User talk:Richard New Forest

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Mountain dog[edit]

In your opinion. Ipse dixit. You are not the arbiter. Take it to the talk page, and we will see what develops. 7&6=thirteen (talk) 01:11, 15 January 2011 (UTC) Stan

I've replied to this point at Talk:Mountain dog. No, I am not an arbiter, but neither is it just my opinion: we are implementing a very well established WP convention. Richard New Forest (talk) 15:14, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
I took your suggestions not only to heart, but acted upon them. I do think the article is improved as a result. Thank you. 7&6=thirteen (talk) 15:44, 15 January 2011 (UTC) Stan
No problem, but we still seem to have the "other dogs and animals" section... There is an argument for listing these in a "See also" section, but I can't see how to justify including them in the body of the article.
This and your last comment copied to Talk:Mountain dog: can we now keep discussion there please? Richard New Forest (talk) 17:56, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Hello Richard! I've just started watching Mountain dog. Have you been watching it long? I've been looking at the history and notice that it started as a simple disambiguation page. So I'm looking at a few more of the "history"s, but then I thought I'd just stop and ask you what's the story there. Cheers! Chrisrus (talk) 03:50, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

I don't really know enough about the subject. I have yet to be convinced that "mountain dog" is a consistent type distinct from other livestock guardian dogs. If it is, the page needs work but is basically heading in the right direction. If not, it should probably simply be a redirect to livestock guardian dog. Richard New Forest (talk) 08:03, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Finnhorse in Peer Review[edit]

Hi, I'd be glad if you could help me out with the Finnhorse article -- it's now having a Peer Review, and any help at all will be appreciated. Pitke (talk) 07:36, 15 January 2011 (UTC)


What about putting in the Pastoral dog template onto that page? 7&6=thirteen (talk) 20:33, 20 January 2011 (UTC) Stan

Hmmm. I'm not sure it would help much, and anyway it's a disambiguation page, not an article, and so it should really only have dab entries. Richard New Forest (talk) 21:05, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Another one[edit]

What do you think? Hay or straw? File:Strohräder.jpg Caption says straw, but looks like dry hay to me. But not as clear-cut as the stuff in the alfalfa field. Thoughts? Montanabw(talk) 00:03, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

I think it is straw. The scale and colour, the look of the stubbles, and the way the shiny stalks catch the light all seem right. There is debris on the ground in front of the bales which looks like chaff. (The field is certainly arable, though of course like the lucerne that could be a forage crop.)
There is a slight greenish appearance to the bales and stubble, and this does give it a bit of a hayish appearance. However, I think this is just the light: it's only apparent in shadow.
The flowering or fruiting grass in the left foreground is false oat grass Arrhenatherum elatius, which can be used as a forage grass (not so much in Britain, but often in France and I expect Germany too: the photographer seems to be German). However, although Ahrrenatherum is as coarse a grass as any, the grass in this photo appears to be a lot less so than the bales, again consistent with these being straw. I think the photo is taken from the edge of the field, and the grass is a road verge or fallow strip – and the grass area does seem to have an edge parallel to the rows of debris.
The photo is used as straw in lots of wikis, so it'd be a bit awkward if it did turn out to be hay... Richard New Forest (talk) 09:43, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
I have seen straw with some green in it, I admit. Usually not that green out here, but I guess this photo was taken in Germany, so climate certainly a factor. It's not out west where everything gets bone dry. Oh well, in the hay article, we sure have a hay bale that looks like straw, so I guess no harm no foul for a straw bale that looks like hay! (sigh) Montanabw(talk) 21:33, 28 January 2011 (UTC)


I noticed that in the past you have been an active editor of the dab page Bulrush. The page currently has many incoming article-space links that should be directed to the correct articles, and I was going to try to clean them up, but it quickly became apparent that I lack the knowledge to do this. (What type of bulrush is found around the Gulf of Finland, for instance?) I was hoping that you would have go at fixing these links--or, if this is not something you feel like taking on, that you could give me some guidance about disambiguating these links. (I'm watching here, so you can reply here.) Cheers! --ShelfSkewed Talk 05:06, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Hi. Thanks for note. The Gulf of Finland article is a nightmare, with many mistakes and mis- or partial translations, though like most of the others I think what is meant by "bulrush" there is Typha. I'll try to have a go some time. Richard New Forest (talk) 23:13, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. Because Bulrush is on the current list of disambig pages with the most incoming links, some other editor(s) may also be trying to work on those links, but any help at any time is most appreciated. --ShelfSkewed Talk 23:40, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
If you need help with things Finnish, give User:Pitke a shout. Pitke is Finnish, with excellent English. Not a plant expert, I don't think, but great for translating stuff; handed some material on genetics at Finnhorse just swimmingly!! Montanabw(talk) 08:40, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Have now done the first dozen or two. Usually in European and I think Australian use, it means Typha, in N American use, it normally means Schoenoplectus, and in biblical use Cyperus papyrus (probably). Some instances don't know which they mean. Richard New Forest (talk) 14:06, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

NF ponies, saddles and harnesses, oh my![edit]

New user at WPEQ just uploaded a gazillion photos of saddles, harnesses, and New Forest Ponies. Much good stuff here: [1] and [2] you weighted in earlier on the fun chat going on at my talk page (we still haven't ruled out cousin Vinnie as a suspect) but though you'd like a heads up on the photos. Montanabw(talk) 17:19, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Negative claims[edit]

Suppose you made the claim "Richard New Forest doesn't eat dog", and I were to ask you to prove that claim. You couldn't. The burden of proof would be on me, to demonstrate that you have in fact eaten dog. Similarly, the claim "water shrews cannot puncture human skin" cannot be proven, it can only be disproven if it is false. EAE (Holla!) 03:23, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

What are you saying about this article? Chrisrus (talk) 04:14, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Comment above copied to Talk:Eurasian Water Shrew. Answered there, and keep discussion there too please. Richard New Forest (talk) 12:10, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Exmoors & Co.[edit]

Would it be OK by you if I pointed out in that article the fact that the Exies' jaw structure is only found elsewhere in the Alaska fossils?

And how's this for a way-out theory, lol?! The patriliniar thing - just how far back in time does that Y chromosome trace? What if (I love that phrase!) the pretty-much-single patriline pre-dates the splitting of the northern-Euro horses to their respective areas? And, if it doesn't, what if the founding father was, himself, an Exie? Obviously not suitable for inclusion on the page, but the kind of stuff I'd love to track down more (if I ever had the time, lol!) ThatPeskyCommoner (talk) 07:05, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

As far as I can see the two horses sharing that feature is a matter of anatomical fact. The dodgy part is drawing a conclusion from it, and I think the fact that E alaskae now seems to be regarded as different enough to warrant specific rank strongly suggests that there is no other connection. I do think it's time to abandon that one... Shared features in unrelated lines is quite a well known confounding factor in palaeontology (can't remember what it's called, or I might be able to find an article on it...) I think the most we can really say in the article is that the Exmoor has the feature, and that it doesn't occur in other horses except in an apparently unrelated extinct North American one.
You are right that in principle Y-chromosomes (and indeed mitochondria) are inherited back and back and back. However, the sequences are not conserved exactly over time. When they look at them, they are not really looking for the "same" sequence, but comparing sequences from samples and counting the differences. Over time there is a random background drift in the sequence, and this can be used to give approximate dates for the last shared ancestor. Only for very recent splits would the sequences be identical, so your proto-Exmoor's sequence would change just as much as any other over a long time. (I suppose you really mean "Celtic pony" or some such, not actual Exmoor of course).
A similar sequence does not necessarily tell you how similar the animals themselves were, but only how long ago they split. For example, there are populations of bears which are physically and behaviourally part of the brown bear species, but which have been isolated for I think it's half a million years or so. Since that time, the polar bear has split from the brown bear as a different species with different behaviour, shape and physiology. So the polar bear is "more closely related" to some brown bears than some other brown bears are. This sort of thing all applies even more to Y-DNA and Mt-DNA, because as I said before they can be inherited separately to the myriads of the other lines between.
For another example, the case of European pigs. DNA studies of ancient pig material indicates that they were domesticated in the Middle East, then brought to Europe, but crossed repeatedly with local boar. The European domestic pigs ended up mostly descended from European boar, but the actual domestication event took place with different pigs elsewhere. Genetically the European pigs were nearly pure European boar, but physically they were domestic pigs, not boar, so again the DNA sequence and the physical characteristics do not necessarily go together. (Now nearly all swamped of course by the 18th & 19th century imports of Chinese pigs, and not least by the very foolish loss of the "proper" New Forest pig, the Wessex Saddleback.)
I like the story of Bryan Sykes, the genetics prof. He wrote to every man he could find in the UK phone book with the surname "Sykes", and asked for DNA samples. He found that a large proportion of them shared Y-chromosome sequences, showing that the patrilineal name and the patrilineal chromosome had been passed down together since the Middle Ages. Amazing really – I'd have expected that adoption or infidelity would have blocked most lines somewhere along the way. Richard New Forest (talk) 11:11, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
Comment on phenotype and genome. You both may remember the excitement when the human genome project was completed, I remember that among their most interesting findings was that the Aboriginal people of Australia were not as closely linked to African people, who they more closely resemble, but to the lighter-skinned, oriental-looking Malaysian and Polynesian people, who bear little resemblance to Aboriginal Australians, but logic DOES suggest that the DNA relationship reflects the path taken by humans as they traveled to Australia. Adaptation to geography can be an amazing process. Montanabw(talk) 06:22, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

