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February 23[edit]

Programming - is/uses/is easier if you know - math[edit]

What of the three possibilities is closer to reality? --Senteni (talk) 00:04, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Programming is easier if you know math, in the sense that if you've had a lot of trouble with things like equations and algorithms and proofs in math, you'll have a lot of trouble programming. Some programming uses math, but by no means all, and some programming uses no math whatsoever. Programming is not, however, math. --jpgordon::==( o ) 00:26, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
I did various types of programming for about 25 years. The only need for "math" I ever had was an understanding of bases (decimal=base 10, binary=base 2, hexadecimal=base 16), and that was only after I had moved into the more technical side of software dev. Most programming needs no particular math skills at all, although it often helps to have a calculator handy. ―Mandruss  03:17, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Think it's worth quoting the first paragraph of our Mathematics article:
"Mathematics ... is the study of topics such as quantity (numbers), structure, space, and change. There is a range of views among mathematicians and philosophers as to the exact scope and definition of mathematics."
So, holding that definition (and the fact that mathematicians don't agree on it!) in our heads, let's try to answer your question:
  • Programming is math - in the purest sense of that definition of mathematics, yes. Numbers, structure, space (in terms of data space, configuration space, etc) and change are a lot to do with what programming is. We programmers deal with flow-control, algorithms and data structures - all of which are broadly mathematical in nature. So, I suppose programming is a branch of mathematics - but one that's quite disjoint from the rest of mathematics, and one that not many mathematicians would identify with.
  • Programming uses math - well, if programming is math, then it obviously uses it - but you'd be hard pressed to find anything beyond the very basics of arithmetic, boolean logic and set theory that applies to all branches of programming. But obviously if (like me) you're a graphics programmer, then you'll be using a ton of geometry, topology, trigonometry and matrices. But if you're into image processing, then you'll be interested in statistics and all sorts of other mathematical concepts. There are many results from mathematics that are used in programming...but not all programming uses much more than the very most basic arithmetic and boolean logic. There are programming languages like Prolog that would be perfectly useful without numbers of any kind.
  • Programming is easier if you know math - not exactly. I think it's true that the kinds of people who excel at algorithms and data structures tend to be the kinds of people who do well in mathematics. On the other hand, I've known plenty of decent mathematicians who took up programming and did a horrible job of it. So there are no guarantees! I've spent a lifetime as a well paid programmer without ever needing my patchy recollection of high school calculus...but in the field of graphics, I've needed to trawl through many other areas of mathematics.
SteveBaker (talk) 04:15, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Display problem in Wikipedia editing window[edit]

I frequently use an HP laptop computer (running Windows Vista) to edit Wikipedia pages. For some reason, the type in editing windows on Wikipedia began appearing in really poor quality. It looks much like the output of a typewriter whose ribbon has been used so much that most of the ink has been used up.

I have tried Chrome, Firefox and Opera. The same low-quality display appears in all three. The only way I can get a decent editing window display is to use Internet Explorer 9 (the latest version supported by Vista).

The problem occurs only in Wikipedia's editing windows. Articles are displayed as clearly as ever, and I have had no problems with pages from other Web sites.

If you have any suggestions, I would appreciate them. Eddie Blick (talk) 03:42, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Sometimes non-integer magnifications of small text can look like crap. Try changing the zoom level, usually with CTRL + and CTRL -. StuRat (talk) 04:36, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Another thought is that some older computers could only display 256 colors at top resolution. If the (multi-shaded) text puts it over that limit, many of the shades might just come out white. So, try increasing the color depth (which likely requires lowering the screen resolution). StuRat (talk) 04:43, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
I think any laptop that can run Vista is way too recent to have that problem. Anyway, web browsers on 256-color displays used a fixed palette, not dynamic color allocation, so they couldn't run out of colors. -- BenRG (talk) 05:36, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. The last time I observed this problem was on my Windows 98 laptop, but I wasn't sure when they finally cured it. StuRat (talk) 06:43, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
This was probably caused by the Windows update That page has a link to which fixes it. I had the same Windows Vista problem (which also affected articles and other websites to a lesser extent in my case), and the fix worked. Download and install the update from It isn't offered in a normal search for Windows updates. Before Microsoft made the fix, I chose "Sans-serif font" at Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-editing, "Edit area font style". Many others unistalled kb3013455. PrimeHunter (talk) 04:48, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for providing that link. I wondered if a Windows update might have caused the problem, but I didn't know a solution if that should be the case. I'll try the link that you suggested. Eddie Blick (talk) 15:17, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
That took care of the problem. I downloaded the patch from the link you provided, then installed the update. After a restart, the editing windows are back to normal legibility. I appreciate your help! Eddie Blick (talk) 17:21, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Help with PHP confused with calculation[edit]

Hello, I am a novice at PHP and I needed to find a way to complete this form I wanted to make. The form has multiple questions it asks like the characters name and the race of your character and what kind of stuff you would like to buy. There are 4 form questions that end in a drop down box method and 1 of them asks you your race and the other 3 ask you how much of each item you would like to buy. I wanted to process in php a way to add gold to the specific races. If you picked human you would get no extra gold and if you chose elf you would get 10 extra gold added to your character so then when you submit the form if you had an elf that start with 10 gold and added 10 gold to the amount the starting gold was which was 10 you would get 20 gold for an elf character. Then you could of selected 10 gold worth of one item and 5 worth of another item and 0 worth of another item and then after check out you would have 5 gold left on your character. How can I do this? I also wanted to make it so that if you go over the amount of gold that your character has you will get an error screen telling you that you dont have enough gold. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:28, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

It would be hard to answer this question without actually writing all of the code for you - which would prevent you from learning anything from the exercise. But the fact that you need to ask it suggests that you need to work a little longer with PHP tutorials and examples before launching into this kind of project. When you do start into it, you'll need to ask yourself some questions:
  • How do you collect the information from the HTML form when they hit "SUBMIT"? (HINT: Read up on $_GET and $_POST)
  • How do you know how much gold the person had before they entered into the web page? Perhaps you need to record that in a database somehow? Can you ask them how much they have?
  • How will you store the list of character races and the amount of bonus gold they get? Are there few enough (and a fixed number that's unlikely ever to change) that you can just code that information directly into the PHP program - or will someone who is not a PHP programmer need to expand or change that list in the future?
  • How will you store the list of available items in the store and their prices? Are you sure that there will never be more than three kinds of item on sale? And again, can you be sure that the list would only ever be changed by a PHP programmer in the future?
  • Will you be able to prevent someone cheating by buying a negative number of one of the items in order to buy a lot more of the others? (HINT: Check, if the number of items purchased is less than zero, then either just set it equal to zero - or send them to an error page.)
I strongly suggest that you get the HTML form working first and verify that it passes the right data to your PHP program. If you use the "GET" method for sending the data (definitely the easiest to debug at this stage!) You'll want the HTML to try to call up a URL something like this:
Then, write your PHP code to just "echo" back the race and item quantities so you can be sure that you're getting the right data in the right places.
Once you know that the right data is getting into your PHP code, then you can start saying things like "if ( $_GET['race']=='elf' ) $gold += 10 ;" ...and... "$gold -= $costOfSword * $_GET['numSwords"] ;" ...and..."if ( $gold < 0 ) echo 'You don't have enough gold to buy all that stuff!' ; else echo 'Thank you for shopping at the Adventurer Emporium, you have '.$gold.'gp left.' ; "
Good luck! And by all means come back and ask us more detailed questions as you get closer to having something working. SteveBaker (talk) 15:57, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
To me it logically makes more sense to have two forms, the first where you ask details about the character, and the second where they choose what initial items to buy, based on their selections on the first form. StuRat (talk) 16:44, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
I agree, but generally we're here to solve the problem we're given, and there may be other constraints here. The main reason to do it as you say is that it allows the user to know how much gold (s)he has BEFORE trying to spend it...but on the other hand, they might want to change their selected race in order to enable them to get the equipment they want...which would be harder with two pages. Personally, I believe in doing the calculations in JavaScript interactively, so that the user can see their gold totals going up and down as they change the options on the page - and just having the PHP code verify the results to avoid cheating. But we clearly have a beginner at this kind of work, and complicating things at this point would be counter-productive. SteveBaker (talk) 06:04, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps a back button to return to the first form would be a way to enable the "two forms option" to allow changing the character race and get more gold. StuRat (talk) 06:45, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Thank you very much SteveBaker, this response does help a lot and I am getting better at understanding the exercise. I definitely don't want you to write the code for me then I wont learn anything so thank you for that! So far I have managed to make a if statement that adds the money to the race it is meant to but I have yet to get down the calculation part. I am a bit lost on that. The HTML form is perfectly fine I have a few years experience with that. I now need to make the php page tell you if you have spent to much money and that you have an error because of it and I need to calculate how much money was spent and how much is left. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:48, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

February 24[edit]

Large amount of pictures half need deleted[edit]

I have 5453 photos on my computer that I have taken from a video and when they were taken from the video each photo has a duplicate photo! so the photos name on my windows 7 pc are as follows: Untitled_000000 Untitled_000001 Untitled_000002 Untitled_000003 Untitled_000004 Untitled_000005 ... and so on until the photos get to Untitled_005453

Since the process I used to extract each frame from this video produced a double of each frame so I have 5453 photos when I should have half that amount. Every odd numbered image is a double and I need to find a way to delete every odd number photo without doing it by hand since I dont have enough time to do that. example: Untitled_000000 Untitled_000001 ^are the same photo

Untitled_000002 Untitled_000003 ^are the same photo and I need to get ride of each odd numbered photo in the folder to make sure I have no duplicates. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:22, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

In principle, you can use rm Untitled_?????[02468]. This may overflow your command line, so you might want to use find and xargs like this (all untested ;-): find . -name "Untitled_?????[02468]"|xargs rm. This should work in any POSIX shell (and with Cygwin even under Windows). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 14:53, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
This seems pretty simple: Video on YouTube. --  Gadget850 talk 14:55, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
You could search for *1.jpg and delete all of those, then search for *3.jpg and delete all of those, and so on (assuming they are JPEG files). The search box is in the upper right corner of the Explorer window. -- BenRG (talk) 15:25, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Not a question, but Chrome is useless[edit]

I keep being told to switch to Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Usually Google Chrome. Well, because of the weather I had to go to a library that didn't have Firefox because I was lucky to find this library open. I wasn't sure about the other libraries. I did most of what I had to do on Internet Explorer but when it came to looking at newspaper web sites that limit the number of articles I can look at, I had to use Chrome and an incognito window. That's what someone told me to do. No explanation is ever given, but every few minutes Google Chrome shuts down. So much for any advice. If I had stayed home, Internet Explorer would have meant I would run into the limit on free articles. But I wouldn't recommend Chrome to anyone.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 15:52, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

I don't know about your experience, of course. Chrome has never crashed on me. So I doubt this is a problem of Chrome per se, but rather think it's a problem of the particular installation. People will recommend an incognito window, because many sites track things like article views via HTTP cookies, to enforce the limitations. Incognito windows will not have persistent cookies, but will at most keep them for one session,so that the next user can also access restricted content. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:57, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
I went to another site and it doesn't seem to have the problem. But I reported the problem when Explorer had it on this site and of course, they could never figure it out. Firefox at the other library doesn't have the problem but I don't know whether it's open.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 16:02, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Never mind, Chrome did it again.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 16:12, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
For IE8+ try InPrivate Browsing.[1] --  Gadget850 talk 16:16, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Really? I haven't seen the option when I tried. Anyway, on a third web site, just Shockwave Flash crashed. The rest of it is still working.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 16:25, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Or was. Shockwave Flash crashed again and then Google Chrome shut down. I do know one site keeps having problems with Explorer. It shut down at least once, but fortunately left my other tabs in place, though these were Hotmail emails where the draft had been saved.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 16:48, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
If you you don't get along with Chrome, then don't use it – it is that simple. I don't happen to like Chrome either but that isn't because I think Chrome is no good. Just think you were unlucky. Try again and persevere – it might just be an nouveau operator problem. Does this Library allow you to inset a pen-drive and boot into Linux. It effectively allows you to carry around your favorite browser, email-client (with bookmarks, extensions, pass-words, etc.) FTP client etc., etc., etc. Some institutions (maybe your library too) may have a block on pen-drive- booting as they think it is a security risk and gives their IT people more work to do, in order for you to boot from a pen-drive. If so challenge them upon this. If you don't ask you don't get. There is no perfect browser (otherwise we would all be using it). To find out what suit you, means (unfortunately) a bit of experimentation. No Pain, no Gain. So, from just one exposure to Chrome, I think you are not being fair.--Aspro (talk) 19:40, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
I've used Chrome, but for what I tried to do today, it's not working. Hopefully the weather will be back to normal next week and I can use Firefox again.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 22:07, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia-related applications[edit]

Where do I find help if I want to code something involving Wikipedia's infrastructure? Discuss-Dubious (t/c) 18:19, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Don't know exactly what you mean. Does our article How to become a MediaWiki hacker link up with what's in your mind?--Aspro (talk) 21:12, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Something more like Wikiscanner or Wiki-Watch. Think "plugin". Discuss-Dubious (t/c) 23:54, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Start by reading the MediaWiki API documentation. Next, read about Wikipedia:Database download procedures and policies. Also consider whether client-side JavaScript, e.g. Wikipedia:User scripts, meet your needs. Nimur (talk) 01:51, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll read them. Discuss-Dubious (t/c) 20:05, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

regarding IEEE paper[edit]

I am doing a mini project based on the IEEE paper PSMPA.So as part of my literary survey i had to go through similar articles but most of them had very little in,is there any medical centres or hospital that has implemented it(across the globe) or has likewise mechanism.also,it would be very helpful if i could get few links for my survey and understanding. (talk) 19:32, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Please provide a link or description of "PSMPA". StuRat (talk) 19:41, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Is this what you meant: [2] ("Patient Self-controllable Multi-level Privacy-preserving Authentication") ? StuRat (talk) 19:43, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Have you tried google scholar's "related articles" feature? See here [3] for that, and check out these [4] papers that have cited the PSMPA paper. I bet some of those are similar enough to be included in a student project. If not, try searching for other works by those authors, or using their keywords to search for other articles, like so [5]. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:46, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

@StuRat.yeah,thats what I meant.sorry for late reply. @SemanticMantis.thanks, links kind of worked (for my understanding). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:20, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Why Boolean does not work in Google anymore?[edit]

It seems to me that Boolean is absolutely useless on Google. Try typing "NOT" and then you actually find what you DON'T want in the search results or the search engine may interpret that "NOT" is actually part of your query!?!? Is it me, or has Google changed? (talk) 21:48, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

If you use a minus sign, like Jaguar -cat, it should find non-feline Jaguars, i.e. the car manufacture. However, minus-sign is a strong hint, not an absolute requirement. LongHairedFop (talk) 21:52, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
OR works in Google searches, and - to exclude a search term has always worked, but I can't find evidence that NOT ever worked. Parentheses don't work either. -- BenRG (talk) 07:40, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Trustable DVD/Blu-Ray alternative to Format Factory?[edit]

I've been using Format Factory to burn my old DVD's to my hard drive, and have been about 75% successful. Some of the DVD's just won't burn, and others will not provide me with the proper subtitles. I have been through the advice on subtitles at google for Format Factory, and have been able in many cases to fix the subtitle problem with the advanced setting, although not always--often I get the commentary rather than the literal subtitles.

But I still have recent DVD's and Blu-Rays I can't burn. I know I am entitled to make a single backup copy of a video per US Supreme Court ruling. So I am curious what trustable free Blu-Ray (especially) and DVD burning programs are available besides Format Factory for free download. (I am pretty handy, and know how to do custom installs to avoid unwanted sideware.)

PS, my assumption has been that AVI is the best format, am I wrong in this assumption?

Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 22:59, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

If you want to preserve all the menu functions, you may need to keep it in it's native format. I've been able to do that with regular DVDs (except Disney's, which uses some different type of copy protection). I haven't tried this for BluRay. If you just want the movie to play through, with the captions and language burnt in, then a variety of formats can handle that. StuRat (talk) 23:27, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, I am not very much worried about the format, since I can play just about anything. I have noticed that burning a DVD to AVI seems to best retain the original quality. My concern is mainly what sort of burner can I use other than Format Factory to back up my blu-rays to my hard drive that is free and reliable. μηδείς (talk) 00:02, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I think you mean ripping, not burning.
AVI is not a video format, just a container, so it's meaningless to ask whether AVI preserves video quality better. A particular tool might, if you pick what it calls "AVI" output, use a video format, compressor, and compression settings that happen to give you good quality. In that case, if you can figure out what the parameters are, you could put the same video in another container that supports more DVD-like features than AVI (probably MKV).
If you can afford the space, you'd probably get the best compatibility, and definitely the best video quality, by just copying the original files (.vob and .ifo) rather than transcoding. If you want to transcode, these tools might be good (I've never used them, though). Wikipedia also has Comparison of DVD ripper software. -- BenRG (talk) 04:04, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, BenRG. That makes sense to the point I as a layman understand it, and I'll look at the links tomorrow at lunch. What I want is to upload my DVD collection to my copious harddrive, be able to watch what I have uploaded on my computer, and be able to burn it again later if necessary. So yes, ripping is my main concern, but I want the files ripped in a way that I could re-burn them if I have to, say to play at my relatives' house at Christmas. I have been using the AVI output from FormatFactory since it plays best on my various computer video players. I am not wedded to any format, so long as it is convertible, and burnable should I need it.
My main issue at this point is (1) Certain disks, including Blu-Rays, simply won't rip with FF, and some (2) DVD's that do rip will not do so with the proper soundtrack or subtitles, even though I have the basic and advanced setttings right. So I am mainly looking for an alternative safe ripper to FF, I suppose.
Oh, and I have tried copying the vob files, but this does not usually give me the video with the foreign dialog and the English subtitles at the same time in a way I can play back. Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 05:30, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

February 25[edit]

Website going in circles[edit]

Can anyone explain what's going on at When I view it in Internet Explorer 11 (going straight to the URL, not via Google or something else), it goes on infinite loop: changes to, which changes to, which changes to, etc. — it changes multiple times per second. Is there a normal explanation for this weird behavior? Note that it works fine in Firefox 35.0.1; perhaps it's just a browser weirdness. I don't have Chrome, so I can't check that. Nyttend (talk) 03:39, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Sounds like a bug in the website to me. I imagine they check on your browser, and if it's IE11 they send you to that other page, but they never actually coded that page, so it just returns to the calling page, which then sends you back to the IE11 page, etc. If that's it, all they need to do is comment out the line that redirects it to that (nonexistent) page and the problem should be solved. StuRat (talk) 07:53, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Might be URL_redirection#Redirect_loops? Anecdata: when I followed your first link in firefox, the URL flickered back and forth bit, then the page loaded properly. It seemed to work more cleanly when I turned off NoScript. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:14, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
General tip: some sites give behavior like that if you don't accept cookies. -- (talk) 20:41, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

How Does Ruby Store Arrays, and else, in Memory[edit]

In Ruby if you call the ID of an object, you can get a pointer to that object from the return, then pass that to a dll and process the object. What I don't understand, and haven't found a good source for, is the structure of what that pointer points to. In other words, if I had an array in Ruby, what do I do in my dll with that pointer to operate on its contents (obviously an array of floats isn't going to point to a bunch of what, then?)? My main issue is that I'm not sure what to read to figure this out and I'm not sure how to figure it out myself - any direction or, sigh at the pun, pointers would be helpful. Thank you:-)Phoenixia1177 (talk) 18:57, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

It's my understanding that you can write C code using ruby.h and use the rb_ary_entry function to get the address of each element in a ruby array (which insulates you a bit if they change the format of how the Ruby runtime stores arrays. Some examples of this are here and here. But this is when you're writing extensions for Ruby - for when the C code in the DLL knows about Ruby internals - that's probably not what you want. Instead, it sounds like you want to define some code (and thus some data structures) in C, and have Ruby call them. In that case you'd use the Ruby FFI instead. First you write the DLL in C as if it was doing to be called from C (and maybe you test it first with a C executable). Then you write a Ruby wrapper using the FFI (here's another example) which just describes the C functions, their parameters, and the data structures they work on in a way the Ruby interpreter can grok. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 20:21, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Thank you very much, that's a wonderfully helpful answer. Unfortunately, I'm working with a piece of software that has a Ruby interpreter embedded in it and doesn't allow using anything that they didn't build in. They did build in the win32api and, since object id's are based on pointer values to the object, it gives me a way of extending it a bit (the real problem is that Ruby is too slow and I need C code to do a specific operation very fast - something horrid in a loop is causing lag).Phoenixia1177 (talk) 05:17, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Problems with my computer's text display[edit]

A few weeks back, my computer automatically installed some new updates, which is fairly typical — except that it's caused problems with how the text in my browser is rendered. I've uploaded a screenshot of the main page (I use the classic design from 2010 and earlier) as an example, which can be found here. It's made Wikipedia and several other sides almost uncomfortable to browse. Does anybody have any insight into a possible solution? I've tried system restore and enabling ClearType, but neither made a difference.

Just for the record, I've been using Windows Vista since 2007; never got around to upgrading my operating system (been planning to for years). My main browser is Google Chrome, but I've also checked the font rendering on Mozilla Firefox and it seems to have the same problem. Kurtis (talk) 19:21, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Yes, Microsoft really screwed the pooch on this one. Here's a discussion with the solution (further up this same page): Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Computing#Display_problem_in_Wikipedia_editing_window. StuRat (talk) 20:55, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. I should have realized that I might not be the only one dealing with this issue. Kurtis (talk) 18:11, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
You're welcome. Can we mark this Q resolved ? StuRat (talk) 19:55, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes — in fact, that's just what I was about to do. Feel free to do it for me. ;) Kurtis (talk) 21:50, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Done ! StuRat (talk) 22:00, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

February 26[edit]

that nice young man[edit]

Supposing I had a Windows computer, and supposing that I took the advice of that earnest caller from “Windows Technical Support” — what typically happens?

(So far either they hang up when I press for the identity of their employer, or I string them along until I get bored and say “It's not working because I have a Macintosh.”)

I do have a Windows VM that I haven't turned on in months. Would whatever-it-is work on that? —Tamfang (talk) 04:34, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

I've played along quite a while, and they show you the error log on your computer, which invariably shows thousands of errors since the O/S was installed. This is designed to cause panic in the sucker user, who then agrees to pay them around a hundred dollars to clean out their PC. Now what happens when they get your credit card number I do not know. They might bill you exactly what they agreed to and then direct you to a web site where you can get any one of many free malware removal tools. Or they might bill your credit card until they hit the limit and never deliver anything at all. StuRat (talk) 04:43, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Careful, as something like that can be the final stage in confirming your identity for a ransomware hack. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 7 Adar 5775 04:57, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
See Technical support scam. PrimeHunter (talk) 05:04, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
There are quite a few videos on YouTube where people have recorded their conversations with these scammers - try searching for "windows support scam" or similar. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 09:04, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
If you do want to see what happens, I'd recommend using a prepaid credit card, so that they can't hit you for too much, and a spare PC, so you can zap it after you've checked what they've done. — Preceding unsigned comment added by LongHairedFop (talkcontribs) 10:25, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

"autovisual media"[edit]

What is/are "autovisual media" as mentioned in AVFoundation? Should it just say "audiovisual media?" And what does the article mean by "framework" since it just links to a disambiguation page? Edison (talk) 19:44, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Source agrees with your first query. The other is probably "software framework". Discuss-Dubious (t/c) 20:01, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Facebook application controlling system[edit]

Hello, I would like to know, how facebook application is controlled, is it controlled from one country or from different country? -- (SuperGirlsVibrator (talk) 20:05, 26 February 2015 (UTC))

This was originally asked at the Misc desk, and the OP was advised to move the question here. I've taken the liberty of copying the replies. LongHairedFop (talk) 16:24, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Apology, I did not realise you meant relocating the post... -- (SuperGirlsVibrator (talk) 18:16, 27 February 2015 (UTC))
What did they say when you asked them? Nanonic (talk) 18:32, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Or what did our article say? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 18:44, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
BTW, you might have been better asking this in the computing desk. and resolve to different IP addresses, depending on where you are located (api means Application Program Interface, and describes how two bits of a program communicate, or an application communicate with its server). I haven't checked, but I would assume that the addresses are routed to separate datacentres, at least one on each continent. LongHairedFop (talk) 10:45, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, that's what I was thinking at first, which is the reason I asked. Thanks for introducing me to 'api'; new to me. -- (SuperGirlsVibrator (talk) 19:57, 26 February 2015 (UTC))

Internet money making possibilities[edit]

Does anybody know how I could make money from the internet? E.g., ‘Pay per click’, getting paid for ‘every e-message’ I send, and so on. Note that the two quoted are probably the easiest for me… I need to make quick money in a small time… I’ve searched the internet for years, I’ve not found anything as such, whatever I found so far, it is either long to do, less money or untrustworthy. I need help please… -- (SuperGirlsVibrator (talk) 20:07, 26 February 2015 (UTC))

Too many people in third world countries doing it already for peanuts. Try this approach:[6]. On a plus side, you will not be stuck indoor all day and slaving over a hot keyboard. Its all tax free too!--Aspro (talk) 22:29, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Okay, thank you. I’ve saved the link; I’ll view it at the starting of next month… -- (SuperGirlsVibrator (talk) 19:58, 27 February 2015 (UTC))
There's no reliable way to earn a lot of money quickly without much skill or training, online or IRL. It's possible to get lucky, but not easily repeatable. See also Get-rich-quick_scheme#Online_get-rich-quick_schemes. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:09, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I'll read through... Thanks. -- (SuperGirlsVibrator (talk) 19:58, 27 February 2015 (UTC))
You won't make a lot of money fast, but Mechanical Turk is a basically legitimate way to earn some money online. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:34, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

February 27[edit]

February 28[edit]

problem with IDEs[edit]

I was using MySQL,eclipse and apache tomcat server for my java project(I am actually a beginner with IDEs)and had completed few modules.while browsing few days back my antivirus showed a message like this "ATTACK FROM (SOME IP ADDRESS) THROUGH MYSQL VULNERABILITIES".since then I cant open MySQL it shows only mysqladmin and it takes 5-6 steps to view the stored results in the database.earlier I had to just click on the shortcut(a symbol like thunderbolt) in toolbar(I know i really s_ _k at this).the MySQL version is 2.9 and I am using win8. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:33, 28 February 2015 (UTC)


February 24[edit]

Chemical composition of Steam[edit]

If I wanted to know if something was burned by steam , and the residue was carbon , what would the exact chemical composition(formula) be if it was tested , and steam or water was the cause or present , for instance if metal or an alloy was extremely hot and cooled down suddenly and shattered and left a carbon residue and was tested what would the chemical formula be does anyone know ??? or apart from everything else will H2O be present no matter what ?? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:40, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

If carbon residue is left by steam, it wasn't steam, it was smoke. Carbon residue means soot is present, and carbon is not water. Steam is gaseous water (H2O) has no carbon in it. If it leaves carbon, it had carbon to begin with. --Jayron32 12:28, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
You might also want to read about how real-world fire investigation uses forensic evidence to draw conclusions about a catastrophic event. NIST even offers a program on the topic, with several books listed as sources: Disaster and Failure Studies. Nimur (talk) 14:55, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Is there a maximum time limit to a human courtship?[edit]

Courtship explains that in the UK, people court about 2-3 years. This does not mention statistical outliers. In that case, what is the longest human courtship known? 5 years? 10 years? 25 years? 50 years? (talk) 18:47, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

One famous outlier was Michael Winner who married 70-year-old Geraldine Lynton-Edwards when he was 75. They had been courting for 50 years, on and off. Dbfirs 18:56, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Although he apparently had women in his life - including a prior marriage. Hard to count it as a courtship in the circumstances. Collect (talk) 19:10, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
This might be better asked on the Humanities desk. -- LongHairedFop (talk) 19:26, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Collect's comment above along with Dbfirs example sort of hinted at this. I think this question (as with many) is basically impossible to answer, unless you come up with a precise and clear definition of courtship. (Well even then it's probably impossible to answer since it's unlikely to be something recorded.)

Our article uses, "Courtship is the period in a couple's relationship which precedes their engagement and marriage, or establishment of an agreed relationship of a more enduring kind. During courtship, a couple get to know each other and decide if there will be an engagement or other such agreement." It also mentions how courtship practices vary significantly.

Consider the example above, they seem to fit within this definition for the 50 years or so, yet a both Dbfirs and Collect hinted at, many wouldn't count the whole thing as courtship.

Or consider if two people meet as young kids, perhaps they become friends. They stay that way for many years. At some stage they realise they have romantic feelings for each other, and begin a dating. Under the definition used in our article, it would seem you should count the time from when they first met, but I think many would only count around the time they began to realise they have feelings.

Yet that isn't simple either. What happens if only one party initially develops feelings, and it takes a long time and a lot of effort before the other party does likewise (probably most such relationships end in disaster but you did ask for outliers)?

Or if you're taking the looser definition, what about if the couple meet as children and then lose touch for many years? What about if they meet and know each other but have only minimal contact?

As for my earlier point of differing practices, on Collect's point, even if not true for the above case, in some cultures polygamous (mostly polygynyous) marriages are acceptable. In such cases it may be acceptable for one partner to be publicly courting another person while already married. Of course in many cultures, publicly courting multiple woman may be acceptable at least at an early stage.

Our article mentions UK averages and also the earlier point "establishment of an agreed relationship of a more enduring kind". In the UK and some other countries, it isn't exactly uncommon for a couple to start cohabitating before even engagement. Are they still courting then?

It definitely doesn't fit many traditional definitions of courtship, even in these countries. Note in some countries, e.g. NZ such a relationship may have legal implications at some stage perhaps being treated very close to a marriage, but will legally never be a marriage without the formal process. And depending on the couple, the engagement and marriage, while perhaps important, may not be that important. (And also sometimes may only come after many years of cohabiting and describing each other as partner or spouse, kids, basically everything you'd expect in marriage except the certificate, except of course marriages themselves existed long before certificates and there are still plenty of places where it isn't necessary for something to be legally considered a marriage. In fact sometimes they may never get married, see my later point.) Yet if you count the cohabiting as the end of courtship, consider some may jump in to this extremely readily, and perhaps even stop doing it due to relationship problems a few times and not really consider their relationship anything that special at least the first time they are cohabiting.

Also are you only counting successful courtship? In other words, if a couple spend a lot of time together developing a romantic relationship but it ultimately doesn't work out, are you counting this or not? Consider if you require a successful marriage proposal, or even a marriage, you're ruling out for example, a case where a couple a courting and one party plans to propose to the other and the other party basically knows and tells several people close to them (and it's clear they will accept), but one of them dies before this can happen. (Or alternatively one person dies before marriage.)

