User talk:Colin/Archive 8

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Oh happy day[edit]

Good to see you :) Best, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:45, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Welcome back. Dabomb87 (talk) 00:05, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
Hear, hear. You've been missed :) Fvasconcellos (t·c) 00:38, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks folks. Glad too see you guys are still around and hope you are doing well. I'm currently reading all about Angiomyolipoma. A possible DYK if I'm quick enough? Colin°Talk 08:57, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
Good morning Colin - it's nice to see that the sun's shining for us today. It's great to have you back. Graham Colm (talk) 09:10, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
Colin, I think you enjoy using words I've never heard before! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:18, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
Well it is the most common benign tumour of the kidney. Also on my list is the lung disease lymphangioleiomyomatosis (lim-fan″je-o-li″o-mi″o-mә-to´sis) -- or LAM for short. It has to be one of the biggest I know. It takes as long to say as most sentences. There should be a word for words that nobody ever says and that are always abbreviated. Colin°Talk 15:18, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
Today's test: who knows what a funambulist is, without looking it up? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:20, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
Someone who can bend their body into amusing shapes? Off to look it up... Colin°Talk 15:29, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
Bzzzt ... that would be my yoga instructor (who frequently references his wife in class, probably to keep all his female students from getting overheated). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:36, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
Ok. I only did Latin for 1 year at school and have evidently forgotten it all. Colin°Talk 15:30, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
A funambulist is, obviously, someone who is fond of palm squirrels. Ucucha 15:50, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
Cheater! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:51, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
I've heard those are delicious. At any rate, I'd rather be fond of palm squirrels than make friends with the high-wire. Fvasconcellos (t·c) 16:23, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
Yeh, who needs such ropey friends [Br Eng]. The ground is even less friendly, and is particularly unpleasant if you drop in on him all of a sudden. Colin°Talk 16:33, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
I enjoy it because it's my job! (Cada cabeza es un mundo!!) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:33, 31 August 2010 (UTC)


You have new message/s Hello. You have a new message at Armbrust's talk page. Armbrust Talk Contribs 22:33, 5 September 2010 (UTC)


Hey Colin. Not sure whether you've seen these (you most probably have), but, if not, you'll want to add them to your reading list :)

Fvasconcellos (t·c) 01:25, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Thanks Fvasconcellos. Sorry for the delay in replying: got distracted and forgot. Colin°Talk 09:40, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

DYK for Angiomyolipoma[edit]

RlevseTalk 12:04, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

RfC on Featured List Criteria section 3b[edit]

Hello. There is currently an RfC in progress at Wikipedia talk:Featured list criteria#RfC - 3.b review in progress regarding Criteria 3b of the featured list criteria and whether it should be modified or eliminated. As you participated in a previous discussion regarding Criteria 3b when it was first introduced, this discussion may be of interest to you. Grondemar 16:21, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Your note to me[edit]

Hello Colin. Thank you for your note. The new IP geolocates to the Philippines so I feel sure that it is the same person. As to whether it is a bot or a tool I am not computer savvy enough to know, though the fact that they only edit a couple of pages at a time may mean something. I have left a note on User:Favonian's talk page as they are the admin who dealt with the old IP. Favonian does have a wikibreak message on their talk page so the situation may not get dealt with right away. All that I can suggest in the meantime is to continue with adding warnings to the IPs talk page and report them to AIV at the appropriate time. I would also mention the block evasion in any new report. If you have any ideas other than these please drop me a line and thank you for your vigilance and thoroughness in dealing with this. The IP's vendetta against eggnog is odd. Maybe they had a nightmare about a cow, a chicken and a bottle of rum at some point in their life :-) Thanks again and happy editing. MarnetteD | Talk 18:15, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Hi again. Sorry this is a couple of days late. Favonian blocked the IP so your thoroughness helped to keep wikipedia in a useful condition. Cheers. MarnetteD | Talk 17:21, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
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Policy/Guideline at MEDRS[edit]

Thought you might want to comment here.

I'm curious if you think we should a) remove the same text from WP:IRS or other content guidelines, and b) if you think we should update the {content guideline} template to make brief mention of the policy/guideline distinction.

You wrote of the removed statement that it is something "anyone knows after reading WP:POLICY". While new editors aren't especially likely to find themselves on MEDRS, I think your comment reflects a bit of an insider's bias. As you know, policies and guidelines are a royal labyrinth and anything that can be done to make them easier to understand, navigate, and apply is welcome. If that means less text, fine, but if more text points users in the right direction, I don't consider it trivial. For that matter, I didn't think 'litter' was a great choice of words. Although not every addition is needed, editors trying to maintain or improve policy are probably attempting to do more than that. Ocaasi (talk) 12:52, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

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Proposal to move Autism to Autistic disorder[edit]

Hi Colin. SandyGeorgia suggested you might be interested in commenting on this proposal. Anthony (talk) 16:57, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

Hi. I've replied to your detailed comments at Talk:Autism under each of your points, rather than in a numbered cluster at the bottom of the thread. If that's a problem, undo it and I'll do the latter. Anthony (talk) 15:46, 16 November 2010 (UTC)


I don't really have enemies here. Everyone who's trying to write or maintain an encyclopedia is on the same team. People who try to subvert the encyclopedia for their own purposes might be the exception. In that sense, I really do get what editors of medical articles are up against. I recently reverted some multiple chemical sensitivity stuff that was spammed in unrelated articles myself. Anyway, sometimes the attitudes and actions of other editors are infuriating, but that doesn't make them my enemy, as long as they are here to make an encyclopedia. Gigs (talk) 23:25, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Well with statements like "I see absolutely no need for MEDRS to exist, and would support abandoning it entirely." you could earn your self some ;-). Such rehetoric isn't helpful, especially when there are those who aren't here to "make an encyclopedia" who would seize on that statement to further their cause. Just because something isn't perhaps at FA level of finely honed prose and terse argument doesn't mean it isn't useful. I'm glad you are here to make an encyclopedia. Too few people on policy talk pages are. Colin°Talk 08:32, 16 November 2010 (UTC)


Many thanks for this edit. I have not yet read your explanatory post. However, simply by reconsidering your earlier comment, you have risen considerably in my estimation (for what it is worth). Such gestures open the door to much better communication and mutual understanding. Geometry guy 22:45, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

I have now read your explanatory post. I'm very glad that you found WP:MANYTHINGS agreeable. Wikipedia is indeed written for the "general reader", but there is much confusion as to what this means. I believe it is an article dependent concept: the "general reader" of an article depends upon what the article is about. I turn to Wikipedia regularly to learn more about science outside my expertise: I'm so glad that our coverage includes advanced topics such as protein structure, string theory, virus lifecycles, quantum field theory, adaptive immune response, crystallography, and cellular metabolism. In every article the aim should be to make the article as accessible as possible to the general reader likely to be interested in that article. Geometry guy 23:08, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Many thanks![edit]

Hello Colin. Once again, thank you for your ongoing interest and vital assistance in copyediting the Tracheal intubation article. It is gratifying to see this article evolving and improving as a result of your careful edits and comments. Your queries are exactly what I need to bring the terminology and text into a form that can be readily understood by an intelligent layperson. Physicians are frequently and rightfully accused of using jargon in our communication with lay audiences. Usually this is because we have spent so much time in professional reading and writing that we have lost touch with the "real world" to a certain extent. Thank you for bringing me back! I will be taking a month long wikibreak starting tomorrow, so please don't be offended if your edits and comments are unanswered. Cheers! DiverDave (talk) 19:11, 28 November 2010 (UTC)


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History of viruses[edit]

Hi Colin,

If you have any spare time and the inclination, I would greatly appreciate your thoughts at the articles Peer Review. [1] Best wishes, Graham. Graham Colm (talk) 22:26, 7 December 2010 (UTC)


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LeadSongDog come howl! 04:46, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

TPP and stuff[edit]

Hello Colin, hope all is well. I'm just dropping a line to ask for your input in the FAC for thyrotoxic periodic paralysis. This has been on FAC for some time but with only limited responses from WP:MED. Thanks in advance for your comments! JFW | T@lk 23:23, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Epileptic seizure[edit]

Whenever you have a few minutes, could you take a look at whether the tags on Epileptic seizure are warranted? Thanks, WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:39, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Dengue fever[edit]

Hi Colin,

I have sent you an email soliciting your advice on this contribution. I think the article would benefit from your input. If you don't have the time, I understand, but it's not very long (unlike some of the other ones that I have asked for you to comment on).

