mode screen, screen bitmap, and colour map). So this was how vsync was to be implemented. But as there's no driver and no API, the registers are exposed straight to a program; and because there's no dedicated video ram (the VIC simply saw part of the system memory space, be that ROM or RAM) a program could manipulate that in real time too, with no (additional) lag. [Note incidentally that here when I say "vertical border" I mean the horizontal strip and the top and bottom of the screen, and "horizontal border" I mean the vertical strips at the left and right; this nomenclature makes sense when you think about the screen from the perspective of the raster and the PEL generator inside the VIC chip]. Real time really is the essential thing here. With skilled use of raster interrupts, programs could:
  • Set an interrupt for scan line Y=a, do stuff then, set another interrupt for Y=b, do different stuff, and so on. It was certainly possible to set up 20 or more horizontal zones this way (handling the interrupts takes time, and "do stuff" takes more time too, so one couldn't get an interrupt per scan line). So one zone could scroll and another be fixed; one could be multicolour mode and the other hires mode, etc. Programs like Boulder Dash used this to have a static area (to display scores) and a scrolling playfield below it.
  • Then people realised that a raster interrupt could manipulate sprites. the C=64 had only 8 sprites, all rather small. If you changed the sprite x and y locations in each raster interrupt, you could have 8 sprites per zone; if you also manipulated the data pointed to by each sprite, each zone's version of a sprite could look different. This is fun for demos, but not so much for games - having 8 zones with 8 sprites in each doesn't mean you have 64 independent sprites - your game can't have 64 individual spaceships flying arbitrarily around, as each has to stay in its slot (or you need a pretty clever scheme to allocate them, and make sure you're not every trying to have more than 8 at a time).
  • People used the above strategy to make "megasprites", where big boss monsters were composed of layers of sprites which all moved around in a block. So you might have a megasprite that was 6 sprites wide (leaving 2 for the player and his missile), and the megasprite might be 6 layers high (meaning 6 dynamically repositioned raster interrupts).
  • You'll notice the C=64, like other machines of its era, had a pretty large horizontal and vertical border. This was because they rendered to analog TVs, which were very variable in what they could display. The VIC-II had essentially an internal operation that operated when the scan line was at the top of the bottom border, where it set itself to "border" mode (it would push only the border colour register out to the pixel generator, not video memory), and another operation when the scan line was at the bottom of the top border, where it would go back to normal operation. Then someone discovered the VIC-II has a bug. If you set a raster interrupt for just the right scan line (I think it's either the top of the bottom border, or a line before it), and you positioned the Y coordinate of a sprite just so (I forget exactly how, but it was to start on that scan line or so) the VIC-II failed to turn the "border" on; it rendered the background colour instead. This wasn't all that useful, but it did allow one to position sprites in what had been the top and bottom border, and they'd display. With more interrupts, and more deft positioning of sprites, one could kinda display in this overscan area, all the way to the top and bottom of the screen. But the VIC-II wouldn't display characters or bitmapped (non sprite) data, so there was only so much you could do with that. Again demo authors had more use of it than games did - there were lots of demos that put bouncy scrollers down into that area. If you've seen them, you'll see that the same scroller is often at the top and the bottom - this is because TVs would often display the sprite in this no-go area in both the top and the bottom (that's why the C=64 had the borders in the first place).
  • You'll have seen lots of demos and games that do this, but that have the telltale "raster flicker" - where the code running in the raster interrupt runs when the raster itself is in the middle of the screen (so a given scan line is in the "before" domain up until a given X location, and in the "after" domain right of that); and because the timing isn't very stable (and the CPU is so slow that only a few instructions run per horizontal pixel) that update point would typically wobble back and forward slightly. It was possible to poll the horizontal position of the raster, but not to interrupt on it. People eventually found ways to work around this, which required thinking about what has happening down to the cycle; an example is here - note all the NOP waiting to get things just right.
  • Now we've (kinda) turned off the top and bottom border, can't we turn off the horizontal border too? That's much harder. People tried effectively bit banging the border colour register when the raster was in the border area, but this again isn't fully time-stable, and the CPU is so slow that you couldn't do it per-pixel. So again it was more useful to demo authors showing off than to games trying to render useful things. I think someone eventually found a mechanism for sort-of displaying sprites in the horizontal borders too, but it was still fully CPU intensive (so if you wanted to render chunky sprites over the whole screen, it effectively look almost 100% of the CPU).
  • Next is vertical resolution. These home computers mostly output onto 625 line PAL or 525 line NTSC TVs (of which about 576ish and 4?? scan lines were actually visible). But these were interlaced displays, when only every other line was rastered each "frame"; the raster then retraced to the top and did the other lines on the second. So the actual rate at which the raster illuminated the phosphor dot (don't think pixel, yet) on a PAL screen was 25Hz, and 30Hz on NTSC. That's slow enough for the human eye to see the change; makers of TV programs had to make sure that they didn't have sharp vertical transitions (particularly on on-screen graphics like sports scores or logos) from black to white, as this would cause a very visible flicker when the apparent transition seemed to bounce up and down (at 25Hz). To avoid this, 8-bit console and home computers just doubled down, rendering the same pixel value in both frames - this effectively halves the vertical resolution (which is why the C64, spectrum, etc. all have a vertical resolution that's about 200 pixels). Plus memory was expensive back then, and doubling the RAM needed to store a screen was a real cost item. Now the VIC-II doesn't expose which of the two interlaced frames it was rendering, but if you kept track yourself, you could alter the screen registers yet again and try to send different data in the A frame and the B frame. So you've sorta doubled the vertical resolution, but at the expense of turning it into a very visible interlace mode; you either have utterly hideous interlace flickering or you have to only display an image that (like those TV scores and graphics) has been expertly smoothed to minimise the raster effects). And we've doubled the amount of memory we're using, and crucially we're using a great proportion of the CPU to manipulate that (the CPU really isn't fast enough already). So yet again, it's useful for demos, not so much for general purposes like games. It's noteworthy that later machines like the Amiga, which still (in part) had to display on PAL and NTSC TVs, did allow full interlaced modes - they could do this because a) they had more memory b) they had much faster CPUs and busses, and c) some (like the Amiga) had a real-time coprocessor which could manipulate the pixel stream in real time without saturating the CPU.
  • I've heard of there being means of manipulating the colours that the pixel generator is emitting to sneak in more colours than the standard 16 colour palette, but I don't know what those were. That might be as "simple" (ahem) as displaying one colour in interlace frame A and a different one in B, and claiming that the interlace flicker effectively "blends" them together (which it really doesn't, except perhaps for the C=64's comparatively rich gray ramp).
Some additional reading here and here may get you started, but you'll end up reading discussions of modern c=64 emulators, which have to reproduce all this hairy, analog real-time behaviour and hardware bugs in order to make ancient demos and games run just-so. Anyway, TL;DR: the C=64 doesn't have any fancy graphics modes, but it allows direct access to the ongoing process of generating the screen signal, and by sheer bloodyminded brute force and buggy happenstance it was possible to wrench additional things the hardware designers hadn't thought of (or didn't want), mostly at the expense of all of the machine's useful CPU cycles. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 20:33, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Just wanted to shoot a quick "Thank you," Finlay, for the detailed and interesting answer, especially for a layperson Justin15w (talk) 20:42, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Can I sign up for a hosting plan and have my own VPN?[edit]

Can I create my own VPN to get a geo-local address in the US to watch movies (legally?) Is it difficult to install a VPN in a service meant for hosting web-pages? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:43, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

If the terms and conditions of the streaming site only permit you to watch the movies in the USA - then routing through a US VPN doesn't affect the legality of you watching them. It might make it easier to watch them illegally...but that's another matter. SteveBaker (talk) 20:35, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
(EC) How difficult it is will depend significantly on what the hosting plan is actually offering. If it's simply offering a webserver (Apache or something) with a few extras installed and all you're really allowed to do is put your files and some other customisations options, it's likely to be rather difficult. If the service offers access to a VM where you can basically install whatever you want, it's likely to be a fair amount easier.

However, however easy it is, if you're violating the TOS you agreed to when signing up for the hosting plan, you may find your service revoked at any time. Also, the service may not offer the downstream bandwidth (and may be even the upstream bandwidth) necessary for this, or may charge a fair amount for data usage or something else may mean it won't work very well even if you aren't cut off and can do it.

I'm also unsure why you want to do this, instead of using one of the many services which offer this for $3-$10 or so a month (and a few even free). Don't be sure that your home brew service will be better than the service run specifically for that purpose, with hopefully competent technical staff working to ensure it works for their paying customers, just because you're not such an obvious target. Particular since this question suggestions you're perhaps not that competent in such matters. (I've never used such services myself but some of them seem to get decent reviews. And although many of them do offer discounts for yearly subscriptions, there are likely many customers paying month by month who will simply leave if the service no longer lives up to their requirements.)

Nil Einne (talk) 20:46, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

October 21[edit]

ProBoards page numbers[edit]

Watch what happens to the page numbers when you scroll down.

What makes that happen?— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 20:51, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

It is using absolute positioning. Look at the bottom left of Wikipedia:Help desk.
I've actually disabled that feature, but I remember it. Did you notice the page numbers are in the middle of the page until you scroll down, and then they stay at the top?— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 21:27, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I haven't looked at the markup, and it is likely buried in CSS rules. The masthead likely has markup making it the top boundary. --  Gadget850 talk 10:16, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Though it's not the top boundary until you scroll down. I'll ask them.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 22:45, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
It's probably using some jQuery code (or a jQ plugin0 - see here for an example. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 13:31, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I found this which is similar. The information at the top of the screen disappears briefly and then reappears as you scroll down.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 15:51, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Way to see history of pictures I viewed at Google Earth?[edit]

I clicked on a photo and closed it, and after seeing some more I couldn't easily track it (there where many Pic icons at the GE simulation. Any way to see "View History" list of pictures I clicked on? Thanks. Ben-Natan (talk) 02:30, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

I only use GE occasionally, but since nobody else has responded I'll just say I don't think that's possible. I prefer to use Google Maps in my browser, partly because the history is then available.--Shantavira|feed me 08:35, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

netsh advfirewall set store gpo = %computername%[edit]

How to make this work? I know need to exec to get the context but %computername% does not work. It works if I type the actual computer name but I have a batch file to use for a few computers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:47, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

GRUB trusted boot[edit]

After two years of searching for some kind of easy secure-boot like process for x86 computers, I was pleasantly surprised recently to discover that GRUB2 has software-based digital signature verification capabilities. So, I fired up Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS in VMware Player. I generated a DSA key pair using GnuPG and exported the public key into the file boot.key which I subsequently placed in /boot. I signed my kernels, ramdisks, and GRUB modules with sudo -E gpg --no-use-agent --detach-sign <insert file name here>. I reboot into the GRUB shell and enter:

trust /boot/boot.key
set check_signatures=enforce

I found that not only are these changes non-persistent, but trust did not actually add boot.key to the trusted list of keys as evidenced by list_trusted returning nothing. I did some reading and learned that grub-mkimage could make an instance of GRUB (core.img) with boot.key embedded in it and that this would implicitly enable signature checking by default. So I did that and swapped out my core.img for the default one. Still nothing. I also tried to use verify_detached from the GRUB shell, but I keep getting error: public key 9e142d77 not found. What am I doing wrong here? — Melab±1 19:47, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Yosemite default font[edit]

I installed OS X Yosemite today and, to my disgust, Neue Helvetica is everywhere. It does not belong in menus and even less in the list of unread mail. Is there a way to go back to the more legible Lucida Grande, if not generally then at least in Thunderbird? —Tamfang (talk) 22:26, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

There's a way to change it with Tinker Tool on the development builds. Not sure the same would work with the public release. Dismas|(talk) 07:23, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Tinker Tool took care of it (in most apps, including Tbird) without fuss. Thanks. —Tamfang (talk) 03:41, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
For Thunderbird see here [3]. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:07, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

VLC and image stabilization[edit]

I just downloaded VLC to work with some videos I made. It's easy to use and I like it. But there is one thing I haven't figured out how to do: is there an image stabilization tool in VLC? I was at a sports stadium and the crowd foot stomping make it really hard to make a decent video so they're all jittery. Anyone know how to do this? Thanks. PumpkinSky talk 22:50, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Use VLC myself and as far as I'm aware it is purely for playback not editing of the footage, sorry can't point you at any editing alternatives maybe someone else can Sirrob01 (talk) 04:25, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Adobe After Effects can do automatic image stabilization. (talk) 09:26, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Have you considered, for subsequent shoots, trying to stabilize the tripod? Google (or your favourite engine) searches for tripod steadyicam and tripod video dampening seem interesting, including this one which suggests using speaker/turntable spikes and a large weight. CS Miller (talk) 09:43, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
In case anyone isn't aware, digital stabilization is getting really good, and can be used to make cool stuff where physical stabilization wouldn't help much (e.g. motorcycle helmet cams, etc). Anyway, this subreddit has some tutorial info on the side bar, and occasionally some interesting clips [4]. Here's a tutorial that seems to only use open source tools [5]. I agree with the above that VNC is probably not the appropriate tool for this. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:13, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I had nowhere to put a tripod. Thanks for the tips. VLC can at least easily cut out the unwanted parts of a video. PumpkinSky talk 20:33, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
The last few times I've uploaded videos to youtube, it has offered to stabilize my videos for me. I have always declined so can't say how good it is, (at least one person thinks it's awesome) so it might be worth a try, particluarly considering it is free. Might however not be particularly viable if you have a particularly large video file that you want to leave in high quality.Vespine (talk) 00:13, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

October 22[edit]

Downloading Drug Data into MS Excel[edit]

Dear Wikipedia-

I am a 4th year medical student doing research on how the properties of some medications are determined by their structure (ex half life and the molecular weight). Wikipedia has wonderful information about each drug in its Chembox's. I wanted to know if there is a way that I could download the drug data contained in the Chemboxes' into an Excel spreadsheet or any other filetype that could be uploaded into a SQL database such as MS Access?

I would be extremely grateful if this were possible as it will make my research better and more comprehensive.

Thanks, Rob — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sangfroid90 (talkcontribs) 11:41, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

This is certainly possible, but a lot depends on what tools you know or are willing to learn, and how much time you have. If I really had to, I could eventually take the raw wiki markup as described here Template:Chembox, and write a script to convert it to xml or csv for each page I scraped - are you willing to do that? There may be easier methods. You also might have an easier time with ChemSpider, and you can also check at Wikipedia:WikiProject_Chemicals/Chembox_validation, which seems to imply the existence of some excel file that might be useful to you. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:06, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Not what the OP asked, but so everyone knows: there's work being done to get all infobox data (all infoboxes, not just chemboxes, and across all the language wikipedias) into one grand unified database, wikidata. It's going to take a few more years, though... —Steve Summit (talk) 22:08, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

hey were u come from[edit]

hey were u come from? and i need to be rich like u can u help me hey get this e- mail from riley and u dont know my last name that all — Preceding unsigned comment added by JeNea06 (talkcontribs) 19:09, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Hello. I'm not sure exactly what you're talking about but I hope there's some way I can help. Is your name Riley? I don't know your last name. We would all like to be rich. Horatio Snickers (talk) 20:21, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

a park in Moscow[edit]

Question copied to the poster's talk page:
as not appropriate here, --CiaPan (talk) 07:56, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

This is a picture of a statuary group in a park in Moscow. Can anybody tell me the name of the park? I'd like to know more about the statuary. Thanks. --Halcatalyst (talk) 19:14, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Looks like this...
ru-wiki: ru:Дети — жертвы пороков взрослых
en-wiki: en:Children Are the Victims of Adult Vices
CiaPan (talk) 19:44, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Master System or NES?[edit]

Hello, I have the chance to get either a Master System or a NES, which one should I get (eg: which one will bring me the most enjoyment over time), and which games should I get? Horatio Snickers (talk) 20:20, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

"The reference desk is not a chatroom. We don't answer requests for opinions, predictions or debate." Perhaps you could try a gaming forum. (talk) 20:32, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
in terms of enjoyment over time, take a look at List of Master System games and List of Nintendo Entertainment System games. Master System had 318 games, whereas the Famicom had 709 licenced games, so based on the amount of games alone (i.e. no regard to quality of the games or other factors), the NES appears to be superior. Beyond that, the IP above is correct in saying that we don't give suggestions like that. Cheers, ~Helicopter Llama~ 21:24, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
We can give references to opinions. According to, these games are the most enjoyable. Also, here's a list of video game emulators and a a look at Nintendo thumb. Something to consider. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:09, October 22, 2014 (UTC)
I don't have a citation, but I've read more than once that the best Sega games were adaptations of their arcade titles, such as Space Harrier, Afterburner, and Out Run; Nintendo, of course, had the Mario and Zelda franchises, as well as several popular games from third party designers such as Konami. I own both systems, and really, you'll almost certainly get a lot of enjoyment out of either one. OldTimeNESter (talk) 12:26, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

October 23[edit]

AT&T behavior[edit]

AT&T recently added fiber optics in my area, and immediately dropped the speed to a crawl on their copper wire DSL system to "encourage" everyone to upgrade to fiber optics (their technician admitted this to me). Have they done the same thing elsewhere ? Have there been any protests ? StuRat (talk) 03:23, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

i think i recall some save the Internet protests regarding the control of speeds, so net neutrality may be a relative to what you're referring to? particularly "control of data" section of latter article ~Helicopter Llama~ 12:17, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
AT&T's behavior is often painful to decipher...and I've long learned that in the absence of evidence, it's generally wiser to attribute failure to incompetence rather than malice.
12 years ago, I had a copper DSL line from them which had worked solidly for many years. One day I got a call out of the blue offering me a free upgrade to 2x speed. Obviously, I leaped at the chance - they came and installed the new equipment as promised. I soon noticed my network speed was now about 1% of what it used to be - and found that I was getting a 99% packet failure rate! I called to ask for help and they said that I was too far from the telephone exchange to use the higher speed DSL. I asked them to down-grade me to the 1x speed service I had before and they said that they had no mechanism in place to downgrade people's service. Then they offered us their cellular service instead - which was outrageously expensive, slow as all hell - and only worked when the antenna was 30 feet from our house! So in the end, they just cancelled my contract so I was left with no internet at all! I complained to AT&T headquarters and they promised to refund the payments for the period when I had the 2x service - which was something like $15...gee...thanks! Soon after, we moved away from the area - so it stopped being a problem. Then, just last year, a decade after all of that nonsense, I got a call from a collections agency saying that I owed them $1,000 because of an unpaid $15 bill from AT&T dating back a dozen years ago. All efforts to get AT&T to admit the error fell on deaf ears ("we've turned the debt over to a collections agency and now it's not our problem") and I ended up settling that 'debt' for $150. I swore off AT&T - but recently, they made us a VERY good offer for cable TV+Internet at low cost and with phenomenal Internet bandwidth. When it was all plugged in and running, the internet bandwidth was terrible. I complained that it fell far short of their promise and after several techs visited the house and (mostly) just rebooted the cable box and the WiFi moden, they told me that to get bandwidth higher than our old TimeWarner system, I'd have to turn off all of the TV's in my house...turns out that the stated numbers were for TOTAL bandwidth..minus TV. With two or three TV's turned on, my internet ran like dialup! So we told them in no uncertain terms to pull out their crappy system and pay for the re-installation fees from TimeWarner - which they EVENTUALLY agreed to do. I'm expecting another call from a collections agency in about another decade - so the final statement and receipt of payment are in our wall-safe where I'll be able to find them again!
However, while it's possible that they did this to you maliciously - it's more plausible that they are phasing out the DSL equipment as the demand for it decreases - and there is some kind of bottleneck arising because of that. The 'admissions' of a tech don't mean might be true, it might not.
SteveBaker (talk) 16:27, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Do you know if the sync speed has changed at all? Beyond what SteveBaker has said, if there's any connection at all between the fibre and the existing copper network (e.g. the same fibre is used from the DSLAM/cabinet) it's also possible someone screwed up and bumped a wire, connected something incorrectly or whatever when they were installing the fibre. Nil Einne (talk) 14:38, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

NonNetwork Printer Shared Between Computer[edit]

Yesterday I needed to move a printer (that lacks an ethernet jack and does have any type of networking) that was setup as follows: the usb runs from the printer into a box that has an ethernet cable coming out the other end, the ethernet cable runs into a switch, then that connects into two computers. The printer works from either computer and was installed without discs. I moved the printer, installed it using by plugging the usb into two different computers, then duplicated the setup with the wires - however, in this case, it does not work (I didn't expect it to...). What do I need to do to duplicate this setup? I'm usually fairly savvy with this type of thing, but I wasn't aware that a setup like that could work, any suggestions? Thank you for any help:-)Phoenixia1177 (talk) 09:20, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

The box was surely a little print server appliance. So, as far as each PC (which I assume you mean Windows machines) is concerned, the printer is a network printer. When you installed the printers with USB connections, you created what, to Windows, is logically a different, local printer. You need to have the Windows machines add a new printer, but have them search on the network for it. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 10:43, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I tried that, nothing is found for a network printer - the printers config page does not show an ip address, nor even have a line to list one. On the two printers it works on, the printers are not installed as network printers, though many fields under their properties are listed "unavailable", this changes if I plug it in directly via usb. The box, as far as I could see, looks like it is simply a converter, like this: [6].Phoenixia1177 (talk) 10:47, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
A print server doesn't need to be very complicated. Any smart phone with an ethernet port and USB host most could nominally function as a print server, and that has an unnecessary screen, battery and other stuff. That said, are you suggesting that the device doesn't have any external power? This is somewhat unusual. While some printers may provide power to special USB2Go or host ports (for connecting phones, cameras and may be smart cards and external discs), these are generally seperate from the main USB port used for connecting the printer to the computer. And even if they are the same, a printer wouldn't normally provide power when connecting as a client. And connecting to the printer in USB host mode wouldn't normally allow the device to connect via normal drivers etc. So if the device really has no external power (which to be clear, would include a microUSB connection to a computer) and I'm guessing it's not getting Power over Ethernet that would mean it's probably somewhat unusual. There's still a resonable chance it is a print server and the printer has some special USB mode which provides power but allows the server to still connect as normal but it's difficult to say without more info on the device. I'm pretty sure it's not the same as what you linked to.
Anyway, I'm slightly confused about the current setup. Is the printer going to the same switch as before? Did you move the switch? Or change the connection between the computers and the switch in any way? Are you using the same ethernet cables? Have you verified the ethernet connection between the computers is working? Did you save anything before moving so that we can perhaps work out how it was connecting before? If you can move it back, does it work when you do so?
BTW what version of Windows are you using? I seem to recall on some older versions of Windows, 'network printer' was confusing since it referred to those connectable via a few different network printer standards, but not via the Windows (File and) Printer sharing i.e. Server Message Block which a number of printer servers use (probably using SAMBA) for simplicity and compatibility. Have you tried browsing for the printer on the local network like you would browse for shared files?
Nil Einne (talk) 14:32, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
What is the brand and model of the box? Most external print servers have a software discovery tool. --  Gadget850 talk 21:23, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Resource for Raytracer[edit]

Hi. Can anyone recommend a good resource to help me understand how to calculate a ray for a camera in a ray tracing program? For example, I have X and Y on a viewing screen, and I want to convert it to a ray with the origin at the aperture of my camera and passing through the appropriate pixel in the screen. I was looking at scratchapixel but I wonder if there is something else you can recommend. Thanks. Duomillia (talk) 17:53, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

You need to know how far the virtual screen is from the camera - which would provide the Z coordinate for each pixel. The distance may be specified directly, but more commonly you need to know the horizontal and vertical field of view. So, typically, you might use a 60 degree horizontal FOV. If the virtual screen is considered to be (say) 1 meter wide - then it's going to be (0.5/tan(30 degrees)) meters from the camera. The actual screen pixels will be spaced equally across your 1 meter wide virtual screen - so you need to know the screen's origin and X and Y resolutions to be able to compute an (x,y,z) for each pixel. Once you have that, it's easy to figure out a vector describing the ray from the camera through each pixel. SteveBaker (talk) 19:31, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Have you reviewed our list of ray tracing software? A lot of free software exists to do what you want, with varying complexity. Commercial packages are also available. Nimur (talk) 21:11, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

October 24[edit]

Windows Explorer List Order[edit]

I'm using Windows 7. When I copy and paste files from one Windows Explorer folder to another, they get added at the bottom of the list, not alphabetically, even though the window is sorted on the Name column. I then have to refresh the window before they pop into place.

Is there a configuration option that will force Windows to drop new files in at the right place?

Thanks, Rojomoke (talk) 13:10, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Advanced histogram plot[edit]

I am plotting a function, from reals to reals, that is a sum of a finite number of dirac delta functions. I need to plot it like a histogram, with the area of each bar proportional to the area under the corresponding delta function, and the width of the bar the maximum possible so as to avoid overlap with the neighboring delta function.

I'm using Octave on Linux. Can anyone suggest plotting software, or code that will do what I want? Thanks! --RM — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:47, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Octave produces histographs. Example: hist (randn (10000, 1), 30); — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:32, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Last I used Octave, it had to hook into gnuplot to do that sort of thing, and that could be a bit tricky on some installations. But if OP can get Octave to plot anything directly, then 'hist' will indeed plot a histogram [7]. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:58, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Wait, the area under Dirac_delta_function is 1 for any interval that contains the center point, right? Are you thinking of something like a Dirac comb, but with some sort of weighting? I would suggest doing whatever manipulations you want to get the appropriate heights and widths, then just feed that vector to 'bar' or similar, rather than trying to get a plotting command to correctly interpret the deltas. SemanticMantis (talk) 21:04, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

The function is a sum of a finite number of weighted shifted dirac delta functions.

The "boxes" style in Gnuplot seems best as of now. Is there any plotting program that allows individual bar width to be adjusted for histogram plots? --RM — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:43, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

boxes does let you set each width—it even can compute it to touch like you want, but you still need them yourself to compute the correct heights. --Tardis (talk) 00:26, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

BeagleBoard: making it mobile[edit]

If you buy a BeagleBoard, can you make it mobile attaching a battery and a screen to it? And what battery and screen would be a choice? I'd like the less colorful screen (but still touch screen) and the bigger battery (think: less esthetically minded, prefer longer running time). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:51, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Yes, it is possible. Review the latest BeagleBoard System Reference Manual. There is a whole chapter on power supply systems.
If you provide 5 volt DC power, you can expect that the supply will need to source around a half an ampere. (The spec actually says 1.5 A minimum). Not all batteries can do that safely. Choose wisely!
In other words some batteries will fail gracefully, (i.e., your board will suffer a brownout). (This is a more likely scenario for most of the kinds of batteries that are within the price-range of the enthusiast/hobbyist). But if you decide to shell out big bucks for bigger batteries with longer lifetimes, you need to be aware: some batteries will leak chemical, catch fire, or explode, if you sink too much current out of them. Some (bigger) batteries will over-current the Beagle Board and blow out its overcurrent protection circuit.
The moral of this story : before you go connecting a yacht-sized marine battery to your computer, you should read up on DC-DC power supply design. Choose an appropriate energy source (battery); choose an appropriate DC voltage and current regulator; choose appropriate cables and protection circuitry. If you do it all correctly, you can hook up a yacht battery, and you can run the board for days, hours, weeks or months. I once worked on a project where we hooked up many dozen (about a metric ton) of marine batteries to a small embedded system... its computer system and radio uplinks survived for several years until "a shark ate it." Nimur (talk) 18:22, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Are you really set on using a BeagleBoard? Those things are like 5 or 6 years old - a BeagleBone Black would be a more reasonable choice...and it's significantly smaller. If only needs 460 milliAmps at 5 volts - and then only when everything is running. Most of the time it's more like 250mA. Four rechargeable 2900mAh Nimh AA batteries would get you plenty of battery life. This display plugs directly into the BeagleBone and has an integrated touch screen...not sure how much power it'll consume though. SteveBaker (talk) 19:19, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

October 25[edit]


October 21[edit]

Skeleton question[edit]

In this image, Judge Anderson is carrying the skeleton of Judge Death, possessed by his spirit, so he may be resurrected in physical form. Would a skeleton, devoid of any skin and muscle tissue, really stay that well together when picked up, or would the bones just fall apart? JIP | Talk 18:25, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

In a comic book, anything is possible. In real life, skeletons on display obviously would have their bones connected by hardware of some kind. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:54, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
So as I understand your reply, if it were not the skeleton of Judge Death, but just a normal human skeleton, the bones would just fall apart when picked up? JIP | Talk 19:57, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
In real life they would, if all the connective tissue has decomposed. Like when they dug up King Richard recently, they laid the bones out on a slab. There was nothing connecting them. In a comic book, they could be held together by magic. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:00, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
OK, thanks. JIP | Talk 20:06, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
In the real world, it's all about the connective tissue, specifically the ligaments. Without that, a skeleton falls apart, as Bugs describes. But say a human body had just been skinned and flayed of most flesh and organs. The connective tissue would hold a lot of it together. If you've never de-boned a whole raw chicken, I recommend trying it out for a good illustration of how tough it is to separate all the bones of a recently dead vertebrate. So what happens depends on how the skeleton was "made" -- if it's ancient and decomposed, it would fall apart. If it's fresh and nobody took the effort to disconnect the bones, it would stay together. I have no idea if any of that is relevant for the plot of the story, but in the real world skeletons can stay connected for quite a while. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:13, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
That comic book illustration does not stand up to close scrutiny, as there are a number of things that don't look right. But for some more magic skeletons, go to about 5:15 of this:[8]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:16, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
I just got back from an episode of Futurama with a "bone vampire" in it. Turns out, it can eat your shin and leave your leg stable, only wobbling when you shake it to illustrate the point. But yeah, that's the other way around (and fictional). Like Bugs says, if you look at a skeleton in a classroom or doctor's office, the bones are drilled and wired. When you're dealing with a snake, that's a lot of work. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:18, October 21, 2014 (UTC)
Just got back from the next episode. There's an actual(ish) human display skeleton in this one, and that idiot doctor was checking it for a heartbeat. News flash: You need a heart to live! InedibleHulk (talk) 21:38, October 21, 2014 (UTC)
I'd think it ought to be possible if you can preserve the ligaments (If there are joints without ligaments, I'm definitely spacing on what they are). For example, you inject your judge with a gene therapy vector expressing the sort of activin from fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, driven by a ligament specific promoter (that's the tricky/artful part that determines the aesthetics of your result; I'm thinking periostin is a starting point). You wait a couple of weeks for your sculpture to set before you kill him, then clean the bones and included ligaments as a unit. Wnt (talk) 00:11, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I have done some amateur taxidermy so have some limited experience in this. I can tell you that if you just leave an animal carcass out for the files and worms, even after several months when all the testy bits are long gone, the bones will still be stuck together by dried and quite hard left over connective tissue. For the case of King Richard, I imagine after some decades even the connective tissue will eventually decompose, but i think there would be quite a long period of time when the bones are stuck together when there is little much else left. Vespine (talk) 02:42, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Incorruptibility affects some corpses. Freezing, embalming, drying or (perhaps) God's will can keep even the skin preserved for many years. Richard was clearly "corrupt", but the year he died, some construction workers dug up an Ancient Roman teenager who looked "as if she had been buried that very day." No word on whether she became a functional marionette, but also nothing saying she didn't. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:39, October 22, 2014 (UTC)
Here's a more bookish source for that old young girl. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:51, October 24, 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for sharing your experience. I wanted to claim similar above, but I have not experienced it first hand in a relatively controlled environment. Even deer carcasses in the woods that have been ravaged for a few years stick together pretty well! SemanticMantis (talk) 14:41, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Indeed, but the image is still unrealistic in that the bones are clearly pretty clean, yet are hanging like a limp body, neither of which instance would occur if you had a body with connective tissue still on it. I was going to link to skeletonization, but it's pretty rudimentary. Kind of a bare bones article, actually. Matt Deres (talk) 16:19, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
The rib cage looks like it came from a gorilla. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:15, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your replies! So it is indeed possible that a skeleton could be picked up like that and stay together, as long as it hasn't been too long since its death, so the ligaments haven't decayed, even though the skin and flesh has. I find it rather funny that people have talked about injecting the judge with a gene therapy vector and killing him as a scientific experiment here. We're talking about Judge Death here. Assuming he was real, if you got within a few metres of him, you wouldn't stand a chance, he'd kill you. And even though he was once human, he has been transformed so much that I very much doubt such an injection would do anything to him. But this is solely a comment about trying to inject and kill him, it doesn't have any relation to the actual question. JIP | Talk 18:56, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Natural immunity to Ebola[edit]