Exmoor Stuff[edit]

Looks as though we may be moving ahead (a bit!) on some wording for the Exie stuff. Take a wander over to the Exie-sandbox to see what we've got so far; your take on it would be appreciated :o) ThatPeskyCommoner (talk) 11:55, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

Recent Prehistoric Large Mammals (3500 BC-500 BC)[edit]

Thought you might be interested in these ones:

"In 1998 the remains of an aurochs … were found on the beach protruding from the recently exposed blue clays of an old river channel. This animal died about 3500 years ago and is therefore one of the last aurochs to be found in Britain." (see here)

Also, horse bones have been found in (Neolithic) chamber tombs dating to about 3500 BC :o) (see "The Prehistoric Chamber Tombs of England and Wales", p 117). ThatPeskyCommoner (talk) 11:22, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

No argument about the continuity of aurochs – although domestication does not seem to have happened in Britain. The problem with horses is the very long gap between the last definitely wild horse and the first probable domestic one: why were the 3500 BC bones not domestic horses brought from elsewhere? Why a gap for horses but not for cattle? Fuller reply at Talk:Exmoor Pony. Richard New Forest (talk) 21:05, 5 March 2011 (UTC)


Hello, Yes, your right, but he is too fool and dont want to understand me, he asks me like I MUST answer to him, he thinks he is one of the admins to ask me in this such way. Nima1024 (talk) 18:50, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Nima, it was your contribution I thought could have been more politely phrased. Your edit and your edit summary made no sense, and Pdfpdf quite reasonably asked you to explain it. I don't understand what you would lose by doing so. I also can't really see in what way Pdfpdf is "too fool". Richard New Forest (talk) 19:21, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Extinction Stuff - Interesting?[edit] — Preceding unsigned comment added by ThatPeskyCommoner (talkcontribs) 10:58, 6 March 2011

No, I don't think so really.... As far as I can see, it's a load of unmitigated tosh – in fact I believe this stuff is a standard part of creation "science". Just shows what you can do with a long list of spurious refs and a cavalier disregard for inconvenient facts.
Occam's razor would say that human predation is by far the most likely explanation for the Pleistocene extinction: extinction of large animals happened, as far as we can tell, shortly after H sapiens arrived in each part of the world. The only serious alternative theory is climate change, but that cannot explain why these animals survived earlier interglacials, and why extinction also happened in places like Australia and South America where the climate did not change so much. Richard New Forest (talk) 20:06, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
USA has a huge debate going over this stuff, in part because we are ground zero for creationist nutcakes, and because we are also ground zero for climate change denial. Jared Diamond notes in Guns, Germs and Steel that the east-west axis of Eurasia provided more ease of crop dissemination than the north-south axis of the Americas, and I can't help but wonder if the same factor saved the horse in Asia but not in the Americas. In Stephen Budiasky's The Nature of Horses, he raises the interesting question of whether domestication itself may ultimately have saved the horse from worldwide extinction, suggesting that the arrival of humans in North America pushed the population over the edge, while those remaining in Europe had somehow bought themselves more time (like 5000 years or so), though noting that even in Eurasia, the wild population was pushed to the most remote and inhospitable regions of the continent and brought to the edge of extinction. I know it's WP:SYNTH to take these two books and meld them, but I can't help but wonder if climate change stressed the horse population, and human hunting was the death knell in the Americas because they had nowhere to go, while in Eurasia, they could spread out more and avoid rampaging, hungry humans until things settled down a bit. Montanabw(talk) 20:27, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm sure that just hunting is plenty of an explanation and no climate stress is needed (anyway, surely horses have a very wide range of climate tolerance). The megafauna that has survived is almost all in south-eastern Asia and Africa, and this is actually much more of a mystery (though even here there were very many extinctions). My theory is that it was in these areas that earlier human species lived, so some of the megafauna had the chance to accommodate to humans gradually over hundreds of thousands or even millions of years: everywhere else modern humans arrived very suddenly over a few centuries at most.
I'm not sure about the axis thing in respect of crop dissemination – it seems to have happened pretty well in both old and new worlds, and could it not just have been that the old world was a few thousand years ahead, having been colonised earlier? It's more important I think for the real climate extinctions, which were those caused by the glaciations themselves. In Europe and western Asia the ice drove the fauna and flora south and repeatedly pinched them against the Med, the Alps and the Himalayas. In the Americas, and indeed in the Far East, there was plenty of room for them to move away from the poles and back again. This explains why we have only two or three species of oak in north west Europe, three of birch, one beech, one chestnut, one ash and so on.
I think it's probably right that domestication saved the horse from extinction, and aurochs too. There are quite a few other domesticated species whose wild ancestors are either very rare or extinct.
In Britain we're in the lucky position that on the whole we can ignore the worst of the creationist nonsense – we do have a few, but they are mostly regarded as slightly amusing eccentrics. Climate deniers less so, but at least that's not politicised much here. Richard New Forest (talk) 22:34, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

─────────────────────────At the moment, my beloved nation is caught in the grasp of total tea-party lunacy, but I digress. I agree that the sudden arrival of humans seemed to have the most devastating impacts everywhere, whereas places where the local fauna co-evolved with humans did better. However, Jared Diamond's main example was the dissemination of grain crops, focusing on the influence of latitude on length of day and seasons, arguing that the climatic adaptations involved in moving a crop east or west over changes of elevation or rainfall were far less of a hurdle than the adaptations related to latitude, he noted that it took corn (maize) far, far longer to move from Central Mexico, where it was first domesticated, to the American Northeast than it did for Eurasian crops such as wheat to be distributed over similar distances on more of a mostly east-west trajectory. Crops like the potato never even made it from South America to North America prior to the arrival of the Europeans. Given that humans arrived in the Americas at least 12,000 years ago and some possibly much earlier, certainly prior to the Neolithic Revolution, the "been around longer" theme is only a small part -- various technological advances definitely took longer in the Americas, but the latitude challenges as well as complete absence of any kind of suitable draught animal (having killed off all the horses -- you just can't really tame a bison...) also was significant. Glaciation in the Americas was rather amazing, there were whole inland seas that were wholly drained by cataclysmic flooding as glacial ice dams melted, many Native people, at least in the Pacific Northwest, actually have flood epics, just like Noah and Gilgamesh! Montanabw(talk) 06:47, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I see, that does make sense.
Not sure which I'd choose to domesticate out of aurochs and bison... In fact, likewise wild yak and gaur – all are 18 hands or so, weigh the best part of a ton, and have (or had) spiky bits at the front with an attitude to match. How do you ever get such a thing to let you milk it...? I remember seeing a programme (Tribe with Bruce Parry) where there were gayal which lived apparently wild in the forest, but were tamed using handfuls of salt. I think you'd need a lot of salt... Anyway domestication is not usually done from scratch in every area: if a tame aurochs is available, there's no need to struggle with a wild bison or, come to that, eland.
Some days, it sort of amazes me that cattle were ever domesticated; bulls still kind of spook me, and I've even seen a few Angus cows with calf at side give humans a pretty evil eye! Sometimes I think we only managed to just slow them down a bit... Montanabw(talk) 19:03, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Here's a conundrum: why are domesticated horses, on the whole, much larger than wild ones, while domesticated donkeys (like cattle, yaks etc) are mostly the same or smaller? Richard New Forest (talk) 09:37, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Best way to domesticate a 'wild' animal is kill the mum shortly after birth, and bond with the baby. That may explain how a lot of animals were domesticated - mum's killed during a hunt, and baby gets allowed to grow up (not much meat on it, after all!) near where the humans are. Whatever the mechanics, our ancestors did successfully manage to domesticate quite a bit of stuff! I think the domesticated horses got bred bigger because their musculo-skeletal structure is better suited for really heavy work than the donkey's is (a donkey-sized pony can pull a load far better than a donkey can, for instance), and they thrive better in wetter areas than donkeys do, so were more available. And, of course, they were already 'local' in northern Europe, whereas the donks were a long way away at the beginning of the Euro-domestication of equines. I'd like to dig into any non-Antlantis-theorists' archeology of that alleged major flood, to see how much non-partisan evidence there actually is for some kind of quasi-catastrophic event. ThatPeskyCommoner (talk) 11:47, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
File:Alexander Sarcophagus.jpg Look how small these ancient horses really were! (Note knees of riders, head of riders) Selective breeding is an amazing thing. I suppose that basically, the horse was of greater benefit as a riding and harness animal by getting a little larger, adding either strength or speed or both, while bovines were a bit easier to handle if they got smaller. Donkeys weren't ridden so much as they were used as pack animals, so humans would probably lack the motive to breed them taller, other than, arguably, jacks for siring mules. But as for "local", horse domestication originates from the Ukranian steppes and spreads out from there, and if you want to get technical, the animal itself is native to steppe country in both Eurasia and North America. So while various indigenous wild equines eventually scattered themselves about, the domesticated ones probably got bigger before they got "local" genes into them (and in Northern Europe, most of the obviously-landrace types actually rather small) Just saying. We don't start seeing stuff routinely over 15 hands until well into the late Middle ages if not later. Even accounting for bad art, File:Charlemagne and Pope Adrian I.jpg, File:Einhard vita-karoli 13th-cent.jpg, File:Paolo Uccello 023, horses clearly took a while to get up to modern sizes. Montanabw(talk) 19:03, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

