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October 18[edit]

UEFI reprogramming[edit]

I recently managed to install TianoCore's DUET on a USB, and I've come to wonder about the new Windows computers that feature secure boot. How hard would it be to disable the secure boot function by simply reprogramming the chip that holds the UEFI binaries? Or is that somehow digitally signed as well? — Melab±1 00:50, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

You do not have to modify the UEFI; you may simply disable Secure Boot, which is a choice that is available to you as a user. The procedure to disable Secure Boot depends on your hardware vendor.
If you were to actually modify the secure firmware (i.e. to "reprogram the chip"), you would effectively be executing a man in the middle attack on the security system, which is generally believed to be "prohibitively difficult" for a well-architected security system. To date, there are no widely-known published security flaws in the Secure Boot / UEFI trust chain; so you're on your own to implement such an attack. Nimur (talk) 01:05, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Presuming the OP means desktop or laptops when they say computers then you're correct. However if the OP is including tablets, bear in mind Windows RT tablets can't have Secure Boot disabled AFAIK. Nil Einne (talk) 18:52, 18 October 2014 (UTC) and[edit]

Using Firefox 33 on Windows 7, I have had an ongoing problem with the use of, aka Wayback Machine, with pages from, aka The New York Times. The Times has a paywall which, IIRC, allows 20 free articles per month. Tech support at is nonexistent.

When I try to access an archive of, for example,, I get the following:

Loading... | 1:22:42 Oct 18, 2014
Got an HTTP 302 response at crawl time
Redirecting to...

After a few seconds, the message swaps the two URLs. This goes back and forth ten times or so, and then it redirects to the archive of a login page. That URL is:

This might be somehow related to the fact that I have a registered account at, which gives me unlimited access to articles, but it happens whether I'm logged in or not.

I have seen hints that it might have something to do with Firefox rejection of cookies (including the stuff at the end of the URL above), but I think I have that set as liberal as possible:

Accept cookies from sites: [checked]
Accept third-party cookies: Always
Keep until: they expire

It's possible that the design of the Times paywall makes it incompatible with That would be easy enough to determine, if a few other people could test the above scenario. But I would love to get this working, since I do a lot of work with references, and I like to archive whatever I can. ‑‑Mandruss (talk) 04:30, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

If you are a paying customer of, have you considered asking their technical support people for help? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:32, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Well I've been watching this page for some time and it seems that people often come here first, even when some kind of tech support is available elsewhere. And the reason appears to be that (1) it's easier, and (2) the answers are often better. My guess is that I would sit on hold for 15 minutes, only to hear, Wayback who?? If they can't find your symptom on their flip chart, go fish. ‑‑Mandruss (talk) 05:52, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
The same thing happens to me. It does look like the NYT paywall is incompatible with's web crawling.
Your login and cookie policy are irrelevant because you're only fetching pages from, not's spider's cookie policy is relevant, but I doubt there's anything they could do to fix this except maybe buying an institutional subscription from the NYT. The NYT could fix it, if they were so inclined. They don't seem opposed to crawling their site, or they would have just forbidden it outright, so maybe they will fix it if you report it. -- BenRG (talk) 07:47, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Ok, but if I'm only fetching pages from, why are both URLs in the message URLs? ‑‑Mandruss (talk) 08:08, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Because those are the URLs is trying to access. If wants to archive NYTimes, they need to access URLs, not URLs.... The informational message you refer to is a standard message shown when they received a HTTP 302 response, and shows up even when it's a simple 302 which works at the redirected URL. You can tell this by (amongst other things) the footer of the message which says

The Wayback Machine is an initiative of the Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form."

Other projects include Open Library &

Your use of the Wayback Machine is subject to the Internet Archive's Terms of Use.

Anyway I can't speak for other examples, but in this case a 3 of the 11 attempts did actually work, in particular 02:39:35 [1] 04:04:09 [2] and 05:09:06 [3]. Well I can't actually say for sure none of the others didn't, it's possible that some of them did after part of the 302 redirect chain.
Nil Einne (talk) 14:07, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
  • @Nil Einne:Because those are the URLs is trying to access. - Would appear to contradict what BenRG said, unless "access" and "fetch" have different meanings.
  • Thanks for finding the 3 that worked. At least now I have archive parameters for that ref, which is an improvement.
  • How did you find those 3? By simply trying them one at a time?
  • So we see that it can work some of the time with The question becomes, then, what makes the difference between success and failure? ‑‑Mandruss (talk) 19:45, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
What I said appears to be in concurrence or reenforcing what BenRG said, not contradicting it. You are only accessing/fetching pages from, that's what both of us said. But obviously needs to have (tried to) fetch/access the page at, otherwise they would have nothing to show you (they'd just say the page wasn't in their archive). can't fetch/access a page from, they fetch it from to archive it. (Well technically they could archive an archive, but there's no reason to do that.)

As BenRG said below, they tried 11 times in the day (well 14 now). got a 302 response most of those times, and they inform you of this with the page you see. After a few seconds, shows you their archive of the page the 302 redirected them to (I don't think it's always the same time but it appears to be here) which in this case is a 302 redirect itself.

3 of the 11 (not sure the 14) times they apparently didn't get a 302 response at all, and archived the page successful. The page you see in those cases is's copy of the page which they fetched/access from the URL. To be clear, the page you are seeing, as with the 302 redirects is very likely coming entirely from, but it was fetched from the URL by

(In the case of the 302 redirects, they got a 302 response when trying to access the page, and the page they're showing you is an information page they're constructed to tell you what happened. Also to avoid confusion, the nature of HTML means it's possible some stuff came from outside as the HTML file and CSS and other files it references may have told them to fetch stuff from there. Further, aren't intended to be an anonymising or security proxy and may have bugs, so it's possible in certain scenarios your browser may fetch content from somewhere other than However this isn't significant here.)

As for the 3 working copies, well I got ?lucky with one of them which was what made me realise some worked. In particular, after the first time I got in the redirect chain, I wanted to try again but I couldn't get back to the original page with the 11 copies. So instead of starting from's main page, I tried accessing the page using the URL bar visible on an archive. This redirected me to a working copy. I believe this was probably just an accident, although it's possible the URL bar at the top sends you to a version that wasn't a 302 redirect if one exists. Either way, after finding the first working copy, I opened all 11 pages in seperate tabs and then looked for any working copies. It's easy to find the time for these versions from the URL.

Nil Einne (talk) 12:46, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

The URLs were fetched earlier in the day by (before you requested them). It got a 302 response at that time, and archived that response. When you asked for the URL, it used the archived response. The same goes for the next 10 URLs in the redirect chain.
If you want to archive web pages on demand, try WebCite. See Wikipedia:Using WebCite. -- BenRG (talk) 03:19, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

October 19[edit]

Getting the "right" IP (geolocationally wise) without a VPN service[edit]

How can I pass as a US user (for services like and and some youtube videos) without a paid VPN service (nor an open proxy). Is Tor or some DNS thing an option to this? And if a paid VPN is the best option, will any website know that I am accessing them through a VPN?

Tor bounces your connections all around, continuously changing your IP, so that's out. DNS "tricks" are mostly for clients, not servers. A VPN or other proxy server can make your IP address on the Internet appear to be the same as that servers. Some proxy services also forward along your real address, some do not. VPN providers almost never forward your true address. Proxy/VPN providers typically get blacklisted on large media services, so even though your geo-location would be right, they could still deny your access. — xaosflux Talk 05:06, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Actually you can specify that you want your exitnode to be in a specific geographical location with Tor. See [4] [5]. However I wouldn't recommend Tor because 1) It probably doesn't provide the bandwidth for streaming services to give a satisfactory experiences 2) The Tor exit nodes are published and can easily be blocked. Note that many commercial and free services designed for bypassing such geoblocks rely on the fact that frequently the geolocking happens only on the front end and the CDN serving the content doesn't actually attempt to geolock. This both reduces the bandwidth the service needs, and also tends to result in better performance for you. Nil Einne (talk) 12:32, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Getting rid of Delta Search in Firefox[edit]

My browser, Firefox, got infected with that annoying Delta Search thing. What's the easiest way to get rid of it? I searched the Archives because I assumed this question had been asked before but I could only get info for Chrome, not Firefox. Thanks. Contact Basemetal here 02:00, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

PS: Btw is it possible that I infected my browser while updating Java? Is it possible that to make a few cents Oracle bundles this with the Java update? Seems hard to believe and yet I have a faint recollection that as I was typing next, next, next w/o paying attention to what was actually checked that I was "agreeing" to there was a line with "Delta search" among the options that were pre-checked. Plus that's the only thing I installed yesterday. Contact Basemetal here 02:00, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Supposedly, this looks like their instructions for removing it. No clue personally whether this'd just lead you further down their rabbit-hole. There's also a Firefox support thread on the topic, you could try the various suggestions they have: (talk) 02:13, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Oracle bundles the toolbar with their Java updates. I can't find evidence that they bundle Delta Search. Did you download your Java update directly from or If you downloaded it from a third-party site, it might have been wrapped with a third-party malware installer. ( does that. Don't use If you got a popup saying that you should update Java and followed its instructions, it was probably a fraudulent ad that had nothing to do with your real Java installation. -- BenRG (talk) 03:41, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
You might do well to dump Java at the same time.--Shantavira|feed me 08:08, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm considering it. But how would removing Java cripple my browser? No applet will work anymore, right? Is there a way to disable the browser's use of Java w/o actually deleting Java? (In a security setting for example?) And is there then a way to reenable it on a case by case basis, that is when I think (possibly incorrectly of course) it is safe to taking the risk to run one or the other applet? Contact Basemetal here 14:39, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your help. Regarding Java another question: The Java that we're talking about is the Java virtual machine, correct? Does it mean that if I get myself a Java compiler I can actually write code that will compile to bytecode that will run on that engine? Contact Basemetal here 14:39, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Silent data corruption of video files[edit]

I've had an incident affecting my collection of photographs and videos that worries me, and that I hope someone here is able to help me understand. I had five videos (.3gp format) recorded on an HTC phone (HTC Incredible S S710e) bought January 2012. The videos were recorded May 2012. I recently discovered they were corrupt. Jpegs in the same directory appeared to be ok. Two other videos recorded with the same phone a couple of months later, which were stored in a different directory, were ok. Below (collapsed) is a summary of the troubleshooting I've done so far.

Working hypothesis: The troubleshooting clearly shows that this is not a case of random data corruption caused by faulty disks or cosmic rays, and I find it very unlikely that it is caused intentionally by malware. I probably at some point in time, have accessed the files with a program installed on my PC which silently modifies both their metadata and the way video and audio chunks are laid out in video files. My top suspect was XnView, which I use a lot. However, I've tried to reproduce the problem with XnView, but my currently installed version does not modify the files it accesses in its file explorer. Other candidates are Windows itself, with its image and video display functionality. I've tried accessing the files with the windows 7 image viewer and the windows Xp viewer (from a virtual machine), without being able to reproduce the problem. I suspect that the uuid referred to in the details of the troubleshooting, faf5bdd5-ba3d-11da-ad31-d33d75182f1b identifies the culprit. A web search for the uuid leads to various images, but does not appear to be strongly associated with reports of data corruption. I have not been able to identify the program associated with the uuid, a search at returns no results for {faf5bdd5-ba3d-11da-ad31-d33d75182f1b}. I have used regedit to search for the uuid in my Win 7 installation, and in the Xp virtual machine, with no hits. This does not exclude that it is a previous version of a currently installed program.

And that's where I am right now. The incident certainly feeds my paranoia. If I had known the reason, I would have been in a position to eliminate the problem.

Suggestions on how to proceed to reach an accurate diagnosis of the cause of the data corruption would be highly appreciated. I believe I have mentioned the possible suspects, but should add that I use Adobe Lightroom and Exiftool a lot, and previously used jhead and a Canon program for adjusting white balance etc of raw files.

In particular, it would be helpful if someone could find out what program the uuid faf5bdd5-ba3d-11da-ad31-d33d75182f1b is associated with.

Thank you in advance!

--NorwegianBlue talk 11:43, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

I was able to reproduce this by opening the properties of a JPEG image in Explorer, going to the Details tab, and altering information there (for example, adding a tag or a star rating). This adds EXIF data to the image itself, and the UUID faf5bdd5-ba3d-11da-ad31-d33d75182f1b appears in the data that it adds. -- BenRG (talk) 01:39, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! I'll try tonight if the same procedure corrupts the videos. I often access the Details tab for checking things, but rarely modify the EXIF data from there. But your experiment shows that Windows itself is making the changes, probably via calls from other applications. This was very helpful! --NorwegianBlue talk 04:54, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I can confirm that modifying the EXIF data of the video files from the Details tab indeed caused corruption of the .3gp video files, with very similar changes in the EXIF data to those I described in the details of the troubleshooting above. I then used ffmpeg and moved the data to an mp4 container:
 ffmpeg -i VIDEO.3gp -vcodec copy -acodec copy VIDEO.mp4
and again modified the EXIF data from the Details tab. This time, the file was still fully functional. All I need to do now, is to move the small number of .3gp files that I have to .mp4 containers, and the problem is solved. Thanks, BenRG, for giving me peace of mind! --NorwegianBlue talk 21:45, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Windows Server 2008 R2 with licence key from original[edit]

Would an unused valid licence key for Windows Server 2008 work to activate 2008 R2? I know I can try it and see, but I'd rather not spend my download quota and hours of setup time for nothing. Thanks! (talk) 12:59, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

No; they are different operating systems and require different registration keys. --  Gadget850 talk 16:37, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

How are spammers actually paid?[edit]

My interest here is basically how the employees of spammers actually get compensated and have their performance measured, though data on the front-office end wouldn't be taken amiss.

Specifically, I was thinking of a thought (or perhaps literal) experiment: suppose for example you started a wiki that was poorly-watched and would have a hard time dealing with all the spam. But you post a notice that you've divided your site into two sections: articles /s/wiki (spam-enabled) that do not have nofollow set, where people will not monitor for spam, which are refreshed on a very slow and predictable schedule from your /d/wiki (spam-disabled) section, which has nofollow set, which is what the users actually edit and read. Now if the spammer gets paid for how many spam links he adds, and/or how long they last, and/or how they affect search rankings, then he should post to /s/ daily. But if the spammer is paid according to the number of actual hits received from his links, then he'll still post to /d/ where the readers are. Which would happen in practice? Wnt (talk) 18:34, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

October 20[edit]

i386 Windows application compatibility across platforms[edit]

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

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

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

Place to buy old PCs?[edit]

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

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

Firefox dejo de reproducir videos en vivo de[edit]

Hola, Firefox dejo de reproducir videos en vivo de

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

Alguien sabe como solucionar este problema?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Microsoft Word Security Notice[edit]

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

All the files it shows are legitimate.

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

This is a security feature of Office. Microsoft has an article on how to disable this.[6] --  Gadget850 talk 17:35, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Microsoft Office 2013 installation[edit]

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

You can download it from Microsoft.[7] You probably want the option "My copy of Office came with a disk." --  Gadget850 talk 17:19, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Commodore 64 demos[edit]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 21[edit]

ProBoards page numbers[edit]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GRUB trusted boot[edit]

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

trust /boot/boot.key
set check_signatures=enforce

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

Yosemite default font[edit]

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

There's a way to change it with Tinker Tool on the development builds. Not sure the same would work with the public release. Dismas|(talk) 07:23, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
For Thunderbird see here [8]. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:07, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

VLC and image stabilization[edit]

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

Use VLC myself and as far as I'm aware it is purely for playback not editing of the footage, sorry can't point you at any editing alternatives maybe someone else can Sirrob01 (talk) 04:25, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Adobe After Effects can do automatic image stabilization. (talk) 09:26, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Have you considered, for subsequent shoots, trying to stabilize the tripod? Google (or your favourite engine) searches for tripod steadyicam and tripod video dampening seem interesting, including this one which suggests using speaker/turntable spikes and a large weight. CS Miller (talk) 09:43, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
In case anyone isn't aware, digital stabilization is getting really good, and can be used to make cool stuff where physical stabilization wouldn't help much (e.g. motorcycle helmet cams, etc). Anyway, this subreddit has some tutorial info on the side bar, and occasionally some interesting clips [9]. Here's a tutorial that seems to only use open source tools [10]. I agree with the above that VNC is probably not the appropriate tool for this. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:13, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I had nowhere to put a tripod. Thanks for the tips. VLC can at least easily cut out the unwanted parts of a video. PumpkinSky talk 20:33, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
The last few times I've uploaded videos to youtube, it has offered to stabilize my videos for me. I have always declined so can't say how good it is, (at least one person thinks it's awesome) so it might be worth a try, particluarly considering it is free. Might however not be particularly viable if you have a particularly large video file that you want to leave in high quality.Vespine (talk) 00:13, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

October 22[edit]

Downloading Drug Data into MS Excel[edit]

Dear Wikipedia-

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

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

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

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

hey were u come from[edit]

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

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

a park in Moscow[edit]

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

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

Master System or NES?[edit]

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

"The reference desk is not a chatroom. We don't answer requests for opinions, predictions or debate." Perhaps you could try a gaming forum. (talk) 20:32, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
in terms of enjoyment over time, take a look at List of Master System games and List of Nintendo Entertainment System games. Master System had 318 games, whereas the Famicom had 709 licenced games, so based on the amount of games alone (i.e. no regard to quality of the games or other factors), the NES appears to be superior. Beyond that, the IP above is correct in saying that we don't give suggestions like that. Cheers, ~Helicopter Llama~ 21:24, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
We can give references to opinions. According to, these games are the most enjoyable. Also, here's a list of video game emulators and a a look at Nintendo thumb. Something to consider. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:09, October 22, 2014 (UTC)

October 23[edit]

AT&T behavior[edit]

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


October 19[edit]

types of the cells[edit]

Is it correct to say that the body cells be catalogued according to the tissues? (talk) 00:09, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

See List of distinct cell types in the adult human body. --Jayron32 00:12, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
You can catalog them however you like, but by tissue type certainly seems like an obvious choice. StuRat (talk) 00:13, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
You might also be interested in some of the info at histology. SemanticMantis (talk) 13:41, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Why Do Sugary Foods Cause Instant Discomfort in Teeth with Cavities?[edit]

I have a set of cavities in my back teeth, as soon as I eat sugary foods, they hurt. I understand why sugar causes cavities, I understand how chewing (or irritants, like hot sauce) can cause pain, but I don't see why a piece of candy should cause instant discomfort. My understanding is that bacteria consuming sugar generates acid, but I would assume that that does not happen immediately - and I only experience discomfort in my cavities, not in healthy teeth. --I am not asking for medical advice, the solution is to have the dentist fill them; I'm just curious about what is happening since it doesn't make much sense to me. Thank you for any help:-)Phoenixia1177 (talk) 01:50, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

While we can't give medical advise, there is quite a bit of literature on the internet about this including in our own dentin hypersensitivity article. Dismas|(talk) 02:19, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
When I looked for an answer, dentin sensitivity is what I came across, but I don't understand why sugar causes pain (and only in those specific teeth) - sugar isn't an irritant, so I don't understand what it is that causes the pain. If I rub sugar on a cut, it won't hurt, so why should sugar cause pain in that case, what is it actually doing? Thank you for the reply - I definitely don't want advice, I only include my experience because that is how I'm aware of it, I don't imagine anyone can tell me anything besides "see a dentist" anyway. Thank you for assuming good faith, and for your response:-)Phoenixia1177 (talk) 02:34, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't think it's just teeth with cavities. Pecan pie does something like that to my teeth, and they are cavity free. I think it has to do with high-fructose corn syrup, not normal sugar. StuRat (talk) 02:44, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
I believe that high-fructose corn syrup is very much an American thing, much less common in other parts of the world. Sugar sensitivity in teeth is a world wide phenomenon. HiLo48 (talk) 03:02, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
I've read that that can be the case for some people, but in my case, it is only teeth with cavities (I got bored and rubbed various substances on my teeth earlier, one row has cavities, one does not, only the row with cavities hurt from sugary substances).Phoenixia1177 (talk) 02:48, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
This paper seems informative and relevant, but I'm not interested enough to read it thoroughly. I could be wrong. Maybe you'd like to try? Also keep in mind that sugary food contains far more than just sugar. Don't immediately blame the likely suspect. InedibleHulk (talk) 14:20, October 19, 2014 (UTC)

When you have sensitive teeth there are microscopic channels between the tooth surface and the nerve endings. It would appear from our own article and the paper linked above that sugar causes osmotic changes in the channels that are interpreted as pain. And from my own OR you tend to get sensitive teeth as you get older due to wearing away of the enamel and gum recession exposing the more sensitive areas. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth works by temporarily blocking these channels. I just wish someone would come up with a varnish that permanently coats your teeth and cures the problem. Richerman (talk) 14:47, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

It's not permanent, but see dental sealant. Matt Deres (talk) 16:53, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
That seems to be mainly for sealing fissures in the biting surfaces of back teeth. I was thinking of something that you could paint over all the teeth to cure the problem - even if it had to be renewed every so often it would be an improvement, but of course on the front teeth it would have to look ok as well. I'm sure if it was that easy someone would have come up with it by now. Richerman (talk) 17:14, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
I have some personal skepticism that such things are really needed since where I've had recessions they seem to lose sensitivity gradually on their own. I looked up "self-resolving" and found things like this that tend to back up that perception, though I didn't look into it properly. I can't help but think that if such an elaborate network of channels exists, and sensitivity routinely arises, there must be a reason for it. Wnt (talk) 22:02, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

I need information about a cross -pollinated fruit named a "brugnon" .[edit]