Is a thing, as noted here. As part of its efforts to combat the recent Ebola outbreak, the WHO has said that the best treatment yet discovered is a blood transfusion from an Ebola survivor—meaning, presumably, someone whose immune system adapted to kill the virus and provide them with immunity. This is how the first two Americans were cured, if I remember correctly. My question, which may or may not be compromised by a less-than-complete understanding of virology and immunology, is, could the blood of those with hereditary Ebola immunity be used to do the same thing? Could their blood be as good for fighting off the virus in others as that of individuals who have personally fought off the virus? Is there something different about hereditary vs. acquired immunity that makes that not an option? Evan (talk|contribs) 18:31, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Unfortunately, no, not if what you mean is genetically inherited immunity. For example, there are certain Europeans who have an immunity to HIV because their immune cells lack a certain receptor that HIV needs to bind to in order to enter the cell. Those specific cells can't be infected, but they don't actively fight HIV or produce antibodies. What happens with the transfusion in the case of recently infected survivors, is that their antibodies mark the virus as a threat, and the infected host gets a head-start on his own body fighting the infection. But those who are genetically immune are immune because they lack a receptor or have an altered protein (sickle cell anemia) that prevents infection, not a genetically inherited antibody. μηδείς (talk) 19:19, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
As Medeis notes, the transfusion works in Ebola cases because it is a form of vaccination or inoculation; introducing the infectious agent in an attenuated form to induce the host to produce antibodies to fight the infection. People who have hereditary immunity could have it for a variety of reasons; one of them (as Medeis notes) could be that their cells are not susceptible to attack by the virus in the first place. --Jayron32 20:13, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Also note that it may not be possible to determine who has a hereditary immunity to ebola with current technology, other than by exposing them to see if they contract it. That's obviously unethical. StuRat (talk) 01:01, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Just to clarify Jayron's clarification of me; innoculation with particles of inactive virus may be one critical source of aid from transfusions from survivors. But their blood should also contain a large number of antibodies to various parts of the virus that would tell the immune cells of the infected patient; this here is evil, react to it, and enhance reactions to it. I would think that since pigs get sick from the virus, infecting a lot of pigs and fractioning out their antibodies might be a good stop=gap measure to help patients get a head start on fighting the disease. I have no sources for tis, nor have I read anything I can point to, other than the fact that pigs, but not cats and dogs do seem to get infected by the virus. μηδείς (talk) 01:43, 22 October 2014 (UTC) here we have a disease that requires you to suit up in order to avoid catching it, where bodily fluids and corpses of victims are highly infectious transporters of the virus...and you want to deliberately infect a large number of pigs with it? I think I see a teeny-tiny flaw in that plan! An alternative might be to note that 30% of infected people survive the disease - and the ratio of the number of survivors to the number of new victims is more or less constant (about 1/6th), even if the disease is basically incurable and spreads exponentially. So if antibody treatment does turn out to be the way to handle Ebola, it ought to be possible to take blood donations from survivors as they are released from hospital and use that as a source of antibodies - rather than resorting to unnecessarily infecting (and nursing back to health) a bunch of pigs. SteveBaker (talk) 16:26, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Are you implying the pigs will only volunteer if we promise to nurse them back to health? All we need is to harvest the blood and then fraction out the antibodies. Of course you're risking transmission of the live virus, other viruses, and allergic reaction to the pig antibodies. My speculation on this further would be of no value. μηδείς (talk) 18:32, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
No, I'm implying that "fractioning out" the antibodies would produce a huge risk of there being live virus in the resulting treatment...which one would presume could easily be counter-productive! When human antibodies from a survivor of the disease are used, it is assumed that the donor is virus-free. So I'd assume that the only reasonable way to harvest antibodies from pigs would be to take it from porcine survivors...which does indeed mean that you'd have to nurse them back to health. The amount of antibodies produced by the dying pigs would likely be inadequate anyway...just as it's inadequate in the dying humans you're trying to treat. But whether you're able to harvest antibodies from the pigs or not, they'd be showing symptoms and shedding virus into their body fluids long before you'd be able to collect those antibodies - and now you have to have a bunch of pig farmers dressed up in hazmat suits cleaning up, and safely disposing of everything that the pigs got close to. Given the observed failure rates of these suits (or the procedures required to use them correctly) - this deliberate creation of a large pool of infected animals would just be asking for trouble. But we don't need to do that. As the disease spreads, the number of survivors grows in direct proportion to the number of people needing treatment - so we should have a sufficiently large pool of potential donors for the forseeable future...assuming this approach makes sense at all - which is rather uncertain right now. SteveBaker (talk) 15:57, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I am talking about a treatment for people already infected, so the presence of live virus along with the antibodies would be a very small risk, as the patient would already be infected. Your complaint about pigfarmers in hazmat suits is ludicrous. Of course any such process would be dangerous. They'd have to build special labs, and use mice or chicken eggs or whatever was the easiest and most effective to use. Your answer amounts to contrarian naysaying--like claiming we can't build 20 story buildings because the construction workers would fall to their deaths--in principle it could be done. μηδείς (talk) 19:04, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Good news, everyone! Just got back from the next Futurama episode, and in 1,000 years, we'll all be free from the common cold. Except for one little frozen pizza boy. Without the antibodies or knowledge, panic will spread quicker than in 2014 and whether Manhattan is doomed depends entirely on whether we can remember 1988 in science. InedibleHulk (talk) 02:17, October 22, 2014 (UTC)

Mushroom identification[edit]

I found some very large white mushrooms growing in the soil around a tree in my front yard, but I'm having trouble identifying it. Other than being large and white, it has a single large brown spot on the center of the cap and white gills underneath. This is a closeup of one, and here are more of them. You can see in the second photo that a couple of them have caps that are completely round, whereas the one from the closeup image looks like a flower, but is that only because it's diseased? So does anyone know what these are? And I live in southern California, if that helps.-- 20:52, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

The first image looks like some sort of puffball which has bloomed. It might help to know what sort of tree they are growing around, but I can't contribute any more here myself. μηδείς (talk) 01:59, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I assume that the first image is looking at the top of a dried cap that has turned upwards and split. It looks a lot like a lepiota or macrolepiota to me. There are dozens of different species world-wide. I wouldn't like to venture a more specific identification but look at images of macrolepiota acera for a start. Richard Avery (talk) 07:36, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

October 22[edit]

Black holes in the sky during the day[edit]

Let's say there were a black hole that we could see from the Earth without the aid of telescopes. So that it's basically the size of one of the other stars that we can see at night. And let's also assume that the Earth wouldn't be destroyed by the gravitational pull, etc. What would this black hole look like during the day? Would there be a black spot in the sky or would the Sun still overwhelm that area of the sky and we still wouldn't see it?

Just a little curiosity that came to mind... Thanks! Dismas|(talk) 01:27, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

You can't see a black hole. That's why they are black. You can only detect their effect on objects around them by looking at the effect of their gravity on nearby objects. If you look up in the night sky, you don't see any black holes anyways, even though there are many closer than the stars you see. V4641 Sagittarii is the closest (known) one to earth FWIW, but there may be some (or even many) closer than that, but they don't exist in environments that allow us to detect them. So the answer is "nothing interesting at all" because, what you see at night, when your best chance to see one, is "nothing at all" Even if you were closer to one, you still wouldn't see it. And if you got too close nasty stuff starts to happen. --Jayron32 01:46, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Most black holes either glow because they have accretion disks, or are simply black. If they are glowing from an accretion disk, like Cygnus X-1 they may be visible if very close. If black, they are only going to be visible when they occlude another heavenly body, or cause gravitational lensing. I don't believe we are aware of any black holes closer that several hundred light years, something like 30 Kessel runs. But that's me remembering junior high, when Scientific American published peer-review quality articles, and not pornographic POV-laden clickbait. The point is, during the day, the sky way up is still black and star-filled. We just don't notice because the daytime atmosphere is blue due to the way it scatters light: nearby glowing black holes, if they existed, would be invisible behind that until you got dozens of miles high. μηδείς (talk) 01:55, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't know that accretion discs are all that bright in the visible range, however. AFAIK, Cygnus X-1 is mostly bright in the X-ray region, and not so much in the visible region. --Jayron32 02:07, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I thought about mentioning that, but if it's close enough, as the OP is implying, and has a significant accretion disk, it will be visible in visible light as well. μηδείς (talk) 15:09, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but at those distances, other more dramatic effects than the dim glow of the accretion discs would be noticeable too. In one of those "you can't have your cake and eat it too" situations, you can't meet the OPs requirement: a black hole with a visible accretion disc, bright enough to be noticeable during the daytime, which has no other effect on the sun or earth. Such a black hole cannot possibly exist. If it's large enough and close enough to give off enough light during the day time, you can be damn sure you're going to notice the gravitational effects in a dramatic way. Which is basically the point made below by Mr. Schulz. --Jayron32 23:38, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I didn't say that more energy would be released as light rather than x-rays, I think there are standard curves for that sort of thing. A star-sized black hole in the Oort cloud or Kuiper Belt might very well have a bright enough accretion disk to see, at least when it flared, gobbling things up. But in that case the radiation would probably be much more dangerous than having our orbit directly perturbed.μηδείς (talk) 00:55, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm fairly certain that if there were a black hole in the Oort cloud, we'd all be part of its accretion disc a long time ago, rendering whether or not we could see it fairly moot. --Jayron32 12:27, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
"If the Sun was replaced with a black hole that had the same mass as the Sun, the Schwarzschild radius would be 3 km (compared to the Sun's radius of nearly 700,000 km)." so it kinda depends lol ~Helicopter Llama~ 12:36, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
What matters with a black hole in regards to it's gravity, Jayron32 is its mass. So A black hole with the mass of the sun would be 6km across per HL, but it would still only have the same gravity of the sun. If this were accomplished without othersie destroying the earth, it would remain in it's orbit as it is now. But if the blackhole were the size of the sun, not 6, but 2,000,000 km across, its mass would be (2,000,000/6)^3 times greater, and we'd instantly be ripped apart by tides, and swallowed up. I think the size needed for a star naturally to form a black hole is about 6 solar masses, it's on the order of that.
That's not so big, and if it were as far out as the Kuiper Belt (past Pluto) or the Oort cloud it would just be a companion star to ours in a binary system. It would be on the order of 10km across (I am not going to do the math--SS gives 30km for 5 solar masses) and it would still just have the mass, and hence the gravitic attraction of a star of 6 solar masses. At that distance the Earth could still have a stable orbit about the sun with a perturbation cycle due to the black hole as the two stars orbited each other every 500-1000 years or so, but it wouldn't get sucked away from the sun by some sort of supergravity. It would simply act as if there were another star out past Pluto. Whether the orbit of Neptune would be stable is another question.
One way to think of it is that in the time just after sunrise or just before sunset, while the sky is still illuminated, you can sometimes see really bright objects, such as Venus. So for a given "glowing" version of a black hole to be visible at any point during the day, it would likely need to be as bright as Venus. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:09, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
By way of amplification: in fact you can see Venus in full daylight if it's in a position in its orbit where it's near maximum brightness and far enough from the Sun. You just have to know where to look, or else spot it by accident (which I have). -- (talk) 07:17, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

By way of response to the original poster: you need to understand that when into the daytime sky and see blue, that blue comes from sunlight that has been scattered in the atmosphere, and most of that happens within about 50 miles (80 km) above you. (If you ever fly in an airliner you can see that the daytime sky is darker blue because you are above a lot of that. The blueness is now below you, where you see it tinting the ground.) You can see bright things like the Sun and Moon because they shine through the sky. But you can't see dark things through the sky. So the idea of "seeing a dark spot" doesn't make sense. It is true that a black hole absorbs light that falls into it, but the sunlight scattering from the air and reaching your eye in the form of blue sky is not falling into the black hole (Inserted later: because it isn't passing anywhere near it). -- (talk) 07:17, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Also, while black holes are often imagined as giant objects, from a physical point of view, stellar-mass black holes are quite small. A black hole of, say, 5 solar masses has a Schwarzschild radius of about 15km. If it is near enough to be detectable with the naked eye, it would also be near enough to massively influence the the whole arrangement of the solar system via its gravitational effects. Going by Eye#Visual_acuity, we can resolve a 30km diameter body at about 85000 km - that's a quarter of the distance to the moon. At that distance, the black hole's gravitation would totally dominate everything, and indeed, tidal forces would probably be enough to rip the planet apart. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:35, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Effects of celestial bodies in close proximity[edit]

I recently watched Predators (2010) again. At one point in the movie the gang discover that they are on another planet as evidenced by the several celestial bodies observed in the sky. My question is about the effects such celestial bodies can and do have on each other when in such close proximity. We know that the moon has a significant effect on earth and that is just one body. Given that a couple of the bodies shown in the movie are very large (especially in comparison to our moon) and that there are several bodies that can be seen, I would assume that there would be significant effects on the planet (or moon). What would some of the effects be and is it even possible for a planet (or moon) to be habitable (by us) under such conditions? (talk) 03:17, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Well, there's tides, which can be in oceans or tidal heating and/or quakes in solid ground. The effect tends to be more on the smaller bodies. The there would be the effect of having reflected light from all those moons so it may rarely be completely dark on the planet. Pluto has several moons, including one large moon, Charon, so that might be an interesting example in real life. (While the gas giants have many more moons, they tend to be tiny in comparison with the planets they orbit.) StuRat (talk) 04:05, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

In the long term, planetary systems with large bodies whose orbits bring them close together would have a good chance of being unstable, so even if a planet is currently habitable it might not still be that way after, say, a few million years. Specifically, it might come close enough to be thrown into a significantly different orbit, or if the encounters are not quite that close, cumulative perturbations from repeated encounters might have a similar effect. This is an advanced topic which I only know a little about; because the n-body problem cannot be solved mathematically, scientists have to investigate it by simulations, which has only become possible in recent decades with fast enough computers. -- (talk) 07:28, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

The Moon was about ten times closer to the Earth when it just formed. At that time the Earth's surface had melted due to the impact that led to the formation of the Moon, but soon afterwards there were already oceans on Earth. There tides were much higher than they are today, about 1000 meters high. Count Iblis (talk) 15:51, 22 October 2014 (UTC)


What is the significance of the velocities (if that's what they are) shown on the shied in the Blue Origin logo? Wikipedia's fair use image, File:Blue_Origin_Logo.png, is only 200 × 190 pixels, but here is one at 485 × 461. As best as I can make out, the velocities are 3 km/s, 9.5 km/s, 13 km/s, 19 km/s, & 20 km/s. They don't appear to represent orbital speeds as these decrease for higher orbits, and they don't seem to correspond to escape velocities either. I assume that they represent the delta-v necessary for various actions, but what? -- (talk) 16:17, 22 October 2014 (UTC) thanks ein fast worm

Comment: wouldn't expect escape velocity to be very relevant for launch vehicles. From escape velocity "A rocket moving out of a gravity well does not actually need to attain escape velocity to do so, but could achieve the same result at any speed with a suitable mode of propulsion and sufficient fuel. Escape velocity only applies to ballistic trajectories." So these might well be target velocities at each height for a planned launch vehicle, or some famous past vehicle, and have nothing to do with escape or orbital velocities. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:47, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
My first reaction was ... those are the wrong velocities! Those of us who spend our free time watching RADAR looking for extraterrestrial returns are looking for harmonics of 30 km/s (the characteristic velocity of an object, or a retrograde object, incident onto Earth's orbit around the sun. But, the characteristic velocity is only representative - actual objects can have any orbital velocity, because their orbits can be non-circular or otherwise non-ideal with respect to their impact onto Earth.
For perspective: 3 km/s is close to the orbital velocity of a geostationary earth orbit. For context, New Horizons (launched in 2006) was the fastest launch vehicle ever built, and it launched at about 16 km/s. The Space Transportation System (the Space Shuttle) reentered Earth from an orbital velocity in LEO at about 8 km/s; when I was a kid, the Space Shuttle orbiter was commonly cited as the fastest manned vehicle ever "flown": Mach 25 (on re-entry). The SoHo mission spacecraft is in a heliocentric orbit, and its orbital velocity can rightly be said to be close to 30 km/s with respect to the Sun - though its mean orbital speed with respect to Earth should be about zero!
There are important caveats for such high speeds: relative to what reference-point is the speed being measured? This is an issue of galilean relativity, not special relativity: for orbital flight, are you accounting for the fact that the Earth's surface is rotating and the Earth as an entire planet is revolving around the sun? Do you measure relative to the center of mass of the Earth, or relative to the launchpad or airfield at a "fixed" point on the Earth's surface? Do you measure speed relative to the air? As you go to higher altitudes, and the atmosphere starts to get weird with its pressures and thermal behaviors, you start needing more complicated physics to measure that speed: even at low altitudes, there is indicated airspeed, equivalent airspeed, calibrated airspeed, true airspeed, mach number, ... and finally you get to altitudes with negligible air - no meaningful airspeed, corresponding to a mach number that approaches infinity!
All I can say with certainty is that I don't know what these velocities on the Blue Origin logo are actually referring to. I would speculate that they are launch velocities, or orbital velocities, of actual- and planned- vehicles.
Nimur (talk) 19:21, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
3 km/s is approximately the delta-V required to reach space. 9.5 km/s is required to get into orbit (the extra 1.5 km/s is due to having to get out of the atmosphere). 13 km/s is for escape velocity from Earth (3.5 km/s more than orbital). I have no idea what 19 and 20 km/s are supposed to be, since escape from the solar system can be achieved for only 3 km/s more than the escape velocity. 20 km/s is about the delta-V required to reach the Sun, but that doesn't explain 19 km/s.
By the way, escape velocities are very relevant for launch vehicles because spacecraft do use ballistic trajectories. A spacecraft's trajectory is pretty much set the moment its launch stage falls away, which happens when it's barely outside the atmosphere. The spacecraft itself only carries fuel for minor course corrections and altitude control. While it's possible to take a lot of fuel and burn it far from Earth, that's less efficient, due to the Oberth effect. --Bowlhover (talk) 20:53, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Bowlhover. I should have mentioned, for those who didn't want to study the logo, that the 3 km/s label is associated with what appears to be a suborbital arc while the others label what appear to be orbits.
Aerodynamics need to be taken into account in real life, but ignoring air resistance and simplistically applying h=v2/2g, a projectile fired upward at 3 km/s would reach an altitude of 460 km, and only 1.4 km/s would be required to reach 100 km. In practice, Project HARP, in 1966, fired a projectile at 3.6 km/s which reached 180 km. But we are not talking about space guns here, so we have to take gravity drag into account in addition to atmospheric drag. The delta-v budget article discusses these issues. -- (talk) 12:44, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

[copyvio removed]

Hope this helps. --Kitachi Matusuri (talk) 19:47, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Matusuri, thank you for your contribution. However, we're not supposed to copy large amounts of non-free content to Wikipedia (see WP:NFC for details). The paper you quote from is available here, but the fact it's publically available does not mean it's in the public domain. I've hatted your text above. Tevildo (talk) 23:54, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I've gone ahead and removed it entirely. Copyright violations should be removed entirely, per Wikipedia's policy. --Jayron32 00:44, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
It is unclear which of three consecutive questions KM is addressing with his quote from this black hole distribution analysis. -- (talk) 10:51, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

October 23[edit]

Time versus space[edit]

Two questions that I've wondered about for a long time:

1. Which scale is bigger, time or size?

2. Which scale is bigger, the size of a human to the universe, or from the size of a human to the teeniest object?

Many thanks for any opinions you can offer. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 14:08, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

2. It depends on what you mean. I'm guessing you are probably interested in mass, length, or volume. See Orders_of_magnitude_(mass), Orders_of_magnitude_(length), and Orders_of_magnitude_(volume) for some info. The other question is whether you want an absolute comparison, or in terms of ratios, e.g. on a logarithmic scale. For example, using mass, we could say that a photon is about 10^-40 kg, a human is around 10^2 kg, and the observable universe is about 10^52 kg. So on a log scale, there are about 42 orders of magnitude between a human and a photon, and about 50 between a human and the universe. This means we're closer in mass to photons. On an absolute scale, 100 kg is FAR closer to ~0 kg than it is to 10^52 kg, because to get from 100 to near zero, you just have to subtract a little less than 100. But to get from 100 to 10^52, you have to add 1000...000 (1 with 52 zeros)! This also means that we're closer to photons on a linear scale of mass, but much more so than on the log scale. Playing around with mass, vol, etc, and deciding what you mean by 'teeniest object', you can get several different answers on log and linear scales. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:12, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I should note that, on absolute scales, humans will almost always be closer to teeny things than to to the universe. But on logarithmic scales, sometimes we are "closer" to huge objects. For example in length, the observable universe is ~10^26m by one estimate, and the Planck length is 10^-35m. So on a log scale of length, we are closer to the length universe than the smallest length, but on a linear scale, we are still much closer to the smallest length. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:20, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
  1. You can't compare things that are expressed in different units. So this is like asking "How long (in meters) is 12 seconds?" - the only means for comparison is if you pick a particular velocity. A common choice might be the speed of light. Then you might ask whether the universe is spatially larger than the distance light could travel in the time since the big bang. That's kinda comparing the size of the universe to it's age in a kinda-sorta-quasi-reasonably manner. In that respect, the answer is "Yes". The universe is known to be at least 46 billion light years across - and it's thought to be around 13 billion years old. So using the speed of light as a means for comparison, I suppose you could say that the size of the universe is "bigger" than it's age...but it's really kinda meaningless. But as you phrased it, you're asking an even more abstract question about the relative size of the scales - and that truly is a meaningless question. You can't compare seconds to meters in the same way you can compare inches to just doesn't mean anything.
  2. The universe is known to be at least 46 billion light years across...that's how much we can see. It may very well be infinite. But taking just what we can see...that's 4×1026 meters - and for a two-meter human (basketball-player!) 2x1026 times bigger than a human being. So how big is the teeniest object? Well, now it gets tricky. Things like electrons and photons, quarks and the like are thought to have literally zero size. So does the singularity at the center of a black hole. So humans are infinitely larger than those things - and if the universe is infinitely large then the ratio of universe-to-human is infinity and the ratio of human-to-quark is also infinity - so the answer is "exactly the same". If the universe is finite, then the ratio of universe-to-human is a big number, but it's not infinite, so human-to-quark is larger. But even that is kinda tricky. There is a thing called "the plank length" - which is the shortest distance we could ever possibly measure. A proton is 1020 plank-lengths in diameter...and a human is about 3x1035 plank lengths tall. So perhaps we could stretch a point here and say that the size of a human compared to the smallest distance we could ever possibly measure is 3x1035 and the part of the universe that we can actually measure (which could be all that there is) is 2x1026 times bigger than a human...which means that the answer comes out the other way around. But if the universe is much, much bigger than the part of it we can see and measure - then maybe it's not.
So to summarize: Your first question is meaningless (but if we really try hard and bend science to the breaking point, the answer is "distance")...and your second question is either (a) the universe is bigger...or...(b) humans are bigger...or (c) they are exactly the same...depending on how big the universe is (we don't know) or how you define "smallest" (you get to choose!).
Neither answer is very I'd have to come down on the side of both questions being essentially meaningless!
SteveBaker (talk) 15:34, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
... just to try to add to the excellent answers above, and extend the answers to time ... the smallest theoretically measurable time is about 5x10-44 seconds (that's less than a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of a second, and we don't yet know how to measure such short times). On a base ten "order of magnitude" scale as used above, few humans live longer than 3x109 seconds (100 years), and this is much closer to the age of the universe 4x1017 seconds (less than 14 billion years) than to the shortest measurable time. As Steve points out, the answers don't really mean much. Dbfirs 15:53, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Just to spell it out a little more, you're saying that if we started with the human life span of 100 years, we'd have to move a decimal point about 35 places to get to the shortest time, but we'd have to move the decimal point only 8 places to get to the age of the universe. So a human life is "closer" to the age of the universe than the shortest time in this sense, which is using a logarithmic scale of "moving decimal places". But in an absolute or linear sense, 100 years is only about 100 years away from 10^-42 years (which is almost zero), while it is almost 14 billion years from the age of the universe. So of course our life span is much closer to the smallest time than to the age of the universe in an absolute sense. I know many of us know the distinction, but I recall OP expressing difficulty with numbers in the past, so I wanted to explain it again. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:40, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Grace Hopper used to hand out 11.8 inch long pieces of wires at her lectures and call them "nanoseconds"; being one nano-light-second long, they represented the maximum distance a signal could propagate in one nanosecond in a vacuum. The speed of light, c, is being used there to convert between distance and time, and in some branches of physics it is useful to use c as a dimensionless constant with value 1 by measuring distance and time in the same units. (Our Planck units and geometrized unit system articles touch on this, but while these article talk about Planck length and Planck time, I recall that some general relativists I knew went around measuring time in units of centimeters. My memory may be faulty here, so I'd appreciate if someone active in the field could chip in. @BenRG: Are you here?) In any case, while this does not speak to which of time or space is larger, it does show that the units of time that humans natively work with (such seconds and years) are much, much larger than distances that humans natively work with (such as centimeters, meters, and kilometers), because the speed of light, which, in some circumstances, can be considered the conversion factor between the two, is much, much faster than speeds that humans natively work with. -- ToE 16:59, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, the convention in general relativity is to set G=c=1 and use length units for everything. Geometrized unit system is the article. -- BenRG (talk) 17:41, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Thank you so much all! That was amazing and I understood 99% of it, (and that is saying a lot considering I only understand around 10% of the reason paper appears half size when after being folded in half). You should all really teach this stuff because my teachers could never explain anything so well. By the way, who is who is "OP" in '"...recall OP expressing difficulty..."? Anna Frodesiak (talk) 02:48, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

To bad noone made clear that today human science neither knows the age of the universe nor does it know its real size. Even an respected astrophysics educated guess is still only a guess and worse its obviously limited on what is visible to us with help of current technology. --Kharon (talk) 03:49, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
It's the nature of science that theories are based on available evidence. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:51, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
This is no science! You could highout call astrophysics theoretical imaginations an educated guess. --Kharon (talk) 03:59, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
"OP" means "Original poster"...the person who asked the question...which in this case is you.
The folded paper thing...yeah...when you fold a piece of 'A/B/C' series paper (A4, A3, etc) in half, you get a piece of paper that's the same shape as the piece that you started with. That only works with paper where the length of the long sides is 1.4142 times that of the short side. If you're a paper maker, that's a handy property because you can take a pile of A3 paper and chop it down the middle to make a bigger pile of A4, then chop that in half to get A5 and so forth - and there is never any waste! In fact, you make your paper in A1 sheets, then cut it to make A2, A3, A4, A5 and so on. American paper sizes (letter, legal, etc) and some older UK sizes (eg foolscap) are just a mess - they don't have that cool folding property because that 1.4142 ratio isn't followed. This must drive paper makers crazy...they either have to have a different machine for making letter and legal sized paper - or they have to generate a bunch of waste when the cut the sheets down to size. The significance of this 1.4142 number is that 1.4142 x 1.4142 = 2.0. (Actually, the number isn't really 1.4142 - it's a number that goes on forever without repeating, like pi. But typing infinite strings of numbers hurts my hands - so I'm rounding it off to 1.4142).
To understand why that number is important requires a little algebra. If you take a sheet of A4 and call the length of the long side 'a' and the length of the short side 'b' - then we could say that a/b is the mystery number 'x' (which we'd like to prove has to be 1.4142). You can write a/b=x.
If you fold the A4 paper in two to get a sheet of A5, then what was the short side becomes the new long side and half of the old long side becomes the new short side. So now the long side has length 'b' and the short side is 'a/2' - and b/(a/2) must also equal 'x' if the paper has the same shape. So algebraically, now we know that:
  a / b = x         (1)
  b / ( a/2 ) = x   (2)
Taking that second equation and shuffling it around a bit, we get:
  2.b / a = x
...which means that we get:
  a / b = 2 / x
...but we already know from equation (1) that a/b = x, so we can say that to have this neat folding property, a/b = x and also a/b = 2/x. Which in turn means that:
  x = 2 / x
...which we can rearrange to:
  x.x = 2
...and we know that 1.4142 times 1.4142 equals 2, so x does indeed have to be 1.4142 - and that's why paper is designed that way.
Sadly, it's not so easy to understand this kind of argument without getting your head around the algebra.
SteveBaker (talk) 04:43, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
OP, ok, I get it.
Actually, I was sort of kidding about the paper, but now that I've read your explanation, it is pretty interesting. As for the maths, even though it looks simple, I just never get it. That part of my brain never developed, and is probably the size of a grain of sand.
What you wrote about rounding off is interesting. Somebody explained the idea of base 12, and how we would have used that if we all had 12 fingers and then maths would be easier. I wonder if other planets use base 12. My friend say there's no way we could convert, and even if we colonized a new planet and fresh-started with it there, base 12 would make it hard to communicate. Maybe there could be software in between. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 05:03, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Translating between different bases is something computer scientists do all the time - computers count in base 2, and because that makes for long numbers of zeroes and ones, computer scientists often use base 16 (which has the property that every base-16 digit can be neatly converted to 4 binary digits and back again). This really will not be a problem for communication, except maybe when space tourists try to read alien menus (better check the numbers of fingers of the waiter - if it's three per hand, you can splurge, but if it's 8, better stick to items that have at most two-digit prices). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 07:28, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
It's worth noting that the number Steve Baker is referring to as 1.4142 (properly called the square root of 2) will have an infinite number of decimal places in any base you choose, since it's an irrational number (which basically means it cannot be stated as x/y, where x and y are both integers ("whole numbers")) MChesterMC (talk) 08:24, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Fair enough. Many thanks. :) :) :) Anna Frodesiak (talk) 09:10, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Yeah - working in different number bases isn't that hard - it's just a matter of practice. I'm a computer programmer and I can do base-16 math ("hexadecimal") in my head, just about as easily as in base 10. Higher bases like 12 do have some convenience issues - memorizing the multiplication tables is one of them.
But, believe it or not, you probably work in base 12 all the time! I grew up in the UK, with pre-decimal currency (12 pennies in a shilling) and we still have 12 inches in a foot - so base 12 arithmetic is actually in use all of the time. You don't think of it like this - but every time you say "3 feet, 6 inches", you're really saying "36" in base 12 and it takes mental effort to convert that to 42 inches (base 10). Every time you go between inches and feet-and-inches, you're doing a conversion from base 10 to base 12 - and vice-versa. Base 12 is (in some respects) more convenient than base 10 because 12 is evenly divisible by 1,2,3,4 and 6 - where base 10 is only divisible by 1,2 and 5. So there are some benefits to be had with base 12.
Base 16 is convenient for computer programmers because our machines are really working in base 2 (which is crazily inconvenient for us humans) - and it's very easy to mentally convert back and forth between base 2 and base 16 - but more effort to convert back and forth to base 10.
It's interesting to note that the ancient Sumarians used base 60, which is (in some respects) even more convenient than base 12 (it's evenly divisible by 1,2,3,4,5,6,10,12,15,20 and 30!) - but doing multiplication - or even addition - directly in base 60 is painful. Traces of that Sumarian base-60 system linger to the present day in our hours, minutes and seconds system for measuring time. 5 hours, 8 minutes and 4 seconds is 584 seconds in base 60.
Also, nobody has an underdeveloped math brain. You can always get better by learning and's like exercising a muscle. If math interests you, keep pursuing stuff like this and it'll get easier. SteveBaker (talk) 20:05, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
That is so interesting! I never thought of feet and inches as base 12 before. Of course! I've emailed this last bit to a bunch of friends. I hope that is okay. And the lingering base 60, also very cool. Thank you!
And it is not that I don't like maths, it is just that it's a bit like magic to me, probably like when a dog goes in an elevator and the doors open and he's in a different place. Wonderful but only a vague idea how it all happened. :) Thank you again, my friend. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 23:38, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Heroin Addict -vs- Varicose Vein[edit]

In the spirit of the irresistible force vs. the immovable object... Varicose veins seem relatively hard to treat well, requiring quite harsh methods that seem always to have some risk of stroke or other thrombosis. But intravenous drug users notoriously manage to destroy every single (surface!) vein in their entire body, until they get truly weird things like localized gangrene of the penis from unusual injection sites. While no one would suggest their practices are safe, it strikes me that to remove that many veins with even a fraction of a percent chance of stroke each time, would lead to a much higher rate of devastating trouble for drug addicts than is usually reported. So I'm scratching my head, wondering...

a) Do heroin addicts with varicose veins find them to be a secret weapon that lets them inject a huge number of times without going away? or

b) Do heroin addicts with their repeated pricks manage to destroy veins more effectively than known surgical treatments?