New Sandbox - Come Play![edit]

Following on from Kim's suggestion for a new article, the History of the Horse in Britain Sandbox is up and running, with a few starters in it - please come and play in it! How well up are you on the history of farming in Britain, and 'Horses in Agriculture'? Anything and everything from pre-historic domestication of animals right through to today would be great. ThatPeskyCommoner (talk) 11:38, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Coooo-eeeeeeeeeee! Anyone at home? Any input would be welcome :o) I'd also like to be able to cite wassname (Yalden!) as part of the extinct/not-extinct thing (teach the controversy) - can you bung a link up to it in the discussion page for that sandbox? ThatPeskyCommoner (talk) 10:44, 18 March 2011 (UTC)
OK, OK, I'll have a look. Richard New Forest (talk) 11:09, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

OK, thanks so much! Your contributions will be valuable (and appreciated) :o) ThatPeskyCommoner (talk) 14:59, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Proposed deletion of Australian Collie[edit]

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The article Australian Collie has been proposed for deletion because of the following concern:

Non-notable mixed dog breed. Google search does not show any reliable sources.

While all contributions to Wikipedia are appreciated, content or articles may be deleted for any of several reasons.

You may prevent the proposed deletion by removing the {{proposed deletion/dated}} notice, but please explain why in your edit summary or on the article's talk page.

Please consider improving the article to address the issues raised. Removing {{proposed deletion/dated}} will stop the proposed deletion process, but other deletion processes exist. The speedy deletion process can result in deletion without discussion, and articles for deletion allows discussion to reach consensus for deletion. Miyagawa (talk) 22:30, 11 March 2011 (UTC)


I noticed that you reverted my change of the wording in the article Joseph Henry Woodger from 'née Buckle' back to 'born Buckle'. I am happy for my changes to be reverted if I have made an error of some kind, but I feel that you reverted my change in the manner of the beginnings of an Edit War. My change was not only legitimate, but improved the comprehensibleness of the article. Although originally a French word, 'née' has undoubtedly become a loan word, and is therefore part of the organic language that is English. 'Née' has no exact alternative in English - not even 'born'. The wording you substituted could be misconstrued that she was born with the first name Buckle (however silly that may sound). I also added an internal link to the article Married and maiden names, which helps contribute to 'building the web', which Wikipedia encourages oh so much, and avoided any (admittedly small) confusion that may (but probably would never) occur. I expect you don't care enough to argue about this, but I will refrain from continuing an edit war until you reply. If you don't reply within a week, I'll revert your reversion, and therefore continue to support the wonderful relationship English can legitimately have with all languages, and, consequently, all cultures. --Tom dl (talk) 02:44, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Hi. I think "née" is both archaeic and not fully absorbed into English, and moreover there is a perfectly good English word which will do just as well and is commonly used in the same sense.
No doubt Eden Woodger herself would have used "née", because at that time this and many other French words and phrases were in common usage, especially in educated society whose members commonly knew French. However, we are not writing WP for Edwardians, but for modern readers and speakers of English, including those from cultures where French is not widely known. My (1970s) copy of the Concise Oxford Dictionary gives "née" in italics, indicating that even at that time it was regarded as foreign; its use has surely declined since.
I don't really understand your argument about "born" possibly suggesting that she was born with the first name Buckle. Surely "née" and "born" are exact translations, so "née" could just as easily suggest that? In the context, I can't see that anyone would seriously consider this possibility.
I agree that one of the interesting things about English is how words are absorbed, often with slightly different meanings. My favourite example is "paste", which has entered English several times independently and has diversified into many quite separate meanings – I can think of paste, pastry, pasty (n), pasty (adj), pâté, pasta, patty, pastel... However, some words are never fully absorbed, or as in this case are partly absorbed and then drop out of use.
By the way, please remember to assume good faith: the time to mention edit warring is when it there is absolutely no doubt that it is happening, not when it might just possibly be beginning. Your change was made without explanation and seemed unnecessary to me. I reverted it with quite a full edit summary explaining why. You've now quite properly started a discussion: that's all just how WP is supposed to work. One revert of an unexplained change is really a very long way from edit warring. Richard New Forest (talk) 11:01, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

IPAc-en conversion[edit]

We have a bot converting old IPA templates with an eye towards deprecating the dozen or so templates used now and standardizing Wikipedia. If you revert the changes it will just show up on the bot again. --deflective (talk) 19:32, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Why is a bot amending talk pages? Richard New Forest (talk) 21:19, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Moving talk sections[edit]

The discussions were a year and two years old at the time of my contributions. Moving the entire section "refreshes" the discussion by bringing the entire discussion thread up as a change - - which brings attention to an otherwise dead discussion thread. --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 11:27, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Well - closer to 6 months and 18 months old . . . --User:Ceyockey (talk to me) 11:28, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Still don't quite understand... If you contribute to an old discussion, that automatically shows as a change to other users, so attention is brought to it that way. If you move the whole thread, your own change is concealed by the change to the whole section; in fact at first I missed both of your comments for that reason.
I've been looking at Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines#Editing comments. This says: "The basic rule ... is, that you should not edit or delete the comments of other editors". It does give various exceptions, but as far as I can see not including that one. Richard New Forest (talk) 12:04, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Regarding Saddleback (pig)[edit]

Please note our recently enacted policy at WP:CONCEPTDAB. If a topic covers multiple related phenomena that are capable of being described generally, then the topic is merely broad, and not "ambiguous". In this case, a person might reasonably refer to "Saddleback pigs" generally as a broad conceptual category of types of pigs. Please note also that, per WP:INCOMPDAB, this title is an incomplete disambiguation, a problem that we have an entire project dedicated to eliminating. If it does not redirect to a specific article, then it must either be deleted altogether or redirect to Saddleback, possibly as a section redirect to that page. Cheers! bd2412 T 18:56, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Copied to Talk:Saddleback (pig) and answered there. Richard New Forest (talk) 19:45, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Shetland Sheepdog Citation Edit[edit]

Hi, Just wondering why you changed the Citation needed from "entire paragraph" to "last part of the paragraph" in the paragraph "Their early history is not well-known. They were originally a small mixed-breed dog, often 8–10 inches (200–250 mm) in height. It is thought that the original Shetland herding dogs were of Spitz type, and these were crossed with collie-type sheepdogs from mainland Britain. In the early 20th century, James Loggie added a small show Rough Collie to the stock, and the modern Shetland sheepdog was established. The original name of the breed was Shetland Collie, but this caused controversy among Rough Collie breeders, and the breed's formal name was changed to Shetland Sheepdog." As far as I can see there is no citing in this entire paragraph. Am I missing something? Cheers, Keetanii (talk) 09:50, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

No, I wasn't quite right – I didn't read it through carefully enough. The Iris Combe & Pat Hutchinson ref does supports the second sentence, and at least part of the first, but I don't think the height bit, and it really doesn't make that much difference anyway. I ought to have left the note as it was – sorry. Richard New Forest (talk) 09:58, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
All good I was just looking and looking thinking I was going insane haha! Keetanii (talk) 10:28, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Re: list of dog hybrids[edit]

Understandable. I've been a proponent of keeping that list clean, but if you haven't read the AfD I recommend doing so: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Border jack Not sure I agree with the outcome, since it does not jibe with the list's standards, but I was annoyed enough with two erroneous references added near the end that I didn't want to risk getting into hot water by not merging what was there. Whatever you'd like to do is kosher.