Best wishes, Graham. Graham Colm (talk) 23:19, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Seconded. This is an article of major global public health interest, and a fresh look would be hugely helpful. JFW | T@lk 23:23, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Sure, though I haven't any time tonight.
Could you guys have a look at DiverDave (talk · contribs)'s Tracheal intubation sometime. It has had a go at FAC back in October but needed some work in the prose/lay-friendly department and didn't get much of a MedProject examination. I've gone through the text making it more lay-friendly. I suspect the prose still needs the hand of someone more gifted than I. But I'm also concerned some of the refs might be historical research papers that document the initial trials of some new equipment/procedure rather than perhaps modern reviews. The former have their place, of course, but I'd like to know we were citing current recommendations/guidelines/opinions. I haven't had the chance to study the refs in detail and just am not finding time to get round to it. Plus you guys will have better access to sources. Do the refs support the text? How's the MEDRS compliance? -- Colin°Talk 20:30, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

Will try to look at tracheal intubation tomorrow night, meatspace permitting. I hadn't realised that DiverDave is a qualified anaesthetist (or claims to be). Looking forward to the second installment of the dengue review; it seems that Graham and James are otherwise engaged, but I will happily continue to take this forward. JFW | T@lk 13:28, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for your recommendations on dengue fever. I have just implemented most of your advice, and offered some responses to the remainder. Your ongoing input is much appreciated! I hope this will eventually get the article to FAC.
I will need to have a look at tracheal intubation at some point. It is slightly outside my (current) area of work, but sadly we have no Wikipedia anaesthetists... JFW | T@lk 23:18, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
It is on my list to finish. I'll have a look at what you've done when I get a chance. Need a 25-hour day at the moment. As for tracheal intubation, well you can be sure it is well outside my "area of work" too :-) Colin°Talk 23:34, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

User talk:Flyer22#Mistake?[edit]

Sorry about that, though I still don't see how it's entirely unrelated. Flyer22 (talk) 17:00, 2 February 2011 (UTC)


Socratic Barnstar.png The Socratic Barnstar
To Colin, for articulate arguments here. Axl ¤ [Talk] 09:22, 7 February 2011 (UTC)


Colin, I hope you weren't annoyed by me saying you were "in error"; I agree with you that these things are a matter of opinion. I was trying to succinctly convey my sense that your point of view seemed in conflict with my understanding of Wikipedia's goals, but I would have done better to phrase it as a matter of judgement. Mike Christie (talklibrary) 17:08, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Don't worry Mike. I may be wrong. I certainly appear to have a minority opinion. Colin°Talk 17:52, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm just catching up there myself ... I do wish I had reviewed that article :) I spose I would have, except that editor was in serious disagreement with me back during the DYK plagiarism issues, so I thought it best to keep my accessibility concerns to myself. I will generally say, though, that my accessibility concerns were honed while reading math FARs; many editors assumed they didn't follow the articles because they didn't know the math. I did know the math, and knew the articles' accessibility problems were related to poor organization and prose. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:12, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Polio and PPS...[edit]


Just thought I'd mention that it's a shame that there is not some way to acknowledge all those that survived polio and are not famous. We each have our stories and, as far as we're concerned, have done remarkable things throughout our lives, given the disease. To have survived at all is sometimes a miracle.

For instance, I contracted polio when I was 4 as the disease swept through our tiny little farming town in Illinois (pop. about 100). As I have been told, every child in town contracted the virus, but I was one (maybe the only one) that was not actually left crippled. My uncle was quite wealthy and paid for medicines that were not generally available to everyone. He personally went and took delivery of the medications and brought them to the town doctor that administered them to me. I was left uncrippled, but I have had weak legs and lungs for my entire life. But there were so many bad feeling by the townfolk, that we packed up and moved to California. I never let the weakness get the better of me. Let's just say that I had a very successful career in the computer field for 40 years. I also had a remarkable early career in music and I served 4 years active duty in the Navy during the Viet Nam War. I went on in the reserves to serve in Naval Special Warfare as a gunner and "boat captain" on River Patrol Boats (PBR's) and retired from the Army National Guard as an "Ranger" in an infantry recon platoon. By the time I retired, I was suffering from Post Polio (PPS) and a number of other neurological disorders (treated for several years at the UCLA Medical Center for PPS).

I am now completely retired (living on disability). But I have not given up yet. In my later years I completed a Masters in Theology degree and I now function as a Pastoral Care Minister and a Volunteer Chaplain in Hospice. My wife and I both are Hospice Volunteers and we conduct multiple Bereavement/Grief Support Groups. Even though my legs are almost always in pain and my breathing is heavy, I will keep going until my time here is complete.

So, there you have my brief story. There are many others out there have have done even more with their lives after surviving polio. It sure would be nice if there was some place that we all could just give a very short bio so that others can see what can be done as survivors.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and for listening to an old man ramble.

Pax et bonum

Rev. Philip E. Evans Touch Of Compassiona Ministries Comanche, OK (talk) 02:16, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Thank-you for sharing your remarkable story. It is indeed a shame that the lives of celebrities are acknowledged when they may be no more deserving than many others. That's just the society we have I suppose and Wikipedia isn't really able to change it -- our policies (WP:V and WP:NOR mainly) mean we can only write about stuff that other people have written and published. So you won't find the biography of a great man or woman here unless it has already been printed elsewhere. I wonder if some of the polio and post-polio support organisations are able to publish or somehow record the amazing stories of less notable people?
I sincerely hope that the polio eradication efforts succeed before too long, and this terrible disease can be consigned to the history books.
Best wishes, Colin.
(talk page stalker) That's not really within Wikipedia's remit, but there are other websites that do this. You might consider joining Patients Like Me or Web of Stories as two reasonably reputable options. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:28, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
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Ordering of content[edit]

Wondering which ordering of content if any you would generally wish to see used per discussion here Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Pharmacology#Order_of_content? I guess we could not have any recommended order but I think have consistency would improve the general accessibility of our articles (we do have recommendations for disease articles). Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:56, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Primary sources on melatonin[edit]

It's a rhetorical question. I just don't think it is appropriate to tag it with that.--Netheril96 (talk) 08:45, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Because you think that tag isn't the right one for the problems in the article, or because you disagree that there are problems in the article? Either you should have replaced it with a more appropriate tag, or else discussed the issues on the talk page. Colin°Talk 10:05, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

The hyphen again...[edit]

I am not sure if you were in support or against it but Kwani states you think we should hyphen articles. Is this your view? Thanks [[2]] And here at ANI if you could [3] --Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 06:04, 21 April 2011 (UTC)


Just a heads-up that I have arranged for an WP:Edit notice at Ketogenic diet, which I hope will redirect the enthusiastic body builders to the correct page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:29, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. I hope it works. I think the key difference for the body builders is that their diet is high protein and the difference for the weight-loss folks is, well, the weight loss -- too few calories. I'm not really finding any free time just now to investigate some of these issues to try (again) to find reliable sources that discuss the various diets that are ketogenic.
BTW: I'm a bit disappointed at Commons talk:Photographs of identifiable people. I thought this would be a big issue given the mention in the Signpost but there's not been enough response to say what consensus is. Makes one wonder if many people even know about the guideline. And permission -- where does Commons deal with that? I've seen loads of medical photos on WP and Commons, many using antiquated black bands on the eyes, or copied from some random physician's website. I'm extremely doubtful that patients agreed for their images to be used for any purpose whatsoever, which is what Commons is about. Colin°Talk 21:03, 14 June 2011 (UTC)
I figure that the edit notice won't stop the body builders, but it might slow down the number that make this mistake. I think that the low-carb diet page needs to address the naming problem, too. The more people we educate about the difference, the fewer people who will make the mistake.
I've heard that Commons has a permissions system (developed to comply with some anti-child porn law), but I believe that it pretty much amounts to the uploader swearing at the time of the upload that he has the subject's permission, with a sort of "cross my heart and hope to die" level of verifiability behind it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:04, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Dengue fever at FAC[edit]

