User talk:Iridescent/Archive 13

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Isabella Ford

Thanks for your comment at T:TDYK where I've replied. I've obviously jumped to a naive conclusion, so thanks for picking up on that.--BelovedFreak 14:03, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

No problem; the history of the Labour Party is tangled, as it was (and is) a coalition of assorted groups constantly disaffiliating from and reaffiliating to the main party, so it's hard to track who was involved with what at any given time. Given Sam Blacketer's shenanigans—and the proximity to the election—I think we have to err on the side of caution when it comes to anything related to British politics at the moment; Seth Finkelstein and friends will be watching the main page like hawks until polling day, looking for any inaccuracies they can run with.
For anything like this, the DNB is invaluable. (It's hidden behind a paywall, but if you have a UK-issued library card then 95% of British libraries give you free access—just enter your library card number in the box on the left—and if you're not a member of a subscribing library, any UK resident can join any UK library regardless of where they live.) Because the DNB is written in the same summary-style as Wikipedia, their articles can generally serve as frameworks around which to build WP articles, and as an OUP publication it's an impeccable reliable source in and of itself. – iridescent 14:14, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Yeah you're right, we do have to be particularly careful. I feel a bit silly that relevance to the election hadn't even crossed my mind. I'll have to look into the history more, for my own education and with a view to improving the article. I have used the DNB article for this one, actually. It's a great resource.--BelovedFreak 14:30, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
A useful trick with the DNB is to do full-text searches on the subject's name; that quite often brings up other people who worked closely with the subject but aren't mentioned in their own article, and allows you to fill out background; part of the DNB's problem is that their house style is a close focus on the article subject. On Wikipedia, where we can't assume that the reader has any prior knowledge, generally needs far more general background to the articles; while wikilinking gives us the luxury of not having to explain everything, my general attitude is "if someone were given a printout of this article and couldn't read any of the linked pages, would they still understand it?". I find that's quite a good exercise in highlighting what needs to be added, and what can safely be trimmed. – iridescent 14:36, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for that tip, I've not tried doing those kinds of searches before. I'll definitely make use of that. Should also be good for creating incoming links to articles.--BelovedFreak 14:50, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Well done on getting her to DYK, btw; as "regulars" on this talkpage know, the "social planning and new technology can improve the world" idealism of the age of electrification is one of my pet themes, and while I focus on the "mass transit means housing no longer needs to be near the workplace and will end the pressure on the inner cities" rebuild-the-lost-Elysium utopianism in the South (just go to Crossrail's website to see that this pipe-dream never completely died), there's a parallel and equally important story about the great mill reformers of the North on both left and right. (At some point, I really want to get William Huskisson, arguably the greatest of them all, up to a better standard than "tried to turn the Tories into a social democratic party 150 years too early but got run over by a train in Eccles before he could carry it out"; Simon Garfield's book thoughtfully collates all the "greatest Prime Minister we never had" and "killed on the opening day of the first inter-city train" elements very well, complete with all the sources.) – iridescent 19:05, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Longest names

I'm afraid Mr. Temple-and-something loses out to Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus Wolfe­schlegelstein­hausenberger­dorffvoraltern­waren­gewissenhaft­schaferswessen­schafewaren­wohlgepflege­und­sorgfaltigkeit­beschutzen­von­angreifen­durch­ihrraubgierigfeinde­welche­voraltern­zwolftausend­jahres­vorandieerscheinen­wander­ersteer­dem­enschderraumschiff­gebrauchlicht­als­sein­ursprung­von­kraftgestart­sein­lange­fahrt­hinzwischen­sternartigraum­auf­der­suchenach­diestern­welche­gehabt­bewohnbar­planeten­kreise­drehen­sich­und­wohin­der­neurasse­von­verstandigmen­schlichkeit­konnte­fortplanzen­und­sicher­freuen­anlebens­langlich­freude­und­ruhe­mit­nicht­ein­furcht­vor­angreifen­von­anderer­intelligent­geschopfs­von­hinzwischen­sternartigraum, Senior. Then again, Richard may have the longest serious name. By the way, I replied at Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Oryzomys couesi/archive1 and I'd like to know whether you think some of the issues you mentioned are resolved now. Thanks again for reviewing, Ucucha 02:06, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

No, that's fine; there's always a tricky balance with anything technical in how to cater for Wikipedia's mass-readership—who it can safely be assumed will know nothing about the topic in question—without dumbing-down too much and annoying those people who do know the topic. It's the reason I try always to put a "…for dummies" background section in at the start, so people who aren't familiar with the topic can pick up enough to understand what's being discussed in the body, while people who are familiar with the field can skip over it to the meat of the article. (Giano's "always assume your reader is a bright 14-year old with no prior knowledge but who's keen to learn" is invariably a good rule of thumb when striking a balance between dumbing-down and overspecialization.)
I believe Leone Sextus Denys Oswolf Fraudatifilius Tollemache-Tollemache de Orellana Plantagenet Tollemache-Tollemache edges out Richard Plantagenet Campbell Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, 3rd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos by four characters as the longest non-joke proper name on Wikipedia. – iridescent 02:21, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Fraudatifilius? Sounds quite serious too. Thanks again; I think one of the great assets of FAC reviews is that I get a variety of people looking at the articles I write, and my writing has certainly benefited. Ucucha 03:03, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Quite why Leone Sextus Denys Oswolf Fraudatifilius Tollemache-Tollemache de Orellana Plantagenet Tollemache-Tollemache has a Wikipedia article is another matter, since his life story seems to have been:
  1. Born;
  2. Was given name which is unusually long, although not any kind of record holder (the article even specifically states it's not the longest English surname on record);
  3. Joined the Army;
  4. Got married;
  5. Caught flu;
  6. Died.
Do we have a WP:People notable for no event policy now? – iridescent 03:10, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
For anyone who's interested (thought not), apparently 255 characters is the theoretical limit for titles, and Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil, Mutant, Alien, Flesh Eating, Hellbound, Zombified Living Dead Part 2: In Shocking 2-D is the longest non-redirect article title on Wikipedia. So now you know. – iridescent 19:56, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Just noticed something really scary

In an attempt to put the pop culture crap that's polluting articles like Guy Fawkes in its proper place, yesterday I moved the V for Vendetta mask trivia into a new Guy Fawkes in popular culture article. As you know, "V" just wears a mask, he's not meant to be Guy Fawkes. So I went looking to see if there had been films made about the man, and lo and behold I discovered that Matheson Lang had starred in a 1923 version of William Harrison Ainsworth's 1841 historical romance.

Now here's the scary bit. I added that bit of info, even though I was just guessing that Lang had played the part of Fawkes. I fired up Google to see if I could find a reliable source to see what part he had played, and right there at number 3 was the material I'd added, a minute or so earlier, saying that Lang had played the part of Guy Fawkes! It turns out that he did, and my guess was right, but, well. Malleus Fatuorum 22:03, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

Daniel Brandt and Greg Kohs could no doubt give you a Google-loves-Wikipedia conspiracy theory, but the reality's more prosaic; Special:RecentChanges is available as a live feed to anyone who wants it (it's what drives Huggle). While most people have no use for Wikipedia data in real time, and couldn't handle that volume of information even if they did, Google and Bing consider it worth their while to update their information on Wikipedia in real-time, after an unfortunate incident when a vandalised version of George Washington sat at the top of Google's cached search-summaries for 24 hours.
Something which nobody seems to have mentioned—and while I wouldn't expect Baltimore-based Ottava to notice it, I'm surprised you haven't mentioned it—is that while "V" isn't meant to be Guy Fawkes, there's a very good case for saying he's meant to be (or more accurately, to see himself as) the Guy. Not only is the Guy the only character in English folk heritage who traditionally wears a mask, but I'd be shocked if there's been a year in the last century (except possibly during the blackout) when that mask wasn't the best-selling and most-recognisable mask in England. Even if Alan Moore has never actually said it explicitly, I'm sure the connection is there.
As I said in Another Place, while I can see the arguments for leaving V4V out of the main article, I do think there's an important unspoken point in that it shows the extent to which "Guy Fawkes" the folk character has detached himself from the real Fawkes and become a part of the English folk history in its own right. (The other two characters in that trinity have become just as detached from a local government reformer in Middlesex and a protection racketeer in the East Midlands.) – iridescent 19:50, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
There's also an Essex Butcher's apprentice who comes close for being mythologised. --DavidCane (talk) 20:56, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Good point, and there's always a disputable Brythonic warlord of Wiltshire; closer to the present, a hack writer and MP is well on the way to the "Princess Diana" state in which "in popular culture" and "in reality" lose any real relationship to each other. Darwin and Shakespeare are beginning to slip down that particular slope, too; I wouldn't be surprised to see Brunel and Attlee join them in my lifetime. – iridescent 21:06, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Further north, the prize goes to a certain aristocrat from Moray whose myth and reality were entirely at variance with one another by the time of Fawkes' death. Ben MacDui 08:36, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
There's probably a lesson in the fact that English mythical figures are all ultra-reactionary martyrs who bitterly fought progress and social change (from Arthur to Churchill by way of Whittington and Fawkes), while Scottish mythical figures are generally xenophobic anti-English rabble-rousers and dubious aristocrats (Macbeth, Wallace, Mary, Bruce Castle's second most famous resident), American folk-heroes are a 50-50 mix of ludicrously airbrushed paragons of virtue and psychopathic thugs, and Australian folk heroes are just plain criminals*. Canada, meanwhile, has a small but impressively surreal mix. – iridescent 19:35, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
*That one could do with a good wash-and-scrub, given that it's one of our most read articles and is currently in a rather sorry never-mind-the-quality-count-the-characters state.
I've given V4V hardly any thought at all, except to move it out out of Guy Fawkes. Of all the cultural references, it seems to me to be the least interesting, but I suppose it keeps cropping up because it's the most recent. Malleus Fatuorum 21:37, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree – and also the one most likely to be familiar to Americans, thanks to the film – but I do think there's a story to be told in why this one particular figure remains recognisable 400 years on. How many people would recognise an ultra-stylised depiction of George Fox, Robert Catesby, William Cecil, John Milton, Oliver Cromwell, or any other significant (generally far more significant) figure of the 17th century with the possible exception of Shakespeare? – iridescent 21:46, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Very true, and the Guy Fawkes article needs to address that aspect. Malleus Fatuorum 22:07, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Sysop discussion

I was late to the discussion. I respectfully disagree with your statement that "admins are super-users [is a] myth". Jimbo's 2003 statement is outdated. Axl ¤ [Talk] 10:47, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

I respectfully disagree. Some admins certainly act like petty tyrants, but they generally get flushed out and marginalised quite quickly—one thing I do agree with Brad on is that, while Wikipedia doesn't have an effective desysopping mechanism, "the community" does act as quite an effective brake on the worst excesses of most admins. The sanctions that do exist—ranging from irate people turning up on your talkpage, to ANI, to the full wrath of the WP:BADSITES—are surprisingly effective in limiting anyone who gets into the "respect my authority" wannabe Judge Dredd mentality.
In terms of "ranking" in Wikipedia's undeclared power structure, community respect counts for far more than what buttons a user has; there are many non-admins with more influence than most Arbcom members, let alone most "vanilla" admins. (You can generally find a representative sample of them on this talkpage.) The unwritten nature of Wikipedia's governance makes it less obvious as to what's going on when it comes to the influence of these undeclared Wikipedia Illuminati on the project—the admins hold their squabbles centrally on noticeboards, but the real business of steering Wikipedia generally takes place on obscure talkpages; it's certainly not ideal, but cooking up deals and compromises in the dingier corridors, rather than on central discussions where a hundred passers-by all demand to have their say, is the only way to get anything done on a reasonable timescale other than imposing rule by fiat.
Wikipedia's internal structure was created with a project with 1,000 active members and 100,000 pages in mind, and is manifestly unsuitable for a project with 10,000 active members and 20,227,426 pages, but the problems are due to the inconsistency in application of mutually contradictory policies, the impossibility of meaningful enforcement of standards when the article/admin ratio is 3,900:1, and the lack of any governing body following the effective abdication of Jimbo & co from internal administration without leaving any alternative power structure in place. Who is and isn't an admin is a lot less important than it sounds—a lesson most admin hopefuls learn the hard way when they finally "level up" and pass RFA, only to discover that it's a title that gives you no more respect from anyone other than your fellow admin-hopefuls, a group about whose opinion nobody else cares. – iridescent 11:28, 3 May 2010 (UTC)


London Transport Barnstar.svg The London Transport Barnstar
Awarded for shining a bright light on to the shadowy hinterland of the Metropolitan Railway's Brill branch and bringing it to the glory of GA-dom. Keep up the good work. --DavidCane (talk) 22:43, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, although only three done so far. What I'm hoping is to get all the stations to GA status; I know I can get Brill Tramway and List of stations on the Brill Tramway up to FA/FL fairly easily, so as long as I can get two of the stations to FA (probably Westcott and Quainton Road, although the thought of this as an FA appeals), that will qualify it as an FT under the new rules. Then, I only need to get one of Verney, Winslow Road or Granbrough Rd to qualify the Verney branch, since I'll be able to double-count Quainton Road. After that, we're on the mainline where although the articles will be longer, it's a lot easier to find sources (and the existing articles generally need less work). Once it gets south of Aylesbury, I can always pad things out with Betjeman quotations provide a valuable historical and cultural context, should the articles need a quick-and-easy expansion.
(Well done on designing that star, BTW; how long before someone complains that the angles aren't at 45°?) – iridescent 22:55, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Oh, and well done on CLR - just noticed Sandy finally promoted it. – iridescent 22:57, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. Interested to see you're going for featured topics with these. I'm not too far from completing the components for an "Underground Electric Railways of London" Featured topic. All the UERL's tube lines are done. Just need to work up the Metropolitan District Railway and the UERL articles and I'm finished. I'd like to also add in Edgar Speyer and Albert Stanley, but then I'd need to bring Charles Yerkes up to at least GA, and most of his life history is in the US and not directly relevant to the UERL. I'm excluding the Great Northern & City and the Waterloo & City as they were under the control of others until after the creation of the LPTB. Will you be including the GN&CR as part of your MR articles set as it was in MR ownership from 1913?--DavidCane (talk) 00:54, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
If you're aiming for Yerkes, you might well be able to pester the WP:CHICAGO people into doing the US side of his career; they're very active, and he's such a key figure in the development of Chicago that they'd probably be quite willing to do it.
Regarding the MR, I'm intentionally working inwards from Buckinghamshire; I suspect that by the end I'll be sick of the sight of them. I probably won't touch the GN&CR or the Stanmore branch—and may leave out the Circles and the H&C and stop at Baker Street (mainly because I dread the idea of cleaning up King's Cross). Watkin was involved in so many harebrained railway speculations that a full overview of his empire would stretch from the Matadi–Kinshasa Railway to the Manchester Metrolink. – iridescent 10:24, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Small matter of pedancy: please don't make the (admittedly common) mistake of using the word "Verney" in isolation, because it's not a place name; see Verney Junction railway station#Opening. --Redrose64 (talk) 13:14, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Oh, I know it's named after the man not a place and the village is "Verney Junction", not "Verney" alone; I wouldn't use it in article-space. In conversation I'd hope it's clear from context, in the same sense as people will "change trains at Clapham" even though Clapham Junction isn't actually in Clapham. – iridescent 18:07, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
That's a good idea to contact WP:CHICAGO for Yerkes. I'll probably do that at some point. His article really does deserve to be improved given that he gave London much of the Underground, Chicago The Loop and has a crater on the Moon named after him. --DavidCane (talk) 21:01, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
You might be better off asking User:TonyTheTiger directly as to whether he can suggest someone; people don't necessarily watch project talkpages very thoroughly, but Tony's done so much in collating the Chicago articles together, he'll likely know if anyone has an interest in Yerkes and his dubious friends. – iridescent 21:09, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Another thought on Yerkes: it might be worth asking the astronomy people as well. Thanks to the Yerkes Observatory he's at least as significant a name in astronomy as in transport. – iridescent 15:47, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

DYK for Wood Siding railway station

The DYK project (nominate) 16:02, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

DYK for Brill railway station

Materialscientist (talk) 16:03, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Before Malleus gets too caustic, I am only submitting these if they meet my "what DYK ought to be" standard of "someone who doesn't care about the topic would potentially find that fact interesting". What's interesting (to me, anyway) is that this series is creating small but statistically significant spikes in views of the articles linked from them, which is suggesting to me that at least some people actually do click on bluelinks to learn more things mentioned in the articles with which they're not familiar. – iridescent 21:33, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
(adding) Should anyone think there was once a Golden Age of DYK before "all the good ones were taken", the first five DYKs back Before the Dawn of Time were:
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose – iridescent 22:06, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Gosh, they are very funny. Plenty of base articles to expand 5x. I do like the stats too. Funny which ones are most popular. Casliber (talk · contribs) 22:15, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Generally, the ones that should really have been on ITN as they refer to current events… (Although Postman's Park actually qualifies for that list, FWIW.) AFAIK, aside from the aberration of That Day and the US presidential elections, Wife selling holds the pageview-in-a-day record. If you want a really useless piece of Wikipedia trivia, True Jesus Church is (bizarrely) the only topic to have an article on Wikipedia in every language. – iridescent 22:27, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Wow, and something like bird doesn't....Casliber (talk · contribs) 22:32, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
I suspect the church themselves did the translations as a publicity stunt; I can't imagine the Anglo-Saxon Wikipedia (still missing Fugol, rather glaringly) gets many readers for Sōþ Iesus Cirice. – iridescent 19:57, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
(adding) Good lord… – iridescent 20:00, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
Hmm, when I get half a chance I'll notify folks and see if we can get both fungus and bird on every one too. Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:08, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
If I were the WMF, I'd seriously consider killing about 75% of the foreign-language Wikipedias, or at least withdrawing financial and hardware support. Most of the dead-language and constructed-language ones are pointless intellectual-exercise time sinks, and I'm sure that in almost all cases, the Kids In Africa would be far better served by improved access to good-quality English, French, Arabic, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish and Chinese materials than pointless stubfarms like Norman Wikipedia. (At the risk of howls of protest from Ben MacDui and Malleus, I think Scots Wikipedia could safely be sent on its way as well; that's not "the first encyclopædia in the Scots leid", it's a collection of 3000 crudely translated en-wiki stubs.) – iridescent 22:00, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
Maybe. I forgot how funny the scots one was. I have no idea how many folks actually look at it. The universality of WP in a gazillion languages scores great kudos points, and having spent time where folks speaking minority languages are pretty proud to use them, I sorta don't mind the wee ones. Damn, is there a cornish one....? Casliber (talk · contribs) 11:50, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
But yeah, I concede it is rather hard to get enthused by, say, sco:plant.. Casliber (talk · contribs) 11:52, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Whilst I'd like to pander to the view that I'm a sort of Rab C. Nesbitt figure and reply with a haud yer wheest fit of outrage I can't disagree with the suggestion that there is a certain lack of quality on said wiki. For further mirth try sco:moose, but whether you think its variants are a genuine language or a dialect, its strength is in its spoken form as this Times article suggests. Ben MacDui 18:07, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
I've no doubt it qualifies as a living dialect, but so are plenty of others, and think on how stupid Geordie Wikipedia or Cockney Wikipedia would look. Sure, Scots used to be a "true" language, and 16th-century Scots had the same relationship to 16th-century English that modern Danish has to modern Swedish (it passes the "what language was the Bible distributed in?" test) – but Scots, English, various Irish, Norman French and (especially) Essex dialect have fused to make modern English.
Scots Wikipedia does have the truly surreal sco:After Eight (Restaurant), though. Words fail me. – iridescent 06:46, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Must be Malleus. Well we'll all go there for a nushup one day. Casliber (talk · contribs) 08:27, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
The milkybars are on me. I am neither for nor agin a Scots Wikipedia, but I am not sure you can draw these hard-and-fast distinctions about language and dialect with any confidence. Language constantly evolves and the difference between Scottish English and Scots is simply one of degree. The former comes with an accent and a few words not commonly used elsewhere. In some parts at least the latter would be barely intelligible to a speaker of a more standard form of English. (You can test yourself here.) Also, I suspect that written versions of non RP English look "stupid" not because they are a priori foolish but because middle class people in the UK consider them to be so. In some other countries dialects are taught in schools as part of the rich cultural fabric of their country. I wonder if that nice David Cameron would consider introducing the idea? Ben MacDui 18:03, 4 May 2010 (UTC)


Yes-and-no. Nobody (except maybe that nice Mr Cameron and his little friend Mr Clegg) is saying that everyone should speak the Queen's English all the time, but what makes Scotland a special case? Besides, the idea that one passes Berwick and the language immediately changes is dubious at best; typical Edinburgh speech is probably closer to standard-written-English than anywhere else in the world, while an outside observer probably wouldn't guess that a Glaswegian and a Shetlander came from the same continent, let alone the same country. We don't have separate projects for places like Mississippi or Singapore, where the dialect is far further down the line towards "mutually unintelligible language".
PS. If you're looking for a cheap laugh at an earnest attempt to treat "regional accent spelt phonetically" as an separate language, it's hard to beat the "if Gerry, Alex and Dafydd can have their own language we want one too" posturing of Paisley and his pals at the Norlin Airlan Assemblie. – iridescent 15:11, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Really? I see several places there where my knowledge of German and Dutch was more useful than my knowledge of English for understanding the text ("ilkane" = archaic Dutch "elkeen"; "Wales" = German "Wahlen"). Ucucha 16:26, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the cheap laugh. Ever been to Edinburgh? Typical Edinburgh speech isn't very close to "standard-written-English" at all, at all. See the works of Irvine Welsh, for example. Inverness might be a better argument though. --John (talk) 17:07, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Re Ucucha: Might be what you're used to; I see "ilkane" there as cognate to the RP-English "ilk", for instance. To all extents and purposes, Ullans is just Lowland Scots with its 17th-century spellings preserved; thanks to the Scandanavian influence and relative lack of Norman penetration, Scotland held on to more Anglo-Saxon terms than did the Anglo-Saxons themselves.
Re John: Yes, and I stand by it; pronunciation might be different to Home Counties English, but the grammar of Lothian & Fife is probably the closest in the UK to that of written English. (There's a reason Britannica comes from Edinburgh…) Treating Welch's books in Leith vernacular as representative of Edinburgh is akin to treating a Minder script or Riddley Walker as representative of south-east England. – iridescent 17:19, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes actually, you're right in a way, and thank you for correcting me. The distinction between grammar and pronunciation is an important one. And, thinking about it, even Welsh's characters, while speaking demotic urban Scots, often use beautifully constructed grammatical sentences. The Britannica reference is a good one. Is this perhaps a good point to mention Christopher Grieve? Perhaps Norlin Airlan merely awaits its epic poet. --John (talk) 05:32, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Highland English as heard in Inversneck is certainly simply a dialect. The aborigines were speaking Gaelic until relatively recently and it never had time to evolve into anything more distinct, unlike Doric. I don't know that we are particularly disagreeing here, save perhaps that I tend to celebrate the diversity to a greater degree and if folk want to spend time in promoting their cause I don't mind at all. However, I have a practical question on similar lines. I am researching the sad story of Lady Grange, who being an aristocratic lady of 18th century Edinburgh speaks a form of English. However I am puzzled by some of her turns of phrase. When she says of her husband (who had her kidnapped and banished into penury) "He told me he loved me two years or he gott me and we lived 25 years together few or non I thought so happy" can anyone confirm she is saying something like "He told me he loved me for two years before I agreed to marry him and we lived 25 years but few if any were happy."?
She seems to me to be saying "... we lived together for 25 of the unhappiest years of my life". Malleus Fatuorum 13:44, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Gosh, I never knew "Clearances" was a Highland English word, could have sworn it was derived from Latin... :/ Casliber (talk · contribs) 21:11, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Different meaning in Scotland; in England it has general meanings of "smoothing the ground in preparation" and "verification"; in Scotland it refers specifically to the mass-evictions of the 18th and 19th centuries. One of those words like "evolution" that has lost its original meaning when used in relation to a specific field. – iridescent 22:37, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, there's a Cornish one. I can see more of a case for Cornish Wikipedia than Scots; Cornish is a language, albeit a dead one, and a site like that potentially serves as a teaching tool—I just can't see why the WMF should be funding it when there are more pressing things on the big projects that need financing. Regardless of whether Scots and Middle English were separate languages, the two are intermingled enough now that modern Scots is just a dialect form of Standard English; we don't have separate sites for Deep South, Manc, Singlish, Nigerian English, Scouse etc etc etc, all of which are just as variant from RP English as modern Scots. – iridescent 12:13, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

PS: Just got one of my better results at DYK with Astroloma pinifolium see talk page fro hook and stats...see drug talk sells as well. Casliber (talk · contribs) 12:10, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

PS. You know there'll be at least one kid who tries to eat the damn thing now to try it for themselves? – iridescent 12:17, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Won't do anything though. It's edible with no psychoactive properties AFAIK. Casliber (talk · contribs) 08:27, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
A language is a dialect with an army and navy of course. --John (talk) 18:09, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Synchronicity (sincroonisty?)