In a (superficially) similar vein, you'll note I redirected Miniature Golden Retriever without merging despite the AfD's "consensus", and no one's complained (yet). That's really a different kettle of fish, though, since there were cero reliable sources. – anna 23:00, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. It seems to be the usual thing: "my dog ought to be on WP". The sources only provide evidence that someone has thought of the name, not that it's an established type, and as we've said before, if that was all it took we'd have a list of thousands of them. Richard New Forest (talk) 16:24, 12 May 2011 (UTC)


Hello Richard. I have been looking through some of the recent developments at Meander and I noticed there has been quite a bit of to-ing and fro-ing about whether, in a river bend, the water flow is fastest at the outside of the bend or the inside. A number of edits changing the text to say the flow is fastest at the outside have been made from IP addresses. The most recent time that the text was changed to say the flow is fastest at the outside was in September 2010 when you made the following edit.
The article has been amended in recent days to say that the flow is fastest on the inside of the bend. (See diff.) My reason for believing that the flow is fastest on the inside of the bend is that the only way fluids can change direction, such as water flowing around a bend in a river, is in vortex flow. In a free vortex, the speed of the fluid is inversely proportional to the distance from the center of rotation. See Vortex. Consider a hurricane (typhoon, tornado, cyclone etc.) - in these natural phenomena the flow near the center of rotation often reaches truly destructive speeds whereas at a great distance from the center the speeds are relatively benign.
I am curious as to whether you agree that the flow is fastest on the inside of the bend, or whether you will advocate reverting the most recent change at Meander. If you disagree I would appreciate the opportunity to discuss it with you on the Meander talk page. Best regards. Dolphin (t) 12:33, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

The article states that flow is faster on the inside. The ref (ref 6) given to support this seems obscure, and the example given of "possibly a bend in a river" seems unconvincing. I'm not sure it is talking about meanders at all.
In the course of writing this I had a look at a couple of meanders on the River Avon, and those were certainly flowing faster on the outside (by a factor of about three).
I can't find any authoritative Google hits that talk about flow being faster on the inside, but very many say it is the opposite (I searched on "faster flow on inside of meander", and got the opposite). Many of these look authoritative: for example [3]. Also see this, which seems pretty conclusive.
The article Tea leaf paradox gives a good explanation of why material would migrate to the inside of a curve where flow is faster on the outside.
Of course what I think does not matter, and in fact nor does what you or IP editors think. What we need, as always in WP, is an authoritative, geomorphological source we can quote: that would answer the question, and at the same time prevent vandalism. I don't think the source we do have helps much. Can you find any clear sources which support the inside-is-faster idea? Richard New Forest (talk) 21:10, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your prompt response. I agree that we are primarily concerned with the information provided in the cited sources, not what individual editors believe is true.
On the subject of bend flow, one excellent reference is the article “Meandering Channels” by Edward J. Hickin. This is published at page 430 of “Encyclopedia of Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks”. On page 432 Hickin makes the following statement:
In the absence of secondary flow, bend flow seeks to conserve angular momentum so that it tends to conform to that of a free vortex with high velocity at the smaller radius of the inner bank and lower velocity at the outer bank where radial acceleration is lower.
I supplied this reference as an in-line citation in the article Point bar. I have now added it to Meander.
Your observation of a river flowing faster near the outside bank and slower near the inside bank is a common one. The inside bank of the river is often shallow due to accumulated sand and gravel that have been swept into that location by the secondary flow across the bed of the river. The shallow depth of the water causes viscous drag and loss of momentum to be more significant than in deeper parts of the river, with the result that water flows relatively slowly over the sand bar. However, outside the sand bar the depth increases, and bend flow conforms accurately to free vortex flow with higher speed around the inner radius and slower speed around the outer radius, just like a tornado or hurricane.
I have looked at the websites you quoted. Firstly, this one is sadly misleading. It states that flow is fastest on the outside of the curve and as an explanation of why this happens it states Think of the water flowing in a channel like cars moving down a highway! No, there is no analogy between the flow of fluids and cars moving down a highway. This website merely perpetuates the myth in old-fashioned geography books that sand, gravel and other heavy objects are carried in suspension by the river until it reaches a bend and then these things fall out of suspension on the inside of the bend. There was never an attempt to explain why sand, gravel and other heavy objects can be carried in suspension. The truth is that these things are swept along the bed of the river until the secondary flow sweeps them to the inside of the bend, just like tea leaves being swept to the centre of a cup of tea.
In your second website (this one) I found nothing stating that the flow is fastest on the outside or slowest on the inside. What did you find? Dolphin (t) 22:49, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
Your quote says "in the absence of secondary flow"... But surely meanders do have secondary flow? Presumably only a very shallow flow would not, which is a different matter altogether. (Indeed, do sheet flows generate meanders at all?) Does Hickin talk about bends with secondary flow? You say sediment is swept to the inside of the bend "just like tea leaves being swept to the centre of a cup of tea" – but I don't think you're suggesting that the flow in the centre of a tea-cup is faster than that at the edge...
The Wiley ref may be misleading, but we need something to show it is: an authoritative source that explains how the schoolboy explanation is wrong. Your analysis of the "cars on the highway" explanation seems valid, as does the idea of the secondary flow sweeping material to the inside of the bend, but again we need a ref for it. Is their explanation perhaps just a lie-to-children – right for the wrong reason? Either way I don't really see why the existence of a secondary flow precludes faster flow on the outside of the bend.
The ref has a clear diagram (fig 1) which shows velocity across the bend and at different depths, as well as showing the secondary flow. As I say, this seems conclusive. Fig 8 shows the same thing in a sequence of meanders, where the higher velocity on the outside of one bend persists some distance into the next meander. I have to say I there's a good deal of this paper I don't understand, but I think you'll agree it's certainly not just repeating "known" facts as the Wiley one seems to be.
I think we should now copy this discussion to Talk:Meander and continue it there. Richard New Forest (talk) 13:31, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Thanks for continuing our discussion on this subject. The essence of my quotation from Hickin is … bend flow … tends to conform to … a free vortex ... By preceding this with the expression In the absence of secondary flow ... Hickin isn’t saying that as soon as some secondary flow appears his statement becomes untrue. In every fluid flow situation there is an element of secondary flow, usually just a thin viscous boundary layer. In many fluid flow situations the model of the primary flow is accurate for 99% of the flow, and the secondary flow is no more than 1% of the flow in the vicinity of the junction between fluid and the surrounding solid surface. In the case of any fluid flowing around a corner, such as a water pipe with a bend, there is a boundary layer adjacent to the solid surface and this boundary layer does not conform to the profile of a free vortex. The classic velocity profile of a free vortex is consistent with the Euler equations (fluid dynamics).

Hickin does mention the role of the secondary flow. He states Near the bed, where velocity and thus the centrifugal effects are lowest, the balance of forces is dominated by the inward hydraulic gradient of the super-elevated water surface and secondary flow moves toward the inner bank. This is Note 5 in Meander.

The flow of a particular river around a particular bend will be profoundly influenced by the profile of the river bed. Other factors such as the presence of vegetation will also play a part. These things dictate the nature and extent of the secondary flow. There will be some river bends where the flow at one point is slower than at some other point closer to the outer bank, as a result of the secondary flow that is superimposed on the primary flow. However, this doesn’t allow us to imply the speed of flow around all river bends increases with radius because there will be other river bends where the secondary flow is minor and the primary flow (free vortex flow) predominates.

Immediately after a cup of tea has been stirred there is a lot of turbulence so there are no steady-state velocities. The important feature is that the tea is flowing in a circular pattern. The surface of the tea is highest where the radius is greatest, and there is a depression in the tea surface at the centre. As a result of the changing depth of the tea the pressure on the bottom of the cup is higher where the radius is greatest, and lower in the centre, and that pressure gradient drives the flow towards the centre of the cup, sweeping the tea leaves with it. The slower speed where the pressure is greatest (tea is deepest) and the faster speed where the pressure is least (tea is shallowest) is consistent with Bernoulli's principle. I often notice that when water is flowing down the plug hole in a bath or laundry tub, and following a circular path as it does so, the soap suds will show clearly that the speed is fastest where the radius is smallest, just like a tornado or hurricane.

I agree that in the article, figure 8 shows a complex velocity profile. It also shows a strong variation in the depth of water due to a dramatic profile to the river bed. This complex velocity profile is the result of the secondary effects due to the profile of the river bed. Figure 8 doesn’t allow us to say all river bends display the water speed increasing with radius. It certainly doesn’t allow us to imply that river bends repudiate Bernoulli's principle or Euler’s equations.

Perhaps the best solution for the article is to find suitable words to say that the primary flow pattern around a river bend is with the speed of flow decreasing as radius increases, but that secondary effects such as the shape of the river bed can cause considerable variation in the velocity profiles around individual river bends.

