Wikipedia:Reference desk/all

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Wikipedia Reference Desk - All recent questions
WP:RD/ALL redirects here. You may also be looking for Wikipedia:Resolving disputes, Wikipedia:Redirect or Wikipedia:Deletion review.

This page lists all the recent questions asked on the Wikipedia reference desk by category. To ask a new question, please select one of the categories below. To answer a question, click on the "edit" link beside the question.

For information on any topic, choose a category for your question:

Computing reference deskP computing.svg
Science reference deskP physics.svg
Mathematics reference deskP mathematics.svg
Humanities reference deskP art.png
Computers and IT Science Mathematics Humanities
Computing, information technology, electronics, software and hardware Biology, chemistry, physics, medicine, geology, engineering and technology Mathematics, geometry, probability, and statistics History, politics, literature, religion, philosophy, law, finance, economics, art, and society
Language reference deskP literature.svg
Entertainment reference deskP music.svg
Miscellaneous reference deskP question.svg
Reference desk archivesP archive.svg
Language Entertainment Miscellaneous Archives
Spelling, grammar, word etymology, linguistics, language usage, and requesting translations Sports, popular culture, movies, music, video games, and TV shows Subjects that don't fit in any of the other categories Old questions are archived daily
Help deskWikipedia-logo.png
Village pumpWikipedia-logo.png
New contributors' help pageWikipedia-logo.png
Help desk Village pump New contributors' help page
Ask general questions about using Wikipedia Ask about specific policies and operations of Wikipedia A range of services to answer newcomers' questions
Help manual MediaWiki handbook Citing Wikipedia Resolving disputes Virtual classroom
Information and instructions on every aspect of Wikipedia Information about the software that runs Wikipedia How to cite Wikipedia as a reference For resolving issues between users An advanced guide on everything Wikipedia
See also the Wikipedia department directory



May 17[edit]

What type of HTML uses indenting instead of closing tags?[edit]

I once saw a version of HTML that relied on whitespace instead of closing tags to end scope, sort of similar to CoffeeScript. Does anyone know the name of this variant of HTML? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:39, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Some HTML tags don't need to be closed, like the br tag used between lines 1 and 2, without the closing tag, and between 2 and 3, with the closing tag:


StuRat (talk) 21:48, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
What I am saying is that in most languages, white space is not significant in how code is written. However, there are some languages where white space matters. For example, in JavaScript, white space doesn't matter. You could code this:
if (true) {
} else {
...which is semantically identical to this...
if (true) {
} else {
...which is semantically identical to this...
   if (true) {
   } else {
But the equivalent CoffeeScript has no scope terminators such as closing brackets. Instead, it relies on indentation to determine scope. So, this is how you would write the identical code in CoffeeScript:
if true
...whereas this would mean something completely different (I'm not sure that this code would even transcompile) ...
if true
I once saw a version of HTML that worked the same way. Instead of closing tags, it relied on white space to determine scope. So, instead of this...
    <title>This is a title</title>
    Hello world!
</html> looked something like this...
    <title>This is a title
     Hello world!
A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:06, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Have you any more context? For instance, Hamlet templates[1] can look like this. They aren't really a 'version' of HTML, but nor - I think - was whatever you remember. (talk) 23:16, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
I once used a language for a CNC punch machine that didn't allow empty spaces at the ends of lines. It would give me very strange errors when it happened and it took me at least an hour to find the problem the first time it happened since a space isn't visible. I eventually found it by mistake when I happened to put the cursor at the end of the line and noticed the space. You can bet your life that I never forgot about that error! But this was not HTML. Dismas|(talk) 23:44, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Also see: Whitespace (programming language)... --Guy Macon (talk)
It could have been Hamlet, or something similar to it. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 20:14, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

May 18[edit]

Javascript basics question (I just want to know if I understood right)[edit]

Does dot (.) in Javascript equals GET? thanks, Ben-Yeudith (talk) 03:44, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

No. The dot is a property-accessor. A dot connects an object with a property, which can be another object or a method (function). For instance, to get the value of a property through its get() method: var language = object.get('lang');. -- [[User:Edokter]] {{talk}} 09:30, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Websites that disable unregistered users from viewing - how does that work?[edit]

Quora, Tumblr, and Experience Project seem to deny browsing accessibility to unregistered users. In other words, one needs to register an account, sometimes with personally identifiable information, in order to browse the network. Alternatively, one can view specific webpages, if one has the uniform resource locator. If an user is interested in more related questions on Quora, then that user is advised to create an account with his or her real name. On a technical level, how does that ability to deny browsing to unregistered users work? Is there a formal or technical name for this? Although I have learned basic HTML and CSS and Javascript, I find that I have a lot to learn in the world of computer programming. (talk) 12:59, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

A registered user will typically log in, after which the server will store a HTTP cookie in their browser (which their browser sends back to the site every time it requests a page on that site). By checking to see if a visitor supplies a valid cookie, the site can limit what content is visible and to whom. They could chose to send anyone without the cookie to a login page, thus making the whole site inaccessible to unregistered visitors. But it the sites you describe want to hook in new visitors (especially people coming from search engines like Google and discussion sites like Reddit). So they've decided to give people arriving at the site, even without the cookie, access to just that page - but they still want to encourage people to register, so they don't want those visitors moving to subsequent pages on the site without registering or logging in. They can see if a browser was referred to the site externally by checking the HTTP referer field in the request the browser sends; people coming e.g. from Google will have a Google URL in that field; people moving around inside Quora will send a Quora URL. So they probably have logic that reads something like:
    if (request.cookie == none) and (request.referer.domain != ""):
        show_page (request.url)
        show_page (login_or_register_screen)
-- Finlay McWalterTalk 13:17, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Since the server is really another computer, how does this computer/server thing recognize incoming data? Are data transmitted through wires? What about wireless Internet? Does a person have to set up an unmanned satellite into space in order to transmit its own messages from its own servers to other people's computers? (talk) 13:32, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
That's right. But remember you'll have to connect your satellite with cables to every client machine (including laptops, tablets, smartphones etc.) :-P --CiaPan (talk) 14:18, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
If you are asking how webpages are fetched, then that's worthy of a new question (and quite possibly an entire article), but the basic answer is the webbrowser sends to the webserver one (or more) requests using HTTP. The HTTP requests are sent over TCP/IP. There are lower-level protocols under TCP/IP, but they are specific to how your device is connected to the internet. OSI model explains some of these. LongHairedFop (talk) 19:42, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Access can be restricted by using server-side scripting like this
var sid = cookies.get("sessionid"); //  get the value of the "sessionid" cookie that the user's browser has sent
if (sid == null or !checkSessionValidity(sid)) // check that we have a sessionId, it hasn't expired (or is otherwise invalid), and extend the validity for 5 more minutes
   // session was invalid, or has expired, ask the user to login
   // this will set a valid sessionid cookie
   var userId = extractUserIdFromSessionId(sid);
   // generate the content for the user, including any per-user customisations
Completing the rest of the code is left as an exercise for the interested reader. ---- LongHairedFop (talk) 19:51, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Randomatic - early 70s computer[edit]

In The Anderson Tapes (a 1971 film), the police use a computer called a "Randomatic" to call up details of suspects. A series of buttons are pressed, some clicking and whirring occurs, and a card with the details on is output. Was this a real machine? Were they police-specific or used for other purposes? Any other information gratefully received. DuncanHill (talk) 17:20, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Here's a picture of it (from the movie). I think it was a real device, made by Randomatic Data Systems, Inc. (not affiliated with Sperry Rand) and covered by some of these patents. -- BenRG (talk) 17:58, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
[EC] If I remember correctly, the RANDOMATIC was being talked about (mostly to potential invesors) in the film industry in the early 70s, but it wasn't shown until the 1976 Los Angeles SMPTE convention. It was a system developed by The Intercraft Corporation in NYC and Randomatic Data Systems in Trenton. It was a card selector "computer" where bars were raised in selector trays to lift or not lift cards according to holes/notches in the cards. Instead of the usual editor's log book used in producing a film, the cards would contain info on locations. actors, camera, etc. so you can ask "show me all scenes with John Smith on soundstage three using camera B". Card lifting systems predated the RANDOMATIC, so perhaps this was an early prototype or maybe the special effects people just took the idea and made something that resembled it for the film. I will see if the film is available on netflix and watch it. I will be able to tell you more once I see the scenes in question. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:14, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
That picture doesn't look like any real-world card lifting system I have ever seen. I am pretty sure that it was something made by the special effects people just for the film, not a working system. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:20, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Found an article about it: [ ] --Guy Macon (talk) 18:26, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
And note that they are using "random" here to mean "the cards can be place in the device in any random order, yet you can select the cards in any order you decide you want to access them", as opposed to in sequential order. This is the same way it is used in the term RAM, which is unfortunate, in both cases, because it seems to imply that you will ask for a card or bit of data from memory, and one will be randomly selected for you by the device. "Nonsequential access" would have been a much clearer term. StuRat (talk) 18:30, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
That would be content-addressable memory, not RAM. -- BenRG (talk) 19:20, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
The R in random-access memory, as I understand it, means that the speed of access is independent of sequence: you can retrieve the contents in random order as quickly as in sequence, unlike on tape/drum/disk. —Tamfang (talk) 20:16, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I believe that's just a more formal way of saying the same thing, to prevent somebody from claiming that sequential access is random access, since they can, of course, retrieve a million records and toss out all but the last one, but this would be maybe a million times slower than just reading the last one immediately. StuRat (talk) 20:30, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
It's one of those terms that has evolved over time. In the early days of bulk storage, disk and drum drives were claimed to be random access - by comparison with tape drives that are decidedly sequential. The same thing has been true of main memory too - "bubble memory" was sequentially accessed, for example. Nowadays, we'd say that disk drives are not random-access's a matter of degree. Even RAM is not entirely randomly accessible because we reach it through layers of cache memory that make accessing blocks of consecutive addresses vastly more efficient than jumping around throughout the address space. These terms get re-invented and re-used as time goes by. (The term "Writeable CD-ROM" particularly amuses me). SteveBaker (talk) 03:47, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

May 19[edit]

Skype log in[edit]

Whenever I am trying to login to my Skype account, it keeps saying that it doesn't recognized my account. Why does it say like that? Is there a solution to that? Please and thanks. What's the point of keeping a Skype account. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:06, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Are you sure you've got your username right? You can have your username emailed to you, assuming you can remember which address you used to register. It is on [2]. Otherwise, are you using a cookie blocker on your browser. Are you using a webbrowser, or the skype app, and which platform are you on? LongHairedFop (talk) 18:13, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Celeron processors[edit]

Can I replace an ordinary Celeron processor operating in a Dell dimension 2400 desktop @ 2.4GHz with a Celeron D processor and get it to operate at 3.2GHz without changing the mother board clock or any other mods?-- (talk) 19:51, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Some manufacturers use branded hardware which disallows the use of some components. If You already own the CPU, have me the mainboards modell and revision number to refer technical notes. On the CPU there's modell and stepping number, I also need.
If this picture looks like Your system, I recommend to replace mainboard and power supply due capacitors lifetime and hardware costs. This is a stable and well designed computer case. Any mainboard like Micro-ATX, Flex-ATX or mini-ITX will fit. Check the bolts configuration before installing it. Note, some manufacturers use incompatible I/O shields. I hope this period is over. I guess the picture shows a compatible case. You are renewing the power supply not to damage the capacitors on the new mainboard with the old power supply and its older capacitors. The capacitors on board are not made for the high ripple currents from the power supply. --Hans Haase (有问题吗) 09:48, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
The number I can see on the Celeron D CPU is A1655. Does this tell anything?-- (talk) 13:02, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Its ok the 2 processors have different contacts.-- (talk) 13:44, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I do not think you will be happy with the result of the upgrade you are contemplating. It will cost too much for too little performance increase. Instead, I advise buying a used Dell Optiplex 780. It accepts PCI-E video cards, holds up to 16GB of RAM (I recommend crucial brand), and can be upgraded to an Intel Core 2 Quad Processor Q9550 if you find a good price on one. Currently $100 ~ $200 on Amazon: [ ]. Add a Geoforce GT 640 and a 500W power supply to handle the card and you will have a reasonably fast gaming rig. Max out the RAM and get a cheap 128GB SSD and you will have a blazing fast machine for word processing, email, web surfing, and other desktop apps. Or just run it as it is and it will still be a lot faster than what you have now. --Guy Macon (talk) 21:18, 20 May 2015 (UTC)


Which is, currently, the best software to remove spyware? Cambalachero (talk) 20:55, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Opinions differ on which is the best, but see Spyware#Anti-spyware programs. Dbfirs 21:05, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

May 20[edit]


In dbpedia vocabulary, why is class "City" not linked with class "Country" ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:41, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Any Easter eggs on Win 3.1 | MS DOS 6.22 ?[edit]

I've got a VM running MS DOS 6.22 with Windows 3.1. Are there any Easter eggs I can try out? Peter Michner (talk) 15:54, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

[3], [4]. Might also want to try google :)—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); May 20, 2015; 15:57 (UTC)

Problems with spyware[edit]

I'm having problems with spyware, which make my internet connection (and my whole computer) really slow. Let's just say that, when I simply open the browser (and just load google, the main page) I see a huge activity in the status bar, calling and connecting to many sites such as "determineyourroad", "offersbycontext", "eshopcomp", "everytravels", and similar garbage. I even get a crash of flash player from time to time (still in google's main page). Simply clicking in the search box also opens pop up windows. Every google search has fake results by the "ads by name" spyware at the top.

I have seen many sites that suggest what to do: uninstall any unknown programs which were recently installed, delete any unknown browser add-ons, and run a spyware detector program. However, I'm either missing something or those spywares are more insidious: all the installed software is either known or belongs to known sources (such as "Microsoft Corporation", I hope that spyware installers can not fake those sources, right?), and I have no strange add-ons. Running a spyware detector does not seem to fix much, as those things are still there. Is there some other way to fix all this? Cambalachero (talk) 22:08, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

A more drastic fix is to reinstall the O/S. This means you will get rid of all malware, but will also lose any customization, downloaded programs, etc. If you have a spare hard drive, you can make your current boot drive no longer the boot drive, and just use it to hold all your data, programs, etc. Since it's not the boot drive, malware on it would hopefully not be activated. The new hard drive would then get the fresh install of the O/S. StuRat (talk) 03:51, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Check your browser addons. There are many adware/PUP addons out there, and some of them piggyback install on "good" software, like the Ask toolbar with the Java installer. If they seem to reappear, a decent malware scanner, like Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, should pick up the cause. (talk) 14:30, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Backup all data and reinstall the OS. Check your routers settings! Software like Spybot S&D, Adaware, CCleaner and similar are not exactly the same. Spybot S&D removes and display malware, of privaciy violating settings like recent used documents and adds malware websites into hosts file to redirect them to localhost where requesting this sites should not be harmful unitl you are not running a proxy or router on this machine. Adaware removes known malware. CCleaner removes unneccessary files like caches, temporary files, inconsistent old connections and some malware. --Hans Haase (有问题吗) 12:29, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

May 21[edit]

Spare connector on SATA drives[edit]

What is the purpose of the spare 4 pin connector on some SATA drives? Can it be used to daisy chane two SATA drives?-- (talk) 15:20, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Many drives have jumper blocks which allow you to configure some basic options; in particular, for backwards compatibility with older BIOSes and OSes. Worrying about these was much more common for P-ATA drives, and I don't recall needing to set one for at least five years. These blocks are vendor (and often model) specific, and they're not always fully documented (meaning some of the functions they represent are used only in manufacture and post-manufacture test). So you'll have to find the documentation for your specific drive in order to find out what the connector does. Some examples: Western Digital, Seagate. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 15:40, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you.-- (talk) 15:57, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
And many are an RS-232 serial interface you can use a terminal to communicate with the drive.[5] -- Gadget850 talk 17:51, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

May 22[edit]

Sending an HTML email[edit]

Hi there,
I would like to send an HTML email.
Unfortunately, when I try to send to Gmail, an e-mail with "html\text" headers, Gmail ignores my headers, and just present it as "plain\text".
Does anyone know how to send an HTML e-mail?
Thanks.Exx8 (talk) 05:51, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Click on the small triangle to the bottom right of the text box. In the pop-up menu make sure "plain text" is unchecked.--Shantavira|feed me 07:25, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
NO NO, I try to send via a php file into a Gmail account.Exx8 (talk) 09:20, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Do you mean to say that you have written a PHP program to send mail? If so, carefully read PHP mail function documentation. In particular, see the section where they talk about MIME and HTML email. (The mail header is only part of the work you need to do: you must provide a complete and valid multipart message). If you wish, you can write your own code to produce valid MIME multipart email documents, but it is recommended that you use the pre-existing code provided by Pear Mail_Mime (part of the Pear package). Nimur (talk) 11:00, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Another option is to create an HTML page on a public server, then just provide a link to it in your email. This is often done as a backup method even when the HTML page is sent as part of the email. StuRat (talk) 13:31, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

List of USB type C devices[edit]

If there a comprehensive list of USB type-C host devices out there? Our article lists four of them, but I suspect there might be more out there. My other car is a cadr (talk) 06:30, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Old windows 7 installation.[edit]

Long story short, had hardware problem on system, misdiagnosed as software so reinstated 7.

Now theres a windows.old folder on primary disk. How can I revert back to this installation, please? Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:20, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

This should help - [6] -- LarryMac | Talk 16:38, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

How To Split A String Into An Array Of Characters In VBA (Not VB.NET) ?[edit]

Hello, I want to take a string and split it into an Array(or a Collection) of characters(each character that makes up the string) in Visual Basic for Applications, not VB.Net. I am using VBA in Microsoft Word 2007. How would I do this? Thanks for your help in advance. —SGA314 (talk) 16:00, 22 May 2015 (UTC)


May 18[edit]

relative refractory period in the heart[edit]

Does when the relative refractory period occurs in the heart, that means that there is re-polarization and depolarization in the same time? (talk) 03:15, 18 May 2015 (UTC)


why is sulphur always associated with volcanism?

There is sulfur in solid form in lots of rocks, but it's not very noticeable like that. Only when heated by volcanism and in vapor form does it become noticeable, due to it's pungent odor. StuRat (talk) 15:17, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
To expand on Stu, sulfur has a relatively low boiling point, and hence vaporizes out of lava when it is present in excess It then quickly condenses near the vent, building up pure deposits. μηδείς (talk) 19:51, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Sleep issue[edit]


If I sleep for 8 hours, wake up and continue the day, I get tired and I do feel like going to sleep again, and sometimes I do sleep for an hour or two when I feel like I can't take it anymore. But when I sleep for 12 hours, I don't feel like going to sleep at all, I also, can continue over 24 hours... I do wish to sleep for 8 hours as it is suppose to be healthy and I don't want to go to sleep during the next 16 hours... I don't have no desire of sleep for 12 hours as it is suppose to be unhealthy...

What should I do? Any suggestions? I thought of exercising, but it's tiring...

Mr. Prophet (talk) 10:13, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

We shouldn't be giving you medical advice, like it says at the top of the page. And without doing some sort of sleep study, our answers would likely be nothing more than guessing in the dark. That said, you might like to read Circadian rhythm and some of the articles linked from it. Dismas|(talk) 10:55, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I know, I'm aware, my English sometimes do come across as something else when I mean something 'else'. I only seek advice, a brainstorm, a guidance and so on, in order to understand a thing better... Sorry for it coming across like that...
I glanced through what you guided, it talks about 'entrainment'. What about this image, the clock and the environment, are they conjoined or can be noted separately according to personal life style? -- Mr. Prophet (talk) 18:24, 18 May 2015 (UTC)


When should I start reading/learning or exercising after eating? After how many minute(s)/hour(s)? -- Mr. Prophet (talk) 10:16, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

When you are alert enough. It all depends on you. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 12:22, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Okay, thanks Smile.gif -- Mr. Prophet (talk) 18:27, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Never heard anyone argue against reading or learning after eating. And the exercising thing I only ever heard about swimming, due to the possibilities of cramps, but I don't know whether to take that seriously. StuRat (talk) 15:13, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Lol. I was wondering... 👻 -- Mr. Prophet (talk) 18:10, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
For a brief moment I thought this section was addressed to me —Tamfang (talk) 09:13, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
@Medeis: Smiley123.png Well, I may have excretion problem Smile-tpvgames.gif I'm making love to my bed whenever I'm free, this action dominates my life Face-blush.svg more than eating, sleeping, walking, name it, whenever I'm not reading/learning/writing, I'm in my bed, having fun. I don't have no control over it Smile-tpvgames.gif I never thought it was a problem because my girlfriend is going crazy to live with me ever since hearing about it... Confused.png
What do you say? Would you still advice me to visit the endocrinologist? -- Mr. Prophet (talk) 06:05, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
There is little, if any, negative impact on your physical health from exercising immediately after eating, not including overeating. The association with cramps and what else have you, is a results of folk wisdom, and the placebo effect. Plasmic Physics (talk) 05:19, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Age and the amount of sleep[edit]

As humans age, they sleep less. I've read that old people don't need less sleep, they just don't (can't?) stay asleep as long as younger adults do. What's the mechanism that causes humans to sleep less as they age. -- (talk) 11:44, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Old people are less active. How many 60+ year olds do you see being forced to do sports at school? KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 12:18, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
There are probably multiple mechanisms, but one of them is that the brain's biological clock, the suprachiasmatic nucleus, generates circadian rhythm signals that decrease in amplitude with age. The result is to leave people feeling less sleepy during the night. See for a recent review. Looie496 (talk) 13:19, 18 May 2015 (UTC)


i want to go to international space station and i want to take some pictures of blue marble ,is it possible? well i am not an astronomer,the astronomers who are in space station they are only taking pictures of the outer space ,and doing some experiments i guess. 13:21, 18 May 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

The space station is too close to Earth. The ISS orbits 200-300 miles above the Earth's surface. You would have to get a few thousand miles from Earth to see it as a blue marble. Looie496 (talk) 13:24, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
However you can easily find many, many photos originating from the ISS of what's visible of earth taken by instruments and by astronauts. E.g. [7]. There is also the famous and somewhat controversial Hyundai ad campaign [8] [9] although this, as with a number of photos was I presume taken with a zoom lens so wasn't trying to maximise the visible portion of earth. Incidently, if you have a very good reason for needing specific new imagery and there is nothing already out there that is good enough, you can even make a request for someone to take a photo for you [10]. (Read what I said again before trying anything like that, if you haven't actually do a good search of existing imagery or don't have a very good reason, your request is likely to be ignored.) In fact in the modern digital camera era, I suspect the majority of astronauts who have been to the ISS have probably taken at least one photo of earth. In fact it wouldn't surprise me if most take far more photos of earth than outer space. BTW, most people who have been to the ISS aren't really astronomers AFAIK. Nil Einne (talk) 13:47, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Here are some images which show parts of Qatar all apparently taken from the ISS [11], [12], [13] Nil Einne (talk) 14:13, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Read space tourism and then come back to us whether you think you can make it to the ISS. Your chances are slim indeed, even if you had the money. (talk) 14:44, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
If you have a billion dollars, and are willing to wait a few decades, you can probably go into space in your lifetime. StuRat (talk) 15:11, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
According to the article, you only need to have about $40 million and be willing to wait until later in 2015. -- BenRG (talk) 19:16, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I can believe some people with $40 million can go up in 2015, but not all of them. StuRat (talk) 19:34, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Face-devil-grin.svg Who want's 40 million? Get ready to catch it, cause I'm gonna sneeze it! -- Mr. Prophet (talk) 05:39, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

They were suppose to sink the ISS in 2015, in the 'deep blue sea/ocean', I read this in a newspaper long time ago! What's going on? Does anybody know? -- Mr. Prophet (talk) 18:30, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Not sure in the case of the ISS, but it's not uncommon for missions to be extended, if the equipment is still functional, still doing good science, and the budgetary and political climate allows it to continue. I even think they may set artificially early mission endings, knowing they are likely to be extended, since extending a mission looks a lot better than ending it "early". This reminds me of Scotty on Star Trek always saying everything is impossible, then getting it done in the next scene. StuRat (talk) 18:40, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Unsurprisingly, International Space Station program has a fair amount of info on the history of the mission life span, particularly in the #End of Mission section. Nil Einne (talk) 19:21, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
NASA only recently signed a billion-dollar plus contact with SpaceX to make supply trips to the ISS. That would be a very strange thing to do if the plan were to scrap it later this year! That suggests that there is something wrong with this claim. SteveBaker (talk) 20:03, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
From our ISS article's lede: As of January 2014, the American portion of ISS was funded until 2024. Roskosmos has endorsed the continued operation of ISS through 2024, but have proposed using elements of the Russian Orbital Segment to construct a new Russian space station called OPSEK. -- ToE 21:00, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Sounds like I did read the right info on the newspaper, (like Stu said), otherwise why would they expand the program a year before if it wasn't doing good... -- Mr. Prophet (talk) 05:29, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Not sure why there remains any confusion. If you read the article which me and others have linked, there was a suggestion once to deorbit the ISS in 2016. Whether or not you remember what you read right, no one can say unless you actually find the specific article you read. Nil Einne (talk) 11:46, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
There's no confusion, others have also defined it, and the article don't say what Stu said!... Face-smile.svg -- Mr. Prophet (talk) 19:00, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
My point is the extension is largely irrelevant to what you may have read. The question is whether there was ever a stated suggestion to deorbit it in 2015, not whether it was extended. The info suggests there may have been a suggestion to deorbit albeit in 2016 not 2015 (although the mission would have ended in 2015). Also, if you read the article, it strongly suggests StuRat's comment is too simplistic. It isn't just about setting deadlines early because extending sounds better than cutting short, but also very likely to do with the fact budgetary and political elements change over time. As well, trying to guarantee something so far in advance is fairly risky when you can't really predict how these will change in the future. In fact setting a short mission may also be seen as a way to push the budgetary and politics in the desired direction. This is particularly for something as costly, and as internationally complex as the ISS. StuRat mentioned something about budgetary and politics, but seemed to fail to make all these likely connections and instead only mentioned one possibility, which may be true, but is likely to only be one component. Nil Einne (talk) 20:33, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Acknowledged! I've also read through...
A general thought (don't mind Face-smile.svg), conversations do sometimes go round in a circle in order to comprehend the complete picture of a thing 'sometimes', if everything went straight all the time, we wouldn't have needed a brainstorming method, people with ideas, and so on. Discussions open, lead to possibilities, if you take this freedom away from people than we might as well be robots or Pharaohs slaves.
Personally speaking, I can't put my finger on a single comment that deviated, but was relative... I could be wrong. Stu might not have mentioned the complete thing but have some (like you said, one), any project (you name it) do extend due to many reasons, I guess thats why the ISS did not stop deorbiting. You also guided the article, people who are interested can read through the article too... You also gave a summary for correction/complete picture... Everything went step by step. Others also have said things that are 'relative' know what I mean. If you still think that I'm wrong than I'll bow to your decision, cause you've helped me a lot, I don't want you to be annoyed with me... Face-smile.svg -- Mr. Prophet (talk) 18:28, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
'budgetary' and 'politics'? If I get this right from what Stu stated, its about 'money' and 'power', definitely not an uncommon thing to think of when the countries unite. Problems have always occurred between indifferent level group(s), sometimes discreetly sometimes aloud; natural... -- Mr. Prophet (talk) 18:37, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Species identification: is this a Dark-spotted Frog?[edit]

I took this picture in Liaoning, China and want to add it to Commons but I'm not 100% certain of the species. Based on the list at Category:Amphibians_of_China I suspect it is a Dark-spotted frog. Can someone please confirm or reject? DrewHeath (talk) 13:35, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Kind of hard to tell due to the angle and lighting. Plus the frog has a huge range, so it might show quite some variation. Your best bet would be a process of elimination. If there are only 4 native Ranidae species in the area, and you can rule out the other three, then the identification should be more secure. (Frankly, If I'd found this in the US I'd've assumed it was Rana pipiens without samples of each to compare. μηδείς (talk) 18:13, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Laser printing process[edit]

According to Laser_printing#Printing_process, "A laser beam (...) projects an image of the page to be printed onto an electrically-charged, selenium-coated, rotating, cylindrical drum", " charged electrons (...) fall away from the areas exposed to light."

Why doesn't the charge spread across the selenium, basically deleting the image, once the laser knocks off some electrons and imprints the image? Or, do charges spread from electrically loaded to not electrically loaded locations, but at such slow pace that it does not matter, since the page will be printed before this happens? --Senteni (talk) 17:48, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Laser Scanner Unit of a Laser Printer
(Click for details)
Laser head and optic for panasonic KX P4410.jpg
That's really the clever part. Crystalline selenium has very unusual photoconductivity. When you shine a light onto it, the electrical conductivity goes up by a factor of about 1000! So you shine a light on it - current flows into it easily wherever it's illuminated, yet can only flow exceedingly slowly into the areas that aren't illuminated. Then you can shut off the light and the charge is trapped by the very low conductivity of the material. That's why selenium is used for this purpose.
Clever or what?!  :-) SteveBaker (talk) 19:59, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
There were several photo conducting materials used. Some more robust, some getting scratched from paper, some knows as hazardous. There's a so called corona, a wire connected to a high voltage supply, charging the photo conductor. Light, also laser light is discharging the photo conductor. The laser beam is being moved line by line similar to a the beam in cathode ray tube displaying television. The laser is modulated to apply the latent picture onto the photo conductor. When rubbing a balloon on clothes, it will be electrostatic charge. When moving the charged balloon over your head, it will lift the hair to its surface. Toner is plastic dust. This way the charged photo conductor lifts the toner on its surface. If not charged, not toner will be picked. Now the picture is visible on the photo conductor. Another corona or charged roller transfers the toner onto the paper. The paper is being moved synchronous to the photo conductor. A wiper, similar to a windscreen wiper, cleans the photo conductor from not transferred toner. Some older machines used a lamp to discharge the photoconductor before recharging it. The toner is beeing fused on the paper by heat and some pressure. If paper jams or the machine is being turned of while printing, some toner is not fused, some is on the paper, some on the photo conductor before transfered. --Hans Haase (有问题吗) 23:00, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Earthquake magnitudes[edit]

When magnitude of earthquake is referred to in the news, are they referring to richter magnitude or moment magnitude?

If the news does not cite a source, it's nearly impossible to know. The most common source of data in the United States is the USGS Earthquake program, and they use magnitude for many different purposes. Moment magnitude is the scale that USGS prefers, because it can be used to rate nearly all earthquakes of all sizes for most practical purposes.
Here's the webpage to read: Measuring the Size of an Earthquake, from USGS.
Nimur (talk) 20:45, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Sitting on Spitfire wings[edit]

In the film Malta Story, as Spitfires are being taxied there are sometimes men sitting on the wings - one man at each end. Why was this done? DuncanHill (talk) 21:18, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

There are several stories online (none, that I've found yet, in fully reliable sources) about mechanics sitting on the tail of a Spitfire when taxiing on windy days. In particular, RAF Hibaldstow reiterates the story (from the BBC's People's War project, here) about WAAF mechanic Margaret Horton remaining on the tail for a brief flight. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 21:28, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
It would appear to be for assistance in manouvering the aircraft on the ground. See this contemporary photo, and this forum posting. Tevildo (talk) 21:36, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Think you might find it was a mater of connivance. Taxing on the ground, the forward field of view of a fighter is blocked by a ruddy great 27 litre engine, requiring one to keep dabbing the left and right hand brakes to swerve the fighter side to side to see where one is going. However, wing riders could guide the pilot, ensuring he did not accidentally run over his commanding officer's bicycle.--Aspro (talk) 22:04, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Hopefully no tailwheel pilot is taxiing with S-turns by using the brakes! Part of learning to fly a tailwheel aircraft is to learn to steer (on the ground) using the rudder. Some aircraft have a castered tailwheel; others have a rigid attachment to the rudder; still others have a sprung steerable castering tailwheel that is rigged to the rudder with a little bit of flex. Spitfires came in two variants; one that purely castered and one that was rigidly attached to the rudder.
More on this topic: Conventional Gear: Flying a Taildragger; the author has a whole chapter on Hawker Hurricanes the Hawker Sea Fury and I think there's even a brief mention of Spitfires.
Chapter 13 of the Airplane Flying Handbook, Transition to Tailwheel Airplanes, also contains information on how to taxi (and the whole book is available from FAA at no cost). AFH says to "use whatever power or brake is necessary..." but that's amateurish technique! A proper tailwheel pilot doesn't ride the brakes. "While taxiing, the steerable tailwheel should be used for making normal turns and the pilot’s feet kept off the brake pedals to avoid unnecessary wear on the brakes."
Nimur (talk) 22:41, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure there was any good reason for airmen to ride on the wings in the film. It seems likely that these characters were joyriding and that safety rules were being very loosely enforced! If I can find a copy of the movie, or if I can track down any other source of nonfictional information, I'll be happy to report back! Nimur (talk) 22:50, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Even moving at slow speeds, the wings provide lift, which weakens the frictional force of the tires, which allows manoeuverability. I have no idea where to find a source, but old planes not equipped with taxiing ailerons could obviously use such support. μηδείς (talk) 23:01, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
What are "taxiing ailerons"? Ailerons roll the aircraft, which is not usually what you want to do when you're taxiing. In fact, when operating a taildragger, the pilot must take care not to roll or weathervane the airplane. Consider reading the sources I linked above. One of the defining characteristics of operating these types of aircraft is the pilot's skillful command of the rudder for directional control, especially on the ground. Trike pilots, who are used to steering with the nosewheel, find this use of the rudder complicated. Nobody steers on the ground using the ailerons!
At low speeds, the weight of the aircraft is not supported by the wing. The weight of the airframe is carried by the landing gear, and the weight of the wing is carried by the airframe. The wing is not producing significantly meaningful lift at such low airspeeds.
Nimur (talk) 01:00, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I am happy to accept your expertise, but then what are the guys doing sitting on the wings, and can you define "significant" amount of lift to rule out instability while taxiing? μηδείς (talk) 19:36, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
That is explained in lift coefficient. Light aircraft such a Cessna 172 have a lower power to weight ratio. They fly much slower, so need a higher lift coefficient than a high speed fighter (which also have a larger and very much heavy engines). Therefore the climb out speed for a Spit has to be about twice that of a 172. Cessna 172 owners are advised to tie their craft down to dog-anchors in case of high winds tossing them over. A Spit will just rock gently from side-to-side in high winds. They are just way too heavy. Take a Jumbo as another example. The pilot doesn't rotate (lift off) until a speed of about 187 mph. A Cessna 172's wings would be in danger of fall off at this speed. The Jumbo's wings have a much lower lift coefficient though and need the high speed airflow over the wings to obtain the necessary lift. The guys sitting on the wing are there to ensure the pilot does not collide with anything - as the pilot cant see the ground a head - the engine is in his way.--Aspro (talk) 20:51, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I wonder if it was a particularly windy day. I can imagine a light aircraft with big wings being blown over on such a day, and having people sitting on the wingtips might prevent that. StuRat (talk) 01:06, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Supermarine Spitfires weighed about six thousand pounds when empty, and had a wing loading of nearly thirty pounds per square foot. They aren't liable to float away, even in a high wind. Nimur (talk) 13:57, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the answers. Our article does say that taxiing Spitfires was tricky due to the poor visibility, and in the film the airfield had been bombed a lot so help guiding the pilot sounds likely. I don't know how windy it was but that also seems likely. DuncanHill (talk) 11:19, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I watched the film - it was available on Netflix - and I read about the Siege of Malta (World War II). In this scene, a flight of Spitfires has just landed, and they have only minutes to refuel and rearm, because a German air raid is inbound. Airmen are riding on the wings because they're in such a hurry to get to the fuel depot. Those guys are the ground support - as soon as the aircraft gets to its depot, they're about to jump off and refuel and reload the Spitfire, so it can launch as rapidly as possible. I'm not totally convinced of the historicity of this - I'd never let someone ride on my wing before a flight (or ever)! But the dramatic effect is to emphasize how urgent things are. As Vice Admiral Payne states earlier in the film, the long siege has caused the RAF at Malta to bend procedures a little bit.
My recommendation: track down Air Marshal Lloyd's book Briefed To Attack - on which the film was based. He was there and was commander of the RAF. His version of events is likely to be even more authentic. It looks like you'll have to do some searching to find that book, but maybe a university library near you can help.
Nimur (talk) 13:40, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Refuelling a Spitfire inside a revetment at RAF Ta Kali in 1942.
If memory serves, the Spitfires in that scene were also new to Malta having just been flown in from a ferry carrier. The airfields on Malta had been very heavily bombed and were a warren of aircraft revetments (a parking bay surrounded by blast walls). The pilots would have needed to be guided into an empty revetment for refuelling - I found this picture of refuelling a Spitfire in a revetment. Alansplodge (talk) 13:20, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, the film portrays the arrival of the Spitfires from the USS Wasp in 1942. Our article has some historical photographs of these operations in which RAF pilots of No. 603 squadron launched from an American aircraft carrier. Nimur (talk) 13:42, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
USS Wasp took part in two "Club Runs", the first on 20 April 1942, Operation Calendar, when 46 Spitfires arrived on the island, but by the following day only 18 were airworthy due mainly to incessant air raids.[14] The sitting on the wings episode is more likely to be the subsequent Operation Bowery which was more successful; "On arrival, aircraft were dispersed into protected areas and rapidly refuelled and rearmed - one within six minutes of landing" according to our article. Alansplodge (talk) 19:59, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
"9 May 1942: 60 Spitfires to Malta: 1000 hrs - Ta Qali logs the first 22 new Spitfires and their pilots to arrive over the next hour. Each aircraft is numbered ready to be met by an allocated ground crew and taken to a protective pen to refuel, re-arm and repair as necessary, ready for a fresh pilot to take off within 20 minutes as cover for the next arrivals." Malta: War Diary Alansplodge (talk) 22:33, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Here is a image from inside a spitfires cockpit to show how poor forward visibility was when taxiing [15]. With the tail on the ground, the engine points up and is between the pilot and the visible ground ahead.[16] On a wartime airfield there was a lot of other movements going on at the same time (thats why air craft still have flashing red lights on the top to indicate they are intending to go somewhere). Both the Spitfire and Hurricane had deferential air brakes which had to be dabbed lightly otherwise they would bit and spin one around too far. So (as mentioned above) taxiing by S-turns was not practical nor good practice. As for taxiing air speeds, the control surfaces and wings have precious little effect. Although having said that, one could keep both feet hard on the brakes, increase thrust and get the tail to lift off the ground. Danger with that is, the nose could drop, resulting in a bent fan and a court marshal. --Aspro (talk) 19:07, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
As for a reliable source for ground crew sitting on the tail of a fighter while taxiing, I recently read Force Benedict by Eric Carter, an account of the deployment of the Hawker Hurricanes of No. 151 Wing RAF to an airfield at Vaenga near Murmansk. The airfield there was so waterlogged that the pilots were obliged to open the throttle more than usual to push through the mud, which in turn resulted in several aircraft tipping onto their noses, smashing the propeller. The solution was for two aircraftsmen to "drape themselves over the tail end of the fuselage". Unfortunately, on one aircraft the aircraftsmen left it too late and the slipstream prevented them from getting down before the aircraft took off; the extra weight on the tail caused the aircraft to go into a near vertical climb before stalling and crashing into the ground. The ground crew were both killed and the pilot was pulled unconscious from the wreckage (p. 183). Alansplodge (talk) 20:01, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
In addition, there where many grass air field that were water-logged after heavy rain. Air field need (preferably) flat land and the flat land of natural water meadows were ideal but often duckboards were need under the wheels of parked-up aircraft to save their wheels sinking into the soil. If one looks at say early RAF Northolt , before it had hard runway, one can see that deep culverts had be excavated to carry surface water away. London Heathrow Airport has culverts for the same reason. On modern air ports catering for modern aircraft with trike landing gear, using hard runways, it is not obvious why the ground crew did those thing in all those old photos unless one looks and considers the conditions and environment that they had to operate in.--Aspro (talk) 20:11, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