Hi Colin, just dropping a line to let you know that dengue fever is on FAC. Your advice on readability has been extremely helpful. JFW | T@lk 21:19, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

I will try to review this. Sorry I didn't get very far last time. Colin°Talk 07:35, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
Colin, should I wait for your review? Best, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:28, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Apologies all round. I will have some time later this evening to do this. Colin°Talk 17:52, 27 June 2011 (UTC)


Thank you for your comments over at the Commons deletion discussion. I think you encapsulated the point much more effectively than I did. I wasn't aware of the GMC guidelines until you cited them, and I don't know if any similar blanket guidelines exist in the US (I doubt it), but the guidelines jibe pretty closely with my personal sense of what's appropriate in these sorts of cases. I don't for a moment question Jfdwolff's or James' good sense or good faith in that discussion, and I see their perspectives as sensible, but I tend toward extreme conservatism in this case. Especially in light of its odd aspects (apparent Photoshopping, Flickr uploading without any clear educational purpose, etc) on top of the apparent lack of patient consent. Anyhow, just wanted to thank you for your comments, since they made me feel less like I was a crazy voice in the wilderness on this (which is how I'd felt up till now). MastCell Talk 03:59, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

I've been a "crazy voice in the wilderness" a few times on WP so this doesn't mean you're not one too. -- Colin°Talk 08:29, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Fair enough. :) MastCell Talk 15:04, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Dr. Arthur K. Shapiro - Tourette's Syndrome Study[edit]

("SandyGeorgia," another editor, suggested I try you on this. Thanks!)

Regarding Dr. Arthur K. Shapiro, I wanted to know if you could answer a question for me, please. I found online the results of a study regarding Tourette’s in which Dr. Shapiro was the lead author. It was published in Psychosomatic Medicine, Vol. 35, No. 5 (Sept.-Oct. 1973). My question is: Is this a reprint of the study that Dr. Shapiro originally published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 1968 or is it a later study conducted by him? (I have been unable to find the 1968 study online thus far.) Here is the link (PDF) to the study I found:

One other question I have is that the Wikipedia article states that his 1968 paper had been first rejected by American publications before it was accepted by the British one. Would you happen to know why?HistoryBuff14 (talk) 19:23, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

The 1968 study is:
I don't have access to it, but someone else, or your library, might be able to get it for you. The abstract says it is "one detailed and two brief reports of patients", which would make three cases, whereas the later papers are on 34 cases. My guess is that these first three are part of the later 34 set of patients.
According to Kushner (in A Cursing Brain), the main case report in the 1968 paper is covered in a more accessible manner in the first chapter (pages 1-9) of the book:
  • Gilles de la tourette syndrome, by Arthur K. Shapiro, Elaine S. Shapiro, Ruth D. Brunn, and Richard D. Sweet, Raven Press, New York, 1978.
Wrt your second question, much of Kushner's book is a study of the psychoanalyist vs neurologist arguments and Shapiro was instrumental in turning the focus towards an organic origin and treatment. On p 172 he says:
From the paper you cite, you can see the forceful language used could be regarded as quite insulting:
BTW, Kushner notes that Shapiro tried haloperidol amongst "thirty-six other neuroleptic and antidepressant drugs and combinations of drugs" because of previous reports in journals concerning five patients successfully treated. The poor woman was hospitalised for several months while all this experimenting was going on! A search of PubMed confirms several papers in the 1960s on this treatment. So the Shapiros were by no means the first, just the most influential.
Regards, Colin°Talk 21:06, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

—-Colin, I am most appreciative as to your input and most impressed as to your obvious erudition. You are a credit to Wikipedia and a tremendous asset to it.

Although I absolutely agree with Dr. Shapiro’s dismissal of psychoanalysis regarding TS, I dispute his conclusion that TS is organic in nature.

I strongly hold to behavioral therapies in the treatment of the affliction, especially CBT and CBIT. I fail to see how any sort of talk therapy could possibly have any efficacy in treating a physical condition (without, that is, resorting to a “New Age” paradigm).

I suspect that this is why I have seen hostile reactions to relatively recent reports extolling their virtues, though I am gratified to also see TSA seemingly becoming more accepting of behavioral therapies (though without repudiating the organic paradigm established by the Drs. Shapiros; the logic of which eludes me as assuredly as has the alleged causative anomaly within the central nervous system eluded generations of medical researchers.)

In regard to “antipsychotic” medications mitigating the symptoms of TS sufferers attesting to the afflcition’s organic nature, my favorite rebuttal to that logic is an analogy. A pair of handcuffs would do wonders in preventing smokers from indulging in their insidious habit. Therefore, would one conclude that one’s hands are the cause of one’s urges to smoke? How then does chemically restraining the brain prove that TS is organic?

The subjective elements manifestly inherent within the study (along with the self-acknowledged lack of a blindly assessed control group when reading EEGs and making assessments of alleged neurological abnormalities) I linked to have done nothing to mitigate my degree of skepticism. I shall search for the 1968 article, though I rather suspect your conclusion is correct and therefore unnecessary. Anyway, thanks again. You’re a gentleman and a scholar.HistoryBuff14 (talk) 21:56, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

I'm glad to be of some help. Thanks for the praise but I suspect you may quickly realise the limits of my erudition. I'm afraid I'm not very knowlegable on TS beyond Kushner's book and from reading some papers when helping Sandy out on the WP article. I don't have many original opinions on the matter, they are thoroughly second hand and limited by my own lay understanding. If you are specifically interested in TS then Kushner's book is well worth reading and accessible. It was eye-opening to read about the suffering inflicted on TS patients and their families from both psychoanalysts and surgeons (where focal infection theory led to patients having all sorts of bits of their bodies removed to no avail).
I agree that medication's effectiveness does not demonstrate its organic origin. However, a study of the causes of TS would probably be more productively done using modern papers rather than some from 30 years ago. The patient population-set has changed and grown considerably for a start. It must be a tricky problem if our best minds haven't much of a clue. Colin°Talk 15:09, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

—Colin, although I appreciate your modesty as much as your kind assistance, I noted all the accolades and appreciations on your user page.

Although this is not a forum appropriate for such comments, I wanted to just briefly address two points you made in your replies.

Is it not more than a tad ironic that in light of the fact that when Dr. Shapiro first advanced his new paradigm dismissing the psychoanalytic school in favor of an organic one in regard to TS that he faced so much (entirely predictable!) resistance and hostility that any who challenges his now established one faces the same reaction (and, I might add, for the exact same reason: the threat to the status quo in which so many have such a vested interest)?

Alas, hasn’t such always been the case with science? Who was it who observed that by and large new ideas are not accepted by convincing those who hold to the old, but rather when the old guard gradually dies out and the new replaces them?

Science has reversed itself so many times in the past that at times it seems to have little more solidity than religion. Is it any wonder why it is so difficult to persuade a cynical and distrustful public regarding issues such as global warming?

As far as there being a greatly expanded pool of TS subjects in modern times, that is certainly true. By eliminating the criterion that TS symptoms have to be debilitating in order to merit the classification, voila the affliction was suddenly lifted from orphan disease status which greatly enhanced both donations to charitable institutes and governmental funding.

Not only is this true with TS, but the number of now recognized mental health afflictions as classified within DSM has grown exponentially over the last thirty years or so. This has come from pathologizing personality traits to the point that one wonders if there is anyone left who might be termed “normal.” Of course, many of the victims of said newly formulated afflictions might require treatment and their afflictions research.