French: brugnon
English: nectarine
French: nectarine
English: nectarine

I was told that: 1) it was a cross-pollination between a plum and a peach. 2) This was accomplished by french scientists; hence it's name "brugnon". 3)It has also been called a "White Nectarine". Any information to corroborate or refute this report would be very helpful. Thank you. (talk) 02:49, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Google "brugnon" and some things turn up. The first was this article in the French Wikipedia, if that's any help:[11]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:16, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Ah-ha! This looks like a job for someone well versed in both French and Botany. Until that person shows up, you'll have to settle for what I've been able to find out.
The short answer is that brugnon is the French word for a kind of nectarine.
OK, longer version: there are lots of varieties of peach (Prunus persica): different coloured skin, different coloured flesh, some with a rough stone and so on. It's like dogs: they come in all shapes and sizes, but they are still the same species.
One group of the varieties of peach are smooth-skinned, without the "peach fuzz".
  • In English, a non-fuzzy variety of peach is called a nectarine (Prunus persica var. nucipersica)
  • In French, a non-fuzzy variety of peach is called
- a nectarine, if the flesh doesn't strongly adhere to the stone (Prunus persica var. nucipersica again)
- a brugnon, if the flesh does strongly adhere to the stone (Prunus persica var. nucipersica and again)
I got most of that info about it in this article from L'Express (France). In French the title is Pêches, nectarines, brugnons: les confondre c'est pêcher! (Peaches, nectarines, brugnons: the confusion that is peaches [generically speaking]!) Google translates this as "Peaches, nectarines, nectarines: confused is fishing!", translating brugnons as "nectarines". The idea that nectarines are the result of a cross between plums and peaches is also addressed in the article: "On dit souvent que les nectarines et les brugnons seraient le fruit d'un croisement entre un prunier et un pêcher. Eh bien non, c'est faux!" (It is sometimes said that nectarines and brugnons were the result of a cross between plums and peaches. Hell no!)
I'll be back to add some pictures after this brief commercial break (ie: once I figure out how the wiki-code for them works.)
Peter in Australia aka --Shirt58 (talk) 08:26, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Caveat: I have never studied French and I am not a Botanist. But I am a lawyer, and it's our job to know everything about everything. Or at least try and convince people that we do.
Note that the distinction can be made in English by calling them "freestone nectarines" (just "nectarines" in French) and "clingstone nectarines" ("brugnons" in French): [12]. There's also a “semi-freestone nectarine", but I don't know what the French call that. StuRat (talk) 17:19, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
I realise that the two varieties are the result of different hybridisations, but is there a significant difference in flavour. I think I've probably eaten both without appreciating that there was a difference. Does one have a firmer, whiter flesh, or is that just a difference in ripeness? Dbfirs 19:21, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
A difference of flavor for "whiter" suggests the idea of white vs yellow noted at Peach#Description. DMacks (talk) 05:11, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, it seems that they are all just varieties of peaches, not crosses at all. Dbfirs 11:39, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
  • See also Nectaplum, Peacotum, Plumcot, Apriplum, Pluot, or Aprium etc. Given the endless varieties of hybridization, and the fact that the names are of often trademarked, deciding whether brugnon is an exact translation of any of these, though, may well be a hopeless exercise. Abecedare (talk) 19:33, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Teh face-palm. So while these somewhat obscure hybrids have stand-alone pages, the English language Wikipedia article Peach is a mix of two commercially and culinary distinguished things. That's like having one article called "Labrador Retriever" about the Labrador Retriever and the Golden Retriever on the basis that a Golden Retriever is just a long-haired version of the Labrador. --Shirt58 (talk) 10:34, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
  • The word pêcher does mean "to fish", but it also refers to the peach tree itself. Compare pommier, "appple tree". μηδείς (talk) 03:27, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks μηδείς. I was aware of the G-Trans fuddle thanks to pesca/pesce in italiano, but didn't know about the suffix. So does "Ferrier" mean "iron-tree"? Face-smile.svg --Shirt58 (talk) 11:00, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Here's a neat graphic, not quite what you're looking for but... Wnt (talk) 20:05, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
And credit to User:Shirt58 as I missed prunier in the quote above. In Spanish the difference between the fruit and the tree is like Italian, apparently, manzana = apple, manzano = apple tree, while manzanar = apple orchard. μηδείς (talk) 23:49, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Are small bodies (<C/2013 A1 size) less likely to be active comets than 1-3 km stuff? How does this vary with distance?[edit]

You might think so, a small enough comet would be used up in only one orbit and become an asteroid, while Halley has been spectacular for dozens of orbits. There's a power law with size in the Oort Cloud, though. Much more small comets there. Also, porous comet dirt material is probably a very good insulator. Once all the vaporizable matter is gone, there might be perfectly good ice left inside where the heat can't reach before the surface gets cold again. This would mean that for enough size the amount of comet fuel available isn't width cubed but approaches width squared. L And large, not tiny, comets are more liable to be torn apart if they get close to a major body. I don't know what the sum of all these effects is.

As for the second question, there are few known asteroids close to the Sun or between Jupiter Trojans and the Kuiper belt. Comets predominate there (even if not active). How much of this is observation bias? (Venus to Mars asteroids pass close (<.4 AU) to Earth eventually, some very close. Mercury-huggers never would, and share the inferior planet's observation difficulties. A 20,000 years comet only gets recorded close to Earth if it's lucky. The closer a comet is to the Sun, the brighter it is, it brightens more than an inert reflector.)

Can comets be arbitrarily small? Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 05:35, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

I advise you to read Comet, which gets into some good detail on the nature of those critters. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:25, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Is all so-called mental illness just anxiety?[edit]

Has anyone ever suggested that all diagnoses of mental illness (be it schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, the once popular multiple personality disorder...) are all just anxiety and, in the end, pretty much the same thing? What I'm asking/trying to ask is probably very unclear, so if that's the case, please let me know and I'll try to clarify whatever needs to be clarified. Thanks. --Schweinchen (talk) 13:37, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

This is very roughly what the practitioners of Dianetics claim. I'm unaware of any serious scientist or doctor outside the Church of Scientology accepting that the theory has any validity. Mogism (talk) 13:41, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Probably been said. But if you compare the official diagnostic criteria, it's not hard to see some differences. You don't need to be delusional to get a depression label, and if you're constantly worried about your self, you're not disassociated from it. InedibleHulk (talk) 13:46, October 19, 2014 (UTC)
There are different syndromes like OCD which causes almost tic-like behaviors, PTSD that might cause night terrors, or schizophrenia which may cause paranoia and delusions. These are quite clearly distinguishable. Different drugs related to things like dopamine and serotonin are used to treat them when possible. Anxiety is more of a symptom that while it can occur on its own General anxiety disorder may also accompany other disorders the way any sense of being out of control might. But just as we wouldn't say that pancreatic cancer and pregnancy are the same thing because they both are often accompanied by diabetes, we wouldn't say all mental illness is just anxiety. μηδείς (talk) 16:44, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Oddly enough, if you're on pills for anything and these pills cause night terrors, you are ineligible for "night terror disorder". Same goes if the terror is caused by an actual medical condition. If your doctor finds you don't have a medical condition causing it, you do get medicine. You don't even need to take their drugs to feel anxious about drug companies. An awareness is often enough. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:59, October 19, 2014 (UTC)
What do you mean by, "and these pills cause night terrors"? Are you implying that certain medicines cause night terrors? μηδείς (talk) 23:25, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
The DSM implied it with their criterion that "the disturbance is not due to the effects of a substance". I'm just furthering the implication. Venlafaxine (Effexor) seems to play some terrifying tricks, if Google's any indication. Other SSRIs, too. A catch-all euphemism for the effect is "abnormal dreams". InedibleHulk (talk) 15:29, October 21, 2014 (UTC)

There are scientists who deny the existence of mental illness, see here:

"But now the DCP has transformed the debate about diagnosis by claiming that it is not only unscientific but unhelpful and unnecessary. "Strange though it may sound, you do not need a diagnosis to treat people with mental health problems," said Dr Lucy Johnstone, a consultant clinical psychologist who helped to draw up the DCP's statement.

"We are not denying that these people are very distressed and in need of help. However, there is no evidence that these experiences are best understood as illnesses with biological causes. On the contrary, there is now overwhelming evidence that people break down as a result of a complex mix of social and psychological circumstances – bereavement and loss, poverty and discrimination, trauma and abuse."" Count Iblis (talk) 18:08, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Yes, there are also libertarians who claim mental illness is a government plot. Thomas Szasz. The fact that certain treatments are hit and miss hardly indicates the irreality of mental illness. Such things have been (1) known since antiquity and (2) can often be induced pharmacologically. So long as we define mental illness as a dis-ease that has to do with the mind, I am not sure what denying its existence accomplishes. μηδείς (talk) 23:55, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
DCP=Division of Clinical Psychology the largest division of the British Psychological Society. See also Psychiatry#Mental illness myth Richard-of-Earth (talk) 19:27, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Better if the OP asked: is whatever causes anxiety causing all mental disorders? It would be a bit of a Holy Grail of the mental heath field to find a single source for all mental disorders. Sigmund Freud and anyone else who cares to guess at the structure of the mind will say it is a breakdown or inherent dysfunction in the structure that is the basic cause of insanity. I have heard such people referred to as "Structuralists", but of course clear terminology is hard to come by in a field where nobody seems to understand what they are studying. Structuralism (psychology) is a particular theory of consciousness and Personality psychology seems to be the area of study of mind structure independent of neurological structure and more broadly Mentalism (psychology). The more common approach ignores structure (biological, mental or otherwise) and just catalogs behavior, give names to conditions and from past experience (read trial and error) suggest best treatments. This is called behaviorism and it is how the field of medicine has worked in the past. Except in modern medicine medical diagnosis is done with biological tests and not just observation of symptoms. A common complaint I have heard is "I saw the psychiatrist, we talked for 15 minutes, he made a diagnosis and gave me a drug prescription". But to be fair if they find a way to do a biological test for a condition, it is no longer a psychological condition, but a neurological one.
But I suppose you could just sum it all up and say: isn't it all in your mind anyways? Richard-of-Earth (talk) 19:15, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
It's always Coca-Cola, in conjuction with Coca-Cola advertising. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:22, October 19, 2014 (UTC)
Seriously, though. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:28, October 19, 2014 (UTC)
There are doctors who have likewise denied the existence of allergies. And there are many (hopefully not doctors) who believe the earth is flat. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:27, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
It's not so much denying the phenomena exists, rather that they will say it's normal physiology and the fact that the patient suffers is because of secondary effects like anxiety. E.g. you could lead a normal life if you hear voices and let that go untreated. However, if everyone is told that this is not normal then that alone would make the persons who start to hear voices feel extremely uncomfortable. Count Iblis (talk) 22:29, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Some mental disorders are actually characterized by pathologically low levels of anxiety, in particular the manic phase of bipolar disorder, and psychopathy. Looie496 (talk) 13:58, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Parts of Psychotherapy will always claim cures for anything, as long as the "therapists" get payed for treating it. This is the same phenomena as in parts of Medicine and Pharmacy which promises you miracle cures (like healing homosexuality) and sells you anything (like Baculum) as long as someone believes in some healing effect. --Kharon (talk) 09:45, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

"Offset bandages" ?[edit]

1) Do bandages exist with a (presumably plastic) ring built in to offset the bandage from a small wound, to prevent it from sticking to the wound ?

2) If so, what are they called ?

3) Do we have an article on them ? StuRat (talk) 17:01, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

1) They make them for corns and calluses. Here is a site about them. They are made of foam.
2) No special name. Rings or pads.
3) Not that I can find, beyond a passing mention at Callus#Prevention. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 17:20, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
That's a good start, but seems to be self-adhesive foam or felt rings, while I had non-adhesive rings attached to an adhesive bandage in mind. I suppose those rings could be used in conjunction with a bandage, to keep germs off the wound. If they made self-adhesive rings with a piece of fabric covering the top of the opening, that would be even better. StuRat (talk) 18:14, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Consult your First Aid guide as to whether it's better to aerate a wound or to keep it covered with something. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 19:00, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
The method I described should do both. That is, bacteria would be kept out, and yet there would be a small air gap (hopefully antibiotics and the immune system could deal with the tiny amount of bacteria sealed in the air gap). StuRat (talk) 19:58, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
According to our article Adhesive bandage, "Some bandages have a thin, porous-polymer coating over the pad to keep it from sticking to the wound." In my experience, such bandages don't work as well as one would like in the "keep it from sticking to the wound" department, but they do work better than uncovered gauze pads. I don't really see how your "ring" idea would work; if the space between the bandage and the skin were fairly great, the bandage wouldn't be effective, and if it were small, the space would fill with blood and the fibers of the bandage would still get trapped in the clotted blood, causing stickage. Deor (talk) 21:04, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm assuming the bleeding will have stopped, or almost stopped, by the time the bandage is applied. StuRat (talk) 23:29, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Disclaimer: Every case is different. This is strictly personal experience and may not apply to you: Some time back I had a small sun-damage lesion removed, and I was advised to coat the area with Vaseline to keep it moist, rather than exposing it to the dry air. But you should consult your physician about current thinking on treatment of small wounds. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:20, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Why don't good bacteria become resistant to antibiotics?[edit]

Why don't good bacteria become resistant to antibiotics? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:53, 19 October 2014 (UTC) ==

Who says they don't? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 20:06, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Why don't non-oppressed people become resistant to oppressors? They aren't attacked. Same with "good" bacteria. No action, no reaction. Doesn't mean it's impossible to rile them up. But as long as they're with us, they have no reason to go against us. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:29, October 19, 2014 (UTC)
I disagree. Human bodies (and livestock) have both good and bad bacteria in them, and when we use antibiotics, they target both, so both should become resistant. StuRat (talk) 20:45, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Semantics, I guess, but I'd go with "immune" for the good guys. They're not really part of the struggle, so nothing to resist, just to ride out. They've usually had plenty of time to settle in, both in a particular body and humans in general, by the time we decide to poison the troublesome foreigners. And when that war is won, life goes back to normal. Normal for the bad guys is either killing or being killed, they don't have time to assimilate into a productive system. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:22, October 19, 2014 (UTC)
To make it maybe a bit clearer, imagine a town of ten thousand good people. When a hundred bad people show up and the mayor demands indiscriminate bombing, the odds are great that all the bad guys die about the time a hundredth of the good guys do. The only way the bad guys can survive to breed is being a special sort of mutant, while the good guys can either be special or just patient. After enough rounds, the dark side will have far more mutants, proportionally, and continually better chances of passing on the power to the kids. The good guys have all the time between battles to have ever more normal kids, who peacefully work on the gut farm, possibly never even meeting one of their own mutants. It'd be different if enough of us took antibiotics every day of our lives. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:10, October 19, 2014 (UTC)
Yes. they probably do, but we only notice harmful antibiotic resistant bacteria. If anyone would care to do a study, they could probably find some helpful antibiotic resistant bacteria. It would be good to know about them, as the right kind could be quite useful, say gut flora bacteria to replace those wiped out by a course of antibiotics. StuRat (talk) 20:33, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
  • One of the most common side effects of taking antibiotics is diarrhea. This implies good gut flora that would normally aid in the digestion of otherwise undigestible sugars, etc., have been affected. μηδείς (talk) 23:14, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
  • They do, though you need to keep in mind that, when it comes to beneficial bacteria, it all comes down to location, location, location. In the lower portion of your digestive tract, Bacteroides fragilis is a friendly bug, but if it gets into your bloodstream, say, you'll get sick. Other members of your gut flora, such as E. coli are similar in that regard. Matt Deres (talk) 01:07, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Massive shooting star[edit]

I just saw the largest shooting star I've been privileged to witness. It took place around an hour ago in the south of England. Is there a resource or an organisation I can use or talk to in order to determine that I didn't just hallucinate? P.S. This is not a medical question. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:32, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Not official by any means, but the UK Meteor Network seem to be chirping about a fireball over central and southern England this evening. – Juliancolton | Talk 20:47, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, perfect answer. Despite it not being a medical question, it still made the hairs on my arms stand up...! The Rambling Man (talk) 21:28, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Probably an Orionid [13]. Acroterion (talk) 21:29, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Acroterion. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:39, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
  • When one witnesses something like this it is hard to estimate the number of seconds that it was visible -due to the surprise. Hazard a guess. For how long was it visible to you? Your observation may help to narrow down the origin. Which direction was it traveling? (ie. Northwest to Southeast etc). Was it monochromatic white or did you see greens too? --Aspro (talk) 22:03, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
My guess after a quick reading the other reports. It was a low orbital satellite re-entering not a shooting star.--Aspro (talk) 22:21, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Why, User:Aspro, do you ask about greens? I saw a green fireball in the 1990's moving east-to-west just before sunset. μηδείς (talk) 23:16, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Neat. I wonder if infalling satellites work like a flame test in the lab. Maybe it was made out of copper ... niobium ... vanadium ... something. (I wouldn't guess what elements are most common for building satellites) Wnt (talk) 23:23, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
My father and I saw it as we were driving south along the NJ turnpike around 6-7pm-ish from NYC to the Philly area. The sun had only just set, and what we assumed was a meteor was a bright, apparently monochromatic green. I assumed from User:Aspro's comment there must be a chemical reason. μηδείς (talk) 23:44, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
The meteor article mentions that metoroids containing magnesium produce green meteors. Meteors get different colors depending on the composition of the meteoroid and the composition of the atmosphere which varies by altitude. (talk) 10:04, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
I will link & μηδείς together here. The colour could be the result of more than one reason. This is why reports are important. Monochromatic green (rather than "or did you see greens too?" {as per my previous quote} meaning it was it not monochomatic) could also be due to ionization of the atmosphere. So the report of a Monochromatic Green suggest to me (without any reference) that in this instance, this was not a chemical effect but that simply that of altitude rather than composition (see: and the atmosphere). At lower altitudes were rapid oxidation (combustion) can take place, and the elements will emit their bright and visible caricaturist spectrum. Will leave it to the two of you to decide, who was right right and who was wrong but I think it was a draw.--Aspro (talk) 19:42, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

I saw it too! (from the M25 motorway north of London) I had rather convinced myself that it must have been a firework, as Bonfire Night is approaching. Alansplodge (talk) 11:03, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

  • Thanks for your comments:
As Wnt questioned. It is a bit like a lab flame test. This is why, if you should see an awesome sight sight, one should switch mode and go into unemotional observation mode. In this mode one can mentally record what one's senses is actual observing, rather that get distracted by what one emotions are tell you your seeing. For instance, (and following on from the other above comments) artificial satellites are constructed from many different alloys. Some (like the aluminium frame) melt at low temperatures and being lighter will slow down faster that say an ion flux sensor made out of a lump of iron. Some sat's have lithium batteries... etc,. etc. It only take a sand size pies of comic dust to leave a less than a second streak called a shooting star. Yet an artificial satellite has kilos of copper conductors. Because of the different masses and melting points and masses of materials on de-obiting artificial satellite, they will tend to spread out along it trail and leave sparkles of different colours. This is more distinct to the human eye – as cameras are less sensitive. Second: Compass Direction. Most natural meteors enter our atmosphere on the ecliptic plane. Those that don't are probable from outside our solar system. So their path over the observer is important in narrowing down the possible origin. Third: Most shooting stars have a high relative velocity to that of the Earth. Hence, the appear and go in an instance. Orbital satellites re-entering, tend transverse the sky for longer. I did not want to spell all this out before hand until observations were in because spelling it out can lead to reporting False memory. I.e., reporting what they have been lead to think that have witnessed, rather than reporting what their eyes actual saw. A crowdsource of unadulterated eyewitness report could provide much useful information.Finally: It could have been an Orionid but this is where multiple reports can help to establish if the temporal event was probable coincidence. We will never know for sure unless we find a bit of it on Earth.--Aspro (talk) 18:51, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
It was almost certainly an Orionid, not a satellite or anything else. There was no colour in my observation, it lasted approximately two to three seconds, it was bright white and left a trail. From my position it moved from left to right looking approximately East. The Rambling Man (talk) 19:02, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Thank-you. That is three useful observations. (1) Two to three seconds. (2) Left to right looking east (so one can assume it was going north to south). (3) Monochromatic. We might never know without doubt what this fireball was but we can look for weakness in eye testimonies. Would you be gratuitous enough to be the guinea pig to show the value of cross examining eye witness reports. Not that I doubt your testimony to be true but just incase something has been missed that throws new light on understanding off what you most probably witnessed? Be reassured, other editors here will drop on me like a ton of hot brick if I err . So here goes... Question: what exactly were you doing in the hour before you saw this phenomena (to use a neutral term) ? Don't worry if you happened to have spent all afternoon in the pub drinking alcohol because the other editors will jump on me an nullify my response if I err. Simple asking: what where you doing in the last hour before you looked up! Then we can ask μηδείς what she was doing in the last hour and there 'might' just be some little but important difference that goes on to illuminate. I go to to this effort to get across the point that one should mental record and preferably writes down immediately everything! Anyway, that’s enough waffle out of me and over to you. --Aspro (talk) 20:46, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
r u sure thatll work if both parties can see i mean- ~Helicopter Llama~ 20:55, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Sure? The only thing I am sure about is death and taxes. Even then, if medical science could suddenly give me eternal life, I will eventual become rich enough, to afford financial advisers who can ensure that I don't have to pay any taxes at all (save for a cent here or there perhaps). --Aspro (talk) 22:41, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Chemistry - Dual Supercritical CO2 extraction?[edit]

Long-Chain Omega-3 FA's are extracted from Algae mainly by the the famous solvent Hexane. I don't know why but there is some criticism about this, and some manufactures started using other methods for extraction (It seems weird for me not to grind the Algae with some plant-based oil but that's for another discussion). Anyways, in this Vegan, Algae-based Omega-3 supplement ("Garden of Life - Minami VeganDHA Omega 3 Fish Oil, 60 Softgels", Available at Amazon for example), the manufacturer says it uses "Dual Supercritical CO2 extraction". Could someone please elaborate, in simple words what is this process and why is it allegedly safer than "Harsh solvents" (As said on the back of the package), such as Hexane (I guess), and others?