This subject is already under discussion on the Meander talk page. See Talk:Meander#Formation. Dolphin (t) 00:22, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

I'm confused. Nothing in what you say explains why velocity should be higher at the inside in any case, let alone in most or all cases. The article clearly shows faster flow towards the outside, and I am unconvinced that this is just because of the bed profile, especially for the situation in fig 8. It certainly shows that flow is faster towards the outside in at least some cases.
Can you find any authoritative source which shows faster flow on the inside?
I think your comparison of a tea-cup with a plug-hole is flawed. In a tea-cup the fastest flow is at the outside, and the centre is almost still; there is no net radial flow. In a plug-hole the fluid is forced towards the centre as it is removed down the hole, and the speed of rotation increases due to the conservation of angular momentum. The difference is that there is a consistent flow towards the centre in a plug-hole: in fact the cases are almost opposite. A river bend is surely more similar to a tea-cup, because water is not being removed at the inside of the curve.
I think the current situation can be summarised as follows:
  • We have very many refs available which say that flow is faster at the outside.
  • Some of these provide an implausible (or at best incomplete) explanation.
  • We have no refs which explain why these are implausible.
  • Other refs appear convincing, at least in some cases.
  • We have no refs which state that flow is faster on the inside ever, let alone most or all of the time.
This situation does not seem to support the wording you favour. Can you find refs which do? Richard New Forest (talk) 20:39, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
At Vortex#Free (irrotational) vortex it states:
When fluid is drawn down a plug-hole, one can observe the phenomenon of a free vortex or line vortex. The tangential velocity v varies inversely as the distance r from the center of rotation, so the angular momentum rv is uniform everywhere throughout the flow …
The tangential velocity is given by:
where Γ is the circulation and r is the radial distance from the center of the vortex.
In non-technical terms, the fluid near the center of the vortex circulates faster than the fluid far from the center. The speed along the circular path of flow decreases as you move out from the center.
To support these statements in Vortex I have cited sub-section 7.5 of Lawrie Clancy’s book Aerodynamics. Later today I will have access to a copy of Clancy and I can supply some explanatory text.
You have asked why velocity should be higher at the inside in any case? Perhaps the simplest explanation is to say that any object, including a small parcel of fluid, moving on a circular path must be experiencing a centripetal force. In the case of a fluid flowing around a bend the centripetal force exists because the pressure at the outside of the bend is higher than the pressure at the inside of the bend. Bernoulli's principle explains that if a fluid has a higher pressure at point A than at point B, then the fluid speed at point A will be slower than the speed at point B. In the case of a river bend, the pressure (at any given depth) at the outside of the bend is higher than at the inside so, to conform to Bernoulli's principle, the speed at the outside is slower than at the inside. The higher pressure at the outside and lower pressure at the inside occurs simultaneously with a sloping water surface. The surface of a river around a bend is actually sloped, like the surface of a velodrome for bicycle racing. The sloping surface with a depression in the centre is clearly evident with a cup of tea immediately after vigorous stirring to set the tea into circular motion.
A more rigorous explanation is to say fluids are very good at experiencing normal stresses (which are called pressures in the case of fluids) but very poor at experiencing shear stresses. The only shear stresses in fluids are the result of viscous forces, so if there are no viscous forces present there can be no shear stresses. When there are no shear stresses present a moving fluid changes direction in a flow pattern called a free vortex. In a free vortex the velocity is inversely proportional to the distance from the centre of rotation. Euler equations (fluid dynamics) provide an elegant mathematical demonstration of why it occurs this way. Tornados and hurricanes provide a large-scale physical demonstration of the phenomenon. Later today I will supply some explanatory text from a reliable published source. Best regards. Dolphin (t) 23:06, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Your explanation of a plug-hole vortex is exactly what I said. It is the tea-cup situation which is different.
Your explanation of why velocity should be higher on the inside does not explain it. In fact, by reference to a tea-cup, you seem to say the opposite. In a tea-cup the surface is sloped up towards the edges, and yet the velocity increases towards the edges. Why is a river different?
All your explanations say, in essence "it happens because so-and-so principle requires it". Unfortunately this is not enough, and is no better than "it happens because it's like a highway", which is "obvious", but wrong. I can't tell whether you understand the principle properly, or are even applying the right principle. What we need is an authoritative explanation which shows what happens and why. Richard New Forest (talk) 08:39, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
In a tea cup the velocity does not increase towards the perimeter. When the turbulence subsides and there are steady velocities throughout the tea, the velocity is smallest at the perimeter and greatest near the centre. If you find this too counter-intuitive have a look at Rankine vortex.
There are many published statements that in a fluid flowing with curved streamlines the velocity is inversely proportional to the radius:
However, simple statements of the same thing in plain English are elusive. The best I have been able to find in a short time is from section 4.4 of Aerodynamics where Clancy says A simple example of a flow with circulation is a so-called free vortex. The streamlines of such a flow are concentric circles, and the speed is everywhere inversely proportional to the distance from the centre of the circles.
The reason I am using some of the laws of physics to explain my point of view is simple. If we go looking for quality references to support statements that are consistent with the laws of physics we are likely to be successful. If we go looking for quality references to support statements that contradict the laws of physics we will be unsuccessful.
The following statement by Hickin, already cited at reference 4 at Meander, is still one of the best: In the absence of secondary flow, bend flow seeks to conserve angular momentum so that it tends to conform to that of a free vortex with high velocity at the smaller radius of the inner bank and lower velocity at the outer bank where radial acceleration is lower. There is nothing in this statement to suggest that the primary flow pattern around a river bend involves the fastest speed at the outer bank or the slowest speed at the inner bank. Dolphin (t) 13:40, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Can I suggest you get a cup of tea and try it? I did, this morning, and the tea in the centre is stationary. Counter-intuitive, yes, but it seems also counter to observation.
The trouble with arguing from first principles is that it relies on a correct line of reasoning, which can be correctly followed by a listener. Your reasoning may be correct, but I cannot follow it. I suspect it is not correct, and you have yet to show me you are right. I would be happier with an empirical model based on real measurements, with accompanying explanation. The paper comes close to this, although it does seem to be based on a sophisticated theoretical model rather than empirical measurements.
Incidentally, I notice that in the link given in Rankine vortex ([4]), the fluid in the centre of the vortex is almost stationary, as in a tea-cup. The same is shown in the measurements of a real tornado here (fig 3). Richard New Forest (talk) 16:04, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

─────────────────────────I have found some such empirical studies, which are very revealing. The upshot is, I think, that we're both wrong, or possibly, both right...

Here is one [5]. It is a study of artificial meanders of various cross-sectional profiles and various depths, using channels with rigid walls, flat bottoms, symmetrical profiles and no sediment. It measured tangential velocity (that is, the downstream velocity that we've been discussing) across the channels at the apex of a meander. It found (section 4.3.1, p 45) that the maximum velocity is, as you thought, towards the inner side of the curve: "in all the channels, the thread of maximum velocity is found to occur near the inner wall of the channel section".

However... It goes on to say "this is strikingly different from the findings of other investigators on shallow meandering channels. For shallow meandering channels the thread of maximum velocity is located near the outer bank at the bend apex". It goes on to say that this is because the secondary flow is greater in shallow channels and less effective in deep channels. This fits with your quote from Hickin, about the situation in the absence of secondary flow.

The other difference between this study and real meanders is, as you implied when discussing the paper, that real meander channels do not have flat bottoms, but have deeper water towards the outside of the bend. As you correctly stated, deeper water can flow faster. This is illustrated in another empirical study([6]), which used a channel with a mobile bed which was allowed to develop its own profile. In this case the maximum velocity is towards the outer bank (see especially fig 3).

So it seems to me that flow is faster on the outside in most (and perhaps all) real meanders, despite your argument from first principles being essentially correct, and no fluid mechanics being violated. What I'm not sure about is whether there are any real meanders where secondary flow is so unimportant and their beds so flat that their flow is indeed faster on the inside. A real meander does of course have sediment, which will prevent the bed being flat.