In keeping with the unwritten Wikipedia rule that anything mentioned on either my or Malleus's talkpage turns up on one of the drama boards three days later, the "obvious vandalism" that is is now at ANI. If anyone wants to argue against the unusual suggestion that "nobody purports to speak a separate Scottish language", now's your chance. With a reasonable chance of a Scottish UDI in the next few weeks, the timing could maybe be better. – iridescent 10:56, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

I saw that but had nothing constructive to add to it. UDI? You think so? --John (talk) 19:15, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Compare and contrast. Unless the Shiny Faced One intends to appoint a proconsul and run Scotland as a Crown Colony, I can't see any way this will go that doesn't end in partition. – iridescent 19:34, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
With North Sea oil running out, I don't see partition as a sensible choice for Alex, but who knows. Certainly it might be a convenient solution to the West Lothian Question, and I suspect that there might well be a substantial body of English voters who would just think "good riddance". Malleus Fatuorum 19:46, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
If it's offered, Alex can hardly turn it down, given that he's been presenting himself as the face of independence for twenty years. Give Scotland and Wales the same kind of status Quebec and Newfoundland have within Canada, as autonomous states within the British Federation, and it preserves enough "keeping the Union" to appease the unionist element in the Party, while establishing an England with enough of a Tory majority to get all their schemes enacted. Split England into autonomous regions, and the South would be effectively a one-party state. Spain is well on the road to doing the same with Catalonia and the Basque Country, and there's Canada, Belgium, Russia headed down the same route, so it's not like there aren't precedents. – iridescent 20:31, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Oh my. Your understanding of Canadian politics is...well, amusing. Canadians accept that our internal disputes aren't particularly well understood outside our own borders (or inside them, for that matter!). Neither Quebec nor Newfoundland and Labrador (the full name of the province) are autonomous states in any sense; they have the same responsibilities and authority as any other province. I have the general sense that Scotland and Wales have essentially similar autonomy within the United Kingdom; that is, the higher level government being responsible for nation-wide initiatives and broad brushes of major social policies, treaties, foreign policy, and defense; and the lower levels being responsible for the more front-line application of social policies, region-specific issues, and the day-to-day operations of the usual public services. Of course, I'm probably woefully uninformed about the UK... Risker (talk) 20:45, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
No; regions in England have no power over anything at all (policy is set by the UK government; there's not even an English governing body, let alone separate bodies for the regions within England). Wales has an autonomous "assembly" but with no control over finances (still set by Central Government) no effective autonomy other than a few local-interest issues (flood defences, road maintenance and such); Scotland has the Scottish Government with powers over health, transport, and the vaguely defined "home affairs". The status of Scotland and Wales within the UK is far short of the autonomy of a Canadian province, let alone a US state; the example of Canada was chosen deliberately (no Tory government would ever give them the autonomy of a US state). – iridescent 20:57, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Scotland retained its own legal, education and church systems at Union in 1707. It certainly doesn't seem ridiculous that, as Iridescent suggests, if England has voted Tory and Scotland has stayed Labour, we could aspire to go our separate ways and move to full independence. The divisions of the Thatcher era are often cited as the major factor in the SNP moving from lunatic fringe to credible party of government during the 1980-2007 time frame, so this development would fit that. Whether it would take the form of a Unilateral Declaration of Independence I find hard to imagine; maybe the bloodless breakup of Czechoslovakia in 1993 is a better model for us (I am an expatriate Scot) to take. Interesting times, however you look at it. --John (talk) 21:00, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Quite. Despite the Union, Scotland and England have remained separate countries in many ways, like the legal and educational systems you mention. Alex probably doesn't have any other cards to play anyway, after his SNP failed to make inroads in yesterday's election. Malleus Fatuorum 21:07, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I think all three of us are saying the same thing in different ways. The odd status in which the Union welded together two different systems with independent currencies, laws and educational systems, but controlled by a single central government, means partition would be more like decolonisation—a clean break could happen in the time it took to organise a referendum. With the SNP and Plaid stagnant electorally but England likely to come under a Tory-DUP coalition which will be loathed in Scotland and Wales, "ourselves alone to escape the Norman yoke" is the only card the Nationalists have to play. – iridescent 21:11, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps many people aren't aware that Scotland even prints its own banknotes, something I don't think any Canadian provinces or US states do? Scotland is of course also different from Wales and Ireland, in that Wales and Ireland were militarily defeated by the English, but the Scottish Parliament voted for a Union with England. Malleus Fatuorum 21:16, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Scotland (and Flanders, Chechnya, Bavaria, Greenland, Gibraltar, Heligoland…) don't really have North American equivalents; all the separate institutions and legal structures of an independent country in place, but administered as part of a larger country to whose government they send members. The closest equivalent in North America would be one of the more powerful Indian reservations. If you think that's bad, try explaining Kaliningrad, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, the Isle of Man, Andorra, or Alderney to someone outside Europe. – iridescent 22:12, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Don't they? Gibraltar and Greenland are equivalent to U.S. overseas areas like Puerto Rico and Guam (perhaps with some differences in level of autonomy, but the idea is the same), Heligoland hardly has any special status at all, Bavaria is not really constitutionally different from the other Bundeslaender and comparable to a U.S. state or Canadian province. Chechnya I'll grant you, and the federal structure of Belgium is such that you don't need to go outside Europe to find people not understanding it. Ucucha 22:24, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Try telling a Bavarian that Bavaria isn't completely different and they'll bore you senseless about how they're voluntarily in the Union and their institutions derive from their ancient traditions, not Prussia. With an autonomous government run by a party which only exists in Bavaria and a system unique among the German states (unicameral legislature, direct citizen government by referendum) it's at least as "different but equal" as Scotland. Gibraltar is officially a part of South West England for electoral purposes, although it doesn't send MPs to Westminster, only Brussels; it remains on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories, unlike Puerto Rico (although Guam is on there too). Heligoland isn't as special any more as they like to pretend but still has some notable differences to the rest of Germany, most obviously the fact that it's not a part of the European Union Value Added Tax Area and thus makes a fortune selling to smugglers people bringing cigarettes and alcohol back from holidays for personal use. I'll grant you Greenland. – iridescent 22:39, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Are't many of the things you say about Bavaria also true for Quebec? Really, I don't see how the situation is much different in reality from U.S. states, which also have different internal systems of government (Nebraska has a unicameral and nonpartisan legislature; California has lots of referendums; Vermont elects its governor for two years). All German states have unicameral parliaments, I believe (in fact, Bavaria was special before 2000 in having a Senate), and Bavaria's referendums are local only. The CSU I'll grant you, but Canada has much larger variation among the political parties in its provinces. Gibraltar's being part of South West England is only a quirk for the EP elections, and the UN list is largely meaningless. Heligoland is only outside the custom and VAT areas, which shouldn't be too hard to explain.

On the other hand, Mount Athos is unique, and I once thoroughly confused someone here in America with stories of Baarle. Ucucha 23:28, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Vermont, California and Nebraska don't have their own laws, postal systems, currency etc with all those laws created by a single government in Washington who meet on separate days to debate Vermont laws, Californian laws, and so on; likewise, Guam and Puerto Rico are under direct rule from Washington but don't sent representatives to Congress. AFAIK, since the collapse of Austria-Hungary there are no surviving unions of a similar nature to England/Scotland; France/Andorra, China/Hong Kong/Macau, Netherlands/Aruba/Dutch Antilles etc have far more independence from each other, while the French overseas départements have less. – iridescent 23:47, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
True, the UK situation is unique. Even Austria-Hungary was not truly similar, since the two parts still had separate parliaments and were internally autonomous; there was no one parliament that made Austrian laws one day and Hungarian laws the next. Ucucha 00:21, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
There is one example from history, Denmark–Norway after the 16th century; the two countries kept their own coinage and laws, but were both governed centrally from Copenhagen. I believe Finland within Russia had a similar arrangement as well.
Finally got round to finishing Oryzomys today, while you're here; although I've only left a short comment, that's because I can't find anything to argue with, not because I didn't bother looking. – iridescent 00:35, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for reviewing, as always. The next rat is waiting already. It's a shame I can't include a picture of that one's head—the whiskers look truly impressive. Ucucha 01:05, 8 May 2010 (UTC)


Looks distinctly "broken-neck fresh from the trap" to me. This really cries out for a caption competition…

If you're feeling in a mood for more heavily vandalised rodents, the cheap laughs at ANI at the expense of sco:Moose have prompted me to take a closer look at our own Mouse. Mote/beam and all that; given that this is about as core a core-article as can be imagined when it comes to species-articles, and is in a truly ropey state ("Mice are an excellent seasonal source of protein"?) – compare Mouse to their grown-up cousins at Ferret. And is that photo in the infobox really the best we can do with what may be the single most common mammal species on the planet? – iridescent 16:28, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Yes, that article is on my to-do list. The problem is that "mouse" is a meaningless term: it's just applied to small rodents that are too small to be "rats" (and even that not always—Oligoryzomys, for example, are called "rats", even though they are exactly the size of a house mouse). You can't write anything biologically sensible about "small rodents known as 'mice' in English", and there are no high-quality sources which review small rodents known as "mice" in English. One solution is to simply restrict the term to the genus Mus, which includes the house mouse and a variety of Old World species. That is what Britannica does, and what our current article tries to do (according to the taxobox, at least), but I think that won't work, because we will always get people adding in things about whatever mouse occurs where they live (in the current article, for example, the piece about hantaviruses refers to Peromyscus). I think the cleanest solution is to create a separate article for Mus and make mouse into some sort of extended disambiguation page that directs people to the right article and discusses the term itself. The situation for rat is similar, by the way. Ucucha 16:52, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
At least with "rat" and "mouse", there are formal Rattus and Mus definitions so if a line's going to be drawn, it's clear where to draw it—likewise with other "different meanings in different places" animals like robins or badgers. If you really want to find yourself losing the will to live, discussions over naming where there's no clear convention are the place to go. These are always a good place to go if you're in the mood for an absolutely pointless argument; Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Slovenian vs Slovene) and its four long archives are a good place to start. The fact that Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (royalty and nobility)/Archive 21 exists speaks volumes, too. – iridescent 17:22, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia has never been short of absolutely pointless argument. Yes, it's easy to draw that line, but if we do, be sure we'll get people who saw we are making a travesty of the English language. Robin is a dab page, by the way, and badger is as bad as mouse and rat are. Ucucha 18:16, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, one can add many bird articles to this list too....sigh Casliber (talk · contribs) 03:23, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

GA Symbol on the top of the page

You made a comment that it is possible to have a symbol on the top of the page that indicates that it is a good article by changing something in the preferences, what is this? How can I do this? Iankap99 02:06, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Click here to open your preferences; select the "Gadgets" tab; check the "Display an assessment of an article's quality as part of the page header for each article" check box. The titles of pages will be color-coded according to article status, and the current talkpage rating immediately below each title. – iridescent 18:44, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the help! --Iankap99 (talk) 23:28, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Flashy FAC noms

Hi Iridescent,

I remember that you were one of several editors who recently indicated that you'd only be reviewing FACs that specifically attracted your attention. I am concerned that my recent FAC nomination is beginning to stall, and is again nearing the 'older nominations' line steadily. And since this is already the article's second FAC-ing, I'm getting anxious. I'm keenly aware that, in the current FAC backlog climate, many articles are slipping through the review cracks. I wonder if there's a way I can improve on the flashy nomination that I tossed out in an attempt to draw more attention to the article. As you are a FAC regular, I thought I'd seek your advice, in case I have to re-re-nominate. Firsfron of Ronchester 02:55, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Looks like Karanacs has beaten me to it… I don't entirely restrict myself to topics I know or that sell themselves flashily—I seem to have done an awful lot of rats lately—but I do generally try to restrict myself to areas I know (mainly civil engineering, music and transport). In general, I find that reviewing articles in fields I don't know is tricky, as so many areas have their own particular conventions. If you ever want me to look at one in future feel free to poke me here—I won't consider it canvassing given that I've requested it. – iridescent 19:04, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I was quite surprised (but relieved) the article was promoted yesterday. Thank you for the review offer, Iridescent. I may take you up on that in the future. I agree that reviewing articles on subject where the reviewer knows nothing about the subject can be tricky; it's often useful, though, as a review can point out areas that aren't clear to the "average" reader. Thanks again, Firsfron of Ronchester 14:28, 12 May 2010 (UTC)


Too, damn much fun. Greg L (talk) 20:14, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

I give it an hour before someone says the magic words "civility block". Why is it that everyone on Wikipedia is either crazy, stupid, or both? – iridescent 20:25, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
As my best friend would say: “F**k ‘em.” Greg L (talk) 20:51, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

What you are seeing on Wikipedia is partly a problem of throwing people with lots of self esteem into free-for-all. Note my post about the Canadian linemen. Those guys were struck with the profound level of false self-esteem coming from the lady linemen fresh out of their classes—after all they had uniquely received their “right-tighty / lefty-loosey” training that the men never benefited of. The guys I was talking with were just rolling their eyeballs as they solemnly ate their sandwiches at lunch time. Another part of the problem, I think, Wikipedia tend to be inhabited by a disproportionate number of loaner types. One has to play team sports to A) best understand collaborative efforts, and B) appreciate one’s limitations and shortcomings. If one is a whiny ass who blames others on a 5th-grader basketball team, the other team members will quickly straighten him out; in short order, you have a “team member.” These loaner types aren’t going to get a proper straightening out here; all they’ll get is a face full of frustration as other wikipedian’s opine that their arguments lack a certain *truthiness* and *reality* to them. Greg L (talk) 21:14, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

True that. One of my pet themes is that, however much our Glorious Arbcom might say to the contrary, Wikipedia's core editor base is split into factions; to me, one of those key splits—albeit not immediately obvious—is between the "eager nerd" types on the one hand, and the "military/cops/parents of young kids/shift workers/retirees" group on the other. (While I'm not sure the research has been done, I'm confident that would be Wikipedia's core contributor base; they're the demographics who end up spending lots of time stuck indoors at unsocial hours with nothing much to do except goof around on the net.) The former tend to have spent their lives surrounded by people telling them how bright they are, and probably at school are/were the most gifted person in their class, so feel a real culture shock when they come up with people who tell them they're wrong and/or don't treat them with the respect they think they deserve. (It's not their fault—if you've spent your whole life being told how great you are, why would you doubt that your opinions matter more than other people's?) The latter group (especially the military/police and retired-academic types) have generally been part of a culture in which collaboration and respect for others are facts of life, not pithy slogans, and understanding when and when not to stand your ground in a dispute is so drummed into you that it becomes the natural way of things. (I do wonder how the "swearing is never acceptable in a work environment" types would react if they ever saw the inside of any government department, let alone a police station or military base.) – iridescent 22:12, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Very good observations. I’m… say… over 50. I would love to know how old you are. I wish we had crossed paths earlier. Greg L (talk) 23:21, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Under 50, but old enough to remember when computers were still scary. – iridescent 23:37, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Computers were never scary, but sadly they've now become boring. I do agree with you about this "swearing in the workplace is unacceptable" nonsense though, which seems to fuel the children of the civility police. I spent several years working with the British Army, and in that time I doubt there was even a single Anglo-Saxon expletive I didn't hear, sometimes addressed to me, sometimes not. Nobody cared much, just the way it was. Swearing at customers if you're serving burgers, or working in a call centre is clearly beyond the pale, but telling your fellow workers that they're acting like fuckwits if they actually are is productive. Malleus Fatuorum 23:51, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
PS. I've been told often enough on wikipedia that I'm acting like a fuckwit, or a dick, but I've never taken offence at that, and I wouldn't even take offence if I was called a fucking dick. Neither would I have any hesitation in telling any member of my team at work that they were taking the fucking piss if I thought that they were. Malleus Fatuorum 00:00, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
As someone who has worked in a call center, I can safely assure you that while rudeness to customers is beyond the pale, the moment that "on call" light is out there's a good chance of a stream of invective that would make a sailor blush. ("When computers were still scary" is a lyric from a particularly annoying song. "When the Commodore PET was considered advanced and Kingdom was the height of gaming sophistication" would be more accurate, albeit less pithy.) – iridescent 00:01, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm a manager of a call center. Iridescent's assessment is very good. Useight (talk) 00:04, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
I've always argued that the purpose of expletives is to act as intensifiers. It's not vulgarity for the sake of vulgarity, it serves a purpose, and anyone who thinks differently is a fucking ignorant American twat. There, I feel better now. Malleus Fatuorum 00:10, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
"Verbal punctuation" is the phrase I always use (stolen from an interview with Jerry Sadowitz). Like most things, it's only offensive to those who want to be offended, and such people will always find something to be offended by if they want to be. – iridescent 00:12, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
Love Sadowitz; I was quoting his line "I only hate two things, living things and inanimate objects" just the other day. Like early Lenny Bruce or even early Billy Connolly, he makes what Americans call profanity an asset because he uses it so well. --John (talk) 01:04, 15 May 2010 (UTC)


Don't threaten and patronize me. I was speaking the truth. That's how Wikipedia works here. If said person's edit gets reverted, they don't revert back to their version; instead, they need to be WP:BOLD and take it on the talk page. Now, I suggest you revert your edit. - Donald Duck (talk) 00:23, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Piss off. – iridescent 00:40, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
Looks like I get to report you now for a personal attack. - Donald Duck (talk) 02:03, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
"If said person's edit gets reverted, they don't revert back to their version; instead, they need to be WP:BOLD and take it on the talk page."—Now why don't you do that? Ucucha 00:43, 15 May 2010 (UTC)


This is just a notice to let you know that a discussion has been brought up about you. - Donald Duck (talk) 02:06, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Whatever. Still waiting for that "taking it to the talkpage" you seem so in favour of. Given that the people you're arguing with about what will and will not cause errors are (1) the original author of the program, (2) the person who currently maintains the program and (3) the person who spent an unhealthy proportion of 2008 beta-testing the program, you might want to consider that maybe they keep reverting your changes for a reason. – iridescent 11:41, 15 May 2010 (UTC)


I noticed your note re spelling. "Vigorous" and "remilitarization" aren't American spellings; the first is correct in all dialects and the second, while more common in the US would be acceptable in UK English as well, contrary to what many people believe, even though the "-isation" version would be more common in UK Eng. Best,--John (talk) 15:16, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

"-ize" is certainly acceptable in British English use. However, the article as it stands mixes-and-matches "-ise" and "-ize"; it also mixes US-specific terms like "World War II" with spellings that are never used in US English such as "armour". The individual examples don't matter—it's beyond doubt that at the moment it mixes different variants. That's not a particular problem—it happens to most articles that have more than one active editor—but if not fixed it would be enough to get it quickfailed at FAC, which is the point under discussion. – iridescent 15:21, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Yeah. On looking at the article it is clearly written in UK Eng with a few US spellings thrown in. "Vigorous" isn't one of them though. --John (talk) 15:24, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
And forgive me for nitpicking; it was a very thorough and perceptive list of suggestions otherwise, and I should have mentioned that before correcting your spelling, probably. --John (talk) 01:01, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
Sanctimonious twats like you never do though, do they. Malleus Fatuorum 01:05, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
Stop right there, both of you. – iridescent 01:06, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
That's a bit uncalled for, Malleus. And again, I came here to apologize to Iridescent; if that makes me a "sanctimonious twat" then I guess I must be. Do you know John Cooper Clarke at all? He's got a brilliant piece of work called "Twat" which I was listening to just the other night. Very funny piece. --John (talk) 01:16, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
What part of "stop right there, both of you" are you having problems with? Contrary to popular belief, my talkpage is not a Facebook page. – iridescent 01:21, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
It's all my fault. I should have never asked for an opinion :( Thanks for the help guys. The article should be written in British English but condisering that I spell in American English, can one of you guys fix any cases where I spelled a word in American? Many thanks.--White Shadows you're breaking up 03:36, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
Don't let the spelling issues faze you too much; if an article gets as far as FAC and the only issues are spelling, people will generally just fix it there and then. As previously mentioned, I do think you ought to seriously consider getting rid of the occurrences of "World War I" and "World War II" – these are Americanisms (the British English is "First World War"/"Second World War", and the Belgians themselves would say Première Guerre mondiale/Seconde Guerre mondiale or Êestn Weireldoorloge/Twiddn Weireldôorloge). FAC will be different from what you're used to; large numbers of people will turn up to give often contradictory pieces of advice, and what you'll need to do is decide which pieces of advice you'll follow, which you'll disregard, and when you do disregard a suggestion be prepared to explain why you're not going to follow it. The other think to be aware of is to make very sure your sources say what you're quoting them as saying; at GAN people are looking at style, whereas at FAC they're looking at content and accuracy. – iridescent 11:59, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
The Belgians would in fact more normally say Eerste Wereldoorlog and Tweede Wereldoorlog; the language of is West Flemish, which is a regional language (or dialect, as you prefer) spoken in the province of West Flanders only. The language the Flemish normally speak is about as distinct from the Dutch spoken in the Netherlands as British and American English are distinct from each other. This doesn't have any bearing on the point you were making, though. Ucucha 13:39, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
I'll take your word for it—that was just what came up when I was looking for "Flemish". The only Dutch words I know are "kaas", "apartheid" and "laager". As you say, it doesn't affect the point, that "World War 2" is a phrase used only in the US while the languages of all countries actually involved in the war at this point use "Second World War". – iridescent 15:51, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, "apartheid" is Afrikaans, not Dutch (though whether Afrikaans is a separate language is also debatable—I can understand most of it pretty well as a native Dutch speaker), and I don't know that "laager" is a Dutch word (perhaps you mean lager, which means "lower"?). I didn't know that "World War II" was primarily a US term, by the way, and usage of "Second World War" in the UK is apparently not universal. Ucucha 16:06, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
Huh—I always assumed "laager" (in the sense of "military camp") was Dutch, because of that double-a, but apparently that's the Afrikaans spelling and the Dutch is "leger".
On WW2 vs 2WW, our article on the topic—which, being on Wikipedia must be true—says "Official military histories in Commonwealth and Western nations refer to the conflict as the Second World War (e.g. C.P. Stacey's Official History of the Canadian Army in the Second World War), while the United States' official histories refer to the conflict as World War II, spoken "World War Two". English translations of the official histories of other nations also tend to resolve into English as Second World War, for example Zweiter Weltkrieg in German. Non-English-language use typically translates to Second World War, for instance the Spanish Segunda Guerra mundial and the French Seconde Guerre mondiale. "Official" usage of these terms is giving way to popular usage and the two terms are becoming interchangeable even in formal military history." It's not something I'd lose sleep over personally; I'm looking at this from a "prospective first FAC" point of view, trying to pre-empt Tony's likely objections. – iridescent 16:21, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
"Leger" means "army" in Dutch (as well as "nest of a hare"); "military camp" would likely just be "kamp".
I also saw that footnote (World_War_II#cite_note-0). Strangely, though, it is apparently a quote from a June 1939 Time article. More likely, the real source got lost somewhere along the way. Ucucha 16:46, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Halkett boat