May 19[edit]

Kinect and Kinect for Xbox One power consumption[edit]

What is the rate of power consumptions for the Kinect and the Kinect for Xbox One respectively? Google got me nothing useful; most sources only talk about the power consumptions of Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles, and not the Kinects. My other car is a cadr (talk) 03:26, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

The original Kinect evidently used a 1.6A 12V power supply [17]. It's probable that the Kinect doesn't actually use that much and the power supply is at least mildly overrated. It's also possible that the power consumption varies even when in use and recording video at maximum resolution and frame rate depending on precisely what it's recording. And there is a chance it may use some power from the USB, but I doubt it will be much. Still you can probably think of 19W as the upper limit, or 21.7W if you really want to be sure. Nil Einne (talk) 12:46, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
The Kinect for Xbox One also needs a external power supply when used with USB3 [18] [19]. I don't know what the rating is, but I think we can say in both cases they need more than 2.5W. Nil Einne (talk) 12:52, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Strange sound[edit]

Is there any explanation for this sound? Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 05:58, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Assume hoax until proven otherwise, and the Daily Mail aren't exactly known for their quality investigative journalism. ―Mandruss  06:52, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
All I managed to find is this article from the National Post saying that the noise in Terrace, B.C. was probably a grader. I don't know how reliable the National Post is, but the article doesn't exude the air of crazy that the Daily Mail's does. -- BenRG (talk) 07:28, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I heard an explanation somewhere that it was icebergs or ice sheets grinding together, with certain atmospheric conditions transmitting the sound hundreds of miles. I don't know whether this explanation is any better than others. Dbfirs 09:26, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
My personal observation is that the source of loud industrial noise can be surprisingly hard to track down in an urban setting - it reflects off buildings to lead you in the wrong direction and often becomes inaudible when you come anywhere near the source because it's emitted from a high rooftop. If a noise source is actually nice enough to stop after a few seconds, tracking it down would seem next to impossible. And when people all over the world have a chance to compare mystery noises, I shouldn't be surprised if they can find similarities, regardless of whether they have the same cause or not. Wnt (talk) 11:59, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
To me it sounded too much like horns and stringed instruments to be industrial. But you are right about sound reflecting off buildings. When I was in college, there was a building that you could stand by the side and if the high school marching band was playing (some distance away), it was as loud as if you were right there. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 16:06, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
See the Rapture. μηδείς (talk) 19:30, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Why is the "basilic" vein called in this name?[edit] (talk) 08:32, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

It's from Arabic and means "inner".[20]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:34, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

early girl tomato[edit]

Do you think it worth mentioning that the patent on Early Girl tomato is now owned by Monsanto?

I just learned this and have chosen to through out my Early Girl seed starts as I do not wish to eat anything associated with Monsanto. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:01, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

If you have a reliable source, you can add the information to Early Girl. But only if you cite a reliable source. Otherwise, no. --Jayron32 16:09, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I added a sentence to Early_Girl#History, explaining that since 2005, Monsanto Company is the holder of the patent, after acquiring Seminis. This [21] is my ref for that claim, perhaps better can be found. Early Girl seeds don't show up in Monsanto product lists, in part because they don't sell them retail, only to distributors such as Burpee Seeds. Also perhaps worth pointing out that Early girl is a traditional F1 hybrid, not a GMO (I mean, it is a genetically modified organism, but GMO has been defined in a weird way to rule out hybrids... Hybrid research programs are not generally considered genetic engineering even though they should be if we respect compositional semantics, but that's a topic for a different day :). SemanticMantis (talk) 16:54, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Any kind of plant breeding involves "genetic engineering" in a broad sense, but GMO's have genes of other organisms added. Conventional breeding only uses what is already there. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:55, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Actually no. Under most definitions, cisgenic (as well as transgenic) organisms are consider GMO. Similarly gene silencing using an antisense gene, which you can either say doesn't really come from any organism, or comes from the original organism, also counts as GMO, such as with the famous Flavr Savr. In future, it's plausible more complicated genes may be added using artificial gene synthesis where the "inspiration" for the gene may be a complicated mix of different stuff so which may be said to have not really come from any organism but you can bet these will still said to be GMOs. Admitedly many GM techniques may leave stuff in the genome which you can say came from another organism, but that isn't the reason why they are called GMOs. Meanwhile mutation breeding which can include atomic gardening such as sticking plants in a field like this [22] and seeing what comes out of it are not considered GMOs. Nil Einne (talk) 22:14, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I think we're saying the same thing. As noted in the article, cisgenesis is distinct from conventional breeding. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:14, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Not really. You specifically said conventional breeding uses what is already there whereas GM has "genes of other organisms added". This is incorrect for all the reasons I've pointed out. Nil Einne (talk) 21:53, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, thanks, and that's why I think GMO is a bad name. No sense fighting it, though I did think it might be helpful to some to point out some of the confusing and inconsistent terminology. It goes both ways - on the one hand "GMO" inspires fear in some consumers that isn't always warranted, and on the other hand, blasting plants with radiation and eating what comes out may be cause for concern in some cases, though these plants would not be referred to as GMO. SemanticMantis (talk) 22:19, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
(EC) Also as SemanticMantis already mentioned, hybrid research involved combining the genomes of two what can be considered different types of organisms, even if these are fairly related. Admitedly it does sound like if you push it to extremes such as using somatic fusion, this is considered GMO under some definitions. Our article mentions GM as does [23].

While the later ref does refer to stuff ocurring "naturally", I think most biologists (or really scientists) would agree defining what's "natural" is basically impossible and often a bad idea. (In case it isn't obvious, I'm basically in concurrence with SemanticMantis.) Definitely some of the techniques used and accepted in plant tissue culture aren't really natural even if you argue they aren't really needed per se, but instead just make things easier or are useful for certain reasons.

BTW, I presume you intended to refer to different types of organisms. As I'm sure you know, anything arising from sexual reproduction where self fertilisation (including within a Clonal colony like Pando (tree)) isn't involved, produces something with genes from two different organisms. (And I expect except perhaps in jest, you don't consider yourself, your family or your pets (if any) as GMOs. Well except if you have GloFish or something.)

Nil Einne (talk) 22:42, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

There are hybrids and then there are "hybrids". So-called "hybrid" corn is not really a hybrid, it's just a cross of two different inbred lines within the same species. True hybridization in general has been around a lone time, e.g. the mule. The question (as I don't know the answer) is what types of GMO's are banned by the EU, for example? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:17, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
What regulators do is, of course, solely determined by power and pull, for private benefit, without a need for logic; as for the actual risks, well... you can picture a potato could mutate to accumulate high levels of solanine in the tuber rather than the leaf, no matter whether it is a natural, radiation-induced, or cisgenesis-induced mutation. The upside with that sort of "natural" mutation is that because it is natural, many farmers and regulators are already checking for solanine level, and the same may be true for many characteristic toxins of plants that might be rearranged; still, nothing is ever sure in biology. I think though that it is possible to draw some subjective distinction between "mutations of large effect" and natural variation. A mutation of large effect is preferred in artificial selection, and may get an organism to some desired endpoint quickly, but at a cost in fitness. For example, a cat with a certain popular appearance might have six toes, be missing its tail or something - this pretty much never happens in the evolution of natural cats, because whatever goal the cat evolves toward, it can be reached with smaller changes that lack the pleiotropic side effects. A natural variation, such as a single nucleotide polymorphism, can be documented to preexist in the population; when they are combined, you can say, such a fruit was always possible by random chance. But of course when you combine them with a purpose, you may pick a very uncommon outcome, and in doing so you might pick very uncommon trouble. To give an example, when you keep breeding corn to be sweeter and sweeter until it tastes like candy, eventually it can be more dangerous to diabetics and people with tooth decay. So there is some subjective difference but also some overlap between these options. The potential for mischief in true transgenics is more obvious: if you take the genes for peanut allergens, opium production, rattlesnake venom or whatever and start putting them in crops, it doesn't take a genius to see the problem. In real transgenics with seemingly innocuous and helpful borrowings, it might though. Wnt (talk) 02:43, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

May 20[edit]

USMLE Step 2 (Step 2 CS) must be taken before step 3?[edit]

there are: step 1, and step 2 CK + step 2 CS. My question is about the last one. It's not clear for me. (talk) 01:32, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

For those not familiar with the acronym, our relevant articles are United States Medical Licensing Examination, USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge, USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills, & USMLE Step 3. -- ToE 02:33, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
USMLE Step 3#Eligibility for USMLE Step 3 says: To be eligible to take the USMLE Step 3 exam, the physician must hold an M.D. or D.O. degree, and successfully pass the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge exams. International medical graduates must obtain certification by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) or successfully complete a “Fifth Pathway” program. The Step 2 CS may also be required. Hopefully someone else here will be able to describe under what conditions Step 2 CS is required. -- ToE 02:38, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
See USMLE's 2012 Bulletin, pg 4-5:
In order to be eligible to register for USMLE Step 3, graduates of LCME-accredited medical school programs or AOA-accredited medical schools are required to have passed Step 1 and Step 2. Such individuals must have passed Step 2 CS as part of the examination requirements for Step 3 if they: (a) have graduated from medical school in 2005 or later, or (b) graduated from medical school prior to 2005 but did not pass the CK component of Step 2 taken on or before June 30, 2005.
Note: After June 30, 2012, all graduates of LCME- and AOA-accredited medical schools will be required to take and pass Step 2 CS in order to be eligible for Step 3.
You shouldn't trust my interpretation, but this sounds like a grandfather clause which has lapsed, and that everyone has been required to take Step 2 CS prior to Step 3 for a few years now. I believe that the current Bulletin, under Eligibility Step 3:
To be eligible for Step 3, prior to submitting your application, you must:
  • ...
  • pass Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS,
  • ...
is sufficient to update our article to indicate that Step 2 CS is required.
The "Important" box two up from the "Step 3" section does seem to muddy the waters by saying that "Individuals who passed Step 2 prior to the implementation of Step 2 CS are not permitted to take Step 2 CK ... but are permitted to take Step 2 CS ... ." My understanding is that they are not only permitted to take Step 2 CS, but they are also required to take it in order to be eligible for Step 3. Likewise, I understand second paragraph to be true -- if someone who prior to June 30, 2012 was not required to take Step 2 CS but did so anyhow and failed, then they have to retake it and pass before being eligible for Step 3 -- but that now holds for everyone, even those who had previously been grandfathered in and didn't take Step 2 CS. It is strange that they would allude to the grandfather clause in the current Bulletin but not explicitly state that it has lapsed. -- ToE 14:12, 20 May 2015 (UTC)


In this video at about 14:00 and thereafter, what is the device making the infernal ringing/wailing sound? You know, that annoying "dililililing-ding-diling-diliiiiing" which starts right at the moment of the drop, and which can be heard even over the roar of the missile's ramjet -- which device is making that sound? (talk) 09:51, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

It sounds like an analogue data channel being relayed through audio. I'm guessing it's signals from the craft's sensors. I could be wrong. (talk) 10:28, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Some links: Telemetry, Frequency-shift keying, and Lockheed X-7. -- ToE 13:05, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! So I suppose the X-7 sent its telemetry using a dial-up modem, huh?  ;-) (talk) 05:57, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
 ;-). Of course the audio you hear was mixed by the documentary producers who would have had access to recordings of several different channels. The telemetry would have been transmitted on a different frequency than those being used for voice communications, and while someone in the control center might have had audio for the telemetry channel turned up just enough so that they could hear that a good signal was coming through, there's no reason to think that those in the control room were hearing it as loud as it is played in the documentary. What I find most interesting is the engine noise, which suggests that they kept an open mic on the drone and transmitted the ambient sounds, presumably for analysis by the engineers designing the ramjet.
If you are interested in listening to the audio of various data transmission, there are several sites available to you online, such as the Signal Identification Guide wiki. Most moder transmissions will be at a higher data rate then the 1950s telemetry. -- ToE 12:12, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Mobile tech[edit]

Why if contact less payment not taking off in many parts of the world as much as companies thought it would? And also same with e-boarding passes and tickets etc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:24, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

I use it all the time. I do find it limiting. Not all shops have the facility, and the limit for spending on the cards is still quite low. This stops me from using it quite a bit. (talk) 12:22, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
But you don't see many people using it that often even if they have nfc phones. People seem to prefer cards. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:10, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
People seem to prefer security. If a card appears to be more secure than NFC, then, I won't risk my pennies using NFC. Cards are convenient enough (for me). And the limitation on the amount that you can spend with NFC indicates that the providers believe it's not safe (yet). --Llaanngg (talk) 17:27, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
You're assuming it can be used with phones. In many places where contactless cards are common, support for contactless payment via NFC phones is limited, often dependent on the bank, phone and card and not necessarily easy to set-up even if it is supported. Actually probably the easiest way to enable contactless payment via your phone is to put on one of the stickers some banks provide which would interfere with the phones NFC. Nil Einne (talk) 21:38, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Do you not just enter your PIN if it's above the spending limit? In NZ, if it's above the limit or you otherwise raise an alert, you can still use the contactless system but the terminal will ask for your PIN. It reduces the convience somewhat but it means you don't have to worry about the limit, and if for example you don't bother to take your card out of your wallet you can still do that. Nil Einne (talk) 21:38, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
See Legacy system and Vendor lock-in and Barriers to entry. The same problems exist for technologies such as fuel cell powered road vehicles and the like. The catch-22 here is that vendors won't make the infrastructure change unless sufficient customer base has the new technology, however, customers won't buy the technology if they can't use it anywhere. Anti-market forces, such as government mandates, are generally what is necessary to get things over the hump. In many places, for example, Digital terrestrial television faced similar problems of adoption, so various governments basically mandated switch-over dates when the old technology would be forced to be abandoned. See Digital television transition for how this worked. It will probably take some sort of similar process to force out old magnetic stripe credit cards to replace it with contactless payment systems, smartchips, or something similar. --Jayron32 18:25, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
In the US, which is one of the few developed (or even I think better off developing) countries who still widely use magnetic stripe credit cards, the change to smartchip cards is basically being forced via increase fees and in particular the liability shift to any vendor who still only supports magnetic stripe cards (well actually non EMV terminals, but same diff) [24]. Actually this is what happened in a lot of the rest of the world too, it's just happening a lot later in the US. That said, the US seems to be determined to stick with signatures whereas a lot of the world has moved to PIN [25]. Contactless is a bit of a different issue. While there is some push for vendors to embrace contactless support, the biggest push seems to come from the claim that results in a noticable increase in spending. (This can be a big incentive. I've always wonder why payment at pump seemed to be so rare in NZ despite it being something I recall in Malaysia from about 20 years ago, and NZ widespread embrace of card payment. I read recently it's because the companies don't want them as forcing people to go in to the service station store results in a significant increase in purchases.) Nil Einne (talk) 21:51, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
FCVs are an appalling example, as there are fundamental physical reasons why hydrogen storage of energy is not ready for prime time.Greglocock (talk) 23:34, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Professional - Master mariner[edit]

How long does it take, and how much does it cost, to obtain a Master mariner qualification, or some step leading to it? Can it be obtained cheaper or faster abroad, maybe in countries like Panama or Greece?--Llaanngg (talk) 17:09, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

In which country are you seeking a rating? Nimur (talk) 18:39, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
US, Canada, Western Europe to begin with, but unrestricted some day. --Llaanngg (talk) 16:48, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Would you want to ride a ship under the control of someone who took a "faster and cheaper" route to get his certification? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:30, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Linnaeus University do a Master Mariner course lasting 3 or 4 years, depending on what previous seagoing experience you have. see here. The course is in Swedish, so you will need to be proficient in that first. DuncanHill (talk) 22:28, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

What are these masts for?[edit]

Telecoms mast?

I keep seeing these masts all over the place where I live in the north of England. What are they for? Are they for for mobile telephone antennae or something similar or do I need to start wearing a tinfoil hat?

It looks like a standard mobile phone mast possibly for the o2 network. MilborneOne (talk) 22:17, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
There is a searchable map of UK mobile phone masts on the Ofcom website if you want to be *really* sure, but that looks like a mobile mast. FlowerpotmaN·(t) 22:39, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Aha! spot on - according to the map it's an O2 mast. Thanks for that, I can keep the aluminium foil for the Sunday roast. Richerman (talk) 23:17, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

May 21[edit]

Urethral fuzz -- what's it called?[edit]

What is the scientific name for that bluish-greyish-greenish, fuzzy stuff that sometimes gets stuck in the urethral opening? (talk) 03:31, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Lint. ―Mandruss  03:52, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Albino animal article request[edit]

What do albino polar bears look like? I know an albino animal is white, so what is an albino polar bear, I would assume it is still white, but just to make sure, I'm asking for an article about it. (talk) 13:25, 21 May 2015 (UTC)Nikalys Edward Earl McKean

The Polar_bear would still be white in appearance but it would not have a black skin. The lack of melanin due to albinism would cause the skin to be pale. "The hollow guard hairs of a polar bear coat were once thought to act as fiber-optic tubes to conduct light to its black skin, where it could be absorbed; however, this theory was disproved by recent studies." So I guess that means it won't freeze to death. (talk) 13:45, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
See also this link, which was the very first I found when doing a Google search for "Albino Polar Bear". --Jayron32 13:47, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Interesting. "A(sic) albino polar bear would have white skin and so have trouble keeping in heat." I'm having trouble understanding why it would be so. I thought their body fat was the insulator - could the colour of the skin have an effect and why? (talk) 13:58, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Sounds like this is still based on the solar heating theory, that part of the sunlight ends up absorbed by the black skin that would be reflected away with white skin. The above comments say this was disproven, but, if so, why do they have black skin ? There is some cost to producing melanin, after all, and if it is of no value I'd expect there to be evolutionary pressure to not have black skin.
As for the fat being the insulator, that's true and important to keep the body core temperature up, but it's also important to keep the skin from freezing. StuRat (talk) 14:32, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Getting back to the original question of appearance, I had a crack at editing Albinism in biology a while ago. It actually gets complicated what the definition of albinism is in animals other than mammals (and plants) but for the polar bear it is quite easy. It would have white skin and pink eyes. I think polar bears normally have a black nose and black claws - so these would be white. Regarding the black skin and thermoregulation. I thought the black skin helped absorb heat and the hollow hairs prevented (reduced) the skin re-radiating to the environment.DrChrissy (talk) 15:38, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
The noses and paw pads would be expected to be pink. The pink color comes from blood in capillaries in the skin. When no pigment is present, the red of the blood shows through. StuRat (talk) 02:55, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Microbiology - pathogen classification[edit]

We learned about a classification of pathogenic bacteria based on some curves, which shows the damage made in function of the strengtH of the immun system's response to them.(So for example, there was a class for bacteria which mainly causes harm through the immune response to them)

I don't really know the english name for this classification (maybe sg. like damage curves?) and I can't find any info neither in Wikipedia nor with Google... where can I find more information about this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:37, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Does this help. --Jayron32 17:42, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Biology/Anthropology - The development of gold in humans[edit]

This is a question that I can't find any information on. So if you are a biology buff I would appreciate you liberating me of my ignorance. So here it goes. All humans have small ammounts of gold in their body. So far as I know since gold is a good conductor of electricity the gold helps with transmitting electrical signals to the brain/body. So where does the gold come from that is in humans? I would imagine that the gold is created/formed during the early stages of human development? (fetus/infant) I wouldn't think that the gold is taken from the mother's body nor would I think that nuclear fussion is occuring. So have scientists discovered how this happens? Some type of chemical (psysiological?) process? If so does that mean that you could take biological materials x, y, and z and make gold?Agent of the nine (talk) 17:56, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

According to Composition of the human body, the human body is 140 parts per billion gold. That's a ridiculously small amount. It also has no physiological use. The gold is there because it exists on earth, and there are non-zero numbers of just about every atom on earth at just about any location on earth. Being non-zero is not the same as being significant or meaningful, however. --Jayron32 18:10, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Wow how interesting! I swore that my highschool biology teacher said that the gold is helpful for neurotransmitters. That makes a lot of sense though. I knew that for example there is lead in chocolate but you will die of eating too much chocolate before you die of lead poisoning. There's polonium 210 in every fruit and veggie that anyone has ever eaten. We could even talk about the nonsensical claims by anti-vaxxers. "There's mercury, and metals and stuff in vaccines!". LOL quantity of "x" is always a more important factor in determining how 'x' will change an environment rather than "x" itself. I saw a scientific poster that said the amount of uranium in the average human body is "ten multiplied by three to the negative eight percent power". I have no idea how to solve that equation but in my mind the most logical answer is "one atom".Agent of the nine (talk) 18:42, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

See Dietary element. There are between 20-29 elements which have physiological uses in the human body (depending on how loosely one defines "use") Gold is not among them. I have no idea where your teacher got the notion that gold was used by neurotransmitters; while gold is an excellent electrical conductor, that is only in actual metallic gold. Any gold in your body will be in the form of gold ions, most likely, and then also it is so dilute and so spread out (an occasional atom here or there) as to be useless in transmitting electrical signals. Plus, neurotransmitters do not operate on electricity anyways. They are chemical agents, and as such, a subclass of compounds we call hormones. --Jayron32 18:51, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Also, there are a LOT more than one atom of uranium in your body. The article I cite above gives a figure of 1.3 parts per billion for uranium (one billion is 109. There are roughly 7 x 1027 atoms in your body, roughly 10,000 or so moles worth, which means that there are roughly 5.3 x 1018 atoms of uranium in the average human, or 5.3 billion billion, or 5300000000000000000 atoms of uranium in you right now, give or take. That's a few more than one. Note, however, this is not a statement that there is a significant amount of uranium. It's meaninglessly insignificant. It's just a reminder that atoms are REALLY REALLY REALLY small. Like, way smaller than you probably think they are. --Jayron32 18:59, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Gold_salts can be used as a treatment for various medical conditions, and gold nanoparticles are being researched as a drug delivery vector [26]. We wouldn't want to use humans or most animals to get gold, but there has been some interest in using some plants to get gold [27]. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:31, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

wow... so if you took a one inch by one inch square of human skin (just the epidermis for the sake of argument) how many atoms comprise that chunk of skin? one trillion? there are so many.. That means a histamine is soooooo tiny. (only 17 atoms smallest physiological compound in human body?) Hey so you know how atoms vibrate? Well I was thinking about the 4 stages of matter (solid, liquid, gas, plasma?) well the atoms in a solid "touch" each other very often because they are so close together. In a gas the atoms "touch" each other less often because they are farther apart. Well what if you made a material where the atoms "didn't vibrate" they always "touched" each other? Would that material be "super dense" or "almost indestructable"?. I'm basing this on the American military tank known as the Abrams tank. The metal on the tank is subjected to uranium which causes the atoms to "touch" more often. This makes the metal even stronger. What if the atoms are so close they can't vibrate?Agent of the nine (talk) 19:40, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

WAY more than a trillion. Try this on for size. Avogadro's number is defined as the number of carbon atoms in 12 grams of pure carbon 12. Roughly speaking, the lead of a new #2 pencil will contain about 1 grams of carbon, give or take. Inside that pencil lead then should be roughly 5 x 1022 atoms of carbon. Let's compare that to other large numbers:
1000000 one million
7000000000 seven billion, the number of people on earth
100000000000000 100 trillion, roughly the global money supply in dollars
50000000000000000000000 the number of carbon atoms in a gram of carbon
To get only 1 trillion atoms in a sample of your pencil lead, you'd need to slice it up into 50,000,000,000 pieces. That's 50 billion pieces. That's pretty tiny. Again, these numbers are so large because atoms are fantastically small. --Jayron32 20:15, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
To answer your other questions: You cannot back atoms so close they cannot vibrate; the only way to get them to stop vibrating is to remove all the heat, to bring them down to absolute zero. Also, in a solid and a liquid, the atoms are essentially always in contact with each other; they are called the "condensed" phases for that reason. The density of a substance depends on a number of factors, the three most important are a) the mass of the individual atoms (atomic mass) b) the volume of the individual atoms (related to the atomic radius) and c) the crystal structure of the solid; the exact type of unit cell determines how closely packed the atoms can get. Metals get their strength not only for their density, but also from the way the atoms all hold together. See metallic bonding. --Jayron32 20:20, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
It is also fruitless to think about atoms "touching" each other. Atoms are mostly empty space, and this concept is really important. There is no "edge" of an atom: there is simply a gradual decrease in the strength of any interaction that continues decreasing towards zero as you get farther and farther from the "center" of the atom (i.e. that poorly-defined location where the interaction is strongest). An atom is always interacting with everything at all distances - but at very close distances, the interaction is strong and occurs rapidly; at very far distances, the interaction is very slow and requires time to propagate.
The most important interaction for interatomic forces is the coulomb interaction, but all fundamental interactions play some role in the behavior of atoms (and groups of atoms).
Nimur (talk) 20:59, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
That's also strictly true, but a bit pedantic. Atoms don't have edges, but they do have edge-like behavior; in the sense that we can define a spherical region of space around the nucleus where the atom's interaction has very "edgelike" behavior. A classic example is this well-known graph; the minimum of that graph is as good of a definition of an 'edge' as any. It's why we can define things like atomic radius and ionic radius and the like. Just because it doesn't behave impenetrably, and just because it isn't a little ball bearing doesn't mean it doesn't have a meaningful edge. --Jayron32 21:10, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, I dislike your choice of the word "edge." I much prefer "characteristic radius" or "scale length" or something along that line of terminology, because this word-choice wouldn't imply anything about the behavior one could expect at that radius. But this is beside the point; you are correct that we can choose to define the "edge" where ever it is convenient. Nimur (talk) 22:28, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

SO nimur your telling me that an atom in my eye is somehow interacting with a particle a trillion miles away. you said "an atom is always interacting with everything at all distances". How do you know that? Agent of the nine (talk) 21:08, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

No, that's true too. However, you have to define "non-zero" and "significant". There's a real, calculatable gravitational attraction between a speck of dust here on earth and one floating at the other end of the Milky Way galaxy, in the sense that yes, I can plug numbers in the equation and get a number out and write that number down. That's a real value, and I also have no reason to suspect it isn't a scrupulously true value. That doesn't mean it's a useful value for predicting behavior on time scales I care about. It's like the gold in your body again. It's real, it's honestly there, and it's also honestly not useful for understanding anything about how your body works, because it isn't significant. --Jayron32 21:13, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes. And this is why we use simplified models of behaviors. For example, when we want to study molecular interactions, we can use Lewis diagrams. These tell us how simple atomic structures will form. The model won't work for complicated atoms; the Lewis model is not even consistent with a first-principles application of the Coulomb force law; but it works and it helps us to construct useful ideas that accurately describe some situations.
If you wanted to solve all of molecular dynamics by computing gravity and nuclear interactions and quantum-mechanically-correct electron dynamics, you wouldn't be able to write solvable equations for even the simplest molecules like water. These mathematical models may be more detailed, but they are not always helpful, and for most things we care about, these formulations surely are not tractable. Nimur (talk) 22:25, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
"Truth is much too complicated to allow anything but approximations." per John von Neumann Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 02:24, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

I should note that the mercury in vaccines is discussed at thimerosal and thiomersal controversy. (the difference has something to do with lawyers playing at anagrams) However you put it, thimerosal is deadly enough that nothing can grow in vaccine containing it ... but that little bit of liquid is a lot less than the volume of the human body. The therapeutic ratio is presumably something huge, but worrying about it isn't mystically stupid, unlike most of the autism-vaccine paid science controversy.