Thanks again. Your input has been most helpful to me.HistoryBuff14 (talk) 17:30, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Google claims it was Max Planck who said "Science advances one funeral at a time". There's some truth in that but inertia isn't entirely a bad thing. It acts as a balance against the attractiveness of the new, which may be no better, or indeed worse, than the old. Plus, in thinking about change, we are biased towards remembering the successful attempts, particularly when there's a good story such as the maverick overturning the establishment. David and Golliath. For each successful new idea, business, or medicine, there will be many unsuccessful ones that were never written about or have been forgotten. And there will be disasterous ones like the Wakefield MMR affair.
Science hasn't "reversed itself so many times": that argument conflates a method for discovering truth with whatever is the current consensus. And the degree to which that consensus is ever evidence-based is probably overstated. Fashion is important in science just as it is in clothes, writing or art. In areas where our understanding is most limited (such as diseases of the mind like epilepsy, autism, TS) there will be more fluctuation than areas where there is a solid foundation. I'm optimistic our greater understanding of these diseases will bring rewards. Colin°Talk 08:25, 7 July 2011 (UTC)


Just wanted to draw this change to a number to your attention. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:38, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. I note that the IP made two edits and the first is clearly helpful. So I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and check when I get home to look up the paper. However, I'm packing for my holiday tonight so might not get round to it till I get back. I really should get hold of a bunch of newer sources to see if anything requires updating -- it may be that the protocol for the MAD has changed. Colin°Talk 07:55, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Epilepsy Society amends[edit]

Hi Colin Thank you so much for your help - I am really grateful. I have changed the intro to the National Society page (simple when you know how) but still couldn't seem to get into the title. However as my web editor job is allocated to Thursdays and Fridays, I will return to this later in the week. Thank you for restoring my changes on the epilepsy page - this had been quite frustrating. Also for the suggested reading material which I shall explore this week. Once again many thanks. I am sure I will be back to you with more questions.

NicolaNicola Swanborough (talk) 08:35, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

epilepsy society[edit]

Hi Colin

Thank you for that useful feedback. We will be happy to look at the epilepsy-related pages on Wikipedia and see where we can make improvements as well as adding any appropriate links. If you are around would you be able to advise me on changing the title of National Society for Epilepsy to epilepsy Society on the relevant page? Many thanks Nicola Nicola Swanborough (talk) 13:34, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Above user[edit]

This above user seem to be only promoting her own website. This is WP:COI. Their website has a please donate sign. I consider these edits spam. Will ask for further input at WT:MED. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:01, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

The references do not support the text they are being placed beside. Check out this text

Seizure types are organized firstly according to whether the source of the seizure within the brain is localized (partial or focal onset seizures) or distributed (generalized seizures). Partial seizures are further divided on the extent to which consciousness is affected. If it is unaffected, then it is a simple partial seizure; otherwise it is a complex partial (psychomotor) seizure. A partial seizure may spread within the brain - a process known as secondary generalization. Generalized seizures are divided according to the effect on the body but all involve loss of consciousness. These include absence (petit mal), myoclonic, clonic, tonic, tonic-clonic (grand mal), and atonic seizures.[5 ]

The ref added was this [4] This is bullshit and just generating work for someone else...Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 06:27, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
This appears to be a charity attempting to drive traffic to their own web site. Thus I have removed these refs from medical pages replacing most of them with better sources.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 06:35, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Yes thanks. Will be more careful :-) Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:25, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Mentioned you[edit]

here. Anthonyhcole (talk) 12:15, 19 August 2011 (UTC)--

Hi Colin Thanks. Yes I will add text as appropriate, particularly on the epileptic issues page which must be one of the ones you referred to as being poorly written. Totally appreciate the need for new text and working on this to back up citations. NicolaNicola Swanborough (talk) 15:48, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Consensus at List of castles in England[edit]

Andrew Wakefield[edit]

There are two words I removed, "fraudulent" and "discredited".

Wikipedia articles should always be worded in the most objective sense possible. If there is any controversy over any sort of issue, the text should be worded in a way which avoids taking a particular stance on the matter.--Cyrrk (talk) 16:00, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

In reliable sources there is NO controversy at all. We follow those sources, not what unreliable sources say. Wikipedia is not taking sides in the matter, just documenting what all reliable sources say. -- Brangifer (talk) 01:05, 23 September 2011 (UTC)


Up to you but "sane" could probably be dispensed with without harming the thrust of your comment. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 19:07, 27 September 2011 (UTC) On second thoughts, it seems apt. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 05:13, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

About convassing and dead horses[edit]

Sorry, I didn't know about canvassing. I stopped. I also realize that the horse is dead and will acknowledge that in the discussion at WP:MED, along with replies to my posts, and proposals. By the way, than ks again for considering my case on its merits and for your support. Presto54 (talk) 18:55, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

ELs in infoboxes[edit]

You indicated an interest in discussing ELs in infoboxes. As you know, I'm currently immersed in EL-related issues. What do you have in mind? Presto54 (talk) 05:38, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

The place for the discussion is Template talk:Infobox disease, with a notice posted at WT:MED for those who don't watchlist that template. My two problems with the template are:
(1) The format isn't friendly:
Compared to the more typical citation in an external link section:
Which also has space to comment on whether the resource is for lay or professional readers, for example.
(2) The links may fail our WP:EL policy. For example, MedlinePlus rarely provides an encyclopaedia article more comprehensive than the WP article should be, but does provide a good set of linked resources. I'm not sure that ICD and MeSH external links are appropriate per policy. We seem to add links to these external sites because they are template parameters rather than because we have judged their value as ELs.
I've no idea if there is any appetite for reforming the template. Colin°Talk 14:28, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
Actually, you've given the citation for a reliable source used to build article content there. The standard format for eMedicine under ==External links== is "Alzheimer's disease" or "Alzheimer's disease at eMedicine" (optionally produced using the {{EMedicine}} template thusly: {{emedicine|article|1134817|Alzheimer's disease}}). WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:42, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps my example isn't the best. For anonymous websites it is fine to have a plain hyperlink with perhaps the name of the website or publisher, but this example is an article with a publication date and named authors. So I think a proper bibliographic entry is reasonable. The point is one can be as verbose as one likes. I mean, who wants to click on "neuro/13"? It's poor UI and it is right up at the lead of the article. Perhaps it results from templates being authored by programmers rather than writers. Colin°Talk 21:07, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

IoM report on Vit D[edit]

Doc James said he might bring the issue up at WT:MEDRS, that and the title of the page 'talk:Identifying reliable sources (medicine)' meant I had no reason to think the status of a major IoM report would be thought so off topic or wearing, thanks for deleting it.Overagainst (talk) 14:34, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

Nuvola apps edu languages.svg
Hello, Colin. You have new messages at Talk:Asperger syndrome.
You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

Djathinkimacowboy 15:00, 24 November 2011 (UTC)