As I was looking through the article anyway, I thought I might as well do the GA review at the same time. I've left a couple of small points in the review, but I think I'd have been very tempted to take this straight to FAC in your position. It's really excellent. Malleus Fatuorum 15:04, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks! It's niggling me as I know there are a few really obvious questions which I'd certainly ask if I saw it at FAC—"How many were built?", "How much did they cost?", "How did they influence later boat designs?" and so on—for which I just can't find the answers. I know that not many were built, as they never went into mass-production—Halkett built them to order. (He had to build a new one for Franklin when Franklin gave his to Simpson, implying he didn't keep a stockpile.) I can find it listed in the catalogue of products on sale at the Great Exhibition, but nothing giving pricing.
The main reasons I haven't sent it to FAC are (a) it necessarily uses only a few sources, and although Mattisse is no longer with us there will no doubt someone to slip on her mantle when it comes to "you're citing the same source too often", and (b) the Brill Tramway is clogging the queue at the moment—I want three of the seven at FA level to get it to FT status before the 75th anniversary in November, if I can. – iridescent 17:09, 16 May 2010 (UTC)


I took a good look at that. What, exactly is it that I should take up there? You, for some reason, want to have 2 studio albums by Pink Floyd declared to not be studio albums. What is there that supports you?Mk5384 (talk) 20:12, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

If you want to go with that nonsense, then it's the 9th, as The Wall is a soundtrack as well.Mk5384 (talk) 20:15, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
The Wall isn't a soundtrack any more than Night Train is a soundtrack because it was used on the score to Back to the Future; the album long predates the film which was based on the album, not the other way round. If you want to make a unilateral change that will affect thousands of articles, you discuss it at WT:ALBUM, not unilaterally implement it. Category:Pink Floyd soundtracks and Category:Pink Floyd albums are two separate categories, and they're two different categories for a reason. You can take it up with WP:ALBUM or WP:Floyd; what you can't do is insist that "your" version is the only version that's true and everyone else is wrong and revert to your preferred version six times. – iridescent 20:22, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
For the benefit of anyone who's wondering what's going on here, btw. – iridescent 20:27, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Thousands of articles? Really? Correcting the amount of Pink Floyd studio albums will affect thousands of articles? Such drama! Obscured By Clouds, More, and The Wall are all studio albums by Pink Floyd that are also movie soundtracks. Zabriske Point, Tonight Let's Make Love In London, and others are also movie soundtracks, and yet are not studio albums by Pink Floyd. Doesn't seem that difficult. However, to humor you, I have gone to WP:ALBUM, and asked that your claim that 2 out of 3 Pink Floyd albums that are also soundtracks are not studio albums, whilst one is be addressed. Fair enough?Mk5384 (talk) 21:07, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

DYK for Halkett boat

The DYK project (nominate) 18:04, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Can you...

...leave some comments at the FA candidacy for "Speechless (Michael Jackson song)"? Me and User:Pyrrhus16 would appreciate if you could comment on the article. Thanks, Crystal Clear x3 20:45, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

I'll have a look when I get the chance. If you haven't already, I'd strongly suggest contacting Realist2 on this one; he's the person whose judgement I'll generally take as gospel on anything related to Michael Jackson. If it's about the general issues about prose style, you might want to ask Tony1 and Malleus Fatuorum (if they don't see this thread and have a look anyway); they're the two people whose opinion Sandy is likely to defer to when judging whether an FAC candidate has prose issues or not. – iridescent 20:54, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Sandy defer to me? that'll be the day. I have to admit that I find Tony quite intimidating, and if I see he's commented on an FAC I've got some interest in, I'm always filled with a sense of dark foreboding. I was pleasantly surprised when he commented on this FAC that it was "quite well written". That's high praise indeed from him. :lol:
PS. If the criticism of the article is to do with prose issues (I haven't looked), then Tony is definitely your best port of call, so don't let me put you off getting in touch with him. Malleus Fatuorum 21:21, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
@Iridescent, thanks for planning to take a look at the article. I've left a message at Realist's talk page but they have not been frequently using Wikipedia so I most likely will not get any feedback from them because "Speechless" has been a FA nominee for two weeks so the candidacy will probably end before Realist has a look at the article : (. Crystal Clear x3 03:05, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I've made a few comments at the FAC review. In short, I think that you need to take some of the points made by SoniaSyle on board, and deal with them. Malleus Fatuorum 12:58, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Likewise, commented there. Without wanting to prejudge Karanacs (Sandy seems to have gone walkabout), I suspect it'll be promoted on the next pass unless someone comes up with a new problem. I do think SoniaSyle's criticisms are valid, but I think they've been adequately addressed, so don't lose sleep worrying about them. – iridescent 23:34, 20 May 2010 (UTC)


OK, so I was only half right, but didn't anyone ever tell you that GAN was all down to one reviewer? ;-) [1]

Although you'd never know it from this wretched effort (apparently, the entire economy consists of an airport and three bus companies) Orange County is a major center for open-cast gravel mining. While I've never been in a mine in my life, you pick up that kind of pointless factoid by osmosis. – iridescent 00:19, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
I've only ever been in one mine. Although it's nothing like a coal mine, it's still bloody scary when they switch the lights out. Malleus Fatuorum 00:44, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Is that the one with the boat in it? I went in one with a boat in it (in Derbyshire I think) and thought it was rather fun....Casliber (talk · contribs) 03:45, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Yep, that's the one. Malleus Fatuorum 14:11, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

DYK for Waddesdon Road railway station

The DYK project (nominate) 06:03, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Brill railway station infobox

Hi; this fix only appears to be necessary for Internet Exploder; the previous version appears fine in Firefox. Part of the problem is the kludgy way that {{Infobox Closed London station}} operates; one day I shall get around to fixing it up so that it has all the features of {{Infobox UK disused station}}, including the ability to specify the components of the image separately. --Redrose64 (talk) 12:28, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

I figured as much. Standardising that infobox is something I periodically consider—however, given that adding a |caption= field would mean going through every single use of it manually adding the caption, for an end result that would look exactly the same, it's not something I'd consider a high priority.
While you're here—as you know, I'm working my way down the Brill Tramway expanding them, with an eye on getting the seven articles (the six stations plus Brill Tramway) to FT status by the 75th anniversary of the closure in November, and (possibly) looking ahead to getting the entire Metropolitan Line there by the 150th anniversary of opening in 2013. When it comes to your Wotton (Metropolitan Railway) railway station article, do you have any objection to my changing the reference format to match the others? It will make it easier in future if someone has a new piece of information that needs to be added to all six stations, as it will mean it can just be pasted into all six. (Quainton Road railway station and Brill Tramway are both in such a state that they're going to need total rewrites, so it's not such an issue there.) – iridescent 12:44, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
On Wotton (Metropolitan Railway) railway station I used the <ref name=Butt>[[#refButt1995|Butt 1995]], p.255</ref> style. I no longer use that for new articles; from that I moved on to <ref name=Butt>{{harvnb|Butt|1995|p=255}}</ref> and from that to {{sfn|Butt|1995|p=255}}. A benefit of all of these as compared to the plain text form <ref name=Butt>Butt 1995, p.255</ref> is that the short note links directly to the full {{cite book}} (provided that the latter bears the |ref= parameter). This shows up better in Firefox, where the4 link target becomes highlighted in blue (IE will link, but not highlight). This isn't such a big deal in articles with few sources, but when there are many, particularly when more than one book by the same author has been used, it can help a lot; see, for example, Reading Southern railway station. I am therefore against moving from a linked form to a plain text form. --Redrose64 (talk) 13:17, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Generally, I always use the {{harvnb}} form. I took it off on these because it was playing havoc with the figure/section numbering Middleton Press uses, and there are few enough sources used that the loss of the links isn't causing a problem. What I'm talking about is getting rid of the <ref name=Butt>[[#refButt1995|Butt 1995]], p.255</ref> format, which I think is horribly counterintuitive to anyone else coming along to edit the article later (and will make the page look an absolute mess if WP:LDR ever becomes mandatory). How about {{sfn}} (using |loc= for the Middleton references), which will avoid the mess of the <ref name=Butt>[[#refButt1995|Butt 1995]], p.255</ref> style, but make it easier to shuffle stuff about? – iridescent 17:22, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Further to the above—as an experiment to see how much time it takes, I've converted Waddesdon Road railway station—as a fairly representative one in the series—to {{sfn}}. It's only taken about 20 minutes; if you don't have any objections, I'll go back and retrofit the other three completed ones (Brill, Wood Siding and Westcott), and convert Wotton and Quainton Road at the same time as I expand them. That will keep them all in the same format, but add the link-to-references functionality, which I agree will be a big plus when I get onto the mainline and the full bibliography (those that I've currently listed in the "Further reading" section) comes into play. I won't do the retrofitting until the FAC for Brill is closed—it has too much potential to set off those people who complain-for-the-sake-of-complaining if the referencing style is changed midway through a FAC. – iridescent 18:00, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Yes; {{sfn}} is, in fact, my current preference (see above). Middleton Press don't actually use "section" numbers, but "figure" numbers; if you look at Hinksey Halt railway station you'll see that this has short-note refs like {{sfn|Mitchell|Smith|2003a|loc=fig. 44}} etc. {{harvnb}} similarly allows |loc=fig. 44. --Redrose64 (talk) 18:02, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
I always considered them as section numbers, rather than figure numbers. I suppose given that each section accompanies a figure and vice versa, it doesn't really make a difference (unless someone has a particularly strong objection, I don't propose to go back and change them). It shouldn't really matter either way—it's hopefully obvious to anyone who wants to check the sources that "Mitchell & Smith 2006, §78" and "Mitchell & Smith 2006, fig 78" refer to the same thing. – iridescent 18:13, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
The contents page of Mitchell & Smith has five entries, one for each line covered, which I consider to be five sections; each is further split into stations (subsections? chapters?), each of which is listed in the alphabetical index. However, neither of us is strictly correct: Mitchell & Smith themselves use the term "picture", see caption to Waddesdon Road picture 33 which includes the text "It also appears in picture 28 ...".
Anyway, I've converted Wotton (Metropolitan Railway) railway station to {{sfn}} - note how I've used {{wikicite}} to allow short-note linking to the {{cite map}} template, because that doesn't have a |ref= parameter. --Redrose64 (talk) 18:34, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Excellent—as I say, I'll do Westcott, Wood Siding and Brill once Brill's FAC is finished one way or the other. I've been sidetracked with Halkett boat lately, but hopefully will expand Wotton into a similar format and rewrite Quainton Road (it seems to me that quite a bit of the current article should either be on Metropolitan line or Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, as it doesn't relate to the operations of the station itself). Touch wood, it's well on track for all six stations plus the parent article "upgraded" by the anniversary. – iridescent 22:19, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Kill these?

3 clubs designed to help others, just like the Gloves Club. Ok, maybe I need to think of a better name. The Gloves are different. Adoption has a master, understudy relation which is unequal. So does the birthday as one person is the birthday boy or birthday girl and others are not. Copy editors are also an elite group. The gloves would be all equals, just trying to help each other with editing suggestions, encouragement, and friendship. Suomi Finland 2009 (talk) 00:05, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Why the pretence that everyone is equal? Is that your perception of reality? Malleus Fatuorum 00:57, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, WP:Birthday has been inactive since 2008, and in any case was a surviving fragment of Esperanza with all the scrutiny that entailed. Regarding the other two, can you honestly not see the difference between, on the one hand, a program for experienced users to mentor newcomers and a coordination page for people to exchange notes and comments on copyediting, and on the other hand a reincarnation of Esperanza?
As Malleus (almost) says, I think you're misunderstanding the concept of "equality". It means, both on Wikipedia and in the wider world, not that everyone should be treated the same but that everyone is entitled to the same basic courtesies. (There are no "rights" on Wikipedia other than the right to vanish, and even that is a courtesy which can be withdrawn at any time, not a fundamental right.)
I know it looks like a disproportionate reaction, to slap down a good faith suggestion in this way, if you're not familiar with the underlying issues. As I said to you already, have a read of WP:MFD/EA to understand just how the disputes over Esperanza almost destroyed Wikipedia from inside, why WP:Wikipedia is not a social networking site is enforced so zealously, and why a suggestion to revive Esperanza (which is what a club of people "trying to help each other with editing suggestions, encouragement, and friendship" amounts to) is going to be greeted with what looks like an unnatural level of hostility if you're not familiar with Wikipedia's history. – iridescent 08:47, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
Thank for your your insights. Consultants can be useful in many situations. For example, famous people paid for prison consultants when they are about to go to prison. The consultant teaches them about prison culture that the ordinary person wouldn't generallly know. Your Wikipedia advice is also welcomed.
It's a little confusing because I see people giving each other barnstars. The threshold for awarding a barnstar is highly variable. People also try to get friends by voting in RFAs. (I don't do those politics, I generally don't vote in RFAs)
Please don't misunderstand. I did not want to create a new structure with meetings and findings. What I wanted to create was a group of mentor/mentees/both. Not sure, and just go down the list and ask someone. Right now, when I have a perplexing question, I go to a wise administrator in India to ask. That's the only person I know to ask. The help desk is for simpler questions, like formatting references. In turn, if I have questions about Wikipedia culture and Wikipedia history, I might ask you. Suomi Finland 2009 (talk) 15:21, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
We already have the various groups listed at WP:EIW, most pertinently those listed at WP:EIW#Question, WP:EIW#Help and WP:EIW#Assist. I really dislike the idea of formalising the relationships into a "club" of any kind—again, it reeks of the "self-appointing elite" mentality that brought down Esperanza, AEE and AMA—see Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Self electing groups for a full rundown of the arguments for and against. Aside from anything else, self-help clubs violate Wikipedia's founding principles ("There must be no cabal, there must be no elites, there must be no hierarchy or structure which gets in the way of this openness to newcomers […] rather than trust humans to correctly identify "regulars", we must use a simple, transparent, and open algorithm, so that people are automatically given full privileges once they have been around the community for a very short period of time."). It's fundamental to the way Wikipedia operates and has an overwhelming consensus in favour. (Those who argue against it are generally admins disgruntled at finding out that their all that hoop-jumping to get through RFA hasn't led people to respect them any more and wanting some souped-up status to force people to pay attention to them, and people fed up with reverting crap from articles they've written who want some kind of power to get rid of troublemakers.) – iridescent 19:21, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Can you help?

Dear Marje,

I recently started on a mini article creation splurge, so that I could legitimately say that I didn't want to have "autoreviewer status" as opposed to others saying that I didn't qualify for it anyway. Things started off OK, with some fairly easy stubs, but when I started looking at new articles a little closer to home, things started to go pear-shaped. I found myself wanting to spend too much time on them, instead of moving on to the next stub in line as quickly as possible. Is there something wrong with me?

PS. Anyone who thinks that wikipedia is into its maintenance phase, as there are no more articles left to be written, obviously has the memory of a goldfish and a historical span that doesn't extend much beyond the first episode of The Simpsons.

I have created 424 articles and counting...and Wikipedia:Four Award is a good as testament as any that not only are there unwritten articles but unwritten encyclopedic articles still :) Casliber (talk · contribs) 22:41, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Talking of Four Awards, I think Iridescent's eligible for both Westcott railway station and Brill railway station. Looking at the dates, Westcott might also be the fastest to go through all four stages - creation to FA in 19 days. --DavidCane (talk) 23:04, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I still don't get it. It would be pretty easy to go straight from creation to FA in 19 days, so why clutter up the system?
Babakotia at least was faster (14 days). It's not difficult. Ucucha 06:27, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
You see, that's my probem Casliber. Because I've only created 37 articles, people think I'm a lightweight. I'm getting rather tired of picking up the detritus left by others anyway. Malleus Fatuorum 23:21, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Nah, I do like the idea of 'passing the baton' - expanding other folks' stubs too...Casliber (talk · contribs) 07:06, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Excluding redirects, I've only created a very few articles—it just seems like more. I certainly don't qualify for Autoreviewer status, although someone gave it to me at one point and I can't see any reason to remove it. (It doesn't give any special status—it just means less work for the New Page Patrollers as anything I create is automatically considered legitimate.) If you want to quickly-and-dirtily boost your created-article count, find a topic where there are a lot of easily-filled redlinks—a stub for every redlink at List of closed railway stations in Greater Manchester could be done with one trip to a library to borrow a gazetteer of defunct railway stations, and they'd all have guaranteed immunity from AFD.
Although I put in for WP:FOUR once (Tunnel Railway), I've always had severe reservations about it. I think it (and its cousins Wikicup and Triple Crown) suffer from the same problem the Award Center had, in that they encourage people to worsen Wikipedia's reputation as a den of pointless trivia by submitting ridiculously boring facts to DYK, and to clog Wikipedia's strained processes by submitting articles at GAN which already meet (or almost meet) the FA criteria. It's also part of why I'm coming more and more to the idea that the yellow stars should be removed from FAs and that WBFAN be deleted; there's a lot to be said for removing the status from DYK/GA/FA. – iridescent 19:13, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Curses - you broke the code! Most of my new articles are railway stations, and indeed I've never had one AfDd, PRODded or worse, SPEEDied (bet I've jinxed it now - knock on wood, never mind). The book mentioned above is detailed at Template:Butt-Stations, and is considered a WP:RS, although I've found errors in it (see Talk:Arlesey railway station#Location and Beeching). --Redrose64 (talk) 19:25, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Railway stations are exempt from deletion and merging; they're always considered notable, on the grounds that even the most obscure strip of concrete in the countryside will have been the subject of the fabled multiple independent non-trivial sources ("New station opens" and "Old station closes" stories in the paper). Personally, I think a lot of smaller stations are far better served as a bulleted list or a paragraph in an article in the line—if anyone can find anything to say about the intermediate stations on the Hellingly Hospital Railway, I'll be shocked—but I know I'm outvoted on that. – iridescent 19:30, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
I just fixed one of those GM station redlinks by the simple expedient of moving Cadishead Railway Station to Cadishead railway station, which I'm sure is now the correct name. I can't find the relevant WP:UKRAIL naming convention though... --Redrose64 (talk) 23:40, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
It's at WP:Naming conventions (UK stations). All those Brill Tramway articles technically break this policy (I see no point in calling them "tube stations" just because they were owned by LT for two years, when they're not underground and no tube train ever came within 40 miles of any of them), so I wouldn't be too strong in pushing it. – iridescent 18:54, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
What about this as a list of red links? All the similar lists are just the same, but of course lots of those articles would be just as dull as Partington railway station. Quite a few though would give an insight into their times, like this one I created earlier. Malleus Fatuorum 21:54, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Laws are actually harder to write on than you'd think, as the legacies and background generally need explaining. The great advantage of stations, ports, airports and roads are that one can write as little or as much as one wants and the article doesn't seem incomplete. Churches and Ancient Monuments are always good ones as well.
Vaguely speaking of which, what do you think of Eilley Bowers? I remember being very unhappy with the way this turned out when I wrote it last year, but looking at it now she actually looks quite promising in my "odd characters of the 19th century" occasional series. (If that's "start class", I'm not sure what that particular reviewer would consider B-class, let alone FA-level.) – iridescent 22:02, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
I quite like Eilley Bowers, would probably make a good GAN. Malleus Fatuorum 22:56, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Forgot to mention it last night, but Partington railway station is, I hope, not as dull as it was before. Some boxes, nice purple stripes and a map off commons. Two sources is all it took. --Redrose64 (talk) 21:22, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Whilst I think of it ...