In general, whether the gold in the human body is "significant" isn't a matter of quantity but how you measure it. A significant difference has to do with standard deviation of your testing, and more complex matters of statistics, all of which boil down in the end to certain underlying assumptions you make about what is notable/publishable. If you can't tell how much gold is in your body the amount is insignificant, and generally this is true. But suppose somebody makes a drone that shoots a certain terahertz frequency that can detect gold ions, and programs it to kill anybody with 10x the signal, and some spy spikes Osama bin Laden's whiskey bottle with trace amounts of gold before he passes it around at a meeting. Suddenly it would be significant. Since you never know what can be invented or discovered, you never really know what is significant, only what is significant to you. Wnt (talk) 23:57, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Well, the first rule of writing fiction, as you've done here, is it's your fictional world. You decide what magic happens in it. If we're going to discuss actual scientific principles with actual science, we should avoid making shit up. --Jayron32 00:28, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
I'd prefer to call it a "hypothetical", or if in a pretentious mood, a "thought experiment". Wnt (talk) 12:12, 22 May 2015 (UTC)


i've heard that 'argon' is in the air we breathe.we inhale it,but then it is totally exhaled,floating around until another may inhale it,then exhale the story i heard goes that we could theorecticly be inhaling argon that socrates,plato,lincoln,etc.,had once breathed. (talk) 23:45, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Approximately one percent of the air is argon. Since it is a so-called noble gas, it is indeed exhaled without being used. It is true that one may be inhaling an argon atom that has been breathed by anyone in history. Is there a question? Robert McClenon (talk) 23:55, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Actually, there's some question of how thoroughly it is mixed - alas, I certainly don't know the answer. The Holy Grail of this type of question is the consideration of the fate of the blood and, um, 'water' shed by Jesus during the Crucifixion. If you simply take Avogadro's number (6.022E23) and divide by 1.4E24 cubic ml of water on Earth [28] and divide by the MW of water (18), on average there should be 1 molecule of water in 42 milliliters of water now, from any given ml of water in history. (I think ... there may be multiple errors in that because I rushed) Assuming many mls of blood were shed, you could say that any one of us is therefore the Holy Grail. However, a well sunk into the Oglala Aquifer (hmmm, I'm not sure now) or the Great Man-Made River might not get any of that, or at least not much. But then, what about water that went deep in ocean currents? And so forth. I suspect the figure doesn't really change much, because we're talking orders of magnitude and additive effects negate large order of magnitude differences - for example all the water in Antarctica doesn't reduce the amount of water in circulation by enough to make it all that much less dilution than otherwise. But modeling the spread of the "Holy Grails" around the world would be kind of a cute hydrological simulation. Wnt (talk) 00:16, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
That's an interesting thought experiment, but water isn't argon (which is what this question is about). Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 00:24, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but air would be pretty well mixed around in a few years. But anyway there would be no difference between argon atoms exhaled by someone famous, and any other collection of argon atoms in the air. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 02:52, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
But the usual way of illustrating this meme is the problem of Caesar's last breath, which involves air; argon is simply a percentage of air (about .93%), so the problems are pretty much interchangable if you include a factor for the percentage of inhaled gas that argon makes up. Fermi (or someone else the Internet has made into Fermi) gave the problem as "How many of the molecules you breathe in in one breath come from the dying breath of Julius Caesar?" Perfect diffusion is usally assumed to simplify the problem. The answer is roughly one molecule in each of your breaths comes from Caesar's dying breath, but if you Google "Caesar's dying breath problem" you can look at the specifics. (This is an example.) Obviously the identity of the person doing the initial breathing isn't relevant, and so you could with equal justification say on average, each of your breaths includes about one molecule from each of the dying breaths of Caesar, Socrates, Plato, Lincoln, and Adolf Hitler. - Nunh-huh 03:03, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
This question has come up before, e.g. here. As I said then, the question of whether an atom you inhale is the same as an atom someone else exhaled is actually meaningless in a quantum world, because of particle indistinguishability. -- BenRG (talk) 03:28, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
The question is neither actually meaningless nor mathematically meaningless. The fact that identical atoms are indistinguishable doesn't mean they don't have reality or identity. It just means we can't tag them or trace them under normal, unprepared circumstances. Hence any figure for historical purposes would have to be an estimate. But it's precisely this fact that scientists take into account when the use rare radioactive isotopes to trace the absorption and routes of various chemicals in biological systems. Isotpoic labeling and radioactive tracing are the exceptions that prove your rule. μηδείς (talk) 16:42, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
No, they are not an exception, because radioactive isotopes are, by definition, different atoms. If I have one atom of uranium-235, and another of uranium-238, I can distinguish them because they are different. The fact that we call them both "uranium" is somewhat arbitrary from a physical point of view; there are good reasons to do so, but that's a human construct, not a physical one. They are different atoms because they contain non-identical arrangements of their subatomic particles. This is also true of comparing a neutral atom to an ion of the same element (where the number of electrons are different) or comparing atoms with the same numbers of subatomic particles, but where their arrangment is different, see for example Nuclear isomers. However, when you have really honest-to-god truly identical atoms (like two identical atoms of U-235, of the same Nuclear isomer, of the same charge) they are literally indistinguishable, and BenRG's point stands. --Jayron32 16:49, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

May 22[edit]

What is the difference between analgesia and sedation?[edit] (talk) 01:17, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

The difference between analgesia and anesthesia is that you're conscious for one. Both relieve or prevent pain. Sedation doesn't necessarily do that, just makes you tired. That can somewhat help with pain, but mainly used to stop movement. InedibleHulk (talk) 02:18, May 22, 2015 (UTC)
Analgesia is relief from pain and sedation is relief from anxiety or irritability. Sedation does not necessarily render the patient unconscious. Richerman (talk) 06:18, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Aye. I should have said reduce movement. You want a fuller stop, you'll want a neuromuscular-blocking drug. InedibleHulk (talk) 06:34, May 22, 2015 (UTC)

Definition of planet[edit]

I have a hard time understand what is this sentence trying to say: "while the instructions to the Alfonsine Tables show how "to find by means of tables the mean motuses of the sun, moon, and the rest of the planets"? Especially what motuses means? Thanks! (talk) 02:09, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Movements, probably. InedibleHulk (talk) 02:20, May 22, 2015 (UTC)
Makes sense, but then what exactly would "mean movement" mean? Movement or motion doesn't seem like something that it makes sense to take the mean of and tabulate in tables. Note incidentally that the spelling "motuses" is applying an English plural to a Latin word; as indicated on the linked Wiktionary page, motus was a fourth-declension noun and the Latin plural was motus with a different pronunciation. -- (talk) 04:21, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Not sure. Math and Latin aren't my thing. Astronomy isn't, either, but I hear spinning things like to wobble and shift. Seems that would would create at least one set of deviant numbers a math wizard might try to level out, by any medians, modes or means necessary.
Someone smart will probably be along shortly. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:53, May 22, 2015 (UTC)
Alfonsine tables#Methodology might be something to ponder. I don't get it. These seem to be the deviations. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:56, May 22, 2015 (UTC)
I also do not believe that using Latin word in this case is necessary. This is English Wikipedia, not Latin Wikipedia. Latin should only be used when it is required by contexts. In this case, it is only making things harder to understand. (talk) 05:16, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
It's part of a quote here. Blame John of Saxony (astronomer). Though yeah, it'd make more sense to paraphrase that, or just explain the damn thing in modern layman. I'll leave that to the experts. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:52, May 22, 2015 (UTC)
To answer the question implied by the heading of this thread: In the geocentric system, the sun and the moon were considered planets, since they moved with respect to the background of fixed stars. See Classical planet. Deor (talk) 11:47, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
The term is used a lot in this book which is a translation of a manuscript that dates from the 14th century. The manuscript was written in Middle English which may explain the plural form of the word. You have to remember that in those days no-one had realised that the planets moved in elliptical orbits and they appeared to wander about the heavens in odd paths, so the 'mean movement' would presumably be the mean of the various paths one planet appeared to take. Richerman (talk) 11:56, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
The term is used a lot in this book which is a translation of a manuscript that dates from the 14th century. The manuscript was written in Middle English which may explain the plural form of the word. You have to remember that in those days no-one had realised that the planets moved in elliptical orbits and they appeared to wander about the heavens in odd paths (hence the name, which means 'wanderer'), so the 'mean movement' would presumably be the mean of the various paths one planet appeared to take. Richerman (talk) 11:59, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

List of USB type C devices[edit]

Active resolution vs total resolution[edit]

This datasheet[29] lists two types of resolutions: "300 x 225 active resolution" and "320 x 240 total resolution". What's the difference between the two? Which one would, for example, 1080p be referring to? My other car is a cadr (talk) 06:34, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Usually, such details refer to HBLANK and VBLANK. The device expects analog input, which means that the provider must also supply timing (by way of the HS and VS (horizontal- and vertical- sync) signals. It is expected that these signals should be timed for 320x240 and that video data can only be valid after the blank periods on each line and at the start/end of each frame. In plain english: there are only 300x225 dots on this screen, but the programmer who controls the screen has to send control signals to the electronics as if there were 320x240 dots. This is a very normal procedure for analog display technologies like VGA.
This is not a data sheet - this is a product brief or "feature sheet"; if you were actually going to build a device using this display, you would need to contact the vendor's technical sales team to obtain the actual data sheet that would more clearly specify such statements and provide details of timing signals.
A 1080p signal usually refers to a high definition signal (and by extension, a digital signal protocol). Although it is possible to think in terms of active area, blanking interval, and so on, digital outputs for display on small consumer electronics usually use a packetized data format like MIPI Display Serial Interface (DSI), so "active area" will not be advertised as part of the specification brief (even though the engineers will still have to worry about it!) If you wished to put 1080p signal into an analog representation, then it is probable that you would want an active area of 1920x1080 pixels, and then you'd want extra rows and columns sufficient to allow the display's control circuitry a sufficient amount of time to reset. A rule of thumb is to add a (low single digit) percentage to the columns, and a (mid single digit) percentage to the rows, to permit the circuitry enough time to reset correctly for the next frame. At high speeds (for example, 1080p pictures at 60 frames per second) on realistic hardware clocked at speeds you can buy today in 2015, there might not be enough microseconds to be so generous! (And just wait until "4K" goes mainstream: your monitor control circuitry is going to need to be faster than your CPU!)
Nimur (talk) 10:33, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

String Theory with less scientific literacy[edit]

This inquiry resulted from a conversation I had with a man who has a BA in quantum physics. To my understanding string theory is the result of "combining" the current model of particle physics with general relativity. The layman community seems to have 2 statements on this subject. Either "string theory is nonsense" or "insert large claim based on an interpretation" ( infitite number of possible universes, multi-verse etc ). So there is a lot being said in regards to string theory. (meanwhile there's no hype about the photoelectric effect, the strong force, superconductivity etc). I have an inclination that string theory should be called string hypothesis. Every discipline of science has 2 fundamental pieces of evidence for a theory. A "formula" (physics computations, math, something written on paper in general) and experimental/observational evidence. So where is the experimental/observational evidence for string theory? By no means am I making a claim in regards to the validity of string theory. (due to my ignorance) Do physicists get special exemption or something? Agent of the nine (talk) 16:51, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

It's still a theory without experimental evidence (or for that matter an equation). What makes something a scientific theory is it's explanatory or predictive purpose. That is, in basic terms we have scientific laws, which are simply statements (in either words or mathematics) which accurately describe some aspect of the physical world. To take well-known examples, E=mc2 is a law, or the law of natural selection, or the like. Such statements simply describe, but do not explain. That is, laws are the "whats" of the language of science. Theories provide the "hows" and "whys" of science. A theory is the explanatory framework that gives laws context. From our earlier examples, the theory of special relativity explains why there is a particular relationship between mass, energy, and the speed of light, and the theory of evolution provides an explanation for natural selection. Now, anyone can propose a theory or a law; they are then hypothetical theories and laws. But they don't stop being theories or laws merely because they haven't been proven yet; they're just hypothetical or speculative or unproven theories and laws. Of course, some theories and laws are later disproven conclusively, Phlogiston theory and humor theory and Aristotlean elemental theory are all examples of theories which are actually disproven, and replaced by better theories (i.e. modern Atomic theory). One can even have theories which operate simultaneously and which complement each other (for example molecular orbital theory and valence bond theory). String theory as a concept, lies in the inbetween state, as a theory without proof or disproof. It meets Karl Popper's standard for a sound theory because it is falsifiable in the sense that one could disprove it if one had access to the correct experimental set up, but it's just a theory which hasn't yet been shown one way or the other to be proven or disproven. Physicists like it because it is consistent with existing behaviors, and it explains lots of behaviors in elegant ways that other theories do not; we're just waiting on ways to provide experimental evidence for such strings. --Jayron32 17:14, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

A comment on terminology. There is a lot of misconception around, so I will put this in bold: A scientific theory is distinct from a hypothesis. You seem to know this, but it bears further consideration. You can read the definitions in our articles, but understand that there is no one true canonical definition of what constitutes a theory. A shorter one that I like: a scientific theory is a body of knowledge, with supporting evidence, while a hypothesis is basically an educated guess. People who say "that's just a theory" to challenge something aren't arguing in good faith. The germ theory of disease has essentially no credible criticism. Nor does the gravitational theory. It's little different in math, because math is not science. So while e.g. gravitational theory follows inductive reasoning, it cannot prove anything, not in the logical sense of the word. Modern science mostly works through falsifiability. Math, in contrast, needs no evidence (n.b., the definition in that article does not cite any sources. Suffice it to say that mathematical proof is generally considered distinct from evidence, which, in the scientific world, must be empirical). For example group theory is a self-contained system, and mathematical proofs in the area are instances of deductive reasoning. As string theory is basically part of theoretical physics and mathematical physics, some people think of "theory" in "string theory" as more similar to the "theory" in "group theory", comparte to the use in "gravitational theory". We do have String_theory#Testability_and_experimental_predictions, but I will not weigh in on whether this constitutes a broadly repeatable body of supporting evidence that would place string theory in a similar position to the germ theory of disease. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:25, 22 May 2015 (UTC)


May 19[edit]

Probability question[edit]

According to Bayes theorem P(B|A)=P(A|B)*P(B)/P(A). But using the same theory, I can't work out why P(B'|A')=P(B')+P(A|B')*P(B')/P(A'). There is obviously another rule which has been used here but which rule is it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:33, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

P(B'|A')=P(B')+P(A|B')*P(B')/P(A') is not true in general i.e.without additional constraints on the events. To see that choose A=B'c (complement of B'), in which case P(A|B') = 0 and your relation reduces to P(B'|A')=P(B'), which obviously doesn't hold in general. Abecedare (talk) 02:13, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

May 21[edit]

How To Convert Decimal To Binary?[edit]

Hello. I Am trying ton convert a Decimal Number (say, 16) to Binary. The article on binary numbers says, "To convert from a base-10 integer numeral to its base-2 (binary) equivalent, the number is divided by two, and the remainder is the least-significant bit. The (integer) result is again divided by two, its remainder is the next least significant bit. This process repeats until the quotient becomes zero." I don't understand how to do this. Could some one explain step by step how to convert the number 16 to binary? The correct binary representation of 16 is 10000. Thanks in advance —SGA314 (talk) 15:10, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

16 divided by 2 is 8 with remainder 0.
8 divided by 2 is 4 with remainder 0.
4 divided by 2 is 2 with remainder 0.
2 divided by 2 is 1 with remainder 0.
1 divided by 2 is 0 with remainder 1.
So the digits of the binary representation of 16 *from right (least significant) to left* are 0,0,0,0 and 1. Reversing this to write the binary representation from left to right we get 10000. Gandalf61 (talk) 15:21, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
The method I use is to find the largest power of 2 less than or equal to the number, in this case 16, then subtract that:
16 - 1 sixteen = 0
I then continue with each smaller power of 2:
0 - 0 eights = 0
0 - 0 fours  = 0
0 - 0 twos   = 0
0 - 0 ones   = 0
That gives me 10000. I find it easy to use my fingers to record the binary digits, allowing for binary numbers up to 1111111111, or 1023 in decimal. StuRat (talk) 15:32, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I tend to show people that I don't like the fact that I can count to 132. :)Naraht (talk) 16:17, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Ok Gandalf61, I understand. But how would I do this using a calculator, considering the fact that a calculator will divide into fractions and have no remainder(as in the case of dividing 1 by 2 which yields 0.5). My reason for asking this is because I am writing a program that can convert a decimal number to a Binary number and the reverse. Oh and i am using Visual Basic For Applications as my programming language. —SGA314 (talk) 18:24, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Programming languages normally provide a modulo operator that gives you the remainder that division would produce. According to the article I linked, in Visual Basic that operator is named Mod, and this page from Microsoft tells you how to use it. -- (talk) 19:11, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Cool Thanks! problem solved. Now I can convert decimal numbers to and fro binary! Thanks for your help everyone. —SGA314 (talk) 19:15, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Here is the final VB script i came up with. if you have any suggestions to improve/simplify it let me know. Output from this script is 110001.
Sub ConvertDecToBin()
    'Decimal To Binary Conversion Script.
    'Written By SGA314
    Dim Num, Remain, Times, i, Result As Double
    Dim BinNum As String
    Num = 49 'Insert number to convert to binary here.
    Times = Num / 2
    Result = Num
    While Not Result = 0
        Remain = Result Mod 2
        BinNum = BinNum + CStr(Remain)
        Result = Int(Result / 2)
    Debug.Print StrReverse(BinNum)
End Sub

SGA314 (talk) 20:15, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

I don't have time to check your code, but you may be interested in seeing how this example works [30]. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:24, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
It's been a while since I've written in VB, and it was mostly in normal VB rather than VBA, but:
  1. Not sure how you intend to use this, but hardcoding the value to convert makes little sense. It would be more meaningful to have the value given as a parameter. It might also make more sense to have it a Function instead of a Sub, and print the result in the calling sub.
  2. You have values you're defining but never using.
  3. The code isn't equipped to handle fractions, so unless you want to modify it to do that, it would make more sense to work with ints rather than doubles.
  4. The \ operator represents integer division in VB, so you can replace Int(Result/2) by Result\2.
So you can use the following code instead:
Function ConvertDecToBin(ByVal Num As Int) As String
    'Decimal To Binary Conversion Script.
    'Written By SGA314
    Dim Remain As Int
    Dim BinNum As String
    While Not Num = 0
        Remain = Num Mod 2
        BinNum = BinNum + CStr(Remain)
        Num = Num \ 2
    Return BinNum
End Function
-- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 21:00, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Many languages will also contain a built-in method of converting, sometimes as simple as assigning a decimal value to a binary variable. Of course, coding it yourself is also useful for educational purposes. StuRat (talk) 03:40, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

In J (programming language) you write

1 0 0 0 0

Bo Jacoby (talk) 06:12, 22 May 2015 (UTC).

Oops. Your right Meni Rosenfeld, I forgot to remove the Times and i Variables. These were variables that I used for a different way of converting (I was using a For Loop). And as for using Doubles instead of Integers, I am using doubles because they can hold values much higher than 32,768(I can store numbers that go into the Billions range with Doubles) and if I try to store any value higher than 32,768 in an Integer value, I will get an Overflow error. Good idea by the way on making it a Function that returns a String. I coded this as a macro in Microsoft Word, so I was going replace the hardcoded number with Selection (Selection is how you get the currently selected text in Word) instead. As for the Int(Result / 2) line, I don't know whats up with this. I don't know if it isn't necessary in VB, but in VBA if I don't include this the program will spit out
000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000...(a huge amount of zeros that take up way to much space on the page)1010001, instead of 110001. But if i use your version of the script(with a few mods to make it compatible with VBA) it will work just fine. I have to say, I like how you simplified the code and used 1 less variable than I used. I guess VB is a lot different from VBA, because in VBA for Word, I cant put a variable after the Return statement (I utterly disgust this). Instead I have to do this
Function A() As String
and in order to return something I have to set a variable that has the same name as the function (no I don't have to define it) like so
A = "Whatever"
this will return the String "Whatever."
That would be nice StuRat. But I don't think VBA has a function like that but that sure would be cool if it did. I thank you very much for your feed back! Here is my simplified version of the script(special thanks to Meni Rosenfeld for this)
Function ConvertDecToBin(ByVal Num As Double) As String
    'Decimal To Binary Conversion Script.
    'Written By SGA314
    'Improvments By Meni Rosenfeld
    Dim Remain As Double
    Dim BinNum As String
    While Not Num = 0
        Remain = Num Mod 2
        BinNum = BinNum + CStr(Remain)
        Num = Num \ 2
    ConvertDecToBin = StrReverse(BinNum)
End Function

Thanks for your help everyone! I now understand how to convert a decimal number to a binary number and do the reverse. —SGA314 (talk) 13:30, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

I think the differences are less between VB and VBA, and more between modern (on which one can easily find documentation), and classic VB <= 6 (on which I think VBA is based). This goes for how to return values from a function, and also for integer data types. In classic VB, Integer refers to a 16-bit signed int, which can go up to 32767; But you also have Long which is 32-bit and goes up to ~4 billion (which might be good for you instead of Double). In the modern version, Integer is 32-bit, and Long is 64-bit and gives you much higher precision than Double. -- Meni Rosenfeld (talk) 14:53, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Huh Good to know. Thanks. —SGA314 (talk) 15:56, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

May 22[edit]


May 17[edit]

Christian fundamentalism, Biblical literalism, and creationism outside the United States[edit]

I am aware that I asked a question on this very topic eight months ago; however, the answers I received there were relatively unsatisfactory. This time, my questions will be more more specific: why did Christian fundamentalism take root and gain much prominence in the United States in particular, as opposed to countries in Europe, and why hasn't Christian fundamentalism generally caught on outside the United States? Let's take one of the most prominent features of fundamentalism: creationism. As far as I know, in conservative Christian (in this, Catholic) countries with much social opposition to abortion such as Ireland and the Philippines, there isn't much opposition to the teaching of evolution, at least not by Catholics. Europe is actually leading the way in the movement against the promotion of creationist beliefs, despite some of its countries being predominantly (mainline) Protestant. Sure there are prominent creationist organizations outside the US (Answers in Genesis was originally Australian; the Australian organization is now known as Creation Ministries International after a split with AiG), but even in such countries support for creationism is far lower than in the United States (for example, according to Creation and evolution in public education and Level of support for evolution#Australia, although efforts have been made to introduce creationism in schools, a majority of Australians still believe in some form of evolution, whether natural or theistic). While in many Christian countries (such as the aforementioned Ireland and Philippines) there are significant conservative Christian movements, these movements generally aren't Biblical literalists (Biblical literalists being the main proponents of creationism). So why did Biblical literalism, and Christian fundamentalism as a whole, not become as much of a force in other countries as they were in the United States? Why didn't the concepts of Young Earth creationism, intelligent design, and other related concepts, catch on among present-day Catholics and mainline Protestants? It is interesting to note though that Orthodoxy, at least in Russia, seems to be more receptive of creationism, and even then Orthodoxy apparently does not believe in a purely literal interpretation of scripture, and historically mainline Protestants were major proponents of Young Earth creationism, although their support for it faded over time. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 04:02, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Post-script: I'm aware that many countries in Europe are now predominantly irreligious; however, in these countries, as well as countries which are still predominantly religious, it seems that Catholics and mainline Protestants have no problem with the teaching of evolution. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 04:07, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
There seems to be such a huge amount of discussion of this on the internet; I don't suppose it will be easy to narrow down an answer.
This, by a company that seems to publish travel guides and other reference material, says fundamentalism in America arose as a political reaction (by people who didn't like liberalism) or in reaction to an influx of non-Protestant Christian immigrants a century ago.
This, by a Duke University prof and published by an independent university, sees fundamentalism's rise worldwide as an anxious reaction to the complexities of modern life that seeks refuge in trying to restore the past, and in the US, similar reasons again linked to the wave of immigration before and after 1900.
This, a paper in academic journal Annual Review of Sociology, is about the resurgence of fundamentalism worldwide since the 1970s and describes it as a reaction to secularization. It also says the movement is oldest in the US (because of early modernization there), which might explain why it appears most prominent there.
Here, an organization that exists to try to reduce the influence of religion on politics reports on a study into fundamentalism in Europe, concluding that in the 15-20% range of European Christians are Biblical literalists, as well as antisemetic, antigay and or anti-Muslim.
That's probably pretty long already and I'm sure your reading will give a more nuanced picture. Hopefully these references are a decent start. But the first apparent reasons seem to be that this movement had a head start in the United States, so is more established there, but it is also possible to see it "catching on" in Europe at t--TammyMoet (talk) 13:21, 17 May 2015 (UTC)he present. (talk) 12:00, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps the US's two-party political system is to blame. With only two parties, instead of Christian fundamentalists being relegated to some minor party, as they would be in a multi-party system, they are part of the Republican Party, along with fiscal conservatives and libertarians, giving them real political power to change the curriculum, etc. (They, in turn, try to help the US Republican Party, although the religious fundamentalism of the Republican Party may turn off mainstream voters [31]). This power may make them more attractive than a powerless movement in another nation. StuRat (talk) 13:17, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Whoever organized the Tea Party saw that the third-party route always fails, so they decided instead to infiltrate the Republican Party. The result is the Washington gridlock we've had since 2011. (God help us if they ever get a majority.) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:30, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
That's entirely inaccurate. No one "organized" the tea party and "infiltrated" the Republican party. The Tea Party simply consists of those Republicans who oppose the spendthrift ways of what they see as the establishment Republicans, and oppose unconstitutional laws. There was no top-down organization, rather the Tea Party was a meme that those embarrassed by Bush and Boehner have adopted. μηδείς (talk) 20:15, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm rather skeptical that nobody organized it. Somebody came up with the name. Somebody set times and locations for rallies. Somebody set up web sites and twitter feeds. Somebody decides which candidates are acceptable and which are not. This is all "organization". StuRat (talk) 17:05, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Hopefully, the public will wake up and figure the T.P. out before they can totally take over. Their embracing of Christian-right ignoramuses is downright scary. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:21, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
@Baseball Bugs: did you ever read The Handmaid's Tale? Oh, sorry, I meant to type, have you ever visited Texas? Viriditas (talk) 09:50, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
And the moon is made of green cheese, and I have a bridge in Manhattan to sell. ;-) --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:02, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it can be quite embarrassing when the public sees your Bush or Boehner, as the case may be. StuRat (talk) 17:54, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Or, worse, if the public seize your Bush and Boehner. Good one, Stu. μηδείς (talk) 18:37, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, beware of pubic seizures. StuRat (talk) 17:08, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
The simple answer from the British point of view is that we sent all our religious fundamentalists to North America some centuries ago! --TammyMoet (talk) 13:21, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
  • The OP's question is an essay that assumes a whole bunch of vague and unsupported claims. Very few Christians would call themselves fundamentalists, that's basically an oustider's term of criticism. One might call groups that shun former members fundamentalists, that would include groups like The Mormons, whom some don't consider actual Christians, and the Mennonites and Amish who are of European origin.
There's evangelicalism, which is growing strongly in Latin America and elsewhere. The premise that there's something peculiar to America that hasn't caught on elsewhere isn't a ref desk question, it's a thesis, and one not supported by the facts on the ground outside certain circles of the European left. What's much more interesting is the fact that while Europeans aren't converting from Lutheran and CoE to "Christian Fundamentalism", their churchs certainly are being converted: "the new normal", etc. μηδείς (talk) 20:28, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Before "Fundamentalism" came to be a pejorative for any religious dogmatism, it had a more specific meaning as the (self-chosen) term for a movement within Protestantism that emphasised as fundamental, among other things, Biblical inerrancy. Related to this is the Protestant doctrine of Sola scriptura, which says that the Bible is the supreme authority in all matters of doctrine and practice. These are doctrines that are not shared by - and in many cases explicitly rejected by - other Christian traditions. I think that answers half of your question - the reason Catholics don't generally believe in Biblical literalism or young-earth creation is because those beliefs are (or are a result of) a particular variety of Protestant doctrine that Catholicism specifically rejects. What I can't say is why these doctrines became influential in American protestantism more than in other countries' protestantism. Iapetus (talk) 12:44, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Agreed 100, Iapetus. I just didn't want to write a very long post and go off onto specific Lutheran doctrines. There's also the point that while Jewish and Islamic fundamentalism are somewhaty well defined, it's unclear what Christian Fundamentalism would actually consist of. Presumably not stoning women accused of adultery, getting smacked on the cheek a lot, and happily rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar's. μηδείς (talk) 18:34, 18 May 2015 (UTC)


The article for William F. Lukes says he was born in Niderbergdorf, currently a redlink. This town surely now goes by a Czech name, but which town? This (which says it's from the World Heritage Encyclopedia, but sure reads like it's from Wikipedia) says it was de:Dolní Pertoltice (which was formerly called Nieder Berzdorf), which seems to be the lower part of Pertoltice (Liberec District). Can anyone confirm this with a reliable, unambiguous source (as there is at least one other Nieder Berzdorf in the Czech Republic)? -- Finlay McWalterTalk 08:39, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Unambiguous, but probably not reliable: Czech American Timeline: Chronology of Milestones in the History of Czechs in America by Miloslav Rechcigl, Jr, (self-published and unsourced as well) writes that Lukes was born in Dolní Pertoltice. I couldn't find any publication at all saying he was born in the other Nieder Berzdorf, Dolní Suchá. ---Sluzzelin talk 09:04, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Somerset House[edit]


I am looking for infomation on the total floor space for Somerset House, however I am unable to find anything? Do any of you guys have anything on the matter? Thanks in advance.2003:60:D16:B501:71C3:9ADF:2E91:5A2B (talk) 11:03, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Somerset House is our article. Since that lacks the info you seek, have you tried a Google search ? So far all I've found is this: [32], which lists 59,000 square feet. You could always contact the appropriate government agency which maintains the property, and ask them. (Note that how you define square footage is always an issue, such as whether you include storage space, etc.) StuRat (talk) 13:29, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
We have a rather brief article about different measures of square footage. DuncanHill (talk) 16:02, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
And the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors publish a code of measuring practice which explains the three principal measures used in the UK (GEA, GIA, and NIA). Code of Measuring Practice. This will help you understand the figure when you do manage to find it. DuncanHill (talk) 16:05, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
I went to the Valuation Office Agency Website Find my property valuation and searched for the rating valuations for WC2R 1LA (the postcode of Somerset House). There are approx. 140 separate rated units in Somerset House. The four largest come to a total of over 97,000 square feet, so the total will be rather more than this. DuncanHill (talk) 16:21, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Effect of cigarette prohibition laws (1890-1927)[edit]

I was surprised to read an article [33] that said that 16 U.S. states had banned cigarette smoking between 1890 and 1927. We don't have an article on cigarette prohibition but the Anti-Cigarette League of America article says 15 states made such prohibitions and 22 more considered them.

Now, my bias is to assume that the prohibition would have contributed greatly, or even been necessary for, the popularization of cigarette smoking. Considering the precedents of opium prohibition in China and marijuana prohibition in the U.S., I think of prohibition laws as being like patents, which give those who have the right connections a profit motive to increase sales volume, plus they impart a word-of-mouth appeal. However, there are of course proponents of prohibition who think that the laws would have a negative impact. Which is where things get interesting, because there might be some applicable facts out there from what is virtually a controlled experiment:

Has anyone compared and correlated the rise of smoking statistics in U.S. states that passed the prohibitions to those that did not? Wnt (talk) 18:45, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Note that they are talking about bans or prepackaged cigarettes only, leaving loose tobacco and rolling papers, pipe tobacco, cigars, and chewing tobacco. 'Snuff said ? (Personally I think they were right, in that the additives to prepackaged cigs are the worst problem, although cigars sure can stink the place up, too.) StuRat (talk) 19:10, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't think that detracts from the experiment - if anything, the numbers for cigars, snuff, chewing tobacco etc. would be another control. The question is whether cigarette bans affected the sales of cigarettes, and if so in which direction. Wnt (talk) 19:41, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
I think it has a major effect. People deprived of one from of tobacco can easily switch to another, which eliminates the desire to take a risk to get the illegal form. Likewise, if marijuana brownies were legal for all, there would be less demand for the (still illegal) smokable form. There's an economics term for this, where one product can easily be substituted for another. StuRat (talk) 19:58, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Substitute good. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:02, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, that's the term. StuRat (talk) 20:59, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, there have been other cases where the substitution didn't occur in the expected direction. For example, "mariguan" was described in 1896 as a habit of some border Mexicans, and apparently was toloachi, a combination of datura and cannabis. However, as prohibition laws generally targeted the cannabis, widespread use - luckily, you might say - focused on the mostly harmless cannabis part. Some states have recently taken steps to outlaw henbane and other previously obscure chemicals that cause severe delusional behavior; over time we may have the entertainment of observing the effects of such bans play out in practice. Wnt (talk) 00:10, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Haven't read or even browsed thought it yet (3,758 pages!), but I am betting that the WNT's question is answered somewhere within this work:
Linder, Mark (2012). "Inherently bad, and bad only" : a history of state-level regulation of cigarettes and smoking in the United States since the 1880s. Iowa City, Iowa: University of Iowa. 
Chapter 1 titled The Cigarette Industry/Nicotine Trust in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century: Production and Consumption Levels and Trends andContemporaneous Views of the Impact of State Sales Bans looks promising and starts at page 89 of the pdf. Happy reading! Abecedare (talk) 21:21, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
A winning title if ever there were one. I must develop a slightly longer variation of it for the title of my next romantic novel, an epic saga of 19 generations of one tragically stupid family that will span the ages and set hearts (and lungs) on flame in four continents. On second thought, I won't need to bother with any writing, as the title will be sufficient. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:29, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the reference... but it doesn't look exceptionally helpful in the slivers I've managed to examine. The statistics on page 300 make it sound like the figures going around weren't very accurate. There is a claim on page 1348 that the rate of smoking had increased several-fold after one state's prohibition law, but the newspaper at the time did not cite hard evidence. I don't see any sign of national tables in the document. I would hold out some hope they might exist, nonetheless, in some industry publication if nothing else. Wnt (talk) 00:06, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Do any of these documents actually list the 15 or 16 states which tried to ban cigarettes? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:57, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
The long one provides immense detail on each prohibition campaign - it's possible that the count varies because of philosophical distinction over the details, since it sounds like they tried everything: outright prohibition, public smoking bans, age limits, prohibitive taxes, etc. Wnt (talk) 11:19, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Many if not all states currently have smoking restrictions of various kinds, including everything you've listed except total prohibition. And not just laws imposed, but also businesses having their own restrictions above and beyond the law. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:43, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Tomatoes in pizza and stir-fried eggs and tomatoes[edit]

Tomatoes are from the Americas. How did they wind up in pizza (in Italy) or in stir-fried eggs and tomatoes (a common family dish in China)? (talk) 20:08, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

International trade. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:11, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Great answer Bugs. This article History of pizza also contains useful info. MarnetteD|Talk 20:17, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

In fact, the article on tomato answers this quite comprehensively. Widneymanor (talk) 20:30, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Not really. It does not mention how the tomato reached the Far East and became included in a family dish there. (talk) 20:48, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
As long as a crop can grow in other places, there will be people interested in growing it there. Most people find tomatoes to be tasty, and they are quite nutritious, so it would be surprising if they didn't spread and weren't incorporated into local dishes. I'm sure you eat many foods that are not local to your area, too, like bananas. StuRat (talk) 20:57, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
No idea about the Far East, whatever you mean by that, but specifically regarding China, this abstract has some details on the history of tomato cultivation there [34]. Searching for relevant terms from that abstract should give more info like [35]. Such results may help with further searching like [36]. In terms of "family dish", well China is a very big place and it's unclear how you know this dish is as widespread as you suggest. Nor is it clear if you know how old this dish has been that common. A lot of things taken for granted nowdays or assumed normal are actually fairly recent in culinary terms. E.g. it wasn't that long ago that the banana was a luxury food in most temperate countries. That said, as our article mentions, China is the largest cultivator of tomatoes by far nowadays. Much of this is for processing and may be very recent [37] but it's hardly surprising if the tomato is going to end up in all sorts of dishes there. Nil Einne (talk) 21:05, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Spanish merchants, who were the first Europeans to trade extensively with regions in the Americas where tomatoes were cultivated, were primarily responsible for bringing tomatoes from the Americas to Europe and Asia. This movement was part of the Columbian exchange. Marco polo (talk) 23:48, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Maybe not a reliable source, but this blog claims that they were taken to China along the Silk Road by Arab traders. Alansplodge (talk) 01:17, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
And on the Italian question, see Pomodoro!: A History of the Tomato in Italy by David Gentilcore. Alansplodge (talk) 01:25, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
China in World History by Paul S. Ropp agrees with Marc polo's Spanish route. Alansplodge (talk) 01:30, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for linking to the interesting Ropp source, Alan, but it doesn't really say that. The Portguese held Macau and had a presence on Taiwan, so that is a likely route of introduction. Ropp makes it clear that a whole range of New World crops were important in China, particularly the lower Yangzi, by the late 16th century. Itsmejudith (talk) 13:43, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
It's possible that the Portuguese were involved, but Portugal's connection to Mexico, the source of the tomato, was indirect, by way of Spain. In Europe, tomatoes were not widely grown and were mainly considered ornamental and were only gradually integrated into cuisines from the 17th to the early 19th centuries. Meanwhile, a Spanish trade route connected Mexico with China by way of the Philippines by 1565. (See Manila galleon). Tomatoes were used as food in Mexico at this time. The direct Spanish connection between Mexico, China, and Southeast Asia seems the more likely route of introduction, though I do not have a source. Marco polo (talk) 14:30, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
It doesn't discuss tomatoes per se, but the direct China-Mexico connection is discussed in some depth in 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, IIRC, China was a direct market of Pacific-bound trade from the New World, especially Fujian. --Jayron32 14:46, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I think we have to be careful about assuming tomatoes were only introduced once in to China. There is the source I linked above suggesting that tomatoes may have been in China 2000 years ago. While I'm quite sceptical of the claim, particularly as it is from the 80s and early 90s [38] [39] when Chinese research may have still been fairly questionable such areas. But I don't think we can rule it out either since there have been a small number of species in the "Old World" which seem to have come from the Americas before Columbus. (Although I don't know if there's any evidence it's likely tomatoes would have been in anything like current form when it's possible they could have been transferred via a land bridge.) Cultivation of some crop basically dying out also isn't unheard of.
Anyway whatever the truth to the claim, it doesn't sound like anyone suggests it has had any modern influence. However I mentioned this primarily to reenforce my other point. As I said above, China is a big country. It's possible tomatoes may have come to different parts via different routes and different times, rather than coming to one part of China and then spreading to the rest of China. And as I also said above, the info we have doesn't really tell us much about how widespread tomatoes really were in China during the past centuries or heck even early this century. The report from someone who was in a missionary family in the early 20th century if true seems to describe at least one small Chinese subpopulation unfamiliar with tomatoes. In fact, for all we know, it's possible tomatoes weren't actually that dissimilar in China as they were in Italy.
(To be clear, I'm not saying the info isn't known, simply that I haven't seen enough in this thread to suggest we know it on the RD.)
Nil Einne (talk) 19:13, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, if we don't know it, we don't know it. What we do know is that Trans-Pacific trade pre-Columbus probably happened in a very limited sense, though 2000-year old Old-World Tomatoes would be one of those "Exceptional claims need exceptional evidence" things. AFAIK, the only major pre-Columbian New World crop which has been relatively reliably identified is the Polynesian Sweet potato (discussed in our article), and it is unknown how it got there, though there's good physical evidence that they arrived in Polynesia as early as 1000 AD. --Jayron32 19:19, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
To be clear, the 'don't know' comment was only about how tomatoes spread in China after Columbus. As I said, I think it's clear that even if tomatoes did exist in China at one time before Columbus, this is irrelevant to the later spread since even the limited evidence which suggest they may have once been there doesn't support them having any later effect. I'm fairly sure that there is probably some decent information out there about how tomatoes actually spread in China post Columbus, but it simply hadn't been presented here on the RD yet, probably because it's not in simple form, and may not even be in English. The point of mentioning the 2000 year old thing again in my second comment above after I linked to it in my first comment was only to further emphasise that the point namely it would be foolish to assume that tomatoes only came in to a place as big as China once post Columbus and then spread internally from there. Similarly foolish to assume that they were super popular thoroughout China as soon as they were introduced just because they were mentioned in some old texts and common in certain foods in certain places nowadays. Perhaps I should have used small text but I wasn't intending to suggest it had any relevance in itself to the discussion of how tomatoes spread in China post Columbus in itself but instead simply a word of caution against simplistic thinking. Nil Einne (talk) 13:15, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Nil Einne is quite right. While it seems likely that the tomato first reached coastal South China via Spanish (or less probably Portuguese) merchants in the early modern period, it is very plausible that the tomato could have first reached western China, probably a century or more later, through trade with Iran via Central Asia. (Though even in this case, the tomato would have reached Iran through trade with the Mediterranean region and ultimately with Spain.) And there may well be Chinese-language sources documenting the early presence of tomatoes in different places, but they are not likely to be available online or outside of China. Marco polo (talk) 13:25, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

May 18[edit]

Bloomberg Business[edit]