How about saying that the fastest flow is near the deepest part of the channel, and that in most meanders this is near the outer bank? What do you think? Richard New Forest (talk) 17:08, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the links to related articles. I found them all interesting. Have you seen this one?
I think it would be reasonable to say the fastest flow is near the deepest part of the channel, and in most meanders this is near the outer bank.
I have been thinking about the reason (or lack thereof) for the article saying that the speed of flow is fastest near the inner bank and slowest near the outer bank. The cross-flow along the bed of the river, towards the inner bank, can be explained perfectly using the fact that near the outer bank the water surface is super-elevated (by a small amount), and near the inner bank it is lower by a similar amount (is sub-elevated a word, or would depressed be better?) The free vortex model of the primary flow is essential if resorting to a Bernoulli explanation of the cross flow, but the article doesn't present such an explanation and there is no reason for doing so.
I suspect the reason that MichaelScottRoberts and I have been so energetic in pushing the high speed/low speed argument is to struggle against the traditional explanation wherein the river carries a load of sediment while flowing in a straight line, but then when it reaches a bend the flow near the inner bank slows down and it drops some of the sediment. See the following diff which shows when this traditional explanation first appeared in Meander - diff. (This edit was never supported by an in-line citation.) I have never seen an attempted explanation as to why so much sediment is carried when the river is flowing in a straight line, why the sediment is dropped when the speed of flow reduces, or why the sediment is not dropped when the river slows down for some other reason, such as the river widening.
I think that, providing the traditional explanation isn't thrust back into the article, MichaelScottRoberts and I will be able to live with nothing being said about vortex flow or velocity gradients across the width of the river. Dolphin (t) 03:44, 20 May 2011 (UTC)


Hi, Richard, I very rudely reverted the good changes you had made to Ox as I was too dumb to know how else to preserve the changes I myself had been making on and off throughout the morning and had failed to save; please excuse that discourtesy, not of course intended as such. In many cases we had anyway made substantially the same edits. I've tried to either incorporate or respond to almost all the changes you made. My thoughts on those not so far (re-)incorporated: the section is largely about shoeing rather than shoes, and follows a section on training; the Italian names are arguably irrelevant (though of course they don't seem so to me!), but the references are not as they also link to relevant images; your wording for Sargent & Dujardin had the same phrase twice, slightly uncomfortable to read. Let's talk. Have you given up on horses, then?
Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 15:22, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

(Lurking) JLAN, Richard is our cattle and farming guy! He's great on horses, but is our unquestioned guru of things bovine. Also our horse driving guru. We try not to abuse him too much. Montanabw(talk) 18:55, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Don't listen to Montanabw: I have very nearly as deep an ignorance of these things as anyone else.
There's no particular harm in the Italian names, but the problem is, where do we stop? To be consistent we would have to include a translation for every language which has a term, and I think this is why simple translations are generally avoided in WP – which is of course not a dictionary. I think it's best only to include them where there's something particularly notable about the term in relation to the article.
Your changes otherwise look OK – I've only reinstated one of mine, about balance. In fact it is possible to train a bovine to lift a front leg, but they are reluctant, and it's hard for them to lift a hind leg at all except momentarily to kick. Horses, being much leggier in proportion, are naturally better at balancing – they often stand on three legs spontaneously, so it's not difficult at all to train them. In the painting I think the ox is also being balanced by its horns being tied to the post, or it would fall over while having the hind foot lifted; it would also explain why this is a such a solid post, and why it has lashing bars. Perhaps this ox was worked in a head-yoke, in which case it would be very used to bracing against its horns (unfortunately no yoke is visible in the painting, though there is a small ox-cart to the left). The small post on which its hind foot is resting also has bars for lashing, and I think this is what the chap behind the ox is doing in the painting, while the farrier himself can be seen over the ox's back, making the shoes in the smithy. I like the careful details in this painting – the smith is hammering, the forge is glowing, the chimney is smoking. There are also elements not shown but which we know are there, such as the other ox, and the boy's older brother whose shoes he is wearing...
I wonder if it's worth mentioning that the main use for such machines nowadays is for trimming the hoofs of cattle? Try a search on "hoof trimming crush". Richard New Forest (talk) 10:19, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Ah, nice! The thing I like best about this business is the opportunity to discover totally new stuff. I've made a section for hoof trimming crushes in Cattle crush; now it just needs someone who knows something about them to write it. I too like the painting, and would dearly like to know where it was painted; I feel it is too old to place great reliance on, but at least it shows that an ox can be shod standing. The ox tradition is only just dying out here; I think it is no more than 15 years since I saw working oxen (pulling a cart, not working the land). I'm going over to the blacksmith's now to see if I can get some pictures of his travaglio. I moved the Italian terms, agree they were not fully relevant to Ox. Agree on NOTDICT, but also believe WP:NOTPAPER. There are good and comprehensive articles on ox shoeing crushes on fr. and es. wp, which I have now linked to from Cattle crush, where a sort of nation-by-nation overview had already been started. Unless you know the foreign-language name of a thing, how will you search for it? Translation software is quite useless for this kind of (rather abstruse!) topic, dictionaries only marginally less so. BTW, want a mess to sort? Take a look at Bovine podiatry!
Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 15:38, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
I for one am definitely going to hide from that one! But if you want another mess, try Equine podiatry. I think ANY help there is an improvement over what currently exists! We don't even use the term in the US, so I don't even know where to begin... Montanabw(talk) 23:21, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Tag Game Becomes Tiresome[edit]

Hi Richard. You helped me a while back with an article I was attempting to move to the main text of wikipedia. No new articles, but I have been having a strange discussion with someone who keeps changing the text of a wikipedia article for reasons that are not supported by valid sources. It has been reduced to a game of tag with each undoing the previous change on the page Japanese battleship Nagato. Is there a way to address this kind of problem with an administrator, and if so how would I go about bringing that question to someone's attention. Thanks. Gunbirddriver (talk) 00:36, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Hi Gunbirddriver.
This sort of disagreement is not unusual on WP, and we have to try to work with other editors to come to a consensus. Unfortunately you and the IP have both been edit warring (see WP:Edit warring), to the extent that at least one of you has broken the three revert rule (a wiki-sin which could even result in blocking). Neither of you should revert until a discussion has reached a consensus, although it would be acceptable to put a "fact" tag and a "section in dispute" tag on the material.
I can't help with the discussion itself – are there any other editors who are knowledgeable in this field? In any case, whatever material is included it must have refs. Those you list in the discussion seem on the face of it to support your position – could there be equally good refs for the other viewpoint, or is it WP:OR by the IP? Could you both be right? Otherwise see dispute resolution. Richard New Forest (talk) 09:15, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
He is right in thinking that the battleship was not the primary means of projecting power in the Pacific war, but wrong in suggesting that the Japanese command understood this at the start of the war and withheld Nagato from combat for that reason. I see I probably am in violation of the three revert rule. I put up the Facts in Dispute tag and will look to see if I can get someone to help reach a consensus. Thanks for your thoughtful response. Gunbirddriver (talk) 23:32, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

Float vs cart[edit]

Hi Richard - I saw your comment at Talk:Cart opposing the merge I had proposed (I placed the tags, then forgot about it, so just saw the discussion). You say that the horse drawn float article shouldn't be merged into the cart article because a float has four wheels and a cart two. However, the float article starts off with the (referenced) statement "A float is a form of two-wheeled horse-drawn cart", which was what I was basing my merge proposal off of. Also, in the cart article, it lists the horse drawn float as one of the types of cart - "float: a dropped axle to give an especially low loadbed, for carrying heavy or unstable items such as milk churns. The name survives today as a milkfloat.". I guess I'm just confused as to why we need a separate very short article on what appears to be, according to both articles, just a cart variation. Dana boomer (talk) 16:00, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

I wonder if that "two wheels" is vandalism, as I'm sure a float does have four. I'll see if I can find a ref. If it was two, I'd agree with the merge. Richard New Forest (talk) 22:11, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
The article has said "two wheeled" since the original revision, and it was started by an established user. However, I look forward to any additional information you can find. Dana boomer (talk) 22:50, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Haven't yet found a good source, but so far I do seem to be right, with two exceptions. Floats do generally seem to be four-wheeled delivery wagons with wheels small enough to turn under the bed (and there is no doubt that they do include this form). However, at least for milk deliveries the word does seem to be used more loosely, being used for carts as well as floats proper – this looser usage continues to today, when electric milk-delivery vehicles are still called "milk floats". The other situation is for wagons or trailers used in a procession or carnival, especially for displays and so on, which again has continued into modern times for motor-drawn vehicles. I haven't yet found any other unambiguous two-wheeled floats. I do remember reading a specialist book which defined it as four-wheeled, but unfortunately that was over 30 years ago, it was not my book, and I can't remember the ref now...
We should also be alert to the possibility that there are dialect variations. Richard New Forest (talk) 07:35, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
And I don't think anything in the US is called a "float" other than decorated vehicles used in parades! LOL! Other than terms for specialized vehicles, we say "cart" for 2-wheel (and occasionally for light 4-wheel) vehicles, and then wagon, buggy, carriage, for 4-wheeled stuff. Montanabw(talk) 18:47, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

About the discussion in the Panthera atrox page[edit]

Sorry for that, very deeply, but that guy is not just very wrong, but his attitude is irritating. However, I do apologize for all this, and I will not engage in another conversation of this kind, this is not my common behavior. Just a little thing, is AmbaDarla, not Amber, as I am male. If you want, I can change all the strong words and leave just the information regarding the issue. I will wait for your answer. Greetings and cheers :o). AmbaDarla (talk) 20:51, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Hi Amba. I think perhaps it's not me you should be aplogising to... People on WP (as anywhere else) can certainly be very irritating at times, but we just have to be polite anyway. Incidentally, when amending one's comments on talk pages the convention is generally to use strikeout rather than just deleting them. Regards, Richard New Forest (talk) 08:39, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