Or something else...? N.B. no, not a heroin addict, so this isn't medical advice. ;) Wnt (talk) 19:53, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

I haven't seen the Venn diagram of heroin users and varicose veins but I imagine it's quite small. Heroin addicts with the level of damage you describe don't tend to live long. I'd also suspect that the lack of return flow from varicose veins or any type of phlebitis is not conducive for drug use. --DHeyward (talk) 11:30, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
From the chart in Perter Laurie's book ( Drugs: Medical, Psychological, and Social Facts; page 146 fig. 4) the second peak in heroin addicts is at age 38. From then, the incidence of addiction falls off fall (and that is not due mainly to mortality). Varicose veins usually don't develop until well after this age. Second, their are very effective chemical treatments for collapsing veins. Third, it is adulterated street heroin that collapses veins not the heroin itself. Back in more enlighten times, when addition was considered an illness not a crime, addicts could receive good pharmaceutical grade morphine sulfate (heroin). That, together with clean needles and sterile hypodermic syringes avoided most common medical complications setting in. Finally. It is not the availability of easily accessible veins that regulates the amount of heroin injected but rather the degree of the untreated addiction. Don't know if that answers your questions.--Aspro (talk) 13:29, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
I thought of some of these things, but am skeptical. To begin with, I'm sure there must be a fair number of people in the Venn intersection; what matters is not whether they're the majority but only whether they happen. Also, our article collapsed vein doesn't cite impure drugs as the reason; this was my impression, distorted no doubt by media portrayals like The Knick - it would be very interesting to see some historical account of pre-Prohibition intravenous drug users. (Indeed, the hypodermic syringe was invented in the 19th century) As for the lack of return flow, I'll agree that is quite plausible, though I wonder if the addict could get around that simply by stroking the veins upward after injection (I have no idea). Wnt (talk) 16:02, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Dot on the sun[edit]

Minneapolis photo at the height of the eclipse. Wnt (talk) 16:20, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

I just looked at the solar eclipse (with 2 pairs of welding goggles plus a CD) and there was a small black dot on it, about in the middle, a little below the sun's equator. What was that? Ariel. (talk) 22:25, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

It's a sunspot. Did it look like this, by any chance? --Bowlhover (talk) 22:27, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
There was just one dot that I could see. Is there one main sunspot right now? It was a perfect circle, I thought sunspots more more patchy and diffuse. Ariel. (talk) 22:35, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
It didn't look like today's sunspot photo but the position was exactly right, so I guess that's it was. Thanks. Hope you guys got to see it. Ariel. (talk) 22:47, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
You should think yourself very lucky. The last total eclipse in the UK was in 1999 - visible in the south west. Big build up beforehand - tee shirts and eclipse glasses on sale, hotels sold out etc. Big day arrives and it's cloudy all day and hardly anybody sees anything of the total eclipse (in the north we saw a partial). Next one due in 2090... Richerman (talk) 23:12, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
That's my soul up there! --Jayron32 02:12, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Solar cycle#Surface magnetism. --Kharon (talk) 03:54, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
I was also watching through welding goggles (the Darth Vader look is kinda cool too!) - and I knew that the splotch was a sunspot, it looked round to me too - and I suspect that's due to some optical property of the welding goggle glass.
A cooler way to watch solar activity is to cover a sunny window with tinfoil to block out all of the light - then punch a pinhole in it. Darken the room completely, then take a large sheet of paper and place it in the way of the sunlight flowing in from the window. The image projected onto the paper is HUGE and comfortably dim. If it's too dim, you can slightly enlarge the pinhole, but if you make it too big, you'll get a blurry image. Anyway, with a setup like that, you can watch sunspots any time you like...the sun is interesting to watch even when there isn't an eclipse. SteveBaker (talk) 04:55, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
For general interest: that Sunspot group is currently very active, so there's a distinct chance we'll be hit by a Geomagnetic storm anytime in the next couple of days. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 13:19, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

There's a "NASA photo stream" on Flickr (?!) [9]. The interesting bit to me is whether or not we can see the dot rotating with the sun. From [10] I see only the most minimal amount of rotation in a single eclipse, but, the photo stream I cite involves shots from multiple locations. I'm actually not that clear on how long this eclipse ( see Template:Solar eclipse set 2011-2014) or any solar eclipse actually takes to pass along the entire length of its route. Wnt (talk) 16:20, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

The sun takes 25 days to spin once on it's axis - so over the few hours of the eclipse, you wouldn't expect to see much change in the position of the sunspot. The sun is far enough away that photos from different places (or times) won't show much difference either. The moon's shadow crosses the Earth at 1700 kilometers per hour - and only covers one place on the earth for at most seven and a half minutes. Since the circumference of the Earth is only 40,000km - I'd expect the eclipse duration to be no more than about 10 hours - but it's tough to come up with more exact numbers. But the sunspot won't move much, even over that length of time. SteveBaker (talk) 19:45, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

ClearVUE Television Antenna vs. the expensive ones on Radio Shack's website[edit]

My mother lives in a condo on the second floor and has limited television options (Comcast or over-the-air). She's getting a weak signal from WINK-TV, WFTX-TV, and WZVN-TV, and she was asking me about signal amplifiers. Of course, I knew that the ClearVUE antenna she has already amplifies the signal, and I was wondering if there would be any advantage to adding additional amplifiers or getting a different antenna. Any advice? (talk) 22:49, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Signal amplifiers are not very useful for poor signals (they amplify the noise and the signal at the same time), and two certainly isn't valuable. They are used to amplify the signal before a long cable run, or to use the signal with electronics. But if your SNR is poor (a weak station) they don't help. Instead you will want a better antenna.
What kind does she have? And what directions do the signals come in? Check here. All from one direction? Or all around? You can make a surprisingly good directional antenna yourself if you google "coat hanger antenna". Ariel. (talk) 22:42, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
She has this kind of antenna. She also has a Samsung Smart TV (a big reason she doesn't want Comcast is because she doesn't see the value in having it, being that she has Netflix and Hulu Plus + a decent CenturyLink internet connection). (talk) 22:48, 23 October 2014 (UTC) Add: Interestingly enough, the two stations that come in the best are the two that say she needs a "red" or "violet" antenna according to the website you provided. Don't know what that means. (talk) 22:55, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

October 24[edit]

Duckweed on ponds[edit]

Duckweed and fountains at the Drake Well.jpg

I was surprised to see the rather sharp boundary between duckweed and no duckweed: I would have expected the raggedy zone to be several feet at the minimum, or the fountains to cause enough movement to prevent duckweed growth over a far wider area. Any ideas why the raggedy zone is so small, why the fountain water is so suddenly unable to prevent weed growth? Nyttend (talk) 04:32, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Lemna minor, a typical duckweed
The majority of the duckweed plants are single organisms with two or four leaves which reproduce largely by cloning. They are not rooted to the bottom or connected by branches. The separate plants are not connected, so they float as individual particle on the surface, and are subject to the dynamics any other unstructured surface covering would be. Unfortunately our main article just mentions the diversity of form in a chart, but there's no description section. μηδείς (talk) 05:03, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
might have been that those fountains were recently switched on for some reason after a long period of duckweed growth? only explanation i can think of atm for the sharp boundary ~Helicopter Llama~ 12:14, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
In my experience, the little roots of individuals often get intertwined, leading to clumps of many individuals that are attached to each other. Carefully separating one individual is the hard part. I often see it with fairly sharp boundaries. It's not that the fountain is preventing growth, it's just a steady push, roughly radially uniform, so you get a roughly uniform boundary where the surface flow outward drops below the a certain level necessary to counteract the other sources of random flow. Also, I can't tell for sure from the photo, but it looks like the duckweed forms a pretty continuous mat to the edge of the pond. So the fountain is basically just pushing out until all the duckweed is compacted against the edge. Each little clump pushes on each each neighbor, and most plants will be effectively connected to the edge in this way. From that perspective, little random jostles from the fountain would tend to increase packing density and smooth out the boundary. SemanticMantis (talk) 13:54, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Wind turbine on a car[edit]

If we setup a wind turbine or several wind turbines on a car, will the turbines harvest more energy than the energy spent to run the car? roscoe_x (talk) 08:34, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

No in general, but yes if the engine is turned off. Dbfirs 08:44, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Also see Conservation of energy, First law of thermodynamics (you can't win), and Second law of thermodynamics (you can't even break even). But, as Dbfirs has pointed out, one could recover some energy when using wind resistance for braking. Unless I'm very much mistaken, it's much more efficient to do that via the wheels, however, and that is indeed done. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 09:45, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Assuming the air relative the moving car is at rest, the wind turbines will feed off the car's fuel. This is because the expenditure of fuel is causing the car to move, and the moving car is causing a relative air current, which is moving the turbines. Thus you're actually consuming more energy than without the turbines. Even in an ideal universe where there is perfect energy conversion, you'll still only break even, creating a perpetual motion machine. Only in the case where you are trying to actively decelerate the car by converting its linear momentum, can the turbines generate energy. Plasmic Physics (talk) 10:37, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Also see automotive aerodynamics; efficiency is improved by reducing air resistance, whereas a wind turbine will massively increase it.--Shantavira|feed me 12:06, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Plasmic Physics' first sentence is key — it's possible for the car to generate more energy with the turbines, but it requires wind, which is independent of the car's engine. The point is that you must have outside input, whether wind or something else, in order to generate more energy than is produced by the engine alone. After all, a sailing ship (potentially) has no engine at all, but it's still able to generate energy by using the wind. Nyttend (talk) 12:17, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. And there are Wind-powered vehicles that show unintuitively good performance - the Blackbird can go downwind faster than the wind! --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:34, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Fairly sure this has been discussed at least once and I think more than once before. Nil Einne (talk) 13:19, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, probably within the last month. As Dbfirs and others indicate, the only way this might work is to not use an engine, but rather to put sails on the car and possibly capture some of the wind for use with other things. However, as with a sailboat, you would have to tack if the wind is against you, and if there's no wind at all, you're stuck. With actual wind turbines, I think it would only work if the wind is behind you. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:28, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
No and no. There is no need to tack, and you can go any direction you like (in theory). See the articles on Wind-powered vehicle and Blackbird I linked below. A simple way to understand at least the plausibility is to mentally separate power generation and movement. While the vehicle stands, its wind turbine is charging a battery (or flywheel, or whatever). Then it uses that stored energy to go wherever it wants. Doing it on the fly and with purely mechanical means is the same thing, only without the dog. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 14:51, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
How does a sailboat move toward the wind without tacking? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:46, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
A narrowly defined sailboat probably can't (although I can easily do something with a wind turbine and two anchors). But a wind-driven vehicle can drive directly into the wind - and do so at much more than the speed of the wind, too. Check the articles I linked. In particular, a wind turbine can extract energy from the wind and use it to drive wheels even directly against the wind. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 20:47, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Some previous discussions Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Science/2014 July 24#Alternate Fuel and Car Technology (second part), Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Science/2010 July 21#Wind Turbines on Cars, Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Science/2010 June 11#Windmill on a car?, Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Science/2007 October 15#Possibly to make a hybrid/tribrid car that captures wind energy?, and also a small amount of discussion at Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Science/2009 March 31#Electric car & Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Science/2010 January 25#wind turbine generator manufactures. I think the key points were already covered here by PP, StS and Nyttend and others. Everyone agrees that you it will be dumb to try and recover anything from the movement of air solely arising due to the movement of the car. There is some disagreement over whether you're likely to ever generally get a net gain (compared to any added fuel cost from carrying the turbine and possibly increase drag) when the air is already moving relative to the car, i.e. if there is already wind. Of course this will also depend on how windy the place is. Nil Einne (talk) 16:37, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
The point is that the EXTRA air speed that comes about from the motion of the car doesn't help you at all...the extra drag would at best cancel out the energy from the windmill - and in truth, because nothing is every 100% efficient, it'll be much worse. So the only energy could possibly be harvested from the wind itself. Now you have a situation where a hypothetical zero-weight, zero-friction, lossless windmill would generate exactly as much net energy if it were bolted to the ground as it would on the car. In any practical sense, the windmill that's bolted to the ground will generate much MORE net energy than one bolted to the car because the car doesn't have to haul the extra weight around, or suffer the net drag.
If this is an electric car (and I guess that's a part of the assumption here) - then it's VASTLY more efficient to buy a windmill, bolt it beside your house and use it to generate electricity that you use to power your house or run your electric meter backwards. The energy you save can then be used to charge your car battery whenever it's parked at home. You don't have to haul the windmill around with your car - and you can situate it to better face the prevailing winds - and it doesn't have to be lightweight or low drag. Better still, it's saving on your energy bill even when your car is parked in the garage. SteveBaker (talk) 19:32, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Really? If the air is moving relative to the ground, you can potentially harvest substantially more net energy from a wind turbine of a given area by moving it, by virtue of the larger volume of air with which it interacts (and hence kinetic energy of the wind that it can extract). —Quondum 22:44, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
But the drag on a moving body is proportional to the square of the speed - and that erases that benefit. The laws of thermodynamics definitely apply here. SteveBaker (talk) 03:51, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

Cotyledon function[edit]

Quoting from our Cotyledon article: "Cotyledons may be either epigeal, expanding on the germination of the seed, throwing off the seed shell, rising above the ground, and perhaps becoming photosynthetic...."

1) I take this to mean that some epigeal cotyledons do not become photosynthetic. Is this true?

2) If they become green, does that mean they are photosynthesizing?

3) Are dark green leaves better at photosynthesis than lighter green ones?

4) a)Are cotyledons that DO photosynthesize as efficient at doing so as the "regular leaves" of the same plant? b) Can they be photosynthesizing but only weakly such that removing the cotyledons actually improves the growth of the plant?

Thanks, C7nel (talk) 18:33, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

I took the liberty of numbering your questions for ease of reference.
1) This page [11] says that this plant [12] in the Stemonaceae has non-photosynthetic cotyledons.
2) Yes, in general. Chlorophyll is green, and I'm not aware of any other green pigment in plants.
3) Not in general, but it depends on what you mean. "better at photosynthesis" depends on several factors. One is if the plant does C3 photosynthesis or C4 photosynthesis or even CAM photosynthesis. Other factors are leaf area index, specific leaf area, quantum efficiency, temperature, concentration of atmospheric CO2, and many other things. The biotic factors can vary between species and between plant functional types. The abiotic factors can vary based on time and location. One loose trend for forest species is that understory growth tends to be a bit darker than the canopy, and this is basically because most of the light is diffuse and scattered, instead of direct from the sun. But all bets are off if you compare plants from radically different taxa and having very different morphologies.
4) a)Roughly - if anything the are probably better. That's the plant's first chance to get started in life, so they better make it good. b)Probably not. There is a notion of competition for light between ramets of a plant, but in general the plant makes its own best decisions. Removal of the cotyldons removes total photosynthetic area, and also causes damage that leads to water loss, and also removes non-structural carbohydrates, nitrogen, and other resources that the plant can use. Most cotyledons don't hand around that long, and when they wither and fall, the nutrients have already been retranslocated to use in other parts of the plant. We don't have a WP article on retranslocation, but see e.g. these lecture notes [13].
Hope that helps, SemanticMantis (talk) 19:30, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
SM has pretty much covered this all. I would point out the two halves of the "nut" of an acorn as an example of epigeal cotyledons which really don't photosynthesize, although they may turn a little greenish, while cannabis cotyledons do serve as the first pair of quasi-leaves. It's never a good idea to remove cotyledons, they contain fat and protein that the leaves don't have in abundance and which is the plant's limiting growth factor at that point. Even if brown and ugly they'll drop off at the right time, and removing them won't encourage growth. μηδείς (talk) 20:57, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Bird chirp sounds like water sloshing?[edit]

Today I heard a very strange bird chirp that sounded like water sloshing around followed by a click. I was unable to see the bird clearly as it was up in the trees. I live in southern Arizona of the United States. Would you happen to know what bird it might have been? -- Tohler (talk) 22:17, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

I'd point out that there are a lot of birds like crows and mockingbirds that are mimics, and they sometimes mimic sounds made by inanimate objects/machines, assuming this isn't a "normal" call. If no one here offers a likely answer (I'm an Easterner) you can also ask at WikiProject Birds. μηδείς (talk) 00:19, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

October 25[edit]

Ebola virus cure[edit]

Please give me a quick lesson on the Ebola virus. I am confused about this one issue, in particular. This has happened in the news quite a few times in the recent past. A person gets the Ebola virus. Then, a few days later, you see in the news that they are now free from the virus. I thought there was no cure for the Ebola virus. So, how do some of these people go from having it one day, to not having it the next? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 01:17, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

If you read ebola virus disease you'll see that this outbreak, while much bigger, seems to have a slightly lower mortality rate, which, ironically, means more people may die because the infectious people stick around longer. I am not sure where you are getting the notion that people are diagnosed then quickly cured.
In the US we have had the option of transfusions from people who survived the virus (a few early volunteer workers) whose blood still caries the antibodies that successfully fought off the disease. These transferred antibodies don't themselves cure the Ebola, they prime the victim's body more quickly, and successfully to ramp up their own immune response. (If you are sick, and get antibodies from another patient, those antibodies will stick to the virus particle in your bodies, telling your white cells "this is an invader, react to and destroy it.". As the virus is attacked, your own body will react to the broken-up viral particles, and you will produce more and different kinds of your own antibodies, and quicker.) But they are still sick for a few weeks while they fight it off. If you have a source that indicates some sort of "quick" full cure in a patient you should link us to it.
Even recovered patients are still infectious for some period (they have the virus under control, and are getting better, but it is still in their bodies.) There has been a suggestion that they extend the quarantine from a 21-day symptom free to a 28-day symptom free period and talk of recommending the use of condoms for 90 days after the end of symptoms. I can get refs for that if necessary. Otherwise, the point is that getting better does not happen over night, even in people who receive transfusions. μηδείς (talk) 01:35, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
You asked me: I am not sure where you are getting the notion that people are diagnosed then quickly cured. What I am referring to is this. There were a few doctors and nurses who got Ebola while they were working in Africa. They came to get treated at hospitals in the US. And then the news reports that they don't have the disease anymore. In fact, just today, the same thing happened with that nurse Nina Pham. She got the disease from that Duncan "patient zero". And it's all over the news today that she no longer has the disease. In fact, she went to the White House and took photos with the president. Those types of situations, I am referring to. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 01:45, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
Nina Pham seems to have been exposed to the virus on or before Sep 28, to have become symptomatic on Oct 10, and been declared "virus free" on Oct 24. That indicates two weeks with the illness, and she of course was given antibodies from survivor Kent Brantly before Oct 13. This would mean a four-week infection with a "cure" in 11 days, although her own body would have been ramping up fighting the virus before she became feverish, which is a sign of an immune response. I won't pass judgment on the wisdom of a government agency declaring someone asymptomatic and rushing them to the White House for a photo-op. μηδείς (talk) 01:59, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
Like many viral illnesses (e.g. common cold, influenza), an Ebola infection is relatively short-lived after the appearance of symptoms. Typically, patients are acutely symptomatic for only 4-10 days. After that the typical patient is either well on the way to recovering, or already dead. There is no cure, but in about 30% of cases the victim's immune system simply fights it off. In the US, with access to advanced supportive care and specialized treatments (e.g. survivor antibodies) the survival rate so far is much better than in Africa, perhaps more than 80%. Dragons flight (talk) 03:10, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
It's kinda like a race - the virus is multiplying like crazy in the body - but the body is making antibodies as fast as it can. These two systems are multiplying their respective numbers as fast as they possibly can. In some diseases, it's no contest - the antibodies wipe out the virus without problems...but in Ebola, it's a very close thing. The 30% of people who survive are able to produce enough antibodies to reduce the number of viruses and eventually eliminate it completely. The 70% who die don't produce them fast enough, and succumb to the symptoms before they can significantly reduce the amount of virus. After a week or two, you either produce enough antibodies and recover...or you die. The lucky ones wind up with a massive number of antibodies in their bloodstream - which wipes out every last trace of the virus - so they can move back into society with no risk to the people around them...they are also immune to further ebola infections. Those who aren't so lucky spread virus in every bodily fluid in increasing amounts as the disease takes over - and even their corpses are lethally dangerous to everyone who comes into contact with them.
There is no cure - except what the human body can do all by itself, if the conditions are right.
It's believed that providing good, old-fashioned care for the patient (food, water, IV bags, etc) increases their ability to generate antibodies just a little bit faster - and that sways the odds in their favor. An expert I was listening to on the radio this morning claimed that with first-class hospital care, the death rate might be pushed down as low as 20%...but without it, 70% to 90% would be the expected number.
SteveBaker (talk) 03:49, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
A-ha. OK, now I get it. So, there is no medical cure. The only real cure is the body curing itself (which happens in some patients, but not in others). Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 04:10, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps you mean no medicinal cure, as in a pill carrying a chemical. But a transfusion of antibodies from a recovered patient most certainly is a medical treatment. People getting that treatment have a much higher chance of recovery. But nothing in medicine is without caveats and exceptions. μηδείς (talk) 04:20, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
Within the last week I have seen media reports that aggressive oral rehydration therapy (up to 5 lit/day) has had a significant impact on survival rates in West Africa and is partially credited with clearing the disease from Nigeria. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 08:06, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

Species ID[edit]

Could someone identify the species in the below pics. Filenames were given randomly as I didn't know the species ID. Thanks in advance!

species id??
species id??
species id??
The middle flower is a periwinkle, perhaps Catharanthus roseus. μηδείς (talk) 03:22, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
The first looks like an Azalea, but it is hard to tell without a straight on picture of flower.
The third is a hibiscus, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis var.. μηδείς (talk)


October 14[edit]

October 19[edit]

Smallest Polymino whose Convex Hull is not tilable...[edit]

What is the Smallest Polymino whose convex Hull is not tilable? is it the quadmino "T", that one has a convex hull with sides 3-1-root2-1-root2? Naraht (talk) 03:00, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

It looks like all the tretrominos have tilable convex hulls. But the convex hull of the Y-pentomino does not tile. It has one side of length √5 and this can only be placed next to another tile which is rotated 180 degrees. When you then try to match the side with length √2, there are two ways but both leave a bay that can't be filled. There are probably other pentominoes as well, I haven't checked them all, but that's enough to answer the question as to the smallest. --RDBury (talk) 07:28, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
PS & correction. Actually the convex hull of the T-tetromino does not tile. When you place a tile next to the side of length √2, there are two ways to do it but both leave a bay that can't be filled. After a bit of doodling I found that the convex hulls of 5 of the 12 pentominoes, Y, F, T, X and W do not tile, while the convex hulls of the remaining 7, I, L, N, V, P, U, Z, do. Perhaps someone could check this as it would probably take more effort than it's worth to turn my doodles into something rigorous. --RDBury (talk) 07:57, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Real Analysis: Bounded Sequences[edit]

The question I am having trouble with is Prove that sn is bounded where sn=sin(n)/n.

I know I have to use the definition of bounded sequence. I know sin(n) converges and therefore is bounded and 1/n is bounded, but I am not really sure where to go with this. A suggestion about where to begin would be very helpful. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pinterc (talkcontribs) 13:44, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

sin(n), although bounded, does not converge. The sequence 1/n converges to zero and so is bounded. sin(n)/n is the product of two bounded sequences, so it's bounded. (In fact, you can prove that it converges to zero.) Sławomir Biały (talk) 14:31, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Is the following elementary proof of Fermat's Last Theorem correct?[edit]

The theorem states there exists no integral (all positive integers) solutions for the equation, 1. x^n+y^n=z^n for n > 2. I begin the proof by assuming there exists an integral (positive integer) solution to equation one for some n > 2. Equation one becomes with some algebraic manipulation, 2. x^n=z^n-y^n = (z^(n/2)+y^(n/2))*(z^(n/2)-y^(n/2)).

Now that I have factored the right side of equation two, Fermat, the great French mathematician and respectable jurist, made I believe the next logical and crucial step. He factored the left side as well, x^n, with the help of an extra real variable, Ɛ, such that 0 < Ɛ < n . I have the following equation, x^n = x^(n/2+Ɛ/2)* x^(n/2-Ɛ/2) = (z^(n/2)+y^(n/2))*(z^(n/2)-y^(n/2) ). This equation implies x^(n/2+Ɛ/2)= z^(n/2)+y^(n/2) and x^(n/2-Ɛ/2) = z^(n/2)-y^(n/2). (Note: The latter two equations are of the form, ab = c + d and a/b = c - d, respectively. And they are quite reasonable given the constraints or parameters of this problem and given the reader has a sufficient understanding of high school algebra.)

And next I have, 3. x^(n/2+Ɛ/2)/ x^(n/2-Ɛ/2) = x^Ɛ = (z^(n/2)+y^(n/2) )/(z^(n/2)-y^(n/2) ). Using equation 3 and applying some algebraic manipulation and simplification to it, I generate the equation, 4. z^n=y^n *((x^Ɛ+1)/(x^Ɛ – 1))^2.

And finally, by combining equations one and four, I generate the following equation after some more algebraic manipulation and simplification, 5. y = (1/4)^(1/n)*(x^(n-Ɛ))^(1/n)*(x^Ɛ – 1)^(2/n).

However, (1/4)^(1/n) is not a rational number, a ratio of two whole numbers, for n > 2. This implies the right side of equation five is not a positive integer. This contradicts my assumption that y is a positive integer. Thus, Fermat’s Last Theorem is true, and Fermat was right! Thank God! Praise God!--David Cole, Primesdegold (talk) 19:59, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

There are several very elementary errors in this proof. Are you a troll, or just an idiot? Sławomir Biały (talk) 20:06, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
WP:AGF. There are many people who think they've proved some open problem in math, and presenting their work here is not necessarily a sign of trolling or idiocy. These questions could just as easily be based in naivety and zeal ;) If anyone wants to help OP find their mistakes, I don't think that's a problem. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:45, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
We should not tolerate trolls like this. I think we should just tell the idiot to go away and bother some other corner of the internet. Sławomir Biały (talk) 15:06, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
If any elementary proof were correct, then it would have been found in the eighteenth century (or Fermat could have written it in the margin in the seventeenth century). Robert McClenon (talk) 15:21, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I absolutely agree! I once worked in Graduate admissions in the math dept, and we had people claiming to trisect angles in their applications, which is even worse, because that is not merely open, but provably impossible... The unsatisfying thing about this reasoning though, is it ends up being basically an appeal to authority, which is of course not how math really works, and not something we really should rely on when answering questions about math. Though I don't have the time or interest to find errors on these so-called 'proofs', I still think others should be allowed to do so if they wish. Sławomir seems certain this is a troll, but I think a crank need not be a troll. It's a distinction of intent. I try not to ascribe malice to online users where simple ignorance and naivety may provide sufficient explanation. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I see it as our goal here to help educate the naive. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:29, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
First, SemanticMantis is obviously referring to trisection with Euclidean tools, where he or she correctly notes that the construction has been proved impossible. Trisection of an angle is easy if one is not limited to Euclidean tools. Archimedes trisected the angle using an expanded toolset. Doubling a cube is similarly impossible with Euclidean tools and easy with better tools. Squaring the circle is a different, more difficult problem. Robert McClenon (talk) 15:42, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Second, I agree with SemanticMantis that the OP is not a troll, but an editor whose enthusiasm exceeds his knowledge and his knowledge of the limits of his knowledge. Robert McClenon (talk) 15:42, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I find it funny that the OP has the skill to carry out some elaborate algebraic manipulations correctly, and yet seems to think that ab=cd implies a=b,\ c=d.
This could be a result of a phenomenon that is all too common among students, of treating math too formally - they learn by rote manipulations and problem solving techniques, but they have no idea what the concepts actually mean. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 05:10, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Request permission to add a category to the Fractal subheading 'Common techniques for generating fractals'[edit]

If you don't mind, I'd like to add 'Sirsty-Firsty' to the Fractal subheading 'Common techniques for generating fractals'.

Sirsty-Firsty, as in This is a method for generating designs based on moving points around in spirals.

Any thoughts?

Thanks, --InverseSubstance (talk) 22:40, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

That subsection of the article is not about specific software implementations, but general methods. Is the method used in the software that you linked to discussed in the peer reviewed literature? If not, then it should not be added to the article. Sławomir Biały (talk) 12:53, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
You could perhaps add a link in the section Fractal#Fractal-generating_programs. You could also post this question at Talk:Fractal. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:49, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Is it obvious that these things are fractals? I can't see that it is self evident that these things exhibit an obvious self similarity across all scales. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:25, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Well that's the question. Sirsty-Firsty is definitely some kind of design generator. It's based on a simple function repeated over and over again. There is a kind of repeating design, only it happens in terms of the color persistence chosen. If an image sums up a persistence of 1,2,4,8,16... then the design would appear repeatedly at the scale of 1,2,4,8,16... Anyway, if this isn't a fractal, maybe someone could suggest what category of computer design it does fit in? Thanks, --InverseSubstance (talk) 06:35, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Fractals don't have to be self-similar at all scales, that's a popular misconception. They just have to have fractional dimension. Lots of things are fractal but not self-similar. Heck even the very famous Mandelbrot set "in general is not strictly self-similar but it is quasi-self-similar, as small slightly different versions of itself can be found at arbitrarily small scales." I won't go through the details of this linked algorithm, but I don't think it's unreasonable to think that the red colored regions in the example pics constitute a set whose boundary has fractal dimension. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:28, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

October 21[edit]

Importing equations and pictures from Word[edit]

I'm trying to write an article on the Rollett Stability Factor (my father-in-law Dr JM Rollett discovered it by accident in 1962 and we're trying to get the page ready for his 84th birthday in November). I have it all laid out and referenced etc in Word, however I'm finding it impossible to transfer over the very few equations and diagrams that it contains. Is there any kind of simple Cut and Paste or Save As way that will easily allow me to drop them in to the Wiki format?

The macro converter Word2WikiMedia doesn't help.

Would it be better to ask hand it over to an experienced editor or is that not the done thing in the Wiki community? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jonhuwmac (talkcontribs) 21:48, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Unless we're talking about dozens of equations, just throw images (or some web-renderable format like Google Docs—not the Word document) up somewhere and any one of many people with LaTeX experience will probably be willing to type it up. --Tardis (talk) 03:10, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Agreed, and images are probably most fool proof in this case. Something like pandoc might be of some use in general, but MS word is horrible for interoperability of math. The diagrams will certainly have to be pulled out as image files. In theory they could be traced to svg, but that's also a pain and might not help much. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:19, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia allows registered users to set up a sandbox where one can practice rendering mathematical formulas of any kind. I have used it and found the learning curve rather simple. Also in the Help desk one can ask questions with answers usually forthcoming in less than an hour. I have also tried to move math in the other direction from Wikipedia to MS Word and found it impossible. Many distortions ensue. I think MS Word's math tools are full of bugs. --AboutFace 22 (talk) 16:57, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

October 22[edit]

Optimal strategy for moving on a graph[edit]

This problem originates from one aspect of designing a bot for playing the game of Reeelz, but it seems like a general problem that is worth exploring in abstract terms.

I am given a graph G=(V,E), and a set \{R_1, R_2, \ldots, R_m\} of equivalence relations on V. Additionally I am given a function f:V\to\mathbb{R}. In the original application, |V| = n = 11^7 = 19,487,171, every node is connected to k=14 others, the diameter of the graph is 35, there are m=128 relations, and f is roughly on the range [0, 20]. There is additional structure to the graph and relations in this application, but I doubt it is significant.

I then play a game as follows: I am placed at a random vertex in the graph. On every turn I can either:

  • Step: Choose a vertex connected by an edge to the one I am currently in, and move to it.
  • Spin: Choose a relation R_i, and move to a uniformly random vertex in the same equivalence class as the one I am in.

At any point I can stop the game, and my final score will be the value of f at the vertex on which I terminated, minus the number of turns I took. My goal is to maximize my expected score, and the way to do this is of course to reach a vertex which is as good as possible, in as few moves as possible.

The brute force way to solve this is to assign a score to every vertex, and iteratively update the score of every vertex to be the maximum of the vertex's score, the score of every neighbor minus 1, and for every relation, the average score of all equivalent vertices minus 1. It seems obvious to me that this will converge to the correct scores (from which it is easy to figure out the optimal strategy at every vertex), but every iteration is expensive, and it can take many iterations.