Nil Einne (talk) 20:08, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

I know a couple who were engaged for more than thirty-five years. They were finally married in summer 2014. Not a dry eye in the house, apparently (I wasn't there myself - don't know them that well). RomanSpa (talk) 23:24, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
The second Google hit on longest courtship is from 1915 and says: "The longest courtship on record ... seventy-five years".[7] PrimeHunter (talk) 23:25, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Note that both RomanSpa's and PrimeHunter's examples further illustrate the point above. In RomanSpa's example, the couple were engaged and I suspect their relationship was not that different before and after marriage, they were simply prevented by the laws of where they lived from being married. While it sounds like their marriage is very important to them and it's rather sad they were forced to wait so long, whether you want to call that period courtship will vary. It doesn't fit the definition from our article (and it would I presume not count in the survey). Conversely many such couples may have never had a formal engagement because they couldn't get married and didn't know when they were going to be able to. Are you going to count one as courtship, and one not, despite the fact the relationships before and after marriage may be similar? In the example mentioned in PrimeHunter's ref, although it calls it courtship, there's mention of how the bridal day was repeatedly deferred and ended up happening when one partner was dying. This suggests there could have been an engagement, or at least there were apparently some sort of specific marriage plans during the courtship. Nil Einne (talk) 16:10, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm suspicious of PrimeHunter's example. It's next to another space-filling item saying that backgammon was invented in 1224, which it wasn't. The same story appears in newspapers as early as 1902, and none of them give the year of the alleged wedding, which is usually not a good sign. -- BenRG (talk) 22:54, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Growing outside the womb[edit]

You know how some species like chickens lay eggs? Well, is it possible to make an artificial "egg" for a human fetus? At birth, will the human fetus have the ability to kick out of the shell? Who will nurture the child when it's born? (talk) 23:04, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Artificial wombs are an appealing idea, but ... let's be realistic. Infant formula, replacing the seemingly simple nutritional recipe of breast milk, is so laughably deficient that many studies have found the babies to lose 5 or 10 points of IQ from the unwholesome substitution. Breast milk isn't even alive and we fall flat on our face trying to replace it. Much the same can be said of blood substitutes; whenever some group of luckless souls becomes the newest victims of the doctrine of "community consent" to some Frankensteinian experiment at the cellular level, double digits more people die than would have died if given normal blood transfusions. Now imagine that instead of trying to replace a mere fluid, you're trying to replace a living human woman, with many endocrine glands, bone marrow, digestive tract, even the occasional inscrutable but likely vital instinctive call for pickles and ice cream, all responding to the pregnancy. This is an idea that will be proposed ten thousand times but never happen. Wnt (talk) 23:14, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Can you point me to at least one study that "found the babies to lose 5 or 10 points of IQ from the unwholesome substitution"? Ruslik_Zero 19:14, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Infant formula#Health risks says: "Some studies have found an association between infant formula and lower cognitive development, including iron supplementation in baby formula being linked to lowered I.Q. and other neurodevelopmental delays; however other studies have found no correlation." You may wish to follow the references given there. -- ToE 16:59, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
What about babies that are breastfed AND cowmilk-fed? Does that decrease IQ? (I was one!) (talk) 23:33, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Neglecting the hyperbole, the answers to your questions are: No, it is not possible to make an artificial "egg" for a human foetus; No, the child will not have the ability to kick out of the shell, because (a) the shell is likely to have to be fairly thick to hold the amniotic fluid in place, and (b) humans do not have that kind of instinctive kick reaction at the moment of birth; No-one will be needed to nurture any children born in such as way, because nobody is going to be born that way any time soon. Despite the previous comment, it is impossible to permanently rule out this technology, but it is unlikely to happen in the near future. A technology of this kind would certainly save lives (pregnancy carries substantial risks for the mother), but is a long way from being developed. RomanSpa (talk) 23:38, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Agreed that just because we can't do it now, that doesn't mean we will never be able to do it. After all, we have artificial bone, teeth, and (temporary) skin. That said, this seems similar to the "living head in a jar" concept we often see in sci fi, which presumably is also a long way off. StuRat (talk) 23:57, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
  • The OP's question is about an egg, not an artificial decantable. The obvious answer is no. No egg could hold enough nutrients, store enough waste, or pass enough oxygen to carry a baby to term. That's why we have placentas and egg-laying animals don't. Consider the size at which marsupial larvae are born. They are so small because they cannot develop any larger with the support an egg can give. Look at newborn monotremes for the limit for mammals, and keep in mind these are small-brained and relatively cold-blooded mammals. 05:46, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
    • As you imply, the different ways that gestation and birth occur across different species are the result of evolutionary adaptation. In order to bring a human embryo to full term outside the womb, be it in some sort of egg or laboratory device, it would be necessary to recreate all the functionality of the uterus during pregnancy. Obviously, this raises various moral and ethical questions. But forgetting that, trying to achieve it successfully would likely prove a daunting task. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:21, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

February 25[edit]

How are contactless credit cards protected against electronic pick-pocketing?[edit]

Couldn't a tech thief adapt a credit card processing machine to collect payments in crowded places?--Senteni (talk) 00:29, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Yes, they certainly could. So a second level of authentication, like a PIN, is needed. StuRat (talk) 06:01, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
But the PIN is only occasionally required, so presumably a lot of small amounts could be collected before a PIN was needed. Presumably the issuers of the cards have some security measures to detect repeated use in unlikely places since they are liable for any money falsely debited, but their ultimate protection is simply to reclaim the money from the authenticated bank account to which money is credited. The fraud wouldn't last long and the perpetrators would be easy to trace through the identification required when they opened the account. Dbfirs 08:38, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
(ec)::The whole point of a contactless transaction is that you don't need a PIN. However, there is a limit of a small number of transactions of less than £20 each day and I suspect the banks have to pay for any that you can show were fraudulent. But there was a possibility of fraud on a larger scale - at least with some of them - although that may have been fixed by now see [8]. Richerman (talk) 08:46, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Not having to slide credit cards through that annoying reader is another advantage. I often have it turned the wrong way, or not quite far enough in, or slide it too slowly or too quickly. StuRat (talk) 14:52, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
The limit will be raised to £30 this year. They are playing it safe. (talk) 09:49, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I also wonder about accidentally charging the wrong card. Consider people packed tightly in line, passing a street vendor and buying hot dogs as they pass. Your credit card may not be any closer to the reader than the next guy in line's credit card. StuRat (talk) 14:55, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
It's contactless in the sense that you don't need to swipe it. You still have to take it out of your pocket and wave it within an inch or so of the reader. The security comes from the fact that the RFID doesn't actually give you the credit card number (which the magnetic strip does, making it susceptible to skimming). So simply using an RFID scanner shouldn't give a thief anything useful. They would need an actual credit card payment terminal (or at least the software) which would presumably mean having to register with the credit card company (they have to know where to deposit the money), which should make spotting fraud rather easy. Mr.Z-man 15:28, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I can think of a couple ways around that:
1) Hack the software.
2) Start some tiny business, say a pretzel stand (if they would even bother to check), and use that to get the scanner software, which you use to charge all the cards you've skimmed. Then withdraw the money as cash, leave town, and repeat the same thing in the next town. (If they have an alert out to not let you get another scanner, just use a bit of identity fraud to change your name each time.) StuRat (talk) 20:06, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Hacking the software won't help. To be able to clone a card and use it, you need the account number, security code, expiration date, and possibly the cardholder's name and billing address. None of that is transmitted through the RFID chip on modern cards. The point of the software is to communicate with the processing network so that the credit card company can process the transaction. Only a portion of that transaction is done client-side on the terminal.
If you're going to go to the extent of #2, why even bother skimming RFID cards when you can just inflate charges on every transaction? It would probably be cheaper to just buy a gun and rob people directly. It doesn't protect against that either and the chances of getting caught are pretty similar. The money isn't deposited instantaneously, there can be a delay of up to a few days. Mr.Z-man 01:02, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
1) You're saying that the info is secure because it's stored on a remote server, but such remote servers have been repeatedly hacked to reveal supposedly secret info before, whether it's account numbers, social security numbers, phone texts, etc.
2) When you think of one individual doing it all, you may be right, but criminal gangs already have people doing all these various parts. StuRat (talk) 22:25, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Are you sure about that? When I tested last year, I was still easily able to get I think the credit card number and possibly expiry date with this Android app [9]. The app details suggests new cards may not send the card holder name and transaction history feature is removed in new cards, but doesn't mention anything about removing the credit card number, nor for that matter expiry date. (These older refs confirm the app isn't lying about what has been transmitted [10] [11].) The card itself was relatively new (like 2014), but I am in NZ so may be a bit behind.
However as I understand it per [12] [13] [14] [15], the payment tokenisation spec was only published last year, it was rolled out in the US due to Apple Pay, but isn't in Europe or most of the world yet. As I understand it, it is the tokenisation process which will replace the transmission of the credit card numbers, even then it's as much to do with protecting terminals and for mobile payments, as protecting the contactless cards themselves from being "skimmed". (As per our contactless smart card article, the use did make contactless smart cards which were basically similar to magnetic stripe devices, but most of the world, and what I'm referring to are cards which are EMV.)
Your later reply above is partially correct. I think one thing which definitely isn't transmitted is the CVV. Or rather a CVV is transmitted, but it's unique to the transaction. And as my post mentioned, possibly the name isn't in some cards either. The CVV and general communication is the other important security as you sort of mentioned too. The problem with skimming on magnetic cards is that you not only can get all the data, you can easily generate a card (clone) which to someone else's system seems the same as a genuine card. So if you're using signatures like in the US people can use this to make rogue transactions in stores etc.
This has two problems from tbe banks POV, one is that antifraud measures are generally reduced for such transactions since they are considered lower risk, the other is that in many cases the bank is the one responsible for fraud in such card present transactions. (If you use PIN, you at least have to work out how to steal the PIN as well, which as shown in places like NZ, is possible but does take more work.)
I'm not disagreeing skimming all the details including CVV is a concern. E.g it can be used for card not present transactions. Hence why stuff such as the Target breach gets attention and why PCI-DSS etc are generally mandatory. But I think also something difficult to protect against, particularly since the details are generally published on the card. (Numberic billing address details are not, but my understand is they're not checked in many places besides the US.) With modern high speed, high definition cameras and good image recognition technologies, it's probably getting to the stage where a strategicly placed camera could capture both sides and the software could identify where the cards are exposed. (Perhaps OCRing them would be a step too far, but if you can reduce the amount of video that has to be scanned, you could easily hire someone in a developing country to steal the numbers for you.) Notably while most would advise you to protect PIN entry, it's rare that you're told to hide the card details, and for some people it may be difficult anyway. Of course even then this is still relatively expensive per card compared to stealing 40 million (or whatever) by breaching a Target's payment systems, but I'm not sure whether hiring someone to go around with a RFIC reader to steal details is much cheaper. (Contactless and modern contact systems often mean the card doesn't have to leave you hand, which is an advantage since you may hide the details even unintenionally and at least the staff can't just put your card in front of a camera.) Stuff like 3-D Secure and other antifraud measures by the bank, and stores (including using third party payment gateways like PayPal with their own security measures) who will take most of the cost for the fraud are likely to be an important part of stopping fraud for for card-not-present for quite a while I suspect.
Nil Einne (talk) 14:29, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Can one get his entire/whole vas deferens removed?[edit]

As in, is it practically possible (for a doctor) to do this?

After all, vasectomies can fail, and thus, I am curious about whether or not it is practically possible to do this. Futurist110 (talk) 04:33, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

No matter how much of it they removed, they would still have to cauterize at each end, and if the cauterization somehow fails at both ends, theoretically some of the wiggly little guys might be able to get through. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:17, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, which, in turn, is why I asked about removing the whole vas deferens, rather than about only removing a part of it. Futurist110 (talk) 21:38, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
And I'm saying no matter how much of it you remove, you still have seal it, and that's where the risk for error comes in. And how would you define precisely where it starts and stops (or vice versa)? Are you talking about removing it all the way into the abdomen? I suppose that would do it. But the work could run into money. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:41, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
If removing it all the way up to the abdomen (I am sorry, but I don't know where exactly the vas deferens starts and stops) is what it takes to do this, then Yes, I am talking about doing that. Futurist110 (talk) 21:54, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm at pretty much the limit of my anecdotal info. Aside from reading the vas deferens article, you should probably contact your urologist and pose this question to him, to get a thorough answer. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:53, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Read first, do no harm. A physician is not going to do an unnecessary and damaging procedure for no reason, unless he's Doctor Robert. Given cutting the duct and cauterizing it works, there's no reason to remove the entire duct, and possibly do seven damage as a result. See also, Michael Jackson for the result of such unnecessary surgeries. μηδείς (talk) 22:54, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
The "first, do no harm" principle might have already been thrown out of the window by some/many doctors who are willing to turn women into Barbie dolls, et cetera. After all, if one follows the "first, do no harm" principle, then one shouldn't perform any elective cosmetic surgeries which carry any risk at all, correct? Also, I would argue that this surgery is necessary due to the fact that regular vasectomies, including with cauterization, can fail, and if a vasectomy fails, then this can certainly result in extremely unpleasant consequences for the male who gets it done. Plus, this is not to mention the possibility of individuals trying to perform surgery themselves and/or trying to get surgery performed in "back-alleys" if they are unable to get these surgeries performed in a safe, medical setting. Futurist110 (talk) 23:52, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Which reminds me that there's a vas deferens between men and women. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:02, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, well you've gotten my point about barbie dolls which I illustrated using Michael Jackson. But you are talking about removing the entirety of two foot-long ductsthat are intimately involved with the testicles, bladder, and prostate. I'll leave it up to you to contact a reputable surgeon and ask his advice on removing the entire duct, and the risks involved. μηδείς (talk) 00:17, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Are there quantum effects having unexpected "memory"?[edit]

For instance: can a piece of information, which apparently got lost because of strong entropy, be recovered / restored - in quantum systems?

In macro-systems, I can hypothetically think about a "magician" who takes a random card out of a deck of cards, then puts it back in the deck, shuffles, and then takes out a random card which turns out to be the first card. Are there similar phenonema in quantum systems? HOOTmag (talk) 10:55, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Not a quantum system, but in a macro-system, a better example than a magician is two cylinders with a thin layer of glycerin between them. Place a drop on ink in the glycerin, rotate one of the cylinders, and the ink disappears. Rotate the cylinders back into place and the ink drop reappears. This happens because the ink didn't evenly distribute itself in the glycerin, but rather was spread out over multiple layers of glycerin, due to laminar flow. StuRat (talk) 15:40, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Quantum entanglement may be relevant. StuRat (talk) 15:44, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
My main purpose, is to inquire whether any quantum effect can overcome the increase in entropy, so I suspect your ink example is irrelevant - because it involves no real increase of entropy. As for quantun entanglement: yes, I'd thought about that, but I couldn't think about hypothetical experiments involving quantum entanglement that are relevant to "preserving memory" (by overcoming the increase of entropy). HOOTmag (talk) 16:51, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
either you should be more specific about what you mean when you say "piece of information " or I would say any actual memory that a person has in their brain would qualify. At the very least any recorded information that is stored on memory devices would qualify. Microprocessors are very small. And probably employ some quantum effects to record memory. (talk) 17:50, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Quantum mechanics, in the basic sense that matter and energy levels are discrete, is an essential foundation to statistical mechanics and the modern understanding of entropy. In that regard, quantum mechanics is at the heart of entropy and what it actually means for a system to become more or less ordered over time. In the spirit of "If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics" (widely attributed to Richard Feynman), I am not sure if there are examples of quantum mechanical systems that would satisfy you. However, I will note that even in the classical formulation, entropy always increases is only a statistical maxim and not an absolute law. Firstly, one can always locally decrease entropy through an expenditure of energy and a willingness to increase entropy elsewhere. Most complex living systems rely on the energy they bring in to maintain their complexity against entropy. Secondly, even in the absence of external energy, spontaneous declines in entropy do and will occur; however, the larger the decrease the more improbable the event. Atoms allowed to wander randomly will sometimes, by mere chance, return to their point of origin. The larger the number of atoms involved the less likely they all return at once, but there is nothing in principle that prevents it. In this sense, the increase of entropy is really a statement that the most probable spontaneous outcome is one that tends to maximize entropy. There is nothing about quantum mechanics that occurs to me that would tend to disagree with that or necessarily lead to magic tricks where one can intentionally reduce global entropy. Dragons flight (talk) 19:30, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure, but I think Ergodic theory and Poincaré_recurrence_theorem are relevant. If you have a box that is half full of air and half full of vacuum at time zero, eventually all the gas will happen to end up where it started, leaving vacuum in the other half (at least in terms of the mathematical model). SemanticMantis (talk) 22:14, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm thinking of quantum entanglement and quantum teleportation. (These effects are less impressive than they sound, but basically they amount to information seeming to disappear yet being interrogable somewhere else) Wnt (talk) 19:34, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
@HOOTmag: the more I think about it, the more I think your question is precisely addressed by the Poincaré_recurrence_theorem#Quantum_mechanical_version - information can be lost due to entropy and other fluctuations, but still sort of spontaneously re-emerge. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:35, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

question (optics)[edit]

is F=R/2 is applicable in lenses — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:25, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

I added to the title to make it actually useful. StuRat (talk) 14:46, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Assuming he's referring to the focal length of a spherically curved mirror, Wikipedia's article titled Focal length contains all the information one needs to calculate the focal length of various lenses and mirrors. --Jayron32 15:31, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Looks like a variation on the Lensmaker's equation, for certain combinations of lense geometry (only one "R", so both faces have same curvature or else one face is planar) and certain types of materials (some unstated "n" optical density). DMacks (talk) 15:34, 25 February 2015 (UTC)


How many classes there are in Kingdom Animalia?-- (talk) 19:29, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

List of animal classes says roughly 108 classes in 34 phyla, though with the caveat that different authorities give slightly different classification schemes and hence the exact number of classes is somewhat ambiguous. Dragons flight (talk) 19:33, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Physics: Gravitational Fields[edit]

Calculate the total energy of a communication satellite of mass 100kg in a stable circular orbit with a time period of 25 hr.

i have managed all the questions in the book but the question above is giving me problem, i keep getting the wrong answer and there are no solutions in the book.

I know that total energy = 1/2mv^2 + (-GMm)/r^2 Period(T)= (24 * 60^2) i have used this to find the radius = 1.03

if i could get some guidance or a clue on how to approach this it will help a lot. -Thanks86.183.65.110 (talk) 23:17, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

A few suggestions:
  1. Keep better track of units. You found a radius of 1.03 whats? Is that a number that makes sense?
  2. You have a 25-hour period in the problem statement, and a 24-hour period in your calculation. One of them must be incorrect.
  3. You appear to be mixing up the force of gravitational attraction (with r^2 in the denominator) with gravitational potential energy (with r^1 in the denominator).
If you check the units in your calculation, you will see that you're adding together two things with different dimensions -- one is an energy and one is a force. Make a habit of carrying units through the entire calculation so that you can easily check your work and spot this type of mistake. --Amble (talk) 23:26, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
What Amble said above is very good advice. You are right that the first step is finding the radius of the orbit. If you haven't already, maybe it's a good idea checking out Kepler's laws of planetary motion for this. - Lindert (talk) 23:43, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
If you use Google Calculator, WolframAlpha, or the units program, they will do the dimensional analysis for you, and show if you've used the wrong power somewhere. LongHairedFop (talk) 13:39, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

February 26[edit]

Genetics: Focal amplification[edit]

What does focal amplification mean?

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Blue down quark (talkcontribs) 00:20, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

In genetics, "foci" (plural of focus) are specific genes. Amplification is a type of gene duplication that causes the gene to overexpress itself. The term is usually used in reference to cancer cells; cancer is basically a somatic cell which is reproducing like crazy, and many common types of cancer are linked to specific sorts of gene amplifications. See Gene duplication, Gene expression which have some explanations of these concepts. Focal amplification just means a specific amplification of a specific gene. --Jayron32 01:18, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
We ought to have an article on gene amplification; what happens with something like MYC (or DHFR, in a different context) is far beyond what you usually think of as "duplication", because there's a process of natural selection for increased numbers of copies, and the presence of arrays of identical DNA may tend to make it easier for further changes in copy number to occur. Wnt (talk) 19:29, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Spectral sensitivity[edit]

What optical spectral sensitivity is been more high, of the human eyes or optical (magnetic-optical) devices, and why?-- (talk) 05:10, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Considering that we have cameras that can see ultraviolet, infrared, at night, and a single photon, I'd have to say the machines beat the human eye. On the other hand, the human eye has the advantage of being connected to the optical processing center of the human brain, which can do amazing things that computers still have trouble doing. StuRat (talk) 05:21, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks a lot! Any optical medium at first and foremost is always been magnetic environment, so I thinking that the conductivity of electric current of the magnetic environment is always been determines any spectral sensitivity, is I’m right?-- (talk) 06:46, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
So, I’m think that the conductivity of electric current, which is always been Ampere Force, is always been determining any spectral sensitivity of optical mediums. Is it right?-- (talk) 07:16, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I came to the conclusion that in any cases, the physical phenomenon of the photoelectric effect which been discovered by Albert Einstein, is always been observing in all optics. Is it right?-- (talk) 08:08, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
So that’s, the all Laws of mechanics (optical mechanics) of the Isaac Newton are always been right, because the phenomenon (phenomena) of the photoelectric effect of Albert Einstein is always been observing in all optics.-- (talk) 09:26, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Thus this, I concluding that Ampere Force always been determining all properties of optics, which always including (optical) properties of quantum mechanics (quantum physics). Is it been right, so?-- (talk) 11:51, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't think optics necessarily has anything to do with electricity or magnetism. Film cameras existed for over a hundred years before digital photography. StuRat (talk) 15:47, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Did the laws of mechanics are been identical to the laws of other sections of physics?[edit]

Did the laws of mechanics been identical to the laws of other sections of physics, if the Law of conservation of energy is always been universal, that is be, if some of physico-mathematical values of mechanics is always been directly proportional to the same (identical) physico-mathematical values of other sections of physics?-- (talk) 14:15, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Please try to ask this question on a Wikipedia reference desk or other question-answering website in your own native language. Your English usage is so poor, that it's almost impossible to even understand your questions, and I have doubts that your English language comprehension is good enough to understand our answers fully, if we were to give them. Really, there are smart people in whatever language you grew up speaking. Seeking them out and asking them questions would be better for everyone involved. --Jayron32 15:21, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I've known native English-speakers to ask similarly baffling questions. —Tamfang (talk) 09:45, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
There is an interdisciplinary approach to engineering that looks at the similarity in how mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, and pneumatic systems work (is it called systems engineering ?). For example, an electrical transformer has a mechanic equivalent in a lever. StuRat (talk) 15:53, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I meaning that in physics, for example, the value of mechanical work is always been equivalent to the value of work of electric current, isn't it?-- (talk) 16:14, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
And so also, electric power (Watt's) is always been identical to mechanical power (Watt's), and so on.-- (talk) 16:24, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, they are the same watts. Other "equivalents" are less clearly defined. You might be interested in articles such as Hydraulic analogy. Dbfirs 22:26, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Your English would be easier to read, Alex, if you completely avoid the word "been" (though just occasionally you might need it e.g. for Uses of English verb forms#Been_and_gone). Dbfirs 22:33, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Oh don't be such a been-counter. - ¡Ouch! (hurt me / more pain) 12:00, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I have repeatedly advised this guy to brush up his English, to no avail. It's getting wearisome. I fear an improvement in his English might reveal just how bad his physics is, though. He's allegedly banned from Russian Wikipedia already. AlexTiefling (talk) 00:21, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks a lot for all! Ultimately, in all sections of physics (in all physics) are been existed only the same (identical) mechanical movements which are been existing in mechanics (mechanics of Isaac Newton).-- (talk) 10:01, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
If according to the mathematical version of the Law of conservation of energy, the energy potential is always been proportional by the physico-mathematical units which expressed it, so then what is being the mechanical potential of energy (energy of mechanics)?-- (talk) 12:35, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
42. AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:14, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
It is worth considering why physics and chemistry for explain the physical and chemical phenomena used the mathematical theory which had not been proved by applied (practical) ways, this been leads to a false theory of physics and chemistry.-- (talk) 13:56, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Colonel Mustard, in the library, with the lead pipe. AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:36, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Free access to education (reliable educational information), that is no secrets to the reliableness (authenticity) of educational information is always being the key to the success of any society - humanity.-- (talk) 15:12, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Mersey Docks and Harbour Board... AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:28, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Mairsey Doats and Lambsey Doats? μηδείς (talk) 19:02, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Dozy doats. Lambzy divey. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:11, February 27, 2015 (UTC)
Citations needed. ―Mandruss  19:19, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Absolute truth. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:13, February 27, 2015 (UTC)


Are all dinosaurs canivore in this superfamily?-- (talk) 14:17, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

According to to Benson et al 2010 (see ref in article you linked to) almost all large-bodied predators belong to either Megalosauroidea or Allosauroidea after the Middle Jurassic. So not even all large-bodied carnivores were in that superfamily - this doesn't cover any small-bodied carnivores or any carnivores before the Middle Jurassic. Mikenorton (talk) 14:47, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I read the OP's question as being equivalent to "Were any Megalosauroidea not carnivores." Sadly, I don't know the answer. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 14:55, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
yes;I mean if all species belonging to this superfamily are carbivore.-- (talk) 15:01, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Are humans instinctively able to ensure that the phallus goes into the correct orifice for successful mating?[edit]

I am not sure if the penis-vagina intercourse is supposed to be instinctive. Do men guide their penises with their hands during sexual intercourse, or do they allow their penises to become erect by themselves? I mean, I've seen a dog mating with another dog, and the male dog does not seem to care where the penis is. Is this what goes on in the human mating process? (talk) 15:22, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Data would indicate that successful mating has occurred in the human species. I don't feel the need to link to anything, as you and I are here, which is evidence enough that it works. --Jayron32 15:37, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
That just proves that mating occurs, not that it's instinctive. In other animals, they likely just watch older animals to learn how. But, since people mate differently (usually face-to-face) and in private, watching other humans may not have historically been possible. With the advent of widespread porn, it now is. Sex education is another way to learn. And, of course, it's only the case of two virgins where not knowing the mechanics might be an issue. But, given enough time, I'd expect two virgins with absolutely no knowledge of sex would eventually figure it out on their own. StuRat (talk) 15:43, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
As to your last statement, the fact that we're all still here means that humans can successfully mate, even if they weren't taught how to by porn or formal sexual education. Those things have only existed for a tiny fraction of humans for a tiny fraction of history. And we made it through thousands of years of human history before we got to the point where porn and sex ed classes existed. That's evidence enough that people have figured out, all on their own, how to put tab A in slot B. --Jayron32 15:46, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
If you go back far enough, adults wouldn't have had sex in private (before there were houses with individual rooms, doing so would have been difficult), so children would have learned that way. StuRat (talk) 15:58, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
So, do men hold the penis or not during copulation? (talk) 15:50, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm sure some do and some don't. There's lots of ways to have sex in the world, and it's all probably happening right now. If you can think of it, people have done it. --Jayron32 15:51, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
So, humans don't have an evolved method? (talk) 16:01, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Well, the human vagina is part of evolution, you might like this article on the evolution of the mammalian vagina [16]. Humans do tend to have sex a bit differently (and with more variation in positioning) than other primates [17], in part due to differences in angles and hip structure. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:46, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I found the article about sex positioning very informative, SemanticMantis. In addition, I have read that the female can become impregnated without penetration at all, as long as the semen is somewhere close. So, this may give some hope to those who can't seem to conceive. (talk) 17:28, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Do humans have to take off their clothes during sexual intercourse? (talk) 17:36, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Only the relevant bits of clothing. I get the impression people might have left more clothing on in the olden days, when taking off all a women's clothes could take an hour (this might also explain the bodice ripper stereotype of tearing off the woman's clothes in a fit of passion). Also, when it's cold, people might tend to keep more clothes on. StuRat (talk) 17:56, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
For example, see Temple garment. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:59, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
If you stop and think about it, only a virgin and/or a resident of central Ohio would be asking all these questions sincerely. (As in "Nudge-nudge, wink-wink... What's it like?") ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:47, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
No, the occurrence of instinctive behavior in humans is a serious, and extensively debated, issue. The sad part is that, due to certain ethics impediments where it comes to raising babies in isolation cells, we really don't have any good experimental methods to use to get to the truth of it. But we do know that when making, say, germ-free mice in a way that involves separation from their non germ free parents, they seem able to figure it out. Wnt (talk) 19:41, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Didn't The Blue Lagoon (1980 film) adequately explain the matter? Jim.henderson (talk) 19:49, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Never hurts to bone up. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:12, February 27, 2015 (UTC)
(Edit Conflicts) While I can't point you to specific references right now, I can tell you that that I once attended a talk given by someone who, amongst other things, provided counselling to couples (in the USA, I believe Texas) who had failed to have children. She asserted that in a significant percentage (at least 10%, but I can't recall precisely) of these cases, questioning established that the couples involved had not, in fact, been having sex involving penile penetration of the vagina, because they had never received sufficiently specific advice in the matter. The unsuccessful targets involved included between the thighs (most commonly), the navel, and in at least one instance the urethra.
This suggests that the necessary manoeuvres of sexual intercourse (as opposed to the general desires) are not instinctive in humans. Regarding your observations of dogs, I also know, from conversations with dog breeders, that inexperienced male dogs not infrequently need physical guidance: dogs are of course domesticated, and some biologists argue that humans can be regarded as self-domesticated, which might be of some relevance. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 20:03, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
So, really, conception is a matter of trial and error. Since it's easy to miss the target, this may also explain the prevalence of anal sex and the replacement of the opposite-sex partner with a same-sex partner. (talk) 22:04, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
That reminds me of the story of a couple that had been married for several years but without children. When asked, the husband said, "Well, we've tried, but she never can seem to swallow that stuff." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:21, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
The urge to embrace seems to me to be pretty universal, and everything else leads on from there, and you only need to get it approximately right to reproduce, if you do it enough times. The alignment of anatomy means that PIV sex is quite a lot easier than the alternatives. 100% success is not necessary to propagate the species, as not everyone needs to reproduce for the species to survive. -- The Anome (talk) 20:26, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I'll just point out that historically, brother-sister incest has happened and produced babies. Certain body parts smell good, and rubbing them together is pleasurable. I can't think of any famous child incest cases, but of course we know it does occur, otherwise it wouldn't be necessary to segregate pubescent children who haven't been given explicit instructions on producing babies. μηδείς (talk) 22:45, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
weird question that sounds like it's coming from a person that doesn't realize there is another person involved that also has instincts. --DHeyward (talk) 00:30, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
That's if the other person involved realizes the weird person is involved. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:16, February 27, 2015 (UTC)

Buried by time[edit]

Might be a silly question. When archeologists dig ground to uncover ancient settlements or other artifacts of ancient societies they have to remove a few feet of dirt and other material. The same is true for paleantology. Where does this matter come from? Thanks, --AboutFace 22 (talk) 16:57, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

It's not a silly question at all, but rather a fascinating and important one. The best articles to look at are Law of Superposition, Stratigraphy (archaeology), and tell. They come from layers of sediment that build up over time. You can sort of think of them as being like rings in a tree. They help us to date stuff and determine how different pieces of material evidence relate to each other. We also have times when people have put modern top soil over a site (which is as annoying as it sounds). We don't always have to dig deep though, sometimes things are close to or on the surface and we just have to remove an inch or two of top soil and then we get to the good stuff. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 7 Adar 5775 17:04, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

There's some useful information about a specific and accelerated type of this phenomenon at Tell (which I personally think should be spelled 'tel', but what do I know). --Dweller (talk) 17:13, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Both are correct spellings. Tel is a Hebrew transliteration, whereas Tell is an Arabic one. They're used interchangeably in archaeological publications and it's not uncommon to see both spellings in the same article. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 7 Adar 5775 17:16, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I never could tel. --Dweller (talk) 17:27, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
There's also material placed there by later generations of people. In many cases, they build a structure on top of an old one. At other times, it's a trash heap, with pieces of broken pottery and food residue (with seeds, bones and shells still remaining). Then there's human excrement, which turns into dirt. StuRat (talk) 17:32, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
The articles linked above don't really answer the question. I think this tells you a lot more. It's things like: decayed vegetation (especially leaves), wind-blown soil, sand and other debris, silt washed from higher ground during floods, volcanic ash etc. etc. Richerman (talk) 18:20, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Yep, a mixture of excrement and melted mudbrick in some cases. Often we lick bones to determine if they are in fact bones (if your tongue sticks it's probably bone or pottery) and try not to think about the excrement aspect. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 7 Adar 5775 18:46, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
In the case of tells, it's also melted and decayed mudbrick. The thing is we're also talking about different types of sites here. I'm referring to cities built on tells that range from Bulgaria to the Punjab which have little vegetation initially, and I think what you're referring to is more European sites. I think we both might be forgetting that there's a lot of variability in archaeological sites. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 7 Adar 5775 18:46, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Depending on the site, and at risk of stating the obvious, the "stuff" comes from other places. It gets to the site via Aeolian_processes#Transport, and Fluvial processes, and also a tiny bit from things like animal transport (e.g. zoochory and excrement). SemanticMantis (talk) 19:05, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
If you were referring to my use of stuff in your quotes, in both cases my use would encompass finds such as material remains, architecture, coprolites (fossilised poop, which smells like chocolate oddly enough), faunal remains (animal remains), flora, etc. so it's easier to say stuff, haha. One of the problems with discussing your own field is that you sometimes forget to specify terms that would seem obvious to you, but aren't to others as you're far too used to them. The end result is that you cause more confusion than clarification... Also, I realised I directed this topic away from palaeontology. Sorry about that. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 7 Adar 5775 19:40, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, I just meant the same stuff you did. Whether it's soil, plant, animal matter, etc, the stuff gets their mainly by aeolian and fluvial processes, with a bit of animal (including human) transport mixed in. SemanticMantis (talk) 22:13, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Though in the case of tells, it's mostly human activity (building, filling, warfare that destroys the city) and rain. James Mellaart found the latter out the hard way when he was excavating Çatalhöyük and the mudbrick walls of the areas he had excavated started to melt during the winter (destroying some lovely bull murals in the process). They built shelters after that. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 8 Adar 5775 00:31, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Also, the traces that archaeologists find often started off underground anyway; it's often only the foundations of a building that survive. In the UK, it was common for later generations to recycle the stones and bricks from older structures, sometimes digging them out right down to the footings, leaving only a robber trench. Alansplodge (talk) 14:32, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Charles Darwin had other ideas on this question; see his The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms --catslash (talk) 18:49, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Not just the UK. This is common practice everywhere, and not just in buried archaeological sites. The Pyramids of Giza look as they do today because of limestone being robbed off them in the construction of Cairo, and I think it's not uncommon for churches in Italy to have bits and pieces of old Roman temples. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 9 Adar 5775 02:24, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

If whales were fish[edit]

"Fish" in the modern, scientific sense (Osteichthyes, or Pisces if you want to be old-fashioned) in a paraphyletic group, because it excludes tetrapods.

How would you describe, taxonomically, the pre-modern definition of "fish" that included cetaceans?

Is it polyphyletic? The acticle on Polyphyly gives two definitions, the first of which would apply to "Pisces + Cetacea" ("phenotypes which have converged or reverted so as to appear to be the same but which have not been inherited from common ancestors").

The second definition ("multiple ancestral sources") doesn't though, as the most recent common ancestor of fish and whales was also fish. How then, if you use this definition, would/could you describe to the group "Pisces + Cetacea"? Iapetus (talk) 17:12, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

If a large-prey eating whale (an orca) was a fish, it would be a shark (most kinds). If a filter feeding whale was a fish, it would be a whale shark. The only type of whale which (I believe) lacks a shark equivalent seems to be the group that scoops up large quantities of fish in a mouthful. StuRat (talk) 17:44, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I would just call pre-modern "fish" (i.e. Pisces + Cetacea) a polyphyletic grouping and call it a day. Nobody is going to say that you're wrong, and if pressed, yo can explain. Really, Pisces + Cetacea is about the same as nocturnal primates, the example of poyphyly given in the article - because a dolphin and a tuna both swim, but the dolphin has plenty of ancestors that didn't swim. Also, while the MRCA of Pisces and Cetacea may well be a pre-modern "fish", I don't think that really matters in terms of the cladistics, because the whole point is that this grouping is not a clade. You might be interested in the recent phylogeny described at Sarcopterygii#Phylogeny. If you like, you can consider your group polyphyletic and paraphyletic, the latter since we can form pre-modern fish by lopping off several monophyletic chunks from the clade formed by the MRCA of Pisces and Cetaceans...
The main point is, unless you're speaking at a technical conference for systematists or something, polyphyletic is a fine label. If you are presenting at a technical conference for systematists, ask your colleagues or advisers, because they surely know more than us :) SemanticMantis (talk) 18:58, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I'd go with "fish" (old sense) being a habit (biology). It seems a bit odd to put it like that, mostly because the actual uses as given in the article are more specific and, well, technical-sounding. Wnt (talk) 19:19, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
But a habit isn't a grouping, it's a concept (e.g. a behavior, growth form, etc). Looking at the definition of polyphyly given in monophyly, pre-modern fish are definitely polyphyletic, because the cetaceans did not inherit their swimming habit from a common ancestor with Pisces. Probably the definition in polyphyly should be subtly changed to match the language in monophyly. Another option would be to say that pre-modern fish are a type, just as the modern sense of fish is, as explained in that article. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:31, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • There's also the question of who's doing the classifying PIE has various fish words, and *(s)kwalos means shark and whale in various dialects. The *peisk- root is believed to be related to a word for spotted, referring to species like the trout. *dhghu- (ichthys in Greek) seems to be a more general term with a wider Eurasiatic etymology.
"Fish" in the biblical sense basically refers to any sea creature, including turtles, crabs, etc. There, kosher law defines only fish with scales and fins to be edible. The whale and the crab might be fish in this sense, but lacking scales they are not kosher. Sea turtles actually do have scales and fins, and at least for Catholics they were edible on Fridays as "fish" when normal meat was forbidden.
Any sort of scientific taxonomy is a relatively recent innovation. Herman Melville wrote the best part of a whole chapter in Moby-Dick, debating whether a whale was a fish or a mammal. He decided in the end that it was definitely a fish. Alansplodge (talk) 14:51, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Point taken, but Linnaean_taxonomy predates Moby Dick by over 100 the 1758 edition of Systema_Naturae, Linnaeus had placed whales in Mammalia. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:24, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Biologicaly, the most recent group including at least some fish and the whale is the Sarcopterygii, which also includes lungfish and the Coelacanth. μηδείς (talk) 02:37, 27 February 2015 (UTC)±

Pronunciation of "agRP"[edit]

I'm making a video and I need to know how to pronounce the abbreviation for agouti-related protein (i.e., "agRP"). In the video, I also talk about POMC, CART, and NPY, and I'm only using the abbreviations. I tried to find a pronunciation on Google, but somehow Google didn't know what I meant. I would appreciate any suggestions. (talk) 18:01, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

This is just of the top of my head: Over reliance on abbreviations can be sometimes be a problem when spoken. If you pronounce it əˈɡuːti RP , (or agoo tee RP) then people in that discipline (which you are addressing in the English speaking World) will understand perfectly. [18] Agrp is not a memorable sound in English regardless of how it is pronounced. It sounds too much like Klingon (my apologies to any Klingon readers here – I think you language is wonderful – when spoken on your own planet!). Keep your language clear, simple and unambiguous. Reliance on abreviations requires the listener to realize that this is not a word but an abbreviation.... and then.... remember what it stands for. As a communicator, one should short cut that extra brain-work in order to keep one audience’s attention. I learnt this when I studied Industrial Communications.--Aspro (talk) 18:33, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Using an abbreviation without ever defining it seems like a bad idea to me. When people want to pronounce things like agRP, they usually insert a schwa. So something like /agərp/ or /agrəp/ might work. But I have to wonder how you know what these things are without ever having heard someone else talk about them... SemanticMantis (talk) 18:40, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
You have it the nail on the head of what I'm saying. I became an expert in instrumentation and other things once; much of what I knew came from text books, research papers etc. When I had first found I had to talk to a audience (managers and the CEO) I was lost for how to say the abbreviations - I'd never heard many of them voiced. In these instances, one needs to take a step back and talk in the clearest prose and vocabulary as possible. In print, one can quickly scan back to find out what an abbreviation means but in a verbal presentation one has to carry the whole audience along with you – all at the same time. If they have trouble following your presentation, it is not because they are stupid (some had enough degrees to get a job as a laboratory thermometer) but it due to one's lack of speaking in a vernacular that they understand and can comprehend.
I'm puzzled why you don't just say it as it's written, ag R P, in three syllables/letters, as everybody else does. (talk) 18:57, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
AG is the root. AG can stand for other things as well. Too much brain work involved to just say AGRP.--Aspro (talk) 19:06, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I would go with just spelling out A G R P; I'd avoid splitting between a full name (agouti) and an acronym (RP) unless RP were some sort of "action" done to agouti, which isn't the case. Even then you wouldn't usually mix and match (not "estrogen R" or "E receptor", not "IRF-4 BP" or "I binding protein") though I imagine you could find a counterexample with enough looking. Wnt (talk) 19:16, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
In this 2011 Youtube video, Richard Palmiter from the Allen Institute for Brain Science pronounces each letter individually, saying A G R P neurons. --NorwegianBlue talk 19:21, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for all of your ideas! (talk) 20:30, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

If I was making a presentation, I would probably just say the full name, "agouti-related protein". That's just about as easy as reciting the initials. If I needed something shorter, I would probably say "agouti" unless that's ambiguous, and explain it the first time I did it. In any case the main thing to remember is that your goal is to be understood by your audience, not to be formally correct. Looie496 (talk) 15:06, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Name of a tree in Miami[edit]

Here's a picture of a tree in Miami, Florida:

What is the name of this tree? This may be too easy for those who live there, but I don't have such trees near where I live. (Never mind the squirrel on photo.) -- (talk) 21:10, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Maybe a gumbo tree? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:19, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

No idea

  • It's very hard to tell without seeing the leaves, flowers or fruit. American sycamores and eucalyptus have bark that peels in this way, but from what you can tell the leaves are not like eucalyptus and the growth form of the trunk is unusual for the very upright and tall sycamore. μηδείς (talk) 00:10, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
    • Could also be really large crepe myrtles. Again, without leaves or flowers, or the like, we're just throwing darts blind, though. --Jayron32 02:13, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Bird identifciation[edit]

My parents' birdfeeder has drawn that attention of some large black passerine birds, presumably corvids. They are as long as crows, but not so robust. Strangely, they look like Brown-headed cowbirds in reverse. Their heads are black with a strong navy blue sheen, and the shoulders of their wings have a bronze highlight. So the contrast is not a striking as the cowbird, but the blue and bronze on black is quite clear.