Perhaps you recall the User:TCO debacle; User:Ettrig has taken up the TCO meme about FAs being valued based on page views at WP:TFAR, where he tangled with me, and is now targeting Tourette syndrome. Why does this always have to happen at Christmas, and in this case, after I was mostly away for almost three weeks due to a funeral <rhetorical>? I have 50 pages of new reviews sitting on my desk waiting for me to incorporate, and having to deal with someone who knows nothing of the condition or the article, during the holidays, and just as I'm preparing for a major update anyway is ... <ugh>. Not gonna let someone ruin my Christmas for the fifth year on Wikipedia. I do hope YOU have a great one! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:15, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for the Christmas wishes. I plan to. Same to you also. I haven't looked at the background to this -- I'm always playing catchup with WP issues. I remember when Eubulides started questioning the TS numbers. He turned out to be a fine editor and one we could all learn from in patiently replying to talk-page queries with source-based responses. But we don't always have the facts at our fingertips like he did. Take a deep breath and ask for patience (from the Good Lord and for our fellow editors). Colin°Talk 21:50, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Colin, I wish you and your family a most happy and prosperous 2012 !!! Thanks for the offer to help on TS. I believe I've now updated the epidemiology, PANDAS, and a few of the easier areas, and updated most of the older citations, but I still have a TON more to do. There is more new info in those reviews than I originally realized, and I'm afraid that if we try to work on it simultaneously, we'll get all balled up. I need to proceed methodically to be sure I've gotten it all-- I still need to replace some of the Zinner (2000) and Bagheri (1999) citations with newer sources, update some of the new findings from the Bloch "Recent updates" article, add some new info on comorbidity, and then I want to try to smooth out some of the prose, where I feel like I have to say the same thing over and over in different sections because of some of the idiosyncracies associated with TS (how hard it is to detect, most cases mild, most cases don't need treatment but those that come to clinical attention do because of comorbidities) ... I feel like there are places that are becoming repetitive, but hard to fix that until I've finished the overall update to newer reviews. So, while I always appreciate and really need your help to spot the kinds of things you're so good at spotting, and to help smooth out my prose, I feel like if we're both trying to dig into the new sources at the same time, we may end up at cross purposes, and I don't want you to waste your time just yet (sure will need you in a week or two, though :) I'm working from printouts and will e-mail them to you later from another computer (my printer was damaged in my move, which had me stalled for some time-- finally got sources on someone else's computer and printed from there). If it's OK with you, please for now watch over my shoulder for prose inconsistencies, and I'll take you up on the offer to help overall in a few weeks, after I send you the sources, and when the work is further along. What I'm finding here is actually very discouraging ... while some kinds of FAs can probably be written and rarely ever changed, medical FAs are quite a challenge to keep current, and the amount of work I'm having to do (after taking a few years off of the article due to my move, construction, etc) makes me worry about the condition other medical FAs could be in if editors aren't staying on top of them!! Anyway, so as not to waste your time yet, I'll pick away it for the next few weeks, and then ask you to give it your typically thorough once-over after I'm farther along. All the best, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:17, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. I fully agree. You'll end up with over-expanded, repetitious, disordered, slightly confusing content for a wee while so no point nit-picking at this stage.
Re medical FAs, Eubulides used to tweak the autism FAs on an almost daily basis. I think one of the reasons they have not been destroyed in his absense is the strength of the sourcing. But there's increasing pressure to rework those and such a task is certainly out of my depth. We badly need to recruit another expert/enthusiast in that area. I get a bit annoyed at folk moaning that Randy and his New Age friends grind experts down and run them off Wikipedia. There are loads of really important medical articles on WP that are rubbish and could be easily improved by an expert without interference. Will this year be the one where I tackle Epilepsy? It has embarrassed me for too long. Colin°Talk 21:55, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Really, the rest of Wikipedia is such a mess everywhere I look, that the idea of just going back to work on articles is appealing. Consider this: new DSM next year, and imagine all the re-working of all those articles that will be needed ... it's daunting ... but at least bound to be more satisfying work than dealing with the rest of the dysfunction that is Wikipedia. Working with fine editors on fine articles is historically what I liked about this place, yet becoming less and less typical of how my daily editing time is spent. We'll see what 2012 brings! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:24, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps you need a bit of a break from the demands of being an FAC delegate. Anyway, Happy New Year and thanks for the comments you've made at my ArbCom case. And the advice of course.
@Colin: I really do hope you take up the challenge of the epilepsy article, and if I survive I may even be able to help with it a little. One of my best friends is very severely epileptic (fits five or six times a day, suddenly and without warning, even though she's on masses of different drugs and has even had part of her brain removed), and I myself was diagnosed with it when I was much younger, then it just went away ... too much detail, I know. Malleus Fatuorum 22:40, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Thank you very much for the offer. Well we shall have to see what 2012 brings, as Sandy says. Select what areas of Wikipedia bring you joy. Work with good people who make you happy. The rest can go hang. Colin°Talk 23:10, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

WikiDefender Barnstar Hires.png The Defender of the Wiki Barnstar
This is a much deserved barnstar for Colin's tireless hours of analysis and fixing contributions related to the "education program". A great overview that is much appreciated. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:01, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
Seconded - thank you for all of the work you've put into reviewing these projects, and for all of your hard work on the project. :) MastCell Talk 18:09, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

FAC delegate resignation[edit]

I'm back! [5] SandyGeorgia (Talk) 04:52, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Birth control movement in the United States cites[edit]

Thanks for suggesting improvements to med cites for Birth control movement in the United States. I made some changes that, I believe, address the issues. When you have time, could you look at the new cites (all at the end of the article) and review them? I erred on the side of including more cites, rather than less. Let me know if some should be removed. Thanks. --Noleander (talk) 15:59, 25 January 2012 (UTC)


Hi Colin,
I wanted to know if you could reply to my comment here: Talk:Autism#New_intervention_study_by_Pediatrics_journal.
It's about a new developmental/behavior intervention study (Early Start Denver Model) by Pediatrics journal that I thought should be added to the Autism article.
ATC . Talk 20:57, 12 February 2012 (UTC)


You have new message/s Hello. You have a new message at WT:SSF's talk page.SMcCandlish   Talk⇒〈°⌊°〉 Contribs. 11:53, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Pingie on MEDRS[edit]

Oh, Colin, where are you? Steam has been gathering re a BLP-like policy on MEDRS. The recent push fell out of a discussion on Iridescent's talk page, and discussion at a noticeboard of the recent close of the arb case on Timid Guy. Lots of folks are on coming on board, but I'm waiting to hear from the MEDRS guru. That would be you :) Wikipedia talk:Identifying reliable sources (medicine)#Status of this page SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:37, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Unwell today. I'll try to catch up later on. Could you ping WhatAmIDoing as she is our expert on policy vs guideline, general sourcing issues, and because she's a thousand times more active than me, will be a much better judge of the day-to-day issues and community consensus surrounding this stuff. You could add some links to the other discussions. Colin°Talk 18:19, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
She's already in there, and the peanut gallery already launched an RFC even though there is nothing forumulated there, so a grand waste of time on the way. Feel better, take it easy, nothing can be done now, since the RFC was launched before you got there. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:27, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates/Electric steam iron[edit]

Electric steam iron.jpg
An image created by you has been promoted to featured picture status
Your image, File:Electric steam iron.jpg, was nominated on Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates, gained a consensus of support, and has been promoted. If you would like to nominate an image, please do so at Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates. Thank you for your contribution! Makeemlighter (talk) 21:32, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

RE: Epilepsy[edit]

Hi Colin,

Your proposed changes sound great. I wrote/expanded upon those articles while writing a book chapter for neurologists, so they could probably use a nice going-through to make them more accessible. Let me know if you need my help with any of that.

Dpryan (talk)

Benign familial infantile epilepsy[edit]

"A family history of epilepsy in infancy distinguishes this syndrome from the non-familiar classification ..." Familiar or familial? Stigmatella aurantiaca (talk) 09:14, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

"Familial". Good spot. Thanks. Colin°Talk 11:30, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Re: Expensive movies[edit]

The only free poster we didn't have of the ten there

Thanks for the link, those were some nice posters. We already had two of the free posters, but the one for Flying Down to Rio was new (and doesn't need much of a touch up, just a crease in the hair and blur/stain removed from the bottom left corner) Crisco 1492 (talk) 23:47, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

  • Darn, you're right. The one doctormacro has is in Spanish, so it's fairly useless for us. Decided the one I found wasn't of too high quality, while restoring it I found a few too many compression artefacts. These two may be cheaper, but they certainly were scanned better. Crisco 1492 (talk) 09:40, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

New Kings Cross concourse[edit]