Thank you. Ben-Natan (talk) 22:11, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

If you compress carbon dioxide enough it becomes a supercritical fluid, with properties of a liquid and a gas. Generally speaking it is about as dense as the liquid form (roughly) but less viscous (I think). Because carbon dioxide is O = C = O, a linear molecule, it is effectively apolar, with no particular direction having most of the positive or negative charge. That makes it functionally much like hexane, which is H3C - CH2 - CH2 - CH2 - CH2 - CH3, also linear and therefore symmetrical about a central point. But when a product extracted with carbon dioxide is exposed to normal air, obviously, the liquid CO2 has to go away and come into equilibrium with the normal air. Whereas hexane might stick around and might have some health or at least flavor effects. Hexane is not tremendously terrible as organic solvents go, but it isn't really something encountered much in a natural diet. (See also Hexane-2,5-dione, though of course here we're talking about miniscule amounts) Oh, and the reason not to use vegetable oil is you'd be stuck with the vegetable oil afterward because (obviously) it doesn't evaporate. Whatever you use the omega-3 for it probably wouldn't sell as much with a heavy content of other fats. Wnt (talk) 22:16, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Wnt, Thank you for this detailed, and generous answer, You helped me very much!, I just have one little question to see I understand you properly: Is Molecular Apolarity differs from Covalent Apolarity? (The Covalent bonds at the formula above seems Polar to me, i.e from different elements, and yet you titled the molecule itself as Apolar). Ben-Natan (talk) 23:17, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
See chemical polarity. Usually the polarity of the molecule is most important. However, there are other factors that can be important, that I really don't understand well - for example, isolated mercury atoms and hexane are both nonpolar molecules, but they would not freely mix if put together. In general, if you look up the solubility of a compound, you won't find one number that you can deduce the behavior of every solvent from. Instead, you find empirical observations of how it does in various solvents. Usually you can make a good guess what the behavior in one will be from another, but apparently it isn't mathematically reliable. Wnt (talk) 04:28, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Our two most-relevant articles to the original question about the process are Supercritical carbon dioxide and Supercritical fluid extraction (though especially the second one seems more technical than we need here). Just for interest, here's a lead ref I found regarding solubility (experimental values and discussion of origins of them) of mercury metal in various solvents: Spencer, James N.; Voigt, Adolf F. (1968). "Thermodynamics of the solubility of mercury metal. III. Dimethylcyclohexanes and alcohols as solvents". J. Phys. Chem. 72 (6): 1913–1917. doi:10.1021/j100852a009.  DMacks (talk) 05:02, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

October 20[edit]

How text book problems are conceived[edit]

One question intrigues me and I do not find a satisfactory abswer .We all know that from early school years textbooks exam suggestion books study material engineering entrance end semester exams we get increasingly challenging problems in Mathematics ,physics chemistry.The problems are based on the theory presented in the text and/or its extension and/or derivation.It can never be made out who when and how conceived such a magnificiently comPlex Problem.He has a advanced level of thinking comParable ti a scientist. Expecting answers from the learned community.As an example consider Schaum series Vector Analysis. If real life author share their views and discusses the topic then it will be great. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:03, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Amazingly, most text books explain this sort of detail in the preface. The author will usually break the fourth wall, so to speak, and address the reader to explain why the book was written, how the book was written, and for whom the book is intended. The author will commonly explain the evolution of the book. In the specific case you cited, Murray R. Spiegel was the author; he developed his excellent series of advanced mathematics books from the lecture notes he used when he taught undergraduate courses at RPI. Nimur (talk) 18:56, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
A lot of school textbooks have teacher's editions] which may also help. (Go to their office hours, explain your curiosity and ask to look it over.) All's I can say is that when I tutor a student, I always work backwards from the answer. It's pretty much impossible to make complex, yet coherent questions otherwise. For example, if I want a Spanish answer that has the Se lo... construction in it, I start with the answer "se lo" and add a verb and then ask a question "Cuándo le mostró el profesor el problema al estudiante?" that would elicit "Se lo mostró la semana pasada." Same with math. Start with 33 and ask what number divided by 7 equals 33. If you start with, "What is 32/7 you are going to get monsters like 4.571428571428 and unless that's what you want (to demonstrate the repeating decimals of numbers divided by 7) it's a monster to deal with gradewise. μηδείς (talk) 22:29, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
My math teacher from last year went over this a bit during class one day. When writing a test she will start with the answer and work backwards. It was a calculus class. So she would just take the integral or differential of the answer to get to a problem for the test. Dismas|(talk) 05:16, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Occasionally I am a guest lecturer at a university and present a lecture to a class of twenty-year olds. I support my lecture with a couple of pages of type-written notes, ending with three exercises in the form of questions for the students to work through. The subject manager asked me to provide him with model answers to my three questions. I found it a useful and reinforcing activity to develop model answers. I think it would be a useful activity for teenagers studying math and science - as one optional exercise the teacher could ask for a question on the subject under study, and a model answer for the question. Marks awarded would be proportional to the degree of difficulty of the question, as well as to the correctness of the model answer. In this way, each student choosing the option would be grappling with a question of difficulty appropriate to their familiarity with the subject, and yet the question would not be intimidating because the students themselves have total control over the question. Dolphin (t) 06:17, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

World record for widest monocrystalline silicon crystal[edit]

What's the current world record for the widest monocrystalline silicon crystal ever grown? WinterWall (talk) 21:17, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Noone will do size world records with these. All production lines are build with unique machines that can only use the one size they are build for. See Wafer_(electronics)#Standard_wafer_sizes. --Kharon (talk) 02:16, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
450 mm ingots were being made more than five years ago. That's an aeon in the semiconductor industry. I was just wondering whether there's any improvements since then. WinterWall (talk) 12:45, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
450mm hasn't taken off and I'm not sure now if it ever will. Dmcq (talk) 19:38, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

October 21[edit]

Skeleton question[edit]

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

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

Natural immunity to Ebola[edit]

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

Unfortunately, no, not if what you mean is genetically inherited immunity. For example, there are certain Europeans who have an immunity to HIV because their immune cells lack a certain receptor that HIV needs to bind to in order to enter the cell. Those specific cells can't be infected, but they don't actively fight HIV or produce antibodies. What happens with the transfusion in the case of recently infected survivors, is that their antibodies mark the virus as a threat, and the infected host gets a head-start on his own body fighting the infection. But those who are genetically immune are immune because they lack a receptor or have an altered protein (sickle cell anemia) that prevents infection, not a genetically inherited antibody. μηδείς (talk) 19:19, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
As Medeis notes, the transfusion works in Ebola cases because it is a form of vaccination or inoculation; introducing the infectious agent in an attenuated form to induce the host to produce antibodies to fight the infection. People who have hereditary immunity could have it for a variety of reasons; one of them (as Medeis notes) could be that their cells are not susceptible to attack by the virus in the first place. --Jayron32 20:13, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Also note that it may not be possible to determine who has a hereditary immunity to ebola with current technology, other than by exposing them to see if they contract it. That's obviously unethical. StuRat (talk) 01:01, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Just to clarify Jayron's clarification of me; innoculation with particles of inactive virus may be one critical source of aid from transfusions from survivors. But their blood should also contain a large number of antibodies to various parts of the virus that would tell the immune cells of the infected patient; this here is evil, react to it, and enhance reactions to it. I would think that since pigs get sick from the virus, infecting a lot of pigs and fractioning out their antibodies might be a good stop=gap measure to help patients get a head start on fighting the disease. I have no sources for tis, nor have I read anything I can point to, other than the fact that pigs, but not cats and dogs do seem to get infected by the virus. μηδείς (talk) 01:43, 22 October 2014 (UTC) here we have a disease that requires you to suit up in order to avoid catching it, where bodily fluids and corpses of victims are highly infectious transporters of the virus...and you want to deliberately infect a large number of pigs with it? I think I see a teeny-tiny flaw in that plan! An alternative might be to note that 30% of infected people survive the disease - and the ratio of the number of survivors to the number of new victims is more or less constant (about 1/6th), even if the disease is basically incurable and spreads exponentially. So if antibody treatment does turn out to be the way to handle Ebola, it ought to be possible to take blood donations from survivors as they are released from hospital and use that as a source of antibodies - rather than resorting to unnecessarily infecting (and nursing back to health) a bunch of pigs. SteveBaker (talk) 16:26, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Are you implying the pigs will only volunteer if we promise to nurse them back to health? All we need is to harvest the blood and then fraction out the antibodies. Of course you're risking transmission of the live virus, other viruses, and allergic reaction to the pig antibodies. My speculation on this further would be of no value. μηδείς (talk) 18:32, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Good news, everyone! Just got back from the next Futurama episode, and in 1,000 years, we'll all be free from the common cold. Except for one little frozen pizza boy. Without the antibodies or knowledge, panic will spread quicker than in 2014 and whether Manhattan is doomed depends entirely on whether we can remember 1988 in science. InedibleHulk (talk) 02:17, October 22, 2014 (UTC)

Mushroom identification[edit]

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

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

October 22[edit]

Black holes in the sky during the day[edit]

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

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

You can't see a black hole. That's why they are black. You can only detect their effect on objects around them by looking at the effect of their gravity on nearby objects. If you look up in the night sky, you don't see any black holes anyways, even though there are many closer than the stars you see. V4641 Sagittarii is the closest (known) one to earth FWIW, but there may be some (or even many) closer than that, but they don't exist in environments that allow us to detect them. So the answer is "nothing interesting at all" because, what you see at night, when your best chance to see one, is "nothing at all" Even if you were closer to one, you still wouldn't see it. And if you got too close nasty stuff starts to happen. --Jayron32 01:46, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Most black holes either glow because they have accretion disks, or are simply black. If they are glowing from an accretion disk, like Cygnus X-1 they may be visible if very close. If black, they are only going to be visible when they occlude another heavenly body, or cause gravitational lensing. I don't believe we are aware of any black holes closer that several hundred light years, something like 30 Kessel runs. But that's me remembering junior high, when Scientific American published peer-review quality articles, and not pornographic POV-laden clickbait. The point is, during the day, the sky way up is still black and star-filled. We just don't notice because the daytime atmosphere is blue due to the way it scatters light: nearby glowing black holes, if they existed, would be invisible behind that until you got dozens of miles high. μηδείς (talk) 01:55, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't know that accretion discs are all that bright in the visible range, however. AFAIK, Cygnus X-1 is mostly bright in the X-ray region, and not so much in the visible region. --Jayron32 02:07, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I thought about mentioning that, but if it's close enough, as the OP is implying, and has a significant accretion disk, it will be visible in visible light as well. μηδείς (talk) 15:09, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but at those distances, other more dramatic effects than the dim glow of the accretion discs would be noticeable too. In one of those "you can't have your cake and eat it too" situations, you can't meet the OPs requirement: a black hole with a visible accretion disc, bright enough to be noticeable during the daytime, which has no other effect on the sun or earth. Such a black hole cannot possibly exist. If it's large enough and close enough to give off enough light during the day time, you can be damn sure you're going to notice the gravitational effects in a dramatic way. Which is basically the point made below by Mr. Schulz. --Jayron32 23:38, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I didn't say that more energy would be released as light rather than x-rays, I think there are standard curves for that sort of thing. A star-sized black hole in the Oort cloud or Kuiper Belt might very well have a bright enough accretion disk to see, at least when it flared, gobbling things up. But in that case the radiation would probably be much more dangerous than having our orbit directly perturbed.μηδείς (talk) 00:55, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
One way to think of it is that in the time just after sunrise or just before sunset, while the sky is still illuminated, you can sometimes see really bright objects, such as Venus. So for a given "glowing" version of a black hole to be visible at any point during the day, it would likely need to be as bright as Venus. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 02:09, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
By way of amplification: in fact you can see Venus in full daylight if it's in a position in its orbit where it's near maximum brightness and far enough from the Sun. You just have to know where to look, or else spot it by accident (which I have). -- (talk) 07:17, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

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

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

Effects of celestial bodies in close proximity[edit]

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

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

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

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


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

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

[copyvio removed]

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

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

October 23[edit]


October 14[edit]

October 17[edit]

Does a solution exist?[edit]

Firstly, not a homework question, I'm long past school age, I just dabble in mathematics recreationally. I'm playing around with something and I've narrowed it down to one problem, basically I need to find two integers a, b which are not equal such that a, b, \frac{a}{a+b}, \frac{b}{a+b} are all positive integers. I'm beginning to suspect that no solutions exist, but can anyone help me either find a solution, or show that there are none? Organics talk 11:14, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

If a and b are positive then a+b > a, so \frac a{a+b}<1 can not be a positive integer. Similar for b. --CiaPan (talk) 11:21, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
(ec) Well, \frac{a}{a+b} +  \frac{b}{a+b} = 1, so it's not possible for both terms to be positive integers. If you allow non-negative integers then the terms have to be 0 and 1 in some order, so a = 0, b = any positive integer (or vice versa) will work, and these are the only solutions. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 11:26, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
That seemed too easy. If you meant a, b, \frac{a+b}{a}, \frac{a+b}{b} then note that (a+b)/a = 1 + b/a, and (a+b)/b = 1 + a/b. If a ≠ b then either b/a or a/b will be below 1 and not an integer. PrimeHunter (talk) 11:34, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Is there a easy way to do this math?[edit]

PS:Nope, this is not homework, its for some musical thing I am doing.

Is there a easier way to do this math? Imagine this. Two drummers are drumming (at the same time) during one second. One at 1 bps and other at 1.5 bps. A stick will hit a drum at 2 points points of time, at 1 second, and at 2/3 of a second.

With that info, now imagine 3 drummers, one playing at 1.5 bps, the other at 1 bps, and the other at 2 bpm (the number we previously got). A stick will hit a drum 3 points of time, at half second, at 2/3 of a second and at 1 second.

With that info now imagine 4 drummers, one playing at 1 bps, the other playing at 1.5 bps, the third at 2 bps and the fourth at 3 bps (the number we previously got). A stick will hit a drum 4 points of time, at half second, at 1/3 of a second and at 2/3 of a second and at 1 second.

With that info now imagine 5 drummers, one playing at 1 bps, the other playing at 1.5 bps, the third at 2 bps and the fourth at 3 bps and another playing at 4 bps (the number we previously got). A stick will hit a drum 6 points of time, at half second, at 1/3 of a second and at 2/3 of a second and at 1 second 1/4 of a second and 3/4 of a second.

And this goes on.

Is there a easier way to do that, or some formula that continue this...?
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:12, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

I'm not following this. If a drummer is playing at 1 bpm (beats per minute), why would his stick hit the drum at 1 second in? Did you mean beats per second? OldTimeNESter (talk) 20:27, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Do what? You're not doing any math, just establishing facts. I'm not sure why you keep saying "the number we previously got". That number doesn't somehow follow from the previous scenario.-- (talk) 20:30, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
The 1.5 bps drummer doesn't really fit into the pattern of 1 bps, 2 bps, 3bps etc. Apart from that, the sequence of numbers that you are describing starting 1,2,4,6 is sequence A002088 at OEIS. For more information see our article on Farey sequences. Gandalf61 (talk) 11:49, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
I already tried wolfram alpha to find the results and already saw your oeis link. The number 1 and 1.5 are the first 2 numbers used to make the thing (to ge the number 2). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:06, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
So, how do 1 and 1.5 give 2? And again, what are you trying to do? Make a list of the rational numbers with denominator up to a given limit? —Tamfang (talk) 07:38, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
I think the n+1th drummer has a number of bps equal to the total number of drumbeats each second from the previous n drummers, where only a single beat is counted if two drummers hit their drum simultaneously (so the next in the sequence would be 1bps, 1.5bps, 2bps, 3bps, 4bps, 6bps). Not sure whether there is a good general form for the series, but this seems to be what the OP is getting at. MChesterMC (talk) 12:00, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Is the following proof of Goldbach Conjecture correct?[edit]

Keywords: π(*):= Odd Prime Counting Function and Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic (FTA) Goldbach conjecture states every positive even integer is the sum of two prime numbers. (We count one as prime in the sense of additive number theory outside of the FTA.)

Proof of Goldbach Conjecture:

Suppose there exists a positive even integer, e > 4, that is not the sum of two odd prime numbers or 1. e ≠ p + q

over S = {all odd prime numbers less than e} and where k = card(S) = π(e). Therefore, e ≠ p + q over S, (p,q є S) , implies the following system of equations over S, 1 = e - n1 * q1, 3 = e - n2 * q2, ..., pk = e - nk * qk, according to the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic where 1 < qj ≤ (nj * qj)^.5 ≤ nj for 1 ≤ j ≤ k where pj, qj є S and nj is a positive integer. Note: If qj = 1, then nj є S, or nj is an odd prime less than e.

Therefore, 2. Probability(e ≠ p + q over S) = ∏(j=1 to k→∞)[Probability (qj ≠ 1 | e - pj = nj * qj over S) * Probability (e - pj = nj * qj over S)]

= ∏(j=1 to k→∞)[(π((nj * qj)^.5) - 1)/π((nj * qj)^.5)] → 0 (This is an increasingly fast convergence for this almost everywhere monotonic non-increasing expression. This implies that the expected value of e ≠ p + q over S is practically zero, or E[e ≠ p + q over S] = e * Probability(e ≠ p + q over S) ≈ 0 for all e ≥ 100.)

Note: Probability (e - pj = nj * qj over S) = 1 for 1 ≤ j ≤ k.

In addition, empirical evidence has confirmed the validity of the conjecture for all positive even integers up to at least an order of 10^18. Therefore, we conclude the conjecture is true. Euler was right! Thank God! Praise God! --David Cole, — Preceding unsigned comment added by Primesdegold (talkcontribs) 20:04, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

You have a couple of misconceptions about the Goldbach Conjecture: first, we do not consider 1 to be prime for this purpose; second, we do not require the primes to be distinct. Those aren't the real problems with your argument, though.
As far as I can tell, you're putting a uniform distribution on the integers less than e and then assuming that m and e-m being prime are independent events. There's no reason to make that assumption.
You can find the same thinking in our Goldbach's Conjecture article under heuristic justification.-- (talk) 21:01, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) This is not a proof. You make arguments similar to Goldbach's conjecture#Heuristic justification. Such arguments can only show that if we make certain unproven assumptions that numbers behave sufficiently "randomly" and independently, then the chance of a large counter example is extremely small. We don't know whether the assumptions are correct and even if they are in som sense, each large untested number would still have a tiny chance of being a counter example. That chance would quickly approach 0 for e > 4×1018 (the current search limit), but it would never actually be 0. PrimeHunter (talk) 21:15, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
First, as PrimeHunter notes, a "proof" using heuristic arguments is not considered a proof. Goldbach's Conjecture is thought by most mathematicians to be almost certainly true, but there is the annoying possibility that it may be true but unprovable, an example of Gödel's incompleteness theorems. (If so, its unprovability is itself unprovable. It isn't like the Halting Problem, which was proved to be undecidable.) The same possibility was advanced with regards to Fermat's Last Conjecture until its proof by Wiles. The challenge is to find a formally valid proof of Goldbach's Conjecture, which may require branches of mathematics not in existence in Euler's time, as is the case with Wiles's proof of Fermat's Last Conjecture. Robert McClenon (talk) 15:29, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Any proof is probably beyond the scope of "classical" number theory. Otherwise Gauss would have found it if Euler didn't find it. Robert McClenon (talk) 15:45, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Please don't add wording to your proposed proof after their have been responses. It causes confusion because the replies may not appear to address the updated version of the proof. However, it doesn't change the original objections. A "proof" using heuristic arguments is not a rigorous proof, and only a rigorous proof is acceptable. Robert McClenon (talk) 18:19, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Is the following proof of Riemann Hypothesis correct?[edit]

Riemann Hypothesis states that the real part of all non-trivial zeros of the Riemann zeta function, or ζ(s) = Σ(k=1 to ∞) 1/k^s = 0, equals one-half. For the non-trivial zero, s, a complex number, we have s = a + bi where Re(s)= a = 1/2.

Proof of Riemann Hypothesis

Fact I: The real part of all non-trivial zeros of the Riemann zeta function are located in the critical strip, [0, 1], according to a Riemann Theorem.

Fact II: There are infinitely many non-trivial zeros of the Riemann zeta function whose real part equals one-half according to a Hardy Theorem.

Fact III: The sum of the complex conjugate pairs of non-trivial zeros, s = a + bi and s' = c + di where ζ(s) = Σ(k=1 to ∞) 1/k^s = 0 and ζ(s') = Σ(k=1 to ∞) 1/k^s' = 0, of the Riemann zeta function equals one according to the Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic and the Harmonic Series (H):(Note: Euler and others have proven that there exists an infinite set of primes in H. And that the divergence of H is a key reason for that result.)

H = Σ(k=1 to ∞) 1/k = Σ(k=1 to ∞) (1/k^s)(1/k^s') = Σ(k=1 to ∞) 1/k^(s+s') = ∝. Therefore, according to Facts I, II, and III, we have the following properties for all non-trivial zeros of the Riemann zeta function:

s + s' = 1 which implies a + c = 1 and b + d = 0 such that 0 ≤ a ≤ 1 and 0 ≤ c ≤ 1.

And of course, k^s = k^(a + bi) implies k^(s-bi) = k^a, and k^s' = k^(c + di) implies k^(s-di) = k^c.

Fact IV: For all k > 1, k is a positive integer, there exists a prime number, p, so that p|k such that p = k or p ≤ k^(1/2).

Therefore, according to Facts I, II, III, and IV, we have:

k^(1/2) ≤ k^a ≤ k, k^(1/2) ≤ k^c ≤ k, and a + c = 1.

Hence, k^a = k^c = k^(1/2) which implies a = c = 1/2. Riemann Hypothesis is true! Riemann was right! Thank God! Praise God!

Note the Importance of the Harmonic Series (H) with regards to prime numbers:

H = Σ(k=1 to ∞) 1/k = 2Σ(k=1 to ∞) [1/(2k) = 1/(q - p)] = ∝ where q > p, and p,q are odd prime numbers. H1 = 2( 1/(5-3) + 1/(11-7) + ...) = ∝; There is a infinite set, P1, of primes, p, generated from H1, and there is a infinite set, Q1, of primes, q, generated from H1. H2 = 2( 1/(7-5) + 1/(17-13) + ...) = ∝; There is a infinite set, Q2, of primes, q, generated from H2. H3 =2( 1/(13-11) + 1/(23-19) + ...) = ∝; There is a infinite set, Q3, of primes, q, generated from H3. ... H∞ = 2(...) = ∝; There is a infinite set (Q∞) of primes, q, generated from H∞. Therefore, the infinite set of all odd primes or ℙ\{2} = P1 ∪ Q1 ∪ Q2 ∪ Q3 ∪ ... ∪ Q∞. (Note: If we accept one as prime in the sense of additive number theory outside of FTA, this inclusion of 1 as a prime will change H1 through H∞, slightly. For example, H1 = 2( 1/(3-1) + 1/(11-7) + ...) = ∝, and H2 = 2( 1/(5-3) + 1/(17-13) + ...) = ∝, ...,H∞ = 2(...) = ∝ ; Thank God! Praise God!