Is there a more efficient way to solve it? -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 20:49, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

You can try a Branch and boundish approach.
Rough idea: Ignore, for the moment, the second option offered in every turn to jump to a vertex in the same equivalence class. Now, for any vertex in the set V_{20}=\{v:f(v)=20\}, the max score is clearly 20 (and the optimal strategy is to stay there). For any neighboring vertex v', the score is at least \max(f(v'),19). Similarly for the neighbor-of-the-neighbor etc. This will give you lower bounds on the score for each vertex pretty quickly. Similarly the upper bound for any vertex v is the maximum of f(v); the function evaluated for all of its first order neighbors minus 1; the function evaluated for all of its first order neighbors minus 2 etc (Note that you will get rougher, but usable bounds, even if you you use only the p-neighborhood for any vertex, with p<<35, the diameter of the graph)
Now you can introduce back the second option (perhaps introducing only one R_i at a time), and update these lower bound and upper bounds. May still require a few iterations to determine the true expected score for each vertex, but the bounds will help cull the non-productive branches in the decision tree. That culling should hopefully lead to a faster algorithm than the brute force aproach. Abecedare (talk) 21:35, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Well, the first step can be simplified into using Dijkstra's algorithm for finding the exact score for each vertex (without the equivalence class, which I've renamed "Spin" in the OP).
I'm not sure how exactly to find upper bounds with the possibility of spins, or how to use them for pruning without prohibitive overhead. However, your suggestion of introducing one equivalence at a time made me realize that if I do iterations normally but each time consider only the possibility of one random equivalence, I will probably get a much better ratio of (improvement in score estimates / work done). So with ~1000 easy iterations, plus some optimizations related to the specific application, I could get a good approximation with a reasonable amount of computation. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 12:11, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I see why the spin complicates the issue of computing useful/non-trivial upper bounds. Btw, approximately how many classes does an R_{i} partition V into, and what is the range of sizes of these classes? Asking because, if the number of classes is say ~10, then the situation seems hopeless and you may just have to accept that Monte Carlo/probabilistic estimates are the best that can be done. But, if instead the class-size is say <10, maybe there is a some clever way out. Abecedare (talk) 14:24, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
For every j, there are \binom{7}{j} equivalences that subdivide V into 11^j classes of 11^{7-j} elements each. So you have 7 relations with 11 classes of 1771561 elements, 7 relations with 1771561 classes of 11 elements, and everything in between.
I may as well add some more detail about the application: V = (\mathbb{Z}_{11})^7. Every relation is identified with a subset of indices, and two elements are equivalent under the relation if their entries in these indices are equal. Two vertices are connected by an edge if their entries are equal in all but one index, and in this index differ by 1.
In fact, for this instantiation of the problem, it is easy to show that it is never a good idea to do a step before a spin: You first do all of your spins, then all of your steps. This can simplify the solution somewhat (you can find the score of every vertex in absence of spins, and then when you reintroduce spins you can ignore the possibility of steps).
Of course, there are many more intricacies when you take into account all of the rules of the particular game, but the basic problem above is a start. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 15:43, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Numbers bad. Structure good. :)
Question about "for this instantiation of the problem, it is easy to show that it is never a good idea to do a step before a spin". Is this true for any f, or does it have to do with the particular f you are dealing with ? Don't expect you to provide the proof of course; just asking for my own curiosity and to see if I can derive the result in my own head. Abecedare (talk) 16:01, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
It's true for any f.
In fact, for this application you have to run the process for many different fs; that's the main reason I'm looking for a solution as efficient as possible. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 18:03, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

October 23[edit]

Continuous probability distribution, with finite support, and closed-form quantile function[edit]

For some computational experiments, I need a continuous probability distribution, with finite support, and closed-form quantile function. Kindly list any.

I'm already aware of probability distributions that satisfy my requirements except for finite support: Logistic distribution and Gumbel distribution. Thanks! --RM — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:45, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

How about the triangular distribution? Sławomir Biały (talk) 10:55, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks User:Sławomir Biały! I had missed this simple option. Other suggestions are welcome! --BR — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:40, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't get simpler than the uniform distribution on [0,1]: Q(p) = p. --Mark viking (talk) 11:44, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
There's loads of probability distributions at List of probability distributions but yes having a closed-form quantile restricts the choices. I don't normally consider that as a problem with a computer though as given a function getting a good enough inverse should be easy enough even if only by tabulating values in a table and then doing a binary chop and interpolation for actual values.
I presume you mean on a finite interval rather than finite support which sounds more like on a finite set of points. Dmcq (talk) 13:40, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Glancing through List of probability distributions#Supported on a bounded interval, the Irwin–Hall distribution, Kumaraswamy distribution, and raised cosine distribution look promising. -- BenRG (talk) 23:32, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

October 24[edit]

What is the name for a number that has 307 zeros[edit]

What is the name for a number that has 307 zeros?-- (talk) 23:44, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

In the short scale, a one followed by 307 zeroes represents ten thousand centillion.
Wavelength (talk) 00:10, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
Keep in mind, though, that the set of numbers with 307 zeros is infinite (even if we don't count leading or trailing zeros). —Tamfang (talk) 06:54, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

October 25[edit]


October 20[edit]

Easter Island: Historical Low Temperatures[edit]

Easter Island (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)


My name is Ed McGarrity. I'm doing some research on historical low temperatures for Easter Island. I've run into some data from other sources that conflicts with the numbers posted on Wikipedia. Can anyone tell me what the source was for Wikipedia's numbers? If I can validate those figures, it will be very helpful. Please refer any helpful information to: (deleted)

Thanks, Ed -- 00:24, 20 October 2014

Hi, Ed. Thanks for the question, but please (1) don't indent and double-space your text; it breaks the normal wiki formatting; I've edited your message to change it. (2) Pleas don't post your email address here; I've deleted it. And (3) please don't post the same question to more than one reference desk.
If people want to answer, I suggest they post on the other desk, as there's already been a response there. -- (talk) 01:39, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Old Chinese object[edit]

What is he holding?

I recently came across our article on Li_Ching-Yuen. Interesting stuff, right? Anyway, simple question: what is he holding in his hands in this photo? Some sort of incense, talisman or charm perhaps? Thanks, SemanticMantis (talk) 13:53, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Google "What is Li Ching-Yuen holding". Appears to be a Ginseng root. (talk) 14:04, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, I suppose I deserve a WP:trouting for not googling first, though I will still be interested in any other info on the matter. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:31, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Apparently he's not holding the secret to eternal joy. :-) StuRat (talk) 03:18, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

History of the motto of the Royal Society[edit]

I was wondering if anyone happened to know the answers to a few questions I have about the motto of the Royal Society: "Nullius in Verba". As well as being generally curious I'm thinking of getting this as a tattoo, but I want to do it properly, so I'm interested in early written records of it that I can reference for typeface etc.

  1. In what year was the motto first used?
  2. How and by whom was it chosen and was it ever formally ratified e.g. by a vote of the fellows?
  3. In what document did the motto first appear in print?
  4. Did the motto ever appear in the pages of the Philosophical Transactions, if so, where? (I can't seem to find it in the online archive, but it's possible that some of the front matter etc. was not digitized)

I realise that the best course of action may be to write to the Royal Society and enquire directly, but I thought I'd give the reference desk a go first. Thanks in advance. Equisetum (talk | contributions) 17:03, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Bookplate from the library of Henry Howard, 6th Duke of Norfolk (1628-1684)
Hello Equistetum, Nullius in verba has two sources which answer #2 (and possibly #1). The motto was ratified on Sept 17, 1662. The list of possible mottos (written in 1660) survives, and is in the handwriting of John Evelyn, though the names of the other committee members aren’t mentioned. Taknaran (talk) 18:41, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
P.S. Commons has this image showing one early printing of the motto.Taknaran (talk) 19:11, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Khwarazmian dynasty and "work unions"[edit]

In section three of the Khwarazmian dynasty page, you can read some uncited lines about refugee mercenaries from Khorasan after the empire collapsed trying to set up unions and resist low pay. This early outbreak of class consciousness does seem a bit surprising, and I wonder if it really happened.

I can't edit the article myself btw. It has been locked for well over a year now. (talk) 18:00, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

That was added almost 5 years ago in this edit, and given the user's other edits, I would have to say he was making it up. Adam Bishop (talk) 21:45, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
"Class-conscious" movements existed long before that time -- see Mazdakism -- but they didn't take the form of modern trade-unionism. Mercenary soldiers demanding their pay is a situation that has shaken a number of realms in history, but I'm not sure that it had much resemblance to modern trade-unionism either.... AnonMoos (talk) 15:18, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Difference between a Credit Union and a Building Society[edit]

Is there any difference in the UK between a Building Society and a Credit Union? If so, what is it? --Munchkinguy (talk) 22:14, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

You're allowed to read the article titled building society and the one titled credit union and arrive at your own conclusions. No one here is likely to stop you from reading those articles. --Jayron32 23:20, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
That seems a bit unkind. I was asking because I spent some time reading about both and couldn't figure out the difference. If you don't want to answer my question, then just skip to the next one. --Munchkinguy (talk) 18:50, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
In practice the main difference is that the building societies have been around for a lot longer. They usually have physical branches in more than one town, whereas a credit union may only have a single office. A building society would have more staff. By definition, a building society offers mortgages, whereas a credit union probably would not. Itsmejudith (talk) 07:01, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. That's interesting because credit unions in Canada offer mortgages and have multiple branches. I've seen a few ads for credit unions popping up in London and was curious what the difference was. --Munchkinguy (talk) 18:51, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
The credit union I do business with has multiple branches as well, and I'm in a town that brags about that one time the Simpsons tried to make fun of us. Holy crap, there's even an article about them. They also do mortgages and finance cars, IIRC.
So far as I can tell, the only difference between the two is a historical one (and then a matter of purpose rather than effect, with Building societies focused more on actually getting homes, while credit unions were just an alternative to banks). If there was some massive overhaul of society to relabel things according to their purpose, they'd probably end up lumped together. Ian.thomson (talk) 19:03, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
The OP was asking about the UK. Our credit unions are quite recently established. There was a discussion a year or so ago about whether their senior staff are well remunerated. I looked it up, and they are not, in fact they are largely volunteers. Moreover, they employ very few middle level or junior staff. You can get your salary paid into a credit union in the UK, although not many people are aware of that. You can save money with them, and of course they lend, mainly small sums and mainly to people who aren't well off. Itsmejudith (talk) 20:37, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

October 21[edit]

England expects that every man etc. Why not Britain?[edit]

On 1805 October 21st Lord Nelson famously signaled "England expects that every man will do his duty". Can anyone explain how this was possible at such a historical moment (not some casual slip of the tongue) almost one hundred years after the Acts of Union? I do understand that in 1707 Scotland's contribution was something like three ships. However in 1805 the Royal Navy was (albeit in practice essentially an English thing) officially the whole of the kingdom of Britain's navy. To Nelson's sailors and soldiers at Trafalgar (most of them English I would guess) was "Britain" in 1805 still a somewhat artificial entity? Would employing "Britain" have smacked of officialese? Are there any other historical examples of this kind? Contact Basemetal here 01:26, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

A lot of Irish sailors in the Royal Navy.
Sleigh (talk) 03:08, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
They try and forget that, though: Nelson's Pillar. (talk) 03:48, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
The flag code used (devised by Rear Admiral Sir Home Popham) appears not to have 'Britain' as one of its codewords - though it does have 'England'. [14] Spelling out 'Britain' would have made the message substantially longer, and thus would have taken more time to send. AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:19, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
To this day, many people still refer to the "Queen of England", which is as terminologically accurate as, I dunno, the "President of California" or something. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 05:51, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Would that be President Schwarzenegger or President Eastwood? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 08:05, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
California was claimed for Queen Elizabeth by Sir Francis Drake. However, as the case of John Augustus Sutter shows - who was unlawfully deprived of the land upon which San Francisco now stands, won his law suit in 1855, and died a beggar on the steps of the Congress in 1880 - respect for others' property rights in that State does not seem to be very highly thought of. (talk) 14:19, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Using a smaller geographic division to refer to the larger entity is a form of metonymy which is not confined to England/Britain. See also Holland/Netherlands, the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (commonly called Rhode Island after the smaller portion of the state), etc. There's also historical examples, such as Asia which was originally applied only to Anatolia and Persia (Asia Minor and Asia Major respectively) and Africa which was originally only applied to a Small part of North Africa inhabited by the colonial Afri people (Carthage). --Jayron32 10:59, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Good point, but to me this fits better with synecdoche than metonymy. The former is for parts of the whole, the latter is for aspects of the thing. Of course there is plenty of room for overlap. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:36, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Surely, Synecdoche is part of the whole only when the whole is New York State? --ColinFine (talk) 11:44, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I am currently reading a book about security in Britain during WWI and official memos, etc. most commonly referred to "England" as the protagonist in the war. Even in the 1950s when I was at school in England (sic) we needed to be rather actively taught that England and Britain were not the same thing. It is only in recent decades that there has been any political sensitivity in England on such matters. Thincat (talk) 10:49, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) A suggestion as to why only "England" was in the naval flag code - all the Royal Dockyards were in England at that time. Pembroke Dock in Wales was established as a naval base in 1814 and Rosyth Dockyard in Scotland wasn't constructed until the 20th century. However, a more likely explanation is that apparently "England" was sometimes used as a synonym for "Britain" even into the 20th century - see How England saved Europe; the Story of the Great War (1793-1815) which was published in 1900. Alansplodge (talk) 10:55, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't know. I see no problems with referring to the United Kingdom as the United Kingdom, but referring to it as "Britain" seems problematic. Historically, "Britain", "Briton" and "British" were used to refer to the Brythonic peoples and their descendants, not the English. It seems inaccurate to refer to something of Anglo-Saxon origin as "British". Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 12:37, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
While originally the words "Briton" and "British" referred to the Celtic-speaking inhabitants of Roman and pre-Roman times, during the modern era, the words came to refer to all of the inhabitants of Great Britain, as well as at least the Protestants of Northern Ireland, whose ancestors came from Great Britain. During the modern era, Britain has become a widely recognized synonym for the United Kingdom, and few people are concerned about the word's Roman or pre-Roman origins. Marco polo (talk) 13:41, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
The English have probably always had a stronger emotional tie to "England" than to "Britain". Britain stands for the imperial, world-power, dominant side of the United Kingdom. England is the motherland, where people spent their childhoods and have their families. Assuming that all or a large majority of the seamen Nelson was addressing were English, referring to "England" in his appeal gave it a more visceral emotional power. Marco polo (talk) 13:41, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
The England/Britain thing sometimes reminds me of the usage of Yankee. Matt Deres (talk) 16:11, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Does this mean that rather than speaking English, Americans speak British? μηδείς (talk) 16:55, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
No, American English is clearly a variety of English rather than of Scots or any other British language. American English ultimately derived specifically from England (though with some influences probably by way of what is now Northern Ireland). There is no "British language", or if there is, reverting to Tharthan's point above, that language is Welsh. Marco polo (talk) 19:16, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
That's hardly clear, given American is Rhotic like Scots and Irish, the influence of Irish on Americn, and the fact that Germans and Irish outnumber English by ethnicity in American residents. If anything, it's clear the Queen Great Britain speaks the President's American. Except she's fonder of Churchill. μηδείς (talk) 02:27, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Standard British English (probably not the right term) was rhotic at the time of the American Revolution. Presumably, there were Rs on both sides of the Atlantic at the key point of linguistic divergence, so rhoticism isn't really useful as an argument for determining linguistic "ancestry" in this particular situation. Evan (talk|contribs) 19:10, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Or Breton. Which is actually called "British". Paul B (talk)
I am aware it's called Breton. Where is it called British? That's like saying Dutch is called Deutsch and Slovenian's called Slovak, no? μηδείς (talk) 02:27, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it's exactly like saying it. That's the whole point. Breton means "British". In French the words Briton and Breton are identical, as is the name "Bretagne" - Britain. Paul B (talk) 07:27, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
  • This exchange was from The Man Who Never Was, set during WWII:
    [The military needs a dead body for counterintelligence.]
    Montagu: I can assure you that this is an opportunity for your son to do a great thing for England.
    The Father: My son, sir, was a Scotsman. Very proud of it.
    Montagu: I beg your pardon.
    The Father: Never mind. We're used to that. You English always talk about England when you mean Britain.
  • -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:02, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Part of the the reason for this is that much of the most famous English literature was written before the Act of Union. Shakespeare is almost all about "England", not "Britain" (with the exception of late James I/IV era plays). So much of the most famous patriotic literature uses 'England'. And of course "United Kingdom" is more of a technical label than a name. But I've always also thought that this is related to the very words England and Britain. I don't known why, but the name "England" just sounds better than "Britain" - more inspiring. When Clifton Webb says "do a great thing for England", there's something in the rhythm and the sharpness of the consonants that has a ring to it. It just seems to shine in a way that "do a great thing for Britain" doesn't. Britain has a dull sound. Paul B (talk) 20:47, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
In the 19th century, it was quite common to use the term 'England' when, by the context, it meant either Britain or the United Kingdom. Look for example at Benjamin Disraeli and see how often he mentions England compared with Britain. See also Oxford History of England. Sam Blacketer (talk) 22:16, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Also bear in mind that the United Kingdom was created only five years before Trafalgar; prior to that, it was the Kingdom of Great Britain. Alansplodge (talk) 13:44, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
True, but the K of GB had been around for almost a century before that, since 1707. This would be a justification for saying "Britain expects ...", not "England expects ...". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:19, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Many thanks to all. I was well aware before I asked the question that 'England' may casually be used for Britain or the UK just like 'Holland' for the Netherlands or 'the Russians' for the Soviets in the old days, and so on. This is even more prevalent in the non-English-speaking world. I believe I remember a talking monkey in a Hebrew children's book whose main activity was traveling around the world on various adventures traveling at some point to Scotland "in England"! But that wouldn't have answered my question because I was interested in the official use in the UK and in other parts of the English-speaking world of the distinctions between those various entities and how they developped over time since Great Britain and later the United Kingdom became one country, and especially what the right explanation was for Nelson's signal. Note how complex the subject is: 'England' stands for England and Wales in some cases and in other cases for England without Wales. Britain is in principle distinct from the United Kingdom but 'British' mostly means related to the United Kingdom rather than to the island of Great Britain (unless we're talking ancient history). Clearly (despite the fact that the United Kingdom is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and (now Northern) Ireland) and not the United Kingdom of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland) there is no need really for an adjective taking England and Scotland together as a unit within the UK. Spanish does use (pretty rarely I'm told) the adjective "reinounidense", but it's stictly synonymous with "británico", so that's overkill. The observation by Andy the Grump that the code book did not contain 'Britain' is interesting and significant. With the code book we're clearly in the realm of "official" English and yet the Royal Navy didn't think that 'Britain' would be used enough to warrant its own code. However the suggestion that the need to spell out 'Britain' was what may have induced Nelson to use 'England' is questionable because we know what Nelson's message was before it was adapted to the code book and it still had 'England' ("England confides that etc."; 'confides' was changed to 'expects' because 'confide' did not have its own code). Sam Blacketer's observation that Disraeli still uses 'England' to mean Britain is exactly the kind of information I was looking for to appreciate what Nelson's use of 'England' meant. But the conclusion is essentially negative. Disraeli, half a century later, still regularly and uniformly uses 'England' for Britain: in the Wikiquote page referred to by Sam Blacketer: occurrences of 'England': too many to count, including in excerpts from parliamentary speeches, speeches to his party, etc. and in almost every case actually meaning Britain (as Sam was saying); occurrences of 'Britain': zero; occurrences of 'United Kingdom': zero. Then there's probably no way to rigorously evaluate the "emotional" component of the use by Nelson of 'England' although I would tend to agree with Marco Polo that, talking to his men before an important and difficult engagement ahead, the effect of his words on his men would have to have been the concern in Nelson's mind which would have overruled all other considerations. This said, it's still interesting to follow the development of the official distinction: can we see a change from Disraeli to say Churchill? Contact Basemetal here 22:23, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

If you don't already know it, you'll have a lot of fun wading through Terminology of the British Isles. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:30, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Jack, I did have a lot of fun wading through it. I didn't know it. Probably the only geographical-historical entity that needs such an article. And several language WPs have their own version. Sorry for the really small letters. I hadn't realized they were so hard to read. I forgot to add in my summary that data points provided by Alansplodge and Thincat showed the regular use of 'England' for Britain extended beyond Disraeli at least through WWI. So what was the turning point? WWII? We do talk of the 'Battle of Britain' after all, which in earlier generations, given what I now know (thanks to these helpful WPeans) might well have been called the 'Battle of England': note German 'Luftschlacht um England', French 'Bataille d'Angleterre', along with Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Romanian, Hungarian, Polish, Danish and Greek, while (judging from the titles of their respective articles) Russian correctly uses 'Битва за Британию', along with most Slavic languages, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Portuguese, Marathi, Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Turkish. Japanese uses a literal katakana transcription of the English phrase and I can't read the other scripts. However I suspect languages which nowadays use the equivalent of the 'Battle of Britain' rather than the 'Battle of England' may (in some cases at least) have updated their terminology to align it with English. In any case the difference between say Spanish (and Galician) and Portuguese, or Russian and Polish, or Norwegian and Danish is odd. And while nowadays Hebrew uses הקרב על בריטניה 'haKrav al Britania' I'm pretty (though not completely) certain בריטניה 'Britania' used to be a somewhat pedantic way to refer to Britain which was commonly called אנגליה 'Anglia'. Contact Basemetal here 01:14, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Sam Blacketer is absolutely right - in the nineteenth century and down at least to WW1, even many Scots would refer to Britain or even the British Empire as "England" when talking in an international context. In the eighteenth century there was an attempt to rechristen Scotland as "North Britain", but this understandably did not catch on. My understanding is that Nelson originally wanted his signal to be "Nelson confides..." but this was changed for ease of signalling - it is of course a fair point that there was a signal for "England" but not for "Britain".Paulturtle (talk) 15:18, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
"Nelson confides..."? There can't be a smiley for dry humor (by definition) but on the net you're taking a risk :) And how do you do "silent laughing"? Contact Basemetal here 16:03, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Not sure what your point is - I'm just repeating what I remember from history lessons as a boy. We were told that Nelson was beloved by his men and that they were cross at being "expected" to fight for "England", although how much truth there is in that is, after all these years, impossible to say. The article on the signal does not include the "Nelson confides" version but it is discussed on the talk page - not that that necessarily means anything.Paulturtle (talk) 22:44, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry. I was not familiar with this version of the message and I thought you were cracking a joke. Contact Basemetal here 22:56, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Talking to you I realize I overlooked the talk page to the article. That was a mistake as much of the discussion there is relevant to the question I asked here. Let this be a lesson to anyone coming to the RD: check talk pages too first! As to anyone getting here in the future when this is in the archive and we all are dead and buried be sure to also check that talk page. Contact Basemetal here 23:07, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
No worries.Paulturtle (talk) 01:57, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Peirce and Bergson[edit]

The Wikipedia-Article on Henri Bergson states, quote:

Charles Sanders Peirce took strong exception to those who associated him with Bergson. In response to a letter comparing his work with that of Bergson he wrote, “a man who seeks to further science can hardly commit a greater sin than to use the terms of his science without anxious care to use them with strict accuracy; it is not very gratifying to my feelings to be classed along with a Bergson who seems to be doing his utmost to muddle all distinctions.”

I have worked on Peirce for years but cannot find this Quote. Unfortunately there is no footnote to tell me where to look. Can anybody help me verify that Peirce wrote what he supposedly wrote and tell me where I can find the information? DWagner (talk) 16:52, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

The following source cites (Gunter 1986: 101):
Bankov, Kristian; Intellectual Effort and Linguistic Work: Semiotic and Hermeneutic Aspects of the Philosophy of Bergson. (PDF) Acta Semiotica Fennica IX. International Semiotics Institute at Imatra, 2000. p 36
  • Gunter, Pete A. Y. 1986. Henri Bergson: A Bibliography. Bowling Green, OH: Philosophy Documentation Center
—E: (talk) 18:37, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Why does the CIA World Factbook consider South Africa a developed country which by their definition means 'high income or 1st world' economy?[edit]

Why does the CIA World Factbook consider South Africa a developed country which by their definition means 'high income or 1st world' economy?

This is the current CIA standard. And they consider developed to be equivalent to the 1st world. the top group in the hierarchy of developed countries (DCs), former USSR/Eastern Europe (former USSR/EE), and less developed countries (LDCs); includes the market-oriented economies of the mainly democratic nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Bermuda, Israel, South Africa, and the European ministates; also known as the First World, high-income countries, the North, industrial countries; generally have a per capita GDP in excess of $15,000 although four OECD countries and South Africa have figures well under $15,000 and eight of the excluded OPEC countries have figures of more than $20,000; the DCs include: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holy See, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, NZ, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, US; note - similar to the new International Monetary Fund (IMF) term "advanced economies" that adds Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan but drops Malta, Mexico, South Africa, and Turkey

--Gary123 (talk) 23:12, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

"The criteria for including these states are not mentioned." Hard to be sure if that's matter of fact from Wikipedia, or a veiled threat from the CIA. Probably safe to say South Africa is what it is, and that's all there is to it. That's as far as I'm digging, anyway. A better answer will probably be along shortly. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:23, October 21, 2014 (UTC)
The World Bank classifies South Africa as "middle income". It has the 18th largest stock exchange in the world by market capitalization. It is a member of the G20 and is also included in various "alphabet soups" of "leading emerging economies". Factors that skew the perception about the South African economy are the very uneven income distribution (very high GINI coefficient) and high unemployment. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 08:29, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

October 22[edit]

Question about Iliad and Odyssey[edit]

The Illiad or the Odyssey? Drmies (talk) 01:08, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

I've added a more descriptive title as the header at the top of this page suggests. Dismas|(talk) 01:16, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Could you be more specific about what you're asking about? Else, see Iliad and Odyssey. Dismas|(talk) 01:16, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm not asking for knowledge--I have that. I just want to know, Illiad or Odyssey? Can't do both. Drmies (talk) 01:18, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Sure you can. Read one, and then the other. Or, to make things more challenging, read a chapter from each, alternating until they're both done. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:11, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
  • My students can't, smartypants. Drmies (talk) 02:20, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
  • No, Bugs--read both. Drmies (talk) 03:01, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
So this has something do with students. Some students, I believe, have read both. Is there something we need to know about your students? —Tamfang (talk) 07:12, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Suetonius, duh. μηδείς (talk) 02:14, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Do we really have to put up with this sort of abuse of the ref desk? And from an administrator, no less? Dismas's request for clarity was good, but that's about as far as we ought to go. If Drmies wasn't then prepared to respond with something rational, then the whole thing should have been deleted on the spot. It's doing ourselves a disservice to entertain such rubbish any further, and I suspect all the above responses will prove to have been a waste of time and effort. Thanks, Comrade Administrator. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 02:49, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
 ? Drmies (talk) 03:01, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
You finally explained yourself @ Baseball Bugs' talk page, of all places. The closest you've come to explaining yourself here, where it really matters, is an oblique reference to your students. But that hardly helps at all. If I asked you "Henry VIII or Elizabeth II?", without any context whatsoever, would you have the faintest idea what I was on about? Of course not. You're not only an administrator but a highly experienced Wiki editor, and you know better than to abuse this desk with unanswerable questions. Whatever bizarre game it is you're playing, just stop it. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 06:29, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
No I didn't; the question wasn't just "which one should I teach". This isn't a game, JackofOz, and if you think it is you only demonstrate you're acting like a child in a grown-up world.

The question can be taken in many different ways, but only by those who understand the subject matter in the first place, and then they are free to ask and answer in any way they see fit. Since you are not one of those people, I'll give you a few possible hypothetical answers by hypothetical people who understand the subject matter and can give a cogent and relevant answer, with evidence. 1. The Iliad, of course, since that's the most epic of the two; the Odyssey is just some heroic tale of adventure. 2. The Odyssey, because it's the most easily accessible text and thus a good way to get students interested. 3. The Iliad since it isn't just an epic, but also an historical text, at least to some extent. 4. The Iliad, because the matter of divine intervention isn't just taken up on the level of an individual. 5. The Odyssey since it is the work of a more mature poet. 6. The Odyssey because it has more sex and allows for a deeper discussion of gender. 6. How could you pick one? They're equally important. 7. The Iliad because it is much more foundational for Western literature, especially that of the Middle Ages, than the Odyssey is. 8. The Odyssey because Keats like it better.

I could go on, and while you (or perhaps Jayron) could call these mere opinions, with the right evidence (the evidence I was hoping to be provided with by people at the Humanities Ref Desk) these can be well-argued and relevant positions. You may be aware that these are very old poems and have been discussed for a couple thousand years.

Obviously, people who don't understand a question should probably not answer, and people who have nothing but rants to offer, rants in which they don't just show their bad manners but also their total lack of knowledge (he who hath ears to hear...) should probably just shut up, and refrain from such odd insults like "Comrade Administrator"--what, my question is imposing Communism on you? I would have thought your insults would constitute "disruption at the Ref Desk", but hey, if that's how you all roll, power to you. Drmies (talk) 14:27, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

That's just a continuation of your game.
"... but only by those who understand the subject matter in the first place" - so, you're pandering to some elite; no law against that. But you'd get rather different answers depending on whether you were considering making a movie, writing an opera or a musical, doing a translation into Chinese, choosing some bed-time reading for yourself, choosing some bed-time reading for a 14 year old, teaching these poems to 14 year olds, teaching them to adults, ... the list is endless. Your reference to "my students" came only after 2 requests for clarification, and even now we still have no idea what age these students are or what their circumstances may be, or your expectations of them. It's clear from below that others are still pretty much in the dark as to what this all about. It's clear you have no intention of shedding any light on the question of context, the matter I raised above. To ask us for responses without us knowing the context: that is the definition of a game, and the definition of abuse of this service. OK, so you're deliberately refraining from making it too concrete (not concrete at all, in fact), in the hope of getting a wide span of answers unencumbered by too much left brain. That can be a cool game in the right forum. But a game it most definitely is. Further, this is a Reference Desk, not an Opinions Desk or a Debate Desk or a Chat Desk or a Game Desk. We regularly send people away for seeking opinions here. Should there be one rule for the Great Unwashed and a different one for WP Administrators? I called you "Comrade Administrator" because I checked out your user page and you claim both male and female genders, so I used a genderless title. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:15, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
The way I read your response, it's my admin status that gives you carte blance to lash out quite inappropriately in a public forum. You could have said that on my talk page; for that matter you could have said that nicely. This genderless thing is just a ruse; my title is in my user name. Next time I'll post my question as an IP. Drmies (talk) 22:52, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
That does not address at all my points about your inappropriate use of this Reference Desk. Yes, I expect a standard of behaviour from administrators that is certainly no lower and, one would hope, higher than that from non-admins. Do you disagree with that? An IP would/should have received rather shorter shrift than you've been given. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:50, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Inappropriate my ass. Maybe you should reassign yourself to where you don't have to deal with people. Drmies (talk) 02:25, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I've made my views clear. Since you still refuse to address any of my points (btw, denying an issue is the opposite of addressing it), but prefer to descend to personal abuse, I conclude you're committed to playing your game. Count me out. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 06:33, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Why didn't you "show your work" by telling us the eight answers you already had, and why you were dissatisfied with them? —Tamfang (talk) 07:12, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
  • I have restored this after Drmies poseted and then deleted it due to criticism he recieved.
I think it's clear, based on his recent comments, he wants an educated reason why teaching one, rather than the other to a class would be prefereable.
My question is, what is the title of the class? If it's Homer, I'd go with the Odyssey as more entertaining.
If it's just a class on the classics in general, I'll stick with Suetonius and explain if asked. Or Drmies should hat this if he wants to withdraw it. μηδείς (talk) 04:35, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
We would have to know a lot more about the class before anyone could start to answer this. Even then, the answer might be "whichever you would enjoy teaching more". Itsmejudith (talk) 08:07, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I'd go for Iliad. The Odyssey requires the Iliad for context, but the other way round it might encourage students to look out the Odyssey on their own (to see how it ends). Besides, "μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ" is rather appropriate for the above discussion. Maybe it's an omen. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 11:26, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I would think the Odyssey would be more interesting. By high school at least, your average student should have at least heard of both of them. The teacher could take a session or two to summarize the Iliad [perhaps have them read the CliffsNotes version]. Then the fun stuff begins in the Odyssey, like the Trojan Horse and the Sirens and the Cyclops and all that nifty stuff. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:30, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
See, Bugs, that's getting somewhere. Drmies (talk) 14:27, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Had your original question made any sense, we could have gotten farther faster. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:36, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't have just one question. Drmies (talk) 16:11, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
"The Illiad/Iliad or the Odyssey?" is actually just one question. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:27, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
If it's the students' first experience with classics, I'd vote Odyssey. It's more of a narrative story, it has more cool monsters and adventure, it fits nicely into "episodes" that can be treated individually, but also of course has a structure as a whole. In my exposure, it is more often the one taught first, so I might not be the only one with this preference. The other big matter is of course what translation, assuming that that they won't be reading in Greek. Butler's is free on project Gutenberg [15], but Lattimore is better and easier in my opinion - plus he writes in hexameter, so if you want to talk about scansion etc. then that's the way to go. I assume you wouldn't force the rhymed couplets of Pope upon them, but here's a nice overview of various famous translations [16]. Finally, I do think your posting above is needlessly coy. Sure, I could tell you were asking for insights on which one, but I had no idea whether you meant to read, to teach, to have on a deserted island, or to burn in effigy. I think you can see that an additional sentence explaining what you wanted would have avoided the problems above. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:59, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Your list of four options is getting there. There's more but I haven't thought of those--for instance, I hadn't thought about scansion, so thanks for that, certainly--so I wasn't trying to be coy. I can't ask what I already know. And no, I won't be using Pope--if I get to teach either one, or both, it's most likely Lombardo's. But one possible answer is, "Translator X's version of the Iliad is much better than any translation of the Odyssey (or the other way around), so you should read/teach/memorize that." Drmies (talk) 16:11, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
As mentioned above, the name of the course would help a lot. As would some background on your knowledge and the expected knowledge of students. Part of deciding which work or which translation is deciding what your goals are. If I were teaching the either one, I would definitely cover or refresh on scansion, talk about Monomyth, discuss hubris, nemesis, and the other elements of Greek tragedy. I'd introduce the Homeric_Question after talking a bit about Homer. I always enjoyed the assertion that the Iliad and the Odyssey could not have been written by the same man, because they are so different in ultimate outlook (Iliad-bleak, Odyssey-affirming), though of course that is not a very great argument... I'd also talk about metonymy, synechdoche, zeugma, chiasmus, hyperbaton as well as other relevant figures of speech and literary devices. Finally, I'd talk a bit about the Human Condition, why we still read the classics, why they still echo in popular media (e.g. Duck Tales, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, etc.)
--But none of that would be especially helpful for grade school children, or advanced classics majors. I suspect you are not teaching advanced classics majors, or you probably wouldn't be asking us :) Anyway, Lattimore's Odyssey is my favorite, and it is widely praised in classicist circles. That's what I would recommend, lacking any other info on you, your students, or the class. Nobody with much training will say the Iliad or Odyssey is "better", but either one may be better for certain pedagogical uses, and many people have a personal favorite. Whichever you teach, the other should be at least briefly summarized. Here are some additional resources by/for teachers on the topic [17] [18]. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:12, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
No, SemanticMantis, there are no such advanced students at my university, unfortunately; we barely teach the classics. This is, since you're at least taking it seriously, an upper-level/graduate class probably mostly catered by liberal arts students, and the topic is "epic", quite vaguely. You have given me much to think about and for that I thank you. Digging real quick through Google Books has given me ideas too and even more to think about, and for now I'm leaning toward both--I think that you understand that "or" doesn't have to be an exclusive "or". "Both" here means "some of both", using this book. I'm totally waffling since I wonder if these students can handle both, and the Aeneid (for which the Iliad is more helpful as a "previous" text, IMO), and Paradise Lost, and 2666. BTW, "personal favorite": I was very interested to learn if folks here know which famous writers/readers had which personal favorite, and that, I believe, is a valid question to ask in this forum. Thanks again, Drmies (talk) 22:52, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Adults in their 20's or later pursuing an advanced degree should be reasonably expected to be read both, I would posit. --Jayron32 02:18, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
  • I have no fact-based basis for my opinion but I'd be inclined to suggest "both" only because that was the way they were taught to me and I couldn't imagine doing them separately. Interestingly, the basis on which they were taught (in Australia, in my case) was as part of a similarly-named and pointlessly broad (something akin to "Epic") unit that also delved into the archaeology and the actual and possible locations for various portions of various texts. If that sounds vague then I've done my duty - the unit itself was vague to the point of almost uselessness. But it was enjoyable and I suspect that's part of what you're aiming for. Stlwart111 01:00, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
  • I'll go with Neither. No real reason... just feel like being contrary today. Blueboar (talk) 17:12, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
    • Good answer. But it could be worse. What if the other option were Moby-Dick?Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:42, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
      • If Drmies wants to teach a book more recent than Moby-Dick, how about A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth? The Guardian describes it as "epic". A suggestion from a purely objective point of view; that it's my favourite book in the entire world is of course merely a coincidence. Pete AU aka --Shirt58 (talk) 09:22, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Iliad and Odyssey for kids[edit]