I've read List of birds of New Jersey and the bird is not included, presumably it is a transient. Any suggestions as to the identification? Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 22:39, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

You know the common grackle, right? That's what it sounds like, but it's a very common bird, and resident to NJ year round... Boat-tailed grackle would be very distinctive with the long tail. What type of feeder are they using, how many do you see at once? Are they otherwise foraging on the ground? Any note on eye, beak, or leg color? SemanticMantis (talk) 22:45, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
No, actually I knew of the name and had seen the birds very rarely, but as I have mentioned earlier, the birdfeeder my mother got for Christmas 2013 has been so successful we have seen dozens of species. I am fairly sure it is indeed the common grackle, however, thanks. μηδείς (talk) 00:03, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

February 27[edit]

NASA's beautiful new denoising algorithm[edit]

Anyone seen [19] [20]? Titan has never looked so good. It traces back to [21] which is locked up. Do we have any good (and hopefully more approachable) explanation to what the algorithm is? Specifically, I'm wondering if it could work on pre-existing immunofluorescence images and the like. Wnt (talk) 02:34, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

A horribly formatted draft of the JGR article can be downloaded here (found using Google Scholar). It cites "A non-local algorithm for image denoising" by Buades et al., which can be downloaded here. The latter paper says "the denoised value at x is a mean of the values of all points whose gaussian neighborhood looks like the neighborhood of x"—in other words they are blending together similar-looking regions of the image to reduce noise. This seems similar to advanced upscaling algorithms like Genuine Fractals™ that use the image itself as a codebook. It strikes me as very dangerous to use this kind of algorithm as a prelude to image analysis, as these authors do, since there's a good chance that the details it "reveals" are not really there. -- BenRG (talk) 06:21, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
BenRG describes a bilateral filter, or an enhancement along those lines. Nimur (talk) 15:36, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't know the terminology, but that appears to be different as it only averages nearby pixels. I should have linked non-local means, which is a term used by Buades et al. (You already linked it below.) -- BenRG (talk) 21:16, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
On close inspection, I see that you are correct. The key word that I overlooked is "all", as in a mean of the values of all points whose gaussian neighborhood looks like the neighborhood of x". A bilateral filter operates similarly but only considers points within a specified radius. Nimur (talk) 21:42, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
It's actually quite easy to design your own denoising algorithm with a performance that is far better than anything that is implemented in standard software. I use my own algorithms on my raw picture files which yields far better results than the in-camera noise reduction or anything that photoshop has to offer. Basically, what I do is I use a model for the a priori probability distribution of the set of grey values of the pixels in the picture (the prior probability of a picture in the absense of noise). The parameters describing that model will behave in a certain way under scaling, which allows me to estimate these. Then I have a good model for the noise which includes correlations and outliers. I can then solve for the most probable picture iteratively starting with an approximate guess. That guess is obtained by eliminating the outliers in some simple way (e.g. local median) and approximating the noise + picture model by a Gaussian model, allowing one to use Fourier transform methods to get to an approximate solution. Then this is the first approximation that can be improved iteratively.
On a fast pc, denoising properly takes a long time (hours, not minutes) and it requires quite a lot of preliminary calculations to do the model estimation before you can run the program. E.g. the point spread function should be specified, it matters if you specify the picture as perfectly sharp or if the point spread function is more spread out and the picture is not sharp at the level of the pixels. And, of course, when you are done you need to do the demosaicing and the transforms to e.g. SRGB colorspace before you have a picture, but the results are worth it. Count Iblis (talk) 14:00, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Count Iblis describes a non-local means estimator, e.g. a spectral estimation filter or an iterated statistical estimator an enhancement along those themes. This is a statistical signal processing method.
It does not necessarily require hours to compute one of these, in its most basic form; but if you are iterating for the purpose of optimizing some kind of model fit, you can iterate as long as you wish. If you have an incredibly elaborate model, each iteration could take a very long time.
Nimur (talk) 15:33, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
What Count Iblis described doesn't sound much like what's described in the non-local means article. -- BenRG (talk) 21:16, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
A more sophisticated denoising algorithm can make images look subjectively better, but no algorithm can recover the actual detail that was lost to the noise. That information is not present in the noisy image and can only be guessed. More sophisticated algorithms make it less obvious which features of the output were guessed, which is good if the goal is a good-looking image, but bad if the goal is scientific analysis (which is what Wnt was asking about, I think). -- BenRG (talk) 21:16, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Wnt, you should definitely find a way to read this article, which was published in IEEE Signal Processing about two years ago: A Tour Of Modern Image Processing. Nimur (talk) 15:43, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Latex gloves[edit]

Do latex gloves go through a water test like condoms? And are latex gloves equally permeable? (talk) 04:06, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Yes, the gloves that are used for sterile surgical procedures or for handling hazardous material go through a water test. I don't know about permeability. See Looie496 (talk) 14:49, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Physics: How can any black hole move?[edit]

Give reference please! A. MohammadZade Iran -- (talk) 06:44, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Fixed the formatting. -- (talk) 17:39, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
As per our article, "there is no observable difference between the gravitational field of such a black hole and that of any other spherical object of the same mass". Presumably they would therefore interact with spacetime the same as any other object except within the event horizon. In other words, they move the same as anything else. Remember, black holes aren't vacuums; if our sun were magically replaced with one of the same mass, it would get dark and cold on Earth, but that's pretty much the only difference, gravitationally speaking. Our orbit wouldn't change. Mingmingla (talk) 06:59, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Equatorial bulge and viewing distant objects[edit]

Since the Earth has an equatorial bulge where the Earth's curvature is at its greatest and the poles are the flattest points of the Earth's curvature, does that mean that we get to see things at greater distances at the poles than in the equator, especially when looking from North to South and vise versa? Let's say we are standing at the North Pole and there is a ship 5 miles away that we can barely see because of the distance. Only its masts are visible because of the Earth's curvature. Then, let's say we and the ship go near the equator and the same expanse and visibility are as clear as when we stood at the North Pole and the same ship is there at exactly at the same distance, will the ship be seen just as barely as it was in the North Pole, or will the whole ship be out of sight because it will be hidden under the Earth's curvature due to the equatorial bulge? Has such experiment ever been done near the poles and then near the equator? Willminator (talk) 06:58, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

I'm having a surprisingly hard time finding a reference for this. Earth bulge#Distance to horizon (bulge has a different meaning here) and Horizon#Distance to the horizon both seem to deal only with a spherical Earth, as, I was amazed to discover, does Bowditch. Online I found this Distance to the Horizon university page which at least mentions that "Numerically, the radius of the Earth varies a little with latitude and direction; but a typical value is 6378 km (about 3963 miles)." and proceeds from there with a spherical Earth.
My impression from this is that the difference must not be significant, but let's try a calculation. Note that we are interested in the radius of curvature, not the actual distance to the center of the Earth. Earth radius#Radii of curvature just says to see Spheroid#Curvature, and that's more math than I wish to deal with at the moment. Assuming that the radius of curvature along a meridian at the equator is about equal to the semi-major axis at the pole and vice-versa, then the distances to the horizon should differ by about 1 part in 600 because the flattening of the Earth is about 1 part in 300 and there is square root in the formula in Horizon#Geometrical model. (sqrt(1-x) ≈ 1 - x/2 for small x.) But Horizon#Effect of atmospheric refraction says that with standard atmospheric conditions, refraction adds about 8% to the value calculated from the geometric model, and in unusual atmospheric conditions the distance to the horizon will vary by much more than the 0.17% difference we get from the varying geometric model from equator to pole.
So yes, it differs, but not enough to be noticeable. Sorry that I can't find any good references here. -- ToE 10:00, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
My assumption regarding the radii of curvature was a poor one as it significantly underestimates the difference in the radius of curvature along a meridian from equator to pole. Radius of curvature (mathematics)#Ellipses tells me that with a flattening of 1 part in 300, the two radii of curvature will vary by 1 part in 100. Thus the distance to the horizon from our geometric model will vary by 0.5%. This is still small compared to effects of unusual atmospheric conditions. -- ToE 10:20, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Left open is the question of whether this has ever been observed experimentally. Perhaps, instead of taking separate measurements at equator and pole, it would be best to conduct such an experiment only at the equator, where the radius of curvature along the equator is 2 parts in 300 greater than the radius of curvature along a meridian. This yields a 0.33% difference in the calculated distance to the horizon. I suspect that during periods of settled weather the atmosphere would be sufficiently azimuthally isotropic for this difference to be detectable. -- ToE 10:39, 27 February 2015 (UTC) I'm 12.5°N. If only the seas were calmer and I had two equally nerdy friends with sailboats.
If Earth is approximated as an oblate spheroid (with no atmosphere), possibly the easiest way to calculate this is to first calculate the horizon for a sphere whose radius equals Earth's equatorial radius, and then scale z\mapsto (1-f)z where f is the flattening ratio. It follows that the horizon on an oblate spheroid is elliptical regardless of location, and that at the equator the straight-line distance between the northern and southern horizons is equal to 1−f times the straight-line distance between the eastern and western horizons, or 0.33% smaller on Earth, which agrees with ToE's calculation. At the pole you have to start with a height that's 1/(1−f) larger in order to have the correct height after rescaling z, and since the horizon distance goes roughly as the square root of the height, and rescaling z doesn't rescale the horizon in this case, the distance should be roughly 0.17% larger than the east-west distance at the equator, or 0.5% larger than the north-south distance at the equator. By a slightly different argument, it's 0.33% larger than the distance on a sphere with a radius equal to Earth's polar radius. -- BenRG (talk) 22:18, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
We might also want to consider that it's generally colder at the poles, which means that the air is denser - which (presumably) alters the refractive index. The effect may be a small one - but the curvature effect is also it's hard to estimate. SteveBaker (talk) 06:27, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Is there a scientific consensus on how long people who existed the Stone Age lived?[edit]

Is there a scientific consensus on how long people who existed the Stone Age lived? If so, what is the consensus? Fanddlover5 (talk) 10:07, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

There is a huge consensus among the scientific community that, during the Stone Age, humans had a lifespan of 30 years. Icemerang (talk) 10:13, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Is that maximum typical longetivity, or life expectancy at birth? (I.e. is it including or ignoring infant mortality?) Iapetus (talk) 12:34, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I found The neolithic revolution and contemporary variations in life expectancy which (looking at the graph on page 2) suggests that life expectancy might have dipped below 25 during the Neolithic period, to increase again later. Alansplodge (talk) 13:14, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Figures in the 25-35 year range are almost certainly life expectancy at birth, see also my links below. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:05, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
"Huge consensus" is an overstatement. Life expectancy is not so easy to calculate. You have to assume that the distribution of skeletal remains accurately reflects the distribution of the population, and there are a variety of reasons why that might not be correct. Looie496 (talk) 14:39, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
You could also say that, "In order to prove that humans evolved from beings that looked like apes, you have to assume that the distribution of skeletal remains accurately reflects the distribution of the population." But nobody makes that argument (well, creationists do, actually). Even before the development of genetics, a majority of people already accepted human evolution as fact, primarily due to fossil evidence (and when only using fossils as evidence to back up one's claims, one needs more fossils to prove that humans evolved than one does to prove that humans from the Stone Age lived to 30). You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who thinks that humans lived to older ages during the Stone Age. But to get to the point and to answer the OP's question (which is why we're all discussing this in the first place), there is already a scientific consensus on Stone Age lifespan, and this is acknowledged by even those who disagree with the consensus. As a few examples, Mark's Daily Apple admits that it has become an article of faith among virtually everyone that our ancestors lived short lives, and LIVNAKED admits that an underlying point which is widely shared among researchers and the public-at-large is that our ancestors did not live long enough to develop cancer, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses. The most influential person in paleodemography (as well as being the person to popularize it and set an example for future paleodemographers to follow) has been, since the 1950s, the late John Lawrence Angel, whose figures for Stone Age longevity, as stated in his book The People of Lerna are given as 27 years for females and 33 years for males, giving an answer of an average of 30 years for both sexes combined to the OP's question. Anthropologist Rachel Caspari has provided (further) evidence that most early humans rarely lived to older ages. In her own words, "the conclusion was inescapable". Icemerang (talk) 05:02, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Here's an open access journal article on the topic, which also includes many references [22]. At birth, estimates usually fall in to the 25-35 year range. However, most of that low age is due to extremely high infant mortality. If you were a neolithic human who survived to ~18 years old, and survived childbirth if female, then the expectancy goes way up, and it wouldn't have been that odd to see a few 65 year old people around. Probably not as many as today. The main idea is that the oldest neolithic people lived about as long as the oldest people in the modern era, but that the high rates of infant mortality and death-by-birthing bring the average expectancy way down compared to modern life expectancy. However, Maximum_life_span hasn't changed nearly as much. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:04, 27 February 2015 (UTC) (p.s. I see that Alansplodge has already linked the the same article as I did)
  • Yes, Nicholas Wade's Before the Dawn gives about 30-35 years, and yes, that was due to infant mortality and that about 30% of males died violently. μηδείς (talk) 18:56, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Actually believe it or not, Medeis, lifespan was indeed 30 years. Icemerang (talk) 05:02, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Ötzi (3300 BCE (end stoneage start copperage)) was estimated to be 45 years old. I doubt the use of copper tools caused a jump in life expectancy so humans could likely reach higher lifespans atleast at the end of the stone age. --Kharon (talk) 02:07, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Or the beginning of the Copper Age. Icemerang (talk) 05:02, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Mobile Phones[edit]

Once a day I used my smartphone - using WiFi - while charging it , after about ten minutes I noticed that its temperature became too high , why did that happen ? and what bad results maybe happened to my phone ? (talk) 16:35, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

They do that. "Too high" is a matter of opinion. Can it be bad for your phone? Check the article I linkes for an explanation. Mingmingla (talk) 16:42, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Is the speed of the electron being a (determinant of) main in nature?[edit]

If the speed of the electric current in all environments been constant, because all environments were had the electrical current had been a permanent magnetism, so that what is been the speed of light?-- (talk) 19:52, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Nothing permanent had been. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:15, February 27, 2015 (UTC)
Recent research published in Science [23] indicates that certain spatial structures of photons travel through a vacuum at speeds notably lower than c. Some popular press coverage here [24]. That's probably not what you're asking about, but then again it might be... SemanticMantis (talk) 21:42, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
This is another paper that plays word games with different definitions of velocity, like the perennial "superluminal" anomalous dispersion papers. Science seems to choose papers not by merit but by how much pop-press coverage they'll get. -- BenRG (talk) 22:55, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I get that, but I'm also unable to rigorously critique the methods and definitions. The coverage in Science News said something along the lines of "the structured photons got the the target several micrometers ahead of the unstructured photons, per meter traveled." Do you have any reason to believe that statement to be false/inaccurate? At least this is claiming light can move slower in a vacuum, not faster. Are there any peer-reviewed responses/critiques yet? I know this is off-topic, and I could have posted a new question, but our recent poster going on about light speed and the recent article got me interested :) In the mean time, I guess I'll read the Science article more carefully... SemanticMantis (talk) 23:59, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I see the word "determinant" in permanent. Not sure if that helps, but it rhymes. Maybe just an unavoidable pattern? Might be prudent to factor in the Thue–Siegel–Roth theorem, might not. Depends what you mean by main, perhaps. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:02, February 27, 2015 (UTC)
The speed of electrons is not constant. See Speed of electricity. Even in a vacuum, the velocity depends on the accelerating voltage. Mr.Z-man 23:13, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Vacuum permittivity may be an interesting read (if the OP can read English better than he can write it. Again, I implore the OP to seek out smart people who speak their native language. It would make everyone's life easier). --Jayron32 01:06, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

February 28[edit]

Why do we store energy in a battery, and not in a big capacitor?[edit]

Could we use a capacitor (static charge) instead of a battery (electrochemical reaction)? I wonder whether the capacitors would have more cycles of charge/discharge, whether the capacitor could be charged faster and be safe, and what would each solution cost. --Fend 83 (talk) 00:27, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Batteries operate at constant voltage (roughly) whereas a capacitor's voltage is directly proportional to its charge state, so you need some electronics to use a cap. The main problem is that the cap can only store a small amount of energy per unit weight or volume, compared with a battery. The advantage is that it can handle very high currents, and last for many cycles. Using both a cap and a battery can be an optimum solution. Greglocock (talk) 00:41, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Even high quality Batteries are multiple times cheaper in a cost/storagecapacity comparrison. Interest however is very high and allot of research is focused on making better capacitators. See Supercapacitor for current "state of art". --Kharon (talk) 01:53, 28 February 2015 (UTC)


February 22[edit]

February 23[edit]

Liquid flow[edit]

Consider liquid emanating from a corner of a flat square tray with a containing wall at the edges. If the outflow and depth are constant the liquid will spread on a quarter-circular front with the radius increasing at a rate proportional to the square root of the elapsed time, until it has reached the two adjacent corners. What will happen then, I.e. What shape will the front take and how will it move with time until the whole surface is covered?→ (talk) 17:49, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Have a look at wave propagation, maybe check out this video [25]. Also consider doing some empirical tests. That is probably more fun than setting up a thin-film navier stokes equation and trying to solve it ;) SemanticMantis (talk) 18:04, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
The viscosity of the liquid (usually temperature dependent) will matter, as will it's surface tension and other properties. Other factors are the rate the liquid is added and the tray material and shape (whether there are rounded corners and edges). A thicker fluid poured slowly will tend to spread as you described, while a thin liquid poured quickly will splash around, exhibiting turbulent flow instead of the laminar flow you described. In any case, there will be waves generated off collisions with the walls and corners, although those waves may be quite small for certain conditions. Note that laminar flow is quite predictable, while the actual path taken by the liquid under turbulent flow each time is chaotic, and thus unpredictable, other than as probabilities.
Also, under the laminar flow you described, you may find that the liquid expands more slowly adjacent to the walls, so you don't get a perfect quarter circle. StuRat (talk) 20:30, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
I think the previous respondents have over-complicated the issue. This looks like a homework question to me. Observe that the questioner explicitly notes that the depth of the liquid is constant. This simplifies the problem to simply requiring that the increase in area covered is a constant. So from the point at which the two corners are reached the liquid will simply continue to expand along a front that is a steadily narrowing arc of an increasing circle. If the square is of unit side, the circle will reach maximum radius of sqrt(2), with the front moving faster the closer it gets to the final corner of the square. RomanSpa (talk) 21:04, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
It's not homework, just something that I was trying to get an answer to out of interest. I'm long past the age of taking tests and exams, nor have I ever worked with the complications referred to in the first two responses. Taking the much simpler case referred to the third response, is it possible to get an explicit relation between radius of front and time after reaching the corners adjacent to the source? My analysis led to t being the integral of r(π/4-arccos(1/r)), ignoring a scaling factor, which I couldn't evaluate but which seemed unlikely to lead to r as a function of t.→ (talk) 23:12, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Another way of describing it would be viscous fluid being injected between two sheets of glass, with the air freely escaping somehow. The density, surface tension and dynamic effects other than viscosity are all to be neglected. The only facts needed are the geometry and the fact that the viscosity is uniform and dominates such that all other effects (inertia etc.) can be neglected. You would have a scalar field describing the pressure at every point, the flow vector field, and a function giving the boundary's shape. This will produce something along the lines of a partial differential equation, with a nonlinearity at the boundary. Intuitively, the boundary touching the square will grow faster than the central part once the second pair of edges is reached. I expect that numerical modelling would deal with this most easily. —Quondum 01:18, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Random walk[edit]

I have a random walk variable, call it x, each step moving up by 1 with a probability of p and -1 with probability of 1-p. I also have another variable y that is defined as y_k=max{x_1,x_2...x_k}-x_k. How do I get the expected value of y and does it depend on k? Thx (talk) 19:08, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Well it definitely depends on k. Consider k=1, then y_k=0. But in general y_k need not equal zero. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:08, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
That's true, how stupid that I didn't think of that :) I've ran some Monte Carlo sims since; y_k should obviously diverge to infinity if p<0.5, as random walk then tends to negative infinity, and probably also for p=0.5. It appears to converge quickly (no apparent tendency at k=10^3 ~ 10^5) to n/(p-0.5), with n≈0.21. That's a good enough result for me, but I'd still be interested in the math to calculate it exactly, if anyone knows how. (talk) 02:42, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes I think your reasoning is correct for p not equal to 0.5. As for the analytic calculation, I'm not optimistic that there is an easy way to get this. It can be tricky to get distributions for maxima of fixed lists, and growing lists will be much harder. Anyway, here's some decent refs on simple random walks [26] [27] [28] [29], they may have tidbits that help you work it out. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:07, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

February 24[edit]

Reference Formula Policy for Exoplanets[edit]

Proxima Centauri#References

This reference section has a formula in it, which in most cases would be considered Original Research and purged from the article ASAP. But apparently there are exceptions to the rule/policy. What I don't understand is why Wikipedians continue to allow Wikipedia to look foolish with articles that claim many newly discovered planets are a "twin of earth" when there are simple formulas, just like the one used in the Proxima article, that show the solar constant or Flux (Irradiance/Isolation) of the planet. Article after article with new planets in the "habitable zone" that are actually receiving much more heat than Venus or much less heat than Mars, but since they are very technically in the "habitiable zone," editors over look that and reference article that call it a twin of Earth.

Planetary equilibrium temperature#Calculation for extrasolar planets

Another well established formula
T = \sqrt[4]{ \frac{(1-a)S}{4 \epsilon \sigma}}
where Wikipedians can just plug in the numbers is at the article subsection Zero Dimensional Climate Models

I know some articles are showing the flux received in the planet's stats box but it should be a policy.
It should be standard if the Semi-major axis and the Luminosity (or Radius & Temperature) of the star are known.

f = L/d2
f = [(R2)(sbc)(T4)]/d2

 { L }_{ \bigodot  }=  \left( 4\pi { { R }_{ \bigodot  } }^{ 2 }   \sigma { { T }_{ \bigodot  } }^{ 4 } \right)
σ = 5.670373(21)×10−8 W m−2 K−4[1] , ...Stefan-Boltzmann constant

because  { L }_{ \bigodot  }=  \left( 4\pi  {f} {d}^{ 2 } \right)

{ Solar Constant }  =   \left( { R }_{ \bigodot  }^{ 2 }   \sigma { { T }_{ \bigodot  } }^{ 4 }  \right) /  D^{ 2 }
{ Solar Constant }  =  \left( \left( { 0.0850 }^{ 2 }\right) \left({5.670373 } E^{ -8 }\right) \left({4715}^{4 } \right) \right) /  0.26^{ 2 }  = 1683.678 W/m^{ 2 }
An example in HD 85512 b which shows it receives more heat than Earth, 1366.078/1683.678 = 123%.

Can someone explain how I can start a committee or a policy review or whatever it takes to solve this problem?
So that we don't continue to see these articles that get away with false claims of discovered Earth twins. (talk) 02:32, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

It's not clear what your question is. The section you refer to contains a formula stating that the density is mass divided by volume. That does not seem to be an especially problematic calculation (calculating the density of Proxima Centauri does not seem very controversial). I do not see the "Article after article with new planets in the 'habitable zone'" that you refer to, and would need to see clearer examples of the questionable content. To be sure, we should not be injecting our own opinions on the "habitable zone" exclusively using formulas from other articles, but rather should only do so if other sources concur. In that case, it may or may not be appropriate to include calculations: Wikipedia should only summarize what reliable sources have to say on the matter. Unfortunately, part of the WP:NOR policy means that we cannot usually undermine the results of published sources with our own calculations, even if those sources turn out to be wrong. Sławomir Biały (talk) 15:14, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Calculating the Flux received by a planet is not problematic either. As I've illustrated it can be done with two or three known values.
You want an example of planets that aren't what the are supposed to be, Gliese 581 c used to have references saying it is a Earth-like,
where as now it's more truthfully saying it's more likely a Super-Venus. An extra solar planet article should certainly never start like this
There is no reason why the "Planetbox" shouldn't contain the Flux by now,
as other stats boxes (eg. Kepler-186f) are starting to include them for other exoplanets.
This list of "Confirmed small exoplanets in habitable zones" is one that can be checked for misleading suggestions.
Kepler-186 f could receive as little as 10% of the heat the Earth receives and the Planet Characteristics portion of the stat box don't add up.
It says 41% while the Equilibrium Temperature is -30°C. Kepler-438b is another one with contradictory stats,
"announced as being located within the habitable zone of Kepler-438." Where as at every point in its orbit it receives much less heat than Mars.
To me it simply a matter of stating the mathematical facts, rather than only speculations of Astronomers. (talk) 23:21, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Moving sofa problem[edit]

I don't really understand the upper bound number of this. upper bound shape supposes to look like this. So the highest lower bound we know right now is 2.219, which means anything bigger than that won't go through the hallway. Then how can the upper bound be 2.82? According to the definition in the paper, the lower bound is the largest area that can go through the hall, and the upper bound is the lowest area that cannot go through the hallway. If the upper bound is 2.82 then an area smaller than that ought to be able to move through the hallway then how can the lower bound is 2.219? There is quite a contradiction here, or I'm missing something. The upper or lower bound should be revolving around a number with lower bound is < that number and upper bound is > that number. (talk) 04:18, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Your external link doesn't work for me but I suspect you misunderstood it or it was talking about something else. I have reverted your edits to the article.[30] If x is an unknown number such that it is known that a ≤ x ≤ b, then a is called a lower bound for x, and b is called an upper bound. It's possible for a and b to be far from the actual value of x. PrimeHunter (talk) 04:38, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
That did not answer my question at all. I did not misunderstand it. I'm missing something that I can't see yet, and I need someone who is a math expert to help explain. Your inequality a ≤ x ≤ b is pretty much like what I defined by words above. a is the largest value close to x that we know where as b is the smallest value close to x. I'm a math major here. I do know what I'm talking about. I just don't understand how the lower bound and upper bound have the values they are in the article right now. (talk) 04:51, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
You write: "So the highest lower bound we know right now is 2.219, which means anything bigger than that won't go through the hallway." No, a larger couch may pass. Its been shown that the largest sofa possible that can pass (which is unknown) is larger than or equal to the lower bound 2.219 (and smaller than or equal to the upper bound). -Modocc (talk) 05:35, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Here is a free version of your source. It says "The lower-bound sofa is that sofa which can be moved through the hallway with continuous transformations, while the upper bound sofa cannot be moved through the hallway." It was speaking about two specific sofas when it said "the". Many sofas may at different times or contexts be called lower bounds and upper bounds. "smallest" and "largest" in [31] is your own wrong invention and I have reverted it. Lower bound and upper bound are common math terms and not something special for the moving sofa problem. It would be odd to add definitions of such common terms there. Any size which is known to be possible can be called a lower bound, but if we say "the lower bound" without further context then it will usually be implied to be the best known lower bound, i.e. the largest number which has currently been proven to be possible. PrimeHunter (talk) 06:10, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
The moving sofa problem is an open problem. We don't know the complete solution. Here is what we do know:
  • If A > 2.8284\ldots, then there is no sofa of area A that can pass.
  • If A\le2.2195\ldots, then there is a sofa of area A that can pass.
  • If 2.2195\ldots < A \le 2.8284\ldots, then we don't know. Maybe there exists a sofa of area A that can pass, maybe not.
The bounds mentioned are not bounds on the set of areas for which a sofa exists. We don't know what this set is, because it's an open problem, so we don't know what are the bounds on this set (well, the lower bound is known to be 0). The bounds are on the set of numbers which, for all we know, could be the sofa constant (defined in the article as the area of the largest sofa that can pass).
"For all we know" is not really a mathematical object, so these should be understood to refer colloquially to our knowledge on the problem (as outlined above). If someone finds a larger sofa that passes, the lower bound on our knowledge will increase. If someone proves that a whole new bunch of areas are impossible, the upper bound will decrease. If someone finds a sofa that passes, and proves that no larger sofa can pass, then the upper and lower bounds will be the same, meaning we know the sofa constant exactly, and the problem will have been solved completely.
Note also that we're always talking about "There is a sofa of area A" and not "all sofas of area A". Even with a very small area, a sofa which is very long and thin will not pass. Also, if there is a sofa of area A, then for every smaller area there is also a sofa, since we can shrink the original. This is why "the set of possible areas" is an interval starting at 0. The upper bound of this interval is the sofa constant, which is unknown.
On a more general note, I don't see why you would think the numbers for these bounds don't make sense. A lower bound is always no greater than an upper bound. So what's wrong with the lower bound being 2.2195 and the upper bound being 2.8284? -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 11:34, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Statistics percentile question[edit]

My daughter is taking statistics in college. On a test she took, the question is "The test scores of 32 students are listed below. Find the 46th percentile." 32 * 0.46 = 14.72. The 14th score is 66 and the 15th score is 68. The answer choices were: 68, 14.72, 15, and 67. She answered "67" but the correct answer was 68. Isn't 67 as good of an answer as 68? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 04:46, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

No, her text book has presumably defined Percentile#Definition of the Nearest Rank method. It must be a number in the list. The answer choices are carefully chosen to see whether she can correctly apply the definition. At lower education levels you may be able to make guess because only one value is plausible but at college that usually doesn't fly. PrimeHunter (talk) 14:30, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Her book does discuss that method (and others, I think). But it defines percentile: "A number that divides ordered data into hundredths; percentiles may or may not be part of the data. ...". and the test just says "find the indicated measure". Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 17:23, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
If this was on a test with 68 as the correct answer then I suspect she has at some time been taught Percentile#Definition of the Nearest Rank method, or something equivalent. But it's possible the test assumes a definition the students have not been taught. PrimeHunter (talk) 17:40, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
It seems to me that your daughter was wrong. I can never remember (and sometimes not even understand) the formal definitions you get in textbooks. But "46th percentile" means a score which 46% of the class scored better than and 54% scored worse than. This fell inside one student, specifically the 15th student, who scored 68.
Maybe my argument will be made clearer by a simple example. Suppose there were just three students, who scored 40, 70, and 80. What is the 50th percentile? What is the 46th percentile? Maproom (talk) 23:41, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Rubik's Cube Cycle for FRT?[edit]

How long is the cycle for turning the Front Clockwise, then the Right Clockwise and then the Top Clockwise? (i.e. how many set of FRT to get back to the solved cube.) I've also asked on Talk:Rubik's Cube because there are some other somewhat similar questions there that have been answered.Naraht (talk) 17:43, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

It might be worth searching or asking on; for example this and this are questions about the order of elements that consist of two basic moves, rather than the three in your question. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 18:16, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Sage gives 80
(sorry wasn't logged in). HTH, Robinh (talk) 20:30, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanx! The paper at says the greatest Order of any sequence is 1260, but doesn't indicate what that is.Naraht (talk) 21:34, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
That is a nice resource which I haven't seen before. Thanks! There are many elements of order 1260. Wikipedia gives
HTH, Robinh (talk) 21:48, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Not sure where Wikipedia gives that, but googling 1260 and rubik lead to which said that R F2 B' U B' is one of the minimal ones which is the same "length" as yours by the standard metrics.Naraht (talk) 22:01, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
It's at Rubik's cube group#Group structure. Actually I'm surprised that neither element of the two-element generating set given by gens_small() has this maximal order:
i.order() for i in a.gens_small()]
(and come to think of it, how come neither of these has a factor of 7, when the order of the whole group has a factor of 7?) Best wishes, Robinh (talk) 23:06, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

February 25[edit]

Help me to understand some mathematical picture?[edit]

Help me to understand something.

Wikipedia has this picture.

toroidal picture

If we imagine a toroidal chess board, A1 would be conected to A8 and A8 conected to A1, B1 would be conected to b8, A1 would be conected to H1,........

