Wikipedia:Reference desk archive/April 2005

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That depression some people have above their upper lips[edit]

the name is for the little "rut" or "depression" in the skin some people have directly above their upper lips.... -rlwelch 04:44, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

a philtrum-gadfium 05:01, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

my pc hijack-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

famicom games to use on Super Joy 3[edit]

Hi, i'm looking for famicom games to use on my Super Joy 3. User:

Moved from List of Famicom and NES accessories by akaDruid 15:28, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Bud Shuster's real name[edit]

When I rewrote the article, I could not find anything besides the initials E.G. for him. None of the usual sources, e.g. Bioguide, Congressional Directory, Almanac of American Politics, The New York Times, had the answer. So what is Bud Shuster's real name? PedanticallySpeaking 19:46, Mar 24, 2005 (UTC)

You certainly did your research (though citing sources is also good :). Since all that failed, you might try to contact his son, Congressperson William Shuster. 06:01, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Well, this page says his name was Elmer Greinert Shuster, and this one and a few others agree. But it seems to be very rarely used. (I found it simply by guessing what E could stand for — Edward, Eric, Edmund...) -- Vardion 05:39, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Bizarre hypothetical question about American free speech laws[edit]

Under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution could I (pretending for the purposes of the question that I'm a U.S. citizen) hold a rally that called for the execution of George Bush. Of course, actually trying to hire an assassin would probably and understandably land me in jail, but let's say I make a public speech in which I call for a law or a constitutional amendment that would allow Congress to order the execution of the president by a simple majority, and I state that once the necessary arrangements are in place I would like this to be carried out. Am I legally protected or would this be seen as going too far? (Secret Service personnel scanning the Wikipedia reference desk for threats to national security should note that while I am no great fan of Dubya, I don't actually intend to kill him, I am just interested in how freedom of speech protections differ from country to country.) — Trilobite (Talk) 05:43, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • Seems to me that subjunctive threats are probably protected speech... --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 06:02, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • I think the net result would be you having an uncomfortable conversation with a pair of men in dark suits and getting your own file folder in Washington, DC. -- Cyrius| 06:06, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

First, I am not a lawyer. With that said, in the US, different kinds of speech are afforded different protection under the law. Political speech is the most highly protected. Some kinds of speech are deemed dangerous (such as insightment to riot). The SCOTUS considered these matters in Schenck v. United States:

"Words which, ordinarily and in many places, would be within the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment may become subject to prohibition when of such a nature and used in such circumstances as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils which Congress has a right to prevent. The character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done."'
This case is also the source of the saying "You can't shout fire in a crowded theater", a paraphase of Holmes' view that "The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic." →Raul654 06:08, Mar 27, 2005 (UTC)
  • It would probably be permissible; you wouldn't wind up in jail. However, you probably would end up getting watched and perhaps interviewed by the FBI/Secret Service. Neutralitytalk 07:07, Mar 27, 2005 (UTC)
Great, thanks for your replies. The reason I asked is that a couple of years ago when Betty Windsor celebrated her Golden Jubilee a lot of towns and villages put on street parties, and someone held an "Execute the Queen" street party in the time-honoured fashion of the anarchists from Class War. They didn't actually incite anyone to murder her, just said she should be killed. Some of the organisers got arrested on public order grounds (not notifying the police so they could close the roads in advance etc) but were never charged with anything as I recall. There was some minor talk about restriction of freedom of speech as a result of the affair, although the whole thing was taken more as a 'funny story' at the end of the news than as a serious threat either to the queen's safety or people's rights of free speech. I may be remembering this wrong but that's my recollection of it. Of course, it would only be possible to make a proper comparison with the hypothetical American example I gave if it had been the Prime Minister they had been trying to execute, but you get the idea. I suspect the consequences would be similar on both sides of the Atlantic: not totally illegal but liable to get you some unwanted attention from the powers that be. — Trilobite (Talk) 06:19, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
With the usual legal disclaimers, I think that calling for the execution of the monarch in the UK is one of the things that is almost certainly illegal - if nothing else, you're hard pressed to justify it as a rational political stance... OTOH, it's rarely in anyone's interests to have a prosecution over this sort of thing. Shimgray 17:59, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I suspect the other thing you would have to do is step very carefully around the laws about incitement to commit a crime. My guess is that your British anarchist group weren't charged because it was clear that they weren't expecting to be taken seriously, or that the police thought charging them would give them a legitimacy they didn't really have. In calling for the killing of GWB I would expect you would have to make it very, very clear that you were in no way encouraging anyone to actually do the thing that you were 'calling for', if you wanted to escape prosecution. My guess is also that given the number of recent actual assasination attempts on US presidents compared with those on British Royalty, the US authorities might be more inclined to take you seriously. In short, my advice would be not to do it! DJ Clayworth 18:13, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • In Britain, not only can you be jailed for making threats to the Queen's life, you can be jailed for imagining kiling her or even calling for the country to become a republic. So says the Treason Felony Act 1848, which The Guardian unsuccessfully went to court to try to overturn (see the story here). I believe that a peaceful call such as you describe should be protected and there are precedents to support that. Witness the court rulings that mere membership in the Communist party could not be criminalized or that the State Department's passport chief Ruth Shipley (a Foggy Bottom J. Edgar) couldn't just deny people, e.g. Paul Robeson, passports because of their opinions. But we also have the precedents, e.g. Matthew Lyon et alia, who were jailed under the Sedition Act for mere criticism of John Adams. Or in World War I, a man who made a film about the American Revolutionary War that depicted the British as beastly was jailed as the Brits were then our allies. (Look out Mel Gibson!) Similiarly, the terrorism laws (including those passed before the so-called "Patriot" Act) are so broad they run counter to the 1950's era precedents. Considering how this administration has jailed people who dare heckle even the President's wife, I think advocating this line of argument is asking for a visit from the Feds--or worse. PedanticallySpeaking 19:26, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)
Bear in mind that whilst precedent in the UK would almost certainly rule in favour of someone campaigning for a republic by any normal means - otherwise half of every Liberal conference these days is on risky grounds - "kill the monarch" is by no means automatically covered by this; you're going to find it hard to defend this on political-free-speech grounds, since there isn't really a sensible ground to campaign for the death over and above the deposition. I should clarify that AIUI agitating for the death of anyone under British law is likely to be considered illegal, since it's an implicit incitement; it's just that HM is covered explicitly.
With regards to 1848 ch.12, the Treason Felony Act, I quote from one of the judges in the case...
... it is still the role of the legislature, rather than that of the courts, to decide whether to repeal or retain legislation. Sections 3 and 4 of the Human Rights Act 1998 are intended to promote and protect human rights in a practical way, not to be an instrument by which the courts can chivvy Parliament into spring-cleaning the statute book, perhaps to the detriment of more important legislation. Such a spring-cleaning process might have some symbolic significance but I can see no other practical purpose which this litigation would achieve.
- ie, the law is there, it's not the place of the Attorney General to state that he intends to disregard the law, and if Parliament want it fixed they can do it themselves. Which is a standpoint I can agree with, I think. Another appropriate comment:
My Lords, I do not believe a word of it. It is plain as a pikestaff to the claimants and everyone else that no one who advocates the peaceful abolition of the monarchy and its replacement by a republican form of government is at any risk of prosecution. Whatever may be the correct construction of s.3, taken by itself, it is clear beyond any peradventure first, that the section would now be 'read down' as required by s.3 of the 1998 [Human Rights] Act so that the advocacy contemplated by the respondents could not constitute a criminal offence, and second, that no Attorney General or Director of Public Prosecutions would or could authorise a prosecution for such advocacy without becoming a laughing stock. To do so would plainly be an unlawful act under s.6(1) of the 1998 Act.
I think that sums up the current legal situation in the UK on the issue... Shimgray 20:16, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I'm not a lawyer, but my answer would be that it would depend on the nature of your statement. US Law 18 USC 871 makes it a crime to make a true threat to kill or injury the President. The law requires that the you understood and intended your statement to be a threat, that you uttered them knowingly and willfully. Something said as political rhetoric, or in a joking manner would probably not be illegal. See LectLaw article on 18 USC 871. Kenj0418 05:39, Apr 2, 2005 (UTC)

Modern-day Leprechauns.[edit]

Uh . . . this? --CVaneg 16:11, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • I'm not sure what you're asking about. Joyous 19:08, Mar 27, 2005 (UTC)
  • I'm also not sure what you're asking about. Are you looking for the Leprechaun article? As for the movie, currently the Leprechaun (movie) article still needs to be started. Zzyzx11 02:52, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Homo floresiensis ("Man of Flores") is a species in the genus Homo, remarkable for its small body, small brain, and survival until relatively recent times. It is thought to have been contemporaneous with modern humans (Homo sapiens) on the remote Indonesian island of Flores. One sub-fossil skeleton, dated at 18,000 years old, is largely complete except for arm bones which may yet be found. It was discovered in deposits in Liang Bua Cave on Flores in 2003. 20:51, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

a page in wikipedia[edit]

I've seen a page in wikipedia that list some extremes on earth, the highest, lowest place; highest, lowest temperature; driest place, etc. But I couldn't find it out now, even google can't help. Can anyone help. Thanks. anonymous

You're probably looking for Extreme points of the world -- Ferkelparade π 18:45, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)
How bout Extreme points of the world? Gkhan 18:46, Mar 27, 2005 (UTC)
Ha! Identical replies. How was an edit conflict avoided? Alphax τεχ 02:11, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

No, i don't think that's the one. Cause the page don't give any information about highest and lowest temperature. As I remember the page has table in it. Or maybe the page never exist. anon


I've had a hard time finding a good reference for Koch's postulates. This is the theoretical backdrop to every major microbiological discovery of the last 120 years, from tuberculosis to SARS. Methinks Wikipedia should cite Koch's 1890 article properly. Can anyone help? JFW | T@lk 18:56, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Best I can find on google is [1], which is from the University of Bern. Problem 1, it's in german. But it has a reasonably good quality pdf scan of Koch's original article. Problem 2 is that this is in german as well.--Fangz 21:15, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Mmm. Suppose I should link to the 1882 article then? I've been bumping into that one, but apparently he wrote more on the matter in 1890. Thanks anyway. JFW | T@lk 12:43, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Chinese Provincial Symbols[edit]

I've been searching for symbols, especially flags, of the Chinese provinces and autonomous regions in the PRC. I'm mostly interested in traditionalist ones, but I wouldn't mind seeing some Communist stuff. Thanks, -- Djinn112 04:00, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)

Link pointing to the wrong article[edit]

How do we change a link that is pointing to the wrong article? For example in the page labeled Greene, down towards the bottom, there is a section to click on Charles Greene, American architects. When you click on the link for Charles Greene, it takes you to a page for some athlete, not Charles Greene the architect. Is there a way of getting this fixed so it points to the correct person?


We probably don't have an article yet on the architect. But I'll set it up so that it is appropriately red-linked. -- Jmabel | Talk 07:11, Mar 28, 2005 (UTC)

Arabic translitteration[edit]

I cannot visualize correctly the article about Arabic alphabet. Do I need a special font? How can I get it? Thank you.

Fabio Pesaresi

It's in Unicode. For transliteration proper, you need:

  • ḥ ḍ, ṭ, ṣ, ẓ are h, d, t, s, z respectively, with underdots
  • ʾ ʿ are "spirants", alif and ayin
  • ǧ, ġ are g with hacek and overdot, respectively
  • ẖ ḏ ṯ are h, d, t with underscore
  • š is s-hacek

most of these are "Latin Extended Additional" (U+1Exx, see [2]), and should be visible on all more or less recent platforms. Also in the article are IPA symbols, and Arabic script itself, of course. They are also in Unicode, see also Template:SpecialChars:

dab () 11:41, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

How much does a movie weigh?[edit]

What is the mass of a 120-minute movie shot on 35 mm film? Does it weigh twice as much for 70 mm film? I did an estimate like this:
24 frames/sec * 3600 sec/hr * 2 hours * 22.1 mm per frame = about 3.82 km for the whole movie. Assuming a linear density of 1 g per cm, this is about 380 kg. How good is this estimate? Does this mean that the same movie on 70 mm film weighs some 760 kg? How do film technicians physically handle the reels? -- Brhaspati (talkcontribs) 12:06, 2005 Mar 28 (UTC)

Not being an expert in film, I can't say for sure if your calculations are correct, but I do know that films are typically broken up into multiple reels, so while an entire movie may be far too heavy for an average person to handle, an individual reel is quite manageable. See Movie_projector#Film_transport_elements for more info on this --CVaneg 01:35, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Let's assume you buy 3000 ft rolls (about 33 minutes). These are the biggest rolls for playback only. A film maker always use shorter rolls to facilitate film making and post-production. You don't want your cinematographer to carry a steadicam-mounted Panavision with so much heavy film. Nor will you use that kind of rolls on your lovely Steinbeck editor (oops, people are using computers nowadays). Alfred Hitchcock shot Rope in segments no longer than 10 minutes each. Goodfellas has a 4-minute-long steadicam shot. The camera operator could have been using 400 ft rolls.
According to Kodak literature, a case of three 3000 ft rolls weights 47 lb (21 kg) (including a box). For a 120 minutes movie, you need 4 rools (about 64 lb or 28.5 kg). There were two double feature theaters in my town years ago. When movie A is being shown in theater A, the theater B shows movie B. And then they switch movies. I remember the guy who delivered the canisters always placed one or two canisters in a clothes bag and struggled his way up to the projector's booth (you know the floor is a gentle slope upwards). -- Toytoy 02:39, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
An article you may find interesting to read is "Who Was That Food Stylist? Film Credits Roll On" by Randy Kennedy, New York Times, January 11, 2004. It says the closing credit for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King lasts 9 minutes and 33 seconds. That's about 1000 ft long. The whole show runs for 201 minutes (about 6 rolls at 3000 ft each). The closing credit part is now used as unused reel killer. -- Toytoy 03:26, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
Wow! That was very informative. You mention that a single 3000-foot roll weighs 21 kg (with box). How did you go from there to a value of 28.5 kg of film for the whole 120 minutes? Are the boxes that heavy? Should the film weigh closer to about 80 kg instead of 28.5 kg? FYI, I also found this link that describes the IMAX version of Matrix: Reloaded as weighing about 800 lb. Does that mean that the standard 70 mm version would weigh approximately 1/3 of that (which comes to 267 lb or 121 kg)? -- Brhaspati (talkcontribs) 19:43, 2005 Mar 29 (UTC)
Addendum: That website I mentioned apparently checks referral addresses before allowing page-views (quite infuriating). Anyway, go here, then click Pictures on the left, then click "Edwards IMAX Theater Houston". -- Brhaspati (talkcontribs) 19:50, 2005 Mar 29 (UTC)
a case of three 3000 ft rolls weights 47 lb (21 kg). Not one roll. Smoddy (tgeck) 19:53, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

What's Japanese for "Meow"?[edit]

How do you say "meow" in Japanese? Judging from Elfen Lied, it's "nyuu", or from [3] it's "nyan". I'd be interested in knowing what the French for "woof" or the Spanish for "cockadoodle-doo" is as well. Is there an article for this kind of thing? I figured it'd be on unusual articles, but alas, it didn't show up. grendel|khan 21:27, 2005 Mar 28 (UTC)

The article you're looking for is onomatopoeia. French for woof is wouf and the Spanish for "cockadoodle-doo" is quiquiriqui. I don't know Japanese.
Diderot 21:54, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Er.. I would have believed that it was more like "ouaf ouaf" for "woof" in French. David.Monniaux 07:02, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Results in EDICT (link) when searching for "meow":

にゃあ           (n) mewing (cat), meow, miaow
にゃお                (n) mewing (cat), meow, miaow
にゃんにゃん        (1) cat meow, miaow, (2) cat
にゃにゃ        (1) cat meow, miaow, (2) cat

The results are from the December 18, 2003 version of the dictionary. For those who can't read hiragana, the words read (from top to bottom) nyaa, nyao, nyan'nyan and nyanya. The link in the onomatopoeia article linked above uses the first term, nyaa. --Pidgeot (t) (c) (e) 23:45, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

This page has sounds in many languages. --ibroadfo

Soundtracks of various commercials[edit]

What are some places on the web where I can find the names of various songs played in the backgrounds of commercials? I don't have any commercial specifically in mind. I know used to have this feature, but $100 a year is a bit steep since all I want are the names of songs.


Try What's That Called? (I've never used it myself, but I have it bookmarked just in case :)) Adam Bishop 01:12, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Or there's Ad Tunes. I assume you're in America. For other people happening across this there's a British one called Commercial Breaks & Beats, and that link takes you to their further reading page with links to Canadian ads and more. --bodnotbod 17:52, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)

Anarchist Society[edit]

I was wondering if there is any consensus regarding what an anarchist society would be refered to as (for example some representitive democracies are called republics...) If, for example Mongolia was anarchist, it would be called the _________? of Mongolia...

Thanks --RileyMcLeod 01:29, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)

I would probably call it an Anarchy much like I would call rule by monarchs a monarchy, something that I'm sure a person who is actually educated in linguistics will tell you is completely wrong. Barring that, I would probably use the term "Anarchist state". As referenced from our Anarchy article, if you look at the Somalia entry in the CIA Factbook where they are usually sticklers for such terminology. [4] it is shown as simply not having any national government and no specific term is attributed to this form of "government". --CVaneg 02:00, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The thing is, that "anarchy" usually implies something other than what anarchists advocate. "Anarchy" usually means lack of order (as in Somalia). An area run in accord with the principles of anarchism would more likely be referred to as an "anarchist zone" ("zone" to avoid the problematic term "state") than an "anarchy". -- Jmabel | Talk 03:12, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)

the problem i've got is, i'm writing an essay in which i advocate an anarchist state- i have to give this state a categorical name and cannot find a title both linguistically correct and relevant to the social order of anarchism... i may go with somthing like "the libertarian socialist federation of ______"?
--RileyMcLeod 03:29, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
Do you really need to give it a specific name? Can't you just call it 'Elbonia' and leave it at that, with no further labels? --Smack (talk) 04:50, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Just call it "The autonomous zone of _________". Taco Deposit | Talk-o to Taco 18:07, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)

Whenever, for whatever reason, there was no archon in Athens (or some other Greek city), it was called "anarchy" - "no archon". I suppose that is the sort of thing anarchists advocate, although anarchy seems to have a negative connotation to me. Well, maybe this helps, I don't know. Adam Bishop 07:08, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Kind of depends - anarchists don't tend to agree on what an anarchy would / should look like. I think they would probably not be in favor of agreeing on what it should be called. Guttlekraw 07:35, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I would like to see it called ! in a really large font for the maps. --bodnotbod 18:03, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)
Well, if we're talking about what should be put on maps, then I think it should be an amorphously defined area with the warning "Here be monsters/dragons/anarchists" in ye olde script. --CVaneg 18:52, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

find diagonal of a rectangular solid, et al.[edit]

Find the diagonal of a rectangular solid whose dimensions are 3, 4, and 5.

Find the slant height of a regular square pyramid if the altitude is 12 and one of the sides of the square base is 10.

Find the diagonal of a cube if each edge is 2.

Find the diagonal of a cube if the perimeter of a face is 20.

Thank you.