Fact/Proposition: There are infinitely many more positive integers than there are prime numbers, or prime numbers have a zero density relative to the positive integers, and prime numbers generate the positive even integers efficiently so that gaps between two consecutive prime numbers increase without bound. Thank God! Praise God!

Fact/Proposition: π(e = mg = 1 + p2n) = 2π(g = 1 + pn)= 2n ∈2ℕ where π():=Prime Counting Function, p2n, pn ≥ 3 ∈ ℙ\{1,2}, and 2 < m ∈ ℚ ≤ 3. As g → ∞, m → 2. Thank God! Praise God! --David Cole,

 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Primesdegold (talkcontribs) 22:29, 17 October 2014 (UTC) 
My guess is that it is about as right as your proof of Goldbach's conjecture above. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 00:54, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't see what implies your 2nd to last line, I don't believe that anything does. If you wouldn't mind elaborating on your reasoning, we could through things a bit more thoroughly and see what is going on; at the moment, it just appears as jump. I'd love to discuss more if you're willing. Though, I do want to point out, while it can be rewarding to ponder over, and workout, our own notions about such problems, the odds that conjectures such as Goldbach and Riemann being solved in a few lines of elementary mathematics is, essentially, nil. If you would like to learn more about such questions, I can definitely recommend a few books and articles that would be of use. Best of luck - there is something captivating about these problems, to be sure:-) Phoenixia1177 (talk) 03:59, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Fact III is wrong. By itself this would trivially imply the Riemann hypothesis if true. I don't see what the harmonic series has to do with it, but to me it seems that you have assumed what you wanted to prove here. Sławomir Biały (talk) 12:21, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Despite recent incomprehensible attempts to clarify the role of the harmonic series in proving "fact" III, the claim that s+s'=1 follows from the divergence of the harmonic series remains a non-sequitur. Sławomir Biały (talk) 14:00, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

October 18[edit]

Norm identity for a normed *-algebra with B*-identity[edit]


I'm trying to show a claim for a normed *-algebra A that is not necessarily unital or commutative but is non-zero and satisfies the B*-identity: ||x^*x||=||x||^2\;\forall x \in A:

||x||=\sup_{||y||\leq 1}\left\{||xy||\right\} for all x\in A.

One direction is trivial; the required property of a normed *-algebra gives:

\sup_{||y||\leq 1}\left\{||xy||\right\}\leq \sup_{||y||\leq 1}\left\{||x||\cdot ||y||\right\}\leq ||x||

But I can't seem to do the other.


Neuroxic (talk) 14:32, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Are you allowed to use \|x\|=\|x^*\|? If so, try y=x^*/\|x\|. Then \|y\|=1 and \|xy\| = \|x\|, which gives the opposite inequality. Sławomir Biały (talk) 21:13, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, one can derive that that B* condition implies the involution is isometric. Many thanks!
Neuroxic (talk) 22:45, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

October 19[edit]

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

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

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

Real Analysis: Bounded Sequences[edit]

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

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

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

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

The theorem states there exists no integral (all positive integers) solutions for the equation,  

1. x^n+y^n=z^n for n > 2. I begin the proof by assuming there exists an integral (positive integer) solution to equation one for some n > 2. Equation one becomes with some algebraic manipulation, 2. x^n=z^n-y^n = (z^(n/2)+y^(n/2))*(z^(n/2)-y^(n/2)).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Any thoughts?

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

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

October 21[edit]

Importing equations and pictures from Word[edit]

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

The macro converter Word2WikiMedia doesn't help.

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

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

October 22[edit]

Optimal strategy for moving on a graph[edit]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can try a Branch and boundish approach.
Rough idea: Ignore, for the moment, the second option offered in every turn to jump to a vertex in the same equivalence class. Now, for any vertex in the set V_{20}=\{v:f(v)=20\}, the max score is clearly 20 (and the optimal strategy is to stay there). For any neighboring vertex v', the score is at least \max(f(v'),19). Similarly for the neighbor-of-the-neighbor etc. This will give you lower bounds on the score for each vertex pretty quickly. Similarly the upper bound for any vertex v is the maximum of f(v); the function evaluated for all of its first order neighbors minus 1; the function evaluated for all of its first order neighbors minus 2 etc (Note that you will get rougher, but usable bounds, even if you you use only the p-neighborhood for any vertex, with p<<35, the diameter of the graph)
Now you can introduce back the second option (perhaps introducing only one R_i at a time), and update these lower bound and upper bounds. May still require a few iterations to determine the true expected score for each vertex, but the bounds will help cull the non-productive branches in the decision tree. That culling should hopefully lead to a faster algorithm than the brute force aproach. Abecedare (talk) 21:35, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

October 23[edit]


October 18[edit]


I have just been watching a WW1 film about cavalry, and I was wondering, is there an army in the world which still uses troops mounted on horses? I know they were still used in WW2 (the German army actually had more horses than tanks, despite the image of Blitzkrieg that we have). When (if) were horses 'phased out' in western armies for front-line combat? To repeat my main question, does anyone still use them? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 05:36, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

This is one of those "proving a negative" type questions that's difficult to answer with certainty, but the answer is ALMOST certainly not. I know most about the Australian Light Horse. Regiments with the name still exist, but they became mechanised and did away with the last of their horses (apart from for ceremonial purposes) around the time of WWII. HiLo48 (talk) 07:06, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Household Cavalry, Royal Horse Artillery. The British army is supposed to have more horses than tanks or helicopters, and reputed to be the last army in the world that is trained to perform a full cavalry charge at the gallop. The Hyde Park bomb (1982) was the last time British cavalrymen died in full armour since the Battle of Waterloo. (talk) 07:37, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia has an article about everything - try Cavalry#Post–World War II to present day which cites several recent examples. A bit further up the page it says that the British Army has been fully mechanised since 1942 - (excluding ceremonial use referred to above); the last British horsed cavalry regiment was operating in the hills of Palestine I believe. Alansplodge (talk) 09:17, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Not only does the US army still use horses for operations in rough terrain, but a monument was recently erected at the WTC site to the special forces who fought on horseback in Afghanistan. Google is your friend. (talk) 09:19, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
That was the last time, according to Cracked. Also says the Russians later used their cavalry in the South Ossetia War. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:28, October 18, 2014 (UTC)
Although to qualify that a little, these are really mounted infantry rather than cavalry in the traditional sense, but they do qualify as "troops mounted on horses" mentioned in KageTora's original question. Alansplodge (talk) 09:57, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I purposefully didn't make a distinction between mounted infantry and actual cavalry. Thanks for the responses. Coincidentally, and quite bizarrely, the first answer mentioned the Australian Light Horse. That was actually the film I had been watching (bit of a B-movie, but anyway).
That's The Lighthorsemen (film) for those interested. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:41, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Until a few years ago the South African Army had a light infantry battalion (12 South African Infantry Battalion) that used a mix of horses and motorcycles for mobility. They were however mounted infantry rather than cavalry as they dismounted when in contact with the enemy and fought on foot. Although the battalion has been disbanded the mounted infantry capability has been retained in the form of the "SA Army Specialised Infantry Capability" unit which also provides and trains dogs and their handlers for the Army. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 08:01, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Historical name[edit]

What is the origin of the name of the city Manassas in the state of Virginia? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gayle clay (talkcontribs) 11:52, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

One mountain gap, where Interstate 66 crosses the Blue Ridge, bears an Indian name -- Manassas. A historical marker at the gap notes that it might have been named for "a local Jewish innkeeper" with the biblical name Manasseh. But there would have been no one to come to the inn when the name Manassas first appeared -- on surveyor John Warner's 1737 area map. The area was not settled until a decade later.
I tend to believe that the name Manassas relates to Massanutten Mountain, the prominent range of the Appalachians to the west, quite visible from Manassas Gap. Massanutten may, in an Indian language, mean peaked mountain, locally pronounced in two syllables, "peak-id."
Other Indian lore says Massanutten stands for three tops, as the mountain has three distinct summits; old field, a reference to former fields on its slopes; or basket, as the Fort Valley separating the mountain from the Blue Ridge might be construed as having a basket-like shape.
According to this guy. InedibleHulk (talk) 12:28, October 18, 2014 (UTC)
(ec) :This site has some background regarding the name, mostly towards the bottom of the page. In short, it's not known for certain, but the writer seems o think it's most likely a corruption of a local Indian name. But then there's this explanation as well, though I think the first reference is a better researched. We should probably update our article. Matt Deres (talk) 12:31, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
a map showing the Shenandoah Valley/Blue Ridge area of Virginia. Massanutten Mountain is the long ridge that lies between the two main forks of the Shenandoah. East of Massanutten (and the eastern of the two forks) lies the taller "Main Ridge" of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Manassas Gap, mentioned above, is the gap in the smaller Bull Run Mountains that lies much closer to Manassas, along the border of Prince William County and Fauquier County. The Bull Run Mountains (and that gap) serve as the origin of Bull Run, the creek that ends up at Manassas
I'm having a hard time swallowing the idea that Manassas is named for Massanutten; whether they share a coincidental linguistic connection is one thing (and I'm not even sure of that), but other than both being in Virginia, I'm not entirely sure one can see much of Massanutten Mountain all the way from Manassas. Massanutten Mountain is an impressively long mountain, running about 50 miles from north to south. However, Manassas is some 50 miles east of it; and there's several ridges between Manassas and Masanutten itself, notably the Bull Run Mountains (closest to Manassas) and the main ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, behind which Massanutten lies. You can see on the map I linked. One may be able to make out the very northern end of Massanutten through some of the gaps of the closer ridges, but it wouldn't be the most striking geographic feature from Manassas. Seems like a folk etymology to me, no better than the (obviously wrong) Jewish innkeeper story. --Jayron32 00:41, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Funnily enough, Manasseh's meaning is forgetting. InedibleHulk (talk) 12:32, October 18, 2014 (UTC)

Did segregation in the 1950s America affect Asian-Americans and Asian immigrants?[edit]

Did racial segregation in the 1950s of America affect Asian-Americans and then-recent Asian immigrants? If so, in what ways? Did Asian-Americans and Asian immigrants have to use the "colored" restrictions too? (talk) 16:03, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

No, they had their own separate problems. Here's a timeline. Should give you some ideas. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:17, October 18, 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) This is covered in detail at Definitions of whiteness in the United States. See also Lum v. Rice and United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind, which in 1927 and 1923 respectively enshrined in law that "non-white"="black" for segregation purposes. Mogism (talk) 16:18, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
History of Asian Americans can give you a broader scope. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:18, October 18, 2014 (UTC)

"Poor people (in 1st world countries) are poor because they are not aspirational"[edit]

Is this statement true? I read a blocked sockpuppet say "In first world countries such as the USA, UK, Australia, Germany, etc, we generally have well funded schools, support networks, and public support for colleges and further education with loans and grants. So really there should be no excuse for people not to succeed unless they are lazy, inspirational or terrible at making life choices." Is this a valid argument? What about "When we see a 45 year old man working at the Telcos/Walmart check out counter for the past 15 years, he failed at life"? In 1st world countries, should money not be a barrier? InedibleHulk (talk) 20:29, October 18, 2014 (UTC)

At least in the US, many of those things are lacking for the poor. For example, local funding of school districts ensures that schools in poor areas are perpetually underfunded, since those communities lack the resources to pay for their own schools. StuRat (talk) 16:43, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
If everyone "succeeded", nobody would be left to work. If you see anyone at WalMart, be glad they're serving you. There's only so much money to go around, and no amount of aspiration is going to change that. If you want super-rich people, you need more who are relatively super-poor. InedibleHulk (talk) 16:49, October 18, 2014 (UTC)
The problem with this theory is that, even if everyone succeeds, some will succeed more than others, and then those who have succeeded less can be labelled as "lazy, indigent..." by those who have succeeded more. So such an attitude is at best patronising and at worst incendiary. --TammyMoet (talk) 17:06, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, the gap widens on its own, due to a feedback loop. See Wealth concentration and Accumulation by dispossession. And yes, of course governments suppress aspiration. In first worlds, they just rely more on marketing to our addictions than on using their military. InedibleHulk (talk) 17:16, October 18, 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Incendiary sounds nice. I used to work at Behemart, behind both a register and a customer service desk, training other cashiers, pushing carts, and I even tested for management (would've gotten it if the positions I wanted ever opened up). My experience there (though anecdotal) has only cemented the idea in my head that wealth is inversely related to common sense and good work ethic. Most of the "dumb cashier" stories I heard (and still hear) are usually the (far more financially comfortable) customer not having a damn clue how the real world works. Stuff like how a functioning store working for a greedy corporation keeps prices low, that "per lb" has meant "per pound" for Americans since Plymouth fecking Rock, how a near minimum wage employee staring at numbers all day might take two seconds longer to get your change than you'd like, that four items costing $3.99 will come closer to $12 than $9, or that customers breaking all the electric wheelchairs is not the same as me or the store discriminating against the handicapped.</rant>
Wealth and stupidity may not be genetic, but both are inherited, usually together. Ian.thomson (talk) 17:26, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Here Nick Galifianakis is giving some clues about "aspirationalism", if you are willing to try a new start and hit the 1%. --Askedonty (talk) 06:48, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
In Australia and Germany, university places are limited. Only the best students can get a place.
Sleigh (talk) 17:44, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Some places in Australian universities are open to people willing and able to pay up front. HiLo48 (talk) 22:03, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

If the poor in First World countries are ignorant and lazy, it follows that the rich must be intelligent and hard-working. A few minutes' observation in a place where only rich people congregate, such as an expensive tea room, will rapidly disprove the proposition. While the accumulators of material wealth may have used brainpower and effort to amass it, their dependants and heirs need neither. And if money has become the sole measure of someone's success in life, perhaps the First World is not worth living in? --Clifford Mill (talk) 09:03, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

"I asked her if she thought it was a good idea to have sex with a man who had repeatedly beaten her up, and from whom she said she wished to separate.

"It's complicated, doctor. That's the way life goes sometimes."

What had she known of this man before she took up with him? She met him in a club; he moved in at once, because he had nowhere else to stay. He had a child by another woman, neither of whom he supported. He had been in prison for burglary. He took drugs. He had never worked, except for cash on the side. Of course he never gave her any of his money, instead running up her telephone bills vertiginously. (...)

What had her experience taught her?

"I don't want to think about it. The Housing'll charge me for the damage, and I ain't got the money. I'm depressed, doctor; I'm not happy. I want to move away, to get away from him."

Later in the day, feeling a little lonely, she telephoned her ex-boyfriend, and he visited her.

I discussed the case with the doctor who had recently arrived from Madras, and who felt he had entered an insane world. (...) He asked me what would happen next to the happy couple.

"They'll find her a new flat. They'll buy her new furniture, television, and refrigerator, because it's unacceptable poverty in this day and age to live without them. They'll charge her nothing for the damage to her old flat, because she can't pay anyway, and it wasn't she who did it. He will get away scot-free. Once she's installed in her new flat to escape from him, she'll invite him there, he'll smash it up again, and then they'll find her somewhere else to live. There is, in fact, nothing she can do that will deprive her of the state's obligation to house, feed, and entertain her." (...)

I asked the doctor from Madras if poverty was the word he would use to describe this woman's situation. He said it was not: that her problem was that she accepted no limits to her own behavior, that she did not fear the possibility of hunger, the condemnation of her own parents or neighbors, or God. In other words, the squalor of England was not economic but spiritual, moral, and cultural. "

"By the end of three months my doctors have, without exception, reversed their original opinion that the welfare state, as exemplified by England, represents the acme of civilization. (...) They come to realise that a system of welfare that makes no moral judgements in allocating economic rewards promotes anti-social egotism. The spiritual impoverishment of the population seems to them worse than anything they have ever known in their home countries. (...) 'On the whole', said one Filipino doctor to me, 'life is preferable in the slums of Manila.' He said it without any illusions as to the quality of life in Manila."

Asmrulz (talk) 12:53, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

In the past few decades, a peculiar and distinctive psychology has emerged in England. Gone are the civility, sturdy independence, and admirable stoicism that carried the English through the war years. It has been replaced by a constant whine of excuses, complaint, and special pleading. The collapse of the British character has been as swift and complete as the collapse of British power.

Listening as I do every day to the accounts people give of their lives, I am struck by the very small part in them which they ascribe to their own efforts, choices, and actions. (...)

It is instructive to listen to the language they use to describe their lives. The language of prisoners in particular teaches much about the dishonest fatalism with which people seek to explain themselves to others, especially when those others are in a position to help them in some way. As a doctor who sees patients in a prison once or twice a week, I am fascinated by prisoners’ use of the passive mood and other modes of speech that are supposed to indicate their helplessness. They describe themselves as the marionettes of happenstance. (...) Another burglar demanded to know from me why he repeatedly broke into houses and stole VCRs. He asked the question aggressively, as if “the system” had so far let him down in not supplying him with the answer; as if it were my duty as a doctor to provide him with the buried psychological secret which, once revealed, would in and of itself lead him unfailingly on the path of virtue. Until then, he would continue to break into houses and steal VCRs (when at liberty to do so), and the blame would be mine.

When I refused to examine his past, he exclaimed, “But something must make me do it!” “How about greed, laziness, and a thirst for excitement?” I suggested. “What about my childhood?” he asked. “Nothing to do with it,” I replied firmly.

He looked at me as if I had assaulted him. Actually, I thought the matter more complex than I was admitting, but I did not want him to misunderstand my main message: that he was the author of his own deeds.

Another prisoner claimed to be under so strong a compulsion to steal cars that it was irresistible—an addiction, he called it. He stole up to forty vehicles a week, but nevertheless considered himself a fundamentally good person because he was never violent towards anyone (...)

Now the generally prevalent conception of an addiction is of an illness, characterized by an irresistible urge (mediated neurochemically and possibly hereditary in nature) to consume a drug or other substance, or to behave in a repetitively self-destructive or antisocial way. An addict can’t help himself, and because his behavior is a manifestation of illness, it has no more moral content than the weather.

So in effect what my car thief was telling me was that his compulsive car-stealing was not merely not his fault, but that the responsibility for stopping him from behaving thus was mine, since I was the doctor treating him. And until such time as the medical profession found the behavioral equivalent of an antibiotic in the treatment of pneumonia, he could continue to cause untold misery and inconvenience to the owners of cars and yet consider himself fundamentally a decent person. Asmrulz (talk) 13:21, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

"Oh, Lord," sighs the Junior Apostle (the Senior Apostle is away in Jerusalem), "many are widout jobs, many are widout mudders and farders, many are widout homes. We pray thee, Lord, to find dem work, to find dem homes, to bring comfort to dem dat are widout mudders and farders."

The shootings were much on the mind of the congregation, for the victims and perpetrators alike could have been the sons, brothers, or consorts (I hardly dare speak of husbands anymore, for fear of being thought implicitly intolerant) of the women who now sobbed their impromptu prayers facedown on their pews. (...)

"We thank Thee, Lord! We thank Thee, Lord! We thank Thee, Lord!" (...)

"But we are all sinners, Lord. Therefore we pray for forgiveness. We do not always follow Your ways, Lord; we are proud, we are stubborn, we want to go our own way. We think only of ourselves. That is why there is so much sin, so much robbery, so much violence, on our streets."

I recalled the faces of the young men in the prison now accused of murder: their hard, glittering, expressionless eyes—young men who recognized no law but their own desire of the moment. The old lady described (and explained) their radical egotism in a religious way.

Murmurs of assent were heard everywhere. It wasn't the police's fault, or racism's, or the system's, or capitalism's; it was the failure of sinners to acknowledge any moral authority higher than their personal whim. And in asserting this, the congregation was asserting its own freedom and dignity: poor and despised as its members might be, they were still human enough to decide for themselves between right and wrong. And they offered hope to others, too: for if a man chose to do evil, he could later elect, by an act of will, to do good. No one had to wait until there was perfect justice in the world, or all the circumstances were right, before he himself did good.

