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November 17[edit]

Looking for an automatic exposure blending tool[edit]

I've recently found a large lot of my family's vintage photos in a garage and I'm currently scanning them. Most of these are snapshots taken throughout the 1930s and 1940s, but turns out that a number of these paper prints are actually exposure bracketing sets of even older photographs, where photographic plates taken c. 1900-1930 (an educated guess rather than a broad one, based not only upon wardrobes and hairdos, but especially the specific ages of family members portrayed which make it clear that some of the photographs are definitely pre-WWI and going up until the late 1920s) were photographed again in order to transfer them from plates to paper prints. Because the images lost a lot of dynamic range in this crude optical copying process, the photographer did exposure bracketing shots of two or three per original plate with a different f-stop each, so that one exposure has good shadows, one good mids, and one good hi-lights, whereas the rest is lost to the single shot.

So now I'm looking for a free exposure blending tool which would combine the dynamic range for every exposure bracketing set (so that it would use the optimal exposure for every area) and export me a tone-mapped regular BMP, TIFF, or JPG on the other side. I've spent three very frustrating hours tonight trying out FDRtools [1] and Enfuse [2] after seeing reviews with rather good example results from these two. But FDRtools always crashes on me with a runtime error when I'm trying to load the images, or, at the very latest, when I'm clicking 'Edit', and Enfuse should rather be called *CON*fuse because it's not really a program, but more of a weird programming language that is *WAY* beyond me. I can't even tell how to make this Enfuse thing operative or access my image files somehow. So, what else would be out there to do this kinda thing? -- (talk) 00:38, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Don't know about FDRtools but I found Enfuse pretty simple “ just stupidly followed the instructions”. Are you using Windows or Linux? Think I got the know-how from [3] which is currently down for maintenance so I can't be sure. On (say) Ubuntu's OS (Linux) one just downloads it and it's good to go. Have another try. As the Buddhists recommend: Start with a quite and peaceful mind. More hast equals less speed. --Aspro (talk) 01:52, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm on Windows XP here. Spent 90 minutes on Enfuse now after your encouragement and reading your linked page by means of Wayback. All I manage to do is make Enfuse.exe tell me on double-click that it's not a 32bit application, and when I'm trying to use the droplets, it says it can't find Enfuse.exe anywhere, even if they're in the same folders. -- (talk) 02:35, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Uhm. It is well known that Microsoft doesn't like people like you, to use free software! Microsoft would rather you spend £500 on a photo-shop application. So, create a live Ubuntu Linux memory stick and run Ubuntu Linux. That will not affect your XP installation at all . Oh, and the weird programming language your referring to is probably BASH. Forget it. On Ubuntu, just make sure you have the Huggins suite downloaded and installed on Ubuntu then follow this tutorial: Creating HDR Images with Enfuse & Hugin. No programming skill required on Ubuntu. Just switch XP Windows off and then back on again, if anything doesn't go to plan.--Aspro (talk) 02:58, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Alternatively, you could use a Ubuntu LiveCD [4].--Aspro (talk) 03:06, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
But wouldn't I need a 64bit hardware machine to begin with in order to run such a 64bit application such as Enfuse? -- (talk) 03:13, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Enfuse and Hugin have both 32 and 64 bit versions. I currently use them on a 32 bit Dell desktop. --Aspro (talk) 03:23, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
YES!!! A thousand thank yous! I had to google a bit to find the 32bit version (because it's not linked directly from the Enblend-Enfuse main site nor Sourceforge), then fiddle a bit to find out that (other than for instance Mencoder) it only works if both Enfuse.exe and the photos are in the C:/Documents and settings/user directory that I'm prompted in the DOS prompt...but now it *WORKS*! It's amazing to see what tonal range Enfuse can recover by combining three basicly two-value hi-contrast exposures from 70 years ago of the same original plates that in turn were taken a hundred years ago! :D It's just that aligning several paper print scans is a bitch compared to aligning several digital shots taken with a tripod... -- (talk) 04:16, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Alternatively, you could use the Hugin GUI which does link to the 32 bit version on the Hugin sourceforge site and comes with Enblend and Enfuse. Nil Einne (talk) 04:53, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
BTW, you appear to be correct that the Enblend/Enfuse website doesn't seem to link to 32 bit version in any real way. The simplest way when this is a problem on Sourceforge is IMO to look for it yourself. An easy way to find it is if you click on the download link, this will normally take you to a download page which will tell you the download is starting soon. Click on the project name (Enblend in this case). This will take you to the project reprository e.g. [5] for 'Enblend'. You should see some links like 'summary', 'files', 'reviews' along a line somewhere in the middle or middle top of the page (below the non project Sourceforge stuff). If you click on 'files', you will be taken to the reprository. Sometimes the reprository may be a bit confusing, but you can often tell by the date and name where to look. Don't be afraid to use the back button if you end up at the wrong place. Alternatively, if you hover over the link for the latest version, you can see where that is and guess where to look. In this case if you click on 'enblend-enfuse' and then 'enblend-enfuse-4.1' you will end up [6] where you can find the 32 bit and 64 bit. I found the Hugin 2014.0 and 2013.0 links the same way before I noticed the 2013.0 was linked on the main Hugin page and it isn't unheard of for software to only provide the source tarball even if a precompiled binary exists and sometimes you may be looking for older versions, or RC version or whatever which often aren't well linked, so it's helpful to know how to navigate the Sourceforge reprository in any case. Nil Einne (talk) 05:08, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
(EC) You can download a 32 bit Windows binary of Hugin here [7] or here [8] depending on whether you want a an RC version or the latest non testing version. The later link BTW is under the "Pre-compiled versions" section under Windows: Official 2013.0.0. I don't have a Windows XP install to test, but I'm fairly sure it will just work if you get the right version. Considering the details here, I would suggest the non Python installer (i.e. RC4 or latest nontesting).

BTW, the reason why it didn't work here doesn't seem to have anything to do with any Microsoft dislike for free software (unless you count the lack of a package manager or simple way to compile stuff from source, but I think even many non technical *nix users find compiling stuff from source often isn't so simple hence the proliferation of package managers), but all to do with the fact Sourceforge didn't provide the right version. From my own testing, I think it doesn't detect whether you have a 32 bit or 64 bit version of Windows only that you have Windows and so provides you the 64 bit version, I'm guessing based on the choices of the Hugin sourceforce maintainer as the default version for Windows. The reason may be because while there are ways to try and detect 64 bit (whether browser is 32 bit or 64 bit) vs 32 bit Windows via the useragent these may not be entirely reliable.

You can perhaps partially blame Microsoft here in that while they did stuff a certain way in IE e.g. [9] & [10] and many followed, I'm not sure if they ever published this as a recommendation for others to follow. Also it seems there are some cases when even IE may provide no clue the OS is 64 bit, although I'm not sure that people using Enterprise mode are likely to be a significant concern for providing the right version for software install. And I'm not sure whether Apple would have followed Microsofts recommendations in Safari Windows even if they did exist. Or for that matter, even if there was an entirely reliable way to detect Windows bitness from the useragent, SourceForge would use it.

You can perhaps also fault Microsoft for not allowing universal binaries, but there a number of reasons why they may have chosen not to do so, and it's unlikely free software considerations even came in to them. (And I'm fairly sure software providers could simply use a 32 bit shim which chooses whether to install a 64 bit or 32 bit version.)

Edit, oh except for the links, this seems to mostly apply to Enblend/Enfuse as wellNil Einne (talk) 04:51, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Ah. image alignment ![edit]

If the OP has many photos, then it would be worth installing GIMP (free) and then the Gimp Plug-in for Image Registration (free). Both are a must have if one can not justify the cost of Photoshop.--Aspro (talk) 20:38, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Google Chrome's sound tracker for noisy tabs[edit]

What ever happened to this feature? I remember seeing it run nearly a year ago, but then forgot about it. Has it been dropped or made to require manual activation? I'm using the Dev release, which should have the same content than the Beta one. ~­Matt714 (talk)

I use the current consumer version Chrome and I see it all the time. Maybe its a setting on your end? KonveyorBelt 02:57, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Can you tell us a little more about the exact version of the dev Chrome and your environment? I have these icons showing right now by default on Chrome 38 in Windows 7. Freedomlinux (talk) 03:02, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Windows 7 64 bits - Chrome: Version 40.0.2214.6 dev-m (64-bit) - Nevermind, it still works. However it's not as clear than when it was animated. Matt714 (talk) 17:34, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

November 18[edit]

Changing MediaWiki's version control mechanism.[edit]

(This is not a question about Wikipedia!)

I'm looking for a plugin/extension or perhaps an outright modification that would allow me to use an alternative version control system to MediaWiki's "history".

Specifically, I want to be able to change the way that 'diff' is done - but I'd also like to use something more like GitHub.

Googling for this is near-impossble because all you get is protracted debates amongst the MediaWiki developers about which version control system they should use for the software behind MediaWiki and it's extensions. I'm interested in versioning the content stored INSIDE MediaWiki.

If there isn't a plugin - I'd be interested in any tips about where to find all this stuff in the MediaWiki source code so I can attempt a "Do It Yourself" approach.

TIA SteveBaker (talk) 17:12, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

(edit conflict) You're talking about the backing store, i.e., the database. In Manual:Installing_MediaWiki#Create_a_database a standard MediaWiki installation, that database is usually MySQL or PostgreSQL, or something equally suitable for SQL data archival. You're talking about retrieving the content out of, say, a git or subversion repository: that would not work out of the box. MediaWiki expects to speak SQL to its backing store. You would need something - either a modification of the MediaWiki PHP source, or some "interposer" program that pretends to speak SQL while actually committing the data to, say, a subversion server. Nimur (talk) 17:30, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Have you looked through mw:Manual:Extensions you might find something there. I suspect that changing the way a diff is done would be relatively easy, changing how revisions are manage is a much more complex task involving changing the database tables used. Perhaps mw:Extension:Diff, mw:Visual_Diff mw:Extension:Wikidiff2 mw:Extension:Wikidiff.--Salix alba (talk): 17:28, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
@Nimur: I confess to being not super-familiar with SQL either (although I have a sense that I'm about to become that!) am I right in saying that SQL has some kind of native revision history - and MediaWiki is just using it? Or is it a case of MediaWiki creating a sequence of time-stamped data records which it's using to create a revision history that just happens to be stored by SQL?
MediaWiki creates a sequence of time-stamped data records. See: Database Access in the MediaWiki manual, and tables.sql, the code that defines the database layout of a clean MediaWiki installation. Each historical revision of a Wiki page on MediaWiki is an instance of a revision (i.e., a "row" in the revision table); that revision has pointers to the historical textual content (e.g., the rev_text_id, and so on). Nimur (talk) 22:19, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
@Salix: Thanks for the "diff" stuff - I think that'll answer that part of my question once I get a chance to wade through it all! SteveBaker (talk) 18:39, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Trying to understand Python syntax[edit]

This is related to this question. In File:Poisson_pmf.svg there is a line: "a = plt.plot(X, P, 'o', color=col[L])". why does it perform an action (plotting the stuff), and get assigned to a variable? I'd expect the method call only to be assigned to the variable 'a' (and do nothing yet, just hold the object). However, "a = plt.plot" and "plt.plot" have the same effect (on the plot, I see that later they need the 'a' for the legend). I just don't get that you don't have to write two independent lines. First, "plt.plot(X, P, 'o', color=col[L])" and then "a = plt.plot(X, P, 'o', color=col[L])".--Senteni (talk) 17:29, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

First, I've taken the liberty of fixing your wiki-links.
To directly answer your question: these two lines are actually creating two different plot objects. It is perfectly legal in Python (and almost all other programming languages) for a function to do something and also to return a value. In this case, the return-value of the plot function is an object pointer to an object that stores information about the plot.
Nimur (talk) 17:33, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Ok, but what if you wanted to store a function to a variable, not run it and get the return value? Would that be possible and meaningful?
You can take a function and some parameters and glue them together into another function, a reference to which you can store in a variable and then subsequently call (typicaly then supplying the remaining paramters you didn't do when you glued up the partial). The documentation for functools.partial gives an example here. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 17:52, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
In Python (and many more modern languages with functional features) you can refer to a function (a = plt.plot) or call it and use the return value (a = plt.plot(...) - note the parenthesis with (elided) parameters here). And you can make ad-hoc functions, too: a = lambda x:x+10 will assign a function of one variable to a (and that function will return its argument plus 10 if called). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 18:03, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, but matplotlib plot calls are methods on the plt object (they mutate its state), they're not pure functions. I think taking a partial of a method may essentially unbind it (lose its association with the plt object) so that's probably not what you want to do. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 18:07, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
I would need to think about this. But what you certainly can do is use a lambda again: a = lambda x:plt.plot(x) (substitute parameters as needed ;-). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:08, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
In contrast to some other languages, plt.plot behaves sensibly in Python. If you assign plt.plot to f then f(*args) is equivalent to plt.plot(*args). If plot is defined in Cls then plt.plot is equivalent to partial(Cls.plot, plt), and partial(plt.plot, arg) is equivalent to partial(Cls.plot, plt, arg) and so on. -- BenRG (talk) 19:17, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

November 19[edit]

WiFi hot spots[edit]

I want to change ISP. However, our current ISP has about 100 Wi-Fi Hot Spots in the city and the other one has about 10. This doesn't matter to me, but it does to my wife. I understand that the range is maybe 50 meters. Is there something at a reasonable cost that will allow her to access the WiFi, for the one with only a few hot spots? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 04:38, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure I understand the issue. I can go to Starbucks and use their hotspot, whether or not the ISP I use at home is the same ISP that Starbucks uses. Starbucks grants me free access to the Internet through their ISP. If she has some software on her laptop/smartphone that ties her to one ISP, she should get rid of it. ‑‑Mandruss  05:01, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't really understand the system, since I don't have a wireless mobile device, except my plain telephone. When I suggested switching, she said "how can I access all of the X hot spots around town?" (where X is our current ISP) I checked online and the one I want to switch to lists only about 10 hotspots - every McDonalds and every Burger King, and not much more. The other one lists about 100. The brochure for the new one (call it Y) says "... accessing the entire national Y Wi-Fi Hot Spot network, which is included with all internet speeds." So to me, that says you can access their hot spots, but it doesn't say about ones from other companies. Should she be able to access all of them? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 05:11, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Every McDonald's that I've encountered uses AT&T for their Wi-Fi. I don't have an AT&T account and that has never stopped me from accessing their hotspot. Nor does it stop anyone else on Verizon, Sprint, etc. I don't see why your wife would be blocked from any of the 110 hotspots. Dismas|(talk) 05:26, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Since I wrote my last message, I talked to my daughter. She said that McDonald's uses AT&T (as you said), which is not our current ISP. She says that she just has to go to a login screen - no problem. So I didn't know this stuff, and I think my wife should not be concerned. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 05:44, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
There are, broadly, two types of hotspots. Free ones, and paid ones. Those supplied by a store (e.g. McDonalds) are generally free, anyone in the store can use them, regardless of whether they have a subscription with the hotspot operator/ISP. Some ISPs or hotspot operators will also have paid hotspots which you can access if you have a subscription with them (either specifically for their hotspot service, or sometimes bundled with your home internet). Chances are that the only hotspots for your new ISP are free ones (given the low number), while the ones for your old ISP are a mix of free and paid hotspots. Other than going to the various places that she wants WiFi access and trying it out without using your ISP login credentials (i.e. making it look as if you're just a random person off the street), there's no surefire way of telling which she'll still be able to use. I'd expect any WiFi in a fast food place or a cafe to be free. MChesterMC (talk) 09:55, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Why isnt my Java repaint call actually changing the look of my window?[edit]


For fun i wrote a class that can display random walks, shown here. I will note that for brevity i excluded the "GfxConfigs" class, which only grabs an array of Rectangles that represent each monitor attached to the computer. Notice that i have listeners attached to a window so that when you left click and drag, the window is moved around. Also, when you right click, i intend the program to erase that random walk, and make a new one (I call "repaint").

The new random walk is not generated, although you can see that repaint is called since the program does the println of the string "repainted". What am i doing wrong here? (talk) 20:31, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Edit: I have added debug println commands which verify that the paint method is called, and a new random walk is generated. The change just isn't being shown! It will "work" if i do this:


... But i don't want to accept this as the fix, because it kills the symptoms and not the problem, and it also makes my random walks disappear for a short time when right clicked. (talk) 22:01, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

November 20[edit]

Dates of 'Friend requests' in Facebook[edit]

How can I get this data, which is of basic nature, with respect to when these requests were sent to me ? Strange they've left this basic issue in a childish condition. I've raised this question there ('Help Community'), already, with no answers, as yet. BentzyCo (talk) 01:23, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

SO BASIC, BUT YET, SO COMPLICATED. Why designed so ? BentzyCo (talk) 06:43, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
The main point is that it is not in Facebook's interest to give you full access to that kind of data. It is in their interest to keep you on the site as long as possible, so that you see the most advertisements. As the saying goes, if the online service is free, you are not the customer, you are the product. You may have slightly more information available if you download your FB content, as described here [11]. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:28, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Looking for an IEEE paper[edit]

I'm looking for the paper: A classification of CASE technology by A. Fuggetta. Here is a link to where the paper can be found:

I created a user ID on the IEEE site but without an institutional ID they make you pay for to download the paper. I need the paper to edit this article: Computer aided software engineering It's used as one of the primary references for many of the fundamental claims in the article. I think all the claims are true and probably backed up by the paper but want to be sure and also want to expand and edit the article to address the concerns in the tags. Also, on the Talk page of that article people have mentioned the idea of creating new articles that distinguish different subdomains of CASE (e.g. upper CASE vs. lower CASE) and I think this paper would be an excellent source if we do that. --MadScientistX11 (talk) 17:31, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

The place to ask for this is WP:REX. If you don't get any help there you can ask me on my talk page. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:08, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

In Python, where does the return output go, if you don't care about it?[edit]


   plt.plot(X, P, '-', color='grey')
   a = plt.plot(X, P, 'o', color=col[L])

from File:Poisson_pmf.svg. I see that both lines perform an action, but the second returns a value that gets used further. Where does the return value of the first go to? Does it just silently disappear without any side-effects? And would that be a problem, if you get really lots of these dismissed values? --Senteni (talk) 17:40, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

I don't know - but I know that this question goes on the computer reference desk. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:46, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
The answer is pretty ... uh, "heavy...": the answer to these sorts of questions might not be very accessible to new programmers. How much do you know about compiler theory, and how much do you want to learn?
Both statements contain Python expressions and the latter statement is also an assignment statement. An assignment statement causes the interpreter to bind a value to a name. If the value is not bound, it is up to the Python interpreter environment to determine its scope and persistence behavior. In CPython (the most common implementation of Python), that value is stored in a reference-counted dictionary, and because it is unbound, it will be re-collected by the Python memory manager "very soon." In CPython, that garbage collection occurs when the value goes out of scope (which is, in a sense, a less memory-optimized sequence compared to the behavior of most compiled machine-code, in which an intermediate unbound value will cease to exist as soon as the CPU micro-architecture wants to re-use its hardware storage). Python's interpreter is, in a sense, a virtual machine; and the data-persistence of intermediate values is completely controlled by the software-implementation of the interpreter.
More to the point, "who cares" about how Python code interplays with the microarchitecture of compiled code? Well, you'll care if you ever try to embed the Python interpreter into your own code! Suppose you wanted to make a game, and you choose to implement the game in C code, but you want to permit the higher-level game logic to take the form of a Python script. Suddenly, the performance and data-persistence of the interpreted script can make a big difference! (As an actual example, Firaxis embedded Python into Civilization 4 and performance reviewers were not kind).
If you're into this stuff, the book you want is: Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software Interface. Read that one over the course of a year; and then grab a copy of the CPython source and your favorite processor reference manual...
Nimur (talk) 18:20, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Ignoring the return value of a function that returns one is an OK thing to do in every programming language I know (which is a LOT!). I don't know (in detail) how this works in Python - but in good old fashioned C, the "return" statement inside of a function placed the result into Register R0 (on most machine architectures) - and if you assigned that result to a variable in the calling code, it would copy R0 into that variable...if you didn't do the assignment, then R0 would eventually get overwritten. In most languages, the cost of ignoring a returned value is exactly zero. Now, admittedly, because Python is a garbage-collected language, if you create some kind of data structure - then the ONLY remaining reference to it is passed into a return statement - which is then ignored - then there will be no references left to that structure and it'll eventually be garbage-collected. There are administrative overheads to doing that - but the costs aren't really in ignoring the 'return' so much as creating something unnecessarily and then having it destroyed again. For example, if you saved the returned value in a variable, then destroyed the variable - the cost would be the same as ignoring it.
SteveBaker (talk) 19:27, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

VCARD file syntax for obsolete and emergency contacts "not to be normally used"[edit]

I'm trying to understand the syntax and approach used with Vcard, when handling obsolete and emergency contact data. In the real world, obsolete contact data can be important - but it can also be very important to ensure it is clearly not to be used.

Example: Contact "Jane" has used the following 5 phone numbers -

  • 123-1000, main home phone number (voice service)
  • 456-1000, cellphone (voice, text services, preferred contact)
  • 876-1000, a previous phone number, before she moved out of her old home. This is never to be called, even by accident, as it's obsolete, but deleting it would mean that all call history to and from that number would no longer be identified with Jane. Her 'ex' also still lives at that number so it's important to recognize it, if it ever rings and even if it's never used.
  • 765-1000, another previous phone number, now reallocated by the telco to unconnected subscribers, but likewise if it's deleted then old and important records related to that contact number won't be linked to Jane.
  • 333-1000, her medical emergency contact service for some condition Jane may have. Never to be called except in emergency as they charge $150 per call on each occasion used.

I'm trying to understand what provision VCard includes, or how VCard entries are structured, to reflect that very often, numbers need to be "on file" for a contact even though "obsolete" or "emergency", and how a number of this kind is represented in a typical handset's Vcard if it's needed but never normally to be actually dialed. In particular how one tags a number if it must be recognized but also mustn't be allowed to be dialed even accidentally. FT2 (Talk | email) 23:24, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

November 21[edit]

VPN Protocol[edit]

When I use public WiFI I always connect to a VPN. I either use OpenVPN or L2TP/IPSEC PSK. Which one would be less likely or harder to block? Also, sometimes I cannot access Google services while on OpenVPN TCP443. Why? I can access Google services on UDP1194 or L2TP/IPSEC PSK, but sometimes not TCP443. pcfan500 (talk) 06:58, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

List of numbers sorted by bit count[edit]

(If this question is more appropriate for RD/Math, please feel free to move it.)

I need to generate a list of numbers from zero to 2^n - 1 (where n is likely to be beween about 3 and about 20) sorted by the number of "1" bits in their binary representation. For example, for n = 4:

0   [0000]
1   [0001]
2   [0010]
4   [0100]
8   [1000]
3   [0011]
5   [0101]
6   [0110]
9   [1001]
10  [1010]
12  [1100]
7   [0111]
11  [1011]
13  [1101]
14  [1110]
15  [1111]

Is there a name for this sort of sequence, and (more importantly) is there an easy way of calculating it? Tevildo (talk) 13:20, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Interesting question. I don't know of a name. To "calculate" the list, I think you would have to generate the items in ascending sequence by binary numeric value. Count the "1" bits for each and prepend that, as:
00 [0000]
01 [0001]
01 [0010]
02 [0011]
01 [0100]
02 [0101]
02 [0110]
03 [0111]
01 [1000]
And then you would sort the list into ascending sequence. If you don't have an easy way to sort a list, that's another problem. ‑‑Mandruss  14:09, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
That would work, but the question then becomes "How do I count the bits?" Something like:
int bitCount = 0;
int mask = 1;
for (int i = 0; i < n; i++)
    if (mask & x) bitCount++;
    mask <<= 1;

seems rather inefficient (is it O(2^n)? I know little about the theoretical side of things) for larger values of n. Tevildo (talk) 14:27, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

That will have to wait for someone who knows C++, if that's what that is. Maybe the language provides some function that returns the number of "1" bits in a value; that would simplify coding but might not necessarily save execution time; either way, each bit has to be tested individually at machine level. ‑‑Mandruss  14:31, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I've used the bit-counting in a program that generated all the combinations for kakuro puzzles; it displayed on each line, the number of digits (bit-count), sum, and list of digits. I used the Unix program sort to sort by bit-count, and then the sum. If you use quick-sort then its O(n log n). CS Miller (talk) 14:47, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Just last week this came up! I found a great page with several variants of software algorithms for counting bits set. And, if you're running on ARM (or running on the latest Intel processors), there are single-machine-instructions for this: population count. Find first set has been around for thirty years on i386, but population-count (bit counting) just appeared recently (in the Core architecture extensions to SSE4.2). Nimur (talk)
That's exactly what I need, thanks. I see Brian Kernighan worked how to do it in two lines, so I'll follow his example. The rest of the page will certainly come in useful again! Tevildo (talk) 16:07, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
The fastest way I know for a 32 bit word is:
 n = (n & 0x55555555) + ((n & 0xaaaaaaaa) >> 1);
 n = (n & 0x33333333) + ((n & 0xcccccccc) >> 2);
 n = (n & 0x0f0f0f0f) + ((n & 0xf0f0f0f0) >> 4);
 n = (n & 0x00ff00ff) + ((n & 0xff00ff00) >> 8);
 n = (n & 0x0000ffff) + ((n & 0xffff0000) >> 16);
Kernighan's approach is much faster for words with not many bits set - but is much slower than my approach for words with large numbers of bits set. SteveBaker (talk) 19:01, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
That shouldn't be a major problem - the basic structure of the code is (now) something like:
for (int bitCount = 1; bitCount < n; bitCount++)
    int[] numList = GetNumbersWithBitCount(bitCount);
    foreach (int thisNum in numList)
        if (DoThings(thisNum))
           //  Success!  Exit the loop and go on to the next section of the code
 //  Failure.  Go home and go to bed.

Hopefully, we'll get the success condition well before we get to 20 bits, so we should only need to use the shorter runs. But we do need to cover all eventualities. Tevildo (talk) 20:04, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

(For the curious) - Steve's method is "Counting bits set, in parallel" from Nimur's link. Tevildo (talk) 20:14, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

URL and browser weirdness[edit]

My library's online catalogue is located at If you go to the full URL on my computer and on a library computer, everything works fine. If you go to on the library computers, it works just as well, but my computer refuses to go there and instead brings up a box: "Do you want this website to open an app on your computer?" Click the "OK" option and I get another box, "No apps are installed to open this type of link." This is completely different from what I get when leaving off the URL from most sites, e.g. works just as well as What's the difference? Library computer is running IE9 in Windows 7, while my computer has IE11 in Windows 8.1. Nyttend (talk) 16:17, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

It definitely sounds like an IE11 bug - and to be honest, pretty much everyone here is thinking "Wow! You're still using Internet Explorer?!?". There are two slightly unusual things going on with this URL. One is that ':8007' bit on the end - which is setting the port number that the http daemon is listening on to something non-standard...the other is that this URL does a redirect to "" - which is technically a ".cgi" file. CGI is used for applications running on the server, not on the client - so that shouldn't be a problem here. But I bet that either IE11 or Win8.1 is thinking that this file extension is being handled by a local application, then discovering that you don't have the local application installed. I'm not a big Windows user - but I know that somewhere you can set which applications handle which file types on the desktop - and I'd bet that somehow one of them is set up to handle ".cgi" files. Getting rid of that file association (if it exists) might maybe fix this...but I'd give it only a one in three chance of working.
There probably isn't anything that can be done about this interesting quirk/bug - other than to say: "Don't Use Internet Explorer". SteveBaker (talk) 19:16, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Just a quick note, the :8007 is necessary, because goes to a directory for the libraries within and partnering with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Not sure how we became #8007, but it's not just some weirdness that can easily be omitted. Nyttend (talk) 23:05, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Fair enough; the server-side engineers opted to use the TCP port to allow one server to serve different content for several different services. They could have used some other scheme - like domain name virtualization or URL rewriting (mod_rewrite) to share the top-level hardware among several sub-allocated web sites.
Maybe I'm just trying to be more optimistic than Steve, but perhaps instead of boycotting the product, you could file a formal bug-report against Internet Explorer. I bet some folks on their software team would like to know that they're mis-behaving when they encounter what appears to be a perfectly legal URL.
As a last note: are you explicitly typing "http://" before the rest of the URL? Port 8007 is non-standard (but perfectly legal) for HTTP, and by explicitly typing the protocol prefix, "http://", you are helping the software identify that this address should be retrieved in the web-browser as normal hypertext.
Nimur (talk) 23:20, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Nyttend already knows using the http:// prefix works, but was asking why leaving off the http:// doesn't work for this address. Nimur's "helping the software identify" statement links to URI scheme, which I also think is what's going on. Here's a little more information about that:
The http or https part of an address is called the URI scheme. Other URI schemes are possible and they can cause special actions in other programs. For example, if an e-mail program is installed, a mailto: link can open a new message window. If an IRC chat program is installed, an irc: link can open a chat room. Some programs even install their own unofficial URI schemes on your computer. When you install AOL Instant Messenger, then aim: links can open message windows.
When you put in the address box, I think Internet Explorer 11 is interpreting the part before the colon as a URI scheme. It's searching for an app to handle that type of address, but it can't find one. Other browsers seem to recognize is a domain name and interpret the address using the default http URI scheme.
(Note: When I tested my Internet Explorer 11, I found that you must disable searching from the address box to get the app prompts Nyttend describes. If searching from the address box is enabled, putting in the address box brings up search results instead.)
--Bavi H (talk) 05:11, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
I can't boycott the product: I work at the library, so boycotting the product would mean I couldn't help students find books by navigating said product :-) And yes, I have disabled searching through the address bar. I typically navigate Wikipedia by changing URLs (if I'm at the Main Page, I'll come here by deleting "Main_Page" and adding "WP:RDC"), and if searching through the address bar is enabled, it constantly searches the web for Wikipedia URLs instead of taking me to those URLs. Nyttend (talk) 06:06, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm not really sure why it works on your library computer/IE9, but I think IE has had similar behaviour for a while. See e.g. [12] discussing IE8. I don't use IE much, but this quirk or a similar quirk is something I think I've encounter before, primarily because I sometimes use IE when trying to access local or LAN HTTP servers not on port 80 (e.g. SABnzbd+ and some firewalls/routers) for a variety of reasons and I sometimes use the form of IP:port (sometimes hostname including localhost:port).

While I don't think there's any harm reporting this to Microsoft and suggesting you'd prefer different behaviour, I'm not sure that they'll change it, I find it unlikely they aren't aware some people would prefer it different and I'm guessing that they've chosen this way for whatever reason and it'll be difficult to change their minds.

Note in particular, I have strong doubts about SteveBaker's claims this is a bug. It's likely more accurate to call it a quirk or simply different behaviour from the majority of browsers. From my reading of URI scheme which seems to follow the RFC, it sounds like is a perfectly valid scheme name (a silly one perhaps, but probably valid). I presume 8007 could be a valid path. So unless there's some other specific RFC or standard that says you should intepret as meaning, it seems anyone is entitled to interpret it as an absolute URI with as the scheme name.

From the end user POV, I do feel it makes more sense to intepret it as intended to be http (or perhaps https) without the scheme name specified since it's likely tha's far more commonly intended, particularly if there's nothing registered to handle the scheme name so all that can be said is we don't know what to do with that scheme name. Even more so when is a valid path for HTTP (which together with HTTPS is what 99.99% of URI even those directly entered in to the browser probably are) and further works. But it's difficult to call this a bug per se when it seems both are quite legitimate intepretations.

I also wonder whether other browsers are definitely better in all cases. For example, if you do have something registered to handle, will the browser intepret as meaning you want the scheme name or will it still interpret it as wanting If it does the later (and it's not so simple which is better for the user in that case), how about (again if you have something registered to handle which doesn't work if you intepret it as wanting In that case, it would seem definite that it's better to intepret it as as the scheme name, or at most once doesn't work, intepret as the scheme name and pass the path to it (unless perhaps the browser knows 8007 is an invalid path for that scheme name), but I wonder if they really do that.

Definitely in the case of browsers like Chrome without a search tab where the URI bar is supposed to be the search tab, I know they will often not intepret this as you as wanting to search for even though doesn't work, but that's another kettle of fish entirely. As we get more and more generic TLDs I imagine this is going to get more complicated. How should you intepret video.protocol for example? What about the apparently real world example xmlrpc.beep/xmlrpc.beeps (it doesn't sounds like anyone wants .beep/.beeps yet though)?

P.S. One advantage with this sort of different interpretations stuff is it can reveal ambiguity. I don't see much chance of the standards being changes to fix this, but it does suggest to it's fairly wise for anyone to consider whether using a different service port, particularly when there's any chance someone may enter the URI manually, is the best idea, rather than the alternatives like Nimur mentioned.

Nil Einne (talk) 08:33, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

November 22[edit]


November 16[edit]

Width of gas lines.[edit]

I was running some gas lines for a unit heater i bought and the manual said i needed larger diameter pipe run depending on the distance the pipe was traveling.

I assume this is to keep a steady pressure, but the pipes throttle at the beginning and the end to a much smaller diameter, so i would think that the throttling would bottleneck the system no matter if i increased the pipe diameter AFTER the throttle.

but apparently it doesn't matter. Why exactly do i need larger diameter piping if i'm going a larger distance? how does an increase of diameter allow for an increase of flow rate? and why does it not matter if there is a reducer on either ends of the pipe? (talk) 02:37, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Same thing happens with electricity. Longer extension cords need to be heavier gauge wire for the same load. Pipes exhibit resistance to flow based on their diameter AND length. For short runs the differences can be miniscule, but natural gas pressure in household lines is measured in ounces, so even tiny differences can affect the flow rate. (talk) 04:11, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Just because it's restricted to being narrow at either end (pressure loss for those lengths), it would be even more restricted overall if it were narrow between them too. That is, there is resistance (and increasingly so, as the IP mentions) all along the way, not just a limit based on the narrowest point (as you seem to suggest by the idea of throttling/bottleneck). For lots of gory details, see [13]. Not to say that a very narrow inlet couldn't have an overall limiting effect, but it's also the on-going effect between the ends too. DMacks (talk) 03:39, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Lot's of reasons and electrical analogy is only one. Another concern is venturi effects. Larger pipes reduce the pressure drop as the velocity is slower. The danger is a high BTU appliance at the end of the run with taps along the way. You don't want your gas furnace to draw air in from the stove burner due to velocity pressure drop. It's important to calculate distance and BTU requirements and taps. There are standard distance/diameter/BTU building code formulas that you can find (I don't have them handy but I've used them before). I believe throttling out of the meter is intentional to maintain a large pressure diff across the diaphragm (outlet is lower pressure during flow and it's not a limiting case). --DHeyward (talk) 22:28, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Rosetta Orbital Period[edit]

Since the comet has such low gravity, will Rosetta be able to maintain a conventional orbit around the comet? If so, how long will that orbital period be? I am guesstimating about a day (24 hours). Altitude 3 miles, orbital path 20+ miles, escape velocity 1 MPH. (talk) 04:05, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

I believe that Rosetta isn't in a 'free' orbit. It does several powered 'turns' in each orbit (I think, every 60 degrees). So, in effect, it's flying a bunch of nearly straight lines at much higher than escape velocity. I read someplace that Rosetta's speed relative to the comet is about 25 meters/second (sorry, I don't remember where I saw that). According to our article, the orbital distance is 29km (roughly) - although at times, they've reduced that to as little as 10km and started out at 100km. If the orbit was circular, then the circumference of that orbit is 2 pi x 29000 meters, which is around 200,000 meters. At 25 m/sec we get an orbital period of around 7000 seconds...around 2 hours. For a more exact answer, we'd need more details about the shape of the orbit and the fuel burns to keep it like that. When it was out further from the comet, I believe the 'natural' orbit was 26 days.
An orbit that long would be useless while interacting with the lander because there would be periods of many days when they'd be unable to communicate. Hence the powered turns. SteveBaker (talk) 15:45, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Signals from UFOs[edit]

If there as many UFOs out there as people would have us believe, why dont we pick up some electromagnetic signals from them via, for instance, the SETI program? Also, if UFOs exist, what do they want?-- (talk) 13:13, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

We don't hear little green men talking on their walkie-talkies because they are not here. There is almost certainly life out there somewhere (it being a big galaxy and an even bigger universe), but there is no reliable evidence that we are being visited. Alien UFOs, the Bermuda Triangle, the Loch Ness Monster, and ghosts are all more cultural phenomenon than they are scientific ones. Do you want to believe? -- ToE 14:29, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
There are a few scientists who have theorized that there may not be any complex life anywhere else in the Milky Way, based on extremely low values in the Drake equation. I am aware of one that said that the merger of the mitochondrion with the prokaryote was an extremely unlikely event. Other, more commonly theorized values for the factors in the Drake equation compute the likelihood that there is life elsewhere in the Milky Way, but not within communicating distance. Remember that the Milky Way is an astronomically large place. If relativity is correct and the speed of light is invariant, then there are limits to how far intelligent beings, even long-lived ones, would travel. Even if superluminal travel is possible, the Milky Way is still an astronomically large place. Robert McClenon (talk) 21:25, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
As to whether UFOs are a cultural phenomenon, Carl Sagan has theorized that there is something about humans, maybe even in brain wiring, so that humans want there to be other beings with whom we can communicate. In the past, this desire resulted in various sorts of folkloric humanoids such as, in European culture, dwarves, trolls, and elves, having other names in other cultures. In modern times, they are extraterrestrials. So maybe they are both a cultural phenomenon and a psychological phenomenon. Robert McClenon (talk) 21:30, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
If by "UOFs" you were not referring to aliens sighted visiting Earth but instead you were speaking metaphorically of extraterrestrial intelligence in general, and your question was why SETI has not been successful to date, then you should make that clear. -- ToE 14:42, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Upper atmosphere objects. Do YOU believe these? [[14]]-- (talk) 14:47, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
There is a large community of people out there who take NASA imagery and "enhance" it. Sadly, because they are unschooled in how to do image enhancement correctly, they make stupid mistakes and generate 'artifacts' that look just like UFOs or alien cities or whatever their fevered imaginations can come up with. My favorite way to demonstrate that is this from a post I did here back in 2009 were I take the period at the end of the original question and 'enhance' it until there is a really clear picture of an alien city, complete with buildings, streets and shadows that are convincingly cast by those buildings! I use it so much, I made a copy on my own website:
I've seen photos of UFO's that were the result of this exact same thing. A tiny white speck in an image (could be dust on a lens, or a star or something) get "enhanced" until you get a nice blurry image that looks just like a classic UFO.
SteveBaker (talk) 15:17, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Aliens are bound by the same laws of physics that we are. Getting from wherever they live to us would take hundreds to thousands of years - and they'd have been unlikely to detect our civilization hundreds or thousands of years ago. It's unlikely that they'd even be able to detect that we're here. With our present technology, we'd be unable to detect a human-scale civilization orbiting a star more than a couple of lightyears away. So:
  • "If there as many UFOs out there as people would have us believe"...well that number would be zero...assuming you're listening to people who have seriously thought about it!
  • "if UFOs exist, what do they want?"...they don't exist, so the question is moot.
If you really want an answer to the hypothetical question of what it would be like if they DID exist, then I suppose the chain of reasoning is something like:
  1. If they could get here at all, they'd have to have some pretty amazing technology.
  2. If they wanted to destroy us, and they are that advanced, they could easily do before we ever knew they were there. If they were prepared to spend hundreds of years patiently getting here, they could spend 50 more years to gently deflect a dinosaur-extinction-event sized asteroid to wipe us all out...and we'd never even know they'd done it until we were all dead. So, clearly that's not what they want.
  3. If they wanted us to detect them, they could very easily make themselves known by any number of impressive and undeniable ways - and they clearly haven't done that either.
  4. So they must want to remain hidden and so they certainly wouldn't go around broadcasting radio signals that they know we can detect.
  5. Ergo, if they exist at all, we're unlikely to be able to detect them.
If there were UFO's in orbit around the earth, they might communicate with each other using lasers or some other sort of directed signal that avoided splattering light or radio in all directions. They'd undoubtedly use stealth technology that would prevent us from picking them up with radar or other such tricks.
SETI goes to a lot of trouble to eliminate signals that are too close to earth to be a signal from another star system - so even if they could pick up UFO's, they'd be actively ignoring them...but there are lots of other people out there who track space debris and look for unusual satellite activity from potential (human) enemies who could detect an easily-detected alien ship.
What do they (hypothetically) want? Who knows? We can't detect them.
A species that's capable of all of this wouldn't be dumb enough to show themselves to people by abducting them, doing experiments on them and letting them go afterwards...if they were trying to keep themselves hidden, they're doing a really terrible job of doing that.
All of these sad people with nothing better to do in their lives than make up stories are feeding you bullshit...and until a UFO lands on the Whitehouse lawn...we can probably ignore these reports. People are endlessly capable of deluding themselves and going out and making up a pack of lies to make themselves feel more's a part of human nature.
SteveBaker (talk) 15:02, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
And Steve has only shown one of many types of image distortion only caused by a specific conversion artifact of the JPEG image compression algorithm. There are many, many other image artifacts that can be caused by camera optics, digital sensors, and all kinds of other complicated software processing, all of which are omnipresent on today's digital cameras! If one is looking for noise, noise is easy to find! Nimur (talk) 16:12, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, exactly. In my example, in addition to the JPEG compression artifacts, I also had our hypothetical UFO investigator use an "Edge enhance" function - which is great at highlighting edges at normal pixel sizes - but when you enlarge the image, you get dark and light fringes along all the edges - which make just dandy fake shadows. I've seen dozens of supposed alien vehicles and buildings that had inadvertently been created from nothing more than edge enhancement and subsequent magnification. SteveBaker (talk) 23:32, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
As far as why an alien species might come to Earth and yet remain hidden, the obvious answer is for scientific study of Earth life, while following a version of the noninterference directive. Earth scientists would absolutely love to find any extraterrestrial life to study, even if it was only as complex as a virus or bacterium. StuRat (talk) 15:16, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
This is a common idea - but if there is an 'noninterference directive', why are they (supposedly) kidnapping dozens to hundreds of humans, doing nasty experiments on them and then releasing them again? If a species that was that advanced wanted to investigate us without being noticed...I really don't think we'd notice them. SteveBaker (talk) 23:32, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Well, either the infamous "anal probe" part is entirely made up, or perhaps their noninterference directive only applies on a mass scale. That is, they don't want to interfere with the human species, but individuals don't much matter to them. We have similar attitudes towards many Earth species, where we want to protect them, on the whole, but still don't mind killing or experimenting on a few individuals. StuRat (talk) 19:00, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

A few scientists have actually addressed this question, but their scientific inquiries are usually drowned out by the sea of nonsense, fiction, and pseudoscience. As a start, you might look for Intelligent Life in the Universe at your local library. It was written by Iosif Shklovsky and adapted into English by Carl Sagan. The book provides insightful perspectives on intelligent extraterrestrial life from some very intelligent terrestrials. Nimur (talk) 16:21, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

  • What has not been pointed out is why there are so many UFO's up there. A UFO is simply any aerial object or phenomena that the observer can not recognise as (say) a Boeing 747, hot air balloon, atmospheric sounder, classified military drone etc. Hence the official term unidentified flying object or UFO for short. Just because a DEFCON alert is issued, does not mean that these (possible) alien objects are of extra terrestrial origin. They might be Russian reconnaissance aircraft or a publicity inflatable that has escaped it tether. Most civilian observers of UFO's don't have radar or any other apparatus with which to objectively record what they witness. If they did, they my well receive electromagnetic signals. Also, people are easy fooled. I saw a youtube video shot at night of which was claimed as an 'obviously' extra terrestrial craft because it was doing maneuvers that no known terrestrial craft could do – except I have seen Airship Industries craft maneuvering the exactly same way. Airships can remain stationary, tilt their noses up and down and suddenly change their apparent shape by turning nose or tail toward the observer. They (Airship Industries) demonstrated their craft to the US defense industry as a possible radar platform – in the very same desert -where the video was shot. It obviously had its internal gas bag lights on – hence it appearance in the sky. This was maybe in order that ground observers could see the maneuvers. These internal lights are there, so that they can serve both day and night as advertising bill boards. But to the audience at this UFO convention, it was by definition a true UFO as no-one identified it for them. If the object escapes the observers experience, it is by definition a UFO and thus there are a lot of them about (both UFO's and observers).--Aspro (talk) 18:24, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. As my father-in-law (ex-RAF) used to say, "Any FO is a UFO until it is I". (Any Flying Object is an Unidentified Flying Object until it is Identified) --TammyMoet (talk) 20:39, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
That reminds me of the RAF identification friend or foe system. It worked well at night too, so everybody was told that fighter pilots ate carrots to help them see in the darks, to hide the real reason from the Luftwaffe high command (namely the gravitationally challenged Hermann Göring) for so many successful RAF night-time intercepts. To be pedantic, should mention also, that they donned red goggles whilst on the ground to preserve their night vision and they were very well trained. --Aspro (talk) 21:37, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
There is somewhat of a disconnect between the strict dictionary definition of UFO vs. the way it's used in popular culture. These supposed extraterrestrial vehicles were initially being described as "flying saucers". Donald Keyhoe's organization NICAP called them "aerial phenomena". The term UFO was eventually latched onto, and over time its pop culture meaning usurped its natural meaning. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:55, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I really doubt that there are many people left in the world who use "UFO" to mean anything other than alien spacecraft...just like nobody uses "gay" to mean "happy" or "computer" to mean a person who does arithmetic for a living. The word has changed meanings and we're all just waiting for the dictionaries to catch up and mark the old meaning "(archaic)". I'd bet that when someone officially reports an unknown object in the sky these days, the official parties involved steer well clear of calling it a "UFO"...just because every time they do it and the nut-jobs get to hear about it, it's a whole major nonsense-fest. So there are almost certainly new terms used to replace the original sense of "UFO" - maybe "non-specific aerial contact" or something. However, this doesn't prevent people from telling us that the term has some dusty old archaic meaning. Well, I got news for you - it doesn't. Here in 2014, "UFO" means "Aliens spaceship" and any other interpretation is mere pedantry. SteveBaker (talk) 21:28, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Steve, since this is a reference desk, this is not the place for your scorn and ridicule of people no matter how correct or not you may happen to be in your assessment. Furthermore, you will need a citation for the formal meaning being archaic, since the Wiktionary entries include both meanings: and -Modocc (talk) 00:20, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