Sounds a lot like you are trying to get someone to do your homework. The general approach is:
  • Using the Pythagorean theorem, calculate the length of a diagonal of one side. That and the edge that forms a right angle to that side now form two adjacent sides of a rectangle (slicing the original rectangular solid in half). Now use the Pythagorean theorem again to calculate the diagonal of that rectangle. -- Jmabel | Talk 03:18, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)

Image copyright tags[edit]

Hi, if I want to upload one of my pictures to Wikipedia, is it better to tag it {{GFDL}} or {{PD}}? What's the difference between the two? I've read the articles in question, but still don't understand why one might be perfered over the other. Thanks!

A simplified explaination:
PD: You give up all of your rights. A profti-making business may use your image without paying you a dime. If they modify your image and you want to use the modified version, you may infringe their copyright.
GFDL and many other licenses: You reserve some vital rights. However, a fellow user is generally allowed to use the image without your approval unless the use actually infringes your reserved rights (generally commercial rights). -- Toytoy 10:00, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC) MY FAULT! -- Toytoy 01:09, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)
This is not correct. To release it into the public domain is indeed to give up all rights. But the GFDL allows anyone to use it for any reason provided attribution is given and the derivative work is released under the GFDL. Both allow commercial use. 119 19:26, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The main purpose of GFDL is to keep your right to be credited (authorship). -- Toytoy 01:09, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)

Jared Christmas lyrics[edit]

Jared is a cost-free software released by Freeverse Software last century. It sings a horrific version of Luna de Xelajú on Mac OS and Windows computers. Later Freeverse published many other software that plays songs sung by Jared, a modern day Florence Foster Jenkins. Among his greatest hits was a Christmas song I am not allowed to play right now because my Macintosh is broken. Anyone knows the lyrics of that song? "Feliz navidad in Cuba. Feliz navidad in China. ..." I guess. I don't speak Spanish well. -- Toytoy 10:25, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)

Are you starting an article about the butcher of song? I can't find the lyrics to it either, as I can't speak Spanish well, and neither can Jared. -- Cyrius| 13:05, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
OK, here's the article: Jared Smith. -- Toytoy 13:40, Mar 29, 2005 (UTC)


How exactly electricity kill people or animal? Thanks. ~anon

See electric shock and electric chair --CVaneg 19:10, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

zimbabwe under dictatorship[edit]

(from talk:Main page) I like to comment on the issues concerning zimbabwe or better rather to request some form of advise as to how to remove the Bob from power.<a href="">Hp pavilion dv6 battery</a> I believe the ballot box has failed the people and we can't continue to live under these repressive conditions form of government we need to take fight to mugabe and use the same means he used .<a href="">Hp pavilion dv7 battery</a> He has brought only hardship to the people don't be mislead by what we see on the news the people want him out even if its through armed resists it well have to be done the above link is wrong ,the right should be medion akku , i am arron, arron fish, thanks

                                         .  --  Anon

What is a meteor?[edit]

Try looking here. Joyous 03:39, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)

Question about breathing; shortness of[edit]

I've noticed a, at first amusing but now worrisome, little quirk of my body: I find myself having to consciously take deep breaths very often. Before this used to be every 15 minutes but it seems to be increasing and I'd guess its around once every five minutes or more. It feels like an itch in my lungs that has to be scratched by taking in a full deep breath. I spend long amounts of time sitting next to or around other people on the subway or in a theatre or library or wherever and I never notice anyone else having to do the same. Ever. I hear the phrase "shortness of breath" thrown around, but I dont know exactly what it means and if it truly applies. I'm quite physically active, don't smoke, am young, etc. I'm curious as to why this is, what this might be, and what might exacerbate it (I exercised today and it seems to be happening exponentially more). --Clngre 03:35, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)

I think it would be unwise for us to give you medical advice on Wikipedia. You should see a doctor.-gadfium 04:07, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
hah, i knew someone would say that. I'm not looking for medical advice per se, just information, anecdotes, some topics I should look into, etc. Don't worry, I wont follow any advice. I said I was young, not stupid. I don't even think its anything particularily serious, I'm just curious about it. --Clngre 04:46, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)
Remebering the Wikipedia:General disclaimer, I suppose you could read every article in our pulmonology category and try and diagnose yourself, but that really is a bad idea. I think some online medical sites allow you to search by symptom, too, but that is an even worse idea. --CVaneg 08:29, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Episodes of a subjective sense of a need to take extra deep breaths are very common in adolescents and young adults. The cause is unknown. The sensation can be accompanied by anxiety and sometimes chest pain localized to a small area of the anterior chest wall. If enough deep breaths are taken in a short period of time it can lead to light-headedness, tingling around the mouth, or even cramping of the hands and feet. The term doctors use for this is hyperventilation. The treatment is explanation and reassurance. When the episodes are recognized for what they are, they become less distressing and usually less frequent. In rare cases with paresthesias and cramping, "rebreathing" (breathing into a paper bag) reverses the symptoms. alteripse 12:24, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Thanks. I was curious about the "subjective sense of a need" idea, because it does seem like if I think about it, it happens more often. Not much of the rest really applies to my "symptoms." I'll check out that category too, mindfully.--Clngre 13:41, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)

Winking Chicken[edit]

I've been told that chickens do not have eyelids. Is this true? Can chickens truly not wink? ~jimmy

Chickens do have eyelids (warning graphic pictures of various diseased and dead chickens) [5]. You'll notice that one of the picture's caption states Conjunctivitis and edema of the eyelids with a close up of the eye. Now just because they have eyelids does not mean that they can necessarily wink. I'm not sure how you would determine that.--CVaneg 08:46, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Song of Myself[edit]

I would like to find a good site with analysis and explanations of Walt Whitman's poem, "Song of Myself." Does anybody know of one or has a talent for finding such things? I've tried searching all over google, but just don't seem to be having any genuine luck. Any help is much appreciated.

I think that poem had a title change, either before it was published or shortly afterward. Try looking for "Song of Walt Whitman." --Smack (talk) 04:16, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion but I do not believe my problem lies in the poem title, for in the first edition of "Leaves Of Grass," the poem, "Song of Myself," was untitled. In the second edition, it was called "Poem Of Walt Whitman, An American" and I believe after that Whitman titled it "Song of Myself" and it has been known infamously as that ever since. Thanks for the help though.
  • Search using quotes --JimWae 04:47, 2005 Mar 31 (UTC):
    "song of myself" whitman

world war 1[edit]

i need help finding specific information on how world war 1 affected the lives of the american people during and the after effects

The Wikipedia article titled "Aftermath of World War One" would be a good place to start; its relativley detailed- [6]
--RileyMcLeod 05:26, Mar 31, 2005 (UTC)

roger phrase[edit]

Hi, Someone asked me about the origination of communication phrase "roger". I always associated this with "yes" or "I read you correctly", but I was unable to explain where did this phrase come form. Can you help me with this? Thanks, Vic

According to, it comes from the phonetic alphabet "roger" for the letter R, meaning "received". RickK 08:00, Mar 31, 2005 (UTC)
See also phonetic alphabet, with emphasis on the military/police section. -- Brhaspati (talkcontribs) 17:36, 2005 Mar 31 (UTC)

Radiometric Dating[edit]

I know that in radiometric dating, there's a certain point where something too old will no longer be accurate when its age is measured. What if something is too "young"? Would using radiometric dating also result in hideous inaccuracies?

I thought of this because someone claimed that all of this dating buisness was bunk because certain "people" from somewhere unspecified once took "newly formed rocks" to "university professionals" at an unknown period of time who proceeded to name the rocks as millions of years old.

Any ideas?

  • You might be interested in reading Radiometric dating. As for the rocks. In geology, newly formed is a relative phrase because rock formation is such a long process, so nothing wrong there. Since the method uses the halflife of elements for its measurements, I suspect that measuring anything that's younger than the elements' halflife would be useless. Mgm|(talk) 08:44, Mar 31, 2005 (UTC)
    • Yeah, there definitely is a "too young" threshold, and I think Mgm is on the right track. I don't know enough about radiometric dating to say anything for sure. I wouldn't pay too much attention to that story, though. It sounds like something that a creationist would say, which kills its scientific credibility. Things creationists have said about physics (which I do know pretty well) are often laughably wrong, so I feel safe assuming that the rest of what they say is wrong too. Isomorphic 00:03, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)
      • Don't be so smug in writing things off as laughably wrong. Many scientific notions that are today foundations of generally accepted theory were, in their day, derided as hogwash. And conversely, according to my current physics professor, a famous physicist of the mid-20th century said that the curveball doesn't actually curve, and that it's just an optical illusion.
      • So. Radiometric dating. Radiometric dating is not exact; there's a slew of sources of error throughout the process, from the formation of the material onward. So radiometric dates, like any experimental measurement, have some uncertainty. As far as I understand it, this uncertainty is less for younger specimens, but it never becomes zero. If the uncertainty is much less than the measured age, say, 5%, the radiometric date can be considered reliable. If it gets into the tens of percent, or even greater than one, the measurement isn't going to tell you very much. --Smack (talk) 06:34, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)
      • What do they mean by newly formed rocks? Freshly cooled lava from a volcano? If the dating was by say the uranium-lead method, you'd get the age of the rock before it was melted to lava, since that process would scarcely affect the uranium-lead ratio.

Scare quotes in British English[edit]

According to Quotation mark, speech quotes are normally single ('blah') in British English instead of the double quotes found in Americal English ("blah"). It doesn't mention whether there is a difference (single/double) when using scare quotes, however, and uses both. Is there a set rule?

Thanks! — Asbestos | Talk 13:54, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

What are scare quotes? ike9898 15:36, Mar 31, 2005 (UTC)
If you're not quoting someone, but want to suggest something is dubious, you can use quotation marks; compare these two:
Of course, some academics feel otherwise, and say that the plays were clearly written by Bacon.
Of course, some "academics" feel otherwise, and say that the plays were clearly written by Bacon.
At least, that's how I understand the term - quotation used to imply you don't trust the word, that some other people may use it but personally you wouldn't. Shimgray 16:21, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I think UKians tend to use double quotes in these circumstances in unquoted text. It is logical to use single quotes when quoting within dialogue which is itself demarcated by double quotes:
He said, "Of course, some 'academics' feel otherwise, and say that the plays were clearly written by Bacon."
Of course, some "academics" feel otherwise, and say that the plays were clearly written by Bacon.
The relevant hand gesture in the UK, when saying the first of the two lines, is to gesture double quotes with the index and middle fingers of each hand, suggesting a predisposition towards double quotes. So perhaps the answer is, double quotes except where this would cause ambiguity in a nested sentence. --Tagishsimon (talk)
Thanks — also for the info on the hand-gestures, which had been in the back of my mind (I figured it would look silly to make "air quotes" using just one finger on each hand...). — Asbestos | Talk 17:37, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Oh, I don't know making air quotes with two fingers (or four depending on how you're counting) seems equally silly. It just happens to be an acceptably silly way to do something.--CVaneg 18:29, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The use of air quotes is unusual in the UK. Most Brits would recognise the gesture, however. --Theo (Talk) 19:39, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Killing programs in Unix[edit]

I'm in a computer lab working on a paper. The computer I was just on has frozen and none of the usual ^Q or ctrl-alt-backspace type commands will unfreeze it: doubly so as it's frozen behind a password-protected screensaver.

I've now logged on to another computer, and am able to ssh into the frozen one, but can't remember how to call up the list of open programs, nor how to kill programs if I could see what was running. I'm no good with Unix... If I could just kill the openoffice program that I was using to write my paper I'd be ok, as then I could open it up here without getting conflicts. "xkill ooffice" requires some option in the command which I'm not sure about, and I'm not sure xkill would be the best thing anyway - I'm not sure if it might cause more damage. I really have no idea about these commands.

I've been searching web help pages, but nothing yet, so I thought I'd throw this out here as it's a bit of an emergency...

Any help much appreciated, — Asbestos | Talk 20:33, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • I've tried using 'ps -e' to see the running programs, and the only programs with the word "office" in them were two called soffice.bin. I did 'xkill #PID' on them, and was able to kill one but the other gives me the message "Operation not permitted." I tried logging into openoffice on this computer to see if I had succeeded in killing it on that one, but I still get a conflict warning. Is there something else I should do, or should I just ignore the conflict? — Asbestos | Talk 20:52, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Well, a lot of fuss for nothing, I suppose. I was never able to find ooffice running on the other computer, not using 'ps -ef' or any use of 'grep' or anything. Finally I figured I'd ignore the conflict message, opened ooffice, opened my file (which fortunately I had saved just before the freeze) and there it is, just as I left it. No harm done, I guess. Any comments on how to get rid of the frozen screensaver on the other computer and/or log myself out would by appreciated, but it's no longer an emergency. Thanks, — Asbestos | Talk 21:03, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Processes in unix exist in an inheritance heirarchy. A complex session like your X window session contains lots of programs, spawned in order by some behind-the-scenes process. If you kill -9 that process, all its children (your OO session, terminals, screensaver, crashed whatnots) will all die too. So if you find that process and kill it (and you will be able to kill it: you started it) then the whole session will crumple up and vanish, and you'll end up back at the login screen. Now, finding the process depends on which kind of unix or unix-a-like you're using, and how the distribution was set up. In your ps -ef listing, there should be something called xsession, x-session-manager, dtsession, xinit, xstart. If you find it, kill it, and any process that sounds like it has to do with X and starts or manages stuff. Eventually you'll hit the right one and the job is done (be careful not to zap your ssh session or the shell that decends from it). An alternative method of finding this guys is to use /usr/proc/bin/ptree (on solaris) or pstree (on some linux (here's a perl pstree implementation, although I've not tried this specific one). These show the process tree as a cute little ascii tree - making it easy to find the "trunk" of your session. You can think of this as a decapitation attack; hopefully your target won't be found months later, hiding in a hole with a snickers bar. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 21:22, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • Hmmm. The only X command I can see is .../bin/X, but that seems to have been started by root and I can't kill it. None of the programs that are listed as being ones I created have anything to do with X. There are a number of kdeinit programs, but I've killed off several of them and it doesn't seem to do anything. I'll probably just end up killing everything that says it was created by me, with the exception of the ones that I think were stated from this ssh session, and we'll see if that solves anything. — Asbestos | Talk 21:46, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
    • Killed 'em all. No programs left that were created by me. Computer just as frozen as before. Possibly I'll just leave this for lab tech in the morning... — Asbestos | Talk 21:50, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
      • Yeah, there's not much you can do. The nice thing to know is that your Xsession is gone - you can be confident that at 3am it's not going to become magically unstuck, leaving the first person to touch it with a working login session in your name. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 22:05, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
        • Alright then, thanks a lot. Now let's see if we can't get this paper magically finished by midnight... — Asbestos | Talk 22:14, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
      • One thing you can do, to ensure that all programs running by you are killed, is kill -9 -1 which will kill with the uncatchable signal 9 (SIGKILL) all processes (process group -1) and will therefore only kill processes you have permission to kill (ie your processes) -- WhiteDragon 15:06, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Maximum survivable body temperature[edit]

Me and my friend was having an argument the other day about how much fever one could have and surviving. The article on Thermoregulation (which is a redirect from Body temperature) says that 45°C, but surely that is a little high. Can you really survive a fever of, say, 43°C? And what is the maximum recorded body temperature in a living person (and that survived, obviously)? Gkhan 22:17, Mar 31, 2005 (UTC)

  • I can't be entirely sure. I was too sick at the time to remember clearly, but I think I had a fever of 43°C and as you can see I survived it. Mgm|(talk) 07:42, Apr 1, 2005 (UTC)
  • See also hyperthermia. A core body temperature of 41°C is potentially fatal; as the temperature rises, the risk of death increases. Note that this threshold is variable (as Mgm's case seems to demonstrate), and also depends on how long the high temperature is maintained. -- FP 09:37, Apr 1, 2005 (UTC)

West This or That[edit]

I am doing a research on places that begin or end with the words WEST or WESTERN, that are not located in the U.S.A or United Kingdom and that was formed before 1930 and still have the names WEST or WESTERN in the words and I need at least 12 of those words places. Please help me?

  1. Western Sahara
  2. West Rand --Jcw69 06:24, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  3. Westland (district), New Zealand -- FP 09:40, Apr 1, 2005 (UTC)

The place to start looking is Special:Allpages/West and similar pages. A quick search finds many pages that meet your criteria, at least insofar as I interpret them, e.g. Western Australia, West-Friesland, West Indies, West Kurdufan, West Ice Shelf, West Prussia, West Zealand County, Westbank, British Columbia, etc etc. Gdr 12:21, 2005 Apr 1 (UTC)

Male/female ratios US metro areas[edit]

Is there a way to find out demographic data about US metro areas that describes the populations based on male/female ratios, percentage of single people, and population.

Certain areas are reported to have a higher percentage of unmarried women (New York, D.C.), while others have more men (San Jose/Silicon Valley).

Is there a listing that lists these ratios in the context of metro area population?

The basic question: which are the 10 or 20 largest metro areas with the highest ratios of females to males and vice versa?

Well, we do have a list of United States metropolitan areas but I don't think demographic data is available for the overall area in general, although if you were inclined you could get it for each city in the area. Incidentally, since your question references male/female ratios and single people, I assume the question is about the difficulty of dating. One thing to take into consideration is the age of the population you're looking at. I know love is blind and knows no boundaries, but chances are every person has an age range that they probably won't date outside of. So you would also have to consider age distribution. Also, chances are metropolitan areas like San Francisco and New York will have a higher number of homosexuals further skewing data. --CVaneg 15:26, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
That would skew the absolute numbers, although it would skew the ratio only if the number of gay men is not proportional to the number of lesbians. -- Jmabel | Talk 23:08, Apr 1, 2005 (UTC)
If you're talking about dating difficulty, one important number would be "percentage of the total population that's available to a given person". Percentage of the population that's homosexual would factor into that, even if gays and lesbians were distributed identically. Gays and lesbians would find it hard to date in an area with no significant gay community, and straight people might find it a bit harder to date in areas where the gay population is high. Just ask any woman who's complained that "all the cute guys are gay".  :-) Isomorphic 23:47, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Some of the data you are looking for can be found on at the following link:
Other reports at the US Census Bereau 2000 Census website should be helpful with the other aspects of your question.
This report has more complete information that what I copied below. Also, it has a very interesting map of the country with areas color coded by male/female ratio.
  • For places with 100,000 or more in population, the top 10 places for male/female ration are:
  • (These are locations with an excess of males)
Salinas, CA 113.7
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 110.0
Paradise, NV 109.1
Santa Ana, CA 107.7
Tempe, AZ 106.9
Wichita Falls, TX 106.2
Sunnyvale, CA 106.0
Austin, TX 105.8
Costa Mesa, CA 105.0
Oxnard, CA 104.6
  • (These are locations with an excess of females)
Gary, IN 84.6
Birmingham, AL 85.7
Philadelphia, PA 86.8
Jackson, MS 86.9
Richmond, VA 87.1
Pembroke Pines, FL 87.3
Shreveport, LA 87.4
Baltimore, MD 87.4
Mobile, AL 87.8
New Orleans, LA 88.2
Kenj0418 05:59, Apr 2, 2005 (UTC)

West Again[edit]

Thank you for some of those words that begin with WEST or WESTERN, but I forgot to mention that they couldn't be in English speaking countries and they still had to been called that particular something with WEST or WESTERN. Please forgive me for not mentioning this in the first comment earlier. Thank you again.