Does anyone know some place on the net I could take a quick look (just one or two pages) inside the Iliad and Odyssey for kids illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen (first published in 1956 by Golden Press I believe). There's no preview in Google Books. I would just like to be able to take a look at one or two pages to check if this is a book I used to own as a kid. Judging by the cover I suspect that's the book but I'm not yet completely certain. Thanks. Contact Basemetal here 02:08, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Amazon's page on the book allows you to look at a few pages. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 13:00, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I'd tried Amazon before posting my question. But at Amazon when you click on the big picture (the cover) what you get is actually a look inside an Iliad translated by Samuel Butler, a completely different book. However I went there a second time on your advice. This time I noticed that below the big picture of the cover there were three small pictures you can enlarge. Two of those were indeed pages inside the book I was interested in. Were those two pages the few pages you meant? In any case looking at those two pages it turns out that was indeed the book I had in mind. Therefore many thanks to you. Contact Basemetal here 15:55, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Try I use that to get my e-books. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 06:42, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
My sincere apologies - I hate it when Amazon does that. This Link might be what you're looking for. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 09:25, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks guys. Both Kage Tora's link and Fiddlersmouth's new link were great. As a kid I used to have that book. For some reason the scribd downloads are all of the French version, but that's great. I think that book has been translated in a bunch of languages. But what makes it a masterpiece is the pictures. How many kids image of the Homeric world was shaped by those pictures which look as if the Homeric scenes you see on Greek pottery had come alive in color? Given the almost complete disappearance of ancient Greek painting it's probably the closest you can get to how the Greeks of the classical world may have imagined the scenes of the Homeric epics. Except for male nudity of course. To follow Greek art in that respect would have been unthinkable in a children's book in 1956 in America and maybe even today. Contact Basemetal here 23:01, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Ben Bradlee and the Iran-Contra affair[edit]

What was Ben Bradlee's role in uncovering the Iran–Contra affair? Surprisingly, I'm finding very little in the published obituaries on this. Neither of the above linked articles mention any involvement by Bradlee. There's a short line in the Reuters obit which just says that "the Post uncovered details of the Iran-Contra scandal". I'm seeing unsubstantiated claims by bloggers that Bradlee admitted to not pursuing lines of enquiry to their obvious conclusion, i.e. that Reagan was involved in the affair. Thanks, --Viennese Waltz 11:17, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Personally, very little. Bradlee also wasn't personally (as in doing the actual investigation and journalism) involved in uncovering Watergate, which is the issue he is most associated with. That doesn't mean that Bradlee wasn't a key figure in both historical events. But his role, as executive editor of the Post, would have been 1) involved in hiring reporters who had skills in investigative journalism, were compelling writers, etc. 2) Assigning said reporters to said stories, and allowing and/or encouraging them to do said investigations 3) deciding how much prominence and what resources to devote to said investigations. As executive editor, his role would have been akin to a movie producer, he doesn't do the work, but he organizes the people who do the work, and he makes major decisions that affect how they do their work. --Jayron32 13:53, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
OK, let me rephrase the question. What role did the Washington Post play in uncovering the Iran-Contra affair? --Viennese Waltz 14:09, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Well, I've been trying to dig up some stuff for you. I have no idea how reliable it is, but there is some criticism from an "insider", Robert Parry (journalist), who was one of the major investigators for Newsweek during the Iran Contra affair; at the time Newsweek was a subsidiary of the Post and had a lot of editorial crossover with it's parent publication. Parry has written a lot in the intervening years about his trouble with his bosses at Newsweek (and the Washington Post) regarding his reporting of Iran-Contra. It's a place to look. I'm not sure whether or not Parry's criticisms are valid, or merely "axe-grinding", but it's something. --Jayron32 01:18, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Is there death sentence for first-degree murder in Iraq?[edit]

This news story[19] says "The maximum sentence for conviction of first-degree murder is life imprisonment." regarding Iraq. But our article, capital_punishment_in_Iraq, disagrees. Which one is correct? WinterWall (talk) 17:54, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

The UN released a report on the use of the death penalty in Iraq (PDF) a few days ago (summarized here). It seems to say that death sentences for murder still occur.--Cam (talk) 18:07, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the help. Seems like it's just shoddy reporting on Fox's part (though Toronto Star made the exact same mistake curiously enough [20]). One of the convicted, Slatten, currently faces a sentence of life imprisonment for his murder charge[21][22]. Fox and Toronto Star may have confused the sentence for this particular case with the maximum possible sentence. WinterWall (talk) 18:34, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Two things: That quote isn't in either story, and the story isn't about Iraqi law. These murderers were tried in a United States federal court in Washington. They were charged by the Justice Department, not victims' families or police. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:24, October 23, 2014 (UTC)

Bren Gun[edit]

How could anyone aim a bren gun? The magazine is on the top obscuring the view of the barrel, sight, and target. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 21:40, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

there's a little nubby thing attached to the barrel sticking out to its left in this video, i think that might have helped aiming? ~Helicopter Llama~ 21:44, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
The view that the shooter sees when aiming down a weapon is called "sight picture". Here[23] is an example of Bren Mk II LMG's sight picture. Like HelicopterLlama pointed out, both the front sight post and the rear aperture is offset to the left. WinterWall (talk) 22:11, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Some more information at The Bren Gun by Neil Grant (p.40). Perhaps I'll add that to our article if I get a moment later. 09:21, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

October 23[edit]

West African burial practices[edit]

In what religion(s) do people practice the rituals of "washing, touching, and kissing" the corpses of their dead loved ones?

Wavelength (talk) 00:12, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

It is a cultural—rather than a specifically religious—practice that may have roots in traditional African religions but that is also practiced by Christians in parts of Africa. Funeral practices also vary among, for example, among European ethnic groups even though they all traditionally adhere to Christianity. Christianity does not dictate the details of practices such as wakes or burials. In fact, it dictates little more than the words spoken at the funeral service in some denominations. The rest is a matter of custom. Marco polo (talk) 00:31, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Still common in the West for Christians (and others) to touch a corpse's hand or face in the casket, after they pay someone else to wash it. Kissing, not so much, but a little peck goodbye on the forehead isn't exactly rare. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:03, October 23, 2014 (UTC)
Kissing the face of the corpse is perfectly normal practice at Russian Orthodox funerals. A little confronting for those not brought up in that tradition, but they usually get over it. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 06:23, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Unless they catch a fatal disease, of course. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:08, October 23, 2014 (UTC)
Unless the stuff the undertaker plasters on the face is contaminated, it shouldn't be a problem. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:40, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
In my original post, I linked to an article which begins with this statement.
  • Ebola victims are most infectious right after death—which means that West African burial practices, where families touch the bodies, are spreading the disease like wildfire.
Wavelength (talk) 00:06, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
So if it catches on this side of the pond, only the doctors and undertakers (and associates) will die like wildfire. And then the rest of us will live happily ever after, left without the meddling to care for our own families again, like in the good old days. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:46, October 24, 2014 (UTC)

drunk Shakespeare scenes[edit]

What Shakespeare scenes have dialogue where the speaker is drunk?--Jerk of Thrones (talk) 05:50, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Act II Scene 3 of Macbeth (the porter is drunk). --Viennese Waltz 06:19, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Cassio gets drunk in Othello and rambles on about salvation (Act II, scene iii). Doll Tearsheet in Henry IV, part 2 is first seen throwing up after having had too much "canaries" (sherry-like wine from the Canary islands). Of course Falstaff and his pals are semi-permanently drunk, though since drinking is inherent to his lifestyle, I suppose you could say he's never "drunk" as such. However, Master Silence, who's not used to drink, is clearly drunk during Falstaff's visit to Shallow. There are several references to drink in Hamlet, notably when Claudius gets drunk on his wedding night ("a custom more honoured in the breach"). Toby Belch is clearly supposed to be drunk at the beginning of Twelfth Night, and of course Lepidus gets absolutely plastered in Antony and Cleopatra, starts talking rambling nonsense about crocodiles, and has to be carried to bed. Paul B (talk) 11:04, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I forgot Stephano and Trinculo in The Tempest. They are drunk pretty much throughout. Paul B (talk) 12:30, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Are there any scenes in which Sir John Falstaff is sober? Alansplodge (talk) 16:14, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Difficult to say. There are some scenes in which it's not specified that he has a drink nearby, notably the battle scenes, but he's often depicted in productions with a flask by his side, from which he takes repeated swigs - especially when he's giving his speeches to glory of sack. He's clearly supposed to be sober at the end of H IV 2, having ridden all night to be in London, but that's emblematically linked to the "sobering" experience of being told by Hal to get out of his life. His drinking isn't so blatant in the Merry Wives. He only mentions sack once! Paul B (talk) 16:58, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Ha ha! nice, very thorough.--Jerk of Thrones (talk) 04:25, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Jewish early childhood ritual[edit]

Hi everyone,

I would like to know,

Muslims perform ‘Akika’, Christians perform ‘baptizing/christening’, what do Jewish people do? -- ( (talk) 06:08, 23 October 2014 (UTC))

Brit milah: "covenant of circumcision" is a Jewish religious male circumcision ceremony performed by a mohel (ritual circumciser) on the eighth day of a male infant's life. -- Deborahjay (talk) 06:16, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
There's also pidyon ha-ben, also performed in infancy. The child is not much of an active participant there, though. Evan (talk|contribs) 18:45, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Pluralism and Politics[edit]

Does Pluralism accurately describe the distribution of power in a complex society, or are there more appropriate, rivalling theories? --Alliengyeoeuen (talk) 10:59, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

I've seen this question here before; i recommend reading over Pluralism (political philosophy) and Pluralism (political theory) ~Helicopter Llama~ 12:07, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, the identical question was asked 8 days ago,[24] and I would be shocked if it weren't the same guy. And I think your response above was the response he got then too. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:51, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Celtic painting[edit]

This one!

Hi all,

When I viewed the wikipedia page for Celtic or Norse Mythology (can't remember which, it might be a page in the same subject as well), there used to be a Celtic painting about fairies or whatnot, I just remember that there was a lot of green in that painting but didn't copy the references. Does anyone know what it was ? The style of the painting is close to Edward Robert Hughes' Midsummer Eve.

Thank you all for your time and answer. (talk) 12:56, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure what a "Celtic painting" is (or why there would be one at "Norse mythology"), but you might mean this one, I guess. You could look through "Category:Celtic mythology" or "Category:Fairies" at Commons. Paul B (talk) 13:23, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for you help ! I found it by doing a Google Image search, 'famous fairy painting', and it's called Sadko in the Underwater Kingdom by Ilya Repin. It's the picture on the Slavic Mythology page. I knew it was a Proto-European mythology ! :) (talk) 14:00, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I have added the picture to the top of the thread, in case anyone was curious. Alansplodge (talk) 16:18, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
That's long been one of my favorite paintings. See the article on Sadko. (If you like the general Romantic style, see Peredvizhniki.) I was rather alarmed to see a Russian folk hero at the bottom of the sea described as a Celt with faeries! μηδείς (talk) 19:49, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Problems of literature[edit]

Can anyone recommend a book critical of the current literature in general? Like, pointing out its problems (aesthetic or otherwise) and shortcomings, etc. --BorgQueen (talk) 16:45, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Without further clarification, "current literature" is a massively broad topic. Certainly, any extensive work of literary criticism might point out perceived problems with its subject matter, but I'm not aware of any book that purports to take on such an extensive subject as "current literature", however you define "current" and however you define "literature." You'll have much better luck looking for critical analysis of specific authors and works. Evan (talk|contribs) 18:56, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I realize that. How about the 21st-century English-language novels -- is it specific enough? --BorgQueen (talk) 19:04, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
No, it isn't. No-one has written, or is going to write, a book critical of the entire body of 21st century English novels. You might get criticism of certain trends, and (as noted above) of specific authors, but no more than that. --Viennese Waltz 19:21, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Dear goodness. There's roughly 292,000 books published every year in the U.S. Even supposing that something less than half of those are novels, that's over 100,000 novels for someone to keep up with every year. Who has time to read and review all those books, and develop a criticism of the general trends? And that's not even including books published in other English-speaking nations. And we're 14 years into the 21st century. You really want to find someone who read 1,000,000 books? --Jayron32 19:22, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
And we arrive at one of the bases for postmodernism: examination is always of things as they were, not as they are; to be truly in the moment is to slightly ahead of the curve.
There's also the issue of which perspective the criticism takes, such as didactic, feminist, Marxist, Jungian, Afrocentric, deconstructionist... List goes on, those are just the highlights you might find in a general college course. Ian.thomson (talk) 20:03, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
You might try a Google search for critiques of the Iowa_Writers'_Workshop (and MFA programs in general). The influence of the Iowa model on contemporary fiction--in which student's receive peer feedback at every stage of the writing process (derogatively called "writing by committee")--has led to substantial criticism (itself of varying quality). For a different type of critique, you might search for books or articles on the consolidation of the mass media and concurrent decline of the traditional publishing model: unless you are an established author (e.g. J._K._Rowling) or a celebrity (e.g. Snooki), it is almost impossible to get something published. OldTimeNESter (talk) 15:00, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

How many people are secular and atheist in the Western sense of the term in East Asia?[edit]

How many people are or considered to be or identify as secular and atheist in the Western sense of the term in East Asia? (talk) 20:00, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

What's the Western sense of the term? Does it make sense to use it in the East? InedibleHulk (talk) 20:05, October 23, 2014 (UTC)
You may find Religion in China interesting. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:06, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Secular and atheist aren't necessarily the same thing. Someone could be lead by religious beliefs to believe that church and state should remain wholly separate. Atheists who believe that the government should enforce their views regarding religion are not being especially secular.
Demographics of atheism covers some relevant information. Looking it over, it only has specific articles on Irreligion in China and Irreligion in South Korea, so looking at specific "Religion in (country)" articles might help. About half of China are atheists, as are about 15% of South Koreans. I'd make an off-hand guess that North Korea's figures are at least as much as China's (unless maybe one counts Kimilsungism as a form of emperor worship, though I'm sure that saying that wouldn't go over well in North Korea). Our article on the subject says North Korea is 64% irreligious, though not specifically atheist, but given the nature of the government, most of them probably would identify as atheist.
Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Burma are mostly Buddhist, but forms that are rather nontheistic. Possibly not atheist in most possible Western senses, though. Nepal is mostly Hindu. Mongolia is 38.6% irreligious, and Singapore 17% irreligious, though that includes deists, agnostic theists, and so on.
Some other countries are harder to measure. In Japan, for example, it's not uncommon for someone to engage in a mixture of Shinto, Buddhist, or even Christian practices while holding no particular belief in any of them. Religion_in_Japan#Irreligion includes the claim by one author that less than 15% of Japanese people believe in gods, which could be reversed to argue that they're 85% atheist, and yet other sources indicate that at least 80% of Japan practices some form of Shinto even if they do not identify with that religion. Vietnam is somewhere between 30% to 80% non-religious, possibly due to similar factors as Japan (people engaging in religions they do not identify with), or Mongolia (where irreligion includes non-atheists), which also makes it really hard to nail down if someone is specifically atheist. Ian.thomson (talk) 20:44, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I think the point of the "Western sense of the term" bit is to exclude non-theistic Buddhists, since they're atheists, but still religious, unlike Western atheists. Nyttend (talk) 00:14, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
There are plenty of Western atheist Cultural Catholics, bless you. μηδείς (talk) 21:17, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Intra-NATO war[edit]

The intro to Cyprus notes that Greece and Turkey nearly went to war in 1964. Imagine that full-fledged war had broken out between these countries, both members of NATO: what would the other members have done? The issue isn't addressed in the North Atlantic Treaty, so perhaps the answer is "whatever they thought best at the time", but I was wondering if the issue were formally addressed by some other document, or by some corollary to the treaty that's not included in the Wikisource page that I linked. Nyttend (talk) 23:46, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

I imagine a circle forming about the combatants. Anytime one tries to leave, it's pushed back into Central Europe by another which has invested a lot of money in either its prosperous future or its need for continual ammunition.
If the exact protocol for it is in written form, it's probably 45,000 feet underground in a shoebox. You don't want the other side to consider you even have a contingency plan for (basically) mutiny. Shows a lack of leadership. So yeah, that's just my imagination up there. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:07, October 24, 2014 (UTC)
Is there not a clause that says members are pledged to come to the defense of any member that is attacked? That's what justified NATO forces in Afghanistan. Presumably, if it were clear that A had attacked B first, then B would 'logiclly' be the one to be defended. I am not sure its helpful to ask ahead of time or depend on logic. There's certainly not been any consistency in US action. Look at how the toppling of Qaddafi was handled. I think we're looking at a murky crystal ball here. μηδείς (talk) 02:59, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
A pre-emptive strike is often considered an offensive defense, before an attack can happen. I'm sure there'd be a long legal battle just to figure out who the rest of the crew should actually battle. After the fact, of course. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:46, October 24, 2014 (UTC)
An old joke, possibly from Peanuts: "I thought he was going to hit me, so I hit him back first." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:49, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Seems to be from Andy Capp. Or just confused with this one. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:33, October 24, 2014 (UTC)
Ha! You're not confused. It's just deja vu:[25]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:56, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
If American policy during the last 13 years has been to try to destabilize the region, it's certainly working. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:35, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
See Cod Wars. Nobody intervened. Although this was not 'all-out war' (Iceland doesn't have an army anyway), it was still a series of semi-military conflicts between two NATO members, which did actually result in one casualty. Besides NATO, even the UN refused to intervene. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 06:32, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Various external discussions like [26] and [27] point to article 8 [28] which says

Each Party declares that none of the international engagements now in force between it and any other of the Parties or any third State is in conflict with the provisions of this Treaty, and undertakes not to enter into any international engagement in conflict with this Treaty.

Note that article 1 says

The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

Some suggest that any aggressor would automatically be in violation of article 8 (and I guess article 1) and so they would be expelled (or at least no longer eligible for protection) and then article 5 and 6 which provide for mutual self defence would come in to play for the party who is the target of the aggressor. Or as μηδείς suggested, article 5 and 6 would mean that the target of the aggressor would be protected, but not the aggressor. But this doesn't seem to be clearly stated.
Of course, determing who's an aggressor isn't easy and as we've seen with nearly any modern conflict (e.g. anything to do with India/Pakistan) each side will accuse the other of being the aggressor. Beyond that given in the articles I've mentioned (including 5 and 6 which I didn't quote), the NATO treat doesn't really seem to deal with how to decide who's the aggressor. There is the UN view [29]. Note that while NATO treaty itself refers to 'attacked' rather than an aggressor, I mentioned aggressor primarily because if both sides are at fighting than both sides must have attacked each other, so it ultimately comes down to who "attacked" "first" or who's the "aggressor".
I do agree with the those in the other discussions namely the US will likely have a big influence over determing who's the aggressor and what happens which of course means it will depend heavily on the geopolitical background stuff of the current government (and to some extent US citizen). However although I'm often critical of the US, it does seem likely in most cases they (and probably many others) would use their pressure to try and stop any such war, as they've done so before. Which would probably include making it clear to both sides they could easily be seen as the aggressor if they don't stop whatever it is the US doesn't like. (If the US really wanted such a war to proceed, they'd probably have found a way to get the unwanted party to leave NATO first.)
Note that per NATO, Greece did leave the military command structure a while later (but I'm pretty sure not NATO) from 1974 to 1980. BTW, the Cod Wars is an interesting example but whether you want to intepret anything that happened as a violation of Article 6 is another matter. It's another good example of the political element, you could perhaps say some of the stuff was a violation of article 6, you could say it wasn't.
Nil Einne (talk) 15:27, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, Nil, hence my scare quotes around 'logically'. μηδείς (talk) 18:41, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
I thought those were because you were spelling it like that for a damn good reason. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:37, October 24, 2014 (UTC)
Taht just goes to prove my point, never expect what would make sense actually to happen. For which, see the new recriminatory thread I have created on the ref desk talk page. μηδείς (talk) 21:15, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
I'll see nothing of the sort! InedibleHulk (talk) 21:19, October 24, 2014 (UTC)

October 24[edit]

Abstracting electricity in Scotland[edit]

If I get caught while I "maliciously or fraudulently abstracts, causes to be wasted or diverted, consumes or uses any electricity" in England and Wales, I'll be charged with abstracting electricity, and the same name is applied to the charge for electricity theft in NI and the ROI. But what about in Scotland? We ought at least to say "Comparable actions in Scotland will result in a charge of X", even if it be something as generic as "theft". A Google search for <"abstracting electricity" scotland> found immediately-post-enactment references to the Electric Lighting Act 1882, a discussion of the ability of wet Scottish soils to abstract electricity, and a story of Scotland Yard arresting an Englishman for abstracting electricity. Nyttend (talk) 21:21, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

According to the UKRPA (no article!) website here, in Scotland one can be prosecuted for electricity theft ("supplies of electricity stolen illegally and damage to electrical plant") under Chapter 27, Schedule 4 of the Utilities Act 2000. One can also be prosecuted under Schedule 2B of the Gas Act 1986 for stealing gas (but not electricity). Tevildo (talk) 23:42, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

October 25[edit]

Hop on - Hop off cruising[edit]

Caliphate after Ottomans[edit]

With recent events bombarding headlines, I got to thinking: after the fall of the Ottoman Empire and Caliphate, why did no other Muslim nation step in to replace the Caliphate? Why did it take 60 years for a new group to claim one? (talk) 01:30, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

When the Ottomans conquered Egypt and overthrew the Mamluks in 1517, they disposed of the last lingering ceremonial remnants of the Abbasid caliphate, but the Ottoman rulers did not seriously claim to be caliphs themselves until much later. According to mainstream traditional Sunni legal interpretations, a claim to be caliph is not too credible unless that person rules over most Muslims, or has the allegiance (Bay'ah) of those who rule over most Muslims. AnonMoos (talk) 03:31, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
Did it? Are you sure? Did no one during that time proclaim themselves caliph? How do you know? A guy can proclaim himself caliph to ten followers. The hard thing is not to proclaim yourself Caliph but to be accepted as one. Take a look at Caliphate and you'll notice that even while there was a more or less accepted Caliph for Sunni Islam (the Ottoman ruler) there were here and there parallel caliphs. Now if you're asking why there hasn't been in (more like) 90 years a Caliph recognized by a majority of Sunni the answer is "There still isn't one" because the ISIS so called caliphate for all the noise it is making is far from being recognized by a majority of Sunni. Bear in mind that the issue of the caliphate has always been the number one divisive issue in the history of Islam. After Ali's death the issue of who will be Caliph revolved around one test: force. The legitimacy was acquired through force, force was not acquired through legitimacy. The Ummayi became the recognized caliphate because they beat Ali, they did not beat Ali because they had somehow a better claim of legitimacy. The Abbasi became caliphs because they managed to massacre the Ummayi and again the world of Sunni Islam accepted them because they had prevailed on the battlefield. Even the passage of the caliphate from the Abbasi to the Ottoman ruler was a joke from the strict point of view of legitimacy. But the Ottoman ruler was accepted as Caliph because they were the strongest power in Sunni Islam, and had conquered Egypt after beating the Mameluks, who were the protectors of the Abbasi of Cairo who continued the Abbasi line and the caliphate after the Abbasi Caliph of Baghdad was executed by Hulagu. ISIS is putting the cart before the horse. By so doing they're only doing what tens of would be caliphs have done in the history of Islam. ISIS does not constitute a real change from the situation as it has existed since 1924. Contact Basemetal here 03:37, 25 October 2014 (UTC)


October 19[edit]

Line breaks in dates[edit]

Do the major style manuals say anything about proper use of line breaks within dates? For example, where would it be proper to break June 6, 1944 (if anywhere)? How about 6 June 1944? I'm looking for something authoritative rather than personal opinions, but I don't have one of the major style manuals. ‑‑Mandruss (talk) 01:53, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

It's a few (*cough-cough*) years since I was a desk editor and proofreader, but I don't remember being taught any proscriptions on breaking such a date. More relevantly to your question, I've just checked my old copies of Hart's Rules and Judith Butcher's Copy-editing (as well as a few other lesser-known works) and they have nothing to say on the subject.
In general, breaks need only be avoided if they cause a false reading (e.g. the legendary leg-
end), and I can't see that breaking such a date at either space would mislead. It might look ugly, especially in display text (i.e. headlines, chapter heads and such) so you'd want to avoid that.
In a work, or series of works, heavy on dates one might want to adopt a style rule governing breaks in dates, but this would be a decision specific to that work or series. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 14:19, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Speaking as another retired copy-editor, I'm in agreement with the above, but a general rule is not to break a line between a numeral and whatever is being counted. This normally means units of measurement, but I would extend this to days of the month. So a break between month and year is fine, but not between day and month, if it can be avoided.--Shantavira|feed me 15:49, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
It can almost always be avoided in places like Wikitext, by judicious use of {{nowrap|19 February}}. For my sins, I despise the look of split day/month and I always use this whenever I see an offender. I once worked in a place that was very big on this sort of thing, and letters we drafted for senior managers' signatures were sent back for correction if these and other details weren't nailed down. Factual and political correctness were also somewhere in the mix along with orthographic exactitude. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:34, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Of course WP is a little different than print media, because a printed page will either split a certain date, or it will not, but the text won't move. On WP, whether the date is split will depend upon browser font, window size, and other factors. E.g. it's highly likely that a date could appear split on my view and not on yours. So I tend to agree that we should always nowrap our dates. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:04, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Come and sit by me while we draft the Constitution and Rules of the Like-Minded Persons' Society. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 18:47, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the quality comments. I'll just add the obvious that a date at the beginning of a paragraph, which happens a lot (On 21 October 2014, ...), needn't be nowrapped. ‑‑Mandruss (t) 06:11, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Italian language question[edit]

I saw this text at an Italian restaurant: Chi lavora mangia. Chi non lavora mangia, beve e dorme. I think it means "One who works, eats. One who does not work, eats, drinks and sleeps." Is this correct? JIP | Talk 15:06, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Is that restaurant in Finland? I'm not Italian but it's not very difficult Italian so I'll venture to say this is correct. Google Translate more or less agrees. So we're all in agreement. As to the meaning maybe it is: "It's great to have a job. It's even more great not to have one." :) No stereotyping please :) Just humor. Contact Basemetal here 19:25, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
The translation is correct. The proverb is possibly originally Napolitano: "Chi fatica magna, chi nun fatica magna e beve.". The book A Buon 'Ntennitore ... Proverbs of Naples by Leonardo Antonio lists it as well, along with "Chi fatica magna e chi nun fatica magna gallina" ("He/she who works, eats, and he/she who doesn't work, eats chicken"). ---Sluzzelin talk 20:08, 19 October 2014 (UTC)


(NOTE:I'm not sure if this belongs here or another section. Feel free to move it or indicate where this question is more suitable for asking if it shouldn't be here.)

I've been reading Penguin Books' "The Sagas of Icelanders" (stylised as "the SAGAS of icelanders") that my dear father got for me this past Christmas, and whilst it's quite a swell volume, I have a few gripes with it.

My biggest gripe, aside from minor peeves such as them using "earl" for both earls and jarls indiscriminately, and using "autumn" for "Fall" (they could have chosen "Harvest" if they perceived "Fall" as being regionally biased, and I'd actually have preferred them going with "Harvest" anyways), is that they "transliterate" the letter edh (Ðð) with "d".

Now, my knowledge of the Icelandic language in terms of grammar and such is not very good, and all that I am aware of in regards to edh's use that might be able to help me determine when reading (as I often read to others) whether a transliterated name had an edh in it or not is that Icelandic doesn't use edh as the first letter of a word. As such, I have adopted the practice of pronouncing all medial and final "d"s in the volume as if they were edhs.

Now, the reason that I bring this up here is because I have noticed that this work is not the first to transliterate edh with "d". Furthermore, a video game of all things for the Nintendo 3DS chose to pronounce thorn and edh as if they were "t"s and "d"s (FYI: The Nintendo 3DS allows the letters thorn and edh to be input).

So, I ask this:

Is there some underlying cause for perception of Icelandic thorns and edhs as being representative of anything other than /θ/ and /ð/? I've heard rumours of Icelandic /θ/ being actually closer to /θs/, but I cannot confirm that.