Now, how this picture would works (the sperical one)?
I am not fully getting the idea.
PS: The chess thing is just to make easier to me see it and explain the question. (talk) 11:24, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Along the red lines, a7 is connected to b8, a6 to c8, a5 to d8, all the way to a1 connected to h8. Along the blue lines, a1 is connected to h8, b1 to h7, c1 to h6, etc.
Looked at another way, if you take the left-top half of the depicted square, you can fold it to create a cone, with a seam along the red A line. Likewise you can fold the bootom-right half into a cone. Putting the two cones together gives you a surface homeomorphic to a sphere. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 18:51, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Or, more graphically, take a square sheet of thin, stretchy rubber, fold over diagonally (fold runs from top left to bottom right in the diagram) to make a triangle, seal the open edges – then simply inflate like a balloon into a spherical shape. —Quondum 19:36, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Right, and for the first picture of a torus, that's like taking your sheet of rubber, rolling it into a tube, then gluing the circular edges together. This leaves us with the (shell of) a donut, the typical picture of a torus. Also it's worth pointing out that the sphere-like thing you construct out of rubber is topologically a sphere, but of course not geometrically a sphere, because your balloon will have pointy bits, and a geometric sphere does not. SemanticMantis (talk) 22:26, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
One can get rid of the pointy bits through a suitable continuous deformation during inflation. One can say that it is homeomorphically (as noted by Meni, and equivalent to topologically) but not diffeomorphically equivalent to a sphere. (But then, if one chose, one could pre-shape the sheet so that the sealed shape has no pointy bits and is diffeomorphically equivalent; it just wouldn't start as a polygon.) —Quondum 22:50, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

February 26[edit]

Sample size and confidence levels[edit]

I know that logically I should have the same confidence in a statistical test that uses n=50 and gives a 95% confidence level as one that has n=1000, also with a 95% confidence level. But my gut feeling is to trust the one with the bigger sample size more. Is there any basis for this feeling? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 09:31, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

No there's no good reason for that though someone might spot a problem with the prior hypothesis with the larger sample. For the test with n=50 the and 95% confidence if you looked at the figures you'd probably think the difference should be blindingly obvious whereas for n=1000 your intuition would say it was still iffy. So you'd probably have the exact opposite gut feeling if you actually looked at the raw data. Dmcq (talk) 11:33, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
One little thing might matter - an error in one data point out of 50 is more likely to change the conclusion than the error in one data point out of 1000. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 23:03, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
You do know that statistics from a sample size of n=50 is different from statistics from a sample size of n=1000 EVEN IF THE CONFIDENCE LEVEL IS EXACTLY THE SAME!!! The statistics from n=1000 has a smaller uncertainty or error interval than the one from n=50.
Just because two statistics have the same confidence level DOES NOT MEAN they have the same error interval. Naturally you want the result from the statistics with the smallest error interval. You would be a fool to choose n=50 over n=1000 unless you do not care about the error interval or if the cost of gathering a sampling point is very very expensive. (talk) 00:55, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I guess that is what I was getting at - the error interval. Is there an article that talks about the error interval? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 00:14, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
I would say that one of the underlying issues is the following. Whenever you are applying a statistical test, you are generally going to be making some assumption about the underlying distribution of the data. For example, you might assume the expected values should reflect a constant plus random noise drawn from a normal distribution. When you calculate a 95% threshold you are essentially saying, given the model I expect, how much confidence do I have that my observations conform to that model. However, in the real world, statistical models often prove to be inexact. You might assume random variations that follow a normal distribution, but the truth is a Laplace distribution or something else. If statistics shows that your data doesn't fit the model, is that because you have discovered a physically important signal, or because your understanding of the background noise wasn't very good? With small numbers of data points, one often has to implicitly assume that the underlying model is reasonable (e.g. normally distributed errors), but when you have lots of data you can often test those assumptions and justify more rigorous conclusions. Dragons flight (talk) 00:42, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Calculation method help[edit]

Need help with correct method for calculating this:

I have membership id (which might have multiple members in it) and member id which represents an individual member of an account. I am trying to calculate average deposit / deposit date for memberships as well as for individual members.

example table below:

Membership ID Member ID Deposit Date Deposit Amount
121 1 23-04-2013 500
121 2 07-04-2013 500
131 46 23-04-2013 100
121 1 01-06-2013 900
131 46 01-06-2013 340
541 91 23-04-2013 500
679 51 23-04-2013 500
679 1 23-04-2013 500

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:11, 26 February 2015

I've answered at the same question on the miscellaneous desk. Please don't post the same question on more than one desk. Dbfirs 23:23, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

February 27[edit]

Box Plot[edit]

How does one draw a box and whisker plot based on a set of numbers ordered from least to greatest and divided into four quartiles?Ohyeahstormtroopers6 (talk) 22:10, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Our article Box plot seems clear enough.→ (talk) 23:56, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

February 28[edit]


When, in a data set, there are multiple numbers which together make up the median(i.e. 3,6,9,10,12,11), what do you do with those two numbers to determine the median?Ohyeahstormtroopers6 (talk) 01:03, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

As illustrated in the lead of the article Median, for an even number of data points in the data set, the median is the mean of the centre-most pair of data points. —Quondum 03:03, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Thank You. 2602:306:C541:CC60:6866:CFB1:2D1B:5526 (talk) 05:38, 28 February 2015 (UTC)


February 23[edit]

Mankind given dominion over the world[edit]

In the Bible, mankind is allowed to rule over the whole world by God. In which religions do god/gods specifically give mankind dominion over the world? Are any of these religions completely unrelated to Judaism? -- (talk) 08:23, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Not in Buddhism/Hinduism, can't speak for the rest.PiCo (talk) 12:52, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
I've only ever seen that phrase written in the Old Testament. Also, bear in mind, many religions don't have gods, in the sense of 'the one and only creator of the world'. I think that only Abrahamic religions only have one god, whilst the rest which have gods generally have a pantheon of gods, all with complex relationships. Buddhism doesn't have any. Many shamanistic and animalistic religions don't have gods, just spirits. The concept of a monotheistic religion with only a single god is, as far as I can recall, purely Abrahamic. As a side note, even the Ancient Greeks knew the concept of infinity, as they have stories about Titans who existed before the Greek pantheon of Gods existed, to (sort of) explain how all these gods turned up (because all the Titans were in never-ending conflict and ended up killing each other). KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 20:10, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
I think you mean animistic rather than animalistic. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:23, February 24, 2015 (UTC)
See Category:Monotheistic_religions. Atenism and Zoroastrianism are of at least comparable age to the Israelite religion, and relegate other spirits to roles comparable to archangels in the Abrahamic religions. Tenrikyo, Cao Đài, Cheondoism, and (debatably) Tengrism postdate Islam, but are not identified as Abrahamic (though Cao Đài was definitely influenced by Christianity). Henotheism and pantheism also blurs boundaries between monotheism and hierarchical polytheism, resulting in some sects of Chinese Heaven worship, Hinduism (especially Vaishnavism), and traditional African religions (particularly worship of Waaq, Olodumare, and Nyame) as being at least complementary to monotheism (again, by framing any other figures in the pantheon as occupying a role comparable to archangels in the Abrahamic religions, or arguing that ancestor spirits simply affirm the immortality of the soul, not polytheism). There were also the Hypsistarians, who (like with the Zoroastrians) scholars aresplit on whether their monotheism was influenced by Judaism, influenced Judaism, or evolved in parallel. Over all, the Roman empire would have become monotheistic thanks to Neoplatonism, the cult of Sol Invictus, and Mithraism; even if Constantine or even Jesus had never been born.
As for other religions holding humanity being in charge of the world, Hermeticism sort of said that, but in a more cosmic sense. How unrelated it is to Judaism is a matter of debate, but most secular scholars I've read tend to favor the idea that Hermeticism influenced Judaism (Kabbalah) and Christianity (Gnosticism), while only occasionally grabbing some names from Judaism just to be trendy (such as incorporating Iao and Pipi into the Greek Magical Papyri, but favoring a more Neoplatonic panentheistic monotheism). Hermeticism saw humanity as the shattered, scattered, and ignorant remains of the nature-creating demiurge, however (though, unlike many forms of Gnosticism, it didn't see the material world as evil so much as a foreign land). Ian.thomson (talk) 20:59, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
According to Genesis 1:26 (World English Bible),

God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the livestock, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

Wavelength (talk) 20:51, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
That "us" thing, which implies "gods" rather than "God", historically has required jumping through some theological hoops to explain. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:37, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Even though I acknowledge that it was a historical reference to Henotheism, "angels" is still a simple enough resolution. Still, attempts to use the Trinity to explain it while trying to avoid tritheism are not as simple. Ian.thomson (talk) 23:51, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
(ec) Translating אֱלֹהִים (Elohim) in Genesis 1 as "gods", rather than "God" is far more difficult to defend grammatically however, because every time it occurs (31 times in this chapter) it is accompanied by a singular verb. And even comparing verse 26 with the next verse shows that the meaning is singular. - Lindert (talk) 23:58, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that's exactly the verse I was referring to. I have another question: in which other religions is mankind specifically said to be in the image of God/gods? Of course anthropomorphic gods are as common as dust, but I'm curious if other religious texts make it as explicit as the Bible. -- (talk) 01:58, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, make what as explicit as in the Bible? I don't understand this last question. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 03:14, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
That humans look like gods, and were made to be that way. -- (talk) 03:28, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Are you looking for non-Abrahamic parallels to the Imago Dei, or would you count religions that believe humanity is descended from the gods or patterned after some cosmic man (e.g. Keyumars, Pangu, or Ymir)? Because the Imago Dei concept is firmly rooted in Genesis and would only be found in religions influenced by it. As for the broader scope for examining religions that affirm a divinity-of-humanity, it would probably be easier to list those that reject the idea (and even then, there'd likely be exceptions once the religion got over a certain size). This could also open up opinionated debate on which religions treat people better, something the refdesk is not meant for. Off the top of my head, the Canaanite religion had currents in it that depicted humanity as the undignified slaves of the gods, while some of the Indian religions view humanity as just another consciousness that needs to either be extinguished or reabsorbed into Brahman -- but some forms of the Canaanite religion depicted cities (and so its citizens) as the brides of their patron god, and some Indian religions regard humanity as the minimum form of life capable of achieving enlightenment (and so comparable to the gods in that respect). Ian.thomson (talk) 03:44, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Interesting. Imago Dei is only found in Abrahamic religions? I would have thought that human arrogance and anthropocentrism would make it a recurring theme in many religions, but I guess I'm too cynical. -- (talk) 04:29, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Jehovah's Witnesses have published an article about images at According to the first three paragraphs, humans were made to reflect their Creator by their personalities and not by their physical appearance. According to the article about animals at, having dominion over the animals involved responsibility for how they [humans] exercised that stewardship.
Wavelength (talk) 18:02, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Scientists would probably say that microbes actually have dominion over the globe. The writers of the Bible obviously knew nothing about microbes. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:17, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
That's a bit like saying the people of North Korea have dominion over their government. They're much more numerous than the government, but they can't act together in a meaningful way. -- (talk) 04:29, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
That's not a valid comparison. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:55, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
That's not a clear refutation. —Tamfang (talk) 09:14, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
North Korean politicians and citizens are all the same species. The comparison doesn't work. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:18, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Without microbes, the human body wouldn't work. Nor would any other multicellular life forms which depend on a symbiotic relationship with microbes. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 18:56, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

How many copies of 'Revolution' by Russell Brand have been sold worldwide to date?[edit]

I can't seem to find any sales figures online, are they usually not public or am I just poor at searching? (talk) 10:58, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Sales figures are often publicized for best seller lists, otherwise often not. Best I could find was these figures from shortly after the book was released [32]. Amazon has some info too, they say it was a "national best seller" and was at one point their number 1 best seller in "political humor" [33]. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:52, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Hatred against Israel[edit]

Why do Palestinians along with Most of the rest of the Middle East hate Israel so much? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:35, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

It's extremely complicated. To begin with not all Palestinians do hate Israel, and of the ones who do many also hate the Palestinian authorities too. Other countries in the Middle East also have quite complicated relationships with Israel, the Israeli government, the Israeli people, and the Jewish Israeli people (all four of those groups are different). But a short and very limited answer would be that the establishment of Israel in the Middle East back in 1948 transplanted a lot of Jews and Europeans into a very Muslim and Arab area, and that has caused tension ever since. Additionally, the manner in which almost every action from 1930 in the Middle East has been done has caused tensions too. Whether one side is to blame or not, and if so which side, is for you to decide for yourself. But suffice to say I'd start with the WP article on Israeli–Palestinian_conflict and then read it and linked articles before you form a concrete judgement. There has been an enormous amount of fault on both sides: some people think one side's actions are justifiable, others think the other side's are, some think neither. As for what we do now to solve it, if you figure that one out you deserve (and will win) a Nobel Peace Prize. (talk) 11:44, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
It's only reasonable that a people under a brutal military occupation hate their oppressors. The actual question is why do Israelis hate Palestinians so much. The answer for that begins with many Jewish Israelis believing that their god gave them all of Greater Israel and they are unhappy that those native to the land are still there. This issue for some turned into racist indoctrination, militarism, and jingoism for most. Arab states, and other Palestine supporters around the world, have offered to normalize relations with Israel if only Israel would return her military back to Israel. (talk) 19:00, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Or, more pragmatically, they're weary of those self-same Palestinians blowing them up. --Jayron32 19:02, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Or sending their rockets to land harmlessly in open spaces, as the majority do. But yeah, it's still a bit of an annoyance firing up the jets for the mass revenge killing and demolition, when the very odd rocket does kill an Israeli. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:37, February 24, 2015 (UTC)
It's a good thing Hamas has such lousy aim and/or lousy equipment. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:04, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Good for Israel, yeah. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:34, February 25, 2015 (UTC)
Have you read our article on Israeli–Palestinian_conflict? SemanticMantis (talk) 20:18, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
As Israel is one of America's dearest friends, a lot of Anti-Americanism also rubs off of them. Goes way beyond Arabs and Jews. Without that rub, the sentiment would be far more local, and only pop up in relevant online comment boxes. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:32, February 24, 2015 (UTC)

State of American academia and universities[edit]

So there's this article, which seems to be reliable and comes from a very professional looking site that portrays American universities and academics in a quite negative light. According to the article, these universities are hotbeds for leftist dogma instead of the teaching of facts, and the people who study and teach there are highly dogmatic. Is this article accurate in its portrayal of the state of American academia? Will having courses teach about conservatism really alleviate these issues? (talk) 13:12, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

If you hold that American universities are hotbeds for leftist dogma, why would you believe that having courses teach about conservatism would help things? Teaching something from a negative perspective generally won't help its cause, after all. What makes that question come to mind? To your first question, it's well established that American universities are generally left of ordinary Americans, or that ordinary Americans are generally right of American universities, or however you want to put it. Nyttend (talk) 13:46, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
University students are not stupid. If a professor is slanting his lectures towards one political extreme or the other, the students will quickly become aware of the professor's bias, and take it in stride. Some (the better students) will openly challenge the professor when he/she starts to spout dogma. Others will be less brave, and will pretend to adopt the teacher's bias (in the mistaken idea that doing so will earn them a better grade). But in either case, the students will understand that the professor is biased, and take that bias into account as they learn.
Of course the really good teachers (whatever their politics may be) teach their students how to think for themselves, and actually encourage their students to always question what they are told. Blueboar (talk) 13:56, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
The first thing to note is that the website where this article is posted is that of a journal that is generally right-wing in its stance, and it is clear from an inspection of the list of the journal's contributors that some of them are not thinkers in the mainstream of the evidence-based academic community. Some of the contributors to the journal are from what we might call the "academically respectable" right-wing, but some others fall into the category of "clearly nuts". It's also worth noting that the article's author is certainly from the right-of-centre, but that he appears to adopt stances that are reasonably well grounded in reality. The article itself isn't an academic article, and relies largely on anecdote rather than quantified facts, and should thus be taken as a piece of rhetoric in favour of its author's personal views.
As for your interpretation of the article, it seems to me you have misread it in at least two places. First, the author doesn't suggest that all universities are "hotbeds for leftist dogma", but that some departments within some (perhaps many, though he doesn't really say) universities are largely dominated by a particular kind of thought, which he characterises as a "grievance university, mired in the morass of postmodern obsession with oppression and privilege". Second, the author was not hired to teach "about conservatism" - he is quite explicit about this, and made it a condition of his hiring that he simply taught courses like any other academic - and his article explicitly gives reasons why teaching courses such as "conservative studies" would, in his view, be unwise and counterproductive.
However, with these caveats made, it is possible to make some useful comments. First, it is not difficult to find working papers and professional publications that provide evidence in support of the general contention that academics, as a group, tend to adopt more "left wing" positions than the population at large. (For example, this working paper.) However, I wasn't able to find evidence that corrects these results for raw intelligence/level of education (though this may be available); it may simply be that more intelligent people, or people with more education, tend to adopt more left-wing positions irrespective of whether they are academics or not. I vaguely recall reading research that suggests that the higher the average education in a state, the more likely that state is to vote Democratic in a US presidential election. For example, economic theories suggest that it is certainly the case that several important social goods can best be delivered through a "left wing" solution, and these theories tend to be well-supported by empirical evidence, so a reasonably well-educated economist is likely to appear "left wing" in respect of these issues. I imagine that the same is true in other disciplines. I should say, for clarity, that in this paragraph I have used the phrase "left wing" to refer to what we might call the "academically respectable" left-wing - that is, people who have reached their conclusions on the basis of careful consideration of observable facts and soundly argued theory.
Second, however, is what I believe is the substance of your concern, and indeed the principal concern of the article: what we might call the "modern left wing". The article suggests that this kind of "left wing", described as those "whose main focus is the holy trinity of race, class, and gender, along with their close correlates, post-colonialist, postmodern, and post-structural analysis", and whose principal goals seem to be to enforce a particular set of political positions and require a particular set of personal beliefs from the population (both academic and general), is becoming increasingly dominant in many non-STEM departments in many universities. Your question is whether the article is correct in its assertion. The best answer we have at the moment seems to be "we don't know". I have not been able to find any empirical evidence to support the anecdotal contents of the article. This is not to say that the article is wrong, but just that we don't have evidence one way or the other.
That said, I can give you a couple of observations from my own experience, which is in the UK. I have the strong impression that there are some departments at some universities where free academic discourse must be handled with great care. For example, I am aware of a research project at a leading university in London that was quietly re-purposed when it became clear from preliminary results that members of different ethnic groups seemed to have slightly different language capabilities at a neurological level. It was deemed unwise to present the results without providing a carefully-written "context", so that nobody could take offence. Language, and the ability to avoid upsetting particular interest groups, was important. Contrariwise, I am aware of a UK classicist whose facility with Latin and Greek is, I am told by experts in that area whose opinion I trust, noticeably poorer than might be expected, but who has nevertheless built a career for herself by concentrating on "classical studies" with a particular emphasis on the position of women and other politically disadvantaged groups in the classical era. She has, I suppose, the ability to say the "right" thing. These are, if you like, anecdotes that convey a general impression of what can and cannot be said, and who does well in such an environment. That said, I should stress that "grievance academics" are much less common in the UK than they seem to be in the US. All of this paragraph, though, is just anecdote. The truth is that we don't yet have real evidence one way or the other.
Returning finally to your last question, the article itself argues against the teaching of "conservative studies", taking the view that conservatism "is a point of view or disposition that informs nearly all the traditional disciplines". That is, it's a way of thinking, and not a subject in itself. This is not to say that particular "conservative" doctrines can't be studied. For example, some academics study the sociological aspects of heterodox economics - why, for example, do certain kinds of people subscribe to Marxian economics, Georgism or the Austrian school, even in the face of good evidence against these approaches? These studies, however, fall into the normal realm of academic research, and thus don't meet the requirements of an unbiased taught course on "conservative studies".
My apologies for the long response. I think the short answer to your underlying question, though, is probably "we don't know whether the article is accurate, because it cites anecdotes rather than data, and we don't yet have enough real data". RomanSpa (talk) 17:38, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Since educational generally pays less than other business opportunities available to someone with that background, yet has the potential to do more societal good, academia often attracts more altruistic individuals. You can judge for yourself whether such people are more likely to be liberal or conservative.
As for a correlation in lack of education and conservatism, the cause and effect might be reversed. That is, once conservatives get control over the school curriculum, they set about dismantling anything that might cause one to question a literal interpretation of the Bible. Evolution has to go, of course, but all science is a threat, since geology can teach that some rocks are billions of years old, astronomy and physics that the stars and subatomic particles are, biology can teach that dinosaurs once existed millions of years ago, anthropology teaches that Neanderthals and other hominids once existed hundreds of thousands of years ago, etc. StuRat (talk) 17:52, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
At least one scientist has claimed that liberals are more intelligent than conservatives [34]. So that might explain why many academics tend to be liberal. WP:OR I've spent almost 20 years in academia, never once met a dogmatic professor, conservative or liberal. Dogma is pretty much the antithesis of academics, so we tend to not promote people who rely on dogma. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:56, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
This is a good point. In what I said earlier, I was using the phrase "academically respectable" as more-or-less a synonym for "undogmatic". In most areas of economics (and, I suppose, many other areas of the humanities) there are legitimate ranges of interpretation for many topics, and this is reflected in the positions that people adopt. For example, there is a legitimate debate on how all sorts of things should be paid for, with some people adopting positions that we might call "left wing" and others being more "right wing". The "academically respectable" person, whether left wing or right wing, should be able to change his mind if new evidence is introduced into the debate. (I should say that I personally hate it when someone forces me to move to a new position; my tactic is generally to change the subject to something else for several days, then quietly take up the new position when I think nobody's watching, possibly with a brief sentence along the lines of "however, bearing in mind X's results, we may also wish to consider...".) RomanSpa (talk) 20:32, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
In the US in particular, there is a certain anti-intellectualism en-vogue with conservatives, partially because modern science does not agree with religious views (see creationism) or economic/ecological wishful thinking (see climate change), and partially because cultural icons are being challenged in academia (see Jefferson–Hemings controversy or even IAU definition of planet). Not all of this is a necessary alignment, but it is the current situation. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 18:04, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that's a good point. We have an article on Anti-intellectualism that has some good info and refs, though it is currently lacking a section on 21st century USA. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:10, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
  • There is a number of things to note about this article. It's clearly written from a humanities perspective. In proper research and teaching (the sciences), politics is largely irrelevant at the university level (politically motivated government spendings decision are very different of course). Secondly, of course (and as mentioned above), demographical difference to the general population make a massive difference. Amongst the students, average age is going to be lower, and it's well known that the politics move right with age on average. Further demographical difference, amongst both the students and staff, you would expect a higher than average intelligence (well, in the sciences at least), so it's entirely logical that they are more left-wing than the general population. All things to take into account! The exact same things are seen here in the UK and on the wider continent. (talk) 18:55, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Conservatism, but its very definition, is the political stance that seeks to maintain existing cultural, social, and political structures as status quo. Academia, by definition, is the pursuit of new knowledge. Insofar as new knowledge --> new understandings --> new paradigms --> new ways to deal with the world, there's a natural tension between conservatism and academia for that very reason. Academia which says "We've looked at things in deep detail, and everything you already know about the world is exactly what we've already thought", and which does that forever, is not very realistic. Which is not to say that academics cannot be politically conservative, or deeply religious, or anything else, for that matter. But the tension between a philosophy of perpetual status quo and the pursuit of change has some natural tensions... --Jayron32 19:01, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
This is a very good point, I feel. To be a conservative is to always be on the losing side. None of what we would regard as the major positive social changes in our society over the past hundred years has been a conservative cause. Conservatives always lose: extension of the franchise to non-property owners, votes for women, improved civil rights for people who aren't white, letting women have control over their own bodies, the elimination of the death penalty (at least in Europe, if not yet in the US), and improved rights for lesbians and gay men - all were opposed by conservatives. I can understand that this must be very uncomfortable for conservatives, particularly in times of economic stress when it's convenient to find some group of people to blame for their discomfort. I don't think you can be a dyed-in-the-wool conservative and an academic, because the academic mind has to be open to change. RomanSpa (talk) 20:42, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Not necessarily. There's no inherent contradiction between political conservatism and academia, only a tension. It isn't as though political conservatives have to be "wrong" or on the "losing side". The one does not cause the other like hitting a baseball causes it to fly in a specific direction and speed. It's merely something we need to be cognizant of when looking at the situation. --Jayron32 21:17, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
We may be using the word "conservative" in different ways. In my comment I meant it in the sense of "being unwilling to change under any circumstances" - this is why I added the qualifying "dyed-in-the-wool". This is dogmatism, and I feel is entirely incompatible with the necessary flexibility required in academia. RomanSpa (talk) 21:47, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
All this, however, is light years away from the positions adopted by the "grievance politics" of some of the academics in the article we're discussing. This kind of "modern left wing" approach seems to me to be as uninterested in evidence as any conservative. I have from time to time been in meetings with third wave feminists, for example, and the predominant impression I've had is that they're more interested in policing thought than advancing it, and in attacking (white heterosexual) males than advancing women. As an outsider, some of what I've seen has looked to me very much like bullying, and I think the article is largely concerned with developments of this kind on US campuses. RomanSpa (talk) 20:53, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
We should also be careful about the etymological fallacy, not all "conservatives" are explicitly about maintaining the status quo, and we have social conservatism as well as Fiscal_conservatism as fairly distinct concepts. The latter, IMO is alive and well when the deans meet with the provosts... and that also explains why most universities in the USA have many more classes taught by adjuncts than they did 20 years ago. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:51, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
The author's opinion is not entirely negative. I think this quote is representative of his opinion:

Gradually coming into focus is the plain fact that today we have two universities — the traditional university, which, while mostly left-liberal, still resides on Planet Earth, and the grievance university, mired in the morass of postmodern obsession with oppression and privilege. You can still get a decent education, even from very liberal professors — I had several excellent ones as both an undergraduate and a graduate student — if they teach the subject matter reasonably, and I came to respect several far-left professors at Boulder who plainly held to traditional views about the importance of reason, objectivity, and truth. But these traditional hallmarks of the university — one might call them the original holy trinity of higher education — are fighting words to the postmodern Left, which openly rejects reason, objectivity, and truth as tools of oppression.

In other words, there is one faction of the university that he respects, even if it is mostly left-liberal. There's another faction (which he seems to see as a loud and aggressive minority) that he doesn't. --Bowlhover (talk) 22:10, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
This has a bit of the "some of my best friends are [black/gay/jews/muslims/atheists]" trope, though... --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:38, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

  • Back when I was at University, I had a elderly professor who commented that when he first started teaching (in the 1950s), he had a reputation for being very liberal. Then, came the 1960s and suddenly he was accused of being a conservative reactionary. By the 80's (when I knew him) he was pleased to note that he was considered liberal again... and what he found particularly amusing was that his views had not really changed all that much over the years. It was the student's attitudes towards his views that had determined how he was viewed. Blueboar (talk) 18:45, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Rafael Trujillo[edit]

When Rafael Trujillo was in power, how long was a presidential term in the Dominican Republic, and were there ever any term limits? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:C541:CC60:18BC:9212:6F41:596F (talk) 21:20, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

According to this, he refused to run in 1938, citing American two term practice, rather than any written law. When Roosevelt took a third term, Trujillo again decided to follow suit. A term was four years. Not sure if that was codified in Trujillo's day or if it was also just because America did it that way.
Now, at least according to List of Presidents of the Dominican Republic, they go four years, max two terms. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:34, February 24, 2015 (UTC)

Non-involvement in marriage[edit]

Lately, I've been seeing people offer as a third option in the marriage debate that we should "get the government out of marriage". What exactly is meant by this because it makes no sense, conceptually or grammatically to me. — Melab±1 21:37, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

There is the religious marriage and also the legal one. Historically, these have been the same thing. However, it doesn't have to be that way. You could have religious marriage(s) to whomever or whatever you want, so long as your priest, imam, rabbi or witch doctor agreed, while a legal marriage, perhaps called a "civil union", could be arranged by sending in a form to the government. Only the legal marriage would count for tax purposes, adoption, the "can't testify against your spouse" law, etc. This would finally separate the state and church in regards to marriage, and each could then define their own rules for it, without stepping on each other's toes. StuRat (talk) 21:53, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
It basically means that the government should not give benefits to married couples or make any distinction in the law between married and unmarried persons/couples. The idea is that marriage is purely a private thing, something that the government should not be involved with (e.g. by granting marriage licenses). - Lindert (talk) 21:57, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Similar to what StuRat said, another proposal is that the government could recognize some form of households but not concern itself in any way with the makeup of those households. Side remark: for years, these proposals came almost entirely from social radicals generally opposed to the institution of marriage. Once many governments began to recognize same-sex marriages, the same proposal of getting the state out of the marriage business was suddenly coming from the opposite side of the political spectrum. - Jmabel | Talk 22:28, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
But as far as I know that comes from the kind of conservatism that says "Don't let the government change what I'm used to, including any governmental favoritism from which I benefit." —Tamfang (talk) 09:29, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
It's useful to understand why churches got into the marriage business in the first place. In earlier times, marriage, at least where one or both parties came from families with some wealth (however little) was to some extent a business deal. The historical use of the phrase "to contract a marriage" makes this very obvious. Marriage contracts were recorded by churches because the clergy had a long-standing historical role as witnesses to political, social and business contracts of all kinds (for example, the Magna Carta was witnessed by two archbishops, ten bishops and twenty abbots), and because in pre-medieval times in most places the only person who could read and write was the local clergyman. The church's official position for a long time was that celibacy was preferable to marriage, but when the church was intertwined with the state the church inevitably got involved in writing and witnessing all kinds of contracts. This was so institutionalised that scriveners in England were even authorised by the Archbishop of Canterbury as "minor clergy" in 1392. Inevitably, this led to the church eventually taking the view that marriage was a contract that could only be entered into in church.
You can't get government out of the marriage business, since marriages are still contracts, and these contracts must from time to time be enforced or (more commonly these days) arbitrated through the courts. In the past, churches got into the marriage business because the government needed people who could read and write contracts. Now that churches no longer have a monopoly on literacy, it seems reasonable to get churches out of the civil marriage business. You can't get government out of the civil marriage business, though, because there will always be civil contracts between people. Christians who want to "get government out of the marriage business" really mean they want to "get government out of the same-sex marriage business" - they still want to be able to use the government to enforce "opposite-sex marriage". RomanSpa (talk) 22:43, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

In some countries, only "civil ceremonies" are valid (e.g. Mexico). Churches were big into ceremonies as a result of the Catholic definition of the Sacraments. Any ceremony officiated over by a Catholic cleric which is not in accord with theology is not only invalid, but a major sin (likely true of some other groups as well). There is no way to overcome the difference between "Sacramental Matrimony" and any civil ceremony to that Church. The support for "civil partnership" is large, but no courts have sought that solution, so who knows what will happen in the next fifty years - we has alcohol Prohibition, then repeal, Marijuana prohibition, then relaxation of the laws, and unlimited consumption of sugar and tobacco which some would not restrict (Prohibition of tobacco, anyone?) Society has never been truly static, I think. Collect (talk) 23:23, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

  • The libertarian stance against legally institutionalized marriage is that government should not be telling third parties how to treat a couple/family or preventing things like multiple-partner marriages. If you don't want to rent to a mixed-marriage couple, that should be your right as a bigot. If you don't want to insure your employee's four wives and 32 children, you shouldn't be forced to do so by law. The issues that come up with getting rid of marriage are next of kin rights, such as visitation rights, end-of-life decisions, and inheritance. Another issue is common-law marriage. In places where that still applies, an officially unwed couple living together may have children, or the woman may become pregnant. Where common-law marriage applies, the man has no right to throw the woman out on the street, and the children are considered his legitimate heirs with the right to child support. There's also the issue of bigamy, which is fraud, in essence. A search of the Ludwig von Mises Institute's site will give plenty of material. μηδείς (talk) 19:09, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
    • What's to be done about government employees who refuse to issue marriage licenses? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:22, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
      • I'm not quite sure if you are addressing me. The libertarian solution would be to issue civil union, next of kin or adoption documents, and to fire those civil servants who would not issue them. It's all an open question, especially when a white lesbian couple sues because the child they "conceive" is black. In reality, the child has a black father. In fantasy land, the child has two white mothers. The victim is the child who, according to court papers, is an embarrassment to the legal guardians who had him created. In that case, a return to common law marriage (you father him, you support him) would be a logical resolution, but not necessarily one a certain political faction would welcome. The ultimate issue is that children are humans with rights, not their "parents'" fashion accessories. μηδείς (talk) 04:13, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Separating legal and religious marriage could make people of many political leanings happy:
1) Liberals would like that gay marriage could now be legalized (that would be a legal marriage, and perhaps a religious marriage, too, if they can find the right religion).
2) Conservatives would like that their church could then ban gay marriage, interracial marriage, and whatever else they felt like.
3) Ultra-conservatives, like some sects of Mormons, would love to be able to legally have plural marriages (although the nation might not recognize them, but at least it wouldn't toss them in jail). StuRat (talk) 21:39, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
If the Supreme Court decides to make same-sex marriage the law of the land, it might open the door to legalizing polygamy. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:25, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Haha, considering the polygamy situation in progressive states, I really don't think you have to worry about polygamy happening anytime soon in the US. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:53, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
You can't rule it out. In the year 2000 or so, if you had said that by 2015 same-sex marriage would be valid in a majority of US states, what percentage would have believed it? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:57, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I wasn't arguing that the US never progresses, just that the US government has never been a leader in social issues. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:36, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Ông Địa[edit]

Ông Địa

Does anyone know a Chinese term for this figure in the East Asian lion dance? The Vietnamese call him Ông Địa.