Hi Colin,

Just stumbled across your photo of the new concourse. Nicely taken. Might be worth a nomination on FPC. It does seem to have a bit of chromatic abberation though (not much though to be fair) - did you try correcting it in Photoshop/Lightroom, if you have access to it? How do you find the Samyang lens? I know panoramic stitching is kind of 'my thing', but it would be worth attempting a stitch of that scene, to better correct for distortion. Ðiliff «» (Talk) 15:01, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. I've got a tweaked version where I've brightened it a little, with better contrast, that I'm going to upload tonight. There are a couple of other viewpoints I might also upload.
I think the curved roof and handrail help hide the distortion where it is strongest around the edges. Yes the window verticals do slope a little and you can see some "straight" lines on the floor aren't straight. On the other hand, the field of view is very similar to what someone actually sees from that position in the building. I haven’t tried de-fishing with any software yet. I don’t have Photoshop but do use Lightroom. It could be worth investigating, however I don’t think a rectilinear projection can stretch to this angle of view without producing nasty stretch-marks round the edges, and the resulting heavy cropping would completely change the scene. Possibly some mild adjustment would improve the verticals without altering the view. You’re welcome to have a play yourself and if you find something that works, I’d be interested in trying it out. Drop me an email if you like.
Could you let me know where you see the chromatic aberration. The lights in the ceiling are purple.
Apparently, the Samyang's projection is unusual among fisheyes for producing fairly tame distortions. If you line up the centre of the image with the horizon or with a vertical feature, then those lines don’t end up curved. If you then want the horizon to be at a rule-of-thirds position, then just crop. For this picture the bottom of the arrivals board lines up with midway and so that is nice and straight. My camera has a built-in 3D level in the viewfinder so I can make sure I’m holding it exactly straight. It does suffer a little from purple fringing on high-contrast (white/black) features at the edges. Like just about everyone else, I had to recalibrate the focus distance scale because it was completely off. It is fairly easy to do by following instructions posted on the web, but essential for a manual focus lens.
I took my 17-50 lens with me but very quickly realised that it wasn’t capturing enough. A stitched panorama might work but I dread fixing up all the moving people! Perhaps if you went at 6:30 on a Sunday morning? But then it wouldn’t have much life. I took lots of pictures at various shutter speeds and positions. I liked this one as it captured the movement of rush hour (and the zombies on their mobile phones). Can you really get a stitched version to have this much angle-of-view both horizontally and vertically and still have straight lines? The roof is the feature, as well as the expanse, so a long-thin horizontal panorama might not be so interesting.
I was thinking of submitting this at Commons FP tonight. I’ll have to wait a while for WP because it is new. A recent FP Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates/File:199 - Buenos Aires - Aéroport international Ezeiza - Janvier 2010.jpg failed due to distortions, though that building’s ceiling wasn’t meant to be curved and the distortions were extreme. I’m hoping people enjoy the picture rather than get too anal about every line being straight and perpendicular.
I have experimented with stitched panoramas. You are the master here though! What do you think of File:Willis Building (London).jpg? I've also tried the Lloyd's building but haven't yet produced a composite image I'm happy with. I've uploaded a single-shot photo File:Willis and LLoyd's.jpg that I quite like but doesn't have the extreme detail you get from combining images. Colin°Talk 16:06, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
I've found the CA -- the Harry Potter fan had a green stripe on his LHS and there was a little on the white lights at the top right. Fixed with Lightroom. Thanks for mentioning it. I had a play with Hugin, loading the image as a Stereographic projection and then outputting another. Various projections such as Equirectangular and Panini could fix some of the verticals (such as the white window frames), but didn't fix the verticals elsewhere or made some of the other lines even more bendy. And all of them cropped the image to some degree and introduced stretchy distortions at the top and bottom. I can easily go back to take more pictures to try out a stitched alternative. If I take my regular 17-50 lens, do you have any tips for capturing the scene? You may guess that I balanced the camera on the handrail to keep it steady. I've nominated the pic for FPC at Commons! Fingers crossed. Colin°Talk 22:43, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates/King's Cross Western Concourse[edit]

King's Cross Western Concourse.jpg
An image created by you has been promoted to featured picture status
Your image, File:King's Cross Western Concourse.jpg, was nominated on Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates, gained a consensus of support, and has been promoted. If you would like to nominate an image, please do so at Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates. Thank you for your contribution! Makeemlighter (talk) 16:41, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

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Welcome back !!! Is HighBeam worth it? Meaning, does it have any medical content? And do you have any idea what "2) provide original citation information, in addition to linking to a HighBeam article" means? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:37, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
{tps) It means "bare URLs are not good enough, thank you very much."
HighBeam would naturally like to see editors provide convenience links that drive paying customers to them, but no Wikipedia policy requires that account holders actually do so. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:36, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Good news ... they should word that better, since it would never occur to me to just add a bare URL, much less to a subscription only site. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:32, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Education problem and potential RfC[edit]

Hi. I'm trying to draft an RfC related to reforming the WMF on English Wikipedia run education programme. It can be found at User:LauraHale/Wikipedia:Requests for comment/United States Education Program. At the moment, it has a variety of issues and could use a set of eyes helping to edit and improve the draft before it gets taken live. Any help in improving the focus, making it more coherent, making the purpose more clear, having acceptable and a variety of solutions offered, and fixing the general formatting, spelling and grammar would be appreciated. --LauraHale (talk) 02:24, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Getting this noticeboard to work with/for the community was a chore, but I see progress and hope startup issues will settle down. I may start on something tomorrow, or over the weekend, depending or real life stuff. Wanna help? Wikipedia:Education noticeboard/Archive2#Sourcing handout could be updated. Per samples like this,[6] most of 'em are completely unaware of MEDRS. No wonder: WMF never told 'em about it. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:44, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Are you looking for some kind of medical sourcing cheat-sheet or FAQ? The main problem I have with the educational use of WP is that it generally doesn't seem to follow the basic requirements of education: that your teacher knows more than the students do. If these teachers were Wikipedians and were experienced enough to create good articles, or at least contribute at a level beyond that they expect of their students, then they would be the ones writing handouts and introductory material. They would be experienced enough to steer their students away from writing essays, or duplicating existing content, or mucking up an FA. They could mark their students "homework" and ensure bad material never made its way to article space (or was quickly removed/revised). I think until that is achieved, the best we can do is some sort of damage-limitation. Colin°Talk 14:01, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Hey ... agree with all ... for starters, I'm thinking of something educational and CYA (that is, something to save all the time *we* have to spend explaining to profs, students, ambassadors, the psych initiative that is causing so much damage, and WMF staff how medical sourcing works when we have to revert poor additions ... honestly, most of them can't grok the simple idea of a primary study vs. a secondary review). Education is the first step ... but I'm hoping it will also save us time in the long-run, where we can link 'em to our handout, that would written at the Dummies 101 level (since they don't read MEDRS or WP:V or WP:RS anyway and don't evidence skill above the high school level). I don't expect our handout will help stop poor student editing in the near-term (that is the Fall semester), since the WMF isn't yet cognizant of how much damage is being done, but I do hope that we can at least begin the first step of education, so that by next Spring term we may see less damage and wasted time. I'm pretty busy this weekend and into the beginning of the week, but I'm thinking we can do something simple, written at the education level we're seeing in the kinds of student edits we're getting (which doesn't speak well for the US and Canadian education systems), and patterned after that PDF they use as a general sourcing handout. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:41, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Sandy and/or Colin, did anything ever come of this? A specific handout for introducing the basics of MEDRS to students working on medicine-related topics would be useful indeed, and I'd be happy to incorporate it into the resources we point students and professors to, and to point individuals to it whenever relevant.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 19:01, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
We have developed one here WP:MEDHOW Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your page reply on mine) 09:24, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Nice! It's rather big to be turned into a printable handout, but it looks like a good thing to point medicine-related class projects to. Thanks, James.--Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 16:33, 27 August 2012 (UTC)


I am surprised that you characterize the "Chemotherapy" article as "crap". I think that it is okay. The main problem with it is lack of references in some sections. The prose needs to brushed up. But otherwise, the article is more-or-less factually accurate and complete.

I thought I'd mention it here because it is off-topic to the main discussion. Axl ¤ [Talk] 09:50, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

I was being provocative. I'm disappointed to see our best editors falling-out and missing the big picture -- either about the content of the article (and its lack of sources) or the kinds of sources we should be using for big subjects. Actually, Wouterstomp's edits this morning to remove the ATC codes from the section headings makes a big improvement for such a small change. Yes, having entire sections unsourced is poor. The History section doesn't really go past WWII. Mainly, the article suffers from the problems that affect many WP articles that are the result of loads of small edits: it is just a bunch of facts roughly put together with some organisation. To improve it, we need to look at the whole topic and think what readers should/need to know about it. For that, books and possible cancer charity websites are more useful than some review on a specific therapy or specific form of cancer. Have a look at the chapter headings or web-page titles. Do we cover these points? For example there are several sections dealing with various types of drugs, but we don't have a similar organisation round different kinds of cancer, which is the approach the book I linked took. I get a feeling it isn't comprehensive, but I know little about the subject so can't be sure. Ultimately, the lack of references to me indicates this isn't a well-loved & tended article that I would be confident recommending to someone. So it could well contain factually incorrect/misleading information, or have a POV that hasn't been addressed. The reader needs these clues, along with good and accessible prose, in order to be comfortable reading it -- they can't take Axl's word for it :-) This is an important subject, and it would be great to see it reach GA. But that would require a lot of work IMO, and I'd recommend starting with some books rather than opening up PubMed for a search. Colin°Talk 10:50, 2 May 2012 (UTC)


The Pearl and the Wave[edit]

Hi Colin. You recently commented on the Featured Picture nomination, The Pearl and the Wave. This nomination is requiring additional input from users as to which version of the picture they prefer. Your input would be appreciated. Thank You. Dusty777 17:43, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