  • Now I think about it, your best bet is probably to use a world gazetteer - the definitive (but, alas, hard-copy) one is the Columbia-Lippincott World Gazetteer, if memory serves, which a decent-sized library should have in its reference collection. A large gazetteer will list, basically, huge numbers of geographical placenames, ordered alphabetically. Just go to "West" and start noting all the entries outside English-speaking countries... Shimgray 23:54, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • A quick hit-and-run to put in a quick word for "Westphalia"/"Westfalen". - Nunh-huh 00:10, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • The Western Isles. Well, it's a historically gaelic area, so you could argue it's not English-speaking :-) - more seriously, Western Sahara? There's a couple of places called Westhausen in Germany, too. Shimgray 00:20, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Quite a few countries are english-speaking. I think this google search will net you success, though. intitle:west|western -"united states" -UK -"united kingdom" -US -USA -Canada -Australia --Alterego 07:44, Apr 9, 2005 (UTC)

Where does MySQL server go?[edit]

When MySQL server goes away, where does it go, exactly? Taco Deposit | Talk-o to Taco 18:54, Apr 1, 2005 (UTC)

Vegas. It's got a gambling problem. -- Cyrius| 19:06, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
MyAMI. It's cooped up in the server room normally, and needs to get a little sun. Kenj0418 06:05, Apr 2, 2005 (UTC)

Cold symptoms and intestinal symptoms: one disease or separate?[edit]

First of all, yes I've read all the disclaimers and I know Wikipedia is not a reliable source for medical advice blah blah blah...

Is there any disease out there that causes symptoms highly similar to the common cold and gastroenteritis simultaneously? Or is it just more likely that I'm unlucky enough to be multiply infected? moink 22:34, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Or, should I blame the ibuprofen, which I took for the cold symptoms before getting intestinal symptoms? moink 23:02, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
IANAD or anything - but could it be a form of influenza? --Pidgeot (t) (c) (e) 23:18, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
From what I know, the flu doesn't cause intestinal symptoms. moink 23:24, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
There are some viruses, in the Adenoviridae family I think, that can sometimes infiltrate both the gastrointestinal and respiratory system, thus creating both types of symptoms (most often in succession i.e. first the GI symptoms then the URI symptoms). However, since this is a not-so-common event, I believe that you have two infections running simultaneously. It isn't such an "unlucky" event: a lot of people have the common cold at this time of year and some of them are bound to catch another infection on top. In any case, one viral infection causing GI and URI symptoms or two simultaneous infections have no fundamental differences in their treatment. I couldn't find any GI adverse effects caused by ibuprofen. You should drink a lot of fluids if vomitting or having diarrhea and supress your fever using NSAIDs. If you see the symptoms worsening (high fever, excessive fluid loss), contact your doctor, it could be a non-viral cause. And... this is not a medical advice, wikipedia is not a reliable source for that, blah blah blah! --Antono 00:50, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Could Private Firms do the World Bank's Job?[edit]

It appears to my untrained eye that private firms could do the bulk of the work that the World Bank does. Is there some reason why having nations for shareholders is better for the Bank's work than having private owners would be? If not, what about post-WWII history led people to decide that the private sector couldn't pay for the rebuilding of Europe? Or perhaps that idea never crossed their minds? --Ryguasu 00:53, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Well, I am not an economist in any sense of the word, but my understanding is that private banks and institutional investors already hold foreign debt through purchase of bonds like treasury bonds in the US. Presumably the world bank comes in at a point where countries would have to offer bonds at such ridiculous rates in order to attract investment that they would be mired in debt for the foreseable future. Of course, many people argue that this happens under the world bank anyway, so maybe it doesn't matter. The presumption of the World Bank is, that by getting countries on their feet sooner, they more quickly become contributing members of the international community, and benefit everyone by consuming and producing more goods. This is similar to the principle used in establishing many welfare programs. --CVaneg 03:41, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)
That sounds like a reasonable analysis, though it leaves me with this (new?) question: Assuming (perhaps unreasonably) that market for lending to poor governments is relatively competative, then shouldn't private banks be offering rates not too far above those required for them to just break even? If so, how can the World Bank provide significantly better rates without folding? --Ryguasu 12:58, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Well now we're really into areas that I have absolutely no right speaking authoritatively on, but since no one else is attempting to answer this question, I'll give it a crack. If I had to guess, the difference is that a for-profit corporation does not just have an obligation to make a profit, but to maximize profit. This cuts two ways. First of all even if they could make money on a certain venture, a private venture will most likely only persue those markets that seem the most lucrative. Secondly, even if they do enter the third world debt market banks could theoretically fund projects that while lucrative, would actually be counter to a given nations best interest. I believe some people blame the current third world debt crisis on previous dealings of private instituations and corrupt dictatorships and kleptocracies. The World Bank on the other hand is only under the obligation to try and lose as little money as possible while providing the most productive funding worldwide. Of course, some people argue that this is equally damaging, but just in other ways. Regardless, in theory, the World Bank could operate at a loss for as long as the member nations were willing to cover the difference. this Well, that's my US$.02 on the matter, and even considering the weak dollar, US$.02 is probably an overcharge. Hopefully someone else who is actually educated in international finance will step up to the plate and point out all the mistakes I've made. --CVaneg 01:51, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Who named the Oscars[edit]

Margaret Herrick article says : Academy President Bette Davis claimed that she invented the name Oscars to refer to the Academy Awards. Is there an article or references to her, I found a page each on Bette Davis (actress) and Betty Davis (singer), but neither of them happen to be the academy president. Jay 12:08, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Re the statement in the Margaret Herrick article, which I wrote, about naming the Oscar: Bette Davis the actress was the ninth president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, serving October to December 1941, when she resigned. I have added a sentence to this effect to her article. Davis also received two Oscars, for Dangerous (1935) and Jezebel (1938), bracketing Luise Rainer's back-to-back awards. PedanticallySpeaking 14:30, Apr 2, 2005 (UTC)

Diet Coke[edit]

Diet Coke's current ad campaign has spots with Adrien Brody and Kate Beckinsale. The latest ad, called "Sparkle", features a blonde roller-skating to Paul Oakenfeld and Shifty's song "Starry Eyed Surprise". (It can be viewed here.) The blonde seems familiar and since the previous spots included celebs, I wonder if she is an actor too. Anyone know who she is? PedanticallySpeaking 14:19, Apr 2, 2005 (UTC)

I have no idea, but you could try emailing them and asking them. If the person answering the email doesn't know, the ad agency that produced the ad would. Try and find out what agency that is and either call or email them directly perhaps. I think you could fairly easily google or look in trade magazines to find out who the ad agency is that does most of diet coke's ads or the current ones. - Taxman 22:26, Apr 12, 2005 (UTC)
The agency is Foote, Cone, and Belding. (See [ here), but when I've contacted companies about ads in the past, they have not replied. PedanticallySpeaking 17:12, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)
Well try is your best bet. If no response, try to find out if they handled the modeling themselves and/or perhaps who the modeling agency involved was. They would be much more likely to want to tell you about who the model is, for promotional reasons. - Taxman 23:12, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)

Oh! West[edit]

Again thanks, but I need to know when those places that have WEST or WESTERN in the words were formed and they had to have formed before 1930. The words with WEST or WESTERN you'll typed that were formed maybe during 1930 or after were also fine, I might need to know the year they were formed too. Again those particular places have to still be call that name today in 2005. Please help me again? Thank you'll for your help.

  • Again, the best I can suggest is to hit a library and find a hefty gazetteer; Columbia-Lippincott tends to have at least some dates, I think. A major city library should have it in a reference section, or a decent academic library. Shimgray 18:58, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Exactly when they were formed? That's not going be possible for all or most of the suggested towns in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium because it's so early that there are no written records of that. Typically, the best you can do is "the oldest known reference to such-and-such dates from the year 989". Would that be good enough?

The Numbers Look[edit]

Who and where did the look of the Arabic Numbers 0-9 we uses now originate?

Arabic numerals is quite informative, although a little confusing; basically, this form of the Arabic numerals originated in Al-Andalus, about a thousand years back, what is now Spain and Portugal, and then filtered into Europe. Modern Arabic is quite different, with the notable exception of "9" - 1 and 0 are much the same, but 9 is the only "complex" numeral to have stayed constant. Shimgray 19:05, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

One of the links from Arabic numerals seemed even more useful: [7]. Skip the top section, though, it's a bizarre joke before the actual serious and informative explanation. moink 22:42, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Okay I've removed the bizarre joke (Laputan Logic)::

The Enchantment (poem)[edit]

In Eric Ambler's The Light of Day, Mr Simpson describes a poem, The Enchantment. Where can I get hold of a copy?--anon

  • I'm not sure it's even a real poem. Byron's poetry is well represented on the Web, but I can't find anything that sounds like this at all. Is it perhaps fictional? --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 01:28, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

how to increase the melanin in skin?[edit]

I have read your articals on melanin in the skin. It explains all about what it is and how it affects your skin, but never have i ever come across an article that gives advice on how to increase the melanin in your skin. I am extreamly pale and have trouble going on holiday in hot places. By increasing the melanin, my skin would tan and I would find sunny places more tolorant, with less irritation.

  • There's only one bit of advise I can give. Protect your skin with a strong sunscreen, and don't expose it to the sun too long. Increasing your melanin levels may or may not heigthen your sun toleration, but the sun is still bad for your skin. - Mgm|(talk) 21:42, Apr 3, 2005 (UTC)
  • You can increase the melanin and coloring of your skin by having your adrenals removed. Rather unfavorable trade-off, on the whole. Presumably, injections of MSH (melanocyte stimulating hormone) would do the same thing more safely, but no biotech company has decided the market is big enough to warrant synthesizing it. alteripse 00:03, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
John Howard Griffin apparently used oxsoralen, a drug used to treat vitiligo, to darken his skin so as to appear black. [8] --FOo 13:43, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • PT-141 is an analog of alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) that activates the melanocortin receptors MC3-R and MC4-R. It indeed causes tanning but has some side-effects... Cacycle 13:23, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)


could somebody tell me how long magpies can live for thanks dingle

Do you mean the corvids, or, for instance, the Australian magpie? --Robert Merkel 23:36, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I would like to know about the european magpie really. The reason being that we have one with one leg in our garden.Thanks.

According to this page, the European magpie can live up to 20 years. --Robert Merkel 03:31, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

West Something[edit]

I had a question about atleast 12 places in this world that are not English speaking places and that were formed or named WEST or WESTERN something before 1930 and is still called that in 2005. I tried other websites, the library, and this particular book in the library I think called Columbia Gazzette something ( which one of the people on this site suggested) and I still couldn't find that information about those places. Do anybody know some websites or other practical ways I could get this information? For the years I just really need to know the decade when they were called that. Thank you to all who help me so far, I really appreciate that.

Can't you just check each locality on wikipedia or google once you have a list of names? The previous answers have given you at least a dozen to try. Lisiate 02:31, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

If all you're interested in is confirming that these places existed in 1930 and had the same name (minor spelling changes aside), then you could try locating old maps. Much to my surprise, these are available on the internet, e.g. [9] here. For example, Westzaan in 1869. 08:27, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Soda Lime[edit]

My daughter has a science project which requires soda lime. Where can it be purchased?

That would depend on where you are located. Try to Google for the term (possibly with your country in the search also), then look in the ads on the right for one in your country/region. Here is one I found in the US: [|]. Kenj0418 23:26, Apr 3, 2005 (UTC)

Matthias Ringmann[edit]

I would like to know who is Matthias Ringmann and was he some kind of author?

don't see Matthias Ringmann (which doesn't exist) but do see de:Matthias Ringmann and work out a translation of it. 17:20, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
On the contrary, DO see Matthias Ringmann; I have written it today, in response to your question. He was a German schoolmaster, poet and cartographer who died in 1511. He is credited with naming America although his reason for this was mistaken. --Theo (Talk) 19:20, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Anodes and cathodes[edit]

These terms are hopelessly confusing: In a Galvanic cell, the anode is where the anions flow to. It develops a negative charge, and is the positive terminal of the battery. Right? —Josh Lee 21:57, Apr 3, 2005 (UTC)

Whenever something is separated into electrical polarities, the positive end or moiety is called the an- and the negative the cat-. Anions and anodes are positively charged, and cations and cathodes are negatively charged. Anabolism is positive metabolic balance (net building and retention), and catabolism is negative (net breakdown and loss). If you are more of a humanities kinda guy, think Anabasis and catabasis (Xenophon and Dante, respectively--- the march upcountry or the downward descent). The corresponding Greek prepositions are ana and kata, upwards and downwards. alteripse 23:59, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

No, no! Unfortunately (for the sake of understanding) this is a matter of definition, not etymology. The anode is the electrode of an electrochemical cell at which oxidation occurs, and thus it will be positively charged in an electrolytic cell, and negatively charged in a galvanic cell. Anions, the ions which are attracted to the anode, are charged accordingly. Thus in most instances, when one is speaking of anions, they are negatively charged. - Nunh-huh 00:13, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I think you are right about the anodes. Anions are always negatively charged, and cations always positively, and I confess the Greek came more easily to me than the electrochemistry. I shot from my etymologic hip. Sorry. alteripse 00:46, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Okay...thanks for the answers. So in a diagram of a Galvanic cell, where should the + and − signs go? That is, which terminal is positive and which terminal is negative? —Josh Lee 01:09, Apr 4, 2005 (UTC)

From this page: Anode is negatively charged and facilitates the oxidation part of the process. The reduction takes place at the positively charged kathode. The electrons move from the anode to the kathode. Mgm|(talk) 07:42, Apr 4, 2005 (UTC)

Word games in languages that are not written phonetically?[edit]

In English, we have all sorts of word games such as crosswords, Boogle, and word search that seem like they wouldn't work with a language like Chinese. Have the Chinese found ways to adapt any of these games? Do they have games using their written word symbols that don't have equivalent games in English? (I don't think Mah Jong counts). ike9898 01:54, Apr 4, 2005 (UTC)

The world was created in 4004 BC. Before the English colonization of North America and the epidemic growth of Sunday papers, Chinese people, with their newly developed opposable thumbs, had been bipedally wondering around creating puzzles. -- Toytoy 03:29, Apr 5, 2005 (UTC)
  • You might want to check out Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den -- it's a form pretty much unique to Chinese, I think, and it's utterly evil (though it might work in a language like Sumerian or ancient Egyptian as well). The concept is somewhat the inverse of the lipogram. (Unfortunately I don't know Chinese so I don't know how to compose something like that...) Haikupoet 01:59, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Shī Shì shí shī shǐ is not a word game that you can parcipate. It's more like a palindrome (e.g. "A Man, a plan, a canal - Panama!"). Most English speakers cannot create a single palindrome, nor can one who speaks Chinese write something as interesting as Shī Shì shí shī shǐ. Games are easy. Playing poker is a game. Building a house of cards is ... a torture. To me, constrained writing is not a game.
In Chinese language, there has been several thousand years's history of word games. The most frequently played game is, possibly, word puzzle. You can easily break up a Chinese character into multiple parts. Example: "一口咬掉牛尾巴" (Bite the bull's tail off.) Answer: "告". Reasoning: The catch-all character for bull, cow, and bovine in Chinese is "牛" (níu). And the charcater for mouth is "口" (). The character "告" (gào; meaning: tell or v. as Brown v. Board of Education) looks exactly like a bull's tail biten off by a mouth.
I have seen a website where the same batch of people are talking about investment at day and doing puzzles at night. That's word game. The Chinese word puzzle has been in a fully-developed form for over 1000 years. People are still creating new puzzles every minute. There's even a festival devoted for puzzles (15th day of the 1st month; lunar calendar). In contrast, crossword is a 20th century invention.
Crossword games are symmetrical. It is easier to create a crossword game in a language that has a fairly limited set of alphabets. So far I haven't seen a Chinese "crossword game" that is both symmetrical and without too many black squares. -- Toytoy 02:44, Apr 5, 2005 (UTC)
As you can see in the above example, the clues are all related with the shape of the words. There are other types of puzzles where clues are indden in a character's sound or other attributes. These twisted and skewed inner logics sometimes must be made explicit or the puzzle will never be solved.
Frequently seen types of reasoning include "秋千格", "下楼格", "徐妃格", "解铃格", "嵌腰格", "解带格", "素腰格" and "粉底格" etc. ("格" means "rule"; these jargon names are also cryptic to the untrained). You say "blah ... blah ... blah ... (the puzzle itself)" and then tell your listener which rule to use.
In a nutshell, you create puzzles using every conceivable clue. These rules are generalized deductive reasoning rules specially created over the past 1000 years for puzzles. You may see them as the syllogism or other similar logical rules created for a wacky world of word puzzles. -- Toytoy 03:07, Apr 5, 2005 (UTC)
These are the tip of an iceberg. There are countless other forms of word games. As for the Japanese and Korean, they also have their own word games. One type of word game highly popular in Japan can be simplified like this: Player A: "Dog!", player B: "Girl!", player A: "Lizard!" The alphabet "D" is used again, player A loses. There are 46 Japanese sounds currently in use today. There are also other language-specific rules. -- Toytoy 03:29, Apr 5, 2005 (UTC)
I can't answer your question, but I would like to point out an error in it. As far as I understand, 'phonetic' refers to spellings where a letter is pronounced the same way regardless of its context (ex. Spanish or Russian, as opposed to English or French). What you're looking for is languages that write with logograms rather than alphabetic or syllabaric (?) characters. --Smack (talk) 05:07, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Papal name "Urban"[edit]

Why is "Urban" a popular papal name? I understand "Paul," "John," "Pius," "Innocent," "Gregory," "John Paul," etc., but "Urban"?Neutralitytalk 02:20, Apr 4, 2005 (UTC)

Just to make it inconvenient for history students!-- 06:09, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The first Pope Urban (reigned 222-230) did not choose the name. It was given to him at birth by his father, who was named Pontianus according to the Liber Pontificalis. Pope Urban VII (who reigned just 13 days in 1590) chose the name "that he might not forget the urbanity which he wished to show to everyone". --Theo (Talk) 07:49, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Or are they just urban legends? 17:29, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Ah, thank you. That makes sense. Neutralitytalk 23:01, Apr 4, 2005 (UTC)
Are you responding to the urban legends thing? OR are you being sarcastic? That doesn't make any sense. Leonardo 23:55, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I was responding to Theo. See urbanity. Neutralitytalk 05:06, Apr 10, 2005 (UTC)


If the social security numser begins with 009, what that means?

You have a licence to kill. enjoy. 17:09, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
No, that's wrong. 007 is licence to kill, 008 licence to maim. With 009 all you can do is give out chinese burns. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 17:26, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
It means it was issued in Vermont. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 17:16, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Jpgordon is correct - the first three digits of a social security number indicate the region where it was issued. →Raul654 17:33, Apr 4, 2005 (UTC)
See this page from the Social Security Administration for the full list. --CVaneg 19:02, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Hmm...I can't find 117 in there... Ilγαηερ (Tαlκ) 02:46, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)
050-134 New York --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 02:53, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

little dark men[edit]

do you know anything of an ancient myth about little dark men the vikings called scralines or skralines?

Skræling. (Not a ton there.) Frencheigh 22:17, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

your first time...[edit]

I'm 18 and very mature for my age, but i am still a virgin, my friends make fun of me, but i dont think it's TOO incredible. i am just saving myself for the right guy.

Out of purely "scientific curiosity" how old were you when you lost your virginity? What gender are you? What year? Post anonymously if you wish. It is interesting because most people seem to think that as the years go on, the age gets younger and younger, but I think those of generations of old were just at the same place as kids today, just perhaps they waited until marriage, whereas today...well...fill in the blanks. (PS: I don't mean to be inappropriate, sorry if I offended anyone.)