"I disagree with Tony over "whilst" ...". Me too; he changed my "amongst others" to "among others" earlier today on another article. To me, "among others" sounds a little bit brutish by comparison. Malleus Fatuorum 20:04, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

While I tremble at the idea of going toe-to-toe with Tony on a style-and-grammar issue, when it comes to his Misplaced formality section I disagree with him. Quite aside from the utilise (to render something useful/to find a use for) ≠ use (to constitute a usage/to put into operation) issue I already raised (and others like it: prior ≠ before), I think he treats words still in standard usage in British English (amongst, whilst, upon) as archaisms. (It cuts both ways; "oftentimes", perfectly correct standard usage in much of the southern US, looks like something out of Shakespeare to the British or northern/western US eye.) – iridescent 20:35, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
I've mentioned that quaint (to my ear) "gotten" before, and I've always found "getting" to be a rather vulgar euphemism. Tony's done a lot of great work, but he's not always "right". Malleus Fatuorum 20:44, 30 May 2010 (UTC)


For the error, and thanks for correcting me. --John (talk) 21:33, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

I think that your edit summary encapsulates why you're such an unpleasant prick John. Malleus Fatuorum 22:32, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Malleus, leave it. Either he's sincere and is going to stop constantly trying to pick fights with everyone in which case, apology accepted and everyone put it behind them; or he's not in which case let it go. Him being obnoxious doesn't mean everyone else has to be as well. – iridescent 22:44, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
OK. Time will tell I suppose. Malleus Fatuorum 22:47, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Ode to A Nightingale FAC

I am currently trying to bring Ode to a Nightingale up to FAC, but I am in dire need of a copyedit and someone to help get it into shape, expand the lead, etc. If you are interested, I would greatly appreciate it. Mrathel (talk) 04:12, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

I can have a look, but I'll warn you I know nothing about the subject. The best person to ask would probably be Carcharoth; if you're prepared to run the risk of becoming embroiled in endless arguments, Ottava Rima, who wrote most of it, is banned from en-wiki but is still about on Simple if you need to ask where he got a particular bit of information from. – iridescent 12:03, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
OR was the one who suggested I ask you. He and I have been putting these together for some time, and he has been begging me to finish what we started. He suggested either you or MF. Mrathel (talk) 21:58, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
You're probably best off with Malleus or Carcharoth for something like this, to be honest. After the mess of Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard (see the talkpage) I'm extremely reluctant to get involved with Ottava in that way. Bringing EWiaCC across was legitimate, as even with potential errors it was still clearly an improvement on what went before; amending an existing article is a different kettle of fish. Poetry coverage on Wikipedia is suffering from the fact that Ottava and Poetlister were the most active editors on the topic, but there really isn't a way round it that I can see—they both did very good work, but the time lost to everyone else in the drama that followed them far outweighed their positives. (Both of you, don't bother with the emails.) – iridescent 22:16, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
FWIW, my approach is to take advice from Ottava, as I would from anyone else, not instructions. Whatever we add here we have to stand behind ourselves. Sadly though, I've never really got the point of poetry, so I'd probably be even less use than Iridescent with the Ode. About as much use as a chocolate teapot in fact. Malleus Fatuorum 22:33, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
Hahaha, I do understand the reluctance. The only reason that I was ever very active on WP was that I had Ottava to work with and was able to divide the grunt work on the poetry articles in half. Whereas I am perfectly content in leaving these pages half-finished until his ban is up, he thinks it is only right to finish them since most of the content was finished off of wikipedia at the time of his Arbcom. I do see his point, but I don't have the strength to go through FAR's on my own. He suggested the two of you as potential collaborators, but if you don't care to do it, then waiting is the best option. I worked on the poetry project only long enough to know that it was completely useless; quality content tends to come from only the most active editors, who in turn tend to get in the most conflicts with other editors. Frankly, I don't have the stomach for wiki politics, so I am perfectly content waiting for someone to step up and getting caught up on reading until OR is allowed to return:) Mrathel (talk) 15:19, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I have my own Ottava project on the back burner, and I've told Ottava that it's about time he got his arse back on here. Malleus Fatuorum 15:44, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

← OK: I've (belatedly) had a look, and while I've fixed a couple of typos, I don't think I'm going to be able to do much. The article revolves around analysis, and I don't have the technical knowledge to comment or to make any substantive changes. Your best bet would probably be someone like Moni3, who has experience writing on the arts at this level but no particular knowledge (AFAIK) of this particular topic. – iridescent 22:04, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

May + June Metro

Simply south (talk) 21:12, 2 June 2010 (UTC)


Sorry for my erroneous moves. They were "Halts" the last time I used the line.--SilasW (talk) 08:55, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

No problem at all; I always think of them as "halts" as well, but per WP:Naming conventions (UK stations) we always use "name at time of closure". Because BR abolished the term "halt" in 1974, anything still open at that date doesn't have "halt" in the name other than St Keyne Wishing Well Halt railway station and Coombe Junction Halt railway station, both of which had the name re-added (for no apparent reason) in 2008. – iridescent 09:33, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
Not knowing which stations you're discussing, I can't give any definitive comments... but if you would like to provide a list, I can check in my copy of {{Butt-Stations}}. --Redrose64 (talk) 12:09, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
The West Croydon to Wimbledon Line. I'm fairly certain that they were all "de-halted" in BR's 1974 halt-cull. – iridescent 16:08, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
My 1967 Ian Allan Sectional Atlas shows three halts; my 1977 (1st edn) OPC Rail Atlas shows none. I've gone along the whole line (Wimbledon excluded) adding info from Butt, and have found that the following three bore the name at some period: Waddon Marsh Halt railway station; Beddington Lane railway station and Morden Road Halt railway station. These three lost the "Halt" suffix on 5 May 1969; thus two articles are misnamed. --Redrose64 (talk) 19:38, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for that! If SilasW doesn't have any objections, I'll move them across to the non-halt names for consistency. – iridescent 20:16, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
Moved Waddon Marsh and Morden Road to their non-halt names. I'm not 100% certain these should actually be separate articles, since they're still open as tram stops and it seems strange to have separate articles on their different identities, but that's a fight not worth the effort. – iridescent 22:33, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Umbrella Boat

I see that your umbrella boat is tomorrow's TFA. Let's hope it gets a good standard of vandalism, not the usual childish stuff. Malleus Fatuorum 21:08, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Ooh good, a day of reverting. I have to say, I'll be pleased to see that picture get a wider audience; it reminds me of nothing so much as one of Tenniel's drawings from Alice. Hopefully, it's an arcane (and dull) enough topic that it won't attract too many vandals (although I'll lay money it gets at least one "why is Wikipedia publishing this obvious hoax" comment). If/when I ever get Tarrare up to scratch and push it through FAC, I confidently expect Huggle to go into meltdown should it ever hit the main page. – iridescent 21:20, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Am now watching page. However, soon be bedtime... --Redrose64 (talk) 21:38, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Seeing as you (Malleus) are here, could you (or anyone else) double-check Talk:Periphery countries/GA1 and tell me if you think I'm being too harsh in not passing it immediately? I'm aware that I can be stricter than some at GAN/FAC; I don't want to let the authors down by not passing it if the more general consensus would have been to wave it through. – iridescent 21:56, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Quite the reverse, I think you're being too soft. I've left a few additional comments at the review, but I think there's quite a bit to do yet. Like you though, I'm aware that I can be a rather demanding reviewer, so take my comments with however much salt you feel is appropriate. Malleus Fatuorum 23:24, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for that; I haven't been as active as I ought to be at GAN lately, but I know I can be harsh. I do try to be scrupulous about reviewing GAs purely for compliance to the GA criteria, even when I'd flame them to cinders if they surfaced at FAC. This one's a class project and Piotrus is the teacher, and he knows the way things work; hopefully he'll talk them through all the issues relatively painlessly. – iridescent 23:28, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm sure he will. There's some basic stuff that needs to be addressed though, like calling Africa a nation, and the inconsistency in the map. GAN may not be FAC, but we do have our standards. :-) I'm sure the article will be able to make it though. Malleus Fatuorum 23:33, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

At least someone reads the things… As Potter's possibly the leading living writer on Arctic exploration in this period, the fact that he hasn't found any holes to poke in it is a testimonial of a sort. I seem to recall a certain degree of unpleasantness on another "North American pioneers of the 19th century" article when the experts turned up… – iridescent 12:26, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

"But for more on this remarkable invention, I can only recommend the Wikipedia entry, which is far more detailed and better illustrated than anything I have seen in printed sources." High praise indeed. Malleus Fatuorum 14:20, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
I have a fan... I have also now acquired a nutcase who keeps removing File:Two-man Halkett boat stowed.jpg because it "has a sexist title", but there you go. – iridescent 14:28, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Let's agree to disagree

Read in that manner, the guideline appears to me quite absurd: instead of letting editors with a standard, it says "go and make your judgment about which country/language/city/river is important, and which is not". The problem is significant when you're writing about a small country: in that line of reasoning a "Romania" vs. a "France" opens a can of worms. I'd better link all than to deal with that arbitrary call, but will touch that article no more: it's a well-written article by any account, for all of my arguments and peeves. But I am sure not going to bother with that ambiguity in any articles I write myself.

(About the British English issue: not being a native speaker of any variety, I was under the [presumably stupid] impression that "traveller" etc. are antiquated in any English dialect. Didn't mean to impose any American standard - although I now tend to favor it -, just got lost in translation.) Dahn (talk) 23:59, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

"Important" doesn't mean "link United States but not San Marino", in the context of WP:OVERLINK; it means "likelihood that the majority of readers will understand it". In the lead section of any article, links should be kept to an absolute minimum and only be to those where there's a good chance the reader will need an explanation. "Traveler" is an Americanism and not correct in any English-speaking country other than the US itself. – iridescent 00:04, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I got you the first time. My point is link both United States and San Marino/Romania, because they're countries, and don't even bother with considerations about which one is better known (implicitly, most "important"). Either that or have wikipedia create a comprehensive list on unlinkable terms, presuming this is ever feasible. "In the lead section of any article, links should be kept to an absolute minimum and only be to those where there's a good chance the reader will need an explanation." - that is personal preference too, and adds another layer of subjectivity (who is to judge that likelihood, and starting from what criteria?). Surely there is a compromise way between a soup of internal links and a purely editorial judgment about terms should not be linked - I believe I have found that compromise in articles I have written, but you're of course free to disagree. Dahn (talk) 00:12, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Fantastic Article

Just wanted to say I thought today's FA was brilliant. I don't often have time to read them nowadays, but this was one to recommend to my colleagues! Well done, Ranger Steve (talk) 19:27, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Thanks! Looks like someone else doesn't agree… – iridescent 13:30, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Bah. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:38, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Shoot, Ranger Steve beat me to it. Iridescent, I love this article. Somehow I ran across it in its first days of development and fell in love with the dreamlike drawings (especially that top one). They complement the boat-cloak idea and its wistful story perfectly. Thanks for the smiles! -- LaNaranja (talk) 19:10, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Nuremberg chronicles - Strange People - Umbrella Foot (XIIr).jpg
Thanks… Yes, that top drawing is what prompted me to write this one, since I saw it in the New Scientist article. It's rare for an engineering diagram to have such a period charm while still illustrating perfectly the principle it was intended to demonstrate. Although I compared it to Tenniel's Alice drawings before, on reflection a more apt description would be a Sciapod surfing in a top-hat. – iridescent 13:57, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

I succumbed

It would be a shame if Roy of the Rovers couldn't feature on World Cup final day, as you've said. The main problem, I think, is that it confuses the comic strip and the character with the comic of the same name, so I've started to tease those two apart. Hopefully it won't all be left to me. Malleus Fatuorum 22:12, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

PS. I need a reminder. The article title is in italics, suggesting that it's a comic title, which it now isn't. Is that something that only an admin magician can change? Malleus Fatuorum 22:44, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

I've no idea about the italics thing (I think it might be an infobox parameter) but looks like you've managed to sort it. I doubt I'll be much help; I don't know much about the comic (or comics in general) and don't know any of our guidelines or policies regarding comics and wouldn't know where to start with sourcing. As ChrisTheDude (almost) says, by their nature any sources are likely to be expensive full-colour books that aren't in many libraries. If you haven't already, it might be worth pinging both the comic-book and the football regulars. – iridescent 13:37, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
I discovered that there's a {{DISPLAYTITLE}} template, so sorted now, as you say. I've found one useful source, but even second-hand it would cost over £60; luckily there's a Google preview of the relevant pages though. I haven't yet checked what's available in my local libraries, but I'll get around to that. Right now I'm just trying to address the article's glaring deficiencies. I might well post something at the comic project to see if anyone's interested in lending a hand, although I suspect they've already been notified about the FAR. I think I'll give the football crew a wide berth though. Malleus Fatuorum 18:16, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm. After having spent quite a bit of time on this, I think it can probably only be saved by someone who either already has a couple of the relevant books or is prepared to buy them, and that person isn't me. I've separated out the comic from the comic strip, which I think was the article's biggest problem before, and I'll tidy up whatever else I can, but I think it needs someone else to step up to the plate if it's going to remain an FA. I wouldn't vote for its delisting—at least not when I've done what I can tidying it up—but I wouldn't argue for it to be kept either. Besides, I can hear my babies crying out for help. Malleus Fatuorum 21:57, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
1930 FIFA World Cup is still reasonable enough quality, so I imagine that will be the "football article" for Final day. – iridescent 13:03, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
I haven't quite given up on it yet, as I just found a copy of Mick Collins's Roy of the Rovers: The Unauthorised Biography on Amazon for £4, so on the basis that I can sell it on when I'm done, we'll see what can be done. Malleus Fatuorum 21:18, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Good luck with it. I'll read it for context and the like, but I know pretty much nothing about RotR other than by reputation (I don't think I've ever actually read it once) so won't really have anything to add. – iridescent 21:23, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
I'll let you into a secret. Although I did occasionally read the Tiger as a kid, I don't remember ever seeing the Roy of the Rovers strip, and I had no idea that there was a Roy of the Rovers comic. I always preferred the Wizard, which had hardly any pictures at all. Never been much of a fan of comic strips, so your guess is as good as mine why I'm wasting so much time with this one. I noticed though that Desperate Dan and Lord Snooty are in need of some work as well. :lol: Malleus Fatuorum 21:32, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Lord Snooty was before my time. Desperate Dan has always baffled me, as not only have I never seen a single DD strip that was remotely entertaining, I can rarely even figure out why anyone would think it would be entertaining. Hagar the Horrible has the same (lack of) effect. – iridescent 21:39, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
I tend to agree. Thanks for offering to cast your eye over Roy anyway. If I can't address the citation issues once the unofficial biography arrives then I really will have to give up on it. Until then ... Malleus Fatuorum 23:16, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

DYK for Tarrare

RlevseTalk 12:02, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Bugger me, 14,000+ views in a day for an article about an 18th-century French soldier with an eating disorder. The public really will read anything if only you sell it right. – iridescent 21:27, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Halkett boat

I have listed the FA status of Halkett boat as needing review.[2] Piano non troppo (talk) 09:26, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

...and the nomination (a better link being Wikipedia:Featured article review/Halkett boat/archive1) has been speedily closed by an FAR delegate. BencherliteTalk 11:30, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Seen and noted. As you may have guessed, I think this is frivolous and based on nonsense such as "this was nominated at FAC by an editor involved in writing it" and a spurious claim of a conspiracy. – iridescent 13:46, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
To be honest, I rather take exception to being accused of dishonesty in this matter. I take far more offence at that than I would to someone telling me to "fuck off". I guess it's OK from the civility police's point of view though, because Piano didn't use any naughty words. Malleus Fatuorum 13:54, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure of what to make of Piano non troppos' implicit suggestion that people who've written an article are not allowed to nominate it for FAC. Is it naivety or unfamiliarity with how Wikipedia works? It would be nice for someone to stumble across an article, think "this is fantastic!", and nominate it, but that's not how it works. Besides, how would someone address content problems if they are not familiar with the article/subject? I'm waiting for Sandy to remind PNT that FAC isn't a vote. Nev1 (talk) 14:03, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
You just did :) Also, the FAC was up for seven days, had no outstanding issues and support from credible experienced reviewers-- Karanacs promoted this one, but I promote similar in six days. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:02, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
(ec) I was thinking much the same thing. This always seems to happen when anything's on the main page—one does wonder why all these people who are so concerned about the quality of featured articles never appear to deign to visit FAC. (Piano has never commented in an FA review in their entire history on Wikipedia). – iridescent 14:06, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Are you trying to trigger one of my pet peeves? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:07, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Well, that's us told. – iridescent 21:08, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
"once an writer..." – not so hot on the copyediting then? – B.hoteptalk• 21:12, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
I am so properly rebuked I might lose sleep tonight. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:13, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
I've put Piano non troppo in the idiot category, so I guess I'll be back at the whinger's corner soon enough. Malleus Fatuorum 21:45, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
The naughty step, you mean? – B.hoteptalk• 21:46, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
I mean that anyone who believes that Britanicca is written by "highly educated geniuses" clearly ought not to be allowed out unless under supervision. Malleus Fatuorum 21:53, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
Sold by highly motivated sales geniuses-in-their-own-lunchtime. – B.hoteptalk• 21:55, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
The old ones are the best. Malleus Fatuorum 22:02, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
FWIW, the Elite Professional Writer coming to Defend Wikipedia's Quality from the Evil Cabal appears to have only written four articles in their entire history on Wikipedia (Gerald Gardner (scriptwriter), SL Shakespeare Company, Rotten ice and List of North American hot sauces, to save you looking), and the only articles to which they have more than 25 edits are VenetianPrincess, Nail polish and Noah Cyrus. Just saying. – iridescent 22:30, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
Venetian Princess and Nail polish? An editor after my own heart! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:32, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
I gotta stop looking at all these YouTube clips that're popping up on talk pages... (a) I've got all the Python episodes on DVD anyway (b) every time I do so, my keyboard switches to USA layout, so @ switches places with ", and (where are those tildes... try the sig button) --Redrose64 (talk) 22:46, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Periphery countries

Thanks for volunteering to help with that Good Article student assignment project. This is just the heads up that students have begun to work on the article. The aim is to have the article ready for GAN by June 5; feel free to wait till then - but also feel free to comment on their progress and offer suggestions before that date. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 19:25, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

No problem; I'll wait until it's at least approaching a finished form before I start making comments, as I don't want a "that's not the way I'd have done it" situation. I'll keep it watchlisted. – iridescent 19:29, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. A revised schedule is June 7. Hopefully it will be listed at GAN around 7-8. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 04:59, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
The article was nominated. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 07:30, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Will do it. May not get to it until tomorrow, so don't panic if you don't see any movement. – iridescent 19:05, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Done, for the moment. Although I've not immediately passed it, all the points I've raised are minor and easily addressed. Given the class-project nature, I've gone into more detail than I usually would, as I assume they're not familiar with Wiki-minutiae; hopefully, I've not scared them off with it. – iridescent 22:27, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Just noting that there is no need to hurry with regards to signing off on the article. The students have over a week to address your comments, and I think they can use all that time, particularly as in educational assignment there is a known tendency to do the work just ahead of the deadline. Also, since this is a class project, once the article passes, the chance for any further improvements will go down (unlike in regular articles, where editors are more likely to keep tinkering with the article after the review is over). Oh, and yes, thanks for all the extra levels of explanations, it is much appreciated. PS. There are also a few subject issues I want them to expand upon (see my review above yours). PPS. Off topic quibble: Intelligent design is not a theory (in the proper, scientific meaning of that word) - the article rather wisely avoids using that word in the lead, stating it is an assertion. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 23:51, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
No problem. One of mine is tomorrow's TFA (and on a particularly obscure topic, so I doubt many others will be watching it), so I suspect I'll be spending most of the next couple of days reverting "poop!". I'll step aside for a couple of days and revisit it at the weekend. – iridescent 23:54, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
PS. You probably also remember how much of a fight it took to get rid of the word "theory" from that one… Substitute pretty much any other theory if you prefer if you think it will confuse them less; I tend to use ID as an example of a good "disputed topic" article, as it does a pretty good job of explaining the beliefs involved whilst adhering to NPOV. – iridescent 23:58, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Regarding the map, it is based on the reliable source (see File:World trade map.PNG#Source - reliable scholar, very reliable publication). As such, I think that the map should stay. However, I fully agree that the list (that the map is based on) is rather surprising. I've emailed one of the authors, as indeed the list (while reliable) raises eyebrows, for I do think that the it classifies way too few countries as semi-periphery and core (unfortunately, it has been few days and I've received no response yet). Nonetheless, as eyebrow raising as it is, the list is reliable (and the map, in its current revision, should me mostly correct; of course if there are still any errors, do list them so they can be fixed).
As I suggested on talk, the students should try to compare that list to the list from Wallenstein, as sourced in the semi-periphery article, and I'd suggest you point that out in your review (see Semi-periphery_countries#Examples, and note I've added the third table based on the aforementioned article - and the difference between this list and Wallenstein's is pretty interesting).
I agree with your point about the stabilized government section needing more clarifications. I'd also add that I've told the students that they should reference every sentence, and as such, this section (and a bunch of others) should be fact-tagged (I can do it, or would you?).
Overall, I'd suggest you post your updated review to help guide them, and they still have a week (till next Sunday, more or less) to finish addressing our comments. In theory, they should have stopped developing the article last week, and spend this week on addressing the comments. In practice, I find that in educational assignments, the line between main content writing and addressing comments is often much more blurred - but the success rate is decent enough (~50%, based on my past assignments). Hopefully our comments will help the students understand the subject (and Wikipedia). Thanks for your input! --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 19:22, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
(CCing reply here so Malleus also sees it) I will do. As long as the map is sourced that's fine, but in that case it at least needs an explanatory footnote somewhere to clarify the status of Russia in particular. – iridescent 19:26, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
The problem is that I've looked at the sourced article (I can send you the copy if you want) and IIRC that country wasn't even mentioned in the main body (!). Personally, I have a feeling the reviewers might have ignored the appendix, but there is no way I can prove it, and the publication is highly reliable... --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 19:39, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Availability of Book by Halkett on his Cloak Boat

[TERRIBLY SORRY TO PUT THIS HERE, NEW IDIOT USER CAN'T FIND WAY TO EMAIL ARTICLE AUTHOR IN "Toolbox" MENU, OH, AND SORRY FOR SCREAMING] FYI VIA Google Books (advanced search) with the exact phrase - Cloak Boat Various relavent hits including: Boat-cloak or cloak-boat, constructed of macintosh india-rubber cloth ... Author Peter Halkett Published Wall & Hiscoke, 1948 9 pages [DATE ABOVE INCORRECT, SHOULD BE 1848] clicked on hyper text author - Peter Halkett (of above) 5 hits including:

Title The boat-cloak: and also the cloth-boat for two Author Peter Halkett Publisher Ticknor & Fields, 1980 Length 23 pages

[The Author name & RE-publication date of 1980 are believed true]

After clicking all the links of "Get this book" I bought a copy for a total of about $55 USD

There is/was at least one other copy for sale in the USA Be careful you don't buy, the same used copy from the same source, from a French site for more money in Euros. The 1980 book may still be under copyright by the US Publisher that bought Ticknor & Fields.

There may be one copy of this book, or the 9 page one, available through a inter-library loan. A few other libraries have it but you have to view it at the library and probably need special permission before hand. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DaveB13 (talkcontribs) 19:23, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

In Wikipedia terms, the text of Halkett's brochure is pretty much unusable; because it's effectively an eight-page sales brochure ("book" is pushing it mightily), under Wikipedia's sourcing rules it's a primary source and can't be used as a source in most contexts, although a lot of the images ultimately came from there. I considered adding it to a "further reading" section, but decided against it; to the best of my knowledge there are no copies available in Canadian libraries and the only copies in the UK are those in the copyright libraries and the National Maritime Museum. Both the NMM and the New Scientist links in the references section will lead people ultimately to Halkett's brochure, so anyone whose interest is piqued enough by the article to go looking, will find it. – iridescent 12:49, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

I tend to go off tangents. I also found the Great Exhibition 1851 Google, not as nice as yours though, it may have been done several times. Checking up on "Samuel Matthews & Son" as the Cloak Boat Manufacturer, finds other entries, yielding interesting things like "Samuel Matthews & Son, late Chas. Macintosh & Co. 58, Charing Cross, S.W." [London] an address that still exists, as an Antiquarian Bookstore, OF COURSE! Matthews also sold medical & hygiene rubber goods. The Chas. Macintosh was the Macintosh raincoat maker, now spun off or re-named Macintosh. Also there was a patent fight between American person last name of Goodyear, and english patent holder of rubber vulcanization process that (my googled memory may be mis-directed here)had worked for Macintosh firm. Current day versions of the Cloak Boat, that don't have the cloak part are 3.5lb Sevylor 'Trail Boat' that is even smaller, and Alpacka Raft , their 4 lb 11 oz model 'Yukon' maps just within the (scaled) illustration of the Exhibition Catalog, the Yukon is for people up to 6' tall. The same scaled illustration comes out just barely shorter than the shortest length (46") current production Mackintosh Drummond watterproof cape. The wiki article illustration contains a hard to see 3' long scale bar, overall dimensions of that cape and the Exhibition Catalog cape were presumed similar for scaling purpose. Thanks Very Much for your wikipedia article, I've a profound fondness of any human occupant sized boat larger than a flotation device, and things that can be made to take up small space when not being used, and things with multiple purposes jammed into the design. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DaveB13 (talkcontribs) 17:54, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

I commented at this article's featured article candidacy about the similarity of Halkett's designs to the current Sevylor kayaks. As I understand it, the similarity is a case of convergent evolution rather than descent; Sevylor's designs trace back to the flotation rafts carried by aircrew during the Second World War (which had similar limitations to those faced by Halkett, in needing to be small enough to carry strapped to a pilot's back, light enough not to weigh down a parachutist, rapidly inflatable at short notice, and stable enough to survive freezing conditions in the North Sea). These in turn trace back to Goodyear and Hancock's early rubber dinghies, rather than to Halkett—to the best of my knowledge, Halkett's designs were completely abandoned after his death. The abandoning of the search for the Northwest Passage and the shift of European focus to Africa and India meant less use for inflatable craft in the later 19th century; inflatable boats would have been a liability in a colonial war zone as they're so easily punctured by a well-aimed spear or arrow, and they were too lightweight to carry weapons or trade goods. – iridescent 18:11, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

The 1980 Reprint (ISBN 0-89919-001-4) was received & read last night. The Reprint publisher had nothing to do with the Halkett boat. The reprint was done from a 1848 copy found in a decendent's trunk of Sir George Simpson in Scotland in 1979. The sole reason for the reprint was as a promotion of the publisher. The 1848 Pamphlet was put out by Wall & Hiscoke, Bookseller of Richmond in Surrey, and by Arthur Warnham, No. 61 Strand, London. Contents of the trunk were sent under the scrutiny of Canadian museum authorities. "Copyright, 1980 All Rights Reserved by David Haddon in Scotland" (that's what it says).