While doing a WP:BEFORE check on James Richardson Corporation, I discovered its Bloomberg profile. This immediately made me decide not to nominate it, since Bloomberg provides large, detailed profiles of companies — but then I discovered that this is a really minimal page with no significant coverage. Do they have a subscription-based service, some sort of database that one might find with a university subscription? Or is this profile likely to be the only thing that Bloomberg provides for this corporation? No point in nominating it if we can assume that they have lots of coverage, but no point in paying attention to Bloomberg if this profile is it. Nyttend (talk) 00:59, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Don't know if this helps but Google has about 1200 hits on "james richardson pty ltd". They seem to be a major manufacturer in Australia and possibly Israel and were involved in a landmark court case in 1992. --RoyGoldsmith (talk) 00:57, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Portuguese gains in WWI?[edit]

In article aftermath of World War I it says, Portugal was one of the countries gaining territory following the war. This is news to me. What territory did Portugal gain? Boot Blues (talk) 07:45, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Portugal lost control over some of its African possessions during WW1, but regained them at the end - Portuguese Empire#World War I says "At the Versailles Conference, Portugal regained control of all its lost territory, but did not retain possession (by the principle of uti possidetis) of territories gained during the war, except for Kionga, a port city in modern-day Tanzania." The Kionga article says "The Kionga Triangle was the only Portuguese territorial gain, de facto, for their participation in the First World War." -- Finlay McWalterTalk 08:00, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Actually, Kionga (now spelled Quionga) is part of Mozambique today. Marco polo (talk) 13:30, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Our Kionga Triangle says that the territory originally lay de facto in German East Africa (now Tanzania), although it was on the wrong side of the Ruvuma River, which should have been the boundary between German East Africa and Portuguese East Africa (now Mozambique) according to a provisional agreement of 1886. So it was righting a historic wrong (in Portuguese eyes anyway) rather than a "spoil of war". Alansplodge (talk) 16:55, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Cultural attitudes towards slapstick comedy - is there a relationship?[edit]

I am wondering if there is a relationship between using slapstick comedy to convey humor and the cultural background of the population. I've heard that children are more likely than adults to experience laughter in slapstick comedy, but what about children of different ethnic-cultural groups? Or adults of different ethnic/cultural groups? (talk) 20:21, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

There are many types of humor kids can't understand, like complex puns, sexual humor, etc. So, it would make sense that they would laugh at those types of humor they can understand, like slapstick and bathroom humor. I don't see any reason why that would vary by culture. StuRat (talk) 23:41, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
We have an article on slapstick and then we have that perennial favorite, laughter. Bus stop (talk) 00:29, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
The Three Stooges and the World Wrestling Federation came from the Atlantic. But Jackass and Looney Tunes came from the Pacific. Charlie Chaplin was born in London, which covers the rest of the world, so safe to say we all rather like seeing people fall down. If they go boom, that's even better. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:17, May 19, 2015 (UTC)
I don't know what the Fliegender Zirkus is supposed to demonstrate here, but rest assured that Monty Python is quite popular in the German speaking world, and I think their slapstick goes hand in hand with the verbal and cultural and whateveral components of their humor. In its totality, it is far more effective in the original, or, if your English isn't up to it, in overdubbed German versions, than in MP's version of German with British accents.
German theatrical history (Possen, Schwänke, ...) includes a lot of slapstick humor, continued by 20th century comedians such as Karl Valentin, Loriot, ... (I don't know how universal, but doesn't slapstick have something to do with Schadenfreude too, which so often is gleefully ascribed to German culture? :-) ---Sluzzelin talk 02:00, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Absolutely. As Mel Brooks (not to be confused with Mel Blanc) said, tragedy's when I cut my finger, and comedy's when you have an anvil fall on your head and die like an accordion. Helps when "you" are either arrogant, rich or otherwise worthy of verbal or doodle satire.
Not even Roger Rabbit likes seeing babies get hurt, which (along with being fluffy) makes him sort of likable (a "babyface", rather than "heel"). In this case, his misery must come from absurd, unexpected circumstances or it isn't funny. Same with fail videos (previously known as America's Funniest Home Videos): If a good kid is trying hard to make a difficult basketball shot and suddenly he falls through the floor, into the sewer and dies instead of just tripping or something, that's a fail well done! InedibleHulk (talk) 02:25, May 19, 2015 (UTC)
The issue is that when Fliegender Zirkus was first run as a pilot on German TV it was a huge Flopp. The same thing mit Seinfeld: ein zusammener grosser Flopp. Of course es ist moeglich dass mit der Zeite die Dingen entwickelt haben moegen. μηδείς (talk)
Slapstick is probably the most basic and universal form of humor. I doubt that its appeal is very culturally specific, though sophisticates might want to deny that they find it funny. It is absolutely not true that Mandarin speakers dislike slapstick, as this article demonstrates. The Mandarin Wikipedia is not a good guide, as it is much more limited than the English version. As for Seinfeld, it involves very little slapstick, aside from the occasional gag by Kramer. Marco polo (talk) 15:33, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, in the strict sense of the word, no. But it has a lot of humor based on humiliation, which is sort of the essence of slapstick as it has come to be understood. --Trovatore (talk) 17:14, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Film marketers have the motivation to answer this question empirically. From an older study, cited by the other two linked below: " ... slapstick comedies seem more popular in the Far East than in any other part of the world" wrote Ronald Carroll (Oct., 1952) on p. 167 of "Selecting Motion Pictures for the Foreign Market", Journal of Marketing, 17(2), 162-171. Lots of tables, comparing popularity of half a dozen classic movie genres, including slapstick, by region and country. (free registration required to read - you don't need JSTOR subscription to read 3 articles every 2 weeks). Alas, later marketing studies of film genre that cite this study do not themselves include slapstick as a variable. They do, however, validate genre preferences by nationality, for example, Ramya Neelamegham and Pradeep Chintagunta (1999), “A Bayesian Model to Forecast New Product Performance in Domestic and International Markets,” Marketing Science, 18(2), 115-136. (see esp. p. 129 on comparative national genre preferences for action, thrillers, and romance), with more recent studies corroborating such preferences cited in open access article by Dalia Salazar (2014) "Getting the Show on the [International] Road: Identifying and Analyzing the Movie Signals Responsible for International Blockbusters in a Globalized Marketplace" pp. 65-86 starts on p 81 of PDF -- Paulscrawl (talk) 07:22, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

This is strictly WP:OR (there are most likely some references for this aspect of the question; I just don't have any right now), but in societies/cultures where other kinds of produced-for-the-public humor may be taboo (e.g. sexual humor) or dangerous (e.g. political commentary/satire), slapstick is just about the only other option. Take, for example, Thai and Cambodian cinema. Whereas in traditional art forms (Thai/Lao mor lum, Khmer ayai and kamphlaeng), sexual innuendo is par for the course, comedy in movies is so slapstick-ish that it makes the Three Stooges look refined. And it is enjoyed by young and old alike. Somebody mentioned Seinfeld above. That brings to mind a related anecdote. A young Cambodian man was visiting my house one time and Seinfeld was on. He said "I don't get it. Why is this so popular? It's not even funny. There's nobody falling down, no crazy sound effects, no men disguised as women (...) It's not a comedy at all." This suggests that what we find to be funny, or at least what we expect in a comedy, is somewhat culturally conditioned.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 08:13, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Slapstick goes in and out of fashion in the UK, so it's difficult to say whether it's an intrinsic part of our humour. There was Norman Wisdom, who certainly crossed a cultural boundary, becoming a superstar in Albania. There was Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em. More recently Miranda Hart's comedy relied on physical awkwardness, but she is perhaps better known now for more serious acting (series Call the Midwife). Itsmejudith (talk) 16:42, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Forgot Mr Bean! When slapstick's done as well as that, it doesn't have much trouble being recognised across the world. Itsmejudith (talk) 16:42, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, Mr Bean is a very good example of exportability, when the majority of laughs aren't linked to language. Apart from silent movie classics, I also thought of Jerry Lewis's acclaim outside the US, and Louis de Funès's popularity in the German speaking world (in both cases often only broadcast in overdubbed versions in the ancient 1970s and -80s, and in those countries unfortunate enough to have 99% of films dubbed on TV at the time). ---Sluzzelin talk 00:20, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

May 19[edit]

Three Questions on Boundary Commissions (United Kingdom)[edit]

I'm from the other side of the pond so I don't know how they redistrict in the UK. It is my understanding, that Boundary Commissions will set up a constituency with a population between 100K and 111K (+/- 5% of 64 million divided by 596). Is that true?

If it is, I have three questions (which I inserted in this talk page a week ago):

In the Boundary Commissions (United Kingdom)#Considerations and process section, the article states that "the electorate of each constituency must be within 5% of the United Kingdom electoral quota. This number is the total mainland electorate divided by the number of mainland constituencies, which is 596. In simple terms, it is the average electorate of a mainland constituency." Question #1: What people are included in that "electorate"?

For example, the United States Census uses "actual counts of persons dwelling in U.S. residential structures. They include citizens, non-citizen legal residents, non-citizen long-term visitors and undocumented immigrants." Thus, in the first place, the Census counts all children and people not entitled to vote. Do the UK Boundary Commissions count children and other non-voters as "electorate" or just people entitled to vote? Do they base it on "usual residence" or some other measure?

Q#2: On a slightly different topic, how often do they redistrict? The US performs a census every 10 years. What basis does the UK use to determine how often they rebalance?

Q#3: And what about the 54 "non-mainland" constituencies? Do they use a different system?

Thanks --RoyGoldsmith (talk) 00:28, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Sixth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies has a little template at the bottom that lists the previous five. It doesn't seem to happen as often as in the U.S.; the one prior to the one currently being undertaken appears to have been in 1945. --Jayron32 09:02, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
No, the one before the Sixth was the Fifth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies in 2000-2007, with boundaries taking effect in 2005 in Scotland and 2010 nationwide. DuncanHill (talk) 11:25, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Ah, I misread the template. It looks like Reviews 1-6 all took place since 1945, and that those dates are for prior reviews and redistricting. My bad. --Jayron32 16:13, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
There are four non-mainland constituencies (Orkney and Shetland, Na h-Eileanan an Iar, and two on the Isle of Wight, listed in the article), not 54. I think your maths is producing 54 because you're using population, but the article says "electoral quota" which it defines as "the average number of electors per constituency". The Boundary Commission for Scotland explains what that means here - it's the number of people on the Electoral Register. This 2011 report suggests that about 82% of people eligible to vote are registered, meaning about 6 million people who could vote aren't registered. Note that, for the purposes of elections to Westminster, British Citizens can vote, plus Irish and some Commonwealth citizens ordinarily resident in the UK. The census includes those, plus convicted prisoners, children, EU and non-EU nationals, and those incompetent to vote. Note also that the 5% number is a handwavey target - the actual targets vary between the four constituent countries, as described in this document. The four non-mainland constituencies are considered special cases, where their small sizes (Na h-Eileanan an Iar has an electoral role of only about 22,000) are balanced by other considerations - see Na h-Eileanan an Iar (UK Parliament constituency)#Boundaries. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 09:48, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
RoyGoldsmith the rules for the Boundary Commissions and "Redistricting" are about to change. Basically pre-1948 the members of parliament just got together and drew the boundaries themselves. When the boundary commissions were set up, the rules were for there to be "not substantially more than 613 seats" in the UK, 12 in Northern Ireland, at least 71 in Scotland and at least 35 in Wales. The "not substantially more" wording was vague, so there was a tendency over time for numbers to creep up. From 630 to 635 in 1974, 650 in 1983 and 659 in 1997. There were other changes that took place as well. Northern Ireland had been deliberately underrepresented due to having its own parliament. When that was abolished in 1973, that justification went and it has has had 16 to 18 under the rules since 1983. When Scotland got its own parliament in 1998, the justification for its over-representation went and mainland Scotland now gets the same proportionally as England. Wales is still overrepresented.
The people they count are those on the electoral register, including some Commonwealth and all Irish citizens resident there. This is different from almost all other democracies which just use census figures. Under the rules up to now reviews have had to take place every 8 to 12 years and there has been no set deviation. Constituencies just have to be "close to the quota" and respect local government boundaries, so the public enquiries which have followed reviews have often tended to feature arguments over which is more important. Usually they've gone for a deviation of up to 12% but have approved the odd one outside that. Constituencies in sparsely populated rural areas (Scottish islands and the counties of England bordering Scotland) are allowed to be smaller due to "special geographic considerations." The Isle of Wight has been a special case, it's usually been entitled to about 1.42 constituencies, but residents have opposed having a half constituency in the north of the island combined with parts of the mainland so it's stayed as an exceptionally large constituency. One difference from the USA is that the commissions have to be impartial. There is no messing about to protect incumbents or political parties drawing the boundaries themselves. However, parties will be heavily involved in the public enquiries and can often swing things more to their direction.
The Conservatives have now changed the system. The Scottish islands will be protected, with 2 constituencies. Isle of Wight will also be protected and will get two constituencies instead of one. The total number of constituencies will be set in stone at 600 (a reduction of 50) and the deviation at no more than 5% and reviews will have to take place every five years. Valenciano (talk) 11:27, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Wrong: it was not the Conservatives who changed the system, but Parliament. The change may have taken place under a (partially) Conservative government, but this is not the same thing: decisions are always made by Parliament. In particular, there is a long-standing convention that matters of this kind require a substantial degree of cross-party support (though this support may not be unanimous - the requirement is only for fair-minded people on both sides of the aisle to agree). RomanSpa (talk) 17:20, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Valenciano and others: If I wanted to add this to Wikipedia, would you suggest a new section to Boundary Commissions (United Kingdom) or a new article titled something like "Redistricting in the United Kingdom"? --RoyGoldsmith (talk) 18:44, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Not "Redistricting in the United Kingdom" because we don't have redistricting. Something like "Parliamentary Constituency boundary changes in the United Kingdom would be better, but perhaps best dealt with within existing articles such as the Boundary Commissions one or one on constituencies in general. DuncanHill (talk) 18:59, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Deal with this within existing articles. "Redistricting" is about as meaningful to British readers as "football in Kazakhstan" is to USA based readers. Valenciano (talk) 21:10, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

The seven lamps of style - P.M.Fulcher,[edit]

I have searched the Internet for "the seven lamps of style" by P.M.Fulcher, defined in his book, "Foundations of English Style"(New York, 1927). Wikipedia has returned a note: "The document you are searching does not exist. You can ask for or create one". I have set out to create an introductory document while making reference to the above source from memory:

Drawing on Ruskin's concept of "The Seven Lamps of Style", Mr Fulcher proposed seven key features of verbal style, which arguably included the following: 1)truth, 2)power, 3)beauty, 4)simplicity, 5)clarity, 6)brevity, and 7)urbanity. A reference to the book by P.M.Fulcher titled above would help best of all. It is not available on the Internet. I expect contributions on the Seven Lamps of Style by P.M.Fulcher and their elaboration. Thank you.

WP:NBOOK is the relevant guideline; I doubt if this book will pass it, as it's only referred to in a couple of footnotes in the works of Bryan A. Garner. Tevildo (talk) 08:29, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Novel Sci-Fi Regarding a genetic reason for Jesus Healing[edit]

I am looking for the title of a novel. During experiments it was found that some animals can heal others but not themselves. There is a race to find the humans with this ability. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JonM0267 (talkcontribs) 13:40, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Can you provide a bit more information? Do you remember the author, target audience (young adult, adult, children), main characters or place names? (talk) 16:34, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Target readership would be adult. As I understand the plot, it centres around a discovery that a rare genetic mutation allows an animal to heal others of its own species. During the investigation of this, it was discovered that there are humans who have the same ability. The tory revolves around the science of the anomaly, and the search for those with the gift. There are competing groups, mainly one that fears a scientific reason for Jesus healing abilities (miracles) should be prevented etc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JonM0267 (talkcontribs) 07:28, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

This sounds very familiar. Was it written within the last ten years or so? If it was, I may be able to find the title as I know someone who may have this book. Viriditas (talk) 10:00, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

@JonM0267: it sounds like you are describing The Miracle Strain (1997) by Michael Cordy. Viriditas (talk) 10:06, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Are most or all American companies and organizations Equal Opportunity Employment employers?[edit]

Are most or all American companies and organizations Equal Opportunity Employment employers? Does a company or organization have to label itself as an Equal Opportunity Employer? How is Equal Opportunity Employment enforced? (talk) 14:15, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

You may find Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enlightening. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:26, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I took a look, but that agency seemed to focus on enforcing Equal Opportunity Employment for minority groups and to protect companies/organizations from being falsely accused of discriminatory practices. It sounds like a win-win situation. You answered my third question, but I still have two earlier questions. Are all or most American companies and organizations Equal Opportunity Employment employers? Does a company or organization have to label itself as an Equal Opportunity Employer? (talk) 16:13, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Companies are not required to register with the EEOC, every employer with more than the minimum number of employees as defined by statute (the actual number varies by the type of company) is subject to the laws which the EEOC enforces. See here for more details. Here is more information about the laws in question. --Jayron32 17:24, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Expanding Sahara[edit]

The Sahara is expanding. This could cause huge problems in the future due to the third world population explosion and their need for non-arid land. Also, there are wealthier Asian nations who own farmlands in Africa wherewith they feed their own population. Is there an international effort to protect Africa from soil erosion? Rlaftive (talk) 19:45, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Well, there was that proposed project to build a canal to bring water from the Mediterranean Sea into a basin in North Africa. This would generate electricity and allow plants to grow, although it would be saltwater, so that would limit the crops that could be raised there. However, the moisture which evaporated would help nearby crops, at least in the direction the wind blows. StuRat (talk) 20:17, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Here [40] is a nice article describing the scope of the problem, not just in Africa, but worldwide, and covering many forms of land degradation.
At the top level, there's things like the Earth_Summit, which included many NGO participants. Desertification in Africa and ways of combating are among the topics. So that's lots of high-level talking (and money), but for "boots on the ground", we'll have to find specific NGO and governmental programs.
This article [41] discusses many projects, programs and plans, one of which is the Great_Green_Wall, which is supported by several African governments. Here is another overview article discussing many NGO and governmental programs [42].
So let me stop and say clearly: YES, there are many programs to fight desertification and erosion in Africa, and to promote soil conservation on the continent more generally. There are also many research dollars being spent to better understand the problems, and find cost-effective solutions (you didn't ask about scientific research, but that's an important part of solving the problem). The question is almost too broad, if you have more specific interests, we may be able to direct you to more specific programs. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:51, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Adding, we have an article on the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. (talk) 21:19, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Saltwater crops ?[edit]

The above Q inspired me to ask: "What food crops (or non-food crops), if any, grow in saltwater ?" (I realize this is more of a Science Desk Q, but the history of saltwater crop production might belong here, and I'd like to keep it with the above Q.) StuRat (talk) 20:20, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Seaweed farming - many spp are cultivate, Porphyra in particular is commonly eaten (Nori, laverbread, see also algaculture)). Other than some beach grasses like Ammophila_(plant), most terrestrial plants can't survive much salt water. A few species can tolerate higher salt concentrations than others but nothing so high as sea water concentrations. Basically, salt water on land is just not that common on evolutionary time scales. The development of higher salt tolerance in food crops is an area of active research [43]. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:59, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Asparagus can tolerate a goodly amount of salt. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:20, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
This blurb [44] indicates Kosteletzkya virginica and Salicornia as having high salt tolerance, and potential use as oil crops. SemanticMantis (talk) 21:29, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Plants which tolerate high levels of salinity are called halophytes. As well as the article, we have Category:Halophytes. DuncanHill (talk) 22:51, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Also Category:Sea vegetables. Also Samphire relies on salt water, though it doesn't actually grow in it.--Shantavira|feed me 09:04, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Fish farming --Dweller (talk) 10:30, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
True, but the term crop usually refers to plants. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:33, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
That might be a good option in the above Q's scenario, though, with the basin in North Africa flooded from the Med Sea, although due to evaporation the salt level may soon get too high for even saltwater fish. Maybe brine shrimp could still live there ? StuRat (talk) 20:00, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Operations management[edit]

What's the best way to start your career after college if your eventual ambition is to work in operations management for a large organisation and strategic development. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:19, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

You apply for job postings in your intended career track. --Jayron32 02:10, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
That's not easy to see sometimes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:56, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Many books about job-hunting recommend finding a person who works in the field that you want, and respectfully asking them for a 10-minute conversation in which you ask for their advice on the best ways to get into that field. See Informational interview. (talk) 12:45, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
If you were in the UK your university would have a careers office to give you advice on job-hunting. Is there an equivalent in your college, I presume in the USA? Don't large companies have graduate trainee schemes? Itsmejudith (talk) 16:31, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

May 20[edit]

Proof of Alabama rejoining the union on July 13, 1868?[edit]

The Internet has a consensus that Alabama was readmitted to the U.S. Congress on July 13, 1868. Yet I can find zero primary sourcing of this. I have skimmed the Congressional Record for that day, and checked the US Statutes at Large for 1868 and while I find the omnibus bill of June 25 that provides for readmittance of several states, once certain conditions are met, I can find no specific mention of Alabama being readmitted on the specific day of July 13. You'd think at least the Congressional Record would speak of it. I could have missed it, it's rather dense, but it didn't leap out at me. None of the sources I'm finding that state July 13 mention any primary sourcing either; it's almost as if a chain letter has become circular. I'm not necessarily doubting that Alabama was readmitted on July 13, but I would like to have more solid evidence of this than what is beginning to amount to hearsay. Note: This might also apply to the other states mentioned in the omnibus bill (Florida, Louisiana, North and South Carolina; Georgia was specifically readmitted later) but I haven't done the same research on those yet.

Anyone know where I can find this, or at least know where everyone else is getting their information if not from each other? --Golbez (talk) 05:20, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Never mind. The omnibus bill (15 Stat. 73) of June 25 states that Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina will be readmitted once they ratify the 14th amendment, and sure enough, the ratification dates for each of those states other than Florida are the dates they are typically described as having been readmitted (Florida ratified it earlier, so its readmission date is June 25). So I know now where the date comes from. And I forgot that things moved slower back then. The White House didn't learn of the ratification until July 20, and this proclamation was then passed to the House, which didn't speak of it until the next day, where I find mention of this in the congressional record. Whew. --Golbez (talk) 05:47, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

"The Internet has a consensus"??!? Really? On anything at all? --Dweller (talk) 10:29, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Dostoevsky: origin of quote?[edit]

I copied this quote as it appears (including spelling of Dostoevsky) but I cannot find a source. It may be a translation issue but i cannot find anything close to it when I search for Dostoevsky quotes.

Quote as originally copied:

"Love me-still when I am dirty, cause if I were clean, everyone would love me."

Dostojevskij — Preceding unsigned comment added by Monotrien (talkcontribs) 11:31, 20 May 2015 (UTC)


If you Google 'Northanglia' or 'North Anglia' (there's also 'Nordanglia') you get results that suggest it must be roughly synonymous with that part of East Anglia comprised of the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. How old is the term? Did anyone invent it? Why can't I find a definition of it anywhere? Contact Basemetal here 12:30, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

The earliest google (ngram) result is from 1837 [45]. However, I don't see that the results are necessarily pointing to a place name. It seems a mystery writer by the name of William J Palmer is using "University of North Anglia" for his fictional university [46]. And there was a ship named the "North Anglia" in the early 20th century [47]. Spelled Nord Anglia, you're looking at a chain of private schools [48]. See Anglia for why people might coin such terms. (talk) 13:12, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
East Anglia is Norfolk and Suffolk. The governmental region of East Anglia is not widely known in the UK. DuncanHill (talk) 13:17, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Cambridgeshire? Contact Basemetal here 13:24, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
    • Judging by Google results no, but that must be only a minute part of its uses since 1837. The disambiguation page Anglia mentions that it can also be a way to refer to the eastern part of England. Note for example ITV Anglia. See also College of West Anglia: there West Anglia does not refer to the western part of England. Contact Basemetal here 15:28, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Why on Earth would it refer to the North? The Anglia bit of it would give it away..... Now regarding the term, I lived in Norwich for many years, and never heard it there. Fgf10 (talk) 18:21, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Secession from the U.S.?[edit]

As is well known, in the American Civil War, the Confederate States claimed they had the right to secede, while the Union claimed they didn't.

The claim of the South seems, at least for those states that had ratified the Articles of Confederation of 1781 (namely South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina), to go against that document (unless one argues the Articles had been superseded by the Constitution, which, contrary to the older document, did not specifically state the union was a perpetual one).

But leaving that aside, it seems there is a significant distinction that needs to be made in the argument for secession, namely that some states had joined the United States from the outside (South Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina) while some had been established on territory that was already part of the United States (Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee).

It seems that for those, secession could only mean (at least without further justification) dis-establishing themselves as states and reverting to the status of territory, but not leaving the United States.

So my question is: did the South ever note that difference in their argumentation and propose a special justification for the secession of those states and their joining the Confederacy?

Contact Basemetal here 13:18, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Secession in the United States is the proper article at Wikipedia, and answers a lot of your questions regarding the issue. The actual acts of secession themselves were more acts of Realpolitiks than on carefully constructed legal arguments: the states just did it without regard for whether or not they legally could. They, of course, asserted they could. But the Union armies marching across their territory denied that assertion, as did the later Texas v. White decision, which formally (after the fact) declared the secessions of the states legally invalid, and thus did not happen. --Jayron32 13:44, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Actually I had only one question and that article does not answer it. I do understand that secession was a political not a legal act but I thought the states, and later those people who supported or still support their position, must have come up with some sort of formal justification. Whether such a justification made any sense, legally or logically, was not what I was curious about, but only if they ever thought of noting the difference between the two situations I mentioned. Maybe a place to go look are the declarations of the various states when they seceded, if such declarations exist. If they do, where can those texts be found? I would be curious, for example, to see how Mississippi justified its right to secede. It would have had to be rather different from the way a state that had been one of the original thirteen colonies, such as South Carolina, or one that joined the Union as a state, such as Texas, did it. Contact Basemetal here 15:43, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I googled "declaration of secession", or something like that, and here's what turned up for South Carolina.[49] In effect, they declared that the federal government was violating states' rights, so they're leaving the Union. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:49, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
And here is an item that covers Mississippi, among others. Anyone who denies that the Civil War was "about slavery" should read this.[50]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:52, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Also, This and This seem to have the actual documents the OP is looking for. They can peruse them at their leisure to see if they answer their questions or not. --Jayron32 15:54, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
You may want to look into what South Carolina was saying in 1828, when they were talking about seceding over the Tariff of Abominations (it was a big deal nationally, even prompting Joseph Smith to predict that South Carolina would rebel when he was writing LDS scriptures four years later), or into what some of the New England states were saying at the Hartford Convention of 1814, when they were considering secession. Nyttend (talk) 16:52, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
More articles in the vein of what Nyttend is talking about: Nullification Crisis, South Carolina Exposition and Protest, John C. Calhoun. --Jayron32 16:57, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
  • You may take as a side note the fact that the US Constitution itself was technically invalid under the Articles of Confederation since the former required unanimity for amendments, while the Constitution asserted it would take effect as soon as 9 out of the 13 states had ratified it. Of course all the existing states did ratify it, as it was obvious the opposition was going to lose. An interesting question is, do the legislatures of new states have to ratify the US Constitution before they are admitted? μηδείς (talk) 17:56, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
    AFAIK, no, they do not formally ratify the U.S. constitution before being admitted. Admission to the Union covers the process; in order to be a state the state needs to organize a constitutional convention to write their own state constitution, and then apply for membership from Congress. Congress admits the state, and that's all that's required. Acceptance of the Constitution itself, is probably implicit in the act of application for statehood itself. --Jayron32 18:01, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
    Regarding the contention the Constitution can be seen as an amendment of the Articles of Confederation and is thus technically in violation of their provisions, I just don't see how. Article VII of the Constitution states that "The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same." (My emphasis). So no one was forced to ratify the Constitution, it was going to come into effect between those states that had chosen to adopt it while those that would refuse to do it could continue as before under the Articles (in principle at least, although I don't know if that was a realistic possibility that was discussed during the process of ratification). How could anyone argue that the Articles of Confederation legally prevented a group of states from voluntarily making their union closer (or as the preamble says "more perfect") while not forcing anyone to join the process? Now Article VI of the Articles of Confederation does state specifically (among other things) that "No two or more States shall enter into any treaty, confederation or alliance whatever between them, without the consent of the United States in Congress assembled, specifying accurately the purposes for which the same is to be entered into, and how long it shall continue." It seems to follow that the Constitution would not have been in violation of the Articles as long as the "United States in Congress assembled" (i.e. the Confederation Congress) was going to eventually (unanimously) authorize those states that had chosen to pursue a closer union to do so. In theory, what could have happened was that say twelve states could have ratified the Constitution and one state could have objected to those twelve states entering into this closer union. In that case those twelve states would have been in violation of Article VI of the Articles of Confederation. But since nothing of the kind ended up happening... Contact Basemetal here 22:25, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
  • So, if the secessions were null and void, meaning they never happened at law, why was it necessary for those states that claimed they'd left to be readmitted, if they never legally left in the first place? If secession is legally impossible at law, why would there ever be a need for a readmission protocol? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:07, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
It was simply a condition of the congress, as only the victorious North had any federal power. The states were ruled as territories, just as if they had not yet been admitted to the union, but were US land. This is simply how it worked out given Northern victory and control of congress. The big incentive for the Southerners to comply was to get their representatives back seated in congress. In the meantime the GOP faced no opposition passing the 14th amendment ending slavery and enforcing the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses (Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution) and the 15th amendment guaranteeing the right to vote regardless of color or past servitude. See the 14th amendment article for specifics. μηδείς (talk) 20:16, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
OK, I will. Thank you. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:47, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Henri Giscard d'Estaing (historian)?[edit]

The article on Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy attributes writings on the Dreyfus affair to "Henri Giscard d'Estaing". Searching a bit online, it seems that would be the book D' Esterhazy a Dreyfus written by Henri Giscard d'Estaing and published in Paris in 1960. Our Esterhazy article links that to Henri Giscard d'Estaing (son of the President) who was only 4 years old in 1960; obviously that's the wrong guy. So who was this other, older Henri Giscard d'Estaing - and was he related to Valéry Giscard d'Estaing? I note that fr:Famille Giscard d'Estaing lists one Henri Marie Antoine Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, who it describes as being a "colonel d'artillerie" (hey, just like Dreyfus) - was it him? -- Finlay McWalterTalk 13:48, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

An aside: The Dreyfus Affair By Leslie Derfler, which mentions the above book in passing, gives 1950 as its publication date (Google Books itself finds a 1960 edition). -- Finlay McWalterTalk 13:53, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
According to the Bibliothèque nationale de France's online catalog, the book was published by Plon in 1960. No dates are given for the author and no other books are attributed to him in its catalogue, so it seems it was his sole published work. The only plausible Henri in the genealogy of the family is the one mentioned by the OP, whose dates are 1900-1972. The family is not large (at least, those using the twin last names) so he is indeed very likely the book's author. Here's a review of the book from Le Monde diplomatique of May 1960 [51]. Access to the full review requires a subscription, but from what's available for free, it doesn't seem as if it delves much into the author's biography. --Xuxl (talk) 09:20, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Are any developed countries solvent in the long run?[edit]

Here in the UK, after five years of budget cuts which have somewhat slowed the rate at which the national debt increases, the reelected government claims they can get that rate leveled off in about three years. Which would leave us treading (still very deep) water, if you ignore all the unfunded pensions for a rising number of old people, growing cost of healthcare, low productivity at work, and the inevitable next recession at some point. Hard to believe we're not eventually facing bankruptcy, even if it's several decades away. Are any other developed countries in a better position, counting all their liabilities and advantages? (talk) 15:39, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

One way to solvency is economic growth that outpaces growth in government spending. That happened in the US during the latter Clinton administration, with a productivity boom and divided government with Clinton and Gingrich that kept the growth of government spending in check. Note that as soon as Bush came into office with a friendly congress the Republicans went on a huge spending spree. There's also devaluation and debt repudiation, but (in)solvency by that route causes massive, long-term damage. Look at Argentina, which used to be the seventh richest country in the world, and is now 24th. μηδείς (talk) 17:50, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Any country whose debts are denominated in a fiat currency that it controls is by definition solvent. This is the case for the United States and the United Kingdom, but not for the euro-zone countries. (Though individual euro-zone countries may be solvent despite their lack of control over creation of the euro.) A country whose debt is denominated in its own fiat currency can create as much money as is needed to cover its debts or other obligations. Of course, such debt monetization can lead to inflation, but it is consistent with solvency. Argentina's case is not relevant because its debt before its default was denominated in U.S. dollars, over which it had no control. Marco polo (talk) 18:59, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Not just inflation, but hyperinflation, causing the total collapse of the economy. So, just printing money to pay off your debts is not a serious option, or they already would have done so. Even defaulting on those debts would be less of a disaster. StuRat (talk) 19:45, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
(ec) I am not just talking about current Argentine problems, MarcoPolo, see Economic history of Argentina: "The economic history of Argentina is one of the most studied, owing to the "Argentine paradox", its unique condition as a country that had achieved advanced development in the early 20th century but experienced a reversal, which inspired an enormous wealth of literature and diverse analysis on the causes of this decline. Argentina possesses definite comparative advantages in agriculture, as the country is endowed with a vast amount of highly fertile land. Between 1860 and 1930, exploitation of the rich land of the pampas strongly pushed economic growth. During the first three decades of the 20th century, Argentina outgrew Canada and Australia in population, total income, and per capita income.[3] By 1913, Argentina was the world's 10th wealthiest nation per capita."
Also, you are simply saying in other terms that unilateral currency devaluation is "solvency" by definition, but in that case Weimar Germany was solvent. A more normal definition of solvency would be the ability to pay creditors and secure new debt. (This was written before but saved well after Stu's comments, which I echo.) μηδείς (talk) 20:23, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
No, solvency is merely the ability to pay one's bills, not necessarily the ability to borrow more money. Also, monetization of debt need not lead to hyperinflation. Central banks in the Western world have, in effect, been monetizing debt through their quantitative easing programs. In recent years, the Bank of Japan has been most aggressive at this, and yet inflation remains at very low, and sometimes negative, levels in these countries. There are probably limits on the rate at which the debt can be monetized, depending on the broader economic context, without sparking runaway inflation. Weimar hyperinflation is another red herring here, because it was caused by Germany's debts in a currency—gold—over which it had no control, unlike nations with their own fiat currencies. Anyway, none of this bears on the question of solvency, per se, as raised by the questioner. Marco polo (talk) 21:10, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
That would seem to imply that a company in a structured bankruptcy was solvent, because it could pay its settled bills, yet still not incur new debt. Your use of red herring seems to imply I am trying to pull something over on you, Marco Polo. I don't think we need to talk that way. Are you suggesting that countries with fiat currencies can't undergo hyperinflation? Is there something beyond either growing out of debt or devaluation that allows countries with huge debts and deficits to address their budgetary imbalances? For example, austerity and sale of territory, neither of which seems to fit the spirit of the OP's question?
The core problem is as this old saying: In "the long run", we're all dead." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:36, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Equality equals quantity, whereas equity equals quality[edit]

This very nice little quote is easily found on the internet, and the most commonly referenced source is: ( ... or . I've really tried, but so far am unable to find a more appropriate original source, with an author, or a more academic reference. I have to think there is one, so would really appreciate if anyone could point me to an original source that I could cite for this gem (which is also quite a potent tongue twister...try it). I do know how to cite a webpage if I have to, but that isn't the point...Thanks if you can help. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:58, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

First, maybe you could explain what it means, or is supposed to mean. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:01, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
That's explained rather clearly in the link provided (though I make no assertion that the distinction being drawn is useful or correct). We also have articles on equity and equality. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:07, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Equity (finance) is a dollar amount. That's quantity. As for the link, I always assume unfamiliar website links are to malware sites. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:12, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Obviously it's not equity (finance), but equity-fairness, as covered by several of our other articles that you can find from the disambiguation page. The basic idea of the quote is understandable and could be paraphrased: both earning the same = equality; it feels fair = equity. I wonder if there actually is an original source for the observation or whether it is a simplification made by the author of the page of Academic sources on equity stress that there are both qualitative and quantitative measures that need to be made. Itsmejudith (talk) 16:27, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Something "feeling" fair is going to vary widely across the population. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:35, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't take that maxim - or, for that matter - too literally. After all, what is "quality"? (Equality: condition or quality of being equal - Webster's 1913). Now you have another tough distinction. It is not likely relevant to socio-political-economic debate outside of a court empowered to consider equity law (as opposed to only a strict interpretation of common or administrative law) and such maxims are not legally binding by themselves in any case. If not original with the unsigned article on, it would most likely be an old legal maxim (our article uses dated sources exclusively), not yet documented on Wikipedia's page specific to legal maxims of equity. Source perhaps most easily found through the greatly expanded appendix on (Latin) legal maxims in the the latest (2014) 10th edition of Black's Law Dictionary (not found in my 9th ed.), or one of the public domain sources cited on one of the first three linked articles, maybe on or elseweb. Might help to have presumed Latin original. -- Paulscrawl (talk) 18:59, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Well, just to finish the thought, as the original poster... Below, from the paper I'm drafting which provides the context. The quote then shows up in the footnote, also provided below, and I was hoping to properly cite the quote (because colleagues don't always appreciate the purpose and need for that), and if I could find the original source, I think there might be additional interesting content to consider. As some of you pointed out...without the context, there is less to make of the quote, however elegant. What I was writing:

"Gender inequality, inequality of opportunity, and wealth/income inequalities are three symptoms of unsatisfied human needs. Just as problematic are structural inequities (footnote here). Both inequality and inequity result in insecurity, injustice, marginalisation and alienation. (Our organization) places particular emphasis on gender inequality, considering it a root cause of fragility...

and the footnote: "To consider the difference between inequality and inequity, one can puzzle over this pithy observation: 'equality equals quantity, whereas equity equals quality' . The point being that equality often refers to a quantitative measure of something, whereas equity refers to fairness. This is a subtle but sometimes critical distinction." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:18, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

As long as you're making a hyperlink reference to that quote, you might like to sharpen the distinction for your purpose and context with the pithy, accurate, and apropos definitions and sample sentences from
  • equality: The state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities: 'an organization aiming to promote racial equality'
  • equity: The quality of being fair and impartial: 'equity of treatment'
Needless to say, the two words, sharing the same root of "equal" in Latin, have led to a great many specialized distinctions in specific contexts by different writers, as here, "The Many Faces of Equality" (pp. 7-8) in Ulf Blossing, Gunn Imsen, and Lejf Moos, The Nordic Education Model: 'A School for All' Encounters Neo-Liberal Policy (Springer, 2014).
Point being, your audience may or may not accept your distinction at face value, or may want you to make further discriminations. Context rules rhetoric! Hope this has been of some help. -- Paulscrawl (talk) 13:57, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

C.C.D. in case citation[edit]

The case citation for Folsom v. Marsh is 9. F.Cas. 342 (C.C.D. Mass. 1841). What does C.C.D. Mass. represent? Was there a circuit court that oversaw just the District of Massachusetts? I know that the Supreme Court justices of the period had circuit responsibilities (the case was heard by Joseph Story), but would there really be a circuit court overseeing just one district? Nyttend (talk) 16:57, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

I'm just spitballing here, but according to United States circuit court (on the system of courts used until 1912), "Although the federal judicial districts were grouped into circuits, the circuit courts convened separately in each district and were designated by the name of the district (for example, the "U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Massachusetts"), not by the name or number of the circuit." Very nice of them to use the exact situation you asked about :) --Golbez (talk) 17:03, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Circuit court for the district of Massachusetts. At the time, there were not federal appellate circuits like today, but were staffed with a SCOTUS justice and the local district court judge. When the circuit court was cited, it was cited to the district (and thus state) that it was hearing the case for. GregJackP Boomer! 17:12, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I hadn't found the United States circuit court article; I wondered why United States courts of appeals was really only the current system, without much history. Thanks for the pointer! Nyttend (talk) 17:55, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Title of this painting[edit]

In a hotel I had a reproduction of this painting: I really liked it but I was unable to find the author/title. Tried searching on Google Images, with no luck. Anyone can help? Thank you very much. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:34, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

@ please contact the hotel. They will be able to give you more information about the work, the artist, and a contact name. Many artists make their work available for sale through the hotel where their work is featured. This particular piece of work is quite striking, and I like it very much. If you correct the levels in your image and then search Google Images with it, one result will come up, but it is not the original work you have presented here, but a bad imitation. I have chosen not to link to it to here because there are quite a number of disreputable companies who exist to steal the work of local artists and pass it off as their own. I have no idea if that is the case here, but the one result in question did not give an artist name. It did, however, offer title key words, including "two sisters" and "medieval dress". I don't think that's going to help you, so the best thing to do is call the hotel. Viriditas (talk) 10:47, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Another legal terminology question[edit]

I can't remember and can't find the term that refers to the distinction between an office and a person that holds it. For an example, if I understand rightly, the Oath of Allegiance (United Kingdom) is sworn to the institution of King or Queen (or perhaps to The Crown), not to Mrs. Elizabeth Mountbatten-Windsor. As well, Jones v. Clinton and the related Clinton v. Jones was Paula Jones' lawsuit against Hillary Rodham Clinton's husband, not against the President of the United States, and if you sue a US state attorney general claiming that the state's violated a constitutional standard, you're suing the attorney general, not the guy who holds the job, and the suit will continue if he resigns and gets replaced by someone else. Corporation sole isn't quite the concept that I'm looking for, because governmental offices often aren't corporations sole. Nyttend (talk) 19:03, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

They aren't? From the article you just linked it states "Some lawyers consider The Crown in right of each Commonwealth realm to be a corporation sole, which may possess property as the monarch distinct from property he or she possesses personally, and may do acts as monarch distinguished from her or his personal acts." It then goes on to list a bunch of legal and political offices in the UK. --Jayron32 23:51, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
No, they aren't. I gave this disclaimer precisely because the Crown is an exception. If you disagree, find me the name of the corporation sole that exists for the President of the United States, for the attorneys general of various US states, etc. Nyttend (talk) 12:43, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I have no idea what the status of the President of the United States is, but your statement "governmental offices often aren't corporations sole" is directly contradicted by the text in the article titled Corporation sole which lists numerous governmental offices. I have no pony in this race, and am not disagreeing with anything. I was merely noting the existence of the disagreement between your statement and the text of the article you linked. The article and your statement cannot both be simultaneously correct. --Jayron32 17:52, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

"Augustus ... acknowledged he could not make a new Latin word"[edit]

That's a quotation from the third book of Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, and apparently refers to a story Locke would have expected his readers to be familiar with. I, on the other hand, am not familiar with it. Can I get some clarification or a reference to an outside source? Thanks in advance. (talk) 20:08, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

I've only ever seen that referenced from Locke. My understanding of the meaning is that although Augustus was leader of the most powerful empire on earth, he could not create a new word in Latin and make people use it, and use it in the way he intended. It is an acknowledgment of the limits of his power and the fact that a language, and more generally, independent thought, is made by its speakers, not issued by dictates of its leader. --Mark viking (talk) 21:57, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it appears that Locke's story is not historically correct, however Suetonius does recount the following incident in his book about grammarians, reaching a similar conclusion: 'When this same Marcellus had criticized a word in one of Tiberius's speeches, and Ateius Capito declared that it was good Latin, or if not, that it would surely be so from that time on, Marcellus answered: "Capito lies; for you Caesar, can only confer citizenship on men, but not upon a word."' --Suetonius, De Grammaticis, XXII (Latin text) - Lindert (talk) 22:13, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Novel about woman in medieval time[edit]


I read a book around fifteen years ago that was about a woman living in a sort of medieval era. In the beginning she was living in some sort of castle in the countryside and then later there was a tournament which she entered. In the tournament everybody wore a scarf over their face and the goal was to use your sword to cut the other person's scarf off without actually hurting them. The woman was in the competition and won many rounds until the final round, in which I think while cutting the other person's scarf off, she accidentally cut their cheek slightly. It turned out that her adversary in this final round was some sort of prince or something, and they may have gotten married I can't remember for sure but after this she went off and had some sort of adventures with the prince. She had entered the tournament without anyone knowing who she was because the scarf covered her face. Later in the book somebody was swinging a sword to test out how it handled. That's all I can remember, I think it was a book oriented toward teenagers but I'm not sure. Has anyone else read this book or know the name of it? I have never been able to find it again. Thank you Elpenmaster (talk) 21:31, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Table of Effects for s:The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996[edit]

(Legal disclaimer noted).

Does anyone here happen to have access to a UK Law library that would be able to assist in compiling a "Table of Effects" (i.e what measures made changes to this one) for the period between it's enactment and 2002 which is where's tracking begins?

If I can find this information, I can add a suitable note to the front-sheet at Wikisource? ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 22:33, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Re your first question, may I suggest you ask at Wikipedia:WikiProject Resource Exchange/Resource Request where many people with access to databases hang out. (talk) 14:51, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Noted, but was asking here first, in case there was a specific publication that covered this. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 17:47, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Of course! A net casts widely catches more fish or some similar proverb that I am making up on the spur of the moment. Just mentioned it as a back-up since there have been no answers so far. I do hope you get a proper answer. There are some people knowledgeable in the area here. (talk) 18:27, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Haven't read it through but this 2009 publication [[52]] may give you the information.--Bill Reid | (talk) 18:42, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

May 21[edit]

How to pronounce the "v." in court cases?[edit]

Is Roe v. Wade pronounced "Roe vee Wade" or "Roe versus Wade"? My other car is a cadr (talk) 03:01, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

I've heard it pronounced both ways in various news stories. Dismas|(talk) 03:14, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Yup... it's pronounced both ways. Blueboar (talk) 03:28, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
What Blueboar said. Lawyers and those involved in legal fields are more apt to use "Roe vee," but either works. GregJackP Boomer! 03:33, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
In at least some countries it's also pronounced as "'n", meaning "and". I was talking to a niece of mine who's a lawyer in Canada just the other day and noticed her using this pronunciation. -- (talk) 04:31, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
In England, lawyers would refer to the case as 'Roe and Wade'. Sometimes you get a case with multiple defendants - for example, R. v. Dudley and Stephens - which is referred to by the name of the defendants only - ie. 'Dudley and Stephens'.
How non-lawyers would refer to such a case is up to them; there is no right or wrong answer. (talk) 06:32, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I remember when Kramer vs. Kramer was a current movie and a frequent topic of conversation. A friend of mine was a first year law student at the time, and whenever the movie was mentioned, he would be certain to pointedly call it "Kramer AND Kramer", which always stopped the rest of us in our tracks. He, with his decades of legal training, would explain that that was the one and only correct way to say "vs". Well, maybe so in Commonwealth countries, but not so in the USA. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 07:00, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
In the UK, the conventional system is to say "and" for civil cases: Rylands v Fletcher = "Rylands and Fletcher", and to say "against" for criminal cases: R v Wallace = "The King against Wallace". (Geoffrey Rivlin (2012), Understanding the Law (6th ed), Oxford, p 21). Tevildo (talk) 08:27, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Although criminal lawyers generally just refer to the case by the name of the defendant. So to use your example, R. v. Wallace would usually be referred to (other than in formal settings) simply as Wallace. (The practice mentioned by above is broader than just cases with two defendants.) It can sometimes be difficult, without context or knowledge of the case in question, to know whether a case referred to in speech as "Smith and Jones" is the civil case of Smith v. Jones or the criminal case of R. v. Smith and Jones. Proteus (Talk) 11:53, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
@Tevildo and everyone else who knows about these things: The UK civil terminology has from time to time become contentious at Jarndyce and Jarndyce and there has been a RM at Talk:Jarndyce and Jarndyce#Requested move. Could someone supply a reference to a reliable source for the terminology at this article and otherwise help out? Thincat (talk) 14:42, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Visa Waiver Program[edit]

The visa waiver program seems to favours Europeans. Previous US visa policy were openly racist when they favoured Europeans. So is the current European favouring eligibility also due to racism or something else? (talk) 07:17, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

The article tells us that (after markup-stripping):
The criteria for designation as program countries are specified in Section 217 (c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (Title 8 U.S.C. § 1187).[1] The criteria stress passport security and a very low nonimmigrant visa refusal rate: not more than 3% as specified in Section 217 (c)(2)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as well as ongoing compliance with the immigration law of the United States.
If you ask whether this is due to racism, it seems to me that you're inviting mere opinions. Are you asking whether these apparently impartial standards are actually interpreted in a racist way? -- Hoary (talk) 08:06, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
According to this article, Qatar, Oman and South Africa should have been offered the program. They are more stable and employed than many listed European countries. This makes me wonder if their majority African and Asian ethnicity has something to do with it as it had in the past. Is my racism-theory correct? (talk) 09:00, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
We do not answer requests for opinions. Including opinions as to whether your theories are correct. AndyTheGrump (talk) 09:06, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Please provide citations for your claims. The source you linked to doesn't say "Qatar, Oman and South Africa should have been offered the program". It simply mentions that these 3 countries meet one of the criteria. Nil Einne (talk) 13:51, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Since you say its racist, why would you want to go there anyways? Almost a moot point methinks. btw- many [Black-majority] CARICOM countries, for example, don't need visas in places such as the uk and even Switzerland. (talk) 12:00, 21 May 2015 (UTC)


What was the [indigenous] term for America before Vespucci and the European came over? Was there a unified term for the entire continental island (many traders did cross what are state borders today)? Of course all the tribes and societies have/had their own language, so they may be more than one term, if any. (talk) 12:02, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

If I'm not mistaken, Charles C. Mann covers this in his excellent book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. The answer is "nothing". The people who lived here before European contact had no common culture, and no common understanding of the entire planet, with concepts like "continents" and the like. They had ideas like "land" and "sea" and "sky", but concepts like "Europe" or "The Americas" did not exist for them in any meaningful way. --Jayron32 12:09, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Same, incidentally, for all the other continents. Note the anomaly when it comes to the notion of "Europe", though, which is a "continent" that is not actually a continent, geographically speaking. That by itself should give away who it was that did the naming. Btw, Vespucci did not discover America. He simply claimed to have been the first to identify that area as a new continent (as opposed to it being the eastern edge of Asia) and someone who apparently took his claim seriously used a Latin form of Vespucci's first name to designate that new part of the world. The use of a first name was a bit unusual (except for monarchs) but in hindsight it was a good choice: just imagine "the United States of Vespuccia (US of V)". Contact Basemetal here 12:51, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, except that the old world had a (to them) natural continental division: the Mediterranean Sea (lit. "The Center of the Earth"). From the Mediterranean point-of-view, you could divide the land into continents based on cardinal directions: Europe to the North, Asia to the East, and Africa to the south. The lack of a Western land upset their sense of symmetry, which is why some had to invent a "lost" continent, hence, Atlantis. The continent never existed, but the name for it persists today in the Atlantic Ocean. As far as they were concerned, each of those lands extended on from those direction in an indeterminate manner. The division between Europe and Asia had natural water boundaries (i.e. the Black Sea) as did Asia and Africa (the Red Sea). The lack of a convenient body of water beyond the Black Sea to divide Asia from Europe certainly upset that original plan, but at the time, it worked well for them. --Jayron32 13:06, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
The people living in the Americas before the arrival of Europeans were unaware of other landmasses. In fact, individual societies were generally unaware of any lands more than about 1000 km from their own, so they did not have a concept of continents. Marco polo (talk) 13:24, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
They weren't aware of kilometers, either. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:05, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
They still aren't. Kilometers are French. Contact Basemetal here 15:54, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
No, kilomètres are French, kilometers are American. DuncanHill (talk) 16:02, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Canada has Natives and kilometres. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:20, May 21, 2015 (UTC)
And it refers to the Yupik as Inuit, which they aren't. --Trovatore (talk) 20:50, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Federally, yeah. But it also lets both groups largely disregard federal stuff, and officially call themselves anything. So there's a moral balance. Wait, no. Only "First Nations" get band governments. We're evil after all. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:36, May 22, 2015 (UTC)
See "Turtle Island (North America)".—Wavelength (talk) 21:12, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
No, that's not exactly the same thing, and I don't really like the phrasing in the article that it is the name for North America. Native American cosmogony is certainly not developed enough to recognize what a continent is. Turtle Island is merely the World Turtle concept as manifested in the Northeastern United States. It's the name for the world as opposed to this chunk of land. --Jayron32 21:17, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Can or will formal language replace ordinary language in the literary arts?[edit]

According to philosophers, poetry and mathematics both seek truth and beauty. Moreover, these two disciplines operate under constrains of precision, rigidity and logical validity. This deep and intimate connection became the foundation of “mathematical poetry”.

This is an example of a minimalist mathematical poem by LeRoy Gorman entitled “The Birth of Tragedy”:


Does mathematical poetry signal the literary turn to using formal or symbolic language in creative writing? Are there any critics to this kind of poetry?Rja2015 (talk) 15:30, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

No. --Jayron32 15:33, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't know about criticizing that kind of poetry, but the St. Louis Poetry Center saw something wrong with that particular poet's language thirty years ago, because he came in second. But, as artists do, he didn't let it get him down and by 1990, he was big in Japan.
No on the first question. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:50, May 21, 2015 (UTC)
There are the best math poems, as decided by the (probably) esteemed critics at By binary logic, the rest are simply not the best. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:03, May 22, 2015 (UTC)

Thomas Harcourt's kidney[edit]

According to John Aubrey, when Thomas Harcourt (our article is at Thomas Whitbread), was executed and his bowels thrown into the fire, "a butcher's boy standing by was resolved to have a piece of his Kidney which was broyling in the fire", later it was in the possession of one "Roydon, a brewer in Southwark". Aubrey says he saw it, and it was absolutely petrified. Do we know if the kidney has survived? Is it now a relic? Where is it? DuncanHill (talk) 15:41, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

This review of 1973 Review of the Patrick Garland/Roy Dotrice's one-man play about the life of Aubrey (noted in our article) claims that among the props used in the play are "the actual jawbone of Thomas More and the .petrified kidney of Sir Thomas Harcourt". No idea if the report is accurate, but if it is, then the kidney still existed in 1973. No idea how it, and More's jawbone, were obtained to be used in the play. But it's a lead. --Jayron32 15:50, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Broiling a kidney petrifies it? How does that work? I think I've eaten broiled kidneys, though not human ones. Or was it liver? Contact Basemetal here 16:01, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
The obvious explanation is that it was a giant kidney stone, such as this 2.5 pound specimen: [53]. The fire would merely removed the remaining flesh. StuRat (talk) 16:11, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Flesh will petrify just fine. Mummification, for example. So long as it is kept free from the sort of microorganisms that would eat it, flesh can survive almost indefinitely; certainly a few centuries is not unreasonable. --Jayron32 16:17, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but you don't mummify something by "broyling in the fire", as described in the Q. StuRat (talk) 13:27, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Aubrey says "The wonder is, 'tis now absolutely petrified. But 'twas not so hard when he first had it. It being always carried in the pocket hardened by degrees, better than by the fire". Thanks for the Patrick Garland/Roy Dotrice lead - Unfortunately they are both dead, so I can't approach them for information. DuncanHill (talk) 16:21, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Oh how very silly of me, Roy Dotrice is not dead, I'm glad to say! DuncanHill (talk) 16:26, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Not entirely relevant, but here lies Grigori Rasputin's alleged penis. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:11, May 21, 2015 (UTC)

A detail of the boundary between Minnesota and Wisconsin[edit]

I'd have said the boundary between Minnesota and Wisconsin consists of part of the course of the St. Croix river going as far south as its confluence with the Mississippi River, and downstream from there it's the Mississippi River, and north of the point where the St. Croix forms the boundary it's a straight line going northward until, or almost until, it reaches the western extreme of Lake Superior.

Looking at this map a few miles southeast of Prescott, Wisconsin, I see the boundary appearing to leave the main channel of the Mississippi and following a narrower channel southwest of the main channel and rejoining the main channel about a half-mile downstream from there. Zooming in, it appears to be labeled "Big River". But the Big River is supposed to be a river in Wisconsin flowing into the Mississippi somewhere near there. This channel labeled "Big River" seems to be on the wrong side of the Mississippi to be a river in Wisconsin, and it looks like a channel a half-mile long rather than a river 13 miles long in Wisconsin. What exactly is happening here? Michael Hardy (talk) 21:59, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Rivers change their courses but legal boundaries don't always follow. The border may be defined as the middle of the waterway as it existed on a certain date. Rmhermen (talk) 22:50, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
This sort of thing happens often along state boundaries defined (at the time the state's boundaries were first drawn) by the Mississippi River in particular. For most of its course, the Mississippi meanders over a broad floodplain, resulting in relatively frequent changes of position, especially before the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began working to stabilize the course of the river in the late 1800s. Marco polo (talk) 23:04, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
The principle is that when the river drifts gradually across its floodplain, the state border drifts with the river. When the river abandons it's old channel and completely cuts a new channel (see Meander cutoff for example), then the state border remains with the former channel. This has happened all over the place, and resulted in geographic oddities like Kaskaskia, Illinois (caused by river channel jumping) and the Kentucky Bend (caused by a drifting river channel which moved the border). --Jayron32 00:18, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
According to the linked article, the Kentucky bend was not formed by a "drifting river channel" but arose accidentally from the way the boundary was specified, similarly to Point Roberts, Washington. I'm not aware of any cases where a drifting channel formed that sort of anomaly (which certainly is not to say that there aren't any).
Another notable example of natural channel jumping is Carter Lake, Iowa, which since 1877 has been on the Nebraska side of the Missouri River. A similar example where the channel was moved artificially is Marble Hill, a part of the New York borough of Manhattan that's been on the Bronx side of the Harlem River since 1914. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:10, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
No, when originally mapped it was contiguous with the rest of Kentucky. The New Madrid Earthquake caused the river channel to drift dramatically (without leaving its channel as in a cutoff). See [54] and [55]. Both sources cite the movement of the river channel caused by the earthquake as the reason for the bend. --Jayron32 04:16, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

None of the above appears to explain why that channel is labeled "Big River" when the Big River is supposed to be a river in Wisconsin that is a tributary of the Mississippi. Michael Hardy (talk) 04:37, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

It is possible that that's just an error in the Google Map—such errors are hardly unknown occurences. The USGS topographic map for the area does not have a label for that side channel, and I'm not seeing a "Big River" label on any online map other than the Google one. On the other hand "Big River" is an extremely common name in the U.S., and it's possible that someone calls that side channel Big River; but it's apparently not a name recognized by the U.S. government. (From the Google aerial image, it appears that the channel may be silting up and losing its connection with the Mississippi, turning into an oxbow lake.) Deor (talk) 11:37, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

May 22[edit]

Please identify this nasheed[edit] This is a video from Army of Conquest. I haven't been able to find the nasheed, and google deleted the youtube channel so I can't ask them either. Does anyone know the nasheed, or can an arabic speaker search the lyrics for me? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Radioactivemutant (talkcontribs) 05:03, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

City of London pub history[edit]

Does anyone know where online I'd be able to see anything about the histories of pubs in the City? I've discovered the Golden Fleece on Queen Street (51°30′48″N 0°5′33.5″W / 51.51333°N 0.092639°W / 51.51333; -0.092639), a block away from One New Change (which is apparently by the site of the pre-Blitz street "Old Change"), and I'm trying to figure out whether it could be the place of publication (or related to the place of publication) for Thomas Edwards' book The casting down of the last and strongest hold of Satan, which was "Printed by T.R. and E.M. for George Calvert, and are to be sold at the golden Fleece in the Old-Change, 1647". Nyttend (talk) 14:18, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

The London Encyclopaedia has some information about Old Change (p. 598). Londoners don't really talk about "blocks" as there is no regularity to our streets especially in the City. Queen Street is actually four junctions further down Cheapside from the site of Old Change (about two or three hundred yards) as you can see on the 1936 A to Z of London. New Change was built "a little to the east" of Old Change, which is now the site of a (rather ugly) sunken garden in the Festival of Britain style where I used to eat my sandwiches sometimes. So no, I don't think there's a connection as there are several pubs in between. Alansplodge (talk) 15:09, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Actually looking at a photograph of the Old Change garden, it doesn't look as bad as I remembered. Either I or the garden the garden or I must have mellowed with age. By the way, in 2011 there were 28 English pubs called the "Golden Fleece",[56] so it's not a particularly rare name. Alansplodge (talk) 15:30, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
"Golden fleece" is a good name for any business, which is of course there to fleece you of your "gold". The only more appropriate British business name I can think of is the gambling group, Ladbroke. StuRat (talk) 16:10, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Sniffle-less Žižek?[edit]

Has anyone come across audio/video of Slavoj Žižek with the sniffling removed? That should be technically feasible, shouldn't it? It's absolutely unbearable. It makes it impossible to concentrate on what the guy's saying. There's also his speech impediment, a kind of "bilateral lisp" (is that the correct term?) but I can deal with that. (If you don't know who/what I'm talking about: here and here, but you probably won't be able to help me then.) Contact Basemetal here 16:30, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

From a quick glance at his article, I'm not sure whether not being able to concentrate on what he's saying is a bug or a feature. --Trovatore (talk) 16:59, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Assuming he doesn't talk while sniffling, careful editing could mute the sound whenever he sniffled, without interfering with the words. However, you would lose any ambient sounds during each sniffle. Depending on the volume of those ambient sounds, the muting might be quite obvious. There are also more complex ways to try to remove the sniffles without the ambient noise, but that would require lots of work and expertise. StuRat (talk) 16:55, 22 May 2015 (UTC)


May 16[edit]

What is this given name relationship called?[edit]

This question came up regarding Rollie. It's commonly used for people named Roland or Rolland. So is it a nickname or is there some other term for it? Clarityfiend (talk) 07:02, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

It's a nickname, more specifically a diminutive form. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:24, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
And even more specifically, a hypocorism. --Nicknack009 (talk) 07:35, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
All pretty much the same thing. I wonder if Clarie is thinking of something else that we're not quite on the track of. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:39, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Clairie, eh? Thanks, Bugsy Wugsy. Clarityfiend (talk) 19:58, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Clarityfiend (talk) 05:28, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
A nickname need not be diminutive, such as "The Rock" or "The Desert Fox". StuRat (talk) 14:29, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes. That's more of a sobriquet. The first time I ever heard of that word was in reference to Home Run Baker, who hit a fair number of them in the deadball era, but was tagged with that nickname after hitting two decisive blows in the 1911 World Series. His full name was John Franklin Baker, and he went by Frank to friends and family, and that was his diminutive nickname. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:23, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
A formal tone is required for writing an encyclopedia, and this means not using nicknames, yeah? Does this mean I should change the name of this article to "Roland Eggmaster"? --Shirt58 (talk) 12:54, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Only if you have a valid source for it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:48, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Shirt, no. Nicknames are fine if they're the most common name a person is known by. Hence Frank Sinatra, not Francis Sinatra. Hence Bob Hawke, not Robert Hawke. And Malcolm Fraser, not John Malcolm Fraser. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:17, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Er, Rollie Eggmaster isn't a person. Is there a template for failed reference desk humour attempts? This would be a prime candidate. --Shirt58 (talk) 10:35, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Writing method[edit]

How do I write ‘8th century’, like ‘8th century’ or ‘8th-century’?

Which one of these ‘–’ or ‘-’ or ‘—’ should be used while typing/using MS Word?

What/Which is formal?

Mr. Prophet (talk) 18:48, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

Just a space is usual except when it's an adjective, then use an ordinary hyphen. See our article: Hyphen#Joining. Dbfirs 19:37, 16 May 2015 (UTC)
Use a hyphen only when the expression is attributive. Also the Oxford Manual of Style (and probably other style guides) prefers eighth to 8th, e.g. Beowulf was composed in the eighth century, by an eighth-century poet.--Shantavira|feed me 08:03, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Smile.gif Understood. Thanks friends. -- Mr. Prophet (talk) 20:43, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
You would use a ‘–’ for a range. E.g. "8th – 9th century" Iapetus (talk) 13:12, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Acknowledged. Thanks. -- Mr. Prophet (talk) 18:12, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

May 17[edit]

Greeting to mourners sitting shiva: "שאר" or "שער"?[edit]

The conventional greeting to mourners sitting shiva is המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים I have heard that the word should not be שאר but שער. However I have searched but cannot find a source for this. Can any user please help? Thank you Simonschaim (talk) 13:29, 17 May 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

I believe it's the word spelled with alef, meaning "the remainder of", as quoted here. I didn't examine the credentials of but the translation and context are consistent with mainstream practice (across various traditional backgrounds of observance) I've encountered for Hebrew/English usage in contemporary Israel.-- Deborahjay (talk) 19:30, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Thank you. Simonschaim (talk) 13:25, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

"giving" and "receiving"[edit]

I never understood why one sex partner "gives", and the other sex partner "receives". However, I am not entirely sure exactly WHAT is being given or received. I speculate that the object that is being given/received is sexual pleasure, yet I think it may be also bodily fluids. How does one know who is the giver and who is the receiver? (talk) 21:04, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

QED, OuroborosCobra. μηδείς (talk) 02:15, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
In North America (and elsewhere), a person performing oral sex on someone is said to "give" it and the other person "receives" it. That is, it refers to sexual pleasure as a gift that can be given. For other sex acts, the giving and receiving is less well defined and probably has more to do with the point of view of the speaker. However, this is all culturally determined; it was my understanding that the terms for oral sex "giving" and "receiving" were reversed in ancient Roman times, but Sexuality in ancient Rome is not backing me up on that. Matt Deres (talk) 12:28, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. I actually find that very helpful and meaningful. I'm also going to look up Sexuality in ancient Rome, now that you've mentioned it. (talk) 13:36, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
As a cultural note, I've heard that one person equated the terms (giving and receiving) to seme and uke. He merely smiled afterwards, when I asked him what exactly was being given/received. I did have the hunch that it had something to do with sex. For those of you who don't know seme and uke, seme is the top/dominant, while uke is the bottom/submissive during sex. If the seme is the male and the uke is the female, and assuming that we talking about bodily fluids, then the male seme would be the giver and the female the receiver. However, that was before I became certain that it was about sexual pleasure, not bodily fluids. (talk) 13:48, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
So your point is that you already knew the answer you wanted, and were just testing us? μηδείς (talk) 22:29, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Lack of relative directions[edit]

Relative direction notes that some languages don't have a concept of relative direction, e.g. one group of Australian Aborigines refer to everything as north/south/east/west when speaking in their native language. But how do such languages account for things like left/right nostrils, left/right hands, etc.? And if you're speaking in the native language in question, how would you explain "Here in Queensland, we drive on the left side of the road"? Presumably nobody here is conversant in this specific language; I'm just looking for a general idea (or examples) of how no-relative-direction languages can handle such concepts. Nyttend (talk) 22:00, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

You could just point to the nostril in question. Or, you can compose directions like "The south nostril, when you are looking west". (Which reminds me of "He looks like the southern end of a north-bound mule".) As for hands, there might actually be a different word for the right hand and the left, especially if they are used for different things (some cultures use one for eating and the other for ass-wiping). StuRat (talk) 22:44, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
You're guessing again. A better idea: read the article about the language, and then read the sources provided in the article, and you'll find, for example, that the lexicon distinguishes between left and right hands, and left and right handedness. --jpgordon::==( o ) 02:34, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Read the question again. Nyttend didn't ask for specifics on one language, he asked for "for a general idea (or examples) of how no-relative-direction languages can handle such concepts". StuRat (talk) 23:29, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but if you guess, you're giving a general idea or examples of how they might handle such concepts, not of how they do handle such concepts. The former is brain-storm territory and has no necessary relationship with the truth, and since this is a reference desk, it is of questionable value. The only proper answer to the question, while it may be couched in general terms, must proceed from actual knowledge of actual languages of this type. It could be your pre-existing knowledge of such a language(s), or it could come from a reference you've identified in a search. But a straight guess? Sorry, but that's not good enough, Stu. You may as well guess a translation of War and Peace from the original Russian, without any knowledge of Russian. I'm sure publishers would just love that. I have a strange feeling of déja vu as I type these words ... -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:10, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

May 18[edit]

Multiple adjectives[edit]

Why does "A blue round wooden big table" grate on my nerves but "big blue round wooden table" is fine? Why is there only one specific sequence that works and deviating from it so jarring? Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 12:53, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

No answer, but very interestingly I too find the first one very grating, but the second one not at all. I wonder if it's different for different people. Perhaps the alliteration of big blue in the second one is subconsciously appealing? (talk) 13:08, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
English, like other languages, has grammatical rules governing adjective order. Marco polo (talk) 13:23, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
There are a few links to non-WP resources scattered in this previous ref-desk thread on the topic. Deor (talk) 18:56, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Yeah-- thats how you can tell if English is the writer's native language. Eg Joseph Conrad wasnt English.-- (talk) 20:59, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Just as an aside, "the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River" is perhaps the best use of multiple adjective in the English language. DuncanHill (talk) 21:09, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Heart of Darkness? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:56, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Yeah but with the alliteration, it would work in most combinations.-- (talk) 21:58, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Jack, I'm disappointed! It's The Elephant's Child of course. It's not just the alliteration, the internal rhymes (great grey, green greasy) lift it. DuncanHill (talk) 22:13, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I've been disappointing people all my life. Why should you be any different, Duncan? What right do complete strangers have to have unrealistic expectations of me? You don't know how grievously I've suffered ... :) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:05, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
",,,all set about with fever trees". Probably its a cultural thing, but here in the UK, anybody not brought up with the Just So Stories had a seriously deprived childhood. Alansplodge (talk) 16:23, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

If and only if[edit]

The first time I heard of this phrase was in math class. However, I also encountered it in non-math contexts, in which the usage seemed ambiguous.


  • You may have dessert, if and only if you promise to do your chores.

In the above example, "if and only if" seems to be used for emphasis on the first if. In math, the sentence just does not make any sense.

  • If you promise to do your chores, then you may have dessert.
  • If you may have dessert, then you promise to do your chores.

I am extremely hesitant of using ambiguous phrases in my speech, because I do not know when or whether the other person would take advantage of the logic. Is it safer for me to assume the logical definition at all times? Also, when other people use it, should I completely ignore the "and only if" part and forgive the other person of the misuse of the phrase? (talk) 13:20, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

If and only if, some times abbreviated iff, is the logical biconditional, both in math and in English. It is a phrase designed to reduce ambiguity. Your example sentence does make sense in terms of material implication. It is short hand for "promising to do your chores implies that you may have dessert, and, in addition, that is the only way that you may have desert, hence, if you have dessert, we can conclude that you also have promised to do your chores". It's a slightly weird example, because "may" is getting in to modal logic, and that can add another layer of complication in the logical interpretation of a sentence. Also note that things can be logically meaningful, even if semantically weird. For instance, the following statement is true - "If mint chocolate chip ice cream is my favorite flavor, then your name is Sally." (mcc is not my favorite, and, via the truth table for logical implication, A=>B evaluates to true when A and B are both false. Of course it is also true if your name happens to be Sally, but that doesn't say anything about my taste in ice cream).
Natural language is inherently vague, that's why we use controlled vocabulary in math and formal logic. That being said, many people do misuse the phrase "if and only if", and many people also don't really understand the logical meaning when others use it. If you are concerned about intelligibility, you can always write or say things the long way, as I have above. SemanticMantis (talk) 13:58, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, even "and"/"or" are confused in natural language, such as "I hate to go outside when it's raining and snowing", which really should say "or". StuRat (talk) 15:32, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Things may be clearer if you substitute the second sentence with its contrapositive
  • If you don't promise to do your chores, then you may not have dessert.
In logic, a statement is completely equivalent to its contrapositive. In language that's less the case, as we're more used to hearing certain phrasings. For example, "the red big ball" has the identical meaning to "the big red ball" but the former sound awkward because its not the standard adjective order. "Mathematically", though, they're equivalent (the set of attributes that the ball has is the same). -- (talk) 15:13, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
What if someone just did their chores (without promising), wouldn't they still be entitled to their dessert? Widneymanor (talk) 16:09, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Logically speaking, no, at least not necessarily. Again, a promise puts us in to deontic modality and muddles the issue, but the statements composing the original biconditional are about a "promise" (i.e. a commissive statement, a belief that an action will be taken, statement of intent) and a "may", i.e. a logical possibility. But even if we just treat the example in terms of sentence logic, it is not the case that "X does the chores" is equivalent to "X promises to do the chores". In real life, of course, doing the chores may be enough to entitle a child to dessert, but perhaps not if the parent is a logician :) SemanticMantis (talk) 17:40, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. Widneymanor (talk) 18:33, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • If it rains, the grass will get wet. (True.)
  • If and only if it rains will the grass get wet. (False, I might turn on the sprinkler.)
μηδείς (talk) 18:19, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Counterexample: "You may have dessert if you promise to do your homework" is incompatible with "if and only if you promise to do your chores", but can happily coexist with "if". Clarityfiend (talk) 22:45, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure how that's a counterexample to anything, that's just half of the biconditional. If we take P=(the promise sentence) and M=(the may sentence) then you have written P->M. The original statement is of the form P<->M. So you're just stating one of the two implications. In your example, P->M, there is the possibility that M can be true while P is false. That is, there might be some way to get "may have dessert" without making the promise, i.e. P being true. With the biconditional statement, such a state of affairs is not possible: P and M must share a common truth value, and there is no way to Get M true without P being true. There are several illustrative examples of both natural language statements and the standard logical interpretations at if and only if. SemanticMantis (talk) 23:35, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Counter to "should I completely ignore the 'and only if' part". Clarityfiend (talk) 01:36, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, because you could have said "if you promise to do your chores or pay me $10" and it would not have been a counter example. Iff was a favorite of my undergrad philosophy dept. and intro for majors advisor. μηδείς (talk) 01:39, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
These discussions tend to be problematic because the mapping between natural-language conjunctions and mathematical-logical connectives is somewhat inexact. Logical connectives in the sense of classical mathematical logic (and, or, exclusive or, implies, if and only if, etc) are truth functional — that is, the truth value of the combined utterance depends only on the truth values of the constituent parts, and not in any way on the meaning of the constituent parts or the relationships between those meanings.
Natural languages (at least, English), on the other hand, probably does not contain any purely truth-functional connectives in most contexts. Usually, the meaning of the complex utterance is dependent on the relationship between the meanings of the parts, not just on their truth values. An exception would be in the natural-language formulations of precise mathematical statements; for these, the intended reading is the truth-functional one. But that has to be distinguished from informal mathematical discourse (even at the highest levels) that is not intended as a translation of a precise mathematical claim — in that context, mathematicians use English the same way as anyone else, except of course for vocabulary. There's a sort of code-switching that every advanced student picks up, knowing which rules to apply in what situations. --Trovatore (talk) 01:57, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

May 19[edit]

Small talk[edit]

I was reading the article on small talk. I am wondering if "small talk" has to be speech. Which of the following is engaging in small talk?