I don't think many people on Wikipedia have lost theirs yet! Back door 03:33, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)
16 and still virgin and proud of it...yes im not another one of those teenage statistics ...Take that Society!HAHAHAHA!! Necromancer223 10:39, 5 Apr 2005
14 and still virgin and proud of it...yes im not another one of those teenage statistics ...Take that Society!HAHAHAHA!! ugen64 03:50, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Actually, virgin or not, you're still a statistic; it's just a matter of which column your checkmark falls in. :P IceKarma 03:54, 2005 Apr 5 (UTC)
13 with a gerbil. Aren't you glad you asked? --SPUI (talk) 03:53, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Congradulations - that is quite probably the most disturbing thing ever said on this page. →Raul654 07:35, Apr 5, 2005 (UTC)
12, with Phoebe Cates, in a cabana at a private pool in Southern California... Oh wait, you mean non-imaginary sex, don't you? --Diderot 07:42, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This is not an appropriately phrased question for the Reference desk. At best, you'll get a small number of responses from which you will not be able to draw any significant conclusions. The appropriate question is something like: Where can I find statistics about average age of loss of virginity over time?-gadfium 03:55, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Well, perhaps I will be the first to give a serious response. 18, in 1996, with a university boyfriend, and I am female. I am defining "losing virginity" as having coitus, though there are other definitions. moink 15:43, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)
In case you want another serious response... 17, in 2004, and I'm male. Nightstallion 19:12, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)
21 (last week), shit it was late in life --Wonderfool t(c)e) 13:11, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Streptococcus pneumoniae[edit]

I have a 3month old boy which had a severe infection in the back of his ear . It was just like a big lump, we didnt know what it was and the doctors told me it was a Tumor. Come to find out it was a Otomastoiditis (severe ear infection) the infection was streptococcus pneumoniae. He has a low white blood cell count and they think something is wrong with his Immune System. He goes for weekly lab work to see hows his blood work is doing. It is so confusing on why or where he got this concidering he had no signs of being sick, nofevers and he ate fine, just until the lump occured and then we took him to the doctors but no one new until we took him to the Childrens Hosipital. Finally after a CT scan they had found out what it was. I'm writtin this in to relations of a woman in Oaklahoma. If u have any answers please E-mail me at

A severe streptococcal infection in a young boy will make doctors wonder if there is a primary immunodeficiiency that interferes with the body's ability to handle encapsulated organisms, such as the X-linked disease Bruton's agammaglobulinemia—though repeated infections (rather than just one) will make them suspect this problem more. This is something they will want to test for, and you can ask the boy's doctors [1] if they have found any abnormalities in his immune system [2] what those abnormailites are, [3] what can be done about them, and [4] if they are genetic in origin. But it's only his doctors who can get that information for you... there's not much Wikipedia can help you with, though once you find out what (if any) problem has been diagnosed we may be able to point youtowards further information on it. - Nunh-huh 07:56, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I've e-mailed the person copying the above reply and telling that his doctors should know better. -- Sundar (talk · contribs) 08:07, Apr 5, 2005 (UTC)

Firecrest Picture[edit]

I am not very sophisiticated in computers etc and do not know how to deal precisely with my question. I am the president of a writers' circle and within that circle we have formed a tiny 8-member writing 'club'which we have named 'Firecrest Writing Club'. In our parent writers' circle we have a website and we hope to establish a page for the Firecrest WC.

We would like to use a picture of the little bird on our page and wondered if it is possible to use your absolutely exquisite photograph.

Is that possible? We don't have large funds etc (simply budget via subscriptions) but we would of course acknowledge everything as required otherwise.

I should be most grateful for an answer. I don't know if it is appropriate to leave my email address?

In any case it is - pam(dot)fraser01(at)ukonline(dot)co(dot)uk

Any help and advice would be much appreciated.

Pamela Fraser.

If you mean Image:Firecrest93.JPG, it's in the public domain, so you can use it for anything you like. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 11:56, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Just to expand a little, the pic is freely available for anyone to use, how and where they like. You are even free to alter it in any way you like. There's no need to acknowledge the source of the pic on your website, unless you wish to. The same rules (or lack of rules!) applies to any pic on Wikipedia that states that it's Public Domain.
PS: Pam, it's not advisable to publish your e-mail like that so I've disguised it a little so that spam harvesters are less likely to pick it up. Good luck with the Firecrest WC - Adrian Pingstone 12:42, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

History of Aquaman[edit]

My request is very modest:i wish someone update Aquaman's article,as he had been drastically changed in the last two years and his article does not reflect that. I suggest you use this bio for information :

Thank you for your suggestion! When you feel an article needs improvement, please feel free to make whatever changes you feel are needed. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the Edit this page link at the top. You don't even need to log in! (Although there are some reasons why you might like to…) The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes—they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. JRM 13:38, 2005 Apr 5 (UTC)


What is the cheapest way of getting to Morocco from Brittany, in France? Are there any cheap airlines that do this? The coach ticket costs €240, but I'm sure theres a better way to get there. Maybe i should be asking wikitravel--Wonderfool t(c)e) 12:23, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • Well, besides hitchhiking... I imagine you could save some money by finding your best bargain deal to southern Spain, then taking the ferry. -- Jmabel | Talk 00:14, Apr 6, 2005 (UTC)
    • Take the ferry from Gibraltar to Tangiers. It's about $50 round trip. No idea about the trip from Brittany to Gibraltar, though --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 14:37, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)
      • I have no idea about getting to Spain from France, but from my travels in Spain, the buses seemed the cheapest way to get around. Who knows how many bus transfers you will have to make, but you can check with the tourism departments and they can likely get you bus information in Enlgish and other languages. It is possible that a bunch of bus tickets could add up to more than other ways of going but you could probably find fares online. Here is Spain's travel info site and does have some info on the bus stations, I didn't find ticket prices, but you might be able to. You'll probably want to get through France to Pamplona, then from there to Andalucia, where there are a few cities that have ferries to Africa. Algeciras and Tarifa do for sure. Sounds like bus and ferry would take well over a day, so if your time is valuable, the flight doesn't sound too expensive. - Taxman 01:47, Apr 7, 2005 (UTC)

Info on getting permission to use Louie Armstrong's song"What a Wonderful World"[edit]

ţ I am tryng to get infomation on how to permission to use a song by Louie Armstrong. Who would I get in touch with? Who would I contact?Any help would be appreciated. J.Widmer

I can help only a bit: the answer depends on [1] who you are, and [2] how you intend to use the song. The rights to the song (ASCAP Title Code: 530148877) are secured through ASCAP (see ASCAP FAQs) for writers Robert Thiele and George David Weiss; their publishers and administrators are:
Tel. (201) 867-7603

Tel. (310) 550-1500

NEW YORK , NY, 10016
Tel. (212) 779-7977

It sounds like you might be intending to use Louis Armstrong's RECORDING of the song rather than the song proper; how much this will cost you depends again on [1] who you are [2] where and how you're using it. In some venues, the right to play such a recording is secured through an ASCAP license that covers all ASCAP music; but since you're probably not a caberet or a theatre, the rights are probably obtainable from the record company (should be on the label of the record).

But a call or e-mail to ASCAP might be the best way to go - they should certainly be able to tell you where to go for what you want. ASCAP contacts the one you want is PROBABLY - Nunh-huh 21:51, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

what city is wiki published in[edit]

If you are trying to cite Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia]. If it's curiosity, the master database server and most web/squid servers are located in Tampa, Florida, and there's some Squid cache servers in France that get their content from Tampa. 119 23:04, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Windows file copy[edit]

I want to from drive a: to drive b: all and only those files on a; that do not exist on b:. Those that exist on b: I do not want to re-copy. How do I do this?

Nasty hack (there's surely a better way):
     attrib +r /s
     xcopy a:\ /c
     attrib -r /s

Ick, that's horrid. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 00:36, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • That's disgusting. And I'm not sure I'd trust it -- xcopy has a zillion switches and you usually need at least one or two to make it work right anyway. I'd suggest getting the freeware XXCOPY, which has a switch /BB to do exactly that. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 03:13, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)
If your DOS version supports FOR and IF EXIST, this should work:
for %i in (a:\*) do if not EXIST b:\%i copy a:\%i b:\%i

--Pidgeot (t) (c) (e) 15:39, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Won't work if you have any subdirectories, will it? --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 18:55, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
No, it wouldn't - but you could make a batch file and modify it slightly:
@for /r a:\ %%i in (*) do if not EXIST b:%%i @md b:%%~pi
@for /r a:\ %%i in (*) do if not EXIST b:%%i @copy a:%%~pnxi b:%%~pnxi

This will create an exact copy of the directory tree of a:\ in b:\ (with no output) and copy all non-existing files.
If you're working with varying source and destination directories, you can create this instead:
@for /r "a:\%1\" %%i in (*) do if not EXIST "b:\%2%%~pi" @md "b:\%2%%~pfi"
@for /r "a:\%1\" %%i in (*) do if not EXIST "b:\%2%%~pnxi" @copy "a:\%%~pnxi" "b:\%2%%~pnxi"

and call with the following syntax (assuming filename docopy.bat):
docopy [sourcedir] [destinationdir]

which copies sourcedir into destinationdir (so "docopy documents backup" will copy a:\documents\*.* to b:\backup\documents\*.*)
All you need to take care of is to put your parameters in quotes if they are blank (not needed if you call without any parameters) the second parameter) or if there's a space in the path name.
If you also need varying drives, change %1 and %2 to %3 and %4, and replace a: with %1: and b: with %2:. The syntax will then be:
docopy sourcedrive destinationdrive [sourcedir] [destinationdir]

This could look like this:
@echo off
if %1=="" goto error
if %2=="" goto error
for /r "%1:\%3\" %%i in (*) do if not EXIST "b:\%2%%~pi" md "%2:\%4%%~pfi"
for /r "%1:\%3\" %%i in (*) do if not EXIST "b:\%2%%~pnxi" copy "%1:\%%~pnxi" "%2:\%4%%~pnxi"
goto end
echo Usage: %0 docopy sourcedrive destinationdrive [sourcedir] [destinationdir]
If your DOS version supports it, you may be able to remove :end and use goto :EOF instead. Check "help goto".
I can't guarantee that this will work on your DOS version - since I don't know if it supports FOR - but it will work on XP. If you want to check, do a "help for" and see if you get any output and can match the usage shown to the usage here.
You can leave out the @'s if you place "@echo off" at the top of the batch file, although this method saves space. --Pidgeot (t) (c) (e) 21:03, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Iran Provinces[edit]

Sorry, this isn't a question. I'm doing a powerpoint presentation on Iran and have been all over your pages(thank you very much) and I notices not much info on some particularly is Bushshr... It is also spelled Boushehr and there is a pretty good site called They have a few more details on some of the other provinces. thought you'd like to know. I may go back and add stuff in the future, but first the powerpoiint project. Your site is marvelous. sarah

Turkey and the fez[edit]

An article in The Economist noted that Ataturk, as part of his secularization campaign, banned the fez, the brimless hats Shriners wear. Are fezes still banned in Turkey? PedanticallySpeaking 16:17, Apr 6, 2005 (UTC)

Are those little tiny cars banned too? Taco Deposit | Talk-o to Taco 21:42, Apr 6, 2005 (UTC)

What? Turks can't see That '70s Show? RickK 05:45, Apr 7, 2005 (UTC)

Turkey and scientific names[edit]

The newsmagazine The Week reported that the Turkish environmental ministry had decided to rename three species of animals because their scientific names referred to Kurdistan and Armenia. These names, the ministry said, "were given names against Turkey's unity" by foreigners with "ill-intent". So the fox Vulpes vulpes kurdistanica is to be V. vulpes, the sheep Ovis armeniana is to be O. orientalis, and the deer Capreolus capreolus aremenius is to be C. capreolus capreolus. But as scientific names are governed by international bodies of scientists rather than governments, does Turkey's action have any standing? PedanticallySpeaking 16:31, Apr 6, 2005 (UTC)

  • It does if you are trying to publish in Turkey! Or do business there. Which means that Encarta, which is sold as a product, probably has to comply with this, but we don't. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:37, Apr 7, 2005 (UTC)
  • Yeah I'd assume it is akin to the fact that in your household you can say that a cat is now called a tac. You may be successful there if your household members share your views, or not if not. But you likely won't convince many other people to change what they call it. Doesn't prevent you from doing it though. - Taxman 15:01, Apr 7, 2005 (UTC)

John Jacob Astor[edit]

Hello evryone. I'm a new user and came here to get information for a report. Thank you ADMINS it's really helpful. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on a paper on John Jacob Astor. I've already started but I want more resources. Thanks.



I have a list of reports I need to write, and a column with the due dates. I want a function that compares the due date to todays date, and lists all the reports that are due in less than 7 days. How do I do this?

Try this:
=IF([due_date_cell]-7>=NOW();"Due soon";"")

Change >= to > if you don't want those due in exactly seven days.
To only see the marked dates, you can use filtering or sorting. --Pidgeot (t) (c) (e) 20:04, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Kant's Socialism[edit]

Does anyone know of any sources adressing theories of Immanuel Kant's sympathetic tendancies toward socialism, or theses on his philosophy founding the origins of socialism?


Linden, van der, H. Kantian Ethics and Socialism (Cambridge, MA: Hackett, 1988) ISBN 0872200272 --Theo (Talk) 21:46, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

heh.. thats actually the book that gave me the idea... nething else?

Well, I'm way out of my depth here, but I found "But that is not to say that there is no coherent argument by means of which Kant's philosophy of right can be connected with the principle of the welfare state." That's from p. 357 of an article by Wolfgang Kersting in The Cambridge Companion to Kant (ISBN 0-521-36768-9). (A footnote refers to texts by Volker Gerhardt and Kersting himself.) Of course, that does not begin to imply that Kant himself actually sympathized with socialism (avant la lettre). Or maybe by socialism you meant communism? In that case I didn't even say anything. 08:35, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Pope John Paul II[edit]

Was the Pope's body embalmed?


:It would pretty much have to be given that he's been lying in state for the past several days. This Seems to confirm it. If you think about it, it does make sense. Decomposition sets in relatively quickly, and various organisms, bacteria, and the like would make an unembalmed body rather unpleasant to say the least. --CVaneg 23:02, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

That will teach me not to research specifics before answering a question. --CVaneg 14:57, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
According to the Vatican he was not.[10] Something to do with his personal beliefs, he did not want his body embalmed. The source is an embalmer whose family has embalmed the popes for the last couple hundred years. He was not called. - Taxman 00:57, Apr 7, 2005 (UTC)
Although his body was apparently not embalmed, it was "prepared for display". It is not clear exactly what this preparation entailed. It has also been reported on the TV that the Pope's body is "not decaying" despite being on display for days; some have claimed that this is a sign of the Pope's holiness. (Personally I think that is wishful thinking.) -- FP 01:20, Apr 7, 2005 (UTC)

Water potable without treatment[edit]

How common is it now that one can find water which is potable without having been treated? What are the characteristics that are common to such sources? Thanks. 119 03:43, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

How long is a piece of string? Seriously, you're going to have to be more specific as to what you mean by "potable" and "treated", and what part of the world you're seeking answers for. Generally, though, the best-quality water is collected from uninhabited (and preferably completely closed-off to human) forest catchments. For example, Melbourne's water supply, collected mostly from closed-off catchments of the Yarra River and Thompson River, would probably be safe even without treatment. Even in these cases, however, in the Western world such sources are usually chlorinated "just in case" and flouridated to reduce the incidence of tooth decay (or to dump industrial waste if you believe the loony conspiracy theorists). --Robert Merkel 04:46, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Potable is defined as water suitable for drinking on Water. 'Without having been treated meaning' that water can be used straight from a river or lake. If the question is overly broad, then I just don't know where to start: my point of comparison is that where I live, and it's by no means industrial, it'd be foolish to drink water from a river or lake, it's so polluted. 119 05:16, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Even non-polluted rivers and streams in California aren't safe to drink without treatment, because of giardia. RickK 05:48, Apr 7, 2005 (UTC)

  • See Water purification. Generally speaking, potable water in 'the wild' will come from underground springs or mountain streams. The more the water is moving, and the closer it is to its source, the safer it will be. Of course, the quality of the soil will affect the water quality. --bainer 07:02, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Twenty years ago, I would drink with gusto from a stream in remote areas of New Zealand. More recently, I've been discouraged from doing so by a friend who works for the Department of Conservation because of the dangers of giardia. Another friend, who tramps regularly, says the dangers are overrated and she drinks from streams regularly. I suspect it comes down to how good your immune system is.-gadfium 08:11, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • Untreated water being potable is quite uncommon these days. If you wish to try some untreated water, I guess you'd be best off in the Arctic as I saw in a recent viewing of Serious Arctic. Mgm|(talk) 08:23, Apr 7, 2005 (UTC)
I think that the scarcity of potable water is a consequence not only of the increasing pollution and contamination of the planet but also of the reduction in humans' natural immunity. People who live with very little technology are probably just immune to all of the bugs native to their local water supplies. --Smack (talk) 05:12, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

How many cells in the human body?[edit]

What is a rough approximation of the number of cells in an average human body? Please include how you derived this number. References to credible external sources are preferred. Jawed 06:43, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC) →Raul654 06:53, Apr 7, 2005 (UTC)
See also: Bacteria in the human body. "Overall, there are about ten times as many bacteria as human cells in the body, 1 quadrillion (1015) versus 100 trillion (1014), with bacterial cells being much smaller than human cells." David Sneek 07:14, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

A question for fizzicists[edit]

In the creation of Club soda Carbon Dioxide is dissolved into water to alter the pH and texture of a drink, and hence its taste. The effect happens naturally in yeast fermentation and carbon was used as the first articifial soda was created accidentally by putting some water over fermenting beer. Recently, however, after tasting a particularly foul carbonated drink, I was led to wonder: Why is Carbon Dioxide still used, considering it leaves an unpleasent taste? I can't think of any reason a tasteless inert gas like nitrogen could not be used. Does anyone know?