I also take issue with the

I can't believe that no-one has mentioned it earlier, but the Fermi paradox of relevance here. CS Miller (talk) 13:39, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
All the above is all very well, but how do you explain the strange objects moving at high speeds as shown ON NASAs OWN SHUTTLE CAMERA? as linked to in my second post?? (talk) 18:12, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
The article UFO sightings in outer space has some references listed that may be helpful to you. --Modocc (talk) 00:54, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Plant respiration[edit]

Where can I find information about plant respiration? I'm looking for specific numbers which give plant respiratory rates during non-photosynthesis periods (aka night) for a variety of crops. A web search gives me several "online answers" type sites which suggest that plants give off CO2 at night at about 10% of the rate that they take it in during the day, but I've not been able to find anything more specific or anything at all authoritative. Our Respiration is a disambiguation page and Respiratory system#Plants doesn't have much useful to say. Do we have more on the subject? -- ToE 14:18, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Go to Google Scholar and do a search on "dark respiration." There's plenty of info out there. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 16:14, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
In addition, check out the equations and references used by WIMOVAC, which is a mathematical model for plant physiological processes. The dark respiration model is explained here: [15]. Mihaister (talk) 08:04, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Thank you very much, both of you. "Dark respiration" was certainly the term I need to be searching on. I haven't found a general table yet, but a few formulae suggest values greater than 10%. For instance, McCree 1974's abstract states that clover and sorghum have a nightly efflux equal to 14% of the previous daytimes influx, plus and additional maintenance component of the efflux which is proportional to the dry weight of the plant, 1.43% of that weight for clover and 0.54% for sorghum (more details behind a paywall). And I appreciate being pointed to WIMOVAC, as it is mathematical modeling I am interested in. -- ToE 12:44, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Check out Ameriflux [16] and FluxNet. You'll generally want empirical data more recent than 1974, as the eddy covariance tower technology has really changed how accurate measurements of dark respiration can be. Although it's not the primary mission, a lot of research on biofuels and greenhouse gas emissions associated with agricultural production will mention dark respiration numbers. So I'd also try searching google scholar for things like /dark respiration [crop] eddy covariance/ SemanticMantis (talk) 15:43, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Here's a nice paper that covers dark respiration in few different crops [17]. I actually know a small bit about the mathematical modeling of plant physiology (my research expertise is in applied math/theoretical ecology, and this stuff is tangentially related), so fee free to drop me a line at my talk page if you'd like to discuss further. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:46, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks SemanticMantis! -- ToE 18:26, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Water on building demolition[edit]

As a building is being demolished, a fire engine sprays water on it

What's the point of spraying water on a building demolition? Keeping down dust? Or should I simply assume that they had feared fire? Image context — it hadn't rained in a few days (this was last Tuesday, and there was a moderate rainstorm on the previous Saturday), with unusually high temperatures in the 60°s F, while "surrounding" days were in the 40°s and 30°s F. Although the demolition machine is pausing at the moment of the picture, the pause is momentary; its noise could be heard throughout the downtown for most of the afternoon. Water spraying continued, with both demolition machine and water hitting the building at the same time. Nyttend (talk) 15:11, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Keeping dust down. Fire is unlikely to be caused by demolition, assuming they disconnected any natural gas lines first. StuRat (talk) 15:21, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
For that matter, dust itself can be a major hazard if it happens to be flammable. Considering what the dust from a building demolition is likely to consist of, you wouldn't expect it to be flammable, but hey, who knows what those people had stored in there? -- (talk) 09:05, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
We even have an article: dust abatement. Some cities or counties require spraying water on certain types of construction sites. As I recall, in North Carolina, where water was plentiful, they would even spray down the ground around the construction site. Nimur (talk) 15:54, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Many old houses have asbestos, mold and other toxic material, you don't want that dust to fly to the neighborhood Joc (talk) 17:50, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
My city requires it as well (Ramat Gan - Israel). The reason is as mention above: to keep dust down and to prevent the dust of the environment. (talk) 18:01, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
I doubt that if the building has asbestos, just springling water will be enough. Demolishing and decontaminating asbestos contructions is more difficult than that.Senteni (talk) 18:53, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
See Google Street View of the building; it's a modernist structure probably newer than US federal laws restricting asbestos usage. Nyttend (talk) 03:31, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

what is the difference between potentiation and synergism? (pharmacology)[edit] (talk) 17:57, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Is this a homework question?
Let's take a practical example. To make vaccines more potent aluminium compounds are often added. These compounds on their own have no anti-viral effect. Clavulanic acid in antibiotic is another example. Synergism is were 'both' substances have an effect. For example: Alcohol and barbiturates are both depressants, Taken together, the depressant effect is greater because they work together. Incidentally, If one gets a pain around where the liver is, up to two weeks after finishing taking a clavulanic acid enhanced antibiotics, see your doctor to have a yellow card submitted. In the US it would be these people: [18] This bad reactions appears to be under reported. These enhanced antibiotics should not be used as a first line treatments IMHO. I'm not giving medical advice but directing readers to a professional..--Aspro (talk) 18:52, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Proper adhesive[edit]

I have decided to make myself a custom tea infuser but I am struggling to find a proper adhesive for that purpose. Is there any glue for plastic that can have a direct contact with food and withstand up to 100 °C? Will cyanoacrylate do? It works for plastic. Water does not do much to it either. It must be non toxic as is used in medicine. But I failed to find info on how toxic it actually is other than its fumes may be dangerous. Another doubt is about the temperature it can withstand as I don't have much data no that. (talk) 21:46, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Groan....Epoxied resins are probably better as they are also stronger and the right ones are biologically inert. See: [19] Personally, I would just use a proper Teapot and use real, genuine, lose leaf tea. See:ISO 3103 . Read and do! Lastly, enjoy your first cup of real tea. If you like milk, put it in the cup 'first'. No augments! Milk first.--Aspro (talk) 22:40, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
How about just buying a tea ball ? StuRat (talk) 22:46, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Sacrilege! The leaves need to circulate. A tea strainer employed during the pouring out, shows one guests that you now how to brew a really good steaming hot cup of tea. Otherwise, you might just as well serve them up with something from a vending machine which fills the cup up with a liquid that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.--Aspro (talk) 23:18, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
I have given up asking for a cup of tea in the US because all I get is a cup of lukewarm water and a pouch dangling on the end of a string and a little plastic thing that is supposed to contain cow juice but no cup of tea in sight and then they have the nerve to bill me for over a dollar for something that is only good as an insecticide. How is it, that a nation can put a man on the moon but can't achieve the simple art of brewing tea?--Aspro (talk) 23:35, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Some might argue that the time saved over not obsessing over the precise formulation of warm water with tiny shrivelled up leaves in it is precisely what enabled them to reach the moon. The British effort to get to the moon foundered on the heated debate of when to add the milk in a micro-gravity environment. But then, I'm a Brit who can't stand even the smell of tea...YUCK! SteveBaker (talk) 04:55, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Astronauts made their way to the moon as the result of the efforts of a small group of people. Saying it was the nation that sent them to the moon is an example of metonomy. Similarly, the nation has never made, or attempted to make, a cup of tea. Cups of tea are made by individuals, not nations. Dolphin (t) 05:31, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I disagree. Sending the first man to the Moon required that massive tax dollars be spent on the project, which required a large, wealthy population, with the political will to spend that money in that way (or a dictator who gave them no choice). StuRat (talk) 19:49, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Um...<small> comments are intended to be jokes - no need to take them so seriously. Of course a small group of people were responsible for all of the bravery, the clever science and engineering it took to get to the moon - and a very large number of people had to have the collective will to vote for politicians that wouldn't cancel the entire thing...but remember the <small> font! SteveBaker (talk) 20:39, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Which plastic? Different plastics need different glues, but in general it's impossible to glue plastic. Cyanoacrylate won't glue plastic very well, truthfully nothing will.
Usually you can use acetone to dissolve the plastic, put the pieces together and wait for the acetone to evaporate, and then they are one piece. (That's how commercial PVC glues work.) Acetone is pretty non-toxic and evaporates really well, so that would be safe for food use. Ariel. (talk) 06:22, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I own and operate a small business providing a set of very specialized repair services to the construction and home improvement industry in the United States. It is impossible to generalize about "plastics" in a question like this. The performance of adhesives on polyethylenes is completely different from the performance of the same adhesives on polystyrenes. I work most commonly with mineral filled sheet acrylic products, and sometimes with polyester/acrylic blends. In the past, I worked with plastic laminates, where rubber based "contact adhesives" are used routinely, but where urethane adhesives are used in higher-end custom work. In my day to day work, when high performance and a highly inconspicuous seam is critical, we use catalyzed acrylic adhesives most commonly, which we purchase in a wide range of color tints to match the background color of the sheet product. For rapid but more visible bonds, we often use cyanoacrylates. Silicone provides a very strong, flexible bond, but that is not truly inconspicuous. We use hot melt adhesives for temporary tacking and "clamping" but they shouldn't be considered permanent in exposed situations, as exposure to alcohol (such as vodka) will cause the glue line to fail. Construction adhesives (called "panel adhesives" in the U.S.) are strong, inexpensive but ugly. In our line of work, we rarely use epoxies these days, and their performance characteristics vary. Also worthy of mention are UV cured "dental grade" adhesives, which can be tinted and filled with particulates to simulate the substrate, leading to very inconspicuous bonds. Selection of the best adhesive is always a trade-off of factors including compatibility with the material being bonded, strength, appearance, cost, cure time, flexibility, toxicity, availability and things I have forgotten this late at night. There are no easy answers in this area. By the way, acetone is not non-toxic. Sorry. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 07:15, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Actually Acetone is pretty much non-toxic. People are always surprised when they hear this, but go and look it up and you'll see. The reason it's mostly non-toxic is that the body naturally contains some, and is able to metabolize it rapidly. (It's not completely non-toxic, don't go drinking it, but as solvents go it's very safe. It's certainly safe to use as a glue and then let it dry.) Ariel. (talk) 19:09, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm not nearly as well-versed about plastics as User:Cullen sounds, but I strongly endorse several of his points: "plastic" refers to many hundreds of different types of material. Even if we consider only those plastics that are readily available to consumers, there are many categories. If we use resin identification codes as a guideline, we can loosely group consumer-grade plastic into six general "types" plus a catch-all "other" category. These categories are completely different kinds of chemicals!
Just for fun, I checked the FDA's web-page for food-safe adhesives. They linked to 21 C.F.R. Part 175, Indirect Food Additives: Adhesives and components of coatings. In the United States, food-grade adhesives must come from that list of pre-approved chemicals; but there is the wonderful catch-all phrase that you will find in almost all FDA regulatory writing, permitting all "substances generally recognized as safe for use in food." In concept, if you used one of these chemicals, your product would be compliant with food safety regulations - which is, needless to say, conceptually distinct from a product that is actually safe. Cyanoacrylate is not on the listing in 21 CFR 175 §105 c(5) and I doubt it meets GRAS requirements. I would wager that cyanoacrylate is neither compliant nor safe for use in food products. Henkel North America publishes a Material Safety Data Sheet for Loctite Cyanoacrylate glue (the kind of CYA glue you'd buy in a hobby model-store). Among the statements in the MSDS: "Not expected to be harmful by ingestion"; "The product will polymerize rapidly and bond to the mouth making it almost impossible to swallow. Saliva will separate any solidified product in several hours. Prevent the patient from swallowing any separated mass;" "Surgery is not necessary to separate accidentally bonded tissues. Experience has shown that bonded tissues are best treated by passive, non-surgical first aid." So, if you follow the advice of this vendor, ... it should be harmless!
If I were building a home-made apparatus for brewing hot beverages for my own consumption, I would be very careful about the materials and glues I used. I would avoid cyanoacrylate entirely.
Nimur (talk) 18:17, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Cyanoacrylates are routinely used in medical applications, such as an alternative to sutures for closing wounds. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 03:43, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
... and in temporary repairs of dentures, but it is slowly dissolved by water (and tea). Dbfirs 08:17, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Cyanoacrylate glues are not only used for skin suturing - that's actually what they were first designed to be used for! It's therefore unsurprising that you can easily get your fingers stuck together while using the stuff! SteveBaker (talk) 17:03, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

November 17[edit]

Just asked for a clarification at Uncoupling_protein[edit]

Please see. Ben-Natan (talk) 08:17, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

The articles on the individual UCPs listed there each have a brief (or not-so-brief) description of the process. Some are copy-paste wording, others have more/different details. At a minimum, the set of articles should be refactored to centralize the description of this process on its own page. DMacks (talk) 08:28, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Soapy water[edit]

What actually happens to the soapy water that gets on the bathroom floor when people are washing their hands. Does the soap component just evaporate with water? Clover345 (talk) 20:14, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

No. The water evaporates away and the soap is left behind, often leaving a greasy or grimy feel. Same concept as soap scum. Justin15w (talk) 21:21, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
The residue might eventually get cleaned up by people's socks, and then end up going down the drain from the washing machine. StuRat (talk) 22:47, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Gravitation / Relativity / Cosmology[edit]

the value of a 0.022K capacitor?[edit]

i have got non polarized polyester capacitior which has "0.022K400V" printed on it. what is the value of cap in uF? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 21:20, 17 November 2014

That's a 0.022 µF capacitor rated for 400V. The letter "K" denotes 10% tolerance. I see that the wiki page on cap markings is pretty slim. See this page for an explanation of component markings. Mihaister (talk) 21:31, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Properties of PE-HD (High-density polyethylene)[edit]

I have carrying cases of this material which came with cordless drills. The drills are now obsolete or worn out and the batteries are no longer taking a charge.

But the cases are like new, aside from a bit of dust. It is too bad the tools were not as well-made as the cases.

I would like to reuse the cases to carry other things. Each side of the case has an outer shell and an inner "insert", molded to fit the original contents. Insert and outer shell are strongly joined together.

If it was possible to soften the insert with heat, it could be reshaped to fit other contents.

The question is, can this material be judiciously softened with heat using for example a small propane torch without it catching fire or giving off noxious fumes? Or to put it another way, is the temperature at which it would soften and become malleable far enough below the point at which it would burn, as to make my project possible?

I think "it must be", otherwise how do people manage to make these cases in the first place. But before trying the experiment, I thought I would ask. Thank you, CBHA (talk) 21:39, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

It's entirely possible they made noxious fumes when formed, polluting the entire area surrounding the factory in China or wherever it was made.
Why not buy another drill, without a case, to match your case ? StuRat (talk) 22:51, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I would not use a torch, i'm fairly certain the heat required is far below flame torch. Probably a heat gun would do it. There's loads of articles online about it, here's one that might be useful. Vespine (talk) 23:23, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
There are quite a few home-made vacuum forming machines out there (Google "home made vacuum former") - one design uses an office waste-bin, a piece of perf-board and a shop-vac and can be put together with duct-tape.
If you use plastic cut from gallon milk containers, you can soften it with a heat-gun. Make a hole in the side of the trash can and duct-tape the shop-vac hose to it. Duct tape a piece of perf-board over the top of the trash can, place the object you want to make a case for over that, perhaps drap a piece of cloth over it to protect it. Then heat the plastic until it starts to 'sag' and fire up the shop-vac.
Obviously, this is a lot of cost/hassle if you only need to do it once - and it does take a little practice. But being able to do vac-forming at home has MANY uses...and you're using recycled you can feel good about doing it!
SteveBaker (talk) 23:49, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
So plastic milk containers (in USA at least) are also HDPE, right? And then it seems you are recommending cutting out the molded plastic inner layer and molding a new plastic insert. That makes sense if we need a close fit, but if OP is willing to cut out the inner molded surface, then the shell could also be fitted with any manner of glued-in foam or plastic inserts that don't have to be custom molded, and could fit a variety of things. Personally, assuming a close fit is desired and the objects are of similar shape to the originals, I'd go at the interior with a heat gun in a well-ventilated area, and then move on the to the other options if that fails. Since the milk container is far thinner than the drill case, I'd worry that softening the inner layer would take a rather long time, and might melt it to the outer shell. SemanticMantis (talk) 00:24, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, they should have a recycle-2 symbol on might want to check that before you try this just in case you have some weird milk containers in your part of the world. The nice thing about the gallon milk containers is that you can cut around them with scissors and unwrap a piece of HDPE that's about 18" long and 8" wide and comes out more or less flat and with a fairly uniform thickness - which is great for vacuum forming. SteveBaker (talk) 16:58, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
This isn't what you asked, but you can usually open up the battery back, and replace the cells with off the shelf rechargeable AA batteries. Ariel. (talk) 23:52, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
This is interesting, do you have any refs for how/why/in what types of battery packs that might work? (I happen to also have a drill with a similar case and two low-performing battery packs :) SemanticMantis (talk) 00:24, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
The battery packs (except Li-ion) are usually made of ordinary AA (and sometimes AAA) batteries with no name on them and sometimes a solder tab. Open up the pack and take a look. Just trace the connections - most often it's simply all the batteries in series. Then get new batteries and solder them together in the same pattern and put them back in the pack. Soldering a battery is hard (it's a large heat sink, and you have to avoid heating the battery much), but it's possible. Google for instructions on how, a soldering gun is easier than a soldering iron. Ariel. (talk) 00:50, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
In regards to safety concerns, here's a MSDS for HDPE: [20] -- looks pretty safe to my (inexpert) estimation. SemanticMantis (talk) 00:28, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

voltage divider looking to the load like two resistors in parallel[edit]

hello, on this page here it reads (among other things): "As you can see, this puts 11 mV of DC across the load. If the load is 32 Ω at DC (...), 0.34 mA is forced through the load. This current can only come from the rail splitter, which looks like two parallel resistors to the load."
I just don't get how the two resistors can look as though they were in parallel, to anything. Do they because the two rails are the same point electrically (are they?) due to the (ideal) battery's internal resistance of 0?
Generally, what is the "algorithm", if there is one, for how to arrive from the original circuit to this equivalent circuit (3rd box from the top here)? Thank you very much Asmrulz (talk) 23:19, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

The "algorithm" for converting a circuit is Thévenin's theorem or Norton's theorem, depending on your favorite representation. An even more generalized representation is to treat the circuit as a two-port network and model the impedance as viewed at any two points on the circuit net. In practice, the process of formalizing these representations means application of network analysis techniques. If you're very practical, you can concoct a lot of "rules of thumb"; if you're very theoretical - or if your hobby is to write electrical CAD software - you can apply techniques of linear algebra (like row reduction, Gaussian elimination, or the Gram–Schmidt process) to re-represent a linear network.
Two resistors in parallel "look like" one single resistor; by the commutative property, one resistor also can also be said to "look like" two resistors in parallel. Nimur (talk) 23:47, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
There's a voltage divider that biases the opamp (it's a single-supply design) in the schematic. The two 4k7 resistors are in series, but in the paragraph discussing the DC equivalent circuit the author says that to the load, they look as being parallel, thus Rsplit=2.35k. That's the bit I don't get....and many others, but this one intrigues me most Asmrulz (talk) 00:37, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
It's superposition. There is a 9V battery across two 4k7 resistors in series, so a certain current flows through them. The virtual ground of the opamp is connected to the midpoint, so it should be at 4.5V. However, as the article discusses, the opamp adjusts its output voltage until 0.34mA flows through the load and into the opamp. That current can be thought of as due to a superposition of the current normally in the 4k7 resistors combined with a current change in each resistor. The top resistor has 0.17mA extra current flowing down, and the bottom resistor has 0.17mA extra current flowing up (that is, 0.17mA less total current in the bottom resistor). That gives a 4k7 × 0.17mA = 0.76V voltage drop at the midpoint, which is the same conclusion as the article (effective power rails of +3.7V and −5.3V). Johnuniq (talk) 02:35, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
What the hell is "4k7?" It is a nomenclature that may be unfamiliar to some readers. Is it a British or European standard? Is there a different US standard (ANSI or MIL) or is it now official in the US? Does the Wikipedia manual of style prefer that as opposed to "4.7 k ohm"? Edison (talk) 13:51, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
It's a pretty common convention for component values - I've seen it on both sides of the Atlantic for at least 30 years. When you're writing something like 4.7k quickly, it's easy for the '.' to get lost - and because (especially) resistor values are chosen to be available in decades (4.7k, 47k, 470k). Putting the 'k' where the decimal point would be makes things much less error-prone. SteveBaker (talk) 16:49, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
...and the reason that the op-amp adjusts its output in this way is because of a non-ideal behavior, the input offset voltage. Nimur (talk) 03:24, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Oops, looking again shows I got the current directions reversed. Each direction I mentioned should be inverted to give a 0.76V rise. Johnuniq (talk) 06:19, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

November 18[edit]

Why is Western Europe poorer than USA?[edit]

Question moved to the Humanities desk from the Science desk. -- Ariel. (talk) 06:44, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Is it? According to List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)_per_capita#List_of_countries_and_dependencies the US has the 9th highest GDP per capita of all the world's countries. 6 of those higher than the US are European. Two of those, Norway and Luxembourg’s are twice that of the US. The European Union as a whole, is half that of the US, and it would be ranked 26th in the world, if it was a country. The EU now contains several Middle-European countries that were former Soviet states, and as a result they are bringing the EU's GDP/capita down. The EU is spending its structural fund to help those countries improve. CS Miller (talk) 10:26, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Visual illusion: red and blue text on black background[edit]

When you have both (saturated) red and blue text set against a black background, the red text will seem closer to you and the blue text, as if the text of the two colors were on different planes. What is a scientific explanation for this? -- (talk) 01:53, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

I can't find our article on it, but found mention of it here Forced perspective: A monocular cue easily taken advantage of by painters is the trend for the color of objects in the distance to be shifted more towards the blue end of the spectrum, while closer objects' colors are shifted toward the red end of the spectrum. A painter can give the illusion of distance by adding blue or red tinting to the color of the object he is painting. Vespine (talk) 02:55, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
I have heard that the eye focuses red and blue at different distances due to refractive index varying with frequency of light, so the lens has to adjust between the two colours. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 11:02, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Nothing to add except my thanks for asking a question and getting an answer to something that long ago (i.e. pre-Wikipedia) puzzled me: at the time I couldn't find any answer or even a mention of the phenomenon. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 13:25, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Our article is at Chromostereopsis. It's all about differential refraction, and is based on real physical phenomena in a addition to human perception. (I found it by googling /red blue depth perception/, and also added a wikilink to Forced perspective at the end of Vespine's quote) SemanticMantis (talk) 15:52, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Is Quantum entanglement necessary?[edit]

The universe appears very fine tuned, with only a few exceptions. But what about Quantum entanglement? If quantum entanglement did not occur would there be any noticeable macro differences in the universe? Are there any processes that require it, or are at least affected by it? Or does is it only noticeable in human experiments (I'm sure it occurs naturally, but does it change anything)? Ariel. (talk) 06:50, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Entangled states arise frequently as a consequence of the indistinguishability of fundamental particles, including in every atom with more than one electron. The resulting exchange interactions have important implications for electron structure and by extension chemistry. In such an example, it is not so much the entangled properties that are important, but rather that an entangled state can exist at all. I can't really think of any examples where the typical notion of entangled states, i.e. that composite object AB is such that measuring A instantly determines the state of B, has naturally occurring macroscopic consequences. It certainly matters for the pursuit of quantum computing and quantum cryptography, but the spooky action at a distance aspects of entangled states may not have a large natural role. However, the fact that fundamental particles routinely form entangled states (and that such states may have different energies than separable states) certainly does have consequences for chemistry and other aspects of physics, so the existence of entangled states definitely matters. Dragons flight (talk) 07:27, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Quantum computing definitely needs entanglement, but quantum cryptography doesn't. At least, BB84 doesn't. -- BenRG (talk) 04:31, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
From a non-physical perspective, I think the answer must depend on how you are thinking of logical necessity and how you think of possible worlds. Also it's good to remember that the fine tuning of the universe is still widely debated, as is discussed with refs in our article. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:01, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
What I'm wondering is if Quantum entanglement did not occur, could there be a universe with stars and life. And it seems there could be. Ariel. (talk) 20:59, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Note that without entanglement, you won't get an effectively classical world at the macro-scale. The reason why you can't do quantum computing with your PC essentially boils down to the fact that as soon as a superposition of a bit in a "0" or "1" state would arise, environmental degrees of freedom would quickly interact with that and the superposition would vey rapidly become entangled with many degrees of freedom from the environment.
Now, no entanglement at all means that there cannot be any interactions between particles. So, the universe could not support complex structures. Count Iblis (talk) 22:04, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Complex structures such as protons. :-)
The question seems to contain an implicit assumption that a universe without quantum entanglement would be simpler. I don't think that's true at all. Quantum mechanics is mathematically simple. A replacement that allowed for nuclear fusion but not for entanglement at longer ranges would surely be much more complicated, if it's possible at all. -- BenRG (talk) 04:31, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
It sounds like what you (plural you) are saying is that to make a composite particle like a proton, the constituents entangle their states? And that also happens when two particles interact? Am I understanding that correctly? If so, then how were atoms (which are composite) explained classically? (i.e. is there an alternative way to explain it without entanglement.) Ariel. (talk) 07:32, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I would conjecture that there is no philosophical reason why there couldn't be a non-quantum universe having classical versions of gravitation and electromagnetism, and some sort of nuclear force that holds atoms together, that would be macroscopically similar to our universe, but wouldn't be our universe. I disagree that entanglement is the only way to postulate interactions between particles. It is the way that interaction between particles happens in this universe. The classical non-quantum universe could behave macroscopically almost the same as this universe. That is my opinion, and it is worth what you paid for it. Robert McClenon (talk) 03:20, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Cohesion of soils[edit]

Which part of the shear strength equation describes the fact that some soils have more weakness planes? Is it C, the cohesion value? (talk) 10:42, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

It might be. What equation are you looking at? Also, not all models of soil strength will be fully three dimensional and correctly capture all forces in all planes. Here is a nice online book on the topic [21], linked from our article on soil mechanics. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:19, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Powerful optical resonance in the optical fiber cables[edit]

Did it possible, that the optical fiber of the fiber optic cable is able to had the high-frequency superconductivity of electric current of high powerful voltage, if the optical reflectivity and optical refraction in this optical fiber cable will be not had the light spectrum?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 11:44, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

No, optic fibres are not conductors of electricity let alone super conductors. If you try to put a high voltage across the glass in the fibre, you may get an electrical break down with a spark, and the fibre will be damaged, and not so transparent. If your light becomes too strong down the fibre you will heat it up and melt it. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 11:49, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Did the presence a spectrum in the light wave had hamper to the passage of light wave through the optical barrier (optical medium)?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 12:51, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
The "presence of a spectrum" implies that the light is white or at least polychromatic. This would "hamper" the signal because different colours (= different wavelengths) of light would propagate at slightly different speeds through non-vacuum media like the glass of a fibre-optic cable – this is why it's possible to produce a spread-out spectrum with, for example, a prism – which would cause the signal to spread out and degrade.
For this reason, the light used in fibre-optic cables (where used for communications rather than decoration) is laser light, which is monochromatic and therefore does not have a spectrum. Different wavelengths/colours can be used in the same cable (though its diameter might be optimal for one in particular), and different signals can in principle be sent simultaneously by using multiple wavelengths, one per signal, though this is not yet current practice in everyday communications cables.
Addendum: regarding your initial electrical query – some fibre-optic cables are called hybrid cables, and these do include an electrical conductor in addition to the light-conducting glass fibres. The electricity is used for controlling things like the motors that tilt the aerial that the light signal is going to. The electrical element, however is perfectly ordinary, ambient temperature metal (usually copper), neither superconducting nor carrying "high powerful" voltages. The electricity does not go through the optical fibres.
Disclosure: I work for a company that repairs/replaces co-axial and fibre-optic cables (amongst other things) in mobile (cell) phone aerial installations, and while technically unqualified myself (I do costing work) I have just checked all this with my office's fibre maven. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 13:11, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
The light spectrum is the idea (concept) of optical or magnetic (electromagnetic)?--Alex Sazonov (talk) 13:56, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Spectrum can be derived using either concepts. Using electromagnetic theory you can calculate in the frequency domain or using normal physical units using time. A Fourier transform converts between the two forms. Optics precedes electromagnetics. You may also be interested in non-linear optics. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 23:05, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
To You're mistaken when you say that it's not yet current practice to use multiple wavelengths to carry multiple signals over optical fiber. This is wavelength-division multiplexing, which is very common in long-haul telecommunications. A single optical fiber can carry over 100 separate channels this way.--Srleffler (talk) 06:27, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Fair enough. The cables my Company work on are generally between ground and antenna, usually less than 100m, and the separate sites communicate with each other via microwave dishes: we don't deal with long-haul cables. My error in not delving into the references further. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 14:00, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Verizon FiOS is three wavelengths (TV, downstream data, upstream data) on a single fiber from a central office to each customer. DMacks (talk) 05:00, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

What is a ductless gland[edit]

Ductless gland is a redirect to gland. That article's Endocrine glands section says that they are ductless. Are ductless and endocrine just different names for the same thing? (talk) 15:42, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Yes, the word "endocrine" implies ductless.[22]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:38, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Just in case you want to know why they are called ductless literally, it is because they excrete hormones directly into the blood, lke insulin or adrenaline, as opposed to things like the kidney or sweat glands that ultimately excrete into other organs (the bladder) or externally. μηδείς (talk) 01:40, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Is melamine specially expensive (and/or difficult to produce)?[edit]

I find it amazing how much a whiteboard (dry erase) costs. Isn't there an alternative plastic for this? --Senteni (talk) 20:09, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

It's cheap enough that it is used criminally as an adulterant to fool tests of protein content in things like baby formula. μηδείς (talk) 20:28, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Looks like melamine can be had for $850-920/metric ton [23]. I'm sure you can find it even cheaper with a bit of search. This is in the same ballpark as other polymeric materials PVC, HDPE, but I don't know if any of these would work well as a substrate for whiteboards. Mihaister (talk) 21:33, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
But you aren't just buying melamine - it's a white powder. You're buying a sheet of wood of some kinds with a layer of polished melamine bonded to it.
I have to dispute your claim that it's expensive though:
On Home Depot's web site they have:
  • This [24] 4'x8' sheet of 3/4" MDF for $36.32
  • And this [25] identical size and thickness sheets with Melamine coating for $36.56.
So the Melamine coating is 3 cents per square foot...actually, I think it's coated on both 1.5 cents per square foot. SteveBaker (talk) 03:01, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Don't whiteboards normally have a steel core, rather than wood? CS Miller (talk) 13:58, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Some do, some (most?) don't. I think the main point is that the cost of melamine is not the thing that makes some whiteboards expensive. As Steve points out, the raw materials are not that expensive. It's a value added thing to add a frame and a tray for markers. While individuals may DIY, that is rather uncommon in institutional settings. My WP:OR indicates that as "business" or "educational" supplies, prices of this sort of thing can get very inflated and still sell, because the largest lot of purchases are from institutional budgets, not personal budgets. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:18, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Whiteboards should also be treated as if they are semi-disposable, since somebody will eventually use permanent marker on them accidentally, or leave dry erase marker on them long enough to become permanent. I've also seen them delaminate (form bubbles). I think the frame should be permanent, and have a sheet on it that can be periodically replaced. StuRat (talk) 15:29, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I was just about to say the same thing, Stu. Melamine doesn't stand up well to regular wear. The best whiteboards are enamelled steel. I've used cheap melamine board as whiteboard, and it seems to last about as long as the more expensive versions, which is not very long in constant use. Dbfirs 20:32, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

November 19[edit]

Are African Americans ever included in the study of collectivist and individualist cultures?[edit]

General relativity[edit]

Spherics of Earth vis-à-vis other heavenly bodies[edit]


I've been reading some of the works of astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, and I've been struck by an insight that he made concerning the nearly spherical nature of our world. Namely, he states that the relief features on globes are grossly exaggerated, and that while Earth does not quite constitute a perfect sphere, it comes arbitrarily close to approximating one.

Indeed, Prof. Tyson goes on to say that if one ran a gigantic finger around the planet—in a great circle taking in both Mount Everest and Challenger Deep—it would feel as smooth as a cue ball. Looking at it another way, if someone shrank Earth down to the size of a billiard ball, then it would remain a measly ±4 mils (101.6 μm) out of round. (For the record, the Billiard Congress of America allows an engineering tolerance for billiard balls of ±5 mils [127.0 μm].)

I cannot help but wonder, though. Is our world unique—or nearly so—in the solar system, in this manner? To wit, although Mars has only one ninth the mass of Earth, its highest point, Olympus Mons, dwarfs Everest by more than 2.5:1 (relative to the geoid or mean, sea level). Likewise, numerous other mountains, canyons, and ravines, as well as solar flares, spots, and prominences make other parts of our star system seem "bumpier" and less smooth than our home.

Thus, my question: If the sun, planets, satellites, kuiper-belt objects, et al somehow became shrunken to the size of billiard balls (all other things remaining equal), then would Earth seem the smoothest, most spherical globe in the group? Would all the others have more "lumps," protrusions, and roughness than it?

Thank You. Pine (talk) 23:39, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

P.S. I already know that ice almost wholly covers Europa; nevertheless, would its depths/geological features seem rougher than Earth's relative to its geoid?

It's my impression that Mars is a bit 'bumpier' than Earth - it has a smaller radius and a larger biggest mountain - but it's all still within the same order of magnitude. The same could be said of any broadly spherical planet or moon. The ones which are very 'lumpy' are also not spherical because they have insufficient gravity. They're all also pretty small. To be honest, the Earth's biggest deviation from being a sphere is that it is actually an oblate spheroid - it's about 200 miles shorter through the poles than through the equator. That's a difference about an order of magnitude greater than the Everest/Challenger discrepancy. AlexTiefling (talk) 00:42, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
In a totally different context, you might like to read about spherics on Earth and on other heavenly bodies... in radio-jargon, "spheric" refers to an burst of atmospheric electromagnetic noise, typically caused by a lightning blast somewhere very far away. Nimur (talk) 02:36, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
(ec) As a rule, the stronger is the surface gravity of the planet, the lower would be the tallest possible mountain on it. Mars gravity is about 3 times weaker than Earth's, and the tallest mountains on Mars are about 3 times taller than the tallest mountains on Earth. The reason for this is simple: the rock at the "root" of the mountain has limited strength. That is, there is only a limited amount of stress (produced by the weight of the mountain above it) that the rock can resist without undergoing an elasto-plastic transition (see e.g. Plasticity (physics)). The taller is the mountain the larger is the stress. The weaker is the gravity the smaller is the stress. Small rocky objects such as comet cores and smaller asteroids are not massive enough to even assume spherical shape. Very massive rocky objects, by contrast, would be extremely smooth. Earth non-smoothness is about 8.8 km (tallest mountain over sea level) / 6400 km (typical radius) = 0.0014, about 0.14%. Dr Dima (talk) 02:41, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • As an aside, are there any recent figures estimating the tallest that a mountain on Earth has ever been? Even a range like the Himalayas is eroded by snow and wind, but ... what happens if a mountain projects up even higher, right out of the atmosphere, so high that no appreciable erosion can occur in its upper reaches? Wnt (talk) 03:47, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • On another point, terrain (mountains, ocean trenches, etc.) is not the only reason for the Earth to deviate from a sphere. There's also the equatorial bulge caused by the Earth's rotation. It is better to say that terrain consists of deviations from an oblate spheroid. (When other, much smaller effects are taken into account, the term for the idealized shape, as mentioned above, is the geoid.) However, the maximum amounts of deviation due to the equatorial bulge and due to terrain are similar, so the original poster's general remarks are correct. According to Wikipedia, Mt. Everest is 8,848 m high, while various measurements put the Challenger Deep at about 10,900 m; the difference is about 19.75 km. And the Earth's equatorial and polar radii are 6,378.1  and 6,356.8 km, a difference of 21.3 km. Looking at other planets, the gas giant planets rotate fast and would all have much larger equatorial bulges than Earth, though they have no visible solid surface so we can't say anything about terrain; the other three terrestrial planets rotate slower than Earth and are smaller, so they would have smaller equatorial bulges but, as noted, they can have higher terrain. -- (talk) 10:00, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
To get the closest to spherical possible planet you would want no rotation and for it to be covered with an ocean. Eliminate moons and place it far from it's star to prevent tides (the ocean would need to be methane perhaps, to keep it liquid at that distance). You'd still get some convection to redistribute the uneven heating from it's star. Perhaps putting it at the Lagrange point between two stars in a binary system so that it gets equal heating on each side might reduce that. I'm thinking if you had a planet like this it could be within a meter of a perfect sphere. StuRat (talk) 15:36, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
"Smooth" is a very wrong term. Sandpaper is very even but the opposite of smooth. Smoothness is the result of polishing and in that regard most other planets we know are more polished and thus smoother than our beloved rough Earth. --Kharon (talk) 16:14, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

November 20[edit]

Can it be a case that diastolic pressure higher than systolic pressure?[edit] (talk) 00:59, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

No, since it's defined as diastolic=lower. DHeyward (talk) 01:50, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
No, that's not how it's defined. Diastolic is from dilation, when the heart refills, and systolic is from contraction, when the heart squeezes. I can't imagine any method where squeezing would result in a lower pressure downstream, but I am not an expert in the topic. Ariel. (talk) 02:41, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Hmmm, that seems true, yet the way blood pressure is typically measured, at an arm cuff, doesn't actually test for the phase of the pulse relative to the heart. The highest pressure and the lowest are measured, that's all. Which is appropriate, since there is at least some delay for the pulse to spread from the heart through the arteries (pulse wave velocity) - this is pretty fast, normally 7 m/s or so, but over 12 if arteries have stiffened. [26] It wouldn't make sense to define the pulse pressure in a way that varies depending on the degree of atherosclerosis, but not on the actual force with which the blood is transmitted, and to a different extent depending on which part of the body is measured and how far it is from the heart. But if you did it that way, and someone had really really elastic arteries, maybe it could be delayed by 50% of a pulse and you would measure a 'negative' pulse pressure (without actually going through the zero pulse pressure, zero circulation, death etc. in the middle). Wnt (talk) 03:40, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Regardless, the diastole process of refilling the heart is not necessary the same as the definition diastolic pressure which is always the low number. People with compromised cardiac performance still have a blood pressure and the low number is defined the diastolic pressure regardless of how poorly the ventricles are performing. --DHeyward (talk) 04:33, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
This can happen when Intra-aortic balloon pumps are used, but that is a specialized case of an external pump out of phase with the heart. In general, just measuring blood pressure on the arm, no, I don't think this can happen. --Mark viking (talk) 05:08, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Can you explain me why in this case it can be- please? (talk) 00:09, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Shape of the fauces at high- and low-pitched voices[edit]

Why does the shape of the fauces change with respect to the change of the voice pitch? High-pitched voices make the fauces opening narrow, and low-pitched voices make the fauces opening wide. (talk) 17:00, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

I can't find anything to back this up but logic would suggest that the fauces help to produce the sound of the voice, and, like a musical instrument such as an organ pipe, the resonation of a larger diameter tube produces a lower note. Richerman (talk) 15:38, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

In Python, where does the return output go, if you don't care about it?[edit]

(...Moved to Computing Desk)


Why do babies and small children cry so loudly? I understand the "alert parents to pain or distress" explanation, but the slight advantages of an ear-splitting bawl over a quieter mew seem to me to be massively outweighed in evolutionary terms by the disadvantages (alerting nearby predators that there's a helpless and tasty infant nearby, scaring off nearby game, potentially drawing the attention of hostile tribes, disrupting the sleep of everyone in the vicinity). I'm no expert, but as far as I'm aware there's no other species whose young makes quite so much noise so routinely. Has anyone ever come up with an evolutionary (or even creationist) explanation for why this is? Our crying article doesn't seem to shed any light on the matter. Mogism (talk) 17:59, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

I'm guessing you haven't been to Australia and heard a baby magpie there. HiLo48 (talk) 18:28, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
My assumption is that the disadvantages of loud crying are exaggerated. First, humans are very seldom to predation, and I don't know the extent to which earlier hominins were subject to predation, or were already able to defend themselves against predators. Second, as to scaring away nearby game, in humans, and likely in earlier hominins, the game isn't nearby. The males hunt in groups while the females care for the young. Third, as to drawing the attention of hostile nearly tribes, the tribes are not close enough together that a crying baby would get their attention, and besides tribes in camp, unlike armies in camp or on the move, do not have deliberate silent stand-down, and are relatively noisy anway. As to disrupting the sleep of everyone, that is the whole point. Waking up multiple adults is a small price compared to a sick or injured baby. I think that the advantage to an ear-splitting bawl is not a "slight advantage", but it outweighs the other arguments. I haven't checked the reliable sources. Maybe there should be research, but that is my explanation. Robert McClenon (talk) 18:34, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
OR, but I have seen it with my niblings, mothers get to be pretty good at interpreting different types of crying from loneliness, hunger or colic. As they get older, the attention crying at bedtime becomes more of an outraged scream. I'll email my sister and get back with a reference. μηδείς (talk) 19:40, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
But if the ear-splitting bawl is an advantage, wouldn't you expect it to be common behaviour in infants of other species with a similar niche to hominids? A puppy, monkey etc doesn't shriek at the same volume when it's hungry as it does when in pain. Do baby chimps, which are probably the closest thing to "wild humans", cry in the same way? User:HiLo48, I agree about baby birds, but those are nesting in trees and presumably the whole "risk of attracting predators" dynamic is different. From the experience of living next to a lake, ground-dwelling ducklings and goslings make a much noisier cry when they're in pain or under attack, than they do when they're hungry. Mogism (talk) 20:14, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Australian magpie chicks keep up the raucous yelling long after they leave the nest. HiLo48 (talk) 20:27, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. Here in the USA the young grackles, jays and starlings also make quite loud begging noises after the have fledged. SemanticMantis (talk) 22:10, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • The book my sister used was a previous edition of Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems By Richard Ferber, known as the cry-it-out method. It is controversial and criticized as cruel, but it was very successful for her, and she did quickly learn the difference between an attention, pain and hunger cry. I am not sure how much that is covered specifically in the book.
As for human-dog comparisons, they just don't apply. The mother is milk laden, and the puppies do not need to beg to be fed. Until they start walking they just make very soft quiet mew-yelps, and in the wild they would be in a den, not out in the open. In primitive human societies, infants ar almost constantly with their mothers, in physical contact and given to suckle almost immediately on crying.
There is also a tension between the mother and child, see parent-offspring conflict. μηδείς (talk) 23:13, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
In primitive human societies, chances are several mothers will be suckling at any given time, so if the child's mother is missing, for whatever reason, another can step in. See Wet nurse. Loud crying can help facilitate this. HiLo48 (talk) 23:45, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Part of the explanation likely has to do with how helpless a human baby is. Even very young puppies and kittens can stumble about a bit and try to help themselves. A human baby has no such option - if it can't get the help it needs through screaming, it won't get help and babies are very vulnerable. The same situation is also true of many baby birds, which are also altricial. Matt Deres (talk) 15:21, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

It has been found that our brains are hard-wired to respond strongly to the sound of a baby's cry so it probably just sounds particularly loud to us. "The sound of a baby cry captures your attention in a way that few other sounds in the environment generally do, said Katie Young of the University of Oxford, who led the study looking at how the brain processes a baby's cries".[27] And if you ever spent a night in a tent near a field of sheep or cattle (which are prey animals) you will know that mothers and babies constantly make a noise to keep in touch with each other that would compete with any sound a baby makes. Generally the bigger the animal the louder the sound they are capable of making. Richerman (talk) 15:51, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