There is one illustration in the book, that's not on the web, it's a light description of the umbrella, a set of two ping pong type paddles as an improvement of the walking-stick paddle for the Cloak-Boat, and an illustration of a 9' Esquimaux Paddle that could be used with the Cloak-Boat.

The Two-place is absolutely the historical star of the two boats. The "raisen" on the web looks to be in a cover with 4 holes for inflation instead of the one shown in the 'book' plate, the canvas cover use was optional protection & the canvas cover was easier to patch than the boat. (My interest is entirely in the Cloak-Boat)

In the book, not seen on the web by me: The uninflated two-place boat extreme lengths are 9-1/2' long by 4'-9" wide, it moved "with much greater ease" than the Boat-Cloak with it's single paddle. The Two-Place and it's canvas cover each form packages about 1'-8" long x 12" wide x 5" to 6" thick. Each package not exceeding in weight 12 to 14 lbs.

One of the difficulties the early expedition had with non-inflatable boats was frequent high winds would blow the people carrying the rigid boats around, and they would fall on slippery rocks and land on, and break the light framed boats, to the point they could not be repaired, and then were abandoned by the starving explorers. A primary use of the boats was to set nets for catching fish, and when other boats were available, the inflatables were much prefered for the purpose. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DaveB13 (talkcontribs) 21:53, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

"Dense prose"

It's mainly just two or three fairly long and winding sentences in the lead I think, which could do with being split. Nothing too serious. Anyway, that's not why I'm here. I'm still plugging away at Roy of the Rovers, having now got hold of a copy of the Unauthorised Biography. I realise there are still too many uncited/poorly cited areas, but if you could find a few moments to look it over and see whatever else you think needs doing I'd be grateful. (Trying to find reliable sources for someone else's article is seriously hard work; it would probably have been easier to rewrite the bloody thing.) Malleus Fatuorum 22:35, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Feel free to chop it up; as you know this is the fifth of these and I'm starting to glaze over—it's hard to remember what has and hasn't already been explained in whichever particular article I'm working on. Per my earlier reply, these are intentionally written at a more technical level than the parent article will be, on the assumption that most people who get as far as these obscure subpages are going to be the hardcore nerd-types who already know the basics. I'm trying to avoid calling in favours at the moment, as you, DavidCane, Moni and Redrose are all going to be pestered to look over the parent article once it's written. (Even with as much as possible split off to subpages, it's still going to be a bloated monstrosity.)
Will look over Roy tomorrow (if I'm allowed to under the New Order). If you want a piece of light relief, you can have a skim over Charles Domery; its sister article has been picked up by Stumbleupon and is currently getting around 800 hits per day and I suspect this will go the same way, so it may as well be in decent shape before the vandals notice the potential in "he moved to Liverpool and ate dead rats". – iridescent 22:45, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
What an extraordinary story. Only one comment: I'm not keen on "The prison commander brought their unusual captive to the attention of ...". Malleus Fatuorum 23:04, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
That's an artefact of the way it was written, rather than an effort at gender-neutrality (I still recall fondly the obsessive gender-equality campaigner demanding I remove File:Two-man Halkett boat stowed.jpg for having a "sexist title"). Originally, it was intentionally vaguely worded as "the camp guards brought their captive to the attention of…" as I wasn't sure who among the camp had actually notified the Commission. The main reason for that one was that it proves that Tarrare (IMO a much better quality article, and one that will probably be thrown in at FAC to break up the "derelict stations" monotony) was suffering from a condition which had been well documented in at each one other case. (While nobody ever seems to have diagnosed either Tarrare or Domery, I'd quite confidently guess some kind of cretinism-related thyroid disorder.) – iridescent 19:01, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
Did he eat the bottles of porter, or consume the contents? Normally I'd assume that someone wouldn't eat the actual bottle, but in this case I can't really make that assumption! BencherliteTalk 19:04, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
Good point; clarified it. While Tarrare seems to have occasionally eaten patently inedible things (including on at least one occasion swallowing a fork), Domery at least stuck to things that were recognisable as food, albeit of a rather dubious nature. – iridescent 19:11, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
And is HMS Donegal (1798) the ship you're looking for? BencherliteTalk 19:13, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
Aha! You learn something every day. – iridescent 19:15, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
The benefits of still having the tools - there was a deleted redirect at French ship Hoche pointing there. Incidentally, do you mention that he was "continuously surrounded by nauseating body odour" (what a surprise!) BencherliteTalk 19:19, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
It's mentioned on Tarrare, as there's a reliable source for it. I can't find anyone other than Bondeson making the claim about Domery. (Everyone who met Domery seems to have been struck by how ordinary everything about him was.) I don't entirely trust The Cat Eaters (or Bondeson in general) as a source; while he's certainly a legitimate and respected medical historian, he has a tendency to make guesses without making it obvious when he's guessing. Whenever I've used Bondeson as a source for anything open to reasonable challenge, I've tried to always include a more contemporary source as well; he's there more to say "what they thought then is what is still thought now", and that opinion hasn't changed since the 19th century texts I'm working from. – iridescent 19:26, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
<- Fair enough. I've given it a {{good article}} sticker, as you may see from your watchlist. But into which section of WP:GA should it go? There's no "misc" there - "Food and drink people", perhaps? Or the "Historical people - others" section? "Military figures"? I've plumped for the "Food and drink people" section for now, alongside the gorgeous Nigella. Only on Wikipedia... BencherliteTalk 19:38, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
Incidentally, if I could use the facility of the "Editors' Noticeboard" here: if anyone feels like taking a look at my latest creations, I'd be grateful. There are 73 listed churches on Anglesey, and I've set myself a challenge to write about them all and get some, if not the majority, to GA status. I've got the first six articles under my belt but would appreciate some pre-GAN comments (as I suspect that most of the next 67 will be variations on a theme). Examples are St Cristiolus's Church, Llangristiolus and St Pabo's Church, Llanbabo. No knowledge of Welsh required! BencherliteTalk 19:46, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
If you haven't already, you want to prod David Underdown to have a look at those. He's very good at spotting mistakes you never noticed you made on church articles. – iridescent 19:56, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
Done, thanks for the suggestion. I had a couple of ideas for people to approach, but not him. BencherliteTalk 20:03, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

Three Featured Articles in one TFA

Regarding your suggestion a while ago of marking the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the London Electric Railway on the 26 July 1910, I have punted the idea at Wikipedia talk:Today's featured article/requests of a TFA including three featured articles. I don't think the LER has really enough distinct history of its own to be capable of development to a FA, although I have started drafting an improved UERL article which is where the LER redirect points at the moment.--DavidCane (talk) 00:28, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

I doubt Raul will go for it; it sets too much of a me-too precedent for future requests (and probably also triples the level of vandalism). Obama-McCain was a special case; it would have looked very strange if Wikipedia had run a hurricane or bird that day given that Barack Obama and John McCain were both FAs, but the WMF's charitable status is dependent on US political neutrality so it needed that odd "equal treatment" setup. (Most people were blissfully unaware, but there were actually two mainpages that day, one with McCain first and one with Obama first, and a random-number generator determined which of the two you saw.) – iridescent 19:32, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

Charles Domery

Thanks for writing this, I guess, it was informative. I just feel like never eating again :S Best wishes Hekerui (talk) 20:34, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

You probably don't want to look at his near-contemporary Tarrare, then. Particularly if you're fond of cats. Or have just eaten. – iridescent 20:41, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
I read that intriguing article shortly after I ate. I'm just glad I hadn't read it while eating; I wouldn't have finished my meal. –xenotalk 20:48, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
Oh my god. A "do not click here" situation. Hekerui (talk) 21:18, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

FYI Iridescent, your Domery and Tarrare links were picked up on here [3]

Gg4288 (talk) 07:24, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Hoxne Hoard

Thought I'd drop you a line directly this time...
So, I know you're not the biggest fan of what I'm trying to achieve at the British Museum but I thought you might be interested in knowing about the next project which I've just published: Wikipedia:GLAM/BM/Hoxne_challenge. If you've got any concerns about this do let me know, but do also try to AGF in what this project is trying to achieve. At the very least we've produced six DYKs[4] but moreover (IMO) we've given the British and International museum sector cause to stop and think about how a potential positive relationship with our community might look rather than the standoffish one we've had more often than not. Witty Lama 01:33, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

While I've written a couple of museum articles, my historical articles tend to be on engineering and social history rather than the kind of thing the BM covers. The people you'd be best off talking to on something like this are Malleus Fatuorum, Nev1, Bishonen, Parrot of Doom and GiacomoReturned, who between them are the engine which drives Wikipedia's coverage of British arts and architecture.
While I wish the project all the best in its aims, you know my concerns. I do understand that you're acting in the best of faith (although I'm not sure I'd say the same of some of your supporters) and that this may well produce a short term improvement, but you know why I think it's a bad decision that will backfire spectacularly once Seth Finkelstein and co notice it. Building positive relationships with a body is one thing; actively promoting it is another; offering rewards for actively promoting it is completely beyond the pale as far as I'm concerned and I think the blind eyes being collectively turned on grounds of "Wikipedia's policy on rewards for editing doesn't apply because we happen to like the body doing the paying" are obvious. (If the Museum of Bad Art had tried to pay Moni for getting their article to FA status, I'm sure she'd have told them exactly where to shove the check.) One of the more ironic things here is that, among the names of people who've signed up to the BM project, I see at least one person who also signed their name to the statement that "the idea that we should ever accept paid advocates directly editing Wikipedia is not ever going to be ok". (My original question still stands; how is the BM paying people to write on their collection ethically any different from one of the smaller British local authority owned museums paying people to write on their collection? If there's no difference, how does it differ from the local authorities paying people to write on their other services or the areas they cover? It's worth reiterating that, while Greg Kohs certainly hates Wikipedia now, that's because the WMF encouraged him to spend time and money building up the business before doing a volte face and deciding it was unethical; in 2005 MyWikiBiz was accepted by Jimmy Wales and the WMF, under almost the same arrangement you're currently operating.) – iridescent 19:32, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
FWIW, I'm quite relaxed about anyone being paid to write, good luck to 'em. It's the result that matters, not the motivation. Malleus Fatuorum 20:11, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
I am as well; if you look at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Paid editing (or the summary at the top), you'll see that an unlikely coalition of myself, Rootology and David Shankbone were the ones pushing for it to be allowed, while Jimbo and co were pushing for a "no exceptions" hardline. I recognize that we were massively outnumbered, though; what galls me here is the "paid editing is OK in this case, because it's not someone Jimbo Wales/Wikipedia Review/the admin corps/Arbcom (delete as appropriate) dislikes who's doing this particular paid editing" attitude. What damages Wikipedia isn't its weird policies, as long as they're applied consistently; it's the "one law for us, one law for you" mentality of those in charge. You of all people should understand what I'm trying to say here. – iridescent 20:16, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I do recognise the irony here. Malleus Fatuorum 21:17, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

I think the point is being missed here is that the FA Prizes are a thank you prize/incentive/reward for anyone who writes good quality content on a subject area that's relevant to the mission of the (public) institution. This is quite different to commissioning a specific person to either a) write the article about the institution itself or b) only "paying up" if the institution has its POV inserted in the article. The former would be a conflict of interest and the latter would be attempting to game the system by undermining neutrality. This is not Coca-cola offering free Coke for anyone who writes an FA about the company - this is a publicly funded organisation whose mission is broadly the same as Wikimedias - to share knowledge with people. The FA Prizes (which - by the way - the Hoxne challenge is not a part of) is the museum deliberately saying "you can chose the subject, we'll help you improve it and we will accept your judgment of whether it's good quality". Recall also that the prize isn't cash - it's a voucher at the museum shop so the money stays within the organisation. And, if you say that you're not inherently against actual paid editing I can't imagine under what circumstances you'd be OK about it given that you're so against this prize[5] and the mere fact of my even being at the BM in the first place[6]. You may note that I've stated from the beginning that my project here at the BM and all activities within it are deliberately avoiding the articles about the institution itself and articles that are politically contentious (e.g. Elgin) so as to avoid CoI and POV pushing. (see the original announcement, section entitled "out of scope"[7]). Witty Lama 21:31, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
I think you're missing my point about pay, rewards and prizes. If I were setting Wikipedia's rules I'd have no problems with editing for any reason, and would be perfectly happy for Coca-Cola to employ a Wikipedia Officer full-time to write articles about Coke provided they adhered to NPOV; I see no difference at all between an employee of a company writing about that company (grounds for an instant block) and a fan of a band writing about that band (warmly welcomed). My issue is that I (and Rootology, and David) agreed to abide by "the community" on this matter when it was obvious we were outvoted—but now the WMF and Arbcom are turning a blind eye to the ignoring of the hardline policy they themselves fought tooth-and-nail to impose and enforced ruthlessly. Take a look at what happened to User:Sam Blacketer, for instance; also note that of those three supporters for allowing COI editing, I'm the last one standing who hasn't been hounded off the project altogether, and there are plenty of admins with their fingers twitching over the block button when it comes to me as well. I don't buy the "it's different because it's a public institution" line at all; the same could be said for most museums, libraries and universities in the world.
I do appreciate what the intentions of this collaboration are and that the aim is to improve coverage of an area which traditionally does badly on Wikipedia, but per all my previous statements I think it causes enough potential problems down the line that in its current form it has too much potential to lead both to bad press and to bad feeling. If Wikipedia were serious about improving coverage of the history of arts, literature and philosophy in Britain, the most useful action they could take (by quite a long way) would be to unblock Ottava and Peter Damian. That there's no chance of either happening is a sign of the current internal culture of Wikipedia—that building the community has become an aim in itself, over and above improving the content. I have no issue with the BM project as a concept—if I get the time, I'll try to send a couple of FAs your way if you want—but as long as that prize contest is in place, I don't want to be associated with it or to have my name attached to it.
(FWIW, in my experience collaborations on articles involving more than two or three editors are virtually impossible once you get to FA level. You'd be better off going down the "you be the lead author on X, you be the lead author on Y, you be the lead author on Z" route, with input and criticism from museum staff as needed, rather than the WP:COTW route.) – iridescent 22:06, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
"If Wikipedia were serious about improving coverage of the history of arts, literature and philosophy in Britain, the most useful action they could take (by quite a long way) would be to unblock Ottava and Peter Damian." Hear, hear on that. Malleus Fatuorum 23:01, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

I hope someone remembers to flag these things when they come up at FAC, so I can evaluate independent review. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:05, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

A bit of a tricky one—this isn't like Wikicup, where the log-rolling's generally obvious. If (for instance) everyone with an interest in Ancient Egypt signs up to the BM project, they won't be "independent" but they're still the people best qualified to check for errors. DavidCane and I generally review each others' articles—that's not part of a conspiracy, but just because David, myself and BulleidPacific are the only ones with a knowledge of both 19th-century civil engineering and the FA criteria and thus the ones most likely to spot gaps. I wouldn't want the BM participants unfairly penalised just because they're the only ones with a shared interest.
I do agree that anyone who's going for one of the prizes should declare it (or have it declared for them) at FAC, though. – iridescent 23:13, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
  • WP coverage of the visual arts is not quite as bad as one might think if one only looks at the contributions on art of the "engine" editors you rather hilariously listed above (excepting Bishonen & Giano, who for various reasons write little article text these days). I'm not meaning to be rude, but would the others think of themselves as art editors? - we are not talking about the "arts" here, as music & literature are obviously way off-topic for the British Museum; history is more to the point. In fact most recent visual art FAs have been highly collaborative, usually led by User:Ceoil. Johnbod (talk) 12:04, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
Re-read what I've written above, in particular the word "British". Ceoil's done some magnificent work but, with the exceptions of Bacon (Irish, but lived in London for most of his life) and Portrait of a Lady (by a Dutch artist but currently on loan to the National Gallery), AFAIK has never touched on either British artists or material in British collections. – iridescent 12:33, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
I read it carefully the first time (& the Portrait has been back in DC for several years, and van der Weyden was not at all "Dutch"). "AFAIK" evidently does not stretch too far frankly - see Ceoil's Rokeby Venus FA to name but one, plus all the contributions of editors like User:Tyrenius, User:Ham, User:JNW, User:Qp10qp, User:PKM, User:Yomangani, User:Amandajm, User:Neddyseagoon and myself. Not to mention all the people who specialize in local architecture. But whatever. Johnbod (talk) 13:09, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
Iridescent, your right in a way, but wrong in another. What we hope for here is access to sources, not cash. O and there are 600 years of reasons why I dont go near Brit art...even though Turner is probably my favourite painter, London my favoutire city and I like The Fall more than most doctors would recommend. Conflictly, yours Ceoil (talk) 10:06, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

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DYK for Charles Domery

RlevseTalk 00:03, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Well, at least he's dead. That's all I can really say. --MZMcBride (talk) 02:29, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Re: Periphery countries again…

I am afraid that the course has ended. If there will still be students working on the article, I'll be (positively) surprised. Thanks for all your help. With regards to Charles Domery, I did some searching but I cannot find anything that would be of help (and yes, his birthplace is obviously misspelled - you may want to add a note on that to his bio; I assume it was misspelled in the original source, and the error was repeated by all other; further, his first name was obviously translated, and I'd not be surprised if his surname was misspelled as well...). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 11:32, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

Could you upgrade the class to C/B as you feel is appropriate? One day I hope to bring those articles to GA myself, if nobody does it before. I agree with your analysis of what happened to D.'s name. Unfortunately, there are many places which sound similar :( --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 15:59, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, develop... is a more widely used concept. Core/periphery is a more nuanced, academic distinction, specific to the world system theory. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 16:10, 24 June 2010 (UTC)


Please do not remove others comments. If you feel they are in the wrong place, move them and notify the author. The comments were not my opinion but an attempt to write a neutrally worded summary. Suomi Finland 2009 (talk) 19:11, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Then comment in the right place—that is, on the discussion page. It is not down to you to be issuing "final judgements" on what Arbcom need to do, or to summarise others' comments, particularly on a sensitive issue like this. – iridescent 19:20, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Please don't bite. If there was a mistake, it is unintentional. Suomi Finland 2009 (talk) 19:27, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
WP:Please do not bite the newcomers applies to newcomers, and quite rightly says that we shouldn't expect newcomers to be familiar with Wikipedia's standards. You have been here almost a year, have over 3,000 edits, and appear to be on a mission to throw yourself into as many controversial areas as possible. As Malleus will probably pop up in a moment to say more eloquently than I could, if you still want to be treated as a newcomer, don't try to stomp around the place bossing people around. (Lest we forget, it's less than a week since you were telling the FAC delegates how they should be closing FACs, and you're now telling Arbcom how to run elections.) – iridescent 19:34, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
You better watch out. Next week, I will tell the commander of forces in Afghanistan what targets to attack and the following week, I will be issuing orders to the UN Secretary General. In general, I try to be kind to everyone and hope others will do the same. Nastiness can be cultural as some societies yell more than others. Suomi Finland 2009 (talk) 19:45, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
This is hardly a "telling the FAC delegates how they should be closing FACs". See [8] where I mention that an oppose voters states on their user page that they are away and ask what we should do. I ask whether or not that is a pass. Hardly bossing others around. In contrast, I hereby order the 29th Command Regiment of the Royal Artillery to bomb the hut 52km NNE of Kandahar in 10 minutes.
Anyway, I hear your comments and shall try to be mindful of others in the future. I am sorry to have crossed you. I am serious when I say that I will be mindful of your comments. Sorry. Suomi Finland 2009 (talk) 19:50, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
I was thinking more of "A star is in order? Please/thank you." As I said there with reference to FAC, but it applies just as much to anywhere on Wikipedia: please familiarise yourself with policies if you're going to throw yourself into policy discussions. A statement like "Just go through the article with a fine tooth comb. First look at all the commas and semicolons. Then look for all the non-breaking spaces. Finally read each sentence and see if it is awkward. Would a teenager not interested in engines understand it. After that, you're done! The article should be considered as pass after that." is so disconnected from how Wikipedia's assessment processes work, it's almost comical. – iridescent 20:28, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
If you think that is comical, you should hear my accent. Suomi Finland 2009 (talk) 23:10, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Sorry if you think I am bad. Can you teach me in the Wikipedia ways? Should I copy you? Or do you suggest another user who is the model editor? I can think of two good ways to go. One is to choose an editor, study them, and do as they do. Another is to have an advisor who may not be perfect and may even have known flaws. Are you any of the two? I am willing to be your understudy. Suomi Finland 2009 (talk) 14:53, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

I'm neither; while obviously there are things that can be explained and I'm more than happy to reply to anyone asking my opinion on a given issue, I don't believe Wikipedia editing is something that can really be taught, other than technical details such as wikitext formatting. If you want people who do think it can be taught, add your name at Adopt-a-User and someone will be along shortly.
One piece of advice I will give is to reiterate what I've said above; stay clear of policy pages unless you understand what you're discussing. While anyone is welcome to comment anywhere, if you keep throwing yourself into discussions on topics you don't understand it will likely end unhappily. Everyone on Wikipedia is a volunteer, and gets irritated when people waste their time; there comes a point when Wikipedia's admins decide that although a contributor makes good contributions, the benefit their good contributions bring to the project are outweighed by the time they waste. Behaviour like this came a lot closer to getting you blocked for disruption than you probably realise; issuing ridiculous demands like "user should be unbanned, asked to provide proof that he is not Bruce Jenner, asked to change his user name, then banned under the new user name. This current ban tarnishes the name of Olympic medalist, Bruce Jenner" could easily have got you booted off the project if one of our more trigger-happy admins had noticed it. Given that you're doing the same at RFC and FAC, your disruption on AN isn't an isolated incident.
Your percentage of edits to articles is very low (you have more edits to user talk pages than to articles). My advice would be, pick a topic that interests you, write on it, and ignore the policy discussions unless they affect you. Wikipedia certainly has problems, but the current setup is the result of ten years of discussions and gradual evolution. If you want that setup changed, you need not only to show that you understand the current setup and what the pros and cons of it are, but you need to demonstrate why the 12,636,026 other users on this project should listen to you. People like Malleus and Giano are listened to when they complain about the system, because they've put in the hours both to write multiple high quality articles and to help others, and even they have both been blocked repeatedly for behaviour no more disruptive than the kind of thing you've been doing lately. (That is not to say I endorse the blocks of either, just an observation on the way Wikipedia works.) – iridescent 15:33, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Thank you. I did not know that blocks were handed out that easily. Thank you for the pie chart link. My article edit count is within 0.3% of talk page so it is not so bad. However, the Wikipedia and Wikipedia talk count is 15% and 5% and I will take your suggestion and lower them. Suomi Finland 2009 (talk) 17:53, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