  • From Nitrogen: "Nitrogen is the largest single component of the Earth's atmosphere (78.1% by volume, 75.5% by weight) and is acquired for industrial purposes by the fractional distillation of liquid air." I guess it's simply easier to produce carbon dioxide and that's why it's used. Liquid air isn't exactly easy to come by. Mgm|(talk) 08:27, Apr 7, 2005 (UTC)
Nope, Nitrogen gas is rediculously cheap, espescially if it isn't highly purified. Liquid nitrogen isn't too expensive, but you wouldn't need liquid nitrogen. Does anyone know if there is a big difference between the solubility of CO2 and N2 in water? ike9898 14:09, Apr 7, 2005 (UTC)
Notably, Guinness contains introduced nitrogen gas. I can't tell you for sure why nobody else does, but what I'm seeing hints at it being harder to work with. -- Cyrius| 12:30, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps then the answer is inertia or maybe beverage companies are worried about making the next New Coke. After all, that was a product that was researched and market tested so as to improve its taste, but when it came down to it, people preferred the original version. Considering another example, as a non-aussie, I'm all for making Vegemite fit for human consumption, but I imagine that changing the taste would probably put off the majority of people who eat it now. --CVaneg 14:51, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

A solution of carbon dioxide in water forms weak carbonic acid which gives a sour taste to the drink. Some people find the acid makes a pleasant contrast to the sweetness of the sugar in a soda. Dissolved nitrogen doesn't form an acid (you need nitrogen dioxide if you want to make nitric acid). Guinness have four reasons for using nitrogen: (1) nitrogen is less soluble in liquids, creates smaller bubbles, hence a creamier, longer-lasting head; (2) nitrogen changes the flavour less than carbon dioxide; (3) nitrogen foams less, hence less wasted spillage; (4) they can kill the yeast as the beer leaves the brewery and put the bubbles into it when it is dispensed, using pressurized nitrogen. This means that the beer keep for longer. However, Guinness is far from the only "nitrogen beer"; lots of brewers have a "nitro-keg" product, often marketed as "smooth" (a code-name for "tasteless"). Gdr 16:35, 2005 Apr 7 (UTC)

You can dissolve way more CO2 in water than N2 because of the CO2 equilibrium with carbonic acid. You can prepare N2 saturated water simply by letting it stand on air for a while - air is essentially N2. No fizzing... Cacycle 23:13, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Announcement of new pope selection[edit]

Okay, I've read that normally the appearace of white smoke coming from a specific chimney in the Vatican signals that the new pope has been selected. Now the news keeps reporting that this time bells will also be rung 'to eliminate confusion over the color of the smoke'. Can someone explain what they mean by this ?? ike9898 14:13, Apr 7, 2005 (UTC)

I believe there have been occasions when white smoke against a very white cloudy sky has appeared dark, and dark smoke against very dark grey clouds has appeared white. From pictures I've seen it looks to me like what emerges from the chimney is not a great billowing cloud of smoke but quite a modest plume from a little chimney at a fair distance from the crowd. That said, the chances are that it will be quite obvious what colour we're looking at unless the sky is particularly light or dark. Have a look also at this, which says:
In the evening, disappointment was replaced by consternation when more smoke appeared. At first it was white, indicating a new pope had been elected. But then it appeared black, suggesting failure. And when it finally turned grey, our confusion was total. It was only after the official announcement, and a smiling Luciani emerged onto the balcony of the Basilica, that we could be sure it was all over. The cardinals had elected a pope in a single day.
It seems they can have difficulty getting the smoke to come out the colour they want. — Trilobite (Talk) 14:43, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Thereby demonstrating that religion is neither magic nor practical. --Tagishsimon (talk)

British Political Lingo[edit]

C-SPAN last night ran Tuesday's edition of the BBC's Newsnight. The host spoke to three of their election consultants, one from each of the Tories, Labour, and the LibDems, all of them former staffers for their parties. One of them talked about a scenario where the Tories get a lot of "D voters" but not so many "A voters". What are "A voters", "B voters", and so forth? PedanticallySpeaking 15:14, Apr 7, 2005 (UTC)

A, B, C1, C2, D, E. refers to social class, it is usually used for analysing voting habits and is also used in advertising for targetting campaigns to one particular group.
  • A upper class
  • B middle class
  • C1 upper working class
  • C2 lower working class
  • D/E: temporarily or permanently unemployed
Jooler 15:25, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Indeed, although I think the marketing people have relabelled these categories somewhat over the last few decades, to reflect ongoing demographic shifts. While "upper class" used to truly mean the aristocracy and the landed gentry, it mostly just means "rich people" now. Equally I believe D includes people in less than full time employment and low-skill pieceworkers. I can't readily find a wikipedia article about this, which is a shame: marketers, pollsters, and all kinds of social analysist regularly refer to this system for classifying social groups. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 15:41, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I got stuck in some kind of strange double recursion edit conflict. Here's my answer anyway:
I would say it's most likely to refer to this system of classifying people by their job or income, used internally in marketing and political consultancy and other such fields. This scenario would make sense I suppose, because in this election campaign issues like immigration and asylum, as well as Gypsies (perennial easy targets for right-wing politicians), are being exploited by the Conservatives to a greater extent than in the past. The healthy state of the economy since Labour came to power in 1997, combined with memories of how mismanaged it was under the Tories, mean it's now difficult for them to attack Labour on economic issues, so they go for the sort of things that concern the right-wing tabloid press. This would I think tend to attract lower-income voters who would in the past have voted Labour, as the party of the working class, but now see papers like the Sun and the Daily Mail screaming that immigration is out of control, violent crime out of control, etc, and turn to the Conservatives for a 'tough approach'. Meanwhile Labour has moved a long way to the political centre from the days when the top rate of tax you could be paying was as high as 98%, and those on higher incomes (the "A voters") are more inclined to trust Labour not to tax them to death. Others may disagree with my political analysis of course, but I think it's likely that the letters do refer to those categories I mentioned. — Trilobite (Talk) 15:44, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

And here is my edit conflicted contribution:

Strictly speaking, they are socio-economic classes. I think the Chartered Institute of Marketing defines them occupationally:

  • A Higher managerial/administrative/professional
  • B Median managerial/administrative/professional
  • C1 Junior managerial/administrative/professional, supervisory or clerical
  • C2 Skilled manual
  • D Semi-skilled and unskilled manual
  • E Casual labourers, state pensioners, the unemployed

I also recall some analysts defining them in terms of disposable income. --Theo (Talk) 15:47, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Impressment of Sailors in Modern Law[edit]

During the War of 1812, one of the disputes between the United States and Britain was the latter's practice of impressing men into the Royal Navy off of American ships. What laws currently in force in Britain, the U.S., or other countries authorize or ban this practice? Do any international conventions address this subject? PedanticallySpeaking 16:24, Apr 7, 2005 (UTC)

  • Impressment (other than in the form of military conscription) hasn't been used in the UK since the Napoleonic Wars. I think the right to impress still formally exists in the UK, but I'm not sure. Anyone have any legal details? (The Aubrey-Maturin novels, and associated books, contain a lot of material about impressment.) --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 17:07, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • The impressment article leads to the site here that says the right of impressment has never been repealed in Britain. But I wonder if anyone has specific citations of law. PedanticallySpeaking 17:21, Apr 7, 2005 (UTC)

There are a couple of issues here. Impressment is a form of conscription and surely will be remain legal as long as the latter does. Of course, the changed nature of the merchant navy and naval warface since 1812 means that it's certainly no longer practical of effective. The Royal Navy didn't resort to it in either World War.

The stopping of United States ships by the Royal Navy on the high seas was resolved by the Treaty of Ghent in 1814. However, during warfare the forcible boarding of supposedly neutral ships is commonplace in the imposition of a blockade. The law of blockade, insofar as it exists, was established by the Treaty of Paris (1856) and the Declaration of London (1910). After World War II neither side wanted to examine the issue too closely as both were guilty of infringement. See [11]. Gdr 17:29, 2005 Apr 7 (UTC)

It would be illegal if it violated the European Convention on Human Rights, whether it remains on the statute books because a test case isn't brought. Dunc| 17:48, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Indeed. But note that the ECHR specifically allows conscription for military service or in emergency (article 4.3). Gdr 18:06, 2005 Apr 7 (UTC)

scientist who suffered from mental illness[edit]

Name a scientist (the more well known the better) who suffered from a form of mental illness, (apart from Charles Darwin) Dunc| 17:54, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Well John Forbes Nash springs to mind, but he was more of a mathematician than a scientist --CVaneg 18:17, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Also, Nikola Tesla exhibited symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder and apparently kept the activation switch for his death ray in his hotel room. --CVaneg 18:41, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Mathematicians are all nuts. All of them. No exceptions. Scientists, however... Well, speaking of Tesla, I'd say Oliver Heaviside was also a couple beers short of a sixpack. But, he was mostly into math. I've always thought Herman Kahn was a good candidate for a rubber room, but I'm not sure he qualifies as a scientist. If drunks count, the list gets longer. But on the whole, while scientists are probably disproportionately dysfunctional in many ways, they don't seem to go off their rockers more than the population as a whole. --Diderot 18:52, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

To add on to Diderot's comment, there has been a semi-popular, if not well researched, theory that Asperger's Syndrome ocurs with greater frequency in geeks, engineers, and other technically minded folk. Wired magazine wrote an article on it titled The Geek Syndrome of course Wired is probably more interested in circulation numbers than scientific rigor, so take it with a very large grain of salt. --CVaneg 20:08, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
AS is not a mental illness (but the "geeks & AS" idea is well entrenched among professionals). On the other hand, AFAIK, depression is considered a mental illness. Guettarda 20:22, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Considering that it is in the DSM-IV, doesn't that make it, by definition, a mental illness? --CVaneg 21:46, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
homosexuality used to be in the DSM, too --Alterego 07:25, Apr 9, 2005 (UTC)

Well, Isaac Newton had a thing about virginity (his) ... RickK 21:01, Apr 7, 2005 (UTC)

Newton certainly suffered from some illness; it was probably mercury poisoning from his chemistry experiments.


How many people (or what % of world population) are Chrisitians of one variety or another? For the purposes of this question, please be inclusive, i.e. include Mormons, Jews for Jesus, ect. ike9898 17:55, Apr 7, 2005 (UTC)

Well, looking at a couple of different references [12] [13] [14]. The number is pegged at about 33% world wide, this seems to be in basic agreement with our article on Christianity which puts the number at 2.2 billion. --CVaneg 18:11, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Thanks. I had looked at the Christian article, but I hadn't thought to look at Christianity. ike9898 22:10, Apr 7, 2005 (UTC)
It of course also depends on how you count people who are of a Christian culture, have been baptized, but do not believe in God or believe in non-Christian gods. For instance, in some European countries such as France, statistics show discrepancies between "official" counts of Catholics and polls on how much of the population believes in God. There seems to be a tendency of some churches of counting as "faithful" anybody who has been baptized in that church, even though that person hardly ever attends such services and does not believe in the teachings of that church... David.Monniaux 06:49, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Meat Certification[edit]

I was having some goat the other day, and it made me wonder what sort of process is involved when a restaurant or butcher wants to sell meat that is typically not eaten by most people. Goat is actually a bad example since plenty of people eat it, but what if someone wanted to start selling rat meat? Is there just some general USDA standard for any meat that is meant for human consumption? --CVaneg 00:41, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Well, to give you an idea of how rigorous the federal standard isn't, consider "downers" (cows so sick they can't walk). USDA only banned downers from the human foodchain in December 2003 [15]. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but "too sick to walk" and "edible" don't seem to sit well together. That said, take a read of smokie, and see if you'd fancy a "smiley" any better. Pass the tofu, vicar. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 00:56, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Many downer cows simply have leg injuries. I don't think it is so preposterous that these animals be eaten, rather than wasted. ike9898 20:58, Apr 8, 2005 (UTC)

If you want to sell rat meat, the appropriate USDA standard says you have to keep the level of hot dog feces to less than 43 ppm. alteripse 02:19, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Meat business is usually an interstate-commerce issue (unless you kill your cow and sell it to your neighbor), it is supposed to be governed by the Federal Meat Inspection Act ( I guess the law only says "cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses, mules, and other equines" would be inspected. As to rat meat, I don't know if the federal government would like to inspect it. Possibly not. -- Toytoy 15:46, Apr 8, 2005 (UTC)

There used to be a restaurant in Washington, DC (might still be there, for all I know) on Pennsylvania, Avenue only a few blocks from the White House, that sold stuff like lion meat and rhino. I always wondered if it was inspected, but never had the ... um ... intestinal fortitude ... to try it.  :) RickK 22:32, Apr 8, 2005 (UTC)

You might try asking someone at [16]. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:25, Apr 9, 2005 (UTC)

That restaurant is only 11 years old! How I wish that the Teddy Bear president could have been a customer! Ha! (When I was a kid, I had eaten some washed earthworms. No lions, no rhinos. Just some earthworms freshly and locally harvested. Errrrrgh!) -- Toytoy 16:26, Apr 9, 2005 (UTC)

Just a side remark: you should make it apparent whether you're asking a question for a specific locale (here, the US) or whether you're asking generalities of meat certification processes worldwide, or in "first world" countries. David.Monniaux 06:46, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Louisiana Bayou Snakes[edit]

What kind, if any, poisonous snakes are there in the Louisiana Bayou? And exactly how poisonous are they? If a man were to be bitten, would a simple antivenom save his life? (Obviously, he'd probably still have to get medical help, right?)

  • Hehe, i have an image in my head now of a guy who's just been bitten by a snake, and scrambled towards his computer to ask this question. And he's waiting for an answer. and will soon die
Well, if you or your friend are still there and not convulsing on the floor, you may want to take a look at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries web site, in particular this page on local snakes. To answer the second part of your question, I would recommend seeing a doctor after getting bitten by any wild animal, just to be on the safe side. Also, if you've already killed the animal, it's not a bad idea to bring it with you for identification purposes, although I wouldn't necessarily recommend trying to capture or kill a live animal that has already demonstrated a willingness to attack humans. --CVaneg 19:00, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
To summarize, there are four major groups of venomous snake in North America: rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths, and coral snakes. Representatives of all four can be found in Louisiana. In, on, and around the bayous, the primary threat is the cottonmouth, or water moccasin. Unlike most snakes, it is highly aggressive and has been known to actively approach and attack people.
None of the North American snakes are so poisonous that an otherwise healthy individual cannot survive their bite with prompt medical attention, including antivenin administration if necessary. The standard treatment for North American pit viper bites is apparently antivenin (crotalidae) polyvalent (ACP). Coral snakes require their own antivenin, but coral snake bites are quite rare. ACP has a high incidence of allergic reaction and should be administered under doctor supervision. -- Cyrius| 14:10, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

battle cries of the Crusades[edit]

I'm trying to find battle cries that were used during the crusades. So far, from a websearch, I've come up with the obvious "Deus lo veult", "St. George!" (English knights), "Non nobis, Domine!" (Templars) and possibly "Pro Fide!" (Knights Hospitaller). On the Islamic side, the only obvious cry I can find would be "Allahu akbar". dab () 12:14, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

At the Battle of Dorylaeum, there was "if it pleases God, today we will all become rich" - not really a "battle cry", but a motivation anyway. "Deus le vult" was mostly during the First Crusade, probably not afterwards. I suspect later battles may have focused on the True Cross as a rallying point. This is a really good question...I would suggest you look in some of the chronicles, they probably mention battle cries sometimes. Adam Bishop 03:49, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Why is it that 1 + 1 = 2???

'two' is the name we give to the number that we get when we add one plus one. DJ Clayworth 16:55, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
In any base other than Base two. RickK 22:34, Apr 8, 2005 (UTC)
You're forgetting base one (1 + 1 = 11). --CVaneg 23:18, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

"Freedom is the power to say that 2 + 2 = 4. Granted that, all else follows." --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 02:31, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

See Peano axioms Samw 03:30, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I was talking with a friend of mine (PhD student in math at Carnegie Mellon) and he mentioned that just to prove 1+1=2 requires a full page. Basically, you use certain axioms to prove set theory, and from set theory you can build arithmetic, and from arithmetic you get 1+1=2. →Raul654 03:39, Apr 9, 2005 (UTC)

This is completely true. From what I understand, you first define "zero" to be the lack of anything, then define "one" to be its successor. Now prove that "one" (the successor of zero) when added to itself gives the "successor of the successor of zero". (I forget how "addition" is defined). This is explained well by Douglas Hofstadter in Gödel, Escher, Bach. -- Brhaspati\talk/contribs 06:39, 2005 Apr 9 (UTC)
You'll need more than just a page. From memory, the Principia Mathematica had something like 230 or so pages to establish results needed such that 1+1=2 follows. Dysprosia 07:11, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

If you really want a good answer to this you need to spend the next six months of your life learning a first-order language such that you can read some of the stuff on The author of that site edits wikipedia pretty substantially, actually --Alterego 07:23, Apr 9, 2005 (UTC)

Also, the proof needed to establish that 1 + 1 = 2 depends completely on the system you're proving it in, of course. From a practical stance, 1 + 1 = 2 can be considered a given: you are taught in school that 1 + 1 = 2 as an axiom, and similarly for all additions of numbers less than 10: the addition table of elementary arithmetic. "Why" in this case boils down to "because it just is"—but only because we choose not to break down the concepts further. More subtle is the fact that 1 + 1 = 3 is false, as this is something you're not explicitly taught—you just "know" that any given addition has only one outcome (in most formal systems, it is not assumed that addition is a proper function, so proof is required of this too). The above editors are quite right, though: to get a full appreciation of what it means to simply say that "one plus one equals two" on various levels, a good study of formal mathematics is required, as well as a dose of cognitive psychology (especially knowledge representation), and if you're up for it, some philosophy as well. JRM 21:21, 2005 Apr 12 (UTC)

the "number of pages required to prove 1+1=2" is not a meaningful measure. It depends entirely on from where you start. E.g., if the proof is in, say, English, you need an English grammar before you are even able to understand the words of the proof. There can also be an arbitrary amount of text about the meaning of 'number', 'one', etc. The straightforward axiomatic approach does fit on one page, of course. But to "really" understand anything at all, you'd need to understand the Universe itself first, which is beyond anybody's capabilities (oh, except religious fundamentalists, of course). dab () 09:31, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

A meaningful measure of what, actually? Not of "understanding", no. But we were only talking about proofs, and those measures are quite meaningful—though obviously they cannot be compared out of context, and need to include the proof systems as well.
Even limiting ourselves to understanding, your argument is an old chestnut: in order to "really" understand anything at all, you must first understand everything. But this is begging the question and just shows you that "real" understanding is a meaningless concept, as is, by extension, "real" meaning. By that argument, I might argue that "really" understanding anything in English is impossible, because in order to do so, I need an English grammar, and a complete description of English vocabulary... But of course I'd need a language other than English to write them in, which I cannot "really" understand either for the same reason... and so on. That it doesn't work this way is evident from the simple fact that we're communicating in English, whether we are "really" understanding each other or not: there is no infinite regression, because somewhere, at a sufficiently deep level, we simply have the means to acquire language without explicit instructions on how to do so (or, if you like, our brains simply behave as if such instructions were embedded in them). So while it is quite true that there is no absolute meaning, and likewise no absolute measure of understanding, it does not follow that there are no approximations of such measures solely in terms of human cognition (or even, more boldly, generalized intelligence), which is arguably all we're interested in here.
It still holds that "number of pages needed for a proof" is not a very meaningful measure of the level of understanding needed for a statement, phrased in these terms, because it all depends on how complex our proof system is in this sense, and how straightforward our proof. Your original statement, as I understand it, is true in intent but not valid taken to its logical conclusion. JRM 22:58, 2005 Apr 13 (UTC)


Why is it that we feel pain, physically???

  • It's our body's warning system to prevent us getting hurt (for biological explanation, see nervous system). Mgm|(talk) 16:58, Apr 8, 2005 (UTC)
    • MGM is correct - pain receptors (nociceptors) fire signals into the nervous system telling our brain that something is wrong. And what's more is that we have nociceptors for specific sensations - heat, cold, and physical deformation (pulling or pushing of flesh). →Raul654 22:42, Apr 8, 2005 (UTC)

We feel pain because of the release of the neurotransmitter Substance P --Alterego 07:17, Apr 9, 2005 (UTC)

Oddly, pain is usually good for you.

  • when you damage yourself, pain alerts you to the damage
  • pain is an unpleasent sensation.
    • When you put a load on the damaged area, you feel more pain, thus warning you to Not Do That.
    • People don't like unpleasent sensations, so pain teaches you not to make the same mistake that leads to the damage again

Interestingly pain often occurs *after* you have already acted reflexively.