I am curious whether this is affected by whose baby it is? I notice from experience that while some people will get upset at another person's child crying, and the parents almost always apologize with embarrassment, it doesn't seem to bother me or my sister, whereas with her own children it was definitely an almost irresistible call to action of some sort. μηδείς (talk) 20:17, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
You've stumbled onto the great difficulties of nature: you can always look back and see what was selected, but not look forward to see what will be selected. The truth is only that what is here today has been selected and nearly every conceivable outcome could be argued. There are a lots of inheritance experiments that can be conceived and proved in our lifetime. Not many natural selection ones can be condeucted so people are able to make the argument that all variations are preferred or not preferred. In other words, there is no scientific answer as to why, only the observation as to what. P.S. put a lactating mother next to a crying baby (any baby) and watch involuntary lactation start - as a good a reason as any to cry. --DHeyward (talk) 23:31, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
  • As a follow-up to my above comment, my sister said she identified four types of crying by their character and circumstances: hunger, loneliness, pain, and crankiness--being overly tired. She could not attribute this to Ferber, but didn't want to claim it didn't come from another source or sharing with other mothers. μηδείς (talk) 02:13, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

Why does standing up for a long time cause low blood pressure?[edit] (talk) 19:43, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

  • Your blood and lymph pools in your lower extremities if you don't contract your leg muscles. μηδείς (talk) 19:45, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
In a healthy person it shouldn't. Moving from a sitting to s standing position may cause a temporary reduction in blood pressure but the heart rate should increase to compensate. [28] If a person has a damaged heart they may suffer low blood pressure from standing as the heart has to work harder to pump the blood to the brain against gravity. If they sit or lie down the heart doesn't have to work as hard as the brain is nearer to the level of the heart. If the legs are raised as well, the blood in the lower extremities does not have to be pumped "uphill" back to the heart. Richerman (talk) 23:10, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
The question was "standing up for a long time". Fainting in very fit military troops standing at attention is a common enough occurrence. See orthostatic intolerance. They are taught to flex their leg muscles in place to avoid this. μηδείς (talk) 23:16, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Ah yes, I wasn't thinking of enforced standing for a long time. However, I think the reason that the blood and lymph pool is because of the increase in gravity as compared to sitting. Richerman (talk) 00:10, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, the downward pumping away from the heart via the arteries is helped by gravity, whereas the upward pumping via the veins is against gravity. μηδείς (talk) 01:16, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Read about Congestive heart failure. And beware of the rule against giving medical advice, as we're getting into that neighborhood. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:14, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
The OP has asked a general question with a well known cause we have an article on. He's not said that he suffers from anything. μηδείς (talk) 23:20, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
That's why I said we are merely "in the neighborhood". A question such as that posed by the OP suggests, but does not necessarily demonstrate, personal experience. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:27, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Whenever biology, chemistry or electricity is involved, we're in the same hood. Just above, someone's looking to score some cheap melanine, another's baby won't stop crying and Alex Sazonov is been (quite possibly) building a deathray. Comes with the territory. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:14, November 21, 2014 (UTC)
I'd like to take credit for Inedible's last comment. μηδείς (talk) 03:16, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
And I'd like to sell it to you, but it's been irrevocably released to the CC-BY-SA zone. Lousy freedom. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:12, November 21, 2014 (UTC)
Actually, that was a rhetorical "I'd like" as in, "I'd like to thank the academy. μηδείς (talk) 20:12, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Well, you definitely get an assist for steering the conversation. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:11, November 21, 2014 (UTC)


I saw a diaper commercial/advert about a brand of diapers that claim up to 12 hours of dryness, but surely 12 hours in a wet or messy diaper would cause irritation to the skin? Also, isn't encouraging parents not a change a kids diaper for 12 hours a really bad idea? --SolliGwaa (talk) 20:24, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

If I'm to believe other diaper commercials, they use various combinations of fabrics to wick moisture away from the layers of fabric that are in contact with the skin. Therefore the baby doesn't have as great a sense of being wet with a wet diaper. Dismas|(talk) 20:40, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
And, because the incentive of the discomfort of a wet bum is removed, it takes a lot longer for kids to stop wearing nappies. HiLo48 (talk) 21:29, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes. To properly train your child, wrap them in plastic and make them sit in it for a few hours to teach them to not enjoy it. (How about we stick to the actual topic?) --Onorem (talk) 03:26, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Modern single-use diapers in the USA have something like Water_gel_(plain) in them, separated from the skin by a wicking fabric. It doesn't totally stay dry to the touch from the inside, but much drier than e.g. a traditionally cotton diaper. (as a side note, the absorbing polymer is also why many people don't like to use them - they aren't exactly great stuff to be littering all around the environment, see Polyacrylamide#Environmental_effects.) HiLo's comments are often repeated and make some sense, but of course we'd need a proper reference to back it up. SemanticMantis (talk) 22:08, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Google has jazillions of hits for feel wet diaper but it looks all either anecdotal (but at least there's "lots of conventional wisdom" saying it and parents using it as a toilet training technique) or promotional for products that keep enough wet feel without actually being a leaky mess. But SemanticMantis is right; in keeping with WP:RS, the plural of anecdotes and PRspeak is not "usable data". DMacks (talk) 04:51, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

November 21[edit]

Small camera sensor formats[edit]

Looking at Image sensor format#Common image sensor formats, I don't understand some of the smaller formats. For instance, the Nikon and Sony 1" format. What about it is 1 inch? It isn't the length of either side, the diagonal size or the area. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 02:12, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

I guess it ought to be clarified. Anyway it's Optical format, a silly measurement, still used long after it outlived its usefulness. Jim.henderson (talk) 03:08, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
If you think that's bad, wait until you learn how they measure optics for semiconductor photolithography! Nimur (talk) 16:48, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I've been around for a while, and I don't think I've ever heard of it before. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 03:32, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

History of Guns in India.[edit]

I read this on a website named Hindu-blog: "Guns and Cannons in Ancient India during the Vedic and Mahabharata Period Details about guns used in ancient India are found in Shukra Niti. About weapons used in Vedic age are found in Atharva Veda. Information regarding cannons are found in Vana Parva of Mahabharata and also in Naishadham text of Sriharsha. The name given by ancient Indians to cannon was Shatagni. Shatagni had the capacity to kill nearly 100 soldiers of the enemies. Puranas also give information about Shatagni. Shatagni was a large gun which used to fire iron balls fitted with spikes. Shatagni gun was mounted on a vehicle which had eight wheels. This was far more superior to the first versions of modern cannons. Guns were known as Bhushundi in ancient India. Small guns were known as Lagu Naliyam and those with bigger holes were known as Briha Naliyam. There are archeological evidences that bullets were made using various metals in ancient India. Treatise dealing with various weapons used in ancient India is found in Dhanur Veda. It mentions about machine operated weapons." But in an article (here on Wikipedia) about gunpowder, it says that gunpowder and gunpowder weapons transmitted to India through the Mongol invasions of India. Was that the TRUE first time when India seen and used guns in warfare?--Mjfantom (talk) 08:55, 21 November 2014 (UTC)Mjfantom

Hindu-blog is not a reliable source of information. Ruslik_Zero 09:31, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor by George Cameron Stone (p. 553) says: of the shatagni: 'The name means “hundred killer,” and has been said to signify cannon. Hime says, p. 7: “There is nothing to connect 'shatagni' with fire. It seems to have been a mace, for in the Raghuvansa the demon is said to have laid his iron-headed shatagni upon Rama, just as Kuvera laid his club on Jamraj".' The reference to "Hine" appears to be Colonel Henry Hine, who wrote a history of artillery in 1915 which I have been unable to find online. The names "Lagu Naliyam" and "Briha Naliyam" are apparently unknown to the internet, except where they appear on Hindu-blog or those who have copied the text you have quoted above. Scholarship in both Europe and Asia now concludes that the first cannon appeared in China in the early 14th century AD; see Science and Civilisation in China: Volume 5, Chemistry and Chemical Technology by Joseph Needham (pp. 60-64) Alansplodge (talk) 15:35, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
This recent article [29] gives some of the background of this and similar claims. (talk) 04:07, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

Ultrasound hobby science project for middle-schooler[edit]

I have an idea for a hobby science project for a middle-schooler. The idea is to build an ultrasound probe to detect what's inside a solid, e.g. a block of wood. It will work like a one-dimensional radar, except that it uses ultrasound instead of electromagnetic wave. The device transmits a coded ultrasound pulse using a transducer. After transmission, it will switch to a listening mode to record echos. The recorded signal will be processed using a matched filter to detect echos from discontinuities within the solid. The detected echos will be plot on a line graph.

I would like to get some advice on the feasibility/difficulty of the project idea. I'm thinking of using an Arduino or Raspberry Pi to drive an ultrasound transducer, and to do the signal processing. Are there difficult hurdles? How much will be the parts cost?

Thanks. -- (talk) 13:28, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

This seems to abstract, "technical" and not interesting enough for children imho. For your theme is "waves and sound" compare your Idea with the impression a classic experiment with "sound patterns" caused by interference (like for example here) will make on the class or group you seek to interest for technology and science. From that you can "spin off" and even demonstrate very easy how local errors in such patterns can be caused (for example by "dampening" a spot with a rubber ereaser touching the plate from underneath) and thus why/how this can be used to detect "errors" or differences inside solid matter. --Kharon (talk) 15:36, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I should think it is well with in their capabilities. Apart from the cost of the probe itself, one only needs a few extra components to deliver enough power to drive the transducer as the Pi won’t be able to. The external driver only needs to be a cheap power-amp chip. The only problem I see is that if you are examining solids, then the transducer will still be ‘ringing’ on receive mode. So, I would favour a dual element transducer. See: Transducer Types. China manufactures some very cheap probes now, otherwise expect to pay around $70-$80. Kids love anything to do with muddy water and peoples insides. So if one was to pick a waterproof probe with a fundamental frequency suitable for both - they will have much fun. Next stage of the project could be, to add solid state motion sensors and turn it into a scanner to create ultrasonic images. This will demonstrate to them several practical applications of science. Who knows, some may have internal fixations (no -not those types – these internal fixations). As a teacher you will be aware how important it is to elicit audience participation and I think this type of endeavor will do more to seed their young minds with the desire to study technology. Perhaps someone at this Uni can give you a few tips. They have developed one that costs £30-£40. --Aspro (talk) 17:38, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
The problem with this project is not just its complexity: you need to do a little back-of-the-envelope math first. The speed of sound in a common household material, like a block of wood, is going to be close to 2 kilometers per second. According to your brief description, you're planning to perform time domain reflectometry (using a coded digital signal to improve the signal-to-noise ratio). Well... suppose you build a really nifty Arduino firmware that can switch the device from Transmit to Receive each millisecond. Even if your implementation is flawless, physics tells us that the sound-waves will have traveled several meters in that time! You won't be able to resolve very much that is interesting. The speed of sound dictates the relationship between your resolving power in distance, and your accuracy requirement in time. Can your middle-schooler realistically build a machine that is accurate to within a few microseconds?
In the real world, even university-level students probably can't make an ultrasound device and program firmware to execute time-domain transmit-receive switching on millisecond scales. Why? Because it's hard to write complex digital signal processing software that is both reliable and fast! It's unlikely (although not impossible) that a novice programmer can do it. In practice, the implementation will probably not be flawless - in other words, engineering limitations will pop up, and you'll have trouble reaching the best resolution that physics allows. Even if you didn't have those engineering problems, physics tells us that you're unlikely to resolve interesting features.
This is a fascinating project, but it calls for a better approach. A younger student might be able to do a report on the theory and practice of SONAR and RADAR by studying real systems that have actually been built (without trying to implement one at home). If they really want to build something, they might instead use a model. They could write a purely-software version of a SONAR or RADAR, and simulate the propagation of sound in one dimension (without trying to connect to a real sensor). However, a lot of grade-school science-fair judges won't really appreciate the merit (and the complexity) of that software accomplishment - even if you do a great job and make a lot of neat visualizations!
Alternately, the student could build a model of a "SONAR" that doesn't exactly use sound waves. They could build a model - a "Tennis Ball Reflectometer" - to determine the distance to a wall by rolling a ball at a fixed velocity and listening for the sound of impact. A tennis ball can be rolled down a ramp to reach a controlled, "fixed" velocity, and then launched toward a target an unknown distance downrange. Start the stop-watch (or build a machine to do so automatically) as the tennis-ball crosses the "starting line" and stop the stopwatch when the ball makes a sound by clomping into the target. This takes advantage of the fact that tennis-balls roll much slower than sound-waves; they're easy to work with and build into simple machines; and it assumes that sound travels "nearly instantaneously" when we're considering objects only a few meters away. For extra work, the student can analyze the sources of error in that approach: which is a bigger unknown, the variance of the speed of the ball, or the imperfect assumption that sound travels instantaneously? Do the math and work out which assumption is bigger! Extra extra points for a discussion about how engineers need to pick the appropriate simplifications to models of reality by using math to determine the magnitudes of different sources of error!
Nimur (talk) 22:46, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Silent Dog[edit]

(This, partially prompted by previous thread "Crying")

Our dog, a pedigree yellow lab - 8 months old - never barks, yelps, growls, or makes vocalizations of any kind whatever.

He's not deaf (you can call his name from some far distant part of the house and he comes running).

He doesn't have any physical impairment because he makes growls and barks with the usual feet twitching when he's dreaming.

He's well house-trained, and he'll go and sit at the back door when he wants to be let out - and get visibly frustrated and 'jumpy' if you don't let him out - but no bark. Similarly, when he wants to be let back in again. It would actually be really useful if he barked under such we're getting a bit puzzled and frustrated by this!

I'd heard that with many young mammals, they have evolved to be very quiet when alone in their den/nest/burrow without an adult present - so as not to attract predators...but is this common in dogs?

Is this a common thing? Is it indeed an evolutionary trait?

SteveBaker (talk) 17:51, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Uhm. If these turns out as a inheritable traits he could be worth a fortune at stud. However, if your unhappy, I'm sure you'll have no trouble swapping him with another dog that doesn't show the same well mannered reserve.--Aspro (talk) 18:06, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Well, we thought that at first too. But it's all too easy for him to get shut up someplace (like if he follows me into the garage - I don't notice - then I leave, turn out the light and lock the door. An hour or more later, it's "Where's Drake?...I haven't seen him for ages." you yell out his name - which usually brings him to you at the run...but nothing. So now you have to scour the house from to to bottom to figure out where the heck he is *this* time. Also, when we were house-training him - he would have the hardest time communicating that he needed to go out for a pee. I truly hate noisy, barking dogs...but a totally silent one isn't so great as you might think. SteveBaker (talk) 18:19, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
This breed is known to almost never bark.
The thing to remember is that almost all current dog breeds (and certainly all pedigreed dogs) are heavily artificially selected, sometimes through thousands of years of selective breeding. So natural selection isn't always a good lens to view dog behavior through.
I inherited a Japanese Chin, and like yours, the main time he barks is in his sleep. I'm not sure about the labs, but my dog was bred in part for that trait (to not be a bother while still being companionable and entertaining to royalty). I suppose that if it is a heritable behavior trait in one breed, it could pop up in others. I don't know if labs are generally though to be quieter than other dogs, but one possible advantage to quietness in that type of hunting dog would be to not scare off the hunter's intended prey. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:01, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
We have a male yellow lab and he barks when the doorbell rings and then, being a lab, jumps all over the person at the door and wants to be fussed. He also barks at other dogs if they get over playful and he needs to put them in their place. He's very vocal. whimpering, when he sees someone he knows and he wants a fuss. My daughter had a female black lab who was very quiet but after she had stayed with us for a while she learned from our dog to bark at the sound of the doorbell, so I suspect vocalisation is partly learned behaviour. He doesn't usually bark to come in from the garden though - we've sometimes forgotten to let him back inside in winter and he'll just sit on the step patiently waiting. There are some reasons given here for dogs being reluctant to bark. Dogs do get some odd ideas in their heads. Mine started drinking rainwater from a bucket outside a couple of years ago and now he refuses point blank to drink any water inside the house. If it's offered outside he'll drink it - rainwater or tap water - but not before I've taken him for a walk. Richerman (talk) 20:17, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Might be autistic. There's some controversy about how that works in dogs (or if), but not much more than in humans. Does he get along with other dogs? Wag his tail? Learn new tricks? InedibleHulk (talk) 21:07, November 21, 2014 (UTC)

Scientists with unexpected interests[edit]


I was wondering if I could find examples, on Wikipedia or elsewhere, of famous scientists/engineers/etc. with 'unexpected' (that is, very different from the field they are known in) interests or expertise, or who started out in a field very different from the one they become famous in. Many famous scientists are also accomplished musicians, for example, though this is not the only thing I am interested in.

Thanks, (talk) 20:21, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Carl Djerassi comes to mind. DMacks (talk) 20:25, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Noam Chomsky was a well-respected linguist, but now he's often known for his political commentary. Richard Feynman was a very skilled player of the bongos and and expert lock picker. Tom Lehrer started as a mathematician but gets much more recognition a musician. Vernor Vinge was also a mathematician/computer scientist who was later famous as a novelist. Lewis Carrol was a logician before he got famous as a writer. Donald Knuth is a very good organist. Kary Mullis is famous for developing PCR, but was also a good surfer who took a lot of LSD. Galois didn't get much recognition for his pioneering math while alive, but he was known as a duelist and political agitator. (Of course math isn't really science but I think the distinction can safely be ignored for the purposes of this question.) Going the other way, Brian May is mostly known from the band Queen, but he has a Ph.D. in astrophysics and wrote a few papers. Similar for Danica McKellar, who has authored a few math papers but is famous for playing Winnie Cooper. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:45, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
What a silly thread. Many normal humans of many kinds are interested in and excel at more than one thing. The presumption behind the thread seems to be that scientists aren't normal. Ridiculous. HiLo48 (talk) 21:05, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
It's a perfectly valid question that we can provide references to answer. If you don't want to read or participate you are very welcome not to. I personally think it's silly that you would take your valuable time just to tell others that you think this question is silly :) Also please sign your posts with four tildes: ~~~~ SemanticMantis (talk) 20:57, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I did sign, apparently not with four, but perhaps with three tildes. That should have been obvious to an experienced editor. Sorry about the typo. And please explain why we should single out scientists for having other interests. HiLo48 (talk) 21:05, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
It's apparently not a novel/new category-intersection. [30] was one of a bunch of on-topic ghits for scientists who are musicians. DMacks (talk) 21:14, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
We should single out scientists who have unexpected interests or skills because that is the topic of the question. That is what the ref desk is for, providing answers/references that are relevant the question. I would hat this whole sub-thread for being off-topic but DMacks' link is relevant. SemanticMantis (talk) 21:21, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Worth noting that the OP asked for famous scientists/engineers/etc. with.... or who started out in a field very different from the one they become famous in rather than simply "scientists who have unexpected interests or skills". I think there's a key distinction here that is perhaps being missed. It may be that the OP would be fine with people who were famous both as a scientist and as something else. But from my reading of the OPs comment I have doubts that the OP is interested in a famous person who also happens to be a "scientist/engineers/etc". Or to put it in wikipedia terms, it's probably best to avoid any cases where though the person could be quite legitimate called a scientist, engineer or whatever, but is likely to be a red link based solely on their accomplishments in that field. I appreciate this still leaves a large grey area (and is also very difficult to consider), but we should try and keep things on topic. To avoid controversy, I won't use any of the above examples (although while some of them seem fine, some of them I do question) but from my reading of the Mayim Bialik, I don't we're likely to have an article on her solely based on her work in neuroscience to now (which isn't meant in disrespectful way, simply that the info I'm seeing tells me she's not that different from plenty of other non notable scientist and of course she's still resonably young so it could easily be a case of yet). Nil Einne (talk) 01:34, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Nabokov was a very good entomologist (specifically a lepidopterist), though most people know him as an author. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:57, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Spin-able thingy at the bottom of bird feeders[edit]

What's the purpose of that spin-able thingy found at the bottom of some bird feeders[31]? Is it supposed to deter squirrels? What's the principle behind it? WinterWall (talk) 21:20, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Yes, it is intended to deter squirrels. Squirrels can empty a bird feeder in minutes. Many songbirds will also avoid a feeder that has a squirrel at it. So there are several products and devices people use to (attempt to) keep squirrels out of their bird feeders. A little more info at Bird_feeder#Squirrels. SemanticMantis (talk) 21:26, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
My mother's birdfeeder has a platform on a week spring that will support the weight of a bird, but will drop and close a gate over the seed if a squirrel lands on it. At least one squirrel has overcome this by jumping on the feeder, causing it to swing from side to side, dropping seed, which it then eats off the ground. The device cost $90, but it doe seem that birds get most of the seed. It's ITEM #BD1024 here, and the photo is accurate, since she gets goldfinches and now has a resident pair of cardinals. μηδείς (talk) 21:49, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
If you like squirrels but just don't want them eating out of the bird feeder, you could consider setting up a separate feeding spot for them. If you don't like squirrels, maybe you could invest in a hawk or an owl. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:02, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, y'all. WinterWall (talk) 23:28, 21 November 2014 (UTC)


The most popular work written on Paleolithic life expectancy[edit]

Is the most popular work written on Paleolithic life expectancy: Angel, Lawrence J. (1984) "Health as a crucial factor in the changes from hunting to developed farming in the eastern Mediterranean"?

If not, can you please tell me what is? Icemerang (talk) 22:23, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

I assume you mean the most cited work, not the one enjoyed most widely? μηδείς (talk) 01:36, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that is correct, but I assume the most cited work would be the one most widely known as well. Icemerang (talk) 01:50, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

When is it possible to hear the sounds of the beats till o mm (Torr)[edit]

Hi, one of my lecturers told us that there is kind of sicks, which when measuring their blood pressure by cuff and stethoscope, it's possible to hear the sounds of the beats till o mm (Torr)/ in the time of Diastole. What is this condition? (talk) 22:58, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

See Heart murmur. There are many heart conditions that can cause an audible murmur during diastole, which are listed in our article. Tevildo (talk) 23:50, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

November 22[edit]

Dwarf Reproduction[edit]

This is a serious question caused by my random curiosity. When Dwarves/Little People have children, is the child a Dwarf/LP themselves? Is it always the case, or does it vary? (talk) 00:05, 22 November 2014 (UTC)SMV207

If two dwarfs (assuming you mean achondroplastic) mate, two thirds of their children on average will also be dwarfs, and one third will be of average stature. This is because the gene causing dwarfism is dominant, and a lethal allele when homozygous (i.e, present in two copies, one from each parent).
Living dwarfs carry only one dwarf allele and one wild-type allele. (If they had two, they'd have died during gestation.) So, according to the Punnett Square diagram of Mendelian genetics, 1/4 of conceptions will have two dwarf genes and die during gestation, 2/4's will have one wild-type (her, non-dwarf) and one dwarf gene, and 1/4 will have two wilde-type genes and average height. This website has some helpful visualizations. μηδείς (talk) 01:38, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
This dwarf answered that question on Cracked a couple of days ago. Only one in his family, normal wife, normal kids, normal parents. Touched on the hereditary dangers on the next page, thinks we'd all be better off without dwarves in the future. InedibleHulk (talk) 02:40, November 22, 2014 (UTC)
Personally, I feel that my reaction to eugenics is conditioned on the age of an allele. If a particular form of a gene arose sometime within the past thousand years, well, like Cronus, humanity should feel a right to devour its creations. Such a gene is untested and often unsatisfactory for human beings to have. But if the allele dates back a million years, having survived countless vicissitudes of fate throughout all the development of the human condition as we know it, then for our culture narrow-mindedly to say now that we have no place for it is unreasonable. It is redesigning the shape of the child to fit the shape of the classroom chair, when what we should be doing is designing the classroom seat to be satisfactory to a full range of children available. When we give into a temptation to trim away parts of the human genetic diversity to fit some current circumstance, we drain the overall gene pool and sap, long term, the ability of human beings to adapt and survive. So the question then with dwarfism is whether we would be using eugenics to wipe out longstanding human diversity or simply fixing an inborn genetic error. Where achondroplasia is concerned, I'm seeing figures that (very surprisingly to me) fully 90% of the alleles are sporadic - not going back even one generation. [32] It is not guaranteed that 99% of them did not affect a grandparent, but that seems a fair guess, at least. That said, in more general terms short stature is a very common polygenic condition, and most of human history features people shorter than those of modern times; many of those alleles are likely to be long-term survivors of the Darwinian struggle. Wnt (talk) 07:00, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Anyway, the relevance here is that firstly, it is not going to be possible to stop sporadic mutations by genetic engineering the parents. Either you check each and every zygote for achondroplasia (for example it is possible to remove one of the 8 cells from the 8-celled embryo and test it, though that gives me heebie jeebies) or you abort embryos with the condition at a later stage (which many peopel find morally unacceptable) or you live with the fact that mutations happ3n. And also, it follows logically that, for whatever reason, most of those affected don't actually pass along the condition they have to offspring. Wnt (talk) 07:00, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

Holographic rings[edit]

I remember seeing a metal ring, laser-inscribed with a hologram. Where can I find images of this? Plasmic Physics (talk) 07:33, 22 November 2014 (UTC)


November 1[edit]

November 6[edit]

November 9[edit]

November 14[edit]

Jimmy John's ad[edit]

There's an ad for a sandwich shop where a student is bored in math class and orders a sandwich on his cell phone. The math professor is droning on about something like this:

"...which is not to say it's a direct factorization of 1, but rather a sublimation of the factorization of 1"

(I'll try to add more of it if I hear the ad again.)

So, my Q is whether this is actually meaningful, or just random words designed to resemble a math lecture. StuRat (talk) 18:34, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

Looks like nonsense.-- (talk) 18:45, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
They sell subs, so sublimation is clearly a pun :-) --Mark viking (talk) 19:30, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
A factorization of 1 could be a reference to roots of unity. Sublimation doesn't have any standard meaning in math, but it does have a meaning as a verb, to "divert or modify ... into a culturally higher or socially more acceptable activity." Conceivably it go something like this: " 1=1*1 is a factorization that is dull and uninteresting. However, :e^{2\pi i \frac{1}{3}} \cdot e^{2\pi i \frac{1}{3}} \cdot e^{2\pi i \frac{1}{3}} =1 . Which is not to say that this is a factorization of 1 (because factorization often means factoring into integers), but rather a sublimation (i.e. a culturally higher form) of a factorization of one." -- or it could just be nonsense :) SemanticMantis (talk) 21:57, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
Here is the ad. It's nonsense, but rather amusing: "That is not to say that the transgentle factoring is a factor of 1, but rather a sublimation of the factor of one." Interestingly, what's on the whiteboard actually looks like real mathematics, but it is rather indecipherable at the Youtube resolution. Sławomir Biały (talk) 15:58, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Trisection of an Angle[edit]

In a recent search of approximations to the trisection of an angle using just a straight edge and a compass, I did not find any reference to an article I wrote some time between 1970 and 1974 titled "A Good Approximation to the Trisection of an Angle." the article was published in the Journal of Recreational Mathematics. As shown in my article, the error using my method is generally much less than .07 degrees (the largest error being .1011 degrees for an angle of 156 degrees). Since some of the articles I have seen seem to suggest they are good when they produce errors larger than my method, I thought that my article should be included in the list of references. (Unsigned comment added at 21:13, November 14, 2014‎ by anon editor (talk))

Before we comment, could you provide a link to the published article, or exact details of where and when it was published? Are you Michael A Budin, by any chance? If so, then it was in April 1971 Volume 4 pages 153-54. Dbfirs 21:36, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
Just curious, Did you pull that from an index or from the fact that it was referenced in Naraht (talk) 16:02, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

sawtooth wave Fourier series[edit]

hello, the formula on this page: (x_\mathrm{reversesawtooth}(t) = ...), x(t) assumes values between roughly -1.159305 and 1.159305. what are these numbers? Asmrulz (talk) 22:47, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

It should be 2 / \pi times 1.851937051..., the Wilbraham–Gibbs constant. Egnau (talk) 07:14, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
thanks! Asmrulz (talk) 08:51, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

November 16[edit]

Integrals without closed form antiderivatives[edit]

I was speculating about this but do not have the knowledge unfortunately to make progress on this question. This is not homework. Roughly: can the antiderivative of any sum, product, or ratio of elementary functions always be expressed as a finite linear combination of elementary functions and named integrals (i.e., the Bessel function, the sin integral, the cos integral)? Or are there an infinite number of unnamed intractable integrals that cannot be transformed into a known named integral? Thanks. (talk) 06:00, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

"Named integrals" is an ill-defined set. But I can already say it is definitely not possible. For example there is no elementary form for \int e^{x^n} dx for n>1 (the error function can provide the case n=2 but I know of no named function for n 3 or up, infinite series not counting).
I was going to ask a similar question: can we define a set of functions that is closed under the operation of antidifferentiation, that is not something like the set of all continuous functions, yet includes any finite composition of any of its members?--Jasper Deng (talk) 06:28, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

For positive values of n, we have

\int_0^\infty e^{-x^n}dx=\Gamma\Big(1+\tfrac1n\Big)
\int e^{-x^n}dx=-\Gamma\Big(1+\tfrac1n,x^n\Big)
See gamma function and incomplete gamma function79.118.167.116 (talk) 03:55, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
One could start with any finite set of functions, integrate them and take all compositions. This gives another set of functions, also finite. Do it again, etc. This gives a countable family of functions, and so cannot be all continuous functions. It's doubtful that there is any family besides polynomials and all continuous functions that can easily be identified, though. The requirement that it be closed under composition makes it highly non-trivial. Sławomir Biały (talk) 11:15, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
I may get this question wrong, but my hunch is that even among the nicest families of functions (say continuous ones), most functions are totally intractable in every respect except maybe for their unifying feature (e.g. continuity). YohanN7 (talk) 11:46, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
To OP: Even if you confine attention to integrals of algebraic function, there is no finite set of functions that can express all of the others. You get generalized elliptic functions that live on the Jacobians of curves, and there is no known way to parametrize all of these. Sławomir Biały (talk) 12:14, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
You may be interested in Differential Galois theory,Liouville's theorem, and Risch algorithm; they explore related notions. The following papers give some introduction and notions of things: [33], [34], [35], and [36].Phoenixia1177 (talk) 07:02, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

November 17[edit]

Largest constant[edit]

It has always boggled my mind how our mathematical reality is structured, considering that some important constants, such as e and pi are irrational. I just learned that even natural numbers can amaze me in the same way. To my surprise, a natural classification of simple groups gives birth to a monster, whose order is 246 · 320 · 59 · 76 · 112 · 133 · 17 · 19 · 23 · 29 · 31 · 41 · 47 · 59 · 71. There's a large number, not just because someone is trying to make one, like the googolplex or Graham's number. To me, the monster number feels like a true constant. Are there any more such large constants? Skewes' number may be considered another one, although it doesn't feel as constant to me. — Sebastian 05:46, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

You're conflating human interest with mathematical structure. Constants are constants in so far as they are meaningful to us; any specific number that someone cares enough about is a "constant". So, unless you're asking for large named numbers (which doesn't appear to be the case), or you have a more rigid definition for what fits as an answer, I'm not sure you are actually asking a mathematical question; it seems more like: "What large numbers are there that occur naturally in mathematical works that are not bounds?". Is that an accurate rendering?Phoenixia1177 (talk) 07:06, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Graham's number wasn't constructed "just because someone was trying to make a large number". It was presented as an upper bound to a specific problem in Ramsey Theory. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 08:37, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I think I get your point: The size of the monster is a "natural" fact that (after much labor) falls out of the definition of a finite simple group, that is, the size of the monster only depends on the axioms of group theory, while Graham's number was just a bound, that could in principle have achieved the same function if it were a decent bit larger or smaller, or in any case not that exact number. I personally was always amazed at how we get several infinite families of FSG, but also the strangely finite number of sporadic groups (26). Anyway, I would agree that the size of the Monster is somehow more innate/natural than Graham's number. However, a constant is a constant, so they are both equally constant, but it seems that the monster is more on par with e and pi as being constants that emerge from fundamental properties, not from human choices. Unfortunately, I can't think of any other similar large numbers at present. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:54, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks all for your answers. I feel that SemanticMantis really understands where I'm coming from, and therewith also answers Phoenixia's question and corrects my inexactness, which is pointed out by Meni. I didn't really expect there to be any other similar large numbers, at least not by the time I posted this. During the process of reading up to it, I came across the other articles mentioned, which made that less likely. — Sebastian 20:13, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

"n1 = n2 = n3"[edit]

How do I express "n1 = n2 = n3" in set builder notation, set notation, or mathematical notation? (talk) 07:34, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

What are your n's? As it stands, there is no set to express, you are simply saying three things are equal. On an aside: mathematical notation and set notation are not the same, one is a superset of the other, are you asking about expressing sets or are you asking about something general and thinking sets might be involved? More context is needed to answer this.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 08:14, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I trying to express "s", where "s = the number of the variable that is equal". I guess I am trying to delineate that "n = 3", but there are 3 "n"s. How to express? (talk) 09:30, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry, that doesn't appear to mean anything - or if it does, it can mean a multitude of things. What are you trying to do in plain English?Phoenixia1177 (talk) 09:33, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Example: "n1 = 4, n2 = 4, n3 = 4", but "s = 3", because there are 3 "n"s. How to express? (talk) 09:37, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
There is no specific notation for that, you can define some, but by the time you explain the notation, you could have just said it. Not everything needs, nor should be, symbolic. If you truly need some form of symbols, "Ni = |{j : nj = ni}|, s = sup Ni", meaning that s is equal to the largest collection of n that are equal to each other. You can write this sans the big N, but there is no reason to do that.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 09:42, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes! Exactly!, I believe that is what I want. Can you explain the notation? For example, is that the absolute sign? (talk) 09:54, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I would strongly caution against using the notation in this case, but I'll explain it. || around a set denotes the number of elements, so |{1, a, 66, cow}| = 4; sup is the supremum, the largest value assumed. Thus, Ni is the number of nj equal to ni, the supremum of the Ni is the largest elements of that sequence. In other words, it is defining s to be the maximal number of equal ni's. So, if you had n0 = n2 = n3 = 8 and n1 = n4 = 7, then the sequence of Ni would be 3, 2, 3, 3, 2, this, obviously, has largest element 3, so s = 3.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 10:02, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
What is the name of the absolute looking sign? For example, is it the same sign as used in "|" such as in Bayes theorem? And would you provide a link?
Is there a notation that can replace "sup"? (talk) 10:18, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Also, correct me if I am wrong, confirm if I am right: In your example you mean: "n0 = n2 = n3 = 8 and n1 = n4 = 7, then the sequence of Ni would be 8, 7, 8, 8, 7, this, obviously, has largest element 8, so s = 8.". (talk) 10:23, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Or do you mean: "n0 = n2 = n3 = 7 and n1 = n4 = 8, then the sequence of Ni would be 7, 8, 7, 7, 8, this, obviously, has largest element 8, so s = 8."? (talk) 10:25, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't know the name of the bars, they indicate the size of the set, they're extremely common in set notation. You could write max for sup. No, Ni is the number of j's so nj = ni; in my example, for example, nj = n0 exactly when j = 0, 2, 3, thus, there are 3 such j so that N0 = 3. I return to my point that you ought not use such notation, that this is not immediate is a strong indicator that it's only going to obfuscate meaning, not clarify it (which is the point of notation). I suggest, instead, grabbing a book that covers basic set theory stuff - or, to mature your mathematical sense, a nice intro to abstract algebra or groups, and go from there. I'm not trying to sound condescending, it's just the best route to go instead of learning things piece meal, trust me.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 10:38, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I understand that this is quite complex notation. Long story short, I'd like still to understand this. So what I don't understand is why nj = ni: They shouldn't be equal because the values that they indicate are not equal. (talk) 11:00, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Essentially, Ni counts how many n's equal ni. So, using my example, n0 = 8, so N0 will be how many n's are equal to 8; in this case, there are 3, n0, n2, n3. The notation after "s =" means to pick the largest value of the N's, in this case it will be 3. For another example(I'm going to write ni for ni because it's easier) if you had n0 = 0, n1 = 2, n2 = 0, n3 = 5, n4 = 2, n5 = 0, n6 = 0. Then, N0 is how many equal 0, which is 4; N1 is how many equal 2, which is 2; N2 is, again, how many equal 0, so 4; N3 is how many equal 5, so 1; etc. The whole sequence of N's is 4, 2, 4, 1, 2, 4, 4. The maximum of this sequence will be 4, so s = 4.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 11:39, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
The notation for size of a set is described at Set_(mathematics)#Cardinality. Vertical bar is the descriptive name for the character. It is also used in a similar (but different!) way for absolute value, sometimes norm_(mathematics) -- in often carries a vague connotation of "size" for different mathematical objects. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:58, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Ball-drawing problem[edit]

I've been trying to calculate the expected value of how many random draws it would take to get three different colours when taking successive balls without replacement from a bag containing 5 red, 5 blue and 5 yellow, without success. So I wrote a program to generate all permutations of the order in which the 15 balls could appear and to determine the critical draw for each. Averaging over all permutations gave the fraction 917281/252252. Firstly, is this correct and secondly, how could it (or the correct value) be calculated directly?→ (talk) 13:13, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

I guess you could do it by calculating the probability that the critical draw is n for every n from 3 to 11, and make the appropriate sum. That probability would be \frac{5!5!5!}{15!} \cdot \sum_{k = \max(n-6, 1)}^{\min(5,n-2)} 3 * \frac{(n-1)!(15-n)!}{k!(n-k-1)!4!(5-k)!(6+k-n)!}. The 3 represents the choice of which color is drawn with the critical draw. Fixing one of the other colors, k is the number of balls drawn of that color before the critical draw. \frac{(n-1)!}{k!(n-k-1)!} is the number of ways to permute the balls before the critical draw, while \frac{(15-n)!}{4!(5-k)!(6+k-n)!} is the number of ways to permute the balls after the critical draw. So \sum_{n = 3}^{11} \frac{n\cdot 5!5!5!}{15!}\cdot \sum_{k = \max(n-6, 1)}^{\min(5,n-2)} 3 * \frac{(n-1)!(15-n)!}{k!(n-k-1)!4!(5-k)!(6+k-n)!} should be the expected draw.-- (talk) 14:06, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I plugged
Sum[n/(5!)^3 Sum[   3*((n - 1)! (15 - n)!)/(k! (n - k - 1)! 4! (5 - k)! (6 + k - n)!), {k, Max[n - 6, 1], Min[5, n - 2]}], {n, 3, 11}]
Into Mathematica and got 32487/16000 ~ 2.03, which is obviously wrong. So there's probably an error somewhere. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 14:25, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Furthermore, dropping the n doesn't give you probabilities that sum to 1.
I think you should replace \frac{1}{5!5!5!} with \frac{5!5!5!}{15!} (one over the number of different permutations). This gives you probabilities that sum to 1; and a different result (51/11) from the OP's, which actually seems more plausible to me (the OP's result is 3.64, which represents a very high chance to get it right the first time). -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 14:45, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
You're absolutely right. I've edited my first answer.-- (talk) 14:58, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Update: The OP's fraction is very close to 51/11 - 1. Yet the denominator is close to 756756, the number of permutations. Also, my own numerical testing confirms the result of roughly 51/11. So I expect that:
  • The OP had a few off-by-one errors
  • Both answers given (up to the corrections above) are correct.
Meanwhile I'm trying to run an exhaustive search (I did it in a really inefficient way so it might take some time), which might further confirm the results. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 15:00, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
My Brute-force search has completed and confirmed the result of 51/11. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 17:34, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Being told that my answer was wrong made me re-examine the logic of how the permutating-generating program counted the draws until the third colour was seen, with the result that the ratio should have been 1169532/252252, which does indeed reduce to 51/11. Thanks for the answers.→ (talk) 18:21, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Not exactly what the OP wanted, but coupon collector's problem is close,. Robinh (talk) 19:28, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

What is the percentage of 5 out of 6?[edit]

? Thanks. Uhlan talk 23:39, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

83.33....%. This has no finite decimal representation, but you can round it wherever appropriate for your application. If it's really 5 out of 6, I'd call it 83%. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 00:17, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for that! Sorry had a complete mindblank. Uhlan talk 01:54, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Have you memorised the percentage value of all other fractions (quite some feat), or have you forgotten how to work them out (not quite so impressive)? Because just being told the answer would only help the former case, not the latter. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 03:42, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
I just forgot how to work it out. Uhlan talk 08:06, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
The easiest way to approximate it is to divide 6 into 500, then shift the decimal sign (long division). So, 6 x 83 = 498, 500 / 6 is around 83. Since we added two 0's, we need to shift the decimal by two 0's; so 83 becomes 0.83. Of course, since we are converting to % we have to shift it back by two places, and get around 83%. In general, going from decimal to % you shift the decimal two places to the right; so 0.546 becomes 54.6%. When estimating with small numbers, adding two or three zeroes to the top, then finding a close division (like with 83, above) will give you a close estimate for most situations. If you don't need an estimate by hand, just use a calculator to do the division, shift the decimal two to the right to get the %.Phoenixia1177 (talk) 08:12, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
I was trying to do 5 divided 1 times 100, rather than 5 divided by 6 times 100, but thanks. I didn't just google it because I was on the Reference desk already so just quickly posted it. Uhlan talk 08:20, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
No problem; that's why we're here: math questions:-)Phoenixia1177 (talk) 08:28, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

November 18[edit]

Bring radical and an Extended Abel–Ruffini theorem[edit]

Given a polynomial P with P(0) = 0, define a P-radical to be a map f of the base field into itself so that for all a, f(a) is a root of P(X) - a. Is there anything like the Abel-Ruffini theorem, or any Galois Theory stuff, that is applicable to the question of what polynomials can be solved using P-radicals for P belonging to a given set of polynomials? More specifically, this question is inspired by adding things like the, above mentioned, Bring Radical to the bag of tricks involved in solving higher degree polynomial equations. For the purposes of this specific question, I'm considering adding something like the current radical, I know that there are analytic flavoured things that can do the job, and would be interested to an algebraic analysis of their power, if it exists, but I am mainly interested in reflecting what we are able to use to solve the equation in properties of algebraic structures associated to it (as the case with galois groups). Thank you for any insight or leads on this matter:-)Phoenixia1177 (talk) 08:26, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Radian increment to cover a square grid[edit]

I am going through old programming problems to include in an upcoming programming competition. This is one that I solved, but my solution was brute force. Is there an elegant mathematical solution...

A pixel-based system needs to check that every pixel in a circle is shaded. It begins with a center (xc, yc) and a radius, r (radians). The first point to check is (xc, yc+r). It will then increment r by i until r = 2*PI (a full circle). For reference, if x is initially xc and y is initially yc+r, r will become r+i and the new (x, y) will be (xc+(x-xc)*cos(r)-(y-yc)*sin(r), yc+(x-xc*sin(r)+(y-yc)*cos(r)). What is the maximum increment (i) that may be used to ensure that every pixel on the circle is checked? It is assumed that i will be dependent on r. A smaller increment will be required for larger values of r.

My solution tried an increment of 0.001 and incremented it by 0.001 until one of the pixels was skipped. It was quick and dirty to program, but definitely not elegant. (talk) 15:45, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

I am confused by your statement of the problem. You wrote that it begins with a "radius, r (radians)". A radius is typically not measured in radians. Your later "(xc, yc+r)" uses r as a radius, but "increment r by i until r = 2*PI" us r as an angle. Did the original statement include separate R (radius) and r (angle)? -- ToE 21:43, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Having written programs to do that exact same thing, I can tell you it's more efficient to scan a square and check if each point is within the circle:
    IF (Xc-X)^2 + (Yc-Y)^2 <= RADIUS_SQUARED
      (SHADE IT)
If you insist on using polar coords, you would want to change the rotation increment at each radius step to make it efficient, and you will have to worry about round-off error when converting real numbers to integers, etc. And even if you get this all right, the overhead of constantly converting from polar coords to rectangular coords will still make this approach slower. StuRat (talk) 22:35, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I am unsure if the original question is really about shading the disc inside a circle or about drawing the circumference. "to check that every pixel in a circle is shaded" sounds like the former, but the algorithm alluded to sounds like the latter (although the next step might be drawing a line from the center to the moving point on the circumference). Perhaps the questioner can point us to the text of the original problem. -- ToE 00:04, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Question re-asked down below at #Minimum angle between edges of a circle in a grid. -- ToE 21:47, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

2-D random walk (all turns) back to start?[edit]

Set a 2D random walk with all steps of length 1 with the following additional conditions. The first step is from (0,0) to (1,0), after every step, the next step must be at right angles to the last (so after (1,0) the next step must be to (1,1) or (1,-1)). For this walk, what is the chance that the first time that the walk goes back to a previous point that it is going back to 0,0 (forming a loop) and of *that* chance what is the probability that it will form a *proper* loop (coming back to 0,0 from either 0,1 or 0,-1)Naraht (talk) 15:59, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Here's a nice chapter on properties of Euclidean random walks [37]. I suspect you can answer some of your questions by following their steps, while substituting in your rules. Of course the results of e.g. first return time will be different, but the methods should be similar and possibly easier. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:12, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Unless I'm reading this wrong, this is a Minkowski random walk. (talk) 16:23, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
First of all, if you are required to make right/left turns, Minkowski space becomes striped. You state that from 1,0 the move must be up/down (moving along y). Every odd value of x is up/down. Every even value of x is right/left. Therefore, it is impossible to move from 1,0 to 0,0 because x is odd and the only moves allowed are along the y axis (same applies for -1,0). That means that for every loop, it is a proper loop. Now, how many loops are there? I prefer to just simulate. There will be a loop (proper loop) 27% of the time based on 1,000,000,000 random walks. With an approximate answer, you can work on a proof that gets close to that answer. The proof will be an exact answer, not an approximate one like mine. (talk) 16:43, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I'd figured out after I posted it that all loops had to be proper loops, with somewhat similar logic to yours. And 1/8 of the random walks will start out LLL and 1/8 will start out RRR which gives you 25% being the simple square loops and I'm actually surprised that the ones that aren't that represent 2%. These would be ones that not only go back to 0,0 but that don't go back to the same point prior to that, so the smallest non square is the outline of a 5 square cross.Naraht (talk) 15:16, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Why have I never been included in a "random survey"?[edit]

For the purposes of this question I'll work with "round numbers".