Our article on the Lion dance suggests it is a Vietnamese cultural addition to the broader tradition of the lion dance. Could it be that the figure doesn't traditionally appear in the Chinese version? If it did appear, they might use the "traditional" Vietnamese name? Stlwart111 22:08, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Good question. The people who do the lion dancing here in Seattle are associated with a martial arts group (Mak Fai Kung Fu Club) that I presume is Chinese in origin, and lion dancing here goes back far enough that our older pictures of it are public domain from pre-1923 publication, but there is enough cross-cultural interaction in the A.P.I. community here that such an adaptation would be possible. - Jmabel | Talk 22:15, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
And did that character feature in those pre-1923 lion dances or is he a relatively new addition to the Seattle scene? Stlwart111 23:30, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
As for the old stuff, hard to know because there are only a very few pictures. I'd suspect a later addition, and it could well be from the Vietnamese (in which case it wouldn't just be post-1923 but almost certainly post-1970). I'm hoping someone might weigh in here who actually knows. I wasn't planning on doing a research project just to describe my photo accurately, but it wouldn't be unprecedented if I have to. - Jmabel | Talk 00:13, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

This paper contains the following sentence: "the concept ‘Ông Địa’ is truly culture-specific. It is a famous and unique character in Vietnamese water puppetry and cannot be found in any other cultures."--William Thweatt TalkContribs 05:17, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

  • Huh. So it must be a recent appropriation. - Jmabel | Talk 07:12, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

February 24[edit]

Introduction of serfdom in Russia[edit]

When was serfdom introduced in Russia? Our article History of serfdom says "Serfdom [in] Eastern Europe [...] became dominant around the 15th century." (no citation), while Ivan Grozny#Domestic policy states (also without citation) that it was he who introduced "the first laws restricting the mobility of the peasants, which would eventually lead to serfdom." Which one is it, or is the truth somewhere in the middle? — Sebastian 06:20, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

See Yuri's Day for the answer. --Ghirla-трёп- 14:48, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
It's possible to have serfdom without laws codifying it, although I don't know if this happened in Russia. StuRat (talk) 06:28, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
That's true, but the two claims are still contradictory, the second saying the codes led to the already allegedly dominant serfdom. I also don't know which one is lying, but it sure isn't neither. Could be both. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:44, February 24, 2015 (UTC)
Or wait, no, could be neither. There really is no limit on what counts as "around the 15th century". Depends how far back you stand to look at it. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:46, February 24, 2015 (UTC)
This astute observation has the potential to greatly simplify my life. Henceforth, when anyone asks me where anything is, I can always reply "around here", considering that the earth itself shrinks to a Pale Blue Dot when seen from our solar backyard. — Sebastian 07:23, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
I've been saying for years that there is always a bigger picture. My life quest is to discover what the Universe looks like from the outside looking in. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 08:00, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Fitting to the topic, I already used this new insight here for Boris Godunov.— Sebastian 08:15, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
"Eastern Europe" is a bit more defined, but also wiggle room there. It definitely isn't exactly the same as "Russia". InedibleHulk (talk) 06:50, February 24, 2015 (UTC)
This sentence was added as part of this big edit by an IP account who did no other edit. — Sebastian 07:23, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Should certainly be taken with a grain of salt. Or just taken out. Might be true, but still original research. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:40, February 25, 2015 (UTC)

Forms of serfdom were very common all over Medieval Europe. People could actually be regarded as the property of a landowner or they were bound to the land they were working on without owning it. It's not an exclusively Russian phenomenon, so it may not be all that relevant when exactly it was 'introduced'. There is a short article about the subject in Dutch Wikipedia: nl:Lijfeigenschap --Judithcomm (talk) 08:39, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Perhaps the Ivan the Terrible article refers to the so-called second serfdom, which we don't currently have a separate article on, but is mentioned in our History of serfdom aticle, two paragraphs down from the one quoted by Sebastian. — Kpalion(talk) 10:07, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Dear OP, we have an article Serfdom in Russia, which should tell you everything you ever wanted to know about this topic! — Sebastian 05:39, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Wow, thanks a lot! It does answer my original question. Strange, though, that it doesn't mention the "second serfdom". — Sebastian 05:39, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Because there was no such thing in Russia. --Ghirla-трёп- 07:23, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

accuracy of Swedish image?[edit]

You seem to have ignored the point made at the head of this page: 'Do not edit others' comments'. Would you mind reposting the link as I want to follow it. (And no, I a not Canadian or affiliated with the original poster.) (talk) 10:18, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

You can go through the history if you want (since the IP signed, it's trivial to check what they posted). Please don't readd it since as I said it makes untrue claims, even if the person is no longer living there's no reason why such untrue claims should be something we are linking to. The removal of such links is well supported by wikipedia policy and guidelines, whatever the header may say. I could delete the entire question if it would make you feel better, but I'm not sure that's really necessary. Nil Einne (talk) 11:24, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

chinese story children's fiction[edit]

I remember there was children's book I used to read back in my elementary school days. The book was about Chinese boy twins and they had long names which made it funny. The story would have one of the twins fall in the well and I forgot the rest. I also forgot the name of the story. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:12, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Tikki Tikki Tembo Daniel(talk) 04:21, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Yes, that one. Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:29, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Being a person of Chinese descent myself, I find the synopsis of the book disrespectful and ignorant of the Chinese language. Most, if not all, Han Chinese given names contain one or two logograms (aka characters), and Han Chinese family names are always one logogram. Of the Chinese given names and family names, there are numerous foreign transliterations, most of which are simply pronounced with one syllable for the family name and one or two syllables for the given name. There has never been a time in Chinese history when people used lengthy names, as that book suggests. If you read about the history of Han Chinese family names, then you'd find out that all of them started out as one-character names. Part of the beauty of the Chinese language lies within its succinctness, as indicated by the four-character idioms and classical Chinese poetry. Another fact about the Chinese language is that it is tonal, in sharp contrast to Japanese. Foreigners from non-tonal languages (i.e. native Japanese speakers) may struggle a bit mastering the tones. Tone, context, and regional dialect are the key to understand a given sentence. The fact that the Chinese language is tonal may contribute to the shortness of Chinese names. In contrast, the Japanese language is non-tonal, and so you'd find more multi-syllable names. (talk) 14:54, 26 February 2015 (UTC)


Throughout Russia's history as a polity, in chronological order, at the national level, what are the legislatures it has had? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:C541:CC60:852A:86F6:9EC2:1BCF (talk) 21:57, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

You might get some of your answers if you read Russia#History. Dbfirs 22:31, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Also see Duma, Governing Senate, Congress of People's Deputies of the Russian Federation, and Federal Assembly of Russia. StuRat (talk) 23:41, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Also Veche and Zemsky Sobor. The Senate (a judicial body) should be replaced with State Council (Russian Empire). Don't forget Russian Constituent Assembly. --Ghirla-трёп- 07:17, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Those links are useful, but I was kind of hoping for a convenient list in one place.2602:306:C541:CC60:852A:86F6:9EC2:1BCF (talk) 03:01, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Is here not one place? --Jayron32 15:21, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Sorry for the complaint. I should have been more patient.2602:306:C541:CC60:852A:86F6:9EC2:1BCF (talk) 15:28, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

"Dear Lord, grand me patience... and I want it right now!" ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:54, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
That quote would be grand, had you said grant. StuRat (talk) 16:15, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

February 25[edit]

New Chronology[edit]

Why is Anatoly Fomenko's New Chronology falsely considered pseudohistory if it's backed by solid scientific and mathematical data?Johndoe48 (talk) 00:01, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Because it isn't, despite what some conspiracy theorist echo-chambers insist. Ian.thomson (talk) 00:11, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
To elaborate, Fomenko ignores any material that doesn't fit into his theory, and imagines a variety of materials that some trace of would have to exist for his theory to be true. For example, he claims that Emperor Jingzong of Western Xia, Pope Gregory VII, and Jesus were the same person, whose name was corrupted into multiple identities. If that was the case, there should be some trace somewhere of corruption of manuscripts along the line. Since there are no traces, Occam's razor favors the idea that those three figures were separate. Ian.thomson (talk) 00:24, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Not so much pseudohistry, then, as sheer loopiness. PiCo (talk) 05:13, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

That's because the trace of corruption of manuscripts was destroyed. (talk) 00:30, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

That's what Occam's razor would call an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory. It would also require that all literate persons at a particular time would decide to actively rewrite history they know is false -- an untenable position. It would also require that all of these perfectly coordinated diabolical masterminds would then immediately thereafter be stupid enough to miscopy "Jesu" as "Jingzong of Western Xia" and "Pope Gregory VII."
But let me guess, alien brainwashing? Ian.thomson (talk) 00:35, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Let's not forget that the lack of any evidence whatsoever that the moon landings were faked... simply goes to show how massive and all-encompassing the cover-up is.Ras.gif--Shirt58 (talk) 02:15, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
If I remember right, Fomenko says Byzantine Greece = pre-Norman England (I forget which is original and which the copy). Did he ever study linguistics, or art history? —Tamfang (talk) 09:33, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Or archaeology, or anthropology, or history, or really anything? His work is so batshit insane, it isn't even worth refuting. --Jayron32 15:21, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Hold on. Are you Johndoe48? If you are, I thought you said "it's backed by solid scientific and mathematical data". Now you're saying something fairly important to his theory was destroyed? How do we know whatever stuff which allegedly supports his theory isn't also a corruption, and in truth Emperor Jingzong of Western Xia, Pope Gregory VII, and Jesus were all my cat gone back in time a million years ago who BTW isn't called anything like those 3 names? Nil Einne (talk) 17:52, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Mr Thomas and Mrs Thomas[edit]

The article on a Wilfrid Thomas who seems to have married a Swedish dancer called Marga... is full of information about Wilfred Thomas (broadcaster) who married an English dancer called Margo... you can check this quickly at state library of NSW under Margo Thomas — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:10, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Thank you ... I think. Why are you telling us all this? Please discuss any matters about Wilfrid Thomas at Talk:Wilfrid Thomas. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:51, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Peter the Great[edit]

When Peter the Great was abroad in Europe, who governed in his place?2602:306:C541:CC60:852A:86F6:9EC2:1BCF (talk) 05:39, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

John Kline - US Chairman Education is given credit for introducing a bill he had not one thing to do with![edit]

I will be glad to provide more information on this. I will go back to the page & try to make the corrections of my own, Kline was dead-set against President Obama's Education Reform plan -which he wrote in the first 3 1/2 years of office & presented to Congress & was of course refused. He then took it to the individual states & 10 took him up on his offer. John Kline said of such plan, that teachers would strike!!

Please advise me as to what to do to correct this grievous error! President Obama should go down in history for this one - the good side & not the bad! Is it perfect? NO, but a site better than "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND"! This must be corrected & give the President his dues & not John Kline, who will of course sit back & take all the credit! — Preceding unsigned comment added by America Jane (talkcontribs) 08:06, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Presumably we have an article on that, and these comments should go on the talk page there, along with any sources you have. StuRat (talk) 15:19, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
As StuRat said, you need to deal with this in the appropriate article. Even if you want to seek help elsewhere appropriate like in some noticeboard, you'd need to be clear about what you're referring to. For example Student Success Act mentions John Kline, but doesn't seem to be what you're referring to since Obama threatened to veto it (but the Senate never passed it anyway). Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act does mention John Kline. I'm not sure what Obama's role, if any, on the bill is although if there is some and it and can be probably source this should probably be mentioned, but the claims about John Kline seem to be supported. Neither School Improvement Grant nor Race to the Top mention John Kline. Nil Einne (talk) 16:27, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
This looks like a political coatrack, not a real question. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:47, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Pedophiles per capita across modern-day societies and cultures[edit]

Firstly, for what its' worth, I ask this question in good faith, and hope I'm not accused of trolling. I am NOT assuming what the answer is likely to be; it's an open question. Neither am I making any moral statements of any sort.

My question is: from what we know, does the percentage of individuals who are pedophiles vary significantly between countries, religions, or cultures?

I am specifically asking about pedophilic orientation - i.e. the number per capita who have intense and recurrent sexual urges towards and fantasies about prepubescent children, whether or not they've acted on them. (I.e. those with the paraphilia or pedophilia)

I am NOT asking about the rate of child molestation - (this would likely vary greatly, I assume, based, to give an obvious example, on the likely ramifications for the molester, which can vary dramatically between jurisdictions).

I know this question may be a tad difficult to answer - we're not mind-readers, after all, and I'm not suggesting hooking random innocent men up to Penile plethysmographs. But can anyone source some expert answers, or at least hypotheses, to this question? (talk) 13:23, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

This article is a very good one for answering your question. Or, at least, telling you why it is very hard to answer your question. To wit, "There are pedophiles in the world who don't molest children, and never will. No one disputes that fact. So what portion of pedophiles actually victimize kids? We have no fucking idea. That is, in fact, the point." The article is on, which is ostensibly a humor site, but it is a very well written and often well researched one. As seen from the quote, they use non-scholarly writing, but their articles are usually very well done, and take a serious attempt to at least try to be accurate. They have links to more articles and studies and the like which indicate the problem with the question you're asking. And the problem is pedophilia (as in the attraction to children, not the crime of child molestation) is essentially unstudied in any culture. It's a worthwhile question to ask, but it does not have any answers. --Jayron32 15:14, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Are you interested in past cultures? Pederasty has a section on the practice in ancient times. This honors thesis, "ancient pedophilia" [35] may not be top notch research, but at the very least it has a decent bibliography. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:00, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Searching for an English term[edit]

These pictures show jesters/fools/etc. and they carry an accessory which looks like an very old-fashiened pair of glasses. The German expression ist "Narrenbrille" (fool's glasses), a term which can be found in the literature and which is used in idioms.

I try to search the English literature but find surprisingly little. What would be the correct terms for the "fool" and which one for the "glasses"?
In addition, is there an English expression for "looking/glimpsing/peeking through/between the fingers" ? (as seen in the pictures) THX GEEZERnil nisi bene 14:32, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

I fixed the link to the first image. Richard Avery (talk) 11:27, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Well, "playing peekaboo" means hiding the eyes and uncovering them, although not necessarily looking between the fingers. StuRat (talk) 14:59, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
According to a Swedish saying (looking between the fingers; the Danes know it, too; Brueghel shows it in one of his paintings) the meaning is "it appears (to you) that I do not see/know, BUT I DO" - in relation to the jester "I do and say stuff, as if I didn't know (that it hurts/that it is insulting/bad), but of course I know!". So peekaboo may be a little bit off... :-) GEEZERnil nisi bene 16:47, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
A lorgnette is probably the closest thing to fool's glasses, but that term, and the actual item, aren't much used, at least in US English. StuRat (talk) 15:07, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
The English term for those style of glasses, AFAIK, is Pince-nez, which is not a native term, but a borrowing from French. There isn't a particular term for them when associated with Jesters, AFAIK. --Jayron32 15:18, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Does anyone have good ref for the glasses as common accessory? I don't get it... SemanticMantis (talk) 19:05, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
For the gesture: going off Geezer's description, in English the phrases "a wink and a nod" [36] or "tongue in cheek" convey a similar attitude of being facetious or "in-on" a joke, though it isn't conveyed by a hand gesture. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:05, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
The only term that I'm aware of for the gesture in English is the very literal "laughing behind your hand". Tevildo (talk) 23:00, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
The facepalm of embarassment
  • Is there any evidence this is not simply an earlier version of the facepalm? Obviously the latter didn't originate n 1890. μηδείς (talk) 03:58, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • The statue is actually hiding his eyes, while the jester is only pretending to do so. Huge difference. StuRat (talk) 04:22, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I started out with "facepalm!", too, but the situation/feeling is different. Facepalm ist "despair"/frustration/shame about what someone else said ("Fremdschämen").
I am not sure whether gesture and glasses actually are recognized in English-speaking cultures. It also could be an (a) very old and (b) continental Europe thing, which caused no feedback in English. It seems a bit so ... GEEZERnil nisi bene 08:24, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
The website of the College of Optometrists has an article called Rivet spectacles, which apparently is the correct name for the medieval glasses in the paintings shown above. At the bottom of the right-hand column, there is a photograph of "a 'joke' pair of rivet spectacles... in the Royal Armouries, supposedly worn by Henry VIII's court jester, Will Somers." So it seems that taking the piss out those of us who wear glasses has a long history. Curiously, I only knew the right search term because yesterday, I watched a repeat of the 2004 edition of Time Team which is referenced at the bottom of this article. A strange coincidence. Alansplodge (talk) 17:45, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I've not heard the phrase "laughing behind your hand" which Tevildo brought up, but it's appropriate for the jester because people frequently will instinctively partially cover their faces like this when they have uncontrollable laughter. Searching with Google on "can't stop laughing" brings up numerous videos of this reflex including this compilation [37] (it includes Dustin Hoffman at 6:53 cutting up at the end of it). -Modocc (talk) 00:40, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

I think I'd call that "peeping", wikt:peep#Etymology_2. You could also ask at WP:RDL. (talk) 01:25, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Why not adopt the german meaning of (looking at things or some situation or topic) "seen with jester's eyes" by saying: "seen through jester's glasses"? comp. as well: jester's license (=Jester's_privilege) (DE:Narrenfreiheit).   I'm afraid for the gesture, you'll have to call it the "medieval_painting's_jester's-You_think_I_don't_see_but_I_do-hand_before_the_face" :o]p   ;o]) -- (talk) 17:30, 27 February 2015 (UTC)


In Japan in the 1870's, what were the important national and local government institutions, and how was the country administratively divided?2602:306:C541:CC60:852A:86F6:9EC2:1BCF (talk) 17:05, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

You might want to check out our articles on the Meiji period, Meiji Restoration, Meiji oligarchy, Government of Meiji Japan, and Meiji Constitution. Ian.thomson (talk) 18:30, 25 February 2015 (UTC)


After he became leader of the Central African Republic, what ministerial portfolios did Bokassa have, and when did he have them?2602:306:C541:CC60:852A:86F6:9EC2:1BCF (talk) 20:16, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia's coverage of the CAR isn't detailed enough to find out through Wikipedia's articles. We do have articles about Jean-Bédel Bokassa, Politics of the Central African Republic, and the History of the Central African Republic. None of them get into that level of detail, describing his various ministers and whatnot. I looked into the articles over at fr.wikipedia (since CAR is nominally French speaking and a former French colony) but their articles are less well developed even than those here at en.wikipedia. Sorry we couldn't be of more help. --Jayron32 01:06, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
The fact we don't have an article on Wikipedia doesn't mean the information doesn't exist. What I can find is that Bokassa did not occupy any ministerial functions before becoming President of the CAR following a coup on January 1, 1966. He proclaimed himself President, then made that President for life in 1972 and Emperor in 1976, until being deposed by a coup in 1979. [38]. But he did hold various ministerial functions during his time as Head of State, including Minister of Defense (1966-1976) (I guess it was unbecoming for an Emperor to be a minister after that) and Minister of Interior and Justice. [39]. According to this article [40], he was Minister of Justice (garde des sceaux) from the time of the 1966 coup, but not minister of interior (that was Jean-Arthur Bandio, who already held the position before the coup). Bandio was named minister of Foreign Affairs on January 13, 1967 [41], so that may be when Bokassa took on that portfolio as well. --Xuxl (talk) 10:03, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

February 26[edit]

Best publish place for research paper on books?[edit]

So I just wrote a research paper on a literature book. I would like to know which academic journal are the best in terms of impact factor or alexa ranking (aka number of viewers). Those are strictly my two criterias to decide where to publish. It would be nice if someone happens to find a ranking table somewhere with one of the two or both criterias. Thanks! (talk) 08:41, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Criterion - singular, criteria - plural. Richard Avery (talk) 11:18, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
It could be worse: I've occasionally seen the plural written as "criteriae". Of course, as it's a Greek word, it should obviously be "criteriata"... AndrewWTaylor (talk) 13:00, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
For the avoidance of doubt, κριτήριον is second declension, both in ancient Greek and when borrowed into Latin, and forms a regular nominative/vocative/accusative plural as κριτήριᾰ. RomanSpa (talk) 13:18, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Ooh, gosh, you are clever, so what would that be in English? Richard Avery (talk) 19:25, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
The plural in English is "criteria", as you've already remarked. I was merely clarifying the matter. I wasn't seeking to correct you, since as an Englishman I'm sure your command of the language is fine. (I know you're English because only English people find sarcasm an appropriate response to educated comment.) RomanSpa (talk) 20:28, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
If you're a student at a university, the best thing to do would be to talk about this with your professors. They will be able to give you appropriate guidance about (a) whether and (b) where to publish. If you submit an unacceptable paper to a reputable journal it will be rejected, and if you persist in submitting unacceptable papers they will all be rejected and you will damage your reputation. If you're not currently a student at a university, it might be wise to start by contacting a suitable academic at a nearby institution and seeking their advice. In all cases, you will have to demonstrate competent use of the language in which the journal is published. RomanSpa (talk) 13:08, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Who said I'm going to submit it many times? I'm not stupid. Submitting the same unacceptable many times is useless and stupid. I'll submit only once. And of course I would have competent use of language within my paper. Don't judge my grammar based on what I wrote on here. I don't usually pay much attention to my grammar when I write things on the internet, so I do make silly errors sometimes. However, for my academic papers, that's a different story. Anyway, none of you really answers my question. I'm not asking so I can be directed to somewhere else. I also asked them. They and I know many places to publish, but I want to know the best place to publish based on the two criteria I listed above. Thanks! (talk) 18:22, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
If you don't actually know the journals in your field, you have no place publishing in them. (talk) 18:53, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure how things work for papers on "literature books", but in my area of the social sciences a lot of journal submissions start as working papers. This is a particularly good way to start if it's your first paper, as you can learn a lot about how to write without facing the pressure of writing specifically for journal publication. Also, you're wrong about multiple submissions. Although it hasn't happened to me, I am aware of cases where a paper has been declined by one journal, but has been returned with reviewers' notes along the lines of "not acceptable for our publication, but with list of changes/expansions/discussions would probably suit name of alternative journal"; this has included some important work. RomanSpa (talk) 20:17, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Don't know of any tabulation of Impact Factor for journals in area of your interest (and have never seen Alexa rankings considered in deciding where to publish), but you may want to look at the Modern Language Association's Directory of Periodicals to help find and compare the journals that may be of interest. Typically though, the practice is to consult working academicians in the area who are well-informed about the focus and reputation of the journals, and are able to advice on which journals your work is likely to be accepted in. Hope that helps. Abecedare (talk) 20:42, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

arm sleeve thingies[edit]

In this photo what are the arm sleeve thingies Laura Poitras is wearing called? Are they some standard fashion gizmo? Pic is of her getting the Oscar for Citizenfour. Thanks. (talk) 08:45, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Not sleeves, they're gloves.
Sleigh (talk) 08:55, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Amazon calls 'em "long sleeve fingerless gloves". Clarityfiend (talk) 09:21, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Fingerless opera gloves.
Sleigh (talk) 09:41, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks all. Sleigh's answer helped me find the article opera glove. (talk) 09:45, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
The fingerless version seems rather pointless until you consider what happens when she needs to visit the rest room. I'm guessing she wouldn't take them off?--Shantavira|feed me 12:45, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Actually it looks to me like she's wearing fingerless gloves made of some kind of fabric like nylon, and then has leather sleeve thingies covering part of them. Any idea? I typed "fingerless opera gloves" into web search and did find some leather ones. I'm still wondering about the fashion statement of those things and whether they're a normal clothing item, or some BDSM specialty thing, or what. (talk) 00:03, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

'For you, I make special price!'[edit]

So, I'm familiar with how effective shopkeepers in the Old City of Jerusalem (Arab and Jewish) are at helping visitors to the city to part ways with their money given that it's a tradition almost 1,700 years old (thankfully they lost their effect on me long ago). Luxorites also have this sort of reputation. What other cities have a reputation for exceptionally pushy hassling salesmen? Shukran. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 7 Adar 5775 13:33, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure I can respond adequately to the question but Bargaining contains some related information. And provides pleasant reading. Bus stop (talk) 13:39, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Singapore's Change Alley used to be well known for this, but when I actually lived in Singapore I was too young to go there unaccompanied (so my parents would do all the bargaining), and from the look of our article's photos, it's changed (heh!) a lot since the 1960s. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 14:21, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
All the souqs in the world seem to have this reputation, especially if they are visited by Western tourists. Carpet shops too. The Middle East in a large sense (starting in Morocco and all the way to Turkey) would qualify. --Xuxl (talk) 14:31, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
It's not just the Middle East. This kind of practice exists practically everywhere outside of Northern Europe, the Anglosphere (and French Canada), and Japan. Societies with little bargaining (outside of large transactions) are the exception globally. Marco polo (talk) 19:26, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Bargaining is definitely still a fact of life on the street markets of China. I've also bargained or seen people bargaining at Aztec/Mayan tourist sites in Mexico, at a flea market in the middle of Paris, and in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. Now that I think about it, it seems strange that people don't usually bargain in Canada/USA; I can't believe I've never noticed this before. --Bowlhover (talk) 06:34, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I believe a cost/benefit analysis figures in. In a rich country, it would be a waste of time to bargain over a loaf of bread, since it only costs like 5 minutes of labor to earn enough money to buy it at the asking price. But in a poor country, if that loaf of bread costs them a day's labor, then it's definitely worth their time to haggle, comparison shop, etc. StuRat (talk) 06:43, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
This is quite common with high-end merchandise like cars, jewelry, furniture and flooring or home remodeling/repair in NJ and NY. It even sounds like a catchphrase from SNL. μηδείς (talk) 19:25, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Of course a person has to have autonomy over price for bargaining to take place. When variance from a set price is not allowed there can be no bargaining, Bus stop (talk) 19:36, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
There can be ways around that:
1) The salesman might be able to throw in something for free, like free delivery or extended warranty or no interest financing.
2) They might pay part of the price themselves. For example, if they get 10% commission, then paying 1% of the sales price to seal the deal makes sense.
3) Dealers sometimes get rebates from the manufacturer, and can apply a portion of that to the sales price. StuRat (talk) 19:44, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, and for cars and houses, haggling is the norm, even in rich nations, since there those items still cost enough time to earn that any time spent haggling is seen as worthwhile. However, there are also people who want a good deal, and yet don't want to haggle. For houses, since every house is unique, it's a bit difficult to set a "fair price". But with cars, where there are thousands of identical models, it's not so hard. Saturn car dealerships offered no-haggle prices, and at time other dealerships have, but they don't seem to last, making me think that they need to rip-off the occasional easy mark to make a profit. StuRat (talk) 19:39, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Lourdes apparitions[edit]

Does anyone know what accounts for the gaps in time that I have referred to here: Talk:Lourdes apparitions#Gaps in time? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 13:55, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Нужен текст гимна всех студентов "Гаудеамус"[edit]

Прошу знающих гимн студентов "Гаудеамус" сообщить мне текст на латыне .Заранее благодарю.Вилма. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:09, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Could you maybe ask your question in English? It seems to have something to with Gaudeamus. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 7 Adar 5775 15:13, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Спросите на российском Википедии, это английский Википедия. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 16:47, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
See ru:Гаудеамус and scroll down to the Latin text there. -- (talk) 16:55, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • The user asks us to provide the Latin text of the hymn Gaudeamus in the Latin text, thanks in advance.
Посмотрите Gaudeamus igitur,, ничего. μηδείς (talk) 03:53, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Maybe, he/she can't read latin letters and needs ( not a translation, but) a transcription of the latin spoken or written text into cyrillic letters, so as to be able to read the original Latin in Cyrillic letters? See:
"Гаудеамус игитур,
Ювенес дум сумус!
Пост югундам ювентутем,
Пост молестам сенектутем,
Нос хабебит хумус.
-- (talk) 16:58, 27 February 2015 (UTC)


What was Japan's first legislature, at the national level? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:C541:CC60:4897:AF86:CD38:DFCF (talk) 15:52, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

In which era? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 16:44, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
National Diet has the details, particularly in the History section. The first legislature was a result of the Meiji Constitution, which is also worth a look. Alansplodge (talk) 17:06, 26 February 2015 (UTC)


The only reference I can find online to "Anigunta" is the Wikipedia article. Does anyone know to where this may be referring? Could it be a transliteration issue, and possibly known by a slightly different spelling in Standard English? Sotakeit (talk) 17:10, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

The creator of the article (whose ID, by an amazing coincidence, is Anigunta (talk · contribs)) states that it's a "village". So it might not be on Google's radar. Or it could be a hoax. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:54, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
In Google Maps, the village is known as Anegunta, coordinates (17.605447 N, 77.594904 E). - Lindert (talk) 18:16, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Excellent. So the question is, what (if anything) is its more common English transliteration? Whichever it is, the other could be created as a redirect. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:21, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
It appears that this article also exists in Telugu: te:అనెగుంట, which word is transliterated by this website as "aneguMTa", though typing "anegunta" in this convertor does yield అనెగుంట. -Lindert (talk) 19:02, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
The easiest solution, lacking any definitive evidence, is to recreate redirects to this article from variant transliterations. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:56, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
It is listed in the Indian census as Anegunta. It was formerly in Andhra Pradesh, transferring to Telangana state last year.[42] Hack (talk) 01:35, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Brand Mascots's of the 1920's[edit]

Is there anyone here that's able to identify the brand mascots shown on this poster?

The Michelin Man is obvious , but id like to place some of the others. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 20:02, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

It would be a far sight easier to investigate this if it would led me download the illustration. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:09, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I suspect the two urchins at the front of the poster are the Bisto Kids. I also recognise Mr Punch, and wouldn't be surprised if one of the dogs (perhaps the one on the left) is Nipper. RomanSpa (talk) 20:34, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Image is also at File:Underground_to_Wood_Lane_to_anywhere,_International_Advertising_Exhibition_at_the_White_City,_1920.jpg with some notes. Nanonic (talk) 21:26, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
And the V&A have (on the More Info tab) "Subjects depicted ... Michelin Man; Cardinal Furniture Polish; Rowntrees Cocoa Nibs; Kodak Girl; Pears Soap Tramp; Skipper Sardines; Johnny Walker Whisky" which gives some. Nanonic (talk) 21:42, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Do I see the Gorton's Fisherman (which dates to 1905) on the right side ? StuRat (talk) 06:52, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
The clownish figure with "Vim" on his top hat is from Vim polisher and cleanser ads. - Nunh-huh 08:13, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
The chap with the top hat is Johnnie Walker [43]. I thought that the children in the centre foreground were the Bisto Kids, but maybe not [44]. Mr Punch is from Punch (magazine). The little Jack Russell might be Nipper - the HMV dog. The chap in the red robe may represent Cardinal Polish but I couldn't find a similar image. Alansplodge (talk) 12:30, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

What is the capital of the USA?[edit]

Legally, is the US capital Washington, the city, or Columbia, the district? If they're now the same, what about before the Organic Act? — kwami (talk) 22:07, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

The federal statute defining the seat of the United States Government provides that "[a]ll that part of the territory of the United States included within the present limits of the District of Columbia shall be the permanent seat of government of the United States." (4 U.S.C. § 71) The City of Washington and the District of Columbia are, geographically, exactly the same territory and have been since the nineteenth century. Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:13, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
(ec)The capital is the city of Washington, D.C., which was once a subset of the District of Columbia, but the two entities are now the same entity. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:14, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
How can that be, if it was only one of five entities in the district, and it was the district that was defined as the capital? — kwami (talk) 22:30, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
No, the city is the capital, and it exists within a state-like entity called the District of Columbia. Prior to the 1870s, there were other autonomous cities within DC, such as Georgetown. Then it was decided that the city of Washington would occupy the entirety of DC, and places like Georgetown became merely neighborhoods instead of cities. It's kind of like Indianapolis' relationship to Marion County, only "more so". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:34, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
In addition, the District of Columbia originally consisted of a portion ceded by Maryland, and a portion ceded by Virginia. The Virginia portion was returned to Virginia ("retroceded") in 1846, and is now Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia. Newyorkbrad (talk) 00:13, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
But I thought the territory was defined as the capital before the city was founded. So, the district merely houses the capital, and before the city was established, we had an imaginary capital? — kwami (talk) 00:32, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
The territory was originally defined by the Residence Act of 1790 and was ceded to the national government to become the future capital (as contemplated by Article One, Section 8, clause 17 of the U.S. Constitution). The capital remained in existing cities (New York and later Philadelphia) temporarily until the first federal buildings in Washington were completed. Newyorkbrad (talk) 01:27, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Okay, thanks! — kwami (talk) 01:55, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) List_of_capitals_in_the_United_States#Former_national_capitals lists all of the former seats of government of the U.S. The best known were Philadelphia (when the Declaration of Independence was signed) and New York City (which was the first capital under the Constitution). But such places as York, Pennsylvania and Trenton, New Jersey acted as de facto capitals and seats of government at various times. As noted above, the seat of the U.S. government, since moving to the district, has always been located in the settlement known as Washington, in the District of Columbia. The actual district was divided into 5 different political entities:
  1. the incorporated capital city itself, known as Washington
  2. An existing incorporated city, Georgetown which had been part of Maryland, and which was a separately incorporated city within the District until 1871.
  3. An existing incorporated city, Alexandria which had been part of Virginia (the modern corporate bounds of Alexandria, Virginia are larger than they were in 1800)
  4. The balance of the land which had been part of Maryland, but not part of either Washington or Georgetown was unincorporated Washington County, D.C.
  5. The balance of the land which had been part of Virginia, but not part of the city of Alexandria was unincorporated Alexandria County, D.C., now known as Arlington County, Virginia.
The last two were returned to Virginia in 1846, while the first three (two incorporated cities and a large area of unincorporated land around them as Washington County) continued their separate existence until 1871, when Congress made them all a single entity. Historically, there were parts of the District which were distinct political entities that were not part of the U.S. capital city, which was defined only as Washington, D.C. Thus, the capital really is Washington D.C., and not just the District of Columbia, or at least, it was until 1871, after which there was no difference in any sense, so it really doesn't matter. --Jayron32 02:07, 27 February 2015 (UTC

Important correction. The legal name of that single entity existing since 1871 is the District of Columbia, not Washington, DC. See the article: "revoked the individual charters of the cities of Washington and Georgetown and combined them with Washington County to create a unified territorial government for the entire District of Columbia". Or better yet, see the actual law, cited in the article (which the original poster already knew about, as they mentioned the "Organic Act"), specifically the last two sections. From §40: "That the charters of the cities of Washington and Georgetown shall be repealed on and after the first day of June, A . D. eighteen hundred and seventy-one, and all offices of said corporations abolished at that date..." And from §41: "And upon the repeal of the charters of the cities of Washington and Georgetown, the District of Columbia be, and is hereby, declared to be the successor of said corporations..."

So the answer is simply "the District of Columbia". In legal terms there is no such place as Washington; the everyday usage is a holdover from how it was before 1871. And on the second question, about the situation before the Organic Act, the Constitution provides that the entire district (which it does not name) is the "seat of government", so I think DC is the best answer even before 1871. (talk) 13:53, 27 February 2015 (UTC), edited 13:56, 27 February 2015 (UTC).