Pain makes humans superior to most machines including robots, which will blithly rip themselves apart when damaged, because they are oblivious to the danger.

Some forms of leprosy kill off pain sense in the skin, and people with the disease will often be grossly disfigured, because they will be unable to tell if they're injured, and will continue putting unwise loads on damaged limbs.

Kim Bruning 16:54, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Why is the zebra black and white???

  • No they're not, they're really white and black. Mgm|(talk) 16:51, Apr 8, 2005 (UTC)
  • Essentially because those of their ancestors who looked more like today's zebras were more successful than whatever most of them used to look like. For more specific reasons see the article on zebra, which gives a very brief account of some theories. For more detail, try a search engine and I'm sure you'll find something. — Trilobite (Talk) 17:43, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
see melanin, evolution, natural selection. Dunc| 11:36, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

building parallel site to rejoin Wikipedia later - how to best structure...?[edit]


I am a Wikipedia _novice_ and have encountered a community of scientists and other parties interested in a revolutionary methodology of sustainability. Though they are open to the concept of a Wiki, we are trying to increase accountability and make the process less intimidating, so would rather build our own and then add the contents to Wikipedia after they have been groomed / are meaningful in size: "I don't see anything on the Wiki about that yet, Frank..."

The site is and I am trying to setup the initial structure to provide for easy transition later on; I realize that the value (globally) is in getting the content to the most people. That said, I am planning to do a hunk of work later today, trying to copy the structure of wikipedia so that the transfer of data / links will be easier when we get to it.

Rest assured there will be comments to indicate this methodology and intent as well as our appreciation for wikipedia and links to your site, the GFDL, etc...

I appreciate any suggestions you might have.

Thanks, Justin

One of the most important things is your bottom line license agreement. Better pick one that allows others to use/modify your contents. As a contributor, I can always declare my words are licensed to people under very loose and liberal terms. However, the system level license agreement is a must if you want your contents used by others. -- Toytoy 15:01, Apr 8, 2005 (UTC)
You may also want to make sure your wiki-users aren't only writing pages for which we've already got adequate Wikipedia entries. Otherwise moving things to Wikipedia won't be easy. Perhaps try your hand at the list of requested science articles. Also, don't forget to copy the history of the article if you ever get to moving things here, so we know who's worked on them. Mgm|(talk) 16:56, Apr 8, 2005 (UTC)
Yes! Doing a good merge of two articles on the same subject is difficult, especially if the articles are long. And, it always makes sense to avoid dulication of efforts..... ike9898 18:45, Apr 8, 2005 (UTC)
If you intend to integrate content into wikipedia later, you need to write with that in mind. In particular:
  • Content has to be licenced under a wikipedia compatible licence (essentially GFDL or something laxer, like cc-by-sa or BSD)
  • As wikipedia doesn't take content that can't be verified from reliable independent sources (in particular, see Wikipedia:No original research), this makes writing about revolutionary scientific work next to impossible in wikipedia (this is deliberate: wikipedia trades being off the cutting edge for keeping out the legions of pseudoscientific nutballs).
Using a wiki for collaborative editing is a great idea, but I think targetting wikipedia as a final repository will severly cramp the contributions you and your colleages make. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 17:08, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
For text, copyleft is not enough--it must be specifically licensed under the GFDL. 119 23:44, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I'd definitely advise against developing independent versions and trying to merge them. Merging two articles on the same topic is one of the most difficult things I've ever done on Wikipedia; if the two versions are significantly different, it's almost easier to write a new article from scratch, incorporating the existing content. Even then, you're left with a cut-and-paste writing style that requires some polishing before reading smoothly.

Perhaps you could work within Wikipedia: create temporary subpages on the articles you want to work with, and do the heavy revisions there. Wikipedia already has accountability in the revision history; anonymous contributions can always be reworked by a more experienced editor with a username, and as long as you're careful with references and avoid the prevalent weasel-wordiness, you can create a solid article. The trouble is, if contributions are made to the main article during that time, you'll have to find a way to merge them in.

You can see why this isn't topic isn't discussed much. In the end, I think the best content is created using the normal Wikipedia edit process. But I wish you luck in your search for a solution. -- Wapcaplet 00:55, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Marshall Law[edit]

What is Marshall Law? I don't understand the reference and how it is used?

Martial Law is when a military authority takes over management of an area usually controlled by civil authority. Usually this means that the military abridges certain rights (imposes curfew, holds military tribunals, etc.) in the interest of establishing order. --CVaneg 20:20, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I think that there was a comic book title that had the spelling the used in the question. In that case it was the main character's name, but it also obviously suggested a state of martial law. ike9898 20:51, Apr 8, 2005 (UTC)
Marshal Law is a superhero comic book series created by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill for Epic Comics. --Theo (Talk) 21:34, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I added a disambiguation notice to the top of Marshal Law pointing at martial law. I've seen this mistake made before elsewhere. -- Cyrius| 14:16, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Probabilty question that needs an answer...[edit]

I was hoping the incredibly smart people of Wikipedia could help me with a simple ath probability question:

There's a mother who has 3 children what are the chances that atleast 2 of her children are girls? And what's th probability that at most 2 are boys?

This is all assuming that the chances of either having a boy or girl are 1/2. Oh, and it'd be apprecited if you gave the answer as a fraction.

k, thx. ^_^

  • Loath as I am to do your homework for you, I'll show it to you as a simple combinatorial problem. Three children can be FFF, FFM, FMF, FMM, MFF, MFM, MMF, or MMM. Of those, how many have 2 or more Fs? --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 02:06, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • See factorial. Neutralitytalk 06:35, Apr 9, 2005 (UTC)

Hemline economy indicator[edit]

There's a hypothesis that the economy of a country is correlated to the hemline currently popular in women's clothing. Advocates for this hypothesis usually quote something like "Display silk stockings when rich, hide absence of silk stockings when poor" or "High hemlines -> good social life -> good sales of cosmetics and accessories -> indicates good spending power -> good economy". Has there been any serious (preferably peer-reviewed) research on such economic indicators? Are there other indicators like this involving clothing and lifestyle? -- Brhaspati\talk/contribs 06:59, 2005 Apr 9 (UTC)

Montgomery claims to have traced the relationship between hemlines and economic growth back about 200 years. When skirts are short, everyone is giddy and willing to take risks. "These cycles of excitation and quiescence are predictable," Montgomery declares. "It all relates to the electromagnetic field." Got that? The beauty of this indicator is that it enables economy watchers to thumb through women's catalogs at work.
--Alterego 07:10, Apr 9, 2005 (UTC)
PS, there is actually a lot out there, particularly in EBSCO. The above article was just the first thing I ran into. --Alterego 07:13, Apr 9, 2005 (UTC)

Thanks. Now I know it's not an urban legend (though the strength of the correlation seems to have been questioned by some economists). -- Brhaspati\talk/contribs 01:37, 2005 Apr 11 (UTC)

test on networking[edit]

You're going to have to ask a question. -- Cyrius| 19:21, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Why a green flame from this lighter?[edit]

I have a lighter which produces a green flame. I was told that the green color has something to do with copper. How does this work? (I'm in a chemistry course so it is OK to explain in terms of chemical reactions.) --User:Juuitchan

Basically, all substances give off a specific spectrum when heated; when they burn, or are in a flame, this means a lot of heat. (The exact spectrum is due to unique properties of the molecules; electron bands &c.). Copper salts produce blue-green flames; it can vary quite a bit depending on the rest of the compound.
Testing substances like this by burning them is the "flame test", which you may have run across; I remember it being quite good fun in my school chemistry classes... :-) Shimgray 19:02, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Your lighter probably has copper in the flame, yes. Not chemical reaction. It's quantum physics. *VERY* complicated. In simple terms, the flame you see from a lighter are small particles of random stuff that get caught in the hot air from the combustion reaction. Being hot, they radiate out their energy as light.
How do they do that? A simplified explanation: Now, each atom of these particles consist of electrons in orbits around a nucleus. Orbits are not the same as planetary orbits in a large number of ways - one of them being that only certain, specific orbits work. Copper, then, has it's orbits filled up a different way to the orbits in atoms of other elements. When it has lots of energy, an electron in the outermost orbit can jump up a few levels. But it's not stable like this, so eventually it drops back down again, getting rid of this energy with a couple of photons. Since different elements have different such transitions, they radiate photons of different energies. The energy of a photon is expressed in it's frequency - ie. it's colour.
I bet there's an article on WP about this somewhere.--Fangz 19:09, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)
All such articles seem to be stubs. --Theo (Talk) 22:30, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)
This information is indeed remarkably inaccessible. Between Bohr model, electron configuration, spontaneous emission and quantum you can get some understanding, but it's not easy. Questions like these could help us cover our material better. JRM 20:52, 2005 Apr 12 (UTC)
You are seeing line emission from particles of hot metal within the flame. Which colours you see will depend on which emission lines are activated, which depends on the chemical element and what temperature it is at. The colours in fireworks work on the same principle. I think light#Light sources and emission spectrum get you there, although could be better. Perhaps we need a list of colours of elements in a flame (sodium, yellow; potassium, purple; copper, green). -- ALoan (Talk) 10:21, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Ok, I've added Flame test. Someone help me expand it, please?--Fangz 16:26, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Wondering about a music video[edit]

I remember seeing a music video awhile back for a late 90s/early 2000s techno song. It involved a camera panning across a set of train tracks (for the entire video) with railroad structures, buildings, trees, lakes and other scenery periodically passing by. What was remarkable about the video was that each piece of scenery seemed to represent an aural element of the song, and that the same pieces repeatedly came into view with the same timing and quantity of the element they represented. Do you know what I'm getting at? Does anyone know the name of the video and the artist? Thanks. -rlwelch

I vaguely remember seeing something along these lines by The Chemical Brothers --Alterego 01:34, Apr 10, 2005 (UTC)
I've found it. It's called "Star Guitar" . Thanks for the tip. -rlwelch 04:58, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Web of music[edit]

This is random, but there was this site I used to go to to find new interesting bands, made in the form of a self-organising map. You typed in the name of a band (or maybe did it straight from the address bar), and this web would appear, placing closely-related bands near to each other. You could click on any band, and the map would then re-form centered around that band. The site also had similar sections for books and films, as I recall.
Any clues as to what I'm talking about? Any links appreciated. — Asbestos | Talk 01:17, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

liveplasma, formerly musicplasma --Alterego 01:32, Apr 10, 2005 (UTC)
Hmmm... interesting, That's not the site I had in mind — the one I remember didn't have graphics quite as fancy, and formed itself more like an elastic web — but it seems quite similar. Thanks! — Asbestos | Talk 13:08, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Did you perhaps mean Music-Map? Mindspillage (spill yours?) 22:06, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Yes! Excellent, thank you very much. — Asbestos | Talk 23:08, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

autolink keywords in html[edit]

i'm trying to create a keyword autolink file that will replace keywords throughout my webpage with hyperlinks. soo.

if i wrote in my website

ayumi hamasaki releases new album my story, utada hikaru realeses exodus 04

i could specify ayumi hamasaki as a keyword, and when someone views the html file, it would link ayumi hamasaki to a page about ayumi hamasaki.

it would look similar to what wikipedia does, were it looks for keywords and hyperlinks them.. i would like to know how to do this.. thanks


Wikipedia doesn't do this automatically. Both on Wikipedia and on your own website this needs to be done manually. Wikipedia only provides an easier way to do this: You can just use brackets as in "[[Ayumi Hamasaki]]" here, instead of the more clumsy HTML standard
"<a href="">Ayumi Hamasaki</a>".
Sebastian 03:36, 2005 Apr 10 (UTC)

thnx Sebastian, what if php was used, such as applying preg_replace for an array, this is some php, however since it's merealy replacing certain things on urls so far in the $txt var string. but obviously i cannot put everything in strings.. it would be too inconvienent to re-name my website to php, considering i would have to edit the .htaccess file to do a re-direct, i'd also probably lose search engine rankings, currently i recieve several million hits a month.

<?php $txt = ' ayumi hamasaki releases new album my story, utada hikaru realeses exodus 04'; $txt = preg_replace( '/(http|ftp)+(s)?:(//)((w|.)+)(/)?(S+)?/i', '<a href="">4</a>', $txt ); echo $txt; ?>

also i would have to write all my strings and then echo them, this would make it much more difficult to edit and update

here is similar to replace words in a string

<?php $string = ' ayumi hamasaki releases new album my story, utada hikaru realeses exodus 04.'; $patterns[0] = '/ayumi hamasaki/'; $patterns[1] = '/utada hikaru/'; $replacements[1] = 'artist 1'; $replacements[0] = 'artist 2'; echo preg_replace($patterns, $replacements, $string); ?>

i'm assuming you can also specify $replacements[1] = '<a href=/"" target=/"_blank/">ayumi hamasaki</a>'; or rather u don't even need the excape slashes because i'm using single quotes

any idea how to apply this too all text in a website? or even make an array of keywords in an external document?

ps, i have studied html, php and mysql though i forget most of php and mysql it and i'm them studying again in college though just beggining again. still this problem is boggling, i know has some solution as they autolink author's i believe


You can set up an Apache handler to have all your .HTMLs run through the PHP parser... add the following to your .htaccess:
AddHandler application/x-httpd-php .html
AddHandler application/x-httpd-php .htm
You could have a global variables file that you use a php require_once() on for each page, and then do whatever from there. I'm using several requires on my website to get the stylesheet and XHTML declarations in without having to manually declare the doctype each time. Alphax τεχ 05:39, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)


can you please tell me what website i can go to see naked pictures of naruto???


You're too young to see Naruto's "Orioke no jutsu". Ask again in 2008. 08:07, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)
けるける!! 駄目。。不潔である。。。 :( don't asking again in 2008. Junpei

Andrea Dworkin: dead or alive?[edit]

A newly registered contributor has edited Andrea Dworkin and April 9 to indicate that Dworkin died on that date of this year. Someone mentioned on the talk page that there don't seem to be any news articles etc to back this up. Does anyone have any information on this? Thanks. moink 10:32, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I can't seem to find anything, either. My suggestion would be to leave the death-date off until you have something to pin it to; better out of date for a couple of days than wildly inaccurate. Shimgray 11:21, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)
User:Viajero added it back in, after a revert; I've left a note on his talk page asking for a source. Meelar (talk) 17:36, Apr 10, 2005 (UTC)
Seems to me that if she'd died it would be in the newspapers, I think this is misinformation. -- Jmabel | Talk 20:01, Apr 10, 2005 (UTC)
It is not breaking news at The Guardian newspaper web-site and I cannot imagine anywhere more likely to feature this story were it true. --Theo (Talk) 22:35, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)
She's definitely dead now. Dunc| 19:30, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Getting confirmation[edit]

I've been trying to find out by tracking sources. It's on the blogs now, but in each case the blog references e-mails rather than either first-person accounts or traditional media. Either she's dead and her agent both hasn't sent out a press release and hasn't been called by anyone in the traditional media, so only a few e-mail accounts have gotten out, or she's not dead and word is not travelling faster than the rumour. I'm not sure at this point which is more plausible. I'd heard that she was ill, but Dworkin's not the kind of person to get all mediatised about it.

There's an interesting story here, but either its about how rumours can propagate on the web, or it's about some very strange media behaviour. I just can't tell which.

She's represented by the Elaine Markson Literary Agency at +1 212 243-8480. In four or five hours, somebody should call and get a confirmation if possible. It's what the mainstream press is supposed to do in this situation, we ought to do the same. --Diderot 07:58, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Obit in The New York Times: PedanticallySpeaking 17:17, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)

charles marriage[edit]

Would a polite english gentleman/madam explain me about all the fuss going on on the island? Wasn´t the anglican church founded so the king could divorce? So why, some centuries later, the prince´s second marriage is a scandal? --Alexandre Van de Sande 14:43, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • You might wanna read about Edward VIII of the United Kingdom →Raul654 14:48, Apr 10, 2005 (UTC)
    • And Abdication Crisis of Edward VIII in particular. →Raul654 14:50, Apr 10, 2005 (UTC)
      • Relavant quote -- many have argued that the problem for Edward was that as King he was also Supreme Governor of the Church of England, which did not allow divorced persons to remarry in church while a former spouse was still living, →Raul654 14:51, Apr 10, 2005 (UTC)
        • You might not expect what you ask for if you go looking for a "polite English madam", but I digress. Note also that Camilla's former husband is still alive; the Church has a problem with him being around, not with Charles per se. Shimgray 14:54, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)
As a polite English gentlemen myself I can say for certain I don't know a single person who cares, so reports of a fuss on the island are greatly exaggerated. Also, it couldn't really be said to be a scandal. A far greater scandal occurred when Charles was married to Diana and it became known that he was having an affair with Camilla. The feeling now among the minority of the population who care about these things seems to range from a kind of resigned acceptance that the foul temptress herself is now married to the heir to the throne, to a hope that Charles and Camilla will at last be happy together after all the twists and turns that have led to their eventual marriage. But please don't get the impression that we are all sitting round discussing the latest royal scandal as if it were a matter of life and death. It passes most people by as far as I can tell. At most it is a kind of soap opera that people are peripherally aware of. The royal family has certainly provided drama and entertainment for those who take any notice, but there is no great fuss as far as I can see. Unless of course you consult the tabloid newspapers, but then they never have quite been able to grasp reality. — Trilobite (Talk) 15:03, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Here in provincial East Anglia, the topic has cropped up daily among office workers, pub drinkers and (I am told) church congregations. The most widely held view appears to be one of mild goodwill. Some Anglicans are concerned about a divorcee remarrying whilst the spouse is alive. Others see the church as hypocritical for blessing a union that it would not officiate. My living (Roman Catholic) ex-spouse proved to be no impediement to my remarriage in an Anglican church, however, so the matter is clearly confused and confusing. And the foundation of the Anglican church as a mechanism to facilitate Henry VIII of England's divorce is a huge oversimplification. --Theo (Talk) 22:54, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Desimplifying only slightly, what Henry failed to get from the Pope was an annullment, not a divorce. DJ Clayworth 17:06, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

In fact the Anglican church is one of the few churches that still obeys Matt 5:31,32 You can't get two church marriages unless your spouse dies. That's why Charles is only legally marrying Camilla (she's divorced). The Anglican church didn't split off so people in general could have divorces, but so that Henry VIII would be head of the church, which happened to enable him to grant himself an annullment, loot monasteries, etc. --Jbaber

George I divorced his wife too (before he became King in England) and somehow the C of E survived that. ;) PedanticallySpeaking 14:53, Apr 21, 2005 (UTC)

Digital signature[edit]

How can I get a digital signature or DSA/RSA public key? I've read the relevant articles, but are there any links to free programs that can do it for you? Thanks.

GNU Privacy Guard. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 22:50, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Thank you.


A few questions:

  1. The Herpes simplex virus article says that the prevalence of herpes simplex in the US is about 30%. This site says it's between 50-90%. Which is right?
  2. With regard to transmission, is it the virus or the symptoms that spread? By this I mean, if two people have had had herpes at some point in their lives and one has an outbreak, is there any further risk of transmission between the two? Is there second person likely to get an outbreak from contact with the first?
  3. Does it make any difference where transmission occurs? Is kissing more likely to cause an outbreak around the lips, or are outbreaks independent of any of that?
  4. Related, is oral sex from a man with herpes around the lips likely to transmit genital herpes to a woman?

Thanks for any help. --anon.