Asmrulz (talk) 13:03, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Interesting testimony, though dated and overlong, but totally invalidated by the writer's obvious ideological bias (or do I mean blindness?). Though London has its problems, they are minor compared with the massive disparities in the United States. --Clifford Mill (talk) 11:11, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
And those are relatively small next to the disparities in India or China. At the end of the day, no matter where we live, the biggest problems are the ones directly affecting us. If you literally went blind, that'd be much worse than reading that 4% of drone victims were with al-Qaeda. Is that bias? Is bias always bad? InedibleHulk (talk) 14:56, October 21, 2014 (UTC) Asmrulz (talk) 17:19, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
InedibleHulk, please see
Wavelength (talk) 21:44, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
That's good news. Not sure why you want me to read it. If it's about the "failed at life" thing in the OP, I didn't actually ask the question. Just rephrased it when it was deleted for being asked by a sock. Sorry for any confusion. All the replies under my name were me. There was actually another follow-up question I deleted outright, for lack of the right words. But the gist stayed the same without it. InedibleHulk (talk) 21:58, October 21, 2014 (UTC)

Regarding Rabindranath Tagore[edit]

I want to know how do the public at large in the western world (USA,Western and Eastern Europe ,Russia ,Australias and also the African countries perceive Rabindranath Tagore ,what is the level of popularity is he viewed as a superhuman entity or is he seen as one of the greatest exponents of world literature.In Bengal he is worshipped like a God.It is said that YB Yeats played a key role in translating The Gitanjali. Was Bernard Shaw critical about Tagore. What was his opinion regarding this man and his creations in public and private.How does the British and American public seen and sees Tagore and his work.I am a Bengali and find his works and songs not at all appealing. I find most of them artificial and arousing morbid emotions.Most of the Bengali people will frown upon me and mock me as uncultured and that i am imbecile lacking the mental capability to relish such great creation. I want to know the global assessment and how did the men in the British government appraised him in private .Were those men his fans.pardon for reposting i initially posted this question in language section but there volunteers say that this page is more appropriate.Did Tagore really deserve the Nobel prize in literature or it was out of wartime poltical consideration.Thanks. (talk) 17:52, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

I would guess that the majority of people in the U.S. don't know who he is, and that some of those who have vaguely heard of him might not distinguish him from Ram Mohan Roy. I don't remember having read anything by him, but he's probably not any less meritorious than the mostly obscure Scandinavians who dominated the Nobel literature prize during its first decades... AnonMoos (talk) 18:20, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
I just listened to Amar Shonar Bangla, and I think I speak for Canada when I say once is enough. Monotonous, but worse, because there are two voices. The lyrics are probably a little better in Bangla, but they're almost as boring as the tune in English. No offense to your the nation, just the anthem. I like your the flag. InedibleHulk (talk) 18:43, October 18, 2014 (UTC)
That he is Bengali does not necessarily mean that he is Bangladeshi -- West Bengal has almost two-thirds the population of Bangladesh... AnonMoos (talk) 20:28, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
I suppose. Amended. Does West Bengal not have a flag? InedibleHulk (talk) 20:36, October 18, 2014 (UTC)

West Bengal is a state in India and so shares the same flag as the other states and India as a whole

Cool, thanks. Sometimes states or provinces have their own. Not a big fan of tricoloured flags. InedibleHulk (talk) 13:18, October 19, 2014 (UTC)
I love his poetry and I've had his collected verse in my library for many years. I don't know his plays. I can't speak for Australians in general, though my suspicion is that he'd be regarded as a minor footnote who's best known - if he's known at all - for returning his knighthood after the Amritsar massacre. I don't remember ever hearing anyone quote him or even refer to him Down Here. Except, I did patronise an Indian restaurant in Canberra a couple of times, named Geetanjali. It's been there for at least 25 years, and I can't imagine the staff have never been asked what Geetanjali means. Whether this has played any role in bringing Tagore and his works to the consciousness of the effete diners of the national capital, I could not say. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:57, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
  • This question was also raised at the Language Ref Desk, where the OP was advised to raise it here. There are some other replies over there. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:38, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
  • The guy is virtually unknown in Russia. I recall that Vladimir Nabokov referred to "a person called Tagore" as one of "the formidable mediocrities" from the early 20th century, alongside John Galsworthy and Romain Rolland. --Ghirla-трёп- 11:34, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
    • Actually, he was fairly popular during Soviet times (for political reasons), I own a Russian translation of his poetry . (talk) 06:28, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
      • He was often published, like scores of other exotic authors from Soviet-friendly countries, whose names are totally forgotten. Which does not mean that he was either popular or even read. --Ghirla-трёп- 06:56, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
  • In French, a couple of his books - the novel Gora and some poetry collections - are available in popular paperback editions, making them accessible without having to frequent a university library or a specialized bookshop. That's better than for most authors whose heyday was a century ago, but that's still a long way from being considered a universal classic like Dostoevski or Ibsen, and even further from being thought of a super-human entity. --Xuxl (talk) 11:51, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I've read a translation of Gitanjali, which I must say I found insufferably dull. But it was just a translation. He is supposed to have got the Nobel because of the recommendation of Yeats. He's one of those people that most 'educated' persons have heard of, but I don't think he's widely read in the West. Since he won the Nobel prize in 1913 I don't know what "wartime political consideration" would have been relevant. Paul B (talk) 11:58, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Goodwill (accounting)[edit]

Could someone please make and/or explain it to me like I'm five years old, please? (talk) 18:44, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

The original idea was an attempted monetary valuation of the reputation and established contacts and business relationships of a firm, considered as intangible assets, but it appears to have become more complicated... AnonMoos (talk) 20:36, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
I heard a story recently that illustrates the importance of goodwill nicely. During the Great Depression the manager of a Ford Dealership refused to repo cars from people who couldn't pay. The owner fired him for this and repossessed the cars, ignoring the importance of goodwill. After the Depression ended, the customers were able to buy cars again, but wanted nothing to do with that Ford dealership, which went bankrupt. The fired manager went to work for a new Buick dealership, and all the customers followed him there. (Of course, the Ford and Buick dealers might be reversed in another town.)
Unfortunately, these days big companies seem to screw the customer over any way they can, like banks that find ways to charge you extra bounced check fees by changing the order they try to cash them. I have to think that the ethical companies will win all their customers in the long run. StuRat (talk) 01:26, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
With that story you hit the interesting ethical question of whether our putative manager used company funds to buy the goodwill of the customers, then unfairly took that goodwill with him when he left. (talk) 02:41, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
No funds were required to not repo the cars. Of course, the company would have rather had the payments, but repossessing cars during the Great Depression would have been rather pointless anyway, as there wouldn't be customers to sell them to. We recently had a similar issue in the US housing market, where banks repossessed houses, which had the effect of depressing property values, including other homes owned by the bank, and may well have decreased the bank's profits. Economic upheaval alters the normal rules, and doing "business as usual" isn't always the best option. StuRat (talk) 03:08, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Stu, I know you're trying to help by guessing, but what you're talking about is not what goodwill accounting is about. The article is poorly written, but fairly clear on this: it refers to the overpayment (over the nominal value of the place) done during a corporate acquisition. Matt Deres (talk) 13:26, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. So what's the name of the concept I described ? StuRat (talk) 03:21, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

It is actually very simple, although frequently explained badly. Say you buy a company. You will almost certainly have to buy it at a premium to its actual market value. That premium is the 'goodwill' element. (talk) 03:20, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

By "actual market value," .43 means the market value of the company's underlying assets. The classic example is the purchase of a retail store. Let's say you pay $500,000 for a store. The inventory is worth $300,000, and the equipment and fixtures are worth $75,000; the lease is at a market rate, so it doesn't have a value. What is the other $125,000? That's considered "goodwill," a name that derives from the theory that the additional value of the store is due to the favorable opinion of customers. The formal definition under generally accepted accounting principles is "[a]n asset representing the future economic benefits arising from other assets acquired in a business combination or an acquisition by a not-for-profit entity that are not individually acquired and separately recognized"; see the master glossary (free registration required) to the Accounting Standards Codification. John M Baker (talk) 16:16, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Did Chisso executives really go to jail?[edit]

This article[15] claims that two Chisso executives were sentenced to prison terms for their role in the Minamata disease disaster. However I can't find find any mention of this in both English and Japanese versions of the Minamata disease article. Did this really happen? WinterWall (talk) 20:49, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

It is mentioned in the ja:WP article with citation. See 1988年. They were sentenced to two years in prison with three years' suspension of sentence. So they didn't go to jail. Oda Mari (talk) 10:07, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Thank you! WinterWall (talk) 13:55, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

WW1 Question (I think)[edit]

I read a story a while back somewhere. Apparently it was a true story about - I believe - a WW1 battle in Africa, probably in German East Africa between British forces and German forces, who were both suddenly attacked by a native tribe in the middle of the battle. The British and Germans temporarily halted fighting each other and joined forces to fight the natives, after which they resumed the battle. Does anyone know which battle this was? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 21:12, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Possibly a (garbled) reference to the Fashoda Incident? (talk) 03:58, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Australian and Turkish troops joined forces against a feared attack by Arab irregulars on one occasion towards the end of the Palestine Campaign: [16] I'm not sure if any fighting actually occurred though. Nick-D (talk) 09:29, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

'Living on air' fairy tale[edit]

I KNOW this is stupid. I'm pretty good at reaserching things on the internet. Can't find the answer to this.

I KNOW it's stupid but it's a challenge if you're up to it.

My wife made a comment about how she 'can't live on air'. It sparked a memory of what is most probably a fairy tale. Grimms or whatever. As badly as my memory serves me, the image it conjures up is that of a woman trying to scam a rich old man who makes him believe that she can eat air and survive on that. Seriously this is from my childhood and I'm 60 years old now but the neural connections brought up this image of a woman outside of a window pretending to eat air.

I know it's not that important but it would prove to my wife that I haven't completely lost it by making this claim.

I don't know if you can help me but if you can I would be very grateful.

Thanks so much

Gklutz (talk) 23:35, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Never heard of any fairy tale in the Western tradition (there are plenty of Asian ones), although to this day there are people who make a living through this claim, Ellen Greve being the most famous. We have quite an extensive page on the topic at InediaMogism (talk) 00:02, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
See Inedia - also known as breatharianism. It is of course utter nonsense, though enough people have taken it seriously for a few to have starved themselves to death. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:06, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
I suppose it might be possible to live on air (and the micro-organisms in it), provided you had the machinery to process huge quantities of air, filter out the toxic items, and collect the nutrients. StuRat (talk) 00:19, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Here's a discussion of his long period of imprisonment without food:[17]. StuRat (talk) 03:10, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
The closest thing that I see after a quick look at the WP article on Aarne-Thompson classification system is #1430: "Air Castles." This site lists some tales falling under that classification. I tried a google search <"folk tale" ("live on air" OR "eating air" OR "ate the air" OR "eat the air")> and the only one that came up was "The Princess Who Loved Her Father Like Salt," which wasn't related. The story seems familiar to me, but I can't place it. --some jerk on the Internet (talk) 12:45, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

October 19[edit]

Does Confucianism fall under Secular Humanism?[edit]

The Wikipedia article on Secular Humanism does not mention Confucianism, yet the article on Confucianism argues that it is "humanistic". That makes sense, since Confucianism does not really appeal to deities and the supernatural, even though the Confucian people may be a bit devotional. However, the devotional aspects seem to be tied to a religion, not really Confucianism. So, does Confucianism fall under Secular Humanism, or is Secular Humanism a Western European concept? (talk) 04:26, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

No. Two different senses of the word. Confucius is only "humanistic" in that it doesn't involve a deity. It did involve ancestor worship, which ends any similarity it has with secular humanism. — Melab±1 06:01, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
I think "ancestor worship" is a mistranslation. Also, the rituals are not necessarily confined to Confucianism, as it is part of the indigenous Chinese religion. (talk) 21:38, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
It depends on which form of Confucianism we're talking about. Some Confucian authors wrote or interpreted from a purely political perspective, treating ancestor worship as a civil ceremony. Others wrote under the assumption that worshiping ancestors was necessary to maintain the approval of Heaven. Due to the latter form (Confucianism as a definite religion), there is only and at most potential overlap with secular humanism. Ian.thomson (talk) 21:55, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Mediatrix of All Graces[edit]

I have attempted FIVE times to edit [5} [6] because of a dead link. I have read ALL there is to do to edit the page and it will not allow me to do so.

Please edit both [5] [6] to read : The True Story of Fatima by John de Marchi, I.M.C. page 87 "the third blasphemy"

I am weary. aged 60 with RA and cannot stay up past the 11:19 MST where I have attempted to do this for over an hour and 1/2.

I FINALLY created an account (which was holding me back) but I do NOT know how to code at all ! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bitojoy (talkcontribs) 06:20, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

To help us out, could you provide a link to the article you are trying to edit? Go to the article, copy what is in the address bar (the URL, which will have "" in it), and paste it here. You can turn it into a link by putting [ and ] around it, or just paste it here and I'll fix that.
In the mean time, WP:TEAHOUSE is a really excellent place to ask questions about how to get started on Wikipedia. (talk) 07:50, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
In case it isn't obvious, you can reply to this by clicking the blue 'edit' next to your section title. Can you tell me what I.M.C. means in this context? Also, assuming you're trying to edit Mediatrix of all graces, why does reference number 6 need to be replaced? (talk) 08:00, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
To save a bit of time, I suspect that Mediatrix of all graces is the article in question. Alansplodge (talk) 08:42, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
IMC is the Consolata Missionaries (no article, but see this website). De Marchi's book is discussed in Miracle of the Sun. Tevildo (talk) 08:45, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Anonymous sources and journalism ethics[edit]

I've read several, several, several news stories which used a source "who declined to be named", or sources, most frequently in news reports about security issues, but also in sports articles, and sometimes, even relatively "harmless" articles. I've even seen news reports where spokespeople decline to be named. I've asked questions about anonymous sources here before on the Reference Desk. But recently, I've been reading codes of ethics of various Journalism organizations. Basically, one aspect that is common to most of these codes of ethics is that anonymous sources should be used with care, as misusing them or even inventing them can damage reputations (see Janet Cooke). In the cases where a person who wishes to be anonymous is quoted in a news report, many of these codes of ethics state that the reason(s) for anonymity should be mentioned. For example, the Associated Press has a page on their values and principles, which states that "we must explain in the story why the source requested anonymity". Not all codes of ethics mention this (for example, Thomson Reuters' code of ethics does not require reasons for anonymity to be disclosed), but a significant number of codes of ethics do. However, most of the news articles I've read which quote anonymous sources do not explicitly mention any reason for anonymity. While my previous questions here have said that the reasons are obvious anyway, or that giving a reason for anonymity could give a clue to the source's identity, the fact that many codes of ethics mention the requirement for disclosing reasons of anonymity (to the point that it is suggested that the source not be used at all if the reason for anonymity is weak or suspicious) suggests that this is not considered a significant issue; in fact, these codes of ethics suggest almost the opposite: describe the source as closely and accurately as possible without explicitly naming the person.

I'm aware that codes of ethics are not binding, and there is usually no penalty for breaching them (except for serious cases), but it nevertheless makes me wonder: how come several news reports continue to exclude reasons for anonymity of anonymous sources even if codes of ethics (which are probably taught to journalists) frequently state that reasons for anonymity must be included to "give the reader full confidence for the source"? Before anyone asks, I've read Journalism ethics and standards and Source (journalism)#Anonymity, but they don't answer my question. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 11:11, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

There could be various reasons. It might help if you could provide an example or two. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:24, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
One reason: When you consistently pop up in the top Google results or have a name like "The Most Trusted Name in News", you can do without worrying if poor sourcing is going to hurt the reader's confidence, by that point. The line between news and entertainment is blurrier than ever, and if you can get the eyeballs with a headline like "ISIS 'too extreme' for al-Qaeda", it doesn't really matter who said it. The important thing is whether people hear it. Like you say, there's no or little punishment for unethically increasing business. Same reason people cheat at many jobs. InedibleHulk (talk) 13:34, October 19, 2014 (UTC)
(Edit Conflicts) If I've interpreted you correctly, your essential question is:
". . . how come several news reports continue to exclude reasons for anonymity of anonymous sources even if codes of ethics (which are probably taught to journalists) frequently state that reasons for anonymity must be included to "give the reader full confidence for the source"?"
There could be various (not mutually exclusive) reasons for this:
  • The particular news agency concerned might not subscribe officially or in reality (Fox News, anyone?) to a particular set of ethics that requires it;
  • They might be omitted for the sake of brevity, particularly in a broadcast story where only seconds are available;
  • The journalists involved might not be working to their highest standards – we all have off days at work;
  • One or more journalists involved might not be fully competent in this respect;
  • The journalists might be under pressure from higher management to get the story out and fill the column or broadcast, even though they themselves do not have full confidence in it;
  • One or more of the journalists involved might actually be breaching guidelines deliberately, using illegal sources, obtaining information via bribery or blackmail, or making some things up, and is using the anonymity as cover;
  • Inclusion of the reasons might give to much of a clue to the source's identity, leading to that source being reprimanded, fired, arrested or assassinated, depending upon circumstances. (You mentioned this yourself, but I include it for completeness.)
I'm sure others can add further possibilities. Long story short: we live in an imperfect world, and there can be any number of innocent or non-innocent reasons why something doesn't measure up to an ideal. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 13:50, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
And of course, when some people say "some people say", those some people are the same people. InedibleHulk (talk) 13:56, October 19, 2014 (UTC)
It would be good to have an organization whose sole purpose is to confirm the existence of anonymous sources. The news org and source could agree to have that org confirm the source, and they would then meet them, with the same promise to keep the source hidden. This org should be located in a nation with strong protections for anon sources, and could be run on donations, as a charity, so no money is taken from the news org. In time, only news orgs with this type of confirmation on anon sources would be taken seriously. StuRat (talk) 14:31, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
I want to echo the above reqeust for examples. In particular, it sounds to me like your evidence doesn't support your conclusion. When you have two of the major news agencies not agreeing on whether it's necessary to give the reasons why, this would suggest it's hardly something settled among major proponents of journalism ethics. The fact that you found a significant number who do recommend it, only means it's something which a significant number do recommend, it doesn't mean it's had widespread consensus. (And I would note, at least to me significant can still be far from a majority, particularly in something with so many participants as this.)

Perhaps journalism ethics courses will consider giving the reasons the safer bet and so may be more likely to recommend this, perhaps not.

The more relevant question which you don't seem to have touched is whether people are violating the code of ethics they're supposed to be following. For example, are you finding many stories from AP or other sources where the code of ethics do suggest it, where the stories are not reporting the reason for anonymity? If you're primarily seeing stories from Reuters and other sources which don't recommend it, it seem again all you've got evidence for is that this isn't something with anything close to consensus and that journalists are following the code of ethic they're supposed to be following, but not necessarily following other ones which recommend different stuff.

On my part, I commonly hear or read a source saying something like "who asked to remain anonymous because she/he didn't have permission to speak to the media".

Nil Einne (talk) 16:37, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

In both politics and in the business world, information is often leaked "strategically". This gives a false sense of empowerment to the media, the employees, etc. A way of getting the real story out there to kind of "prepare" the audience for what's coming. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:52, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

October 20[edit]

Easter Island: Historical Low Temperatures[edit]

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


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

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

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

Old Chinese object[edit]

What is he holding?

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

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

History of the motto of the Royal Society[edit]

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

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

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

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

Khwarazmian dynasty and "work unions"[edit]

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 21[edit]

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

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

A lot of Irish sailors in the Royal Navy.
Sleigh (talk) 03:08, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
They try and forget that, though: Nelson's Pillar. (talk) 03:48, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
The flag code used (devised by Rear Admiral Sir Home Popham) appears not to have 'Britain' as one of its codewords - though it does have 'England'. [18] Spelling out 'Britain' would have made the message substantially longer, and thus would have taken more time to send. AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:19, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
To this day, many people still refer to the "Queen of England", which is as terminologically accurate as, I dunno, the "President of California" or something. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 05:51, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Would that be President Schwarzenegger or President Eastwood? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 08:05, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
California was claimed for Queen Elizabeth by Sir Francis Drake. However, as the case of John Augustus Sutter shows - who was unlawfully deprived of the land upon which San Francisco now stands, won his law suit in 1855, and died a beggar on the steps of the Congress in 1880 - respect for others' property rights in that State does not seem to be very highly thought of. (talk) 14:19, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Using a smaller geographic division to refer to the larger entity is a form of metonymy which is not confined to England/Britain. See also Holland/Netherlands, the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (commonly called Rhode Island after the smaller portion of the state), etc. There's also historical examples, such as Asia which was originally applied only to Anatolia and Persia (Asia Minor and Asia Major respectively) and Africa which was originally only applied to a Small part of North Africa inhabited by the colonial Afri people (Carthage). --Jayron32 10:59, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Good point, but to me this fits better with synecdoche than metonymy. The former is for parts of the whole, the latter is for aspects of the thing. Of course there is plenty of room for overlap. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:36, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Surely, Synecdoche is part of the whole only when the whole is New York State? --ColinFine (talk) 11:44, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I am currently reading a book about security in Britain during WWI and official memos, etc. most commonly referred to "England" as the protagonist in the war. Even in the 1950s when I was at school in England (sic) we needed to be rather actively taught that England and Britain were not the same thing. It is only in recent decades that there has been any political sensitivity in England on such matters. Thincat (talk) 10:49, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) A suggestion as to why only "England" was in the naval flag code - all the Royal Dockyards were in England at that time. Pembroke Dock in Wales was established as a naval base in 1814 and Rosyth Dockyard in Scotland wasn't constructed until the 20th century. However, a more likely explanation is that apparently "England" was sometimes used as a synonym for "Britain" even into the 20th century - see How England saved Europe; the Story of the Great War (1793-1815) which was published in 1900. Alansplodge (talk) 10:55, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't know. I see no problems with referring to the United Kingdom as the United Kingdom, but referring to it as "Britain" seems problematic. Historically, "Britain", "Briton" and "British" were used to refer to the Brythonic peoples and their descendants, not the English. It seems inaccurate to refer to something of Anglo-Saxon origin as "British". Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 12:37, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
While originally the words "Briton" and "British" referred to the Celtic-speaking inhabitants of Roman and pre-Roman times, during the modern era, the words came to refer to all of the inhabitants of Great Britain, as well as at least the Protestants of Northern Ireland, whose ancestors came from Great Britain. During the modern era, Britain has become a widely recognized synonym for the United Kingdom, and few people are concerned about the word's Roman or pre-Roman origins. Marco polo (talk) 13:41, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
The English have probably always had a stronger emotional tie to "England" than to "Britain". Britain stands for the imperial, world-power, dominant side of the United Kingdom. England is the motherland, where people spent their childhoods and have their families. Assuming that all or a large majority of the seamen Nelson was addressing were English, referring to "England" in his appeal gave it a more visceral emotional power. Marco polo (talk) 13:41, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
The England/Britain thing sometimes reminds me of the usage of Yankee. Matt Deres (talk) 16:11, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Does this mean that rather than speaking English, Americans speak British? μηδείς (talk) 16:55, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
No, American English is clearly a variety of English rather than of Scots or any other British language. American English ultimately derived specifically from England (though with some influences probably by way of what is now Northern Ireland). There is no "British language", or if there is, reverting to Tharthan's point above, that language is Welsh. Marco polo (talk) 19:16, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
That's hardly clear, given American is Rhotic like Scots and Irish, the influence of Irish on Americn, and the fact that Germans and Irish outnumber English by ethnicity in American residents. If anything, it's clear the Queen Great Britain speaks the President's American. Except she's fonder of Churchill. μηδείς (talk) 02:27, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Or Breton. Which is actually called "British". Paul B (talk)
I am aware it's called Breton. Where is it called British? That's like saying Dutch is called Deutsch and Slovenian's called Slovak, no? μηδείς (talk) 02:27, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it's exactly like saying it. That's the whole point. Breton means "British". In French the words Briton and Breton are identical, as is the name "Bretagne" - Britain. Paul B (talk) 07:27, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
  • This exchange was from The Man Who Never Was, set during WWII:
    [The military needs a dead body for counterintelligence.]
    Montagu: I can assure you that this is an opportunity for your son to do a great thing for England.
    The Father: My son, sir, was a Scotsman. Very proud of it.
    Montagu: I beg your pardon.
    The Father: Never mind. We're used to that. You English always talk about England when you mean Britain.
  • -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:02, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Part of the the reason for this is that much of the most famous English literature was written before the Act of Union. Shakespeare is almost all about "England", not "Britain" (with the exception of late James I/IV era plays). So much of the most famous patriotic literature uses 'England'. And of course "United Kingdom" is more of a technical label than a name. But I've always also thought that this is related to the very words England and Britain. I don't known why, but the name "England" just sounds better than "Britain" - more inspiring. When Clifton Webb says "do a great thing for England", there's something in the rhythm and the sharpness of the consonants that has a ring to it. It just seems to shine in a way that "do a great thing for Britain" doesn't. Britain has a dull sound. Paul B (talk) 20:47, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
In the 19th century, it was quite common to use the term 'England' when, by the context, it meant either Britain or the United Kingdom. Look for example at Benjamin Disraeli and see how often he mentions England compared with Britain. See also Oxford History of England. Sam Blacketer (talk) 22:16, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Also bear in mind that the United Kingdom was created only five years before Trafalgar; prior to that, it was the Kingdom of Great Britain. Alansplodge (talk) 13:44, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
True, but the K of GB had been around for almost a century before that, since 1707. This would be a justification for saying "Britain expects ...", not "England expects ...". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:19, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