Israel Shamir[edit]

Was he born in Sweden or Russia? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Joey13952 alternate account (talkcontribs) 23:26, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

The Wikipedia article titled Israel Shamir states that he was born in Novosibirsk. At some times in history, some parts of what is now Russia were once part of Sweden, but a) never Novosibirsk and b) Never at the time when he was born. So it seems pretty definitive he was born in Russia. --Jayron32 02:20, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

February 27[edit]

Central African Republic[edit]

What states have been in the area that is now the Central African Republic before and during its time as a French colony excluding the French colony and the state that was derived from it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:C541:CC60:4897:AF86:CD38:DFCF (talk) 00:03, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

I believe the answer is possibly none. There was no organized state in that area when the French showed up. The politics were purely tribal and the area was likely somewhat depopulated due to the slave trade. Daniel(talk) 00:23, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
To provide some references for Daniel's supposition, see List of kingdoms in pre-colonial Africa which shows no historic polities located where the French later formed Ubangi-Shari. The area was occupied by non-state civilizations such as the Sao civilization. The nearest states I can find through research include the Kanem Empire, its successor the Bornu Empire, and the Kingdom of Baguirmi, which all came close to the area, and which had fuzzy enough borders that they may have exerted control over some small parts of what became the CAR. Most of central African states, however, were really concentrated on Lake Chad and into the Sahel, and probably didn't exert any real state control over what became the CAR, or were much further south along the Congo River. --Jayron32 01:43, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

House prices: domino effect[edit]

If I own a house and I reside in it and I do not wish to sell it and I do not wish to move, and my next-door neighbor demolishes his house and replaces it with an apartment building having a higher assessed value but causing increases in traffic congestion and air pollution and worsening the quality of my life, then why does the apartment building cause my house to have a higher assessed value and a higher tax rate?
Wavelength (talk) 00:41, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

See Property tax in the United States, particularly the "Valuation" section. Tevildo (talk) 01:03, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
More importantly, see supply and demand. By increasing the demand for your property, the value goes up. Quality of living issues, and how much you now "like" it has little to do with it. Also, your "house" is not necessarily what is being valued, but the total value of your land and all that is on it. Most of which is land. The value of the structure itself is of lesser concern. It's a real estate adage that "Buildings depreciate and land appreciates". --Jayron32 01:22, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Related to this, consider the potential uses of your property. How big is your lot? If you own the house and just a few feet past it in every direction, it may be far less valuable because not much could be put there. This is an interesting aspect of Bloomington, Indiana, where I went to grad school. While there are some apartments near the huge university campus, most of the campus is surrounded by neighborhoods of small houses, since most of the lots are really tiny, and constructing an apartment building would require that several house owners all be ready to sell together. Yes, you could buy one at a time, but if one has a young couple who won't move, you might get stuck holding the other houses for decades. Consider the film Up. If you've seen it, you remember Mr Frederickson's small house surrounded by all the development — since everything's been built around it, isolating the house and its little lot, there's not much you could put there. It's not as if someone could buy Mr Frederickson's property and put in a big apartment building, for example. Nyttend (talk) 06:11, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Nyttend, my reply has four parts: (1) Monetary values are not the only values. My land could have value for growing fruits and vegetables, for beekeeping, and for maintaining a view for the benefit of my neighbors. (2) Taxing it while I own it is imposing a capital gains tax on its increased monetary value (of no benefit to me unless I choose the risky option of leveraging its value for a loan), instead of imposing a sales tax after its sale (which sale I do not want). (3) Real estate brokers might hope to gain from its hoped-for sale, and the local government might gain from increased taxes, but the higher assessment is of no benefit to me. (4) The expression "supply and demand" is fuzzy, because the term "demand" blurs the distinction between needs and desires.
Wavelength (talk) 19:54, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I have no clue how potential future uses (e.g. agriculture) or æsthetic uses (e.g. neighbors' views) are taken into account, let alone the way that things like taxes and real estate brokers' wishes fit in; go find a real estate agent if you want to understand how those fit in. Did you see that most of the above comments, especially supply and demand, were made by other people? Anyway, the concept of demand in economics seemingly doesn't attempt to distinguish between needs and desires; after all, it's virtually impossible to draw a firm line between them. Nyttend (talk) 22:47, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I see that another editor mentioned supply and demand. Thank you for your replies.
Wavelength (talk) 01:43, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Leaning liberal-conservative[edit]

How can anything or anyone "lean liberal-conservative"? How can you lean in opposite ways simultaneously? Yes, I understand that one can have conservatives within a body called the "Liberal Party" and liberals within a body called the "Conservative Party", but when neither one is capitalised, it looks like the leaner has tendencies toward liberalism and conservatism. The context for this question is our Allgemeine Zeitung article, which says "The newspaper leans liberal-conservative"; the source won't help, as it's no longer a working link. Nyttend (talk) 05:42, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

See liberal conservatism. As I've mentioned other times, "liberal" and "conservative" are not opposites, and not even necessarily in tension. --Trovatore (talk) 05:51, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
That's all right-wing stuff. Where's the "liberal" part? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:49, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
There is nothing left-wing about liberalism in general. Actually, the entire mainstream of the American political spectrum is liberal in a broad sense.
I once asked my brother-in-law, a historian, whether there was ever any large American political movement that wouldn't fall under the broad rubric of liberalism. His answer was the American Party from the 19th century, more usually called the Know-Nothings. There is also plenty of anti-liberal sentiment on the left, among adherents of identity politics, but even they are so influenced by liberalism that only a few radicals really fundamentally reject it as a whole; they just aren't willing to embrace it fully either. --Trovatore (talk) 06:56, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I've seen other editors claim just the opposite - that the US is all conservative (compared to Europe, anyway). ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:58, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Once again, "liberal" and "conservative" are not opposites. --Trovatore (talk) 07:00, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Once again, in America they are. Maybe in Canada things are different. Although I recall Dave Foley saying once, "In Canada, we're so liberal we make Castro look like a Republican." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:36, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Once again, they are. Conservatives want to maintain the power status quo. Liberals want to expand liberty to more people. You can't retain the power status quo AND expand liberty. Not possible. The confusion arises because people who were genuinely "liberal" back-in-the-day eventually became entrenched in power, and their policies ARE the status quo; they are no longer interested in expanding liberty to more people. See classical liberalism, which had to have the word "classical" added to the front because this is no longer modern liberalism. --Jayron32 17:23, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
So this is the American-center-left party line, which I obviously don't agree with. If everyone already has liberty, then there is no "expanding it to more people", because there are no more people to expand it to, and in that case, preservation of the status quo is liberal, because the only way it could change is to take away liberty from someone. I don't claim that's the situation we're in, certainly, but further discussion of that gets down to details that are not relevant to the current question.
What is relevant to Nyttend's query is that the word "liberal" is used in multiple ways. It is not purely an America-rest-of-the-world distinction, but one of a distinction between a (mostly American, but not entirely) sense meaning "center-left", and a broader sense meaning "supports the idea of individual rights, civil liberties, procedural and substantive due process, free enterprise, free trade, etc", things that are virtually universal across the American political spectrum, and not universal but have a strong majority in the Western European spectrum.
The broader sense is used even in the United States; you generally have to understand it from context. There was a column by Jeb Bush recently talking about, I think, al-Sisi (I'm not 100% sure on that point) where he raised the question whether this person was a "small-l liberal democrat as we understand it", and responded that he obviously was not, but that he might still be the best option for the region given the alternatives. Implicit was the claim that Jeb was a "liberal democrat". And in fact, Jeb Bush is a liberal democrat, understood in this broader sense. He is also, obviously, a conservative, and the two things are not in contradiction. --Trovatore (talk) 20:13, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
What world do you live in where every individual has the ideal level of liberty?!?!? --Jayron32 22:53, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Didn't say they did. However, the threats to individual liberty, in the current American context, come grosso modo as much from the left as from the right. "Change" is not always liberal; defending against illiberal change is a liberal undertaking. --Trovatore (talk) 22:55, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Some examples would help. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:02, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Well, there's for example the individual mandate from Obamacare, which takes away your freedom to roll the dice and bet that you won't need that coverage you're not buying. More generally there's the trend to hold that the State knows better than you what risks you (or especially your children) should be taking (how about this one?). Lots more. --Trovatore (talk) 23:26, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
That's the same argument that you shouldn't have to wear a motorcycle helmet because it inhibits your freedom. As to the child-endangerment case, that's at the state level, not the national level, and conservatives love to talk about "states' rights". And are you saying that we shouldn't have child-endangerment laws? Do those laws inhibit the freedom of adults to do whatever they want to their children? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:29, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
It is (the motorcycle thing). And in fact you shouldn't have to wear a motorcycle helmet, because it inhibits your freedom. Legislating otherwise is illiberal, even if it comes from the center-left, and opposing such legislation is liberal, even if the opposition comes from the center-right. --Trovatore (talk) 02:18, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Presumably you would also be arguing against seat belts and every other safety device on cars, as well as speed limits. Keep in mind that the state owns the roads, and the people (via their representatives) make those rules. On your own private property, the rules of the road don't apply, and you can ride a motorcycle without a helmet, and drive as fast as you want to. And by the way, who says it's "liberals" who have passed all these safety rules? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:53, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Part of the problem is assuming, however, that the ONLY source of restrictions on liberty is the government; the deal with classical liberalism is that, AT THAT TIME, the government was the primary source of illiberalism. What happens when other forces (corporations, societal norms, advantaged social classes, etc.) are providing the restrictions to liberty, and the government itself is acting to expand individual liberty against those forces? That's really what distinguishes modern liberalism from "classical liberalism", the use of the apparatus of state to expand personal liberty rather than to restrict it. --Jayron32 02:28, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
We aren't going to agree on this point. The thing relevant to Nyttend's query is that "liberalism" has multiple meanings, and the one that matters for understanding why a newspaper can be described as "liberal-conservative" is the one I explained. --Trovatore (talk) 04:53, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Actually, it is good to see you've come around to my point, '"liberalism" has multiple meanings' is what I was arguing days ago: Liberalism and Conservatism can only be understood in context, as related to a time and a place: What is liberal and conservative in one place is different than in other places and times. You seemed to want to say that Liberalism was a universal set of principles which did not vary (at least, that's the point you took on in the last discussion). It's nice to see you've come around to my thinking on this. --Jayron32 05:39, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't know about Canada, but in America there is no such thing as a "liberal conservative". That would be like a Catholic Unitarian. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:07, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't know what Canada has to do with anything, but yes, in fact, there is. Jeb Bush implied that he's a "liberal", and he's correct. He's also a conservative. In saying that he's a liberal, I don't in any way imply that he's at all left-wing, even within his party; it's a different use of the word from the one you're using, one that is in fact current within the United States, but has to be understood from context. --Trovatore (talk) 05:20, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
When has Jeb Bush ever called himself a "liberal"? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:36, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Scroll up and see. --Trovatore (talk) 06:43, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Ah, now, remembering that conversation, I think the Know-Nothings were my brother-in-law's answer to a slightly different question, namely whether we had ever had a religious party comparable to Shas in Israel. But I think he might have given the same answer to "large non-liberal party" ("political movement" is not right I guess; the Ku Klux Klan was at some point a large political movement). --Trovatore (talk) 07:15, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
It's all due to the fact that the US uses the word 'liberal' in a completely different manner than the rest of the world does. Liberal means socially permissive and fiscally conservative in the rest of the world, whereas conservative is socially regressive and fiscally conservative. There is in fact of course no left wing in mainstream American politics, and they are by and large all conservative, yes. (talk) 08:06, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

There is no actual one-size-fits-all definition of left v. right, or liberal v. conservative. Each place and time finds totally different definitions used, frequently simultaneously. Abolitionists were "liberal" but were also "conservative" in many ways - depending on which attributes one looks at. In the US, a huge percentage of people would actually be called "centrist" by the standards of European politics. Collect (talk) 17:00, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

  • In the US we have RINO's, (Republican in name only) if that's what's meant. John Boehner is widely considered one. There also used to be Rockefeller Republicans and Arlen Spector and John Lindsay μηδείς (talk) 19:20, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Anybody who thinks liberal and conservative in America are somehow the same thing needs to listen to Sarah Palin for a few minutes. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:36, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Could I just shove a rusty cheese grater in my ears instead?
American politics usually is a single spectrum with liberalism on the left and conservatism on the right, but I've seen a double spectrum (or even a triple spectrum, like a cube) of authoritarian (or fascist, or populist) vs liberal (or libertarian, or democratic) on one axis, left-wing (socialist or communist) vs right-wing (capitalist) on another, and socially liberal vs socially conservative on the third.
American politics, in the grand scheme of things, is really more "moderate vs conservative" (heading toward "moderate vs neoconservative") than truly "liberal vs conservative." Ian.thomson (talk) 00:28, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Anti-Punishment points of view, sources?[edit]

Hey, I would like to know if there is any information published by reputable sources that provide criticism of punishment and point toward a reward-based system of discipline to add within the page on "Punishment". That would really help me. thx. Frogger48 (talk) 10:36, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Supposing someone commits murder, what type of reward should they get? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:56, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Don't be facile, the OP clearly meant what preventative measures are there as disincentives for crimes. (talk) 07:08, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Don't be arrogant. I'm not the only one (see below) who's apparently dumber than you are. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:34, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Personal attacks, we can't have that now can we Baseball Bugs? (talk) 04:56, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
What, only you are allowed to make personal attacks? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:05, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Baseball Bugs you need to realise that this Reference Desk is for helpful comments, not sarcastic responses. (talk) 05:16, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Good. So stop attacking other users, and start making helpful comments. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:37, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, you should stop making sarcastic comments to people and calling people dumb. (talk) 05:39, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Take your own advice. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:47, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
A search on Google Scholar produced plenty of results. You may wish to refine the search terms depending on whether you are interested in sources relating to children or adults - a spell on the naughty step might not deter bank robbers. Alansplodge (talk) 12:09, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Are you interested in the penal system, or child rearing, or something else, or anything related to punishment? If the former, we have Rehabilitation_(penology), if the latter, recall that negative reinforcement is not punishment, and of course there's also positive reinforcement. If you can explain a little bit more about what you're looking for, I can probably get some scholarly references. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:12, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Pre-2003 USA-Iraq Oil Trading[edit]

Did the United States and Iraq under Hussein trade oil before the 2003 invasion? (talk) 07:04, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

It would surely depend on what you mean by trading. However a simple search for 'us iraq oil' finds [45] which shows US imports or Iraqi oil. which suggests a peak in October 2001 - January 2002 until October last year. However it looks like the peak is because the graph isn't smooth as much as anything, the levels may be slightly higher but seem to have been fairly consistent from August 1998 until the end of the graph with a brief drop around the time of the invasion. Unfortunately the stats start in 1996. It seems that imports was zero for 1996, with a small amount in 1997 before the larger increase in 1998. It wouldn't be surprising if oil imports were zero since about 1990 i.e. the time of the Gulf War but there's probably a fair bet it wasn't zero before then, perhaps since Saddam Hussein came to power in 1979 (well before 1979, but your question as stated only covers the period from 1979 onwards). Nil Einne (talk) 10:49, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
[46] has an analysis of the data on a year to year basis until 2007 which shows there was indeed a peak in 2001 although it was only about 20% or so higher than the next higher year, 2004. It also looks like figures seem to have some degree of correlation with Iraqi crude oil production, at least in recent years until 2006. Nil Einne (talk) 10:54, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
See also Sanctions against Iraq#Limitations on exports and the Oil For Food Programme for the post Gulf War situation. Alansplodge (talk) 12:04, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Welsh flag - pre 1953[edit]

Flags of Wales 1953-1959 (Left) and 1959-Current (Right)

The current Flag of Wales shows the welsh dragon. During 1953-1959 one was used showing the Royal Badge of Wales. Was any flag or ensign used immediately prior to that or was the Union Jack used for all things? For instance; what would have been used at international football games and the British Empire/Commonwealth games prior to 1953?. Nanonic (talk) 14:01, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

"Cumberland Clark’s 1926 book about the flags of England and the Empire has no reference to a Welsh flag, but his 1934 book ‘The Flags of Britain’ has; ‘Those who happen to be in Wales on Saint David’s Day will catch a glimpse of a British banner that is rarely seen beyond the boundaries of Cambria. The national flag of Wales has a horizontally halved white over green background, with the famous Red Dragon over all.’" History of Y Ddraig Goch. The same article also shows another flag, used "by government buildings in London" was a "white field with the dragon standing on a patch of green grass". Alansplodge (talk) 16:53, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

(edit conflict with Alansplodge) Also see Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Football#Flag of Wales, where the issue was actually raised, and where there's a sort of a discussion going on. --Theurgist (talk) 17:00, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

I have added my six penn'orth to the discussion by the football people, which I hope has helped. Maybe. Alansplodge (talk) 00:52, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

bond market - structured products - german "Zertifikate"[edit]

hi, anyone here into german "Zertifikate"-stuff? Is it possible to find a translation for them: "structured bonds, bond market"? "Structured derivative european-style bank-issued exotic bonds"? "Structured Reverse_convertible_securities"? "Structured reverse Convertible_bond"? "Over-the-counter derivatives"? Is there a common term for them? (OP on german refdesk: DE:Wikipedia:Auskunft#Was_hei.C3.9Ft_Zertifikat_.28Wirtschaft.29_auf_englisch.3F) Thanks advanced! -- (talk) 16:07, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

UK military decoration ceremonies[edit]

L/Cpl Joshua Leakey was awarded the Victoria Cross on Wednesday. As can be seen from, for example, the BBC article on the event, he received the award wearing his everyday camoflage battledress. Not knowing much about this subject, I would have expected a more formal dress uniform to be appropriate for this sort of ceremony - however, my expectations were incorrect. Is there a tradition or protocol which dicates this sort of clothing for medal ceremonies? If so, perhaps a reference to it in the relevant articles would be useful. Tevildo (talk) 20:30, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

I couldn't find an answer for you, but note that in the same video sequence, there was an image of Johnson Beharry receiving his VC while wearing No.2: Service dress which is more formal, but not THE most formal uniform.[47] I suspect that a decision was taken by his unit that the soldiers should appear in their "working clothes" (actually No.8: Temperate Combat Dress) to show that they are really fighting troops and not parade soldiers, but that's just a guess. Alansplodge (talk) 00:49, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

UK Chief Constables[edit]

Are UK Chief Constables of Police fully warranted police officers? Does anyone have any references or legislation to shed light on this issue? Thanks. asyndeton talk 22:23, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

It's a notoriously difficult to disprove something, but look at it another way... When a serving police officer is made Chief Constable, is he somehow stripped of his powers or required to hand in his warrant card? It seems a bit unlikely. Until recently, many chief constables still wore their whistle chains, a symbol of their status as a police officer. Alansplodge (talk) 00:34, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
The question would then become: are all Chief Constables of Police promoted from the ranks of warranted officers, or are some appointed as "political" position? My wife works in law enforcement in a forensic science lab: the Lab Director has no lab experience whatsoever, it's always been a political appointment of the State Attorney General, and IIRC, neither does the Deputy Director. The highest ranked person at her lab who are promoted from within are the two Assistant Lab Directors. So, by analogy, it would not be unexpected that a high ranking person such as the Chief Constable would be a political, rather than professional, appointment. If there were some Chief Constables who did not get their job by rising through the ranks, they may not be warranted. I have no idea if this applies to any currently serving, of the 50 listed at Chief constable. About half of them have biographies on Wikipedia. I checked the first three, and all were career warranted police officers. --Jayron32 00:51, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Final Authority on UK Law[edit]

Can be taken to be the final authority on UK law? If so, why is this? How many times is it peer reviewed (I ask as I wonder how sure they can be there are no errors that would affect the law)? Are there any other safeguards? How does the whole thing happen, if that can be easily explained? Thanks. asyndeton talk 22:27, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

It looks to be the official government website. If there was an error on that site (anything is possible), it would not be binding. What is binding is the wording of the legislation as it was passed by Parliament, not a mistake in publishing it to a website. Is there a specific piece of legislation, whose text is on that website, which you have reason to doubt is the same as the text originally passed by Parliament? If you have specific questions about that website, This page here I found with a few clicks will likely answer them for you. --Jayron32 22:50, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
No, the final interpretation of the law, so in that sense the final authority, is by the judicial service. However, the website does indeed carry the legal text of the law, as held by the National Archives (see 'About Us'). You'd have to contact the National Archives about their error save-guards. (talk) 22:58, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Interpretation of the law wasn't the question; the question asks about the text of the law (which can easily be ascertained from the printed originals), not its meaning or application. Only in an extremely rare situation, if ever, would the judiciary have to attempt to ascertain the official text itself, since official texts are routinely printed and distributed to law libraries. Nyttend (talk) 23:06, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
The question was about "the final authority". Nowhere did it mention the text of the law. Whatever a law says, it's the interpretation of that law by a judge (or a series of judges) that matters in the end. Judges surely are the final authority, except where countermanded by a more senior judge. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:26, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I apologise for not being clear in my question. By final authority, I meant to ask whether or not the text of any act on can be taken to be "the law" in the sense that it is the complete and official version and representation of the law, as passed by Parliament. I wondered whether or not there is a paper document somewhere that is seen as the unquestioned representation of the law, and the aforementioned site is simply meant to make what this says more widely available. Apologies again for not being clear. Thanks. asyndeton talk 00:16, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
[edit conflict] Neither their About Us page nor the page linked by Jayron addresses the issue of the website's authoritativeness. Based on viewing other legislation-hosting websites, I'll guess that Jayron's correct: in general, websites of this type are provided as public services, not as authoritative sources. While the webmasters attempt to be as accurate as possible, the online text has the force of law only if it's identical to the text of the law enacted by the legislature; if they make any mistakes in transcription, the officially enacted text takes precedence over the online text. This is why some such websites have disclaimers that say basically "If you rely on an erroneous piece of text on our website, you will be liable for violating the actual law, so consult a printed copy of the law and/or talk with a lawyer." Nyttend (talk) 23:04, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
It should be as good as printed copies, though. Itsmejudith (talk) 23:19, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Seeing as it is an official website of the UK Parliament, and not an independent site, I suspect (but cannot prove) that the text is not transcribed (by hand or OCR) but rather simply copied from the actual word processing files used to print the text of the bills voted on in Parliament. It is quite likely (but again, cannot be proven from what I can read at the site) that the text is as identical as possible. --Jayron32 00:44, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it probably is, but it's still possible for corruptions to occur. I don't remember where I read it, but there was a US court case (Supreme Court?) that held federal law to consist of what had officially been enacted by Congress and published in its official organ, the Statutes at Large — any other medium of publication is unofficial, unless Congress decides to make something else official. I would strongly suspect the same to be true of the UK Parliament with its website: unless they've designated the website as their official organ, some other publication is the complete and official version and representation of the law. If you don't have a single official publication, which always takes precedence when differences arise, you're in a horribly undesirable situation: people can always debate the meaning of the law, but it's absolutely necessary for the judiciary and the rest of the citizens to be able to know what the official text of the law says. Nyttend (talk) 01:47, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
The Wikipedia articles are a bit out-of-date, but it does appear that the online database is official. See UK Statute Law Database and Acts of Parliament in the United Kingdom#Acts in force. It appears that the office responsible for maintaining accurate records of the Acts of Parliament in force (and thus the corpus of British statutory law) is the The National Archives (United Kingdom). If the OP has genuine questions regarding the official copy of legislation, how it is maintained, and how to research it, they would be the people to contact. Their website is at and they have a contact page at which even has a phone number. That'd be the best way to get the question answered, since they are the ones responsible for maintaining the official records. --Jayron32 02:00, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Huh. Well, if Parliament have decreed that the online database be their official organ, it is the final authority on UK law, and there's no getting around it. I'm somewhat surprised, but I suppose it's to be expected in our electronic age. Nyttend (talk) 02:28, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Maybe or maybe not. The Wikipedia articles are either uncited, out of date, or unclear on the matter. They certainly imply or state that, but where they state it outright they are uncited. Near as I can tell, the National Archives are the body charged by Parliament with maintaining the official records, and the online database MAY be that official record, or may be a copy of that record, it is unclear since we don't have a definitive outside-of-Wikipedia statement to that effect. Which is why I recommended the OP (and you if you really want to know) contact the National Archives directly and ask them. --Jayron32 02:35, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

February 28[edit]

Who polices the police who police the police?[edit]

The Metropolitan Police Service has a specific department for investigating complaints against officers, ie the Directorate of Professional Standards, Who though is responsible for policing them? I have read a Freedom of Information Request that suggests it used to be the Metropolitan Police Authority, but has that not been replace by the Police and Crime Commissioner? Is their office responsible for keeping the DPS in line? Thanks. asyndeton talk 00:02, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Are you asking about the Metropolitan Police Service in Greater London?
Wavelength (talk) 00:08, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, although I suppose the question also applies more broadly to other constabularies within the UK, as I would have thought they would all follow a similar structure regarding these matters. If not though, the Met is the on I am most interested in. Thanks. asyndeton talk 00:11, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (according to the Met's website [48]) "primary statutory purpose is to increase public confidence in the police complaints system in England and Wales." It continues; "The IPCC also investigates the most serious complaints and allegations of misconduct against the police in England and Wales, as well as handling some appeals from people who are not satisfied with the way police have dealt with their complaint". So the IPCC seems to have a regulatory role as well as being the ombudsman for those dissatisfied with police internal investigations. The Police and Crime Commissioner does not appear to have a direct role in enforcing police standards or the investigation of complaints according to Role of the PCC. Alansplodge (talk) 00:20, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
There's a division is responsibility between the IPCC and PCCs - the latter's role explained here. My understanding of the original question here would suggest that the PCC polices the DPS in all PCC'd areas. But for London, no PCC, but instead still Boris & co. [49] [50] ... and so the London assembly is the next level up. Clearly there is a lot of common ground between the IPCCs remit and that of PCCs; not sure how they handle that overlap. I disagree with Alansplodge ... if PCCs hold chief constables to account, then they are standards enforcers. If the DPS is failing, that is a matter for the PCC/Boris; but I suspect the cases which are failing in the DPS are the remit of the IPCC. --Tagishsimon (talk) 00:32, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

UK royal assent[edit]

The discussions up above make me wonder: who officially grants Royal Assent to Acts of the Scottish Parliament? It's not in the UK section of Royal Assent, but neither is anything on who officially grants it to Acts of the UK Parliament. I remember reading somewhere (but I can't remember or discover where) that Royal Assent was first granted by a non-monarch (by an individual? by a committee? I can't remember) during the reign of Henry VIII, since he didn't want to sign the bill of attainder against one of his wives, and that this procedure is pretty much always followed today for Acts of the UK Parliament. I'm curious if the same type of official or same type of body grants Royal Assent to Scottish, Welsh, and Nirish acts. The article quotes the ordinary Assent formulæ, which say "By The Queen Herself Signed with Her Own Hand", but it would seem odd for Royal Assent always to be granted in person to Scottish, Welsh, and Nirish acts if it were rarely or never given to acts of the UK Parliament. Nyttend (talk) 01:56, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Hm, I just realised that there's additional information farther down in the Royal Assent article. Does the Queen personally sign all bills passed by the national and devolved parliaments? Nyttend (talk) 01:59, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Likely she doesn't. The job of officially assenting to legislation long ago passed out of the hands of the Monarch, even before the Monarch lost all of his or her real power. Even when Monarchs had power, they had a official "Keepers of the Seal", whose job it was to affix the official seal to Acts that had royal assent. The UK has both a Privy Seal and a Great Seal of the Realm. It also has people whose job it is to keep said seals, the Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal and the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. In the modern UK, the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal is usually also the Lord Chancellor. In commonwealth realms today, royal assent is accomplished when the Governor-General personally signs the bill. In the UK itself, a bill gets royal assent when either the Monarch appears personally in parliament to grant said assent (a rare event) or, more commonly, by the Lords Commissioners, who are given the authority to grant royal assent; the most important commissioner is the aforementioned Lord Chancellor. In reality, it seems, few acts of Parliament get the full "ceremonial" treatment in Lords; the Lords Commissioners simply issue a letters patent giving the Royal Consent. I can't find who formally signs or seals the legislation, but I doubt the Queen does personally. --Jayron32 02:16, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
That's something I found unclear in the article. It says that no monarch since Victoria has personally granted assent to Acts of the UK Parliament, and it says that the commission process only happens once per year, with all other bills being granted assent by letters patent. Since the personal-granting process involved the monarch physically going to the House of Lords and going through the various ceremonies, I figured that the "not since Victoria" statement didn't address whether the monarch personally signs bills. Acts_of_Parliament_in_the_United_Kingdom#Sovereignty says that there are only approximately fifty Acts of Parliament annually; I figured it wouldn't be that much of a strain on the royal right (or left) hand to sign her name once per week. Nyttend (talk) 02:48, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but that would still imply that she actually participates in passage of said acts. I seriously doubt it. I suspect (but cannot find sources) that the actual official passage involves the Lord Chancellor in some way; much of the roles held by the Governors-General in other commonwealth realms are held by the Lord Chancellor in the UK. --Jayron32 02:52, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Prince William was scheduled to be next king of UK?[edit]

[51] This is news to me, they were going to skip over Prince Charles? Is that for real? Does it refer to some kind of rumor or joke that was making the rounds in the UK? I couldn't find anything about it in the Wikipedia articles about Charles or William. (talk) 05:21, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

There was some idle speculation (by people who get paid to do nothing except idly speculate) that Charles would be skipped over, especially around the time of his split with Diana and his much-publicized relationship with Camila. See here for but one example. However, there has never been any official word on this in any sense. Officially, Charles is in line to succeed Elizabeth. There has never been any word otherwise from anyone except people who like to suppose about such possibilities. --Jayron32 05:44, 28 February 2015 (UTC)


February 22[edit]

How do speakers of tonal languages sing most kinds of songs?[edit]

How in the world do speakers of tonal languages sing most kinds of songs? Wouldn't the tonal aspect of their languages make that very difficult, if tone is of the utmost importance in their languages? Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 05:09, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Can't speak for other languages, but in Mandarin you would just sing without the tones. The meaning is usually clear from the combination of words and the context. — SMUconlaw (talk) 06:58, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
It's the same for modern Thai/Lao songs. Meaning is clear from context (the same is true for the hearing impaired who have to read lips, btw). In some traditional Thai and/or Lao music forms, however, (such as mor lam) the melody of the song is often determined by the tones of the words. Also interesting is that in Thai poetry, the โคลง meter prescribes certain tones for specific syllables.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 08:18, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
Previous reference-desk threads here, here, and here. There may be others. Deor (talk) 11:54, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

cuckoo sign[edit]

I'm confused. What exactly does the "cuckoo sign" (A gesture, consisting of a twirling motion of a finger near the temple) refer to? Wiktionary asserts that the gesture indicates that "that a person may have a screw loose", which would explain the twirling, but not the cuckoo, unless the lunatic's brain is likened to a cuckoo clock (I seem to remember that from old cartoons, but I couldn't give an example). The equivalent German gesture is tipping, not twirling, one's index finger against the forehead and relates to the expression einen Vogel haben, which supposedly relates to an old superstition that birds may be nesting in the lunatic's head, but if the bird is ever specified, it's not a cuckoo, but rather a tit. Any ideas anyone? Also, is the tipping gesture really uncommon in North America? What about Britain? Tip or twirl? --Janneman (talk) 21:20, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

"Cuckoo" is an old slang term for "crazy"[52] and possibly the inspiration for the terms "kook" and "kooky".[53]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:00, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
mm, yes, and also for cuckold, but then the cuckold gesture or "horns" is something entirely else, which confuses me even more...--Janneman (talk) 22:04, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
Forget "cuckold". The word "cuckoo" means "crazy", as used in America. As in "has a screw loose", "not playing with a full deck", etc. If that twirl is called the "cuckoo sign", it's because they both mean "crazy". Here is a rendition of "The Cuckoo Song", which Laurel and Hardy used as a theme. It even has words, including "I'm cuckoo and you're cuckoo". Perfect. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:12, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
In areas of America with a large hispanic presence it's called the locomotion. μηδείς (talk) 01:22, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
When I was at school, there was a more complex variation, with an accompanying chant: "Tap tap (tapping the temple with right forefinger) curly-wurly (making the twirling gesture described above) cuckoo! (pointing forward at forehead height with the same hand, mimicking the action of a cuckoo-clock)". It was used to harass or heckle people who were regarded as 'crazy'. And the connotation is definitely, as Bugs says, that of the bird itself. 'Cuckold' is unrelated; 'kooky' might or might not be. AlexTiefling (talk) 22:24, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
From Etymology Online - cuckoo (n.): " Slang adjectival sense of "crazy" is American English, 1918, but noun meaning "stupid person" is recorded by 1580s, perhaps from the bird's unvarying, oft-repeated call". Do you actually have cuckoos in America? Alansplodge (talk) 09:04, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
yes. --Jayron32 12:11, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
See Cuckoo#Distribution and habitat for the American cuckoos, of which some are Brood parasites. Shakespeare used the "stupid person" sense in Henry IV, Part 1 "A horsebacke (ye cuckoe) but a foote hee will not budge a foote". Dbfirs 12:21, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks; I should have read my own link. Further to User:AlexTiefling's childhood remembrances, in my 1960s childhood in London, the same gesture meant only "a screw loose". An accompanying ditty (sung to the tune of the Westminster Quarters) went: "Ding dong, ding dong, / Your brain's gone wrong; / There's a screw loose, / Now it's no use!". I haven't heard it since I left junior school though. Alansplodge (talk) 13:40, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
I think the gesture itself has been around a lot longer than the label "cuckoo sign". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:51, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

February 23[edit]

English pronunciation of given name "Liza"[edit]

Take a look here. Thanks.--Carnby (talk) 12:14, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

As Adam Bishop has indicated on that talk page, Ms. Minnelli's name is pronounced /ˈlaɪzə/ (like an aphetic version of the name of the main female character in My Fair Lady). Deor (talk) 13:24, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Khmer neak[edit]

Can anyone give a range of meanings for this - sorry I can't do Khmer script, but I mean the neak as in neak ta, neak thom. 12:45, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

អ្នក (Khmer pronunciation: [neə̯ʔ] or neak), has a wide range of uses in Khmer, some of which include:
  • a neutral (i.e. between equals; polite, but not necessarily formal) 2nd person singular pronoun ("you").
  • functioning as a sort of kinship term when addressing an older brother-in-law (husband of an older sister) or, less often, an older sister-in-law.
  • as a general noun, it means "person" or "people".
  • an agentive particle used to create nouns: កីឡា (keilaa, "sports") ~~> អ្នកកីឡា (neak keilaa, "athlete"); កោះ (kah, "island") ~~> អ្នកកោះ (neak kah, "islander").
  • spelled នាក់, a classifier for people (commoners only, there are different classifiers for royalty, Buddhist clergy, etc.)
The neak in neak ta can't really be analyzed separately. It would just be "you grandfather". Neak ta is a complete term in and of itself that can mean "ancestor spirits", "village spirit", "guardian spirits", etc. Context is usually sufficient to determine which spirits are meant, but it can be clarified when needed: អ្នកតាព្រៃ, neak ta prey("forest spirits"). Neak thom is an example of the agentive particle. Thom means "big" or "important", neak thom is "an important/powerful person, dignitary or high-ranking official".--William Thweatt TalkContribs 02:49, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, that's very comprehensive. PiCo (talk) 05:04, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Filmographies, not just for films anymore?[edit]

After looking at this edit where the editor replaced the word "Filmography" with the more verbose "TV and filmography", I started wondering if the term 'filmography' could be applied to TV shows as well. So, I looked the word up and it does seem to refer simply to films. Is there a change going on in the language that would have it include TV shows as well? I often see it the fields combined here on Wikipedia but what about the English speaking world outside of WP? By the way, I would have changed it to simply 'filmography' because I feel the longer form is too clunky but I don't really have anything other than my opinion to back me up. Dismas|(talk) 12:51, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

I blame IMDb for this. They mix them together over there. It might be worthwhile to discuss this at the film project and see if we should move the TV credits to their own section. Clarityfiend (talk) 09:43, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
This is probably a question for the appropriate MOS talk page. I see nothing wrong per se with Film and TV if that's what's involved, or Selected Works or one could even say Videography although filmography seems to be the expected word, and not normally to include TV. For example of why not to do this, consider one section that included all of Bette Davis's films and TV appearances in cameos and on talk shows. It would be a horrible mess. μηδείς (talk) 18:44, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Actors and Filmmakers is the appropriate place; I'm going to start a discussion there. Clarityfiend (talk) 02:45, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
A lot of television production still uses film, right? I don't see the problem. Take a look at Category:Filmographies and its subcats. The title format is often "Joe Blow filmography" even when there are TV roles, or even completely non-film formats like radio and stage. Others have resorted to clunkier, if more inclusive, titles. --BDD (talk) 15:36, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Identification and self-identification[edit]

In the translation of languages, and even within one language, people have a tendency to use whatever other people call them (which may be good or bad) and use the terms to describe themselves. Linguistic reappropriation is similar in concept, but it focuses on a bad word that later turns into a neutral or good word or just a word for self-identity. Is there a broader term for reappropriation that does NOT have to come from a bad label? English speakers say "China", referring to the Qin dynasty, the first imperial dynasty, but Chinese speakers say "中国", which is translated literally as "Middle Country" or "Middle Kingdom". English speakers say "England", but Spanish speakers say "Ingleterra". That at least sounds like a literal translation. Ingle. English. Terra. Land or earth. (talk) 17:20, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