London South Bank By Night[edit]

Hi Colin, I appreciate your gracious change of opinion, regarding the subject and the image. I did prefer the image constrained to 850px, but hey – it’s no big deal to have the panorama format. I acknowledge the NT flare issue – I actually asked a friend of mine if it was too much, we agreed it was. I have all the images from east to west of the bridge, I corrected the “flare” a few days ago. I think what I may do is upload the panorama in its entirety (with noted corrections made) – featuring Somerset House too. If the panorama format (rather than a static shrunk image) is preferred, this will give users more to look at, although it will lack the compositional balance. Adjusting the pixel density is probably very helpful for the user experience, which was a good change, for sure. I was loading a tiff file when Wiki became uncooperative, as the worlkflow for this image has been 32bit (because of HDR) – I will compress/optimise the dynamic range prior to uploading the revised/additional image. Thank you for your support and your suggestions – I agree the central crop, featuring Blackfriars Bridge could be strong in its own right. I love those light reflections. Bloodholds (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 20:43, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Publishing the Dengue article[edit]

Per here we are working on publishing the Dengue fever article in the journal Open Medicine. Are you okay with your real name being used? The authors will be listed by number of edits which would make you fourth. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (please reply on my talk page) 17:09, 29 June 2012 (UTC)

FPC talk[edit]

I'm sorry that you think my comment was a cheap shot; it wasn't meant to be. However, I accept that it was fairly irrelevant to the discussion at hand and so I've collapsed it. Julia\talk 07:29, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. Colin°Talk 07:41, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates/Leucippus fallax[edit]

Hi Colin, I added an edit reworked from the original. I wonder if you want to update your vote on the nomination? It's due to end soon. Julia\talk 19:53, 24 July 2012 (UTC)


The BitterGrey situation has been escalated to ANI. Just to let you know that I mentioned you in a post about the situation. You can find it here.[7]. Slp1 (talk) 13:40, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Sorry Colin, I just revisited the Bittergrey RFC/U page and I think you are more clearly in the "endorse" role than "certifying" since your role in the dispute wasn't very involved. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 18:54, 28 July 2012 (UTC)


Nuvola apps edu languages.svg
Hello, Colin. You have new messages at Talk:Water fluoridation.
Message added 20:50, 26 July 2012 (UTC). You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

Gold Standard 20:50, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Writing back[edit]

I do not watchlist peoples talk pages. Thus if people wish me to see their commons they much come write on my talk page. I am also editing on 40 or so different languages now as part of this effort [8]. Would consider shorting it if you had better wording :-) Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your talk page please reply on mine) 14:56, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Steve Joordens[edit]

Colin, I saw a post from Steve Joordens about his Intro to Psych class on a listserv recently, and posted a link to User:Colin/A large scale student assignment – what could possibly go wrong? -- I hope that's OK with you. It's in user space, but then essays usually are, so I didn't think there was any reason not to share it. I also wasn't sure if you had already communicated with him or not. Anyway, just wanted to give you a heads up. The listserv is for discussion of teaching with Wikipedia; I can let you know how the conversation goes, if you're interested. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 18:54, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Coincidently, I've just had an email from Doc James saying that the class is running again but under the radar. Are you two in touch or perhaps you have access to the same info? I'm really disappointed because the whole thing seems setup to make setting and marking a huge class assignment a matter of a few mouse clicks and a computer program. Perhaps I'm missing the bit where Joordens has recruited an army of experienced Wikipedian's to review the edits, fix any damage, and mentor the students into becoming life long Wikipedians. Colin°Talk 21:03, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm not really in touch; I'm on the listserv with him so I see his posts and can respond, but we've no other connection. Steve's Ph.D. student has created a tool to get the students through a sort of automated training process -- they have to watch some Wikipedia training videos that cover the basics of editing, plagiarism, and citations, and then they have to score 100% on a multiple choice test about the material. I guess we'll find whether this makes any difference to the students' skill level. Since he is flying under the radar this time, I assume that means most of them will be IP edits.
What do you think the right think answer to a professor like this is? I am a supporter of the education program (EP), and am part of the working group that is helping set up the next iteration of the program, but I don't think this behaviour is or should be supported by the EP. However, that makes no difference to Steve, since the EP has no gatekeeping privileges. So what, if anything, should be done? Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 22:47, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
I've added some comments to the talk page of the essay. I guess I'm not on Joorden's christmas card list :-). The students will have accounts -- that's how the computer program tracks their edits -- but there's no easy way to find them or review the work unless you have all those psychology articles watchlisted.
I strongly believe WP needs to establish some kind of regulation of student assigments and also of anyone conducting experiments on WP. Just like research on humans/animals has to go through an ethics committee, large scale exercises like this should be discussed, worked out, approved and monitored by WP. Ultimately, not doing so should lead to a block on the organiser's account and an official correpondance from WP to the organiser's employers asking them to stop.
It is a real shame because 1500 young students could be doing good work on WP and we could have a programme that turns some of them into Wikipedians. The approach here, where students are actively discouraged from identifying themselves and hence engaging with the community, is just the opposite of helpful. Please continue to keep me informed. Colin°Talk 07:58, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
What's worse, and completely unacceptable, is that we really do have no way to review (as Wikipedians) this class's work. Per WP:OUTING if we were to associate user accounts with the class (unless the user does so themselves) then we would face an immediate block. I suppose someone could attempt to link accounts offline and publish an anonymous analysis of the group, but that would be an easy target for criticism and since the particulars couldn't be published, you'd just have to take the findings/conclusions on trust. We need to make it mandatory that users who are doing work for a class assignment make this explicit on WP by adding their name to a list or publishing something on their user page.
I think we need a community response to this. How do we get opinions and how to frame the questions. You may be better than me at this. We should set out what is being done "under the radar", what our concerns are, and ask the community what should be done. Colin°Talk 08:42, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Is there another class being run from Toronto? Perhaps with graduate students rather than ones taking the "Intro to" class? I see a group of about a dozen students working together in sandboxes and expanding psychology stubs into DYK entries. It takes them a while and they even have a little interaction with other Wikipedians. This is quite a different approach to last years "add a few sentences before popping down to the student bar" class. Anyone have details on this? Colin°Talk 10:26, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
That could be a different class; not sure. I'll have to think about the answers to your other questions; one of my tasks with the EP working is communications with the editing community: I don't think the community consensus you're looking for is really within the working group's scope (we're focusing on creating the new organization, not doing its work), but the topics are related and it is likely to come up when we run an RfC on the working group later this fall. One point I feel I should make is that I don't think we'll have much luck if we try to implement mandatory requirements -- professors can do what Steve Joordens has done and simply ignore the EP's requirements if they wish, since anyone can edit. That may make it a community problem rather than an EP problem, but if the EP is seen (rightly or wrongly) as associated with programs like Joordens', it will get negative press as a result. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 11:37, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes Steve and I discussed things briefly. It was not a positive interaction. Psychology content is very poorly watched. And thus issues will not be addressed. We have had some problems with other classes whose leadership was poorly responsive to feedback. If this increases it will cause significant harm to Wikipedia. Getting consensus on what to do or to even figure out what can be done is hard. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your talk page please reply on mine) 01:30, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Your editing[edit]

Hi, Colin. I wanted to ask you a few things about a few recent edits you have made. In this edit, you state that the paragraph has nothing to do with psychology. But part of the paragraph stated, "Research has shown that aerobic exercises such as jogging, is associated with improved hormonal responses to stress and a decrease in depressive mood states.", which shows that it does have to do with stress and what the heading of that section is about -- mechanisms for dealing with stress, which is related to psychology because it is a mental mindset -- just like humor is (which is listed). Did you remove "aerobic exercises" because you feel that it has more to do with stress (biology)/stress (physiology)?

In this edit, I understand removing that first "source," but why the second one? Was removing that second one a mistake?

In this edit, you stated "the reader doesn't give a damn what MacDonald(2011) describes or explains." I saw what you stated to the person who added the information (User talk:Iskand22), but we don't know if the reader gives a damn about what MacDonald states, and we don't know if this editor copied the text word for word (or do you?). The article is full of what experts state, and that includes specifically mentioning experts in some instances. If what MacDonald states wasn't already covered by other text in the article, what Iskand22 added wouldn't be an long as it's not copied word for word without being put in quote marks.