The difference between article edits and talk edits isn't the issue; what I'd say is symptomatic of a problem (note: just my personal opinion) is that your mainspace edits are only around 30%, which is the kind of level I'd expect to see from a long-term Arbcom member who's forced to spend most of their time on discussion pages (e.g. Risker on 31%). Just to put that in perspective with a comparison to the others currently on this page, Piotrus's is 56%, Malleus's is 61%, Parrot's is 58%, Belovedfreak's is 52% and I'm 61%. As Essjay always used to say, before you hit "save" think about whether what you're about to post improves the end product of Wikipedia. If you wouldn't be able to explain to someone why you think any given edit of yours will improve Wikipedia for our readers, it's almost certainly not an edit worth making. – iridescent 18:19, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
As a side note, seeing that graph just about broke my heart, Iridescent. It bothers me to have such a low percentage of edits in article space. Although I was rather stunned to see that I had 23 edits to the template namespace, an area I thought I had always avoided. Risker (talk)
Most of yours are to {{ACA}}, in fairness. I'm more interested in why I made 1 edit to the MediaWiki namespace. – iridescent 18:02, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Iridescent, may I make a passing question? I've got about 15,300 edits in about my first year being here. But I've only got about 39.43% of my edits to articles (more than any other subject though) and yet I consider myself a content writer. What's wrong? (other than the fact that I spent about 4 months making edits like these) Still, is my current editing percentage to articles a bad thing? Fetchcomms has even less than me (percentage wise that is)--White Shadows There goes another day 01:05, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
You have 400+ edits to T:TDYK which is skewing your figures wildly; you also used to use Huggle which distorts the editing stats. (Because every revert is automatically accompanied by a warning, a huggle rollback counts as two edits—one to the article and one to the user talk page.) You also have the legacy of your old days; not counting your user talk page, your most frequently edited page is your own userpage, and you have 368 (!) edits to ANI. (To put that in perspective, that's more posts to ANI than I've made in my entire time here, including two years as one of Wikipedia's most active admins.) Edit count is a very blunt instrument—because some people tend to do major rewrites in sandboxes and paste it into mainspace before deleting the sandbox, it can make the prolific writers look less active than they are—so don't necessarily put too much store by it. Suomi is in pretty much the same place you were a year ago; annoying people by wading feet-flying into discussions without understanding what's being discussed, without enough of a history of good work on the project (either in mainspace or in assessment) to make people take them seriously. You made a complete turnaround and there's no reason Suomi shouldn't be able to either. Wikipedia:Here to build an encyclopedia is no longer policy, but it's generally a good idea to act as if it is. – iridescent 09:49, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Oh yes, I forgot about huggle and DYK as well as my 300+ edits to ANI (many from Sept. to Jan. since I've now tried to avoid that place like the plauge) That would also explain Fetchcomms' edit chart. Perhaps Suomi just needs someone to tell them what we are here for and help him find a good topic to write about, we could always use another editor over at WP:SHIPS for instance.--White Shadows There goes another day 14:36, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Suomi's done some very good work in raising Nokian Tyres up from this to this, which is why s/he's getting the benefit of the doubt from me (even though it may not feel like it). As with you in your old incarnation, there is a valuable contributor there; it's just that the "valued contributor" side is to some extent being hidden behind the "needless drama-mongering" side. While it may not seem it to Suomi, I am genuinely trying to help by nipping the problematic side in the bud rather than flame them off the project. – iridescent 14:43, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
I understand that. Too bad Malleus doe'nt take after you in that respect, my transition from January to today would have been a lot less painful and more enjoyable. Instead I got an e-mail one day with a link to that thread on WR and the rest was history...--White Shadows There goes another day 14:51, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
That's not fair on Malleus, and don't believe everything you read in Mattisse's emails. (I think we can safely make assumptions as to who this particular anonymous "someone" is.) Malleus can be rude—sometimes to an extent that I think goes beyond what's acceptable—but I have never (that is never) seen him be rude to anyone without provocation. In my experience, he's possibly the most helpful user on the entire project when it comes to offering to help people out despite having no particular interest in the topic in question. – iridescent 14:58, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Um, Iridescent, It was'nt Mattisse who e-mail that to me back in January. I know who it was (though we no longer talk) and I'd rather not tell you who for their sake. I do have to give Malleus credit for motivateing (in a harsh way) me to becomeing the editor that I currently am.--White Shadows There goes another day 15:09, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
In fact, Nokian Tyres was one such article.[9] Malleus Fatuorum 15:45, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

[10] Over 94.5% of his 74,000 edits are to articles. 0.09% to article talk pages, which is a bit low. Suomi Finland 2009 (talk) 19:03, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Um… I wouldn't recommend taking Billy as a role model. Communicating too much is a problem, but so is not communicating enough, which is why Requests for comment/Billy Hathorn exists. – iridescent 19:05, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Daniel Lambert

I updated the phrasing of the article about Daniel Lambert to "prison warder ('gaol keeper')", to avoid ambiguity.

I thought Lambert was a association football (soccer) goal-keeper, which is exactly what Wikipedia suggests if you search for gaol keeper!

Wikipedia points prison warden to corrections officer, fyi.

Thanks, Kiefer.Wolfowitz (talk) 23:31, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Already posted on your talkpage; I've undone this as patent nonsense. A gaol keeper is not a prison warder any more than a brothel-keeper is a prostitute, and while I've no idea what a "corrections officer" is I'm certain they've never had them in England and certainly not in eighteenth-century Leicester. – iridescent 23:32, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
It's disappointing that Wikipedia feels the need to talk down to its readers. The concept of a gaol keeper isn't hard to understand, and if a reader hasn't come across the term before I doubt it's beyond them to spend a few seconds finding out. Besides, I think gaol keeper works well; someone not paying attention will wonder why anyone would have wanted a 52 stone man playing in net. I suppose he'd still have been better than Rob Green. Nev1 (talk) 00:14, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
See the (related) conversation with Rlevse here. It's actually surprisingly difficult to link this appropriately; our article on the old-style bridewell gaols is at Village lock-up but linking that will prompt the obvious question of "Leicester isn't a village"; it can't be moved to lock-up because lock-up in present day usage refers to the cells in police stations. Ironically, the US has preserved the gaol/prison distinction which has been lost in Britain, and Prison includes a long section on Jails in the United States which explains the difference perfectly. – iridescent 00:21, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Joseph Merrick

Hi Iridescent, I'm here to ask a favour. I've recently been working on Joseph Merrick and was wondering if you could have a look. It's no where near its "finished" state as far as I would like it. I was going to ask you to look at it a bit further down the line as it seems to have something in common with some articles you're working on at the moment, but I would appreciate if you would just have a look at the structure, particularly the lead section. I've added a lot of material to the article and so inevitably the lead section grew. This drew some criticism at peer review, so I went back to reread WP:LEAD and cut it down to four paragraphs! Anyway, now someone on the talkpage is suggesting cutting it down by 80% which I think is far too radical. Would you mind having a look and seeing what you think, (even if it's to tell me it's crap and I'm completely misinterpreting WP:LEAD!)? Thanks, --BelovedFreak 08:05, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

The first thing I noticed about the lead was the use of the term freak show. I don't think that's entirely appropriate for a British article. I'm trying to think of a more suitable British description, "Curiosity" is the best I can think of right now. Parrot of Doom 08:55, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Sure, will have a read through; you might want to ask Malleus as well. I agree with PoD; "freak show" is an Americanism which jars in a 19th-century English context. "Curiosity" or "prodigy" was how this kind of show was generally described (Treves himself just uses "exhibition"). – iridescent 12:29, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Just to clarify, is it just "freak show" that is inappropriate in a British historical context, or "freak" as well?--BelovedFreak 11:14, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Personally, I'd say "freak" is derogatory. The traditional British-English terms—going right back to Francis Bacon, who founded teratology as a science (before that, such babies tended to be killed as evidence of witchcraft)—are "monster" or "prodigy", but those have both taken on new meanings since then and aren't really appropriate. Our own article on teratology uses "malformation".
Of course, in Merrick's case the slightly derogatory associations may actually be appropriate, since what makes him notable is that he was so thoroughly shunned for his appearance.
You might want to ask over at WikiProject Disability and WikiProject Medicine what terms would and wouldn't be considered appropriate; if a lot of people are going to find "freak" offensive, it probably shouldn't be used unless there's a particular reason to. Remember that people with facial deformities read Wikipedia too (and are probably going to be more likely than average to read this particular article). – iridescent 16:28, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
You're absolutely right. I shouldn't have forgotten about our readers, and since I'm well aware of these kinds of issues from my real life work, I should be more aware of them on Wikipedia! Losing sight of the real goal... I've edited some of the language in the article to avoid the use of the word freak alone. There are still some mentions of freak shows, as there are in the (modern) sources I've used, although I notice that Frederick Treves doesn't use the term in his memoirs, he only talks about Merrick being an exhibition. I don't know if you know of a better alternative. I've also asked a couple of people from the disability project for their input.--BelovedFreak 00:00, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
I'd also take the Michael Jackson stuff out of the lead—there's absolutely no evidence to suggest that it's true, and it seems to be giving undue weight to a silly-season tabloid story to devote more space to the Jackson story than to David Lynch's film (which at the moment is the case in both the lead and the body). – iridescent 12:29, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Speaking of WP:LEAD and freaks, do any TPSs have an opinion on Ucucha's suggestion at Featured article candidates/Tarrare/archive1, on including a description in the lead? Per my comments there my instinct is no, as it was his abilities rather than his appearance that was notable, but I'm more than willing to be persuaded. – iridescent 12:34, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
On balance I agree with Ucucha. There's a whole section on Appearance and behaviour, which would be unusual for most other biographies, and that he was of normal build despite what he ate is remarkable enough to be included in the lead. Malleus Fatuorum 13:44, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Ok, I'm convinced. – iridescent 16:46, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Some sources I have seen have said he took a job as a "curiosity attraction". – B.hoteptalk• 13:55, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the initial thoughts. I didn't realise "freak show" was an Americanism, so will be happy to change that. I want to convey in the lead that he was both a medical curiosity and a professional freak (although in whatever terms would be appropriate). I actually agree about the Michael Jackson stuff, that is kind of a hangover from the article before I started editing it and looking at it again, it's pretty much a non-story in that he denied it all anyway. It's the kind of thing that belongs more in an article about MJ's eccentricities. I will be putting more work into this so appreciate any further suggestions, although won't be on much the rest of this week. I'm also hoping to get my hands on some more sources soon. By the way, do you think I should write more about the play & film, or try to limit the cultural ref. stuff?--BelovedFreak 17:22, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Tricky. Normally, I'd say leave "In popular culture" to an absolute minimum in any article, but in this case the film will be the only reason most people will have heard of him. My gut reaction would be only to focus on how the play and film changed popular perception of him and led to a wave of interest. As I understand it, the play and film treated Treves's account as accurate despite its likely exaggeration of Merrick's suffering prior to being "discovered" by Treves, and has led to a distorted "he led a barely-human life beforehand, but the nice doctors made him an experimental subject and talked to him, so then he was happy" oversimplification. If that's the case, what you want to be doing is illustrating how Treves's account and the film/play differ from what's actually likely to have happened, while leaving the broader details for the articles on the film and play. But don't take my opinion as gospel; there's no "right way". – iridescent 17:34, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
OK, quick points on a read-through. These are just things that are jumping out at me:
  1. "Merrick was now homeless on the streets of Leicester … Merrick still had some of the haberdashery wares in his possession and continued to hawk around Leicester for the next two years." – what actually happened here? How did someone homeless manage to carry enough haberdashery around with him to support himself for two years?
  2. "the Commissioners for Hackney Carriages revoked his license" – what were the CfHC (who presumably regulated taxicabs) doing deciding whether he was suitable to be a door-to-door salesman? If they regulated other licensing as well, it needs to be explained, as that set off a WTF? right away;
  3. I'd get rid of "meeting a lady"; "lady" and "woman" aren't synonyms. In the context of 19th-century Whitechapel, "lady" is effectively a euphemism for prostitute;
  4. Get rid of "enamoured". An absolute rule as far as I'm concerned is, if you need to include an external link to explain the meaning of a word, you shouldn't be using the word; in this case there are plenty of synonyms (infatuated with, developed a crush on, taken by…);
  5. There seems a lot of unnecessarily flowery language – as well as the aforementioned "enamoured" I also see a "Merrick desired to understand", "this endeavour was unsuccessful", "the showmen immediately gave Merrick the sobriquet" and so on. If it goes to FAC, then whatever sock Mattisse is using this week will jump on something like that right away;
  6. "Tastes were changing in regard to freak show acts like the Elephant Man. Penny gaff shops like Norman's were a cause for public concern" is a non sequitur – a penny gaff was a type of small performance venue (plenty still exist, but generally now house dodgy indie bands rather than cabaret) and had nothing in particular to do with freak shows;
  7. Personally (this is purely a matter of taste) I'd get rid of the photo of Fawsley Hall. It's a deeply uninteresting picture (I'm sure the readers know what a field of grass looks like) and only marginally relevant to the topic. If you're going to include a picture of a building, go with the Royal London which is far more relevant.
Will keep an eye on it and let you know if I think of anything else. I don't think it's ready for FAC yet, but it's certainly well on the way. – iridescent 21:11, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
I'll take a look at this article when I return, next week. Its an important topic and deserves attention. Parrot of Doom 21:13, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Ok, this is really helpful.
  1. I'm not sure about this - this is basically what the Howell & Ford source says. I'm away from home but will check it when I get back and try to clarify this from other sources if necessary.
  2. No clue, I didn't even notice this, so again, will look further into this.
  3. Well, at least I'm learning something, did not know it was a euphemism. Changed that.
  4. Changed
  5. Ha... yeah this is probably partly my fault and partly as a result of a copyedit that was done by someone else ("sobriquet" for example). I have made some tweaks and will continue to go through to try to remove the over-flowery stuff.
  6. Ok... will sort that (see, I knew you were the person to ask!)
  7. Will have a think and look for a better image.--BelovedFreak 08:45, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Now you've left me wondering...

...are you and User:Malleus Fatuorum the same person, or what? How many accounts do you have, anyway?

As for threatening you... its not threatening to initiate a process! It was not a threat to me when editors asked for my recall. It is their right to follow agreed-upon processes. It is my right to obtain satisfaction according to agreed upon procedures. This is assuming that you are also User:Malleus Fatuorum. If not, none of this makes sense. Herostratus (talk) 01:58, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Gawrsh, you got me. Yes, two people posting in the same thread is indisputable proof that they're the same person. Are you related to Ottava by any chance? And yes, "I am sure that you will be hearing about this case, and soon" is a threat.
Again, I'm still waiting for you to explain what part of "Herostratus, has anyone ever actually accused you of being a pedophile or are you just milking "Wikipedia Review was rude to me!"? What WR actually said was "notorious pedophilia editor Herostratus", a very different kettle of fish. (I've just written two articles about French cannibals, it doesn't mean I am one.) If you're going to have this as your userpage, you can't then complain if people assume that you're telling the truth." is a "noxious accusation against you". (That "noxious accusation" was clearly directed at me and not Malleus, before you try that line of defence, since you say "You have cited this" and I was the only one to cite that.) – iridescent 08:26, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
oh, my. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 11:48, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Careful, Sandy. Apparently "posted in the same thread as me" is proof of being my sockpuppet. Shall I file the RFCU now, or are you going to confess? – iridescent 17:49, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Looks like you're in trouble now Iridescent; Herostratus is going to take the "next step" with his fantasy.[11] Just remind me, am I your sockpuppet or are you mine? I supose it's all bound to come out now, that SandyG is also one of my army of sockpuppets. Ah well, it was good while it lasted. Malleus Fatuorum 19:24, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
It's me to whom he says "how many accounts do you have", so I guess that makes me the sockmaster and you the sock. If he's seriously planning to file a WP:SSP report, this should be lulzy. – iridescent 19:28, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm a bit worried though. What'll happen if the investigation shows that we're the same person? Will I implode? That could make such a mess of our newly decorated lounge. :-( Malleus Fatuorum 20:36, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm also being accused by a Certain Now Temporarily Banned Mutual Acquaintance of being the author of this. I certainly get about, don't I? – iridescent 20:48, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, I wasn't accusing you of puppetry -- it's perfectly legal (I think) to have and use two or more accounts, as long as one is out front about this -- just confused. What confused me was that you wrote on my talk page here " threatening me (emphasis added) with 'the people tasked with enforcing WP:PED' for no apparent reason other than being insufficiently sycophantic to you." But I had posed the threat spoken of, if threat it was, to User:Malleus Fatuorum's talk page not yours. So you can see how your use of the first person was odd. You didn't say "my friend Malleus Fatuorum" or whatever, you said me. Still seems odd. Herostratus (talk) 04:20, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Why not ask for an investigation if you think there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that Iridescent and I are the same person? Who knows, you may get lucky, and at last find your excuse to have me banned. Malleus Fatuorum 10:18, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
It's pretty obvious iridescent was responding to this edit of yours Herostratus. No confusion about who it was aimed at as you edited iridescent's post and replied to points iridescent specifically made. But if you have sincere concerns about sockpuppetry the correct and obvious thing to do is file a request at WP:SPI. Nev1 (talk) 10:34, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
Herostratus, you clearly were accusing me of sockpuppetry; as Nev says, that "the people tasked with enforcing WP:PED" was a response to a comment of mine, and mentioned a comment that I (and only I) had made. You are now saying "are you and User:Malleus Fatuorum the same person?". If this is a good faith mistake I'd suggest you quit digging this hole any deeper trying to rewrite what you've said; if this is some kind of weird elaborate troll, then go find someone else to play your games with. – iridescent 19:16, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

FAC articles

Greetings. I'm trying to get some more input on my FAC article Sentence spacing, which is right below your nominated article "Tarrare" in the "Older nominations" section. I'd be willing to review "Tarrare" and provide fair and honest feedback if you will do the same for the Sentence spacing nomination. Just let me know if you're interested. Best regards, --Airborne84 (talk) 20:36, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

I can have a look, but I'll warn that I know nothing about the topic so am possibly not the best person to ask. (It's unlikely to be for a couple of days, though.) One thing that immediately jumps out is "Mignon Fogarty points out…" with no explanation of who Mignon Fogarty is or why anyone should care what her opinion is. – iridescent 21:21, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't worry too much about it being closed prematurely; as it has a support and no opposes, Sandy and Karanacs are very unlikely to close it unless opposition comes along. (Fasach Nua's oppose will be ignored by whoever closes it, as the issue's been resolved.) You may be better off asking some of the regular copyediting types who are also regulars at FAC (Malleus is the one who springs to mind). – iridescent 21:21, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll follow your advice and check with some of the others as well. If you get to it, that would be great too. I'll look at Tarrare in the next 48 hours or so. I had quickly scanned it and it seemed interesting. I liked the one-sentence closer too. Best regards, --Airborne84 (talk) 01:34, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
Done. The article was quite good. I wasn't sure about two issues on which I commented. Once you've addressed them or noted why they are not issues (they may not be), I'll be happy to change to support. I thought I might mention something here instead of the FAC page though. Your writing is excellent. Yet, I thought three of your sentences in the article were quite long. It doesn't bother me, but some readers might find them difficult to digest. Also, while your uses of commas were technically correct, a few of the sentences would have benefitted from a strategically placed em dash or a spaced en dash—whichever you prefer. It's a useful tool in sentences that are replete with commas already. Just a few ideas from someone who's writing skills are likely inferior to yours anyway. Best regards. --Airborne84 (talk) 03:43, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the compliment, although I don't consider myself a particularly good prose stylist (which is why most of mine tend to be sanitised by Malleus before they reach the general public). I use dashes as sparingly as possible; they overemphasise whatever's placed between them, and thus I don't like using them unless I intend to draw attention to whatever follows the first dash in the sentence. For breaking points within a sentence, I find semicolons far tidier. I can't see any obvious candidates for splitting in that article; we don't want to be overcomplicated, but equally we don't want to dumb down for the sake of the lowest common denominator among our readers. Teratology is not exactly a popular field, and 18th-century teratology is vanishingly obscure. Most readers of this article will be people with a working knowledge of revolutionary France or 18th-century medicine, and I don't really want to take a Dick and Jane approach if possible. – iridescent 19:23, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Daniel Lambert

I've made some structural changes to the unemployment section; hopefully I haven't buggered anything up, but I think it reads better now. Where are you heading with this article? FA? I think with a bit more work it could easily achieve that. I still think that any reflection on the medical reasons should be left out of his biography, but I'll bow to your opinion on that. I hope you don't mind all my changes to it :p Parrot of Doom 22:16, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Just thought I should check that I was correct in this edit. Nev1 (talk) 00:53, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
(re Nev) Yes; "encrease" was the older spelling and still in use at this time. I dislike "modernising" quotations, unless it's something in Middle English and genuinely incomprehensible to most readers without a huge string of explanatory footnotes. – iridescent 19:06, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
(re PoD) At the moment this is lined up in my unofficial FAC queue; I try to alternate "engineering history" and "other" there, as I don't want to get pigeonholed as "the one with the disused railway lines". I'm flip-flopping on whether to include Charles Domery in the FAC mix—I'm confident that the article's comprehensive, but the sources have such big gaps that it makes the article seem unsatisfactory. The next one will probably be Wotton (Metropolitan Railway) railway station (despite Malleus's disdain for it), as that's one of the key articles in my proposed Brill Tramway FT. It's mindnumbingly dull, but I'd challenge anyone to combine "brilliant refreshing prose" and "average annual milk transport by volume", and I think it's as interesting as an article on such an inherently dull topic will get. After that it's a toss-up between Domery and Lambert; hopefully after that one Brill Tramway itself will be ready. – iridescent 20:24, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

DYK for Daniel Lambert

RlevseTalk 00:01, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
Eighth most viewed DYK of all time. Just saying. – iridescent 09:38, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

July Metro

Simply south (talk) 19:16, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

DYK for Whipping Tom

The DYK project (nominate) 00:03, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Four Awards

Okay, here we go:

Four Award.svg Four Award
Congratulations! You have been awarded the Four Award for your work from beginning to end on Westcott railway station.
Four Award.svg Four Award
Congratulations! You have been awarded the Four Award for your work from beginning to end on Brill railway station.
Four Award.svg Four Award
Congratulations! You have been awarded the Four Award for your work from beginning to end on Halkett boat.
Four Award.svg Four Award
Congratulations! You have been awarded the Four Award for your work from beginning to end on Waddesdon Road railway station.