I live in South Africa - current population 50 million - when I became an adult 30 years ago and thus eligible to be "randomly surveyed" the population was 35 million (assume a constant population growth rate). According to the Bachelors level course in social research I took this year, about 1000 "random surveys" of about 1000 people take place every year in this country - for everything from new toothpaste varieties to political opinions. So what are the odds that out of 30 000 surveys over 30 years not a single one has ever picked me? Does it say anything about the randomness of the surveys, or my ability to consistently dodge people with clipboards? Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 18:10, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

One thing to consider is that scientific surveys (e.g. for academic research in social sciences) are carefully designed to be very uniformly random, to avoid response bias. On the other hand, product surveys are not fully randomized, and they may pay attention to "likely shoppers" or other such sub groups. These groups tend to have a lot of overlap, and if you ever do one such product survey, you will be asked to do many more (because you have a better chance of not ignoring the request and hence wasting their efforts). Adding to the confusion is that many scientific surveys should be random, but they tend to biased towards college students, in part because some of them have to participate in studies to get full class credits. [38]. So, among the 1k surveys each year, most of them are probably not properly randomized, and that will negatively influence your chances of being selected. See Total_survey_error for more info.
Finally, to compute the probability of NOT being chosen in 30 years, assuming that every study in SA is fully uniformly random, work it out as the product of the probabilities of not being chosen each year.
E.g. \prod_{n=1}^{30}\left(1-\frac{1000*1000}{P_n}\right), where P_n is the population in year n, with n=1 being 2014-30. Since it is a very rough model anyway (due to the assumption of real independent, uniform selection), you can shortcut and just look at \left(1-\frac{1000*1000}{P}\right)^{30}, where P is some fixed population. Doing that for P=40m gives me ~47% chance of NOT getting chosen, though the actual probability will likely be notably higher, for the reasons I've mentioned. Make sense? SemanticMantis (talk) 19:36, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
P.S. You also may have been "selected" and not even noticed. Product surveys often look like any other junk mail in the USA, and I bet I've recycled a few without even noticing. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:41, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Do you have a "land line" phone ? Here in the US almost all surveys seem to be done that way. So, if it's the same in SA, and you only have a mobile phone, that might explains things. StuRat (talk) 04:14, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

November 19[edit]

What's the point of ratios?[edit]

This is a two-part question. I have been wondering what the point of the concept of ratio is: It seems to me that nothing can be done with n:m that can't be done with n÷m. Is that correct?

If so, then maybe the mathematical justification for treating them separately is that the notation can be extended to more elements than two. n:m:k has properties beyond those of n÷m÷k. n:m:k can be expressed by an ordered set (n÷k,m÷k), but the set of 3-part ratios ℂ:3 := {n:m:k | n,m,k∈ℂ} is not a vector space. (Using ℂ as the field, because I naively believe that it won't complicate matters over using ℝ.) Are there any mathematically interesting operations one can do with it? — Sebastian 03:56, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

You correct to some degree that ratios can be replaced by division. The ancient Greeks would disagree for two reasons though. First, in allowed them to incommensurable magnitudes, which correspond to what we call irrational numbers. The Greeks knew that the diagonal of a square to its side were incommensurable (we would say √2 is irrational), but their concept of number only included what we would call rationals. To them, having a number whose square is 2 would lead to a contradiction, so keeping ratios and numbers separate was necessary to keep mathematics consistent. Second, the Greeks regarded the operations of arithmetic as applying to numbers, not to things like line segments, or squares. To them you could no more divide one line segment by another than you could divide a dog by a cat. But they did consider the ratio of two line segments to be valid. From our viewpoint, several centuries after analytic geometry, we think of lengths and areas as numbers so naturally that we don't even think about it, but that's really the result of a couple of millennia of evolution of mathematical thought. In a sense, the Greeks have a point here in that all measurements is ratios; if I say a line segment is 12 cm long then what I'm really saying is that the ratio of the segment to a certain standard meter is 12:100. Also, there is a certain amount of tradition, both in the way that math is taught and in everyday usage, that keeps the idea of ratio alive and separate from division. It's possible that humans thought in terms of ratios before discovering division. ("My field is twice as big as yours so I'll harvest twice as much corn next Fall.") So you might say that we have ratios as well as division is for "historical reasons", not because of any mathematical need. After all, computers get along perfectly fine understanding only division and no one is beating a path to Microsoft demanding that the next version of Excel include a ratio operation. --RDBury (talk) 13:18, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, ratio is just a convenient alternative notation for fractions and for division, but manipulation of ratios is a skill worth learning for quick mental calculations. Dbfirs 23:24, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for your replies. The historical aspect is certainly interesting. I'd say it's a common phenomenon in mathematics that things are initially seen more complicated than they are. Adam Ries, in his famous Arithmetic Book of 1574, presents not 4, but 6 elementary operations: addition, subtraction, duplication, mediation (i.e. division by 2), multiplication, and division. He didn't mention that some can be seen as special cases of others. As we now see it, it is easier to teach in accordance with Occam's razor, and reduce the number of operations.
However, the signs "÷" and ":" have been introduced long after Classical Greece, and even after Adam Rise's time. As I understand, they're even still being taught now. And they're special in that respect; we don't introduce different mathematical symbols for different readings, such as "♊a" for "double a" and "♎a" for "half of a". So I guess my first question can be reworded as: Why do math teachers violate Occam's razor here by introducing what amounts to a fifth elementary operation?
How about the second question? Is there anything mathematically worthwhile in ℂ:3 := {n:m:k | n,m,k∈ℂ}? — Sebastian 20:10, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I am not sure I completely understand what you want, but have you looked at homogeneous coordinates for a projective space? —Kusma (t·c) 20:30, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Although their mathematics is the same, the notions of ratio and fraction are somewhat different in usage. Fractions typically connote portions of a single whole,

Two thirds of Americans enjoy consuming peanut butter,

whereas ratios typically connote comparisons of two quantities,

A typical flock of Monstrum spaghetii volante includes one male to every four females.

Of course one can argue that for every ratio there lurks a fraction ("The frequency of males is one fourth that of females"), but that illustrates only that discourse allows several similar ways of expressing things, each of which emphasizes slightly different features. After all, when we consider the portions of a whole, the fraction is not equal to the ratio:

In M. spaghetti volante, a flock is typically one fifth male."

PaulTanenbaum (talk)

One difference is that a ratio is symmetric, in that it can be written either way round and makes sense. This is not true of a fraction when one of the numbers is zero. For example the equation of a line can be written
ax + by + c = 0
The gradient is given by −a / b but it can't be calculated if b is zero. Using a ratio instead for the gradient avoids this problem. This is related to homogeneous coordinates mentioned earlier – that article mentions this particular form of the line equation and it can be thought of as an elementary example of it. It generalises into three and higher dimensions in various ways, and has practical applications in computer graphics with techniques such as Plücker coordinates. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JohnBlackburne (talkcontribs)
Thanks, guys. homogeneous coordinates is what I've been looking for; that answers my second question. As for the first, I guess it's largely been exhausted; what's remaining is not really a mathematical question, but one of didactic method and taste. Personally, I don't see why one can't simply allow a gradient of ±∞, and understand that either value means that the line is parallel to the y axis; that isn't perfect, but it seems better than teaching a new operation. But I'm not a teacher, nor do I have kids who are learning this, so we can just agree to disagree on this. Thanks! — Sebastian 01:19, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Infinity is not a normal number, needs special rules when calculating with it, and so is not included in many number systems. Even when it is there's more than one way to do it; whether it's signed or not in particular gives you two or one infinities respectively.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 18:01, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
That is correct; that's why I wrote "that isn't perfect". My point was that one singularity normally isn't a reason to trow out the baby with the bathwater and define all ratios as non-numbers, which you can't use for any normal calculation. But I'm not on a war path for changing math education; I just am trying to understand and be understood. — Sebastian 01:37, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

Explanation of elliptic curve cryptography[edit]

RSA's operation is straightforward and it can be done by hand with small numbers. I don't understand ECC yet. Can someone explain it to me in a way that someone with third year calculus experience can understand and present a simple example to me? — Melab±1 06:22, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Since you understand RSA, I assume that you will have no trouble understanding the Diffie-Hellman key agreement protocol and the related ElGamal public key cipher. What both cryptographic schemes need is a finite group whose associated discrete logarithm problem is hard. What you'll want from the finite group in addition is that the discrete log problem becomes sufficiently hard without involving arithmetic of numbers that are too large. (The larger the numbers, the slower the arithmetic.) What elliptic curves give you is a way to construct finite groups that (are believed to) have such properties.
Elliptic curves are mathematical objects of certain forms defined over a field. (Basically an elliptic curve is a set of points, or coordinates, that satisfy an equation of a certain form.) The elliptic curves used in cryptography are defined over finite fields. Finite fields are of two kinds: prime fields and finite extensions of prime fields. A prime field is a finite field of prime order, an example of which is {\Bbb Z}_p, where p is prime, together with modular addition and multiplication \mod p. An extension field is constructed from an underlying prime field (the base field) using an irreducible polynomial over the field. If the base field is of characteristic 2, e.g. ({\Bbb Z}_2, +, \cdot), arithmetic over the extension field can be done very efficiently.
Going back to elliptic curves. Once you have an elliptic curve over a finite field, you can construct a finite group out of the the (finite number of) points on the elliptic curve. To do that, you add a point at infinity and you can define an operation, called point addition, that can serve as the group operation for the set of points on the elliptic curve. (See the article on elliptic curves for a geometric illustration of point addition.) Once you have point addition as the group operation, you can define an associated iterated operation, called point multiplication.
If we compare these operations on an elliptic curve with operations over the multiplicative group ({\Bbb Z}_p, \cdot), point addition is the analog of multiplication modulo p; point multiplication is the analog of exponentiation modulo p.
To recap, you start with a finite field. From the finite field you construct an elliptic curve. From the elliptic curve you construct a finite group whose associated discrete log problem is (believed to be) hard. You now have a suitable finite group for use in discrete-log-based cryptographic algorithms, such as Diffie-Hellman.
-- (talk) 05:17, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

inverse of sum of inverses (resistors in parallel)[edit]

hello, out of curiosity, does this formula: 1/(1/a+1/b...), have any significance in maths? Is it perhaps some kind of mean and does it have a name? Asmrulz (talk) 22:50, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Yes, it's the harmonic mean except for a factor of n (the number of resistors). Dbfirs 23:12, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
cool, thanks! Asmrulz (talk) 23:53, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it's called the parallel sum (my user space), and David Ellerman claims it is just as good as the serial sum --catslash (talk) 00:24, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
That sounds a good idea, but the term is already used in other senses. It would be the serial sum for capacitors, of course. Dbfirs 00:49, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Many terms have different meanings in different contexts - and of course this leads to fights on WP as to which is the primary topic. As to capacitors, it depends whether you quantify them by their capacitance or their elastance - aside from convention there is no particular reason for preferring one or the other (which leads to the claim that there is no reason for preferring ordinary serial addition over parallel addition). Of course, if you choose capacitance, then you want the parallel sum for capacitors in series and the serial sum for capacitors in parallel. --catslash (talk) 01:56, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
... or a normal serial sum for resistors in parallel if you quantify them by their conductance. Dbfirs 09:22, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Also, analagously, the sum of resistances to heat transfer in calculating the overall heat transfer coefficient. shoy (reactions) 13:53, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

November 20[edit]

Proving the law of large numbers without defining probability[edit]

Is it possible to prove the law of large numbers without introducing the concept of probability?

This might seem like a strange question, so here's my motivation for asking it. In the frequentist interpretation of probability, the probability that an event E occurs in an experiment is defined as \lim_{N \rightarrow \infty} \frac{N_E}{N}, where N is the number of times the experiment is performed, and N_E is the number of times event E actually occurred in those experiments.

Obviously, this definition presumes that the above limit actually converges, a claim which isn't exactly non-trivial. It's usually stated as the law of large numbers, but the law of large numbers is typically proved only after the concept of probability has already been defined, making the whole thing a bit circular.

I happen to like the frequentist interpretation and would like to salvage it. This could be done if the law of large numbers could be proved without explicitly introducing ideas of probability. Does anyone know how this can be done? Thanks. (talk) 00:09, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

I'd think the law of large numbers is mostly an empirical thing. — Melab±1 03:46, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
No, it isn't. Our article law of large numbers has a bad intro IMO. We can use the LLN as a result of a model of something, and then apply it to some experiment, but the statement and proof of the theorem are just regular pure mathematics. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:29, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
It isn't circular, and you can define probabilities without resorting to the limit you describe (Which does have sort of an empirical feel, and that might explain Melab's comment). For example, I can define the probability of getting heads (H) or tails (T) on a fair coin toss (x) without using any limit statements or invoking LLN: \mathbb{P}(x=H)=1/2, \mathbb{P}(x=T)=1/2 -- see? Maybe you were confused because we can invoke the LLN as a means of justifying a method to estimate a probability when only empirical experiments are available. There's nothing wrong with the frequentist interpretation either. Or rather, it has some problems, but all such interpretations do. The Bayesian approach also has problems, and rather than there being some huge distinction in world views or philosophy of math, people tend to just use whichever framework is most suitable for the problem at hand. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:29, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Sure, you can define the probability that a fair coin lands on heads as \frac{1}{2}, but this definition carries zero content. You might as well define the \mathbb{P}(x=H)=\frac{1}{e}. The fact that we favour one value over another for the probability of a fair coin landing on heads tells us that it is more than a mere definition. (talk) 17:01, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Of course it's just a definition, made up to conform with our notion of "fair". How can you say it has zero content? It fully specifies the probability of the events occurring. Of course, some weighted coin might indeed have 1/e chance of ending up heads, and it's your prerogative if you want to define a certain mathematical probability in that manner. Backing away from this issue: the LLN is a theorem about probability theory, and as such, it depends on axioms of probability. There's really no way around that, and it doesn't entail any specific problem with the frequentist interpretation. You might want to read up on other Probability_interpretations, but all of them have the LLN depending on the same axioms and definitions that compose the classical discrete probability. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:42, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I should further clarify: the different interpretations of probability have to do with how we make inferences about the real world based on mathematical constructs. None of the interpretations change the mathematics of probability. From a mathematics perspective, all probability theory can be constructed axiomatically, and has no technical need for any outside interpretation. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:46, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
We're talking over each other.
Until you define what you mean by "probability", you can't present an argument for why a fair coin should have probability of 1/2 to land on heads. If you try to avoid a discussion of what probability actually is by just defining the probability that a coin lands on heads as 1/2 -- which is what I thought you were doing above -- I would reply that the definition carries zero content. (talk) 01:30, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── If you're still reading, I apologize for the confusion. You're right, I defined a specific probability without really defining what a probability really is. There is a bit of a break between the machinery necessary to define the probability associated with discrete outcomes and finite numbers of experiments, compared to the way we define probabilities for the continuous case or for an infinite number of coin tosses. The former can be done relatively simply, but the latter is somewhat difficult. See probability axioms for the latter case. Rigorously defining "probability" in a general and axiomatic way is rather recent, and was only completed by Kolmogorov. Prior to that, people had been a little fast and loose with the foundations, and perhaps that is what you are picking up on. But to do all this rigorously means some time has to be spent constructing measure theory, and few people outside a graduate program in math will go that far. Anyway, the treatment of defining probability axiomatically as described in our article doesn't depend on any notion of LLN or the limit statements you have at the top. It is not circular, though it may often be presented in a semi-circular fashion if the students and instructor don't have the time and background to go through Lebesgue measure and all that. Does that help answer your question? SemanticMantis (talk) 14:37, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

See Principle of indifference why the probability for heads and tails should be equal. Bo Jacoby (talk) 22:48, 20 November 2014 (UTC).

\frac{N_E}{N} is the probability that a randomly chosen one among the N experiments was E.
\frac{1+N_E}{2+N} is the probability that the next experiment will be E.

Bo Jacoby (talk) 09:28, 21 November 2014 (UTC).

edit on[edit]

I changed 1/2 ( x vector dot p vector) for Cint equation to - 1/2 ( x vector dot p vector ). I'm pretty sure this is correct by experiment but hope I could get someone to confirm the edit is correct.

PLEASE disregard. +1/2 is correct. Satisfied by using 1/2 in corrected experiment.

I guess I'll mark this
, also please remember to sign posts with four tildes, like this: ~~~~ SemanticMantis (talk) 16:15, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Integration by parts[edit]

Why is it sometimes necessary to integrate twice using integration by parts? For example, when calculating the response to a unit step function in vibration theory, duhanel integral is used. In many of these cases integration by parts is used twice but what is the mathematical reasoning behind this? (talk) 19:27, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

I put this question in a new section, which will happen automatically if you use the button at the top of the page. Have you read our article on integration by parts? If you can follow it, it gives a proof of why that formula is the correct formula. It just depends on the product rule and the fundamental theorem of calculus. It's just sort of the inverse of the product rule. If you don't understand the proof, tell us where you are stuck and we might be able to help further. SemanticMantis (talk)

Minimum angle between edges of a circle in a grid[edit]

I completely messed up this question a few days ago. I was going to reply back in the mess I made, but thought it better to give this a fresh start and state my solution - in case it is easier to make it better...

This problem takes place in a grid. It is pixels on a computer screen. Each is a square. The coordinate 0,0 is the center of the grid. It is the center of the pixel in the center of the grid. That is important to note. 0,0 is not the corner shared by four pixels. It is the center pixel itself. 0,1 is the pixel directly above 0,0. 1,0 is the pixel directly to the right of 0,0.

The goal is find the maximum angle increment that if I make a circle beginning at 0,r (for an integer radius r) and consider that an angle of 0 radians, I will step around the circle, in increments of the angle increment, filling in the pixel that is touched by the edge of the circle. The algorithm for drawing the circle is:

  • Let a=0 (angle in radians - this is where I messed up before. I called the angle r)
  • Let i be the increment
  • Draw a line from 0,0 that is r units long (a unit is the width of a pixel) at an angle a where 0 radians is straight up to 0,r, 0.5PI is at r,0, PI is at 0,-r, 0.75PI is at -r,0, and 2PI is back to 0,r.
    • I hope I got that right. A circle is 2PI radians, right?
  • Increment a by i and go back to the previous step until a>=2PI

My solution is very much a cheat. I create an image that is r by r pixels. I draw a quarter arc on it using the graphics libraries in the computer program. I then create another image that is r by r pixels. I draw a single dot at 0,r, increment a, draw the next dot wherever that angle places the line, increment a again, and draw. I keep incrementing until a>0.5PI. Then, I compare the image I drew to the original one. If I missed a pixel, the increment needs to be smaller.

One suggestion was that the increment must be the angle between the 0,r and 1,r from 0,0. I don't think that is actually the maximum i that still allows every pixel around the edge of the circle to be touched. (talk) 21:07, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Borrowed from Bresenham's circle algorithm to help clarify the question.
Are these old contest problems available for us to view online? I ask because the precise statement of the problem is still not clear to me, and I was hoping to see the official wording. -- ToE 21:51, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Or perhaps you can clarify it directly by saying if the pixels shaded in the image to the right are sufficient, even though there are several which do intersect the circle (their corners are clipped) but are not shaded? -- ToE 22:52, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
They are old contest problems (from the ACM programming competition). This is one that I technically got correct, but I didn't like my solution. I haven't been able to find it online which is why I'm planning to use it for the upcoming end-of-semester competition. I didn't realize the sublety of this that you noted. The problem (from memory) stated that a complete circle must be drawn such that there is no gap. So, your image meets the requirement even though there are pixels touched by the circle's outline that are not shaded. That will increase the complication of writing the problem. If you don't mind, I will be stealing that image. (talk) 00:51, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
The standard solution to this problem is to use the property that for a circle, x^2+y^2 = r^2. You can solve this for y and use it to draw 1/8th of a circle, from the top down to 45 degrees from the top. The other 7 parts can be generated by mirroring twice (so you get two quarter circles, one on top, one on the bottom) and then exchanging the axes for the remaining two quarters left and right. If you do it that way, your angle of the circle will never be more than 45 degrees, so you will never miss a pixel on the y axis when you step along the x axis. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 01:06, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
If you needed every pixed which intersects the circle in the slightest to be shaded, then I suspect that not only will there not be a simple formula for i in terms of r, but there won't even be a simple formula for a positive lower bound for i based on r. For some r, the circle will just happen to clip one pixel so close to the edge that i will have to be very small in order to touch that pixel and its 7 mirror images, but for r one larger or one smaller a much larger i would be suitable. Perhaps someone here can speak to the mathematics behind this pseudorandom(?) behavior.
But if the goal is simply no gap, and this is satisfied by corner touching, then it is much easier. Note that any two points which are at most 1 unit apart are either in the same pixel or on neighboring pixels (an 8-neighbor that is, sharing either sides or corners). So, what increment i yields points which are at most 1 unit apart on the circle? An easy answer is to let i = 1/r, because the distance along a the arc of a circle of radius r separated by θ radians is . So two points on your circle separated by i radians are ri = r(1/r) = 1 unit apart along the arc. We are interested in straight line distances, so we can tighten it up a bit by measuring along the chord. Do the trig and you will find that an increment of i = 2 arcsin(1/(2r)) = 2 arccsc(2r) will give you points exactly 1 unit apart. Either considering this geometrically or looking at the infinite series expansion for arccsc, it is clear that for large r, 2 arccsc(2r) ≈ 1/r, approaching 1/r from above (so it is a slight better, as in larger, increment, but not by much).
I suspect that, in practice, this will be the best, simple answer. In theory, a slightly larger i should work for most r, because the pixels present their smallest diameter when viewed from the origin) along the axes, and you are already starting in the middle of the pixel there, so you could afford a slightly larger increment and still catch neighboring pixels as you worked along the first 45°. But your algorithm does not stop there and mirror the results. It instead continues around the full circle, passing in the vicinity of the axes several more time, risking skipping a pixel along the way. Still, if you solved this numerically for each r, you should find values for i slightly larger than 2 arccsc(2r), but that, or simply 1/r, offer a good lower bound for i.
Your solution was ingenious, but it does have some problems. Look at the diagram and note the pixel with the dot at 45°. If the pixel below it was shaded, instead of the one below and to the right, that would still be a valid pixelated circle. So there are some value of i which will give a valid result, but will fail your test because it won't match the circle drawn by you graphics library. Back to the diagram, if the pixel below the 45° dotted pixel was shaded in addition to the one below and to the right, then that is still a valid pixelated circle, just not a minimal one. Once you get your i small enough, you will be picking up additional pixels not needed by the 8-neighbor no-gap rule. If you are testing your result against that drawn by the graphics library for equality, this could be a problem as your algorithm may never find a solution for some r, but if you are just testing that you didn't miss any of their pixels (as you stated), then that should be OK. Finally, it is possible that you might happen upon an i for some r which is slightly larger than 2 arccsc(2r), and which works for the first 45°, but fails at some point in the following 315°. -- ToE 11:50, 21 November 2014 (UTC) I □ pixels.

If each pixel has 8 neighbors (N NE E SE S SW W NW), then a king can follow a curve of pixels. Such a set of pixels may be called a king-curve. If each pixel has 4 neighbors (N E S W), then a rook can follow a curve of pixels. Such a set of pixels may be called a rook-curve. King-curves without common pixels may cross one another, but a king-curve and a rook-curve without common pixels do not cross. You may define that each pixel has 6 neighbors (N NE SE S SW NW) like in chinese checkers. Chinese-checkers-curves without common pixels do not cross. The coordinates to the pixels may be

(x , y) = (3 i , √3 j)

where i and j are integers and where i+j is even. Bo Jacoby (talk) 19:38, 21 November 2014 (UTC).

November 21[edit]

Integration by parts involving e and sin[edit]

How do you solve an integral that includes a function including e multiplied by a function including sin. I keep having to integrate by parts over and over again and it doesn't get me anywhere as e just differentiates and integrates to itself. (talk) 10:37, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Often, after a few iterations you get back the integral you started with. Then you treat this integral as a variable and solve the equation for it. At other times, the best solution you can find is an infinite series. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 12:34, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Have you tried expressing the sin as the sum of complex exponentials? See Euler's formula and the section relation to trigonometry. p,s, you can see the integral of an exponential multiplied by sin at List of integrals of exponential functions, but then you wouldn't have the fun of doing it yourself would you ;-) Dmcq (talk) 13:06, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I wouldn't normally do it but one of the yahoo answers pages really looks good on this. (talk) 16:05, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
To elaborate on Meni Rosenfeld's method:
\int e^x \sin(x) dx = -e^x \cos(x) + \int e^x \cos(x) dx = -e^x \cos(x) + e^x \sin (x) - \int e^x \sin(x) dx
Then add \int e^x \sin(x) dx to the left side:
2\int e^x \sin(x) dx = -e^x \cos(x) +e^x \sin(x)
\int e^x\sin(x) dx = \frac{-e^x \cos(x) + e^x \sin(x)}{2} + C
This is often taught in math textbooks as "solving for the unknown integral" and is applicable to any integral of this form.--Jasper Deng (talk) 18:41, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Abs Value Inequality Question[edit]

I'm trying to follow a proof that takes a jump I can't see. It says "it follows from |f(x) - L| < 1 that |f(x)| < |L| + 1." I can work out -1 < f(x) - L < 1, then get f(x) < L + 1 from the middle and right terms, then reason since L is always less than or equal to |L|, that f(x) < |L| + 1. But how from here can I get to saying the absolute value of f(x) is less? Peter Michner (talk) 16:59, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

One way is to use the fact that |f(x) - L| = |L - f(x)|, giving you |L - f(x)| < 1, then repeat what you did before. Another is to take the left and middle terms your -1 < f(x) - L < 1 and multiply both of those side by -1, changing the sign of all terms and reversing the inequality. I'll give more than a hint if you wish, but I thought you might enjoy working it out here yourself. -- ToE 17:40, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Alternately, just use the triangle inequality directly. This is often expressed as |x + y| ≤ |x| + |y|, but by substituting x = a - b and y = b, you get |a| ≤ |a - b| + |b| which you can rearrange as |a| - |b| ≤ |a - b|. Apply that to your formula and you get |f(x)| - |L| ≤ |f(x) - L| < 1. Take the left and right terms, |f(x)| - |L| < 1, and add |L| to both sides. -- ToE 17:52, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I see that |a| - |b| ≤ |a - b| is part of what is called the reverse triangle inequality. -- ToE 18:04, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

November 22[edit]

Barbie and birthday problem[edit]

I just read this paragraph from our article on Barbie:

"In July 1992, Mattel released Teen Talk Barbie, which spoke a number of phrases including 'Will we ever have enough clothes?', 'I love shopping!', and 'Wanna have a pizza party?' Each doll was programmed to say four out of 270 possible phrases, so that no two dolls were likely to be the same."

Is it really true that no two dolls were likely to be the same? It seems that there are 270 choose 4 = 216,546,345 combinations of phrases that each Barbie could say. According to this formula for the generalized birthday problem, if more than sqrt(2C*ln2)=17,327 dolls are issued where C=216,546,345, there would be more than 50% chance that two dolls say the same thing. Is this calculation correct? If so, it seems our article needs fixing (or Mattel made a mistake--but I assume they can calculate basic probabilities, whatever their other flaws). --Bowlhover (talk) 06:51, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

You're right if the four phrases for each doll is chosen randomly. However a manufacturer could choose them sequentially from the whole 216 million possibilities, thus making a same set coincidence 'almost impossible'. --CiaPan (talk) 09:51, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
I think Bowlhover's idea of most people's ability to calculate what he or she calls basic probabilities is exaggerated. There's a reason why the birthday problem is commonly called the "birthday paradox": most people don't have an intuition for it, and the same would apply with the dolls. And I don't think Mattel would have called in a mathematician just to justify a claim like that. Also, in any case, whoever wrote "no two dolls" might well really have intended it to mean no two dolls that, in practice, people would compare. -- (talk) 10:08, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps they used Apples pseudo-random algorithm (as for ipod shuffle etc) which guarantees no repeats until 216,546,345 dolls have been manufactured. As CiaPan mentions above, the Birthday paradox doesn't apply unless the choice algorithm was close to truly random. Dbfirs 10:32, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
The source for the passage in our Barbie article states that "a computer chip... randomly selects four phrases for each doll" (4 from 269, after they removed the phrase "math class is tough" from the list of possible phrases after complaints) [39] As to whether the 'chip' was a genuine random-number generator, rather than the more usual quasi-random hardware or software, it doesn't say - the latter could have gone into a loop quite soon, depending on the sophistication of the design, as true randomness isn't something you can program, or create with ordinary digital hardware. A genuine random-number generator would of course give the results that the birthday paradox predicts (assuming they filtered out the cases where the same phrase was picked for a given doll), but I'd be wary of assuming they used one. AndyTheGrump (talk) 10:40, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that's just 213338251 different combinations of the 269 phrases. Didn't Steve Jobs say something like "iPods are now less random in order to seem random" when the Apple algorithm was changed to shuffle a playlist quite a few years ago? As Andy says, we can't assume what type of algorithm Mattel used, so I've changed the article to read "no two given dolls were likely to be the same" in case they did use a cheap "random" chip. Dbfirs 11:20, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
The 'chip' dates to 1992 or earlier too - which might have made it less sophisticated than Apple's current efforts. I'm fairly sure that the principles of good quasi-random number generator design had been figured out by then, but actually implementing them rather than something simpler and 'near enough' for Barbie might not have seemed worth the effort. AndyTheGrump (talk) 11:36, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Actually, on checking, I think I may have got the terminology wrong here quasi-randomness appears to be something slightly different from pseudorandomness - though I'll leave it to the mathematicians here to explain the difference. AndyTheGrump (talk) 11:42, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
The birthday paradox applies when comparing a large set of Barbies all at once. If one brought 17K Barbies into a single room (the mind boggles), there is a good chance two of them have the same set of four phrases. But the article is talking about two Barbies at a time, as when two children bring their Barbies together for a play date. The chance that two Barbies brought together have the same set of phrases is small; using the rule of thumb in the birthday problem article, the probability that the pair has the same phrase set is  p \approx 2^2/(2*216,546,345) \approx 9.2\times 10^{-9}. --Mark viking (talk) 11:44, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
The "so that no two dolls were likely to be the same" phrase is not in the cited source, nor was it in earlier versions of the Wikipedia article which said, "so chances were good that no two dolls owned by a girl or her friends would be exactly the same". The change was made in good faith by Ianmacm in this October 2006 edit, which was part of a string of edits they did tightening up the text. A web search shows that our new, mathematically questionable phrasing now appears in many sources, such as William C. Harris's 2008 book, An Integrated Architecture for a Networked Robotics Laboratory Using an Asynchronous Distance Learning Network Tool. -- ToE 12:21, 22 November 2014 (UTC)


November 17[edit]

Cold War question[edit]

Why was Africa more of a Cold War battleground than Asia? --SolliGwaa (talk) 08:00, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

I think you may have the question backwards.
There's no overstating just how bombed Laos alone got, nevermind Vietnam and Afghanistan. Not to say Angola, Namibia and the rest weren't bad, but the casualties were way lower. InedibleHulk (talk) 08:59, November 17, 2014 (UTC)
SolliGwaa -- I'm not sure that the premise of your question is correct (see the Korean war, the Vietnam war, the "year of living dangerously" in Indonesia, etc.). The only direct proxy wars in Africa that I know about, where the U.S. and USSR very closely supported the contending sides, were the Angolan Civil War and the 1973 Arab-Israeli war (the second only peripherally African). (In the Somalia-Ethiopia conflicts, the two sides probably would have fought regardless of superpower alignments, which were in any case rather variable.) AnonMoos (talk) 09:05, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Well, we consulted the community, and ...?[edit]

Hi all, I've often heard politicians and the like telling us that some new program or other is the result of extensive consultation with "the community" (scare quotes intentional). Yet I've never heard any examples of them telling us exactly what they learnt from the community. Sure, if you put a road through a school, you're going to have to ask lots of questions about how people are affected, but that is a big, clear example. What about for vaguer processes like new legislation (eg. road safety, workplace relations etc)? It seems specific representative groups would know particular problems that would arise, but "the community" would be rather vague and diffuse, and have much less of an idea. Does anyone know of a case when the politicians etc. got back to us about what the community actually said? Thanks, IBE (talk) 09:19, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

You seem not to realise that the new politicians' meaning of "consult" is "tell". HiLo48 (talk) 09:24, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Very funny, but I've come across cases where it's more about saying "we have already consulted the community" to avoid bothering with a problem, even when it seems to have little to do with their own opinions. I'm trying to avoid discussing specific gripes, though, so I'm just hoping to hear when they have actually got back to us with some content. IBE (talk) 10:03, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
If "us" is part of "the community", they should already know what they said. If "us" is a separate community, what the other said isn't important, at least in local politics.
Anyway, after consulting with the janitorial community, Jim Eglinski says he learned that Canadians don't want to take up "those" positions.
"Eglinski understands that Yellowhead is a large region and has nine major communities, approximately 15 smaller hamlets and roughly 150 community halls, but reassures constituents comments will always reach his ears." (Emphasis mine.) InedibleHulk (talk) 11:46, November 17, 2014 (UTC)
No idea who this is, by the way. Just happens to have an election today and he used the right Google keywords. InedibleHulk (talk) 11:51, November 17, 2014 (UTC)
In the interest of fairness, Ryan Heinz Maguhn will not only assure, but "ensure that voters in Yellowhead have a strong voice to represent them in Ottawa on important issues. I look forward to engaging residents in our communities, and earning their trust, over the course of the by-election campaign.”
Eric Rosendahl, even if he loses, will "“wake up the next morning, and keep working; I’ll keep driving the bus. I’ll keep doing what I can to support and fight for our community in whatever way I can." So there's absolutely no need to actually elect him. InedibleHulk (talk) 11:57, November 17, 2014 (UTC)
Dean Williams is independent, so his opinion doesn't matter, but he calls "this" pathetic politicking. InedibleHulk (talk) 14:06, November 17, 2014 (UTC)
IBE, I think you're in the UK. You could simply ask your local authority to tell you about some recent consultations that have been carried out. On planning issues, they would, for example, need to bring the results of the consultation to the meeting of the planning committee where the decision is made. The interesting thing is that despite there being a lot of mechanisms in place supposedly to ensure that "the community" is consulted - and consultation exercises costing the public money, the authorities still seem to end up doing what they intended to do all along. Itsmejudith (talk) 12:49, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
In the London Borough of Waltham Forest, there was a programme of introducing "resident only" parking (in London, the only place to park your car is often in the road outside your house). In at least two areas of the borough, the consultation resulted in the residents rejecting the council's proposals and the scheme wasn't implemented in that area [40]. So local consultation does work, at least sometimes. Alansplodge (talk) 13:47, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
They normally put letters on lampposts, and for major changes, in some of the local shops, or even through your door. There should be a public meeting a school/churchhall etc, but they are run by spin-doctors. ---- CS Miller (talk)
Australia's Department of Education had some questions for Armadale, Geraldton and Fremantle. Here are the answers.
Josh Matlow doesn't say why this consultation was cancelled, but looks forward to delivering a new flyer soon. In the meantime, he offers the old flyer online.
In 2012, the Dyfed-Powys police did a 56% good job. Residents there want police to be visible, behaviour to be social and crime to be unrelated to drugs. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:12, November 17, 2014 (UTC)
Nowadays, they recruit Ceredigion Dogwatchers to keep an eye on the local scene. Anything suspicious will do. They say you can remain anonymous, but offer a free fridge magnet and keychain "advertising the scheme". Also a free "blinking" collar light. Their quotes, no idea if it actually blinks. The other three counties have no such program, or are better at staying incognito. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:31, November 17, 2014 (UTC)
To give examples from NZ, see e.g. the consultations by the NZTA [41]. If you look at the closed list, and click on some of the older examples, you may find a summary of the consultations. E.g. [42]. Others ones aren't there even though the consultation long closed and perhaps the page even says there should be a summary available. (Not all of these are directed at the general community although I think it's rare you'll be rejected although you may be ignored.) You could try searching, or failing that, emailing. It does seem to be that case that although there's a list of the consultations, there isn't one of the summaries. That said, since we're talking about a governmental agency, it may be sometimes the summary is intended more for politicans rather than the community anyway (although in most cases you can still get it, unless they claim there is a good reason to hide it, e.g. by making a request under the Official Information Act 1982). You can find other examples, e.g. [43].

The second example was actually local government, of sorts. To give a recent complicated example from local government, look at the stuff relating to the Auckland Unitary Plan such as [44] and [45]. You can also look at the submissions themselves [46] (I think because of complexity, these at least have standards forms that were used I believe). You can see a far simpler example here [47]. If you want more info, you can look at the reports submitted to council [48] (from that, you probably realise you want to see attachment 1 [49]). Actually as another commentator mention, I think you'll often find the info, or at least find out what to look for, in the various council and committee meeting reports etc, e.g. [50]. Many of these are mostly held in public.

If you're talking about parliamentary legislation, you'll get a select committee report e.g. [51] (from [52]). The submissions themselves are often available.

As an aside, you do sometimes get submissions with limited formatting, no use of caps etc which I find funny at time. I couldn't find great examples but e.g. [53] [54] [55] [56]. I initially was looking at a different place but although I did find these mildly amusing particularly the first one where the file was a copy [57] [58] [59] [60] [61] [62] [63] [64] [65] [66] [67], none of them seemed that bad, perhaps because most submitters were teachers. I then moved on to an famous internet bill, although as shown I didn't really find anything that bad. I've definitely seen some with basically no caps, and like a typical email some people send, I suspect parliament is helped by the fact it is parliament and also that you need to send a file rather than simply an email.

I had more of a look, I didn't quite find that but I did find [68] [69] (the second one is formatted fine but it I'm not totally sure if the person realised they were making a submission which would be published). For BLP reasons, I won't name any specific examples but some of these and some I saw but didn't include were IMO a bit wacky. I'm sure you'll find far sillier submissions if you look.

P.S. I can't comment on the specifics elsewhere, but you'll notice from some of these and further examples like [70] and [71], that the consultation is not necessarily with the community depending on the specific issue being consulted on. Also while some of these are fairly wide ranging, none of them are as wide ranging as those examples you mentioned. While such consultations may happen on occasion they're generally far less common that the more everyday run of the mill consultation so aren't so easy to find. Perhaps [72] is not so far from your second example, but it doesn't have any review yet. Well I think a report will be prepared, but I'm not certain. As said on that page, that's for the regulations, the bill itself will definitely have a select committee report although it's not available yet [73] [74]. Actually looking at the earlier example, although it's in a form I did come across [75] which is a sort of an example I was referring to earlier.

Nil Einne (talk) 02:46, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Keep those links coming, but thanks to everyone. I'm downloading and working through some of these things, because you've generally turned up a gold mine. So the politicians are much clearer than I was expecting, but it seems unsurprisingly like a lot of it is very vague and fluffy, eg. in Geraldton, they want a school that "provides programs that cater for all students’ abilities and interests". Every single student? There are many ways to interpret something like this, and claim that a concern has been addressed. Not that I want to get into those polemics, just wanting to let you know it's engaging me in exactly the way I was hoping. IBE (talk) 03:25, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Speaking of schools, I also came across a community consultation report from a school here [76]. Edit: Actually I see you're referring to something similar. This clarifies some confusion as I had thought that the "provides programs that cater for all students’ abilities and interests" was a random comment made by someone during consultation (in which case, while it may suggest the consultation wasn't that useful, it isn't exactly the schools fault, except perhaps if it's suggested they didn't have sufficiently structured consultation). In a case like [77] where it was one of the specific questions asked, it obviously is the responsibility for whoever doing the consultation. Nil Einne (talk) 03:36, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

After consulting with Elections Canada, I can declare with some degree of certainty that fewer than one in five of you care about who rules Yellowhead. Voter turnout "could near" a historic low, one in five community members. Whether Eglinski considers the other 80% eligible for his Always Reach My Ears Plan or focuses his meetings on the 20% with political interests (or the 10+% with Conservative interests) to cabalistically ensure what reaches his ears reverberates in Ottawa, to mix with the other 99.7% of MP power, remains to be seen.

Whether Eric Rosendahl indeed woke up and kept driving the bus today is also unclear. What is clear is Canada is now one small step closer to universally poor foreigners, modernized forests and an anonymous omniscient overlord to replace the one in our national anthem. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:28, November 18, 2014 (UTC)

November 18[edit]

Side vent windows on cars[edit]

I am curious... What was the last brand and year model of car to feature the little triangular "vent" windows between the door windows and the windscreen? Blueboar (talk) 03:24, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

We used to call them "wing windows", and the article Quarter glass implies that there are still some cars that have them. They had pretty much disappeared from mass-market cars by the early or mid 1970s. The article opines that it was to give a "streamlined" look. While that may be true, it might also have to do with the much wider use of air conditioning in cars. The nice thing about the wing window was that you could get some air to flow through without having to lower your main window and deal with a torrent when driving at high speeds. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:53, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Regional divide for political affiliations in Romania[edit]

said divide

What is the region for the regional divide in political affiliations in Romania? I've provided a map to the right which clearly illustrates said divide.

Example of what I'm looking for in other countries:

  • The US divide is most strongly correlated to rural/urban, religious/irreligious, and white/non-white.
  • Canada's divide (File:Canada 2011 Federal Election.svg) is most strongly correlated to rural/urban and minority status (including both French-speakers and First Nations peoples).