The broadest word to describe the concept of which you are speaking is called an ethnonym. That article has links to a variety of origins of ethnonyms as well as classes of sources of ethnonyms. --Jayron32 18:46, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Also, the Spanish is Inglaterra, which is a calque of Englaland.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Medeis (talkcontribs)
I think what the OP is trying to get at, is if there's a neutral term for using another culture's ethnonym for you to describe yourself, other than reappropriation. For example, how some western Japanophiles call themselves Gaijin. Ian.thomson (talk) 23:07, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Gaijin is perfectly normal for us foreigners who live there for a while and actually make an attempt to assimilate (unlike most, who are only there for a year or so). Newcomers tend to find it offensive, despite the fact that the word merely means 'foreigner', which is exactly what they are. Anyway, I fail to see how the word 'China' could be considered bad - OK, China is not an imperial nation (so they say), but it's still the word used in English, so they accept that, because there is no other word for China in English (besides Cathay, and other archaic words). China calls the UK 英國, 'YingGuo' for phonetic reasons, in the same way as China may have been named after the 'Qin' Dynasty. I still fail to see your point that 'people use terms that other people call them to refer to themselves' as 'China' is not called, for example, 氣愛那 in Chinese. Your other example of Inglaterra being Spanish for England also does not become an example in your question, as worded. Inglaterra was called Inglaterra because it was called Englalond before the word Inglaterra was introduced into Spanish. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 23:40, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
My point was not to say that "people use terms that other people call them to refer to themselves' as 'China' is not called, for example, 氣愛那 in Chinese", whatever that is supposed to mean. My point was to say that Chinese speakers call "中国", a term that bears no allusion to the Qin dynasty, whereas the English term "China" does. And I never said or implied that "China" or "中国" was bad. (talk) 23:51, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
Well, then, it's not reappropriation, is it, as the two terms are completely unrelated. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 00:23, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Actually it's even closer. The UK is often named "England" in foreign languages. 英国 (Yingguo) is derived from 英格兰 (Yinggelan, "England"). The official name would be 大不列颠及北爱尔兰联合王国 (Great "Buliedian" and Northern "Aierlan" United Kingdom). 法国 comes from 法兰西共和国 "Falanxi" Republic (France), 德国 comes from 德意志联邦共和国 "Deyizhi" Federal Republic ("Deutsch"land, Germany) and 希腊 Xila (Hellas, Greece). It's a mix of phonetic transcription (of either how the country call itself or the English name) and translation of meanings. Chinese doesn't allow consonant clusters and has undergone palatalization (e.g. gi, ki, hi became ji, qi, xi). Many countries would be transcribed differently if there wasn't already a name since there are syllables closer to the actual pronunciation. -- (talk) 21:20, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Sure, but usually when in China, we would use the short name 英国 (Yingguo) to say where we are from, which is actually far more understandable and palatable to the locals than 大不列颠及北爱尔兰联合王国. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 04:04, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
"Inglaterra" is cognate with "England", as "Spain" is cognate with "España". But as noted, some country's names are totally different from what we call them, thanks to ancient assignations which persist to this day. My German colleagues, when speaking English, would call their own country "Germany" even though they call it Deutschland; and speaking to them (in English) and happened to call it "Deutschland", they found it kind of disconcerting (possibly because I wasn't pronouncing it the right way). And it's like when we call the Hellenic Republic "Greece", Misr/Masr "Egypt", and Nippon "Japan". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:22, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Why would they call their country "Deutschland" when they speak English? Obviously they would use a term you understand easier. -- (talk) 21:20, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Slight correction. Cognates are words that derive from the same root. Terra is not cognte with land, but rather with thirst--meaning "dry". The proper term here is calque, which is a literal, word for word substitution--a borrowing of meaning, but not form. μηδείς (talk) 06:07, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Of course, as both I and Bugs have said, when it comes to the name of countries, we call them by whatever name we have historically called them, whilst they may (and usually do) have their own name for it, and when speaking in the respective languages, each would use both. @OP Your examples were not relevant. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 02:57, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
I think "Japan" and "Nippon"/"Nihon" are fundamentally the same word, aren't they? (talk) 04:46, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
They are exactly the same word (日本), just different pronunciations, and can be used interchangeably. Incidentally, the word 'Japan' is related to the word 'Nippon', as it comes from an older pronunciation of the Chinese for 'Riben' (Japan), which was something like 'nyitbon', from whichever dialect it came. The 'ny' became 'J' in Portuguese. Compare the old name Zipangu (日本国).KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 05:26, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Seems I did not express myself clearly since your "incidentally" is the whole purpose of my comment, which was to query the apparent suggestion in the previous post that "Nippon" and "Japan" were etymologically different words. (talk) 18:09, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Also see exonym and endonym.    → Michael J    19:30, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
To whom is Michael J responding? —Tamfang (talk) 01:12, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I've seen a reconstruction of the first element as /nziet/ (with some odd diacritics that I don't remember). Successor languages lost either the /n/ or the /z/. —Tamfang (talk) 01:12, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, sorry, Tamfang, I chose a 'y' instead of the ʐ that I should have used. I just couldn't find it. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 04:11, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I know very little Japanese, but when I was in lockup I befriended an American Lesbian who had served in Japan. I asked her to confirm that "Atashi wa gaijin desu" was correct. She told me I should say "Boku wa gaijin da." When I speak to Hispanics I say my family are puros gringos, "pure gringos". μηδείς (talk) 06:07, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't know what gender you are, Medeis, but the first example is correct for female speakers, and the second for male speakers using the more humble male pronoun 'boku' than the less humble male pronoun 'ore'. However, this is a phrase I would only ever use on the phone, as when speaking to someone face to face, my caucasian features would make the explanation unnecessary. Language teaching materials are very often not very good, and use useless phrases to illustrate their points. "This is a pen" in Japanese is 'kore wa pen desu.' When I was teaching in Japan, I was half expecting someone to say, "Yeah, we know, that's what we call it in Japanese." KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 18:07, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I assumed someone might catch that, and had I said watashi it would have also implied something, as does my use of "lockup" (which is not quite accurate either), but the salient point was that the lesbian said that she herself used boku, which was the joke. My real question to her was not about the verb or pronoun, but about gaijin. μηδείς (talk) 18:39, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
You'd be surprised. A lot of 'tomboy-type' Japanese female children use 'boku', and in Nagano, old women use 'ore' to refer to themselves (I have never met a lesbian Japanese, but I am sure they have the same 'gender roles' as western lesbians). 'Watashi' is perfectly OK for both genders. 'Watakushi' is even more formal, yet OK for both genders. 'Gaijin' is perfectly acceptable, however, it is short for 'gaikokujin', which actually means 'foreigner' or more specifically 'someone from another country'. Newcomers tend to pseudo-translate 'gaijin' as 'outsider' (which could be a literal translation if you are super-sensitive and unable to understand that words can be shortened). KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 01:57, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
My lesbian tutor was an American, probably descended from the British Isles, not a native Japanese. μηδείς (talk) 03:38, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Calling oneself a "gringo" is probably also a good ice-breaker. It's harder to be labeled when you've already done it yourself. (Kind of like when Brits call us "Yanks" and think they're insulting us.) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:09, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
This is a common topic, actually. A while back (a few years ago), there was a question here asking if us Brits find the word 'Brit' offensive, but we don't, because that is actually what we call ourselves. I've had this conversation numerous times with 'yanks' in real-life, too. We don't mind it at all. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 18:12, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Lily-livered limey.  :) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:45, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Bah, Jack, don't complain. You steal a loaf of bread and we send you off on a lifelong holiday on a huge tropical island for free. We have to pay for it. Bloody Ozzies, don't know they're born... :) KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 21:25, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

February 24[edit]

February 25[edit]

Translation of a word to 'royal Thai' and 'religious Thai' please?[edit]

The word is 'moisture'. Can I have the street and rhetorical words for it too please?

Thanks Adambrowne666 (talk) 04:21, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

ชื้น is the general Thai word meaning "damp" or "moist". Adding the prefix ความ yields the standard Central Thai word for "moisture": ความชื้น. A general alternative is ชุ่ม, meaning "damp, moist or wet", and it is often combined in the typical Thai way to produce ความชุ่มชื้น (Thai pronunciation: [kʰwaːm˧ tɕ͡ʰum˥˩ tɕ͡ʰɯːn˦˥], roughly khwam chom cheun), "moisture". Another alternative is เปียก, but that can also mean more wet than moist. I'm not aware of a commonly used royal/religious synonym, although a Pali, Sanskrit or Royal Khmer word pronounced as Thai probably exists. When speaking of royalty/clergy, I would replace the common prefix ความ (kʰwaːm˧) with the equivalent Pali-derived prefix สภาพ and use สภาพเปียกชื้น (Thai pronunciation: [sa pʰaːp˥˩ piak˩ tɕ͡ʰɯːn˦˥].--William Thweatt TalkContribs 04:01, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Brilliant - thank you for the thorough answer. Adambrowne666 (talk) 22:02, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Pronunciation of the name Pólya[edit]

The Wikipedia page for George Pólya has the Hungarian pronunciation of the mathematician's surname. Does anyone know how the professor pronounced his name when he lived in the U.S.? -- (talk) 05:09, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

I can't find a source for how he said it, but every mathematician in the USA I know has pronounced it similar to /POLE-yuh/ or /PAHL-yeh/ SemanticMantis (talk) 19:10, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

"Fully-springed mattress" or "fully-sprung mattress"?[edit]

Hello, again!

[Some time ago], I started a discussion on how English speakers derive adjectives directly from nouns by using the -ed suffix, and how said usage differs from the (somewhat similar) phenomenon of past participles doubling as passive adjectives. Now, a new quirk in the language has caught my eye.

The Oxford American Dictionary, Third Edition gives several definitions for the verb to spring, including "to provide a mattress with springs." Furthermore, it gives sprang or sprung as the only allowable past participles for the verb in question. Also, it separately lists the adjective unsprung, defining it as relating to "a mattress not having springs in it." Now, this strikes me as rather odd.

Since—in the case of mattresses—the adjective relates to springs and not to springing, then wouldn't one say "fully-springed" or "unspringed mattress?"


I mean, why should we have "fully-sprung mattresses," but not "paid hull decks," "relaid electrical impulses," "spat roast," "retrodden tires," or "recently cost natural-gas reserves"?

Pine (talk) 09:30, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

It seems like an odd statement either way. Do you have any examples of either usage in mattress advertisements? Though I have to say that a "sprung" mattress would conjure a mental picture of a mattress that's in such bad shape it has springs poking through the material. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:05, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I found this ad for[| springed] and this one for [sprung]. Unfortunately, neither manufacturer is headquartered in an English-speaking country, so I'm inclined to take both cum grano salis.
As a side note, however, usage commentator Bryan Garner (whom I've referenced before) [agrees with me]. Do any of you, as well?
Pine (talk) 10:49, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I agree with you. It should be "fully-springed", not "fully-sprung". The meaning being conveyed is that the mattress is equipped with springs (or, put differently, has springs as a feature), not that it has undergone some "springing" process or treatment. -- (talk) 13:35, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Whatever it should be, I can assure everyone that in the UK "fully-sprung" is usual if not universal – as an Ukian born and bred, I've never (in 6 decades) encountered "fully-springed" and would assume it to be mistake by a non-native speaker. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 13:42, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Same in the US. It's sprung; logic be damned. I think "springed" just "sounds weird". It's not that Anglophones can't say it; it rhymes with "dinged", for example. But it's an unusual enough consonant cluster that there's a resistance to it. --Trovatore (talk) 19:03, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Do English speakers call Saturn the "rung planet"? (talk) 20:29, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
No. But I think you knew that. --Trovatore (talk) 20:35, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, agreed. Sprung is the normal term in English. (talk) 17:08, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
And sprung is also usual for vehicles, as a Google search for "sprung automobile" or "sprung carriage" (for example) shows. Deor (talk) 18:54, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Also, released on parole, or "sprung from the joint." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:56, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
But that's from the verb, not the noun. — kwami (talk) 22:25, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
  • The mattress has not sprung, partially or fully. It has springs, like a four-footed animal has feet. μηδείς (talk) 17:32, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
    • What would be an example of a mattress that's not "fully" spring/sprung? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:22, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
      • Foam rubber, or whatever euphemism the manufacturers choose for it. See mattress - "so-called hybrid beds, which include both an innerspring and high-end foams". Tevildo (talk) 23:05, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Never heard the phrase, and I find it opaque. A "fully sprung mattress" could only be a mattress in which the springs have fully sprung, or s.t. similar. "Fully springed" does sound odd, but I'd at least understand it, though like Bugs I'd wonder what a partially springed mattress would be. (I suppose half-way through its manufacture, before all the springs were added.) — kwami (talk) 22:24, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

  • I agree with other posters that "fully-sprung" is the normal English term. "fully-springed" is weird and looks like an error. (talk) 04:02, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I can't say that I've heard either term, but "fully sprung" sounds to me like something that is broken (i.e. the springs have exhausted their elasticity and are now completely "sprung"). "Fully springed" sounds weird, but I would immediately understand it to mean something that had springs throughout or otherwise had a full complement of springs. Matt Deres (talk) 14:46, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Regardless of the grammar, I think the "fully springed" term refers to the density or "coil number". The more coils per surface area the better the support and wear. μηδείς (talk) 00:21, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I understand fully-sprung mattress to be like sprung dance-floor (which doesn't even have discrete springs) - something like 'made springy'. --ColinFine (talk) 12:11, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Ancient greek[edit]

What is the Ancient Greek for feathered?-- (talk) 09:58, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

I'd suggest πτερωτός ([54]), which is e.g. used by Herodotus: "Their wings are not feathered [Greek πτερωτὰ, the neuter plural form of πτερωτός] but very like the wings of a bat." Histories, book II, chapter 76 - Lindert (talk) 10:30, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
but πτερωτός is feathered or winged or both ones?-- (talk) 14:10, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
(ec)Or "winged", as in the root of the names used for Pterosaurs.
The term "winged" might have implied "feathered". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:12, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, "πτερωτός" can also be translated as "winged", depending on the context, like πτερόν (or modern Greek φτερό) can mean both "feather" and "wing". It's actually common that a word in one language lacks an exact equivalent in another. I cannot find anything closer to English "feathered". It's clear however, that "πτερωτός" does mean "feathered" in some contexts, and people translate it as such, e.g. in the Herodotus quote, or this one from Plutarch: "And yet we see that they who hunt wild beasts clothe themselves with their hairy skins; and fowlers make use of feathered [πτερωτοῖς] jerkins;" ([55]). - Lindert (talk) 20:00, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

"Don't Know They're Born"[edit]

I've used a phrase up above as a jokey reply to Jack's jokey reply to a comment I had made. The phrase is in the title here. This got me thinking. Where does this come from? It's generally used by older people talking about younger people, and how the older people perceive that the younger people have life easier than the older people did. Does it mean something like, "They haven't lived a REAL life yet" or something? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 21:36, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

A quick search indicates it was first used by Eden Phillpotts in his 1912 novel The Forest on the Hill (where one of his characters uses it to refer to the rich, rather than the "young people today" of the modern idiom). I would interpret it along the lines of "If we compare our lives to theirs, they do as little work/suffer as little discomfort/have as few responsibilities as an unborn baby." Tevildo (talk) 23:16, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I've heard it from a fifty-ish guy, referring to his twenty-ish son. Something like "He doesn't think he can die, but he doesn't even know he was born." Couldn't appreciate the value of life itself in the light of the here and now, I took it. Just nodded, didn't ask.
Both still alive, not sure if the son knows he was born yet. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:38, February 26, 2015 (UTC)
As for the referenceable and British, this backs up the "had it easy without realizing it" meaning. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:43, February 26, 2015 (UTC)
The version I've most often heard is "He doesn't know he's alive". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 06:54, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

February 26[edit]

Cerdeña and Córcega[edit]

Does anyone know why the names for Sardinia and Corsica underwent a shift from /s/ to /θ/ in Spanish? --Lazar Taxon (talk) 11:42, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Anything to do with the Castillian lisp? {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 14:09, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
It seems like the answer requires a little more than just a reference to the rise of the dental fricative in Spanish. Typically, the Spanish soft c (pronounced as /θ/ in Northern Spain) derives from Latin words with C (that is, a hard /k/). As is explained at the Wiktionary entries for Sardinia and Corsica, the names come from Latin with /s/ (spelled s). In other words, this is strange because it's common for sounds to go k > θ in Spanish, but not k > s > θ. The important changes leading up to the Spanish pronunciation with /θ/ might have preceded the 16th century. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 17:58, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
This is speculative, but this has to have a complex history. This is not the normal phonological development from Vulgar Latin. My guess is that Castilian was isolated from the Mediterranean during the early years of the Muslim conquest, and the native names for those two islands might have fallen out of use in the language, since there would have been no contact with them. Later, Castilians may have picked up the spoken names of the islands from a Romance language, such as Catalan, where "c" before "e" or "i" was already pronounced [s], without knowing how the names of the islands were written. Given that the sequence [se] (spelled either "se" or "ce") in Catalan was at the time often pronounced (in words spelled "ce") [s̪e] in Castilian, those Castilians might have assumed that the syllables should be pronounced [s̪e] in their language and spread that pronunciation in the Castilian-speaking region. In Castilian, [s̪e] later became [θe]. See History of the Spanish language. Marco polo (talk) 18:30, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Looking at Sardinia#Medieval history, these two islands were linked as the Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica and the crown "given" to the Kingdom of Aragon. Marco may be on the right track here as it seems the two names probably developed in medieval Aragonese and/or Catalan and then were adapted at some point into Castilian based on those pronunciations, instead of from the Latin or Italian.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 02:11, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Hector and hectoring[edit]

It's not exactly a compliment to call someone hectoring, but Wiktionary says the term comes from the Iliad's Hector, who has been revered as an exemplary figure over many hundreds of years and across cultures. How would his name come to be associated with something petty and negative? --BDD (talk) 15:32, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

According to, "Originally denoting a hero, the [noun] sense later became 'braggart or bully' (applied in the late 17th century to a member of a gang of London youths), hence 'talk to in a bullying way'". In contrast, Etymonline says the verb sense is "in reference to [Hector's] encouragement of his fellow Trojans to keep up the fight". AndrewWTaylor (talk) 20:20, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
The connection, as per the EO link, seems to be that the Greek hero Hector was known for exhorting his comrades into the battle. Sometimes there's a fine line between leadership and bullying. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:25, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Not for Teddy Roosevelt. Clarityfiend (talk) 00:31, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Could also be seen as an example of pejoration (only brushed in the article on semantic change, but see one table with "Some examples" (silly, lewd, villain, ...). ---Sluzzelin talk 00:43, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Thanks all. It would help to see early usages of the word, but I can definitely imagine that it was once used in a more positive sense, started to be used sarcastically, and is now a negative term. --BDD (talk) 14:57, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
You know what happened to Hector in the end though right? I'm pretty sure being dragged naked around the city by horses is a pretty good example of intimidation/bullying. Hector#Duel_with_Achilles says "For the next twelve days, Achilles mistreats the body".
My point is, what happened to Hector could have also influenced usage. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:53, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

February 27[edit]

Identificacion de una sello[edit]

ver sello no. 16

Búsqueda asistencia con la lectura del texto en este sello no. 16. Yo leo: «Serie 5», «SOCIEDAD (...)RAL DE CU(...)NES PROGRESO», «50», «CINCUENTA CENTIMOS». El logotipo fue utilizado por la Asociación General de Electricidad en 1888, ver [56] o [57]. Gracias. -- (talk) 01:16, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

I interpret the question as, "Identification of a postage stamp -- [I need] search help reading text on this stamp number 16. I read: 'Series 5','SOCIEDAD (...) RAL DE CU (...) NES PROGRESO ','50',' FIFTY CENTIMOS [cents]". The logo was used by General Electric Association in 1888, see... Danke, y'all." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:29, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I think that first part reads Sociedad General de... then maybe Correos, which would refer to the post office. But I'm not finding anything on Google so far. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 01:46, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
"Sociedad general de cupones 'Progreso'". [58] --Amble (talk) 08:01, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Makes sense. That would account for the number imprinted on it. It's funny how something can seem exotic until you know what it means. "Denali" sounds rather more exotic than "Mt. McKinley" until you discover that "Denali" means "the really tall one". "Really Tall One National Park". Yup. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:51, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
And here I was sure Denali is a river in Egypt.... μηδείς (talk) 19:13, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Q: Why do Egyptian rivermen turn their backs on reality? A: Because dey're in de Nile. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:26, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Q: Who was that sultry temptress I saw you with down by the river last night? A. The sauce of the Nile. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:18, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Gracias -- (talk) 08:17, 27 February 2015 (UTC)


What is the correct pronunciation of the word Orre(from Pokemon)? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:C541:CC60:4897:AF86:CD38:DFCF (talk) 02:16, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

All Japanese is pronounced the way it is written, so it would be 'O-rr-e'. Like Spanish 'Olé', but with a trilled 'r' instead of an 'l'. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 11:01, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Does "rr" exist in Japanese? As far as I can tell (e.g. [60]), in Japanese it is オーレ, Ōre. (talk) 15:15, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Really, an Alveolar_trill? I bow to your experience in Japanese. I only watch Anime, but I would say at most it's an Alveolar_flap. The latter article even gives Akira as an example in Japanese. An American could get by with pronouncing ⟨ɹ⟩ (as in 'red', Alveolar_approximant) or even ⟨d⟩ (as in 'dog', Voiced_alveolar_stop) if they can't manage the flap. I think of it as an r that just barely hints at a d, which is easier for me to do if I'm saying the word loudly or quickly. But really, OP should just watch Pokemon and other Anime in Japanese with subtitles, and then they won't have to ask us how to pronounce things ;) SemanticMantis (talk) 15:25, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
A trilled r does exist in some dialects of Japanese. I associate it with yakuza or tough-guy speak, but if this thread is to be believed, those (fictional) yazuka are actually speaking Hiroshima-ben or Ōsaka-ben (much as fictional pirates speak West Country dialects, I suppose). I wouldn't roll an r in Japanese when saying Ōre or anything else—in fact I'd actively avoid it because of the yakuza connection. -- BenRG (talk) 19:22, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
But the alveolar flap is fairly common, right? At least that's what I think I'm hearing when they say "Akira" in the movie Akira, e.g. here [61]. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:42, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Watching anime wouldn' t help me in this case, since Orre is only mentioned in two video games with no voice actors(unless you count the Pokemon).I'm the OP. Ohyeahstormtroopers6 (talk) 15:43, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Yes, I just saw that on Bulbapedia [62]... They also say that the name is a pun on the English word "ore" which is pronounced just like "or." So that might have influenced the spelling and pronunciation. Still, based on what I know, I'd say /Oh-reh/ or /Oh-deh/, unless you can do the flap, then say /Oh-ɾeh/. But since this is a made up name in Japanese influenced by English, I'm pretty sure people will say it many different ways. So you could try asking at Bulbapedia or other Pokemon sites. Even if they don't know Japanese or IPA they might be able to tell you how they commonly say it or hear it. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:48, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
It is true that the trilled 'r' does not exist in Japanese, but you must understand that Pokemon are meant to sound exotic. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 16:12, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
The Japanese Pokemon names generally don't seem as exotic-sounding as the English names. Many of them are obviously Japanese (Pikachū, Fushigidane, Hitokage, Zenigame). Although オーレ does sound foreign, it seems unlikely to me that it was meant to be pronounced with a rolled r. The "Orre" spelling was probably picked by English-speaking localizers, just like the English Pokemon names. -- BenRG (talk) 19:22, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Gemination (doubling) of consonants does occur in Japanese, see Japanese_phonology#Gemination which helpfully neglects specifically mentioning /r/ but does say any consonant from a foreign language borrowing can be geminated, even if it is not geminated in the lending language, and even if it is voiced, which is forbidden in native Japanese words. Trilling and gemination are not excatly the same thing, but more like far-reaching in, say, rhotic Scottish English. μηδείς (talk) 19:11, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't think r is ever doubled in this way. If it were it would be written オッレ rather than オーレ. -- BenRG (talk) 19:22, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, 'r' is never geminated in Japanese. It may be, as said above, that the (probably American or Japanese) localizer has used the double 'r' to demonstrate the usual 'flapped r' of Japanese, not knowing that this sound is actually standard British English anyway. But hey, we didn't create this language.... Oh, no, hang on.... :) However, perhaps the localizer used the first 'r' to show length of the previous 'o' vowel, which is normal in non-rhotic dialects. I can understand the OP's dilemma, though, as 'Orre' as it stands would be pronounced in English as 'or' in both rhotic and non-rhotic dialects. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 19:50, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Arabic transcription request[edit]

What is the Arabic text in I want to put the Arabic in Lycée Charles de Gaulle (Syria). Thanks WhisperToMe (talk) 17:28, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

المدرسة الفرنسیة فی دمشق شارل دیغول Omidinist (talk) 19:18, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Thank you! WhisperToMe (talk) 23:30, 27 February 2015 (UTC)


"Publically" seems to be gaining ground over "publicly". I'm seeing it more and more often, even written by people I hitherto respected.

Now, I thought the rule was that if an -ically word exists, then the corresponding -ical word must also exist.

  • mathematics --> mathematical --> mathematically
  • nautical --> nautically
  • magic --> magical --> magically
  • logic --> logical --> logically
  • physical --> physically
  • chemical --> chemically


  • phonic --> phonicly (there being no "phonical")
  • sonic --> sonicly (there being no "sonical")
  • public --> publicly (there being no "publical")


  • history --> historic --> historically (because the word "historical" also exists, and that is used as the base of the adverb)
  • hysteria --> hysteric(s) --> hysterically (ditto)

Is this rule watertight? If not, what is the rule? Or is there even a hard-and-fast rule at all? Do we just have to remember which words are -icly and which are -ically? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:49, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

See Wikipedia talk:AutoWikiBrowser/Typos/Archive 3#Misspelling of "publicly". (June and July 2013).
Wavelength (talk) 22:56, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Be careful what you wish for, because sometimes you get it. Here is a 365-page treatment on the topic. You wanted a reference, you got it. --Jayron32 22:59, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
See Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Spelling#Misspelling of "publicly" (June and July 2013) (version of 16:29, 15 January 2015).
Wavelength (talk) 23:03, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
EO dates "publicly" to the 1580s and "publically" to 1812 or earlier,[63] with the amusing note that a lot of words ending in "cally" are pronounced as if they were spelled "cly". Presumably it's easier to get one word's spelling changed than all the others. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:06, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
See "publicly" and "publically" at Google Ngram Viewer.
Wavelength (talk) 23:56, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
See “Publicly” and “publically” | The Stroppy Editor.
Wavelength (talk) 00:05, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Now, that is most enlightening, Wavelength. It puts to shame my "rule" above. Hectically, tragically, archaically, cryptically, idiotically and probably many others, are all formed from the -ic word, and there is no corresponding -ical word (hectical, idiotical ...). I was not aware till now that "publicly" is a unique oddity ... the only adverb ending in –icly formed from an adjective that ends in –ic. Most intriguing. This also means that there are no such words as 'phonicly' and 'sonicly'. (Talk about proceeding from a false premise. I'm obviously in top form today.) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:04, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
There's probably some sort of hypercorrection or related phenomenon going on here. There's an expected ic->ical->ically sequence, and when the "ical" form doesn't exist, there seems to be a hypercorrection (which has become actual proper spelling in many cases) to simply skip it to go ic->ically rather than ic->icly. --Jayron32 01:10, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
The irony being that in almost every case they'd end up with the correct spelling. "Publicly" is apparently the sole exception. But that's very satisying, in the sense that we expect every English rule to have at least one exception, usually many. If there were no exceptions in this case, that would be an exception to the rule that there is always an exception, and that would obviously spell the end of civilisation as we know it. But then, if there always has to be an exception, doesn't that mean .... nah, I ain't goin' there. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:25, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Here's a question that just came to me: is -ic treated as an actual morpheme in "public" or is "public" considered a single morpheme. That is, we have situations like history -> historic which demonstrate the morpheme "ic", but for words where "ic" occurs coincidentally, maybe the -ically form is not expected. After all, "public" is a noun where "historic" and "sonic" are not. Maybe that has something to do with it. --Jayron32 02:22, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Magic, music, metric, psychic, logic et al are (or can be) nouns too. They all take -ally and not just -ly. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 03:29, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but mage, muse, meter, psycho, logo, are all known morphemes in English. Is there any "publ-" known morphemes that would take an "ic"? --Jayron32 03:49, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

February 28[edit]


February 22[edit]

Spanish language movies in netflix[edit]

Is it anyhow possible to see a full list of movies in spanish in the netflix of USA? When searching "Spanish movies" it shows only few of them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:50, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Netflix doesn't like to show you a full list of anything, but there's (talk) 04:05, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

February 23[edit]

mattress and beauty sleep[edit]

I remember Donna Axum was a spokesperson for a mattress company. Bert Parks was her co-spokesperson. They were shown in the company commercial, but I can't remember which one. I also can't seem to find it on YouTube. Could someone please help? Thank you. (talk) 06:34, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Chambers Biographical Dictionary - Andrew Dallmeyer[edit]

Hello all, I am hoping someone has access to this book to find out if Andrew Dallmeyer is featured in it. According to this website it has some useful information - Though it doesn't say which edition. Thanks in advance. ツStacey (talk) 17:53, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Anyone? Anyone at all? ツStacey (talk) 12:38, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Is there any space RTS or 4x game where the space is 3d?[edit]

Is there any space RTS or 4x game where the space is 3d instead of the usual 2d bullshit?
PS: Pc games. (talk) 19:39, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Homeworld (and its sequels). It's an old game, but you can still get it on digital distribution sites like GoG. A modernised version (Homeworld Remastered) will be released on Wednesday. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 21:22, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
"*Its a fantastic game." Fixed that for you, Finlay McWalter. Also, Sword of the Stars is another one. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 4 Adar 5775 21:26, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
But it's a shooter, not an RTS or 4X. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 09:57, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
I seem to recall Star Trek Armada having some 3d combat (in that units could move a certain distance above and below the plane, and the range would be adjusted accordingly). From what I remember the AI made absolutely no use of it though, and it was a sufficiently minor feature that most players didn't realise it existed (which could be used to good effect in multiplayer, since even a small range penalty to your opponent makes it much easier to defend valuable assets). MChesterMC (talk) 11:40, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

February 24[edit]

I simply want to report something!

Your article about Ursula Thiess Taylor is extremely repetitive - the second section repeats the content of the first.

Another comment?

Yesterday, as I researched the term Bisexuality, I found something utterly unverified. The section headed "Media/Film" featured a photo of Angelina Jolie. Read the caption:

Angelina Jolie is a bisexual actress.[75]

The footnote led me to "". New York.

I would expect at least one more source on such a strong claim. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:08, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

This desk is for general questions unrelated to Wikipedia articles. Your best course of action is to post this on the talk page for U Taylor and/or the Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard. MarnetteD|Talk 04:17, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
I find Ursula Thiess only slightly repetitive. — Angelina Jolie's own article has at least two better-supported mentions of bisexuality. —Tamfang (talk) 09:12, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia has a policy for these kinds of problems: WP:SOFIXIT. WP articles only exist because someone was WP:BOLD enough to start them! So, in all seriousness, please feel welcome to edit the article to be less repetitive, or to find better references to cite for claims about a person (WP:BLP has more info on that). SemanticMantis (talk) 14:56, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Keys in music[edit]

Is there really a difference between keys in music? I find all major keys to give the same mood and all minor keys to give the same mood. It's only if i keep using the same key (e.g. A minor or C major, no black notes so easy to use) i get tired of it and prefer another key. Do most people have a preference for keys? E.g. alot of people say D minor is the saddest key. Why do i find everything to be completely relative? Money is tight (talk) 11:13, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Well, Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart's Ideen zu einer Ästhetik der Tonkunst certainly asserts that there are, giving different keys a range of differing characers based on their tonic. These do seem to have currency with musicians - the BBC's Key Matters program uses similar language to describe several of the keys; it's notable that for some (particularly Fm) it attributes the character to practical concerns - some early instruments weren't very accurate in Fm, so its tempestuous reputation is due to composers exploring that. Like you, I'm a bit sceptical that an untrained listener (one uncontaminated with the tonic-implies-character idea) would really attribute these moods to a piece of music transposed into different keys and played on a neutral instrument like a synthesiser. But I can't find actual empirical studies to find out. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 11:52, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
It may even be that the western idea of a major scale as having a "happy" character and a minor an "unhappy" one is pure acculturation - that as a small child you heard happy songs in a major and sad things in a minor, and that has caused the association. In about 1992 Scientific American published an article about childhood acculturation to different scales (comparing european and east asian scales) - the authors argued that when parents spoke to their children they unconsciously used their culture's scales, giving the infant an idea of what notes go together properly. The paper said that this fixation happened pretty early in the child's development - that by some young-ish age (I forget when - it was something like 3 or 4 years of age) the child had fixed on what was "right", and that after that time music in other scales would sound "wrong", or at least "exotic". If that's really true (and one paper I dimly remember from a quarter century ago don't make it so), it's fair to think that Fm is funereal because, and only because, we've all heard lots of funereal music in Fm. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 12:08, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
The answer is it depends. What it depends on is the tuning system: how the notes are spaced determines the differences between keys. Depending on the kind of instrument, and the particulars of the tuning, you may be tuned to just intonation, or some other musical temperament, such as 12-tone equal temperament or (as was done with older music), quarter-comma meantone temperament. The "differences" between one key or another can be more or less pronounced depending on which temperament you're working in. Vocal ensembles, for example, often naturally tune to just intonation, because among tunings, it is the most perfectly harmonic. Keyboards and fretted string instruments (like guitars) are more commonly tuned to 12-tone equal temperament, because it allows one to change keys without retuning. Indeed, if a guitar was tuned to just intonation, it would only be able to play correctly in one key. Temperament allows guitars to play in any key; it means every note is slightly out of tune for perfect harmony (see comma (music) for a description) but the difference is almost unnoticeable in equal temperament, and the ability to play across any key is far more important. Of course, this discussion assumes you're dealing only in like keys or modes, like all major keys. There are well-documented differences in feel between major and minor keys, for example.--Jayron32 12:13, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
I have key preferences, but I have a feeling that some of this is due to conditioning, as stated in the above responses. What would be a nice test of key preferences is by listening to songs in transposed keys, or Baroque music at A 415; if there are really key characteristics audible to the general listener, and the composers are exploiting these, it ought to be possible to guess what the original key was, or at least tell that the piece has been transposed.
Schubart's key characteristics (linked above, though this might be more convenient) are sometimes not so much characteristics as full-blown personifications: consider D major "A leering key, degenerating into grief and rapture. It cannot laugh, but it can smile; it cannot howl, but it can at least grimace its crying.--Consequently only unusual characters and feelings can be brought out in this key." and B minor "A quaint creature, often dressed in the garment of night. It is somewhat surly and very seldom takes on a pleasant countenance. Mocking God and the world; discontented with itself and with everything; preparation for suicide sounds in this key." Part of this may be the tuning, of course: Young's well temperament (1799) apparently (well, according to Kyle Gann) makes D-flat major harsh, instead of the soft colour I perceive. Double sharp (talk) 15:28, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Regarding the test: I'm wondering what would happen if it were also conducted only using sine tones (well, one thing that would happen is that the experimentees would suffer a very unpleasant hearing experience of Baroque music). To use a different aspect of colour in music: I think we're also very familiar with the timbres of instruments and voices in different pitches, something the composers will exploit too, of course, and that might interfere with testing the key's "pure character" (or colour, as you put it, q.v. chromesthesia perhaps) in the sense that is being asked. ---Sluzzelin talk 20:50, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Hmm, it's interesting that the chromesthesia article mentions something very much like the concept behind my suggested test: "There may be an effect of semantic mediation in some individuals with sound-color synesthesia. One subject, MH, self-triggered notes on a synthesizer and noted the color associations. When the synthesizer was transposed without her knowledge, she reported identical color associations to the notes that she believed she was hearing, rather than the absolute pitch of the tones." Double sharp (talk) 12:29, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Equal temperament says "there is a great deal of variety in the particular opinions of composers about the moods and colors of particular keys." (But it's tagged [citation needed].) -- BenRG (talk) 02:41, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Piece by Ravel[edit]

As one of the comments already mentioned, what's the name of the Ravel piece used here? -- (talk) 23:13, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

I think it's from the second movement ("Adagio assai") of his Piano Concerto in G major. I believe the passage is often performed at a faster tempo than that, see for example Martha Argerich here. ---Sluzzelin talk 00:16, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

February 26[edit]

Daytime and nighttime keys[edit]

Do any Wikipedians recognize the difference between daytime and nighttime musical keys?? The way I hear music, the key of G major sounds more like a daytime key; they key of E-flat major sounds more like a nighttime key. Is this true with many listeners?? Georgia guy (talk) 15:13, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

We have an entire thread two sections above this one which covers this exact topic. You may want to contribute there, keeping in mind that anecdote is not the singular form of data, and Wikipedia reference desk answers need to be based on links to Wikipedia articles or reliable sources, and not mere discussions of personal experiences. --Jayron32 15:18, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
But the person in that thread doesn't agree with me. They think that all major keys sound happy and all minor keys sound sad. This is about daytime and nighttime sounding keys, and both the keys I'm using in my comparison are major keys. Georgia guy (talk) 15:23, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Here's a discussion of the "mood" and feeling of various keys, attributed to various authors, with citations, [64]. One source says E-flat major is "cruel and hard", while another says it is "The key of love, of devotion, of intimate conversation with God." So it's highly subjective, and rooted in cultural experience. So you're probably not the only one, but there are also no universal attributes to keys, other than the note structure that comes with the name. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:32, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
More like the other way around, that "happy" songs might tend to be written in major keys. This reminds me of a Billy Joel special I saw a couple of decades ago, in which he pointed out that the chorus of his song "Pressure", if converted from its minor key to a corresponding major key, comes out sounding like a polka. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:30, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
This may be of interest. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 18:44, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

American Dream by Billy Ray Cyrus[edit]

i just want info on the song the american dream by billy ray cyrus and there is no info on wikipedia just has info on a song by the same name by hank williams jr i wanna know more info bout the billy ray cyrus version — Preceding unsigned comment added by Guitar1223 (talkcontribs) 20:08, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

A quick search shows that it was on the album Shot Full of Love, last and eleventh song on the album, released in 1998. It was written by Gary Harrison (more info) and Keith Stegall (more info), and first performed by The Oak Ridge Boys in 1989. --NorwegianBlue talk 22:31, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

February 27[edit]

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries Series 3[edit]

When will I be able to view Miss Fisher's Murder Misteries season three (3) on Netflex? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:18, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Seasons 1 and 2 took seven months from shooting to airing. Season 3 started shooting in mid-October, so mid-May seems reasonable. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:25, February 27, 2015 (UTC)

February 28[edit]


February 23[edit]

What does it mean when a Youtube subscription gets a number next to it?[edit]

I used to think it meant "they've uploaded that many new videos you haven't seen," but check out hkl4dplayer in this screenshot: I added him less than a year ago, he's done nothing since, so why did he recently gain a 1 next to his name? (talk) 18:08, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

How many videos did he have when you added him? If only 1, then did you watch it? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 20:14, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
He had ALL of those videos when I added him. He probably hasn't logged into Youtube for months, that's why I don't get why I got any sort of notification for him. Nothing at all has changed on his account. (talk) 03:22, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

1957 Chevy frame[edit]

Did the hardtop come on a convertible frame, to help prevent roll overs?