Might anyone here be able to shed some light on this matter? Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 18:29, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

I believe Old Norse ‹þ,ð›, though retained in Icelandic, generally merged with ‹t,d› on the mainland; so, if the letter ‹ð› is inconvenient, ‹d› is a natural substitute. —Tamfang (talk) 19:39, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
If the letter is problematic, then why not transliterate ð as "dh", or even "th" (as thorn is usually transliterated as), especially in the case of translation to English? That seems more logical to me. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 23:57, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
It's actually normal to 'transilterate' letters which are not common in English. Harald Hardrada is transliterated as so, even though his epithet was 'Harðráði'. If your book is an older book, it was probably written on a typewriter. If not, then the author either didn't know how to put the 'foreign' letters in, or had learned those spellings from older books whilst doing research for his. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 03:09, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, the latter is quite possible. Though I don't know why anyone would "transliterate" a letter that represented a sound that we also have in English with another letter shared by both languages that represents a completely different sound in both languages than the letter being replaced. I mean, they didn't "transliterate" thorn with "t", they translated it with "th" (as they should, because "th" represents the same phoneme as thorn). As such, it would have made sense to "transliterate" "ð" as "dh" (which has been used in other transliterations for the very same purpose, and would be understood and correctly pronounced by those who understood that). At least then people who understood the "transliteration" would be able to pronounce the names correctly, and the people who didn't understand the "transliteration" wouldn't be any more confused. It's a win-win situation. I mean, honestly, one would think that an attempted "transliteration" would have greater success in staying true to what the intended pronunciation was than actual transliteration from a non-Latin-alphabetic script to a Latin-alphabetic script, but I guess not. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 05:31, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I think the wrong "transliteration" of one mere letter is not significant when all other particularities of Icelandic such as áéíóúýæö are ignored as well in English (in both spelling and pronunciation). It's a tradition in English to simply drop out diacritics - voi-là, we got "Dd" (as well as many examples from all other languages, I've just recently encountered "pismaniye" which was even occasionally pronounced with [s]). And I'm not surprised as from the typewriter epoch it has not been an easy task to type diacritics in English, most English speakers are "diacritic ignorant".--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 08:00, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
It just seems stupid that someone would ignore the fact that English has the same sound that edh provides in Icelandic (and, indeed, Old English used to use edh!) and just transliterate it as if we were a language that lacked dental fricatives. It's ridiculous. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 11:18, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
According to Henry Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Primer, both edh and thorn were interchangeable, with some dialects preferring one over the other, and both representing both voiced and voiceless dental fricatives. The switch to 'th' didn't solve anything, as 'th' also does the same job (cf. 'think' vs. 'this'). KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 23:05, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
That's not quite right, User:KageTora, thy and thigh are a minimal pair, as are wither and with 'er, etc. μηδείς (talk) 00:05, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
'Harvest' is not synonymous with 'autumn'. 'Fall' has another meaning other than 'autumn'. What's wrong with 'autumn'? AlexTiefling (talk) 19:54, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
As Penguin Books is a British publisher, it's likely to be written in British English. British people use "autumn" rather than "fall" for the season. Canadians apparently use both: see Fall or autumn: the Canadian dilemma. Alansplodge (talk) 12:52, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

What is the origin of the name Sierra Leone?[edit]

Hey, I have a question. What is the origin and meaning of the name Sierra Leone? Learn to Read Latin (talk) 20:22, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Did you read the first paragraph of Sierra Leone#European trading? Deor (talk) 20:25, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
(ec) History of Sierra Leone seems to imply that it was a mutation of "Serra Lyoa", which, according to the article translates to "Lion Mountains", and this site states that 16th century English explorers arrived and changed the Portuguese term to its current state. The exact reason behind "Lion Mountains", however, seems to be unclear. [30] suggests that the surrounding landscape's shape of a mountain lion was the reasoning, although I may have translated that poorly? ~Helicopter Llama~ 20:39, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Word for "internationally socioeconomic"[edit]

I'm writing an article about reform proposals for the United Nations Security Council, particularly those that favor the establishment of more permanent seats for Africa and other developing parts of the world. Right now I'm referring to these proposals as seeking a "more fully equitable geographical and socioeconomic distribution of power," but the use of the word "socioeconomic" there looks wrong to me, since that would typically connote economic differences within a society, and not between societies. Any suggestions for another word? Evan (talk|contribs) 21:56, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

I don't think that the adjective that you want exists. I'd try using a prepositional phrase instead, for example "a more equitable distribution of power across regions and levels of development". Though isn't the point to be more representative of the world's population rather than of the world's land area? Presumably no one is calling for a seat for Antarctica. In that case, maybe "a more equitable distribution of power among the world's people, without favoring developed countries." Marco polo (talk) 01:17, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, some sentence reorganizing may be in order. I have been writing for a little over twelve hours with few breaks! There is definitely a word I remember from a sociology class I took, though. I'm not sure it was an adjective, but it related to the basic concept of categorizing countries by their individual levels of industrial and economic development. Ah, well, I think I've got this particular sentence figured out anyway. Thanks, Marco! Polo! Evan (talk|contribs) 02:22, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Global stratification was the term I had in mind. I don't think there's any forgivable way of turning that into an adjective. Evan (talk|contribs) 02:27, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
If the intent is across societies, perhaps simply 'economic' is a suitable term. If the meaning is across developed and developing economies, you may have to spell that out explicitly. Peter Grey (talk) 23:51, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

IPA symbol[edit]

Is there an IPA symbol just describing the release of air from the nose (not a particular sound)? -- (talk) 22:07, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

? (Or ɲ̊ and ɳ̊ and ŋ̊ too)? ---Sluzzelin talk 22:41, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Does any one of these depict interjections like "hm"? -- (talk) 01:47, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't think so, because all those symbols link to voiceless sounds, and "hm..." usually represents a voiced sound. The distinction is covered at Voice_(phonetics). Short version - most Eng speakers voice "zzzz" but pronounce "ssss" voicelessly, and the sounds are otherwise rather similar. SemanticMantis (talk) 13:58, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't mean the syllabic [m̩], which is voiced, but the "h" before the "m". How do you transcribe this? The "h" is obviously not like the "h" in "house". -- (talk) 18:07, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
How about [m̥]? It's what Sluzzelin is suggesting, but with lips closed. (talk) 20:56, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I was assuming this was a syllabic emm, since it seemed to imply closure of the lips. Intonation makes the difference here between Hm? and Mmmm! μηδείς (talk) 00:01, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

New old words[edit]

Every year lexicographers add new modern words to the dictionary. Are there cases where old words from the English (or any other language) corpus were rediscovered and then added? For example from a long forgotten text. Or maybe words that were accidentally overlooked. -- (talk) 22:53, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

I think vanilla English dictionaries wouldn't bother to include words that have fallen out of usage so long ago that they've been "forgotten" and are "rediscovered". Sometimes words that seem to be falling out of popular usage (but are still far from being entirely forgotten) make a comeback for whatever reason; being (re)listed in a dictionary not being one of them, I guess. But you might find something more similar to what you're thinking of with those non-English languages that have influential, creative language authorities. This is a wild guess, but I imagine Hebrew, Icelandic, Korean or Chinese language authorities might turn to all sorts of texts – including recently (re)discovered old texts – when they feel a need to coin a term or to replace a non-native term for something. And "rediscovered" words are a thing. But I haven't heard of both of these coinciding, i.e. a hitherto unknown word being "rediscovered" and then successfully pushed back into usage. If "unknown not to linguists but to Joe Average" is good enough for you, you might find a few such words when you look at the purge of Japanese or even some sino-Korean terms from the Korean language and their deliberate replacement with either revived words of native stock that had survived in dialects (or old documents?) or words newly coined from such material. English speakers would probably ignore or ridicule such attempts; this is not necessarily the case with other languages. (talk) 22:40, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Words lost from the English language are compiled in the Compendium of Lost Words.
Wavelength (talk) 23:13, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

October 20[edit]

How do you pronounce "propanol" and "propanal"?[edit]

How do you pronounce "propanol" and "propanal"? Is there a standard pronunciation that distinguishes the two in speech? (talk) 01:19, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Propanol /ˈprɵpəˈnɒl/
Propanal /ˈprɵpəˈnæl/
Plasmic Physics (talk) 01:41, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
/ɵ/ cannot be stressed in English and the secondary stress should be marked in the bottom. RP: /ˈprəʊpəˌnɒl/, /ˈprəʊpəˌnæl/.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 08:20, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Propanol /prɵpəˌnɒl/
Propanal /prɵpəˌnæl/
Then remove let us not stress /ɵ/, however /ɵ/ is still more correct than /əʊ/. Plasmic Physics (talk) 09:33, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
It's English, not French, the stress on the first syllable of both the words.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 20:52, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Here in England, it's /ˈprəʊpənɒl/ and /ˈprəʊpənal/ (long stressed first syllable). We might add a secondary stress to the last syllable to emphasise the distinction. US pronunciation uses oʊ in place of əʊ for the first vowel, and this is also sometimes the case in the UK, especially in the north. Dbfirs 11:26, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Here in the United States, propanol is normally [ˈproʊpənɔːl]. It is only [ˈproʊpənɒl] for speakers with the caught-cot merger. Like ethanol, propanol is an alcohol, and its last syllable rhymes with that of alcohol. Propanal would be /ˈproʊpənæl/. The final syllable has the /æ/, because it is short for aldehyde. Watch this video for an example of the pronunciation of butanal, an aldehyde like propanal. Marco polo (talk) 14:41, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
(Yes, the /al/ in modern standard British English is the equivalent of /æl/ in old RP and American.)
Does the last syllable of propanol really rhyme with "fall" in standard American? Dbfirs 16:37, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, User:Dbfirs it does in my dialect, see below. But fall, folly, rally and Foley don't. μηδείς (talk) 00:19, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
... so do you say "alcohall"? It's a short "o" in British English ("hol" as in holiday, hot, folly etc.) I know our /ɒ/ is usually /ɑ/ across the pond, and that you don't distinguish between long and short as much as we do in the UK: that's probably why I'm confused, but isn't it just /ɔ/ rather than /ɔ:/? Dbfirs 09:57, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Alcohol and all are nearly perfect rhymes in many American dialects. The caught/cot merger means exactly that: Americans cannot distinguish between those two vowels, and consider them in free variation. There are a few dialects in the U.S. that maintain a caught/cot distinction, but not most, and there's one which combines caught and cot, but distinguishes between "father" and "bother" (see Boston accent). Wikipedia has an entire article on this class of vowels, and their peculiarities in various dialects, at Phonological history of English low back vowels. --Jayron32 11:07, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
  • In case all the IPA is confusing people, propanol rhymes with fall, call, all, ball, etc. Propanal rhymes with Al, pal, etc. --Jayron32 17:15, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
    Oh, I'd rhyme propanol with doll and alcohol. Dbfirs 17:26, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
"doll" and "fall" rhyme for many English speakers. See cot-caught merger. This is why we should all learn IPA :) SemanticMantis (talk) 17:32, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I see from your link that about half of all Americans fail to distinguish the vowels, but the merger is rare in the UK. Are the people with this merger not aware that BBC English (and standard American if that exists?) has separate vowels? Dbfirs 21:28, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Not unless they study comparative phonology. A merger means that they no longer perceive the two phonemes as distinct. —Tamfang (talk) 02:11, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Here in the UK, I'm well aware that my home dialect has the occasional merger of vowels that are distinct in BBC English. I recall being slightly confused by one or two of them in my early teens, but soon constructed a mental mapping so that I could reproduce something close to BBC English when required. I realise that America is a much bigger country without a generally-accepted standard accent, but are those who speak each regional accent not aware that other regions speak differently? Dbfirs 09:25, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Not quite, the idea of the "merger" means that the speakers of that dialect don't consider the two different sounds to carry any meaningful difference, and so ignore it (see free variation). Because of the way they perceive the two sounds, they really have a hard time hearing the difference in ordinary speech. If you force who has such a merger to, they SOMETIMES can understand the distinction, but normally they wouldn't notice that someone without the merger was saying two different vowel sounds in those two different contexts. It isn't confined to that particular pair of vowels. The same problems exist in other situations. The famous l/r confusion in Japanese occurs because Japanese considers those two sounds to be in free variation; that is they are simply versions of the same sound, not significantly different letters. --Jayron32 11:12, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm American, and I pronounce them the same way Shakespeare does: [ˈprəʊpənɔːl] and [ˈprəʊpənæ:l] (secondary stress on final syllables, length due to citation form request-the ash vowel is not tense here even if it's lengthened). μηδείς (talk) 18:05, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
We have a fascinating vowel chart at Great Vowel Shift, where you will see that this vowel would have been neither [oʊ] nor [əʊ], but [oː] in Shakespeare's time. Marco polo (talk) 19:35, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
The great vowel shift occurred in London before Shakespeare's time, no? There are certainly no signs of the vowel shift not yet having occurred for the settlers of the Jamestown colony or the Plymouth colony. 00:33, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Medeis's pronunciation is a regional one limited to southern New Jersey, Delaware, and parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and maybe Virginia. Marco polo (talk) 19:37, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
That's South Jersey (there's no such thing as southern New Jersey) and it's the Delaware Valley accent, although our articles on the area dialects overlap and conflict. μηδείς (talk) 19:57, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
We're looking for the right way to pronounce them, not for affected pronunciations due to accents. We have to look at it objectively, not what each person here would say it like. Meaning it should not suffer from maladies such as the cot-caught merger. There is no way which I can force 'doll' and 'fall' to rhyme without sounding ridiculous, by the same token it does not sound right to add length to the final /ɒ/, to turn it into /ɔː/, it sounds like a drawl. Plasmic Physics (talk) 21:18, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
How is an actual accent described by perhaps the most highly regarded sociolinguist an "affectation" that interferes with the answer? I am reminded of the "I don't have an accent, you do" attitude of non-linguists. Given he died long, long ago in a realm far, far away, I thought the Shakespeare joke was obvious, but my description of my pronunciation was just as valid and as helpful as that of anyone else here, especially someone who lives on the wrong hemisphere compared to the OP, who most likely also speaks a Midlands dialect. μηδείς (talk) 23:55, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
When I am referring to affections, I am referring to deviations from the progenitor pronunciation. I am not denying that I also have an accent, I am simply stating that each one of us should not assume that their particular accent takes supremacy. We should look at the original intended pronunciation. I have almost no idea about the works by Shakespeare, and even less about that of Labov. The OP explicitly stated that they are seeking the pronunciation without accent. Plasmic Physics (talk) 00:34, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, PP. The issue is, there is no such thing as a pronunciation without accent. Except for the rhotacism, a Delaware Valley accent is the closest you'll get in the US to an RP accent, unless you go to trained stage actors. I'd suggest Elizabeth McGovern, the Countess Grantham on Downton Abbey. She's got a trained/educated Midlands Accent from the US; specificlly, she was born in Illinois, schooled in LA, and trained in NYC. You won't find a more neutral US accent. Because I have the [əʊ] vowel for /o:/ when I am not code switching to a NYC dialect, I have often been asked if I speak [[[RP]], since except for my rhotacism and lack of a trap-bath split, it is my native phonology. If it's not native to him, the IP should not affect my centered /o:/ vowel--but otherwise what I have said should serve him well if he wants to speak educated General American. μηδείς (talk) 00:48, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Both the transatlantic accent (see Katherine Hepburn) and the Boston Brahmin accent also have characteristics of RP. See Here for Boston Brahmin. It sounds like a cross between RP and the standard New England accent. There's also the Locust Valley lockjaw from the New York area (listen to George Plimpton talk, for example). All three of these accents (Transatlantic from Philadelphia, Boston Brahmin from Boston, and Locust Valley from New York) have their basis in upper class accents in Northeastern metro areas, so there's probably some bit of "affectation" in their origins. But they did develop into distinct, natural accents among their social classes.--Jayron32 02:28, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
"Affectation" implies an attempt to speak differently from one's native accent, which is why it is "affected". My native accent is not the same as Plimpton's, Hepburn's, Rooseveldt's, Moynihan's or Thatcher Longstreth's, nor exactly Grace Kelly's, although I'd say hers and John Facenda's and Bruce Willis's are the closest to mine. In any case, none of this has to do with upper class education, just literacy. μηδείς (talk) 05:55, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Get back on topic, people. Q: "How do you pronounce "propanol" and "propanal"?" A: Carefully. Shoit Fiddy-Ait aka --Shirt58 (talk) 10:54, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
@Jayron32: More than "a few" dialects in North America distinguish cot and caught. If you truly wish to propose that only a few dialects in North America distinguish cot and caught, then I propose that only a few dialects in the British Isles distinguish /θ/ and /f/ and /ð/ and /v/. The West Coast and Midwest of the United States is not indicative the country as a whole. I really have to wonder where people got that silly idea in their heads...Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 12:33, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
The article kindly linked by Jayron and SemanticMantis above states that about 40% of Americans had this merger in the 1996 and 2003 surveys. My guess is that the proportion has now risen to about half. If Americans are as aware of differing accents as we are in the UK, then I would guess that less than half of those with the merger are ignorant of the fact that two different vowels exist in varieties of English outside their own immediate area. Dbfirs 13:00, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
I wonder what it would have sounded like before the American-British split in ~1725. Plasmic Physics (talk) 23:50, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Which British? There were likely dozens (probably hundreds) of distinct British dialects in the 1700s, some of which would have only been marginally intelligible to some others. The English Language in the UK became more standardized with national education programs and the like, but even today less than 10% of speakers of English in the U.K. speak Received Pronunciation, and that's supposed to be the "national standard". List of dialects of the English language lists 40 different dialects within the UK today, and that's only the ones we have Wikipedia articles for. --Jayron32 02:17, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm asking because that would be the closest to something that approaches a "standard pronounciation", which is neither distinctly American or distinctly British, something that most people would have spoken at the time. Plasmic Physics (talk) 10:30, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I do not find probable there was any word at all ending in "-nol" in English before ~1725. If you are thinking about "alcohol", that word derives from the Arabic "al kuhl", its derivate was simply scientific Latin. "Most people" would then rather mean Pole, Dutch, Portuguese .. --Askedonty (talk) 12:16, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
It should be easy to approximate the correct phoneme for the 'o' as it appears within the word, regardless of whether or not there is a precedent. I know that most people who would have used the word weren't English, which is why my question was specifically constrained to those who were English. So the etymology of the word is completely irrelevant. Plasmic Physics (talk) 10:43, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Not quite. Such vocabularies were used mainly written instead of spoken. If you learned them from listening to a teacher the first time it was spelled to a local the first orator had been a foreigner. The other case is a local scientist deciphers it from a written text. Now you have the diversity of dialects Jayron told you about, compensated maybe by some homogeneity in clerical practice. Let us suppose you have to spell that word thus have to find your own pronounciation. That would be called, a prosodic invention. You have choice between two main options for elaborating an intonation: sophistication vs prosaicness. However you are in concurrence with the other one who is trying to reproduce his own good teacher's spelling. An accumulation of those various parameters makes the idea of a standard pronounciation right from the beginning, improbable. I'm eager to learn that it is otherwise. The exception is "crocodile", but that one, is clearly documented. (The Globe)--Askedonty (talk) 14:09, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

What is the correct word? Ensemble.[edit]

What is the correct word to describe a TV show or a film in which there are many starring actors, but they are all considered "equal"? For example, a TV show like Friends. There is no real "main star". All six characters/actors were considered equal, with no one out-ranking or billing-over another. I thought of the word "entourage" cast. But, I think there is another better, more appropriate word to describe this scenario. I can't recall that word. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 15:25, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Seems to fit the first sentence of Ensemble cast fairly well. Also this. ‑‑Mandruss (t) 15:27, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Exactly! That was the word I was thinking of. It was escaping me. Thanks! Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:38, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree with ensemble, but a related term is "an all star cast", which would be used if the cast were all stars prior to that performance, regardless of if they had equal roles in the current show. StuRat (talk) 04:02, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Good point, thanks! Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 01:08, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

To be or not to be.....[edit]

....this is my question. This is something I have always wanted to ask. I am a professional linguist, but have never read Shakespeare in any language, including my own (English). I have often wondered, however, how this particular very famous phrase - so famous that even the likes of me who have not read Shakespeare before would know it - would be translated into other languages. Can anyone give any translations of it - with literal tranlations back into English if the words used are slightly different? The best I can do with Japanese is 「存在するか、しないか?それがその問題。」 - "To exist or not? That's the problem." KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 23:21, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Admittedly, this isn't as good as a native speaker, but online translators are a good start and might suffice for your purposes. For example, at, I get the following in French: être ou ne pas être, telle est la question. But why am I telling you this, you're a linguist! ‑‑Mandruss (t) 23:38, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
At,_Prince_of_Denmark/Act_3, you can find links to Catalan ("Viure, o no viure: la qüestió és aqueixa"), German ("Sein oder Nichtsein, das ist hier die Frage"), Esperanto ("Ĉu esti aŭ ne esti,—tiel staras / Nun la demando"), Spanish ("Ser o no ser, ésa es la cuestión."), Polish ("Być albo nie być, otóż-to pytanie"), and Chinese.
Wavelength (talk) 23:44, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Wavelength (talk) 23:49, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
To quote Chancellor Gorkon, "You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon."--William Thweatt TalkContribs 05:58, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Frivolity aside, a similar question was asked in the forums in 2006 with quite a few answers from various languages. Here's the link.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 07:16, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
In Finnish, it's Ollako vai eikö olla, siinä pulma, which is more or less a literal translation from English. You can find the whole text at the Finnish Wikiquote, it's the very first quote listed. JIP | Talk 06:43, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Incidentally, we have an article called "To be, or not to be" with interlanguage links to several languages, including Cantonese and Hebrew. Matt Deres (talk) 16:16, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Those languages are listed on the Wikidata page to which I linked above.
Wavelength (talk) 18:34, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Pronunciation of Shakespearean English[edit]

I have a related question. How do we know what English in Shakespeare's time sounded like? Obviously there were no mechanical sound recording devices then ... (Pardon me if we already have a Wikipedia article on this.) — SMUconlaw (talk) 09:50, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Early Modern English has some basic information, but sadly, doesn't have any information on pronunciation. Phonological history of English does have information on pronunciation, but the organization makes it hard for me to follow. This google search I tried turns up some promising references. --Jayron32 10:46, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
@Smuconlaw: Borrowings from English into other languages at that time, fauxnetic transcriptions, regular sound change, what words are listed as rhyming with what other words, etc. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 12:27, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Here's some blog coverage of one linguist's take [31], implicating Tangier,_Virginia as a surviving colony of near-Shakespearean English. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:24, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
  • There are a few videos of Shakespeare excerpts done in the original pronunciation on youtube, but I am not expert enough to vouch for them. μηδείς (talk) 16:20, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I found this video suggested by SemanticMantis particularly interesting. — SMUconlaw (talk) 16:56, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
And there is this link shared by User:Fuhghettaboutit above. One method among many is to check English dictionaries and grammars, which will often inventory words' pronunciation by telling you which other words they rhymed with. Evan (talk|contribs) 18:23, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Depending on the orthography and the writer, an analysis of spelling mistakes can yield clues, too. (talk) 13:04, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

October 21[edit]

Etymology of Ebola[edit]

I know the disease got its name from the river- is anything known about the language the river's name came from? (talk) 04:37, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

This page says that "Ebola" (or "Ebola River"?) means "black river" in the local language Lingala. ‑‑Mandruss (t) 05:11, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Obviously, it's wrong. If it's from Lingala, then most likely it came from the root-verb -bola "hit".--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 21:29, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Is it obvious? Do you have any refs? I did some looking around, and found this dictionary [32]. It gives "river" -> ebale, but has nothing for "black." So it's possible that you are right and the virologists in question didn't know much about Lingala. Maybe they just saw 'ebale' in their dictionaries in the dark and thought it was close enough. It's also possible that the name "Ebola" is not a Lingalan name... the same site above does give "ebola" as a form of the verb to crush, as you suggest. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:03, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I was tempted to connect the name from ebale, but then we should somehow explain the change of the vowels. So if we want to derive the name from Lingala, it rather came from -bola. Ebola is not only a verb form but a noun as well, e- is the noun derivation prefix of the 7th class. But, well, it may be indeed not from Lingala. "Black" in Lingala is -yindo and ndombe (a Kikongo borrowing) like in Mai-Ndombe (means "black water").--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 22:09, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Opposite of 'holistic'[edit]

Some colleagues wanted to address a complex problem through a 'holistic' approach, meaning to try and solve the big problem, in its entirety, and over a longer time period. Others wanted to take a slice, a piece, a part of the problem, work on it in the shorter term to try to learn something about how to address the complexities by working on the smaller more discreet part of the problem first, then to extrapolate from that for addressing the larger, holistic problem. So I'm trying to characterize these approaches. If the first approach is the 'holistic' approach, what is the other approach? Something like the opposite of holistic. Piecemeal has the connotation of 'unorganized'. If somebody can suggest an elegant phrase or characterization, thanks for that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by User: (talkcontribs)

Reductionist, atomism, and bottom up are all relevant, as is divide and conquer. I'd probably go with "reductionist", but in some contexts that can be a bit of a loaded term or insult, used to mean "you're missing the big picture." (p.s. your notion of holism seems slightly different than mine, and that described in the article. It's not about solving a big problem or a long time period so much as it's about considering everything at once, with a ready acceptance of emergent phenomena. Small problems can still be approached holistically and in short time.) SemanticMantis (talk) 14:28, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Also, you can say someone is taking a reductionist or bottom up approach, but should probably avoid "atomic approach", in favor of "atomistic approach", to avoid confusion over actual physical atoms. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:33, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Discrete? Note spelling. Matt Deres (talk) 16:18, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
(Isn't discretization the better part of valour? [33] :) SemanticMantis (talk) 16:28, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
  • In the given example, a reductive approach might be a better antonym. Reductionism is usually taken to be a philosophical ideology, that things are or can be understood as only the sum of their parts. For example, Richard Dawkins' selfish gene theory is most often criticized as naively reductionist. To give a perhaps unfairly hostile example, someone who says something like, "The mind doesn't really exist, all there are are particles, and the rest is illusion" would be called a reductionist. A reductive approach might be like triage at a bus crash, where you divide the injured into those who will die, regardless of treatment, those who will live, regardless of treatment, and those whose fate depends critically on if they are treated, and focus medical expertise on the immediate critical injuries of the third group. μηδείς (talk) 16:40, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
I take your point, that we don't necessarily want to bring up a whole philosophical school of thought just because someone wants to divide a problem into smaller parts. However, my dictionary (NOAD) says "reductive: tending to present a subject or problem in a simplified form, esp. one viewed as crude" - wiktionary's entry [34] also says it is usually pejorative in modern use, and neither has the idea of breaking apart a complex problem, just presenting it simplistically. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:12, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
I am afraid we might be stuck, the word doesn't have those negative connotations for me unless I were to say something like "overly reductive", whereas reductionist seems to have jut as much baggage. There's also modular, but that applies only if the parts came separated in the first place. μηδείς (talk) 17:29, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
We might also contrast a "deconstructive" approach with a holistic approach, but Deconstruction also happens to be the name of a whole philosophical/literary analytic movement, which similarly limits our ability to use it as a simple semantic concept without fear of being misinterpreted :-/ SemanticMantis (talk) 17:16, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
  • I assume this is a matter of curiosity, and that a fight is not about to break out over what the factions are called. You might also want to look at Critical path method both for the usefulness of the concept itself, and as it may inspire another term. μηδείς (talk) 17:25, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
  • A "targeted approach" sounds quite positive, and in fact implies that the opposite method lacks focus. (In some cases, a more general approach does seem like a bad idea, such as giving general antibiotics to treat a scratch, instead of applying topical antibiotics to the scratch directly.) StuRat (talk) 01:23, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

resources for IPA?[edit]

Inspired by the threads above, I'd like to get more comfortable with International_Phonetic_Alphabet, specifically the ability to read it phonetically and transcribe my speech. Can you recommend some online resources for this? This is almost what I want [35], but it's a little buggy on my system, and not very polished. To be useful to me, the resource will have to have many audio samples available, and play them easily. Thanks, SemanticMantis (talk) 14:53, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

The Crown Academy of English has a tutorial video (24:27) at
Wavelength (talk) 16:08, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
See (and hear) The sounds of English and the International Phonetic Alphabet | Antimoon.
Wavelength (talk) 17:47, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Well-known and easy-to-use.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 20:47, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks all!
SemanticMantis (talk) 15:32, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

City centre[edit]

Is there a specific term for what people generally regard as the "city centre" for practical purposes instead of the actual geographic centre point of the city, if they happen to be in separate places? JIP | Talk 19:06, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

In many cities in the U.S., this can be called downtown (though there are a few quirks, see Uptown Charlotte; also in New York City, "Downtown" has a very specific meaning which is different than merely the business district). The general term is "city centre" (which need not be the geographic center) for cities in the UK and Australia, and Central business district for cities in the U.S. --Jayron32 20:18, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
It will very much depend on the city. Some cities have a natural centre, a grand plaza or large market place surrounded by buildings etc. Others don't. In Australia, the official road distances between cities are measured between their respective main post offices, but that doesn't mean the PO is necessarily the city centre, it's just an arbitrary but consistent and reasonably useful system. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:19, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Midtown Manhattan north from the ESB with the Chrysler Building at the top right
It should also be noted that the way cities are organized in the U.S. and Australia may be different than in Europe. In Europe, the historic "core" of the city is often the oldest part of the city, and may be filled with historic buildings and old neighborhoods rather than large commercial centers. For example, you find that the main business districts in the U.S. (like the Chicago Loop, Downtown Boston, Downtown Los Angeles, or Midtown, Manhattan) are located pretty close to the geographic "core" or "center" of their cities. In Europe, the big "Skyscraper" district isn't necessarily centrally located. See La Défense in Paris, or the Moscow International Business Center, or Esposizione Universale Roma; in many of these cases the modern CBD is located some distance from the geographic center because all the land in the geographic center is historically already occupied. --Jayron32 20:32, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Center City Philadelphia, seen from the west, from a bridge over the Schuylkill River
In Manhattan, Midtown is the business center, basically from 34th to 59th streets, with the Wall Street area as a secondary business center.
In Philadelphia, the city center, pronounced Senner City, is Center City. μηδείς (talk) 20:54, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
The city center is like the "heart" or "nerve center" of a city. The "symbolic" center It has nothing necessarily to do with being a geographical center, although it likely would have started out that way. Consider the Chicago metro area, whose "center" is downtown Chicago, although there's almost nothing east of it except Lake Michigan. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:57, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree. I don't think city centre is commonly used to mean the geographical centre of a city. — SMUconlaw (talk) 17:27, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Central business district --TammyMoet (talk) 09:27, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Don't see what that has got to do with the question. City centre and central business district are not the same thing at all. --Viennese Waltz 10:09, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree. While the central business district and city centre of a city may happen to coincide, the terms are not exchangeable. Often, in older cities, the city centre is a historical district (sometimes called the "old city" or "old town") frequented by tourists, while the central business district is located elsewhere. — SMUconlaw (talk) 17:30, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
That's a very bold statement: "not the same thing at all". They're not always the same, but they very often are. That business is going on there is a very good indicator of that it is a city centre. AFAIK, the terms are used completely interchangably down under. / (talk) 18:45, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I'd go farther and say that "city center", "central business district", and "downtown" are all interchangeable terms, except in a few specific cities where "downtown" has a localized meaning. (I'm Canadian.) In a large city, all of them typically embrace a large area that may include office developments, shopping areas, an old town, and one or more symbolic focal points. If you need a term with a more specific meaning, you have to use a different term, like "central square" or "financial district". -- (talk) 21:59, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Generalizations that don't look at the historical development of a city don't work Center City is nowhere near the geographical center of Philadelphia. Old City, Philadelphia, an eastern neighborhood of Center City borders on the Delaware and includes Independence Hall. Once the second largest city in the British Empire, Philly grew outward from a core onlo on the west side of the river. City Hall was built to the West of this, and the commercial area are largely around and West of City Hall. Center City is basically the Manhattan of Philly, with other large neighborhoods like South Philly being its "outer boroughs.
New York City, however grew northward from the southern tip of Manhattan. Wall Street and City Hall are here, and the Twin Towers stood on a special foundation, but otherwise large skyscrapers were not possible due to the quality of the Bedrock. The Greenwich village area has mostly poor bedrock, and it was with the building of the Chrysler Building on East 42nd and the Empire State Building on West 34th that the densely commercial skyscraper-filled area called Midtown developed. NYC again has no real center, Manhattan is in the NE, and the center of Manhattan is Central Park which is surrounded by much smaller buildings its Upper East Side and Upper West Side than is Midtown. You can call Manhattan north of Central Park; Harlem, Spanish Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood, as well as the Bronx "Uptown" but this is mainly a train direction, with subways heading north and south. Likewise, anything below about 34th street can be called downtown, but again, the terms follow the north-south orientation of the island and its streets and subways. Brooklyn, however, does have a real downtown, which is its commercial center and which is centered near the Brooklyn end of the Brooklyn Bridge. μηδείς (talk) 01:43, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Center City, Philly is the fairly close to the geographic center of the original city of Philadelphia, prior to the annexation of other parts of Philadelphia county like Northeast Philadelphia and Germantown, which had either been rural areas or had their own urban cores prior to consolidation. If you draw a line east-west and north-south through the pre-consolidation Philadelphia, you basically land on City Hall, which is also in the heart of the central business district. --Jayron32 02:13, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Some of the replies here are rather beside the point. I wasn't asking in what cities the "city centre" is located in the geographical centre or about the difference of those areas. I was asking about what the place that people usually regard as the "city centre", regardless of its geographical location, is called. JIP | Talk 18:50, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

It will depend on the city, JIP. If you ask New Yorkers what is the city center they will probably look at you funny, then say "Central Park?" if you press them. If you say that 's not what you meant, they will probably say, "Do you mean Midtown?".
Philadelphians will say, "Did you mean Center City?" as if you were from out of town, or trying to trick them. Oldsters might say City Hall, if they knew how the city grid is laid out, and that until the 1980's it was illegal to build a building taller than the statue of William Penn on city hall. Otherwise they are just likely to correct you, and say, "No, it's Center City, not the City Center." μηδείς (talk) 19:38, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Is there any sort of generic term for "whatever part of the city is thought as the centre", regardless of that part's name? A recent survey by Helsingin Sanomat found out that most Helsinkians view the "city centre" of Helsinki as the Three Smiths Statue, even though it's located quite a bit south of the geographical city centre. How do I say "the (something) of Helsinki is exactly located at the Three Smiths Statue"? JIP | Talk 19:53, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I'd have to refer you to Jayron's very first answer, in most cases downtown will refer to the "central" most built up part of the city. That would apply to Baltimore, Philly, New Brunswick, NJ, Camden, NJ, Boston, Brooklyn, Newark, NJ and most cities I know from the NE. But each often has its own specific name for the area, like the harbor, etc. And Manhattan is very ambiguous as mentioned above. If you live on 86th Street and head south to 42nd to go shopping, you have gone downtown to Midtown. But if you live in the Village and head downtown to City Hall, The World Trade Center, or the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge you have also gone downtown to the southern tip of the island, but to the Wallstreet Area, not to the city center. If you were making up a fictional US city, follow Jayron's first response. μηδείς (talk) 02:52, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Chinese language question[edit]

I recently saw this web page about a mistaken computer translation from Chinese to Finnish. The computer translation says "Today, good coffee with vaseline". What does the Chinese text actually say? I can't just copy-paste it to Google Translate because it's just an image, not actual text. JIP | Talk 19:44, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

The text appears to be 今日もコーヒーゼリーがラまい (correct me if i'm a bit off), and i think it's saying something about coffee-flavoured jelly? also definitely japanese, not chinese. ~Helicopter Llama~ 21:12, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
As it turns out, we have an article on coffee jelly which the user may have been referring to, as it is apparently "big in Japan"; after some research, it's a little clearer now and the user appears to be saying that she is enjoying coffee jelly at a place called either "Ramai" or "Mai Line" (I searched up Ramai but all I got was this and the menu does not specifically mention coffee jelly or any dessert, though I'd like to try their Balinese coffee!) ~Helicopter Llama~ 21:46, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
@JIP:It's Japanese. "コーヒーゼり" is "coffee-flavored jello". The character is not the katakana(ra) (Ra (kana); It is the hiragana(u) (U (kana)), so the word is not "ramai", but "umai". The sentence is "今日もコーヒーゼりがうまい which means, "The coffee jelly is good (delicious) today too." or something similarly worded. "Yurie" is a Japanese sounding name so it's possible that this person is just using that as part of their signature, or was just pointing out the a "funny" software translation. It's is kind of funny actually, and pretty much shows why people shouldn't rely too much on translation software. - Marchjuly (talk) 02:52, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
今日も could also be translated as 'as ever' or 'as always', if you wanted to make a smoother English translation. "Today too" is just not idiomatic in English. It would imply that it was delicious/tasted good yesterday as well as today, but may or may not have been so good in previous days. In Japanese it is completely normal to use this phrase, however. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 04:05, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks KageTora. Agreed. I just threw that in at the last minute before leaving for lunch. "As always" sounds better to me. Anyway, the key thing I was trying to point out was "ramai" vs. "umai". The original sentence should make more sense once that correction is made. - Marchjuly (talk) 05:47, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

October 22[edit]

How to pronounce the word Wayland in American English[edit]

In particular, the pronounciation of the "-land" portion of "Wayland".