Example 1:

  • Person A taps on Person B's shoulder.
  • Person B: Huh?
  • Person A: May I borrow your pencil?

Example 2:

  • Person A: Hey, um, Sarah?
  • Person B: Huh?
  • Person A: May I borrow your pencil?

Example 3:

  • Person A: Hey, Sarah.
  • Person B: Yeah?
  • Person A: Sorry to interrupt your work, but I didn't bring a pencil today. Do you have a pencil that I may borrow? I'll return it to you in an hour. (talk) 12:51, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
According to the entry for "small talk" in my mental lexicon, none of the above, as normally interpreted, counts as "small talk". -- Hoary (talk) 12:54, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
[EC] In my understanding of the term, none of them are small talk because they all relate to actual needs and material interactions. In my idiolect, "small talk" is conversational exchange unconnected to practical transactions, used purely for social purposes, such as "Weather's been nice today", or "How about them Cubs?" {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 12:58, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
How about this? "Thank you for sharing a conversation with me. But I have to go now. We may meet again some other time. Goodbye." (talk) 13:02, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Small talk is talk for the sake of talk or for the sake of general social bonding. It is not talk with a specific practical purpose, such as arranging to borrow a pencil. It is also not talk to resolve conflicts, or careful discussion of a serious issue. It always focuses on light, non-urgent, and superficial matters. Here's an example. "Love those shoes. Where did you get them?" "Oh, I saw them online on Zappos." "They are soooo adorable!" "Thanks. Those are cute sandals you're wearing." "Oh, these things? I've had them for years. So, how was your date with Aaron?" "Uggh. Let's not ruin the mood by talking about HIM. What are your plans for the holiday? . . ." That's small talk. Your second example is more like small talk than your first, but it is still too formal, and it departs from the small talk model by expressing uncertainty that you will meet again. Small talk is usually about establishing social ties, not setting limits on them. Marco polo (talk) 13:08, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
What about this? "Hi, how are you?" "Very well, thank you." "Well, I have to go now. I usually sit here. Maybe we'll meet again tomorrow at the same time?" (talk) 13:26, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
You're getting closer, but the speech is still too succinct and formal. You don't seem to be a native English speaker - does the concept of idle chatter really not exist in your native language? I find that doubtful. Think of the kind of things people say to each other while they're standing in line or passing time in a waiting room. Marco polo's example above is a good one for small talk between friends. For strangers or acquaintances, how about "Hey." "Hi." "Have we met before?" "Oh yeah, you do seem kind of familiar. Did you work at the library last summer?" "Yes, that's it. I knew it was from somewhere recent. Are you still there?" "Nah, that was just volunteer work while I was hunting for a job. I'm with an ad agency now."
The "small" in small talk refers to the importance of the speech, not the length or tone of it. It in fact has a tendency to meander on for some time. If the people involved strike onto a topic they both really feel strongly about, they may pass into deeper conversation and eventually become friends, but it's much more likely that they are simply passing the time in a pleasant way and will soon forget one another. Again, it's doubtful to me that this is a uniquely Anglophone phenomenon. Matt Deres (talk) 20:21, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
No, I just tend to speak very formally, and I tend to rehearse full sentences in my head to avoid offense, faux pas, or ridicule. The above examples are actually taken from real life. (talk) 22:27, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
See wikt:small talk#Translations and
Wavelength (talk) 20:46, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Small talk can be a time-filler, or it can be an "ice breaker". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:36, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

"Less" vs "not as"[edit]

Hi I was wondering about the adverbial phrases(I just took a stab at that term, I hope it's the correct one) "less" and "not as" and if there are any rules about what adjectives you can use them with.

With most adjectives, such as "excited", the two phrases are roughly interchangeable:

1) The second time I tried it, I was not as excited. 2) The second time I tried it, I was less excited.

But with the adjective "good" (there may be others) the second sounds very awkward.

1)The second time I baked a cake, it was not as good. 2)The second time I baked a cake, it was less good.

What is the rule or principle here?--Captain Breakfast (talk) 13:44, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

I think more context is needed in making the sentences less ambiguous.
  • 1) The second time I tried it, I was not as excited as my best friend.
  • 1A) The second time I tried it, I was not as excited as I was last time.
  • 2) The second time I tried it, I was less excited than my best friend.
  • 2A) The second time I tried it, I was less excited as I was last time.
  • 3) The second time I baked a cake, it was not as good as last time's.
  • 3A) The second time I baked a cake, it was not as good as my best friend's.
  • 4) The second time I baked a cake, it was less good than last time's.
  • 4A) The second time I baked a cake, it was less good than my best friend's. (talk) 16:41, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
That's not really what the question is about. Wasn't meant to be about semantics and ambiguity but rather what sounds acceptable in spoken and written speech.--Captain Breakfast (talk) 17:14, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I suspect the actual problem is that 'bad'/'good' have morphological comparatives, whereas 'excited' only has a periphrastic with 'less'. 'less good' (= worse), 'less tall' (shorter), 'less pretty' (uglier) all sound a bit awkward to me compared to things like 'less regular', 'less toadlike', 'less meandering'. See [Blocking_(linguistics)] (talk) 15:37, 20 May 2015 (UTC)


  • 1. You are 1, if and only if you are a boy.
  • 2. You are 2, if and only if you are a girl.
  • 3. You are 1 and 2, if and only if you are a boy and a girl.
  • 4. If you are neither a boy nor a girl, then you are not 1 and not 2.
  • 5. If you are a boy and half a girl, then you are 1 and one-half of 2.

Now, there is a problem. How do you express "and" in a way that it does not mean addition? Also, is neither/nor in the English language equivalent to "and" in the fourth example? The problem that I see with 5 is that it may be interpreted as the addition of 1 and one-half of 2 (which is 1), which is 2. But then, wouldn't that conflict with Number 2? Would Number 5 and Number 2 be true at the same time? (talk) 17:32, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

"1 and also half of 2". StuRat (talk) 17:48, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) In logic it depends on what you mean by "not mean addition". If you mean "both or either", then the Boolean operator is "or", known as the Logical disjunction. If you mean one or the other but NOT both, you use "xor" or "exclusive or". Normal English speech does not distinguish between "or" and "exclusive or". If you mean both, but not only one, the word "and" is appropriate, known as the Logical conjunction. --Jayron32 17:49, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, proposition 5 has no physical meaning. However, you are right that the 'and' conjunction is ambiguous in English (and I think in other Indo-European languages). This ambiguity has been addressed in two ways, by lawyers and by logicians and computer scientists. Lawyers use the conjunction 'and/or' to be unambiguous, so that you are a boy and/or a girl if you are under some defined age, without regard to your gender, since very few people are a boy and a girl. Logicians (since Boole) and computer scientists use the XOR conjunction to specify one but not both, so that you are a boy xor a girl if you are under some defined age and have a gender. I don't understand the question about proposition 5, because it has no physical meaning. It doesn't even seem to apply to people of non-standard gender. I think that I am agreeing with Jayron32. Robert McClenon (talk) 17:55, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Assuming that the "and" in 5 means adding the two numbers or two terms, would that mean sentence 5 would conflict with sentence 2? But sentence 2 implies a full girl, while sentence 5 implies half a girl. (talk) 19:11, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
How can someone be half a girl? If you are applying that to someone is intersex (probably insulting them in the process), how can someone be a boy and half a girl? Robert McClenon (talk) 21:17, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
No, I do not mean to offend anyone. My example just shows that logic does not really have to have real-world implications. Think of the mathematical problem of a chicken and a half that lays an egg and a half in a day and a half. (talk) 22:17, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I see, maybe. As I said, number 5 has no physical meaning. I could say that the OP is one-and-one-half editors, because his or her IP is changing, but it is in the same Class B block and the same human. Robert McClenon (talk) 03:04, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Are conjoined twins always identical twins, or could they be fraternal twins? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:44, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
See Conjoined twins. They are always identical. Does that have to do with counting fractional people? Robert McClenon (talk) 02:59, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Sometimes the conjoined part is not really a separate being, just parts of one. But it can't be opposite-sex, so forget that. This does kind of remind me of an old riddle that's something about if a hen and half lay an egg and a half in a day and a half... whatever the question is. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:18, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
See above for the riddle. If a hen and a half lays an egg and a half in a day and a half, how many eggs can six hens lay in eight days? A hen and a half has no physical meaning, but you can do the arithmetic. It is true that there are cases of an undeveloped or partially developed parasitic twin. You could count them as half people of the same gender as the primary. As I implied above, there are various ways that you can do the counting when dealing with intersex people, but only in hypotheticals such as this, because for real intersex people, the biography of living persons policy says that we should identify them as they choose to be identified. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:27, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Is that a joke? The answer is obviously 42. μηδείς (talk) 04:55, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

To actually answer the original question - "1 and also one half of 2" is a little awkward, but avoids the sense of addition. MChesterMC (talk) 08:59, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

May 20[edit]

shorthand transcription needed[edit]

Hi to the help community, would this be the right place to present a shorthand sample (Germany, 1950's) that needs to be transcribed? The sample can be seen de:File:Unnamed7.jpg (I could not figure out how to download it here locally, because the upload dialogs do not seem to offer threshold of originality as a license. Thanks in advance. Greetings,--Ratzer (talk) 08:24, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

"True" meaning of "poisonous"[edit]

I've often seen it said that "poisonous" really means "poisonous when consumed", and that it is "incorrect" to use to the term to describe things (e.g. snakes) that can inject toxins by bites, stings, etc, and which should instead only be described as "venomous". My question is: who or what defines this as the "correct" usage? The "incorrect" use of "poisonous" is extremely widespread, is supported as a synonym of "venomous" by atleast two dictionaries, and I'm pretty sure has been used as such for a very long time. (I'm sure I've seen old texts that refer to "poisonowse snaykes" [sic] or similar, meaning this useage predates standardised spelling). Is this just a case of hypercorrection by people who think "poisonous" should have a more limited range of meanings than it actually does, or is there a genuinely good reason for this restricted meaning? Iapetus (talk) 16:21, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Sometimes, having two different meanings for two different words is useful. In this case, the distinction (injection vs. ingestion) represents a functional difference, and having two such words makes sense. Colloquial speech often makes mistakes, however formal speech and writing should use correct terms. Dictionaries note usage without regard to register, oftentimes. --Jayron32 16:25, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
It would only be hyper-correction if there was no actual difference between the two uses. Since there is, the incorrect use of poisonous is exactly that, incorrect. Especially since venomous is a perfectly good word. Fgf10 (talk) 18:23, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I have a view contrary to Jayron32 and Fgf10. In my view, the only place where the meaning of a word or phrase resides is in what it is used and understood to mean. If a significant number of people use "poisonous" more widely than by ingestion (as, for example by the proprietors and guides of a place I visited on Monday), then by definition that is a meaning of the word. Of course, it is not the only meaning, and there are possibilities for confusion. In this case, somebody discussing toxicology may find the distinction important, but in ordinary contexts it is unnecessary.
To answer the original question, there is no authority for any aspect of English, except whatever authorities individuals (or organisations) choose to acknowledge. It is clear that some people make the distinction that you are referring to and others don't. (I rather suspect that many of those that do claim to make the distinction often fail to do so in practice, but this is only a guess). --ColinFine (talk) 20:14, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Context is everything. In what context is the word being used? If the word is being used in, say, some scientific literature or a science textbook discussing the concept, the distinction is real and important. If it is being used between two random joe's on the street, then that's a different context. So, it absolutely does matter which. For example, when my doctor is treating a condition I have, I damn sure hope he properly describes whether or not I was envenomed or poisoned in my medical chart, even if Randy from Boise may describe it as a poisonous snake. That word is fine in that context, but that doesn't mean the distinction is unimportant in all contexts. The "true" meaning does absolutely matter where accuracy of language is important for conveying some bit of information, and where conveying the wrong bit of information by using the wrong word matters. --Jayron32 20:24, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Can't tell from your userpage, but I guess you're not a scientist or medical professional? If so, you'd understand the crucial importance of correctly defined terms. See Jayron above. "Funnily" enough, I had shared rant with someone just today about the sloppy use of the terms 'neural stem cells' and 'neural progenitors' Fgf10 (talk) 20:42, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
If I ask someone if a snake is poisonous, and they tell me it's not, I expect that it will not introduce anything toxic into me, whether it bites me or I bite it. The semantic difference between poisonous and venomous is useful in some contexts, but there are plenty of others where insisting upon it would be misleading. The idea that the more precise and exacting usage is always the 'correct' one is misleading too, for the same reason. The correct usage (and interpretation) is the one that conveys the information which is important in context. AlexTiefling (talk) 21:10, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Hah! "Whether I bite it." That was quite good, thanks. μηδείς (talk) 22:29, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
The origins of "venom" and "poison" may be of interest.[57][58] There's no practical difference. It's just semantical nitpicking. The term "poison" is cognate with "potion", which comes from the Latin for "drink". Ther term "venom" also comes from Latin and means... guess what... poison. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:22, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
It's most certainly not a "mistake", scientifically or otherwise, to call a snake poisonous. For example, we have "VIPER. The vipers constitute a family of Old-World poisonous snakes, with a pair of poisonous fangs in the maxillary bones, which are short and movable." 1911 Encyclopedia Britanicca And it's used within the Merck Manual (1987): page 1608 Chapter 254 heading VENOMOUS BITES AND STINGS with subheading: POISONOUS SNAKES and lists each snake's envenomation. -Modocc (talk) 21:54, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
  • So, should we have a campaign to rename poison ivy as toxic ivy? μηδείς (talk) 22:29, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
It can't be, because little lamsey divey. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 12:07, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Odd name for a botanical entity. How about Urushiol-induced contact dermatitogenic Ivy? Yes, much better. (There was once a skin specialist whose wife gave birth to twin boys. They named them Dermot and Titus.) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 04:48, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Formal languages and natural languages[edit]

Does one preclude the other? Or can a language be both natural (as used by humans to interact) and formal?

Could a subset of a natural language be a formal language? If I restrict a natural language to a finite set of words, with a well-defined set of rules (for writing scientific publications, for example), would that be a formal language? Can the description of a limited grammar and finite vocabulary for educational purposes (for speaking a foreign language) also be a formal language? Would esperanto or other constructed language be both formal and natural?--Llaanngg (talk) 17:45, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

See Formal language, Natural language, and Constructed language. Robert McClenon (talk) 18:14, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Also subsets of "formal language" such as Literary language and liturgical language. --Jayron32 18:16, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
A constructed language, such as either Esperanto or a literary in-universe language (Klingon or Elvish), is not a formal language, and is not considered a natural language, but typically has many of the features of natural languages. A defined subset of a natural language with very precisely defined rules may be referred to as a formal language, but normally the term 'formal language' is used in computing more often than for subsets of natural languages. Robert McClenon (talk) 18:19, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I disagree with Jayron32 as to whether a literary language or a liturgical language are formal languages. They are used in very formal settings, such as religious rites, but a liturgical language is a natural language (although likely one that is no longer used except in liturgy). Robert McClenon (talk) 18:22, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, except that liturgical and literary languages don't undergo linguistic evolution as natural languages do. They aren't formally dead languages because they are used, but they also don't change and adapt, as all natural languages do. --Jayron32 18:28, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
That means that liturgical languages may be neither natural languages nor formal languages. I would also mention that literary languages do sometimes undergo vocabulary development. In particular, Latin underwent vocabulary development when it was used in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as a language of scientific publication, to describe newly discovered things. It continues to undergo vocabulary development in its use as the official language of the Roman Catholic Church. For instance, if the Pope writes an encyclical about proper and improper use of technology, he will condemn pornography on the Internet, so that a Latin word for the Internet is needed. ('Pornographia' is an ancient loan word into Latin from Greek. Ovid was exiled, partly for writing pornographic poetry.) (It is true that the subset of Latin that is used liturgically is essentially static, but Latin as used in official church documents is a literary language rather than only a liturgical language.) Robert McClenon (talk) 18:43, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
There is huge difference between the formality of a black tie affair and the formality of a regular expression. The former has to do with sense 1 of the word: "Formal, done in accordance with rules of convention or etiquette; suitable for or constituting an official or important situation or occasion: a formal dinner party", while the latter is sense 3 (in my NOAD) "of or concerned with outward form or appearance, esp. as distinct from content or matter". I agree with Robert that a liturgical language is not formal, in the sense of formal language, but it is a language that happens to be formal, in the first sense given above. Ecclesiastical Latin is certainly not a formal language. It could probably be defensibly classified as a natural language or a constructed language, depending on what parts of those definitions you focus on. Nothing in the definition of natural language says that it has to change over time, and I also strongly suspect that the Latin in Vulgate Bible is at least a little different from the Latin used in Fides_et_Ratio, though they are both written in "Ecclesiastical Latin." Likewise, few would argue that literary languages are formal languages, they are not a "set of strings of symbols that may be constrained by rules that are specific to it." The point is, a language that is formal is not a formal language, compositional semantics be damned.SemanticMantis (talk) 20:19, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree with Jayron above except where RM disagrees with him. While the distinction between natural and formal language is not exclusive to the point each covers a non-overlapping part of the totality of language. Natural languages are the birth language of some speech comunity learnt often without formal training and suffering "irregularities", ambiguities, and a strain between denotation and connotation, whereas in formal languages all terms are well defined, have a 1-to-1 form and sense relationship, and an unambiguous syntax. There are also creoles, jargons and cants, and liturgical languages are not formal languages for the mere reason that they embody the ambiguity and wordplay of natural languages. "'I am the Way and the Light', sayeth the Lord" is formal in the sense of dignified, but certainly not formal in the sense of mathematics or chemical nomenclature. A look at diglossia might also be relevant. μηδείς (talk) 22:19, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Using "accumulate" as a noun[edit]

Can we use "accumulate" as a noun? For example in a phrase like "shifting two years' worth of accumulate". I know the noun form of accumulate is accumulation, but I rather want something along the lines of precipitate (which can be used as both verb and noun, despite the existence of precipitation). Because accumulation tends to emphasise on the process of things getting accumulated rather than the things themselves. (talk) 19:28, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Sure you can: you just did, and I understood what you meant (i.e. descriptive linguistics ;) Of course, some readers and editors may balk at the usage. I see no record of any noun usage in the OED or NOAD. The OED does have an entry for an adjectival usage: "Now rare. Heaped up, accumulated; increased by accumulation. In early use chiefly as past participle." With an example usage: "1929 W. Faulkner Sartoris iii. 182 All the accumulate impedimenta." So unless you are self publishing, you will likely get some pushback on that sentence. However, "shifting two years' worth of accumulate [stuff]" would be fine, and supported by the OED, although it is a rather rare and obscure usage, and at that point you might do just as well to say "accumulated stuff." SemanticMantis (talk) 19:46, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I checked 34 definition links at and found no definitions of "accumulate" as a noun, although I found a few definitions of it as an adjective (#9, 16, 19) and a few links redirected to commercial pages without definitions. Links to definitions of "-ation" are listed at It can mean the result of an action or process (wikt:-ation).
Wavelength (talk) 20:03, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
As a (not entirely unrelated) aside, my pet peeve for today is the use of the non-word "accumulative" in place of the word "cumulative". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:42, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
  • It's a cromulent noun if pronounced differently from the verb, which has final, long a, stress. The noun is /ə'kju:mjəlɨt/ (uh KYOOM yuh lit) in my dialect. The term is certainly used in Ivory League university science programs. This shift in accent is well known, and paralleled in precipi'tate (verb) as opposed to the noun (or adjective) pre'cipitate (the second with a final schwi). μηδείς (talk) 22:03, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
The shift in stress is important for speech, but irrelevant for text. Do you have any references or examples to cite of a noun usage in academic contexts? It did seem completely reasonable to me, but I was unable to come up with a reference for that usage in the wild. SemanticMantis (talk) 02:42, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Very easy if you just Google "the accumulate" which cannot but be a noun phrase. I am not sure if the term came up in high school, but I took AP Chem, and tested out of basic chemistry as a bio major. I just had to take Org Chem/Lab and the term came up all the time. It also comes up in other hard science contexts, such as oceanography and limnology. I suspect the issue is that this noun/verb stress difference is a growing phenomenon, and hence much more noticeable in speach than writing, sinc e English (Gott sei dank) doesn't use accents. μηδείς (talk) 02:52, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
No, "accumulate" could be an adjective in such searches, such as "the accumulate precipitate". Of course, that gets us into the question of whether it's a adjective or a Noun adjunct, which is to say whether the word in that phrase is functioning as an "adjective unto itself" or a "noun which functions as an adjective". But the same debate could be had as to whether purple is a reddish blue or a bluish red. --Jayron32 11:13, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Adjectives pattern with nouns, not verbs, regarding the alternating stress rule, so it's a distinction with no difference. μηδείς (talk) 17:54, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
A google search is not a citation. I know how to use google, and nothing on the first page of hits supports your claim that it is commonly used as a noun. Most of them are either proper nouns or references to computer algorithms and functions. If it were actually common (as opposed to just intelligible) I'd think OED would have an entry. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:30, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
You've changed the criterion from use to common use. Who here had said anything about common use? μηδείς (talk) 18:05, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I have compiled a list of similar words at User:Wavelength/About English/Word list 1. The page is in a draft stage, with a tentative title, a tentative introduction, and tentative section headings.
Wavelength (talk) 23:31, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Given the context I had heard it in of "removing the accumulate", a verbatim search for "remove the accumulate" gets exactly the sort of chemical, scientific and engineering results I would have expected and these are serious, deliberate uses, not typos or jokes in blogs. μηδείς (talk) 18:05, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Again, a google search is not a citation. Did you actually read any of the hits? Many of those hits are grammatical errors or nonsensical ("remove the Accumulate 10 steps back option", "It helps to addition the particular action and remove the accumulate regarding smooth that is definitely in charge"), and most of the rest are adjectival use ("remove the accumulate calculus", " remove the accumulate dusts", " remove the accumulate liquids", " remove the accumulate grime"). This book [59] does seem to be an actual noun usage in a published source. It is the only of the first 10 hits that has a real noun usage, I gave up after that. SemanticMantis (talk) 19:15, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I fear I am driving you to distraction over this, but again, the stress pattern of the adjectival use follows that of the nominal use (stressed u, reduced a), not the verbal use (long final a). For examples, see Wavelength's list linked above. The usage does exist, the google results show multiple intentional examples of that use--i.e., they are primary sources. This matter does not bother me in the least. I am quite sure I have been understood, and I am not going to waste space quoting the search results when people can follow the link. μηδείς (talk) 17:09, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

May 21[edit]


John Aubrey uses gallipot to mean (I think) a kind of mottled blue - for example, "I do well remember that the common English cat was white with some bluish piedness, that is a gallipot blue..." and also "there persons are generally plump and feggy; gallipot eyes, and some black; but they are generally handsome enough" (of North Wiltshiremen). Elspeth Huxley used Gallipot Eyes, from the latter quotation, for the title of a diary about her life in Wilts. I've not seen this usage anywhere else, and the OED does not have it. I would be interested to know if any other writers use it in this way. DuncanHill (talk) 00:44, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

I think it's possible it might just be a metaphor based on a common type of glazing (in some places and times). Gallipot says it "is a small glazed earthenware jar..." Consider this google image search for /glazed earthenware/ [60] - most examples are dappled/ pied/ reticulated/mottled/brindled, and many are contain prominent blue. Also consider crazing as a possible motif for metaphorical fodder. The idea is that it is not the pot that is being referenced, but the common irregularity and patterning of various glazing techniques. I also suspect the several related pattern words I linked above are more the core of the metaphor, rather than the color blue per se. Surely none of this is conclusive, but perhaps suggestive. SemanticMantis (talk) 02:56, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Frustratingly, most of the images for gallipot [61] are not glazed earthenware, nor is the image in our article :-/ SemanticMantis (talk) 02:59, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Note that the only part of a cat that can actually be blue is the eyes. In cat fanciers' jargon, "blue" fur is gray, although some sources say it can be a slightly bluish gray. -- (talk) 03:59, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Aubrey does say the breed is almost lost, and that was in the 17th Century. DuncanHill (talk) 11:55, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

What's the provenance of the given name Ahsan?[edit]

I am curious, is Ahsan is a specifically ethnically typical name? I know of a person with that name and with a Muslim last name (of the abdul- form) whom I highly doubt is ethnically Arab, but we're are not on intimate terms, and I am just curious what Ahsan might mean. Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 01:06, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Arabic, "the best", "the most beautiful". See here. DuncanHill (talk) 01:17, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
And of course, most Muslims are not ethnically Arab. DuncanHill (talk) 01:18, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, excellent, I was quite aware of the fact that most Muslims are not Arabic, which is why I did not jump to the conclusion that although Ahsan does have an Arabic syllabic form, it need not be nor need he be Arabic. Given I don't read the alphabet, I was not going to guess at something I assumed was probably Urdu, Bengali or Farsi without advice. Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 04:19, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
It could also be Indonesian, Malay or Turkish for that matter. It is related to (same root as) Ihsan and Ihsan (name).--William Thweatt TalkContribs 04:39, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Japanese question: info on a book written about the Japanese school of Manaus, Brazil?[edit]

Hi! I found out about this book:

Does anyone know more about the background of Mitsutoshi Miura? What kinds of connections did he have with the school? Who is the publisher? Was this sold in regular Japanese bookstores? Was the Japanese School of Manaus involved in the creation of this book? How would the title and name of the publisher be translated?

Thanks, WhisperToMe (talk) 07:39, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

I have no clue about most of your questions, but the title means "Hugged by the Amazon River: 3 years of/at the Manaus Japanese school", and the publisher is Kindai Bungeisha (these guys, I guess, though they use 藝 in their name instead of the simplified 芸). -- BenRG (talk) 02:58, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you! I wonder if searching the kanji of the author and the title of the book may net more info about the author. I will pass the information on to the Portuguese Wikipedia. See: Escola Japonesa de Manaus and pt:Escola Japonesa de Manaus WhisperToMe (talk) 08:52, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

What's the name of the "promo" (like an abstract or a brief preface) usually printed on the back of books?[edit]

HOOTmag (talk) 10:21, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Blurb. (talk) 10:24, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you so much.
HOOTmag (talk) 10:30, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Fell as past participle of fall (The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down)?[edit]

In the "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" I can hear the line "By May the 10th Richmond had fell it's a time I remember oh so well". The lyrics sites I've checked agree. But this would be the only occurrence of "fell" as a past participle of "fall" I've ever come across. Do we, me and those sites, hear this right? Couldn't this actually be "By May the 10th Richmond xxxx fell", with a past tense and something we all mishear at xxxx? Contact Basemetal here 13:28, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

See Southern American English, which notes that all southern dialects share some difference from Standard English dialects in several ways they form past tenses, both simple past and past participles. While the specific example you give is not given in Wikipedia's article, it does note several other peculiar past tenses there, and the construction "had fell" sounds to me as distinctly "southern"; notably while The Band was mostly Canadian, the singer of that song, Levon Helm was from Arkansas. --Jayron32 13:43, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Poetic license. "Had fallen" doesn't really rhyme with "well". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:55, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
My alternate lyrics: "By May the 10th Richmond had fallen; I wish all the Yanks I could just wall in". StuRat (talk) 15:19, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Compare Amazing Grace, the last stanza (added later IIRC):
When we've been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the Sun
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we first begun
I love that stanza, among other things, for bringing the notion of a Dedekind-infinite set into everyday culture (and no, Medeis, it doesn't mean it's "bigger than itself", just that you can take something away without making it smaller, quite a different notion). But the tenses and inflections are a little iffy. --Trovatore (talk) 15:10, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I do appreciate the mention, Trovatore, but I'm not particularly critical of theological claims made in religious songs from a scientific viewpoint. μηδείς (talk) 17:42, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Notably, that stanza was added by African Americans from the American South... --Jayron32 15:20, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Same but backwards: standard English past participle is used here as a past tense. Songwriters: for the sake of a rhyme use any past participle as a past tense, or vice versa, and don't worry about it. There will be some dialect of English for which this will be right. Face-smile.svg Contact Basemetal here 15:38, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Dictionary: Southern Appalachian English lists "have fell" and "had fell" with a note "OED dates this usage from the 17th century". Also Kanye West uses "had fell" in Cold (Kanye West song) so it is not only southern dialect. Rmhermen (talk) 17:08, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
This discusses some aspects of the Southern American accent. Bus stop (talk) 17:15, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Also, regarding the Kanye West song, AAVE is a close cousin of Southern US dialects, the Wikipedia article notes the commonalities. --Jayron32 17:23, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Usages like this don't strike me as odd unless maybe on network nightly news and from Alex Trebek. In NYC you hear a lot of southernisms among blacks. Whites in Most of Manhattan tend not to be native, but upwardly mobile, and more careful of their speech. "Had went" is extremely common in the Delaware Valley. Had Basemetal not brought it up I doubt I'd ever've noticed it. μηδείς (talk) 17:50, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Older sibling vs younger sibling in the case of Japanese twins?[edit]

I would assume that, in Japan, when twins are born, the one who comes out first is officially the older sibling (ani/ane). This seems obvious but things that seem obvious do not always turn out to be true so I'd like to check this with someone that knows this for a fact. Thanks. Contact Basemetal here 13:37, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

December 13 seems to be 双子の日 (Day of the Twins), which appears to have something to do with an edict issued in 1874 regarding the ordering of twins. My Japanese is rudimentary at best, so somebody needs to confirm this but I'm pretty sure this page says that prior to this act, the twin who was born last was considered to have been the first "implanted" or "conceived" and therefore the oldest (i.e. first in, last out). The edict, however, reversed that tradition and declared that the first-born twin shall be the older sibling. Like I say, though, somebody more skilled in Japanese needs to confirm that as well as the reliability of the "sources".--William Thweatt TalkContribs 07:43, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
The first born is actually considered the elder sibling. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 08:28, 22 May 2015 (UTC)


I took this test and it asked you to convert this sentence: "It is fun to play on the beach in the summer" to an exclamatory format

_____ ______ it is play on the beach in the summer!

My teacher insists that you can only fill in WHAT FUN, but I'm sure you can also fill in HOW FUN. Why?

Also, : This road is not good. Let's pick __________ one.

It's a multiple answer choice with "another" and "the other" being 2 of the choices. She insists that another is the best answer. Is it? and why?

(with emphasis on the why)

Thanks :)--- — Preceding unsigned comment added by Someone with a Question (talkcontribs) 16:00, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Your teacher may be some kind of unbending linguistic prescriptivist, which is never good for someone teaching language (though I may be reading too much into your short question). Language bends and twists and changes and has colloquialisms and slang and regional variations and so on. A teacher can attempt to teach, qualifiedly, what is considered most proper by the mainstream majority in a certain location, with the premises that slang is verboten and colloquialisms are to be avoided. etc. But they must provide some type of qualification because the notion that X is wrong and Y is right in English, as a monolith, is mostly nonsense. As to the first question, I am first assuming that the word "to" is intended to appear before play, and you missed it when typing this out. I believe what your teacher is objecting to with "how fun", is the use of "fun" as an adjective (you might see this World Wide Worlds post for more. It does sound colloquial to me; that it would be viewed as "more correct" in formal writing to use "what fun", but it is not "wrong" where the other is "right" for the reasons I've given. The problem with the second sentence is that the use of "the other" requires the reader to understand there are only two roads – information not contained within the confines of the sentence. "Another" works because it ropes in any other road without defining information on the number of roads available, as if the reader already knows the number. If that sentence appeared as part of dialogue, where the reader was already provided context in prior writing that there was only two roads, it would be perfectly cromulent.-- (talk) 16:22, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately, "another one" is a poor choice of words if there happens to be only two roads, which is often the case, so "the other" shouldn't be ruled out as an answer. --Modocc (talk) 18:03, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
On the second question, the key thing is the word "pick". The meaning is that, having decided not to use this road, you will then have to pick another road. Therefore there must be at least two other roads. But "the other road" only makes sense if there is only one other road. Therefore "the other" is wrong, or at least, not the best normal usage. -- (talk) 19:00, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
You're correct unless the speakers happen to not be on the roads in question and are deciding between them. For instance, they could be at the entrance to a toll road and deciding whether or not to turn back and go another way. Or they could not have even left yet and are studying two alternate routes. Given these possibilities, the test is poorly constructed. --Modocc (talk) 19:23, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. If "this road" isn't one that they have already "picked", then "the other" is possible after all. -- (talk) 21:33, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Both "How fun" and "What fun it is to play on the beach in summer are from the 1800's Bronte sisters area. No one has said either phrase since WWI. IP 96 is correct that it should be "another one." "The other assumes the voyagers know there are two, and only two." Modocc is assuming a fact not in evidence. μηδείς (talk) 22:25, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
"Another one" is possible too, but contrary to the teacher's misleading presumptive prescription (that there are more than two roads to pick from) I'm not being presumptive. Neither answer is best, for both are possible. -Modocc (talk) 22:35, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
The reason that neither answer is "best" is that one of them may be better and the other worse. "Best" would apply only where there are three or more options. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:20, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
If by options you mean roads then yes the additional information determines which answer is actually best. Without it we don't know which sentence should be used so the test is ill-conceived. In addition, with respect to the writer-reader relationship, it's not required that the audience has prior knowledge to what the speakers happen to know. In fact, writers sometimes use such dialog to inform the reader. For example: "This road is not good. Let's pick the other one!" Sally exclaimed as she pushed the laptop away. "Let me see." Dorothy responded, emptying her glass into the sink before peering over her roommate's shoulder to look at the mountainous terrain sprawled across the screen. To Dorothy, both routes to the lake had seemed plausible, but now she had to actually help with the decision since they would be leaving soon. Modocc (talk) 01:48, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
That's well and good, but the conversational context lets us know how many roads are being discussed. The above test question is beyond terrible because it lacks context. If it gives both options "the other road" and "another road" as possible answers, it's a shitty question, plain and simple. They're both perfectly valid, perfectly grammatical constructions in proper English, and without context, there's no objective way to say one is better than the other. --Jayron32 03:38, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
All valid points and points which I also either assumed or also made, contrary to what Medeis said. I figured that the teacher assumed the speaker was referring to the road the speaker was driving on so they simply had to pick "another" road which is why I elaborated on my counterexample in case it wasn't clear the first time I mentioned it above. I also rebutted Medeis's claim that I assumed only two roads, which I didn't and I've said that the test is ill-conceived and above I wrote "Given these possibilities, the test is poorly constructed." With regards to "the conversational context lets us know how many roads are being discussed" that is precisely what I meant when I said "writers sometimes use such dialog to inform the reader" which is why I knew that my counterexample would have the effect of conveying the required information. -Modocc (talk) 04:00, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
If I asserted that you made an assumption, Modocc, but you hadn't you would simply deny what I said, not rebut it. Given that "the other" could only be correct if you knew there were only two roads, and that was not mentioned, then you couldn't assume it was known. But the proper thing to do at that point is to ask the teacher to clarify the question as you take the test, not now, when it's too late. μηδείς (talk) 16:55, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

May 22[edit]

Term for covering of track on vertical blinds?[edit]

In the apartment where I live, there is a balcony, and there are vertical blinds on the inside of the door that leads out. The blinds are on a track, and there is a fixture that covers that track so that it blends into the ceiling in about the location where you would expect a molding of some kind. Is there a term for that fixture? I've tried scanning the Glossary of architecture but haven't found anything that fits. Confusing Manifestation(Say hi!) 02:12, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

The guy who installed our vertical blinds called them valances. Ours are simpler than the ones described in the article, resembling nothing more than one slat of the blinds turned horizontally and mounted with one edge to the ceiling. According to the article, pelmet is the British term. -- (talk) 03:53, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Note that while they serve the same purpose, they aren't the same. Valances are fabric coverings, while pelmets are the fixture described in the Q. StuRat (talk) 13:15, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Coving perhaps? Alansplodge (talk) 16:16, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

multiple forenames in Spanish[edit]

Quick one: if a Mexican is named José Juan N (and normally addressed as José Juan rather than as José or Juan), are his forenames written with a hyphen (as they would be in French)? —Tamfang (talk) 06:20, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

I've not seen it done. Our article on Spanish naming customs makes no mention of hyphenated first names either.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 07:05, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
From José Juan Barea and José Juan Figueras, it appears the answer is no. My other car is a cadr (talk) 09:19, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Why is ITMO's URL[62]?[edit]

Why is ITMO's URL[63]? Its English abbreviation is "ITMO" according to its own website, and its Russian abbreviation is ИТМО (И being the Cyrillic I). So where does the F in IFMO come from? My other car is a cadr (talk) 09:16, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

ИТМО stands for Институт точной механики и оптики ("Fine mechanics and optics institute"), the school's name until 1992. The F is from the (way too literal in my opinion, in terms of word order) translation of that name and its abbreviation into English (Institute of Fine Mechanics and Optics) Asmrulz (talk) 09:38, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Looking for a word...[edit]

What do you call it when you can't tell the difference between a real news article and satire like The Onion? There's got to be a word for this phenomenon, right? This all started when I read this article. Read that and tell me if you can't tell the difference between news and news satire. So, what's the word? Viriditas (talk) 09:35, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Convincing? Widneymanor (talk) 10:07, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Related: Poe's law. In German there is the noun Realsatire, when reality becomes satirical on its own. ---Sluzzelin talk 12:25, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Like when Tom Lehrer said reality had become indistinguishable from satire after Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:59, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
I second that, when Yasser Arafat won one, too. StuRat (talk) 13:12, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
More like involuntary surreal humor (Norwegian style) than satire. For satire the humorist needs to have his tongue firmly in his cheek whereas the Norwegian Nobel Committee seem to take themselves very seriously. Contact Basemetal here 13:28, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Neurologically, it may have to do with the paracingulate sulcus [64] [65]. "Reality monitoring" seems to be a term of art in the neuro/psych domain, see Source-monitoring_error#Reality_monitoring. TV Tropes has Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:47, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
See also: truthiness. Matt Deres (talk) 15:17, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
By truthiness do you mean veriditas?