Great job on all of them! LittleMountain5 20:57, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes, Malleus, I know I was criticising these last month for encouraging people to clog GAN rather than go straight to FAC. I'm fickle. – iridescent 21:25, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
You could always create a "straight to the top" award, recognizing creation->FA without stops at DYK or GA. :-) Jclemens (talk) 21:33, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Too easy. ;-) Malleus Fatuorum 21:37, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Someone (Malleus?) did suggest that at some point. I generally bypass GAN if I think something's FA quality; this recent burst was because I'm trying to create a featured topic and everything needs to be either GA or FA, so I've been putting them through GAN as well to make sure they all have a coloured dot of some kind. – iridescent 21:41, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
I've never been a great fan of DYK, so I have rather few of them. In general, I tend to take articles I'm not sure I either can, or can be bothered to get through FAC to GAN, like Trafford Park. Malleus Fatuorum 22:02, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
You know my opinion of DYK; it should be interesting facts from any article, and get rid of the "last five days" rule, which both encourages people to create needless articles, and means that we're far too often highlighting really badly-written rushed articles on the main page. (Undertow's old userpage is pretty much how I'd envisage DYK if I were running things.) I try only to submit things to DYK if they meet my personal "would someone who doesn't care find it interesting?" criterion. I have very few DYK submissions; I actually create very few articles, most of mine are expansions and rewrites. – iridescent 23:23, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
DYK has lost its way. Anyway, I've created 40 articles now, only another 35 to go before I can refuse to have the autoreviewer "right". Malleus Fatuorum 23:50, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Given that Daniel's DYK has already provoked this flurry of "I demand you rewrite this in American English" stupidity, my already low opinion of it has ratcheted considerably lower in the last few minutes. – iridescent 23:54, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
It's not hard to find "stupid" here on wikipedia; it's in your face every day. Malleus Fatuorum 00:17, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I've been pleasantly surprised at how low the stupidity count has been lately; most of the arguments I've seen recently have had valid points on both sides and been resolved by reasonable discussion. I don't know if it's due to it being summer vacation in the US (or just the World Cup drawing enough people away to keep the crazy to a manageable level). Only another two months to go until the joys of September make their annual appearance, though. – iridescent 00:36, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Your five Four Awards plus your other DYKs, GAs and FAs would also qualify you for one of these. --DavidCane (talk) 20:59, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Actually one of these. I don't really like the thinking behind WP:TRIPLE; I think it encourages people to submit really dull and/or poor-quality material at DYK just to get the numbers up, which in turn feeds Wikipedia's reputation for amateurishness and inaccuracy. (We deliberately put articles on obscure topics and rush-job articles which have had every corner cut to meet the five-day expansion rule—and then we complain when people say Wikipedia is full of dull articles and sloppily written material…) – iridescent 22:01, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Yep. DYK hasn't been about "Did you know" for as long as I've been at wikipedia. What it really is, is a route to adminship, as only administrators are allowed to update the queues. So all the wannebees hang out there. Malleus Fatuorum 22:13, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

There never was a Golden Age of DYK "before all the good ones were taken"; it's always been like this. I know I've posted it before but it warrants repeating—the original 5 DYKs were:
The real problem now is that, because DYK and ITN have become a waystation on the road to gaming an RFA, there are too many vested interests who'll prevent the mainpage being redesigned into something more interesting. This is one area where Jimbo exercising his prerogative powers would actually be desirable—it needs somebody with the power to cut through the arguments and petty-empires. (Note that this isn't a dig at the DYK people per se—plenty of good people do thankless work there—but at the way it's being swamped with tedium.) – iridescent 22:21, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
You state the problem more eloquently than I ever could, or would choose to. Malleus Fatuorum 22:30, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Average Victorian earnings

Thank you for your comment in FAC Little Thetford. Very relevant.

"the 7.5 miles (12.1 km) return journey from Ely to Sutton cost 2s 0d. That would equate to a cost of almost GBP60 (US$110) at 2008 values." is very misleading. You're using average earnings as your scale, but earnings in Victorian England are based on the gold standard (and were untaxed), and aren't comparable to earnings today. Using the more relevant consumer price index, 2s in 1866 equates to a more realistic £7 ($10) at today's prices.

— iridescent 12:10, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
This is hard for me to calculate. Also, as you cite wikipedia, I am cautious about this due Citing Wikipedia. I cited Officer, LH (2009). "Purchasing Power of British Pounds from 1264 to Present". MeasuringWorth.  in the article. How can I do the calculation correctly using a reliable source? --Senra (talk) 12:57, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Further thought. If the cost is indeed only GBP7 (US$10) then what would that be as a percentage of Victorian earnings? --Senra (talk) 12:59, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

The website you used allows you to compare either retail price index or average earnings (those two check boxes to the right of where you type in the amount and year). The retail price index figure gives a little under £7. As for a percentage of average income, I have no idea. Nev1 (talk) 13:10, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

For railway fares, I always use {{inflation}}, which automatically keeps the article up to date according to the current CPI index. In this case, I do think CPI and not average earnings is the correct index to use; for railway fares, the issue is "what else could they have bought with that money?". If you combine {{formatnum}}, {{inflation}} and {{inflation-fn}}, the system will generate automatically updated and footnoted price comparisons—for an example, see Wotton (Metropolitan Railway) railway station, in which:

£144 (about £{{formatnum:{{Inflation|UK|144|1932|r=-2}}|0}} as of {{CURRENTYEAR}}) in passenger receipts.{{sfn|Jackson|2006|p=134}}{{Inflation-fn|UK}}

£144 (about £9,200 as of 2018) in passenger receipts.[1][2]

  1. ^ Jackson 2006, p. 134.
  2. ^ UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved November 6, 2017. 

"Victorian earnings" don't really relate to modern earnings, and I'd avoid using them as a comparator at all. Income tax didn't exist so earnings look lower that they actually were. Also, a vast underclass of low-paid manual labourers and domestic servants, and a small but disproportionately significant group with zero earnings but massive accumulated wealth, distorted "average earnings" hugely.

With rail fares, you also have to look at the fare structure. I'm not sure about this line in particular, but a lot of lines had as a condition of their construction that they run a certain number of "workmen's trains". This meant that a line might have high fares during the day when office workers were travelling, but extremely low fares (generally 1d) in the early morning when labourers and servants were commuting. For the Ely and St Ives Railway, I'd imagine passenger traffic was virtually irrelevant to the financial viability of the line in any case; the primary purpose of the line would surely have been the transport of grain and fruit to the markets of Cambridge and London. I suspect the main reason they ran passenger services at all was to discourage people from hitching rides on the goods carriages, not through any great demand (our article on the line mentions a usage figure of seven or eight passengers per train.) – iridescent 13:28, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Fair enough. I will use (about £{{formatnum:{{Inflation|UK|0.1|1866}}|0}} as of {{CURRENTYEAR}}) {{sfn|Jackson|2006|p=134}}{{Inflation-fn|UK}} in the article. I had read the measuring worth notes when i wrote the article. I had chosen the index carefully. I had felt that the average earnings calculation I had done was the correct one for this case, as I was trying to show how affordable the rail journey would have been to the local people. In any case, given your comments, I will modify the article. --Senra (talk) 13:44, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
If you're thinking of taking this to FAC, it would be a good idea to add a note making it clear what the basis of the calculation is, as you'll see at the end of this article. Malleus Fatuorum 13:51, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
 Done thank you all for the input --Senra (talk) 14:03, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
I understand where you're coming from regarding affordability, but I think CPI is the correct index to use to show it. Presumably most of the passengers using the line would have been farm labourers and servants; they would have had their lodgings and food provided by their employers. Thus, although their overall income appears low by modern standards, virtually all their income would have been disposable, and thus "as a proportion of income" makes things appear far more expensive in relative terms. The same thing can be seen today in those professions where employees are provided with food and board; the pay of a soldier, for instance (£13,644 for a new recruit rising to £17,014 when they go into active service at the time of writing) appears ridiculously low when compared to comparable jobs (£23,259 for a newly recruited police officer) but it's entirely disposable income. – iridescent 17:18, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Akeman Street near Little Thetford

You made an edit in Little Thetford here, removing the wikilink from Akeman Street.

"the "Akeman Street" in East Anglia is unrelated to the Akeman Street on which we have an article, which runs through Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire"

— User:Iridescent
Since then, I have removed a lot of wikilinks anyway. Not sure I had related my Akeman Street to the one passing through Buckinghamshire and Oxforshire. However, my understanding is that Akeman Street is also given to the road starting near Wimpole Hall, running through Cambridge, past Ely and terminating at Brancaster (source:Akeman Street. My original source was a 1903 map, which I had borrowed, and no longer have, showing a few hundred yards of Akeman Street, passing through the north west corner of Little Thetford. When I drew a line on the map, it showed the road came from near Stretham, and carried on towards Ely. I accept the 1903 map could be wrong, in the light of other, more contemporary, evidence. However, in addition, there is archaeological proof of the Romans in Little Thetford, and indeed a Roman villa at Stretham. How should I have worded the article? What is your view? --Senra (talk) 19:08, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
You were definitely right—the Roman road that runs north through Cambridgeshire is called Akeman Street—but Akeman Street the Wikipedia article is about a different Akeman Street. Technically the right thing to do is create Akeman Street (disambiguation) and a new article on the East Anglian one, but I don't have any sources to do that. (Ealdgyth might know someone who does.) In the interim I removed the link just because otherwise, people might click on the existing link and get confused—unless someone's very aware of English geography, they won't necessarily know that Buckinghamshire isn't adjacent to Cambridgeshire. Malleus might pop up at some point to berate me for doing it wrong; go with what he says. – iridescent 19:34, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
Me berate you? That'll be the day. :-) Malleus Fatuorum 19:49, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Little Thetford FAC

I believe I have addressed most of your comments at the Little_Thetford FAC if you would care to pop over and check please --Senra (talk) 15:16, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Will do when I get the chance; my comments were a quick-skim driveby, not a full FAC review. One other quick driveby comment I'd make is, be careful with a comment as outlandish as "Eels were the predominant species and were often used as a currency" without a source; payment in kind isn't the same as "currency", any more than a bailiff repossessing an car to cover a debt means that automobiles are used as currency. – iridescent 22:50, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

I am the king of Wikipedia and you will all bow to me

Source? Rodhullandemu 00:17, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Go away unless you have something useful to say. There may be a page somewhere on Wikipedia where you're less likely to impress someone with the Head Prefect routine than here, but I'm finding it hard to think of one. If you genuinely can't see how you come across as arrogant, it's a pretty impressive blind spot. (You've thoughtfully deleted User talk:, but if anyone cares to click "undelete" they can see your "I'd rather die than let people like this edit here. Just fuck off will you?" drama-queening in all its glory.) – iridescent 00:25, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
"Head Prefect" is a pretty good description; I like it. I've noticed this same sort of ... something at User talk:Jimbo Wales. Odd behavior. --MZMcBride (talk) 00:42, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
There's something strangely fascinating about someone who thinks "I'm here at least twelve hours a day, and seven days a week, minimum" will raise people's opinion of him. – iridescent 16:28, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Am I now part of the tradition?

Well? Anna Frodesiak (talk) 10:40, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Looks good to me, although I give it a week before a Defender of the Wiki undoes it. There must be something that can be done with Sandy Balls as well. – iridescent 10:56, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
As nobody seems to have notified you, a little outbreak of pointless drama now taking place here. – iridescent 14:08, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. What an outrageous waste of keystrokes. This is maybe a glimpse of the future where bots become self-aware, wipe out the editors, and take over the project.
By the way, you may be the perfect person to ask. I've always wondered about the ratio of mainspace to non-mainspace kilobytes. Any idea where to get that figure? Best, Anna Frodesiak (talk) 22:03, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
If it's not buried somewhere in Category:Wikipedia statistics, then User:MZMcBride will know. In terms of page numbers, there are 5,655,535 mainspace articles (including redirects) out of 45,036,122 total pages. – iridescent 22:05, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
striking error—that figure is "true" articles only – iridescent 00:25, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Depends what you mean. Current page size is stored in bytes for all pages in the page_len column. It's trivial to sum() that for all pages in NS:0 and compare it to pages in NS:1. Things get a bit trickier if you want to look at non-current versions of pages, though the rev_len column is now fully populated for all wikis, so it's more a matter of a lot of data to process (over 300 million revisions or something now) rather than anything else. --MZMcBride (talk) 22:08, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
"What an outrageous waste of keystrokes"—is this your first visit to ANI? I promise you, it doesn't get any saner than that. Despite what some people think, most Wikipedia admins are perfectly normal people, but there's a noisy gaggle of around 10% of them who seem to think spending their entire waking lives reverting each other and arguing about things that not only don't concern them, but will never concern anyone, will somehow compensate for the fact that they never get invited to parties. – iridescent 22:19, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks to both of you. The ratio: "...If it's not buried..." and "...Depends what you mean..." caused me to have a mild stroke. I still don't understand. If I magically clicked everything right now, any wild, wild guess on main vs nonmain, archived discussions and all, (not including previous versions)? We know main is 3.5 million. My guess: Article talk 2, User talk 6, backroom bickering and guidelines 1 = total 9 million. Am I close?
ANI: I think that was my first. Hate it with a passion. I've read a few. Some more like Hitchhiker's Guide insanity than Brazil. The antithesis of where I'd like to spend my time.
Finally, Giant balls got tagged. Ouch! Anna Frodesiak (talk) 22:59, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
That "20 million" figure is slightly misleading. Remember, most articles and userpages also have a corresponding talk page, which in the case of articles is often very short and just consists of a couple of templates. I wouldn't be surprised if quite a lot of pages were the talkpages of IP accounts, created when someone generated an automatic warning for writing "poop" three years ago. At one point, someone used a script to delete the older talk-pages, but it led to Howls Of Protest. – iridescent 23:04, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Page count by namespace (configuration) --MZMcBride (talk) 23:10, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

MZMcBride: Thank you. Very helpful.

Iridescent: That makes sense. Thank you. I'm getting sucked into that bizarre thread at ANI. You are right again: there seems to be an element of insanity. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 23:20, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Entomopter and Robert C. Michelson


I noticed that Malleus did a lot of work on Robert C. Michelson and asked him if he could tell me how COIs are treated by the GAN reviewers. He suggested asking you...

The reason I ask is that there is another article on his fying machine the Entomopter which had a COI tag – I was going to remove it but thought I should seek advice first and MF had done a lot of work on the articles so I asked him about GAN and COI policy

As I am thinking of asking Michelson to join the Robotics Project and possibly onto the assessment team I would like to prevent any COI issues before they occur. Obvioulsy any COI needs to be avoided on the articles he would review and especially obvious ones, such as these two or any in his field of expertise, are a concern.

Is there anything I can read besides the standard COI policies that would help on GAN and the GA process that would help me on this matter ? Thanks Chaosdruid (talk) 20:31, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Already replied on the thread on Malleus's talk. Basically, go with what you're told at WP:COIN; that's where anyone likely to complain about COI is going to be. – iridescent 21:44, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks- I'll check it out tomorrow :¬)
Chaosdruid (talk) 23:10, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

William Sole

You may recall you asked me to pull the Notable people section in Little Thetford during the FAC review, as there was only one notable person born in the village, William Sole. I did a lot of research to find him. There is conflicting evidence of his birth place from ODNB (1885-1900) vol. 53 and ODNB (2010) (Online ed.)(subscription required). I researched parish records. I emailed King's School, Ely, who are very interested and are searching their records. I contacted the ODNB, by email, who replied that they have passed on my information to the the editors. I accept that we should not have only one notable person in such a section. However, local people would still like William Sole mentioned.

What advice can you give please --Senra (talk) 11:12, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Personally, if there's only one notable person from the town I'd be inclined to slip him into the "History" section, rather than give him a section on his own. I've never been a fan of "notable residents" sections in general, unless the resident actually affected the place. (An author known for writing about the town, the architect who designed the local buildings, someone famous enough that people make journeys to see their house…) They have too much of a tendency to become laundry-lists (and magnets for locals to list anyone they've ever heard of)—see Norwich#Notable people or the ludicrous Notable people associated with Tottenham as extreme examples of where this kind of thing can end up. – iridescent 15:26, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
I absolutely agree with that. My preference is generally to try and weave those people who have had a significant influence on a town, or been significantly influenced by it, into the narrative at some relevant point, and if that can't be done, then I wonder whether they're really all that notable so far as the town is concerned. It's a tough battle though, keeping out all of the Coronation Street star X lived here during the 1970s nonsense, or pop star Y was born in the local hospital. Malleus Fatuorum 15:34, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Town? Soap stars? Pop stars? We are a 2 sq mi (5.2 km2) island in the fens for goodness sake. We struggle to find anyone! We did manage to find an Anglo-Saxon noblewoman Ælfwaru, an architect James Piers St Aubyn, and a local MP Clement Freud. When we stumbled upon a notable person that actually lived here, you can imagine our delight. Still. Going with the flow. As we cannot pin down where he actually lived (one of two now demolished manor houses), our Sole notable person does not get a mention. By the way, I have personally met David Bowie, the Spice Girls, Rod Hull and Emu (erm, had to get that one in, but it is true), and a host of others. We are not going there. Fair enough. Thank you for the input. --Senra (talk) 16:04, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Freud lived in Ely, not in Little Thetford, surely? When I was at Mildenhall I used to see him wandering about with a "Do you know who I am?" expression on my trips into town.
If you're looking for names to drop in an article, a quick-and-dirty way is to go through the relevant edition of Pevsner; even the tiniest village generally has a church and a manor house or two, and those buildings all have architects who can legitimately be mentioned. The local nobility are generally also good for padding. – iridescent 16:19, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
He he. Going with the flow I said. So dropping this, unless I can find which house William Sole live in. In any case, I never said any of Ælfwaru, James Piers St Aubyn, nor MP Clement Freud lived in the village. "When we stumbled upon a notable person that actually lived here, you can imagine our delight.". Consider this dropped. Thank you for your input --Senra (talk) 16:32, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Flattering to have so many admirers

[12] Is it allowed to call people trolls at ArbCom? I've been blocked for less; I was once blocked for using the word ... well, you know the rest. :lol: Malleus Fatuorum 18:03, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

If you want a serious answer: in that context, probably yes. The whole point of Arbcom is to air dirty laundry and sort out which accusations are justified; if you think someone's a troll, a POV-pusher, a spammer etc I'd say it's acceptable at Arbcom providing you can back up why you think so. – iridescent 18:08, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Interesting. I don't plan to say anything else there though, no matter what happens next. To be honest, I feel a little sorry for Rodhullandemu, and I think a line should be drawn under this incident asap, to allow him to get on in peace with whatever it is that he intends to do. At least until he does something like this again anyway, although hopefully to someone else next time. Malleus Fatuorum 18:13, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
It helps if the comment is true. :-) --MZMcBride (talk) 18:15, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
I'll come out and say what others are hinting at but not quite saying (I assume he's watching this page, given his post above); I think he needs a proper break away from Wikipedia for an absolute minimum of a couple of weeks. He's acting like someone who genuinely thinks the place will fall apart without him and we should all be grateful to have him here, and he needs to be away for long enough to see that nobody's presence or absence makes any significant difference. It's a lesson some learn quicker than others, and if he's telling the truth about that "twelve hours a day, seven days a week" that's not a hobby, that's a disorder. – iridescent 18:22, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
PS. I'll also add to you (Malleus) that you really do need to take on board what NYB is saying there. Regardless of who's in the wrong this time, there is a reason the Civility Police watch you. Remember that rant of mine a few months ago about why the civility policy doesn't work because of cultural differences? It cuts both ways; yes, west-coast Americans are generally hypersensitive about things which wouldn't even register on the radar in Bolton, Boston or Brisbane, but you know that. There's no point antagonising people for no reason, if there's an easy way to reword whatever you were about to say that won't offend them. (To take a comment from that Joseph Merrick discussion above, "retarded" is an absolutely standard term in the US, but we don't use it on Wikipedia because it has offensive connotations in Britain.) Giano said long ago that the best way to approach Wikipedia is to assume everyone is 14 years old, and it's good advice; try not to say anything you wouldn't say to a 14 year old whom you don't know very well. – iridescent 18:34, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps unsurprisingly, I don't entirely agree with Newyorkbrad's assessment, although I'm certainly not about to call him "a corrupt SOB". In fact I don't recall ever having called another editor corrupt; what I have said repeatedly is that I believe the system to be corrupt, and that's not about to change until the system does. And to label me as "consistently uncollaborative" is a joke beyond mere words. Besides, I've come to accept it as inevitable that those who either can't or won't look beyond the ends of their noses to see what's really wrong with this place will inevitably succeed sooner or later in driving me away. I can't do anything about that. Malleus Fatuorum 19:18, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Meh. There can be a difference between being seen as standing up for what you believe in, and dog in the manger. I'm no great fan of NYB but his heart's in the right place, and most importantly he's one of those who understands what he is and isn't good at. What he is good at is reading the undercurrents of popular opinion. The point he and I are both trying to make is that you not understanding why people get offended (or understanding but not changing) can be seen by some not as integrity, but as the same kind of "I'm so important everyone else has to change to accommodate me" thinking that Rod's guilty of. People looking at this from the outside aren't necessarily familiar with the background; if they're not familiar with the background (and let's face it, who the hell reads WP:BN?) it looks like two people being as bad as each other. – iridescent 19:35, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Look, I recognise that I'm being ticked off by the headmaster, but I've never laid claim to being important here on wikipedia. On the contrary, I recognise that it'll do just fine without me. Or you. Or Newyorkbrad. In the meantime, I'll continue to do what I can, or whatever takes my fancy, but I will not stand for bullying on my talk page, from anyone, whatever the price. Have you ever seen me clamouring for another editor to be blocked, or threatening them on their usertalk pages? Malleus Fatuorum 19:41, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm not saying roll over when the civility police come calling; I'm saying there's no point giving them rope. When he tried an identical piece of baiting on me, my reply ("Go away unless you have something useful to say. There may be a page somewhere on Wikipedia where you're less likely to impress someone with the Head Prefect routine than here, but I'm finding it hard to think of one.") has pretty much the same meaning as your "Have you considered just fucking off? I would if I were you.", but actually made him go away and play his silly game somewhere else instead of just inflaming him. The civility police can only swoop if they have something to swoop on, and a "fuck off" is like tossing raw meat to a dog. – iridescent 19:49, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
I do understand the point that you and NYB are making, I'm not a fool. All I can promise to do though is to try and remember your advice the next time the civility police come knocking; I can't promise any more than that. If someone comes waving their administrator's willy on my talk page, then they ought to know what to expect, and it's likely not to be pretty. Malleus Fatuorum 19:54, 12 July 2010 (UTC)


As requested. --MZMcBride (talk) 20:53, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

 Done. Intentionally worded as neutrally as possible. Either my faith in the ability of Wikipedia to function without drama is restored, or it flushes out every drama-monger on the project. – iridescent 21:11, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, Nuke tried his damnedest, but he was foiled by MBisanz. Alas. I guess I ought to disable this auto-ping feature now. Unless you enjoy it? --MZMcBride (talk) 00:34, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Oh bugger!