Well, I can't really answer all of your questions, but here's my understanding:
1. Our article actually says that incidences of herpes rose by about 30% between 1976 and 1994. It it gives the overall incidence of HSV-2 (genital herpes) at around 21.9%. This does not put it at odds with the site you referrenced as its 50-90% statistic refers to the prevelance of HSV-1 (oral herpes).
4. According to our article, herpes is a local infection. Therefore it is possible to transmit HSV-1 (oral herpes) to another person's genitals through oral sex. Conversely it is possible to trasmit HSV-2 (genital herpes) to another person's mouth through oral sex. Note, though, that these are different viruses. HSV-1 will not become HSV-2 upon infection of the genitals, it just happens to be that HSV-1 is referred to as oral herpes and HSV-2 is referred to as genital herpes because those are the areas that tend to be the most infected.
Well, that's about all I could suss out of my own brain and the articles you referred to. Hopefully, someone else should be able to help out with the rest. --CVaneg 00:52, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for that. Anyone know anything abiout question 2 above?
Yes. New outbreaks can definitely be caused by reinfection spread by oral/genital, oral/oral, or genital/genital contact. - Nunh-huh 23:34, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Assuming aliens exist in other worlds, why is it that people always assume that they are smarter and more advanced than we humans are?

Because a science fiction story about dumb, unadventurous and rather retarded aliens wouldn't be very exciting, and wouldn't sell well. Notable exceptions are Bruce Sterling's excellent short story The Swarm ("in the long term, intelligence is not a survival characteristic") and Niven and Pournelle's Footfall. And the killer space yoghurt in The Andromeda Strain wasn't exactly Einstein either. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 01:19, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)
You forgot to mention the alien species in the Ender's Game books - the piggies and the descolada aliens are definitely less advanced (while Jane, who is arguably another alien species, is more advanced). →Raul654 10:48, Apr 12, 2005 (UTC)
It's not clear to me that they do. Aliens who vist earth are usually assumed to be more advanced because they'd have to be to make interstellar journeys.
That assumption is, however, pure anthropocentrism. In practice, mainstream audiences want to read stories about roughly human things fighting other roughly human things, and as we can't fly to other stars its incumbent on the author to make his fictous alens more advanced so they can do so. Deeply non-human creatures (killer space yohurt clinging to rocks, wispy probability creatures that travel via singularities, malevolent xray memes that infect hapless radioastronomers' brains) can all do so, and in a ways no more unlikely than caucasian bipeds from sagitarius flying around in metal spaceships at warp factor seven. But you can't identify with the space yoghurt, and you can't understand the motivation of the propability wisp. The travails of an anaerobic mildew in its quest to grow on some Oort Cloud object inevitably lack the trajedy, comedy, romance and adventure that mainstream readers demand in stories. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 17:33, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Some postulate that viruses are aliens who arrived here via meteorites. viruses may be more advanced for survival through space travel, but are less advanced in other ways. Kingturtle 04:58, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)
As John said above, with stories based in current times, since we are not able to travel much beyond our own planet, then the aliens usually must be at least advanced enough to make it here. (So that makes them more advanced than us.
For stories not based in our present, it is possible to have us be the more advanced species. For example, there are numerous Star Trek episodes that feature Federation ships, usually led by humans, observing or interacting with less advanced species. Although, usually the bad guys are almost equally matched with us -- I guess that makes for better drama.
Because the thought of a race dumber than us is too horrific to contemplate? DJ Clayworth 17:02, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Because most SF customers are dumb. It's harsh but true.

Imagine that you're really a spaceman of the twenty-some century, what would you do? You probably still have to calculate your orbit very carefully and spend years if not much longer to travel to anywhere not too far away from the sun. Life sucks in space. Space sucks.

Chances are you still have to obey most natural laws known in the 20th century.

Even if you do find something alive in space, it will either be not interesting ("Mom! It's a jazz-singing germ!") or it will not communicate with us at all (Do you really know your dog?). Even if we may speak to each other, it will not be any helpful. You don't know about wildlives. People living by the Amazon River don't know about stock option. Interspecies communication is just pointless.

To write a Star Trek story, you have to make your aliens speak English, eat human foods, breath earth air, stand roughly as tall and share most basic U.S.-centric values. Kligons, Romulans, Borgs, ... They are all miserable U.S. actors with funny latex noses and ears. They are cardboard earthlings. These stories are for lowly educated losers. To me, a duck makes a much more convincing alien.

Trust me, a bunch of monkeys have their own internal politics. You don't care about their lives. They don't care about yours. So are earthlings and aliens.

A more realistic story would involve with boring issues. What if they don't want to trade with us? What if they are living in another time scale? What if we cannot explain to them the differences between a door and a window? What if their meat taste better than beef? What if they just want to order plastic bottle caps from us? How do they pay us? What if they speak to your shadow? A truly convincing story will be more like a field observation of bugs. SF movies are for dumb people who don't even have a life. Most of their audiences cannot even speak a foreign language let alone see beyond 10000 light years. So what do you expect? -- Toytoy 13:04, Apr 12, 2005 (UTC)

A science-fiction story involving aliens is not foremost a work of astrobiology or a realistic speculation on alien life. It is foremost a story; a tale; a narrative. If it is incomprehensible or boring, then it will fail as a story, even if it succeeds as a speculation.
Sf is not so different from any other genre of writing. You have to have engaging characters or scenarios in order to tell a story, and in order to convey a message. This is as true if your characters are from Zeta Reticuli as much as if they are from Brooklyn. (Most sf movies, on the other hand, are simply action movies with fancier special effects. They are showcases for explosions, tits, tense last-second defusings of bombs, fistfights and gunfights. They just put the explosions in space (with sound), paint the tits green, and call the guns "blasters".)
Nobody knows what space aliens would be like. Therefore, they make an excellent element of mystery or difference, much in the same way that people once told tales of mysterious lands inhabited by lotus-eaters, Amazons, or immortals. Star Trek, for instance, has always used alien species for social allegory, the differences in species standing in for differences in human society -- nation, class, gender, social organization, personality type.
Why does a Klingon or a Narn have two eyes, two legs, and stand about six feet tall? It isn't because Roddenberry or Straczynski are trying to tell us that real space aliens will have these attributes. It is because that's what works in the narrative. Of course there are no Klingons running around the galaxy -- if there are other forms of intelligent life, they're as likely to look like starfish as to look like humans. You err in believing that the audience thinks there are Klingons or anything resembling them. But likewise there never were any Amazon women or cyclopes in the ancient world -- that doesn't damage their interest in the narratives of myths and epics.
(For what it's worth, by the way, your use of insults such as "lowly educated losers" and "dumb people who don't even have a life" to describe your fellows is not permitted on Wikipedia. Please read the Wikipedia:No personal attacks policy and learn to deal with people of different interests in a civil manner around here. If you're looking for a flamewar, Usenet is down the hall.) --FOo 14:24, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

You might be interested in digging up a copy of Cohen & Stewart's What Does a Martian Look Like?; a book-length discussion of fictional aliens, and some attempts to baseline the science behind them. I believe it goes into the "technological" aspects at some point, as well. Shimgray 18:39, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I'd dispute that people "always" assume that. Nevertheless, aliens in UFOs would have to be smarter than us because we (apparently?) don't know how to do the same. Dysprosia 07:07, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

your Spetznatz page[edit]

I tried editing this page myself, but it listed the Russian and IPA translation in code.

The IPA listing for Spetsnaz

(Войска специального назначения - спецназ/Voiska spetsialnogo naznacheniya - spetsnaz, /ʃpecnaz/ in IPA)

is incorrect. Specifically the ending for the adjective "special." even though it has the -ого endng, it is pronounced as if the г was a B instead, which produces a sound similar to the English letter v. The listing then, should read like this:

Spetsnaz (Войска специального назначения - спецназ/Voiska spetsialnovo naznacheniya - spetsnaz, /ʃpecnaz/ in IPA)

Thank you for your time and attention.

This is a question of transcription verses transliteration. The name is correctly transliterated - the Roman alphabet version corresponds to the Cyrillic spelling of the Russian version. --Diderot 10:18, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Warning messages to innocent people[edit]

Though I have only used Wikipedia once I have recived about 5 new messages saying that I have placed nonsense on pages that I dont even know about. I have done nothing yet I get 5 messages thretning to block me and throw me out! Innocent people who find this site on places like ask jeves and google, usually have no intention to vandalize this site but as soon as they come back to get somemore information they are threatened and called a vandal for no reason what-so-ever! Send threatning messages to the people who do the crimes, not people who come here once to learn about something.

- A displeased and threatened user

Sorry about that. It's not you, but someone sharing your IP address (not a lot you can do about that, except not use AOL). Consider getting a login, with a cookie to log you in every time, and you won't get these type of messages. Dunc| 08:54, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Yep, Dunc is right. Unless you sign in there's no way for us to distiguish you from the abusive user. A login would solve your problem. Mgm|(talk) 09:30, Apr 11, 2005 (UTC)
This is a problem that needs to be sorted out. I have a signin but I still get blocked or warning messages because most of Southern Africa's internet goes through a proxy (SAIX) and it is this IP adrress not mine that gets blocked or warnings ect. --Jcw69 11:13, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Would you be so kind as to leave me the exact IP addresses of those South African proxies? We have a list of proxies for major providers, which we use in order not to block networks such as AOL's for one single user. David.Monniaux 06:34, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
If you have a named account you shouldn't be getting messages on your named talk page, except about things you have actually done. DJ Clayworth 13:50, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This discussion should really be at the Village Pump. -- FP 14:16, Apr 13, 2005 (UTC)

osmosis and diffusion[edit]

can you please tell me the differences between osmosis and diffusion???


Psychology study, repeat an action N times to establish new habit[edit]

Someone told me about a psychology-type study where the subjects were given some new physical motion/activity to perform. The study concluded that if a person repeated the action 30 times (60 times?) then most people would absorb the action as a habit, rather than have to consciously think when they did the action. Unfortunately, the person cannot find any URL or such that I could quote it and reference it. Anyone have any URL's to articles that discuss this aspect of learning a new habit? Name of researchers who did this? anything? Thanks. FuelWagon 22:13, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Some googling turned up this at MIT, which might prove interesting. It seems to be fairly standard - if you do something simple and mechanical a lot, you begin to do it without thinking. (I've been working on a library front desk in the last short while - I've begun to note that a lot of the processing work now requires a lot less thinking than before). Perhaps this on "habit" might be helpful, as well. Shimgray 22:26, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

In the Connectionist model of the cognition, controlled processing (the analog to serial processing) occurs when we perform an unfamiliar task. As performance on this task increases and it becomes easier, we will begin to use automatic processing (the analog to parallel processing). Patting your head would be considered automatic processing, as would rubbing your belly (these things are both very easy to do alone, and you can just as easily do something else easy at the same time, such as chewing gum). However, patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time would require controlled processing, at least until you became good at it and could nearly do it without paying any attention to it. Then it would be automatic processing ;) --Alterego 17:58, Apr 12, 2005 (UTC)

How does the brain turn images,wordds etc into memories?[edit]

I need to know How the brain turns words,images,sounds etc into data and stores it into the brain for later recall. I have a science project on short term and long term memory due tommorrow and I have always trusted Wikipedia to be there when I need help and extra information.

Light and sound are transduced (transduced means converted from one form of energy into another) into electrical signals by the rods and cones in your eyes, and the cilia in your ears. These signals (action potentials) are transmitted along afferent neurons into the brain. The brain then stores it -- nobody really knows exactly how, but the best theory is that short term memories are stored in chemical form, and the long term memories are stored by reshaping the brain (in particular, changing how certain neurons in the brain connect to each other). →Raul654 22:40, Apr 11, 2005 (UTC)
Warning: (hopefully helpful) physiological jargon follows. True, no one knows exactly how memories are stored, but most research points to long-term potentiation (LTP). What's certain is that memories are stored not in neurons themselves, but in the connections (or synapses) between neurons. According to LTP, memories more or less form by a game of tug-of-war between postsynaptic protein kinases and phosphatases. Strong input to the postsynaptic cell excites kinases, which tend to make temporary changes to the cell, like increasing the sensitivity of postsynaptic receptors to the neurotransmitters released by the presynaptic cell. (That's but one example; there are lots of other kinase-related changes that can enhance memory.) By increasing the sensitivity of these receptors, the postsynaptic cell will now respond more readily to presynaptic input, and the synapse between the cells has strengthened. (This is learning at the synaptic level.) If the strong input ceases, the kinase activity will remain only for a short while; eventually, the strength of the synapse will return to its prior state (i.e. before it received the strong input). This is the basis of short-term memory. On the other hand, if the strong input continues, the kinases eventually travel to the cell nucleus and promote the synthesis of so-called plasticity-related proteins. These proteins travel back to the synapse, making long-lasting changes to its structure and function that strengthens the communication between pre- and postsynaptic cells. These long-lasting changes are the foundation of long-term memory. I hope that helps. --David Iberri | Talk 23:41, Apr 11, 2005 (UTC)

It is helpful to think of the cognitive processes as active and not passive. A large part of recall involves constructing details based on semantic cues and what you know at the current time (e.g., the accuracy of long term memory is effected by what has recently happened. This is known as retroactive interference). In Diberri's excellent summary of the physiologiy, you see that we have observed a large majority of the phenomenon that that occur inside the brain to encode memory. A key point that your science project should touch on is what we don't know: that is, how these physical mechanisms give rise to attention and consciousness. --Alterego 17:48, Apr 12, 2005 (UTC)

How does aging affect short term memory?[edit]

I've been wondering why the elderly lose their short term memory or recall of it. Has it been proven how this happens? Is it a loss of chemicals needed? I have a science fair project on aging and short term memory and need to find this information. I couldnt find it any where else.

Here is a link I found on the National Library of Medicine (NLM) website:
It include an explaination of how memory works, and how aging changes things. It doesn't go into detail, but you probably find more info at the NLM site. Kenj0418 00:33, Apr 12, 2005 (UTC)

Alzheimers disease and Parkinsons disease are both related to memory loss. In general memory loss in the elderly will be due to deterioration of the limbic system and the restructuring of memories in the brain. For example, as you enter late-life stages it becomes easier to recall memories from adolescence, while your short-term memory will be less sharp than it used to be. You may be interested in our article on Nootropics as well. --Alterego 17:32, Apr 12, 2005 (UTC)

What was the question again? Adam 03:13, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

What is the national dean's list?[edit]

I received a mail from them today, and I am not sure if it is a hoax or any sort. It would be nice to have an article about it as well. -- Taku 00:31, Apr 12, 2005 (UTC)

IMHO, based on info from when I was in school a while back, the National Dean's List, Who's Who among _____, and similar awards are pointless, but mostly harmless. From what I can tell, the main purpose seems to be to get your to by a book or other product from them listing you as winning the award. You used to be able to accept the award without buying anything or paying them anything. I see no harm in this (they already have your name and address anyway), but I wouldn't provide any information that you wouldn't want publicly available. As someone looking at resumes, I wouldn't place any value (positive or negative) or someone listing one of these awards, but your mileage may vary. Kenj0418 00:43, Apr 12, 2005 (UTC)
Several universities I applied to had Do not include Who's Who at the top of the Awards section of their applications --Jbaber
Doing a Google search, I belive it's a little more prestegious than a "Who's Who" list — you have to be nominated by a teacher/professos, must be in the top 10% of your class, and so on. People seem to put some faith that a Dean's list student is up at the top. Also, you don't need to pay anything to accept the nomination. Who's Who lists, on the other hand, are basically just scams. I used to subscribe to a couple science magazines, and kept getting "nominated" to be in the "Who's Who of Respected Scientists", or some-such, even though I had yet to graduate from high-school. YThey merely asked me to pay $75 for the leather-bound book with my name somewhere inside, and I'd have world-wide name recognition! Um.... — Asbestos | Talk 09:39, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Je t'aime... moi non plus[edit]

Could someone please send me the lyrics to "Je t'aime... moi non plus," in the original French, and a translation into English?

Thank you,


SVP, dites-moi les mots de "Je t' non plus," dans la francais et dans l'anglais.



(Moved from Je t'aime... moi non plus. Samw 03:23, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC))

All you need to do is to google for it. -- Toytoy 04:05, Apr 12, 2005 (UTC)

Article for picture[edit]

Does anyone know of an article on wikipedia where this unusual image could be put?

Log in a tree
Log in a tree

I cant really see anywhere to put it on the tree article Thanks --Fir0002 12:36, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I spend all my time on WP placing images in articles, so I've had a think. I think it would go very nicely in Trees of Australia if you know what sort of tree it is, or, if you don't, put it in in Tree to show an unusual tree. The image is fascinating, I would hate to see it unused - Adrian Pingstone 14:10, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • OK, that may be the spot to put it for the time being, and if the term Solipsist is trying to think of can be found, I'll put it there. Thanks for your help --Fir0002 23:30, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Or more particularly, does anyone know of the correct term to describe a foreign body embedded in a plant? (assuming there is such a term). -- Solipsist 15:34, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Fortean Times might like it. Good question about the term; I don't think I've heard of one. Sharkford 17:28, 2005 Apr 12 (UTC)

  • What exacactly is the Fortean Times? --Fir0002 23:33, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Fortean Times would probably be a good place to start. --CVaneg 02:15, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I have encountered a term for it, but damned if I can remember what it is (or find it again)... Shimgray 21:41, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It's an unusual phenomenon, but not so rare. In Somerville, Massachusetts there is (or was a couple of years ago) a tree that has engulfed into itself part of a chain-link fence. (It's at a ballfield between Teele and Davis Squares, if I remember correctly.) --FOo 06:26, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

apple juice[edit]

can it be bad for me if I drink 2-3 liters of apple juice a day?

Some people drink 2-3 liters of Coca Cola a day. I don't think they are going to die before 30. If you don't have diabetics, it could be safe to drink so much apple juice in a day. Please select unsweetened juice and give up your consumption of coca cola. Do drink an additional 2 liters of water.
By the way, you may want to consult the USDA food nutrition database ( for more information. Even unsweetened apple juice contains about 11% sugar. That means you're taking more than 330 g of sugar from your daily juice intake. This is only marginally better than drinking Coca Cola (fructose v. cane sugar; fiber + vitamins + minerals v. nothing useful). If apple juice does kill you, do give us a call, so we can learn from your experience. -- Toytoy 16:05, Apr 12, 2005 (UTC)
I used to do that. It didn't kill me. However, when I switched from juice to water I lost some weight. If you're overweight, you may consider cutting back. It's very easy to consume excess calories in the form of sweet delicious liquids. If you are a healthy weight or underweight, I wouldn't worry about it. In fact, some nutritionists specifically recommend to underweight people that they drink a lot of fruit juice, since it has the calories but is otherwise unharmful. moink 16:30, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
If you want to restrict your sugar intake. You may consider grapefruit juice (8% sugar). The catch: you may want to ask your doctor if you're taking any medicine. I don't know why that you only drink apple juice. If I were you, I'll buy other kinds of unsweetened juice as well. What if you're working on an apple farm and your boss only pays you unsold apples? -- Toytoy 17:01, Apr 12, 2005 (UTC)
As mentioned by others that is a lot of sugar, meaning you are consuming a very large proportion of your daily calories through something with very few nutrients. If the 330g number is right thats 1320 calories out of a common number of about 2400 total daily calories for maintenance depending on your activity level. In any case, you would be way better off eating the equivalent in apples and a variety of other fruits and vegetables. The juice eliminates the dietary fiber you would otherwise get from the fresh fruit or vegetable. That fiber also fills you up faster helping to reduce the amount you may consume, if that is important for you. I'm guessing you already knew much of this, but thought it may help. I suppose it is possible in that quantity of juice that the cyanide that is naturally in apple seeds would not be a negligible amount any more.- Taxman 21:59, Apr 12, 2005 (UTC)
Thanks everyone! I'm not quite up to 3 liters a day, but find it easy to quickly down a liter or so of fresh (pressed, with fiber) apple juice in a few minutes while working at the computer, and worried about it becoming a habbit, what with the amount that I'm on the computer. I doubt I'll get up to 3, though. Thanks!
I think it's worth noting here that excessive thirst can be a sign of diabetes. If you haven't been checked for this recently, it may be worth the effort. -Rholton 16:53, Apr 13, 2005 (UTC)

Info on Margaret Balfour[edit]

Does anyone have any biographical info on Margaret Balfour, a British singer of the 1930s? She is best remembered as the angel in Elgar's own recording of The Dream of Gerontius and one of the 16 soloists in the original performance of Vaughan William's Serenade to Music.