May 16[edit]

Tied vs. dotted notation[edit]

People prefer the tied notation because it makes the metre clear and allegedly you can read it faster. I'm currently dealing with alternating dotted and undotted notes in common time and it really looks awkward with ties since you have to type in more notes, so it looks more complicated than it actually is. Can you sacrifice the visualization of the metre in order to reduce the overall number of notes? It's not that I'm composing something really unusual where dotted notes would obviously be better. The only note values I use are dotted and undotted quavers/eigth notes and crotchets/quarter notes and it stays in common time, but it already looks very complicated. It's just that they are often off-beat during bars. -- (talk) 23:12, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

You're in common time, right? Then I'd suggest the following rule of thumb; the first and third beats must always have something on them (i.e. you can't have a syncopated note that lasts halfway to it). That should help somewhat with recognition, while compromising a bit for simplicity. (Would be nice to see an example, though.) Double sharp (talk) 03:54, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Can this rule be ignored when the left hand of a piano has a continuous accompaniment, which shows how the notes fit together? I don't know if it's only my preference, but I usually count dotted values as three units anyway whether they are written with dots or ties. -- (talk) 17:27, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't know if this is helpful, but as a singer, when the rhythms are usually beat-aligned and occasionally not, it can be helpful if the latter are written with ties as a heads-up. When the rhythms are frequently misaligned so that I'm expecting that anyway, it's often easier to read without the ties, especially if the same rhythmic pattern occurs both aligned and misaligned and ties would obscure that. That's true when I'm sight reading, at least. If I already know the piece, it probably doesn't matter much. I may be biased because a lot of what I sing is early music that had no bar lines in the first place, often written in Mensurstrich notation. -- BenRG (talk) 02:04, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm very sketchy on reading music, but unless I am mistaken, note values cannot cross over bar lines; which is why ties are used when they need to. If a note value doesn't cross a bar line, it can be dotted. For example, needing to hold a note for 3 1/8th notes time on the 4th beat of a measure would require a tie rather than a dotted quarter. If the same note occurred on the first beat, it could be dotted. Though someone with more music background than me should chime in. Tie (music) notes the bar line convention, and also notes that it can appear in the middle of a bar where the first note falls off-beat and the second note falls on-beat. --Jayron32 08:18, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
You're right that notes can't cross a barline in (conventional) modern notation (though that isn't the only reason for using ties rather than dots - it's about making the rhythmic structure clear), but in the past it was not so unusual for this to happen: e.g. with a minim intersected by a barline. Slightly less bizarrely it's quite common in some older music (I particularly associate with vocal music of the Tudor period or thereabouts) to see a rhythm dot (indicating a 50% increase in duration) on the other side of barline after the note it belongs to. See here for some discussion of the general point. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 10:56, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I've seen examples of notes crossing the barline as late as the 19th century, for example in Alkan's Trois morceaux dans le genre pathetique. (Which also has a fascinating example of a quintuplet which starts in one bar and ends in another – there is also a Scriabin étude that does this.) In some cases it may even clarify things, like the case of tuplets crossing the barline. Unfortunately, most notation programs will not like this notation very much. ;-)
Oh, and I've sometimes seen the dot placed in the same position the second note would be, if we replaced the dotted note with a tie. So you could have a dotted minim in 4/4, where the dot is written on beat 3. Now, I don't really like this so much, because it's easier to read the note and the dot together. It does make sense though for notes crossing the barline.
There's another situation where you have to use ties instead of dots: if you need a note lasting 5 eighth notes, there's no single note that will do it: you have to do something like tie a half note to an eighth note. (George Crumb thought of defining a notation for this – IIRC it's a half note with a dot on the left and a dot on the right – but it doesn't appear to have caught on.) Double sharp (talk) 14:25, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm talking about ties within the bars. Is this notation acceptable in common time? You can't see the start of beats 2, 3 and 4.

{\tempo 4 = 80 <f' f''>8. <e' e''> <ais ais'>4 <b b'>8. <d' d''>}

Or should you write it like this to see the beats clearly? 
{<f' f''>8. <e' e''>16~ <e' e''>8 <ais ais'>8~ <ais ais'> <b b'>8~ <b b'>16 <d' d''>8.}
-- (talk) 14:00, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

    • No, the first is not acceptable, in general. The purpose of notation is not to present the reader with a puzzle; the purpose is to make the music readable and playable at a glance. Don't do it. --jpgordon::==( o ) 14:17, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
    • I'd much prefer the second one, showing the beats clearly, even if there was a regular accompaniment: for me, I find it very important to know where the beats are supposed to fall, because it aids sight-reading. (First impressions tend to stick – especially the wrong ones!)
    • The only situation I would prefer the first one (that I can think of) is if the intended grouping of the bar was 6/16 + 4/16 + 6/16, in which case that notation would indeed clarify things. For straight 4/4, it is going to need to be rewritten to facilitate performance. Double sharp (talk) 14:22, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

May 18[edit]

Song clip[edit]

Moved from Wikipedia:Reference desk/Miscellaneous#Song Clip: Mandruss  08:12, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
A mystery song

Can anyone identify the song in this clip? It works better in firefox. Collegiate199861 (talk) 07:51, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Is anybody here? Collegiate199861 (talk) 09:48, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
No. There's nobody here. Nobody but us chickens. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 10:19, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Nobody but us stymied, befuddled chickens. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm feeling this mysteriously overpowering urge to cross a road ... Clarityfiend (talk) 22:06, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
It sounds vaguely like this plinky-plonk tune that my wife learned to play on the piano many years ago. It has got some words, but she can't remember any of them except that at one point it goes something like "madly..I'm so in love with..." I've googled those words without success. Not much help, but I'm sure JackofOz knows the tune I'm talking about. --Viennese Waltz 12:20, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Nope. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 12:53, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
You're looking for a love song from about the 1970s with a disco sound to it. Collegiate199861 (talk) 08:38, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
"How Deep Is Your Love"? --Jayron32 09:06, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, it is not that song, there is a clip for you, though. Collegiate199861 (talk) 09:42, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

May 21[edit]

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down: question about lyrics?[edit]

While the general theme in "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" is fairly clear, if you listen to the lines more closely, they seem to have been thrown together in a pretty haphazard way, just for the sake of the rhymes. Sometimes they don't even make much sense. For example: Who are all the people who were supposedly singing "na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na"? Union soldiers? You wouldn't call them "all the people" then, would you, as if there was no one else left? On the other hand there doesn't seem to be any good reason for either Confederate soldiers or southern civilians to go "na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na"... Of course none of this would be especially shocking in the realm of popular music where logical consistency is hardly ever a priority, but since, contrary to most songs, this one seems to have a more focussed historical topic, I keep wondering if there might be something I might have missed. Contact Basemetal here 14:07, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

See Non-lexical vocables in music. --Jayron32 14:10, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Interesting article but unfortunately it did not help me figure out who were singing "na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na". But yes, "na" is, here, a nonsense syllable. That much I'd figured out. I didn't think they were singing about sodium. Contact Basemetal here 14:27, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Art is not meant to be a bare reporting of facts. Songs are composed with mind to not just the historical veracity of their content, but also to artistic concerns such as rhythm and meter and Prosody. We joke about someone being able to "sing the phone book", but really, the art of writing and performing a song is much more complex and nuanced than merely reporting facts. --Jayron32 14:37, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
One possible interpretation is that both the bells and the people, ringing and singing, belong to the other side, the one wallowing in triumph (close to "nyah nyah" perhaps), but that's just one way of hearing it. ---Sluzzelin talk 14:48, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
(e/c with above post, which says pretty much the same thing) See this article about the song [66], which includes (about halfway down) a few bits of speculation (taken from the Band fan forum) about the meaning of the chorus. Basically, some people think it's the losing side, the South, lamenting their defeat, but some others think it's the victors, the North, singing to celebrate their own victory. You're not going to get a more authoritative reading, unless you ask Robbie Robertson, and probably not even then. --Viennese Waltz 14:50, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I recommend the link provided above by Viennese Waltz to anyone interested in the lyrics of this song and how much you can read into them if you truly pay attention. Clearly Jayron is right this is a song, not a scholarly paper. Indeed the point of the lyrics of the song was to raise an emotion in the listener through "echoing" the popular (and possibly distorted) memory of a 100 years old (but still fairly significant) historical event, not to pass on factually accurate information, but it does not follow that the facts of history meant nothing to the songwriter. Read the discussion. Thanks again to Viennese Waltz. Contact Basemetal here 22:35, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Maybe the same "na" as in "na na na na hey hey goodbye". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:00, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

May 22[edit]

voice over story/interview[edit]


I'm trying to find a video in which some of the biggest names in voice-acting at that time (1980s, if I recall correctly) - ernie anderson, danny dark, I think Gary Owens, and more - are seen in action, as well as discussing the craft.

I last saw this video a few years ago, I believe on yahoo, but it has since been removed from there.

If anyone knows what I'm referring to, and can tell me where it will be possible to watch it, please do...

Thanks so much!!!

Laureus World Sports Awards, Academy members section.[edit]

To whom it may concern, whilst read the Laureus World Sports Awards, Academy members section, I noticed that some member entries were marked with an asterisk. I searched the whole page for an explanation but to no avail. Quite simply, what does the asterisk by the name denote, refer to or indicate?

My email address: (deleted as per reference desk policy)

Regards, Stewart — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:31, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Somebody removed [67] "The Academy was originally 40-strong, and as of early 2011, currently has 47 members. Those marked with an asterisk (*) after their names joined after the Academy was originally founded." I haven't examined whether it's followed but either an explanation should be readded or the asterisks removed. PrimeHunter (talk) 01:29, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Is The Karate Kid a cop?[edit]

I was glancing through a list of Wikipedia edits made by NYPD IPs, and noticed this declaration from June 2009. So I Googled "ralph macchio smithtown". Google didn't respond, so I Binged it. Bing said try Twitter, so I did, and found he joined in June 2009. Tried Google again, Google worked. First stop, Smithtown Acura dealership.

Could mean nothing, of course, if it's just some liar, but if not, why was Ralph Macchio using police computers? InedibleHulk (talk) 04:32, May 22, 2015 (UTC)

2009 was quite a while ago. Could the IP have been reassigned?
However it seems just as likely that someone was vandalizing Wikipedia. Vandals come from all walks of life. (Though remember that NYPD employs a lot more people than just cops.) ApLundell (talk) 04:59, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
True enough. Sort of sad to imagine him as a clerk, though. Not sure how IP assignment works (or worked back then). InedibleHulk (talk) 05:04, May 22, 2015 (UTC)
I'm willing to believe there's a different Ralph Macchio who likes to make fun of the name similarities. Ian.thomson (talk) 05:09, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
He (whoever he is) mentioned his karate skills that March. Still insistent about Smithtown. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:13, May 22, 2015 (UTC)
Definitely seems to have been an NYPD IP range in the interim (and earlier), so no reassignment. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:16, May 22, 2015 (UTC)
Now I've come full circle and found it's already been news. I guess this is as resolved as it gets. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:35, May 22, 2015 (UTC)


May 17[edit]

Official Goal of Wikipedia?[edit]

If I should be asking this somewhere else, please tell me.

Is there a stated official goal (or a mission statement) of Wikipedia?

Jimbo Wales had said in 2004, ″Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing.″ and ″Our goal has always been Britannica or better quality.″ But is this official? (talk) 00:19, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

There is Wikipedia:Purpose. Dismas|(talk) 00:45, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
I had a long, stupid war over Wikipedia:Prime objective once. I don't think we'll be certain what Wikipedia was for till all the dust settles. We're apparently not even close to that. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:08, May 17, 2015 (UTC)
Typically, people finish a work (book, artwork, music, whatever) and only then discover what all their effort was for. If then. Since WP will never be finished, there's no need to know at this very early stage what we're all doing here. I'd rather not know anyway. Do drops of water in a raging river care about the river's purpose? All they know is that they're being dragged along by some huge external force over which they have no control, and they just sit back and enjoy the ride. I recommend it. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:45, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
The constant battles over "notability" run counter to Wales' vision about the "sum of all human knowledge." The "notability" restriction must have come up later. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:43, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
"All human knowledge" would be absurdly large, if taken literally. What were you doing on 19 April 2003 (to pick a date at random)? I'm sure there's some obscure record somewhere, and that is part of "human knowledge", but does anyone want to know? Even you? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 03:21, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
There's a difference between "all human knowledge" and "shit someone just made up". At Wikipedia, we need to assure that what we publish is the former and not the latter. WP:N is one of those standards that makes that distinction for us, by requiring that what we publish is trustworthy and verifiable. --Jayron32 03:53, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
And that automatically weeds out the information that is factually correct (such as what I had for dinner on my 37th birthday) from the stuff that is factually correct and noteworthy. Vast numbers of people know where JFK was on 22 November 1963, but very few know or care where he was on the same day in 1962. But if he happened do something notable on that earlier date, or even if some sleuth just needed to know where he was that day, it'll be available because every day of his presidency was recorded in detail. But nobody will ever publish my dinner menu for my 37th birthday, as there is an absence of interest in finding out, and an absence of any record to begin with. Hence, it will never appear in WP. But then, nobody in their right mind would ever expect it to, and that is the light in which Jimbo's talk of "all human knowledge" must be viewed. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 05:14, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
There is a lot of verifiable information that we haven't included though. For example, I routinely turn to Wikia when I want to dive into the details of fictional works. They often do a much more comprehensive job than we do. We also don't go in for directory type knowledge. No where on Wikipedia would you find a list of all bakeries in Zurich, despite the fact that business listings are easily verified from many official sources. There are far more things in the universe that are verifiable than are Wikipedia notable. Personally, I think that is often a shame because I tend towards a more inclusive mindset, but others don't always agree. Dragons flight (talk) 05:34, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, that's because Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, which is a very specific kind of reference work. It may be better to think of the two Jimbo galaxies, being Wikimedia (including Wikisource, Wikinews, Commons, and all the rest) and Wikia, as more comprehensively "all verifiable knowledge". Wikipedia itself is not "everything that anyone can verify, in a random blender, and spit out randomly". It is an encyclopedia that contains articles which are written to be both informative and engaging, and not merely random bits of unassociated facts, which we slam together merely because they are verifiable. There also needs to be a certain narrative within the articles, and should be well-written as such. I agree that Wikipedia does not contain every verifiable fact ever known, but I also don't think it should. There's an advantage to limiting the scope somewhat, quality and quantity are not necessarily identical. --Jayron32 06:15, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
If your definition of knowledge requires stuff of Wikia, I would suggest it's still insufficient. There are a number of wikis which aren't of wikia and are not likely to be for a variety of reasons. Even for stuff like TV shows, computer games, books and other fictional works the non wikia wikis are sometimes better than the wikias and probably will remain so for a long while due to having the people. It's impossible to predict the future, but I'm not sure that wikia provides sufficient advantage for them to take over everything, even if they have come to dominate in many areas. There are also all those wikis attached to websites and forums plus books and other documents (digital or not) plus audio, picture and video recordings which are not part of any wiki. And the websites and forums themselves provides knowledge that will probably never end up in any wiki unless AIs get good enough to do it automatically but in that case I'm not sure whether the wiki concept will continue anyway. Nil Einne (talk) 12:44, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
What you had for dinner that day is something that almost all of humanity don't know - it will not always be a part of human knowledge - it would be next to impossible to find solid references for it - so I really don't think it's a reasonable thing to record. Notability and verifiability are certainly tests we must care about.
But how about "How to change the exhaust system on a 2010 Mini Cooper?", or "How to install MineCraft under Linux using WINE?" (both things I've searched for online this week)? These are without doubt non-trivial pieces of human knowledge that ought to be considered both notable and verifiable. But "How To" guides are explicitly excluded by WP:NOT - so this kind of thing will never be a part of Wikipedia.
So clearly, Jimbo wasn't quite saying it right. What I think he may have intended to say was that these goals were a part of the Wikimedia Foundation goals...not just narrowly Wikipedia. WikiBooks/WikiSource/Wikiversity might well include information about how to change car exhaust systems or how to install various pieces of software. Those are all parts of the Wikimedia Foundation's collection of projects - but they are not a part of Wikipedia. SteveBaker (talk) 05:31, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Information is not knowledge. Perhaps that is the confusion here. --jpgordon::==( o ) 06:41, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
If Wikipedia were restricted to "knowledge", it would get a lot smaller. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:09, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Ditto!--TMCk (talk) 21:13, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Wiktionary seems to disagree - there are a lot of entries for "knowledge" - but the relevant ones appear to be:
  • The total of what is known; all information and products of learning.
  • Something that can be known; a branch of learning; a piece of information; a science.
In both cases, "knowledge" is defined more broadly than information - the implication being that all information is knowledge - but perhaps there is knowledge that is other than information. If you are aware of some alternative definition that might apply here, then that would probably be quite illuminating. (Sources please!) SteveBaker (talk) 23:23, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
I/we follow the philosophical approach where there is more to it. And never trust WP ;) --TMCk (talk) 03:58, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Dreams are knowledge that isn't information because they can't be shared or imparted. The information that shapes them (and the information it shapes) is drawn from what the dreamer knows, so even if you somehow copy and run it flawlessly in someone else's dome, what he would see from it isn't what you programmed. Memory errors would be common, and increasingly fatal.
It is known. InedibleHulk (talk) 04:50, May 18, 2015 (UTC)
All three previous posters are perfectly entitled to define their own meaning of the word "Knowledge" - but if you expect others to understand what the heck you're talking about, you need to use the dictionary's all about communication. The dictionary definition is a superset of 'information'. Knowledge might also include other things that aren't "information" - perhaps dreams or feelings or whatever TMCk is talking about are also knowledge - but if the goal of Wikipedia (or, as I'd maintain, the total of all WikiMedia Foundation projects) is to contain all human knowledge - then all information is a part of that. You may have some alternative definition of "knowledge" - but your definition isn't what matters here. Read the dictionary. SteveBaker (talk) 19:54, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Information we don't understand can't be known. So not knowledge, at least by Merriam-Webster's #2c and #2a definitions. If you're at least aware of whatever the heck we're talking about and have this info, you're knowledgable under #2d and #2b. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:45, May 18, 2015 (UTC)
I disagree that understanding is necessary for something to be knowledge. Consider (for example) the scientific result that: "the expansion of the universe is accelerating.". This is data, it's factual, it's information. However, we don't understand why it's accelerating. Are you claiming that the acceleration of the expansion of the universe is not knowledge? If we have the information - we know it - even if we don't understand it. (talk) 17:01, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Like I said, half of the definition sees it your way. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:42, May 19, 2015 (UTC)
I think ultimately we try to make the "sum of all human knowledge" succinct because the reader's time is limited. The reader has other things to do. Bus stop (talk) 17:19, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

76 Street Station on the IND Fulton Street Line[edit]

Is there such a station east of Euclid Avenue? Whether there is or not, there should be an article about it. -- (talk) 08:56, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

You want us to write an article about a station even if it doesn't exist? Our IND Fulton Street Line shows all the stations that exist, with articles for each. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 09:03, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Are you thinking of the 80th Street station? It's western-most entrance is on 77th Street. LongHairedFop (talk) 09:19, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
No, I mean 76th Street Station, served from November 1948 to December 1948. It was east of Euclid Avenue under Pitkin Avenue. -- (talk) 09:27, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Apparently there is an urban legend among New York subway fans to the effect that this station was built. Here's a New York Times piece about it from January 21, 2003, one of Randy Kennedy's columns about the subway that he was writing then. (Curiously, the column doesn't seem to be in Subwayland (ISBN 0-212-32434-0), the book that's a collection of the columns.) And here is an elaborate April Fool's joke pretending that the station actually existed and operated for the dates mentioned by the last poster. Does this make the urban legend notable enough to have an article about it? I say no, but opinions may vary.-- (talk) 10:02, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
The station is mentioned (along with the New York Times reference) in Euclid Avenue (IND Fulton Street Line)#East of the station. This might be a potential redirect target if an entire new article isn't appropriate. Tevildo (talk) 12:58, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Black Athletic Prowess[edit]

I just watched some female track running. The majority of the runners who passed the finishing line quickest were black. Why is this?

Does merely the colour of ones skin attribute to sporting potential. One rumour has it that former colonies such as Jamaica produce exceptional athletes due to its dark past. It is said that during the times of slavery, the plantation owners performed eugenics to breed the best labourers. Any truth in this at all as an explanation to the above? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:32, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

If anything, you'd expect slave owners to want slaves that can't outrun them. Perhaps we should look at the reverse, why people who live closer to the poles are less adapted to running fast. For example, more fat would provide better insulation against the cold, but would also reduce sprinting speed. StuRat (talk) 16:42, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Ah, so there are fewer fat people (of any colour) nearer the equator Stu? I don't think so. What about the Ethiopian marathon runners they are not very fast but hell they can last. Richard Avery (talk) 16:59, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
I was referring to the climate where each race's genes were historically selected, not necessarily where they live today, and this map seems to bear out my statement, with sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia showing a low incidence of obesity: [68]. However, where Europeans have colonized South Africa and South America, and Middle-Eastern people have colonized North Africa, the trend is reversed. StuRat (talk) 18:19, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

"What about the Ethiopian marathon runners they are not very fast but hell they can last."

Sounds like what my wife says about me.

Ooh, you little bragger youRichard Avery (talk) 18:04, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

In terms of performance in some sports, see Race and sports#"Black athletic superiority". There's zero evidence and it's fairly unlikely it has anything to do with skin colour per se. In fact, while certain black people may tend to do well in a number of sports, and there may be a genetic factor, I would suggest it wouldn't even be accurate to say the performance is correlated with skin colour per se. How many pygmies have you seen winning a marathon or a 100m race? As our article explains, it's actually more complicated then even that. For example, at first glance it seems to be mostly people of West African descent who are the best sprinters and Nilotic peoples who are the best at marathon running, but that's also a simplification (but does emphasise why simplying saying 'black people' is problematic). Nil Einne (talk) 18:40, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Skin colour is just one thing that comes with the race. By constantly calling these people black/Negro/coloured, it can seem like that's the main difference. But if you take the pigment out, you still have a person with a different body. That's how we know these albinos are black, despite being white.
Notwithstanding actual differences in muscle and bone, the skin itself does provide one illusory bonus: Muscle under dark skin has more clearly defined edges under bright lights, especially if shined up with oil. That's why Hulk Hogan stayed about as dark as (though oranger than) Butch Reed. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:28, May 17, 2015 (UTC)
This reminds me of a kids' show about racism that was on MuchMusic years kid explained "I'm not good at basketball because I'm black, I'm good at basketball because I practise." So the question really is, why is it important (culturally, personally, etc) for these athletes (Jamaican track stars, Ethiopian marathoners, or whoever else) to be good at these sports? Adam Bishop (talk) 18:51, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
A question like this is usually regarded as a racist inquiry. I'm surprised it's gotten this far without someone calling the OP on it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 20:08, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
That is a massive load of bollocks. There is a clear difference between people of (West-)African descent and Caucasians in athletics. Racism has nothing whatsoever to do with it, biology does. Different muscle compositions etc.... Fgf10 (talk) 20:59, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree, oddly, with Fgf10; the leg shape of typical Africans and Europeans is very different. Anyone who's dated interracially knows this, let alone those who pay attention to mixed-race athletics teams, etc. There's also a significant scientific literature on sprinting and long-distance running and ethnicity. Racism consists of assigning moral judgments collectively to genetics or physical characteristics, not of recognizing measurable physical truths. μηδείς (talk) 21:29, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
The racist angle on this is the notion that athletic prowess comes "naturally" to blacks, while whites have to "work at it" to succeed. Hence the undertone of white superiority. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:33, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
I'll accept that as racist if you mean [the notion that] individual blacks shouldn't get credit for their own athletic accomplishments while individual whites should. Effort is a moral concept. μηδείς (talk) 22:43, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
That's the core premise, yes. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:46, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
OP, you don't tell us the proportion of black runners in the particular race you were watching. Are we to assume they were in the minority? If not, the results would hardly be surprising. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:05, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Even if all the contestants were black, if there were qualifying races with a mixture of races, and only blacks qualified, that would be quite a result in itself. StuRat (talk) 23:58, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
The question would be a bit silly (although we see a lot of that here) if it wasn't about an international elite event so I guess it was 2015 IAAF Diamond League#Shanghai, the second large athletics event this year. All main running events were between 11 and 13 UTC, 17 May. Results are at Elite running is dominated by blacks for both men and women. Of West African descent for sprint and North or East African for long distance. Blacks do relatively poorly globally in most other sports but that may be due to most blacks living in countries with lousy access to sports equipment and facilities. You don't become Tiger Woods if you can never afford to play golf. Running doesn't require anything (not even shoes for many Africans), and many poor African and Caribbean countries do have systems to locate fast kids and give good training to the best. The very public success stories also mean that lots of kids train hard on their own and hope to be discovered as one of few chances to get out of poverty. PrimeHunter (talk) 01:49, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Speaking of relatively poor other sports, The Killer Bees used to put on masks and pull the old switcheroo on referees. Tonight, WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day (modern day jive soul bros) retained their belts by having their third man, who wasn't even in the match, do the same. But without a mask. The white ref simply couldn't tell two black men apart. Neither the white guy who rang the bell. Or the white ring announcer, who made it official. In 2015. In Baltimore. The crowd wasn't happy, but relatively so. InedibleHulk (talk) 02:08, May 18, 2015 (UTC)
The New Day was saved from speedy deletion by your humble narrator.
You do know that it's all all worked and even the supposedly shoot is probably worked shoot, yeah?
On second thoughts, shh, don't answer, don't break kayfabe
El diablo Tasmanico aka --Shirt58 (talk) 14:18, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
My lips are sealed on the legitimacy of pinfalls. But win or lose, Kofi Kingston has an extraordinary vertical leap (like Shelton Benjamin) and Big E (Ettore Ewen) can definitely lift (like Mark Henry). Xavier Woods is just OK (like Koko B. Ware), but it was him who initially called The New Day "Smart Athletic Friends". InedibleHulk (talk) 21:41, May 20, 2015 (UTC)

Why I'm not affected by alcohol?[edit]


I rarely drink alcoholic beverages, but when I do, it seems not to affect me at all - I don't feel dizzy, happy, sad, tired, uninhibited, etc. (albeit the largest amount I've ever drunk was about three glasses of wine). Are there any medical problems\conditions that are correlated with such a resistance to the alcohol's effect? (I thought that alcohol tolerance should exist only in heavy drinkers). Thanks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:15, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

We do not answer requests for medical advice. AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:34, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
We can't give medical advice, like guessing at what's wrong with your system. But we can say it's hard to guess if there's anything wrong with it at all, given your admittedly scant testing. If you had three glasses of wine over a few hours, it's not strange to hear you weren't drunk. If you had them in a row, I'd expect at least dizziness. Then again, some wines are basically juice.
I say take three shots of any medium-strength liquor and call us back in the morning. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:40, May 17, 2015 (UTC)
No harm in pointing you to this little self-help guide. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:44, May 17, 2015 (UTC)
While I cannot comment as to the OP's health, simple explanations than a medical condition would be that either:
  • anyone who has never had more than three glasses of unspecified wine ($5 wine cooler? $10 riesling? $50 brandy? what size glass?) over an unspecified period of time might not have consumed enough quickly enough to get drunk
  • anyone who rarely drinks will not have enough experience with inebriation to fully be aware of their inebriation. Heck, there are some borderline alcoholics who will insist while slobbering and unable to stand will insist to the designated driver that "Ah'm naht drunk! Yooo are!"
Weight, gender, and time are huge factors. Heavier people have a higher tolerance, and women have about half of the enzymes that process alcohol then men of the same size. For example, I'm a male who is about 220 lbs (or 100 kg). I can down a bottle of Moscato d'Asti or Liebfraumilch alongside a two-hour meal and score better on sobriety tests that do not check my breath or blood. I once got my then-girlfriend and her friends (most about half my weight) "I need to sit down" drunk off a couple of small glasses of plum wine (and since one of them was a lesbian and the other viewed me as a brother, no, they weren't drunk off me). Ian.thomson (talk) 21:45, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
  • The obvious answer is fraud on the part of the "wine" merchant, contact a lawyer. μηδείς (talk) 21:47, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Or contact Jorah Mormont. Less hassle. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:50, May 17, 2015 (UTC)

Question of condom study[edit]

I have a question of this study!po=97.9167 page 16 says that out of 26 pregnancies, only 5 were because of condom related reasons what do they mean by that? does that mean only five occurred despite being used the right way? It doesn't seem clear what the other 21 pregnancies were because of. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Whoami22 (talkcontribs) 22:47, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Most pregnancies are because of sexual activity ... -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:58, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
In the "Discontinuation" section it says:
Furthermore, among all pregnancies, 19.23% (n = 5/26) were because of condom breakage, 11.11% (n = 3/26) were due to forgetting to use a condom, 50% (13/26) were because of incorrect condom use, and 19.23% (n = 5/26) were due to the spouses’ dislike of condom use and other reasons.

Rojomoke (talk) 23:11, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

"forgetting"?! Really?! That seems exceedingly unlikely. SteveBaker (talk) 23:15, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Erm, I guess you've never been drunk...? (talk) 12:18, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Call me old-fashioned, but I still say that pregnancy is a result of sexual intercourse. What the above is about is unwanted pregnancy, which is a sub-set of all pregnancy. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:45, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Christians would tend to disagree, at least in one notable case. StuRat (talk) 01:39, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I think the context of the question and study is fairly well understood to everyone else. Except may be the OP, who seems to have great problems understanding anything but history has shown telling them doesn't seem to help. Nil Einne (talk) 12:50, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Soup Greens (Czech/Slovak Cuisine)[edit]

I have recipe from a Czechoslovak cookbook asking for "Soup Greens". I'm familiar with German Suppengrün, but is that the same thing in Czech/Slovak cooking? (talk) 22:53, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Do you have the actual Slovak or a link, or can you give the title of the cookbook? μηδείς (talk) 23:22, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
"The Czechoslovak Cookbook". I doubt that's helpful; at no place in the cookbook does it say what soup greens are. It's a 40 year old cookbook, so a lot of recipes are a bit antiquated. (talk) 01:29, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Suppengrün can vary regionally, from one cook to another, or by season. The key ingredients seem to be carrots, leeks or onions, celery root, and parsley. A cruciferous root such as rutabaga or kohlrabi seems to be preferred. Other ingredients are optional. This Czech recipe lists parsley root, parsley leaves, celery leaves, celery root, carrots, kohlrabi, onions, leeks, cauliflower, cabbage, and garlic. This meets the basic requirements for Suppengrün. Probably several of the ingredients in the Czech recipe are optional. Marco polo (talk) 14:03, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
We have an article about it, under the French name mirepoix, the article discusses a number of variations. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 06:28, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

May 18[edit]

Are there Wikipedians who...?[edit]

Has anyone here met any Wikipedians who believe in either both or one of the following two?:

1. The abundance of B-class articles does not make Wikipedia a great resource, even though they know that an average readers (including me) are not left wanting after reading one (which means the B-class serves its purpose for people except for, maybe, experts who wouldn't have researched the topic in the first place).

2. Anything outside the scope of Encyclopedia Britannica (or a ″traditional″ encyclopedia) is unencyclopedic. (talk) 01:23, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

The question as formulated is not appropriate for this Reference Desk. There would be no published sources detailing which Wikipedians have met which other Wikipedians, and what the latter may or not believe. This should go on some forum. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:28, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Which forum? (talk) 03:08, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
The help desk or teahouse, perhaps. Or maybe Wikipediocracy's. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:16, May 18, 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) There are 25,198,947 registered editors at Wikipedia, and that doesn't count those such as yourself who have chosen to contribute to the encyclopedia without registering an account. That about guarantees a level of diversity-of-opinion that one can guarantee that there is at least one of those people who believes anything. More broadly, if you want to read general reading which might interest you, see This page and This page and perhaps this page. You can find links from each of those to lead you more places where the general concept of what is, and is not, appropriate for inclusion at Wikipedia are discussed, and historical background to those opinions can be found. --Jayron32 01:32, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I asked this because I was appalled by the assumptions made on Wikipedia:Wikipedia is failing, which shows that there are those who believe so (at least in the previous decade). (talk) 03:08, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Read the pages I linked for you for background. --Jayron32 03:31, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Also re-read the disclaimer at that page: This essay contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Essays are not Wikipedia policies or guidelines. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints..
I suggest you discuss your concerns at that page's talk page. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 06:55, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Song Clip[edit]

Moved to Wikipedia:Reference desk/Entertainment#Song clip: Mandruss  08:13, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Is there any U.S. accrediting organization that has a comprehensive list of all the foreign colleges and universities that are recognized in the U.S.?[edit]

I'm particularly interested in the U.S. accredited schools in East Asia and South East Asia.Rja2015 (talk) 16:20, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

The way to go about this is to contact the admissions office of the US school you are thinking of attending, and asking their criteria. μηδείς (talk) 17:50, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Not comprehensive, but: Lists_of_American_institutions_of_higher_education#Outside_of_the_US_and_its_territories (talk) 18:33, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
It might help, Rja, if you'd clarify your interest. Do you want overseas branches of accredited American Universities? Do you want to know which overseas credits you can transfer to the US while in the middle of a bachelor's degree? Or do you want to know which undergraduate degrees from oversees will help you to apply to graduate school in the US? Be aware there is no official (beyond for purposes of accepting gov't funds) US accrediting agency. For example, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education is the accrediting agency for Cornell, Rutgers, Rowam Princeton, and New York University and many other schools, but it is a voluntary and non-governmental association. μηδείς (talk) 21:23, 18 May 2015 (UTC)


Is there a difference between "futas", "trannys", "shemales" and "ladyboys" or are they all terms for the same thing? (talk) 19:10, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

You should read the Wikipedia article titled transgender, and then follow additional links from that article to further educate yourself on this concept. --Jayron32 19:23, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Referencing Wikipedia/using limited content from Wikipedia[edit]


We would like to reference a few articles we have seen on Wikipedia, on our newly created Web page for Highlander fans. We would also like to post a small amount of content about those articles (the information coming from the Wikipedia article), then place a link on our page beneath it to direct people to Wikipedia to read the whole article.