Magog the Ogre (t c) 04:05, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Hi Magog the Ogre, the main divides in Romania are ethnically based: Romanian 83.4%, Hungarian 6.1%, Roma 3.1%. Uhlan talk 04:25, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
A 9.2% minority alone isn't enough to explain that strong of a regional difference. It looks to be a 30-40 point swing between the most extreme regions. Magog the Ogre (t c) 04:35, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Depends if the minorities live exclusively in the regions that voted differently from the majority and if the population density is lower in these regions, then the regional divide could make sense. --Lgriot (talk) 15:12, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Looks like quite a clear divide between Transylvania on the one side and Wallachia and Moldavia on the other. DuncanHill (talk) 16:19, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
I agree. The division corresponds strongly with the parts of Romania that used to be part of Hungary, with votes for Hunor in the areas with very high ethnic Hungarian population (map) (and for Székely Land with low historic turnout ref). GDP and 1966 population and relief may also be of interest.
I don't know why this particular election showed such a strong divide but Iohannis was the mayor of Sibiu, which has been doing very well, and he is a German Romanian in an area where they have a reputation for being less corrupt and more efficient than other politicians ref. I would speculate that because in the campaign there was the perception that Ponta was trying to exclude the Romanian diaspora from voting ref and he made a point of stressing the centenary in 2018 ref that this didn't go down so well in Transylvania. JMiall 17:24, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Books on the admission of new states to the U.S.A.[edit]

What books treat the topic of admission of new states to the United States? (History, Constitutional and other law, politics, chronology, geography, whatever.) Michael Hardy (talk) 04:32, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

This is probably not exactly what you are looking for, but How the States Got Their Shapes touches upon the subject as it describes how each state determined its boundary lines. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 05:00, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it's not a book, but How the States Got Their Shapes is a most excellent series, from which I have learned a lot more than any one history book on the subject. I'll have to find a book my mother had which my honors history professor endorsed highly, and get back to you. μηδείς (talk) 05:16, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Actually, How the States Got Their Shapes is a book. The television series was based on the book by Mark Stein. There is a link to the book on the article about the series.    → Michael J    05:38, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it is a book (an excellent read, as someone below pointed out). There is also a "Part Two" to that original book. The Part Two book is titled How the States Got Their Shapes, Too, with the sub-title of "The People Behind the Borderlines". Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:30, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
A major reason the series (and presumably the book) How the States Got Their Shapes is so good is that it goes into a lot more than just the obvious. The shapes and other characteristics of the states (including the circumstances in which they entered the Union) may seem arbitrary when you look at a map, but they are very specific and made total sense at the times they happened. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:41, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Baseball Bugs: yes, you hit the nail on the head. I agree 100% with your post. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 20:49, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

A skimpy article: Admission to the Union. 2601:2:4D00:27B:2809:1B6A:2034:AB98 (talk) 05:40, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

See also, Manifest Destiny and Territorial expansion of the United States. μηδείς (talk) 21:09, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Why is Western Europe poorer than USA?[edit]

Question moved from the Science desk to the Humanities desk. -- Ariel. (talk) 06:43, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

I've seen GDP per capita statistics through time. Although some small Western European countries like Norway and Switzerland are much richer than the USA, the majority are poorer. The WE average seems to have been 75-85% of USA GDP per capita since before WW2. What are the biggest contributors to this difference? Many thanks, (talk) 00:35, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

It would be easy to say that America is richer because it is bigger, but remember that Germany is the world's fourth largest economoy and it is tiny compared to the United States.Uhlan talk 07:15, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
fewer natural resources, population density, wars on home soil, not as interested in money, longer holidays, etc etc. What's this got to do with Science? Greglocock (talk) 02:09, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
The IP was correct in placing his question here, this is not the science section of the Reference Desk. Uhlan talk 07:13, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
GDP does have flaws when comparing different cultures. Some productive tasks may or may not be included in GDP and the percent of these tasks which are registered in the GDP may change with culture. A person who cooks their own meals, grows their own vegetables, takes care of their own children, and fixes their own car will have a lower GDP than someone who spends more time working to afford to pay others to do these tasks. Then you have the Informal sector where people are employed but not being reported to the government, for example, paying cash to a mechanic who never reports working for you. The USA has a small informal sector relative to their GDP compared to European nations meaning that Europeans have a larger economy then it seems by GDP charts. (talk) 07:30, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Hang on, who says it is? Have you done a direct income vs cost-of-living comparison etc? Also include costs not immediately obvious, such as health insurance and other things you don't need in the sensible European countries.
He means the official GDP requirements. Uhlan talk 08:27, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Regarding "richer because it is bigger": no, the OP clearly meant a comparison based on GDP per capita not on total GDP. Contact Basemetal here 09:18, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Historically, a major turning point was WW1. Britain, France, and Germany all lost a significant fraction of a generation in the trenches, and, of course there was massive destruction of infrastructure and property. After-the-war arrangements further reinforced this damage situation, with reparations on the one hand further destroying infrastructure, and on the other hand competing with local production. WW2 was the second massive blow - the US was a bit more involved, but again, compared to central Europe, was very much sheltered. After WW2, the US clearly emerged as the economic powerhouse on the planet. It also helps that the US has comparatively good natural conditions - very defensible borders, a very large territory even compared to population, and plenty of natural resources. However, one should also look at the Gini coefficient. You are comparing the GDP per head, i.e. average. Another way to look at this would be to look at the median income, and compare that. I suspect that the difference will shrink quite a bit - Europe is, on average, much more egalitarian than the US, and a few Gates or Buffets shift the average up without doing much for the median. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 10:42, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
  • An incidental (and elementary) question: How is GDP affected by material destruction? Suppose a building is destroyed. You clearly have a loss of "total wealth" in whatever country that building was located. But that in itself will not affect the GDP unless it may affect it positively in case someone was actually paid to destroy that building, right? Now if a building is built to replace the building that was destroyed the "total wealth" will be unaffected but the GDP will show an increase? Is any of this (in)correct? Thanks. Unforgivable as it is, I am an economic dunce. Contact Basemetal here 12:14, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
See Parable of the broken window. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 14:58, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Also, if the building housed businesses, there's the loss of GDP from workers who can't work there any more. StuRat (talk) 15:11, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Yes but "loss of GDP" does not mean "negative increase". Correct? As by definition GDP can only be positive. GDP is, if I understand correctly, a measure of "value added" resulting from the economic activity of a country. But destruction of value is not taken into account. Correct? It may have consequences in terms of loss of opportunity (as in the example StuRat gives) and so a lack of growth that would otherwise have happened, but it is not directly taken into account. Correct? Contact Basemetal here 17:35, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

I actually had several ideas when I asked this question, I would like to know if they have any impact on the difference at all: (a) The brain drain of educated people from Europe to America (who often had free education!), and America's skimming of brains from every country on Earth (b) America's cultural homogenity and single language. Does this make marketing easier and does it make the labour force more flexible? I know translation is expensive and there can be cultural barriers to even the best translation. (c) America's political unity. The EU may have no barriers on trade, but laws and technical standards still differ between European countries. Do Americans need nearly as much support to expand their businesses into a new state? I'd be interested in hearing how relevant these hypothesises of mine are.-- (talk) 14:45, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Communism may also have pulled Western European economies down a bit, too. In the case of Germany, there's the direct effect on former Eastern Germany. For the rest of Western Europe, there's the loss of trade for decades during the Cold War and the later economic cost of absorbing Eastern European nations into the EU. StuRat (talk) 15:15, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
That's why a few pundits in 1989 mused that West Germany might rebuild the wall to keep East Germany from dragging down the reunited country. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:37, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

In my opinion this difference comes down mainly to the limitations of per capita GDP as a measure. Do we really believe that citizens of the Republic of Ireland are much more wealthy than citizens of the UK? (Obviously, they have a beautiful natural environment, rich cultural heritage etc., but materially wealthier?) Itsmejudith (talk) 18:15, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

As others have said, high US GDP per capita overstates the median standard of living because GDP per capita is a mean, skewed upward since a much higher share of GDP goes to the top US earners, after taxes, than in European countries. Because government services are factored into GDP based on their cost of delivery, whereas private-sector services are calculated based on the prices paid by producers and consumers, the GDPs of countries, like the US, with much smaller public sectors are skewed upward in international comparisons. The share of GDP deriving from healthcare is much higher in the United States than in most European countries mainly because in the United States, the private sector has a much larger role in delivering these services than in Europe, and private healthcare services are factored into GDP by their price rather than their cost or actual value. There is also the fact that the US healthcare system has much higher costs with poorer outcomes than European healthcare systems. Because only the cost of government services figures into GDP, healthcare makes a much smaller contribution to European GDPs relative to the actual value of those largely government-delivered services. Because the government accounts for a larger share of GDP in European countries, their GDPs are probably understated relative to US GDP as a measure of the actual standard of living in European countries. So, I don't think we can really accept the premise of the question, that Western European countries are poorer than the United States, at least in terms of the median standard of living. Marco polo (talk) 18:56, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
In response to Itsmejudith, the same dynamic is at play when comparing the Republic of Ireland to the UK as when comparing the United States to Western Europe. Government accounts for 18% of Ireland's GDP, compared to 22% of the UK's GDP, according to these data from the World Bank. Unlike the UK, Ireland has a large private healthcare system, and spending on healthcare in Ireland exceeds the EU average. On the other hand, there is huge regional variation in income and standard of living within the UK. Aside from some low-income urban enclaves, the South East of England, including London, is much better off than the rest of the UK. If you live in the South East, you may be familiar with a standard of living that is comparable to or higher than that in the Republic of Ireland. However, the Republic's median standard of living may exceed that in the North of England, Wales, or Northern Ireland. Marco polo (talk) 21:28, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Who first said this?[edit]

I have seen something like the following stated a number of times (I am paraphrasing):

  • Two poor men, one American and one European, are walking down the street and see a rich man drive by in a fancy car. The American says: "Some day, I will own a fancy car like that". The European says: "Some day I will make that rich bastard get out and walk like the rest of us."

Looking for the original reference. Blueboar (talk) 15:34, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

It must have been an Englishman and a Tory voter. Or Tony Blair. As those people are even more inclined to moronically stereotype Europeans than Americans themselves. It was they who coined the phrase 'the politics of envy', wasn't it? Just trying to help. Contact Basemetal here 16:30, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
It's a common enough trope. Ayn Rand could have said it, but didn't in those terms, so far as I am aware. She asked, given you had the same wealth and comfort in each situation, would you rather be the richest man in a poor country, or the poorest man in a rich country, and argues the latter is the far better state. This would have been in her essay on Rawls in Philosophy, Who Needs It? Wikiquotes does allow sorting by key words, so you can try car walk and bastard and see what you get. μηδείς (talk) 19:10, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
"In the United States, you look at the guy that lives in the mansion on the hill, and you think, you know, one day, if I work really hard, I could live in that mansion. In Ireland, people look up at the guy in the mansion on the hill and go, one day, I'm going to get that bastard.". Not telling yet who this was. Any guesses? (No cheating) Contact Basemetal here 10:09, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I cheated. How apropos! μηδείς (talk) 20:57, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Group projects / group work[edit]

I wasn't sure where to post this (Humanities, Science, or Mathematics). I arbitrarily decided on this page, but if it's better suited elsewhere, just let me know. I am wondering if there is any research (or even, simply, theories) about what constitutes the "ideal" size when forming groups. There must be some information, data, and/or research in terms of: what size is the most efficient, most productive, and most effective; what size is ideal in terms of interpersonal relationships and communication; what size is ideal in terms of distributing work load and responsibilities; psychological and sociological aspects of working in a group; etc. I am referring to both (A) the product and results of the work that comes out of the group; and (B) the processes by which that work is achieved (i.e., interpersonal dynamics, etc.). If it helps any (and to be more specific), I am referring to having a relatively large group (i.e., a classroom) of, say, 30 or so students. And wanting to break the class into smaller groups for group projects. My "gut" instinct tells me that three or four is the ideal, but I am not sure. And, furthermore, I am seeking data, research, or theories – as opposed to just my gut instincts. Also, if it matters, I am referring to college students. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 21:01, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

you might be interested in Parkinson's_law#Related_efficiency and Dunbar's number although neither are really relevant to groups of the size of 3 or 4ish JMiall 22:42, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. That's a good start. I'll check them out. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 23:09, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
This paper seems to be the one everyone cites (you need JSTOR access, though). I also found this wikipedia article: Size of groups, organizations, and communities, though it has just three offline references.Taknaran (talk) 00:19, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. That paper (by Hackman and Vidmar) seems directly on point. I will see if I can somehow get it at a library or something. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 01:59, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Charlene Mitchell university education?[edit]


I am doing some research on Charlene Alexander Mitchell ( In the short section titled "Early Years", it mentions that she took classes at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. However, I can find no other source that mentions this, or the years that she attended.

What is the source of this information? Is there an additional location which references her time at Moody?

Thank you, MaraK

Here's one more. Taknaran (talk) 00:26, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

vandalism of great artworks in modern times[edit]

I know in ancient times great works of art/architecture were destroyed all the time during wars, etc. But just limiting it to modern times (say post-WWII), what are the worst acts of vandalism against an artwork that have ever happened?

By worst I mean both that the work of art was very important and that the vandal irreparably damaged or even destroyed the artwork. I know there are things like the guy who took a hammer to the toe of Michelangelo's David, but I am wondering if there are any far more destructive acts than that.--Captain Breakfast (talk) 22:39, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

For starters there are the Buddhas of Bamiyan a World Heritage site destroyed in 2001 by the Taliban. (talk) 23:25, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
One famous serial vandal was Hans-Joachim Bohlmann. Of the total damage of 270 million Deutsche Mark he generated (the German Wikipedia article gives 130 million EUR), just restoring Jacob Blessing the Sons of Joseph cost 25 million DM, so I guess that would be about 12 million EUR. We do have an article on vandalism of art with a number of examples (though I haven't checked for the most destructive or worst yet). A very recent example from last February was the irreversible destruction of a vase by Ai Weiwei estimated to be worth $1 million. ---Sluzzelin talk 23:31, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Much worse than David's toe was the damage caused to Michelangelo's Pietà in an attack in 1972. Rembrandt's The Night Watch has also been seriously damaged a few times. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 00:00, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
A cartoon showed the vandal with hammer in hand looking puzzled and saying "Pietà? I thought the sign said 'Piñata!' " Edison (talk) 20:31, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, by the way, I did not read the question well at all and focused on the vandalism-part, while halfway ignoring the "irreparably damaged or even destroyed" part and completely ignoring war as an example. Destruction in war is often incidental or at least not the actual target of course (though 86.175's example fits very well, and is certainly a very good candidate for monumental and highly relevant artwork being targeted and intentionally destroyed forever. Art_destruction has some more links and examples, including works of art lost in 9/11 (total worth of $100 million) listed under "intentional destruction". ---Sluzzelin talk 00:07, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Besides Art destruction, there's also Vandalism of art. Taknaran (talk) 00:39, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
(Erm, yes, I linked to both, but I guess you gave a fair and concise summary of all my babbling ;-) ---Sluzzelin talk 00:57, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Oops, so you did! So sorry Sluzzelin, I did not see your first link. Apologies for the duplication, Captain Breakfast.Taknaran (talk) 01:06, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
There's also Category:Vandalized works of art, which lists many more examples not covered in Vandalism of art. —Psychonaut (talk) 16:45, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

The greatest damage to artworks since the Second World War has arisen through incompetent 'restoration'. There is a brief article on ArtWatch International which is the chief campaigner against this stupidity, but does not really do the subject justice. The (British) National Gallery has a well-deserved reputation for over-restoring pictures; in the 19h. century, there were complaints about the 'restoration' of the Gallery's Canalettos, with the skies allegedly being titivated by John Constable. The Gallery's Bacchus and Ariadne was a notably controversial restoration of the 20h. century. The restoration of Holbein's The Ambassadors was televised for a documentary, and in one sequence showing the 'cleaning' one can actually see the pattern of the carpet being completely changed - ie. it has been repainted. Another picture that has been comprehensively buggered-up, in America this time, is Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party; not that you'd know that from the article, because Sarahobender appears to have taken it upon herself to remove all details of that from the article. Thanks Sarah! (talk) 16:29, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

That is irrelevant to what the OP is asking about, and you are wrong to push your POV that restoration = vandalism. --Viennese Waltz 16:32, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

On the contrary, when one interferes with an original, unique artwork, it does not matter whether the intention is to restore or vandalise the artwork because the end result will be the same - that the original will be changed, almost certainly irretrievably. It is particularly noticeable in pictures because restoration almost always involves removal of covering varnish and it is impossible to distinguish between that and underlying glazes; hence the overly bright and flat appearance of restored pictures. This interference is nowadays unnecessary in any case because it is very easy to manipulate images electronically without touching the original. The extraordinary extent of modern 'restoration' - and what we are really talking about is repainting - represents a huge cumulative and irreversible cultural loss. This is, however, a subtle point and might have benefited from more than a knee-jerk response made within 3 minutes of my original post. (talk) 19:30, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Oddly enough, this discussion parallels a phenomenon which often arises on Wikipedia: The sometimes blurred line between deliberate vandalism and good-faith incompetence. It's fairly clear the OP was asking about the former. The IP is talking about the latter, but he would be better off taking up that discussion on the talk pages of the articles he mentions. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:36, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Actually, I am quite capable of understanding, interpreting, and answering the question myself. For a famous recent example of incompetent restoration amounting to vandalism, see Cecilia Jimenez. As for making the effort to argue with some know-all on an article's Talk page, I can't be bothered; and it is only one article that I am complaining has been affected (the Luncheon of the Boating Party) by the removal of cited text, not multiple articles. (talk) 23:26, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Some more links and examples of ancient heritage sites destroyed recently, intentionally or at least acceptingly, not accidentally: List of heritage sites damaged during the Syrian Civil War, or very recently destruction of cultural sites in Mosul. For another angle (since we're defining vandalism freely): Ancient monumental architecture destroyed for profit, to cut corners, whatever, this is what I meant by acceptingly: San Estevan (1990s), Nohmul (2013), El Paraíso (2013). ---Sluzzelin talk 21:10, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

November 19[edit]

Sports teams for US presidents?[edit]

Which teams in different sports have US presidents been fans of? I think Wikipedia should have a list.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 00:30, 19 November 2014

To be honest I'm surprised we don't, but we generally try not to have too much useless cruft. See Wikipedia:Handling trivia for some further reading. Basically, we aim to only cover topics which are WP:NOTABLE. Matt Deres (talk) 00:50, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Not a specific team but Obama releases his March Madness picks every year. Dismas|(talk) 01:25, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
It is well known that Barack Obama is a fan of the Chicago White Sox. As for his predecessors, this page on Baseball Almanac may not indicate their fandom per se, but it does list the connections that presidents have had with baseball. (I have not found any similar pages for other sports yet.)    → Michael J    03:08, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Presumably George W. Bush roots for the Texas Rangers, seeing as he co-owned them at one point. Clarityfiend (talk) 03:53, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Some politicians are genuine fans, while others see an advantage to embracing a team they may not normally care about. But politicians who don't really follow a sport and are ignorant of the details have to be careful. Like in 2008 when Sarah Palin congratulated the Phillies' World Series win, while campaigning in western Pennsylvania. But a politician who is a fan of a sport may know less than he think he does. Richard Nixon provided some kind of offensive play idea to Don Shula, coach of the Dolphins, who tried it out of a sense of obligation. It didn't work. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:32, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
George Allen was the coach, and it was the Washington Redskins: [78]. --Jayron32 17:37, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Don Shula also.[79]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:48, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Teddy Roosevelt apparently saved football, in general. Not sure of his team, but he "... believe[d] in rough games and in rough, manly sports. I do not feel any particular sympathy for the person who gets battered about a good deal so long as it is not fatal.” InedibleHulk (talk) 17:12, November 19, 2014 (UTC)
Lyndon Johnson is the assistant football coach at Maryland. Though, as he's alive and black, he's probably not that Lyndon Johnson. The one who said Gerald Ford was "a nice fellow but he spent too much time playing football without a helmet."
Ford was the MVP of the Michigan Wolverines, safe to assume he rooted for them later. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:21, November 19, 2014 (UTC)
Speaking of Ford, in "Two Bad Neighbors", he invites Homer Simpson to nachos, beer and "the game", which in that world should be a Springfield Atoms game. And then he fell down. For what it's worth. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:22, November 19, 2014 (UTC)
Obama is a fan of both the Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers. Tho he never became president John McCain became a big fan of the Green Bay Packers because of the limited press he got during his captivity (and then famously confused their jerseys with those of the Steelers during the 2008 campaign). George W. Bush was part of the ownership for the Texas Rangers(Edit:Clarityfiend already mentioned this!) so I'm assuming he is and was a fan. Market St.⧏ ⧐ Diamond Way 10:44, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
It's been common for presidents (except Carter) to at least pretend to root for the US Olympic teams. Reagan's address to the hockey team ended with a prayer from his football days about winning not mattering, inspiring Russia to dominate instead. Bush told them they "represent a spirit that is much bigger than evil and terror", but they came in slightly behind Germany. Obama put his beer where his mouth is (figuratively), and no, we can't. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:09, November 21, 2014 (UTC)
Stephen Harper refuses to disclose his favourite NHL team, in case anyone cares as much as Huffington Post does. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:16, November 21, 2014 (UTC)

Are African Americans ever included in the study of collectivist and individualist cultures?[edit]

So far, I've read academic journal articles that compare American immigrant families from developing countries and white European-American families. But I think there is something missing. Has there been any discussions on where African Americans fit in the collectivist-individualist spectrum? (By "African-Americans", I mean African Americans whose ancestors have been through the 1800s, not modern-day African immigrants.) (talk) 02:55, 19 November 2014 (UTC) (moved by Robert McClenon (talk) 03:02, 19 November 2014 (UTC))

Treaty of Windsor and WWII[edit]

According to the Portugal in World War II article, Churchill invoking the Treaty of Windsor (1386) surprised members of Parliament. Is this surprise genuine or was this borne of Churchillian hyperbole? Hack (talk) 03:22, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

From the quote, it sounds like he was invoking the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1373... -- AnonMoos (talk) 04:45, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Hansard supports Churchill's recollection of his speech, but does not record any gasps of surprise from other members of the house. - Cucumber Mike (talk) 17:20, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Although I don't believe that Hansard generally records Members reactions in that way. Alansplodge (talk) 11:35, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Belay that last comment - I've just proved myself wrong. I remembered in 2008, the gasp of astonishment which accompanied the Speaker Michael Martin's confession that he allowed the police to ransack the office of MP Damian Green without asking if they had a search warrant (they didn't). Hansard records: 'I was not told that the police did not have a warrant. [Hon. Members: “Ah!”] Order.' [80] So yes, Hansard does record "noises off". Alansplodge (talk) 14:20, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm guessing the mention of a long-standing alliance wouldn't have been enough to elicit surprise. Would the surprise have been related to the fact that Churchill was working with Salazar? Hack (talk) 03:28, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Possibly. “The Creeds of the Devil”: Churchill between the Two Totalitarianisms, 1917-1945 by Antoine Capet discusses Churchill's attitudes towards various dictators and says (just over half-way down the page); "There is no reason to believe that Churchill entertained any illusions towards Salazar, and even less that he had any empathy for him and his régime. Simply, Churchill evidently believed that he had played a good trick on Hitler by turning the tables on him, with a Fascist dictator indirectly participating in the British struggle against the U-boats." Personally, what I find surprising is the political gymnastics required to represent Portugal's neutrality as the continuation of an alliance. Still, in total war the ends can justify the means I suppose. Alansplodge (talk) 14:42, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I have move the section about Churchill from Treaty of Windsor (1386) to Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1373 thereby correcting both articles. I also corrected two relevant wikilinks in Portugal in World War II. There is a "Cite Hansard" reference in the moved content that has an error I am unable to fix, some help would be appreciated. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 11:45, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
It seems to be working now. Alansplodge (talk) 14:49, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

North Korea UN Vote[edit]

In the news today is a story about the UN Human Rights Committee voting to take North Korea to the International Criminal Court over its human rights record. I'm struggling to find a list of how each country voted - can anyone help? Coolcato (talk) 04:28, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Well, for one thing, and to no surprise, China, Russia and Cuba voted "No".[81] 111 Yes, 19 No, 55 abstain. I thought maybe the UN official website would have that kind of info, but so far I'm not finding it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:51, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
This is a list of UN resolutions, and this allows you to find the voting, once you have the resolution number. However, this particular item is not listed. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:55, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for looking Bugs. I had trouble too - I don't think it it was a General Assembly vote or resolution, it believe this vote was a pre-cursor with that being the next step (changed the title from resolution to vote as it was misleading. ) There was a photo of a big screen with what looks like the voting outcome on the BBC News site but you can't make out who voted what. Coolcato (talk) 11:47, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
According to The Beeb it was a UN Commission of Inquiry, under the mandate of the UN Security Council, not the UN General Assembly. As often happens, some of the five permanent members of the UNSC voted against the motion, thus vetoing it. CS Miller (talk) 12:54, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
My understanding of the discussion was that the measure hasn't been vetoed yet, but if it does come to the security council, it will be vetoed. Hence it's little more than political posturing. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:23, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Spelling of "Anne Boleyn" as "Anne Bullen" in Henry VIII[edit]

Is there any particular reason that Anne Boleyn is referred to as "Ann Bullen" in Shakespeare's play, Henry VIII? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 06:06, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Spelling wasn't standardised in those days. Even Shakespeare himself used various spellings for his name. Fgf10 (talk) 09:09, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, that was a fun time. And that's how he spelled his name. Add to that how others spelled his name Contact Basemetal here 09:56, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
There's an interesting posting on the subject here. To summarise it, out of the very many recorded forms of the family's name, Boleyn was the most common in the middle ages and Bullen the most common among modern holders of it. So no blame to Shakespeare (or Fletcher). --Antiquary (talk) 12:06, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I understand that spelling was not standardized in Shakespeare's time. But, don't modern editors go through the text and do exactly that (i.e., modernize the spelling into today's standard format)? They do it with all other words. Why would they exclude "Boleyn" ("Bullen") from that general rule? For example, you never see a modern-edited text that states: "by William Shaksper" (or any other variant of the author's name). Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 13:30, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Good question. But it depends on the edition. My Oxford Shakespeare (Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor, eds) uses Anne Boleyn not Ann Bullen. What particular edition are you looking at? In any case the only way you can get an answer to your question is to ask the particular editor who produced the edition you're looking at. Various editors apply various criteria not all of them always applied consistently even in the same edition. Contact Basemetal here 13:42, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
The copy I am reading is merely a photocopy. Hence, I am not sure from which edition the photocopy was made. Nonetheless, the use of "Bullen" seems rather common. In fact, the Wikipedia article on the play (Henry VIII) also specifically uses "Bullen". Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 15:51, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I can tell you from study that multiple spellings of names were common even into the 20th century. The one nice thing about "Bullen" is that it suggests the proper pronunciation of "Boleyn", assuming they're essentially homophones. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:26, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Why? What is the proper pronunciation? I assumed that the name "Bullen" rhymes with the adjective "sullen". And I thought that "Boleyn" was pronounced "bo" (rhymes with "go") and "lin" (rhymes with "pin"). No? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 16:37, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Bugs: You mean in general or in editions of Shakespeare? Joe Spadaro: Both spellings are supposed to be pronounced the same. See article Anne Boleyn. Contact Basemetal here 16:51, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I can never make heads or tails out of that IPA symbolism. Which is why I use more understandable (to me) phrases such as "bo rhymes with go", etc. In fact, on a very related note, I just made a post on a discussion at the Language Help Desk (linked here: Wikipedia:Reference desk/Language#Pronunciation entries for each topic - they are not understandable. Why are they there?). Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 18:21, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm just saying that without the variant "Bullen", the pronunciation of "Boleyn" would be perhaps less obvious. As Spadaro notes, there could be an issue of which syllable is emphasized. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:56, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Bugs: No I mean what do you mean by saying that "multiple spellings of names were common even into the 20th century"? In editions of Shakespeare or in general? Joe Spadaro: It is not the case that common nouns in Shakespeare are always modernized in the same way and that there are only variations in the spelling of proper nouns or that only proper nouns retain their original spelling. There too editorial decisions vary. For example in some editions of Othello Iago is an "ensign" and in others an "ancient" (no difference in pronunciation). In some editions of Henry V the Dauphin (of France) is spelled like we do the aquatic mammal. Oxford Shakespeare seems to have gone further than most in the process of spelling modernization. To compensate for that they also offer an "original spelling edition" based on the spelling of the First Folio and the Quartos (presumably). As to their modern edition some of their editorial decisions are explained in the foreword. (I'm looking at the 1st edition but there's now a 2nd edition). Note also that most editions you find on the Internet and that WP articles refer to are likely to be out of copyright older editions. It might be true that "Bullen" is more common in older editions but that is by no means necessarily the case with modern editions. You do have to go through those to make that claim. You're welcome to. (Oxford, Cambridge, Riverside, Arden, others). Modernizing Shakespeare is not a straightforward process and whether that edition is meant for reading or for performance also matters. Contact Basemetal here 17:10, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Yes, I understand all of the complexities and vagaries that go into the editing of Shakespeare (for modern spelling, etc.). It just seems to me that "Boleyn" is pretty much the only modern-day accepted spelling of her name. As such, the editorial "decision" (as it were) should favor "Boleyn". Even the Wikipedia article does not offer "Bullen" as an alternative name/spelling. So, I guess my question is really asking: why did that particular editor make that particular decision, in light of modern-day spellings? (The answer to which, presumably, only he knows.) Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 18:33, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Just one thing, Joe. "Bullen" does not rhyme with "sullen". The first syllable "bull" is spoken like the animal, and is stressed; the word rhymes with "pullin'" and "woollen". In "Boleyn" it's the second syllable that's stressed these days (very close to "Berlin" when spoken normally, i.e. without thinking of how it ought to be spoken). Maybe back then they were both spoken the same way and it was only the spellings that varied. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 18:49, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Australian rhymes must be different from those in northern England because Bullen does rhyme with sullen and woollen where I live, but "pullin" is different. I suppose "Boleyn" might rhyme with "pull in" (imperative). Dbfirs 23:44, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Yes, that all makes sense. Aaaarrrgggghhhhh. Shakespeare is enough to make one's head spin. And this is just one more layer on that onion. So, I guess I learn something new every day. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 18:53, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't know [why that particular editor made that particular decision -- as I was writing my answer you and Jack inserted stuff -- funny I didn't get an edit conflict -- but I'm addressing the question you asked before Jack's comment]. Unless you can ask that particular editor or he explained his editorial principles somewhere you can only try to guess his thought process and I wouldn't even know where to begin. Maybe some people who are familiar with this kind of work may shed some light on what goes on in an editor's head. Regarding the pronunciation of Boleyn/Bullen (/ˈbʊlɪn/, /bəˈlɪn/ or /bʊˈlɪn/) it's not that hard. There's the question of the vowel of the first syllable and that of the primary stress (there's no discussion that the second syllable is "lin" rhyming with "fin", "bin", "tin", etc.) For the stress there's two possibilities: stress on the 1st syllable or on the 2nd syllable. If the stress is on the 1st syllable there's only one possibility for the vowel of the first syllable: the short "oo" sound you find in "bull", "pull", "foot", "soot", etc, so "BULL-in". If the stress is on the 2nd syllable there's two possibilities: either the same vowel as in the first case, so "bull-IN" or the vowel of the first syllable of "begin" (the so called schwa; it is also the vowel of the 1st syllable of "again", "about", etc.); so if you wanna use say "a" for that vowel you can write the pronunciation as "ba-LIN" or if you are not scared of the schwa symbol "bə-LIN". As Deor mentioned in the other section if you hover the cursor over each IPA symbol in the IPA respelling you'll get the value of that IPA symbol in terms of an English word that uses that sound, for example if you hover the cursor over the ʊ of /ˈbʊlɪn/ you'll get: /ʊ/ short 'oo' in 'foot'. Try it. Contact Basemetal here 19:05, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
The "bull" and "foot" do not have the same vowel sound. DuncanHill (talk) 06:32, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
They both have /ʊ/ in standard English on both sides of the Atlantic. In what dialect are they different? (I suppose they are in some northern dialects where foot rhymes with boot, but this is dying out.) Dbfirs 08:54, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't think I've ever heard "bull" and "foot" said with the same vowel - they are very close, but the vowel in "bull" is shorter and darker. Lips go further forward in foot. Grew up in Cornwall, university in Durham, lived in Sussex for twenty years, and with friends and acquaintances from most of the UK. DuncanHill (talk) 11:31, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I hear what you're saying. The vowel in "bull" is more rounded (and thus darker) whereas the vowel of "foot" is more neutral, closer to the schwa (but that may just be another way of saying it is less rounded). But these are subphonemic distinctions that are not taken into account when using IPA to represent the phonology of a language. What people mean when they say 'bull' and 'foot' have the same vowel is that both words have the same vowel phoneme. No pair of word is distinguished solely on the basis of the distinction you detect between the vowels of 'bull' and 'foot'. The same way the 'l' sounds in 'list' and 'still' are very different but they are (in English) two allophones of the same phoneme so people don't say those are two different consonants. This said, this subphonemic discussion is interesting. My guess is the main factor is the rhyme, that is the final consonant of the syllable, not the initial consonant. So I would guess the vowel of 'bull' is more rounded and dark because of the velar l not because of the labial initial. To see if I'm right or wrong you can have fun checking the minute shades in your /ʊ/ vowels using this table of rhymes. Is the vowel in the 1st syllable of 'woman' closer to the vowel in 'bull' or the vowel in 'foot'? (If you do pronounce it /ˈhʊməs/ not /ˈhʌməs/) How about the vowel in the 1st syllable of 'hummus'? (the Middle-Eastern dish.) Contact Basemetal here 12:57, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Yes, I do see what you and Duncan mean. Do bull, pull, full and wool all have the same sub-phonemic vowel? Do foot, put and soot have the same? Dbfirs 14:39, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
This's my theory but I was waiting for Duncan to respond. He seems to have lost interest. For your own dialect you can record yourself and see what you can detect. I'd always thought the phonological system was a discrete system but that once you go beyond that that there's no end to the distinctions you may uncover depending on how sensitive your ears or your experimental setup is. Well apparently not. According to this article (dealing with consonants this time; in various languages, not only English) even at a subphonemic level the system is structured (if I understood what it's saying correctly; I must say I've so far only browsed through it). In any case this particular subthread should probably be transferred to RD/L where there's more expertise. Note I was naively using "subphonemic" as synonymous to "allophonic", but experts at RD/L may say if that's really the case. (And what on earth is "suballophonic" as in the title of that paper?) Contact Basemetal here 12:49, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Not lost interest, but do have the beginnings of a cold! Hummus is nothing like bull, foot or woman. Wool differs slightly from bull, pull, and full. DuncanHill (talk) 13:05, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
In many dialects of English, the most significant difference between the pronunciation of the [ʊ] or "short oo" vowel between "bull" and "foot" is that the first occurs before so-called Dark l. In my dialect of American English, [ʊ] and [ɨ] partially merge, so that traditional [ʊl] can end up being pronounced as a stressed syllabic "l", but I don't imagine that's relevant to Shakespeare's time... AnonMoos (talk) 22:38, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

... discussion continued from earlier
Thanks. Yes, I understand all that you are saying. I would take exception with one statement, however. You stated: If the stress is on the 1st syllable there's only one possibility for the vowel of the first syllable: the short "oo" sound you find in "bull", "pull", "foot", "soot", etc, so "BULL-in". Why do you say that there is only one possibility for that first vowel? Why can't it be pronounced as if it rhymes with the adjective "sullen"? That's plausible, no? And that refutes your assertion. No? Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:52, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Sullen is unique in the English language in that the "u" of ulen is officially pronounced with the love vowel. There are probably some people with the surname Bullen who do use that vowel. Here in northern England, sullen rhymes with woollen and Pullen, but this use of /ʊ/ in sullen is considered non-standard by those who use BBC English. Dbfirs 23:57, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
(Edit conflict with Dbfirs; I'm answering Joe's question above) What I meant by saying there's only one possibility in that case is that, in the pronunciation where the first syllable carries the stress the vowel ə (the schwa) is impossible because that vowel only occurs in unstressed syllables. But you are asking why can't the word be pronounced as if it rhymed with "sullen"? But that's like asking why can't I pronounce "pull" as if it rhymed with "dull" or "put" as if it rhymed with "cut". Because that's not how those words are pronounced. Bullen or Boleyn has got three pronunciations (according to the references they give which are Daniel Jones "Everyman's English Pronouncing Dictionary 12th edition" (1963) and John C. Wells "Longman pronunciation dictionary" (1990)) and no more. Now there might be people out there who, under the influence of the spelling, pronounced or pronounce the name as if it rhymed with "sullen" or maybe in yet other creative ways, but there aren't enough of them for such pronunciations to have become accepted as recognized pronunciations of that name. Maybe if you try your hardest to convince people to pronounce the name as if it rhymed with "sullen" there eventually will be enough of you for this pronunciation to become recognized as a valid alternative. But so far this hasn't happened. Note that usually the pronunciation of words precedes their spelling. Words do not derive a pronunciation from their spelling but a spelling from their pronunciation. And that's because most of the transmission of language, for the largest part of human history, was done orally and not through writing. However there are cases in English and in other languages where a spelling was misinterpreted and gave rise to a new pronunciation of the word which in time became accepted as standard. My favorite such case is the Italian word for "west", "ovest", whose pronunciation resulted from a misinterpretation of the written form of the French word "ouest" at a time before the letters 'u' and 'v' began to be distinguished in writing. Contact Basemetal here 00:13, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the thorough explanation. I follow what you are saying. Thanks again. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 21:03, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
An example I find amusing of Shakespeare confusing a naive modern reader: In Antony and Cleopatra (V, 2) Cleopatra says of Antony: "For his bounty, there was no winter in't; an autumn 'twas that grew the more by reaping: his delights were dolphin-like; they show'd his back above the element they lived in: in his livery walk'd crowns and crownets; realms and islands were as plates dropp'd from his pocket." Any kid is bound to wonder: "Plates dropped from his pocket? Wow. These were huge pockets." Except here 'plates' doesn't mean 'dishes' but 'silver coins'. Note this is a tense emotional moment in the play. You wouldn't want somebody in the audience to start laughing. So it's even more important to think about those things if you're producing an edition of the text for a performance. Contact Basemetal here 21:43, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Small detail, modern standard English (UK or US or Aust.) is just that, MODERN, it is probable/conjectured that Elizibethan English was much more like some regional accents than modern RP. Anyway, what would seem the 'natural' pronounciation of EITHER spelling at the time, might differ from what would seem natural to us now (wherever we are from). Pincrete (talk) 22:30, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

You're not kidding, are you? Contact Basemetal here 22:58, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Certainly not, I'm not an expert, but we are SURE that Shakespearian English varied regionally much more than modern English, and was nothing like modern 'standard', which tends to be (in UK), the accent of educated, middle-class, Southerners. Such a homogenous social group probably didn't exist 400+ years ago. Pincrete (talk) 23:25, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Tibetan extinct animals[edit]

What are some of the most recently extinct animals of the Tibetan region?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 15:52, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

This fox isn't exactly recent (4-5 MYA), but newer than dinosaurs. "Supersharp teeth", too.
Tibetan humans can apparently breathe the way they do thanks to the more recently extinct Denisovans.
This cites and agrees with an unnamed 2003 paper that said nothing's gone extinct in Tibet, though at least 81 species are endangered. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:01, November 19, 2014 (UTC)
Yaks are of the Tibetan region and extinct in Nepal and Bhutan, but not in Tibet. Not sure if they count. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:06, November 19, 2014 (UTC)
There's a terminology issue here, sometimes framed as extinction vs. extirpation. Many professionals feel that a phrase like "Extinct in [region]" is nonsense, and should be avoided. Technically, "extinct" means absolutely gone from everywhere, not just one place, though the phrase "local extinction" is still fairly common. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:18, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
These extinct Denisovian humans might count [82]. Their descendents now live in Tibet, not clear yet how large the Denisovian range was. I thought it included parts of modern Tibet, but I don't have time to track that down at present. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:18, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
This blog post discusses a recent research paper that identified 26 extinct mammal species of Tibet. [83]. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:21, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

German immigrants in early twentieth century[edit]

I once had a history instructor who briefly inserted his family history in the lecture. He told the class that he was descended from German immigrants on both sides of the family. Despite that, his parents, who were kids when they arrived to the US, only spoke English when they raised him. When he went to college, he thought of taking German as a foreign language, only surprised to see that his father spoke German too. Was this behavior common among German immigrants? What about the broader European immigrant population? (talk) 23:34, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

When the U.S. entered WW1 in 1917, there was major anti-German-language sentiment (sauerkraut becoming "liberty cabbage" being only a trivial manifestation). AnonMoos (talk) 04:29, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I can support what AnonMoos mentioned, being from Pennsylvania several German social clubs, German fraternal organizations, German community groups, German neighborhood areas either changed their name, abandoned their naming conventions or at least softened their identity with Germanic things. There is a Granite old style skyscraper in Pittsburgh (about 10 floors) it was originally built as the Germania Bank, in the mid 1910s the name magically went away. I have heard a few anecdotal stories that when the RMS Lusitania was sunk is when a lot of the shift started in North America with German families/communities. BTW I included a graphic that might be interesting on the contrast of the number claiming German ethnicity in the U.S. when one considers how rare it is to see anything of German culture around. Market St.⧏ ⧐ Diamond Way 10:37, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
This "de-Teutonification" occurred to some extent in the UK as well. The most prominent example that I can recall offhand was the change of the Royal Family's dynasty name from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the newly coined House of Windsor, but I'm sure the phenomenon was more widespread. My own paternal line (family lore claims) immigrated to London in the early or mid 19th century, allegedly from Denmark, but the reported (and mangled?) surname that was Anglicized – "Huntz" – seems to me more likely German than Danish. (The poster formerly known as} (talk) 14:15, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I have known 2nd generation immigrant parents who have used their ethnic language only as a secret language between themselves and not teaching it to children is common (English-only as a strategy for economic advancement). Much of the recent scholarly work seems to be on Spanish-speakers in the U.S. (talk) 16:57, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
There were communities where "de-Teutonification" did not happen in World War 1. I know a region of Minnesota where farmers whose ancestors immigrated from German-speaking countries in the 1850's through 1860's. They were enough of an isolated community they could continue speaking German and marrying German speakers, although this led to people being related in numerous ways (she is your third cousin one way and your fourth cousin a different way) and may have been a poor practice genetically. In the 1930's, in the third generation born in America, German was spoken in the churches (German sermons and Sunday school, German hymns), in the parochial schools, and in stores in the local communities. English was taught as a second language in the parochial schools. It wasn't until the fourth generation that German faded out in churches, parochial schools and businesses. Edison (talk) 14:59, 21 November 2014 (UTC)


How and by what means did European powers portray imperialism to their publics? This is a question that we have been asked to cnsider at the university, and the information provided tends to focus solely on Britain. Could you perhaps point me in the direction of resources for the other great imperial powers? --Andrew 23:43, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Mission civilisatrice... -- AnonMoos (talk) 04:21, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
People tended to be quite supportive of empire, unlike today of course. Think of "the glory of Rome" and "Rule Britannia". Uhlan talk 05:43, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
There are a lot of concepts that capture the zeitgeist of imperialism, besides the aforementioned "civilizing mission", there's white man's burden, paternalism, manifest destiny, Cultural assimilation, Enculturation, and even to an extent things like Noblesse oblige. --Jayron32 15:24, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I would suggest researching European newspapers from the 19th - 20th centuries. In reality, all of this was just propaganda, and the common public were more interested in getting on with their lives back home, than these wars in foreign lands - except for the fact that many of them had watched their sons don red uniforms and white helmets, and hoped they would come back home one day. The middle classes had more of an interest in the whole affair, as it affected the economy, so they would be more likely the ones to read the newspapers. No need to mention the upper class. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 13:24, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Here is another reference for Portugal. Taknaran (talk) 15:18, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
And a few more: Germany, Germany, France, Western Europe. (All from google scholar search for terms such as imperialism rhetoric or colonialism propaganda.) Taknaran (talk) 15:40, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
The Spanish, in particular, argued that everyone was doomed to hell unless they converted to Christianity. With that mindset, basically any measure to convert natives was appropriate, including torture, since that was only transient pain versus an eternal damnation. Of course, other than a few religious leaders who really believed all this, it was just a convenient excuse for most to enslave the natives and steal their wealth. StuRat (talk) 15:42, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Uhlan's "people were supportive of empire, unlike today of course", is it Empire that people are today opposed to, or simply the word they shy away from ? One can think of countless examples of how 'Empire' today disguises itself as 'the spread of democracy', 'global trade', 'spread of technology', etc. It is very easy to see how previous centuries, equally justified to themselves, what may not have been intended to be, but became Imperialism. There probably isn't/hasn't ever been an answer, when a powerful, technologically advanced culture meets one that is less so, there is almost inevitably a 'senior partner' in the relationship. Pincrete (talk) 23:16, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

November 20[edit]

Did Jesus have a sense of humour?[edit]

A Christmas catalogue arrived at our house today. It includes a Christmas themed toilet seat cover. That led someone in the family to ask the question in the title. So, did he? Is there any humour in the Bible? HiLo48 (talk) 10:38, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

I find the Parables quite humourous in their content and the way they're presented. --TammyMoet (talk) 10:44, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
This article and this article and this article all represent some scholarly discussions about humour in the bible. It may lead you interesting places. --Jayron32 13:29, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Some parts of the Bible are unintentionally funny. There's a bit where some kids tease a bald man and get killed by a bear as punishment. I have to think that was written by a frustrated bald man. StuRat (talk) 15:52, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Or a frustrated bald bear. After all, in the Bible, anything can happen. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 00:13, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Citation needed. (talk) 16:17, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
2 Kings 2:23-25 (talk) 16:25, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
(e/c) See Elisha. Matt Deres (talk) 16:32, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
The prophets did make fun of false gods, e.g. 1 Kings 18:27 "And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he [i.e. Baal] is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.”" - Lindert (talk) 16:44, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
The nature of "humor" has changed a lot over the years. Particularly taking into account that Jesus was probably illiterate and from his time and circumstances, there is a really good chance that his sense of humor would be similar in lots of ways to a feline I knew named Oscar. Fart jokes, laughing at mock threats, "gotcha" jokes, silly stunts and pranks, that sort of thing. Nothing up to the level of Johnny Carson or Jay Leno, basically because nobody's sense of humor at that time would be up to that level. John Carter (talk) 16:56, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, John Carter. Who'd have thought that googling "Fart jokes in the bible" would get 64000 hits and an actual example... - Nunh-huh 01:21, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Contra your claim that Jesus was illiterate, the Bible says he could read and write: Edison (talk) 20:18, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I would expect that anyone who was a carpenter by trade, and was basically part of his 'family' business (I say 'family' loosely, as his mother was likely only 14 years older than him, his father (God) infinitely older, and the man (Joseph) whose business it belonged to was completely unrelated biologocally) would be able to read and write. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 00:21, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Also, [citation needed] for the claim that nobody in antiquity would have an advanced sense of humor or make sophisticated jokes. For that matter, [citation needed] that Jay Leno had any appreciable level of humor ;) -- I agree that the nature of humor is context-dependent and hugely varies by culture. But that doesn't mean there weren't masters of humor in Jesus' time. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:20, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
FWIW, I thought shortly after the original post that the claim of illiteracy was wrong but started doing other things again and lost track of it. It was the apostles who were all (with one exception) illiterate. And, FWIW, I don't myself think that "low humor" is necessary poor humor. Maybe I should have said "humor that is more readily accessible to individuals who do not have the extensive and broad-based social and cultural background that many of us today have." The kind of humor that might be expected from characters of Green Acres - not unfunny, but not necessarily Oscar Wilde, either. John Carter (talk) 20:50, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Jesus makes a pun in Matthew 16:18: "thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church". Side-splitting, no? - Cucumber Mike (talk) 17:17, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Schisming, even. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:07, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
This Protestant, and hence suspect, source implies that the Petros/petra distinction (rock/rock formation) was native to Greek but did not reflect the Aramaic, in which the same word would have been used, and hence not be a pun. μηδείς (talk) 01:55, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
True, but his name in Aramaic was Shimon anyway. While the disciples were presumably all or mostly mother-tongue Aramaic speakers (and presumably familiar with Hebrew from Torah readings), they may also have been variously fluent in Koine Greek, the preferred administrative lingua franca of the milieu, not so? Our iffy article Language of Jesus says that Josephus claimed otherwise, but also offers contradicting arguments. Also, Greek Cephas and Hebrew Khefa (both = "rock") are perhaps sufficiently similar for the pun to work bilingually. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 14:42, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
It depends on whether one considers the "rock" on which Jesus would "build His church" to be Peter's "confession of faith" (as Protestants argue) or on Peter himself (as Catholics argue). ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:19, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
According to Christian dogma, Jesus was totally human as well as totally divine. As a human he made mistakes, he experienced the world through his senses, he had all manner of feelings, he lost his temper, he had unpleasant morning breath, and so on. The Bible makes no mention of his need to defecate or urinate regularly, or of any nocturnal emissions he had, or a stack of other things that human males normally experience. It would be not only reasonable to assume them, but unreasonable not to do so. That includes a sense of humour. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:03, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

As an aside, this question is part of the justification of the murderer in The Name of the Rose. (talk) 23:56, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Humour doesn't always translate, so there's probably plenty of stuff in the Bible that would be funny to a Hebrew- or Greek-speaking audience, but might not come across to English speakers. But I think Ehud assassinating the incredibly fat king of the Moabites as he sits on the toilet (Judges 3) is a funny story. When Goliath challenges the Israelites to single combat and David comes forward armed only with a staff and a sling (2 Samuel 17), he says "Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?", which is a nice bit of sarcasm. As for Jesus, there's plenty of sarcasm in his teachings and parables, and I can imagine "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (Mark 10) probably got a laugh from the crowd at the expense of the rich young ruler. The bit about trying to remove a speck from your brother's eye when you've got a plank in your own is a funny line too. It's all in the delivery. --Nicknack009 (talk) 21:50, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Why did the ROC divide Manchuria into so many provinces?[edit]

In comparing the evolution of provincial boundaries from the Qing Dynasty to the ROC to the PRC, there are relatively few changes outside Manchuria and the autonomous regions. The largest difference between ROC and PRC province boundaries is the much larger number of subdivisions for the ROC in Manchuria, compared to the PRC consolidating it into 2 provinces. Western Manchuria is considered ethnically Mongol and included in Inner Mongolia.