Now I'm going to have one more to deal with.[13] Malleus Fatuorum 21:14, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Good luck Iridescent; it can still not be a big deal if you try not to make it one. Ucucha 21:16, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
(ec, re Malleus) The timing is not coincidental; I think the point's been proven. If it passes, I don't expect to use it any more than I did before—that is, deleting the occasional obvious speedy candidate and blocking vandal-only accounts if I notice them. – iridescent 21:20, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
So, Iridescent, what was the purpose in resigning for exactly one year and then coming back? Aiken 21:45, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
I give you full credit for eating your own dog food Iridescent, I really do. Malleus Fatuorum 21:47, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Ah - 12 months. I'd have made it nine. You strike me as someone who would appreciate Plath. Pedro :  Chat  22:00, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
I actually always assumed she was one all this time, bizarrely. Aiken 22:02, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
(re Aiken) It was a point-proving exercise; I've always said admins should be desysopped whether they like it or not for three months out of every year so they don't lose touch with what it's like to be ordinary. I didn't have any particular intention to come back (and am unlikely to do anything more interesting than delete the occasional sandbox); this request came from the thread here. Call it a test of whether AGF still applies. – iridescent 22:06, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Ah. A good idea, though I see it lasted much longer than three months. Aiken 23:11, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Pedro, are you seeing my point about the 'crats yet? ╚(•⌂•)╝ – iridescent 22:18, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Seeing it, loud and clear. Pedro :  Chat  22:19, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
  • You're an admin now, Iridescent. You can just block NW for being uppity. Ooops, no you can't, he's an admin too. --Floquenbeam (talk) 23:14, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
    • Can I block Malleus? I think that's the traditional rite of passage. – iridescent 23:19, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
      • What do you mean "can". You have to. Maybe you are too out of touch with how things work around here to be resysopped so quickly. --Floquenbeam (talk) 23:21, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
O, snap. Iridescent's a sysop again! fetch·comms 02:00, 13 July 2010 (UTC)



Contrary to your allegations when I asked you about admin tools, you appear to have regained them. As such, I present you this delicious puppy, ripe for eating, as it is a well known fact that you do, in fact, eat puppies. Hipocrite (talk) 17:11, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Here's two Iridescent ate earlier. BencherliteTalk 17:28, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Edmund Evans

Hi, if you would swing by the Edmunds FAC and strike anything that needs striking, I'd appreciate it. If it's archived, I wouldn't want to resubmit because one of the books I've used, ordered through inter-library loan and frighteningly overdue, can't be renewed. Thanks. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 02:58, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Have done, although I wouldn't worry too much; with two supports and no opposes, I doubt it will be archived unless a bunch of opposers turn up.
You might want to try prodding Malleus into commenting on this one—he was fiddling about with The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle a couple of days ago, and the topics aren't worlds apart. – iridescent 09:17, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the strikes. Off to bother Malleus. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 14:10, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Brill branch

I don't know if you live within the reception area for Beckley TV transmitter (grid reference SP566105) or not; but all this week the local BBC news from there has shown clips of old Pathe and Movietone newsreels. One of these showed Quainton Road and Westcott stations on the last day of the Brill tramway. I made a personal recording, but I can't find it on iPlayer. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:20, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

No—because of the geographic quirks of the Northern Heights I'm in direct line-of-sight from Alexandra Palace despite not being particularly close, so every other signal gets swamped by it. I have a feeling the last day of the Brill branch is included in Metro-land but haven't got round to checking (although I do have the film sitting around somewhere).
At the moment, my draft rewrite of the parent article is up to 80kb and nowhere near complete (although it will be trimmed down quite a bit and possibly split). If a deeply obscure sub-branch has this much to say, I'm dreading how something like King's Cross St. Pancras tube station will end up. (I plan to do one of the open stations next—probably Chesham, as it's neatly self-contained—once Quainton Road and the parent article are done, to get a feel for how much time they'll take.) – iridescent 20:32, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
PS. Do you have any opinions on the naming issue raised by Ucucha here? My personal feeling is that the Brill branch "Wotton" is enough of a primary usage to warrant first dibs on the name (I'll guess 95% of people searching for "Wotton station" are looking for this one rather than the GCR), but I can see the arguments for splitting them both off and having a dab page. – iridescent 20:49, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
PS: What is (I assume) the same Pathé footage, is available on their website here. When the rewrite is done I'll include it as an external link. – iridescent 15:33, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
It is the same, and is in fact longer than the clip shown by the BBC; the BBC clip is 14 seconds long, and stops just as the train leaves Westcott. --Redrose64 (talk) 17:08, 17 July 2010 (UTC)


I'll leave you alone with the copyediting for now so we don't clash (see History). Of course revert whatever you don't like! Bishonen | talk 09:24, 20 July 2010 (UTC).

Oh, feel free – I was just running AWB's spellchecker over it to clear up any typos I'd missed. (Stately homes, horses, Anglo-Saxons, trains, poets and obscure English politicians. All it needs is a hurricane and I think it's a full house.) – iridescent 09:27, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
You're forgetting Victorian polar explorers, I think. Bishonen | talk 10:28, 20 July 2010 (UTC).

I noticed your call for readers on Mr Fatuorum's page and have made some notes here. I thought it was a beautifully told story and had no trouble following it. Anthony (talk) 20:22, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Thanks! I've incorporated most of them; the two I haven't (and why) are: (a) I've kept both "through route" and "shortest route"; the two aren't synonymous (a route can be the shortest, but not the quickest if it involves a lot of changing), and (b) even though it involves repetition of That Name, I've not used "young Richard"—to me it sounds silly using it to describe a man in his late thirties. (Whatever is done with those names, they're going to look ridiculous come what may.) – iridescent 21:16, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I've also done what I said I wouldn't do, and split the technical stuff off into a subpage. Although it makes things more inconvenient for readers who are interested in that side of things, it saves people who are more interested in the human story from being swamped by "a Manning Wardle 2-4-0 saddle tank locomotive built in Stoke" technical detail. – iridescent 10:11, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Slavic peoples

Hello. A user has redirected the page Slavic peoples to Slavic people. I think a page move was in order because the history has been lost. Please advise. Thanks. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 14:39, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Disregard. It was reverted. Sorry to bother you. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 15:08, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Just for the record. The move was reverted only because it was done by manual copying and pasting. --Ghirla-трёп- 11:31, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Looks like someone else has already undone it. I can see both sides of the argument as regards the "correct" name, but I'm not expressing an opinion; anything involving Eastern Europe is right up there with British Isles Islands of Britain British and Irish Isles Great Britain and Ireland United Kingdom and Ireland Ireland and United Kingdom Anglo-Celtic Isles Archipelago of Great Britain and Ireland Islands of the North Atlantic North East Atlantic Archipelago West European Isles as a circular time-sink. (If you ever want your talkpage to triple in size overnight, go to Talk:Croatian language, Talk:Serbian language and Talk:Bosnian language and ask why they need separate articles given that they're all exactly the same.) – iridescent 15:17, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the input. Sorry to waste your time. I didn't know it was such a hotspot. I never seem to learn from the old expression: "Fools rush in where fools have been before". Best, Anna Frodesiak (talk) 15:25, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
If a revert war breaks out, it's probably worth posting something at Eastern European Wikipedians' notice board. Anyone likely to have a strong opinion either way presumably watches that. – iridescent 15:33, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I'll keep that in mind. Thanks. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 15:44, 21 July 2010 (UTC)


Is there any chance you could take a look at the deleted file information for the above image on and see if the original uploader (Padraig) explicitly asserted authorship? Cheers, Nev1 (talk) 20:03, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Never mind, someone else has helped out. Nev1 (talk) 20:12, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Little Thetford (FAC)

Sorry to bother you. I was wondering what happens now at Featured article candidates:Little Thetford? There has been no comments since 19:00 18 July 2010. Will it fail due lack of comments? Is it just a waiting game? Is patience a virtue? --Senra (talk) 20:14, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

FACs with that many comments often put people off commenting further, so without further support it'll probably not be promoted. Parrot of Doom 21:05, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Doubt it; with no opposers I suspect Sandy and Karanacs will let it sit for a while longer. (You can always ask Sandy what she has in mind—she doesn't bite.) At some point I'll go back to FAC reviewing; I've been sidetracked trying to get the Brill series done before the library books run out. – iridescent 21:16, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Re: If you get the chance

Hi Iridescent, these are what I think could prove to be issues at FAC.

Hopefully that is of help. Jappalang (talk) 22:40, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Thanks! I assume IXIA's photos are self-taken; he uploaded quite a few. File:Quainton Road - Brill platform.JPG is dispensable if it turns out not to be Found a verifiably PD alternative. File:Huddersfield at Quainton Road.jpg and File:Bagnall at Quainton (cropped).jpg were almost certainly from Railway Magazine originally, but I can't prove it; the earliest publication I can verify for both is 1974. As no verifiable PD photographs of the line in operation exist (if these don't count) they'll almost certainly qualify for fair-use; would it make more sense to go down that route? (They're both verifiably from the 19th century, as we have the scrapping dates for the locomotives in them; at what point do unattributed photos become "old enough"?) – iridescent 22:59, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Seventy years after publication, I think. Malleus Fatuorum 17:27, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Not sure if it's as simple as that—what's the case of something where the creator has been dead for 70 years, but it was published posthumously less than 70 years ago (which is potentially the case here), especially when the company which originally created them was nationalised in the interim?
Image copyrights make my brain hurt; I've fair-use-ified them, even though Sandy will probably have kittens at the idea of three fair use images on one article. – iridescent 17:32, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
(outdent) For UK photographs, the UK copyright is for anonymous works 70 years after creation or 70 years after the work was made available to the public if within 70 years of creation. For known authorship, it expires 70 years after the death of the author. The photograph's US copyright, however, largely depends on its publication date, so it is safer to say that if it was published from 1923 to 2003, it will be copyrighted for quite some time (see It is definitely PD in US if published before 1923. Any other date of publishing has more rules to it... Some updates and comments to your queries:
P.S. the image quality is better in this 1897 S. W. A. Newton photo or this 1900 Topical Press photo. No publication dates, the owners of the collections are playing smart; by offering the photos for sale on the internet, it could be considered first publication (if no earlier date is proven). If you want to try to claim fair use at showing the engine, I would suggest at least using these (they are clearer).
This might or might not qualify for fair use, depending on the rationale provided (and how others view it). If I were to write one, I would mention that the station is no longer in existence, it is a key component of the subject in this article, and the photo helps readers to visualise the described settings of the stations as intended of that period of time ("The crude stations, which had been little more than earth banks, were replaced with wooden platforms. Waddesdon, Westcott, Wotton and Brill stations were fitted with buildings each housing a booking office, waiting rooms and toilets, ...").
However, do note that reviewers might be justified if they still think it a weak rationale ("I think readers can perfectly visualise buildings themselves", "what aspects shown in this picture is crucial to the article and cannot be adequately expressed with words", etc). The strongest opposition could come in the form of "Well, File:Quainton Road Station - - 18240.jpg shows what the line's stations of that era look like, right?" (presuming Brill never changed much over the years).
Reading the transportarchive article pointed above, it is likely the photos "published" during Newton's life were of the railroad workers, and those of the line could be unpublished. I am not sure if Newton's "take them or they are gone" gift of the photos to Daniel constitutes publishing (hard to say unless it is stated Newton told Daniel "you can do whatever you want with them", but Newton did express the wish for a museum to take his work.
That is all for now. Jappalang (talk) 23:46, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for all that! File:Bagnall at Quainton (cropped).jpg is removable now; at the time I added it the article discussed the technical detail of the locomotives, but I've since moved that off to Infrastructure of the Brill Tramway to try to keep the parent article at a manageable size. The two photos you've suggested are of the later, Manning Wardle locomotive; to the best of my knowledge, File:Bagnall at Quainton (cropped).jpg is the only extant photo of a Bagnall locomotive in operation. (All three books on the route describe it as such.) As regards the stations, I've kept File:Wotton station (Brill Tramway) 1906.jpg on Wotton (Metropolitan Railway) railway station (where I think it's a legitimate usage; similar images under similar circumstances have survived scrutiny at the FACs for Brill railway station and Westcott railway station). On the Brill Tramway article, I've used File:Waddesdon Road railway station.jpg as the "representative station" image. Still fair use, but I think a much better case can be made for this one; it shows the building design in more detail, and makes the (very unusual) dual-level nature of the platforms far clearer. File:Quainton Road Station - - 18240.jpg isn't really an alternative; this was built by a different company, at a later date, to a different design, and doesn't have either the "wooden hut" building nor the split-level platform which were the distinguishing features of the stations on the route. – iridescent 09:43, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I am not sure if I can help any further, but I uploaded the two photos in that magazine if you wish to use them instead. Enjoy! Jappalang (talk) 06:37, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

OK, a quick TPS poll

Option 1

Option 2

Thanks! I've added File:Original Locomotive and Train, Wotton Tramway.jpg at an appropriate place. On the Huddersfield photo I'm in two minds; the screened version is a lot sharper, but the screening is causing a slight streakiness. Does anyone have any strong opinions as to which of these two work better (shown at the size they'd appear in the infobox)? This is the "classic" image of this line, so ideally it ought to be the one in the infobox. – iridescent 20:48, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

  • Option 2. At this size it looks better to me, although it is rather over contrasted so that detail is lost in the shaded areas when viewed full size.--DavidCane (talk) 21:38, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
  • I prefer option 2 as well, not least because that irritating Moiré pattern in the background is at least more regular. Malleus Fatuorum 21:42, 23 July 2010 (UTC)


I read through Tarrare shaking my head at the topics you and Malleus seem to find so easily. I thought the article was interesting in that gross kind of way until I got to the last sentence, and then I busted out laughing. What a perfect way to end the article (and one most of us would not have thought of)! Good work! Karanacs (talk) 01:56, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

I feel a certain respect for Tarrare. Although it doesn't come through all that well—the sources, for obvious reasons, focus more on the gross-out qualities, and you can only bake the loaf with the flour you have—I've done my best to show the decent qualities in what was a man who either coped with a debilitating disability, or was seriously mentally ill, in a society only separated by a few years from mass witch-burnings. There's a minor rant to that effect on the FAC page (and it's why I'd oppose it being April 1 TFA). That arch (but sourced) one-liner at the end is very intentional; I didn't want it to turn into the dull-but-earnest article on a medical condition, or the uplifting "all God's children are equally loved" homily, which are the only two ways it could have been played straight.
If you liked that one, you might like Daniel Lambert as well, who of all the compulsive-eaters of the late 18th century is by far the most likeable character. Although I'm not certain the horse he continued to ride until he weighed 560 pounds would agree. – iridescent 19:20, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
It's rare that I read a full-length article from start-to-finish, but always do so with these intriguing and well-written pieces of yours. Keep it up! –xenotalk 19:40, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Don't make promises you'll regret. This "boredom won't kill you, but you'll wish it could" exercise is provisionally next in line for the FAC meat-grinder. – iridescent 19:46, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
That one might not fall under my definition of "intriguing" =) –xenotalk 19:49, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
If anyone ever wants to write about a cowboy Nazi massage-parlour owning steel tycoon sporting champion Peer of the Realm, Almeric Paget still needs finishing off. – iridescent 20:22, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
He looks like quite an interesting person. I'll stick him behind my ear for later. Malleus Fatuorum 20:44, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
If anyone has any comments beforehand, I have Daniel earmarked as the next FAC; the more I look at it, the more I think it says all that ought to be said without saying anything more. Besides, despite my general dislike of TFA I think he'd make quite a good one. – iridescent 19:19, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

The highest accolade wikipedia can bestow

The Giano architectural prize for Emu-eyed observance is awarded to Iridescent.

Well done, sir - although I'm rather chuffed that I got the architect right! BencherliteTalk 19:39, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

I shall treasure this moment, and I'd like to thank all those who've made it possible. That takes pride of place on the mantlepiece in my roll of honour. – iridescent 19:43, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Next time you're in Anglesey, let me know, and I'll show you Wyatt's Plas Newydd (which is much nicer than our crappy article and awful photograph suggest). BencherliteTalk 19:44, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I have to admit, "all those who've made it possible" is basically you. – iridescent 20:17, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Akeman Street near Little Thetford (Redux)

I wonder if there is cause to record my Akeman Street (erm the more accurate Akeman Street which passes nearby Little Thetford in Cambridgeshire) as Mereway? You may recall we discussed Akeman Street near Little Thetford (now archived) a short while ago. I was in the local library recently and came across Fox, Cyril (1923) The Archaeology of the Cambridge Region Cambridge University Press, p. 165

11.(A) Road branching from Ermine Street at Arrington Bridge: Proceeding through Cambridge to Ely and Denver[note 1] known, in the sector north-east of Cambridge, as Mereway or Akeman St.

— Fox (1923) p. 156

In [note 1] he references Codrington (1881), pp. 195–196 and Walker (1910) pp. 154-161

In an earlier part of the work, when discussing the Neolithic period, Fox plots such finds on a Cambridgeshire map, suggesting that the density of finds around a south-west running belt centred on the Mildenhall area (the chalk escarpment east of Little Thetford) indicate a pre-Roman trackway called Icknield Way. As this is not really local to Little Thetford, I did not record page details or prepare quotes from the work. However, thought it might be of interest to you.

--Senra (talk) 11:25, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Probably best to talk to the people at WP:England about it. Although I currently live here I'm not a native and my knowledge of what is and isn't common terminology isn't that accurate, especially out of my "19th century attempts to use emerging technology as a social engineering tool" comfort zone. My personal feeling is to go with what it's most commonly called on current maps, even if it means creating Akeman Street (disambiguation). It may not warrant its own article; not everything that meets WP:N needs its own article, whatever Jimmy Wales may say in his more crazed "every person in the world should have an article if we have the sources" moments, and it might fit more comfortably as a paragraph in History of Cambridgeshire. – iridescent 19:59, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Wearing your admin hat, what's your view on this?

Earlier today I moved the redirect for "Little Billy" from "Little Billy serials", a series of early 20th-century silent movies, to a clown known as Little Billy. As I was tidying up, amending the links to serials to films, after a bit of moving and redirecting I tagged Little Billy Films, a redirect to Little Billy films for deletion, which has just been turned down. Admittedly, by a strict interpretation of G8 I suppose it doesn't apply, so I suppose the admin obeyed the letter of the law, but do we really need to have redirects for every potential capitalisation of an article's title? Seems ridiculous to me. Malleus Fatuorum 22:00, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

(talk page stalker)The software will redirect Little Billy Films to Little Billy films and Little billy films, so there is literally no need for these endless redirects to exist nowadays, no. – B.hoteptalk• 22:13, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Only when typed into the search box. When wikilinked, case sensitivity applies on all bar the first letter. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:16, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Are you suggesting that every article should have redirects in variants of possible capitalisation, or just this one? Malleus Fatuorum 22:18, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Let's try it. – B.hoteptalk• 22:20, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Little billy films; Little Billy Films – yep, it's stupid. – B.hoteptalk• 22:21, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
(I will be restoring the redirect in a minute). – B.hoteptalk• 22:24, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
I suppose it has its uses though. For example God of war redirects to "List of war deities", whereas God of War redirects to "Gods of War", allowing subtle distinctions. – B.hoteptalk• 22:31, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Not at all. I'm mentioning to Bubba that the software doesn't redirect in all cases. But why delete something that causes no harm? Redirects are cheap, so WP:R#KEEP the plausible variants which either have incoming links, or have history. --Redrose64 (talk) 22:37, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
I suppose, in the case of Little Billy F/films it would provide a distinction between a company called "Little Billy Films" and a body of product (films) from Little Billy. In the context of wikilinks, you would probably automatically correct a red link when you found it, but when no other alternative exists, letting the software decide is the best approach. – B.hoteptalk• 22:41, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
In that case there would legitimately be two articles, Little Billy films and Little Billy Films, with a hatnote on each. That's not the case here though. Malleus Fatuorum 00:23, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

The redirect has existed since 2006. Presumably people have linked to it in the outside world using title case. If you do a search like this in Google, the second result (for me, at least) is "". If you delete the redirect, Google will update its index, but most other places won't update. Even though the software should be smarter about these kind of things (more "did you mean?"s especially), it isn't, and redirects are cheap. --MZMcBride (talk) 22:51, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

The link to Little Billy Films has only existed since this afternoon, when I moved Little Billy serials after creating Little Billy. It seems absurd to have to create a Little billy redirect just to cater for the inadequacies of the mediawiki software, but if that's the way it has to be, then so be it. Malleus Fatuorum 00:17, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
You don't need to create a redir from Little billy, unless that exact redlink already exists on many pages - creating one redirect is easier than amending a heap of pages. It's easy to check how often a redlink occurs - click it, and without doing anything else first, go straight for "What links here".
But if there are no such redlinks - save for this talk page - there's a difference between creating redirects which are not needed, and leaving alone those that already exist: the former won't have incoming links from the rest of the internet, whereas the latter may well do so, and when followed, we would not want the user to see something like this broken link. --Redrose64 (talk) 12:31, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
I have no intention of creating any redirects to compensate for the inadequacies of the mediawiki software, particularly as I think this is a non-issue anyway; if I type "little billy" into the search box I'm taken to Little Billy, as I should be. Let me remind you though that my deletion request wasn't for Little billy, it was for Little Billy Films, which I created yesterday by moving Little Billy Serials, so it's unlikely there will by many incoming links. I don't see the point in this plethora of redirects unless there's some evidence that reasonable people might reasonably type alternative spellings or names into the search box, which in this case there isn't. Nevertheless it's no big deal, so keep it if it makes you happy. Malleus Fatuorum 13:05, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Wearing my admin hat, my opinion on redirects has always been "don't create them unnecessarily, but don't delete them without reason". There's not anything saved by deleting them, since their history still sits on the servers, and they do no particular harm unless they're misleading in some way. – iridescent 18:32, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Which is basically what I was trying to say. --Redrose64 (talk) 18:39, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm coming at this from a slightly different angle. I think that editors who encounter case-sensitive redirects like Little Billy Films to Little Billy films may begin to believe that such things are standard and expected, and do the same with other pages. I'm not going to fight anyone over it though, it's not my problem. Malleus Fatuorum 19:40, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Spoil from Brill Tramway to Stamford Bridge

Regarding your recent edit summary I have added a note to the Brill tramway discussion that may interest you. Britmax (talk) 08:06, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Replied there. Although the "fact" that Stamford Bridge was built with the Metropolitan Railway excavation spoil is sourceable, I don't believe it; the dates are out by 40 years, and Chelsea is nowhere nearby and wasn't connected by rail so they'd have needed a fleet of barges and carts. My money would be on the Stamford Bridge spoil coming from the deep-level excavations for the Piccadilly Line, with the clay from the Met and District railways being fired into bricks and/or used in the building of the Victoria Embankment. – iridescent 12:13, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

You're not near Hereford ...

Are you? Or any TPSs? I need a pic of Hugh Foliot's tomb effigy that is extant in Hereford Cathedral. Or someone to tell me whose tomb this File:Hereford cathedral 024.JPG pic on Commons is. (unlabeled pics on Commons drive me INSANE!) Ealdgyth - Talk 19:14, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

No, other end of the country. You want one of these characters. – iridescent 19:15, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Posted a note, we'll see what happens. At least while I was in England I got all the old bishops tombs from Winchester, Chichester, Salisbury, Canterbury, Lincoln, and Ely. I couldn't get York because that section of the cathedral was closed off, dang it! And Durham doesn't allow photos at all. Ealdgyth - Talk 19:23, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
And the answer is ... (edit conflict) "Tomb of St. Thomas of Cantilupe Bishop of Hereford canonized in 1320" says this page; also this Google Image search. BencherliteTalk 19:24, 29 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks! I've added the pic to Thomas' page... and put the info on the image's page on commons. Ealdgyth - Talk 19:34, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

I apologise for having apoligesed

...but, after your intervention, I truly feel sorry for them... LessHeard vanU (talk) 23:48, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Screen widths

Thanks for your reply, Iridescent. So tell me, in display mode without an image, are you averaging about 16–20 words across each line? That's my usual word-to-column ratio. Tony (talk) 18:12, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

I'd say slightly more; more like 20–25 words per line at full width (and this is on a laptop, not any kind of enormous monitor). As a reference point above, with the window zoomed fully out, the first line of your post above breaks between "31" and "July"; the first line break in the current version of Tarrare (which is totally image-free, so there's nothing to affect display) is at "his parents / were unable to provide". – iridescent 19:15, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Jails and gaols - 2 cents/pence

My 2 cents: I would not change to jail for Daniel Lambert. I remember walking past Reading Gaol and being surprised at the sign, (of which I can't find an image), but it was definitely called Reading Gaol - and I wasn't living in a period drama. I think the word jail in Br. Eng. can be attributed to the Monopoly (get out of jail free) and cartoons as much as Elvis. If Lambert was a gaoler, then he should be described as such. This from an American. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 19:00, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Hopefully, the new footnote will correct the problem. It's a silly thing to be arguing over. – iridescent 19:19, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Fabricating comments

re: [15]. Sorry, thumb must have touched touchpad while I was typing without me noticing. Was no intention to fabricate any comment from you. DuncanHill (talk) 19:32, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

No problem - it happens. Didn't seem like you, somehow, but I wouldn't have put it past some of the other usual suspects there (and wasn't about to go through every post in the history to find who it was). – iridescent 19:33, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
I usually notice when it happens before I hit save, or when checking the diff afterwards, but 1) am rusty, and 2) am angry, so not up to usual standard of self-checking. DuncanHill (talk) 19:36, 31 July 2010 (UTC)