There are currently over 1000 regular contributes to Wikipedia. Is there a special individual from whom permission must be obtained to quote content from a site on Wikipedia? Are there any legal issues we should be aware of before proceeding to use (a small amount of) content form these articles and to assign a link back to Wikipedia to read the entire entry? (talk) 20:50, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

See WP:CW for our page on the subject. This sort of question might be better at the Help Desk. Tevildo (talk) 20:59, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
You can even copy entire articles (or the entire encyclopedia). You can modify them, as well. All that's asked in return is that you acknowledge the article with a hyperlink and share any derivative works under a similar license. The "free" in "free encyclopedia" means more than not costing money. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:02, May 18, 2015 (UTC)

Greatest number of Dead in a Biker-Gang dispute[edit]

Can anyone give a source for a higher one-day [incident] death toll than ten for a US biker-gang shootout? The issue is currently being debated at Wikipedia:In_the_news/Candidates#Waco_biker_gang_shooting and it is being asserted that this is a common occurrence in the US. I don't remember Altamont, but that was a few dead, one by stabbing, and not a shootout. Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 21:34, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Following the references from this BBC article, and from our Outlaw motorcycle club article, the previous two largest incidents were the Milperra massacre (seven deaths, Australia) and the Shedden massacre (eight deaths, Canada, not a shootout). The previous largest US incident was the River Run Riot, with three deaths. Tevildo (talk) 21:50, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
The Toronto Sun has a roundup, too. The Quebec Biker War takes the cake at 164, but that wasn't all in one go (and, unsurprisingly, not American). InedibleHulk (talk) 22:34, May 18, 2015 (UTC)
Hehe, thanks for the answers so far, the assertion that this was a regular thing seemed odd, since I am almost as old as Bilbo Baggins, and pay closer attention to the interweb and US News. μηδείς (talk) 22:53, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Hard to avoid US news, wherever we are. Even if we used school shooting standards, this is still pretty huge. Domestic dispute murder-suicides seem to hit the ceiling at eight. I don't know what comparable street gang massacre Masem seems to believe in, but he's right that the kind of crap in the American district of the Middle East puts the homeland death tolls to shame. That's not a fair measuring stick for things like this. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:05, May 18, 2015 (UTC)
By American district of the Middle East, what do you mean? To me the American middle east means Pennsylvania. Does this have something to do with the US Government, like the Waco Massacre? Or with the Islamist Jihadi, Nidal Hasan? I thought the issue was biker gang violence, although I may not have known what I meant when I posted this. Assuming I did know what I meant, is there an American biker massacre of similar proportions? And if so, when? Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 01:31, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Iraq, Afghanistan, sort of Yemen, sort of Syria. Masem was saying this was run-of-the-mill, by their standards. Within the continental US, this seems to be among the highest tolls for any shootout, and more certainly the highest single gang-related one. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:33, May 19, 2015 (UTC)
I had edit-conflicted with Tevildo and wanted to point out what Template:OutlawMotorcycleGroups lists under "Related events" (most of which have been mentioned by now), and that none of them seemed to include an event exceeding the recent death toll in Waco. Masem's point was a different one, which doesn't mean you don't have a strong argument, but that part needs to be discussed there, medeis, not here, as you well know. ---Sluzzelin talk 01:37, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Dunno about actual numbers of deaths - but some of the Mods and rockers biker fights in England in the 1960's and 70's had upwards of a thousand combatants armed with knives, bike chains and many other improvised weapons. These fights went on for days and the police were powerless to intervene in any significant manner. Oddly, I can't find any numbers for deaths and injuries - but the lack of guns probably saved a lot of lives. (talk) 16:57, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Has anyone ever managed to kill someone with a bike chain? Seems like a lot of work. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:45, May 19, 2015 (UTC)
Paul D. Jones, Groton, Massachusetts, January 28, 1996. That took some tracking down, but it _has_ happened. Tevildo (talk) 01:05, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Apparently, an undercover cop infiltrating a biker gang was killed by a chain, but that was on CSI. And there was Chain Letter, but neither of those were bike chains. You know something's rare when it doesn't even happen on TV. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:51, May 19, 2015 (UTC)
If you extend your search to include Garrotes, you'll find more hits. Certainly a bike chain can be used as a functional garrote. SemanticMantis (talk) 21:32, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, that's true. Can wrap it around a fist, too. I was only thinking of the whipping. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:59, May 19, 2015 (UTC)
In any case, in Texas, anything designed or adapted for the purpose of causing "serious bodily injury" is a "deadly weapon". It doesn't have to have ever killed anyone. Doesn't even have to ever caused serious injury. So that covers every solid object. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:07, May 19, 2015 (UTC)
Or no solid object that has another purpose at all, depending how you read it. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:13, May 19, 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, that last link is interesting stuff. Living in TX currently, I am actually pleased to see that there is legal precedent for an automobile being considered a deadly weapon. SemanticMantis (talk) 22:24, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Even when it doesn't kill or injure anyone, if it just happens to be there when you're arrested, it may be seized and auctioned off by the time you post bail.
And no, you don't get a cut of that. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:32, May 19, 2015 (UTC)

May 19[edit]

Provenance of a quote[edit]

I've seen the following quote attributed to Neil deGrasse Tyson but I can't find where/when he actually said it. Quite a few sources from Cracked and on down the reliable source ladder say he said it but again, I can't find anything more reliable. The quote is:

The problem in society is not kids not knowing science. The problem is adults not knowing science. They outnumber kids 5 to 1, they wield power, they write legislation. When you have scientifically illiterate adults, you have undermined the very fabric of what makes a nation wealthy and strong.

It's longer than 140 characters, so I'm guessing it's not from NdGT's Twitter account. So, is anyone's Google-fu better than mine? Thanks, Dismas|(talk) 00:55, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Try Google, it takes you immediately to Wikiquote. μηδείς (talk) 01:25, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Wikiquote was the very first place I looked before Google. I searched through Tyson's entry there for the words "outnumber", "number", and "illiterate". When they weren't found, or were found but not in this quote, I went to Google. Dismas|(talk) 01:30, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I saw this recently (ca. 17 May) on Facebook but a scroll-back failed to recover it. Possibly you may search or inquire on the following websites: Brain Pickings (Maria Popova) or IFLScience, both known to quote N. Tyson. -- Deborahjay (talk) 07:14, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I saw it on FB recently too. When these things come across my feed, I sometimes go looking for the source of the quote. I also check Snopes for various claims that are posted too. Dismas|(talk) 01:15, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
See this video. Abecedare (talk) 07:38, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
See YouTube: "Neil deGrasse Tyson - Children Are Not The Problem" posted on 05.09.2011 by ttk1opc --CiaPan (talk) 07:46, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Thank you both for finding those videos. Dismas|(talk) 01:15, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Off-topic: He's putting across a rather strange point of view though - I mean, most of the population are taught whatever core science knowledge they'll ever have in school - so if kids knew science, then within a few decades, they'd grow up to be adults who'd know science. Teaching adults stuff is difficult because there is no way to force them to sit down and learn...but kids are a captive audience for the decade or so that we have them in the education system. Tyson has a conflict of interest here because he makes his money trying to educate adults through pop.sci TV shows. But because his shows don't teach fundamentals like Euclid's theorems, Newton's laws of motion, the laws of thermodynamics or "The Scientific Method" - he's not making much of a dent in the problem. SteveBaker (talk) 06:17, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

The Basement of Mom[edit]

Since when the whole living in the basement of 'mom' become such a big taboo and social no-no. Shouldn't mom's feel proud that their kids want to stick around and help, rather than disappear off into the boonies and general not give a crap about their families who busted a butt bringing them up? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:02, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

See freeloader. The issue is not "helping out around the house", the issue is "not earning one's own way and behaving like an adult". You can move out and still stop by to visit and help with chores. People live in mom's basement because they don't have a job and can't afford their own house. You know, like the one mom paid for. With her job. --Jayron32 12:43, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Your last two sentences are utter nonsense, and not suitable for the reference desk. Unless you accidentally left out the first part: "The negative and false stereotype is that people live in mom's basement..." ? SemanticMantis (talk) 17:18, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
The stereotype wouldn't exist if it wasn't true often enough to have formed. It isn't that stereotypes are never true, so they are not false. It is that stereotypes are not exclusively true on a case-by-case basis. That there exist people who live at home for other reasons doesn't mean that no one has ever freeloaded off their parents because they were lazy. --Jayron32 17:51, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Fair enough. I wonder if you think the same thing about a phrase like "The Irish are lazy drunkards"? Would you type that here, or other related stereotypes, without at least explaining that it is a stereotype your are reporting, and not a statement of fact? I'd think not, but thanks for explaining, I won't derail further. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:59, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
No, because that's a bigoted thing to say. --Jayron32 18:01, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
[EC] The concept refers not to well-adjusted adults who for various valid reasons choose to remain or return to the parental home for a period*, but those who are unable to develop adult-level abilities to socialise with their peers (and perhaps marry) and/or work and/or get their own place, which is widely considered "normal" in recently affluent Western society. There are of course many perfectly well-adjusted people in similar arrangements to whom the stigmatization is not applied.
(*Personal disclosure: I myself returned (from a different country) to my parents' recently-acquired home for an 8-year spell in my late 20s, after they acquired one following retirement from an internationally peripatetic life. After 9 years I was able to buy my own home and move out. I'm also now in my late 50s, single and satisfied with that arrangement, so I have sympathy for those who are derided for not conforming to the aforementioned "cultural norms.")
The poster formerly known as} (talk) 12:49, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
The point is that you demonstrated ambition and moved on when you were able to. The stereotype, as Jayron notes, is of someone who's basically a lazy mooch. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:41, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
And who says that only people living with their mothers help them or care about them? I spend hours every week visiting and caring for my mother, although I support myself and don't live under her roof. (talk) 14:37, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I wonder how many of us know a recent college grad? Or a high school graduate who can't even afford college? The job market in USA has been... different for them. I don't know what it's like in Iran, where your IP address geolocates to. It's also not clear where in the world you are interested in these social norms. Some relevant info and refs at Millennials#Peter_Pan_generation, as well as Extended_family#Recent_trend_in_the_United_States. Also related Underemployment, Secondary labor market, Working poor. We have e.g. Labor market of Japan but I can't find a similar article Labor market of Iran. Finally, it's worth pointing out that there are huge cultural differences here. In the USA, long term, multi-generational housing has not been as common in the late 20th century, compared to other parts of the world. My point is, this trend of young adults living with parents seems new and different in the USA (and some people will jump to conclusions and call them "freeloaders" or "lazy mooch]" simply by virtue of the living arrangement), but it would be totally normal for a Hindu_joint_family. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:12, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it used to be the norm for unmarried children to remain in the home, and perhaps even married children. Indeed, at one point an unmarried daughter living away from home would have been scandalous. As a result of free trade, the US middle class finds itself poorer now than in previous generations, as many of the jobs for new graduates are now done in China or India. Thus, the ability of new grads to move out of the home is greatly reduced. And, ultimately, if they can manage to save up money at whatever menial job they can get, so they afford to eventually buy a home rather than wasting that money on rent, this may be a good thing for them financially in the long run. StuRat (talk) 17:42, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
The erosion of the American middle class has been purposeful. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 17:45, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
It depends if the basement has windows. Good lighting can make all the difference. Bus stop (talk) 17:52, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Back to answer the original question: The difference in cultural expectations regarding family size and extended families living at home is closely tied to an economic concept known as the demographic-economic paradox. I wish I could find a printed sources, but it's something that came up in a human geography class I took over 20 years ago, which discussed the issue. You can read the article in question, but the gist of the rationale for the paradox is thus. In pre-industrial societies, children are an asset, because children work for the family, and bring in an income from a young age. They work the family farm, they become apprentices in the family trade, etc. So, in pre-industrial societies, having as many children as possible makes economic sense. Also, having them live at home makes economic sense: they contribute to the family income, and the entire family is economically stronger for them. In a post-industrial society, children are an economic liability. They cost money to educate, they don't earn an income until long after they are a physiological adult; time or money spent "raising" children is money lost from family incomes. This standard explanation of the Demographic-economic paradox explains why in post-industrial societies, where per capita income is much higher, family size is still much smaller: people making individual, rational economic decisions find that children are expensive. In pre-industrial societies, they also make rational, economic decisions but with the opposite result because in their society, children make you money. In the U.S., the stereotype of the freeloading adult living in mom's basement comes in the socio-economic expectation that adults have a responsibility to be self-sufficient, so they are not a liability to their parents anymore. That societal expectation is driven by the economics of the western, post-industrial society and does not necessarily reflect the expectation in other cultures with different economic realities. But it all boils down to the socioeconomic background of the Demographic-economic paradox. The wikipedia article called Demographic transition covers this pretty well. --Jayron32 18:13, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Anybody who's ever lived in the attic during the summer knows why people live in the basement, Mom's or not. μηδείς (talk) 19:16, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

House port ?[edit]

I had an idea for something and want to know if anyone else has done it. The reason for this idea is that I often need to open a door or remove a window screen to snake a hose out the window (to drain the basement after flooding) or an electric cord (to run the electric leaf blower). The second problem can be solved by adding an electric outlet outside the house, but the hose is more difficult to solve. Just leaving a door or window screen open is bad, because we can get bees and such inside the house. I can tape the area up as an ad-hoc solution, but that's not very good for something I need to do regularly.

So, my idea is a circular "port" with a screw-on cover both inside and outside, and maybe a lever operated closing mechanism (like a camera has) to squeeze in on the hose or cord once it is in place. So, has anyone seen this solution, or another solution to this problem ? StuRat (talk) 19:48, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

This sounds a bit like something I've seen at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham. I can't find a photo, but if you go behind it and look up, high on the wall there are several circular metal doors about 20cm in diameter, which are secured with a 1/2 turn toggle. Inside there is a fabric "cuff" which closes around cables that are pushed through. There are also a series of hooks running the top. When I went on a tour, the guide said these were for TV broadcasts, so the cables can be run from the event inside to the van outside. I've only ever seen one TV broadcast from the ICC, but the designers were thinking ahead when it was built. --TrogWoolley (talk) 11:19, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Interesting ! I didn't think I would have been the first person ever to think of this, as it's a rather obvious solution to a common problem. I wonder what they are called and if we have an article on them. StuRat (talk) 19:26, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Why not install an outside tap? Or, failing that, what about putting in a cat flap and running the hose through that? - Cucumber Mike (talk) 21:54, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
It sounds like you're trying to band-aid the issue instead of fixing the root problem. If your basement floods that often, why not fix the problem with the flooding? And instead of using a hose, have you looked into installing a sump pump? Dismas|(talk) 00:05, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
That said, if you don't find a solution already on the market, you could use a hole saw to put a hole in the wall. Get a section of PVC pipe and put it in the hole and caulk around the pipe. Make sure the pipe sticks through the wall by about an inch on each side of the wall. Get two PVC pipe caps and put them on the pipe when not in use. If you're that concerned that even one bee not get in the house during the few minutes/hours that you'd have the caps off, you can pack an old towel around the hose when it's running through the pipe. In fact, keeping the towel in there 24/7 would probably help with any heating/cooling loss on every other day when you're not draining your basement. Dismas|(talk) 00:14, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
There are parts of the US where people's basements flood regularly, and are required to flood, by law. They live on low spots on the sewer line, and are not allowed to put check valves in, as then the pressure would build up in the sewer after a heavy rain and damage the sewer. As absurd as it sounds, this is the case.
And we do use a sump pump, which pumps water out of the basement by hose. We obviously can't use the floor drain, as this applies when the floor drain is backed up. StuRat (talk) 04:59, 20 May 2015 (UTC)'s hard to imagine that! Anyway - I think I would install the same contraption that is use to vent a cooker hood - which is a 4" PVC pipe with a flap valve in it that closes when the cooker hood is not venting. In your case, that would enable you to poke something through it from the inside when you need to - and which would flap shut when you didn't. That said, there are probably better answers out there. What do other people in your area do? I bet there is some kind of local building code to cover this. SteveBaker (talk) 06:09, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
A reliable source is needed for the statement that some towns forbid their citizens installing a checkvalve to prevent stormwater (and sewage if the storm and sanitary drains are combined) from filling their basements. It does not seem like it would make much difference to the pressure in the sewers, in any event. In my area it is very common to have a manhole outside a lowlying house with one or two checkvalves and an ejector pump. or for more money to have overhead sewers in the basement along with a sump pump. It would mot be practical to have a finished basement or even to have the furnace and laundry in a basement if it filled with backup. Flooding coming in from a nearby river or creek is a different issue than backup. Edison (talk) 03:51, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Stanley Cup[edit]

When was the trophy called The Stanley Cup for the first time? In other words, what was the trophy officially named beforehand, if in any way? Splićanin (talk) 21:07, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

The Hall of Fame writeup says its original name was to have been "Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup", but was designated Stanley Cup "immediately" upon its creation.[69]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:42, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Born at sea[edit]

What should one write on their passport if they were born on a cruiseship? The Atlantic? The Mediterranean? Justttt (talk) 23:34, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Birth aboard aircraft and shipsMandruss  23:43, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I was just about to link that. I'll go with List of people born at sea instead. None are described as "Atlantean". InedibleHulk (talk) 23:44, May 19, 2015 (UTC)
James McGowen's parents were English. When they reached Australia, they already had an Australian baby. So it depends on your parents, and where they're headed, too. Unless things have changed somewhat in the last 160 years. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:52, May 19, 2015 (UTC)
They have changed. On 26 January 1949 the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948 came into force (later renamed the Australian Citizenship Act). Prior to 1949, all people born in Australia were British subjects, and that's what it said on their passports. Australian people born before 1949 but alive in 1949 all had to have their passports changed, from "British subject" to "Australian citizen". But McGowen had died well before then, and all his life he was a British subject, never an Australian citizen, despite being an Australian. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:32, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Women who are in late term are not usually allowed on cruise ships (or planes, for that matter), quite simply because they don't have the medical facilities to deal with a new-born. This also goes for epilepsy (which I have), and psychosis, schozophrenia, and a whole host of other conditions. People need to be assessed first. It would be very unlikely that a child would be born on a ship, and if it was, it would take the nationality of the parents, especially if it was in international waters. A child born in American territory usually gets granted American nationality automatically, but not so in Europe. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 04:50, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
  • It would also depend a lot on the nationality laws of the country in question. Jus soli is but one type of nationality law, most (perhaps all) countries also have a form of Jus sanguinis laws which grant nationality to children of their own nationals, regardless of the location of birth, especially where the parents are legal residents of the nation in question as well as citizens, and where the absence from the country is temporary or short-term. --Jayron32 09:10, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
This is the US government official guidance document on many, many scenarios for passport "Place of Birth". People born in international waters are to be listed as "At Sea". In some cases, people born on airplanes would in fact be listed as "In The Air". Dragons flight (talk) 10:00, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I could be wrong, but I imagine this is primarily what the OP is asking about, rather than citizenship or nationality of the child. (The citizenship or nationality may affect what is written due to different laws or regulations.) Nil Einne (talk) 13:26, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Birth aboard aircraft and ships. CambridgeBayWeather, Uqaqtuq (talk), Sunasuttuq 00:03, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

May 20[edit]

Virginity taboo in the West[edit]

Why do western cultures often see being a virgin a taboo. To the point of using the term virgin as an insult. That is despite Christianity for which many western cultures originate advocating for centuries no sexual relationships before marriage. Even if that results in life long celibacy. In fact, Catholic priests (not sure about other denominations) prohibit any sexual activity at all (pre-pubescent boys, I know, I know but lets not get into that one bit OT)

And also, why does this term tend to be used against men more than women. Do other cultures have such stigma for virgins? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:41, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Many teenagers cannot hold livable jobs, cannot drink or smoke, and cannot afford their own house or car, but sex is something that they have (some) access to, are often told to stay away from, and potentially the most fun of those marks of adulthood. That doesn't make it right (sexual activity and personal maturity are about as related as one's ability to ride a bike and one's hair style), but immature people (teens or adults) view adulthood in terms of the things they have (house, car, babies) rather than responsibilities they put up with (mortgage, car payments, whiny brats). In some ways, many people don't grow up after high school, they just adjust their "class schedule" in a way that resembles mature adulthood.
Hell, a lot of retail customers don't seem to have grown up since elementary school, they just throw the tantrums at the employees instead of their parents. Ian.thomson (talk) 11:35, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Where did you get the idea that virginity is a "taboo"? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:25, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Maybe from that old (and not very funny) joke: "What's the definition of a virgin? A six year old who hasn't been fucked very much". I'd say the OP is using the word "taboo" inappropriately. That usually refers to things that must not be touched or places that must not be visited or actions that must not be performed. The state of virginity is none of these. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:17, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
No, it's quite the opposite. That's what makes it "uncool", at least for kids. High school has a reputation for being where they put aside childish things. Only babies who are afraid of their mommy getting mad don't drink, smoke, fuck, swear or use the right social media site, at least according to the cool kids.
After we put aside those childish things, the pressure is less acute and direct, but you may notice all the previously various advertising in the world seems to only repeat "OBEY", "CONSUME" and "MARRY AND REPRODUCE". The cool dudes are gone, and THIS IS YOUR GOD now. Sex equals kids, eventually, and kids require stuff, which requires employment. Single people are a passive danger to the economy, and virgins are more likely to be single. No harm done in sacrificing them, even if it doesn't actually bring a bountiful harvest. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:13, May 20, 2015 (UTC)
Girls aren't held to the same standards, because they're traditionally not expected to "man up" and bring home the bacon. Googling "slut vs stud" finds much more written about the double standard. I'll let you find your own piece on that, and just single out this story, because it's more interesting. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:21, May 20, 2015 (UTC)
There is a ginormous difference between "uncool" and "taboo". Things that are "taboo" are "forbidden" and often illegal. There's no law against virginity. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:34, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Not a written law, but in El Salvador (geographically "the West") and other places, an expected rite of passage. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:06, May 20, 2015 (UTC)
That doesn't make virginity "taboo". The OP is misunderstanding the word. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:26, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't know. If your dad, uncles, older brothers and friends say having something precludes you from being a man, it seems like the sort of thing men aren't allowed to have. There are fathers, fathers and fathers, but then there are fathers. Their house, their rules. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:38, May 20, 2015 (UTC)
That doesn't qualify virginity as a "taboo", but merely something to be lost eventually, via a "rite of passage" or whatever. And that sounds more like something some primitive jungle tribe would do, not something that would be part of the typical American upbringing. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:43, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
The Cracked article noted several All-American boys, like Ben Franklin, JFK and Oliver Stone, paying to lose it. It's almost as if it made them cooler or something. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:58, May 21, 2015 (UTC)
Speaking of ginormous... InedibleHulk (talk) 23:55, May 20, 2015 (UTC)
As for Christianity, that's been going the way of the dodo for a while. But fear not, there are still more worrisome things. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:17, May 20, 2015 (UTC)
"If you follow Jesus, you already have a pretty good idea what giving it all away looks like." InedibleHulk (talk) 22:21, May 20, 2015 (UTC)
I just noticed nobody has linked taboo yet. DON"T CLICK IT! InedibleHulk (talk) 23:52, May 20, 2015 (UTC)
Very funny. Like I said, a "prohibition", specifically a prohibition of an action. Being a virgin is not an action. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:22, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
The first sentence of a Wikipedia lead is well and good, but also see the "has been somewhat expanded" part of it, too. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:28, May 21, 2015 (UTC)
A taboo is the prohibition of an action. No action is required to be a virgin. You're born that way. And no action is required to stay a virgin, either. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:32, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Is Nazism an action? Is pedophilia? Or single motherhood? There are other generally taboo subjects. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:52, May 21, 2015 (UTC)
Maybe it's the action of talking about or identifying with these nouns that's taboo, not the nouns themselves. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:53, May 21, 2015 (UTC)
Those subjects are certainly not taboo. Not as subjects of discussion, anyway. You'll find vast amounts of wordage about all of them. But actually engaging in child sexual abuse or kiddie porn is a no-no. So, by the way, are murder, rape, bank robbery, kidnapping, drink driving, tax evasion, speeding, lying, being a dick, being a racist bigot, being a homophobe, having foul breath or body odour, and worst of all, being a bore. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 07:24, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
It's the "being a" sort that being a virgin falls under. Being is an action, though a passive one. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:36, May 21, 2015 (UTC)
Existing is not an action. Passive is the opposite of active. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 04:17, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Maybe we should have an RfC? I could talk about teaching people how to masturbate and hire prostitutes, or having advised them to try heterosexual sex when they were exclusively homosexual. I just wouldn't want to go into detail unless that is the agenda here. If we're just looking for the word, and it's not a religious choice, I would think pitiful for college grads would be a lot better than taboo. We did just have a discussion on the fact that the purpose of college is for people to lose their virginity. μηδείς (talk) 01:01, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Not just that. Also fulfills OBEY and CONSUME obligations. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:12, May 21, 2015 (UTC)

Repairing veneer on an electric guitar[edit]

I have an Epiphone Dot semi-hollow-bodied electric guitar - like this one. The top is laminated maple with a "vintage sunburst" finish - a graduated, transparent colour leaving the wood grain visible. While modifying the electronics, I was clumsy with a drill and knocked off a small piece of the finished veneer, about two centimetres by a centimetre and a half, but irregularly shaped, between the output jack and the tone knobs. It broke off in one piece and I was able to retrieve it and glue it back in place, but because of the way it broke there's a slight gap, only a couple of millimetres, between one edge of the broken piece and the rest of the veneer, through which you can see the unfinished wood, and there are visible cracks. Any suggestions on how to repair it a bit less obtrusively? --Nicknack009 (talk) 12:17, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Fortunately, such a repair is less likely to affect the sound than in an acoustic guitar. Unfortunately, I doubt if the repair can ever be made invisible. Replacing the entire veneer might be the only way. Or, if you have the money, you could replace the guitar, and just use this one for practice/backup. StuRat (talk) 15:21, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
It's got character now. People are paying good money to by brand-new, factory-fresh guitars that have been "artifically" aged.[70] You now own one that has legitimate aging on it. --Jayron32 16:05, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I think replacing the entire veneer might be a little drastic. If it was a solid, opaque colour I could just use wood filler and paint. As it is, I'll just have to resign myself to it having character. It's probably something nobody notices but me anyway.
Oh yes, the peculiar fashion for deliberately ruining perfectly good instruments. It's apparently called "relic'ing". Here's a service offering to put your guitar through not only physical but psychological abuse. --Nicknack009 (talk) 17:18, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Nothing as bad as Jimi Hendrix did to his, I hope. StuRat (talk) 18:18, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Best website to find new friends from other countries[edit]

Hi, I'm a philatelist who love to collect new stamps from different countries. Can anyone suggest some good online ways for finding new friends from other countries who are interested in philately other than facebook (which only allows to befriend people you know well)..??--Joseph 14:52, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Maybe contact These people? --Jayron32 15:57, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
What about ? -- Metrophil44 (talk) 16:51, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

I've made plenty of friends here: :) (talk) 19:23, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia isn't bad. I don't believe in online "friends", but had some fun (and productive) international chats. You might try Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Philately. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:16, May 21, 2015 (UTC)
Or check out their participants list. It's not stalking or soliciting if you're friendly about it. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:20, May 21, 2015 (UTC)
You mention Facebook. In fact, you do not need to know people at all to start a group there, so there's no stopping you from making a philately group - or joining one already existing (I assume there are several). Many groups are closed, but only in the sense that you need to ask to join, which in turn allows you to follow and post threads. Our WikiProject is not the place to solicit friendships. Matt Deres (talk) 17:12, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

How long was the IRT Third Avenue Line?[edit]

I wondered how long this line was, but I can't find the length in the article. -- Metrophil44 (talk) 16:36, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

  • Given the longest the train run was from City Hall (Manhattan) to the Bronx Zoo, it was less than 14.1 miles, which is the slightly more circuitous route one can drive, which takes more east and west jogs than the train up 3rd would have. See this at Google Maps. For a better number, contact the MTA and ask for the number to the museum curator, who will certainly know. If you're in NYC, call 311 and ask for the main MTA directory or museum number. μηδείς (talk) 00:35, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Using "accumulate" as a noun[edit]

May 21[edit]

Dead/Dirty Skin[edit]

List of ways I could peel/remove dead/dirty skin off of my body?

Any idea friends?

Mr. Prophet (talk) 06:38, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Please see Exfoliation.--Shantavira|feed me 07:32, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Smile.gif -- Mr. Prophet (talk) 18:37, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Did I ever mention this: You Wikipedians are AWESOME! 💓 -- Mr. Prophet (talk) 18:37, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Famous single people?[edit]

Presidents, celebrities and almost anyone of public or corporate significance is married, and usually with kids. Like, defacto.

Aren't there any famous names who don't fit into the above? Or is it somehow culturally unacceptable? Why. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:21, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Well, we could start with John Browne, Prince Harry to name just two.--Phil Holmes (talk) 13:03, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
It depends what you mean. Firstly there are obviously plenty of young people who have never been married, I presume you're more thinking of older people, although nearly anyone who isn't currently married and is of sufficient age could probably marry in the future if they aren't already dead (but not necessarily to the person they want to marry). Even so, there are plenty of people who fit the above who are not currently married, but may have been married before and may have had kids, whether from or outside of marriage. There are people like Oprah Winfrey, Ricky Gervais and in many countries plenty of people who are in a same sex relationship who have as far as we know never been married for various reasons, but have been with the same partner for many years. There are people like Hugh Grant and Al Pacino who have as far as we know never been married but may have been in long term relationships and do have kids (whether they came from these relationships or not). I can't think of any off hand, but there are obviously some who've had kids but have never been in a long term relationship (there may be some who are forthcoming about it, but there are also obviously plenty of people who've don't talk about it and many who aren't even asked). Then there are people like Condoleezza Rice who may have been engaged but never married (who may or may not have had long term relationships). Finally there are obviously people without kids (as far as we know), who've never been married, enganged or in a long term relationship. As with my earlier point, knowing precisely who is in this list is difficult since people may not talk about their relationships but Ralph Nader possibly fits in this list. I presume you're excluding modern popes and other religious figures like the Dalai Lama who say they are celibate. Nil Einne (talk) 13:20, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  • The singer Morrissey, who has had a handful of romantic relationships here and there, has some interesting perspectives on his own sexuality and sexual identity. For a large part of his life, he claimed he was asexual, and uninterested in sexual or romantic relationships (that has changed somewhat since those earlier mid-1980s statements), and as such, perhaps fits the OP's requirements. Also, there are the majority of the list of Popes, almost all of whom are officially single and celibate, and the majority thereof also probably meant it. There was the U.S. President James Buchanan, who had been engaged at a young age to a woman, but after breaking off the engagement, showed no public interest in romantic relationships at all. There's some speculation that he had a semi-open homosexual relationship with William Rufus King, and yet still others who claim that both men were asexual and celibate, and that the insinuations of homosexuality between them were political smears; we'll likely never know, but at best we can say that we had one U.S. President who was never married. Just some ideas off the top of my head. --Jayron32 13:30, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
There are plenty. J. Edgar Hoover and Katharine Hepburn to name one odd pair. And of course any famous Catholic priest, bishop, cardinal or pope. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:03, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Hoover yes, Hepburn no. As noted in her article, she had been married for 6 years, and had long-term romantic relationships with several men, including Howard Hughes and Spencer Tracy. She did intentionally decline to get married a second time, but strictly she was a divorcee and not single. One that should rather obviously fit the OPs requirements as a famously single historical figure would be Queen Elizabeth I of England. --Jayron32 15:15, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Ted Heath. DuncanHill (talk) 15:23, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  • It's pretty much been taken as a given until recently that the cursus honorum for anyone who wants to become US President includes joining a suitable (Protestant) church and having married, happily, only once. Hence the controversy over Kennedy's Catholicism, and Barack Obama's actual church, as well as his alleged atheism and muslim faith. Reagan was also criticized for some for having had been Catholic and divorced and remarried. Obviously that's changed somewhat, but voters highly dislike infidelity, see the careers of John Edwards, Newt Gingrich and Jim McGreevey. (Anecdata: I also actually know someone who was an atheist in high school who confided he was going to choose a church and join the ROTC as a prelude to entering politics, although I suspect he actually went into intelligence work, given his real aptitudes.) μηδείς (talk) 17:08, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
  • James Buchanan (president 1857–61) never married. Grover Cleveland was unmarried when first elected president in 1884, but got married in 1886. More recently, in Canada, Pierre Trudeau was unmarried when he was first elected prime minister (see note) in 1968, but he got married in 1971. (Note: in the Westminster system the PM is the leader of the party supported by a majority of the House of Commons. Trudeau first became PM on the retirement of the previous Liberal Party leader, Lester Pearson, but there was an election soon after, won by the Liberals, so he was elected PM that year as well.) -- (talk) 19:29, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Here is a "Bachelor's A-List". Jesus Christ is probably the most famous, if not André the Giant. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:44, May 21, 2015 (UTC)
Buchanan's widely considered one of the worst presidents, so now we know why. As for Jesus, there's good speculation that he was married, given a man in his position being unmarried would have been borderline scandalous. μηδείς (talk) 21:27, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Good speculation is about as convincing as bad speculation. But if it helps put André over, I'll buy it. In fact, maybe he married all the Marys, except for his mother Mary, who made him marry Mari-Mac. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:41, May 21, 2015 (UTC)
Swoosie Kurtz has never married or had children. Dismas|(talk) 21:28, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Or Sheryl Crow. All she wants to do is have some fun. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:42, May 21, 2015 (UTC)
Here are some famous bachelors. Some were "confirmed" bachelors; others just never met the right girl. Spinster doesn't have a corresponding list. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 05:16, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Cliff Richard. KägeTorä - () (もしもし!) 05:38, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
If you search WP for "never married", you'll get over 61,000 hits. At least the first 1,000 or so are productive for this question. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 06:28, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
For many years, Stephen Fry was celibate, apparently. He's now married. As an aside, on Monday, he'll hopefully be celebrating something else. --Dweller (talk) 08:18, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Cecil Rhodes was famously, if not notoriously single. IIRC, he would dismiss from his staff men who wanted to marry. --Dweller (talk) 08:19, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Elizabeth I never married. Nor did Edward Heath, who was Prime Minister in 1974. (talk) 11:06, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Did they never marry twice, or is there an echo in here? --Jayron32 14:47, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
There are plenty of people who aren't married but have children. (talk) 14:54, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

chicken blood or gut meal71.196.51.61 (talk) 22:27, 21 May 2015 (UTC)[edit]

Under what name the rendering industry produces the chicken blood or gut meal, or if it forms part of another named meal? (talk) 22:27, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Blood meal ? Seems to normally be from cattle blood or pig blood, though. StuRat (talk) 03:21, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
I think you're asking about Poultry_by-product_meal. You might also be interested in our articles By-product#Animal_sources and animal product. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:26, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

May 22[edit]