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

If you don't already know it, you'll have a lot of fun wading through Terminology of the British Isles. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:30, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Jack, I did have a lot of fun wading through it. I didn't know it. Probably the only geographical-historical entity that needs such an article. And several language WPs have their own version. Sorry for the really small letters. I hadn't realized they were so hard to read. I forgot to add in my summary that data points provided by Alansplodge and Thincat showed the regular use of 'England' for Britain extended beyond Disraeli at least through WWI. So what was the turning point? WWII? We do talk of the 'Battle of Britain' after all, which in earlier generations, given what I now know (thanks to these helpful WPeans) might well have been called the 'Battle of England': note German 'Luftschlacht um England', French 'Bataille d'Angleterre', along with Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Romanian, Hungarian, Polish, Danish and Greek, while (judging from the titles of their respective articles) Russian correctly uses 'Битва за Британию', along with most Slavic languages, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Portuguese, Marathi, Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Turkish. Japanese uses a literal katakana transcription of the English phrase and I can't read the other scripts. However I suspect languages which nowadays use the equivalent of the 'Battle of Britain' rather than the 'Battle of England' may (in some cases at least) have updated their terminology to align it with English. In any case the difference between say Spanish (and Galician) and Portuguese, or Russian and Polish, or Norwegian and Danish is odd. And while nowadays Hebrew uses הקרב על בריטניה 'haKrav al Britania' I'm pretty (though not completely) certain בריטניה 'Britania' used to be a somewhat pedantic way to refer to Britain which was commonly called אנגליה 'Anglia'. Contact Basemetal here 01:14, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Peirce and Bergson[edit]

The Wikipedia-Article on Henri Bergson states, quote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 22[edit]

Question about Iliad and Odyssey[edit]

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

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

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

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

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

That's just a continuation of your game.
"... but only by those who understand the subject matter in the first place" - so, you're pandering to some elite; no law against that. But you'd get rather different answers depending on whether you were considering making a movie, writing an opera or a musical, doing a translation into Chinese, choosing some bed-time reading for yourself, choosing some bed-time reading for a 14 year old, teaching these poems to 14 year olds, teaching them to adults, ... the list is endless. Your reference to "my students" came only after 2 requests for clarification, and even now we still have no idea what age these students are or what their circumstances may be, or your expectations of them. It's clear from below that others are still pretty much in the dark as to what this all about. It's clear you have no intention of shedding any light on the question of context, the matter I raised above. To ask us for responses without us knowing the context: that is the definition of a game, and the definition of abuse of this service. OK, so you're deliberately refraining from making it too concrete (not concrete at all, in fact), in the hope of getting a wide span of answers unencumbered by too much left brain. That can be a cool game in the right forum. But a game it most definitely is. Further, this is a Reference Desk, not an Opinions Desk or a Debate Desk or a Chat Desk or a Game Desk. We regularly send people away for seeking opinions here. Should there be one rule for the Great Unwashed and a different one for WP Administrators? I called you "Comrade Administrator" because I checked out your user page and you claim both male and female genders, so I used a genderless title. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:15, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
The way I read your response, it's my admin status that gives you carte blance to lash out quite inappropriately in a public forum. You could have said that on my talk page; for that matter you could have said that nicely. This genderless thing is just a ruse; my title is in my user name. Next time I'll post my question as an IP. Drmies (talk) 22:52, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
That does not address at all my points about your inappropriate use of this Reference Desk. Yes, I expect a standard of behaviour from administrators that is certainly no lower and, one would hope, higher than that from non-admins. Do you disagree with that? An IP would/should have received rather shorter shrift than you've been given. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:50, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Inappropriate my ass. Maybe you should reassign yourself to where you don't have to deal with people. Drmies (talk) 02:25, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I've made my views clear. Since you still refuse to address any of my points (btw, denying an issue is the opposite of addressing it), but prefer to descend to personal abuse, I conclude you're committed to playing your game. Count me out. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 06:33, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Why didn't you "show your work" by telling us the eight answers you already had, and why you were dissatisfied with them? —Tamfang (talk) 07:12, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
  • I have restored this after Drmies poseted and then deleted it due to criticism he recieved.
I think it's clear, based on his recent comments, he wants an educated reason why teaching one, rather than the other to a class would be prefereable.
My question is, what is the title of the class? If it's Homer, I'd go with the Odyssey as more entertaining.
If it's just a class on the classics in general, I'll stick with Suetonius and explain if asked. Or Drmies should hat this if he wants to withdraw it. μηδείς (talk) 04:35, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
We would have to know a lot more about the class before anyone could start to answer this. Even then, the answer might be "whichever you would enjoy teaching more". Itsmejudith (talk) 08:07, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I'd go for Iliad. The Odyssey requires the Iliad for context, but the other way round it might encourage students to look out the Odyssey on their own (to see how it ends). Besides, "μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ" is rather appropriate for the above discussion. Maybe it's an omen. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 11:26, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I would think the Odyssey would be more interesting. By high school at least, your average student should have at least heard of both of them. The teacher could take a session or two to summarize the Iliad [perhaps have them read the CliffsNotes version]. Then the fun stuff begins in the Odyssey, like the Trojan Horse and the Sirens and the Cyclops and all that nifty stuff. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:30, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
See, Bugs, that's getting somewhere. Drmies (talk) 14:27, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Had your original question made any sense, we could have gotten farther faster. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:36, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't have just one question. Drmies (talk) 16:11, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
"The Illiad/Iliad or the Odyssey?" is actually just one question. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:27, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
If it's the students' first experience with classics, I'd vote Odyssey. It's more of a narrative story, it has more cool monsters and adventure, it fits nicely into "episodes" that can be treated individually, but also of course has a structure as a whole. In my exposure, it is more often the one taught first, so I might not be the only one with this preference. The other big matter is of course what translation, assuming that that they won't be reading in Greek. Butler's is free on project Gutenberg [19], but Lattimore is better and easier in my opinion - plus he writes in hexameter, so if you want to talk about scansion etc. then that's the way to go. I assume you wouldn't force the rhymed couplets of Pope upon them, but here's a nice overview of various famous translations [20]. Finally, I do think your posting above is needlessly coy. Sure, I could tell you were asking for insights on which one, but I had no idea whether you meant to read, to teach, to have on a deserted island, or to burn in effigy. I think you can see that an additional sentence explaining what you wanted would have avoided the problems above. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:59, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Your list of four options is getting there. There's more but I haven't thought of those--for instance, I hadn't thought about scansion, so thanks for that, certainly--so I wasn't trying to be coy. I can't ask what I already know. And no, I won't be using Pope--if I get to teach either one, or both, it's most likely Lombardo's. But one possible answer is, "Translator X's version of the Iliad is much better than any translation of the Odyssey (or the other way around), so you should read/teach/memorize that." Drmies (talk) 16:11, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
As mentioned above, the name of the course would help a lot. As would some background on your knowledge and the expected knowledge of students. Part of deciding which work or which translation is deciding what your goals are. If I were teaching the either one, I would definitely cover or refresh on scansion, talk about Monomyth, discuss hubris, nemesis, and the other elements of Greek tragedy. I'd introduce the Homeric_Question after talking a bit about Homer. I always enjoyed the assertion that the Iliad and the Odyssey could not have been written by the same man, because they are so different in ultimate outlook (Iliad-bleak, Odyssey-affirming), though of course that is not a very great argument... I'd also talk about metonymy, synechdoche, zeugma, chiasmus, hyperbaton as well as other relevant figures of speech and literary devices. Finally, I'd talk a bit about the Human Condition, why we still read the classics, why they still echo in popular media (e.g. Duck Tales, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, etc.)
--But none of that would be especially helpful for grade school children, or advanced classics majors. I suspect you are not teaching advanced classics majors, or you probably wouldn't be asking us :) Anyway, Lattimore's Odyssey is my favorite, and it is widely praised in classicist circles. That's what I would recommend, lacking any other info on you, your students, or the class. Nobody with much training will say the Iliad or Odyssey is "better", but either one may be better for certain pedagogical uses, and many people have a personal favorite. Whichever you teach, the other should be at least briefly summarized. Here are some additional resources by/for teachers on the topic [21] [22]. SemanticMantis (talk) 17:12, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
No, SemanticMantis, there are no such advanced students at my university, unfortunately; we barely teach the classics. This is, since you're at least taking it seriously, an upper-level/graduate class probably mostly catered by liberal arts students, and the topic is "epic", quite vaguely. You have given me much to think about and for that I thank you. Digging real quick through Google Books has given me ideas too and even more to think about, and for now I'm leaning toward both--I think that you understand that "or" doesn't have to be an exclusive "or". "Both" here means "some of both", using this book. I'm totally waffling since I wonder if these students can handle both, and the Aeneid (for which the Iliad is more helpful as a "previous" text, IMO), and Paradise Lost, and 2666. BTW, "personal favorite": I was very interested to learn if folks here know which famous writers/readers had which personal favorite, and that, I believe, is a valid question to ask in this forum. Thanks again, Drmies (talk) 22:52, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Adults in their 20's or later pursuing an advanced degree should be reasonably expected to be read both, I would posit. --Jayron32 02:18, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
  • I have no fact-based basis for my opinion but I'd be inclined to suggest "both" only because that was the way they were taught to me and I couldn't imagine doing them separately. Interestingly, the basis on which they were taught (in Australia, in my case) was as part of a similarly-named and pointlessly broad (something akin to "Epic") unit that also delved into the archaeology and the actual and possible locations for various portions of various texts. If that sounds vague then I've done my duty - the unit itself was vague to the point of almost uselessness. But it was enjoyable and I suspect that's part of what you're aiming for. Stlwart111 01:00, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Iliad and Odyssey for kids[edit]

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

Ben Bradlee and the Iran-Contra affair[edit]

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

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

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

This news story[23] says "The maximum sentence for conviction of first-degree murder is life imprisonment." regarding Iraq. But our article, capital_punishment_in_Iraq, disagrees. Which one is correct? WinterWall (talk) 17:54, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

The UN released a report on the use of the death penalty in Iraq (PDF) a few days ago (summarized here). It seems to say that death sentences for murder still occur.--Cam (talk) 18:07, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the help. Seems like it's just shoddy reporting on Fox's part (though Toronto Star made the exact same mistake curiously enough [24]). One of the convicted, Slatten, currently faces a sentence of life imprisonment for his murder charge[25][26]. Fox and Toronto Star may have confused the sentence for this particular case with the maximum possible sentence. WinterWall (talk) 18:34, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Two things: That quote isn't in either story, and the story isn't about Iraqi law. These murderers were tried in a United States federal court in Washington. They were charged by the Justice Department, not victims' families or police. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:24, October 23, 2014 (UTC)

Bren Gun[edit]

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

there's a little nubby thing attached to the barrel sticking out to its left in this video, i think that might have helped aiming? ~Helicopter Llama~ 21:44, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
The view that the shooter sees when aiming down a weapon is called "sight picture". Here[27] is an example of Bren Mk II LMG's sight picture. Like HelicopterLlama pointed out, both the front sight post and the rear aperture is offset to the left. WinterWall (talk) 22:11, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

October 23[edit]

West African burial practices[edit]

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

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

It is a cultural—rather than a specifically religious—practice that may have roots in traditional African religions but that is also practiced by Christians in parts of Africa. Funeral practices also vary among, for example, among European ethnic groups even though they all traditionally adhere to Christianity. Christianity does not dictate the details of practices such as wakes or burials. In fact, it dictates little more than the words spoken at the funeral service in some denominations. The rest is a matter of custom. Marco polo (talk) 00:31, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Still common in the West for Christians (and others) to touch a corpse's hand or face in the casket, after they pay someone else to wash it. Kissing, not so much, but a little peck goodbye on the forehead isn't exactly rare. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:03, October 23, 2014 (UTC)
Kissing the face of the corpse is perfectly normal practice at Russian Orthodox funerals. A little confronting for those not brought up in that tradition, but they usually get over it. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 06:23, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

drunk Shakespeare scenes[edit]

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

Act II Scene 3 of Macbeth (the porter is drunk). --Viennese Waltz 06:19, 23 October 2014 (UTC)


Hi everyone,

I would like to know,

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

Brit milah: "covenant of circumcision" is a Jewish religious male circumcision ceremony performed by a mohel (ritual circumciser) on the eighth day of a male infant's life. -- Deborahjay (talk) 06:16, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Yep, ritualised male genital mutilation. Yay for religion! (talk) 07:05, 23 October 2014 (UTC)


October 17[edit]

Is there something rude about "Yandrisovitz"?[edit]

Just noticed somebody corrected a typo in Brian Knobbs' real name and got tagged for possible vandalism or BLP problems. Thought it might just be because someone changed a name, but that doesn't usually happen. I get how "Knobbs" could sound a bit bad to a robot, but is there a Slavic homophone or something I'm missing here? InedibleHulk (talk) 06:24, October 17, 2014 (UTC)

Don't know, but "knob" is a bit rude on this side of the Atlantic. Alansplodge (talk) 10:47, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Like that on this side, too. Here's a Canadian calling Knobbs a knob. If there's a dick term out there in the English world, it'll find its way to American TV. Not so much with the other wordplay.
I think it may have been because an IP did it, if there's no better reason. InedibleHulk (talk) 12:23, October 17, 2014 (UTC)
According to our special page on Tags, that message means it was tagged by abuse filters 39, 189, or 339. I don't read or write code and cannot say which of the three caught this particular change. ---Sluzzelin talk 15:46, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
They don't help me understand much, either, but it seems like we're getting somewhere. Thanks. InedibleHulk (talk) 15:56, October 17, 2014 (UTC)
A note in 39 says "Marking hidden, as vandals don't need to know which words we're filtering on --ABCD". Maybe this mystery word is one of the hidden ones. InedibleHulk (talk) 15:59, October 17, 2014 (UTC) 15:59, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Or wait, no. "made filter public again - these edits are generally made by really unsophisticated editors who barely know how to edit a page." InedibleHulk (talk) 16:01, October 17, 2014 (UTC)
I suspect it was filter 364, "Changing the name in a BLP infobox", though I can't see it because it's private. Weirdly, I can't find any way to search for all the filters (even only public ones) that apply a particular tag. The lists at Special:Tags appear to be manually maintained. -- BenRG (talk) 16:19, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, 364 - basically changing a name in a BLP by a new or unregistered editor. I should think this filter should be public. You may want to ask the creator Od Mishehu or get some opinion at WT:EF if you want it changed. -- zzuuzz (talk) 18:46, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Don't want it changed, just curious. InedibleHulk (talk) 09:43, October 18, 2014 (UTC)
Without giving away any information that would help vandals get around this filter, I can say that the title is self-explanitory, and the diff definitely fits it; and that many, but not all cases which it this filter are probably BLP vandalism. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 17:16, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Aye. I was just curious. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:33, October 20, 2014 (UTC)
Obviously, Russian srat´ "to sh t", sri! "(you sg.) sh t!", a Common Slavic word.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 17:51, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Plural Posessive of phrases of compound nouns with head first?[edit]

In the following phrase please tell me if the phrase in bold is correct.
All of the Governors and Attorneys General went to meetings in September. The Governors' meeting was in Miami. The Attorneys General's meeting was in Chicago.
Thank You Naraht (talk) 16:23, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

This site and this site agree with your usage. --Jayron32 17:04, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Thank you.Naraht (talk) 18:59, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
This point might be worth adding to Post-positive adjective#Usage in modern English and English possessive. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 01:47, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Very Complicated Family[edit]

I am sorry to kep asking these questions. It's just that my family is very complicated, and we are trying to make as much of a family tree as we can muster. Now, here is the question. My cousin's neice, who is not a blood relative (came into the family as her sister's new husband's 'saved game', so to speak) would be what relation to me? What is the legal term, if any? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 20:58, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Are any of these terms "legal"? Given that we don't give legal advice, it's an important question. HiLo48 (talk) 21:23, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
KageTora -- There's no customary or usual term in English for that relationship. AnonMoos (talk) 21:28, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Hold on. Your cousin's sister is also your cousin. Her child, whether the fruit of her own personal loins or by step-acquisition from her husband's former amatory activities (I assume that's what "saved game" refers to), is your cousin once removed. Or at least step-cousin once removed. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:40, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
That makes sense, if we understand KT correctly. I suppose we could also call her "a cousin, once step-removed" as well. Interesting aside, the cousin relation is not a transitive relation, so your cousin's cousin is not necessarily your cousin... Think of your cousin, A, by paternal grandparents, and her cousin, B, by maternal grandparents. Then you and B are not cousins, (unless you want to go back to e.g. mitochondrial eve). SemanticMantis (talk) 21:52, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
User:JackofOz is correct. Assuming the two of you have a common ancestor, and X and Y are the number of generations each of you counts back to the common ancestor, then you are ( minimum maximum(X, Y) - 1 ) cousins, (difference of X and Y) removed. In this case, second cousins, once removed. Peter Grey (talk) 23:07, 17 October 2014 (UTC) corrected formula Peter Grey (talk) 13:55, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
No, first cousins, once removed, I think. We're talking about the child of KT's first cousin, not the child of his second cousin. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:13, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, I forgot to explain that she has not been adopted into the family. My original post was ambiguous, sorry. She still bears her father's surname (as does my cousin, now, as they are married). This is what makes it complicated. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 01:00, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Regardless of the surname she has, she is still the daughter of your cousin's husband. If there's been no adoption, that means she's your cousin's step-daughter, and therefore your step-cousin once removed; or cousin once step-removed if you prefer Semantic Mantis's phraseology. If she were to be formally adopted by your cousin, then just remove the word "step". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 01:43, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
I should clarify that my example terminology was capricious (though still valid). "Step-cousin once removed" is the standard phrase, and will probably cause less confusion. If we want to specify that this is a first cousin, then "first step-cousin once removed" or "step first cousin once removed" are both available, though I cannot comment on which may be more common or intelligible. SemanticMantis (talk) 14:13, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Cheers. I am sure I will be back with more questions on this topic, as my mother is trying to make a family tree, and we are trying to work out a relationship to each family member so she can give it to them all (but of course the family just keeps growing, so it's a never-ending job, with divorces and re-marriages to people who already have kids, and those kids also have kids, adoptions after fostering, some of the kids from a re-marriage are not adopted, but then they have kids, and so on. Really complicated.). Adopted or not, I am currently working on what their relationship is specifically to me. Then comes the arduous task of working out what their relationships are to eachother. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 05:27, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Ask away! It can be a complicated subject, and there are several of us here that can help. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:29, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

October 18[edit]

'Full stop' Confusion[edit]

In which category (Bulleted list, Numbered list) I shouldn't use a full stop in the end of the line? -- ( (talk) 00:07, 18 October 2014 (UTC))

Generally, you should use full stops only if the items in the list are grammatically complete sentences. If you're referring specifically to lists in Wikipedia, see the last two bulleted entries at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lists#Bulleted and numbered lists. Deor (talk) 00:18, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Your statement didn't help Deor, I've seen sentences in lists (Bulletined as well as Numbered) some of which uses full stops and some don't. –- ( (talk) 17:51, 18 October 2014 (UTC))
You're assuming that everything you've seen is correct? ‑‑Mandruss (talk) 19:14, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
No, I'm trying to figure what's the appropriate way Mandruss.
Pretend the above sentence is in a list of both 'Bulletin' as well as 'Numbering', along with many other points or by itself... Should it end in a full stop or not? I understand if it's a word or two a full stop is not required regardless the 'list' type. -- ( (talk) 22:55, 18 October 2014 (UTC))
Yes, that example would be full-stopped in either type of list, per Deor's reply and per the guideline information to which he referred you. It is a complete sentence. ‑‑Mandruss (talk) 23:13, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Acknowledged Mandruss. I understood what Deor mentioned, the issue is, I seen many lines, some with 'full stop' and some without. Many I asked, they all replied both works fine. Only once a person rejected 'full stop' in a 'Bulletin' list of mine; in a C.V. Some of Wikipedia's articles are like the issue I stated, some with and without 'fullstops'. Annoyingly, both problems are in one 'list' type. Don't mind me asking, "Are you guys sure?" -- ( (talk) 23:48, 18 October 2014 (UTC))
The guideline is very clear, I think. If you follow the guideline, and someone says you're wrong, all you have to do is refer them to the guideline. Most people will then concede, unless they can show good reason to deviate from the guideline. If they don't concede or show good reason, then you can decide whether it's worth pursuing via dispute resolution. Or, if there are other editors around, you can try to gain consensus in article talk. ‑‑Mandruss (talk) 23:55, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
No that's fine, I requested for help and both of you provided clear guidelines. I needed to clear my confusion. Thank you once again Mandruss! -- ( (talk) 14:45, 19 October 2014 (UTC))

'Numeric' letter(s) conversion to 'Alphabetic' words[edit]

When do I spell numeric letters as words? E.g., ‘8’ for ‘eight’… -- ( (talk) 00:11, 18 October 2014 (UTC))

In publishing, this is a matter determined by the "house style" of the publication for which one is writing. A common style for journalism is to use words for one to ten and numerals for all other numbers. Some book publishers use words for everything up to and including one hundred and numerals for greater numbers. In either case, there are usually a number of exceptions and qualifications (for juxtaposed numbers, numbers at the beginning of sentences, quantities such as "1.5 million", and so forth). Wikipedia's own style is set forth at MOS:NUMERAL. Deor (talk) 00:42, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
So our cut-off on Wikipedia is nine, not ten. Interesting. I have seen twelve used as cut-off as well, in German at least, where all numbers from zero to twelve (except seven) are monosyllabic; in English, eleven is slightly long, but still not longer than twelve when written. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 01:57, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
To me the most important rule is to avoid two numeric values in a row:
"Eight threes are 24."
"Eight 3's are 24."
"8 threes are 24."
"8 3's are 24."
The last one is clearly the ugliest. I'd go with the first, myself. StuRat (talk) 00:52, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Still another rule is that if a number is a simple count or measurement viewed as a statistic then it should be written in digits (except perhaps for very small numbers), but if it is meant descriptively then words should be preferred (except for large numbers). Thus "There are only five cities where you can do this: New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Miami"—you're thinking of the cities as individual places. But "There are currently 5 states with no sales tax"—you're just giving the size of a group, as a statistic. My example included an enumeration of the five cities only in order to clarify how you are thinking of the number; you could still say "five" even if you didn't list the cities, and you could say "5" even if you did list the states provided that you thought of that information as incidental.