Manchuria was a relatively sparsely populated region of Eastern China, and so it was surprising to see so many small provinces created, when compared to the much larger provinces of Southeast China, both in population and area.

What were the reasons for the ROC carving up so many provinces out of Manchuria? I read there was a campaign to sinify Manchuria with the fall of the Manchu Dynasty. Was this seen as a divide and conquer tactic against a Manchu restoration? Or did it have anything to do with the Northern Warlords who de facto controlled Manchuria?

What were the PRC's reasons for centralizing Manchuria into only 2 provinces? --Gary123 (talk) 15:59, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

There is a very long history of conflict between the Han and the Manchu - the (Han dominated) ROC may have decided that "divide and conquer" was an appropriate way to deal with the issue. In addition the Japanese involvement in Manchuria could also have been a factor. I unfortunately don't have any sources for this, so I'm just suggesting it as a possibility to be researched. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 12:01, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Justification for opposition to gay employment and military service?[edit]

The Internet and Opposing Viewpoints seem to have abundant information on rebuttals of oppositions to gay employment and military service and bills related to them. I am wondering what are the political justifications for oppositions to gay employment and military service laws. Do socio-political conservatives make a distinction between gay marriage and civil rights (adoptions, employment, military service), or are they all lumped together as one? (talk) 16:35, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

You are asking many questions for which a list of tangential references would be legion, and assuming things like the homogeneity of socio-political conservatives while implying a difficulty with treating gays collectively. Please don't invite general debate or chat. A more specific request would be helpful. μηδείς (talk) 20:19, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
True. It seems that the general rule of thumb is that "If you can't find it through a Ebscohost or some other database search, then it's probably that it isn't there in the first place." Instead, one may use one's head and imagine, or do some active research and attempt to publish in a paper. (talk) 21:45, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Actually, I am going to go back to Opposing Viewpoints and examine each article in detail. Maybe I can catch a glimpse of the mentality behind the anti-gay employment and et cetera legislation. (talk) 21:52, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • See Societal attitudes toward homosexuality. A predominant canard from the 1960s-1970s were attempts to lump gays together with pedophiles and to argue that gay schoolteachers, for example, would be a threat to their students. I should emphasize, of course, that such claims were baseless, but that did not help those targeted. Wnt (talk) 20:38, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
This BBC article from 2010, Gays in the military: The UK and US compared quotes some opponents, including General Sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley, a highly decorated veteran of WWII and a hero of the Battle of the Imjin River and the Aden Emergency, who said that "...the overwhelming majority of those in military service today find homosexuality abhorrent". The article also says that in the British Army, there were "Fears that allowing openly gay soldiers to serve on the front line would lead to a breakdown of discipline and cohesion within units...". Exactly what they were afraid might happen isn't spelled out. 15:50, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

British medal identification[edit]

In The Sabre Squadron by Simon Raven, set in 1952, one of the characters (a British army lieutenant) is described as wearing "a single medal, which hung from a green and purple riband overlaid by a silver oak leaf". Could anyone help me identify the medal and the oak leaf? A green and purple riband suggest to me the General Service Medal (1918), but this would have had a clasp. A bronze oak leaf, not a silver one, was given for Mentioned in Despatches, a silver one was given to civilians for the King's Commendation for Brave Conduct - though I'm not entirely sure when the silver oak leaf replaced the sword-and-crown badge. DuncanHill (talk) 17:53, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

A quick search suggests that the General Service Medal is the only plausible candidate for a junior officer at that time. Palestine 1945–48 and / or Malaya seem to be likely theatres where it could have been earned, as large numbers of troops were deployed in both operations. I suspect that the inconsistencies over the lack of clasps and the colour of the oak leaf can be put down to the frailty of human memory, and the difficulty of confirming these sort of details in the days before the internet. Alansplodge (talk) 10:03, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
It's not the sort of thing I would expect Raven to have got wrong, but you may be right. The character, Leonard Percival, while being a junior officer was also working in an unspecified capacity for the security service. I'm currently re-reading the Alms for Oblivion series in order, it may be explained later on. If so, I'll update here. DuncanHill (talk) 16:10, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Wing Mirrors[edit]

When did mirrors arrive on car doors and why did wing mirrors lose favour. I suggest that it is easier to check a wing rather than a door mirror since the eyes don't have to refocus so much. (talk) 21:19, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Wing mirror would be a good place to start. And they haven't lost favor, in fact they're required equipment on the typical car in America. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:31, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
The OP was asking when they switched from being mounted on the wings to being mounted on the door. DuncanHill (talk) 21:35, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
And as the article indicates, some vehicles still do use "wing" (i.e. fender-mounted) mirrors. Aspro's observation below is probably onto it - you can't have door-mounted mirrors if you also have wing windows. It's reasonable to surmise that the demise of wing windows let the increase in door-mounted mirrors. (In effect, this is a followup question to one a few days ago, about wing windows.) FYI, "wings" must be a British term. In America we call them "fenders". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:21, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
There's nothing incompatible between having vent windows and having side mirrors mounted on the doors. I remember my father driving cars like that in the late 1960s. Here's a 1965 example from AMC. And here's a Ford from 1969, one of the models he drove then (although not the same model year). Note that on one model the mirror is apparently meant to be seen through the vent window, but on the other, it's behind it. Maybe the mullion did cause visibility problems for some drivers, but they made them that way anyway. -- (talk) 06:40, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
My first car, a 1969 Hillman Minx, had wing mirrors, but my second car, a Ford Escort Mark I, had door mirrors. They were launched a year apart, 1967 and 1968 respectively. A number of our images of cars from that era seem to have neither; see this 1970 Hillman Avenger and this Vauxhall Victor for example. Alansplodge (talk) 22:43, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Common sense suggests to me, that a door mirror being closer appears larger! As for refocusing, one's eyes are focussing -not on the mirror- but the reflected image, so the eyes are already focused to there max focal range. --Aspro (talk) 23:05, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Also, cars of that vintage tended to have quarter windows and the mullion would have probably got in the way of the view on some models.--Aspro (talk) 23:13, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • See "nothing incompatible" just above. -- (talk) 06:40, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I suspect that pedestrian safety also entered into the equation too. Fortunately, I never ran any into anyone in my old Hillman, but one or other wing mirror would probably have disembowelled them quite efficiently if I had. Alansplodge (talk) 23:19, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Very likely, that is why they did away with hood/bonnet ornaments.--Aspro (talk) 23:24, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

November 21[edit]

Economic conspiracy theories[edit]

I have noticed that some populist governors facing economic crisis, such as Nicolás Maduro from Venezuela and Cristina Kirchner from Argentina, do not try to correct the problems that caused such crisis, but blame them instead on the actions of some obscure imperialism trying to disrupt their countries to overthrown them and restore puppet governors, or to greedy merchants who raise prices just to increase their own benefits. Maduro even calls it an "economic war". Of course, that's all nonsense: if you increase money supply, you cause inflation, and if you try to control inflation with price controls, you cause shortages. Far from being the victim of a hidden conspiracy, the economic crisis in Venezuela is almost a textbook example of those economic laws in action. As far as I know, nobody except those governors and their most radical supporters really take those conspiracy theories any seriously.

Still, I know that it is all nonsense because I know how does the economy work in general. If I try to clarify in the specific articles that they are talking nonsenses (as Wikipedia:Fringe theories would require), and cite some general purpose book about economy, I would be making WP:SYNTHESIS. Do you know about some source that discusses the latin american populism and this claim about economic conspiracies, and explains "this is wrong because national economies actually work as follow..."? Cambalachero (talk) 16:23, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

The book An Economic History of the USSR by Alec Nove discusses parallel cases in the Soviet Union. For example, in 1926, state-set prices on various goods were too low relative to demand, yet in 1926-27 these prices were further lowered several times. Nove mentions a decree of July 2nd 1926 "The reduction in retail prices of goods in short supply made by state industry" whose title "must surely seem unsound to even the dimmest first-year student of economics". The resulting disruptions were used as an excuse to put an end to the NEP... AnonMoos (talk) 22:59, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Imperialism isn't a conspiracy theory. Definitely not something I'd have expected to hear from someone who lives in South America.
As for your concerns with synthesis, I think a greater problem you would face is the fact that economics isn't physics, it isn't an exact science. In fact, there's even a few dissidents in (relatively) mainstream discourse... Σσς(Sigma) 09:11, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Over the last five years, Venezuela seems to have been successfully screwing itself over, without need of help from imperialist conspirators. And there are many murky areas in economics, but also a number of empirically well-founded results, starting with Gresham's law. In particular, valuing your country's currency artificially high will almost inevitably lead to either a draining of reserves, or (if controls on exchanging currency are imposed) corruption as exchange rights are politically allocated to a favored few. See impossible trinity... AnonMoos (talk) 10:57, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

Rape in the England and Wales Legal System[edit]

What does case law in England and Wales say about the scenario whereby a man and woman, both over the age of consent, have sex and are both drunk to the point that the man cannot judge whether or not the woman consents and is not aware that he cannot judge consent, and the woman to the point whereby she cannot provide consent and is not aware that she cannot provide consent? A naïve interpretation of the definition of rape (Sexual Offences Act 2003 Section 1) would suggest that the man is not guilty, but I would have thought that such a scenario would be something of a quagmire. Any ideas? I welcome any relevant comments that do not directly address the question. Thank you. asyndeton talk 18:00, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

See Rape in English law, DPP v Majewski, Intoxication in English law, R v Heard, and this report from the Law Commission. See also DPP v Morgan for the pre-2003 position. The critical issues are (a) did the accused have the "basic intent" to commit the act, and (b) did he have a reasonable (pre-2003, honest) belief in the woman's consent? Tevildo (talk) 20:34, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Job end results[edit]

Why is it that in many jobs the end result of your work is not clear? Is it because in many businesses you're a small fraction of a huge team delivering something? Job satisfaction normally comes from seeing the end result but in many office based jobs, this isn't always clear. -- 18:56, 21 November 2014

There was a popular British song during WW2 about this issue. The chorus is:
"I'm the girl that makes the thing
that drills the hole that holds the ring
that drives the rod that turns the knob
that works the thing-ummy bob
that's going to win the war!"
The basic message being that even people doing obscure jobs were important to the war effort. (I think Gracie Fields was the "original" singer) Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 22:13, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Why? Because a high proportion of managers have no idea what really motivates their staff. Patriotism during wartime isn't always available as an option. I make my comment as one who has been in many management jobs and was hopeless at it when I began. HiLo48 (talk) 22:19, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
WP:WHAAOE - "The Thing-Ummy Bob". Arthur Askey's version is probably the best known today, but Gracie Fields also performed it. Tevildo (talk) 22:25, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Toshiba used the song for a 1992 TV advert in the UK, changing the last line from "that's going to win the war" to "that's going to make some more". Rather tactless for a Japanese company I thought. Alansplodge (talk) 00:24, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Sounds like you'd enjoy this Armstrong and Miller sketch. --Nicknack009 (talk) 22:28, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I'd love to enjoy it, but YouTube tells me "The uploader has not made this video available in your country". Mean HiLo48 (talk) 22:56, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Harsh. Try this one. --Nicknack009 (talk) 23:05, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
(ec)Indeed, communicating the overall strategic mission of the company to all staff and each one's role in achieving it, is not easy when companies become large and jobs are subdivided into increasingly narrow specialties. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 22:33, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

History of censorship in China[edit]

While reading this article[84], I was surprised to learn that not only is Nineteen_Eighty-Four not censored in China, but it was published there as early as 1976. Our article on Censorship in China has great coverage for the status quo of censorship in China, but is there somewhere where I can read about the historical degree of censorship in China? WinterWall (talk) 23:47, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Burning of books and burying of scholars... AnonMoos (talk) 04:03, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

November 22[edit]

France racism between Arabs and Africans[edit]

Is this true that there was racism against African Francophonies from the Arabs who were from Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Lebanon and Syrian such as Arabs would never pray behind a black man who is leading the prayer? If so, when and how it overcome? -- 01:17, 22 November 2014

This is very complicated but is not at once merely a question of racism however. "It is forbidden to describe God": see Problem of religious language and Theological noncognitivism. --Askedonty (talk) 08:27, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

what is libyan "Nakabwe Shwahabilia" is it real?[edit]

the group is supposedly a belligerent in the infobox of 2014 Libyan Civil War i wondered if you know what that group with a new flag is i cant find anything about the group or leader on google, so what is it and is it real? (talk) 12:53, 22 November 2014 (UTC)


November 16[edit]

French: “portés à terre” in Captain Grant's message [edit]

In Jules Verne, Les Enfants du capitaine Grant, chapter 3.21. (see full text), I'm trying to understand this sentence from the French version of the bottled message Captain Grant has sent.

Portés à terre, deux matelots et le capitaine Grant ont atteint à l’île Tabor.

I'd like to know what “Portés à terre” means here. I tried to look at Wiktionary: wikt:fr:porter, but there's so many meanings I'm not sure which one applies here. If it were standing alone, my guess would be “having reached (dry) land”. That, however, would be completely redundant with the last part of the sentence, “ont atteint à l'île Tabor”, which definitely means “have reached Tabor island” according to wikt:fr:atteindre#Verbe, and so seems unlikely in context.

The translation of the novel by Bartócz Ilona gives a translation of the message which completely omits this phrase: “Két matróz és Grant kapitány partra vetődött a Tabor-szigeten.”

Please explain what that clause means, and possibly point me to which sense of wikt:fr:porter applies, if any. Thanks, – b_jonas 20:11, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

This translation of the novel renders it "Making for the shore, two sailors and Captain Grant are about to land on the continent...". So it's Wiktionnaire's sense 28, "(Marine) Se diriger vers", which indeed includes the phrase porter à terre as one of the examples of its possible use. --Antiquary (talk) 20:27, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
"Porter à" apparently has a specific meaning when used by sailors: it means "se diriger vers" so "to go towards", "to direct your course towards" (see 28th meaning in wikt:fr:porter). So "portés à terre" (for "s'étant portés à terre") means "having gone/directed their course towards land/the shore" and the whole sentence "having directed their course towards land two sailors and captain G. reached the island of Tabor." Contact Basemetal here 20:35, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Oh, how could I have missed "terre" there! I did notice the "(Marine)" label and how it means to navigate a ship towards a goal, but read only the "Porter au sud" part of the example.
So then in this case, does the "porter à terre" mean they tried to direct the ship towards the land during the storm, whereas "ont atteint à l'île Tabor" means only those three people have reached the land after the ship got destroyed close to the island? – b_jonas 20:48, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't think it necessarily means that, especially since "portés" is plural. I rather think it means that those three, having abandoned ship, made for land. (But I don't know the story, so that might not fit in fact). --ColinFine (talk) 21:22, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
No, it means that those three people made for land and, having made for land, reached the island as, first of all, "portés à terre" can only refer to those three people who are the grammatical subject of "ont atteint", and second, the two events must be directly related, "portés à terre" is what caused them to reach the land, so it can't mean that, some time previously, they tried to make for land and then, some time later, in some unconnected manner, they happened to reach the island. Contact Basemetal here 21:45, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Ok, so then it means the three survivors have directed themselves towards the land after the ship has sunk, and that is why they had reached the island? – b_jonas 21:55, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes. Contact Basemetal here 22:02, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
A small note of caution here. The basic meaning is not in doubt. However note "porter à" is not a transitive verb so it cannot have a passive. The meaning of the past participle "portés" is passive. So how do we reconcile the two? I'll try to take a look at more detailed dictionaries than wikt and at the text of the passage. The use of the passive past participle suggests that their making for the shore happened not through their own decision and actions but through some external agency such as the current. But for that to be grammatical "être porté à" has to exist alongside "porter à" sort of independently. That's not automatic. You cannot automatically from "porter à" derive "être porté à" in the meaning "be caused to make towards". For example you can say "rouler vers Rouen" ("to drive in the direction of Rouen") but you cannot form *"être roulé vers Rouen" ("to be driven in the direction of Rouen") like you can in English. In any case note the English translator seems to have missed that distinction: they translate as if the phrase had been "ayant porté à terre, etc." or "portant à terre, etc.". As to the Hungarian translator she completely bypassed the problem by ignoring that part of the sentence. I'll get back to you if I find something more. Contact Basemetal here 04:30, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Basemetal: indeed. Ilmen proposed (outside this wiki) that "porter" here is not used in the meaning to direct themselves towards. He explains that if the sentence were to mean that the crew members directed themselves towards the land, then the crew members would have to be the subject of "porter", and then you would need to write "Ayant porté à terre, deux matelots et le capitaine Grant…". Instead, the crew are the object of "porter", and so it means that something (presumably the storm) has carried or brought the survivors to dry land. This would match my original first attempt, but I still think it's redundant with the end of the sentence, and is unlikely to be what Captain Grant has meant. (That said, how ironic would it be if, unknown to Captain Grant, Captain Nemo had already been near the island, and had carried Captain Grant to the land just as he had carried Cyrus Smith in the next novel.)
Note further two sentences from the novel. Firstly, in the same chapter, Captain Grant had explained that after the ship broke, the three survivors have reached the island after many failed attempts: "nous parvînmes à gagner la côte après vingt tentatives infructueuses". This, however, doesn't clearly exclude any interpretation. Secondly, Paganel suggests in the novel that the British captain need not have had a perfect command of French: "il a été écrit par un Anglais, auquel les idiotismes de la langue française pouvaient ne pas être familiers".
b_jonas 08:50, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
As a French native speaker, I understand: "Portés à terre [par les flots], deux matelots [...]", "Carried by the waves [to the land], two seamen [...]". The phrase is porter par. Meanings 1 and 5 from wikt:fr:porter apply. Do not hesitate to correct my English translation — AldoSyrt (talk) 09:07, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Jules Verne wrote "[ils] ont atteint à l'île Tabor…" Note the "à" and note that the ellipsis are by the author. The sentence is interrupted, the object complement of atteindre is missing. So, the translation: "they reached Tabor island" would be wrong, it would be: "On Tabor island, they reached…"AldoSyrt (talk) 10:38, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
AldoSyrt: I believe "Tabor" is the last word of that sentence of the message. The ellipsis is there because Paganel interrupts Captain Grant recounting the message. Grant then goes on to tell the next sentence of the message: "Là, continuellement en proie à une cruelle indigence, ils ont jeté ce document par 153° de longitude et 37°11' de latitude." Captain Grant certainly wouldn't have omitted half a sentence after Paganel and Lord Glenarvan has specifically asked him for its contents. – b_jonas 10:46, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I can assure you that in French "atteindre à l'île Tabor." [with a full stop] is not grammatically correct (and I doubt that it could be a mistake usually done by an English native speaker) . It could be a typo... I'll try to check, I lost my copy (Les Enfants du capitaine Grant), years agoAldoSyrt (talk) 11:04, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
But I already linked to wikt:fr:atteindre#Verbe which says under the heading "atteindre à" that it is correct, it's a specific idiom, and it means they reached the island. – b_jonas 11:11, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Atteindre à (atteindre au sommet, atteindre au large, atteindre au pôle, etc) is as correct as atteindre tout court (atteindre le sommet, atteindre le large, atteindre le pôle, etc). It does sound slightly more recherché or unusual than atteindre tout court, and there is a slightly different shade of meaning (see wikt article), but it wouldn't shock me outre mesure even if it was used as a quasi-synonym. More later. Contact Basemetal here 11:59, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Of course you're right! And, while a little bit "old fashion", it is better because pour qu’on ne puisse pas y arriver sans quelque effort fits well the situation. Apologies. — AldoSyrt (talk) 12:47, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── There remains the question of how to understand "portés à terre". If one takes this (as Ilmen, whoever he is, and AldoSyrt) to simply mean "carried to shore" ("portés à terre [par les flots]") and if that shore is the shore of the island of Tabor then, if not exactly redundant with "reached the island" (because it gives some additional information as to how they reached the island), it is certainly clumsy, as much in English as in French incidentally: instead of writing "having been carried to shore they reached the island" just write "they were carried to the shore of the island" ("deux matelots et le capitaine ont été portés [à terre] à l’île de Tabor"). So rather than believe Jules Verne could write a sentence many 9 year olds would know better than to write, I prefer to stick to my idea that in this instance "portés à terre" means something else than simply "carried to shore". And the most probable to me is that it is that "porter à" phrase from maritime jargon we were talking about. There remains to account for the syntactical oddity that I mentioned and that is bothering every one. If this is uttered by an English speaker then I think we might have a plausible explanation. Contact Basemetal here 20:03, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

The problem is that this clause doesn't appear in any of the translations of the fragmented documents, so it doesn't seem to be constrained by the plot at all, so I see no reason why Jules Verne would have written it with bad grammar. – b_jonas 20:37, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Only a speculation of mine. If J. Verne had choosen to use the nautical phrase, he would have written: "Après avoir porté à terre" or "Ayant porté à terre". But the sentence would be clumsy, because it would have been the boat that had done this or the crew (not only the three survivors). Better?:"Après qu'il [le bateau] a porté à terre.." . But he wrote "Portés à terre..."; this phrase looks like and sounds like a nautical phrase. Syntax oddity? no. Bad style? I don't think so. @b_jonas. Even great writers make mistakes or write poor passages — AldoSyrt (talk) 21:57, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
For those who want to know different interpretations of the bottle message without reading the book (in French), please refer to [85]AldoSyrt (talk) 22:29, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Not in the fragmented documents? The English version of the message can be seen here. Note that the word "aland" is used. "aland" = "ashore" = "towards or onto land from water", according to the Webster's dictionaryAldoSyrt (talk) 22:59, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Ah, right! I'm sorry, it is there. So the “à terre” translates to “aland”, and that's in the fragments. And indeed the first two interpretations contain “Se dirigeant à terre, deux matelots et le capitaine Grant…”.
Ok, let's give all the chapters together then: 1.2. gives the three fragments and the first interpretation that leads to Patagonia, 1.24. gives the second interpretation that leads to Australia, 3.19. gives the third interpretation for New Zealand, and 3.21. gives the actual text. – b_jonas 06:57, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Hungarian Syllables[edit]

b_jonas since I've got you a Hungarian speaker nearby may I ask you a question about syllabization in Hungarian? When you syllabize a line of verse, do final consonants and initial vowels combine to form syllables, for example the sentence above (ok, that's not a line of verse) should it be syllabized as follows?

két - mat - ró - zés - grant - ka - pi - tány - par - tra - ve - tő - döt - ta - ta - bor - szi - ge - ten

Or to take material from real verse: is the following well known poem to be syllabized as I do below?


Fa leszek, ha fának vagy virága,
Ha harmat vagy: én virág leszek.
Harmat leszek, ha te napsugár vagy...
Csak, hogy lényink egyesüljenek.
Ha, leányka, te vagy a mennyország:
Akkor én csillaggá változom.
Ha, leányka, te vagy a pokol: hogy
Egyesüljünk, én elkárhozom.

Syllabization? (Is this correct?)

fa - le - szek - ha - fá - nak - vagy - vi - rá - ga -
ha - har - mat - va - gyén - vi - rág - le - szek -
har - mat - le - szek - ha - te - nap - su - gár - vagy -
csak - hogy - lé - nyin - ke - gye - sül - je - nek
ha - le - ány - ka - te - va - gya - meny - nyor - szá - gak -
ko - rén - csil - lag - gá - vál - to - zom -
ha - le - ány - ka - te - va - gya - po - kol - ho - gye -
gye - sül - jün - ké - nel - kár - ho - zom

Or is it not the case that final consonants and initial vowels are joined into syllables? Thanks.

Incidentally, is Hungarian poetry based on the number of syllables? Here you've got an alternation of 10 and 9 syllable lines but is this sort of regularity in the number of syllables of verse lines a general principle? Does syllabic quantity matter? (Hungarian having long and short vowels.)

Contact Basemetal here 11:32, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

PS: Regarding the poem above it seems from what I found on the net that it is actually longer? Is that correct? Does it continue with what follows? Or what?

Barna kislány fekete szemébe,
Szerelmes lett egy szőke legény,
Meg van az a sors könyvébe írva,
Elkárhozik ő majd a szegény.
Mért van az, hogy mindig azt imádjuk,
Aki hűtlen aki mást szeret
Mért van az hogy szív epedve várjuk,
Pedig rajtunk ő majd csak nevet.

Contact Basemetal here 11:32, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

I don't think so. The first one is a famous poem: Petőfi Sándor, “Fa leszek, ha...” (read on Wikisource), (read also on MEK). I don't know where the second part comes from. – b_jonas 16:51, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Neither had I ever heard of a second part. That's why I asked. Contact Basemetal here 17:18, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

November 17[edit]

Plaintiff's decedent, intestate, etc.[edit]

Many cases where the plaintiff is not the injured party but is suing on behalf of someone else use language like the above. What is going on here grammatically? ÷seresin 02:34, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Grammar as in 'proper grammar' is a sentence-level matter. Intestate has a meaning (having died without a will) and it's an adjective. Plaintiff's decedent is a possessive phrase. Can you give some example sentences? μηδείς (talk) 02:56, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
"Plantiff's decedent helped the horse to its feet" and such. Grammatically was the wrong word. It just seems like an odd construction to me. ÷seresin 03:28, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
These are well-established legal idioms. "Plaintiff's decedent" means "the person who died and on behalf of whose estate the plaintiff is suing." "Plaintiff's testator" means the same but specifically means the decedent died leaving a will that designated the plaintiff as executor. "Plaintiff's intestate" means the deceased died without a will and the court has appointed the plaintiff to administer the estate. Newyorkbrad (talk) 04:16, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification, Brad's answers are correct. μηδείς (talk) 04:24, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Linguistic term for the female ending of something?[edit]

I do remember that there is a specific linguistic term for the female ending of something. People use it to make a noun feminine. Some languages have this feature, some not. (talk) 14:59, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Suffix? Not specific to the feminine though. There's all kinds. Contact Basemetal here 15:29, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Diminutive.[86]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:12, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Not quite, "Bobby" is the diminutive form of "Robert" -- not en ending, and not feminine. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:17, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
It's used for both. Read the links. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:25, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I did read the links. -ette (-elle, etc.) is a diminutive suffix that gives feminine gender, but "diminutive" is not a word that means "suffix that gives a feminine gender" I think the article explains this all rather clearly. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:42, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, and there are also masculine diminutive suffixes, such as -ito in Spanish. Marco polo (talk) 18:26, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, and 'managerette' (if existing) would be clearly diminutive, whereas 'manageress' simply specifies gender which I have no problem with, because if I go out with a woman on a date and she insists on gender equality, I expect her to pay half the bill - can't have two worlds at once.... KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 18:43, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
  • In general, it would be a feminine derivative suffix. There may very well be a more specific term, but I can't remember having heard one. Let's ping AnonMoos, he may know. μηδείς (talk) 18:39, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
    • EO calls "-ess" simply a "feminine suffix".[87]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:50, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
      • That's fine in that context, but derivative suffixes are usually distinguished from grammatical suffixes like -ing, -ed, -s, -'s, so the full answer is -ess is a derivative suffix, while -a in Latin is the desinence of a singular nominative first declension noun, associated with, but not equivalent to a feminine suffix. μηδείς (talk) 01:39, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Dennis Baron in ISBN 0-300-03883-6 just calls them "feminine suffixes". Latin first declension -a would be an inflectional feminine suffix (though some first declension nouns, such as "nauta" and "poeta" are actually masculine), while English -ess would be a derivational feminine suffix... AnonMoos (talk) 02:27, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Meaning of Japanese characters[edit]

What does ニ ミク口一ル mean? (talk) 16:46, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Can you supply the rest of the sentence? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 18:44, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
That shows an unusual mixture of katakana and kanji. If "口" is supposed to be "ロ", then it could be pronounced Ni Mikurōru (have no idea what it means)... AnonMoos (talk) 02:23, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Also the "一" ('one') would have to become "ー" (long vowel mark). —Tamfang (talk) 08:07, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
And I wonder if the initial 'ni' isn't actually a kana and meant to be part of the sequence rather than the kanji (given the other oddities). But let's not worry about it too much. We seem to be more interested by all this than the OP, who's gone surfing. Contact Basemetal here 08:59, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Sorry. I hadn't gone surfing. Had a medical emergency instead. There's no rest of sentence. It's a label on a bottle containing a liquid that appears to be a very low viscosity oil. The only other thing on the label is "32 mL" (which is about what the quantity is). (talk) 14:00, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Is this the bottle? Contact Basemetal here 14:18, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

Little Latin inscription[edit]

What does this mean?


This is the entirety of an inscription on the side of Bentley Hall, designed by Timothy Alden and in the middle of construction in 1822. Over the 192 years since the inscription was placed, it's degraded a good deal, and I'm not sure that I've performed the transcription correctly. Nyttend (talk) 01:07, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Don't feel like trying to unpack all the abbreviations, but the key words are LAP. = lapidem "stone" and posuit "placed, set"... AnonMoos (talk) 02:34, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
If there's a possibility that there's an E between PRA and S at the beginning of the second line, then "PRA[E]S.PRI. COLL.ALL" might expand to something like PRAESES PRIMUS COLLEGII ALLEGHENENSIS ("first president of Allegheny College"). LAP. AN might be lapidem anguli, I suppose, meaning "cornerstone". AVLÆ. BENTLIENSES is "of Bentley Hall", of course. POSVIVI isn't anything I recognize as Latin (although just POSVI, "I placed", would make sense), but I think AnonMoos is right that it's supposed to be some form of pono. I don't know the abbreviation A.S.H. So maybe "I, Timothy Alden, first president of Allegheny College, placed the cornerstone of Bentley Hall [A.S.H.] 1822", or something like that? I'm offering this with considerable diffidence, since abbreviations like these are often hell to interpret, and I'm not familiar with the ones used in the 19th century. Deor (talk) 03:39, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
According to this book, there is a similar inscription that reads
"Timotheus Alden
Praæs. Pri. Coll. All. Lap. Angu. Huj.
Aulæ Bentliensis
Posuit 5 Jul. 1820"
Which seems to support some of what Deor wrote. I would expect it to read "posuit" rather than "posui", because this is common in inscriptions and because there's no "ego". - Lindert (talk) 12:46, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Presumably, then, Nyttend's version says "POS. V IVL". I can't think of what A.S.H. would be, but if that's correct, then "anno" something, I guess? It must be something else, just difficult to read due to the degradation. Adam Bishop (talk) 15:24, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Here is a picture, by the way - looks like I am right about POS V JUL but it does seem to say A.S.H. pretty clearly. (Assuming this is the real cornerstone - I was expecting it to be fancier!) Adam Bishop (talk) 15:50, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Ante summo homine (endings? my Latin is rusty) makes sense in context, but I can't say that I've ever seen AD written that way before. shoy (reactions) 17:22, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
A.S.H. is anno salutis humanae. --Pp.paul.4 (talk) 23:57, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Until the eighteenth century CE, the term Anno Salutis ("in the year of salvation") or Anno Nostrae Salutis ("in the year of our salvation"), Anno Salutis Humanae ("in the year of the salvation of men"), and Anno Reparatae Salutis ("in the year of accomplished salvation") were sometimes used in place of AD. [88]. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 00:04, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
The text references (endnote #3) the article Anno Domini as of 28 July 2006. And indeed, there was a section 3.2. in Anno Domini stating that. --Pp.paul.4 (talk) 00:27, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Aha! That's definitely it, perfect. Adam Bishop (talk) 01:26, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Semi-Officially Accurate Renderings[edit]

I have an extended form of the Greek alphabet here that is based on my research on the various Modern Greek dialects, but I wanted to know if there are any better methods of transcription that comply with certain standards or the like.

It's hard to further explain my question, but let me try:

Are there any phonemes listed on the aforementioned page that have other transcriptions that have some sort of "official" status or something similar?

In addition, if I have made any mistakes with any of the phonemic values given on that page, please let me know.

I'm hoping that the aforelinked extended Greek alphabet can function as a way to try and transcribe certain sounds of Ancient Greek that have been lost in Modern Greek in a way that speakers of Modern Greek can understand (as well as contain some additional phonemes as a bonus). Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 02:44, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

I have seen the name "Woodcock" transliterated into Greek as "Γουντκοκ", in the line-up of a football team on television, but I don't know if it is any way "official". "πφ" and the other similar examples seem misleading transliterations for "pʰ" etc. to me. I would have thought that "πχ" was at least as good. --ColinFine (talk) 18:00, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
I was under the impression that τθ, πφ and κχ were the recommended ways to transcribe /tʰ/, /pʰ/ and /kʰ/ respectively. I know at least that I have seen more than one person transcribe them that way. But perhaps I am incorrect here? Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 19:47, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

WWII C-H posters[edit]

Continuation of this archived thread.

I have received nothing from the Smithsonian Museum, and nothing definitive from

The last comment in the earlier thread was:

It appears that the posters may have come with a blank spot at the bottom. Compare File:Don't blab. Loose traps help the Japs. Increase production for Axis destruction. - NARA - 535396.jpg with the C-H version. Nanonic (talk) 07:05, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Looking closely at this example, one can see that stickers probably made of vinyl have been added to the top and bottom. They are both wrinkled, but the rest of the poster has little or no wrinkles. Further, the text at the bottom says, "SIGN UP FOR WAR BONDS. Make your department 100%". Clearly this is addressed to employees of a specific company.

Apparently the posters were produced by the War Production Board, but a company applied their own stickers to them. Per Nanonic's comment above, the posters may have even included empty space with that in mind.

Per Nanonic's research in the other thread, the most likely candidate for this company—and the only candidate we've found—is Cutler-Hammer of Milwaukee. Cutler-Hammer was acquired by Eaton Corporation in 1978, and Eaton's current CEO is Alexander Cutler (possibly a son of the C-H Cutler?).

I think that's the best we can do, and good job guys. ‑‑Mandruss  08:49, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

What a puzzle to unravel! Given that info, here's a pre-War advertisement[89] which contains their logo which includes a "C-H". I found that and others by googling "cutler-hammer world war ii". A rather more stylized C-H is still part of their brand today, which you can see by googling just "cutler-hammer". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:04, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
I think that nails it. ‑‑Mandruss  16:21, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Very good! --Stephan Schulz (talk) 00:42, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, well done. That was bugging me. Matt Deres (talk) 00:58, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Tevildo - This was your question so I wanted to make sure you saw the answer before this one gets archived, too. ‑‑Mandruss  07:36, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

And as a Milwaukee historian, I'm embarassed not to have had that occur to me. --Orange Mike | Talk 16:01, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Aina hey! ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:53, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks again to everyone! This would also explain why the academic article we found that discussed the "I Gave A Man" poster didn't mention the caption. Now, how to record this permanently? The discussion will be in the RD/L archives, but would a note in the image description be helpful to future researchers? It's probably a bit too trivial to include in our main Propaganda or United States Office of War Information articles. Tevildo (talk) 21:55, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
If it were me, I would indeed add this information to the description of the picture itself. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:00, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I'd add it, but in hedged language, since we haven't actually found RS for this. A ton of OR is behind it. An image description is not an article, but accuracy in the comments is especially important if intended for "future researchers". I'd say "The poster was among a number of posters produced by the U.S. government War Production Board. It appears that companies added their own stickers, and the C-H probably refers to Cutler-Hammer of Milwaukee." -- or some such thing. Maybe you could wait until this is archived and then include a link to the archive section. We have multiple C-H poster images (there are two in the earlier thread alone), and I'd add the same explanation to all I could find. ‑‑Mandruss  05:33, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

November 18[edit]

Pronunciation entries for each topic - they are not understandable. Why are they there?[edit]

Example: The Assiniboine River (/əˈsɪnɨbɔɪn/) I just want to know how to pronounce it. As-ini-bone? The (/əˈsɪnɨbɔɪn/) does not help. Thoughts on why this spelling is there instead of something like "As-ini-bone"? If I have to take a course on how to use "əˈsɪnɨbɔɪn" then it is not a terribly helpful tool. -- 19:32, 18 November 2014 — Preceding unsigned comment added by FOY0CH00 (talkcontribs)