It just seems like you're sometimes removing things from articles without any consideration for whether or not that information is best left in the article. What you see as irrelevant to the article is not always irrelevant to others; that's why it's there in the first place. And it would have been better to leave a welcome note to Iskand22 while stating what you did to him or her. (talk) 22:13, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Unable to find this ref "MacDonald P. Narcissistic personality disorder. Practice Nurse 2011; 41( 1): 16-8" which was removed here [9]. Doc James (talkcontribsemail) (if I write on your talk page please reply on mine) 01:39, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Hi, thank you for your thoughtful comments. It is never easy to decide how to deal with problem edits, particularly so when one isn't an expert in the subject or have ready access to sources. I may indeed not always get it right. In case you think I'm just randomly removing stuff from psychology articles, what I'm actually doing is reviewing the edits made by a student class (or dealing with edits that appear on my watchlist). Here's my rationale:

aerobic exercise & stress
I spent quite a while reading over the three stress articles on WP and their talk pages. I don't think it is clear enough what the separate purposes of the three are, though I don't doubt there is value in the separation. So it is no wonder that drive-by editors might not pick up on what the psychology one in particular deals with. Clearly stress is a big subject and we have many articles on aspects of it. For example Stress management includes exercise as one of countless methods of stress management. The Aerobic exercise article lists reduced stress as a health benefit. The information is already on WP. The section that was altered lists several of the "Highly Adaptive/Active/Problem-Focused Mechanisms" methods listed in the DSM-IV Adaptive Functioning Scale, APA, 1994 for dealing with stress. I don't think exercise is one of those. A big problem with the class assignment these students are doing is that it totally ignores WP:WEIGHT. There's really no attempt to review the literature and judge whether this or that article, this or that section should include certain facts and to what degree. We just get a couple of sentences of factoid shoe-horned into somewhere vaguely related :-( As the (largely unsourced) list at stress management shows, there are 101 ways of reducing levels stress in one's life (or, more accurately, have been correlated with lower levels of stress). Perhaps prayer, health spas and going for long walks in the country could be listed too? So I think exercise doesn't qualify for that section or indeed for that article.
There weren't two refs. What the student did was try to include the sentence "In late childhood, a child entered the stage of formal operation. Adolescence, then, should be characterized as a phase in whice adolescents apply deductive skills to problems" and cite his or her dreadful class textbook. Instead, they wrapped the sentence in a ref tag. The sentence isn't even in English. Ignoring the grammatical mistakes, the "stage of formal operation" is presumably referring to the "formal operational" stage in Piaget's theory of cognitive development. How the general reader is supposed to work out what "formal operation" means, I don't know. The text's tone is of peculiar academic writing rather than encyclopaedic writing (which makes me suspect it isn't original enough). The interesting fact is that adolescents become better at deductive reasoning. This is already included in the body of this long article. The student added the fact to the lead. What the student wasn't told, probably, is that the lead is a summary of the body and often doesn't need to cite new sources. Editors (should, but often don't) work on the body and then summarise the article in the lead. The lead for adolescence is already rather long, and this minor factoid doesn't make the grade for the lead IMO. The fact that the added text makes no sense is further evidence that these students are lifting facts from textbooks that they don't really understand. If they did grasp these facts, they would be able to rephrase them in their own words for the general reader. Alternatively, the students haven't been reminded to make the shift from the peculiar writing style their prof expects them to use in essays, to the encyclopaedic tone used on WP.
Narcissistic personality disorder
Does the reader give a damn about what "MacDonald (2011) describes"? Since the student who added that only did so recently, I though it might be worth leaving a note on their talk page. Some of the other student work I'm seeing was done in April/May and the students' accounts are not active. You are right this article often in-text attributes findings to authors. You have to remember that many psychology articles have already been damaged by student and other non-encyclopaedic edits over the years. Since virtually nobody watches them, the rot remains. There are times where namedropping is encyclopaedic. Is MacDonald a key world thinker on the disorder? All I can find online is "Group Analytic Psychotherapist, author and lecturer". We've got a cited article in Practice Nurse journal. Is this where new thinking on the disorder is published, or perhaps just a short two-page overview? I really don't think MacDonald's description of the disorder is ground breaking or original enough to deserve in-text attribution. The symptoms MacDonald describes are also already listed (more or less) in that section in the article. This highlights another problem with these student edits. Someone writing the article properly would collate the best sources they can on the disorder, find the one or two with the best description of symptoms, and use those to write a solid, comprehensive and balanced section. Instead, I suspect this student isn't aware whether other sources include more or fewer symptoms, or whether some symptoms are contested, what the DSM says, etc, etc. Wrt copying: the attribution writing style used is a technique that allows for close paraphrasing where the text is not fully transformed into one's own words. But where no attribution is required then the text should be written in original words. This is why I suspect the text is more or less copied from the source.

You are right that adding a Welcome template would have been friendlier. We'll see if this student responds at all. They might never even read what I wrote. Last year's students almost universally did not: they had done what was required of them in their homework and moved onto other things. I hope you see that I am considering carefully when reviewing these edits. The high number of reverts that occur (mostly long ago, before I've had a look) is completely due to the wrongheaded design of the assignment these students are being asked to do, coupled with a disappointing level of competence and pride in one's work that one might hope for in undergraduates. Colin°Talk 08:01, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for your detailed reply, Colin. I understand. Although, I have to point out that the Adolescence text/source you removed wasn't in the lead.
And sorry for replying so late. I'd already seen your reply, but only just now got around to responding to it. (talk) 05:16, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
Oh, and the Adolescence article isn't as long as it seems. It currently just has a lot of subheadings that make it look that way. (talk) 05:20, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

St. Pancras[edit]

You can see what I have already done at Wikipedia:Copyright problems/2012 August 16 - the copyright notice should link there but it it is not a clear notice. The source is given in the notice too [10]

I have already rewritten a substatntial part of two sections to remove copied material. As I note at the link above - the text was unreferenced whilst the source I assume it to be copied from had sources listed - the ones I was able to check matched the contents. From that it seems unlikely that someone copied from wikipedia.

Please see Talk:St_Pancras_railway_station#History - as I note there - I don't have immediate access to the sources that would help to rewrite the section on the hotel (which is what is missing). I'm not able to fix every copy-paste edit I found as I wouldn't have time to eat or sleep.. It may be also worth considering if a link to the main article page for the hotel St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel and adding content there would be better than duplicating it on the station article.Oranjblud (talk) 15:28, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

(please leave any note on the St. Pancras talk page, especially if you have good sources, as that is were the editors will see them)Oranjblud (talk) 15:31, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Barnstar of Diligence Hires.png The Barnstar of Diligence
Colin, thank you so much for your essay examining Steve Joordens' first big Wikipedia assignment in detail. I just discovered it recently, and it's been really helpful to me. Sage Ross (WMF) (talk) 18:52, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates/Kevin Murphy[edit]

Hi there- I've uploaded a larger resolution shot, and provided an explanation of the strange setting. If you get the time, could you take a look back and change your vote if you feel it is warranted? If not, I understand. Thanks, J Milburn (talk) 19:10, 18 September 2012 (UTC)


Hi Colin,

Thanks for your little word on my talk page. To be clear, there's no "animosity" that I feel against you, on the contrary. I appreciate your "good sense" and the fact you seem to care about ur reviews rather than dropping votes aways (Don't know how you would say in english, but I just mean "to vote a lot without really carring"). Of course we have to disagree sometimes, but I feel I more agree with you than the opposite (even on the bug nom where I believe u r pretty convincing ;-) ). I don't think Muhammad was aiming at you when he mention "non sense", as you take the time to justify. Note that I don't bend my sentences so I understand I may sound rude at times. You are right, no one dies in the process, and we shouldn't take it too seriously.

Maybe we should take pictures instead of blaberring ;) - Blieusong (talk) 12:01, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Wikimedia medicine[edit]

Hi. Have you seen m:Talk:Wikimedia_Medicine? It's been mentioned quite a bit on WT:MED but Casliber missed it so I'm just making sure you're aware of it. And this user talk page discussion may interest you. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 08:39, 29 September 2012 (UTC) Added: 01:29, 30 September 2012 (UTC)