A tippo[edit]

Someone sandboxing some interesting research, some of which may be relevant to the cattle article. Another user tipped me off on this. I'm not going to play without an invite, but may swipe some of the source material. Interesting stuff. [7] Montanabw(talk) 22:09, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Botanical family names[edit]


Plant family names are plural words, and take plural pronouns and verbs. So "Cyperaceae is..." is grammatically incorrect. The -aceae means "plants in the form of". See Article 18 of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. ThanksMichaplot (talk) 16:49, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Not entirely convinced by this. A family is one thing composed of many, like a company, a council, a team or a committee – and in English all these are treated as plural in some circumstances and singular in others. While I agree that the Latin grammatical structure of both botanical and animal family names is plural, I'm not sure that general English usage treats them as such. Do you have you a link for the ICBN ref, and some ref that indicates that general English usage follows it? Richard New Forest (talk) 20:45, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
The ICBN can be viewed at
This is a matter of convention in scientific nomenclature and not really an issue of English. The rules for whether a collective noun takes a singular or plural verb are complex in English and vary between different versions of English. In scientific nomenclature, however, there are more explicit rules, and the rule in this case is: use plural apparatus with suprageneric taxa.
If you look in plant taxonomy books they will explain the plural construction of suprageneric taxa. See, for example Plant Systematics: An Integrated Approach by Singh, 2004, where it is explained:
'The names of groups belonging to ranks above the level of genus are uninomials in the plural case. Thus, it is appropriate to say, “Winteraceae are primitive” and inappropriate when we say “Winteraceae is primitive”.'
Consider also:
The OED and the Websters Unabridged both have all family taxa listed as plural. Merriam-Websters does not include scientific taxa at all, but does define the suffix "-aceae" as a plural.
Check out Scientific Style and Format: The CBE Manual. Here we read on pg 423, "Names at the rank of family and above are plural in form and therefore require plural verbs and pronouns." (
The Angiosperm Phylogeny Group, ( whose botanical nomenclatural scheme has become standard, never uses a singular verb with a suprageneric taxon. Picking a phrase at random from the introductory material: "If Podostemaceae turn out to be sister to Hypericaceae" Note, "turn out" not "turns out".
The Botanical Journal of the Linnaean Society in their instructions to authors ( says, "Names of suprageneric taxa (subtribe, tribe, subfamily, family, order etc.) are plural nouns and take plural verb forms e.g. "Allioideae are", "Betulaceae comprise" etc."
I contend that while this is not a major issue, the ubiquitous use of singular verbs with suprageneric taxa is one of the features of WP that makes it seem low quality, amateurish and lacking in expert editing.Michaplot (talk) 19:24, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
That's all very convincing as to what "ought" to be the case, but do you have anything that demonstrates that general usage always follows the plural form too? As I said before, other plural entities vary according to circumstances, and why should biological families be a special case? Wikipedia follows general usage, and English does not always follow the prescriptions of grammarians! Richard New Forest (talk) 19:50, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
I am not sure what you mean by plural entities vary. A plural word nearly never takes a singular verb. Taxonomic family names are plural words. The examples of collective nouns you gave can be interpreted as singular or plural. If they take a singular verb, they are singular. There are a few example of metonymic shifts wherein plural words begin to function as singular words (e.g. physics is my favorite class). I don't think this sort of transformation applies to taxonomic names.
I am not sure what you mean by general usage. These are scientific terms and, as the Chicago Manual of Style says, the "ultimate" authority are the codes of scientific nomnenclature. The Chicago Manual also says, when scientific terms become English words in general usage, then they are treated as English words (e.g. Mastodon, which is a genus, but now is a common name in English. So while the plural "Mastodons" is not really a correct scientific usage, it would be correct in English). "Cyperaceae" is not a word in general English usage.
I am not sure what kind of "thing" you would want to demonstrate that general usage always follows the convention. Clearly it does not. WP has numerous examples of plural taxa with singular verbs. You can even find this error in scientific papers. Who makes this mistake? I have noticed it seems primarily to be scientists who do not speak English as a first language, who are primarily molecular biologists, ecologists or who have never had any systematics training. It is very difficult to find a family with a singular verb among the work of taxonomists, systematists or organismal biologists. In any case, even if people make this mistake, that does not make it desirable, especially when it is so easy to avoid.Michaplot (talk) 21:02, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Family names may be etymologically plural, but what we are discussing is whether they are consistently treated as such in English. You may be right that family names do not follow "physics" and "maths", but I'm not (quite yet) convinced that you are.
I mean general usage, exactly as the "mastodon" example you give. Family names are used in English writing, perhaps not by the general public, but certainly not only in formal technical writing.
There comes a point where a mistake becomes general usage, as for example in the now universal but still ridiculous use of "escapee" to mean "escaper", and of course "data" is commonly used as if singular. I am only asking for some demonstration that this has not (yet) happened with family names. Yesterday on the radio I heard a past head of MI5 refer to other MI5 "Director Generals". English is not a fixed thing, and "correct" usage is what is used, not what it "ought" to be. We do not have an "Académie Anglais", thank goodness!
I think one difficulty is perhaps that the English versions of family names are singular ("the sedge family", not "the sedges family"), and we often talk about "the Cyperaceae family", when again it becomes grammatically singular. If one is unfamiliar (as most English speakers are) with Latin plurals, it looks odd to see a sentence such as "the Cyperaceae are the sedge family" (especially when the reverse would be "the sedge family is the Cyperaceae"). Keeping to the correct grammatical number requires the reader to change from plural to singular mid-sentence. This is compounded by the fact that even technical writers never use the singular version of the family name, so (as with "datum" and indeed "die" and "graffiti") readers are not exposed to the use of the words as natural plurals. Richard New Forest (talk) 22:23, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

True enough we have no central language authority, as French does (and much agreed it is a fortunate thing) but this does not mean that any usage should be considered correct. I agree very much that in spoken English, consensus and intelligibility are the primary guides, and that the language does and should evolve. In the case of formal taxonomic names, I would argue they have no significant use in English other than as technical terms. If a non-technical source includes a scientific name, it is as a term borrowed from science, just as a non-technical source might use a medical term. Despite English lacking a central authority, taxonomic terms do have central authorities (ICBN, ICZN).

Words like mastodon, when used as a common name, follow the rules of English, as the Chicago Manual of Style avers. This is a scientific term that has been absorbed into English and become an English word, which transformation is not uncommon for genera. If, however, a source referred to the genus Mastodon, then I would argue the rules of scientific nomenclature apply. If plant family names became commonly used in English, then I agree the rules of English should apply.

Your concern about how family names are consistently treated in English seems to suppose that they are consistently treated in English--not as terms borrowed from scientific terminology, but as English words. I can't think of a family name that has achieved such status in English.

I am not sure I agree with your line of reasoning about English names for plant families. "The sedge family" is singular because of the word "family", which is often considered singular. So might, "the family cyperaceae..." be singular. The common name does not have to be singular, however. We can say "the sedges" as in "the sedges are a plant family." The sentence "the Cyperaceae are the sedge family" does indeed sound horrible, but not because of unfamiliar Latin words. I think it sounds wrong for two reasons: 1) it is repetitive (as would be, for example, "The Smiths are the Smith family"), and 2) because it might be more correct to say, "'cyperaceae' is the sedge family" if the sentence was intending to define the word "cyperaceae (just as one might say, "'sedges' is a word with 6 letters"). The reverse construction you propose, by the way, should not seem untoward to English speakers. We might say for example, "Books are one means of communication". The reverse would be, "One means of communication is books".

I contend that many examples of a taxonomic family name with a singular verb represent confusion of use vs. mention (see Use–mention distinction). In many cases, non-scientists seem to be referring to a taxonomic group as a category or class of objects, in which case the singular seems correct. While taxonomy is complex, scientists don't quite see it this way. Scientists are generally keenly aware that a term like cyperaceae has two distinct (though related) meanings. One is a group of plants that are proposed to be a viable group (today this generally means most closely related to each other). In this sense "cyperaceae" means "plants in the form of Cyperus". However, taxonomists will also discuss the taxon cyperaceae as a name, including its authority, date of erection, circumscription, priority, etc. In this case, it is proper to use "cyperaceae" with singular verbs, as in "cyperaceae was first proposed by..." Similarly, you might say "Sedges have edges" (sedges=plural) and "'sedges' rhymes with edges" (sedges=singular). It all depends on whether you are referring to those things for which the word is a symbol (using the word) or the name as an entity in its own right (mentioning the word).