It's roughly uh-SIN-uh-boyn. If you hover your computer's cursor over the IPA respelling, it will show you how to pronounce each IPA symbol. You might also want to have a look at IPA for English. Deor (talk) 19:44, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
They're there because there are geeks who can interpret that notation which is called the International Phonetic Alphabet. You don't need to take a course. You just have to read Help:IPA for English. More information can be found at International Phonetic Alphabet chart for English dialects. One can also indicate pronunciation through respelling (see Wikipedia:Pronunciation respelling key) which may seem more familiar to you, but there's no general policy on Wikipedia that recommends one or the other, as far as I am aware. In the case of the Assiniboine River the respelling of the pronunciation indicated by the IPA notation would be "a-SIN-ib-oin", if I'm interpreting the IPA correctly, but I'm not one of those geeks so caveat emptor if you know what that means. The last syllable is "oin" so it rhymes with "coin" not with "cone". The primary stress is on "sin", the second syllable. Contact Basemetal here 19:55, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Anonymous OP, you must understand that fauxnetic transcription systems (like the one you recommended) do not take dialects into account, and as such, while they might help you out, they might be absolutely useless for a guy thirty miles away from you. No one pronounces things exactly the same way, and (as such) the use of fauxnetic transcription systems is a waste of time. Furthermore, IPA is not all that hard to learn, and is also one of the most highly recommended phonetic transcription systems out there. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 20:00, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Actually the OP isn't anonymous. He just forgot to sign. Contact Basemetal here 20:05, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Any college that has an English requirement for graduation should teach the IPA. It's standard in Europe, but in the US each dictionary maker has its own absurd system. Is there an article for fauxnetics? -- 20:39, 18 November 2014 Medeis
Also, because letters in English do not have one-to-one correspondence to sounds, amateur phonetic respellings are often open to more than one pronunciation even within a given dialect of English. Even a well-defined phonemic system will run into problems at boundaries between English dialects, since there is some variation in phoneme inventories between dialects. At least IPA expresses the pronunciation in a specific dialect fairly clearly and unambiguously. Marco polo (talk) 21:09, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Medeis -- One reason why many UK dictionaries use IPA and most U.S. dictionaries don't is that UK dictionaries indicate the RP (or nowadays quasi-RP) standard pronunciation, while makers of U.S. dictionaries are very aware that most Americans who consult a dictionary don't want to learn the pronunciation of a word in some arbitrarily-decreed standard dialect, but rather what the pronunciation of the word would be in their own dialect... AnonMoos (talk) 02:15, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Your point being? A phonemic transcription of General American with a brief note on non-rhotic varieties, the cot-caught, pin-pen and marry-Mary-merry merger would cover just about everything, and alternative forms could be given. My point is that learning the Am. Her. respelling and then the M.W. respelling and then the Collins Harper respelling makes us captive to corporate editorial boards, is non-transferable, doesn't help with languages other than English, and is still just as arbitray unless they too have notes on non-rhotic varieties, the cot-caught, pin-pen and marry-Mary-merry merger.
When I took Linguistics 201 we were expected to master the basic IPA for English by the time we returned for the second class period. It's absurd to argue that learning the schwa, θ="th" as in thin, ʃ=sh, ð="th" as in this, "ʒ"=zh and ŋ="ng" or /æ/ is the vowel of cat and /ɔ/ the vowel of caught as said in NYC is a hardship. Especially when most of the other signs are based on the latin alphabet. I'd much rather dictionaries say eye is pronounced /aɪ/ consistently, rather than some giving EYE and others "ī". Dictionaries also have the benefits of keys with footnotes, unless one tears out that page. μηδείς (talk) 03:02, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Medeis, when people from the South (for example) look up a word, most of the time they really don't want to know how Walter Cronkite would have pronounced the word -- instead, they want to know how the word would be pronounced in terms of the sound system of their own way of speaking. You may consider the reasons why most U.S. dictionaries don't use IPA to be inadequate, but there are real reasons -- it's not pure arbitrary whim or dumbing down... AnonMoos (talk) 03:58, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I dispute your claim that they don't want the Gen Am pronunciation, and again, a simple comment for readers on either (1) regional varieties, or (2) on mergers, or (3) alternative entries: "oil": /ɔjl/, /ɔ:l/ (Southern) /ərl/ (NYC, obs.) and "fine": /fajn/, /fa:n/ (Southern) is an extremely simple solution to the supposed problem. μηδείς (talk) 04:56, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately, you have several misconceptions in this area. AnonMoos (talk) 07:13, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
The Concise OED was using respelling or their own system of diacritics (depending on the entry) until about 1980. I guess there was a big surge of people suddenly wanting to learn RP about 1980? Besides don't Americans love audio pronunciations which are even more specific than IPA descriptions? In fact anyone (who can decipher IPA) on seeing an IPA description or hearing an audio pronunciation aid in a standard dialect is usually able to transfer that information to their own dialect. There must be some other reason why US dictionaries don't like IPA. Contact Basemetal here 03:04, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Webster's Dictionary with its more and less successful spelling reforms predated the IPA by some 70 years and in many American homes it might have pride of place next to the Bible. It set the precedent, and other American publishers seem to have followed along. μηδείς (talk) 03:12, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, people who don't know IPA are ignorant, and cannot communicate pronunciation as clearly as people who do. Readers indeed ought not be ignorant; they ought to know as much as Wikipedia editors do. And yes, it's someone else's fault that a great many of our readers are ignorant. But, whom are we trying to serve? Isn't it the ignorant? Jim.henderson (talk) 01:56, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
What mean 'people', 'ignorant', 'communicate', 'pronunciation', 'clearly', 'readers', 'ought to', 'editors', 'a great many', 'serve'? Contact Basemetal here 02:28, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
This is one of the reasons why in Europe there exists a stereotype about "dumb Murricans". While mature and educated people in God-blessed Murrica consider the well-known well-established transcription of their own language a great challenge, in Europe pupils from 3 or 4 grades are supposed to know English phonetic alphabet entirely and read it in dictionaries. Are 10-years old European children smarter than 40-years old Murricans?--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 05:45, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Simply better educated in certain subjects. μηδείς (talk) 06:32, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
When I tried in America to order a Coke, in my middle of the road Australian accent, I was not understood (more than once). There is no possible standard using common letters. HiLo48 (talk) 06:07, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Did you want a Coca-Cola? You'd probably've been understood if that's what you'd wanted and you'd said it. Then you'd've been asked if you were a furriner. Of course there's always the option of learning RP. No American has a problem with that. Unfortunately Australian vowels are uncouth to American ears. μηδείς (talk) 06:32, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Dunno about that. A lot of Americans told me they loved my accent. Of course, I don't actually have one. HiLo48 (talk) 07:03, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
No offense intended, of course, but you're bound to find out sooner or later: in the US, "I love your accent" is usually just a euphemism for "I can't understand a word you're saying". It's also often accompanied by a lot of blank smiling and nodding.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 07:15, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
William is, of course, being silly. We all know that the response to incomprehension between an American and a furriner is for the former to speak more loudly, not to smile blankly. HiLo, if you speak High Australian you'll be mistaken for a Brit. If you speak Low Australian you'll be taken for a South African, (at least by those who've heard of South Africa), make of that what you will. I suspect what they heard in your request was intermediate in their ears between coke and cake. Asking for a cake with your burger would be a bit odd. μηδείς (talk) 20:47, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Любослов Езыкин -- If you're using the IPA to learn the pronunciations of several different languages, then it's great for that purpose. However, if a literate English-speaker is only trying to understand English pronunciations, then the IPA has features which make it less than ideal for that particular purpose, such as [j] being the palatal semivowel and [y] being a front-rounded ("umlaut") vowel, something which is sure to constantly trip up people who have no interest in theoretical linguistics or learning an elaborate code, but only want to understand the pronunciation of a few words in a language which they already speak and read. In fact, the Africa Alphabet is basically IPA, but with certain such problematic features adjusted. Of course, that's in addition to the problem that most dictionary users in the United States want to know pronunciations in terms of their own dialect's sounds, not in terms of some standard pronunciation... AnonMoos (talk) 07:13, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
A few comments. First of all, while IPA can be used for "learning", its primary purpose is describing (as scientificly as possible) and that is what we do as editors. In writing articles we describe things in an encyclopedic manner. It is the readers responsibility to put in the effort to "learn". Secondly some editors in this thread keep saying something similar to "...dictionary users in the US want to know pronunciations...", Wikipedia is not a dictionary. There are other, more appropriate sites to go to if that's all the reader wants.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 09:02, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Just want to point out that {{respell}} (intended to be used in conjunction with Wikipedia:Pronunciation respelling key) and {{USdict}} exist for editors who wish to add respelled pronunciations to articles. Using these templates is not appropriate when the word in question contains sounds that cannot be accurately represented by a respelling. — SMUconlaw (talk) 09:00, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
This is another reason why I do not associate with the Modern United States. They've gone so far off the path that there's no hope for a safe return to it. As such, I associate with my region instead. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 14:37, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I agree with the original poster. Those IPA symbols are difficult to understand (to the average reader). As such, they are rather unhelpful. I think many people see all of that gibberish, get frustrated by it, and then simply ignore it and move on. Most readers do not want to "invest" a lot of time (energy) into figuring out what all of that gibberish means. At that given moment, they just simply want to know how the word is pronounced. They don't want to have to "learn" what all that code means. It's not worth the effort. My opinion. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 18:09, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Its presence does not require the reader to understand it. If it helps some readers, great. It doesn't consume much space, and I have no problem visually skipping over it. Someday I might even feel inclined to learn IPA and make use of it. ‑‑Mandruss  18:20, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I guess my point was: if a person wants to know how a word is pronounced, that is not a helpful tool to that end. Of course, the reader can visually skip over it. But, that doesn't answer their question as to how the word is pronounced. Personally, I find an offer of "rhyming words" to be more helpful than that IPA code. For example, saying "The word gray is pronounced such that it rhymes with clay". Or some such. Using easy, basic words as the guide. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 18:47, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Knowing that gray rhymes with clay is not much help if you don't know how to pronounce clay (and there may be differences in the pronunciation of clay, depending on where you live). I assume that IPA is designed to be more universal. I'm not a linguist, I recognize that there's a ton I don't know about the use of English around the world, and I trust that we would use a simpler system if it would work. If you feel the need for pronunciation guidance in Wikipedia articles, stop spending your time complaining about things and learn IPA. ‑‑Mandruss  18:56, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
(1) If a person does not know how to pronounce a basic word ("clay" was my hypothetical example), they clearly will not be able to navigate the IPA code, either. The IPA itself uses "basic words" (for example, this "b" sound is pronounced like the "b" in "boy"). So, the IPA itself is premised (conditioned) upon the fact that a reader knows how to pronounce some basic words. (2) I am not "complaining" (as you claim). I am engaging in discourse on a Message/Discussion Board. There's a difference. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:40, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
It's a matter of simple logic. If what you propose were actually a workable solution, someone would have already developed it and become an eponym in their lifetime. Since neither you nor anyone else has produced a link to it for our edification, I assume it does not exist, ergo it is not a workable solution. QED, and I'm out. ‑‑Mandruss  22:54, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I didn't propose anything. I stated what works best for me, as an individual. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 23:54, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Mandruss -- I don't oppose including IPA transcriptions in Wikipedia articles, but it's a fact that for people who already speak and read English and who just want to look up the pronunciation of a few English words, IPA is overkill (not entirely practical for that purpose)... AnonMoos (talk) 01:11, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Fauxnetic spelling works pretty well for English words, because by and large they will indicate corresponding phonemes in different dialects. They work badly for non-English words and names (which includes many place names in most English-speaking areas other than England itself), because the vowels may be represented very differently depending on who's doing the transcription. I've sometimes fallen over American-inspired transcriptions and not realised that they were using the HOT vowel to represent what for me is a sort of 'a' and no sort of 'o'. Conversely, I was puzzled by the pronunciation guide in Eliot's Finish Grammar (round about 1900), and couldn't see how 'ä' could be anything like the vowel in "hat" until I realised that a now very old-fashioned and fruity kind of RP has a rather lower and more forward realisation of this vowel than in contemporary RP. --ColinFine (talk) 19:15, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
While we're on the subject of Americans and accents, how plausible are these Barely Political videos taking the mickey (supposedly) out of the Kiwi accent: Deck maintenance 1, Deck maintenance 2? How is Todd Womack's NZ accent? Contact Basemetal here 21:08, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
The above is NOT SAFE FOR WORK (or kids) but it's hugely funny. His accent is good enough to know where it's meant to be from, but obviously a put-on. μηδείς (talk) 22:39, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I give the stranger words I find on Wikipedia to the nice lady at Google Translate. She almost always knows what to say. And if she's wrong, I don't want to be right. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:01, November 19, 2014 (UTC)

Suggestion for an essay (moved)[edit]

[moved this where I think it was intended to be -- Hope it's ok -- Apologies to Shirt and KageTora] Contact Basemetal here 13:26, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

I would suggest that the IPA is analogous to the periodic table. The periodic table starts off your basic understanding of chemistry. You don't need to understand the intricacies of isotopes, valence electrons and a whole bunch of other stuff (most of which I don't understand) to benefit from knowing it. Knowing that salt is made up of Sodium and Chlorine and water is made up of Hydrogen and Oxygen opens up your understanding of the physical world.
Similarly, learning that the <u> in "butter" is not the same sound as the <u> in "cough", "caught", "put", "fuel", and so on opens up your understanding of language. For me, finding out about what ə meant was like finding about the elements that made up water and salt.
So: Wikipedia:Why you should learn the IPA should be written. WP:RL/L people: what do you think about this proposal? P AU aka --Shirt58 (talk) 10:55, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Wrong section. That was two days ago. See above. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 12:56, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I think the essay is a great idea. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 20:58, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Is there a colloquial or formal term of address for female bosses?[edit]

I know in Chinese, people may use 老板 to refer to a boss, male or female. People may add a 娘 at the end in order to colloquially refer to a female boss. Likewise, is there a colloquial or formal term of address for female bosses in English? Also, is there a colloquial or formal English term of address for a male boss's wife or lesbian woman boss's wife? (talk) 22:01, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Female bosses are a modern phenomena and very rare, and lesbians even moreso that I doubt "female bosses lesbian wife" has ever come up in real life, much less enough for a specific word to have evolved to describe it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
I just looked outside, and based on the detailed research conducted, I've determined that Chinese people are very rare.--Jeffro77 (talk) 00:58, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Are you limiting the scope of your answer to Gansu Province? Female bosses being very rare seems an odd statement to this American. μηδείς (talk) 03:04, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't think there is a single general term, formal or otherwise, but the words manageress (female manager) and chairwoman (female heading a committee) do exist. Manageress has a rather old-fashioned feel to it, and tends to be replaced by manager these days. Chairwoman is still fairly common, though chairperson and chair are gaining in popularity. — SMUconlaw (talk) 08:51, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
The usual way to refer to a female boss in American English is boss. People usually don't specify gender, unless it's relevant, which it usually isn't. The gender becomes evident if you go on to refer to your boss as she. I have had female bosses for years, and I refer to them as "my boss". If my boss happened to be a lesbian, I would refer to her spouse using whatever term she uses, most likely "my boss's wife" or "my boss's partner". No one in the United States today uses words like manageress except possibly ironically. As for "terms of address", in American English today, if people have to address their boss directly, they generally use the boss's first (personal) name. Let's say my boss's name is Diane Smith, and I wanted to ask her if she had read a sales report. I would say, "Diane, have you read the sales report?" Incidentally, that has changed in the 35 years (yikes) since I first entered the work force. In the late 1970s, as a low-level manual laborer, I addressed my manager using his surname. For example, "Mr. Hill, where should I put these?" I don't think even low-level workers in the United States use surnames to address their bosses any more. Marco polo (talk) 21:02, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

English to a Japanese[edit]

Does English script look as weird and alien to Japanese people as Japanese script looks to us? (talk) 23:14, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

I can't say how weird it is. But I can say that the "English script" you are talking about is the Latin script. Or you may be talking about Anglo-Saxon runes. (talk) 23:50, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
The Latin alphabet (what everyone here is typing in) is known as Romanji (or "Roman letters") in Japanese. Romanji is not exactly rare over there, so there's at least a significant portion of the population who are familiar with Romanji. Most of the Japanese programs I've seen where someone was typing on a computer or sending a text message, they typed a Romanji character first, and the computer then changed it to the relevant Hiragana character. Ian.thomson (talk) 00:05, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
See Romaji. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 11:52, 19 November 2014 (UTC) -- Nowadays the Latin alphabet is pretty much a component of the Japanese writing system, which was not a great stretch, since the Japanese writing system already included 2,000 or more logographic characters, and two different syllabaries containing about 50 syllable signs each... AnonMoos (talk) 02:24, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
All Japanese learn English at school. Many, if not all, kindergartens teach English, so they can at least recognize the letters by the age of about five, even if they are unable to put them to any useful purpose (they just learn capital letters and the names of the letters). In elementary school, they study from 1st grade (though not for any exams), so by the end of elemntary school, they have already been exposed to English for at least six years. English is compulsory in Junior High and High schools. Also, the Latin alphabet is very often used in conjunction with Japanese even within the same sentence. I would not say they foud it strange to see, considering they are in contact with it on a daily basis. Also, as said above, in order to type in Japanese (on a mobile phone or computer), one has to type in the romaji first, then change it to the Japanese character required (Japanese computer keyboards do have Japanese characters on the in addition to the Latin ones, but that input method is not popular). Not to mention that website addresses are invariably in the Latin alphabet. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 11:52, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
@ Romaji, or as you call it "English script", it quite common in Japan, so I don't think you'll find many Japanese people shocked by it. However, even though romaji looks like English, it's not really English. Romaji is taught at Japanese elementary schools, but it's being taught as another way of writing Japanese, not as English. I've "taught" English at public Japanese kindergartens, public elementary schools and public junior high schools at various times during the last 20+ years, and can say that much of what KagaTora says is true. Things have changed quite a bit over that period of time and English is being introduced to more and more children at earlier and earlier ages. Even so, the level of instruction is still not very high, so you still tend to get more "let's have fun" types of classes than serious "let's study and learn" types of classes at the pre-JHS level. Based upon my experience, many public elementary schools/kindergartens still treat English as more of a "general studies" or "internationalization" type of thing and "classes" are still often just "taught" by a homeroom teacher, who typically isn't trained to teach English, and a native-English speaker, who is usually hired from an agency. The two "teach" together as a team doing various games and other activities designed more for fun than serious study. Private and international kindergartens/elementary schools, on the other hand, are set up a little differently than public schools, so they may be able to devote more time and resources to serious study. My observations are that even today most Japanese kids still get more exposed to English outside of school than they do at school either through private after-school lessons or through their parents, etc. - Marchjuly (talk) 13:41, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
"Sunset over Shinjuku" - kana and kanji a-plently, but Latin script at the center of the image
Not it doesn't. Japanese people are very used to the Latin alphabet. There's three main uses for the Latin alphabet in Japan: to write English (which everybody learns) or any other language that uses the Latin alphabet, to write things like those initials which use the Latin alphabet (e.g. N.H.K. or whatever) inside a normal Japanese text written in kanji and kana (when the Japanese text is written vertically the Latin letters are written sideways), and for transliterating Japanese. This last use is obviously the least useful and important to the Japanese themselves. But you do find some Japanese transliterated in Latin letters for some streets, subway stations, etc. for the benefit of foreigners. The term "roomaji" is used in a broad sense to mean the Latin alphabet in general or in a more restricted sense to mean only the last use (romanization of Japanese) and specifically a particular method of romanization (e.g. Hebonshiki Roomaji, Nihonshiki Roomaji, etc.; see Romanization of Japanese) Contact Basemetal here 14:03, 19 November 2014 (UTC) PS And of course I forgot a fourth important use which may be the most important of all (but which Kage Tora mentioned): computers, where the preferred method is to input Japanese kanji and kana through an English type keyboard. Contact Basemetal here 14:08, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I'd reckon that the Latin alphabet probably gives off the same impression to the Japanese as Roman numerals do to modern English speakers. They are familiar with them, and they don't look odd, but they give off a certain vibe differently than other things. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 14:30, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
If so then in opposite ways. Roman numerals would tend to look old fashioned in English whereas things written in Latin letters would tend to look cool and modern. Contact Basemetal here 14:46, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Total OR, but we used up a class period discussing this at University. First, the Greek and Roman majuscules as well as the Futhark are supposedly influenced by the exigencies of carving on wood and stone. This tends to favor simple combinations of straight lines: AEFHIKLMNTVXYZ, for example. Note also the Greek sigma, Σ and delta Δ. The minuscules were developed for a more cursive style using ink on parchment or papyrus, hence the rounded forms of the lower case, especially Greek: αβγδεζηθικλμνξοπρσ/ςτυφχψω.
Now, for the OR. We noticed that Chinese ideograms (the OP speaks of Japanese, but geolocates to western China) are much more 'organic' than the Wester alphabets, resulting in part from there being closer to pictograms, and the need to have many hundreds, rather than a few dozen forms.
While the Latin alphabet seems to have evolved for simple geometric forms (consider T, L, and X used to describe angles and intersections, and the K turn and the U turn) the Greek minuscules seem to aim for elegance and maximal distinguishability. English has qpbd, while no lower case Greek letters are simple rotations of each other, and only nu ν and upsilon υ really ever run the chance of being mistaken for each other if one is not careful. The Cyrillic alphabet was criticized for its many very similar letters that one needs to make sure are clearly distinguished:БВ ДЛП ЪЫЬ ИНЙ ЧЦ ШЩ. μηδείς (talk) 20:02, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I can reassure that judging by this criteria Latin deserves more critics for its illegibility and similarity than Cyrillic: h-n-b, rn-m-u, l-I, i-j, v-w, b-p, q-g etc. Many Russian children have problems distinguishing one or another letter when they firstly learn a European language. Those lazy Westerners who cannot distinguish Б-В or Ч-Ц, must either learn Cyrillic better or buy glasses.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 08:50, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Westerners? Contact Basemetal here 09:45, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I think I already mentioned qpdb, Ljuboslov. In any case, you'll be happy to know the occasion was the last day of Greek 202, after the final exam. Students were allowed to leave once the finished the exam, but many had nowhere to go and we were all familiar with many languages, so the comparison was between the superiority of the Greek alphabet, the minimalism of the Latin alphabet, and the brutality of Cyrillic. (Now someone's going to call me a Rusyn.) μηδείς (talk) 20:14, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
"Wise men say, only fools....." Don't worry, Medeis, we can't help falling in love with you... :) KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 06:24, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
many had nowhere to go and we were all familiar with many languages, so the comparison was between the superiority of the Greek alphabet, the minimalism of the Latin alphabet, and the brutality of Cyrillic - this is just stupid (was it enough brutal to say?).--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 08:17, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, "Westerners" are those silly poor people who historically have had to live at the of very edge the Eurasian continent and later they even have been forced to travel to another big continent (called "Murrica" in their corrupted creole) at the western edge of the Atlantic pond as nobody could stand them anymore. As usual they are characterised by their arrogance, ignorance and even fear of the people to the east of their edge.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 08:11, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
I thought Russians were part of those silly poor Westerners. They are the silly poor Westerners who got their asses kicked numerous times by real Easterners (such as the Mongols) and so, to guarantee this doesn't happen again, they had to go all the way up to Vladivostok and Sakhalin, but in so doing they just extended Europe to the Pacific. Just ask the Chinese if they think Russians are "Easterners". Face-smile.svg Contact Basemetal here 08:33, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

Suggestion for an essay[edit]

I would suggest that the IPA is analogous to the periodic table. The periodic table starts off your basic understanding of chemistry. You don't need to understand the intricacies of isotopes, valence electrons and a whole bunch of other stuff (most of which I don't understand) to benefit from knowing it. Knowing that salt is made up of Sodium and Chlorine and water is made up of Hydrogen and Oxygen opens up your understanding of the physical world.
Similarly, learning that the <u> in "butter" is not the same sound as the <u> in "cough", "caught", "put", "fuel", and so on opens up your understanding of language. For me, finding out about what ə meant was like finding about the elements that made up water and salt.
So: Wikipedia:Why you should learn the IPA should be written. WP:RL/L people: what do you think about this proposal? P AU aka --Shirt58 (talk) 10:55, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Wrong section. That was two days ago. See above. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 12:56, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Westerners? Contact Basemetal here 09:45, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
The "u" in caught? What the devil does that mean? The "au" represents /ɔ/. The "u" by itself represents nothing here. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 02:49, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
You're not supposed to read beneath the lines. Contact Basemetal here 09:42, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
"The "u" in caught? What the devil does that mean?" It means that orthography ≠ phonology. Moshi-moshi KageTora. Have you read "Exercises in the Yokohama Dialect, Oh my? --Shirt58 (talk) 11:13, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Ha ha ha. "Japanese" along the AnonMoos principles. It's so demented it's brilliant. I love pp. 20-21 "Church = Oh Terror" (presumably from お寺 "otera"?) and "Punishment = Pumpgutz" (not able to decipher that one; anyone?). Contact Basemetal here 11:35, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
And another good one: "Officiating priest = Tacksan hanash bosan" that is "The Monk Who Talks A Lot". I think in normal Japanese this should be たくさん話す坊さん "Takusan hanasu bousan". And this is only from two pages and there's even more on those two pages. Thank you Shirt for uncovering this treasure trove. It should be clear this is not normal Japanese but a kind of pidginis Japanese that was presumably in use in the city of Yokohama as a communication means between Japanese and foreigners in the 19th c. Contact Basemetal here 14:09, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
It's only now that everyone is realising that our United Kingdom tiny group of islands were the safest place all along, so now there are so many here, we are on the verge of sinking! :) KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 09:25, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Did you mean to write United Kingdom or did you in fact intend tiny group of islands? Wiki syntax has got a few "irrversible binomials". Not a native speaker yet? Contact Basemetal here 10:01, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Seems like I did indeed. Thank you for pointing that out. I should employ you as a proofreader. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 12:00, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

November 19[edit]

What does "going down on me" connote in Irish English?[edit]

The term pretty much only means performing fellatio on me in American English, unless you pick some odd context like a stock investment, which does not apply here. Does Irish have that meaning for the phrase as well? Does it have any other literal or figurative meaning? Might it be a double entendre? I came across the phrase in a text written by an Irish author, but don't want to mention the text for fear of prejudicing responses--and it's not Joyce, but contemporary. Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 02:28, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

When I was involved in managing mainframe computers, the system crashing was often described as "the system went down on me". If it happened often, it would be "the computer kept going down on me". HiLo48 (talk) 07:01, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Don't let the sun go down on me ... ;) — SMUconlaw (talk) 08:56, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
@HiLo48 I've heard that in my local New England dialect as well. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 14:28, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Clarification, the definition of fellatio involves a penis. The phrase in AmEng can also refer to other forms of oral sex, e.g. cunnilingus. I have also heard HiLo's example usage in AmEng, all across the country. Oxford dictionaries have British uses here [90], including something about going to prison or finishing at university. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:37, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Those are really just uses of 'go down'. Someone finishing their studies at an Oxbridge college is said to have 'gone down', as in" He went down from Cambridge without a degree", while someone is 'sent down' from court to prison on conviction (from the time when court rooms were physically above the gaol) - "he was sent down for 10 years for murder". Neither of these can be used with 'on me'. I have to say, I've never heard it used here in Ireland to mean anything other than 'perform fellatio', so I think I'm going to have to ask to ruin the surprise and find out what the context is before judging whether there is some other sense intended. - Cucumber Mike (talk) 15:51, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
If you can say "he went down" you should be able to say "he went down on me" if that affected you. For example: "He went down for 10 years for murder on me and left me alone with the kids". Contact Basemetal here 17:58, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Should, eh? Hmm. I've never heard anyone say "He went to jail on me", or "He got caught on me". But "He went to town on me" is possible, and usually involves not leaving the house at all. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:03, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Maybe this is an AmEng thing? Basemmetal's examples are roughly what I was thinking of too, and though I haven't heard it specifically, I wouldn't balk at "He went to jail on me" in informal speech. A more realistic example that would be perfectly intelligible (but perhaps rustic/rural/informal) - "The old car went and died on me" - i.e. "on me" can be tacked on to many phrases ending in intransitive verbs, and it means that it has affected the speaker personally. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:22, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I've heard it as a horse racing term (both Irish and GB English) to mean that the horse(s) you backed have failed to win. - X201 (talk) 18:05, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

What I am looking for is idiomatic uses of "to go down on". I mentioned the stock went down on me. But the analysis there is (the stock went down)(on me), Not (the stock went down on)(me, not her). The context is the lyrics to the song "Until the End of the World" by U2:

which appears to depict the Last Supper and portray Jesus and Judas as lovers. I suggested to the person who asked me this question that it was perhaps a double entendre given the greater context. Since falling or raining down on me would be more idiomatic, the choice of "going down on me" seems deliberate. I am satisfied with the answers above, and will pass them on. Thanks for the help. μηδείς (talk) 19:25, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

This seems to be an example of how common words sometimes have sexual meanings in very particular contexts. Other examples include 'do' ("I would totally do her"), 'have', 'go with', 'know'. Usually they only have a sexual meaning if both the subject and object is an individual person, and even then not always. You can see why such usages arise, to let you discuss sexual matters without using rude words, perhaps to seem more polite, perhaps to disguise what you are saying so only those who are paying attention or who catch your suggestive glance understand your real meaning. I don't know if there's a general name for this phenomena. It would seem to be common enough and I would not be surprised if other languages have something similar.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 18:47, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

The general term for using ambiguity to hide an indecent meaning in decent wording is double entendre. This is extremely common in movies from the beginning of talkies to the mid sixties and on US TV until the mid eighties, when Louise famously called George an ass (they had been building up to this with the use of jackass) on The Jeffersons. The kids would miss the innuendo while the adults laughed inwardly. μηδείς (talk) 20:05, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Not sure that's the most appropriate term; looking at it double entendre is something with two meanings, making it the basis for a joke or embarrassment, or both. But the point here is these are mostly entirely unambiguous, if the subject and object is a person. Perhaps a better word for them is euphemism. The examples under euphemism#Common examples include "doing it" and other examples using common non-sexual words.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 21:00, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I did not understand you were excluding jokes double meanings and just referring to hidden meanings. μηδείς (talk) 21:34, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Ronnie Barker had the last word on doubles entendres: "The marvellous thing about double entendres is that they only ever mean one thing". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 07:51, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Only one thing. All of them. Contact Basemetal here 09:53, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I thought I made it quite clear that Mr Barker had the last word on the matter. Or are you practising your ultimoverbulence?  :) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 10:04, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I was going to say that, but I knew you'd understand. Face-smile.svg Contact Basemetal here 10:18, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Languages in censuses[edit]

Hello, Dear wikipedians. I invite you to edit and improve this article and to add information about your and other country.--Kaiyr (talk) 08:00, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Shouldn't the plural be 'censi'? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 12:04, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
No, the Latin plural of 'census' is 'census'. - Lindert (talk) 12:11, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
With long u though. Contact Basemetal here 12:21, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Define "shouldn't". AndyTheGrump (talk) 12:11, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

West African origin of a Polish fish paste[edit]

I'm trying to trace the origin of a popular Polish paste made of fish, rice, tomatoes and spices, called paprykarz szczeciński. According to our Wikipedia article, it was inspired by an African dish known as chop-chop, which included a mysterious ingredient called pima. The same story can be found in several other places in the Internet (all in Polish), but they all cite a single original source: the memories of a one-time employee of the fish processing company that first produced the Polish paste. Now, while I believe that the African inspiration is plausible, as Polish deep-sea fishermen did work off the West African coast in the 1960's, I am quite convinced that the guy got the names wrong. Chop-chop and pima both link to disambiguation pages, but none of the meanings listed there fit.

Pima almost certainly refers to piment, the French word for a chili pepper. The use of a French word in West Africa is no surprise. Chop-chop is more difficult to identify, though. My guess is that the African delicacy in question may be thiéboudiène – a Senegalese dish made of fish, rice and tomatoes among other ingredients; but the name is not even close to chop-chop. I've also found that tchop means "to eat" in Camfranglais, the pidgin language of Cameroon. But Cameroon is quite far from Senegal. So my question to anyone familiar with languages spoken in West Africa is whether something that sounds like "chop-chop" could possibly be the name of a dish or be otherwise related to eating in any of the languages spoken in the area where thiéboudiène or something similar is a popular dish. I know it's a pretty vague question, but any suggestions or guesses are welcome. — Kpalion(talk) 18:01, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

"Chop-chop" to me means a mull for a bong. (Not that I'd know anything about such things, you understand.) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 18:59, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I'd look at ketchup, which has a suspiciously similar name, and evolved from pickled fish and spices, later with tomato. This may be a wanderwort as is common with many related food recipes and spice names. μηδείς (talk) 20:30, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Not really related, but "chop chop!", meaning "hurry up", is still heard in London. Alansplodge (talk) 11:41, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
In a parallel universe, we're all editing Chopedia. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 14:00, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the answers so far. μηδείς's hint has led me to cachupa, but this Capeverdean dish is not as close, in terms of ingredients, to paprykarz szczeciński as thiéboudiène is. I will keep on searching, but any further clues will be appreciated. — Kpalion(talk) 11:26, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Term meaning[edit]

Can someone help me here, as you might now I am not a native English speaker and I ran across this expression "high energy bicycle accident", and I couldn't help but wonder what does the term "high energy" mean. Does this refer to a high speed or something? Thanks in avance. Miss Bono [hello, hello!] 20:08, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

It means that the vehicles involved in the accident have high momentum. Momentum is is the product of mass and velocity. So speed is a component, but so is mass. It suggests that the bicyclist hit a heavy object at high speed or that a heavy object hit the bicyclist at high speed. Marco polo (talk) 20:22, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Miss Bono [hello, hello!] 20:29, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Kinetic energy is more relevant, which is proportional to the square of the velocity: \begin{smallmatrix} \frac{1}{2}mv^2 \end{smallmatrix}
. μηδείς (talk) 20:33, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
    • Which means that the phrase could also include a low-speed accident where the other vehicle was a large one. -- (talk) 04:24, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
It's just a high speed bicycle accident. But it's the first time I've heard a bicycle accident described this way. Somebody thought they were being clever introducing physics jargon into bicycle accidents. It is from a press release from the hospital (see for example here). It is repeated textually everywhere and enclosed in quotes. Enclosing it in quotes suggests: "I wasn't the idiot who was trying to be clever, I'm just repeating what I was told". Contact Basemetal here 20:39, 19 November 2014 (UTC) PS This is not an answer to Marco Polo or Medeis. I was answering the original question but as usual I got an edit conflict so it looks like I'm responding to Marco Polo and Medeis. Contact Basemetal here 20:42, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Put (ec) or use a bullet if you don't want to be seen as responding to the response immediately overhead. I used a bullet because I wasn't responding to Miss Bono's thanks. μηδείς (talk) 20:51, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
You're not saying anything that is consistent with WP:INDENT. If you wanted to make it clear you were not replying to Bono, a simple single indent would have been fine. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:32, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Well ok. But you've got to admit in 2014 this system is antiquated. When are we gonna have a decent piece of software to automatically handle these things? Contact Basemetal here 20:57, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
That's an ongoing topic of conversation, someone can point you to the past botched rollouts and the dastardly 'flow' (note the similarity to flu, as in virus). My opinion is that learning these things serves as a gatekeeper function. Make people buy their own magic markers, rather than handing them to every juvenile graffiti artists who passes by. μηδείς (talk) 21:09, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I would guesss - purely speculating - that the 'high energy bicycle accident' was a head-on collision, as Bono was trying to avoid another cyclist. (Side note: Jet-lag + sunglasses + winter are not the ideal conditions for cycling through one of the world's busiest cities) KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 13:04, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
One of the sources I read said swerved and fell over. Most likely they'd have reported a collision, or a second person involved. There'd also likely be a police report, given the severity and possible liability. μηδείς (talk) 19:58, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Here's the CNN article.[91] They put that "high energy" in quotes, as if to say, "We didn't invent this phrase." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:40, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
So you think CNN is better than BBC? Contact Basemetal here 10:04, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
BBC has no adverts. CNN is about 75% adverts (most of which are for itself - bizarre, because if I am already watching something which is free, then why advertise it? I always hated the 'And after the break....' bit. OK, the part they were promising to show you 'after the break' was technically after the break, but it was also after several other breaks, if they even showed it at all. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 10:45, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Agreed with all this. I was referring to the respective websites. I was just teasing Bugs because I had already linked to the BBC article. Don't know if Jesus would have approved though. Face-smile.svg Contact Basemetal here 11:11, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
It means that he was accelerated to nearly the speed of light in a bicyclotron--Wikimedes (talk) 12:25, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

November 20[edit]

Pairs of words[edit]

Is there a special name for set constructions like 'knife and fork', or 'mother and father', where by changing the order, the constructions sounds unusual? I noticed a lot with non-native speakers that they would switch the order - this is so common that I feel quite impressed with them if they say them in the order I am used to. I know that in Japanese, the order is always 'father and mother', and they transfer this into English (I found myself transferring my preffered order into Japanese, and I was told it was 'incorrect'). More interestingly, Japanese does not have a particularly set order for 'knife and fork', yet they invariably say 'fork and knife' when speaking English (which sounds particularly funny for Northern Br. Eng. speakers). I have also heard Chinese use the same order as Japanese, as well as speakers of (non-English) European languages. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 10:06, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

I would probably call that "cultural common usage", or some such thing. I don't know of anything more specific. I suspect one could find some differences in such things between American and British, which would mean that it's not necessarily native vs. non-native speakers. (Although a Brit is a non-native speaker of American English, and vice versa.) ‑‑Mandruss  10:17, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
See Siamese twins (linguistics). — Kpalion(talk) 10:28, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Well there you have it, and I think I'll use "irreversible binomials" as it has a nice ring to it. ‑‑Mandruss  10:31, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I knew there would be a name for it, thanks. So next time I am in hospital, I can tell them I fell down the Apples and Pairs, and the nurse will say, "You mean the 'stairs'?", and I will reply, "Yes, nurse. My doctor says I have a bad case of irreversible binomials." :) Anyway, thanks. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 10:47, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
That article needs just a bit of trimming, I think. "Last will and testament"? "No quarter. No mercy"? That was just a cursory scan. ‑‑Mandruss  11:10, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict; answering Mandruss "Well there you have it..." and ignoring everything that came after) Some pairs that are not included (yet?): "brother and sister", "mother and father", "father and son", "the quick and the dead" (but "dead or alive"), "cats and dogs" (I believe "cats and dogs" is more common, maybe because of "raining cats and dogs", but I've also heard "dogs and cats", or "a dog and a cat", uttered by people who were definitely native speakers of English), "no ifs, ands, or buts", "dot the i's and cross the t's", etc. You can probably expand those lists indefinitely. It's great to have a name for it but in fact it's a catchall. It doesn't say anything about why any such pair is "irreversible" (there maybe different reasons: rhythm, meaning, or simply habit). Knowing that you say "big bad wolf" not "bad big wolf" seems to be something similar and distinct from the fact that you say "I drink coffee" not "I coffee drink" which seems to involve a more basic component of the grammar although who knows there may be borderline cases. Contact Basemetal here 11:18, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I think there should be some sort of clear criteria for inclusion, beyond "word combinations that usually occur in this order". You don't include "last will and testament" simply because no one says "last testament and will". I believe it's a legal term, which is where the word order comes from. You could start by excluding combinations like that, and then use Google to determine the degree of preference. "Cats and dogs" is preferred to "dogs and cats", but it only has about 55% of the total, not enough to justify inclusion. Something along those lines. ‑‑Mandruss  11:32, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Also maybe we should not rush to grant the term "irreversible binomials" a status it might not deserve. It may just be someone's coinage. As alluded by Kage Tora's joke "irreversible" by itself usually carries another meaning. "Non reversible" or "Non invertible" may be a better description of what's going on. Also check out set phrase and all the see alsos in both articles. This may be a day to enlarge our linguistic vocabulary. Contact Basemetal here 11:36, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
"Mother and father" - 60%, still not enough. The more selective it is, the more meaningful the results, imo. Requiring 100% would be too much, being virtually impossible, but say 80% might be a good compromise. "Law and order", 86%. ‑‑Mandruss  11:50, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Well, we have to take into consideration that a very large number of websites, though written in English, are not written by native English speakers. So my second point in my original post still stands. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 12:04, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
A very large number, or a very large percentage? In other words, do you think they would skew the results to the point where they are no longer meaningful? ‑‑Mandruss  12:24, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
What is the difference between a large number and a large percentage? I was merely saying that in English we have these set phrases, and also in other languages they also have set phrases, some of which may have the same word order, and others which may not. It would be very difficult to find out the nationalities of all the people who wrote the websites, comments, sub-comments, etc., (plus the fact that lots of comments are written in 'nonsense' English, such as "ya, bu a no da, bu e woz ur dad's baba"). I don't think that in this case, Googling the results would be helpful, albeit inasmuchas giving us a very rough estimate of how people use the constructions. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 18:11, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Ok, forget the idea then. To answer your question, I think most people would call 20 million a large number. Whether it's a large percentage depends on the size of the total. Twenty million is a large percentage of, say, 30 million, but a tiny percentage of 30 trillion. ‑‑Mandruss  18:17, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Who in the world says father and mother? μηδείς (talk) 19:55, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
No one. Not even this guy Face-smile.svg Contact Basemetal here 20:16, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't know, but it's said 18.9 million times on the web, starting with a couple of biblical references including "honor your". Could be the aforementioned non-native speakers. ‑‑Mandruss  20:24, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Despite what Al Murray might like you to believe, the Bible was not written in English. It was merely translated. Word for word. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 20:30, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Ok. No one. Not even this guy Face-smile.svg Face-smile.svg Contact Basemetal here 20:31, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
According to Google Ngrams, "father and mother" has been most common overall, with only a brief period of "mother and father" dominance between 1981 and 2004. Lesgles (talk) 20:58, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm late to the party, but I'll point out set phrase which is a related concept. By the way, regarding the listing at Siamese twins (linguistics), an objective criteria for example inclusion/exclusion is WP:Verifiability - that is, does an external reliable source provide them explicitly as an example of the concept being presented. -- (talk) 01:12, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for set phrase. It had already been mentioned three times but no such thing as too much of a good thing. And now a fourth time. (That wasn't a set phrase now was it?) Contact Basemetal here 09:46, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
  • The word order article explains that ' you say "I drink coffee" not "I coffee drink" ' because English is a subject–verb–object language. Under "word order" one might also file adjective order (you say "big bad wolf" not "bad big wolf"); however, the current "word order" article seems to deal only with syntax, whereas adjective order I guess is lexical semantics. But that's still a different pigeonhole from lexicon, where set phrases and Siamese twins are filed, being mere lexical items. Of course Big Bad Wolf is now a set phrase, but it wasn't when it was coined. jnestorius(talk) 13:36, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
This is getting slightly off-topic, but I recently saw a study that suggested that when speakers of any language, regardless of VSO, SVO, or SOV word order, used sign language to express anything, they would invariably use SOV order (pointing at the person first, then the coffee, then making a drinking motion). KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 14:11, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Is it an acceptable sentence?[edit]

Following sentence is from Wikipedia (
"Thus rotation allows increased yields from nutrient availability but also alleviation of allelopathy and competitive weed environments."
As per my Indian English I think it should be:
Thus rotation allows not only increased yields from nutrient availability but also alleviation of allelopathy and competitive weed environments.
Kindly comment. Thanks. Vineet Chaitanya (talk) 13:34, 20 November 2014 (UTC)Vineet Chaitanya

The second is an improvement, in my opinion, but we could improve further. The "not only—but also" construct doesn't serve much purpose here, and "allows alleviation" seems a little cumbersome. I also feel "provides increased yields" seems more natural (unless something besides rotation is required to get the increased yields). Here are some alternatives.
Thus rotation provides increased yields from nutrient availability and alleviation of allelopathy and competitive weed environments.
Thus rotation provides increased yields from nutrient availability. It also alleviates allelopathy and competitive weed environments.
Thus rotation provides increased yields from nutrient availability, and it alleviates allelopathy and competitive weed environments. ‑‑Mandruss  13:41, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Leaving style aside I wouldn't say "increased yields from nutrient availability but also alleviation of allelopathy and competitive weed environments" is unacceptable in the sense of it being ungrammatical which may have been what Vineet was asking. I've got here a recent example from an experienced WP editor who is also a native speaker of American English (Jerome Kohl -- I hope you don't mind my using your testimony in this context at the RD; regarding the figured bass thing I'll have something else to ask at that page). Here Jerome writes: "Andrew Manze has made a case for performing violin music from before about 1720 senza basso (on grounds that the continuo parts tend to be musically very simple, and even redundant, but also because of documentary evidence from the period)." so the dangling "but also" is definitely acceptable in American English per Jerome's testimony. The choice of the dangling "but also" (as opposed to "not only ... but also") may connote something like a hierarchy, or a difference in perceived importance, between the two terms, but I'll let others discuss that. Contact Basemetal here 13:24, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Comment: I do talk like that, it is true, but I hope that, when writing formal English for Wikipedia articles, I reflect on my first draft and improve the quality of the syntax. After all, there is a difference between informal and formal language, even in American English.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 16:57, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Why don't these English female names end in -a?[edit]

Why don't they end in -a? Examples include Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Esther, Eve, Ruth, Catherine and Rachel. They don't end in -a. But some variants do: Joanna, Isabella, Maria, Eva. (talk) 18:30, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Any reason why they should? DuncanHill (talk) 18:35, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
The short answer is they don't because there is no requirement (or convention) that English female names should end in 'a'. I suspect that many English female names ending in 'a' are in fact variants originally from elsewhere. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:35, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
There are quite a few female names that come from Latin (Amanda, Angela, Barbara, Clara, Diana, Marcia, Stella etc.) but English is not one of the Romance languages so names more frequently come from other roots. Dbfirs 18:55, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I hope everyone realizes that there are VERY few personal names (male or female) used by modern English speakers that are "natively" English. The only common one I can think of off the top of my head for women is Ethel. The vast majority of recognizable English personal names are borrowings from other European languages. It's no wonder there's such a wide variance. --Jayron32 19:21, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Although some very common male names are Germanic: Edward, Harold, Robert/Robin, Richard, Roger. Less common these days: Albert, Alfred, Arnold, Bertram, Cuthbert, Edmund, Gilbert, Wilfred, Wilbert. Hence Roberta, Alberta, Alfreda. Itsmejudith (talk) 22:45, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Edith and Mildred (see [92]) also seem to be Old English. Hilda (which does end in 'a') is at least Germanic, if not natively English. Presumably the Anglo-Saxons brought Germanic names with them, so deciding what is or isn't 'native' is likely to be difficult. There were of course also Anglo-Saxon male names ending in 'a' e.g. Offa. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:58, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
And don't forget that indomitable woman Emma of Normandy and the Empress Matilda. --TammyMoet (talk) 21:12, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Emma of Normandy wasn't 'natively English' - she was of Norman/'Viking' descent. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:25, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
"Matilda" and "Hilda" have a common root.[93]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:10, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Agreed - but I've not found evidence that 'Mathilda' was used in pre-Norman England. It is of course possible, given its widespread use elsewhere. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:29, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • The a-less names that are mentioned are all either long nativized, like Mary, and have lost their final -a which in usually became a schwa, then a silent e, as in Eve. See also Marie. Or, like Ruth, Rachel and Elizabeth, they never had a final a in the original Hebrew or Aramaic. Isabella, Maria, and Eva are more recent borrowings from Italian or Spanish or some Romance source that retained the final a. μηδείς (talk) 21:28, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Elisabetha Nina Mary Frederica Lehmann was better known as Liza Lehmann. Her father was German, but I've never even heard that variant of Elis(z)abeth in German. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:23, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • EO has histories of popular names. Elizabeth apparently started as Elishebha, "God is an oath," and the trailing "a" had been dropped by the Greeks long before it worked its way through Latin and into English. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:40, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Baseball Bugs -- In the original Biblical Hebrew, it's [ʔĕlīʃeβaʕ], ending in a pharyngeal consonant sound, so the [a] vowel is not actually part of a feminine ending. In the transition from Hebrew to Greek, a "t(h)" was added to the end of the word -- which can be part of a feminine suffix in Hebrew, but not in Greek! AnonMoos (talk) 00:40, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
    • It makes sense for Hilda to have a trailing "a", as Hild means "battle" in Old German and the trailing "a" feminized it.[94]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:43, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Mention should also be made of King Anna, although I wouldn't recommend naming your son after him. Alansplodge (talk) 23:06, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Yes, some Old English names are probably best left unrevived. I wouldn't recommend naming a daughter after 8th-century abbess Bugga. [95] AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:35, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Oh, bugger, and that was my second choice after 'Frigg' was turned down by the authorities...:) KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 23:55, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I'd love to see the ditheme pattern become productive again. —Tamfang (talk) 08:57, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
In Old English, -a in the nominative singular was more often masculine than feminine. It was -u in the nominative singular which was more often feminine than masculine... AnonMoos (talk) 00:58, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I am not going to check this up, just now, but wasn't that from the P-Germ. -n stems? Also used as a diminutive? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 01:11, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I was just coming to post what AM said, in Old English grammar, feminine nominatives usually end in -u, -e or -0 (no ending.) The proto-Germanic language had -ō-, not -a as the feminine thematic vowel. According to proto-Germanic grammar the original -Vn stems were masculine or neuter, and the feminine -ōn stems were an innovation based on the original feminine -ō stems with the -n added by analogy. μηδείς (talk) 01:22, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Griselda is Germanic, is it not? I'm not saying that it was loaned into English through a Germanic language, but it is ultimately Germanic in origin, no? Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 02:45, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes. It's another "Hilda" variant.[96]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:08, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I should point out that the reflex of pG -ō, in OHG was indeed -a, if not -a in English nominatives. μηδείς (talk) 03:21, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Oh, I almost forgot, one still has Amelia (a variant of Amalia which was influenced by "Emilia") which is ultimately derived from *amal ("bravery"). They also have "Milly" (from "Mildred"), Ashley (because it can be used as a female name nowadays), Hayleigh, Dawn, Dahlia (sort of), Adele (and thus "Adie"), Erica (sort of, also influenced by the unrealted botany term), Audrey, Beverley, Callie (originated as a short form of "Caroline"), Carol, etc. etc. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 04:03, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
"Emilia", the feminized "Emil". "Erica", feminized "Eric". "Milly", diminutive of "Mildred", "Milicent", etc. "Addie", diminutive of "Adeline", "Adelaide", etc. "Ashley" is mostly a feminine name now, was once mostly just a surname.[97] "Beverly" means "beaver lodge", I kid you not.[98]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:56, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

November 21[edit]

Acknowledgement/Proof read[edit]

Hello friends,

I hope you all are well.