You can always make it a requested article. But it seems you have enough info already to at least start a stub at Margaret Balfour and wait for other people to pick up on it. Be bold! JRM 23:25, 2005 Apr 12 (UTC)
I have created the article Margaret Balfour using your material as the starting point and adding the results of my researches over the past two hours. --Theo (Talk) 23:56, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
How cool is Wikipedia? Kudos, Theo! --Tagishsimon (talk)
Wikipedia is about this cool, relatively speaking, which is due to Wikipedia being so great. JRM 22:23, 2005 Apr 13 (UTC)

Fossil fuel depletion[edit]

Anyone know of any prediction of when fossil fuels will completely expire? I'm doing a PSA ad for school, and all I can find is when production is expected to peak. Honestly, I don't care who it comes from, it can be as biased and skewed as humanly possible, I'm just looking for a prediction from a "major" (note not "reputable") source. -- user:zanimum (P.S. If the source is unbias and reputable, I'm fine with that too.)

They'll never run out. As a resource becomes more scarce, the difficulty of obtaining it increases as does the price. Eventually the richest person on the planet is priced out of the market (i.e. the oil that's left is just so hard to get that its not worth the effort). Even now, oilfields are closed when they become uneconomic, not when they're empty. I think the extraction curve will be a Rayleigh curve (i.e. with an infinitely long, but incredibly thin, tail). What you really want to know, I suspect, is "when will people be forced to use non-fossil fuels, or be plunged into darkness" - that's a different matter altogether (and involves an equation with many unknowns, so don't trust anyone who claims to know the answer). Lastly, if you believe some people, depleted oil reservoirs will eventually refill. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 01:34, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
What he said. However, if you just want a BS figure, have a poke around on the Energy Information Administration, part of the US Department of Energy. Combine their consumption estimates with their reserves estimates, and you can come up with a number. It's completely meaningless, because of the factors aluded to the parent commenter. --Robert Merkel 01:44, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Back in the '70s, everyone was scared that we'd run out of oil and be plunged into a new dark age. Now, with the advent of global warming, the worry is (well, should be) not that there's too little oil left, but that there's too much. Oil may be getting harder to find, but we're getting better at looking, and better at getting it out. That date for "peak oil production" doesn't really seem to be getting any closer. Maybe we'll have rendered this planet uninhabitable before we're done extracting the oil. For this reason it is imperative that people not recycle plastic bottles - use them up and landfill them as fast as you can; only this way will you hide enough oil away from Chevron (in a just-too-damn-hard-to-get form) for the world to be saved. -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 02:11, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

At what point will 'mining' lanfills become cost effective? Guttlekraw 16:03, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

With current technology, the economy is going to have to be seriously messed up before that's economic. Given some reasonable advance in technology (more efficient furnaces, genetically modified plastic-digesting bacteria, etc.) then landfills might turn from horrible liability to profit filled goldmines. As they say in Yorkshire "where there's muck there's brass" (where there's dirt there's money). -- John Fader (talk | contribs) 16:25, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Well, not entirely related, but we already mine some landfills for the methane they produce. --CVaneg 19:42, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The Hubbert peak article has a lot of what you are looking for in addition to focusing on the peak itself. Others have pointed out the basics, that it is not really about running out completely, but when do sources become uneconomic to produce more oil. Various factors could influence that such as other sources of energy like nuclear or renewable energy such as biodiesel coming into greater use. For ex, biodiesel can be produced now for about $3-4 a gallon using virgin feedstock. If fossil fuels become so hard to extract that gas and diesel cost $6 a gallon to produce, then demand would skyrocket for biodiesel. This would tend to raise the biodiesel prices. Then probably more suppliers of biodiesel would enter the market and likely more efficient methods of producing it and better feedstocks would come into production. This is likely to happen well before fossil fuels truly run out. The question is how fast will fossil fuels drop off and how smoothly can other options ramp up to replace it. A smooth transition to higher cost alternative options would simply increase costs for everyone. A steep drop in fossil fuel production well before alternatives could be ramped up could be disastrous economically for a time. Also what a lot of people forget is that oil may peak and drop off sooner, while there is predicted to be large amounts of coal available that is not currently being utilized. - Taxman 21:34, Apr 13, 2005 (UTC)

Boing Boing has an link filled posting on this issue, under the title Peak oil article in Rolling Stone. --Tagishsimon (talk)


I heard my friend say that when you are hit and you feel pain, you cells die and when cells die, you will become more stupid. Is this true???

  • Well, if it's brain cells that die, it'll most certainly have an effect on your IQ. Mgm|(talk) 10:58, Apr 13, 2005 (UTC)

Getting hit in the head once or twice is going to have no effect on your IQ. See the entry on neural plasticity. In addition, the formation of new cells in the brain has recently been witnessed --Alterego 16:31, Apr 13, 2005 (UTC)

Once or twice, no, but my unprofessional medical understanding was that there was a higher incidence of brain damage (beyond immediate injury) among soccer (football) players hypothesized to be due to heading the ball. [17] [18] So, in the general case, even though no one blow causes noticable damage, you still get a death of a thousand cuts type situation in which persistent minor trauma adds up to a potential problem. --CVaneg 19:34, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • It's certainly not the case that being hit anywhere other than your head could cause you to lose brain cells or become stupid. Pain is merely a signal to the brain that you've been hurt — pain itself is not damaging. — Asbestos | Talk 13:18, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

system boundaries[edit]

(question asked by moved from CSD) what are system boundaries? initially the question is saying describe with examples what is meant by a "system" and to adopt "system approach" include in your answer descriptions of elements, boundaries and environments. i need help can you help me out here would really appreciate it....

This is explained pretty clearly in the Background section of the System article. Essentially boundaries are the arbitary limits of a system that separate it from its environment. Pragmatically, if we consider a system to be a set of interlinked elements, one way of defining a boundary is that it is the real or imagined envelope that encompasses more than one element whilst passing through the fewest elemental links. --Theo (Talk) 14:57, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

How high can a bay be above sea level?[edit]

In the Chesapeake, for instance, many rivers run off into the ocean. This must create a permanent bulge near the coast making the water in the bay higher than sea level. The question is, how much? Is it perceptible? Obviously, because of waves and tide coming in and out, I have to compare average heights.

--Jbaber 13:06, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I guess there is an effect from river discharge on sea level, but I doubt it is significant. The geoid is not a perfect sphere (or spheroid or even ellipsoid), but the maximum deviations of the actual surface of the sea above mean sea level compared to the usual ellipsoid are only a few hundred metres (according to geodesy). As you say, waves and tides are likely to create somewhat higher changes than river run off. -- ALoan (Talk) 15:03, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

A few hundred metres is pretty significant! How could I find out how much higher the water is in the Chesapeake bay compared with a hundred miles out at sea?


Would satelite laser ranging help? Guttlekraw 22:24, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Maybe. My real question is, do people already know this? Is there some table of heights of bays and rivers that I could look up data in? (or should I say "up in which I can look data?")


I think the global measurements are ususally measured by satellite using radar; local coastal measuremnets can be made using a fixed datum. 100 m over several hundreds or thousands of km (comparing to oceanic distances or radius of the Earth) is not that significant, and the change is gradual and imperceptable: it is not like there is a sharp edge! This website seems to record mean sea levels variations for Chesapeake Bay but I'm not sure how to decipher the numbers! -- ALoan (Talk) 12:59, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Automatically generate emails from an excel sheet?[edit]

Is there any way to get excel to automatically send emails from Outlook? I have a sheet of tasks that are due from people, with dates they are due. Is there any way to get excel to send a reminder email to the person from whom the task is due a week before the task is due? I have the sheet set up currently so I have a field that is TRUE if the date condition is met, I just need excel to call outlook and send an email, or work out how to get outlook to query excel. I am using win2k. Thanks

Well, I do know how to get Microsoft Word to query Excel, and then use fields from Excel to write a letter. I suggest you filter on the field and then use "Mail Merge" which you can look up in the Word help. I'm pretty sure there are then ways to make Outlook use the Word files, but I don't use Outlook so I don't know what they are. And it's possible also that Outlook has a "Mail Merge" capability; again, try the help. moink 23:57, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

plea bargaining[edit]

I am writing a historical fiction. One of my characters kills someone in a fist fight. It takes place in a bar in Philadelphia in 1860. The man has access to good legal counsel. I would like to know if plea bargaining was common at that time. Is it likely that the person who does the killing could plea bargain the crime and accept one year's incarceration for manslaughter? If plea bargaining was common would that mean no trial was needed? Would the person go before a judge? Anything you could tell me about courtrooms, sentences, bargaining and general legal proceedings of the times would be greatly appreciated.


Patricia Crumpler

Why don't you send that guy to the Civil War and kill him on the battlefield? Criminal laws in the U.S. are basically state laws. 1860s was before the intensive federal abuse of the interstate commerce clause. So you had no Lindbergh Law, no RICO, no mail fraud, no USA PATRIOT Act then.
Can you get yourself some local newspapers or magazines of that era? In the 1860s legal education was not modernized (see Christopher Columbus Langdell). Lawyers were trained by lawyers. There were no casebooks. I am not familar with the criminal procedure of that age, but it could had been very judge-specific. Find the earliest casebook you can get. And study some novels of that period.
Plea bargain is not widely practiced in the U.K. So far as I know, it's a U.S. invention. And it was not used very often before the 1960s [19]. If I were a defendant in the 1860s, I'll try to raise an affirmative defense such as I am a gentleman but I was drunk or I was doing it for my honour (see also insanity defense and M'Naghten rules). Find yourself some casebooks. Many of today's casebooks carry cases of the 1870s. Who was the defendant? Who was the victim? Think of the social class and racial issues. -- Toytoy 15:07, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)
I've a couple of rather elderly (1890 and 1930) English "law for every-man" type books; decent-sized tomes, intended for a reasonably educated audience, such as well-off literate tradesmen or small businessmen. They give a reasonable overview of legal practice of the time; I suspect it's quite likely that similar things were published in the US. It might prove interesting to try and track some down. Shimgray 17:15, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Wilk's theorem[edit]

Maximum likelihood analysis. State Wilk's theorem. Show how it can be used to test a null hypothesis. 21:55, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Jeez, can't you at least pretend that you're just curious, or that you've at least attempted your homework before posting it here? -- CVaneg 00:19, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Try maximum likelihood, statistical hypothesis testing, and your textbook and class notes. - Taxman 23:08, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)

Consuming Diet Coke Daily[edit]

Is there any real, serious problems with drinking a can of diet coke a day? Is it worse for a teenager vs. a 40-year-old? Obviously, I am not referring to people who have PKU(phenylketonuria). (PKU is caused by a defect due to a mutation that causes the enzyme that breaks down phenylalanine to become dysfunctional. It can build up and cause organ damage.)

I don't believe any serious problems have come to light, although it's probably generally not conducive to living a healthy lifestyle (and some people may have issues with caffiene dependency). However, diet coke and similar things are still relatively new; it's always possible we might find thirty years down the line that it's strongly linked to the incidence of (something random). Of course, you could give the same caveat for internet use, so... Shimgray 22:49, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Isn't Coke used as a pesticide in India? 119 23:09, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The only serious problem I can think of is that daily exposure to something as awfully bad as Diet Coke will probably have negative effects on your taste buds. Me, I'm a Coke Classic guy all the way. But seriously, unless Diet Coke contains some hitherto-undiscovered heinous carcinogenic or something (which is of course always possible), I'd wager that drinking a single can of anything that has passed fda regulations is too small a dose to cause serious health problems. Food regulations in most western countries are generally so strict that it's pretty safe to consume anything that can be bought legally (in moderation, of course - caffeine can be a health issue, but a single can of Coke is a pretty small dose of that) -- Ferkelparade π 23:11, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I really don't know a lot about it, but I thought that Coke and Diet Coke contained phosphoric acid which could interfere with the absorption of calcium or even leach it from your bones. moink 23:50, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Yes, there has been at least one problem clearly documented with heavy daily diet coke consumption by American teenagers. There is a striking inverse relationship between cola consumption in teenage girls and bone density. There are probably two mechanisms here. Phosphoric acid in colas combines with calcium and reduces gut absorption, and high soda intake is associated with a much lower milk and overall dietary calcium intake. The effect is smaller in boys. Perhaps a theoretical caution is that no long term safety studies of heavy daily use of aspartame have been conducted. alteripse 23:51, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

For more about the effects on bone density: Phosphoric_acid#Effects_on_bone_calcium moink 23:54, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I know it's not real sugar. But can any sugar substitute activate your insulin production? I mean can any non-sugar molecule fool your body's blood sugar sensor? -- Toytoy

Glad you asked this excellent and important question, Toytoy. The principal trigger of insulin release is the reaction of glucose with glucokinase. As described in the glucokinase article, no artificial sweetener (or even other sugar) interacts with glucokinase to a significant degree. The principal glucosensors in the hypothalamus that influence appetite, satiety, weight homeostasis, and adrenergic responses to hypoglycemia also appear to use glucokinase as the signal transducer and therefore should not respond to artificial sweeteners. Nevertheless, there are at least 2 other theoretical mechanisms for insulin release (1) direct CNS innervation of the pancreas that may respond to neural inputs distinct from the hypothalamic glucosensors, and (2) substances that might affect the insulin release pathway distal to glucokinase. While one might speculate about the possibility of a pavlovian insulin response to the sweet taste sensation (similar to anticipatory salivation) I do not think it has ever been demonstrated. There are drugs (sulfonylureas) that induce insulin release by bypassing glucokinase and directly affecting the KATP channels of the beta cell membrane, but these do not taste sweet and are not used as sweeteners. Short answer to your question: no molecule known so far. However, the big drug companies are busy synthesizing molecules that activate glucokinase and if one is found to taste sweet or can be combined with a moiety that triggers the sweet-perceiving tastes buds, well then you would have a sweetener that triggered insulin release. But I don't think anyone would want it, would they? alteripse 15:03, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I don't think anyone would want to sell this kind of product. If you take some non-sugar sweetener and it cause you to secrete insulin, the excessive insulin could knock you out in minutes. It will be terrible. Even if it could happen, that chemical could have been ruled out in the lab test. If it kills lab rats, it will be labeled poisonous. I just don't know your "no molecule known so far" means simply no, or does it mean some molecules could cheat the sensor but we did not bother to test them.
By the way, how long can a sweetener remain in your bloodstream before being broken down by an enzyme or removed by your kidneys? Is there any U.S. FDA regulation? -- Toytoy 13:11, Apr 17, 2005 (UTC)
(1) Whether it could "knock you out in minutes" depends of course on the amount of insulin secreted. (2) "No molecule known" means that perhaps some molecule not tested for this property might possess it since the two properties are not mutually exclusive in any logical or chemical sense. (3) I cannot provide you with kinetic data concerning metabolism of artificial sweeteners. I suspect the relevant ranges would be hours for most of the commercially marketed sweeteners. You could try searching Medline for the specific sweetener you are interested in plus "kinetics" or "metabolism". (4) No FDA regulation requires or restricts any specific rate of metabolism or clearance for any drug or food additive as long as it passes other safety tests. alteripse 13:46, 17 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Yes, I understand the logic: If it does not cause a problem, we allow you to sell it. If it stays in your bloodstream or tissues, reduce your dosage or increase the interval between doses. Only a few people such as a pregnant or breast feeding woman shall worry about the issue of kinetics. I've been a bi-weekly platlet donor for years. If I take antibiotics, I will be barred from donation for weeks after a complete treatment. That's why I tend to think of the kinetics issue. -- Toytoy 17:33, Apr 17, 2005 (UTC)

T.S Eliot- Hollow Men Recording?[edit]

I've been trying to find a recording of one of T.S. Eliot's readings of his poem 'The Hollow Men' online- no luck so far. There are recordings of 'The Wasteland' readings, but so far I haven't had any luck with 'The Hollow Men'. Any ideas? --RileyMcLeod 23:01, Apr 13, 2005 (UTC)

It might help if you searched by the correct title; I believe it's called "The Hollow Men". moink 23:51, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
heh... I noticed that mistake in my question, but in my searches I have been spelling it 'hollow'- to no avail...--RileyMcLeod 00:22, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)
I've *heard* this recording, so it exists. If I can borrow the cd of it from my English teacher, I'll try to send it in mp3 format or something. Tim Rhymeless (Er...let's shimmy) 00:41, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This page appears to have it available in .ram. I can't listen to it atm --Alterego 04:33, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)

How many microbiologists are in the World?[edit]

I am thinking about going into the world of science and really am curious as to my future competition. How many microbiologists are in the World?

I can't answer the question, but microbiology is a growing field and if you are moderately competant, you won't have much trouble getting a job. You'll need to be doing it for the love of it as most science jobs are not particularly well paid. If you post what country you're in or intend to work in, someone might be able to give you more specific information.-gadfium 04:00, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I cannot tell you how many are in the world, however, according to America's Career Infonet [20] there are around 16500 in the USA, with that expected to raise 20% by 2010. The current yearly salary is $31,400, with that expected to raise to $39,100 --Alterego 04:27, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)

Correction: Unless I'm misreading it, according to your reference the median salary for Microbiologists nationally is $52,100. The lowest decile makes $31,400, and I believe the $39,100 is the lowest quartile. Then again, considering that the numbers don't seem to be adjusted based on experience, perhaps $31,400 as a starting salary may be correct. --CVaneg 06:18, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

As long as germs outnumber microbiologists your future, regular hours, benefits, and job security will be yours. (and germs aint goin away any time soon, they just get nastier). alteripse 23:45, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

PHP and SSI[edit]

How compatible are PHP and SSI? If I run SHTML files through the PHP parser (by adding the appropriate Apache handler) what will happen? Should I just convert my PHP stuff to SSI? Thanks, Alphax τεχ 05:54, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

To rephrase (since no replies have come): I have a webpage using PHP, but all the files have a HTML extension. I've added Apache handlers to treat HTML as PHP, so what will happen if I add a handler for SHTML files to be treated as PHP? Alphax τεχ 06:07, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I'm not really familiar, but this website seems helpful. In any case, SSI is really basic, and it's quite straightforward to reimplement the SSI stuff in PHP. Since you're presumably using PHP anyway, the performance advantage of SSI isn't an issue anymore. Ambarish 02:16, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Thanks, it looks like it should work, so I guess I'll just have to try it. Alphax τεχ 12:42, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)