This describes the usage I personally prefer, but I didn't invent it; I've definitely seen a description along these lines in some style guide somewhere. But I don't know where, to cite it. -- (talk) 05:43, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Thanks guys! -- ( (talk) 17:59, 18 October 2014 (UTC))

My own inclination is to spell it out if it is only one word or of it's rounded; "my school had 200 students" suggests (to me) that the number is exactly 200, while "my school had two hundred students" does not. —Tamfang (talk) 05:45, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
I did make this mistake. Thanks Tamfang! -- ( (talk) 14:55, 19 October 2014 (UTC))
I also tend to follow the "one word rule" so I would usually write zero to twenty as text and use digits from 21 onwards. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 16:48, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Point noted, Thanks. -- ( (talk) 06:14, 20 October 2014 (UTC))

'Participle' Confusion[edit]

How do you use things like n’t, ‘ve, ‘s when classifying the 1st, 2nd or 3rd e.g., I shouldn’t have/I should not have, he shouldn’t have/he should not have, they shouldn’t have/they should not have… -- ( (talk) 00:15, 18 October 2014 (UTC))

Are you asking, do they affect the person of the verb? If so, no, they are simply abbreviations, and the person is determined by the pronoun, although it gets complex if you have multiple pronouns, like "you and I" which is technically a first-person plural (or dual), inclusive. Explain further if that's not what you are asking. μηδείς (talk) 03:11, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
In the words "They shouldn't have", there is no participle. The participle will usually be the next word (if a verb), X-ed in "They shouldn't have X-ed"... AnonMoos (talk) 07:52, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Maybe the OP had particles in mind; an auxiliary verb in English can correspond (in semantic function though not in syntactic form) to a particle in some other languages. —Tamfang (talk) 18:39, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
At this point I'm reminded of a famous Dizzy Deanism, commenting on a batter who swung and missed a pitch that was well out of the strike zone: "He shouldn't hadn't oughta swang." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 09:41, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Okay, I feel ashamed to say, I'm not familiar with the English grammars or grammatical orders... Please don't tell me to go and learn it as I don't have the spare time, just tell me, what shall I use formally in writing. Q: Does it depend on the style of, the way you express a statement in writing and so on? -- ( (talk) 18:08, 18 October 2014 (UTC)) @AnonMoos: I understand your example, what shall I use for I, you, he, she? -- ( (talk) 18:08, 18 October 2014 (UTC))

You shan't speak so rudely when you are discussing things here. We are not here to teach you the English language. If you don't understand English grammar, go learn it. Everybody who speaks English correctly had to take in the proper ways of saying things. So stop being a haughty punk and be more respectful of others. If you are confused with specific things, we can assist, but do not waltz on in here and demand to be given special privilege. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 18:18, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
A teensy bit of an over-reaction, perhaps? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:47, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I thought so too. The abbreviations n’t, ‘ve etc. are common in spoken English, but should not be used in formal written English. As Medeis explains above, there is no difference in this rule between 1st, 2nd and 3rd persons, just a difference in the form of the abbreviation (I've; you've; he's, she's; they've) (for I have; you have; he has, she has; they have). See the Wiktionary entries have and be for some details of irregularities in these verbs. Dbfirs 22:03, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
I understand Dbfirs, what I don't get is, when to use what during writing! E.g., "I have to go to school". I can't write "I've to go to school", I can say "I've to go to school". Note that a lot of sentence vary while using the aforementioned. What shall I use while writing formally -- ( (talk) 23:31, 18 October 2014 (UTC))
The usual rule is that you should not use any contracted forms in formal writing unless you are quoting speech. Dbfirs 06:42, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Where do people say "I've to go"? —Tamfang (talk) 05:49, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
In England, from Charles Dickens to the present day, though the "have" is expanded when emphasis is required. Don't they say that in America? "I've got to go" is more common here. Dbfirs 06:42, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes. In America, formally you would say "I have to go". Maybe sometimes "I have got to go", although that seems excessive. And instead of "I've to go", it has evolved as "I've got to go". Or, as with any expression that has "got to" in it, "I've gotta go", or just "Gotta go". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 13:16, 19 October 2014 (UTC) The rules on when you can use the contracted form in speech (and hence in informal writing) depend on prosody. The contracted forms are almost never used without a relatively stressed word following. So you don't use them at the end of a sentence or clause ("That's the kind of guy I'm" is not grammatical, though Gershwin deliberately used it for a clever rhyme); and most speakers use the contracted forms of "have" (-ve, -s) only when it is an auxiliary (followed by a past participle): I've seen him today, but not when it's a full verb: I have a friend, I have to go, not I've a friend, I've to go. There are some people, particularly in Britain, who use these last forms, but they are rather old fashioned, and many people would never say them. However, in British English there is an alternative form I've got, he's got etc, where got does not have its own meaning (such as acquired) like the American gotten, but just provides a stressed word that allows the contraction before it. --ColinFine (talk) 13:15, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Colin, your explanation is better than mine, and I'm not offended at being described as "rather old fashioned" :-) Dbfirs 16:50, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Are you dumb or stupid Tharthan? When you post something, you are requesting, demanding an answer. I mentioned things in advance so that whoever is responding is aware of the matter. You are requesting/demanding/posting so that you get a quicker answer for you thoughts. I clearly understand this is Wikipedia, you clearly don't! Don't disrespect me again please. Regards. -- ( (talk) 23:31, 18 October 2014 (UTC))
JackofOz, Dbfirs Yes, I suppose you're right. Nevertheless, someone who is demanding things where they have no business demanding needs to be reminded of such. Otherwise we risk jadedness. A request is by no means equivalent to a demand. A demand is forceful, whilst a request is not. Not understanding this very stark difference can cause big problems. On Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia, one is supposed to abide by proper etiquette. You have failed to do so. Now, granted, I too have failed, for I have (out of anger) made a personal attack, which I hereby apologise for. However, many people (including myself) take kindly neither to indolence nor to demands. It must be understood that we here at the reference desk are not here to do your bidding nor to replace actual instructors on a subject. To quote the heading informational section of the reference desk "We don't do your homework for you, though we’ll help you past the stuck point". As such statements like "Please don't tell me to go and learn it as I don't have the spare time, just tell me, what shall I use formally in writing" are not acceptable. They are very rude and show lack of understanding anent the fact that the reference desk is composed of people who offer to answer you. Furthermore, you do not pay us to find the information you seek for yourself; we do so because we wish to offer answers. As such, you'd ought to be more respectful of the people here, and not start making demands or setting conditions for how something is to be done. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 00:11, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
@Tharthan:I understand you, I didn't realise someone will be offended by such a statement. Many do speak/write like me; I've read through some of the posts... I do know the difference between posting, demanding and requesting, technically they are all different, informally, you are trying to retrieve something, e.g., from thoughts, gestures, answers, reply's, actions, reactions to '...'. I'm just a bit busy. I hate reading, but I have to. I do kind of like it, a bit now, but I really can't waste reading something else than what I am currently reading. I seek help from Wikipedia when I get confused with my readings, and when I do need a quick answer.
I apologise.
Another thing, you don't risk no jadedness, if you are a volunteer, than must possess a good attitude as a helper regardless of what they come up with. Simple logic!
( (talk) 00:37, 19 October 2014 (UTC))
No problem. I'm just happy to hear that this was just a misunderstanding. You see, there are some people these days who actually go around ordering people to do things for no reason and don't understand that they shouldn't be doing that. It's a shame, because the number of those people seems to be growing. It's good to see that you are not one of those people.
And, fair enough. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 01:50, 19 October 2014 (UTC) is by his own acknowledgment not a native English speaker, and so some infelicities of expression can be expected. When he said "just tell me", he probably meant what you or I would say, "what I really need to know". It's to his credit that he's endeavouring to expand his knowledge of English. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 05:01, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
True enough. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 05:19, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
He did prefix it with "Please". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:27, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Thank you all for your helps, clearing all the confusions and distresses. Please don't have any hard feelings about me or others. Clever people are altogether in one site, bound to have arguments... I wish I could make some of you my friend, since you've always helped, it's unfortunate that I cannot (there is no system and this is not facebook). After a long time, I found an opportunity to hang around with clever people. I love Wikipedians! SFriendly.svg-- ( (talk) 15:17, 19 October 2014 (UTC))

  • I have a noun and I have to verb are two entirely separate expressions. It's always fine to say "I've a book in my pocket", because the verb expresses possession. But "I have to go" does not express possession of to go. It expresses obligation, and should never be abbreviated in speech or in informal writing, at least not in America. Be aware also that the obligation sense is usally pronounced as "I hafta go" with the tee changing the vee to eff. Again, this does not happen in the possession sense. BTW, "help" is like rice, it takes no plural under normal circumstances. μηδείς (talk) 00:15, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Awh. Thanks! -- ( (talk) 06:22, 20 October 2014 (UTC))
The seemingly simple verb "have" has a more complicated origin. It's actually the convergence of at least two different words.[28]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:02, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Noted! -- ( (talk) 11:38, 20 October 2014 (UTC))
I think Bugs may have somewhat misinterpreted the source. The word have in English has only one source from Indo-European, *kap-, which is cognate with cap- verbs like capture in Latin. Confusingly, Latin habeo also means "to have", but it comes from the PIE root *ghabh-, which is ultimately the source of "give" in English. The (late) Latin usage may have influenced the English usage.
(It's entirely possible that ghabh and kap were variants of an even early identical root, perhaps due to dialect borrowing, which gives pairs like shirt and skirt, shape and (land)scape, or ship and skipper in English) but that's entirely speculative at this point.)
What's interesting is that while neither Proto-Germanic nor Classical Latin had periphrastic perfect forms with helping verbs of the type "I have verb-ed" with to have and a past participle, these forms did develop (at least for transitive verbs) in both Romance and Western Germanic: Yo lo he leido; Ich habe es gelesen. (I am not sure about Norse or Gothic). μηδείς (talk) 18:32, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

12th century Arabic constellation[edit]

Hi all.

Can anyone identify the star constellation heading on the left page in this image of the Doha manuscript of the Book of Fixed Stars? A literal translation would do as I can identify the modern constellation from that. It's just that I can't read Arabic script.

I need this information because I would like to nominate the image as a Featured Picture.

Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Marinka van Dam (talkcontribs) 11:38, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

It must be Corona Borealis -- I can't read the first word but the rest says "al-iklil ash-shamali wa-huwa al-fakkah" (Northern Crown, and it [is] Al-Fakkah [the broken one]).--Cam (talk) 13:02, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
For whatever it might be worth, according to Allen's Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning "Al Iklil al Shamāliyyah" and "Al Fakkah" (his spellings) are indeed Arabic names of Corona Borealis. Deor (talk) 14:57, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
I think the first word is kawakbah (if you'll pardon my translitteration), i.e. constellation. (talk) 15:28, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks so much for this. I've just had confirmation of Corona Borealis from an expert and the right side is the star list for Boötes. Grateful for your input. I'll nominate the image thids evening or tomorrow morning. Thanks again. 17:02, 18 October 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Marinka van Dam (talkcontribs)

Contemporary assessment of Rabindranath Tagore by western media and literary critics[edit]

I want to know how do the public at large in the western world (USA,Western and Eastern Europe ,Russia ,Australias and also the African countries perceive Rabindranath Tagore ,what is the level of popularity is he viewed as a superhuman entity or is he seen as one of the greatest exponents of world literature.In Bengal he is worshipped like a God.It is said that YB Yeats played a key role in translating The Gitanjali. Was Bernard Shaw critical about Tagore. What was his opinion regarding this man and his creations in public and private.How does the British and American public seen and sees Tagore and his work.I am a Bengali and find his works and songs not at all appealing. I find most of them artificial and arousing morbid emotions.Most of the Bengali people will frown upon me and mock me as uncultured and that i am imbecile lacking the mental capability to relish such great creation. I want to know the global assessment and how did the men in the British government appreaised him in private .Were those men his fans. (talk) 15:41, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

I am British, and I have never heard of him. This is on the wrong desk, by the way. It should be on the Humanities desk. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 15:47, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Geez, he did win the Nobel Prize, after all. -- Elphion (talk) 16:16, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Ironically, that is almost a recipe for oblivion. Have you ever heard of Grazia Deledda, Verner von Heidenstam, Rudolf Christoph Eucken, Carl Spitteler, Sigrid Undset or Pär Lagerkvist? Nobel Literature laureates all. Martin Amis is on record as saying "Serious stuff is bullshit. The Nobel Prize tends to go to solemn, gloomy buggers like Le Clézio and Saramago. I predict they will be completely forgotten". Does anyone outside Australia know anything of Patrick White? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 22:34, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
We do have an article on him: Rabindranath Tagore and looking at it, I note there is some mention of the response of some of the English literati to him: Graham Greene for example was quite critical. We are not familiar with his work today in England, much as we are not overly familiar with Omar Khayyam (who wrote the Rubaiyyat) or other polymaths of the Eastern world, mainly because (I guess) of our country's inherent (racist) disdain for countries it had formerly subjugated. His work is certainly not routinely taught in schools today, it wasn't in my school days and I doubt it was in my father's schooldays. --TammyMoet (talk) 17:01, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
  • He's famous enough that someone once asked me for a translation of him into Spanish. μηδείς (talk) 17:19, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
I have heard that he's important and wonderful but haven't got round to reading him yet. Itsmejudith (talk) 22:18, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
  • I learned about him several years ago working on . . . Wikipedia, when I was filling out some details on an American poetry magazine but that was not a contemporary encounter, rather historical; he got published in the US a little bit before his Nobel Prize. I recall love poems (not all gloomy [29] )Alanscottwalker (talk) 23:05, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Louis Untermeyer wrote of Ezra Pound's critical acumen, "He 'placed' Tagore as literary artist, not as messiah, and saw the Bengalese poet become a cult."
I took a number of poetry classes in the late '70s and early '80s. We read translations from various European languages, and at least one textbook contained excerpts from Fitzgerald's Rubaiyat, but as I recall, there was nothing from any Indian language, and Tagore was never mentioned. —JerryFriedman (Talk) 17:18, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

OP, while assessing Tagore's relative low-profile in the West keep in mind that:

  • Translation of non-English poetry is rarely, if ever (are there any common exceptions?), taught in school. That precludes the possibility of Tagore being a "household" name comparable to Wordsworth, Keats, or even Plath.
  • Even among the (non-Bengali speaking) literati Tagore is known mainly though his self-translation in English, or second-hand translation of those English translations, which are generally regarded as of poor-quality and not reflective of the quality of his Bengali verse. For example the Encyclopedia of Literary Translation Into English:

It was through his own English translations of his works that Rabindranath Tagore became internationally known. Although his immense achievements as a Bengali writer undoubtedly made him deserving of the Nobel Proze for Literature in 1913, he was awarded it for his English volume of spiritual poems Gitanjali ... Nearly all the translations into other languages that followed the award were done from this and subsequent English volumes. Tagore's reputation outside Bengal thus came to be based on translations that were often second-hand and that have come to seem increasingly inadequate. Bland and archaic in their diction, flaccid in their rhythm, and often vaguely representing the Bengali phrasing and imagery, they remain an obstacle to true appreciation of his genius; but they cannot be wished away, and in [sic?] India will probably maintain their canonical status as the words of the poet himself.

So while you should feel free to dislike Tagore poetry, do not use his relative lack-of-fame outside Bengal/India as a crutch. Aside: For hose not familiar with Tagore's reputation within India: Most Indians will perhaps name Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Tagore as the three (non-contemporary) Indians most widely known outside India. In Bengal, the order will be reversed. :-) Abecedare (talk) 18:50, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

October 19[edit]

Line breaks in dates[edit]

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

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

Italian language question[edit]

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

So, I ask this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Word for "internationally socioeconomic"[edit]

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

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

IPA symbol[edit]

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

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

New old words[edit]

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

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

October 20[edit]

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

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

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

What is the correct word? Ensemble.[edit]

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

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

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

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

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

Pronunciation of Shakespearean English[edit]

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

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

October 21[edit]

Etymology of Ebola[edit]

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

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

Opposite of 'holistic'[edit]

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

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

resources for IPA?[edit]

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

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

City centre[edit]

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

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

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

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

Chinese language question[edit]

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

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

October 22[edit]

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

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

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

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

Short form of newspaper name[edit]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another Relative Question[edit]

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

You can think of this as a constructed familial relation based on feelings and experience, or you can think of it in terms of Consanguinity. In the former sense, if you call the expectant mother a "niece", then her daughter is a grandniece (or greatniece [36]), and you are her great uncle [37] (or grand uncle -- spacing, hyphens and great/grand have several variations, check google, dictionaries, etc, or just use your preferred form). If you want to be more picky about the blood lines, then you could refer to your sister-in-law's daughter as your niece-in-law, regardless of any adoptive status. Then you could call the expected baby a great niece-in-law. (I actually don't have much interest in familial relationships but I like these questions because they deal in controlled vocabulary, ontology, and graph theory - good exercise for the analytic mind ;) SemanticMantis (talk) 21:53, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I suspect most people would misunderstand niece-in-law and looking at your link I'm not clear that the definition of niece-in-law in that article you're relying on ("daughter of one's sister-in-law/brother-in-law") has any real currency in English. I would understand my niece-in-law only to mean "my nephew's wife" as "in-law" means "by marriage". The normal term that indicates that a person is related by remarriage is "step". So the OP's brother's wife's daughter is his step-niece and her daughter will be his step-grand-niece. I doubt this is a term that many would use frequently as "brother's stepdaughter's daughter" or "brother's wife's granddaughter" or "sister-in-law's granddaughter" all convey more information about the actual relationship while using only terms that most people are comfortable with the meaning of. Valiantis (talk) 22:25, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Hey Kage, shouldn't a linguist know I before E except after C? :D ‑‑Mandruss  22:33, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Translators use spellcheckers to save time while we try to meet deadlines :D Unfortunately, my Waterfox browser doesn't have one. Just an excuse. I have always had trouble with that particular word. Anyway, there is no scIEnce in that claim - in fact, according to QI, there are more exceptions than examples that follow the rule. Our specIEs is a finnickety one :) KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 01:16, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I'd just go with "niece's daughter" and leave it at that. Marco polo (talk) 00:40, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

The dreaded lurgi seems to have mutated[edit]

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

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

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

October 23[edit]

Word Query[edit]

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

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

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

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

"Awaring" is not a word. You don't say what meaning you are trying to convey with this word. Perhaps "becoming aware"? As for "seeked", that should be "sought". You can use the Synonyms feature in Word (put your cursor anywhere in the word, right click and highlight Synonyms). There's also an online Thesaurus feature there as well, or you can use, or (best of all) get a hard copy of Roget's Thesaurus and use that. --Viennese Waltz 06:15, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Could be "making aware" (transitive), too. —Tamfang (talk) 06:52, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Sentence filling[edit]

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

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

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

Yes, though it's a bit stuffy. Also: during life or while living. —Tamfang (talk) 06:53, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Merits & demerits means the person's character or qualities, while good & bad deeds refers to things the person has done. So they are not the same thing. --Viennese Waltz 07:21, 23 October 2014 (UTC)


October 17[edit]

Music genre rules qualifications origin place[edit]

My questions are complicated to understand but I want to know something:

In Bhangra music, is there a rule where it says you have to be an Indian, a Sikh and a Punjabi in order to be an artist of this genre and sing the songs in Punjabi only? In Raï music, is there a rule where it says you have to be an Algerian, from Oran only in order to be an artist of this genre and sing the songs in Arabic only? In Hip-hop music, is there a rule where it says you have to be an African-American only, from USA only and sing the songs in English only to be an artist in genre? In Qawwali music, is there a rule where it says you have to be a Pakistani only, from Pakistan only and sing the songs in Urdu only in order to be an artist? In Baul music (in Bangladesh), is there a rule where it says you have to be from Sylhet division only in order to be an artist? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:19, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Music is art. Art has no rules. —Nelson Ricardo (talk) 02:00, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Re: Hip-hop music, for example, see Eminem. Of course there may always be some purist devotees of any ethnically oriented music genre who object to non-conformity with their own self-conceived "rules", but that doesn't mean anyone else has to take any notice, beyond practicalities. (If the audience comes towards you brandishing chairs, it's time to leave the venue.) {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 13:03, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

So, as a Bangladeshi, I can sing Bhangra songs, Raï songs, and Qawwali songs in Bengali and as a non-Sylheti, I can sing Baul songs in Bengali language, not in Sylheti? Awesome. Also, in Mizrahi music, is there a rule where it says I have to be a Mizrahi Jew and sing songs in Hebrew in order to be an artist? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:14, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Who do you think is going to stop you from doing so? --Jayron32 19:46, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, and I can sing Chinese folk songs, even though I am not part of that culture. Genres are always vague, and inclusion is always debatable. Some people love that, some people hate it. You get to make up your own genre rules, but nobody else has to respect them. There are certainly people who make French_hip_hop, though I'm also sure there's someone out there would claim it's not "real". Here's an analogous question: Can you get a real Dosa in New York City? I think most of us would agree that you can, but the writer of this article [39] might disagree. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:17, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
... and look at our sizable category hip hop by nationality. The answers to these questions also depend on how purist you wish to be and how important authenticity of expression is to you. In some critics' view, hip hop's authenticity was already diminished when it went mainstream, even when performed by African-American artists from the USA. ---Sluzzelin talk 16:36, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
According to certain cultural values, yes, you do have to have some connection to the music or culture for it to "count" although nothing is stopping outsiders to sing it or play it. Aboriginal music of Canada has a brief explanation. Mingmingla (talk) 19:28, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

October 18[edit]

Help with name of old song[edit]

I can't remember the name. It is a guys name and "song". I think it was the theme to an old TV show or radio show. I keep thinking it's Brian's Song but obviously that was a movie not a song.