I need help...

Can someone read the information in the link provided please, and let me know if this website functions the same way as Wikipedia or not.

The link:


( (talk) 14:47, 21 November 2014 (UTC))

Not exactly. That site uses a noncommercial Creative Commons license—that is, material on the site cannot be used for commercial purposes. The license(s) Wikipedia operates under allow all uses, including commercial, as long as attribution is given. Deor (talk) 14:57, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Thank you very much Deor. Regards Smile.gif -- ( (talk) 05:33, 22 November 2014 (UTC))

November 22[edit]

Usage of "suborn"[edit]

This Wired article[99] contains the sentence: "What does that mean for a society, for a democracy, when the people that you elect on the basis of promises can basically suborn the will of the electorate?"

Does this usage of the word "suborn" sound correct? It doesn't really match any of the dictionary definitions. I'm no prescriptivist but after some Googling I still can't find any other source using "suborn" this way. WinterWall (talk) 01:21, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

He was probably aiming for "subvert" and got suborned along the way. Clarityfiend (talk) 02:42, 22 November 2014 (UTC)


Guys, I need to insert the bulletins into the paragraph. I don’t know how to, I need help please.


The development of English orthography was dominated by Christian texts. Capitalized, "God" was first used to refer to the Judeo-Christian concept and may now signify any monotheistic conception of God, including the translations of the Arabic ‘Allāh’, Persian ‘Khuda’, Indic ‘Ishvara’ and the African Maasai ‘Engai’.

• ‘Adonai’ YHWH as "Lord GOD"

• YHWH ‘Elohim’ as "LORD God"

• ‘κυριος ο θεος’ as "LORD God" (in the Septuagint, New Testament and related writings)

I thought of typing,

Hebrew ‘Adonai’ YHWH as "Lord GOD", and YHWH ‘Elohim’ as "LORD God". - I'm not sure if this is correct.

I don’t know what to type for the latter.

Greek ‘κυριος ο θεος’ as "LORD God" (in the Septuagint, New Testament and related writings)

( (talk) 05:39, 22 November 2014 (UTC))


Will this work if I write it like this (I still don't know what I should insert exchanging the embolden words):

The development of English orthography was dominated by Christian texts. Capitalized, "God" was first used to refer to the Judeo-Christian concept i.e Hebrew ‘Adonai’ YHWH as "Lord GOD", and/or YHWH ‘Elohim’ as "LORD God", Greek ‘κυριος ο θεος’ as "LORD God" (in the Septuagint, New Testament and related writings), and may now signify any monotheistic conception of God, including the translations of the Arabic ‘Allāh’, Persian ‘Khuda’, Indic ‘Ishvara’ and the African Maasai ‘Engai’.

Can someone help me please?

( (talk) 13:36, 22 November 2014 (UTC))



“He also had a white spiritual Horse, a white stallion he mentioned named ‘Pegasus’.”

Shall I take off the two words “spiritual Horse” or leave it, because stallion means horse… People hardly use the word stallion therefore I wish to use the word. Or, what can I write instead of the sentence I quoted? Any suggestions?

You could write "He [also] had a mythical white horse, a stallion named Pegasus" or "He [also] had a mythical horse, a white stallion named Pegasus" or even better in my opinion "He [also] had a mythical white stallion named Pegasus" which is the most concise. In any case you don't need to repeat "white". I don't know what you mean by "spiritual", I presume you meant "mythical". I don't know who "he" is so I don't know if you'd be better off writing "owned" or "rode" or what have you (instead of "had"). Whether your "also" and "mentioned" are redundant or appropriate (though I'm almost certain that "mentioned" is redundant) can't be answered unless you give the entire context, that is a paragraph, or a few sentences before and (preferably, but not as crucially) after. Contact Basemetal here 13:57, 22 November 2014 (UTC)


Numbered list item These individuals are the ones who were living (lived) their lives inappropriately , known to have followed their destiny to hell which was written from beforehand before they were born (by the God almighty), for the satanic activities they done in their lifetime, including the time and after H stood up.

Can it be written in another way? Any suggestions?

( (talk) 13:39, 22 November 2014 (UTC))

For the second sentence I sort of get a vague idea what you're trying to say. How about this: "Those people lived their lives inappropriately. They had been destined to hell by God Almighty from before they were born for the Satanic activities they would perform in their lifetime." This is sort of trying to reconcile (or cover) the logical difficulty (as with all those religious statements): did they go to hell because of what they did in their life or were they destined to go to hell and did they do what they did just in order that their destiny be accomplished. But I'll leave it at that. Contact Basemetal here 14:10, 22 November 2014 (UTC)


November 12[edit]

Jellyfish - Ignorance is Bliss[edit]

Hello, I recently heard this beautiful song, but the problem is, that my only favorite parts are 0:00 - 0:15 because of the smooth, emotional jazz beat, was this sampled from some another song? or is there a song with a very similar sound as in the intro or the same? I don't like it until in the end again cause of that emotional instrumental part. (this is the song.) Thank you.

November 13[edit]

Movie name[edit]

There was a movie that I watched many years ago when I was little. I can't quite remember the name. The movie is probably made in 1990s or 2000s. The movie is set in the future, where humans are nearly wiped out by those flying red (or orange, don't remember exactly) creatures. They look very much like a flying red or orange soul, and they can kill humans by going through their bodies. The humans fight them by using some robot suits that resembles those in "Edge of Tomorrow", except it's a lot bigger if I remember correctly. There were also some laser guns. There is a safe city (likely the last safe place) for humans that is carefully guarded. Everything someone goes out of the area, before they can come back in, they have to go through some scanning processes. In the end, the flying creatures somehow successfully breached into the last safe city and nearly killed everyone. If I remember correct, there are about 1-2 people surviving at the end. Any name suggestion is appreciated. I can check and confirm any name being suggested. Thanks! (talk) 03:43, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

never mind my question. I found the name of it already lol. (talk) 05:47, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
It might be helpful if you post the title here. That way your question and answer can still help inform others. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:22, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
It would be especially useful to those of us who are dying to know what a flying red or orange soul looks like. —08:25, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
For anyone still waiting ;) - Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within would be a good bet, fitting all mentioned criteria. Google image search has a few images of the "ghosts". GermanJoe (talk) 05:17, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Baseball statistical leaders as of a certain date[edit]

Is there anywhere online that lets you view MLB seasonal statistical leaderboards on a specific mid-season date (e.g. who had played the most games or gotten the most hits as of September 1, 1965)? I figured baseball-reference would offer this feature, but if it does, I wasn't able to find it. Any sort of indirect workaround, like a way to find this information for a particular statistic for a particular player one at a time, would also be welcome. Thanks in advance! -Elmer Clark (talk) 19:00, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

I haven't done any digging, but is pretty good for baseball stats. --Jayron32 19:16, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
If you can find a daily newspaper that regularly publishes the statistics you want, you could look for the September 2, 1965, issue of that paper at a public or university library. They may have it on microfilm or in scanned form. (Scanned back issues of some papers can also be found on the web, but generally only smaller ones unless you can access them through a library you belong to.) -- (talk) 23:19, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm quite familiar with both and baseball-reference,com, and unfortunately neither site has this information. With B-Ref, you can find the standings for any date in major league history (here are the results for September 1, 1965 [100]), but there is no feature that allows you to look up the statistical leaders on that date. If you have a lot of time on your hands, both sites have game-by-game statistical breakdowns for a most seasons, so you could generate the information for a specific date by simply looking up what the stats for each player in the league were on that day. The data exists, it's just that no one has yet designed a program to generate the information in the form you want. The designers of Baseball-reference love to find new ways to use the databases they have compiled, however, so you may contact them and see if they could help out (there is a contact form on the site). --Xuxl (talk) 15:10, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
A good bet might be to contact the Elias Sports Bureau. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:41, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

November 14[edit]

One Direction[edit]

Does anyone in One Direction write their own songs or play their own instruments? --SolliGwaa (talk) 20:52, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

If you open the article about any One Direction album, you can look to see who the songwriters for every song are. Their first album Up All Night (One Direction album) has songs the members wrote or co-wrote. Insofar as voice is an actual instrument, they also do that as well. --Jayron32 00:38, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
Worth noting that credits on an album don't actually mean much. At that level, contributing the change of a word is enough to get co-writing points on the album. See, for example, Madonna's Ray of Light album--William Orbit wrote virtually every note, but she gets a credit for small pieces added. Album credits are much like movie credits--the bigger the act, the more credits they will receive on the final product. Ipsissima Verba (talk) 05:16, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
They have a regular touring band - here, here, etc. - who tour with them and provide onstage instrumentation. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:56, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
Avid Directioner here bc what else is a teenage fangirl to do, but I know for certain having attended multiple concerts that Niall Horan, the Irish left-handed lad who's scared of pigeons, frequently plays guitar on stage. zayn is still bae tho ~Helicopter Llama~ 01:26, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

November 16[edit]


I would like to have an article on the topic. "sports for girls in the ancient days" and "sports for girls in the modern days". --Sadie666 (talk) 06:28, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Sports for girls in the modern days would be a very short article that simply says "All of them". —Nelson Ricardo (talk) 06:36, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
We have an article on Women's sports. The section on ancient civilizations requires expansion.--Shantavira|feed me 12:00, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
I was going to object that there's no women's decathlon, Nelson, but apparently there is. We also have a Timeline of women's sports, but it lists nothing before 1780 and suffers from rather poor coverage of women's sports outside of America. --Antiquary (talk) 14:10, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
I recently saw a contestant on a quiz show talking about the 1970s, which was, according to her, "before they had electricity". So, in her world view, 1780 is truly ancient. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:17, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
On a different tack from the "inclusion of women in previously all-male sports" line, rhythmic gymnastics and synchronized swimming are strictly women's sports at the hightest level (i.e., the Olympics). Deor (talk) 22:06, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Women do not participate in professional sumo wrestling. Apparently there used to be "a form of female sumo or onnazumo" though "in the cities it was more of a spectacle often associated with brothels", according to our article on controversies in professional sumo, subsection "Women and sumo". ---Sluzzelin talk 22:24, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Hi Sadie! The great thing about Wikipedia is that it's an encyclopedia that anyone can create and edit - including you. Have a look through Women's sports and the associated pages and talk pages to get an idea of scope and format and so on. The, be WP:BOLD and try writing an article yourself. I highly suggest you do so within your own personal sandbox, here (basically it's a safe area for you to play around in while you figure out how things work). Also, give a look WP:YOURFIRSTARTICLE for some great tips. After you're done some reading and thinking, you may decide to just expand an existing article instead - and that's great too! Matt Deres (talk) 17:14, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

November 17[edit]

mtg: are planeswalkers' mana source abilities usable only during main phases?[edit]

mtg: are planeswalkers' mana source abilities usable only during main phases? thanx -- (talk) 18:20, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Translation, please. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 18:50, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
"mtg" = Magic: The Gathering, "planeswalkers" = powerful wizard-type character in the game, "mana" = magic points or units of magical power, "main phase" = part of turn between the "beginning phase" and the "combat phase". No idea on the answer. ---Sluzzelin talk 18:58, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

This forum says "Activated abilities of planeswalkers can only be played when you could play a sorcery. So no, you can't play it during your opponent's turn." [101], [102] - I think this is basically the same as main phase, because I don't think you can play a sorcery outside of main phase. But I haven't played the game in over a decade, so you might want to ask at a specific MTG forum, like one of the two I linked above. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:38, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Strangely enough, we have an article on it: Magic: The Gathering rules#Planeswalkers says "a single planeswalker may only use one loyalty ability once per turn, and only on its controller's turn during his or her main phase." Organics talk 09:55, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

November 18[edit]

bringing me down down[edit]

Hi there,
I‘ve heard on the radio a song,
That its chords goes like this:
Bringing me down down.
A female sings it and then she shouts and on the background
males sing "down down". Does anyone recognise?

"Bringing Me Down" from Jefferson Airplane Takes Off? ---Sluzzelin talk 11:11, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
"Don't Bring Me Down" by ELO? It's a male singer, but a lot of it is in falsetto. Matt Deres (talk) 14:25, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Sort of reminiscent of "Falling Away From Me". Like ELO, not a woman, but sometimes sounds like one. The lyric is actually "beating me down, down" in that one, but maybe.
Less likely is 311's "Down". I haven't listened to much radio from this decade, but here are several more songs named "Down" you might want to check. InedibleHulk (talk) 15:06, November 18, 2014 (UTC)
Weird. I checked a few Down articles out from that link, and edited one for repetition. The byte count went down by 311. Also happened to be 3:11 pm, UTC. InedibleHulk (talk) 15:15, November 18, 2014 (UTC)

Hypothetical Situation[edit]

Wilson lives alone in a House.

In America, two American officers are informed that a Terrorist is living inside a particular House, which belongs to Wilson.

When Wilson opens the door, the Officers use Self-Defense to shoot Wilson in the Shoulder becuz Wilson was holding a (Dangerous Weapon aka Hammer).

The American Officers find a Piece of Paper which reveals that Wilson is a New Tenant.

Bassically, the Actual Terrorist escaped Unfortunately.

But the shooting was in self-defense due to Wilson's hammer.

Since Wilson was holding a Hammer, it’s because Wilson wanted to attack his (Annoying Friend who keeps asking for a Commission Price) but Wilson didn’t expect the Cops to be there.

Wilson is still alive.

In this situation, can the (American Officers) & (Wilson) be charged with any crime?( (talk) 15:48, 18 November 2014 (UTC)).

This desk doesn't offer legal advice or predictions. Even if we could, there are enough missing details that the best guess would be "Maybe."
In an actual (though Canadian) case of cops vs hammer man this year, they were not charged. But that's a different story. InedibleHulk (talk) 15:51, November 18, 2014 (UTC)
Here's a hammer shooting from Phoenix. And Albuquerque. And Potomac Mills. And Lynchburg. Something to consider. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:05, November 18, 2014 (UTC)

20:56, 18 November 2014 (UTC) (talk)== arlene francis ==

What do you mean maybe? How come you can't say yes or no for whether American Officers can get Charged? What about the Indian Movie called Shock? In that movie, why were the Officers worried about getting Arrested for shooting a Man in Self-Defense due to the Hammer?( (talk) 10:07, 19 November 2014 (UTC)).

Whenever a cop kills someone (or even fires their gun), there's an internal review. Depending on the info this review finds, he might be charged or might not. Cops are legally allowed to use force on the job, even deadly force. It only becomes a problem for the courts when it's excessive force. Who's reviewing the shooting, which state they're in, what the prosecutor feels like doing and the political climate of the time can all influence the decision, after the facts are found. So maybe. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:21, November 19, 2014 (UTC)
Here are a bunch of examples. Mostly no hammers, but all controversial. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:25, November 19, 2014 (UTC)
It might have helped if you told us that you were talking about a specific film that you had seen. Someone who has seen the film might be able to give a better answer since they know the factors involved in the movie as presented by the writers.
As far as the "Maybe" answer that you've received, there are too many unknown factors.
And for anyone who may want to venture a guess, the OP is possibly referring to either Shock (2004 film) or Shock (2006 film). I can't tell from our plot outlines which might have involved a shooting. Dismas|(talk) 11:31, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

I'm talking about Shock(2006 telugu film). Why didn't those Indian Officers just say that they shot the Indian Dude in Self-Defense due to the Hammer? Why did those Indian Officers have to frame that Indian Dude as a Terrorist?( (talk) 09:27, 21 November 2014 (UTC)).

Because the screenwriter(s) chose to do it that way. If he/she/they hadn't, likely the story would have seemed less entertaining.
Fiction isn't mathematics, and doesn't have to correspond with what is most likely (or actually happened) in real life: it just has to seem plausible at the moment you're consuming it. Even films based on real events often deviate considerably from what actually happened so as to form a "better story" within the confines of the film.
The degree to which you see plot implausibilities while you're watching may be one measure of a film's quality, so you're entitled to judge that the film was a poor one. If the implausibilities only occur to you after the film's over, that doesn't matter because the theatre (or whoever) has already got your money. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 14:19, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Very true. If you're sitting in the theater saying to yourself, "Why are they doing that?", that falls into what Siskel & Ebert used to call "the idiot plot". For example, No Country for Old Men had, to my mind while wztching it, an "idiot plot". The performances were good, though, which helped. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:05, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

November 19[edit]

Question moved[edit]

What genre is the song "Emo skater girl (Thrillville)"?[edit]

What genre is it? I wish I can find other songs like it. (talk) 01:10, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Here's a youtube link with lyrics for convenience [103]. Genre classification can always be a bit contentious. I would call it a type of garage rock (fuzzed guitar, simple arrangements, slightly aggressive, small band, etc), though of course we also have a whole article on the genre known as Emo. I would recommend Weezer as having a similar (and better IMO) sound. E.g. Buddy_Holly_(song) [104], which also happens to have a video directed by the great Spike Jonze. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:29, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Metroidvania fans--Nonlinear Games Question[edit]

Hello all, being a fan on Nonlinear games, I have come to prefer side-scroller games over 3-d(although I still like them).

But I have a question. While we all know that Metroid anything is nonlinear, including first person shooters, do first person shooters themselves qualify as "nonlinear"? Just wanted to know, some shooters I've played are very linear, so i thought I'd ask. M^M 19:54, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

If all things Metroid are nonlinear, and some things Metroid are first person shooters, all things first person shooter aren't linear. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:10, November 19, 2014 (UTC)
Simple and accurate, though as I mention below, I think selling Other M as "nonlinear" is a tough argument to make. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:16, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't know, haven't played a Metroid since the first one. As of yesterday, Grand Theft Auto V is first person, and I can't imagine anybody calling that linear. Not sure what Castlevania II was. Sucked, anyway. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:31, November 19, 2014 (UTC)
"Linearity" in games usually refers to the order in which objectives must be reached, or the number of paths through a level. So Castlevania I is very linear, while Symphony of the Night is very non-linear. "First person shooter" really just means that the camera is behind the eyes, and that things will be shot. So, classic FPS like Doom of Castle Wolfenstein are very linear, one level at a time, no real choices on how to move through the level. But genres get very blurry. For example, Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas are designed for mostly first-person play, and you shoot things, so it could be called an FPS, even though there is an over-the-shoulder camera mode. But they also have open worlds that allow for exploring things and getting things in different orders, so they are nonlinear. Finally, the character development and story make them fall into the RPG category. So it's fair to say that Fallout 3 is an RPG with FPS and nonlinear sandbox elements.
Beware of the No true Scotsman fallacy, some people might say Metroid Prime is not an FPS because it has lock-on and isn't as twitchy as Halo -- but they are wrong. The point is, in modern gaming, it's better and more clear to describe elements of gameplay than to fit things into somewhat outdated genre boxes. For example, Metroid Other M is fairly linear, in my opinion, even though it is a Metroid game... Some FPS are highly linear in gameplay, some are highly nonlinear, and the FPS attribute doesn't say anything about linearity of gameplay. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:16, 19 November 2014 (UTC) P.S. check out cave story if you haven't already :)
Thank's much more clear...well, a little. So, in this sense, now that you explain it, I'd say FPS is more of a "art" form, think anime. You can really have any type of game in FPS form, but it's still FPS. Makes sense, right?M^M 17:39, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Naively, FPS just means two things, the perspective and the shooting. So sure, we could have an FPS puzzle game where you shoot chickens at buttons to solve puzzles. Or an FPS racing game where you run around and try to shoot the leader so you can pass. You get the idea. Again, the issue is with defining genre with respect to tools of presentation vs. with respect to gameplay mechanics. Anime is sort of a decent example, because there is Anime action, comedy, romance etc. Anime just means it was drawn, and made in Japan. So it's not really a genre, more of a presentation method. Just remember most genre classification is subjective, there's usually not one right answer, that's why people like to debate it so much :) SemanticMantis (talk) 20:14, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
A game like Skyrim is so non-linear, you can either shoot in first person, slash in third or harvest potatoes in top-down view (the way it's meant to be played) the entire way through. That one's hard to stick a label on. As is Duck Hunt. We don't see hands or hear one-liners, but we're presumably seeing through the eyes of a mysterious character lying very still, whose dog doesn't respect him (or her). InedibleHulk (talk) 01:35, November 21, 2014 (UTC)
And therein lies a problem: people usually wouldn't call Skyrim an FPS, even though you can shoot stuff from a first person view. Instead, it usually gets called an (action)RPG, I think mostly because FPS has gotten associated with twitchy action gameplay, even though it shouldn't have, IMO. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:25, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
When I see anything that looks like Call of Duty, I just call it a CoD. Even Halo. But yeah, genres are tricky in all media and trying to nail them down (especially online) can get scary. What's really terrifying is the potential confusion of Little Big Planet 3. Even in the first one's early days, someone used the tools that were supposed to make Mario platforms rise to build a damn calculator. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:23, November 21, 2014 (UTC)
I think the worst game genre for useless debate is "roguelike" -- if you check, they can hardly go a day without screaming at each other over what games qualify :) SemanticMantis (talk) 17:34, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Ha! "Roguelike-like". How "post-postmodern". Diablo II had a cool "world fusion" soundtrack. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:15, November 21, 2014 (UTC)

November 20[edit]

audio home stereo amplifiers[edit]

I tried to find out my question in a few articles and could not find it. my home stereo audio amplifier sais 320 watts on the back of it. does that mean 320 watts per channel?

Unless it specifically says so, probably not. That could well be the total power consumption. I suggest you search the manufacturer's website (or simply Google the make and model) for the specification of that particular model.--Shantavira|feed me 09:10, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Can't find the name of this song[edit]

At the 17:51 mark here [105] Thanks much! Market St.⧏ ⧐ Diamond Way 11:26, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

You could write to the show's organizers, or try a music recognition app like soundhound or shazam [106]. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:07, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Early choral music with jazz trumpet or soprano saxophone accompaniment[edit]

About 10-15 years ago, there was a recording issued of early choral music which had a (modern) jazz trumpet accompaniment, often soaring above the singers. The singers were I believe one of the 'standard' UK early music groups, I once managed to write down the name of the composer (possibly Spanish or Spanish-sounding), but lost the name. The piece was frequently used as a 'filler' on UK's Radio 3 (classical station), but not knowing composer/name of piece/choral group or trumpeter, I've never managed to track it down. Make my Xmas someone! What was it? Pincrete (talk) 22:46, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Are you sure it was a trumpet and not a soprano saxophone? I'm asking because Jan Garbarek recorded a couple of albums with the Hilliard Ensemble. The first one was titled Officium, recorded in 1994, and begins with a composition by Cristóbal de Morales. ---Sluzzelin talk 01:09, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I think you are probably right, the composer name sounds 'right-ish', thinking about it sop sax is more likely as the tone/register is 'light' and capable of blending with/rising above the high voices, which trumpet would be too dark to do. Many thanks I am amending title so that the question archives more helpfully. Pincrete (talk) 10:26, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
It might well have been them but interpreting a different Spanish composer.
In case you're interested, Trio Mediæval have been performing with Arve Henriksen on trumpet (though not until recently, so that's definitely not what you had heard). This Guardian review links the project to that of Garbarek + Hilliard Ensemble (there is the Norwegian connection too of course). A unique and breathy sounding trumpet, far out of the usual range of acoustic trumpet sound (so one could argue it sounds even less like a trumpet than Garbarek's soprano saxophone does :-). Listen to him on pocket trumpet with the Trio Mediæval here, for example. ---Sluzzelin talk 15:57, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm outside UK these days, so cut off from Grauniad/Radio 3/good record shops, but will explore your tip. I often DETEST 'cross-overs',(neither fish nor fowl), but the Hilliard/sax I heard, quite inexplicably 'worked'. I'll check-out your suggestion. Many many thanks. Pincrete (talk) 17:24, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

November 21[edit]

American academic anthem[edit]

I was watching The House on 92nd Street recently, and when they cut to a view of a university (sorry, I don't know which one) the soundtrack orchestra played a familiar melody, I just don't know what it is. I've heard it in Hollywood films before, sometimes with a choir, when the scene changes to a university. Sorry I can't be more specific, but does this mean anything to anyone? Alansplodge (talk) 21:57, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Can you find it on youtube or someplace? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 22:05, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Just a guess: look up gaudeamus igitur and see if it's that. -- (talk) 22:37, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
That's the one! Not just in the USA then. Thanks. Apologies Bugs, but the elderly PC I'm using has given up on the sound front at the moment, but I realise that it would have been more helpful to add a link. Alansplodge (talk) 00:10, 22 November 2014 (UTC)


15 - 20 years ago I used to hear a song on my local public radio station about estate sales, something about "going through dead peoples' houses..." Any ideas abut song title or singer(s)?

Would it be this (top Google result for "going through dead peoples' houses")? Two recordings of it, by the song's composer and by Melanie, are noted at the bottom of the page. Deor (talk) 12:38, 22 November 2014 (UTC)


November 17[edit]

Food dispensing wheel shaving thing[edit]

I was watching Particle Fever last night. It's a movie about the discovery of the Higgs boson. They follow a few of the physicists involved and one of them, who works at CERN, is shown with his family at the dinner table. During the meal, he's seen using a rotary tool of some sort to shave off food from a wheel. What I'm wondering is what food this was and what the tool is called.

I'll try to describe it a bit better. The foodstuff was cylindrical in shape like a wheel of cheese. It was laid on its side and a post came up through the center. A blade like tool rotated on the post and shaved off thin curls of the foodstuff. The man then just picked up the shavings and the camera went to another shot of them eating and having a normal family dinner.

So, what was this? Thanks, Dismas|(talk) 00:20, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

One of these? It (probably) was cheese, and, as far as I can tell, they're just called "cheese slicers". Tevildo (talk) 00:55, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes! That's it! I thought it might be cheese but couldn't say for sure as it was a foreign contraption to me and wasn't on the screen for long. I don't think I'd call it a slicer if the naming were up to me though since it's more of a shaving situation. Thanks again! Dismas|(talk) 01:00, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
We call it girolle (usually used for Tête de Moine) ---Sluzzelin talk 07:20, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Even better! Yep, that's it as well! Thanks, Dismas|(talk) 10:42, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Homosexual Ducks?[edit]

Is it true that ducks have the highest incidence of homosexuality in the animal world? Why is this? Are the ducks living in relatively secure suburban North American ponds more prone to homosexuality than feral ducks? What about geese? What about ducks living in machismo cultures like the Muscovy Ducks of South America? Thank you. Zombiesturm (talk) 00:29, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

A good book for this would be Biological Exuberance which you can search at the link I gave you. Almost birds and mammals engage in opportunistic mounting, and some seek it out. Ducks are notoriously, aggressive, prone to gang raping females and sometimes drowning them to hold them down to mate. In that context, a lack of homosexual behavior would be surprising. Another interesting question is the shape of the duck's penis and the reason for it. μηδείς (talk) 00:38, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. And this too Article Zombiesturm (talk) 00:45, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
"Rape" is not a valid word for interactions between two non-human animals. Traumatic insemination is a little bit different, but let's at least stick to scientific language when describing animal behavior. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:10, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
"Rape" seems like a perfectly apt word for non-consensual sex to me, regardless of the animal species. What purpose does it serve to come up with a parallel phrase for the same behavior in other animals ? I suppose we could come up with parallel phrases for eating, sleeping, urinating, defecating, etc., too, but to what end ? StuRat (talk) 17:23, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Well it doesn't matter what you think. You are of course allowed to talk about duck "rape", and biologists will be allowed to see it as a sign of ignorance. Consent in a duck (let alone an insect etc) is not something that we can scientifically establish. I don't recall if you have any training in behavioral biology, but rape is not a word that professionals use to describe non-human animal behavior. Your mention of eating is a red herring. The definition of eating/ingestion is not in terms of humans, the definition of rape is. The "end" is to avoid proscribing terms of human morality on to animal behavior. To do so is bad science. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:37, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Consent is easy enough to establish. Do they "present" or run away/fight ? StuRat (talk) 21:21, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
If by biologist you mean pedant, you may be right. But using the word rape here is fine. Rape would also seem a perfect description of some acts by dolphins. No one would claim that infanticide was criminal murder, but we use the same term for humans and animals. If it was at all relevant, simply telling the OP, be aware scientists might use other language would have been fine. μηδείς (talk) 18:07, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
In Wikipedia, see Homosexual behavior in animals, which among other things states that "Roughly 60% of all bonobo sexual activity occurs between two or more females". -- (talk) 08:58, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Another good book is "Evolution's rainbow" [107], which is written by the highly regarded researcher Joan Roughgarden, who also happens to be transgendered. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:10, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Nobody has addressed the "why" part yet. Let me offer some theories:
1) Brain malfunction. This would mean the part of the brain that tells the male duck to mate with a female duck isn't working properly. If this were the case, I'd expect homosexual duck behavior to be rare.
2) Social bonding. This seems to be the case for bonobos, where the sex is consensual, but not for ducks, where it's often forced.
3) Dominance display. This is my theory for ducks.
4) Semen clearance. If they simply need to get rid of excess semen, to avoid painful side-effects, then any available "target" will do. This may also apply to ducks. StuRat (talk) 17:19, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Sex can be for pleasure StuRat, without any other motive. - Taketa (talk) 17:28, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but you have to look a little deeper. We get pleasure for evolutionary reasons. It's the way that lower bodily functions reward higher brain activity when we have a choice. Take away the 'pleasure' sensation - and we would eat less and have sex less often (if at all). That would clearly be detrimental to the survival of the species, so we've evolved to enjoy sex BECAUSE sex has evolutionary benefits in propagating genes. We enjoy foods that are high in nutrients for similar reasons. So StuRat is correct to look for evolutionary reasons for this behavior - "pleasure" is just an intermediate step. SteveBaker (talk) 20:30, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
The evolution of pleasure in sex is to propagate the species as you say. Since pleasure exists, subjects go for other means to gain pleasure with their reproductive parts beside reproduction, leading to the above. Ergo pleasure is the easiest answer to the why question from an evolutionary standpoint, and a list overlooking it, is not that great a list. Pleasure is simply so important for reproduction, that possible negative reproductive factors such as gay rape activity, do not negate the net positive effects. - Taketa (talk) 21:45, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
That would fall into the brain malfunction category, if the pleasure evolved solely to ensure reproduction, but is now being used for non-reproductive sex. That is, of course, unless there was some other reason why pleasure evolved, such as the ones I listed.
But yes, saying animals have sex because it feels good is a bit like saying the Titanic sank because it was full of water. While undoubtedly true, we should go deeper than just stopping there. StuRat (talk) 19:28, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Your theories are all silly and wrong except for 2). I have personally observed several male ducks of several species do mating displays to each other, and sometimes copulate. Both in nature and in captivity, neither male seemed subordinate to me. But I encourage the OP not to listen to any of our opinions and WP:OR, and instead look at the good books listed above. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:37, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Also, Why do fur seals have sex with penguins?. --ColinFine (talk) 17:43, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Because they can. μηδείς (talk) 18:40, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

White people in South Africa[edit]

Is the white population of South Africa shrinking or growing? --SolliGwaa (talk) 17:45, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

According to South African National Census of 2011 compared to South African National Census of 2001, the white population has gone from 4,293,640 people (9.6% of the population) in 2001 to 4,586,838 people (8.9% of the population) in 2011. Thus, in absolute numbers the White population is growing, but as a portion of the overall population, it is shrinking. --Jayron32 17:50, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
[After an Edit conflict] The smart answer is "Define white". One of the worst aspects of Apartheid was the arbitrary assignment of an "official" skin colour to some people of mixed background. I would like to hope that nobody is counting people by skin colour any more. HiLo48 (talk) 17:55, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Having now seen Jayron's response above, the precision of those numbers astounds me. What IS the definition of "white"? Does the term "coloured" still exist? HiLo48 (talk) 17:57, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I've no idea how the South African numbers are arrived at, but the normal way of doing things in censuses is to ask people to classify themselves. It gives an 'exact' number, obviously, but is only valid at the time the question was asked - many people will give a different answer at different times. The 'precision' is an artefact of the data collection method. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:06, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Even if it's self-classification, it requires that skin colour still be used as a means of labelling people. Not all countries do that. It's interesting that South Africa still does. HiLo48 (talk) 18:22, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
The UK still does, and even makes a distinction between White (British) and White (Irish). KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 19:48, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
In NZ, white isn't one of the current stock options. I'm fairly sure however if you tick other and call yourself "white" you'll be classified as "European, not further defined" although I couldn't find a specific reference. I think if you call yourself white British you may be defined under European as "British and Irish" (alternatively "European, not elsewhere classified"), whereas if you call yourself White Irish you may be defined as Irish. Someone who calls themselves them selves White South African, I'm not sure. Either "South African, not elsewhere classified" or "Afrikaner" I would guess. White Australian would be Australian (again all under the European category). Etc. BTW, "South African Coloured" is under other ethnicity. Nil Einne (talk) 04:20, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Edit: Realise I forgot to provide my link [108] Also I should clarify that the list are just how Statistics NZ classified people. Only a few common ethnicities (based on previous census I think) are provided people are supposed to fill in their ethnncity. The guide gives a few more examples, but the idea is you're supposed to choose what best fits you so I'm not sure they'll give you much more help even if you call them (I'm not saying they're going to be intentionally obtuse and possibly they'll read you the list of the previous recognised categories if you really want it and can't get it yourself). See [109] [110] for sample forms and guides. The statisticians then decide how to fit what you said in to a category, I think they will make a new category if they feel it's useful. (They won't make stuff if they don't feel it is, e.g. the infamous Jedi case.) Probably the most controversial thing is how to deal with people who answer "New Zealander". In this past these people were treated as New Zealand European, [111], but this was changed IIRC after a media campaign in 2006 resulted in many people answering that although it seems to have been short lived [112] [113]. BTW the Callister source surprised me a bit, if it's correct it seems at least in the past "white" without qualification was interpreted to mean "New Zealand European" (although I'm not sure if the European, not further classified existed then. Nil Einne (talk) 11:27, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

In terms of the census, South Africans self identify their "population group". See page 2 of the 2011 Census Questionnaire - Section A - Demographics - P-05 Population Group for how the question is presented. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 19:41, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
For the US census, people are asked to choose one or more of the following: White, Black [also labeled African American and Negro], American Indian / Alaskan Native, Asian Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Vietnamese, Native Hawaiian, Samoan, Guamanian [also labeled Chamorro], Other Asian, Other Pacific Islander, and generic Other. People are separately asked about Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin, which the US does not consider to be a race. Almost all Europeans would be considered generic "white". So one take away is that the US census really likes to differentiate the Asians but doesn't care about differentiating Europeans. Incidentally, the term "colored" is at least antiquated and has become borderline offensive in the US these days. Dragons flight (talk) 05:14, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
'Colored' in the United States has/had a different meaning from 'coloured' in South Africa. AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:19, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes. "Colored" in America was long used as a relatively polite description. It's now pretty much obsolete except in legacy references such as NAACP. And to call someone "colored" does smack of racism. However, I've heard more and more black Americans refer to themselves as "persons of color", which seems rather nice and positive. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:33, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
I await a good occasion to describe myself as a "person of pallor" and wait for the blank looks. —Tamfang (talk) 06:32, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

November 18[edit]

organizations to join[edit]


I am a gigantic loser. I am looking for an organization to join. I don't care what they do, I just want to be a part of something. I am 46, live near Toronto Canada. Even the French Foreign Legion will not take me.

What organization will take anybody?

Big Loser - — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ibhloser (talkcontribs)

Most churches will willingly accept fresh blood. And political parties. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:07, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Within 5 miles of Toronto, you can meet an over 40 club or play board games today. You can go to a cultural event tomorrow, or "try new things" next week. These and many other "meetups" are open to all, and you can browse them at the Meetup_(website), here [114] SemanticMantis (talk) 21:51, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Removed email, suggest someone hat, or better remove the entire post. μηδείς (talk) 23:18, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
    • Take it to the talk page, Medeis. I see no request for opinion. Dismas|(talk) 23:34, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
      • The user is now blocked, Dismas, but thanks for the suggestion. I have started a discussion here at the talk page to further discuss this. μηδείς (talk) 18:53, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
There are many organizations that accept volunteers. Soup kitchens, animal shelters, homeless shelters, etc. And each will give opportunities to meet other people. Dismas|(talk) 23:32, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
There are a large number of groups, catering for most tastes and locales, listed on sites such as CS Miller (talk) 12:57, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Here is a link to a website that lists many volunteer opportunities in Toronto [115]. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:43, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Volunteering isn't for total losers, though. If you don't do the work, they won't want you back. InedibleHulk (talk) 02:10, November 21, 2014 (UTC)

November 19[edit]

Can someone name name me some non-software synths with MTS sysexes support?[edit]

Can someone name name me some non-software synths with MTS sysexes support? (talk) 16:43, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Translation, please. (Has the English language evolved to such an elevated degree that even elder statespersons such as I are being left floundering pathetically in its melancholy wake? Or have I just lost the plot again?) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:13, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
It's plain English, just full of jargon. MTS is Midi tuning specification, MIDI is the Musical Instrument Digital Interface, and "synth" is a synthesizer. Since non-software is asked for, we're looking for a chip or set of chips that is made of physical things, rather than software that runs on a computer. "Sysex" seems to be "System Exclusive", which entails something about messing with hexadecimal controls, rather than the normal user interfaces for the devices. I have no idea how to answer the OP's question, but these links might be slightly useful [116] [117]. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:36, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

November 20[edit]

Mystery news agency?[edit]

In this newspaper article, what is "TP"? It's in the usual place I'd expect to see AP or UPI. Clarityfiend (talk) 11:05, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Transradio Press (talk) 13:56, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
We have an article on Transradio Press Service; the date of the Newspaper article in question (1939) fits squarely in the heyday of said service. --Jayron32 14:29, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Clarityfiend (talk) 22:05, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
An unfortunate abbreviation: "When I think of crappy reporting, I think of TP". StuRat (talk) 15:55, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
That might help explain why they "folded" in 1951. We don't make mistakes like that anymore. ‑‑Mandruss  07:58, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

November 21[edit]

How can I identify the figure in this picture?[edit]

In the first big picture here, there is only one man that wears a white hat, He is on the right side. who is he? (talk) 00:20, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Better to ask on the Turkish Wikipedia. That news article is gibberish English, anyway. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 00:32, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, we are unlikely to be able to help here. From a quick search, the man doesn't seem to be amongst those named in the article. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:37, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Whoever he is, isn't he just one of a group of historical (reen)actors? (Look at his beard, for example) Whether he is impersonating someone specific, I couldn't tell — I wasn't able to find anyone with turban and suit jacket in any old photos from the Erzurum Congress. ---Sluzzelin talk 08:54, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

Whose behind the runtshit vandal?[edit]

Has anyone investigated who exactly might be behind the runtshit vandal?Whereismylunch (talk) 03:21, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

We don't reveal user's identities to third parties, seek elsewhere. μηδείς (talk) 04:27, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
It may well have been investigated, but checkusers are forbidden to "out" anyone. This is all that's publicly known about that user. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:11, 21 November 2014 (UTC)


In a house with radiators in every room, would it cost twice as much to keep one radiator on in two rooms (i.e. one each) than it would to keep just one radiator on in one room? After all, the water is already in the boiler and heated. It's not like gas fires or electric heaters, which of course would consume twice as much energy for two as for one. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 12:45, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

One thing to keep in mind is that in the one-radiator on scenario, it will loose heat more quickly than the two-radiators on scenario, because of how the heat equation works. I think it will definitely cause the boiler to use more fuel per radiator if only one is on. But that's not the same as total cost. To answer your specific question: no, will not be precisely twice as much, it will be less, in part for the reasons you describe. How much less than twice as much would require either a lot of assumptions or a lot of measurements. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:18, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
(e/c)The greater the number of radiators turned on, the more heat will be lost from the system, and the cooler the water will be when it arrives back at the boiler, so it will need to be supplied with more heat. It won't be twice as much because heat is lost from the piping and other places, but obviously if you want more output you'll need more input.--Shantavira|feed me 15:26, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Chuck E Cheese's[edit]

Please explain, in layman'a terms, why the above hasn't been expanded near me yet. I hope to have a good discussion without debate or breaches of the reference desk rules. Also, I am located in the UK. Pablothepenguin (talk) 23:35, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

In short, money. There are a number of costs that go along with expanding into a new country for any business. There's the lawyers to be paid who make sure all the business licensing is in place, draw up contracts, leases, etc. for new employees and new franchisees. The food has to come from somewhere, so there have to be distributors for those foodstuffs. There's the management to think of as well. All the people who run the stores in that country will have to work locally. It can't all be managed from Texas. Those managers have to be trained in the company policies, etc. All this comes at a huge expense. So doing so for just one or two stores would be prohibitively expensive. Thus many locations have to open nearly at once. Dismas|(talk) 23:52, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
What about Canada, Dismas? Also, we in the UK deserve the utmost in pizza based services. I must exact some sort of comeuppance. Pablothepenguin (talk) 00:11, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
What about it? Last I looked, Texas is not in Canada. Dismas|(talk) 02:25, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
There are lots of Chuck E Cheeses in Canada. Although strangely, there is one in Cambridge, and one in Windsor, but not in London, the much bigger city in between them. The lack of an Ikea, though, is much more annoying. Adam Bishop (talk) 10:59, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Do they have Pizza Hut in the UK? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:17, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately, yes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:11, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Adam Bishop, aren't Cambridge, Windsor and London in England? I still need better quality entertainment and pizza based stuffs. Pablothepenguin (talk) 11:00, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Ignore my Cambridge London question, eh, just to let you know, London is England and the Uk's capital, and Cambridge has the largest University in Britain. We shall get our combined pizza and laser tag style entertainment one day. Viva La Revolution. Pablothepenguin (talk) 11:45, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Ignore me twice, I'll still let you off, but I am really concerned. Once again, this is the beginning of change. One day we will succeed, maybe we'll beat cancer, maybe we'll defeat world hunger, maybe we'll finally convince an American pizza and entertainment centre to open in Scotland. Pablothepenguin (talk) 12:20, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Haha, oh yeah, I mean the ones in Ontario. It seems like everything here is named after somewhere in the UK...London is even on the Thames. Adam Bishop (talk) 13:20, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
(ec) According to List of universities in the United Kingdom by enrollment Cambridge University is only the 54th largest. CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Sunasuttuq 13:34, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

November 22[edit]

Deck guns on WWII U-boats[edit]

In WW II movies, German U-boats are shown with deck guns. How can a gun barrel and firing mechanism be able to function after being immersed in icy salt water for many days?OnBeyondZebrax (talk) 01:45, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

Smaller guns (i.e. anti-aircraft armament) were disassembled and taken below before submerging. Large-calibre guns seem generally only to have had the barrel plugged, and otherwise relied on greasing and on rust-resistant steel to alleviate the problems. [118] It seems apparent that there were always going to be problems with such guns - though they may not have been significantly worse than those on a surface ship constantly exposed to salt spray. AndyTheGrump (talk) 02:09, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
We have an article, Deck gun, but it doesn't address this issue. I believe Andy is correct, the barrel being plugged with a tampion. It wasn't only German U-boats that had deck guns; the last Royal Navy syubmarine to mount one was HMS Andrew (P423) which fired her gun, a QF 4 inch naval gun Mk XXIII, for the last time in 1974 just before her retirement. Alansplodge (talk) 10:21, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Yeah - the link I provided actually relates to U.S. submarines. I couldn't find anything regarding U-Boat deck gun anti-corrosion measures other than on forums. I think that the U.S. navy actually had more success with deck guns than anyone else during WW2 - the Pacific war probably gave more opportunities for a weapon only usable in calm water, against unarmed or lightly armed isolated targets, than the Atlantic one. AndyTheGrump (talk) 11:05, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
WWII submarines had to come up every 24hrs (normally at night) to re-charge their lead-acid batteries (from the diesel engines), and to take in fresh air. The snorkel only became common in the middle of WWII; this allowed the submarine to run just under the water's surface. CS Miller (talk) 13:36, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

Best online clothing shop for older women[edit]

Hi there,
I'm looking for the best online clothing shop for women.
We're talking about a woman in size of 86 kg, or 190 pounds.

United States Citizen thinking about emigrating to the UK or EU. Is it fairly possible?[edit]

I am an adult male citizen of the United States with a college degree from a reputable university and several graduate degrees. I do not speak any non-English language with any fluency although I can read French and German. Would it be possible to me to legally move to the UK (England or Scotland), or France, Germany, Italy? I'm not thinking of this as just moving there as a rich expatriate (for I have no money or property) but as an emigrant to start a new life. What is required to get permission to enter the country, get a job, be allowed to open accounts, rent somewhere to live, etc.? Thank you. Zombiesturm (talk) 15:03, 22 November 2014 (UTC)