Does the portion pronounce like "England" or like "wonderland"? - Justin545 (talk) 05:23, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

The entry for Wayland the Smith shows IPA \ˈwā-lən(d)\ which looks like the "England" version. I speak American as a first language, and that is how I would naturally pronounce it having never heard it before. I'd be hard-pressed to find a "correct" American pronunciation, other than the dictionary one, which is apparently not US-specific.
The above may not apply to your Wayland (display server protocol), I don't know. It may be like Linux, which isn't pronounced how most Americans would naturally pronounce it. If you're looking for the correct computer-geek pronunciation, you might want to try Wikipedia:Reference desk/Computing. ‑‑Mandruss  05:43, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Your answer is a very good reference. Thanks Mandruss. - Justin545 (talk) 07:32, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
  • The purported IPA transcription above is not actual IPA, if it were, it would be indicating something rhyming with the way most Americans say Holland. American dictionaries are notoriously poor on their phonetic transcriptions. μηδείς (talk) 15:22, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Short form of newspaper name[edit]

Referring to The New York Times, should one write "the Times" ("the" neither capitalized nor italicized), or "The Times"? The former seems more natural to me, but it's not consistent with the long form of the name. ‑‑Mandruss  06:48, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

I'd say "the Times" is preferable, because Times here is an abbreviation of The New York Times, so what you are saying is "the Times [newspaper]". If you italicized The as well, there is a possibility that a reader might think the full name of the newspaper is The Times. — SMUconlaw (talk) 17:24, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Excellent, thanks. Anyone: Is this addressed in the style guides? ‑‑Mandruss  19:40, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Unless it's immediately obvious, e.g. within an article on NY or NYC, I'd always go with The/the NY Times or even NYT, because 'The Times' is a major London-based newspaper. (talk) 19:48, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Understood. I was referring to cases where the full name was stated earlier, and close enough to provide context. In such cases it would be unnatural to repeat the full name. ‑‑Mandruss  21:17, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

what does "inline" and "online" mean?[edit]

Sorry for asking this silly question but my english-to-arabic dictionary does not contain both words. could you please tell me what does these words mean? for example in the "inline citation". thanks. (talk) 18:36, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

If you think of the article's text as a "line of words", the citations are "in" that line of words, or imbedded in it. Wikipedia uses the term to distinguish these citations from references that are listed near the bottom of the article but are not referred to from within the body text.
As for "online", see if this dictionary definition helps. ‑‑Mandruss  19:16, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Incidentally, unless there is another kind of citation that I'm not aware of, "inline citation" seems a bit superfluous. "Citation" would work just as well. ‑‑Mandruss  22:37, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Some articles have a list of references, without footnotes. There's a tag for that. Also see Wikipedia:Inline citation. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:51, October 22, 2014 (UTC)

Another Relative Question[edit]

Sorry to bore you all again with this. My brother's wife's daughter (from a previous marriage) has just announced that she is pregnant with a baby girl. The daughter has not been adopted by my brother, and also is not a blood relative. I do, however, refer to her as my neice niece, in a similar way that I do for the person referred to in my earlier question. However, when the baby is born, what would she be. It's really dificult getting my head round this. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 20:54, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

You can think of this as a constructed familial relation based on feelings and experience, or you can think of it in terms of Consanguinity. In the former sense, if you call the expectant mother a "niece", then her daughter is a grandniece (or greatniece [36]), and you are her great uncle [37] (or grand uncle -- spacing, hyphens and great/grand have several variations, check google, dictionaries, etc, or just use your preferred form). If you want to be more picky about the blood lines, then you could refer to your sister-in-law's daughter as your niece-in-law, regardless of any adoptive status. Then you could call the expected baby a great niece-in-law. (I actually don't have much interest in familial relationships but I like these questions because they deal in controlled vocabulary, ontology, and graph theory - good exercise for the analytic mind ;) SemanticMantis (talk) 21:53, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I suspect most people would misunderstand niece-in-law and looking at your link I'm not clear that the definition of niece-in-law in that article you're relying on ("daughter of one's sister-in-law/brother-in-law") has any real currency in English. I would understand my niece-in-law only to mean "my nephew's wife" as "in-law" means "by marriage". The normal term that indicates that a person is related by remarriage is "step". So the OP's brother's wife's daughter is his step-niece and her daughter will be his step-grand-niece. I doubt this is a term that many would use frequently as "brother's stepdaughter's daughter" or "brother's wife's granddaughter" or "sister-in-law's granddaughter" all convey more information about the actual relationship while using only terms that most people are comfortable with the meaning of. Valiantis (talk) 22:25, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
It seems we agree on great niece or grand niece then. I see your point on ambiguity between a sister-in-law's daughter and a nephew's husband, but those overlaps are also documented in the linked article. The same expected child is both a daughter of KT's sister-in-law, and a step-daughter of his brother. The 'step' modifier might not be preferred in this case, e.g. if the niece was an adult when her mother remarried, and never thought of KT's brother as her step father. Anyway, all the options discussed of the form [(step) (great/grand) niece (in-law)] seem to have the support of usage. SemanticMantis (talk) 13:13, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Hey Kage, shouldn't a linguist know I before E except after C? :D ‑‑Mandruss  22:33, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Translators use spellcheckers to save time while we try to meet deadlines :D Unfortunately, my Waterfox browser doesn't have one. Just an excuse. I have always had trouble with that particular word. Anyway, there is no scIEnce in that claim - in fact, according to QI, there are more exceptions than examples that follow the rule. Our specIEs is a finnickety one :) KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 01:16, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
That is wEIrdly sufficIEnt. ‑‑Mandruss  08:13, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I'd just go with "niece's daughter" and leave it at that. Marco polo (talk) 00:40, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

The dreaded lurgi seems to have mutated[edit]

I became aware of this word from The Goon Show, in it's original form, with an "i" on the end, and have always believed that to be the only spelling. Someone has just made an edit to List of British words not widely used in the United States, claiming to be correcting the spelling to lurgy. The change is sourced to which, sure enough, gives the new spelling, but saying it was originally spelled "lurgi" in the Goon Show. But the Oxford doesn't have an entry for "lurgi" at all.

How can such an important word change its spelling like that? Yes, I know language changes and I accept that, but I'm interested in this specific example. I still spell it "lurgi". Who spells it the other way? When did this change happen to such an iconic word? Has the original spelling really disappeared in the UK during my lifetime? HiLo48 (talk) 22:08, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

The OED states "Also lurgi" and gives 4 examples. The first from the Goon Show in 1954 is spelt lurgi, the remainder are from 1969 to 1974 and are all spelt "lurgy". The entry has not been updated since 1976. I would probably spell it "lurgi" if I did write it. I've tried engramming the two terms and "lurgy" wins out but as both terms appear to have been in use as much before the fifties as after I followed the links to the books the ngram data is sourced from. Most of the "lurgi" entries relate to the Lurgi process and most of the "lurgy" entries are OCR errors caused by the hyphenation of "metal-lurgy". However, One "Lurgy" entry (and an Australian one at that) seems to suggest a possible explanation of the spelling with "y" as it gives what appears to be a folk etymology i.e. "from allergy". I seem to recall reading this supposed origin before and if it was widely believed that lurgy is derived from allergy then this might well influence the spelling in the same way that the spelling of femelle changed to female as it was analysed as being derived from or otherwise related to male. Valiantis (talk) 22:53, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I had the idea to ngram search for "dreaded lurgi" and "dreaded lurgi" to weed out the mis-hits. (That is the full expression for those unfamiliar with the phrase). The term "dreaded lurgi" does not appear anywhere in Google's corpus of books in English! "Dreaded lurgy" is the only match and the full book source search reveals a usage of the spelling with Y earlier than the OED's 1969, specifically from 1963 [38]. So it appears the Goon's own spelling was overtaken from very early on. Valiantis (talk) 23:05, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

October 23[edit]

Word Query[edit]

What can I use instead of the word awaring (displays red wavy line underneath it in MS Word)?

What can I use instead of the word seeked (displays red wavy line underneath it in MS Word)?

Note: Where can I find something like 'thesaurus' that will retrieve posh/formal/hardcore/Old English words?

( (talk) 06:10, 23 October 2014 (UTC))

"Awaring" is not a word. You don't say what meaning you are trying to convey with this word. Perhaps "becoming aware"? As for "seeked", that should be "sought". You can use the Synonyms feature in Word (put your cursor anywhere in the word, right click and highlight Synonyms). There's also an online Thesaurus feature there as well, or you can use, or (best of all) get a hard copy of Roget's Thesaurus and use that. --Viennese Waltz 06:15, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Could be "making aware" (transitive), too. —Tamfang (talk) 06:52, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Points noted guys, Thanks. Btw, I tried the right click synonyms feature before creating this post, the word 'sought' never appeared. -- ( (talk) 19:14, 23 October 2014 (UTC))
You mean you tried it on the word "seeked"? If so, then the reason "sought" didn't appear is because Word doesn't know what "seeked" is supposed to mean. --Viennese Waltz 20:10, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
True. Thanks. -- { (talk) 02:31, 24 October 2014 (UTC))
"Seeked" does indeed confuse the Word spell checker. You may find the origin of "seek" and "sought" interesting.[39][40] A lot of English words, especially single-syllable words, come from northern European languages and have constructions that seem peculiar. Words from Latin filtered through French tend to seem more logical. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:47, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Some people do use "seeked" as the past tense when "seek" is being used specifically in the technical sense that applies to disk drives, or the analogous software operation on a computer file. -- (talk) 04:36, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
My head is not functioning guys, this is the sentence: They 'seeked' his attention span 'awaring' him... What shall I rewrite; They sought his attention span making him aware...? It doesn't make sense/sound nice to me. Any suggestions? -- ( (talk) 15:47, 24 October 2014 (UTC))
No, it doesn't make sense. Where does the sentence come from? Perhaps it should have said "they attracted his attention, warning him ..." or something like that? Dbfirs 16:18, 24 October 2014 (UTC), "attention span" is a phrase meaning "how long (how much time) a person will continue to pay attention". I think you meant "attention", not "attention span". --ColinFine (talk) 17:08, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Came out of my smart, beautiful, sexy, geek wannabe brain Dbfirs Tongue.png. I guess I meant what you said ColinFine. Honsetly, I liked the two words when I saw it in a sentence once, thought of using it... Thanks guys. -- ( (talk) 01:17, 25 October 2014 (UTC))

Sentence filling[edit]

Can you use 'merits and demerits' instead of 'good and bad deeds'?

Sentence: The angels record an individual’s _________________________________ during living.

( (talk) 06:12, 23 October 2014 (UTC))

Yes, though it's a bit stuffy. Also: during life or while living. —Tamfang (talk) 06:53, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Merits & demerits means the person's character or qualities, while good & bad deeds refers to things the person has done. So they are not the same thing. --Viennese Waltz 07:21, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Righteous acts and sinful acts... during life or lifetime. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:23, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Or maybe as explained by Father Guido Sarducci.[41]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:30, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
"Merits and demerits" are actually the terms used by E. P. Sanders for the same idea, though I agree that it does sound stuffily academic (Sanders being, of course, a stuffy academic). Evan (talk|contribs) 19:22, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
That is a big difference Viennese Waltz. I rechecked the words for reassurance before creating this post. What Tamfang mentioned sounds very 'uncool', if its the formal/appropriate way then I guess I have to use it. I must say I'll use Baseball Bugs's statement!
Thanks guys Smile.gif -- ( (talk) 19:36, 23 October 2014 (UTC))
O, I read through the summary of E. P. Sanders, Thanks. -- ( (talk) 19:36, 23 October 2014 (UTC))
Sentence: The angels record an individual’s righteous and sinful acts while living... -- ( (talk) 02:30, 24 October 2014 (UTC))

Indo-European neuter[edit]

Are there any exceptions to the generalization that IE languages don't distinguish between the nominative and accusative forms of neuter nouns? --Lazar Taxon (talk) 11:02, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Our Sanskrit grammar article seems to imply an accent difference between nom. āsyam an acc. āsyàm in one class of neuters. Not sure if that's intentional or a typo? Fut.Perf. 12:23, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
That inconsistency in our article is probably a mistake. According to this source, identity between nominative and accusative neuter forms applies not only to Sanskrit but to all Indo-European languages. According to this source, however, whose reliability I can't judge, the Anatolian languages appear to depart from this rule. Marco polo (talk) 16:08, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
The tables in the article on Hittite by Calvert Watkins in ISBN 0-521-56256-2 indicate that Hittite follows the rule. There the Ergative is listed as a separate case form distinct from both nominative and accusative.. AnonMoos (talk) 17:06, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
That's interesting, though the ergative (the case used for subjects of transitive verbs) functionally is a subset of the nominative in the other IE languages, so you could say that in some positions where other IE languages would use the nominative, Hittite used that distinct form. Also, this ergative case apparently had a distinct form only for neuter nouns. So, for the ergative uses of the neuter nominative case in other IE languages, Hittite had a form distinct from the accusative. Marco polo (talk) 18:58, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Only certain verbs invoke the ergative ending (more or less transitive verbs with semantically agentive but grammatically neuter subjects, though things can apparently get more complex than that). Hittite was not a consistent and thoroughgoing Ergative-absolutive language (if it was, it would not have nominative and accusative case forms at all)... AnonMoos (talk) 22:13, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Corporate jargon[edit]

Are there any serious (or, indeed, silly) studies available on the tendency of Marcoms people, across all fields and industries, to use the _same_ corporate jargon as each other? I've noticed, for example, that the term for "event" or "change" (which was "quantum leap" many years ago) has recently moved from the inoffensive if pedestrian "turning point" to the abominable "inflexion point". Does anyone know why they do this sort of thing? Tevildo (talk) 21:16, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Why do clothing styles and slang terms change? Because what was once cutting edge and trendy loses its cachet when "everybody" starts adopting it. For an explanation of the perpetual churn in one linguistic domain, see euphemism treadmill... AnonMoos (talk) 22:19, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
By the way, "inflection point" is an old term from algebraic curve-graphing or pre-calculus; not sure why it was seized on now... AnonMoos (talk) 22:26, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I note that the OP used the corporate jargon "Marcoms people" to ask about corporate jargon used by Marcoms people. Thank you for adding a word to my vocabulary, even though I cannot imagine ever using it. HiLo48 (talk) 06:13, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
I only discovered that it was an actual word myself recently, thanks to the RD! Tevildo (talk) 08:14, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
See how insidious this is, going forward? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 07:30, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
True, many things are done just because they're fashionable, but these people are paid considerable amounts of money specifically to come up with such phrases. I was wondering if there was any sort of rational basis for this tendency - if someone, in the 1950's or thereabouts, had determined that these communications are more effective if they all use the same buzzwords, rather than original buzzwords or actual English. But, if there isn't, there isn't. Tevildo (talk) 08:14, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Ugly jargon doesn't need a formal creation process. A few decades ago teachers in my state of Australia (quite probably elsewhere as well) got the opportunity to do "in-service training", meaning extra training beyond their basic qualifications, but typically paid for my their employer and done at times they would normally be in a classroom teaching. This term became abbreviated, strangely by using the descriptive part, "in-service", as a noun, so some would say "I'm going on an in-service tomorrow". Later, it became a verb, which is still occasionally used, in the form "I'm going to be inserviced tomorrow". To me, a country boy originally, one got one's cows serviced by the local bull, and images related to that concept often spring to mind.... HiLo48 (talk) 21:54, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
The other education-related one that I still wonder about is "pupil-free day" or "student-free day". That expression is framed, obviously, from the perspective of the teachers, but it's nevertheless often used by students: Mother: Get up, Johnny, you'll be late for school. Johnny: I don't have to go to school today, Mum, we have a student-free day. Crazy. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:45, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Saturday and Sunday are usually teacher-free days. When I was a schoolkid, there were about 90 teacher-free days in the summer. ‑‑Mandruss  22:51, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
As a teacher myself now, I like my holidays to be both teacher and pupil free. It's nice to get away from it all. But unfortunately, the only time teachers get holidays is when the kids are on holidays too. HiLo48 (talk) 02:57, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

October 24[edit]

V & W[edit]

I have just been watching an episode of QI, and they were talking about speakers of (other) Germanic languages mixing up 'v' and 'w' when speaking English. I spend a lot of time with speakers of Germanic languages (job, friends, etc.) and I have noticed this phenomenon many, many times. I thought it was just something that the particular people I was mixing with had a problem with. "Vere is the willage?" ("Where is the village?") would be an example. The program has confirmed for me that this is common. Why would this happen? Has anybody here also experienced it? I am not making fun of Germanic speakers, but I just find it quite interesting. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 05:24, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

I think part of the problem is hypercorrection. —Kusma (t·c) 05:40, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
German does not have a /w/ sound (although /ʋ/ is an allophone of /v/ in some dialects). Therefore it is likely that these speakers can't differentiate between /w/ and /v/, perceiving them to be the same sound. See also: Free variation.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 06:33, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Probably it's not so much that they strictly cannot perceive the difference, but the difference is not very salient to them, as one of the sounds has no function in German (or other Germanic languages, don't know what it's like there). Plus, the letter "w" regularly has the [v] pronunciation in German, and many easily recognizable cognates / translation equivalents have this letter in both languages, but are pronounced with [v] in German and [w] in English. Fut.Perf. 08:55, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
I think that's the case, Germans unconsciously tend to pronounce the letter like in their own language. For example, I believe, Russians have less problems as first "w" is not associated with anything in Russian and second "w" is usually transliterated as у "u", so if they say in Russian Uol Strit (Wall Street), they'd rather say in English [wol] or [u̯ol].--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 12:24, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm a native speaker of German (NSG) and have wondered myself. I don't think that "the difference is not very salient to them". You can test this by asking a native speaker of English to make a /w/–/v/ mistake while saying something. Ask an NSG if they noticed anything odd. I expect that even an NSG with only basic knowledge of English will immediately spot the mistake, and will have no problem producing the sounds in isolation, yet the same NSG will make /w/–/v/ mistakes hirself when xi speaks. I think this has little to do with perception; it's about phonotactics and articulation. It occurs in people who lack training in the production of sequences of many alien sounds in a row. Within a sentence, you have to twist your tongue to quickly switch from [v] to [ɹ] to [w]. The required brain-muscle coordination takes some getting used to. "The difference is not very salient to them" (or even "They perceive them to be the same sound") may instead explain mergers such as met–mat. Not sure if some of us even merge bed–bad–bet–bat to [bɛt]; I guess bad would get a long vowel and all others a short one with many speakers of German English. (talk) 15:08, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, my response was written rather hastily and late at night. The three responses above are much better. I was thinking more in terms of a monoglot, but the OP's question is specifically about English as foreign language. As says, even with basic instruction, /w/ and /v/ would consciously be perceived as different sounds in isolation (although I still maintain maybe not as different phonemes by some speakers). Also speakers of languages/dialects where /ʋ/ is an allophone of /v/ may be using /ʋ/ for /w/ (i.e. "ʋillage") and we, as native English speakers not accustomed to /ʋ/ are hearing it as /w/.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 22:30, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
How do Germans say "Volkswagen"? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:16, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
In German? [ˈfɔlksˌva:ɡən]. Written "v" is normallyf [f] in native words, though [v] in some loanwords. Fut.Perf. 14:20, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
That's what I suspected. So would an actual German sayin English "Vhere is ze willage?" or would it be more likely "Vhere is ze fillage?" (Or however they would approximate our "th" sound). ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:43, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
We don't do the "v" -> [f] thing as in your "fillage". The thing is, this works more on the spoken than the written level, and the phoneme distinction between /v/ and /f/ is quite solid in German, so we wouldn't confuse those sounds when we hear them in English. [v] and [w] are confusable because they aren't a phoneme contrast in German; [f] doesn't play into that. Fut.Perf. 14:53, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
We do have final devoicing, however, so (ha)ve becomes [(hɛ)f]. Wiss vawious welatet ent unwelatet changess, "Where is the village?" might become some-sing like [wɛɐ̯ ʔɪs zə ˈwɪlətʃʷ]. (talk) 15:21, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Okay, you heff me rollink on ze floor. μηδείς (talk) 18:33, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
English speakers are also known to switch v for f. Example: the proper pronunciation of "have to" is "hav-too", but when speaking rapidly, it often comes out "haftuh". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:03, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
That example is a special case of phonetic assimilation that occurs because the sequence is so frequent. Native English speakers never turn "I have two hands" into "I hafta hands". This is more like the process that has created "would'ja" from woulld you. 21:07, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

I'm sorry: What are 'Germanic speakers'? It seems everyone immediately interpreted this as being 'German speakers' and the 'Shadow Tiger' who OPed and presumably knows what he meant seems to agree. But to me, if anything, 'Germanic speakers' would be speakers of Germanic languages, which also includes Gothic, English, Old Norse, Yiddish and so on. How many people use 'Germanic speakers' to mean 'German speakers'? Contact Basemetal here 15:54, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

I meant speakers of modern Germanic languages, such as German, Swedish, Icelandic, etc. There are not many native speakers of Gothic or Old Norse these days.... And why would I 'seem to agree', considering I hadn't written an answer to the responses yet? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 18:16, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Sorry. You're right. Note that in my book English is also a Germanic language so English speakers would also be Germanic speakers. Obviously you excluded those. That and the fact that all the responses concentrated on German made me wonder if there was some terminology somewhere I was unaware of. Contact Basemetal here 18:35, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Fixed my original post, just for you. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 21:23, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

October 25[edit]


October 19[edit]

british idol?[edit]

I was wondering whos the Hispanic looking gal in the panel (not the blond (although I dont know who she is either) with a british accent somehow)? [42] Kelly something apparentlyLihaas (talk) 06:07, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

The video says it's taken from Britain's Got Talent in 2009. Britain's Got Talent (series 3) was aired during April and May of 2009. According to that article, the judges were 2 men, Kelly Brook, and Amanda Holden. They were both born in England though maybe some of Brook's ancestry is Hispanic. Dismas|(talk) 09:18, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, have no idea whatsup ion pop culture /tv these days ;) Seen 1 movie all year so far (and not even a new one)Lihaas (talk) 14:55, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
You're welcome. I've never seen Britain's Got Talent or its American counterpart. I found that info with just information that you provided. Dismas|(talk) 04:09, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Never previously caught on camera[edit]

So almost every nature documentary these days includes a comment at some point along the lines of "this behaviour has never previously been filmed". Last night it was a vampire bat feeding on a penguin chick (Spy in the Huddle). So the obvious question is how do they know? Is there some checklist somewhere stating what's been filmed and what hasn't? This is not to say some behaviour has never been observed before, as it would then likely be recorded in a book or paper. It seems less likely that filming a specific behaviour was noted down somewhere.--Shantavira|feed me 16:03, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

I doubt there's a formal list somewhere, but it seems reasonable to me that they can say stuff like that for two reasons: first, there seems to be quite a bit of rivalry going on between the various groups that are filming this stuff (BBC, Disney, etc.) that's vaguely reminiscent of the tabloids breaking "exclusive" pictures of starlets. If this really wasn't the first time the behaviour was captured, a bloke like Mike Salisbury would likely speak up to claim precedence. Second, the actual naturalists or biologists that study these creatures would be intimately familiar with the literature and film available. If Jane Goodall tells me that my film crew has captured something about chimps never filmed before, I'm probably safe to believe her. Matt Deres (talk) 16:43, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Matt's reasoning is sound but another factor is the changes in the technology of cameras. Up until the 90s cameras were bulky (and analogy :-)) and it was hard to film all that goes on in the natural world. In fact some of David Attenborough's early Life of... series had scenes (as well as many other nature documentaries) that were filmed in a studio. Now we have Endoscopy, improved night cameras etc, etc that allow for the filming of certain aspects of animal and plant lives that were previously impossible. For someone as old as I am the improvements are quite remarkcable. MarnetteD|Talk 17:29, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, there's a bit of logic applied - if you have the first camera capable of being mounted 100 feet off the ground to film something particularly small in great detail and you "get the shot" then it's highly unlikely anyone else has managed to do the same. There are also groups of established experts in each field who communicate and network during conferences and there may well be an established (though informal) list of things people haven't been able to capture on film - a "wish list" so to speak. I've experienced similar in other fields. Stlwart111 12:03, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

How Many Times has William Devane Played the President?[edit]

Devane as JFK in a 1974 ABC Miniseries

How many times has the actor William Devane played a real or fictional US president? (Multiple appearances as the same character in one series can be treated as a single portrayal.) Google has articles mentioning he often plays this role, but neither WP nor IMDB seems to have a tally. Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 18:24, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

He's also played the pres on Stargate SG1 μηδείς (talk) 21:35, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
And the 24 reboot, 24: Live Another Day. μηδείς (talk) 21:37, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, I'd never have found the Batman movie, being quite unfond of the franchise. I have always loved Devane, he is so...presidential. μηδείς (talk) 20:23, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

From my reading of the article, I think Hal Holbrook may hold the record for most appearances as a President of the U.S.: I count 6: John Adams (once) Abe Lincoln (3) and two fictional presidents. Ronny Cox has done it 5 times: all fictional presidents. Other than voice actors, I can't find anyone more than those two. --Jayron32 02:05, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
That's funny, Ronny Cox played the scheming vice-president of William Devane on SG-1. μηδείς (talk) 18:17, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

moonlight 70s popular song disco?[edit]

Hello, help. I'm looking for this song, it was EXTREMELY popular, and had this chorus or female singing... daaancing in the ??? ... singing in the ??? and was like... duuududududu dudududuu dududuuu, dururruuu It was from the 70s or early 80s and was very popular in USa. It's an american song, and by probably a female funk/disco group.

It was not the song by toploader, or king harvest. I don't think it's name was moonlight but I do remember it was something with "dancing in the... " and moonlight somewhere — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:54, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

No reference to "moonlight" but I immediately thought of the Motown classic Dancing_in_the_Street. (talk) 06:58, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
There were of course two other songs from the 1970's: "Dancing in the Moonlight" by King Harvest and "Dancin' in the Moonlight (It's Caught Me in Its Spotlight)" by Thin Lizzy, both of which may meet the OP's fuzzy memory. --Jayron32 18:06, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Could it be Get Dancin' by Disco-Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes, from 1974 ?
The majority of the lyrics are: "Doo-doo-doot, doo-doo-doot" repeated multiple times.
No mention of "moonlight" though...
20:53, 20 October 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Sadly none of these, but I'm positive this song was used in a few movies and much played. Cause I was born in 1994 and I remember this song. (talk) 18:21, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

How about You Should Be Dancing - by the Bee Gees, from 1976, ( which mentions "midnight", but not "moonlight" ) ?
or "Dance Yourself Dizzy" - by Liquid Gold, from 1980 ?
or "Dancing In The City" - by the duo Marshall Hain, from 1978 ?
or "Dancing With The Captain" - by Paul Nicholas, from 1976 ? (talk) 00:57, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

(responding to 157.157) Could you give us some musical information (either in terms of notes, or even up-and-down contours, in terms of rhythm, or a sound sample sung or hummed or whistled by you). "duuududududu dudududuu dududuuu, dururruuu" is just a bit too ambiguous/generic. It may confirm someone's guess, but it doesn't help me hear it. Get on up on the floor and boogie-oogie-oogie! ---Sluzzelin talk 01:00, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

I HAVE FOUND IT. Blame it on the Boogie by Jackson 5. Knew it had to be something as popular and as well known as that!!! it has "moonlight" in it, but not dancing, more like "blame it on the moonlight" . Thanks everyone though. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:57, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

October 22[edit]

Far Cry 4[edit]

[Question moved from RD/M] Tevildo (talk) 08:16, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Does anybody know the recommended system requirements for Far Cry 4?? And also will they be putting that DRM crap on this bad boy? — Preceding unsigned comment added by AlchiLayo (talkcontribs) 14:27, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Far Cry 4 is published by Ubisoft. Ubisoft's recent PC releases, including Far Cry 3, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, and Watch Dogs, have included Ubisoft's Uplay DRM. This says they're selling the FC4 Season Pass on the Uplay service, so there's every reason to believe that FC4 is just like the others. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 09:11, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

A great guy and a wonderful dancer[edit]

who was the comedian who stated, "A great guy and a wonderful dancer"?≈ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:37, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

[massive copyright violation removed]
I haven't read most of your post, as I was stopped in my tracks by "Jacques Offenbach said this in 1932". In fact, he lived between 1819 and 1880. Even if this were a typo for 1832, he was only 13 years old then. You must mean someone else. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:41, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Just so Jack's post won't be taken out of context, I've removed a massive, non-sequitur copyright violation. The original can be found here, and I will be discussing this with the person who did it. Otherwise, carry on. --Jayron32 23:51, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

frosty the snowman[edit]

is there any information as to the animated special with regards to the line "happy birthday" and an explanation and why romeo muller decided to write that as frosty's first greeting ~Helicopter Llama~ 21:41, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

You aren't the first person to ponder this question. This may lead you to some possible avenues for researching the answer. --Jayron32 22:17, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
yes i saw that but did romeo muller hisself ever confirm this in interview or book ~Helicopter Llama~ 21:00, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
It immediately puts you at ease, lets you know he's sentient, and aware of the fact that he's just been ensouled, and not some threatening monster. Kids know birthdays are good things. It's a matter of considering the audience, although I am not quite sure what the relevant literature term or article would be for that concept, some sort of rhetorical device like market demographics in screenplay writing instead of advertising. μηδείς (talk) 18:51, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

October 23[edit]

dress sia wore on chandelier cover artwork[edit]

What is that dress that the girl with the white t-shirt is wearing on the cover artwork of Sia's Chandelier? what is it called? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:16, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Assuming you mean Chandelier (Sia song), and the artwork shown there. The girl wearing the white T-shirt doesn't have a dress on. The black and white striped thing she's wearing under her T-shirt would probably be described as longjohns or a Bodystocking or Unitard of some sort. --Jayron32 01:23, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Was Sid Meier born in United States or Canada?[edit]

Was Sid Meier born in the United States or Canada?Whereismylunch (talk) 03:21, 23 October 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Whereismylunch (talkcontribs) 03:20, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Do you mean a different Sid_Meier? (talk) 07:11, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
The birthplace (Sarnia, Ontario, Canada) is unreferenced, and there are claims that he was born in Detroit. I haven't been able to find any authoritative source to clear that up. Clarityfiend (talk) 22:18, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
His birthplace in the article was changed from Detroit to Sarnia by Aresef (talk · contribs) in 2008 without explanation. -- BenRG (talk) 22:48, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps he came from the St. Clair River. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:02, October 23, 2014 (UTC)
In a recent interview he says he was born in Canada and moved to Detroit at age 3 or 4. Unfortunately he didn't mention Sarnia in that part of the interview (I didn't watch the rest). -- BenRG (talk) 23:34, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
If the Financial Post is a reliable source, it says he was born in Sarnia: [43], as does This site. The best source is probably his Father's Obituary which clearly states that Sid was born in Sarnia and moved with the rest of the family to Detroit at a young age. Indeed, that obit is a good source for his early family life and ancestry. --Jayron32 02:09, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
I'd say that FP gaming blog which says "To be clear, the Sarnia, Ont.-born game guru has brought his work to mobile devices before" but doesn't quote a source is not a reliable source, since that's the sort of thing a blog writer might simply cadge from wikipedia itself when researching the article. The author is listed however, so one could call or email him and ask where he got the info. μηδείς (talk) 03:07, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, But I still think his father's obit is rock solid. --Jayron32 03:09, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Backbone magazine refers to him as "born in Sarnia, Ont." I suppose that's a somewhat reliable source. Clarityfiend (talk) 07:24, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
The best source would be one that attributes the claim, "according to..." and that was published before it appeared in WP and the meme spread. μηδείς (talk) 21:26, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

October 24[edit]


Is there a BBC website where I can buy DVDs of British comedies like Last of Summer Wine and other shows in NTSC format? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:53, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

October 25[edit]

mild rebel[edit]

Back when I regularly watched Comedy Central, so about 1988–97, there was a nerdy-looking standup who said things like: "I live on the edge! Today I drank milk from a carton that expired yesterday. You can't stop me! I'll take you down with me!" What was his name? —Tamfang (talk) 07:42, 25 October 2014 (UTC)


October 20[edit]

Easter Island[edit]

My name is Ed McGarrity. I'm doing some research on historical low temperatures on Easter Island. I've run into some data from other sources that conflicts with the numbers posted on Wikipedia.