More importantly, WP is an encyclopedia and as such I think should be written in formal and correct English. Some linguists defend constructions such as "irregardless" and "ain't", and someday they may become standard. However, now they are not. I think I would change a WP article with the word irregardless in it. I might also remove contractions, like "don't" and informal speech of all sorts. So even if taxonomic names are treated by some non-taxonomist people as singular, despite the fact that taxonomic nomenclature does not and is quite clear how they should be treated, why should WP repeat this usage. True, someday, if taxonomic names become English words, then we might construct them after English rules. For now, I contend they are technical terms, borrowed sometimes by non-technical writers, and too often incorrectly constructed. I believe WP should hold itself to a higher standard and render them after the rules of scientific nomenclature.

And even more importantly, these errors are indicative of a bigger problem in WP plant treatments, and are easy to fix. Beginning an article on cyperaceae with "Cyperaceae are a family of monocotyledonous graminoid flowering plants known as sedges..." is in my opinion a wrong emphasis. The emphasis should be on the plants, not the taxonomy. Why not say, "Sedges (cyperaceae) are a group of flowering plants often associated with wetlands and poor soil..." There would then be no need for awkward concessions to Latin grammar and the rules of botanical nomenclature. Later in the article, the taxonomy could be explained in gory detail, and the unfamiliar constructions would not seem so out of place.Michaplot (talk) 08:27, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Sneck[edit] The definition of a sneck is both of latching/locking onto something and it also means the nose. Therefore a sneck latches onto the animals nose. This is the agricultural definition. Colinmotox11 (talk) 16:51, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. However, neither of those defs are for a nose-ring as such. Do you have a ref for that meaning? Richard New Forest (talk) 21:00, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Copied to Talk:Nose ring (animal)#Sneck: please continue discussion there. Richard New Forest (talk) 18:34, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Single sucker herd?[edit]

Hey, hope you're well. Just a heads up that I have expanded Cow-calf operation, which is especially important in the US and Americas but may be different in the UK. Feel free to point out the differences. :) Steven Walling • talk 05:55, 13 August 2011 (UTC)


Want to comment again on the newest move request wanting Cattle to move to Cow? See Talk:Cattle. I just blew my cork -twice- a little at the lamest argument I've herd yet, so I'd best just step out. Montanabw(talk) 03:51, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Separated by a common language[edit]

Friendly bit of cleanup with Owain and myself at Equestrian facility question if we should merge in some articles or not. Need more people who can assist with the "separated by a common language" question. Montanabw(talk) 03:02, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

MOS discussion that may be of interest[edit]

Because of your previous input on various iterations of the debate about the lower-casing vs. capitalization of the common names of animals (domestic cat, blue whale vs. Domestic Cat, Blue Whale), you may be interested in this thread proposing key points that should be addressed by the guidelines: WT:Manual of Style#Species capitalization points. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 16:44, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Thanks – I'll have a look at that. Richard New Forest (talk) 17:12, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

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Move of Helminthotheca echioides[edit]

Hi Richard, would you mind cleaning up Helminthotheca echioides now that it's been moved? This is usually something I do myself, but I'm not quite sure how to represent the old name. Since this is more your area of expertise, I was hoping to leave it to you. --BDD (talk) 19:42, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

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File:White bison by N A Nazeer.jpg[edit]

Hi Richard,

Could you explain a bit more why you remove this from Albinism?. I didn't understand what you mean by "this animal is clearly leucistic". JKadavoor Jee 02:46, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Please have a look at Leucism. An albino animal has no melanin (black or brown pigment) at all, so it is pure white, or it may have some orange or yellow from other pigments such as carotenoids (this is discussed in Albinism#In animals). It will have pink eyes. The gaur in the photo is also shown in this photo: File:White_bison_by_N.A._Naseer.jpg (both photos are used in "Albino" gaur). It clearly shows the usual gaur pigmentation pattern, but in paler form. For example, it has the typical gaur white socks, which contrast with the brownish colour of the upper legs. In a true albino the socks would not be distinguishable, because the whole body would be the same white. The colour of this animal is clearly the brown of melanin, not the yellow of carotenoids or other non-melanin pigments.
This sort of colour dilution is familiar in domestic animals, and in wild animal populations it's often an indication of some domestic ancestry. I do wonder if there is a history of keeping mithun in the area where these pale gaur are found.
Even pure white animals often turn out to be leucistic rather than albino – close examination shows pigment in the iris and skin, or small flecks of pigment in the fur. This applies for example to white domestic sheep and chickens, and to the white fallow deer we often get here in the New Forest. It can make it difficult to tell a true albino from a leucistic animal – but in the case of this gaur there is no such doubt: it's definitely leucistic. I think the confusion in this case has arisen because of the loose use of the word "white", when what is really meant is "very pale" when compared with normal very dark gaur. Regards, Richard New Forest (talk) 11:21, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the detailed reply. Shyamal also gave me the same reply. Do we need to change the file description accordingly? You may add your findings/opinion on the file talk page in Commons. JKadavoor Jee 13:06, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
I quoted your comment on the file talk page and added "The factual accuracy of this description or the file name is disputed." template. Thanks. JKadavoor Jee 14:57, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

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Beatrix Potter[edit]

Please check my references for - Beatrix Potter Cheers Mike — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:44, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Please see reply on your talk page. Richard New Forest (talk) 13:19, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

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Merger proposal[edit]

As a main editor of Legend (disambiguation), I am calling your attention to Talk:Legend_(disambiguation)#Merger_proposal.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 04:20, 17 August 2014 (UTC)


Your input needed at Talk:Polled_livestock#Requested_move. Montanabw(talk) 19:25, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Thanks! Richard New Forest (talk) 21:46, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Also will appreciate your help at the talk page and content of Landrace. That one is a nightmare. Same editor. Montanabw(talk) 01:19, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
And another: Talk:Black_Hereford_(hybrid)#Requested_move. Montanabw(talk) 05:02, 25 September 2014 (UTC)


Trophy.png Good redirector of pages about animals
You can redirect articles like domesticated culpeo and many more about animals! Scottishwildcat12 (talk) 10:54, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

RM notice[edit]

You may be interested in Talk:Razorback#Requested move November 2014, as you participated in previous related discussions.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  12:34, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

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Hey, good to see you hanging out here again! Montanabw(talk) 10:22, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

Only in passing I'm afraid... Richard New Forest (talk) 12:01, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

Proposed deletion of British Hunter[edit]

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No references. Need something to establish notability but I cannot locate anything on Google News. Does not appear to meet WP:ORG at this time.

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Hybrids and hybrid species[edit]

You left a comment in the wikitext at Sorbus pseudofennica: "Is it a hybrid, or a species of hybrid origin (these are not the same!)" Actually, there isn't a hard and fast distinction. The International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants says (in Appendix 1): "Taxa that are believed to be of hybrid origin need not be designated as nothotaxa" (i.e. need not have a name including the ×). It seems that when a naturally occurring hybrid is well established and regenerating, the × is usually dropped, but this is optional. There's also a "political" dimension: when arguing for the conservation of a taxon, naming it as a hybrid might appear to weaken the case. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:43, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

I don't think that's quite the case: there are very many well-established and regenerating hybrids which are still referred to as such (eg Quercus × rosacea, Crataegus × media). I can't see the full article of the Molecular Ecology ref as it's behind a paywall, but in the abstract it speaks of "polyploid hybrid taxa". That sounds to me like a species arising out of chromosome doubling in a hybrid, rather than being a simple hybrid. The classic example of this is the difference between Spartina × townsendii and Spartina anglica. The former is the infertile but self-reproducing hybrid of S maritima and S alterniflora. The latter is a fertile species arising out of the other by chromosome doubling: it is a polyploid hybrid taxon. Whichever S pseudofennica is does need to be made clear in the article. Incidentally Stace (3) just gives it as S pseudofennica, while including the × for many other Sorbus taxa which presumably he considers to be simple hybrids. Richard New Forest (talk) 11:28, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps my "usually dropped" is too strong; the point remains though, that there's no hard-and-fast rule about whether to include the × or not. S. pseudofennica certainly isn't a "simple hybrid", but then because of apomixis, many Sorbus "species" are not of simple origin. If you e-mail me (see e.g. "Email this user" in the sidebar at my talk page), I can send you a copy of the article. I'm a bit reluctant to go into all the details of the presumed origin of S. pseudofennica in a Wikipedia article, which is supposed to be for the general reader. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:46, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

Lítla Dímun[edit]

Hi, in 2010 you wrote most of the Lítla Dímun article. Including the story about the sheep. Do you happen to know the source for that? -- MichaelSchoenitzer (talk) 01:13, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

Hi. As I recall it was several news items and tourist information sites describing the tradition of gathering the sheep. One mentioned using a helicopter as a change from the usual fishing boats, which I think was only done once or twice. I've had a quick look for the pages, but of course they're now all hidden amongst derivatives of the WP page, and there are also now a lot of pages about holiday excursions which I don't remember seeing before. I can't think why I didn't ref it. I'll have a better look when I've got more time. Richard New Forest (talk) 09:51, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

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