I posted this using my phone so sorry if the formatting is messed up.KevinTR (talk) 02:09, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Nothing obvious coming up, I'm afraid. Possibly Danny's Song? This site and this user page might be useful places to look for inspiration. Tevildo (talk) 22:23, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Best that I can do: "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)"? More seriously: Here's a list of songs with male names in their title. 59 of them match "'s song" plus a couple more for "'s tune", "'s melody", etc. ---Sluzzelin talk 22:49, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
What about The Harry Lime Theme - aka The Third Man Theme - which was used as the theme tune to The Adventures of Harry Lime, a radio drama series made in 1951/1952. (talk) 20:28, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Brian's Song was both a movie and a song. The TV movie's theme song was recorded as an instrumental by its composer Michel Legrand with the title Brian's Song. The same song has the title The Hands of Time when performed with its lyrics (by Marilyn and Alan Bergman). ReverendWayne (talk) 01:20, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

October 19[edit]

british idol?[edit]

I was wondering whos the Hispanic looking gal in the panel (not the blond (although I dont know who she is either) with a british accent somehow)? [40] Kelly something apparentlyLihaas (talk) 06:07, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

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

Never previously caught on camera[edit]

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

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

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

Devane as JFK in a 1974 ABC Miniseries

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

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

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

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

moonlight 70s popular song disco?[edit]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 22[edit]

Far Cry 4[edit]

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

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

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

A great guy and a wonderful dancer[edit]

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

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

frosty the snowman[edit]

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

You aren't the first person to ponder this question. This may lead you to some possible avenues for researching the answer. --Jayron32 22:17, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

October 23[edit]

dress sia wore on chandelier cover artwork[edit]

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

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

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

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

Do you mean a different Sid_Meier? (talk) 07:11, 23 October 2014 (UTC)


October 18[edit] - monopoly on audiobooks?[edit]

I listen to a lot of Audiobooks, and whether I buy it from, Amazon (which owns Audible) or iTunes, there is always a message at the beginning and end of recording that says "this audio program is presented by".

It doesn't matter who the author or publisher is--the recording is *always* brought to me by Apparently, there are no other players in the audiobook market.

How did this happen? I sometimes wonder if there wouldn't be a better selection and more competitive pricing on audiobooks if Audible hadn't cornered the market. Couldn't antitrust action be taken against them?--Jerk of Thrones (talk) 02:27, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Mwa ha hahaha? But seriously, get thee to a lawyery. We don't do actions at the ref desk. μηδείς (talk) 02:51, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
As any reasonable person can see, the OP is not asking for legal advice. They are asking about law and a chronology that brought Audible to the point this it is currently in. Dismas|(talk) 23:28, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
There are three ways to get audiobooks for free, one is through websites like LibriVox which offers readings of public domain books, two is through your public library (possibly even through your library's website), or third is good old The Pirate Bay. (talk) 20:14, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Lovely advice that it is to recommend someone to use a site that is blocked by most ISPs due to the illegal nature of the content it holds, this has no relevence to the question. The OP was asking why Audible seems to own the market with no competitors, not where can they get alternatives... I have no idea btw... gazhiley 08:08, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Is it possible for Wikipedia administrators to see registered users IP address?[edit]

IP addresses of unregistered users can be seen easily by all users, but is it possible to see IP addresses of registered users for admins? If so, how someone can hide their IP addresses from all users, including admins? -- Bkouhi (talk) 17:54, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Admins cant see IP addresses of registered users, a different and very small group called CheckUsers can see it if required to investigate abuse of accounts. Not sure why you would want to hide your IP address if you are doing nothing wrong. MilborneOne (talk) 18:03, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for the answer. Just for clarification, let me say that, obviously I'm not doing anything wrong :) But not doing anything wrong, does not mean that it is OK for others to see my personal information, I just don't believe that the idea "I'm a good man and there is nothing wrong with me, so let give anyone any information he like". I just noticed that there are 1,386 admins on Wikipedia (English Wikipedia only), that's a large number IMHO, but again, obviously, it does not mean that I don't trust admins, sure admins are very trusted persons. Anyway, thank you very much for the answer. -- Bkouhi (talk) 18:24, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Due to sensitivity about IPs they are only about 40 Check Users on English Wikipedia (refer Special:ListUsers/checkuser) and they will only check if wrong doing is suspected. MilborneOne (talk) 18:30, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Details of what CheckUser provides is listed at wp:CheckUser, and more technical details are on its information page on mediawiki. All requests are logged (but not the result), the log is only accessible to other users with CheckUser permission. It appears that CheckUser allows listing of all IP address that a given user has used, or all users who have used a given IP address. CS Miller (talk) 20:01, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
That's correct -- all such things within the limited time period (90 days, I think it is now) that checkuser data is retained. Also the user agent string. --jpgordon::==( o ) 03:10, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
In addition to all that's been said above, if you have very good reason to think the checkuser tool was misused or there was otherwise a breach of the privacy policy, you can complain to the Meta:Ombudsman commission who will (if there is a good case) investigate and if necessary report to the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. While this obviously won't stop your details being known, it may provide some reassurance that it's less likely to happen again to anyone.

Note however a lot of the time you're at far bigger risk from other sites and from mistakes you make.

For example, if you're using the same username elsewhere, bear in mind a lot of sites don't have anywhere near the same protections of such details. E.g. many discussion sites the admins don't need any particular reason to check your IP if they think you're a troll, sockpuppet, spammer, have a COI or whatever else. Similarly for blogs which run their own discussion system. (If the blog uses an external system, it's possible your IP may be protected, although depending on their level of traffic they could perhaps try a correlation with general server access logs.) Even in terms of other non WMF wikis, their checkuser and privacy policies may be very weak so they have similar behaviour.

And if you accidentally edit while logged out in a manner in which you can be tied to your account, it's often easy for someone to pick it up. (If you realise you did this sooner after it happened, you should immediately remove your response, or at least any signature with your IP address and ask for WP:oversight of the compromising edits. This may not stop people noticing in the interim but at least means people won't be able to find it in the future.)

Nil Einne (talk) 12:58, 19 October 2014 (UTC)


What causes the tingly sensation in the mouth when eating radishes? Th4n3r (talk) 18:04, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Probably allyl isothiocyanate. That article, as well as the one on radish, subsection "Uses" explain how the compound forms while the radish is being chewed. ---Sluzzelin talk 18:33, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Now I see why nobody ever died on Fraggle Rock. Except all of their parents, apparently. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:12, October 18, 2014 (UTC)
My mother would like to know, how come they don't come up in bunches like at the grocers, when you plant them? μηδείς (talk) 19:25, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
Your reply could be: Why is it that most women don't normally have up to six babies in one go, like dogs or cats? Unrelated, but by the way, never put a male and a female hamster in the same cage. You will end up with LOADS of hamsters after a very short while. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 23:43, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
As a kid I had a pop gun. Instead of using corks I often used radishes, because it turned it into a repeater. Second... If you find yourself with too many hamsters try this: Honey & Cider Hamster: Ingredients: 2 young hamsters, dressed & halved, 1/2 cup honey.2cups apple cider. 2 bay leaves, crushed. 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. 2 tablespoons of water. Preparation: Pat hamster halves dry. Place on rack in broiler pan. Coat with half the honey. Broil 6 inches from heat source for 8 minutes. Turn. Coat with remaining honey. Broil for 8 minutes longer. Place in roasting pan. Pour cider over hamster. Add bay leaves. Roast @ 350 degrees for 1 hour or until tender. Remove to serving platter; keep warm. Strain pan drippings into saucepan. Dissolve cornstarch in water; stir into pan drippings. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Serve with hamster. May serve with crisp shoestring potatoes and green salad. Yield: 4 Servings. --Aspro (talk) 13:36, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
350 degrees for an hour?! you like your hamster crispy then. Richard Avery (talk) 07:44, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the tip. What do I dress them in? Dinner jackets and ball-gowns? (Note to aspiring young comedians: Do NOT try this at home) KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 08:44, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

October 19[edit]

Name of the game[edit]

I remember a game where was three main characters. Young woman named Maya, her weapon was gun. Bald man with glasses, his weapon was spear and knife and he had ability to use green card or purple card that damaged enemy or healed the character. And a dog, who was able to shoot an energy beam in his mouth, either blue, green or red. If I remember correctly, Maya first had to train herself before she was able to recruit that man and dog with her. The game was released to Playstation 2 but I dont remember name of the game. Does someone know which game this was? (talk) 06:01, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Legaia 2: Duel Saga, perhaps? InedibleHulk (talk) 14:03, October 19, 2014 (UTC)
No it wasn't that. I also remember that she was first fighting with some sort of hyena creatures whitch was able to call other hyenas by howling and after killing it you sometimes get you skin and you was able to sell it somewhere. There was green hyenas at some point. There was charching bar where was three different strike forces and after the bar was full the strike was the strongest against the enemy. They were able to talk with others and get clues that helped them to solve puzzles. You were also able to buy new weapons and food and try steal and if you get caught then the prices were higher. There were different levels, several fights and boss fights at the end. It was fantasy game and it was actually released in PC not in Playstation if I remember correctly. It was released between 1998-2004. (talk) 16:00, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Morality of taking classes in things you already know[edit]

Is it intellectually dishonest to take credit-bearing classes in things you already know well from non-credit-bearing activities, or just because you grew up surrounded by them? I know someone who was raised bilingual from birth, and did a school-leaver exam (an A-Level) in her other language. It was her highest grade and helped her into a good undergraduate degree (in a non-language subject), but as far as I can see, it doesn't represent any active effort. Am I being unfair in seeing this as a kind of cheating? (talk) 19:15, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

the purpose of a levels i think is to demonstrate knowledge to universities, regardless of how such knowledge is required..this site gives a number of general purpose statements, one being to demonstrate qualification in a particular subject matter. if she's qualified due to her upbringing then good for her, i personally see it a bit like a child from a family of doctors likely doing naturally better in science subjects than a more artsy family so to speak idk ~Helicopter Llama~ 19:23, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Let's reverse the question. Suppose someone who was bilingual in English and Spanish to the point of being able to read The Canterbury Tales and Cantar de Mio Cid as easily as this sentence, such that they can also get the gist of most Germanic and Romance languages. But they didn't take any classes to gain this fluency. Would it intellectually honest for schools treat such as person only as just functionally fluent in the language they applied in, and refuse to acknowledge any skill beyond that? Ian.thomson (talk) 19:39, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
If you're fluent in English, you're skilled enough to pass a class that demands fluency. Same with anything. The school's not there to teach you, it's there to accredit you. If it has to help, it will. No different than a "natural" in sports. If you can win the games without the coach struggling with you, you're a welcome addition. People who smartened up early are likewise welcome alumni. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:05, October 19, 2014 (UTC)
I met my (now ex-)wife when we were both studying Russian at university. I had no Russian family background, although I had taught myself the alphabet some years earlier. She was born here to Russian-speaking parents, her first language was Russian till she went to school, and she became bilingual. That is to say, she could carry on Russian conversation completely fluently, could read the language, and could translate and interpret for her parents etc. But her knowledge of Russian grammar was rudimentary, because she had never studied it academically. So, when she had the opportunity, she went to uni to learn it. They certainly did not make it any easier on her just because she started ahead of the 8-ball, and there was no intellectual dishonesty involved. Funnily enough, she scored mainly Credits while I, the newbie, got Distinctions and a few High Distinctions. (Fat lot of good that does me now, though.) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 20:55, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
No matter how much you think you know about something, you can always learn more or get a refresher. And if you're willing, you could even help the teacher by helping other kids in the class, and then it's a win for everybody. So, no, there's nothing wrong with it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:36, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
A friend of mine was bi-lingual in English and Italian, so when he did a Modern Languages degree at Oxford (which is actually very much focused on literature as well as just competency in the languages themselves), he did it in French and Spanish. I can't remember whether this was mandated by the university languages department, or just a suggestion that it would be a bit silly to take what was essentially a foreign language degree in a language that wasn't foreign to him. There are presumably benefits to studying literature in languages that you are not fluent in, because it changes the way you think about and relate to the material. Of course, other types of qualification are about language competency in the narrow sense, and one imagines that if he did a version of the General Studies A-level that had a foreign languages section in it, it would have been wise and proper for him to do the Italian option.
Similar to what someone else said above, if your father is a carpenter, then you end up knowing a fair bit about carpentry, and there's nothing morally wrong or misleading about taking a course that confirms that. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 21:46, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

  • No. I agree with almost everthing said above. Some classes you can "test out of" which I did as an undergrad, being allowed to skip the lower level ones. I knew the Greek alphabet from basic study on my own before taking it as 101. In other cases you simply have to take the class. As a bio major I had to take bio 101-102 when it was far less advanced than what I'd taken as a 15 year-old. Although I learned how to use the card catalog in first grade, I was still required to learn that over again in "English" as a freshman in college. Was that my fault?
Likewise, I took the swimming and boating badges three times over at summer camp. I simply enjoyed being in the water. The first Spanish class I ever took was a 400 (4th year university) one and I got an A. I don't find any of that dishonest--I got the grades I deserved for the work I completed. Of course I didn't apply as a foreign student to get preferred admission, even though I was born in Hawaii of two American citizen parents, nor have my records sealed. That might have been criminal, or immoral. Define crime and immorality and I will respond. μηδείς (talk) 21:52, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
It's a bit of a waste of time in many cases, but not because you aren't learning anything. If you are so knowledgeable or experienced, you can challenge many courses in lots of universities and save yourself the time of having to actually sit and do the full project workload. Not all courses are challengeable, mind, but it's common enough. Mingmingla (talk) 00:47, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
The main purpose of university/college courses is to get you an accreditation. Many companies require you to prove you have experience/qualification in the subject by asking you to provide a certificate from a university/college, etc., regardless of how good at the subject you say you are. They don't want you to tell them. They want somebody else to tell them. If you are already good at the subject before you take a course on it, then who should complain? You might not learn anything new, but at least you have a piece of paper to show a prospective employer. I don't think there is anything morally or ethically wrong with this. In the UK, you are paying for it with your ridiculously large student loan, anyway. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 09:58, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
The prospective employer is looking for a "reliable source". Novel idea! I'm reminded of a TV ad from the 1960s showing Abraham Lincoln looking for a job, telling the employment counselor he has no college degree, but has learned a lot from reading on his own. The guy tells him, "I know you're a smart guy... but you're not going anywhere without that sheepskin!" ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:45, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
And by the way, there is a huge gulf between "intellectual dishonesty" and "immorality". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 11:46, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Can be. But murdering your professor to get out of a test is a bit of both. InedibleHulk (talk) 20:55, October 21, 2014 (UTC)
Some colleges require certain courses that have nothing to do with one's chosen field. I once had to fulfill a science requirement that was outside my major. Because I did not want to devote much time to that course, I opted for an astronomy class on the nature of the Solar System. Because my grandfather had been an aerospace engineer, much of what was covered in the course I knew by the age of 8. I went to class on the first day and picked up the syllabus, then attended for only the mid-term and final exams. I pulled an A, and was able to focus my time on my major courses.    → Michael J    17:56, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, as an undergrad I had to take 6 "distribution" courses, but luckfully my majors and study of German covered five of the required categories. I ended up taking Continental history from 1789-1848. I really enjoyed that class immensely. I found out after I graduated that they had added 6 more categories, for 12 total, that included all the identity studies classes. What a shame there was no requirement actually to study formal logic, to read Smith or De Tocqueville, or learn a foreign language, or to calculate the paths of celestial bodies, or read Suetonius and watch I, Claudius. μηδείς (talk) 20:43, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

October 20[edit]

Easter Island[edit]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Simchat Torah in Mir[edit]

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

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

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


How allergic reactions happen

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

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

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

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

October 22[edit]

Mystery books?[edit]

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

Can you give me some titles of mystery novels which:

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

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

Someone has complied a list of [Nonmurder mysteries] on Goodreads. Some of the titles that I recognize are usually classed as YA (children's) which might be too light?. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime seems to involve the murder of a dog. Rmhermen (talk) 15:39, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Notwithstanding its name and some of its promotion, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime is really a book about autism, not a conventional mystery. John M Baker (talk) 15:59, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Some cozy mysteries might fit the bill. Here is a list of cozy mysteries without murders. Rmhermen (talk) 15:42, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I just read Gaudy Night (in the list cited by Rmhermen above) for the first time—I'm not much of a mystery reader—and thought that it was pretty good. I'm not sure that it would appeal to the sort of "non-reader" that you describe, though. Only some of the Sherlock Holmes short stories involve murders, and a book of those might be more appealing to the person. Deor (talk) 18:57, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
  • just what you are looking for: Lisa Scottoline and Janet Evanovich. They are (according to my source, who hates gore, and finds Michael Crichton too techie) humorous and lighthearted page turners who write non-murder mysteries. She also recommends Robert B. Parker as not gory, but he does depict murders. μηδείς (talk) 21:20, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Isaac Asimov's Black Widowers stories feature a group of people who get together and solve mysteries by talking about them over the dinner table. Sometimes the mysteries involve murders, but many of them don't; some don't even involve crimes. (For example, in the first of the series, The Acquisitive Chuckle, the mystery to be solved is "What, if anything, did was stolen?") If there is a murder then you only "see" these people talking about it. Now these are short stories, not novels, but that means your friend can try a few stories in a relatively short time and see if they like the series. They were written some time ago (Asimov died in 1992) and have been collected in... let's see, here we go... five books with "Black Widowers" in the title each time:

  • Tales of the Black Widowers (1974)
  • More Tales of the Black Widowers (1976)
  • Casebook of the Black Widowers (1980)
  • Banquets of the Black Widowers (1984)
  • Puzzles of the Black Widowers (1990)

The ones I've read contain about 12 stories each. There is also a book The Return of the Black Widowers (2003) containing some reprinted stories and some additional stories written for the series by other writers. I have no idea of whether any of these books are easy or hard to find now. -- (talk) 22:18, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Chess and "check"[edit]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I don't play go, but I think it went through a similar rule change: play originally continued until the board was completely filled, but modern play ends when the outcome is clear, and the scoring approximates what would have happened if the board had been filled. -- BenRG (talk) 07:09, 23 October 2014 (UTC)


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

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

I don't know about "entitled", but some people have funerals for still born babies, some do not. Here's a few links that talk a bit about the options and choices that can be made [41] [42]. SemanticMantis (talk) 18:37, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't know about "entitled", but certainly in Scotland there's a history of them being cremated - indeed there was a major scandal recently because parents were told there were no ashes for them to mourn over, when there were, see [43]. In my own family in north Wales, my second-oldest brother died at 1 day old (this was nearly 70 years ago, over a decade before I was born), and I only fairly recently discovered that he was buried by the wall of the local parish churchyard. -- Arwel Parry (talk) 18:43, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
  • If the situation comes up, you have to demand immediate attention from the hospital chaplain and medical staff. I know a person whose stillborn child was disposed of as medical waste, then was lied to, being told the child had been buried with rites being said. It's not easy under such circumstances to act quickly and effectively. You might also discuss the issue while pregnant with your doctor and chosen hospital to determine their policies and procedures ahead of time, in case. Most medical facilities treat "tissue that has been removed" as waste, and hence not the patient's property. You may even want to consult a lawyer to determine your rights. μηδείς (talk) 20:58, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
A bit anecdotal, but I grew up in a funeral home and it did stillborns. I remember two services offhand. Neither used a real casket (though we did sell them in that size), but at least one got its own plot. There was also at least one pregnant crash victim whose family considered whether to have separate services. They ultimately went with one. There was a small (I'd guess first trimester) fetus in a jar in that morgue, apparently from the 1950s. Never asked my grandpa about it, and after he died, only got fuzzy stories from other relatives. Not sure where it is now. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:45, October 22, 2014 (UTC)
Traditional Jewish cemeteries have a section for stillborns. הסרפד (call me Hasirpad) 23:09, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

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

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

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

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

Thanks in advance.

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

Many cases of itchy and irritated skin are a type of Dermatitis. Note in the article there are many types, and they have different mechanisms. But that should be good general reading regarding your question. You also might be interested in Irritant diaper dermatitis. (WARNING, last link features a graphic image of the medical phenomenon)SemanticMantis (talk) 19:58, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
You said during the day. What about at night? See:Pinworm & [44]. Or it could be down to something your eating (really hot curries and red hot chili con carne does it for me) Either-way, this complaint is what doctors are for.--Aspro (talk) 22:40, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

October 23[edit]

Recent Changes patrol[edit]

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

On the left side of your screen, in the "Tools" section of the left menu bar, is a link titled "Recent changes". Click that. Now you can patrol recent changes all you want. --Jayron32 02:58, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I am at the page in another internet window. I still can't get access. I'm new to recent changes patrol on Wikipedia. Can you please be more specific? Deaths in 2013 (talk) 04:34, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
When you click 'recent changes', what do you see? What happens? (talk) 04:48, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Domian name[edit]

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