Can anyone tell me what the source of those records was? If I can validate those numbers, it will be very helpful. Please refer any helpful information to: (Redacted)

Ed — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:14, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
There are three citations at the bottom of the climate chart at Easter Island. The only English language one is from here, and there are two more Spanish language sites used as references (this one and a PDF linked through this one. If your findings are substantially different, I'd suggest discussing at at the talk page for the article, located here. There seems to have been a similar claim made about the climate table last year, but I'd suggest starting a new section (after reading through the old one first). Matt Deres (talk) 01:18, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Does this prank call to 911 in this youtube video look real?[edit] He blogs about it here: Venustar84 (talk) 04:28, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

What you're after is an opinion, but we're constitutionally incapable of providing opinions here. Our life blood is references. Please seek a more appropriate forum. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 05:56, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

The reference desk is for asking questions. It isn't a discussion forum.Whereismylunch (talk) 06:29, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

If only, if only! Richard Avery (talk) 07:41, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
It definitely looks like a real live recording, as opposed to a cartoon or CGI. Beyond that, it's anybody's guess. And keep in mind that blogs are not reliable sources here. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:37, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
One possibly telltale sign is that you don't actually see him dialing the number. So for all we know, he could have phoned a friend who was helping him set up this prank. And the footage of the police could have been made at a totally different time. In short, there is no way that I can see to determine the real story of this video. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:41, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

What was the first app ever released on Android?[edit]

What was the first app ever released on AndroidWhereismylunch (talk) 06:27, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Android comes bundled with apps, so all of them would have been released together. Do you mean which app was first on the PlayStore? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 09:42, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Simchat Torah in Mir[edit]

I have heard that in Mir (Eastern Europe) before the Second World War, a person would walk before the Sifrei Torah during the hakafot of Simchat Torah holding some lighted candles. I would be grateful if a user could confirm this, and if possible, also add further details. Thank you Simonschaim (talk) 07:25, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Those most likely to be able to answer your question can probably be found at the Otzar HaHochma forum (in Hebrew). I doubt anyone here can help you (except perhaps Rachack?). הסרפד (call me Hasirpad) 17:14, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Thank you Hasirpad Simonschaim (talk) 04:38, 23 October 2014 (UTC)


How allergic reactions happen

This is not a request for medical advice, as I have already solved the problem myself, and I am not going to book an appointment to waste my doctor's time just to ask this, when he has far more important cases to see to.

My question is, can people with no previous history of allergies actually suddenly develop them? I had a belt with a buckle made of nickle, and developed a rash on my tummy (really itchy one!). I had no idea what was causing it, but (out of the blue) my father suggested I change belts, and gave me one of his. It cleared up in a matter of days. Now, I wear prescription glasses made of titanium, and some of the paint has worn off on the inside of the arms of the glasses, and this has caused rashes both sides of my face (fixed by repainting). I am now thinking I am allergic to titanium as well. As far as I know, I was never allergic to anything when I was younger.

Does anyone know if someone can just develop allergies over time? Personal anecdotes are also welcome. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 17:28, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Yes. Marco polo (talk) 17:36, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Perfect and succint answer, Marco. 謝謝!KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 17:49, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Here's a personal anecdote. I've always loved cats and I had a succession of feline pets all through my earlier years. There was never the slightest problem with them or any other animals. That is, until the problem arose, in my early 30s. Since then, I have been strongly allergic to cats, dogs, horses, any land animals, and have to either keep my distance or be scrupulous in washing my hands if I do venture to touch them or let them lick me. Because if I do get my tainted hands anywhere near my face, eyes or mouth, I have hell to pay for a few hours. If this is the price of "growing up", I wanna be a little kid again. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:18, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
As someone who works with laboratory animals (rodents), this is a familiar story. Quite a few people will develop a rodent allergy after years of working with them. It's apparently a big enough problem that we're all supposed to have regular respiratory monitoring by occupational health. Fgf10 (talk) 07:07, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
I believe there's also a condition where anything rubbing on the skin can cause a rash, regardless of the material. I'm not sure of the name of this condition. StuRat (talk) 17:47, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
  • I have added a wonderfully succinct chart to the right. Just be aware B cells are normally present in the body. They have receptors with random shapes on the outside. They float around the body for about a month, and if the receptor is activated during that time the cell is deactivated--the idea is that any protein they meet during that first month is more likely to be a normal protein belonging to the subject organism. After a month or so they mature. At this point, if the receptor matches any protein (or appropriately shaped allergen) the B cell reproduces clones of itself and the process in the chart begins. It's hence possible to develop an allergy at any time, and an allergic reaction after the first priming incident. The articles Allergy and immunoglobulin-E are quite good, but this chart gives the essence. μηδείς (talk) 19:41, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
@ StuRat, are you thinking about dermographia? perhaps. Richard Avery (talk) 06:55, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Or contact dermatitis. ZMBrak (talk) 15:04, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Dermographia seems more like what I had in mind, where it's not specific to any irritant, just any friction on the skin that causes a problem. StuRat (talk) 16:23, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Em, please can someone change the title of this question to an English font? I just get placeholder symbols on my screen, and I can't imagine I'm the only one. --TammyMoet (talk) 11:29, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
The title of the question is "Allergies", in normal plain English. Not sure what's going on your side... (talk) 12:19, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
it was broke but i dond it ~Helicopter Llama~ 12:24, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm glad I'm not the only one that saw that it was in a non-standard font. I took a quick look but couldn't figure out why it was appearing in that font. I'm glad to see it's back to normal though. Dismas|(talk) 20:18, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
The section title was using the "fullwidth forms" of the ASCII characters. These symbols are used for typesetting Latin characters in an environment where you would otherwise use CJK characters. See Halfwidth and fullwidth forms. —Tobias Bergemann (talk) 11:16, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, sorry, everyone. I was taking a break from work, and my input method was sill set to Japanese. I changed it after the title. I thought it would still show up as normal, though. Thanks for changing it. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 18:34, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

October 22[edit]

Mystery books?[edit]

I know this isn't really a reference sort of thing but it's out of my area a bit and I could see someone asking a librarian this question...

Can you give me some titles of mystery novels which:

  • Don't involve murders
  • Aren't too "techie" (that's the word the person who I'm inquiring for used and I can't readily ask for clarification)
  • And aren't too... heavy... is maybe the word I'm looking for.

That third one is because this person isn't really a reader, so something that reads quickly and doesn't go on for pages about the protagonist's feelings or some other dry point would be best. They'll have a lot of down time to do nothing more than read but don't already really enjoy the act of reading. They're requested something in the mystery genre. Thanks, Dismas|(talk) 14:36, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Someone has complied a list of [Nonmurder mysteries] on Goodreads. Some of the titles that I recognize are usually classed as YA (children's) which might be too light?. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime seems to involve the murder of a dog. Rmhermen (talk) 15:39, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Notwithstanding its name and some of its promotion, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime is really a book about autism, not a conventional mystery. John M Baker (talk) 15:59, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Some cozy mysteries might fit the bill. Here is a list of cozy mysteries without murders. Rmhermen (talk) 15:42, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I just read Gaudy Night (in the list cited by Rmhermen above) for the first time—I'm not much of a mystery reader—and thought that it was pretty good. I'm not sure that it would appeal to the sort of "non-reader" that you describe, though. Only some of the Sherlock Holmes short stories involve murders, and a book of those might be more appealing to the person. Deor (talk) 18:57, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
  • just what you are looking for: Lisa Scottoline and Janet Evanovich. They are (according to my source, who hates gore, and finds Michael Crichton too techie) humorous and lighthearted page turners who write non-murder mysteries. She also recommends Robert B. Parker as not gory, but he does depict murders. μηδείς (talk) 21:20, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Isaac Asimov's Black Widowers stories feature a group of people who get together and solve mysteries by talking about them over the dinner table. Sometimes the mysteries involve murders, but many of them don't; some don't even involve crimes. (For example, in the first of the series, The Acquisitive Chuckle, the mystery to be solved is "What, if anything, did was stolen?") If there is a murder then you only "see" these people talking about it. Now these are short stories, not novels, but that means your friend can try a few stories in a relatively short time and see if they like the series. They were written some time ago (Asimov died in 1992) and have been collected in... let's see, here we go... five books with "Black Widowers" in the title each time:
  • Tales of the Black Widowers (1974)
  • More Tales of the Black Widowers (1976)
  • Casebook of the Black Widowers (1980)
  • Banquets of the Black Widowers (1984)
  • Puzzles of the Black Widowers (1990)
The ones I've read contain about 12 stories each. There is also a book The Return of the Black Widowers (2003) containing some reprinted stories and some additional stories written for the series by other writers. I have no idea of whether any of these books are easy or hard to find now. -- (talk) 22:18, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Thank you for the ideas, everyone. If anyone thinks of more, I'll be checking back here again, I'm sure. Also a bit of clarification, it's not the gore that I'm trying to avoid, it's specifically the murder aspect. Thanks again, Dismas|(talk) 17:42, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Chess and "check"[edit]

Is there a reason why chess games end without actually taking the enemy king? It seems that all the rules preventing moving into check, and announcing "check" when you put someone in that position would all be much simpler if the rule was "The objective is to take the enemy king". Was there, perhaps, some kind of political-correctness issue about killing kings? (Seems odd that you're allowed to take the queen if that was the reason.) ...Or is it maybe that you don't want players to lose by accident because they fail to spot that their king is in check?

I just can't think of any other game where the game ends right BEFORE the obvious final objective is met.

SteveBaker (talk) 15:07, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

From Checkmate#History:
In early Sanskrit chess (c. 500–700) the king could be captured and this ended the game. The Persians (c. 700–800) introduced the idea of warning that the king was under attack (announcing check in modern terminology). This was done to avoid the early and accidental end of a game. Later the Persians added the additional rule that a king could not be moved into check or left in check. As a result, the king could not be captured,[1] and checkmate was the only decisive way of ending a game.[2]
Before about 1600 the game could also be won by capturing all of the opponent's pieces, leaving just a bare king. This style of play is now called annihilation or robado.[citation needed] In Medieval times players began to consider it nobler to win by checkmate, so annihilation became a half-win for a while, until it was abandoned.[2]
Cucumber Mike (talk) 15:27, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
  1. ^ Davidson 1949, p. 22
  2. ^ a b Davidson 1949, pp. 63–64

There's the optional physical tipping over of the king to indicate resignation or concession by the loser. I doubt tipping over the opponent's king when you've one would be in good form, though. μηδείς (talk) 21:03, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Changing the rule to "the objective is to take the enemy king" would have two effects:

  1. It would introduce a new way to stupidly lose a game, by accidentally moving your king into check.
  2. In a position where you have now no legal move, you could find yourself required to move your king into check, and then lose on the next turn. In other words, most positions where the game is now a tie due to stalemate would become a win for the player creating that position.

The treatment of situation 1 is a matter of preference by the rulemakers, but situation 2 is often significant in endgames.

As to why if you give checkmate on move 29 the other player isn't required to take a turn and let you win on move 30 by capturing his king, the simple answer is that you play until you know who's going to win. (That's why a large number of won games end in resignation rather than checkmate.) Once checkmate is given, the win is assured, so it makes sense to stop.

And yes, there is certainly at least one other game like that: bridge. The play of each hand is made up of 13 tricks, but normally you only play until you're sure who's winning how many. For a simple example, if with 6 tricks remaining your hand consists of the 6 highest remaining trumps, the usual and recommended[1] procedure is to show it and claim the remaining tricks. The only legitimate reason to play on would be if you weren't certain whether the trumps were in fact the highest remaining ones. Sometimes you can claim only one or two tricks into the play of a hand. -- (talk) 22:45, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ In the Laws of Contract Bridge, see item 3F in the Proprieties (page vii in the front matter), about not "prolonging" play. In the Laws of Duplicate Bridge, the wording is more explicit and clearly refers to not claiming: see Law 74B4 (page 90).

-- (talk) 22:45, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

I don't play go, but I think it went through a similar rule change: play originally continued until the board was completely filled, but modern play ends when the outcome is clear, and the scoring approximates what would have happened if the board had been filled. -- BenRG (talk) 07:09, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Hearts is another example of a game that can be ended early if the final outcome is clear. A player may end a hand by showing their remaining cards and declaring TRAM (The Rest Are Mine) - although this is not mandatory. Gandalf61 (talk) 14:16, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
It's not a board or table game, but in baseball, if the home team is winning, they don't play the bottom of the ninth inning because it would be pointless. (There is not even an option in case, say, a player going for a record could benefit from an additional time at bat.)   → Michael J    14:39, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

I am not convinced by the responders who claim that the rule exists because it's pointless to play on once the outcome is determined. Why not extend it to mate-in-one, then? Or further?
I don't have a ref, but my understanding has always been that the real reason is to avoid the implication of disrespect for royalty. Can't have people getting dangerous republican ideas. --Trovatore (talk) 15:14, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

You may have a point. Some people say the term checkmate comes from the Persian words for "the king is dead". But our article says shāh māt (شاه مات) really means "the king is helpless".   → Michael J    15:25, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Mate in X moves is established by the losing player, and handled by resignation, as described above. I think the analogies to bridge, hearts, and go are apt, and we could add Euchre and perhaps many other Trick-taking_games to the list as well. Lacking better refs than those provided above, we can't rule out a political aversion to "killing a king," among some players at some time, but I find the reasoning based only on game logic compelling, and in accord with several other games where we quit once the winner is clearly established. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:54, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I disagree. For one thing, if that were in fact the reasoning, then a stalemate should be won by the player who made the last move before it. I don't think that's the reason. --Trovatore (talk) 02:55, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
The rule against taking the king, regardless of its origin, adds a significant strategic element to the game. Without that, it might merely be like checkers with pieces that can move different ways. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:40, 24 October 2014 (UTC)


This may be a sensitive question to some, so I don't think it would be appropriate to answer with any anecdotes or personal experiences.

I was talking to a friend today, and the topic of conversation came to genetic deformities. We then both pondered on what happens to foetuses which are aborted. We then went on to talk about what happens to babies which are still-born. Are the latter entitled to a funeral? We were talking about it in the context of the Western world. Does anyone know the answer? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 18:25, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

I don't know about "entitled", but some people have funerals for still born babies, some do not. Here's a few links that talk a bit about the options and choices that can be made [44] [45]. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:37, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't know about "entitled", but certainly in Scotland there's a history of them being cremated - indeed there was a major scandal recently because parents were told there were no ashes for them to mourn over, when there were, see [46]. In my own family in north Wales, my second-oldest brother died at 1 day old (this was nearly 70 years ago, over a decade before I was born), and I only fairly recently discovered that he was buried by the wall of the local parish churchyard. -- Arwel Parry (talk) 18:43, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
  • If the situation comes up, you have to demand immediate attention from the hospital chaplain and medical staff. I know a person whose stillborn child was disposed of as medical waste, then was lied to, being told the child had been buried with rites being said. It's not easy under such circumstances to act quickly and effectively. You might also discuss the issue while pregnant with your doctor and chosen hospital to determine their policies and procedures ahead of time, in case. Most medical facilities treat "tissue that has been removed" as waste, and hence not the patient's property. You may even want to consult a lawyer to determine your rights. μηδείς (talk) 20:58, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
A bit anecdotal, but I grew up in a funeral home and it did stillborns. I remember two services offhand. Neither used a real casket (though we did sell them in that size), but at least one got its own plot. There was also at least one pregnant crash victim whose family considered whether to have separate services. They ultimately went with one. There was a small (I'd guess first trimester) fetus in a jar in that morgue, apparently from the 1950s. Never asked my grandpa about it, and after he died, only got fuzzy stories from other relatives. Not sure where it is now. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:45, October 22, 2014 (UTC)
Traditional Jewish cemeteries have a section for stillborns. הסרפד (call me Hasirpad) 23:09, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
In the United States the disposition of a stillborn child's remains would be a matter of state law. In other words, it can be complex. In the late 1980s in Minnesota, for instance, fetal remains after a certain period of development needed to be disposed of in a "dignified" manner (I believe the minimum was a cremation within a certain period; the law specifically stated that no religious ceremony was required). I'm sure other states' laws vary widely. You or your friend may wish to consult an attorney in this matter. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 10:51, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I should clarify that most of the discussion of the law I mention has to do with the remains of aborted fetuses, though it is also mentioned that the same laws would apply to miscarriages as to induced abortions. Some discussion here has dealt with infants that were born live but died soon thereafter. My instinct is that those cases would, at law, be treated the same as any other dead body case. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 13:07, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
In most of the UK, stillbirths (after the 24th week of pregnancy) have to be registered [47] [48] (the specifics of the law differ between England and Wales, and Scotland). In Northern Ireland you may register a stillbirth, but it is not mandatory [49]. Stillbirths are in a separate register to live births (and deaths). The link I've included, which is to, includes the statement "You can arrange a funeral for your baby." is unhelpfully unclear on what exactly you would need to do to bring this about, but the General Register Office for Scotland website makes it clear that in Scotland you will be given a "certificate of registration of stillbirth" which you would need to provide to the cemetery or crematorium [50]. I'm assuming the process is similar in England and Wales and guidance on the necessary legal steps from (non-stillbirth) death to funeral is here. The website of the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society (which is linked to from advises that if a baby is stillborn after 24 weeks then a formal burial or cremation must be held. If the stillbirth is before 24 weeks then burial or cremation is permitted, but not mandatory [51]. Valiantis (talk) 21:21, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
French Wikipedia has the law for France and for Belgium, which is quite similar to the UK. If the baby is born after 22 weeks and is dead or "alive but not viable", a stillbirth is registered and the parents may arrange a funeral. What Medeis describes is horrendous. I hope there is an organisation like the UK Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society that can get best practice spread throughout the USA. Itsmejudith (talk)
The case I mentioned was probably at 20-24 weeks. I don't know the state, but it was some decades ago. The mother was sedated and when she asked to see the child after waking she was told it had already been buried. She asked if rites had been performed, and was told yes, but this was obviously an outright lie (they certainly didn't know her denomination) meant to console her/make her compliant. (She learned the truth of the matter on her next pregnancy when she and her doctor discussed the prior stillbirth.)
This reminds me of my sister. She and her husband made a considered decision not to circumcise their sons. All went well with the first child but when they attempted to take her second son out of the delivery room she insisted (knowing her, probably rather ferociously) on knowing why and was told he was being taken to be circumcised, which was immediately halted. Again, my suggestion is that of the disclaimer, seek out the advice of your doctor (and lawyer if necessary), do it ahead of time, and don't expect your instructions to be followed, even if you've made them clear, if you are not your own active advocate. μηδείς (talk) 18:17, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Have you ever taken a dump and not wiped properly then . . .[edit]

Your anus feels itchy and irritated for the rest of the day?

Sometimes when you shower or bathe afterwards, the skin around your anus is sore, red, and stingy?

What causes that? I mean, it's probably from not wiping properly, but what is the scientific process at work?

Thanks in advance.

Zombiesturm (talk) 19:38, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Many cases of itchy and irritated skin are a type of Dermatitis. Note in the article there are many types, and they have different mechanisms. But that should be good general reading regarding your question. You also might be interested in Irritant diaper dermatitis. (WARNING, last link features a graphic image of the medical phenomenon)SemanticMantis (talk) 19:58, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
You said during the day. What about at night? See:Pinworm & [52]. Or it could be down to something your eating (really hot curries and red hot chili con carne does it for me) Either-way, this complaint is what doctors are for.--Aspro (talk) 22:40, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

October 23[edit]

Recent Changes patrol[edit]

How do I get access to patrol recent changes? Deaths in 2013 (talk) 03:47, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

On the left side of your screen, in the "Tools" section of the left menu bar, is a link titled "Recent changes". Click that. Now you can patrol recent changes all you want. --Jayron32 02:58, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I am at the page in another internet window. I still can't get access. I'm new to recent changes patrol on Wikipedia. Can you please be more specific? Deaths in 2013 (talk) 04:34, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
When you click 'recent changes', what do you see? What happens? (talk) 04:48, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm seeing "Recent changes" in the "Interaction" section not the "Tools". Here's a link to Wikipedia:Recent changes patrol and one directly to Recent Changes and just in case you were meaning something else here is New Pages. CBWeather, Talk, Seal meat for supper? 17:15, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Domian name[edit]

hello,wiki volunteers.thanks in advance .i really need a solution to this. i have developed a webpage regarding job search and preparations and thinking of buying a domain name as jog to jobs but i am thinking of some exciting name other than this.can u suggest some catchy names. thanks again. (talk) 06:33, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Sorry but we don't answer questions for opinion ~Helicopter Llama~ 11:59, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Except in certain special cases, apparently. I'm not sure just what it is that makes them special, but I obviously still have a lot to learn around here. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 17:53, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
No opinion, but I can direct you to this book/workbook on the topic of picking a name for things [53]. SemanticMantis (talk) 13:24, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

On Icelandic names and sex-changes[edit]

Not sure whether this lives here or in language,but we'll give it a try here.Icelandic(and Faroese)families have unique naming systems so a male will be X Yson and a female will be X Ydottir.The name itself reflects whether you are male or female. If you had such a name and were to have a sex-change,would you have to change your name so you would now be Ydottir instead of Yson? Lemon martini (talk) 13:21, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

See Talk:Icelandic name#Sex change convention?, where this same question was explored. My understanding of the situation, which is very limited, is that a person getting a sex change (presuming their sex is legally changed following the surgery) may have to switch between -dottir and -son because of Icelandic law. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 13:56, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
This might help. The bill got passed BTW. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 20:57, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

spam trends[edit]

It occurred to me that I haven't heard from a prestigious non-accredited university in a long time, nor from anyone offering to submit my website to umpty-leven search engines in even longer. The Russians have shifted from email spam to phony HTTP requests (to fill up my website's referral log); my mail filter now catches more from Japan, South Africa and Sweden. Does anyone keep track of the types and sources of spamming as they come and go? —Tamfang (talk) 16:03, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

The Spamhaus Project is the first thing that pops into my head. That's at least a jumping-off point. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 18:01, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

October 24[edit]

how many people have their wikipedia article[edit]

Respected sir/ mam

i want to know how many person in the world (live or dead) have their wikipedia biography. Means their profile or their biography are created as a wikipedia page article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:38, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Category:Living people contains 681,235 people currently. It's not as easy to provide a tally of dead people, but I'm sure it can be done. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 07:52, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
According to Wikipedia:WikiProject Biography 1,199,840 articles within the scope, although some of these may be duplicates of sorts, some may be groups (including some which probably aren't really in scope and shouldn't be tagged but are) and obviously some stuff won't be tagged even though within scope. Also this includes stubs like Aaron (saint) & Aaron (Copt). Actually there are 674,039 articles in Category:Stub-Class biography articles but many would be better e.g. Jerzy Stroba, A-ca-oo-mah-ca-ye, Kiur Aarma, Aaron I or even better. Also while editors are allowed to have some info on them including what could be called a short biography on their user page, this info is limited and isn't normally considered a "profile" and those which may fit whatever definition you are using aren't counted anywhere specially. (In any case, I suspect their number amounts to basically noise compared to the number of real articles.) Nil Einne (talk) 13:38, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
I believe the above answers are for English Wikipedia. There are 286 other Wikipedias. They range in size from a few dozen articles to over a million. Some of the undoubtedly contain articles about people who are not featured in English Wikipedia. It would not be easy to count them all. Many duplications between different Wikipedias would go through Wikidata, but not all, I think. --ColinFine (talk) 17:01, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Burial vs. Cremation[edit]

If I die, which is a distinct possibility as I am a mere mortal, how do I arrange that I be buried, rather than cremated? I would also like to have a simple wooden box to lie in, rather than a lead-lined one. I don't want lead poisoning as well as death to compound things further. Sorry, joking aside, how do I do this? I don't want to ask my family, and I have no idea who else to ask. This is not a joke question - I have actually been seriously pondering this for years. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 16:53, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

You normally declare what you want in your Will. MilborneOne (talk) 16:55, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
I believe you are located in the UK, but I live in the US, and here, you can use the services of a funeral home to pre-arrange what happens when you die. You can also pre-pay for the expenses involved in carrying out those wishes, so that your family or other loved ones are not responsible for those expenses. --Thomprod (talk) 17:29, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, most homes do that now. Some may not be thrilled about selling you the simpler option, but they shouldn't push the deluxe package too hard. If they do, they're probably not the guys for the job. Most cemeteries require at least a grave liner for your cheap box, though, mainly to keep the ground flat. You're probably allowed to be buried on your own land, which can dip if you'd like, but you'll want to check with a local lawyer or government about that. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:20, October 24, 2014 (UTC)
Yes, just buy some land and you can be buried in it (provided it's sufficiently isolated to avoid pollution issues). I know several people who have been buried in their own land here in the UK. Dbfirs 08:19, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
This is a request for legal advice, quite frankly. Matters of last wishes, disposition of remains, and a will are matters to consult a licensed attorney about. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 17:30, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree, so it's a good thing that the responders have suggested talking to the correct people (lawyer and/or funeral home). Sometimes the legal advice you need is where to get your legal advice. Matt Deres (talk) 19:11, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Proper disposal of the dead is definitely a matter of law. Assuming that either burial or cremation are available, talking to a lawyer could be good, but talking to a local funeral home could be just as useful, as you will need to buy a burial plot anyway. I wouldn't simply "put it in the will", as the will is not necessarily read immediately after death and before burial. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:50, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
It's becoming more common to cremate unclaimed bodies, rather than use a pauper's grave. Saves money and space. Same might go if yours was claimed, but the claimants didn't know what you wanted and didn't want to guess (or pay). On the plus side, it's easier to bury the ashes if the will reappears than exhume and rebury the whole thing. On the other hand, you didn't want to be ashes. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:07, October 24, 2014 (UTC)
It's more than that; whether the requested method of burial actually has to be honored is a question of law, as is who would be the person to sue if it was not followed. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 23:02, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm sure that your will is the place to state this - but I'm not convinced that this is any guarantee that it'll be honored. If you say that you wish to be buried in a solid gold coffin, studded with 10 carat diamonds at the peak of Mt Everest by the light of a solar eclipse - then unless you provide a significant chunk of cash, it's not going to happen. It's a common idea that you can make all sorts of silly demands in your will - but very often they'll get thrown out.
Your request seems kinda modest - but burial plots are getting really expensive in some places - and you may find that at time of death, there isn't enough money on hand to do that - so you're going to get cremated no matter what.
You should certainly talk to a lawyer and be prepared to set aside money specifically for doing this. But even if you've paid for a burial plot and pre-purchased the headstone and coffin - should you happen to die while on vacation on the far side of the world, the cost of transporting your body might prove to be too much. So I think it would take considerable effort and preparation to be 100% certain of anything you might decide. SteveBaker (talk) 20:33, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
It might go without saying, but if you die in a particularly hot fire or heavy explosion, you may have to settle for less. Not much the courts can do about you being lost at sea, either. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:04, October 24, 2014 (UTC)
This site gives excellent independent general guidance. Most funeral directors (even in the backward old UK, like this one), now offer pay-in-advance funeral plans in which all details can be specified. Re the OP's " I don't want to ask my family" - one answer is to give your family a sealed envelope to be opened in the event of your death. That should contain all the details that you would wish your family to adhere to. Ghmyrtle (talk) 21:12, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
If I got an envelope like that, I'd fully expect to spend one night in a haunted house. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:25, October 24, 2014 (UTC)
In short, you need to shop around, sort out a funeral plan with a funeral director (the Co-op are a good starting point) then contact a solicitor to sort out your will. Your executors need to be aware of the funeral plan - then all ought to go smoothly. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 00:51, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Multiple people have said they think that the will is the right place to give instructions regarding your remains. This may vary by jurisdiction, but my understanding is that they are wrong. Wikipedia's article on wills says that a will is about disposition of your estate and makes no suggestion that it is also for instructions regarding your remains, and this does fit with my understanding: only if you wanted to bequeath money for some special way of dealing with your remains would the will be relevant. Please do talk to a laywer to learn about the law where you live, and a funeral director will have practical advice about making your wishes known. -- (talk) 04:46, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
In the UK then there are a number of organisations who can advise you about a simple and ethical burial. According to the information on these sites the rules covering burials in the UK are surprisingly relaxed. Natural Death Centre, Sun Rising or The Druid Network for example. Another (probably less likely) option is to join the Society of Friends who will take care of your burial in a simple, economic and dignified way in one of their burial grounds. The less complicated your burial wishes the more likely they are to be followed. Richard Avery (talk) 07:20, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

Resolution of copyright-free images downloaded by Wikipedia[edit]


For a book I have written I have included some images which I downloaded from Wikipedia.

The publisher has got back to me to say their resolution is too low for their printers (about 70 dpi when they require 300 dpi).

Is there any way I can download these same images in higher resolution?

God bless.

Best wishes, Doug — Preceding unsigned comment added by Douglas Wardrop (talkcontribs) 17:25, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

It depends on the images. It's possible that the image you wish to use is not available in a higher resolution. —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 17:31, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
If you're using the Chrome browser, you can right-click on any image and select "Search Google for this Image". If the image is found anywhere else on the Internet, Google will say:
Find other sizes of this image:
All sizes - Small - Medium - Large
Click on "All sizes" and you'll see a bunch of copies of the image at different sizes. Click on them to see where on the web they are stored. The problem now is whether you have permission to use the images. Even though they are used on Wikipedia, they may not be free for all uses. Wikipedia sometimes uses the "fair use" provisions of the copyright laws to display certain copyrighted images - and very often, we restrict the resolution of the image to comply with those laws. You have to check for yourself whether you have permission to display them - and at some higher resolution.
Failing that, all of our images have information about who uploaded them - and sometimes where they came from. You may be able to send a message to the original uploader from their Talk: page or an 'email this user' link in the left-side menu on their user page. Of course, they may or may not be able to help...but it's worth a try. SteveBaker (talk) 20:21, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

October 25[edit]


Does the pendant in this necklace look like a leaf or a upside down tear drop? And how would you describe this necklace in these 2 photos? I'm only asking because I'm making necklaces with my mental health worker. Venustar84 (talk) 05:26, 25 October 2014 (UTC)