Thanks, Sherman Oakes — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:17, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

The type of top doesn't do anything to the stability of the vehicle. Also, a hard top is is just sheet steel or fiber-glass and collapse with a 35 cwt car on top of it. One needs a roll cage for protection. Roll over protection structures were common earlier but as far as I know, not on cars until the 1960's. Ordinary saloons cars at the Daytona Races may have been retrofitted with roll cages because that would make sense but I don't have any info for which date they were introduced but I think it wasn't until the 1960's either.--Aspro (talk) 15:47, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
The type of top makes a difference for the stability, affecting both chassis stiffness and centre of gravity. (talk) 17:37, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
In what way? A 1957 Chevy was not a monocoque. It had a separate chassis and body shell. So stiffness and C of G argument is moot. Whether the car was pillar-less or not, there was not much mass above the centre of gravity. That is not what causes a automobile to turn over however. It was the forward kinetic energy being vectored in a direction were you did not want your car to follow. A flat-six engine may have helped from the C of G point of view but Chevy's did not have flats. So stop trying to inject nonsense into the OP's question.--Aspro (talk) 18:07, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Please don't bite. He was unaware that the stability issue with convertibles was limited to unibody/monocoque designs, or that a 1957 Chevy was a full frame vehicle, but that's no reason to yell at him. He gave a good faith reply.
The one way I can think that a convertible top could cause a rollover even in a full-frame vehicle is if the top is half open while driving, and catches the wind. Probably not enough to flip the car alone, but if the car was taking a sharp turn at the time, it might be enough to push it over the line. StuRat (talk) 21:25, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Hum. I'm willing to be corrected but was my 1957 Chevy a full frame? It looked like a body-on-frame to me at the time. But alas, my mind is ossifying with age You Are Old, Father William and my cherished Chev has probably returned to its natural state of iron oxide long ago, so the evidence has gone long, long ago. Oh What fun I had in that - but then my daddy got a job and a had a real auto!!!--Aspro (talk) 21:53, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Could be body-on-frame, too, I'm not sure.
  • I hope you took my point on not biting. We are here to answer Q's, not to criticize others who make good faith attempts to do so.
  • Yes, the cars we long for, once purchased, eventually turn into rust. How ironic. StuRat (talk) 22:00, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Have you considered buying a Land Rover [65] Aluminium! Or a DeLorean DMC-12 stainless steel. I'm sure my Chev had a body on frame. This is maybe not a very good WP reference but it and my eyes (and failing memory) says it all. Uni-body frame vs. Full frame explained But I did like it when my daddy could afford to buy me real auto with self-seeking radio and an electric antenna that came up when I switched on the ignition and I did not have to keep my foot on the gas peddle as the cruse control did it all for me … but still, I did like the Chev. Trouble was, that it had cloth upholstery and I could not get the stains off the back seats, regardless of what miracle cleaner I threw at them.--Aspro (talk) 22:33, 24 February 2015 (UTC)


February 24[edit]

What's the image in this autostereogram?[edit]

This is a screenshot from Gravity Falls, and I'm pretty sure that's an autostereogram. Normally I can do those, but when I look at this poster and focus my eyes correctly, there doesn't seem to be anything there. It's just a pattern without an image hidden inside. Others who can view stereograms, do you see anything? --Ye Olde Luke (talk) 03:25, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

I cannot see an image inside the pattern, but it looks to me like the poster has a big hole with the horse and dancer being part of the poster while the pattern is behind the poster and seen through the hole. PrimeHunter (talk) 03:40, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
FWIW, I can't see anything. I have to cross rather than 'de-cross' my eyes, which usually gives the intended image sunk rather than raised (or vice-versa depending on what's intended) but I'm getting nothing on this one. Hypotheses: (a) it's a bluff; (b) the detail is too degraded in this repro of the original. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 14:22, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
This page [66] claims that it is an autostereogram, but does not say what the intended 3D image is... SemanticMantis (talk) 16:44, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
It's an autostereogram of a flat plane. —Tamfang (talk) 19:55, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Nothing there. It's just a tiled pattern that looks like an autostereogram. Presumably it "is" an autostereogram within the world of the cartoon, just like a white rectangle with lines and squiggles could "be" a newspaper. --Amble (talk) 22:48, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Black Ink[edit]

Why is it that, in the UK, with many official forms you may have to fill in, you are required to write in black ink? Why specifically black? Why not blue? Is it something to do with the copying process they may have (black may stand out more on a scanner, for example)? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 21:07, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Yea, probably because it copies better. Consider if you were using a 3-color copier that was out of blue toner or ink. StuRat (talk) 21:10, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes. Some colors blue do not copy well. See Non-photo blue RudolfRed (talk) 21:11, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Not only do some colors not mimeograph well (google), other colors like red may be reserved for use by the office for special mark-up purposes, and they don't want you distracting them. Many modern forms do seem to allow either blue or black ink. μηδείς (talk) 21:16, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Here in the UK, hospital pharmacists use green pens for the same reason that early photocopies reproduced it better than blue. I've recently noticed too that the black pen requirement for official forms is seldom stated now. --Aspro (talk) 21:33, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
I suspect this is now largely a fossilised requirement but, as others have indicated above, early photocopying equipment reproduced blue poorly. In fact, this could sometimes be a feature rather than a bug. In Publishing as there was (perhaps still is) a procedure of of writing instructions on 'camera-ready mechanicals' (which are photographed to produce printing plates) for the Production Department using special sky-blue pencils (see RudolfRed's link above) that were/are not picked up by the cameras used. In the publishing house where I edited, the high-quality (for the period) photocopiers also didn't reproduce these pencil marks, which was useful when trial-copying the material to check that it looked correct.
In addition to this, publishing/printing (in the pre-computer era) used different coloured pens for different purposes: green was used by printers on the galley-proofs they produced to indicate their own mistakes that they had already noted, red was used by the editor to indicate the printers' errors for which the publisher was not liable to pay, and (ordinary) blue for amendments to the copy (due to auctorial or editorial changes) which did have to be paid for above a certain percentage. Apologies for digressing from the OP's original point {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 13:23, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I've actually owned digital scanners (home computer peripherals) that wouldn't image all blue inks - so it may be that going way back to when documents were microfiched for archival, the "black ink" only requirement was adopted to make sure all handwritten entries on a given document (initials and signatures, particularly) were captured for posterity. loupgarous (talk) 19:36, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Fire at The Marina Torch[edit]

How was the recent fire at The Marina Torch in Dubai managed in such a way that it caused no casualties, let alone no fatalities? If a building starts burning on the 50th floor, and then spreads to dozens of other floors, what mechanisms are in place to manage this kind of event? The Rambling Man (talk) 21:58, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

The fire was only up one side, as far as I can tell. Buildings such as this generally do have multiple stairwells, so evacuation would be able to be carried out as effectively as possible. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 22:18, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
I worked at 140 West Street, across the street from the North Tower during 9/11, and it was very severly damaged. The building was built in the 20's, yet still had four corner escape stairways with fire doors at each exit. You'd basically have had to bomb or set on fire each of the four stairwells to prevent safe exit, and although debris from the World Trade Center fell into the building, there were no casualties. One would assume a more modern building would be at least as well designed. μηδείς (talk) 01:16, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
One problem in the evacuation of tall buildings is getting everyone out in a timely manner. The best approach is to do a zone by zone evacuation, where people in the areas of immediate danger are evacuated first, while the rest wait. This avoids having the stairwells become clogged with people. There can also be an issue with smoke in the stairwells, but there are emergency ventilation systems to deal with that. StuRat (talk) 02:45, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Stairwells should have auto-closing doors at each of the floors, to minimise smoke getting into them. Rules against propping them open should ideally be strictly enforced. I don't know about other countries, but here in Australia you often see signs saying "fire door. do not obstruct. do not keep open". Of course, in an evacuation, the doors get left continuously open by virtue of the human traffic, but the auto-closing design rule still helps minimise the problem once the floor has emptied. (talk) 09:14, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
It probably helped that (according to our article) the fire was at 2 o'clock in the morning - even the most conscientious office worker would have gone home by then. Alansplodge (talk) 11:24, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
It's residential building, not an office block, so it would have been full of sleeping people (although some residents did return from partying to find it aflame). — Preceding unsigned comment added by LongHairedFop (talkcontribs) 13:58, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
D'oh! Alansplodge (talk) 16:04, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Our article is not very clear, but it appears that only the external cladding burnt, and the fire didn't spread into the building's core. This means that the fire escapes (and other sides of the building) would be safe. LongHairedFop (talk) 14:09, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

February 25[edit]

Chromium Picolinate[edit]

What are natural sources of Chromium Picolinate, as in foods, etc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bluebottle103 (talkcontribs) 03:59, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Chromium picolinate μηδείς (talk) 05:34, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
That article doesn't provide any information whatever to answer this question. This says: It is relatively easy to get safe and adequate amounts of chromium (11 to 45 micrograms per day) by eating a variety of foods like broccoli, grape juice, whole grains, potatoes, orange juice, and turkey. - but doesn't say that this is in the form of the Picolinate. SteveBaker (talk) 06:30, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
The link was for those who were curious what the substance was. You'll note I made no claims, nor even formed a sentence.
So I should stop licking the front of 1950's cars to get my daily chromium allowance ? :-) StuRat (talk) 06:37, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, we can't give medical advice here. Also, you might inadvertently ingest a significant amount of insect protein. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:15, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
But would that be a feature or a bug? {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 13:25, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
And the user wins a cigar! ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:24, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
But we can't advise you either to smoke it or definitely not to smoke it, as that would be medical advice. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:06, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
If it's a bubble gum cigar, I feel safe advising not to smoke it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:47, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
No, Jack, he won a cigar. This does not necessarily mean he has to smoke it. Just like if I won a Ferrari. I wouldn't have to drive it - I have never had a driver's license anyway, and can't be bothered with insurance and road tax and petrol. I prefer a mountain bike or public transportation. It's still a prize that he can possibly sell (maybe not for as much as for a Ferrari, but anyway). KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 23:23, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Try selling that Ferrari after I've licked it. :-) StuRat (talk) 23:50, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I think we should have an article on Car Licking Fetish, even though there seems to be only one known case in the history of the world, as evidenced by the comment above. :) KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 11:32, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Since there's at least one well-documented case in which a cigar was used as a marital aid, I feel safe in saying the proud winner of Bugs' bubble gum cigar doesn't have to smoke it. However, is it "medical advice" to advise him to use a condom or other barrier method of STD prophylaxis if he chooses to emulate former President Clinton's use of Monica Lewinsky's nether regions as a humidor? loupgarous (talk) 19:26, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Are you're suggesting he maintained an intimate association with Ms Lewinsky's nether regions after his time at the White House came to an end. Perfectly possible, to be sure; just that I've never read or heard that this was the case. Maybe you're in a position to know. If that wasn't the case, maybe you meant to write "then-President Clinton's use". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:51, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I was more worried about whether he inhaled her or not.... KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 01:21, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
For anyone who's mystified about my oft-used cigar joke, here's its source.[67]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:40, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I knew that, but I'm still wondering what a bubble gum cigar is. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 10:56, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
It's one that blows up in your face, Jack..... God, colonials, away from civilisation for so long.... :D KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 15:02, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
For that one you get the cigar today. :) Anyway, go to Google Images and look for "bubble gum cigars". Basically, bubble gum in the shape of cigars, like for handing out when a child is born, when you're not into actual cigars. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:31, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
I thought that candy etc in the shape of tobacco-related products was very much frowned upon these days, if not banned outright in most civilised countries. I mean, they'd never allow bubble gum in the shape of erect penises, for example, but they're much less toxic than cigars. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 18:57, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
That depends. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:56, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Jack, yes, civilised countries. We are talking about America here. Different ball game. :) KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 01:03, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
If you say so, KT. I, myself, personally wouldn't know, for I am but an uncivilised colonial. Thank God we have you to advise us about such things.  :) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:42, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Placement of Attribution Statement[edit]

Hello: If a book contains several articles from Wikipedia, should the attribution and license statement be placed as a footnote at the beginning of each wiki article, or should all attribution/license statements be placed in a separate section at the end of the book? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Prsaucer1958 (talkcontribs) 15:25, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Good question. The correct board to ask this question on would be Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. People who patrol that board specialize in answer questions just like this one. --Jayron32 15:28, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
I'd say the best source to ask is the company that's publishing the book. Publishers have to deal with books that contain excerpts from other books all the time, so they'll have suitable standard techniques to use. -- (talk) 20:46, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
  • There are various styles, and the authority to ask is the book's publisher; what they prefer. Purdue University maintains an excellent website that gives the Chicago Manual of Style and MLA standards and others, which can differ greatly. In the mainspace, for example, the article Fish you will see under the tools heading in the margin a "cite this page" button. Click on that, and you will see the many options available. μηδείς (talk) 21:12, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Application i.e. worldwide[edit]

Facebook application is a worldwide application. Is it controlled from one place or they have bases in different countries? -- (SuperGirlsVibrator (talk) 18:16, 25 February 2015 (UTC))

February 26[edit]

in car Cameras[edit]

Does anyone know of an in car camera available in the UK that is compatable with Apple Mac computers please? (talk) 07:40, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Polaroid Cube is what I use for mountain biking. You can get a dash-cam mount for it, I believe, for use in the car. It uses a micro-SD, which you can plug in to your Mac for storage (with an adapter, which generally comes with a micro-SD). KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 13:41, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

How should it be done ?[edit]

For years when thinking of people using a bow and arrow, I always thought that one had the arrow rest on the side of the bow and not crossed over. What I mean is, being right handed, I would pull back the string with my right hand, holding the bow with my left, and the arrow would rest on the thumb of my left hand, and against the right hand side of the bow as I looked at it, but only recently have I noticed a lot of archers put the arrow over through the space between the bow and string, and if right handed, it is resting against the left hand side of the bow - all this time I had never noticed this. If You do not get what I mean, consider the scene where Rambo shoots the North Vietnamese officer near the Waterfall after he had killed the girl helping Rambo - Stallone uses his bow left handed, but the arrow crosses over the other side, and rests against the right hand edge of the bow as he would look at it, and I wonder if this is the way all archers do it, or can they choose, and is there a reason for crossing the arrow over ? Thanks, Chris the Russian Christopher Lilly 12:18, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

You may find these videos interesting: [68] and [69] RomanSpa (talk) 12:35, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
One of my roles at work is an archery instructor, for which I hold a qualification from the Grand National Archery Society, the governing body of the sport in the UK. I don't think I've ever seen a right-handed archer shoot from the right hand side of the bow, although a novice might find this intuitive, it's not how it's done. Alansplodge (talk) 13:14, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Exactly. In the old days of bow and arrow warfare, the left hand always carried the bow, and the right hand was the one to draw the arrow and fire it. Bringing it up from the left hand side, and steadying the aim using the bow itself, was more intuitive. It would take longer to do so if trying to fire from the right hand side. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 13:48, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
It may also depend on the style of bow involved. Though not myself a toxophilist, I recall (based on reading and on conversations with a friend who is an advanced archer) that some traditional Oriental bows, (Thumb release bows, for example) need the arrow placed on the opposite side to traditional European bows. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 14:04, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Quite right. All the images on our Kyūdō (Japanese archery) page show the arrow being drawm from the "wrong" (to Western eyes) side of the bow. Alansplodge (talk) 14:50, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I had a quick Google for some pictures of medieval archers; some like this one show the conventional draw with the arrow to the left of the bow, while others like this show the arrow to the right. It's possible that the artist didn't know anything about archery of course. I've seen several archers shooting traditional longbows; there is no arrow rest, the arrow rests on the knuckles of the bow hand which is protected by a leather glove. Alansplodge (talk) 16:18, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Extinguishing fires in tall buildings[edit]

So the The Marina Torch caught fire recently, yet nobody died, moreover it appears nobody was injured. How are fires like this extinguished on tall buildings? The Rambling Man (talk) 19:33, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

The first line of defense against fires in tall buildings is manual containment by fire extinguisher; then a ceiling-mounted fire sprinkler sprays water on fires severe enough to trigger the sprinkler mechanism (the temperature necessary to cause the sprinkler to spray ranges from 100 F/38 C to 625 F/329 C). The fire suppression fluid is usually water, sprayed or released in a deluge, but carbon dioxide, Halon or other fire suppression agents are used in spaces where electrical and high-value computer or medical equipment are located where water could create considerable damage on its own. The drawback to these, of course, is that they work by depriving fires of oxygen, and can asphyxiate people in the area where they are used.
During or after the local fire suppression methods are used, Fire fighters spray large, dense streams of water into the areas of these buildings accessible by spray hoses (which can direct streams of water far higher than the tallest ladders available), using water from fireplugs or tanker fire engines as sources of water for the pumps carried by most fire engines. If fire fighters can access the floor or floors on fire, a large bore pipe with a fire hose fitting on it known as a standpipe can supply dense streams of water to fire hoses brought up to the floor. Many tall buildings already have coiled fire hoses attached to large bore water pipes, stored in glass-faced red metal boxes. loupgarous (talk) 20:05, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Internet Charity Company[edit]

How can I create an internet charity company, without a home and a place address? I’m happy just to have a bank account and some e-mailed documents to prove that the internet charity company is mine… I wish to work in it, for it… I understand Wikipedians cannot provide legal advice, I would be happy with basic information or basic knowledge. Whatever advice you all provide, it will just be a background knowledge for me; so that I know what to do in the near future… -- (SuperGirlsVibrator (talk) 20:10, 26 February 2015 (UTC))

No matter where you are, there are going to be laws about how charities are to be set up. There's no escaping a visit with your lawyer. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:32, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I know, I just can't afford one, and don't want to even in the near future because I'm not gonna do anything bad... My friends done it all by themselves, that was years back. I'm recalling and matching with the information I receive now. I tried to guide the other guy, it's just, there is a saying, 'no one can do it better than myself', something like this... -- (SuperGirlsVibrator (talk) 20:33, 27 February 2015 (UTC))
... and I'm sorry but I wouldn't donate to your charity without an address and some confirmation that it was genuine (such as a listing on an official website in your country). You might find a few internet users willing to send funds to an unknown bank account, but probably not many, unless you create a very convincing web presence. Dbfirs 23:18, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm happy you mentioned this, large sum donaters are not allowed in my charity company. Per people; have to donate out of their 'free will'... no more I can say... Face-wink.svg -- (SuperGirlsVibrator (talk) 20:33, 27 February 2015 (UTC))
Not even to a Nigerian princess who depends on the kindness of strangers? Shame on you. Clarityfiend (talk) 00:28, 27 February 2015 (UTC) Ras.gif
lol. Face-tongue.svg -- (SuperGirlsVibrator (talk) 20:33, 27 February 2015 (UTC)), I wonder if the charity has anything to do with super-girls and vibrators, or girls and super-vibrators, or something like that. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 10:53, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Ammm, Face-sad.svg You didn't call me by my nickname. The last word of my name is not in plural, it states I'm 'unique' Smile-tpvgames.gif SInnocent.gif Misc-tpvgames.gif -- (SuperGirlsVibrator (talk) 20:33, 27 February 2015 (UTC))
The best way to do it is to advertise on Google (or make a website), then write on it your bank account details, including online banking account username and password, and then you'll see the money flow in(to our bank accounts). KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 14:59, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
If I'm thinking what I'm thinking, this could be an idea... Though I must say. I'm not aware of your system... -- (SuperGirlsVibrator (talk) 20:33, 27 February 2015 (UTC))
If you can tell us what country you live in, we might be able to find info on how to register a charity or non-profit organization in that country. In the USA, a PO box and some paperwork might be enough. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:38, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
718smiley.svg Thank you thank you thank you!!!
I'm stuck in a third world country, I hate this country and its people, I'm ashamed to be from here. I would like to keep the name of this country I'm currently in 'discreet' in other words. If I open a company here, the first person would rob me is the government employee. Police and government employees are worse then thieves/gangsters/mafias here.
I'm currently doing something (writing a book) and 1 year 4 months late... I just about managed to fix my English (because of you all). I can't get out of this country until I finish this book. I have to finish this book (which is not finishing), then I have to learn how to make a website(s) and a software(s), might have to learn how to create a building(s) structure using a software (not sure). Once the book is published and learning and making is complete , then I can get out of this country. Only with the book money...
I'm eager to open up a charity company first in UK then in U.S.A but as far as I'm aware, my next stop will be U.S.A. All I know for now, I want to do a lot of thing. I feel like I'm deteriorating before my age, I don't know what to do... I'm restless. The main reason why I'm so eager to open up a company, I want to copyright my company names worldwide asap, but I don't have a base in UK. I have one in U.S.A, just a home address, in Detroit, Michigan, Rochester Hills; in this place they don't allow you without having an actual place and bill records... Plus apparently you can't copyright worldwide from their... The solicitor asks $2000 plus this documents, plus $120 fee just to meet up. This guy is paying for my accommodation right now, this is the 5th year running, I've been a burden to him, I don't want him to spend extras on/for me... I would be happy just to copyright the names worldwide including the books asap for now at minimal cost. -- (SuperGirlsVibrator (talk) 20:33, 27 February 2015 (UTC))
A donation has been made in your name to the Human Fund. Justin15w (talk) 15:54, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

So first you ask Wikipedia:Reference_desk/Computing#Internet_money_making_possibilities how to make money on the Internet - then how to set up a charity on the Internet.

Bottom line here is that either (a) you'll be breaking some law someplace or (b) you'll have to come up with an idea that's cleverer than anyone else's or (c) you'll have to work very hard. There really isn't some magical way of printing money just because the word "Internet" is in there somewhere. If you're thinking of earning money for yourself via a charity website, then you would need to be skimming money from whatever contributions are being made to cover your own expenses. There are legitimate organizations that do that - they employ people to run these funds. But you're starting this from the wrong end. Step #1 is to find some compelling problem in the world that can be solved with money...feeding the poor on the streets of some major city, for example. Step #2 is to figure out how you're going to turn money into food for those people and how you're going to distribute the food. Steps #3 though about #20 are other things along those lines - and right at the very VERY end are "Step #99: How do I set up a website?" and "Step #100: How much (if any) of the money I raised can be used to pay me for my efforts?" get questions 1 through 98 solved, and then come back and ask.

Meanwhile, how can you LEGITIMATELY make money on the Internet? It's definitely possible - but the answer isn't often directly related to "being on the Internet" - it's making a business that incidentally happens to use the Internet. So, for example, my Wife and I "make money from the Internet" (in a sense). We designed some model buildings, figured out how to make them from laser cut plywood, went to a local hackerspace and used their laser cutter to make prototypes, used the prototypes to run a campaign on Kickstarter to crowd-fund the purchase of a $10,000 machine and the materials and postage to make some "rewards" for our backers....and *THEN* after a couple of years of hard work, we have a business selling our models on the Internet. Arguably, we "made money on the Internet" - but we did it as a rather conventional manufacturing business that just happens to sell it's product on the Internet rather than through a brick-and-mortar store.

There are exceptions - you could come up with some radically new take on social networking or invent a new way for people to exchange information online...but you'll need to actually make it work, so you'd need lots of programming and web design skills.

But this isn't "free money from the Internet" and it's certainly not a "get rich quick" scheme (although we have made close to a quarter million dollars over the past two and a half years). It took skill, artistry, and LOTS of hard work and business cleverness.

A good example of someone who DID make a pile of money was a guy who had the bright idea to put up a 1000x1000 pixel blank picture up on his web site, and sell the pixels within it for $1 each. So people could spend $1000 and get a 10 pixel x 100 pixel space to put their company logo or $100 to put a tiny button up there that linked to their home page. He ended up selling all of the million pixels and made a million dollars for his clever idea. But the point is that he needed the clever idea..and the million pixel image idea has already been done and it won't work again.

There was another guy who started off with a red paperclip and started a web site where he'd swap his paperclip for something else...then swap whatever he got for something else...over and over until he wound up with a house! He actually succeeded too! Another very clever idea that won't work more than once.

But those ideas are few and far between, and most of them fail miserably. So perhaps you could come up with something as clever as the red paperclip or the million pixel image - but you'd have to be astoundingly clever and very, very lucky. Certainly if any of us came up with anything that clever, we'd be pushing it right now - and certainly not telling you about it!

The Internet isn't so much different from "The Real World" - you can try panhandling, you can become a criminal, you can get very, very lucky or you can work hard...and working entails either getting a job with some employer, or coming up with an idea that you can turn into a job (as my wife and I did). Now, asking someone else for an idea is kinda silly. If someone had a great idea for an easy way to earn money that was legal and earned enough to be worthwhile, they'd almost certainly do it themselves rather than telling you how to do it.

So the bottom line is, you're either going to be begging, stealing, lucky or working...and working requires that you think up something for yourself. Since we're not going to help you with the first two things, and we probably can't help you with the last one - you're pretty much going to have to figure it out study hard, stay in school, think about doing something else that nobody else has done.

SteveBaker (talk) 19:05, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

SteveBaker Paragraph 1: I won't break any laws. I've learnt a lot, tried my best a lot, failed performing satanic activities. Its not in my genes. Unless of course you provoke me to the point where God punishes you instead discreetly during living as well as after death! Thanks for the ideas, something to rethink about in my spare time.
Paragraph 2: I've done a research on this, check out the 3D printing (machine) business, see if you can get into it...might interest you and your family member. Apparently its the current trend, took over turkey with its business... There is also 3D food service, unrelated to your profession. Also 4D printing in its first stage of developing process, and unrelated to your profession, at this stage.
I don't have programming and web design skills, I have thought of this before... I do know what you mean, i.e., hard work and effort needs to be put in. I'm suffering for the last 1 year and 4 months. I feel like my brain has become liquid water... I don't have astonishing ideas. I do wish to do something... -- (SuperGirlsVibrator (talk) 21:06, 27 February 2015 (UTC))
This is getting *WAY* off-topic - but 3D printing is currently *FAR* too slow for our business volume/pricing. It can take 20 minutes to make a relatively small plastic object. I do actually own a couple of 3D printers - so I know a good deal about them. We'd need to invest in a hundred of them to get the kind of production volume we'd need - and the kind that we could afford 100 of are temperamental, fussy machines that need calibration, tweaking and repairs at a rate that would leave me spending all of my days fixing them! That said, the kind that use liquid polymer and expose it with a laser or a bright TV projector are getting very interesting...they stand a chance of being fast enough - but they have interesting problems of their own. To make money with 3D printers (for manufacturing as opposed to prototyping), the items you make have to sell for a ton of money - and small plastic things generally don't sell for much. However, there is perhaps money in 3D printing highly customized things that couldn't be mass-produced...stuff like making 3D models from CAT scans for the medical market, or making replicas of archeological artifacts that are too fragile to handle...that kind of thing. SteveBaker (talk) 22:23, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Calculation method help[edit]

Need help with correct method for calculating this:

I have membership id (which might have multiple members in it) and member id which represents an individual member of an account. I am trying to calculate average deposit / deposit date for memberships as well as for individual members.

example table below:

Membership ID Member ID Deposit Date Deposit Amount
121 1 23-04-2013 500
121 2 07-04-2013 500
131 46 23-04-2013 100
121 1 01-06-2013 900
131 46 01-06-2013 340
541 91 23-04-2013 500
679 51 23-04-2013 500
679 1 23-04-2013 500

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:21, 26 February 2015 UTC

If I understand your table correctly, for the average "Deposit Amount" you just multiply column 4 by column 2, add up these products, then divide by the total of column 2. This is easy to do in a spreadsheet such as Excel, and you can do exactly the same with dates because Excel stores them as a number of days since the start of the epoch. Your table risks confusing Membership ID with Member ID. I would use clearer headers for the columns such as "Membership type" and "Number of members". A "Member ID" is usually a unique identifier for the member, but perhaps you store that elsewhere? Dbfirs 23:06, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the response. on member ID it means that there is a group id named membership ID and then this group has multiple members in it referenced by a unique id: member ID. The members might make some deposit and then I would like to calculate average deposit per date at membership level and member level. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:16, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

You asked above for average deposit and average date. These are easy to calculate as explained above. To find the average deposit per date, you would need to sort by date, then do the calculation on each date separately. I'm still not clear what you mean by at membership level and member level. If my calculation is not what you need, perhaps someone else can understand what you require? Dbfirs 23:53, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Is this information in a database? Are you asking how to write SQL code along the lines of
SELECT membership_id, member_id, deposit_date, AVG(deposit_amount) AS "Average daily deposit per member"
FROM my_table
GROUP BY membership_id, member_id, deposit_date;

SELECT membership_id, deposit_date, AVG(deposit_amount) AS "Average daily deposit per group"
FROM my_table
GROUP BY membership_id, deposit_date;
, or are you asking how to do it by hand? -- ToE 01:30, 27 February 2015 (UTC) Caveat: Code looks good to me, but not tested.
P.S. This assumes that membership_id = 121, member_id = 1 is a different member than membership_id = 679, member_id = 1. -- ToE 01:45, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
P.P.S. Your data is boring. No member made more than one deposit on a single day, and the only membership group with more than one deposit on the same day is 679, which on one day had two deposits ... of the same size. -- ToE 01:49, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

February 27[edit]

mith and legend[edit]

Are there mythological or lengendary creatures similar to Ankylosaurus?-- (talk) 09:54, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Well, now that we know about the dino, it has influenced other fictional characters. So would you count bulbasaur as a mythical creature? Also, keep in mind the look and attributes change depending on who's telling the story. So some basilisks look like the Anky, but other basilisks look more like a cockatrice. If you want to search further, use the term bestiary. So a google image search for /myth bestiary/ might be good to browse through. [70] SemanticMantis (talk) 15:35, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Not very close, but it is believed that the gryphon was inspired by skeletons of the protoceratops which are common on the Central Asian steppe. Their disarticulated head-plates were reinterpreted as wings. μηδείς (talk) 18:52, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Anguirus is pretty close. Armadon is less famous, but a bit closer. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:12, February 27, 2015 (UTC)
Those are good, way better than mine. Of course we might consider Primal Rage to be legendary, not sure if anyone else does ;) There's also some rather deep ontological issues at play. Never mind, Armandon is clearly not an actual Ankylosaur, he's a Tristegasauratops. SemanticMantis (talk) 21:55, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Post coitum omne animal triste est sive gallus et mulier. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:31, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
'Post coitum' always means 'have a cigarette' for me... :) KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 01:00, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
"Have a cigarette all animals are sad except chickens and women". Is this an example of your renowned translatorial prowess, KT?  :) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:34, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Shouldn't sive here mean "whether", not "except"? μηδείς (talk) 04:05, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Not according to List of Latin phrases (P). But gallus apparently means rooster or, if you prefer, cock. Is cock your preference? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 05:15, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
I have nothing against roosters or cats, but sive means either, whether, or or--not "except". English "except" is praeter, nisi or exceptaμηδείς (talk) 05:27, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

February 28[edit]

Steam engine explosions[edit]

I was recently reading some historical fiction from the era of the invention of steam locomotives. In the book, they suggest that many enterprising and foolhardy entrepreneurs tried to copy the early steam engines, and that this often led to tragic consequences ranging from scalding burns to devastating boiler explosions. While I'm sure steam engines can be very dangerous, I'm suspicious that the novel is exaggerating the frequency of such accidents for dramatic effect. The novel makes it seem like most of the people who tried to copy the early engines killed themselves. Were there a large number of boiler explosions and other deadly accidents in the early days of locomotive engineering? Dragons flight (talk) 05:42, 28 February 2015 (UTC)